New Video: How to Frame a Photograph

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Framing a photograph is a little off beat compared to my normal videos, but I figured that you guys would appreciate a little helpful 'how to' from time to time.

The photograph is one from my sisters wedding, and is a little mini one and the first to be framed! I hope you find this handy for all your photos to come!

Reading The Bay At Midnight

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

In the last of what I can officially call my Summer reads, as summer is pretty much over now as the Autumn chill is creeping back in on me, but I don't mind too much because I always think that I have a better Autumn and Winter wardrobe than Summer, plus chilly days can on mean Christmas! And I love Christmas!

I got a little sidetracked there, back to my incredible and final Summer read...


The Bay At Midnight by Diane Chamberlain is a book that has been recommended to me several times, albeit every time has been by the same friend but I finally got around to renting it from the library and it was one of the most captivating and immersive stories that I have ever read.

The structure of the book uses that old trick of telling a story from three different perspectives, in this case two sisters and their mother. It's not an original technique and at first it took me a while to get orientated with the switched but I soon got used to it.

The story is based around a families holiday cottage on the New Jersey shore that was a place of great comfort and fun memories for many years until the eldest sister of the family is murdered and the cottage is sold and the trauma swept under the carpet for many years.

As you read the book moves backwards and forwards in time, and I really connected with the younger storytelling of Julie. I felt as though if she and I had bumped into each other as eleven year olds we would have been great friends. As an older woman I find her character less relatable and more like listening to my mother but nonetheless still engaging.

There are several secondary events going on that progress the story forward, but it essentially is about piecing back together the murder of sister Isabel to uncover who really was responsible for her murder and the devastating effect of family secrets. Up until the last moment my mind was changing from one possible murder suspect to being convinced suddenly that it must be another suspect!

It is unput-downable and a great 'starter out' novel for someone like me who has never taken an interest in murder mystery novels before.

How to stop nail biting: The Update

Monday, 26 August 2013

I decided that enough was enough with the nail biting some time around May, so I did a little weird technique or two to help curb the disgusting habit and for the first time, after so so so many previous failed attempts, the nail biting ceased.
I think it's important with breaking a habit like nail biting to be in a place where you have a desire to stop. If you enjoy nail biting (and in a weird way it is enjoyable, in that it is relazing- non nail biters I understand how bizarre that sounds...) As I was saying, if you enjoy nail biting then you will not give it up even if you try, you have to be at a point where you just feel really negative about the habit, and maybe sad and frustrated about it before you'll give it up.

As they say, when you reach the bottom, the only way is up!

And finally, finally my time came to come up!

I'll share with you my and after shot for now, my nails are even longer than I ever expected, This is how they look today, I just can't believe it when I look at the photograph, I can't believe that the really long or really short nails ever belonged to me!

Below is the visual journey to getting lovely, long nails, finally!

If you are sick of biting your nails too, try this tip that doesn't involve buying a thing, it's quickly becoming one of my most popular videos, and I think it's because it works!

My Moccasins!

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Check out my new ultra spangly boots that got me feeling like I am walking on clouds!

They're soft like a slipper but eye catching too, no one can resist looking at a boot with so much motion and twingly twangly bits, like a glow around my feet!

I got them in black so that hopefully they go with more, and they make for a great transitional boot between Summer to Autumn when it gets a whole lot chillier here!

This is my first pair of calf high boots since my pastel pink cowboy boots that I got years and years ago in a sale at Next. I don't get much wear outta those cowboy boots anymore except maybe for fancy dress...

These boots are pretty thin and light, unlike my little black ankle boots which I live in and are made for durability in those winter months! That's why these are the next best thing to bare feet as they are so soft and comfortable, even the sole is soft so they don't require that 'break in' period where you have to break the shoes in and deal with terrible pain for days and days, these just come as a black please of play-doh waiting to be moulded to every foot crevice!

I'm sorry if all this talk of feet is making anyone squeamish!
I got my boots from Ebay! So they were a chance item that I grabbed but they were new, and cost about £30!
They look great with knitted tights and a dark grey pair of shorts, but also with leggings and maybe with jeans but I'm trying to stay out of jeans as long as possible until it's colder as jeans are not so comfy in the heat!
Here's to Septembers arrival and facing it with fun new feet!

