Thursday, 23 August 2012

Room Treasures

Lately I've accumulated some photos of my room I thought I'd share. Most of my possessions were bought second hand, on sale or an inexpensive shops but they're still precious to me.

I love this 1960s Arcopal Tea Set. It was £4 from a charity shop and looks stunning in the light. 
As you can see I've filled them with little trinkets such as brooches and rings. Many of the brooches were given to me as presents. 

I have a thing about bottles. I can't seem to throw pretty ones away. My flat mate at university shared this passion and would stick candles in wine bottles, which looks great. I filled this Snapple bottle with handpicked daisies. 

I bought these corked Sun and Moon bottles for a pound at a charity shop. I can't work out whether I like them empty or want to fill them up with something! 

This ceramic butterfly box and old floral tin I bought for £2 at a local farm which has a unit which is full of house clearance items. It was like the show 'American Pickers' which my boyfriend and I are obsessed with, it's on the History Channel if you have Sky TV. 

Last week my boyfriend bought me this beautiful oil burner. I fill it with these pink crystals which make a lovely scent in the room. I buy tea lights at Poundland, such a bargain. 
I bought the crystals from a gorgeous shop on a trip to Cheddar Gorge. I've found a link for the range but they are more expensive than what I paid. 
My favourite recent purchase has to be these Yankee Candle dupes from the 99p Store! As you can spy there is a genuine Yankee Candle in the background. 
 I've placed them on my grandmother's vintage plates and they smell amazing. The top one is roses and the bottom is spiced apple, which is so Christmassy! I'm definitely going to pop back and grab some of the other scents such as Blueberry Muffins. 

I hope you enjoyed this (picture heavy!) post. What do you like to buy for your bedroom? 

Monday, 13 August 2012

Holiday Reads

On Saturday I got back from Gran Canaria after a lovely week away in the sunshine. The weather is making me miss it even more! This holiday I got my reading mojo back. After three years of doing an English degree I was finding it hard to pick up books, simply because I'd forgotten how to chose for myself! Therefore I went to the charity shop and selected a few and also read some of my mum's. On the resort there was a little 'library' consisting of books others had left behind which you could take from, which was great. It may seem a lot of books for a week but I'm a super speedy reader after reading four texts minimum a week at university. Here is a run down with my two cents on each one.

How To Be A Woman-Caitlin Moran 
I really love Caitlin's writing and think she's a riot on Twitter. Last summer a good friend told me this book had 'changed her life', therefore I had high expectations. Unfortunately, it fell slightly short of the mark for me. I proudly call myself a feminist and applause Moran for writing about the need for feminism and strongly encouraging it. I also enjoyed how she spoke about her past; it was funny, insightful and very touching at times. Nevertheless, I found some chapters far better than others. At times it felt slightly rushed and dis-organised. However, ultimately I admire her for what she has set out to achieve. 

Verdict: Well worth a read, especially for those who shy away from the feminist 'label'. 

The Bolter-Frances Osbourne
This book tells the story of Osbourne's great-grandmother Idina Sackville and is wonderfully pieced together from diary entries, newspaper articles and personal opinions. The writing was fantastic; concise, well-researched and engaging. Perhaps I was slightly disappointed with the scandalous aspects, but then again people of my generation hear so much scandal that is perhaps to be expected. I was completely enamoured with the way Osbourne painted the 1920's, it was as if she was really there. 

Verdict: Wonderful blend of non-fiction and storytelling. 

The Long Song-Andrea Levy
Quite a few years ago I read Levy's most famous book, Small Island, which I loved. I was equally as taken with this novel. It tells the tale of July and is set during the last years of slavery in Jamaica. As is to be expected, it is harrowing and difficult to read at times. Yet there are moments of humour, and Levy's talent of creating believable characters means you are transported to Jamaican society at that time. My only criticism is that I would have loved for it to have been longer, as for me it leaves too many unanswered questions. 

Verdict: Incredibly well-researched, unique and absorbing. 

Revolutionary Road-Richard Yates

A few years back, my boyfriend and I went to see the film adaptation of this novel. Afterwards I was left feeling numb, and after reading this novel I appreciate how faithful the screenwriters were. It tells the story of a couple who are set to self-destruct. Yates captures the drudgery of suburban living, you feel how suffocated the characters are in their own existence. Not exactly everyone's cup of tea, especially for a holiday read, but I enjoyed it. 

