Festive Nails

Wednesday, 24 December 2014 ·

It's common knowledge that no outfit is complete without some accessories but the thing that really adds the finishing touch? Nail polish of course! Personally, I hate bare nails so my collection of nail polish is a little out of hand but I do have a few firm favourites for the festive season...

Dark sultry nails are a must for the whole of winter, not just Christmas, so no collection is complete without a bright berry shade. My favourite is Raspberry from Barry M which is just the perfect shade as it doesn't have too much red in it so it won't clash with your favourite red dress! 

The newest addition to my collection is Bewitch from the Salon Pro collection by Rimmel. This is a fantastic dark green shade which is just a little bit different without being too 'out there'! I've been looking for the perfect Christmas tree shade for a couple of years now so I was super happy when I found this one which ticks all the boxes. 

No festive nail look is complete without some sparkle, whether that's just on the tips as a festive twist on a French manicure or as a complete top coat. Looking Glass by Ciaté looks great over both Raspberry and Bewitch to add a little sparkle. 

What's your favourite polish to use over the festive season? 

Twisty Cheese Straws

Tuesday, 23 December 2014 ·

With Christmas fast approaching and Christmas parties seemingly every night, there's a constant need of a multitudinous variety of canapés! Personally the easier the canapé the better at this time of the year when there are so many other things to do! This is my ultimate quick and delicious canapé... 

- 100g cream cheese
- 2 tbsp pesto 
- 375g sheet puff pastry 
- 1 egg (beaten) 

1. Combine the cream cheese and pesto together in a small bowl. 

2. Lightly flour the worktop and roll out the puff pastry. Cut the pastry in half lenthways so you are left with two rectangles. 

3. Spread the pesto and cream cheese mix over one half of the pastry and place the other piece of pastry on top like a sandwich and then cut this in half lengthways again to create 2 long rectangles.

4. Divide each rectangle into short strips, around 1cm wide.

5. Twist each of the individual pastry strips and place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Brush with beaten egg and then pop them into the oven at 200 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes.

Once the time is up simply take them out of the oven and place on a wire rack to cool slightly before serving.

This is one of my favourite canapés to make as it's so quick and easy and is always a crowd pleaser. You can personalise this as much or as little as you like, the options for this really are endless. 

What canapés do you like to make? 

Rudolph Shortbread Biscuits

Monday, 22 December 2014 ·

There's something about Christmas that just makes me want to bake all day every day. The smell of baking in the house is irresistible and it just gets that festive feeling going! I'm not actually the biggest fan of spiced biscuits so this year I decided to make my granny's shortbread biscuits a little festive...

- 6oz plain flour
- 4oz butter (diced)
- 2oz caster sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- glace cherries

1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees celsius. 

2. Add all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and rub together using your fingers until you have a texture similar to breadcrumbs.  

TIP: You can also use a food processor for this step which is quicker! 

3. Combine the mixture together into a pliable dough. 

4. Roll out the dough until around 3mm thick and cut into circles around 7cm in diameter and place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. 

5. Before popping them in the oven cut the glace cherries in half and place one half onto each biscuit - ideally in the middle of the lower half, for Rudolph's nose! 

6. Pop the biscuits in the middle of the oven for 10-12 minutes. 

7. Once cooked place the biscuits onto a cooling rack until completely cool.

8. Last but not least simply pipe on Rudolph's antlers and eyes - I used premixed tubes of icing for this!

These biscuits are so simple to make and yet so festive at the same time. They make the perfect addition to a festive afternoon cup of tea or even a last minute gift!

What are your favourite sweet things to make at Christmas? 

DIY Herb Markers

Sunday, 21 December 2014 ·

Having a few pots of herbs dotted along my kitchen worktops is one of my favourite ways of adding a little greenery into my little London flat. Of course, there's also the added bonus of having fresh herbs on hand for when your making your next batch of pasta sauce! As a completely unnecessary added touch I decided to make some of these herb markers because it's hard to tell the difference between thyme and basil right? 

What you need...
- Polymer clay (e.g. Fimo) 
- Baking tray 
- Rolling pin
- Knife
- Rubber letter stamps


1. Divide the polymer clay into equal size balls (approximately 1.25 inches in diameter). You'll need 1 ball for each marker you intend on making. 

2. Roll each ball out into a cylinder approximately 5.5 inches long - it's easiest to just use your hands to do this not the rolling pin. 

3. Use the rolling pin to flatten each of the cylinders until they are around 0.25 inches thick. 

4. Using the blunt side of the knife cut off one end of the marker at an angle which will be the end to go into the soil once complete.

5. Smooth out any rough edges using your fingers until you are happy with the overall shape. 

6. Place all of the markers onto the baking tray and use the rubber stamps to label each of your markers. 

7. Last but not least simply bake the markers according to the instructions on your polymer clay. 

These herb markers add a lovely little touch to any plant pot whether it be inside or out, although they will last much better inside. They would also make the perfect gift for someone who likes to do a little gardening no matter what the scale. 

