Sunday, 29 July 2012

Savvy shopper?

Everyone shops differently, some of us wait until we have a list of exact things needed in the wardrobe before hitting the shops or websites or others can spend hours shopping online and wouldn't dream of trawling through the shops and some are a little bit of each!

There is nothing worse than the following things happening when shopping:

  • Buying it and then promptly seeing it a week later in the sale for less than what you paid for.
  • Not trying it on and getting home to realise it doesn't actually fit.
  • Finding a 'dupe' of a popular pricier product to realise the quality is awful.
  • Saving up for a particular dress/watch/top etc to find that the shop doesn't have it in your size or even's stopped selling it altogether!
(Source: Google)

So I've come to the conclusion that with a little bit of internet research and the knowledge of where to find  some cheeky tips all of those pesky common shopping problems can become a thing of the past!

Student Discount
Being a student has it's downs due to constantly being pretty poor BUT one definite good thing to come out of being a student is the student discount you can often obtain from shops by simply showing your student card (as long as it has an expiry date). The website UniDays is amazing, they also have a Facebook page which is pretty clever as they know a huge amount of students use Facebook. To register with UniDays all I had to do was give them my e-mail address so I can get the latest offers and deals they have to offer as well as your university so they can double check you are a registered student. Minimal faff but a MUST for using websites such as ASOS and BOOHOO as you get 10% off! 

UniDays is great for still getting student discount online and not just in-store! No one likes paying full-price and it all makes a difference if you can start saving here and there!

ASOS Marketplace
This is an amazing part of the ASOS website where you can buy vintage and pre-owned clothes from little boutiques and people just like you and me that are finding new homes for their clothes. It's a bit like eBay but with the familiarity of the ASOS website without being limited to their usual stocklists! 

Within minutes of looking on it I always find something that seems a bargain. I love this vintage Lacoste Lemon Cardigan I found on there for only £16!! When a trend starts to emerge the chances are that it's already been round at least once before, sellers are quick to put their clothes that they think will be popular on here and a mega bonus is you can see how they have styled it- no crumpled clothes on hangers in sight!!!

TK Maxx
For many the thought of TK Maxx and it's rails and rails of messy clothes brings them out in a hot sweat just thinking about it! Some people always manage to find the gems in there- my friend is a mega bargain finder in TK Maxx! It always surprises me how few people look on their website to see what they can find!
With no messy rails and easy sections to navigate around- 'New In' and 'Clearance' as well as 'Women's' it's so nice to have a browse through and you never know what you might find and the chances are no-one else will have it! I bought this play-suit from TK Maxx for £15 and absolutely love it! I mostly team it with tights like I have in this pic but it's great for a beach layer as well.

Vouchers/Voucher Codes
On almost every website now when it gets to the stage of you having to part with your money they often have a 'enter promotional code here' why waste a golden opportunity to save yourself a few pounds or pennies on something you were going to buy anyway! Fashion Vouchers offer a variety of codes, such as an extra 20% off Dune's sale!! Perfect if you've found a pair of shoes for your holiday! Or 15% off Urban Outfitters Festival range!! Or if you are going on a shopping trip the chances are you will get a little bit peckish due to all of your retail therapy so have a little look on Voucher Codes offers on restaurants, with a printable voucher for Prezzo entitling you to a free pizza if you buy one full price! 

Overall tips
So there you have it! My best internet haunts of where you can save yourself some money and often time as well. Here are some extra pointers to help make shopping more efficient:
  • Make sure you know your measurements- sites like ASOS and Topshop will have their own sizing guide, you might be a size 12 in New Look but ASOS may have different measurements! That way even if your buying online you still can be confident it will fit you when it arrives!
  • Do your research if your buying a 'dupe' of a product! There have been so many shops releasing their own versions of the famous American Apparel Disco Pants, at £70 they aren't exactly cheap but how can you be sure MissGuided's version will be ok? The answer- RESEARCH! Look on blogs to see other people's reviews of them before parting with your money!
  • Plan in your head how many outfits you can make out of your new top/dress/shorts etc! You don't just want to buy it and be restricted to just one way you can wear it. A good purchase is something that can see you through the current trends/season without people thinking "oh no they are wearing the polka dot top again"!!
  • And my last tip is to enjoy!

Portobello Road

At the weekend I went to go and stay with my friend Olivia who lives in leafy north London. We had a lovely time and it was really nice to see the sights of London that she enjoys. We ventured onto the busy underground to Portobello Road to explore it's weekly market.

I was blown away by how big it is! Never seen such a long road in my life! Antiques, vintage clothes and shoes, food, jewellery, old records there was a stall for anyone! And with a mix of both shops and stalls it was really fun looking through. With it being so busy I was slightly reluctant to get my camera out besides taking the picture of the road sign- such a tourist!! 

