Monday, 24 April 2017

How to choose which university is right for you - Lifestyle

Hey guys,

A few years back now I made a post talking about my experiences doing my A levels and taking about whether to stay at your school or go to a sixth form college which I loved so I thought it was about the time I shared my thoughts on the process of choosing the right university for you although I think its too late in the year now as most people would have chosen their first and insurance choice through UCAS by now (that's how it works in the UK anyway).

The way I went about this process probably wasn't the best way, I had no idea what I wanted to study, where I wanted to go or anything. However I knew I wanted to go to university, perhaps for the wrong reasons (social life, because my parents went [they met each other at uni so when I was very young I had the idea of you go to uni, meet the person you end up with and it all just works out] and to get away from home). My parents, however, were kind of against me going they knew financially we couldn't afford it, the debt I'd have after wouldn't be worth it and the idea that especially in fashion I could get further with industry experience instead I totally ignored these points, the idea of the student loan is glamorised before uni and you really understand the catches. Anyway, so you know you want to go?

So now first write down what you already know... the cities you like (for me going somewhere I'd never been before was daunting) you may know automatically what you want to study but most of us don't so look at what you enjoy studying at the moment and where they can take you, write down the industries you are interested in and start looking at the degrees out there (I was studying R.S, Sociology and photography loved all three but also knew I wanted to work in fashion so I was a mess looking into course from Sociology and philosophy to fashion design). If you are like me looking at courses so different there are a few questions to ask

- Which area is more employable?
- Which are you currently more qualified in?
- What are you most passionate about?
- Think how you will be studying this for at least three years including a dissertation so think through what you want to learn more about but also university course are just about learning it's about your own research and own work so what courses will you enjoy enough to want to do well in.

Once you have brainstormed and started asking yourself these questions about what you want to study. I'd really recommend attending a UCAS fair if there is one near you. It's an amazing chance to grab as many prospectuses for all the uni's you can. I definitely went overboard and it helped. It opened my eyes to just how many different unis are in the country and you can ask questions. (I went to mine before doing any of my own research so asked a lot of obvious questions.

For me, by this point, I had my 3 course categories
- Fashion marketing/business courses
- Sociology/philosophy and social sciences
- teaching related
Then I had a few cities I knew I wanted to look at mainly Bristol and Bath (was born there but only lived there for like a month, been desperate to move back ever since) but none of the courses were right. No matter how many lists I made I couldn't choose my course, therefore career path randomly.

Next you need to attend as many open days as you can I went to at least 6 but go to more if you can. Even if you know you'd rather move away also look at the uni's in your home city. Most of them work in a similar away allowing you to attend sort talks from a few different courses (which was perfect for me), explore campus, have an accommodation tour and talk to as many people as possible to get a feel for the place from lecturers and current students. I also tried to get a chance to go into the town or city because that was a big factor for me when committing to live somewhere new for three years.
The process of open days was what helped me decide on the course area I wanted to stick with (after many teaching course talks we knew it wasn't for me, it is different to when my mum did hers and she said it sounds ridiculous plus you can do any course then do the years PGC after to pursue teaching). The final thing the made me decide to go with fashion was the career possibilities (yes post-grad employability is looking impossible, probably a future post on this) I had no idea where my future would go after studying sociology.

Another tip I'd recommend is as annoying it may be every family member constantly asking you questions about 'Where have you applied?', 'What are you going to study?' etc make the most of this, ask them questions about their uni experiences but also your friends those who are applying to uni at the same time were amazing help for me. One of my best friends Jess was also undecided about where to apply so we all went round with a handful of laptops and traded ideas. Jess threw me the Falmouth prospectus and thank god she did, I'd honestly never even heard of the place (soz fal), I'd never even been to Cornwall and now I've lived here for nearly two years. So all I can say is keep talking about.

