Monday, 20 November 2017

Nails Of The Day - Nails Inc - Carriage Gotta Wait

Isn't it always the way your nails look beautiful, they're long and strong, and they're in great condition, and then when you have a whole batch of polishes to photograph, they all snap off! Thankfully before all of the breakage happened I managed to shoot some photos for a few different nails of the days. A couple of them are re shoots which I will be sharing with you in the next week or so but this one is something brand new and right on trend.

You know me, I love a special offer, and I also love nail polish, so when Nails Inc and QVC UK teamed up together earlier this year to produce a fabulously, priced Today's Special Value collection, I had to add it to my basket.

The set in question was the 6 piece I Believe In Unicorns collection, which contained five mystical and fairytale themed nail colours and a top coat, and this is one of the colours from the kit, Carriage Gotta Wait.

Fairy tales, unicorns, mermaids, and other mystical and fantasy creatures are right on trend at the moment, and something else that is right on trend is copper and rose gold.

Carriage Gotta Wait is a beautiful rose gold, copper foil. It has a beautifully smooth finish but it's crammed full of glitter and sparkle.

In their newish style chunky, square bottle, this polish isn't only easy to hold, but thanks to the wide brush, it's also super easy to paint. The coverage on this polish is excellent and you could easily get away with one coat, but I've gone with two here for a full on finish.

This is a truly beautiful colour that's right on trend, and with the metallic finish and the sparkle it's perfect for the party season. It deepens and flashes when you move your hands and it compliments the rose gold packaging on something that I will be reviewing in the next week or so, perfectly.

Being as crammed full of glitter as it is, it wears incredibly well, even without a top coat. As you might expect it is a bit of a pain to remove, the gloss and the polish breaks down to leave a stubborn rough glitter coat, that takes a little bit of effort to remove.  I've already worn this polish on 3 occasions though, because it is so easy to paint and because it looks so stunning on the nails. Who cares if it takes a few extra minutes to remove, if you want pretty princess, sparkly nails then this is the polish for you.

As I say this shade seems to be a QVC UK exclusive and seems to be only available as part of the I Believe In Unicorns collection, but the kit is still available on the QVC UK website, as is the accompanying auto delivery collection that I also got, Enchanted Elegance. If you're into all things mystical and magical, make sure that following my blog to keep up to date with all of my new posts. Providing my nails grow up a bit, I've got a few of Nails Inc's unicorn and mermaid themed products to review in the run up to Christmas, and if you like glitter and sparkle you definitely won't want to miss my reviews! Have you embraced the rose gold, or even the unicorn trend this season? Let me know in the comments x

Saturday, 18 November 2017

A Very Late September / October Primark Haul - Clothes, Beauty, And Home

Where on earth does time go, it doesn't seem like two minutes since I was craving an Indian summer, and now? well the gritters are out and it's only 5 weeks until Christmas - Argh! This year has flown by but the last few months in particular seem to have passed by in a blur. Despite picking up the odd bit here and there I haven't managed a proper shopping trip in quite a while now. In fact the last time I went into Primark was either at the end of September or at the beginning of October! See, it's been so long I can't even remember when it was!

For me though it was a long time ago, and a good Primark trip is well overdue but before that happens (hopefully next week!) I think I better show you the bits that I picked up way back when, which have been living in a carrier bag for a few months now.

On several of my previous Primark trips, I'd picked up a couple of their crew neck t-shirts and for the price I was really impressed with both the fit and the length, so after a recent, major wardrobe clear out I decided to fill a few gaps in my wardrobe and pick up some more basic, stretch, long sleeve t-shirts.

The first one that I got was in a classic navy blue, and like the previous shirts that I'd picked up, it has a softly rounded, crew style neckline.

I couldn't find too many shirts in the crew neck style this time round so I decided to try a few tops in some their different neckline options. This gorgeous dark, forest green t-shirt comes with a deeper, scoop neck,

and this classic black t-shirt comes with quite a low cut v neckline.

For just £3.50 each I think that these t-shirts are excellent value. They all have a good stretch to them, and the length is excellent. I can't stand short tops, I'm not big on flashing the flesh and my wobbly bits, I'm long in the body and I wear a lot of jeggings and leggings, so long line tops are a must have for me, and despite not been marketed as long line, these tops definitely cover my muffin top. You can probably see if from the pictures but I do think that the black top is at least a couple of centimetres shorter and whilst it's fine, I might try and stick to the crew and scoop necked tops in the future for that bit of extra coverage.

