January Update

I was thinking about the types of things I want to be posting on my blog and so far this month I have included new features to Sweet Vanilla Kisses: OOTD, If I Were a Rich Girl etc and I thought I'd just write a little summary of everything I feel that I have achieved in the month, every month. This will make me feel good when I'm down or having a complete confidence crisis whenever those occasions may arise.
  1. I lost weight over Christmas and have maintained the loss. Something of a first for me in a long time. 
  2. I have attended every seminar I am scheduled to attend for uni. 
  3. I have been swimming quite a lot and hopefully will begin to see the payoff soon!
  4. I successfully found myself somewhere to live for next academic year.
  5. I bought a Vinylmation.
  6. I made a start on my summative assignments (albeit a slow one, but a start nonetheless!)
  7. I realised that when I really concentrate I do have sufficient willpower. 
Seven simple things that I feel successful in this month. February, be good to me? 



Jumper: Topshop
Top (Just Seen): Topshop
Skirt: New Look
Leggings: Topshop
 I thought I'd do my first ever OOTD today because I'm feeling fierce in my leopard print leggings. A few years ago I would never have ever dreamed of wearing anything like these leggings, I was all into teaming black with black and wearing a nice top over my skirt, however I feel like these are entirely appropriate for a day sitting at various desks in various lecture halls write my little fingers off! Rawrrr...
Nails: Ciate's 'Cupcake Queen'
Necklace: Mawi for Disney Couture.

Room Tour

Clockwise from top left: Bedside table, my desk, chest of drawers with lots of books and shoes, my bed (the view you get when you stand in the doorway).

I thought I'd do a mini room tour of my room in my uni house up here in the North East. It's currently 08:15 and I'm waiting to leave for a mammoth day of lectures, a workshop, and swimming followed by a food shop to Tesco tonight. Uni weeks fly by 'cause I'm so busy, what with attending all my hours of classes, working 2-3 shifts per week and of course catching up with various friends in the city. Sometimes all I want to do is curl up in a ball in bed and watch tripe on 4OD! 
As you can see I'm a pretty much a 'if it's pink I want it' kind of girl. I have the smallest room in the house but I love it, I love my mixture of things I have out on display and of course the all important beauty essentials on my chest of drawers. The furniture came with the house and it's not something I would personally choose but I guess my landlord could have done a lot worse! 

How do you decorate your room? Do you have a theme/colour scheme? Let me know :) 


If I Were a Rich Girl #3

A few things I have found online this week: Embellished Jelly Sandals - Lipsy, Animal Print Midi Dress - Topshop, Vinylmation - Disney, Cami Top - Jack Wills, Crossover Body Bag - Paul's Boutique. (Images taken from respective websites, apart from the Vinylmation which I found on Google.)

I've been back at uni for a week now and am once again subjecting myself to hideous amounts of work with little room left to play. I don't know what's wrong with me this week but I've simply just wanted to crawl up in my duvet and sleep for ages and ages and ages. (This probably has something to do with the fact that my Landlord sent someone round to fix my bed! No more sagging mattress, yay!).
I am impressed with myself however, as I went to the Metrocentre, which is a massive shopping mall located in Gateshead, just outside of Newcastle and met Mr. Will Power. By this I mean I actually only purchase items from 3 shops, and spent £60. Which is pretty good for me! I got my first ever Vinylmation from the Disney Store, and if you hadn't already guessed by now that I am a completely Disney mad then I don't know who's Blog you've been reading but it ain't mine! (Look out for a separate Vinylmation post coming soon.)
I am enjoying my freedom and independence at uni again, I managed to create a warmish dinner for myself tonight (again, you must know I am not blessed with culinary patience and skill.) of sausages in tortilla wraps with salad. Sounds odd, but delicious.
Tomorrow I return to work after my 4 week hiatus due to the Christmas holidays. Always nervous that the work trousers won't fit...wish me luck!


