14 April 2014

DIY: CREATE YOUR OWN JEWELLED PHONE CASE


Can you tell I had time to kill this weekend? I decided to go on the hunt for some jewels to pimp up my phone because every time I've been out and about looking for a phone case I either can't find one for a Samsung S4, or they're just too dam expensive. 

I already have a white removable back on my phone so I decided to add some jewels and make a Skinnydip lookalike. If you haven't spotted Skinnydip cases on blogs recently, then where the hell have you been. Bloggers now have the power to make or break a brand, and Skinnydip have been lucky enough to fall into the 'make' category. 

So even though I find the customer service in John Lewis Oxford Street absolutely rubbish - as I also do in Clapham Junction TK Maxx and Debenhams - I headed upstairs to the haberdashery department to see what they had in terms of bling. I came across these cute green and clear/silver sew on gems at £2.50 and £3.00 for an assorted pack, while the superglue was £3.49. 

I'm sorry this is my second super-basic DIY post but I'm only learning myself on how to do these things, so again thought it might be nice to inspire any crafty novices along the way. 

All you have to do is find a covered surface in a well-lit area. Lay out all your jewels and plan how you want the pattern to look before you even open the glue. Then, piece by piece, glue everything to the surface. All though a random pattern can look good, I'm all about symmetry and things matching so I worked around a line of green gems down the centre and added bits from there. This all together cost less than £10 and took 20 minutes max - I did, however, glue my fingers together more times than acceptable so watch out as the smaller bits get fiddly. 


What do you think to my craft post's of late? Would you like to see more? I'm always inspired by blogs such as A Pair, A Spare and A Beautiful Mess so I'll see if there is anything on there I can turn my hand to next weekend. Have a great week lovelies.

13 April 2014

SUNDAY SUPPLEMENT #1

One thing I wanted to do this year in terms of blogging was to get more regular features up on certain days. I like the fact that on a Saturday, for instance, I know I can log on to Cocosteaparty and see the top news from that week, or that I can check out Cupcakes and Cashmere and see her Five Things on a Friday. So I decided that on Sunday's I would carry on this tag I did on Boxing Day last year, giving you an insight (if you're actually interested) into what I'm cooking, drinking, reading etc over the past week. So here goes, enjoy lovelies.


Cooking: I'm definitely trying to cook more meals from fresh and I now make a mean Chinese chicken noodle soup, which I ate twice last week. One, because it's super easy and two, I'm skint. Gordon Ramsey eat your heart out.

Drinking: Too much Red Bull. I have a can everyday and I'm going to try and make a conscious effort this week to stay away from the stuff. I have an addictive personality so I'll have to find something to take its place.

Reading: Blogging Your Way To The Front Row by Yuli Ziv - not because I actually want to do that, but because it has some really good advice on how to push your blog that little bit further.

Wanting: A beautiful dress I saw in Warehouse and tried on today - here it is on Instagram and above if you didn't spot it earlier. It's £80 and even though to some people that isn't a lot, when you're choosing either food or clothing, I kinda got to go with being fed.

Looking: Like a slightly chubbier version of the girl I used to be. I literally cannot stop eating. I wish I was addicted to carrot sticks, but it's always the carrot cake which gets me.

Playing: Anything by Sam Smith this week. His album sounds immense and I've tried numerous times to get tickets when he plays at the Roundhouse in Camden later this month but no joy. Hurray up May so I can buy his album but in the meantime I've got Latch, acoustic, on repeat.

Wasting: Too much time procrastinating on starting my own business properly, when I should actually just start doing it. I want to turn Apartment No.4 into a homeware, gift and stationery website and I have the logo already sorted, I just need to build the website ready for buying season in September.   

Wishing: I could afford a one bed flat in Battersea somewhere. I went past some beautiful flats by the park today and just thought I'd have a look at prices as I was curious whether they would be affordable. £720. A WEEK. Maybe I'll stick to a 5 bed house.

Enjoying: Feeling the sun on my skin once more. I'm not saying that I suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder), but I definitely feel happier, like more people do, when the suns out. 

Liking: How my blog looks now I've made the final tweaks earlier this week, bringing some adverts in and creating, what I now hope is, a hub of cooking, interiors and beauty as well as fashion.

Wondering: If I should get a tattoo. I'd love a little love heart just to the side and just under my left breasticle, or on the side of my wrist like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.

