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.

Advertisements

Topshop Lipstick Haul

Hey Sweeties,

In my efforts to be totally prepared and ready for autumn when I plan to really champion the lipstick, it seems only right that I ensure I have an adequate collection to last the season. So, with that in mind while I was mooching about town the other day, I ventured into Topshop to take a look at their products. I don’t really shop in their usually but I have noticed that I see the odd bit of their make-up appear in magazines, blogs etc. so I figured I should check it out for myself.

Fortunately Topshop do a 2 for £12 offer on their make-up so I ended up with four new lipsticks in total which without the offer would have cost me £34! Quite a lot of money to be honest but with the offer it came in at a more purse friendly £24. I selected four shades –The Damned, Depth, Nevada and Wicked.

Topshop lipsticks

Topshop Lipsticks

Wicked, Nevada, Depth, The Damned

Wicked is a beautiful burgundy red and has become a real favourite of mine. It’s both a pop of colour and something suiting when you want a bit of depth to your make-up look so for autumn it will be great. It also has real staying power! I think this colour got released either as part of the promotion for the film Maleficent (which I have still yet to see), or it just got very conveniently released at the same time? My mind fails me, apologies but that is how I was initially made aware of both the shade and another reason I was interested to try out the make-up from Topshop.

2014-09-04 15.02.00

Nevada is a lovely peachy nude and The Damned is a pinky purple. I picked this one up because I needed a fourth colour to round off the offer so it’s not a colour I think I’ll wear a lot of but it’s never the less a good shade to have in my collection. My other favourite asides from Wicked, is Depth. It almost looks black on appearance before it is applied to lips but it’s actually a very dark purple; very gothic and I just love it. I am excited to see how often I’ll be able to pull this off over the next few months.

Not sure this really worked... but you get the idea

Not sure this really worked… but you get the idea

I quite like the distinctive packaging of Topshop lipsticks, of course they don’t look like a luxury item but for high street I think they look great and I particularly like how the lid gives a satisfying ‘click’ when it connects to the rest of the product. The four of them look great on my dresser and I think in future I would definitely purchase from the Topshop make-up range again.

Man, make-up is addictive…

 

Until next time x

A Beautiful Wedding / Sweetie Rocks a Jumpsuit

Hey Sweeties,

Last weekend Ian and I ventured down to Devon for the much-anticipated wedding of our good friends Mark and Alex. They are a gorgeous couple and really quite quirky and creative in their own personal styles and ideas so I was itching to see how they were going to thread this into their wedding day.

For me, a wedding is the coming together of two families and it saddens me when you go to a wedding and there are little to no personal touches. As a guest, I like to see where they have come from and visually experience their personalities in all the elements of the day or at least where possible. Of course, not everyone is creative but I think even the most un-imaginative of people can pull something out of the bag on their wedding day.

The wedding of Mark and Alex was beautiful and oh my so them. The venue and day overall was wrapped in their tastes, their ideas and ultimately, it sang of them as a couple. A few days before while out on a walk with Ian I literally bored him stupid with all my predictions of what I think the day will be like and to be honest, I was pretty close on many of them. Although I don’t know Mark and Alex really well, I have a pretty good feel for how they are individually so things like Alex’s dress, I was correct in that it would be mermaid-esk whereby it was slimming until the bottom where it fanned out. Just gorgeous! Alex also wore a beautiful headpiece rather than a veil and Mark in true form opted for a chequered suit and gold shoes –sounds horrendous when I write it but honestly, it was fabulous!

The ceremony and reception were both held at the venue (Colehayes Park, Bovey Tracy). Although I am a Devon girl I was unfamiliar with the place but it was stunning; a big beautiful house set amongst several acres of land. There was a long winding driveway and on arrival we were greeted at the door by one of the ushers and prompted to walk through to the garden at the back. After a short amount of mingling and a drink or two, to our surprise we were told to walk to the bottom of the garden for the ceremony –yes, an outdoors ceremony! Behind an arched hedge were several rows of hay bales and at the front, a cute little covered stand/structure… words fail me today but to describe it basically it was like a mini bandstand, very much like what you would find in a park but smaller. Flowers decorated the front.

