Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Follow Me To: Graduation!



Hey Owlets,

Today I have a particularly special "Follow Me To" post. In case you've not been on any social media in the last two weeks... I'M A GRADUATE!! I am going to be filming a Q&A and I've already had a few questions about applying so I intend to do a completely separate post about that, but for now I just wanted to be able to share my day with you. 

My graduation trip actually started the day before the ceremony. Our ceremony was at 10am and there was absolutely no chance that I was going to get ready and do my makeup ready to leave home at 7am so we stayed in a hotel. We decided to celebrate the night before so went to Cafe Rouge for dinner. We decided to use Tesco Clubcard points to pay for it. In case you didn't know, you can transfer points into vouchers and they're worth 4 times more, so £2.50 in points is £10 in vouchers (not sponsored - I just don't think anyone knows about it!). Anyway, to the point of the story. Dad called because the vouchers hadn't come through, and as per usual he got chatting to the man on the phone, saying that we were in Cardiff for graduation, so he gave us an extra £10 voucher to say congratulations. Not particularly relevant but I thought that was so lovely! The food was great as ever, and they're really good for gluten free food too. We then went back to the hotel, I opened the presents my parents kindly gave me then we all had an early night.


In the morning it was a massive rush to get my robes and walk to St David's Hall for the ceremony. All of the students sat downstairs - my family were sat right up in the gods but you could just about see the merry band of Ward family photographers (really glad I spent my birthday money on a long lens!). Throughout the ceremony we had entertainment from the amazing university band (I've never seen a room full of people so excited to hear someone playing the Toy Story theme tune!), and clapped as everyone processed through the ceremony. Someone asked me how it felt walking across the stage to shake the Chancellor's hand - honestly I don't know. I was so nervous that all I kept thinking was "Don't trip in front of all these people".


After the ceremony the first thing we did was run into Queen's Arcade to get a post grad essential - bubble slush from Bubble Base. This was pretty much what I lived on throughout my time at USW. We then headed back to the uni campus to take photos. As well as the professional photographs and the photos we took outside, the uni had set up a photo booth, which of course we had to make the most of with some stupid poses. Not quite sure how we managed to fit us all in, but we did it!


After taking our photos I returned my robes and left my parents sat in the sunshine while Adam and I went to see my lecturers - they'd set up for us to have a drink and chat near our lecture room which was lovely but by this point we were exhausted. We stayed for a little while then went home and got straight in the pool - it was very much necessary after a day of wearing robes in 30ΒΊ heat!

I hope you enjoyed the run through of my day. If you'd like to watch what I got up to, check out my graduation vlog below.


I've also just uploaded a University Q&A if you fancy hearing gossip from the last three years of uni life.



Speak soon!

Love and Feathers, 
 The Owlet πŸ’œ 

You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Bloglovin & Snapchat.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Follow Me To: Bristol Zoo After Hours


Hey Owlets!!

I'm coming to you with my best flamingo impression today (I really hope you appreciate that photo - I nearly fell over several times). A few weeks ago I was invited to Bristol Zoo to check out their new Twilight Evenings and to try their new restaurant. If you've been reading The Owlet for a while, then you'll know that I jump at any opportunity to get to act like a child for a little bit longer, so I probably don't have to tell you how excited I was about this.


When we got to the zoo we were taken for a tour of the the animal enclosures, starting with the penguins and seals. This is a fur seal- they're called this because they have two layers of fur unlike other seals. They also have a serious set of lungs on them - I know this because this seal decided that he really didn't like the tour guide's talk and proceeded to swim around screeching every time the poor man spoke. I didn't laugh... too much.


We were then led towards the Monkey Enclosures where we saw some of the most photogenic apes I've ever seen.  I think he knew he was pretty and sat here to prove it. He was definitely ready for his close up.


Within the monkey area, my favourites were of course the ring tailed lemurs - they're just so cute and I love watching them swing on the branches. Although I think the lemur was thinking the same thing as me with his tongue hanging out - food time.


