Thursday, 13 December 2012

Quick #notd

 A very quick nail of the day post from me, as I'm trying to get in the festive mood and I love this more sophisticated work friendly take on 'sparkle'. 

On the nail is elf 'Dark Navy', topped with a coat of Revlon 'Sequins' finished with Leighton Denny 'Crystal Finish'.

I love dark short nails particularly in winter but it is nearly Christmas after all and during one of my little wanders around Boots at the weekend I saw that it was 3 for 2 on Revlon makeup, and with any 3 purchases you got this free 'Sequin' polish. That is FREE people and obviously the 3 other items I HAD to buy were a necessity. Let me tell you it was not hard to buy 3 Revlon make up products (but that is a whole other post coming shortly). I knew as soon as I got it that it would look great on top of the 'Dark Navy' already in my collection!

OK so I have to tell you about the top coat as well. You may be can you get so excited about something so boring! But the search for the perfect top coat has been ongoing. I want high shine and a smooth finish and I also want my nail varnish to last longer than one day. Until I found this, I had not found it. 

I have seen this on a couple of blogs and thought I'd give it a go, but it is quite pricey at £11 for one bottle and I picked this beauty up in M&S (also a surprise). This is without a doubt the best top coat I have ever used and definitely ticks all the boxes, so until I find one that is even better this will continue to be gracing my little fingers.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

An Ikea Hack & Pic Pack Instagram Magnets

As I discussed in a post a little while a goI have been decorating my spare room and one of the things I was keen to do was put together a place to display some photos, important invites and inspiration. 

I had seen when doing one of my frequent wanders around Ikea for storage inspiration that they had covered one of their 'Spontan' magnet boards in fabric before hanging it up and I knew that this is what I wanted to do in the spare room on the side of my wardrobe. 

So the project began, and I had a couple of important questions to answer; how was I going to hang it, and how was I going to mount the fabric?

Because I eventually wanted to hang the board on the side of my wardrobe I needed to find a way to hang it that didn't involve large nails or tacks. I have used Command Strips a couple of times for a few different things and saw that the large picture hanging strips would probably be the best option. They are so clever, and if used correctly enable you to display photos and even lighter mirrors without putting any holes in your wall, and can be taken off without marking!

I found the Ikea Hackers website in a google search and I soon worked out that the best way to get the fabric to adhere to the board would be using a glue gun, so a quick trip to hobby craft and I was set to get this underway.


Glue Gun
Glue Sticks
1 x Spontan magent board
1 metre of fabric from Ikea (can't find it on the website anymore)
1 pack of Command large picture hanging strips (not shown)


  1. Cut the fabric so that it will cover the magnet board and of course wrap over the sides and the back. I cut the fabric approximately 2 inches taller and wider on each side of the board to allow for this. (picture below).
  2. Following  the instructions given with the Command Strips I placed each of them on the back edge of the board
  3. Iron the fabric to get rid of any creases.
  4. I folded the fabric over, and where it covered the strips I cut around it so that the Command Strips were exposed. It is important to do this as neatly as possible as you do not want frayed fabric to show on the side of your board when it is hanging. 
  5. Once the glue gun was hot enough, I placed the glue directly on the Board and patted the fabric gently (as the glue is hot) down onto it. You have to do this quite quickly as the glue cools rapidly, so best to do it little bit by little bit.
  6. Remember to keep your fabric as tense as possible so that you don't get any wrinkles
  7. The hardest bit was definitely the corners but I folded them like I was wrapping a present to get the neatest lines, and glued each section down.     
  8. Once I was sure the glue was set I took the board up to where I was going to mount it, and following the instructions on the Command Strip packet stuck it to the side of my wardrobe.

This took me no longer than an hour to do, and around an hour for the adhesive on the Command Strips to set before it could be hung up. So a very easy, and quick way of personalising something that could otherwise be so boring. I love the way that the roses look like they are climbing up the board! 

So all I needed now were some magnets so that I could display a few treasured items. I saw these Pic Pack Instagram magnets on Lily's blog and knew that they would look great on my board as well as giving it even more of a personalised touch. 

The programme on Pic Pack gains access to your instagram account (with your permission of course) and you select 12 of you favourite photos to upload onto the website. You proof them, then and there and for the small sum of 18 Euros (around £14) these are delivered to you. They do take a while to be delivered as they come from Europe but they were definitely worth it and I've had some great comments on them! I think they would make a great gift for any instagram addict, but the wait for delivery means you will need to get ordering quickly if you want them for Christmas.

