The Bantham Edit: 1/3

When thinking about the word satchel, something that’s minimalist and understated comes to mind. Small or large, the item is not only classic but gives the impression that you have your life together even if you don’t!

bench-4

The Bantham Satchel, handmade/stitched by the creator of Charlotty herself, is the best edition you can bring to your wardrobe this winter. If you are an individual that is constantly on the move, or works in a business environment, finding a bag that is good enough for everyday use but also professional can begin to become a problem.

This Satchel, measuring 29cm in width and just 23cm in height, is a bag that will complement your outfit and not overpower it. It will not only carry your lunch, journal or purse inside, but because it features a small inside pocket on the outer flap, you can store your key/office card or phone in easily too.

standing 4.jpg

Like all of the items on Charlotty.com, the Bantham Satchel is made of genuine, natural sourced leather. From first glance you notice the soft shine of the leather, which is complemented by the subtle embossment of the Charlotty logo. This is a bag that can be carried via the small holdall strap on the top, or alternatively, the shoulder strap that can easily be tucked back inside; making longer journeys to work slightly easier in the morning rush!

What adds the final cherry on top of the cake, is that is can also come in a range of colours, allowing you to brighten up your daily clothes or work uniform. The Bantham Satchel is available in Navy & Aquamarine, Navy & Red and Black & Yellow; you might notice that mine is Black and Red but mine is personalised!

For more information or to get a better look for yourselves, visit: https://www.charlotty.com/products/leather-satchel 

 

 

Advertisements

Why I hate Social Media

Don’t get me wrong, I am an active Facebook user, love a good Snapchat filter and like to exercise my photography skills on my Instagram page, because after all it is good fun isn’t it?

This is not my issue. I can appreciate a good selfie, a witty tweet or a funny video from the Lad Bible. What concerns me, is that there is also a very dark and cynical side to the internet. You can see it with celebrities all the time, remember the time when Justin Bieber was found to be smoking weed and little girls started cutting themselves over it? Or the time that Liam from One Direction revealed he had a new girlfriend and she started getting death threats? 

For some strange and unknown reason, some people think that if they post this kind of thing on social media that it won’t actually come back to bite them on the a** in the real world. If I for example were to walk up to someone in the street and threaten to kill their children and beat them to death just because they conceded a goal at a local football match at the weekend, there is no doubt that I would be arrested. Yet, this kind of thing gets posted all over twitter and people soak it up like water because it’s “online”. When really, nine times out of ten the person that the tweet has been directed at has read that post. 

I’m sure we have all been victimised at some point by a tweet, status or maybe even called out on Instagram, because we live in a world where at least half of the nation would rather blast their problems over social media, than take the actual steps to either face that person or amend a situation. And that is purely why I hate social media. 

regina-george

 

Luckily for me I have quite a hard skin when it comes to this type of stuff because I find it hilarious that people can write crap about me online and think that they are actually ‘winning’ -when all you’ve done is tap a few keys to make yourself feel better, claps for you. But other people, may take these things far more seriously. And that is the bigger issue, that things that are written down or typed may not be perceived the way you want them too. 

Everything is made into a joke these days. You can rip someone to shreds over a group chat or on your profile, and reduce them to tears but because you’ve turned around and classed it as ‘banter’ the slate is wiped clean and you get away with it. Banter to me was always a word that meant you were teasing each other in a good way, usually in a flirty way, so if someone is crying, it is not banter. I have also decided I hate that word. 

Don’t be a keyboard warrior. If you say something over the internet you better be sure to back it up in person, because if you have called someone out online and then face them the next day like they are your best friend in the world that not only makes you a hypocrite but also bitchy person. Things do not always have to end up in a twitter war, all that achieves is an audience watching two people trying to get the upper hand. When the solution could be solved with one conversation in person. 

I say I hate social media, but in fact, I hate the people who ruin social media. By doing all of the above. Think about what you put online, who will see it/find it, and remember that deleting posts does not make them gone forever, they will still be floating in cyber space or on a hard drive somewhere, or a screenshot on someones phone that has been handed into the police. 

I don’t know how many of you are aware of the series Black Mirror, but watch the last episode of their most recent series, it will open your mind to the world of the internet. And if anything, supports everything I have said in my blog post.

