Sunday, 27 November 2011

Lush haul

Hello Cinnamon swirls, and happy Sunday to all! I have had a lovely day with hubby, we went shopping for some family Christmas presents and managed to get pretty much everything! I am going to get everything wrapped up now so I can feel super smug and organised! We ate at Cafe Rouge after our successful shopping trip, which was yum as always : )

Today's blog post is about a two of my favourite things: nice relaxing baths and Lush! I don't know about anyone else, but I always prefer to have a bath than a shower, I just love lighting candles, using gorgeous smelling products, and having a lovely long soak! I find baths so relaxing, which is very much needed in my life when I am sooo busy!! Bath time is most relaxing and complete for me when I have some Lush products to use, I really find Lush products hard to beat. I recently added the Lush gingerbread house bubble bar to my Christmas list, but couldn't resist buying it when I was in Lush the other day! I also purchased the Magic Wand bubble bar and a couple of bath bombs, which I haven't tried yet.

Magic Wand Bubble Bar £4.95. I love the lollipop style, the gorgeous neon pink ribbon and jingle bell!
Simply swish the wand under the tap for roughly a minute... mounds of frothy bubbles will pile up instantly!
As you can see, the bath water has turned a gorgeous girly pink colour and there are lots of lovely bubbles!
After one use, the bubble bar looks pretty much the same, I reckon this will  provide me with a fair few more baths making it excellent value for money. I stored the stick upright after use to dry off, ready for its next use.
Gorgeous little gingerbread house bubble bar. I love the cute roof with sprinkles : )
I broke off about a third of the gingerbread house and crumbled it under the tap. The water turned a festive pumpkin orange shade and smelt divine! Again plenty of gorgeous bubbles!
I have been so impressed with both of these products. The snow fairy magic wand is the epitome of femininity, it smells just like candy canes and candyfloss. The gingerbread house smells like sweet gingerbread and cninamon, and is a perfect Christmassy scent. Both produce long lasting bubbles, and the scent lingers on the skin long after the bath is over! I found that they both made my skin really soft as well, which is an added bonus.

Has anyone else tried these products?? I can't wait to try the rest of my Lush haul, and I will definitely be stocking up on more gingerbread houses and magic wands to last me long into the new year!

More soon lovely readers XOXO

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Outfit of the Day

Hello dolls, happy Saturday to all! I am having another manic weekend again, well a bit of a manic week to be honest, finally getting some relaxing in now though, waiting for a nice takeaway and looking forward to X Factor! Thursday hubby and I saw Castor and Pollux at the London Coliseum, completely fabulous, we had an amazing time. Last night I caught up with my best friend over dinner, then we went to see 'My week with Marilyn' at the cinema. Again, very fabulous indeed, I loved the film and thought that Michelle Williams made for a superb Marilyn. Today I did a bit of shopping at Bluewater while hubby was playing hockey, I intended to buy my last few Christmas presents but got distracted with things for myself! Oh well there's always tomorrow! I bought some lovely things, which I will blog about soon : )

Just a quick outfit post today to share with you...

 I wore a long sleeved pointelle top by Free People at Urban Outfitters (love the little details like the neon green thread through the buttons!), a navy blue skirt and tan belt from Forever 21 (bought during my recent trip to Westfield Stratford) and my gorgeous and comfy tan boots with shearling cuff by Red or Dead at Schuh.

Well that's about it for today lovely readers, hope everyone is enjoying their weekend, more soon XOXO

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

All about a dress

Hello twinkly icicles, hope everyone is well this Tuesday : ) Today was a very long day for me, full teaching day and then parents evening until half 6, home at half 7, pyjamas on, takeaway and Eastenders! Good times ; ) Today's post is about a mini-obsession of mine, an item which I think epitomises glamour and femininity, but can be easy and carefree too... I am talking about the not-so-humble wardrobe staple, the dress!

As a historian and fashion fanatic, the history of fashion and clothing style has been of interest to me for many years. One of my favourite past-times is visiting art galleries and gazing at the beautiful detail and sheer opulence of the full dresses, as well as the change in necklines, fabric, bodice style and colour as time has passed by. I particularly enjoy studying fashions of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the transition from the full skirted, puff-sleeved dress to the lean and lithe silhouette of the early 20th century. Add into the mix the beautiful beaded, above the-knee gowns of the Flapper girls, the Conservative and thrifty looks of the 50s, swinging into the 60s with the birth of the mini-skirt, fashion has advanced and evolved in clear and definitive ways.

