Wednesday, 17 May 2017

HOW TO STAY CHILLED WHEN PLANNING A WEDDING



Hi lovelies! It feels like it's been forever! As those of you who follow me on  twitter or instagram will know, I've recently moved house so what with that and planning our wedding, my poor little blog has taken a bit of a back-seat lately! With that in mind though, I wanted to come back with a wedding themed blog post! Our big day is creeping up so fast and I wanted to get a few more posts

Make a plan as early as possible and get the big stuff done ASAP.
For me, the most important things were the venue, the dress, the bridesmaids, the photographer, the caterer, the flowers and the registrar. I got 6/7 of these done within the first 5 months of planning. We had the venue booked a year in advance, I chose the dress 11 months in advance, the bridesmaids were asked 13 months in advance and their dresses were bought 8 months in advance. The photographer was chosen around 10 months before and booked at the same time. The caterer, accommodation and DJ all came with the venue which was super easy and we made sure booking the registrar was the first thing we did after booking the venue. The flowers I left a little later but 6/7 ain't bad! We've now go around 2 and a half months to go and we're both really quite cam about how it's all going so far. Booking these bigger things before meant we had time to focus on the small details that will make our day truly ours.

Keep the Wedding Party simple.
By this I don't mean do an 'eeny, meeny, miny, mo' between your girlfriends to pick just the one Bridemaid, but instead, pick those who will help you keep things simple. Darren had two best men and I have six Bridemaids, so we weren't about keeping our numbers down in that sense, but instead, we picked people who we knew would be easy going and fun. To put it bluntly, if your old friend from school is a bit of a nightmare, don't pick her as Maid of Honour. While it can be difficult leaving people out, it is your day and you shouldn't feel pressured to have anybody in it that will take over or just be a general pain in the butt! My girls have been ridiculously helpful, but only when asked or required, no one's stepped on my toes or tried to make it about them and it's made my life so much easier!

Get the invites out and RSVPs back early.
We sent our invites back in January for our wedding this August and set the RSVP 'deadline' (loosely) for the end of March, along with menu selections, which meant we had a pretty much final list of everyone that was coming and what they were eating fairly early on. So now, with around two and half months to go, we're totally clear on who is and isn't coming and what to tell our caterer. Things like this are a big deal, so giving yourself plenty of time to sort this out and giving your guests plent of notice will save a lot of stress on the run up to your big day. Side note, it's also important to keep your invites as clear as possible, you definitely don't want dozens of 'so, where is your venue?' texts to respond to!

Have a budget and stick to it.
Cannot. Stress. Enough. This was probably one of the first things we though of when we started planning. It's a boring one and thinking about the money side of weddings is a bit daunting, but if you know where you stand with it in the beginning and keep to your budget. If you save on one aspect, you can perhaps spend more on another, but for me at least, keeping to our budget has been a big deal. Planning a wedding is a lot of fun and worrying about money would put a huge dampener on it for me. Whether your budget is very modest or super lavish, keeping to it will prevent any nasty surprises.

Don't be swayed by others opinions and don't get competitive.
It can be easy to compare your day to others, or get caught up in people telling you about this amazing thing at this incredible wedding they went to. It's important to remember that it's your day with the person you love and everything you do should be about the two of you and certainly not to compete with anyone else. Odds are,there'll be things at your amazing wedding that people will tell their friends about afterwards, so don't worry too much if your colleague's sister's best friend had an ice sculpture of her and her other half (not a genuine example might I add), your little touches are what makes your day your own, sometimes it's not the worst idea to step away from Pinterest and think about  you and your husband or wife to be and what suits the two of you.

Try not to let the Wedding take over your life!
It's so exciting planning a Wedding, but running up to ours, we've made sure not to make every day/ week/ month all about the wedding. Sure, we talk about it a lot, people regularly ask about it, but if I'd spent every second of this year leading up to the Wedding stressing about it, I feel as though the day will feel more like end game than the start of something even more exciting than the day itself! When it comes down to it, a Wedding is simply a celebration with all your favourite people of the beginning of the rest of your lives together, treating it like the last hurdle for me completely contradicts the meaning of the entire process. So, my best advice to Brides to be is to enjoy the planning, cherish every second, but don't lose sight of the reason you're getting married in the first place. The day itself is truly just the beginning and you'll have so much more to look forward to afterwards. Embrace it, enjoy it and have fun!

