Tuesday, 30 July 2013

What's in my Living Room?

As you all know, I love interior design. Ever since I moved into my own home just over 2 years ago, I'm forever looking for little unique accessories and ideas to make it my own little palace like no other.

A bit of background on my living room - before we moved in, the previous owners had recently laid a gorgeous thick cream carpet (see photo) but like many of us, I had many ideas spinning round in my head of what I wanted to do to each and every room, and having a cream carpet in the living room was not in my colour scheme. I took a bit of a risk and pulled up this gorgeous clean carpet and laid my own charcoal one down in order to match in with my colour scheme of greys and teals.

I am a very organized person so I knew exactly where I was going with this living room before it was complete. I knew I wanted something modern and sophisticated but with a touch of femininity in there. I hate a lot of clutter so some areas may look quite sparse, but it helps me clear my mind a little more and I can feel like I can breath!

The bottom left photo reflects how our living room was looking after our carpet was fitted. We'd only been in the house a few days so still had accessories to buy (and the mirror to hang up!). The bottom right photo reflects how it currently looks, 2 years later. I have accessorized it with a mixture of things from teal glitter photo frames, to shabby chic candle holders and rugs.

Take a closer look...

My fireplace/mantle piece is definitely the focal point (which I think is a must in every room!). The mantle clock in the top left always seems to be a talking point amongst new guests, with its (ever-so-slightly) tinged blue butterflies, I thought it was a perfect match. The heart floral garland is a recent purchase, I found it on sale in a supermarket and fell in love with the colours. I wasn't too sure where to hang it, so for now its home is the vase! I have a huge love for shabby chic, which can be seen throughout the whole of my house. I've brought my love into the living room as you can see from the top right photo, with numerous shabby chic style candle holders. These look so pretty lit up at night, especially in the winter, with the flame flickering through the heart. These were purchased from a shabby chic house party (Yes, they really do seem to hold parties for alsorts nowadays!). Since purchasing these, I've seen very similar in almost every shop that sells home accessories, all under £5 each.

The bottom left photo shows my corner sofa. Although this is appealing to the eye, its unfortunately not the comfiest with its wide cushions and low back. However it was the first sofa I've ever bought, so we all learn from our mistakes!  I have a black faux fur throw hanging on the side to the right, which comes in handy for those chilly winter nights. I'm a sucker for photos as well so you may spot a tiny collage of them hanging there on the wall. I have a mixture of travel, graduation and family photos to reflect our life so far. In the corner you will spot a lamp - This was purchased from B&Q in the sale, I think I managed to pick it up for around £25, reduced from £50. I still need to replace the lampshade with one that matches the room a little more, but its yet another thing to add to my ever-growing 'to do' list!

The bottom right shows a few teal butterfly wall art stickers that 'fly' up towards my light switch. I have a few different stickers dotted round in different rooms. I think it helps add something to a plain wall that you may not be able to do much with due to space. These were purchased from eBay really cheaply - they do alsorts of 'themes', including quotes, however these seem to be pretty popular now too so I'm beginning to steer clear of these as I like my home to be a little unique.

This cuddle chair is many peoples favourite when they visit. It can fit 2 people on (if you're lucky!) and is a perfect spot for going to sleep by the window. This is a favourite of my 2yr old nieces' - the chair spins so she likes to think its a roundabout, constantly asking to be spun around and making her poor old auntie dizzy!

Accessorising your home can be as cheap or as expensive as you make it. The majority of the items you have seen above are inexpensive, most coming from either supermarkets or discounted home interior shops. As long as you have a keen eye and place the right things together, you may be surprised of the effect! There are several little 'projects' that I have in my head that I still need to complete in order to make this living room complete. I'd like a few glossy black shelves up on the white wall at the back, which would hold a couple of photo frames and a candle or 2. I would also like some sort of storage unit in the corner of my room near the teal lamp (that you will see to the right of the fireplace). Apart from the small boxes under the TV that holds DVDs, we don't have any storage in this room, so it'd be nice knowing that we have space to store some more belongings, and create another surface for a few more accessories. I'd remove the glass 3 tier-tables that the lamp stands on and use this storage unit to lift the lamp up which would hopefully improve the lighting in the living room (which I despise!)

Living in your home, you tend to adapt to your surroundings and become a little tired of them. I'm constantly wanting to switch rooms up and start again, however its not until you reflect over photos that you tend to appreciate your environment and the stamp you've made on it.

From my current colour scheme and the items I've purchased over the 2 years, I've learnt many things, and would definitely do things a little differently next time, but I guess that's what life is all about - its a learning curve. I'm happy with it for the time being (well, until my partner allows me to re-decorate!)

Hope you enjoyed the tour around my living room!


