Tuesday, 31 December 2013

The Best Of 2013

A note from Joelle... 

♫ ♪ 'Where Are You Now?' - Honor Society ♫ ♪

I will try to keep this post short and sweet, but it will be really hard. This year has been one of the best years of my life and I couldn't be happier right now! Lots of amazing things happened and I got to experience things I never thought I would...
September Fashion Week | Lost in the woods | I went to Byron Burger a lot this year! | BBC Proms | Flying to and from uni | Breakfast at The Baltica Cafe in Lewes | MOBO Awards in Glasgow | Fun in London with Amani | Milkshakes with Hannah | The gang at roller disco! | Hannah and I at a concert | I look at rocks at uni everyday | Cat and I meeting Henry Holland! | Camping at Mumford & Sons | London OOTD | View of the city from the library | Laduree macarons | On the catwalk at LFW | My funky roller skates | Eating another Byron Burger | Linette and I on a parade float | Meeting the Spice Girls with Jemma | Confetti| Beautiful fashion show | Cheers!
Music: I camped for three nights at a mini music festival with my sister and her uni friend. It was the best experience ever and the weather was perfect. This year I saw: Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Vampire Weekend, Johnny Flynn, Nina Nesbitt, Rudimental, Fuse ODG, AlunaGeorge, Laura Mvula (twice), Professor Green, Ella Eyre, Tinie Tempah, The Vaccines, So Solid Crew, Iggy Azalea, A*M*E, Fake Club, Charlie XCX and Skepta. Whoooa that's a lot of performers in a year! 
I also went to the BBC Proms three times and saw some great orchestral performances as well as the very first Urban and Gospel Proms!
I also started my music blog 'Tempo Tribe' and you can find it HERE!
Theatre: Going to the theatre is a massive part of my life and I don't think I will ever stop going! This year I saw 'One Man, Two Guv'nors''Viva Forever', 'Singin' In The Rain''Othello', 'Loserville''The Amen Corner''ONCE' and 'A Comedy Of Errors'. I will try to see some shows in Aberdeen, but uni work will always come first.
Food: Judging by the fact that I gained half a stone this year, I definitely made and ate some great food. From the help of my many recipe books, YouTube and my own original recipes I really made use of my kitchen. 
My Oreo truffles got luxurious with the addition of chopped hazelnuts and white chocolate, mmmmmm.
I also tried my hand at making pies (with pastry from scratch) and made chicken, bakewell, whoopie, apple, lemon meringue, blackberry, chocolate and custard.
And boy, did I bake a lot of cake too! Raspberry and white chocolate cupcakes and blondies for Breast Cancer Awareness. As well as Magic Custard Cakes (original and chocolate version)! 
I did lots of non-bake healthy foods as well such as cooking with seafood, fish, soups, salads (I now live off couscous salads!) and smoothies!
Fashion: I experiments more with fashion this year and wore clothes that I would never have worn before (e.g. jazzy prints, large beanie hats, leather leggings). I embraced more colour into my life and wore lots of whites, greens and orange, which is a HUGE step up from my normal blacks and greys! 
After going to both seasons at London Fashion Week, I realised that it's a really exciting atmosphere, but is also really, really lonely if you go alone. But I am still really grateful to have been invited to shows and also review shows for the British Style Bloggers.
I also went to Graduate Fashion Week with Cat, which opened my eyes to the real fashion industry and how talented uni grads are! We also met Henry Holland and saw Hilary Alexander, which was fabulous! 
My friends and I attended Aberdeenshire Fashion Week, which showcased amazing local talent too.
This year, I have learnt so much about the industry and how hard people work to make it a success! It's not just watching models go down a catwalk!
Beauty: I am still not a makeup lover, but I'm getting there. I FINALLY got my eyebrows threaded this week and I cried with pain. But as they say "Beauty is pain" and they now have shape!
I think I own every nail polish colour under the sun and tried my hand (ha, pun) at a lot of nail art. Most were a total fail, but I will just try again next year and make sure I get it right! 
I am a big fan of skincare and I tried to keep my complexion in tip-top shape so that I didn't need a lot of makeup. From reading lots of beauty blogs, I discovered the foods I need to eat more of in order to maintain this good skin too. 
Other Highlights: 
 - Meeting 4/5ths of the Spice Girls (I will shut up about this eventually, I promise!)
 - Becoming an Access All ASOS Insider
 - Trying out Roller Disco (which I sucked at), which was fun!
 - Reaching a huge page view milestone
 - Shortlisted for 'Fashion Blogger Of The Year'!!!!! YEAHBOY! That was amazing even though I didn't win.
 - Changing my hair colour. I officially went brunette and this was a big deal for me as I have never changed my hair colour.

