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Friday 27 February 2015

Jamie Oliver’s and Dog Walks

I haven’t done a lifestyle post in god knows how long so when Chris decided we were going to Jamie Oliver’s restaurant “Jamie’s Italian” I felt it would be criminal not to blog about it! 

photo of italian nachos in jamie's italian

photo of olives in jamie's italian

photo of prosecco in jamie's italian

jamie's italian cambridge

jamie's italian cambridge

jamie's italian cambridge

jamie's italian cambridge

jamie's italian cambridge

photo of laydey katabella in jamie's italian cambridge

Jamie’s Italian happens to be one of my favourite restaurants, if not my favourite restaurant. One of the main reasons why I love it is that there’s no pretentiousness with the food or the service. The food is always spot on and the service is just right- not too much not too little. The particular one we go to is in Cambridge, housed in a grand building that once was a library. The architecture in itself is really beautiful and has been given a new lease of life through the restaurant.

Anyway the food- delicious. There is so much choice but I always go for a pasta dish. I feel it’s wrong not to have pasta at an Italian eatery. We always grab a cheeky starter to share too. Here we went for the olives (which were huge!) and “Italian Nachos” which were ravioli with cheese and other deliciousness. I love the presentation too. It’s so inviting with picky bits that make the whole experience fun and sociable.  Our mains were to die for too. Just look at them!

Like I say I’m a big fan of this place and have been many a time, so many times in fact that I’m part of the “Gold Club” which entitles you to express booking and some goodies from time to time. On this occasion we were treated to complimentary prosecco and this gorgeous citrus sorbet which was beautifully refreshing to finish with.

photo of springer spaniel pointer cross

walking springer spaniel

long haired pointer

After that delicious lunch we headed into the countryside with the hound for a well needed walk. I much prefer English walks with Harry and I think he does too. Cyprus got so hot and sticky, poor Harry would pant like mad! We went to a local country park with fields and a woodland area, a buffet of smells for Harry’s nose! As you can probably tell the selfie stick came with us and we had a bit LOT of fun playing around with that! The perfect way to round off the weekend.

What are your favourite restaurants and places to go?

Tuesday 24 February 2015

Body Shop Haul

body shop haul

 Happy Tuesday! I hope you all had a marvellous weekend and the beginning of the week is being kind to you. Today I have a Body Shop Haul video on my YouTube Channel. I love the body shop and rave about them all the time, especially when there’s a sale on so be sure to check out what I bought! Are you also a Body Shop fan? Let me know what your favourite products are, I love trying new ones!

See you Friday,

Friday 20 February 2015

A Touch of Tartan

how to style a tartan scarf

outfit with tartan and leather

red lip and tartan

outfit of the day tartan

aw14 tartan

Dress- American Eagle
Boots- New Look
Jacket- All Saints
Bag- TK Maxx
Scarf- Local market
Ring- Topshop

Is anyone else itching for spring now? I’m bored of wearing warm coats so opted for my leather jacket with this outfit. It was a bit nippy I must admit but it looks nice and I wasn’t spending too long outside. I’ve had this All Saints jacket for years but it still looks great. Yes All Saints leather jackets are expensive but they last, look good and are a real investment! Justification made right there! You might recognise my dress from a post I did in January (see here) which just goes to show how versatile it is. I’ll be rocking all seasons that’s for sure. I’m also currently OBSESSED with a red lip and this tartan scarf I picked up on a local market look great with it. Just a touch of tartan does nicely.

Check out the video below for more of this look:

Anyway, what are you wearing this month? Are you also getting fed up of your big winter coats?

