Thursday, 31 July 2014

My 21st Birthday Part One | A Romantic Dinner

I had the most wonderful, lovely birthday. This year was only the second time I spent it away from my family and it's still pretty strange. I was lucky enough to staying with a friend in our old university city for a exhibition I had on in Manchester and so got to spend the day with Bernard! The actual day fell on a Sunday and with it being the Sabbath I wasn't going to be doing anything that required spending money so it was pretty low key. Bernard usually has to work Sundays, but when occasion calls ;). aha. It was so wonderful being able to attend church together and simply have our lazy Sunday afternoons back!

I have forever been in love with the Waitrose own brand packaging design by Pearl Fisher and could spend forever in store just cooing over the home baking range. With one of our favourite meals being Chicken Katsu Curry I was flipping delighted when I saw they were now offering a recipe kit for it instore! Although I was disappointed I had to also provide the rice, rather than just chicken as the front claims (and man is Waitrose chicken breast expensive), we went for a very short grain rice as opposed to the basmati it suggests, and the extra sauce (the little brown dollop) simply didn't do anything. It didn't add to the dish, but it didn't take anything away. They could've just left that bit out in my opinion. It was just nothingness. 

However, I did really enjoy the meal. The 'crust' was perfect, the sauce lovely and the chicken such good quality. Short grain rice was such a good call! (Thank you Bernard) It made it taste so much more like it does in restaurants. I would definitely purchase again for a special treat, (just maybe get the chicken somewhere else to save some money.) and the Belvoir Raspberry Lemonade we had was the most perfect accompaniment! (I feel like this post has turned into a food review)

Hardly any restaurants serve the dish (which I suppose keeps it special) so we're always on the hunt! One of the best versions we've tried is at a tiny place we once found by chance in South Kensington, London called Tombo. The super cute paper straws I bought from Tesco for roughly £1.80 for a pack of 20, unfortunately I later found a pack of 25 in B&M for 89p and so I think I may have a new obsession. The leftover straws are currently chilling in a pastel blue jar on my windowsill. :) 

After our delicious romantic meal we spent forever trying to decide what to watch on dearest Netflix and throughly enjoying our Strawberries and White Chocolate Torte. Spending the day with my love, having some of the best food and simply being together was such a beautiful way to spend my 21st birthday. 

Read Part Two here

Tuesday, 29 July 2014


University is done. Dusted. Over. 

However for the rest of my life I know education will have a deep appeal. Like a shiny object drawing me in and teasing my mind. Maybe it's because I have a degree so young I still feel like education is always a natural step.. Either way I aim to forever learn. 

These past three years have gone by so fast! I have worked my little butt off and now it's time to take a step back and realise what I have accomplished. I am so blessed to have been able to spend the day with so many wonderful people and have such a great support network. University is such an insane, glorious experience and I think I've pulled through it pretty well ;). 

I am definitely not the same person I was three years ago. Life is now to be embraced for the dear adventure it is. However I have always hated this 'real world' rubbish. If the real world is a 9-5 job you hate, being miserable and doing the same routine from now until forever, I think I'll be staying over here on the fantasy spectrum. 

'Real life' is simply the life you are now living! From the most mundane to the crazy exciting. What is important is whether or not you like it! Some of the best advice I was ever given was to always do/study/explore that which you enjoy, that way the rest of your life will always contain something that helps make you happy.

And isn't happiness one of the most important elements of our existence at the end of the day?! 

Friday, 18 July 2014

D&AD New Blood Festival & Exhibition

When I was seventeen and researching what I wanted to study at university I first learnt about the organisation Design & Art Direction, an educational charity working to promote and cultivate the best in advertising and design. Every year they focus on recent graduates or the 'New Blood' of the industry by inviting creative courses from around the UK in Illustration, Advertising and Graphics to showcase their work at the New Blood Exhibition and attend talks and workshops as apart of the New Blood Festival. A few months before they release a range of competition briefs written in collaboration with large and well known corporations, open to all creative students to enter. As a result of the exhibition and the competition briefs, fifty students are handpicked to attend the prestigious Graduate Academy.  

As you can imagine D&AD has meant a great deal to me over the past three years. As a second year one of my projects was chosen to help present our Advertising course at the New Blood Exhibit and I was SO honoured. Especially as it is something often reserved for recent graduates. Being a second year at the time I simply went for the day and tried to soak in all the creativity on display. I was certainly impressed. I went, I look and I went home.

This year I had a very different experience. I made the most of the talks and events, had multiple book crits and made a point to talk to others. Putting yourself out there in a true and genuine way is so important. In many respects I enjoyed New Blood this year much more. I feel like I was taught so much! After the stresses of finishing my degree, it injected the buzz and joy back into it. Reminding us all how wonderful this industry is and how much I love what I do. 

If you are considering any of the fields mentioned above, whether it be for work, study or general interest, I strongly recommend you go next year! You can check out the photos and showcased work from this year on their flickr
Artistic Fascination © . Design by FCD.