Thursday, 23 April 2015

(2015 OOTD #1) | Fashion

I don't think I've done any outfit posts this year (except maybe a couple that were around Christmas/New Year) but now it's finally the weather for me to get out there and look fabulous again, I thought I would start documenting my outfits.

After browsing last night's #WeAreThey hashtag it really got me thinking, I am still self conscious about my body. I am the largest I have been all my life, I have a saggy belly after having a baby, and I am also the happiest I have ever been. All the ladies last night have given me that inspiration to think "you know what? I'm happy with my body, it's certainly your problem if you aren't". So that inspired me to do something I've never done before at this size, wear high waisted jeans with a midriff top. And I rock it.

I've had this Cut for Evans top for blooming ages and I don't really wear it. I think I've only worn it once, and have been stuck at a loose end on how to style it. I popped it on this morning and tried tucking it in, wearing it out, and it just looked wrong. Then I thought, lets tie it and wear 3/4 sleeves. And you know what, it's perfect. It's me.

Obviously I have to team it with the world's best jeggings ever, the Eden range from Dorothy Perkins. I'm wearing a size 20 and they are always the most comfortable things ever. I think I own like four or five pairs now but they are bliss. I struggle with jeans as I really am a pear shape and it irritates me somewhat, so these fabulous jeggings have become my wardrobe staple.

I teamed the whole look up with my new necklace from Yggdrasil via JewelStreet but there will be blog post on the necklace later.
Cut for Evans shirt (old) | High waisted Eden jeggings from Dorothy Perkins £17.60 | Dainty Converse Ox Sneakers (really old) | Yggdrasil gold and steel necklace via JewelStreet £46.99*

*This post contains product sample(s), opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Adventurous Holiday Destinations to visit with a Toddler | Travel & Motherhood Diary

It probably won't come as much of a shock that I love travelling, and that won't dwindle even with a toddler. I want him to travel with us wherever we go, and I also want him to have fun in the process. There are lots of holidays out there tailored for families however, we like something a little different, something alternative to what is being offered. I've had a good think of places we could travel as adults, see the sights and enjoy ourselves, but offer fun things for a toddler to do. I decided to narrow my list down to three ideas, and I know they are (almost) all Far East but that's really what my family enjoy.
Here is what I've come up with
Shanghai Disneyland
I'm not a massive Disney fan or have really ever been interested in visiting Disneyland/world however, since discovering they were building one in Shanghai I've been counting down the months until we can visit. The resort is due to open next Spring/Summer but boasts to have the largest castle, a treasure cove landscape theme, and will incorporate all things Western and Chinese giving you the best of both worlds. They also say they will offer the futuristic of technologies, and well being in China, what more can you expect? This is one on my radar for when we visit family next year, and I am really excited!

Chengdu Panda Base, China
Yes I know it's another Chinese trip however, there are some things in your lifetime that you should just do. Visiting a Panda zoo has always been on my bucket list, and who can resist these cute (not so) little critters right? Dexter absolutely adores them and gets super excited when he sees them on TV, or he plays with his panda toys, or reads a book. Lets just say he's panda mad. Oh and they are the national animal of China so it's kinda his heritage too. Chengdu, where the pandas originate from, have a couple of panda zoos, but one of the biggest is the Chengdu Research Base where they offer park tours to see pandas, and other creatures in their zoo; as well as an educational facility to explain about pandas in their natural habitat, etc. It's a huge park and such a bargain to visit for around £5.80 a ticket, much less than it costs to visit zoos within the UK. I am so lucky to say I have seen pandas in a zoo in Jinan, but I don't think it would come anywhere close to seeing them in natural habitats like these.

