2012 will be the year I...

31.12.11

♥ Learn how to relax

♥ Put the above into practice

♥ Stop stressing over the small stuff

♥ Expand my shop

♥ Tone up

♥ Spend more time doing nothing as opposed to doing everything all at once

♥ Take part in Race for Life for the 3rd time

♥ Decide what I really want to do with my life career-wise

♥ Use eye cream on a regular basis (I will be turning 27 after all!)

♥ Cook a Sunday roast (successfully)
 

Untitled.

30.12.11

I'm in love with this in every way...

Christmas party 2011.

29.12.11

For this year's Christmas party (as the dresses in my cupboard are all too big for me now) I had the task of finding a new dress to wear. After several weeks of trawling the shops and ASOS I became fed up of the sight of dresses, but then finally I found the perfect thing in River Island - a little black scoop back dress with flecks of glitter. Perfect for the party season.

I teamed the dress with black tights, gold and black heels, and a little black bag which was also from River Island but from the kids section. It matched the dress and was only £14!


For the first time in my whole existence I was quite pleased with how my hair and makeup turned out, so I thought I would share a few photos and tell you a bit about the products I used. 

Backcomb in a Bottle

I saw the kerfuffle about this product when it first came out but I didn't jump on the bandwagon, and by the sounds of it this stuff was quite hard to come across anyway. I picked up a little bottle in Boots recently to try it out and my first impressions were "hmm, it isn't making any difference". I think I expected it to be quite heavy and sticky, but actually I couldn't feel it on my hair at all.

I thought it had been a bit of a waste of money but on the night of the Christmas party I did the following: blow dried my hair upside down, used my straighteners to create slight waves in places, tied my hair up whilst I did my make up, then let it down and used Backcomb in a Bottle on the roots (then I ruffled up those areas to create a bit of lift). The result = just the right amount of volume and no more flat, boring hair! Roll on New Years Eve so I can use this again.


Barry M Eye Crayon in brown

I don't get on very well with eyeshadow so I picked up a Barry M chunky eye crayon in brown and used this to line my eyes and add a slight flick at the edges. I was impressed with the colour transfer and the staying power, and would definitely recommend.

Estee Lauder Double Wear

I swear by this makeup for covering up the scars on my face and generally making my skin look much better than it really is. I used Double Wear liquid foundation (colour: Fresco), Double Wear concealer and used a light dusting of Double Wear powder foundation (colour: Fresco) over the top to stop any shine. I also applied plenty of Hoola Bronzer over the top to avoid the dreaded "ghost face". 

Perfume

My favourite 'night out' perfume - Flowerbomb by Victor & Rolf

St Tropez 'Everyday' Gradual Tan

I can't stand streaky, orange tans so this is the perfect product for me. I used it a few nights in a row leading up to the party and it gave me a subtle glow (and helped to dust away some of those pasty Winter-skin cobwebs!)

How did you prepare for your Christmas party?

Santa's little helpers.

28.12.11


Not only did my Mum have me to help with the Christmas dinner this year, but she had 2 little reindeers. By help I mean they tried to climb in the oven/dishwasher/etc and got under everyone's feet. But they're so cute. You gotta love em :)

Decorating for Christmas.

26.12.11

This post should have gone up before Christmas Day but unfortunately Jonathan had an accident playing roller hockey on Friday evening and after spending the morning of Christmas Eve in a hospital, blogging was the last thing on my mind. He is going to be okay with time though, so that's good news. Nothing is broken! He has badly bruised a muscle in his lower back and will struggle to do normal things for a while. And sport is certainly off the cards!

The past month or so has been pretty manic for us in our new home and Christmas decorations had to take a back burner while we sorted everything else out. But on a much needed day off the Monday before Christmas we decided to source a Christmas tree and some decorations, and after settling on a red and white theme we filled our basket with baubles and tinsel.

We're really pleased with our tree - not bad for our first one together! Over time we will collect more baubles and decorations and make our home cosy and Christmassy.


