Monday, 30 June 2014

My Perfume Collection

1. The Body Shop Shea Body Mist- Such a bargain, this smells sort of vanilla-y but not too sweet. I wear it when I'm just bumming around and don't want to wear a real perfume, or take it on weekend's away when I don't want to pack an expensive glass bottle.

2. Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh- This smells like spring in a bottle. Flirty, floral, and fresh. I wear this if I'm wearing something girly and carefree.

3. Dolce and Gabbana The One- Musky and sophisticated. I wear this to work because it's grown up and formal. A tiny bit goes a long way and it's not sexy or young.

4. Miss Dior Cherie- Sweet and floral, I wear this quite often. It's the perfect balance between something girly and young but not overpowering. It's a good everyday perfume and always distinctive.

5. Lady Gaga Fame- Sexy. This is my main 'night out' perfume. It goes on black and turns instantly clear, with an indescribable dark floral fragrance. It makes most men go 'Ooh, you smell nice'

6. Viktor and Rolf Flower Bomb- The clues in the name with this one...this is an explosion of flowers but not in a 'toilet freshner' sort of way. It's a perfume I wear when I want to feel 'cute'. You know, when you wear something girly but with socks and boots and feel all adorable. It's probably an association because I got it for christmas.

7. Cacharel Amor Amor- This is another night out perfume, but less sexy than fame. It's a dinner out and a few cocktails, absolute classic perfume.

8. DKNY Be Delicious- Like spraying apples on yourself. When I want to feel sporty and not too girly, or I'm dressing more androgynous, this is what I reach for. Recently where the air's been warm and heavy this feels fresh and light. Or I'm dehydrated and it reminds me of apple juice, which is possible!

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Vapiano Oxford Circus

As a break from some holiday shopping, I recently headed to Vapiano in Oxford Circus for some food and a glass of wine. It was also the perfect opportunity to test out my new camera!

I was wearing a Topshop dress and leggings.

The Vapiano concept is that the food is cooked in front of you. You go up to chef stations, where they offer pizza, pasta, bruschetta and antipasti. There's a separate bar for drinks.

We had the antipasti platter, bruschetta and olives with a glass of wine each. The bruschetta is amazingly good, the mozerella creamy and light and the whole thing was delicious.

For mains we got pasta. Penne with crayfish in a lobster sauce, and linguine with pesto, spinach and king prawns. Both were really really tasty and you could taste the freshness.

The only thing with this place is that it takes a long time. This is the third time I've been and I still can't shake the feeling that it doesn't quite work. When you go up to order you can't go together because you'll lose your table, but if you go seperately one person's food will go cold waiting. I don't know if it's because they can't handle the volume of customers but it all feels a bit difficult and like they don't have enough chefs. The food is sooo good but I'm torn!

I read some reviews online to see what other people thought, and generally people agree that when it's busy, the experience isn't as good. The chefs seem stressed, running around, and seating is an issue and the lines are not really worth the hassle. I read that in some of the other branches they have buzzers for the pizza and pasta and that would improve the experience 10 fold!

My suggestion: send someone to get the takeaway, go at quieter times, or just go for the bruschetta and some drinks.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

My Holiday Beauty Bag

A holiday is a perfect opportunity to push the boat out a little bit with your fashion and make up choices. While I barely wear any make up, I will be wearing a few more bright lipsticks on evenings out and have a few essentials with me! Here's what's in my bag:

Ted Baker Make Up Bag
Sleek Contour Pallette
Naked 2 Eyeshadow Pallette
Seventeen Brow's That
Max Factor Foundation
Maybelline Shine Control Stick
Seventeen Factor SPF 25 BB Cream
Barry M Jelly Nails in Satsuma
Seventeen Pressed Powder in Translucent
Collection Extreme Eyeliner
Benefit They're Real Mascara
No7 Skin Illuminator
Rimmel Kate Moss 107 Lipstick
Topshop Lips in Mischief
Barry M Lipstick in Dolly Pink
Bourjois Lip Crayon in On the Beach
Eyelash Curlers
Brushes- Real Techniques, No7 and H&M (Would not recommend!)