Tuesday 17 February 2015

Furniture Painting workshop with London Road Living and Autentico

Upcycling has become really popular in recent years, with updating and renovating pieces being a fun and creative way to add style and personality to your living space. I’ve wanted to try it for ages but was unsure on what paint to buy, application and generally how to do a good job so when I came across London Road Living doing courses, I jumped at the chance!

photo of bespoke upcycled dining table and chairs

photo of bespoke upcycled furnitre

photo of upcycled stag furniture

photo of london road living upcycled furniture

photo of london road living upcycled furniture

London road living is a shop based in Newark, Nottinghamshire with a showroom of bespoke furniture cleverly upcycled and modernised.  The pre-loved pieces are re-invented to look shabby chic using the Autentico chalk paints, giving them a new lease of life and character. As well as the furniture, they sell theAutentico paints, painting tools and a great range of home accessories.

photo of london road living autentico workshop

photo of london road living autentico workshop

If you’re like me and a keen crafter at heart, their furniture painting courses may interest you. I went for the beginner’s course which will give you the skills and tips you need to upcycle pieces yourself. Our teacher for the afternoon was Ian- the shop owner and creator of the bespoke furniture so I knew we were in good hands. He gave us lots of great tips and advice not only on the paints but sourcing furniture too. We used Autentico paint on the course which is a chalk based paint that can be applied straight onto furniture without needing to prime! It was also great to try out the paints for yourself and see how easy they are to apply and what effects you can create. We applied the paint to bare wood and also to a white shiny MDF type surface to see the difference in application. Both looked great but gave a different effect. The chalk paint also dries really quickly which means you can start your next coat soon after your first. My favourite part was learning techniques to distress pieces. We tried painting a coat of one colour then painting another colour over the top before lightly sanding areas to reveal the colour underneath. This gave a really nice aged effect but my favourite technique by far was the dry brush technique. This is applying a colour to your paint brush (again different to the main colour of your piece) and removing most of it until you’re left with an almost dry brush which you lightly brush over the wood. This leaves a small amount of paint that lightly coats the wood giving a great vintage look. I think this technique would look great on cream furniture with a gold or silver brushed over the top. Below are the pieces we practiced on.

photo of london road living autentico workshop

photo of london road living autentico workshop

The final thing to learn was waxing. Without waxing the furniture the paint will wash off as it’s water based and won’t seal in. We were given a few different waxes to play with and again they create different effects. A plain wax will seal in the paint and leave it looking the same but protected. If however you’re looking for more of a sheen, it can be buffed roughly thirty minutes after application. We also tried a white wax and a dark wax which give different effects to your paint, dependant on what style you’re looking to achieve. Again the wax was Autentico so you can be assured it will work effectively with the paints.

During the course we had a break at the café in store. The café is a very welcoming area full of delicious and tempting treats, with homemade soups, sandwiches and cakes.  Even the tables and chairs were upcycled using the Autentico paints and gave me more inspiration and ideas for the home. 

photo of london road living cafe
Image source: London Road Living Facebook Page

I thoroughly enjoyed the course and spending the afternoon at London Road Living. I now feel much more confident in upcycling furniture myself. I can’t wait to have a go and create some one off pieces for my home! If you’re looking to do a furniture painting course I would highly recommend the course at London Road Living or if you’re looking to buy upcycled pieces or even just fancy a lovely lunch- this is the place to come.

I also did a super quick bit of vlogging during the workshop break if you'd like to see! Click the video below:

Would you upcycle yourself? 

Friday 13 February 2015

OOTD- No Frills Fur

I’ll be honest with you all- I’m not over the moon with how this came out. My wonderful partner in crime has been working away so I had no one to take snaps for me in some pretty outdoor setting and I haven’t quite found a place in the house that I love for outfit snaps (hence these shit photos!!)

Please forgive me and lets get on with the outfit!

Fur Coat- River Island
Jeans- Abercrombie & Fitch
Trainers- Converse
Tee- H&M

I love this fur coat from River Island, it’s impressively soft for faux fur and feels really luxurious. Now I don’t know if it’s just me but I always find that I generally wear fur coats for special occasions, nights out or any general dressing up scenario but today I just wanted to wear it casual and why not? It sure as hell is cold enough and this beaut really keeps you warm. I paired it with my favourite ever jeans from Abercrombie and Fitch which are honestly the best fitting jeans I have ever owned in my entire life. The denim is so comfy and soft.

I quite like how undone and casual this outfit is and plan to dig my fur coat out more now. It’s brilliant for weekends away to be worn with jeans in the day and transformed of an evening with a little black dress and heels.

