Sunday, 29 December 2013

New Year's Resolutions 2014



I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! Mine was very lovely, I arrived home from my aunt's yesterday after a very long four hours on the motorway. The days between Christmas and New Year are really quite odd aren't they? People aren't quite over Christmas but already planning for the New Year. I don't celebrate New Years Eve. It's too loud and busy for me, I'd much rather sit at home and watch a film with Figgy.

Last year I posted my resolutions, and I decided to do the same for this year. They aren't quite as detailed as before!

1. Make more of an effort with my appearance. I had this resolution last year, and I didn't stick to it. However, this year I'm planning on throwing out all my old jeans and the things I generally wear when I can't muster the motivation to put any effort into what I'm wearing.

2. Get into a skincare regime. I actually started this a couple of weeks ago, and my skin feels so much nicer. I even went out without foundation for the first time in eight years the other day. I am determined to stick to it.

3. Plan and organise my time. This is so I don't fall behind with my dissertation. I've really been struggling with my level of reading and work this year and I'd like to be able to stick to all my planned deadlines.

4. Get through my reading list! About five years ago I wrote down all the books I've ever planned on reading. I've read a few of them, but I really hope to make a dent in it this year.

5. Stop hoarding things I do not need. This is mainly referring to my book collection. I own several that I don't even like, let alone read, but I have a tendency to cling onto books. This year I will start parting with them, otherwise I'll be so buried in books that I'll be lost forever.

As you can see, there's nothing too major in there! A few years ago I told myself that I'd stop setting myself unrealistic goals as it only led to disappointment, so I try to set myself little things that I can work on. 

Personally, I will be very glad when 2013 is finally over. I've had some truly lovely moments, we adopted Figgy, had some incredibly wonderful days and I finished my second of year of university. However, this has been a difficult year for me. It still breaks my heart to think that I spent last New Year's Eve with Thomasina curled up on my lap while everybody else went to a party at a neighbours house, but on the other hand I'm glad Figgy is happy and safe with us. I'm hoping that we have a nicer 2014 than a 2013.

Next year will be quite a big year for me. I graduate, I turn 21 and my little sister finishes college and starts university. It will be full of changes!

I hope you all have an enjoyable start to 2014!

Friday, 13 December 2013

Update

This is just a quick little post to update you all on some minor changes that I'm making to this blog. Firstly, I've changed the url to custom domain. It's still a bit glitchy, and if it doesn't load I normally refresh the page a few times and it seems to load fine. Let me know if you have any issues with it  and I'll try and get it fixed. My old blog url should redirect here. Likewise, please let me know if new posts have stopped appearing on the Blogger Dashboard as there's no way for me to check! I've also altered the colour scheme of this blog. I liked the white background, but I'm definitely more comfortable with it being black. I may switch back at some point, I've not quite decided. It's very much a work in progress at the moment.

Finally, my blog now has a Facebook page for those of you who prefer that medium.

I finished university for Christmas recently so hopefully I will stop neglecting this blog as much I have been recently! You can all expect some Christmassy blog posts very soon!

I hope you all have a lovely weekend! Are any of you planning to go and see The Hobbit? I'm hopefully going to go next week, I'm excited but from the trailer they've deviated from the book quite a lot and I'm just hoping it's good changes! Let me know what you think to it if you do go!

Monday, 9 December 2013

Emerald Green Lucretia Choker by Dark Elegance Designs

I'm sure that if you've been reading this blog for quite some time, you've noticed that I adore jewellery. So, as you can imagine, when I was contacted by Rachel from Dark Elegance Designs a few weeks ago asking me if I would like to review one of their beautiful chokers, I jumped at the chance. I've actually been familiar with Dark Elegance Designs for quite some time, although I hadn't previously ordered anything from them (but I did have quite a few items on my wishlist!). I've trying to be good and not order any jewellery until after Christmas!

