November 19, 2015

Rented Flat Decorating Tips

Having lived in a rented flat for a number of years, and now owning a flat where we are unable to do anything to it (being a new build we cannot paint or paper for a while in case we cover up any cracks appearing), I know that one if the most difficult things is making the space your own. So here are a few ideas about how to settle in to your place without any major changes;

Image from here (Beautiful apartment as well, check it out!)


I don't know what it is about it, but filling your flat with plants just makes it feel so homely! Our flat is so warm, that we cannot keep anything alive, apart from Succulent plants. Luckily they also happen to be my favourite.

Image from here

Soft Furnishings

It may sound obvious, but adding cushions and rugs, and changing the curtain that came with the flat, can really make a big difference.

Image from here

Removable Wallpaper

If you're planning on staying in your rented place for a long time, and don't mind putting in a little more effort then removable wallpaper is a fantastic idea!

Image from here

Washi tape images up

To add a little more personality into your place, putting images up using washi tape is fun, definitely more exciting then blue tac and also creates less mess!

Image from here

Large Canvases or Boards against the wall (also mirrors)

And if you're feeling a little crazy, then something relatively easy to do is to cover some super large canvases with fabric, or wallpaper some super large boards or pieces of wood covered in wallpaper or just painted. These make such a statements, and give the effect of having paint, or paper but without having to do it.

Gallery Wall

If you can put a few screws up then adding a few picture shelves is a lot more versatile then hanging each picture individually. You can easily change the colours, images or ornaments to suit the different scheme or even your mood!

How have you changed your rented flat ?

November 10, 2015

My 10 Winter Reads

Beautiful imagery from here (@flashesofstyle Instagram)

Autumn is the perfect time to snuggle on the sofa, with snuggly socks, under a blanket and read a book ...

So here are my top Autumn reads, some of them are new, some I am a bit late in the bandwagon but here they are!! Hopefully you find something new to read ...

1. Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey.

Sunday Times Top 10 Bestseller in 2014, Elizabeth is Missing is a story about an elderly woman who has not heard from her friend Elizabeth and is investigating what has happened to her. She feels that it is also connected with the seventy year old crime, of the disappearance of her sister.

Synopsis: Maud's been getting forgetful. She keeps buying peach slices when she has a cupboards full, forget to drink the cups of tea she's made and writes notes to remind herself of things. But Maud is determined to discover what happened to her friend Elizabeth and what is has to do with the unsolved disappearance of her sister Sukey just after the Second World War.

2. I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Changed the World by Malala Yousafzai

This is an incredible, inspiring true story about Malala Yousafzai and the fight for girls' education in Pakistan. This is a must read, and I am looking forward to getting stuck in to this book.

Synopsis: When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in the northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize. 'I Am Malala' is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for the girls' education, of the father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons. 'I Am Malala' will make you believe in the power of one person's voice to inspire change in the world.

3. Me before You by Jojo Moyes

This book has been called 'A Love Story for this generation'. The story of two people from complete polar opposites who in a twist of fate are thrown together. A tale of love and heart ache, the is a heart breaking love story that I cannot wait to start!

Synopsis: Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick. What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming us what keeps her sane. Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that. What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.

4. Spectacles by Sue Perkins

Not a difficult one to explain ... It is Spectacle, a memoir by Sue Perkins. Not a tough decision to put this in my top 10 to read. I love Sue, I think she is hilarious! I love her and Mel, on her own ... I just love her. So I cannot wait to read this!!

Synopsis: When I began writing this book, I went home to see if my mum had kept some of my stuff. What I found was that she hadn't kept some of it. She had kept all of it - every bus ticket, postcard, school report - from the moment I was born to the moment I finally had the confidence to turn round and say 'Why is our house full of this shit?'
Sadly a recycling 'incident' destroyed the bulk of this archive. This has meant two thing: firstly, Dear Reader, you will never get to see countless drawings of wizards, read a poem about corn on the cob, or marvel at the kilos of brown flower I so lovingly pressed as a child. Secondly, it's left me with no choice but to actually write this thing myself.
This, my first ever book, will answer questions such as 'Is Mary Berry real?', 'Is it true you wear a surgical truss?' and 'Is a non-spherically symmetric gravitational pull from outside the observable universe responsible for some of the observed motion of large objects such as galactic clusters in the universe?'
Most of this book is true. I have, of course amplified my more positive characteristics in an effort to make you like me.
Thank you for reading.

5. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

A bestselling novel, described as 'The tale of the boy detective with Asperger's Syndrome'. Fifteen year old Christopher lives with his Dad in West London. After being falsely accused of killing his neighbours dog, Christopher decided to investigate. This is such a raved about book, I can't believe I haven't read this already, and am looking forward to reading this one.

Synopsis: Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the colour yellow.
Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, for fifteen year old Christopher everyday interaction and admonishments have little meaning. He lives on patterns, rules and a diagram kept in his pocket. Then one day, a neighbour's dog, Wellington, is killed and his carefully constructive universe is threatened. Christopher sets out to solve the murder in the style of his favourite (logical) detective, Sherlock Holmes. What follows makes for a novel that is funny, poignant and fascinating in its portrayal of a person whose curse and blessing are a mind that perceives the world entirely literally.

6. The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins

Another Number One Bestseller that I haven't read yet ... have I been living under a rock? I don't think that this one needs any explaining, here is the synopsis!

You Don't know Her. But She Knows You. Rear Window meets Gone Girl, in this exceptional and startling psychological thriller. Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She's even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. 'Jess and Jason', she calls them. Their life - as she sees it - is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. And then she sees something shocking. It's only a minute until the train moves on, but it's enough. Now everything's changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she's only watched from afar. Now they'll see; she's much more than just the girl on the train ...

7. The Lying Game by Sara Shepard

One of my favourite programmes ever, is 'Pretty Little Liars' created by Sara Shepard, she also writes this series, The Lying Game. There seems like very similar plot lines between The Lying Game and Pretty Little Liars, so if they are any similar then I will love this!

Synopsis: The story is about a girl named Emma Paxton, who comes to believe she has a identical twin sister. She goes on Facebook, and sends a message to the girl, Sutton Mercer. Sutton writes back saying that they need to meet. However, Sutton is actually dead.
The friends believe the Emma is Sutton, and take her to Nisha's party. Nisha is Sutton's archenemies and is always pranked on by her and her friends. Back at Sutton's home, Emma still goes on with the charade as being Sutton. The next morning, Sutton's younger sister Laurel finds a note under her car wiper. She gives the letter to Emma without reading it. The letter says 'Sutton's dead. Tell no one. Keep playing along ... or you're next'. Emma, immediately panicked, goes to the police station to report it, but she is not taken seriously because of Sutton's past pranks and lies. When Emma goes to school, Garret, Sutton's boyfriend, takes that Emma is Sutton like everyone else. Emma begins liking a boy named Ethan. Ethan lives next door and was in love with Sutton.
Emma learns about a game Sutton and her friends play, 'The Lying Game', an elaborate pranking game. Emma also learns that one day that Sutton's friends took it too far, and almost strangled Sutton. Ethan told Emma that he saved Sutton that night that she almost died, so Emma concludes that Sutton died after that incident and anyone could have killed her. Emma runs off with Ethan and she tells him everything and he promises to keep her secret and help her find Sutton's killer. Emma decided to stay and pretend to be Sutton so she can also find out who killed her sister.

8. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus is a story of an ancient dual between two schools of magical knowledge: old and new. During the course the deadly game, two young illusionists fall in love. This book sounds like something that I will absolutely love!! This might have to be the first book that I will be reading from this selection.

