It’s Summer!!! (How To Celebrate The End Of Exams)

Hey everyone! My fourth-year degree exams finished on Friday and after popping some bubbly, I jetted off to Bristol and then Vienna to celebrate! With Summer fast approaching for many of you, here are my top tips for celebrating the end of exam season.

1) Say Cheers!

Celebrate the end of exams with some cheeky cocktails, an indulgent glass of bubbly or a yummy meal out.

  1. Travel, Travel, Travel!

Visiting somewhere new will help you to clear your mind and get into holiday mode! Travelling is also a great way to reward all of your hard work and keep in touch with old friends.



3. Expand Your Mind

Degree programmes are very focused; so why not use your Summer to expand your horizons and learn new things? Visiting local tourist attractions and reading around subjects that interest you are great ways of unwinding after exams, whilst keeping your brain active.

4. Treat yourself!

Exams take a toll on you; that’s why the post-exam period is a brilliant time to invest in some gorgeous new Summer clothes, get that haircut you’ve been putting off since April and even indulge in a sneaky spa day with your mates (head to Groupon’s website and nab yourself a bargain).

5. Catch-up On Some Sleep

Summer is here, so there’s no shame in spending the odd morning in your pyjamas catching-up on your favourite Netflix shows (I won’t tell if you don’t!)

I’m taking lifestyle tips from my cat!

6. Develop Positive Eating Habits

Now that my exams are over, I’m trying to cut back on my obsession with takeaway fajitas and Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Cookies. However, the post-exam period is a time for celebration, so I allow myself to eat whatever I fancy when socialising with friends, whilst sticking to a healthy, balanced diet when at home.

Yummy fusion Tapas at Under The Stars, a floating restaurant  in Bristol

 7. Do More Exercise

After exams is also a great time to develop a healthier exercise routine and use your  spare time to engage in your favourite hobbies. Remember; you’ve worked hard during exams and now is the time to reap the rewards.

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Going out and getting some fresh air can make all the difference!

8. Declutter

That dress that’s a size too small for you? Get rid of it! Those shoes that you haven’t worn for two years? Those too! Charity shops will be grateful for your donations and you’ll have less clutter to lug around on the train or stuff into your boot on your journey home.

9. Make Plans

Exams are over, so why not take the time to set yourself goals and explore exciting holiday, volunteering, work and study opportunities for the Summer months?

10. Be Spontaneous and Have Fun!

Work hard, take time to relax and you’ll make Summer 2017 the best one ever!

I hope that you enjoyed today’s blog post. What are your Summer plans?

Until next time!

Danielle xx

(Blog supported by Soap & Glory)

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Danielle’s Triple Chocolate Brownie Recipe 🍫

Hey there everyone! With Easter over, you may have a lot of chocolate lying around the house. My Triple Chocolate Brownie recipe tastes delicious and is perfect for using up excess Easter Eggs.

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What you’ll need:

350g dark cane sugar

(Tip: Cane sugar adds flavour, without making brownies too sweet)

175g melted butter (15 seconds in the microwave is all you need)

75g good quality cocoa

3 medium sized free range eggs, whisked with a fork

100g self-raising flour

2 table spoons vanilla essence

150g good quality white chocolate, cut into small pieces

150g good quality dark chocolate, cut into small pieces

(Tip: My favourite baking chocolate is Green & Black’s Cooks’ Bars (£2.50 for 150g, Tesco). The delicious chunks of chocolate add flavour and texture to this recipie- what’s not to love?!) 


Let’s get baking!

1.Preset the oven to 180°C.

2. Add the ingredients to a large mixing bowl in the given order, mixing well after each one is added.

3. Grease a baking tin with butter and add the mixture. Bake on a medium shelf for 20 minutes, until the brownies are crisp on the outside and delightfully fudgy on the inside.

4. Leave the brownies to cool and after cutting out individual brownie pieces, store them in an airtight container.

Using this base, you can get more creative with your flavour choices. Here are some of my favourite combinations.

1. Peanut butter brownies: Add 2 table spoons of peanut butter after the chocolate pieces and enjoy the nutty, chocolatey goodness.

2. Salted caramel brownies: Spoon salted caramel into the mixture after adding the chocolate and stir slightly to separate. This is a fab recipe, from one of my favourite food bloggers: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/homemade-salted-caramel-recipe/.

