Sports Fashion Outlet ‘Nike’ Allies with Muslim Athletes

Ever since the announcement last week about Nike launching the “Pro Hijab” the company have been receiving many mixed messages. The item is a head covering made of stretchy polyester designed for Muslim women whilst exercising. Great, I would have thought, for those top athletes who were previously restricted due to their attire.

Several athletes have already been lucky in some peoples eyes, to trial the product including Olympic hopeful Zahara Lain, a figure skater from the United Arab Emirates.

Although the Nike “Pro Hijab” will not go on sale until next spring – Nike have received a significant amount of both positive and negative criticism.
Negative criticism includes political arguments suggesting Nike are normalising the oppression of women by creating such a product. While other members of the public have threatened to boycott the brand with the release of this product.

Amna Al Hadad, Nike sponsored Olympic weight lifter is another individual who have trialled the product. After she had been struggling to find a head covering both comfortable and appropriate for competitions – Hadad inspired Nike to produce the item. The athlete featured in the Nike 2016 April advertisement wearing this product but without the logo – suggesting that the brand has been conscientious about its release.

The head covering, formerly known as the Hijab is a veil traditionally worn by Muslim women in the presence of adult males, excluding their immediate family. Conventionally the veil covers the women’s head and chest worn by most, as a symbol of modesty and privacy.

In response to the criticism, Nike has responded by saying: “When we spoke to athletes in the region they told us this is what they wanted and needed.

“We worked with a variety of hijabi athletes to test and provide feedback on this product and sought the expert opinion of advocates and the local community to advise on the design and needs of the region.”

This is what student’s at UWE thought about the new product:
Phoebe Somers, 2nd year Marketing student – When I read about this new product, I was thinking more along the lines of ‘Oh that’s such good news that someone like Nike has taken the initiative to design something specifically for the comfort of Muslim Women. Thinking this would finally allow these women to be apart of sports without feeling uncomfortable or restricted by their head wear.’ But I feel like now I feel like that’s quite a naïve way of looking at it and maybe Nike are just exploring new ways of making money…

Charlie Gordon, 3rd year International Relations and Politics student – I think the whole idea is very clever on Nikes part with finding a gap in the market. Nike is a huge American company and can be seen to support and promote wearing the Hijab – which is currently a very controversial topic in the states. But personally I think it is making sport more inclusive for Muslim women. This item may even encourage young Muslim girls to take up sport – knowing a company like Nike wants to support them.

Review: KENZO x H&M

This is a piece I recently wrote as Fashion Editor for Westworld magazine

With the January sales getting cheaper and cheaper, the Kenzo x H&M collection is ever rising as people try to sell on their pieces of the collection. Items from the collection are on Ebay for nearly 4 times the original cost, we can only assume the pieces were a massive hit in the fashion industry and everyone is dying to be seen in these impeccably designed threads. Or is it really just the brand people are hoping to associate themselves with?

The collection was launched on November 3rd 2016, in 250 H&M stores worldwide, as well as online.  Fans were extremely frustrated the morning of the release that the website crashed, due to the high demand of online buyers. However those who spent the night queuing outside the larger stores worldwide, may have been satisfied with what they bought – but many were disappointed with what the collection actually had to offer.

The collection revealed weeks before:
The iconic photographer Jean-Paul Goude has shot the campaign for KENZO x H&M, starring seven diverse celebrities and figureheads. Appearing in the campaign are Iman, Rosario Dawson, Chance The Rapper, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Chloe Sevigny, Suboi and Xiuhtezcatl Martinez’

Pieces in the collection ranged from £7.99 for a pair of socks up to £299.99 for a layered dress. The distinctly diverse collection features nearly 100 pieces, in a kaleidoscope of colours with the most mesmerising of prints and fabrics, Kenzo really wowed his audience. Tiger print and luminous colours are present in many of the items, which deliver this edgy and controversial image Kenzo was looking to provide.

This is what some of the students at UWE thought of the collection:

Ollie, 22
(2nd Year Fashion communication student)
“I’m not a fan of Kenzo himself or the collaboration if I’m honest, however, from what I’ve seen online the quality and designs are great (especially for the range of prices). I think this idea of contemporary designers, like Kenzo, collaborating with high street stores is a really decent idea and will hopefully happen more often. This idea makes high-end brands so much more accessible to the younger generations and people who cant afford the high-end prices but really love fashion.

Genevieve, 18
(1st year accounting and finance student)
“Oh my god, its all amazing right? The whole collection is really quite new and different but I think it works well and by the high demand it only shows a positive reaction. The collection features some great new prints, I especially love the animal print in whacky, out there colours. I’m not sure how much of it I’d be willing to pay for but if they were giving them out, I mean I wouldn’t say no. I’ve always loved Kenzo and H&M so its really nice to see a collaboration between the two.”

Rhiannon Thomas, 22
(Westworld Art Editor)
In this day and age new and affordable high-end meets high street collections that are released online sell out instantly, and with people camping outside of shops to pick up the latest pieces it is no wonder that clothing is being sold online for 3 times the price. The collection which is vibrant, with the use of animal print, neon colour schemes and ruffles alongside intricate embroidery stitching oozes luxury, and with the collection originally being so affordable, it has clearly gained a cult following. I am excited to see what's next. On the other hand, with H&M as one of the leading names in fast fashion, I personally would think twice before buying anything from the range.

what did you think of the wacky patterns and the moderate prices?

