Thursday, 18 November 2010

Ins and Outs



As you can see from my previous post, I am definitely already thinking about Christmas!  I've actually done the bulk of my present and decoration buying as I knew November would be a manic month and I could not face leaving it all till December.  So the Ikea trip is done (they are amazing for decorations, wrapping paper, ribbons etc...but get there asap!) and most of the pressies are hiding in my car.  Now I can't wait till the 1st December when we can get the tree up and decorate the flat.  Anyone else like me or are you all laid back when it comes to this time of year?


You may not know but I love a bit of baking in my spare time - especially cupcakes.  I have spent a while perfecting my technique and slowly pulling together lots of tools and pretty decorations so I can create cupcakes for my friends and family on their special occasions.

Last Sunday was on of those occasions when my lovely friend Sarah held her baby shower.  She's due to pop anytime soon and is having a little boy so I scoured ebay for baby themed decorations and came up with these!

Next up is one of my best friend's birthdays and as she is a cupcake fiend like me I know I am going to have to come up with something special! 

If you're looking for decorations, I can highly recommend this seller on ebay - I ordered the bibs as well as some roses and flowers and they came super fast and perfectly packaged.  I wish I had a bit more spare time to make my own decorations but sadly you will see below :)

image via weheartit
I used to be a real gym nut until I starting seeing my boyfriend just over 3 years ago...since then my attendance slowly dropped until I cancelled my membership in January this year and started pilates classes instead.  However I have put on a fair bit of weight since we moved in together last summer and I am determined to slim down!  So I've joined a new gym and have been given a super tough fat fighting/get fit routine.  I'm trying to get there at least 3 times a week and I can see the results already which is great.  I'm also trying to incorporate more healthy food into my diet and cut down on the junk....I will get there, I will!



image via weheartit
I've never really spoken much about my job on here - I work full time in Marketing - and I started to study for my CIM Professional Certificate in September.  So the past few months have been pretty hectic with full time work, evening classes and homework...and now it's culminating in an assignment (due next week) and a 3 hour exam (on the 30th).  I am so scared!  I haven't done a 3 hour exam since my GCSEs (I studied maths/history/art at A level and fine art at uni) and haven't done an assignment like this since my dissertation...eek! Any study tips would be most appreciated!

My car

I spent a fortune in car repairs the other week to get it through its MOT and then the other day I managed to scrape the front of my car really badly when leaving the gym car frustrating!!!!  Sometimes I think I should just get a chauffeur instead :)

What about you ladies?  What are your current ins and outs?

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Is it too early? Christmas Wish List...

Considering I've bought the majority of my Christmas presents already (I'm ridiculously organised and also like to spread the cost so I can be more generous) - thoughts have begun to turn to what I would like to find under the tree.

So here is my (probably first draft) Christmas wish list...what's on yours?

Topshop tunics

My wardrobe staple.  Forever and always.

Babyliss Big Hair

I love a good hair gadget or two....and this has definitely tickled my fancy.  With such thick hair, it takes me forever to get a good blow dry at home.  I have a big round brush but this only usually gets used on my fringe...I do not have the patience, or upper body strength, to try and do my whole head!  So when I saw this it was as if my prayers had been answered.  Has anyone tried this?  Am I being optimistic or will it actually give me a salon-like blowdry at home?

House of Harlow jewellery

I already have a couple of pieces from House of Harlow and I would love to expand on my collection.  The jewellery is very me - statement pieces that are delicate and feminine at the same time.  I especially love the horsehoe necklace and the key and peacock rings.

Cath Kidston...anything!

I am after some nice bits for the kitchen and also love all of the crafty pieces around at the moment.  I already have quite a lot of her signature florals but I can't get enough...though there is only so much I can get away with at home - these boyfriends, honestly :)

*Edit*  Mulberry bags

Oh Mulberry, why do you send me through a gift suggestions email on the day I write my wish list?  If anyone would like to buy me any of the above bags, I will love you forever!!!

Stocking Fillers

Ooh I'd love a few Mac lippies (though a voucher is probably best...the MUA's tend to scare my poor boyfriend), Essie nail varnishes (because I obviously don't have enough already!) some Soap & Glory goodies (I'm too stingy to buy them for myself) and some nice winter bits from Topshop or Accessorize...scarves, snoods, hats and gloves...anything to keep me warm in these chilly months!

So what about you?  What's on your Christmas list so far....or is it still too early to even mention the 'C' word?

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Nail Rock

Having lusted after (but not splashed out for) Minx nail transfers for a long while, I was pretty excited by the recent release of Nail Rock at ASOS and Topshop.  These 'designer' nail wraps promise the chance to get the effect of professional transfers, but applied at a variety of styles such as leopard, lace print and metallics.

I decided to order a packet of the white and gold lace from ASOS and after studying the instructions I got to work!

The concept is fairly simple.  You select a wrap closest to your cuticle size, buff your nail to remove the shine and then lay the wrap at the base of your nail.  Then apply heat with a hairdryer (they recommend a travel size dryer, but I had to make do with my usual one!) to the base, then to each side, and press down each time to ensure they stick.  You then file downwards to get rid of the excess at the top of the nail...and you're done.

