Monday, 31 August 2015

Drawing challenge #1 - chloescorner

I've kept to my word and been doodling a little... I've been wanting a tattoo for a very very long time now but I've never quite got round to designing something that I truly love until now.

I'm obsessed with mandala tattoos. The intricate detailing leaves me in awe every single time and I love how every design is different and unique to the person. I've incorporated my own take on the traditional moon and sun with a flowering lotus in the background. All three features in my design represent a fresh and new beginning to each day as a little self-reminder that every day has something new in store regardless of the previous day's events. 

It's a short but sweet post on the blog today but I hope you've liked it anyway! I'll be sure to keep you updated with the drawing challenge I've set myself. Why don't you give it a go?

All my love,
Chloe xo

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Doing more of the things you love - chloescorner

I've always loved to draw. I don't think there was a time when I was a little girl that I didn't have a pencil glued to my hand, my tongue hanging out in sheer concentration as my little imagination ran wild on the piece of paper in front of me. Princesses, Mermaids and all of those good ol' things.. The natural girly doodles you can expect from most 5/6 year olds. 

(I'm a complete and utter disney fanatic and will doodle all of my favourite characters till my wrist is at breaking point and the pencil is stuck in between my steely grip - these are a few I have drawn over the last year or so)

As you get older I think you naturally loose interest in things. I can relate to that with many things such as swimming - I had lessons from the age of 3 up till 10/11 and received every badge and certificate up until my honours. Reading - I would always have my head in a book as a child and still would do now but I let other things prioritise my life such as working, spending time with friends and family and then doing what I do best and having lazy, bed ridden days to recuperate (in which I should probably grab a book but I've become far too lazy and resort to watching a tonne of YouTube videos - oops!).
Art and drawing is something I don't think I've necessarily lost interest in, I surely don't have much time for it but I think studying it at a-level and having such restriction in what you could and couldn't do honestly took all the passion I had for it away from me. So I've decided to rekindle my love for art and set myself a challenge... 

I have to doodle at least one thing a day (maybe every few days when life gets a little hectic). This in itself is difficult for me as I'm a complete and utter perfectionist and will pick my work to the absolute post but like I always say nothing is perfect and will never get anywhere near perfection without a little time and practice. I can then share what I've drawn with you lovely people and also to just prove a point to myself that anything is achievable when you put your mind to it. Is there any hobby that you have a huge passion for but never spend the time to indulge yourself in doing? Take my advice and make all the time possible for it, there's not enough passion in today's age. And hey who knows your passion may spark into something even more - there are tonnes of businesses that started out with a passion. 

Do feel free to share your thoughts and opinions in the comments as always!

All my love, 
Chloe xo

Friday, 28 August 2015

Monday's girly day out OOTD/N - chloescorner

My Mum and Dad both have two weeks off work and with me only being part time I had some time off too and could think of no better way to spend it than a girly catch-up, food filled, shopping day with my Moma Bear in Manchester. We also headed out later that night, me my Mum and Dad, with family friends for a little pub lunch (well technically it was teatime but 'lunch' sounded a lot better lets be honest here). I was treated to a new pair of jeans and a shirt off my Mum for my exam results - She's a star! So I decided to wear them for the meal and if you don't take pictures of it, did you like, even wear it? hahaha. I thought I'd share my OOTD/N and FOTD/N - including some arty farty shots of some of the products worn, oooh la la! Enjoy lovely readers.

I'm a complete Pizza fiend! Mozzarella topped Garlic Bread and a Meat Feast Pizza with a BBQ Base - My mouth is honestly watering whilst staring at these photographs.

- NYX eyeshadow palette. This was a christmas gift last year so I'm sorry but I have no clue where its from!
- Bourjois Velvet Rouge Edition in Personne ne Rouge
- Topshop Glow Highlighter in Polish

Super posey and in need of my eyebrows being waxed - ah the struggles of being female! I just went for a simple brown smokey eye, my signature feline flick also known as eyeliner, a bright red lip and super highlighted cheekbones.

 I hope you enjoyed the post! It was nice to play around with my camera which I don't do often enough for a post photography student, tut tut! I'm still learning as I go along. Be sure to leave your thoughts and opinions in the comment as always!

All my love,
Chloe xo

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Day of nutty drama - chloescorner

After having what I considered to be a generally good month I rushed to hospital this afternoon with a swelling throat and unbelievable and extremely itchy rashes from head to toe. The culprit? Cashew nuts.

