Friday, 29 May 2015

A Family Night In | Lifestyle

It's really, really, rare that I have a proper family night in. Although I spend a lot of time with my parents and Dexter, I don't get to spend that much time with my husband due to our living arrangements, so when he's back in the UK it's really nice that we can have a nice family evening in together.

We tend to cram months of living apart within a couple of months so frequently eat out and have family days out, and yep, they cost a lot of money. Money which I should be spending (think Asian!) towards our future, or as I like to call it my beauty fund!

Sometimes it's really nice just to chill out and have a Netflix evening in, catching up on TV shows or watching a good horror movie. Currently we're watching House and my goodness, why didn't I get around to watching it when it was on TV?!

So tonight is Friday night, and we decided to have a family night in (not that we would be going out and hitting up the town, we've decided we are far too old for that now). So we ordered a couple of pizzas from Dominos, somewhere I wouldn't normally order from as their pizzas can be a little pricey, but with the MyVoucherCodes Dominos Pizza discounts we managed to splash out a little bit tonight and save 35%! You may have already seen me mention this on Twitter, but it's definitely worth doing, and especially with it being the weekend.

And what better than to watch a family movie with dinner? Perfect night in for me! And Dexter really enjoyed it too. It made such a difference to all sit and eat pizza in front of the TV rather than our strict 'no TV and dinner at the table' policy. Sometimes change is good, right?

Oh and if you place a cheeky order over £30 you get a Ben & Jerry's ice cream for free. I had to pop that in the freezer before anyone saw, that's my little treat for later!

So go on, why not treat yourself? It is the weekend after all! And why not spend a little more time with your loved ones this weekend?
*Although this post is sponsored/or contains product samples, all opinions and content are my own. 

#WeAreBold with Boohoo.com | Fashion

I'm quite a bold, bright, enthusiastic and outgoing person, and this is always reflected in my appearance. Whether it be down to my pastel coloured or blonde hair, or the bright, neon colours and patterns in my wardrobe, I love being bold. I am proud of who I am, and it's taken several years for me to feel comfortable in my skin and be the person who I am.

Boohoo.com asked me to identify myself with one of their styles and I had to pick #WeAreBold, because quit simply, I am. I did find it difficult to decide whether I was #WeAreBold or #WeAreFree as I pretty much am both, but definitely feel more bold, hehe. The fabulous folks over at Boohoo.com sent me a couple of items just to show how bold I truly am.
I love Boohoo's plus size range and I've bought plenty of gorgeous items from them before, but when I saw this neon print dress I had to have it. I'm a massive fan of pattern and love anything geometric or with a chevron print so this dress it right up my street. Unfortunately the plus size version of the Amy neon Aztec swing dress* is no longer available on the site but this beautiful Ella swing dress is very similar. The Ana Trilby hat* is the perfect festival essential this season. I'm a fan of hats even though I don't feature them on the blog, but you can't really go wrong with a good straw hat. Ideal to take you through Spring and into Summer, this piece is timeless in your wardrobe. To finish the look, I decided to take a step into my comfort zone by wearing a necklace that I wouldn't necessarily class as a 'statement' piece of jewellery. The oversize Hamsa necklace is unfortunately sold out online too (oh no!) but here is a similar one

I absolutely love this dress and teamed with a longline kimono will look fabulous for festivals whilst keeping you cosy when the temperature drops. I would normally opt for going without leggings with such a gorgeous, and long(!), dress however it's still a little cold around here at the moment! The gladiator sandals are really old and come from Primark and probably cost around £6 but are my trusty summer sandals and I can't get enough of them. 

So what do you think of my outfit? How do you think you would identify? #WeAreBold are #WeAreFree? You should definitely check out Boohoo's StyleFix too! If you head on over to Boohoo.com be sure to check out their dresses section, there's currently 35% off at the moment!

*Although this post is sponsored/or contains product samples, all opinions and content are my own. 

Thursday, 28 May 2015

An alternative 18-30 holiday ~ Sunny Beach, Bulgaria | Travel


I have never been on an 18-30 holiday, purely because that's not the type of trip I'm looking for. When you think of an 18-30 holiday my mind automatically comes to sun, sea and sex, and even when I was younger this definitely wasn't for me. I have wanderlust and dreams of heading off to the Far East as often as I could. It's because of my obsession for the Far East that I've never thought of looking at other holiday destinations, but lately I've been thinking a lot about spending time closer to home, namely European destinations.

Bulgaria is one place that comes to mind, and a friend of my often frequents there too and thoroughly enjoys it. Plus it's extremely well priced for flights and accommodation, just take a look over on HolidayGems for yourself! Sunny Beach in Bulgaria is a well-known 18-30 destination, but what else does it have to offer a family almost in their thirties with a baby?

Nessebar is an ancient town in Sunny Beach, and with it being a UNESCO world heritage site it's definitely one place that will get my historical juices flowing. Having studied ancient history I'm a bit of a geek when it comes to beautiful towns such as this with such a varied Roman and Ottoman history. Not your thing? Then there are miles of beautiful blue lagoon beaches where you can rest your weary feet and catch up with your tan. A foodie? Well there are plenty of seafood restaurants there too with local produce, this definitely got my husband interested!

