Sunday, 17 May 2015

Night In Alone // The Best Way To Pamper Yourself

This weekend has been the first weekend that I've not been on call and we've not had a wedding in absolutely ages. So I've taken the opportunity to catch up on some blogging photos, and give myself a really good pamper, forgetting about our wedding planning for a while. I can't put into words just how weird it feels to lay on the sofa watching TV. It feels so naughty! Here are a few of the things that I find necessary for what I'd call a successful pamper day.

Clean the house and finish the chores // Sounds silly, but I find this so therapeutic, and I can't even begin to relax until I've had a thorough clean, a few loads of washing, and taken the dog for a walk.

Get some fresh flowers // Something I've vowed to start spending just a few pounds at least on each week, fresh flowers. The smell of this Debenhams flower delivery took over the whole house for a week, and they've really brightened the place up, too. If you fancy a treat or know someone that could do with one, you can get 25% off with the code: DFBLOG25

Light candles // Instant ambience and a ruddy good whiff too - Opt for a calming scent like Lavender for top relaxation points.

Luxury bath // A luxury bath with some luxury products makes the world of the difference to my self wellbeing, its simple. Lashings of Laura Mercier's ambre vanilla bath honey, a resurfacing face mask from Elemis, and their frangipanis body scrub for silky smooth skin. (honestly they're all worth every penny).

A few treats // Chocolate and a bit of prosecco with floating frozen pomegranates. Thanks Jacamo for a few pamper treats for a night in as part of their Shoe-Duction campaign, you enablers, you. Dan was actually supposed to get himself off on the right foot (gettit)? preparing a romantic date night for me! Did he heck? 

Film/Book // I don't think I'll ever relax enough to be able to tuck into a book without being distracted and never finishing it, but I quite like sticking a mindless rom-com on and cuddling up to my cushions. I tend to read books exclusively on holiday. Actually, screw this whole list, holiday is the way forward for a proper pamper. This is just a cheaper alternative perhaps. Damn wedding planning.

Does this sound familiar? 
What do you do to relax? I could get used to this! 
S xx

Sunday, 10 May 2015

What I Wore // Dorothy Perkins Dresses the Nation

Dress - Dorothy Perkins*
Belt - Topshop
Shoes - Dorothy Perkins
Headband - Crown and Glory
Bangle - Marc Jacobs 
Nail Polish - Leighton Denny 'Babydoll'

Recently, Dorothy Perkins asked me to represent my little corner of the country with a pastel dress. I'd say pastels are pretty popular everywhere still, but they're a good fit for all the countryside and old manor houses around here. I'm adopting this dress as my new 'wedding uniform,' for all the weddings I shoot with Dan at weekends. Its long enough, its a fitting colour, and it'd match my bright pink camera bag perfectly. I think I'd forgotten the option to Dorothy Perkins since they moved into BHS, but these two items were stupidly cheap, and I'm already considering this dress in other colours. You can see the rest of my area 'profile,' and the other lovely gals right here.

I'm so glad its finally starting to get warmer - I feel live I've lived in jeans and jumpers for far too long now - Bring on the pasty bare legs! Also, if you've bought any dresses from Dotty P's recently, snap yourself in it and get it on Instagram to enter this competition to win a bunch more!  

S xx

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Random Birthday Party // 007 for Women Fragrance

James Bond 007 For Women 30ml £25*

It was my birthday last weekend, and Dan and I used it as an excuse to have a little 'James Bond party.' As random as everyone thought it was, I'd been sent this party kit, and it was my birthday, so I thought it'd be a pretty good opportunity to put the two together! I did make myself some James Bond birthday cakes but erm, I took some to work, and the rest got demolished long before I took photographs. If you follow me on Instragram you've probably been lucky enough to have a peek.

I stocked up on a variety of candles to set the Bond mood, some champagne too (including Bollinger, Bond's champagne of choice, obviously), and a bunch of super posh chocolates. I've just discovered Violet Cremes as a result - How have I go so long without these in my life? We only had a few people round, but it was fun to have them guessing why I'd chosen a James Bond theme complete with balloons and other decorations - I should've taken the opportunity and made it fancy dress really! James Bond is always an amazing fancy dress choice, everyone loves a LBN! 

As well as my birthday, the kit was really for the new 007 for Women fragrance, that I considered a little birthday present to myself. With a bottle that resembles a hand grenade, its very glamorous and sleek, Bond-esque, shall we say whilst staying away from being a crazy gimmick. Obviously the most important factor is the contents, and I do love the scent, said to capture the power of a Bond women, with a modern interpretation of oriental fragrances. It features black pepper and rose milk top notes, middle notes of jasmine and blackberry, and base notes of black vanilla, white musk, and cedar. And if that makes no sense to you, its a very warm sweet, oriental fragrance that I'm a fan of! The vanilla and musk really stick with me and the fragrance lasts well. Definitely a bit of a bargain. 

