Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Christmas Gift Guide Ideas: Pretty Stuff For The Kitchen

Christmas gift guide idea for mums, pretty kitchenware


Here is my second Christmas Gift Ideas post and this present guide is for anyone who has just moved in to their new home, or for mums and aunties. The older I get, the more I love shopping for things for the home whether it be for the lounge, bedroom or kitchen. I would consider the kitchen as the sociable hub of the house, it's where everyone gathers to eat, the room to catch up with friends over a nice cup of tea and biscuit. When I (eventually) buy my own house, I'd love my kitchen to be filled with nice kitchenware like this, I'd want it to look straight out of Pinterest! Is that too much of a cliché? I just know that I don't want it to look dark and shiny!


Dotcomgift shop is one of the online destinations that I stop at every festive season. I bought a huge box of things last year and the space under the Christmas tree soon filled with lots of gift wrapped presents for my mum and sisters! The prices are affordable and there are a plenty of things to buy from under £5! I've picked out things that would be suitable for mum's and aunties, anyone who spends chilling and socialising in the kitchen or anyone who wants to store the cakes and biscuits in a stylish tin(!), but the website also sells an array of things for the rest of the home. There are things for those who enjoy a spot of gardening or host garden parties in the summer, the keen baker, a little something to make the bathroom pretty, or accessories to make a home sweet home!

If anyone has blogged their Christmas gift guide, please feel free to leave your post link in the comments. I am going to pin all the gift guides I see on my Pinterest, as this will also help myself and others to shop this year. I sure need all the help I can get! 

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Sunday, 24 November 2013

Wearing My Sunday Best

British Fashion Blogger, Fashion blogger UK
Heart print shirt, fashion blogger uk, harry styles heart print shirt,
Tweed bag, affordable stylish bag, F&F, clothing at tesco
British Fashion Blogger, affordable high street fashion blogger, Fashion Blog UK

Hat: ASOS / Jacket: Similar here / Short: ASOS / Boots: Similar here / Bag: F&F


I thought I'd get out of the house and make an effort for you guys! I tend to save my favourite outfits photos of the week to post on the blog every Sundays. Well, maybe I don't quite make it every single Sundays but I try to!

With that in mind, I have also decided to pick my favourite outfits to shoot a video for which will be uploaded to my YouTube channel every Sunday, and here's the new video! I've done pretty good job sticking to the schedule so far but it has only been three weeks! I can't do them for every outfit because I rely on someone useful to help me shoot and film, and he only gets one day off per week, so I'll just pick my fave outfit of the week!

Ever since I started blogging, we have both learnt so much with how to use SLR cameras and editing software. We're not experts or anything, I basically just google everything, and to be honest, half of the time we're completely winging it! One thing's for sure though, is that it is 100% team work in that Niki films and I edit. He stands out in the cold with me and I don't say it enough but I am forever grateful!

I spent four or five hours editing the new video (I know, I'm not very good at this yet!) because the lighting is so off and I also wanted some of transitions to match the beat of the music. Anyway, we got out of the car and it started to rain after ten minutes! The fedora hat saved the day because it shielded me from the rain and we just carried on working away!

I actually forgot I had this hat! Not only it saved me from looking like a panda-eyed, drowned rat, it also hid my unruly hair. I've been wearing it curly lately but I was running late on this particular day! It has been a battle with natural daylight which fades ever so quickly. So, my hair is not as glossy as it usually is because I just washed it and let it dry naturally. Add the moisture from the rain and the result is somewhat fuzzy, knotty and straggly mess! Girls, you know where I'm coming from! 

The bag I'm wearing here is my favourite purchase recently, it is from F&F and cost only £12.50 but as it's made from a tweed material, it looks more expensive that that. It's just the right size for me and I love it! I've bought a few bags from F&F this year and they're still in good condition, it holds up way better than the ones from Topshop!

