Monday, 27 July 2015

Popcorn Picks

As the nights get lighter and the weather (hopefully) warmer, summer opens up more chances to get out and about for longer. Although you might think it a bit of a Grease cliché, one activity growing in popularity is the open air cinema and a quick search on Facebook brings up events all over the country with a huge variety of movies on show. The premise is simple – you buy a ticket, turn up in your car or bring a blanket and watch the film on a massive screen with other movie fans. Everyone has been to the cinema but there’s something very romantic about being cosied up outdoors and it can mix up your hanging out routine with your friends.

Most people like to snack when they’re sat down watching something for longer than half an hour and popcorn is the all-time movie classic. Salted and Sweet are the most typical flavours, or maybe you’re more of a Toffee fan. But, if you fancy something a bit more gourmet and exciting then here are three new flavours that you can easily make for yourself at home.

Image: Tessa Jones

Parmesan and oregano

For an Italian twist, I’ve added parmesan and oregano which go together perfectly. I took one portion of popcorn and sprinkled over 2 teaspoons of dried oregano which you can get in any supermarket. In mine I have used fresh grated parmesan but fresh shavings or even dried grated parmesan would work well. I’m a big cheese lover so I put on quite a bit but it’s up to your personal taste as to how much you like, it can be a bit overpowering for some people. This would work best if you keep it in a plastic bag and give it a good shake before eating as the herbs can collect at the bottom.

Image: Tessa Jones

Rosemary and thyme

I guess this one has more of an English feel as these herbs are both traditionally used in stews and roasts but they add a nice twist to plain popcorn. I used the dried version of both, purely out of convenience but fresh rosemary finely chopped would be lovely. Simply sprinkle over 2 teaspoons of each and then I added some ground black pepper corns to give it a bit of oomph. Like with the Parmesan and Oregano, your best keeping this in a plastic bag and shaking up all the ingredients before eating to get every piece covered.

Image: Tessa Jones

White Chocolate and Cranberry

This version is perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth and cranberries are incredibly good for your body so you can take a bit of guilt away from the chocolatey badness. Dried cranberries are the best to use, and mean it will keep a bit longer too, so chop up a handful and add them to a portion of plain popcorn. Then melt 100g of white chocolate (or more if you’re feeling it) and mix all the ingredients together. This one takes a bit of preparation because you need to leave it to set in the fridge for a while but it’s so worth the effort.

There’s no specific way to eat popcorn, it’s all down to personal taste whether you go sweet or savoury but by no means do you have to stick to tradition. Experiment with the flavours you like and try out new ones, your future snacking habits might just change for the better. 

Do you have any unusual favourite toppings?

(This was post was originally written as a guest post for Olivia's Notebook on June 30th)

Friday, 10 July 2015

Graduation Style Tips

Graduation is a very exciting time: your hard work has come to an end and you've had a bit of a break from your course mates so now it's time to come together one more time, in your finest finery. But, it's important to remember that the congregations are a big deal at university and serious ceremonies call for a bit more dressing up. You can't just get away with your standard night out gear but this isn't high school prom. I've devised a few tips to help you nail your graduation look, although not tripping up on stage is all down to you:

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Graduation Outfits - Men

Earlier this week I posted with a selection of graduation appropriate dresses and today I've scouted out some of the best suits on the high street. Black is a classic and easy choice to go with, always being appropriate and on trend, but it isn't a necessity. Blue is a very popular choice, along with dark checks and greys. If you fancy something a bit different from the norm then take a look here:


ASOS is known for constantly being on trend without compromising on quality and their suits range is no exception. Although their focus is on 'Slim' and 'Skinny' fits, not surprising considering their young demographic, they have a big range of colours and pattern designs that cater to pretty much every sense of style. Some are three-piece but I wouldn't say that a waistcoat is necessary for graduation so the two-piece selection does just fine.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Graduation Outfits - Women

You may have already graduated from your various institutions but, if like at my university, the congregations are just getting started then the perfect outfit may be heavy on your mind. Although my own isn't until July 15th, I've spent about a month researching dresses and trying to find one smart but not stuffy, elegant but not boring and in just the right colour. I can be super picky but I've finally found one for myself to wear! (I'll post photos after the big day.)

