Friday, 30 September 2011

Friday, Finally.

Blogger is playing games with me today so I can't post what I had in mind. I went to London this week and had some photos to share! They will have to wait for another day. I figured I'd share this snippet of wisdom instead:
Happy Friday! .

Monday, 26 September 2011

My Beach House Fantasy

I hope you've all had a wonderful weekend! Mine was as perfect as I had hoped.

It's officially autumn and Christmas is round the corner (two pay cheque away!). The moment this season arrives I find myself dreaming of sunshine, crystal clear waters and cocktails by the beach. I stumbled across this amazing Malibu beach house and couldn't resist sharing it with you. Isn't it gorgeous? Promise I'll come back to reality soon (and post some fall/winter inspired posts instead) but for now I'd like to cling on to summer for just a little longer...

Malibu beach house located on the Pacific Coast Highway, California; via modresdes.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Here's to a Relaxing Weekend

The early mornings are noticeably chillier and I can almost smell autumn in the air. It's sad to say goodbye to summer but September brings a different kind of fun, like shopping for a winter coat and adding new layers. Tomorrow, I'm looking forward to a lazy lie in followed by an afternoon snuggled under a blanket with a cup of coffee and a new book. I'm sure the most taxing part of my day will be a stroll around the block to photograph the leaves that have already turned brown. Have a happy weekend guys!

Oh, and some blog news... During October all the graphic elements (headers, navigation bar, etc.) here will be professionally designed. That's something I've never had done before and I'm super excited to pretty things up. It's funny the journey you take as a blogger - I haven't been around long (just over a year) and am still learning the ropes, finding out what works and what really doesn't (I've made mistakes a-plenty) but it's the little milestones like a site redesign that keep things interesting!

Photographs by lorena*arance via this is glamorous.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Win Tickets to the Britney Spears Femme Fatale Tour!

I've always been a huge fan of Britney, even in spite of her life dramas. Friends who've seen her perform live are besotted. I'll never forget when she hit the scene with the video 'Baby One More Time' in that school uniform. Sheer genius. Any of you seen her recently? She's still got it, right?

Britney's latest fragrance is released for purchase today. Her scents have always been popular (hers is the number 1 celebrity fragrance brand) but I think this one might be my favourite. The inspiration behind it is the idea of 'luminous sensuality' and I'm telling you - it sure is sensual!

But that's not all. Would you like to win tickets to Britney's upcoming Femme Fatale tour? Of course you would. To celebrate the launch of Cosmic Radiance there's a competition running from today until 18th October 2011 where two tickets will be given away every hour. To enter visit Cosmic Radiance. Good luck!

This post is sponsored by Elizabeth Arden/Cosmic Radiance. See my disclosure for more info.


Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Cornwall Highlights #2

Check out Cornwall Highlights #1 and for more on St Ives see here and here!  

15 minutes of fun!
Nervous excitement as we watched others take boats out before us.

 He even looks cute in a lifejacket. I think I'll keep him.
I could sit and watch this water all day long. I'm sure my worries would wash away.
It was awesome to capture this fisherman at work! 
During our recent trip to St Ives my boyfriend and I got lifejacket-ed-up and took ourselves out on a boat. It was a fun fifteen minute trip! It's strange how different something you've seen a hundred times before looks from an alternative angle - it was lovely to view the harbour front from the sea. This mini-adventure also gave us the opportunity to see the men at work, sailing in with the day's catch. I rarely love a photograph I take but I was thrilled to capture the shot of the fisherman, suited up in yellow. It's one I'll cherish, for sure.


Monday, 19 September 2011

Drive away. Drive safely away ...

I don't know about you but driving lessons were one of the scariest things I ever had to do. I was so incredibly nervous and flunked two tests because I was on edge (and made silly mistakes). Nonetheless, I was a good driver during lessons and practice and was completely determined to pass and pass quickly. It was third time lucky for me and at age 17 and 7 months old I was on the road. Driving away from the test centre for the last time was the best experience.

