Light Of My Life - This Love Affair #2


Did anybody else grow up thinking that lighting a candle meant that you've taken the first step in burning down the house? Just lately i've given in to the temptation, dusted off the fire extinguisher and given into the hype. 
This week's love affair is with tiny scented fires.

I've been known to spend far too much time giving everything in the Yankee Candle store a good long sniff, so when it came to choosing the first candle that will inevitably burn my house down it took some time to decide, but as somebody with mild commitment issues and a tendency to change my mind often it was hard making the final choice on a candle on the pricier end of the spectrum. As much as i'd love for my house to smell like a 'soft blanket' i'm not ready to dig deep into my purse for it. I found these alternatives in a high street card shop (because thin paper and small fires are the perfect combination) and i'm ready to argue that these are even better than their Yankee cousins. The scents aren't as wacky and specific (looking at you, 'A Child's Wish') to struggle between choosing and they are just as strongly scented and last just as long at 50 hours. I've now collected three scents out of the collection and I just pray to the high street gods they are always in stock because unfortunately there isn't a brand name printed on the label. Don't leave me now my loves, i've only just found you!

Ozonic Accord Fresh Sea Salt and Cucumber
I'll be embarrassingly honest with you readers, I bought this because it smells a little like men's aftershave. It's just the right amount of musk and smells perfect for a wind down after a long day. You could say that it smells like a big bear hug, but that would be weird.. ahem. 

Pearled Jasmine with Sandalwood Melon
Once again, i'm a sucker for musky scents. This one smells softer and more feminine with floral tones, if the sea salt was more of a night time scent then this one is for the daytime, really lovely.

Pomegranate & Pineapple with Chinese Yumberry
Whatever a yumberry is, it smells delicious. I don't usually choose fruity and citrus scents but for this I can make an exception, it's brilliant at freshening up a room when it's lit and even though it's much smaller in a tin it should last me 40 hours, i'll be stocking up on this one.

Cintons cards - £7.00 - £12.00 (Candles shown are obviously well loved!)

If you want the candle experience with the minimal amount of risk, try 'melt warmers'. If safety isn't an enticing enough factor, it's worth knowing that the wax tarts are considerably cheaper than a large candle (£1-£2 from Yankee Candle) and you can change them over, re-melt them and with 'Little Hotties' tarts, even melt them together to make new scents. It's not as satisfying as watching a candle burn and doesn't create that lovely flickering light that gives a room atmosphere but they smell amazing and the urge to stick your finger in the wax is less insane when there isn't a flame directly next to it. Melt warmers make nice ornaments for the house and thoughtful gifts that won't burn a hole in your pocket. 'Little Hotties' by Bomb Cosmetics sell a gift pack of warmer and melts for £15, with combination ideas to make candle cocktails.

'Little hotties' candle tarts, independent retailer melt warmer

Graduate Life Is Terrifying And Nothing Is Okay


For the first time in probably months i'm feeling really good about everything. It's taken a while to fully come to terms with graduate life having spent almost the entire time i've spent on this planet in education, having the same routine each year and never really worrying where i'll be the next month. I won't lie to you dear readers, graduate life is terrifying. It's terrifying and exciting in equal measures because i'm the type of person who thinks she takes life as it comes, but really everything is planned, albeit for me. I've never kept a yearly diary because i've always known the routine, you start back into the daily school routine in september for a few months, break up, come back, break up again and the cycle continues. Don't get me wrong I have a well thought out plan, oh-ho do I have plans. I just spent too much time waiting for the next stage to present itself to me, waited for that next semester of university which won't ever come back. I don't want to go back to school, I just want some routine again.

After a shameful four months of my 'graduate gap year 'I think i'm starting to get a better understanding on this whole graduate state of mind and way of life. None of us have any idea what we're doing, and the really big secret that everybody's been saying since you can remember is: nobody does. 

Graduate top tips from someone who probably knows less than you do:

1. Start being selfish

It really doesn't matter what anybody else in your graduate year is doing with their life, whether they've landed a job, going travelling or are just watching the entire boxset of Desperate Housewives (again). After graduation everybody just starts to freestyle and make up their own thing, it might look like that guy you hated in seminars has it all together but you can guarantee he's just making it up as he goes along too, nobody knows what they're doing and that's so much more exciting than planning. 

