Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Pink Parcel - September 2015 Review

September's Pink Parcel hasn't failed to disappoint me, yet again. For those of you that haven't read any of my other blog posts relating to Pink Parcel, it is a monthly subscription box that contains sanitary products, sweet treats and also beauty treats.


This month the box has changed - it now includes a few panty liners and a feminine hygiene product by SASS. They have also expanded their range to include the brands Bodyform and Lil-lets. Due to these changes, the cost is now £12.99 per month, however I received a discount code to keep the price the same until the end of the year.

Here's the details of what I got in my box.



1. U by Kotex Click tampons x25 - these are the same as I usually get. These are my favourite brand of tampons, so I'll be sticking with them.Due to my huge collection I will be getting some sanitary towels next month - I like the way that you can swap brands each month to keep topping up different products.

2.SASS Intimate Purifying Cleanser 100ml - this retails at £7 from Boots. It contains a special probiotic ingredient and is designed to keep you fresh and balanced. I've never used a product like this before, but I will definitely start to now.


Yummy treats include:


3. Novus Persian Pomegranate Tea - this is £3.50 for a pack of 12 on the Novus website. It is an antioxidant fruity tea which includes hibiscus, apple, blackberry, liquorice root and pomegranate petals. I'm not a big fan of liquorice, but will try it to see how it is as all of the other ingredients sound delicious!


4. Doisy and Dam Date and Himalayan Pink Salt Chocolate Bar - this is £1.75 on the Doisy and Dam website. I love this brand (only tried through Pink Parcel) and so I'm always happy to receive chocolate from this brand - and I can say that this one was delicious as always. They have very unique flavours that I wouldn't usually buy from a shop, and so it's always great to receive. Also, I love the cute packaging!

Beauty Treats include: 



Now onto my favourite part...

5. LipGlam Natural Lanolin Lip Balm - worth £9.99 on the LipGlam website. I had already recieved this in a previous box, therefore was a bit disappointed to receive the same thing again - I wouldn't of minded quite so much if it was the same brand but a different product. It is however a really great product and really does moisturise well. It can be quite hard to get out of the tube and so it needs warming up slightly before using (especially during winter!). Lanolin is 100% natural and it is actually extracted from a sheep's fleece after shearing.

6. Bubble T Bath & Shower Jelly, Summer Fruits Tea - £4 at Superdrug. This product is AMAZING. It smells incredible - raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and white tea - and it is very thick and lathers well, therefore is perfect. The website looks great too, and I'd already received some lemongrass and green tea bath bombs in a previous parcel, therefore I was happy to get a different product from this brand this month.

7. Bourjois Full Volume Mascara (Dark Kohl) - £9 at Boots. I'm a big fan of both Bourjois and mascara, therefore I was really happy to receive this. I haven't tried this yet, as I'm still using another one from Pink Parcel, but I'm confidant this it will be a good one!

8. Halo Eye make-up remover pads x30 - £1.50 from Superdrug. You can never have too many make-up remover pads, and so I was happy with these. They will be ideal for travelling/visiting friends due to the small packaging.

9. This Material Culture Arrow Pendant Necklace - worth £5. I really like this necklace, and it was great to receive something a bit different. However, I wouldn't want to receive jewellery products every month.

Overall there were a lot of great products this month, and they all total up to far more than I paid for the box (£9.99), therefore I'm very happy! My favourite products from the box are the bath jelly and mascara. I'm already looking forward to next month.



 

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Travelling around Malta

Last week I went on a work trip to Malta as a lot of our clients are based there, and although we had a lot of meetings booked, we still had chance to enjoy the sunshine whilst we could!

Here are a few photo's that I took during my stay there. 




On the first night I stayed at The Palace hotel in Sliema. This is a 5* hotel with a gorgeous view of the whole of Malta from the rooftop. It also has an infinity pool which is an added bonus (photographs above)! This is the best hotel that I've stayed in at Malta so I'd definitely recommend it - the food and room were both lovely, and the location was perfect too.



The above images are from the North of Malta, where we visited a lovely beach to watch the sunset. As you can see, we were lucky as the sunset was beautiful and it was just really relaxing to sit on the beach until it got dark - pretty good way to end a day!



The above two images show the view from our apartment which was at Tigne Seafront. You can see Valletta, the main tourist attraction in Malta with it's Baroque architecture and St. John's Cathedral of which you can see in the photograph. This was a lovely view to wake up to.



Along with client meetings, I also ate a lot of amazing food, such as that pictured above which was at a Greek restaurant in the north of Malta.

