Thursday, 22 September 2016

Collection Commentary | NICOPANDA F/W 2016

I only found out about NICOPANDA a couple of months ago but something about them just caught my attention. If I had to describe NICOPANDA in a few words I'd say it is playful, gender-fluid and a little bit out-there.
I don't know loads about NICOPANDA and as far as I'm aware it's a reasonably new brand. Looking at this collection and their Spring / Summer one, a few things spring to mind. Like I previously said, playful and a little bit out there, it reminds me and possibly takes so influence from Japanese streetwear (which I myself am a fan of).
Their catwalk designs are also quite diverse, both in style and gender. From what I've seen they often don't stick to gender stereotypes, which right now I feel is becoming more common in fashion and more accepted and represented in mainstream fashion today. 

The style of this collection is very diverse with various prints, colours, silhouettes and textures, my personal favourite is the outfit above. Both the shape and texture is enticing and I adore the way the fabric drapes and moves as the model walks.  
I love the mix of prints and colours in this collection, though its quite colourful it still retains a F/W feel with black and red running through the collection keeping it more in-touch with the seasons natural tones.

If you want to see more of NICOPANDA, click here to view their website. Hope you enjoyed my little review and illustrations, remember you can follow my blog on bloglovin.

Sarah

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

What To Expect From Your First Year of University

It's been a bit quiet on my blog recently, mainly because I've been busy with uni work, most people are probably confused to why I even have uni work since most people are only just starting to go back to uni now. I'm currently on a placement year meaning I don't go back to uni till January 2017 but we still get work to complete during the year whilst on placement. I've just uploaded my uni work so I can get back to a bit of blogging!

So technically I'm going into my third year of studying Fashion Design and Marketing at Northumbria University now but I thought it would be fun to share my first year experiences with everyone. An honest guide to what happens in first year.

1. Finding Your Flatmates - If you go into halls the few weeks leading up to uni you'll probably find an accommodation fb page or twitter hashtag of everyone searching for their future flatmates. Which is fine, but it shows you're going to university and you'll start getting strange messages from people like "Hey Sarah, I see you're going to Northumbria this year, will you be looking for work while you're here?" These are usually for promo staff, bar staff, dancers ( the girls who dance in clubs in basically nothing ). No thanks mate. (More on promo w*nkers later).

2. Halls - If you're in halls you will likely get random free shit in your welcome package, and you'll get SO.MANY.PROMO.W*NKERS. In my flat promo w*nkers would knock on the door and we'd just wait till they left, then they'd leave so many bloody leaflets. We really don't care, we're all in our pyjamas, go away.

3. Your Flatmates - I want to start by saying it's pretty normal to not like a flatmate or two, luckily mine weren't so bad, and I was lucky enough to live with one of my best friends in first year. Things will be a lil awkward at first, on the first day there I went into the kitchen, in pyjamas and dressing gown and everyone else was full dressed and make up on... They may as well get used to me being in my dressing gown now.

4. Living Alone - A few pointers, stock up on toilet roll, you'll thank me later. Meals you can make in bulk are your best friend, and you will probably live off pasta and cereal (and dominos) for a while. If you don't want your flatmates using your stuff keep it in your room or in a locked cupboard, they will use them. Additionally, make sure you throw out any of your food thats going dodgy, don't be that person.

5.  Anonymous Passive Aggressive Notes - Ahhh the anonymous passive aggressive note, I remember the first one in my flat, someone wrote it in a pink glittery gel pen and put a love heart at the end, surprisingly it didn't make the note any less insulting. Someone was moaning about the mess in the kitchen, I clean up after myself but your kitchen will be messy from others from time to time and no one will take the bins out, that is just student life, accept it now. ( Extra for those who don't have an en suite, the bathroom will probably get gross too, have your own stash of loo roll).

6. The Ghost - You will rarely see one of your flatmates, are they there? Have they left? Was that their door you heard? There is always a ghost flatmate, I only saw the one in my flat about 5 times during the entire year.

