With the school holidays in sight, I'm getting well and truly excited for Easter.  Ok, so any break from school is worth looking forward to, but there's just something about Easter.  There's excitement in the air at work, hot cross buns in the shop (I keep meaning to head down to M&S to buy a packet of their chocolate variety!) and I love Easter Sunday itself.  It's become a tradition that we all go to Mum's for an Easter lunch together of *the* most delicious lamb.  Which brings me nicely to my run-down of this past weekend which turned out to be very Spring-like indeed!

We started off the day with a trip to a nearby farm.  We had somewhat of a private tour; a friend's husband is the farmer there so she'd invited people down to come and watch the lambing.  We were lucky enough to see a lamb being born and got to have a cuddle with one.  They're so sweet! Sheep really don't do it for me, but lambs with their wobbly legs, spirited tails and floppy ears.  Now they're cute.

We headed home for some impromptu arts and crafts...it's so nice that Ella's getting to an age where she enjoys this sort of creative activity, and this kept her entertained from start to finish!  I bought this 'Decorate an Easter Bonnet' kit on a whim; it was only £2 and turned out to be such good value for money.  A bit of a change from the usual things I recommend to you, but definitely worth a try if you have little ones!

And finally, we finished off the day with chocolate.  Because....well, chocolate right?  The guys at Lindt had kindly sent their fashion bunny across and I could think of nobody better to share it with.  I say share, it's huge and a portion of ear was more than enough for Ella!

More Saturdays like this, please!

A Very Spring-Like Weekend

30.3.15

With the school holidays in sight, I'm getting well and truly excited for Easter.  Ok, so any break from school is worth looking forward to, but there's just something about Easter.  There's excitement in the air at work, hot cross buns in the shop (I keep meaning to head down to M&S to buy a packet of their chocolate variety!) and I love Easter Sunday itself.  It's become a tradition that we all go to Mum's for an Easter lunch together of *the* most delicious lamb.  Which brings me nicely to my run-down of this past weekend which turned out to be very Spring-like indeed!

We started off the day with a trip to a nearby farm.  We had somewhat of a private tour; a friend's husband is the farmer there so she'd invited people down to come and watch the lambing.  We were lucky enough to see a lamb being born and got to have a cuddle with one.  They're so sweet! Sheep really don't do it for me, but lambs with their wobbly legs, spirited tails and floppy ears.  Now they're cute.

We headed home for some impromptu arts and crafts...it's so nice that Ella's getting to an age where she enjoys this sort of creative activity, and this kept her entertained from start to finish!  I bought this 'Decorate an Easter Bonnet' kit on a whim; it was only £2 and turned out to be such good value for money.  A bit of a change from the usual things I recommend to you, but definitely worth a try if you have little ones!

And finally, we finished off the day with chocolate.  Because....well, chocolate right?  The guys at Lindt had kindly sent their fashion bunny across and I could think of nobody better to share it with.  I say share, it's huge and a portion of ear was more than enough for Ella!

More Saturdays like this, please!
I call this my capsule collection, but that may be pushing it slightly.  What's bigger than a capsule?  An extensive collection...?  Either way, read on if you want to find out my must-haves for nude lips; an interchangeable collection with something for every budget.

// The beige-toned nudes

Lipsticks:
Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Lipstick in 03
L'Oreal Paris Collection Exclusive by J Lo Color Riche Lipstick in J Lo's Nude
MAC Cremesheen Lipstick in Shy Girl
Maybelline ColorSensational Lipstick in 725 Tantalizing Taupe
Lip Liners:
Kiko Pencil Lip Gloss in 10
Rimmel Lasting Finish 1000 Kisses Lip Contouring Pencil in 050 Tiramisu
L'Oreal Paris Lip Liner Couture by Color Riche in 630 Beige a Nu
No 7 Precision Lips Pencil in Nude
Rimmel Exaggerate Full Colour Lip Liner in 018 Addiction

