Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Leopard print is a neutral

I'm currently still one the first of the books from my book challenge which is 'How to be a Woman' by Caitlin Moran. I'm really loving it and I'll do a proper review on it when I'm done but she has a chapter on fashion. In this, she lists things she's learnt about fashion, one of which is that leopard print is a neutral.. Now I know that the tone of this list is jokey but I've recently come to the realisation that she is 100% correct.

This has come as a bit of a shock because two years ago, the only thing leopard print I owned lived in my fancy dress box. Now, however, my wardrobe is home to a pair of leopard print flats and I love them, they are so versatile. There is very little they do not go with and so I agree with Caitlin that leopard print is indeed a neutral!

So, although I'm not likely to regard Kat Slater as my fashion icon any time soon (remember her?), I do think leopard print accessories in small doses glam up my outfits while staying true to my style. Here are some pieces that I could see myself wearing!

Untitled #3
My pick of leopard print accessories
What do you think of leopard print? Are you a fan?

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Guilty pleasures

I've spent the evening indulging in some of my guilty pleasures. No.. nothing kinky, just two of my favourite cheesy-but brilliant US tv shows... The Vampire Diaries and 90210! TV scheduling means that on Tuesday nights I can enjoy one after the other- amazing!
Do you have any TV shows you know you shouldn't but you still enjoy? What do you think of these shows? Btw. I don't know if they even have teams, but I'm deffo team Damon!!

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Picks of the week/ Weekly roundup

My fashion pick of the week is this wonderful cardigan that we found when sorting through my mum's wardrobe. It was knitted for her by her aunt ages ago and she's given it to me! It's really cosy and great just to throw on!

I've been striving for a dewy/  iridescent skin look lately- I think it looks very youthful. I want to buy a powder that gives me this finish (any recommendations?) but for now I've been using my clinique colour rub and the highlighter that comes in the sleek contour kit. You can see both these items in this post.

Before I started my reading challenge I actually finished two books this week. One was a chick lit book called RSVP. It was okay, classic chick lit. The other was a Poroit 'Peril at End House'. I really enjoy Agatha Christie books. They're so easy to read and very entertaining!
Read more about it here

I've added this section this week. Mostly because I've become obsessed by this song by Emili Sande. I think it's kinda a through back to big 90s tunes by Whitney Houston and people like that. I love it!

My film this week is One Day. I'm a huge fan of the book and I wasn't keen on seeing the film because I thought it might spoil it! I saw it last night however and I enjoyed it! I thought Anne Hathaway's accent was truly awful but it didn't take all of the enjoyment away. Jim Sturgess is sweet!
From Pinterest

I've been fairly good. I bought some cosmetics but nothing extravagant. I need to keep it up though!

I made another banana loaf. Because I've given up chocolate I made this one with hazelnuts and rum soaked raisins! It looks crumbly in this photo but that's only because we we impatient and wanted to taste it before it cooled!

Health and Fitness
I've been swimming and cycling this week. I'm still not 100% (come on immune system, start working!) so I'm happy with what I've done. I've also given up chocolate for lent although I had an ice cream today (with chocolate in and didn't realise until about an hour later!).

So... aims for the week ahead.. pretty much the same as always, spend and eat less and exercise more!!

Hope everyone's had a good week :-)

Saturday, 25 February 2012

What I bought yesterday..

So I know I am on a spending diet but I'm not very good at it! I spent £22.68 in Boots yesterday :-( I thought I'd share my purchases...
                                                           La Roche-Posay Anthelios melt-in cream spf 50
 I'm quite serious about using sun protection and I think it's worth spending a bit more (this was £14.73) to get one that sinks in well so I'm comfortable using it daily! My job will entail working outside a fair amount so this will be important.

                                                             No 7 BB cream for normal to dry skin in Fair
I got seduced by the £5 No 7 voucher. I'm not the first person and I'm sure I won't be the last! I wanted to try a BB cream and so I thought why not? The colour works well for me. I'll see how it goes and let you know! This was £7.95 after the discount so not too bad!