What's your essentials?

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

What's in my Hand Luggage

We get one hold bag between us and one piece of hand luggage each. A duffel bag will contain spare clothes and random bits and bobs and will go in the overhead locker whilst my handbag goes under the seat and will have all the things we will need during the flight- you can see what's in there below!

Michael Kors Bag
Marc Jacobs Purse (Can't find it online but similar here)
Phones (iphone 5, work, and HTC one mini2, personal)
Canon 1100D For Dummies Book
Itinerary and Tickets
L'occitane Hand Cream
Random Concealer
Oyster (to get there)
Prada Sunglasses
20 Euro from my last trip!

What are your airport essentials?

Sunday, 22 June 2014

The Last Minute Bikini Body

Summer is officially here!! If, like me, you've not actually achieved any of your ridiculous pinterest 'body goals', and instead cultivated a quasi-sexual relationship with Doritos, here's what you can do to make yourself feel sexier and make the most of your body. I had a day to make myself bikini ready, and these are my tips!

1. Water. As early as possible, start drinking loads of it! Water will flush your body out, reduce bloating, clear your skin and make your cellulite appear reduced. I started about 3 days before.

2. Eat healthy. It won't make a blind bit of difference to your weight, but it will make you feel so much better and reduce bloating. It will also stop those crazy breakouts your skin gets from pizza!

3. Scrub, woman. Run yourself a bath and scrub all that horrible dry skin off. Concentrate on your knees, elbows, feet and bum. You'll smooth out your skin and prepare for sandals. I either use exfoliating gloves or something really grainy like Soap and Glory's Pulp Friction. Go to town- you want them pink!

4. Shave. I usually let my body hair grow for a fair few days and then whip it all off with a new razor the day I go on holiday. I always, always apply roll on deodorant to my bikini area afterwards as it stops shaving rash and irritation as it regrows (not pretty with a bikini).

5. Moisturise. Using something non-sticky, moisturise your whole body, especially your feet. I LOVE L'occitane's foot cream and will coat my feet in it constantly before sandal weather. I use Vaseline spray and go all over.

6. Sort those nails out. Paint your nails something summery that goes with your holiday outfits. I'm probably going to go with coral.

7. Fake tan. The jury is out on this one. I'm actually going to scrub mine off and apply some Dove Summer Glow for a bit of colour but that's it so my skin has a good base for tanning. Don't forget that fake tan doesn't contain SPF!

8. Face Mask. I use the Sanctuary 5 min Thermal Detox Mask and I have to say, it is amazing. It will transform my skin overnight and really smooth it out.

9. Confidence! Remember, the sexiest thing about a woman is confidence. So pick the brightest bikini they have and rock it, because you look gorgeous. I got this coral one from Topshop.


Friday, 20 June 2014

My Holiday Capsule Wardrobe

When it comes to packing for holidays it can be so tempting to take everything you own in the hope of giving yourself more options and making things easier. But that doesn't really work in practice, because you end up with so many options that aren't at all versatile!

I thought I'd show you my capsule wardrobe for my holiday to Spain that I go on later today! My blog will carry on while I'm away with posts every few days (so make sure you check back) and I'll be posting a lookbook when I return.

Column 1-  Asda cheap black flip flops, Kurt Geiger Wedges, Topshop Pumps, New Look Sandals

Column 2- Topshop Joni Jeans, Topshop Culottes, New Look Skirt (old), H&M shorts (old), Rokit Levi jean shorts, Topshop White Shorts, Topshop Bikinis

Column 3- Topshop Oversize White Shirt, H&M Blue shirt (old), New Look Crop Top, Topshop Crop Tops x 4 (Lime, Grey, Bralettes (sold out- similar here) in Black and White), ASOS tan clutch bag, various jewellery

Column 4- ASOS White Blazer, Warehouse Floral Tunic, Motel Rocks Maxi Dress (old), Topshop Stripe Dress, Ted Baker Dress, Topshop Floral Dress and Jumpsuit.

I hope you enjoyed seeing what I take away with me! What are your holiday essentials?