// The dark nudes

Lipsticks:
L'Oreal Color Riche Matte in 640 Erotique
Maybelline ColorSensational in 630 Velvet Beige
MAC Matte Lipstick in Honey-Love
MAC Amplified Lipstick in Fast Play
 Lip Liners:
MAC Lip Pencil in Soar
Barry M Lip Liner in 9
Kiko Smart Lip Pencil in 7

// The rose nudes

Lipsticks:
L'Oreal Color Riche Lipstick in 302 Bois de Rose
L'Oreal Color Riche Lipstick in 233 Boreal/Taffeta
Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick in 077 Asia
 Lip Liners:
Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk

Maybe, just maybe it'd be fair to say I have a problem and that a lot of these colours are very similar to each other.  The beauty of this capsule collection however, is that the liners can be used with any of the lipsticks and it'll create a different look.  My must-have from each category?  J Lo's Nude lipstick, Kiko Pencil Lip Gloss, L'Oreal Erotique, Barry M Lip Liner and L'Oreal Bois de Rose.  Controversial, but skip the Lip Cheat.  Perhaps my natural lip shade is just too similar, but it really does nothing for me and most definitely was not worth the price tag.

Now tell me, what should be next addition be? 

Nude Lips: Capsule Collection

25.3.15

I call this my capsule collection, but that may be pushing it slightly.  What's bigger than a capsule?  An extensive collection...?  Either way, read on if you want to find out my must-haves for nude lips; an interchangeable collection with something for every budget.

// The beige-toned nudes

Lipsticks:
Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Lipstick in 03
L'Oreal Paris Collection Exclusive by J Lo Color Riche Lipstick in J Lo's Nude
MAC Cremesheen Lipstick in Shy Girl
Maybelline ColorSensational Lipstick in 725 Tantalizing Taupe
Lip Liners:
Kiko Pencil Lip Gloss in 10
Rimmel Lasting Finish 1000 Kisses Lip Contouring Pencil in 050 Tiramisu
L'Oreal Paris Lip Liner Couture by Color Riche in 630 Beige a Nu
No 7 Precision Lips Pencil in Nude
Rimmel Exaggerate Full Colour Lip Liner in 018 Addiction

// The dark nudes

Lipsticks:
L'Oreal Color Riche Matte in 640 Erotique
Maybelline ColorSensational in 630 Velvet Beige
MAC Matte Lipstick in Honey-Love
MAC Amplified Lipstick in Fast Play
 Lip Liners:
MAC Lip Pencil in Soar
Barry M Lip Liner in 9
Kiko Smart Lip Pencil in 7

// The rose nudes

Lipsticks:
L'Oreal Color Riche Lipstick in 302 Bois de Rose
L'Oreal Color Riche Lipstick in 233 Boreal/Taffeta
Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick in 077 Asia
 Lip Liners:
Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk

Maybe, just maybe it'd be fair to say I have a problem and that a lot of these colours are very similar to each other.  The beauty of this capsule collection however, is that the liners can be used with any of the lipsticks and it'll create a different look.  My must-have from each category?  J Lo's Nude lipstick, Kiko Pencil Lip Gloss, L'Oreal Erotique, Barry M Lip Liner and L'Oreal Bois de Rose.  Controversial, but skip the Lip Cheat.  Perhaps my natural lip shade is just too similar, but it really does nothing for me and most definitely was not worth the price tag.

Now tell me, what should be next addition be? 
This month's memory was one that appeals to the geek in me.  Unsurprisingly it was me who popped it into the memory jar, and it's a quiz night.

We've settled on a pub quiz, and as the time to actually do it draws closer I'm starting to get a bit nervous.  I'm not really a pub kinda girl, and the thought of walking into one where everybody knows each other is a little bit daunting.  It's a memory though, so it must be done!

And as the month is drawing to a close, you can see I'm a little late with this post.  The quiz night is happening next week, so expect to see a follow-up post soon!

Making Memories: March

23.3.15

This month's memory was one that appeals to the geek in me.  Unsurprisingly it was me who popped it into the memory jar, and it's a quiz night.

We've settled on a pub quiz, and as the time to actually do it draws closer I'm starting to get a bit nervous.  I'm not really a pub kinda girl, and the thought of walking into one where everybody knows each other is a little bit daunting.  It's a memory though, so it must be done!

