Sunday, 31 August 2014

Wish List : To Make A House A Home

I've been so obsessed with home decor lately, I thought I'd share some finds!
(source : source)

Since our ratties passed away, we have a big chunk of empty space and as I spend most of my time at home now, I'd love it to be a little bit more 'homely' looking. This was originally my boyfriends apartment, before I squished all my stuff in, and it looks... like a man cave (a lovely one, but still, there are four bmx's in the spare bedroom, just to give you an idea). So, naturally I'd like to put my stamp on it, in a modern, simple way and give it a bit of a freshen up! 

When I think of the ideal home; I imagine bright, white walls but with colourful, mis-matched touches. Very lived in & welcoming. Outdoor-in kinda feel, with wooden furniture and plenty of pictures. Nothing too 'Pinterest' perfect, but just reflects who we are in an eclectic way (eclectic probably applies to me, more than him, but I'm sure he could be persuaded :))

Some of these things will probably always remain as a 'wish' but, that's what these things are for, right?

H&M Wooden Bowl / IKEA Rug / Zara Cushion / 
Zara Towel Ladder Rack / H&M Glass Jars / Zara Blanket / Joss & Main Bessie Boxes / 
Anthropologie Palm Print / Etsy Hanging Terrarium / Zara Bathroom Set / Zara Wooden Box /

*le sigh* I'm sure all this day-dreaming isn't good for you, but I'd love to start collecting some of these bits for when we finally do decorate/move home! Some are obviously more attainable than others, but I will always look lovingly at the entire Anthropologie Home section. A girl can dream! 

What would you have in your dream home? 
Where do you like to shop for your home decor?


Friday, 29 August 2014

Lets Paint : Illustration Video

Something a little bit different today!

As you may or may not know, I have a Youtube channel. I've been trying to get my head around what I want to be on it (and failing, as you can see by the big gaps in between filming!) but as I was about to paint my little rattie Skye, I figured I would try record a little video to go with it! 

I was asked a while back if I'd ever record how I do my illustrations, and although I'm not entirely pleased with the end result of this piece, I thought it would be good to see what I use and how I do it - if you're interested in that kinda thing!

Like I said, it's by no means a masterpiece, but as I did a little painting of my rat Pebbles, it was only right I did one for her! I hope you like it anyway.

Let me know what you think & any ideas for future videos are more than welcome!

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Products Of The Day #9 : Autumn Inspired

I refuse to believe that the one warm week we had, was our Summer.

Seven days of sunshine and it seems that was our lot. Since then, it has been all grey clouds and rain. A huge amount of rain (joy). So I can't help but feel a little bit Autumn inspired as I'm cracking out the jumpers again and even some coats - it's shameful really. 

Here are a few of today's deep rose & berry picks...

The YSL Teint Touche Eclat Foundation probably won't come as a surprise, but I like to be prepared with a little SPF and light coverage incase the sun actually does decide to ever come out. Followed by Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer on those giant bags of mine. For my brows I used Mac Omega eyeshadow, which I somehow managed to not photograph!

Onto eyes, I opted for the two light matte shades in the Stila In The Light palette (yes, still loving this). I can't get enough of the plum/taupe-ness of 'bliss', with a little bit of 'sandstone' in the crease to add some definition. Nothing too fancy for day to day wear, but still quite put together! As the eyes were kept fairly simple, I added a swipe of Soap & Glory Super Cat Eye Liner which, at £6, is pretty much my holy-grail liner.

Then I added one of my all time favourite blushers; NARS Douceur for a pretty, subtle hint of colour. If I'm ever going for a heavier lip, or just generally unsure of what blush would compliment a certain look - I always reach for this. Followed by a smidgen of MAC Soft & Gentle highlighter to give a bit of glow to an otherwise fairly matte 'look'. 

Finally, onto the lips, I've really been enjoying combining two products lately; the Korres Wild Rose Lip Butter and Maybelline Colour Sensation in Pleasure Me Red - the lipstick is far too bold for me on a day to day basis, but gentled patted on over some tinted lip balm and it's lovely & wearable again! Plus together it keeps my lips nice and moisturised too, bonus!

Have you been feeling the chill lately?
What are you favourite Autumnal picks?

Have you checked out my lovely advertiser, Patsy Picks yet? You should! 

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Five Sunday Reads

Another Sunday, another five wonderful blogs for you to fall in love with.

