Sweet Dreams with REN...

Sunday, 19 November 2017

I always feel pretty intrigued when REN let me know of a new item that they are soon to release, and this was to happen again just a couple of weeks ago when I learned of their new product, '& Now to Sleep'...

The idea of a scent that you spray onto your pillows and linen when you go to bed which helps you to relax before heading off to sleep, immediately appealed to me - as an A-Level student, I feel pretty accustomed to the stresses of school-work, and so this product seemed ideal to help create a more tranquil atmosphere for me of a night.





Containing a blend of frankincense and lavender, the smell of this spray is really quite comforting, and in my opinion, pretty perfect in creating a sense of warmth throughout the colder Autumn and Winter months. With it's adorable, perfectly designed packaging, I have so far really enjoyed spritzing a bit of this product around my bed of a night, as it creates a soothing atmosphere that ultimately smells pretty good.

What's more, I must also say how much I love the little bag that I received alongside me '& Now to Sleep' spray. Featuring a similar cute design to the packaging of my product, this bag is the perfect size to pop my new sleep spray into... however, I may well pop it into my handbag to use as a makeup bag too, because it's just so adorable!





After feeling pretty intrigued by this product from the off, I can say that within my first couple of weeks using it, it does seem to create a pretty calming surrounding for me to sleep in - of course though, I'm going to have to keep up with using it over the next few months to see how it helps me become more relaxed during say, exam season...

Olivia xo

You can find the '& Now to Sleep' Spray HERE

This post was sponsored by REN Skincare.

A New Bag

Sunday, 12 November 2017

A new season means a new handbag, right? Well, that's what I thought anyway, and so a few weeks ago I set about on a mission to find myself a new bag for the Autumn and Winter months.

After a few unsuccessful searches around the shops, I thought I would instead do a bit of online shopping, and eventually ended up on Bershka (one of my old favourites), where I found exactly the sort of handbag that I was looking for...

Out & About in Birmingham with my New Bag...
I had a few specific wants in my new bag: it needed to be black to match the majority of my Autumn/Winter wardrobe, it needed to have a cross-body strap, and it also needed to be big enough to fit all my necessities in, but at the same time not too massive (I know, I am a little bit picky). Anyway, the bag that I spotted on the Bershka website seemed to tick the boxes of all the above categories, and so I immediately decided to get it!

As you can hopefully see, this new bag of mine is pretty cute - for just £17.99, I have to admit that it was a bit of a bargain, especially when I have found the quality of Bershka items to be incredibly good in the past. I really love the look of it as despite being rather simple in terms of style, I can easily add a little something extra to it by tying my cute little M&S neck scarf onto it's handle. 






 What's more, it's also nice and roomy inside so fits all my bits and bobs in perfectly, and of course seems to pair well with the vast majority of my outfits. The long cross-body strap adds to the practicality, as it is pretty simple to just sling it across me when I am out and about, or have to carry additional bags (I do normally manage to accumulate a fair few shopping bags whilst out), which means that I have been using it pretty much every day recently and will probably carry on doing so for the foreseeable future.

Hopefully you all like my new handbag as much as I do... and if so, you can find it HERE.

Olivia xo

Affiliate Links were included in this post.

Beauty Buys From Bourjois

Sunday, 5 November 2017

As usual, upon paying a visit to Boots the other week for just one thing, I ended up coming out with multiple items. In my defence, there was 3 for 2 on all Bourjois Cosmetics... so, my one bottle of foundation ended up also turning into a new nail polish and a new lipstick!




I have used the Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation on multiple occasions now, and due to my Smashbox foundation all but running out recently, I thought it would be smart to opt for a drugstore item that I trust, to take it's place. They have actually changed up the bottle of this foundation since I last got it (that was some time ago though), but the product itself is still just as good as it used to be - I definitely class it as one of my favourite drugstore products, as it applies really well and seems to stay in place for the majority of the day, despite it's price tag of £9.99.

All That Jazz!