September is a great time to visit Malta - the temperature was around 32 degrees Celsius - so it was very warm and had a little breeze (but still very humid). Malta is a great place to visit as a holiday destination and hopefully I'll be doing more trips like this in the near future :)

If you want to see some more photographs of different area's of Malta, then you can read one of my past blog posts here from a different trip.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Iris Apfel on Fashion


 Image credits: The Guardian

With the Iris Apfel documentary being released recently, I thought it was relevant to do a post about her. I came across Iris Apfel when doing a project for Leeds University in 2011, and I ended up basing a lot of my project around her, so, it's fair to say that I'm a big fan!

It's not just her fashion and style that I love, but it's more about her attitude to life that I find really inspiring. She doesn't care what people think, and I definitely wish that I was more like that.

 Image credits: The Guardian

At 93, Apfel has become the leading ambassador for the fashion of chance - she is all about improvising, and for Apfel, getting dressed is like a creative act where you can be playful and go as wild as you would like to. She layers clothes and costume jewellery together in a way that not many people would, but that's the thing that makes her so unique and special.

Apfel actually became an 'It girl' far before I came across her - it was back in 2005, during her eighties. It is quite clear that she has travelled far and wide, as her clothes and jewellery is so ethnic and is clearly collected from everywhere that she travels, including fabrics and art.

Here are some wise words from Apfel, as discussed in The Guardian:

1. Accessories are everything.
2. Denim can be remarkable.
3. Fabulousness begins at home.
4. Your vocabulary can be chic, too.
5. Pretty is overrated.
6. Fashion takes effort.

Currently Apfel is working on a jewellery and handbag collection, of which I can't wait to see. I can't say that I'd be daring enough to be like her, or wear what she does, but I'm definitely a big fan of her and I admire people that are like her. I can't wait to see the documentary!




The photographs above are the final result of my project, of which actually won myself a work placement at the M&S head office, resulting in being offered a job as a fashion designer. The project was based around creating a styling concept in line with M&S, and I took a lot of inspiration from Iris Apfel as you can see, with the bold, colourful and ethical approach.

Monday, 7 September 2015

Flamingo Candles: September 'The Melt Crowd' Review



It's another month for Flamingo Candles, and it's actually the fourth box that they've released now for the Melt Crowd subscribers, and I can happily say that I've been subscribed right from the start.

This month is my favourite by far - they seem to get better and better each month, but this month is by far the best for me!

Scents include the following:

  • Lemon and Lime Mojito
  • Creme Brulee
  • Jamaican Cafe and Walnut
  • Rose and Marshmallow
  • Earl Grey Tea and Cucumber
  • White Lilac and Rhubarb
  • Grapefruit, orange and lemon peel
  • CIRCUS Candy Floss (new)
The CIRCUS collection is Flamingo Candle's Autumn collection which is released today, featuring four very sweet scents. Doughnuts was released last month (click for my review), and Candy Floss was released this month, both of which smell so delicious that you could almost eat them!

I have started burning white lilac and rhubarb from this set so far, and I love it. I actually love all of these apart from the lemon & lime mojito, purely because I don't really like lemon or lime scents quite so much. My favourites are candy floss, creme brulee and white lilac and rhubarb.

As always, I can't wait to receive next months parcel!


Thursday, 3 September 2015

Simple Recipe: Sauteed Garlic Mushrooms

Garlic mushrooms are a healthy and delicious addition to any meal, and they're one of my favourites as I'm a big fan of garlic!

So here's my very quick and easy recipe on how to make them.

Ingredients

- Button mushrooms.
- Parsley.
- Garlic granules.
- Salt.
- Pepper.



Recipe

1. Clean the mushrooms and trim off stalks.

2. Heat olive oil in a large pan and add the mushrooms and garlic granules. Saute over high heat whilst stirring, until the mushrooms have absorbed all of the oil in the frying pan.

3. Reduce heat to low. When the juices have come out of the mushrooms, increase the heat again and saute for 4-5 minutes whilst stirring, until the juices have almost evaporated.

4. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and add the parsley. Cook for a further minute.

5. Serve hot or warm along with crusty bread, to mop up the delicious garlic juices.




That's it - it really is that simple :)

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Heels, heels and more heels...

I have a bit of a shoe obsession (as I think most girls do!), and recently I've bought a couple of new pairs to add to my collection. A lot of the heels that I currently wear are either pretty tatty now (because I've worn them so much and got too drunk in them), or too uncomfy, so much so that I end up bare-foot most of the night. In the summer I love to wear heeled sandals, so I've been doing a lot of online shopping for these.