7. Your Course and Course Mates - If you can't find a fb group for the course at your uni make one! I made the fb group for my course at uni, and a few years later it's still going and it's very useful, people regularly use it to ask each other questions about uni work, deadlines, lectures, etc. The way I did it was a I found a few people on my course on twitter and in various other fb groups so I made a group myself then sent everyone the link. Now even the tutors on my course are aware of the page, it's odd haha.

8. Meeting Course Mates - The way I did it, in the fb group we found out who from our course was in the same accommodation, then we all met up and went to the first class together, and two of them turned out to be my best friends, so it's worth meeting up with people and being friendly, just go for it! You're all in the same boat after all.

9. Lectures and Lessons - I remember coming home from my first pattern cutting lesson and having a massive cry, like wtf is this? (To be honest, I still sometimes have a little cry after sewing and pattern cutting lessons today). You will have days where you wonder why the f**k am I putting myself through this? There's a difference between thinking you should quit and knowing you should. You should not quit because the course is hard, you should only quit if you realise the course isn't for you, if you realise you want to do something else see if you can transfer to that instead. So many people left my course in first year, or transferred to Fashion Design or Fashion Communication.

10. Lecture Etiquette - Firstly, you may think, "I don't need to take notes as the lecture will be posted online anyways", I found that instead of noting down everything on various power points I noted down what the tutors said instead. They sometimes express things further and may say things like "this is very relevant to the essay", make note of that stuff, it probably won't be on the powerpoint. Secondly, try not to sleep in lectures, sorry Contemporary Design Influences, the lectures were good but they were in a dark room and it was super early in the morning.( I still got a decent mark for that essay though! )   

11. Uni Work - Do not, I repeat, DO NOT, leave your work till the last minute. I'm telling you not to but you probably will. You have many all nighters to come, you will sit with your friends in pyjamas, eating takeaways, having a cry occasionally as you work for about 48 hours straight. This next one is quite important, if you're doing an essay, do references as you go along, it saves you having a miserable time at the end of your work trying to go back and reference everything at once. Just put a quote in your work? Reference it straight away properly and stick it on your reference list straight away. If your university has access to "Cite Them Right", use it! It's very helpful for anyone who doesn't know how to reference.

12. Societies - You will go to the freshers fair, join many societies, and probably never go to any of them. In second year you will learn just to go to these fairs for the free pizza. 

13. Exploring - This is a little different for me since I am at uni in my hometown, but it's still relevant. Explore! Get your friends together and go to restaurants, bars, landmarks, shopping trips, days out, etc. You have a student loan to waste! ( I'm not even going to pretend that students spend their loan sensibly, just make sure you have rent money and an over draft. ).

14. Night Life - Ahh first year is full of crazy and weird nights out. Now, how to have a fun night out, drinks are expensive so so make the most of pre-drinks, but don't get so drunk that you can't make it out after pre-drinks. Another important thing, I don't like to drink lots, now one of my friends friends always used to try make me drink, it was a bit awkward but you know what? I'm happy that I didn't drink from peer pressure, I know my limits and I don't exceed them. I like to be safe on a night out so I stick to drinking an amount where I can feel a bit tipsy but not drunk, so it doesn't affect my decisions and I can keep myself and friends safe. Most importantly, keep an eye on your drink and try not to get separated from friends, especially if you're in a city you're not familiar with.

15. Remember To Enjoy - Yes you have uni work, but remember to go out, make friends and have fun! A good work/fun balance is important, you need time to relax and have fun!

So that was a basic overview of my first year of uni, obviously everyone will have a different experience of first year but hopefully this might give you a bit of a warning or you'll laugh because you've already been through it! Let me know if your first year resembled mine.