Sunday, 29 October 2017

I feel as though I am forever waffling on about nail polishes, and just the other week I actually posted about a new Essie polish that I bought especially for Autumn. Within that post, I also mentioned that I would really quite like to try out some new nail polish brands (other than just my usual Essie)...and so, it was a rather lovely surprise to have All That Jazz send me over some beautiful nail products just a few days ago!



If I'm going to be perfectly honest, I hadn't actually heard of All That Jazz before, but due my love of trying out products from different brands, I felt pretty intrigued so immediately set about having a browse of their website. On the site, I was pretty overwhelmed by the amount of gorgeous nail polish colours featured - there is literally a colour for every occasion and every time of year on there (feel free to check it out for yourself HERE), and although I found it quite a challenge to pick out my favourite shades, I eventually opted for 'Opportunity Knocks' and 'Dance With Me'.

Baking - Cherry and Chocolate Cookies

Sunday, 22 October 2017

After what seemed like an age, I finally got around to doing some baking the other week. I really felt in the mood to make some cookies, so after a browse of various recipes, I eventually found one that sounded rather tempting on the Good Food Website... that recipe was for Cherry and Chocolate Cookies, and seeing as my baking of them went pretty well, I thought I would share the recipe with you all today!



Ingredients:

For the Cookies:

200g Unsalted Butter
85g Muscovado Sugar
85g Golden Caster Sugar
1 Egg
225g Self-Raising Flour
50g Milk Chocolate
50g White Chocolate
85g Glacé Cherries

To go on Top:

Around 100-150g of Milk Chocolate


 Method:

1. Firstly, I preheated the oven to 180 degrees celsius, and then I put the butter, egg, and sugars into a mixing bowl and beat them together.


2. Then, I also added the flour, chocolates and cherries, and mixed them in as well - for the chocolate, I just broke the bars into their squares, and with the cherries, I just chopped them in half.


3. Next, I spooned blobs of the mixture onto baking trays (making sure that they were well spread out so that they didn't all stick together whilst cooking), and popped them into the oven for 15 minutes.


4. Once the cookies were baked, I took them out of the oven and left them to cool for a good 10 minutes or so. I then melted the remaining chocolate and drizzled it over the top of the cookies (as you can see from the pictures of my cookies, this doesn't have to be neat!).

And that's all there really was to making these cookies - they were so simple to do, and tasted so good, that I will definitely be baking them again at some point in the future!

Olivia xo

P.S Find the original recipe HERE.

Vinyl Bargains and Purchases...

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

It's that time again... I have been waiting for a couple of months to amass a fair few records before writing up another haul, but now with quite a few purchased I thought it would be a great time to tell you all about them... 



Firstly, some charity shop finds...

'How Soon is Now?' - The Smiths

Now this 7" single was a fair bit more expensive than my other charity shop purchases - for £9.99, it did take me a little longer to decide on whether to actually buy this one, but after some serious thought I just went for it. 'How Soon is Now?' is one of my favourite Smiths songs, so to own it on 7" feels pretty great... and the money that I spent on it also went to charity so that makes me feel good too.

'Regatta de Blanc' - The Police

I was definitely pretty shocked to have found this in Oxfam (no offence to any fans of Cliff Richard, but the shelves are normally just stacked with his albums), and so I just had to buy it. It was only £4.99, which I don't think is all that bad for an album by The Police, and considering how good an LP it actually is, I definitely didn't mind parting with my money.

Favourite Songs - 'Message in a Bottle' & 'Bring on the Night'


Spending the Weekend in Sheffield...

Sunday, 15 October 2017

After being back at home for just around a month after my holiday to Italy, I was recently on the move again... although, this time it was to spend a couple of nights in Sheffield.


The main reason for our trip up to Sheffield, was that we were going to see Rob Brydon play at the City Hall on the evening, but it made sense to spend the day exploring the city too. I have actually been to Sheffield a couple of times before, and as I remembered it to be a pretty lovely city, I was rather excited to visit again!