And as the month is drawing to a close, you can see I'm a little late with this post.  The quiz night is happening next week, so expect to see a follow-up post soon!
Image found via pinterest

// Organise my time better so I'm not leaving in a rush for work each morning.

// Read more.  Admittedly I read more than I used to, but since Christmas I've slacked a bit.  Armed with my new book, I'm hoping to finish it this week.

// Exercise regularly again.  Last week was a write-off, so now it's time to get back to it.

// Relax.  So many of the things I stress about are just. not. worth. it.

// Brainstorm.  Start writing lists and get a clear picture in my head for the next few weeks.

// Create content for my blog and YouTube, so it's not a mad rush on Saturday and Sunday.

// Sort through unloved make up and clothes to sell on Depop.

// Spring clean and get things in order at home.

// Enjoy time with family and friends.

Things to achieve this week

16.3.15

Image found via pinterest

// Organise my time better so I'm not leaving in a rush for work each morning.

// Read more.  Admittedly I read more than I used to, but since Christmas I've slacked a bit.  Armed with my new book, I'm hoping to finish it this week.

// Exercise regularly again.  Last week was a write-off, so now it's time to get back to it.

// Relax.  So many of the things I stress about are just. not. worth. it.

// Brainstorm.  Start writing lists and get a clear picture in my head for the next few weeks.

// Create content for my blog and YouTube, so it's not a mad rush on Saturday and Sunday.

// Sort through unloved make up and clothes to sell on Depop.

// Spring clean and get things in order at home.

// Enjoy time with family and friends.

The Miniaturist // Jessie Burton
There's a pretty big buzz around this book, but in truth....I just didn't care.  In fact, I could only stomach reading a page of this at a time.  To a certain degree I think in colour, and the image I got in my head whilst reading this was of a dark, lifeless house which made it really hard to want to keep reading on.  I felt nothing for the characters and felt like I was just waiting for something to happen.  I put out a tweet seeing if it was worth pushing through the finish this, and having no reply decided to let it go.  100 or so pages from the end, I was so glad to stop reading.
Rating: 1/5

The Wild Girl // Kate Forsyth
I love a historical drama, and when I bought this book I had no idea it featured real life characters.  It tells the tale of Dortchen Wild; the girl who told the Grimm brothers many of their famous fairytales and later went on to marry Wilhelm Grimm.  Set in Germany during the Napoleonic war, this was a period in time that I knew virtually nothing about and was surprised to find myself falling in love with the backdrop.  Filled with dark undertones and forbidden love, if I could sum up this book in one word I'd say enchanting.  I'm so glad to have found a book to enjoy again!
Rating 5/5


50 Shades of Grey   // E.L James
Seriously, who hasn't read this?  I was beginning to think I was the only one, and after watching the film I had to give it.  I won't give a synopsis (you all know it), I'll just say that I went to the cinema with vague preconceptions of the characters, fell in love with them and the love story, and ultimately am now obsessed.  In the book, I don't love them so much.  I find Ana's narrative hard to believe; she's slightly whiny and I'm sick of hearing about her inner goddess.  Despite having Jamie Dornan very much in mind, I find Christian hard to visualise and he comes across as cold and detatched.  It's an easy read though, and one that I enjoyed.  If you're put off reading this thinking it's a book with a one-track mind....you're right, although there's much more to the story than that and I'd recommend giving it a go.
Rating: 4/5

50 Shades Darker // E.L James
After finishing the first book, I got started straight away with the second.  I like how it picks up days after the ending of the first and enjoyed the fast pace of the story.  A lot happens in this book, and despite some of it being seriously far-fetched it was still fun to read.  The raunch is toned down a bit (in places) and a lot of the chapters end on a cliffhanger that left me no choice but to read on.  I started to appreciate this as a love story, but Christian's change of heart grated on me a lot by the end.  I found him clingy and slightly suffocating, and Ana doesn't get much more endearing either.  And I'm not sure what it says about me, but I actually preferred the dynamics of their relationship in the first installment.  I mean, they're still a dysfunctional couple, but the to-ing and fro-ing and angst of the start of the relationship in the first book was more up my street.
Rating: 4/5