  • #007forwomen.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

What I Wore // Birthday in Cambridge

Top - Next
Jeans - Next
Jacket - Zara
Necklace - Topshop
Shoes - Zara 
Sunglasses - RayBan 

Yesterday was my birthday, and although Dan and I were shooting a wedding, we took some time out on Friday and headed to Cambridge for the day. Shopped a bit, punted a bit, and most importantly discovered Cinnabon! Which we now love, a lot. I've pretty much stopped shopping altogether in the midst of wedding planning, so it was rather nice to treat myself a little bit. I've very recently bought this top and shoes too, and I feel like they're all I've been wearing recently! I often do that with new items - Buy it, wear it to death, then forget about it for a year. Or two. Can't ever go wrong with stripes, eh?

What have you been up to recently?
S xx

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Home Decor Additions & Accessories // New Goodies

Bronze Frame - Paperchase 
Yellow Phone - Flamingo Gifts*
Minimalist Duck - RoomInterior
Knitted pouffe - Homescapes

In a day where everyone (myself included) is seemingly glued to their mobile phones, I was delighted to place this vintage style phone in my living room. In matches our grey and yellow colour scheme perfectly, and I've been enjoying the concept. It took a while to actually figure out what our landline number was, and my mum is the only one that has it saved. No words could describe the thrill I got answering the phone with "Y-ello?" when she called to see how it rung! Oh I am sad...

Date Blocks - Dunelm
Cabinet - Free(!) and Annie Sloan'd with Cream paint
Wedding Fund Pot - Clintons

I picked this dresser up for free on a local buy and swap group, before we even moved in! It was a nightmare to move and store, but it was worth it! It was a very dark brown before, but I spent an entire weekend painting it with Annie Sloan's cream paint. I'm still toying withe the idea of different handles, but for now I'm happy. Although I wish I'd painted it in old white instead. Hmm.

Chandelier - Laura Ashley
Mirror - Laura Ashley 

Our dining room is a little more 'grown up,' with the chandelier and mirror taking pride of place making us look a bit posh, perhaps. Dan reckons this chandelier has pirate-boat potential, and although I've almost knocked myself out on it a few times, I absolutely adore it. When we moved in I was sure I wanted the dining room to be the centre of the house (because literally, it is) and wanted statement lighting to outline that - I think this does the job!

Small Crate - Next
Phone - Flamingo Gifts*
Bronze Ornament - Next

yes, I'm obsessed with the yellow phone. And crates. 

Small Crate - Next
Bust - M&S
Clock - Next

Strolling round M&S, I stumbled across a ridiculous gold pineapple that Dan was dubious about. He agreed to let me buy it if I let him buy this Roman bust. I agreed. Its really grown on me, and now I love it more than the pineapple! If you were looking for something like this from M&S, MyVoucherCodes have a whole page dedicated to discounts and offers here.

Radio - Roberts at John Lewis 

Lunch Boxes - Happy JacksonTed Baker*
Both from Flamingo Gifts

With age, comes excitement over decorative cushions and erm, tuppaware. To inject some fun and slightly cooler lunch options into my daily life, these fancy boxes have got me sorted. I've always quite liked the idea of Bento, and the Ted Baker box is a posh compromise between a bento box, and a normal lunch box. Ironically, the Happy Jackson box has been mainly full of salad. And fruit. When I was a kid (I'm talking lower school age) I was obsessed with what lunch box I had. I remember, age 7, being laughed at because I had a Barbie lunchbox and that was 'sad.' My parents promptly replaced it with a more credible Toy Story offering. Why were stupid things so important back then?

Candle Holder - Orla at Flamingo Gifts*

Cushions - Ikea & Dunelm
Frames - Ikea

I'm one step away from having our whole house adorned with foil prints - And these two are my absolute favourite! 

Doggy Subscription Box - BarkBeats*

Obviously Penny has to feature. Dan and I really consider her as our 'baby,' and she's an amazing companion, so obviously we like to spoil her! She recently opened her BarkBeats subscription box, and was able to enjoy a dog-friendly brownie on easter Sunday, as well as running around with her better-than-kong dumbbell toy. You can get 50% off your first box with the code 'FRIDAY' as well - Let me know if you're going to treat your pooch to one!

Her usual spot. Not so subtle people (and horse) watching.

So there we have it, a little view into our home that is coming on so well since we moved in in December! I feel grown up with true obsessions over cushions that are purely for decorative reasons and choosing fence panels. Please tell me I'm not alone!
 S xx

Sunday, 29 March 2015

What I Wore // Why is it still cold?