Verdict: Superbly written and still relevant 50 years after its original publication. 

The Take-Martina Cole
Now THIS is holiday reading. Kindly left for others to read in the resort, I picked this up and found I really couldn't put it down. This is probably much to do with the fact that I love soaps. As much I pride myself on being an intellectual (joke) I can't resist them. This was like Eastenders on steroids. Not amazingly written, however I enjoyed the many twists and turns. The subject matter is far from light: murders, fights, drugs, alcoholism, rape. Cole deals with these in a realistic way, only a a few times I thought it was gratuitous. 

Verdict: Ideal holiday read for those who don't like soppy romance/Jackie Collins. 

I would love to hear your summer book recommendations! 

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Recent Purchases: H&M and Primark

My lack of posting has been due to a busy couple of weeks. My graduate unemployment is over as I have a job in a school which is starting in September and I am hugely excited. I have also been dairy-free for a week and will post about it after a full fortnight.

On Tuesday my grandmother (so formal-we call her Nanny!) took me for a celebratory day out. We had a lovely lunch and she treated me to these great jumpers from H&M.

I know that buying jumpers in July is absurd but so is this weather! The green cable knit was £14.99 and the chic black and white jacket style jumper was on sale for £7. If you like to wear jumpers I would urge you to invest as these are good quality for the price.

These other purchases I treated myself to. They are from everyone's favourite bargain emporium-Primark!

I have been looking for a black satchel style bag for a while but with not much luck-they are either too bulky or expensive. I saw this in for £9 which I thought was reasonable, but had a welcome surprise at the till when it scanned at a fiver. Good old Primark. It is nice and lightweight and just the right size. 

Black ballet shoes-£8
These are wonderfully sturdy for the price and much prettier than other pricier versions of the high street. They have a new padded insole as well which adds to the comfort. 

Heeled ballet pumps-£10
I just couldn't resist these once I saw the heel. 
For a tenner they are a a fraction of Topshop versions and also feature to new padded insole design. There is a Parisian theme going on with these purchases, if only I was jetting off there!

I hope my wonderful readers are having a lovely week!

Monday, 2 July 2012

Music Monday

Well today might just be the best Monday ever as I found out I've received a 2:1 in my English Degree. I have struggled with the enormity of essays and exams and feel so proud, which doesn't happen often. Here are some of the songs I've been enjoying this week.

Lana Del Rey-National Anthem
Miss Del Rey may divide opinion but I for one enjoy her music and love her look. This sublime video contains sizzling chemistry between Lana and A$AP Rocky, who looks gorgeous. 

A$AP Rocky-Goldie (NSFW/contains expletives etc)
You may have heard this on Radio 1 (clean, obviously) and I just really like it to be honest. Definitely would like to Cruise around Paris in that car. 

The Who-Substitute 
Radio 2 now has a fond place in my heart. I prefer hearing a variety of music such as this great song from a British musical institution. 

Cry Baby Soundtrack-King Cry Baby

Definitely dancing around to this in jubilation and also to commemorate Susan Tyrrell (Ramona Rickettes) who passed away last month. 

What tunes have you had on repeat? 

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Elizabeth Taylor Poolside Style

Summer is-supposedly-here, and whether you're having a staycation or jetting off somewhere exotic you'll probably be investing in swimwear. I've turned to the Queen of glamour Elizabeth Taylor for some pointers. 

1.) Beach Cover Up
There is a vast array of weird and wonderful kaftans and sarongs available, but for something simpler, turn to Chino Shorts. 

These Chino Shorts from A Wear are a great piece to have in your wardrobe as they would look lovely with tights and flats for when it starts to get chilly. 

2.) Leopard Love
How amazing is this photo? This the ultimate in sexy beachwear, and who says a one-piece can't be sexy? The main accessory for this look is confidence. 
I'm in love with this costume!

3.) Flirty and Casual
Here is Elizabeth relaxing on a yacht with her notorious partner Richard Burton. Girl knows how to avoid a tan line!

Obvious accessories include big sunglasses and jewellery-but better stick with the costume variety. 

What swimwear have you been buying? 

Monday, 25 June 2012

Music Monday

I hope all my lovely readers have had a great weekend. I'm glad the rain has finally subsided! I haven't done a music post in a fair while so I thought I'd share a few recent songs I've been enjoying and some older favourites. 

