Friday, 30 January 2015

Charity Shopping with a Twist.

Last night I headed to my first event of 2015 and it didn't disappoint. The event was held at Goodstock in Manchester, which was celebrating the launch of it's new, and first ever, store opening. To give a brief description of the store, it's a charity shop that has done all the sifting through for you and only display pretty and good condition stock. The shop is set over three floors in the heart of Manchester's University district on Oxford Road, which in my opinion couldn't have been placed better. The layout of the store is super quirky, sort of warehouse style and is the opposite of any charity shop I've been in before.

The event was super busy and I really enjoyed myself and looking through the stock. Bloggers were given a 'bloggers challenge' in which we had to pick some pieces to style from the range for under £20. It was a pretty hard decision but I ended up coming home with a super chunky grey jumper originally from Zara (£9) and a burnt orange cardigan originally from Cos (£11). 

If you love the idea of charity shops but hate rummaging through all the stock, Goodstock is the place to go - they've done all the hard work for you. And best of all, not only do you get a unique shopping experience, you're also helping out a great charity - Vinspired. Vinspried helps young people get into work by offering them experience, training and volunteering opportunities, a fantastic cause if you ask me.

Katie xx
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Monday, 26 January 2015

Cargo Cosmetics Eye Palette.

You all know I'm a sucker for a bargain, so when I was browsing Fragrance Direct last week and stumbled across this amazing palette, I knew it needed to be mine. I've heard a few things about Cargo cosmetics, but I know they are not readily available in the UK so I was very excited to snap this baby up.

I ordered the Vintage Escape Eye Palette which comes in this gorgeous faux leather packaging which makes it feel super luxurious. As soon as I opened the palette I knew this was an absolute steal for under £20 (this is still sold on Debenhams website for £35). The palette comes with 12 different shades ranging from subtle nudes to midnight black. I quickly swatched a few shades from, the palette for the sake of this post and I am so, so impressed. The formula is buttery and almost velvety and has incredible pay off. I can see me getting a huge amount of use out of this.

I'm pretty sure there was another palette of slightly darker shades, if that's what you;re into. This is just the perfect palette for me and I can't see me reaching for my Naked 2 anytime soon.

Katie xx
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Sunday, 25 January 2015

OOTD: On Saturday's We Wear Grey.


Yesterday I dragged the hubby into Manchester for a wander round. We popped into John Rylands Library which was the perfect spot for a few outfit photos.

 I wore my new ASOS jumper which is super comfy and quite flattering considering it's oversized. I teamed it with some dark green jeans from New Look* which are the perfect fit. I didn't realise NL did a 28" leg which is perfect for my petite frame. I finished the look off with my BOOM boots from Topshop via Next2Nowt (seriously, if you've never browsed Next2Nowt before stop what you're doing and go..).

So just a super casual, simple outfit that is perfect for those chilled days walking around the city.

Katie xx
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Thursday, 22 January 2015

Free Photo Editing Apps for Instagram Lovers.

I'm completely and utterly obsessed with all things Instagram at the moment. I use my trusty iPhone for taking all my photos, I actually think the camera is pretty amazing, especially for close ups. With that in mind I'm always playing around with editing photos on my phone. I thought I'd share a few of my favourite free apps to enhance your phone photography.

 Font Candy

An app that lets you apply font and wording to any photo. You can change the style of font as well as the size, colour and transparency. This is a super recent discovery for me, so expect to see much more of this app in the future.

Photo Candy

Again a recent discovery, but if you like to add a little interest to photos this is an app for you. I love the polka dots they're really cute. There's a huge variety of shapes and patterns all for free.

VSCOcam

I've been using this app for a long time and it never gets old. I love the editing tools - my favourite filter is F2 which I am constantly using. This is a must have for all Instagram addicts.

What are your favourite apps for editing?

Katie xx
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Wednesday, 21 January 2015

ASOS Haul.

Recently I was super lucky to win a £100 voucher for ASOS from Zoe's twitter. As much as I could have easily spent the money on a few pretty beauty products and not had a lot to show for it, I really wanted to get as much for my voucher as possible. I've been running low on decent clothes so I embarked in filling my basket with lovely dresses and the odd jumper or shirt. 

