3
Jul
2015

Summer Dresses

Categories:

Well this has been a scorcher of a week hasn’t it! With temperatures in Aberdeen reaching 26oC on some days, it’s definitely time to break out the summer dresses. I think everyone has a go-to summer look. For some people it’s denim short and a t-shirt, for others it’s a playsuit but for me, it’ll always be a dress.  Minimal fuss, ultimate comfort and oh-so easy to throw on and go without need for too many accessories. I just find that my figure lends itself well to dresses – especially those of the skater variety that nip in at the waist and flare out. I had a bit of a shopping rampage this week and ended up buying 6 dresses in the last few days. Oops!

dresscollage1

ASOS Bardot Skater Dress | River Island Mesh Detail Swing Dress

These Bardot-esque dresses from ASOS are currently on sale for £15 which I think you’ll agree is an incredible bargain! They are flattering, ever so chic, easy to wash and really comfortable and lightweight for those warm summer days. They would be a perfect addition to your suitcase for any kind of holiday too because they’re so easy to dress down for the daytime or up for the evening. The River Island dress is simple but stylish with just the right amount of attention to detail and it’s also really light and airy which is definitely what you want when the temperatures start to soar.

drescollage2

New Look Black Diamond Print Skater Dress | New Look Black Tribal Print Strappy Dress

On my way back from the hairdressers yesterday I popped into New Look to pick up a gift card but inevitably on my way to the cash desk, I spotted a couple of lovely dresses. I decided to try them on…y’know…just for fun. But they turned out to both be those kind of dresses that just feel right and instantly make your figure look it’s best, especially the halter neck dress. It also helped that they are both very inexpensive. The temptation was too much so I just bought both of them. I definitely feel more confident wearing these types of dresses now that I’m well into my fitness regime.

newdresscollage3

Vila Lace Detail Dress | ASOS Bardot Skater Dress

I loved the blue ASOS bardot dress so much, I decided it would be a good idea to pick it up in black as well. I mean who doesn’t need another black dress??? The Lace Detail dress from Vila caught my eye for a wedding I will be attending at the beginning of September.  I love the lace fabric overlay and the soft pinky peach shade. It does come with detachable straps but I decided it looked better without them. The Dune studded sandals I bought in the sales will be rather perfect with this dress:

IMG_0825

Dune Melany Sandals

I have now activated a self-imposed ban from buying anymore dresses this summer. I think.

2
Jul
2015

New Beauty Launches

Categories:

There’s a few interesting beauty launches coming up so I thought I’d share a few of those with you from the likes of Glossybox, Bobbi Brown, Charlotte Tilbury and OPI.

14_77d3775b-4d97-439e-bfa1-67b409c47a33

On July 15th we can expect the launch of the Vive La France box from GLOSSYBOX, retailing at £10 (limited stocks). The brand commissioned illustrator Jamie Lee Reardin to create the box’s design, which includes famous landmarks from each of France’s regions. The brands featured in the box are Vichy and Yves Rocher.

Bobbi-Brown-Nordstrom-Anniversary-2013-Telluride-Glow-Collection-1

Today marks the launch of the Telluride collection from Bobbi Brown Cosmetics exclusively in Selfridges before launching nationwide from 16th July. The collection was apparently inspired by one of Bobbi’s favourite destinations and aims to give a golden sun-kissed glow to the skin. The limited edition Telluride Eye Palette (£39.50) is a fresh take on the neutral eye and contains six shades and a Dual-Ended Eye Shadow/Eye Liner Brush. There are also two new Pot Rouge (£19.50) shades launching with the collection, Telluride (warm mauve) and Maui (pink coral), and the existing shade Fresh Melon also features in the collection. There’s also a new limited edition Shimmer Brick (£33), Sunset Pink. Also launching in the collection are the Lip Trios (£39) which comprise a Sheer Lip Color, Lip Pencil and Lip Gloss, available in shades combinations Twilight Glow, Pink Dusk, and Sunset Pink.

14_0eef4456-2a31-4a76-8dd5-6940b518eb36

Charlotte Tilbury has announced new shades to her popular Filmstar Bronze & Glow range, launching in Medium/Dark for £49 from August 1st. The much loved highlighter works to slim the face and emphasise the bone structure, giving a candle-lit finish. The product will continue to be presented in a 1920s cigarette box-style compact.