We went for dinner in The Hide. The zoo have recently opened a new restaurant to replace the old system of queuing up to get food from the kiosks. I was chatting to the catering manager, who seemed a little nervous that his restaurant was being judged by a load of bloggers, and he was saying that they've introduced this table service restaurant because a lot of parents complained that it was difficult to look after the kids and get food. 

His idea was that this was a lot more relaxing. He did say he'd had complaints that some people thought it was a bit too posh for the zoo but I didn't think so at all; there were tables with bench seats and an area that children could play in the restaurant so it felt really chilled out. It was lovely and cosy and I enjoyed watching the world go by over dinner through the huge floor-to-ceiling windows that look out onto the gardens.


We were served tortilla chips with homemade salsa, honey glazed sausages and Margherita pizza. I was actually really impressed with the menu - there were a lot of different things to choose from and a lot of different cultures. I'm usually the awkward one that has nothing to eat when we go out for dinner but in here there was a massive range of vegetarian and vegan food, and all the pizzas are available gluten free.

I was looking at the prices, and yes it's more expensive but I don't think it's over the top. I think you tend to expect to pay more when buying food at an attraction, so I thought this was very reasonable. The tortilla chips and sausages were £4 each and the pizza was £6.95 so for the two of us it would've been £15 plus drinks. I would compare the restaurant to something like Zizzi, and I think it works really well.


After dinner we were left to explore the zoo further. In the evenings the zoo is open 6pm-10pm and costs £5. Considering when Dad and I go we spend an entire day there, I did go in thinking "We won't get to see everything" but we did and I still made the 10pm train home. The normal ticket price is £17 for an adult and sometimes being there for a whole day is hard work. I think I'd actually prefer to go down for the evening, have dinner in The Hide and have more of a steady wander around the park. It's so much easier and more relaxing without having to weave through the frazzled parents and screaming children. It was much more of an adult atmosphere, and it was lovely walking past and listening to the guitarist on stage - I really hope they make more of that over the summer because I felt like he needed someone to accompany him. 


The only thing that I found frustrating is that all of the walkthroughs had the daytime opening hours on and nothing else, so you had to go up and try the door to see if you could go in or not. I know this is only going to be happening 5 times but a laminated piece of paper saying whether or not it's open in the evening would've been really helpful. We originally saw the sign for the flamingos and were gutted that the walkthrough was closed, then we saw other people go in so followed them but when we tried other enclosures they were locked.


I felt like the lack of signage was a bit of an all round issue. We actually missed the bus back to the train station because we got lost in the park and didn't know how to get back out. There were signs to some places and not others which got a bit confusing - we randomly stumbled across these strange rabbit/deer hybrid things but it didn't say what they were, and if you look on the website it's like they don't exist. Whatever they are though, they're cute.


I'm so sad that this is only going on 5 times over summer. It's such a different way of experiencing the zoo and it's lovely walking round on a sunny evening. If you wanted a family trip out or maybe a date night, then I think this would be perfect. The next Friday Twilight is tomorrow (14th July) followed by 4th August, 18th August and 1st September and I fully intend to go back for at least one of these evenings.

Running along the lines of the zoo theme, what's your favourite animal? Let me know in the comments below!

Love and Feathers, 
 The Owlet πŸ’œ 

You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Bloglovin & Snapchat.

Friday, 7 July 2017

5 Ways To Hack Your Hair



Hey Owlets,

I will never understand how bloggers turn up to events looking like they’ve had an entire backstage team hiding in their bathroom. I, if you couldn’t tell, am not one of those bloggers. I bought my first curling iron the night before the Blog Awards because my hair stylist bailed on me, and I think it took me about three hours to get ready (I already had my makeup done so that was just my hair!). I’m getting better now but I thought it might be nice to share some hair hacks that I’ve found since I’ve started paying more attention to it.

Take Care of Your Hair!

None of these tips will work if you don’t take care of your hair first. I used to ignore haircare and then get really annoyed that my hair would never go the way I wanted. It doesn’t have to be difficult. Use an intense conditioner when washing your hair - I wash my hair first then apply Aussie’s 3 minute miracle. By the time I’ve washed my body, exfoliated etc it’s had time to soak in and my hair is soft and smooth, ready to style.



