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Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Although H&M cosmetics isn't a new range entirely (it's something we've all been waiting for for a while now!), it's only recently I managed to get my hands on some of the products when they arrived in my store. 

The website itself has a large range of products, including some gorgeous lipstick pencils available in a variety of beautiful colours, but, annoyingly, some H&M products are only available online and some are only available in shops. I think, however, having the majority of products only available in shops is kind of a good idea in this case because with make up, people often like to test it in person or at least get a proper look at something rather then relying on a screen to broadcast the true representation of the shade.

Two products I picked up in store and am absolutely loving at the moment is a gorgeous kabuki mini brush - which is just about the cutest thing I've ever seen - and a mini set of lipsticks, which again are super cute and small and extremely beneficial for me.

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Kabuki mini brush, £2.99 and lipstick set, £3.99, both H&M
I'm guilty of taking up to five different lipsticks out with me on a night out, all in varying shades. This is because I often leave the house in a gorgeous deep gothic shade in red or purple or plum, and this often lasts for about half the night. Half way through the night, as I get more and more tipsy, I begin to mix it with another nude/subtle shade, because at this point I'm finding it hard to apply lipstick neatly and it's ending up halfway up my face every time I buy a drink without a straw. A few hours later I give up and tend to go for a less bold shade, often in baby pink..and then towards the end of the night when I'm overall looking really messy, I tend to revert back to a bold red lipstick, feeling that at if the rest of my face looks horrid, at least my lips look fine (and can draw people's attention away from the messy parts).

This never really bodes well for me because I can often drop lipsticks when drunk, break them or lose them altogether.

So having a mini collection of lipsticks in five varying shades is absolutely ideal for me, especially as they fit into my going out bag perfectly, no matter how small it is! On top of that, the shades are particularly gorgeous and last a fair while, as tested by me on a night out recently.

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Please excuse my shoddy photography skills, I thought using my super cute desk planner would provide a nice background. It does not.

The kit offers a really nice variation of colours too, from a pale nude to a deep gothic purple, meaning there's a shade for whatever the occasion or whatever your mood is.

The mini brush is again really helpful on a night out when reapplying blusher and such, even though I've barely used it because it's just too damn pretty. And soft. It's super soft too.

I also have on good authority that the bronzer in H&M at the moment is very good too - a work colleague tells me it has even coverage and with three different sections, there will be a shade for you whether you're pale or tanned - or you can mix all three. Perfect. This is again quite beneficial to me personally as I'm naturally kinda pale, so being able to have an application that has a light shade for day-to-day use and then a darker shade for evening use for example is really useful.

I'm not saying these cosmetics are absolute lifesavers or out there products that are total game changers, but they're not entirely crap either and for their low price, they get the job done and they get it done well. They're great for handbag essentials.

What do you think of the H&M cosmetics range? Will you be purchasing anything from the collection soon? Let me know with a comment below!


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Sunday, 27 September 2015

This week I started a new job - hence the lack of posts! There are tons of benefits and reasons why I love this job, and one of those reasons is that I get to sit on my arse all day with my own actual desk! I'm lazy - I know. Having my own desk makes me feel like an adult and makes me feel super sophisticated. I've began bookmarking lots of pretty and useful products for my own little station, to help me feel more organised and help the desk itself feel more 'me'. 

I am a stationary whore so love shopping for all stuff like that. So below, I have blogged about my stationary wish list! Here's some things I want to buy to make my desk the most efficient and prettiest in the office..

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Mystic Rose A6 exercise books - set of 3, £5.00, Paperchase
I am absolutely loving the new Mystic Rose collection at Paperchase, and not just because it contains skulls. This gothic chic collection offers the perfect opportunity for me to show off my 'edgy' side in the office, and I particularly love the skulls leather journal, and the set of three exercise books, as shown above. I think these would look super cool on my desk, ready for when I need to jot down lots of notes. Plus, it's from Paperchase. That just says it all really. Paperchase is like crack in the working girl world, it's ridiculously easy to get addicted.

