Camden Town

On Wednesday, me and Andrew had a random impulse to head into Camden and explore. We had a lovely afternoon involving sugar donuts, cyber dog, chinese food, crazy pigeons, a bit of shopping and a little adventure around the back of Camden.

 We did a fair bit of haggling too! Andrew bought the paisley shirt from a little boutique which was originally £30 but we got it down to £25 and I bought a mini suitcase for £20, instead of £25. I'm off on a little adventure this weekend for a few days to "meet the family". It's such a big step for me but I'm pretty excited at the same time! WISH ME LUCK.

XO love, Ashleigh x

last call to keep updated with ASHLLYD!

Monday marks that day we have all been dreading. The deletion of Google Reader. If you're a regular reader of my blog, you will need to head on over to either Bloglovin' (follow me here) or Feedly in order to keep up to date with all my new posts. 

I think we're all (deep down) a little disheartened that the amount of followers we have on Google Friend Connect will now be completely bypassed. However, it's not all about followers, is it? - I really appreciate it if you've headed over to Bloglovin' to follow my blog on there. ^_^

XO love, Ashleigh x

five tips #5: believing in yourself

1) Be confident
The most important thing when studying a creative course is to be confident in your work. Believe in it. Push it. You have created something wonderful; nobody else. This is the one thing I struggled with up till about two months ago. I would always slightly compare my work to other people's and would end up hating it to the point I would convince myself I had failed and I should just give up.

2) Remember why you are here
My love of Photography began when I was just 14. My dad has always had an interest in it and he would sit with me for ages showing me all his camera bodies and lenses. He bought me my first DSLR just before we left for a family holiday and I didn't put it down for two weeks. From there, I decided I naturally wanted to study it and did a few months of it at sixth form alongside another three (horrible) subjects. After making the decision to drop out of sixth form, I began college and studied a BTEC Diploma in Photography for two years. Again, I didn't believe in myself and ended up finishing college and receiving a final grade of DD*D*. It was like that moment in Harry Potter when Neville Longbottom can't believe he's earnt 10 house points for standing up to his friends. Trust me to involve a bit of HP!

3) Ignore others
My attendance for my first year at Uni has been terrible. This was due to mixed emotions of wanting to leave, wanting to give up and not deal with the challenges ahead of me. With a creative course, it's not like sitting down to an exam. YOU have to think of the ideas and the concept, YOU have to plan everything and see it from beginning to end. Where do we find inspiration? How do we think of such artistic ideas? With our brains of course and you need time to do so. You cannot just think of an idea and begin an artistic approach out of no where. This is what people find hard to understand. No matter how much my family nagged at me not to leave Uni; it wasn't them having to quickly think of ideas. It was me.

4) Stop convincing yourself you're a failure
I collected my results this week and I actually did a lot better than I had anticipated. This is because I had worked my brain to mode overload and convinced myself I had failed. Well, I didn't. Just like last time. see this post here.

5) Keep your head up
I decided to stick it out and have just completed my first year at Uni. I have one more year to go which I know is going to be a lot more harder due to dissertations and work experience placements but I'm already thousands of pounds in debt and I've already completed a year so I just need to 'keep my head up and my heart strong' as dear ol' Ben Howard says and DO IT!

XO love, Ashleigh x

motel rocks pre-glasto party

dress - ax paris*

Last Thursday, I headed along to Camden with some friends to join the Motel Rocks babes for a pre-glastonbury party. The event was held at Proud Camden which is in the stables. We were treated to our own lounge booth with plenty of sweets to last us a lifetime, goodie bags and complimentary drinks. After one too many vodka and lemonades, we were treated to live band performances till 10PM and then the gorgeous Charli XCX and Alexis Knox hit the decks which saw us partying the night away until the early hours.

It was a great night so thank you so much to Motel Rocks for inviting me! :)

P.S Andrew and the flash aren't friends but I thought it was cute.

XO love, Ashleigh x
Not got a blog? follow via bloglovin'!


The countdown to Google Reader being murdered is upon us which means if you want to be kept in the loop of your favourite blogger's posts, you need to head on over to Bloglovin' and follow us all on there! Here's my link :)

Feel free to leave your blog links below. I will check them all out :-) How do you all like the new blog design? I will be back soon with some new posts!

XO love, Ashleigh x

chorizo, goats cheese and spinach tartette

It feels super weird sitting down and writing a new blog post. I feel like I haven't blogged in ages and to be honest; I haven't! I'm going through one of them phases at the moment where I hate my blog, the way it looks and have nothing remotely interesting to write about. Where can I find my blogging mojo again?

A few weeks ago, we cooked a chorizo, goats cheese and spinach tartette. It was super yummy, sort of healthy and only takes half hour or so!

Serves 4
You will need:
  •  Ready rolled puff pastry
  • Chorizo
  • 1 packet of goats cheese
  • A few sundried tomatoes
  • Roasted peppers (we used a jar of chargrilled roasted peppers)
  • Spinach
  • Houmous
  • 1/2 a red onion
  • Parsley
  • 2 cloves of garlic
Note: There's no exact measurement. We just used enough ingredients to cover the whole base so there was some ingredients left over.

1) Start by frying the onion. Remember this takes the longest, so do this first! Then chuck in the chopped chorizo with the parsley and mix it all up.

