Buckingham Palace and Britain's Got Talent.

On 27/01 Fiona @londonforastudent won 4 tickets to watch the Britain's Got Talent Auditions. Naturally I was over the moon excited. I'd won tickets for the day prior but we couldn't go due to being at University, so we were extremely excited to actually get to go the same week. The four of us decided we wanted to do some sight-seeing before-hand.

We decided to go to Buckingham Palace! The weather was a little windy and rainy but we braved it and got to see the home of the royals! We even took some cute pictures in front of the gates. If we went again, I'd love to see the changing of the guard and go on a tour inside the Palace. There was also the Queen's Gallery right next to the Palace that looked really interesting, but we didn't have time to go in and explore further. There's a really cute gift shop nearby with Royal Family merchandise. The British Flag was raised on the roof, so her Majesty was in the building. After looking around the area we decided to get some food. We chilled in McDonald's till the rain calmed down and then popped over to Top Shop because they had a massive sale on! I ended up getting a really cute denim jumpsuit for £28, which was meant to be £60, reduced to £30 and then my friend, Michaela gave me her student discount to take it down to £28! Thank you, my angel!!! We got our free tickets for the show at around 5pm.

They told us when we got there that we could either come back for the show at 8pm or we could go backstage and get filmed! Instantly we chose the latter option and were took behind the scenes. We got to sit in the same room as the contestants, but we didn't really do a lot because we were just there to fill the space up. The room was a lot smaller than I imagined it to be on television. We left after about an hour and a half and went to Starbucks to try and get something from the Secret Starbucks Menu. We went to the one on New Oxford Street, but they didn't have certain ingredients and they didn't really seem aware of what the Secret Menu actually was, so we had to just show the barista the list of ingredients to see if he had them. We tried ordering the Butterbeer Frappuccino, Rolo Frappuccino, Peppermint Mocha and Sugar Cookie but they didn't have the ingredients for the first three so we ended up just having the Sugar Cookie without the raw sugar on top. It was the most amazing coffee EVER!!!!!! To the point where it might be my new staple beverage, taking over my Caramel Frappuccino.

SUGAR COOKIE STARBUCKS RECIPE.

  • White Mocha Hot Chocolate.
  • Hazelnut Syrup (1 pump for tall, 2 pump for grande, 3 pump for venti.)
  • Vanilla Syrup (1 pump for tall, 2 pump for grande, 3 pump for venti.)
Finally, we went back to the Dominion Theatre and got our seats. The event started at 8:20pm and we ended up sitting in the circle. Our seats were actually really good but as the night progressed people started to leave because it was getting past 11pm, so we ended up moving to the front of the circle. We stayed till the end and watched all the acts. I won't be writing about any of the acts in particular just because I feel like it spoils things for when the show actually comes out. What did happen however was David pressing his Golden Buzzer! The whole room went crazy! It was like an outer body experience. It was nice to go back to the Dominion Theatre again because the only other time I'd been there was with my High School to watch 'We Will Rock You' - my first West End show. Overall, we had such an incredible day, exploring London and seeing a show on the night. Can't wait for next week!

Thanks for reading,
Alexandria.

January Favourites.


Hello Everyone! I'm back again for another monthly favourites post. January has been absolutely crazy so far! I've gone back to University in London and have been working my butt off to the point where I plan to sleep all weekend; watch some movies, read some books and drink a well deserved hot chocolate or two. Something amazing that happened this Month was when my friends and I decided to visit Buckingham Palace and we got the opportunity to also watch the incredible auditions for Britain's Got Talent at the Dominion Theatre. Thank you to my lovely friend, Fiona for inviting me! It was such an experience to see something I've been watching on TV for years being filmed and to see all the behind-the-scenes action, especially since we got to go backstage and sit in the same room as the contestants! I'll be making a separate post about that day and what we did between Buckingham Palace and BGT. The plans for next month are... to visit new places and to really explore London! Being students, we don't have a lot of money to spare but we're putting a bit aside every week to be able to go and have some fun outside of studying! Without further adieu, here are my favourites for the month. Please let me know what your favourite have been in the comments below!

