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: