Thursday, 28 May 2015

The 'Deen Scene: Aberdeen Art Gallery Extreme Makeover

A note from Joelle... 

♫♪ 'Lean On' - Major Lazer (feat. MØ) ♫♪

Aberdeen Art Gallery closed down for two years of refurbishment last month (boo!). But they threw a HUGE closing down party for FREE (YAY!).
Here's what went down...
 These women!! 10/10 for costumes!
On a warm Friday evening my friends and I queued a good 30 minutes early in order to avoid being turned away. 
The Facebook event page showed that about 9K people from across the Granite City were coming to this event, so we made sure we were one of the first people in the queue.
After about 20 minutes of waiting, the doors opened out and we were allowed in.
Honestly it was like stepping through a wardrobe into a cultured version of Narnia.
Instead of mystical creatures, people with unique masks roams around. And every room had a different event.

When got fake tattoos, drank too many cocktails, performed as a flash mob, wrote our dreams onto the gallery walls, took part in 18th Century ballroom dancing and make post-apocalyptic sculptures from clay. If that's not a completely random everience, I don't know what is!
 Because the building was closing down for a few years, they let us write on the walls!
 "Where do you see yourself when the gallery reopens in 2.5 years?"
I said: "employed, in London, happy."
 C left this wonderful message on the wall.
 Next up was clay art!
 E got creative and made a withered tree
I would show you a picture of my clay wilted flower, but it was shit.
These cocktails were incredibly strong, but still so delicious (even with raw kale on top!)
Later in the evening, C and I  put on our dancing shoes and attempted to do an 18th Century ballroom dance routine....
 Squad on fleek

I won't be in Aberdeen when the Art Gallery reopens, so RIP for now!

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

21/94: Ali, UK

A note from Joelle... 
 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

1. What was your month of birth in 1994?
The sunny month of July!

2. Where were you born?
Surrey, England

3. Who were your idols or role models when you were a child?
 It might sound cliché but definitely my mum. I looked up to her a lot when I was younger and would always think “well what would mum do?” and don’t tell her this but I still do!

4. Name your favourite singer/band from your childhood (the cringier the better!).
 I remember liking the band STEPS when I was really little, I think I even went to see them in concert with my mum and sister lol!

5. What did you want to be when you were younger? 
A superhero for sure, what child doesn’t one time in their life?

6. Do you still want to go into that profession? 
Um well not exactly haha! I want to have a career in IT, I've always been the techy type and liked fixing things as a child even now so seems like the perfect thing for me.

7. What were you like as a teenager?
 I was shy but still a typical teenager to be honest. People I didn't know well couldn’t get much out of me but my friends couldn’t get me to shut up, so really I haven't changed much haha!

8. What was high school like for you? 
I absolutely loved school! I actually loved to learn (I know geek alert) and I had a great group of friends who I’m still in contact with now so I never missed a day of school unless I was ill. I will admit though I never liked PE, didn’t enjoy sports much then and was always too lazy to run!

9. How have your dreams and goals changed through your life? 
They haven't changed that much, the only thing I would say that’s changed is how I achieve my dreams! I've wanted to get my degree for a long time but sadly I dropped out of university at the end of last year as I felt like it wasn't for me. I decided to take another route by finishing my degree part time at home instead and look for an entry level job to get me started!

10. How do/did you feel about turning 21 this year?
 Bizarre and unreal, it just feels likes 21 years will have gone by so quickly... Let’s hope the next 21 years doesn't go as quick haha!

11. Is turning 21 a big deal in your opinion?
 Not really, I think in society, turning 21 is important but to be honest I think it’s more of the excitement behind it. To me age is just a number; it’s nice to celebrate when your one year older than you were the day before but apart from that I'm still the same old me!

12. What’s one thing you are looking forward to doing in the next few years?
 I’m looking forward to being able to travel the world A LOT! I want to take maybe a year or two out just to go explore everywhere, well if everything goes to happen.

13. Has anything shocked/surprised you about adulthood so far? 
I was surprised about was how everything my parents said about adulthood were right, they do say parents are always right haha! They always said to me that school days would be the best days of my life and I never believed them till I actually finished school and realised it. Also there are things you simply can't be told beforehand, you have to experience it for yourself when you reach adulthood.

