Friday, December 19, 2014

Spain 1 - Wander & Watermelon Nails

"Surround yourself with people who nourish your soul." - Unknown
[Spanish Adventure Post 1/2]
We may be well into the chilliness of December but I quite fancied bringing back a bit of that well-missed sunshine! At the end of August I ventured off on a little Spanish adventure, I wandered the colourful markets, dipped my toes in the sea, and drank way too much 'Tinto de Verano'! I had the loveliest week away with my family in Spain, and I made sure I took lots of photos along the way.

I've split my Spanish trip into two parts as there were oh too many photos to cram all in one post, the second part'll be on it's way shortly. Lots of lovely memories were made and the sunshine had the biggest smile. Enjoy the rummage of the images get ya passports at the ready and off we go..

I'd been counting down the days until this holiday arrived, I've been going to Spain ever since I can remember so it's always a joy to go back there. I woke up at the crack of dawn on breezy but warm Sunday, squinting my eyeballs as I completely suck at mornings. I'm one of those people who has to have absolutely everything already set out the night before, so that when I get up I know what I'm wearing, what rings are going on which hand, a list of whats in my bag, suitcase and what clothes I'm wearing for each day of the holiday. I've always been somewhat of a list maker but the list keeping has just progressed over the years, oops..

Anywhos! My mum and dad had already been sunning it up in Spain for a week, so myself and my brother set off together to the airport where we tried and tested too many alcohol samples (note to self: don't do this at 9am when you're about to be on a plane for 2 and a half hours - major sick feels).After a pleasant plane journey (and a packet of Maynard wine gums later..) we touched down in Spain, we wandered with our suitcases to a familiar place where we thought our parents would be awaiting our arrival, and there they were, sat in the sunshine with a jug of Sangria, marvellous-o!

It didn't take me long to be off and exploring my favourite shops, this is where I tend to spend a little too much on trinket things, the picture above of my feet amongst some pretty flowers was taken at the Spanish market, every Friday morning we all wander up the hill and take a leisurely stroll around the stalls, many of my favourite dream catchers have been purchased at this particular Spanish market and it's bloomin' lovely.
A rare photo of my hand without rings | Rings From: Spanish Markets, Topshop, Primark
Fruity nails are most definitely a big tick in my books when venturing away on holiday, not only does the look please my eyeballs but watermelon nails are so easy to create, whenever I'm in a rush I always find myself painting on this tasty style, simple and effective, Bobs ya'rrr uncle! Also, who doesn't love watermelon?!
Malaga, the city of beautiful, lovely things. All the years I've been visiting Spain, myself nor my family have ever hopped on a train and made our way into Malaga. Side note: want to add my love for Spanish trains, so clean and the tickets are super cheap which pains my heavy UK train paying heart! It's certain to say that Malaga holds wonderful buildings, churches, cathedrals and walkways. During our short trip we drank lots of yummy drinks (Mojitos are so yum), grabbed a bite to eat and chatted an awful lot whilst admiring the passers by, if you're ever in the area definitely smooch about the shops, it's like a fancy Brighton!

Usually when we're all in Spain, we're celebrating my mums birthday, but as we holidayed a little later this year, we had a different occasion to be raising a glass (or two) to! It was a joy to celebrate my parents 22nd wedding anniversary in the sunshine. It's safe to say I'm pretty fond of my family, these kind of moments I remember and cherish for a long while, from beginning to end this day felt super special with smiles all round.

My brother is usually photogenic but doesn't seem to appear in hardly any of my photos, but I can assure you he was there! We spent the majority of the day enjoying eachothers company and drifting from bar to bar, when the sun started to set we made our way to the seafront and sat down in a favourite restaurant of ours. After a delightful setting and scrummy meal, my mum and dad had in mind that they'd take myself and my brother to a bar they had previously stumbled across (the dreamiest bar I must add). They only had to mention the name of the bar and I was set to go, 'Buddha Bar', and yep, there were indeed Buddhas everywhere, from head to toe. Honestly the coolest freekin' bar in Spanish existence! (Maybe slightly biassed as I'm in love with Buddhas and Elephants, but yeah..)
Hat - Primark  |  Dress - Forever 21  |  Shoes - Asos
From stepping foot into this place to leaving it sometime later, I was just in awe. It was so magical and peaceful. It was just the most loveliest end of an evening to a wonderfully celebrated day of my parents love! I cannot wait to head back to this bar next year. A bundle of congratulations to my lovely mum and dad for 22 years of marriage, hoooraar!

