Friday, 31 December 2010

Goodbye 2010 - Hello 2011.

Goodbye 2010.
You became my year of closure.
In many ways you have been kind to me, 2010.
But i'm not sad to see you go. Sorry.

Hello 2011.
You're most welcome.
I have a funny feeling you might be my year.
Afterall 11 rhymes with heaven.

{ Just some relevant images I found at }

Well, I hope you all have a sparkling evening tonight (the boy and I are going for party food at a friend's house then drinks in the village). Personally, I cannot wait to see 2011...I just know it's going to be a good year. Thank you, as always, for all your support throughout 2010. The only reason I'm able to keep up this little blogging hobby I love so much is because you girls read and comment; tweet and share. Thank you so much!

Be safe. Have fun.

Rock on 2011. Rock on!

Thursday, 30 December 2010

2011 - Goals & Plans:

I wrote a post about my goals for 2010. I guess i'm happy that the really important ones were achieved, even though others fell by the wayside.

Start a blog - obviously, I did it. Check out my first post.
Identify 100 things that make me happy - I love to read the entire series when I'm feeling less than stellar. I'm delighted that some of you decided to do it too.
Have clear skin - I totally nailed this goal and promise to share the details in January to help any of you who want this for 2011.
Move out of my parent's house - done! I love my home.
Refinish a piece of furniture - such fun! Read the tutorial for tips.

Find the perfect pair of jeans - I raved about 'real straight' by Gap but the search still continues. I'm not convinced a 'perfect' pair of jeans even exists.
Give blood - I have no excuse other than laziness and procrastination. Will you be giving blood this year?
Save three months of living expenses - yeah, right Sofia. The less said about that the better. Moving house, Marrakech and Christmas presents for the boy created obstacles to that idea!
Practice yoga / exercise daily - it just didn't really happen for me. I exercise, but inconsistently.

♥ Give up diet soda / drink 3 cups of herbal tea & 2 litres of water daily.
♥ Become a better blogger and build a better blog. I'll guess I'll judge this by an increase in daily views and the feedback you girls provide me.
♥ Put away £XXX in savings (I possibly have an unrealistic amount in mind).
Clear my credit card (I have very little left to pay) - DONE!
♥ Reach and maintain my 'feel great' weight (only a few pounds to lose).
♥ Exercise consistently - at least 3 times each week.
♥ Visit New York for the second time.
♥ Relax. Relax. Relax. I am far too uptight.

And a few random things I'd like to get done in january:

Get some bathroom storage and organise my products. Copy all my CDs to my laptop and transfer to iTunes to be played on my new iPhone 4. Get several pairs of shoes repaired. Oh, the excitement of January is killing me. Not.

What did you succeed at in 2010? And what do you hope to achieve in 2011?

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Blair & Elle Get Reality Show

I only recently discovered that You Tube beauty gurus Blair (juicystar07) and Elle Fowler (allthatglitters21) have signed a deal for their very own reality show. I've watched pretty much all Blair's videos and have always loved her ditsy, friendly manner. I was always amazed by her crazy-good beauty skills. She was only 14 or 15 when she started posting videos online, yet her make up looked professionally applied. I wish I'd been that handy with an eyeliner pen when i was that age. I later found Blair's older sister Elle and, although I don't love her like I love Blair, her videos are definitely useful and fun to watch.

So what's the story? According to various online sources Blair and Elle have signed a deal with Kinectic Content to shoot a reality TV show. The exact format has not been revealed but it will surely align with the niche they entered on You Tube - beauty and style tips. When Blair announced she was postponing college and moving to LA to set up home with Elle I knew something big in the entertainment industry was on the cards. there is no doubt that both these girls are naturals in front of the camera and as their channels have received millions of hits to date I imagine a mainstream reality TV show will be even more successful. In my mind, these girls are set for major stardom.

What are your thoughts on this development?

I do know this much... I'd choose Blair and Elle over Kristen and Heidi any day.

