Friday, 26 December 2014

What's Inside My Handbag?


I've been carrying this gorgeous grey H&M bag around for a while now. It goes with me everywhere: to university lectures, on (all too frequent) shopping trips and on weekends away. But no matter where it's heading, there are always a few core items I carry around. 

In my bag I have the obvious essentials: my iPhone (although that is often clasped tightly in my hand) and my purse, which is a recent River Island purchase. Then I always have my iPod on me for lengthy stays in the library and tedious bus/train journeys. I am so scatty that I have to keep a diary on me as it's the only way I can keep myself organised! My diary is from W.H. Smiths and the pen is a freebie I picked up a university open day. Also in my bag is The Untold History of the United States by Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick which is a non-fiction book about the 'dark side' of American history from World War I to the Obama administration. As a history student whose dissertation is focused on American history this is book is so addictive, and incredibly helpful to my studies. As this month has been full of assignment deadlines and long nights in the library, I always have my USB on me so I can back-up all of my work. I also have Carmex lip balm and a Body Shop hand cream for smooth lips and skin as well as all the emergency bits such as paracetamol and tissues. 

A small make-up bag is always in my bag in the eventuality of a top-up. I purchased the bag last summer when I went on holiday to Thailand with my family. It's so pretty and the perfect size to keep a few essentials at hand. In it I have my two favourite mascaras (Bourjois Volume Clubbing and L'oreal False Lash Flutter), Bourjois pencil eyeliner, Topshop lipstick, M.A.C. Studio Fix powder and a Real Techniques powder brush. 

What I have left out of the photos is the dozens of scrunched up receipts and used tissues littered inside my bag...

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Christmas Tag

Christmas is my absolute favourite time of year. All the festive cheer, twinkling lights and amazing food, what's not to love? So when I saw this tag on The Creation of Beauty is Art I knew I just had to do it!

1) WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE WINTER/CHRISTMAS SCENT?
There are so many Christmassy scents I love. Gingerbread is a favourite, I also love cinnamon and other spice scents.

2)WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE WINTER DRINK?
It's not Christmas until I have a steaming glass of mulled wine!

3)WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE ITEM OF CLOTHING TO WEAR IN THE WINTER/ NEAR CHRISTMAS?
I absolutely love dressing for winter! The accessories are my favourite: scarves, hats, gloves, ear muffs, boots...

4)FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS SONG?
Mariah Carey 'All I Want For Christmas' gets me in the festive mood instantly! I also love Mud 'Lonely This Christmas' and Chris Rea 'Driving Home For Christmas'.

5) FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS MOVIE?
There's too many to choose from! I love Love Actually, all the Home Alone films and Miracle on 34th Street.

6) ARE YOU ON THE NAUGHTY OR NICE LIST THIS YEAR?
I'd like to think I'm on the nice list...

7) WHERE DO YOU USUALLY SPEND CHRISTMAS?
At home with my family. My gran usually comes over from Cyprus to spend it with us, and that just makes my Christmas!

8) WHERE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD SPEND CHRISTMAS?
Although it always promises to be chaotic, I couldn't imagine not spending Christmas at home with my family.

9)WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF A CHRISTMAS DINNER?
Pigs in blankets, roast potatoes and parsnips, yum!

10) WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT CHRISTMAS?
I just love the general festive and happy atmosphere that comes with the Christmas season.

I tag anyone who wants to do the tag! Comment and let me know if you've done it, I love seeing how everybody celebrates Christmas!

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Fun & Festive Gifts!

Tis the season of gifting. While I always try hard to get my friends and family things they want or need, I think it's always fun also to buy a cheesy Christmassy gift to inject some festive cheer into the present. Here are a few fun bits available on the highstreet now:

christmas gifts


River Island Grey Reindeer Jumper £35.00 / Boohoo.com Red Reindeer Jumper £20.00 / New Look 'Tis The Season To Be Jolly Jumper £11.00 / Peacocks Gingerbread Men Jumper £8.00 / Santa Socks £3.00 / Noel Slipper Shoes £11.50 / New Look Christmas Pudding Slippers £5.00 / Christmas Pudding Earrings £4.00 / Kate Spade Red and White Beanie / Hobbs Penguin Scarf £49.00 / Fat Face Grey Gloves £20.00 / Asos.com Reindeer Antler Beanie £7.00 / Reindeer iPhone Case / Reindeer Hair Clips / Yankee Candle 'Christmas Eve' / Christmas Cocoa Mug

Monday, 15 December 2014

Topshop Lipstick Review


Currently I am obsessed with lipsticks. For a long time I felt too insecure to rock a bold lip colour but recently I have begun to experiment with many different brands and colours and have found that I can't go with out it. This is the first time I have used any of the Topshop make-up range and was surprised at how good the product was. I was looking for a natural colour and, as I have an olive complexion, darker shades tend to suit me best so I opted for 'Naturist', which is a brown/nude colour. The lipstick is nourishing and I have found that I now use it most days as the colour is just so easy to wear for day to day looks. Now I'm looking forward to trying out more colours from the Topshop range...

Friday, 21 November 2014

Body Shop Haul!