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Ban.do 17 month large agenda, $28.00, Shopbando.com
The planner to rule all planners, I have fallen head over heels in love with this beautiful and quirky Ban.do planner. It features inspirational sayings, weekly crazy prompts (to spice up your life if its seeming a little dull lately) and even stickers. STICKERS PEOPLE. I suppose if I'm really honest, it's the hashtag on Instagram that really sold it for me. Search #bandoplanner and see all the bold and beautiful ways people have customised theirs. It might not be cheap, but it's certainly worth it...

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Edelweiss Applique Pencil Case, £7.00, Accessorize
Be still my beating heart for Accessorize is like my kryptonite. I mean, sure, I'm totally addicted to Paperchase too, but Accessorize tends to meet my jewelry (and accessories, duh) need. However they've got some beaut stuff in at the moment so I couldn't resist a mooch. I did receive a beautiful to do list notebook and pen from my (old *sob*) colleagues at my works leaving do (thanks girls!). I have a gift voucher to spend (again, thanks girls) and think it would be spent wisely on this matching pencil case. My pens end up everywhere. Yesterday I spent ten minutes thinking I was going crazy as I looked everywhere around and on my desk to find a pen lid that had fallen off, only to later find it a few feet behind me. How it got there I'll never know, but the point is this gorgeous pencil case is NECESSARY.

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Hopes and Dreams and Wishes Desk Jotter, Not On The High Street, £9.95
Not On the High Street is normally reserved browsing for close to Christmas, or close families birthdays, because everything is just so glam (and pricy) but today I lured on to have a mooch and found this Hopes, Dreams and Wishes Desk Jotter. CUTEST. THING. EVER. I want it now basically. How cute (and beneficial) would this look on somebody's desk?

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Rifle Paper and Co is like that an older sister of all stationary companies - prettier and smarter than you and they just ooze sophistication. To me, the beautiful products of this company are just way too stunning for me. I wear over sized cardigans, trip over nothing and spend most weekends completely in bed. Plus my hand writing is way too messy. The ranges from Rifle Paper and Co are just too good for me but I pine for them anyway. I feel like to order any would make me a real proper grown up and would mean I'd really have to up my game...none the less, I want it all. I particularly love their to-do notepads, as shown above, and I really love the Do or Die notepad, feeling that it mixes pretty and edgy altogether to make me fall in love. Plus, Rifle Paper and Co looks like an expensive range but their items are actually super affordable.

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Thursday, 17 September 2015

Ever since I was little, I've loved reading magazines, and, as I've grown up, most especially the monthly glossies. As much as I adore blogging, there's always been something so great about settling down with a magazine, physically turning the pages and reading the features and advice pages as if it were all written by a friend. To this day, I can never have a bath unless I have a magazine with me! In the past few years, we've had to say goodbye to some of the best, such as More! Magazine (which I was particularly sad about since I'd had an internship there!) and Company, which I loved because it really tried to embrace the essence of blogging into print and kind of worked too. It makes me sad to think that the rise of online writing might be slowly killing print media, but I do believe there's still hope!

A firm favourite of mine over the years has always been Cosmopolitan, but I will admit, even though I religiously buy it every month, over the past year or so I have found myself flicking through it more and more as opposed to reading. I found the features no longer reached out to me personally and there was always far too much fashion that didn't appeal to me. I have always liked Cosmopolitan though for the fact that it's one of few women's magazines that actually write about real issues.

I was pleasantly surprised to pick up Cosmopolitan this month and see that it has had a little bit of a re-brand! It hasn't changed a whole bunch but with a new editor and some new designs, it has a fresh new look and I have to say I really bloody love it. It still covers the real issues which I adore, but there's a bunch of new features that I'm really loving too.

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Some things I really loved about this issue included the full feature on everyone's girl crush right now - Ruby Rose. It was kind of like a mini guide to achieving her look - not just her fashion sense or her make up, but her overall, including her hair and such. I thought this was pretty cool and think this idea would go well. Some ladies I'd love to see featured within this, er, feature, would include Millie Mackintosh (who oozes that super classy look) and Taylor Momsen (my personal punk rock queen).

Another feature I loved was a page all about sprucing up your work desks, including some lovely desk products. I haven't seen this in magazines before and I can't think why, considering most ladies magazines are aimed at young professional ladies. Plus, we all love stationary.