14_94391087-ceb8-4921-aab2-929387f6c5af

To celebrate 100 years of the Coca-Cola® bottle, OPI has collaborated with the soft drinks brand to launch the Icons of Happiness collection. The limited edition line features two new shades and four classic colours that pay homage to the bold colour and signature style of the drinks brand’s bottle. Shades include Visions of Georgia Green, which is pearly and lightly sparkling, inspired by the Classic Coca-Cola® bottle; and Centennial Celebration, a shimmery pewter (£19.95). OPI is also bringing back four on-trend shades inspired by the drink: Coca-Cola Red, a classic red inspired by Coca-Cola®; You’re So Vain-illa, a creamy nude inspired by Vanilla Coke; Sorry I’m Fizzy Today, a creamy, smooth pink inspired by Vanilla Coke; and Get Cherried Away, a black cherry shade inspired by Cherry Coke (£12.50 each). Also available is the OPI Coca-Cola® The Perfect Ten Mini Nail Lacquer Set (£29.95).

29
Jun
2015

Review: Dior 5 COULEURS Eyeshadow Palette

Categories:

If you follow me on Instagram, you would have spotted that I picked up the Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette in Versailles 566 (£42) in duty free at Cork airport before leaving Ireland. It’s dangerous having time to spare when strolling through duty free and since I had some Euros left, I decided to just treat myself. I mean it’s not as if I have truckloads of makeup at home is it?…

This palette was part of the Fall 2014 collection and the revised packaging is now more sleek, with the reformulated shadows coming in matte, satin, iridescent and ultra-fine shimmery finishes. The packaging feels more lightweight than previous palettes I’ve used so I’m guessing they are gearing it towards being more travel friendly.

dior1

“True to the bold colour creation from the House of Dior, each harmony explores a unique world of colour. Based on a central shade, the signature of the palette, 4 accessory shades are used to create a multi-faceted look. The 5 Couleurs palette boasts a wide variety of textures and shades with a host of effects: matte, satiny, iridescent and ultra-shimmery for infinite ways to convey Colour and dress the eyes with exceptional makeup.”

dior2

The top left shade is a very wearable and flattering peachy pink champagne shade and probably my favourite of the palette.  Think of Mac All That Shimmers or Stila Kitten – it’s that kind of easy wash of natural, pretty colour that instantly just brightens the eye area. The top right shade is a pale frosty gold which is perfect for opening up the inner corners of the eyes. Both of these top shades would be beautiful on the lids, under brow bone or inner corner. The bottom left shade is a metallic silver that is ever so slightly chunkier in texture than the rest of the shades in this palette, but not so much that it bothered me or looked off. On the bottom right is a cool chocolate brown which is perfect for the crease and adding definition to the lower lash line. Lastly, the center shade is a beautiful metallic shimmery gold. This shade is the perfect highlight when patted on the centre of the lid. It can also add a little more reflect and glamour to the inner highlight too should you be feeling that you want to go all out.

dior3

In the past I had found that Dior palettes that contained shimmer shades were lacking in pigment and prone to fallout. However, these are noticeably more buttery, smoother/finer in texture and boast a high level of pigment that almost gives the appearance of a wet look.

There are many cheaper palettes out there that could mimic the shades in this palette but what you get with a Dior product like this is that ultra fine shimmer, that luxurious feel.  Cheaper palettes just can’t compete with the texture of these eyeshadows that give such a flawless look on the eyes. It’s an expensive product but a wonderful purchase if you’re looking to treat yourself.

dior5

Above I am wearing the Peach/Pink Champagne all over the lid, with the Pale Gold blended on the inner corners. I blended the Chocolate Brown in the crease, halfway alone my lower lashline and lightly along upper lash line before applying liquid black eyeliner. I used a mixture of the Metallic Silver and central Gold Shimmer and patted it very lightly on the center of the lid. I kept it pretty lightweight for daytime but you can easily build it up to a very intense golden/silver metallic look and add false lashes for the evening.

26
Jun
2015

Boux Avenue Aberdeen Store Launch

Categories:

With all the organising involved with Conor’s 1st Birthday Party, I completely forgot to share the pics with you from the launch of the new Boux Avenue store in Aberdeen. I’ve always felt that Aberdeen could do with a proper stand alone lingerie store that’s easily accessible and at the right price range. I had heard of the brand in the past but I wasn’t too familiar with what they had to offer, so I was keen to check out the products on the launch day!

unnamed-6

The Boux Avenue store is situated at the bottom of the escalators in Union Square shopping centre. The shop front is simply and clean looking and as you walk into the store, you immediately notice the  airy, stylish shop floor layout. Firstly, it has good air con which for me is a must because I’m not going to hang around for long in a shop that’s hot and claustrophobic. It has a high ceiling with really top quality fixtures and fittings and it definitely has a Jo Malone-esque feel to the decor.

