Sunday, 29 March 2015

Home And Stationery Haul Featuring H&M, Ebay, Wilko And More

Hi Guys x Welcome to what is going to the first of 3 haul posts that will be going live over the next week. We've had a fashion post and a beauty post already this week so it's time for a lifestyle post, with a home and stationery haul.

If you've ever seen any pictures of my bedroom or any of my previous home hauls you'll know that I'm a bit obsessed with cushions, I absolutely love the things, so much so that you often can't get on my bed for them. My latest obsession is with animal cushions, I recently purchased a cat shaped cushion from Primark (see it here) and I already have a Sass & Belle cat (read my post on it here) and I was lucky enough to receive one of their owls for Christmas.

My mum is not a bird fan by any means and to be honest she doesn't really like them in the house, but I'm currently in the middle of a bit of an owl phase and whilst searching  on the internet for Sass & Belle I came across this gorgeous owl cushion. What struck me was how unusual it was, the majority of owl cushions in the Sass and Belle range are made for shabby chic, floral patchwork fabrics but this one is made from faux leather and faux suede.

This is so unique and as yet I haven't seen anything else on the high street like it. Another selling point was it's name all of the Sass & Bell cushions have a name and this is... Louise Owl. Well I had to get it then didn't I and I have to say  that despite the fact that he's a little bit more expensive than some of their other owls, I love him (I still think it looks like a him lol).  Louise Owl doesn't appear on the Sass & Belle website any more but I got mine from Amazon marketplace. The seller I used isn't listed any more but there are still two sellers that have him, and the seller that I did use the_peas_knees is also selling Louise The Owl on ebay.

As well as Louise The Owl I couldn't resist another Sass & Belle purchase x Again this one appears to be discontinued, you can still find it on Amazon and on ebay from the seller that I used x  Her name is Polly Cat and the fabric matches my other cat and my purple Megan Owl. She's quite a bit bigger than the other two cushions and it's probably more of a small pillow size. I did have to put a bit of extra stuffing in it because it wasn't quite firm enough for me but again I love it and the colours match my room perfectly x 

I've got a few more ebay purchases to show you but while I'm on the cushion theme, I'll move on to this gorgeous cushion cover that I got from H&M.

I've wanted this blue, floral velvet cushion cover for ages but I could never justify the £12.99 price tag just for a cushion cover. A little while ago though they had an online home event so I managed to get a little bit of money off it. I love it but the only problem was, it is a really unusual size so I've ended up having to order the correct sized cushion pad from H&M. You win some, you lose some I guess but I absolutely love it, as yet I'm not sure when it's going to go as the blue tones match my office, but the pinks and purples match my room, decisions, decisions.

As well as yet another cushion, since there was a bit of money off, I also ended up ordering another duvet cover. 

In one of the pictures above you can see my festive duvet set, which was a grey nordic, style cover with white hearts and snowflakes. I never ever thought that I would go for grey bedding but I was surprised at how nice the grey looked with my white and wood furniture, my lilac wall, pale wood floow and my silver, metal bed head. This one is in white and it has an almost French style, grey floral print. It's nice and fresh for spring, but it's something different from the bright  florals and the shabby chic prints that I'm used to. 

Saying that I am still partial to my cuter florals, and like most bloggers and You Tubers I love my fairy lights. Up until late last year I had a lovely set of pink and purple flowers that wrapped around my bedhead, unfortunately they broke so I've been using a set of wicker hearts that were originally destined to go around my curtain pole. We're having a bit of general home change  around at the moment, involving a new bathroom, a new three piece suite and a bit of an office makeover so I've decided to change my room around a bit too. So I've decided to put the wicker lights where they belong and get some new flowers for my bedhead.

I was initially going to for some more purple or lilac lights but I loved these ivory rose ones, They are battery operated and the warm toned, bulbs can either be used on a steady setting or a blinking setting. These lights were £6.99 including postage from this ebay seller.

Sticking with the floral theme I also got this self adhesive lilac floral hook. I don't think that it will hold a great deal of weight but I just want it to hold a canvas and fabric sign so I'm hoping that it will do the trick. Either way it just just 99p from this seller.

As well as flowers I love butterflies and I've been looking at a few wall art pieces but I've never seen anything that I really like. I wanted something with a bit of colour so I thought I'd give these a go.