To be honest I went into Primark all of those months ago purely with the aim of picking up some basic tops, and once I'd got them I wasn't too fussed about picking anything else up, so I didn't really examine every single clothes rail like a normally do, and the only other clothing item that I picked up was this Miffy sleep tee.

I do love a bit of Miffy and since I managed to get rid of a few sleepwear bits in my recent clothing clear out, I thought that I could justify adding this oversize sleep tee to my sleepwear wardrobe. It was just £5 which I think is pretty decent. The fabric feels nice against the skin, and it has a printed label inside rather than a tag. It's often the little things that sell something to me, and with my creepy crawly, medication and chronic illness, induced skin, the lack of fabric tags on nightwear is a godsend.

That was it for clothing, and seeing as I'm going through another ebay jewellery love in, nothing really appealed in the jewellery and accessories section so I headed to the ever expanding beauty section and bought something that I'd seen in a lot of both Instagram and blog posts.

Taking inspiration from Too Faced's Sweet Peach collection, Primark have recently introduced their own range of peach inspired make up, and being as obsessed with blusher, highlighter and cheek colours as I am, I couldn't resist picking up the Cheeky Peachy Blush & Highlight Palette.

The solid cardboard palette, comes with a magnetic fastening and contains three heart shaped cheek colours, Peach Twist, a golden, champagne highlighter, Peachin', a matte bright peach, coral blush and Sweet Peach, a light peachy, pink blush.

All of the colours are embossed with cute little faces, and like the Too Faced version they have a nice, sweet peachy, fruity scent. They don't just look good though, as you can hopefully see from my swatches, the pigmentation is pretty decent, and these cheek colours have a nice soft feel, and blend easily. For me this palette is well worth the £4 that I paid for it, I know I keep saying but Primark really have upped their beauty game this year and I hope that we can look forward to even more affordable beauty treats in 2018.

So that was it for beauty but I did pick up a couple of home things including yet another candle. I'm slightly obsessed with candles, and just about every month I seem to pick up some form of scented candle, and the latest addition to my extensive candle collection is this Jewelled Satin Scented Candle which was £2.

I'm not going to lie, I was drawn to this one because of the gorgeous, matte plum coloured mini Kilner style jar that it comes in! I love mini things and I'm quite excited to start filling it up with something, I don't know what yet but we'll see once I've finished burning the candle, maybe paper clips or earrings, who knows? Although it's pretty small, this warm fruity, floral scented candle has an estimated burn time of around 15 hours so I'll have a little while to wait yet to reuse the jar but I'm sure I'll enjoy the almost fine fragrance in the meantime.

The last thing that I got in this haul from long ago, was a Christmas item, and it's another reindeer. Reindeer's are everywhere this year and since I already have a couple of the Primark deer tea light holders (see my most recent addition here) I had to pick up this super cute, and stylish tree decoration.

In a right on trend, gorgeous coppery, rose gold, ceramic, this super sweet chubby reindeer bauble was just £1.50, but I have to say it looks a lot more expensive than that. If you like him, then I would recommend that you have a little watch of one of my latest You Tube videos. It's an exclusive home, home fragrance, Christmas, lifestyle and stationery haul, and it features some very affordable ceramic, chubby reindeer ornaments and tea light holders. You can watch it below of via this link.

So that was it, a small and very late Primark haul. I didn't buy a lot but I was pleased with everything that I bought which I guess is the object of the exercise. If you're interested I've also uploaded an accompanying video to my You Tube channel, so if you want to find out a bit more about the products and why I bought them, then check it out below, or via this link, and don't forget to subscribe to my You Tube channel while you're there, I upload a lot of hauls and unboxing and I'm definitely going to be mixing it up a bit in 2018 so make sure your subscribed so you don't miss a thing.

