Happy days

london skyline

I’ve been really inspired by reading Rosie’s posts over at Cider With Rosie – I love how optimistic and cheery she is about everything! It really reminded me that life is so much better if you don’t dwell on the rubbish stuff, so I’m trying to make an effort to focus on what makes my day awesome. These are a few things that’ve been making me happy recently…

1. People watching. From the window of a coffee shop, with a hot latte in hand. Who needs movies when the world is putting its drama right in front of you?

2. London skylines! I’m addicted to that city, and it was so great on a recent visit to stand over the Thames and look east at all the new builds popping up – I know nothing about architecture but I know what I like, and London’s combo of shiny glass and old brick just makes me squee with joy. 30 St Mary Axe may be my favourite address of all time.

3. Being home for summer and getting to cuddle my cat. Nothing says “I love you” like four sets of claws in your thigh.

4. Lazy Sundays with the boy, sleeping in late and making bacon & eggs for brunch. And teasing him about his hangover – that never gets old!

5. Checked shirts. I almost can’t wait for Autumn to arrive, I’ve been snuggling up in my brother’s hooded shirts when it gets a little chilly in the evenings.

What’s made you happy this week?

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Weekly Wishlist #2

Wishlist #2

I really enjoyed putting together my August wishlist, so I’ve decided to make this more of a weekly thing – the hardest bit will be not throwing my credit card after everything on the lists! Got to admit I already splurged on the Essie polish on my last wishlist, I’ll show you it sometime soon!

This week I’ve gone for things I think would work well together – I’d totally wear these items on a date night with the boyfriend or for drinks with the girls.

The Whistles clutch has been on my dream wishlist for what seems like ever. I love the simple style of it, it’s subtle and classy. The only thing better than a LBD is a LBB – little black bag! And the slim profile of it means thinking about what you’re throwing in there; this is a phone/cards/keys/lipgloss only kind of bag!

I saw these ASOS shoes in the sale a while back and ummed and aahed for so long that they sold out in my size (if you have baby size 4 feet, though, go go go!! There’s still a few pairs left!). There’s way too much foot on show for me to wear these to ‘work’, but if you work in any kind of office job these would be fab, and they can totally pull off an evening out too. I love the grey faux-suede – my shoe closet is never without a good grey, they’re the ultimate in pairing with anything.

And my first choice for that anything item would be Topshop’s amazing forest tube skirt. Look at the colours! Look at the print! Are you already typing in your delivery address on their website too? Or is that just me? I think the print makes it a bit more forgiving if you wouldn’t normally think of squeezing into a tube skirt, so this is a great first foray into that look. And they’re actually really comfy – I have Topshop’s liquorice allsort tube skirt and wore it to a dinner where I knew I was gonna be walking out with the food baby of the century. Elasticated waistband ftw.

Ok, away from food babies and on to something more mature – Clarins make up. Yet these eye pencils are almost anything but mature; check out that turquoise. Demure it is not. It’s the purple I’ve really got my eye on, though, as I think it goes with such a variety of eye colours, not to mention picking out the purpleish tree trunks on that skirt.

To finish off that outfit, a little drop of silver in the form of this Oliver Bonas heart ring. Just a bit more interesting than a plain band, that tiny heart adds a touch of cuteness. And it’s under £20 – what more could you want?

What did you think to today’s wishlist?

August Empties – Soap & Glory, Dermalogica, and Elf.

Nearly the end of another month (seriously, where did August go? September had better be sunny, I don’t want to say goodbye to summer just yet!), so time for another empties post. Only a few bits and bobs this month as I just moved back to uni, so I left a ton of half-empties at home to re-try at Christmas.

Soap & Glory Flake Away scrub

Soap & Glory Flake Away – £2.50 from Boots

 I know S&G has an almost cult following, but I’m not sure I see the appeal. Flake Away was a very fragrant fine scrub, and I like the cutesy pink tub, but it was just a bit too much scent and too little grit for me. I bought the travel size tub (50ml) as a trial, but you only get 3-4 uses out of it. Flake Away is great if you love a gentler scrub though, and the bigger tub (300ml) is pretty good value.

Repurchase? Nope. Already got a fab new scrub lined up to blog about soon!

