Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Bedroom Wish List feat. George Home & Yankee Candles | Lifestyle

I'm not sure what it is lately, but I'm obsessed about bedroom furnishings. I'm spending a lot more time in my room, unfortunately in bed with my back being out of action, so I'm thinking of things I can do to make myself feel happier and more comfortable. Simply things like a bunch of flowers and new Yankee Candles are making me feel like a Queen.

George have been one of my favourite Supermarket brands for absolutely years, and the majority of my wardrobe comes from there too. Their home furnishings are absolutely gorgeous, and well affordable allowing you to change your decor as often as you fancy! There's no need to talk Yankee Candles, we all know I'm a convert now. I'm currently burning a Bunny Cake votive but would love a jar!

The Streets of York (Architecture Photo Diary) | Lifestyle & Travel

Monday, 30 March 2015

Lighthouse 3D Jigsaw Puzzle | DIY

I adore puzzles, in fact my whole family is puzzle mad, and it's always been around me since I was a little girl. Even Dexter has his own small wooden puzzles to get him into training for the big jigsaw puzzles.

When Hobbycraft asked if I would try one of their 3D jigsaw puzzles I knew I had to give one a go; my nephew in Australia is sent a couple every year and he absolutely adores them. I chose the 3D lighthouse jigsaw* (£15.00) as I thought it would look awesome in Dexter's nautical themed outside playroom (my old Wendy House) when I'd finished.
So what do you get in the box?
A super plastic puzzle, this is brilliant as there are no flimsy bits that can break and it holds together really sturdily, even though there are 216 pieces in the bag. It also comes with a base, and the top of the lighthouse. Oh and the instructions, but nobody really reads those right?!
There are 216 pieces to the puzzle, but and this is a big but, they are all numbered! I've never seen a puzzle with numbered pieces, and this made such a difference to the enjoyment of putting the puzzle together. I can normally loose interest pretty quickly when pieces don't fit, but it was really simple and only took me around an hour to complete.

I did the old 'separate the pieces into a box' trick, made sure they were all numbered side up and then divided them into their corresponding numbers of ten. It made it a lot easier and quicker when they were all together to quickly pop the tower up.
As I said, it only took me around an hour to put together, pop all the stickers on, and have a complete lighthouse which I think is a winner. Especially as holiday times will be upon us soon and you may need an extra couple of tricks up your sleeves to keep the small ones entertained. Saying that though, these puzzles are suitable from 10 years upward, not just due to small parts but because it can be a little complicated at times.
And here she is taking pride of place on my erm, well she's sat on the bed at the moment and currently resides in my bedroom until I've finished off Dexter's playroom. What do you think? Have you checked out Hobbycraft's jigsaw puzzles yet? I find that craft puzzles like this seem to be a dying art only associated with the older generation, but they are so much fun and easily affordable!

A Boots Beauty Haul | Beauty

As I've been laid up in bed for the last week, I decided it would be nice to treat myself; and what better than when a Boots 3 for 2 cosmetics offer is on? 

I've been lusting after the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer after seeing so many bloggers rave about it. I was a little dubious at first but I've been watching more YouTube make up tutorials and it works like magic. I'm hoping it will cover the dark circles I have, and help even my skintone out a little. 

I rarely use a primer, but yet again I've seen a few bloggers recommend the Seventeen Skin Wow Primer so thought I'd give it a go under my tinted moisturiser for that added radiant glow all sleep deprived mums need.

I'm not a huge fan of foundations and really struggle to find any that give me the little amount of coverage I want however, after seeing the Maybelline Dream Flawless Nude Foundation looking like it gives a buildable and nude coverage I thought I would give it a try. I'm not holding my breath though and I'm sure it'll end up on a blog sale. 

I love Sleek products, they are simply amazing and their blushers provide such good pigmentation and last so well that I thought I would pick up another. I picked up 'Life's A Peach' for a pale coral spring colour. I also picked another of the lipsticks, this time in Russian Roulette; a stunning dark cherry colour that I think will be very easily worn. 

Lastly, although really late to the #bbloggers game, I chose a Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Lipstick in shade Frambourjoise; a stunning raspberry toned red shade that I think will be beautiful in the summer. 

So what do you think of my picks? Could I have done better? Do you have any recommendations for next time?

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Should you buy a holiday home abroad? | Lifestyle & Travel