It's so peaceful to walk down to the beach late in the afternoon, it's so comforting being familiar with a place very close to you and just being able to enjoy every moment there and then. I am quite content sat on the sand watching the sea wondering on for miles and miles, one particular evening I looked up to the sky and caught this lonely moon, dreaming away. Nothing makes me smile more than seeing the moon as clear as crystals just, just how great. I love the moon. The moon seems a great chap.
T-Shirt - Primark  |  Trousers - Spanish Market '13
To round off the days in Spain there's nothing I love more than getting myself into comfy clothing, grabbing a hot drink, putting my earphones in and just sitting back on the balcony. With the smell of aftersun soaking into my skin, there I am staring into the sky with a bubble of thought floating about my head, everything's quiet and it's just the weirdest but nicest feeling, ever. It's good to zone out every now and then, something I'm doing waaay too often nowadays, hey to the ho! I pretty much live in these trousers (also got a pair of bright orange elephant ones, just as great).

Wrapping that up for part one, check on back soon for part 2 if you so fancy! It includes plenty of bubblegum ice cream, my Grandad's favourite place and plenty more daydreaming.

With love,

Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween Nail Art Tutorial!

"I'm a master of fright, and a demon of light, and I'll scare you right out of your pants!" - The Nightmare Before Christmas
Hello Halloween, you came around oh so quickly. Halloween is one of the greatest times of the year, the colours are so full of loveliness and not forgetting the fun of decorating your house spreading wonders of Halloween all over the place, and a favourite thing in particular of mine to do is decorate my nails, of course! (And drinking tons of hot drinks whilst watching a ton of scary films wearing the baggiest of jumpers I can find..)

I get a tad excited when there is a new celebration to be celebrated, whats not to love about matching your nails with a certain theme! So Halloween is extra exciting as the nail decorating is endless. I've had a lot of fun already this October painting these designs on a handful of lovely people, the reactions have been rather wonderful so it felt only right that I create a tutorial for this spooky look so you too can join the Halloween fun - wooohooo!

I've created five different designs so each nail has a unique dash of the spooky spirit! I hope you enjoy the tutorials and perhaps paint them on your nails and share with me, have a wonderful Halloween, don't forget to eat lots of sweets and dress on up in your scariest gear!

Don't fancy creating this spooky nail art? Feel on free to check out some of my other nail art tutorials below:
green | white | black | dotting tool or nail art pen
- Apply two coats of green nail varnish, I'm using Barry M 'Key Lime'.
- Begin to outline the hair for Frankenstein with black nail varnish and then fill it all in!
- Dot on two eyes and eyebrows!
- Finish by carefully drawing a smile with added 'scars' and two white dots and black dots for the pupils! 
- I tend to avoid a topcoat as it completely smudges the black, even when it's dry! But go ahead if you're a brave top coater!

white | blue | black | red | dotting tool or nail art pen
- Apply two coats of white nail varnish.
- Taking your dotting tool or nail art pen, apply a circular blob of blue nail varnish.
- Add on the red veins in a sort of branching stem effect.
- The same way you added the blue blob, next add on a white blob!
- Finishing off the 'bloody eye' look with a black dot for the pupil!

black | orange | dotting tool or nail art pen
- Apply two coats of orange nail varnish.
- With your dotting tool or nail art pen, begin to outline the face of your pumpkin (you can neaten up the lines when it comes to filling it all in).
- Finish off your pumpkin look by filling in all the outlines, and you will have one happy lookin' pumpkin!

red | white | dotting tool or nail art pen
- Apply two coats of white nail varnish.
- Using your dotting tool or nail art pen, start to outline the blood drips not forgetting the two extra drips dripping off at the end!
- To finish off this look fill in all the dripping blood outlines with your red nail varnish and be ready to show them off!

white | black | dotting tool or nail art pen
- Apply two coats of black nail varnish.
- Using your dotting tool or nail art pen (I find this look a lot easier with a nail art pen) with white nail varnish begin to mark three lines in a star shape on your nail.
- Now going from one line to the other, add a slightly inward curved line (this can be a tad fiddly!)
- Keep on going until you start to see your cobweb forming!