                                                                           Diorshow New Look mascara
No... I didn't. But the lovely lady at the Dior counter gave me a free sample! I'd gone to see what powders they had and when I discovered that the one I wanted was £45 I think she felt sorry for me! Diorshow 'regular' is my 100% favourite mascara for full voluminous lashes and I'd repurchase it if it wasn't so pricey! It's strange because the thing I liked about it was the big brush. This has a tiny brush so I'm not convinced it'd be the same. I already have a favourite little brush mascara (Clinique lash power see here) but we'll see!

Happy Saturday Everyone!

Friday, 24 February 2012

Spring wish list

I cycled into town today to pay a cheque into the bank and had a sneaky look around the shops while I was there! Let me just tell you, it took every ounce of will power I had not to buy anything! I did by some beauty supplies but nothing too extravagant! I'm loving the spring/ summer trends. I thought I'd do some virtual shopping instead, sharing my favourite looks for the coming season.

£40 from Warehouse but they have 25% off at the moment!
£17.99 from New Look
I love yellow! It's one of my happy colours (you know a colour you look at and can't help but smile!) so I'm really happy it's in fashion wise. I really want the warehouse knit!!! I like the simple top from New Look but I wouldn't pay that for what it is!

Crochet / Lace
£29.99 from Zara
59.99 from Zara
I really like the boho, hippy vibe of crochet and lace. There's loads in Zara at the moment and these are just a few I'm lusting after. I'd quite like to find a little waistcoat in crochet material. I know there's lots about but I need to find one for a good price!

49.99 from Zara

49.99 from Zara

I saw these shoes on buy now, blog later and really liked them! I think the shape is really flattering! Also the height is good for me because I'm not great with heels. I know kitten heels are controversial but I like these! Also, I would like a semi relaxed black blazer and this one is perfect!

£8 from Urban Outfitters
£16 from Urban Outfitters

£12 from Accessorize

Skulls aren't normally my thing but I think these earrings are really cute! This necklace is a much more vibrant turquoise colour in real life, I love it! I think the accessorize necklace is really simple and really pretty!

So.. roll on my first payday! Or does anyone fancy buying any of these for me? Ha ha!


Thursday, 23 February 2012

Half- finished books

I have a bookshelf above my bed and I thought I'd show you the pile of books on top of this bookshelf that has accumulated over the past few months.
I obviously like a bit of danger when I sleep!
Some of these books I've started reading but never finished, others I have read (mostly the Christmas related chick lit... ahem!) . I'm really bad at staring books and not finishing them so I'm going to set myself the challenge of finishing all of these books that I've never got around to finishing!
My reading list for the next few weeks
How To Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran- I'm a couple of chapters into this one. It's good so far. I can't remember why I didn't finish it!

The Kashmir Shawl by Rosie Thomas- I've started this one. I was enjoying it, but it never grabbed me and more excited books came along..

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell- I really haven't read more than a few pages so far..

A Week in December by Sebastien Faulkes- Sebastien Faulkes is one of my favourite authors but there was so many characters in this that I kept forgetting who everyone was.. I just need to push on!

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert- I've read about 3/4 of this. I took it travelling with me a few months back. I haven't loved it so far but continued reading while I was away but promptly forgot about it when I got back. It'd be silly not to finish it now!

Northern Lights by Philip Pullman- I read the whole dark materials trilogy years ago but started to re-read this a while back. I got quite a way through but this was just before christmas and I think I forgot about it when new shiny books appeared!

Anyway... I'll write reviews of the books when I finish them. I'm going to try really hard to finish all of these before I find new books to read. This may be a challenge as if you haven't already guessed, my attention span isn't great lol!

What are you reading at the moment? Do you recommend it?


Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Time for tea!

As I come from a nation famous for tea drinking I thought I'd share my favourite teas. I am rather partial to a nice cup of tea and I have a few favourites that I pick depending on my mood and what I fancy.

A pretty tea cup and plate that I recently got from a charity shop

-Clipper organic tea. This is my standard tea. 'Builders tea' if you like, though it is organic! I like to start my day with a cup of this but also at any interval throughout the day. Milk, no sugar please. Friendly and reassuring, like drinking a warm hug! Goes excellently with a plain chocolate digestive biscuit (or two...).

- Twinings green tea with apple and pear. This is light and fruity and refreshing. After reading about all the great things green tea does for you, I tried to find one I liked and this is my favourite so far!