 Choose Your Products Wisely & Change Them Up

I think a lot of us tend to find a shampoo that we like and stick to it but that could be the worst thing for your hair. I find that my hair gets used to a product and it stops working as well. I like to swap products every few months, and I tend to choose products based on what they claim to offer. I usually go for colour protection or volumising because a lot of my hair fell out during the stress of my final hand in so at the moment it’s really thin. I’ve been trying the John Freida volumising range for about a month now but I’ve got mixed feelings about it. I’m not a massive fan of the shampoo and conditioner - it doesn’t clean my hair as well as I would like, and it doesn’t matter how much I rinse it, it always feels like there’s some product left that I can’t get out. I also didn’t think it did much in terms of volumising, which is so sad because I love John Freida but I think maybe it didn’t suit my hair type specifically. I think if you’ve got super fine, short to medium length hair it might work better but for me it didn’t do a lot. However, I now can’t live without the volumising mousse. I put a  10p coin sized amount through my roots and it makes my hair go absolutely massive without being sticky. If you’re going to spend money on anything I would absolutely recommend that. At the moment, my go to shampoo is the Loreal Elvive Colour Protect or Tresemme Colour Protect.



Learn To Braid

Trust me on this one - if you are useless at styling your own hair, then learn the basic three strand braid. I absolutely love Kayleigh Melissa’s YouTube channel for hair tutorials and she does some really elaborate designs but they’re always based on a braid and if she does anything too complicated you can always take the basic style but create it using three strand braids to make it easier. Adding a simple braid makes everything look more put together- even a simple ponytail is improved with a three strand braid added in on the side. 




Learn How To Use Your Tools

I am the worst at this. I bought my first ever curling iron in April and I feel like I'm finally getting there with it. I started by wrapping my hair around the barrel but someone told me to use the clip and then turn the curler to wrap my hair around it and this has made doing my hair much easier and it looks better. You can also twist the hair before wrapping it to give the curls a different texture. And if you don’t have curling tongs, you can always curl your hair with a straightener. The thing I’ve learnt is that there’s no right or wrong way of doing it, but there are a lot of different methods that produce different effects, and learning a few will help you to look really polished when it counts.



Don’t Overuse Heat

I know what I’ve just said about using tools, but only try to use heat styling tools for special occasions. I curl my hair when I’m going to something important but otherwise I don’t even use the hairdryer. My hair is naturally quite wavy so I can either leave it like that or brush it every half an hour or so after my shower and it will dry straight. I then apply my beloved Garnier BB Cream or John Frieda Volumising Mousse which calms any frizz or fly aways. I find that avoiding heat means that my hair copes better with it when I do style it, meaning it looks good when it matters.


I hope these tips help you if you’re completely useless with hair like I am! Let me know what your best hair hack is in the comments below. Also thank you to John Frieda for helping me on this blog post!

Love and Feathers, 
 The Owlet πŸ’œ 

You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Bloglovin & Snapchat.
x

Friday, 30 June 2017

June In Pictures


Hello loves!

We're going to be taking a step back towards vintage Owlet today. I was looking for photos to write a guide to Bristol (don't worry, it's coming!) when I realised just how much I'd managed to cram into June, so I thought it might be nice to give you a bit of a rundown of my personal highlights.


We kick off the month with a trip to London on 2nd June. I was very fortunate to be invited to Victoria's (InTheFrow) British Heart Foundation dinner. I got into London about 12pm and met up with my friend Alicia. We used to go to school together, and I hadn't seen or spoken to her again until the last few months so we spent the entire day chatting in a coffee shop just off Oxford Street. I picked up my dress from the Arcadia Offices (I know I've said this loads but thank you so much Simona!) and headed to the hotel. The meal was beautiful, and it was lovely to meet everyone.

I was originally planning to stay in London but was really sad to be missing a family event in Bristol the next day so I cancelled my hotel booking and went home the same night. 



On 3rd June it was time for Sands Festival. This is a charity event that our family friends put on in the beer garden of a local pub every year - this year's festival was in aid of a local children's hospice. BSR brought the stage and we spent the day enjoying the sunshine and listening to some great local bands, late into the night.