Thanks for following me on my 2013 journey. I promise that 2014 will be bigger and better! :)
How was 2013 for you? Let me know below!
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Sunday, 29 December 2013

Blogging 101 Part 5: Understanding Blogging Terms

A note from Joelle... 

♫ ♪ 'The Middle' - Jimmy Eat World ♫ ♪

This post is similar to the one I wrote for the British Style Bloggers page, which you can find HERE!
When I started blogging, I didn't have a clue about all of these terms and phrases! I was too embarrassed to ask more established bloggers incase I looked like an idiot, so I just googled most of them in the early days! 
laptop
source
Whether you have been blogging for ages or have just started, it's a good idea to get clued up on basic lingo, as some people in the industry expect you to understand and use them fluidly. You might already know a few from this list, but it’s still worth a little read. Blogging can seem like a foreign language at times! 
Affiliate – A marketing strategy by brands/companies to form a relationship with bloggers. These programs work by the blogger endorsing a certain product (which is gifted to them) and in return, the company receives backlinks/followers/traffic from the blog. Other schemes work where a blogger is given a discount code from their readers and often gains a small percentage of commission from every purchase from that code.
A/W - 'Autumn/ Winter' - in the fashion world, the seasons are bonded together like this. For example, the most recent fashion weeks in February were showcasing AW13 collections.
Backlinks (also known as ‘inbound links’) – These are incoming links to your blog. They are very important in terms of SEO because, the  more backlinks your blog has, the higher up in the Google rankings it is.
Blog Button - A virtual business card made from and HTML code and a picture. Lots of bloggers do ‘button swaps’, which consists of placing each other’s blog buttons on their blogs to gain more exposure and traffic. The HTML 'grab box' allows readers to copy your blog code onto theirs.
Blog Hops - A link-sharing scheme where you leave your link and blog name and check out the other blogs on the hop. It's a great way to find new blogs, but don't join if there are too many rules.
Blogroll - A list (often with clickable links) of other blogs that a blogger reads/is familiar with.
#BBloggers - ‘Beauty Bloggers’ tag on twitter. The main chat is 20.00pm BST on Sundays.
Bounce Rate - How long people stay on your blog once they find it. This is shown as a percentage on Google Analytics.
CAPTCHA - A type of word verification that reader have to fill out before leaving a comment. It's to catch out spammers and bots, but can be very frustrating for legit readers if they get it wrong. You can remove it on Blogger by going to settings > Posts & comments > show word verification > no
Custom Domain - A website URL that you have customised by paying for it For example, my original blog domain was www.februarygirlldn.blogspot.com. I bought a shorter domain for a small fee and changed it to www.febgirl.co.uk. 
Disclosure - a short paragraph or sentence explain blogger morale (such like a small-print statement).  It could state things such as pledging to give honest reviews and state sourced and gifted items. Very similar to terms and conditions all companies must have by law.
#FBloggers - ‘Fashion Bloggers’ tag on twitter. The chat is Saturdays 8pm British time

#FF - This is a twitter tag that stands for 'Follow Friday. Every Friday some people on twitter give a shoutout to people they think everyone should follow. So if you get a notification with #FF in it, it's all good and you might want to say a little 'thank you'! 
Followers - People who follow your blog by signing up to either Google Friend Connect, Bloglovin' or another network. There is a difference between followers and readers though
Haul – Bloggers from across the spectrum often post an article/video on what they have bought over a certain period of time. They sometimes describe the product and the nature of its purchase.
HTML - Four letters that spreads fear upon most blogger’s faces. It stands for ‘Hypertext Markup Language,’ and is a coded system that can allow bloggers to create many cool designs, tags, colours fonts and links! There are LOADS  for self-help guides on the web to make HTML less scary to novices.
Keywords – Words and phrases that describe you blog post. For example a review you wrote about a new lipgloss could have the keywords: ‘lips, beauty, make-up, high street, Rimmel‘ attached to it. The more keywords you have, the easier it is for people using search engines to find your article/blog.
#LBloggers - ‘Lifestyle Bloggers’ tag on twitter. The main twitter chat is 19.00pm BST on Sundays.
Meetup - An event where bloggers get together to socialise. This could just be for a few drinks to discuss all things blogger or a big party in the city.
Monetisation - A way to make money from your blog. This could be through AdSense accounts, sponsored blog posts, affiliate links, etc.
Niche - The little ‘spark’ that makes your blog stand out. Finding your blog niche in such an 'oversaturated' community can be hard, but you're not usually the one who finds it – it’s your readers that do.