P.S- Yes, I have a Topshop problem.


Wednesday, 18 June 2014

The Hump Day Edit

[image credit: my tumblr]

It's Wednesday. Officially the worst day of the week. I'm panicking because I go on holiday on Friday and my body is definitely not holiday ready! This week will pass in a flurry of writing and scheduling blog posts, working, packing and infinite loads of laundry. Here's some of the things I'm loving recently!

1. T K Maxx

I went in the other day and tried on a Kenneth Cole slip dress, a Versace shift dress, and a French Connection jacket. Each one was less than £35. I didn't buy any of them, but I feel like this place has so much potential and I keep checking back!

2. The World Cup

Never in my life did I think I would be saying this, but I'm loving World Cup fever! Living with three boys means there's always an atmosphere, some yummy food and a few beers going on. Nights out have an extra edge and it means (another) excuse to go to the pub on a school night!

3. Getting to know my new camera

I took the plunge last week and invested in a new camera- mainly for this blog but also for travelling and documenting life! The memory card arrived yesterday so I went out exploring with it and I intend to do the same today. It's a Canon 1100D.

4. Reading blogs! 

I am obsessed. I read them every single day now and love it. Some of my favourites are: The Londoner, Beauty Crush, LLYMLRS, Late Afternoon, and A Beautiful Mess. I skim my bloglovin every day and follow lots of blogs!

5. People watching

I had an hour to kill while waiting for a train at the weekend, and I sat upstairs in a coffee shop and just watched the world go by, laughing at hungover people and getting inspired by what the world is wearing.

Friday, 13 June 2014

World Cup Nachos

What did the Mexican say to the man who stole his cheese?

That's NACHO cheese!

Haha. Now that's out the way, I realised it was very important that I shared with you my flatmates World Cup Nachos recipe. Omygoodness. I got him to take photos the whole way through for the good of us all.

First off, make some chilli. You can use your favourite recipe. This is made using one of the jars and following the instructions! He used about 500g lean steak mince, a tin of kidney beans and half an onion.

Chop some peppers and onions in OCD fashion. He's used about three quarters of each of the pepper colours, but use whatever you fancy.

Now it's time for layering, which is where the genius comes in.

Add a good layer of chilli to your first layer of tortilla chips. Don't add too much though as you need enough for another layer!

Then add some of your pepper and onion mix and a sprinkle of cheese.

Add another layer of tortilla chips and chilli. This looks like a stadium.

Add some more pepper mix and a very generous helping of cheese. Bake until the cheese has turned melty and golden brown and the tortilla chips have darkened and crisped up.

Inhale, with football, beer, and friends.


Thursday, 12 June 2014

What I Wear...Working From Home

Top- Monki, Necklace, ASOS, Leggings, Topshop, Socks, Primark

Dress and Necklace- Topshop

Dungarees- Primark

I work from home a lot, and I thought I would share with you some of my more recent outfits. It can be very easy to get in the mentality of wearing pyjamas, but I try really hard to get up and still get dressed. Not only does it make you feel much better, but you are more likely to want to go out when you've finished work if you're already dressed.

One of the main things I tend to do is not wear jeans. Working from home can mean long hours sat on the sofa or a table, and you move around a lot less than you would in an office. I wear a lot of leggings and dresses. I also try and keep my hair out of my face, either in a messy top knot, a plaited fringe or a side braid as I have with the dungaree outfit. I have a creative job and I like to be focused on what I'm doing rather than getting annoyed by my hair in my face!

What's a typical day like?

A typical working from home day starts at 8.30 when my alarm goes off. I get up and dressed, make some breakfast (usually porridge, but sometimes yoghurt and fruit or cereal) and a pot of coffee and sit down to fire up my laptop. I read emails and categorise actions while I eat my breakfast and drink lots of coffee. I'm a morning person once I'm actually awake, so I get stuck into the worst jobs of the day in the morning.

I break for lunch around 12.30 and try and shut the laptop lid. It's usually soup and a wrap. I'm addicted to hummus at the moment, and mozzerella and spinach often feature! I'll put the telly on for some background noise, and after I've eaten I spend about half an hour to an hour reading blog posts, catching up on twitter and drafting a few blogs of my own.