Monday, 29 July 2013

Lifestyle - Japanese Gardens

I love reading about what other people get up to in their spare time, and where they venture to. Unfortunately most of the places I read about are miles and miles away from my home, but from time to time I do like to make a note of certain places that take my fancy for those rainy days!

A couple of weeks ago I took a trip with work to somewhere where I wouldn't normally venture. A little different from my usual day out, but nonetheless, it made a nice change.

PureLands Japanese Gardens, which is situated on the outskirts of Newark, (which is just past Lincoln for those not from round 'ere!)


The gardens were so pretty and it was amazing that just one Japanese guy had created and maintained these gardens for many years. He even made homemade scones whilst we were there, and had 'heavenly tea' on the menu, whereby he took some of the ingredients fresh from the tree. It was nice to be a little more in touch with nature, and made me appreciate a little more.

The gardens are renown for their tranquility and meditation that they offer. There's a crystal viewing area (that claims to be the only one in the world!) which is something different to feast your eyes on! There were lots of nooks and crannies and different ways around the gardens - be careful, you may easily lose the person that you are with!

Overall, a lovely way to spend a few hours, especially in the sun! (And especially considering I was getting paid!)

If you like these kind of posts then let me know and I'll do more, I have quite a few days out/weekends away coming up!


Wednesday, 24 July 2013

NOTD - Color Club 'London Calling'

I received this in a beauty box a few months ago and wasn't drawn to it at all. The colour was referred to as 'neon', and to me this isn't what I'd class as neon green, but more of a pastel. From my large collection of polishes, green is one colour I am lacking. Like orange and yellow, green is just a 'meh' nail colour to me, that's all I can describe it as.

However I don't like to see anything go to waste, so a few days ago I thought I'd sample this 'meh' colour. I do apologise, 'meh' has a name, that being 'London Calling'. I applied it to my nails and the colour surprised me. Even though it was pretty much identical to the colour you can see through the bottle, it was a lot more vibrant than I had anticipated. In fact that vibrant that I felt a little daring wearing it for work! And that vibrant that I felt like it needed 'dumbing down' a little - with white polka dots, ha (yeah, like that's gonna'  dumb it down!).

Although the consistency of the polish was nice, I did find this a little streaky, and found myself having to do 2 coats on certain areas of my nails. Also, because of the colour, I felt like I had to be extra careful when nearing the edge of my nail and cuticles - its one of those colour's where I felt every edge had to be extra straight because of how noticeable it was (if you look closely enough at the photo you'll see what I mean!).

Was it chip resistant? I had 1 chip from the first 24hrs of wearing this (which is actually pretty good going for me!) but again, because of how vibrant the colour was, I felt it emphasized the chip so I cringed everytime I looked down at my nail, knowing I could do nothing about this till I got home from work. Not good.

It dried extremely quickly, however I felt a little tacky and almost childlike wearing this, especially for work. One colleague made a joke and told me I'm 'not allowed to wear it again because it keeps catching his eye'. So although it made a change from my typical colours, I think I will continue to get my use out of this through nail art only.

I know neon is big this summer, and has been for a while, but this is definitely not for me.


Tuesday, 16 July 2013

NOTD - Ciate 'The Glossip'

After receiving this little beauty in my July's Glossybox, I was more than excited to give it a whirl.

Welcome to Ciates' 'The Glossip'. I've only ever owned one Ciate nail polish before, and that too came in a beauty box. However it must have been a colour I wasn't so fond of because I gave it away.

Lets first start by mentioning the bottle (how could we not?!) I love the shape of it, how it is slightly curved at the back. And that bow?! That to me is just too cute and almost elegant like.

The formula is perfect, no streaks and paints on evenly. This shade requires just one coat and is very easy to apply. It also has a fairly high shine finish even before top coat.

I still quite can't make my mind up about the colour - upon first glance I want to say coral, but after deeper inspection, I think it swings more to the orange side of things with a hint of coral. Either way, a very vibrant and summer-feel colour.

Is it chip-resistant? Ok, you tell me of a nail polish that IS chip resistant (I'm talking 3 days or more) and I'll.... eat my hat! However I do seem to be more prone to chips than the average Tom Dick 'n' Harry, so of course, I've got a few on the very tips of my nails, but that doesn't bother me because I've accepted that all polishes will do that.

A very impressive nail polish that I am welcoming to my collection with open arms!


Saturday, 13 July 2013

July's Glossybox - 'Seaside Splash'

I've been eagerly awaiting this months box so was excited when it came this morning.

The first thing I noticed was the gorgeous teal box (my living room has this colour scheme so I'm a big fan of this colour!). The box has coral and star fish on it, and the inside wrapping matched perfectly. It definitely had that holiday ocean feel to it.