So, me being me, I made sure to research a few places to visit before we made our journey up North - whilst doing so, I discovered that the city actually holds a fair few record shops, and I eventually ended up in Record Junkee (which is situated close to Primark, so proved pretty handy), where I perused through the thousands of records for some time, before eventually coming away with a Frankie Goes To Hollywood single.


I did also pop into HMV a little later to get another couple of records (although more on those another time), after I had a little search of the city for some vintage clothing shops. For ages, I had wanted to visit a COW vintage store, and luckily enough, Sheffield had one... however, although there were lots of cool items in-store, I didn't actually find anything in particular that I wanted to buy. But, I do know that a couple of the cities that I will be visiting in the near future also have COW shops, so perhaps on those occasions I might find something to buy!

After that small disappointment though, we headed to The Botanist for a drink (which is situated in Leopold Square, which is a rare cute area that you can hopefully see in the photo above), before then going back to the hotel to get ready for our evening out...

When it rains for most of the evening, so you have to find somewhere suitable to take some outfit photos...
Denim Jacket - Topshop
Top - Afflecks Palace, Manchester
Trousers - Zara


I do feel like we had a super busy day in Sheffield, because pretty soon after showering and getting changed, we were off into the city centre once again.

By this time though, it was raining, so my idea to take a few outfit photos for this blog post was proving a bit of a challenge. However, we eventually decided to take a few (with me looking as awkward as usual) in the Winter Gardens which are helpfully indoors, and happened to be right next to the restaurant that we were going to be eating in.

Ego is a chain of restaurants that serves Mediterranean-style food, and we do actually have one near us in Lichfield so had visited a few times before and loved the food. This meal was no different, as I was served with three lovely dishes - starting with some Grilled Goat's Cheese (I am OBSESSED with Goat's Cheese), then going on to some Chickpea, Lemon and Coriander Cakes, before finishing with Tiramisu for desert (another of my favourite foods), the food I ate was literally gorgeous.


My part of my lovely dinner at Ego - Chickpea, Lemon and Coriander Cakes (plus some fries on the side).

Following on from a great meal, we then saw a great performance by Rob Brydon at the City Hall... it was pretty late by the time we got back to the hotel, and I was pretty tired after a full-on day. 

However, I must say that I had a really nice time in Sheffield, and I hope you all enjoyed hearing little about my trip, and getting to see some of my photos!

Olivia xo 

Autumn With Essie

Sunday, 8 October 2017

By now, a lot of you probably know of my love for Essie nail polishes, so I will keep this post fairly brief... However, I did really want to talk a little about a new nail colour that I bought the other week, and that I think is perfect to wear in the autumn months!


What with all the summer shades that I own, once it got to September I thought it was about time that I went out and got myself a new nail polish. Essie have such a lovely range of nail colours, and I immediately felt myself compelled by the gorgeous nude shades that they offer - although I was a eyeing up a couple of nice colours, I eventually opted for 'Clothing Optional', which is exactly the sort of thing that I was after!


Is it too early to talk about Christmas Gift Sets?

Sunday, 1 October 2017

The answer to the title of this post is probably yes, but it is at about this time of year that all the new Christmas gift sets start to appear in the shops... and it is today that REN's lovely festive gift set range for 2017 is released!

After working with REN a few times now, I must say that I get incredibly excited whenever they let me know about a new product launch - their Christmas range this year (aptly named 'Little Boxes of Joy') of course had me enthusiastic all over again, especially due to the fact that they have collaborated with Silken Favours to create the cutest packaging!


Within the collection there are numerous different sets, each containing different items, and each for different prices (so there really is something no matter what your gift budget is!). My lovely gift is called 'All is Calm, All is Bright' and contains three lovely little face products...

Being a Bookworm

Sunday, 24 September 2017

I love reading so so much... however, due to the fact that I am currently at sixth form, I rarely get time (or can be bothered) to sit and read a book after completing all my work and revision.