I also filmed this outfit. If you want to see more, click the video below:

What’s your verdict? How do you pair your fur coat with?

P.S I’ll find somewhere to take outfit pics and videos that’s better next time!! xx

Tuesday 10 February 2015

Top 5 Concealers for a flawess face

 Photo of No7 Match Made Concealer, Bobbi Brown Corrector, No7 Instant Radiance Concealer, Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer and Collection Illuminating Touch Concealer

 Photo of No7 Match Made Concealer, Bobbi Brown Corrector, No7 Instant Radiance Concealer, Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer and Collection Illuminating Touch Concealer

Using the right concealer can really make a difference to your make-up being flawless or flawed. Today I’m sharing my top five concealers for great looking skin.

No7 Match Made Concealer 

If you haven’t already checked out my post on the No7 match made foundation click here and it’ll tell you all you need to know about getting the right shade (and also how amazing the foundation is.) I picked up the shade Cool Vanilla, matching to my foundation. This is a great all over concealer which works well with or without a base of foundation, depending on the look you want to achieve. As the colour is matched to your skin tone, it can be worn just in the areas you need it to even out your skin tone for a light and natural look. For more of a medium to heavy coverage it’s very buildable and of course will match your No7 foundation perfectly. The consistency is on the dry side, so not one I’d recommend for dry skin types but is still easy to blend and leaves a matte finish that is long lasting. I love this concealer for blemishes and redness.

Bobbi Brown Corrector 

This quickly has become my Holy Grail product for unwanted dark under eye circles. I have the shade Porcelain Peach which brightens and neutralises the blue tones under my eyes. It’s a great long lasting concealer which doesn’t crease (yay!) and can be used as a base under other products if need be. The consistence is creamy and quite thick but a little bit goes a long way- you really don’t need much and the results are instant! I can’t recommend this product highly enough to anyone who suffers with under eye circles. It eradicates them so easily and effectively. Amazing product!

No7 Instant Radiance Concealer

This is another under eye concealer which I discovered last summer. I have done a whole blog post on this too as I literally was in love when I bought it so click here for a full blown breakdown. Today’s synopsis however is that this product does what it says on the tin. It brings radiance to your skin in a light consistency which is excellent for under the eyes, reducing unwanted darkness and puffiness. I like to use this as a base before a heavier concealer on a day to day basis to brighten my eye area. It’s a nifty product  for days when you’ve had a poor nights sleep too!

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer 

It’d be damn right rude if I didn’t mention this cult product. It may be cheap and cheerful but it does the trick and quite frankly that’s what you want from a concealer. It’s great for all over use, even under the eyes thanks to its amazing liquid formula. It’s incredibly long lasting and just… amazing! I’m sure I don’t need to go on too much about this product as everyone and their nan knows about this concealer and how well it works. FACT.

Collection Illuminating Touch Concealer 

And finally I have another illuminating concealer. I fell back in love with this when I packed it in my hand luggage to travel. The formula is more opaque than the No7 radiance concealer and can be used on its own for a really natural look whilst helping to reduce those blasted dark circles. This concealer illuminates and has a peachy tone to reduce darkness and is a light texture for your eye area.  Again as its Collection, it’s a very affordable purchase and great for a quick touch up on the go.

So that is my top five concealers! They range from affordable to slightly more pricey but all do a great job to give you a flawless complexion.

What are your favourite concealers?

Friday 6 February 2015

Big Beauty Haul

photo of ted baker make-up bag, bed head shampoo nd conditionner, anastacia brow wizz, tarte lights camera flashes, ben and jerrys lip balm, sephora, no7, toni and guy, bumble and buumble

So this haul is unintentionally large… but in my defence this is an accumulation over the past couple of months and I did go to America where shopping is a must!

Ted Baker Make-up bag

Yes I am aware I am late to the Ted Baker party with this but isn’t it lovely? This was a Christmas present form the hubby and is actually the wash bag but I’m using it as a roomy make-up bag for my dressing table as it’s just far too pretty not to be displayed. I love the rose gold bow detailing so much!