1900s evening dress, velvet, chiffon, satin, lace and chenille embroidered and decorated with applique.
Flapper girls of the 1920s, shorter hem-lines and shorter hair!
Mini-skirts of the 1960s, out in force.
One distinctive feature of women's fashion throughout the ages though is the perpetuation of the dress. It is certainly true that strong-willed women fought for many years to quite literally,  'wear the trousers', however, within this, the right to choose remained stead-fast and constant. So the dress has continued to dominate, both the catwalks and the everyday lives of women the world over. As a 21st century woman I am grateful to my ancestors for this battle, for their gutsiness and determination to allow women to decide how they wish to appear, whilst retaining control over their everyday lives.

Going back to my former most point, I absolutely adore dresses. I love the ease at which a dress can be literally 'thrown on', styled with some chic accessories and heels, and off you go. I wear dresses to work on almost a daily basis, I find it quicker and easier in the morning, and love the simplicity of the look. In the spirit of celebrating this fabulous fashion item, I am going to post some of my favourite dresses from recent occasions for your perusal : )

Cream silk dress with cut out side panels from  I wore this dress on honeymoon in Thailand. I loved the look of the dress, particularly against tanned skin, and styled the dress with an oversized gold necklace and bangles. 
The picture quality is terrible as it was dark and hubby took this on my iPhone, but I had to post this because I LOVE this dress! I bought this in Primark and wasn't massively impressed when it was on the hanger... I completely fell in love with it when I tried it on though, and was complimented so many times on holiday in this! The bodice is covered in tiny chintzy style floral patterns, and I love the black straps which match the full black skirt. The tan belt is a gorgeous finishing touch.
Another not-so-brilliant quality picture (blame the iPhone again!)  I loved this dress, it was a bit of a honeymoon splurge from French Connection and was a black, pure silk dress with a low neckline and ruffle detail... alas I did not wash this correctly when I got home and it went an odd grey colour with little bobbles over the front... RIP dress, dearly departed...
Classic Charlotte night-out dress... I still have this grecian style dress from Rare, love the classic one shoulder style and how it looks with my (natural!) tan (had just returned from Turkey!)
I bought this Zara dress this Summer, I love the clean lines and tiered style, I paired it with gold earrings and  emerald green Zara wedges.
And last but by no means least, how could I leave out my princess, uber-glamorous, crystal and swarovksi studded Wedding gown by Maggie Sottero? My ULTIMATE dress, worn on the happiest day of my life
: )

Well dolls, that's just a little selection of some of my favourite dresses, hope you enjoyed my picks XOXO

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Making faces

Hello Cotton Candies, hope everyone is well : ) I have had such a relaxing day, I actually got up pretty early (9 O' clock), which is incredibly early for me on a Saturday! I did some banking stuff in town before hubby went off to hockey, came home, cleaned the house to within an inch of it's life and then spent the afternoon on the sofa watching the SATC film! I had forgotten how good it is, I really enjoyed it. My Saturdays tend to be completely manic or completely relaxed, after my busy day at the Country Living Fair in London last Saturday, I decided to make today a bit slower paced!

Today's post is one I have been meaning to do for a while, I love reading other people's make up posts and really wanted to share some of my key day to day products. It's no secret that I am a bit of a make-up junkie, I have been for years, ever since I was old enough to catch the bus into town and spend all my pocket money on make up in Superdrug! I still love to spend hours wandering around department stores and Boots, trying products on my hand, and buying more than I could ever use! As a result, I have one 'regular' make up bag (The Benefit Lana bag), as well as multiple other bags/trays/boxes that are stashed in drawers! I really cannot fathom how people go out without make up on, even if I am just popping to Tesco for milk, I always make sure I have a bit on, after all you never know who you might bump in to! Plus, I am pretty confident in my opinion that everyone looks better with a little glitz and glam : ) So here we go , my key products and a few thrown in for luck...