So, whenever the summer comes around I make sure that I get through as many books as insanely possible whilst I have the time to do so - the summer that has just passed was no different, and although I did have to do some reading as part of my A-Level English Course, I still managed to read a fair few books of my own choosing too... and thought that I would tell you all a little about them in today's post!



'Starter for Ten'  - I had wanted to read a book by David Nicholls for quite some time, after hearing lots of good things about a number of the books that he has written. Therefore, when I spotted a set of three of his novels in TK Maxx for just £6 (or something like that), I obviously just had to buy them.

The first book that I decided to read out of the three was 'Starter For Ten', which appealed to me due to the fact that it is set in the 1980's (a decade that I love) and also features the main character competing in University Challenge (a programme that is a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine). I must say that I wasn't disappointed with this book either, and due to my love of it I really seemed to read it rather quickly... it was really quite funny at times, and going along with the main character of Brian whilst he experiences university life and romance was very interesting! 

'One Day' - After thoroughly enjoying 'Starter For Ten', I then decided to next read 'One Day' after hearing a lot of good things about it...

Well, what can I say? This book literally broke my heart. The plot involves two friends who we catch up with on the same day of every year (July 15th) for twenty years, and whilst the fact that the two clearly love each but follow completely different paths in life is emotional enough to read, the twist at the end and the last couple of chapters literally had me in tears.

I really want to watch the movie adaptation of 'One Day' too, although I expect it probably won't have the same emotional impact as the book - however, I would really recommend this novel to anyone who hasn't read it before as it really is fantastic (just as 'Starter for Ten' also is, which definitely leaves me with high hopes for the last book in my David Nicholls trio, 'The Understudy').



The 'Perfect Canvas'...

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Getting to try out a new product that is being launched is definitely one of my favourite things - therefore, after seeing several other bloggers receive the new REN release, I was also super excited to try it for myself!

Called the 'Perfect Canvas', this serum appealed to me immediately as the idea of such a product helping my skin to look healthier and smoother was definitely pretty intriguing... so, having been set a 14 day challenge by REN to see how the 'Perfect Canvas' helped my skin, I couldn't wait to get started.

An Italian Adventure

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Bonjourno!!

Apart from that opening hello, I promise that I definitely won't continue to spout Italian phrases throughout this post, although, I will be still sharing lots of pictures and information about my recent visit to Italy!

You may have picked up a mention of my holiday in some previous posts (and if you follow me on Twitter and Instagram, then you will have definitely seen a fair few photos), and today I will finally be rounding up what I did on my recent trip abroad... so get ready for lots of photos of beautiful Italian buildings, and a lot of talk about all the Nutella flavoured ice cream that I ate. 

The beautiful view from our balcony - opening the bathroom window to see Mount Vesuvius is definitely something that I will miss.
Following on from our brief stay in Manchester, me and my parents headed to the airport early (and I mean very early) one Tuesday morning to board our flight to Naples.

After arriving in Naples (and successfully keeping myself away from all the pizza slices that were being sold in Arrivals), we got on a coach to begin the journey onto Sorrento where we would be staying. Our hotel itself was located just out of Sorrento and up in the surrounding hills - although this meant that we had to walk for about 30 minutes to reach the centre of town, we did have the most stunning views from our balcony, and also a bit of peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle of the centre of Sorrento.

As well as having great views, our hotel was of a very traditional Italian style... which of course meant gorgeous tiled floors in the room!
Looking out to sea...

A Trip To Manchester...

Sunday, 10 September 2017

I love Manchester so much, and was therefore super excited to visit once again a few weeks ago. It had actually been a couple of years since my last visit, but since planning the recent trip up North I had been incredibly enthusiastic when deciding on all the different places that I wanted to visit within the city...

Indulging in my favourite dish (Yasai Yaki Soba) at Wagamama in MediaCity

We actually stayed just outside of the city centre, in Salford near MediaCity where the BBC and ITV studios are located. This is pretty much the normal area where we tend to stay whenever we visit Manchester as it's a really nice, chilled out area with lots of places to eat and drink, as well as easy links to the centre of the city via the trams...