I pretty much spent the rest of the week in meetings and running errands so we'll skip that.



Every year we have a community festival in Bradley Stoke. There's stalls from local community groups and businesses, bands play on the stage and local residents showcase their talents. This year was particularly special because the town council is 25 years old, and it's 30 years since they started building Bradley Stoke so it was a sort of birthday party, and obviously you can't celebrate without a bit of Madness. Well, Nuttiness to be precise but they were amazing and the whole field got up dancing.

We're going to gloss over the next few days as I spent them in bed having managed to get sun stroke (even though the sun was only out for two hours- joys of being pale!).


While I was in bed with my horrendous sunburn, I was scrolling through Instagram and found a new place in Clifton called Birdcage Walk. I was due to see Adam on Monday so we spent the day wandering round our local area and enjoying the sites - if I ever get round to writing it there will be a post eventually. We also made a new friend and he was amazing.



On 14th June there was a remembrance service held to honour everyone who has lost their lives during service since WWII. In case you didn't know ( I don't think I've actually mentioned it on here yet) Dad's the mayor of Bradley Stoke this year, so he was invited to lay a wreath on behalf of the council. The service was really moving - you can always count on a room full of service men and women to sing God Save The Queen at full volume.

Photo: The Swindonian (thanks guys!)
The 16th June is a double whammy as this was an extra busy day. In the morning I was invited to open the new Yours Clothing store in Swindon. I actually said "Who have you got to cut the ribbon?" to which they replied "You're doing it". I didn't realise this when I was asked but it's probably up there with one of the coolest things I've done with The Owlet.


It was then a mad rush back to Bristol to get ready for Stars of The Stokes. This is an awards evening to recognise the most inspiring residents in our local area. It's a lovely feel-good event, and a really good disco follows. A lot of people made the most of that....


18th June was Father's Day in the UK. Considering we're always busy, Dad's idea of a perfect Father's Day is to do nothing. We had a lie in then went to Argos to buy a barbecue (that we later spent three hours building - I didn't enjoy that as much). We sat out in the sunshine, drank Prosecco and enjoyed our food. I think we ended up sat outside until about 11pm in the 30ΒΊ heat, and it was lovely.


21st June is arguably the most important day, and also the turning point for this awful weather that we're now stuck with. We decided that there was no use hiding in the air conditioning anymore, so went and bought a pool. Pretty much as soon as I'd filled it, the clouds came over and we haven't had a sunny day since so sorry if you were enjoying the weather!


On 24th June we had another BSR event - this time in Staple Hill supporting Armed Forces Day. There was an amazing parade down the high street and into the park where the Priest prayed and the Salvation Army band performed. I'm really lucky to do some amazing things with The Owlet but it's days like this when the whole community comes together that really keeps me grounded. BSR events are my happy place.

I hope you've enjoyed my June rundown - if you did let me know, and I might make this more of a regular thing. While writing this I've made myself late to go out - tonight I'm going to a press event where we get to see Bristol Zoo after it's closed to the public, but I'll do a whole separate post on that, I'm sure!

What's been your favourite moment this month? Let me know what you've been up to in the comments below.

Love and Feathers, 
 The Owlet πŸ’œ 

You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Bloglovin & Snapchat.

Friday, 23 June 2017

The Self Love Tag


Hey Owlets,

First of all I need to say a massive apology for not being around much lately. I had it in my mind that  once I got through my uni hand in I could go back to posting twice a week, but since I left I've been even busier. If you saw my post on quitting Facebook you'll know that I've been getting a lot of abuse, and that's made it difficult for me to find the inspiration to write on The Owlet. So when Emily from Emily's Little Notepad tagged me to answer the Self Love Tag, I thought it would be a nice little break from regular programming. 