Scissor Sisters-Baby Come Home
I've recently switched to Radio 2 in my bedroom as I was becoming a bit sick of Radio 1, I must be showing my age. Their playlist has this new song from the Scissor Sisters on and I've really been enjoying it. The band always has such great music videos too. Besides there's a limit to how many times I can hear Cheryl 'Call My Name'. 

Kanye West-All of the Lights
Okay, so part of the reason I switched to Radio 2 was because they were hammering on about their Hackney Weekend, which I desperately tried and failed to get tickets to! I watched Jay-Z on Saturday night on BBC3 and loved when Kanye came on. Many of the reasons I appreciate Kanye West as an artist are articulated brilliantly in this article. This is one of my favourites. 

Knife Party-Bonfire
It comes as a surprise to some people how much I really enjoy drum and bass, dubstep and dance music in general. I can't really explain it, it's mostly to do with it being amazing to have a good time to. This song comes from two (now former) members of Pendulum and you can hear the similarity to songs like Tarantula. 

Maroon 5-Stutter
Ah, that Payphone song. So annoyingly catchy. I prefer the older Maroon 5 songs such as this song from their 2010 album 'Hands All Over' which I think showcases Adam's voice in a far more likable way. 

What songs have you been enjoying recently? I'd love to hear your recommendations. 

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Audrey Hepburn is the epitome of chic in my opinion. I especially love her 'casual' look, which I've attempted to recreate with this Polyvore set.

Shirt: Topshop, Trousers: Topshop, Black shirt: H&M, Earrings: Dorothy Perkins,
Shoes: ASOS

What kind of casual look do you like to go for? I'd love to hear your own inspirations.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Eyebrow Envy

I have recently started to grow out my eyebrows and it is proving a royal pain. I want to grow them so I can have them shaped professionally, and to fill in some gaps. I thought I was fairly free and easy when it it came to the tweezers, yet this is proving not to be the case. I've taken to not looking in mirrors for too long, no mean feat when you're removing eye make up. Here are some eyebrow photos to stop me reaching for the tweezers. These women have got brows to die for:

Oh Nigella, I not only envy your eyebrows but your cooking/seduction skills.
Elizabeth Taylor, the sadly missed legend and connoisseur of the brow. 
Eva Mendes, great brows AND Ryan Gosling?! Bet she wakes up happy. 
Camilla Belle has such lovely natural brows!

If any of you have ever grown out your brows, I would love any tips!

Monday, 18 June 2012

No.7 and No.17

I'll be honest, these are the only two products I own from these lines, and the No.7 one I don't really own-it's borrowed from my sister! However I am really impressed with the quality of this No.7 nail polish in 'Hot To Trot':

I think it is very subtle for day time glamour. This was with two coats, and although the coverage is light, this makes for an easy application and it is fast drying. This is a small bottle as part of a gift set, the Stay Perfect Nail Colours retail at £7 for a full size at Boots. Ideal to purchase when the No.7 £5 vouchers are out!

The next product I purchased on a whim while still at university. Admittedly, when I'm feeling a bit low I do tend to buy little things to perk me up, and this No.17 Lasting Fix Lipstick in 'Honey Blossom' caught my eye: 

(please excuse my hair-I air dry it so it's still damp!)

I like the peachy shimmery colour of this, but most of all I love the formulation. It's the lightest lipstick I own and completely non-drying. I think I will invest in a few more of these when I'm next feeling down! At £4.29 it's also a reasonable price. 

Do you have any must have products from these lines? 

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Jewellery Displa

Since returning from university, I've had to confront the junk in my room. I really do marvel and the bizarre things I've clung onto. However, I did dig out an old metal flower I used to hang necklaces on. I decided to revive it, but with earrings instead:

As you can see, I have a penchant for costume jewellery! I've been fascinated with it since I was little. I just can't resist it, like the intricate jewelled hands that were a bargain at £3.50 from Topshop. I rarely spend more than £5 on a pair of earrings unless I really adore them. 

This morning my family and I went to a local village fair and then for a quick charity shop browse. Amongst the Royal memorabilia I found this lovely Eiffel Tower metal wall hanging for £3. 

As soon as I saw it I knew I had to have it, and justified it by using it for a great purpose...

Leaving 'room' for my other necklaces!

How do you store your jewellery?