My thanksgiving to-do list!

Hey Guys!
Believe it or not I am one of the few bloggers out there with the worst organisation skills ever. Therefore, as promised this morning, I thought I would share with you the to-do list I created to assist me with the lead up to Thanksgiving! Let me know in the comments if I’ve forgotten anything or if you’d like to see any recipes from my menu! I really hope you enjoy!! 

My To-Do List Includes:

3-4 Weeks Before:

Write a guest list

Invite family and friends you are genuinely thankful for. In my case this involves missing out toxic individuals, or those who I know or suspect would disrespect the house and the beautiful environment I’m working hard to put together (especially if there is alcohol involved). After all, this is my home.
Don’t feel pressured to invite people who you or other guests may not feel comfortable around. Drama free evening please!! (I divided my thanksgiving in two, not to prevent drama, but because my family isn’t very social, and I don’t want to force them into an uncomfortable situation with strangers- a.k.a. my potentially very drunk friends.)

Purchase an outfit

If you’re planning on wearing something a bit special, like a new dress or possibly something a bit Autumnal, think about ordering this a few weeks in advance in order to avoid heartbreak and paying next-day delivery.

Read magazines/browse for inspiration

Find recipes and decor ideas either online or in magazines. Even in the UK magazines this is possible, because most places will already have released Christmas magazines that probably contain a lot of recipes that can translate for Thanksgiving as well. This year I loved reading the Tesco 2017 Christmas mag because it had some amazing recipes and visual stimuli. As usual, for decor, I was obsessed with Pintrest. I spend way too much of my life on Pintrest.

Order decor/other

Order or craft any decor you’ve seen on Pintrest that you just ‘need’. Also, consider whether you need extra cutlery or plastic cups. For example, I ordered an ash-tray to put outside, and a drinks dispenser for the punch.  

Write your menu

 Of course, this is the most important one of all! and needs to be done ahead of time so you don’t waste money on food that won’t be used, or forget to order certain items.
Consider any guests with dietary requirements or allergies; for example, my mother is what I like to call a sh*tatarian. She is technically a pescatarian, meaning that the only meat she eats is fish- but she can be very fussy with vegetarian options. I worry about her nutrition often, as she has a tendency to cook for her omni family and forget about herself. Normally with a roast we would cook a bit of salmon, but for this occasion I bought her a Linda McCartney pie, because even as a meat eater I think they are absolutely delicious. Mine includes:
***
Starters:
Frozen Hors d’oeuvres (cheating I know),
Bacon and Cranberry Puff Pastry Snowflake, with Melted Brie
Main:
Roast Turkey,
Roast Pork,
One Linda McCartney vegetarian pie,
Green Bean Casserole,
Cranberry Sauce (both smooth and whole berry),
Roast Veg with Seasonal Roots,
Asparagus Tips,
Pigs in Blankets,
Mashed Potatoes,
Carrot and Swede Mash,
Roasted Sprouts with Bacon,
Broccoli & Cauliflower,
Cauliflower Cheese,
Homemade Yorkshire Puddings (Just try serving a bunch of Brits a roast with no Yorkshires, & their faces contort in disgust!),
Stuffing (meat inside and vegetarian outside the bird),
Meat Gravy (Plus vegetarian one separate)
Dessert:
Sweet Potato Pie,
Chocolate Tart,
Pear and Chocolate Crumble with ice cream.
Drinks:
‘Apple Pie’ Punch
“Open Bar”

***


1-2 Weeks Before:

Write a shopping list & Order Non Perishables

Make a list based on your menu, then divide into 2 by frozen/non perishables, and food you need/want to order fresh. Order frozen and non perishables such as alcohol, then put your other list somewhere for safekeeping. That way, later on you can grab fresh food such as veggies + add any thing you forgot onto the new list.

Think about a punch that would be widely enjoyed– for example I held off on the Malibu as I know many people dislike/have allergies to coconuts. I love to watch Tipsy Bartender on YouTube- even though I rarely drink outside of big events/Christmas nowadays.

Think about areas where it may be possible to cheat! It doesn’t make you a bad person to cut corners in some places. For example, I realized my life would be made substantially easier if I purchased a pre-made shortcrust pastry for my sweet potato pie. No- it’s not that difficult to make- but it saves time and energy later on when I will be rushed off my feet.

Make Placeholders

This is especially useful if there are attendees who don’t get always along. In my case, Due to being extremely picky with my invites, I hope they will just serve as whimsical keepsakes.