As I say I'm hoping to go into Newcastle next week, and whilst my major aim will be to do a bit of Christmas shopping, I am thoroughly intending to treat myself to a few bits. If you have any questions on my videos or on any of the items that I've bought then please leave me a comment and I will try and get back to you asap, and don't forget you can also contact me on Twitter, I'm @LouLou699 so make sure your following me if you aren't already x Thanks for reading and I'll see you sometime in the next few days with a long overdue nails of the day post x

Sunday, 5 November 2017

A Reflective Foodie Friday On A Sunday - Cinder Toffee

Looking back over the years I don't tend to post on November 5th that often, normally when I do it's a tribute to my dad or more personal posts about grief and loss, but this year I decided to do something a little bit different.

Losing someone you love is hard but when it's on a day that people celebrate or that means something to everyone, then it's even harder. On November 5th 2002, I lost my dad very suddenly, and ever since then I've hated Bonfire Night was a passion, every single bang and sparkle of light, brings back memories that quite frankly I don't want to remember.

Life doesn't change for other people though , so I guess you just need to get on with it, and try and embrace it with the best of them. So I'm writing this post, attempting to calm down some very scared kitty cats, looking at the pretty lights outside of the window and trying to remember the happy times.

So many of my good memories of my dad, my grans, and my childhood concern food, and the 5th November is no different, from baked potatoes and beans, to parkin,  and to treacle toffee and cinder toffee, food like fragrance, is intrinsically linked to our feelings and memories.

My mam used to be a big sweet maker, every year she'd make trays of peppermint creams, fudge, coconut ice, rum truffles and cinder toffee for us to eat in the run up to, and at Christmas. When you look at recipes associated with Guy Fawkes night, Cinder Toffee is always somewhere on the list. Cinder Toffee is one of the most names associated with it, at least up north, but you might know it as Hokey Pokey, Puff Candy, or Sponge Candy, or as Honeycomb. Yes it's that brittle, yet chewy toffee, that's full of air bubble, that you'll find in your Crunchie bar.

It's easy enough to buy it on it's own or covered with chocolate but like so many things it's often hard to beat something that's homemade. It isn't the hardest thing to make but you do need to be a bit careful in more ways than one. There are a few different recipes out there but this is our go to.

Cinder Toffee

3 Heaped Tablespoons Of Golden Syrup Or Treacle 
7oz (200g) Caster Sugar
1 1/2oz (40g) Butter
2 Tablespoons Cold Water
1/2 Teaspoon Vinegar
1 Heaped Teaspoon Of Bicarbonate Of Soda

1. Well grease a loaf tin or line with non stick parchment paper  - Okay as you can see this isn't a loaf tin it's a small roasting tin, which on reflection wasn't the best tin to make this in as it ended up a bit thinner then it should have done. You needn't be too precise with size but it's better to make it in a smaller and deeper tin, than a larger shallower one like this one.

2. To make this recipe you really need a good quality heavy bottomed pan, the pan is going to get hot so you want something that's pretty substantial. I'm using a pressure cooker pan here.

Add your sugar, syrup, butter and cold water and heat gently until the sugar is melted, stirring all the time

3. When your sugar has melted, turn up the heat until it reaches a continuous rolling boil. If you have a sugar thermometer your mixture needs to reach 290˚ F or 143˚ C. If you don't have one though don't worry, get yourself a cup of cold water and keep testing the mixture by dripping blobs into the water. The mixture will go through several stages but eventually the mixture will become hard and brittle and snap when you drop it into the water.

4. Once it's reached that stage take the pan off the heat, and add the vinegar and the vinegar and the bicarb, and give it a good stir. It will expand slightly at this stage, and foam and change colour slightly. (Make sure that your bicarbonate of soda isn't too near the expiry date - the longer you have it the more it loses it potency - a new tub will give the best results)

5. Then pour it CAREFULLY in to your tin - Don't be tempted to touch the mix with your hands or taste it - it will be stupidly hot.

6. Then leave your tray in a cool dry place for a few hours until it's set solid. No matter how well you've greased your tin it will still be nigh on impossible to get it out of the tin. I suggest either hitting your cinder toffee with a hammer or careful drop the tray onto the floor to break up your toffee. You won''t get any neat squares with this rough shards are what you should be aiming for.

You can either eat it straight away or you can store it for a few days in a cool, dry airtight tin. It should be the perfect combo of brittle and chewy. You can either eat as is, or you can cover it chocolate, use it with a chocolate fondue, or you can crush it up and use for an ice cream topping, in butter cream or whipped cream in cakes, or in cookies or flapjacks.