3. Creme egg brownies: This recipe is perfect for using up your left over creme eggs! Cut 6 Creme Eggs in half. After baking your brownies for 15 minutes, add the creme eggs to the brownie mixture and bake for a further 10 minutes.

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I hope that this recipe inspired you to get creative in the kitchen and I’d love to hear about your favourite recipes!

Danielle xx

Blog supported by Soap & Glory

Spring Clean With Me- Makeup Bag Edit

Hey everyone! Today I’m chatting about spring cleaning. Now, although I’m  pretty organised in most areas of my life, the same cannot be said of my makeup collection. That’s why this February, I’m trying to mend my beauty ways, paving the way for radiant summer skin.

Here’s how I give my  beauty collection the spring clean treatment.

1) Get Your Dates Right 

There is a common misconception that beauty  products can’t go out of date. Although it is true that dry products (like eye shadow) can last for a year or more, other products are significantly less durable.

Once a product is opened, it becomes susceptible to contamination by micro-organisms, from both our skin and the air. Products such as mascara, liquid eyeliner, foundation, and lip-gloss (which all have a high-water ratio) are particularly vulnerable.

You should be wary of products which have separated out into layers, undergone a change in colour, or begun to emit an unusual odour.

Many beauty products have a special icon on the back of their packaging, indicating the lifespan of the product. Always look for this while sorting out your beauty collection.

You may be reluctant to toss away your favourite foundation, but it is worth being cautious, as out of date products are breeding grounds for bacteria and can contribute to bad skin and infections.

2). Don’t Forget Your Brushes!

Makeup brushes collect oil, dirt, and bacteria, which can all clog pores and cause breakouts.  To avoid this, you should try to clean your brushes once a week.

If you don’t know how to clean your makeup brushes, the process is easy.

  1. First, you should run the bristles under lukewarm water to remove any excess makeup or dirt.
  2. Next, wash the bristles using a gentle cleanser. I use a cleanser because shampoo and antibacterial soap can irritate sensitive skin.
  3. Wash away the cleanser with warm water. Finally, pat the brushes dry and re-arrange the bristles.

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3. Stick To The 12 Week Rule

I don’t know about you, but over the course of numerous Christmases and Birthdays, I have accumulated a vast collection of unwanted beauty products.

To combat makeup hoarding, discard items that you have failed to use over the last 3 months. Decluttering is very satisfying and downsizing your makeup collection will give you more space for future beauty hauls.

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4) Give A Little Gift!

If you have unwanted beauty products that are still in-date, then why not pass them on to a friend? They will be grateful for the surprise gift and you’ll feel great, knowing that your unwanted products are being enjoyed by someone else.

5) Pretty Storage Solutions

Now that you have dealt with all of your old and unwanted products, it’s time to find some sexy new storage solutions to keep your beauty and skincare collection organised. Tidy away your makeup in wicker or wire baskets, display your makeup brushes in empty jam jars and keep hair ties in a trendy copper bowl.

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I hope that you found my tips useful and I would love to hear about your Spring cleaning ideas.

Danielle xxx

(Supported by Soap & Glory)

10 Tips To Shine This Spring

The old cliché rings true; Spring is a time of change. As the trees start to spring back to life and the dark nights die away, it’s a perfect time to begin thinking about the future.

This Spring I’m facing one of my biggest challenges to date. My four years at the University of Edinburgh have flown by and this Spring, amongst the flurry of dissertation writing and degree exams, my mind is beginning to turn to what comes next.  For this reason, I’m in Copenhagen this weekend, exploring opportunities for after my graduation. Facing the future can be daunting, but this Spring, I am trying to learn to turn fear into excitement.

Although I’m no expert, I’d like to share with you some of the techniques which I use to maintain a positive mental outlook and face challenges head-on.

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  1. Think Positive Thoughts!

Positivity and success walk hand in hand. Meanwhile, negative emotions like guilt and inadequacy only hold us back, preventing us from taking practical steps towards achieving our goals.

When we have a positive mental attitude, we are more content and challenges become much more manageable.

Crazy graffiti at the alternative hot-spot Christiana

2. Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

Try not to compare yourself to others. This can provoke feelings of stress and inadequacy. If you are doing your best, taking practical steps to improve your future, then relax; you are doing more than enough!