 

 

How to survive freshers

I say ‘survive’ freshers because it is one of the most important challenges you will face as a Uni student! Imagine a Bear Grylls expedition but for students. You can kiss goodbye to a healthy liver, welcome freshers flu and probably be reminded of all of the drunken mistakes that you make for the next three years; but it’s all fun and games!

Now, you may not be a big drinker, I certainly am not but at times can definitely empty a bottle of wine! However regardless of whether you drink or not, you can use freshers as an opportunity to discover different people.

The locals (depending where you are) tend to go out on a Saturday night and they aren’t the friendly ones! They are creatures that I don’t recommend you try and be friends with because they are from another planet. But during freshers, they tend to stay out of the way, so party on.

The people behind the bar will most likely have freshers envy, because most of them are students themselves. And reminding them that they can’t join in the fun because they are working will not help; “oh you must hate working on a night like this” -they do.

This point is slightly more controversial! Boys, you may want to be a ‘lad’ and girls you may want to let your hair down and be wild, but sleeping with everyone within freshers week is certainly not a good idea! I mean go out have fun, just not with the entire rugby/netball team! -It will end up biting you in the a** and you don’t need the negativity! -I would like to point out that I am not speaking from experience, but know of this happening to people.

No matter how much you believe it, you can not drink anyone under the table. At Uni, it seems that even when you know you’ve reached your limit, you carry on just to prove a point! This is not only dangerous, but it will completely ruin you for the next few days. I mean go for it and have a laugh, but know when to accept the loss.

Just because you are all students, doesn’t mean that everyone wants to be your best-friend! Your housemates will give you the time of day because you are living with them for a long period of time, but that ‘friend’ who you met outside subway whilst trying to find a suitable place to pee isn’t likely to remember you in the morning!

You will never be so happy to take a paracetamol or ibuprofen! Or to see a bottle of water. Keep a stash in your room alongside a bottle of water because even if you don’t feel the hangover straight away, it is coming! It’s an evil hangover, that every fresher thinks that they have escaped; we will always be wrong!

Just to be safe, it is probably best to pre-book a  doctors appointment. You will get freshers flu, and it will not go away for another two weeks. Say hello to coughing, sneezing, headaches and a total loss of all energy. If you felt like you were lazy before, you will be in a vegetative state during this illness. But, you will feel invincible having conquered it.

 

The Frake-up

recycle

Breaking up with a friend is on another scale compared to relationships. It’s never really one of those things that you can run away from, and often follows you for years until you’re old enough to actually go your separate ways -in terms of location. 

Like relationships, a friendship can be hard work. Whether you’re arguing over the issue of you both wanting to wear the same top on a night out, or some huge drama that you know won’t matter in a few hours, 9 times out of 10 things always go back to normal.

That is of course unless these things build up, for your self preservation there is only so much you can take. Having been there myself, and after trying so hard to prove myself as worthy friend that I would have quite happily lost a limb in the process, enough was enough. I had reached breaking point, as so many of us do.

At first you think being stubborn is the right thing to do; you won’t talk to them, acknowledge them, and basically try and evacuate them from your life. But there is always something that draws you back in at least once, whether it’s seeing an old photo of you both, or another friend bringing up a really good memory of which you were all involved in. And the realisation of how much things have changed will hit you like a train.

The thing is it never hurts to try again, until you wind up in exactly the same situation as you were in before! This is when you know for sure that you made the right decision and that nothing that person can say or do will ever change your mind again. Until you get sucked in for the second time!! 

This is where the self preservation thing that I mentioned earlier comes in to play, because this is where you need to tighten your back bone, bite your tongue and walk away! For good! There is no use whatsoever, in having somebody in your life whose sole purpose seems to be to provide negativity and bring toxic vibes into it. You have to be stronger than that and make the choice to be happy instead of looking at a few photographs and getting upset.

Don’t get me wrong, this whole process may be killing you inside as you go through it, it did me, but once the storm has settled you will feel one million times better. They can get on with their life and you can get on with yours. It usually helps if you clear them off of all forms of social media too, and remove them from your phone, as you may still have some bitterness about the situation and you don’t want any reminders!

