Saturday, 23 August 2014

OOTD | Maybe I'm the sinner

001. Black Jamie jeans - Topshop
002. Sheer panel floral top - Forever 21
003. Black gladiator heeled sandals - Head Over Heels by Dune
004. Leather jacket - Miss Selfridge
005. Suede metal chain bag - Zara (try eBay)
006. Chelsey Watch - Fossil

So this isn't exactly an Outfit Of The Day but more of an Outfit Of Yesterday (OOYD?). It was one of those awkward 'what the hell can I wear?!' mornings as team Gogglebox were going out for drinks after work. Those type of occasions always throw me but after finding these bargain day to night heels, I think I made a good outfit choice (even if I do say so myself)!

Note to self: stay away from the wine! I'm currently suffering and refuse to move from my bed for a few hours or so. For some bizarre reason, I thought it was a great idea to torture myself this morning with a trip to bootcamp. Which just so happened to be an Insanity session. NEVER AGAIN.

I'm so glad to be blogging again! I've just had a quick look back at my older posts and can't believe how much has changed. My hair for one! It was so long - how did I ever cope? I'm so lazy with hair and makeup at the moment, as you can see. By the way, how is it the summer bank holiday already?! I'm going to take it easy this weekend with a girly evening at the cinema tonight and then a day at Notting Hill Carnival tomorrow. I feel like it's mandatory to go this year seeing as though I've just moved to London - so let's see what all the hype is about!

Speaking of which, I should probably stop procrastinating and attempt to make myself presentable. I might even do my hair - lucky you B!

What are you up to this bank holiday?
L x

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Evolution | Three

Three. The number of months since my last post, the placement I am currently in and the number of times I have moved this year. In true nomad style, I have now uprooted to London!

I'm now in my third of four placements - they said these 15 months would go quick but boy did I underestimate that definition - and it's safe to say that since leaving home in June (for what I assumed was a one week stay in London) life has been a little crazy. From having nowhere to live and vigorously searching for a home, to willingly putting my hands in a box of rats; it's difficult to give you a summary that will do it justice. So I won't.

Instead, here are three (anyone noticing a theme here?) things that I've learnt...

ONE |  I have a really strong Yorkshire accent. And people love to remind me. The more I try to avoid it, the stronger it gets. What is that about? But dinner is now formally known as lunch and tea is now dinner. Whilst I'm still northern in many ways, the south has got to me - I'm now that person in the tube station with zero tolerance for slow walkers or those that stand on the left side of the escalator because let's face it, that is just not ok.

TWO |  Who my friends are. My best friends are my rock and despite being miles apart, they can still brighten my day by being themselves - the biggest weirdos (in the greatest possible way) you could ever meet. Whether we're talking about Briony's latest 'I was really drunk...' story, having a rant or discussing the days dilemmas; I don't think any of them quite realise that even on a terrible day, they keep me going and help me stay motivated, even forcing me to blog. I don't say it enough but I mean this with all my heart, thank you girls!

THREE |  Having a routine is a luxury. Until this very day, I haven't had even a sense of routine in the past few months. I'm a little (ok, a lot) nerdy when it comes to organisation and planning so the change can only be compared to a fish out of water. However, doing what I do best, I've adapted and finally feel like I've got my head screwed on and my feet firmly on the ground having finally found the balance between working, having a social life, exercising and making the most of London. With a new home, the greatest housemates and an entire city to explore; I can't wait for what the rest of the year holds.

In the words of Blind Melon - "Three is a magic number"

L x

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Style | DIY Ripped Denim Jeans

Hello! The wanderer has returned! I have no real justification for not blogging except for having no inspiration, which I'm going to blame on being in my 'home comforts' zone - poor  excuse I know.
Anyway, I have updates and news but I'll save that for my next post when I have all the details; watch this space.

Distressed and ripped denim is everywhere at the moment. They look equally great teamed with a t-shirt and leopard print slip-on's as they do dressed up with heels and a classic blazer. I love anything grungy and effortless looking so was dying to get my hands on the perfect pair. However, after trying on endless versions and always leaving the changing rooms disappointed, I came to the conclusion that they just weren't ripped in the right place for me. You're thinking 'what the hell is this girl talking about' aren't you? I'll explain.

