Friday, 31 July 2015

Weekday Wishlist: 31/07/15

1. Fringed Bag by Genuine People - £17.94
2. Coat by Zara - £49.99
3. Top by The Kooples - £135
4. Trousers by River Island - £35
5. Shoes by Topshop - £56
6. Coat by Isabel Marant Etoile - £315
7. Bracelet by Bjorg - £150
8. Backpack by Genuine People - £27.56
9. Shoes by Aldo - £55
10. Jumper by H&M - £12.99

   Somebody help me - I've given into wide-leg trousers. Have I become a mum? Am I now okay with the fact that wide leg trousers make me appear short, stout, and rather too relaxed for my subtly scatty personality? I have no idea; all I do know is that I'm completely over skinnies.

   Not only do wide leg trousers give me more flexibility (because, obviously, I like to casually cartwheel into work and do the splits at random and often inappropriate intervals), but they're also far more breathable - and they do a little swish when I walk.

   My current favourite is this pair (4) from River Island, a high waisted, khaki number with a soft, fluid fabric. I would wear these out to dinner with some wedges, or at work with some pointed flats, perhaps with a lacy black crop top or a collared shirt. Either way, wide leg trousers are comfortable, practical and chic, and I can't believe I haven't been wearing them all my life.


Thursday, 30 July 2015

Electing Strange Perfections



Tuesday, 28 July 2015

The Bridesmaid Essentials You Didn't Think Of

   Earlier this month, I was maid of honour at my beautiful sister's wedding. It was the perfect day: the weather was ideal (if a tad too hot), the venue was stunning, and all the people we love were there to celebrate.

   It was only the second time that I had been a participant in a wedding ceremony, and the first time I had ever been maid of honour - so there was a lot to learn! However, the day went as smoothly as a wedding day could possibly go, and all the stressing about tiny details paid off.

   As it's still wedding season, I thought I'd channel my newly gained expertise into a list of 'Bridesmaid Essentials' to help out those bridesmaids and maid of honours to be. These are little things that helped me get ready on the morning of the wedding, as well as throughout the day. I also asked my fellow bridesmaids (there were five of us!) who are veterans in the bridesmaid sector - some of whom have recently tied the knot, and some who are on the way!


A camera - sometimes the photographer might not be able to capture the moments you hold dearest

Scissors, safety pins & mini sewing kit - for any loose threads on dresses, little rips or fitting issues

Tissues - great for happy tears and makeup mishaps

Hairspray - if it's hot or windy outside, you'll need this

Travel deodorant - and make sure to top up regularly, because people will be too nice to tell you that you smell..

Plasters - when your feet are blistered from those fresh out the box heels

Tampons - you never know..

Lipgloss - it'll rub off when you're sipping that champagne, so keep a tube in your purse

Rescue pastilles - because walking down that aisle can turn you into an anxious wreck

Sweets in case of low energy - it's tough being a bridesmaid

Nail file - you have NO idea how much this came in handy

Nail polish - bring a bottle of your selected shade in case of chipping and smears

Headache tablets - if it's hot, it won't just be the sweat you're worried about

Cotton buds & eye makeup remover - my eye makeup started melting once the ceremony finished. These guys are a lifesaver.

Flip flops or roll-up flats - dancing shoes!

Fold-up umbrella - because, not matter how much you plan, you can never control the weather

Hip flask - in case the bar's just a tad overpriced, or they don't have your favourite drink

Phone charger - taking THAT many photos will drain your battery

Hand cream - nobody likes chapped skin

Travel sunscreen - I reallyyyyy wish I'd thought of bringing this. DO NOT SKIMP.

Above, my Crown & Glory flower crown

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Bourjois Aqua Blush

    Skimping on blush makes me look like a person who's never seen the sunlight, or like a corpse, or sometimes even an alien. I just can't face leaving out a product so integral to making me look human, so I keep a good two or three favourite brands at hand to make sure that happens.

   One new discovery is Bourjois' Aqua Blush, a new product by the French drugstore brand that blurs the boundaries between cream and gel blushes. This operates with a simple squeeze of a pump, and can be applied using a brush or your fingers - ideal for makeup on the go.

   The texture is so smooth and light, blending in with ease (I have a dry skin type, and I often find that blushes cake on the drier, rougher areas of my skin). Because it's such a light product, it gives more of a glow rather than a rich, opaque colour, making it a perfect product for everyday wear.

   This boasts 12 hour wear and, though I never wear makeup for that long anyway, the blush stayed on for the entirety of my working day without reapplication. I've found that powder blushes, especially, never offer this much staying power.

