Tuesday, 28 October 2014

#24HrShoes | Evans

I'm excited to be working with Evans, a well known plus size fashion store, on their 24 hour shoes campaign. This campaign is designed to show that all Evans boots and shoes are comfortable, well structured, and that you can wear them for 24 hours a day! I absolutely fell in love with these black croc leather zip boots and knew they would be a wardrobe staple for my autumn/winter wardrobe for years to come. There's nothing better than wearing a chunky knit, tights, and a good pair of knee high boots! 

These boots come in various width fittings, including EEE for extra comfort; and also have added padding. What I love about these boots (and something I look for in all my boots) is the sole. I'm not one of these people who can walk around in soles that go slippy as I will take a dive, and these are perfect. They have the right amount of rubber for a solid grip, perfect for this time of year. And to test the #24HrShoes - yep I did wear them for a whole day (not 24 hours, I didn't sleep in them although I wish I had they were so comfy!) from morning to evening, and I didn't need to break them in. I did plenty of walking to give them a good review, and they do exactly what they say on the tin! 

Black goes with everything, and especially my fave leather satchel. I have my two favourite accessories for the rest of autumn and winter sorted. I think I'll be taking these to China with me, I'll only need one pair of boots as they are completely versatile. My hubby will be happy!

I wore these with one of my favourite New Look tile print, Peter Pan collared, dresses and 

Evans black croc leather zip boots* - were £99, now reduced to £70!
New Look tile print dress, old. 
Black leather satchel, old. 
Simply Be black fluffy cardigan, old. 
*Black croc leather boots were provided for review as part of the #24HrShoes campaign from Evans, opinions are my own. 

Monday, 27 October 2014

Ann Harvey Chevron Print Dress

I couldn't think of a creative title for this one so just went basic! I know I can be a little boring sometimes, but certainly not with this outfit. I absolutely love this Ann Harvey chevron print dress from Bonmarché. The colour combination is absolutely beautiful containing lilacs, reds, purples, pinks and navy blue. I wouldn't normally buy a dress like this because it's quite dressy and I don't go anywhere often enough to wear it, but I'm thinking Christmas Party dress! (Keep your eyes peeled for a feature on plus size party dresses I'll be doing shortly!). What really struck me about the dress, apart from the print obviously, was the plaited neckline, I'm not a fan of wearing necklaces and I think this works really well as the main detail. The colours really match both my hair and glasses, and these are my favourite ways of accessorising! 

I decided to team the dress with my favourite neon pink Blazer from River Island, which unfortunately will be going back in the wardrobe as it's a little too chilly to wear this now. I bought the cut out boots from Deichmann in Munich when I was there over the summer, these are the only cut out boots that fit my skinny feet! You can't quite see the detailing on my new clutch, but it's from New Look and says 'whatever'. 

I'm really sorry for my faces in these photos; a) I never smile but can never pull off looking moody, and b) it's really windy!

Black faux leather cut out boots from Deichmann, old - €34. 
Neon pink River Island blazer, old. 
*Ann Harvey dress provided for review, opinions are my own. 

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Beauty Blog Sale

I've bought a lot of products lately that I don't use or that I will probably never get around to using so thought I might as well put them up for a blog sale. Impulse buying is one of my traits, and I always seem to end up with many eyeshadow palettes with similar shades in them - it's rare that I even wear eyeshadow so there we go. 

