Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Gingham & burgundy.

Yet another fashion post. I'm doing pretty well with my fashion posts recently, and it's definitely something I would like to do more of, especially now the weather is a little better and I'm a little more confident having my photo taken in the garden. I picked up this gingham skater tunic (I say tunic, it's probably a dress but it's quite short on me) for £5.00 yesterday in the Dorothy Perkins sale. I also picked up a pink and grey tartan skater dress too, yet again for £5.00. Absolute bargains to be had. The blazer was another one of my Primark £3.00 jacket purchases from the sale at the beginning of the year, and yet again, when I took it out of my wardrobe this morning it still had the tags attached!

Navy and white gingham dress - Dorothy Perkins - £5.00 in the sale | Burgundy blazer - Primark - £3.00 (old) | Indigo high waisted jeggings - New Look Inspire - (old) | Burgundy pumps - H&M - (old) | Navy blue cutout bag - Simply Be/JD Williams*

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

National Lipstick Day feat. Illamasqua Glamore

So as today is national lipstick day I felt obliged to partake and indulge myself with a new lippy. I've been eyeing up the new Glamore nudes from Illamasqua for a little while but haven't quite been able to narrow it down to the perfect shade. My plan for today was to get my nude shade match in the Illamasqua store in Leeds and then buy it from Debenham's as they have a little sale on. Only as soon as I was colour matched I had to have it there and then. I also bought my first lip liner. Lip liners are fiddly things things so they've never quite made it into my make up collection, to me they are a little like liquid eyeliners (and I've only just bought my first one of those the other week too!). However, I actually managed to apply it myself (yay!) so had to have one. And both compliment each other really well, so of course I had to buy them. 

Monday, 28 July 2014

Basic florals & tan accessories.

Over the weekend I had a major clear out of my wardrobe and ended up listing a few items on eBay, but also ended up discovering a few bits and pieces I'd bought in the sales after Christmas that I've never even worn. Two of the pieces today, the floral jacket and green waffle skirt were two of these purchases, both were brand new with tags on this morning when I pulled them out the wardrobe. God bless a Primark sale. Both cost a measly £3 each. It's fair to say I did have a good stock up on jackets, but yet again, more are piled away in my wardrobe with their tags on. 

Floral jacket from Primark (old), £3 | Céline t-shirt bought from eBay (old) | Green waffle skirt from Primark (old), £3 | Black maternity tights from H&M (old) (don't laugh, they are the comfiest tights ever) | tan cutout shoes from Primark (old) | Tan faux leather satchel by Nica (old) | Owl brooch from Ladybird Likes (Zoe makes awesome accessories, totally check her out). 

Saturday, 26 July 2014

MeMeBox Superbox | Free From Oil & Trouble #3

I haven't blogged in a while about my recent MeMeBox purchases, but this one I quite frankly have to rave about. It arrived, much to my surprise, on Friday morning. I totally forgot I'd ordered another Superbox (my last one was Missha product based and was amazing) so was just expecting a regular box in the post. I was even more delighted when I realised it was the free from oil and trouble box. This box is number three, to be honest I hadn't noticed a box one or two, but they have some pretty good products in for those of us who have oily skin. I photographed it all this morning so I can delve in tonight, I'm really excited to try all of the products in this box. All the products included in this box are full sized, so a bargain price for the whole box at $32 when the contents are worth $121 individually. 

This box is designed to be a complete skincare step by step box, and contains all the products you need for daily cleansing and toning aimed for oily and troublesome skin. The only thing missing is a moisturiser but I'm really happy with the Clinique one I've used for years, so this doesn't bother me too much. 