   If you're thinking about adding one of Bourjois' Aqua Blushes to your makeup collection, you can find it at Boots for £8.99. Still making your mind up? Check out the video below for a quick demo and more info!


Thursday, 23 July 2015

Vegan Blueberry Pancakes

   Good morning! Or, at least, it was when I made these pancakes. 

   I've been craving delicious, sickly sweet, cakey snacks lately - particularly pancakes; they make me nostalgic for sunny LA mornings at the Pancake House back when I actually had a metabolism that would let me eat a stack of five without gaining ten pounds instantaneously.

   However, these blueberry pancakes have a healthy vegan twist to them in the form of a chopped banana substituting eggs, and almond milk instead of cow's milk. This makes them super fruity, reasonably healthy, and a great energy-packed meal to start your day!

Vegan Blueberry Pancakes 
(makes 5 hand-sized pancakes)

1 banana
1 cup of oats
1 cup of almond milk
1/2 cup of blueberries (plus a handful for the topping)
Coconut oil
Maple syrup

1. Blast the oats with a food processor to make oat flour.

2. Chop the banana and place into a mixer with the milk. Pour in the oat flour, then mix until you have the consistency of a batter (add more almond milk if it's too lumpy). Finally, mix in the blueberries.

3. Heat some coconut oil in a small pan. Scoop in the pancake batter to the desired shape and thickness. Flip over once the surface starts to bubble (about 60 seconds on medium to high heat), then cook for a further 40-60 seconds.

4. Serve with some maple syrup and a handful of blueberries on top.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Weekday Wishlist: 20.07.15

   The weather's heating up (finally), and the humidity is a little too much for some of us humble natives to bear; we're unsure of how to dress, vastly unprepared for the sporadic changes in weather - today alone I've experienced heavy rain, strong winds and blistering sun. Bizarre for tourists, commonplace for us. The key to keeping cool in the heat, and protecting yourself from unexpected precipitation? Layering. And a large, durable tote to chuck all your clothes into as you gradually peel off the layers during the day. Here are a few ideas:

Striped Playsuit by Genuine People - £16.66
Denim Shirt by Gant - £95
Coat by Zara - £39.99
Waistcoat by Mango - £29.99
Bag by Genuine People - £33.78
Playsuit by Topshop - £50
Rose Gold Ring by Maria Black - £50
Sandals by Acne - £280
Crop Top by Genuine People - £6.40
Sunglasses by ZeroUV - $9.99

Friday, 17 July 2015

You be you & I'll be me


   A lot of people have been saying that I look slightly witchy/gothic now that I've dyed my hair purple - so I'm gonna run with that. 80% of my wardrobe is black or grey anyway (I don't help myself), and this outfit is the culmination of my recent clothing purchases - offset by a quirky white rucksack from Peacocks.

   I always think that wearing a kimono gives my look an air of Stevie Nicks-ness, and the 70s wide-brimmed hat only adds to that impression - so the rucksack makes an offbeat yet practical addition.

* Item gifted for review

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Getting an Ombré

   It's been around three years since I last bleached my hair. I got an ombré when it first became a trend, but because my hair has orange undertones, the bleached hair became brassy over time. This summer, I decided to refresh my look and go slightly lighter, whilst at the same time toning my hair to bring out the ashy hues.

   The Manager and Colour Technician at Hair Artistry in Suffolk lifted my hair from a level three or four to an eight using a 20 volume peroxide developer and Synchrolift by Paul Mitchell. The time frame was really played by ear, as the stylists wanted to see how my hair developed, but after around 40 minutes the bleach was washed off and replaced with an ash-based toner. The toner was left on for 15 minutes and then washed off to reveal the finished result (above).

   I really love this look - I've heard that the ombré is slightly off-trend according to certain hair snobs, but I adore how it looks on others, and I really like how it looks on my hair. Maybe in future I'll progress to a full colour change, but for now I'm happy with my current style.

   It took two people to bleach my hair because it's so long! I do sometimes wonder if I scare hairdressers slightly when I ask for an appointment, but I couldn't imagine myself with any other haircut. 


Tuesday, 14 July 2015

New In: Summer Sandals

   It has taken me until now to replenish my shoe cupboard with appropriate footwear for the summer weather; before June, I had just one pair of very sorry looking flip-flops hiding somewhere between a pair of chunky, cleated platform shoes and over the knee, leather and sheepskin boots. However, I now have a good selection of styles (albeit, mostly in black or grey colourways) which will hopefully see me through to next summer.

   This selection includes a versatile pair of monochrome snakeskin flats* from Peacocks, whose shoe game is pretty on point right now (see below for my favourites from the affordable high street brand). These sandals feature a strap of faux grey/neutral snakeskin across the toes, and a buckled strap around the ankle. They're not only extremely comfortable, but they also pair with a number of summer outfits both for work and casualwear.