Hair.

I'm gotten to a point with my hair now where it's beginning to get healthier, a lot healthier than it was!!! I'm growing out my natural hair and am trimming the ends every couple of weeks to reduce breakage. I have some incredible friends at University who are literal experts when it comes to hair nourishment and growth, so they've been helping me an awful lot! One problem I seem to get quite frequently is frizz which is odd for someone with naturally straight hair. If ever I curl it, the ends will literally look like someone's burnt them off and glued them back on. I seem to get split ends really easily after using any sort of heated tool on my hair, so I've been trying to stay away from curling it with a curling iron and if I do happen to use it I'll leave my hair in Coconut Oil that evening to condition it back to health. I'm going to try and find a good heat-protector next month and see if it makes any difference to the ends of my hair. Fingers crossed!

Hairstyle of the Month.

Britney Spears 'Hit Me Baby' Pigtails.
I'm going through a faze at the moment where I really like putting my hair in bunches and pigtails. The typical sort of 90s Britney, Baby Spice hairstyle. I like doing half-up half-down too. It's a really easy hairstyle to do and you can style it up in lots of different ways with cute bobbles and clips. I have found that it seems to look better when the pigtails are situated further back (on the scalp) rather than right near the crown, but that's just my personal opinion. With my face shape I've found that scraping the hair back from the temples makes the forehead look larger and the hairline look too sharp, so to make the ponytails I pull the hair back from behind the bottoms of my ears. I then use my Edge Wax to organize the baby hairs at the front and soften the edges of the hairline. I think it looks prettier and it's also neater and stops the overall look getting messy throughout the day. I usually have my hair straight, just to make it look longer but having it curled can look really cute on a night out. You can get quite creative by having really low pigtails like Zooey Deschanel or you can even do twists like Ariana Grande. If you have to wear your hair off your face at school this is a great look to do because you're pulling it away from your face (unless you pull strands down like the picture above) and then you still get to keep the length.

Skin Care.

I've realized recently that my pores have gotten quite large and if I get any spots they're really red and inflamed. What I've started doing is having a shower with really warm water to open the pores and I use a rough sponge to LIGHTLY scrub the blackheads away. I then use an ice cube to close up the enlarged pores, it also makes the redness go down. If I have a single spot, I wrap ice in tissue and use it as an ice pack for about an hour or just until the ice has melted. A product favourite for Skin Care this month has been 100% Pure Tea Tree Oil which I got from Ebay for £1.79. I used to swear by the Tea Tree Water from Lush, however while I still love this product the Pure Oil is far cheaper and seems to work better with my skin. Wearing a lot of make-up can really clog the pores, so I make sure I clear my skin as much as possible when removing my daily make-up. I put Tea Tree Oil on before bed and find my skin looking smooth and blemish free in the morning.

Makeup.

My favourite product this month has been the Maxfactor Pan Stix. I got two shades from Ebay in 'Fair' at the price of £4.65 and 'Cool Bronze' which was £4.70. I normally get the Lasting Performance Foundation by the same company in 'Fair' but fancied a change. Comparing the two, the Pan Stix's are thicker than the Lasting Performance and you get two Stix's for the price of one bottle of Lasting Performance. I got a darker shade and a lighter shade from the Pan Stix to use as a contour and base and they blend together so nicely! I have oily skin and found that (without powder) the formulae got really oily around my T-Zone throughout the day but they do state on the bottle that it's meant for normal to dry skin. I recommend baking the face for a bit if you do have oily skin. I'll definitely be buying this product again but will also get the Lasting Performance for a lighter, more natural look. I've been wearing these foundations now for two weeks and I have to say they wear off quite quickly if you don't set them properly with powder. I bake my face in the mornings, usually for about 10 minutes. I think having a setting spray would help too, but I tend to just spray my face with hairspray, being the poor student that I am.

