Sunday are potentially my least favourite day.

I mean, they’re okay.

Sundays can get a little boring.

I love spending time with my friends and family but there isn’t usually much to do which is why my friends and I started Sunday Funday. I was going through my camera and had a few photos from a few weeks back which I thought I would share.

Mini were nice enough to lend me a car, the Mini Cooper Clubman 4X4 which lead me and my friends to come up with a few different mini road trip ideas. I must admit I’m a road trip fan (I’d love to do one across Europe!) so have been to most places which are a 2hour drive from London and although I really wanted to go to Bath I was told it was too far and we settled for Cambridge. I say settled but I do love Cambridge and since my friends hadn’t been I was excited for them to explore the city.

mini cooper s mini long 2 mini burgandy MINI Logo mini long

 

Since Mini lent me the car and I fell in love with it, let’s talk a little about it.

I had never really wanted a Mini, I liked them but I wasn’t sure if they were for me but boy was I wrong. From the outside, the Mini is a beautiful car, a very classic and loved car but I probably fell more in love once I got inside and drove it around. My first trip in the Mini was actually to Ashford Mc Arthur Glen Shopping centre (average Outlet stores, nice but not worth a whole blog post) and by the end of the drive, I had already called my boyfriend asking if we could trade my car in and get a Mini.

We didn’t have the standard Mini (I think it’s important to note, in case anyone is looking to buy one), we had the Cooper Clubman which is a little bit longer and is very spacious inside. Everyone that got in it this weekend commented on how comfortable and luxurious the inside was. It had burgundy leather seats, you could control the colours on the inside, build in Sat-Nav and other cool tech and drove like a dream. It had a standard, Eco and Sport Mode- I, of course, had to try all of them and they were all amazing. It’s a four wheel drive with decent size engine so it picked up speed quickly but you always felt very in control due to its size. Anyways, I don’t know too much about cars but I loved it and if I were on the market for a new car (sadly, I am not) it would be a big contender.

So we drove the Mini to Cambridge and if you haven’t been I would highly recommend it. It’s up there in my top 5 cities in England (should I do a blog post about the rest) and a great place to consider for a day trip. Although it’s quite a traditional city in terms of history and architecture, it’s also a student city meaning there are great cafes, restaurants and bars! They do however get busy and finding somewhere for breakfast was tricky, so do book a few days in advance. We then had a wander around the university and the city before going on a little Punting tour. If you’re in Cambridge I’d highly recommend the Punting, it’s not too expensive (you can haggle for a better price too), the tour guides are knowledgeable (or at least good at pretending they are) and generally quite funny. I think this might be my third Punting tour and would definitely go again.
cambridge arch cambridge breakfastcambridge bikes cambridge me cambridge puntin cambridgeWe then had another little stroll around, grabbed a hot chocolate to keep up warm, jumped back in the Mini and headed home.

I’m hoping to do a few more road trips this year, would love some recommendation! I’m thinking somewhere up north in February!

I thought I would have a little bit of a catch up today, before the week is up and let you know what I have been up to over the last few weeks. I’ve blogged a little less than I would like but I think with anything that involves a little bit of creatively sometime you’re simply not feeling it and life just get in the way.

I was in Spain for two days last week finding out all about Aloe Vera with Santa Verde (more on that further down), which meant 3AM mornings and late nights. That teamed with having to send my camera off to get fixed left me a little uninspired but I’m hoping that after this blog post I’ll be back to my usual schedule.

That said it’s been a fun week, Spain with Santa Verde was amazing, I only wish I could have stayed longer! I didn’t know too much about natural skincare of Aloe Vera so I really learnt so much, we also got to cut our own Aloe Vera and help with the processing. I’m hoping to have a video about those two days up on my YouTube soon so keep an eye out for that but will of course update once I have tried the products a little more.

I also attended the launch of the Bond Street Jo Malone Flagship store which was amazing as you can imagine, trumpet players, photobooths and it’s just one of the most beautiful beauty stores I have ever seen. I’m hoping to pop back in soon for a few photos which I am sure I’ll share on here.

After the Jo Malone event my boyfriend and I went to My Kitchen, a little restaurant just off the Kings Road. I’d never heard of it but it’s attached to My Hotel which seems to have some really beautiful rooms. We ended up having a few cocktails and I had a pretty great burger, I hadn’t had a burger in far too long! We followed that with some dessert which was equally as delicious. Really great, casual restaurant and I must admit that I was very tempted by their breakfast menu!

Since then I’ve been to the cinema to watch James Bond (which I thought was average) and largely stayed home sheltering from the cold. I did however get to make my own candle with Fragrance Direct at Rachel Vosper which was really fun too.