It was so nice to see such a positive response to this post a few weeks back, that I thought I would make another one, as, lets face it - I have far more than five favourite blogs that I like to read! I follow hundreds on Bloglovin' alone and I'm always stumbling across new loves, so here are a few more that I check back on regularly...

A Little Opulent : I feel like ALO is my ideal blog (I guess it's technically an online magazine, but, *shrug*...) If I were to make a checklist of all the things I love to read about & would love to be able to find all in one place - A Little Opulent is the culmination of all of that (and it's quite a varied checklist, let me tell you!) From beauty, art & food, to photography tips, home decor & beautiful illustrations. It's just gorgeous from start to finish. 

 ♥ Cocoskies : I love to look at other peoples art, if you hadn't already guessed, and it's always nice to find a blog that's dedicated entirely to that. Phillipa's style is so utterly gorgeous & unique, I could look at her posts all day. She has a real talent & I'd love to be even half as good as her one day!

 ♥ LV In Love With : It doesn't take a genius to realise I need help in the sartorial department and I always look to Louise's blog & youtube channel for hauls and inspiration. I love her style and chattiness in her videos & she's just one of those people that you really want to be friends with. She's an absolute babe, basically... (do I sound like a stalker?)

 ♥ Nishaantishu : Freya has such a gorgeous blog that incorporates so much beautiful photography & wonderfully written words (say that three times fast). Be it what she's wearing, or her travels, or even just a reminder to take five in your day; it makes for a lovely read and I always look forward to checking her latest posts. 

 ♥ Patsy Picks : Beauty reviews, recipes, and wonderful wish-lists; Patsy's blog is a lovely mixture of all of the aforementioned things. Patsy is one of my advertisers this month but regardless of that I thoroughly enjoy her posts & I think you would too! 

Let me know your favourite current read in the comments! :)
Hope you're having a great weekend/bank holiday


Thursday, 21 August 2014

Saying Goodbye, Again

It doesn't seem like two minutes since I wrote this post.

As we said a sudden goodbye to our beloved pet Pebbles in March, the time came, on Thursday 20th August, to say goodbye to her furry little sister; Skye. 

Skye was the chunkier of the two, the one who was always first to have her snout in the bowl of treats and the one who explored fearlessly - but then came hopping & running back to me at the sound of any sudden noise. She was quite the character. I loved her for it. 

She was the cuddliest & sweetest of ratties and when Pebbles passed away we became like her very own human-shaped rat friends. Every single day, there was at least one of us in the house to keep her company; tending to her every need (read: fetching treats constantly) and dishing out plenty of tickles around the clock. My partner & I haven't been on holiday together for two years, simply so that we could dedicate our time to these wonderful little creatures - that's how seriously we took it.
Sadly, Skye became very poorly with mammory tumours in the last few months of her life. She battled through an operation and dealt with any discomfort like a champ, until one eventually become cancerous and finally ruptured on Wednesday, the 19th.  Even then, she showed us what tough & amazing creatures rats can be; still eating, drinking & being her loving self, although we knew she must've been in an immense amount of pain. 

That night I slept on the sofa, just so that I could be near her, for, what I knew in my heart would be, the last time that I could do so. To our surprise, she managed to stay with us until Thursday morning. So we made sure her tummy was full of her favourite treats (chicken, yoghurt, banana) and let her know how much she was loved. Then finally we had to make the heartbreaking decision of letting her be reunited with her little playmate, Pebbles.

It was an extremely sad ending to a wonderful two years, that were filled with so much joy and love. And although it may be 'just a rat' in the eyes of others, they were small, furry family members to us. Our home now has a rat-shaped void that I'm not sure will ever be filled again, but I'm so lucky to have had those two furry critters in my life. Even if it did feel too short...

Sleep peacefully, my fuzzy friend. 
I hope you're both up to plenty of mischief now.

And a genuine 'thank you' to everyones well-wishes & love on twitter & facebook. It meant the world x


Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Loving Lately : Stripy Sweater

There have been a few times lately where I've caught myself wearing the exact same thing.

I'm not someone who really puts much effort into how I dress; which is odd as I spend so much time doing my make-up, you'd think I'd get the iron out every once in a while. However I simply find what's comfy and just go with it.

