Tuesday 22 December 2015

What's Been On My Feet: December

Like most girls I love shoes of all varieties but especially (and predictably) heels. I used to be the kind of gal who would go to Sainburys in her best shoes, because why waste them on a night out - these babies need the light of day to shine! I stopped wearing heels so often a few years ago and I don't really know why. Maybe it was the impending doom of getting older and turning into the kind of girl who's feet feel toeless after an hour in sky scrapers (which FYI I totally am), but I never stopped lusting after stiletto stunners.

I feel 99% of you will know what I mean as you read the next few words: Carrie. Bradshaw. Blue. Bridal. Manolo. Blahniks. Cue instant wedding daydreams of these beauties on your feet.  Since the moment I saw these bad boys I knew I needed them; so when I came across a snazzy Dune dupe on Instagram I had to have them!

The 'Breanna', from Dune, are these gorgeous beasts which I got in the Black Friday sale. Although they aren't and will never be the Manolo's my heart bleeds for they are a pretty spectacular copy. They did come in many different colours and styles but unfortunately have largely sold out. Reduced from £89 to £44 they were a complete steal! Check out the link; there are still some sizes and styles left.

Although I am more of a suede/leopard print pump kind of girl I do love my Vans and Converse. I have long been a fan of the sky blue Vans but was given these ruby ones for my birthday a few years ago and have only just clawed them out from the back of my wardrobe. To be honest I wasn't entirely sure if the red ones suited me, I've had the blue version since I first invested but I am so glad I brought them out.

I've worn them so much in the last few weeks - I have even forgiven them for the monstrous blister they gave me on the first day I wore them. I have been blessed with the kind of heels that blister as soon as new shoes are put on. Lucky me. Nevertheless they have become my go-to flats for December as it has finally got a bit too chilly for my ballet flats. Schuh and Office both stock a really great variety of Vans which are totally worth checking out. 

Lastly, I bought these scarlet heels in a flurry of realising I hadn't had a shiny new pair of stilts in a very long time. I cruised all of my favourite high street stores and couldn't find anything I was willing to part with my cash for until I found these. Also available in taupe (which I am still lusting after) they are so chic and comfortable for longer than they appear.

I love the asymmetric upper which differentiates them from your standard festive footwear. I wore them out for a relatively messy night out and of course they were pretty filthy by the time I got home. How does that even happen?? But they came up good as new after a scrub with an old, damp toothbrush.

The only thing I would change about them would be the amount of toe cleavage they present. I know it's a huge pet peeve for lots of gals but I love it and none of my favourite shoes would have gained their status without it! A little more TC and they would be perfect!

What have you been wearing on your feet this month?

Saturday 12 December 2015

Winter Favourites

I'm starting my Winter favourites early because I have so much to share! Despite the last few weeks being totally grim so much has made me smile. And it's not just because I am going home for two whole weeks for Christmas - excited doesn't even scratch the surface!


My most favourite Winter favourite is the newest addition to our family - Clemmie Stephanie Gallagher. We adopted her from the Gildersome Cats Protection in early November.  She had lived previously with an elderly man who was unable to care for her full time anymore. Our 8 year old baby is the most gorgeous girl and so affectionate, she just wants to be loved all day.

Who could resist her soupy face! (Prepare for a cute cat pic overload)

Olympus Pen E-PL7

I have wanted a proper camera for so many years but never actually got round to devoting a couple of hundred pounds to one. I had a problem because I wanted one which would produce excellent quality pics, was easy to use, carry around and wasn't just big and clunky. I came across the Olympus Pen E-PL7 earlier in the year and totally set my heart on it. When Black Friday came around I was poised and managed to wangle it for £100 off. It's not exactly an ABC guide in terms of ease of use but like all techy products after a play around you get the gist of it. I particularly love the app which makes it a total dream to import pics to your phone and take shots via remote control (your phone). Definitely recommended!

Apricot HBT Nails

I've been going to Apricot for almost two years now and I can say with confidence it is the best salon I have been to in Leeds. I've tried so many and been disappointed by the quality of service, ridiculous prices or poor practice.  Some would say I'm fussy, but I'm just particular - I know what I want! I get my nails (gels), waxes and hair cut here and the girls are so lovely and know what they are doing. Prices are fair and they even have a new loyalty scheme where you can claim back a free hair cut or set of gels - AMAZIN! Excuse the two week growth...

Dune Heels

I'll not go into too much detail about these little beauties because they totally speak for themselves. Another Black Friday purchase and I managed to get them for half price! I'll be talking about them further next week so for now I'll just leave this here...