Siam Park, Tenerife
And last but certainly by no means least, Siam Park. Now I know this doesn't necessarily fit in with my 'Far Eastern' theme however, after seen Ice Lolly's blog post on the best water slides in the world, I had to add it to my list. Siam Park in Tenerife is close, and what better than not having to get a long haul flight to experience a trip to the Far East. It's theme is Thailand, and having a fondness of Thailand and delightful memories of travelling in Thailand, I had to stick this on my list. It has one of the biggest water slides, and plenty of attractions within the park itself, including a reconstructed typical floating market where you can have a Thai massage. Yes Please. It definitely has something for everybody even if you aren't interested in the water park side of it. I don't know anyone who couldn't resist visiting here, it's definitely one I've added to my bucket list, ahem I mean Dexter's travelling bucket list...

Wish List Wednesday: Alice McCall | Fashion

It's been a while since I've written a 'wish list Wednesday' post that has actually been posted on Wednesday, but after browsing the new collection from Alice McCall over on Avenue 32, I simply had to post a few of the outfits I'm currently coveting. You will all know how fond I am of a good print, and along with cute scalloped edge, her looks are quirky with a vintage vibe. The pastel and nautical/Parisienne themes are bang on trend for the Spring/Summer season approaching, so you can't go wrong with the pieces in this collection.
Here are my favourite outfit matches. 
1. White Ball Boy cropped shirt teamed with the Indigo Denim Straight Set shorts - This outfit is perfect for a casual lunch or day out. The shorts look incredibly comfortable, and you can't go wrong with a high collar fastened shirt and a pair of collar clips.

2. Pink Lips She Has Funny Cars skirt teamed with the matching print Lips Pink Celestine cropped top - this has to be my favourite outfit by far. I am in love with the scalloped edge on the high waisted skirt, and it looks simply divined teamed up with the matching crop top. This co-ord set gets my approval.

3. Nautical Blue Surreal skirt teamed with it's matching Nautical Blue Eyes Wide Shut top - yet again a beautiful set of co-ords. This, yet again, being a simple casual daytime outfit for lunch or shopping. The slit in the front of the skirt adds a bit of sexiness by showing a simple flash of the thigh, but I think the showstopper to the outfit is the scalloped edging and detailing to the top. Simple but very elegant.

So which of the three is your favourite outfit? I definitely recommend you head over to Avenue 32 and check out her collection, you may feel inspired to leave the Winter clothes behind, finally!

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Getting Green in the Garden | Lifestyle

Now that summer is just around the corner it’s a great time to tear away the little ones from their televisions and iPads, and help them to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors. The garden may have been neglected for a few months but now it can become the perfect paradise for fun and play. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never planted a flower in your life, but learning with the littles ones is a great way to get started. Encouraging the children to become mini gardeners can teach them so much about wildlife and healthy living, so follow these tips to get started.
Make Little Allotment
Handing over a little plot of land for the children to take responsibility of, is a great way to make them feel that the garden is just as much their space as it is the adults. Pop on their wellies boots and let them get muddy by preparing soil for the plants. Messy play is something that any age children can take part in, and they’ll love the excuse to get muddy.

When it comes down to what they’re going to grow, take them along to the local garden centre so that they can pick out their favourite flowers. Alternatively if you’re a little confused about how well the flowers are going to last, choose some fruit and vegetable seeds such as these, as they are often the simplest to grow and can make eating healthy much easier. They’ll love pulling out the carrots and seeing them go from ground to plate. 

Create an Explorer
The garden is full of hidden natural wonders that can teach the children so much about the outside world and the wildlife that it holds. If your little one isn’t keen on gardening, then creating games to get them explore can peak their interest in spending more time outside. From searching out lady birds and caterpillars, to collecting leaves and making daisy chains. There is lots you can do to help them interact with nature.  