You can find the Superboxes from MeMeBox here and the regular MeMeBoxes here that both start from $23 and can lead up to around $75 for the brand Superboxes. If you enter code AFFILIATE-7512-GYFOM-BHWQ at the checkout you can receive $5 off a $100 spend, and collect their MeMePoints to use on future purchases! There are currently two offers on at the moment where you can buy 3 boxes and save $5, and 4 boxes and save $8 using the codes here. I think it's time I placed a few new orders!  
1. Skin 1004 Foam Foam cleanser - morning and night. Full size 90ml each. $35. 
These cleansing foams are to address the skin's differing needs and conditions. The morning cleanser contains Argan seed oil and edelweiss extracts to gently cleanse away dead skin without dehydrating, whilst the night time cleanser is stronger to get deep into the pores to de-clogg impurities and makeup. The night time cleanser is formulated with lavender and lotus extracts for skin renewal. 
I'm super excited to try these out as since I've returned from Munich my skin is super crazy and so oily. 
2. Milky Dress Anti-Trouble Body Mist. Full size 80ml. $23. 
This mist is designed for sprinting in the hot, hot heat. Not only just to cool you down, but aimed to hit those troublesome blemish areas, such as legs, neck, breast/chest area and reduce acne and blemishes. 
This is a super idea as I get a lot of spots around my neck and chest that look unsightly in low-cut tops. So this is another fantastic item in my box. 
3. Dermahouse Pore Tighten Ampule. Full size 30ml. $22. 
This product is aimed at reducing large pores and suppressing the formula of melanin pigments to give you elasticity in your skin. This is to be used on problem areas after your basic skin application. 
Yet another product I'm eager to try, I hope it might reduce the pores on my nose and cheeks. 
4. Yuri Pibu Parsley Herb Toner. Full Size 150ml. $23. 
This is a twice-daily toner with 80% of parsley extracts that absorbs quickly and leaves smooth skin. 
I'm not 100% sure who I feel about this product, parsley, mhmmm. I'm not sure what the parsley does too but it's simple to fit into my daily skincare routine with the other products so I'm willing to give it a good shot. 
5. L'Ocean Pink Powder. Full size 20ml. $24. 
This is a unique spot fighting treatment that has two layers. Normally you would need to shake the layers to active the product but this time you need the layers to separate for the full effect. (The image contains a shaken bottle so doesn't show the proper product). The pink powder settles to the bottom and the yellow liquid rises to the top. You need to use a cotton bud to dip the pink powder from the bottom and apply. It's ideal to apply this at night to dry up spots. The yellow layer contains BHA and AHA which remove excess dead skin cells and the pink layer is calamine and volcanic ash to fight off blemishes and sooth the skin. 
I think this will be similar to using toothpaste on spots to dry them up. I'm not much of a spotty person but this will definitely be a go-to item when the time comes. 
6. Tosowoong Silk Touching Powder. Full Size 10g. $34. 
This powered is non-scented and non-coloured to fit all skin types and colours. The white powder turns transparent when applied to skin leaving a silky smooth texture and absorbing sebum throughout the day. 
I think this is a fantastic product to apply during the day when you need a little touch up and to remove those oily patches. So another super product that will be entering my daily make up routine. 

This is the best box I've received so far from MeMeBox. Although I love receiving their boxes in the post on a monthly basis, especially now there are so many to choose from. 

Friday, 25 July 2014

Etude House Baking Powder Pore Cleansing Foam + Innisfree Blackhead Bye Bye Fingertips

I only exfoliate my skin twice a week as I have quite oily skin, but these are two of my favourite products for giving a deep clean and cleaning out my open pores! You all know my obsession with Korean cosmetics, and my favourite brand has to be Etude House. I first discovered this store when I was out in Thailand and I fell in love. I bought lots of their products for oily skin, quite a few which I've even repurchased too! Their Baking Powder range is fantastic for cleaning out pores, removing dead skin and leaving an all round polished feeling to your skin. 