This isn't the most dentist friendly treat so watch those crowns and fillings, and brush your teeth after you've gorge. I'm at the dentist this week so this probably wasn't the perfect thing to eat this weekend but I enjoyed it anyways, and sometimes a little bit of what you fancy does you good. What do you call cinder toffee? Let me know in the comments and I hope you have a safe and enjoyable Guy Fawkes night x 

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Trimming my Stash - October 2017 Edition - Empties And Mini Reviews

In this world of flatlays and perfectly posed blog and Instagram pictures, props are everything and at the moment I'm loving using my brightly hued, autumnal toned fabric leaves. Here's the question though when does Autumn end and when does Winter begin. Hmm I can't decide so some of my up and coming pictures feature leaves, and some like the ones below don't. November is a tough one, whilst the weather is decidedly autumnal at the moment, winter is definitely on it's way - is it Autumn? is it Winter? I have no idea at the moment!

November is a funny month for me but I have to say it's started well (when I've been awake that is - my mum has nicknamed Sleeping Beauty this week). October was such a busy month for me, that I never seemed to get a lot of stuff done but already in November, I'm feeling motivated and enthusiastic that this will be the month when I sort my shit out.The pre Christmas declutter is in full swing, and I've already filled up 4 charity bags since Thursday! Go Me! When it comes to beauty decluttering though October wasn't the best of months

Primark PS Love Your Skin Oil Balancing Facial Cleansing Wipes x 25 Wipes
Primark PS Love Your Skin Oil Balancing Facial Cleansing Wipes x 25 Wipes
Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream - 30ml
AVON Senses Mystique Sensual & Romantic Shower Gel - 250ml
Yes To Carrots Nourishing Shampoo Normal To Dry Hair - 500ml

Total -5 Items 

Try as I might I only managed to finish 5 items last month and two of those came in the last two days of the month. Still 5 things are better than none and I did manage to finish a couple of bits that had taken root in my shower, so lets quit it with the negativity and focus on the products that I did manage to finish.

1. Primark PS Love Your Skin Oil Balancing Facial Cleansing Wipes x 25 Wipes
2. Primark PS Love Your Skin Oil Balancing Facial Cleansing Wipes x 25 Wipes

I'm not going to lie I have used these on my face a couple of times this month - I know, I know but when you need to leave the house at 7am after precisely no sleep, you need something quick and something that (whispers) you can do in the taxi! Okay now that confession is out of the way I can safely admit to using most of these wipes in the last week, for in between clean ups  after doing a ton of swatches. I've got a load of make up posts coming soon including some bargain basement buys, some Christmas gift ideas and maybe a little Christmas giveaway and it's all needed swatching - now I just need to edit the 300 or so photographs argh! #bloggerproblems 

3. Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream - 30ml

I'm not going to beat around the bush this product isn't cheap - this little pot of moisturiser retails at £50 but there are ways of getting it without spending quite so much - If you're an Elemis fan and you're in the UK, Next Sunday QVC UK will be featuring the big Elemis Christmas Today's Special Value, for £44.96 and postage you'll get a pot of this heavenly cream, a couple more full sized skincare products and around 3 full size body products. That doesn't make sense I hear you cry and you're right based on the RRP of this cream it doesn't but the buying power of QVC means that it's real and it will be happening so if you love this product the kit is well worth buying. Personally though I think it's worth buying whatever the price, I love the smell and the cream, gel texture is perfect for all skin types, it's moisturising without being thick or heavy, and it makes your skin feel like silk.

I love it and so does my Godmother who is 87 - it's brilliant and well worth trying!

4. AVON Senses Mystique Sensual & Romantic Shower Gel - 250ml

I've lost count of how many AVON shower gels that I've bought over the years - They are cheap as chips and a lot of times they actually smell a lot more expensive than what they actually are. This one is a case in point describe as sensual and romantic, it actually reminds me a little bit of a high end fragrance. If you like the original Michael Kors scent this this smells pretty similar. Typically though this particular product appears to have been discontinued but AVON do still seem to sell a Senses Mystique Shower Creme which I assume would have the same scent.

5. Yes To Carrots Nourishing Shampoo Normal To Dry Hair - 500ml*

This was one of the many Yes To products that I reviewed for My Pure - You can read my full review here x It was a winner for me I really liked it and I really enjoyed using it. It was SLS free and it was a nice, creamy gentle shampoo, and although I still can't describe the scent I really liked it. My shampoo mountain is going down very slowly but this is definitely one that I would consider repurchasing. 