Threadbanger and making friendship bracelets

Saturday, 24 August 2013

This Summer I have been really enjoying Thredbanger from Youtubes videos, they are my newest and best subscription for summer as everything they do is fun, easy and approachable for inexperienced crafters like myself!
For 2013 Threadbanger created a series called Camp Threadbanger with little craft projects that upon completion are rewarded with a real badge sent to you! Cute!
All the projects looked great but he one that I really loved the most was the making of friendship bracelets!

So I got inspired, purchased a bag of embroidery floss for £2.99 from The Works and watched Beyond Bracelets on YouTube who came Threadbanger recommended as a great source for inspiration.
And she really is!

I was (and still am to be honest) a complete novice at bracelet making but in two days I've already made two bracelets that I'm feeling quite secretly proud of!

Let me know what you think, I would recommend this as just something fun and relaxing to do while listening to music or watching tv!

A different way to contour your face

Friday, 23 August 2013

My poor MAC matte bronze bronzing powder has been used for it's last now, it's now an empty metal pan in a compact but it has served me well and has lasted me since Christmas as my absolute favorite bronzing powder.
However, this time on I'm not wiser and more aware about what I'm looking fro in a bronzer and what is convenient for my lifestyle. With a pressed powder I would always be terrified of them smashing in moving, which may sound like a problem that a normal person would have to think about maybe once a year, but I pack up my makeup probably thirty times a year to stay at my sisters, friends, uni, back home again and on and on that goes and every time I sacrifice the safety of my bronzing powder for the need to have a contoured face, but luckily it survived every pack.
Nonetheless, on reflection for my new bronzer I wanted something travel friendly and compact that does the job and I happened to find just the thing!


The Nyx 'as if it's your natural skin' concealer stick in shade Dark!
It's in a convenient twist up pen that I can just swipe on where I like and blend with a clean finger. It's a beautiful warm colour on my skin that is just great as a subtle contour daily.

I may look a little freaky when first applied but I promise it blends out to look like beautiful bronzed perfection!

If you want a little help with where to bronze or if you really hate this idea and just want to contour the classic way then take a little looky at an oldie but a goodie video of mine!

Back to School Makeup - Discreetly cover spots, blemishes, imperfections and acne!

Thursday, 22 August 2013

There are a lot of beautiful back to school makeup looks floating around the internet (is it weird I hate talking about 'back to school' even though I no longer go to school! It just makes me feel gloomy and like Summer is over!)
Anywho, as I was saying. There are a lot of wonderful makeup looks on Youtube that are titled 'back to school' or 'great teen school makeup' or other variations on those titles. But if your school is anything like mine then makeup was a big fat NO NO. To get caught with makeup on was a complete sin worthy of death as a punishment (or so it felt) So while all these beautiful quick back to school looks might be okay for some school policies, not mine. And maybe not yours too.
I've been plagued with spots and blemishes since what felt like time began, although it was probably when I turned around 13. Eyeliner and mascara can wait, I just want to cover those spots up!
Here's how I did it, I tried and tested it for 3+ years and not once did my school catch me. The tip here is less is more and not to cover the whole face, target the individual spots directly.
Also, this is great for boys who want to wear a little discreet cover up too, my tip would be to apply it in front of a window with a mirror so that you can see exactly how it looks in natural light and to other people.
The key here is subtle, subtle subtle. I feel like this is almost a SECRET makeup tutorial that I'm only sharing with a select few!

Just to reiterate...
I use the following: 
Collection 2000 Concealer Lasting Perfection and I am using shade Light! It retails for £3.99 from Superdrug
I'm using loose finishing powder from Bare Minerals, but this is the optional step!

Shopping & Sushi with mama!

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

One thing that I love to go is go shopping with my mum, even if it's just food shopping, window shopping or real shopping!
This time we picked up some bits and pieces for my birthday which is not near at all, but I've been into baking lately and I saw some baking gadgets that I knew I had to have!
I'm not allowed to look at them but I can tell you that the first gadget is a cake divider. Sometimes I want to put a filling in a sponge, but when I try to separate the cake it all goes down hill from there and I end up with a pile of chocolate crumbs. It's basically a gadget with a wire that does all the hard work for me (according to its packaging and it is under £5)

Next of all, is a cake carousel mould. I've had a childrens cake cook book for several years now, and I love it purely for the beautiful pictures of cakes inside that look way above and beyond my feeble baking level. One cake that capitavated me was the carousel cake, but it required lots of bits and pieces, kitchen roll tubes and skewer sticks and ribbon and paper horses, it all got a bit much! But Lakeland are currently doing a carousel mould that basically does all the technical work for me. All I have to do is bake a sponge and pour chocolate in a mould, needless to say I am quite excited about that!