- Twinings straberry and mango tea. Some fruit teas don't taste of much but this one is really fruity. After a indecisive shopping trip a few years ago when there was an offer on these teas I ended up buying 4 of these range and this one was the only one I really liked. It's a gorgeous pink colour when brewed as well! Nice for when I don't want any caffeine.

- Char Roobois orange and eucalyptus. This is a recent purchase actually. It's loose tea so is a bit more of a hassle but I love it! It's very refreshing, the mixture of the fruity flavours mix well with the freshness of the eucalyptus. Roobois is also caffeine free so this is another good evening drink.

-Fresh mint tea. Another favourite is mint tea made with fresh mint (ie. mint leaves in hot water). This is very cleansing. It's nice if you've had quite a rich meal. We have loads of fresh mint growing in our garden so this one is also free!
From pinterest.

Does anyone have any tea recommendations?

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

HRH collection

One of my recent (but before the spending diet- don't worry!) purchases was a chain necklace from HRH collection. Before I share the chain, I want to talk about the girl that makes them. Her name is Alex and I've followed her blog and youtube channel for a while now and have always admired her classic yet modern style. Her chains are so much a part of her look and for a while I've wanted to try one to see if I could emulate it.

I decided that I'd start with one single chain as this isn't my usual style (and also the price!) and so I went with the 'Sheba' necklace.
As you can see it's a fairly heavy duty chain comprising of two types, one smooth and one textured. I'm struggling to style this so I don't look like a wannabe rapper...  I don't think I'm cool enough to pull it on its own. I think actually paired with the sheba necklace that she designed it with, it would look more of a statement piece and suit me more. So.. until I have money to spend on another necklace, I have come up with a solution...
The sheba.. restyled!

I folded it in half, doubling up the chains, separating them by texture. I prefer the necklace on me this way. I did it with ribbon, so nothing permanent so I can undo it when I want to. I also think the ribbon gives the hard chain a slightly girly-er  edge.. This necklace doubled up is actually just like her 'original cuff' necklace so maybe I should have just got that one lol!
I need to neaten up the ribbon..
What do you think? I'm looking to expand my collection now! Her stuff is really popular and when I saw on facebook that she'd restocked recently I was so tempted to get another piece. I want the ombre bracelet but I resisted because of my spending diet! Aren't you proud?! Also if anyone has any tips to make it work just how it is, I'd love to hear them!

Coincidentally, you can see my mini mannequin that displays some of my necklaces in my bedroom. It's from Hobby Craft and I just painted it black. I decorated one more elaborately and gave it as a gift to my mum a while back. 


Monday, 20 February 2012

Money Monday

I think when it comes to money that there are certain types of people. Take my friend, she accounts for every single penny that comes in and goes out. I bet that she could tell you at any given time, exactly how much is in each bank account she has . Now with this, she is not a penny pincher. Indeed she lives a much more extravagant lifestyle than me but she manages her money very well.

All the moolah! From Weheartit

Quite opposite to this friend, I'm ashamed to say is me. I would call myself an ostrich. I spend money without thinking what my balance is with my head stuck firmly in the sand. I don't add expenses up and then I am surprised when I finally read my bank statement (having avoided it for a week). Now I am an intelligent person (without blowing my own trumpet lol!). I have a masters degree. It can't be that hard to change my habits can it?!

Well I'm going to try!! I know it may be slightly over the top, but I'm going to be strict with myself for a while to try and beat some good habits into me. I don't want to carry these bad habits into my adult life when my financial responsibilities extend to scarily responsible things like houses, pensions and so on..

-When I'm aware of how much money I have I don't knowingly overspend so therefore I will check my current account every day.

- To practise some self control I am starting a spending diet. I found out about this idea from the blog and then she saved. I'm giving myself £75 a month to spend.

-To make sure I stick to my spending diet, I will track everything I spend on an excel spreadsheet. I spent loads of time earlier in the year, making an all singing, all dancing one and never really filled any of it in! Not this time though!
What my spreadsheet should look like! From Weheartit

And of course I shall let you all know how I get on here. Wish me luck!


