Sunday, 30 October 2011

Viva la Vivo: Beauty Haul

Hello cotton candies, how are you all today? Sunday has flown by but the extra hour in bed this morning was much appreciated! I am back to work tomorrow but I feel quite ready for it, as much as I enjoy half term, I do miss my job and the kids I teach when I am away! And now I am returning, I feel like I am on the proper countdown to my birthday and Christmas, and all the fun things I have coming up soon! : )

Today was a nice relaxing day for me, I had a lie in and then got ready for something that I was quite excited about... after some intense research with my bezzie yesterday, I finally found a list of stockists for the new Vivo make up range and knew where to head to get my fix! As blogged about previously, I have been dying to try this new range of cosmetics after reading some excellent reviews from other bloggers, and in magazines. I had already tried my two local Tesco's but had no luck, so imagine my delight when I found a list of Tesco's nationwide that stock the range! There were only four in Kent, and the nearest to me was Dover, so I convinced hubby to come with me (pretending we needed some essential items for the upcoming week) and set off on the 30 minute car journey. I purchased a few items, and have tried them out already, very pleased to say they are all as fab as has been previously claimed...

Baked shimmer palette in chocolate box, £6: I was immediately drawn to the aesthetics of this product, I love the swirly eyeshadows and blush, I think they look a bit like planets! I love the baked mineralised texture of the shadows, and the rich shades. The fact that a colour complimentary blusher is included is an added bonus.
The range of colours in the palette: I went for chocolate metallic shades as I get most wear out of these, I love the metallic silver and gold undertones and the high pigmentation is excellent.
Lipstick in Spiced Cinnamon, £1.99: The colour and creamy texture of this lipstick are perfect for everyday wear, I love the metallic case too as it looks ultra glam. This lipstick feels moisturising and comfortable to wear and lasts a good while, particularly impressive for the price!
Baked mineralised blush in Cinnamon glow, £3: A gorgeous shade and texture, giving a beautiful glow to the skin.  The gold undertones highlight and shimmer but not in an overpowering way, meaning this blusher is excellent for everyday wear. This product really reminds me of a MAC mineralised blusher I have, but for a fraction of the price.
Ultimate base concealer kit £6: I absolutely love this product, and it is a real stand-out item for me. The kit consists of 2 blendable concealers that allow you to create the perfect shade for your skin, a pressed powder to set the concealer, an illuminator pen to add luminosity and glow to the cheekbone and brow bone and a brush. The coverage of the concealers is excellent, and the creamy texture makes them super easy to blend. The illuminator pen is a gorgeous shade that reminds me of my MAC strobe cream, and the handy pen formula is brilliant when you're on the run. Love it all!
Well that's everything I got today dolls, I can't believe I only spent £16.99 and got 4 amazing products for that price! I have always been a bit of a beauty snob in the past, only purchasing high end brands and names, but I am happy to say that the emergence of new brands such as Vivo has changed my mind about cut price beauty products! I will continue to mix such pieces in with my tried and trusted brands to create different looks and styles. I completely recommend Vivo and if you happen to spy it in your local Tesco, I would definitely recommend investing in a few bits and pieces. Brightens up the weekly shop a treat! ; ) XOXO

Friday, 28 October 2011

My day at Westfield

Happy Friday glitter sticks hope you are all fine and well : ) I am just fine, enjoying a nice relaxing Friday with a stack of new magazines, a chinese takeaway and some good TV. My blog post today is about something very exciting that I did yesterday...

Westfield Stratford City. 
As the picture suggests, I finally got around to taking a trip to the new 1.45 bn Westfield shopping centre that opened last month in Stratford, East London! I have been waiting for this day for some time now, I intended to visit when it first opened, but due to my busy job and spate of illnesses, never got around to it. I decided then that the October half term would be the ideal opportunity. So yesterday, I got up ridiculously early and went into work with hubby, before driving to pick my friend Nikita up, and then on to Westfield. I decided to drive because it actually works out cheaper than taking the train and I prefer the luxury and comfort of my own vehicle. We arrived in just over half an hour and parking was a doddle. Coming home was a little longer due to traffic through the Blackwall tunnel, but I kind of blame myself for leaving during rush hour! In future I will definitely leave earlier/later to avoid the rush.

So, back to the shopping centre itself, in a word, wow. Architecturally stunning and stuffed to capacity with shops catering to all tastes including high street favourites and more individual, one-off stores, it really was a shopaholic's dream. The shops were beautifully designed with neat, well-stocked shelves and rails, helpful staff and a buoyant, buzzing atsmosphere all round. Westfield was pretty busy (it is half term after all), full of friends shopping, groups of teenagers enjoying their half term and trendy, affluent mothers' pushing their Bugaboo's, Silver Crosses and Stokke Xplory's (I'm not sure if I have ever mentioned that I have a penchant for high end prams and travel systems?? I have had my own pram picked out for about 3 years now lol). We spent the whole day shopping, and I am happy to report that I was rather successful and bought some lovely new items of clothing - I plan to blog about these soon, watch this space ; )

What I wore: White long sleeved fine knit top from Urban Outfitters, oversized scarf by Malene Birger, blazer from River Island, jeans from River Island, tassell pumps from Topshop and bag by Mulberry.
Afternoon tea and cupcakes in Buttercup... so delish.
I will definitely be returning to Westfield in the future and fully advise anyone in the South to pay it a visit! As well as the shopping centre, there is a cinema, a bowling alley and even a casino, so a bit of something for everyone!


Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Christmas Cookies : )

Hello lemon bon bons how are you all today? I have had the most ridiculously lazy day ever. I didn't wake up until 11 (no alarm clock in half term!) and then allowed myself to stay in bed til half 12. It was so nice not having to rush around for anything, I am going to enjoy it while it lasts! I decided to have a practice run making some Christmas biscuits today so set off later in the afternoon for a couple of ingredients from Tesco. Here's how I got on...

1) Get all of your ingredients ready, you will need 2 tsp of vanilla extract, 250g butter, 140g caster sugar, 1 yolk of  an egg and 300g plain flour. The cookie cutters to the right were a Christmas present from my mother in law and were perfect for creating festive shapes.
2) After weighing out the ingredients, mix the butter and sugar together with a wooden spoon until light and creamy.
3) Stir in the egg yolk and vanilla extract and beat in quickly. Then sift the flour and continue to stir in. Towards the end, you will have to get your hands in in order to turn the mixture into a firm dough.
4) Flour the kitchen surface and roll the dough out with a rolling pin. Use the cookie cutters to cut out shapes., and evenly space them out on a greased non-stick baking sheet. Cook in the oven for 12 minutes at 180 degrees, and then place them on a wire rack to cool.
5) Decorate! I used an icing sugar mix to create the white icing, and a sprinkling of icing sugar on a few as hubby is not such a big fan of icing as I am! You could experiment with different colours and toppings too as I intended to (but ran out of time!) Still, I like the white, I think it looks like snow, simple and effective : )

So there you have it, I think they turned out quite well for my first attempt, however, I have learnt some lessons for next time:

1) The icing sugar mix was quite messy and tricky to apply so next time I may try some ready to roll icing stuck down on top of the biscuit with apricot jam.
2) I am going to buy some tubes of different coloured writing icing as it will be quick and easy to create designs then without having to use my piping bag.
3) Make sure I only using my baking sheets (I used a regular cooking tray with one load of biscuits, and despite being greased it was not non-stick at all, so all the biscuits on that tray broke up).
4) Remove my wedding rings beforehand - when kneading the dough, it all got stuck between my diamonds, meaning I had to use an old toothbrush and washing up liquid to scrub it all out afterwards!)