Here's my round up of the best dresses I've found from high street retailers, there might be one in there perfect for you:

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Trends: Women

70's Fever

Era after era is brought back in to the forefront of fashion and it's once again the time of the 70s. Peace, love and unity were all the rage, with big changes starting in the political and economic state of Britain. Big changes also came in how people go their groove on and what they wore to do it in. 

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Womens: Wear It 3 Ways

Image: Topshop

The latest edition of Wear It 3 Ways features these incredible Stripe Cigarette Trousers from Topshop (£42). The ankle grazing length is flattering to all heights and breaks the print up a bit, ensuring it's not 'in your face'. It's an easy cut of trouser to style up or down, and it even has little side pockets - everyone loves pockets! The print is quite reminiscent of the 80s and definitely give off a retro vibe. Here are the 3 ways to style it:

Monday, 23 February 2015

Alexa Chung for AG Denim

Alexa Chung, world renowned ‘It’ girl and transatlantic fashion icon has expanded her designer collaboration repertoire into denim. Following on from two previous collections with American brand Madewell, she unveils this new collaboration with AG Jeans.

Chung has designed a 21-piece denim-focused collection, which is available to buy now. Featured are skinny jeans, dungarees, frilled dresses, shirts, flared jeans and A-line skirts, all in varying shades of denim, from navy blue to khaki green and white. Chung had a big hand in designing this collection in Los Angeles, which is proved by her innate aura of utter coolness being visibly present. She is known for her sultry but not over-exposed looks and whimsical, preppy styling, and this collection is no different, demonstrated by the incredible lookbook she has created, modelling each piece.

Friday, 13 February 2015

It's a boy/girl thing...

In a business that can change so rapidly and so frequently, menswear and womenswear have their own distinct trends to keep up with the pace. However, on occasion these trends merge together and in recent times there has been a rise in the number of gender neutral collections being produced by brands.

This has culminated in high-end department chain Selfridges’ Oxford Street store launching 5 unisex collections across three floors, with the clothes not being aimed at any specific gender but wearable by both. They have recognised that their shoppers are wanting less and less to be limited by their gender stereotypes in terms of what pieces they’re expected to shop and so, by uniting both genders under the same, non-defined section, the London store is making individual self-expression a lot more accessible.

Sunday, 8 February 2015


To celebrate my Facebook page being 2 months old I'm giving you the chance to win a £20 gift card for the Arcadia Group. You can treat yourself to something from the likes of Topman, Topshop, Miss Selfridge, Evans and Burton. It's very easy to enter:

1) Like my Facebook page - Tessays Blog
2) Like and Share the post about the giveaway

It's that simple. I'll use a random name picker to choose the winner and reveal who the lucky person is on Monday 16th February. You have from now until 10pm on Sunday 15th February to enter.

So, good luck and happy shopping!

(T&Cs: Open to UK residents only. Chosen winner must respond within 7 days of being contacted or the prize will be re-drawn and a new winner picked. The prize will be posted out so a UK postal address will need to be provided by the winner.)

Monday, 2 February 2015

Menswear Monday: OOTD


This month's outfit post comes courtesy of Dave Franco, younger brother of the very well-known James Franco. The 29 year old actor is seen here at an awards ceremony, opting for a casual approach instead of the sharp suits usually found at such affairs. Here's how to shop the outfit on the high street:

Monday, 26 January 2015

Menswear Monday - Free Willy

Fashion Week is not just for the girls, and last week saw Men's Fashion Week get started in Paris. All styles of fashion were covered, from Paul Smith's British tradition to the decadence of Chanel and the contemporary designs at Alexander McQueen. But, one designer in particular has stood out this year, and not for the reasons you'd expect. 

