Sunday, 8 December 2013

I've been really distracted the past few weeks hence a lack of posting, and the building above has been the distraction. Because... we finally bought a house!

After a pretty unsteady two years, endless fights with the family over hot water, a hell of a lot of saving, no social life for months and some help from our parents and the Governments "Help to Buy" scheme, we've managed to do it. We move in January 2014 and we're ecstatically excited yet incredibly terrified at the same time. But we can't wait and the next few weeks are gonna be complete madness, especially over Christmas (we must be crazy). It's going to be an odd final Christmas at home with our parents. But what an amazing Christmas gift to ourselves this is!

So I'll not be around much over the next few weeks... as we must go and pack our entire lives into boxes, and continue to pay out more fees than we ever dared to imagine in order to make it happen! Back soon :-)
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Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Athena lingerie set from the Masquerade collection from Panache*

I do love me a luxurious new lingerie set! I'm a big lover of a bargain but underwear is something I'll happily shell a bit more out for and I buy it all year round; I love high quality satins, silks and lace and the satin on this set feels so super soft. The colour is divine, such a rich jewel toned turquoise. The tiny details of this set are what impress me, like the tiny sparkly little droppers, the tiny black ribbons, the silver logos on all the connections and the delicately dotted lace.

Like a lot of new fashion collections out now, the Autumn range for Panache is dark, dusky, elegant and full of blacks, greys and ruby reds which totally suits the new season. I don't know about you but I don't tend to wear brightly coloured bras in A/W, just feels a bit strange - although you can get away with wearing just about anything if you can't see through your clothes! Just cuz most people won't see it doesn't mean you can't treat yourself to glamorous underwear ;-)

Panache create bras for women with a D cup + and I quite like that the models they use on their website are not teeny tiny super lean models, there's nothing wrong with being teeny tiny but it's refreshing to see a brand use these models in a "normal" fashion sense rather than calling them plus size! However my only criticism is with the bra and the sizing - if you tend to be a little in between sizes I'd say go for the bigger one as the cups seem quite small to me, which seems odd considering larger cup sizes are their speciality! But on the whole a very pretty, high quality set of lingerie... I've definitely got my eye on this other set! Have you tried any lingerie by Panache before?
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Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Sinful Colors is a nail polish brand new to me... I found a stand full of them in my local Boots recently and at only £1.99 each for a decent size 15ml bottle in a huge range of colours, I was sold. Even better, on the day I went in they were on a Buy One Get One Half price offer, so I got 4 of these beauties for £6...! And for once, all of these are very different shades to my other polishes, so no doubling up on colours I already have! (it has been known, naughty naughty)

Sinful Colors Shimmer in Sugar Sugar

This one is my favourite. This is not just a gorgeously rich and velvety cherry red, it shimmers with tiny tiny gold and red glitter particles and dried very glossy. I treated myself to this as I've made a real effort over the last 2 months to grow my own nails and stop biting them (it's worked, these are real for once! woohoo). I can see me getting a lot of wear out of this perfect red polish.

Sinful Colors Glitter in (L-R) Nail Junkie, Pink Glitter and Hottie

Obsessed with these glitters! Just look at the different dimensions of colour that come through. Nail Junkie reminds me of a mermaid tail, it's so YUMMY.

Swatched with Rimmel "Green with Envy" polish

This was with one coat on the accent nail, but Nail Junkie goes SO WELL with the gorgeous jewel tone of Rimmel "Green with Envy". I haven't tried these glitters full on with 3 coats yet. Although they're very thick with their own colour base, I would still use a similar colour underneath as a one coat basecoat just to give the glitter a more concentrated finish without having to put too many coats on. As they are so glitter packed they seem to dry just a little gritty, so a good glossy topcoat is a must for this polish to look as amazing as it does in the bottle. 

