5 PRODUCTIVE THINGS TO DO ON A LONG DAILY COMMUTE

Boots // Carvela at Kurt Geiger | Jeans // Zara | Coat // New Look (no longer available, but similar here)

I am now in my third year of uni and for the last year I have commuted each day… 3 hours there, 3 hours back. You maths genius’ would’ve worked out that I travel 6 hours a day when I’m scheduled to go into uni. That’s around 3 times a week. So I guess I would consider myself a bit of a pro when it comes to travelling – my journey includes a car journey to the station, a train, a tube and another train to the campus – and during this time, especially now that I’m reaching the most crucial part of my course, I have found a few ways of staying productive on the commute.

If you travel 6 hours a day like me or just 15 minutes, let that time be productive!

  1. Read a book
    This one is something that I’ve always done without even thinking about it, I read for fun – I always have a book to read, I have to finish any book that I start, even if I’m hating it. Weird OCD habit. The train is a great place to read because you can really zone out from all the chaos of rush hour and escape into your own little world.
  2. Meditation
    Staying on the theme of escaping into your “own little world”, I have mastered the art of meditation on public transport. No weird “ohm-ness” going on with my legs crossed or anything like that, but for the past few months I’ve really become a fan of the Calm app. It’s a guided meditation app that’s really easy to follow and just allows your mind to switch off from everything around you. Earphones in, world out.
  3. Brain training
    Something which might not seem entirely productive is brain training. There have been times when I’ve been so tired on my commute that I’ve become a victim of the fall-asleep-head-roll-mouth-open gaze that seems to affect the best of us (only the very best, apparently) and so I’ve found that doing a sudoku or crossword puzzle helps to keep my brain alive and awake, as well as keeping my eyes open. And besides, something that is training your brain and making you think hard that early in the morning can only ever be a good thing, right?
  4. GET WORK DONE!
    I’m not one to sit on the train on my laptop, mainly because I can’t be bothered to lug around my MacBook with me all day, but I do find that if I’ve made notes on something I aim to do when I get home, or if I’ve read a few chapters of a book I’m studying for my dissertation, then I always feel much better and productive once I’m off the train. It’s amazing how much you can get done when you’re on a train with no distractions. Of course, if you really want to work on your laptop on the train then that’s great and totally admirable, I only wish my laptop wasn’t so heavy so I could do the same!
  5. Make a to-do list
    My last point is probably my favourite and most-used. Making a to-do list is so productive for me because it allows me to really plan my time well. Travelling to and from uni every day can take it’s toll on my productivity levels because travelling is so tiring. When I get home I tend to just want to sit around and catch up on Mad Men, but having a list of things that I need to get done helps me to focus. Ticking things off the list is so satisfying that I find that this alone is enough to make me want to reluctantly click away from Netflix and do some work!

Of course there are days when all I want to do on my commute is listen to music, zone out and pretend I’m in a totes-emosh music video whilst gazing out of the window (probably listening to Adele, just to be a total cliché), but I’m trying my best to keep those days to a minimum and try something productive instead.

What do you do on a long commute, I’d love to try some of your ideas – I have another 6 months of commuting ahead of me!

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THE HANDBAG THAT EVERYBODY NEEDS IN THEIR LIFE.

After getting a new job (yay!), being totally stressed out at how much uni work I have to do, as well as keeping on top of things on my blog (which has been a bit lax lately – sorry about that) I decided to make one of those “treat myself” purchases, a new handbag. Now it’s nothing spectacularly expensive, but unnecessary enough for me to feel a bit naughty walking out of the store. It is, of course, from Zara.

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I’d seen this bag in Zara for a good few weeks now, tried it on, put it back. Tried it on, looked in the mirror, changed the length of the chain, put it back etc etc. for the past few weeks now and after a long weekend of working, I decided to to pick it up, try it on, look in the mirror and BUY IT.

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Justifiable-for-purchase features include: Durable, classic and damn beautiful ridging and quilting on the fabric (it isn’t leather, however it really feels like it, such great quality), a sturdy clasp, two interior pockets for the 14 MAC lipsticks that I’m likely to ‘need’ in there, and a double-length chain that you can have long as a cross-body bag, or short as a shoulder bag. I actually prefer it as a shoulder bag with the double chain, I think it tends to work better on me like that as the longer chain reaches almost down to my knee. #shortgirlproblems

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Let’s face it, I don’t think that I’ll ever be able to afford a Chanel, so this is my next best thing. It’s not a complete carbon copy, and well within its own rights in design, however it does have that classic shape, size and stature of a high-class (and high price tag) designer handbag. And at only £39.99 I think it’s a bit of a steal.

MY FAVOURITE WINTER FRAGRANCES

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First of all, I’ll start off by saying that describing fragrances is SO hard. I could get all technical and get the official press releases of these scents and give you a big spiel about the “notes” and “essences”, but I won’t bore you with all that. What I will say is that these are some SEXY ASS FRAGRANCES. Exactly what winter is about.

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Okay, now that’s out of the way, here’s why I love my two favourite winter perfumes. The first one is DIANE by Diane Von Furstenberg. Classy, feminine, powerful and elegant are all very appropriate adjectives for this scent. It’s more of a daytime fragrance that lingers for the whole day without being overly powerful – it’s one that I love to spray in my hair to make the scent last even longer. If you want to feel like a super-sexy, padded-shouldered, wall street business woman then make this your go-to fragrance.