Sarah

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Pimms Berry Sorbet | Recipe

 After seeing a basic sorbet recipe on Facebook a few weeks back I was determined to make my own. So the next thing to decide was what flavour sorbet did I want to make? I decided to make a sorbet that screamed summer! So what does Summer taste like to me? A cold glass of Pimms with fresh berries. Now onto the recipe, what you will need:
250ml Water
250ml Sugar
500ml Washed Raspberries
125ml Pimms
375ml of Washed Strawberries and Some Raspberries
A Measuring Jug
A Pan
A Blender
A Wooden Spoon
A Sieve
A Clean Empty Container
Firstly use your measuring jug to measure out 250ml of water, 250ml of sugar and 500ml of raspberries. Once measured add them to a pan. Simmer this for 30 minutes while mixing it with a wooden spoon.  You should be left with a liquid syrup like mixture. Sieve the mixture and let it cool.
 Measure out 125ml of Pimms and 375ml of Strawberries (green bits removed obviously) and Raspberries and add these to a blender. Add the now cool mixture to the blender too and blend together. Once blended put it into your clean container and freeze overnight. It should be frozen and you'll have a lovely summery sorbet with an alcoholic kick!

Hope you enjoyed this quick and easy recipe and I hope you liked my illustrations too. If you want to keep up to date with my blog you can follow it on Bloglovin. What's your favourite sorbet flavour?

Sarah

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

My Lime Crime Lip Collection

While looking through my make up bag I was just admiring some of my make up from one of my favourite brands, Lime Crime. I love the make up, the colours and the packaging. I decided I'd draw them instead of just a few photographs.
First are my four velvetines, Riot, Salem, Pumpkin and Wicked. My personal favourite is Riot, it's a perfect everyday colour for me. My second favourite is Pumpkin which is a bright orange and I wear that when I want to make a bit of a brighter statement. The there's Salem and Wicked, I only really wear these if I want to make a huge make up statement and if it goes with my outfit. I usually wear these with a lip liner, it just looks a lot neater and it makes it way easier to apply.
Lime Crime's Poisonberry lipstick was my first ever Lime Crime product. It's a fabulous and unusual colour. I'm actually wearing it as I write this, again with a lip liner. Who wouldn't love the unicorn on the lipstick case?!
The last products are the Carousel Glosses, I bought these as when I'm doing uni photoshoots I sometimes need  more 'out there' colours and looks. These are quite sticky but very pigmented and glittery. You never know when you'll need a green glittery lipgloss! Candy Apple and Present are also really great in Winter around Christmas.
So that's it, quite a short post but I just wanted to show you my illustrations and briefly describe them. I may do a proper review at some point but I don't know yet. I just really enjoyed drawing these! I also own Venus 1 & 2 Eyeshadow Palettes by Lime Crime but I didn't have time to draw them. The colour Divine in Venus 1 has become my signature eyeshadow shade! If you want to check out Lime Crime have a look at their website.  Thanks for reading, remember you can keep up to date with my blog on bloglovin.

Sarah

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Video Game Songs You Need To Hear

I don't know about you but I play a lot of video games, all of my life I've enjoyed just chilling out and playing a video game, even though some games are rage inducing (ranked LoL games and various Legend of Zelda temples I'm looking at you). Maybe it's just me but have you ever been mid game or scrolling Youtube for gameplay videos and you hear an in-game/game related song and you're just like...WOAH. Well I have, so today I'm sharing with you my:

VIDEO GAME SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR

Undertale Remixed - Megalovania (Holder Remix) - GameChops
Game: Undertale
This is the one game on this list I haven't actually played, but I have heard it's very good! My boyfriend only recently introduced me to this song which I think is a remix of a song from the Undertale soundtrack? (not 100% sure though). This song is very addictive and whenever I hear it it just makes me want to be awesome, motivated, play a game and be amazing at it! I don't think I've ever listened to this song and not smiled. 

Game: League of Legends
The link above is to This Is War 5 (This Is Wardles), but you need to check out all the 'This Is War' songs, they're amazing especially if you're interested in the lore of League of Legends champions. Any LoL fan will appreciate this series of songs. In this song in particular it's all about the Yordles, my favourite top laner Gnar is in there and his verse has Legend of Zelda references which makes me incredibly happy. If any of you have a Gnar plushie I'm very jealous of you right now.