What they are is fine plastic butterflies, that have a tiny magnetic attached to the back. Obviously I can't use the magnets to stick them to the wall, so I think I'm going to use white tack so I can move them round at will. They also came with a little pack of sticky, foam pads but I'm so indecisive,I'm going to gave the white tack a go first. They were just 99p for 20 different sized and patterned butterflies from this seller x 

As well as a few things for my room, I also bought a few stationery bits from ebay. One of my aims for 2015 was to be more organised and one way that I'm doing it through using diaries and organisers. So in order to mark the pages of my diary I got these cute animal page markers x 

They were just 99p from this seller x Alongside them I also got this set of cute lucky cat post it notes x As bloggers we need sticky notes in our lives and nowadays you don't need to just stick the square ones x You name is and you can probably get a post it note shaped like it x  Again these were just 99p and I bought them from this seller

As I mentioned in a recent post one of my favourite shops at the moment is Poundland. Would you believe that between us me and Mummy Lou spent £30 in Poundland yesterday ! Ha Ha never mind I actually bought this a few weeks ago. I already have something similar and it's a bit of a silly purchase but why not.

It's a solar powered, dancing flower, I already have something similar which was a lot more expensive from Urban Outfitters but this is fun and quirky and I think it's going to make a welcome addition to my desk.

My final two home purchases came from Wilko. Me and one of my besties used to have a bit of obsession with pigs - long story but it was her birthday on St Patricks Day and when I saw these I couldn't resist buying them for both of us.

Basically they are Oink Oink, Piggy Wiggy kitchen tools. I got a plastic mixing spoon which was just £1.00, and a fab silicone spatula which was just £1.50. I think they are stupidly cute and I couldn't resist them. I've had a look elsewhere online and they do a full range of things, ranging from egg cups, to mini frying pans and kitchen timers - in love!

If you want to find out more about my haul, you can watch the accompanying You Tube video and listen to me ramble for a bit x 

There is one other thing but it isn't technically mine but I love it anyway. I've seen this vase on a few blogs and instagram accounts and I think it just sums up how right Asda, have it at the moment when it comes to home wear.

I bought this gorgeous honeycomb and bee detail vase for my mum for a Mothers Day present, but seeing as it goes with some of the citrus colours in the kitchen, she using it as large kitchen utensil storage jar instead. It's such a nice item and well worth the £12 price tag. It's out of stock online at the moment but I got this one in my local Asda store.

I'm really into my home style at the moment and seeing as so many changes are a foot I can see a few more hauls on the horizon. If you have any questions on the video or anything in this haul please leave a comment x

Friday, 27 March 2015

Letting My True Fashion Colours Shine Courtesy Of Intu Metro Centre Fashion Live 15

Although I don't post that many outfit of the days or style posts anymore I still consider myself at least in part to be a fashion blogger. Although my blogs not as fashion focused as maybe it once was, I've been obsessed with clothing and accessories for as long as I can remember, and despite my unwillingness to share too many pictures of myself at the moment, nothing has really changed.

For someone who loves fashion and likes to write about it, one of the most exciting things that you can possibly do is to attend a fashion show. Like any true fashionista I would love to attend one of the big shows like Chanel in Paris, or Prada in Milan, even if I was at the very back, behind the cleaners! Dreams, dreams, dreams! we should all have them, but it's best to start small and this week I had my first, proper, fashion show experience, and even though I didn't have the opportunity to schmooze with Posh and Becks, and Kim and Kanye I still had a fabulous time.

On Wednesday night I attended an exclusive VIP Blogger Preview of Intu Metro Centre's Fashion Live Event 2015. The theme of this years event is colour - colouring yourself fabulous and finding ways to integrate more colour into your wardrobe is the way to go for Spring / Summer 2015.

With cocktails, wine, vodka shots and nibbles on hand, and selfies being taken, we really did feel like VIP's or should I say VIB's (Very Important Bloggers) as we were allowed past the cordons, and directed to take our seats on the fabulous, multi coloured FROW.

