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Monday, 31 October 2011

Last Friday Night

As I'm off to Katy Perry now, I thought I'd share with you all my take on her amazing video - Last Friday Night. It was filmed last New Year at my friend's house party! 

Weekly Round Up

001. University's pretty much destroying my soul at the minute. I think I need to sort myself out when I get back tomorrow as I feel a little out of control at the mo. We're already half way through the semester which is frightening! 

002. I bit the bullet and booked my hotels for London for my internship in December. To say it was stressful is an understatement. Turns out Travelodge had a sale two days after I booked my first one which I'm gutted about as I could have saved £40 but hey, that's life I guess! The second one I booked I managed to get in the sale, saving over £100 but the website crashed whilst I was booking so I was panicking that I would get charged double, so I rang up their customer service and the lovely woman I spoke to reassured me that this would not happen *fingers crossed*. London here I come!

003. I've been back at my parent's again this weekend and spent a lovely day with my Auntie on Saturday. I don't see her too often with her living in Birmingham and me being at university but I really do enjoy her company. Everyone with me now... "awwww". 

004. I'm still in the hectic process of applying for fashion work experience everywhere and anywhere. Tidying up my CV, writing good cover letters and keeping my fingers crossed someone will take pity on me is my plan! My parent's have brought up the idea of contacting Sydney magazines for when I go there next summer so I'm going to do that. 

005. How good has H&M been this past week?! Not only did they give me £5 off my next purchase in-store, but with their promotional code online - you could get 50% off a full priced item. There's a coat that I've wanted for ages so I hot-footed it over to their website and purchased it - I'll blog about it when it arrives.

006. Tonight I'm off to see Katy Perry in Manchester and I'm mega excited as it's Halloween! I'm going to wear my new jumpsuit that I won in Lara's giveaway and will hopefully get a photo of it before I go or when I get there :) 

Another re-design

First off, apologies for the lack of posting. Life's took over recently and I'm yet to post last week's X Factor fashion face off along with a Thursday thought and my weekly round up eeek! I'll try and tick some of those off before I head out to see Katy Perry tonight. 

On another note, I've re-designed the blog again. Not 100% sold yet, so it might change again over the next week but to be honest, I need to focus on my studies for a bit so the design will probably stay like this! 

Thursday, 27 October 2011

What I Wore: Back to Blouse

Jumper - H&M | Blouse - H&M | Denim Shorts - Next | Loafers - New Look

 With it getting colder, wearing a blouse by itself is becoming a distant memory. Today I teamed my blue blouse with a 3/4 sleeve jumper from H&M. I didn't want to go all black so wore my denim shorts with it, which also I felt, stopped the look looking too 'schooly'. I again wore my trusty loafers but they really are tearing my feet apart! Does anyone know a way to wear in new shoes without having to physically wear them?

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Cosmo On Campus

Over summer, I was very lucky to be able to write a review for Cosmo on Campus. I wasn't expecting it to be published but it was, which makes it (aside from my university work), my first published piece! I'm very excited about that and if I don't manage to get a copy of it within the next few weeks, I'll post the PDF's to show you all. 

I'm also going to be writing a fashion piece for my university magazine PR1. I'm a writer for the online website too now, so once my work picks up, I'll link you to those and you can tell me what you think :) 

When great things happen to good people

You know how it usually goes in life - people who don't necessarily deserve it, get opportunities handed to them on a plate while people who do deserve great things, don't get them.

About a month ago, I noticed that during Stylist Magazine's 100th Made by You issue, one of their competitions was for writers across the country to write a review at a high end restaurant. To enter, they had to submit a short review of a place they had eaten at recently. I forwarded this onto my housemate and encouraged her to enter. She shocked me at how motivated she was and within days she'd written a fantastic review. She wanted me to go over it but I didn't need to, as it was great the way it was. We didn't think anything of it until yesterday when she was emailed and asked whether she could go for a complimentary meal and review the experience. At that moment in time, I don't think I've ever been as happy as I was for another person! The chance to be published is amazing but to be published in a national magazine is another level

Another friend of mine is soon off to Wales for a new job. Thankfully she's not moving to Wales forever as we all would miss her too much (plus I'd have roots halfway down my head - just joking! - I don't just use you for colouring my hair :)). But I'm very excited for her and this opportunity as she is a very talented make-up artist (Cat Wild Make-Up). 