New Layouts

If you have been here before you might notice I have a new blog design.  I bought it on Etsy and I am totally in love.  I was never happy with the layout and design of my previous blog, it just looked a bit shit.  In my new layout you can view posts by category which makes it so much easier to find specific posts - I've also added a search bar if you are looking for something particular. I hope you like my new design even just a bit as much as me, let me know what you think!

Christmas Tree

To end on a festive note one of my absolute favourite things of this month has been putting up my Christmas tree. I've been pining after a real tree for years and finally had the opportunity to get one. After supreme jealous of my bezzies real tree last year I was on a mission to collect decorations for my tree.  I had been counting down the days to decorate it and am absolutely in love!

What ever you are doing this Christmas have a beautiful one!

Friday 7 August 2015

Kiko Cosmetics Review

So, first's things first's an apology is in order. Despite thinking about my blog every day I have been crazy busy over the past few weeks and haven't got round to writing ANYTHING! With moving house, decorating, unpacking, starting a new job and not having internet for a couple of weeks I actually think I haven't done so bad in taking as long as I have!

I suppose what comes with a being a blogger is the acceptance of other people who put their lives online. No depth is to be taken by that sentence - what I really mean is how easy influenced I am by other bloggers recommendations. I once heard a blogger say that Clearasil Clean and Clear scrubbed on once a day for a week would remove the pinky dots that plague my legs. And what did I do? Go straight into town to buy it! And did it work? No. But I don't often let this put me off. Bloggers are famed for their honesty and what works for some doesn't always work for others, and as we all know beauty is often times purely trial and error!

For example literally nothing does as much for my eyelashes as Diorshow Iconic, whereas most are more than satisfied with their Maybelline bezzie. Cutting a long story short, I heard a YouTuber talking about Kiko Cosmetics and naturally my interest was piqued.

Cue a few weeks later and in a mad rush in town getting lunch for a few people in the office I ended up right across the street from the Kiko Cosmetics store showcasing a very enticing 50% sale. Naturally, as soon as I went home I was on their website browsing for the next best thing.

The website is easy to navigate and being the savvy shopper I am (lololol) I stuck to the sale section.  Partly because as a MAC lover for life I didn't want to waste money on products I would never use and also in part because I am still stuck in the mindset of being a student - despite the fact my beady eyes are firmly set on an Olympus Pen E-PL7. 

Being pessimistic I'll start with the baddies. Firstly, I didn't realise that there was a minimum order value. Usually this isn't a problem for me (...) but seeing as I was firmly in the sale section I encountered a problem when I came to check out. The minimum order value is £25 which I personally think is enormous considering it is a brand which I would consider to be on the lower end of the economic spectrum.  

Regardless, I persevered and ended up with this delicious hollowed flat topped brush to bump up my total. I've been using it for foundation and cream contouring and to be honest, for £15.90, it has definitely been worth it. 

Secondly, the products took so long to arrive I had genuinely forgotten I had ordered. When I went to the Post Office to collect my parcel I totally intrigued to see what my secret admirer (Kiko) had sent me.

I couldn't resist this violet face primer when I came across it on the site. It's valued at £1.90 at the moment but I am sure it was something ridiculous like 70p when I bought it. To be entirely honest I'm not sure how much I rate this product, it has the desired tacky feel once applied but I'm not convinced it keeps my make up on for any longer.

Seeing as I bought some of the loose pigments I thought I should check out their Mixing Solution valued at £1.90. Put a tiny, tiny drop of this onto your brush then apply the pigments and you will be surprised at the depth of colour you can achieve. I really rate this product, I think it is really worth checking out!

Being a neutrals lover I was obviously going to go for Cocoa and Light Taupe (£2.90) in the loose pigments department. I am infinitely more impressed with Light Taupe, it is like literal moon dust. The colours are strong, but without the mixing solution they don't have the staying power to last a whole day at work.

The desire to add a filter on to my pasty hand pic almost overwhelmed me, but in dedicated blogger fashion I kept true to the original image!

The picture to follow shows the colours blended; top is Cocoa on it's own, middle shows the pair blended and the bottom shade is Light Taupe. The colours have much more of a shimmer in real life, but until I get my Olympus Pen my iPhone pictures will have to suffice!

The above shows the pigments with the mixing solution - how much of a difference does it make?!