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Friday, 14 April 2017

SUMMER SCENTS FROM YANKEE CANDLE


Hi lovelies! As seems to be the usual for Bank Holiday weekends in the UK, we're off to a pretty grey and gloomy start. So, to make my house feel at least a little more summery, I've been burning this gorgeous candle from Yankee Candle's new Summer Collection 'Viva Havana', a range of scents inspired by the capital of Cuba. I'm super into candles during the winter and am constantly burning warm cinnamon and sweet vanilla scents, but like puppies, candles are not just for Christmas! Fresh, fruity scents and pretty florals are just perfect to make your home smell like gorgeous sunny days, despite grey skies outside!

This particular scent 'Delicious Guava'* is pretty much the most perfect fruity scented candle I've ever come across. Sometimes fruity scents can be a bit overpowering and overly sweet, but this is just the right amount of sweet and sharp, making it a lovely fresh scent. It's described as 'A rush of sunny tropical guava with a hints of sea musk and malted sugar for an exotic and luscious sweet treat'. Like a perfume, I love when a candle has a few different 'notes' and makes for a slightly more complex scent.

As with all Yankee Candles, this has burned really well so far, burning right to the edges and evenly as it burns down. The scent it gives off is just strong enough and smells gorgeous as you walk into the room, but isn't overwhelming. This is only scent I've tried from the new range, but if this is anything to go by, I'd definitely recommend checking them out when they're released. As well as this scent, the range has three other scents; 'Viva Havana', which is a mixture of sandalwood and spices, 'Cuban Mojito', definitely next on my list, a mint and lime scent and 'Tobacco Flower' which is a blend of cedar wood, ginger, bamboo leaf and jasmine.

The Viva Havana range will be available on the Yankee Candle website from 1st May 2017.


*This product was gifted to me, however this is not a sponsored post. As always all opinions are my own.

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Wednesday, 12 April 2017

BARGAIN SUMMER STAPLES FROM PRIMARK

Hi lovelies! Today, I wanted to share with you all a few bits and bobs that I've picked up in Primark lately. I think this summer has some of my favourite trends ever and while I love to invest in key pieces, I love bargain when it comes to more trendy fashion items that will not necessarily be on trend forever.
First of all, the embroidery trend. At first I wasn't sure but now I want ALL OF THE THINGS. I'm still hunting down the perfect pair of embroidered jeans but for now, this adorable little bag gives my outfits that cute 90s feel. This was just £7 and is also available in nude pink. Because this bag is black and a pretty decent size, I feel like I'm going to get a lot of use out of it. I also feel like I can really make the most out of the trend with this as I can use this bag over and over again, whereas I may not wear an embroidered dress or shirt many times before the trend fizzles out.
Another thing that seems to be everywhere at the moment is wire framed, mirrored sunglasses and for only £3, I couldn't leave these in the shop! As they're quite a fun shape, they're mirrored and they're rose gold, I wouldn't have wanted to spend too much on them, so finding some as inexpensive as this is just fab. Primark has a huge range of sunnies right now so I suggest you get down there asap if you're after a new pair for a bargain price!

Possibly my favourite trend of all time is Bardot style, off the shoulder tops. I wear them constantly in the summer so I love when they're all over the shops! They have this blue and white striped one at the moment for just £6 and it's available in several colours and prints. The material is nice a flowy and cool and the style is super flattering. I've already bought this is two colours and I'm hoping they'll bring out more of the same!

Finally, I'm not sure if it's a trend right now or not, but I'm loving high waisted everything and I just couldn't not mention these high waisted shorts. They're just £10 and I've got them in light blue denim and black as shown above. For reference, I'm wearing a size 6 and I'm about 5ft 5. What I love about these is that they actually cover my entire bum. They're nice and short and tight fitting, but there is NO butt-cheek on show. I am not into showing off my bum in public and it it stupidly hard to find shorts that keep you covered so these made me want to sing with joy when I put them on. They're a super soft, comfy denim too and don't feel tight or uncomfortable at all which is fab! I love the look of high waisted shorts with crop tops in the summer so I'm sure I'll get a ton of wear out of these! Side note, the top I have on in this pic is also Primark and was just £3! 