Read // 6

13.3.15


The Miniaturist // Jessie Burton
There's a pretty big buzz around this book, but in truth....I just didn't care.  In fact, I could only stomach reading a page of this at a time.  To a certain degree I think in colour, and the image I got in my head whilst reading this was of a dark, lifeless house which made it really hard to want to keep reading on.  I felt nothing for the characters and felt like I was just waiting for something to happen.  I put out a tweet seeing if it was worth pushing through the finish this, and having no reply decided to let it go.  100 or so pages from the end, I was so glad to stop reading.
Rating: 1/5

The Wild Girl // Kate Forsyth
I love a historical drama, and when I bought this book I had no idea it featured real life characters.  It tells the tale of Dortchen Wild; the girl who told the Grimm brothers many of their famous fairytales and later went on to marry Wilhelm Grimm.  Set in Germany during the Napoleonic war, this was a period in time that I knew virtually nothing about and was surprised to find myself falling in love with the backdrop.  Filled with dark undertones and forbidden love, if I could sum up this book in one word I'd say enchanting.  I'm so glad to have found a book to enjoy again!
Rating 5/5


50 Shades of Grey   // E.L James
Seriously, who hasn't read this?  I was beginning to think I was the only one, and after watching the film I had to give it.  I won't give a synopsis (you all know it), I'll just say that I went to the cinema with vague preconceptions of the characters, fell in love with them and the love story, and ultimately am now obsessed.  In the book, I don't love them so much.  I find Ana's narrative hard to believe; she's slightly whiny and I'm sick of hearing about her inner goddess.  Despite having Jamie Dornan very much in mind, I find Christian hard to visualise and he comes across as cold and detatched.  It's an easy read though, and one that I enjoyed.  If you're put off reading this thinking it's a book with a one-track mind....you're right, although there's much more to the story than that and I'd recommend giving it a go.
Rating: 4/5

50 Shades Darker // E.L James
After finishing the first book, I got started straight away with the second.  I like how it picks up days after the ending of the first and enjoyed the fast pace of the story.  A lot happens in this book, and despite some of it being seriously far-fetched it was still fun to read.  The raunch is toned down a bit (in places) and a lot of the chapters end on a cliffhanger that left me no choice but to read on.  I started to appreciate this as a love story, but Christian's change of heart grated on me a lot by the end.  I found him clingy and slightly suffocating, and Ana doesn't get much more endearing either.  And I'm not sure what it says about me, but I actually preferred the dynamics of their relationship in the first installment.  I mean, they're still a dysfunctional couple, but the to-ing and fro-ing and angst of the start of the relationship in the first book was more up my street.
Rating: 4/5

A few weeks ago, the team at stylefruits contacted me and invited me to have a trial run with their site.  I'd seen links to it on my facebook feed, but never actually looked there so I was keen to have a go.

The premise of stylefruits is fairly unique.  It brings together fashion items from a range of brands and lets you create your own outfit.  The stock images are cleverly edited to allow you to layer one on top of the other to literally 'build' a look and see how the items will fit together.  It's not quite a shop, as anything that catches your eye is linked out to, so you buy directly from the retailer.  I'll admit I didn't expect much, but was impressed to find that brands such as Vero Moda, Missguided, Thomas Sabo and boohoo are featured on the site.

Your outfits get rated and you can connect with friends to see what they're style they're coveting at the moment.  Any outfits already created by other people have clickable images to take you direct to the site to buy.

Sylefruits kindly offered to send me an item from one of my styled outfits and I have to admit it was a little tricky.  I obviously had an eye for the more popular items, and quite a few times it turned out that they were sold out once I clicked through to the stockists.  It was frustrating to create an outfit and then find out items were unavailable, but ultimately that's not stylefruits' fault.  In the end I opted for these rather fabulous Missguided boots; perfect for jazzing up an all black err'thang outfit.


All in all my experience shopping with stylefruits was a fun one.  I wasted many an evening putting together outfits and playing virtual dress up...so if you're the creative type I think you'd enjoy it too.  If you fancy having a nosy at the outfits I created, you can view them here.  Don't forget to leave me links/usernames if you've got an account already!