Interested in something a little more adventurous for the family? Then why not try out the latest aqua park in Bulgaria? Aqua Park, again in Nessebar, boasts several long, high and winding water slides along with a castle inspired by younger children covered in fairy tale characters. This is definitely an attraction the whole family can visit and have an amazing day filled with memories.

Even if you still fancy recuperating on the beach, Sunny Beach have plenty of beach activities to offer such as pedalos and banana boats, waterskiing, jet-skiing, paragliding(!), and scuba diving. Phew. If you don't fancy hitting up the sea and would prefer to stay with feet on mainland you can always enjoy a game of volleyball or mini-golf.

And if you're like me and love a little bit of holiday tat to remember your time there, you could always hit up Flower Street and grab a bargain before you come home. However, if you're interested in hitting more of the high-street named shops there's a shopping mall aptly named the Royal Beach Mall catering for everyone's needs.

So what do you think about an alternative 18-30 holiday? Would you ever hit up a different side of Bulgaria? I'm definitely tempted, Sunny Beach looks absolutely gorgeous!

*Although this post is sponsored, all opinions and content are my own. 

Clarks Hotel Image Leisure from Jones Bootmaker | Fashion

Lets take a few moments to appreciate how amazing these shoes are? I've been lusting after them for quite some time now and then the fabulous folks at Jones Bootmaker sent me them for review. I mean, they are the ideal summer brogues. I'm a fan of cutout shoes although I've had a few pairs of cutout boots that unfortunately I can't buckle anymore, so these are the perfect alternative. They are the most gorgeous shade of ivory, but I'd be careful wearing these as I only had them on a for a few moments outside before I noticed a tiny grass stain, whoopsie! It came of pretty easily though. Oh, and how could I fail to mention they are Clarks shoes? But you'd already guessed that...
Evans ivory art print shirt £24.50 in the sale | ASOS linen midi skirt with pocket detail £28.00 | Clarks hotel image leisure shoes £70* from Jones Bootmaker

For this vintage inspired summer outfit, I teamed the brogues with a my gorgeous Evans ivory art print shirt. I've seen quite a few bloggers team this shirt with jeans as it is quite long but I fancied a change so decided to wear it with this gorgeous linen skirt from ASOS. I've been lusting after denim-look midi skirts for quite a while so when I saw this (I bought it 3 months ago!) I knew I had to have it. It hasn't really been the weather to wear an outfit like this though so she only popped out to make a photo appearance.
Jones Bootmaker are a company that I have known the name of all my life and have regularly bought quality shoes from them both online and from their store in Leeds. They offer high quality products (as you can see!) and a great service. They even stock children's shoes and offer a fantastic service when purchasing children's shoes in store. Have you ever tried taking a toddler for their shoes measuring?! You need someone dedicated to the job!

*This blog post contains product sample(s) or has been compensated, all opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Wish List Wednesday ~ Summer Stylin' | Fashion

Summer is here(!) apparently although I've yet to see it. I don't think a flutter of sunshine one afternoon and highs of 14 degrees really counts quite yet. I've seen lots of summer holiday snaps all over Instagram and although I'm pretty jealous right now, it got me thinking about summer outfits and what I'm missing in my wardrobe for when the sun does pop its head around the corner. I'm always extremely unprepared and I don't even own a pair of shorts(!) so I thought I would show a few of my favourite picks for the up-coming season.

I should probably starting thinking about purchasing a few summer essentials too as I'll be heading off to China in September and it'll still be incredibly hot over there. We're talking in the thirties. Oh yes.

I decided to pick three outfits that could easily be mixed and matched to create numerous casual day and evening outfits.
1. George v-front woven camisole in mint, Evans plus sized acid wash skinny jeans from House of Fraser, and New Look tan trim stitch backpack. I thought this outfit would be great for visiting attractions, it's comfortable and will keep you looking cool all day.

2. George tailored blouse, George scenic print skirt and New Look rose gold perforated duffle bag. This outfit is definitely for hitting the beach on a cooler day (especially the ones we have in Yorkshire, those beaches are pretty windy!). The rose gold duffle bag is (enter emojicon here) perfect and I definitely have my eye on that one at the moment. Such a simple, elegant outfit that will take you from a shopping trip to an evening meal.

3. George duster jacket in mint, Riley gold foil swing camisole crop top from South Beach, George patterned embellished shorts, and New Look black quilted bar clutch bag. This is my favourite outfit and I think the hints of gold will definitely show off that beautiful, bronze tan over the summer. The shorts are a statement piece, and although this outfit is geared towards the evening, could just as easily be worn during the day. My favourite key piece in this outfit is the George duster jacket, unfortunately this is no longer available online but I have snapped up the neon coral version. So versatile!

I hope you like my outfit choices, and that I can give you a little summer inspiration for your wardrobe too. Hopefully we should be blessed with a little sunshine this week so the iPhone weather app tells me, although whether it will hit anything about 13 degrees is hit and miss. Anyway, we're only in May so hopefully we should have a little bit of luck in June!

