Monday, 1 December 2014

A day late but...It's the first day of Christmas!

We haven't had the snow yet and over the last week I've been catching some shots of the finishing Autumn fall. A gentle walk around my local park and the Botanical Gardens with my boyfriend was the perfect opportunity to catch the last of the season...there were squirrels everywhere - at this point my camera had died, typical! If you read my last post about my review on the Nikon D3200 these are the type of images you can expect from the camera :)

AHHHHH, it's finally the countdown to Christmas and Sheffield has definitely been full of the jingles and Christmas joys. My post might be one day late but it's the start of Christmas...a perfect excuse! The lights are beaming all around the city, the Christmas markets are up and running and of course the arrival of the Coca Cola Truck at Peace Gardens was today. I couldn't have imagined a better way to start December. 

The Doors are finally opened!
City Centre Christmas Tree

The Market Huts

Overlooking Peace Gardens

Holidays are coming!

Hope everyone is excited for Christmas!

Rach x 

Sunday, 23 November 2014

What's the best Christmas ad?

So as you all will know Christmas is around the corner meaning that the adverts are spamming our TV's in attempt to grab us in their stores for the festive season. But like every other year, there's the small selection of Chirstmas heart-warmers, 'The holidays are coming', John Lewis and there story-like sequence and this year making it new to the scene is Sainsburys which have chosen to support The Royal British Legion.

I always have to choose a favourite, and it's usually discussed in the family too, John Lewis always does a great job at catching my heart strings, especially when it's loaded with cute snowmen or penguins. They centre around family life and that's something of which I can relate too. 

'Holidays are Coming' is THE best advert to see when you're cautiously waiting around for Christmas to 'officially' begin. I chant it round the house, I shout everyone into the room when I first see it and it generally puts a smile on my face. However, I don't actually feel it changes my buying habits of coca-cola. This year I'm making the effort to go and see the coca-cola truck as it nearby. You can type in your postcode online to find if it will be visiting near you. I'll definatley be grabbing some pictures so don't worry too much if you miss out!

Finally, Sainsburys, such a good attempt at the Christmas advert this year and I like how it appears as more of a feature rather than a classic ad. The involvement of the chocolate is particularly clever in my opinion, I like how you can buy the exact same product in store, however this is nothing new with Monty the penguin printed on duvets, pj's and everything else possible in the John Lewis selection. I do find it great how they have chosen to support a Charity, especially at Christmas time. It's nice to think that people get together to support others, so hi5 to Sainsburys for not considering only themselves this Christmas. 

But my favourite is still John Lewis and #MontyThePenguin, it's just so cute!!
PS- a Monty is on my Christmas List!

What's your favourite ad this year?

Rach x

Sunday, 16 November 2014

New Camera!

My parents always struggle around Christmas time about what to buy for us all. This year they are taking us to Disney Land Paris!!! They told me a few months ago about the surprise that they were planning for myself and my two little brothers. The boys don't know that we are going, they find out on Christmas day, I'm so excited to see their reaction.
For the trip I bought a new nikon d3200, such a great camera for everyday photography. I would recommend it to anyone. I purchased it a few weeks ago, I had read some good online reviews and they are quite accurate!
It has built in features such as a fish eye editor meaning you wouldn't have to buy a separate lense for particular shots. It's lightweight and the clarity of the photos are amazing! The camera comes in red or black, I did prefer the red one as it is quite unique, however they had non left in stock so I settled for black.

After visiting Disneyland there will definitely be a post and photos spamming my blog and I'm planning to make a video diary as a thank-you to my parents.

If you've been to the resort before it would be great to hear what you thought about it  :)

PS- On a completely random note, I hope you've remembered to book your tickets for the Hunger Games, I'M SO EXCITED!

Rach x

Sunday, 9 November 2014

What every student needs!

 16-25 Railcard
My railcard is definitely my most essential card in my purse. I use it religiously when travelling around. Being nearly 200 miles away from home this little card comes in very handy. When I first applied for the card I was very reluctant to pay out £30 for the year. However, I am so happy that I did, it's saved me nearly £300 over the course of the year and as a student, there is nothing you need more than money! This is one of my favourite investments since starting university and I would recommend it to anyone who is living away from home or who likes to travel. If you are travelling regularly,  I would also suggest something to kill time, my DS is perfect for long journeys no matter how old they may seem, I take it everywhere with me - a perfect companion for a lengthy trip. 

Netflix is another small investment that I use all the time - its slightly worrying. I originally had Lovefilm but when it changed over to Amazon Prime I thought it really went down hill and my rating towards it is very poor.  There was limited selection of things to watch and series which I originally had access too such a Skins I was expected to pay for - that's on top of my subscription! Since getting Netflix I have never looked back, for £5.99 their range of films and series is brilliant compared to those of lovefilm and I am now officially counting down the days for the release of season 3 of #OITNB. Netflix also announced recently that they are making the f.r.i.e.n.d.s series available from January 2015 - I am sold!  

I have a keen interest in photography so this may be why it has ended up in my top 5, but I do think photographs help so much in not feeling homesick. Since starting uni, I have had my walls crammed with photos of friends and family, its not only comforting, they look awesome if they are arranged correctly. My ladybird pins are one of my favourite purchases - they're so cute! Every student accomedation has pin boards so you can never have too many pins, I've seen little ducks and bunnies too. If you visit money saving websites there are loads of codes to get 100 photos for free. I managed to grab 100 photos from Jessops and I only had to pay £2.25 postage. 

Another fantastic online app that saves me so much money. My constant calls home was taken over when I finally taught my parents how to use Skype. Its one of my favourite things in the world, I love seeing my family and I always come offline with a huge smile on my face. My friends rarely use it which is quite disappointing but I value it so much. I still can't get my head round the fact that its free! Below is my little brothers pretending they are cute haha! 