After I failed my first two tests I decided to change driving instructors. Turns out that was the best thing I could have done. Although my nerves were a large part of the problem, my new instructor gave me bags more confidence and really got the best out of me. I started to feel far more at ease with the whole process. It's so important that you find a great instructor!

RED Driving School asked me to share a little info with you. It's wonderful to use this blog for good purpose and raise awareness about RED's ongoing commitment to road safety. You've probably seen the RED cars around your town. I know I have. RED Driving School believes that road safety is paramount and is committed to working with organisations, including the road safety charity Brake and young people (in particular between the ages of 17 and 24 who are more likely to be involved in a road traffic crash than any other age group in the UK). I think it's pretty cool that RED are so focused on road safety. What could be more important, right? 

I don't wish to be a scaremonger, but I see accident scenes every other week around the roads near my home in Manchester. Yesterday I was delayed coming home because of an horrific crash. There was barely anything of the car left. I can only imagine the condition the driver was left in. Road crashes are the biggest cause of death and disability among young people and many are killed or hurt in situations that they could have avoided.

Both RED and Brake will teach you great road safety. Take a good look at their web sites for advice. Stay safe guys! 

This post is sponsored by RED Driving School. Read my disclosure!

Sunday, 18 September 2011

A Master Closet To Die For

I think you'll all appreciate this just as much as I do. Blogger Jen Ramos has finished up her master closet renovation and shared it on her blog. I'm in awe of it. It's not so over the top as to feel unobtainable but it sure is special enough to spark my interest! Images via Jen Ramos.

This has definitely given me some inspiration and ideas for the organisation of my own wardrobe space. What does your wardrobe look like? Any of you have walk in closets?


Friday, 16 September 2011

September 2011 GlossyBox

I recently received the latest GlossyBox in the post. Just last month I talked about my first experience with this subscription service. I wasn't that enthusiastic but over the past few weeks I've grown to love two of the products in that box. In case you missed that post here's a brief intro: 

GlossyBox is a subscription service costing £10 per month plus £2.95 shipping (total £12.95). Your hard earned cash gets you a delightful pink and black package shipped to your home each month containing beauty miniatures to try out. Occasionally the items are full size which is a nice little bonus. If you like 'em you can repurchase via the web site.

This month the GlossyBox offers 5 Future Classics.

Eeek! The HD Brows Palette immediately made my heart beat faster! I was so excited to try this. 

I'm always on the look out for a new shampoo and conditioner duo as I tend to swap haircare up quite a bit and rarely stick to the same lines - I was pleased to see the Rahua sachets in there especially as they use 100% organic and natural ingredients.

In short - the HD Brows Palette is ace! The shampoo and conditioner is great - I've used it all week and my hair is happy. The Plum perfume sample - not my cup of tea unfortunately. Green People Day Solution - my skin tends to be happy with pretty much any moisturiser; I have quite a large collection which I'm working my way through. Still, I'm pleased to have this. It feels lovely on the skin and the fact that it's 94% organic is a huge bonus. Moá The Green Balm - a wonder balm that works a treat on the cuticles!

A feature I missed last month, which I stumbled across this week, is the 'magazine' element of the web site. Here you'll find tips and information that helps you make the most of the product. Super useful!

My overall verdict on my GlossyBox experience so far: It is fun to receive something in the mail and it's neat to discover new (niché/exciting/luxury) products, carefully selected by the GlossyBox girls. The HD Brows Eye Brow Palette was a wonderful surprise. I've always wanted to try something like this and playing around with it has definitely been the highlight of my week! The Murad Cleanser from last month's box was a cool find and I've been using it every day in place of my usual cleanser - really pleased to have discovered that and could imagine purchasing it in the future.

I'm pretty sure there will be at least one stand out product in every box which rocks your world - there was for me (Murad Cleanser & KMS lotion last month and HD Brows Palette this month). The question you have to ask yourself is whether that's enough to justify the subscription price. My guess is that, for many of you, it will be. Personally, I'm currently saving all my pennies (it's on my 30 Before 30) so won't sign up but I would love this as a gift subscription.