Saving the best until last, I am introducing you to my new best friend. Beam of Light highlighter in Sand. I cannot get enough of this beauty - it is super long wear and holds the most gorgeous glow, at £5 it is a total steal.  I have been using this with my EcoTools blush brush which has the perfect fluffy texture for highlighter. 

Overall, I definitely think Kiko Cosmetics is worth a look.  I have totally fallen for some of their products, but there is so much more to be seen. Let me know what your experiences have been I would love to know!

Saturday 23 May 2015

Home Sweet Home

If you have read my most recent blogs you will probably be aware of our latest purchase - our first home!

Our new house has the bones of a cosy first home but the interior was awful. Think dark grey carpets, busy printed wallpaper and orange walls. There is barely anything I want to keep, but that's what makes it so exciting!

For months and months my brain has been buzzing with interior ideas, my Pinterest boards have expanded and now we can finally get cracking. Luckily for me, Ciaran is happy for me to decorate our home how I want so there hasn't been any beef..yet!

There is so much we want to do to our new home before we move in on 1st July. First on our list is to steam off all of the wallpaper. God only knows why the previous owners wallpapered a thousand layers of paper on top of each other but it is an utter pain to remove. There is basically 80 years of wallpaper intermingled with layers of paint. If I never see wallpaper again in my life I will be so pleased. 

On our first day in the house we ripped up the carpet in our new bedroom and found this gorgeous wooden floor underneath. It's pretty much filthy and paint splatted in places so in a few weeks we plan to borrow a sander and sort the floor out!

Note the copious amounts of wallpaper allover the floor - believe me when I say this is minor! We so far have filled 7 bin bags of wallpaper and the stairs still look like this...

Our kitchen seems to have been recently fitted and has soft close cabinets which I love. One of my favourite parts is the vertical pull out drawer beside the oven - perfect for herbs and spices.

The kitchen is long and narrow and has two build in cupboards that hooked me instantly when we viewed the house. One will be perfect for coats & bags and the other is crying out for some shelves to give all of my little bowls a home!

To  be honest, I don't like to counter tops or the floor in here. They are too dark and I would rather have more natural browns - a good replacement for this floor would be something like this but we will have to put this on the back foot for now, there are more important things to be done!

Diverging from our new home, I have come back to my home home. I flew back last night and as is our ritual for Saturday lunchtimes at home we took a trip to Picnic in Killyleagh. If you don't happen to know this absolute gem, it is my favourite deli cafe and serves the most delicious meals. It is on the pricey side of a cafe lunch but 100% worth it.

Today I got some corn cakes to take away and heated them up at home. They kindly packed me in some chilli jam, amazing coleslaw and my favourite smoothie of all time - non dairy strawberry, mango and passion fruit.

Lunch was eaten in the garden under the sun and joined by the pugly angel Betty and my freshly engaged best friend's gorgeous Springador pup, Annie.

Wednesday 13 May 2015

May IKEA Haul

So, if you haven't already guessed the big secret I was too scared to say out loud for fear of jinxing it is that my boyfriend and I have bought a house and I literally couldn't be more excited!

That's not to say that I'm not worried about the impending doom of mortgage repayments, insurance, maintenance costs and stuff because I totally am, but of course I'm doing what any sensible girl would do and getting totally carried away with Pinterest-worthy redecorating dreams!

I've already decided on colour schemes and have it all planned out in my head. Over the last few years I have been collecting beautiful homeware and I am so excited to finally have my own home for them all to live in. 

Obviously a trip to IKEA was on the cards (likely to be one of many) so I trotted off a few weekends ago so buy some more bits for my new home. At this point you're probably wondering why I wasn't heading to a DIY store to buy some actual essentials but IKEA WAS MORE IMPORTANT, OKAY?!

If you have read my blog before, or even been within a 3 metres of me, you will probably know how much I love prints, paintings and particularly the excitement of getting something framed. BTW if you live in Leeds I would totally recommend The Picture Framer in Burley. Believe me when I say I have tried out so many in my area and this shop is vastly superior. You will be hard pressed to find a quality framers at a super cheap rate but The Picture Framer is very competitive and there is a dog that works in the shop too - pretty much grabbed my custom there and then!

I picked this print and frame up separately in IKEA on my last trip. I chose white because I wanted a really fresh and bright frame for my new kitchen. I love the flying fish and can't wait to hang this one.

The frame was £15 and the print £9 - absolute bloody bargain for a 50x50cm!