14. Do you have any hobbies or special interests?
 I'm a real bookworm so I have a book with me at all times, I've taken up running (I'm still getting the hang of it), I love to travel obviously and one very new hobby I have is writing so I hope this becomes more long-term.

15. What would you say to a teenager who is worried about adult life? 
It’s easier said than done but it really isn't as daunting as you think, there’s good and bad bits but so does everything. Still make the most of being a teenager though because time flies when you're having fun!

16. If you could give your 13-year-old self a piece of advice, what would it be? 
Not to worry too much about things you can't change and although it might seem scary everything falls into place eventually, trust me on this!

17. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word ‘future’? 
When I hear future let’s say in 5 or 6 years, I think of me having my own place (most like rented), hopefully have a cat by then, got myself up the IT industry ladder and my blog be a create success whether big or small. Okay that’s a couple of things haha!

18. Who are your idols or role models now? 
Well like I said before I still very much look up to my mum. It might sound odd but I also want to be my own role model, wouldn't that be great?

19. What steps are you going to take to make your twenties a smoother ride?
 Allow myself to make a few mistakes and not get so caught up in them as well as taking a step back if I get stressed, no one is perfect and there’s always plan b!

20. In 2015, do you think that life for young adults is optimistic or full of pressures? 
Young adults have so many opportunities but there are still plenty of things that can make it more difficult so I think it’s a mix of both!

21. What sets your generation apart from everyone else? 
We're the generation that can start really making a difference.

Many thanks to Ali for taking part!
You can find her blog HERE
If you were born in 1994 and would like to be interviewed (can be anon), please email me at Please put '21/94' as the subject.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015


A note from Joelle... 

♫ ♪ 'The Greatest' - Raleigh Ritchie ♫ ♪

You know me. 
I love all things culture, and museums top that list. I only have my mother to thank for that. She encouraged my sisters and I to explore places of knowledge and taught my sisters and I that it's perfectly fine to have these interests.
After all, it's the kind of stuff that you can't just learn from a textbook in a classroom.
Museums are about standing face-to-face with the past and appreciating ancient, historical beauty.
I am so grateful for my Mum's encouragement, I can't even put it into words.
Museums (especially the Natural History and Science Museum in South Ken) are my happy places. I still don't know why, but they just are.
In the NH Museum, you're greeted with a huge replica of a Diplodocus skeleton (called Dippy), and in the near distance, you can see Charles Darwin looking down and judging us all.
In the Science Museum, you enter up an escalator and ascend into a huge globe.

I learn a great deal from the artifacts and exhibitions. Some things the school textbooks don't cover, so you have to go and find out for yourself. That kind of culture-seeking should be encouraged more. And with so many places of interest now opening their doors for FREE (e.g. The British, Science and Natural History Museums, as well as the V&A, Museum of London and the Tate Modern).
You are inches away from something that was created hundreds of years ago, by people whose nations now only exist behind glass and underground archives.

This Half Term/Summer holiday, I challenge you to do one simple thing: explore.
Pick a nature reserve/museum/Country Estate and just go there with an open mind! Put your phone on silent (or, dare I say it: switch it off!) and spend the day soaking up the culture with no distractions.
You'd be surprised how much you take away from the experience.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Weekend Trip To London

A note from Joelle... 
Even though I was born and partially bred in London, I still feel like I can be a tourist in my own city. I mean, it's bloody massive so that let's me off the hook a little bit!

My sister and I live in different countries and we only really see each other at Christmas/Easter. So, when we were back home last month, I treated us to what was possibly the best present ever (in my opinion)... MCBUSTED TICKETS!
Now, this was actually a big deal because the first concert we went to together was a McFly concert back in 2006 or 2007. 
And almost 10 years later (and 10 McFly concerts later, for me) we were surrounded by extremely young kids in the O2 Arena, ready to jump around and soak in the nostalgia (#AllTheFeels).
But more about that later.