Which ones your favourite?!
Thank you for stopping by! As always, I had alotta' fun creating this tutorial, I'd love to see any of your photos if you recreate these, shout over on my Twitter or Instagram! These are great for showing off at a Halloween party or opening the door to lots of trick or treaters ready to pinch all the sweets!

Stuck on what to carve on your pumpkin? I did a little post on this last year, check out my pumpkin carving tutorial, creating your very own Jack!

See you in November for a mixture of Autumn and Summer things (my Spanish adventure posts are on their way! Gotta love a bit of Summer as we approach Winter, riiiiight?)

Have the best Halloween, mwahaha..

With love,

This is not a sponsored post, read more about my disclaimers here.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Starting University

"The next year, the next day, the next hour are lying ready for you, as perfect, as unspoiled, as if you had never wasted or misapplied a single moment in all your life. You can turn over a new leaf every hour if you choose." - Arnold Bennett
I've enrolled, I've got all my things ready and I'm good to go! On the 6th of October I'll be starting a brand new adventure at an art university in London, and I am pretty freaked out/ excited about it.. Where has the time gone and most importantly have I bought enough colouring pencils.. 

Arts always, always been my first love, so I'm mega excited to get dipping my toes into something I've always had a passion for. However the transition from my foundation course to a degree, hasn't been as smooth and as jolly as I'd hoped. I'm a human who tends to worry way too much, stay up until silly o'clock thinking about future things and what on earth I'm actually doing (I've learnt you can only draw so many elephants eating macaroons to keep you content and happy..) I almost decided to give the whole university thing a miss, jump on a plane and never look back, stress got on top of me and all I could think about for a long time was escaping to different countries collecting dream catchers as I go (because, that'll make me happy, riiiight?)

It's taken a long, long while for my mind to finally come to terms with what and where I wanna study, my family have never forced or pressured me to go to University and I think that's super important, you've got to want to do this for you and no one else. Coming at cha with a favourite quote of mine, p.s I found this quote a long time ago and since forgot where I found it, shout if you know:
"Don't ever let anybody influence you and your ideas, because at the end of the day you're going to be the one committing to 'it', so you first need to make sure you can do it and not by what the other person wants/ expects you to do." - Unknown 
On Wednesday (the 24th September) I hopped on a train and made my way to my new University for the enrolment, leading up to walking through the doors, I was mega nervous about being overwhelmed with a bad vibe, that I'd made the wrong decision, what the freaaak have I done. But I was pleasantly surprised. Greeted by lovely humans, glimpsed at some of the work exhibited around the building, and quickly shuffled my feet around the corner where I'd enrol. Sat down with my organised, post-it-noted folder and gripping on very tightly to my phone (ready to ring my mum in a panic about how much I hate it and how much I don't wanna be there). I got chatting to a few people and also bumped into some familiar faces from my foundation course which was lovely.

After about half an hour of finalising all things enrolment-ey, I walked away with a little happy bubble inside my head, and told myself "what the hell were you so worried about, it's gonna be okay!" I'd built up so much dread, so much 'ugggh' and it was okay, I did it, I enrolled! I'm still yet to start as previously said, so I could be writing a whole different story soon haha, but no in all seriousness I do have a better feeling about university and meeting new people, trying new things, learning new skills and drinking way too much coffee.