The Front Row got slightly more than they bargained for during Rick Owens' SS15 show, as the male models strutted down the catwalk with little peepholes around the crotch area that showcased their genitals swinging in all their fleshy glory. Presented subtly, the genitals of 4 of the models were not immediately attention-grabbing when set against the dark and dramatic loose-form outfits. But, when you did notice it was pretty much all you could see and it wasn't long before social media created the hashtag #DickOwens, making everyone else aware too.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Womens: Wear It 3 Ways

This is the first in a new feature I'm starting for both menswear and womenswear - Wear It 3 Ways. In the third week of the month, I will pick a key piece and show you three different ways to style it. You will get outfit inspiration for the formal workplace, the casual weekend and the fun night out. If you're on a budget, or just don't like buying too often, then this feature will help you get the most out of your pieces.


First up is this shirt from New Look at £19.99, and with their current 20% off for students promotion, it's a steal. Grid print is a trend that's carried through from last year, with this window pane pattern being finer than usual, creating a subtle look. The pale khaki colour isn't too in your face, and will compliment blonde and brunette hair shades very well. 

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Mirror, Mirror, on the wall...

Earlier this month, the annual Consumer Electronic Show was held in Las Vegas and gave technology aficionados a platform to showcase their latest and greatest projects to the technology world. From a super thin Sony TV to Mercedes-Benz' self-driving car concept, there was a massive variety on offer, solving the problems you didn't even know you had until now. But, one product in particular caught my attention - Panasonic's Smart Mirror.

The digital-display mirror can alter the image reflected back to you, depending on what function you select. You can try out different make-up looks, add on facial hair and change your hair style. If you've been thinking about a new look for yourself but have been put off by not being sure if you'll suit it, then this mirror will show you exactly how you'd look. Preparing for a night out and can't decide what make up look to go for? Ask the mirror. Considering growing a beard but not sure you'd work it? Ask the mirror. This could be super useful and pretty damn cool! 

Friday, 9 January 2015

Mastering the midi-skirt

Designer and high street alike have taken on one of the most femininely chic and elegant silhouettes – the midi skirt. This nostalgic trend has been around for a couple of seasons now and its popularity shows no sign of slowing. One of the best things about this ever-flattering cut is its versatility, whereby it can be styled to suit pretty much every girl and any occasion. The full hems skim over thighs and pull in your waist, creating more of an hourglass shape and adding curves where you may not have any. I’m a big fan of this trend as they are flattering to a longer frame, emphasising height, and the soft lines break up long legs.

“No matter your height, these 50s-inspired full skirt can still keep you feeling chic and sexy for a night out”

Plus, the length seems to be pretty wind resistant so you don’t have to be conscious of giving everyone an awkward flash of your bum when you’re walking outside this winter. If your parents gifted you with a shorter than average frame then my suggestion would be to go with more subtle patterns or

Monday, 5 January 2015

Menswear Monday

The temperatures are dropping even further at the moment, even though apparently it's 7 degrees up here in Newcastle - but believe me when I say they lie. So, I've given you jumpers and I've given you coats, all you need to finish off your winter look are accessories. Here, I give you my pick of the coziest and chicest hats, scarfs and gloves. As always, I've presented the high-end of the price scale first then followed by the high street:


Dents have delivered with these leather gloves (£85) that come with touch-screen fingers - super handy for when you need to use your phone but don't dare expose your hands. They are cashmere lined for extra warmth and comfort, like little blankets for your hands. 


Richard James gives us this burnt orange scarf  at £150. The USP of this product being that it is hand-knitted in the UK, giving it some heritage. Black, blue and brown will all go equally great with this autumnal shade. 

Saturday, 3 January 2015

DIY or DIDon't ?

Hovercrafts and time travel are how some people envisage our society advancing but, according to one Swedish businessman, the future of fashion is flat-pack. The country that gave us revolutionary build-it-yourself furniture superstore Ikea, has now come up with a similar idea for our clothes, taking minimalism in a whole different direction.

Stefan Engeseth, a Fortune 500 business consultant, has said in a press release “fashion is an expression of how to package and sell design” and he thinks the pull of this idea is the customers being able to “personalise and ‘hack’ the designs”. The basic premise of his idea is that a customer would buy, presumably with flat-pack specialists Ikea as the initial retailer, a pack containing all the materials to make their own pieces of clothing by following a set of instructions, be that a top or pair of trousers. They would then be able to customise it according to their own preference, creating a basic yet personalised garment.