Yes I did say FROW, to be fair we all did get front row seats, but it still added a touch of excitement to the occasion and no doubt numerous tweets and instagram pics of us all shouting "I'm on FROW" I was so busy settling into my front row seat that I forget to take a picture of it so thanks to Intu Metro Centre for this Picture. ( you can find out more on  about what's on the seats later ;)

Once we were all seated we were introduced to out compere for the evening,  BBC Radio Newcastle presenter, and all round fashionista Anna Foster, who was bedecked in a new Spring Summer skirt courtesy of Top Shop and a cute biker jacket and top combo courtesy of House Of Fraser. After a short chat in which she praised the influence of blogging and You Tube, we had a general introduction to the event and found out a little bit more about the work of Centrepoint. 

Following on from the success of their empty shop campaign last year (read my post here) Intu Metro Centre have teamed up again with Centrepoint, which is the leading charity for homeless young people in the UK, for The Big Intu Clothes Drop Campaign. All you need to do is head down to Intu Metro Centre before 29th March and donate your own, pre loved items - a perfect opportunity to have a clear out and to help someone less fortunate at the same time x

Next on stage was Intu Metro Centre Stylist Michaela Dale. Michaela is one of the centres stylists and a member of their personal shopping  and style team. If your in a style rut, you want to integrate colour into your wardrobe or you're shopping for a special event or occasion then you can book either a one on one session with Michaela or one of the team for £15 an hour. or if there are several of you, you can sign up for a group session with champagne and nibbles. I think this a great idea, they are completely impartial and you have every single store in the centre at your disposal.

After a small interval for wine and macarons in my case, it was time for the main event, the fashion show, involving several of the centres most fashionable stores, showcasing some of their spring and summer collections. Both watching and photographing a live catwalk show is really new to me, but all I'll say is I have a renewed respect for professional photographers - this is not an easy task and I think it requires a bit of practise.

First to the catwalk was Superdry, Superdry took over the old Primark store, in Red Mall, and they are well known for their sporty, casual male and female fashions. As you would expect there was lots of bright colours and casual looks, but I have to admit I was surprised by the pretty, Lace Meadow Skirt that you can see on the model on the right. Very girly, and perfect for summer and smarter occasions but styled here in quite a casual way, that would be perfect for a festival .

Next up was Top Shop and Top Man, this is probably the worst picture in this post but I couldn't not include it. Despite the colour theme of the event, they show cased a lot of mono chromes and muted tones. The models outfit on the far left was probably one of my favourites of the night, The cropped top, jacket, and heels were in such a contrast to the almost utilitarian khaki joggers. Although I can't get into a Top Shop, size 16 at the moment I'm very, very tempted to buy these and try to slim into them!

French Connection were the next store to showcase, and although I know longer fall into their size range I love browsing in their concessions and in their Red Mall store. This was probably my favourite presentation of the night. Patterned trousers again are a big look and I loved the pleats, and the vibrant turquoise shades, perfect for when you have a tan. It was a hard choice but the Isla Rippled Flare Dress below was probably my favourite item, and I love how is was styled and how it looked on the model.

One of the biggest department stores in Intu Metro Centre is House Of Fraser. With lots of different brands to choose from and concessions under the one roof, it must have been hard to choose just four outfits to showcase the entire stores Spring / Summer offerings but I think they managed it. The coloured shirt trend is here to stay and bright colours, and clashing prints are as strong as ever in 2015. My highlight though had to be the black, v back embellished BIBA dress. This looked even more stunning in real life, and it goes up to a size 20, if only I had an occasion to wear it and a spare £135.

Another one of the Metro Centre's more designer lead stores is Tessuti, selling brands ranging from Ted Baker, to Michael Kors, Vivienne Westwood and Armani. They showcased a range of smart casual menswear, and some show stopping dress including animal and floral prints, and tassel's

From designer to high street and the next presentation was courtesy of Warehouse. Black never goes away and nowadays its perfectly acceptable to wear black in the summer. The split leg and side jumpsuit was fabulous, and again I love the bright colours and pleats but my highlight was the floral jacquard dress that you can see below. Perfect for a wedding or any special occasion this is another dress that looks better in the flesh.

The final presentation of the night came from high street favourite, River Island. Colour was largely absent again as monochromes and khakis dominated. My highlight here was definitely the khaki jumpsuit,  and the jumpsuit is one trend that I intend to embrace this year

After a model finale, some competition winners and a few rounds of applause it was all over, and it was time, to pick up our goodie bags and head on our way. On our seats like in all good fashion shows was a goodie bag full of fabulous samples, courtesy of House Of Fraser, including some Clinique and Decleor items that I will be reviewing for you as well as some Dior, Molton Brown, and Guerlain.