After my lovely American friend Alexandra sent me some Yankee Candles I have become obsessed and can't wait to get my hands on some more. The problem is I can't make a decision on which fragrances I'd like for each room! I have been burning Christmas Cookie pretty much non stop since I got it and it really relaxes me (and of course makes the room smell wonderful!) I am definitely going to get some more to dot around the house.


I bought some delightful decorations from an Etsy seller and even though it is obviously too late to get your hands on any for this Christmas you should definitely keep her in mind for next year. She also sells supplies and non-Christmas bits and bobs so go and have a nosy! The things I bought are really well made and extremely cute. I especially love my snowman complete with pom pom scarf. I will definitely be back for more!


Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas Day.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas.

24.12.11

From  Lily, Lola, Jonathan and little old me, have a wonderful Christmas Day. 

Eat, drink, be merry, and I'll see you on the other side!

Shop update (Christmas orders & new charms).

18.12.11

Just a quick update to say that any orders as of 5.30pm yesterday onwards will not be guaranteed to arrive before Christmas unfortunately (I updated the shop banner to say so, but I wanted to make sure it had been spotted). This is due to an overwhelming amount of orders which has been fantastic! But I am a busy bee ensuring the orders placed before 5.30 yesterday are all popped in the post before the Royal Mail deadline.

You can still continue to place your orders and they will be dispatched at the soonest possible moment. Cross charms, heart charms and evil eye beads are out of stock at the moment but will be back very soon. If you'd like me to let you know when they're back in just send me a message through my shop or Twitter, etc.

In the meantime, please have a look at my new charms and happy shopping!

tiny silver owl friendship bracelet

silver 'wish' charm friendship bracelet

 silver dragonfly friendship bracelet

Ugg Australia.

15.12.11

I know there are a lot of Ugg haters out there, so if you're one of them this post isn't for you. But I love them. And I have accumulated several pairs over the last 5 years or so. My latest ambassador code from Sarenza was used to get the Classic Tall Wool by Ugg Australia. They caught my eye because they're a bit different to my usual style, I liked the colour and I couldn't resist the pom poms.

They're slightly too big for me which is a shame so I may return them for the size smaller if I can - but they're lovely boots which are extremely comfortable. They will be perfect for the cold months ahead!

In the beginning, UGG was an Australian brand with a strong reputation for manufacturing shoes of an excellent quality. It was surfers who were the inspiration for these boots - they found them nice and warm when they finished surfing. UGG Australia then modernised them to create luxury fashion products.

1 year on.

13.12.11

This time last year Jonathan and I were in Paris having a wonderful time. Can you believe it has been a year since we went?! Time has really flown by, in a bit of a blur really. So much has happened in the past year but it has all been wonderful.

We had a great time in Paris where we stayed for 4 nights. We managed to cram lots of sight seeing (and lots of walking!!) into our time there.

Here are a few of my favourite pictures from the trip (and if you want to read my original blog posts click here, here, here and here).
 
 

Krispy Kristmas.

12.12.11

One of the best things about the office I work in is that it's a 2 minute walk from Krispy Kreme. Other people at work have brought boxes of doughnuts in for everyone before, but the other day I decided to have a wander over for the first time to pick up a treat for Jonathan and I. 

I had heard good things about the Christmas tree doughnut and boy oh boy, they weren't wrong! What could be better on a drizzly afternoon than a chocolate topped doughnut shaped like a Christmas tree, with a white chocolate star on the top and MARSHMALLOW inside. Yum!

Meet Earl.

11.12.11

My Pug cushion is all the way from Germany and I'm sure you will agree, he is pretty handsome. The only thing left to decide is whether he will be a boyfriend to Lily or Lola.

The importance of pampering.

I used to pamper myself on a regular basis in my younger days when I had more disposable income. I particularly liked Espa facials, pedicures, spray tans and manicures. Now I'm a fan of pampering at home and saving my pennies instead, but recently I have been feeling the impact of working too hard, being stressed out a lot of the time, and taking far too much stuff on in one go.