Both of my friends are incredible people and deserve every amazing opportunity they get. It's times like this that restore my faith in the world - that good things do happen to good people. 

What I Wore: Dogstooth and Loafers

Blazer - F&F | Blouse - Marks and Spencer | Shorts - Red Herring | Loafers - New Look

I didn't have much 'outfit inspiration' today as I only had a magazine meeting. I trawled Lookbook for ideas but in the end settled on the above outfit. I've had these shorts for about a year now and hadn't before worn them. They were looking unwanted at the bottom of my wardrobe - tags in tact so I thought I'd let them see the light of day. I teamed them with a crisp white blouse (which to be honest, could have done with being a tad longer as tucking it into the shorts provided tricky as it constantly kept falling out!), a black blazer (wardrobe ESSENTIAL) and my pretty New Look loafers. I thought the loafers kept the outfit casual which was what I wanted, I either like to dress up the clothes or the shoes (unless I'm going somewhere full on). 

Monday, 24 October 2011

VIVO Goody Bag

As I mentioned in my TOWIB post, us lucky bloggers received a goody bag of VIVO make-up. I chose the Winter Bold look which focuses on a dramatic lip which is so up my street. So better late than never, here's my 'What's inside my goody bag' post. Over the coming weeks I'll review the products and test them out, which I'm really looking forward to as I'm one of those people who sticks with the same make-up once I know it looks okay and rarely steps outside of this boundary - so hopefully I'll be convinced by VIVO's cosmetics!

Sunday, 23 October 2011

001. This weekend I've been/am at home with my parents. They're stocking me up with lots of lovely food to take back to university and my wonderful mum is doing my washing. I really do have a fantastic family :) It's nice to be back in the peaceful countryside and be reunited with my piano - it's the little things in life!

002. I went to the last night of Peter Kay's 'Tour that doesn't tour tour' in Manchester last night. It goes without saying that Peter was hilarious and it was lovely to be part of what might be his last tour for a good while and you could tell he was getting choked up about that. We also had the legend that is Rick Astley as the supporting act so had a great sing song with him! What topped off the night was the fact that all proceeds of last nights gig went to Christie's charity. Want to know how much was raised? Over £300,000. AMAZING. 

003. Still need to find a hotel for London. Gutted at how expensive they are! I never paid nearly as much to stay in either Dublin or Paris so I don't know why they insist on sky high prices. What the moral of this story is - I need more friends and family in London. 

004. Next Sunday sees the clocks go back an hour which officially means darkness will haunt our British skies. I hate the short days. Especially when I'll be walking to university when it begins to go dark and come out and it will be pitch black. Depressing or what?!

005. I came home on Friday to my Sugarhill jumpsuit after winning it in Lara's blog giveaway. My verdict? I LOVE it! It's my first jumpsuit and my mum couldn't stop gushing about how much she liked it on me! I'll blog about it either tomorrow or when I get back to university on my day off as things are pretty hectic. Might wear it to Katy Perry's Halloween gig in Manchester ;)

Friday, 21 October 2011

Wise words #7

"Why change? Everyone has his own style. When you have found it, you should stick to it."

- Audrey Hepburn

Thursday, 20 October 2011

What I Wore: Stripes Never Die

Apologies straight away for these shockingly bad outfit shots. I was up early for class and my motivation was at an all time low. Plus, I went out last night and only had 4 hours sleep. But since I took them, I thought I'd upload them anyway!

I'm off back to my parent's tomorrow for the weekend. Haven't seen them for three weeks so it'll be a nice change. Going to be relaxing sleeping next to a silent field compared to a busy road! My sister and I have Peter Kay tickets for Saturday which I'm very excited about. Before I go back, I'm going to stop off in Manchester and spend the afternoon browsing the high street. Best get packing!

Jacket | H&M
Striped Top | Marks and Spencer
Skirt | Marks and Spencer

Thursday Thought: Is blogging Journalism?