The series above has to be my personal favourite on the list.

Game: Minecraft
This song will get stuck in your head, you will be singing the chorus before you know it. A clever, catchy song about those pesky Minecraft creepers that you'll end up singing and dancing along to it when it plays on Spotify in your car.


Game: Legend of Zelda
 This is a compilation of music from various Legend of Zelda games played by the very talented Lindsey Stirling and it's amazing. You should check out Lindsey's whole Youtube channel as her videos are always visually stunning and the music is fantastic.

Game: Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
I loved this game so much yet out of all the Legend of Zelda games I hardly hear anyone talk about Spirit Tracks and I think it has some of the most beautiful music! Even though it's been years since I've played it this song still sticks in my head as one of my favourites, I think it plays when you weaken the final boss. The scene in the game for the begining to this song is so lovely too, if you scroll near to the end of the video below  (The Lokomo Songs) you will see that scene and how it fits in the game. 

Game: Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
So by now I think you may have guessed that I'm a slight fan of Legend of Zelda, but the music in each game is always so different and beautiful (or a little bit disturbing when facing enemies but usually the song describes the enemy wonderfully!)
This is linked to the song above, the song above is Link and Zelda's duet where all the Lokomos join forces with them. However throughout the game each Lokomo has their own song (which you partly play). They're very short but all very lovely and distinct to each Lokomo. The video shows the song's gameplay too. Ah I'm really missing this game now!

So there are the video game songs I think you need to hear! Now I don't play Playstation or Xbox games unfortunatley as I don't own the consoles *crying* but if you feel I've missed any songs from those console games or any other game let me know! 

If you want to keep up with my blog follow it on bloglovin!

Sarah
*The videos in this post linked above DO NOT belong to me*

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

When Eczema Goes Bad & How To Control It

I've had Eczema all of my life, I've had many different types of it and had it on nearly every part of my body, nipple and lady parts eczema is a nasty thing. However the main area that suffers is my hands. There have been times where it has been so bad I couldn't move my hands as they would crack and bleed and would feel horrendous. I'd be constantly getting infections as the skin on my hands was basically raw, it was miserable. Everyday things had become painful, I couldn't even open a bottle of water without half the skin on my hands coming off with it.

I'm writing this post hoping that I can help anyone who is going through a similar thing to me, maybe the things that helped me can help you! Firstly I want to say the two photos below were taken May/June 2016 when my hands were covered in two types of Eczema, the normal common type and a nasty one called Pompholyx. Pompholyx happens on the hands/feet and it causes you to get itchy, oozing blisters and when they pop the skin becomes ridiculously dry and cracks. You can see how red my hands are in comparison to my arms. The skin is raw, sensitive to touch, I have blisters in between my fingers and on my palms, it's super dry, cracked and bleeding. Not fun.
So, What Do You Do When Eczema Goes Bad?
If your usual way of controlling your eczema doesn't work and it is causing you a lot of problems like mine, then I would say consider going to the doctors. My eczema got to a point where it was infected and it needed a proper prescribed cream to help fight the infection and help properly control the eczema. The cream I was prescribed obviously didn't cure my eczema but it did help calm it down a bit and help control the Pompholyx more.

What Can I Do To Help Control My Eczema?
There are many little things you can do to help, here are the changes I made:

Gloves
This is probably the one that people go "what?" at. If your hands are very bad, raw and cracked, you may want to invest in some plain cotton gloves. You can put moisturiser/cream on and put the gloves on top then get on with your day instead of waiting for the cream to sink in. Additionally, if my hands are red raw and bleeding I wear my gloves just as a barrier, to try and help lessen the chances of getting any infections in there. You may get some funny looks from people, but after a while you really don't give a fuck, the gloves help me and that's what matters.