Portrait of a Day #1

1.Packed for going back to Uni today (see picture above). I really didn't think I had a lot of stuff until I threw it on the bed and had to sort everything out. This is just a small snippet of the contents of my suitcase!
2.Got even more excited about going to Disneyworld by doing lots of research online.
3. Made a shopping list for when I get my loan in on Monday, trying to justify to myself what I really don't need, which relates to yesterday's finds in Exeter (see picture below). Did I really need the JW bath set?! No, but it smells nice and I saved £16 - tehehe.

4. Need to recuse my Buttercup unicorn toy from under my bed, bless her under there all alone!
5. J's arriving tonight to spend my final few days before I go back to uni. I shall miss him :(
6. Watched my bags of stuff for charity being taken away this morning. I love having a good clear out, too lazy to ebay (paypal - no clue how to work this out!) so charity benefits.
7. Eaten more Cadbury's mini rolls today than ever before in my lifetime. Urgh. Roll on healthy living.
8. Wore false eyelashes for the first time in an age just because. I was going to go and pick J up from the station but he said he'd just come here. So I removed falsies. Can't get all dolled up in FCUK lashes just to sit in my room. Beautiful aren't they?
9. Tried on a couple of tops that I was able to fit into this time last year. Used to wear one as a mini dress over leggings - now it resembles more of a crop top #gottashiftsomepounds.
10. I'm supposed to be cooking tonight, I really fancy Spaghetti Bolognaise by J says he doesn't trust my culinary skills (skills here used lightly) and wants to make meatballs out of the mince. Can't cope with fancy food...

We're Going To Disneyworld...For Minnie & Mickey and a Whole Load of Beauty Bargains!

Yes, I own a Minnie Mouse ears headband - now I just need a red and white
polka dot dress to complete the outfit!

Anyone that knows me is aware that I am off to Florida in September of this year for a 2 week holiday with my boyfriend. I am excited. No, let me rephrase that, I am excited that as of right now there's 34 weeks/238 days/ 5712 hours until I get to sit on that plane to carry me across the ocean :)
I last went to Florida when I was 15 and loved it, now, 6 years on I will be able to enjoy all that Orlando has to offer on account of the fact that I will be 21 when I touch down at Sandford Intl! We're doing Disney, we're doing Harry Potter world, and I don't know about J but I'm doing a whole load of shopping and this is what leads me on to today's post.
I was looking online at Walmart last night, primarily to discover the current price of Lucky Charms, and came across their beauty department. Now I am all for 'drugstore' make-up, (Can you really class Boots and Superdrug as 'drugstore'? Or do you have to buy things in Tesco and the like for it to qualify in the 'drugstore' category?) but seriously, the prices just blew me away. Here are some 'drugstore' examples:

(Image taken from Boots.com) The Maybelline Great Lash Mascara: I have owned this mascara and while it's never been my complete favourite in terms of application, brush style and the like it's relatively cheap, I believe, as far as mascaras go. On Boots.com this mascara retails for £4.99, however in Walmart you're looking at paying $4.24, which when I converted into £££ using the current exchange rate it's approximately £2.76 - seriously!!? For this price can you really go wrong?! I had said to myself that I wouldn't want to buy any product that I can find in the UK, but if everything's going to be marginally cheaper then I might as well stock up, hey! (Not with this mascara, by the way, this is purely for illustrative purposes, I'll get onto bigger and better products in a minute).

(Image taken from Walmart.com) L'Oreal True Match Foundation: Again, another product I have owned but not necessarily loved, I believe this is because I bought myself the wrong colour and ended up pearly white, I'll just stick to Maxfactor for the moment. (How cute is the packaging for the American version by the way, we have a pump bottle in the UK.) Boots.com retail this foundation at £9.99 which is the price one would normally expect to pay for a good quality brand of foundation that doesn't quite hit the high-end product criteria. Walmart retail this for $8.47, which when converted comes to approximately £5.53. These prices are crazy, but I'm not complaining! It makes me want to save like mad and go wild in the beauty aisles in the states!
Walmart's website has inspired me in a few purchases, I know I'm a little premature in deciding what to buy when I am out there but I thought I'd do a little research so that I don't end up wasting money on things I won't even like (trying to curb my inner impulse buying habit...). I am excited to try out brands like Covergirl, Wet & Wild etc etc that we don't get over here, and my inner early teen self can't help but love the lip balms in a range of flavours from Lip Smackers - Sprite or Fanta lips anyone?!