Luckily the the sale was still in full swing so I managed to bag all of these items for exactly £100. I think the most I paid for a single item was £13 which is pretty good going. I'm absolutely in love with all the pieces - which rarely happens when I make an internet order. I particularly love the elephant skater style dress and the pretty grey jumper which has love heart elbow patches. I can't wait to style all these pieces, hopefully I will get in a few OOTDs over the next few weeks - if it stays light enough, that is.

What's your favourite piece?

Katie xx 
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Tuesday, 20 January 2015

DIY: Framing Greetings Cards.

Anyone else obsessed with buying pretty cards and framing them? Nope, just me then.. I drive the hubby mad with picking up blank cards to add to my picture wall in my dressing room. These pretty little numbers are from Mango Salute* an online card ordering service, with a little twist. All of the cards are 'arty' which makes them just that little more special. I know that greetings cards aren't designed to be framed, but these were just too pretty to hide away until I needed them. 

I picked a selection of designs from different artists, all with unique styles. I love anything with dachshunds on, hence the princess pooch card. I'm also a big fan of initials being used in designs and I just thought this cute floral K design was too lovely to pass up. 

There a huge range of different designs on the website, it's certainly worth a look if you're looking for something a little different to Moon Pig - plus you get 30% your first order if you sign up to the newsletter.

I think it's fair to say I will be continuing to by cards to frame - they're just too pretty.

Katie xx

P.S. Just in case anyone was wondering all the frames are from Wilkinsons for £2-3 each

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Monday, 19 January 2015

Cheap & Sleek Make Up Storage.


Last week I got to the point where my make up was driving me mad. I had three full make up bags out on my dressing table along with a mini drawer set full of lippy. I took the plunge and was pretty brutal with getting rid of some products I haven't used in a long while. I always try to convince myself that they'll 'come in handy' some time, but I find myself, more often than not, reverting back to my old favourites. 

I've made a sort-of resolution to myself this year, to save up and buy premium, good quality make up. I'm not saying I want an entire Tom Ford lipstick collection (although that would be nice) but to treat myself to some more pricier pieces rather than just heading straight to Superdrug. I want to build my collection to get some timeless pieces, which I have started by picking up some Charlotte Tilbury products and keeping hold of my trusty Nars make up. 

Anyway, I found a spare cutlery divider in the kitchen and thought it would be the perfect insert to add in my dressing table drawers. And it turns out, it really does make all the difference. I'm now reaching for products I love, but had forgotten about at the bottom of my make up bag. It's now ten times easier to pick out something from my lip or eye collection without everything spilling onto the floor. If you are sick of hunting for your favourite lip pencil among your many make up bags, I would definitely recommend picking up a cutlery tray and sorting out your stash.

Katie xx 
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Sunday, 18 January 2015

OOTD: Pretty Playsuit.


After constantly living in jumpers and hoodies the past few weeks, it was nice to try on something a little more attractive. This lovely little playsuit is from LoveMadison* and it's just the prettiest little number. I love the floral style of the piece and the lace trim just adds a little something extra. The straps at the back cross over so it adds some extra interest to the playsuit. I love playsuits cos I think shorts just don't suit me, but for some reason I feel much more comfortable in an all in one piece.

This will be perfect moving into spring and summer and could definitely be worn with tights until the warmer weather arrives. I will certainly be getting a lot of wear out of this over the coming months and hopefully if I manage to squeeze in a holiday (or two).

Katie xx

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Thursday, 15 January 2015

7 Things They Don't Tell You About Marriage.


Today I have been married for exactly three years and six months. I can't quite believe how quickly it has gone and how much we have achieved as a couple in that space of time. But there are a few things I didn't expect to hear or feel after tying the knot at 21.

1. The different reactions when people find out I'm married -  Yeah, I know I look young for my age and yes 21 does 'seem quite young to get married' but when you know, you know. If I had a pound for every time someone has commented on my age and the fact I'm married, I'd be a millionaire. Don't get me wrong, 9 times out of 10 people are really pleased to hear that I'm happily settle down at 'such a young age' but I do get the add comment about not having experienced the world before committing my life to someone. Guess what? You can experience all these things together - which in my opinion makes it twice the fun.

2. Always being expected to have children - Nope, we have no kids. Nor will we be having children in the next 5 minutes. Just because we share the same surname, does not automatically mean we must have babies immediately. 