Mid shopping break we stopped off for more sushi!
I know not everyone loves Yo! Sushi, but my mum and I love how we can sit down and eat straight away with bottomless drinks and instant deliciousness in our tummy. I also love being able to press a button to get a waiters attention as opposed to having to try and flag someone down. We lost track of what we ate but we had a mini feast!

My Yo! Sushi favourites are as follows:
Gallons of bottomless Miso soup, I want one of those machines in my house!
Vegetable Gyoza - they are vegetable dumpings and deee-licious
Tamago which is a sweet omelette, it tastes like nothing I have ever eaten before but my mum and I love it!
Edamame which are salted soy beans, I eat a whole bowl to myself, you discard the pod and eat the beans!
Kaiso Salad which is crunchy salad in a sesame seed sauce
And finally....
We always share a Dorayaki- a japanese pancake filled with custard and a pot of rich raspberry sauce on the side.

Here's a little peek at our mini feast! In the blue bowl you can see the Kaiso Salad, and those green things right at the front are the eaten Edamame and the discarded pods!
I should not write about all the wonderful food I ate today when blogging near midnight because it's just the thing to get me fridge raiding!

Lets go to the movies Monsters University

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

An explosion of colour and colourful cuteness, Monsters University was my dream film. It's hilarious, and cute, and makes me want to cuddle Sully and go to American Universities because sororities look like the most fun EVER!

So The story of Monsters University goes back in time before Monsters Inc to discover how it came to be that Mike and Sully would become scare-ers and their journey to that point. It is not necessary to have seen Monsters Inc to enjoy this film, although there are some references, especially those at the end which you will be able to appreciate if you have seen it. Monsters University begins by following little Mike who dreams of going to Monsters University, after a lot of hard graft he gets there, but his dreams are quickly dashed when he realises that just because he is at the university on his course, it doesn't mean that he will stay for long if he can't prove himself to be a worthy scarer.

Through a lot of unfortunate circumstances both Mike and Sully who were rivals at the time are kicked off the course but decide to prove themselves by taking part in the Scare Games but to take part they must be part of a fraternity. The only one that will have them is Oozma Kappa whose chant is 'we're OK we're OK' To give you an idea of the kind of fraternity it is. However, it is filled with charming characters, my personal favourite being 'Smoothie' although no scarers. They take part and through luck, fortunate circumstances and Mikes hard work the underdogs climb their way to the top. The rest from then on is history, as they say.

For a Pixar film it is not incredible, in the sense of Pixar's stunning originality in story lines, however, Monsters Inc was never my favourite Pixar film so perhaps I'm being biased from the very start.

I would see it again, and it did make me laugh out loud, a lot! But it didn't captivate my heart and leave me speechless like other Pixar films..Up..mentioning no names.

Permanent memories and a lost generation of photographs

Monday, 19 August 2013

Lots of people thirty years my senior like to point out how I, and maybe you are a part of what to some is considered a 'lost generation' as we are in the digital age, I suppose even these words that I type are not permanent or real, just digital dots on a screen that you can't touch or hold. Our photographs mostly reside on our computers and Facebook etc, with no actual photograph albums. I can't argue with that, it's very true but I don't think it makes us as 'lost' as people might think. Photographs stored online will never get lost, accidentally thrown away, damaged in a flood or fire. Digital photographs don't fade, get damaged by sunlight or creased up. There isn't just one copy of treasured photographs and they are there whenever we want to look at them even if we move 20 different times in a year, digital photos can be accessed in the exact same way. Digital photograph albums don't need to be dusted or cluttering up bookshelves. Nontheless, I suppose it's like how I prefer to read an actual book rather than an ebook, but space just doesn't allow for me to buy as many books as I can digitally.
So while I am happy, delighted even to be a part of this so called 'lost' generation there are some exceptions where I want the physical photos in the albums to hold too.
My most treasured one I just completed today, and it's a summary of my first university year. I will probably have this forever now, this little book I will pull out from time to time. When I'm old and wrinkly and the skin on my hands is paper thin I will no doubt still thumb through this here book. That's quite amazing when you think of it.
It was just a few months ago that I was there, and looking through makes me miss it quite badly, in years to come I'll no doubt wish that I could go back to that year and re live it all again!