#NOTD - Nails Of The Day (as in nail art)
OOTD -  'Outfit Of The Day’, a regular hashtag and blog title for fashion bloggers to showcase their daily outfits.
Platform - Virtual networks such as: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr, Pinterest… the list is endless!
SEO - ‘Search Engine Optimisation’ refers to techniques used to give a post or a blog a better ranking in search engine results. For example, this can be done by repeating key words and phrases or by having lots of inbound links. Sadly, lots of fake companies have caught onto the blogger/SEO craze and offer bloggers ‘exclusive SEO packages’ in order to improve blogger rankings on Google. If you receive emails asking you to pay hundreds for this service, it is probably a scam and you should not provide them with your details!
Spam - Annoying and unwanted comments that want to leave backlinks/promote their crappy site on your blog. It's usually stuff that has nothing to do with your blog and are easy to spot. Check out my Funny Spam Comments feature HERE!
S/S - Spring/Summer. Fashion Week in September will be showcases SS collections.
#TBloggers - 'Teen Bloggers' tag on twitter
Vlog - A 'video log' (usually on Youtube) where a vlogger talks to a camera instead of writing thoughts on a blog.
#WIWT - 'What I Wore Today'. It is also a popular outfit lookbook site created by Poppy Dinsey
YouTuber - A person (or group) that have a Youtube channel and update it regularly.
Was this glossary helpful to you in any way? I would love to know if you want another word/phrase added! Sharing is caring! Happy blogging!
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Saturday, 28 December 2013

Christmas In Pictures

A note from Joelle... 

♫ ♪ 'WARM THIS WINTER' - GABRIELLA CILMI ♫ ♪

Instead of doing a Month In Pictures post for December, I want to share with you a few snaps I took during the lead up to Christmas Day. This is the best time of the year and flying home to be with my family was the best thing ever. Now, I can't wait for the new year and seeing what it has in store. Enjoy!
Gift wrapping // Lots of gifts under the tree // Chilling with mulled wine and apple pies! // Massive Christmas Candle // Christmas Dinner Table // Let It Snow! // Barry M Matte 'Caramel' Polish // Our black Christmas tree! // Carol concert at Wembley!
Merry Christmas and a happy New Year folks!
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Friday, 27 December 2013

The 'Deen Scene: Cocktails in Korova

A note from Joelle... 
The fabulous thing about living in Aberdeen is that there is a place to unwind on almost every corner of the city. 
I am on a quest to try out as many bars/kitchens as I can before I graduate in two year's time! It can be done, right?

After a rather stressful day, D and I stopped at Korova Bar and Kitchen for some fruity refreshments.
It's located on Bridge Street, just a few seconds away from the hustle-and-bustle of Union Street. You can even see the harbour from outside!
 D, being a real diva, ordered a Pina Colada, which wasn't even on the menu. Nonetheless, the staff made it for her much to our surprise!
 Someone's happy!
 I was a little less adventurous and went for a frozen daiquiris 
There was a bit more ice in there than I wanted, but it was still quite nice and refreshing
The bar (at street level) is open in the day for cocktails and lunch. It was nice to see the staff welcoming back their 'regulars' and also helping D and I choosing our cocktails
There is also a really cool mural on the wall by the basement stairs.
We didn't go down, but heard there's another 'klub' with a more chilled vibe, big leather sofas and mood lighting.
This bar is owned by local people and is a great place to come for live alternative gigs at night and meals/cocktails during the day
If you are ever in the 'Deen, come down to Korova! You'll probably find me on a comfy sofa in the corner sipping on more cocktails!
18 Bridge Street
AB11 6JJ
Aberdeen
01224582828
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Thursday, 26 December 2013

Spiced Custard Tart

A note from Joelle... 
Happy Boxing Day! Good luck if you are braving the shopping madness! If, like me you are chilling at home re-watching Christmas TV (and eating leftovers!) and possibly baking, then this is for you! The festive scent of nutmeg is amazing and this recipe is so delicious! 