The Chicken Shed: Review

An afternoon well spent is with good friends and some tasty grub. After hearing all the good reviews, we thought it would be a worthy idea to check out what The Chicken Shed had to offer and I can happily say we were not disappointed. Totally worth checking out!

So, the shed itself is not too hard to spot, located in the heart of Wapping Warf  - a stack of renovated cargo ships sit, waiting for you to dine. With magnificent views over the floating harbour side, if you’re popping in for an early dinner in these winters days, be sure to catch the sun set with some fried chicken in hand.

Some buffalo wings here and some ginger beer there, our table quickly turned into a maze of the most divine and delectable dishes. Which initially I found hard to understand as the menu at first glance may seem quite minimal to some of you, maybe not others. The positive of this means, there is less to choose from (always a little help).

The menu itself is either breakfast or lunch/evening. Whereas Breakfast is a choice of two eggs poached or scrambled on sour dough where you can add extras including smashed avocado etc. The lunch/evening menu has 8 different options, with a selection of chicken options or buffalo. As an extra, there is a range of sides which really top off your meal, I would recommend the spicy beans (£3.00) and curried cauliflower tahini salad (£3.00. 

So with a name like The Chicken Shed, vegetarians may be thinking, probably not the place for me. However, out of the eight there were two options including: Chargrilled cauliflower, halloumi, houmous and harrisa wrap served with chopped seasonal slaw and fries (£8.00) or the Mixed bean burger with a fried-egg in a brioche bun served with chopped seasonal slaw and fries (£8.50). I would recommend the burger and cheekily swapping the chips for spicy beans, which mix really well with the runny egg in the burger, yum.

EatDrinkBristolFashion runs the cargo with Michelin star chef Josh Eggleton who is also chef patron at the Pony and Trap another Bristol foodery, the team are working hard to create places where you can “Eat and Drink in proper Bristol Fashion”. The project members write “We like to keep our food chains short, our produce local and our menus rather flippin’ tasty.” – which I can vouch is exactly what The Chicken Shed provides.

So remember, whilst enjoying those chicken wings, or maybe even a cocktail be sure to take a peak out of the sliding glass doors. The view is a good one. 

Opening Times:
Closed on Mondays
12.00-22.30 Tuesday to Thursday
9.00-22.30 on Friday and Saturday
9.00-18.00 on Sunday

(Breakfast is served Friday to Sunday)

Review: El Dorado Festival

From the 1st to the 3rd of July 2016, Cirque Du Soul hosted their first ever festival EL DORARO. For any of you who don’t know the Cirque Du Soul team hold a selection of nights at events all over the country including Bristol, London, Brighton and many more. The team created El Dorado as an adventure, which welcomes you to leave the confines of the Urban Cities and underground hot spots to head outdoors.  

With only 3,500 people involved, the festival was small but intimate. This was a pleasant festival to chill out at during the day listening to funk/ soul music whilst boogying all night to the sound of disco. There was a nice vibe around the whole festival, because of the size you would be bumping into people you’d danced with the night before or shared your loo roll with this morning. Everyone was so happy and cheerful which really raises the atmosphere.

With a picturesque location such as Eastnor Castle, the festival felt like it was in the middle of the nowhere and we could make as much noise as possible. Yet the journey there and slightly less so on the way home, was bearable. With the small audience comes minimal queuing and less stress of rushing to get into the festival or to be on time.

The cirque du soul team, known to bring style to the party always going to extra mile, offered a great deal of activities during the day and night. There was a selection of stages, my favourite being ‘treasure island’. This stage was not only floating on the lake but hosted a great range of dj’s both day and night.

 With the likes of Basement Jaxx, Craig David and Kano, there were a great variety of acts to entertain the crowds. With such a small crowd, even when it felt like the whole festival was watching Craig David, you could still move or go to the toilet and find your friends without too much hassle. I must admit during the weekend, I had the pleasure of dancing with Loyle Carner on stage and meeting General levy – which would only be possible at these smaller events.

So, why you ask and I writing this review nearly 6 months after… because it’s happening again this year! However, they are planning to make it even bigger and better, increasing the tickets to 5000, I have been assured there will be more to offer and much more to look forwards too!!

Travelling alone isn’t all that bad… Promise

I get it, it’s not for everyone, but honestly, you don’t know if it is until you try.
In my younger years of life, I was lucky enough to live abroad in the likes of Dubai and Vietnam. Whilst growing up I experienced a great deal of travelling which has encouraged me still at this age to explore the world and all that it has to offer. However, I always felt at home travelling to and from with my whole family which began as three of us but ended up as the 6 of us. 

It was not until last summer when I visited Brazil that travelling alone even crossed my mind. However due to restrictions of having exams and my friends already being out there I came to this predicament of do I just go for it and travel alone for nearly 2 weeks or just forget it and come home early. And from my writing this, I can guess you’ve all realised I stayed and if I’m honest had a pretty wonderful time exploring on my own, meeting some amazing people.
So I have created a short list of reasons why travelling alone is a positive thing.

 So firstly I mean, the biggest plus I’d say for someone who likes to be organised – you get to do everything in your own time. Like, everything. You decide on your own time for waking up, you aren’t waiting around for anyone else and you are only really doing what you want to do. You’re making the to do list and no-ones going to stop you.

Secondly, for someone sociable and who prefers to be around people – I felt that being alone pushed me to meet more people. I was out of my comfort zone both approaching people and being on my own – but after you settle in and start talking about a trip over breakfast, everyone is joining in and there you have it, you’ve met half of the hostel.