Okay, so I will only post within the UK. All prices include postage and packaging second class recorded. Payment is to be made via PayPal and I will send you an invoice. If you see something you would like, please leave a comment, email me, or contact me on Twitter
 Make Up Revolution Dia de los Muertos eyeshadow palette, brand new - £6.
Lunatick Labs Cosmetics Supernatural eyeshadow palette, brand new - £15.
 Make Up Revolution Redemption Palette Iconic 3, usage as shown (minimal) - £3.
Make Up Revolution Redemption Palette Romantic Smoked, usage as shown (minimal) - £3. 
 Barry M Natural Glow Shadow & Blush Palette, usage as shown (only three shades, minimal) - £5.
 W7 In The Buff Natural Nudes Eye Colour Palette, usage as shown (only two shades, minimal) - £5.
Make Up Academy Pretty Edgy Eye Palette, usage as shown (only a couple, minimal) - £5. 
Bourjois Happy Light foundation in shade 51 rose vanilla, used once - £8. 
Bourjois Happy Light base serum (matte primer), used once - £8. 
MAC Mineralize Satinfinish foundation in shade NC15, used a few times (around 90% left) - £15. 
Nip + Fab Shine Fix Mattifying Gel, used once - £4. 
Rimmel Wake Me Up foundation in shade 010 light porcelain, used a few times (around 90% left) - £4. 
L'Oreal Nude Magique CC Cream Anti-Dullness, used once - £5. 
Soap & Glory Wonderfill primer/wrinkle filler, used a few times - £4. 
Seventeen Cheek Stamp in shade stare-struck, only used once - £3.
Etude House (Korean brand) Sweet Recipe All Over Colour in shade Strawberry Chiffon Cake. Can be used on cheek and lips. Brand new - £2.50. 
Essence Liquid Eyeliner in black, brand new - £2. 
Rimmel Eyebrow `Pencil in shade 001 dark brown, brand new - £1. 
Miners Maxi Mascara Volumising (x2), one in shade carbon black, other in black, both brand new. £2 each. 
Etude House (Korean brand) Drawing Eyebrow Pencil with brush, shade 02, used a few times - £2. 
Catrice Lashes to Kill Ultra Black Volumising Mascara, brand new - £2. 
Rimmel Scandal Eyes Rockin' Curves Mascara in 001 black, brand new £2. 
Rimmel Natural Bronzer in 002 sun bronze, used once £2. 
Kiko hair chalk in blue, brand new (but slightly dented when I put the lid back on after the photo!) - £4. 
Make Up Rumours lipsticks, one in a brown nude shade and the other a dark red (shades not labelled), both brand new - £1 each. 
Seventeen Lip Crayon in pink, used once - £1. 
Rimmel Kate Moss Lasting Finish lipstick in shade 107, only used a few times - £3.
ESPA Hydrating Cleansing Milk, used twice (full size product) - £17.50. (This is heavy so price bulked up with postage!). 

George Graduate Fashion Week | Disney Villains

Now I think by now (if you follow me on Twitter) you will know I'm not much of a Disney fan. I say not much when in fact I mean not at all. Sure I liked the movies when I was a child but I have no desire to head to Disneyworld/Land (whatever it's called) however, I must admit I have fallen in love with the Graduate Fashion Week Disney Villains collection for George at Asda. I didn't know this collection even existed until a fellow Tweeter (forgot who you are, sorry!) posted a selfie in her dress, and that's when I fell in love. It hasn't made me fall in love with Disney though, sorry folks

I adore the Graduate Fashion Week and G21 Talent collections. It gives me the opportunity to brighten up my wardrobe with their vivid colour palettes, and yes, textures. God I love texture. I do have my eye on a few knitted pieces but that's a whole other blog post right there. I haven't had my eye on the ball lately though, and haven't been checking the George page that often. Check that, ok at all over the past three months probably. Bad, bad, bad blogger. However, when I spotted these two beauties, and with the festive period due to hit us at any time (and it will I can assure you), I thought I would share my two favourites with you.

What can I really say about these dresses? I honestly think the images say a million words that I couldn't describe, but they are absolutely stunning. The high neck on the first dress is elegant. Oh and the shapes of both dresses would suit my pear figure perfectly without me having to consider sizing up. The fact that they have lilac and pale pink tones would compliment my hair well too. And the price, what a steal at £28 each. The next question is simply, which one do I choose?

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Appreciating the little things

It's been a while since I've written an actual blog post about me, or what's going on in my life. And I say a while, it's been a good few months. I haven't really felt much like blogging since I ended up in hospital with sciatica, and then found out I had a dislodged pelvis. Lets be fair, that in it's own right is quite a lot to deal with, but then a lot of family stuff happened (and is still happening) which hasn't meant my mental health has been that good of late too. 

Tonight I had a bath. Yes I know what it sounds like, but I do shower daily. I can't actually remember the last time I was able to get in and out of the bath due to my back etc, but it felt really strange to have one. And just having that twenty minutes in the bath (I don't really like long ones) gave me the free time to think about a few things, and actually reflect. It gave me time to appreciate the little things that I've taken for granted for so many years. Being a mother completely changes your perspective on life, what you have as a routine is taken away instantly and that's been a major factor in my mental health illness lately. I feel like I have no structure and from someone who is able to be organised and scheduled, this has really taken a big adjustment. I've really taken for granted having a bath, as silly as it might sound, but having the time to myself without Dexter 24/7 really does make a difference!

I thought I would do a little list of things I really appreciate at the moment. 
Amazon Prime and Netflix are pretty self explanatory, when I have the time or when Dexter is in a deep sleep I love being able to stream pretty much anything. Especially horror movies, I love horror movies. Crunch chocolate is something I used to have as a child, and then it seems that it disappeared off the shelves, I'm glad I've been able to find it again at Asda and I love having a bar now and then. Decléor Aroma Night Ylang Ylang balm is the most amazing product I've bought recently, and I simply adore it. It's not too oily like some night products are, and leaves my skin hydrated and protected for 24 hours too. I will do a blog post on this I promise. Last but not least, my favourite Bomb Cosmetics brûlée in 'flower to the people'. This lasts around 6 baths (so forever for me then!) and I love being coated in yummy shea butter. 