I chose the Lucretia choker in Emerald Green as it was always the choker I would look at whenever I browsed their website. I'm quite a fan of black and green jewellery at the moment and I was very excited for this to arrive.


The choker features a large bright green stone set in black lace, with a small silver cross suspended on thin draped silver chains. The green stone is set within a beautiful and detailed silver frame. It features a simple lobster claw clasp and can be worn from 13 to 15.5 inches. I wear it on its tightest and it fits me perfectly. I usually have to adapt chokers as my neck is quite small so I was pleasantly surprised.


This choker is incredibly beautiful. It's a perfect balance between detail and simplicity. In particular I love the colour of the stone, I couldn't quite capture just how beautiful it is. The colour looks wonderful against the black lace.  I recently bought a black off the shoulder velvet dress to wear at Christmas and this will match perfectly. I haven't included a full photo of myself wearing it as I've been ill for the past week and I am looking a bit worse for wear to say the least! I will absolutely upload some photos of me wearing it at a later date as it's just too lovely not to. My photos really do not do it justice.


I don't have anything negative to say about this choker. It's very sturdy and feels very well made. I can imagine it lasting an incredibly long time and I'm absolutely not concerned about it breaking on me any time soon!

Overall, I adore this choker. I do not own anything like this, and it's a wonderful addition to my jewellery collection. It's incredibly elegant and elaborate whilst remaining delicate. It's very beautiful. I will be wearing this at Christmas!

This choker costs £24.99 and you can purchase it from their website or Etsy page. Alternatively, you can also purchase it from The Gothic Shop. You can also follow Dark Elegance Designs on Facebook.

Disclosure: I was sent this to review.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Woodland Walks

Firstly, I'd like to apologise for completely neglecting this blog over the past few weeks! I've been incredibly busy with my degree, I had my first dissertation assignment deadline last week and my next assignment is due on the first week of December. I've been struggling to get all my reading done as well as keeping up with all my work and reading for my other modules. It has been hectic!

Fortunately, I have a reading week this week so I've been able to pull back some time. Yesterday I went for a walk for the first time in weeks. Some of you may remember Wollaton Hall from this post a few weeks ago. This time the hall was closed, so we just walked around the grounds and lake. It is definitely starting to get colder here, there's quite a biting chill to the wind at the moment! The quality of light was really odd; it had a grey tinge to it which felt very autumnal.


Strangely, the light for some reason didn't translate very well onto my photos; I have absolutely no idea why they are so green! Annoyingly, the photo below was taken on my phone with a really poor camera and yet it caught the light better than my camera.

I also took the walk as an opportunity to wear my beautiful new coat from The Gothic Shop. I bought a purple coat from Dorothy Perkins last year and it slowly fell apart. All the seams ripped and I ended up having to sew it up every week. I'd been searching for the perfect coat for weeks when I came across this one. I wouldn't usually order a coat online, but I was getting very cold and desperate and I thought it was worth the gamble. I'm so incredibly pleased with it, it's very cosy and fits perfectly (I'm a size 6-8 and ordered an extra small). It has a faux fur trim, collar and cuffs. It has a really nice shape to it, I don't like coats that are completely straight, it flicks out a little at the waist and accentuates my shape a little bit which is something I always look for in coats! Everybody else was complaining that it was cold but I was very toasty! I've worn it out in the rain and wind and it absolutely fine. It's very elegant. I didn't think I had quite enough to say to write a whole review of it, but it's just so lovely I couldn't not mention it!



I'm very pleased that autumn is slowly turning to winter. I love winter and I'm already looking forward to celebrating Christmas and decorating the house. This will be our first Christmas with Figgy and I'm dreading having to somehow keep her a safe distance from our tree to prevent any bauble casualties! I hope you are all having a wonderful week. I probably won't update again for quite a long time as I have quite a lot of work to get through!

Have you been anywhere interesting recently?