I'd love to know if you have had similar thoughts, similar dreaded, sleepless nightly thoughts about university and how you came around/ figured it was going to be okay? And if you were wondering why I did dread the whole university thing so much and why not just quit it all completely, I'm someone who is a tad weird on change, not that I don't like change, I do in fact love change here and now, I just am very uneasy when it comes to new places etc etc, it even comes down to the littlest things like if I was to go shopping for the day I'd have to plan it in my head way in advance, meaning many lists of what I was going to wear, what was going to be packed in my bag, which identical black sock would go on the left foot and what one would go on the right (this sometimes results in eeny meeny miney mo..) will I wake up feeling empty and be tackling a hole in my favourite jumper, and when I am shopping what will the lighting be like in the changing rooms if I was to try anything on, will I freak out and just leave the shop all together, and whilst all that's going on in my head I'm trying to do my best not to show it. It all gets a bit too much and so yeah, university kinda had the same effect on me, which initially sucked, but I'm doing the things to make me not feel those things and other poop things and hopefully erase a good hand full of those things.. Am I making any sense at all? Goooood-o.. Also university has always been something I've wanted to do, an experience I know I've always wanted to try, and so here I am, trying to remain calm and collective, which means buying new stationary to help..
[my love for stationary is only getting stronger.. also this picture kinda looks like all my things are flying, I can assure you they are just sitting on my desk haha..]
During all those sleepless university dreaded nights, I tried to think of many ways to get my motivation back and to get rocking and rolling. I'd tried so many things and nothing was working, so, I plonked myself in front of all my old artwork, all my old sketchbooks and even began to rummage back through art I'd made when I was in nursery/ school/ where it all started! I don't know if you ever find yourself doing this, but I'm always asking myself what a younger me would do, the young 8 year old me that hid herself in her room for hours drawing on whatever she found and using every kinda pom pom, glittered glue, colouring pencil, anything she could find to create. It reminded me to not quit at what I love as that'd be darn stoopid, arts all I've ever known and something I have recently had a love/hate relationship with. It was a bitter sweet moment, a whole loada memories came flying back and reminded me that sometimes change is good, and I shouldn't be scared of the future, I should just live in the now and just go for it. And go for it is what I'm gonna do!

Tumblr, music, fellow bloggers, short film animations, many many illustrators and Disney things (& Harry Potter films) are my favourite things and ways to get me feeling inspired and motivated. Please do share any of your tips/ advice to staying positive and keeping motivated? Would be 'muchly' appreciated!
[note to self: be happy]
To any of you's starting university or starting a new adventure, here's a bundle of luck and I hope you enjoy every second! Lets take on this adventure together, woop woop. I hope this post was a little helpful to anyone feeling and going through the same, you're not alone in this huge ship of university things and confusion things, one step at a time and you'll sure find what you love/ or in my case rekindle the love! Most importantly, stay sane, stay happy and stay creative.

Ah. Needed to get that off my chest. :)

Are you too off to University? Or have you already been?
I'd love to hear any of your views/ experiences/ tips on it!

As always have a groovy day.
With love,

This is not a sponsored post, read more about my disclaimers here.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Yummy Rainbow Cupcakes!

"Don't you dare, for one more second, surround yourself with people who are not aware of 
the greatness that you are." - Jo Blackwell-Preston

Somewhere over the rainbow, you maybe, just maaaybe may find a bundle of yummy cupcakes, maybe.. I've been watching The Wizard of Oz again, and my baking brain went a little 'woohoo lets bake rainbow things and sing rainbow songs whilst baking the rainbow things!'

So, with all that, I've baked up some rather scrummy Rainbow Cupcakes, capturing this step by step tutorial on the way so that if you so wish you can create and bake them for yourself (I highly advise you do, they are yuuum!) Along with my Wizard of Oz influence, comes my love for The Great British Bake Off and The Next Great Baker. It's impossible not to get into the baking spirit when watching these programmes, I wonder if Mary, Paul and Buddy are a fan of rainbow cupcakes? More importantly are you a fan of rainbow cupcakes? Come along and see for yourself!

This recipe is super fun and colourful, perfect for cheering someone up with a cup of tea in toe. So grab your cooking utensils and get your rainbow on, for it's time to get baking, and time for me to tone it down on the cheese..
Check out my previous baking recipes/ tutorials and all kindsa yumminess below:
- Do feel free to leave any baking requests below, I rather enjoy making these tutorials - 
(Makes 12 Cupcakes)
 2 Eggs
 2 tbsp Milk 
 110g Caster Sugar
 110g Softened Butter
 110g Self Raising Flour
 12 Cupcake Cases
 4 Different Coloured Food Colouring

 75g Softened Butter
 150g Icing Sugar
 White Fondant Icing
 Multicoloured Fizzy Strips
 Mini Marshmallows
 Flower (or any optional shape) Cookie Cutter
PREHEAT THE OVEN: 190ºCBegin this colourful journey by measuring out all your ingredients. Pop all the ingredients into a large bowl and either using a whisk or wooden spoon mix it all up until light and fluffy (like a sweet lil Unicorn... "IT'S SO FLUFFY I'M GUNNA DIE!")

