December 31, 2013

5 NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS TO KEEP!

With New Year upon us, I thought I would focus my attention on the year ahead and share a different kind of blog post.

I'm always a little bit sceptical about New Year's resolutions as mine tend to be quite unrealistic (e.g buy less clothes!) meaning I don't stick to them, so this year I've decided on five simple resolutions that I will do my very best to keep.

1. Blog more often
Working full-time, exercising, seeing friends and travelling to see my boyfriend can often reduce the time I have to blog so this year I am hoping to be more organised with my blogging and create a schedule of topics with strict deadlines (yes I am going to take this very seriously!).

I think having a blogging schedule will make it easier to plan posts, helping me to post more regularly as opposed to being haphazard and thinking of an idea, taking the photos and drafting the post all in the same day.

2. Be healthy and train for the London Marathon
If you read my previous post, you'll have seen that I got some lovely running trainers for Christmas as I'm about to start my training for the London Marathon which takes place in April 2014. It's the first time I'll have run the marathon so it's a big challenge for me but I'm excited to raise as much money as possible for Children with Cancer UK. You can take a look at my fundraising page here.

With a strict training regime in place (organised by my Dad) this will mean no naughty snacks at work or alcohol for four whole months!? That's surely worth a £1 donation :)

3. Travel more 
In 2013 I didn't get much time to travel as I re-located from London back home to the North West and changed jobs so this year I would love to make more time to travel and see some new places.

I'm 25 in October 2014 (which is a sad thought!) so I'm hoping to go to New York with my boyfriend to celebrate and shop shop shop, although he will probably hate that part of the trip!

I'd also like to go to Croatia, Amsterdam and Paris, so not much to ask really?

4. Make time to read and spend less time online
As an English Literature graduate I'm ashamed to say I hardly ever find the time to read. I like to keep myself busy and by the time I go to bed I'm too zonked to even pick up a good book, but this needs to change.

I've decided I need to spend less time on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram especially, and dedicate more time to some good old-fashioned reading. Not on a Kindle either, a real book!

And finally...

I really love this quote by Vivienne Westwood. On a weekly basis, I buy clothes and beauty products that are soon tossed aside, sent to a charity shop or listed on eBay and I've decided I need to think more carefully when I'm making a purchase. In the new year I'm going to ask myself these three questions:

a. Do I really need it?
b. Can I make do with something I already own?
c. Is it going to stand the test of time/Will I need to buy another item of clothing to wear with it?

In 2014 I need to ask myself these questions to ensure that everything I purchase is a good investment, and I'm hoping that this will keep my bank balance healthy.

Finally, Happy New Year to all my followers, thank you for your support and I hope you have a great night however you choose to celebrate!

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December 29, 2013

I'M RUNNING THE LONDON MARATHON!

This year I received a very essential and important Christmas present...a pair of Brooks Ghost 6 running trainers. Whilst running trainers are not my usual choice of footwear (I would much rather spend over £100 on a fancy pair of Topshop heels!), I was delighted that my boyfriend treated me to a sturdy and comfortable pair of trainers as I'm running the London Marathon in 2014!

A few months ago I decided to take up the challenge and run the marathon for the first time in support of a family friend called Ella whilst representing the Children with Cancer UK charity.

Since being diagnosed, Ella who is aged 10, has remained strong, happy and undeterred by her illness which I think is remarkable. Whilst Ella's parents have also shown great strength and willpower to fight this illness which effects approximately 1,600 children every year in the UK.
It is because of this sheer strength and determination that I have decided to run the London Marathon as a testament to Ella and her family during this tough and challenging time.
I am currently preparing my training plan to start in the New Year and my fundraising target currently stands at £2000 which I hope to achieve over the next few months! The money raised will help the charity to cure and treat childhood cancer whilst I am also hoping to donate a significant amount to Ella that will go towards her life-changing treatment.
I have plenty of fundraising activities planned and will keep you all updated via my blog but if you can spare a donation towards my fundraising total, I would really appreciate your support for Ella and this great cause.
You can find out more on my Just Giving Page here: 

To donate via text send the code OTXS60 with the amount to 70070.
If you've run the London marathon before and have any tips, feel free to share them in the comment section below!
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December 27, 2013

DECEMBER BEAUTY HAUL

It's been a while since I've done a beauty haul on my blog and so there are many amazing products that have been on my never-ending list of beauty buys to review.