This is definitely the start of a new collection for me! Have you ever tried Sinful Colors?
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Friday, 18 October 2013

Pink knit: New Look // Jeans + Frilly Ankle Socks: River Island
Necklace: Miss Selfridge // Skull Ring: Topshop
Tan Chelsea Boots: £19.99 on eBay

I've wanted a powder pink cosy knit for so long. I think this is the one. Such a perfect colour that matches blonde, brunette and black hair so well. I like the idea of wearing some light pastels in winter to break up all the dark stuff that fills the season. The chunky gold buckles on these bargain boots are the best bit, they make them special, pretty sure I will order these tonight. I'm going to try out little frilly socks peeking out over the top of my ankle boots this autumn/winter - so fingers crossed I can pull it off and not look like a douche ;-)

This weekend will be a good one. Things seem to be moving forward quite smoothly for us at the moment... generous family members very kindly donated their cream leather sofa and armchairs to us last week as they redecorated; we couldn't believe our luck! My parents are kindly storing it for us too so which is great. Tomorrow morning me and the Mr are meeting with the bank to discuss opening a joint account and chat about our options with regards to a mortgage. I think I have an idea of what our budget is but the more clued up we get, the better. It's my dream to buy a house... I'm watching so many Sarah Beeny shows right now it's silly. But I'm just too excited!
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Wednesday, 25 September 2013

L'Oreal Casting Creme Gloss in Iced Latte - Boots

I didn't really have any intention on dyeing my hair darker, but as we had a friend's wedding recently and I had some ghastly 2" long root regrowth, something had to be done. I was going to just have my highlights re-done, but couldn't find anywhere cheaper than £100 for highlights and a cut and blow dry at such short notice... and I really do not want to justify £100 on my hair at the moment! So for a tenner, I bought two of these box dyes. I went for semi-permanent and thought, what's the worst that can happen?

I chose this shade as it's pretty similar to my natural hair colour, but maybe just a tinge darker and more golden. I was happy enough with the dye, it didn't have a strong smell and my hair felt fine afterwards. The best thing was the conditioner that comes in the box, that stuff is divine. It smells amazing and it leaves it so silky.

At first it came out really quite dark and I didn't like it (here is my hair before, although the sunlight makes it look like the roots blend in better than they did!) and as my hair was natural at the top and bleached further to the ends there was a difference in colour - it was more greyish where there had been bleach before. But it's been about 10 washes now, the harsh darkness has faded and I've really got to like it. My last highlights weren't great, the hairdresser put too much in giving me big chunky streaky bits and it went much more yellow than I'd have liked so I think a break from the blonde is a good thing. Plus, the darker colour hides my split ends (I still desperately need a cut, lol!)
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Monday, 12 August 2013

"Slide Away" by Oasis, Print c/o Victoria Loves on Etsy

I love independent shops and boutiques. Victoria Loves is a little store full of stylish and quirky art prints ready made in these gorgeous white shabby chic frames. They'd made really unique gifts and I love the range available, especially this one! These lyrics are from the Oasis song "Slide Away" - I was excited to get to choose this one as me and Chris love Oasis :-) This print is now going straight into bubble wrap and into my "bottom drawer" for when we buy our first house!

It's definitely worth a little browse in this store. This print is made for cat people... "Wherever I lay my cat, that's my home" ;-) lol! Love it! Will probably also have to get this one as I am most definitely having a load of cats, haha!

You can visit Victoria's store here, read her blog or follow her on Twitter!
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Sunday, 11 August 2013

I try my best to avoid the place as I KNOW that whenever I go in I will spend a small fortune. Primark - why must you take so much of my money? I'm kinda lucky as I live near a pretty big Primark. It has loads of new stock every week and EVERY single time I go could quite easily fill a basket. So could my mother, it's terrible if we go together. This time however I went in and out fairly quickly with Chris (took about 15 mins) and only managed to spend £40 this time, lol. Not bad! I absolutely love what I bought too, have a peek!

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The booties are perfect. I love the shape (the toes are slightly almond shaped which is great for shorties like me, I don't get on so well with rounded toes!), the heel is the perfect height and the gold zip and rim around the heel are such gorgeous little additions that make them a bit more special. They're so me, I'm in love. And only £18!

The satchel is justified as I don't have a bag this colour! Again, I just love all the gold bits and it was only £12. Purrrdy! I also picked up some other little bits, a necklace, face wipes, nail polish remover etc. Pretty decent little haul for 15 mins!