1-2 Days Before:

Clean/tidy house

This may seem obvious, but make sure your home is guest ready. For me, I had to make  a list including chores I would normally put off- for example things such as bleaching skirting board and treating my bathroom for limescale. (Norfolk is an area that has very hard water, which causes a frequent build up). Austin and I also had a small domestic regarding whose duty it was to catch the unwanted guest in the bathroom… he is terrified of spiders! Make sure all your dishes are clean, or else you might find yourself scrambling on the day looking for something that is in the dishwasher!

Entertainment!

Bring your speakers downstairs, make a playlist. Consider games/activities for when it gets quiet. Cards against humanity is a must- but as massive nerds we actually are planning to introduce D&D to our friends for the first time. Not to mention probably some drinking games later on. My favourite is the nomination game!

Pamper yourself

 Pick an outfit, do your nails, shave, pamper yourself for the long day ahead. Speaking from the experience of last year, you won’t have much time to do this on the day- even despite the precautions you have taken. It is probable that you will still be standing in the kitchen until the very last minute!

Prepare your veg

Clean, peel, chop and vacuum pack vegetables so all you have to do is cook them the day after.
To do this, place your vegetables into a ziplock bag, and pop a straw into the outside corner. Do the zip up all the way to the edge of the straw, then use it to suck out all the excess air. Seal the bag, and pop in the fridge!

Cook the desserts

Hot ones such as crumble that can be refrigerated and then warmed up on the day. The day before Thanksgiving I’m setting some allocated time to make all three of the desserts on the menu. Luckily, the crumble is a fairly easy one, as the temperature required doesn’t necessarily matter-  so it can go in at the same time!

Put up decorations

Set and lay the table, as well as placing any center pieces and pretty bits where you would like them to go. I added an autumnal wreath, some themed balloons and candles for ambiance.


On the Big Day:

Consider roping off areas

Yes, they are guests, and you shouldn’t make the night feel too artificial by enforcing a 2 page list of rules. However, they should respect your boundaries, especially if there is alcohol and or children involved. Don’t feel bad for roping off a certain area of your house if you think it may cause issues or unwanted mess.

Cook

Obvious, I know (as though you need to be reminded). Cook the foods you have planned out in your menu. This should be much easier with your squeaky clean kitchen and ready-to-go vegetables. However, if you find yourself extremely stressed or short of time be sure not to push yourself too hard. There will almost definitely be enough food regardless of whether or not you miss out or forget one or two dishes, as it’s the custom for guests to bring something along.

Get Ready!

Lay out all the beautiful food on the table, get yourself dressed and ready and have a glass of wine while you wait for your guests to arrive! You’ve earned it!

QuiteFranklii’s Thanksgiving Guide

Hi guys! I’m back!! (Apologies, I’ve had some health issues recently, and then my Macbook decided to give up on me, and so my little one week break from intense social media and blogging became more like three). To make up for lost time, I felt like it would be fun to catch you guys up with what I’ve been up to.

As you may or may not know, we are a multi-cultural household, as my husband is in fact American! (I am British). As such, over the past few years I’ve found myself embracing a new holiday, Thanksgiving!  Of course, as a lifelong foodie I didn’t take much convincing, after all- what kind of maniac would be adverse to a huge meal surrounded by loved ones? Since one of my greatest passions in life is cooking, and hosting parties, (not to mention the fact I always want to try my best to stop Austin from feeling homesick)-  I decided that this year I would introduce a few of my favourite people to Thanksgiving, and invite them all round for an evening of food, festive fun and cocktails.

Over the next few days, I hope to share with you some of the things that helped me to prepare for this holiday (I’m definitely still learning) including recipes that can also be wonderful at Christmas time- so don’t be put off if you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving!!

First up will be my To-Do list, I really hope you enjoy it!

All my love,

Frankii x

Gifts for Geeks | Christmas 2017

Whats up guys? I know what you’re all thinking, but yes, with Halloween done and out of the way, whether we like it or not Christmas is fast approaching!

As you may know, I’m a total media junkie. I love TV/film/gaming, so when EMP got in contact with me and asked me to do a post I was super excited because I knew it was time to do my first ever Christmas gift guide! So down below I’m going to talk about some of the things that caught my eye from their website.


