the christmas gift guide for a student budget

It is officially less than 4 weeks til Christmas now & I'm completely unorganised as per usual.. and skint. Instead of doing my usual christmas gift guide like last years, I thought I would do a gift guide for students like me who have little money but still want to make some form of present appear underneath the tree for their loved ones. I mean, I guess it's the thought that count but I know my family really deserve a good present for everything that they have done for me! Soppy I know.

So.. if you're a student and you're low on money but still want to buy presents then here are my tips:

1. Handmade.. it could literally be anything. Knit a scarf, sew a cushion.. Handmade items are cool, quirky and completely unique! No one else would have the same and it's a really thoughtful gift in my opinion.

2. Charity shops! They are great for anything. You could get your dad a record or buy your mam a faux fur coat.. cheap and great.

3. Ebay. You can find almost anything, even if it is something that is currently in the shop, you can more than likely find it half price.

4. Money. Okay so this is a gift guide for skint students but if you gave both your mam & dad £10 it is something for them to spend on themselves. They could put it towards that pair of shoes they want or that scarf.

5. Do the Christmas Day washing up?.. Okay so it's not a present but doing the dishes or helping with the making of the dinner would massively help and be a weight off the cooks mind.

6. If you can't afford anything then just tell them and say that when you do have some that you will take them out for a nice meal a la courtesy of you :-)

Do you have any great ideas for a low budget Christmas?.. xoxo

instagram & life update

Hello to you all! :-) I cannot quite believe that November is nearly over. EEEEEEK CHRISTMAS. Currently in festive overload.. sat blogging listening to my new made Christmas playlist (you know, Wham!, Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble, Wizzard, all the classics!), eating clementine oranges and about to indulge in a mince pie, yum. I apologise for my lack of posts, been super busy with work and assignments for university. If I haven't been at work I've been at lectures or typing 3000+ words. And apart from that, visits home for a couple of days have been my only escape and form of relaxation from the hustle and bustle of a busy bees life. Anyhoo, here's some photos from my life as we know it.. If you don't already follow me on twitter and instagram please do, I like new people :-) @lauraconveryxo (twitter) @skullsandroses (instagram) MWAH x

meet lexi | candle holder L.O.V.E | review coming soon | poochy on her first walk since having the puppies!!
vampy lip kate moss 107 | in love with this album | christmas present? | yummy oreo dairy milk
ootd | russian h@ | view on my way to work, york minster | essay essentials: latte & highlighters
my new favourite item of clothing, glittery leggings!! | 7am off to the Christmas Fayre at Gayle Mill | Gayle Mill Christmas trees | look what I made & helped the kids to make at the fayre

xoxo

from my hometown

Hello everyone! Recently I got contacted by the lovely Emily informing of a competition being run by Walton Robinson, a property agent in Newcastle. The competition is closed but she wondered if I'd like to blog about my five personal favourite places in Newcastle. I absolutely loved the idea. Newcastle is my home town and when I'm at uni I always cannot wait to get back. Contrary to Geordie Shore, it's not all about getting drunk and tashing on. The atmosphere of the place is electric, the people are genuine and lovely and there is so much to do and see!
From day to night, family to friends and weekends there is something for everyone to do in Newcastle. As much as I've been a Newcastle explorer from being a baby and countless adventures with my nana and cousins when I was younger, I'm going to share with you my top five places to go if you're ever visiting for the weekend or even if you're a local but you just haven't been before!

Jesmond Dene
For as long as I can remember Jesmond Dene has to be one of the most beautiful places in the City Centre of Newcastle. Ever since I was little I have made trips there. Visiting the animals in 'pets corner', feeding them and going on a trail around the dene come summer or winter was always a favourite of mine. With Chapel ruins, the Giants footsteps (maybe that was only my family that called them that), a huge park and a lovely house which often holds events. It's a place of tranquility and adventure. I remember one winter when my nana took me and my cousins to one of the events at Jesmond Dene House and we sipped mulled wine (well my nana did anyway, I was only 8), made mint mice and wreaths for the door. All year there is something to do there and it's just a lovely place.


