Sunday, 29 December 2013

Sale Buys: Shabby Chic Home Accessories

A few years ago on boxing day I'd find myself rushing to all the clothes shops, raiding the rails for the best bargain dress. Now I find myself scouring all homeware shops instead, attempting to find cute little accessories to add to my home. How times change.

I was extremely grateful that the Boxing Day sales in my town were no way near as crowded as I'd anticipated, therefore giving me the ability to leisurely browse the aisles. In doing so, I managed to walk away with a few treats.

Being from a small town, I don't have a great deal of choice when it comes to home interior, or everything for that matter. I do usually shop in a larger city when I can, but with not having this planned, I had to work with what I had.

BHS had a really good sale on their home accessories. I've bought a few things from there in the past and I'm always pleased with their quality.

Jug - RRP £15. Sale - £7.50

This rose embossed jug/vase is from their Vintage Maison line. I've been wanting a jug for so long to pop flowers in, but have never been able to find the right one. This would look perfect both on my kitchen windowsill or even in my dressing room. I almost bought it at full price a few days before, so I was glad that I waited, being reduced by 50%.
Clock - RRP £12.Sale - £6
I was debating for a while whether to get this floral block clock or not, because I was undecided (and still am) where to put this. We are decorating our hallway shortly so I was toying with the idea of putting it there, but I'm not sure if it'll be wasted. Either way, its white so it's easy enough to place anywhere (when the time is right, no pun intended!)

Bird Dish - RRP £5. Sale - £2.50

I originally bought this bird 'dish' to put in our hallway once its done, beside the front door, so keys can be thrown in there as Mike (or myself) comes through the door. However after purchasing, I realized that in fact we both have a bunch of keys, not just one single one, so they wouldn't fit! So I'm trying to think of another storage idea for this! I know a few people store their rings at the bottoms... I'll get my thinking cap on! Either way, I couldn't leave this bargain sat in the shop at £2.50!
Book-ends - RRP - £12. Sale - £6
We don't actually have any shelves up in our house yet, but I definitely plan on getting some soon because I have books that need to be housed, so when I saw these in the sale for £6, I thought they were the perfect bookends. I probably wont put a picture in the middle, but the option is there in the future.

Hanging Heart - RRP £16. Sale - £6
I spied this on a random pop-up shop in our shopping precint. I've been admiring their home accessories for the last several weeks every time I walk past, but thought that most things were over priced. I re-visited when I noticed they were having a sale, and spotted this hanging photo plaque. I know the general idea of hanging photo frames have been around a while now, but I loved the detail on these wooden hearts, and thought it was a little more unusual than others that I have been seeing. My living room is (or was) teal, but I've been slowly (but accidentally) incorporating more blue tones into the room, so I'm hoping this wont look too out of place in there!

Have you found any good home accessories in the sale yet? If you've blogged about them, pop your links in the comments below!

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Bloggers: Mission Clear Out

I am an organized person. It was only recently that I found at as a child I used to have boxes, bags and compartments in drawers for different items. My mum told me how I was always taking items out of one box and putting them 'where they belong'. I'm still very much like that now. I have a place for pretty much everything. Being unorganized makes me feel a bit jittery and unsettled.
I was one of those kids in secondary school that HAD to have my school bag and books ready the night before. Now I'm older and in work, I HAVE to have my outfit hung over the bannister on the landing for the next day at work. Rushing round the next morning trying to find something to wear annoys me.

It goes without saying that I also love to tidy, sort and clear out once in a while. It makes my mind feel more 'fresh' and makes me feel more motivated. This goes for all areas of my life, from physical clear outs of that horrid cupboard where all the letters get shoved, or a computer clear out of all those duplicate photos, or even an internet clear out of blogs that I no longer read.

I'm not sure about your newsfeed but since my blog has been live, (which is probably almost 3 yrs now), I've added many blogs along the way. As the months tick by, I find myself bypassing the same old blogs in my reading list. Occasionally I'll think 'I really must have a clear out of my blog feed', but of course never do. So, with a new year fast approaching, I've decided to begin uncluttering my life, starting with my blog.