The kind folks at Travelodge kindly provided my sister and I two night's stay at their Greenwich branch. We checked in before the McBusted Concert
This bed was so soft and comfy, it was actually insane. For a hotel with so many chains across the UK, you wouldn't expect them to put in as much effort into the quality of the beds and linens, but they do!
Standard bathroom pic! 
We tottered around Greenwich and had supper near the Cutty Sark and then wandered around the place until dark.
Breakfast was a lovely mixture of cooked English, cereals and a selection of pastries/muffins.
The breakfast staff were so friendly and chirpy - puts you in a really good mood!
North Greenwich was only a few stops away on the DLR (oh, the hotel is opposite a tube station , so handy!) and we were an hour early so decided to get some food.

Genuinely so excited for McBusted! 
We saw a place called Busaba Eathai that we had never seen/heard of before, so decided to give it a try.

The atmosphere was so cool! Basically you sit on communal tables and dine with strangers.
I know that sounds so weird and probably not to everyone's liking, but it's actually really cool.
(quick fact: I never order only one drink, I get a selection!)
 My sister when for this king prawn stir fry with coconut rice. Look at those huge prawns!
I went for a noodle dish (Pad Kwetio), which was the DREAM! cooked to perfection! 
 OK so now it's showtime! 
It turns out that we weren't the oldest people there. The boys behind us were in their 30s and the women in front were around the same age as us! 
The girls beside us, bless them didn't know any Busted songs, as they probably weren't born yet!
A lot of 'lads' turned up just as the lights were going down... very sneaky/clever/funny!
But the arena was packed and the boys put on a fabulous show! They never disappoint.
Oh, and i still have a thing for James from Busted... 12 years on!

Many thanks to Travelodge for putting us up for a few nights!

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

The 'Deen Scene: Eclectic Fizz Champagne Bar

A note from Joelle... 
Who says students only like cheap bottles of wine and beans on toast? Naaah, we are all about Champagne brunch these days!
After the end of a terrifying week of exams, my friend Claire and I headed to Eclectic Fizz to unwind and catch up.
This new Champagne Bar opened on Union Street last year and there's been a lot of buzz around it.
Many believe it only caters to the wealthy oil workers, but that's not the case at all! 
Their Brunch & Bubbles menu says otherwise...
We both went for Eggs Benedict with a tall flute of Champagne and guess what? It was £10...A TENNER! 

What a beauty!
 Lashing of creamy Hollandaise sauce, a nest of fresh rocket, soft muffins and the most delicious smoked salmon ever. Not forgetting the poached egg that was cooked so well.Can you believe this was my first Eggs Benedict?
I finally get the hype!
Claire went for the the bacon version and it looked incredible.
Next up was something a little sweeter. You guys know me, if it's one thing that I'm into Bubbly, but my love for crepes is on another level!
Just look at them! Mine was packed with Nutella and shavings of white chocolate, which oozes out as I cut into the crepe. Having a nice vanilla ice cream on the side made it even better. There's something about mixing warm with cold that really works with puddings!
 Claire went for strawberries and Prosecco crepes (ooh, fancy)

The staff are incredibly friendly and charming - really refreshing.
The only thing Claire and I were a tad bit confused about was the fact that you can reserve a table online at 11.00am and 11.15 (which was the time we wanted), but the place does not open for brunch until 11.30.
We had to wait for 30 minutes in the shop next door to pass the time, which was a KFC!

Nonetheless we will be back. I mean with over 40 different sparkling wines and Champagne on tap, this could easily be our new hangout!
50 Union Street
AB10 1QX

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

The 21/94 Project

A note from Joelle... 
Everyone born in 1994 will turn the grand old age of 21 this year. 
The last of the 90s Kids.
We are the same age as Mariah Carey’s Christmas Album, Pulp Fiction, The Lion King and errr Justin Bieber…
Hitting 21 is the real start of adulthood and marks the beginning of the future for most of us. But what does it mean to those turning 21 today, in this world we live in?

In this series, I chat to a wide variety of 94ers about their life and plans for the future. Enjoy!
Every week will feature a different interview from people from all over the world. 
I'm interested to see if they share similar aspirations for our emerging generation, fears for the future and ambitions!
I hope you enjoy the little project!
First interview out this Thursday!