After having a little search on the internet, I came across these amazing blackhead fingertips and knew I had to have some! I have a very porous nose and get quite a few blackheads from time to time that I can find really hard to remove. The idea behind this product is that you place them on your fingertips and give your nose, chin and other problem areas a really good scrub using an exfoliator. I find this works best for me with the Baking Powder pore cleansing foam. For some skin types it might be a little harsh to use both together so you might want to play it up a little for your skin type. 

The best way to use these together is to wet your face, I then have a little exfoliate with pore cleansing foam, apply a little to the ends of the silicone fingers and scrub into my problem areas. Hey presto, nice clean feeling skin and a noticeable reduction in sebum collection too, that's my main problem. You can buy both products from Cosmetic Love

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Great Gift Ideas for Photography Enthusiasts

If there’s a special occasion coming up for a special someone in your life who is really enthusiastic about photography and is never seen without their camera, opting for something photography themed is a great way to go.
Here's a list of some great gift ideas for photography enthusiasts to keep them snap happy on their special day.

Photography themed wall print
Wall prints are always a great gift and they’re made instantly better if the person is a photography or general art fanatic. After scouring the web we found this lovely photography wall print and think it’s our favourite as it features a quote and old school camera.

Photo-upload household items
My Photo Gifts customised phone cases are a great option for those who love taking snaps with their phone when they haven’t got the chance to get their camera out, or even things like photo mugs, coaters, cushions and bags! You can basically get your photos put onto most household items now, so think about what speaks to their personality.

Camera key ring
Key rings always come in handy, and they don’t have to be boring. In fact, they can make a really great gift if you choose one that is personal to the recipient. We love this intricate camera key ring with engraved charm that says ‘I came, I saw, I shot’ on it.

Photography tote bag
Give them a lovely gift that’s also practical and really useful too...a tote bag in which they can store their camera and photography accessories in it. You can find lots of these around but this one from Etsy has to be our favourite.

‘How-to’ photography gift guides
If they’ve just begun getting involved in this new hobby, why not give them a gift that will help them on their way to becoming a pro? There’s a seller on NotOnTheHighstreet.com that sells ‘how-to’ photography gift boxes, such as ‘how to photograph your toddler gift box’ and ‘how to photograph your cat’.

Photography books
This one may seem a little obvious but should never be ignored as books are a great way to inspire people and therefore make great gifts. Find out their favourite photographer and look for a book by them, or look for a book on a theme that they love, or go for something completely new that you think they’d enjoy.

Camera cufflinks
Cufflinks always come in useful when it comes to getting ready for a special occasion and they don’t have to be dull and boring either! There are loads of different camera variety ones to choose from on this site which they are bound to love.

Camera jewellery
Likewise, why not opt for a piece of jewellery that features homage to their true favourite accessory on it? There are some really pretty camera necklaces on the Shop Style website that feature a camera charm on a chain which is a great way for them to wear their passion close to their heart.
(All images sourced from Shutterstock)

Great ideas to help make the most of Baby’s First Summer

Summer is a fantastic time of year for kids as they adore getting out and about and trying their hands at all of the amazing activities that the season has to offer. If you’re little one is about to experience their first summer, you no doubt want to make it as memorable as possible for them.
Whether they’re a new born or are well on their way to their first birthday, we’ve come up with some ideas to help you make the most of your baby’s first summer as part of your family.

Document those marvellous milestones
Whether they’re sitting up for the first time, taking those first few steps or going on their first summer holiday, take to the outdoors and take lots of pictures and videos of these precious first moments. You could keep a summer scrapbook of their milestones during this season for them to look back on as they grow.

Visit a zoo, farm or aquarium where they can meet the animals
Getting up close and personal with animals can be a real treat for your little one, no matter how little they are! The UK has some wonderful farms, aquariums and some really great zoos.

Take as many photos as possible
Taking lots of photos is the best way to help remember all those lovely memories and will be great for looking back on to see your little one enjoying their first summery season. If you are after something a bit more professional, you could always visit a baby photographer at Venture for some truly beautiful snaps.

