Drawing a Line & Starting Anew

Found on Google Images
As another year draws to a close I'm drawing a line underneath it. Turning a fresh, clean, page of an unwritten book and beginning, in media res, once more. 2014 wasn't bad, in fact there were a lot of positives, but towards the end I felt myself get a bit lost and carried away with the momentum. Without trying to sound too overly romantic or dramatic, I feel a bit wayward with who I am, what I want, and where I need to be, and feel like I have compensated for this unidentified feeling of late in material things, working too much for so little, and so on.

I've neglected my lovely little blog, neglected my health, begun to push aside the people who mean the most and pretended so many times that I'm ok. Ok isn't good enough. In fact it's worse than being just fine. It's not happy, incredible or brilliant. It's just ok. I'm just ok.

My little head has finally realised that I deserve to be more than ok, that I don't have to work so many hours, and that taking time out is a good thing. So 2015, I'm coming for you...for me. I don't owe anything to anybody (well apart from the bank!), certainly not my workplace, and certainly the world does not owe anything to me. But I'm going into this new year in a resettled frame of mind, and wow, let's make it a good one...!

I've just finished compelling my bucket list, as I do year on year, and you can have a read though it above if you'd like and see if we have any of the same goals/hopes/wishes. Just click on '215 Things For 2015'.

A very happy new year to you all <3


Blogmas Day Eleven: Getting Cosy With My Little Box

Winter is undoubtedly the season for feeling your cosiest. I, for one, absolutely adore the winter months so I was so excited to see that the latest My Little Box (November edition) was a cosy themed edition. This is my 3rd box from the company and i'll be completely honest and say that if they carry on with how undoubtedly gorgeous their boxes have been then I'll probably become a subscriber for life. There's not a single thing in any of my previous two boxes that I've not loved, or not used!
Like every month before this one, I've received a pretty little print with an inspirational saying on it, and like every month before this one, this now lives on my wall above my dressing table. Pretty soon I'm going to get a collage frame when I've received enough boxes and put that on the wall. Super cute!

The products in this box were definitely well suited to the theme, and you can tell that a lot of thought and love has gone into compiling these boxes. I received:

- An espresso mug
- A wheat warmer
- My Little Box's own brand mascara
- An eyeliner
- A Yves Rocher eyeshadow
- My Little World magazine
- Inspirational print

I have to say that even though I love the idea of everything in this box, I don't drink coffee so can't use the mug for it's full intended purpose (although I have had a mini hot chocolate in there for when I needed a little warming up), and I don't have a microwave so I can't use the wheat warmer (although I really want to! I think I'm going to take this to my Mum's house at Christmas and use it there). But the makeup products were right up my street and I've been using them to create a simple brown smokey eye for work that accentuates my blue eyes.

If you're not already signed up to My Little Box then I truly believe you're missing out. I cancelled my Birchbox and Glossybox in order to solely receive this one and I think that says something! 3 boxes in and I'm in love!

Are you a fan of subscription boxes? Which are your favourite?


#Blogmas Day Six: What's In My Work Bag?

Morning :) I've woken up to a frost covered wonderland, brrr what a chilly day!

Seeing as a I work in a bit of an unconventional job, I thought it'd be fun to show you the inside of my work bag today because it doesn't contain the necessary items that say an office worker would need (paperwork, laptop etc etc). More often than not I do also have some bits of paperwork in my bag so that I can read up about new promotions, the updated cash policy and so on, but for confidentiality and company policy reasons I can't show them to you here.

Anyhow, I'm currently sporting a Ted Baker Large Bow Shopper as my work bag. It's patent, spash proof and is big enough for me to fit in my huge management development folders that I need for my promotion, just perfect! I chose a black bag because it's hard to pair anything bright and wintery with a grey skirt a a mustard yellow belt (but that's a rant about my uniform that I'll save for another day!).