Dermalogica Clean Start toner

Dermalogica Clean Start All Over Clear – £22.50 (Clean Start kit with 50ml All Over Clear) from Dermalogica

Another teeny tiny product, this 4ml toner spritzer was in a goody bag from a UCAS fair alongside the cleanser (Wash Off) and moisturiser (Welcome Matte). The spray pump jammed very early on, so I’ve taken to pouring a little into my hand and patting it onto my face on particularly bad skin days. I was reminded I had this stuff by a great Guardian article on teen skin a fortnight ago, really made me want to try Elemis FreshSkin products actually! I might not be a teenager anymore but try telling my face that…

Repurchase? When the bank account is a little less red. Great for breakouts.

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ELF Studio Mineral Infused Facial Primer – £6 from eyeslipsface

At only £6 I thought this was the perfect intro to primers, and it’s been fab for providing a smooth base for foundation and possibly disguising pores a little. The pump system is tricksy though, there’s a good few facefulls left that I can’t get out. This was just the clear version, I see they’ve brought out Tone Adjusting Green and a Radiant Glow versions too, quite keen on trying the green at some point.

Repurchase? Probably not. I’ve not found a better cheap alternative yet, but I’m convinced it’s out there.

Getting crafty #2

Ok, so I disappeared for a short while – sorry! I had a lovely few days away with the boyfriend in Brighton, and then left my laptop charger behind. A subsequent move up the country to university, and it’s taken a little while for my laptop and its charger to be reunited. But we are now all powered up and ready to get blogging again! Without further ado…



In the second part of my crafty post series, I thought I’d show you this card I made. My mum is running holiday clubs for some local older people and they’re going to be making these soon, so I got tasked with doing a trial run to see if it could be done easily in the allotted time.

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Known as iris patterns, all you need is a blank card with three sides and a cut-out hole (we bought these pre-cut from our local sell-everything shop), your pattern outline (get one online, just print it out to the right size) and four different coloured sets of strips of paper/card (Wilko’s sell packs of plain & coloured paper that are perfect for this).

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Take the pattern and blue tack it onto the face of your card, pattern down, so that when you open up the inside, you can see the pattern through the cut-out. Then take your first strip of paper, approx 1cm wide, and lay it over the bit marked ‘1’. Make sure the pattern is face down – you should be looking at the back of it, so the pattern will show out of the front of the card. Tape the ends down and trim it to make sure it fits within that section of the card. Then take a second patterned/coloured piece and lay it over the bit marked ‘2’. Tape, trim, and apply piece 3 (another colour) in the same way, then piece 4 (another colour). Piece 5 should be the same pattern/colour as piece 1, piece 6 the same as piece 2, etc etc.

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Keep going until you’ve covered all the spaces on your pattern, then remove the pattern – you should have a sort of spiral effect with the pieces of paper, with each quarter in a different pattern or colour.

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Then you can either put a little picture in the middle, or fold the back piece of card over and write a short message in the gap. If you want a bigger space, just use less rounds of paper.

They really are more simple than they look, right? This one took me all of fifteen minutes to do, and I’m going to use it as a birthday card for my boyfriend’s mum – nothing says brownie points like a handmade card.

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Do you make your own cards? Or – *gasp* – do you buy handmade cards off Etsy and pass them off as your own? Or (like me 99% of the time) do you just run to Paperchase every time you need one? Feed me card-related comments!

Ombré seaside nails

I’ve been getting a bit more adventurous with my nail choices recently, mostly thanks to LOreal Confetti – it’s a brilliant addition to any nail and neatly disguises any uneven nail art beneath.

Today I decided to go for a mix of blues, since I’m off to Brighton! A combo of 17’s Seabreeze and Wave seemed very apt.

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I started with a Seabreeze base, then added half a second coat at the cuticle end, with the other half in Wave. A bit of dabbing at the border between the two with an almost empty brush got them to merge slightly.

Then I added Confetti. It’s amazing how much it makes the underlying ombré look better!

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Slight disaster when my dad reached for something I was holding shortly after I painted the last nail… Smudged it right off! Thankfully only had to do one again.

I put two or three coats of clear top coat on it to give a smooth feel, else the confetti can give it a bit of a rough texture.