Here are some nice photos I found so you can get an idea of what it looks like! (source- Google) 

There was such an amazing variety of smells as you walked past the food stalls- huge paella pans, to men chopping coconuts, to German schnitzels to fresh fruit! 

It's definitely a great place to find a bargain, most of the stall owners were open to a bit of bartering. (Never seen so many Levi shorts in my life!!) with patterned jumpers in abundance and quirky shirts on almost every stall it was really exciting to rummage through the rails.

Has anyone else been to Portobello Road Market? 

Here is a little video of the song 'Portobello Road' that you might know from the old Disney film 'Bedknobs and Broomsticks' little bit of fun and I couldn't resist putting it in!!

**Also I was really excited and amazed to of reached 100 followers this week!! It's amazing to of gained you lovely readers and I hope you all enjoy my blog as much as I enjoy writing it and seeing everyone else's blogs. I had no idea when I started it in January how much I would enjoy being a part of the blogging community, so thank you to all my followers old and new!**

Monday, 23 July 2012

Something new....

Jeans: Miss Selfridge, Shoes: Toms, Cardigan: Primark, Body: H+M

After taking this outfit photo last Thursday before going to see 'Magic Mike' at the cinema I completely forgot to post it before heading to London for the weekend....excuse the lateness! I wore a pretty comfy/laid-back outfit with a bit of a cheeky clash of the purple cardigan and my trusty high-waisted burgundy jeans.

Magic Mike was pretty good, it was slightly grittier than me and my friend had been expecting as it dealt with the darker and vicious cycle of male stripping, don't worry I won't spoil the plot if your thinking of going to see it.

For regular readers of my blog you might have noticed that I have a new header now, this is thanks to the lovely Gillian over at Elevatormusik who does blog re-vamps/customisations. What with being pretty busy and now being on work experience for the week I haven't really had a minute nor the patience to do one myself so she managed to create exactly what I was looking for!

Have any of you been to see Magic Mike?

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Light reflects from your shadow

I had really been hoping to do an outfit post for you all today but as I've been helping my Dad paint the house I've been stuck wearing a not so glamorous bright blue all in one suit to protect my clothes from the paint (thats about five million sizes too big) so I'm afraid no outfit post.

BUT I'm off to London for the weekend to stay with a friend so fingers crossed I'll get some snaps then! Hopefully it won't be too busy but with the Olympics just over a week away I have a feeling it will be.

Anyway, as I've been busy painting the house I decided to paint my nails too and I've got something pretty to look down at!

I used my Nails Inc 'Picadilly Circus' for the base colour as it is such a gorgeous pinky/red, once that had dried I added a coat of the Topshop 'Ice Crush' for some extra sparkle. I love that it has both small and larger chunks of glitter which gives a really nice effect (just wish my nails would grow a little bit!).

100% in love with the Topshop nail varnishes, as a polka dot lover I think the caps are really cute and the range of shades they have are all so pretty! My collection is slowly growing.

Do any of you have the Topshop 'Ice Crush'? What shades do you team it with? 

Friday, 13 July 2012

£100 ASOS challenge!

After seeing lots of everyone else's posts about a £100 blogger challenge on ASOS and being inspired by lots of lovely looks that some of you made so I thought I would collate my own 'dream' outfit with an imaginary £100.

I have been lusting over this dress for the past week so it HAD to be at the center of the whole outfit. At £45 it eats into the £100 quite a lot but it's so lovely I just can resist it. The daisy's at the top half of the dress are made out of tiny little sequins..dreamy!!

As the dress is so pretty and quite simplistic I didn't want to ruin it with excessive accessories or bright shoes etc so I thought these pretty ballet flats were perfect as they are dainty and suit the dress.

Next I found the watch and the bag. I love the brown leather strap on the watch and the musical notes make a great background to the watch-hands. As the funds were quite low by the time I came to find a bag a little shopper had to do, this still suits the outfit as quite a relaxed (I think it would be perfect for a day sight-seeing/exploring a city).

So did I keep it under £100?

Dress: £45
Ballet Flats: £20
Watch: £20
Bag: £12

Total: £97 !!

Leaving the grand total of £3 change, just enough to buy this months issue of Company and a choccy bar.

What do you all think of my picks? 

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Stila 'In the Light' eye-shadow palette

I would say I am probably more of a clothes addict than a make-up fiend BUT since I started blogging my interest in the world of beauty has definitely increased, so much so that I actually found myself getting very excited when I saw this product- the Stila 'In the light' eye palette in the Cambridge Boots whilst I was visiting there last weekend

After wanting to buy an Urban Decay Naked palette for such a long time I could never find a store that actually sold it, so after seeing Zoe's review for this over on Zoella I decided to start looking out for this instead. If it's good enough for Zoe then it's definitely good enough for me! (psst it's £10 cheaper too!)

