Sunday, 23 December 2012

D.I.Y. Manicure

Since getting a professional manicure can be quite expensive I thought that it would be appropriate to do a Do It Yourself Manicure guide. Personally I think that it is much more valuable investing in a manicure kit, some nail varnish and the other essentials* as you can change your style more frequently and for a fraction of the price of going to a salon.
So, let the sprucing and painting commence...
*The essentials (shown above) are:
Nail File
Cuticle Tool
Nail Clippers
Nail Scrubber
(all mentioned above and other tools not shown are from Tesco for £3 or so)
Chanel (Holiday) Nail Varnish
Sally Hansen
Nail Varnish Remover
Cotton Pads
Firstly I scrubbed my nails so that they were clean before I started shaping and polishing them. This is important to do even if you are going to cut your nails as they are prepped for the following stages. Maybe because I'm a tad OCD I enjoy scrupulously cleaning my nails until they are clear.
Next I cut my nails because I can't stand having long nails, they always seem to break or get in the way.
I then pushed my cuticles back so that the nail varnish would look more smooth. For some people this is a big no no, as the sensation of pushing back your cuticles can apparently give you the creeps.
I then buffed my nails to get rid of any bumps and cracks along the edges of my nails. This is a really great technique to make your nails look as if they've been professionally manicured at the salon.
 I then filed my nails down to give them a nice curve and get rid of any blunt nail clipper cut lines. Keep focused on the shape you want to achieve as you don't want to file one nail too short!!!
This step is very important when using nail varnish as it prevents the nail from becoming stained by the colour of your varnish and smooths over any remaining bumps.
 This is usually where I get my sweat on, I find this quite tricky to do as you want your nails to look flawless, especially when I am using Chanel nail varnish!
So how to do this, the key to the trick is to have a steady hand, make sure there is not too much/too little varnish on the bristles and slowing paint making sure with each nail that you cover all the required areas.
Again, using the Sally Hansen Double Duty, brush a layer of this over each of the dried nails. This will mean that you will have a flawless finish for longer.
AND don't forget, let the varnish dry completely otherwise you may have to redo some nails.
 Although this takes quite a while to do, it is a must around the holiday season when the purse/bank account is looking like it's seen better days. Don't let your nails to look the same!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Kitchen Cabinet Organisation

I have recently been in an OCD mood, if you can have mood inklings of OCD. Yet this cabinet reorganisation was desperately needed. So I thought before all of the frantic Christmas cooking begins, why not sort out the cupboard space and reorganise the layout of where things go.
I only reorganised the cabinets which had the ingredients in them and the cups (as some were getting a bit worse for wear). And as a result of my scrubbing, polishing and reorganising, I felt a lot more prepared for cooking and Christmas in general.
Before                                                                                                   After
I put all of the baking accessories on a shelf grouped together so I will be able to know whether I have a certain decoration or not when I come to bake.
All of the spices are grouped together and in alphabetical order, starting from the far left at the front and zigzagging backwards until I get to Paprika. This is a very useful method as I will know exactly where a certain spice is which will save me preparation time when I come to cook.
And here is the cabinet which contains all of my cooking accessories, spices and decorations. With it all being in one cabinet really keeps me organised when I come to find something or put something away.
I put all of the miscellaneous items into one cabinet but subcategorised them so that there is still coherence with the layout of my method.
I used Dettol (Anti-Bacterial Spray) and a wet cloth to scrub away at the stains and dirt. I then used a piece of dry kitchen roll to dry the shelves so that the items within the cupboard would not mould or go damp.
Above in this cabinet are all of my flours, sugars, mixes and matzo meal. I have placed all of the items which I use most regularly at the front to again, save on the cooking time preparation.
All of the unusual mismatching cups are reorganised in the small space which I have for them along with the small plates, egg cups and bowls.
I hope that you have found this useful and feel compelled to reorganise your kitchen cupboards!