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Friday, 22 November 2013

Christmas Gift Guide: Yankee Candles

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1. Yankee ADVENT CALENDAR / 2. North Pole / 3. Banana Nut Bread / 4. Christmas Wreath / 5. Salted Caramel / 6. Snowflake Cookie / 7. Christmas Tree / 8. Red Apple Wreath / 9. Merry Marshmallow

I don't know about you but when it comes to buying Christmas presents, I always buy things that I'd like for myself! Maybe that's why I am always tempted to keep everything....and sometimes I do, which often leads me to go on an stressed out, emergency present-buying trip on Christmas Eve!

I don't quite know if this post is a "wishlist" for myself, or a Christmas gift guide to you guys, but I've picked out eight festive candles or scents that I'd like my house to smell like over the holiday season! Firstly, can we take a second and talk about their AMAZING advent calender.

I've never liked the chocolate ones, even as a child, and I'm also a bit over beauty ones (although I won't hold back if I spot one that I realy love!) so when I saw this Yankee calendar, I thought it was the best thing ever! A new candle everyday until Christmas... er, yes please! It cost £21.99 and you get 23 tea lights in an assortment of scents, and then I assume you get a sampler votive candle behind the door of Christmas Eve. I am going to place an order this weekend!

Yankee Candles always create seasonal products and their scents are true to what they're supposed to be. I usually go for something fruity, but because of the time of year, most of the ones I've picked out here are indeed very Wintery. Something like the salted caramel, merry marshmallows or banana nut bread would be amazing for any time of the year.

The banana nut bread one reminds me of my mum's kitchen when she bakes. I recommend these candles, which come in different sizes from tea light to large jars. The large jars are quite pricy but they last ages and ages! If you've never tried them before, I'd recommend going for something fruity because you can't go wrong with a fresh and fruity scent. Some of the sweeter ones like the buttercream or vanilla cupcake one can induce a headache!

Yankee Candles are priced from £1.80 to £19.99 and are available from their website, or Collectibles stores.

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Thursday, 21 November 2013

Outfit: Burgundy Heart Print Shirt

Burgundy Heart Print Shirt
how to style heart print shirt

Leather Jacket ASOS / Jeans Topshop / Boots Office / Bag ASOS

It's not everyday when I see a male celebrity in the pages of the magazines (Harry Styles from One Direction, in this case) and wonder where he got his heart print shirt from! I fall for anything with a heart print on it! 

I first saw the shirt on Harry Styles but Victoria was seen wearing it in the burgundy which I much preferred, but my budget doesn't stretch to those of the typical Burberry customer (sad face) so I was happy to see a budget dupe on Rose&Pose at only £11.90! The fabric has got a bit of a shine to it and the collar is a synthetic satin-like material. I usually tuck shirts in to my skinny jeans because it makes my legs look longer (a little styling trick there!) but it is more casual and comfortable to let it all hang out!!

The shirt even has the same types of details as the Buberry one; there are tabs on the shoulder but they didn't sit properly so I had to cut them off. They stuck out and made my posture look strange, but it was pretty pain-free to snip them off the shirt, so no problem there! I accessorised this simple outfit with a tan bag and my boots, but I dashed out and forgot the most important accessory of all, my umbrella! 

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Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Where To Buy: Black Cut-Out Ankle Boots

black cut out ankle boots

1. Topshop / 2. Lavish Alice / 3. Topshop / 4. Topshop / 5. Topshop / 6. Lavish Alice


I know that not everyone likes these cut-out ankle boots, it certainly wasn't love at first sight for me either but I've been swayed! I'm not a fan of cut-outs in anything (I don't get why dresses have cut outs at the back or the sides!) and I didn't like these boots when they first surfaced BUT...now that there available in less chunky, less masculine styles, I am quite drawn to them! I really like black and gold accessories, and the buckle detailing is a winner in my eyes. I only have one pair of boots, which I wear all year round, so I've been considering buying a new pair. 