I'm short (as I like to remind everyone at every chance I get) and so finding clothes that suit and fit perfectly isn't an easy task, but it's a challenge I have to take on. Often rips in jeans that are meant to fall on the knee actually end up around my calves, leaving me looking like a clumsy five year old girl who just took a tumble that will scar her (or more importantly, her jeans) for life. Not exactly the look I was going for.

So, on finally managing to take a day off, I decided it was time to brutally hack my jeans (and my finger apparently *cue sympathy*) to create my own.

What you'll need:
001. A pair of old (or new if you dare) denim jeans
002. Scissors
003. Felt / biro pen
004. Hard object that fits inside jean leg (I used a the lid of a plastic tub)
005. Whatever you can get your hands on e.g. tweezers / sandpaper / scourer / foot scrub (?)

Firstly, take your jeans and decide where you want to place your rips. Find inspiration online, try them on; whatever works for you. I did both. Whilst you have the jeans on, draw lines and markings of where you’d like the rips and distressed areas to be.

To make big splits (i.e. across the knee area) mark one long line. Holding the front side of the jean (you don’t want to chop through both sides!) make a cut with the scissors and then continue along the marking. The style you are going for will determine how big you would like the spit to be. I found it best to start smaller and try the jeans on in between. That way you can get a really good idea of what they look like before you make any major boobs and completely ruin them!

To make smaller distressed areas (similar to the top of mine), scour the jeans with some household tools. Experimenting is the best way forward here!
I thought I was clever and went against every rule I was ever taught as a child about using scissors, and consequently cut myself. But if you’re not a total clutz like me, then you’ll be fine!

Place something hard that fits in the leg of your jeans to avoid going through both sides of the material. Scour them with sandpaper, a brush, foot scrub or anything you can get your hands on. Also, using scissors is a really good way to score the material to achieve the ladder effect.

TOP TIP: take time and care and approach it like you're creating a piece of art.

Keep going until you get the look you’re after. Here's how mine have turned out - not bad for a first attempt... even if I do say so myself!

It’s such an easy DIY that’s actually quite fun to do! So give it a go and share your results with me on Twitter and Instagram @lailaMLK 

I look forward to seeing your results! It feels good to be back...
L x

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Recipe | Falafel pittas

Delicious, healthy and cheap? Sounds too good to be true, but I promise it's not.

What you will need:
(Serves 4)

400g can of chickpeas
1 small onion (red works well too)
1 garlic clove
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander (ground)
1/2 tsp of harissa paste (or chilli powder)
2 tbsp plain flour
4 pitta breads
Oil of your choice - I used coconut oil

To serve:
Salsa / natural yoghurt

Preheat your oven to 200C/390F

Drain the chickpeas and then remove excess water with kitchen towel.

Chop the onion and garlic and place into a blender along with the chickpeas, cumin, coriander, flour, harissa / chilli powder and parsley. I use harissa paste as it's a staple in my household, however, it isn't the cheapest ingredient and chilli powder would work just as well.

Blend until smooth (ish)

Split the mixture to create four round burger-like patties then place in the over for 5 minutes, making sure to flip them half-way through. Meanwhile heat a teaspoon of oil in a frying pan.

Remove the patties from the oven and place in the frying pan - this completes the crispy outside of the falafel, giving them a slight crunch. Leave them in the pan, making sure to flip them, until they are a golden brown.

Serve in a pitta with salad and your choice of salsa or natural yoghurt. I also served mine with some sweet potato fries as I'm a carb-o-holic and pretty much obsessed with them at the moment. They are way better than your average potato chips!

Photograph credit - BBC

 I got extremely carried away with the delicious smell of these and ate them without even thinking about photographing the final product *hangs head in shame*. Shame on me for being so greedy.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!
L x

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Ideas | Mother's Day gifts

001. Favourite Child card - Heidi Nicole at NOTHS
002. Acrostic Grandma card - Doodlelove at NOTHS
003. Yves Saint Laurent Touch Eclat  - All Beauty
004. Light blue satchel - River Island
005. Lovely large canvas pouch - Alphabet Bags
006. 'Moon and back' key ring - Kutuu

001. I try every year to get the soppy and heartfelt card that I know my mum dearly desires - but I just can't do it. So I'm leaving that to my sister this year and going for the usual cheek that only the youngest child can get away with. Ahh, the perks of being the baby of the family.