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My other favourite winter fragrance, and probably my favourite fragrance in general is Tom Ford Noir Extreme. To paint an image for you it smells exactly like those rich Arab ladies stepping out of their chauffeur-driven Rolls’ straight into Harrods. It’s a super-rich smelling fragrance that smells EXACTLY like Selfridges beauty hall (does anyone know if this is the scent that they actually pump into the air-con?!) This is more of a evening or special occasion scent. It makes me feel so sophisticated, travelled, cultured, wealthy and basically anything that’s not exactly me – and I’m totally up for that. I feel like if I could be a fragrance, it would be this one.

Let me know which fragrances are your winter favourites!

A ‘GLOW’ PRODUCT THAT DOESN’T MAKE YOU OILY?!

Everyone always talks about ‘glowing’. How to get a ‘glow’. Foundations that make you ‘glow’. Get ‘glowing’ skin.

But if I’m honest, as a girl with really oily skin, I can’t think of anything worse that having an intentional ‘glow’. Until now. When I swatched the KIKO Glowing Potion Perfecting Serum in the shop, it seemed different to any other ‘glowy’ primer/serum/base that I’d tried before. It offers a glow, without being too dewy or slick. It really dries down quickly without leaving any feeling of tackiness or slip.

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I use it as a primer, on top of my skincare, but underneath my foundation, and I can honestly say I haven’t noticed any difference in the longevity of my matte complexion throughout the day. My skin stays matte with just a slight luminous sheen on my temples and on top of my cheekbones. I don’t tend to use it across my forehead or down my nose as I tend to get oily here pretty quickly anyway. It’s great for someone who might find certain matte foundations a bit too matte, it really does just lift the complexion.

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The packaging is cute, a slim frosted glass bottle with a really handy pump and rose gold lid – doesn’t that just sound dreamy? At £13.90 for 30ml of product I guess it’s not the cheapest, however it is a whole lot cheaper than some other products that I’ve tried and hated. Definitely a recommendation from me if you have skin that’s on the oilier side.

AUTUMNAL WANT LIST

TRANSITIONALWISHLIST

Autumn is fast approaching, even though I’d desperately holding onto jackets-not-coats and bare legs-not-tights for dear life. Here is a selection of my favourite transitional pieces from the new arrivals for Autumn/Winter 2015.

1 // ASOS | 2 // Zara | 3 // Topshop | 4 // Self Portrait | 5 // Wood Wood | 6 // AllSaints | 7 // H&M | 8 // Warehouse | 9 // Topshop | 10 // Adidas

HAVING A (SLIGHTLY) 70s MOMENT

Walking into Zara at the moment is like walking into a time machine and being taken back to 1974. And I’m not sure how I feel about it. On the one hand I’m into it, I’m all for a fad trend here and there, but on the other hand I’m not. I’ll never be into flares ( At 5’1 I can’t find any to fit anyway), I’ll never be enthusiastic for suede and I hate paisley with a passion. Having said that, I’m all for some new clobber and I found this dress in there today. It says 70s without being too I-wish-I-had-lived-through-woodstock-and-second-wave-feminism-ish. It’s black & white (of course), a great transition piece for autumn, and was only £19.99 (so it doesn’t matter too much if I’m sick of the 70s after two minutes…).
DSC_0087DSC_0090DSC_0089Dress | Zara
Belt | H&M (old – similar here)
Boots | Topshop

OUTFIT | THE LAST SUPPER

Celebrating my 21st birthday in Paris was a dream come true. Paris itself is a dream city, matched by no other. For our last night there, we decided to dress up a little bit more than we had done on the two previous nights. Here I am wearing all items I received for my birthday – this is by far my favourite LBD that I own, and also one of the most inexpensive at £35 from River Island. My clutch is from Nadia Minkoff, its the Pimlico Tassel Clutch and so adorable! I aways love the quality and timelessness of Nadia Minkoff accessories, see a previous post here where I reviewed a handbag from the collection. My watch is from Tissot and was my present from my parents and my sandals are from Zara, my old faithfuls.
I’m already itching to go back to Paris, there are so many sights that we just didn’t get the chance to see, so many restaurants and cafés that we didn’t get a chance to eat in, and so many quaint little back streets that we didn’t have time to walk through.

This concludes my Paris set, see my previous posts for what we got up to, where we ate and what I wore!
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Au Revoir Paris!
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OUTFITS IN PARIS

Dressing for Paris in the at the height of summer can prove to be difficult, starting with the scorching heat in the busiest areas of tourist-laden locations, staying cool is paramount. Cobbled streets in Paris are a feast for the eyes, but a beast for the feet – especially if, like me, you live in sandals in the summer. So staying cool, comfortable and still dressed up enough to feel nice is a formula that’s not so easy to put together. Below is a little rundown of the outfits I wore for our three-day trip.

Top | H&M Skirt | FOREVER 21 Sandals | ZARA

Top | H&M
Skirt | FOREVER 21
Sandals | ZARA

Dress | WAL G at TOPSHOP Shoes | RIVER ISLAND

Dress | WAL G at TOPSHOP
Shoes | RIVER ISLAND

Top | TOPSHOP Skirt | ZARA Shoes | RIVER ISLAND Clutch | ZARA

Top | TOPSHOP
Skirt | ZARA
Shoes | RIVER ISLAND
Clutch | ZARA

DETAILS

DETAILS