The work out fashion and plus size fashion were firm favourites of mine too. Plus size fashion is always a good thing in my books (er, magazines rather), and as always, it's refreshing to see some lovely clothes aimed at people of all sizes. The work out fashion was very cool in my eyes, we all want to look good when we work out (well we want our outfits to look good) and I personally find that shopping for cute sports clothes really motivates me to actually go and put it on and work out.

Fashion wise, I loved the guide on how to wear a gilet. Not a bunch of pages displaying the nicest gilets around, but an actual guide on how to wear it. Thank you fashion gods, you've just made one of winter's biggest trends a hell of a lot easier for a loser like me. 

Also, Caroline Flack as a cover star. The woman irks me for some reason, but I love how down to earth she is and how she's not Kim Kardashian or Jodie Marsh. Not that I could ever imagine Cosmo featuring Jodie Marsh as a cover star, but you get my point. Out with the ladies who are famous for, well, nothing much really, and in with the real cool inspiring woman who we should all be looking up to.

Although I haven't spoken about any real issues that are new in this months issue, it's because despite all these really cool new parts, real issues have always been included in Cosmopolitan luckily. These new things that they've decided to write about have just put some more fun back into the magazine and made it more of a pleasure to read again! It's refreshing and I think with so many magazines giving up, it's a sure fire way to keep my favourite woman's monthly going.

Have you read this months issue of Cosmopolitan yet? What do you think? Let me know with a comment!

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Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Although winter is fast approaching, I'm here to tell you that thankfully you don't have to say goodbye to lazy evenings on rooftop bars JUST yet. I mean, sure, when we think of summer, more often then not most of us think about beer gardens, fruity cocktails and good company in outdoor bars until the early hours of the morning. 

But what if I told you you didn't have to say goodbye to that life? What if I told you that this autumn/winter, come rain or shine, you can still grab your best friends (or make new ones) and continue those tipsy but deep conversations even if there is no sun?

Luckily, the city that has an answer to everything (aka London) has a fair share of rooftop/outdoor bars to fulfill your fix over these next upcoming months. Check out five of my favourite ones below.

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Winter @ The Leather Bottle, complete with mini chalet cabins!
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The Leather Bottle is a quirky beer garden that changes depending on the season - during summer it's a beautiful laid back setting with beers-a-plenty, but come winter it's transformed into a winter wonderland. It's home to five chalets in its garden, that come with heaters and blankets, and in the past the pub has also had an ice skating rink outside too. Paired with it's own restaurant serving delicious food, it's one of the perfect outdoor settings this winter. You can also hire out the ski chalets too which means it's ideal for Christmas parties. I've been desperate to visit this pub for months now and hope to do so this winter!
The Leather Bottle, 538 Garratt Lane, Earlsfield, London, SW17 0NY

The Roof Gardens may not succumb to a winter theme during the colder months, but if you're really itching for a taste of the summer you miss so much, then this is where you'll want to be. It was London's first ever rooftop bar and, surrounded by bright flowers and greenery, is guaranteed to make you feel like you're anywhere but England. It's super glam but with a relaxed atmosphere and is host to live music nights during the winter. It also has flamingos. Just saying. No, I don't know if they're real or not - I very much doubt it - but either way, fake or real, that's still pretty damn awesome. The Roof Gardens offer beautiful views of London too, so this is the perfect location for a romantic date.
The Roof Gardens, 99 Kensington High Street, London, W8 5SA

If you want something with a more laid back feel, then I'd recommend The Wheatsheaf, Borough Market. It might not feature a rooftop terrace overlooking the romantic sights of London, but for something to simply duck into on a busy evening then The Wheatsheaf has you sorted. The heated and covered terrace has it's own converted VW campervan selling delicious food such as whiskey ribs and burgers and it's just right for a laid back vibe with your friends. Don't wait until Christmas to check out this spot, as you'll benefit from it as soon as the nights begin to turn cold.
The Wheatsheaf, 6 Stoney Street, London, SE1 9AA
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Inside the beautiful canopy @ The Magic Garden
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For music lovers, The Magic Garden is the answer. The beer garden is usually host to a mini music festival most weekends and inside the garden you'll also find a quirky candle lit tent, filled with plush colourful sofa's for that boho vibe. When the weather gets cold, they also offer mini hot water bottles and blankets to keep you warm - how cute! This whimsical location has also recently began to offer shisha from their 'magic cafe', meaning that alongside the relaxed vibe inside their garden and tent, you'll feel a world away from London.
The Magic Garden, 231 Battersea Park Road, SW11 4LG 