    AND they're only £18!

*Item gifted for review

Friday, 10 July 2015

Free Lunch in London

   I don't know about you, but when I'm in a rush in the morning (trying desperately to perfect winged eyeliner), I can be a bit boring when it comes to slapping together a quick lunch in time for my commute. Usually, it'll be the good old 'butter, ham and cheese' sandwich, accompanied by an apple and a yogurt. Exciting, right?

   During late July, if you're caught in the morning rush and don't have time to make a satisfying meal for your lunchbreak, visit Lurpak's Freestyle Food Truck, which will be stopping at various venues in London serving FREE sandwiches and crostini style canapes to customers.

   Why? Because Lurpak want to encourage people to shake up their existing food routines!

The dates and venues are as follows:

17 July at Chiswick Business Park
21 July at One New Change
22 July at Spitalfields Market
23 July at Potters Fields


Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Latitude Festival Wishlist

1. Backpack by Genuine People - £29.69
2. Gold Signet Ring by Bam-B - £255
3. Denim Skirt by Topshop - £32
4. Lace Dress by Genuine People - £16.75
5. Suede Jacket by ThePerfext - £1190
6. Choker by New Look - £2.99
7. Lace & Mesh Mini Dress by Genuine People - £20.63
8. Shoes by H&M - £14.99
9. Fedora by Boohoo - £14
10. Fringed Skirt by Genuine People - £16.62
11. Sunglasses by zeroUV - $9.99

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Pastel Braid Tutorial

   I've just discovered Fudge Urban's new range of spray-on hair colours - ideal for those of you who love pastels but don't want to commit to the maintenance (or can't go light enough, like me).

   In the video above, I've used Violet Haze on one strand of a braid to create a weaved effect - this would look great as a fishtail plait, or even a milkmaid braid! Feel free to experiment, and send me your images!

   These colours feel a tad chalky when sprayed on the hair, so they're really just for one off hairstyles for events like parties and festivals. DO NOT brush through your hair once your sprayed Hair Art; the chalkiness of the formula will cause tangles and breakages.

  Fudge Urban's Hair Art comes in four pastel hues: Violet Haze, Turquoise Noise, Coral Crush, and Pink Ink. Use them with hair stencils to create coloured shapes, try out an ombré look, or create streaks throughout the hair! The formula works even on dark hair, just make sure that you spray with the aim of achieving an even coverage, as the colour may go patchy.

   Wash out when you're finished, using your regular shampoo to remove all of the product, then condition well.


* Items gifted for review

Sunday, 5 July 2015

I Pick My Poison and it's You



Thursday, 2 July 2015

My New Cup of Tea

   Here's a statistic for you: according to Tetley, 4 out of 10 British bosses don't make a tea round for their staff. Awful, isn't it? These high and mighty lot think they can escape the tea round simply because they earn more; sure, they might pay for the occasional pub lunch, or even fulfill a Krispy Kreme order - but there's nothing like the gesture of being handed a cup of tea just when you're thinking about making one yourself.

   The average tea break takes 11.09 minutes - not long enough IMO - and can have a huge impact on your performance during your working day. Studies show that 37% of workers who take regular tea breaks have been promoted in the last year, perhaps because a break helps the mind organise its thoughts (or perhaps because those workers spend more time getting to know their superiors whilst the kettle's boiling..). 

   Frighteningly, 76% of East Anglians don't even take a tea break at all, bringing down the national average by a huge number. This is why Tetley is campaigning to bring back the tea break, calling on 500 businesses - including Mr Kipling, Thomas J Fudges and Russell Hobbs - to participate in an effort to reduce stress in the workplace.

   During my blogging tea breaks, I tried out three different blends by Tetley. 

   Their 'Blend of Both' (directly above) came in a summery pink box, and boasted all the benefits of green tea, but with the familiar flavour of Original Tetley. It's as delicious with milk and a sugar as it is without, and even better with a Mr Kipling Chocolate Slice.

   A delicious surprise came in the form of Tetley 'Immune' (top), which blends mango and pineapple for their Vitamin C, providing a boost of nutrients to help support your immune system. This was a great alternative to my usual cup of green tea, as it had that little kick of tropical zing! I enjoyed this as a little breather before I started my day, sat in my garden with a croissant (because I'm super continental, obvs).

   Finally, I poured myself a cup of good old Tetley Original (below) whilst flicking through Caffeine magazine. At around 4.30 in the afternoon, this was a great little kick to help me get through the rest of the day, and get my thoughts organised.

* In association with Tetley
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