Thursday, 11 December 2014

A New Work Bag and a Stocking Filler Giveaway!

Nica Nikki Tote £59.99*

After spending all of my money on 'grown up house stuff,' its super nice to get something just for me. And here I am unveiling my new work bag after getting rid of the tired denim rucksack I've been carrying around for the past year! I'm not usually a fan of brown, let alone 'tan,' (I'm dying for the Raspberry colour), but this bag has caught my attention, with its Kors-esque shape, its array of pockets and super roomy shape, but still fits nicely in my ever-shrinking locker. It fits my A4 work portfolio in, and thanks to the sturdy bucket shape I can dig out my stethoscope from my mints, whilst still having pockets to keep my hearings aids safely hidden away from the rest of my hoard. I'm massively impressed with the quality too, considering it costs £60! Definitely worth looking at, and its such a shame they're not so readily available on the high street yet - Honestly though, you won't be disappointed if you order without seeing one! 

The lovely people at Nica have also kindly offered up a Keisy Medium Purse (See it here) as a giveaway prize, making a perfect stocking filler, (It'll be delivered by Christmas). I've not actually seen it, but it appears to be just as handy -  I'm a sucker for compartments and pockets! All you've got to do is follow the options on the Rafflecopter and keep your fingers crossed. 

Good luck!
S xx

Monday, 8 December 2014

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Cane Toy // Furminator Comb // Invincible Snake Toy // Rice Bone
Santa Toy // Snowman Toy  // Collar 

Penny doesn't feature on this blog all too often, although I've always intended to change that! So when Pets at Home contacted me asking for Penny's letter to Santa, we set about it. Or, I chose a bunch of things for her! Theres a whole bunch of Christmas related gifts right here if you fancy having a peek! 

'Dear Santa,

I've been a pretty good pooch this year, I've played well and discovered lots of new places! I'm looking forward to my first real Christmas (I was far too young to remember the first one), but I hope you can find us... I've just moved house and am really struggling to settle in, so I'd love some new fun things to remind me that this is home, and being a Golden Retriever, I'm not fussy about treats, I'll eat just about anything! One last thing Santa, I'm also super hairy and my folks get fed up of cleaning up after my long fur on their hardwood fur, so I'd like to please them and keep my fluff at bay with some kind of beauty brush pretty please - I promise I'll share the goodies with my best pal/sister Amber! 

Love Penny, AKA Pen/Pen-Pen/Penelope/Penster(!)

As a brand new homeowner, we are super excited about Christmas this year. We've bought a brand new Christmas tree that is probably too big for our tiny lounge, but I suppose thats part of the fun, right? One thing thats always been the same though, is yankee candles! My favourites this year are Angel Wings (though I can't quite put my finger on what it actually smells of) and Candy Cane Lane which smells exactly like candy canes, yum! Alongside Yankee, I've also made some accompanying decorations to match - A pair of angel wings which now have their place on our tree, and a candy cane star (half eaten already).
Its Penny's first Christmas with us too, as we picked her up on Boxing Day as a pup - Sad or not, we'll definitely be spoiling her and Pets and Home has such a huge range that I just know Penny will go mad for. She's usually wandering around with something soft in her mouth, but does go mad for a squeaker, so I've picked things for her around that area - Penny will definitely be making more of an appearance here, so I'll be sure to share what she gets for Christmas as well! 

What are you hoping for this Christmas?
Have you got your tree up yet?
S xx

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Our new home - Furnishing our new house!

Finally, after what felt like the longest wait ever alongside the most stressful process of our lives, we've moved into our little cottage. We've spent the last few days working hard, and changing rooms/ 60 minute makeover it is not. Must employ a large team next time. I kid - I'm pretty sure there'll never be a next time, far too stressful! 

I spent far too long trying to choose a colour scheme for the bedroom, desperate to make the most of the original fireplace without making the tiny room look smaller than it is. I was determined to get this room looking fancy as soon as possible so we'd have somewhere to relax, even if the rest of the house is still a tip, and I'm glad I did. Pretty much everything in the room is Laura Ashley, but I've compromised on the splurge by buying cheap wardrobes from Homebase (alongside this gorgeous Homebase mirror that fits right in even though it only cost £50), and using Argos bathroom units as bedside tables! I think it balances out pretty well so far, though the wardrobes haven't been delivered yet, eek! 

One day I'll source some scaffolding planks to shelve the alcoves in the lounge, but for now we're going with the floating shelves that the previous owner left behind. I'm sure soon enough I'll get over the fact that they're too small *twitch* The living room is nowhere near done yet (its not even all painted yet) but this corner is looking alright complete with my favourite Dottie Rocks print - I plan to get some huge ones for our spare room!   

Our huge recliner sofa wouldn't fit in the lounge, and so we were forced to buy new ones. Not wanting to spend an absolute fortune, we found these sofas in Harvey's at £600 for two! We're going for a slightly more modern look in here, but I don't want to overdo it and lose the charm of the old place! This Habitat cushion* holds the grey and yellow that I love so much, but has a natural hessian type base which allows a bit more of a natural colour scheme overall. Its also huge, super squishy, and pretty much perfect. I found a super cheap matching simple yellow cushion from homescapes.