Do you like to make gifts at Christmas time? 

Homemade Epic Hot Chocolate Mix

Friday, 19 December 2014 ·

During these cold winter months, where it seems to barely get light at all, you really can't beat snuggling up on the sofa in front of the fire, with a blanket and a hot chocolate. However, if you fancy making your next hot chocolate just a little more special then you have to try out this recipe for the ultimate indulgent hot chocolate! 

This hot chocolate is literally out of this world and a million times better than any of the versions you can pick up in the shops. 

- 100g finely grated dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids) 
- 2 tbsp Horlicks
- 4 tbsp high quality cocoa powder
- 3 tbsp icing sugar
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 1 ping ground cinnamon 

1. To make the hot chocolate powder itself it couldn't be easier, simply pop all of the ingredients into a large jar and give it a good mix! 

2. For making the hot chocolate itself all you need to do is heat up some milk in a pan and add in the hot chocolate powder* and whisk until thoroughly combined and then leave to simmer for a couple of minutes. In the end you are looking for a super thick, creamy texture. 

*For 1/4 pint of milk you will need 2.5 tbsp of the powder. 

This hot chocolate is guaranteed to be unlike anything you've ever tried before. It's my ultimate indulgence for when the weather is particularly miserable outside and is perfect for sipping on during a Christmas movie. 

Have you ever made your own hot chocolate? 

5 Pins I'm Loving {2}

Tuesday, 16 December 2014 ·

With my Pinterest addiction really taking hold, the past week has been spent scouring the endless pages of Pinterest in search of some new favourite pins. It's all too easy to get lost for hours at a time so my collection of pins steadily growing - make sure to follow me on Pinterest for more of this... 

1. How beautiful are these hand painted Christmas cards? It can be so hard to find really lovely Christmas cards so it would be great to be able to make my own. If I tried making ones like this it would most likely end up looking like a 3 year old had done it! Pin

2. The search for the perfect Christmas day or outfit can often seem to be an impossible task  but this Ted Baker dress ticks all the boxes for me. The royal blue shade is simply stunning and I love the sheer lace panel across the shoulders. Pin

3. I want to hand make as many things as I can this Christmas, so I'm planning on making everything from the presents to the food. This beautiful natural wrapping has inspired me to even go as far as to make my own Christmas wrapping this year so I'm going to experiment with a few different methods I think! Pin
4. As a sucker for any kind of past dish this pin immediately drew my eye, I mean just look at it - how delicious does that look!? Spaghetti isn't my favourite so I'd probably make this with fusilli but I adore red peppers so I can't wait to make this when I need something a little comforting! Pin

5. This will be the perfect addition to the slowly growing gallery wall in my living room. You can't beat a good quote and with a pop of colour too this is perfect. Pin

Let me know if you love Pinterest as much as me as I'd love some new boards to follow! 

My Little Cosy Box...

Saturday, 13 December 2014 ·

Another month and another My Little Box came through my letter box which this month is aptly named My Little Cosy Box. Mine arrived particularly late in November by which point the weather had well and truly turned for the worse. I was very much in need of some new additions to my cosy night in routine and let me tell you, My Little Box does cosy very very well...

The mix of lifestyle and beauty is aways spot on in these boxes and last month was no exception! We'll start with the beauty bits this time and this time you have the essentials to create a smokey eye look that is ideal for this time of year. 
As always there's something from the My Little Beauty range and this time they treated their subscribers to the mascara. I haven't had chance to try this out yet as I don't like to have more than one mascara on the go at a time! In addition to this there's a classic chocolate eyeshadow that has good colour payoff and is nice a buttery. Last but not least on the beauty front is a staple for every make up bag, a waterproof black eyeliner. This is super creamy and is perfect for tight-lining your eyes! 
Now onto the most exciting part of the box, the lifestyle goodies! How adorable is this little coffee mug?! As always I adore the drawings  and I'm super excited that this month it's on more than just the box and postcard. Last but not least is the lavender wheat bag designed by Tsuhori Chisato which is perfect not only for keeping warm during the colder months but I also love to use it to sooth any muscle pains!

I'm aware that me raving about this box each and every month might be getting a little tiresome but I just can't get enough of it and each month it exceeds my expectations. I've just found out that for December My Little Box has partnered up with Fleur de Force who is one of my favourite YouTubers/bloggers so I can't wait to see what she's chosen for the box - fingers crossed it arrives before I head home for Christmas!

Have you tried My Little Box or any other subscription service? 

Jewellery Storage Inspiration

Wednesday, 10 December 2014 ·

Finding the perfect solution to store your jewellery can seem an impossible task at times and it can be even more difficult to find a cute, practical way to display it! To save you time I've been doing some research and have found some quick, easy and unique ideas for you... 