002. The name may fool you but Mother's Day isn't just for your mother you know; don't forget the Grandmas! I always love to get my Grandma a card and a little something just to remind her how loved and important she is. After all my Grandma, as my sister and cousins will agree, is the best there is - although we may be slightly biassed.

003. I don't know about yours, but my mother loves this stuff - and so do I! The highlighter pens by YSL and Estee Lauder are definitely the best I've tried, although not the cheapest. The website is fab, offering 'posh' products at slightly cheaper prices for those who need to pinch the pennies.

004. It was actually my mum herself who brought the fact that Mother's Day was just around the corner to my attention... by getting her order for this bag in early. Her exact words were "I've seen this bag that you can get me for Mother's Day"; talk about demanding! It's super cute though and bang on the pastel trend for SS14 - nice find Jules!

005. Alphabet Bags and Kutuu are two of many independent gems that I've found on Not on the high Street. I love the message on the front of this pouch and it's bound to make anyone smile during their morning routine. It would make the the perfect make-up bag.

006. Giving my mum a key ring for Mother's Day is the equivalent of giving the gift of a mug - dull and empty. But the personality of this one could actually sway my previous judgements. 'I love you right to the moon and back' and the multiple variations were things that I used to say to my mum as a kid, and although I really shouldn't admit this, we still say it now.

While I go hang my head in shame at what I just admitted, I'd love to hear your ideas for Mother's Day?
L x

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

OOTD | I would hit the ground running

001. Khaki Shirt - Zara (old)
002. Black Jamie Jeans - Topshop
003. Leopard print coat - Topshop (sold out)
004. Nike Dunks Sky Hi - Footlocker (sold out)
004. Watch - Michael Kors at Beaverbrooks
005. City bag - Zara

One of the best things about my job and the industry that I work in is that, outfit wise, anything goes. Ok, so maybe it would be frowned upon if I rolled up to work in a bikini and sarong (do they still exist?!) or my Cookie Monster pyjamas (best things ever!), but I wouldn't be escorted out of the building. 

I hate photographs with my hair up, this is kind of reflected in my not so happy facial expression, but they were unavoidable as this is a lazy day, 'comfort is my priority' kind of style. I love my Nike Dunks - they're perfect for this kind of outfit and still give me the extra height I so desperately need! The leopard print 'Marmite' coat is one of my favourites and could probably divide the opinions of a nation, but what the hell.

It's been a funny few weeks. If I'm honest, I think I've struggled with adjusting to moving back home and having no structure. I like structure - does that make me an old lady? I'd just really got into the swing of things in Manchester; I had time to socialise, work, exercise, cook, watch ridiculous amounts of Netflix (although my addiction to Pretty Little Liars got way out of hand), shop and explore. But despite now being in the comfort of my own home and city, I just can't seem to find the right balance. 

This week I'm trying something different so fingers crossed I will finally settle back in. I'm dying to find a new car as I'm sure that will help me heaps! I'm not going to lie, being so reliant on my parents is slightly soul destroying after having so much independence. Moan over.

Hope you're surviving peak of the week,
L x

Monday, 10 March 2014

OOTD | Stand right there if you want, but I'm going on

001.Breton stripe long sleeve top - Gap
002. Bleach denim jeans – Warehouse (SS11 but similar here)
003. Short trench jacket - Zara (SS13 but similar here)
004. Tan strap heels - Topshop (SS13 but similar here)
005. Watch & changeable strap – Fossil (last season)
006. Charm necklace - Asos
007. Satchel - The Cambridge Satchel Company
008. Kate Lasting Finish Lipstick in 01 Rosetto - Rimmel @ Boots

Firstly, I apologise for the close up of my tootsies; I'm really not doing those shoes any favours am I? It was a beautiful day yesterday (Sunday) averaging at a whole 17 degrees here in Leeds, and what did I do to enjoy this rare and glorious weather? I stayed indoors of course and baked brownies - ya'know, as you do. I should be ashamed of myself but those brownies were damn worth it.