Bedhead Moisture Maniac Shampoo & Conditioner

I have a lot of friends who swear by bedhead products, particularly their shampoo and conditioners, claiming they really make a difference to the condition of their hair and I must admit I have been converted. This duo bring a lot of much needed moisture to my tresses, leaving it feeling nourished and a lot more manageable. The smell is also to DIE for, making the chore of hair washing much more enjoyable!

Toni & Guy flexible hold hairspray

As like all Toni & Guy products this hairspray has a distinctive lovely smell. The nozzle threw me a bit initially as it’s slightly different to a bog standard hairspray but it works well, giving you a gentle mist of hairspray to secure your style without it being weighted down. It also allows some movement to the hair giving a much more natural hold.

Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray

I’ve heard a lot of hype around Bumble & Bumble products so I thought I’d try one for myself and opted for the surf spray. This is great for adding texture to wet or dry hair and is great for a beachy look as the name would suggest. I love using this on a curly messy style, giving it a deconstructed undone look- perfect for hair that doesn’t look like you’ve tried too hard.

Anastacia Brow Wizz

Okay lets just take a moment to appreciate this amazing brand… My brows seriously have never looked so good! When I saw the stand in Sephora I had palpitations as I’ve heard so many good things about this brand and needless to say they are the tits. This brow pencil is great with its teeny tiny and precise end, which is great for small hair like strokes which is what you want from a brow pencil. The pencil consistency is also great as it’s not too soft and there’s no risk of over drawing your brows that way. It also has a handy little spooley on the other end to brush through your brows, leaving them looking naturally defined. I’m sure you all already know how great this product is but honestly I will never look back!

Sugar Lip Tint in Raspberry

I was instantly drawn to this product for the packaging. It’s so pretty! I didn’t realise it was a lip tint initially and has SPF 15 which is great. I’m using it more as a lipstick as the colour payoff is sheer but pigmented at the same time. It also smells amazing with a watermelon and sugar scent to it. They had so many other colours in Sephora but they were slightly on the pricey side otherwise I would have gotten more!

Sephora Crème Lip Stain- Rouge

For me this is the ultimate red lipstick or stain should I say. No longer will I have to worry about apply my lipstick badly as this product has a doe foot applicator which makes precision a breeze. This lip stain dries a beautiful matte colour and stays put for hours. I have happily gone out to eat and drink wearing this and it hasn’t budged. It’s the perfect low maintenance red lip.

Ben & Jerry’s Lip Balms

I think these must just be an American thing? Anyway I picked these up whilst in the states and they really do smell like the ice creams! The consistency is quite hard which I like as there’s no risk of smooshing (yup that’s a real word) your fingers in it and making a big mess. It also feels lovely on the lips even if it does make you pine for the ice cream…

No7 youthful eye serum & match perfect concealer

A beauty haul wouldn't be complete from me without a mention of No7. It's one of my favourite high street brands! After all the ranting and raving I've done about the colour matching foundation in this post I had to try the concealer out and it's awesome! Matched to my skin like the foundation, it is the perfect colour. I wouldn't recommend it for dry skin types as it is quite a dry formula but if however you're an oily skin type it is excellent. Very blendable and buildable and does the job. The eye serum came as a freebie and I'm loving it. Now I'm getting a bit older, (boo) I feel I need an eye cream and this serum is perfect for making the delicate under eye skin feel moisturised without being greasy. I'll definitely be purchasing a full size one! 

Sephora 16hr eye shadow- sweet champagne

Another wonderful Sephora product here which is ever so similar to the Maybelline colour tattoo eye shadows in that it’s a creamy consistency that sets. I love the champagne shade, it’s such a beautiful shimmery colour that looks great in the inner corner to brighten or as an all over touch of colour.