Harry Potter/Fantastic Beasts

Of course, if you know me at all or keep up with my posts such as The Harry Potter Tag, you’ll know I am obsessed with Harry Potter and the entire universe that J.K Rowling has gifted the world. So of course, this was the first section of the website I headed for. I was totally pleasantly surprised at the amount of merchandise to choose from, so it was really tough for me to narrow down this little selection, but here are the items I chose to share with you- either because I love them, or its something I’ve never seen before!

Dark Arts Notebook – £17.99

Although personally I am a Gryffindor, I always find myself attracted to the dark objects. They are always so beautiful, and I particularly love the metallic green finish on this piece. I think this would be an amazing gift for any Potter fan who needs a nifty little notebook. But really, especially is there such a thing as too many notebooks?

Gryffindor Pyjamas – £24.99

I picked out these because I know several families who have traditions of opening a set of cosy PJ’s on Christmas eve, to open open presents in the next day- which is a tradition I fully intend to get behind now I have my own household. I am a Pyjama fanatic, and I love nothing more than changing into my cosiest PJ’s as soon as I set foot in my house.  Of course if you’re from a different house, they have others available in this style!

Earring Set – £9.99 – £6.99

My favourite kind of wearable merchandise is always subtle merchandise, which is why I loved these so much. I love to be able to sneak cute accents like this into my everyday outfits. Earrings always make for a great stocking filler, and this set is super cute and affordable.

Wax Seal Kit – £29.99 – £24.99

I had a kit very similar to this one a few years back that I purchased from the Harry Potter studios. I love the design on the stamp piece here though, It looks like a lot more care went into the creation of this one. This gift is ideal for stationary lovers, I really enjoyed the process of using wax seals, it just makes your post look so much more exciting- I don’t know why people ever stopped using them!

Niffler/Dumbledore Funko – £9.99 

Now I personally don’t collect Funko’s, but I know so many people that do. I have to say though, despite me not being a collector, I totally fell in love with these two pieces. Dumbledore especially. From his lilac robes to his sparkly looking hat, I just think he’s the cutest. I also couldn’t get away without posting at least one piece of Niffler merch, he is one of my favourite characters in the J.K universe. I too, am obsessed with shiny things, little guy!

Wizard Chess Set – £45.99

Ok, I have always wanted a Wizard Chess set to sit on my coffee table from the first time I visited the Harry Potter studios in London and saw a very expensive glass set. I just think it’s such a clever, fun and beautiful tribute to Harry Potter, and I personally would love to receive a gift like this!


Jewellery

As I mentioned before, I am a bit of a Niffler- enter jewellery obsession. I adore fun and unique costume jewellery, and am constantly struggling not to purchase items just like these pieces below. There was so much choice for some great and thoughtful stocking fillers available on EMP’s site, it was hard for me to pick just a few- BUT here they are!

Ohana Necklace – £12.99

People who know me know that I am extremely family orientated and come from an incredibly close knit immediate family. I chose this piece not only because I love Lilo and Stitch, but because I think it would be a super cute gift for any family member. I might actually purchase this myself for my little sister, to remind her I love her (even when she’s being a bratty teen!)

Alice Ear-Cuff – £12.99

As I said before, odd jewellery. I love ear cuffs, I think they look so unique and stunning, and this piece really caught my eye! I love the bronzed effect and the detail is just adorable… I really want this for myself!

The One Ring – £55.99

Now, the pricing of this one is a little steep, (depending on how much you love LOTR of course), but there are some other colours/options. I like this one in particular because the details really appeal to me, and I think anyone who adores Lord of the Rings as much as we do would love this one- if you love them enough to splash out on it of course!

PlayStation Controller Necklace – £16.99

A great homage to any PS gaming fanatics in your life, I thought this piece was cute and something I’d never seen before!


Miscellaneous

Admittedly, at this stage I felt like I had to narrow down my choices because I had a collection of mugs that I loved that would have taken me all night alone-  (there are so many- go check them out!). Because my post was already at risk of becoming too long here are some miscellaneous bits and bobs I felt like I couldn’t end this Christmas Guide without bringing to your attention.

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Fallout Nuka Cola – Gift Set – £19.99

First of all, if you’re feeling a bit unimaginative with your gifts, EMP have a couple of sets literally titled “gift sets” (I also really liked this Playstation one), but since my husband and I are great fans of Fallout, I loved seeing this one, because it looks like it could have been ripped straight from the game!