Blair's blog // Blair's YouTube // Blair's vlog channel // Elle's YouTube

Monday, 27 December 2010

Primark Spring Summer 2011 Preview

If you're anything like me then you'll be longing for spring and summer. We have such long, cold winters in England that right now I can't even imagine what it's like to stroll down the street with a sleeveless dress and bare legs. As I compile this post I'm huddled up over my laptop, wearing a heavy coat and this asos snood (mine is black); a mug of hot chocolate sits to my right side. I have the heating on full whack but somehow it doesn't seem enough.

I hate the coming months in terms of fashion. It's frustrating to see spring/summer collections in the stores and online when it's -3 outside. The weather really won't warm here at all until April which leaves four long months where there will be little that seems remotely suitable to buy. To my detriment, I'm not the type of person to plan my wardrobe too far ahead. I like to buy what I can wear right now.

Nonetheless, I wanted to post a sneak preview of the Primark Spring Summer 2011 campaign as I know a lot of you will be keen to take a peek. It's been useful for me to see these previews in the past as if something sparks my interest then I can search it out in store. It's great to have that kind of focus in Primark as otherwise the rails upon rails of clothes and accessories can become overwhelming.

You can see the winter preview HERE (I saw several items still in store when I popped into Manchester this week). The campaign for spring and summer has a true 50's vibe; don't you think? Ladylike and full of femininity. As always I can immediately spot the odd pair of shoes which will certainly make a home for themselves on the overflowing shoe rack in my hallway.

As much as I love red, navy and white, nothing here really takes my fancy. I guess that red mini satchel (£7 due march) is quite cute, especially paired with the floral shirt dress (£15 due March) and navy cardigan (£16 due Feb) - if only the socks and sandals combination wasn't ruining my visual.

Again, I'm not convinced by this selection. The patent platforms are pretty cool if that's your style and a bargain at £12 (in store now). I've always found Primark's platforms to be exceptional value for money - above average quality and no less stylish than others on the high street at three times the price. I wonder if the beach scene prom dress (£17 due Jan) will be a hit?

I love the mocha colour of the chiffon dress on the left (£15 due March) but unfortunately it's not a shade of brown that will ever suit my skin tone. The wedges (£18) in the centre shot are possibly my style so I'll probably seek those out when they arrive in store at the end of March.

Overall, I'm not enamoured. how about you? leave a comment and let me know what you think!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Happy Christmas!

Happy Christmas to all of you!

Yes, I'm a couple of days early but I wanted to shout out a little Christmas message to you; my friendly, loyal readers! I'll be away from the Internet until the 27th as I'm visiting friends and family so today will have to do instead... I hope you all enjoy dishing out your gifts and seeing the smiles of those you love as they open them. I have a funny feeling that this is going to be a very special Christmas for me. I hope yours is too.

Things I'm grateful for this Christmas: my newly applied shellac nails in red baroness; the most Christmassy colour I ever saw. The boy - he is giddy with excitement about the 25th, which makes me get pretty excited too. Family - they aren't always perfect; in fact mine are nothing short of dysfunctional but I try to see the best in them. White scenery: I know lots of people are tired of the snow, but I still think it looks beautiful. My readers: I love, love, love all the comments you leave me. You really brighten up my days! My Zara coat: still keeping me toasty warm. thanks Zara! Ice skating: I'm going here next week; followed by hot chocolate at Carluccio's (and quite possibly a cheeky cocktail at The North Pole Bar later on). Life is good.


Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Last Minute Gift Ideas (For Boys)

I know a lot of you girls have wonderful boyfriends who deserve to be treated this Christmas. For those of you who are single, maybe this will give you an idea for your dad, brother or best male friend. There are still a few days left to shop! Good luck!

♥ Fragrance: Boys rarely want to spend their hard earned cash on aftershave but they love to wear it so it makes a great gift. Boots (in store, not online) seem to have the best prices right now.

♥ DVDs: Check out the topseller list for inspiration. Shutter Island, Inception and Michael McIntyre (The Stand Up Collection) are all good options.

♥ Boxers: Brand new funky pants are another thing guys love, but hate to buy for themselves. Surprise him with some stripey CKs. These by ted baker are pretty cool too.