For me after that day with Jess it all kind of fell into place I fell in love with falmouth town, the course and campus. I applied to 4 other options I had been to and liked them all for different reasons. So I had my five choices that I applied to via UCAS but to then choose my first and insurance choices once again meant lots of lists. Pro and con lists this time you ask yourself to compare the uni's with questions such as
- distance from home, cost of public transport home etc
-  note details of the course (for example I was choosing between Manchester a heavily business theory based fashion course and Falmouth which is half creative and half business)
- cost of accommodation
- The town think about whats important to you for example clubs, all the high street shops, a beach etc and work out which town has what you need.
- The universities qualities, this is not related to the course but the uni in general from campus tours (for example the library and SU), how the uni is perceived (look at the league tables). For me this was a big factor I had been accepted into Manchester which is a top Russell group university so I thought it would be mad to turn that offer down but Falmouth is the number one Arts university so again thinking about what works best for you.
- The final question you need to be honest with yourself in regards to the entry grades for each uni. I knew what was realistic for me to achieve on my A level results day. So compare what they are all looking for and work out which you can most likely get in to.
However this list of pros and cons is all the practical things and part of this is just going with your heart, knowing where you will be happy for three years.

Finally the one website I'd recommend using throughout the whole process is WHICH university. To initially find course you may be interested in, to compare them and to access league tables.

I hope you find this post useful and best of luck with applying to uni (I didn't touch on the best way to apply to university because I'd only be able to talk about applying to fashion courses I guess). I didn't know what images to include so I just took some pretty pictures of the buildings around my university campus in the sun.

Love Charlotte

Thursday, 20 April 2017

The Hashery / #summeriscoming - Blogger event

Hey guys,

On Monday evening I was invited over to The Hashery in Cardiff to have a sneaky look at their summer menu which is launching next week (commencing 24th April).
The Hashery is a bar and restaurant perfectly situated near the castle in Cardiff city centre. I first went there back in December, when they'd just opened with my friends and we had an amazing night. The best thing about this bar for me was always the fact their cocktails are 2 4 1, 24/7 which is just amazing. Therefore its somewhere I go for cocktails on a night out and never somewhere I'd considered going for food...but I will now.

We arrived to an amazing display and a glass of prosecco,  I got chatting straight away to Charlie and Sheri.

I've always loved the decor at the Hashery with the fairy lights and a ceiling covered in comic cool.

Then we had a talk through the new additions to their food menu. Generally everything is priced at £10 and under with a set lunch menu at £7 which is an amazing price for right in the city centre too.

First we got to try the mezze boards and one of my highlights were their giant mozzarella dippers which are fried in nachos, I am obsessed with mozzarella dippers but these were on a whole new level.

The mussels along with the cocktails what I knew The hashery for. There's a huge selection of 'sauces' to choose from I've been recommended to try the thai green mussel dish. The mussels are locally sourced (like most of the ingredient for example I know all the bread is supplied from a bakery at Cardiff market)

Now things got messy, we tried first the 'hot mess' which is a spiced bolognise sub style dish. Then another highlight of mine was the new minute steak which was such a tasty, high quality piece of meat. We also tried the steak sandwich and an ultimate burger, fried pickles and some of the best onion rings.

Finally we moved over to the bar to be talked through there is a lot of new additions to the cocktail menu, six I think. My favourite cocktails were the summer garden party and an elder-flower based one both with gin. Then they have added the two summer essentials of sangria and pims, amazing. Along with the electric blue tea now including a charity donation. 

I had a great evening trying these amazing treats and chatting to some new friends. I can't express how much I love this place and its definitively on my top places to go in Cardiff now. 

Love Charlotte

Monday, 17 April 2017

The pressures of fashion blogging - Style post

Hey guys,

Scarf - Topshop 
Jeans - Primark 
Shoes - Zara 

Off the shoulder tops, standard most of us are wearing one of these at the moment. I hadn't seen one I liked enough to jump on the bandwagon until this colour fabric, I'm always drawn to dark pinks / wine colours. Teamed with my favourite accessory of the moment that I've not really sure how to wear, skinny scarfs, this one a very 70's inspired scarf with the tassel trim I think. 

