Monday, 30 June 2014

52 Lists - List the things in your bag right now

1. My purse
2.My diary
3.My HTC phone
4.A jacket potato for lunch and some dried fruit and nuts.
5.The i newspaper
7.Make up bag
9. A children's book to review for Judging Covers
10.Polka dot umbrella
11.Football stickers to send to Lucy and Becs
12. My house keys

This is part of the 52 lists series by Emma from Made in Hunters which I'm dipping in and out of.

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Friday, 27 June 2014

Snugg MacBook Air case

My MacBook Air, with its light weight and extended battery life, is ideal for a mobile worker. Most times I take it to work I put it in my backpack when commuting,but sometimes I need to look a little smarter like when I'm going to a conference or meeting. I was interested in seeing if the Snugg MacBook Air 13 case was going to fit the bill. I'm very protective over my MacBook because I saved up for one and it was a very considered purchase so using a case is key for me.

This is a picture of a blue snugg case for macbook air.

When it arrived  I immediately fell in love with the vibrant blue color. My MacBook is super slim and I often lose it amongst magazines or paperwork. The colour makes the case extremely visible and I don't have to spend ages hunting for my laptop when I want to use it.

Case c/o Snugg
Product Features
  • Electric blue, PU leather sleeve for the MacBook Air 13" 2012 and 2013 editions.
  • Sleeve case with magnetic flap to close.
  • Includes card holder and large pocket.
  • Striking blue, nubuck interior.
  • Height: 25.2 cm, Width: 35.4 cm, Depth: 2.2 cm, Weight: 0.393 kg

The Snugg MacBook Air 13 Wallet Case comes in lots of colours so you can opt for something a little more conservative if your place of work is a bit more business like. Its soft lining avoids scratching my MacBook and the case has a small pocket for my business cards in the front and a larger one for some sheets of paper in the back. There’s also a very convenient little cutout that allows me to connect to the power while my Mac is in the case. 
This is a picture of a MacBook Air.

Overall I am very pleased with this case as it's both stylish and functional. This case retails for £34.99 and I was sent one to review.

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Monday, 23 June 2014

52 lists - List your life essentials

(photos are from my instagram account)

1. Support from Martyn.

2.Sookie kisses

3.Friends to have summer adventures with.

4.A tasty home cooked meal.

5.A pair of Clarks shoes for work.

6.A good book.

7.Cold bottle of beer after a long day.

8.Laughing at in-jokes with my brother.

9. A day in bed once a month to watch movies and unwind.

10.The Maccabees, The Horrors and Maximo Park.

11. Tea and a biscuit to dunk.

12.Rail pass.

13. A diary.

14. Floral dresses.

This is part of the 52 lists series by Emma from Made in Hunters which I'm dipping in and out of.

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Friday, 20 June 2014

Skincare & Make Up favourites - Origins, Garnier & Lancôme

I can be a little boring when it comes to skin care and I stick to the same thing. I have been using Bioderma Sensibio H20, Estee Lauder Double Wear and Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream for a couple of years now and I wanted to try out a few new things. I did a big Boots shop online with all my saved up advantage point and some online vouchers and went a little wild. 

This is what I bought and have been using for over a month:

This is a picture of Origins, Garnier & Lancôme skincare.

Origins High Potency Night-A-Mins  - £34
This is a photo of Origins high potency Night-A-Mins

This product smells good enough to eat! It's got a gorgeous orange scent and goes on easily and doesn't feel heavy on your skin. It provides great hydration and definitely banishes skin dullness leaving you looking and feeling refreshed. I have a lot of dry patches on my face and this really helps those areas appear more hydrated.

The minerals and vitamins that can be found in Night-A-Mins include Salicylic Acid (to help remove away surface dead skin cells), Fennel Seed (to tighten skin), Vitamin C (to fight free radicals), Vitamin H (to promote overall skin health), Calcium (to seal in moisture and defend skin against future dehydration), and Magnesium (to soothe dry skin). The relaxing aromas apparently lull you to sleep too.

I love this product and even though it's a little pricy I would buy it again. I know that this often comes in gift sets which retail for £40 with two other full size products so I will be stocking up at Christmas when they are available.