I'm actually quite fussy on what I look for in a blog now, and found that a lot of the blogs that I 'unfollowed' were purely down to the fact that they blogged about products that would cost me a months' wages if I were to buy them. Sorry, but I refuse to spend £30 on a lipstick, or £50 on that amazing body butter. I'd rather get 10 products for the price of your one. In my life, these blogs are unrealistic, therefore I am unable to relate to them. I look for blogs that are 'down to earth', products I can buy that aren't going to break the bank, common interests, and people that inspire me. If I'm honest, the appearance of a blog also swings it for me.. bad quality photos and an ugly or confusing layout and I'm outta there, unfortunately.

Before I began my 'cull', I had accumulated 149 people that were sat in my reading list. After my clear out I managed to get it down to 85. To those 85, you lucky, lucky people. Since my clear out, I have been on the hunt for fresh new reads, ready for a fresh new year.

So, if you live in the real world, do real, achievable things, and blog about lifestyle, travel, home interior or beauty, then pop your link in the comments section below, and I'll gladly check you out. Oh, and if your blog is sparkly, floral, cutesy and full of girly-ness fun then I'll probably like you even more!

love | via Tumblr

Have yourself a Merry little Christmas...

I wasn't going to do a post focusing on Christmas (that has swam past us like it never existed), but then I felt like it didn't seem right to continue with posts without a mere mention of my own celebrations.

This year was a very quiet one for us. Myself and my boyfriend exchanged presents in the morning, then went over to his parents house for Christmas dinner, just the 4 of us. We were later joined by my boyfriends younger sister and his nephew, before resorting back home to chill.

Christmas in my living room...

The last few days have been a bit of a blur if I'm honest (and no, not through alcohol either!). We actually braved the boxing day sales yesterday (and was so surprised (but glad!) of the lack of crowds!). I picked up a few home accessories which will be coming in a blog post shortly.

Present wise, I got pretty much everything I asked for. As many of you know, I love to travel (whether it be in the UK testing out new hotels, or further afield), so one 'main' thing that I asked for was a night/weekend away. Although that hasn't been booked yet as such, the main focus is there - Mike got me a pair of tickets to go and see Ant n Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway in Manchester. I've got a bit of a thing for Dec (for those that get them mixed up, its the smaller lighter coloured hair one!) so that along with a weekend in Manchester is right up my street. We both love Manchester, and have visited there a good handful of times since being together, so its becoming tradition to go there on a break now! My crafty side also asked for a sewing machine. Now I didn't think I was going to get this because my boyfriend believed it was going to be one of those 'fads' that I'll use a few times then it'll never see daylight again. Because of this, he didn't overly splash out on one, 'just in case', but instead got me a middle of the range one. Although he did promise that if I 'prove' I am using it enough, he will buy me an upgrade!

My Presents..

I also got lots of vouchers to spend it various shops, nail art goodies, home accessories, candles, bath products, PJs, notebooks and way too many chocolate treats that I am now officially sick of the sight of! (and yes, I did just say that!).

I'm sad that my Christmas holidays are almost over. I have just the weekend left to play with then I'm back to the grind. New Years Eve is going to be another quiet one for us. We've decided to go for a meal then see where the night takes us (home, probably!).

How cute are these wine decorations? I won them (and the wine!) as part of a hamper...

I hope everyone had a fab Christmas!


Sunday, 22 December 2013

My Fave Festive Four: Nail Polishes

I thought I'd do a post on my favourite festive red nail polishes.

I remember a few years ago I only used to stick to bright red polish for nights out, but now I tend to use it more casually, and love to have bright red nails.

These are my top 4 favourite red nail polishes to wear around the festive season. They range from £1.99 to £14.

From L-R:

Seche 'Scorchin' Hot'
Barry M - '150 Red Glitter'
Collection2000 - 'Starlet'
Deborah Lipmann 'Ruby Red Slippers'

From L-R - Lipmann's 'Ruby Red Slippers', Collection2000 'Starlet', BarryM's 'Red Glitter, Seche's 'Scorchin' Hot'
Ignore my non-filed nails! (Its not until you take up close up that you realize how bad it is!)

Seche's 'Scorchin Hot' - I absolutely love how paintbox red this is with a high shine. I've only recently begun using Seche nail polishes and I love them.