Now for the colourful part! What makes these cupcakes even more exciting is when you bite into them, instead of being greeted by a boring batter mix, you'll instead be greeted by a maze of colours! I've selected four different colours for these cupcakes as these were the ones I had in my cupcake cupboard -  but feel on free to go as crazy on the colour as you like, the more colour the better!

Split the cupcake mix into smaller separate bowls, adding different food colouring to each and mixing thoroughly. 

Once all the mixings out the way, this is the time I usually line my baking tray - I've gone for these funky animal printed cases I spotted in Tescos. A little random on the animal print but I simply couldn't resist! (Also, I totally didn't plan to paint my nails to match up or anything..)Taking a spoonful of colour from each bowl, begin to pop your different coloured cake mix into each individual cupcake case. Taking it in turns to place a different colour on top.
As I'm using four different colours, I continued this process until each case had a collection of four different colours.

Whilst the cupcakes are getting all snug in the oven, begin to prepare your butter cream icing. Mixing the butter and icing sugar all together until smooth and all yummy looking (not forgetting to lick the bowl afterwards..)
Once 10-13 minutes is up and your cupcakes seem cooked all the way through (you can test this by popping a small knife through the centre of each cupcake and checking the knife is almost clean and not smothered in uncooked-ness). Pop your cupcakes onto a cooling tray to cool on down.

Fondant icing time! Pssst.. I'll let you into a secret, this is the first time I've used fondant icing, over my short baking time I've been so curious to give it a go - I did, and I am now a great fan!
Sprinkle some icing sugar onto a chopping board or clean surface and begin to roll out your icing fondant, you want to leave about a 3mm/5mm width so the fondant won't crack and be all poop.
I really just wanted an excuse to use fondant icing, as just mentioned I've never really used it before and thought that this little cookie cutter fondant thing could act as the clouds for the rainbow (plus the added rainbow marshmallows which are added later!) I'm using this little flower cookie cutter and double checking it fits the top of the cupcake so it doesn't get over cramped and go over the edge. This steps optional I guess, but it sure does add to the yummy taste when complete!

When I was baking these cupcakes and preparing the fondant icing, I had a little thought that blue would look groovy, so instead of the white acting as more clouds, the blue could instead make the sky - something I'll have in mind the next time I bake these! Anywhos whites just as great - once you've cut out all your shapes from the icing, it's then time to stick the flower base onto your cupcakes.Using the back of a small metal spoon, spread some butter cream on top of your cupcake and pop on the iced fondant flower, extra secure so it won't be flying off anywhere soon!Continue to do this on all of your cupcakes!

Nows where the cupcake comes to life, rainbow style! 
To create the rainbow, I bought these multicoloured sour sweet strips from my local supermarket, I'm pretty certain you'll be able to find these in most supermarkets/ pound stores. I measured out the strips over the cupcake and found the best length is simply by cutting the sweet strip in half. (Theres plenty left over to eat nom nom nom..)
To secure this sweet treat rainbow in it's place, apply two blobs of butter cream either side and with a bit of patience place on the sour strip and hold in place until the butter cream holds, creating a pretty lil rainbow arch.

Lastly, the finishing touch. Add some cute mini marshmallows to either side of the rainbow for extra tasty clouds! Pop some butter cream onto each marshmallow and they'll be sitting happy either side ready for you to come along and eat it all up!

Ahh I had so, so much fun baking these! The excitement I had when cutting into the cupcakes, rather in love with how bright the colours turned out! I hope you enjoyed that tasty trip to the end of the rainbow! If you do follow this recipe, then I hope you enjoy every minute as much as you enjoy scoffing them up! Any excuse to bake them to brighten up a rainy day - and because they taste so darn good, mmmm-mmmm!
I'd love to see your take on this recipe, if I have tempted you into creating these then be 
sure to share your snaps with me over on Twitter or Instagram!

And if you're like me and are religiously watching The Great British Bake Off,
who's your favourite so far?! I'm a fan of Norman I must say..

Thanks for reading/ having a nose!
Have a colourful day!

With love,

This is not a sponsored post, read more about my disclaimers here.