Monday, 11 May 2015

Metal & Dust

A note from Joelle... 

♫♪ 'Metal & Dust' - London Grammar ♫♪

Don't you just love those hazy (almost) Summer days where you leave your coat/scarf at home and everything instantly feels better?
Well I had one of those days recently, and headed off to London to soak up the atmosphere.
Blazer/Kimono - River Island - fiiiiiiiiinally, a bit of colour in my wardrobe! I bought this last year, but the grey summer of 2014 didn't do it any justice!
Sunglasses - ASOS - I'm done with almost 3 years of circular frames. Now it's all about the semi-rounded cat eyes. These ones are super-affordable too.
Top - Forever 21 - I know, I know - who wears a brown top? Me, that's who! It's so light and airy, so it rarely makes an appearance.
Wet-look Leggings - Primark
Astrid and Miyu Silver Wishbone Necklace* - JewelStreet
Jewelstreet is a UK site the lets you browse pieces from thousands of jewellery boutiques. There's something for everyone - affordable to investment pieces, costume to lux!
As a jewellery fanatic, it's now my first online port of call when I'm looking for new jewellery pieces for girfts... and for myself.
I'm so used to wearing really elaborate costume jewellery, but stripping it back with this shiny, pretty pendant was a good shout.
Even though it's a dainty thing, I've been getting a bundle of compliments about this necklace. The way it catches the light is pretty cool. Isn't she a beauty?
Even the box it came in was a beautiful black, simple design. Love it!

I took a stroll around Camden with my friend, Elsh and we roamed around the markets and the canals, as the sun beat down. 
As the sun set, we headed to the Almedia to watch Carmen Disruption. It was my second time watching it and I just had to go again (it's brilliant).
Camden Canal
There's something so magical about places like this. Wouldn't it me cool to live here?

Papaya Breakfast Boats

A note from Joelle... 

♫♪'The Tide Is High' - Blondie ♫♪

Papaya Breakfast Boats

There's nothing better than waking up in the morning and lining your grumbling stomach with fresh fruit and good bacteria.
I was really unwell this morning and in my mind, I was craving a nice cooked English breakfast. You know the drill, fried eggs, mushrooms, sausages... But NO! I body needed something to actually make me feel better in the long term, so I made my papaya boat!
I have had this overly-ripe fruit chilling (pardon the pun) at the back of my fridge for a week now, and it was time to give it some luuurve.

You will need:
1 ripe papaya (also known as paw paw), sliced down the middle. They vary in size, mine was just a wee one.
Natural Greek yoghurt (fat-free is OK, but it's not healthier than normal yogurt)
Fresh fruit of your choice - I went for an exotic theme of fresh mango and pineapple, which I sliced up and piled on top.

Slice the papaya lengthways and scoop out the seeds
If you wish, you can also scoop out the papaya flesh and mix it in with the other fruit. That way, you have more space for the yoghurt
Pour in your yoghurt
Pile on your fruit on top of the yoghurt
Drizzle on some honey (optional)

All that's left is to dig in and enjoy!

If you try this, let me know what you think! Of course, you can use any combination of fruit and healthy yoghurt!

Saturday, 9 May 2015


A note from Joelle... 


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Courses range from Marketing, Branding, Business Planning to Financial Support and are super interactive and flexible for you to complete in your own time. 

They're run by professional institutions like Founder Centric, University of Cambridge and University College London 

Talia, 18 did the Size up your idea and has now started her business plan for her The Talent AgencyI would never have got started without doing the course”. 

Both Layla (Quizcats) and Hayel (Word on the Curb) completed the Marketing Course and both agreed that having an actual marketing strategy has improved their businesses more than they ever imagined.  “I am on my third course as I am finding them really useful – especially as I am a creative not a business person.” - Layla, 24 

Completing courses also means rewards! The Digital Business Academy work with over 43 industry partners including Microsoft Ventures, Ogilvy and the BBC. Partners are offering amazing opportunities to those who complete the courses. Paid internships, mentorship, specialist content, and free start-up support like fast-track to start-up loans and free co-working space are all there to support you and your ambition! 

DBA is helping loads of people across the country realise their potential and take charge of their future! 

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