Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Personal Planner Review & Giveaway!

I like to think I'm quite an organised person, my husband thinks otherwise, so when I was given the opportunity to review a customised planner from Personal Planner I thought it was the perfect opportunity to prove him wrong!

The best thing about this planner is that it is totally customisable from the size, the pattern on the cover, and even the colour of the elastic to name a few. You can make it completely your own, so on a rainy Saturday afternoon I set to work on customising my own planner. The first thing you can choose is the size, there are four different sizes available, small (£14.95), medium (£17.95), large (£21.95) or A5 (£19.95) plus P&P which is £2.95. I opted for the medium size as I wanted something that I could fit into my bag easily but was still big enough for me to write comfortably in the spaces. I hate diaries and planners where I have to write in really tiny writing!

Next in the design phase was choosing the colour for the front and back on the planner and which colour elastic you want to seal it. There are lots of options to choose from, from plain colour designs, to patterns and even designs from graphic designers and illustrators. I wanted a pink theme (obviously) so went for a pink striped background with white elastic as I thought this would show up best against the pink. Finally I then chose the words I wanted for the front cover, I wanted something simple so I opted for the year 2014 in white letters. I chose to start my diary from next year but Personal Planner allow you to choose the month in which you want to start from so you could start it from next month if you wanted to. I think its a great idea if you're already in the middle of the year and can't find a current year diary anywhere!

The next step is to choose which colour theme you want to run through your planner, I went with a pink theme again to keep everything the same but they have lots of colours to choose from. You can also add daily details to keep track of things for example, I chose to add a work hours section to each day as I work different shifts and want to make sure I get paid!

The last section of the planner is divided up into sections where you can choose different features such as plain paper pages, for sketches or lined for notes or even sheets of music! I chose to have lined paper to jot down blog ideas at they come to me whilst I'm out and about.

Finally, there is an owner info page which can be personalised so you can add your, name, blog information or all your social media links just in case.

I think Personal Planner is a great idea for a personalised gift, especially with Christmas on the way soon, I will definitely be using mine over the next year and getting more organised with blog posts and general life planning!

And....whats more, the lovely people at Personal Planner have given me the opportunity to host a giveaway for one of my readers to win one of these planners to design for themselves. All you have to do is fill in the Rafflecopter form below. The competition will run for two weeks (closing on the 13th November) and if chosen as a winner your details will be passed onto Personal Planner to claim your prize.

Please note this competition is only open to bloggers only (entries who aren't from bloggers will be removed) in the UK. Apologies to my friends over the pond.

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday, 28 October 2013

Topshop Nails | Suffuse

This is the fourth nail polish I have bought from Topshop's make up collection and I'm still as impressed as the first time I tried them. The quality is really good and they don't end up going all gloopy (polish nightmares!) This photo at the bottom shows what it looks like when applied and that is with just one coat!

I would say the brush is a little smaller than regular brand nail polishes such as Model's Own or Rimmel etc but I find that this makes application so much easier to control. I guess this comes down to personal preference.

This colour is Suffuse and it is described as a rose gold. It's a gorgeous metallic shade which reflects the light gorgeously and really makes a difference to a plain outfit if you team it with rose gold accessories. This polish costs £6 but I can't actually find it on the Topshop website anymore. I bought this one in Topshop Oxford Circus so I am sure you'll still be able to find it in larger Topshop stores.

I love the polka dot design on the lid on these polishes. It makes it so easy to find in my jumbled up box of nail polishes! I think in fact it makes me choose these over other nail polish brands when I'm feeling lazy and can't be bothered to go through the whole lot!

I love this nail polish and will be wearing it throughout the rest of the year. It's got just the right about of metallic shine so it looks classy.

Do you own any Topshop make up? What do you think of it?


Sunday, 27 October 2013

Lush Christmas Wishlist

How adorable do these little melting snowmen look? It's a little sad that they're melting but they still look cute!

2 - Candy Mountain Bubble Bar - £2.65 each
Bubble Bars are my favourite as they produce insane amounts of bubbles in my bath!

3 - Secret Santa Bath Bomb - £5.75 each
Modeled on the Poole High Street Lush (my local) this cute little house reminds me of gingerbread houses, a tradition that we make every year.

How cute is this wand? I really want to swish it around my bath tub and watch the bubbles magically appear! It's great that its reusable too. I'd love to keep a couple in on display in my bathroom to make it smell amazing!

5 - Bombardino Bath Bomb - £2.50 each
I don't quite know what these things are but I saw them on the Christmas section of the lush website and thought they reminded me of little elves (or maybe ompah lumpahs? yes I have a weird imagination!) They contain cocoa butter and lemon oil which sounds like a great combination!