Lancôme's Teint Idole Ultra 24H - £28.50
This is a picture of Lancôme's Teint Idole Ultra 24H

I've been a Double Wear fan for years because I like a heavy foundation to cover my acne scars. I can never get quite the right match and I always end up wasting lots of product because it doesn't come with a pump. I wanted to try something with a less heavy look for the daytime and was recommended this product by a couple of bloggers on twitter.

Lancôme's Teint Idole Ultra 24H offers long-wear and comfort and I love that I don't need to use concealer and can just build this up over my acne scar areas. It gives me a even complexion, and a smooth shine-free finish. It's very bendable and there are 18 shades so there's no orange jaw lines going on anymore. I find it so hard to get the perfect colour match but I've found it in this product.

Although expensive, its lasts longer than double wear because of the pump. I can just release a small amount and not have loads spilling out.  I apply with my fingers then dab area which need more coverage with a bit more product. This foundation doesn't settle in any fine lines and unlike Double Wear which can look heavy this just makes you look like you have a slightly dewy (but not shiny) ans smooth skin. I will definitely be re-purchasing this.

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water - £4.99

I'm sure you've all heard of micellar waters by now - Bioderma kicked off the trend and the whole beauty world went mad for it. Its basically a water solution that breaks down makeup. Micellar waters are very gentle yet just as effective as traditional make up removers. I use this at night to get most of my make up of before using a cleanser.
Garnier's Micellar Cleansing comes in a 400ml bottle which is only 100ml less than a bottle of Bioderma but is much cheaper at only £4.99. This stuff works exceptionally well. I've been soaking a cotton pad with it and swiping it across my face - mainly concentrating on my eye area to remove any stubborn eyeliner and mascara. It melts my makeup away very quickly without a lot of rubbing and it doesn't have much of a fragrance which I like. There's not a great deal more I can say about this as its quite a simple product that's great to use as pre-cleanse (or when you're feeling a bit lazy, great for festivals) and it does exactly what it says on the tin. Verdict, the same as Bioderma but cheaper.

Can you recommend any skin care produts for dry skin or reducing the appearance of scars? I'm always looking to try something new.

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Thursday, 19 June 2014

M&S Summer of Flavour - Pt 3

This is the third and final installment of the Summer of Flavour posts featuring lots of lovely M&S products which I have tried and tested recently. This recipe is for a frozen dessert which has gone down a treat in my house during this hot spell we seem to be having. The lemon curd makes it nice and sharp, the frozen blueberries are super sweet and the meringue is lovely and chewy. You wont need any fancy equipment or a ice cream maker to try this one out.

If you want to make it yourself here's what you need:

·         8 meringue nests (Cook with M&S)
·         300ml double or whipping cream
·         325g jar Sicilian lemon curd
·         180g blueberries

1. Lightly crush the meringues and set aside.
2. In a bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks. Fold in the lemon curd and the blueberries.

3. Now fold in the crushed meringues. Spoon into a 900g/2lb loaf tin lined and over-hanging with cling film. Open-freeze until firm then fold the overhang of cling film over, wrap again and freeze until ready to serve.
4.  Alternatively spoon into 8 ramekin dishes, cover tightly with cling film and freeze.

5. Transfer the frozen loaf to the fridge 30 minutes before slicing. Ramekins are best left to stand at room temperature 10 minutes or so before spooning into.

I served mine with some dark chocolate sticks that I got in the last degustabox but it would be great with some extra fresh blueberries scattered on the top. Will you be trying this yourself?

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Monday, 16 June 2014

Tintern Abbey, coral dress & converse

I had the most wonderful weekend off with Martyn for his birthday. We only get one weekend a month together so I'm glad we headed out to explore the romantic ruin of Tintern Abbey which is located on banks of the River Wye in Wales.

photo of Tintern Abbey in Wales.

Tintern Abbery was a Cistercian Abbey founded in 1131 and suffered the way most Catholic Churches in England and Wales did in the 16th. century when the Abbey and its wealth was surrendered to representatives of  King Henry VIII.

Tintern experienced a bit of a re-birth after it was discovered by ‘Romantic’ artists and poets in the late 18th century. The artist, Turner and poet, Wordsworth both visited and used the the Abbey in their work and it became a very fashionable place to visit. 

