Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Urban Outfitters | Shirt Wishlist

When it comes to shirts, I cannot resist. Especially with it being autumn time. I find that with the seasons changing and with the air getting that bit cooler, shirts are a great way to keep warm but still have that essence and reminder of sunny days.

They’re the perfect transeasonal attire. If warm you can roll up the sleeves giving off a flawless laid back look and when cold you can layer them up with scarfs and vest tops. You cannot go wrong.

Here I have found some shirts from urban outfitters that are definitely going on my wish list.

The first is this stunner, the design is gorgeous and even though powerful, it feels just enough to add that bit of statement to your wardrobe. With it being silk it will still carry a floaty summer feel to it but pair it with a hat and a scarf and I think you’d be able to get away with an autumn look.
Price: £35
Click here to purchase it!

I love the colour of this shirt. It has such an autumnal feel and reminds me of the burn read crispy leaves you see on the footpaths of parks. As it is over sized it will have that slouched feel and you’d be able to get away with a bit of layering which makes it ideal for those frosty mornings!
Price: £40
Click here to purchase it!

This shirt has a sort of worn faded look to it, which to me, really gives it that edge. It almost has a combat feel to it, which I could imagine may give its owner a sense of empowerment and strength. it would look great both open and layered up or closed and rolled up, and is extremely  high up there on my autumn wish list!
Price: £30
Click here to purchase it!

- Photos from the Urban Outfitters Website (http://www.urbanoutfitters.com/)

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Fresher's | Update

I’m just about to head up to the kitchen (the kitchen is on the top floor, and I’m on the ground floor… it’s a bit of a trek!) so here’s a quick update of my last week…

I’m here everyone! I’ve finally moved to Salford uni and what a surreal week it has been. I still don’t feel like this is it for the next three years. It’s as though I’m on some kind of holiday camp and within the next few days I’ll be going home, but I guess when the course starts and things get serious it’ll begin to feel real.

Home sickness hasn’t really hit me yet. I’ve not had time in Fresher’s week to dwell on things like that, I’ve either been too busy making friends and meeting new people, or sleeping. Though I must admit the first morning when I woke up to silence and there wasn’t the sound of my dad pottering around downstairs or the sound of my mum’s hairdryer on, it did feel pretty strange.

My room is decent. There’s enough space for me which is all that matters. Though I need to invest some time and money into making it feel homely. The walls are bare and are just a wash of cream which is giving it a clinical feel at the moment. But on our next trip to Manchester, I may pick up some posters and let the decorating commence.

My housemates are amazing. I didn’t really know what to expect and was kind of nervous about meeting who I was living with for the next year but they are all ace! We’re already like one big family. Everyone’s into the same kind of music too so we have been discovering some pretty cool clubs in Manchester this past week.   

Tomorrow is the beginning of induction week which is exciting! I’ll get to meet everyone I’ll be working with and the tutors I’ll be having for the next year. I actually can’t wait to begin the course. I can’t believe Freshers is over and done with now. It has been a pretty fun, I don’t think it could have gone any better… except for Fresher’s Flu… I could have done without that. 

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Osmo Clay Wax | Review

Since getting my hair cut short on one side, I’ve been trying to find something that will give it that extra volume, something that creates a kind of messy but styled look and I have managed to fall upon the exact product which gives my hair that little bit more life.

It’s called Osmo clay wax and it is ace. It gives a firm hold which lasts for the whole day, I managed to walk the illuminations the other night and my hair came out the other side looking pretty much like it did when I left the house… and that never happens for me! 

It doesn’t go flaky when it has been in for a while, and if you use the right amount it’s easy enough to wash out.

You don’t need a lot for the wax to hold your hair so I imagine the tin will last for ages. It’s not thick and it doesn’t way your hair down, it just leaves it with a really good texture and on top of that, it smells amazing.

I would really recommend Osmo clay wax, it is a little bit pricey, I managed to get it for £7.50, but like I say, I think the tin it will last a long time and with the way it makes your hair look, it’s really worth it.

You can purchase it on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1pbkv61

Tweet me @abigillibrand if you’ve used Osmo before, or if you know of another good clay wax 


Tuesday, 9 September 2014

University | Before the Beginning

And so the packing begins, the tears are flowing but the excitement is brewing. I don’t know how I’m going to react living away from home. It’ll be a huge shock I think for the first few weeks, having to learn how to fend for myself, I mean I can barely cook! I’m going to miss my mum’s homemade dinners. I guess though, it will be like playing dolly for a while. Making my room look pretty and colourful with posters and photographs, making new friends and learning my way around a city I’ve never really explored before.

I know it’s going to be ace once I get there, it’s just the initial leaving home that will be hard. My family are so close knit that I can’t imagine spending a week away from them let alone four months! But my university is only a 45 minute train ride away, which is how long it took to get to my college on the bus and I made that journey every day, so realistically, home is only down the road.

In less than a week my whole life if going to change drastically. I’m looking forward to it, I’m scared and nervous but at the same time really excited. I’m going to be studying what I want which I cannot wait for, the course I’m taking looks amazing and spending three years doing something I love is going to be awesome.