I've been looking for something to both store and display my jewellery for quite some time now but nothing I've seen ticks all of the boxes. So, plan B was to to turn to my trusty favourite, Pinterest, and I've found some great DIY options and who doesn't love a bit of DIY! 

Who knew there were so many bits and bobs in your kitchen that could double up as jewellery storage? Metal jelly moulds can make perfect storage containers for bracelets or rings and would work either in your drawers or even just out on your dresser. 

I love the idea of using a flat cheese grater to display a select few of my favourite earrings - think I'd spray paint mine rose gold or copper though to make it a little more chic! 
For something a little more complex and that will tick a few more boxes in terms of practicality why not repurpose some old drawers like above? Instead of vintage wooden cotton bobbins you could use pretty ceramic door knobs to add a pop of colour. 

Using an old photo frame like this would literally only take a couple of minutes to throw together and will really bring something unique to your space. Short on surface space then pop it on the wall instead?

I love a good DIY but sometimes can be a little impatient and these quick and easy ideas would provide the instant gratification I tend to crave. 

How do you store and display your jewellery?

Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

5 Pins I'm Loving {1}

Sunday, 7 December 2014 ·

Having been suffering from tonsillitis this past week I've spent a little too much time on Pinterest, alright a lot too much time. Narrowing down my favourites was a tricky one but fear not I got there in the end... 

1. We all know I love candles, especially ones in lovely little glass jars but I always feel a little guilty when the candles finished and the jar goes straight in the bin! This pin is my inspiration to clean out the next empty candle jar I have and finally have somewhere to keep all all of the bits and pieces that collect in the bottom of drawers. Source

2. This sink set up is just simply perfection to me. The mirror above is such a great way to make the area into a little bit more of a feature rather than purely practical. But most importantly, the mint green tiles, I adore mint green and yet I'd never thought about incorporating it into my kitchen like this. Source

3. I always have an hour or so set aside every weekend for a long relaxing bath and so I can't get enough of any little luxuries to make this time a little more special. Usually I'm a Lush addict but I'm always on the lookout for new brands or even things that I can make myself. Source

4. A snuggly jumper, plaid/tartan scarf and chic hat - what more could you want for the perfect casual winter outfit? An oversized tartan scarf like this is definitely top of my christmas wish list! Source

5. Baking is pretty much the ideal activity for a rainy Sunday afternoon, and we all know days like that are all too frequent at this time of the year so you can never have too many new recipes to try. These smores bars look fantastic and will definitely be next on my list to attempt! Source

Keep up with more of my favourite pins? Follow me on Pinterest! 

Must Have Apps

Thursday, 4 December 2014 ·

As someone who is more or less surgically attached to her iPhone I am constantly looking for new apps that I can have a play about with or that will simply make my life a little bit easier. Here are some of my most used apps at the moment... 

Pinterest, Free

As you know from this post I've been becoming obsessed with Pinterest lately and it was only a matter of time before the app found it's way onto both my iPhone and iPad... I won't insult you by going into why this is such a great app, instead I'll simply issue a brief warning - if you have any upcoming deadlines DO NOT get this as you'll get nothing done!

Money Dashboard, Free

This is a great free app for keeping track of your finances. It links to your bank account and automatically tags each of your transactions to a certain category and then creates a pie chart (my inner geek loves this) showing the proportion of your spending on certain things. I'm in the process of saving up to move house (again) in the new year and this has been invaluable in showing where I need to cut down my spending.

Afterlight, 69p 

With each iPhone thy release the camera gets better and better and yet still we can't get enough of photo editing apps. There's just something magical about being able to transform a photo into something completely new and Afterlight has a filter for every occasion plus all the basic editing tools you could use. I never buy an app, even one for 69p, but I don't know what I'd do without this one. 

Citymapper, Free

Whether you live in London or are just visiting for the weekend this app needs to have a slot on your home screen. It combines all of the best features of other similar apps, type in your destination and it will shows you every possible way of getting there; tube, bus, walking, cycling or taxi including an necessary costs! My favourite feature you ask? Well of course the rain safe route so you can keep your blow dry looking perfect! 

Wunderlist, Free

If, like me, lists make you feel that everything is right in the world and you end up with countless lists on the back of receipts in your handbag then this is the app for you. You can have numerous lists on the go at once, add reminders and comments to individual tasks and even share your lists with other Wunderlist users! A must have for anyone who likes to keep super organised.

This is just a little snippet of my most used and loved apps at the moment and of course there will always be the usual favourites; Instagram, Twitter, and iBooks as well.

I'd love to know what your favourite apps are - let me know in the comments section below...

