Saturday, 27 June 2015

Day at the Cotswold Wildlife Park

This was supposed to be an outfit post with couple of cute animals, but it turned into a cute animal post with a couple of outfit shots. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing.

You know those times when you come up with what you think is a cute outfit, look in the mirror slightly unsure about the way it looks on you and decide to just go with it because you really don't have time to change? That's me in these photos. While I was comfortable on what was probably the hottest day of the summer so far, I can't say the photos don't make me cringe. 

I'm all about body positivity and always say that people of all sizes can be beautiful and look great. But clearly, I just can't dress for my body shape. I'm frustrated that while my clothing size says I'm fairly small (size 10), I still feel a little like a whale when wearing anything short (fitting in with the other wildlife then, ha!).

The lemurs were an absolute highlight of the visit — my boyfriend and I loved walking around the Madagascar exhibit with them roaming around freely. They were so adorable and it was great to hear more about them and the conservation projects the Cotswold Wildlife Park is involved in.

I was quite excited to spot a red panda, which is one of my favourite animals. Whenever I've seen them at zoos before, they've been hiding away from the curious eyes of the human visitors. This one, however, was quite active, despite it being a very warm day.

Bag: ASOS (old) | Top: H&M | Shorts: H&M (few months old) | Shoes: Converse

That's it for this post! I hope you enjoyed this little post about our day out at Cotswold Wildlife Park. I quite enjoyed taking my camera out for something else than awkward self-portraits for a chance haha!

Outfit photos are by Nick

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

I am a graduate!

Where have the last two weeks gone? I know I say this a lot but I swear time has never passed so quickly! So, what happened?

First, my boyfriend and I spent a blissful week doing pretty much nothing expect enjoying the sun, walking his parents' dogs and figuring out things for our imminent move (less than 2 weeks now...!). We also went to Cotswolds Wildlife Park, so stay tuned for cute animals and probably less cute outfit photos.

The second week went in a blur because bright and early on Monday morning (I mean like pre-6am) we hopped on the car and drove up to Aberdeen for my graduation, which was happening on Tuesday. That's an 8 hour drive folks. Without traffic.

My family also came for my graduation, which was lovely. But as I'm sure you guys will know, sometimes seeing your family can be really stressful. And with a language barrier, six lost suitcases, a seven person group, a memory loss-prone grandma and two pre-teen kids, it was even more so. It was certainly eventful — almost comical! The suitcases arrived after my ceremony (cue half the family missing my ceremony and everyone wearing yesterday's clothes), my boyfriend left my camera and his two lenses in the taxi on the way to my graduation (we got them back the next day), there was a fire alarm (my grandma was in the bath and my sister were in pyjamas), and my family left one of the suitcases at the airport on the way back (I hope the airport security didn't have to blow it up). All this in the span of 5 days.

Amidst all the excitement and stress, I never actually got any photos of my outfit underneath the silly (but sort of cool) gown, hood and hat combo. A pity, since I hardly ever have an excuse to dress up for an occasion. We were only allowed to wear black or white, and since I didn't want to wear all-white, finding a suitable dress was quite a challenge. In the end I did find a very pretty Little Mistress number from House of Fraser (on sale no less!), which you can see glimpses of above. For my shoes I chose Polly by Minna Parikka, gorgeous white heels with gold-detailed wings on the sides, which I also wore to my high school graduation 5 years ago. I'm terrified to wear them because they are white. Silly of course, as there is really no point in paying 275€ for a pair of shoes that you only wear once every two years.

Some decorations from the marquee where we had the graduation lunch after the ceremony
We stayed in Aberdeen with my family until Friday morning, when we yet again took off pre-6am. But this time it took us about 10 hours to get back, which was obviously great. When we finally got back, we mostly just rested until Sunday... when we went for a 7 mile walk across the Cotswolds! As a city girl, I should have trusted my instincts and worn wellies and long trousers to shield myself from the cruel nature. Instead, I wore trainers and short running leggings. There were a lot of nettles. You do the math.

So, that's pretty much it. Now I am an officially unemployed (and panicking) graduate. Wish me luck (or employ me)!