Stark Christmas Jumper – £41.99

I loved this jumper so much! I thought it was a super clever and inventive way to incorporate GOT fandom into the Christmas spirit. It’s so festive and yet so nerdy at the same time. Brilliant! I would have purchased this in a heartbeat, but the price is a little steep for me. *sad face* That being said- it’s a welcome gift if anyone likes me that much!

Tarot Cards – £14.99

As you may or may not know, I am a bit of a spiritualist and a closet witch, so I love to see things like this in more mainstream shops- even if they are sold as more of a novelty item. I loved the packaging for this set, as the little cat reminded me of Binx from Hocus Pocus! (yes, you’re right, I’m probably not entirely over Halloween yet).

Gift Card

Finally, if my guide has been too long and overwhelming, or you’ve visited the site and simply cannot choose, if you’re not sure what their favourite movie is, or if you’re simply feeling lazy and unimaginative, you could always play it safe and purchase a gift card!


Thank you!

I know I don’t say this enough but if you read my content thank you so much, it honestly means the world to me and really keeps me going. If you enjoyed this post or fancy any of the items below do feel free to share this with Santa… (or just comment below) what you’re loving too, and be sure to visit their site >> here << or by following any of the other links I’ve used above!

I really hope you’ve enjoyed this post and that maybe it’s helped you to feel even the slightest bit more festive!

Love Frankii x

The Autumn Tag!

THE AUTUMN TAG 2017!

A huge should out to Becca over at Becxblogs who created this tag based on a blog post by Naomi over at roomtoglow.co.uk and Simply_Kenna’s YouTube video. Thank you for thinking of me for this tag!

I love Autumn SO much, it’s always been my favourite season. I can’t wait to get started and to see other peoples answers!!

 

My Answers!

 

  1. What signifies Autumn to you?

Oranges, Browns, Red tones. Falling leaves, dark lipstick, cinnamon scented candles, hot tomato soup, jumpers, gloves, hats and scarves you’ve waited to wear all year, and cosy nights in with a blanket beside the fire.

  1. What is the best way to spend a rainy day?

In PJs, wrapped in a blanket maybe cooking/baking or making something pretty.

  1. What is your most fond Autumn memory?

One of my earliest memories is getting pulled through a muddy puddle by my dog when I was about four- we were walking through a forest, I can still picture the orange ground and trees and laughing with my mum. Obviously, getting married on Halloween is right up there too, but it doesn’t seem like the most “autumnal” memory I have!

  1. What is your favourite Autumn scent?

I have always loved the way the ground smells when it rains, which might sound weird to some! I also love the smell of apple pies, cinnamon, and coffee.

  1. What are you most excited for this Autumn?

Its our first ever wedding anniversary on Halloween, we were initially going to throw a party because I am obsessed with hosting parties, I love doing the house up and such. But as it drew closer Austin and I decided to cancel it as its our first, and we want to spend it together and do something just the two of us. I’m excited to see what Halloween has in store for us!

  1. What is your favourite Autumn song?

Because of our anniversary, for Christmas last year I bought Austin the soundtrack to Nightmare before Christmas on vinyl, I love putting that on as I clean the house, it really gets me excited for Halloween!

  1. What is your favourite Autumn movie?

I love all the Tim Burton ones, but I always look forward to watching Hocus Pocus!

  1. What TV shows are you most looking forward to this Autumn?

I always look forward to The Great British Bake Off, although this year I’m taking a bit of adjusting to life without Mary Berry, Mel and Sue! Besides that I don’t actually watch that much TV! I’m more of a Netflix girl!

  1. What is your favourite Autumn colour?

That’s such a hard question! I love the whole autumnal palette… I’d probably say like a deep red orange, the colour of pumpkin pie!

  1. What is your most loved outdoor Autumn activity?

Gosh, a few years ago I would have always said galloping down the stubble fields. I miss horse riding so much! I also like to stroll in the brisk air and look at the leaves. What a little romantic I am!

  1. What is your favourite Autumn fashion trend?

I love skirts with tights, and of course JUMPERS! I have never been one for tight fitting clothes, so autumn is my favourite season for fashion 100%.

  1. If you could have a familiar/ spirit animal, what would it be?

I actually mentioned this on my Harry Potter tag (see here), but I think my familiar would be a wolf. When I meditate I often see a wolf, and I’ve always felt very connected to canines in general.