Where it all begins... I am currently using (and liking) Max Factor lasting performance foundation, it gives a good coverage and does last all day long. I also adore MAC studio fix foundation and rotate the two. MAC strobe cream is a saviour product and something I use practically every day. I apply a bit to the top of my cheek bones and my brow bone and it gives a gorgeous healthy glow (particularly good when you have a busy job and early starts!). YSL touche eclat needs no explanation, and Benefit boi-ing concealer is perfect for blemishes and dark circles alike.
Blushes and bronzers: I have to admit, I am a bit of a bronzer addict, I love having a healthy glow all year round, ghost like pallor is a no no! I always wear MAC bronzing powder as it's the best in my opinion and gives a lovely natural glow. I love Benefit blushers and favour the pinky toned Dandelion blusher, this gives a lovely everyday flush. The sleek and Vivo blushers are similar peachy tones (does anyone else tend to buy similar shades without realising??!) and make a nice change from time to time. I particularly like the Vivo one as it has a little shimmer and light reflecting particles that make the skin glow beautifully.   
The eyes have it: Eyes always win over lips with me, I could never leave the house with my eye make up on! I always wear eyeshadow, eye liner, highligher and at least 2 coats of mascara. Here are a few of my favourite products, I love the Benefit eye cream, it gives a gorgeous metallic brown shade and is incredibly long lasting. (lots of eye creams crease mid-day, but not this one!). I love eye liner, I tend to wear brown on a daily basis and black for dressier occasions. I have been using a Rimmel brown pencil recently that goes on easily and lasts all day. I also like the Benefit Bad Gal black chunky eyeliner for evening smoky eyes, and the Benefit eye bright is beautiful applied in the corner of the eyes and on the brow bone. Last but not least, I adore the Bobbi Brown gel eye liner applied along the top lash line for a fresh, perfectly defined look.
Flutter those lashes: Mascara is my desert island essential! I always have about 3 mascaras on the go, and love trying out new ones. I am currently using Dior show, Mac false lashes and Lancome faux cils. I only wear black mascara, and usually wear it on top and bottom lashes.
Eye palettes: I tend to buy eye shadows in palettes because the colours compliment each other then and can be worn together, I have lots of different palettes but these are some of my favourites, from left to right: Sleek eye palette, Chanel palette and Clinique eye palette. I tend to favour brown shades, and up the intensity for night time. I love the Chanel palette for night eyes as well, the purply shades blend amazingly well for a smoky look.
Healthy lips: I have millions of lip balms/glosses/stains. I like to have them tucked away in every drawer, bag, hubby's glove box etc etc so they are easily accessible. For years I only wore lip gloss but I have recently discovered the joys of lip stick and have purchased quite a few to try out. Here, I have a few of my current favourites, the little jewelled palette by Never too busy to B Beautiful is a gorgeous bright Barbie pink shade that is perfect for high impact night lips. The bright pink Lancome juicy tube is another Barbie pink shade that works well for day and night time. The Mac lip stick is a light shimmer pink that gives a subtle hue for day, and the Barbara Daly lipstick is a lovely fresh coral shade that really brightens the face. Lastly, the browny coloured lipgloss is by Clinique and is another nice day shade that lasts a long time and isn't too sticky.
Storage! I store my make up brushes upright in a gorgeous vintage looking holder from Zara home.
Tools of the trade: I really like Ruby and Millie make up brushes, I have had my current set for a couple of years and find them incredibly good. They are not too badly priced, they do not shed and they apply make up professionally. I also use a Famous by Sue Moxley eye shadow brush and a Bobbi brown eye liner brush.
A snap of me wearing some of the above! In this picture I am wearing the MAC strobe cream and Sleek blusher, with a little of the Benefit Dandelion blusher higher up on the cheekbones. I have a shimmery brown shade from the Sleek palette on my eyes, and they are lined with a brown eyeliner, with a shimmery brown eyeshadow applied over the top. I am wearing the coral red Barbara Daly lipstick on my lips, with a clear gloss over the top. 