This recent Topshop purchase (£28) had my name all over it. I didn't even try it on, I knew I'd love it regardless. An off white, navy striped, grey cuffed, utterly comfy jumper. It may as well have shook my hand and said, 'hello, I'm going to be your new best-friend.' (weird? I don't know...) It was basically love at first sight. 

I think my favourite thing about it is the unusual lining - it kind of feels like a terry-towelling dressing gown - yup. It's like wearing a hug. However it's not actually too heavy for Summer (or this autumn-esque rain we keep having) and it doesn't look 'bulky' either; the perfect combination!

I like to pair it with my Topshop Leigh Jeans & Urban Outfitters brown sandals (similar here) to dress it all up a bit! I've also been loving this beautiful Thomas Sabo* bracelet, that was kindly sent by Joshua James Jewellery. The blackened silver bracelet with a howlite bead are from the Karma range, which is all so beautiful, I could look at it all day! I particularly love the colour of the bead, it's so, so pretty.

What have you been loving lately? 


Sunday, 17 August 2014

Today, I Am Grateful For...

Sunday Pancakes.

Sweet, soft, melt in your mouth goodness. That is what I am grateful for today... Food.

I think everyone has heard of the 'two ingredient' pancakes before; one banana, two small eggs, you know the ones - they're taking the health world by storm. I simply prefer the taste of these to normal pancakes, and I cook them in butter, so, um...  health-freaks, look away now. 

Either way, these are uber simple and make a delicious sunday brunch treat. They're not something I have often - mainly because the painstakingly slow process of cooking them one by one is enough to put me off - but once you have that first mouthful, you remember exactly why you bothered!

♥ Simply add one super ripe, mushed banana and two small-ish eggs to a blender, or beat by hand if you prefer. I add a drop of vanilla extract and a pinch of cinnamon to mine for extra sweetness! 

♥ Blitz it all up and warm up your pan to a medium-low heat. I personally use an individual fried-egg type pan as I think the smaller these are, the easier they are to 'flip,' plus they come out perfectly round, which pleases me greatly. 

♥ Add a smidgen of butter/coconut oil/whatever you fancy to grease the pan slightly, then add your mixture. I used a tablespoon to scoop it out and about 3 tbsp was enough to fill it and was still easy enough to flip! 

♥ These do tend to cook fairly quickly, so keep your eyes peeled to the underneath of your pancake! Then, using a spatula, gently turn it over and cook for a few more seconds. Gently being the focus here.

♥ I like to cook all of mine in one go, then eat as a pile; so you're gonna need some tinfoil to cover them up as you go, but don't worry, that keeps everything nice and warm as you stack them up!

♥ Next... The toppings. Possibly the best part of any pancake. I opted for strawberries, donut peaches, agave nectar and a dash more cinnamon, as that's what I had laying around, but anything you like will do! 

And finally, admire your art - take a few instagram snaps, because the world loves pancakes - et voila! Tuck in. A beautifully light, sweet Sunday treat.

Have you tried these types of pancakes before?
Hope you're having a lovely weekend.


Friday, 15 August 2014

Products Of The Day #8 : The Pick Me Ups

I've not been feeling too great lately.

At the beginning of the week I was very sick, followed by discovering our little rattie has, what looks like, an ulcerated tumour; equals one pretty upset self. However, the show must go on, as they say, and wallowing around with no make-up on just doesn't make a beauty-lover feel any better (or at least me, anyway!) So today I decided to grab all of my favourite, easy to apply, pick me up products; that make me look & feel a lot more 'alive,' with fairly minimal effort. 

First up, base. And if there's one product I love and can rely on, it's the NARS Tinted Moisturiser, shade Finland. I know when I apply it, that it will be staying put all day, all the while making my skin look healthy & dewy - perfect from dull, dry skin like mine. Followed by a healthy amount of my trusty Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer (this is my second bottle) - it does what it says on the tin tube and I love it for that.

My go-to, easy eye base is always the Maybelline Colour Tattoo in On & On Bronze. This has been so well loved (as you can probably tell) and yet it just keeps on giving! It adds the right amount of shimmer and colour for my liking and you can just slap it on with your finger. Bonus. I then added a swipe of Rimmel Scandaleyes Nude liner to open up my tired peepers, followed by lashings of mascara (I don't seem to have a favourite at the minute, this was a MAC one - any recommendations?) 