Take a trip to the beach
Give them their first sensory experience that they will soon come to love as they grow older; take them to the beach and let them play in the sand and sea. You could collect shells or pebbles and take them home, too!

Go for ice cream at the park
Proof that you don’t have to spend more than £2 to hear them squeal with delight is a trip to the park with their very first ice cream. Make sure you definitely capture the chaos on camera!

Take them swimming
Studies have shown that taking your baby swimming can be really beneficial for not only their health, but also their independence, fitness and confidence. Experience fun in the pool or even take your baby for swimming lessons.

Ensure they’re kept nice and safe in the sun and heat
No one wants their summer spoiled by some of the unpleasantness that can be caused by overexposure to sun or heat. Babies especially should always be extra looked after as their skin will be much more sensitive and they’ll be much less tolerant to high temperatures.

Have a family picnic or BBQ
Gather your family, friends and neighbours round and host a big picnic or BBQ which will be lovely for your little one, as they’ll no doubt get spoilt for attention! These early moments as big groups can be great in terms of building bonds, too.
(All images sourced from Shutterstock)

Friday, 18 July 2014

Blogging with a baby.

I've been asking myself the same question over and over lately, how can I find time to do anything? Bringing up a baby is definitely a 24 hour, 7 day a week job. And yes I did used to laugh and call people ridiculous when they said that. I'm surprised I have time for anything these days. I have had to call off blogger meetings and events as I have mummy guilt and feel like I should spend my days constantly with him, that's something I need to adjust and get over. 

So being a  writer, student, blogger and full time stay at home mum, how do I manage to fit everything in?

Organise everything. This is something I've had to learn to deal with since I had baby brain in pregnancy. I need to constantly write things down and have a notebook to hand, cause if that thought comes into my head and its not written down, yep, it's gone for good. 

Make use of every moment. I've event resorted to blogging from my iPhone or iPad when I have a spare minute, I can't take advantage of time like I used to do. Sitting down for a cuppa can take hours, you make it, it goes cold, that's what I've had to become accustomed to drinking nowadays. I'll have just fed Dexter, and lo and behold it's four hours later and he's due his next feed. Time goes too fast. At the moment I'm lucky he has his night feed around 8pm which gives me a few hours to blog or catch up with emails/work in the evening. Same applies to the morning too, he usually sleeps until around 7am, has his breakfast, and then pops back to sleep until maybe 10-11am, which gives me a few hours to catch up with everything else. However, you can't judge time based on a baby, cause no doubt you will have something planned and something will crop up. 

The one handed technique. Having Dexter sat on my knee whilst I type. Either typing with one hand or managing to type with two whilst keeping him entertained. This is actually what I'm doing right now writing this post! He likes to watch me type, it's a good job really. 

Juggling a home/work/baby balance is proving hard for me at the moment, I just need to find myself and get into a routine. Everything is still very new to me. I can imagine once Uni starts again this year I'll be even more strapped for time, but at least Dexter will be a lot older and hopefully a lot easier to manage then.

Say hello to my massimo June advertiser, Wardrobe Conversations!

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

My three go-to summer lipsticks.

I love lipsticks and lip glosses but I always seem to buy the same shades or wear the same shades. I seem to wear the same Sleek lipstick that I have done since last september (Exxxagerate, I've never reviewed it though!). It's such a gorgeous purple shade and seems to match everything I wear. Still going with the purple theme (I just can't get enough!) I've recently indulged myself and bought two more lipsticks. As the husband doesn't like me wearing purple, and thinks red is more my thing, I picked up an orange-red shade lipstick from Topshop when I headed over to Harrogate a while back. These make up my three go-to summer shades. Here they are:

MAC - Up the Amp. £15.
Topshop - Rio Rio. £8.
Make Up Revolution - Depraved. £1. 