Loving: The new design blogs I've found this week, Bright Bazaar and Design Seeds. Both full of colour and both full of inspiration.

Hoping: That I can summon up the motivation to go to the gym this week, although I am only in London Tuesday and Wednesday before I go home for Easter. Here's hoping for a miracle on those two days huh?

Marvelling: At my new found craft skills. Have you seen my bicycle print DIY? Wait until tomorrow when I show you how to pimp up your phone case. Neil Buchanan would be ever so proud.

Needing: To save money instead of spending it. I now pay a pension, have a credit card and an overdraft. All three of which I didn't have last year. So instead of spending money - money which isn't mine in the first place - I'm going to make an effort this week to only buy what I need, and not what I want.

Smelling: The beautiful daffodils which I bought yesterday. I got two huge bunches for less than £2 and they look gorgeous in a white vase under my skylight.

Wearing: My brand new dress from Oasis, which I wanted when it was £38 but decided against, then found it in the sale for a mere £10 in my size. That's fate if ever I've seen it.

Following: A whole host of new people on Twitter, after deciding to interact with the blogging community more, instead of watching from the sidelines.

Noticing: How much better my day is if I start off in a positive mood. I'm currently on Day 84 of #100HappyDays and it's been such a great thing to do, to stop and notice moments which make me happy, which I'd have otherwise forgotten about.

Knowing: That I'm seeing my best friends this weekend coming as I'm going home to Leeds for Easter. Knowing that we'll drink wine and eat good food. Knowing that I'll probably be happier than I have been for a little while. 

Thinking: About boys. A lot. I'm not sure if it's the weather but I seem to fancy pretty much all males at the moment. And if they smell nice, well, I'm gone. 

Feeling: Pretty content with the past week. I've had a great weekend, albeit with me myself and I, but I've managed to get organised, sort some life bits out which have been on my list and generally just plod along with no major hiccups.

Bookmarking: May 1st in my diary as I was invited to the Houses of Parliament earlier this week for a Graduate Fashion Week event which I'm really excited about. 

Opening: The pages of a fresh, clean notebook to make lists. Lists of things to do, to eat, to buy. These list s are endless.

Giggling: At the little old lady dancer on Britain's Got Talent last night. If I'm anything like her when I'm 79, then I'll be very happy.

Hope you've had a great week, and I hope you liked the first of my Sunday Supplement blog posts.

12 April 2014

DIY: RETRO BICYCLE WALL ART


Today I got my craft on. I found an amazing arts shop in Camden, just by Chalk Farm station, called Slanchogled. I put quite a few pics up on my Instagram if you're interested to see inside, and while I was there I came across this really cool retro bicycle printed wrapping paper - which subsequently gave me an idea for a piece of quirky wall art. 

As you can see below, it's super easy to make. All you have to do is cut around the backing of the frame so the paper is exactly the right size and place it in a nice, co-ordinating frame to hang in your house. I know you probably don't need instructions on how to do this sort of thing, but I thought it would be great to show you, and perhaps give you a little inspiration next time you spot some nice wallpaper or cool wrapping paper.

The wrapping paper was £1.70 for a sheet, and I picked up a large 12 x 10 inch wooden frame at Asda for £7.00, so all in all a really cheap way to add some interest to your walls or sideboard. What do you think to this idea? Send me links if you try this easy DIY post.


11 April 2014

& OTHER STORIES

1. Leather Midi Skirt £145 2. Bespoke Mint Nail Polish £5 3. Leather Shoulder Bag £125 4. Flower Pendant Earrings £19 5. Mulberry Silk Neck Scarf £29 6. Printed Pump £28 7. Striped Off-Shoulder Top £29 8. Sunpocket Kauai Sunglasses £75 9. Calamanco Coral Lip Colour £12
 
Since I moved to London I have one favourite place to visit when I'm day dreaming all my money away - & Other Stories. Stemming from the H&M brand stable, this Scandinavian delight is just off Oxford Street and covers everything from make-up to footwear to amazing wardrobe pieces.
 
I usually just go in for a wander around, paying a visit just before Christmas to pick my sister up some bits as presents - Couture Carnival body products smell a-mazing FYI if you're ever looking for something new to wear on the skin.
 
I also fell in love with their leather accessories, especially this gorgeous grey leather bag with gold hardware. I've picked out 18 of my favourite pieces, ranging from £5 nail polishes - both of which are getting purchased on pay day - through to £125 bags. The clothing is really reasonably priced, for the actual quality of the products. Every things seems really well made and of a premium quality, from everything from packaging to jewellery. Plus, I love how unique these products are in comparison to the rest of the generic high street offering.
 