I always feel like bronzer & blush can really do wonders to the face, so I opted for my trusty Body Shop Honey Bronzer, 01 as I know I can just apply it and not have to worry about the dreaded muddy look. Then a healthy application of the Rimmel Santa Rose blush. It's such a pretty, wearable pink, that really gives a natural flush to the cheeks.

I then added a couple of dabs of the Topshop Glow highlighter to the high points of my face. I've had this a month or so now but it has quickly become one of my favourites as it's just so easy to apply and gives a pretty sheen to the tops of your cheekbones. Then, finally, for the last pop of colour - the Korres Wild Rose Lip Butter. Such a wearable, rosy red (which always makes me feel better) and gives my dry lips a good ol' moisturise to boot! 

What are your favourite pick me up products?
Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Blogging Tools : Making The Most Of What You've Got

I feel like the age old saying, 'it's not what you've got, it's how you use it' should be taken into consideration when it comes to blogging. 

While aiming for bigger, better equipment/products/backdrops isn't necessarily a bad thing - it's easy to get carried away with it all and forget that actually, there are a lot of simple things you can use & still achieve a great, if not sometimes; better outcome. 

So I thought I would share with you some of my most used, cheap & cheerful blogging 'tools.' I'm still in this learning process and experimenting with what works best for me, but perhaps these will give a little inspiration to anyone that needs it. 

Sunlight : it's free, it's out there and you've likely got a window where some comes in (I'd hope)! Of course it takes a little bit of experimenting and timing for when the sun comes round & which light looks best, but I always have naturally lit photos. I can't afford (both in space and money) to buy studio lighting but you can get some very pretty effects just by waiting for a nice, sunny day. We actually have UV filters on our windows too, so everything is a lot darker inside than it is out, so I like to open the door/window and place my products by it. Simple. 

Bedding : again, you probably bought it ages ago - so consider this another backdrop freebie. If you have nice, fancy bed sheets, even better! Our bed is always creased, but I refuse to iron something that is a) so big & b) so pointless. Sorry!

Windowsill : we only have one useable windowsill - it's chipped, mouldy (thanks to badly installed windows), off-white and small. However, any picture that has a white-ish background has been carefully arranged to hide all of the above & I actually quite like the effect. Experiment with what you've got! Failing that...

Plain, white paper : we've all probably got some laying around. It's cheap & accessible. I don't tend to go for the crisp, perfectly displayed photography look because that's just not me - although there are some blogs that do it brilliantly - but if I need a bit of a bigger area to work on, simply lay some sheets out, et voila; a perfectly white backdrop. 

Personal props : as above, I love to see a bit of personality in posts. That 'lived in, being used' look is what I try achieve and so even if it's just a pretty jewellery stand or your favourite book - include it! See what you can create with your favourite things.

Remote (£4.99) : okay, so this does cost money - but it doesn't have to be a fortune. If you have a DSLR a remote comes in especially handy if you ever take outfit pictures, want both hands in the frame or simply want to get a picture of everyone in a group. It's inexpensive but something I use so often, I had to include it. 

Tripod (£7.79) : again, a little bit of money but worth the investment if you find yourself in situations where you think 'I could really use a tripod right now'. There are some ways & means of balancing your camera on stacked books, magazine or anything with a flat surface, but sometimes a tripod is necessary & this one from amazon is a little creaky but does the job perfectly fine for what I need. 

Kit lens : the topic of 'do I need a DSLR for blogging?' - (hell no) is not one I'm going to get into now, but if you've just bought one or you're lusting after different lenses; my advice is - get to grips with your kit lens. Some of the best pictures (in my opinion) that I've taken in the past have been on my kit lens (18-55mm) which you can see here, if you wish - in fact my entire 'spain' category was taken with it, as that's when I got my camera! I now use a 35mm most days, but you just can't beat a good standard lens. 

Blogging can be very intimidating at times and I do often look at my Bloglovin' feed with a sense that everything is of such wonderful editorial quality; surely I cannot compete with that. But then I remind myself that this isn't a competition; this is my interpretation of what I want my piece of the internet to be - and that's absolutely fine. 

So I will continue to use my chipped windowsill & my crumpled up bedsheets and hope that you don't mind too much, because I'm making the best of my situation and that's all anyone can ever ask.

What are your thoughts on this?
What's your favourite cheap blogging tool?

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