So whilst browsing on ASOS, I can across these two pairs below.


These River Island rose gold leather ankle strap court shoes are reduced to £35 from £50, and they're incredibly comfortable to wear too. I love the rose gold colour, and so I'm excited to wear these.


These heels are by a brand that I hadn't heard of before, Pieces, and they are sam foil multi strap heeled sandals, costing £29, reduced from £42. These aren't quite as comfortable as the River Island shoes, but they are still a lot comfier than some of my other heels that I somehow manage to wear!

Some other heels that I can't stop looking at

As it's almost coming to the end of the summer now, I'm going to make sure that I keep wearing my summer sandals for as long as I can! Here's some of my other favourite heeled sandals that I've come across.

Carvela Gosh Gold Heeled Strap Sandals, ASOS, £120

Steve Madden Fringly Black Suede Heeled Sandals, £95

Steve Madden Fringly Cobalt Sude Heeled Sandals, £95

Daisy Street Black Ghillie Heeled Sandals, £34.99

Miss KG Freya Black Multi Strap Heeled Sandals, £70

ASOS East Town Peep Toe Shoe Boots, £45

As you can see, I've been doing a lot of shoe shopping recently...


Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Bridal and bridesmaid dress reviews

Two of my best friends are now engaged - one will be getting married July 2016 and the other July 2017. Along with this excitement, I'm happily being a bridesmaid for both of them and so I'm extremely excited! I know that they will both be completely different weddings too, with very different bridesmaids dresses due to them having different styles.

So something that's taking up quite a bit of my time at the minute is looking at wedding idea's, along with shopping for dresses - both for the bride and the bridesmaids.

Here are some of my favourite dresses that I've come across so far, including a complete mix of styles.

Wedding Dresses

The dresses below are both from JDbridal.co. JDbridal specialise in bridal dresses, and they deliver worldwide so you can simply order online. The dresses are great prices and quality, with a huge selection of styles. I think it's important as a bride to try in every style first, even if it isn't exactly what you are looking for, as you never know what it will look like until it is on. It's also important to choose the venue and theme, so that you can dress to suit the theme.


Both of my friends are looking for A-Line bridal dresses ideally, and I absolutely love the dress above which is reduced to 230.60 USD. It is A-Line and strapless with a built in bra, and has lace detailing, with a lace-up back. It's very simple yet stunning, and would be perfect for a church wedding.


I equally love this dress too (more so for myself!), and I think it would be a great dress for a beach wedding. It is designed specifically for a beach wedding as it has that loose, free feel, and it also has a beautiful, delicate halter with a flower attachment giving some added detail. I love a simplistic wedding dress, and wouldn't mind getting married abroad either! This dress has been reduced to 129.99USD.

Bridesmaid Dresses

I love shopping for bridesmaids dresses - trying them on with friends is all part of the fun in the wedding planning!

Here are some of my favourites that I've seen online.


The above dress is from JDbridal.co, as they sell bridesmaid dresses along with bridal dresses, and retails at 124.83USD (reduced from 515.99USD). It is a gorgeous daffodil colour, in taffeta fabric. I love the colour and style - it's a really cute style, although I don't think either of my friends would go for a shorter dress.


This dress is from Dessy.com, which is a very popular brand for bridal dresses. When I was a bridesmaid for another friend almost 2 years ago I wore a Dessy dress, which can be seen here. I love the colour and shape of this, as well as the lightweight georgette fabric that has been used. I also love the splits in the dress, showing the layers off. The colour is similar to what one of my friends will be having too - a very dusky grey. This dress is 238USD, found here.



Dessy also sells wrap dresses, which are a great idea for destination weddings as the fabrics are packable and crease-resistant. They have instructions on how to wear them, and the prices range from 140USD, so a cheaper option too.

So, the plan is to keep looking until we find a dress that's perfect! Hopefully this gives you some inspiration if you are searching for dresses.


Pink Parcel - August 2015 Review



So last night when I got home from work, I was excited to see that my Pink Parcel for August had arrived, safely deposited in my outdoor storage room next to my front door!

Here's the details of what was in the box:

1. U by Kotex Click tampons x25 - these are the same as I had selected in July's order. These are my favourite brand of tampons, so I'll be sticking with them. I do have a HUGE collection now as I find 25 to be too many, but I'm not complaining!

Yummy treats include:

2. La Via Del Te Tisana Energy tea - a box of 12 retails at 6,96 Euros. This has a fruity taste of peach and ginger, so I'm excited to try this one out.