Synopsis: The circus arrives without warning/ No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black and white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called 'Le Cirque des Reves,' and it is only open at night.
But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway - and a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their merciful instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love - a deep, magical love that makes the light flicker and the room grown warm whenever they so much as brush hands.
True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus performers to the patrons, hang in the balance suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

9. The Secret Life Of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

I think this is the only book here that has been personally recommended to me. My sister told me that it is an amazing, inspirational book, and a 'must read'. So here it is on my list, I do not know a lot about this book but from reading the synopsis this sounds amazing!

Synopsis: Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. When Lily's fierce-hearted black 'stand-in mother,' Rosaleen, insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily decides to spring them both free. They escape to Tiburon, South Carolina - a town that holds the secret to her mother's past. Taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters, Lily is introduced to their mesmerising world of bees and honey, and the Black Madonna. This is a remarkable novel about divine female power, a story women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come.

10. Two Years, Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie

I am super excited about reading the Night Circus, but I think that this is the book that I am most excited about! I have heard so much about this book before it came out, and I love Salmon Rushdie, he is one of my favourite authors. This book sounds incredible and like something that I will get lost in on my way to work )and probable miss my stop!!)

Synopsis: From one of the greatest writers of our time: the most spellbinding, entertaining, wildly imaginative novel of this great career, which blends history and myth with tremendous philosophical depth. A masterful, mesmerising modern tale about worlds dangerously colliding, the monsters that are unleashed when reason recedes, and a beautiful testament to the power of love and humanity in chaotic times.
Inspired by 2,000 years of storytelling yet rooted in the concerns of our present moment, this is a spectacular achievement - enchanting, both very funny and terrifying. Is is narrated by our descendants 1000 years hence, looking back on 'The War of the Worlds' that began with 'the time of the strangeness': a simple gardener begins to levitate, a baby is born with the unnerving ability to detect corruption in people; the ghosts of two long-dead philosophers begin arguing once more; and storms pummel New York so hard that a crack appears in the universe, letting in the destructive djinn's of myth (as well as some graphic superheroes). Nothing less that the survival of our world is at stake. Only one, a djinn princess who centuries before had learned to love humankind, resolves to help us: in the face of dynastic intrigue, she raises an army composed of her semi-magical great-great ... grandchildren - a motley crew of endearing characters who come together to save the world in a battle waged for 1,001 nights - or to be precise, two years, eight months and twenty-eight nights.

I hope you have enjoyed this selection and have found a new little something to read ...

What will you be reading this Autumn?

November 02, 2015

Favourites // October

So we are in November! I feel like this month has flown by so much I haven't had a lot of time to develop many favourites ... But here are a few things I was loving.

With October the first whole month of Autumn, I really started to get back in to my Berry Lips and Berry Nails! On my lips I have been alternating Clinique's Chubby Stick Intense in Roomiest Rose and Barry M 156 (Viscious Violet). Both are very similar colours, in a gorgeous Red Berry shade. I have been layering both of them over Revlon Colourburst Balm Stain in Honey, this makes them slightly more wearable on a day to day work basis. But when I am going out, and for a little more impact just wearing them on their own. For nails I have been loving Barry M's Speedy Quick Dry in Sprint Finish and Nails Inc in Piccadilly Circus. They are pretty much the same shade, and that shade is the mosh perfect dark red Autumnal shade ... Mmmm.

Nothing screams Autumn more than a hot bath and a hot cup of tea. My favourite combination throughout October was 'The Comforter' Bubble Bar from Lush which smells like blackberries and makes the bath very bubbly and purple! I have been coupling that with either the Twinnings Strawberry and Raspberry Tea or Taylor's Raspberry and Vanilla Tea, they are delicious and a great alternative to tea or coffee in the evening.

And to top all of that Autumnness ... I bought a little set of fairy lights! I have never been one for fairy lights before (apart from on my Christmas Tree!) but this year I have embraced it! I bought these little battery operated fairy lights from Lights4Fun, and have draped them over the back of my bed for a little bit of Autumn sparkle. And I tell you what! I am loving them!!

What were you loving throughout October?

October 27, 2015

Things to do in London this November

Image from the Ntaural History Museum

I may be biased but I think that London is one of the best places in the world to spend the Autumn! Here are a few Autumnal inspired things to do this November to make the most of the weather and of London!