I managed to get into such a good routine with my outfit shoots over the last few months and have been so much happier with the photos I've been putting out but god this shot was a disaster. I've recently been so happy with the few outfit posts I've got out that I constantly want to get more posts out, it's really motivated me but its always been my go to thing to place the blame on but these are the only posts I can't do all own my own. I blog completely unstructured, just start typing late at night when I have some ideas but obviously I can't do that with outfit posts. I spend most days with my gals at uni but how many of these days do I not look hungover or have my camera with me, or the weather good it just never happens but then I hate to actually make a big fuss and organise an afternoon just to shoot. Over the years the people who have shot for me have only ever done it as favours for me. However its also pretty good because I have never been able to shot with even a friend who I'm not as close with, with us because I can get pretty awkward doing these shoots, I'll make us walk around endless streets because the perfect background has too many people walking past us. As I said shooting with my loves Esmee and Immy has been so good recently and helped me really get back into blogging so yah!

These photos would have been amazing by my 2014 standards (down to so many reasons, mainly the amount I posted but 2014 was the best year of blogging for me), back then everyone, even the most famous fashion bloggers could do an outfit post on a tripod shot in their room or garden with bad lighting and it would be fine but way! Fashion blogger have become on par with editorial shoots in terms of photography which is amazing but god I also miss the days when posts like this was something I was excited to post.

I hope you enjoyed this badly lit outfit post turned into a little ramble. If you've been reading blogs and / or blogging for as long as I have how do you feel about the change in pressure for the highest possible quality content?

Love Charlotte

P.S - this post was originally titled 'the worst outfit post in yrs' but thought this title was a lil more professional. 

Monday, 10 April 2017

New day knitwear - Blogger meet up

Hey guys,

Just wanna tell you all about a blogger event I went to last weekend. It was my first blogger event in Cornwall (being based between Cardiff and Cornwall has made blogger communities really hard to stick with) I've nearly finished my second year of uni so it was about time I met some other bloggers down here.

 So what is New Day knitwear?

Basically an amazing social enterprise linking creativity (mainly in the form of crochet) with mental health support. There are a few aspects to New day including the online club which is all free and the  'Made by you' kits. Stacie's (the founder) story really enforced the ethos of the brand and its so inspiring. 

The event 

Stacie's studio is in the super creative Old bakery studios in the centre of Truro. Once we all (I got to meet Hannah, Anna, Niki and Chloe)  arrived and jumped into the intros out came the lunch, including some of the best sausage rolls I've had in ages. Over food Stacie explained her background, her mental health story and explained in a lot more detail about what New day knitwear does. We then started disusing our own experiences which was really nice, to be able to talk with 5 girls we'd never met before on a subject like this. Above you can see the little set-up of goodies Stacie kindly gave us all each including an amazing illustration postcard which I'm obsessed with and its gone straight on my wall, a little positivity jar which is on my desk for when I need a positive reminder whilst working and the patterns for the choker we would be attempting.
Then came the crocheting, I have never attempted crocheting nor anything similar like knitting and was prepared for disasters ahead, especially when we realised 4 of us were left handed which made it harder for Stacie to demonstrate to us.
However I actually surprised myself with how much I enjoyed the little bit I tried, it was so relaxing which just confirmed for me how perfect the whole concept of New day is, straight away I understood how picking up some crochet as I feel myself getting anxious could really help. I didn't exactly perfect a choker but for a first attempt I was pretty proud. 

So thanks to Stacie for a lovely afternoon and showing me a new hobby, possibly! You can find out more about New day knitwear here and find them on twitter here.

Love Charlotte

Sunday, 9 April 2017

This time next year tag - Lifestyle post

Hey guys,

Glendurgan / Helford river beaches (my fave place)

I saw this tag on twitter from Claire Louise  and even though I haven't been tagged, taking about goals here is something I've been meaning to do since the new year. Back in January I started my first bullet journal (let me know if you'd like a more detailed post on this stuff / my thoughts on bullet journaling) and started planning my months and goals a lot more than I ever have before, its been something I've found really useful. However for the purpose of this tag I am just talking about 5 goals I have given myself for the next year / not necessarily goals, just where I'll be in a year.