  1. Name one place you wish you could visit during Autumn?

I’d love to visit the house they filmed “Pemberley” for Pride and Prejudice (the 1995 version not the awful Kiera Knightly one). It’s so beautiful and I’ve always wanted to go, I think with the leaves falling and the additional colour it would be spectacular.

  1. What is your favourite photo you took last Autumn?

Probably this one we took on the way to elope… I can’t help but remember how giddy and excited we both were in that moment.

 

  1. What are you being this Halloween?

Oh god, what am I not being this halloween!? I’m obsessed with halloween, halloween makeup especially. I can’t wait to share loads of different makeup looks with you over the next month on my instagram! find me over at instagram.com/quitefranklii !

 


I Tag…

  1. Britt @ alternativelyspeaking
  2. Natalie @ gorgeousandgeeky
  3. Zara @ itsallzara
  4. Emily @ thatweirdgirllife
  5. Savana @ officialsavanarae
  6. Meg @ mysticmogwai
  7. Meggan @ cardiganjezebel
  8. Kaelin @ livinginsaturn
  9. Emma @ canuckersem
  10. Hannah @ rand0mg4l

 


The Questions

  1. What signifies Autumn to you?

  2. What is the best way to spend a rainy day?

  3. What is your most fond Autumn memory?

  4. What is your favourite Autumn scent?

  5. What are you most excited for this Autumn?

  6. What is your favourite Autumn song?

  7. What is your favourite Autumn movie?

  8. What TV shows are you most looking forward to this Autumn?

  9. What is your favourite Autumn colour?

  10. What is your most loved outdoor Autumn activity?

  11. What is your favourite Autumn fashion trend?

  1. If you could have a familiar/ spirit animal, what would it be?

  1. Name one place you wish you could visit during Autumn?

  2. What is your favourite photo you took last Autumn?

  3. What are you being this Halloween?

10 Tips for new bloggers!

Hey guys! I thought I’d share with you some of the things I wish I’d known before I started my blog seriously a few months ago! Hope you enjoy x

Start thinking of yourself as a brand.

This may seem a little daunting, but if you’re new or thinking of starting a blog it’s probably no different to what you were doing on social media anyway! We all have an “online persona”. Make sure your web design and content reflect you! When I first started I did a little brainstorm and considered the bloggers/influencers that inspired me. Set aside some time to really think about what it is you have to offer, and try to make sure that your personality shines through in your work. For example, for me, I’ve always been known amongst my friends for my humor and wit, so I like to break up some of my more serious posts with something a little light-hearted.

Engagement is key!

I know this one might seem obvious but the best way I’ve found to get a regular readership is simply making genuine connections with other bloggers and, well… just being pleasant! Twitter will become your best friend, you can genuinely never go wrong with following bloggers and engaging with their content. One of the best things that ever happened to my blog was joining a group chat on twitter, and a pod on Instagram. ‘Pods’ like this are a great way to ensure engagement because it allows you to connect and share links with people who have common interests as you. If nothing else, the mutual support will do wonders for your confidence, and especially if you are introverted like me, provides and amazing opportunity to make friends.

 

Participate on hot topics

Because the blogging community is so large and diverse, there is often controversy or ‘hot topics’ such as a controversial blog post, a new television show, or a trending hash-tag. While I’d never recommend getting involved with drama, sometimes it’s worth being aware or weighing in with an opinion or an issue. Again, these can be a good networking opportunities or at the very least a way to build familiarity with other bloggers/potential readers.

Also, there are often “chats” held at certain times. Usually this involves an account hosting a Q&A where people answer and discuss questions asked by a host. These are great chance to make new connections and can be great fun!

These Apps may save your life

Here are some of the apps I personally use and love:

One of the most frustrating parts of being a blogger is people who are only out for themselves. People who follow you, wait for you to follow back then unfollow you. This can be combatted by using:

Followers+ (instagram) This allows you to track your followers and see your unfollowers.

Crowdfire (Twitter) Crowdfire is great because it also allows you to schedule tweets, so that they post automatically at optimal times.

Bitly- This can be used to shorten links so that you fill up less characters when sharing your links on twitter. This helps you to include more vital hashtags that might get your post noticed!

Bloglovin’- Bloglovin’ is another way to help you keep up with other blogs and for others to follow you. This is particularly useful If you use a platform that isn’t WordPress as it gives you a “timeline” so you can keep track of content you love!

Influenster- Influenster allows you to make a profile tailored to products you love and is designed to let you review them. This can help brands to see your writing skills and to assess whether or not you might be suitable to review their products. Let’s be real, who doesn’t love a PR package?