1. I think personally my number one thing to do in London this November is to see the Charles and Ray Eames Exhibition at the Barbican (21st October - 14th Feb 2016). The exhibition contains 380 of Eames' pieces, curated by Catherine Ince, and is the first retrospectively the UK since 1999. Famous for the Eames chair, and the Eames lounge chair (obviously), the husband and wife team are some of my favourite designers and their furniture is as popular as it ever was, being reproduced by Herman Miller and Vitra. They influenced the fields of photography, film, exhibition, furniture and and product design, and pieces of each are on display here! A perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon, followed by a quick visit to the Conservatory afterwards!

2. Up there as one of the most Christmassy things to do is Ice Skating, and this is the month when they all open! I would recommend booking of you can, just to avoid queues and to ensure you definitely can skate. So wrap up warm, treat yourself to a hot chocolate and skate away!
Natural History Museum: 29th October 2015 - 3rd November 2016. Adults from £12.65.
Canary Wharf: 31st October 2015 - 27th February 2016. Adults £14.95.
Eyeskate at the London Eye: 14th November 2015 - 3rd January 2016. Adults £10.50 - £12.50.
Skate in the City (Exchange Sq): 16th November 2015 - 25th February 2016. Adult £13.00.
Somerset House: 18th November 2015 - 10th January 2016. Adults from £7.50.
Winter Wonderland: 20th November 2015 - 3rd January 2016. Adults £10.50/£14.50
Winterville: 26th November - 23rd December. Adults £7.00/£12.50.

3. Another super Christmassy thing to do, but this is when they happen, is to watch some of the big Christmas light switch ons! Watch some celebs, drink some Mulled wine and soak up the Christmas atmosphere! 
Oxford Street: 1st November from 5:30pm. With Kylie Minogue, Gabrielle Aplin and Foxes.
Christmas at Duke of York Square: 8th November at 3pm.
Carnaby Street: 12th November from 5pm. With a whole host of Christmassy activities and 20% off over 100 shops, bars and restaurants!
Regent Street: 15th November. Activities from 12pm and they have stated it will be a 'Star Studded Show'!
Enchanted Woodland at Syon Park: 20th November - 6th December. Not a light switch on but they have the most incredible light display and features! Definitely worth a visit!
Christmas at Kew: Winter Trail: 25th November 2015 - 2nd January 2016.

4. Perhaps the most traditional thing to do in November is to go to Guy Fawkes night! Here is a round up of some of the best Fireworks displays in London. But I recommend that you book tickets on line before hand to make sure that you definitely get your space!
Newham Fireworks: 1st November. Free!
Crystal Palace Fireworks: 5th November. Celebrating 150years! Adults advanced tickets £6, on the gate £10.
Southwark Fireworks: 5th November. Free!
Wimbledon Park Fireworks: 5th November. Adults advanced tickets £8.50, on the gate £10.
Bishops Park Fireworks: 6th November. Adults advanced tickets £6, on the gate £8.
Battersea Park Fireworks: 7th November. Adults tickets up to 6th November £8, on the 7th November £10. Battersea Park you have to book before you go, you cannot buy tickets on the gate.
Morden Park Fireworks: 7th November. Adults advanced tickets £8.50, on the gate £10.
Ravenscourt Park: 7th November. Adults advanced tickets £6, on the gate £8.

5. I visited the Spirit of Christmas Fair: (2nd - 8th November) last year and absolutely loved it! Super excited to be going back next weekend. It is super Christmassy, puts you in the festive spirit and is one of the best places to pick up some unusual pressies. I highly recommend it.

6. Remembrance Sunday: Sunday 8th November, remembers the men and women who gave their lives in the two World Wars and subsequent conflicts. There is a Cenotaph Parade in Whitehall should you wish to go out and pay your respects.