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As our preparations for moving to China slowly plod along, the anticipation of the move is getting very exciting. But what if we weren't moving permanently, and we were only renovating a holiday home? I've spent a lot of time in China before, and there are lots of other people who spend significant amounts of time in the same country for their holidays. Although some people stay with family, many don't. And a home to call their own would be much more convenient than different hotels, houses and apartments every time they visit. If you're thinking of buying a holiday home, there are some things you should ask yourself first. Don't invest in property abroad before having answers to these questions.
Can you afford it?
The most important question has to be whether you can afford to own a second home abroad. You need to think about not just if you can pay for it now, but whether you will still be able to if anything happens and you have a loss of income or change in your expenses. You might be thinking about renting it out to help pay for it, but you need to make sure that you'll be able to make enough money to make it worth it.
What sort of home will you buy?
You need to think about what type of holiday home you're going to buy. First of all, do you want something that belongs to you only, or will you get a timeshare? There are lots of different types of home to choose from, depending on where you want to buy. You could purchase anything from a static caravan or motorhome to an apartment or full-sized house. If you want to rent it out, you need to think about what other holidaymakers are interested in. For example, owning a villa in the South of France could present more opportunities for making money than buying a flat in an obscure town in Romania.
Where will you buy?
You might already have a particular country in mind, but it's best to narrow it down even further. First, you need to check that foreign nationals are allowed to buy property there. Then there are other factors that will be affected by location. Some places will be cheaper, but they could also receive less tourism. This would be good if you want to be in a quiet location, but would make it more difficult to rent out if that's what you want to do. You might have to consider other things too, such as which regions are prone to natural disaster.
What will happen when you're not staying there?
 When you're not holidaying in your home, will it sit there empty? If you purchase a timeshare, other people will come and go. But if you own the property outright, you'll probably consider renting it. In that case, you need to make sure there's someone in the country to manage it. It's important to take this into account when you're working out whether it's a good investment.

Buying a holiday home is a significant decision and one that you can't take lightly. Make sure you think about it carefully before you come to any conclusions.

My life this week | Lifestyle

(Some images sourced from WeHeartIt, but edited by myself)

Most of you will probably know that this week I've spent the majority of it in bed, unhappily, due to spinal and nerve damage I had last year when my pelvis was dislodged and a slipped disc. Let's just say it's been no fun spending the week on really, really high dose medication that's left me crying for most of the week wondering if I'll ever get better.

Anyway, towards the latter end of the week I started to feel a lot better, I'm putting it down to drinking copious amounts of tea and eating cake. 

I thought I would do my first 'life this week' blog post; I much prefer these to 'life in Instagram' posts as I don't really Instagram as much as I used to do.
Reading
This week I've been reading my 'Personal Branding for Creatives' workbooks. I've been at a loss with my blog, and thought I would sign up to Zie's e-course. It's fabulous and it's really helping me make changes for the better, you may have noticed the blog has changed, along with my post content too. I'm trying to engage more with my readers and post quality content but 'keeping it real'.
Watching
I've been binge watching Pretty Little Liars however, to start with last Saturday I watched the whole series of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and it's the most amazing series ever. I'm now up to the end of series three of PLL after watching around 10 episodes a day. That's a lot I know, but being bed bound doesn't leave me with other options. I'm highly addicted and have no idea what I'll do when I'm fully caught up.
Eating
It's no surprise I like cake, but I've developed an obsession with Red Velvet Cake. The best I've found so far (except handmade of course!) is from Asda. Its a shame the cakes cost £5 a go, but they are certainly worth it as a treat.
Drinking
Tea. Oh so much tea. Especially Earl Grey, it's delicious. I take mine with milk and two sugars. I've placed a rather large tea order with the Bluebird Tea Co. so that should be here this week. I'll definitely be blogging about that next week and all the amazing spring flavours they've released.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Fancy becoming a fashion designer? | Lifestyle & Fashion

Do you ever find images of great fashion and then spend months visiting every store in the country trying to find something similar that fits? Most of us have had our hearts set on one or two gorgeous pieces that only seem live out there online. If we are investing our money on our look, then it needs to be right, and none of us should have to settle for disappointment. If you are a creative and skilled person, you may even have considered making something similar yourself.

For some, it is footwear. You can never find that gorgeous pair of boots to fit your calves. For others, it’s tops. They tend to be too short on you. Some people find a skirt that fits around the waist well just won’t make it past the thighs to pull up! Whatever your fashion angst, we’ve all been there, and we’re all pretty fed up with it. But would you dare create your own outfit from scratch?

Sewing and dressmaking are highly skilled jobs. They take years of experience and endless patience. But unless you try it, you won’t know if you could be any good at it! Get yourself a photo of something you want to create. Now you are going to need a good friend to measure those parts of the body this incredible garment needs to cover. Once you have all the essentials, see if you can apply it to a standard template.


Next, you are going to need to buy the right fabric. Try looking at dance fabrics online to get you started. There is certainly no point in going with drab if you’ve come this far! If you don’t have a sewing machine, you may be in for a long haul. See if you can borrow one, or pick one up cheaply. Alternatively, take an adult education course in dressmaking so you can also tap into some professional advice to see you on the right track.

Creating your own clothes isn’t easy but it certainly isn’t impossible. For the most part, things that you create can be tweaked to make any errors right. Always leave yourself plenty of room for error and start small. If it is summer, you can choose something loose and flowing, meaning there is more wiggle room for error. Don’t start with your wardrobe essentials, but rather something that acts as a layer and can be removed if it’s not working.

It certainly is worth having a go at trying to make something. For the most part, it is all about the fabric you choose. The pattern and color of the fabric will draw attention long before the finish on the sewing does. Clever choices can also help you work more effectively. Think about how the pieces need to connect together. Do the patterns or colors need to match or do you have more freedom? Enjoy having a first go a fashion design, and then use the outcome as a learning tool for your next masterpiece.