So leading on from that point, I mean preferably for someone travelling on their own you want to stay in hostels. Hostels are the perfect place not only to save money but also a great place to socialise. Even If you’re one of those people who want their own private room and hate the idea of being squished up in a dorm of 8 in a hot sweaty county the other side of the world, they should have private rooms (but obviously they will be more expensive).

Food. Although I think its great when you’re with friends to all chip in and cook some adventurous cultural dishes, when your on your own, you want to explore more often. Try the local cuisine down the road that the shopkeeper has suggested. Similarly to travelling alone I’m not really an eat alone kind of person but as an escape from hectic hostel nice, I enjoyed for once – sitting on my own, planning my trip or reading a book, just concentrating on the food and not a lot else really.

During my time in Brazil, I tried to fit way too much into the small amount of time I had on my own. However, because I was alone I feel like this was slightly more bearable. When there are loads of you travelling back and forwards to airports, bus stops and train stations – this kind of thing can get stressful. When its only you, relying on you to get from A to B it is so much easier and calmer. It is easier to stay organised within yourself than in big groups of say 4-8.

Similar to the food point and this idea of being alone gives you the opportunity to go where you want and when. I would argue that travelling alone made me push myself further than I would with friends. Compared to Uber taxis around Rio, I attempted and failed a few times to use public transport around Salvador. I mean it will significantly help if you can speak any form of the language, which I could not, yet it was still an adventure.

With endless amounts of time to yourself, you have time to reflect. Of course you also have this when with groups of people as I did with my friends however, for someone that doesn’t seem to stop talking, I learnt to love silence. Give yourself time to just consider such beautiful views and understand how lucky you are to be here, now.

Money. So compare paying for your meal for one and splitting the bill between your 4 friends – I know which one I’d prefer. When alone, you have more responsibility over your money – you decide how much you want to spend a day or how much you need to budget into a single meal. It’s all easier if you’re only depending on yourself.

And all in all, well this will make any trip you take after extremely easy. Once you’ve travelled alone and had to figure it all out for yourself, you become more relaxed that If things go wrong it happens but if you’ve figured it out before and alone, you can definitely do it again.  You’re a better traveller with all the experience you could need.

I hope this helps any of you out there who were scared or nervous to travel alone, the feelings are normal but you'll never know how much you love it until you try. 


Daisy Lucker

Aspiring journalist, dog lover, climber, serious green tea drinker with a love for writing and travelling.
This page for me is a way to document my travels, discuss places worth a visit or just telling you about the meal I had at the pub on friday. By doing this, I'm hoping to create a portfolio of work which I hope will come in handy for me in the near future.


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Wishing every one of you a lovely New Year and hope it brings you everything you deserve.

So this year, I spent my New Years in Brighton will my best pals this year. In the lead up to the big night we drank delicious wine and ate a scrumptious selection of sushi. Are you jealous yet? Although the weather may not have been the best, we managed to avoid the rain when possible (by hiding in the most beautiful of shops or wandering the maze of the lanes) and make the most of the time we had. And to make it even more fabulous, the hunnies ourselves celebrated another year of us wearing tiaras. We're great right?

In terms of the blog this year - there are a couple of reviews I am currently working on from 2016 including some delicious places to eat down in Exeter and a few from this weekend in Brighton.
And of course, I am really hoping (I know i've said this before) to focus on my travel and fashion posts this year. I must admit third year is kind of killing me at the moment so please bear with. But when it's all over in (OMG) four months!!!! Ill be free, but to be an adult and serious stuff needs to happen.

Big hugs and kisses to all you lovely people out there. You'll be happy to know, my New Years resolution is to sort out my time management and start writing more often! so Cheers x

American Apparel are falling down the drain as they enter into administration...

UPDATE: I'm hoping to start including some of my university pieces within my blog and so I thought, why not give you a preview of my work for Westworld. I mean, not to brag or nothing, but I recently became the Fashion Editor for the Uni Magazine called Westworld(woop woop), y'all go and check us out here: This is one of the first articles I have written up since joining the magazine but regards an issues close to my heart, full of love for clothes. I hope you love it.

Who would have thought the on trend fashion store, known for their outrageously high priced items, would enter into administration. Maybe these high prices were the problem? With only 13 stores in the UK, their business on this side of the world is more than likely to be closed after administrators were appointed on Tuesday.
The rumours seem sincerely low profiled, however when I was faced with this message on their website this morning “American Apparel will no longer maintain an online presence in the U.K.” I knew something bad was happening. It is rumoured the company began to experience a difficult time back in 2014. Ever since Dov Charney, the brands controversial artist was banished due to a boardroom coup, the brand has fallen significantly down the drain.

With the ever-changing fashion already ceasing hard to keep up with, the prices start to become an issue among shoppers. Samantha, aged 21 shopping in Cabot Circus exclaimed, “It is just too expensive. I could buy 3 t-shirts elsewhere for the price of one in American Apparel”.
So what does the administration part actually mean? Well, in the unfortunate situation of a company being unable to recover from its liabilities, the next step is compulsory liquidation by the court. In this process, the company’s assets are sold and they slowly start to dissolve.
In October 2015, The Guardian released an article stating that ‘American Apparel has filed for bankruptcy protection after persistent plunging sales at the scandal-ridden teenage fashion company’. During this period, Lenders were said to be writing off around £131million worth of bonds all in exchange for equity in the company – however, the only positive of this process is the reduction of their debt to no more than $135million.
According to joint administrators Jim Tucker and Richard Beard of KPMG, the European stores are separate from the US sale which will allow the brand to slowly wind down, whilst giving themselves a change at making money in the lead up to Christmas.