7. Something that I am super excited about and will be book soon is Birdies Crazy Golf Club: (11th November - 20th December). It is a Nine-Hole Crazy Golf Course in the Vaults of Waterloo from the brains behind the Rooftop Film Club ... Sold already?! Me too! Not only that but it is an underground course that has loop, half-pipes and a five-foot drop!! There is also a cocktail bar with drinks from the Spirited Mixers and food from Hawksmoor Knightbridge's head chef and a menu from Hix! PERFECT! Golf is £9 per round, and entry to the bar without golf is £3, you must book online before you go!

8. EFG London Jazz Festival: 13th - 22nd November. This is a 10 day event with world class, and emerging Jazz artists. With a wide range of events, concerts and talks there will be something for everyone to enjoy. And is something a little different this November! Lots of shows have sold out already, and others soon will, so make sure you book soon.

9. Probably the best thing to do on November and Christmas is to visit all the Christmas Markets! To look at all of the amazing, unique Christmas goodies for either yourself or for presents, to eat lots of yummy food and drink mulled wine! Here is a round up of some of the best one in London.
Winter at the Southbank: 20th November 2015 - 3rd January 2016.
Winter Wonderland: 20th November 2015 - 3rd January 2016.
Winterville: 26th November - 23rd December.
Hyper Japan Christmas Market: 27th Novemver - 29th November.
Chelsea Physic Gardens: 28th November - 11th December.

10. Winter at the View from the Shard: 23rd November - 31st January 2016. This Winter the Shard will be transformed into an 'Enchanting, Sensory, Winter Experience'. There will be ice drystals and frost and it will look all magical and wintery! So book now, and go and check it out!

I hope you enjoyed this little selection, let me know what will you be visiting this November ..November

October 25, 2015

Recipe // Pumpkin

Image from here

It's nearly Halloween guys!! Which can only mean one thing ... Pumpkin Carving Party! Ever since I moved to London, I have Carved a Pumpkin with my lovely other half, and last year we had our friends over to join us! We ate Halloweeny food, got the knives out and carved these bad boys! ...

We had so much fun carving them, although I was left with a lot of Pumpkin insides that I did not know what to do with ... But this time I will be prepared and here are some ideas and recipes for your Pumpkin leftovers!

Firstly we have the seeds:

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds are so yummy, and so easy to make (Once you have separated them from the rest of the Pumpkin!)

Step 1: Clean the Pumpkin seeds, and leave them to dry for a few hours in a tea towel, or kitchen roll
Step 2: Place them on a foiled baking tray with a couple of glugs of your favourite type of oil (I use coconut) and add your seasonings ...

A few ideas are;
Brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg for sweet seeds
Sat, chilli, cayenne and cumin for little mexican seeds
Or plain Salt and Pepper for simple seeds

Step 3: Bake them in the oven at 190-200 degrees celsius, for 30-45minutes and VOILA!

Then we move on to the Pumpkin Insides;

Pumpkin Puree

You can substitute canned Pumpkin with real Pumpkin puree, in most recipes, see below. Jack 'O' Lanterns or Carving Pumpkins do not have the same flavour as smaller pie Pumpkins, but you can get a similar flavour ...

- Pumpkin Flesh
- Pumpkin Spice Mix (1\4 Cup Cinnamon, 4 teaspoons Nutmeg, 4 teaspoons Ginger & 1 tablespoon allspice)

To make Pumpkin puree from the real Pumpkins, roast the insides of the Pumpkin, not the guts, or the seeds. Just the fleshy bits until they become tender. When they are tender you need to get rid of some the excess moisture. This can be squeezed out in a colander or to get more flavour in to the puree then roast it in a pan, or a slow cooker with some Pumpkin Spice Mix to taste, on a low heat, until the moisture evaporates, and caramelised or browned.

Pumpkin Soup

- 2 Onions
- 1kg Chopped Pumpkin
- 750ml Stock (Vegetable is best)
- Pot of Single Cream

Finely chop the onions and fry in a pan for 5minutes, then add in the pumpkin. Cook for a further 10-15 minutes or until it turns golden.
Add in the vegetable stock and season, bring to the boil, then simmer for 30-45 minutes.
Pour in the cream, bring to the boil again, simmer for 10 minutes then blend.
Serve with a swirl of cream, some roasted pumpkin seeds and some fresh bread!