 Do you have a Primark addiction like me? Please tell me I'm not alone!
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Saturday, 27 July 2013

Elizabeth Arden "Untold" Eau De Parfum 100ml c/o Debenhams

A delightful package from Elizabeth Arden dropped through my letter box last week. Through the gift bag filled with tissue paper I found this gorgeously gold box of perfume - the brand new fragrance Untold by Elizabeth Arden. I couldn't WAIT to try it as I am such a lover of perfume and despite hearing great things, I've never tried anything by Elizabeth Arden before.

I tend to prefer fruity perfumes to very "floral" ones. I like fresh scents for day times and perfumes with a little more depth for evenings. The Untold fragrance combines sparkling Pink Pepper, crisp Bergamot, fruity accents of Pear and Blackcurrant with Gardenia, Egyptian Jasmine, Patchouli Heart and Sandalwood. It sounds a little bizarre, but you can really pick up on the spicy scent of Pink Pepper at first... which is so unusual to me but it really works and sets off the fruity layers of the perfume. It fades to a gentle warm scent that lingers on the skin. I think this would be a perfect fragrance for an evening.

It's described as "sophisticated, luxurious and modern" which sums it up perfectly to me. Not only does it smell beautiful, it will look divine on my dressing table along with my other fragrances! The design for the 100ml bottle is pretty; it's quite simple and elegant I think. It's curved with multi-faceted glass which is designed to "embody the multi-faceted, versatile nature of the modern woman". The rich colour of the gold liquid it holds just adds to the luxury!

Untold by Elizabeth Arden is launching exclusively in Debenhams on August 4th 2013 and nationwide on Sep 1st 2013. You can follow Elizabeth Arden on Twitter @ArdenUK.

Have you tried any other Elizabeth Arden perfumes? Which new fragrances do you have your eye on?
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Sunday, 23 June 2013

I'd like to buy more fine jewellery as I think it's a shame that so much of what we buy now is so "throw away" // fast fashion. I want to spend a little more money on investment pieces that I can keep for a long time, for both my wardrobe and my jewellery drawer. I rarely treat myself to fine jewellery, so now is a good time to start!

I was lucky enough to be offered a piece from Timothy Roe, Bespoke Jewellery, and this is the one I chose: the Star Spinning Ring in sterling silver. I love the trend of skinny delicate little rings that can be stacked differently but haven't found any that aren't costume jewellery until now, and as all my fashion ones have tarnished, finding this is perfect!

Star Spinning Ring £20 c/o Timothy Roe

This ring will be the first of my stackable Spinning Ring collection! It's tiny, sparkly and delicate and perfect to pair up with other rings from the Spinning Rings Primo collection. Made with shiny sterling silver and a little twinkly star shaped cubic zirconia. 

Psst... these ones are my other favourites! Especially the Lucky Clover!

"Let your jewellery describe you and all the good experiences in your life. Create jewellery that expresses your history and personality."

Best bit about these jewels... no more green fingers!

The little catalogue gave so many ideas of different combinations you could create, along with the other ranges of rings... and there's 8/10K gold ones too. "Love is Blind" and "Feel Comfortable" are the combinations created below. I adore the gold collection, however they are a little more expensive naturally!

And the icing on the cake... talk about luxury packaging!

I can keep my first little silver spinning ring safe :-)

Are you a fan of the stackable skinny ring trend? What would your choices be? I'm also eyeing up the Birthstones collection!
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Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Rose & Gold Leaf Pendant c/o Delicate and Dainty

For me, handmade jewellery always has a special feel to it. It's nice to own a piece of jewellery that a "real person" has poured their heart and soul into and crafted with their own hands. This kind of jewellery is made with love in small batches with no mass production, the pieces are almost always limited edition and sometimes even one-of-a-kind unique items. 

This pendant is made with fine resin, and filled with little flecks of gold leaf along with maroon coloured rose petals. Becky, the owner of Delicate and Dainty works on commission and can make jewellery to order, so she even asked if I'd like to choose the colours of the flowers to go in my piece. I love this colour, and gold leaf is just one of the prettiest materials.

The packaging was adorable, filled with blue shredded tissue paper and stamped with Delicate and Dainty's logo. 