So the good news for us is, fingers crossed we will soon experience the cheapest American Apparel sale ever to happen, but the bad news, this is the end for their brand. The end of fair trade clothing that actually lasts longer than 10 washes.

Stripes Wishlist

Hello All, it's been a while but i'm back and hoping I will have the time to post a little more than usual (to be exact, every wednesday as this is my only day of my hefty uni timetable, however this week I'm ill and taking the friday off). Hope you have all been well and not missing me as much as I have blogging. 
I thought I'd come back with a post on what I think is a pretty big trend in the fashion world at the moment - STRIPES. My everyday wardrobe consists of an extreme amount of stripes and I love it so i'm hoping to encourage all of you fashion lovers, to share this style.
I have put together a few of my favourites found on my most used websites including ASOS, Pull and Bear, Urban Outfitters and a few more. The majority of these items are all below £50 which I think is pretty reasonable and easy to incorporate into your wardrobe. 
My favourite piece is the striped sequin Topshop co-ord including a jacket and shorts, this outfit is amazing and perfect for a winters evening party. However, for a nice day time look I love the Pull and Bear striped culottes, easy to dress up or down for any occasion. 
(Links available if you click on the images) 


Hope you love them x

My March Favourites

So first of all, welcome to April everybody. Hasn't the year flown by already... I have three weeks left at university and then only ONE YEAR LEFT until I'm finished and basically a full grown adult who should be finding their full time job, help me please. So I thought it would be a nice little post to include a few of my favourite purchases through March.  

IMG_3719 NEW.jpg

Butlers Milk Chocolate Easter Egg
Firstly, I mean I know its nearly a week and a half late but Easter is still continuing on my account. I was lucky enough to receive this beauty of an easter egg. Not only was it exceptionally delicious but it also looked pretty nice just sat on my desk, waiting to be eaten. But when I finally gave in, the white chocolate truffles were by far my favourite bit. Did you have a good easter? And get spoilt rotten with chocolate galore?
Zara (Knit Collection) Jumper
Doesn't it look divine??? It sure feel's it. This is one of my fav items of clothing at the moment and for only £14.99 in the sale, it would be rude not too. Zara is 'permanently closed' at the moment in Bristol (sad face), which means that I have had to do a lot more online shopping - this was one of the only things I decided to keep from my order but i'm exceptionally happy.  And other super sales I should be checking out?
Nivea B.B Cream
This was one of those you find at the bottom of your Mum's makeup bag and think why on earth have you got this, later to decide it's actually pretty decent and add it to your own collection. So thanks Mum. I'm not massively into make-up but I think it gives you great coverage whilst also moisturising your skin. It isn't too heavy but does the job. As a '5 in 1 Beautifying Moisturiser' you can't go wrong for just below £4.50 at a variety of drug stores. What would you recommend? 
Urban Outfitters Nail Varnish
I would never normally turn to Urban Outfitters for anything other than clothes, as that is really what they are good at. But with a few pounds left on a gift card I decided to try these two colours out. I love basically all the colours in their range, so it was pretty hard just to get two. The 2 for £6 deal is so worth it though. The colours look amazing and after two coats, my nails continued to look just painted for about 2 weeks. The finish was nice with a matte look finished with a thin gloss. Have you tried these out? 
Garnier 'Pure Active' Face-wash
So I bought this stuff, kind of on a whim (it was on offer, basically). But since using it, have fallen in love. The bottle says 'results from day 1*) and I really do believe that. I try to use it twice a day, when I get up and before bed. The smell and texture is nice on my face which encourages me to want to use it. And again, it was on offer so for only £2.75 it's kind of worth the try. What's your favourite product at the moment? 

'Guys and Dolls' By Damon Runyon
I picked this book up a few weeks ago and have still not got around to reading it, but really cannot wait. The blurb was the decision maker for buying the book but I have heard many great things about it over the years. The Wall Street Journal have suggested it is 'Worldly humour and a gun-slinging prose' which is another great reason to purchase this product. For £9.99, if you don't like it, you haven't really lost a lot. I'm looking for a few other summer reads, do you have any suggestions??

10 steps to having a healthier mind and body

We all know, healthy body means healthy mind and all. So to push towards this I thought I would share what I’ve started doing to try and push towards being healthier and more relaxed. These small steps to becoming healthier can be harder for some people who are busy or don’t like certain foods but trying just one of these steps will move you slightly closer to that healthier state of mind you’re looking for.