Of course the bride ran a bit fashionably late but who wouldn’t? With five bridesmaids and a gorgeous and impeccably well-behaved flower girl before her, Alex glided down the isle to meet her groom. The ceremony was tailored to them completely and following the I-do’s we had champagne, canapés and oysters (yes, really) in the garden before eventually being lead into a marquee for the wedding breakfast and reception.

Rather than let you in on all the elements of the day and give away all their clever and beautiful personal touches and ideas, I will include some photos to speak the rest of the words that I will refrain from writing. What I will say on a final note is that regular readers of this blog will be aware that a couple of months ago I wrote a post highlighting my quest for a jumpsuit. Well, albeit leaving it to the last moment of summer, I found a jumpsuit and rocked it at the wedding! Boom!

Enjoy!

Malex weddingMalex wedding 

Malex wedding

Man & Wife

Man & Wife

Malex wedding

Just totally in awe of how beautiful Alex looked!

 Malex weddingMalex weddingMalex weddingMalex wedding

Trying my first oyster!

Trying my first oyster!

Malex wedding

Lovely bottle each of Jagermeister!

Candles lined all along the tables

Candles lined all along the tables

10464244_582484078551527_681361112999449144_n

Until next time x

Hockey Dinner Dance

Hey Sweeties,

How are we all?  Good weekend?

A problem I have today my lovelies and I am sure fellow bloggers have been in my exact predicament, you go to the effort of documenting the getting ready process to then walk out the door without capturing the finished look! Doh! *Slaps head*

On Saturday night it was the end of season hockey dinner dance and it was a cracker of a night, really thoroughly enjoyable! Aside from being surrounded by fantastic company, between courses awards were handed out and I was delighted to be called up to accept the trophy for Ladies 4’s Player of the Year! Amazing considering this is my first season back playing since secondary school and with the club. Really bloody chuffed!

So, with a night such as this, planning and preparation was essential beginning of course with a face mask…

This is my first mask from Lush, I got bored with those crappy ones from packets -you never get all of the stuff out and they don’t feel that satisfying- so when I was last in the Lush shop, as well as picking out a couple of bath bombs I ventured over to the masks and got encouraged to pick ‘Brazened Honey’ by one of the staff.

It all begins with a face mask!

It all begins with a face mask!

Exfoliating, stimulating and nourishing mask for tired skins. Fresh fruits are blended with warming Ayurvedic herbs and spices, ground almonds to polish and moisturising honey. Leaves your skin vibrant and revitalised”

I really liked it and I am definately encouraged to try more Lush masks in the future!

 

…Then make up!

Dinner dance makeup sized

 

 

 

 

 

Some of the products you’ll have seen before in an earlier post of mine but here is what I used to create my make-up look that night:

1. Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer, no.2 (medium) 2. Mac Studio Sculpt Foundation SPF 15 3. Mac Mineralize Shin Finish, Medium 4. Rimmel Bronzer, 022 Sun Bronze 5. BeautyBox Highlighter 6. Rimmel Blusher, 050 Soft Pink 7. Get Real Benefit Mascara 8. NYC eyeshadow 907 (used on brows) 9 & 10. Bourjois Color Edition 24H, 6802 (metalic silver) 6902 (metalic purple) 11. Burt’s Bees lip balm, pomegranate 12. Bourjois Lip Stick, Rouge Edition, 02 Beige Trench 13. Clarins Eau des Jardins perfume

 

Bourjois Color EditionThis is a closer look of the Bourjois Color Edition 24H (cream to powder texture).