♥ Books: Does your guy like to read? My brother is a big fan of true crime stories and I don't think that's unusual for young men. Mr Nice is a best seller and Heist (the true story of the world's biggest cash robbery) has amazing reviews. A thoughtful and inexpensive gift, if you ask me. If he really loves to read then how about The Kindle?

♥ Cosy Jumpers: If you know your chap well enough to choose his clothes then you can't go wrong with a nice sweater. Gap have had a great selection; although they're selling out quickly in stores now that they're at 50% off. I particularly like this, this and this.

♥ Computer Games: Buy your man Call of Duty: Black Ops, which was released last month and you'll get some serious brownie points, I'm sure.

♥ Gadgets: Boys love gadgets or accessories for their gadgets! Does he need a digital camera or a case for his iphone?

♥ Grooming: It always amazes me how much today's man love his 'beauty' products. I still think the Clinique grooming set is one of the best. You can purchase at Boots and all major department stores.

Although I've included online links throughout, you can get all these items on the high street. FYI TKMaxx has tons of pants, socks, belts and wallets left at bargain prices.

Happy shopping!

If you're already done - tell me what did you buy for the men in your life?!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Winter Wonderland

I braved the crowds in manchester at the weekend on the lookout for an outfit for christmas day. Whilst I had a completely unsuccessful shopping trip I did enjoy strolling round the christmas markets and soaking up the scenery. The city sure does look pretty covered in snow.

Things I ♥ about Manchester: beautiful architecture, the people, cafe culture, St Ann's Square, the big wheel, Primark, Manchester United Football Club, great food, traditional pubs, the casino, Selfridges.

{ spot the mecca that is Primark }

{ canal street - the canal is frozen over! }

Monday, 20 December 2010

Product Updates

you might remember when i started trialling lee stafford hair growth treatment and mavala double lash, way back when? well, now i have a brief update for you.

in short, both products rocked.
lee stafford hair growth treatment: smells absolutely gorgeous - my hair definitely felt stronger, softer and more luscious. as i don't dye my hair and therefore have no root regrowth to measure against i can't say for certain as to whether it helped with growth...but i do feel like it grew quicker! definitely worth a shot if you want longer hair - if only for improved condition.
mavala double lash: i used this daily for at least three weeks and by the end of that period my lashes were undoubtedly thicker and slightly longer (i already had pretty long lashes to begin with). towards the end of the trial may eyes became sensitive to the product which meant i'd wake up with slightly red eyes having applied this the night before. ultimately, this is the reason i stopped using it and why i wouldn't buy it again. if you have less sensitive eyes than me then this represents excellent value for money. it works!
oh, and...

you might have noticed that i've lost my blogging mojo.

to write a blog almost every day like i did from july through september previously felt easy. in fact, i looked forward to writing and had to hold myself back from posting too often. when i lost internet connection for five weeks i also lost the habit i'd formed. when my internet connection returned it did not bring my motivation along with it.

go figure.

i'm determined to overcome my blogging woes and keep this blog dancing along throughout 2011. stick with me!


Monday, 13 December 2010

The Sunday Click List (No. 9)

for the benefit of new readers ~ 'the sunday click list' is a weekly post where i share a selection of my favourite online hot spots that i've been clicking on during the past 7 days (view the entire series HERE).
and yes, i am indeed a day late posting this!


VIPXO: my current blog obsession. she has snowflakes floating down her blog page. told you she was freakin' cool.

bee @ viva tramp: i've been meaning to link to bee for a ridiculously long time and i'm annoyed that the thought escaped me whilst i wrote my last sunday click list. bee is awesome. so friendly and unbelievably wise for her 18 years - her blog is a gorgeous mix of loveliness. go show bee some love and find out a little more about her.

damn you autocorrect: as the proud owner of a brand spanking new iphone 4 i couldn't help but laugh my little socks off when i stumbled across this site. enjoy!

speak your mind even if your voice shakes: another killer post from gem. an incredibly wise lady if you ask me. scroll down to the comments section and you'll find a very insightful, essay length response by my style crush lily (who incidentally has a nice new blog header!). p.s... i also truly despise the fact that google subscribers are labelled 'followers'. all 657 of my 'followers' are readers and friends, thank you very much.