A Good Cook Book 
Cook Books are something I welcome at Christmas, I think they are awesome presents for students. My personal favourite is Goks Wok, which my Mam got me last Christmas. When first starting uni I lived off chips and freezer food and it can be so good cooking something from scratch on a free day - it usually works out cheaper too. If you have no cook books currently, use BBC Good Food, that's an awesome website and you can create an online scrapbook which I find quite handy. 

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Halloween Ideas!

So this week I've been looking at Pinterest to find some awesome ideas for Halloween goodies. I was planning on making some cakes for this post but my student budget was a bit restricting *boooooo*.
However, I did make some ghost bananas one of my favourite finds this week and this idea was posted by Poundland! So simple, yet so nice! Chop a banana in half, put two chocolate chip eyes and a chocolate button mouth!

image source:
They are literally so easy and similar stuff can be done with other fruit, for example, dip some strawberries in white chocolate and after the have set, use icing to make skull faces. The creativity is endless! I've also seen people carve out satsumas, then carve faces similar to a pumpkin, the size of them makes them perfect as a table decoration!

I've made these simple milk carton ghosts, which I think look pretty good!
- Draw a face on your carton preferably with a black sharpie.
- Once you've done this cut out the bottom of the milk carton
- Place a white light underneath and switch off the lights!
Milk Carton Ghost Decoration

I've also had the opportunity to dress up this week for work. I'm employed in a fancy dress 80's bar, so this week we went for the THRILLER theme! I didn't have a lot of options for clothing, but made effort with my facepaint and bought some all-black contact lenses from a local fancy dress shop. For me, I felt the contacts were a great addition to the look and I would recommend them to anyone! I bought some last year as well and I've never had problems with them. Many people worry about the online ratings and reviews, I usually do take these into account but from personal use they have been fine for me! The only thing I dislike about them is how long it takes to get them in, I must have been trying to get them in for 40 or so - just as a pre-warning it's not as easy as it may seem!

Thriller Theme at work.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

BOO! It's nearly Halloween!

In all honesty this week I've struggled to think of a blog post that I could share with you guys. So as it's upcoming to Halloween I've decided to share last years photos! It was my first Halloween that I have really celebrated all-out. My family don't really get into it and I was never allowed to trick or treat as a kid :(
Last year was my first year I even carved a Pumpkin, dedicated to my favourite Disney character Stitch (of course). My outfit was pretty basic, I went for a candy-skull approach although this year, I'm invited to a few parties, so I'll definitely be making more effort with my outfit. My friend Emily, looked amazing, you'll see her in the photos as a pumpkin! If anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear them - the more creative the better! I've been looking at some Halloween recipes to share on here, the cupcakes I have in mind are pretty cool, I have a few other themed goodies to try out, they'll be up here next week!
Whilst I'm sharing some photos, if you want to check out my Instagram, feel free! @rachelxsewell

What's your plans for Halloween?

Rach x

My and my housemates last year (minus Jordan)

The Pumpkins! Stitch is mine! (to the left) and Liza's Dragon

Me and Em at a uni Halloween party last year

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Disney on Ice!

So if you're young at heart, you will undoubtedly be a Disney fan. I'm now 19 and there's nothing I love more than snuggling up in my duvet and singing along to the songs of Frozen or watching a Pixar hit.
Today, I went to Disney on Ice at Metro Radio Arena and I have to admit, the show is fantastic! On arrival I was surrounded by little girls in Disney Princess outfits - it was adorable! But, you could put any age person in that room and they would love it! I went with my Gran, Aunty, younger brothers and cousins and we all had a favourite moment of the show - mine being Mulan, I'm in love with the songs from that film.
I managed to get a few snaps of the action (sadly not great quality as they were taken on my phone), but if you are a Disney fan I would highly recommend this show, tickets are reasonably priced too, we paid £28 each and we had a perfect view of the whole show. However merchandise (as you can imagine) is pretty steep in price.
Celebrating 100 years of Disney is pretty spectacular, but every year there is a different theme to the show every year, last year was Disney Princesses, I'm hoping for a Pixar one soon!

Sunday, 5 October 2014

My first ever post!

So today I've finally got round to launching my blog and what better way to start than with a family favourite recipe.
The pasta based dish is so easy to make and ideal for a student house hold its basically the left overs in the fridge and a tin of chopped toms. Pasta is one of the cheapest dishes to make however the jarred sauces can often be pricey. My Mam was taught the recipe at school and I love it! I even managed to get it published in a book of 'simple recipes' when I was in primary school, I was such a geek.

So on with the cooking!

What you need (Based on 1/2 servings):
Tin of Toms (chopped)
Few slices of bacon (I had 2)
Handful of mushrooms,
Onion (optional)
and your fave pasta!

Chop up the bacon, mushrooms and onions and put in a pan (medium heat) with a little bit of oil. Don't allow the ingrediants to fry, literally have them in for a minute or so.
Boil the kettle and put on your pasta.
Add the tin of toms to your chopped-up ingrediants and leave to simmer for about 20 minutes. During this time add a pinch of herbs and mix in.
At this point there is not much more to do other than wait - or bang in the garlic bread and grate some cheese, but make sure you keep checking the pasta to see if it is cooked and the occasional stir of your sauce.
Once your pasta is fully cooked your sauce will be too, the bacon will have fully cooked through.

If pasta isn't your thing, this makes a great pizza topping and if I have any sauce left over, I plonk it on some toast.

I'll be posting ever Sunday, thanks for reading :)

Rach x