They are really good and lasted all night. Lately I haven’t been wearing eye shadow as much, if at all really as my lids started to get a bit itchy with the eye shadows I used to wear from the 17 range which is a shame as I loved them but perhaps I need to find something a bit more suiting to sensitive skin? (suggestions?). Anyway, along with the lipstick these 2 items came with my Bourjois gift set that I mentioned a while back as part of taking out a subscription with Company Magazine. I am really impressed with them! I applied the silver across my lids as a base colour then I blended in the purple into my crease and corners, it looked really effective!

Bourjois Rouge Edition Initially I thought I would be wearing a darker, more reddy colour lipstick but having tried this one earlier in the day just to see how it felt, I really liked it. It lasted well and was relatively moisturising so my lips never felt dried out which some lipsticks I have found do after a while.

I was hoping to also do something a bit more exciting with my hair but in spending too long faffing about, I ran out of time. I really fancied trying to create one of those hair bows but trying to create it for the first time and in a rush was obviously never going to succeed! However, I will endeavor to still give it a go and I will post the results…

Instead I spritzed L’Oreal Txt hair spray into it which gave my hair an amazing volumising look, I love big hair and the spray really helped achieve this. Of course by the end of the night though my hair was tied up out of my face while I partied away. Man, I love a good disco!

Ta Da! Using the wall to prop me up as standard!

Ta Da! Using the wall to prop me up as standard!

 

Buying Houses Part 1: Trying to beat the Alphabet

Houses

Hi Sweeties,

Man, I am a stressed and emotional bunny right now (send hugs & chocolate!)

In life the three most stressful things you can do are: buying a house, getting married, and I’m going to probably take a guess with having children… as I am not yet engaged (emphasis on the yet) or with child I am going to talk about buying houses…. Or not as so far is the case.

As you’ll be well aware, Ian and I are searching for our dream pad, actually that’s a lie, we have found some houses that could easily have become our dream pad but unfortunately, so has everyone else and they have succeeded. Currently we are searching for House D as so far we have lost out on House A, B & C to other people for varying reasons. I remain hopeful (although this is sometimes a challenge) that we find and get an offer accepted before we get to House Z otherwise we’ll have run out of letters of the alphabet!

Let’s just get one thing very straight, now is the most stupidest time to try and buy a house. The market is totally in favour of sellers who are putting their houses up for sale and on for money that is in most cases way over their actual value. The really stupid thing is that people are paying these stupid prices. One of the core reasons this is the case is because of the Government’s Help to Buy Scheme which has allowed first timers to approach buying their first house with only a 5% deposit. Aside from the fact that this has now clogged the market of buyers all going for a limited amount of properties, I actually do think this is a good scheme as it gives people more options and owing to how house-buying obsessed we are in the UK, the opportunity to do so has been opened up to more (younger) people.

Buying your first house is an incredibly exciting prospect and undertaking but my golly is it stressful, I am now even crying at property programmes (yes, really)! It’s been unfortunate that after each submitted offer we have had to wait a while to find out the outcome so for days (even weeks in one case) you just find yourself glued to the phone waiting for that precious phone call for it to just never happen.

Kirstie and Phil have a lot to answer for, I have watched hours and hours of Location, Location, Location and they make purchasing a house look so simple. Participants get the searching done for them, shown a core selection, take a second viewing of the one(s) they like, decide which one they want and over a coffee or a pint their offer is submitted and in most cases, accepted shortly after. In the market currently, getting a viewing is a challenge, having a selection to choose from is unlikely owing to the previous point and a second viewing is definitely not a possibility, you need to decide fast! You’ll also be probably one of several putting an offer on the table and the sellers either selfishly hold out for more, take ages to decide or (understandably) choose the people in the best position. Call me strange, but that isn’t always the people who are actually in the best position. Saying that, Location Location Location is a cracking programme and as soon as applications open for the next series I am first in the queue!

The next thing I am going to put out there, Sweeties is that Estate Agents are complete shits! Without offending anyone (although I appreciate I might have just done so) that’s all I will say on the matter. If you are in the same situation as me then you will know exactly what I mean and if you are an Estate Agent reading this then you will also know exactly what I mean and realise that you and your colleagues have a lot to prove to a vast majority of the nation (*shakes fist*).