3. Marriage isn't a walk in the park - We lived together for 18 months before we got married and neither of us thought we would feel any different after the wedding, however something just changes. I don't think it helped the fact we moved 120 miles away from our family and friends two months into marriage, but for some reason that piece of paper makes all the difference. Suddenly, we only had each other and sometimes that can be pretty difficult. I think it's fair to say we both enjoy our own space and the first few months were pretty hard. However coming out the other side - a few years on married life is possibly the best thing ever.

4. You will become closer - Again, this may be slightly different if you don't decide to move half way across the country but myself and Mr A are pretty much inseparable when we have time off together. We both work stressful jobs and our shift patterns tend to overlap, meaning the time we do get to spend together is invaluable. It makes you appreciate each other, just that little bit more.  

5. The shock that we didn't get married in a church - Neither of us are religious, nor do we go to church. I'm openly an Atheist and for me it would have been hypocritical to get married in a religious building. Instead we opted for a beautiful hotel, with gorgeous grounds and an amazing ball room. 

6. Compromise, compromise, compromise - This is something that can get a little of getting used to but me and the hubby have defiantly become experts at compromise. It's natural to not always want the same things, but as long as you talk it out and the big decisions are made as a couple, you will always be happy with the outcome.

7.  If it's right, you will have no regrets - I married my best friend. We know each other inside out. We finish each others sentences. We make each other angry at times. But we always, always make each other smile. And looking back, I can't imagine my living my life any differently.

Katie xx
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Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Nip + Fab Dragon's Blood Cleansing Pads.


I've used a variety of chemical exfoliators over the past few years but my latest pick is one from Nip + Fab Skin Dragon's Blood Fix Cleansing Pads. I grabbed these in Superdrug when they were on sale for just under £5. The pads are packed with hyaluronic acid, salicylic acid and witch hazel to help plump your skin and gently exfoliate your skin

The pads come in a pack of 60 and one side of the pad is slightly raised and the other is smooth, which I find helps with exfoliating too. I like to use the raised side initially and finish off with the smooth side of the pad. The tub recommends to use these twice a day, however I use these just on an evening as my second cleanse. Using these before bed really helps to brighten up my skin and keep it clear despite the rubbish I've been eating.

I was a little worried about these drying my face out, but I've found these really moisturising and super refreshing for an evening cleanse. The only thing to note is the scent of these, I really like the fresh smell but it could be a little overpowering for some people. I will certainly be picking up another tub of these in the future.

Katie xx
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Monday, 12 January 2015

Surviving Night Shifts.


If you work shifts like me, you'll know that slight dread of knowing your night shifts are coming up. It's not that I hate working nights, it just really confuses my body clock. I try to prepare myself before a stint of nights, with a little routine which I thought I would share and give a few little tips of how to survive the night shift.

1. Stay up late and get up early - the night before my first night shift, I try to make myself stay up later than usual but get up at my normal time, around 6am. That way I know I'm going to be tired enough to managed a nap around 3pm.

2. Keep yourself entertained - If like me, you get that little 'lull' of tiredness on your break, I need to have something to do. I tend to take my iPad and headphones to watch YouTube or catch up with blogs. 

3. Keep hydrated - I find getting through the night is so much easier if I've drank lots. I feel like I get a good pick-me-up from something refreshing and it keeps me going all night.

4. Sugary Snacks - I don't have a proper meal on night shifts, I tend to have tea before I go and just take something little with me for break time. I either take some fruit or stock up on snack bars for a quick pick me up. 

5. Prepare for some sleep - It can be pretty difficult to sleep after your night shift, when the world is awake and all you need is some shut eye. I make sure I'm in the zone by doing my regular routine before bed and making my room as dark as possible. For me it's all about the eye mask and some decent ear plugs.

What are your tips for night shifts?

Katie xx



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Sunday, 11 January 2015

Nail Polish For Less Than £1.


I don't get to paint my nails very often because of work, so when I had some time off for Christmas and New Year I took advantage and gave them a little colour. I managed to pick up this gorgeous colour from Primark for just 80p! I'm pretty sure Primark have reduced all of their nail colours to less than a pound, which is incredible. 