Recently, I found myself browsing the websites (virtual window shopping), I found a few pairs that tickled my fancy! It would go really well with a leather biker jacket, tartan scarf and a dress! It would definitely be the easiest way to toughen up a few of the floral dresses that I've got in my wardrobe, making florals more appropriate for winter! 

Do you have a pair of these cut-out ankle boots? Where did you get yours from and are they comfortable? 

Outfit: Burgundy Heart Print Shirt
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Monday, 18 November 2013

How to Style: Tartan Dress from Primark

How To Style Tartan Dress, tartan dress from primark
Ways to style a tartan dress, how to wear a tartan dress
Tartan dress from Primark


Dress Primark / Trench Coat Miss Selfridge / Shoes* Freed Of London / Bag Mulberry

Are we all sick of seeing Tartan yet? I think the tartan print has replaced my love for florals, and I find myself lusting after clothes and accessories that have a plaid on it. However, I am no way cool enough to pull off the grungy, edgy tartan look so I've stuck to my own style and wore the trend how I would wear anything else!

I think that's the thing when it comes to trends is that it's better to style it your own way rather than copying what's "trendy", even though I'm always admiring girls who can pull of the cool and edgy modern punk style! That's the thing I love about this dress! I've seen so many girls wearing it and each of them has styled it their way. 

As soon as I saw this new A/W Primark collection on an online style website, I knew I had to keep my eyes out for this dress. Originally, I wanted the red (which I featured in my Top Picks last month) but I had second thoughts because I'm not all that comfortable in that particular shade of red. I don't mind it but I don't think it suits my skin tone or the colour of my hair so if I have the choice, I'll go for another colour - which is what I did here.

I saved myself money too because for some reason, the red dress cost £17 and the green was £15, even though they're the same cut. I love it but the dress is quite tight around the bust and arm movement is quite restricting, I can only move my arms half way otherwise there's a risk it might rip!

I also had to sew up the hem to make it shorter in length, but that's something I have to do on most dresses! (Short girl problems!) I'm trying to get as much wear out of this as possible because come Spring, it will be way "out of fashion" by then :-(

Where To Buy: Black Cut-Out Ankle Boots
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Sunday, 17 November 2013

OOTD Video: Green Tartan Dress


A proper blog outfit post will follow tomorrow! For now, here is an OOTD video we shot a couple of days ago. There will be more of these types of style videos coming up, so don't forget to subscribe to my channel on YouTube for new uploads as I don't think I'll make a habit of posting each one on here! Hope you're all having an amazing weekend! x

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Friday, 15 November 2013

How To Take Care Of Coloured Hair

how to take care of colour treated hair, shampoo for dyed hair

Taking Care of Coloured Hair

If you've dyed your hair before, you'll know that it takes a lot of work to take care of your hair for the colour to maintain it's vibrancy. I have been dying my hair using John Frieda Precision Foam Dye which has turned my hair quite a vibrant colour. Well, as vibrant as you can get it using DIY dyes on jet black hair. After several bottles of dyes, my hair is desperate need of quality haircare and conditioning treatments.

In the past two months, I have tried a couple of regular liquid dyes but I am left with very disappointed results each time. My hair is now (still!) a chocolate brown colour but I'd love it to be lighter again. When it comes to hair, I am quite good with maintaining it but recently, it has needed some extra TLC. My hair has become fairly brittle after putting it through all that unnecessary hassle and I've taken extra care on a more regular basis. 


Use The Right Products
how to take care of colour treated hair, shampoo for dyed hair
Cleansing:


Use the right products for your colour treated hair.. It is always advisable to use a shampoo that is made for coloured hair once you've dyed it because it will retain the colour (some will even enhance the shade) and protects your hair from further damage. I only point this out because I actually never knew this when I first started dying my hair by myself and I was annoyed at how fast the colour faded! 