I suppose the point to what I'm writing in this somewhat sentimental post is that I think it's great to have our life documented digitally, and I don't think our generation is that lost after all- but there may come a time where I will be too outdated to use the latest technology, but I'll still know how to open up a photo album.

Get your liner on! NYX Super Fat Eye Marker Review & First impressions

Sunday, 18 August 2013

My trusty liquid liner from Collection 2000 has served me well but there comes a point where the point (haha) of the brush can take no more.
Gone are the days where I can create lines as thin as a pin point, instead I can only create chunky looks with that little thing.
I decided it was about time I found a suitable replacement in the meantime to create those neat flicks.
I visited a beauty outlet store near me and bought the Super Fat eye marker by NYX 'The bold and daring liner' in Carbon Black.

 'Fat' and 'Bold' aren't words you would  associate with creating delicate lines, but this has a ultra fine tip that I hope I do not wear down before long.

Eye marker pens are perfect if:
You are a beginner at eyeliner as they are easier to use and feel familiar in your hand, like holding a pen
You like to create thick and thin eyeliner looks
You like to use eyeliner when applying false lashes to 'fill in' gaps and make the lashes look natural

My first impressions of this liner is that it's a very thin formula, much like a felt tip pen so it may not be the 'blackest' black you have ever used, but is black enough and more forgiving than thicker fomulas.
It dries incredibly quickly, basically instantly, so that you can blink without having a black-blob-disaster. Although, it is not waterproof (nor does it claim to be) or 'rub proof' and I'm a big eye rubber

Best to bring makeup for touch ups with this one!

Crazy Kawaii Crafting Saturday!

Saturday, 17 August 2013

You don't need to tell me how crazy and wild my Summer holidays are, I already know for myself.
Today I had a stitch itch that needed to be scratched, I pulled out my iron on patch collection (I bet you didn't know I had one of them, I'm getting cooler by the minute) and cut some ribbon, thought of a colour scheme in my head and got sewing!

I of course have a big supply of Hello Kitty patches that I love to use, this one has two fabric hearts, a pink Hello Kitty Bow, Pink Hello Kitty in a sailor outfit and finally a trio of hearts holding in girly coloured strands of ribbons.

The second one is focused on Gwen Stefani Harajuku L.A.M.B with a rainbow,  harajuku lovers girl 'G', a heart trio and some rainbow ribbons trailing behind the hearts.

I've been making these style of vests for a while and I always want to keep them for myself, but more often than not I know that I do not need another variation of a black vest top.
I got my black vest tops from a different supplier this time so they are much smaller only fitting a size 6/8 so it turns out that I couldn't keep them even if I wanted to!

A Level Results day & University Freshers advice video!

Thursday, 15 August 2013

A terrifying day for hundreds of thousands of 18 year olds today, who find out if they have got into the university that they have been pining over for the past 8 months at least.

I was in the same position myself last year and results day for me was an utterly traumatising experience, to think of it now makes me feel a bit nauseous in my stomach. I wish I could go back in time to hug my past self and reassure them that things would turn out okay in the end.

I won't go into the too grim and technical details, as you will probably fall asleep on the keyboard. However, I will say that I was horrifyingly rejected by my first and second choice universities (If you don't know how the system works... there is no third choice, you get a first and second choice and that is your lot!) So I was then thrust into a process in the UK called 'Clearing' which is sort of how it sounds, but if you're still confused then Google can enlighten you on that. It was a huge rush of urgent and frantic telephone calls, waiting on hold, keeling over the toilet bowl with nerves, loss of appetite, begging universities shamelessly, breaking down in tears at any given moment, refreshing my email every 10 seconds and a general feeling of being an absolute failure. However, 36 hours after everyone else, I was accepted by my second choice university who had decided that it wouldn't be so bad to have me on board after all. After initial apprehension at not being at my favorite university like I had expected, I just begun to get very excited. That is where my story ends and this video will be able to fill in all the gaps from that point onwards...

