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UK fashion & beauty blogger.
Illustrator. Writer.

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Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Health & Fitness: Almond Butter & Acai Berry

   The hardest part of making a change to your health and fitness is always at the beginning: finding the motivation, working yourself into a routine, kicking bad habits. I've been working up a new fitness regime to tone up, stay lean and get ready for the Summer - that means, changing up not only my exercise routine, but also my diet.

   I've started high intensity cycling to really start toning up my legs, as well as walking every day just to keep me in the routine of consistent exercise. I've also started thinking really hard about what foods I'm consuming, as a diet has an incredible impact on all areas of the human body, including the mind.

   I was introduced to two products: acai berry capsules by Myvitamins, and almond butter by Myprotein. These are really functional and so easy to fit into your day-to-day.

   The acai berry capsules look quite large, but surprisingly easy to swallow, and are so convenient for a busy lifestyle. They deliver a concentrated kick of the super-food, which helps to maintain healthy cells - great for digestion, clear skin, and energy levels.

   Free from artificial colours and preservatives, yeast, gluten, starch and lactose, these are almost perfect for any dietary needs aside from vegetarians, as the casing is made from gelatin.

   I'm already feelings the benefits from these after taking them daily for less than two weeks. I've noticed that my skin has less blemishes, which is great as I always try and keep my makeup to the bare minimum during Summer!

   The almond butter was so tasty - great for use in cooking, as well as slathered on toast. It's a much healthier alternative to peanut butter, as it only has one ingredient: almonds!

   Instead of indulging in some chocolate or some sort of sugary pastry, I'll have a slice of toast with almond butter and some slices of banana - a great snack for those wanting to get in shape!

   In the video below, I'm featuring the two products by Myprotein and Myvitamins that are pictured above with a little bit more detail. I hope you enjoy the video, and that it gives you some ideas of the products you could use to enhance your health & fitness regimes!

Products featured:

* Items have been gifted for review purposes

Monday, 14 April 2014

Book Review: The Fault In Our Stars (SPOILERS)

"My thoughts are stars I can't fathom into constellations" - Augustus Waters

    It was late a few nights ago when I had stayed up to read the end of 'The Fault in Our Stars', about a year or two after everyone else had finished it. I knew what was going to happen - John Green had written in some pretty noticeable hints - yet, when Augustus Waters revealed he had terminal cancer, I felt like the whole world was crashing down around me. 

   A few minutes after this literary betrayal, my phone vibrated; it was my boyfriend calling to say goodnight, but when I answered the phone, I could only whisper through the tears, "Gus's died". Of course, with his lack of interest in hipster-type novels, he automatically assumed that something incredibly horrible had happened, and that someone had really died. He laughed when I told him that Augustus Waters was a character from a book but, to me, he felt real. I wanted him to be real.

   This is, by no means, my favourite book, nor is it the most well-written that I've ever come across; however, it made me smile and made me cry more than I ever have in regards to an individual novel.

   The descriptions of the characters are on point, perfect yet heartbreakingly imperfect: two star-crossed teenagers you constantly root for in fear of the knowledge that, inevitably, something very, very bad is going to tear them apart.

   16-year-old Hazel Grace and her 17-year-old true love, Augustus, cannot possibly be as intelligent and witty as they are, but somehow, it works - and, though some of their dialogue is cringingly over-written, it's made up for by their charmingly brilliant philosophical views of the universe, love, life and death (many a Tumblr quote can be composed from the sentences within this book).

   I was in love with this couple from the moment they met, to their bitter-sweet journey to Holland's capital (a city whose beauty and romance is described perfectly within this book, so much so that I'm really considering taking a trip there), to their very last, heart-aching day together. Their romance is short-lived, but the poignancy of their time together is inescapable.

   I can't wait for the film release later this year! In fact, here's the trailer (below), in case you hadn't seen it - and, even better, Ed Sheeran has announced that he's written a song for the movie, alongside a soundtrack that includes pieces by amazing songwriters such as Ray LaMontagne, Birdy and Tom Odell (I might just die from the amazingness)!

Sunday, 13 April 2014

A Bookcase Transformation

   Something had been bothering me for a long time when I had settled into my new bedroom; none of my furniture matched. 

   I had a cream leather bed, a white wardrobe, a pine wood wardrobe and a mirrored tallboy, all of which were vastly different from the next, and took up valuable floor space in my 12' x 12'(ish) room. In fact, the pine wardrobe took up so much space, that I kept on stubbing my toe on its wood every time I went to get into bed. It had to go.

   After moving it out of my room (and having a huge sort through all the clothes that I had hoarded inside its confines), I purchased a simple, white bookcase from Argos to replace it. Although I'm not a huge fan of cheap furniture - I'd rather buy a great quality item which'll last forever - this bookcase does its job, and was easy to set up; however, it looked fairly plain and office-furniture-like, so I subsequently decided to paint the backing pink, after many a search for inspiration through Pinterest.