Fenwicks
Okay, so you might be thinking why have you put a department store as one of your favourite places in Newcastle.. I'll tell you why.. Ever since I was little it's been a part of the average week. Whether it was shopping with my mama or going to the toy department with my nana. Countless hours spent looking and playing with the toys. Not only that but Fenwicks Christmas window visit is a family tradition of mine. Every year for as long as I can remember I have been to visit the magic sight that is Fenwicks Christmas window! Every year it tells a different story, the year of 2012 brings you the story of what's in the train. Another thing I love about Fenwicks is the amazing food hall! I'm a girl who loves her food and boy o boy do they have some lovely delights, I especially love the cupcakes.. my nana often has one ready for me when visiting from university!!

Art & Culture
The world under one roof. I adore this place, if you ever take me to a museum or an art gallery I'm forever yours. Living in the North-East there isn't many museums that hold as much as this does! London is the most well known for it's natural history museum and the tate modern but what about Newcastle?! We certainly have art galleries and museums to rival that of our capitals! From the Great North Museum that holds live animal tanks, relics from Ancient Greece, a planetarium, a reconstruction of Hadrians Wall as well as a hell of a lot more, to the Discovery Museum where science and history collide. I loved this place when I was kid and still enjoy it now! Art galleries, we have the Baltic, the Laing, the Biscuit Factory and more. They all show something different and amazing. 
The Laing art gallery recently held an exhibition of Quentin Blake's illustrations. You may remember him from illustrating books such as The Twits.

The Cut
Being a Geordie I obviously love a good night out and for me most nights end up at The Cut. Newcastle's secret. Gotham for some trebles then hit up The Cut. It's completely the opposite of Newcastle's favourite clubs such as Koo's or Florita's or TupTup.. it's dirty, unruly, not brilliantly decorated but the atmosphere, the people and the music are what makes the place. If you want to go somewhere and not spend the night posing in front of the IamVIP camera and just want somewhere to have a good old dance then this is the place. Thursday nights are my favourite, dubstep drum & bass. Nearly every night of the week they have a different genre of music, Mondays are another favourite of mine indie night. 


Ice Rink
Okay I'm in full on Christmas mode now. Sat with a cuppa, writing this & listening to my newly made Christmas playlist full of all those good hits!! Every year the Life Science Centre in Newcastle has an ice rink from around November until nearly the end of February! What's better than wrapping up in your favourite faux fur pieces, sticking some boots and going for a skate. Every time that I have been I cannot physically let go of the sides ha, I hold on for dear life. (someone teach me how to skate & buy me a mulled cider tehe) Fun for all the family. Whether you can skate or not it's a good laugh.

Vote for your favourite place in Newcastle by checking out the competition here
twitter: @WRNewcastle

What are your favourite places in Newcastle if you're a local like me.. or share with me your favourite places of your hometime! :-)
Love xoxo

my winter essentials..


Clothes & accessories..  plaid shirt - american apparel via asos | breton stripe top - cos | bowler hat - h&m | leather jacket - new look | tartan scarf - h&m.. also wearing my poppy proudly!
Jewellery.. chain necklace - h&m | rose gold rings - asos | watch - urban outfitters
Handbag and handbag essentials.. handbag - tkmaxx (zara lookalike) | sheepskin mittens - tkmaxx | palmers cocoa butter handcream | perfume 'paris' - next

I absolutely adore my new handbag, it looks exactly like the Zara one that everyone and their mothers have but it is a beautiful bag. I got it for £24.99, bloody bargain & it's great for every use, perfect for fitting in my tiny locket at work and it fits so much of my uni stuff in! I certainly tested that out today, I managed to fit in my lunchbox, a bottle of juice, 2 big thick books, a note pad and all my usual handbag bits & bobs!!

ones to watch: november

MUSIC

This month I thought instead of giving you some up & coming artists I would give you a sneak peek into what I'll be listening to this month. The party season is upon us, but so are those dreaded cold nights where you want to curl up in bed & hide away! So this months playlist is a mix of those party hits, getting ready songs and some amazing acoustics. (I tried to somehow put my Spotify playlist on here but I'm not entirely sure how to, if anyone knows please comment!!)