Winter is my favourite time of year. I love the snug jumpers, warm fires and festive parties. My only bugbear about this time of year is that the weather completely dries out my skin. My skincare regime is pretty poor anyway, so factor in the weather and the problem becomes greatly aggravated. Recently I have been on the look out for new products to combat the issue and to try to get myself into a good skincare routine. I found loads of great bits in the Body Shop, but I always get carried away in there so had to limit my purchase to just a few items.
The first product I picked up was the Ginger Anti-Dandruff Shampoo. As it has got colder, my scalp had really dried out and I have found that a lot of the shampoos I have previously tried are not so kind to my scalp. I have already used this a couple of times and can already see great results. Plus, it smells absolutley incredible! I also chose a couple of face washes (as I couldn't decide between the two). The Aloe Gentle Facial Wash, which is a foam used to cleanse the skin; and the Tea Tree Cool & Creamy Wash that I chose as it cleans skin without over-drying. I also picked up a Facial Buffer as I need to get better at exfoliating my skin. Lastly, I bought a small Hand Cream in Glazed Apple, perfect to keep in my handbag. It smells divine and is great for keeping my hands hydrated!



Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Inside My Home From Home

It so crazy to think that this is my last year of university. In July, I'm going to be packing my up my things and leaving Oxford, the city I have spent nearly three years in and have actually become quite attached too. I'll be moving back home to London, where I'll have to grow up, get a 'proper' job and start paying back those pesky student loans. And before I can even start properly stressing about that, I have a 10,000 word dissertation to write in the next few months. So overall, it's safe to say that this is going to be a pretty stressful year for me! 

I'm going to miss student life, and I'm definitely going to miss being in Oxford. It's such a lovely city to live in. I spent my first year of university living in student accommodation, which I can only really describe as quite an experience. And then in my second year I moved to a flat with two friends that I loved, but due to a particularly annoying landlord we decided to move again for our third year. So this September I moved into my new house. It's always strange moving into a house and knowing your not even going to be there a full year, but you still want to make it a comfortable place to be!

My housemates and I had so much fun decorating the house making it a nice and cosy place to live. We got lots of fairy lights and cushions from Primark's home section (which is great if, like us, you are shopping on a student budget) and found bunting in Hobbycraft to hang across out kitchen. My friend also gave me a huge vintage-style world map to put up on my wall - because every Geography student should have a map in their lives!

Here's a little peek into how I've decorated:


Friday, 24 October 2014

Boo! Halloween Inspired Fashion

Next week is the scariest night of the year, and what better way to get into the spirit of things then to take advantage of the awesome Halloween inspired fashion in stores at the moment. From kitsch and quirky to dramatic and gothic, here's a pick of my favourites...

halloween

Monday, 1 September 2014

New Buy: H&M Handbag!

For the past couple of months, every time I have visited a H&M store I have spotted this bag but have refrained from buying it because I already have an extensive bag collection. But today I cracked and bought it anyway - it's just £29.99! I just love the simplicity of the bag and the colour, it's perfect for the Autumn/Winter season. It's big enough for me to fit my books in for university and poppers on the side so it can be made wider! I can't wait to take it out!

I am loving loads of the bags that H&M have in this season. Here are some other bags in stores now!

h&m bags

Friday, 29 August 2014

Goodies From Abroad

My mum and sister have just come back from Spain and brought some goodies back for me! They bought me a couple of KIKO items which I was so excited about! KIKO is a great brand and is known well in Europe, but they only have three stores that I know of in London so their products are not that easily available.  They picked out a Bronzer Mineral Powder in shade 103 for me as it is a lasting matte powder, and my sister was aware of how much I have been trying to find a bronzer with no shimmer! They also got me the Long Lasting Stick in shade 21, which is an eyeshadow pen. It's such a great product as it is so easy to apply and lasts incredibly well. The shade is also perfect for me. I love wearing eyeshadow, but I mostly opt for subtle, natural tones, and this peachy-pink is great for a daytime look. They also got me a lovely treat from the duty free perfume counter! For the past few moths I have been using Gucci 'Guilty' which I have come pretty attached to and am devastated that I am running so low! They picked out 'Valentina' by Valentino as a replacement, which is a lovely, floral scent. I love that it is a light perfume and not very overpowering.
 

Friday, 15 August 2014

Drugstore Haul!


It's always the same story: "let's just pop into Superdrug so I can get a nail file", and then out I come, full bag of make-up in hand to go and add to my already overflowing collection! I just have not got the self control to walk past the make-up aisles with out having a little look!