Disclosure: I bought the coat myself.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Birthdays, Broomsticks and Chocolate Frogs

October has finally crept up on us hasn't it? October is my favourite month. I detest September because I have to get used to going back to university and getting organised, whereas by October I've settled back in and reached a routine. This October has been particularly exciting. My little sister turned 18 last week (which made me feel incredibly old), and to celebrate we went to the Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studios in Leavesden with my two cousins. I fell in love with Harry Potter a few months ago thanks to my sister, who was horrified when we realised that it had somehow been nine years since I'd seen any of the films and more than ten years since I read the first books. I don't really watch films unless they happen to be on in the same room as me, or if I'm forced to watch them. I don't have any idea how I missed reading the books. I do remember reading The Chamber of Secrets but I was very little at the time and I can't remember much about it. I think it's safe to say that I missed out on quite a lot and I'm very grateful to my sister for sitting me down and making me re-watch the films I'd already seen and watch the ones I hadn't! I bought her The Philosopher's Stone book as a birthday present and I plan on borrowing it once she has read it!

Anyway, this is going to be an incredibly long, picture heavy post, so I'm adding a page break. I'm going to apologise in advance for the sheer number of photos. Between the four of us, we took over five hundred photographs, and two hundred of them were mine...

If you are planning on going on the tour and you want it to be a surprise, do not read this post!


Friday, 20 September 2013

Cold Chemistry Palette by Sugarpill

Firstly, I would like to apologise for neglecting this blog so much over the past few weeks! I start my final year of university very soon and it's all a bit hectic. I've also been looking into applying for my masters degree, and it's starting to get a little bit overwhelming. I can't believe I graduate next July!

Anyway, as I was looking through my mountain of draft blog posts (no exaggeration), I realised that it has been absolutely ages since I posted a review. I've not consciously decreased my number of review posts; I've just somehow gotten out of the habit of posting them.

So, I thought I'd get around to reviewing one of my most exciting make up purchases of the past few weeks, Sugarpill's Cold Chemistry palette. Sugarpill's shadows are by far the best I've ever used. I bought Poison Plum and Bulletproof a few months ago, and I use Bulletproof every single day. I'd seen a couple of blog posts featuring the Cold Chemistry shadows, and I was very intrigued. I was only planning on ordering a couple of them but I couldn't choose between them! In the end I ordered the palette from Cocktail Cosmetics for £24.95.



This palette is definitely interesting to look at. The design is very cool, and it has a magnetic closure. It also features a rather odd shaped mirror, which is fine for presentation purposes but it isn't really good for anything else. Surprisingly, the pans are the same size as Sugarpill's regular shadows, which means that they are very large and will last forever!



The Cold Chemistry palette features four eye shadows. I truly cannot praise Sugarpill's shadows highly enough. As I mentioned earlier, they are the best I've ever used. They are incredibly pigmented, apply easily and they are beautiful. You do have to use a very light hand with these as the smallest amount of shadow is more than enough, and they are very soft. I did get a little bit of fallout, but nothing too major.



Soot and Stars is a wonderful deep, dark grey with a lot of sparkle. I was expecting a lot of fallout with this one so I'm pleasantly surprised! A lot of glittery shadows apply very poorly (Beauty Marked by MAC springs to mind) but this one is fantastic.

Diamond Eyes is a frosty white. I actually don't own a decent white in my collection so I'm really pleased that I have this one! However, it is too pigmented to use as a highlighter in my opinion, but it is a nice lid shade.



Elemental Chaos is a lovely deep, frosted purple. It's a gorgeous colour, if you like purple you will adore this shade!

Subterranean is a dark smoky green, and my favourite shade in the palette. I love dark reds and greens in autumn and I'll be getting a lot of use out of this shade. My arm swatch does not do this shade justice at all.

I somehow managed to slip when applying these which is why Soot and Stars is so smudged!

Aside from the minor fallout, I don't have a bad word to say about this palette. While £24.95 is a lot of money for four shadows, the quality is excellent. You can also buy these shadows individually for £8.95.

