Monday, 6 August 2012

National Colours

So I, like pretty much every other person in the country, have been glued to my television supporting Team GB. I never thought I would be so interested - I normally find most sports an absolute yawn-fest (tennis and rugby are the only exceptions) - but it has been amazing to see how well G.B. are doing! If only we could host every year...

Anyway, it seems just about impossible to watch the Olympics without spotting about a hundred Union Jacks (or just about anything, what with this being the Diamond Jubilee year as well!). So I thought I'd have a wee look at what's around for those who fancy wearing their Union Jack, rather than waving it!

Possibilities seem to range from the subtle to the outright patriotic, but there is certainly something for everyone! Granted, there is plenty of stuff which is miles out of my price range, but hey, a girl can dream!

Union Jack

Forever 21 knit sweater

Printed legging

Mantaray navy shoes

Stone jewelry

Jimmy Choo wayfarer sunglasses

Sarah x

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Essie Nail Varnish in Cute As A Button

Now as a dedicated No. 17 nail varnish lover, £7.99 seems a bit steep for a little bottle of polish. However, when I saw the new Essie stand in Boots, I just couldn't resist! I've heard a lot of good things online about Essie and their colours always look amazing, so I decided to treat myself to a bottle of 'Cute As A Button'.

I absolutely love the colour of Cute As A Button, it's a sort of bright coral-pink, which is perfect for summer. 

The staying power of the Essie polish seems really good too. I am a nightmare when it comes to chipping/chewing my nails, but two days in and it's still intact. I'll be interested to see how much longer it stays perfect! 

Although I certainly can't afford to feed my nail varnish addiction with a regular Essie hit, I will definitely be treating myself to another one.

Sarah x

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

It's all scone wrong...

So I tried to come over all 'domestic goddess' and bake some scones this afternoon and boy did it hammer home just how bad I really am at cooking! I swear I followed the great Delia Smith's recipe TO THE LETTER and they still turned out looking more like biscuits than scones. They were tiny and flat (and yes I did use self-raising flour) and generally a huge disappointment. I always find myself lusting after those amazing baked goods people seem to be whipping up left, right and centre and then posting on their blogs but this experience has reinforced my belief that baking simply is NOT for me!

So, to cheer myself up I naturally spent some quality time over on Pinterest where I found a few of these beauties:



Drooling yet? I know I am! They all look a little different, but they certainly look nothing like my weird scone-biscuit hybrids! Ah well, I guess I'll stick to fairy cakes from now on...

Does your baking ever go drastically wrong or does the finished product look like the ones above? Any fail-safe recipes I could try?

Sarah x

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Product Review: Liz Earle Essentials Skincare

So Liz Earle products seem to have taken the blogging world by storm and I thought I'd weigh in with my opinion too! I had huge problems with acne when I was younger, so I am really careful about what I put on my face. I'm not really a big one for choosing products purely because they're natural, but I must admit it's nice to know that you're not putting a ton of nasty chemicals on your skin with the Liz Earle collection.

After exchanging a couple of emails with the sales team, they advised me on the best products for my skin, so I bought myself one of their little 'Try-Me' kits. As I'm still working on a student budget, I didn't really want to buy a set of full-size products unless I knew they would work for me!

Liz Earle Essentials Try-Me Kit

The kit comes with the famous Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser (plus cloth), as well as the Instant Boost Skin Tonic (toner) and two different moisturisers (one for dry/sensitive and one for normal/combination skin). I also requested a sample of their moisturiser for oily skin, as I sometimes get a super-oily t-zone.

What did I think?
First impression of Liz Earle were excellent, as my products came in lovely packaging, with plenty of information about the rest of their skincare range, as well as some testers of their new make up collection.

I'm really glad I got the 'Try-Me' kit - The cleanser and toner left my skin feeling really lovely and clean, without that overly 'tight' feeling that I sometimes get with the harsher Clinique 3-step program. I'm not used to using a cloth for cleanser, but I was very impressed with the results! They advise that you wash your muslin cloth after every 3-4 uses, which I know is super important if you are prone (like me) to spots. I would probably advise get a couple of extra cloths so that you are never without or tempted to over-use. Sadly, however, even the light formulation of the Skin Repair moisturiser left my t-zone feeling a little oily. I hoped it might sink in over time, but I just felt my skin was still a bit greasy. All the products had gorgeous scents and felt lovely to use, but I guess the moisturiser just isn't for me.