It may seem painstakingly hard at the start, with parents and friends still asking you questions about whether you’ve heard from them, or people constantly bringing them up in your company, but in time (a lot of time) things will become much easier. Your heart won’t sink when you hear their name, and you will feel comfortable in knowing that your life is a lot easier now. Doing things you love will also help you through it, and act as a great distraction.

Thinking back to the last year when things were so different, will only hurt you more. In the end as we grow the people around us will either grow with us, or go in different directions. It is how we naturally filter out who we are meant to be around, and who we should leave behind! -Woah, what a cheesy bit of wisdom. 

But remember, time is a great healer and it may be that after you have both had some time apart you can sort your differences out and go back to being friends like you once were! In other cases, you will just continue to feel more and more content with your life; which is where I for one am at!! 

 

My Top 5 Most Embarrassing Moments

 

11419212_1762333063992973_1741386654_n

Embarrassing moments are the crux of all evil, you can be having the best day and suddenly you’ll remember the time you were about to kiss a boy and then threw up in his face. That was just an extreme example, and luckily has never happened to me, but still, these kinds of tragic events ruin lives!

To brighten everyone’s day with a laugh at my expense, I thought I would share with you my most embarrassing moments. So here it goes, in no particular order, my top 5:

  1. The Ipod confusion: This was at a time when the Ipod Shuffles had first hit the market and everyone was going crazy for them. Me being young at the time, and being really into my music, I was one of those people. So one day myself, my cousin and my brother took a shopping trip and ended up in game exchange (boys being boys Aaron wanted every game on the shelf). Meanwhile, I started looking at the other merchandise on the end of the aisles, which was when I discovered a packet of what appeared to be 4 Ipod Shuffles for £10. As you can imagine I was overjoyed, and began frantically running round the shop yelling at the top of my voice, I showed my cousin, my brother and pretty much everyone else in the line was staring at me. And then I looked a little more closely,  and my heart sank. What I had been shouting about, to the whole store wasn’t 4 Ipod Shuffles for £10, but actually, just their cases. Whilst the store erupted with laughter I ran!
  2. School can be a disaster zone, so an embarrassing moment in front of the whole class is not really ideal for the social climbing ladder. Now, if your parents have been nagging you all morning to get ready, eat your breakfast and do pretty much every chore on the planet before you arrive at that hellish place, then your brain becomes a bit fried. Which is why I made not just one embarrassing mistake but two. So I’m sat in maths all happy as Larry, when I get stuck on a question, so without even thinking I put up my hand and go “MUM, how do I do question 2?” Wow. Good one Lauren. Messed that up a bit didn’t you. To make matters worse, I then called my other teacher in my second class ‘Dad.’ I think people must have thought I was doing it on purpose after the second time, either that or they were both in fact my parents (which they obviously weren’t).
  3. This one is also school related -I didn’t have much luck with keeping my school years mellow and smooth sailing! I used to do this club after school which was something to do with the outdoors but I can’t remember exactly what, and in this specific club you got to play for a while at the end. So a few of my friends and I were messing about on the school field and I decided to do a cartwheel, but as I went over I soon crumbled back down again. And my elbow really, really hurt. After first aid called my parents I had to go to the hospital, and I didn’t really know what was happening until I was on some gas and air and my elbow began got popped back into place. Basically, I had dislocated my elbow from doing a cartwheel, in front of the entire school club and my teachers.
  4. Frankenstein: growing up I had always loved makeup, I barely ever wore anything other than lipstick and eye-shadow because of my skin, but I always liked putting it on. Before going over to my friends house (who lived up the road) I decided to ‘experiment’ with my makeup, which involved a bright ruby red lipstick and lots of blue eye-shadow. I ran out of the house and knocked on her door, and when she opened it she broke out in laughter. I pushed my way past her and looked in her bathroom mirror, and to my horror, I had thick blue powder all the way up to my eyebrows, and the red lipstick might as well have been on my ears -it was everywhere! Meanwhile, my friend was going to get her mum to show her too, but I predetermined this and quickly wiped it all off of my face in the sink! It was embarrassing enough that she had seen me let alone her mum too. Tragic.
  5. Avril Lavigne wannabe: I loved her then and I love her now, Avril Lavigne was my idol; I know pretty much every one of her songs. When days got boring in my house, I used to put on her CD and sing really loudly to the lyrics (I know what you’re thinking, cool kid), which is what I did one evening before going to a family party. Unbeknown to me, I left my door open. Without even thinking I picked up my hair brush and started belting out the lyrics, in that moment, I was her! I pranced around my room in my khaki three quarter lengths (like she wore) and sang like I never had before, and then I turned around. Dropped the hair brush. And stood staring blankly at my Dad who had evidently been watching the whole time. I thought he was going to laugh, but instead he just walked away. I didn’t know what I’d have preferred. 