5 Minute Mani

Monday, 1 December 2014 ·

With winter setting in for the foreseeable future and the urge to simply bundle up in all your warmest clothes, fluffy socks, bobble hats is hard to resist and all our beauty regimes tend to go out of the window... But not to worry here's my fail safe 5 minute manicure to keep you looking glamorous even through the worst of the weather. 

If you want an even quicker mani experience then make sure to do this straight after jumping out of the bath as your cuticles will be nice and soft so much easier to push back. First I'd recommend popping on a little hand cream to further soften your hands. A metal cuticle pusher tends to give the best results and the tidiest cuticles, if you don't already have one then you can get them super cheaply online - try here

Although it might be tempting to trim your cuticles this will typically do more harm than good so try and resist the temptation - it's best to only get this done at a salon. 

Now take a minute to file your nails into whatever shape is your preference, I always go for a 'squoval' as this is easiest to maintain and seems to be the most flattering on my hands. If you have an extra minute it's also good to use a 3 way buffer too (try this one) as this will make your nails look so much healthier. 

Pop a quick base coat on, my favourite is Orly Bonder. Now to the big decision, what colour to go for. If you want this to be a true five minute mani then I'd recommend going for a colour which goes on opaque with one coat to save you time. My go to at this time of year is Maybelline Colour Show in Wine Shimmer - this looks great with one coat and is the perfect autumnal colour. 

Once everything is dried pop a little bit of Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream onto your cuticles and your good to go. Admittedly this may take you a little longer than 5 minutes at first but they do say practice makes perfect and I've managed to get this down to an art form so I can assure it is definitely possible to get this done within 5 minutes. 

Do you have any tips for a quick manicure?

Declutter Your Bathroom

Friday, 28 November 2014 ·

Us girls sure do love to hoard our products and as such we tend to hog every inch of space in the bathroom! Since moving in with my boyfriend I've realised boys also seem to collate an impressive array of lotions and potions and not long ago I realised we needed to have a sort out and clear some space...Here are my tips to declutter your bathroom!

First up, and most importantly, before you try and organise anything you need to have a clear out of the products that are used up, out of date or you simply don't like anymore. You'll be amazed at how much space these are taking up! It's one of those jobs we all put off but it'll make organising everything sooo much easier. 
Bathroom Cabinet
You can't go wrong with having a good bathroom cabinet but make sure to get one with a decent height between the shelves so you can fit in all your deodorants, cleansers, toothbrush and hair detanglers. There's nothing more frustrating than the shelves being too low for any of your big products. 

I also pop all my little bit and pieces like hair bobbles, cotton pads etc in the little sections in the doors of the cabinet which works perfectly as otherwise these just linger in the bottom of drawers, handbags etc. 

The most useful thing I have in my bathroom is a tall, narrow set of white wicker drawers which sits next to my sink. So, for a start, this is where I keep my candle, hand soap and little faux plant - I just love how this looks!
But anyway, more importantly for the drawers... Drawers this size are great for keeping bits and pieces like medicines, spare razors, etc etc. I also use the top drawer for more of the products I use on a daily basis but don't have a spot in the cabinet. Bathrooms can get cluttered really quickly if you like to have an array of products on hand to mix up your routine so switch the drawers around every now and then so you have different things in the most easy to access drawers - it might just reinvent your routine! 

Wicker Baskets
Am I the only one who is completely and utterly obsessed with Lush products (or bath products in general to be honest)? My Lush collection got a little out of hand and yet I didn't want to hide it all away in the drawers (it's just too pretty) so I picked up this basket to pop at the end of my bath. 

A basket with a lid is also a great way of keeping things looking a little more minimalist and clean if you prefer it, plus they can hide a multitude of sins...

Shower Caddy
Got housemates or live with your other half? If so, the collection of shower gels and shampoos can get clutter up the sides of the bath in no time and every  time you pick one up it's like a game of dominoes and all the bottles end up round your feet in the bath.

If this seems familiar then maybe you need to pick up a shower caddy. I absolutely love mine as it keeps all of our products out of the way and easily accessible while in the shower. The hooks are also ideal for hanging a flannel or loofa. There's a design for pretty much every style of shower so there's really no excuse not to have one.

Do you have any tips for keeping your bathroom clean and organised?

A Winter Reading List...

Wednesday, 26 November 2014 ·

As a book worm through and through I need absolutely no excuse to just curl up and read my book. However, since the dark evenings have well and truly set in it seems so much more appropriate to snuggle up on the sofa with a few candles lit and a hot chocolate (with marshmallows and whipped cream) to read a few chapters of my latest book obsession. If you're in need of some recommendations then look no further... 

The Maze Runner by James Dashner
By this point, if you haven't already heard of The Maze Runner you must have been hiding out in a cave for the past few months! This is a book that's been on my iPad for months and months and only when it came out on film did I finally get around to reading it. This book has so many twists and turns it's guaranteed to keep you turning the pages until the very end at which point you'll immediately want to pick up the sequel, The Scorch Trials, to find out what happens next. 