Okay so I might be cheating a little here in that this rooftop terrace features some, erm, terrace that's strictly speaking not outside, but the point is that Madison offers some of the best views of London, all year round. Home to not just one but several terraces, outside they offer heaters, umbrellas and evening lightening and if things get too nippy, you can pop inside to keep warm but still gaze over the views with the floor to ceiling windows, all whilst snuggling up on comfortable sofas. There's also a separate viewing area just to gaze at St Paul's Cathedral . This is the perfect place for those who love the city of London through and through.
Rooftop Terrace, 1 New Change, St Paul's, London, EC4M 9AF

These are just five of many quirky and cosy rooftop bars/outdoor terraces to tickle your fancy in London this winter. Of course, some are found simply by just exploring - just take a slow stroll around Camden to find more rooftop bars or beer gardens to shake your stick at. However, these are just some of the best, nearly all of which I'll promptly be visiting for my birthday plans this winter.

Would you ever brave the cold and visit a rooftop bar this winter? Are there any must-visit places I've missed off this list? Let me know with a comment!

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Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Tonight's post is a tad different as I'm talking about an event that takes place very close to home for me. It's an event that has slowly become tradition to attend among my family and friends, a day that we all group together and attend together annually, perhaps even twice a year if we can.

I will always have fond memories of a few years ago when my dad mentioned to me in passing that Dunstable had a music event on and, since my mum worked in Dunstable, maybe we should head down a little early to check it out before picking my mum up from work. As it goes, that particular event was Dunstable Rocks, the rock music themed day of Party In The Park. We had so much fun that my mum joined us after work and thus a tradition was born.

Each year, Dunstable holds a few of these events, usually themed around different music genres. The day is a way to bring the community together with food, music and sunshine. At first glance, it might seem like an excuse to just get drunk in the sun. And sure, we do definitely have a few when we attend. But this year in particular tried to make the event as a whole more family friendly, by having designated areas for families only where alcohol was not allowed.

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What I wore
As well as talented music - from unsigned local bands to slightly famous bands headlining - there's also always a delicious variety of food on offer and activities too, such as a fair, some craft stands etc. The music itself is always great - there's a real mix of new talent as well as tons of anthems you can sing along to.

It's such a popular event that it always surprises me that it took so long for me and my family to discover it. It's right up our street and now every year me and my friends head down early with a blanket and food to find the perfect spot, with family joining us later.

Although to some it might just seem like, well, just a party in the park, it is a lot more than that. It's hugely popular among families and over the years it has certainly left me with so many great memories. It's the perfect way to get out of the house on a hot day and sit back to enjoy the music. With such a great atmosphere, it's without a doubt one of my favourite summertime activities.

So if you're ever running out of ideas of things to do in the summer, definitely consider Party In The Park!

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Friday, 4 September 2015

Although summer seems like it's now long gone, a few weekends ago myself and my family made the most of one of the last sunny weekends by having a yummy healthy salad! Sunday's in our household is definitely family day, so my dad put on a spread, my nan handed out the plates and we all helped ourselves.

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However, one of my favourite parts of lunch was eggs from The Crackin' Egg company - something I'd been saving for a nice hot day. I was sent these delicious and colourful hard boiled eggs to review and couldn't help but marvel at how different and cute they are!

Perfect for light lunches and picnics, these delicious eggs come in sweet packaging, with flavour sachets too - oh, and the eggs are painted cute colours! How awesome! I thought this idea was so sweet, taking the notion of hard boiled eggs from simply a summertime snack to an essential and welcome addition to lunchboxes, salads and picnics everywhere. 

Although we peeled off the shell before serving, there's no doubt they'd brighten up any plate. Kids will enjoy them too, loving the idea the containers the eggs come in and the process of removing the bright shells!