This necklace is gold plated, but sterling silver is also available. I do love gold, but I think the only downside to this piece really is that the bail (the bit of metal that connects the pendant to the chain) is a slightly different shade of gold to the ball chain. It's only a small detail, but because of this I would probably choose a sterling silver piece next time. And I have my eye on a few! For me, I'd also prefer this kind of pendant on a long necklace as I think a stand-out piece like this is suited to be more of a "statement" piece of jewellery. 

But overall I am impressed with this store and Becky, who was very friendly indeed :-) Delicate and Dainty has lovely ideas of casting various materials in resin and there are endless possibilities. Do you like the idea of real flowers and petals being preserved in resin like this? Another of my FAVOURITES is this necklace, Frosted White Seaglass pendant... perfect for those people whose heart and soul belongs by the sea!

You can like Becky's jewellery on Facebook or make an order here, follow her on Instagram or contact her at to ask about a commission!
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Sunday, 26 May 2013

My favourite way to style my hair is long, loose, wavy curls. I can never quite achieve the look at home that a hairdresser can give me, however I have learned from them how to use straighteners on my hair to create a similar wavy style (perfect when you don't have curling tongs!)

I was gifted this lovely set from GHD, the Style & Protect gift set. It came in this pretty sleek black box, I couldn't wait to see what goodies were inside! 

The set comes with the GHD Paddle BrushGHD Straight & Smooth SprayGHD Final Shine Spray and two GHD sectioning clips. So keen to try this lot out, I got straight to washing my hair! (I'm currently using the Tresemme Keratin Smooth shampoo and conditioner which is also rather good I might add!). 

The Straight and Smooth Spray has the most delicious smell, I can't really describe it other than "it smells like the hairdressers" - it has the same smell that reminds me of expensive salon products! The bottle advises using 4-6 sprays on towel dried hair (but I used twice this amount as mine is thick!) The great thing about this is it's also a heat protection spray as well as a straightening spray, so no need for two separate products, and you can also use it on dry hair prior to straightening.

I then combed through using the GHD Paddle Brush very easily (I know you're not supposed to but I don't hesitate to brush my hair when it's wet, I just do it very gently with a large brush like this and it's SO easy to de-tangle, if I used a wide tooth comb like magazines advise I'd be here all day!) This is the perfect brush for a sleek and straight blow dry - I started going through each side with wide sections of hair pulled straight, gradually taking the hairdryer down with the brush on each stroke. Sectioning clips help keep the top layers out of the way to reach the underneath!

I give the roots a quick blast upwards to prevent it falling flat! 
Then hair is dry. Fluffy and puffy, but dry! 

My hair is naturally really frizzy, thick and with a slight curl but smooth roots... so for it to blow dry this smooth and straight-ish all over is amazing! The smoother I can get it with the blow dry, the easier and quicker it is to style with the straighteners!

I use a really old Remington pair of straighteners that I've had for years, but these are ideal as they have a curved barrel. I only crank them up to around 200C (I try not to use it on the max. 230C where possible!) They're so old though... should probably invest in some GHD's! With each section I straighten slowly but twist, and hold this twist all the way down. This gives a loose curl! Keep the same direction for the same wave, or mix it up for messier curls. Continue all over the hair...

When it comes to my fringe (mine is a side swept, very long one!) the hairdresser taught me to straighten twisted backwards away from my forehead. When the hair is dropped, it gives this lovely loose curl that helps any grown out hair blend in.

And finally... add GHD Final Shine Spray! This is a very fine mist and with a nice salon smell that leaves a very light shiny, non-greasy finish! I like this a lot, but I don't think it will last me long!

All done!

Overall I really love this set and think it would make a fab gift for someone. In my opinion it is a little pricey at £39, but if you add up the cost of the individual items it actually saves you quite a bit, plus it comes in this very nice and sturdy gift box! I'm sure any GHD fan would LOVE it. I did notice a difference in using the products for blow drying in particular - anything that helps decrease the hugeness of my un-styled hair is a winner for me and this does help on that front!

To view heaps more hairstyles by GHD, see here and for their full range of fab products see here - I soooo have my eye on one of those lovely hairdryers... the GHD Air!
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