Also on our seats was a lovely, specially commissioned notebook, and a pencil courtesy of notepds, which featured the bloggers mantra "Eat Shop Blog"

As well as these lovely goodies we also received another canvas goodie bag from Intu Metro Centre and some of the other event sponsors including Hello Fashion.

This lovely bag contained some more lovely samples, and lots of promotional material, pens, a nail polish and nail files, as well as the latest issue of Hello Fashion.

I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved in the event for the invitation, I had a really fun evening and it was nice to feel a bit like a VIP or VIB. If you're in the Metro Centre this weekend, Intu Metro Centre Fashion Live 15 runs until Sunday 29th March, so head to towns square, to take some selfies for a chance with a £500 prize (see my grumpy attempt above) , to donate to Centrepoint  and of course to have your own FROW experience and see how you can let your true colours shine by visiting one of the 4 fashions shows on Saturday and 3 on Sunday. 

My one regret was that the catwalk show didn't include any plus size models or anyone as chubby as me but never mind after my fashion overload I'm certainly feeling a little bit more inspired so who knows maybe some more fashion posts and some OOTD's will be in the offing soon x  Are you a fashion fiend? Have you been inspired to wear more colour this season? Leave me a comment and let me know x 

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Poundland Make Up Gallery Feeling Blush Blusher - Candyfloss 2

When I was younger it was a cardinal sin to shop in shops like Poundstretcher and Poundland. It just wasn't done, there used to be a real stigma amongst my peer group at least, about shopping in so called bargain and cheap shops, and god forbid if you mam was spotted with an offending carrier bag!

Looking back now though I completely cringe at the old me, bargain shops are where it's at and I'm so pleased that the majority of people nowadays are bargain hunters like me.

My shop of the moment is Poundland - I'm incapable of going into that shop without spending at least a fiver, There is always something to buy from food and snacks, to stationery, and of course toiletries and cosmetics.

I know there's been a bit of controversy in the past about Poundland and branded make up but towards the end of last year they introduced their own brand, Make Up Gallery. As you would expect every item is just £1 and the range contains everything that any decent make up line should from mascaras, to lip glosses, foundations, cheek products and of course nail polishes.

Being the nail polish junkie that I am I started off simply with just one nail polish Mushroom Magic. You can read my review here but for the price I was impressed, so much so that on my next visit to Poundland I picked up another polish and a couple of make up items.

At the minute I'm in the middle of a real blusher love in, I love the stuff so one of the things that I got was one of the Make Up Gallery Feeling Blush Blushers. As far as I can tell there are just four shades to choose from but they are all in really wearable tones of peach, coral and pink. It was a hard choice but the one I got was 2 Candyfloss.

I'm not sure how accurate the name is, Candyfloss to me means a bright, baby pink, but this shade is a lot warmer, and definitely contains some peachy tones as well as the pink you would expect.

The packaging is quite basic, all clear and black plastic but it does the job and it has quite a sturdy feel. The square powder, blusher inside contains Vitamin E and has a smooth, silky feel, and it's surprisingly pigmented.

It blends really well, and as you can hopefully see it gives my skin a really pretty, natural flush. (ignore the brows there getting sheared tomorrow ;)

I'm going to hold my hands up and say that I was sceptical, For the price I just didn't think that this would be any good but I'll admit it, it really did surprise me. The pigmentation and texture are excellent for the price but it's the colour that I've fallen in love with. This is a real everyday blush shade for me and something that I could wear no matter what the outfit, the make up look or the occasion. It doesn't wear as well as some blushers I've tried but for just £1, reapplying it if I need to isn't any great hardship.

I'm going to Poundland later this week and based on this blusher I'm definitely going to be heading straight to the Make Up Gallery stand, so if you have any recommendations I'd love to hear them x Thanks for reading x

Monday, 23 March 2015

Urban Decay Decay Naked Basics 2 Winner Revealed

Hi everyone - I can't believe it's been a week since I last posted but family issues and my annoying laptop are to blame. My laptop has been replaced though and I'm feeling a lot more together so I'm back and raring to go. I have lots of posts planned this week including a couple of little hauls, some videos, a make up review and a long awaited hair tool review but I thought I'd bounce back with the post that you've probably all been waiting for.