Monday, 17 December 2012

Review: Rihanna - Unapologetic

I really do love how Rihanna's music style and her own personal style changes from year to year with the new releases of albums. Her music career has evolved drastically, and is forever changing. Once the Good Girl Gone Bad album came out, there was no u-turning; since then she has had an image which is empowering and unique. Not only is she evolving constantly in her music and personal style, she is a great performer and really is Unapologetic.
I personally think that with any CD you have to listen to it a good few times in order to start to like the song as the first time of hearing her songs will not sound as good as when you've given it a couple more plays. However saying that, maybe it's just personal preference, I did love Diamonds and Nobody's Business.
Nobody's Business is very nostalgic of a Michael Jackson song, the rhythm and style of singing is not that dissimilar to the voice of MJ himself. I also love the fact that she has sung it with Chris Brown, as there has been a lot of controversy and rumours surrounding them previous to the release of Unapologetic that it is very fitting that their romance is Nobody's Business.
Diamonds is another great song as when I listen to it it sparks emotions and memories of me and my boyfriend, B. I think that Diamonds is a classic and is a must buy, as well as the album!
The rest of Unapologetic is extremely good, it is very hip hop but with a twist. This is as Rihanna is singing it, the songs seems more feminine yet they are very masculine, such as Pour It Up and Numb. Yet there are songs on Unapologetic which are not so hip hop or grungy; such as What Now, Stay, Love Without Tragedy/Mother Mary and Get It Over With.
Unapologetic is a great Christmas gift or just a must buy if you are a Rihanna fan or if you like that genre of music.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Wardrobe Organisation

It is crucial every six months to reorganise your wardrobe/closet, as from personal experience they get cluttered very quickly. I also think that it is important to sort out your winter wardrobe and your summer wardrobe so you are organised with the correct items of clothing for that season.
I like my wardrobe to be categorically organised, with the same types of clothing together. I have done a step by step guide on how to organise your wardrobe and make it efficient as possible so when you come to be in a rush choosing an outfit you know exactly where to look.
I also want to warn you to be ready to pile up items of unwanted clothing which you should either give to a charity, sell on eBay or just put in the loft in case they ever come back in fashion.
Here are my two very loved pale pink jumpers, I have put these two colours together as there should be subcategories within the overall group of jumpers, whether this means organising your clothes into colour coding categories or the same brand. These two will be put into the section of jumpers/sweaters.
This category is blazers/jackets and all of these are in there own subgroup of being structured and smart. I would advise that if you have a sequined jacket or anything with intricate, delicate detailing; you should make sure that you put a cover over these to protect the item from falling apart.
This group of blouses and my more smart tops are grouped together as they are not exactly everyday casual items. This will be put into the group of tops/blouses.
Above are all of my jackets, jumpers,  cardigans, hoodies and blouses grouped together. This makes it much easier to identify where a certain top is in your wardrobe/closet instead of frantically trying to find it.
Next category is dresses. Photographed are my dresses which I wear for special occasions. These are a mix of professional dresses and those which are more suitable for a party, wedding or any other event. The dress I were most often is the French Connection structured dress, second from the left as it is so versatile and is simple.
Here are my skirts which are a mix of different fabrics and textures; these five pieces are my favourite.
My most worn jeans are grouped together, most of them being from Hollister as their Super Skinny Jeans are tight fitting and extremely flattering. 
I have put my most worn coats and walking jackets together, most of which I wear to University.
It'd be rude not to include my Dad's vintage Levis denim jackets which I love to wear on casual days when I am running my errands.
I have organised my shoes showing the back of one shoe in every pair so that you can see that heal of the shoe or the detailing at the back. Doing this technique also makes your collection of shoes more original and looks unusual. 