   I went with the shade, 'Tea Rose', from the Dulux Made By Me Satin collection. It's a beautifully delicate tone which matches my pink Toile de Jouy moodboard, and brings a sense of concordance to the room.


   In terms of styling, bookcases are a slippery slope, as all the items in the bookcase are on display, rather than concealed by wardrobe doors - there's no hiding!

   Colour coordination is a great place to start. With my objects, I coordinated certain colour shoes to certain colour books, as you can see on the second shelf from the top. This creates an optical illusion which makes you believe that everything has been placed with a sense of order - colour coordination is an interior designer's best tool.

   It's also important to minimise clutter to create the illusion of tidiness. Although my bottom shelf is rather messy (never do art, you'll endlessly hoard brushes, pencils and vast assortments of paint), I'm going to box all of these items up into two or three pretty cardboard containers like this one from Paperchase to make it appear as if I'm super neat.

   Rifle through boutique homeware shops to find beautiful, unique items to place on your shelves. Detail doesn't go unnoticed, so try to find pieces that compliment the items that you already have on your shelf. It's an easy way to bring all of your objects together harmoniously. I've picked out my favourite perfumes as my little details, for example, I've got a Guerlain bottle placed neatly in front of a stack of books to balance up the look, creating symmetricality.

Friday, 11 April 2014

The Tea and Fragrance Emporium

   If there was any possible world where I could transform my room into a tea/fragrance emporium, then I damn well would. 

   Tea and fragrance go hand-in-hand; a spicy, cinnamon chai or a nutty, caramel rooibus can relax you completely, while a zingy lemon and ginger or a mint-infused green tea can totally lift your spirits. There really is nothing like a delicious pot of fragrant tea! 

   And it's the same with the perfume that you spritz onto your wrist or neck every morning. I tend to choose a smell that matches my outfit, i.e. Guerlain's Le Petite Robe Noire if I'm feeling a rather continental and a little smug in a high-neck LBD, whereas I'll pop on Marc Jacob's Honey if I'm wearing a floaty, white midi-skirt that screams 'THE HILLS ARE ALIVE WITH THE SOUND OF MUSIC'.

   So, here are my favourite fragrances and teas to spritz and sip (but do make sure you get that the right way round):

Oyédo by Dyptique (citrus, thyme)- £55.00
Caffeine Free Fruit Infusion by Whittard (orange, cinnamon) - £6.00

Chloé by Chloé (rose, lychee, honey) - £41.50
Silver Tips White Tea by Teapigs (peaches, apricot) - £5.25

Rosabotanica by Balenciaga (rose, citrus, pepper) - £53.00
Rose Pouchong by Tea Palace (florals, rose) - £10.50

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Current Favourite Posts

The new Canon Selphy printer can make instagram stickers. Niceeee! 2eeCaring For CuticlesChanel Holiday Les Vernis Nail Colour

   I've been loving all things bright, fresh and pretty at the moment; Spring's in full swing and, for me, it means a time for renewing, restoring and refreshing! Here are a few of the posts that have been inspiring me lately.

From left to right:

1. At-home Instagram stickers by A Beautiful Mess
2. Review of Clinique's Bottom Lash Mascara by Hello October
3. Barry M Gelly Hi Shine spring colours by Dizzy Brunette
4. Feminine Floral by Brooklyn Blonde
5. Cuticle care by Nouvelle Daily
6. Chanel Holiday les Vernis by The Sunday Girl

Monday, 7 April 2014

Manicures, Afternoon Tea & SS14 Nails

   As a little treat, my sister, mum and I booked into a spa in Suffolk's Maison Talbooth, which is part of the Milsom luxury hotel and restaurant chain.

   There is nothing more relaxing than a spa treatment; I received a hot stone hand massage, along with a paraffin wax treatment and manicure. The lovely manicurist neatened up my (awful) cuticles and applied a stunning lilac polish by Jessica. The whole process completely put my mind at ease - and to make it an even more perfect day, we followed our treatments with a delicious afternoon tea!

   Above, I'm wearing a gorgeous shade applied during the manicure (and for some reason I'm holding a Models Own nail polish...). And below, I've created a video detailing my favourite nail polishes to wear for SS14 - enjoy!

Friday, 4 April 2014

Pastel Me Pretty

   Stylefruits are hosting a competition entitled 'Pastel Me Pretty', which involves creating a pastel-inspired look, ready for the trend this Spring!

   We've seen pastels emerging into stores on the high street, but it's always great to see a trend styled on real people rather than mannequins, which is why this is a great opportunity for everyone to see the trend in action on your favourite bloggers!

   If you could find a few seconds to vote for my pastel outfit (as seen below) on Style Fruits' competition page, it would mean the absolute world to me! And please let me know if you have voted for me, so I can thank you personally!

   You can find the voting page here