Condensing my make up storage from this to a small dressing table was ridiculously difficult, but I've somehow managed it. I'm not sure how I ever allowed my makeup collection to get *that* out of control. I'm sure you know what I mean! 

Ah the little shaker kitchen, the area thats needed the most work. Actually, I managed to get most of it done before we even moved in. It was ridiculously tired and not looked after at all, but after days of sanding and oiling the sideboards back to a decent state and scrubbing the cupboards, I'm pretty happy. 

So there we have it - A little sneaky peek of our first home, a tiny victorian cottage. We've been living in a mouldy shared flat for far too long, and the hard work finally seems so worth it to have our own little mark on the map. I'm so excited to finish decorating and share the results! 

If you've posted anything like this recently I'd love to see it - I'm so nosey!

S xx

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

The Library of Fragrance // Simple Fragrances

Heres a fresh new fragrance brand with a difference, the Library of Fragrance. Rather than a mix of exotic scents, they're keeping it simple and identifiable with the one layer of scent that is often overlooked in day to day life.

I picked three scents, and they can be worn separately, or layered together for a unique scent that lingers for ages, (this is what I love most about this range). My absolute favourite is the fresh Apple Blossom, though my mum has fallen in love with Strawberry Ice Cream - Its pretty self explanatory, but it genuinely smells as close to the real thing as you could probably get! 
There are over 100 scents to choose from, and whilst I chose pretty basic scents, the 'unusual' ones mostly smell pretty nice! I also sniffed Gin and Tonic and Thunderstorm in Boots, and adore them both! 

At £15 each these would make a lovely gift this Christmas (I know my younger niece would love the Strawberry Ice Cream scent)! Boots are currently selling two for 25, so if you fancy it, click here and have a gander.

Which scent would you choose?
S xx

Thursday, 13 November 2014

New House // Bedroom Wishlist

Candle Stick - Laura Ashley 
Headboard - eBay
Chair - Dunelm
Mirror - Ikea
Fitted Wardrobes - Betta Living
Bergerac Carpet - Carpetright
Josette Wallpaper - Laura Ashley 
Stripe Wallpaper - Laura Ashley

Mirror // We've got a lovely original ceramic fireplace at the end of our bed, and whilst I had a fisheye type vintage mirror, I'm starting to think I'd prefer a larger one to open up the room a bit. I'm forever in search of the perfect silver mirror, and this ones the closest I've found yet.

Fitted Wardrobes // We're moving into a tiny victorian cottage, and although I love it, I have to admit that I'm completely used to a walk in wardrobe now. Not knowing where I'm going to keep all of my stuff, I'm wishing for some fitted wardrobes with a clever design to keep things neat behind some huge mirrored doors to compensate for the space they take up! These are completely tailored to your specific area and tastes too, perfect!

Carpets // I'm still torn between original whitewashed floorboards and carpet, but for the sake of warmth I'm looking at carpets for now. I've found these textured, slightly rustic carpets that would fit perfectly with the cottage feel of the whole house, and so far they're a winner. 

Wallpaper // Now, wallpaper is definitely something I'm stuck on. Is it best to have it on the 'busy' wall with the mirror and fireplace, or on the opposite wall, with the head of the bed? Why is such a minor thing such an annoyance to me? Where would you put it?!

What do you think to these bits?
S xx

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Body Shop Make Up // Testing on Bloggers

Foundation - Giorgio Armani
Concealer - YSL Touche Eclat
Eyebrows - Nars Pencil and Benefit Gimmie Brow
Mascara - Body Shop 'Define and Lengthen'*
Eyeshadows - Body Shop Colour Crush*
Liquid Eyeliner - Body Shop*
Lipstick - Body Shop Colour Crush 'Red Siren' 
Bronzer - Nars 'Laguna' and Body Shop Shimmer Waves 'Bronze'*

Body Shop are working together with the RSPCA to promote testing on bloggers, not animals. As an avid animal and make up lover, obviously this #makeovertheworld campaign I was only more than happy to go along with. I must admit that although I know a lot of companies still test on animals, its not always been at the forefront of my mind when buying cosmetics. You can read more about the RSPCA's campaign to make over the world here, and for now I'll share my thoughts on these cruelty free make up goodies.

I've tried a few Body Shop make up goodies before, and whilst I'm a lover of a certain few products, I've never really given much thought to their entire make up line. I was sent a good variety, and I have to say I'm massively pleased with every single aspect, though some more than others (as with every brand, really).

The 'must have's //
Lipstick - The perfect texture between matte and shine, good staying power, and a super sharp colour. Pretty much everything you'd ask for in a lipstick. I need to pay more attention to Body Shop's lipsticks from now on, for sure. 
Shimmer Waves - I previously hunted high and low for the pinky white highlighter version of this, and loved it until my brush randomly stopped picking up pigment half way through. This one seems fine so far, and I love the subtle warm, shimmery bronze it leaves. 
Mascara - I'm not sure why I've never thought to try Body Shop's mascara before, but this is one of the best 'daytime' mascaras I've ever tried. I did need a few coats to get my desired covering, but it had a super natural and clump free finish that I'm more than happy to work for.
Slanted Brush - I've never known it was possible to have a slant brush much better than any others I've ever used, but I'm honestly wondering how I ever went without this. Not only is it slanted, but ever so slightly curved for the perfect fit. Huge love!
'Something Blue' Eyeshadow - Super pigmented and bright all day, its a thumbs up from me for a little under eye colour 'pop.'