If things haven't gone the way that you expected today, and you're perhaps feeling like your life plans have fallen off the tracks, I plead you not to get disheartened. Life has a wonderful way of springing us away from what we think we want to a place that is even better than we could have ever imagined. I am so unbelievably thankful that I was steered away slightly from what I thought I wanted a year ago, now I have ended up in the place that I am supposed to be.

Lets go to the movies: The Heat review

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

It's a terrible thing when you're in love with a film such as Bridesmaids, and you hope that every film to follow with Melissa McCarthy in will be as fantastic because you are almost certainly going to feel disappointed. So I may not have laughed out loud like I did with Bridesmaids and wanted to watch it again and again, but it wasn't unpleasant viewing and there were some funny moments.

The Heat is based around FBI agent Sarah Ashburn trying to get a promotion, she's not too popular with her colleagues so is sent to take down a drug lord as a way of proving herself and having a better chance of a promotion. Sarah's investigation is disrupted by Shannon Mullins who is as very territorial police officer (maybe FBI agent?), but ultimately doing good without doing it 'by the book'. The rest I'm sure you can guess, after intial teething problems, they use their strengths and weaknesses to work together to save the world (well almost)
So here are my thoughts on the whole sha-bang:
There was a lot more violence than I expected, although I did go into the film not knowing that much about it, so I suppose when there are a lot of drug themes, violence goes hand in hand with that, nonetheless it made me squirm in my seat a little.
Sandra Bullock has some real gem moments for example, the neighbours cat, who she adopts as her own cat...It doesn't sound so funny typed out...Anywho, but she always seems to play the same 'isolated focused workaholic' character.
There is also some mega cheddar moments, for example when Sarah bursts in on a meeting to tell everyone what a good agent Shannon really is bla bla bla

So it was enjoyable, and yes I did laugh out loud (especially at the cat bit) but I wouldn't be rushing to see it over again!

Flower Pressing - My first attempt

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Since I caught the wonderful bouquet from my sisters wedding, i decided it was too sad to just watch them die a little more with every passing day. Instead I thought I'd try my very hardest at flower pressing. It looks so romantic in all those turn of the century films with wonderful flower pressed adornments to sweet love letters.

My first attempt has gone a little something like this, and is a very unofficial method as far as flower pressing goes.
You will need
A sheet of A4 paper
Next catalogs and other heavy books that you do not want to move for weeks

1.I cut off the bits of flowers that I thought would make for a nice arrangement

2.I arranged them inside the folder A4 sheet of paper

3. I closed the paper booklet, put it on one catalog, piled everything else on top

4.Wait, leave the pile somewhere it will be undisturbed, I left mine inside a cupboard, I'll pull it out every few days to see how it's getting along, but this whole process may end up taking weeks!

Hint: Sit on the stack of heavy books just to get the whole process moving along! Above is my most unflattering crotch shot!

I wish that I could include the result in this post, but I suppose that will be in a 'Flower Pressing Part 2 - Disaster or Delightful!' It's too soon to tell what the outcome will be!

Bridesmaid and Bridal Lip Colours for Summer Weddings

Monday, 12 August 2013

I have just been one of three bridesmaids for my sisters beautiful wedding, a hot topic among us different coloured bridesmaids was an appropriate lip colour for the occasion that would suit us all. My coloring is fair, bridesmaid #2 is also fair but with even paler skin than my own and slightly darker hair, whereas bridesmaid #3 has very dark hair, chocolate button eyes and fair skin.

We decided that it wasn't necessary to look like complete clones of each other when it came to lip colour and it would be better that we tailored our colours to ourselves to look good, rather than a 'one size fits all' that would look 'okay'

For us, red lips and dark lips were a straight up no no...
This is the products we chose from instead, like a lucky dip for lips!

 Here is my artistic angle of the lip products in their tubes, which to be frank is a bit misleading to the colours inside, so I've done a little swatch down here for you too so that you can follow.

