11/10/2014

A Little Home Haul

Last night I decided to take a trip to my local B&M home store to spend some pennies on their home accessories. I don't know if you have a B&M store near you, but if you don't it's basically a discount retailer that sells kitchen cupboard staples, home accessories, toys, DIY bits and pieces, beauty items and the odd bit of furniture. I'm not a massive fan of the stock, some of it really looks as cheap as it is but you can definitely find the odd gem hidden amongst the rest of the items on the shelves.

I came out with 14 items costing just under £20.00, which is a delightful bargain indeed! I'm not going to show you all of my haul per se as some of it was for my kitchen cupboards (think cranberry sauce, Nutella and stuffing for my Sunday roast!) but I did want to show you some of the cute little home decor bits I found nestled on the shelves.

First up is this gorgeous woven wicker decorative heart that I found in the Christmas (yes, there was an aisle of it already!) section. It doesn't scream Christmas to me, which is why I've already put it on my dining room door to add a bit of Winter cheer to the room. I adore the silver heard garland that's wrapped around the heart and the tartan bow is a nice touch. This was a total steal at £2.99.

Next are two decorative pieces I bought for my bathroom. Being the daughter of a Naval Officer I am obsessed with all things ocean themed, anchors especially! This lovely little wooden anchor was 99p and looks the part sat next to my ceramic bathroom blocks from Tesco.

The Bathroom Rules sign is a little joke to remind J of the rules of the room. Having been living with him for just under a year and a half I am still surprised (read: annoyed) when I come home to find his underwear right in front of the shower door, or a sink full of shaving foam and the toothpaste without the cap on it - grrr! It's cute and girly and will look great either hanging on the front of the bathroom door or just above the bathtub. I paid £1.99 for this.

This fourth piece has to probably be my most favourite, it's an adorable Home Rule print full of all of my favourite mantras and quotations to live by. Something to stop and read every morning to guarantee a happy and fun filled day! This was another steal, at £2.99 and in my opinion it looks a lot more expensive that what I paid for it!

Finally, I made two beautiful stationary purchases, a floral notebook and pencil case ready for my upcoming management development day on Tuesday. I've mentioned before that I'm chasing a pretty big promotion at work and this day is the first stepping stone to for me to prove how well suited I believe that I am for the role. I'm a stationary addict / hoarder anyway so these two were definitely not being left on the shelf. The pencil case was 99p and the notebook was also 99p.

What's on your home with list?

08/10/2014

October Library


Reading has always been a big part of my life since I was teeny tiny. I used to always receive books as gifts and would literally sit and devour one after the other on my beanbag throughout my school holidays. My mum's had this longstanding joke that I'd read anything and everything, so much so that if she gave me a reel of bus tickets I'd probably read them right though to the end of the reel!

My enjoyment of books stalled at university. Every time I picked up a book that wasn't Criminology related I felt guilty that I wasn't studying, but it didn't stop me from spending a good hour in Waterstones or the WHSmith book section when in Durham, there's nothing nicer than a good bookshop. In fact, I'd be absolutely over the moon if I was able to get a job in Waterstones one day!

Despite owning a Kindle and using it all the time I still adore that feeling of holding a book, a proper one, with that new book smell and engaging pages. The fact that I am no longer at university, and that I have more than just Kindle books waiting to be read has prompted me to begin a monthly post about my reads for the month, hence, October Library.

  1. Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn. Truth be told I'm writing this on October 8th and I've already finished this. I read it in one day, this Monday just gone! The plot is thus: Nick's wife is missing but Nick is claiming not to know anything about it despite all evidence pointing to Nick and her murder. It's such a well written book, with a vibrant plot and leaves a lot to keep you guessing what's going to happen next. I didn't even realise that there was a film version of this in the cinemas at the moment, but I've got tickets to see it tomorrow so hopefully it doesn't leave me deflated by being a rubbish adaptation! 
  2. The Charm Bracelet, Melissa Hill. I own a few Melissa Hill books because the premises always sound cute and girly and the kind story I'd want to read in the bath with a candle burning. The Charm Bracelet takes place in New York City at Christmas and sees Holly try and reunite a charm bracelet with its owner, with only the charms to help her by acting as clues. I'm excited to start this, but will do so at the end of October to get into the festive spirit. 
  3. Paper Planes, John Green. Everyone has probably heard of The Fault In Our Stars by now, but what about Green's other novels? I particularly enjoyed Looking For Alaska so I thought I'd try out Paper Planes. The blurb sounds like this: Quentin loves Margo, but it's always been from afar. One night she invites him on an all-night road trip of revenge and he cannot help but go with her. The next day Margo doesn't arrive at school, but she's left clues to her disappearance for Quentin to follow. So what has happened to Margo? I'm intrigued and can't wait to start reading this. 
  4. The Pointless Book, Alfie Deyes. While I realise I am most definitely not part of the target audience intended to purchase a copy of this book, my final read for this month is Aflie's book and I just know that I'm going to love it! I like that this is an interactive book, you can most definitely get involved with it as each page contains a different activity for the reader (or author!) to do. It would be perfect for travelling to keep you entertained on the move! 
So that's my October Library, what's on your 'to read' list at the moment?