Would I re-purchase?
As I said above,  the moisturiser is a definite no - I much prefer my Clinique Dramatically Different gel. However, I have re-purchased the cleanser and toner however, which have now replaced my Clinque cleanser and toner.

Overall I loved the Liz Earle experience - great customer service, packaging and (most importantly) I loved the products!

Have you tried any Liz Earle products? What did you think?

Sarah x

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Looking Forward, Looking Back #6

Looking Forward

I am really excited about my upcoming move to Kingston! I'm studying for an MA at the university there and have managed to bag myself a place in a lovely little house with two other students, so it really feels like everything is coming together nicely. Quite a few difficult situations arose in the last few weeks of university and, although I am really sad to leave, it was definitely time for us all to move on. I am so looking forward to my MA and living in a new place. Also a lot of my friends are dotted around London, so it's nice to know that they are all within reachable distance.

Kingston-Upon-Thames, here I come!
It's not every day you get to have a completely fresh start in a new area with new people, so I'm looking forward to getting stuck in here and having a great time!

Looking Back

As I said, quite a few less-than-ideal things happened towards the end of my time at university, but nonetheless I left confident that I made the right decision in going there. I made some amazing friends, had some pretty crazy times and somehow managed to leave with a degree as well! It's a pretty big 'looking back', but the past three years have been jam-packed with awesome times, which I can confidently say outweighed the less awesome times. University was definitely one of the most formative and enjoyably experiences of my life so far!

Sarah x

Monday, 21 May 2012

A little something for Monday morning

I've never been a Monday kinda girl - I know some people love diving into a fresh new week, but alas I've always been a little more of a pessimist! So just before I set off for the library to start a long day of revision for my last ever undergrad exam, I thought I'd share a little something that helps me perk up on a Monday morning, courtesy of Bishop Allen. Enjoy!

Have a lovely Monday everyone!

Sarah x

Friday, 18 May 2012

Topshop Nail Varnish in Domestic Goddess

I was so impressed with the last Topshop nail varnish I bought that I decided to treat myself to another!

Domestic Goddess is a lovely dusky pink - not too girly girly, but a great pink nonetheless.

The staying power hasn't been quite as good as 'Heart of Gold', but that's probably partially down to the fact that that one was metallic. This is perfect if you want a feminine colour, without going for a candy pink.

Sarah x

Sunday, 22 April 2012

My desk and I (plus a cheeky award)

Sorry I've been totally off the map recently, I'm about to begin my finals and so life has been a little manic! I've been glued to my desk (and will be for a little while yet) and so as sad as it makes me, I've had to put blogging on the back burner for a little while. Yes, I will hold my hands up and admit I totally failed at the photo a day challenge, helped least of all by the disappearance of my camera. Sorry! I cannot WAIT to get back to you all when this stress is done with though!

Most definitely not my desk (drool)
It's still great to know you guys are out there though and I had a lovely surprise when Kirsty from Teacups and Treats let me know she'd nominated me for a 'Versatile Blogger' award - my first ever award! I don't have time to do a full post on it at the moment, but Kirsty nominated some other great blogs as well if you fancy a new read. Thank you Kirsty!

Well it's time to get back to work, but I hope you're all well!

Sarah x

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

A photo a day...

I heard about the 'Photo A Day' challenge over at Chantelle's blog. I'm so rubbish at keeping journals etc., but I figured hey, how hard can it be to take one picture every day?! Chantelle has set a theme for each day of March and you have to take a photo that fits in with it in whatever way you fancy. I'm also rubbish at taking pictures, so this could be a bit of a useless idea but I'm willing to have a crack at it, as I think it looks like fun and will be nice to look back over at the end of the month.

Here are the themes:

I can't wait to get started - fingers crossed I can keep it up for the whole month!

I hope you're all enjoying your extra day today,

Sarah x

Saturday, 25 February 2012

No. 17 Nail Varnish in Sweet Kisses

So going along with the current trend for pastels, I decided to make another trip to Boots and pick up some lovely pastel nail varnishes which my Advantage Card points (man I love those things!). Even better they were on three for two, which is always a bonus!

I really liked 'Sweet Kisses', which is quite a girly shade of dusty pink. It's a fairly subtle colour for those who want to break themselves gently into pastels. I bought two other pastel colours which I will probably do another post on so stay tuned, but I am a big fan of 'Sweet Kisses'!

Sarah x

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Giving up on *@?!

