ClaireySweetie Has Moved!

Hey Sweeties,

So it’s just occurred to me that you guys are probably unaware that I have moved… to my own domain! A couple of weeks ago I spontaneously took the plunge and self-hosted my site. I can now be found at www.claireysweetie.com

In doing this, I have learnt that WordPress hasn’t got a plugin to show how many followers I have and I am not entirely sure that existing followers see my new blog in their feed?? In response to this, I would probably suggest you follow me on Bloglovin as this from what I can tell, still functions as normal.

I would love to get some feedback about my new site so please do join me over there and let me know your thoughts!

xxxxxxx

Wedding Planning 101: Gathering Ideas

Getting wedding ideas

Hey Sweeties,

Thinking I only needed to post one apology on here which I did last week thinking I was about to get myself back on track, another week has past and I am not all that nearer to getting back on schedule with writing and uploading posts –sorry! In my defence (and you’ll appreciate more why in a moment), wedding planning becomes this all-consuming thing and I am also a couple of weeks away from setting off on Trek America so my mind really is everywhere except here right now. Again, sorry.

While I don’t want to disclose too much about my big day on here (for reasons I am sure you all understand), I still want to talk about some elements of it and weddings overall, particularly where I can share some cool ideas I have found.

So far, we have a date (next spring so really rather soon!) and we have booked the ceremony and reception venue and while the legal aspects are covered (so we are definitely getting hitched!), the reception venue is still a totally blank canvas!

I want to achieve that balance of where the day is a lovely experience for those attending, including ourselves obviously, but in equal measure I don’t want Ian and I to get lost in it and for the actual meaning of the day to disappear underneath guest entertainment and unnecessary fancy features.

So, ideas gathering!  Continue reading

Recently I have been Reading…

Hey Sweeties,

Firstly, let’s get something straight, when I say ‘recently’ I don’t literally mean in the last month or so, this post really is a few of my reads over the past year… ish.

Not that Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham

I’ll be honest, I haven’t really got on board with the Girls (HBO) bandwagon yet; it’s simply not something I have got around to however, Lena Dunham is though very much on my radar and why I was so keen to get a copy of her book.

So what do I think? Overall I really enjoyed it and there were many parts in which I sat and giggled to myself as for a few things she was so on point and things I totally knew what she was describing. Also however, the book in places was not comfortable reading and it was sad to read about some of her sexual encounters and her anxiety but for the most part I loved how blunt she was about it all. She tells it like it is and anyone who can do that well has my respect.

If you like her, I would definitely recommend this book. If you don’t, ultimately it would come down to your reading style and tatses as to whether this would be enjoyable for you.

Eat, Love, Pray by Liz Gilbert

This is the second time I have read this book but something made me want to revisit it which I don’t often get with books save for the odd few.

Desperate in Dubai by Ameera Al Hakawati

This isn’t the sought of book I would usually pick up but as a lover of Eastern Culture and Dubai being somewhere I have wanted to visit for a very long time, I was compelled to give this book a go. Although I read chick lit, I hate really girlie characters and stories where it’s all men and sex, and where the main female character(s) hasn’t got her shit together (and this applies in films also). Desperate in Dubai kind of balanced between being the sought of book that I found irritating and something that from time to time, I couldn’t put down. I really liked how the lives/stories of the four main female characters came together and the end of the book definitely had my heart beating in anticipation of what was about to unfold. What I didn’t like though was the constant need by the author to brand everything, I appreciate that it was often done in context but it did quite soon get annoying and I simply didn’t need that level of detail attached to a description of something.

My Top Five Tips for Uni

Hey Sweeties,

With Freshers across the country about to embark on University and three years of undergraduate study, I thought I would share my top five tips for University. Here goes…

Graduation

1. Be organised
A great opportunity and excuse for an epic stationary haul! You need notepads, pens, a wall planner and I would also recommend a small diary to jot down your lecture times and any fun socials to carry with you. Unless of course you do are someone who manages their life through various apps and online calendars, then of course do that instead. I can’t cope with disorganised people; if you’re old enough to leave home, you’re old enough to get a handle on where you need to be at certain times of the day and week.

2. Join a club or society
Without going all Pitch Perfect on you (which is a great film by the way), there are so many benefits to joining a club or society during your time at Uni that goes far beyond just meeting people. Depending on where you are going, I can almost guarantee that there is a club for everything and if there isn’t, start one! While at Uni myself, I joined the Equestrian Society and in my 2nd & 3rd years became Vice President then President –this definitely isn’t for everyone but if you’re someone that likes to get involved then getting yourself elected onto a club or society committee can be a lot of fun and looks great on your CV.

3. Get acquainted with the University library & Second-hand Book Shops
This sounds quite geeky but honestly, if you want to do well, you need to keep up with all the suggested reading and academic books can be very expensive, particularly on a student budget. The University library will stock everything and if they don’t, they can either purchase it or borrow it themselves from somewhere for you but they won’t know to do this unless they know what you and your course mates need. Also, I can’t recommend finding out which local second-hand book shops and charity shops stock academic books. Of course you won’t find everything you need but you’ll be surprised what crops up with regular scouting.

4. Budget
Unless you’re fortunate enough to have parents that can afford your course fees, rent and general living fees during your time at university, you’re going to be heavily relying on a student loan and more than likely, a part-time job to keep you afloat. I actually think this only adds to your University experience as although you’re not quite in the real world yet, you’re preparing well for it and learning how to manage your money. You’ll also fairly swiftly realise that you would rather put you well-earned cash to something more than just propping up the bar in the Students Union.