3. Remember That Rejection Can Help You Grow

We frequently forget that winning is not the only measure of success. Sometimes what we learn during a process is more important than the outcome itself. To illustrate this anecdotally, I have recently experienced a number of rejections from potential employers. I have reacted by trying to focus, not the rejection itself, but on what I have learned from the process and how I will maximise my future chances of success.

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4.  Be Persistent

 Persistence usually yields positive outcomes. And if determination and sustained effort fail to get us to where we want to be? Then perhaps we weren’t on the right path anyway.

5. Stay Focused

Spend time focusing on the positive changes that you want to make in your life and identify practical ways you can go about achieving them.

6.  Look After Yourself

At the moment, I’m balancing a part-time job with my studies, writing a dissertation for my languages degree, applying for graduate jobs and participating in a wide array of extra-curricular activities.

When we’re busy or stressed, we often forget to eat healthily, exercise and get sufficient sleep. However, I’ve found that when I do take time to look after myself, I am far happier and more productive.

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7.  Find Strength In The Things That You Enjoy

Having the opportunity to relax isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity. An hour or two of fun can have positive effects on our mood and productivity. Personally, I enjoy riding horses, working out at the gym and baking (those last two are a little contradictory I know!)

Your interests are likely to be completely different, but the important issue is that you engage in activities which relax you, incorporating them in to your weekly routine.

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8.  Make And Maintain Meaningful Relationships

Although stress often makes us reluctant to seek out the company of others, ironically, it is often the best antidote to our low mood. Small actions such as calling someone, or inviting them out for a coffee, can improve our mood. It is also important to remember that there are always opportunities to build new relationships; we just have to take an active approach to establishing them.

9.  Act!

Your happiness is key. If you are unhappy with aspects of your life, then find positive ways to make a change. Don’t be afraid of change; embrace it. If your life never changed, then it could never get better.

10.  Remember That Everything Will Work Out In The End

Even if everything feels very daunting right now, try to remember that everything will pay off in the end and all of the time and effort that you are investing in your future will pay off.

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I hope that you found my experiences useful. I’d love to know what changes are effecting your life right now and how you deal with positively with these challenges.

(Supported by Soap & Glory)

Galentines Day Ideas 2: Paint the Town Pink

It’s wintery in Edinburgh; the semester is in full swing  and I don’t know about you, but I’m really feeling the need to let loose and forget all about dissertations, job applications and the joys of degree exams. So if you’re also feeling like blowing off some steam this Galentines day, how can you make your night out that extra bit special?

Here are some ideas to get the party started in style:


1.Get ready with your gals

Blast some music, do each other’s makeup and dig out an outfit that you feel GREAT in.

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 2.Go out for dinner beforehand

Want to have a good old catch up with your girls? Indulge in a delicious meal and some cocktails before your night out.


Here are some affordable suggestions:

Mariachi 

Theme: Mexican

Location: The Grassmarket

Tip: The Steak Fajitas and White Sangria are to die for! They also offer great lunchtime deals during the week.

Amazing cocktails! (Photo credit: http://mariachi-restaurant.co.uk)

La Sal

Theme: Spanish
Location- Howden Street (just off Clerk Street)

Tip: Sangria and authentic Spanish Tapas; what more could you want? Their Saturday lunchtime offer of 2 courses for £10 is also pretty purse friendly.

No.8 Lister Square

Theme: Scottish

Location: Quartermile

Tip: No.8 offer 2 for 1 student cocktails throughout the week, so that you can get the party started early!

The best start to a girls’ night out- cocktails at No.8 (https://m.facebook.com/no8listersquare/?locale2=en_GB)

3.Dance like nobody’s watching

If you’re stuck in a night out rut, why not be adventurous and try out your sassiest salsa moves at Boteco Do Brasil? Their catchy Latin tunes will get you on the dance floor in no time; and if that fails, there’s always the mojitos.


4. It’s sleepover time!

Who says you’re too old for a sleepover? And the best bit? Waking up with your mates to giggle over last night’s antics.

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What do you think makes the perfect night out? And how will you be celebrating Galentines Day? Let me know in the comments!

Danielle xxx

(Supported by Soap & Glory)