Moving on to another site I fell in love with, Sephora.com. I have been to a Sephora store before, it's where I picked up my first piece of Urban Decay that I mentioned in my last post, but I thought I'd do a little investigate and see if the bargains on the 'drugstore' brands extend to the more high end products that I love, namely from brands like Mac, Benefit, Nars and Urban Decay.

(Left Image taken from maccosmetics.com, right image taken from sephora.com) Mac Lipstick: I am getting more and more into lip colour - my latest buy being the Babydoll Look Beauty Lipstick and I know that everyone says how brilliant Mac are for lipstick I just haven't got round to purchasing one yet. My nearest Mac concession is in House of Fraser where they retail each Mac lipstick for £14.50. When I clicked onto the US Mac website I was quite surprised to see that they retail on there for $14.50, literally a match for match price. But, thankfully converting my £££ into $$$ and not the other way around means that I end up getting more for my money - hallelujah! $14.50 is approximately £9.45, again another bargain and a saving of around £5 on every lipstick. For this price I think I'll be testing shades here and then finding Mac to purchase!

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion: If you read my previous post about the UD Sustainable Shadow Box you'll know that it includes a baby version of this lovely eyeshadow primer. I was completely enthralled by the quality of the product and loved that it kept all eyeshadow in place on my eyelids all day. And naturally now I want the full size version. House of Fraser retails this product for £14.50, Sephora for $19, convert that and it becomes £12.38 (not a massive saving, but a saving none the less!).

Other things that caught my eye were Nars Blushes for $29 (£17), Naked 2 for $50 (£32) and of course lots of Benefit for cheaper prices. (I am aware that the US adds sales tax at the till and it's not included in the ticket price on the shelf like we have here in the UK, but I just wanted to show you how this vary in price anyway.)

So I'm eager to get out there and spend my hard earned and hard save pennies! Have you ever been to America? What do you think of the price differences?


Urban Decay - Sustainable Shadow Palette

With the recent release of the long awaited Naked 2 palette I thought I'd venture into Debenhams and House of Fraser and see what all the Urban Decay (UD) hype is about. My only brush with the brand in the past was a tube of blue glitter which I had to throw out on account of the '12m' life on the bottom of the tube but having seen the concession stand I am truly in love with the edgy packaging, the variety of palettes on offer and of course I am eager to try out the products that the blogosphere raves about (need to find some pennies and decide: Do I Naked, or Naked 2?).
I ummed and ahhed over the variety of palettes, they were all so pretty, namely the Mariposa (a metal case with a gorgeous butterfly on the front) and the Book of Shadows, but settled with the Sustainable Shadow Palette, which I purchased for £27. On reflection that's really quite expensive for 10 mini shadows but I feel that UD has a sort of cult style follower status and it's a brand that simply must be present in everyone's make-up collection. (And the quality and colours are amazing so I felt justified!)

The packaging of this palette fits in with the overall feel of UD, it's quirky, timeless and fashionable. It suggests to me that UD's make-up is designed to be played with, mixed up and had fun with and this is something I embrace wholly. I love the sturdy, sustainable, and eco-friendly bamboo box, which covers the eyeshadows in a swivel lid motion. I know that UD pride themselves on being cruelty free, they don't test on animals and each of their make-up brushes is cruelty-free which fits the theme of this palette nicely. I am all for the eco sustainability and wish that many brands would embrace this more. The outer packaging of the Sustainable Shadow Box is even recycled and of course can be recycled again once you remove the palette.

Big picture for the colours: there are ten, four are browny golden shades which I thought was perhaps a bit much to include the same colours in a smaller palette, and the rest are a mixture of glitter and matte shades. I do like all of the shades, but for a die-hard UD junkie perhaps this palette doesn't provide the best of their shades like other palettes would do, and so I think this palette is better for someone who is starting to venture into the brand and is looking for a good quality eyeshadows to start out with (which is exactly what I wanted!). I do love the inclusion of a brush and a mini Eyeshadow Primer Potion and when my Benefit 'Stay Don't Stray' runs out I shall be purchasing the Eyeshadow Primer Potion, love it - my eyeshadow didn't move an inch all day which I believe is down to the quality and pigment of the shades and of course the use of the primer.