And there we have it, my tragic misfortunes have now been shared with the world! I hope some of  you find some laughter in these memories, and if not then I have no idea why you are still reading this blog post.

One Stop Summer Shop: Newlook Haul

Every year I convince myself that ‘next year’ will be my time to shine in the summer clothes department, and as that next year comes I stick with the stuff that I’ve got and make do with one pair of sandals and a pair of shorts that I’ve had in my wardrobe for years! Finally, this was the year that I decided that should change. And off to Newlook I went.

Now, shopping isn’t always the smoothest task, you can walk into a shop and find everything you could ever want or walk around wondering why in the world you dragged yourself out of bed for this shambles! It’s an activity that will always keep you guessing. But luckily, this was a good occasion; well good for my shopping addiction but not for my bank account!

Floral’s are always a good print to wear during the summer, something light and airy but adds a pop of colour, which is why I picked up this cropped cross-over top (image below). What I loved about this top is that the print isn’t too overpowering, but is feminine and girly. It also paired beautifully with the pink leather skirt that I also bought:

13589172_1737410686497876_1047430435_o

Next I walked past the bikini section, and walked straight back out again because they would barely even cover your nipples. Which led me to the cover up’s section, in which I managed to find this stripey gem!

stripey

I thought that this would be perfect for keeping the sun off my shoulders or even worn in the evening for casual drinks.

After wondering round the shop aimlessly trying to find my Auntie, I saw that she’d taken it upon herself to become my fashion guru and picked out an embroidered black play-suit, which I automatically fell in love with! Play-suit’s are perfect for just lounging about in but this allows you to do it in style:

 

The last item I bought was a coral/peach colour top, which I thought would go perfectly with my white high-waisted jeans which I also picked up! Unfortunately I don’t have a picture in this top and it is no longer on the website, however they do have a huge range of peach and cora coloured tops still in stock so head over to the website to check them out!

All in all, this was a very successful shopping trip and am glad that I only had to go to one place to find everything I needed! So if you are looking for some top summer staples for your wardrobe, pop into Newlook!

P.S: I haven’t included the prices because these may have changed; i.e are in the sale or not including student discount blah blah blah!

Luscious Locks or Oily Mop?: Phil Smith vs Batiste

Dry shampoo can be an absolute life saver, and in times of crisis I usually reach for my Batiste dry shampoo and get on with my day. But sometimes, it doesn’t always leave my hair looking as good as I would have liked it to. Washing your hair everyday will strip your hair of all its natural oils, which will lead to the inevitable; split ends. Which is not what we need or want. So it is handy to have an alternative so that your hair can feel fresh without the need of a daily soak.

Having recently ran out of my Batiste dry shampoo, and with it having gone up in price at Sainsbury’s, I picked up the Phil Smith ‘dry cleaners’ shampoo for £2 instead. I hadn’t ever used this product before so was a bit sceptical to whether it would work, and it wasn’t until this morning that I decided to give it a try.

Thankfully, my money was not wasted! And I would even go as far to say that it works better than the Batiste range. Instead of spraying a white dust type substance over my scalp, it comes out clear but straight away my hair was feeling light and fresh and as if I hadn’t put any product on it at all. I usually feel that I have to tie my hair up when it’s not washed, even with the use of dry shampoo, but this works so well that I’ve left it down!

What’s even better, is that they don’t test on animals! Our little creatures are safe from harm as Phil Smith is partnered with Cruelty Free International, a company who is trying to put a stop to animal testing worldwide. So not only does this product actually work, it is long lasting, affordable and doesn’t test on animals -I can’t really think of anything bad to say about this hair care line.