mumford & sons - awake my soul | lianne la havas - forget | the goo goo dolls - iris | calvin harris ft florence - sweet nothing | edward sharpe & the magnetic zeros - home | belle & sebastian - piazza, new york catcher | arctic monkeys - when the sun goes down | mgmt - electric feel | the strokes - last nite | the clash - london calling | totally enormous extinct dinosaurs - tapes & money | joe goddard - go bananas | urban cone - freak | bombay bicycle club - leaving blues | calvin harris ft nicky romero - iron | taylor swift - we are never ever getting back together | the beatles - all you need is love | jake bugg - taste it | ceasers -  jerk it out | high highs - open season

FASHION

The cold season is upon us! That means for me wrapping up warm, be snug & cosy whilst being practical at the same time. I have to walk to both uni and work, 20minutes each way for both, a nightmare in cold weather. So for me outfits need to be quick, simple and warm.

key pieces I'll be wearing..  tartan scarf or fur collar, leather jacket, metal tipped boots (obsessed!), gold chain jewelry.. the rest of my outfit will probably be pretty monochrome as I like to accessorize it up with colours & textures!

Check out my winter essentials post coming soon for an idea of my outfits and key pieces from my wardrobe!

BOOKS

As I've been working a lot lately and reading a tonne of uni books for my essays, getting stuck into a good book really has been my escape. A different world with a lot less worries.

Charles Dickens - The Old Curiosity Shop & Great Expectations
Erin Morgenstern - The Night Circus
Norman Collins - London Belongs To Me

FILM/TV

I don't really get to watch that much TV but I will stick to watching my favourites on catch-up.. Emmerdale, Waterloo Rd, Made in Chelsea, TOWIE, George Clarkes Amazing Spaces and such. However of late I've been really getting into an upbeat drama-comedy about 4 young witches called 'Switch' - good witches not wicked witch of the west kind - 4 best friends with uber cool style (what do you expect from Lacy Turner & Hannah Tointon) and living in Camden, all part of a coven. Mondays 10pm watch!!

Now onto films.. Seriously it's getting to the point where I can't actually remember the last time I was all cosy in a cinema with a bag of toffee popcorn and a large coke! But as the festive season is upon us there is always some bloody great films coming out. And.. I will go to see them, even if I have to go alone!

Breaking Dawn ptII - I still need to watch the first part, but alas it is the final installment of the twilight saga! What will become of Edward & Bella?

Love Bite - Remember that guy from the UKs hit series Skins? The one that was in love with Effy? Well Luke Pasqualino is back. Think of raw british comedy in the form of virgins & werewolfs. Seems like it will be a bit of fun in the dull days of winter!

BLOGS I'M LOVING..



(sorry this post is a little late, it's taken me over a week to finish and post due to the fact that I've been overtaken by shifts at work and uni work, I've barely had time to eat! Hope you forgive me :-) I have a few days off next week so I'm back up to my home town where I will be relaxing and definitely getting some posts done, love you all xo)

sunday summary

Hello my lovelies! Hope you're all well. This week has been a busy one for me.. I forgot how hard it is trying to balance a job & uni work at the same time. BUT I have to think of the money :-) Apart from that this week has been spent sleeping and eating with my spare time ha. I came home this weekend and it's been super lovely. As I said in a previous post my lovely little pooch Annie had 9 b-e-a-uuuutiful puppies and I haven't seen them in 3 weeks and my god how they have grown!!! Blue eyed bundles of fun (there will definitely be a lot of pictures of them in this post, so queue the aw's). I really do love coming home for family time and some relaxation. Today I also popped into Newcastle and saw Fenwicks Christmas window, yippee. I mean I know it's bonfire night tomorrow and there's still nearly 7 weeks til Christmas but I've seen it every year without fail and I'm twenty next year. I also eventuallly tried a salted caramel latte, fair to say I'm bloomin' impressed.

Sneak peek into my life...

cup of tea & pride of britain | my halloween night | busy busy uni | tartan, gold & leather
meet the puppies | foggy morning trip out
fenwicks christmas window, newcastle | costa salted caramel latte