Now I’m just reaching the stage of ‘What do I need to take?’

My aunty has been amazing and has taken me out shopping for all of the basics – utensils, plates, and bowls etc. I even have my own cheese grater - sounds stupid but I’m actually pretty stoked about all that kind of stuff. I chose a colour theme of green and purple so my room is going to look like something out of The Jokers house, but they go together so well! We managed to find some bright green and purple coat hangers too – oh the small things :’)

I’ve gotten my whole wardrobe sprawled across my sister’s bed and I think I have one tiny closet to put it in when I get to uni which will be interesting. I might just have to pick out my favourite jumpers and leave my summer clothes at home. But what if I want to wear shorts one day? Ahh, the hardship! I’ll have to see how much I can squeeze into my room I think and then send my parents back with what didn’t make it into my wardrobe. I’m really praying that there is space under my bed that I can fill with clothes and shoes.

One thing I am hoping for is a housemate that can deal with spiders. I don’t know about you, but these scary female house spiders seem to be appearing everywhere and they’re absolutely huge! I have to admit they are very impressive, but I don’t think I’ll be wanting to share a shower with one if I can help it. I’m going to have to become brave, oooor find someone who already is brave…

It is certainly going to be an adventure and I so hope that the uni experience is as good as everyone says it is.

Wish me luck!

Monday, 8 September 2014

The Game of Life | A Poem

A desired heart never fails to feel the pain of goodbyes
A sign of wisdom or a sign of selfishness life moves on and yet you're still the same soul with the same beating heart
Every beat bringing you further to your fate
And what does everything equate to?
Alas on your death bed would you rather see a life of love and joy or a life of work and anguish?
Why do we prize ourselves on a system of numbers and letters
A system of separation yet we are all the same
All the same playing the game
The game of life

And yet we never win.

No one can defeat fate, no matter how hard they try they cannot cheat death
There will always be suffering but does there have to be evil to allow good?
Would a child feel the same way about happiness if there was no sadness

Opposites attract,

You may be the richest of the land but the least wealthy of them all
It's hard to conquer what we do not understand
But strength is key in this game, and if you have strength and an open heart you will no longer feel the pain of goodbyes

Sunday, 7 September 2014

New Hair | Elf Ear

I’ve been wanting to do something new to my hair for quite some time now. For ages I’ve been umm-ing and arw-ing over what to do, whether it be cutting it off and getting a pixie cut, dying it ginger, and yes even getting dreadlocks has gone through my head.

For one, dread locks take a lot of time to be created, and I wanted something instant, so that was out. A pixie cut would be cute, but my long hair is kind of a comfort thing to me and there’s no way I’d want to cut it off! And dying it ginger just seemed a little bit too extreme. Especially with my complexion, I really couldn’t have imagined what it would have looked like. With not knowing what to do, I’ve been a bit down about my hair for a while.

Anyway, yesterday came and I decided to be brutal. I’ve seen many people get their head shaved at one side, but I thought this would be a bit too harsh, and my hair is quite thin as it is, so I wouldn’t want to be chopping it all off now.

That is why I came up with a half pixie cut and half long do. I must admit, I was scared when I was having it done, but, with a bit of mousse and a good blow-dry I think it looks awesome.

I’m so happy that I’ve finally had something done to my hair after all of this thinking of what to do, I’m glad I waited, and didn’t chop it all off.

Also, having an ear poking out kind of makes me feel like an elf out of Lord of the Rings. All I need now is a bow and arrow - feeling empowered!

Let me know what you think of my new look… 

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

More Castle News and more Medieval | Knights in Shining Armour

I thought I’d start this post with a picture to remind you of yesterday’s entry. I think it’s an apt way to introduce to the events that took place at Leeds Castle…

Being so in awe of the Medieval Siege Society, and being in love with the people at Dover Castle, we took it upon ourselves to visit Leed’s Castle later on in the week where there were many other medieval re-enactment groups but also a few familiar faces (however none of the Earls, which was quite sad!! Note the picture above… I had to fit them in somewhere!!)  

It was a whole different view point to medieval life than Dover Castle. Here there were knights… on horseback… jousting. Swoon!!!

It was an extremely impressive display they put on, with their horses all done up and their squires at the ready, it really was as though you had been transported back in time.

The knights looked all noble and the horses all majestic.

We attended a talk called ‘Arming the Knights’ which is pretty much what it says on the tin, (a head to toe guide on the armour that the knights wore). It turns out that back in the day a full set of armour would have been around £12, however these guys had spent almost thirty grand to get their look exactly right as if they really could have been a Medieval Knight. This alone demonstrates their passion and love towards their hobby and just how much effort they put into making the re-enactment as realistic and as special as possible.

They obviously put their hearts and souls into re-enacting and this really showed. They looked like the real deal.

We were wandering around between acts and came across Perterkin the fool who was just about to put on a performance. My sister tried to make a quick escape, worried that he would choose her to take part in his act and do embarrassing things, but we managed to reassure her stating the fact that there were many children around and surely he wouldn’t pick a 21 year old over the five year olds who would be much more willing to assist him. However, with saying this, she was the first person he picked on, dragging her out from the crowd and making her run in circles amongst a crowd of children. It was hilarious!