During my trip to South Africa in March I bought some genuinely beautiful spoons - sweeping statement I know for some spoons, but if you saw them you would agree - and I have been keeping an eye out for some equally lovely tins for tea, coffee and sugar. Maybe I'm too fussy but I actually couldn't find anything I liked until I saw these beauties. IKEA again reigns supreme, coming in at £3.50 for the set.

You may have noticed I love taking Instagramming the life out of things and when I saw this adorable jug/vase at £7.50 and faux milk bottle at A SINGLE POUND I couldn't resist snapping them up. I love the quaintness of them both - you will definitely be seeing these bad boys again! 

My next purchases were these two stripey plant pots from the Garden section of IKEA. At Easter when I had gone home I dropped into my favourite shop in Northern Ireland - The Cheshire Cat and Trio. My gorgeous Mum's shops have been a familiar fixture in Hillsborough for many years and I found the beautiful bird pot in there.

I can't find it on the website but I am pretty sure the IKEA pots were £4 each!

My last blog worthy piece from IKEA is this genuinely beautiful faux sheepskin rug. I have already envisaged my new bedroom to be a soft grey marl colour with white furnishings so I thought this fuzzy friend would fit in nicely. I couldn't believe the price when I stumbled across it in store it was only £10! Totally not thinking ahead I only bought one. I came home and was telling everyone about my new buys and realised as a bedside rug I would need two - total moron. The next morning I got up super early to make sure I got one before they sold out and ended up locked in IKEA jail (barriers put up half way around to stop you going further) because it was a Bank Holiday and not yet trading time. Buuttt, it was totally worth it and I know have a lovely matching pair. Giggity.

Last and especially not least is my new mirror. I've wanted a gorgeous wall mirror for ages and hadn't really found one I couldn't live without, but on a sofa buying mission in Halton I came across this great shop called Tailor Made Sofas and Chairs. I love the naked wood and initally thought how easy it would be to paint but I actually think I'm going to leave it in all its glory! This was a total steal for a 50x50cm(ish) mirror at £25.

If you soldiered through to the bottom of my excited ramblings thank you for reading. I hope you have enjoyed my totally non-essential but equally irresistible picks for this haul!

I have linked the products and shops where possible so please, for me, go out and bring something you love into your home!

Thursday 7 May 2015


I have to admit I have completely neglected by blog over the past year. Getting too wrapped up in my hectic job I haven't dedicated much time to writing content and tracking page views outside of work AND I'M SORRY! I want to get back on track and work harder to ensure I post regularly and keep filling this space with my musings, favourite eats and of course, my latest buys.

I am a fanatical blog reader (who else would get the top spot other than Hannah Gale) and YouTuber fangirl (I'm all about RawBeautyKristi) and all it does it make me feel guilty for not putting more time into bettering my own blog but being the ultimate procrastinator I haven't been as proactive as I plan to be.

I do though have some super exciting news. And to be extra annoying and superstitious I don't want to shout it from the rooftops until I have the keys in my hands. Slight hint there but I think that could count as jinx free, right? By this time next week it will be bursting out of me and a very excited blog post will be winging its way to you!

 We have just got back from dinner at The Liquorist on my fave road Greek Street in Leeds.  They haven't opened officially yet but seeing as my gorgeous best friend is the newest and sassiest Hostess in town she nabbed us some seats for their trial dinner, including a free cocktail each - I had my standard gin cocktail, the Bramble is unreal!

We went to the bar to claim our free cocktails and were invited to have a look around. The Liquorist used to be the Living Room, my Mum's first port of call as soon as she comes to Leeds, and has a completely different feel. Gone is the slick decor and in is an eclectic, shabby chic vibe  - totally relevant, modern and inviting to consumers;  it's an Instagrammer's dream!

Being utterly shit I left my phone at work and didn't manage to get any photos - that and also the sheer excitement of our food arriving knocked the thought out of my brain until I had finished and realised I had missed my chance to take some snaps! 

The boys and I had: 

  • A fillet steak and the twice baked sour cream and cheese potato
  • Crispy floured onions
  • A chicken and peppers hanging kebab with seasoned chips
  • A sirloin steak again with the twice baked potato
Because it was the trial night we picked our mains out of a raffle and were landed with the most delicious plates on the menu. Total win.

The Liquorist is absolutely not to be missed - the menu is varied and features plates to suit every taste and palate. They have done an excellent job on the refurb, the staff are friendly and the atmosphere is cool, cosy and totally relaxed. Perfect date night material!

If for some reason you aren't already completely won over you can check out the menu here but trust me - it won't disappoint!

Photographs courtesy of The Liqourist Leeds.