3. Jealous Sweets - Wild Cherries flavour. These come in great packaging, and cost £2.50 per box. I do think that they are overpriced for the amount of sweets you get, but I think that you are really just paying for the packaging more than the sweets. They do taste good though!

4. Fudge Kitchen Dipping Fudge. I have to say that I ate this as soon as I opened my box! It tastes delicious, and I'm excited to try out some of their other products that they have, particularly the fudge sauces. They have some great gifts on there which are more unique than buying a box of chocolates from a shop, and they have recipes on their too, so I'll definitely be having a browse soon!


Beauty Treats include:

5. Unani Absolute Day Care Cream. I tested this out this morning, and it's a really nice, smooth moisturiser that softens the skin. I'm guessing that this must be a new brand as I couldn't see the product online anywhere, so couldn't find out how much this retails at.

6. Bellapierre Catwalk Mineral Lipstick - Mandarina. I was slightly disappointed with this colour as I prefer more soft colours, whilst this is a very bold orange/red. I would wear this for a night out, however, I wouldn't wear it very often therefore would have preferred a softer colour that I would wear more often. This retails at £20.

7. L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil. I was really excited to receive this sample as I love anything that smells of almond, and this definitely smells incredible! I do love L'Occitane products too. This retails at £18 for a 250ml bottle, so it is quite pricy, but it is a great treat. When used, it transforms into a soft foam and it really did leave my skin feeling soft.

8. L'Oreal Glam Bronzing Powder. This powder is something that I would wear in the evening rather than the daytime, as it is very sparkly.

Overall I'm very happy with my Pink Parcel for August, although a couple of the product choices I may not use too much (the L'Oreal bronzer and Bellapierce lipstick). Now I just have to wait a whole month to receive the next one!

Monday, 17 August 2015

Recipe: Vegetable and cheese omelette


As mentioned in my last blog post, I am really into omelettes at the minute and promised my recipe - so here it is! I actually haven't tried mixing up any different flavours because I just love this one so much and don't want to ruin it! Although the picture isn't the best (it's a bit dark), it really does taste great.

This recipe is for 1 omelette.

Ingredients
  • 2-3 eggs (depending how hungry you are!)
  • Chopped mushrooms
  • Chopped red onion
  • Garlic granules
  • Grated cheddar cheese (I use strong for added flavour)
  • Mixed herbs
  • Salt and pepper
Method

1. Fry the mushrooms and onions until cooked. Whilst doing this, beat the eggs until fully mixed.
2. Heat up oil in a large frying pan, then when hot add the eggs and cook until the edges have hardened and the bottom is cooked, but the centre is still slightly soft - you can usually tell when the base has cooked as it slides around the pan. Whilst waiting for this (it will only take a 30 seconds or so), mix the onions and mushrooms together in a bowl with the cheese.
3. Add the mixture into the centre of the omelette and keep cooking for a further 30 seconds. Add the herbs, garlic, salt and pepper, Press down the omelette to cook a little faster.
4. When the omelette is getting less runny on top, fold over in half and press down again. Cook for about 30 more seconds.
5. Add salt and pepper if desired, then enjoy!

If you prefer a Spanish omelette, then you can see my delicious recipe for that by clicking here.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

7 things that are making me happy right now.

I feel like my life's been a bit up and down over the last year or so, with quite a bit of drama, and so I've decided to write this post so that I remember the things that I have to keep me happy and also things to look forward to.

1. F.R.I.E.N.D.S

I've been going through this box set recently and I still love it just as much as the first time round (and the second, third, fourth...etc!). I find that it just cheers me up instantly if I'm ever down, and it's just one of those feel-good shows.

2. Living in York.

York Museum Gardens

Sutton Bank, North York Moors

Sutton Bank, North York Moors

Ready for York Races

I still feel like I haven't fully explored Yorkshire, as I've always been busy doing other things such as working hard, seeing friends, etc. However, recently I've been getting in the Yorkshire-spirit by attending the York Races (and seeing Tom Jones), which was a great day out. I also took a visit to Sutton Bank at the North York Moors recently, and there's a lot of other places that I'd love to explore in the area.

3. Focusing on myself.

There's a lot of things that I haven't taken care with in my life in the past - basically looking after myself! For example, I've never bothered about being healthy, looking after my hair, etc. I guess I've been quite lucky in the way that it hasn't had a negative impact on me (so far!). But I've figured that now that I'm 25, I should start to bother with these things, otherwise I'll end up old, fat and ugly! So...I've joined the gym, I will be making sure that I eat more fruit/veg, and I actually got a haircut recently (the yearly chop). For the last couple of years I've been getting my hair dip-dyed (blonde at the ends), and the hairdresser informed me that because I haven't been using any special oils, that my hair's in bad condition and keeps splitting, meaning that it's getting thinner. So, because of this I've invested in some argan oil of morroco by ogx, as well as a silver shampoo by Trevor Sorbie, in order to keep my hair an ash-blonde colour, and I have to say that both of these products are great. My hair feels so much better already, and the shampoo is helping to lighten the colour.