What do you think?

What's your fave summer trend? Have you picked up any bargains from Primark lately?

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Monday, 27 March 2017

DOGGIE DENTAL HYGIENE: PEDIGREE DENTASTIX

Hi lovelies! If you've followed my blog or social media accounts for any length of time, you'll know I'm a huge dog lover and my Chihuahua, Belle, is my absolute world! So, when the lovely people at Pedigree got in touch as asked if they could send Belle some Dentastix to try, I was super excited! These aren't just tasty treats for our favourite little fluffy babies to enjoy though, they actually help with a very important part of caring for our pets.

Dental hygiene is something we take very seriously ourselves but can often be overlooked when it comes to our dogs, however, without properly caring for their teeth and gums, dogs can can develop dental diseases. This is obviously bad enough on it's own as they'll suffer from soreness, rotting teeth and gums and bad breath, but the bacteria from these diseases can also enter the dogs bloodstream and damage their liver, heart or kidneys, which is super scary! Of course, brushing your dogs teeth is a very effective way of keeping them plaque free, however using Pedigree Dentastix daily has been proven to reduce tartar build up by up to 80%! As you can tell from these pictures, Belle absolutely loves them as she just treats it like any other treat! I notice as well that when she eats these, she really does use her whole mouth, this is down to the X-shape, meaning it gets right into her teeth and gums and helps to scrape off any nasties that are building up! I like that these take her a lot longer to eat than most other treats too, meaning she's unintentionally taking a good amount of time to really clean those pearly whites!

When it comes to cleaning your dogs teeth otherwise, it's best to start early, when Belle was a tiny puppy, we bought her some doggie toothpaste (never use regular toothpaste, it's poisonous to dogs!), and a toothbrush. We were told by the vets to use toothbrushes made for dogs or a very soft children's toothbrush. Letting the dog lick the toothpaste off your finger at first to get used to the taste (though usually they're meat flavoured and they love them anyway!), then slowly introduce them to the toothbrush. Gradually touching their mouths a little more day by day also helps them get used to your fingers being around their mouthes, meaning they won't feel the need to bite down when you try to put a toothbrush in there! Persistence and being gentle is key when it comes to this, perhaps giving your dog a little brush time, followed by lots of praise (and maybe a dentastix treat!) when they've done good will soon teach your dog that brush time is fun time!

Do you have any dental hygiene tips for dogs? Does your dog love dentastix as much as Belle? Let me know!

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Friday, 10 March 2017

HEALTHY HAIR MUST HAVES


Hi lovelies! As many of you will know, I'm getting married this year, so with my Wedding day approaching, I've been doing all I can to grow out my hair. Of course, growing your hair one thing, but growing longer and healthier is another story all together. So, today, I wanted to share with you all a few things that I've been doing and products I've been using that have been helping my hair to grow longer and stronger.

A Good Quality Hairdryer
High quality hair tools are essential, a hair dryer like the Panasonic hair dryer above is much better for your hair as it has a 'healthy mode', which drys your hair quickly to avoid excessive use of heat on the hair. Dryers that use special technology to reduce heat damage really are worth the investment in my opinion, as if you have a good quality hair dryer that dries your hair quickly and leaves it looking healthy and smooth, there's less need for extra heat from other appliances. This one in particular is on my wishlist at the moment and is definitely worth checking out if you're serious about upping your hair-care game!

Regular Trims
Possibly the most important step in trying to grow your hair longer and healthier is getting it trimmed regularly. It sound counterproductive, but until December last year, I was only getting my hair trimmed every 12 weeks or sometimes even longer and despite the not very regular cuts, it was taking a seriously long time to get any longer! This was because by the time I went to get it cut again, the ends were so split and broken that whatever new length I had had to be chopped off! Hair that is trimmed little and often appears to grow faster because the ends are kept looking healthier, split, straggly ends can actually make your hair appear shorter! My hairdresser only cuts off a bare minimum, but as I have it trimmed every 6-8 weeks now, it has time to grow an inch or so, so having half an inch cut off each time means that I am slowly but surely getting towards my goal of super long, swishy mermaid hair. I should also mention that it is important to get a hairdresser that will be honest with what you need, but also listens to what you want, a scissor happy hairdresser that lops off 3 inches every time you go will not help if you're trying to grow out your hair!