So after some delicious American-style pancakes yesterday courtesy of my friend to celebrate Shrove Tuesday, it's time to think about what to give up for Lent. I haven't done it every year, but sometimes I think it can do you good, even if you don't go in for the religious meaning behind it. My proudest year was 40 days and 40 nights with CHOCOLATE...I was in school back then and most break times consisted of me and my mates chowing down on a Twix/Mars Bar/Double Decker (my favourite). But by the end of Lent I found that I just didn't really want chocolate every day anymore, something which I've retained to this day. Don't get me wrong I love a good choccie bar as much as the next girl, but now I enjoy it as a treat every now and then.

SO, what am I giving up this year?

Well, my uni years have left me with one very, very bad habit. My language is appalling! I was always really polite and conservative with that sort of thing when I lived at home, but a lot of my friends are constantly flipping effs and blinds, and it has rubbed off on me pretty badly. I know sometimes 'Darn it!' doesn't quite cut it, but I've found myself using totally unnecessary swear words in every day conversation. I definitely feel cleaning up my language would be a good idea and so, for 40 days and 40 nights, I will be giving up SWEARING! I've thought about doing it for a couple of years, but since this is my year of saying YES, there's no time like the present!

Are you giving up anything for Lent?

Sarah x

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Looking Forward, Looking Back #5

Looking Forward
I've been getting really stressed about the Masters courses I've been applying for, doing all sorts of totally useless things like lying awake and worrying about it. Now that I've sorted myself out a little bit, I've decided to stop worrying and instead to look forward to hearing back about whether I've been accepted or not. If I do then super and if not then at least I can get on with the next thing and look forward to whatever else the future holds for me! It's not always easy to look at rejection that way, but I'm a great believer that what's meant to be will be and so if I'm not accepted then I know that's it's because something even better is coming along!

Looking Back
I've just come back from a lovely weekend in Northern Ireland with my cousin at her Parish Weekend. We stayed at Castlewellan Castle...

The STUNNING Castlewellan Castle
The castle is set in a country park next to a lake and the scenery was absolutely gorgeous. A weekend in such a beautiful setting what exactly what I needed to relax and recharge my batteries. It was also great to get to see my family and spend a bit of quality time with them. I've been so busy recently that I haven't been able to keep in touch properly with them, so it was a much-needed weekend!

Sarah x

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Topshop Nail Varnish in Heart of Gold

I've not been hugely impressed with Topshop's makeup so far, as I felt it was a little overpriced for the product you actually receive. However, I was really impressed with this nail varnish!

'Heart of Gold' is a lovely silver-gold colour and although I used two coats, I reckon you could get away with one if you were in a rush.

The nail varnish has lasted really well for me and although I've been warned it is a bit of a mare to remove, I'm a big fan of varnishes which last a bit longer than a day or two.

I'm still not totally convinced by the Topshop makeup collection, since a lot of the products seem to be in fairly unwearable shades for me, but I was so impressed with this product that I will certainly be trying some more of their nail varnish.

Sarah x

Friday, 10 February 2012

Product Review: Lush 'Sweet Lips' Lip Scrub

I haven't bought anything from Lush in a while and so when I popped in the other day I thought I'd get myself a little treat. I often get peely skin on my lips, especially in cold weather, so I decided to give this lip scrub a go.

The thought of a 'vanilla and chocolate' flavour for a lip scrub actually makes me feel a little sick, and yet since I was wandering around the shop in a bit of a Lush-induced daze I didn't even notice that it said that. However when I actually tried the scrub it was a lovely flavour (perhaps a little too lovely since for a fleeting moment I actually contemplated eating a little)!

In terms of usability I did find the scrub a little tricky. It wasn't really bound together with anything and it was literally like rubbing dry grains of sugar onto my lips. I ended up with a lot of the stuff down my front and in the sink!

Despite that little hitch I did really enjoy the finished result once I rinsed off the remained product after giving my lips a good old scrub. They really were smooth! I slathered them in Carmex (my favourite lipbalm ever) for a bit of extra TLC and left it at that.

That evening I wore bright red lipstick on a night out and it was so much easier to apply. I often find that because my lips are a bit dry or peely the lipstick gets stuck and ends up looking a little on the manky side, but using the scrub earlier in the day meant that I had a great base for a bold lip colour. Well done Lush!

Sarah x

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Product Review: Garnier HydraLock Light Moisturising Milk

My skin is never particularly dry, apart from the occasional bit on my legs after shaving, but I like to keep it moisturised, especially in these cold cold winter months. I've tried loads of body moisturisers - I'm a bit of a sucker for stuff like that! However, this is hands-down the best one I've used. I'm so converted to the stuff that I've got through two large (400ml) bottles and have recently purchased another.

