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Sunday, 28 June 2015

Matalan Festival Fashion







Matalan recently got in touch with me to see if I'd like to take part in their Festival Fashion campaign, where they asked bloggers to pick some festival inspired pieces from their range to style into an outfit. Despite not attending any festivals this year (although Glastonbury looks amazing at the moment), I do think that the festival look can be worn at any point in the summer (minus the wellies).

I decided to focus my outfit on picking simple basics that could be styled with lots of different outfits. When you have to pack everything into a small rucksack, you want to pack light, so having staple pieces that can be mixed and matched is definitely a good idea. My first pick was a simple white t-shirt as I knew I could pair it with whatever bottoms I wanted. For my lower half, I picked these gorgeous high waisted black shorts with lace trim, although mine were sadly too big for me, hence why I'm wearing a non-Matalan kimono over the top (sorry guys!).

To accessorise the look, I chose this beautiful long chain aztec style necklace as I think the combination of gold and turquoise is really pretty and works well against the simple black and white outfit. I also chose this black suede bag which incorporates one of festival's most famous trends - fringing. Leaving the best till last, I picked these tortoiseshell round glass which I think are just gorgeous - I've been wearing them non-stop.

If you're heading to a festival this year, or simply just looking to pick up some extra bits for your summer holiday, I'd urge you to pop onto Matalan's site, they've got some lovely pieces that are insanely cheap - this whole outfit cost just £50.

Are you heading to any festivals this summer? What do you think of my festival look? 

*Items kindly sent c/o Matalan Fashion.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Life Update


Things have been really busy in my life recently, and as a result my blog has suffered as I haven't had the time to keep up with my regular schedule. Rather than apologise for it (as honestly, I doubt anyone but myself even noticed), I thought I'd simply just give you an update on what's been going on in my life of late.

I finally started my new job just over a week ago. It was strange starting somewhere new having been at my last company for four years and going from knowing everything, to knowing nothing. However thankfully it's all starting to click now, and that's a real relief and an exciting feeling to have. Much of that is down to a trip I took to Paris this week, where I headed over to be trained by the HQ office. I really love Paris, it's such a beautiful city, although unfortunately I didn't have my most successful trip this time around. My phone and purse were stolen in a bar, which was something that's never happened to me before and was really horrible. Thankfully, my beautiful Kate Spade wallet came back to me after a kind French lady found it and got in touch - tracking me down through my blog's business card.

In other news, I headed over to Ireland earlier in the month, to meet my best friend's darling new daughter. It was my first time in Ireland, and it's a beautifully green and peaceful place. It was amazing to meet little Anabelle - she's perfect in every way, and even more special to see my friend who was once unable to look after herself, morph so gracefully into a wonderful mother. It was like she was meant to do the job all her life.

Thankfully, everything seems to be calming down for the moment and now that I'm feeling more settled at work, I should have the time (and motivation) to post more regularly. I have a lot of exciting posts coming up which I'm really looking forward to getting stuck into, so I hope you all continue to hang around to read them!

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Handbag Essentials


My handbag is my best friend. I carry it everywhere with me, and it plays host to all the things I need on a daily basis. I'm notorious for carrying a little more than I need, but I thought I'd share some of my essentials with you today. 

EOS Lip Balm - Summer Fruits
I love everything about EOS lip balms, from their quirky packaging to their delicious flavours and hydrating qualities. My only rule though, is not to buy them in the UK as they're wildly over priced here. One of the reasons I love these balms is because you don't need to use your fingers to apply them which makes it that bit more hygienic - always a winner for me. 

Bath & Body Work's Antibacterial Hand Gel
Talking of hygiene, I'm back raving about my ever faithful antibacterial gels from Bath & Body Works. They're super moisturising and smell amazing. If you're ever in the US you need to make it your priority to pick some of these up, they're only $5 for 5 so a complete bargain that will quite possibly change your life. 

EOS Hand Lotion - Berry Blossom
Another EOS product is their hand lotion, which is something I haven't seen in the UK yet and was another impulse purchase when I was in the US. It's a really lovely hand lotion that's paraben-free, and infused with moisturising Shea butter, aloe and antioxidants leaving my hands feel silky soft and hydrated. I think it's a great size for handbags so tend to throw it in wherever I go. 

Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm - Pink Blossom
Whilst my EOS lip balm has me covered for general hydration, sometimes I like to add a hint of colour to my lips. For this I turn to my all-time favourite product from Burt's Bees, their tinted lip balm in Pink Blossom. These are quite literally the bees-knees (yes I went there), they have an incredibly soft, buttery texture that glides and melts onto the lips easily, leaving behind a sheer wash of colour that's very natural. 

Elizabeth & James Rollerball - Nirvana Black
Last but not least comes fragrance. I always pick up a rollerball fragrance from Sephora whenever I'm there as they are incredibly convenient to carry around in my hand bag for everyday use. One of my favourites is the Elizabeth & James - Nirvana Black fragrance, which is a delicious blend of violet, sandalwood and vanilla. Don't fear if you're not near a Sephora soon, I know that MAC offer their perfumes in roller ball form, and I'll also be reviewing another product very soon that's perfect for travel. 

What are your hand bag essentials? 

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Appleyard London Flowers







Monet once said 'I must have flowers always and always', and I wholeheartedly agree. Flowers are one of my favourite gifts to receive - they brighten up a room and instantly make me feel happy.