The swatches are in the same order as the lip colours in their tubes above
From left to right:
Revlon Just Bitten Balm stain in Honey
MAC lipstick in Lovelorn (what I wore on the day)
Maybelline lipstick in Ultimate Blush
Bare Escentuals Buxom gloss in Kanini
Estee Lauder Pure Colour Lipstick in Crystal Baby
Estee Lauder Pure Colour Lipstick in Pinkberry

The favorites were the Estee Lauders which are truly creamy beautiful colours that are perfect to layer under a gloss. I hand chose these lip colours for their 'Your lips but better' properties that didn't make the lips striking, but made them a wonderful compliment to the rest of the face. The image of 'you but better' is exactly what a bride wants, not to look like a totally different person, but to look like a better version of themselves!

Cheers to kissable lip colours!

Maid of Honour Makeup - Summer Wedding!

Sunday, 11 August 2013

I did a few 'practices' of makeup for my sisters wedding this month, which I think is a good idea. I recommend taking a picture too to check that you like how it looks under flash photography. After all, pictures will be the only reminder left of the day so you want to look hawt!

My first trial looked something like this:

I knew that I wanted a very neutral eye and a pinky lip, I ended up using just two eyeshadows, Shroom all over the eyelid and up to the brow bone, and then Folie very gently added to the crease. Then I used a brown eyeliner on the water line for the outer half, and a white eyeliner on the inner half of the waterline. Of course mascara too. On my lips I'm wearing Revlon Lip balm pencil in shade Honey. At this point blusher etc was miscellaneous, and I can see here that my foundation is too light under photography flashes in comparison to my neck.

Here I've made a few revisions! I've got highlighting powder on, eye products are virtually the same and the lipstick I changed to Lovelorn by Mac which I prefer! I think that it gave a more 'pretty' look and made my eyes pop a little more!

The end result is something I'll create a makeup tutorial for you guys to follow, I was wearing a hell of a lot of makeup, but it stayed all day and disguised my blemished skin.
For now, I present to you the pdf that I created for the bridesmaids to follow:

'The' Wedding - round up

Saturday, 10 August 2013

It's difficult to put into words what yesterday was like, I'll bore you all to tears if we went through chronologically. But to sum up, it was without a doubt one of the most magical, romantic, understatedly gorgeous, and beautiful weddings that I have ever seen, that includes the ones from the millions many bridal magazines that I may have read in the run up to the big day.

My sister wore a Maggie Sottero gown called Desirae
A veil for the ceremony with diamante detailing around the edge
After the ceremony she swapped the veil for a glitzy headband!

We only have the photographs that people took so far, but hopefully this will give you a good idea of the dress shape and some of the detailing. The back was a tie up, and I had the honour of dressing my sister and pulling her in at the back.
Her hair consisted of three fake hair pieces, a million pins for her hair, and a side swept, curled mermaid loose braid and it was completely stunning. This was the beginning of the 2 hour hair crafting process:

We were so fortunate that the weather was on our side and we were able to have an outdoor ceremony, the bridesmaids, including myself, walked down the aisle before the bride to the harpist playing the wedding march, and it was the moment that fairytale dreams are made of.

It is clear to see that I am beyond excited in this photograph, for so many reasons, the moment, to see friends and family and in anticipation of everyone seeing my beautiful sister!

Our bouquets consisted mostly of white roses, and I'm wearing along with the other bridesmaids a Tiffany Blue gown from Forever Yours, we had an additional strap and flower added to match the brides dress.

I was also very excited to be reading a poem called 'The One' courtesy of Google

We then had the wedding breakfast which was absolutely delightful, followed by brilliant speeches, the cake cutting.. oh the cake, I have to show you this

The cake is from Kays Cakes and she is an absolute delight to work with, she also made my sisters 21st birthday cake and was just as amazing then.

I caught the wedding bouquet which was one of my personal highlights! It was so fun, although I felt very greedy as I already had a beautiful bouquet of my own! I also had some war wounds from catching the flowers which I'm still nursing.

In the evening we had a brilliant band come and play for us, they stayed all night and kept us all busy and dancing, and for the first time I felt like I could thoroughly relax and enjoy the night and not worry about running around after the bride! And finally, for the guest book, we had a photo booth which was hilarious and wonderful fun.

Not too long after midnight, I was completely partied out and ready for my first proper nights sleep in days!
I had to be persuaded to get out of my dress as I was in a bit of refusal to remove it, and I have still kept my hair in! I'm clinging onto the day as much as I can!