Rules:
  1. Answer all the questions honestly.
  2. Tag 5 people who you want to bring a bit of happiness to.
So lets get on with the questions:
  1. What is something that is getting you down at the moment? 
    A: Over the last few months I've been constantly working in uni towards my deadline. Since that finished last month I've been feeling a bit lost and have been really struggling to find the motivation I need to work now I'm at home. Honestly, if Student Finance would let me do another degree, I'd go back tomorrow!
  2. What is something that makes you happy? 
    A: I love travelling, so getting to visit different places makes me happy, as well as spending time with friends and family and I love seeing bands perform live so being at a BSR event with my family is perfect.
  3. Name 3 guilty pleasures!
    A: Singing - not just in the shower but everywhere. I'll even sometimes sing while I'm on the phone, but my close friends are used to it so it's fine! Another guilty pleasure is bad 90s/2000s chick flicks - my favourites are Princess Diaries and 10 Things I Hate About You.  I can probably quote the latter. I'd have to say my third guilty pleasure is super nerdy documentaries- I love watching things like Air Crash Investigation because I like seeing how they work through the evidence to find out what happened. Although I've watched so many episodes in my 21 years on Earth that I can usually guess what's happened before the programme gets there.
  4. What is something about yourself you’d like to improve on?
    A: I'd love to improve my fitness, because I feel like that would really help me be more body confident. I feel like I also need to improve my self esteem, but I think that would come from going to the gym. If anyone in Bristol wants a gym buddy, let me know!
  5. When was the last time you belly laughed?
    A: I'm honestly not sure! Things at Owlet HQ have been a bit busy recently, so there hasn't been a lot of laughter in the house. We usually have a few little laughs most days though.
  6. What is your biggest insecurity/fear? 
    A: Thinking about the future stresses me out - I hate feeling like I'm not in control of everything, so not knowing what's to come is a massive insecurity.
  7. Name a song that always cheers you up when you’re down.
    A: I actually have a whole playlist of songs to cheer me up, but my all time favourite cheer up song would have to be How Can I Tell You by Madness. If you listen to the words it's a really sweet and reassuring track.
  8. Name 3 things you like about yourself.
    A: I always really struggle with questions like this - I realise that I come across as confident on The Owlet but I still have wobbles just like everyone else. I would say personality-wise, I love how driven and ambitious I am - if there's something I want to do I will do it come Hell or high water. I'm also really proud of my people skills - I've always had the ability to chat to pretty much anyone I meet straight away and it's something that I do without thinking, not forced. Physically, I love my eyes.
  9. What is an achievement that has made you proud of yourself this year? 
    A: I actually have a lot of things that I'm proud of this year so I can't pick just one. Firstly, I was a finalist for Lifestyle Blogger of the Year at the UK Blog Awards in April which was an incredible honour. Secondly, I survived my final year of uni and my graduation ceremony is next week!
  10. Tell us your happiest memory. 
    A: I can't really think of a happiest memory in particular - I'm very lucky in that most of the time my family and I get on really well so we have a lot of laughs day-to-day. I'd probably say it would have something to do with travelling if I had to pick though.
So there we are - something slightly different to my normal posts on The Owlet but I hope you enjoyed reading it. I've chosen to tag NicoleSophieMike, Jaydee and Envy. Thank you again Emily for challenging me to do something different for a change!

Let me know - what's made you proud this year?

Love and Feathers, 
 The Owlet πŸ’œ 

You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Bloglovin & Snapchat.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Dear Facebook, I Quit



Bloggers and social media go together like salt and pepper. If you read someone’s blog you automatically expect to be able to chat to them over Facebook or Twitter. Unfortunately, the ease of being able to connect with people also makes it easy for less considerate humans to do the same.

At the start of this month I opened Facebook, hunted through the many options that try to dissuade you from disconnecting, and I clicked “Deactivate My Facebook Account”. I took back my offline life.

I wasn’t originally going to write about this but I’ve learnt a lot and I’ve been asked so many questions, so hopefully I can answer them for you and I’m sorry if this ends up like an essay.


Why I Deactivated My Account

Basically, I quit Facebook because I was sick of the abuse I was getting. It’s sad, but as a blogger I’m pretty used to the abuse and it doesn’t tend to affect me. However, when it’s someone that you’ve considered a friend for quite a long time, it’s a lot harder to stomach. Worse still, it wasn’t just one friend that seemed to have a knife aimed at my back.