And yes, it was also a pretty handy place for me to finally get round to taking some outfit photos, considering that it was pretty quiet (I always feel incredibly awkward having my blog photos took when there's lots of people about).

Jacket - Topshop

T-shirt - ASOS
Trousers - Zara (I couldn't find the exact ones to link, but THESE are pretty similar)

Beauty - Summer Holiday Essentials

Sunday, 3 September 2017

***  This post was meant to go up whilst I was on holiday but I completely forgot about it (typical Olivia), so although I am now back from my holiday I thought I would still post it...

Considering that I will be off on my holidays soon, I thought it only right to share some of the makeup products that I will be taking with me... Due to the summer seeming to already be over in the UK, I haven't really had much of a chance to experiment with any summery beauty looks, so therefore want to take full advantage of this when I go to Italy, and make the most of wearing some brighter colours!


I particularly hope to add a bit more colour to my makeup using my new Sleek Eyeshadow Palette. Although I did buy this palette a few months ago, I have been saving it for the sole purpose of taking it on holiday, as I think the range of glittery shadows will be perfect to create some colourful eyeshadow looks.

I did actually write a post about this palette some time back and talked about my first impressions of it (you can take a look HERE), but after having said palette sat in my drawer unused for so long, I am now pretty excited to try it out. After swatching the shadows, I must say that I feel particularly compelled to try out the blue and green tones, as I think when applied subtly, they will look really cute!


Vinyl Love!

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Yes, it's time for another music-themed post...

I do love my music, and as an avid record collector really enjoy letting you all know what records I have been buying, and what music I have been loving lately. This time around though, I thought I would just talk about three of my most recently purchased records...


'Aladdin Sane' - David Bowie

It's not unknown that I'm a big fan of David Bowie and his music, and therefore love a lot of his albums. Until recently, I only owned a couple of compilation albums on vinyl, so certainly wanted to expand my Bowie collection... and did so a few weeks ago by purchasing one of my favourite albums, 'Aladdin Sane'.

It's All About MeMeMe!

Friday, 18 August 2017

No, this post isn't actually all about me, but is instead about a makeup brand that recently came to my attention called MeMeMe Cosmetics...

I just love being introduced to new beauty brands, and so when MeMeMe asked me to try out a couple of their new Matte Liquid Lipsticks, I obviously jumped at the idea. The thing is, I had been on the look out for a new lip product or two for some time, but couldn't really decide on just what to get - therefore, when shown MeMeMe's collection of 5 new Matte Lipsticks, I just couldn't resist picking out a lovely nude shade and also a gorgeous red!



So far, I must say that I have really been loving trying out these lipsticks, as both shades just look really great and seem to stay firmly in place for hours on end. The nude lipstick (called Suede) is perfect to wear on a daily basis, whilst its red counterpart (called Temptation) is really vibrant and will therefore look lovely when worn of a night, so will definitely be coming with me on my upcoming holiday to Italy.

Getting Back Into Baking...

Friday, 11 August 2017

I have been vowing to get back into baking again for some time, so am constantly on the lookout for new recipes to try. Whenever I visit Waitrose, I like to have a peek at the monthly recipes that they display on a stand in one of the aisles to see if there's anything in particular that catches my eye, and a few days ago, I happened to notice a rather lovely looking recipe for a Peach and Almond Cake and thought that I would actually have a stab at making it myself...

Which is just what I did, and considering that the cake I made actually turned out looking half-decent, I thought I would share my take on the Waitrose recipe here today!

My New Favourite Shoes...

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Owning a pair of Dr Martens has been on my wishlist for such an incredibly long time, so seeing so many people sporting gorgeous pairs of them on blogs and Instagram has definitely made me feel pretty envious in recent months...

However, I can now proudly call myself a Dr Martens owner! 


I have known for some time that I would opt for a pair of the shoes that the brand sell, and whilst browsing through Schuh's range quite recently, I found a pair that I really loved...