I definitely made a few mistakes on the first one or two, but once I'd got the hang of it, things ran a bit more smoothly.  There are still a few lumps and bumps (mostly on my thumbnails) but I think the next attempt could be perfect, and I'm already trying to decide on which style to go for next :)

What do you reckon?

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Bonfire night nails and bargain lashes

Whilst snuggled up at home with the sound of pouring rain and fireworks outside, I decided to add some firework themed sparkle to my nails.  I'm not an expert at nail art, so rather than attempting to do something fancy I instead mixed up two of my favourite sparkly varnishes. Two coats of China Glaze C-C-Courage topped with a coat of OPI Designer Series in Original 003 (I think this is the name!) and I think these sum up fireworks night rather well, don't you?

On another note, after dropping my car off at Kwik Fit for what I thought was a simple service & MOT (turns out it needs a LOT of work!!) I trotted into town and had a browse in TK Maxx, where I spotted a stack of Ardell lashes, which you may know are my favourites.  They had lots of styles I haven't seen in Boots/Superdrug so whilst they were £2.99 I grabbed a few - Babies, Luckies, Sweeties and Demi - Luckies are definitely the top ones so far.  So if you are a fan of these...get yourself down to TK Maxx sharpish!

I'm off to our big fireworks display in the park tonight so let's hope the clear skies last!  Are you planning to wrap up warm, crack open the sparklers and hot chocolate tonight?

Thursday, 4 November 2010

New Hair!

So as soon as the email dropped into my inbox the other week, I was both intrigued by and keen to try the new John Frieda Precision Foam Colour. 

I hadn't dyed my hair for a while and although I had a few highlights put through my lower layers just over a month ago (courtesy of Wahanda and Lisa Shepherd London) with the cold weather I started to feel the 'dullness' creep through.  And what better antidote to this?  A full head of glossy colour...and the best colour of all of!

I was after a nice rich auburn (not Cheryl Cole bright!) so when I saw this shade in the John Frieda range I decided to give it a whirl.

My hair is super thick and is getting rather long but having read a few reviews I decided to brave it and only get one box, as this apparently produces up to 2 litres of foam.

Application was pretty easy - after tilting the bottle a few times, you just give it a squeeze to produce the foam and apply to your hair as you would a shampoo.  I found this pretty easy but was a little worried when my hair definitely didn't look as foamy as it was 'supposed' to...however I put this down to the sheer amount of hair on my head, not the foam itself!

So...onto the results!  The dye washed out pretty easily, and I applied the conditioner supplied - for once my hair didn't feel matted and sucked of moisture as it usually does with box dyes.  And the colour?  Exactly as it was on the box...and how often does that happen?!

So this is what it looked like before

And...this is how it looks now (albeit messy and unbrushed after a day at work)

Hello shine!
So..what do you think?  Will you be giving this a go...or sticking to your tried and tested methods?  Let me know :)

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

The Great Cape Debate

Let's set the scene...

Back in September whilst visiting my parents in Somerset, I took a day trip to Bath with my Mum for shopping, lunch and pedicures...bliss. 

Whilst there I popped into Gap where I tried on a lovely beige woollen cape with a brown leather buckle and decided I loved it...only to put it back on the shelf in the hope that I'd find it in black or grey - 'my' neutrals.

Have I found it since?  In any colour? No.  This has led to a serious case of shoppers remorse, mixed with a little relief that I don't have to worry about how exactly I would team this with my everyday wardrobe.  In an ideal world, I would be able to spend every day in skinny jeans and jumpers or little dresses and ankle boots (the looks I feel work best with this most awkward of outerwear) but alas, my office job means this is often not the case.

However this hasn't stopped me looking...and here are a few of the ones I have had my eye on.

£68, Miss Selfridge

£75, Topshop

£90, Warehouse

£160, French Connection

So I'm opening it up to the floor...what do you think? Are capes a yes or a no? What would you team it with? And most importantly, have you seen this poorly described Gap one anywhere?

Help me a girl out will you? :)

Beauty Heaven? Yes Please!

Now if you follow me on Twitter you may be aware that I am a bit of a fan of Wahanda and have taken part in a few of their lovely Mob Deals recently...well, who am I to turn down a top quality haircut for twenty quid?

So I just wanted to share with you their latest offering - Beauty Heaven and give you the chance to get a £5 voucher to spend on whatever lovely deal you fancy - whether a haircut, facial, mani/pedi, fitness class, eyelash extensions....the list goes on :) 
Just click on this link, enter your details and your voucher will hit your inbox immediately.

Let me know what you decide to go for, I am a nosy one :) 

And while we're on the topic - what do we think of eyelash extensions for £38?  Yes or no?  I need your help ladies!

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Ins and Outs


Autumn Days

The transitional seasons are definitely my favourite - I much prefer the promise that Spring and Autumn bring...full of change and potential! I love wrapping up in my new autumn clothes, sipping on hot chocolate and cooking 'proper' meals.