You've had a little while to wait but it's now time to announce the winner of my 8th Blogging Birthday giveaway, to win an Urban Decay Naked Basics 2 Eyeshadow Palette.

I want to thank every single one of you for entering, I had over 3,500 entries but as you know there can only be one winner and that winner picked randomly via Rafflecopter is...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Louise B

Congratulations Louise, I will be sending you an email later tonight x 

If you weren't lucky enough to win this time don't worry I have plenty more giveaways to come including the chance to win some Illamasqua, Nails Inc and Make Up Revolution goodies. I'm also taking some of your comments on board and although I don't have access to some of the US goodies that you'd like to win, you've gave me some fab ideas not only for giveaway prizes but also for things I would quite like to try myself, so you never know ;)

Thanks again for following and for your input, and I hope that you'll stick around and keep leaving me feedback on what I write and what you want to read x 

Monday, 16 March 2015

Punky Pins Jewellery Haul And Wishlist

As I've said many times before, one of my huge passions is jewellery. Like every girl, I love gold, and diamonds, but fashion jewellery is my real love. I love wood, acrylic and natural gemstone pieces, and I love quirky necklaces, bangles and bracelets.

To be honest I'm not sure what I ever did before the invention of online shopping, I probably had a bit more money, but I was probably much more of a sheep. Having to buy jewellery pieces in the same shops, as your school and college, friends and enemies, meant that it was so much harder to have your own individual look and style. Bar a few ladies that made their own jewellery we all looked the same and wore exactly the same necklaces, earrings and rings.

Thanks to the kazillions of options online though, it's now much easier to find quirky and one of a kind jewellery pieces. I'm a huge fan of ebay, and charity shops for unusual and vintage pieces  but I also love online boutiques, and one of my longtime favourites is Punky Pins.

Way back when, when Sex In The City premiered, the jewellery piece to own was the Carrie name necklace. I loved the concept but whilst I love small ditsy, pendants and chains I wanted something a bit bolder. The answer came via magazines, and various chat forums that I frequented - a North East (Middlesbrough) based site called Punky Pins, which was founded in 2005.

My first purchase was one of their acrylic, mirrored name necklaces, and an NYC themed acrylic pendant, that featured a mirrored gold Empire State Building, a star and the I NY logo. I don't think I've ever owned a jewellery piece that's attracted as many comments as my name necklace did. I wore it at my first ever blog event which was FABB Newcastle, and it proved a great conversations starter and well and helping people remember my name -  you can't see it too well but just to refresh your memory this is my FABB outfit post

All was well then something awful happened - I stood on it :( Being mirrored, acrylic it broke in two -  I was sad and a bit annoyed at my carelessness but these things happen and I never thought much more about it but a couple of weeks ago a Punky Pins offer landed in my inbox and I decided to replace it.

There are several different types of name necklaces to choose from, from wooden, to different styles and colours of acrylic, but I went for what I had before, the Sexy City Personalised Acrylic MIRROR Name Necklace.

You can get any name up to 9 letter and it comes in either silver or gold and whilst I'm normally a silver girl, gold was what I had before. It comes on a 41 cm gold plated chain with a 7 cm extender chain which features an acrylic Punky Pins logo.This necklace is £15 but since every one is made to order I don't think that it's a bad price. 

The reason why I chose to place my order when I did was not only down to a free P&P offer but it was also because of a free gift offer. I love a free gift and I love my cats so the offer of a free cat themed necklace with a £15 purchase sucked me in.

The necklace I got was the Wooden Cat Necklace, which features a super cute, wooden engraved cats head on a 48 cm silver plated chain, with a 5 cm extender and a metal Punky Pins logo. You can buy him on the website for just £5.

I know name necklaces and cats aren't for everyone but if you're after something quirky and a bit unusual then I would definitely recommend having a look at Punky Pins. As well as necklaces, they also do a range of other jewellery pieces and accessories. Here are some of my other picks and wants from the site.

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Have you ever bought anything from Punky Pins? Let me know in the comments below x