boux4

All of the lingerie is nicely spaced and there’s not too much on show, so it’s easy to see everything – I’m not a fan of rummaging through clothes to find what I’m looking for. Further bra sizes are organised into drawers below the display so you can look for your size there rather than having to call upon a shop assistant (particularly handy when the shop is very busy). It’s immediately obvious that they want this to be a luxury boutique-style shopping experience. This is carried through to the spacious, chic and luxurious fitting rooms which come complete with a service button and three light settings – Day, Dusk and Night. This allows you to see the underwear in more flattering light than the stark, artificial lighting usually provided in these scenarios. I mean, who wants to see their cellulite in all it’s glory staring back at them from a fitting room mirror. Not me anyway! Oh and the carpets they have in the fitting rooms are so plush, you’re actually tempted to lie down and rub your face on it! I refrained obviously.

unnamed-5

boux5

There was a really lovely mix of practical, everyday underwear, supportive garments and then the all-out glamour of underwear that’s made to be seen by someone…if you get my meaning. I tried on one of the more glam sets and I have to say I was extremely impressed by the fit. It’s not easy to get a nice bra when you have a 34E chest because more often than not it’s either lacking in the support or looks area.  Their larger cup sized lingerie is both feminine AND practical which is quite rare. I also found the price point was pretty good too.

boux11

Above: Myself, Ashly & Amey enjoying the press launch morning!

They also do a line of nightwear – both the comfy pyjama kind and the sexy, slinky nightdress kind.  The only thing I was disappointed by on the day was the fact that Satin was used instead of silk. For the price of some of them (approx £45), I would have expected silk rather than 100% polyester. I feel that the price point was too inflated for what it was.

boux7

The store also carries a line of body care, perfumes and candles which have nice, simple, chic packaging and you can tell a lot of thought has gone into how they market themselves. I liked all of the decor touches around the store such as shabby chic dressers, fresh flowers and polished floors. It gave the whole store a lovely feel and the friendliness of the staff was also duly noted. The attitude of the staff makes such a huge difference to your shopping experience and the girls here were so welcoming and keen to help you.

boux8 boux9

I did notice that many of their styles had really pretty detailing and personally, I think nice lingerie is all in the little details. They all felt well made and sturdy which is pretty much what you want from an over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder! They also have some really lovely retro-style swimwear which is definitely worth checking out.

All in all I came away from the press launch with a shopping list, a really good impression of the staff and an even better impression of the decor, amazing fitting rooms and overall feel of the shop.  You can tell that a lot of thought has gone into how it’s been laid out and designed.  A lot of the best points are so simple but so many high street stores get it wrong. It ticks all the boxes for me. I definitely saw quite a few styles I’d like to pick up in their current sale – I do love a bargain!

boux10

For a look at more styles and to take advantage of the 70% off sale at the moment, go check the Boux Avenue website here.

23
Jun
2015

Conor’s 1st Birthday Party

Categories:

When I started talking about Conor’s 1st Birthday Party on Twitter and Instagram, there seemed to be a lot of interest from you guys regarding the decor and what I had planned. I found Pinterest and other mummy blogs invaluable in coming up with ideas for the celebration. I wanted to throw a really fun, colourful party without spending a fortune and I think I managed to do that. Despite a couple of hiccups and me getting very stressed on the morning of the party – it all went off without a hitch. We even got some nice weather! I just wanted to do a post to cover all the suppliers I used and list where I got everything from as well as share a few precious pictures of the special day.

conorbday1

Above: Personalised Sign  | Conor absolutely loved the bouncy castle and was fascinated by all of the older children! | Conor’s face was hilarious when he spotted the cakes

I loved the idea of having a personalised ‘chalkboard’ style sign just featuring some information all about Conor. It fitted in really well with the woodland theme and you can customise the colour scheme to suit your party. I decided to use mine on the candy table but I will be framing it and hanging it in his nursery as a keepsake. We looked into hiring a bouncy castle to make sure we had something to occupy all the children who were coming along and I had a nightmare getting a response from local suppliers. I eventually spoke to Abby after seeing her advert on gumtree here. At first I was a bit hesitant to use someone from Gumtree but the prices were very reasonable and it turned out to be a fantastic service. Communications were spot on and the delivery men were fast, efficient and really friendly.  I would highly recommend Abby if you are looking for a bouncy castle in the Aberdeen area. We went for the one with the rain cover and slide which was £85 for the day. It was well worth it. I also went retro and bought a swingball set which went down a storm with us 80′s kids!