6 - Snow Fairy Shower Gel - £3.50 100g/ £6.85 250g/ £10.95 500g
 Insanely sweet smelling but fantastic. Two reasons why I love it, 1, it's pink and 2 it has little flecks of blue glitter in it, it completely appeals to the little girl in me that comes out at Christmas!

Have you got your eye on any Lush treats this Christmas?


Friday, 25 October 2013

MAC Eyeshadow | Naked Lunch

I was lucky enough to win this eyeshadow from Fluffy Candy's 100 Twitter follower competition a few weeks ago. I chose the shade Naked Lunch as I already have two neutral shades in my quad palette (Shroom and All That Glitters) and this was another that made up the look I had at my wedding last year.

I am definitely a fan of neutral shades and use them for my everyday make up look, to be honest I don't own a lot of colours other than neutrals and I am permanently glued to my MAC quad or Naked 2 palette. I am however, currently lusting over MAC's Cranberry eyeshadow, which is unusual for me!

Naked Lunch is described as a frost finish which means it works well to brighten the eyes and can even be used as a brow highlight. In the pan it looks a light brown colour but when applied it actually has a pink shimmer (the photo above doesn't really do it justice) . It's really well pigmented and easy to blend.

I still have one space left in my MAC quad (after I've worked out how to de-pot this little lovely) so I'd love some suggestions on shades that will complement the ones I've already got. I like the look of Sable but think it might be slightly too 'safe'. I'm definitely open to hearing your suggestions. 

Naked Lunch is available on the MAC website for £12.50.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Blogboxes Giveaway Winners!

My favourite part of hosting a giveaway is getting to pick the winners (well, pressing pick a winner on the Rafflecopter widget and it choosing the winners for me!) and this time I got to pick 4 lucky people who have won a years advertising on the website!

So without further ado! This winners are:

Jessica from The Crown Wings

Bea from Beatrice Sapphire 

Leighanne from Bump and Beyond

Congratulations to all the winners and if you weren't lucky this time, keep your eyes peeled for other exciting giveaways soon!

If you are one of the lucky winners then please contact me on as I need some information from you to pass onto Blog Boxes!


Monday, 21 October 2013

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue...DIY

I have a few friends getting married next year and I always struggle to think of wedding gifts. Most couples these days like to ask for money contributions to help pay for a honeymoon or help pay off the wedding (like we did) but I still think it's nice to be able to give a little gift as well so I was doing some searching on the internet for unique gifts and stumbled across this little gem. Unfortunately, the price didn't entice me too much so I decided to create my own! Here is what I used to create mine:
Kilt pins x 5 - eBay
 Blue Swarovski heart charms x 5 - eBay
Lucky sixpence charm - Charm Supplies
Made with love hearts x 15 - eBay
Pearls - I cut mine off an old necklace
Just for you hearts x 15 - eBay

I bought all of the above from eBay apart from the pearls and sixpence. I searched for each item separately and bought from mostly Chinese sellers. I had to wait a few weeks for the items to arrive but I knew I had enough time to wait. The best thing was that everything I ordered had more than one item. I've got 15 hearts and stars each and 5 blue hearts and pins so I can make multiple pins and I got it all for about £8 including postage. The pearls are from an old costume necklace that I cut up and placed a little silver pin through to attach it to the pin and the lucky sixpence was 99p from a charm store online. I attached all the charms to the pin using jump rings (also from eBay) and a pair of pliers (from my husbands tool box!)

So this is the end result and I'm really pleased with it! It's come out at a fraction of the price of the shop one, its handmade with love and for under £10 I can make several more!

What do you think? Have you ever attempted to recreate something you've seen for less?


Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Lush Ultrabland Review

As soon as this little pot popped up on my Lush Haul (which you can read here) a few requests came in for a review so today I'm sharing my thoughts on this little cleanser. I picked up the smaller 45g pot which costs £6.95 as I wanted to give it a go first before taking the plunge just in case I didn't like it but it also comes in a bigger 100g tub for £10.95.

My very first thought as soon as I opened the tub was oooh I don't really like the smell! As the name suggests it was, well bland, not like the usual Lush scrummyness! I could get a faint scent of beeswax and honey which isn't overly appealing to me. This obviously put me slightly off putting it all over my face but I wasn't prepared to be put off just by the smell and gave it a go and so far it's love!

I've been using it for about a week now and it's still hardly made a dent in the top of the pot, a little goes a really long way. I still use my first love, Bioderma to remove most of my make up but I know other people who use it as a make up remover and say it works really well. It has an oily consistency when you apply it to your face and doesn't have any colour at all once applied. I leave mine on for about 5 minutes and then use a muslin cloth and warm water to remove it. My skin feels super soft afterwards and feels clean (if that makes sense!) The rosewater and beeswax combine to capture dirt and grime and make it really easy to wipe away.