Inside my bag you'll find my hat, apron and the QRG, which is basically a McDonald's bible that has all the nitty bitty information inside of it that I need to know on a daily basis to help me run the restaurant. Like how long it takes to toast a hamburger bun, and on what compression setting I should have my toasters at and other such information. I'm forever praying that I don't have to go into the kitchen though because I'm clumsy and end up burning myself a lot!

You'll also find bits of stationery in my bag for when I'm working my admin days and looking after the restaurant's training. I use a Jack Wills makeup case as my pencil case which houses many highlighters, black biros and Sharpie markers (and of course my precious Tip-Ex Mouse!). I have my Employee of The Month sticky note set for reminders to my training squad and apprentices, and also my Erin Condren life planner which does exactly that: it holds my entire life inside of it!
I also, of course have a selection of lip products usually floating about in my bag, and a pocket mirror to help me apply them. I also usually carry a mini deodorant and a spare pair of tights too but neither of those were in my bag when I took my photos!

Finally I will usually have some kind of snack in my bag to munch either while I walk to work, or walk home from work (9 hours on your feet is hungry work!). This time I had yoghurt coated fruit flakes, yummy! Of course I carry my keys with me so that I can actually get home after a long day, and some delightful cotton candy body spray and a mini Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream rollerball perfume to keep me smelling sweet throughout the day. My final item in my bag is my personal McBible that I'm using to house all of the passwords for the computer programmes that we use, as well as any financial and business information about the restaurant that I need to learn for my promotion. I don't know what I'd do without it!

What do you carry in your work bag?


Blogmas Post 3: The Magical Orlando Tag

On this day in history: Walt Disney would have been celebrating his birthday, having been born on December 5th 1901. I, like millions of other Disney addicts across the world will be celebrating this day in honour of the man who changed the face of animation and children's lives for generations to come. I've grown up with Disney films, owning them on VHS, belting out  soundtracks to audio sing-a-long books and worn numerous items Disney branded clothing (Pocahontas leggings, anyone?). I'm almost 24, and my adoration for all things Disney knows no boundaries, in fact although I might sip a cider whilst watching Cinderella nowadays, I still long for those times past when I'd be tucked up in bed with a mini hot chocolate and staring at the beauty of Mulan or Belle.

What better way to celebrate this day than with The Magical Orlando Tag, hosted by FloridaTix in celebration of their new and improved website (a website that I have used personally in the past to plan my visits to Orlando attractions, I'd definitely recommend it!). Whilst this tag is not Disney exclusive, it incorporates my other great literary and cinematic love, Harry Potter, and a selection of the other amazing attractions that Orlando, Florida have to offer. Are you sitting comfortably? Then let us begin...

1. Which Hogwarts house would you be sorted into?
I'm already a member of Pottermore and ended up being sorted into Slytherin on the site. I'm not sure this would translate in real life as I'd say I'm more of a Ravenclaw: I'm bookish, witty and eager to learn all that I can about anything and everything. I've always been academic, and a bit of a self confessed over achiever, but Slytherin's are characterised as being cunning, resourceful and ambitious, again traits I would identify with. I guess I wouldn't want to choose, and ultimately wish the Sorting Hat would do it for me! 
2. Name a Disney character you’d like to have dinner with.
A bit unconventional, because although my first instinct was to mention any of of the beautiful Disney Princesses, I would absolutely love to have dinner with the merry band of ruffians Rapunzel comes across in the Snuggly Duckling in Tangled. I can bet that they'd show you a good time and definitely have many a story to tell to while away the evening. We could sing and dance and talk about each other's dreams! 

3. Which Marvel superhero power would you choose?
I think I'd like to have a go at being The Invisible Woman for the day. Reading her biography is like reading the life work's of a nobel prize winner. She can render herself invisible at will, make objects explode and erect invisible, near indestructible force fields. Wow. 