This one from TIGI is sulphate-free which means it won't be harsh on your hair and it won't strip the colour. It smells like strawberry milkshake and comes in a 250ml bottle. The bottle is quite hard to handle, especially when your hands are wet. The packaging isn't great for a fancy hair care product that cost £13.95 / £15.95, I wish it was designed better, not only for it look nicer but for it to be easier to squeeze out - it's hard to handle when your hands are wet and slippery. But hey, if the shampoo does it's job, then I am willing to look past that!

I always find sulphate-free shampoo quite hard to lather but I just add a lot of water to the blob of shampoo on my hands before applying to wet hair, and then I find that it's easier to lather that way. Without doing that, the shampoo is quite difficult to distribute over the head and it's really hard to wash out. This shampoo cleanses well and my hair was left feeling soft, and it stayed clean and fresh for two days.

Best hair mask to use on coloured hair, treatments for dyed hair
Best hair mask to use on coloured hair, treatments for dyed hair
Treatment:


As well as dying my hair, I have been curling and back-combing it a lot, which means I am also using hair spray, volumizing powder or salt spray a lot more than usual. This TIGI Oatmeal and Honey Intense Nourishing Hair Mask is treatment that's suitable for dry, brittle hair, giving it a boost of moisture and shine. 

It helps to restore your hair's natural healthiness and prevents breakages - music to my ears! On the back of the tub, it states to leave this in clean, wet hair for 3-5 minutes but the Dirty Locks website says it's fine to leave in for 30 minutes. I do like those hair masks where you keep in for a long time, I just sit in the lounge watching an episode of something on e4 and by the time the TV show finishes, I'm ready to go and rinse the hair mask off.

This smells of this mask is typical of a hair salon, it's nice and makes you feel like you're at the hairdressers (at the comfort of your own home, with no one making small talk with you). For some reason, I thought this might have bits of oats in it but thankfully, it doesn't. The tub contains a smooth conditioning cream which you massage in to hair.  It's also great that this is "colour safe" too so no chance of the dye fading quickly.

I use hair masks at least once a week but sometimes twice if I've used a lot of harsh, drying styling products on it that particular week. 

Mega whip hair texurising marshmallow, bed head mega whip, styling hair cream
Styling:


So, this is not exactly a treatment for dyed hair but using a nice styling product is just as important. Since I got my hair cut few months ago, it hasn't grown back to the point where I can leave it to dry naturally. I have had to blow dry it and the add texture to it myself by curling it every time. When I curl my hair, I don't use hair spray because I have yet to find one that holds my thick hair. Salt spray helps in creating texture but my hair sometimes loose it's shine, but I have found a nice alternative in this lightweight MEGA WHIP from Bed Head.

MEGA WHIP is a whipped marshmallow hair cream that looks and smells delicious! It feels better for my hair because it moulds the hair like a gel but without that greasy wet look. The texture of the cream itself is not soft like marshmallow (and sadly, it doesn't contain real marshmallow.) but it does have a slightly tacky texture like melted marshmallows. But don't worry, it won't ruin your hair!

You only need to use a small amount of MEGA WHIP, even if you have long hair like I do. It can be applied on damp or dry hair but I tend to use it after I've blow dried my hair. It holds the texture quite well throughout the day and it doesn't leave a greasy or crispy residue like a gel or hair spray would. It is fully flexible and gives a matte finish so it looks nice and natural once you've finished styling. It also works in holding straight hair too if you wanted to style it that way.

Bed Head are awesome with their branding and their products are marketed really well. Great product name, smells really lovely and fantastic packaging design! It's a win-win! Who else would have come up with a 'marshmallow' for hair! I've definitely fallen for it! 

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Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Primark Christmas Jumpers

Primark Christmas Jumpers
Christmas Jumpers from Primark

Novelty Christmas Jumpers from Primark

I blogged about my Christmas jumpers from Primark last year and as expected, sadly the jumpers only got a couple of wears out of them. One was worn on Christmas day, the other worn the day after, then I shoved them to the back of the wardrobe and looked ahead to Spring/Summer!