4. Omelettes!

As I've started to try to eat more fruit and veg, I've started eating omelettes as they're healthy and a great way to increase your veg intake, and, they taste amazing! I'll be posting my really simple recipe after this post, so keep an eye out for it.


5. Baths.

Recently I've bought some Dead Sea bath salts, and they smell amazing and definitely relax me in the evening. I've always been more of a bath-than-a-shower person, as I just love getting in a hot bubble bath at the end of a busy day.


6. Candles.

You may have read some of my reviews of Flamingo Candles wax melts, and I have to say that they are certainly keeping my house smelling fresh! I bought 3 candles along with the wax melt subscription using the 10% discount, with one being Pink Lemonade that I have started burning. I love candles, and Flamingo Candles is now my favourite brand - I just can't stop buying them! Along with this I also bought the Pina Colada and Palma Violets - all of which smell delicious.


6. Thailand.

I'm planning to go away to Thailand for two weeks towards the end of the year - I have no idea where yet, but I'm getting really excited. There's a lot of places that I'd like to travel to and Thailand is one that is right at the top.

7. The sun.

Summer always seems to be over so quickly, so I always make the most of the day when it's sunny. I also love having a tan - it just feels so much better, and I feel like I can look OK (ish) without make-up. It also means that I can make my garden look pretty (see below).




Saturday, 15 August 2015

Let's talk about one of my favourite fashion brands: Mary Katrantzou



Mary Katrantzou's 'Travel in Style' collection

Mary Katrantzou is one of my favourite designers purely because of my love for prints, and these one's are pretty spectacular!

For those of you that may not of heard of this designer, Mary Katrantzou is a London based luxury brand, launched in 2008. The brand is widely known to have pioneered the digital print revolution, with a very distinct visual language that defines textile innovation to feminine yet architectural silhouettes. The thematic collections are very clearly inspired by art and culture, whilst relying on innovation to create the most perfect collections.

Mary Katrantzou has grown its brand offering to women's ready-to-wear, a leather goods collection, jewellery and a shoe partnership with Gianvito Rossi and also, more recently, Adidas. Mary Katrantzou shows four collections annually, with the collections being shown at London Fashion Week. By clicking the link you can see some of the latest collections, with the last one being the Autumn/Winter 2015 collection.

I love her range of summer travel clothing, called 'Travel in Style', with some of my favourite pieces from this collection pictured below. Featuring indicators of far-reaching travel and a cultured eye, this collection of travel clothiing curates luxury swim and beach wear with day dresses and occasion wear to take you from daytime sightseeing to sunset drinks.



I love this scarf to take to cover up when it gets a little cooler in the evening. The canary yellow gives that summer feel, and the glossy silken base makes me just want to rub it against my face!



Silk and semi-sheer, this button down blouse dress is splashed with a vibrant array of flora and fauna draped streams and bridges - again, a beautiful print. With a pointed collar and front breast pockets the shirt dress is very relaxed, and simply slips over the body. I've got quite a few blouses that are the same style as this that I usually wear to work with leggings and converse, and this would be a great addiction to my collection.


I love a paisley print, and Mary Katrantzou has definitely made me love them even more with this re-imagined heritage paisley print. These shorts sit just above the hips and are great for a summer evening, adding some elegance to an outfit.




I'm a huge fan of sheer blouses, especially which have a great print. This semi sheer blouse is great for covering up on holiday but equally great to wear on a day or evening to work or a night out. I love the vibrant and ethereal feel, loose fit and pointed collar. Out of all of these pieces, this blouse is my favourite and I really, really want this so I may have to save up! Although I don't think I could pull the look off, I love it teamed with the bold leggings.



This is a great match with the kaftan featured below, so I'd love to buy these two together in an ideal world! The tropical ocean print is gorgeous, and the balconette style bodice creates a flattering feminine fit - perfect for lounging by the pool.


Kaftans are great for holidays, as they're so easy to slip on to cover up whilst you're by the pool and want to go for a walk. This kaftan has a very relaxed fit and a stunning vibrant oceanic themed print, perfect for a sunny holiday. The tie waist gives some shape too, rather than being loose which always makes me look bigger than I am!