1.     Water – If this isn’t for you and you don’t like the boring taste, try incorporating fruit into the water. There are bottles specifically made for this and they are wonderful creations. It has been found 72% of the time you are hungry, you are really dehydrated and just need a glass of that awesome stuff H20.
2.     Sleep – This is so, so, so important and you may not even realise it. When you are asleep your body is still working its magic, sorting out all your insides, healing and repairing. I'm not saying spend your weekends sleeping through all day - thats not good. I'm suggesting you get the suggested amount of sleep every night, so you wake up feeling funky fresh. 
3.     Exercise – This is another one that may not be for everyone. If you haven’t got time say and cant fit it into your busy schedule, try incorporating it into your journey to work? Dropping the kids off at school? Getting a few hours extra sleep and waking up half an hour earlier? Try something new – an independent sport is great so you don’t have to rely on someone else to do it.
4.     Set yourself goals – Similar to the exercise, set yourself goals at work or even at home. You need to feel some sort of independent success and setting yourself goals can only do this. Sign up to a 5k? Or if you're not into fitness, set goals surrounding your work. Write a set of goals that you'd like to accomplish by the end of the day/week/year. 
5.    Meditation – This is a great way to let loose and give yourself maybe even half an hour a day to set your mind straight. There are so many links online and apps available that can help guide you through the process of meditation. A great app to use is 'Head Space' - this app talks you through everything with cool animations along the way (and luckily for all you first timers, its free). 
6.    Food, glorious food – I’m not saying stop eating all the trash you may love, I’m just saying plan your meals so you aren’t over eating, the wrong thing. Try to incorporate your 5 a day somewhere into your meals whilst sticking to three main meals a day. If you find yourself snacking throughout the day, swap these for healthy snacks (fruit or popcorn). 
7.    Write lists – Again, this isn’t one for everyone - those super organised people don’t need to do silly stuff like this, it all just comes naturally. For me however, to get everything I need to do get done, a list is the best option. On both my busy days and my days off I give myself a list of tasks I’d like to accomplish. This is similar to setting goals; you can feel good about looking back over what you have actually done in a day.
8.    Save money – Unless you are mega rich and can spend, spend, spend all day long, saving money is a key function in life. You want to start saving a certain amount, so that when you achieve these goals you’ve set you’re able to afford spoiling yourself. Or even splashing out on a holiday to get away for a bit.
9.     Time management – It is a necessity to have time off. No one should work himself or herself too hard. Even if you don’t think you deserve it, I’m telling you, YOU DO!! Find yourself some time to relax, sit back and give your mind some time to chill.
10. Talk to someone – Whatever it is, worrying you this week, generally on average people feel 75% better after talking to someone else, telling them what is up. A problem shared, is a problem halved, as I’ve heard many a time. But honestly, I think it does help, you generally feel a weight is lifted off your shoulder and you can stop worrying yourself and get back to your busy and demanding days. 

Guide to a long weekend in Dublin

1. Flight's 
So it's a well known fact that the earlier you book flights, the cheaper they are going to be. For this trip, we were unsure of our location for a few months but once decided on Dublin we booked only 2 months before the date we left for Dublin and the flights worked out at £52. This was relatively easy to find - we searched both sky scanner and fly be in need of the cheapest time and flight to go around Christmas time. Sky scanner provided us with the cheapest option and we were lucky enough to get good times both there and back (hungover, we were not looking forward to any early mornings). 
2.Where to stay? 
During our stay in Dublin, as a group of students, we were looking for a cheap four night stay. Hostel worldhostelbookers, and air b n b were all great sites for helping us look out for a location. The hostel we found was Abbey Court Hostel ended up being the cheapest option for the 12 of us which was able to accommodate for our needs of being in the city centre and for such a large group. We were able to have our own room which made it a lot easier coming in at early hours of the morning and not worrying about other travellers. The location was perfect being located just off the Main Strip called O'Connells street. 

3. Airport transport
After another good search on the net, we were lucky enough to find a cheap deal of €10 each for a return from the airport to the city centre. The service offered a variety of different stops, catering to everyone's needs. This was ideal with a group of 11 as taxis would have cost too much and there was no need to rent a car for the weekend. 
- These tickets were available to purchase at the airport where there are staff to help with any information you may need.
4. What to do? 
For only €16 this place is a definite go to during your time in Dublin. The store house is both interesting and fun - a complimentary pint is also available at the end of your tour where you are able to learn to pour your own pint or enjoy the view from their infinity bar.
- Explore the streets of Dublin 
The city is filled with the most magnificent looking buildings, all of which can be found in a pretty small proximity. This makes it easy for all you tourists who like to walk and talk, finding your own way around the famous landmarks. Dublin is especially beautiful in winter, filled with christmas decorations and lit up spectacularly at night. I must also add how friendly the people of Dublin were during our time here, if we were out attempting to guide ourselves to the markets, guinness factory or anything... Or just in a busy pub where people are being pushed about.
- Wander around the Temple bar Area
As we were told and as I am now telling you, this place is a must go and realistically pretty hard to miss. The area itself is on the South Bank of the river Liffey in the centre of the city. This area is filled with beautiful historic buildings which are housed by hip, quaint independent stores, cafes and pubs. 
5. Where to eat and drink? (we were on a budget OK, no judging allowed)
- Pog Fro-yo is a lovely dainty smoothie place located just of O'Connell street only a few doors down from the Abbey Court Hostel. If you decide to stay at the Abbey Court Hostel, you are offered a nice 10% off any of your purchases. The cafe offers a range of healthy snacks and drinks, including smoothies, raw juices, fro-yo and salads. (you can read my review and many others via this link on tripadvisor)
The actual Temple Bar Pub - This beautiful location, has been established in the city of Dublin for over 160 years. The pub offers both a fantastic range of products and a perfect atmosphere for your visit to Ireland. Our time here was during this Christmas period and we were lucky enough to witness the pub in full Christmas spirit, with live Christmas music and they even put on the snow machines for us to make it that little bit more special. Although expensive, this place is worth this price of the drink for such an experience as we had. 
- Doyle's for me is the definition of an Irish pub with live music, the most friendly people and an extremely pleasant atmosphere. The huge building was extremely busy on both a Thursday and Saturday night which was great for a boogie - the music was on point with two floors of different genres. Service was fast and efficient with drinks costing the usual 4.50 euros for a rum and coke. If you have a night dedicated to dancing during your trip this is the place. 
- The Mongolian Buffet was probably the most tasty and cheapest meal we had during our time in Dublin. For only 5.90 euros we were allowed to help ourselves to a selection of noodles, vegetables, spices and sauces which were then cooked on a massive hot place in front of us. 