Did any of you receive the September box? What's your verdict? Have any products from past boxes become firm favourites amongst your routine? Leave a comment and tell all!

This post is sponsored by GlossyBox. If you're not sure what this means please check out my disclosure. The opinion expressed is my own!

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Bits + Pieces at Lark & Linen

I'm featured on lark & linen today, sharing some bits and pieces. If you're not bored of me already hop on over and take a look! While you're there have a good mooch around Jacquelyn's blog. It's one of my favourites!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Missoni for Target

Eeek! I'm so excited about the Missoni for Target collection which was released in the US today (the site is currently down - must be a lot of people who are just as excited by it as I am)! I've always been a huge fan of the Missoni prints so to see them utilised on such a broad spectrum of products is heavenly. I viewed the entire preview online at NY Mag and was most taken with the following pieces. Isn't the throw to die for? And that stationary. Gah, the stationary!

What's your verdict? US readers - will you be buying?

Monday, 12 September 2011

Cornwall Highlights #1

I'm back from my little break in Cornwall. Thank you, once again, to the guest posters who kept things ticking along nicely whilst I was gone. We had a great time and didn't want to come home. I find it so relaxing in Cornwall - the sea, the beach, the sunshine - for me, it's like taking a happy pill and I feel rejuvenated just being there. The lighting was way off (grey and cloudy for the most part) so I didn't snap too many remarkable photographs. Nonetheless, I'm keen to share a few highlights of my trip here and will intermingle them amongst my typical posts throughout the next couple of weeks.

I'm so excited to reveal that we broke up our journey to southern Cornwall by stopping one night at the Tregardock camping pods in North Cornwall. I nabbed the idea from lovely Zoe, who shared some beautiful photographs of the pods' stunning location. And this is exactly why I love reading blogs so much - you get to hear about the experiences of real people and discover new things to implement into your own life. Cool, right?

Pre-camping feast (brie and bacon) in Port Isaac.

Our home - a double pod priced at £35. We paid extra for the bedding and camping stove. We cooked burgers, drank red wine and then hunkered down for the night to brave a pretty scary storm. Although this was an amazing, unique experience I'd definitely suggest you keep an eye on the weather and go during the summer when it's hot and dry.

The view across the field, over the cliffs, to the sea is just beautiful. It's very peaceful out there and was a textbook example of pure escapism. At the bottom of the camping field there's a stone cottage which offers various facilities - a toilet, shower, electricity (to charge your phones and dry your hair), microwave, fridge and freezer. 

The climax for me was walking down to Tregardock Beach as the day was drawing to a close. It was a magical view and one which a photograph simply cannot do justice. It's an enormous bay where the waves are fierce and the Atlantic Ocean appears vast and intimidating. The perfect place to sit and ponder.

Have any of you been to the Tregardock camping pods? Were you tempted after reading Zoe's post earlier this summer? Got an unusual camping destination to share? Leave a comment and tell all!

Friday, 9 September 2011

A Guide To University Life

Today, Maria of Miss Drifted Snow White is sharing her tips for university life. I thought this was really appropriate as so many of you will be embarking on this new adventure during September. Over to Maria:

I'm German and when I was little I decided I wanted to study in the UK. At the age of 23 I finally stood on the campus that would become my university for the next four years. Even though I'd already been in the UK for three years by that point I still had a massive culture shock coming to university! Here's my uni guide:

#1. Differences and Common Ground. This is probably the biggest thing you need to keep in mind. People have different reasons for going to university. While everyone has different reasons, you will all have something in common. You are all in the same boat of not knowing anyone so no one is going to say "I don't want to get to know you."

#2. Alcohol and Drugs. Most freshers have never lived away from their parents so there is a lot of settling in to do at the beginning. To make this easier, most people use the social lubricant of alcohol and drugs. Beware of peer pressure. If you don't want to drink more because you'll throw up with the next, then stop! If someone offers you drugs, say no! If your friends want to do this with their lives then that is their choice. But you don't have to - you are grown up too and can make your own decisions.

