Currently Coveting…

I tend to do most of my online shopping from my phone and have begun making a wish list of screenshots which really helps me to get some distance from the urge to spend mindlessly. I tend to head back to my wish list when I have some cash to spend and get rid of items which no longer take my fancy. I’ve found that A LOT of stuff ends up getting removed from the list which really helps me in determining what I actually do like rather than what’s popular or advertised well. So I thought I’d share some  pretty things which have been hanging around the wish list for awhile!

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I absolutely love this Sea Salt Cornwall jacket, it’s gorgeous and the colour is just what you need to brighten up the dreary January days. It gets bonus points for being made from organic cotton too.

theBalm_Mary_Lou_Manizer_Luminizer_8_5g_1385999761_mainI have been wanting this highlighter for a stupidly long time now, its had some great reviews from beauty bloggers and the packaging is lovely. Probably should get through the other three highlighters in my collection first though….

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I’m not quite sure why but I’ve been wanting to grow my own vegetables for a long time now but have been put off by our lack of space (Dom says it’s probably not a good idea to dig up our communal garden) and the whole veg growing thing seems quite complicated. When we do finally have a garden of our own (although I’m sure our current landlord/neighbours wouldn’t mind someone actually using the garden for something useful) I’ll be snapping this up so I can get growing!

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Mermaids are super popular right now which is of course amazing, but I find a lot of mermaid-y type clothes & accessories aren’t particularly wearable and are more for fashion bloggers to take Instagram posts with. This beauty is completely different though, it’s a shimmery dream that would look awesome on a night out or with a casual look in the summer. This one might just make it past the wish list and into the basket, grab before I do here

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I’m not a huge fan of Topshop for  a few reasons; 1) Philip Green is a total tool 2) Their clothes are hugely over priced and 3) Their leggings are worse quality than Primark and I love me some decent quality leggings. BUT they do take the title when it comes to jeans, especially petite jeans for shorties like me. These lilac lovelies would look amazing with white Vans or Converse. Moto Lilac Acid Mom Jeans

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An Etsy gem that’s been hanging out in the wish list for awhile is this gorgeous golden bee and honeycomb necklace. I have a daisy print dress that I think this would look awesome with, especially layered up with other gold necklaces in the summer.

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And finally, if like me, you get the tube every morning into work, you might just need this in every colour to remind you.

Happy Sunday

S x

 

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My Scrapbook

 

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As a new year begins I can’t help but be slightly sucked into making plans for new things to try, do and new habits to build (this blog being one of them!) but I usually end up focusing solely on the shiny new things and completing forgetting about something that I’ve started and lost a bit of interest in.

My Smashbook has been hanging around for a really long time now, it’s such a lovely book so I initially didn’t want to start wildly sticking things in without thought, which in reality means it’s been sorely neglected!

So, part of my new year’s resolution is to try and finish up my scrapbook! I’ll be posting monthly updates of how far I’ve gotten in filling it up so I thought I’d start by posting a few pages which I’ve finished and am really happy with!

S2This page is a bit of a mixture of lots of different things I’ve found in magazines that inspire me when decorating my home and making stuff!

S3I filled this page with one of my favourite quotes that I stitched when I first started getting into embroidery. It’s a little rough around the edges but it helps me reflect on something that I always try to keep in mind 🙂

NextI bought an instax camera last Christmas and went absolutely crazy for it (that’s anything on my list to go back to using and not just let gather dust!) and there are a lot of snaps in my scrapbook. It’s a great camera for pictures to add to your scrapbook but it can be really tricky to get the detail of the picture so I tend to stick to portraits and selfies!

finalThe great thing about the Smashbook is that it has a handy pocket at the back of the book so you can keep everything you’ve been collecting for your scrap book to stick in at a later date; I also use it to play around with different ages and pictures, like the one above, to see what placement I like best before I fully commit!

I hope you like my scrapbook, I’ve never really followed a strict theme with it and most of my pages are random things that I think look pretty together! I kinda think that’s the point but I’m sure there are some scrapbooks that would totally put mine to shame with thematic feasting for the eyes!

 

Till next time,

S x

Sublime Stitching Craft Pad: Review

I’ve had my craft pad from Sublime Stitching for some time now but much like all new crafty purchases, it gets added to a seriously long list of things I have to do.

Over Christmas, I decided to make some presents for my family by cross stitching quotes or pictures that remind me of them and framing them. With Christmas well and truly over, I wanted to keep up my stitching and thought embroidery would be a nice enough change from what I had been working on so I finally dug out my craft pad and wasn’t disappointed.

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There are tons (around 75) of awesome embroidery stencils for you to choose from and to give you the inspiration you need to get started on a new project. I think it’s actually great for beginners to embroidery too because there are some basic designs to help you get used to stitching.