Discover the fun
As well as making the garden a more adventurous place there is a number of gardening activities that you can do such as these, that will keep your children entertained on long summer days. However if the weather does take a turn for the worst you can continue their curiosity inside and create a small Terrarium for their bedroom. Making them responsible for looking after the plants and flowers in the house can also give them a sense of pride, and be a great test if they’ve been pestering you for a pet.
If they’ve been doing a good job of gardening and helping you out around the house, treating them to tools for the garden can encourage them to continue their gardening journey. Besides there is simply nothing more adorable than a child that loves to play in the garden.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Pen Heaven competition: My workstation photo entry | Lifestyle

A few months back I treated myself to a desk. Now I know this isn't a 'proper' treat but when it comes to organisation, blogging and University work I felt now was the time to sit properly at a desk, and have everything around me that I needed. Since having Dexter I've found it hard to really get back into being organised and having stability for work time however, now he sleeps from 7pm and has two solid hour naps a day, I'm able to sit at my desk and work.

I have my laptop in the middle, usually this is the divider as I have my blogging work on one side and University work on the other. This means that I can keep everything separated, organised and can find things quickly when I need to. My desk also operates as my craft workstation too so I have to make sure I have everything I need around me at all times. Although my workstation is messy, it's organised chaos to me. I like everything bright and kept in it's place too. Also, I like to have inspirational quotes and artwork on the walls to brighten up my workstation too.

For blogging, I like to keep everything in a personal organiser. At the moment I have three Filofax personal organiser. I know that may seem a little strange however, one is to keep all my personal diary dates in and is small enough to fit into my handbag, the 'personal' sized organiser is where I keep all my blog information such as contacts, sponsors, blog income, etc, and the last being my A5 organiser which I use for University which keeps all my notes, reading lists, library information, course content, etc.

For all my blogging notes and ideas, I like to keep these handy in a notebook as there is plenty more space to write. The fabulous folks over at Pen Heaven sent me this beautiful gold notebook embossed with my name, and a matching pen for my collection. There is plenty of room to write my ideas down in my notebook, and it's the perfect size to carry around with me should I have any ideas on the go.

I'd love to know what your blogging workstation looks like, and so would Pen Heaven. They are currently running a competition to see blogger's workstations, and you can enter too. The details are here. You'll see plenty more stationery blog posts over the next coming weeks in the run up to National Stationery Week at the end of the month.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Latest in Beauty - The Glamour Spring Edit box | Beauty

I honestly don't remember ordering this box, but it arrived at the same time as the LIB Capital FM beauty box I reviewed the other day. This is a much larger box, with more products contained within however, it was only a couple of quid more at £16.99 including delivery.

Yet again they've won me over with the contents, and I can definitely see me using them all, so I'm over the moon with another fabulous purchases from Latest in Beauty. It seems they can't do wrong at the moment!

This collaboration box is with Glamour magazine, and came with a voucher code for a subscription to the magazine. This included 12 print issues and 12 iPad and iPhone issues too, along with an entry to win a goody bag over £500. I really like this idea, I don't often subscribe to magazines or read them in print so to be given this for free was a nice added extra. They also included a voucher code printout too for Glamour readers, offering discounts on the product brands contained within. I'm looking forward to 15% off Kiko as I love their stuff!
What's in the box?
Nuxe Creme Fraiche 24hr Soothing and Rehydrating face mask: it's nice to receive a full size of this product as I think it will work perfectly on my skin. I have oily but dehydrated skin so I'm hoping this will work. The tip is to apply for ten minutes once a week for the best results.

Moroccan Oil Intense Hydrating Mask: another full sized product, very nice. This is ideal for hydrating my over-processed and dye damaged hair so I'm looking forward to giving this a try. I suppose it's meant for longer hair as the instructions suggest mid-long length hair however, I'm sure it will work a dream (and last longer!) on my hair.

Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Nail Enamel and Diamond Top Coat: I do love receiving nail polishes and decent top coats however, it says it's long-lasting and well, long-lasting for me would be an hour. I'm hoping this gives a gel-style finish and lives up to it's claims. I received the nail polish in shade full house.

BeautyUK High Brow All In One Brow Definition Kit: I really like this nifty little kit. Personally I think it's ideal for me as with ever colour changing hair, it's nice to have a kit with several shades for my eyebrows. I think I'll get a lot of use from this kit too. I don't pluck my eyebrows, but it's always handy to have a pair of tweezers around just in case.