I painted two coats of Primark coral, added L'Oreal glitter to the tips and finished them off with Nails Inc Caviar Top Coat. They stayed chip-free for 5 days (before I had to remove it for work). For a super cheap nail colour, these have amazing staying power and colour pay-off. I will certainly be picking some more up asap.

Katie xx
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Thursday, 8 January 2015

Diptyque Tuberuse.

I'm a complete cliche blogger when it comes to candles. I LOVE candles and I'm all about Diptyque or Jo Malone. For me, spending more one a candle is definitely worth it, the quality is second to none and the scent throws so much further than cheaper candles I've had in the past. 

I've had two of the Diptyque minis in the past and Tuberuse is certainly my favourite. This is my first full size candle from Diptyque which I treat myself to in Selfridges sale after Christmas. This 190g size cost me £32, which is a pretty great bargain if you ask me. The best thing for me about Diptyque is the simplistic packaging, which means they can fit perfectly into any room. The wax burns down to the very end, and doesn't leave that awful black smokey look that Yankee candles do. 

I will always appreciate the selection of scents from Yankee, but for me I'm all about quality and if that means paying a little extra, that's fine by me.

Have you tried anything from Diptyque?

Katie xx 
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Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Dr Organic Snail Gel.

When Holland & Barrett introduced the new products to the Dr Organic Snail Gel* range I was super intrigued and couldn't wait to try some of them. I've been trying out the Moisture Mask and the Hand an Nail Elixir both from the Snail Gel range. Whilst one of my relatives has been giving the Face Serum a go. 

I've become a big fan of the Hand and Nail Elixir, especially whilst I've been on placement. Alcohol hand gel is the worst thing for my skin an nails and causes all sorts of dryness. My nails tend to break easily and become brittle, even more so in the winter, so I've been popping on this hand cream as much as possible. The cream comes in a really handy pump-style bottle, which is great for on the go. It also means I can pop it in my bag, without worrying about it leaking all over my things. The cream is really light in texture and smells quite herbally, which I love. The consistency is very serum-like and initially feels quick tacky on the skin. After a few seconds, the stickiness seems to disappear and you're left with lovely, soft and delicate skin that seems to have been renewed. I've been using this mostly before bed, to prepare my hands for the following day.

I love moisture face masks, and this is no exception. Again, the scent is gorgeous and really helps me to chill out when the mask is on. I use this a bath time, when I'm wanting to wind down before bed and it really helps to rejuvenate my skin after a long day at work. This is a great product if you don't have lots of time on your hands, but need a quick moisture boost. Pop this on for ten minutes and you'll be left with gorgeously soft, baby-like skin.

I've had great reports on the face serum too, leaving skin super hydrated and helping to reduce the signs of ageing. I'm tempted to go and pick up another bottle for myself. 

As always Dr Organic have produced some great products and kept their position as one of my favourite skincare brands. You can check out the whole Snail Gel range here.

Katie xx
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Saturday, 3 January 2015

Charlotte Tilbury Lipstick in Confession.



I've wanted the Charlotte Tilbury Lipstick in Confession ever since it hit the shelves in the Supermodel Look make up box. I tried it just before I met CT herself and she said it was perfect for my skin tone. What the queen of make up says, must be true. 

This lippy was pretty hard to track down, it had sold out in Selfridges weeks ago so I ended up ordering from the Charlotte Tilbury website. Which, FYI, is pretty great and only charges £2.95 for tracked delivery... Anyway onto the product.

There is nothing more luxe than the packaging of all CT products. The eyeshadow palettes are incredible and the rose gold packaging of this lipstick is perfect. It's been so well thought out and is amazing quality, it just makes the product feel special. The actually lipstick itself is a gorgeous reddy-toned nude that really compliments my skin tone. I'd have never picked a colour like this, but as soon as I tried it in store I knew I needed it in my collection. The lipstick looks fab on it's own or with a lip gloss over the top, to add a little sparkle. 

The formula is great, the product is very easy to apply and feels velvety on the lips. This doesn't dry my lips out at all and is actually quite moisturising. The colour also fades evenly so doesn't leave that strange lip-liner look, but instead leaves a sort of lip stain, which in fact looks pretty great too.

I'm obsessed with CT make up (in case you hadn't already guessed) and this lipstick is no exception.

Katie xx
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