Softer Hairbands
I think this is one that is really quite overlooked as I know I definitely did before! I'm not really one for tying my hair up too often, so whenever I did, I'd grab whichever hairband I could find without too much thought about it. However, tight, harsh hairbands can do serious damage to your hair, they cause friction which can eventually snap and break your hair. Scrunchies like the one above can seriously help to reduce damage to your hair (and they look super cute and retro too!). Especially if you tie your hair up to go to bed, switching to a hairband that's softer and more gentle on your hair is much better and will dramatically reduce damage.

Hair Oil & Serum
I've found a new love for hair oil and serums recently and this has made a huge difference to my hair. I use Macadamia oil on my hair to keep dry, split ends at bay and just a little bit every time I wash and dry my hair has been making my hair feel a lot better, which in turn makes it look better. This along with a little serum makes my hair look and feel smoother and healthier, which I find means I use less heat. No product can actually repair damaged hair, however, when your hair looks and feels dry and frizzy, it's easy to use too much heat trying to style it, so products like this really help to keep your hair more manageable.

Sulphate Free Shampoo
I've also switched to sulphate free shampoos lately and I think that it's made the world of difference. My hairdresser told me that sulphates are also in washing up liquid and help to cut through the grease on dirty dishes, which sounds pretty harsh for your hair if you ask me! I've tried a couple of different ones and don't have a paricular favourite yet, but I'm certain my hair has actually been growing faster since using the sulphate free shampoo and conditioner. It's also softer and much less falls out in the shower. The actual growth could be a coincidence but I've definitely noticed a difference in the condition of my hair since I've thrown out the harsher products so I'd thoroughly recommend going sulphate free!

Less Frequent Washing
On the topic of washing our hair, this one does prove the most challenging for many of us, but washing your hair less frequently absolutely makes all the difference in the overall condition of your hair. Washing your hair too often strips your hair of its natural oils leaving it dry and prone to breakage. I tend to wash mine every other day or every three days if I can. I used to think I had to wash my hair every day, but in doing this I trained my hair to get oilier faster as it was trying to quickly restore the natural oils that I was constantly stripping out. Over time, my hair has almost got 'used to' being washed less often and I'm in the process of trying to stretch it out so I can go to every third day rather than every other day. In doing this, dry shampoo is an absolute life saver. I only really use Batiste as I find it feels the lightest on my hair. I know some people dislike dry shampoo, but I think if you use it sparingly, it's much better than over-washing!

So, that's it! Those are my tips for healthier hair, I don't claim to be a hair expert as I'm sure you can tell, but this is what I've been doing and what's worked for me!

What are your top tips for healthier hair? I'd love to know!

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Wednesday, 8 March 2017

KAT VON D SHADE AND LIGHT EYESHADOW QUADS


Hi lovelies! I said in my last post that from now on, im only going to write about products that I truly want to write about, whether that be because I think they're really great or a bit shit. This time though we don't need to worry about the latter as I'm going to do a little review of some new love's from Kat Von D. In today's post I'll be showing you two of the Shade and Light Eyeshadow quads and let me warn you, you may not want to read on if you're trying to save your money!

Saturday, 18 February 2017

2017



Hi lovelies! As you may be able to tell by the fact it's mid February, this post has been a long time. I'm not usually much of a New Years person, I love the prosecco and partying, but I've never bought much into the 'New Year, New Me' vibe. Until I did. Over the first few weeks of 2017, I've been thinking a lot about the past year. 2016 was a weird year, in some ways it was an incredible year, I got engaged, I started working in a job I absolutely love and made some fab memories and looking back, that's what I want so much more of.

In 2016, I spent a lot of the year being self employed as a beautician. It was a job that I loved to bits and it did wonders for my confidence at work ethic running my own business, but when I realised that I'd gotten all I wanted and all I could out of it and felt like it was time to move on, I felt like a bit of a failure. Being your own boss in a creative industry is the dream for so many people and admitting to myself that t wasn't my dream after all was hard. I'd always said I could never work in a 9-5 office environment and guess what? It's exactly what I'm doing and I genuinely have never been happier. Having a scheduled week, a steady, reliable wage and free weekends has left with me so much more time and freedom to live my life. The biggest thing I learned last year was absolutely that it's okay to change your mind and your path and it may be the best thing you've ever done.