#3. Lectures and Tutorials. Go to them! Yes, your first year won't count towards your degree but good results here will increase your chances of acquiring a good placement should you be undertaking a sandwich course. Getting a placement is tough as there aren't too many employers offering it - the competition is high. So, do try and get the best results you can. You'll have to go to your lectures from year two onwards so you may aswell get used to it from the outset!

#4. Societies and Clubs. I personally believe that university is there to challenge you and to push you outside your comfort zone. There were so many things on offer at my university that I'd never had the chance to do before. I joined the hockey team (turns out I'm not good at hockey) and signed up for Jiu-Jitsu (turns out I was one of the best newbies in the region!).  Make the effort to sign up for clubs and sports you would never otherwise have joined.

#5. Money. Unfortunately, being a student will most likely mean you'll be broke! University is meant to prepare you for 'real' life so do get a part time job to see you through. A few ways you can look after the pennies: Withdraw some money for a night out and leave the bank card at home or with a non-drinker; that way you won't be able to spend more than you should! Get an NUS card for discounts at places like New Look, Topshop and Dorothy Perkins. Sign up for places like Student Beans - they offer great deals for students! Purchase a Young Person's Rail Card - this will come in handy for visits home and when travelling to interviews.

#6. Boys and Sex. This is a topic I could write a book about! Boys will tell you whatever you want to hear to get into your pants. That's just the way it is. There's nothing wrong with going with the flow but there's definitely nothing wrong with saying no either. But be safe; use condoms. The pill alone doesn't protect you from stupid STDs, nor the ensuing embarrassing jokes and reputation. I recommend you always invite a boy back to yours, rather than you go to his - that way you have your safety net and know exactly where you are. There are too many risks involved by going home with a stranger. Better to be safe than sorry, right?

#7. Safety and Security. From way too many personal experiences, I cannot stress this point enough. Be safe! You'll probably be living in a new city where you aren't aware of the 'good' and 'bad' areas. Make sure you have 999 on speed dial - I use key 'e' for emergency. Have a cab number stored in your phone too. Always keep a fiver aside to pay for a cab. There's really nothing more stupid than going home alone and risking your life to save the fare. Always let someone know where you are. On campus, lock your room. Always! Nobody is going to take it personally that you want to protect your belongings. Being in the same boat is a bonding experience but it doesn't stop people from stealing your belongings!

University is going to be your home for the next 3-5 years so make the most of it!

Much love,
Miss Drifted Snow White x

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Things I Love Thursday

Thank you so much to the gorgeous ladies who have stepped in to guest post so far. There is one more to come tomorrow! Haven't they done a lovely job?! I wanted to interrupt my mini-escape to Cornwall to share my latest 'Things I Love'. I've had so much to love and appreciate over the course of this week. More on that soon. In the meantime, here's just a selection of things that truly made me smile.

#1. Moustache Pillow Set by Urban Outfitters. I totally want to buy this.

#2. These words.
#3. My blue stone ring. One of my best friends bought me this ring (on right in picture) from Lily's store a couple of months back and I wear it all the time. It's seriously one of my all time favourite accessories. Love it. Photo via LLYMLRS.

#4. Fairisle knitwear. I'm pretty sure you could scout these out in your local charity shop for pennies but if you're not into that then they're all over the high street. I like 'em oversized with leggings, brogues and messy hair. This one is £37 by Miss Selfridge.

#5. Eating chocolate cake all day long. iPhone pic of my boyfriend's birthday cake:

This week I've also been loving...

♥ beautiful ♥ House parties with old friends ♥ Basking in the last of the summer sunshine and appreciating every moment of it knowing that my favourite season is 'officially' over ♥ Sweet comments and emails from lovely readers ♥ Berry red nail polish ♥ Picking out a shirt for my boyfriend's birthday and having him say it's his new favourite. Yay for getting it right! ♥ The return of XFactor - I love, love, love this girl. I've listened to this audition over and over again & watched all the videos on her youtube ♥ Positivity ♥ No work for a whole week. Awesome.