 I admit that I'm the kind of girl who wears striking eyeshadow during the day and doesn't change much for nights out, but hey my eyes deserve a dressing up daily!
I always wear three different colours, which match a part of my outfit (here my purple cardigan was inspiration) and move up towards my brown dark to light. The three shadows here are 'Flash' on my lid, 'Midnight Cowboy Rides Again' in the crease and then 'Vzi' on my brow bone. Team that with layers of Lancome 'Doll Eyes' and Benefit 'They're Real' mascaras, Soap & Glory eyeliner and that was the first Urban Decay look I created for myself. What do you think?

Urban Decay concessions can be found in House of Fraser and Debenhams stores nationwide and online.


If I Were a Rich Girl #2

Fibre Lash (Boots), Purse (Lipsy), Shorts (Topshop),
Nail Polish (Deborah Lippmann), Doughnut trinket box (Dotcomgiftshop),
UGGS (Schuh), Card Holder (Cath Kidston), Hair Tie (New Look)
This week's want list: I rediscovered my love for Lipsy whilst I was shopping in Next today and bought a BlackBerry cover and then espied the purse (big want!). The shorts featured in my last post, something I am keen to try on when I venture into Topshop to decide on fit, I really hope they're as lovely on as they look online. UGG boots are the Bailey Tan Button style, I really want a real pair of UGGs, my Primark pairs are slowly dying on me :( More nail polish, pretty pink and glittery (shame I spent all my money last week! Gutted.) The doughnut is a little trinket pot, I think it's cute, no idea what I'd use it for though. Really need to place another Cath Kidston order, this little wallet would be perfect for my railcard and would get rid of the boring navy blue plastic holder it currently sits in (no so chic and stylish!). The hair tie I thought was cute and would be a fab addition to my hair accessories collection. Finally the Fibre Lash packet is approx £35 in Boots and apparently it's just like wearing false lashes, only the lashes are brushed on mascara stylie, desperate to try this out!

Party Planning

Everything here can be found at Topshop.com.
I thought I'd stretch my creativity a little bit and attempt to make an outfit post and I'm pleased with the result - this is something that I would indeed consider wearing on a night out and if funds allow then, Hello Birthday Night Outfit!
(The handcuff earrings are a little piece of fun because I'm a Criminologist!)
Now pass me the diet shaker so I can get going with making this outfit possible...


If I Were a Rich Girl #1

Skull Earrings, Deborah Lippmann Glitter In The AirShu Uemura Eyelash CurlerBunny Jumper
Ted Baker KassadyNars Orgasm Blush 

I have decided to begin a new feature for 2012, and I'm calling it 'If I Were a Rich Girl'. These are the 6 things I currently need in my life (I say need, more of a want!). And if I can aim to only buy myself one thing a week as per the money saving goal of 2012 then I'll be happy, budget's a go go...

Cute Little Paperchase Find.

One of my goals for 2012 is to better myself in body and mind and I thought I might as well start from the inside out. So far my eating habits haven't changed significantly, we're eating all the leftover goodies from Christmas in the cupboards, and I am still at home (not at uni) so I can't embark on anything too drastic yet. But I believe in having all the right tools for the job and this is how I ended up looking for a sort of lunchbox/container to store snacks and salad in while I am at work or in lectures.
I ventured into Paperchase yesterday because I absolutely love their amazing stationary and gift ideas from each little collection that they create. My favourite collection at the moment has cute little cupcakes and cake on it and I spotted these wonderfully adorable tubs that I can put snacks into whilst I am out at uni. Just what I was looking for!

 They retail at £7 for four tubs and they're all descend or ascend (however you want to look at it) in size to stack inside each other so you can store them neatly in a kitchen cupboard.
I absolutely love the designs on the lids, the gum drops are so cute and everything has a cheeky little face drawn on. They may be marketed at those of a younger age but I think they're perfect for what I want them to do, and certainly add a little bit of fun into my book bag for uni!