What are you grateful for lately?

CUT for Evans Autumn/Winter 2014 Collection

I'm really excited to show you all a few of the new pieces from the CUT for Evans A/W collection for this year. Some of you will know that I went a little crazy and bought the whole S/S collection in February and couldn't wait to wear everything. I don't think I featured any of the items in my blog posts themselves as I didn't blog much about fashion back then, but gosh I can't wait to show you some of the looks for this season. 

This collection has been created by two exciting new designers hailing from Nottingham Trent (my husband's old University and old second home!) and Kingston University. The six piece collection can easily be worn together creating a variety of key trends for this season. Ellie Northway created her collection featuring 'vibrant kaleidoscopic prints', and Eve Turley (from the consecutive Universities) designed her collection based on 'sophisticated yet technical wearable knitwear'. 

I absolutely love both the designer's takes on trends for this season and the colour palette they have used. I don't normally wear blue but must say that I fell in love with the prints and you'll definitely be spotting a few pieces on the blog soon. I do love a good co-ord and clashing prints and textures is so my thing. 

I love what Evans are doing at the moment in updating their collection, and especially with the ladies contributing to the CUT collection. It's a step in the right direction, showing that plus size fashion doesn't have to be frumpy and can include plenty of print (clashing of course). 

The collection is due to launch next week, and here is a sneak peek of my favourite pieces to tide you over until then: 
What do you think? Will you be investing in any of these pieces to spruce up your wardrobe?

Friday, 24 October 2014

Spa Naturel Fitness | Mercure, Sheffield St. Paul's

A couple of weeks back I headed off for some well needed R and R (rest and recuperation) at Spa Naturel Fitness as part of the St. Paul's Mercure Hotel in Sheffield. Both myself and my mum had the 'rejuvenate day' package which included three luxury treatments and afternoon tea, along with use of the spa facilities, swimming pool and gym for the day. 

When we first arrived at the spa, we were greeted by friendly staff on reception who then gave us our complimentary robes, slippers and towels along with a guided tour of the facilities. Although I had looked on the site to see what facilities were offered, I must have missed the thermal suite they showed us so I was looking forward to giving these specialist rooms a try. The specialist rooms were rock sauna, steam room, aroma therapy room and ice igloo (yes, you read it correct, ice igloo!) and an experience shower. 

We only had a little peek of the gym facilities including a fitness studio, classes and freestyle training area. Unfortunately we arrived too late for the yoga class so donned our robes and set to their relaxation room for a well earned rest and cuppa. 

I had my treatments first, and so to prevent too much interruption of the treatments our therapist, Shannon (who was fantastic, well trained and so polite may I add), advised she would incorporate all three treatments together for a luxury experience. The three treatments last a whole 70 minutes and I was in absolute heaven. The first treatment I had was the cleansing and purifying back treatment which was explained as a sort of facial for your back and was simply divine. The second treatment was the discovery facial where I was introduced to new spa beauty products (and may have bought a few, there will be another post on this shortly!) Decléor. One product in question was the Ylang Ylang night balm and Shannon used this not only to massage into my face, but my shoulders, and then lead this to my final treatment of the tranquility scalp massage. I think at one point I did fall asleep, it was so nice to have the extra rest and really left me feeling rejuvenated. 

After I had the treatments my mum popped in for hers and this gave me time to have a look around the rest of the facilities. I popped downstairs to check out the 18m long pool and the thermal suite. I was really intrigued about trying the igloo room so jumped in there first, and it was absolutely freezing but an experience I think everyone should try one! The aroma therapy room was a sauna with beautiful fragrances designed for medicinal purposes and really cleared my sinuses. I then popped into the stream room which was really too hot for me so popped into the rock sauna, yet again too hot for me. I should really learn! The experience shower had three settings, fragrance (thin jets of warm fragranced water), drench (self-explanatory really) and cold (this was freezing but menthol fragranced and was lovely!). 

After my mum had her treatment, we headed up to the Champagne Bar for our afternoon cream tea which was absolutely amazing. I mean, we were served creme brûlées in cute little buckets! Along with Early Grey tea for two, we had sandwiches, small scones with butter and jam, and a few more pastries. Included in the 'rejuvenate day' package is either afternoon tea or spa lunch, the menu for spa lunch looked absolutely delicious and there were several options to pick from, part of me wished we'd have had that option instead. They were both delicious!