And for desert ...

Pumpkin Cupcakes

- 200g Plain Flour
- 1tsp Baking Powder
- 1/4 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp Pumpkin Spice Mix (From above)
- 125g Caster Sugar
- 100g Light Brown Sugar
- 120ml Vegetable Oil
- 2 large eggs
- 180g Pumpkin Puree

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees celsius
Mix together the flour, baking powder, bicarb, salt and Pumpkin Spice together in one bowl
In another mix together the caster sugar, and brown sugar with the oil.
Mix in the eggs one at a time, then add in the pumpkin and vanilla.
Once fully mixed, add in the flour mixture slowly until well blended.
Place into 12 cupcake cases, filing each 2/3 of the way up
Bake for 25 minutes and leave to cool.

Cream Cheese Frosting

- 225g cream cheese at room temperature
- 110g unsalted butter at room temperature
- 350g icing sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Whip together the cream cheese and the butter until smooth and fluffy, then add in the vanilla extract and icing sugar and whip until light and fluffy. Leave in the fridge for around half n hour, then put icing into a piping bag and pipe on to completely cooled cupcakes.

    Right well I better go an research what I will be carving this year!!

    What are your Halloween traditions?

    October 18, 2015

    Colour Crush // Black and White Halloween

    As Halloween is getting closer and closer, here are some alternative colour schemes. Black and White is a lot classier than the traditional greens and oranges, so here are some inspirational images for a black and white Halloween from my Colour Crush Pinterest Board

    Enjoy ...

    October 13, 2015

    Best Things About Autumn

    Image from here

    With Autumn now in full swing, I thought I would share with you all my favourite things about Autumn, and my favourite things to do in Autumn!

    The Fashion

    - Cosying up in layers
    - Layering up in jumpers, hats, scarves and gloves
    - Pyjamas, dressing gowns and cashmere socks

    The Food

    - Burgers
    - Caramel Apples
    - Cinnamon
    - Cloves
    - Coffee
    - Doughnuts
    - Hot Chocolate
    - Marshmallows
    - Oranges
    - Pies
    - Popcorn
    - Pumpkin
    - Roast Dinners ...

    The Weather

    - Rainy days spent inside watching films
    - The changing colours of the leaves
    - Cosy nights spent in front of the fire
    - Long lazy walks all wrapped up warm with coffee ...

    - The Bonfire Night!

    I am not really one for Halloween it self but I do love a good Fireworks night. Probably for the same reasons as above, although this time cosying with burgers and doughnuts watching the most amazing fireworks! My favourite one in London is Battersea Park fireworks: (7th of November)
    Although some other amazing ones are;
    Newham Fireworks - Sunday 1st November
    Crystal Palace Fireworks - Thursday 5th November
    Southwark Fireworks - Thursday 5th November:
    Wimbledon Park Fireworks - Thursday 5th November
    - Morden Park Fireworks - Saturday 7th November

    August 25, 2015

    How to // Early mornings

    Image from here

    So I recently started a new job! *happy dance*, but the best time to start this job at 7am, meaning a 5am alarm! *sad face*

    Below are my tips on getting up at 5! These are realistic, real life tips! I thought I would struggle so much that the week before I started, I was frantically googling: 'how to get up early' and 'early morning tips'. When the answer I was getting were things like:

    - Put your alarm on the other side of the room
    - Exercise, go for walk, or read a book
    - Reflect on what you need to do that day

    I knew I was on my own!

    In theory these are all great! But in reality, the alarm goes off at 5, I snooze a couple of times, rush out of bed at 5:20 and am out of the door by 5:45! When I have 20 minutes to get dressed with my mind and body still asleep, unfortunately none of the above can help! Here are a few things that have helped me through.