01/10/2014

September Favourites


In my 3 years of blogging I don't think I've ever done a monthly favourites. I have no idea why, it's just never been a post I've really thought about writing. However, this month I thought I'd buck my own trend and share with you the four essential products I couldn't have lived without this past 30 days.

They're Real Mascara, Benefit Cosmetics - £19.50
This is an absolutely amazing mascara, it's akin to my beloved YSL Babydoll mascara in terms of lash length, lift, colour, lash thickness and longevity. I absolutely love it and I'm onto my third tube already! I think that They're Real will be a constant repurchase, buy this and you won't be disappointed!

Creme Cup Lipstick, MAC Cosmetics - £15
A holy grail nude lip colour for many, MAC's Creme Cup is my most worn lipstick of this month. It's a perfect colour accompaniment to my makeup for work, natural and fresh, and had great staying power to give me a perfect pout for working on the front counter and the drive thru. This will definitely be another repurchase come the great day that it runs out, I might even get another one when I go 'back to MAC'.  

Paris Amour PocketBac, Bath & Body Works via eBay - £1.99-£4.00
If you're anything like me then you'll enjoy washing your hands, and having a pretty little pocket hand sanitiser makes hand washing that bit more fun. I carry one of these in my pocket at work, and have just purchased a holder from eBay so that I can clip it to my skirt to make it easier to feel clean between serving customers on tills and touching dirty money. Bath & Body works have some amazing scents too, I also own cotton candy, ice cream, pink macaron and pumpkin cupcake - dreamy!

Chocolate Body Butter, The Body Shop - £5.00
What a gorgeous, gorgeous body lotion with an equally delectable scent - chocolate! This smells so yummy on the skin and is so nourishing too. I've got the smaller pot of the range, but I'm very tempted to ask for the bigger pot for Christmas so that I can continue to smell delightful well on into the New Year. Big thumbs up from me for The Body Shop.

Floral Bun Donut Accessories, Primark - £2.00-£4.00
My final favourite for this month has to be my selection of bun donut accessories that I wear in my hair to work everyday. I have a great love for all things floral, and adding a brightly coloured hair accessory to my uniform adds a bit of personality to my otherwise boring McUniform. Primark have a fab selection of hair accessories, all at affordable prices, and I can't wait to add to my collection.

Those were my monthly favourites, what were yours?

30/09/2014

Oooo - New Shoes...!



It's really not everyday that I get fanatical about shoes. Handbags, yes - definitely, but shoes? Not so much. It came as a great surprise to me then that I felt it absolutely necessary to dedicate and entire post to a new pair of boots I purchased only yesterday. That's right, it's not even been 24 hours since I parted with the pennies to pay for them and here they are gracing my blog in a post all to themselves. 

Don't you think they're marvellous? I espied them on the shelf in Primark (!) and immediately had to try them on. They tick all the appropriate boxes for me: black - yes, not too high a heel - yes, day/night - yes, and, most importantly, they're from the wide fit section. With a quardruple yes, I just had to have them, and at only £15 they're a complete steal too, right?

They're suede(esq) with a lovely gold metal detail just above the heel, and a zip on the inside of each shoe to get your foot in and out. They're also surprisingly comfortable to wear (even if I only have worn them around the house) and if I didn't know they were from Primark I would have guessed a multitude of other brands before being surprised at where they come from, they just seem too sophisticated in my opinion to be from Primark, but I promise you they are!

I can't wait to wear these out...perhaps I'll convince J to take me on a date very soon...!

Are you a fan of this style of shoe?
What's your favourite boot for winter?




28/09/2014

Jo Malone - Peony & Blush Suede Cologne


Good morning!

As I mentioned in yesterday's post about my holiday to St Lucia my Mama kindly bought me a duty free present mid flight, which significantly improved my inflight pamper routine! She let me choose what I wanted and I chose this gorgeous Jo Malone cologne in the scent Peony & Blush Suede (100ml RRP £82, Duty Free £62) which is one that I tried when fragrance combining at the counter in Harvey Nichols in Bristol back in May.

I'm not really one for overpowering floral scents, I prefer a perfume that's light and fruity, bordering on the sweet side (think Prada Candy). For this reason this perfume is definitely one of the more grown up scents I have in my perfume wardrobe, but I currently cannot get enough of it. Jo Malone are clearly much better at providing an accurate description of this scent than I can, describing this perfume as 'the essence of charm. Peonies in voluptuous bloom, exquisitely fragile. Flirtatious with the juicy bite of red apple and the opulence of jasmine, rose and gillyflower. Mingling with the sensuality of soft, blush suede. Luxurious and seductive'. The notes include red apple (top), peony, jasmine, carnation, rose (middle) and suede (base).

A word of warning: spritz lightly. You really don't need to shower yourself in this cologne or else you'll lose the delicate scent. But it's perfect for day wear (just not at night in the Caribbean or else you'll attract the mosquitoes like I did!) which makes it such a lovely perfume, a very welcome addition to my collection indeed.

Are you a fan of Jo Malone fragrances?
What's your favourite perfume?