 

Photography

Before I started blogging, I knew that photography was important but never knew quite how important it was. I would recommend purchasing a decent camera, because it just sets you apart from other bloggers and makes your content look more professional. However, if you can’t afford to splash out, or you don’t have access to a camera; there are some apps (for iPhone) that can help you out: the ones I use most often are VSCO, and Facetune. VSCO is great for general editing, lightening/brightening images, or adding tints/filters that might help you if you have an Instagram or blog image ‘theme’, where as Facetune is more aimed towards editing selfie’s or images of people.

Having mentioned ‘themes’, this is where all your images or photos abide by some sort of colour scheme or subject theme. This is regularly seen by bloggers on Instagram. Don’t feel pressured to have a theme or set aesthetic, but some people feel it adds something to their ‘brand’, as I mentioned before; since it makes their content more recognizable and consistent.

Buy your domain

This one isn’t essential, but it does help your website links to look more professional. The sooner you do this the better, that way it allows you to get to grips with your new website. If you aren’t ready to make this commitment yet, at least consider doing it as soon as possible.

Schedule/time posts for optimal times

Think about the time and day you personally are most likely to sit down and read other peoples posts. Often people do this on weekend afternoons, however, this also runs the risk that your post will be buried amongst many others written by people who were thinking the same thing. Some of my most viewed posts have actually gone live in the morning around commute time, presumably read by people using the tube or other public transport on their way to work. Find the time that works best for you! Using crowdfire as mentioned previously, you can schedule tweets (or links to your post within them) and they will post automatically for the “best time”.

Be consistent

As a newbie I know this can be daunting, but one of the easiest ways to lose followers and readers is to be inconsistent or to forget to post regularly. People are far more likely to subscribe and return to your site regularly if you are consistent. You don’t want return followers and potential subscribers to forget about you! Definitely think of writing and scheduling posts in advance to prevent this happening. If you haven’t yet launched I would even consider doing this a few weeks in advance while you find your feet with your new site.

This also applies to the content you are posting. Subscribers and repeat visitors are most likely returning to your page because they enjoy your content. As I said before, don’t feel pressured to fit into a theme or a niche, but try and work out what it is that your brand will concentrate on for the most part. For example, if you have gained subscribers through blogging about food, you might notice a decline in your engagement if you suddenly start to focus on interior design, and neglect your regular food posts. For example, for me, I try my best to stick to beauty and lifestyle. I will occasionally however break from that niche to discuss wider issues such as mental health, because it is important to me personally. I also think it is good to use my platform to do good and spread awareness. This is effective because it makes me seem relatable and human, and a lot of my audience are fellow bloggers. Blogging is a fantastic creative outlet and often a safe space to share! So, as it turns out, more of us than you know suffer from anxiety and/or struggle with mental health. I discovered this as this occasional change actually boosts my views, as a pose to harming them.

Don’t expect to become a Hollywood name overnight.

It takes time, work and a lot of learning to build your audience and become a big name in blogging. If you are blogging purely for numbers, free products or fame this is probably not the career for you, as your lack of passion will eventually shine through your content.

Most of all, have fun!

As I just mentioned, make sure you are truly passionate about what you are writing about, and provide genuine engagement and gratitude to your readership. But don’t tie yourself in knots trying to fit a niche or a theme that makes you feel less passionate about what you are doing. We blog for the love of blogging- it really is an affair of the heart. As the old saying goes, “if you chose a job you love, you will never work a day in your life.

Discounted Beauty: UltraWhite Home Teeth Whitening Kit

What’s up guys! Today I’m starting a new series that I’m hoping you’ll love. “Discounted Beauty” is going to be a series about products found on sale, or on online discount stores such as Groupon or Wowcher. Of course if there’s anything that you’ve seen that you think I should try and review please go ahead and let me know in the comments below!

The first product I have for you guys is the the “UltraWhite Home Teeth Whitening Kit”. The products come in a metallic medical/sterile feeling packaging, and as you can see in the top picture, this kit comes with three, six or nine 3ml non-peroxide gel syringes with gel caps to stop it from going bad, a tooth colour chart so that you can track your progress and see what shade you’ve achieved, a double silicone mouth tray, and an “ultra blue LED laser light” which claims to accelerate/enhance the process.