Good writing skills, timeliness, frequency, human interest - all skills that your everyday Journalist needs...oh, and bloggers. 

Ten years ago, the blogosphere was significantly smaller than it is today. Thirty years ago, it probably didn't even exist. Yet in today's society, it's hard to not stumble across a blog. And it's not surprising why. Anyone can be a blogger, and blog about, well, anything! Whether you're blogging about what you did that day, politics, fashion, health or sharing your favourite recipes - you're interacting with the world. Gone are the days when we'd scribble our favourite moments in a lock and key diary, now the world can know, at the click of a mouse. But where does blogging stop and Journalism begin? With citizen Journalism on the rise, that breaking story doesn't always land in the lap of the intellectual Journalist. The divide is most definitely becoming blurred. 

There are, however, the plain differences separating the enthusiastic blogger and the trained Journalist. Journalists have learned skills, are in tune to a particular style house, are under strict rules and regulations determined by both their employer and the industry's code of conduct and practised in having an eye for a story. Not to say blogging isn't respected, thankfully the world is giving blogger's the respect they deserve. 

They can make or break a company with a review, get invites to press days and events, can promote brands and more. A lot of work goes into blogging. You need not only the motivation to keep your blog going but inspiration for new and fresh content, patience, design skills to make their layout stand out from the crowd and an ability to write good copy. 

As a blogger and a Journalist (well, student for now!), my writing styles between the two couldn't be more different. On my blog, I'm my own editor. I have no-one to answer to and the content is under my control. I still have deadlines to meet and readers to entertain but the principles like I mentioned at the start of this post are the same. 

Do you see blogging as journalism? I'd like to hear your thoughts!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Wednesday Want - TOPSHOP Allegra Chelsea Platform Boots

It's no secret, I have lots of heels. But 90% of them are quite dressy and sometimes my outfit doesn't need dressing up so I'm always on the look out for boots that are stylish but can be casual at the same time. Unfortunately for my bank account, I've fallen in love with these boots from Topshop. The chunky heel is perfect for everyday wear and the stretch material is reminiscent to me of equestrian. I do have student discount but that's only 10%. I also have £10 off my next Topshop order so I'm very tempted to get them. I think I'll try and find them in store in Manchester this Friday, try them on and if it's love at first sight then, I may have to get them!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

What I Wore: Cosy Winter Knit

I was in a rush today so my outfit shots are pretty rubbish. This horrible weather has made me turn to my winter clothes to get cosy and for once in my life, I'm in flats!

Jacket | H&M
Cable Knit Jumper | Primark
Leggings | H&M
Boots | An independent shop (can't remember it's name, if I do, I'll fill this part in!)

Monday, 17 October 2011

The Only Way is Blogging

Yesterday I attended my first blogging event in London, alone. Now living 180 miles away from London, a few people questioned my sanity but I went anyway as you have to start somewhere right? Luckily a group of us met at Green Park tube and after a drunk girl needing to borrow Jessica's phone and being stared at by a bunch of Italian students who thought we were dressed for a wedding, we headed down to the venue together. 

The Only Way is Blogging or TOWIB for short was organised by Hayley aka London Beauty Queen, you can find her blog here: and was held at the very stylish Babble Bar. Upon arrival the place was brimming with bloggers and after signing the guest book, we headed to the bar for a drink and to get to know everyone. The good thing was, everyone was in the same boat - they didn't know anyone and were just as nervous coming as everyone else. For most, it was their first bloggers event too. 

The first event of the programme was a make-up demonstration by new high street brand FashionistA. Their website is: or you can follow them on Twitter by clicking!/FashionistA_SIL. As you can see from the photos below, Katie demonstrated three different looks which focused mainly on the eyes. I found this very helpful as I never wear eyeshadow as I think it can easily fall into one of three categories: Cheap, childish and/or you end up looking like a panda. However, FashionistA's make-up range convinced me otherwise. The looks Katie created on the three models were bold enough to stand out from the crowd, whilst subtle enough to avoid looking like you've fallen into your make-up bag. Take a look for yourselves at the photos below (I apologise for the quality of the images, I only had my standard digital camera and the lighting wasn't playing ball with me on the day!): 
The great thing about the FashionistA line is that the eye make-up palette is totally customisable. You choose the four shades that go in to it and there are dozens to choose from and for the bargain price of £12, you can't exactly say no!