After she’d done her part, Perterkin then called on my dad for assistance. He was trying to get up on some stilts and needed my dad to help him stand. However, this ended up in a right mess as he kept on falling over and landing in a heap upon my dad’s shoulders. He eventually stood up by using my dad’s head to sit on whilst he got his balance. Perterkin’s quote ‘’Place your head at my nethers’’ is a quote my dad isn’t going to live down for quite some time.

I so hope we bump into the Medieval Siege Society again sometime, I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for where their latest events will be taking place. Check them out if I have convinced you that they really are an extraordinary group to go and watch. Definitely see them if they’re in your area!

But for now I shall leave you with this video I stumbled across on YouTube…


Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Dover Castle | The War of the Roses

On the Sunday we visited Dover Castle which was such an extravagant building. It was probably one of the largest castles we’ve been to (and trust me, we’ve been to a lot). But it wasn’t just the building which was beautiful, we had caught the castle at a good time as The Medieval Siege Society was there re-enacting The War of The Roses and when you’re in a field surrounded by broad, bearded men with long curly hair dressed in armour and looking all strong, there really is no place you’d rather be!

We explored the tunnels which ran under the castle. They were dark and cold and I would imagine that when the castle was still in use they would probably be quite scary. They were very much like a maze and I’d be afraid of getting lost in them!

The tunnels bought us up into the castle grounds and we headed to the main tower which was situated right in the centre of the castle’s walls. When entering the tower you were encapsulated by the haunting sound of medieval music. It was so raw and so loud that you could hear it throughout the whole tower. It echoed down the stone corridors and every drum beat reverberated around the spiral staircases. We approached the room where the melodic tunes were coming from and there was a band of people dressed in everyday medieval attire playing their instruments to a line of what looked like medieval royalty (which later turned out to be The Earl of March: future King of England and The Earl of Warwick). Earl March demanded that one of the children, who was part of the re-enactment, went and got his helmet and when presenting the helmet to him, knelt at his foot. It was great to see people act out the past and take it so seriously. I was actually intimidated by him.

My mum thought the whole experience was pretty cool, and so asked Earl March if we could have a photo taken with them. He discussed this with the rest of the nobles and arranged it for when the music had finished. Little did I know at the time that I was the one being nominated by my family for the photo and when it came to be, Earl March pointed to the ground and demanded that I knelt at their feet. I really wasn’t expecting to kneel at their feet! I thought I’d just be able to stand next to them and have a nice photo, but nope! Anyway, it was very funny, and what should I expect if I was having a photo with the future King of England? Plus it meant I got Earl Warwick’s attention, so I guess it paid off.

The battle re-enactment that the society put on throughout the day was brilliant and also hilarious! There were two sides, the Lancastrians, who were attacking the castle and the Yorkists who were defending. Within the middle of the field there was a hill, of which the re-enactors were using as the castle moat and oh how they struggled to get up and down the hill in all of their armour. Earl Warwick set off running down the hill to battle and with all of his momentum behind him and the weight of his helmet, he ended up going into a spontaneous dive forward roll. The look of surprise on his face was amazing. I don’t know if he was more shocked or the audience!  Though he took it extremely well and immediately got back up with a smile on his face, taking a small bow with an applaud from the crowd and then *SPOILER ALERT* carried on to win the battle.

Earl Warwick looking all handsome after he won the battle. I must admit, after watching this guy re-enact the role of Warwick throughout the day, I did develop a soft spot for him.

It really does make you want to be a part of the re-enacting society, or just to be medieval! They were a very passionate set of people and with them taking what they did so seriously it made the event extremely special.

I just want to relive that day at Dover Castle again!

Monday, 1 September 2014

My Canterbury Tale | The Beginning

Hello everyone, I’m currently writing with post-holiday blues as I have just returned home from spending a week discovering the historic landscape of Kent. My family and I stayed in the small town, Chatham (which is just outside Canterbury) in a gorgeous 18th century cottage. It was so tiny and idyllic and was situated in the perfect location as it was right next door to a little country pub with a train station just a five minute walk down the lane. Over the past few years we’ve stayed in many cottages around England and I can honestly say that this cottage is the most unique and beautiful one we’ve stayed in yet. With beamed ceilings and a huge open fire, it really was a stunning building, if not a little spooky at night!

My sister and I were staying in the attic which had slanted beamed roofs and an impressive chimney breast which was a statement piece on all three floors.

We were lucky with the weather too. We had rain for only two days of our trip, but when I say rain, it really did pour down. We got absolutely soaked one day in Canterbury so when returning to the cottage we lit the open fire and all four of us sat around it getting warm whilst playing quizzes and watching The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - a charming film which I recommend you should watch if you haven’t already.

Stay tuned over the next few days to see what we got up to on our jollies, let's just say it involves, knights, Earl Warwick, two Kings of England and Batman... Quite an eclectic mix of things!