 At the moment I'm only using it at night (and still using my Liz Earle in the mornings) but once that runs out I'm going to switch to using this morning and night. I've found that using this combined with Grease Lightning has really cleared up my face during breakouts, which I feel have ultimately been less because of using these two products.

Have you tried Ultrabland before?


Sunday, 13 October 2013

The Weekly Roundup...#1

After seeing a post on Sophie's blog last week, I've decided to take part in this feature and do a weekly round up as Sunday's always seem to be neglected as a blogging day.

BBQ chicken from M&S, an amazing chicken noodle dish, also from M&S and home made piri piri chicken (obviously I eat a lot of chicken!

The Great British Bake Off quarter final, The Newsroom (Sky Atlantic), several episodes of Family Guy and 500 Days of Summer.

Listened to...
London Grammar (Strong) Lana Del Rey (Summertime Sadness) Birdy (Wings) and EDM (CD1 is the best CD)

Laughed at...
This video! Hubby showed me and I couldn't stop laughing!
A lot of blogs, including Pretty in Pink, Becca's Fashion and Life, and Bed in the Kitchen. I'm also still trying to make my way through the second Game of Thrones book A Clash of Kings, everytime I sit down to read, someone decides they want to talk to me or I need to do something!

To work :( (although Tuesday was good because I met my Mum and Sister for lunch), looking for conkers by the trees near my work, the pet shop to stock up on food (boring week!)

If you would like to take part, just email or tweet Sophie at or @sophielbradley.

What did you get up to this week?


Saturday, 12 October 2013

My top tips for savvy shopping

I think we all can admit that we love a bargain and to be honest I can't remember the last time I paid full price for something I've bought! 

As part of my 30 before 30 challenge, I've decided to try and save at least £1000. I'm going to need a lot of help as I'm still going to want to shop so I've come up with a quick guide for getting what you want for less...

Look for voucher codes
A quick Google search for voucher codes and the name of the shop you want to buy something from will usually reveal lots of e-coupons that you can apply to get a discount, free delivery or money off.

Use Boots Treat Street
If I do any shopping online I always check the Boots Treat Street website to see if I can get Boots points. All you have to do is sign up to the site and then login before you shop at certain retailers. Boots track your purchase and then award you points which turn into pounds. So far I've collected £25 worth of points by using their site which helps me still get the things I want in Boots without spending a penny!
Apply for a Tesco credit card
This might seem illogical but if you apply for a Tesco credit card and have a Clubcard you can collect points for using the credit card. If you're good at keeping track of your credit card spending and keep the cash spare to pay off the balance in full each month you'll gain loads of points which you can use on your Tesco shop or claim rewards at lots of other retailers.

Find a student friend/relative
I'm lucky enough to have a sister who is just starting a masters at uni so even though I'm no longer a student I can get her to buy me things with her discount and then pay her the money!

If you work for the NHS... can get discounts at lots of places. I just show my ID or a payslip in Nando's and get 20% off food and Dorothy Perkins offer a 10% discount too. Also, if you apply on Health Service Discounts you can get discounts off lots of shops including Apple, Disneyland Paris, RAC and more!

Sign up for newsletters...
 I have a separate email account which is what I use to sign up for newsletters to receive promotional codes from different shops. Dorothy Perkins have one currently where you can save 10% online and H&M regularly send discount codes.

Get samples from beauty counters
If you're not sure about spending out on a product, most premium beauty counters will offer you a sample to try before you splurge on the full size. All it takes is a friendly chat with the assistant.

 If you're after a CD, DVD, Book or Game...
...try, Find CD, Find DVD, Find Book, Find Game first to see where the cheapest place to purchase it is. The website are updated regularly and with Christmas coming is great for making those pennies go further!

I hope you find these tips useful! Have you tried any of these before?

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Mini Lush Haul

 For my birthday a few weeks ago hubby took me to Southampton to pick out my birthday presents so naturally I headed straight for Lush. I love the colours, smells and the friendly staff who are always willing to let you know about new products or show you a demonstration. As I already had some other gifts in mind I chose three items that I really wanted.

First up is Grease Lightning Spot Treatment which I have used several times already because of a breakout and I am so impressed! I put it on before I went to bed and come morning the firey looking blemish had almost disappeared!

Secondly, I got the cleanser Ultrabland after reading several blog reviews and deciding it was definitely worth going for. I've only picked up the little pot for now just to see how I get on with it.

