Saturday 31 March 2012

Pink Plaid

Top - Topshop / Jeggings - Topshop / Scarf - Ebay / Necklace - Urban Outfitters

I've had a pot of pink dye sitting on my dressing table for a couple of months now and today I finally took the plunge and pinkified my hair. I used a bit of Directions Carnation Pink mixed with some Directions Lilac and lots of conditioner. I really like how it turned out as I didn't want anything too bright or in your face. Gotta incorporate Spring pastels into my look somehow so it may as well be through my hair. I went to Topshop the other day fully intent on buying lots pretty pastel clothes to freshen up my wardrobe. I came out with a bag full of grey things instead, epic fail. This top and jeggings were two of my purchases. I never thought I'd be seen dead in jeggings but I was really drawn to these ones for some reason. They go with nicely with loads of stuff and they definitely look more like jeans than leggings. After all the sunshine I thought I could get away with going out in just this but it was freezing out so I had to thrown on a coat & scarf on top.

I've been really busy today trying to sort out everything for Chloe's birthday on Wednesday & organising all my stuff. I'm baking her a four layer pink ombre cake with buttercream icing so I had to go get all the ingredients for that. I really hope it comes out okay, its been ages since I've made any cakes! I also went to Homebase to buy some new makeup storage. I only bought one set because I really need to cut down on how much I have. My lipstick collection is actually a bit insane. How many pinks does one person need?! My dressing table is looking a lot neater now & its nice to finally have all my nail polishes in one place rather than scattered round the entire house. Next I need to tackle all my jewellery, but that should be a doddle compared to all my makeup!

Tuesday 27 March 2012

Flowers In The Window

Blouse - H&M / Jumper - H&M / Jeans - Joe Browns / Shoes - ASOS / Necklace - Cheap Frills

Jeans are something I wear all the time because they are just so comfortable & easy to wear. I don't tend to photograph outfits with them much because they're pretty bog standard. Recently I've been lusting over some floral jeans after seeing them on loads of celebs & doing the rounds on tumblr. I was sent these floral jeans by Joe Browns. I'd never ordered anything from Joe Browns before but these arrived really quickly. They're really comfy and fit perfectly around my waist & hips. I do find that the legs are bit baggier than the style of jeans I would normally go for and they're a little bit long on me so I had to turn up the ends slightly. I thought these would be the perfect floral jeans for Spring but this wonderfully hot weather we've been having is making me want to cut them up into some cute shorts. The print is really pretty so I think turning them into shorts would suit my body shape a bit more. Gem has a great tutorial for doing just that and they seem super easy to make.

Today I've just been catching up on housework and I started reading The Hunger Games. I really want to go see the film but figured I should probably read the books first. I'm really enjoying it so far. Has anyone been to see the film yet & if so how was it? Tomorrow my mum & sister are coming up. They're taking me & Chloe to Nando's which is exactly what I'm craving, not been in yonks! Its my sister's 28th birthday today and Chloe's 2nd next week so its kind of an inbetween celebratory meal. Guess I'd better go buy her a card before she arrives!

I put all the entries for my Missguided giveaway into a list and used to generate the winner. Congratulations to... Helenlouise! I'll be in touch very soon :)

Monday 26 March 2012

Party Down

Blouse, Skirt & Cardigan - H&M / Bow tie - Something Different

I do love a bow tie. I bought this one a few weeks ago after Once Upon A Time Vintage posted about Something Different on their facebook page. It was only £4 and the pink & white stripes are really cute. I think I subliminally channelled the uniform from Party Down as I was getting dressed today. I recently finished watching every episode of Parks & Recreation so I downloaded Party Down afterwards and I really liked it. Anything that reunites Janis Ian & Damien from Mean Girls has got to be good. I've kinda run out of things to watch so I think its time for a Game Of Thrones re-run before the second season starts next week. I am excite!

If you haven't done so already you have until midnight tonight to enter my Missguided giveaway. Theres a £25 voucher up for grabs so don't forget to check it out.

Saturday 24 March 2012

Forever Jewellery

The lovely Jessica from Forever Jewellery asked me if I would be interested in reviewing a few of their pieces. I love pretty much everything on the website so of course I said yes! I was sent the Starry Night & Lucky necklaces as well as this very cute & colourful friendship bracelet.

My favourite piece has to be the Starry Night necklace. I'm a huge fan of crystal jewellery & amethyst happens to be my favourite gemstone. I used to be completely obsessed with collecting different crystals because of their 'health benefits'. These days I'm a lot happier to just wear them as pretty accessories. I love how dainty & unique the necklace looks. Thats one of the best things about crystal jewellery, every piece is different. I can see myself wearing this a lot as its exactly my style. Infact I've hardly taken it off since it arrived! The horseshoe necklace is also really cute. I couldn't believe how cheap it was either as I'm pretty sure they charge about £10 for something similar in Topshop. I love layering necklaces & these two look absolutely perfect together.