27/09/2014

A Caribbean Getaway...My Vacation to St Lucia.

Well hello again little corner of the internet!
I've been back from sunny St Lucia for exactly a week now and I wanted to share a couple of photos with you from my 10 day trip to this pretty little Caribbean island...
Luxury hot chocolate in Wetherspoons / Allure and snacks on the plane
The best continental breakfast ever! / We're off!
It began with trip to Gatwick to stay overnight in the Travelodge, before moseying around duty free at departures and eating the most delicious continental breakfast in Wetherspoons before embarking on an eight hour flight across the ocean. I was most impressed with British Airways' service - afternoon tea on the plane? Yes please! We were sitting in World Traveller Plus (i.e Premium Economy) and had ample leg room and lots of exciting entertainment to keep us occupied inflight. I was also lucky enough to be treated to a gorgeous Jo Malone perfume by my mum mid flight which significantly improved my inflight pamper routine!

Our little coral pink villa / Jacuzzi bath
Beautiful bedroom / Wet room style bathroom
We landed and took a transfer to our hotel which was at the opposite end of the island. St Lucia is teeny tiny - it only takes left than an hour and a half to get from the south to the north! The whole island is covered in lush tropical greenery, rainforest, banana and coco plantations (Hotel Chocolat even has a plantation and a hotel/restaurant on the island!) and the private homes of the St Lucian's are all painted in pretty pastel colours so as not to reflect the sun too much. They were so cute!

Our hotel was called Smugglers Cove Resort & Spa and it was beautiful, with numerous pools and it's own beach with lots of water sports. My Mama had upgraded us to lush little beach front villas to stay in for the whole trip, and we were treated to a queen sized bed, in room jacuzzi and lots and lots of space. We benefitted from being literally right in amongst all of the hotel action, with the buffet restaurant only a minute away, as well as the Piton Lounge (which had the best bar and wifi!) and the pools.
The beach from my cabana / Cocktail o'clock! / view from our terrace
Relaxing in my doughnut floatie / Wave after wave
Waterfall pool = lush!
The hotel was all inclusive so I indulged in a lot of rum punch, many pina coladas and glass after glass of Sprite (my most favourite fizzy drink of all time!). The food ranged from a buffet restaurant with a different theme every night, to Cafe Asia (a mix of lots of different Asian cuisine), an italian restaurant and a fish and jerk chicken restaurant situated on the water. There was also unlimited soft serve every day, a beach BBQ each lunchtime and an amazing buffet breakfast that served the best fresh fruit and pancakes. I cannot fault the food at this resort at all, we were very well fed indeed!

The best breakfast! / Doughnuts, pool water & palm trees
My little haul / Snack haul
St Lucia is the third Caribbean island I've been to, having visited Barbados and Antigua before, and it's definitely the most quaint. Everyone we met was so incredibly friendly and willing to help out (maybe a little too much so sometimes, especially the people we met at the Friday night street party we went to!), they made it such fun - especially the resort drivers who took us to the supermarket and shopping a number of times. In terms of shopping, St Lucia wasn't the best for me personally, I felt like I started to see the same old souvenirs wherever we went, but I did find a duty free MAC Cosmetics store as well as a small Milani stand in a shop named 'Beauty Supplies'. The majority of the products sold in the drugstores were things I can get in the UK and even the supermarkets were selling Waitrose branded items!

We did three excursions on the Island, one was a whale and dolphin watching experience which was such fun (even though I had to sit in the shade because I burned my back! Factor 30 is just not enough for my skin!) and although we didn't see any whales we did see a big pod of dolphins which were adorable and such show offs! Another excursion was an all day trip around the island in an open top jeep where we visited a cocoa plantation, two waterfalls, botanical gardens, a volcano and finished off the day with a catamaran trip back to Rodney Bay (where a majority of the shops and supermarkets were located north of the island). The final excursion was a trip to Castries, the capital of St Lucia, to visit the markets and experience the local way of life.
Disney, lying flat in the sky and drinks / Airport purchase
1st Course of 3 course meal! / My cabin seat
The weather was incredible and I've come back with a lovely tan! I was initially hesitant because September is right in the middle of the rainy season, but it only rained on our final day and we still went in the pool and sea anyway. We then had to dry off and catch our plane, which involved another transfer back down to the south of the island, and then a magical upgrade to Club World (business class) on the aeroplane with a lie flat bed. Now that's one way to travel home in style...!

All in all, it was a lovely little break away and I'd recommend anyone to go and visit St Lucia if you're up for a good time. Our resort was beautiful, not luxurious, but worth a visit if you're after a resort that has everything you're going to need in one space. I would say that it'd be worth it if you paid to upgrade your rooms like we did to get the most out of Smugglers Cove, but there are plenty of other resorts on the island if ours is not to your taste!

I'm already planning my next vacation, hopefully a mini city break to Paris in the near future, followed by Las Vegas and back to Florida in 2016. I've been bitten by the travelling bug again, and cannot wait to jet away to somewhere new...!

Have you ever been to the Caribbean?
Where has been your favourite holiday destination you've travelled to? I need ideas!