Shopping with Stylefruits

11.3.15


A few weeks ago, the team at stylefruits contacted me and invited me to have a trial run with their site.  I'd seen links to it on my facebook feed, but never actually looked there so I was keen to have a go.

The premise of stylefruits is fairly unique.  It brings together fashion items from a range of brands and lets you create your own outfit.  The stock images are cleverly edited to allow you to layer one on top of the other to literally 'build' a look and see how the items will fit together.  It's not quite a shop, as anything that catches your eye is linked out to, so you buy directly from the retailer.  I'll admit I didn't expect much, but was impressed to find that brands such as Vero Moda, Missguided, Thomas Sabo and boohoo are featured on the site.

Your outfits get rated and you can connect with friends to see what they're style they're coveting at the moment.  Any outfits already created by other people have clickable images to take you direct to the site to buy.

Sylefruits kindly offered to send me an item from one of my styled outfits and I have to admit it was a little tricky.  I obviously had an eye for the more popular items, and quite a few times it turned out that they were sold out once I clicked through to the stockists.  It was frustrating to create an outfit and then find out items were unavailable, but ultimately that's not stylefruits' fault.  In the end I opted for these rather fabulous Missguided boots; perfect for jazzing up an all black err'thang outfit.


All in all my experience shopping with stylefruits was a fun one.  I wasted many an evening putting together outfits and playing virtual dress up...so if you're the creative type I think you'd enjoy it too.  If you fancy having a nosy at the outfits I created, you can view them here.  Don't forget to leave me links/usernames if you've got an account already!

Blogs:: 
- I just can't understand why Beauty and the B doesn't have more followers.  Becky's blog is predominantly about fashion, but it's a relatable style which makes me go 'why didn't I think of that?'  I really enjoy the way she writes, and find that she's a blogger who really has a voice.  A rarity these days, I find.
- If it's straight talking, no-nonsense you're after, head over to Hannah Gale.  Another blog with a distinct voice, I love reading Hannah's take on life.  I particularly enjoyed her post about taking mental health sick days.  Definitely food for thought...

YouTube::
- Charlotte's YouTube channel, Lurch Hound Loves, is a relatively new one but so far she's managed to cover all the things I like.  Fashion, beauty and homewares...it's all there, and one I'm sure you'll enjoy.
- I've been watching Brogan Tate xo for a long time now, but recently I've really been loving her videos.  She's got the typical mix of favourites, hauls, tags, Q&As, and now uploads weekly vlogs which I really look forward to.  She's not a full-time blogger/YouTuber, and instead works at the same time as vlogging which I find interesting as it's a life more similar to my own. 
 
Shopping::
- With the weather becoming slightly warmer, I'm getting the urge to buy myself a lighter coat.  I have thicker, winter ones that I love, but I'm leaning towards investing in more of a trench/mac/duster-type for spring.  This one's a serious contender at the moment.
- My jeans are all looking a bit worse for wear at the moment; my Leighs have reached that slightly shrunken, definitely faded stage and I could do with some new ones.  With my short legs, finding jeans that fit properly is a nightmare, so perhaps I should just stick with what I know and head back to Topshop.  Despite a bad experience last time, I'm thinking a black pair of Jonis could be just what I'm looking for.

General:: 
- You might remember that one of my New Year's Resolutions was to go to the bookshop and buy two new books a month.  February ran away with me, but so far I *think* I've managed it.  In the meantime I've been getting lots of inspiration on what to read next with the Amazon Best Books of 2014 list.
- Let's finish things off with an instagram account, and one I've been loving lately is asos_isabella.  I can find asos hard to browse at times, but Isabella showcases the best of asos in a more fashion-y way than the website itself.  I'd wear pretty much everything she features (whether it'd suit me is another matter...) and the best part is that she links to it all with product codes so it's easy to find.  Marketing at its finest right there!

bookmarked #9

4.3.15


Blogs:: 
- I just can't understand why Beauty and the B doesn't have more followers.  Becky's blog is predominantly about fashion, but it's a relatable style which makes me go 'why didn't I think of that?'  I really enjoy the way she writes, and find that she's a blogger who really has a voice.  A rarity these days, I find.
- If it's straight talking, no-nonsense you're after, head over to Hannah Gale.  Another blog with a distinct voice, I love reading Hannah's take on life.  I particularly enjoyed her post about taking mental health sick days.  Definitely food for thought...