I've only ever had this reaction once previously and yet again it was due to a cashew nut I had eaten on a whim having never tried them before. Although at the time I was travelling with friends in London and being susceptible to quite bad Panic Attacks and anxiety I thought that this reaction was just due to travelling anxiety in a place that was completely foreign to me. That and the claustrophobic feeling of travelling via Tube at rush hour, one word - NIGHTMARE. It started with a tingling feeling in my mouth, then the back feeling quite rough and swollen leading to a struggle swallowing and breathing. I instantly alerted my bestfriend Paige and she gave me an antihistamine to take just to be on the safe side. The reaction slowly wore off and I began to feel faint and nauseous and when I eventually sat down to eat in the train station I threw up. Not the classiest of things I've ever done.. picture a girl vomiting into a Subway bag and having to be rush to the toilet by two of my friends whilst passers by looked on disgustedly. I wanted the ground to swallow me up whole. But once that happened I sat down and happily tucked into my Beef and Cheese Melt - ha!

Today's reaction was a completely different kettle of fish. As you will have gathered from previous posts I'm attempting to eat a cleaner and healthier diet and after eating a berry 'Nakd' bar I experienced the same tingling and swelling as I had in my previous reaction maybe just slightly faster and more severe this time. I assumed it would pass so went home and took an antihistamine although at this point my lips were beginning to swell pretty rapidly and I had to sit in the bathroom with the fear of throwing up which I did eventually do. I took another antihistamine and tried to rest but the swelling wasn't calming and I was started to get pretty bad rashes and extremely panicky so my Mum decided that it was best for me to go to A&E. 5 and a half hours I was there - the first just spent waiting after the triage decided I wasn't that severe a case as I could swallow. The second hour just being a general check up, then having to take 8 steroids and have my bloods taken to assess the situation. I was then put on a drip and assessed for 3 hours incase I had a second bout of an allergic reaction which could be even worse than the one I'd just had although luckily enough this wasn't the case. I've been prescribed to take 8 steroids a day for 3 days and 4 antihistamines for 5 days to be on the safe side - I'm also going to take myself to the GP tomorrow morning to enquire about an Epi-pen so I'm prepared for any possible reactions in the future.  

As a natural born worrier I don't think this helped me one bit but I'm truly thankful for the tentative staff at North Manchester General - You never truly appreciate the patience and knowledge that their job takes and often whinge that staff are rude, unreliable and often waste precious time but today couldn't have proved this to be any more different!

I'm sorry for the huge ramble, I don't expect anybody to have the patience to read this ramble but I wanted to share it so that the symptoms for allergies were more known of - it could truly save someone's life if worse come to worse so do please take this into awareness.

Keep safe my lovelies.

All my love,
Chloe xo

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Guilt-free Lemon Drizzle - chloescorner

I'm a bad blogger, I know! I've been so busy with crazy overtime at work I've barely had time to think let alone blog although sometimes I think it's good to let off some steam and return to my little corner of the internet and what better way to do that with a delicious - yet completely guilt-free - cake recipe? Plus I'm currently obsessed with The Great British Bake-off and wanted to make something to satisfy my unbelievably sweet tooth.

My older Cousin and his girlfriend came round for tea earlier for a well needed catch-up and yummy food. I've recently gone on quite the health kick but decided that no family meal is quite right without a cake. After scanning a few of my Mum's healthy (mostly WeightWatchers) cookbooks I found the perfect, healthier version of a lemon drizzle cake recipe. (Recipe taken from the 'Fabulous and Filling' WeightWatchers book although original was a lemon and passion fruit drizzle - I adapted it to just lemon).

- 100g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp of baking powder
- 125g of caster sugar
-75g of low-fat butter
- 150g of apple sauce
- 2 eggs (separated)
- the zest and juice of one lemon

1) Pre-heat your oven to Gas Mark 4/180 degrees. Grease your cake tin with a thin layer of butter or line it with parchment paper (non-stick) and then leave this to one side whilst you prepare the mixture.

2) Sieve your flour and baking powder into a bowl and then add 100g of the caster sugar, all of the butter, apple sauce, just the yolks of your eggs and the zest of your lemon and then whisk this together using an electric whisk (mostly for ease of use but do feel free to use a non-electric if needs be) for 2-3 minutes or until it is fluffy and pale in colour. Don't worry if the mixture seems a bit runny and thin as it soon thickens during the next step.