2. You can't be unemployed forever, and you won't be

Don't take a job you hate because you need the money. If you need to take a detour to get to your dream career that's cool, just take something you'll learn from, or something you enjoy. Go work at the zoo, go feed tigers and go crazy. If you're taking time away from that rest-of-your-life career you might as well make it fun.

3. The rest of your life doesn't start now.

We've been told since primary school that the choices we make will start off the rest of our lives and everything will be the same from that day on, but it just doesn't work that way. You can have as many careers as you want to in this life and that's okay, you want to be a CEO, rocket scientist and puppy supervisor? That's so cool, you go chase your dreams!

5. Give yourself a routine

Not the friday night at the local kind of routine, a proper one. Don't turn off that horrible alarm that used to wake you a little too early in the morning at university after a rough night out, keep it on and start your day by going outside, do something to keep yourself occupied and inspired.

Who Am I This Year? 2014 Edition


2014 has been such a huge year for me already with everything going on and I can feel myself changing as a person as the weeks go by. I stumbled upon the 'Self Image' video on 'Emily Diana Ruth's channel on YouTube and thought it such an interesting project and future time capsule that i'd make one myself, the only issue being that i'm camera shy. So here we are! Here is my response, just in blog form.

This year has been the year of change, although almost nothing has changed around me i've changed. For the first time in years i'm taking an interest in my appearance, a proper interest this time. Each year I grow out my hair and unconsciously make the decision to chop it once it's grown back, this year has been no different. Every year I remind myself of my mistake and I never listen, this year I still didn't listen.

I've had to start making a conscious effort not to wear pyjamas around the house whenever I can and i'm finally investing time and effort into my appearance, mostly because I have the time to now, i'm no longer a student in halls or a dirty teenager. This year I finally my decided to get my first tattoo, the tattoo i've been talking about for years now, although not quite the design i've been waiting for, and although it's not what i've been thinking about for all this time I know i've made the right choice.

I've finally reached the end of my academic life as of July which has been the biggest milestone so far, i've learnt more about myself in these past three years than I could've thought possible. I've pushed myself to a point I worried i'd snap in my work home life only to realise I hadn't even reached my limit. (And that to my horror, I still can't drink coffee.)

Possibly the best thing i've learnt about myself this year through earning my degree is that i'm only truly happy when i'm busy, I mean really busy. I sort of underestimate the things I can achieve, and I hope that this time next year i'll think differently.

I've finally found those classic friends you meet at university who are your friends for life, the ones that make their mark on you and you'll never forget because you'll never lose contact, those friends you automatically save a table for at your wedding. (nudge to Kiera). 

2014 Recap

Top 5 favourite television shows this year
American Horror Story
Scott & Bailey (guilty pleasure)
Cardinal Burns
Game Of Thrones

Top 5 favourite songs this year
My Chemical Romance - It's not a fashion statement, It's A Death Wish 
Bo Burnham - Oh Bo
Girls/Girls/Boys - Panic! At The Disco 
Gay Pirates - Cosmo Jarvis
Grow Up - Paramore

Favourite book this year (fiction)
The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

Favourite book this year (non fiction)
Not That Kind Of Girl - Lena Dunham

Right now i've not got any solid plans, and I don't know where i'll be next month but during this short break from being told where I should be in education and starting my 'real life' i'm starting to recognise the kind of person I really am. I'm the kind of person that needs to be busy, so busy I can't think. I want to be so busy with with work that sometimes i'll have to skip lunch, and after a hard day I force myself to unwind with a glass of wine with a close friend while we watch yet another run of FRIENDS, and i'll sit there and tell my friend just how stressed I am with my job and just how busy I am, making a point to exaggerate everything I did that day because deep down I know i'm bragging about it. 

Even though this isn't a video i've enjoyed writing it all the same, it's been quite theraputic to reflect on this year so i'm 'tagging' my friend and fellow blogger Kiera to give this a go, you can find her blog 'Artistic Fascination here. 

Cock Drawing and Exercises in Networking


Around July each year D&AD invites the brightest and most creative design and advertising students from around the country to exhibit their work at the New Blood festival in Spitalfields market, students can attend workshops and talks around London led by creative industry professionals. This year it was the turn of our (slightly mad) class to attend the festival, and it did not disappoint. 

'War Flashbacks' 2014
We all figured after the deadline week of doom we deserved a huge pat on the back so the six of us booked a flat in Walthamstow for an extra few days around the festival and explored London. During our free time we managed to visit the incredible Breakfast Club in Shoreditch, (a place with food I still dream about) discovered just how stressful trying to find a restaurant with room for a group of eight is on short notice and found that my habit of sleepwalking has escalated into violently kicking people out of bed.