In spirit of the weather, I channeled my inner Parisian to venture to the supermarket for a few ingredients. I love a good striped top and probably own at least five that are virtually the same. They're so easy to throw on and you can achieve pretty much any look by switching up a few accessories. In keeping with the theme, I dug out my short trench jacket that I received for my birthday last year. By the time it came around in July 2013, the weather was dire and so I only got to wear this a few times which I was gutted about. Nevertheless, I can't wait to put it to good use this spring/summer - to be fair, I just can't wait for the summer full stop!

Did you take advantage of the sun yesterday?
L x

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Weekend wish list | 004

001. Jail breaker black leather sandals - Office
002. High heel platform sandals - Miss KG at Topshop
003. Lako leather tasseled loafers - Bertie at Dune
004. Lutney textured slip-ons - Dune
005. Light orange peep toe platform sandals - River Island

So the aim of this edition of the weekend wish list was to spot myself some day-to-night heels that would be perfect for those awkward transitions from meals that swiftly turn into night outs. I got distracted and instead just ended up wracking up a list of every form of shoe possible that I now just have to have.

001. It was love at first sight when I spotted these from the other side of the Office store in Carnaby Street. These definitely tick my 'day-to-night' box but unfortunately they're sold out online now and I have that horrible gut feeling that I've completed missed out on them! *rushes to check every Office store within a 10 mile radius*

002. Me and leopard print have always been good friends; it's a print that instantly gives oomph to the simplest of outfits. I need to add these to my leopard print collection pronto!

003. I already have a very similar pair of tan loafers from Clarks but it's about time that I got a new pair. They're the type of shoe that are a classic item and are worth the investment (yes I do call £69 an investment!). Teamed with a classic mac, breton stripe top and hair styled in a topknot; riviera never looked so chic.

004. Leopard print again - I know, I have a problem! I went to a BBC Apprenticeship conference this Monday where I saw a lady in these and I just had to ask where they were from. She told me that they were the comfiest things she'd ever worn which made me want them more.

005. Peach is about as far as I can go when it comes to pastels, well colour in general if I'm honest. These are so pretty and would look great with an all white outfit and a Summer tan. Ahh, Summer... when will you return? I am in desperate need of my tan back.

Have you found the perfect day-to-night heels? Help a girl out!
L x

Friday, 7 March 2014

Evolution | The 'Dark' Side

As a serial apologiser, I feel like a sorry is in order - with a whole lot of excuses on top. As I write this post, I'm fairly bleary eyed and on the brink of falling face first into my laptop (and no, I'm not drunk although I wish I was)! The past few weeks have slowly crept up on me and we have now violently collided.

Finishing my first work placement on Friday 7th February, I packed up and moved out of my apartment, travelled home to Leeds, unpacked, re-packed and travelled down to London for two weeks of training, unpacked, caught up with my fellow apprentices, finally purchased that Cambridge Satchel, tried Lebanese food, played too much wii Zumba, made a programme trailer, explored the big LDN, packed, returned to Leeds, unpacked, had a hair revamp, searched high and low for a new car (still failing), started my second placement, caught up with family, visited Bianca and her family in Manchester to celebrate her sister's 21st, travelled to London for the BBC Apprenticeship conference, returned home, went back to work, caught up with friends and then finally, I have stopped to breath.

Looking back it's been an absolutely manic month and I am not even sure where to start or what to tell you - so I though I'd show you instead. After all, they say a photo speaks a thousand words...

*WARNING - really uncool selfie coming up*











001. Just to give you a background story to this - I was extremely excited about finding out where my second placement would be which resulted in this beauty.

002. I am the Queen of bag ladies - true Nomad Style - and you may, or may not have, noticed the recurring feature of packing! I swear I could make a living from this new found skill!

003. This bag is my pride and joy! I'd been yearning after a Cambridge Satchel for months after my trusty tan leather bag broke and decided that being in London was the perfect excuse to visit the store in Covent Garden to soak up the whole experience.

004. My first ever experience of Lebanese food. Le Comptoir Libanais is a little hidden gem just off Carnaby Street; with bags of culture and a canteen-like set-up, I'd definitely recommend it if you're up for trying something different.

005. Carnaby Street - my new favourite spot in London.

006. This talented bunch are the QLC team and some of my fellow apprentices.  As part of our qualification we created a taster trailer for a programme that Moses, Charlotte and myself pitched to a board of 'commissioners'. 