Love to you all, more soon xoxo

Monday, 24 October 2011

October round up

Hello twinkly icicles, how are you all? I am enjoying my first day of half term, it's always so lovely to hit the snooze button and wake up refreshed and relaxed at 10 0' clock! I took Woody to the vet today for his myximatosis jab and a general check up, he was so scared bless him, he shook the whole time and kept trying to jump into my arms. I think it really is true that animals just know when they are at the vets. I felt so bad afterwards I dropped him home and then went to Pets at Home and spent a small fortune on treats for him, as well as some Christmas presents for his stocking!!

I thought it would be fun to do a round up blog post today, as I haven't done one for a while now, here goes...

My favourite TV show of the moment: This is a tough one as there is so much on I am enjoying at the moment! I would have to say 'Educating Essex' though. If you haven't seen any of this documentary you can catch up on 4OD, I really do think its worth a watch if you are interested about life in a typical Comprehensive secondary school in the UK. Some people have slated the attitude of some of the staff but I think they are great, they relate to the pupils well and reflect modern day teenagers, their likes and dislikes. I think the school and staff are providing a bloody good example for the pupils in the school (which is Ofsted rated Outstanding).

Best buy: Easy, my Mulberry! The pleasure/buzz hasn't worn off from this, especially when you go out and about and actually hear women whispering 'OMG look at her Mulberry!' Hahaha love it, see, instantly recognisable!! Rather randomly I would also say that another of my best buys recently has been my Glade Christmas scented candles... they are making me feel even more Christmassy and Festive!

Most looking forward to: Halloween! I love anything that fills the shop with seasonal products! I have already purchased a large tub of sweets for trick or treaters, last year we had some adorable local children knocking with their parents, dressed up to the nines in their Halloween finery. I also went to a halloween party last year dressed like this:

I went dressed as a sailor, however most people were in 'typical' halloween outfits such as witches, dracula, zombies etc... I think I misunderstood the brief! Haha loved the outfit though and looking at this picture makes me want to dye my hair red again!!

Listening to: Rihanna, Kanye West (not much new there!) and Beyonce's new stuff.

Best film: The best film I have seen recently is 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy'. I loved the dark, gritty tale and cold war setting, I want to read the book now.

Best book: I am currently reading and enjoying 'Difficult daughters' by Manju Kapur which is set during the Partition. It explores the topics of education, love and parental relationships, I particularly like the way the book is written and the fast pace throughout.

On my wishlist: Hehe see previous posts on my Christmas wishlists! There are lots of things I want at the moment, however, one thing does spring to mind. I really want to try the new Vivo make up that is sold exclusively in Tesco as I have heard so many good things about it from other bloggers. I have visited the 2 Tesco stores where I live and neither have had it : ( The search continues!

I want this!!

October/November brings: Halloween and Fireworks excitement, lots of cosy nights in with hubby and Woody, more Christmas organisation and planning, and a trip to the Country Living Christmas show in Islington with my best friend and our mums! So excited for that!

The Country Living Christmas Fair in Islington, London.

Aim for the week: Relax, relax and relax some more! I am also going to shop a bit, watch some films and practice making some Christmas biscuits! In case I didn't say it before, I LOVE half term!! : )

Well that's just about everything, more soon strawberry bon bons xoxo

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Christmas shopping : )

Hello strawberry swirls, how are you all?? Good news, I have finally shaken of my illness, after repeated trips to the Doctor's and 3 different antibiotics! I went back to work on Thursday and Friday which was great, and now it's half term so I have 9 lovely lazy days off! So pleased : )

Today hubby went off to hockey as usual and I spent the afternoon running some errands: I booked Mr Woody into the vet for his myxomatosis injection and a toe nail clipping, returned a faulty item to TK Maxx (which had all the Christmassy things out, I literally squealed out loud!) and then went into town to buy a photo frame for my new piece of wall art. When hubby got home we went to Bluewater in order to start our Christmas shopping, for relatives and each other too. I was so excited when we drove in because John Lewis had their Christmas lights up and they were so gorgeous! I bought hubby some lovely things and I noticed (accidentally on purpose!) a pleasing pile of presents for me in the boot of the car... now just have to be good and resist temptation to go snooping before Christmas! I am really glad that we've started our Christmas shopping, I plan to buy a few more presents at the end of the month, and save my final Christmas shop for when we are in London (blogged about here).