    1. Make 5 portions of healthy 'to go' breakfasts at the weekend. Something like a healthy, gluten free blueberry muffin, (maybe I'll post a recipe for this) or even something as simple as buy enough bananas for the week.
    2. Lay ALL of your clothes out the night before in the order you will be putting them on.
    3. Completely pack your bag the night before, as if you were about to leave for work (breakfast included!)
    4. I have become that person that does their make up on the train, if it means I can lay in bed for 10 more minutes I am all for it!

    My realistic, weekday morning routine looks a little like this:

    - Up
    - Cleanse, tone and moisturise
    - Brush my teeth
    - Get dressed
    - Make a takeaway coffee (Vital!)
    - Grab my bag
    - Run for the bus!

    Hopefully this has helped some of you with those dreaded early mornings!

    What tips do you have?

    August 09, 2015

    Colour Crush // Mint

    Now that our Summer is finally starting, here are some images of my favourite Summery, Minty images from my Colour Crush Pinterest Board!

    Enjoy ...

    August 02, 2015

    Favourites // July

    I promise I won't say this every month but ... Where did July go?!

    This month has been an exciting one, with the Hen Weekend of a close friend, and my birthday, there have been a lot of favourites! I think it'll be best to just say that everything I got for my birthday are favourites otherwise I'll just be repeating myself ...

    So on with the show!

    Something that I bought for myself around my birthday (sorry, not sorry!) was a Rifle Paper Co. phone case. Rifle is one of my favourite ever stationary brands, I wrote a post on them a while back and have been a little obsessed with them ever since. It is a bumper case, meaning that if (when) I drop my phone, it is less likely to crack the screen, and has a beautiful gold striped back.

    I think I am feeling gold this month, as the next thing is some gold 'Birkenstock' style sandals from Accessorize. They are super comfortable, with gold straps and gold buckles. They are really easy to wear and can just be thrown on with jeans or dresses!

    So the random gross looking green juice is technically not a favourite ... but it was made with my new Nutibullet! Yes, we finally gave in. We wanted one when they first came out a couple of years ago but thought they were overrated, and a little expensive for what they are, but after getting one I can say that they are totally worth it!! All you do is throw in your chosen selection of fruit and vegetables, fill up to the max line with your chosen liquid and blend. Then once it is all blended, pour in to your glass, then rinse the blades and jug and you're done. It is so much easier than juicing or with a normal blender, and so much quicker. We haven't found any amazing recipes yet, but I will let you know when I find some.

    And finally to the beauty favourites. The first is the St Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower Lotion, there has been such a lot of hype about this product and I have read so many conflicting views, I wanted to try this for myself. And I must say that I love it! It is so incredibly easy to use, once you get past the awkward cold, naked three minutes waiting for it to work but that is worth it. I wouldn't say this is one for the fake tanner, but for a newbie like me who does not tan this is perfect. It gives you a golden 'I just spent a long weekend in the South of France' glow and that is only after a few days (Yes, it is a favourite after a few days). It is a gradual tanner so the colour will build the more you add, if I am still in love with it in a couple of weeks I might do a full review. But at the moment I am sold!

    The other beauty favourite are the Barry M Speedy Nail Paints. I currently have the colours;

    - Pit Stop: A very neutral, gorgeous light grey
    - Kiss Me Quick: A stunning bright, but pale pink
    - In A Heartbeat: My favourite ... a corally pink
    - Eat My Dust: A lovely bright baby blue

    They all have amazing coverage needing only two coats followed by a top coat (Obviously a fast drying one!), and they do dry 'Speedy'! (See what I did there?!) but seriously they do dry amazingly fast, by the time you get to the last nail the first is dry. Maybe a full review coming on these two ...

    So what were you loving in July?

    July 30, 2015

    Things to do in London this August

    Living in London, there are so many things to do that it can be slightly overwhelming. But here is a round up of 10 things to do in London this August!