I usually spend the afternoon doing the parts of my job I enjoy more. This is usually presentation decks, graphics or newsletters. I try and do something creative! I finish up somewhere around 5.30pm. It varies a lot- if I have something big I'm working on I'll work through till 7 and go back after dinner...if I'm not overloaded I'll finish up at 5 and be done for the day. I travel occasionally, so if that's the case I try and finish at 4.30 to counteract the early starts.

Do any of you work from home? What do you wear to stay comfy and cute?

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Father's Day Gift Guide

Goofiness clearly runs in the family..

This year, my Dad, rather inconsiderately, is away for Father's day. For those of you with Dad's who will be in the country, it's a day for a pub lunch, a few beverages with your old man, and a bit of appreciation for the advice, bailing out, and taxi service that your Dad has provided for you over the years.

Most of the Father's Day gift guides I keep finding are for presents from little kids to their Dads. I'm not entirely sure my Dad, who has a 25 and a 21 year old, would really appreciate our hand prints on a canvas or an apron saying 'Daddy Rules the BBQ'. Much as my Dad is a superhero, we're all a bit sophisticated (read: old) for that.

So I created my own! 

1. 3 Month Supply of Friday Night Curry - For the Foodie Dad, the kit arrives with recipes and spices measured out to make a variety of spicy man food.
2. Moleskine Notebook- The legendary notebooks are an absolute joy to write in. And they've just brought out a smart one that works with your Evernote. I've got serious stationery lust. 
3. Pyjamas- Let your Dad have some well earned time off and chill in these cosy pyjamas. John Lewis' collection is pretty good this year!
4. Data is Beautiful Book- For the serious geek Dad..this is packed full of beautiful charts.
5. Wooden Tray- For dumping keys, cufflinks, watches, and all those other things men seem to drop around like we do with hair grips. Personalised. My Dad's name is Mark, FYI :)
6. Personalised Wine Bottle- Get him one with his name on so he feels like King of the castle.

What are you doing to celebrate your Daddio this Father's Day?

Sunday, 8 June 2014

My Holy Grail Beauty Products

Everyone has holy grail products. The ones you always grab first, the ones you always repurchase, and the ones you don't abandon to the bottom of a grubby makeup bag. Today I thought I'd share mine!

1. The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Facial Wash- I absolutely swear by this product. One of my best friends recommended it to me after I was complaining about breaking out, and I've never looked back. I use this in the shower once a day, and it is gentle on my sensitive skin but also powerful enough to clear up spots and blemishes. Oh, and it's a fiver. A FIVER. I know.

2. No.7 Skin Illuminator- This is the sample size, but a teeny tiny bit of this product makes me look more awake and put together than a whole host of expensive primers. I wear it under my foundation and will sometimes even wear just this and a tiny bit of concealer and still feel very put together.

3. L'Occitane Hand Cream- Without doubt, the best handcream I've ever owned. Non-sticky, doesn't give you that gross feeling you normally get with handcream, very moisturising, handbag friendly and not too pricey considering how long it lasts. I always buy the 8ml and it lasts ages.

4. Nivea Daily Essentials Refreshing Facial Cleansing Wipes. A lot of people swear by the Simple ones but I find them a little bit greasy and like they leave a residue on my skin. These are perfect- gentle and effective and even take off the stubborn 'They're Real' mascara.

5. Dove Invisible Dry Deodorant- A bit weird maybe to mention a deodorant on a blog, but it's important for the good of womenkind and grey tshirts in summer. This is my favourite. It does still leave white marks, and I've genuinely never found a deodorant that doesn't- but they're very minimal and nothing that a quick wipe won't remove. It keeps me feeling fresh all day and smells good.

6. Real Techniques Make Up Brushes- These are a hugely worthwhile investment. They're not as pricey as MAC brushes, but great quality. They make such a huge difference to how your make up goes on. Sneaky tip- I spotted them in TK Maxx today!! (Don't you hate it when that happens, I paid full price)

Other things I love and always buy:

What are your holy grail products? I've built up a few Boots points so I'd love to hear some recommendations!