So they were Octobers famous five, fingers crossed I can do better in November, and finish a few more items to boost my yearly total in the last couple of months of 2017. If you have any questions on any of the products that I've finished then leave me a comment below x Thanks for reading x


Friday, 27 October 2017

The Colours Of Autumn - Outfit Of The Day / Night

As much as I love fashion, clothes, accessories and shoes, unlike a lot of bloggers I don't really post that many outfits of the day. There are many reasons I guess why I don't do that many ranging from a lack of confidence in front of the camera, to poor body image, and a not very skilled principal photographer (sorry Mummy Lou) but with a big birthday approaching I'm trying to be a bit more accepting of myself and a bit braver all round.

So just before I headed off to Monday night's Intu Eldon Square Fashion Spooktacular, the mother ship kindly shot a few pictures so I could cobble together a very rare outfit of the day post and this was the result...

What I Wore

Joe Browns At Simply Be - Autumn Leaf Wrap Dress
80 Denier Black Opaques - George At Asda 
Madia Tan Buckle Ankle Boots - Dorothy Perkins
Lola Rose Sloane Square Beaded Bracelet - Fire Agate
Olive Wood Wooden Bracelet - Somewhere In Cyprus 

I ordered this dress a few weeks ago now after seeing it on the Simply Be website. Joe Browns don't carry the plus size line on their own website (Why not though? How weird is that??) so I think that this dress is a Simply Be exclusive. It's not hard to see why I ordered it, it's just perfect for this time of year.

In a faux (essential if you're on the curvy side) wrap style, it's made from a stretchy jersey fabric. The dress has a black base which is a perfect foil for the flower and leaf print. Thanks to the brown, yellow, orange, tan, and grey tones, this dress fits perfectly into the traditional Autumnal colour palette, that gets its influence from the changing colours of the leaves and foliage, and those fabulous Autumn sunrises and sunsets.

Outside I teamed it with a black PU bomber jacket, and a black Michael Kors tote bag to tone in with both my holy grail black George opaque tights, and with the background of the dress.

Instead of going for a black boot or shoe though, I teamed this outfit up with one of my favourite pairs of boots, a pair of past season, tan, brown, buckle detail ankle boots from Dorothy Perkins, that coordinate perfectly with the colours on the dress They don't have a huge heel and they aren't too flat either so they're really comfortable which is great when to you need to walk around a bit, as I did on Monday night thanks to a fire alarm. They're quite a classic style so it shouldn't be too hard to find something similar in stores this season. Sticking with the tan theme and thinking of how I can wear the dress in the future I could also potentially wear it with my Clarks Hamble Oak Brogues (see my post here) for a different look.

Because the dress had such a busy and I didn't want to accent my cleavage too much, I decided not to wear a necklace and instead I wore, a bracelet on each wrist. On one wrist I wore a slightly, chunkier stretch bracelet which I got on holiday in Cyprus a few years ago, which is made from a varnished, golden brown toned olive wood, and on the other wrist I wore a Lola Rose bracelet, which I received as a Christmas present a few years ago now. I don''t think it's the easiest one to find anymore but it's the Lola Rose Sloane Square Beaded Bracelet, which originally came from QVC UK and mine is made from Fire Agate,  which with orange and brown tones, again perfectly with the print on the dress.

I know lot of bloggers let their pictures do the talking but you know me I love to talk and I thought it might be nice for you to find out a little bit about the pieces that I wore and why I chose them, even though in most cases here it is down to colour coordination ha ha. I'm really going to try and do more outfits of the day to try and be brave and boost my confidence a bit. Why shouldn't I ? After all human beings do come in all ages, shapes and sizes and we all clothes so if we love clothes we shouldn't we have the confidence to show ourselves off and put ourselves out there. Are you a fan of autumnal tones in clothing, jewellery and accessories? Let me know your thoughts in the comments x 

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Intu Eldon Square Fashion Spooktacular*

I don't know about you but the fact that another month starts next week terrifies me, at the moment I'm really feeling as though life is starting to pass me by! As scary as it seems though, it does mean that we're one step closer to my favourite time of year, Christmas. I love Christmas but strange as it sounds I've heard a few people say that it isn't their favourite time of year. There are loads of reasons I guess why that could be, but a lot of people seem to to prefer another holiday or special day and for that reason a certain day next week is their favourite day of the year, What am I talking about? Well Halloween of course!