I have been trying to take a step back and relax more (easier said than done!) but a few little bits of pampering have done wonders for how I feel on the inside and out.


I treated my hair to a trim (at an actual hairdressers and not just Jonathan having a go in the bathroom with some regular scissors..!) My ends tend to get quite split from the blonde that remains (it must be nearly grown out by now though) and I probably use the hairdryer and straighteners on them too much. I had a little bit trimmed off the ends and some long layers cut in. The hairdresser styled my hair using a mixture of a conical wand and straighteners to achieve loose curls and I absolutely loved it. I literally felt like a million dollars when I walked out of the salon (twas a shame about the rain and gale force winds that put a slightly dampener on things!)


I also got a manicure and gel polish done at a beauty salon which I was really pleased it. At first I didn't believe that a polish could be completely chip free, so initially I was quite careful and cautious not to do too much with my hands (plus it got me out of the housework..) But eventually I realised that they literally weren't going anywhere and it was so nice not having to worry about chipped off bits. Plus I really liked the colour that I chose.

My nails grow super fast so they didn't last too long (after just over a week I was dying to file my nails down shorter and have the bottom filled in) but I would definitely have this done for a special occasion.

How do you pamper yourself?

New in!

9.12.11

It has been a little while since I showed you the new additions to my shops (here and here) and as I will be updating them again fairly soon I thought I would share with you the latest charms that are available. If you have anything in mind that you'd like do let me know as I'm sure I would be able to source them.

Prices are still reasonable, as are P&P charges which start from 90p for UK delivery. I also post Worldwide and always try to send orders within 48 hours of receiving payment.

Large wishbone friendship bracelet 
(original tiny wishbone bracelet still available)

Silver elephant (double sided)
Silver skull friendship bracelets

Silver cupcake & silver horseshoe friendship bracelets

Silver buddha (double sided)
&
coloured flowers friendship bracelets

Turquoise bead & silver wishbone bracelet with clasp (can be made with a different charm if you wish)

I can make larger quantities of each bracelet if needed - they would make great stocking fillers or party bag additions. Or perhaps a present for your Secret Santa? I'm more than happy to do custom orders for you.

Contact me through one of my shops or leave a comment below to ask any questions or to place a special order. Thanks!

P.S. Keep your eye on my Twitter page to see special offers and discounts!

I'm still alive!

7.12.11

I haven't updated my blog in so long so I thought I had better let you all know that I'm still alive and well. The move went well, but we have been so busy moving boxes, painting, putting up wallpaper, cleaning, hanging pictures, and arranging delivery of a sofa, a bed, a fridge/freezer, etc etc. Busy busy!

We haven't got the internet set up at home yet as we need to wait for an engineer to come out to us, but we're hoping that will be next week at some point. I must admit though, it has made quite a refreshing change taking a break from the internet (apart from occasionally checking in using my phone).

My shops are both open again (links are in the sidebar>) and once I can update them I'll be adding some new charms.

I hope you're all as excited for Christmas as I am, and I look forward to being back in the blogging world very soon!

Home Sweet Home.

18.11.11

We FINALLY got the keys to our new house on Wednesday after months and months of waiting. On the one hand it's all very exciting but on the other it's rather stressful. The good thing is we've had a few days to clean and paint before we have to move boxes and furniture in so we've not been tearing our hair out too much. Plus we have enlisted the help of some friends tomorrow to help with some heavy lifting.

via Etsy

We've got a list as long as our arms of things we need to buy and do, but hopefully with the weekend coming up and a few days off work next week we should get settled quite nicely.

Our new place is a 3 bedroom/3 bathroom townhouse with a lovely big back garden which will be perfect for the dogs and for us in the Summer. I can already see some BBQs in the pipeline!

My shop will be closed until I have unpacked my craft things in my new craft room (eep!) so please do check back if you were wanting to buy something.