The pair that I opted for are the 1461 Classic Black Flat shoes in patent - whilst I do like the classic boot style that the brand offer, I must say that the shoes suit me a lot more, and will probably work a lot better with many of my outfits. Therefore, I am already getting pretty excited about pairing my new shoes with all manner of outfits from black trousers and t-shirts, to jeans and big slouchy jumpers once the weather starts to get colder (although, it does appear that summer has pretty much vanished already).

July Favourites

Sunday, 30 July 2017

This year seems to be passing at lightning speed, and as it's nearly August, I thought that it was certainly about time that I wrote up my July Favourites! 

I know my 'Favourites' posts can be a bit few and far between, but now that I have broken up from Sixth Form for the summer holidays, I just knew that I had to make some time to write such a post once again - especially when I have been loving so many things throughout the month of July...




Sunflowers

Now we are in the midst of summer, it is sunflower season once again! As many of you may already know, I just love to have flowers in my room, but it must be said that my favourite of all the flowers are probably sunflowers, so it's really lovely to be able to get beautiful bunches of them and see them sat on my drawers in all their yellow loveliness.


Badges

A few months back, I started to collect some badges to wear on my beloved denim jacket, and in the month of July decided that it was certainly time to find some more. On Etsy, there seems to be absolute masses of badges for everyone - after searching about for some music-related ones, I stumbled upon a cute little store (which you can find HERE), and ended up getting three new badges.


It was rather hard to whittle down my options as there was so many cute badges available, but I eventually opted for the three you can see above including designs themed around the Stone Roses, David Bowie and The Smiths.


Culottes

Okay, so July was the month where I really really got a bit obsessed with culottes! Having seen quite a lot of people wearing culottes in photos on Instagram, I realised that I would finally like to try a pair out for myself - New Look really seems like a great place to get culottes from at the minute, considering that they sell also sorts of different colours and patterns for very reasonable prices, hence why it was my first port of call when looking to buy myself a pair.

Since then, I have pretty much been living in culottes and now own three lovely pairs (including the stripy ones that you can see above) Being a bit fed up of wearing jeans all the time, culottes are a welcome change, as they are really flattering and super comfy - plus, they look really cute when just paired with a t-shirt and trainers....



This is pretty much a makeup product that I have rediscovered over the past month, as upon clearing out my makeup drawers a few weeks ago, I found this once much loved palette buried below the rest of my contour products...

In previous months, I just couldn't get enough of this product with it's lovely contour power, and it's even more beautiful highlight - therefore, it has really been great to find this contour kit out, and use it as part of my every day makeup looks once again!






Stone Roses Vinyl

I won't really ramble on about this one all that much, as I think I have talked about this album in a previous post... However, it must be said that this record has been getting a heck of a lot of play on my turntable lately, as not only is it one of my favourite albums anyway, but it really just gives off great summery vibes, and is one of go-to LP's to play on a sunny day.

So, that's all for my July Favourites!

I hope you all enjoyed this post, and I look forward to hopefully uploading lots more good content over the next few weeks considering that I am free of homework and revision for a while!

Olivia xo 

Affiliate Links were used in this post.

Palmer's Hair Care!

Sunday, 23 July 2017

I literally love all things haircare, so you can imagine my excited when a couple of weeks ago, I received the nicest gift bag from Palmer's...

The only real experience I have previously had with Palmer's, was with using their gorgeous Cocoa Butter (this stuff smells absolutely amazing by the way!), so I was pretty intrigued by the fact that said brand also sold all manner of other skincare and haircare products. 



Anyway, the products that I got send from Palmer's were from the Coconut Oil collection, which is a new range and is specifically for treating 'dry, damaged, or colour treated' hair - so, considering that I recently had my hair dyed, I thought it would be the perfect timing to try out some new hair care products!!

Opening up my bag of goodies was pretty exciting - considering that the items are from the Coconut Oil range, I just had to have a smell of them straight away, and oh my gosh... they smell amazing, and totally make me feel all summery! 
 
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