Have you got any tips or is there anything I've missed? If you would like anymore information or anything about our long weekend away in Dublin feel free to email me at -

ASOS wishlist

Hello again to all you beautiful people. So here it is, once again... this is a few of my favourites at the moment on the Asos website. For all of you that don't know asos, it is amazing. Asos is my new found favourite website - the idea of everything being in one place is bloody marvellous.
Offering 10-20% discount at different time periods, you cannot go wrong. With top brands including: American Apparel, Unicef, Adidas, Nike and many more - this website literally has it all. Another bonus of the website is their idea of a 'Saved Basket' - this genius idea means when you actually have the money to go back and buy those items you really want, that you well and truly deserve, they are all sitting their waiting for you at the ready. 
My items include a few items of the Asos own brand which I've found over the years offer great styles, knack to detail and durable fabrics but also some of these great brands i've been chattering on about. It is obvious from my selection that i'm still trying to face the idea of it being winter and can't wait to re-grow my 2016 summer wardrobe but there are also some great all year round items including those cute little socks and that to die for suede leather jacket. 
What do you guys think? Any of your favourites I should be adding to my saved basket?
(Click on the photos for link's to the items on 

Belgrade Adventure + Photo Diary

 It has been exactly one week and four days since I returned from the perfect getaway weekend to Belgrade, Serbia. For Charlie’s 21st birthday present I thought I’d treat us both to a long, well deserved weekend away, in plea to relax and explore somewhere new. 
How did I come about Belgrade? Hmm it was a premature recommendation from a friend and turned into a seriously good idea when I found the hotel of my dreams - this was the decider. 
Square nine was the chosen location to stay and this is the place, for over 2 and a half months I was dreaming about during every hard essay, long lectures and all other things rubbish. So the day finally came when I made eyes with the building i'd been thinking about for so long and square nine did not disappoint. The high expectations I had made over these many months were met to every level and higher. If you cant tell, I fell in love with this place.
During our time here we really were blessed with beautiful weather. Every day we woke up to sunny skies which was perfect for such a verdant place with a giant park called Kalemegdan, located only a 5-minute walk from the hotel. Everyday without fail, we took a stroll in this park and watched the locals go about their daily lives, took pictures of the picturesque city and even joined in with the fun fair on Sunday, hitting the sky in their carousel. 

Back to basics…
1.     Airport to the city centre - this should only cost you around 180 dinar which is equivalent to just over a pound and a half. Our hotel warned us about not asking for a price at the beginning of the journey and to be wary of undercover taxis however, we felt safe at every stage and didn’t worry too much.
2.     Booking Hotel - Give yourself a sufficient amount of time to search the web for deals around the city. There are so many hidden gems to be found that are waiting to be discovered. (Square nine is ideal for anyone. Even if you’re on a budget, there are some cracking deals available on their website)
3.     Things to do - I’d say Belgrade is a nice city to visit if you enjoy walking around, exploring the side streets, checking out the artwork and grasping a side of the countries history. The city itself has a variety of things to do but during our time, we were most focused on relaxing which resulted in a lot of hotel time, as sad as it may have been but also long walks broken up with tasty food from independent restaurants/cafes.
4.     When to go? - Our trip was during early February, which I was worried about speaking to the hotel who said it would be exceptionally cold. However, we were pleasantly surprised and enjoyed many walks in ‘t-shirt weather’.
5.     Money… - Down to the money side of things, well if you’re lucky enough to be English, the conversion is pretty great. During the 4 days we spent in the city, together we only spent £120 however, I must admit we spent a lot of time and money within the hotel as-well. 
 1 pound is equivalent to 169 Serbian dinar 
 Have any of you wonderful people visited this beautiful city? Or does anyone have anything to contribute that I may have missed? If you would like anymore information about the city and things to do feel free to send an email my way -

10 ways to travel on a budget

To all your travel lovers waiting to plan your next trip away but worried about the funding – it is possible, believe in yourself. I know I’m not alone when I say that the feeling you get from travelling is out of this world, it is one of those things that once you start, you don’t ever want to stop. Granted, I am only 21 years of age but I can assure you that when I have travelled, these tips can be exceptionally helpful. 

So here it is: these are my top ten ways to budget whilst travelling and I sure hope it comes in handy with all your trips to be had.
1. Research absolutely everything – find cheap places to visit including national parks, museums, galleries and local places. 
2. Be sure to check for discounts - everywhere. Whether it be student discount or young peoples, you’d be surprised at how much you can save.  
3. Try traveling by foot – I appreciate this is hard in some places when you’re travelling across a big city, but when you can help it – you will be saving so much more than you can imagine. If you’re the taxi time, its worth trying public transport (Google the types available before you head on holiday).
4. Go off peak – To save on travel costs including a place to stay, flights and even at tourist attractions move away from school holidays. This is also beneficial if you are going to big cities, to avoid massive crowds and long queues.
5. Try your absolute hardest to only take Hand Luggage – I mean its easier said than done, granted. But, so worth the extra pennies on certain flights. If you’re limited with space you’re generally going to save more money by not buying such a ridiculous amount of new holiday clothes.
6. It’s always a good idea to budget – Set yourselves a daily amount of spending money. This can vary daily if you know you’re doing to be doing more expensive things one day to another but plan.
7.Where you are staying? Instead of looking for the top class hotels, consider a hostel or if that’s not for you – air b’n’b, which is great for lux apartments on the cheap.
8. No all inclusive kind of stuff – Alternatively go for a self-catered, try cooking for yourselves and reduce the amount of eating out. If you’re really. really challenged for cash, plan ahead and take some sort of food with you (as silly as it sounds).
9. Look for cheaper locations - if  you are originally lacking funds  try looking into the cheaper eastern European cities. Your money is worth so much more than you realise. Poland is a great example; food, transport and places to stay can be done in luxury. 
10. Download Apps - be prepared and download any apps you think may come in use during your time away. This may include help with the language, directions and attractions. 
I sure hope these help all you lovely travellers.
Do you have any other awesome tips?? 