And here is the end product, it is definitely worth the work. All of the different categories are now organised and coupled with colours or items which they are similar to.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Review: L.A. Candy Trilogy

These three books are a must read if you (like me) loved The Hills. This trilogy, like the Lindsey Kelk books (reviewed here) are so addictive that I could not put any of them down and I would much rather dive into the drama of these books than deal with normal reality.
These three books surround a reality television star, Jane Roberts and the problems she encounters throughout her rollercoaster career. The story lines are very much similar to those of The Hills and The City, but then again, what do you expect, the author is the amazing Lauren Conrad of course!
I would whole heartedly recommend these books, in fact I was pleasantly surprised to see that she has other books which follow on from these, The Fame Game and Starstruck which are on my Christmas list!
It's been a good year since I read this book, but I can still remember all of the goings on within it. This novel sets the ball rolling, it introduces the main characters and how the four reality television stars come to deal with dramas surrounding them. It is very well wrote, as well as the following two are, and it really does draw the reader in; making you feeling emotions for the main character and personal opinions of the others. When I was reading it I felt as if I was part of the story. A must read.
Sweet Little Lies is a masterpiece to say the least! So much goes on in this book that you will not know when to put the book down and go to sleep!
This book surrounds the unfortunate events which Jane Roberts has to encounter as it shows that fame ultimately leads to scandal and lies. This scandal very much is reminiscent of the unfortunate rumour that Lauren Conrad had to deal with throughout her career on The Hills. I felt sympathy for Jane Roberts as she went through her mishaps; which carry on through to Sugar and Spice.
Sugar and Spice is real page-turner as although Jane Roberts has got over her love-life scandal, she is trying to turn her life around and this only results in more drama and rumours.
I really do think that this book is a great conclusion to the trilogy as it (thankfully) ends on a positive note, after all of Jane Robert's encounters.
Yet The Fame Game does carry on the story, through Jane Roberts' frenemy, Madison Parker. I will most certainly do a review once I have fully indulged myself in this new one.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

This Week

These past few weeks have been so stressful with essay deadlines and presentations, however we never miss to indulge ourselves in our favourite things amongst all the chaos.
Here are a few things which delighted us and kept us motivated throughout this hectic period.
 A beautifully laid out suite in Selfridges which put a smile on our faces. Interior design inspiration!
The new collection from Stella McCartney, a colourful pop to your otherwise dull festive wardrobe.
Starting to feel the festive fever, putting the Christmas decorations up was a lethargic process.
A masterpiece of a birthday cake for Granddad Joe's 70th birthday meal.
Delicious mid-week meal out, just what we needed to relax!

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Santa Baby

Christmas can be a stressful period, with all of the presents you have to get, the shops are full with frantic shoppers and there's just that much you have no idea what to buy...
Below are an assortment of items which she will love; and which you can get online and miss on all that pushing and shoving.
So if you want to get some extra treats for her, then this'll surely solve your problem.

It is much easier to shop for a girl than a guy, there's so much on offer that she will love that you really can't go wrong. These presents below are thoughtful and sweet, maybe you'll get a kiss under the mistletoe for giving her one of these.

Under £50 - Stocking Fillers:

Over £50 - Accessories:

3) Sony Vaio Laptop - £480
5) GHD Hair Dryer - £99

Friday, 7 December 2012

It's Starting To Look a Lot Like Christmas

It's Christmas in less than two weeks and the weather is really starting to show it as well! The beautiful gardens at Rufford Old Hall really start excitement in me about Christmas, and it is safe to say I am really getting into the Christmas spirit.
My father and I thought it would be lovely to have a wonder round the gardens of Rufford Old Hall and take in the scenery. Fresh air can't do too much harm, however I am starting to get a bit of a cold now.
It's always lovely to go to National Park attractions as it's nice to get away from all of the hustle and bustle of the city.
University can't come to an end sooner, I need my Christmas break to have more days like these!
The Canal was frozen over, really showing signs of a cold, frosty Christmas to come.
Unusual entrance to the Manor House's gardens with the two geese above the gate.
The crunchy grass really teases me as I am praying for it to snow this year, there's nothing better than a white Christmas.
Old Tudor part of the house, but the holly decoration gives it a festive feel.