I had an emotional break-through in class this week and normally if a tear falls down my face it completely ruins my foundation and makes lines down my cheeks but this foundation didn't do that at all!!! I was very impressed! It comes off a little around the nose throughout the day, but I think that's just because I need to set it better. I would definitely recommend these to people who do performances. The coverage is brilliant, it hasn't made my skin break out and the overall look it gives is just amazingly flawless. To the right is a picture of how the foundation looks on the skin with eye shadow, liner, lipstick, blush, highlight, mascara and brows. Let me know if I should do a "What's In My Make-Up Bag" Post and I shall provide.

Song/Album of the Month.

'Purpose' by Justin Bieber has become my number one favourite album this month! I loved it when he first released it and I still love it now. My favourite song has got to be 'Love Yourself' and I know it seems super mainstream at the moment but I can't help it! It's the perfect album to chill to. Whether it's in the morning when I'm doing my make-up or at night when I'm writing my journals/logbooks, I put the album on as background noise and it's just so easy to listen too. The whole album is really laid back and relaxed and it flows from one song to the next. I've never disliked or overly loved Justin Bieber growing up, but I really appreciated his music. I actually don't think he's done a bad song. Bieber did really well with this album and I hope he brings out more like it in the future.

Movies and TV.

This month I've started watching a new TV series called 'Dickensian' and it's absolutely incredible. It's based on the novel's of Charles Dickens; ones such as Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, Scrooge, etc. The plot begins with Jacob Marley's murder. An inspector arrives to figure out who killed him, suspects include Nancy/Billy Sykes from Oliver, Bob Cratchit from Scrooge and so on. The show is currently playing on the BBC and you can catch up via the iPlayer. I've always been a fan of Charles Dickens so to have a show so cleverly link quite a number of his books, I find it very smart and entertaining. I really enjoy seeing how the different characters react to one and other and also sit excitedly waiting for certain story lines to play out. My favourite character at the moment is Miss Havisham, mainly because she's my favourite Charles Dickens character anyway but Tuppence Middleton plays her so wonderfully and her plot line is getting really exciting at the moment.

For movies this month I had to go with The Harry Potter Series!!! I literally binge-watched every movie when I went home for a week and it rekindled my love for the movies and the books. After re-watching them I forced myself to make the decision over which one is favourite movie and it has to be the Order of the Phoenix, which seems to be the one everyone forgets about. I love Imelda Staunton and Emma Thompson and think the interaction they get with Maggie Smith in this movie is brilliant. I feel that Harry Potter's one of those things that's going to live on forever and because I managed to rekindle my love for the movies I'm going to re-read the books and tap into the kid who sat reading them by the fireplace.

My final movie favourite of the month is 'The Danish Girl'. I watched this last week and fell in love with the plot, characters and actors. I think Eddie Redmayne played Lily perfectly, to the point where I originally watched the trailer and it took till the end for me to clock that it was him. It's quite educational and thought provoking and really touched my heart all the way through. Such a beautiful film!

Thanks for reading,
Alexandria.

Christmas - 2015.

Christmas at Uni was incredible! Originally we had decided to not go crazy and do a Christmas dinner like the other blocks/flats, but then a friend from a few floors up suggested getting together and  cooking one and we thought, well why not?! So we took a trip to Morrisons and Marks & Spencers (splashed the dollar) and got two large Gammon's, vegetables, drinks and potatoes. It took a good two hours to cook and we didn't eat till gone 10pm, but it was so worth it when we blasted out the Christmas tunes and finally ate the best meal we've cooked so far! We ended up being so full that we saved the second Gammon for the next day and had a mini-boxing-day meal. I'm so so thankful to have met these amazing people and definitely don't think this journey at University would have been as fun without them. We've literally had the best time ever this term and I can't wait for our second semester to start so we can go and explore London more and make new memories in this wonderful city. Thank you for being the coolest people ever!

At Home In Birmingham.