My first blog award!! Thank you so much to Launa in Ponderland for awarding me my first blog award, it means so much to me that people are reading and enjoying my ramblings and news! Thank you all : ) xoxo
What I wore: a light grey super cosy over sized jumper from Topshop, jeans from All Saints, Ugg boots and Mulberry bag

Winter nails: painted with my new No7 nail polish in disco nights, with Rimmel  glitter polish  in disco ball painted over and concentrated most heavily on the tips.
Well that's all for today, hope you are all having a fun weekend, until next time sugar fairies xoxo

Saturday, 15 October 2011

A sprinkling of glitter and sparkle

Happy Saturday strawberry cupcakes, hope this is finding you well. Sadly, I am not well still : ( Last Saturday I blogged that I had been ill and this has got worse this week, culminating in a trip to the out of hours Doctor at the hospital today. Trying to remain positive though, I have new drugs now and am hoping to feel a bit more normal soon!

While I've been ill and off work this week I have been putting more thought into my Christmas wish list! A few new bits and pieces have come to my attention that I feel very sure I must have... : )

Liz Earle skin set £41. I love the Liz Earle cleanse, tone and moisturise routine, I don't think I have ever used another brand that has made my skin feel so clean and soft. I am running low on products now so this would be a good chance to stock up.
This would make a good little stocking filler (must try hard NOT to purchase before Christmas!) Facets of Fuchsia nail polish by Revlon. I love the deep dramatic colour of this and the gorgeous glitter.
A selection of soap and glory cosmetics. I really like  the soap and glory toiletries range so am looking forward to trying out their cosmetics!
Mulberry iPhone case £65. I saw these the other day on the Mulberry website and think they are gorgeous. Plus the chocolate brown will match my new bag : )
Jinkksy heart on my sleeve bracelet £35. This brand has come to my attention recently as many UK celebs have been spotted wearing the gorgeous pieces, particularly the bracelets.

Well that's everything for today, has anyone else started writing their Christmas lists yet? Hope everyone is having a nice weekend : ) xoxo

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Mulberry Day : )

Today I purchased my first Mulberry bag. I say first, as I have a sneaking suspicion it will not be my last. So today dear readers, my best friend Clare and myself took a little road trip to Bicester outlet village in Bicester, Oxford. We were excited about the designer shopping experience but had a very clear goal in mind: head to Mulberry, seek out and purchase a classic bag. And boy did we succeed!!

I have wanted a Mulberry for a fair few years now. For me, Mulberry symbolise quintessential British style, and the bags never date. There have been a fair few opportunities in my past where I could have snapped one up, however I have always declined, putting the greater good (purchasing our house quicker, having an even more fabulous wedding) ahead of my desire for this bag. I decided recently however that the time had finally come for me to indulge; the house is bought and filled with furniture and style, the Wedding was fabulous, the time had finally arrived! This tied in well with Clare's birthday, and we set the date a few months ago now for our trip to Bicester.

So, this morning, I filled up hubby's car, picked Clare up en route and set out, filled with hope and excitement. Upon arrival, we were shocked at how busy the car parks were, and spent a good 20 minutes searching for a space. We struck lucky though and dashed straight to Mulberry.

Now picture the scene. We enter the shop. 'Right or left shelf?' Left. Our eyes scan quickly and then we see them . Two perfect East West Bayswater bags, one in black and one in chocolate brown. I reach for the chocolate brown, Clare reaches for the black. Women huddle behind us, pushing to see if there are any more. Clare and I hold on firmly and grin inanely at each other. I couldn't have planned it better myself.