Barry M's 'Red Glitter' - I'm a huge Barry M fan, the majority of my collection is from this brand, so there's no surprise that one made it in my top 4. This is a relatively new purchase and I love the effect it gives - once applied, it almost looks like a gel nail, although when dried it has a more matte appearance. I like to put Seche's top coat over this to gloss it back up, but definitely a must for the festive season.

Collection2000 'Starlet' - I've had this for probably about a year, if not longer. Its the cheapest out the bunch but I love it. It has an almost iridescent appearance to it, with a very slight shimmer that sits just under the polish. Top marks for the wide brush too! 2 strokes and I'm done!

Deborah Lipmann's 'Ruby Red Slippers' - I received this in a glossy box possibly last Christmas (if not, the Christmas before!). I remember loving this but thinking it was SUCH a pain to remove. I haven't worn this for a long time but when applying this today, I was a little disappointed with the colour - I can't remember it ever being that dark - its almost a cross between a deep red and a brown. I read a few reviews on this and people state that its red glitter on a transparent black polish, hence the deepness of the colour. Either way, I do still like it, it looks so pretty in the bottle!

I think I'm wearing a red lace skater dress on Christmas Day, so I think red nail polish will be a bit overkill. I might go for a black polish with a bit of red glitter gradient over the top, just to add that sparkle in!

What is your favourite red nail polish?


Friday, 20 December 2013

The couple that have everything...Last Minute Christmas Gift Idea

There's always someone on your gift list that either has everything, or is a boring sole and has no interest in anything. Those kinda people love to make our lives hell around Christmas time.

Up until a few years ago, I used to go hunting round the shops in order for that perfect present, however the last couple of years, I've got a little lazy and settled for the old gift voucher trick. Yes its perfect for them because they can get what they want, and not what YOU want them to have. Its the safe option for the buyer. However lets be honest, for the recipient, it takes the excitement out of things. For the last few years, it has almost become tradition for my boyfriend to get me a £50 gift voucher for Boots to go towards my present. Although I use boots for all my make-up, it did become quite tiresome receiving this after a couple of years. I'm just lucky there were other gifts to go with it!

I've been thinking about couples that live together, who have a gorgeous home, all the latest gizmos and gadgets one could wish for, buying something a little more personal (i.e. jewellery or clothes) maybe a little risky. What else could you possibly buy? A hamper of course!

I personally have never bought anyone a hamper before, but I've been eyeing several up on my travels since Christmas shopping, and there really are lots to choose from to suit all needs. I think its the perfect gift to share - a bottle of wine over Christmas, and some luxury sweet and savoury sweets that aren't normally purchased throughout the year, which makes it even more special. And even when the hamper is finished, pick the right one and you're left with a gorgeous wicker basket, ready to pop a picnic in come the summer!

I was lucky enough to win a Christmas hamper through an advent competition on facebook, so I thought I'd share it with you.

The box isn't my ideal one (I would have gone for the traditional wicker basket with buckle straps, but we can't pick and choose our winnings unfortunately!). I'm sure I'll find some use for it though!

Amethyst Gift Basket


Bottle a Merlot Wine 'Aromas of cherries, pepper and cacao. It is an elegant and full-bodied wine, with hints of chocolate and spice.
Demerara Shortbread
Cheese Thins (Mustard & Onion)
Chill Coated Peanuts
1 jar of Orange Marmalade 'with single highland malt scotch whisky'
Chocolate Covered Caramels
Melting Pot Harvest Malt Fudge

This specific hamper retails for £31.21. All foods were hand selected and 'sourced from 'local and international suppliers'. What I love about this hamper is how some of the products packaging feel like they've come from a proper traditional handmade farm shop. I've had a sneak bite of the fudge and although I'm not one to buy fudge often, this is absolutely divine. The quality is amazing and it really is a 'melt in your mouth' moment. The cheese thins are more of an oat biscuit which instantly crumbles in your mouth. The flavor is not apparent for the first few seconds but soon kicks in to leave a gorgeous taste. The chocolate caramels aren't what I thought, but better than my expectations! I'm not a fan of marmalade in general (I haven't tried it in years so I may well just have to test my tastebuds again to see if they've altered with age now I have this cute little jar! I will have to say though - Im intrigued with the fact that it has malt whisky in it!). The wine - the one thing people will probably pop open first - I'm not a huge alcohol drinker, in fact I barely drink at all, and I'm assuming this is red wine, something that I never normally opt for, but again, I'm willing to give it a go! The shortbread looks and sounds delish - its not often you'll hear me complain about my shortbread!