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Ignore the messy bits on my fingers, I’m super clumsy with nail polish! Embarrassing…

Have you tried ombré nails? Any tips other than disguising it with top coats?

Mavala Smoky Blue nails

Maybe I’m just totally fickle, but I’ve never loved a nail colour enough to finish a whole bottle of it (clear top coats aside). This is why I love Mavala nail polish – the bottles are only 5ml, so perfect for a little taster without having to waste the remainder if you decide it’s not quite your thing.

I got into Mavala after they did a special edition grey for Elle magazine a few years back. It was creamy, opaque with minimal coats and a gorgeous subtle grey that wasn’t too cold looking.

The one I’ve been wearing recently is Mavala Smoky Blue, an a lovely navy shade.


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It’s difficult to pick out on the nail, but look at the bottle in this pic – there’s a fine shimmer in this polish that’s really subtle but gives a nice finish to the nail. It’s a dark navy, but light enough that it still looks blue rather than black. Whilst this is a lovely creamy formula that goes on really smoothly, I just can’t get it to last! Even with a clear top coat for added protection, I can only get about 24hrs out of this mani before it chips along the nail tip. It also takes an age to dry fully. Put any pressure on your nail within about the first hour and you’ll get smudged polish or marks in it (I’m awful for ending up with fingerprints on my nails!).

At around £4.50 for a 5ml bottle (from Boots) it works out about the same value as most other mid-range nail polishes (Essie, Nails Inc, etc), but you’ll not have as much left over to go gloopy in the bottle when you move on to the next season’s trends.

What do you think of mini nail polishes? A better investment than full size bottles?

August wishlist – Aldo, Zara, Essie & more

Wishlist #1

I thought I’d share a bit of my current wishlist with you today. And my first attempt at creating an image set with Polyvore!

First on my wishlist is this Zara City bag in black.  Always in fashion yet professional looking, it’s the perfect bag for carrying absolutely everything you need in style. As much as I love a bit of colour, a black bag can really accent any outfit, and the City bag’s strap options mean you can carry it any which way you like. I’d take this to uni with me, as it’s big enough to lug around textbooks but smart enough to take to hospital clinics.

This isn’t the only luggage item on my wishlist this month though, as I’m lusting after Anorak‘s Kissing Bears wash bag. How cute? Sadly the awesome polar bear print has been discontinued, so I’m in a rush to snap one of these up before they’re gone for good. There’s a massive range of wash bags in this print, from small flat bags to squarer ‘box’ types, but I’m after two of the larger ones – a 30x30cm bag with two sections that would be perfect for bottles of shampoo & conditioner, and a 28x18x7cm medium bag that would carry all my skincare products neatly. I’m living in five different places in the upcoming year, anything that solves my travel nightmares is definitely on my wishlist! If you’re keen but not a polar bear fan (how could you not be though, really?), they also do horses, rabbits, hedgehogs, birds… Go check them out!

These brown wedge trainers from Aldo (which are in the sale right now, hint hint) are ideal for a twist on a casual outfit, throw them on with jeans and a blazer for a shopping trip or dress down a girly skirt with them. Trainers are always my go-to casual shoe, but I usually stick to Converse All Stars. These Aldo wedges would be a nice move towards more interesting outfit choices – I’m not brave enough to sport Aldo’s studded version just yet!

Where I shy away from studs on clothing, I’m totally up for some pointy jewellery in the form of this bunting necklace from Asos.  The chunky chain gives it a punk edge, whilst the blue triangles are a neat skip away from monochrome whilst staying subtly stylish.

It couldn’t be a wishlist of mine without some beauty products, so I’ve picked out these two items of make up to finish off my summer. L’Oreal True Match foundation is going to save me from my nightmare of finding that my Lancome Teint Ultra is now several shades too pale for my face. I’m really excited about finding my perfect shade in this range – I’ve already had a go on the online colour swatcher and I think I’m either Rose Vanilla or just plain Vanilla. What’s isn’t plain anything is Essie’s Mojito Madness polish. I know this is a really popular polish so I’ve picked it as my first foray into Essie’s products. My nail polish collection is mostly blues, pinks and purples, so it’d be great to inject some variety into it with this vibrant green from last year’s summer collection. I’m also rather tempted by the new summer release of Naughtily Nautical…

What’s on your wishlist right now?