Christmas is a great time for giving gifts of the beauty variety (and also treating yourself in the boxing day sales, oops!) so I thought it would be a good time to share my latest beauty gifts and indulgent purchases.

Glass storage jar and Clarins Cleansing Milk (combination or oily skin)


First off, I was given this lovely vintage-esque glass storage jar for Christmas and I absolutely love it as it's the perfect beauty storage solution. Unfortunately, I'm not sure where it's from but there are plenty to choose from on eBay if you search shabby chic storage jars. I'm planning to use this one for make-up sponges but it would also be good for storing cotton wool pads or nail polishes.

I'm also back onto my fail-safe Clarins cleanser but this time I decided to go for the combination/oily as my skin hasn't really been dry, despite the winter weather! This huge bottle was £23 from the Debenhams sale so it was great value for money and will last ages.



Another gift that I was very lucky to receive this Christmas is the new Modern Muse fragrance by Estee Lauder. I always refresh my fragrance selection in December and I really loved the contrasting scent of florals, citrus fruits and the woody aroma that this fragrance offers. Love, love, love.




This fragrance was a treat to myself as it was half price in the Debenhams boxing day sale (£27.50) and I've been wanting to get my hands on it for a while now. The scent is again floral and sweet with notes of apple blossom and jasmine, just the way I like my fragrances to be!




I really can't get over how handy this Bourjois beauty tool is when applying false eyelashes. Once you have applied glue to the lashes you use one end to pick up the false eyelashes, place them on your eye and then you press them down into place with the other end of the applicator- GENIUS! This is an amazing tool to have and helps to avoid the awkward phase of holding down your eye and trying to see where you are placing the lashes!

Perfect if you're new to wearing falsies...



I was very much in need of a new mascara so this Clarins All About eyes set was the perfect gift for me. If you like your lashes to look well-separated and lengthened then this mascara is definitely for you. The set also comes with some mini testers - the Eye Revive Beauty Flash balm and the Instant Smooth Perfecting touch so I'll be testing both out in the next few days.



Last but not least, I treated myself to a few products for some added Christmas sparkle. I love Topshop's Glow in Gleam as it's perfect for highlighting cheekbones and brow bones, it's not too pricey either.

I've also purchased the Rimmel Salon Pro nail polish in 237 Soul Session and the Barry M Rose Quartz Glitter which looks amazing as a top coat.

What do you think of my latest beauty buys?

Have you been treating yourself this Christmas?

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December 18, 2013

CHRISTMAS PARTY DRESS




One thing I love about the festive season is that it's fully acceptable to wear sparkle and lots of it. Embellishment is something I'm particularly fond of at around this time of year so when I'm given any opportunity to dress up over Christmas I really go for it - life is too short to miss out on sequins and neon jewels!

I had this dress in mind when River Island posted it on their instagram account, announcing that it would be hitting the rails in a few months and I couldn't get the dress out of my head.

So when it was reduced from £100 to £40 a few days before my works Christmas party I simply could not resist. I really love the shape of this dress as it's still a flattering fit without being too tight and uncomfortable. And obviously, it was the million beads/sequins and neon jewels that attracted me to this dress in the first place - I'm definitely a magpie for jewels!

I thoroughly enjoyed wearing the dress (although I didn't manage to get any decent snaps on the night) and I'm thinking of wearing this little number again for New Year. This is breaking all of my fashion rules though, as I don't always like to wear the same dresses in close succession, but on this occasion, I may break all the rules!