4. If you could bring back one dinosaur breed from Jurassic Park, which would it be?
I really don't like dinosaurs, so much so that I purposefully avoided the Dinosaur ride at Animal Kingdom having experienced the terrifying Jurassic Park ride at Universal. So I think i'm going to pass on this question. Earth is much safer sans dinos, sorry! 
5. You can ride a dragon at the Triwizard Tournament and visit the Owlery at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but where else would you go on a school trip to Hogsmeade?
As 90% of my life revolves around my next meal I can't pass up this question without mentioning a trip to Honeydukes and The Three Broomsticks for Chocolate Frogs, Butterbear and Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans. I went to Honeydukes in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter during my Orlando vacation in 2012 and seriously couldn't take my eyes off the decor and the products on sale. Just like Harry, when he entered Diagon Alley for the first time, I felt like I needed more than one set of eyes. After visually gorging in Honeydukes I also ate in The Three Broomsticks and sampled a scrumptious butterbeer...mmm, so tasty! 

6. A scene in any Disney, Harry Potter or Marvel movie you wish you could experience?
This is a difficult question because there are so many magical scenes that I wish I could recreate just to see how they'd translate to real life. I'd love to experience the glass slipper fitting my foot as Cinderella did and see my life magically transform into something wonderful, good will always triumph evil, even in the darkest hour, all you have to do is believe :) 

7. Name one item from any Harry Potter, Disney or Marvel movie would you want for Christmas.
I don't think I want this, I need it - Hermione's time-turner. Time is just that one luxury we waste and claim to never have enough of. With everything happening all at once in my life I'd love to be able to revert back a couple of hours and help myself out with work and general life! And of course, I'd love to use my time turner for adventures...mischief managed!
8. Name one unforgettable experience/moment you’ve had at the Orlando Parks.
Now I'm not known to be a sensitive girl, sure I'll sympathise with your problem but I'd rather get on and fix it. So it may come as a surprise to you, and it certainly did to me, that I physically cried when I walked into Magic Kingdom and rounded the corner of main street to gaze upon Cinderella Castle. I was so overwhelmed by everything that I was incredibly thankful for my oversized sunglasses. That's the magic of Disney, it's so hard to put into words how it makes you feel if you're enthralled by the Disney touch, but anyone like me will just know, y'know?

I would like to tag Amy and Kayleigh in this post, they're fellow Disney and Orlando lovers so I can't wait to read what you beauts write about!

Have you been to Florida?


#Blogmas Post 2: A Magical Disney Haul

As a self confessed Disney addict it will come as no surprise to you when mention that I've recently been on the Disney Store website and come away with a haul. I was also recently saddened to discover that both the Bristol and Plymouth branches of the Disney Store have closed down so now my nearest physical Disney Store is all the way in Cardiff (cue sad face). I am actually going to London next Monday so no doubt a trip to Oxford Street's branch is a must!

Anyways, I had some pennies to play with and ended up spending just over £50 to qualify for free delivery (always a bonus!). Here's what I got:

I'm a big stationary fan so naturally this was the section of the website that I headed for first. I picked up this cute minnie mouse 3D head pen for £3.50. You press a button and her teeny tiny body pops out, and then you press is again and it disappears, so cute! I can't find the Minnie Mouse one online anymore but Mickey's still on there. I also found a Minnie Mouse Stationary Set for £10 which comes with a variety of desk essentials including a stapler, notepad, highlighters, paperclips etc etc. I absolutely adore this and use it for work. My final stationary item is this gorgeous Sleeping Beauty Designer Fairytale Journal for £12. I spotted the artwork for this online and fell in love with it instantly (so much so that I'm considering getting the rest of the collection, which includes Cinderella, Tiana, Pocahontas and Mulan).

I was then inspired by my notebook to purchase the Sleeping Beauty Disney Designer Fairytale Collection mug for £10. This has seen many a hot chocolate and marshmallow creation in the short time that I've owned it, and again I'm tempted to finish off the collection if they're available in store next week.

My other item of homeware is an ice cube tray (which was initially my main reason for being on the Disney Store site in the first place!) and that set me back around £8. I've been having a Baileys after work some nights and having a cute Minnie & Mickey floating in my glass has made me smile post shift. I can't find this on the website anymore I'm afraid.