The book starts with the doors to the lift opening and Thomas getting his first view of the Glade, his new home at the middle of a huge stone maze. All he and the other Gladers know is that they need to find a way out of the maze, although what will await them when they finally do escape, no one knows and with Grievers in their way it may not be as easy as it would first seem. 

If you liked The Hunger Games or Divergent then I can't recommend this highly enough. 

We've all heard the saying 'live everyday like it's your last' and very few of us will ever actually take this to heart and do anything about it but this book will make you think again.

Set in a US high school, Sam is killed in a car crash on the way home from a party and is then forced to relive that day over and over again until she can find out the real cause of the accident. This story involves it all, love, betrayal, friendship, plus so much more.

I challenge you not to fall in love with each and every aspect of this book. 

There's something about the idea of the circus which draws us all in but nowadays the reality of the circus is typically a (huge) letdown - Cirque de Soleil doesn't count people! So since real life circuses don't live up to our imagination then a book about a circus seems the next best thing!

Le Cirque de Reves is open only from nightfall to dawn (yep you read that right) and appears without warning with only a handful of people knowing where it's next stop will be. There are so many tents that you couldn't possibly hope to visit them all in a single night so a return trip is must to continue your explorations, the question is though, will the circus still be there tomorrow night.

I was completely enchanted by this book, nearly missing my stop on the train on more than one occasion. All I wanted to do when it was done was start it all over again!

What's on your reading list?

Spiced Christmas Biscuits

Sunday, 23 November 2014 ·

So it may be a little early to be posting Christmas recipes but lets be honest we all love the festive season so why not start to enjoy it a little earlier than usual? One of my favourite things to make is always spiced biscuits which I often give as little gifts to friends and family but are also work great as tree decorations! These biscuits are super simple and you could even rustle up a double size batch and keep half of the dough wrapped in cling film for a week or so until you need to make the inevitable second batch! 

- 175g dark muscavado sugar
- 100g butter
- 85g golden syrup 
- 2tsp ground ginger
- 1tsp ground cinnamon
- 350g plain flour 
- 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 egg 
- icing sugar (to decorate) 
- silver balls / hundreds and thousands (to decorate) 

1. Heat the sugar, butter and golden syrup in a bowl  in the microwave until melted. 

TIP: Do this in 10 second blasts, and stir in between until it's all melted to avoid burning the sugar. 

2. Mix the ginger, cinnamon and plain flour in a bowl then make a well in the centre for the wet ingredients. 

3. Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in 1tsp cold water and pour into the well in the dry ingredients, followed by the sugar, butter and golden syrup mixture and egg (lightly beaten). 

4. Mix together all of the ingredients until you have a soft dough and then wrap the mixture in cling film and place in the fridge for 40-60 minutes so it can firm up a little. 

TIP: Use a wooden spoon for this not an electric whisk. It may take a little longer and be more effort but it'll be worth it as the whisk often gets clogged with the dough making it more trouble than it's worth.

5. Whilst waiting, preheat the oven to 170 degrees celsius. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out until around 0.5cm thick and cut into shapes using cutters, transferring them to a baking tray (lined with greaseproof paper) as you go. If you want to use them as decorations make sure to pierce a hole through the dough using a skewer. 

7. Pop them into the middle of the oven for 12-15minutes or until they are golden brown when they should be transferred to a wire rack to cool. 

8. Now to decorate them. Mix up the icing - make sure to keep it nice and thick so you have control over where you place it, and decorate your biscuits however you like. To be honest I really like how these biscuits look when they  aren't decorated!

Now finally it's time to try one or get them hung up on the tree! Unfortunately I can't hang them on my tree as one of our numerous cats would no doubt pull them off and have a little feast! 

What I'm Watching...

Friday, 21 November 2014 ·

As the cold and dark nights have truly begun to settle in I've taken the opportunity more and more to turn to my laptop to snuggle up under a blanket and immerse myself in some new TV programmes and I am loving them! Keep reading if you're in need of a little inspiration!

I only discovered this a couple of weeks ago (thanks to Lily Melrose) and I immediately got hooked and have already run out of episodes! This is the story of the young Mary Queen of Scot's survival in the French court where she encounters love triangles, enemies and countless other obstacles. I love a historical drama and if, like me, you loved The Tudors then this is a must watch! 

Boardwalk Empire
This one may not be new to a lot of you as there was a huge amount of hype about this in the run up to the launch of Sky Atlantic in the UK. I however was a little slow to jump on the bandwagon and only really got into it a couple of months ago. This all revolves around gangsters, prohibition and politics - what's not to love?! It can be a little confusing at first but stick with it! 