This palette costs £24.95 and can be purchased from Cocktail Cosmetics or the Sugarpill website.

Have you tried any of Sugarpill's shadows?

Disclosure: I bought this palette myself.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

The world is more interesting in black and white.

I adore the end of summer. I like being able to go out for a walk without being too hot or too cold. I like that autumn is slowly beginning to peek through the sunshine, that summer is finally beginning to relent. Nothing beats hearing leaves crunching beneath your shoes and the lovely dark and quiet atmosphere that autumn has. In England we are lucky enough to not have an overwhelmingly hot summer, but I'm still glad when the leaves begin to turn that wonderful coppery red.

I think I go and visit places more in autumn. Summer is a time for crowds, and I much prefer the quiet. Of course, it is the school holidays here at the moment which means that everywhere is full, but it's nice to know that soon everywhere will be peaceful again. Today I decided that I would brave the crowds and go for a walk on Wollaton Park. It's the home of Wollaton Hall and Deer Park, although the deer were being very shy today and I couldn't get any pictures of them! I used to go here a lot when I was little. I distinctly remember being frightened and fascinated by all the taxidermy displays inside, and trying my absolute best to get as close to the deer as possible (they always ran away and I can't say I blame them). It's a beautiful place. Some of you may recognise it as Wayne Manor from The Dark Knight Rises.



Wollaton Hall was built around 1580 for Sir Francis Willoughby. It was built towards the end of Elizabethan period, so it contains some early Jacobean elements. The exterior of the house is magnificent. I particularly love the faces and gargoyles carved into the stone. I'm afraid that I didn't get many photographs of the interior. One day I will book to go on a guided tour and take a few more interesting ones!



For those of you interested in the paranormal, the house is said to be haunted by the Lady Middleton, in a room known as room 19 or the 'Prospect Room.' Unfortunately, you can only go in this room on guided tours. I imagine that the hall is very eerie at night!

My camera actually ran out of battery just as we were leaving the hall, which is a pity as the grounds are beautiful, and great for photography. I will definitely head back to take some photographs of the grounds and the lake as they are worth seeing! I am hoping to get some of the photographs of the exterior of the house framed as my room is lacking in decoration at the moment.

Have you been anywhere interesting recently?

Monday, 26 August 2013

Lime Crime Velvetines Lip Colour in Red Velvet

I'm not usually tempted by over-hyped products. I'm naturally very sceptical, and usually when something is hyped I'm more inclined to have doubts. However, if there's one product that I'm likely to give into, it's lipstick. Matte lipsticks in particular are a bit of a tricky business. Mainly because it's difficult to find one that doesn't dry out your lips and doesn't settle into your lines. I'd seen a lot of reviews of Lime Crime's Velvetines, and I was interested from the start. I was impressed by their other lipsticks so I thought I'd take the plunge and order Red Velvet.



Red Velvet comes in bright red packaging. The bottle has a frosted look, and like all Lime Crime products, it is very girly. It has a wand applicator. Personally I find the applicator a little too big for my lips, I seem to always have to go around the corners of my mouth with remover because the applicator is too large for me to apply it to the edges of my lips. Instead, I scoop the product off the applicator onto my lip brush.



This lipstick applies wet and dries to a completely matte, velvety texture. The texture is incredibly odd, and not something that I've come across before. The only way that I can think of to describe the texture is that it is almost like liquid powder. It dries very quickly, and it's incredibly pigmented. One swipe of the applicator is enough for my entire lips. It's a bold, classic red shade. I'm going to apologise for my lip swatch as it is all over the place!



One of the aspects that attracted me to this lipstick was its promise to be very long lasting. I wear lipstick on a daily basis, and when I'm at university/work they have to last all day because I don't really have an opportunity to touch up. I'm pleased to say that the reviews I'd read were true to their word as this lipstick lasts at least four hours on me before it begins to fade, including after eating/drinking. Unfortunately, I really dislike how it fades on me. Instead of the colour gradually fading, the product just seems to rub away in the middle of my lips, which is extremely noticeable and annoying. I also don't like applying this over the top when it has faded from the middle. Instead I have to take it off and reapply as I find it looks a bit odd when I touch it up. While this lasts long enough that I seldom need to do this, it isn't very practical for me. I don't think this is a universal problem though as none of the other reviews I have read has mentioned it, so it may just be me!