So why am I trying to buy a house in what I have deemed to be the most stupid time to try and do so? Well, if it was up to me I wouldn’t, a woman would not have planned it this way but now I’m in amongst it, Boyfriend and I have to keep going and hope that before we get to Z we have found the house that has in fact, been waiting for us all along.

Until next time Sweeties x

Sweet Friendship

Hey Sweeties,

2014-03-09 13.52.44Apologies I haven’t posted for a couple of weeks, I’ve been incredibly consumed with houses, work and just life really. But the sun is out, spring is here and I’ve just come back from a lovely long walk and ready to blog! Here goes…

So, what’s new? Well… house wise, we thought we found our dream house and over a period of 2.5 weeks we put down an offer, then upped it, and upped it and upped it again to at the last hour get rejected. Nothing more heart breaking! Then, we found another house a couple of days ago and we’ve placed an offer and hopefully we’ll find out the outcome tomorrow, fingers crossed sweeties! I have plans to dedicate a whole post to buying houses so I’ll leave all the juicy details for then 🙂

Spring is here!

Spring is here!

Aside from the anxiety of knowing I have to relocate in a couple of months which for me really is a big deal, February marked 7 years since flying the comfy nest of my family home and going it alone and since then I have moved somewhere completely different every 2 ish years -London, Leeds, Bath, North Hampshire (where I am now) and true to form, I’ll have been here 2 years in May but will be off somewhere else come then… at the moment it looks like Slough! Anyone been or already live there? Advice? So yeah, aside from this moving anxiety, two great things have happened this year, one happened right at the beginning and the second one happened yesterday…

My Best Friend is getting married in 2015 (uber exciting!!) and just after Christmas (I think?) she asked me the most amazing thing a best friend could be asked… would I be Maid of Honour? Of course I would!! Prior to this I offered and commited to designing her Save the Date and wedding invites, partly as my contribution to the wedding (pre Maid of Honour) and partly so that I am building experience and my portfolio in design work (why not eh?). I can’t wait to help her create and bring to life her dream wedding and be right be her side at the alter as she becomes a married woman (wow, that actually sounds scary when you say it out loud!).

The second incredibly exciting thing is that another very close friend of mine who is otherwise affectionately known as ‘Wifey’, had an utterly gorgeous baby boy last summer. I have had a few friends give birth to bundles of joy in the last couple of years but (without offending the others) Wifey’s little boy is an amazing baby, he’s just so happy and cuddly and brilliant! So, quite out of the blue yesterday afternoon Wifey called me up and was like, “would you (me) be God Mother?” AHHHHHHHH, couldn’t be more honoured and I can’t believe that I have been so blessed with this responsibility! *Wipes away happy tear* Bring on the Christening and a lifetime of watching this little baby turn into a young man and beyond and being there to support him all the way!

One big thing that has really suffered or rather, I have had to sacrifice as part of moving around (did I mention pre flying the nest I had attended 4 Primary schools, 1 Secondary and lived in 6 houses across a variety of locations in the UK?!) is that I have made friends and then upped and left them time and time again. I am incredibly fortunate in that I have a small handful of very valued friendships but none of them know each other, and none of them live near me. This of course opens opportunity for fun days out and trips with each of them when we catch up but a quick drink down the pub or a nice dinner one evening is a no no which I desperately miss. It’s this lack of socialisation that brings me down some of the time as like I have said previously in an earlier post, Ian is great and the phone is always there but it’s not the same as regular face to face conversation. So, despite all this, to be in a position as I am today where I am Maid of Honour and a new God Mother is a tremendous feeling of love and emotion. It actually just shows that you don’t have to be living next door to your friends for them to still consider you so highly as to involve you so intimately with very important areas of their lives. I really do truly feel blessed.

Until next time, Sweeties xx

Friends forever