Urban Outfitters: Home Decor Wishlist

So... since coming back to my (very, very, very cold) university house bedroom and realising how un-homely it really is - I decided I would do some home decor shopping. And seen as Urban Outfitters is my go-to store for fashion and home products, I thought I would share some of my favs with you. The only issue I have with these products is the price and my bank balance feels the same way. Within my selection there are a few of the newer and older pieces, some which are in the sale (these are the ones i'll be purchasing first, I can assure you). 
What am I looking at? you say... 
As a university student in my student room (I can only assume this is relevant to all you other students) my furniture (as sad as it makes me) does not match in any way shape or form, therefore its all about the different colours and styles I can have in one place, but I think you can see that from the selection of products? 
To start it off the Sofia Mitte Powder Blue Sofa Bed would be a divine upgrade from my used, stained and smelly sofa as god knows how many people have slept on. And along the same lines... This Emre Shag Cushion would be a perfect accessory to decorate my bed and fill the room with colour or to draw all the attention to what will one day be my beautiful new sofa bed. 
To spruce up my bed sheets I have also chosen this reduced Kangan Arora Duvet Set which is only £25 down from £50 which is a pretty good deal for the thickness and longevity of these sets. Sheets are a significant piece of your room bringing colour to what should be the most important part of your room. The Zoe Plant Stand is another accessory which would look divine next to my bed and a place where I can store all my little bits and bobs whilst making the room look pretty. 
I think the Pale Blue Table Lamp is a nice simple way to light up your desk or on a bedside table to read with at night or brighten everything up on a gloomy day. And whilst on the subject of gloomy days, this Crosley Palm Print Keepsake Record Player is another perfect way to jazz up your room which such a cool palm print but also a fabulous way to play some funky tunes to get you into the mood. 
Accessories are key and I think Urban Outfitters is great at offering those complete out there ideas you always wish could you could have but never thought they'd be available foe example the Cork Tape which is a perfect decorating accessory for anywhere and everywhere to hang up your photos or memoir's. Another of their beautiful creations is this amazing Suck UK Small Cork Globe which allows you to pin point onto the globe where you have been (what a wicked idea, right?). And last but not least a few of these from the Boulder Kosui Mug set and an Everything About You Mug . 
So these are a few of my favourite picks but what are yours?? 

A reflection of my travels in 2015

After yet another year has passed, I thought it was time to take a look back over how I spent this year. A time to reminisce over the good times and look forwards to those new travel plans to come.

Partying on the waterfront of Brighton
When we all go our separate ways for university, we all know its going to be hard but… When you begin to travel the country exploring new cities and beautiful locations, you remember its not all that bad.
Brighton has been one of my newfound favorite cities and a definite highlight of this year with a raving nightlife and an all round beautiful seaside town. My visit for 2016 is already planned, so if that doesn’t show you my love for Brighton, I’m not sure what would.
 Pasties on the beach of Cornwall
I was lucky enough this year to visit the not so sunny Cornwall during February 2015.  Charlie and I were invited down to stay with his grandparents in their beautiful cottage in the middle of basically nowhere. The cottage view was extremely lovely and we sat eating pasties by the fire – feeling extremely Cornish (I pretended). During our time here, we were taken on a tour of basically every lovely place in the area and I must admit it was beautiful – even if the driving is never ending.
Drinking coffee in downtown Barcelona
In March, I took my darling mother to Barcelona for her birthday and we were lucky enough to stay on the seafront, even though the weather wasn’t on point – it was still pretty lovely. During the day we explored the bustling city and its beautiful buildings and at night we drank wine whilst eating the most amazing food. 
Dining at Ronnie Scotts in London
In June Charlie and I were lucky enough to have a long weekend stay in London where we stayed at the beautiful Ace Hotel and listened to the most fantastic jazz at the renowned Ronnie Scotts. During our time in London, we explored the area of Shoreditch and ate some delicious Japanese food.
Jumping off the boat in sunny Majorca
Again, I am so very grateful to Charlie’s grandparents for the most amazing experiences. In 2015 we were lucky enough to spend 10 days on their boat where we sailed from Majorca to Menorca, visiting some beautiful anchorages and islands on our way. During our sail we witnessed the dolphins swimming and some absolutely stunning sunsets. 
Kayaking in the Mediterranean Menorca
During our sailing holiday across from Majorca to Menorca, we stopped off at Cala en Porter. During our time here we went cliff jumping, kayaking, diving and explore the Island. Located on the south coast, this was a beautiful location to spend the last few days of our trip to relax and try the most amazing seafood of the trip.
Swimming with phosphorescent plankton in Cambodia
During our stay in Cambodia’s national park on the beachfront we were told all about the plankton that glowed at night. On our last evening we built up the courage to explore the beautiful waters, which lit up as the plankton stuck to our bodies. Without sounding corny, we felt like we were mermaids.  
Swimming in the waters of Hoi An, Vietnam
During our time is Vietnam, I was lucky enough to return to the beautiful seaside town and explore what it had to offer. The weather was absolutely wonderful during our time and we were fortunate enough to spend a few days on the beach in the luscious waters of Vietnam.
Exploring the mountains of Pai, Thailand
When we were in Pai, we were told mopeds, realistically, were the best option to explore the beautiful town of Thailand. For three days we rode out to the most amazing destinations we had ever seen including waterfalls, canyons, giant Buddha’s and land splits. The only advice I can give other than hiring these mopeds, is check the fuel before you leave the hire shop – or you’re going to break down on your way home and it might not be in walking distance.
Wandering the streets of Warsaw
For my 21st birthday, Charlie treated me to a weekend away in Warsaw. We stayed in the most beautiful hotel and had a to die for view over the city. Whilst in Warsaw we explored by bike, ate some incredible food and slept like kings in our four-poster bed. 
Singing along to the Irish Christmas song
For a friend’s 21st birthday we endured a girls long weekend away to Dublin during the Christmas break. During the festive period Dublin looked beautiful, covered In Christmas lights and filled with Christmas spirit. We spend the days exploring the temple bar area and visiting the Guinness factory – and the nights on the pub-crawls and listening to live Irish musicians singing Christmas anthems. 