Hand Washing
This is probably only applicable to some people, I had many OCD hand washing habits, I'd keep washing my hands and using antibacterial gel until they 'felt clean'. I went through CBT a while back to help control my OCD habits. You must cut down on the washing, the products you use strip the oils from your skin, drying it out. Changing a habit is hard but well worth it in the long run. TIP: if your hands are sensitive gently dab your hands dry with a towel, do not rub as the friction can cause it to become irritated.

Triggers
Sometimes Eczema has triggers, it's different for everyone. I found out my hands get super itchy and bad if it's hot and sweaty. So if it's been warm at night I try to lather cream on in the morning to prevent further irritation. Also some products just might not agree with your Eczema, you may love the product but it's not worth it if it's making you worse.

Products
Lastly, sometimes changing everyday products for skin friendlier ones really help! This mainly applies to soaps and shower gels, they contain stuff like alcohol and chemicals that can really dry out and aggravate skin. Here are the two main product changes I've made (hope you like the illustrations I did of them):
The first change was soap, I wash my hands more than the average person so soap was the first thing I needed to sort. There aren't many soap free soap options out there, when you buy soap I can't imagine many people wanting it to be soap free. Eventually I found one by E45, it's a soap free cream wash. The only bad thing I'd say about this soap is the pump is a bit crap, but the soap itself is good!
The second change I made was shower gel, which I was really sad about as I LOVE shower gel, so many different lovely scents but I had to find one that helped me. My mum actually found this one for me, it's by a brand called Aveeno. It's a little pricey but it's a pretty big bottle and you don't need to use loads in the shower. It contains naturally active oat essence which I believe can help dry, sensitive skin. It has a very nice fresh smell too. My hands don't sting when I shower now!
Here is a photo I took yesterday, mid July 2016. There are a few little dry patches on my hands but it is a huge difference compared to the first two photos, my hands are now actually the same colour as my arms haha. I also moisturise a few times a day using Diprobase Emollient Lotion (emollient lotions/creams lock in moisture better), the amount I put on varies depending on how my hands are doing. But I'm so happy with how much better my hands are now, I feel so much more confident about them too! 

I know it was a long post but I just wanted to share how much my hands and Eczema have improved, also so if anyone else out there is suffering like me I hopefully have given you a few more things to try. I would love to know if you've experienced anything similar.

Thanks for reading! Remember you can keep up with my blog on bloglovin.

Sarah

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Liquor N Poker | Lax Mom Festival Jeans + Sequin Badges


Liquor N Poker | Lax Mom Festival Jeans + Sequin Badges 
I never usually stray from my Topshop Joni jeans since finding myself a nice pair jeans which fit is such a hassle, but I saw these while having a little online explore and I knew needed them. Buying jeans online is a massive NO NO for me as I nearly always have to try them on first but I took the risk with these beauties and that risk paid off. I went for a size 8 and I love the fit!
These jeans are quite a stiff denim with not much stretch so I'd definitely look properly into their size guides before you buy. I'm a sucker for any lil' details hence all the close up photos but of course the main attraction are the festival inspired patches/badges, whatever you call them. On your right leg you'll have star patch, cat patch (personal favourite) and a sequin raindrop hippie patch? (Not sure how to describe that one). On your left leg you'll have a flower patch, sequin heart patch, sequin pineapple patch and a yin and yang sign patch. Don't worry you've still got some style on the back too as you've got a sequin rainbow patch on the pocket near your left butt cheek.
I bought these from the Liquor n Poker website for £40, good quality denim and a good fit. Are they worth it? I'd say yes. But if you're on a budget or want your own style of patches I don't see why you couldn't just buy your own patches and add them to your own jeans.
How I Wear Them
Since they're mom style jeans I always wear them with heels as I think it makes them look 100x more flattering. I also paired them with a crop top showing a lil midriff for a casual, festival inspired look. 
Jeans - Liquor n Poker - £40 | Top - Topshop | Heels - Kurt Geiger
If you're tempted to buy these jeans find them here, hope you enjoyed, what do you think of them? Remember you can keep up to date with my blog via bloglovin.

Sarah