Sephora and O.P.I gel nail varnish- hot to trot

Sticking with Sephora I noticed they have teamed up with O.P.I and brought out their own line of gel nail polishes. The hot to trot shade is a vibrant pink colour and would be great for holiday season. It’s not the hardiest gel polish I’ve ever used but it does make It easier to remove. I also picked up another shade called I only shop vintage which was a beautiful shimmery gold colour but I’ve somehow lost it sine I moved. *sob*

Sensational gel polishes in: Coral sunset, jelly sherbert and cool breeze

My lovely friend Emma bought me these shades for my birthday and I am in love! The formula of sensational polishes ensures that they last a full two weeks and still look great! I have a review post here if you’re interested in doing a home gel manicure yourself! I love all these colours and think they are great shades for any time of year.

Tarte Lights, camera, flashes mascara

Again I was drawn to this product mainly for the packaging and also because of the hype from other beauty bloggers and youtubers. That packing though… And the mascara itself is great! It has two sides to the brush, side 1 and 2. Side 1 is dense smaller bristles which add thickness to the lashes and side 2 has longer bristles to add length. I love it! I just wish I’d bought the waterproof one as I’m a sucker for crying- eek!

Bobbi Brown Corrector

And finally I shall finish with this little beaut. My first Bobbi Brown purchase and a damn good one! I picked up the shade porcelain peach and it is great for correcting darkness under the eyes. My under eye circles have been banished by this amazing product! You don’t get a lot of product but a little bit goes a long way. It’s a dense product which really helps mask those under eye circles and I find it’s best applied with a brush and a bit of patting in with fingers. It’s very quickly become one of my top concealers!

So that’s the end of my haul! It’s a lot I know and there’s a few other bits on my video if you want to see more so click below:

It’s always good to have a little splurge and treat yourself! What products have bought recently?

Tuesday 3 February 2015

Homeware Haul: Anthropologie, Amazon and more!

Camera ornament- Wilkos

I''ve never done a homeware haul before but I moved into our new pace and buying bits to decorate and style our home has been so much fun! (Well for me anyway!)

When it comes to bedding, its always a struggle to find something you and your man will both like. I'd LOVE florals but of cours that's too girly for him but we managed to settle with this aztec geometric style print from Bedeck. The quality is amazing and the sheets feel incredibly soft. The lime shades realy cut through the dark furniture we have, giving space and a brighter feel.

Bedding- Bedeck
Cushions (grey)- Tesco
Mr Fox Pillow- Bedeck

When I realised Bedeck the Mr Fox Pillow I got seriously excited! I love the fun design and it adds character. The pixelated pillows are from Tesco and again are great quality, feeling super soft and snuggly. I originally bought these for another room but they don't fit with my scheme but conveniently they look great with this bedding.

Candle- Anthropologie

Onto Anthropologie...May I just say this shop is my heaven! I first discovered one in  America and oh my! I love the style of their homeware and fell in love with EVERYTHING! I picked up this candle and coaster from their online store in the sale for an absolute bargain! I think they match perfectly with the style of the bedding and are a subtle way to carry on the theme we are going with.

Coaster- Anthropologie

Mugs- Anthropologie

I also picked up these darling mugs from Anthropologie, this time in the store in Aerica. They are so pretty that I've actually decided to keep them as decorative mugs in our kitchen, Is that weird!?

Kettle- Russell Hobbs

Toaster- Russell Hobbs

Speaking of kitchens, these are the kettle and toaster we picked out. They're a modern take on a country style which is just what we were going for. I love how sturdy Russell Hobbs appliances are and the array of colours but the neutral creams best fit our country vision. 
Tea, coffee & sugar tins- Amazon

Sticking with our country vision we also got these tea, coffee and sugar tins and a matching bread bin again in cream to match in a country style also.
Bread Bin- Amazon

Coffee Machine- Amazon

We also picked up this coffee machine as I'm a dab hand at making good coffee- particularly lattes. IF however you're a novis fear not, ths machine is easy to use and comes with great instructions. It's the perfect appliance for any coffee fiends and for impressing guests with a decent cup of coffee. The milk frother is great for a frothy coffee or a hot chocolate!

So that's pretty much everything we have bought for the house except a few little bits which are just in the video, so if you want to see more click below!

Our little home is slowly coming together, we just need a few photos and pictures up really but finding little gems like we have really does help to make it feel personal.

Where do you like to shop for homeware?

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