Finally, I got an amazing little bath bubble bar, naturally I picked a pink one and it smells so good! It smells like candy and sweetness! I can't wait to use it!

Rest assured there will be reviews popping up on these over the next few weeks!

What are your favourite Lush products? Is anyone as excited as me about the return of Snow Fairy?


Monday, 7 October 2013

A Little Wishlist...

I've been smelling these two scents in particular whenever I visit Clintons and I desperately want them to burn at Christmas's not too early is it?

I saw this in Waterloo station Paperchase whilst waiting for the train back home and completely fell in love with it. Why didn't I buy it at the time? The best thing about it is you can buy lots of different inserts for it so I can add to it.

I love this collection, it would be so handy for on the go and there are a few products included that I haven't tried so it would be good to try a sample size before splurging on the full size!

Another Benefit craving! I love the colour of this blush, it looks so pretty and feminine, I'm really loving pink blushes at the moment and it comes in a super cute box with a little mirror and brush!

This little box is so cute and I really want to try "For the Twill of it" which is a lovely oil looking colour with purples/greens, perfect for Autumn! I haven't actually come across this in a store yet so if you know where I can pick one up please leave me a comment!

I'd love to join the beauty advent calendar craze this year as I missed out last year although I'm not sure my bank balance feels the same way about it! I love the idea of getting a new little nail polish each day and adding to my collection.

 It looks like I've got a very girly wishlist going on at the moment!


Saturday, 5 October 2013

Blog Boxes Advertising Giveaway

Recently I did a post on a creative way to advertise your blog (you can read the original post here) via a new website called blog boxes.

In celebration of being live for four weeks they have given me the opportunity to host their first ever giveaway for a chance to win one of four advertising spaces! 

There will be four separate winners and each one will win an advertising square on the blog boxes website for 1 whole year!

All you have to do is fill in the Rafflecopter form below and if you are one of the lucky winners you will need to provide some details which will be passed onto blog boxes to claim your prize.

So whether you're a beauty, fashion, lifestyle, or any other style of blogger make sure you enter below for a chance to win your space!

The giveaway will run for two weeks and end at midnight on the 19th October 2013. Winners will be contacted shortly after.

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 3 October 2013

NFL Wembley | Steelers Vs Vikings

 I sent out a tweet last week asking if anyone would be interested in reading about a post on my upcoming trip to the NFL at Wembley and the response to it was great so today I'm going to share with you my experience of my first time at Wembley and seeing my first professional NFL game.

We got up early on Sunday 29th September to get our train from Bournemouth to Waterloo we booked our train tickets in advance so decided to go first class as we had never done it before - needless to say, i'll definitely be doing it again! More leg room, comfy chairs and plugs to charge your phones, yes please!

We arrived in London around 10.30am and headed to The Slug and Lettuce at Waterloo (our usual pit stop) for something to eat as we wanted to eat early and beat the rush later, then we hopped on the tube to Queensway where our hotel was so we could drop off our bags as you weren't allowed to take any bags except clear ones into Wembley. We booked to stay in the Hilton Hyde Park as we got an Expedia deal but everything was such a rush that I didn't have any time to take photos, to be honest,we weren't that impressed. We have definitely stayed in better hotels in London for less money but we knew we weren't going to be using the room for very long, it was only a bed for the night.

Then we got back on the tube and headed for Wembley to soak up the atmosphere which was amazing! There were fans everywhere and we spotted every NFL team jersey. We headed to the merchandise stalls and I picked up a programme, key ring, foam finger and a t-shirt with the game day teams on.

After chilling out in the beer tent for a bit we walked around the stadium and came across the Minnesota Viking Cheerleaders putting on a display, and the Vikings band (Skol Line) walking around the crowds, playing.

At 4 o'clock the gates to Wembley opened and we were able to go through into the stadium. I have never been to Wembley before, only the arena next door and I knew it was big, but it was huge! All 83,000 fans were in great spirits and everyone was really friendly, despite rival team fans sitting next to each other!

We then popped down to say hello to our friend Cecil Martin who we met last year and organised a youth training session with for our local American Football team, the Bournemouth Bobcats (you can read that post here). He was getting ready to commentate on the show on Sky Sports but was more than happy to pose for a photo!

At 5.30 the pre-game show act took place which was Tinie Tempah and then the American and British National Anthems. Then the teams then took their places on the field and the game began! The final score was Steelers 27 Vikings 34 it was great to see a game with a lot of points being scored, everytime the Vikings scored the cheerleaders came out onto the field and put on a little show!

I had an absolutely amazing time and I can't wait to go to the next game (San Fransisco 49ers vs Jacksonville Jaguars) at the end of October!

Have you been to an NFL game before? Were you there at Wembley this weekend?