    1. Visit an outdoor cinema. I have only done this once and I would absolutely do it again. Watching a film (I saw Breakfast at Tiffanys) and watching the sun go down is so much fun, theres something just so chilled about it. The most popular ones in London are;

    The Nomad Cinema and The Luna Cinema - Both are always in different locations
    - Rooftop Film Club - Queen of Hoxton

    There's some amazing films coming up so check them out!

    2. Film 4 Summer Screen, Somerset House 6 - 19th August. Very similar to an Outdoor Cinema, the difference with the Summer Screen is that the film are more unusual, Film 4 describe them as 'classic, cult and contemporary films'. There are also previews of new films here too, including 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E'. Also featuring a DJ before the film starts, this is the perfect event for Summer with friends.

    3. Outdoor theatres have had a surge in popularity this year and with one in Holland Park, and one in Regents Park I am sure there is something to tickle your fancy;

    Normally hosting six operas per season the Opera Holland Park has 50 performances. Some well known and some unknown works. This season the Opera's are;
    - Il trittico
    - Flight
    - Aida
    - Lakmé
    - L'amore dei tre Re
    - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Sold Out)

    Another favourite is Regents Park Open Air Theatre: Currently showing Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Lord of the Flies.

    4. For something a little more unusual: Hamlet starring Benedict Cumberbatch at the Barbican - 5th August - 31st October. There are still a few tickets left for August! Cumberbatch is taking on the iconic Hamlet role for a 12 week run this Summer. After seeing the roles that he has taken on (And smashed) before, I am sure that this will be amazing! But snap up those tickets soon ...

    5. Dancing around in the sun at a festival is a perfect Summery thing to do. And with many in and around London it's the perfect chance to soak up the rays, and some music!
    Canary Wharf Jazz Festival - 14, 15 & 16 August in Canada Sq Park. Jazz Festival: The Rawness, The Filthy Six and The Fontanelles
    - V Festival - 22 & 23 August, Hylands Park in Chelmsford. I know this is not in London, but so close to London! Just a couple of stops away. This is one of the larger festivals, and the line up this year looks amazing! Hozier, Annie MAc, Stereophonics, James Bay and Paloma Faith.
    South West Four - 29 & 30 August on Clapham Common. Dance Festival: Faithless, Sigma, Skrillix, Eric Prydz and Basement Jaxx

    Also; not in August, but worth a mention:
    On Blackheath - 12 & 13 September On Blackheath. The Kinks, Laura Mvula, Madness, Elbow and Manic Street Preachers.

    6. Notting Hill Carnival - 29, 30 & 31st August. Europe's biggest festival, representing London's past and present, and also one of London's most favourite events. It is such a fun, and vibrant two day event featuring lots of live music, a float parade and lots of costumes. The parade starts at Great Western Road and finishes in Ladbroke Grove. It is also a judged event, all the groups put on a real show, so the best place to stand is as near to the judging area! Definitely worth a look!

    7. Prudential Ride London - Sunday 2nd August. Prudential Ride London is a two day cycling event in London. Certain roads are closed in London and in Surrey, and amateur cyclists take on a tremendous 100mile route. Check out the routes on the above link, scout out the best place and watch, and clap on the cyclists.

    8. Buckingham Palace Summer Openings - 25th July - 27th September. Every Summer from the end of July until the end of August, Buckingham Palace opens its doors! You can visit 19 state rooms, an special exhibition and through the Palace Gardens, and more importantly ... the gift shop! Is anyone else's favourite bit the gift shop?!

    9. Triathlon - 8 & 9th August. A swim, followed by a run and then a bike ride. The timing and the distance varies on the different levels, from Sprint, to Olympic, all the way through to Junior.

    10. Beer Festival at Kensington Olympia - 11 - 15th August. This is the biggest beer festival in the UK! Featuring over 350 breweries and 27 bars, also including entertainment and pub games! Sounds like the perfect festival right?! There are over 900 ales, ciders and other beers meaning that there is something for everyone!

    I hope you enjoyed this little selection, let me know what will you be visiting the August!