Shortcrust pastry:
225g Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
Plain white flour
100g Caster Sugar
1 Large egg
Crumb together the butter and flour together with your hands until it forms small, golden crumbs.
Mix in the egg and sugar (and a little milk if needed) to form the dough.
Knead it a bit until it takes shape that wrap in clingfilm and put in the fringe until rolling out time.
Roll out and place into a greased pie dish. Prick the base with a fork or add baking beans to prevent it rising up in the oven.
Bake at
200 degrees until golden brown, then set aside.

Custard Filling:

2 Large Eggs and 2 more egg yolks
Caster Sugar
Pinch of Nutmeg
Warm Single Cream
Pinch of cornflour
Warm the cream in a pan until it simmers gently. Then take it off the fire and set aside for a moment.
Whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl and pour into the pie crust. Bake at 180 degrees until the centre is firm (25 mins)!

You can serve warm, but it tastes less 'eggy' if you leave it chilling in the fridge for a few hours. Serve with anything grin double cream to fresh fruit!


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Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

A note from Joelle... 

♫ ♪ 'Oh Holy Night' - Mariah Carey ♫ ♪

 ~ "It is the night of our dear Saviour's birth!"
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE! 
I hope you have a fabulous day however you celebrate it. 
Even though this is a scheduled post, I know that I'm currently stuffing my face with Christmas food and having an awesome time with my family!
Christmas is the time for giving and forgiving (see what I did there?), so I'm shaking off my winter blues and taking it easy, and I hope you are too!
Happy holidays!
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Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Mini Apple & Cinnamon Pies!

A note from Joelle... 
 I am really not a fan of mince pies, to be honest. So today, I decided to make mini apple pie instead! I was happy that was crisp and I didn't have a 'soggy bottom' (Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry would be so proud!).
Shortcrust pastry:
225g Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
Plain white flour
100g Caster Sugar
1 Large egg
Crumb together the butter and flour together with your hands until it forms small, golden crumbs.
Mix in the egg and sugar (and a little milk if needed) to form the dough.
Knead it a bit until it takes shape that wrap in clingfilm and put in the fringe until rolling out time.
Cut out into circle shapes and place in greased moulds (I used a normal muffin tin).

Apple Filling:
Four large apples - after I peel them, I carry on peeling the apple so I get nice, wafer-thin slices. It cooks better this way! (Bramley are the best)
Squeeze of lemon
50g Caster sugar
Pinch of Cinnamon
Add all the ingredients into a pan and stir until cooked and soft.
Then scoop the filling into each pastry case and bake for 25 mins at 180 degrees!
 Serve on their own or with custard, cream or icecream! The apple-cinnamon smell wafting around the room is sensational! 
... And it's swell with mulled wine too! 
 Bon appetit! And have a very merry Christmas! 
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Monday, 23 December 2013

O Night Divine

A note from Joelle... 

♫ ♪ 'Mary's Boy Child' - Boney M  ♫ ♪

Last Friday night, my sisters and I hopped on a train to London (Wembley to be exact) for the annual Hillsong Church Christmas Carol Concert. It is held in Wembley Area every year and there's never an empty seat, so we got there early to queue up! 
Not going to lie, I must have looked miserable when I arrived, but I still get kind of etchy in huge, cramped areas! But I'm working on that! After a group of us took a quick trip to McDonald's, we were good to go!
Once we got in, there was a 12,500-strong Mexican wave taking place! I love stuff like that!
I love going to carol services, but this one is like no other! The live music is really original, this year with a 'Great Gatsby' version of 'Silent Night', a drummer version of 'O Come All Ye Faithful' and even an amazing Gospel version of 'O Holy Night'.
The lighting was stunning and the dancers/musicians were amazing and it was a total honour to be there once again. 
 It even snowed!
Did I mention it was a FREE event? SO awesome! 
It was great to remember why we celebrate Christmas too, and remember the amazing story of the birth of the King of Kings, Jesus Christ!
I can't wait for next year's show!
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Saturday, 21 December 2013

Beauty Bites: Detangling Comb

A note from Joelle... 
This is new series focusing on the little things in beauty, hair and skincare that are often overlooked! 
Today, I will start with this little bad boy: a de-tangling comb from Lloyds Pharmacy.