You see, Clare and I have always wanted these bags. We love the classic Bayswater style, the way you look at the bag and instantly know its a Mulberry. Still clutching our bags, Clare and I scan the rest of the shop, just to be sure. We look at the lesser known bags, styles in shops for a few months in seasons past, and decide they are not for us. No, we have got what we came for. Purposefully, we march to the tills, I can still hardly believe it as I hand over my card. The bags are beautifully wrapped and handed over to us. Done.

So beautiful

My bag is the chocolate brown crocodile East West Bayswater, and Clare has the identical bag in black. It is current season (A/W 11) and has absolutely no defects. The saving on the store price was good, obviously not as good as if it had a defect, but still a pleasing saving. I am absolutely in love with it, the fact it is a classic, a beautiful colour (I would only ever consider a black, tan or chocolate brown Mulberry), 100% perfect and current season. It is the perfect size for weekends and I imagine will last me a good many years.

My beautiful new bag is now sleeping soundly in its dust bag, and I imagine tonight I will be sleeping soundly too, knowing I have such an amazing and iconic new bag in my life! : )

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Friday Night With Friends

Hello dolls how are you all? It seems like an age since I last blogged, I had a really busy week and then was ill again at the end of the week so I just haven't had the opportunity to just sit and write! Today was a great day, hubby went to play hockey so I had a lovely lay in before dropping into town for a spot of shopping. I loved my shopping experience today as there was a food market in the shopping centre and they were selling Christmas bits and pieces which really put me in the festive mood! (Like I need any extra help with that!) I also got a few more Christmas things - cards for all my close family and friends, gift wrapping and ribbon, some presents for the children in the family, some gift bags and a little wicker sign for the front door saying 'welcome', with a snowman and reindeer in the middle! (Never fear, this will not go up until December!). I am feeling pretty smug right now as I have most of my Christmas stuff, and now just have a few more pressies to get for family and hubby! Woo hoo ; )

Yesterday was my best friend's birthday so we had a fabulous night out in Rochester. It was really nice to get dressed up and go out with hubby as well, as usually I go out with the girls only. 

Me and the birthday girl : )
I wore a Hollister camisole vest top, a grey/black ruffle skirt from H & M, my H & M tweed blazer, chunky bangles and earrings from Primark and grey heels from Primark too.
Pout off! Me with hubby and friends
That's everything for today, I hope you have all had good Friday nights/Saturdays too, I am soooooooo excited for tomorrow, I am going somewhere very special indeed... will reveal all tomo!! : ) xoxo

Sunday, 2 October 2011

A summer's day in October

Hello Cupcakes, happy Sunday, hope you have all had a fabulous day and if you are in the UK, enjoyed the weather! I cannot believe that it is the second of October today and the weather is as beautiful as it is! Amazing. To make the most of the sunny weather, hubby and I decided to go to a castle quite near our home, about 30 minutes away or so. I had never been to Scotney castle but it was breathtakingly beautiful. There was so much to look at and it was a perfect time to go as the trees are all currently in their transition phase, with beautiful leaves in shades of crimson, rust and even pink! (my favourite!) Hubby and I spent a lovely few hours walking round and snapping some beautiful pictures, before stopping for snacks and ice cream! A perfect day : )

Beautiful sunshine on an October day
Loved this cute little house! I'm moving in ; )
Beautiful crimson leaves

Scotney Castle

I never thought I would still be wearing dresses and sandals in October! I decided to wear a dress that I bought in H & M yesterday, it was a bargainous £10 in a special promotion. My best friend bought the same dress too we liked it so much! I also wore my Warehouse toe post sandals, a simple pair of diamond studs and my Tiffany heart necklace that hubby bought me for Christmas a couple of years ago. Perfect for the warm weather!

More soon my loves enjoy the rest of Sunday. xoxo