I also spotted some adorable Minnie Mouse ears for £5 to start my preparations for Disneyland Paris sometime in 2015. I love the colours pink and white together, and the sequinned ears will make this a fashionable accessory to accompany me to ride Space Mountain.

Finally, I couldn't help but purchase a mini Bambi plush for £7 to accessorise my dressing table. He's so soft and snuggly!

Are you a Disney fan?
What's your favourite film / character?


#Blogmas Post 1: A Christmas Wish

Merry #Blogmas! I didn't partake in any kind of festive themed blogging last year and given my excitement that's building this year I have decided that I definitely would like to this year, to finish off 2014 in high spirits.

#Blogmas day 1 sees me share with you what I'd love to unwrap on Christmas day. Now, I don't know how you do it in your family, but my Mum and brother and I all swap lists of things that we'd like for Christmas and then the person buying chooses a couple of things from the list (not all!) to wrap up and place underneath the tree. This way everyone gets things that they actually want/need but there's still an element of surprise because we don't know what we're going to receive. This year has been no different, and so I've spent many hours so far gazing longingly at various items on the internet...

My mum styles herself as 'Mrs Christmas' throughout December, something that I absolutely adore, and she'll ask my brother and I to write to her with our Christmas lists. Gone are the days of circling everything in the toy section of the wishing book (a.k.a The Argos Catalogue!), now it's all about sending her links to webpages so that she doesn't have to search very far! This year I popped on a Mulberry Bayswater (forever on my wish list until I actually buy / receive one), the TooFaced chocolate bar palette, a gorgeous textured jacked from River Island with a detachable faux fur collar, some cute grey boots from New Look, Frends Layla headphones, and Benefit's Total Moisture facial cream (it wouldn't properly be Christmas unless I received something from Benefit, it's like a tradition for my Mum and I!).

My brother and I always set a budget for each other and he usually finds himself discovering the counters of beauty brands he has never really heard of in order to buy my gifts. This year I've introduced him to YSL with my wish for another tube of Babydoll mascara (a HG product of mine) and some makeup remover. He and I also share a particular love for Jack Wills as a brand and I adore the colour of this water bottle, it'll be perfect for taking to work in a bid to drink more water in the coming year. Finally, I recently upgraded my handheld gaming to a 3DS XL (in pink!) and am currently making myself a list of games to purchase. Although this is clearly aimed at tiny people I'd be so excited if James bought me this to play on boxing day!

So that's my Christmas wish list for this year, what's on yours?


The Christmas Tag

Found on Tumblr
So it's getting to that time of the year where all I want to do is sit at home, under my Tinkerbell blanket, with a hot chocolate and wrap Christmas presents. I feel that I may be a little premature in my festivities, however, so I thought I'd curb my enthusiasm and complete the Christmas Tag that I found on Becky's blog:

1. What is your favourite Christmas Movie/s?
I absolutely adore Miracle on 34th Street, The Snowman, Father Christmas and the latest of the Raymond Briggs franchise, The Snowman & The Snowdog. 

2. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
We will always open presents on Christmas morning, usually still in our Pjs and usually making our way through a mountain of selection boxes and chocolate coins. My mum usually asks if we want to do it all in one go...or save some presents for later and it's the same every year, the former wins! This year I might try and see if we can spread them out over the day, let's see how well that suggestion will go down with my brother...

3. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
My Mum & Dad's Christmas tree has always been placed on a side table with a cloth covering the top of the table, and then the presents put under table. One year my brother and I cleared out all of the presents and turned on the lights on the tree and laid under the table so it looked like we were lying under the tree. My Dad put Emerson Lake & Palmer's I Believe In Father Christmas on his stereo and we laid in the light and festive atmosphere and listened, silenced in awe. That memory's become so much more poignant since my Dad's passing, and that song remains my favourite Christmas song of all time. 