5. Enjoy Yourself!
You won’t get this time again in your life so make the most of it –study hard so you have something to show for your time there afterwards, but also ensure you get out, join clubs and socialise so you can meet people and share in new experiences.

If you are about to head off to University for the first time, good luck! If you’ve already been like I have, what are your top tips?

Until next time x

Look Fantastic Beauty Box: August

Hey Sweeties,

Another post, another apology but if you read this post (here), you’ll know why everything went a bit crazy last week and why I am posting this review a bit later than expected; the September box’s arrival being imminent. Hey ho!

Moving on. The August box is probably my favourite so far as I was beginning to get a bit frustrated with the contents of previous boxes but I think this is always the risk with beauty boxes; while they’re a great opportunity to try new brands, how many new brands do you really need to try, particularly if it’s the same types of products over and over?

August Look Fantastic Box

L-R bottom: bellapierre Cosmetics Shimmer Powder; Alterna Haircare, Caviar CC Cream; Beauty Works 10-in-1 Miracle Spray

L-R top: Eve Lom Cleanser; Rimmel Wonder’Full Wake Me Up Mascara; Omorovicza Budapest Queen of Hungary Mist.

Rimmel Wonder'full Mascara

I was so excited to see this Rimmel Wonder’Full Wake Me Up mascara in the box, the packaging is stunning and it was the first product I tried. Unfortunately, while its not terrible, it’s not the best and certainly nothing that’s going to make me convert from Maybelline’s Lash Sensational mascara as it doesn’t achieve the definition or hold a curl like my current favourite does. I also really dislike the size and shape of the applicator which is most of the problem I think and was the main element that made my heart sink when I opened it for the first time. What is different about this mascara though, is the waft of cucumber you get when you open it and that’s not something I have experienced previously.

I was pleased to see the Eve Lom Summer Ready Complexion Cleanser, although I am unfamiliar with the brand, I enjoy finding new cleansers and this one is (or feels) really oil based and on application, you can really feel it working but it doesn’t -for me- melt off my makeup in the same way The Body Shop’s Camomile Cleansing Butter does. Again this isn’t a flaw as makeup is still removed, but I am just throwing it out there for a comparison as for me, the one I currently use for that really deep feeling cleanse is hard to beat.

10-in-1 Miracle spray

I have really enjoyed using the two hair products in this month’s box -the Beauty Works 10-in-1 Miracle spray and the Caviar CC Cream but of the two the one from Beauty Works is my favourite as it contains Argan, Linen Seeds and Macadamia oils so my hair feels super nourished after using. The only thing I would say against it though is that it’s not really a spray, there is a pump which you use to dispense product from it into your hand, to then apply into your hair, so you don’t (and can’t) spray as the name and description would suggest. But this genuinely is a minor flaw against all the other perks.

I have yet to try the bellapierre Cosmetics shimmer powder as although it looks gorgeous, it looks very shimmery so not something suitable for the daytime I feel, or at least for work. The Omorovicza Budapest Queen of Hungary Mist is also something I haven’t tried a lot of yet but first impressions are good and something I’ll continue to use and try out.

Have you guys tried anything in this box?

Until next time x

My Perfect Creative Space

Hey Sweeties,

While I am still in the midst of wedding excitement and planning gradually picking up pace, humming in the background is the house that, in the 13 months we have owned it, is still very much in a state of cosmetic development. I know what I like but interior design is a very personal thing and not something I have really tackled until now, developing my ideas as I go along.

While I love how visually, minimalist living looks beautiful, I for one like stuff which of course has its flaws, but I love rooms full of books, pictures on the walls and furniture, wallpaper and fabrics that create texture amongst the odd trinket, vases of flowers and such like. For a workspace though, I am all about storage and simplicity –I like to have things around me that inspire creativity and ideas, but I can’t work in clutter which is currently the state of the spare room/study and next on my list to attack.

So with that in mind, inspired by WeWork, a co-working company that builds communities to empower people to do what they love by creating beautiful co-working spaces across the US, Europe and Israel, I want to make my own beautiful space, right here in my home. I thought I would pull together my dream wish list for my ideal work space, with a view that it might encourage me to get on and actually make it happen for myself.

Creative work space

Continue reading

The Most Amazing Weekend

Hey Sweeties,

Firstly, apologies for being a bit absent this past week; every now and again you either need a bit of a break or your life takes an exciting turn for the better and everything goes out the window for a bit. The latter is me and if you have seen my Instagram, you’ll already know what I am going to tell you, but even if you have, you’ll want to know the details… so read on my Sweeties.

Last weekend was one I have been looking forward to for months, I mean like since Christmas as Ian for a present bought me tickets to the hockey European Championships which have been taking place all this past week at Lee Valley/Olympic Park. We had tickets to watch three men’s games on Sunday, followed by an overnight stay at the Malmaison hotel in London.

Unfortunately, on arrival into London the heavens absolutely opened like I haven’t seen in a while and typically when I only have a pair of sandals with me. However despite this, the weather cleared for the afternoon to watch the games which was a huge relief! We watched France V Belgium, England V Netherlands and finally, Ireland V Germany and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The final game didn’t finish until quite late so we got back to the hotel probably around 10:30PM but to be honest, my memory of the evening is now a bit of a blur.  Continue reading