Ox-Blood Busby Jazz Shoes from Shoutique | Fashion

You may have seen these images over on my Instagram last week  (and if not, why not?!) before heading on a mini-stationery shop in Ilkley. I absolutely adore this outfit. It's quite a simple outfit with minimal accessorising but I do think when I wear a headscarf that can pretty much do a vast amount of accessorising for me.

I picked up the dress in the New Look Inspire sale back in March when I headed to York for Mother's Day, and I think this is the first or second time I've had it on! I have that many tunic dresses in my wardrobe that most of the beautiful ones are pushed to the back. After having an intensive sort out and eBay of a lot of my dresses I've rediscovered this one. It's been that long since I bought it that I honestly can't remember how much it cost, but I'm guessing around £7. Teamed with my trusty George leggings (a 2 pack costs £10!) that I have multiple pairs of, and the new beautiful additions to my shoe collection.
The absolutely gorgeous Clark's Busby Jazz shoes are the most stunning pair of shoes I've owned in a long time. They have the perfect sized heel (which to many of you will be non-existent!) of about an inch. I can't walk in heels at all, and since I'm now back on crutches I can't pretty much walk in anything but flats so these are a really pretty addition and definitely worth wearing over my Converse.  They are ox-blood although I would say they are a deep burgundy with a black ombre and cutout detailing to the front. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to buckle the shoes because of neuropathy in my hands, but they are slightly elasticated at the buckle and slip on perfectly. I ordered a size 8 (42) and they are just a tad too big around the foot itself but I'm going to pop a sock in them just to bulk them out a bit. They are incredibly comfortable and I'm always in love with a pair of Clark's shoes. Oh and what better, they are currently £35 in the sale over at Shoetique. Yep, a boutique for shoes!
The awesome folks over at Shoetique offer free next day delivery if you order before 8pm Monday to Friday too, and they offer a price match promise meaning if you see these beauties on sale somewhere else cheaper, they will match the difference! I'll definitely be using them in the future. They also stock men's shoes and kid's shoes too, from numerous well-known brands as well. They are definitely worth looking at for your next purchase! Brilliant.

*This blog post contains product sample(s) or has been compensated, all opinions are my own. 

Monday, 25 May 2015

My Holiday Essentials | Beauty

A couple of weeks ago I headed off on my family holiday to Haven at Caister on Sea near Great Yarmouth, a destination that has been a family favourite since I was a child. Here are the holiday essentials I packed to ensure I kept my beauty regime right on track.

NSPA Hot Cloth Polish
I've been using NSPA's hot cloth polish on and off for some time now, although recently it's become my go-to cleanser since running out of my favourite Olive Oil cleanser I bought in China. I believe lots of bloggers have likened this as a dupe to the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish however, I've never used this product so cannot comment. I absolutely adore the NSPA version though, retailing at £7 at ASDA, or you can occasionally pick it up on their two for £8, I find this such a bargain. This product is a creamy cleanser that contains cocoa butter, almond oil, vitamin E, avocado, apricot and neroli oils. This cleanser can definitely can remove the most pigmented eyeliners and leave your skin feeling hydrated.

'I Love...' Mango and Papaya Shower Creme* and Body Spritzer*
You may have seen my review of the Peachy Passionfruit fragrance of the 'I Love...' body creme and body spritzer before, so you can see how much I already love their products. They are now making travel sized products, so I had to bring these with me. They are the perfect size for going away, I know I'll be stocking up on these beauties nowadays. They are soon to be available at Primark so definitely head off there for your travel essentials!

Garnier Fructis Oil Repair 3 Shampoo and Conditioner
I won't mention a lot about these products as I don't think you can buy them in the UK unless they may occasionally have them in Poundland or stores like Home Bargains and B&M. I bought these originally when I was in Munich last year and loved them that much that the hubby has brought them back in bulk for me. They work wonderfully with my bleach damaged and dry hair due to their miracle and essential oils. If you see any, I would definitely recommend giving them a go as they only cost a couple of quid and work as well as some of their more expensive counterparts here in the UK.

EOS Lip Balm
I'm such a fan of EOS lip balms and have already gone through three of these since discovering them a couple of years ago. This particular one is honeysuckle honeydew flavour and is so delicious, it just tastes like honeydew melon! I also picked up a matching hand cream whilst in a store in China. I currently have a raspberry and pomegranate on the go too, and definitely need to invest in a couple more. These are essential when hitting up the beaches, especially if there is a strong wind around!

My Little Beauty Masque Reparateur (conditioning hair mask)
This conditioning hair mask is from a My Little Beauty box I received a while back (I've only just had a good sort through of all the products, oops!). I decided to take this with me as a little extra protection after I went swimming as chlorine not only likes to make beautiful platinum hair green but can play havoc with it's condition too. I applied this straight after a shower in the swimming pool and left it on until I got back for added nourishment.
*This blog post contains product sample(s) or has been compensated, all opinions are my own.