I don't find myself having to stick to one make up brand, I like to try out new things, especially lipsticks. It's rare that I will pay £15 for a MAC lipstick, but this was a beauty that I wear frequently so the price ticket can be justified. The last MAC lipstick I bought was Rebel, but when I had orange hair it didn't suit me so that went on eBay!

Monday, 14 July 2014

All the lime, all the time.

I love lime green, I have done for years. I just really, really wanted to find a jacket that would match my awesome bag I picked up from Simply Be. I tweeted asking if anyone knew where I could find one, then decided to look for one myself. Within ten minutes I'd bought this gorgeous crepe jacket from Boohoo's plus size range. I was a little dubious how good of quality it would be, but I was pretty happy with it when it turned up. And it matches my bag exactly

Please excuse my face. I always seem to be stood in the light and I'm really sensitive to it. I always look moody and blind. 

Stud detail bag - Simply Be - was £35.00, now £18.50.
Inspire black cross back vest - New Look - £6.99.
Inspire navy denim jeggings - New Look - £17.99. 
Gold chain multi row necklace - New Look - £7.99. 
Suzie oversized slouch blazer - Boohoo - £25.00.
Flatform gladiator sandals - Primark - £10.00.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Plus Size Pre-Party | Leeds

I attended the amazing plus size pre-party back in the middle of June. The idea behind the party was to get everyone excited for Plus North, a plus size event happening in August. And yep, we all got super excited at what was to offer! The pre-party was hosted by Sarah from Sad Excuse of a Girl who had done a fantastic job of organising everyone, and the brands that attended the party. This post will be super image heavy as I wanted to show individual aspects of the day. 

The event was held at Belgrave Music Hall in Leeds, somewhere I've never been to before, but will definitely be going again! Not only do they serve great drinks (I paid 30p for a lime and lemonade, say whutttttttt?!) but they have a canteen downstairs serving Patty and Bun, and Dough Boys pizzas too. The place was simply heaven. They even have a roof terrace with beach huts! Oh, and they serve slushy cocktails...

Pastille Beauty Salon were there doing their dash manicures. I opted for peach with a matte coat and it looked fantastic. The ladies kindly donated a £5.00 voucher in our goody bags too! (I didn't managed to take a photo of the goody bag itself but we got some amazing vouchers and goodies in there!). Christina from Forever Living was also there giving demonstrations on her aloe vera products which I can't wait to give a try, they look amazing; and not just skincare products either, I even sampled an aloe vera shot! It didn't taste too bad, and they do say beauty starts from within. Simply Be, the sponsors for Plus North, were there showcasing some of their beachwear and key summer pieces. I really admire how three ladies, including our hostess with the mostess, modelled their pieces; it's really nice to see how products fit on real life women. 

Lets come to the food, oh the food! I mentioned Dough Boys earlier, they were kind enough to offer us boxes upon boxes of pizza for £3 per head. A bargain price for amazing pizza. I'm boring so I only eat pizza from our local takeaway or Pizza Hut and I have no idea why, nothing compared to their pizza. I certainly chowed down on that one. The lovely Roast + Conch, part of Hotel Chocolat, popped up to give us a little talk on chocolate, and why we should all check out a restaurant dedicated to chocolate. I must admit, I've already popped in a few times beforehand for hot chocolate and pastries but have never experienced their restaurant. We were lucky enough to receive a 50% off voucher and free chocolate inspired cocktail voucher in our goody bag so this is certainly on my to do list! They also donated a prize of afternoon tea to the best dressed person in attendance, and oh that was me! Yep, I can't wait to have their afternoon tea, the menu looks amazing. They also brought us down a few tasters for us to try, and chocolate, always the chocolate. 

I've probably forgotten so much that happened that day, but it was one of the best meet ups I've been to. It was fantastic to meet a whole new bunch of bloggers and get excited for Plus North! A big thank you to all the brands and folks who came along with demonstrations.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Plus Size Pre-Party | #OOTD

So I attended the plus size pre-party a while back, and this was an event hosted by Sarah from Sad Excuse of a Girl to get us all excited about Plus North happening in August. Yep, it got us really excited! I'll explain more about that in my post later. Just a quicky here to show what I wore on the day. Oh and I was voted as best dressed(!) and I won afternoon tea at Roast + Conch. Super excited about that! I think it was the necklace that swayed it for everyone.