Of course, you will have to try it yourself to make your own mind up! But this is certainly a product that I will keep buying and am excited to try some of their other products; struggling with fine and flat hair, I am always looking for products that add volume. Let me know your thoughts on this dry shampoo if you’ve already tried it in the comments, or if you go and buy it let me know how you get on!   

Quick, No bake, Oreo Cheesecake

Chocolate is possibly one of the greatest things in our existence. My bad mood can easily be cured by a dairy milk bar, which is kind of disturbing but at the same time brilliant. After spending the last few days back at home doing nothing, I thought that I’d attempt to make an Oreo Cheesecake. It had to be egg-less because of my allergy, and although I did follow a recipe, I kind of made up my own steps as I went along! So here it is, Loz’s very own step by step guide to a fabulous Oreo Cheesecake.

What you need:

-A small baking tin (I can’t give exact measurements because I changed the tin I was using halfway through, but a general cheesecake or shortbread tin will do!)
– 1 and 1/2 packet of Oreo’s (you can add digestive biscuits instead of just Oreo’s if you wish), leave one or two at the end to crumble over the top.
– 55g of butter
– 60g of caster sugar
– 80ml (I did use a little bit more, so maybe go to 100ml if you’re feeling crazy)
– 150g of cream cheese (plain Philadelphia is good)
– A few chunks of dark chocolate (as much or as little as you like)

Method:

Begin by separating the Oreo filling from the Oreo biscuits, I just used a knife to pull them apart and then scrape the filling into a separate pile; it doesn’t matter if the biscuit parts break because you are going to crush them!

Next begin melting the butter in a pan on a low heat. As you do this place the Oreo biscuit parts in a freezer bag or something similar and crush them with a rolling pin until they are fine. You can also use a food processor to do this if you have that kind of snazzy kitchen stuff. If you are choosing to use digestives as well, just crush them into the mix.

Once this has been done, combine the butter and biscuit mix alongside a tablespoon of the caster sugar. Then grease your tin and start patting the mixture along the bottom to form the base. This then needs to go into the fridge to chill.

Now onto the cream mixture. Whisk the cream until you begin to see soft peaks forming, I added a little more cream because I didn’t think that it would be enough, but again this can be down to preference. Then begin to mix the Philadelphia and the sugar together; after this has been done you will need to fold the cream in too. 

Once those ingredients have been combined , take the Oreo filling that you scraped out earlier, and mix those in too. I used a whisk to make sure that there weren’t loads of big chunks left, but if you would prefer not too that’s also OK! 

Now it’s time to melt the chocolate! Melt the chocolate in a pan on a low heat like you did the butter; you will only need a few chunks as you don’t want the cheesecake to be too sickly. Once the chunks have melted, stir it into the cheesecake mixture. 

Next, remove the base that you made earlier from the fridge and then begin to scoop the mixture onto it until the surface is smooth. Finally, crush the remaining Oreo’s and sprinkle over the top for a yummy finish. The cheesecake will now need to set in the fridge for 4 hours, but it is worth the wait!! 

13181467_244891259208904_162951052_n

I wish you all luck on trying this recipe! Let me know how you get on in the comments 🙂 
Loz x 

Cocktail Hour: Essentials to Every Garden Party

Thank-you British weather, for breaking the stereotype and actually blessing us all with some much needed sun! Although, being a country that moans about pretty much everything, no doubt for some it’s ‘too hot’ or ‘not hot enough.’ Now that the sun is out, it is the perfect opportunity to get out in the garden and relax with family and friends, or in other words, throw a garden party. 

Small or big, a garden party saves the hassle of making a mess indoors and there is zero% risk of staining the cream carpets! And because cocktails make everything better, here are my top 5 creations for the perfect garden party beverages. 

Disclaimer: do not try if you are underage, and the amounts/quantities of alcohol that you decide to include can be changed to your preference! 