Harry Potter
It's a tradition that every year, in the run up to Christmas, I watch all of the Harry Potter films. Everybody loves a bit of Harry Potter and it's got to be one of the best things to watch curled up on the sofa with a hot chocolate whilst the rain beats down on the windows. 

30 Rock 
If you're in need of a chuckle then I can't recommend this highly enough. Each episode is only 20 minutes long so I love to pop this on while I do my make up or while I cook dinner. Tina Fey and Alex Baldwin work so well together in this and I just can't resist it when I have a spare half an hour or so although be warned it can get addictive and you may have watched 3/4 episodes before you know what's happened! 

Yet another programme I got utterly hooked on and have subsequently run out of episodes of, and again something people have raved about for years and I had previously ignored. The twists and turns in this series will keep you coming back for more, and there are more than a couple of characters that you may well fall in love with just a little bit... 

Downton Abbey
Last but not least, this one goes without saying and somehow I don't think any explanation is going to be necessary! This is pure, feel good television and essentially it has no flaws, I simply love it. It's always all anyone can talk about on Monday mornings so if you haven't already I think it's about time you caught up before the Christmas special! 

What have you been watching lately? Since I've run out of Reign, Revenge AND Downton Abbey I need some more recommendations! 

Take A Little Time...

Tuesday, 18 November 2014 ·

Do you ever feel like life is running away from you? I've most certainly been feeling like this the last month or so thanks to work being incredible busy and more often than not, stressful. Taking my laptop home every night from work has meant I've had little to no time to relax and it's started to take its toll...

Previously I underestimated the importance of just taking some time, be at an hour or just 10 minutes, to simply relax, switch off from the world and maybe have a little pamper session. I've had a brief reprieve from the madness of work in the last week and top of my list was to do just that, relax and my gosh has it felt good. Making the most of the free time I've been making sure I set aside some time to 'myself' every night and I think I've got my relaxation or pamper essentials down to a tea! 

So here's my step by step guide... 

1. Get a bath running and add in your favourite Lush bath bomb - at the moment mine is So White which has a lovely refreshing apple fragrance. Despite how much I love this, a bath simply isn't complete without a mountain of bubbles to retreat under so I usually add in some Radox too. 

2. Now for some mood lighting...I have a ridiculous obsession with fairy lights and candles (they're all over the flat!) and the bathroom is no exception so I switch on my adorable metal lantern fairy lights and light by Calvin Klein Leaves candle. 

3. Next up is entertainment. If you're one of the lucky ones who can simply lie back and relax then pop on your current favourite album and you're good to go. I however am not one of those people so I usually opt either for my book or catching up on some tv (lately it's been X Factor and Downton Abbey!).

4. Once you have all this set up it's time to pop on a face mask, sink under the bubbles and switch off from the world! Mask of Magnaminty from Lush is a new one for me and I love it as you can use it on your body as well as your face and the mint in it is super refreshing!

5. If you're feeling particularly luxurious, why not pop on a hair mask whilst you're at it!

After all this, touch wood, you should be feeling sufficiently relaxed and ready to take on another week in the real world, at least that's the plan! 

Autumn Luxe: Home

Sunday, 16 November 2014 ·

TIme for the third and final part of my first ever mini series and I think this might be my favourite one. Now don't get me wrong I love playing with my make-up, trying out new products and wrapping up in cosy accessories my favourite thing of all is always homeware, especially in autumn/winter. 

Autumn Lighting, Fairy Lights

First things first, and in my opinion the most important, mood lighting. Although I love a bit of mood lighting all year round it can be a little irrelevant in the summer months when it stays light until 10pm. So, the one and only thing I like about the shorter days at the moment is being able to get in from work and immediately switch on the fairy lights, lamps and light some candles. 

I absolutely love these little moroccan style star lights. The filigree type detailing would give off the most beautiful soft light. I actually have 2 sets very similar to these but they're spheres so maybe these will be next on my list. Buy here

This lamp is literally perfection for me, the dainty copper legs and plain shade remind of the typical Scandinavian style which I would love to emulate in my flat, unfortunately I like my knick knacks a bit too much to fully commit to the minimalist style. Buy here

Fighting for top spot in terms of importance has to be blankets and cushions to keep you cosy when it's dark outside and you're snuggled up on the sofa having a Harry Potter marathon with your fairy lights twinkling away. 

Any chunky knit blanket is ideal for this time of the year, not only do they look luxurious draped over the side of the sofa, they're also a whole new level of comfy! We have far too many blankets in our house as apparently I don't share... Buy here

In addition to my many other obsessions, I also have a soft spot for cushions believe it or not and I've been on the hunt for some cute festive ones for the upcoming festive period and this one is perfect! Buy here

Onto a couple of little more random things. As you may know by now, I adore baking - it's my favourite thing to do to relax, and baking at Christmas is probably the best as you do everything in adorable shapes! When it comes to shapes for biscuits you can't go wrong with a gingerbread man and I love that this one is copper. Buy here

Last but not least, a completely unnecessary item and yet one I just can't get out of my head. I adore this wooden tray from H&M. It would be perfect on my bedside table to hold some of my must have bits and pieces, so although it's really autumnal it's top of my current home wish list. Buy here

Is there anything you can't live without during autumn or can you just not wait until it's acceptable to make your home festive?