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I decided to kick off my new project with this beauty and I’m still working on it now, I think it’ll look great once I’ve finished it and trimmed off the excess fabric. It was a little tricky at first to get my stencil just how I liked it and clear enough to begin stitching over, so it can be a good idea to practice on fabric scraps if you have them. I decided to transfer lots of different stencils while I was doing this one so that I’ve got plenty of projects lined up and ready to go.

I’d definitely recommend giving one of Sublime Stitches stencils a try if you’re into embroidery, hoop art or hand sewing and aren’t too confident in drawing your own designs just yet but we warned, you might end up with a serious to-do list!

You can grab your copy of the craft pad here!

S x

 

Welcome, 2016….

Well it’s been quite some time since I last blogged, and when I mean quite some time I mean a little over a year…I feel terrible.

I started this blog with a real enthusiasm but admittedly without a clear focus on what I actually enjoy writing about and so my initial glee most definitely fizzled out a lot sooner than I had expected, but….

THIS TIME I HAVE A PLAN!

And when I say plan, I mean I have a clearer vision as to what I will be writing about, some running themes you may say.

I’ve got some really exciting life plans on the horizon but it can feel distant and out of my reach. With anything, the joy is in the process rather than the end result so I’m using the blog to try to remain mindful of the journey and to not get too overwhelmed with how I’m going to get to where I want to go…

So here are some plans for the blog over the next year:

  • 30 day challenges – ‘they’ say to try anything new for 30 days to see if it you truly want it to stick around for the long haul. I’m going to try a bunch of different challenges to try new stuff and build new habits
  • Craft reviews – I’ll be looking at and reviewing everything from craft kits to craft blogs, tutorials and everything in between
  • Beauty – I’m no make up artist, but I sure do love make-up and experimenting with it. I’ll be trying out make up tutorials and reviewing products which, by the way, are totally excluded from my ‘no buy’ – girl needs her cat eyes…)
  • Fashion – I love clothes, but I buy too many and get bored quickly. I’ll be exploring the concept of ‘fast fashion’ and sharing my awesome charity shop finds.
  • Lifestyle – All the stuff I’m up to, books I’m reading, films I’m watching and cool stuff I stumble upon

So let’s get started!

Steph x

Christmas Candles, Goodies & A Quick Make!

Nothing makes me feel more comforted, happy & excited than the smells which are associated with my favourite time of year, Christmas!

I love to fill my little flat with lovely smelling Christmas things so this year I have bought a few sweet scented candles to adorn my flat with. (Hope you like cinnamon Dom, coz you’ll be bombarded with it)

My first festive candle that I bought this year was this beauty from Yankee Candles. The scent is Peppermint Swirls which to me. embody the season in sweet form. I’m also quite obsessed with these sweets, I spent one year searching high & low for them to top my  peppermint Chistmas Cupcakes with and couldn’t find them anywhere! You always want what you can’t have *sigh*

You can buy this epic candle for £16.99. Yankee Candles are always a bit pricey but I fully intend to put this away & use it next year too! http://www.clintoncards.co.uk/yankee-candle-peppermint-swirls-medium-jar-gift-set

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The second beauty I bought was this amazing candle from Homesense. It’s Cinnamon scented & just looks so festive!  This would also make a really nice gift for someone too. This candle came in at a ridiculously cheap £5.99 but annoyingly, Homesense doesn’t have an online shop

BUT you can find your nearest store here: http://www.homesense.com/

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Christmas Tree oh Christmas Tree! Ok, so this adorable Christmas Tree candle isn’t scented but it’s sparkly & hella cute! This gliterry beauty is also from Homesense & comes in at £5.99!

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I also got this gorgeous silver candle from Homesense, which is the scent ‘Peppermint Bark’ it is such a lovely smell & it crackles when lit so gives off a real cosy and snuggly feel! From Homesense (of course) at £5!

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And here they all are in their scented & not-so-scented glory!

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I also bought this yet to be made Frosted Pumpkin Cookie Mix from Homesense & a gingerbread man cut out to go with it. My plan is to make these on a lazy Sunday afternoon to make the place smell of yummy spices & sweet treats!

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And last but not least! I love to buy craft magazines around this time of year to give me some inspiration when making gifts or decorations. Their terribly expensive but you usually get a kit to make something with them & it’s a good way to get into crafts if you’re short on ideas & the know how! I made these little trees which I’m going to turn into hanging decorations which will either adorn my tree or be hung up around the flat to add some extra Christmas charm!

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I hope you enjoyed my quick little Christmassy post, I’m currently in the process of making some Christmas decorations & I’ll be decorating my flat as well as putting up my tree this weekend – so stay tuned for more Christmas pretties and ideas!