I’ve always looked after my teeth, they are not terribly yellow, having not smoked for long before giving up last year (go me!) – but I definitely feel like my coffee consumption during my three years at University have left them looking a little more sad than they used to. I spent a long while with the colour chart trying to assess what shade my teeth were at, but the colour chart seems to go from brilliant white to brownish, whereas mine are slightly yellow. I didn’t think any of them resembled my teeth but I suppose I would place it around a 5-6 if I had to.

The instructions tell you to essentially squeeze a small line of gel onto each side of the tray across your front 6-8 teeth. It then says to “insert” the light, and leave on for no more than 30 minutes before removing the tray, and rinsing your mouth and the products with water.

The first thing I noticed with this is, the sheer size of the mouth tray. When putting it in I felt more like I was going to film a YouTube video of me playing the “Speak Out” challenge. I don’t have the largest mouth, and I found it really hard to fit this piece in. The shape felt very unnatural and uncomfortable, and has a strange ridge that I found I had to physically pull my lips over.

The second thing I noticed is the light does not fit or secure into the tray at all. It had me wondering if the light was designed for a different product, so again, I had to try and fit this along with this enormous tray inside my mouth. Consequently, the light didn’t really sit flush with the product and I found myself having to adjust it several times.

About half way through, (skip this paragraph if you’re easily grossed out) I felt extremely uncomfortable as there were pools of saliva collecting in the bottom of my mouth. Because of this, it was obviously mixing with the gel, and I could taste it. I’m not sure how safe this is, and it seemed to numb the tip of my tongue.

It actually took a fair bit of willpower to last a full 30 minutes, but I told myself if my teeth looked even a shade whiter it would all be worth it. Unfortunately, as I removed the tray, (and the pools of drool/product collected in the bottom of my mouth) I looked in the mirror to see that absolutely nothing had changed.

QUITE FRANKLII… (lol) I was going to include a before and after picture at this point, but honestly, the pictures I took literally look exactly the same. I gave it another shot, and tried again the next day, only to find that I had now wasted £15 and an hour of my life instead of 30 feeling very dribbly and very uncomfortable all for nothing! I think it’s safe to conclude my lovelies, that I do not advise purchasing this product, and there is probably a reason it’s discounted on Groupon!

Despite my suffering I hope you guys enjoyed my first “discounted beauty” post! As I said before, feel free to share in the comments below any links or products to things you’d like to see me try below, I love hearing from you!

Lots of Love,

Francesca! x

 

5 Tips for Freshers/Freshmen!


Since I’m starting my Master’s at a new University next month (UEA), I was thinking about how daunting facing a new academic adventure is. University (NTU) held some of the best (and worst) times of my life, and your life really is about to change forever. Living away from home and studying something (hopefully) you love will help you to really grow and find yourself. It sounds cliché but though it’s certainly not for everyone, your experience really will be an intensely valuable one, and hopefully will contain some of the best days of your life. I’m genuinely very jealous that you are getting to do it for the first time! 

 Though I am still jittery with nerves and excitement this time around, I know that I can cope. I remember how anxious I was in the weeks leading up to my first day, so as an old Uni veteran now, I thought that I would share with you guys some tips and tricks I picked up in my first year that helped me survive the transition, and some of the things I wish I’d done differently! 

 


 

Ditch that fuckboy!

Starting off with a semi-serious topic, having seen many relationships fall to bits here is my advice to you: If you are not one hundred percent certain that your relationship was built to last, I would seriously advise you to consider entering University single.

The fact is, it is extremely difficult to make a relationship work long distance as it is, without the added burden of being a new student added on. Unless you are very lucky, chances are you will not be able to afford a social life on top of train tickets/fuel to go see your SO every other week unless he is attending the same establishment as you.

Then, from my experience, everyone in Fresher’s week is like a dog in heat. For many singleton’s, it is the ultimate opportunity to meet and *ahem* ‘connect‘ with new people. Even if you don’t think you are a jealous person, if there is even the slightest part of you that is insecure, ‘adulterous’ or jealous, Fresher’s week will probably bring that out in you. Temptation is everywhere, when you aren’t drunk you are probably very hungover and fragile, meaning that emotions will be running extremely high. You quite possibly may find yourself crying in the club bathroom arguing over the fit flatmate you saw in his pictures, even if there is nothing going on. (You have no idea how many girls I had to step over on the bathroom floor!) Sometimes however, you are right to be jealous. I’ve seen both boys and girls sleeping with other people knowing full well they were in a relationship.