I picked up 2 new BarryM nail varnishes in 'Crush' and 'Cappuchino', which I thought were cute colours for winter (which is coming a lot sooner for those of us in the UK). You can never have enough choice of nail colours!
I have never really been much of a blusher fan, as I never find the right colour for me, but I thought I would try this Rimmel 'Stay Blushed!' Liquid Blusher in 004 Sunkissed Cherry that may be easier to blend in. I also love the summery colour!
There has been lots of talk about the Maybelline 'Big Eyes' Eyeliner so I thought I would give that a try too. It has a black liner for your upper lid and then a beige or white for your bottom lid. I went for the beige as I though that would blend into my skin better. I love the pencil as I'm a big fan of thick eyeliner!
I then got a bit carried away at the Bourjois stand. I picked up the Maxi Delight Bronzer in Shade 02 in an attempt to upkeep my holiday tan. It has a slight shimmer to it, but I have been told that the shimmer doesn't transfer too much, which is perfect for me as I prefer a more matte look. I then picked up the Volume Clubbing Mascara, which I have also heard good things about. I use Benefit 'They're Real' usually, which is great for length, but does not really add volume and thickness, so I think I will use the two mascaras together for maximum effect! Lastly, the eye shadows looked too good for me not too! I went for the Smokey Eyes Trio in Nude Ingenu, that I thought could be used for daytime and evening looks. Also the brown colours are great for a tanned summer look.


Wednesday, 25 June 2014

My Favourite Summer Styles

This week I have been getting myself prepared for next week where I will be setting off on a 3 week journey travelling across Europe with my best friend. So in preparation I have been, of course, scouring the highstreet and online stores for my perfect summer holiday wardrobe. I can imagine many of you are doing the same thing right now! Here are some of my favourite styles that I'm looking forward to wearing this summer:

French Riviera
This look is all about chic and classic styles and basic colours that can easily transition from chilling at the beach to a stroll through the city. 
french riviera

Tribal Travels
Don't be afraid to experiment and clash bold colours and unusual patterns to create this look. This look also allows you to go to town with your accessories and make up
tribal travels

Monday, 9 June 2014

Easy and Delicious Celery and Cashew Soup


Since I've been back home with my sister (who has also just returned from university) we've been having fun experimenting with our lunch time meals. At the moment, we are loving soups and recently we've made a sweet potato chowder and a pea, asparagus and mint soup. Today we made a celery and cashew nut soup, which was so quick and easy to make and was absolutely delicious! We always start off by following recipes but always end up doing it a completely different way! Here's how we made it:

Ingredients:
1 large potato, diced
1 large garlic clove, chopped
70g butter
5 celery sticks, chopped
150g unsalted cashew nuts
1.2 litre stock

Method:
1. Heat the butter in the saucepan, and add the potato, celery and garlic. Cook for 10-15mins.
2. Crush or blend the cashew nuts and then add to saucepan with stock mixture. Leave to simmer for 25mins.
3. Blend the mixture until smooth
4. Use leaves of the celery sticks and roasted cashew nuts to garnish. Enjoy!


Saturday, 31 May 2014

Long Time No See...

Hello lovely readers!

It's been a while since I've blogged, and I apologise for that! The last couple of months have been crazy hectic for me and now I can safely say that I don't want to drive a car for a long while after spending most of this month on the motorway! During the Easter holidays I went to visit my gran in Cyprus and as soon as I returned, I was back in Oxford manically completing coursework and sitting exams for my second year of university. I also had some important birthdays dotted in between all the chaos, which had me all over the country visiting friends and family! Then all this week I have been packing up my flat in Oxford to move back home for the summer, which has been so exhausting! 

Here's what I've been up to:

1. Me at the beach in Cyprus | 2. May Day celebrations in Oxford with my uni friends | 3. Visiting Leeds for a friends birthday | 4. Revising in the library for our last exam | 5. Visiting Brighton to see my sister | 6. Afternoon tea in Henley-on-Thames for my friends birthday | 7. With my parents and sisters at the Arctic Monkeys concert in Finsbury Park | 8. At my friends 1920's themed birthday party | 9. My little sisters 15th birthday party 

I am looking forward to relaxing before the stress and anxiety of my final year of university begins in September! I have some exciting posts planned for this month and cant wait to get back into blogging! 

See you all soon!

Louisa 
xx

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Tea Time At The Ampersand

On Sunday, my sisters, mum and I went for afternoon tea as a belated Mothers Day present. We booked at the beautifully decorated Drawing Rooms of The Ampersand, a boutique hotel in South Kensington where we enjoyed a lovely selection of sandwiches, scones and cakes, accompanied by a  champagne cocktail and of course, tea! It was so lovely to have some girly catch-up time with my sisters and mum, who I miss spending time with since I moved away for university.
I wore Miss Selfridge black jeans and a New Look blazer for our outing with a statement necklace I bought recently from Forever21 which I am in love with!

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Drinking And Sightseeing In Dublin

Last week I received an instalment of my student loan, and my two closest friends and I decided, why spend our loan money on books when we can go on a holiday? So we booked a last minute girly weekend away to Dublin, Ireland! We had such a fun trip in the beautiful, historic city, sightseeing and drinking at the their famous pubs, including the legendary Temple Bar. A highlight was the visit to the Guinness Storehouse to learn about Dublin's most famous produce, which was so good and incredibly informative, where we then got to pull our own pints of Guinness which we then sipped in the sky bar looking over the city. We also went to the Leprechaun Museum, where we learnt all about the different Irish folklore and legends. We arrived back on Saturday night to a mountain of university work. All that's getting me through the work load is the thought of planing my next trip...


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