My bullet journal from Tiger, Italian phrase book I bought from Anthropologie  and a notebook from Home Sense.

This time next year...

I'll be nearly graduating 

This is a thoughts thats already on my mind, without wishing uni away or sounding silly I just can;t believe I have finished my second year of uni already pretty much. I am supposed to decide my dissertation topic by two weeks time already which is terrifying. The main part of my 3rd year is a final major project which is a free brief to create a business concept people have done runway events, in store concepts, shopping apps, magazines and more so its super exciting as this is where i have to start thinking about all the areas I've covered in my degree so far and to start thinking about where I want to specialise to therefore work after graduating. So this time next year I will have done my dissertation and have about a month before I hand everything else in so will be swapped in work and stress I am sure of it. This also means I'l be coming to the end of my three years living in Cornwall which already makes me really sad. I normally go back to Cardiff as soon as my last lecture of term finishes but now I'll be staying down here for at least two months of summer as I have a part time job so will be making the most of living in such an amazing place.

I am to continue to develop my blog

This was a big one for me in the new year I looked back on everything I've done on A Fashion Oddity and what worked well. I tweeted a lot about this the other night (poll still running here) how my favourite posts to put up are outfit posts, they are also my most popular but being able to shoot with a friend at hand to photograph for 2 posts a week is not always possible so I have loads of other posts ideas running round, more on the budget shopping tips, music / films etc but I'm not sure. I've recently been focusing more on Instagram and I'm getting close to 1,000 followers (follow at 'afashionoddity'). Of course in my bullet journal I do have a stat tracker but its not overly important I am just aiming to be consistent with my posts I would love to get one outfit posts and one other post (reviews, lifestyle, beauty literally anything else) up a week.

Keep learning new skills 

I always start the new year saying the same thing. 'I need to read more, watch better films etc to consume more art and be a lot more creative' like always this still stands but my main two for the next year are to learn some more Italian, I currently have been using the app 'duolingo' a few nights a week which has been really good and just bought my second phrase book. I'll be going out to Italy again in August so that trip will help too. Secondly I want to properly start learning to drive, I got my provisional license when I first turned 17 and so far have had one lesson with my dad so it will be pretty unrealistic (mainly fanatically) to pass my test this year but I need to actually make a start. 
Some other ways I hope to keep learning is obviously alongside my degree by hoping to get more industry based  work experience. 

Planing and thinking about the future is something I now really enjoy, hope you enjoyed this little look into my plans for the next year. 
I haven't tagged anyone but if you go on to do this post after seeing this please tweet me the link at 'afashionoddity'

Love Charlotte

Monday, 3 April 2017

Palm tree kimono in the sun - Style post

Hey Guys,

Top - Zara
Kimono - Boohoo 
Jeans - Primark
Bag - Tk Maxx 
Shoes - Vans

So we have nearly done with the uni year, um how?? and the sun is here so I'm ready to spend all my weekends on long walks by the sea. 
Yesterday I took the girls on the walk I found from behind Penryn harbour and it carries on we think into Flushing but there just beautiful views at every point and the weather was so hot (for April).
I always ignore the fact that all black outfits shouldn't be worn when its was this sunny, plus the palm tree print on this beautiful kimono makes it okay because as we all know florals (well nature prints) for spring, groundbreaking right? 
I got this Kimono back last September and have been obsessed with it since but it hadn't been practical enough to wear out loads, without a coat.
I always feel much more comfortable in A/W styles so outfits like this that are super weather appropriate for British heatwaves but also super dark are my faves. 
But I am of course contraindicating myself because my last outfit post? Is the complete opposite, pastel stripes, I am definitely still just working out my personal style, its something that we still develop and change all I the time, I think.

Love Charlotte