Smock dress - eBay
Jacket - Topshop
Necklace - Topshop
Fleece Tights - Primark
Boots - Clarks

Looking at my Timehop, I realise that this time last year it was sunny, and I was looking for new places to discover with Penny. Fast forward to now though, and its still pretty grim. Its grey, cold and I'm teased with a bit of afternoon sun when I'm at work (only to leave work to more dullness). Looking up though, almost a year from now I will be a wife and wearing a gown whatever the weather (eeh, so scary)! As cold as it is though, I'm enjoying this teddy bear coat that I bought last year - Its still going strong, and its like a portable duvet. Who doesn't want that?!

I'm feeling the need for a hair change. I decided I want it blonde for the wedding, and I don't want a fringe because it'll bug me, but in the meantime I'm hating the dry ends and style-less look. I'm having to fight myself against dying it dark and cutting a fringe in. Every. Day! What can I do with it? I'm a rubbish girl, I can't even plait. 

Super easy hair ideas for a true plonker like myself? 
S xx

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Most Wanted // Wedding Wishlist // Bride-To-Be

As our wedding draws nearer, I've been thinking about the finer details of how our day is going to be. I have recently had a complete change of heart and finally admitted to myself that I was never going to be happy with the bargain sale dress I clearly bought on impulse. As beautiful as it was, I kept feeling the need to look around and keep trying it on. Now, I've found a dress from my dream shop that makes me feel like an absolute princess. Unfortunately that does mean that we're cut for budget in other areas, but that hasn't stopped me looking around a fair bit for accessories and decorations - Here are a bunch of my current longings! 

Perfume // I was pretty set on Gucci Flora for our wedding as for so long it was my 'signature scent.' Then I changed my mind to Lancomes Tresor in Love Midnight with its romantic undertones, plus, Dan loves it. Now I'm thinking of finding a new and completely different perfume, and my sniffer loves this Guerlain one. I'm looking for something sweet, romantic and definitely long lasting (Like Giorgio Armani's Si - I can spot it on a bride a mile off at weddings, I might even go for that). Any recommendations?

Shoes // I longed for a pair of Vivienne Westwood's Melissa shoes, but realised they won't go with my dress, and a peep toe might not be ideal as its bound to be a bit chilly. I've tried on a bunch of Rainbow Club offerings at John Lewis and am taken aback at how unbelievably comfortable they are. If you're looking for shoes that are comfortable above all, you need to try these on! A lot of their styles are elegant and neutral, but I'm loving the studded ones, or the shoe clips to add a little jazz.

Underwear // My original dress was perfect with a wonder bra 'hand shape' strapless bra, but my new perfect dress needs something with a little more oomph to help me out in the top department. These offerings look fancy, but I just need to try them on first. Again, any suggestions?

Make Up // I was determined to find a make up artist that was 'good enough' for the job, and I honestly really struggled with this almost above anything else - I was beginning to think I'd be better off doing my own make up, but the thought of my shakily applied eyeliner made my stomach turn. Finally, I've found what must be the best make up artist in the country, but that hasn't stopped me looking around at make up with the excuse that 'its for the wedding, it doesn't count!' Really got to stop doing that…

S xx

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Vintage Perfume Bottles // Yves Rocher Comme Une Evidence

Yves Rocher - Comme Une Evidence 30ml £29* 

Just how stunning is this bottle of Yves Rocher Comme Une Evidence fragrance? I've always fancied the idea of vintage perfume bottles but would never dare to decant any of my perfumes for fear of either losing most of it, or just bypassing the charm of the original bottle that it was meant for. Honestly, its a shame the bottle isn't a more oval, vintage style but I suppose its a good dash of modern, with a nod to the old ways. I do feel very elegant holding up the bottle to spritz myself with it, although it did take me a while to figure out which way to turn it to open up the valve!

On first impressions, the scent is layered, girly and beautifully floral. Although I can never identify 'notes and bases', (can anybody)? this perfume boasts top notes of amber, violet leaf and nutmeg, heart notes of Jasmine, lily-of-the-valley and rose, while the base consists of patchouli, musk, oakmoss, woody notes and praline. Sometimes I can smell rose, sometimes the jasmine comes through a little stronger, one of my favourite scents. Either way, this fragrance is an all round sensual, romantic floral scent that Chanel lovers will adore.

Yves Rocher is a brand that my mum used to hold as her luxury go-to, and although their skincare range is well known, I hadn't a clue they did perfumes too! At the moment Comme Une Evidence is just £29 instead of £51, and its a perfect classic spring addition that will last a good while as a couple of sprays linger for hours. Even if you're not a fan of florals, its a pretty fancy ornament. Mine has taken its pride of place on my dressing table!

Have you tried this yet?
Whats your favourite spring perfume?
S xx