So, that said, I've decided that 2017 is going to be a year of making memories. Last year, any time I had a little spare money, I'd buy clothes, shoes, homewares, makeup, just stuff. Of course, I'm human, I'm not vowing to give up all material possessions and live among nature (I may be a vegan, but I'm still a 21st Century female!!), but I do want to do much less buying and much more experiencing. Lately though, I've realised that as much as those things do make me happy, what I really love is going places and doing things, those are things that mean the most to me. Those things, not physical things are what will shape my personality and provide the best memories in years to come.

I think as a blogger it can feel like such huge pressure to have new things all the time for interesting outfit posts or product reviews and while I love doing those, I want to buy things because I really want them, not because I feel like I should want them. I won't stop doing beauty and fashion posts because I still love that, but I will do them when I want to, not as a filler when I don't have anything else to write about.

So, a few goals for me for the rest of the year (better late than never!);

Go to lots of gigs.
I LOVE live music, I would rather go to concerts than go on holidays most of the time and having already seen my favourite band ever (Green Day) once this year, I definitely want to do more of the same!

Explore London.
London is my favourite city in the world, I live so close to it and definitely don't take advantage of that enough! Despite knowing London relatively well, I really want to explore more of it, some of the tiny tucked away places that not everyone knows about. Any suggestions please let me know!

See family more.
I'm super close to my family and I love seeing them however life gets in the way sometimes and I'm determined to make more time to see them all as those times are so precious.

Learn German.
I was recently introduced to a free app that you can use to learn languages and I've started to re-learn German. I did it at GCSE level and was pretty good at it however as I didn't keep it up I've forgotten a fair bit and I'd really like to learn it again. I've always want a second language and while German may not necessarily be the most useful, it's a good place for me to start!

Book some time away.
Though I'm not really one for long beach holidays I do love going and seeing new places and I'd love to do a long weekend in a city I've never visited before, so again, any suggestions would be fab!

So, I think I've leave it here for now. A question to you all first though, would you like to see posts about these sorts of things? Reviews of events and places, or my recommendations of things to see and places to visit?

Let me know your thoughts!

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Monday, 30 January 2017

HOMEWARE WISHLIST


Faux Cactus - Primark
Hello Cushion - Next
Yellow Footstool - Next
Banana Tray - Primark
Well Dressed Stag - ASDA
Tile Print Mug - New Look
Globe - M&S
Lamp - Wayfair

Hi lovelies! There's really something about January isn't there? For all it's downfalls (and it has many), something I just love is the feeling of a fresh start. So, this January I did a complete home overhaul and Darren and I did a long overdue revamp of our living room. Since we moved in last December (as in 2015!), we'd had the same cushions and decor as we had since we moved in and as we were pretty broke when we first moved in, they were all pretty naff quality and were looking very tired! So, a few new cushions, a new bookshelf, lamp, shoe storage unit (lifesaver), a few decorative bits and a generous helping of fairy lights and our little cottage is finally starting to feel really quite homely! I'll do more homeware type posts in the near future, but I wanted to share with you all a few bits and bobs that I've been loving while browsing the web for even more bits to make our house a proper home.

As you can probably tell, I'm loving yellow right now! Our living room is vaugely yellow/ navy/ oak themed with a bit of a boho vibe, so that's what I had in mind with these picks. Primark have a huge range of homeware bits and they are just gorgeous, I've been obsessed with shopping there lately, you can get so much for your money too - perfect if you're just starting out in your first home. My particular favourites are the yellow pouffe/ footstool from Next and the 'Well Dressed Stag' from Asda, isn't he fab? 

What do you think? Where's your fave place to shop for homeware? 

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Sunday, 22 January 2017

REVIEW: FREEDOM AUDACIOUS MATTES PALETTE


Hi lovelies! Well, long time no see! To cut a long story short, I have no real excuse other than being super busy with Christmas, work and planning the wedding and because of that, my blog has been on the back burner a little! But I'm back and I really want to get back into at least semi regular blogging again! Today, I'm easing myself back in with a good old fashioned product review, as I haven't done one for some time and I've got a lot of things I want to share with you! We're starting off today

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