4. Favourite festive food?
It's got to be a good old chocolate coin bag! Or Christmas dinner :)

5. Favourite Christmas gift ?
I've been so lucky to have received a multitude of amazing gifts over the years, Barbies as a child, lots of books, stationary, trip to Dubai, and jewellery amongst other things that I can't pinpoint a favourite gift of all time.

6. Favourite Christmas scent?
My Mum will always place cloves inside clementines and put them on the radiator to make the beautiful citrus spicy scent fill the room...so yummy!

7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?
When we lived in Russia we'd always go to a Christmas party. Since we moved back to England my brother and I will usually squeeze the Christmas presents and put our stockings outside our bedroom doors. For the past couple of years it's also become a bit of a tradition to go out for Chinese on Christmas Eve and watch people do the frantic last minute dash around the shops :)

8. What tops your tree?
I've not remembered anything particularly iconic topping our tree. My parents' tree is older than I am and the top branch hangs a bit limp these days so we usually just place a star sitting on the branches below it. 

9. As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?
Never mind as a child, more like over the past three years or so I've been lusting after a brown Mulberry Bayswater handbag. It goes on every Birthday and Christmas list (usually as a bit of a giggle between my Mum and I!) and it will do until I am either gifted one or I save up and buy one for myself!

10. What's the best part about Christmas for you?
Absolutely everything, the preparation, buying presents, decorating, eating, wrapping, writing cards, secret santa, wearing silly things in my hair, chocolate, christmas music, wearing christmas socks...the lot!

So that's my Christmas Tag :) If you do this too please leave the link to your post below so that I can read it too!


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?


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?


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?


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?


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?


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!


Transatlantic Inflight Essentials...

Hello again!

I've taken an unintentional month and a half off from blogging. I don't know why, life just sometimes gets in the way and I've been chasing a promotion at work this last month, getting caught up in the busy hustle and bustle of running a restaurant during the summer holidays and most of all getting thoroughly excited for my holiday to the Caribbean in 3 days time. I can't believe it's come round so fast, counting down from 100 days only seems like it was five minutes ago and all of sudden I'm rushing around and praying my Very order arrives tomorrow or else it'll be far too late to take nice new dresses on holiday...!

Talking of holidays, I wanted to post today to show you what I've been planning to take on the plane with me. According to my TimeHop exactly two years ago today I was in Covent Garden having cocktails with my boy getting ready to fly to Florida and preparing my inflight beauty kit, and today is no different. As I'm not one for mega beauty regimes inflight, I'm normally more interested in getting cosy with a novel or a crossword, I've decided to bring a larger amount of products with me just in case the worst happens and I am without my toiletries (this year we're flying British Airways and we all know what happens to a lot of BA luggage!).

For my everyday essentials I'm taking two hair ties from Primark (you can guarantee one might snap!), a small packet of Kleenex tissues, some ear plugs, my toothbrush and mini toothpaste, and a Parisian inspired PocketBac hand sanitiser from Bath and Body Works. These are definite must haves on board the plane for me, especially the PocketBac for dealing with germs in the recycled cabin air!

I've decided to have a little skin pampering session in the sky too. As you'll be well aware by now, I have very dry skin and Origins moisturisers and products have always worked wonders for me so I'll be popping the GinZing eye cream and day moisturiser in my bag, as well as a hefty travel sized version of the Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask which I absolutely adore.

I don't actually have much in the way of makeup as I am not really planning on wearing anything heavy. My face base for the entire trip will be the Garnier Ambre Solaire BB Cream in factor 30, and I also have the L'Oreal Miss Manga mascara (not pictured) which I am yet to try so I'm hoping for good things!

Finally I have a mini Factor 30 Hawaiian Tropic SPF to pop in my inflight essentials for pre landing application, I don't want to walk off the plane and burn straightaway as I have done before on holiday so I'm being extra safe from the beginning. It's also rather handy to have a mini suncream incase my luggage is lost and I have some to see me through for a couple of days, or even to pop this in my handbag for a day trip out on the sea.