I hope you like my Ikea Hack. Have you managed to personalise anything recently?



Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Instagram Memories #1

I have always loved seeing peoples Instagram and photo diaries on their blogs so thought I would share some of the recent things that I've been snapping, over my birthday and this festive period so far.

 Some Christmas Decoration Inspiration from John Lewis /// Making the work phone a little more interesting

Some amazing Christmas decorations in the John Lewis Christmas shop 


Festive evening at Bath Christmas Market /// The parents came to stay so I got in the provisions

New Birthday onsie and Christmas slipper socks getting snuggly /// First frost


The cheese monster from Pizza Provencale in Clifton - DELICIOUS!!! /// Enjoying some mulled wine at the Christmas market with the bestie

Monday, 10 December 2012

Christmas Tag!


I have found this Christmas Tag going around, and the first one I read was from Beauty Becky and it seems it originated from Georgina at Makeup-Pixi3 (credit to her for the picture), who I have also now subscribed to!

It is one of the first tags I've got involved in so I am excited to share it with you.

As a kid I loved Christmas (obviously) and every year I try to re-create a small amount of that magic, and this year I am getting crafty. Can't wait to show you a couple of things that I have been making to get my home looking festive. I've also been pinning like crazy on my Christmas pinterest board.

So let me tell you a little bit about why Christmas is still one of my favourite times of the year.

What is your favourite thing about Christmas?

Hot chocolate, mulled wine, hats and gloves, Christmas lights and champagne...lots of champagne.

What is your favourite make up look for the festive season?

All that glitters. I'm a firm believer that over the festive season the more glitter the better.

Real tree or fake tree?

100% real tree! Although we won't be getting one this year as we are going away for a week between Christmas and New Year and I don't want to come back to a dead tree so it will be the fake one for us this year.

Giving presents or receiving presents?

As a child it was always receiving presents of course and I still love the joy of a beautifully wrapped gift with my name on it, particularly if whats in it is from the approved birthday list! Although when we were younger we were all given a small sum of money, I think it was £10 to spend £5 on each of our siblings. I would spend a long time thinking about what to get them with my small fortune and opening them on Christmas eve, when we were all so EXCITED before the big man himself would show up.

As an adult I still get such great joy in searching for, wrapping and giving the perfect gift, something I think you can only appreciate when you are grown up. But I like to think that this came from my early appreciation of buying presents for my brother and sister.

Do you open your Christmas presents morning or evening?

Of course as Santa comes down the chimney very early Christmas morning, and leaves presents in your stocking these have to be opened as early as possible Christmas morning. 

But our tradition is that other presents from friends and family would be opened in the afternoon after lunch (well actually after the Queen's speech). I do really really like this, as it spreads out the excitement of Christmas day for that little bit longer. Testing when you are  7 years old that's for sure!

Handmade Christmas cards or bought?

If only there was time to hand make cards! Maybe one day, but for now it's shop brought Christmas cards. Often from the sales the year before ready for the next.

What is your favourite Christmas film?

Home Alone. Yesterday, today and tomorrow.

What is your favourite Christmas food?

David's nan makes the most amazing biscuit cake and every year she makes special Christmas versions which form the centre piece of David's parents Christmas table. She now makes us one, and I feel such pride when I use it as the centre piece for mine. As I said above, David and I are starting to make our own traditions and this feels like one. It is also AMAZING and we eat so much of it over the festive period!!!

I love this tag! It has gotten me even more excited for Christmas now! I tag all of you to do this and please link it below so I can read it.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Christmas 'Stocking' Treats

This weekend a couple of lovely ladies came down to visit for my birthday, in order to thank them for their long drive and as a little pre-Christmas treat (I will be away over the festive period and won't see them) I wanted to put together a selection of beauty products for them, many of which I have seen on the blogs that I read with good reviews. 

From left to right

Lindt Balls  - these are AMAZING and any Christmas stocking is incomplete without a little sugary goodness.

Superdrug Calming Mud Mask

Balmi Lipbalms - in coconut and strawberry

Lush Sunnyside Bubble Bath Bars - these smell so good and foam up to create a luxurious bubbly glitter bath. Girl heaven!

Accessorize Bag Hooks

Kleenex Shine Absorbing Sheets

Natural Collection Polish - cosmic crush and red robin

Cath Kidston Notebooks - stationery of course

The girls were so excited to receive their little gift bags and loved all of the products. We had such a fun girly night doing our face masks and nails!  

 What would you put in a Christmas stocking for your friends this year? 


Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Birthday & Christmas Wish List

December is fast approaching and is not only a firm festive favourite but is also my birthday month, in fact my birthday is a mere 6 days away.

So here is my birthday wish list, and anything left over goes straight onto the Christmas list (lol)!

1. Hunter Wellies

So I moved to Bristol, and let me tell you a little secret - it rains! A lot! I'm fed up of getting wet feet which makes me miserable for the whole day. These are glossy and adjustable, what more could you want from something so practical.

2. Evernote moleskine notebook

If your not already using Evernote to help you organise your life, then you need to be. I have since 2011 and it literally has my whole life on it. This notebook is designed to make photographing the notes even easier and so will really help when I'm planning some of my work projects. Also who would ever hate receiving stationery!

3. Hunter welly socks

I don't just want dry feet, but I want warm feet to, and these will be just perfect.

4. Lily flame candle in Blush

I was given one of these as a present maybe 3 years ago for Christmas and I was hoooked. The whole range smells AMAZING but this one in particular is my favourtie. It is a strong floral, girly smell and I love, love, love it. It has a regular spot on any gift list I am creating! The whole range is available at John Lewis, and I suggest you go down and have a sniff.

5. Calvin Klein Euphoria

Check out my post on 'My Favourite....Fragrance' - nuff said.

6. Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight face mask

I have read so many great reviews on this, but I have such sensitive skin. So I went to Origins and got a tester and I love it. It makes my skin feel amazing and it also smells delicious too, and so the full size product has earned its way onto the wish list - fingers crossed.

7. Per Una Slippers

These also make a regular appearance as they are my favourite. They look snuggly and the fleece lining means they are. They also have memory foam soles, so they shape to your feet. My shoulders relax just thinking about slipping these on!

8. Duo Boots

Duo boots, is a shop (both online and in the real world) that specialises in making boots in a variety of calf and foot widths. So those of you with the skinnest and the curviest of legs can still get your hands on very fashionable shoes. I brought my first pair a couple of years ago, and until their recent demise wore them almost religiously from around October to April. It is time to invest in another pair and these have caught my eye. I have noted to the parentals, that I appreciate they are rather expensive so we could compromise and for one time only I would consider a joint birthday and Christmas present (one of the horrible things about having a birthday in December).

9. A Personal Planner

I saw these on blogs from those who attended the Leeds #bblogger meet up and I'm hooked. Anything that says; stationery, personal, and organised has me hooked. The site allows you design your own diary or planner and upload your own cover and name. What could be more perfect for a budding blogger.

Next stop...New York

Hhmmmm I was supposed to be shopping for a pressie for the grandmother when I came across this little beauty! It's part of the new home fragrance collection from Next with 4 signature fragrances each named after a famous cosmopolitan hub - New York, London, Paris and Milan.
I loved the very classy looking packaging and was then blown away with the smell of these. I really liked the London smell as well but New York was definitely my favourite. I knew I would when I read the words orange blossom and jasmine as these are 2 of my favourite smells and feature in some of my favourite fragrances.
The top notes are bergamot and orange blossom, with a heart of tuberose and gardenia and a base of amber and patchouli. Lighting this candle envelops your room in a beautifully warming fragrance perfect for these dark long nights!

They also have a reed diffuser, eau du parfum and body cream and prices are from £8 to £18. The candle was £9 and burns for approx 55 hours and would definitely make a great gift!

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Bobbi Brown Cleansing Oil

I recently made a Bobbi Brown order (more on that in another post) and with it got sent a sample size of the cleansing oil. I have heard mixed reviews on cleansing oils, but given my dry skin I wondered whether they might be really good for me, and how great that the first one I get to try is from this skin care range.

Unfortunately my thoughts are very much 'meh'! No matter what anyone says it does feel wierd to cover your face in oil and to be honest I wasn't sure how much oil to use. After covering my face in a thin layer of oil, I splashed a small amount of warm water and massaged my face. This caused the oil to foam but not in any great quantities, and then rinsed by splashing more water on my face in the old fashioned way, no fancy muslin cloths or sponges here!

After rinsing I thought it left my face a little tight feeling and surprisingly dry given I'd just covered it in oil. It definitely didn't feel as moisturised and glowing as when I get my Liz Earle on. That said it did get rid of all traces of make up, so actually my recommendation is, if you can bring yourself to put oil on your skin and you would class your skin as 'normal' or perhaps 'combination' then this may work for you, provided you have a spare £29 in the bank!

Have any of you tried it, what did you think?