Rimmel Oh My Gloss! Lipgloss: I received shade twinkle twinkle which is a glittery pink colour and not really to my taste however, it might look a lot more natural on so I'll definitely give it a go. I'm not fond of shiny, sticky lip glosses either so I'm not sure what to expect!

Kiko Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadow: I received this in shade 06 which is a beautiful bronze colour. I do have one very similar to this that I picked up from the Tony Moly store in Jinan but I think it'll be great to add to my collection. I don't often wear eyeshadows so something quick and easy like this stick that I can just run along my lid would be perfect. I've even seen it worn in replacement of eyeliner so we shall see how this looks.

ModelCo Creme Rouge Cheek and Lips: It states on the card that the shade is just peachy so I'm presuming everyone received the same shade of this. I absolutely adore two in one products and I think they made the perfect make up bag staples especially when travelling and going on holiday. I haven't swatched this product yet however, it looks fairly bright and pigmented in the pot so I'm a bit weary about how much I apply, I think less is more when it comes to products like this.

Elie Saab L'Eau Couture: This is a sample sized perfume, but I love receiving these and they are perfect for going on holiday or popping in your handbag. I have a good stash of these already and it's nice to change up fragrances every now and then rather than sticking to my trusty YSL Black Opium or Marc Jacobs Daisy and Lola.

Yet again this is such a super collaboration box from Latest in Beauty, the contents alone are worth £99 so a bargain at £16.99, all products that I will use, and I love the added extra of the magazine subscription too. Well done Latest in Beauty, I look forward to receiving many more of your beautiful boxes in future.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Party Preparation Advice You Shouldn't Ignore | Lifestyle

I don’t know about you, but I am loving this warm weather! It’s got me thinking a little about fun things to look forward to; mainly parties! I love a fun party, and I’m sure you do too. Preparing a party can be a hassle, but it’s always so worth it once your guests have arrived and you’re having a blast. I just want you to know that you’re not alone; no one likes party planning as much as the actual partying. This advice will help to see you through the planning stages so you can let your hair down when the time comes:

Come Up With a Definite Guest List
Every party needs a definite guest list. When you have your numbers, you can plan things much better. You’ll know how much food you need, booze, and the size of the venue required. Who will enhance the party atmosphere and make things even better? Add them to your list! Bear in mind that the bigger your list, the more expensive your party.

Make Your Invitations
Invitations will give everybody the opportunity to get the time off if they need it, and add the date to their calendar. I love making things like this as it adds that personal, quirky touch. If you’re short on time you can always just buy them - especially if you’re inviting a lot of people.

Think of a Fun Theme
Parties don’t have to have a theme, but they can be so much better with one! You’ll have something to base your outfits and decorations around. You could get really creative and have it based around your favourite program, band, or something similar. Having a theme makes it all so much more exciting, in my opinion!

Find the Perfect Venue
The venue is the backdrop to your party. The perfect venue will look great, help to set the scene, and will enable your guests to have a fantastic time. Make sure you read the rules of the venue so you know what will be expected of everybody once they’ve arrived. You’ll need to think of your venue hire as far in advance as possible to make sure you get the place of your choice. You could always have it at home if you’re more into house parties!

Look for Entertainment
All parties need a little entertainment. You might want to set up DJs, playlists, games, or photobooths. You could even have an artist on hand to paint people’s faces! It all depends on the occasion and your party style.
(image source)

Design a Simple Menu
Your guests will more than likely expect to be fed, so design a simple menu to avoid too much hassle. If you don’t mind spending chunk of money, you could order pizza in! Pizza is always appreciated and won’t be of any hassle to you.

Consider Purchasing Booze for Your Guests
Free booze goes a long way and people will remember your party if you create a fun Pimms cocktail, for instance. People are simple creatures; feed and water them and they’ll usually be happy.

Of course, you might want to alter this advice depending on the occasion. You might have a birthday, wedding, or anniversary to plan. Just use this advice as a loose guide to ensure everybody has the best time...including you!