Update: 2016

A very happy, belated New year to you all. I wish everyone all the best luck with their resolutions and with what the year may bring. 
I have been working with squarespace over the past few weeks to create a new home for 'OutInTheOpen' and here it it. Please feel free to let me know what you think may it be positive or negative. 
Hopefully this year will be even more of a success than the last and filled with adventure. I already have a lot more in store that I cannot wait to share with you all. 
During the past two weeks, Out In The Open reached its first birthday, can i get a woop woop? So, I plan this year to bring in a few more new bits and bobs - and hopefully just a wider range of posts. 
I hope you're as excited as I am? And a massive thank you to you all for the support over the last year :) much appreciated!

The best of Black Friday deals

A new wardrobe? Yes please. It's that time of year again, and my goodness hasn't it come about fast? All that preparation for Christmas can now be justified by the massive reductions of black Friday sales and I'm here to show you just how great some of these deals really are. You can thank me later.

1. Shop Dixi - an online based jewellery store is offering amazing deals from 50-30% off their collections. The collections are suggested as being bohemian and grunge jewellery which includes a variety of beautiful pieces. The offers begin at 5am, yes you heard me right, so if you're really dedicated you need to be on this. As the day goes on the discount decreases starting at 50% at 5am down to 35% finishing at 11.59am. So, ready, steady, go - get your alarms set people...

2. Topshop - the high street fashion brand are offering a magnificently full FIVE days of black Friday deals - with up to 50% off selected lines. These selected lines include items from every section, ranging from bottoms, tops, lingerie, shoes and accessories. There is also a cheeky added and they are offering free delivery on all home delivery orders for the next 5 days. Can i get a woop woop? 

3. Urban Outfitters - they are back again with their black friday deals, offering up to 50% off everything both in-store and online. This is when its allowed for you to buy yourself a whole new wardrobe as an early christmas gift, right? I am looking forwards to the warm winter coats and heavy duty boots ready for the snow that is supposidly on its way.

4. Size - the trendy shoe based store have brought you discounts specifically for black friday but are also offering 20% off on top of the reduced items price. Another added bonus, similar to Topshop - Size are offering free delivery on all UK orders, making life that little bit easier if you cant make it down to the store - how thoughtful huh.

5. Amazon - the popular online store, always offering great deals on a huge range of products, have added even more deals for the fast approaching 'Black Friday'. Throughout the day they are offering 50% off on thousands of products and new deals every 10 minutes. It has been predicted this year we will have the best offerings from Amazon - this is hard to beat, when the store are said to have sold 64 items a second last year. Sales are seen to peak at approximately 8.29 so you best be prepared and at the ready to find all those things you want.

6. John Lewis - offering price match with any competitors promotion, this is a deal not to miss out on. Offers also include 20% off Barbour, up to 50% off home and garden, 20% off selected handbags and many more.

7. ASOS - the online british fashion store are going all out this year, with 20% off everything!! And of course, again that added bonus of free delivery. The great thing about ASOS if all your favourite brands are all in one place, so it makes life that little bit easier for you.

8. The Body Shop - the online and store based brand are offering 40% off all their items this friday. With a range of wonderful smelling items, this is a perfect opportunity to stock up on all those bathroom smelly's and purchase those cheeky christmas presents early. The store is great for offering helpful advice on all of their animal friendly products and can be overly generous on samples if you aren't sure on a product. Another added bonus - get free delivery when you spend over £25.

9. Carluccio's - to help you through your busy day of shopping, the Carluccio's deli are offering 20% off on your food in the cafe. As well as this there are the general christmas offers including 2 courses for £16.99 - what a bargain for such wonderful Italian food this christmas. If its not for a spot of lunch, be sure to pop in for some hot beverages - shopping is harder than it looks.

10. Zara - although they aren't heaving with deals, the fashion store is offering 20% off all knitwear, t-shirts and boots. With the deals online and in-store you're able to stay in bed all warm and toasty whilst still getting those items you were really looking forwards to.

So here are my favourite, top ten deals happening in less than 24 hours... I hope you get to enjoy and make the most of as much of this as possible, I sure will be on the look out. If there is anything i've missed be sure to share it beneath to help out all the other readers.