Interior of Tintern Abbey

You can see why the Romantic poets loved it here, can't you? It was over grown with lots of ivy in their time too so I'm sure it would have been even more wild, dark and mysterious. I love how every turn of my head resulted in an entirely new view, pillars casting shadows in different directions and a carved detail to catch my eye. 

Coral dress from Dorothy Perkins

Dress: Dorothy Perkins - Shoes: c/o Cloggs  - Bag: ASOS - Headband - Crown and Glory

It was roasting hot and humid all day so I decided to wear my new, light dress from Dorothy Perkins and some sensible shoes for walking around. I tucked my hair under my headband to get it out of my way. I find it so hard to dress when it's this warm. I live in black tights and cardigans not sundresses and sandals. I'm loving my new lilac converse, they are the perfect colour for summer.

Lilac hi top converse

Poet Allen Ginsberg took acid trip at Tintern Abbey in 1967, and wrote his poem Wales Visitation. In the poem he wrote: "...the lambs on the tree-nooked hillside this day bleating/ heard in Blake's old ear, &; the silent thought of Wordsworth in eld Stillness/ clouds passing through skeleton arches of Tintern Abbey-/ Bard Nameless as the Vast, babble to Vastness!"

Interior photo of Tintern Abbey in Wales

lilac converse and Crown and Glory headband

Martyn kept on joking and saying happy birthday to me because I was having such a good day and it really should have been somewhere we visited on my birthday and not his. I did my dissertation on religious orders in the medieval church in Wales so I was thoroughly fascinated by everything I saw. 

We made our way back home after watching a game of cricket from the beer garden of the pub opposite the abbey. It was a perfect day which only got better when I made Breaking Bad cake (photo here) for Martyn and a roast chicken dinner when we got home. Yum, yum! I took loads of photos of Tintern Abbey but couldn't put them all in one post so head over to flickr if you want to see more. 

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Friday, 13 June 2014

Outift post - iKrush

floral midi skirt

T-shirt: ASOS - Skirt: Peacocks - Shoes: c/o iKrush - Necklace: Disney Couture

photo of white shoes with a buckle

These shoes from iKrush are a really good dupe of the Topshop ones I have in navy and are about £7 cheaper and they have free delivery and returns which means you could save up to £11 by opting for the iKrush version. Bargain! It was a little chilly when I took these photos so I have tights on but I know I'll be wearing these with bare legs and cute little socks in the summer and they are great for work too.

The skirt was a Peacocks bargain and I'm thinking I might wear this with boots and a biker jacket in the winter. I always struggle with what shoes to wear with a midi. I can't wear those cute strappy heels that are everywhere at the moment because I have wide feet. Any suggestions?

I'm looking forward to a quiet weekend in with Martyn. It's his birthday on Sunday and we don't really have much planned other than a lie in, breakfast in bed, a home cooked roast dinner and maybe a walk in Brecon. I'm making him a cake which I have big plans for but I've got a feeling it will go wrong and he's getting an exciting secret present. Not going away this weekend also means that I get to hang out with this cute guy, Martyn's bunny called Buttons. I have to admit he's way less cool than my dog Sookie back at my mums house but he does cheer me up when I miss her.

Photo of a Netherlands dwarf bunny

Because it's Martyn's birthday this weekend I'm going to share this video of Masked Intruder. Martyn really likes this band and this appearance on a kids TV show is pretty funny/cute. Martyn is putting on the Newport leg of their UK tour and if you want to come then get your tickets here -  Martyn's band Hipflask are supporting and it's the last date on their UK tour so it's going to be a fun night.