Well dolls, that's a little snap shot of some of my ever-expanding collection, I fear one day I will need a separate room in my house just for my make up and beauty products! Right, I am off for a bit more of a chill with I'm a Celebrity and my two favourite men : )
My beautiful Woody having a snooze earlier today... just wanted to share with you! XOXO

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Stack 'em high

Hello ice cream sundaes, happy happy Thursday to one and all : ) I am pretty hyper tonight which is a bit odd as it is Thursday after all! I am so super busy at work at the moment, lots of my pupils have the first part of their GCSE exam in January so it's a busy old time, thankfully I am coping well although it may be a different story come the end of term! Still, I have that glorious 2 week holiday to look forward to, and hubby has a similar amount of time off so we're all set! : )

Today I thought I would blog about something that I love love love and cannot get enough of... I am talking about gorgeous, glittery bracelets! It's funny because I didn't really like wearing bracelets until a few years ago, preferring earrings and necklaces. These days however, I am always drawn to bracelets, and love wearing a range of higher end brands stacked up together, I think that makes such an impact. Here are some of my favourites ...

Jinkksy gold and crystal Bonita bracelet £65. The Jinkksy brand only came to my attention recently, but I really love the gorgeous, glittery styles, favoured by lots of UK celebrities. I like the gold tone of this one.
Pandora bracelet, £60 for bracelet and £25 upwards for charms. I absolutely adore Pandora bracelets, and love the idea of building up the charms and linking them with special memories and events. I had a gorgeous Pandora bracelet with lots of beautiful charms mostly bought by hubby but (oh my it pains me to say this!) I lost it when I was shopping... : ( I hope to replace it in the new year and start building up my charm collection again.
Pink Thomas Sabo bracelet £25. I have this bracelet and wear it everyday, it was a present for Christmas last year from hubby. I also have an engagement and wedding ring charm on the silver part.
Nomination bracelet. This Italian brand only emerged in Britain just over a year ago but I like the sleek style and the idea of adding charms over a period of time (very similar to Pandora). I plan to add one of these bracelets to my collection in the near future.

Jinkksy Love bracelet £42. I like the style of this Jinkksy, a little less bling, but still shiny and gorgeous. 

Does anyone have any of these bracelets?? I just can't get enough of them! Well that's everything for today, I'm off to bed for a little bit of marking and reading : ) Sooo excited for tomorrow, Twilight eeee XOXO

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

November round-up

Hello glitter sticks, how is everyone today? Wednesday's are mad for me, sooo busy, I just feel like I am on a treadmill all day long! Happy that it's Thursday tomorrow though, not long now until the Weekend : )

Today I thought I'd do a November catch-up post, just a few bits and pieces lighting up my life right now : )

TV I am loving: Frozen Planet! I love watching this, interesting and educational, such a good combo! Young Apprentice is keeping me entertained too.

Love the Penguins!

Favourite Website of the moment: ASOS. I love checking out the 'new in' section, there are some great winter items in at the moment, the dresses in particular look amazing.

ASOS party dress in mesh £55. I think the colour of this dress is really unusual, and  I love the plunge neckline style and mesh skirt, very ballerina-like.
ASOS Midi dress in flocked mesh £65. I love the classic lace overlay style of this dress, classy and gorgeous.

Playing in my car right now: Britney's greatest hits... love it, really, truly do!

Favourite moments: As the weather gets colder,  I am really enjoying cosy nights in with hubby and Woody. We are loving our film nights and working our way through all the Sky + programmes stored up for the cold weather!

My two favourite boys : ) This is actually an old photo just after we got Woody and he was still a little baby. I had a look through his baby pictures earlier and got a bit teary... love him sooo much!

Charitable cause of the month: This month I am mostly supporting Movember, a charity that asks men to grow moustaches for the month of November in order to raise money for prostate and testicular cancer. One of my former students is growing a 'tache for Movember so I will be supporting him : )

Eating too much of: Mr Kipling Frosty Fancies. I spotted these the other day in the supermarket and had to buy some, as I already love French Fancies, and loved the Christmassy take on them! I have since purchased and devoured about 5 boxes... worrying, especially as party season is coming up and I have dresses to squeeze into! Note to self, up the running...