It was so SO good to finally be able to go home and spend some time with my family over the holidays. We planned Christmas Eve, day and Boxing day down to a T because we really wanted it to be special. My dad picked me up from University on the last day of term and when we got home, we drank Bailey's Hot Chocolate and watched a movie called 'The Spiderwick Chronicles' which was actually really good! It's prompted me to read the books, even though they're aimed at Children. I enjoyed the creative plot and characters, and how it was so original and different to other fantasy stories. My friend Emily (mooseinthehuuse) has also informed me that the book is are better than the film.

Christmas Morning, we had a massive cooked breakfast. Halloumi cheese, sausage, bacon, mushrooms, beans, toast and I had scrambled egg rather than the fried egg in the picture to the right. We do this every Christmas, so it's kind of a tradition now. After our full English we decided to open presents. 

THIS YEARS PRESENTS: I got a really cute blanket from my little sister, which had pictures on it of everyone in my family. My brother and his girlfriend got me some lovely make-up and body butter; and my parents got me some new tap shoes which came with the cutest florescent green leg warmers, two new charms for my Pandora Bracelet, CK One Summer Perfume, some new black trainers for Uni and some other bits and bobs. My Gran got me a beautiful bracelet and a large mirror that reminds me of the one from Snow White! All in all I was truly spoiled. My friends at University also got me some really thoughtful gifts. Michaela got me a mirror with a cool light on so I can put my make-up on in my dark room and it's been the most useful thing in the world!!! Emily (mooseinthehuuse) got me a Real Techniques brush, an adorable teddy bear and a Yankee Candle in Snowflake Cookie, which smells INSANELY amazing! Thank you to everyone who got me a gift this year! I love them all so much and truly treasure the thought and time you put into buying/wrapping them for me.

We ended our Perfect Christmas day with the traditional dinner. My mom cooked all of my favourite foods; sweet potato mash, corn, cauliflower cheese, roast potatoes, beef, turkey, pigs in blankets, stuffing and we smothered everything in gravy made from the vegetable juice and meat fat, which sounds gross but it's super tasty. Me and my mom also had a sneaky glass of rosé wine! This year was such a special Christmas because my mom finally had the full day off work! Being a carer she usually has to work on Christmas Day from 6am till 3pm, but this year she was given the whole day off and the time I got to spend with her I will look back on forever with happiness and joy. I'm so grateful to get to spend the holidays with the people I love, not just my mom but my dad, brother and sister too. This year has definitely been the most incredible Christmas so far, and I can't wait for next year to do it all over again.

FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS MOVIES: Finally to finish this Christmas post, I just wanted to share some of my all time favourite Christmas movies. Normally I don't watch them but really dedicated myself to watching ones I haven't seen this year and it put me in such a festive mood. So here's my top five for this year! Elf, White Christmas, Holiday Inn, Muppet's Christmas Carol and my all time favourite, The Grinch!

Thanks so much for reading everyone! Happy Holidays.
Alexandria.

University Room Decor.

 
When I started planning my room decor I thought about going for something neutral, but still girly. I already knew that the carpet and curtains were a dark blue so went through different colour schemes before deciding on white and grey. I would have preferred a pink room but didn't feel like pink went with blue. I'm thinking about adding some rugs and changing my curtains in the new year. I have already decorated my bed with a couple of cute cushions from Primark.

The sheets and pillow cases are from TESCO and the throw is from Matalan. I also added a cute assortment of teddy-bears to remind me of home. For my next semester I really want to purchase a mosquito net in white to make it look even cuter. They're only £4.99 from Ebay and can be put up with tack-hooks that are really easy to remove and won't ruin my University ceiling. In the picture to the right, I have a large desk which I've added some fairy lights too, also from Primark and lots of personal items like my laptop, record player, books and photo frames, which I still need to fill with pictures. When I've added more to my room and changed things round a bit more I will do another update, but for now this is the progress I've made.

Happy New Year!
Thanks for reading!