I'll be back soon! :)

Bridesmaid prep: part 1 (featuring Vivienne Westwood Anglomania shoes)

13.11.11

As my Sister's wedding in Las Vegas draws closer we have been getting ideas for hair, makeup, dresses and shoes for me as the one and only bridesmaid. When I spotted the Vivienne Westwood Anglomania + Melissa Lady Dragon Vi shoes on Sarenza not only did I think they were beautiful and perfect for the festive season ahead, but they may also be perfect for my Sister's wedding depending on the type of dress we go for, so I ordered a pair using one of my ambassador vouchers.

I decided to go for it and used my last ambassador voucher to get them. I took them on an outing into Leeds yesterday to try on with dresses where they received a bit of attention from the Sales Assistant helping me with the dresses I was trying on.


They look pretty on the website but they're even prettier in real life. Like my other Melissa shoes they smell amazing and fit my feet like a dream. I usually have trouble with slingback style heels as they tend to slip off my feet so it's great to find a pair that won't give me that trouble due to the perfect fit and the adjustable strap.

They're a tad darker in real life but it was difficult to get a good photo of them to reflect the true colour.

My beautiful Vivienne heart shoes c/o Sarenza

They're quite a luxury shoe purchase at £125 but if you're a shoe lover and like to stand out from the crowd you surely can't go wrong with these. They also come in red and they're stunning. I have seen a few brides opting for these shoes which I personally think look great peeking out from under their wedding dresses. Not traditional in any way but it's good to break tradition sometimes.


The Melissa brand is the darling of the design world. Their shoes, which are made entirely of recycled plastic are hypoallergenic and have no odour, have won over the world of fashion, the ecologically minded, and some of the biggest celebrities in the world. The infinitely pliable plastic of Melissa shoes has been remodelled by a crowd of creative visionaries, from Zaha Hadid to Vivienne Westwood, from Karim Rashid to John Paul Gaultier. The Melissa brand celebrated its 30th birthday in 2009, but it is far from ready to rest on its laurels.

Wish list (featuring Cornishware & Alessi).

3.11.11

Our move date is going to be thrust upon us any day now, after a long hold-up with various bits of paperwork going missing in the post and our Solicitors being very slow. To prepare for the move I have been clearing out cupboards (seriously Jonathan, you have packs of jelly 'best before' 2007!) and sending things off to the charity shops to get a new home.

If you weren't sure, I moved in with Jonathan a few months ago and shortly after we put an offer in on a much bigger house which would be perfect for the two of us, and Lily and Lola. We are only moving a couple of minutes up the road so we're hoping it will be a fairly smooth move, especially after my spring clean. We just want to take with us the things that we will use, and then buy new additions where needed to make our new house a home.

I've had my eye on a few things and luckily as I've saved a few pennies and Christmas is coming up I may strike lucky!

Cornishware: My parents bought Jonathan the Cornish Blue teapot last Christmas and we both thought it would be a nice colour scheme for our new kitchen, so we have popped a few things on our Christmas lists. A set of mugs would be great and the garlic keeper would be very useful as we consume lots of the stuff. Eventually we hope to have a full set - plates, bowls, etc. but it doesn't come cheap so it will definitely be a gradual collection.


Alessi bird kettle - If it is possible to fall in love with an electrical appliance (steady on now..) then that is certainly what has happened with this kettle. They do a stove top version for around £90 but I'm too impatient to wait that long for a brew, so I would opt for the electrical version which doesn't come cheap at around £125-£130. But it's so pretty. Look at the little bird! I'm definitely probably going to buy this very soon.


Cross stitch kits via Etsy: My friend bought me a little cross stitch kit a couple of weeks ago and I loved it. Since then I've been hooked. It is so simple and relaxing, and satisfying to see those little x's make a great pattern.

I ordered a couple of cross stitch kits from this shop on Etsy, so they're not necessarily on my wish list as they've already arrived, but I thought they were worthy of a mention all the same. They will hang in our new home somewhere, and I hope to make a couple of bigger ones with the supplies I bought from Hobbycraft today.