Forever Jewellery stands out to me as a really unique store. So many websites are selling the same wholesale ebay jewellery so its nice to see something handmade. All the prices are really low as well which makes a change from a lot of the overpriced stores you can find on etsy. I will most definitely be ordering more from them in the future. My order came super quickly even though they offer free shipping within the UK. I was surprised by how much I like the bracelet so next I'd love to get my hands on the Verona bracelet. Their crystal quartz rings are rather beautiful too. You can follow Forever Jewellery on Twitter.

17 Instant Glow Shimmer Brick

I had a look around Boots the other day to hunt down the Revlon Lip Butters & Maybelline Colour Tattoo Eyeshadows. I managed to get my hands on three of the eyeshadows but sadly theres no lip butters to be seen anywhere in Huddersfield yet. While I was there I spotted this gorgeous new shimmer brick by 17. I know lots of other brands do these kind of products such as Bobbi Brown & MeMeMe but this one struck me as something special because when I swatched it on my hand it appeared to be a very good dupe for my beloved Dior Amber Diamond. The product comes in two shades - Gold Bronze & Pink Bronze. I actually own the pink Bobbi Brown one as well and the 17 one seems to impart an even nicer shimmer than that does. As you can see when you blend all the colours along the strip together they both give a nice golden sheen. Its only when you swatch the shades individually that theres any real difference. The 17 one is ever so slightly darker but if you're pale like me then just stick to the lighter colours. I only use the light colours in Dior Amber Diamond anyway so theres really not much difference.

On my face the product definitely doesn't disappoint. The glow it gives is very shimmery which I love and it doesn't emphasise my pores as other cheap highlighting powders can do. Its very buildable without looking cakey and could also be used lightly all over the face. In the picture above I used it on the top of my cheekbones, underneath my eyebrows, down my nose, in the inner corners of my eyes and on my cupid's bow. I think it looks really nice on my skin, just as lovely as Dior Amber Diamond does. This shimmer brick only costs £4.99 from Boots and is currently on 3 for 2 so its a real bargain. Definitely a lot easier on the purse strings than the 30 odd quid the Dior powder sells for. Infact I believe I heard that Dior have now discontinued their two diamond powders so that makes this purchase even more worthwhile.

Monday 19 March 2012

Missguided Giveaway

The lovely people at Missguided are giving away a £25 voucher to use on their website. Above are just a few of the many things I would love to get my hands on. Heres your chance to win a brilliant prize from one of my favourite online shops.

Terms & Conditions
- ‘Like’ the Missguided facebook page & follow my blog via GFC or Hellocotton.
- Comment on this post and tell me what you would spend your £25 voucher on. Don't forget to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win.
- Giveaway will end midnight Monday 26th March.
- Voucher will be given in the form of a code – no cash alternative.

Good luck!

Sunday 18 March 2012

Celebrate Your Mother

Cardigan - H&M / Top - Republic / Shorts - Missguided / Tights - Primark / Necklace - Me & Zena

Happy mother's day! Don't think we're up to much today, I think we're going to the park later & if I'm lucky I might get treated to a nice meal or something! Went for something casual but cute today. I'm fully ready to embrace bright colours. Pink is one of my fave colours so last week I picked up this cardi from H&M. The shirt is from Republic, its the other thing I got with my £50 voucher. I love these scallop edge shorts from Missguided. I've wanted some like these for ages and the ones from Missguided are a lot cheaper than the ones I've seen on the high street.

Smiley / Feeding the ducks / Being chavvy in H&M
Looking cute / Pretty ballerina / Eating at Yo! Sushi

Mother's day seems a bit more special when you are a mother yourself. Heres some recent pictures of Chloe. I can't believe shes 2 next month, she seems so grown up already! I sent the first one to my mum with her card & she said she cried when she opened it! She's such a softie in her old age haha. I got some flowers yesterday because Andy's at work today but he says theres another present for me when he gets back. It can be stupidly difficult sometimes but I do love being a mum <3

Friday 16 March 2012

Philosophy's The Microdelivery Peel

Skincare is something I'm always willing to spend a bit of time and money on. I also invest a lot of money in makeup because I really dislike the way my face looks without it. I have loads of freckles & dark circles under my eyes so if I don't wear makeup I just get loads of 'oh you look tired' comments even if I'm brimming with energy. In Winter its a lot easier to make your skin look good. You can just whack on a full coverage foundation and bob's your uncle. As we get closer to Summer I prefer to wear a lighter foundation or tinted moisturiser but these definitely don't make my skin look anywhere near as flawless. This year I've decided to tackle the problem head on by trying to make my skin look as good as possible without makeup. That's why I felt the need to purchase Philosophy's The Microdelivery Peel kit.