seriously hot party sandals by zara: if i wasn't already destined to survive on beans on toast alone for the rest of december i would make these mine. somebody. buy. them. please. it'll be a huge consolation to know that one of you hot ladies is rocking them even if i can't :)

♥ and a few more i bookmarked this week: super cute winter hat (and in pink), quite possibly the most stunning FOTD i ever saw, the naught knot - not for the fainthearted.

thanks for your continued support girls! i've been blogging nearly 6 months and i wouldn't still be here if it wasn't for all of you! coming soon: the braun epilator review, a review of my 2010 goals and some new ones for 2011, gift ideas, some product updates (lee stafford and mavala) and a flat tour (finally!)

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Things I Love Thursday

1. zara padded jackets.

when manchester was hit with temperatures around -12 recently i quickly realised i had next to nothing in the way of appropriate clothing. i darted down to the trafford centre and snapped up one of zara's black padded jackets for £79.99. this style of coat has a tendency to look less than stylish but zara's versions are some of the best. even so, it was very difficult not to buy this or that instead. check out the trf coat selection for cheaper alternatives.

2. above zero temperatures.

whilst i love snow days and the excuse to hibernate at home i sure am chuffed to see temperatures rise above zero this week.

3. no more christmas shopping:

yep, you heard me right. i've been super organised and done all my christmas shopping. ahhhh, now i can relax! i have some gift idea posts coming soon in case any of you are still stuck for ideas. next year i might seriously consider making a donation to charity in lieu of handing out gifts - not sure what my friends, family and lovely boyf will make of that? some of you may be interested to read: 'the case against buying christmas presents'.

4. matt cardle:

i was not remotely enamoured by this season of the xfactor. however, a few performances did stand out; particularly matt's rendition of first time on the live shows and at his original boot camp audition. i've been listening to these on repeat. who did you vote for? the winning song - in case you missed it - and the original by biffy clyro.

5. elf yourself:

sure you've all seen this before but still, gotta love a bit of silly seasonal entertainment!

what are you lovin' this week? have you done all your christmas shopping?


Forever 21 UK

i was a fan of forever 21 way before they entered the UK market. i was pretty shocked recently when i stumbled across the UK version of their web site. i knew they'd opened their first UK store but still hadn't anticipated that a web site would follow shortly after. it's great, i'm happy, but i just wish the prices weren't as jacked up as they are (since when did F21 become so expensive?). it's pricier than primark but i don't think the quality generally exceeds that which you'd find in primarni stores.

still, here are a few of my fave picks. i particularly love their extensive jewellery offering.

what do you think of forever 21?

  1. stripe knit tunic £11.80
  2. cable knit cardigan £21.80
  3. floral sweater top £19.80
  4. double breasted fleece jacket £31.80
  5. herringbone pea coat £33.80
  6. leatherette biker jacket £28.80
  7. muted roses dress £15.80
  8. floral shift dress £21.80
  9. floral mock wrap dress £19.80

have you bought from forever 21 UK? what was your experience? was the quality better or worse than you expected? leave a comment and let me know your thoughts!

Monday, 6 December 2010

A Letter to My 16 Year Old Self

I've been wanting to write this for ages and thankfully this blog has always been a place where anything goes - I've never stuck to one particular topic (i.e beauty) and feel like I can share whatever the heck I like. I wish someone had told me this stuff when i was 16!

1. Experiences and the memories they create are infinitely more valuable than possessions. You don't need all the 'stuff' you think you need.
2. Feed yourself healthy food. Fruit, vegetables and water are your best friends. Not to be thin and fulfill society's ideals about how you should look but because your body is amazing. It's the only one you've got! You deserve better than to be harmed by too much sugar and bad fats. Likewise, make regular exercise a habit now and never lose sight of the fact that it holds as much importance as brushing your teeth.
3. Always practice good manners and decorum. Other people will notice it! It'll make them feel good and it'll make you feel good too.
4. Alcohol, smoking and drugs may cause irreversible damage to your mind, body and soul. Avoid so far as is possible.