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Home: Living Room Inspiration

Since we now have a flat sorted out and the move is just over a month away, I'm spending more and more time daydreaming about decorating my first home. As we will just be renting for now, I wanted the flat to be a blank canvas (i.e. unfurnished) that I can decorate the way I want. While I was dreaming of white walls and no carpets while starting the flat search, I knew it was probably too much to ask (but it's my biggest pet-peeve in UK homes!). And it was. But I was willing to sacrifice my dreams of wooden floors and location nearer Oxford for the otherwise perfect flat in right in the centre of a town which I admit has almost everything you need in terms of everyday life. There is also the added benefit of considerably smaller rent prices than Oxford, which meant we could afford the two bedrooms we had wanted. Oxford is still just 20 minutes away by car, and therefore easily reached when I want to pop in for more variety of shops and cultural activities.

But back to decorating, or rather, dreaming of it! My boyfriend has given me complete freedom when it comes to decorating the flat, so my imagination has run wild. While I like to talk with him about my ideas, he seems interest seems to be restricted to the actual furniture (colour scheme of sofa cushions is of no interest haha). He seems to be happy with everything I suggest though, and I suppose my taste is not too overwhelmingly "girly". There will be no hearts, ditsy florals or butterflies, because as much as I love looking at the shabby chic style on Instagram and the like, it's not me. While the romance of English countryside appeals to me on some level, the minimalistic Scandinavian style resonates with me a lot more. While I don't want to recreate the style of Almost Every Single Home in Finland, there's a lot of elements in the aesthetic 'back home' that appeals to me. Perhaps even more now that I'm here in the UK.

I thought I'd begin a little series of home inspiration posts, starting with the living room (as I'm currently obsessed with it).

As you can probably tell, I'm currently obsessed with yellow and turquoise! We're planning on having most of our furniture quite plain and in neutral colours, allowing us to redecorate easily if we feel like changing the colours at some point in the future. Throws and cushions are great for pops of colour, and I'm particularly liking this throw and this pillow (£35, £12, both from Next). Geometric patterns are a favourite, as you can probably tell. Shops seem to be full of them now too, as well as my chosen colours, which works well for me. The yellow print cushion (£7.99) is from H&M and the chevron one (£11.50 and up) is from PureHomeAccents via Etsy.

H&M Home has some lovely pieces at the moment, such as this cute wooden bowl (£6.99) and flower vase (£19.99). I'm also big fan of Debenhams when it comes to homewares — and they're not disappointing with their selection of turquoise and yellow pieces, or geometric shapes. The now-sold-out framed art work and the chevron picture frame are my favourites (think I'll make a trip to my local Debenhams to see if they have them in store!). I also love the trio of little vases (no longer in stock) and the white jar (was £8, now £6.40), perfect for storage of little bits and bobs!

Moving into a new home is expensive though, particularly when you have no furniture. As I'm still an unemployed student, 2 weeks away from graduation, we are not exactly swimming in cash — but we still want a nice looking flat that feels like home. I've been looking for some furniture on sites such as Freegle and Freecycle, as well as local furniture charity shops. So far, I've got us a free bedframe and spotted a cheap dining table and chairs that we might pick up this week. We're also planning a visit to IKEA, which I admit to be quite excited about.

IKEA is great for some basics, such as the white BILLY bookcases (£25) and KALLAX shelving unit (£45). We're looking to get a large grey sofa, such as IKEA's KIVIK (£810) — though we will probably try to find a similar looking sofa bed, so that we can have friends and family stay over.

While we do have carpets, I think a couple of nice rugs around the house would not hurt. IKEA has a lot of beautiful printed rugs that won't break the bank, such as the little round VIRRING rug (£10). I'm also in love with the yellow Stockholm rug (£160).

My absolute dream is this beautiful Garston love seat from (£699). While not necessary at the moment (and slightly pricey!), I'm determined that it will one day take its place in our living room as my reading chair.

If you'd like to see more of my homeware favourites (and lots of other things), make sure to follow me on Pinterest!