Tuesday, 22 July 2014

My life in pictures

Went and chopped all my hair off! / Saying goodbye to my last uni house / All the fun of the fair at The Hoppings (Blog post here)
 I miss the poolside view, take me back on holiday please?! / You hardly ever see Red Admirals these days / Graffiti in Sheffield
Summer pudding = yummy! (Recipe here) / Seriously good coffee and some girl time at Couch/ Green tea, lime and mint cooler was amazing on a hot day!

Life has been a strange mixture of crazy and quiet over the past few weeks as I'm settling into my new place, job hunting and catching up with friends both at home and in Sheffield. I feel like I'm busy all of the time but also like I spend too much time binge watching Orange is the New Black. I guess this feeling is normal for all graduates, but I hope I can find a job or something to fill more of my days soon, I am actually bored of wearing my pyjamas past noon!

Anyway enough of me rambling about grad life, although England isn't a patch on the gorgeous weather of my holiday last month I have been trying to soak up all the sunshine we get here with yummy summer treats, walks through some of Sheffield's beautiful parks and a day at the fair.

You can follow me on Instagram here.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Ahoy there sailor!

Top Primark
Skirt New Look

Whilst I was home last week I had a huge out of my old bedroom including my closet and I found this old skirt. I couldn't resist teaming it up with my Breton stripe top to create a super nautical look. After sorting through my wardrobe I've decided to sell a lot of my old clothes so I've set up a Depop account. I'll be listing loads of my clothes over the next week, including this skirt, and you can follow me at 'zoenicolexx' if you're interested.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

In the Kitchen: Summer pudding

Yesterday I had a craving for something sweet but also something fresh and light so I decided to have a go at Eton Mess with a couple of extra touches. I thought I would share my culinary experiment on this little blog ..

You'll need:
  • Whipping cream (I used Emlea a low fat alternative to cream)
  • Meringue
  • A punnet of strawberries
  • White chocolate
  • Caster sugar
  • 6 ramekins or a dish to serve

The method:

With an electric whisk (or a very strong arm) whip the cream until it forms stiff peaks.
Break up the meringue, chop half of the strawberries and some white chocolate and add them all to the cream and stir to coat them in the cream. Spoon the mixture in the ramekins.
Next make a strawberry compote by heating two tablespoons of caster sugar on the hob until the sugar melts, then add the rest of the strawberries. Simmer for approximately three minutes and then remove from the heat. I strained the compote to remove the big chunks of strawberry and then drizzled the sauce over the individual portions in the ramekins.
You can keep them in the fridge or enjoy straight away. 

They make a lovely summer treat with the perfect blend of sweet and light and you can mix up the ingredients you have to make them different every time, I think next time I might try dark chocolate and coconut. 

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

The Holiday Booklist

When I go on holiday a significant proportion of my luggage allowance will be used up by books. One of my favourite things to do on days whilst lazing by the pool is to lose myself in a book or three. When I was younger I used to take enough books to read one a day but nowadays I've toned it down, not because I don't love books but when you're away with your friends there’s a lot less time for reading. I took three books with me on my holiday to Rhodes all of which I enjoyed so I thought that I would do a mini book review.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

I’ve read this book before but since the film came out this month I thought that I would give it a re-read before I go and see the film. If you don't already know (where have you been?!) TFiOS is about two teenagers, Hazel and Augustus, who have/had cancer and in its simplest form the book is their love story. If you've ever read a John Green book before then you’ll know the style, clever, funny and oozing with the metaphorical resonances. Now don’t get me wrong I enjoyed the book and I love Green's writing but I struggled to find the characters realistic at times. I think the two main characters are just a bit too pretentious and I know that they’re meant to be, but they’re also meant to be 16/17 and sometimes it’s just a bit too much. Having said that I think that as a teenager I would have liked the pretentiousness since at that age we (or was it just me?) like to think that we are capable of such deep thoughts on life and death and oblivion and my reluctance to believe the characters could just be because I’m a slightly older young adult reading YA fiction. Anyone else feel like this? Or feel like I’m entirely wrong? Comment below if you've read it and let me know what you think.

One Day by David Nicholls

I saw the film adaptation of this book a couple of years ago and I've wanted to read the book ever since because I’d heard it was well written and I liked the story. So after it sat in my to-read pile for several months I decided to take it on holiday and finally read it. If you haven’t read the book or seen the film (Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess) One day is the story of two friends that meet on the day of their graduation from university and their relationship for the twenty years that follow. The book is cleverly written as you visit the pair on the anniversary of their graduation each year and learn what has changed or not changed since the last year. Over the course of the book I fell in love with both Emma and Dexter and I laughed, felt their sadness and also screamed with frustration at them. As a recent graduate their journeys after university were so relatable and whilst at times I felt their fears and doubts, the notion that good things are still to come and to just keep on going was a message I’ll keep with me. It is unlike the ‘classic’ literature I generally read but I loved this as a holiday book, easy to get into and fun to read and heck there's nothing wrong with a bit of chick-lit!

Autobiography by Morrissey

The last book that I started to read was Morrissey's autobiography and I think I was more excited to start this than either of the other books. I am a big fan of The Smiths and although Morrissey is a controversial character there is no denying that he is a musical genius and I was interested to hear some of his life story and learn what made him the person that he is. I haven't actually finished this yet, but I'll give you my first impressions and talk about it more when I do my 'Books of 2014' post at the end of this year. The style of writing is different from other books I've read as it's all a bit stream of consciousness style. There's little structure as he starts writing about his childhood but flits between various times and memories presumably as they come into his head. In true Morrissey style it's quite wordy so if you're not a fan of the overly loquacious I would avoid it. Personally I do enjoy the style of writing because it's not overly structured it's genuine memories as they come into his head, like if someone asked you to describe your childhood and as you start one story it reminds of you of another, it's just very natural. I am definitely looking forward to reading the rest of the book. 

What books have you been reading on your holidays? I'd love to hear in the comments.

Friday, 4 July 2014

You'll be you and I'll be me, the rest is still a mystery

Sunglasses Primark / Top Illustrated People @ Topshop / Leggings Primark / Plimsolls Asda
Illustrated People is probably my favourite brand that is sold through Topshop. Their items are blend of pretty and quirky but also a bit grunge and casual. I picked up this racer back top in the sale a couple of years ago and I still love it. It looks great tucked into high waist jeans, but it's also perfect for throwing on when you want something that's easy to wear. 

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Ootd: Travelling

Kimono Primark / Top Topshop / Skort Primark / Bag Primark / Sunglasses Primark
So it's a little bit late because I had other posts scheduled but here is the outfit I wore to travel in last week. I just wanted something that would be comfortable for sitting on a plane for four hours, but also something that wouldn't be too hot to wear when I land. The skort is Primark's dupe for the Zara skort that was everywhere a couple of months ago, it's clearly made out of cheaper material but I still like it and it's a bargain for £10. The kimono is my favourite though! I had to size up because they didn't have my size but I loved it so much I don't mind it being extra loose. The print is gorgeous and instantly brightens up my monochrome outfit and really finishes the it off. I bought this bag to use as my hand luggage and although it is huge I like that it's structured and looks smart and I can fit my usual excess amount of rubbish in it.