This hamper can be purchased from Spicers of Hythe, which are based in Kent. They do a huge selection of hampers, from chocolate to wine, to cheese and family hampers. They make hampers for all occasions and all appear reasonably priced.

So, if you're still pulling your hair out with what to buy 'that couple' - or maybe even your Nanna & Grandad, a hamper is the perfect treat. You're probably too late to purchase online now but a mad rush to the shops maybe in order instead!


Friday, 13 December 2013

Birchbox: A Winter Wonderland.

One beauty box that I am always excited to receive is the Christmas box.. I just expect wonderful and sparkly things but unfortunately Birchbox didn't meet my expectations this year...

Contents (From L-R)

Sin-Care Party Girl Serum. This retails at £46.50 so pretty pricey for a serum, and something I'm definitely not prepared to spend that much money on! I mentioned in a previous post that skincare really doesn't float my boat, so for me, this is just 'meh'. Yet another serum that is added to my ever-growing drawer.

Lamilou Body Milk (Cocoa Butter and Rose Water) . You may have seen my growing stash of body lotions from a few months ago (if you wanted to see my ha-uge collection, click here). I don't need another body cream, simple as. But Birchbox aren't to know that. However the smell of this is very faint. I'm not a fan of rose flavoured products (they remind me of old ladies!). The consistency of this is horrible as well, being very thin and almost watery. Definitely one that I'll be glad to get rid of.

Alima Pure Luminous Shimmer Eyeshadow. Retailing at £12.50 I can see why. This is really pretty and would look fab on those festive party nights out. Its very light but buildable, so could be worn in the day or at night. The colour is a gorgeous golden brown with an almost rose gold tint to it.. very pretty but again, a very repetitive product that I often see cropping up in Birchbox every few months. I'm getting a small stash of these mineral eyeshadows now, sadly all untouched because I love my Urban Decay too much!

Number 4 Non-Aerosol Hairspray. I got super excited when I saw this bottle, then when I realized what it was, I was let down. I only received a hairspray a few months ago, and I very rarely wear hairspray (and I mean rarely, we're talking probably 6 applications a year!). However I am intrigued to this new concept of 'non aerosol'. I love it for the bottle if nothing else!

Nail Rock Nail Glitter. This has got to be my favourite product this month. Never tried any Nail Rock products so this one should be interesting. I've got many dark navy nail polishes, but look at the electric blue pure glitter. So sparkly I can't wait to try this out!

And last but not least.. a twistband. Another one. Probably the 3rd one I've received now. Yes, the concept is fab - no snags and pulls in the hair.. but really, who would wear some of these awful colours out in public? Certainly not me. So sadly they'll be left to be used around the home..

Were you pleased with your December Birchbox?


Monday, 9 December 2013

My Perfect Christmas Day

My perfect Christmas day wouldn't consist of the usual gathering around the dining table pulling crackers. Neither would it consist of a cosy afternoon near a roaring fire playing games and stuffing ourselves with chocolate. It would however still be filled with heaps of festive magic and definitely one to remember, because that's right... we're off to Disneyworld!

We'd leave a very festive looking airport on Christmas Eve, armed with our suitcases, flying 1st class to Orlando. Whilst on the flight we'd enjoy a few Christmas movies and indulge in a few glasses of mulled wine before landing in Florida.
Xmas Travel

We'd check into our Disney hotel, admiring the ginormous glittering Christmas trees in the lobby, before resorting to our room. Out would come the few Christmas trimmings and stockings we brought with us, in order to give our room some festive cheer.
Christmas Disney
We would then have an early night in order to shake off any jet-lag, and in hope that Santa had been by the time we woke!

The big day has arrived! Scurrying out of bed, we all dive into our stockings to see what surprises we may have. After a fun filled hour of admiring our new gifts, we head to a nearby restaurant for a traditional American breakfast...pancakes!