Make sure to check out the other installments of my autumn trilogy on beauty and fashion!

A Little DVF Surprise...

Friday, 14 November 2014 ·

I completely forgot I even had these pictures so apologies for posting this so late (fingers crossed my next box should here soon)! So, for the second My Little Box, they really outdid themselves by partnering up with the one and only Diane von Furstenburg!

The first thing that always strikes me with My Little Box is the beautiful artwork, I just can't get enough of it! In fact it was the inspiration I needed to finally get started on a gallery wall in my living room, although currently everything is just blu-tacked up as I don't want to make lots of nail holes in the wall (the joy of living in a rented flat). 

So once I'd finally undone the cute little bow and stopped gawping at the beautiful postcard I finally got to delve in and see what the real goodies were for October...
Unsurprisingly the focus of this DVF box was much more beauty/fashion focussed than lifestyle but I certainly wasn't complaining. First up, and in my opinion the most excited was a monochrome print DVF scarf - not your usual beauty box goody, am I right? I've worn this a bunch since I got it as it goes with everything and is ideal for throwing on if you're going out for drinks in the evening. There was also a super cute lips brooch which I think will be a cute way to add a little pop of colour to an outfit during winter. 
Onto the beauty portion of the box, but before I jump into the real goodies I have to point out how much I love getting these little draw string bags each month - they're perfect for storing little bits and pieces in my drawers or for packing jewellery for travelling!

But anyway into the real stuff! Each month there's always something from the My Little Beauty line which I think is a really nice touch and this month it was the micellair water. I haven't tried this but but I love a micellair water so I've got high hopes. I mentioned in a recent post how much I love L'Occitane hand cream so I was over the moon when I pulled this out of the bag, it's the perfect size for in my handbag! Last but not least was a travel size Kerastase Laque Couture hairspray.

All in all My Little Box have put together yet another winning box which ticks all the boxes for me and keeps me excited for the arrival of the next box. The only problem is I have to wait a whole month for it to arrive! With Christmas fast approaching, a subscription to My Little Box would make the perfect gift for any girl in your life (or even just a little treat for yourself)!

Autumn Luxe: Beauty

Tuesday, 11 November 2014 ·

The turn of the seasons from summer to autumn is always the time of year when I have a root through my make up stash and mix things up a bit and, more often than not, I'll also decide there are also some things that I'm missing for the coming months that I can't possibly cope without.

In all honesty I can be quite lazy with my make up, I tend to get stuck into a routine and very rarely do i stray from it and for that reason I don't like to spend a fortune on non-essential make up. So personally I love the Sleek eyeshadow palettes as the quality is fantastic and the colour range spot on. The Oh So Special Palette looks perfect for autumn with a good range of warm, neutral shades as well as some richer colours like the plum perfect for a special occasion. Buy here

The wash bag has absolutely nothing to do with autumn but I just love the simple, elegant design with the pop of lime on the zip. Plus if you're going to be treating yourself to some new make up then you need something to put it in right? Buy here 

I'm addicted to nail varnish and definitely already have far too many (thanks to the Ciate advent calendar last year), but a dark forest green is something that's missing from my collection and I'll definitely be picking up Essie's Stylenomics next time I'm in Boots. Buy here
Now back down to the basics whose importance should never be underestimated. A permanent staple in my handbag and on my desk is a hand cream - how often I remember to apply said hand cream is another matter entirely but having it there in the first place is a start right? L'Occitane is my usual go to but this ginger & lime one sounds fantastic! Buy here

The Mint Julips lip scrub from Lush is yet another staple but this lives on my bedside table. I absolutely love this scrub, for a start it tastes divine (being made of sugar it's perfectly safe to lick off after use) and more importantly it's a coarse scrub without being too coarse. This is great for during the colder winter months when chapped lips are all too prevalent. Use this every night and you will have soft, smooth lips all year round. Buy here

Once your hands and lips are in perfect condition it's time to turn to your face, and this is where the Ren Glycolactic Radiance Renewal mask comes in. Fleur de Force raves about this mask which in all honesty is enough to sell it to me! But, not only that, a mask that claims to remove all the dead skin cells leaving your skin looking healthier and more radiant is a winner for me! Buy here

Last but not least, the perfect lip product for a lazy make up day. Burt's Bees make some of my favourite lip balms and this lip crayon has all the benefits of their lip balms but with the added benefit of beautiful colours and great colour payoff! I can't find anywhere that stocks this in the UK (sorry!) but if you find anywhere please let me know! 