It feels like a waste of money which is why I don't think I'll buy another "novelty" one this year. Maybe you're all sick of seeing them by now, because if I remember correctly, Primark have been selling their Crimbo jumpers since September (so early!!) and if I haven't been tempted now, then I don't think I can be tempted me at all.

HOWEVER.... as you can see from the photos, I couldn't resist a more of a classic festive jumper, one that I could possibly get away with wearing from now until end of the year! I know it's a bit early, I actually wore this to Leeds at the weekend to go shopping with friends (to be fair, it felt right to wear this jumper because we were going to the Christmas market!) but apart from the reindeers on it, you could almost classify this as a regular winter jumper.

It looks like the patterned jumpers that are available in Topshop, and it goes nicely with a pair of casual jeans on a cold windy day!

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Monday, 11 November 2013

OOTD Video: Autumn Style Inspiration


My first outfit video is now up on my new channel on YouTube! I have done these sort of videos before but they were filmed and edited off my phone, regular readers of the blog will have seen them. The quality of them always bugged me so I've deleted those! We recorded this with the DSLR and I'm so sorry for the shakiness, it was extremely cold so I was shaking and Niki was shaking... but I'm going to collect my tripod from my parents house, so we can get it steady next time. 

It isn't a "talking" video, both of the Nikon camera we've got can't seem to cope with audio (sounds like a small animal screeching under water!) and I can't be bothered to get an external mic at the moment, but I think that these types of videos are visually adequate and self-explanatory! Especially as it's an extension to the blog (and not the other way round), I wrote about this outfit yesterday so you can see more photos and read about it that blogpost.

As always, I take all the feedback you guys give me so let me know what you think, and if there's something you'd like to see, feel free to let me know! x

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Sunday, 10 November 2013

Styling Hunter Wellies In Winter

winter fashion,
How to style tartan, fashion blogger, red tartan top
How to style tartan, fashion blogger, red tartan top
winter style tips, winter style ideas, winter fashion
Primark Fox Gloves, primark winter accessories
Hunter Original Gloss Wellingtons

Top* BANK / Jeans Miss Selfridge / Wellies* Hunter / Coat Topshop / Gloves Primark / Sunnies* Pretavoir / Wooly Hat Primark / Bag Mulberry


I have managed to get a couple of tartan items in my wardrobe this season! I can never be bothered to follow trends but I do love a bit of tartan! I've layered this red tartan top from Red or Dead with an old peter pan collar top from Topshop (and a very unglamorous thermal vest!) and then completed the look with the black neck tie. I add that ribbon tie to almost everything I wear, as you may have noticed already! The white collar top underneath is old but I love wearing it with short tops because as well as covering and keeping my midriff warm, the pretty anglaise broderie peeps out at the hem. 

I couldn't wait to wear my new Hunter wellies which I've had for about three weeks now, so as soon as we decided to go for a countryside walk, I knew what footwear I was wearing with the outfit! I love the colour of them, they are an aubergine purple with glossy shine, and they're adjustable around the calves. When they arrived through the post, I wanted to wear them straight away but as it was only spitting, I didn't want to seem too keen. I think I'll have to buy some of those fleecy socks to go with it because they're a tad too big, and they rubs on my feet and gives me blisters. Wellies are a must-have for british winters, not just for the snow but for when the fields get so wet and yucky. As I live in the rural part of the country (boggy fields!), I've got a couple of pairs of wellies but nothing quite as fancy as Hunter. Hopefully, this pair will last much longer than the ones I've had in the past! 

There is an outfit video to accompany this post but I went to Leeds today to visit the Christmas market, and have only just got back so haven't had the chance to put it on to YouTube and retrieve the link to embed the video here! I have already edited the video, it didn't take me long but I'll put it on the blog as soon as I've worked out what to do on the YouTube side of things! x

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