13129858_1542113622752097_751257119_n(1)

  1. A Pimms punch bowl: Pimms is THE summer drink, and what makes it better is that there is so much fruit involved in it that you can feel less guilty about the calories! Add Pimms (or Jeeves) to a punch bowl or jug, cut up oranges, limes, strawberries and cucumber, even add a little vodka if you’re planning on a heavier night and voila, a refreshing blend for you and your guests. 
  2. Summer fruit concoction: This cocktail consists of Malibu, Archers Peach Schnapps, raspberries, strawberries, cranberry juice and lemonade. My friend and I were messing around at uni mixing different flavours to try and find a cocktail that we liked, and this one was the winner. I can only describe it as a sparkling summer fruit drink, which happens to make you awfully tipsy after two or three! Again, the fruit in it just screams summer and what isn’t great about alcohol that tastes as good as juice? 
  3. Vodka Slushies: Now you can attempt to make your own, for which there are hundreds of recipes online for, but I like to buy the pre-made ones from Asda. They usually come in a foil pouch and are found near the spirits section; you just put the pouch in the freezer for a couple of hours and then rip it open when you want to drink it, simple! There are lots of varieties, from strawberry daquiri to raspberry sorbet, all contain around 4-5% of alcohol but without the bitter taste.
  4. Long Island Ice Tea: This blend is a more of a ‘you either love it or you hate it’ type drink, and typically more men seemed to be swayed towards this option, but that’s not to say that us ladies can’t enjoy it either! Made up of vodka, gin, tequila, white rum, triple sec, lemon juice and a splash of cola, with added ice and sliced lemon for garnish.  Despite the huge contents of alcohol, this is a light drink which is best kept in a jug in the fridge and then poured when needed.
  5. Purple Rain: one of my personal favourites, it’s so light but tastes sooooooooooooo good! It can be made a number of ways, but personally I prefer to include cherry Sourz, vodka, blue curacao and topped off with soda or lemonade. 

And there we have it, my 5 top cocktails for the perfect garden party. Please let me know how you get on if you do try them out, and if you have anymore recipes that you like let me know in the comments! 

7 essentials for festival season

Get your back packs on, glitter your faces and dig out those old Wellington boots, because the festival season is coming for ya! I’m not entirely sure what is so appealing about English festivals, it usually rains a lot, tents get waterlogged and you always seem to run into one paralytic druggy in a dance tent; but nevertheless, they can be very fun!

I think it goes without saying that glitter is a MUST! I love any opportunity to glitter up and look like a big disco ball, but this only ever happens on a rare occasion when I actually have a reason to. But festivals are that perfect reason; the main trend is to put it around your eyes, over your cheekbones or from your cheekbones to your forehead. What I am really into doing at the moment is applying it to the lips, then just using subtle make-up on the rest of my face; I find it adds that extra pop and if you want to stand out amongst the other glitter crazed individuals in the crowd, this is certainly a good way to start!

As previously mentioned, WELLIES! They should be the first thing you pack in fact, because regardless if BBC weather is showing you clear skies and happy days, the sky is a demon during festival time. It’s better to be safe rather than sorry, those lovely new sandals you bought from Newlook won’t last long sinking in the mud. You should also pack an anorak as well, I don’t know about you guys but I think that the wackier they are the cooler you look; only at festivals though – probably not best to walk around your home town in the Fifi and the flower tots styled anorak you bought from Amazon; might get some weird looks.

Next up, shorts. You’ve got to be prepared for all weather, if it’s baking hot then jeans will just get on your nerves all day, especially with lots of walking and busy crowds. Denim shorts go with pretty much anything, from floaty tops to crop tops and you’ll be comfy as well as looking good. 

HAND SANITIZER! Festival toilets can get very gross very quickly, and with them not having the staff to constantly replenish the hand gel that they usual come with, it is always good to bring your own. You can grab the small ones for around 50p. On a similar note, probably best to bring at least one toilet roll with you; just to be safe!

This brings me on to another hygiene factor, and that is make-up/baby wipes. Unless you are able to get a ticket which allows you to use the camp showers, you are most likely not going to be able to find a great water source to wash yourself. This is where the wipes come in! It’s not entirely the nicest feeling in the world, you know, being in your own dirt for a couple of days, but it’s all part of the experience. The wipes will certainly help. 

And there we have it, 7 essentials that will allow you to keep your sanity during festival season, and help you to look great! Also, don’t be that person to forget your ticket, pack it where it’s close to hand and where it can’t get lost, otherwise you’ll have to wait until next time. AND STAY HYDRATED!