You can buy everything in my edit on the & Other Stories website by clicking on the links above and below, or you can just go and browse yourself by visiting the site here.

10. Leather Pouch £55 11. Moon Print Silk Dress £79 12. Woven Metal Bracelet £17 13. Gem Print Dress £39 14. Spiral Ring £19 15. Orleans Cornflower Nail Polish £5 16. Couture Carnival Body Souffle £10 17. Leather iPhone Case £17 18. Midi Viscose Dress £39

10 April 2014

REVIEW: B. SKINCARE


I'm not sure if it's hormones or stress or just the rubbish water/air in London but my skin is steering on the bad side of teenage life at the moment. How can I be 29 and still be getting spots? I literally do not understand how or why, I thought all this disappeared when I stopped going breasts (which, in fact was 14).

I couldn't possibly put a photograph up to show you because I suspect most of you have eaten today, but let's say my chin is looking slightly redder and bumpier than I care for. I've used Simple products for a year or so now, and although they are great, I decided to change my skincare routine up a little when I came across some B. products in my sisters bathroom (and subsequently stole a little for testing purposes only, thanks Katy).

B. is a brand from Superdrug, which is a drug store for those readers outside the UK. It's for the slightly more grown-up customer, and the packaging is clean, simple and classic. I decided not to change my face wash, which is the foaming Simple gel wash, but I did decided to buy some bits to cleanse and moisturise my skin slightly more than it is for both day and night time.

Before I start this, I should probably explain B. products work in the same way as Clinque do, where there is a 3-step plan and each product is either a 1,2 or 3. I couldn't work out which product went with which, so I just bought what I wanted and kind of hoped for the best.

My first purchase was the Micellar Water, which I use after I've washed my face with a cotton wool pad to make sure every single trace of make-up has been removed. This is designed for all skin types, and doesn't dry your skin out too much. 

According to the label is "removes impurities and is gentle enough to use on the delicate eye area" - the latter I can vouch for. It also "tones the skin and restores pH balance and finally refreshes with a cucumber extract." Even if it's just a lie and it's plain water with a bit of vegetable squeezed in, I don't care, this really makes my face feel super clean and you can see from the cotton pad that I would have still had traces of dirt on my face without using it.

The second step in my cleansing routine is to then put on a thin layer of B. Radiant Rejuvenating Serum. This is a really light liquid and doesn't feel greasy at all. Again, the label says the following:

"Significantly increases hydration by 55 per cent after only one day's wear. Hyaluronic Acid helps to plump fine lines. Concentrated Tetrapeptide helps restore elasticity. Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by up to 10 per cent in 4 weeks. Niacinamide and Soothex work to help even skin tone and calm redness."

It makes my skin glow. I like that. Can you see why I'm not a full time beauty blogger?


I pop that on and then finish with a layer of B. Ready Day Cream, which comes in a gorgeous little plastic jar which actually looks like glass on my dressing table. This cream is slightly thicker and you only need a really tiny bit so should last for quite a while. 

It says it's a fast absorbing formula but I would say it takes around 10 minutes to really settle into your skin before you put make-up on. It does make my skin, however, feel super soft all day and not greasy enough to make my foundation go patchy.


And finally, we come on to my 'before bed' routine. I'll follow the first two steps, cleansing and making sure my face is dirt/pollution/make-up free and then I'll add a layer of the B. Nourished Night Serum. We all know that our skin repairs itself whilst we're asleep, and although I very rarely get the full 8 hours the doctor recommends, I do still want to see if I can make my skin look like it has. 

This is a slightly thicker consistency to the day serum, and smells just like Love Heart sweets. It absorbs really quickly and supposedly includes Niacinamide, which is designed to even out skin tone - something I most definitely need. My skin doesn't feel greasy either when I wake up, which some night creams can do.


So that's it really, a little blog post about my new skincare routine. Now let's see if it makes any improvement to the teenage skin I have right now. I like to give products a month before I write them off or rave about them. I have a feeling these beauties will be in my rave category. 

Oh, and I'm totally not getting paid to say this but Superdrug have a half price sale on these right now so get down before they put them back to full price. These four came to £23 all together, which is slightly more than I'd usually spend but right now, with my chin the way it is, I'm willing to 'splash out'.