Appleyard London kindly got in touch to see if I'd like to receive one of their bouquets, and I couldn't wait to receive it. I chose the large Strawberry Smoothie* bouquet which is full of plump hydrangea, sweet avalanche roses, kimsey germini and white alstroemeria and is the perfect bunch for a summer occasion. The flowers were delivered to me yesterday, packaged upright in a sturdy, transportable box meaning they were well looked after if I wasn't able to get to them right away. I was a little disappointed to find my hydrangea* were so green as I was expecting them to be white, but it's still a lovely bouquet nonetheless.

Appleyard London are a luxury flower delivery company who work hard to provide beautiful bouquets made up of exclusive and rare flowers that would make the perfect gift for a variety of occasions. They deliver across the whole of the UK and offer fast, next day delivery too.

Alongside my gorgeous bouquet, they've also given me a discount code for my readers which will give you 33% off their range of luxury bouquets if you're looking to send a bunch yourself (it does not include the flowers by post range) - just enter BLOG33 at checkout.

What do you think of my beautiful bouquet? What's your favourite flower?

*After hearing that my hydrangea weren't as expected, Appleyard proved their wonderful service, and kindly sent me out another bouquet. 

Friday, 19 June 2015

Little Additions



As much as I love styling outfits, sometimes it's nice to let the little additions do the talking. As such, I decided to share some I've been loving this month.

These Topshop sunglasses were bought recently to replace a much adored pair that recently broke. I had loved the shape of my original pair so much, that I hunted these very ones down last weekend and was so delighted they were such a good match. They have a light brown/tortoiseshell frame with burgandy arms, which look perfect enhancing a simple outfit.

Whilst fragrance isn't something you can see, it's still something that helps me personally feel more put together. My current favourite fragrance is Jo Malone's Peony & Blush Suede which I recently posted about here, after securing myself a new job. It's such a gorgeous fresh and floral scent that's perfect for the summer and really makes me feel lovely when I smell it on myself.

Nowadays, we're rarely seen without our phones. I don't know about you, but mine is never far from my side. I was recently invited to an event by Microsoft to learn about how best to wear colours, and how our phones can be the perfect way to accessorise and bring out our personalities with a pop of colour. The Microsoft Lumia range is notorious for having a great selection of vibrant coloured models, however my eye was immediately drawn to this sleek black and gold phone as I'm a sucker for anything which features a gold accent. Last year, I wrote about another Microsoft Lumia phone and how impressed I was with it, so I was delighted to be gifted with this Lumia 930* at the end of the event to take home and play with. Despite having always been an iPhone girl at heart, there is no denying the quality and features that Microsoft phones have to offer. Their cameras are particularly impressive, and far outweigh iPhones in my opinion. I've really enjoyed using this phone and love that it adds an extra sophistication to my outfits.

What are your favourite little additions? 

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Perfume Society Discovery Box



I've always been a huge lover of perfumes, and feel incomplete if I leave the house without one on. I think they're wonderful for evoking memories and as a result I have a number of fragrances that remind me of special times.

Whilst I have particular smells that I consider to be my signature scents (e.g. Stella by Stella McCartney and Jo Malone's Pomegranate Noir), I do also love to try new fragrances to see if there are any others I'd like to add to my collection. As a result, I was intrigued to hear about the Perfume Society's Discovery Box.

The Discovery Box* contains a selection of nine perfume samples which all circulate around one common theme - this month, the theme was 'Beautiful Blossoms'. The box also contains 'Fragrance Notes' - postcards which outline details about each sample, including the fragrance family, top notes and base notes which I found particularly helpful. The Perfume Society also like to provide a little something extra with each box, and I received one of Elemis's new British Botanical Shower Creams which I thought was a really nice touch.

The Discovery Box comes as part of a yearly subscription to the Perfume Society, costing £25 per year. With this subscription, you receive copies of their e-magazine, tickets to workshops, in-store events, one Discovery Box - and a heads up when new ones are available. Whilst I think the concept is cool, it's not really something for me. I like fragrance, but I'm not into it enough to want to read e-magazines or attend workshops on it, so I wouldn't be prepared to pay the £25 subscription fee. I think if they were to offer the Discovery Box for a low-cost monthly subscription (much like Birch Boxes) then it might be more appealing.

What do you think of the sound of this Discovery Box? Would you be likely to subscribe? 

Monday, 15 June 2015

Candle Favourites


Although candles are probably best known to be suited to the latter seasons of the year, I love them so much that I burn them no matter the weather. For me, it's more about finding the best scents for that season, so I tend to go for fresh, floral and summer fragrances at this time of year. 

Bath & Body Work's Tiki Beach smells just like sun rays. It has a luxurious blend of vanilla musk, orchids and toasted coconuts, which help to transport me to sunnier climates and beach days. Spring Time Provence is a delicious scent that's simply perfect for this time of year. It mixes the smell of fresh raspberries, citrus and juicy peaches to create a fragrance that emulates summer picnics. 

Last but not least, comes Jo Malone's Pomegranate Noir. Admittedly, this isn't a particularly summery scent, but as one of my all time favourites, it's a come rain or shine kind of scent. It's dark and enigmatic, but mixes the freshness of pomegranate, raspberry and plum with pink pepper and lily, making it a delicious scent to be enjoyed all year round. 

What are your favourite candle fragrances? 

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