Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Beanie coffee

I was reading a Christmas gift guide on a blog the other day and they recommended the online coffee company Beanies - The flavour co. On Beanies' website they describe themselves as coffee 'nuts' that are all about adding flavour to improve coffee's natural taste. They do all sorts of flavours of instant coffee from the Christmas themed Mulled Wine, to Amaretto Almond. 

Even better, they do a £10 set of three coffees in a presentation box of your choice, free delivery included!

My other half loves his coffee and I thought it would be the perfect gift for him. But as it was the 22nd December I thought it was a bit late for a Christmas present, but I decided to order some anyway for his birthday in February. How wrong was I?! The following day the parcel was delivered by courier, perfectly packaged and smelling great when I opened it. I have never had such an amazingly fast service from a company like that so close to Christmas.

I picked Amaretto Almond, Cinder Toffee and Very Vanilla. It was a tough choice as I was equally tempted by Chocolate Orange, Double Chocolate and Irish Cream. But maybe next time eh?

I think I'll still keep these for his birthday as I've bought him enough for Christmas already. But by having a sneaky smell in the jars, I think they are going to go down a treat! 

Sunday, 11 October 2015

How to get the "your lips but better" look

Long time, no post! Life got a bit hectic and I was lacking inspiration. Anyway, two products have just entered my life that have given me the inspiration to post and tell you about how amazing they are.

Rimmel exaggerate lip liner in Eastend Snob and Rimmel nude collection by Kate in 45 make the perfect 'your lips but better' look. (Also the blusher above is bloody lovely too).

To apply, I first line my lips with Eastend Snob accentuating my Cupid's bow and then use the liner to fill my lips too. With this method the colour pretty much lasts all day! Then I apply the nude lippy in 45 over the top and the look is complete. 

It is the perfect lip colour for autumn and makes your lips look lusciously full.

Have you tried the Rimmel nude collection? What are your favs? 


Saturday, 22 August 2015

Denim skirt SS15

I love that denim never goes out of fashion and that it is so easy to wear and style. One of my favourite pieces for summer 2015 is the denim skirt. 

The skirt pictured came from New Look last week. I picked it up in their sale section for £11. It's a light acid wash pencil skirt. It's a stretchy material and sits on your hips.

As it's light, it helps accentuate a tan and you can pair it with either a dark or light top.

The pictures show how I've styled it on two occasions.

Both times I've worn it with my "moschino" belt (£10 from eBay shh). The first time with a black crop top from Miss Selfridge, Topshop necklace and black wedge sandals from Primark.

The second time I chose this white off the shoulder crop top from Topshop and some New Look wedges. If you look really carefully you can also see Alfie rolling around in the background. :)

I really want a denim shirt now, so that might be a purchase in the not so distant future as that will do well for autumn with some leggings.

Monday, 17 August 2015

How to create a template for Filofax personal size pages

I know that many of you in the planner community are very creative and love making your own pages, stickers, dividers, dashboards etc. as do I. So I thought I'd record a short video to show you how to set up a personal size template for Filofax or other planners of an equivalent size in Microsoft Word.

I hope you find it helpful. Would love to see what you make.

As a side note, I created the video using a great free online tool called screenr - I would definitely recommend it. 

Friday, 10 July 2015

Jillian Michael's 30 day shred review

Up until a couple of years ago, I used to go to the gym regularly. (If you are curious why I stopped going, see old blog post here). Lately I've been missing the gym, I feel like I have less stamina and even though I'm a size 8/10, I'm feeling some wobbly bits where I shouldn't. For reasons that I quit in the first place, going back to the gym right now isn't an option, but I wanted to start getting some exercise in. So I decided a fitness DVD or two could be the way to go. This way I can fit the exercise around my schedule, cut out the travelling time and the expense of going to the gym.
I bought the Jillian Michael's 30 day shred DVD based on a recommendation from a friend. This was backed up by glowing reviews on Amazon as I went to buy it too.

After working out you can definitely feel it. I spent days with aches in muscles I didn't know I had. That's a bit of a tip though, to maybe take it gently for the first couple of times you do this, otherwise you need to rest for a number of days and then can't keep up with the work outs.

There are 3 levels of works outs, each get increasingly harder and each only lasts 20 minutes. That's part of the reason why I went for this particular DVD as time is of the essence for me. Plus, why spend an hour working out when you can lose the same amount of calories in 20 minutes with the right work out? I must admit, I've only braved levels 1 and 2 and yet to reach 3. The thing is I don't workout regularly, I do it sporadically. So I always start with level 1 and then if I do it continuously for a week or so I build up to level 2. But I've never done that for a long enough period of time to build up to level 3 so far.