So, you'd think that this lipstick being pigmented and long lasting would mean that I would love it wouldn't you? Unfortunately, I don't and I don't quite know why. I am so desperate to love it and I've worn it on numerous occasions in an attempt to get accustomed to it, but it isn't working for me. I don't know if it's because the colour doesn't suit me or because I'm not used to a fully matte texture. I am going to keep it and try and wear it a few more times in attempt to learn to love it, but right now I can't see it happening. I think maybe the red is a bit too bright for me, and I'd prefer it if it were darker. I do however think that I would be very interested in a purple one if they ever bring one out!

Lime Crime Velvetines cost £11.50, and I bought mine from Love Make Up. You can also buy them from the Lime Crime website.

Have you tried any of these lipsticks? What did you think?

Disclosure: I purchased this lipstick myself.

Monday, 19 August 2013

William Shakespeare and Book of Shadows Necklaces by Restyle

As a self confessed bibliophile I have an incredibly weak spot for anything reminiscent of books. I frequently use the excuse of being an English student to buy all of these book related items, which means I've ended up with quite a collection of things that I don't really need, but I continue to buy them because I just can't help it. Restyle have been releasing quite a few collections of late, and their latest book shaped additions caught my eye immediately. I bought the Dark Poetry necklace a few months ago and I was looking forward to adding a few new pieces to my collection! I bought both of these from The Gothic Shop.


I purchased both the Book of Shadows and the William Shakespeare necklaces. I very nearly added the Grimm's Fairytales necklace to my basket but I somehow managed to convince myself that I didn't need all three of them! I was most excited about the William Shakespeare locket as I'm currently researching government and authority in Jacobean drama (mainly focusing on Shakespeare, Jonson and Middleton) for my dissertation and this necklace seemed very apt. I think I will always have a soft spot for Shakespeare!


Book of Shadows is intricately decorated with a cover that reminds me of a tombstone. It has a double clasp and features triquetra symbols in the upper corners of the cover. It has the first two stanzas of Edgar Allan Poe's 'Spirits of the Dead' engraved inside. The poem inside is small but readable, and the inside is just as decorative as the exterior.



The William Shakespeare necklace is equally as beautiful. The cover features a decorative border and purple stones adorn the corners. It has a single clasp. The interior features various works of Shakespeare including his tragedies, poems and apocrypha. I was surprised that such a big range of his work was included, as I was expecting only his plays to be listed! Like Book of Shadows, the text is small but distinguishable.



Surprisingly, the quality of these lockets far surpasses my Dark Poetry locket. The hinges feel stronger and the clasps a lot more sturdy, and the lockets are definitely weightier. My only real complaint about the Dark Poetry locket was that the hinge on the clasp felt flimsy and I am thrilled to see that this has been solved.  I was also pleased to see that the text is readable in both of these lockets as it was a shame that 'Haunted Palace' in Dark Poetry wasn't really distinguishable. The level of detail has increased too, as it continues into the interior of the lockets.

These are both wonderful pieces, and incredibly beautiful. I adore unique pieces, and these do not disappoint.

These lockets cost £13.50. You can purchase the William Shakespeare necklace here and Book of Shadows here. You can also buy these from the Restyle website.

Have you ordered anything from the new collections? I'm currently lusting over a couple of the green Vivian pieces!

Disclosure: I bought these necklaces myself.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

A Rainy OOTD

Remember how I said that I wouldn't be posting until I was back from Spain? Well, I'm all packed and organised, the house is clean, Figgy is settled in at the cattery and I have absolutely nothing else to do, which is a first for me considering I'm always the one who forgets something!