007. Celebrating our final day together in a glorious Soho pub after a hectic week of filming. I absolutely adore these girls.

008. Hair c/o my mother - A shameless selfie, but after weeks and weeks of moaning about my hair, I finally decided to just cut it off. I'd recently dyed it a lot lighter so decided to keep some of the colour by dying the roots of my hair to my natural shade, leaving me with an ombre look. I love it!

009. Last weekend we celebrated Bianca's sisters birthday at the 235 Casino in Manchester and then had the most amazing afternoon tea courtesy of her Mum who is potentially the best cook ever! Think sushi, salads, birthday cake (of course) and the best brownies you could ever imagine.

010. I should probably explain this… Basically, my second placement is with an independent production company, namely Shiver at ITV Leeds. The idea is that we can gain further experience within the industry but outside of the BBC - aka the 'dark' side. 

So here we are, March 2014. How did that happen?! I'm excited for the next three months and have promised myself to get back on top of blogging now everything is settling down.

As always, feel free to ask any questions or take a look at the BBC apprenticeship website here, applications for 2014 are now open!

What have you all been up to this month?
L x

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Evolution | Opposing the 'Nine-to-Five'

A casual last day 'selfie' - I'm obsessed with my camo jeans!

 That would be Bianca, photo-bombing the beautiful MediaCityUK!

Apologies for going AWOL for a moment there. I finished the first placement of my apprenticeship last Friday, had a day at home in Leeds on Saturday and then came straight to London on Sunday evening, which ended up becoming an awfully long journey. But I'm here now and training is well underway and slowly taking over my life. I've missed blogging so much, and despite not have a ridiculous amount of time, I really really wanted to fill you in on recent happenings.

I'll start from the beginning. For those of you who don't know, up until September 2013, I had worked in mundane, nine-to-five office jobs in solicitors and for the children's services department in my local authority. I hated it. All of it. But after a lot of hard work and determination, I finally managed to move in to what I loved; television production!

My apprenticeship is with the BBC and is made up of four individual placements. My first placement was based in the Religion and Ethics, Television documentaries team in MediaCityUK, Salford. Now I know what you're thinking - "Religion and Ethics? How boring!" - but I'm afraid to inform you that you'd be wrong in thinking so. The work is incredibly intelligent and extremely varied! I spent my placement completing tasks at the opposite end of the scale; from researching crocodile experts and hostile countries, to sourcing students for a BBC Learning film, to filming a Christmas parade in Canterbury with the volunteer sewing ladies at the Cathedral who were the cutest people I've ever met - and all whilst consuming a ridiculous amount of cake!

My last week at Religion and Ethics also meant finding out where I would be heading after training in Elstree. My second placement will be outside of the BBC as we are encouraged to gain experience with an independent organisation within the industry. I’ve been lucky enough to gain a placement with ITV Leeds and their in-house production company, Shiver. Having now met my new manager, I am officially excited about what the next three months have to hold!

I’m not really sure how to sum up the experience so far. It’s been pretty amazing that’s for sure and I’ve worked with some incredibly inspiring people. They gave Bianca and myself a lovely send off over the course of our last week and I’m looking forward to hopefully working with them in the future. I am really going to miss Manchester, particularly my lovely walk to and from work dodging the ever fearless geese!

Returning to training has included being reunited with my fellow apprentices who are either completing the same scheme as me, or are part of the Creative Digital Media cohort. The people I share my place on the scheme with are some of the most creative, intelligent and excruciatingly talented people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting; I am incredibly proud to be sharing this experience with every single one of them. Wow. That was a little soppy for me – I hope you all appreciated that!

We’re in the middle of creating a taster trailer for a programme pitch we created at the moment, but I’m afraid the details are top secret (ok, maybe not top secret but there’s still a chance we could get it commissioned so I’m keeping quiet). I’m conscious that I could keep talking about this forever so I’m going to pause for now. I’ll keep you updated but in the meantime if you’re interested in working in television production then take a look at the BBC apprenticeships here. Applications for 2014 open on 3rd March and also make sure you follow @BBCTrainees for the most up to date information– it truly is a one of a kind opportunity.

L x