2) As that's frying nicely together, start on the base. Ready rolled puff pastry is pretty self explanatory. You don't need to faff around with a rolling pin! We experimented and used houmous for the base. I love houmous! We left a border so the corners rose and went 'puffy' without being weighed down. Then add the chorizo, onion and parsley and spread it all around. Add the sundried tomatoes and peppers. Finally, add the spinach and goats cheese last. Then pop in the oven on gas mark 5-6 and see the pastry puff before your eyes!
We got some chorizo bites and feta and spinach stuffed somosas from Sainsburys which accompanied the meal perfectly!

And serve! Super yummy and SO easy to make!

Feeling inspired to make this? ;-)

XO love, Ashleigh x

confessions of a blogger

I've seen this tag working its way around and thought I'd jump on the bandwagon too. It's a great way to get to know the person behind the blog you're reading especially if you're a new reader/follower. Hopefully this is interesting for you! Let me know in the comments :-)

When did you start your blog?
I technically wrote my first post in July 2011, but I wasn't too serious about it due to being rather confused how to work Blogspot and especially how to make my blog look nice... believe it or not! However, I would say my blog was really started in August 2011 as I frequently started to write posts and began interacting with bloggers on Twitter etc. It's almost two years old :)

Have you had any other online presences?
Yes! I've always been on the internet in one way or another! I had Piczo when I was about 12. I absolutely loved designing my little website and creating different pages with glittery disney GIF's and all sorts of fun stuff! I then moved onto Bebo which kind of worked in the same way Facebook does. You "added friends" and "wrote on their walls". Anyone remember the little "heart" button you'd click if you liked someone's profile?! RIP bebo. I was a huge MySpace fanatic back in the day too. Cringe. I even met my ex boyfriend of three years through that! Double cringe. I then made my very first YouTube channel and started to make videos. Alongside this I set up my tumblr which has to this day still being posted and reblogged on four years later. I love it for finding inspiration! I then closed down my original YouTube channel as I didn't enjoy making videos anymore, started this blog and then started YouTube again a few months ago.

Why did you start a blog?
To share my college work! I didn't really plan out what I would use it for but I knew blogs are a big thing in the creative industries and even still to this day, I use it to help get comments on my work to see what a varied audience thinks of it. In a way, I did write my first post with the intention of blogging a lot about my life which I have.

When did you become serious about starting a blog?
I think I decided I wanted to really stick with my blog after my first ~serious~ post which is so weird thinking about it now. I blogged a review of some elf lip crayons which just goes to show how much my blog has grown in almost two years! I never blog about beauty now! Once I saw people were regularly commenting on my blog, it made me want to continue with it aswell. If you are a blogger, you will know that comments/followings can be a little slow at first but after commenting on other blogs and getting interactive on Twitter; "blogships" soon form and before you know it people are telling you they like the trousers you're wearing or think what you had for lunch on Tuesday looks yummy! It's mad!

What was your first post?
It was just a little introductory post saying who I am and what to expect. Pretty boring. I thought that's what everyone's first post was!

What has been your biggest challenge about blogging?
I have a few! Keeping up can be pretty tough at times; especially as I was a college student when I started my blog with a job and now I'm a Uni student with two retail jobs; and with a lot more blog stuff to do. I genuinely try to reply to emails every other day but sometimes they end up mounting up and I spend one day in the week just solidly catching up by replying to emails, comments and tweets/msgs. However, I feel splendid once my inbox is all up to date! Trying to fit in was another thing I battled with when I first started my blog. I would say this lasted for 3/4 months. I wasn't too sure what content my blog fitted in with so when it came to categorising it; I was stuck with a beauty, lifestyle, fashion and photography blog. What a mouthful! However, my blog has developed a lot in almost two years. I've tried blogging about beauty at the very beginning and my heart just isn't in it which is why I don't write about it anymore. I still do the odd hair care or skin care post but I genuinely have an interest in those. Finding out how to do the perfect smokey eye just doesn't interest me.

Where do you see your blog in one year?
I'd love to see it develop some more! More readers; maybe from more places around the world?! I'm now way over half a million page views which is beyond crazy; so who knows, I may reach the big one million this time next year? It's my goal at some point in my 'blogging life' to get ASHLLYD mentioned somewhere within a magazine or newspaper. To see that physically in my hand on PAPER would be absolutely amazing! I also really want to meet more bloggers! I would really like to make a bunch of friends from blogging who aren't just friends I maybe meet up with on the way to blog events; I want life long friendships!

What is the most discouraging thing that has happened to you?
I have experienced my blog getting bad mouthed by a group of the more popular bloggers on Twitter. I was relatively new to blogging; maybe three or four months into the game and it was really upsetting to see. I had no idea what to do and was very close to deleting my blog and giving up. I decided to take a little break and returned to see they had moved on and forgotten about me and my little blog and I was free to move on and carry on blogging as normal. Fortunately, as an almost two year old blogger, I'm not dumb enough now to reach that point ever again. I have reached a point in my life where I've been let down by people so much; that I'm not going out my way to impress people. I'm me and if people can't accept me for who I am, then that's not my problem...

What's your lasting inspiration/motivation?
Other bloggers influence me a lot! I tend to read blogs at least twice a week and sometimes the odd post which is posted onto Twitter that I simply cannot scroll by and ignore. Seeing a lovely post put together with beautiful photographs and a witty text makes me want to get out there more, photograph more and blog more! Comments from my readers really puts me in the blogging mood as well. There is nothing better than reading comments from people who have taken thirty seconds or four minutes or eleven minutes out of their day to write something. It's such a lovely feeling. I  you all!

Apologies for the lack of posts this week. I am currently hating everything to do with my blog so I decided to take a week's break. A new blog design is on its way too! I can't wait to get back into the game! XO

XO love, Ashleigh x