After looking at the current results on my poll, a lot of you surprisingly seemed to want more OOTD posts so I thought I'd update with a quick one. We're having really strange weather at the moment, it's hot but pouring with rain so I tried to dress in a way that I wouldn't look silly walking around in the rain but I'd be cool too!

I normally take outfit photos in my kitchen, but the power is out in that room so the lights are out and I can't seem to fix it. The only other room is the living room which is decorated with my parents' appalling taste in art and the yellow wallpaper makes everything in the room look yellow, so apologises for the photo quality! I have used a filter to try and correct the colour a bit but I think it may have made it worse! It's a little blurry as I used my phone to take it.



Top - Ebay
Skirt - Vixxsin at Attitude Clothing
Tights - The Gothic Shop
Boots - Dr Martens
Lipstick - OCC Lip Tar in Black Dahlia
Necklace - Alchemy Gothic Bat Necklace from The Gothic Shop

I would usually wear my high boots with this outfit, but the grass is quite muddy and I didn't want to ruin them! The necklace I'm wearing is my current favourite. I think I've worn it every day since I bought it!


This will definitely be my last update before I leave for Spain. My flight is in the early hours of tomorrow morning and I'm dreading having to be up and around before it's light. I will be back on the August 15th. I may or not be able to reply to comments during that time, I'm still not sure if we'll have internet or not.

I hope you all have a lovely week! Are you going anywhere on holiday this year?

Disclosure: I bought everything in this post myself.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Box of Treasures

As some of you may have noticed from reading this blog, I have acquired a jewellery collecting problem, which has caused my collection to expand... I have suddenly ended up with quite a few pieces and nowhere to store them. And considering that I found my Alchemy Gothic Passion necklace stuffed down the side of the printer yesterday, it was a problem that needed a solution. I'd been thinking about buying a larger jewellery box for a long time. I was using a small cardboard jewellery box that was overflowing, and it reached a point where I was just selecting the necklace at the top of the pile because it was too much effort to untangle everything to get to the bottom. Plus I couldn't close the lid so it wasn't very attractive!

I've always had a thing for jewellery boxes, and I can see me keeping this one for a very long time. My Nanna used to have a little jewellery box that she'd had for years, and she always used to let me play with it when I was small. I used to spend ages looking through all of her pieces (she had quite an extravagant taste in jewellery) and it used to fascinate me. Being allowed to look through it always like a responsibility and I always felt honoured that she would let me go through her things. Looking back it's probably where my love of jewellery comes from!


I was walking home from work the over day and I passed one of the very few alternative shops in my area, and they had a gorgeous purple lined jewellery box in the window. I went in and enquired about it and they mentioned that they also had a larger one in stock that was red velvet lined instead of purple. They very kindly went and searched for it, and I fell in love.


It has little elephants on the front, with an almost unnoticeable hinge on the side that allows you to lock it with a padlock. It has a beautiful floral border around the edges that continues down onto the spine, which reminds me of a closed book. Inside, it has a red velvet lining and a small mirror, and pull out compartments. It's quite large when you pull everything out! I'm glad that I went for the larger of the two boxes, as it's still a little snug with my jewellery packed into it! My only little complaint is that it has a small dent in the top, but aside from that it's a beautiful box. It must have been out in the shop for a long time because it smells quite strongly of incense! It's a lovely box and I hope it will last for a very long time!


This may or may not be my last post for awhile. I go to Spain for two weeks on Wednesday, and I get back on the 15th. I will hopefully have some holiday photos to post when I get back, depending on whether or not I do anything interesting! I don't know if I'll be able to reply to comments during that time, but I might be on Instagram (depending on whether or not I have internet). I'd also like to thank everyone who had voted on my poll so far, it's a great help, and quite surprising! I've extended it until I get home. I'll definitely think of doing more outfit posts since so many of you voted for them!

I hope you all have a lovely weekend!
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