Before the event takes place attendees can sign up for certain events in exchange for small deposit, first come first served with limited spaces - cue the panic we all faced while we synced up our events so nobody was left alone. Everyone booked around the same four events except from me, I was double booked. Although I lost out on my deposit once i'd made my choice on which to attend it soon became clear over the days that most people who were exhibiting couldn't attend events so D&AD were more than happy for anybody willing to take their spots, this meant I swapped my missed 'Single Mingle' event at the Young Creative Council for a workshop with DARE agency.

The highlights of the festival were definitely the events, this was my second new blood festival as last time I attended I was merely snooping around the recent graduates work and scoping out future competition, and although it was fun there wasn't much to be done once we were there. This year we had a fair few days of the festival to amuse ourselves with and without the events it would've been a 24 hour job. I picked a variety of different events from live brief workshops, CV writing and job seeking skills and even one creative booze filled evening hosted by Shellsuit Zombie that included, you guessed it - cock drawing lessons (very important life skill). During the week I discovered the life beyond university and what my career will bring, and I fell in love with Advertising all over again.

From left to right:
  • Apple & Ink workshop at Monster agency, free cake pops were a lovely bonus
  • One Minute Briefs stand within the exhibition, 60 seconds to advertise..
  • After the DARE & Shellsuit Zombie workshop we got to test out the Oculus Rift and Google Glass (pic is of Cheryl and the Oculus Rift is terrifying)

Danish People Are Prettier Than You (That Week I Tried To Bump Into Hannibal) - Spontaneous City Breaks #1


It's always a good idea to get yourself a travel buddy. You need someone that will encourage you to explore places you wouldn't think of and push you to try new things (this year my buddy made me cry by taking me on a 80m sky flyer. I'm afraid of heights - spectacular view). For christmas last year I bought my fellow explorer 'The Cities Book' and gave her the task of researching where we're going to next, preferably European and somewhere that we've heard of, but not over visited. She suggested Copenhagen in Denmark and it seemed perfect, I vaguely knew of the city and knew hardly anything about it, so it was perfect (travel guides are essential reading). We like to keep things impulsive, so we chose our city and booked within the space of about three weeks, with the intention of flying out another fortnight after. 

First thing to note about Copenhagen is just how easy it is to get around the city, although we bought a week metro pass (which we stamped every single time we boarded, like idiots) we soon realised it was actually more scenic to walk everywhere (for gods sake wear sensible shoes). Our hotel was a really short walk away from the grand central station, which in turn is directly next to Copenhagen's amusement park Tivoli (reportedly Walt Disney's inspiration for Disneyland) and luckily for both us young'uns, the hotel was situated opposite an outdoor bar serving cheap booze and live music right outside our room window (It was actually quite nice to be lulled to sleep with hums of gentle rock, but that's just me).

The people of Copenhagen are angels, so beautiful they made me heart weep. On so many occasions i'm afraid to count I had to physically stop in the middle of the street to take a breather while I stared a local down, trying my best not to slobber in the process. 

Everywhere in Copenhagen is gorgeous, so it's hard for me to pinpoint the best part to talk about. Nyhavn is a treat for the eyes, it's essentially a long strip of cafes with a harbour running through the centre with reasonably prices tour boats around the city - well worth the ticket price. I'm not usually one for sitting on boat tours with no doubt annoying passengers and children on board, but this open top tour was relatively small and showed us the sights we couldn't reach or embarrassingly wouldn't recognise, including The Little Mermaid statue.  
Beautiful Nyhavn 