We had a fantastic day, and really did feel rejuvenated. We both came home with lots of Decléor goodies and new skincare regimes too. I could honestly say that if I lived near Sheffield (which is an amazing city and I love it!) I would definitely join the spa to use their facilities. 

The 'rejuvenate day' package contains: 
- Discovery facial 
- Tranquility scalp massage 
- Cleansing and purifying back treatment 
- Spa lunch or afternoon cream tea
- Complementary refreshments
- Robes, slippers and towels
- Full day's use of the spa facilities 
The overall package is worth over £140, but costs just £79* per person. 
*The rejuvenate day was provided by Spa Naturel Fitness free of charge, but all opinions in this review are my own.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Logitech Hinge iPad Mini Case* | Review

After spending time in hospital and having a slow recovery afterwards (fingers crossed that after a couple of months I'm doing a lot better!) I've spent a lot of time being super lazy in bed. Well, not super lazy but recovering, at least that's what I like to call it, hehe. So, I've been spending a lot of time catching up on outstanding TV series, and reading some of my favourite magazines on my iPad mini so that I don't distract Dexter. 

The folks over at Logitech have developed some new super iPad cases with fashion-forward thinking, and I definitely think the Hinge flexible iPad case with multi-angle stand reflects this with it's stylish and spill proof fabric. What I really like about the fabric is that it wouldn't look out of place on your shelf, ideal for those who have a large collection of books. As I said above, the fabric casing is spill proof which is part of their 'essential protection system' also including both scratch and bump resistant. Ideal for when Dexter gets his hands on it and starts throwing it around, much like my iPhone. Although saying that, I've now bought him his own... 

Most iPad covers have set angles at which you can have your iPad, mainly for laying on a desk at the optimal angle for typing or watching a movie without too much interference from light. However, the Hinge, as the name suggests, has hinge action built into the cover itself so that you personally can choose your optimal angle without the case collapsing and falling over under the iPad's weight.

I'm really impressed with this product, the fact you can adjust the angle to suit your needs really gets me. It's perfect for me to adjust when I'm catching up with shows in bed (yes American Horror Story: Coven, I mean you. I know I'm a year late but whatever!) so that I don't distract Dexter when he's sleeping. And also when I'm reading magazines or doing any University reading. I'm slightly behind on my module coursework at the moment but I know that this will be an absolute Godsend when I catch up, I have all my books in PDF format so it's ideal for popping on the desk whilst I'm making notes. 

You can buy the case from Logitech here, at £54.99. The case also comes in two colours, light brown (like mine) or mid-grey. 
*The Hinge Flexible iPad Case with Multi-Angle Stand from Logitech was sent to me free of charge, all opinions in this blog post are my own. 

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Things you forget | First Aid Kits

There are so many things you have to think about when you first have a baby; the main question over and over again is 'do I have everything I need?' and you will most surely think yes. What more could you need? You have a million and one baby grows, numerous toys, nappies and baby wipes are checked, so what more could there be? You've probably forgotten about the first aid kit, and yes, rightly so as it's not on your list of priorities for the time being, but it actually should be. You probably won't need this until your child is older and toddling about when they start getting scrapes, but what about for you too? Baby brain kicks in an whoops you've just poured a kettle of water all over yourself and put baby milk in your coffee. That happened to me numerous times...

I dread to think what is lurking in the back of my 'first aid/medicine' cabinet. Oh no, it's not a small bathroom cabinet with lotions and potions, but a whole kitchen cupboard full of out of date serums and medication. I'd rather not look to be honest. No doubt in my head that there won't be the essentials though.

I couldn't possibly think of what I would need in a first aid kit? Plasters, bandages, creams? And the little things that you will probably forget such as eye wash and tapes. It's much easier to buy a first aid kit really, and that's where this nifty little gadget comes in. This kid's first aid kit from Premier Healthcare & Hygiene covers everything, and comes in a neat little bag making it ideal to have in your car, in your cupboard, or even in your handbag! (It's small and compact).  

2 x alcohol free wipes
9 x creature plasters (these are awesome!)
1 x 5cm conforming bandage
a pair of vinyl gloves
1 x 5cm x 5cm low adherent dressing
1 x triangular bandage
1 x 1.25cm x 5m microporous tape 
2 x 20ml eye wash pods 

You really have everything but the kitchen sink in here, and there is extra room in the bag itself to put a few essentials in that you might require. I've popped a pair of small scissors and an antiseptic cream in (just in case).
*The kid's first aid kit was sent to me free of charge. Opinions in the review are my own.