YouTube::
- Charlotte's YouTube channel, Lurch Hound Loves, is a relatively new one but so far she's managed to cover all the things I like.  Fashion, beauty and homewares...it's all there, and one I'm sure you'll enjoy.
- I've been watching Brogan Tate xo for a long time now, but recently I've really been loving her videos.  She's got the typical mix of favourites, hauls, tags, Q&As, and now uploads weekly vlogs which I really look forward to.  She's not a full-time blogger/YouTuber, and instead works at the same time as vlogging which I find interesting as it's a life more similar to my own. 
 
Shopping::
- With the weather becoming slightly warmer, I'm getting the urge to buy myself a lighter coat.  I have thicker, winter ones that I love, but I'm leaning towards investing in more of a trench/mac/duster-type for spring.  This one's a serious contender at the moment.
- My jeans are all looking a bit worse for wear at the moment; my Leighs have reached that slightly shrunken, definitely faded stage and I could do with some new ones.  With my short legs, finding jeans that fit properly is a nightmare, so perhaps I should just stick with what I know and head back to Topshop.  Despite a bad experience last time, I'm thinking a black pair of Jonis could be just what I'm looking for.

General:: 
- You might remember that one of my New Year's Resolutions was to go to the bookshop and buy two new books a month.  February ran away with me, but so far I *think* I've managed it.  In the meantime I've been getting lots of inspiration on what to read next with the Amazon Best Books of 2014 list.
- Let's finish things off with an instagram account, and one I've been loving lately is asos_isabella.  I can find asos hard to browse at times, but Isabella showcases the best of asos in a more fashion-y way than the website itself.  I'd wear pretty much everything she features (whether it'd suit me is another matter...) and the best part is that she links to it all with product codes so it's easy to find.  Marketing at its finest right there!

This month my sister, Zara, and I kicked off another year of making memories together with a trip to the cinema.  In terms of some of our older monthly 'challenges', this one was really just dipping our toes in the water.  Remember the rock climbing?  But tame was good; in fact it was the perfect way to get back into the swing of things.  We broke up the monotony of an average week with a Tuesday evening trip to Vue to watch The Theory of Everything.

FYI, cinema tickets are a third off with Super Tuesdays at Vue, and cheaper ticket prices can only mean more money to spend on popcorn and ice cream, right?


We both enjoyed the film, and with his senstive and accurate portrayal of Stephen Hawking, Eddie Redmayne is a well-deserved winner of his many awards following this film.  Enjoyable, but not as amazing as I was led to believe.  The true storyline was eye-opening and thought provoking.  A good watch, but nothing groundbreaking for me.

Next month's memory will be unveiled soon, so don't forget to check back and see what we'll be getting up to in March!

February 2015's Memory: Cinema Trip

2.3.15


This month my sister, Zara, and I kicked off another year of making memories together with a trip to the cinema.  In terms of some of our older monthly 'challenges', this one was really just dipping our toes in the water.  Remember the rock climbing?  But tame was good; in fact it was the perfect way to get back into the swing of things.  We broke up the monotony of an average week with a Tuesday evening trip to Vue to watch The Theory of Everything.

FYI, cinema tickets are a third off with Super Tuesdays at Vue, and cheaper ticket prices can only mean more money to spend on popcorn and ice cream, right?


We both enjoyed the film, and with his senstive and accurate portrayal of Stephen Hawking, Eddie Redmayne is a well-deserved winner of his many awards following this film.  Enjoyable, but not as amazing as I was led to believe.  The true storyline was eye-opening and thought provoking.  A good watch, but nothing groundbreaking for me.

Next month's memory will be unveiled soon, so don't forget to check back and see what we'll be getting up to in March!

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