Wall stickers: I adore wall stickers. What a brilliant way to transform a plain wall and make a feature in the room, and with the vast array of designs out there you can pretty much have anything you like. I particularly like this pretty tree design via Etsy but I have seen so many that I like.


And of course, anything Pug related: I have seen a few things on Etsy but my favourites are these Pug felt cushions via Etsy which are absolutely brilliant (the only problem is I can't decide which one to get!) and this eyechart print which I am sure would be a great addition to one of our new rooms.


Writing this has made me so much more excited to move!

Vaseline Ltd Edition: Creme Brulee.

2.11.11

We're all familiar with the little tins of Vaseline petroleum jelly and no doubt lots of you have a tin stashed in your handbag or on your desk at work. It's cheap and works well to combat pesky dry lips. Well, Vaseline have launched a limited edition Creme Brulee flavour with all the benefits of the original.

The Creme Brulee flavour is only available for a short period of time so you should hot foot it to Selfridges in London or Manchester to get your mitts on a tin of your own. 

As part of the launch I was sent a pot to try out and review for you guys. I have tested it out and it is delish! It tastes and smells absolutely yummy, and keeps my lips soft just like the original.

Pugs and pumpkins.

31.10.11

Happy Halloween! How will you be spending this evening? I will be dodging answering the door (as Halloween masks scare the living daylights out of me) and then no doubt polishing off the leftover sweets.

I love this time of year. Dressing for colder weather is so much easier for me - I love wrapping up warm in lots of layers and dusting off my big coats to give them an outing once again. I love going for walks at this time of year too (although L&L aren't so keen).


The other day I popped on my big Winter coat, a pair of Ugg boots and harnessed the Pugs ready for a long, relaxing walk in the sunshine. This didn't quite go to plan as Lily and Lola's idea of a walk is to shuffle along slowly, sniff everything, go back and sniff the same thing again, and bark at cyclists, cars, buses, etc.

Anyway we did manage to have a good stroll around the neighbourhood, get some fresh air and avoid the swarm of people knocking door-to-door along our street which I spotted on our way out. Bonus!

Lily is obsessed with this plant - can anyone identify it? It's not poisenous I hope?! It sends Lily doolally, she loves it! 

I got home feeling a little chilly but luckily I had a big carton of pumpkin soup waiting for me in the fridge, which I enjoyed with a bit of bread and butter. I'm not sure I've ever had pumpkin soup before but it was very tasty. I'd love to have a go at making my own but I imagine it's a messy ordeal.

That's as far as I've gone with Halloween this year, eating pumpkin soup! How about you?

Giveaway winners.

29.10.11

Thanks to everybody who entered my giveaway. I will be running something similar very soon so keep your eyes peeled.

A BIG congrats goes to Titiyo for being the first name picked at random, and also to Please may I? and fashion written with a lipstick who win the runner-up prizes. Please email me with your choices. Thanks girls!

 

 

My boyfriend is a World Record holder!

28.10.11

If you follow me on Twitter you may have seen my tweets about Jonathan last weekend. Along with some other people from his badminton club he took part in a World Record attempt which involved playing badminton for 29 hours with only a 5 minute break every hour. Phewph! It makes me tired just thinking about it and it certainly made me tired watching. He did so well and they broke the record of 28 hours by playing for 29 hours and 6 seconds.


I had a lovely relaxing weekend which I felt slightly guilty about, so I prepared a few things to welcome Jonathan home including some homemade rocky road and my ever-so-artistic and professional sign. It's the thought that counts right? (The penguin was just my attempt at showing off my new found love for cross stitching which had kept me up till 2am while he was away!)

After I had driven a rather weary and sweaty Jonathan home, he slept for a billion hours, we celebrated with a huge Dominos takeaway and relaxed watching some tv.

Well done Jonathan, I'm so proud!