Ciate nail polish 'the glossip'. I love a good nail varnish and I finally received a colour that I love. This gorgeous coral orange toned colour will be a perfect summer staple over the next couple of months. A full size product worth £9, thanks GB!
Bamboo Style Boho Waves Tousled Texture Mist.
I don't often curl my hair (simply because I'm rubbish at it!) however I do aim to get into curly hair again, so this will definitely come in handy at some point!
Anatomicals Spray Misty for me facial Spritz
Hmm - I'm not sure what to think of this because I feel I'd get more use out of it if I were to go on holiday, and obviously I've only just come back from this years holiday so I feel this maybe sat in my drawer, eagerly awaiting the next summer holiday (unless we have more glorious hot days like today!). I also am still half way through my viche face mist from Florida, and because its not something I reach for on a daily basis, this may not get used for a long time! However on a lighter note, it has a lovely peppermint scent to it which really does refresh and revitalize the skin.
Coola face sunscreen
This is similar to above - I've had my summer holiday so may not get much wear out of this. I have a few face sunscreens piling up now, but its something you just can't work your way through unless you live in a v.hot climate!
Sleek Pout Paints (x2) in 'lava' and 'pinkini'
I was glad to see these in my box, and was even more impressed that there were 2 of the things! (I actually thought GB had made a hiccup with my box, but after searching, nope, it was deliberate!).
These are ultra vibrant lipglosses. Extremely highly pigmented. I know orange lipstick/gloss is big, but I can't say I've ever worn it, but I am determined to play around to see if I dare brave the shade!
There are some wacky colours of the pout paints, however they are made for mixing with others to create your own shade...how very clever!
All in all, although some of the products were designed at people going on holiday (I suppose its my fault for going on my travels too early!), I am still rather happy with the box. I think it was the nail polish that topped it off nicely for me!
Were you happy with your box this month?

Friday, 12 July 2013

My Mickey Mouse Holiday!

Wowzers! Where has one been?!

As you all know, I've been away to a land far away, so I thought what better way to say hi again than doing a little blog on my recent holiday and sharing some photos with you all. I don't know about you, but I love reading about people's holidays, looking at photos and just dreaming....

I've been back in UK 2 weeks now so my holiday seems a distant memory away...

For those that aren't up to speed (or can't tell by the title!) I went to Florida. Florida is a destination very close to my heart after spending many holidays there as a child. I was last there at the age of 13, so returning after 15 years was a little... worrying. Yep, I was frightened that that once lovely nostalgic memory of what I once had would soon be overridden with a more mature and aware brain.

Obviously things weren't the same as I last remember. I couldn't remember a great deal about the theme parks, and some parks that we did this time were completely new to me, so I didn't know what to expect. One disappointing bit was visiting our old apartments/condo's that we used to stay in in St Petes on the coast (we made friends with the owners). Me and my older brother used to spend copious amounts of time in the pool, playing sharks, him trying to dunk me or push me in...(ahhh, memories!)
Returning 15yrs later I noticed how disheveled and rundown the place was looking, it didn't look as luxurious as I once remember. I know everything ages and things change but it was a shame.

Anyway! For the first week we stayed in my dads friends villa which was around a 15min drive to all the Disney parks. The villa was gorgeous - it slept 8, had more eating areas than one needs, had a pool that I really should have taken more advantage of, and just felt like I had moved from home to home.

We did the majority of the parks with our combo tickets. Islands of Adventure was my ultimate favourite one! I have a bit of a thing for water rides, and they had the best water rides there!
After the first week, for nostalgic reasons, we moved down to St Petes which is around a 2hr drive, just past Tampa. We stayed in Treasure Island in some lovely apartments that even had a full size kitchen... unlucky I wasn't cooking! These few days gave us chance to relax a little, have a few lay-ins and a few 'easy' days at the beach, the mall and kayaking. Gave me chance to catch up on my sleep before our last stint of hardcore theme parking it again!
For the last 3 days we moved back up to Orlando, this time staying on International Drive. The location of this hotel was fantastic - Universal and Wet n Wild in walking distance, shops and restaurants galore minutes aware from the hotel...

I'll share with you a few of the many photos that I took whilst on my travels.

Disney 'Wishes' Firework Display

Hollywood Studios

Messing with Pooh in Downtown Disney

This rainmac helped me from many a storms!

Toon Town in Islands of Adventure

Chillin' in Fort De Sota

Universal Studios Baby!

If you would like a more in-depth review on any of the hotels I stayed in or the theme parks I ventured in, or any general tips, then pop a message below!
I will be doing an American giveaway on my Youtube channel shortly, so keep your eye out for that! The prizes are what you guys requested!

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