Sunday, 19 February 2012

Picks of the week/ weekly roundup

This week I'm going to pick a combination of clothes. It's my H and M top (see below) paired with pale pink jeans. The weather has warmed up a bit and so paired with a cardigan and coat, this combination reminds me that spring is just around the corner!
H M blouse

I dyed my hair this week. I have dark blonde/ light brown hair naturally that lightens in the summer. The past few years, I've had occasional highlights that have built and built and following a trip to South East Asia a few months ago became very light and golden. I decided to go back to my roots (literally!) and I used Clairol nice n' easy non permanent in 91, dark blonde. I left the tips untouched to give a slight ombre effect and I really like how it turned out! It was very easy (as the name suggests), my hair feels in great condition so I am one happy customer :-).

I saw Crazy, Stupid Love on Valentines Day. I really enjoyed it! It was  different to standard chick flicks and it had Ryan Gosling in!!It's centered around a couple who decide to get divorced and the people around them. Definitely recommended!
From pinterest
I still haven't read any books- dammit! Need to change this!

I made this chicken with a red thai and peanut sauce  on Friday. It was very tasty but I forgot to put the corriander (cilantro) in! Ooops! Never mind, it was still nice, but I guess it could have been better! We had it with brown rice, broccoli and carrots.
Image from Kalyn's kitchen. I forgot to take photos.
Not too bad. Bits and bobs here. I've decided however that I'm going on a spending diet. More on this to come later in the week!

Health and Fitness
I'm feeling a bit better now and I've been swimming a few times and am planning on running in a few hours. I really need to step my fitness up a bit if I'm going to do a triathalon (which is on my 30 by 30 list) in the next few months, even if it is a beginners one!

Now for some weekly goals:
- Be on a spending diet.
- Focus on triathalon training at least 5 days next week.
- Continue trying not to snack between meals (haven't been doing very well on this one!).

Saturday, 18 February 2012

When life gives you lemons... and other corny phrases that I am partial to

From Pinterest
I know, I know, these phrases are corny beyond belief but I really believe that sometimes they can get you back on track in terms of positivity, motivation and self belief. At the moment, I have plenty of spare time before I start working. That's putting a very positive spin on things and I've been getting quite frustrated recently. However... I need to make sure I use this time positively like crafting, sorting, seeing friends etc!

So... if you are in need to any life pick me ups, take a look at these...

From Pinterest
From Pinterest
From Pinterest
From Pinterest
From Pinterest
Does anyone else have any good ones?


Friday, 17 February 2012

My make up volume 3

I started doing these a while back and thought I better finish them off. So without further ado.. my lip products...

From left to right: M+S lipgloss in pashmina, Benefit the gloss in rave reviews, Urban decay pocket rocket in david, juicy tube in lychee, Benefit Benetint pocket pal, Red rimmel lip liner, M+S- pillarbox, Rimmel -starry eyed, vintage pink, Clinique- bamboo pink, Kate Moss for Rimmel- 03, Barbara Daly- Sorbet.
As you can see, I don't have a huge amount of lip products! I mostly use lip balm or a tinted lip balm from day to day. I'm really excited to try the Revlo lip butters when they are released as they've been hyped up so much on youtube!

I'm not a lipgloss fan really. I find them sticky and my hair always gets stuck in them! I do like the Pocket rocket though! It smells like creme brule and this one is a really nice deep pink colour. I also really like the mini benetint, as the colour doesn't rub off, you just have to top up the gloss. You can also build it to the exact colour you want which is good!

I'm just getting into lipsticks really. I have yet to find colours that just screem 'me'. I do like the ones I have though. I want to try these mini private lipsticks from Duwop which are meant to react with your chemistry to create the perfect shade. Has anyone tried them?

If you're interested here are my face products and my eye products!


Thursday, 16 February 2012

Even more 3D than 3D cinema..

Last night I went to a local theatre to see a modern adaptation of a Romeo and Juliet. Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare's more accessible plays, just because of how well known the story line is. The language is always challenging to start with for me, but after a while, I don't notice any difference. I really enjoyed it!


There is something special about live theatre that you just don't get in cinema. You can see physical things that get cut out of films, the tears (The girl that played Juiliet was wiping tears off her face all through the curtain call showing the true emotion that the final scenes brought out of her), the sweat, the humanity that makes it much more life-like which is often cut out of Hollywood blockbusters. 