Unless you trust them implicitly, please think about whether it’s worth it. Fresher’s week is such an incredible and fun experience for most, and I hate to think that you might spend it sad or jealous over someone who won’t even matter in 5 years time. I know many people who severely regret wasting their time in fruitless relationships that prevented them from experiencing Fresher’s to the full with a clean slate. I’m not saying immediately set out and ditch your partner of 7 years, but definitely talk about it and ensure you’re both on the same page. If this lad/lass is probably not the father/mother of your children, rip the band aid off early and ditch them.

 

Embrace the anxiety

This may sound strange, but anxiety is good. If you weren’t a little nervous, you’d probably be a psychopath. For many, uni/college is the first time they’ve ever lived away from home, let alone with a group of complete strangers. If not, it’s still an entirely different situation. Fortunately, adrenaline is a great confidence booster, and since everyone is probably feeling the exact same way, you will find that conversation starts extremely easily. If your Rep’s do their jobs right, they will get you all together and gently force you to engage with other people outside of your flat, provide ice breakers and drinking games. (My fresher’s reps at NTU were totally amazing and went above and beyond the call of duty. Remember that if you are in trouble you should definitely seek out someone in a Rep shirt and ask them for help. That’s what they are there for!) You will find you have new friends almost immediately, with everyone clinging to everyone and finding great comradery in your new situation! (If you do suffer from anxiety, you can find tips for coping here)!

 

Brace yourself for hangovers!

If your religion or beliefs dictate that you can’t drink, I would definitely recommend joining a club or society for people within your church or at the very least one for people who share similar interests.

If not, brace for impact guys and gals. You will be not just allowed, but encouraged to drink all week long, and to go out every single night. This is because it really does help loosen people up and makes making friends loads easier! This is amazing, but if you’ve ever heard the term “Fresher’s Flu” and thought it was a myth you were wrong. It is very very real. Because you are either drunk or hungover consistently, you will find your voice strained, you’re covered in bruises and probably very emotional and fragile for afterwards. Here are my tried and true livesaver’s for hangovers:

  1. Before you begin your sesh: place a 2L bottle of water, a banana and a glass of water with salt and sugar in it next to your bed every night. Down the glass and eat your banana first thing when you wake up. This sounds insane and gross, but its science. You lose potassium, salt and sugars from being drunk and dehydrated. Putting this back into your system first thing might help you recover quicker. Google it, its a thing. I promise.
  2. After your sesh: if you can stomach it, try and have eggs for breakfast. If you’re vegan or otherwise dislike eggs, oats/porridge contain something called ‘Cysteine’ that helps your liver to break down the toxins.
  3. After your sesh: not trying to turn you all into pill poppers and addicts, but pro-plus or caffiene tablets/coffee could be your saving grace if you feel your energy flagging as the week goes on. See also vodka redbulls/jagerbombs.
  4. After your sesh:  Have a warm shower, then flash it cold to finish. Again, maybe I am mental, but there’s a reason a lot of entrepreneurs swear by a cold shower. Consider athelete’s having an ice bath too. It just really wakes you up and helps to get rid of the brain fog.
  5. After your sesh: make a round of tea and discuss all the hilarity and probable bad decisions you made the night before! Nothing makes a hangover worth it like story time with your new pals.

 

Don’t just stick to people in your flat

Make sure you remember there are people outside your flat that you probably have way more in common with than the weirdo in room 6. If you’re lucky your flatmates will be great, but after a few weeks they will probably get annoying and you will need friends who don’t steal your milk and don’t argue over dishes for 3 weeks straight. I really wish I’d joined a society while I was at uni, or in the very least not been ill all the time so I could have attended more. Make the most of your experience!

 

Leave your door open!

Get decent and open your door as soon as possible. It makes you way more approachable. At my uni we got told off for propping all the fire doors open but it meant that it became a bizarre sort of hippy community with the whole block of flats. We made friends with most of the block and ended up walking in and out of peoples rooms when we were bored or hungover needing a pal. Harry Potter marathons are necessary in that first week, I’m telling ya. We even ended up pre-drinking to GBBO. No regrets.

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you guys found this post helpful or at the very least entertaining! If you have any questions or want any advice, especially if you’ll be joining the Trent Army in September I would love to hear from you! Either reply in the comments or find me on twitter @quitefranklii ! Be sure to share this with anyone you think would find this useful and i’ll see you guys in my next post! 

Francesca x