Friday, 6 June 2014

Oh I Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside...

A few weeks ago the girls and I went on a weekend to Brighton for frolicking in the sun, shopping, drinking, dancing and fish and chips.

My perfect hangover outfit is dress: topshop, leggings: topshop, brown flats: oasis, necklace: topshop, and guessed it...topshop! (it was way overpriced...primark have similar!)

I really want to own one of these gorgeous candy-coloured beach huts

Look at the size of this paella!!

Mint choc chip and caramel ice cream.

My hangover food..sausage and chips, gravy and a gherkin :)
We've decided to try and do more girls' weekends throughout the year. Does anyone have any recommendations? Where's your favourite weekend getaway spot?

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Benefit They're Real

I have a bit of a first world problem. I have big eyes and therefore a lot of eyelashes...and I'm REALLY lazy. I have never been one of those people to spend hours and hours on my make up- I want to be able to have key products that I know will perk me up quickly that also work great when I spend more time on myself for a night out. Which is currently about 3 nights a week. Eeeeep. #workhardplayharder.

Anyway, I have tried a lot of mascaras (and make up in general) and I wanted to share my review of my new holy grail mascara, Benefit's They're Real.

Like most people, I first tried They're Real when it was a freebie in Elle magazine. I loved it almost instantly- it's very black and gets all the way through your lashes. Being a natural blonde I have light brown eyelashes along my lash line, which are hard to get with mascara wands and often end up looking two-toned. I also have lots of little lashes in the corners of my eyes which are impossible to get hold of. I loved this so much I threw away all my when the sample ran out on the way to the airport I HAD to buy the full size in duty free. Right?

I've tried Benefit's Bad Gal before, and it was good, but not as good as this one. It defines every lash perfectly, and has a combined brush- a large main brush, which I prefer because it's quicker and easier, but with a stubby end with lots of bristles for getting those fiddly little lashes and your bottom ones. I find it gives lift, volume and LOTS of length.

Admittedly, it is pricey- as I said I got it in duty free but it retails at £19.50. Personally to me it's worth it, and it's virtually waterproof even though it isn't marketed as such- so I can take it on holiday and it won't end up all over my face. In fact, I wouldn't purchase anything else right now. Unless it's for scientific (aka review) purposes.

What's your favourite mascara? Have you tried 'They're Real'?

Monday, 2 June 2014

5 Easy Ways to Organise Your Life

[photo credit: pinterest]

So it's Monday again (please be kind!) which means I'm back on the caffeine and the daily grind- the fun parts (writing, researching and scheduling blog posts) and the not so fun parts (my actual, bill-paying job). Part of the reason I started blogging again was because I had made enough changes in getting organised that I felt I could take it on. I was thinking this morning about these changes, the thing's that make it a little bit easier to get out of bed and crack on with the day, even after a late one when your head is fuzzy. Grab a cuppa and have a read...

1. Sort out your personal email folder. I use a fantastic tool called, and it literally has saved my inbox. You can unsubscribe from all your newsletters, and combine the ones that are useful to you. I 'roll up' about 15, and have unsubscribed from all the rest (100+). 

2. Capture your ideas. The best investment I made this year was in a premium Evernote subscription. I use the Secret Weapon to categorise all my emails as they come in, and it has not only increased my productivity, but my stress levels are way down. When I wake up in the middle of the night with a brilliant idea, I can chuck it on my Evernote and know it won't be forgotten.

3. De-clutter. Wherever possible, I try to make my stuff 'accessible', not material. I limit hoarding books and papers and CDs- I have accounts where I store all my stuff, and I photograph everything I want to keep from magazines and newspapers and then store them on my computer.

4. Keep a calendar. Whatever works for you. Personally I like Google calendar for it's reminders and ability to add other people to your invites.

5. Get up earlier. On a hair wash day, I need half an hour to get ready. I actually get up an hour before I need to leave, so I can remain stress free, wander around drinking coffee and reading emails. It's one of my favourite times of day. It takes a while to get used to but is so worth it!

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