After filling our tummies, we jump on the boat and head over to Disneyland. Upon approaching, we can hear the festive music playing and know we're going to experience an unforgettable day! 

First stop off is to buy some Minnie Mouse festive ears.. of course! Spending the morning experiencing the rides, we stop for a light lunch. We then spend a few hours doing meet and greets, meeting up with the characters themselves, who too are dressed from head to toe in the most festive outfits one ever did see. We'd have our photos taken with every last one of them, with the most magical Christmas backdrops, ready to be framed at home.

Minnie & Mickey
We'd then take a moment out to just appreciate our surroundings and where we were, realizing how lucky we were to be there.

We'd stop for a mid afternoon break and watch the 'Dream Come True' parade where all the Disney characters gather together and dance around to Christmas music like its one big party.

Disney Parade

After catching a festive show and doing a spot of shopping in Disney's famous Christmas shop, we'd all resort back to our hotel room and get ready for the Christmas buffet. But oh no, this isn't your average Christmas dinner. Everything is Disney themed! We'd munch our way through some delicious food before cutting into the biggest Disney cake you ever did see. Who needs Christmas pudding?!


Resorting back to our hotel room, we'd let our poor bellies settle whilst we watched a Christmas movie (Santa Claus: The Movie, in case you were wondering...).

After building up a little more energy, we'd make our way back to Disneyland to eagerly await the 'Wishes' firework display. Fireworks dancing to Christmas songs whilst a glass of champagne is slowly being sipped. Cinderella's castle all lit up and twinkling lights all around, a warm breeze in the air as the clock nears midnight. Could you really think of a more magical way to end Christmas day?
Evening Dislay Xmas

You can have a traditional Christmas Day any year... be adventurous and create the most magical Christmas of them all!


Merry Christmas! This post is my entry into the Tots100/Argos 12 Days of Christmas competition.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Christmas Gift Ideas: Marvel Lovers

My boyfriend is a huge Marvel/DC fan, so each birthday and Christmas I try and include at least one marvel item in with his presents. However as the years go on, it gets more difficult as his collection gets bigger and bigger (and I refuse to buy another Marvel T shirt, I'm sick of seeing them!). I've been browsing the internet to get some more ideas so I thought I'd create a moodboard to share with you that might have a male relation that is also into their boys toys!

Marvel Gifts



Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Fun in Florida! St Petesburg, Sarasota and Kayaking!

After 6 days in Florida, we took a trip up to St Petesburg, which is just past Tampa. We used to stay here when we were kids, so the visit was for more of a nostalgic thing than anything else.

Our apartments were just a walk across the road from the gorgeous beach, which definitely hasn't changed. I always remember the pure white sands and the turquoise sea.. a place me and my brother used to spend hours in, playing in our little rubber boat! Although unfortunately this time we were minus the rubber boat! The apartments themselves were pretty impressive too.. they had everything you needed, plus more. I really would recommend to stay here should you ever find yourself in St Petes!

We found a nice restaurant that was on the beach that was called Sloppy Joes. We deliberately picked to sit outside on the lower terrace (that was practically on the sand). We purposely timed it so we could watch the sunset whilst we ate, which was gorgeous. The sky full of pretty shades of pink and orange.

We drove to another town called Sarasota whilst we were there to do some kayaking. I shared a kayak with Mike, and safe to say, he definitely will not be getting in another kayak with me as long as we both shall live. I.was.a.nightmare. I could not 'drive' the kayak to save my life. I drove us into bushes and god knows what else. He lost his temper with me on several occasions because he needed a rest but couldn't because of my driving skills, so I (yes, me!) gave him a bad back, and he sure made me know about it! I'm glad we can laugh about it now but at the time he really didn't find it funny!

We also had a day shopping which was a nice breather from all the theme parks, and gave me the opportunity to stock up on some American goodies!

We took a trip to an historic site were old canons were, although I didn't take any photos of this as I wasn't feeling too clever on the day.

We had many evening strolls along the shoreline with the waves gently lapping at our feet, and just generally used the time to eat, relax, and catch up on some much needed sleep that we had lost in the first week through the theme park early starts! It was a pleasant change.

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