The shades from left to right:
Top Row: 'bare', 'kitten', 'bliss', 'sunset' and 'sandstone'
Bottom Row: 'bubbly', 'gilded gold', 'luster', 'night sky' and 'ebony'

I really like the natural-ness (is that even a word?!) of the shades, I'm definitely a less-is-more type of girl and the different looks/blending opportunities really are endless.

Also what I thought was really nice is that they include a 'smudge stick' of waterproof eyeliner so you really can achieve a full look with the palette.

This morning I tried out their 'basic beauty' look as they also supply you with a little lookbook of how to achieve 6 different looks, this one is probably the most simplistic out of them all, the picture below doesn't quite do it justice!

Overall I'm really pleased with the palette, I think I am going to get a lot of wear out it and I'm looking forward to experimenting with all the shades. Have any of you been tempted by this palette or are you always going to stick to the Urban Decay palettes?

Definitely need to get a better eye make-up brush though, has anyone got any good makes/brushes they can recommend?

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Bake me a cake....

Good evening everyone! Something a little bit different from me today.......a little bit of baking. I'm quite the lover of cakes and nothing beats a home-made cupcake! So I thought I would share with you all how to make these delicious (and light) small cup-cakes // fairy cakes.

What you will need:

1) 110g self-raising flour 
2) 110g caster sugar
3) 110g margarine
4) 2 eggs
5) 1 teaspoon baking powder
6) 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

(It's a good idea to sift the flour and sugar to get any lumps out and also to help achieve maximum 'fluffyness' in the mixture)

Pre-heat your oven to 160 degrees C and whilst that's warming up place all of your weighed out ingredients together in a bowl. Then with either a wooden spoon (muscles needed!!) or an electric whisk, mix them all together and keep doing so until the mixture becomes really light and should look something a little bit like this:

Then once it has reached this consistency you can start spooning the mixture into bun cases (I find using two teaspoons really useful as you put the mixture on one and use the other to scrape it off). Ensure that an even amount of mixture is distributed between all of the bun cases otherwise some will be bigger than others....about a third full is the right amount.

They don't look particularly impressive but trust me once they go into the oven they rise really quickly. Pop the tray into the oven and leave them to cook for approximately 20 minutes (make sure you check back regularly) until they are springy to touch and golden in colour.

Once they are done, take them out of the oven and out of the tray and leave them to cool on a cooling rack before you ice them.

I iced mine with Glace icing that I mixed up which is really simple to make-

200g sifted icing sugar
55ml boiling water
tiny bit of gel food colouring

*Recipes and method taken from Kate Shirazi's book- 'Cupcake Magic'*

The beauty of cakes is that you can be as extravagant or as simple as you like.....I'll leave it up to you!

Monday, 9 July 2012

A day trip to......Cambridge

Despite only living only an hour or so away from Cambridge it had been a very long time since I had last paid it a visit. (Why is it when we have such lovely places almost on our doorstep we don't appreciate them?!) Anyway Reiss came up for the weekend and we decided to spend one of the days there enjoying the sights.

Cambridge is such a gorgeous city and once you get used to being amongst a throng of tourists it is a joy to walk around and explore. We started by walking along by Kings College and gradually down the road to the Fitzwilliam Muesum (one of the best museums EVER and it's free......oh and the cafe serves gorgeous food, I had an open sandwich with spinach, huge Portobello mushrooms and goats cheese).
Despite showers of rain coming and going throughout the day it didn't matter too much, although I did wish that I should have maybe taken a rain coat!

I wore one of my current favourite outfits-
 Denim shirt: H+M.......Polka-dot skirt: Pull&Bear......Brogues: Primarks......Bag: Urban Outfitters

In true Cambridge tradition we enjoyed a punt along the river Cam which runs along behind the majority of the colleges. It was so lovely just gliding along the river taking in the scenery. 

 On our punt ride
 Kings College

It was a lovely day out and such a beautiful place I could visit it again and again! Have any of you been to Cambridge? 

*I've also decided that I'm going to endeavour to start replying to every comment you lovely people make on my posts, I read every single one and am really grateful for you to take the time to leave me one, so do check back if you do leave one*

Thursday, 5 July 2012

The next vlog installment- tour of my bedroom!

Here is my next offering for my vlog! After receiving positive comments for my first one from you lovely lot I decided to film another, this one being a little peek around my bedroom- because everyone loves a little nose! Hopefully you all like it. (don't worry it does turn round to landscape view after the first few seconds)

After attempting to be ultra-organised this morning I actually filmed two vlogs- this one here and also a haul of my birthday presents but there was a glitch in the uploading, Youtube had a strop and the file has now un-synced my lips to the video!! So I'm going to be re-recording that very soon hopefully but in the mean-time I hope you enjoy this video (feel free to subscribe to my err that makes me sound very professional!!). xxx