5. Be productive. Explore all of your passions. Keep learning, all the time; and try new things. Seek out these opportunities for yourself - school will only teach you so much. Dream of studying abroad? Then make it happen. You may never be as fearless as you are when you're 16. At this age you should still believe that anything is possible and guess what? It is.

6. Understand what the term balance means. Don't become obsessed with certain areas of life to the detriment of all others. Sure, boys are nice but they should never be your 'everything'. Fashion and shopping is fun, but don't become a slave to it.

7. Learn from your mistakes. You'll make many; that's life. But it's really important that you develop self awareness and recognise when you're in the wrong. Don't make the same mistake twice!

8. Some young men will say anything to get you into bed. If you want more than a bit of fun it pays off to wait a while before giving up the goods. Never believe the hype that all men are bad but keep your wits about you. And remember that every single girl deserves to be treated like a princess - you, yes YOU, are not an exception.

9. Let negative remarks bounce off you. More often than not it says a lot more about the other person than it does about you. That girl at school who said you're ugly? She's obviously preoccupied with physical appearance and worries that she is actually the one who is ugly. It's called insecurity. Always keep these people at arms length and surround yourself with positive people instead.

10. Love yourself. You're not perfect, but neither is anyone else. Give yourself a break. There will never be a more important relationship than the one you have with yourself.

What would you tell your 16 year old self? Drop me a comment and tell all!

(image credit)

Saturday, 4 December 2010

November Favourites

aussie 3 minute miracle reconstructor 2 for £6: this has brought my hair back from the brink! ok, i might be exaggerating a little. but my hair was a little fried (ghd overuse?!) and now feels tons softer and healthier. leave on for more like 10-15 minutes for optimum results.

nair hair removal cream - 87p for two sachets at sainsburys: i've been on a mission this year to try every single hair removal option out there (braun epilator review coming soon). this was the last on my list. i like it and will look out for a full size bottle next time i hit the shops. it works quite quickly and effectively and the added ingredients are super moisturising to the skin.

eyedew £4.39: bright, white eyes. thanks eyedew!

the body shop seaweed toner £3: this has great reviews online and i can see why. i love using this after cleanser to get my pores squeaky clean.

philosophy hope in a jar moisturiser £33.50: first reviewed HERE. this has been an absolute godsend during this cold snap. after i had the flu recently i used this several times a day around my nose and it cleared the dry skin and redness within just a couple of days. i was amazed.

lip fusion in smooch £25: a sexy, plumped, luscious pout in a tube. ridiculously pricey but i do love it.

bobbi brown natural finish foundation £28 (and worth every penny): recommended in bridal magazines and now i know why. my holy grail foundation. so good even my boyfriend's male friends have been commenting on my skin - madness! i always say if a guy notices something then you're onto a winner because men are generally not known for their observation skills. looks amazing in photographs.

bobbi brown eye repair £35: first reviewed HERE. the delicate skin around my eyes LOVES this product. it was once a problem area for me but no longer.

ghd IV salon styler hair straighteners £99: they work. 'nuff said.

what products have you been lovin' this month?

Thursday, 2 December 2010


(the door to my flat - i thought the number '4' was meant to be lucky?)

do you ever feel like you're cursed? i do.

i'm now back online after FIVE weeks without internet.

during those 5 weeks my dishwasher broke. the new tv i bought had an internal fault and had to be returned. it took a little while to get a replacement. my boiler broke. i was without heat and hot water for 4 days. the lock to the front door of my apartment block is still broke. i have to walk a zillion miles round the back to access the rear entry instead. every. day. the flat beneath me makes continual noise until 2am every week night. not sure what they're doing, but boy are they noisy. i got a parking ticket last week. a speeding ticket the week before (*i wasn't being reckless, i promise - a small section of road went to 50 when the rest was 60 and it was definitely NOT clearly marked!). on top of that i'm just recovering from the flu. two whole weeks of feeling like death...

onwards and upwards.

be back tomorrow with my november favourites. let's get the (blog) show back on the road!

thank you for still subscribing and following!

i'm in desperate need of some sunday click list inspiration so please drop me a comment with any interesting or cool sites you've found recently. any new blogs i have to check out?