1958010_10155665198015447_7468919235889801511_n

Owl Vase: Ebay | Fox Doorstop, small rattan basket and leaf ribbon: The Range | Standing Wooden Letters: Ebay | Happy Birthday Burlap Bunting | Moss slices: Notonthehighstreet | Floral and burlap ribbon bunting: Ebay | Personalised sign: Etsy | Mini Cake Stand: H&M | Napkins, paper plates and paper cups: Amazon

I put quite a lot of thought into how I wanted the candy table to look and although I forgot a few things in the end due to rushing about like a headless chicken on the morning of the party, it still turned out really well.  You’ll know if you follow me on Instagram that I ended up having to decorate my own cake as the lady who was supplying a cake had to cancel my order due to unforeseen circumstances which was a shame because I love her work. So I took the bull by the horns and ordered three tiers of cake from Marks & Spencers here using the small, medium and large options. I decided to decorate the whole thing myself using sugar paste and icing which I picked up, together with all the tools, for next to nothing from ‘The Range’. Whilst I was there I also picked up lots of other little bits and pieces like the animal pegs to hang the photos from the bunting, the striped straws, some rose garlands, mini cardboard bird houses and artificial butterflies to use as decor for the table. I have listed where I got everything else above.

I saw an idea on Pinterest for a rustic log cake stand and thought this would fit in really well with the whole theme so I got Chris to cut some random slices. I wanted it to look all uneven and natural. I then got my dad to make the stand for me using a large tree branch to stand it up. I’m really happy with how it turned out.

conorbday2

Me and my mum doing the Photo Booth thing! | I pretty much forced Conor to wear those rabbit ears for all of 2 seconds before he ripped them off! 

I actually had a lot of nick backs in the house that fitted in with the theme such as owl vases and various jars with animal lids so I incorporated them in too. In all honesty, I chose the woodland theme because of this and the fact that the backdrop of our garden took away the necessity for too much decor! All that nature creates a fantastic backdrop for a party just by itself! If you’re looking for cheap flowers, definitely check out Lidl as I picked up some amazing ones for just £1.75 per bunch!

conorbday3

Me forcing Conor to wear animal ears…again! | Being a big kid on the bouncy castle | Conor’s first time ever seeing balloons!

The bouncy castle got as much use by the adults as it did by the kids and I must admit to having a few goes on it myself! I had forgotten how much fun it was to jump around like a lunatic – it was almost like a workout! I started making the animal figures for the cake about a week in advance to give myself time to mess up and correct anything. Being a perfectionist, I always feel like things can be improved on but I’m pretty happy with how the cake ultimately turned out. I can now see why businesses charge so much for theme cakes because theres a lot of work involved!

conorbday4

I was contacted by the lovely Andrea from Heavenly Cakes By Andrea (currently only a Facebook business page) after posting some pictures about the party. She very kindly offered to do some cupcakes and cake pops to fit in with the woodland theme and I really couldn’t have been happier with them. They were all so cute! They also tasted amazing and weren’t super sweet and sickly like some cupcakes are nowadays.Everyone commented on how tasty they were and there were absolutely none left by the end of the day. I would highly recommend Andrea if you’re looking for a theme cake or smaller cakes for your party.

conorbday5

I made some ‘toadstools’ by using paper straws, marshmallows, strawberries and white chocolate icing. They looked absolutely brilliant on the table and tasted lovely too. I wanted a quirky way to display them so I used three ‘jamjar’ glasses I already had in the cupboard, put some oasis in the bottom and then put some artificial moss over that.  That way all of the straws could put slotted into the oasis and be kept secure and upright. I also used paper muffin cases as popcorn cones and displayed them on a cake stand.

conorbday8

I decided I wanted a little area where the guests could take pictures of themselves – almost like a little Photo Booth. So I bought a small sign from Ebay here and just displayed it on a wooden garden chair with a chalkboard sign I got from Ebay and a bucket of various woodland animal ear headbands I also picked up from Ebay. I just left the digital camera on the chair and the guests just took care of the rest! It kind of takes the onus off you having to take all of the photos and you get a nice surprise at the end of the party when you look through all the funny pictures that have been taken.

conorbday7

The whole day was so much fun and luckily although it rained in the morning, it became warmer and stayed dry for the rest of the day. Conor spent most of the day crawling around on the grass or on the bouncy castle. We had BBQ food, lots of catch ups with old friends and new and made some really fantastic memories. The only thing is…now I have to think about what to do next year…