Sure, there are things you get in cinema that you don't in live theatre but I 'm not one for crazy special effects!

And.. all this amazing, tragic live action for only £7!! This is actually cheaper than it would be to go to a 3D movie! I think my friend got some kind of group booking, student discount but still!! Now I realise that good seats at The National Theatre or one in the West End may not be so cheap but I think it's definitely worth checking out regional companies. I know I certainly will from now on. Plus it sounds so sophisticated when asked what you did last night when you can reply, 'Oh I went to the theatre dahhling'....

Cheerio! And as I'm in a Shakespearean mood... 'good night, good night! parting is such sweet sorrow, that I should say good night til it be morrow'!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Happy Valentines Day!

From pinterest
I hope you have a great day whatever your romantic situation! I hope you enjoy this little retro beauty (such a shame they don't make cards like this anymore!!). I'll be eating dinner and watching chick flicks with my gal pals tonight. Sending lots of love your way <3

Monday, 13 February 2012

Picks of the week/ weekly roundup

I'd like to get into more of a routine with my blog and thought that I'd start doing a weekly roundup of sorts, picking my favourite items of the week and so on..

I'm going to cheat on this and pick two items. One for comfort and one for style. I bought this shirt from crew clothing in the sale and love it! It's very me- Floral, girly and comfortable.

Second is my new Rab generator jacket. It's super warm which has been a godsend in the frozen climes that has been the UK recently but isn't bulky at all. I've barely taken it off. It's not a fashion statement and I think I look a bit like I'm wearing a bin bag but there a plenty of times when I just don't mind looking like a bin bag!

I haven't bought anything new this this week which is good. I've had a nasty cold and so I've been trying to moisturise lots. I've been using Johnsons baby lotion as I'm trying to use my way through my lotions and potions. This is frugal too as I think you can buy these for about £1. It's not the most luxurious of products but it does the job!

Muppets Treasure Island!! I'm excited to see the new Muppets movie and they were selling all the old ones in Tesco for £5. This is one of the standout films of my childhood and it just gets better with age! Amazing!

I'm still really enjoying call the midwife (see more about it here) although I was sad last night when she rejected Jimmy. He's so sweet! I also watched the Baftas last night, I'm so pleased The Artist cleaned up!I loved it when Colin Firth helped Meryl Streep with her shoe when it fell off- what a gentleman!

I haven't read any books this week..

The only thing I've really made this week are these. They're super tasty though, passion fruit cupcakes.. yum! It was a good food recipe, I can't find the recipe online but I can type it out if anyone fancies it!
Passion fruit cupcakes on my new cake stand mentioned here

It hasn't been a great week. I had a filling at the dentist, bought a few unnecessary bits and bobs.. Must try harder!

Health and Fitness
I've had a bad cold so I haven't exercised much at all. I haven't been feeling great about my body recently, I need to start eating less!

Considering the above I thought that I'd set some challenges for the week ahead..

- No snacking between meals apart from fruit

- Don't buy anything unnecessary (ie. clothes, make up, DVDs etc)

- Promote my blog a bit more and try and get a few more readers :-)

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Recent things I have enjoyed...

Call the midwife

I'm really enjoying this new series on BBC1. If you haven't heard of it it's about the experiences of a young midwife in the east end of London in the 1950s. It's funny (it has Miranda Hart in it!), heartwarming and sad all in one go Love it! It's filled a Downton Abbey shaped hole in my Sunday evenings!

Home-made cake stand

I got the idea to do this from  this blog post that was featured on the guardian. I scoured charity shops for plates and got the middle bit from ebay ( search for three tiered cake stand fixing) for a few pounds and ta da... I'm really happy with how it turned out. The plates in total were £3.20 so it was pretty cheap to make, not to mention fun! I might make some more and give them as presents this year!

The Rules of Civility
I recently borrowed the book from the library and demolished it in 24 hours tops! I love reading about the 1920s. It had the glamour of The Great Gatsby but told from a female perspective of a kind of a rags to riches storyline with a twist. Definitely recommended!

If anyone has a book/ tv show/ project that they've enjoyed recently I'd love to hear about it!