The Little Mermaid statue, Langelinie promenade
Thanks to the immaculate planning of my travel buddy, we managed to catch a few festivals while we were in the city, firstly we stumbled across the Vaguard festival in Søndermarken by accident, we were searching for the area our second festival Stella Polaris would be in (the next park over) and managed to sit by a gorgeous fountain while listening to the festival metres away. Somehow managed to stumble upon yet another freebie in our pursuit of the Frederiksberg park and found a viewing platform into the Copenhagen zoo, situated directly in between the two parks. Frankly the animals looked ill and sad, but it was worth the £0 we paid to give people inside awful looks as they enjoyed the zoo (for shame!)
Vanguard music festival 2014,  Søndermarken 
In fear of blabbering on a little too much about the city, here's my top list of things to do based on my visit.
  • Rent a bike. (You'll need a credit card for this). Copenhagen is full to the brim of bikes, enough so that there is a separate road lane for them and cyclists have the right of way over cars. Bike rentals are completely safe around Copenhagen, so long as you aren't a dick about it. 
  • Tivoli amusement park.  Situated across the road from the central station it's hard not to miss. Devote an entire day to this park, you won't regret it. Buy an all inclusive wristband for unlimited ride access and ride everything at least once, the park is small but packed full of sights. Tivoli guards patrol twice a day, Tivoli illuminations are every day and fireworks every saturday, enjoy. 
  • Visit Sweden for the day. Return day tickets to Malmo Sweden are cheap and worth the price to say you've been to two countries in one trip, take the train from central station. Remember to exchange Danish krones for Swedish, otherwise you'll be in a weird poor/rich limbo like I ended up in, doh!
  • Take a boat tour. The cheapest tour is 40kr which is around £4. You have no excuse not to.  

Turning Twenty One and The Inevitable Graduate Doom


Earlier in the spring I turned the grand old age of twenty one and finally gave in to my premature mid life crisis.

Turning twenty one, as I was constantly reminded leading up to and on the day of my birthday, is the day most things end. Most importantly of all it marks the official end of my teenage years, (technically they finish at 20 but really, who counts that?). I'm officially an adult now, making not so brilliant adult choices, developing a taste for red wine and whiskey and daydreaming about cheese and slankets.

I can't relate to freshers and the excitement of turning eighteen anymore, but neither can I relate to people further down in their twenties with 'real jobs', families and spouses. I'm just sort of in the middle, and that's a little bit terrifying.

I'm in that awkward stage of my life now where I don't quite feel my age. 

I graduated three months ago and now i'm slap bang in between education and real world employment, any tiny move I make from now on is a step toward my permanent future. It's different to marking my path in education because now i'm the one in charge. The
stabilisers are off and there are no options, only choices. 

In a few months i'll be hopefully starting my career, I have no idea where I could be working or where I will live. That's the exciting part.

I'm Not Mad, I'm Just Disapointed. - What Were You Thinking? #2


I've been a huge fan of the Soap & Glory brand since their launch in 2006, their products smell incredible and are amazing, a little on the pricey side at around the £10 for each item (help me, i'm poor/stingy) and every year at Boots their £60 christmas hamper is reduced to £30*. 

*The hampers contents is in fact worth around triple that price, and if you're anything like me, it stocks you up until next year..or the next..or the next. I might have a backlog of hampers. 

The main reason this brand appealed to me so much was the packaging, it's riddled with cheeky puns (I usually dislike puns, but these are charming) and they use authentic vintage photographs from the 1950s on their products. They actually ran a small campaign around their launch for customers to send in scanned photographs of their grans from back in the day to use, a nice touch!

It's been eight long years since their launch and the brand has gained huge amounts of popularity and have even expanded into a make up range, the branding hasn't changed (rightly so) until now. *eternal sigh*

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. 

Even though I've hoarded enough S&G products from the christmas hampers to last me until the apocalypse, I needed to re-purchase 'Scrub Your Nose In It nose scrub. It's a minty fresh pore cleanser come face mask (really good) and the packaging was great as always, fun and flirty. I tried to find it in the general S&G section in my local Boots, couldn't find it. I just assumed i'd have to buy it online and carried on shopping. If it weren't for my intense bewildered stares at the moisturiser/skincare isle (how the hell do you decide a moisturiser? Baffled.) I wouldn't have found it. S&G's 'Scrub Your Nose In It' now comes in a clean white box with minimal typography, hardly noticeable, cold and clinical. Safe to say I was a little shocked. 

Why, Why Would You Do That?

You Sit There And Think About What You've Done

The old packaging was spot on for the brand. Pink tube, fun typography and lovely. The new is a complete back step from everything that S&G have created, and it's happened the entire 'skin care' range. The new packaging is now contained in a plain white box, hardly any description of the product, and this is the same as the tube. Ohh, the tube itself, S&G have taken inspiration from the harsh pharmacy prescription packaging, i'm assuming to assert the fact that it is now an *intense* skincare product. Using it no longer feels like a girly treat for the skin, but something I need to be fixing. 

I'm not mad at you, Soap and Glory. I'm just disappointed.