S x

 

Olay wants you to ‘be your best beautiful’ – *voms*

Morning!! & Happy Saturday!! I’m currently in my pyjamas & have been spending most of the morning catching up on crap TV and drinking coffee, bliss!

During the week I came across an advert from Olay (of ye olde Oil of Olay) on TV here in the UK. Now although this advert isn’t as explicitly about striving to achieve unobtainable standards of beauty or whatever trope advertising women are constantly bombarded with everyday but it does nothing to go against the current ideal that you’re worth is tied up in how you look.

Let’s break down the advert, concept by concept.

1) Women constantly monitor their faces/bodies for signs of aging or change. 

The advert starts off by saying that “Each day women look in the mirror ten times to see what’s changed & what hasn’t” as if this is some kind of factual, set in stone aspect of being a woman. That’s just the way we are right?! But in reality, its beauty companies, the media & popular culture that mold & shape the way women police and ultimately relate to their bodies; this is not something women just do.

2) You can be the best version of yourself (if you buy our skin product)

The second part of the ad says “At Olay, we believe everyday is a chance to be your best self” and here’s where they try to market the whole ’empowering women through our product’ type advertising which we see quite a lot now. It suggests that they have women’s well being at the heart of their advertising; *spoiler* they don’t. In Olay’s world, being the ‘best version of yourself’ is looking good, buying their product & ultimately increasing their profits, it is not about celebrating women in any way shape or form.

Let’s not forget that Olay have been criticised in the past & had some of its advertising banned because of false claims & airbrushing they have used. I’d say this new advert is a sneaky PR campaign to limit some of that damage.

http://www.theguardian.com/media/2009/dec/16/twiggys-olay-ad-banned-airbrushing

http://www.theguardian.com/media/2009/mar/04/olay-ad-banned

3) We want you to feel great! (and give us your money)

If you believe this advert, then you’d believe Olay when they claim in the advert that they specifically create these products so that you can ‘impress the woman in the mirror’. This is a simple one & touched upon before, Olay is about making profits, it just so happens they’re in the skincare biz rather than car manufacturing.

and last but certainly not least….

4) You should make it your daily goal to look good  – because that’s everything!

The final line in the ad states that impressing the woman in the mirror (i.e you) is everything, that’s right….

EVERYTHING.

Wait, wait, wait; so what you’re saying Olay, is that in my whole entire life span on this planet; with ultimate possibilities, things to learn, challenges to conquer, distant lands to travel, different foods to taste, books to read, different cultures, art, music and friends to make along the way, the ultimate ‘everything’ in my life as a woman is whether I look in the mirror each day & think “am I my ‘best beautiful?”

Get the fuck out.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to feel good, confident & happy in your skin (that’s how we should all feel!) but when you reduce that down to it being ‘everything’ it’s just perpetuating the idea that women have to obsess over how they look in order to find ‘everything’ they need in life.  There are so many amazing things to see, be & do that will increase our emotional well being & which actually do the opposite and allow you to spend less time obsessing about how you look and more time actually enjoying life.

Now I know that this advert isn’t all that bad when you compare it with some of the other adverts out there, but I think it’s important to look & think critically at all advertisement. Whether adverts are directed at children, men or women they are all about selling us something so as consumers I think we have every right to decide what’s ‘everything’ in our life & what isn’t.

Like other beauty advertisers who ultimately make their money from selling ‘ideas’ & products to women, Olay doesn’t really want you to ‘be your best beautiful’ because well, then they wouldn’t have any products to sell would they?

You can judge the advert for yourself below & let me know what you think, am I overreacting? Is this advert ok & are you comfortable with it? I’d be really interested to know.

Ps. I’m always on the look out for advertising which promotes certain beauty ideals to women, so if you have seen any that have really boiled your blood then feel free to share!

S x

 

Cut Out & Keep Craft Test Sidekick!

Cut Out & Keep is a really great website & community of crafters who upload tutorials & their crafts so you can get inspired to make your own!

Cut Out & Keep have recently begun a feature over on their blog in which crafters from the website test out & review craft supplies.

Yours truly has signed up to be a Sidekick & I recently reviewed & made a tutorial for the website using a really interesting bunch of squishy stuff called Sugru!

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You can check out my tutorial here: http://www.cutoutandkeep.net/blog/2014/11/sugru 

& you can also check out Sugru here! http://sugru.com/

S x

Ps. It’s getting to that time of year where I really need to buckle down & think about what I’ll be making as Christmas gifts for my friends & family. I’ve got some ideas & I think I’ll be going down the homemade treat root! I’m going to be writing a Christmas post all about how we can think about shopping more ethically this Christmas to avoid the crazy Christmas consumerism hype & really enjoy the season for what it’s meant to be; a break from work, time with loved ones & FOOD! So watch this space for some Christmas makes & advice!