Glasses - Specsavers (a few people have been asking!).
Necklace - ASOS - old. 
Kimono - New Look, £19.99 (I only bought this a few weeks back but it's already sold out on their site).
Camisole - George at Asda, 2 for £4.00 (black and white).
Eden Jeggings - Dorothy Perkins, £20.00 (£18.00 with NUS discount). 

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Favourite new beauty additions.

I recently bought a few bits and pieces from the Body Shop after they had an online offer on of spend £40 and save £20. I couldn't really say no to this so decided to snap up a few key skincare pieces. One of which was the camomile make up remover. I've seen loads of bloggers rave about this product so I thought I would have to give it a go. Truth be told that before I bought this I didn't own any kind of make up remover product and have simply used face cleansing wipes to remove make up and then wash my face with face wash to remove any residue. However, this has been wrecking my face and leaving it pretty sensitive amongst yanking a few eyelashes out in the process, I decided this needed to stop hence the purchase. It's simply amazing! Apply a small amount of the product on to a cotton wool ball and wipe your mascara off with a few wipes. Brilliant. I've also been using this to remove lipstick as well as some lipsticks stain quite heavily and when washed off leave quite a lot of staining to my lip area. I'm so happy with this product!

Another product I've been using a lot lately is the Nivea Daily Essentials Express Hydration Primer. I'm funny about changing up my skincare regime as I have really sensitive skin and often when I try new products I have allergies around my area which cause them to swell and water, it's pretty nasty and equally as annoying! After seeing that they had released the product for dry and sensitive skin I thought I would give it a try. Another product which I had managed to avoid the blogger hype until now. I picked this up on offer from Boots for £3.99 so I didn't mind so much if it didn't work. And it does work! I'm so happy about that. If I'm wearing make up that day I will avoid moisturising and apply this instead. It soaks in lovely and leaves my skin feeling hydrated without feeling oily and leaves a really nice primed base for my foundation. 

These two will definitely be on my repurchasing list!

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Mellow Treats | Harrogate

Whilst in lovely Harrogate walking around the shopping centres (malls to you USA folk) I came across a little stall selling Bomb Cosmetics. I've only recently started using Bomb Cosmetics but they have an amazing range of bath bombs, soaks, and a zillion other luxury items. I'm really sensitive to bath bombs, soaps and other toiletries and I've found these are the only brand I can continually use without having my skin turn into a wreck, unlike Lush products unfortunately. So anyway returning to the story, I got chatting to the man running the stall who told me they have a shop called Mellow Treats further down the road where they have a whole wall of Bomb Cosmetic treats. Well I had to find the place didn't I! 

Not only do they stock Bomb Cosmetics but a whole array of brands and items, along with rubber ducks! I bought plenty to keep me going (which will be coming up in blog posts over the next few months) and lots of different items I've never even heard of!

I was really excited to try a new product. It's a fragranced candle but with a twist, when you melt the 'wax' it's not actually wax at all but a combination of almond oil and shea butter with a fragrance that you can pour onto the skin! I tested a small amount on my hands which left them feeling silky soft without feeling oily, and my hands felt amazing for the rest of the day. From a small tin (£9.99) you can get four whole body applications. I also picked up a moisture bar too. After having a bad experience of using Nivea's shower cream and almost slipping when pregnant, I decided to give this a go. Just have a quick rub all over after your shower and your skin is silky soft, without leaving all the awful residue. I'll be doing more detailed posts on these products later. 

But yes, the shop is absolutely amazing and stocks to many luxury bath time treats that I will actually just be going back to Harrogate for another visit!