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 Inspire Magazine Online - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog | Food | The Crakin' Egg Company; Inspire Magazine; Inspire Magazine Online; The Crakin' Egg Company; Food Review

The eggs themselves were delicious and combined well with our healthy salad. The eggs contain less then 70 calories each and, as we all know, are super nutritious. 

I've since taken some into work with me for lunch and have had colleagues comment on them, asking curiously about why they're painted bright colours (the protective coating that eggs have when hens lay them is actually removed during the boiling process, so The Crakin' Egg company paints them to keep them in great condition. FYI, the paint is safe!), and where they can get their own from.

I absolutely loved these tasty and healthy hard boiled eggs which, with the flavoured sachets, contained a lot more flavour then normal hard boiled eggs. You can buy your own from Spar now and they are available in multi packs too now! You can find out more here.

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Wednesday, 2 September 2015

It's getting to that time of year where time is sort of dragging and everyone just needs a timeout. On the horizon, we've all got a busy few months with Halloween, Fireworks Night and Christmas - meaning lots of parties and events - and seeing the weather go from a (slightly) hot summer to a dreary winter can really take it out on someone. 

Therefore, September is without a doubt one of the best times to treat yourself and book a little spa getaway. Me and my sister are looking at getting away for just a couple of nights and enjoying having no plans except to relax! Here are some of the best spa deals I've found for this upcoming month, based on what the Spa has to offer and it's location, rather then just the deal itself.

For real luxury, Penny Hill Park is the perfect option, The spa offers a ballroom pool (with underwater music and fibre optic lighting), experience showers, an ice cave, a herbal sauna, Canadian hot tubs and much, much more! On top of tons of fab treatments, the hotel itself is beyond plush with luxurious rooms for sleepy heads and beautiful grounds. Penny Hill Park is definitely best experienced over a weekend, but this spa break will require you to switch off from the outside world and submerge yourself completely.
www.pennyhillpark.co.uk

For something a little further afield and for more of a weekend away, Thermae Bath Spa, in Bath, is a great option. Featuring natural thermal waters which is the spa's rooftop pool, you can relax whilst overlooking the beautiful sights of Bath. The spa offers lots of steam rooms and treatments too, and lots of cheap and cheerful mini weekend breaks. The location is particularly great because you can also take time to stroll around Bath, reveling in its history or doing a spot of shopping. The only thing is, it's just a spa and not a hotel, meaning you'll have to look elsewhere for accommodation for the night. However, Bath offers lots of lovely places to stay!
www.thermaebathspa.com


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The Reception area at Y Spa
Y Spa Wyboston Lakes currently have a Groupon deal offering a spa day with lunch and an optional treatment for one or two for just £45! I visited this spa a couple of years ago with my mum, sister and aunt as a late mothers day present and thought it was lovely. It wasn't huge, but it was endearing and inviting with enough places to relax throughout the day without getting bored. My favourite part of this spa was either the nap rooms (so necessary) or the outdoor area. It offers a huge heated outdoor pool and a sauna in a cabin outside, meaning it's also ideal for winter. I think it would look lovely during the upcoming cold evenings.
You can find the deal here, starting from £45 per person | www.yspa.co.uk

Sopwell House is a little closer to home, nestled perfectly between St Albans and London within the beautiful Hertfordshire countryside. The beautiful spa offers a 14.5 metre swimming pool, a jacuzzi, a glass fronted sauna, a starlit steam room and more! With the most beautiful views from the relaxing pool, complimentary use of refreshments and even a range of men's treatments, Sopwell House is perfect for a mini one or two night break this September.
www.sopwellhouse.co.uk

Whittlebury Hall is also nearby, I've been told on good authority that it's one of the best spa's out there. My mum and my sister have gone plenty of times in the past and have quoted their visits as some of the most relaxing weekends ever. A whole weekend isn't necessary, but definitely worth it and, unlike most spas, the food is one of the best parts. The spa has the usual - a hydrotherapy pool, experience showers, an ice cave etc - but overall, a spa package/stay has a lot to offer.
www.whittleburyhall.co.uk


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