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Friday Night Curry from Maaza Namaskar Lounge

It would break all the rules if you didn't eat curry on a Friday night, so last week the hubby and I headed down to the Water Front in Bristol city centre to sample the Asian delights of Maaza Namaskar Lounge.

This is not the traditional curry house - no flocked wall paper, no psychedelic carpet or overly patterned crockery in this place. Just gorgeous sleek modern interior design with a nod towards 1920's styling which screams glamour, and makes it a necessity to have a Namaskar cocktail at the deep mahogany bar!

The menu is a modern and small version of a traditional curry house menu, along with some of the chefs specials. We were tempted by the Namaskar stuffed pepper, and onion bhajya but opted for the mixed BBQ to share; lamb and chicken tikka and lamb sheekh kebab all smothered in the chefs special BBQ sauce Followed by a very hot chicken dhansak, the chefs speial lamb adrakh, pilau rice, sagg aloo and nann all cooked in front of our eyes in the live kitchen.

Delicious - we left satisfied and with full bellies! I can confirm that it also tasted amazing re-heated up for Saturday lunchtime.

A perfect Friday night! Do you have any favourite spots in the South West to share?

Monday, 5 November 2012

How To Look The Best At Everything

 The last time I brought anything from Benefit was well over 2 years ago when I lived in London and worked in Angel so was a regular at the gorgeous Benefit boutique on Upper Street!

As I mentioned in my last post I booked myself in for a little make up session at the Benefit counter to get a feel for some of the 'new' products and see if there was anything worth spending my hard earned money on - which wasn't hard. 

As well as the Gloss in my last post, I also brought the 'How To Look The Best At Everything' make up kit. 

The 'book' style case as well as looking totally cute on my new dressing tables contains a 7.5ml POREfessional, a 7ml Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow! foundation in Honey, 2 x 1.5g boi-ing concealers in shades 02 and 03 and 4g of the Hello Flawless pressed powder in Honey.

For £24 I think you get quite a lot of product, particularly as I really wanted to try them out before committing to the full purchase of some of these products. 

POREfessioal is one of those products that I hear raved about all the time, but have yet to try...until now. When I got married I chickened out of buying this and instead brought a Loreal Studio primer instead. I thought this was perfectly OK but after trying this I would not repurchase the cheaper product! It gave my skin an amazing softness which allowed the foundation to glide on so smoothly and left my skin looking almost flawless and more importantly that look lasted all day.

I loved the look of the foundation after my trial, it gives amazing coverage without any cakey feel, instead giving the gorgeous dewy glow that I crave, and is often unachievable without a little high beam highlighter, but this achieved it. The powder set it beautifully without looking over the top.

Oh boi-ing, why oh why did I ever stop buying you! By far one of the best concealers and this little pack has reminded me of this. Not chalky and gets rid of redness and dark circles in one for me. It is quite oily, but that suits my dry skin. A little goes a long long way, and so I can see these 2 little pots actually lasting quite a while.

It was definitely worth buying this to trial the products, so much so that my mother in law is travelling to America in the next couple of weeks and I put the primer, foundation and powder on my Christmas list for her to pick up while she is there!

I have loved re-discovering an old friend, is there anything else you think I should be trying?

Until next time...

Tuesday, 23 October 2012


Oh I have seriously been indulging my love of lip glosses recently with a couple of great purchases to add to my collection. The first was models own 'Madame Rose' which I spotted whilst looking for a new nail varnish. I didn't realise that this brand did other make up and I enjoyed having a little play with some of the lip colours on offer.

Reading all of the beauty blogs recently gave me a little bit more of encouragement to try something a little bit brighter than my usual sparkly nude colours. This is definitely not sparkly but it is not as bright as it looks in the tube. In reality it is a nice warm pink colour that is so different to anything I've had in a long time. It has a floral almost 'rose' like flavour and is relatively long lasting for a gloss. I also love love love the chunky see through packaging!

I had a great makeover at Benefit the other week and as well as being colour matched to their foundation and powder I got to have a good goss with the make up artist about some of the new products. I can't wait for the Christmas compacts to come out.
But after the make over I was so tempted with this lovely little number. 'Nudie Tudie' is ... Ah a sparkly nude. It gives a really classy to my everyday work make up which I love as I work in a corporate environment so can't be too over the top.
A really great chunky tube with a brush rather than sponge applicator which gives a lovely thick slick of product so a little will really go a long way. My love of all things benefit continues!
Nudie Tudie on top and Models Own at the bottom!