I was given a demonstration of this product on my hand when I visited Boots in Manchester to purchase Philosophy's The Present primer. I'd never heard of The Microdelivery Peel before but the sales assistant thought my skin would really benefit from it. My hand felt ridiculously soft afterwards but I really didn't think it was worth the hefty price tag. So she popped some sample sachets in my bag so I could actually try it on my face. You can feel the transformation of your skin after the very first time you use it so this sample definitely sold the product to me. I then ordered my kit from the Philosophy website as they often have offers on.

The set comes in two parts. First of all you have a tub of Vitamin C/Peptide crystals. This is a citrus scented balm filled with tiny exfoliating crystals. You take a teaspoon sized amount from the pot and gently massage this all over your face (apart from the eye area) for one minute. This will exfoliate your face helping to get rid of any dead skin cells as well as delivering Vitamin C to brighten & stimulate collagen in your skin. Then you take a few drops from the bottle of Lactic/Salicylic Acid Activating Gel and massage this over the Vitamin C crystals. This makes it start to foam slightly and it gives off a slightly warm feeling to show that the crystals have been activated. The acid helps to deep clean your pores & infuse the Vitamin C into the skin. After 3 minutes you just wash this all off and you're left with beautiful baby soft skin.

This product claims to smooth & resurface rough skin, minimise the look of fine lines and make your skin tone look bright & even. I don't have any fine lines but it definitely delivers on the other two promises. My skin is left feeling so soft & smooth that I just want to touch it all day long. Any dry patches have immediately vanished & my blackheads are completely gone. My T-zone is normally the most congested part of my face but it looks clear & smooth after using this kit. Even my fingertips feel scarily smooth after using them to massage my face! It can also help to get rid of sun damage but using this product will leave your skin more sensitive to the sun so its extra important to apply a SPF afterwards.

The kit is rather expensive at £59 but you get a large number of treatments for that price as you only need a small amount of product each time. Its definitely cheaper than getting this done as a salon treatment but the effects look just as good. If you live near a Boots with a Philosophy counter see if you can get a sample sachet because its a lot of money to spend without trying something first. Although this kit is really effective you can only use it once a week. If you were to use it more than once a week you'd end up with a very red sensitive face. Its probably not suitable for people with very sensitive skin but it works perfectly on my normal/combination skin type. If your skin looks a bit dull or congested then this product could really work wonders on your skin. I use my Clarisonic on the other 6 days of the week to keep my skin as clean as possible. If you can't afford a Clarisonic I think that this could be a great alternative. Its the perfect product to use during your weekend pampering ritual to make your skin look & feel amazing for the week ahead. I find myself really looking forward to using it every week as a special skincare treat. You can purchase Philosophy products from larger Boots stores, QVC or from their website.

Tuesday 13 March 2012

Lipstick On Your Collar

Dress - Vero Moda / Coat - H&M / Necklace - Urban Outfitters
Rings - H&M, Wired Jewellery, Love Hearts & Crosses / Nails - Illamasqua Stance

Back in November last year I was lucky enough to win a £50 Republic voucher at the Leeds blogger meetup. I waited for ages to find something that I really liked & last week I finally ordered this Vero Moda dress with it. You might've seen it in the campaign images that Alexa Chung did for them. Obviously it looks nowhere near as good on me as it does on her but the pointed collar was something that made this dress irresistible to me. I'd never bought any clothes from Vero Moda before but this dress is really lovely & good quality too. Its a bit longer than the stuff I usually wear but I still like it. I wore this today for a trip to the park & a cheeky visit to the KFC drive through. Sometimes its nice having a boyfriend who works in retail, you get to do fun stuff during the week when its quiet rather than during the busy weekend.

Saturday 10 March 2012

Jenny Craig Week Two

Chocolate coated & wholewheat flakes / Tangy tomato soup & grated cheddar cheese / Creamy chicken fricassee / Thick vegetable & green lentil dahl with sweet potato & butternut squash / Chilli con carne

These are some of the things I've eaten during my second week on the Jenny Craig diet food delivery service. For me the standout meal was definitely the thick vegetable & green lentil dahl. It was packed with flavour & really filled me up. I added a steam bag of sweet potato & butternut squash to my meal and they went so well together. I find that I often pick vegetarian items even though I do eat meat, vegetables seem to satisfy my hunger pangs a lot more. Thats one of the things that I've liked the most about Jenny Craig. Theres a strong emphasis on filling up with vegetables & fruit rather than on carbs which is what I tended to do in the past. I did end up cheating a little bit because there was cake & ice cream in the house which was far too tempting. Despite my sweet treats I managed to lose another pound this week bringing my total weight loss to 3lbs in two weeks. I think thats really brilliant & it shows how much its possible to lose if you have a good diet structure in place.