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Thursday, 12 June 2014

Fashion Inspired By Dance

Every fashion trend has strong influence running through it. Whether that’s from television, more often than not music or history, you can always trace a fashion trend back to something that has already occurred. Whilst music is the biggest influence of fashion (you can often tell exactly what someone listens to by just the shoes they wear) dance can also fall into the same category. You will find dancing a little difficult without a bit of music after all! But what has been the top dance looks through history and how can you achieve them? From Fame to Billy Elliot, why not experiment with your style using inspiration from popular culture and history...
Luscious Leotards 
During the summer months, it’s important to not only keep cool but continue to look stylish. Whilst the cooler months mean lovely layering of jumpers and scarves plus the favourite bobble hat, summer is somewhat more difficult. The catwalks and high street have taken inspiration once again from dance with the introduction of many MANY wonderful leotards. Mainly associated with jazz dance and ballet alike, there are various styles to suit everyone and surprisingly flattering for most shapes. I love this selection at The lace detailing in particularly is beautiful! Leotards look perfect with floaty summer skirts from a feminine look and denim shorts from an urban edge.
Beautiful Ballet 
Ballet is not exactly a new fashion trend but one shattered within the catwalks every now and then. Take simple cream, light pink or white summer dresses complete with spaghetti straps and delicate silk material. This is a style that never goes out of fashion and the perfect girly look. I do like to grunge up such dresses like a leather jacket and ankle boots though! 
And it doesn’t end with the ballet dress. Pumps with elaborate straps always make a statement as well as the ballerina pump itself obviously named after the dance. In terms of beauty, we regularly tie up our hair in formal buns. Just remember plenty of hairgrips. Yep, ballet fashion is everywhere if you think about it and there’s a fantastic range too to incorporate into your style as well
Fantastic Fame! 
Fame has always been a popular fancy dress choice with the leg warmers, bright headbands and gigantic perms always a popular look, however is there a way to embody this 80s style without making it look like a light hearted joke?  
Well, your spandex high-waisted trousers perfectly suit the 80s theme, as well as Sandy from Grease when she turns “cool”, but also high top trainers and not so much permed hair, but BIG hair. Crimpers have recently made an appearance having last been seen in the mid 90s somewhere so dust them off and try out a funky quiff!  
Whether you decide to go urban or keep it girly, there is a surprising amount of inspiration to be found in the dance world. Just look at the opening credits of Sex and the City, the influence of Dirty Dancing and the popularity of modern films such as Step Up. Dance will always be at the fall front of fashion.

*collaborative post

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Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Introducing My New Home Pt.2

I shared a post a few weeks ago with some photos from my new house, mainly focusing on the bedrooms which I had spruced up with a bit of paint. I love my bedroom but it's no secret that I'm not that keen on the rest of the house. I've had a good old moan about it but it's rented so I can't really change the bits I don't like and people are in far worse housing situations than I am so I need to stop whinging. I think I'm far too used to seeing images of perfect houses on Pinterest with lots of white walls and fresh flowers everywhere but the majority of us don't live like that.

russell hobbs cream heritage kettle

I've tried to brighten up the kitchen as much as I can with pastel accessories and appliances and lots of the kitchenware I collected when I was at home.The tea/coffe//sugar jars came from Poundstretcher and were only £2 each and pretty much everything else came from Wilkinsons or a charity shop.

photo of russell hobbs cream heritage toaster

Even though this kitchen and all it's brown tiles isn't my favourite view I've been spending a lot of time in there rustling up tatsy food for me and Martyn. Fresh flowers and some new homeware from Debenhams like the cookbook stand and the cake tins make it a nicer space to be in.

he herbs were looking so good here, they are a bit yellow and dying at the moment, how can I rescue them/ Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

photo of herbs on a window

As much as I wanted to move into this house and plaster my sense of style all over it I couldn't really do that. Martyn had already been living here for a couple of years and it needed to reflect his personality too. I decluttered the wall full of gig posters in the kitchen and left the three nicest ones up and these were all gigs that Martyn's band Hipflask have played at.

One thing we definitely have enough of in our house is books and records. We have 3 huge bookshelves and that only houses about a quarter of what we have. I left the majority of my books at my mums house and I know that when I buy my own house I somewhere with two reception rooms so I can have one as a kind of library.

photo of my record collection

So anyway, that's my home. Not the grandest of abodes but I'm comfortable there.

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Monday, 9 June 2014

Things I'm currently excited about

(photos added later from instagram)

1. Martyn's birthday on Sunday
2. My trip around the US by rail next year
3. Having a lie in on Saturday
4. Spending a whole weekend with Martyn
5.Visiting the seaside
6. Baking a Breaking Bad birthday cake
7. Making plans for my holiday in July
8. Seeing Martin Freeman in Richard III in September
9. Seeing my dog Sookie wag her tail when I walk through the door
10. Wearing my new heart print dress

This is part of the 52 lists series by Emma from Made in Hunters which I'm dipping in and out of.

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