New Nails

Clockwise from top: Bermuda Shorts, Mint Candy Apple, Haute as Hello, Van D'Go, Demure Vixen, Pink Parka
Thanks to the ASOS sale and the infamous beautyzone2007, I have picked up just a few new Essie colours to add to my rather extensive nail varnish collection. My favourites so far? Van D'Go, which surprisingly applied pretty well (think my new OPI base coat helped!) and Demure Vixen - a lovely shimmery grey toned mauve. Any suggestions for what I should pick up next?

Bright Lips

I've been laying off the fake tan recently and have begun to embrace the pale. This has led to me picking up some of my favourite bright lipsticks as well as a new addition to my collection. Though bright lips can look a bit OTT with a full face of slap, with nude eyes, dewy skin and glossy black lashes I feel I can actually pull them off - even at work.

My current top four are: Givenchy Red Cancan, my perfect blue tone red, Mac Toxic Tale, which I only bought the other day but have already fallen in love with, Mac Impassioned, which I picked up in Florida in June and Mac Pink Burst, a vibrant subtly sparkling fuschia from the Spring Forecast collection.

So what about you ladies - are you embracing bright lips to brighten up these dark nights?

L-R Givenchy Rouge Cancan, Mac Toxic Tale, Mac Impassioned, Mac Pink Burst
As above!


Not to shower with...this smells AMAZING.


The annual winter boot struggle

Every year I try and find the perfect pair of winter boots, only to give up. The reason? I am cursed with big calves and tiny ankles, so if I do find a pair of boots to zip up my legs, they almost always end up baggy around my ankles! Last year I bought a pair of short studded Carvela boots which I love...but I am still keen to get some 'smart' if anyone spots any, please please let me know :)

The Rain

I had my hair cut a couple of weeks ago (I will get round to writing a post about it one day!) and had a fringe cut in...and it's rained almost everyday since. Not good!  Any 'keep fringe straight' tips would be most appreciated :)

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Biba. . . in the supermarket?

You may have noticed the relaunch of Biba in House of Fraser stores recently - fronted by Daisy Lowe in that lovely leopard print jacket.

Unfortunately this line has nothing to do with the original founder of Biba, Barbara Hulanicki, who you may remember collaborated on a line with Topshop last year.

The collection was full of some gorgeous pieces, and I still treasure the gems I managed to get hold of...from my floaty blouse (above) to my giant leopard print bag...sadly the famous red leopard dress has remained firmly out of my grasp and I envy anyone who picked it up :)

So onto the topic in has recently been announced that Barbara Hulanicki is producing a line for none other than George at Asda - with all items priced under £25.

The first image of the new collection

After Hulanicki slammed the House of Fraser collection for being too expensive, this definitely fits with the original spirit of Biba - making fashion affordable and accessible to everyone. As she told Drapers -

“The prices [at Asda] are just amazing. These will really be Biba prices. Fuck you [House of Fraser].”

“Everyone should be able to enjoy fashion, and so supermarket shopping is the future. You can buy something, and then hide it from your husband in the fridge."

There will be 5 collections, and this first collection (of 14 pieces) will be launched on 14th November - a week before Lanvin's collection for H&;M hits the stores. Two iconic designers producing affordable ranges in a week? Better start saving now :)

(image and quote courtesy of Drapers)

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Walk on the wild side

£30, Topshop

£50, Miss Selfridge
£40, Miss Selfridge

£55, Oasis

£35, Warehouse
£89.99, River Island

£98, Topshop
£69.99, Zara

£24.99, River Island

£99, Zara

£19.99, New Look

£22, Topshop

£6, ASOS

p.s. for anyone interested...I went for it and bought the leopard coat! The Topshop one - in grey. Love love love it :)

Thursday, 9 September 2010

What's Your Shoe Story?

I was recently approached by Selfridges to tell you all about their latest creation - The Shoe Galleries. If you are a shoe fanatic like me, it sounds like a dream come true - at least 150 designers and 4,000 pairs of shoes on display.

Christian Louboutin's 'apartment' within the Gallery

As part of the launch celebrations they are inviting everyone to tell their shoe stories via the website...with the chance to win a years supply of shoes. Not bad eh?

All you have to do is visit the website and tell them your shoe story...and to kick things off, I thought I would share one of mine!

Now you may have heard that I spent a pretty long time interning in fashion following my graduation, and was lucky enough to spend 3 months as the Head PR Intern at Jimmy Choo. Whilst there I spent almost all my spare time lusting after the amazing heels...and for once was grateful for my sample size 40 feet. My timing was pretty fortunate and I managed to get a couple of pairs in the sample sale but my favourite pair of all were those gifted to me when I left.

A pair of black satin special edition 'Glenys' heels. The leather lined satin straps, the chunky gold zip and the 120mm heels...heaven in a shoe.  And the fact that no-one can buy these in a shop?  Even better.

Sadly I am far too precious about them to have worn them out, but I will love them forever and they will always bring back fond memories of my time in fashion :)

So, what's your shoe story?