I must admit that as an adult I can take Halloween or I can leave it, I carve a pumpkin, and get sweets ready for the trick or treaters but I can honestly say that I don't get that excited about it any more. I think I was more a fan of it as a child, with my bin bag costume, my hollowed out turnip and my witches hat but Halloween has come on a long way since then, and maybe that's why some many adults get so excited about it and dress up and decorate their homes as if it was Christmas.

When things become popular understandably retailers jump on the band waggon and play a role in creating the hype. Look in any store or online and the words Glamourween, Do Horror In Style, Hauntingly Beautiful or Scream Queens will jump out at you as retailers promote their Halloween themed fashion, accessories and home ware.

Is that a bad thing? No not my eyes I'm all for people having fun, and whether you're a fan of all things spooky or not, and you live in the North East, take my advice and head to Intu Eldon Square over the next few days to get both some spooky home and fashion advice, and some fashion hints and tips for the Autumn and Winter seasons ahead

On Monday night, myself and a small, select group of North East bloggers were invited down to Intu Eldon Square to experience everything that the Fashion Spooktacular has to offer and to experience a little bit of what's going to be going on over the next few days.

Conveniently sited near to New Look, Debenhams, and Dorothy Perkins, Intu have created their very own spooky themed walk in capsule wardrobe. Step inside and you'll find rails of clothing featuring some of the seasons key fashion and accessory trends from stores throughout Eldon Square including Adidas, Top Shop, and Oasis, intermingled with Halloween themed accessories, such as masks and hats from the likes of Claires, Accessorize and Ann Summers, and even some Halloween home items including pumpkins, wreaths and even black cats.

With Halloween themed music including Thriller by Michael Jackson, Black Magic By Little Mix, and of course the Time Warp from Rocky Horror playing in the background, we started off the evening as bloggers do with some food and drink and some lovely paella, tapas and sangria, courtesy of Tapas Revolution which is now open in the centre new Grey's Quarter.

Then clutching our sangria and day of the dead, skull themed plates we then had the opportunity to get some seasonal themed style advice.

Over the next three days, the team from Intu Eldon Square will be giving you the opportunity to attend their fashion spooktacular and get not only some Halloween style advice but also some more general autumn and winter fashion tips. There are three workshops a day and they are free to attend.

27th and 29th October 2017

11.30am - Creepy Crawly Homeware 

How to achieve the chicest Halloween home

1.30pm - How To Pick A Wicked Winter Coat

Explore some of the seasons key outerwear trends and find out the style advice your need to pick your own perfect winter coat

3.30pm Autumn Winter Capsule Wardrobe Wizardry 

Personal style advice on to pick on trend pieces that can be paired together to maximise your look in the seasons ahead

28th October 2017

11.30am - How To Pick A Wicked Winter Coat

1.30pm Our Top Ten Must Have Autumn / Winter Items

Showcasing some of the key pieces for Autumn / Winter 2017 including boots, statement t-shirts and knits

3.30pm - Scarily Good Halloween Costume Ideas

Tips on how to find and create the chicest Halloween costumes, and well as fun costume ideas for the little ones.

All of the styling sessions and workshops will held by a member of the style team and if you're lucky enough you might get to meet the Fashion Fortune Teller herself, or as she's known in real life Emma, you can find all about Emma and what she does on her own website Stylissimo and let me tell you this lady knows her stuff. She is an image consultant and personal shopper, a fashion blogger and writer and she is also a personal and commercial stylist and she is going to be on hand to answer all of you fashion and style questions over the next few days. 

On the night Emma told us a little bit about the workshops and what exactly each one covers before giving us a taster of the Scarily Good Halloween Costume Ideas session. Yes I know you can go out and buy a costume off the peg but surely there are more glamorous ways to create a Halloween fashion statement? 

Well, there are and Emma gave us some great hints and tips on how to create a chic Halloween look by taking some clothing pieces from some of the stores in the centre and teaming them with cute Halloween themed accessories, and make up sets to create some both fun and stylish looks.