My downfall ; )

Most looking forward to: Soooo much! The end of November and all of December are always amazingly busy months for me, I went through my diary a couple of days ago and noted with some fear that I have something on every Friday and Saturday in December... so going to need my Christmas holiday to recover!! Right now I am most looking forward to going to my first Opera next Thursday, Castor and Pollux at the English National Opera in London. Both hubby and I adore classical music and have been wanting to see an Opera for some time. I am also looking forward to seeing the new Twilight film this Friday, the day of release : )

Castor and Pollux at the ENO

Well that's everything for now dolls, more soon XOXO

Monday, 14 November 2011

My day at the Country Living Christmas Fair

Hello glittery gum drops, how are you all this Monday?? Monday's are always super busy for me, and I'm always pleased when the day is over, the week just seems so much more bearable on a Tuesday!! As promised yesterday, I am going to blog about my day at the Country Living Christmas Fair in Islington today, that I attended on Saturday with my mum, my best friend and her mum also. 

The day started pretty early, we caught the fast train to St Pancras, which got us there in just over 20 mins, before walking the short distance to the Business Design Centre in Islington. I was soooo excited about this Christmas fair and had so many pre-conceived ideas... I am happy to report it did not let me down! It was literally like Christmas had exploded in there, everywhere you turned there was glitter, sparkle and shine! There were two floors, the ground floor housed the predominantly Christmas items, and the mezzanine level the more 'general' homewares and gifts. There was also a food section snuck in somewhere, although I can't think for the life of me whereabouts it was now (it was pretty big!!) We spent a good few hours wandering round, purchasing some fab items, enjoying lunch and then catching up over a tea towards the end. All in all a perfect day, and if I wasn't feeling festive already (yeah right!) I sure do now!! : )

Me and my mum upon first arrival : )
A view from above of some of the stalls
Me on the mezzanine level
What I wore: My new dress from Urban Outfitters, a brown studded belt from River Island, a grey blazer from River Island, my Mulberry bag and cute cosy boots from Red or Dead at Schuh.
What's in my bags?? I was particularly pleased to receive a goodie bag upon arrival, complete with sample including my favourite, Ecover washing up liquid!
My first purchase: I just had to buy these cute rabbit door stop as it reminded me of my gorgeous little Woody! It even has a fluffy little tail! : )
I bought a gorgeous vintage print apron as I have been wanting one for a while for when I'm baking. This enamel soap dish caught my eye also, it's quite big so I am going to stack our flannels and a couple of soaps in it (and it fits perfectly in our black and white bathroom!)
Bouncing Rabbit cotton tea towel by HAM: I first heard about this brand in one of my home magazines and love the cute prints. I made it my mission to find the stall at the Country Living Fair and had a lovely chat with the creator of the brand who let me know that she named the brand after her own maiden name which I thought was quite nice : )  I plan to iron this tea towel and then frame it as a quirky print for our stair-way.
I really wanted a nice wreath for our door this Christmas time, I thought this one was traditional and gorgeous, I like the cute little cupcake and gingerbread man as an extra touch.
Last but not least, I can never resist pickles and chutney's from food stalls, especially when they offer up free samples so willingly! I picked a sweet garlic pickle, a spiced tomato chutney and a caramelised onion confit, yum yum. 
As you can see dolls, I did not do much in the way of present buying for other people, although I pretty much have Christmas covered now, so I don't feel too bad! I had a truly fantastic day, and thoroughly recommend this fair to anyway looking for an amazing Christmas fair in the future! XOXO

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Blog Award : )

Hello caramel truffles, how is one and all today?? I hope everyone has had a lovely weekend, whatever you have been up to : ) I had a fantastic weekend, my parents visited and yesterday I went to the Country Living Christmas Fair in Islington, London with my mum, my best friend and her mum also. We had a great time and I plan to blog about our day and purchases tomorrow hopefully : )

Today's blog post is in celebration of my second blog award, awarded to me from the fantastic Musings of a Caribbean Princess. Thank you so much to this wonderful blogger, and indeed all my followers and commenters. I cannot say how much your support means to me, thank you for all your kind words and comments, it means so much : )

My second blog award : ) This means a lot, thank you Caribbean Princess x
Ok, so here are the rules:

1You have to thank the person who gave you the award and link back to their blog.