What embellished items have you invested in this Christmas?

Have you entered my Christmas beauty giveaway to win a Topshop lipstick of your choice?

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December 14, 2013

WHAT I'M WEARING: TARTAN SKIRT






What I'm Wearing:

Coat - Marks & Spencer 
Skirt - Vintage
Leotard - H&M
Fur stole -  Zara
Bag - TK Maxx
Boots - Marks & Spencer
Ring & necklace - Topshop

And so my obsession with tartan continues...it seems that I can't get enough this season!

I bought this vintage skirt from Brick lane in London and it was such a good find. Sometimes the sizing of vintage items can really vary depending on the brand and era, but this skirt is true to size and it's the perfect print for the festive season.

I love the simple pleats and the length makes it easy to wear with heels as well as my oxblood chelsea boots for a more casual outfit.

I also teamed the skirt with my throw-over-everything black fur stole and new bag which was an absolute bargain from Tk Maxx, got to love that shop for snapping up a great buy!

How are you wearing tartan this season?

Share your links below!

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December 10, 2013

CHRISTMAS BEAUTY GIVEAWAY: WIN A TOPSHOP LIPSTICK OF YOUR CHOICE!

Here's a selection from left to right: Hazard, Ditsy, Infrared, Charmed and Oh La La
I've been meaning to run a Topshop lipstick giveaway for some time now and with it being party season, there seemed to be no better time that the present!

When it comes to fun statement lips there's no brand that does it better than good old Topshop. The shades are bold, there's an amazing range of colours and they are long lasting and pretty reasonably priced too.

So what better way to honour the Topshop lippy than with a beauty giveaway just in time for Christmas!

To win a Topshop lipstick of your choice all you need to do is:

- follow my blog on Google Friend Connect 
-comment below with your shade of choice and email address 

The winner will be announced on Sunday 22nd December at Midnight!

You can choose any lipstick as long as it is available on the Topshop website here.

Happy Christmas!

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December 08, 2013

SWIMWEAR 365 BLOGGER EVENT

Holding two of my favourite pieces!
Recently I was invited to attend the Swimwear 365 blogger launch event in London, showcasing all their latest swimwear and beach accessories.

Obviously, I jumped at the chance to shake off the winter blues as this weather is far too cold for my liking so I thoroughly enjoyed wearing floral garlands with my friend Sophie, drinking cocktails and pretending that I was about to jet off to Hawaii, but sadly that didn't happen...

The swimwear range is really varied with styles and shapes to suit all sizes (ranging from 6 to 34 and Cup Sizes from AA to K) and I love the fact that this brand sells swimwear all year round as it's a real pain to find bikini's,swimsuits and beach cover-ups if you're looking outside of the summer season.

Sophie holding one of her favourites wearing the most ridiculous glasses!


All of the swimwear pieces are really good quality and many have padding and support to ensure that each item is really flattering. I really loved the black swimsuit below, as it had padded support, a cut out back and gorgeous fringed detail across the front. I imagine this would look amazing with a tan and I think this swimsuit could be worn with palazzo trousers or denim cut-offs for evening. I would definitely double it up and wear it as a leotard with separates!



This red set was also a favourite of mine as again it has a little padded support and some fun detail...


The collection has a range of statements prints such as this floral number, but there are also plenty of classic options such as blacks, whites and bold brights.

I really loved this cut-out white swimsuit but this definitely requires a good few days of tanning prior to the first wear!
Finally, this floral number was really pretty and I loved the removable strap which can be taken off if you're worried about tan lines.
The event was really fun as we took part in some blogger competitions, ate tasty nibbles and were treated to luxury manicures and nail art. I have gel nails on at the moment so I couldn't have a manicure but my friend Sophie went for a lovely black and white polka dot design, cute eh!?


You can take a look at the full Swimwear 365 website here.

What do you think of their swimwear selection?

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