From doing this two week trial I feel that I've learned a lot about the Jenny Craig style of dieting & nutrition in general. I understand the concept of volumetrics & that its possible to fill yourself up with healthy things if you eat a large amount of them. I try not to deny myself if I do fancy some chocolate or cake but I do limit the amount so that it won't have a counteractive effect on the rest of the healthy food I'm eating. My consultant Anna has been really helpful in getting me to understand the eating patterns that I fall into. She has provided me with explanations & answers as to how I can live my life whilst losing weight. One of the main problems I had was with portion size. I often had the same amount of food for dinner as my boyfriend, who is one of those annoying people who goes to several fast food restaurants in one day and still doesn't gain weight. By having a smaller portion for the 'main' part of the meal and filling the rest of my plate with veggies, I feel fuller despite having eaten less calories.

Jenny Craig is a great programme to follow because it gives you that exact balance of food without any effort. Its been really nice to not have to think about what I'm going to eat each day because its all already prepared & written down for me. I would prefer to be able to eat exactly what I fancy each day but this diet takes out the guess work and stops you from having to worry about how many calories are in everything you eat. The convenience of having your food delivered is brilliant for people like me who don't have a car & its saved me from taking a million trips to the supermarket every week. Once you've stocked up on fruit, veggies & low-fat yoghurts, you're pretty much good to go. The phone calls with my consultant each week are a great way to reflect on the things you've eaten over the past week & get motivated for the next week. They can help you plan for meals out & teach you how to manage your diet once you've reached your goal weight. Its good to hear an educated insight into nutrition & I have found these to be a brilliant help each week.

I've had a few days off the diet now and I've found that its already helped to instill some good eating habits in me. I've been having porridge, yoghurt & fruit for breakfast and I find that this fills me up a lot more than the pieces of toast I used to go for. I've also added tons more fruit & veg into my diet which has really increased my energy levels. I've really enjoyed following the programme so I was thrilled when I was contacted to see if I wanted to carry on with the diet. So hopefully I'll be receiving another hamper of food soon. Jenny Craig has really helped me with some of my diet demons so I'm glad to have found a diet programme that agrees with my lifestyle & eating habits. I'm looking forward to see how much more weight I can lose & if I can get to my lowest weight ever.

Friday 9 March 2012

1000 Followers Giveaway!

I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who follows my blog. I can't believe that theres over 1000 of you who enjoy reading my posts & take time out of your day to comment on them. I appreciate every single one of you. This blog started as an outlet for my love of clothes & makeup and as a way to pass the time when my daughter was sleeping. I feel like its come such a long way over the past two years. I've had some amazing opportunities & met some wonderful people through running sparklyvodka. What better way is there to say thank you to all my lovely readers than by holding a giveaway? I chose a small selection of things from brands that I love & I hope that whoever wins these items will love them too! There are two prizes up for grabs.

1st Prize

Real Techniques Core Collection Brush Set, Eylure Naturalites Double Lashes 202, Barry M Silver Glitter Nail Polish & The Body Shop Mini Chocomania Body Butter

2nd Prize

Philosophy Sample Set - Purity Made Simple Cleanser 30ml, Eternal Grace Shower Gel 30ml, Miracle Worker Moisturiser 11g & Raspberry Sorbet Lip Shine 14g presented in a cute travel bag

Terms & Conditions
- The giveaway will close at midnight Sunday 8th April (GMT)
- It is an international giveaway that is open to everyone
- You must be a follower of this blog via Google Friend Connect or Hellocotton
- Winners will be chosen using
- To enter all you need to do is comment on this post leaving your email, blog address or twitter so I can contact you

Good luck!

Wednesday 7 March 2012


Dress - Missguided / Jacket - Primark / Badges - Stolen Thunder & Helpless Romantic / Headband - Crown & Glory

Quick post about what I'm wearing tonight to the Human Fundamentalism event at Illamasqua Leeds. I've not had much to do today other than get ready because Andy accidentally took both our keys to work this morning, what a goon! Chloe's been going to Babyballet for the past few weeks & she really loves it so it was such a shame we had to miss our lesson.

Anyways I've been checking Missguided every day for the past few weeks waiting for this dress to come back into stock. I finally spotted a coral one in size 10 & ordered it right away. I was hoping to get the nude one too & I definitely have to now because this dress is simply amazing. Its got a stretchy waistband, isn't too short & doesn't gape over my chest. The colour goes perfectly with my new MAC Viva Glam Nicki lipstick. I'm also wearing my trusty old Primark leather jacket & this super pretty floral headband from Crown & Glory. Lana Del Rey has totally reignited my love of all things flowery & Sophie makes such gorgeous hair pieces, I just couldn't resist it!

I can't wait to see all the new Illamasqua products tonight. I read some blogs about yesterdays event & as usual everything looks fantastic. Heres hoping the weather stops being mental when I finally get to step outside the house. I swear it was just snowing a minute ago!