The second event that ran was a HTML workshop ran by Faye from All These Pretty Things ( Sorry for the bad photo, I didn't want to flash the camera right in her face whilst she was in the middle of talking! Faye gave us tips on HTML, CSS and all the complicated stuff that goes into running a blog. Having run websites before in the past, I was familiar with a lot of the stuff she went over but I learnt a lot about the 'what to do's' and the 'what not to do's' when running a blog, SEO, Google ranking and so forth. I think this was the most valuable part of the day as it's inside information like what Faye gave which can really improve the standard, quality and visibility of your blog. 
Next was another make-up demonstration, this time by VIVO (!/vivocosmetics) which is exclusive to Tesco's so not only can you get some fab make-up, you can get points on your clubcard - winning everywhere I think! Make-up artist Karla created three different looks: A Halloween Twilight inspired look (just in time for the new release), an eyes of gold christmassy theme and a winter bold face which focused on a striking red lip.

Below is the first look Karla demonstrated - the Twilight look. There was a heavy focus on dark eyes which were created through shades of black and purple eyeshadow and topped off with some wild but funky eyelashes. Admittedly, this look was very bold for me to try at home as I struggle wearing standard eyelashes, but as a one off for Halloween, I think it's a fantastic and easy look to achieve. 
This is the second look, the eyes of gold which as the name suggests, focused on glam gold tones which is an ideal look for the party season. I don't have the model's name to link her blog to (if anyone who reads this knows it, let me know!), but I think her make-up looked fantastic. I couldn't really see it from where I was stood but these images show the richness of the gold tones. Part of me wishes I'd chosen this look to take home with me!
The third and final look was winter bold. As you can tell from the below images, this look was all about the statement lip which Stephanie from Stephanie Dreams rocked. Personally, I love red lips. I think they instantly glam up any oufit and providing you choose the correct shade of red for your particular skin type, it can make your complexion glow. 
After the demonstrations, we were lucky enough to be given a goody bag of our choice from the three looks we had seen. I was torn between the eyes of gold and the winter bold, but in the end I went with the winter bold as as I wear red lipstick on what seems to be a day-to-day basis, I felt I would definitely get more wear out of this collection. I'll be blogging tomorrow about what exactly I got in my goody bag, plus I'll be reviewing the products over the coming weeks. And if I like the make-up that much, I may be heading to my local Tesco to buy that winter bold collection after all!

A photography workshop was next from Zoe at London Lipgloss who gave us fab tips on how to work your camera to your best advantage, what editing and image programmes to use etc. I found this useful as quite a bit of advice was steered towards DSLR cameras and although I don't own one while I'm up here at university, my mum owns one back home so when I travel back there next week, I'm going to play around it (and possibly convince her to let me borrow it for my blog!).  
The final part of the day was a bloggers Q&A with Zoe (London Lipgloss), Lily (llymlrs) and Kate (gh0stparties). The floor was open to any questions we had about running a blog which at parts turned into lively debates which were quite interesting to listen to. They gave us tips of what to do and what not to do and their experiences and stories. I think this was a great inclusion to the day as you got an insight into successful blog's blog etiquette and what blogging is all about. 
I did take some audio clips of the event, which when I get round to it should go up on my YouTube account and I'll post the link on here and my Twitter - @SJMFord

Overall, I think it was a fantastically organised event so a massive thank-you to Hayley for putting in what must have been a tonne of hard work and motivation to get such brilliant activities and brands involved. As well as the workshops being useful, I think what was invaluable was meeting fellow bloggers. It's nice to meet people who are doing the same thing as you and have the same interests. I met some really nice people, among them were Elodie from ELLEyeah, Jessica from Sparks and Fireworks and Cigdem @CigdemTanrioglu who I hope to keep in contact with!

TOWIB has today announced that the next event will run on the 4th February 2012, click here to see the Facebook page and here for the Twitter account. 

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