I really like the scent of this moisturiser, although I get the feeling that it may not be for everyone. It is absorbed really into my skin, which is brilliant as I really dislike that greasy feeling left on your skin by a lot of creams and lotions. The spiel advertises this as for 'normal-dehydrated skin', and although as I said my skin is pretty normal it is perfect for me. I don't know what it would be like for those of you with really dry skin, but I have also tried the 'rich' version of this moisturiser and although I found it far too thick, that would probably be perfect for drier skin.

I also went out and bought the hand-cream version, which I haven't tried yet but have high hopes for. My hands are probably the bit that gets driest in the winter, so hopefully it will sort that out!

For the price - £5.65 for a large bottle from Boots - this stuff totally does the trick for me. I've tried a few higher end brands, as well as some cheaper ones, but this is by far my favourite and I can't recommend it enough!

Sarah x

Thursday, 19 January 2012

La Blogotheque/Takeaway Shows

Music is a big part of my life and I spend at least 2 hours a day listening. One day I was introduced to the La Blogotheque videos on Youtube by a good friend, which a bit like the 'Live Lounge' tracks, and usually often involve the artist moving around Paris whilst performing. If you fancy hearing your favourite artist performing live then this is a great way to do it. It's also a fab way to discover some new bands - this is where I found out about Yeasayer:

Whenever I find myself despairing at the latest Popstar Idol Factor or whatever, that video restores my faith in humanity!

I'd totally recommend checking out the Beirut, Bon Iver and Sufjan Stevens ones too, but I'll leave you with my favourite. If you skip to 3.29 in this video you'll hear 'How Much More' by Stars (wrongly labelled as 'Haunted' for some reason). It's totally different to the original and totally beautiful...


Sarah x

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

All Dressed Up

The party on Saturday went fantastically! I was so happy with how everything turned out, and it was amazing to be able to celebrate my birthday surrounded by my friends and family.

My lovely dress (it came from Coast)
It was also a lovely occasion to get dressed up. It was great to see everyone in their glad-rags and although I had to get my dress shortened (yes I'm THAT short!), I felt amazing in it! My mum even loaned me a diamond necklace that she was given for her engagement, so I felt totally glammed up.

Shoes from John Lewis (dead classy eh?!)
I was also given lots of lovely presents, including several pairs of earrings, two necklaces, hand creams, Cranium (I LOVE that game!), a bag and more bottles of wine and champagne than I dare to think about.

Although things feel a little flat now that all the guests have gone home and the planning is over, I'm still so thankful for a fab weekend.

Sarah x

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

One Little Word: YES

I read about this idea over at Oh Shoot (click here to check out Vivs' post on her One Little Word) and I think the original idea is from here.

I'm a little unsure about setting myself a solid resolution for 2012, but I really like the idea of having a word which I can focus on for the year. It seems a more realistic idea for me and can be applied to lots of areas of my life.

I have chosen YES! as my One Little Word - I am a very careful person and I over-think a lot of things. I feel it would do me a lot of good to say 'yes' to things more often. I don't mean being totally reckless, but I often think I'm guilty of totally over-analysing and consequently worrying myself sick about things, instead of just saying a bit fat 'YES' and getting on with it!

So, my One Little Word for 2012 is: YES!

Sarah x

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Looking Forward, Looking Back #4

So here we are safe and sound in 2012! Time for another 'Looking Forward, Looking Back'...

Looking Forward
There's all kinds of things to look forward to in 2012, but in the short term I have been organising a joint birthday for my little sister and I. I've lots of friends travelling from all over the country to come and celebrate with us, which I really appreciate - some even have to fly! I was a little worried noone would be able to make it, but a lot of people have come up trumps and I can't wait to see them all. My dress has just arrived and I can't wait to get all dolled up for a fun night with friends and family. It's going to be a night of food, drink and dancing and should be a lovely event!


Looking Back
It's a slight cliche, but I must admit I am very thankful for the Christmas period. It was lovely to get to see family I haven't been in touch with for a while and spend some quality time together. I loved the build up to the big day and Christmas Day itself was lovely. Father Christmas was very good to me this year and I got given lots of exciting new toys, including a Kindle! I always thought they were a bit of a fad, but now that I've got one, it is actually a great piece of kit! The holidays were also a chance to have a bit of a relax and gather my thoughts for the coming year. 2011 had a lot of ups and a fair few downs, and I think it's important to have a little look back and think about how the experiences of the past year will affect 2012. I'm excited for what the year holds!
Welcome to 2012 everyone!

Sarah x