Now that we’re all caught up I’m hoping to resume normal service very soon, although my camera still hasn’t come back from the repairs, they’ve had to order me a new lens.

Don’t forget you can see what I get up to daily by following me on Snapchat: alittleobsessed

Admittedly I am probably a little unqualified to write this blog post but these are simply my tips, hopefully they will help some of you. Instagram just like blogging and YouTube requires that you put in lots of time and effort but is becoming more and more essential. If you already have a huge online following than Instagram is often but if not give some of my tips a go…

Taking the photos
1. Wipe the camera
You want the photo to be as clear as possible so make sure there is no makeup or else on your lens
2. Find good lighting
Natural is usually best but I often use a soft box too
3. Find a good angle
Wether you are photographing you lunch or taking a selfie you need to find the best angle. Food often looks great from above and most of us have a best side but have fun with it.
4. Find good composition
Use props such as sunglasses, makeup bits and more when photographing objects to make the photo more interesting. Play around when taking outfit photos too and always consider the background. 
5. Take lots of photos
You want to have choices so take lots, you can easily delete them after

Editing
1. Don’t feel you have to use a filter
It’s dated to think you have to use a standard filter, there are so many other choices nowadays. 
2. Use other apps
My favourites are; Afterlight, FaceTune and VSCO Cam
3. Make sure it fits with your other photos
Use a similar editing technique for all your photos so that they all look good together
4. Remember sometime less is more
Be careful not to over edit and end up looking more like a cartoon than a human. 

Building a following
1. Post regularly
Instead of posting six times in a hour spread them out throughout the day and make sure you post a few times a day 
2. Pre take photos
My days aren’t always very photogenic so I like to pre-take them and keep them for more boring days
3. Like & Comment
We all like comments and likes but it’s also a great way to get your username seen
4. Follow people that inspire you
It’s great for inspiration and to interact with people similar to you
5. Post during key times
Test different times and find which works best for you. Remember that people are less likely to like your photo late at night as they may have already gone to sleep and also whilst they are at work. 

Leave all your tips in the comments and let me know if these have worked for you 

Also don’t forget to head over and follow me on Instagram too if you enjoyed this post! @a_littleobsessed 

This time last week I was lying in bed confused as to how I could be quite as exhausted as I was. I planned and cooked my first dinner for eight friends. I made canapés and cocktails, an asparagus starter, a main and two desserts. Somehow everything went smoothly, luckily I had lots of help from my friend and I think everyone had a nice time but I thought I would share a few things I learnt along the way…

1. Preparation is key
I think everything only went smoothly because I had planned everything, from what time to peel the potatoes to how long I had to get ready. I planned everything I was cooking a few days before, everything I had to buy and absolutely everything I had to do. I like to have things written down and I think having a check list really helps insure everything goes to plan.

2. It’s far more expensive than I ever imagined
I think this was partly because it was my first time doing it but the bill ended up being much higher than I imagined. I did however end up buying a few things which I didn’t use but at least I know for next time. I also think that next time I think I might ask everyone to bring a bottle of wine for the meal as alcohol is particularly expensive.

3. Don’t worry too much about people’s likes/dislikes
I know this sounds silly but I don’t think it’s all that important as long as they still have enough food and you are catering to allergies/vegetarians. As I was cooking for my friends I knew that no one would be too offended if the starter has something they didn’t like in it and would be quite happy to work around it. I offered to make them something else but they simply removed the part they didn’t like and ate the rest.

4. It’s incredibly tiring
My dinner was at 7.30PM but I had to start planning/cooking at 2.30PM and then the next morning having had gone to bed at 3AM I was up again doing dishes and hoovering.

5. Plan a little entertainment
As it was a Christmas dinner I planned a little Secret Santa, it helps break the ice between people that don’t know each other too well and just gave the table something to do in between courses.

6. Keep it simple
If I were to do it all again I would probably lose the canapés I made for before dinner. They were fiddly to make and I think my friends would have been just as happy (actually happier) with store-bought garlic bread stuck in the oven.

What are your tips to hosting a successful dinner party?

As you may know I posted my first weekly vlog last week (here) and it seemed that some of you enjoyed it, even asking for more! So of course I decided to film a follow me around vlog last week too and I will be doing my best to keep this up, with vlogmas even being an option!

I actually had a fun week last week; I got time to spend with my friends but was also lucky enough to stay at the new Mondrian Hotel with Witch Skincare (post here).  This week Michael and I are off to Bath for two days and I would love some recommendations in the comments on things to do and where to eat if you are familiar with the area, also don’t forget to subscribe here to catch that next week!