What beauty products are on your autumn wish list or what can't you live without in these cold and dreary months?

Make sure to check out the other installments of my autumn trilogy on home and fashion!

Autumn Luxe: Fashion

Sunday, 9 November 2014 ·

With the seasons changing, albeit quite slowly here in London, it's time for me to start rooting out my jumpers and boots and get my winter wardrobe into shape before the cold weather really kicks in. Therefore this seemed the perfect opportunity to do a little online browsing and see what new additions might be making their way to my wardrobe soon... 
First up, jumpers, here in the UK these are probably the most important thing to have in your wardrobe (and an umbrella of course) as when it gets cold, it gets really cold. Personally, I already have far too many jumpers but I just can't stop so I know I'll be purchasing some more. The blue and cream on this one is perfect for me as I love some bright colours in winter and you could make this more dressy super easily! Buy here.

Now of course there was going to be a more festive jumper in here somewhere as it's a vital part of any winter wardrobe, am I right? But anyway, two cute little penguins, I think it's clear why this one stood out to me! Buy here

This skirt may not be 100% winter appropriate but all the colours caught my eye and the mirror detailing is absolutely beautiful. Pair it with a plain black t-shirt, black tights and booties and you're good to go! Buy here
A girl can never have too many shoes right? My shoe collection is far too big but, like my jumpers, it just keeps on growing...but look how pretty they are, it would be rude not to! 

These beautiful sequin pumps from Zara are a winner to add a bit of glam to the all black outfits I too frequently put together over the colder months. Buy here

Now, a pair of good quality heeled boots is something I actually need, well need might be pushing it but you know what I mean. I love the way the leather kind of dips down to the zip on this pair and the dark grey shade is something just a little bit different. Buy here
Last but not least, accessories - which are arguably the most fun part of any outfit. In winter, the most important thing to me is keeping warm and snuggly! 

A vital part of any winter wardrobe is a good bobble hat and I love the simplicity of this one with it's cute mohair bobble. This would be perfect for those cold blustery mornings waiting for the train or simply to cover up a bad hair day, do you think I could get away with wearing it indoors? Buy here

It's all too easy to let your clothing get a bit boring in the winter by sticking to neutral colours, jumpers and leggings so a good statement necklace is the perfect way to glam things up a bit. J Crew does the most fantastic jewellery and this is a great example and worth every penny. Buy here

When keeping your hands warm is so important a backpack is an ideal solution to keep your hands free to be kept hidden away in your coat pockets. Now don't get me wrong, practicality is always important but when you can disguise practicality in something so chic it's difficult to justify not buying this. Whistles really have hit the nail on the head with this beautiful wine coloured number! Buy here

Finally the scarf, considering I never go out without a scarf, there was never a doubt that one was going to appear somewhere in this post and I love this huge oversized one from ASOS. I first saw this on one of Fleur de Force's haul videos and have been in love ever since. Just my luck, it's currently out of stock but I'll be ordering it the second it becomes available! Buy here

What are your autumn fashion must haves?   

Make sure to check out the other installments of my autumn trilogy on home and beauty!

The Best of Pinterest: Interiors

Friday, 7 November 2014 ·

I've had an ongoing love affair with Pinterest for quite some time now but, like any love affair, it has it's ups and downs which is only to be expected. Now recently has been rather a long 'down' but that all changed this weekend when I felt the need for a little inspiration in the home department and I turned to my old friend Pinterest and now my only question is, why did I ever turn my back on it? 

1. How beautiful is the floral detailing on the side of these drawers? I love an opportunity to give an old, tired piece of furniture a new lease of life but my usual method is just to give it a lick of fresh paint and new handles (click here to see my latest project). This is such a great way of adding a little finishing touch and another pop of colour, especially if everything else is quite minimal. I can't wait to try this out on the chest of drawers I've been avoiding working on. Source

2. I love this concept of incorporating your bedside lamp into part of your bedside table and the open fronted boxes looks super chic with the little ornaments and the lamp stand running through them. Not sure it would work considering the amount of clutter that accumulates in my bedside drawers but maybe in a guest bedroom? Source

3. My obsession with 'mood lighting' is pretty much never ending, I have more candles than you could ever imagine and I'm always looking for cute fairy lights. I've often looked at decorative bird cages in homeware shops and not known what I'd do with one but maybe I'll try this! Source
4. This pin pretty much sums up my dream living room, all it needs is a cat snuggled up in amongst the cushions! The colour scheme of muted greys and creams is pretty much perfection, I might just throw in the odd mustard yellow cushion for a bit of variety! Source

5. With all the huge, bare white walls in my flat I've become obsessed with the idea of a gallery wall and I love the use of a picture rail and overlapping the pictures here! Source

Keep up with more of my pins by following me on Pinterest

Do you love Pinterest too?