Last summer I did this for 3-4 weeks in the build up to my holiday in Egypt along with tracking my calories on My Fitness Pal (app) and trying to cut down on my favourite sweet things. I 100% noticed a difference. It definitely increased my body confidence on holiday knowing that I had a flatter stomach and less cellulite on my thighs.

I need to get back in the swing of things with it again right now as we are currently hunting for an August late deal, so I have limited time to get in a decent shape.

What fitness DVDs do you recommend and why?

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Konjac sponge review

I read about the Konjac sponge on another blog and the review was so positive I ordered one straight away.

Picture from
This is the one I got from Amazon. They do a number of different ones, but I went for the bamboo charcoal as it is for oily and spot prone skin (me!). After rushing into the purchase and spending about £7 on it, I later took to eBay to have a browse and found them much cheaper there. Although they were unbranded, they were only about £1. Still, I told myself you can't beat branded products for skincare.

When it arrived I really did enjoy using it. It makes your skin feel really soft, much more so than your average face wash or scrub. I didn't want to cut out my face wash products all together although I think you can with these, so I tend to use this after my face wash to clean off any dead skin cells. It doesn't banish my oily skin or spots, but it does seem to help any blemishes reduce that little bit quicker and not get so severe in the first place.

I left this hanging in my shower between uses and I think that is where it went wrong. After a couple of weeks it started to crumble and once it got too bad I had to throw it away. Looking back, when it arrived and I unpackaged it, it was wet. So I probably should have put it back in the packaging after using to keep in the moisture. 

Since then, I ordered one of the cheap unbranded ones from eBay (in case the crumbling happened again). This time, I've kept it in the bag it came in, not letting it dry out and it is still going strong. Also, there is little different between the branded and unbranded, certainly not something I can justify spending £7 on, when the £1 does the same job. 

The konjac sponge is definitely an addition to my skincare routine that I will be keeping. Also the branded ones make up a nice part of a gift or stocking filler. 

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

My new grey bathroom

It's been just over 2 years since we moved in to our house and the bathroom has always been an area that I've wanted to improve. I finally won over agreement from my boyfriend a couple of months ago so we got the refit booked up, giving us some time to source all the pieces and spread the cost out a bit.

For reference purposes - our old bathroom:

Old bathroom - a bit dated

We started off buying the suite. Based on a recommendation from our plumber we went with Victoria Plumb. He rated the quality you get for the price. After choosing an L-shaped shower bath we decided to stick with the square theme, going with a square basin, toilet and taps. We bought the following:

Boston L-shaped bath with shower screen
Verso toilet
Verso basin
Century basin and bath shower mixer pack (taps)

The century shower mixer from Victoria Plumb looked rather small and only came with a small clip to hold it on to the wall, so we got a separate shower head with a rail (again the square theme) this time from Victorian Plumbing.

The new suite

We also managed to source some bits from eBay:
Towel rail radiator
Custom size mirror
Toilet roll holder
Door stop
Aurora downlights
Chrome light fitting

Downlights and extractor fan

The radiator was an absolute bargain - it was listed as £99.99, but the seller had a deal on for 50% off any purchases over £50. So we got it for £50! As you can see from the pictures, it looks really classy and much more expensive than that. In fact, one of our re-fitters commented on how nice it was.

Towel rail radiator

I'm really pleased with the custom size mirror too. My boyfriend wanted a mirror to be sunk into the wall to sit in the tiles (rather than over the top of the tiles) so I had an idea that we get a mirror that is the exact size of 4 (2x2) wall tiles to keep all the lines neat.

Custom size mirror and Ikea Lillangen shelf
Lillangen end unit

Manrose LED extractor fan

This particular extractor fan was a recommendation from our electrician, it's an extractor and a down-light in one. It's very quiet and seems to work quite quickly. You can also adjust the timer on it for how long until it switches off when you switch the bathroom light off.

Manrose LED extractor fan

The tiles was the hardest part. We made three separate journey's to Topps Tiles/B&Q to try and source some wall tiles and made no progress. On the third journey I suggested out of desperation that we check out Wickes (our Wickes is quite small  so that's why we previously discounted it). I'm sure you can guess what happens next  - we found THE PERFECT wall tiles in Wickes. The light grey Richmond tiles; they are a large rectangle matte grey tile.

The wall tiles and mosaics
Jewel diamond floor tiles

Once we sourced the wall tiles, it made the floor tiles and mosaics easier to pick. We went for the Topps Tiles Lynx grey mix mosaic and Topps Jewel Diamond tile for the floor. The mosaics are a mix of grey stone, glass and chrome and look really smart on the wall. The floor tiles are a dark grey tile with a jewel sparkle to them. They look really smart and expensive (actually, they were rather expensive!) with the grey grout that our tiler has used and when the spotlights are on the sparkle is amazing. They look like they have a sheen to them, but because of the texture of them they aren't slippery at all. They shine of them contrasts really nicely with the matte on the walls.