3) Add your egg whites into a separate bowl and whisk these until they create soft peaks. Once the peaks are forming you can then add this to the rest of the mixture, folding it in rather than beating - this makes the mixture thicker and even fluffier in texture.

4) Pour your mixture into your cake tin and pop it into the oven for 25 minutes or until it is golden brown and fully risen with a bouncy, firm middle.

5) Add the remainder of your sugar (25g) to a bowl and then squeeze the juice of your lemon in with it and stir till the sugar has dissolved. Be sure to remove the pips if any fall into the bowl in the process! You can then leave this to one side till the cake has baked.

6) Once the 25 minutes is up and the cake is fully cooked, take it out of the oven and leave to cool for a little bit (maybe 10-15 minutes). You can then prick the cake with a fork several times and then drizzle your sugar and lemon mixture over the top. Don't panic (like I did) if the cake starts to look overly moist (oh how I hate that word!) as when left to one side for an hour or so the cake absorbs the drizzle making the perfect lemony cake.

Et VoilĂ ! An unbelievably tasty Lemon Drizzle with nothing but compliments all round. I highly recommend you to recreate this easy recipe! If you do then be sure to take a picture and tag me on Instagram or Twitter - my username is @chloecotgrave. 

I'm getting my arse in gear and getting more posts ready to share within the next few weeks so do keep your eyes pealed!

All my love,
Chloe xo

Thursday, 13 August 2015

A-level Results Day - chloescorner

I've seemingly lost my blogging mojo. I'm struggling to find topics to talk about recently and I'm getting caught up in comparing my content to others which completely isn't the whole point of this... Although with it being Results Day for thousands of students, including me, I couldn't hold back my thoughts and opinions so what better way to share it than my little space on the internet.

Your grades do not define you - if you didn't get the grades that you necessarily wanted or needed to get onto your course for higher education/Uni this does not make you a bad person or a 'failure' there is always the option of going through clearing or possibly even redoing your year if the grades are something that mean so much to you. Following that, don't be scared of disappointing others - you've tried your best and you know that, that's all that matters. People should congratulate you regardless. 

In my opinion art based subjects aren't marked fairly. Tutors mark the work created by student based on what they deem to be good enough yet art is something that evokes opinion, what one person observes as an amazing piece of work another may see as complete rubbish which would differ the marks awarded. Academic subjects seemingly test your memory more than the amount you can learn which isn't fair considering that not everyone has an amazing memory and I know that tutors will argue that if you revise you should be able to memorise everything but sometimes the workload we're expected to remember is ridiculous. Writing based subjects are equally as frustrating because the majority of the time it depends on how fast you can write in a specific time frame. If you didn't get to finish your essay because you ran out've time that can drop your grades significantly which isn't fair - this persons work may have been remarkable but because they couldn't physically write quick enough they've lost out on several marks. Grading systems in general aren't always fair I don't think. Over the years the bars have been set unbelievably high making it almost impossible to get the grades that you want - i.e. most boards are increasing grade boundaries and therefore Uni's are raising their expected standards. 

Coming out've University with a degree up your sleeve doesn't always guarantee you a job anymore. I know a tonne of people who have come out've Uni with amazing degrees but because the competition for occupations has become increasingly harder, people have to just settle with whatever they can find at the time. I'm not saying this is always the case because I know it's probably not and people have found their dream job post Uni but I'm sure at least half of those with degree's do have to wait around for a while before being anywhere near starting their desired jobs.

With everyone receiving results today I've been swayed with what I think I want to do. Seeing so many people getting onto their ideal courses at their chosen Universities I'd be lying if I said I wasn't completely jealous - because I genuinely am. Although I do still stick with my choice to defer a year and try again next year. I can't afford to start a course that I think I might enjoy and then end up wanting to drop it and start another the year after, it's just not feasible and I know that this will be the most likely outcome if I force myself into it now. 

I realise I've just completely rambled on but it honestly feels so much better to get my thoughts down on a page and despite this being my negative outlook on the education system as a whole I hope you understand that these are just my opinions and I know that people are bound to think differently. I hope that those of you that have received results today have gotten the grades that they truly deserve! Feel free to leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments, I'd love to read them.

All my love,
Chloe xo