The 'buy later's //
Liquid Eyeliner - Its not that I don't love this eyeliner, because I absolutely do. The lasting power is incredible, and its a true black, but its just trickier than some other eyeliners I've used before and I couldn't get it right first time. If you're still getting the hang of a steady hand and perfect line, you might want to skip this one as its quite runny.
'Sand by Me' Eyeshadow - Although I love nude, matte eyeshadows, this one just doesn't show up on my skin colour. At all. For that reason alone, I probably wouldn't repurchase it. 
Lip/Concealer Brush - I prefer my lip brushes retractable, and I prefer my concealer brushes a little bigger - Thats it! If you like smaller brushes for the job then this is certainly strong and soft enough! 

Have you tried anything from the Body Shop make up line?
Share your favourites - I need to try more!

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

The Perfume Beauty Box // Fragrance Shop Discovery Club

As a huge lover of fragrance, the Fragrance Shop discovery club caught my attention pretty quickly. The idea is based around that of a beauty box, but it actually just contains sample vials of perfumes. The box is £5 and includes £5-10 vouchers for each individual perfume, so if you find one you like the box is essentially a freebie (and an awesome marketing tool). What I like about this is that you can just buy one as a one off if you prefer to do so, though there is an option to sign up to two or four boxes a year, as you wish.

I remember trawling through Debenhams asking for free samples of loads of perfumes as a teenager, so I admit I feel strange about the idea of paying for these. Saying that, £5 is definitely reasonable if you're on the market for a new perfume and have no idea where to start, or you just like a little perfume for travelling or to keep in your handbag. I'm pretty sure I've found a winning perfume from my Autumn Winter 2014 box, so its definitely worth a shot. I do, however, wish the discount included inside was more than the £5 paid for the box - That'd be a real incentive though perhaps a little unrealistic! 

The box offers a true range of scents, and if you're into that that, you'll love this! In future though, I'd love to see categories, as I'm a lover of fruity, floral and oriental scents and would prefer a bunch of those. For example the two Loewe perfumes were quickly given away to my mum as I hated them, the Jimmy Choo to my dad as I'm er, not a man, and I kept the other two. In fact, I'm fallen head over heels in love with the Kenzo offering, and I'm hunting it down right after I finish this post (Potential wedding day perfume hello)!

Have you tried this?
Would you give the discovery club a go?
S xx 

Sunday, 26 October 2014

What I Wore // Travelbag Cruise Day to Night Outfit Challenge

Jacket - Topshop (Via eBay)
Top - Topshop
Tights - Primark
Shorts - Topshop
Clutch - ASOS (Via Depop)
Boots - Duo Boots*
Earrings - Accessorize 
Bracelet - Charms Direct (Charm)*

Top - Topshop
Shorts - Topshop
Tights - Primark 
Clutch - Asos
Earrings - Accessorize
Bracelet - Charms Direct (Charm)* (All as above)
Kimono - Topshop
Necklace - Coast at House of Fraser*
Shoes - Glamorous 

Recently, I was challenged by Travelbag to create an outfit that would be suitable for the any-occasion, day-to-night varied atmosphere that a cruise offers. This is my entry for a chance to win £500 cruise vouchers (come to me)! Now, I've never been on a cruise but I chose this outfit as its suitable for any occasion and its pretty easy to dress up and down. To transition the day night into the evening I simply swapped the ankle boots for heels (though a smart pair of flats would've done nicely for day and night), added a fancy statement necklace and changed into 'swishier shoulder coverage.' And with the base being shorts and a vest top, it'd be a quick job to remove the tights and jacket if things heated up during the day. 

I recently picked this clutch up from Depop - I tend to use the site mainly for selling but this pony clutch had to be mine at £10, and somehow it goes with everything. Or just because I say so. The shorts are also a recent addition and are a little more winter appropriate I'd say, (despite being shorts). They're of a super silky velour material with a little lace trim and a high waist to er, tuck my food baby into. 
These boots are also pretty Autumn appropriate, and I'm loving them already mainly due to how super comfortable they are - I have toe wiggle room! This was the first time I wore them out, but I'm looking forward to pairing them with different variations of sock - I'm not sure how sad that makes me but I'm sure you've been there before. 

You'll also notice a couple of new jewellery pieces. I am quite impartial to a statement necklace, and this Coast baby is something special. I love House of Fraser for things like this as theres so much variation between brands - Spoilt for choice really! This bracelet is brand new too and I'm loving the Tiffany-esque of it. I might even prefer it with its chain catch as I can actually do it up myself. I've only got one charm on it, and I probably won't add more anyway - Always a fan of simplicity! 

What do you think?
What would you wear for a varied cruise environment?
S xx