The photos I've don't taken don't really do the room justice. Our re-fitters (two guys) did an amazing job and everything is finished to a high standard. It took them 7 days in total. They ripped everything out on the first day and plastered over some bits of the wall where removing the tiles had damaged it. Then they fitted the bath, tiled the walls, plastered and painted the ceiling, boarded and tiled the floor, fitted the remainder of the suite and our accessories and sealed everything. Can I just mention the sealing too - round the edge of the floor and where the suite is sealed to the floor they used a grey sealant. It looks so smart and I didn't even know grey sealant existed!

We also had an electrician come in over two days to remove existing light fitting and fit extractor fan and down-lights.

The whole project I think must have come to about £3800 in the end. We originally budgeted for £3000, but the electrician took it up about another £600 (£380 for work, then we bought the parts), plus some other minor costs that cropped up. Once you start, you sort of think you might as well get the really nice bits and pieces as who knows how many years until you have the chance to have another new bathroom.

One thing I have learnt on this project is to find the products you want, then shop around online for the best price. Like I said the radiator was an absolute bargain, also the extractor fan we bought is currently £99 in Screwfix but we got it on Amazon for £60. The Aurora spotlights were also a better deal on eBay than other sites.

We've got the bug now for making our house looking pretty, so on to the next room....

Emma x

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Donating my hair to charity

I had been growing my hair for years, ever since I last had a bob in about 2006 I think! I always wanted my hair to be long enough to cover my boobs at the front, something about Daryl Hannah in Splash being able to keep her modesty hidden that way was ingrained in me. After years of growth I finally made it but towards the end of last year it was starting to irritate me. It got caught on everything, it was in the way in bed and took ages to wash and dry.

By the way, if you are trying to grow your hair, mine really started to grow quicker when I managed to cut my hair washing down from every two days to every three days - just a little tip for you there.

So a couple of months ago I started toying with the idea of a long bob or lob as it is also known. Shorter hair seemed to be the way the fashion world was heading and for once I was ahead of the game. Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Kim Kardashian copied me don't you know!? :)

In the build up to getting the chop, I mentioned it to a lady at work and she told me about hair donation. I didn't really know anything about it and I didn't think I had enough to give away. But I did some research into it and came across Little Princess Trust - a charity to provide real hair wigs to children suffering hair loss. The minimum length they could use was 7 inches and I think I had almost 8 chopped off in the end. All you have to do is mention it to your hair dresser, then they tie it in a pony tail and cut that off so its all tied together ready to be donated.

Getting scared, on the day of the cut

My pony tail

I was so nervious on the day, but excited at the same time. Once that ponytail was cut off, there was no turning back. After my hair being finished and styled how I wanted it - centre parting, deliberate grown out fringe and longer hair at the front, slightly shorter at the back with slight layering, I took my hair home in a bag and posted it to the charity. At the post office the cashier asked me what was in my parcel (nosey bugger!) and I think he had a bit of a shock when I replied hair! He said "not your hair though?" and I was like "yep!". When he took the parcel and saw the address he realised what I had done, but it was a funny situation.

It took me a while to get used to my new do. In fact for the first couple of days I said to my boyfriend - I think I hate my hair cut. But I worked on styling it and my preferred style is the wavy look I've shown above. I used my Babyliss curling wand to create loose waves and use a texturising spray. I'm still not too keen on it straight, mainly because it flicks out at the back of my neck rather than staying straight. I think next time I'll either get more off at the back or get it slightly more layered.

A couple of weeks after my cut the charity emailed me a certificate, so hopefully they've been able to make use of my hair for a child who has had cancer treatment or alopecia.

If you are thinking in following in my (or Cheryl or Kim's footsteps) then I would thoroughly recommend considering donating. Don't worry about the condition of your hair either as it will still have to go through a treatment process in order for it to be used alongside someone elses hair to contribute to a wig. So even if you think your hair is in bad condition they will be able to make use of it.

Disney planner dashboard/dividers

I've been working on prettying up my planner recently and I thought a disney theme would look great in my gold Kikki K. 

So I put together some of my favourite Disney quotes and made some dashboards/dividers.
Disney quotes

The full set are available as a digital downlaod in my Etsy store.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Designer stationery at Quill London

I fell in love with Kate Spade when I went to New York a couple of years ago and saw the beautiful purses and bags in Bloomingdales. Since then, the brand has grown increasingly popular over this side of the pond, especially in one particular area that I am interested in - stationery.