The nature of a being a blogger means that you do tend to give up quite a bit of privacy. Something about sharing parts of your life leads people to think that they’re entitled to know everything about it and this usually incites a level of anger at the things you choose not to share, and sometimes jealousy because you’ve done something that they perhaps don’t have the confidence to do.

After three months of harassment on Twitter, followed by some “friends” deciding to try and make my life a misery, two weeks dealing with the fall out and trying to keep a lid on everything I’d had enough. Unfortunately, my “friends” got their way. My life was miserable - I was noticing that every day I was waking up, dreading checking my phone and felt unsettled every time it rang. I couldn’t deal with it anymore and decided to take control.



What Happened After I Deactivated My Account

The first thing I noticed was a sense of feeling lost. The abuse I’d received from these “friends” made me wary of trusting anyone. I made a new account so I still had access to my Facebook page and added six friends that I know would support me, but essentially I’d chosen to cut myself off from everyone that I normally talk to. For the first few days, I kept staring at my phone as it didn’t ring and the day seemed to be a lot longer. It’s not until you delete Facebook that you realise how much time you waste mindlessly scrolling. I kept thinking “What do I do?”, because over the last 6 years of Facebooking I had somehow forgotten how to pass the time.

One of the things that was most apparent during my time away was a sense of isolation. I had these 6 friends added to my new Facebook - the ones that I talk to every day - but without any pages or groups I had no connection to the outside world. Adam in particular would repeatedly say “Have you seen this?” “No Adam, I deleted my account”. Without Facebook I was the last to know everything. Yes, I could get news from BBC but they don’t usually report on my friends. I found that because I wasn’t getting this constant stream of content throughout the day I sat down in the evening and would watch both the local and national news.

Blog wise, I noticed that engagement on my Facebook page and views on my blog dropped like a stone. I have a lot of friends and family that read my blog who, thanks to the algorithm, won’t see the post on The Owlet but will see when I share the post to my personal page. Without sharing, my Facebook posts weren’t being seen so they wouldn’t know there was a new blog post up - it did make me consider reactivating in order to save my dying blog stats.



What Made Me Reactivate My Account

One night, Adam and I were due to Skype but he was late. When he called me he was on the phone looking worried. I’ll keep this anonymous of course, but one of our close friends struggles with depression and had posted a worrying status. Because I deleted Facebook, I didn’t see it and Adam was so stressed he’d forgotten to tell me. We spent the whole night trying to get in touch with her and even though she was fine, I felt guilty because in escaping the blue prison I hadn’t been there for her at a time when she was struggling. I felt like if I’d been there to talk to her she wouldn’t have gotten to such a low point. This made me realise that really you can’t be without it at my age, so I reactivated my account.


Friends

Someone on Twitter asked how my friends reacted, and if they contact me less as a result. I messaged the people that I speak to regularly to tell them I wasn’t going to be around but didn’t post publicly. That actually gave me a lot of insight into my friends as well. Most people wished me well, offered support and gave me their number if I didn’t already have it, but some read the message and ignored it, which in itself said a lot. I did text the people that gave me their numbers saying “Hey, how are you?”, and again a few didn’t bother to respond.

Before deleting Facebook I would’ve said I had a core group of around 20 friends that I spoke to a lot. Having been through this, I now have a group of maybe 8 people that I consider true friends but I know that they will support me and I can trust them. Since reactivating my account I’ve had barely any messages from people who weren’t added to my new Facebook. I think a lot of people took it as a sign that I didn’t want to know them anymore, rather than needing to escape into my own headspace for a bit. But that’s okay, it’s solidified who I consider friends. While I was offline my friends Ruby and Sophie messaged me every day to ask how I was, and by not being present on Facebook, I was able to focus on the people I value most - I think I’ve spoken to my friend Alicia almost every day since I deleted my account.


Overall

It’s not until you step away from social media that you realise it’s effect on you. I was only offline for a week, but I noticed my mood completely change to a point that I was happy and relaxed again. I had more time to focus on important things like being with family instead of being on my phone in the same room as them, and was able to work on content. 