2. You then share 7 facts about yourself.

3. You have to send the award on to 15 other bloggers whose blogs you appreciate and then let them know that they have been given the award. 

Now for my 7 facts:

1) I only started eating cheese when I was about 17. I became addicted to the stuff, then fell out of love with it, now I eat cheddar, mozzarella and not much else!

2) I met the love of my life also aged 17 and have been happy ever after for over 8 years now : )

3) I really hate the film Chicken Run and cannot stand to look at the chickens in it, even though in real life, I quite like chickens.

4) I love shopping alone. Of course, I love shopping with friends, but I find shopping alone therapeutic. It restores my inner calm.

5) I am strangely attached to my little Ford Ka,  Minxie-Cat Ka Doyle... when I think of replacing her which I will inevitably have to do at some point next year, my heart breaks a little : , (

6) I am in love with high end designer travel systems such as Bugaboos, Stokke Xplorys and iCandys. I have had my own pram picked out for about 5 years now... although the emergence of new designs and brands has swayed me a bit...  

7) I always champion the underdog. 

Now for the blogs I have chosen...

Holly Muffin
Teach Chic
Cherry Pie
Into the Blonde
Launa in Ponderland
Lucyy Writes
Sophie Isobel
Star-light's fashion world
Kellys world
Butterfly Wings
Caroline's Catwalk
Country Girl Does Norfolk
Ever so Juliet
Paulina's lil bits of chic

More soon girlies XOXO

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

How to fill a Christmas Stocking!

Hello dolly mixtures, how are you on this (not so bright) and breezy Tuesday?? I feel like it should be Friday already, I have worked so hard over the past couple of days!! I've been thinking about Christmas (again) so please excuse my Christmas related post if you are a bit bah humbug about the whole thing! ; )

Christmas. Loved by some, loathed by others, I definitely fall into the former category! December has always been a special time of year for me and my absolute favourite month of the year. My birthday falls on the twelfth and of course, Christmas is just around the corner after that. I adore the month of December, and the month or so leading up to December. One by one, the shops fill with festive goodies, the television adverts assume their Christmas character, local high streets become awash with twinkling Christmas lights and wish lists are written and fulfilled. I have already written my Christmas list, revised it, added to it, and, if I'm honest, am still adding to it now! My wish list has now spiralled out of control somewhat, not because I am greedy and expect to receive everything, but because I like to give hubby a wide choice, so that I have some surprise on Christmas morning when I open my presents. I think hubby has bought the majority of my main presents now, and he is now asking for some stocking ideas for me, so in the spirit of Christmas (long may it reign!) I have put together a little stocking gift-list : )

Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without a box set! I love Downton Abbey sooo much, I really want season 1 and 2 on DVD to watch over the Christmas holidays!

Chanel levres scintillantes lip gloss in Braise. I love this gorgeous reddy shade and the shimmer. I already own 2 Chanel lip glosses and know how good they are, so I want to add this one to my collection!
Urban Outfitters large peace sign necklace £14.00. I absolutely adore any jewellery with peace signs and would love to add this long chained necklace to my collection.
Lush Gingerbread House Bubble Bar £2.95 - I saw this the other day in Lush and really want to try it! The smell was gorgeous.
La Senza vintage rose pyjamas £30 (pyjamas at LS are currently buy one get one free!) I love La Senza  pyjamas, especially comfy cosy ones like these! I always have to have a new pair of pyjamas in the stocking!
And last but not least, gifts to myself in 2012... ; )
Mulberry Evelina satchel £595. Since purchasing my first Mulberry, I have been infected with the bug, and already started thinking about and planning my next bag! I really like the new Evelina Satchel, the style is gorgeously understated and classic. Evelina is new season Mulberry and also features a larger hobo bag, however I think this is a little bit too much of a 'mum' bag for me (giant, all encompassing, a bit blah...) 
The iconic Alexander McQueen skull scarf £165. I really want a classic McQueen scarf, perhaps with a twist (coloured skulls instead of white on black). Gorgeous for all occasions and seasons, and ever stylish.
Well dolls that's all for today, have you all written your wish lists?? Now it's November, are you starting to get excited?? I really am (in case you hadn't noticed!!) Sooo looking forward to all that is to come!! XOXO