I bought it as a mistake because I thought it was a set of two combs, but when I opened and saw it was a weird-looking comb with the teeth overlapped I was going to put it in the drawer and forget about it.
As my natural hair is really curly and coarse, I didn't even dream of using this comb as they pain would have been too much. But when I installed a new weave, this comb really helped to keep in knot-free, silky and smooth!
The overlapped teeth are more effective in de-tangling knots because they can't fit between the teeth!
Mine was from a pharmacy, but I am sure you can purchase from places like Boots, Superdrug and independent pharmacies.
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Thursday, 19 December 2013

FEBGIRL'S WINTER GIVEAWAY!

A note from Joelle... 
I'm a big bundle of love this Winter, as it's the festive season, so I have decided to giveaway some products that I have been loving over the past year!
Want to win all of this?
Fill out the rafflecopter widget below and you could WIN all of this in the New Year!!
General T&Cs are also in the widget and this is an INTERNATIONAL giveaway!
GOOD LUCK! :)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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* The contest is now over and the winner has been notified!! *
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Tuesday, 17 December 2013

What's In My Bag? An Update!

A note from Joelle...
I did a 'What's In My Bag' post aaaages ago and I thought it was time for a fresh new post. So here is a quick update for you lovely people!

The Bag: This little baby is from La Moda and was just £20 - can you believe it? Plus, it's big enough to fit all my uni folders in it and has lots of compartments!

Contents:
1 - Purse: This was a birthday gift from a friend and it's from New Look. I love the pattern on it.
2 - Big Notebook: As a writer, I need this to jot down my ideas and I make lots of lists
3 - Rocks and Mineral book - You never know when you need to identify a rock or mineral!
4 - Mirror: We all need a wee mirror
5 - Anais Anais Perfume: A beautiful floral scent that my Mum got me into. The review is coming soon.
6 - Travel Flask: One of the best purchases EVER! It can keep hot drinks warm for an hour and it was only from Primark!
7 - Vaseline: I bought the Pink Bubbly limited edition at it's launch in London and I absolutely love it! See my review HERE!
8 - CARGO Foundation Brush: I don't usually wear makeup to uni, but when I want to dab on a bit, I use this amazingly smooth brush.
9 - Rimmel Lash Accelerator Mascara: This is the best mascara I have ever used. I have fine lashes and this gets every single one and coats it evenly!
10 - London Retro Glasses: I really like these quirky frames and did a review on them HERE.
11 - Phone/Earphones: A necessity! I can't bear it if I leave either or both at home!
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Monday, 16 December 2013

New Look Red Carpet Competition

A note from Joelle... 

♫ ♪ 'Right There' - Ariana Grande ft. Big Sean ♫ ♪

New Look are holding a special Christmas blogger competition! We have to style a Christmas party look (with clothes from New Look's Party Collection range) inspired by a celebrity red carpet outfit! The winner will receive  £100 worth of New Look vouchers! And there are also some fab runner up prizes!
If you would like to enter or find out the T&Cs, click HERE

Ariana Grande at the MTV Movie Awards 2013:
Ariana always looks amazing on red carpets and opts for short cocktail dresses most of the time. 
I chose her outfit because it's versatile and can be worn night and day as the shape and detailing isn't too complicated. Ariana has brought back the girly prom dress look on red carpets, which is a refreshing alternative to sultry, revealing gowns we see on other celebs all the time.
Wearing whites and metallic colours is a great option for Christmas time, if black isn't your thing!
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Sunday, 15 December 2013

New Look x ASOS Heels

A note from Joelle... 
I only buy a new pair of shoes if my other pairs are literally falling apart and unwearable. My favourite platform heels were on their last legs so I took this opportunity to snap up a new pair! I searched on ASOS, my favourite outlet and found this pair, which looked amazing. To make things even better I had a voucher I won from the #TonightIs campaign, which I used to purchase them (my wallet rested easy that night!).
 New Look Scarper Strap Platform Heeled Sandals
It can be seen as odd buying open-toed heeled sandals in the Winter, but these are so versatile - promise! I have bought some cute, frilly white socks to wear with them and well as really thick tights for those Arctic conditions that the whole UK is under at the moment!
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