I'm all for versatility when it comes my wardrobe, and although it doesn't look like as times, I do try to shop carefully and consider things like cost per wear when I choosing more expensive pieces, so her advice was perfect for my way of thinking. Whilst a lot of the pieces could be worn as part of a stylish Halloween ensemble, a lot of them could also be dressed down or worn casually or they could even be recycled and used as Christmas party outfits, by changing how you wear them and by changing your accessories. She showed us some beautifully pieces but I fell head over heels in love with this black velvet kimono style jacket from River Island. You can't see it too clearly here but it's covered in pearls and beading and whilst it would look great over a plain black dress you could also dress it down and wear it over jeans and a statement t-shirt, it also comes in the River Island Curve range too which is a bonus.

As I seem to have said quite a lot recently I do love a blog and press events, but the ones that really stand out to me are when you actually get to do something, be it try a new product, learn a new skill, or get really involved in some way and as result the next part of the night was right up my street.

The team from Intu Eldon Square had teamed up with several of the centres stores to set myself and my fellow bloggers some challenges, either individually or in pairs, so after being handed a envelope with our names on, we all went our separate ways, some of us were making bath bombs in Lush, one blogger had an Urban Decay makeover, some went to eat, and some us went to stores such as John Lewis and Top Shop, to create seasonal themed home ware settings and seasonal outfits.

I was paired up with the lovely Laura, and we headed to Dorothy Perkins, where we were asked to create a Christmas party outfit with shoes and accessories with a budget of £100. I'm not going to lie I let Laura take the lead, I love her style, and some of things that she wears, so it was interesting to see how she puts an outfit together. We decided to go for something just that little bit different, sequins, glitter and sparkle are brilliant and they have their place but we went for something that you could actually wear again either together or as separate pieces on a day to day basis. We teamed a khaki (that's what it says online but it's really a vintage, bottle green) Pu mini skirt up with an oriental design, statement print bardot style top, and then picking out some of the colours in the top, we chose a pair of burgundy Mary Jane style, suede effect heels, and a black patent clutch to mix up the textures a bit, and then we finished the look with a pair of long black tassel earrings to compliment the oriental feel, and the off the shoulder top.

It was good fun not only experiencing how somebody else looks at clothing but also because we had a chance to have a good look around the store and believe me they have a lot of things in at the moment that I want!

After snapping a few pics and saying thank you to the team at Dorothy Perkins we headed back to the Fashion Spooktacular zone to compare our experiences with Emma and our fellow bloggers. The next part of the evening and the next thing that the team at Intu had treated us to was a potion cocktail experience at The Alchemist, which is a popular cocktail bar and restaurant which is  also located in Greys Quarter. Unfortunately due to my reliance on public transport on the night I had to pass, and headed home with my arms laden with goodies, including this beautiful flower arrangement / bouquet from Katherines Florists.

Apologies that this photo is taken in the amazing surroundings of Eldon Square Bus Station but I was paranoid that it wouldn't last the journey, thankfully though it did, and now both myself and my mum are getting the chance to enjoy the beautiful autumnal toned flowers and foliage. I'm particularly loving the orange Physalis that remind of little pumpkins.

We also received a lovely day of the dead, sugar skull themed loot bag full of goodies including Halloween themed sweets, a brooch from Tiger, a notepad from Accessorize, a NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream, a Lush Butterball Ballistic make up samples from Urban Decay and Inglot, and discount vouchers from Burtons, Dorothy Perkins, and Monsoon, a makeover voucher for Inglot and we were also very kindly gifted an Intu gift card which I will be putting to good use soon, what will I buy though decisions, decisions!

I'd like to say a huge thank you to Intu Eldon Square for hosting the event, on what was a very trying evening with fire alarms and what not, I also want to thank Emma, and the team from Tapas Revolution, and of course Dorothy Perkins and all of the other retailers involved. If you're in Newcastle over the next few days I would definitely recommend that you pop into Intu Eldon Square, and take advantage of the Fashion Spooktacular and get your self some style tips, for the season ahead. You can find out more about the Fashion Spooktacular and what Intu Eldon Square has to offer on their official website. Any questions please leave me a comment and I will see you tomorrow with a very rare outfit post x 

*Blog Press / Event 
  Some Photographs Kindly Provided By Intu Eldon Square