Not an exhaustive kit by all means, but I'm trying to pack light for this vacation and I think I'm doing well so far!

What do you take with you on the plane?
Do you have an inflight regime?


Review | Barry M Hi-Shine Gelly Nail Paint in 'Sugar Apple'

I've been on the hunt for the perfect 'tiffany blue' nail polish to see me into the summer for a while now and I honestly think I've found it. Let me introduce you to a Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paint in the colour Sugar Apple, isn't she a beauty?! I actually do not own many nail polishes due to working full time in a restaurant where painted nails are a no-no, so any chance I can to paint my nails means that I want the colour to be special, reflect my mood and stand out on my fingers. Sugar Apple is one such colour, it's invited people to start up conversation with me, received the nod of approval from J and makes me smile when I catch a glimpse of it on my fingers. 

The polish itself is not as 'hi-shine' as I would have expected from a bottle claiming to be such. It's not matte by any means, I just think it's not got that supercharge glossy finish I'd want to expect when it completely dries on the nail. It makes up for this in colour however, it's as close to my treasured Tiffany & Co jewellery boxes as I could hope to get and for that reason alone I am totally enamoured with this nail paint. The easy application and the fact that it only took two coats to give such an excellent colour pay off has really impressed me too. Sugar Apple is an incredibly affordable way to jump right into summer with it's lovely little price tag (I bought mine from Superdrug for £3.99) and I'd highly recommend this colour and brand!

Are you a fan of Sugar Apple?
What's your favourite summer nail polish hue?


Shaking Off My Cabin Fever: What I've Been Loving Lately

Things haven't been going so smooth for me lately as I have been house bound with a nasty toe injury, a twisted ankle due to a fall and some incredibly sore wisdom teeth. I don't seem to get a little bit ill, like not with your average cold or a nasty bruise here and there, but I get ill in style and my whole body suffers. Not nice at all! I haven't been able to go to work either, so my cabin fever has got the better of me, and it doesn't help that the sun has been shining non-stop through my living room window!
I thought I'd try and pull myself out of my reclusive rut today and share with you some things that I have been loving lately…

Due to being off work I've had some extra time to myself to just sit and have long baths until the water turns cold and the bubbles melt. I've used up a number of lush bath bombs which have turned my water beautiful colours, burned half of my Bath and Body Works Peach Macaron candle that I got from eBay and been loving my Minnie Mouse body puff that came from Poundland of all places! It's been so blissful to just sit, soak my toe, and think. I do need to place a Lush order now though!

When one is house bound one needs essential treats. These treats have come to me in the form of Sanpellegrino Limonata lemonade and Cadbury Dairy Milk Marvellous Mix-Ups, I honestly cannot get enough of these treats. Cadbury have got it absolutely spot on with their new mix-ups, I can't speak for the Maynards flavour, but the mix-ups than contain miniature Oreos are divine!

My one beauty treat that I can show you is a new Burt's Bees lip balm in their coconut and pear flavour. I've not worn a speck of makeup (apart from this!) for a good 5 days now and it is everything I could want in a nourishing lip product and more. The smell is heavenly, mmm….

This is another little bag of treats which must be quite new to Tesco, Milkshake flavour doughnuts. I actually did an audible squeal when I saw these because I am a massive milkshake fan and these mini doughnuts are so cute. They come in banana, chocolate and strawberry flavour and taste (almost) like the real thing. They're only £1.00 for 15 too which is an absolute steal in my opinion.

Finally, my Mama came to visit me recently and brought a friend who has a car (a luxury I cannot afford at the moment *sadface*) and he took me to Asda which is usually a 50 minute walk and a £6 taxi home. I'd been wanting to find the new Muller Light Coconut with a hint of lime flavoured yoghurt and my Tesco didn't seem to want to sell them, but I found them in Asda. I brought home a bucket load of fruit and some of the coconut yoghurts, which constitutes a good haul in my mind. Yum!

What have you been loving lately?