Available from Paperchase here.


Deborah Lippmann - Happy Birthday

When GlossyBox sent me a Deborah Lippmann mini polish in their December box I loved the colour and thought it was entirely apt for the Festive party season. I didn't really think any more of the brand until I  espied it in House of Fraser today amongst the Xen-Tan and the Rituals bath products and there, right in front of me was a great many shades for me to road test, and being the girl who gravitates towards anything metallic, glittery or pink, naturally I had to have it! And I honestly have only one word for this nail polish and that is 'Ahh-mazing'.

I love the glitter, how it's all different colours and sizes. Lippmann's website names it a 'party in a bottle' and it certainly is. The name and all of the colours together certainly remind me of the fun birthday parties I have attended in my years, and of course I can't specifically reserve this polish for birthday's as it's just too pretty.

I applied it straight onto my naked nails (too excited for a base coat at the moment!) and there you have the party from the bottle and onto my fingers. It's the sort of polish that you can match to someone's personality, the fun, happy outgoing kind of person who likes to be a bit out there and noticed. I believe I embody some of these traits, especially when I wear nail shades or effects that people comment on and notice.

The only qualm I have with this is the price. I paid £16 for this pretty polish in House of Fraser (yes, I'll be the first to admit it was an impulse buy but the more I look at my nails, the more I fall in love with the glitter!). Lippmann's website here sells bottles for $18 a piece which is roughly £11.50. Why must they push the prices up!?

You can purchase 'Happy Birthday' from House of Fraser online, here.

Goals for 2012

Happy New Year everyone!
Sometimes I hate the word resolution because it implies that I have to either wholly commit or not wholly commit to a certain list of particular things I wish to change at the beginning of each new year. So these are my goals for 2012, because I'll feel a whole lot more achieved and successful when I can cross each goal off the very long list I have created for myself (I like lists far too much!).

Goals for my body
  1. Floss once a day and brush teeth which whitening toothpaste twice daily ( I need to get into the proper whitening routine!)
  2. Use Bio Oil and Cocoa Butter religiously until all stretch marks have faded and disappeared.
  3. Drink more water
  4. Smooth over the bottom of my feet.
  5. Eat nothing at work, until I get to Florida and sample their McDonald's! 
  6. Go Swimming.
  7. Get down to ideal weight - no more flab! (i.e lose around 90lbs.)
  8. Make meal plans for when I'm at uni (healthy is the name of the game).
Goals for Uni
  1. Complete all Summative assignments in good time and to a high standard.
  2. Attend all lectures and seminars (remind self that fresh air at 8am is good!).
  3. Revise for and complete all exams with a 2:1 or a 1st.
  4. Create a weekly budget and stick to it.
  5. Walk home from lectures instead of taking the bus.
  6. Read more.
  7. Copy up lecture notes straight after each class.
  8. Pass the BSM (for work).
Shopping Goals
  1. Get a real pair of Uggs.
  2. Have a mini spree in Victoria's Secret in Florida.
  3. Get Daisy Eau so Fresh perfume.
  4. Buy more high end make-up, including getting familiar with MAC and NARS properly.
  5. Buy a whole outfit in Topshop.
  6. Get a Naked or Naked 2 palette.
  7. Invest in some Shu Uemura eyelash curlers.
  8. Buy a bikini from Jack Wills.
  9. Get a Cath Kidston bag.
  10. Invest in more high end nail polish - grow my OPI and Ciate collection.
Fun Goals
  1. Buy a scratch card and win on it.
  2. Have a perfectly wonderful time in Florida.
  3. Update phone contract.
  4. Work hard and play hard at the Olympics.
  5. Fit into the Topshop pansy skirt in my wardrobe.
  6. Wear my A&F and Armani shorts again.
  7. Replace entire underwear collection.
  8. Dye hair.
  9. Wear a pair of heels.
  10. Get another tattoo.
So there we have my version of my new year's resolutions. Let's hope this year will be good to me and that I can achieve lots of them! 
What are your goals for 2012?