If you are part of any of the online planning communities, the must have planners along with Filofaxes and Kikki Ks are the Kate Spade planners. Yes, I do really want one and no I haven't got one. Realistically, I use my planner for work and I need an A5 planner, so unless KS start producing an A5 number, I am unlikely to splash out the prices that these planners are currently commanding.

Anyway, I digress. Also in the planner community there is a huge buzz around stationery, particularly at the moment the Kate Spade paperclips. Last year I bought the "expletives set" from eBay. This is a set of 12 gold symbols - !?&$#*. I used them to sit and look pretty in my gold Kikki K personal planner. Now a lot of people seem to be loving the gold bow paper clips, so I wanted to get my hands on some of them too.

In searching I came across the site Quill London which is an online store for what seems to be mostly high end, beautiful stationery. Whilst browsing, I discovered they had the acrylic pen pot from the Kate Spade range which I've had my eye on for a while, along with the stapler and tape dispenser.

So I placed an order for the pen pot, bow paperclips and some gold pens on Tuesday night and it arrived beautifully packaged on Friday. Each item in the box was individually wrapped in tissue paper and sealed with gold stickers. Nice packaging is important don't you think?! There was also a hand written thank you note. I got free postage as my order came to over £40.

I am absolutely loving my Kate Spade pot. It has a rose gold base inside with the phrase "a stroke on genius" and a cork base so it wont scratch my desk. The pens and paper clips are a lovely addition too.

Now I'm going to be saving for the stapler and tape dispenser!

If you want to buy any designer stationery for yourself or as a gift, then I thoroughly recommend you check out Quill London.

This is not a sponsored post, I just really love the products and the service.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Models Own chrome polish

Hello everybody!

Just a quick one today as I haven't posted in a while (work has been cray-cray!). 

I came across the new Models Own chrome range on Instagram last week as I think a few bloggers were sent pre-release samples. It was love at first site for me. So, when it came out on Monday I hunted round Boots and Superdrug stores across two town centres, and in the fifth shop which happened to be a Superdrug I found them!

I went for the indigo which was the one I lusted over most on Instagram, but I was equally tempted by the others - especially the rose gold! However at £4.99 each and with a full acrylic stand of nail varnishes at home I resisted going crazy. If there had been an offer for buying multiples I probably would have though.

Have you tried the chrome range yet? 

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Home office

My home office is finally finished. It has been a work in progress over the past few months. What started off as a bright yellow babies room (previous owners) is now a light and airy work space.

The walls were in pretty bad condition, so we started off by using the Polyfilla smoothover to plaster them, then sanded it all down. We also took up the old carpet and skirting boards. After painting the walls, ceiling, door frame and radiator, we laid some 5mm underlay and then some beautiful laminate flooring (Hickory smokey classic from Topps Tiles). It was suprisingly easy to lay the laminate flooring, I would advise anyone to DIY it if you don't want to pay someone to do it for you. It was made extra easy with a laminate cutter - no sawing needed.

We bought some 'no paint needed' white skirting from B&Q and got our carpenter to fit it for us. We could have done it, but don't own any power-tools so thought it best to get a professional in.

So, we went from this...

To this...

Next job was a trip to Ikea. I had always wanted a corner desk, but couldn't find a nice white one. So I compromised with the Malm desk with a pull out panel. It is effectively a corner desk if you want it to be, but the extra bit can be stored away when not in use. This is a great space saver as this is the smallest room in the house. We also got the clear tobias chair as thought it looked really smart and the lack floating shelves.

Finishing touches includeed a small billy bookcase, new light shade, dark wood venetian blind and some pictures on the opposite wall.

Now I have the perfect space to do my work and craft in. I love this room so much. I'm pretty sure it has increased my work productivity as I'm happy to spend time in here doing my work whereas I used to be at the kitchen table with lots of distractions around.

What do you think?

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Topshop Michael Kors Selma style bag

I've just got home from a bit of a Sunday afternoon shopping over at the retail park and with me is my new Topshop bag.

Topshop belt buckle holdall, black, gold, Michael Kors Selma
My new Topshop bag

When I saw it, I instantly thought of the Michael Kors Selma which I love, but I am not prepared to part with that kind of money on a bag at the moment. The Topshop bag is £40, not the cheapest of high street bags, but I justfied it to myself as I will be using this pretty much every day.

Just to compare the two... What do you think? Similar?

It has the handles that you can see in the picture, as well as a shoulder strap. It zips shut, so it is secure from pick pockets.  Inside is a mobile phone pocket and another zip pocket.

I bought the black with the gold hardware. The is also a nude pink and grey design and a black with rose gold hardware (the store didn't have this - otherwise I probably would have gone rose gold!)

You can find the Topshop bag here.

She Said Beauty