I don’t think it’s viable for me to live without social media as a blogger. Yes I had more time but without outside influence I lacked inspiration. I think in 2017 our way of socialising is being highly accessible instead of meeting at the pub for a catch up, and without my social media I think I would be left out. However I think having a social media holiday is a necessity, whether you delete Facebook, leave your phone at home or simply log out once a week. Whatever you choose to do, give yourself chance to reset and recharge.

Would you delete your social media? Let me know in the comments, and if you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments or on Twitter. 

Love and Feathers, 
 The Owlet πŸ’œ 

You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Bloglovin & Snapchat.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Follow Me to: Dinner with InTheFrow and British Heart Foundation



Hey Owlets,

I'm so excited to be sharing this post with you! A few weeks ago I had a message from fellow blogger Victoria from InTheFrow, inviting me to attend a charity dinner in aid of the British Heart Foundation. In case you don't know my dad has Dilated Cardiomyopathy, so the BHF is a charity that's incredibly close to my heart.

Thank you Alicia for the photo!!

Before we get into the dinner party pictures, I have to say a massive thank you to Simona from Arcadia's PR team. I had 5 days to find a red dress, and she actually ordered an Evans dress to her office for me to pick up because it wouldn't get to Bristol in time. I won't lie - this picture was taken by my friend when we met up for coffee before I promptly rushed off to try my dress on in the bathroom. Yes, I was that excited about it.


I'm so gutted - it was such a busy evening that I never got chance to take a proper outfit photo, so this picture is all I have. My beautiful dress was by a brand called City Chic from Evans, and Victoria actually thought it was a Self Portrait dress. If you're not familiar with Victoria's blog, she writes about luxury fashion and is a Self Portrait addict, so this was a massive compliment for the dress. My heels were from George at Asda. I've had these for about 4 years and have never found a more comfortable high street pair of heels (even if Oxford Circus tube station escalators did ruin the stiletto and I was balancing without the rubber part all night).

If I'm ever going to spend money on an investment piece, it will always be a handbag. I can't bring myself to spend more than £50 on shoes when they're going to be scraped across Oxford Circus pavements and tube station platforms, and I find that every time I've tried on a more expensive pair of heels they've been less comfortable than my old-faithful high street alternatives. Talking of investment pieces, I wanted to keep to a nude theme with my accessories to match the dress lining, so chose to carry my nude Michael Kors bag. It was a bit big for dinner but it matched my outfit so well that I decided to take it anyway.


The dinner was held at the incredible Sanderson Hotel. If you look from the outside it looks like an office block, and you would never expect to find the beautiful and decadent interiors that run throughout the bars and dining areas. I absolutely loved it there and now need any excuse I can to go back.


We were led through a stunning decked courtyard, filled with water features and lined with trees, into a side room where our dinner was held.


I don't want to spam you with photos of the food but it was absolutely incredible and perfect for me with all the gluten free options. I also love that you can see the details of the dress in this picture.


The dinner was beautiful, red and heart themed in order to raise awareness of the incredible work the British Heart Foundation do and it tasted amazing.


My evening was made when the lovely Victoria and Emma from the BHF surprised me with a birthday cake as it was the week after my 21st birthday. Honestly, this absolutely made my night! Although I had already eaten too much so one of the waiters packed my birthday cake into a patisserie box and I had my cake the next day instead (spoiler - cake tastes even better when it's breakfast).


I'm so sorry I didn't have many photos to share with you - I didn't have room to take my proper camera and the camera on my phone just wasn't up to the job, but I hope you still enjoyed following me to Victoria's BHF dinner.

I want to say a massive massive thank you to Victoria for inviting me, Emma from the BHF for organising it, and to Simona for my absolutely beautiful dress! The British Heart Foundation are running a "Wear it. Beat it." campaign trying to encourage people to throw red themed parties to raise money this summer, so let me know in the comments- what kind of red-themed party would you throw?


Speak soon!

Love and Feathers, 
 The Owlet πŸ’œ 

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