Friday, 30 January 2015

Home inspiration ~ grey & white

I love this quote by William Morris & I really wish I could apply it to my home as it's always just so crammed full of, well, just stuff.  I long to have a home where every single thing has a place to live, somewhere to be put away but you know, I have 3 children....and a just doesn't work!!  But this year I am determined to re-jig my house to make it work much better for everyone - but mainly me, so I don't want to cry in despair every time I look around!

I get severe Instagram & Pinterest envy looking at some of the beautiful homes around & even though for as long as I can remember, I've never liked white in the home as I've found it too cold, at the moment, I'm really loving it, especially when teamed with pale grey.  This sudden love of grey & white has really shocked me as I've always decorated in really warm earthy tones but after seeing some of the photos on t'internet, I've realised that this palette can also look cosy - and that I'm going to be re-decorating a lot this year......

Here's some of my favourite Pinterest looks at the moment.

Offtt, so lovely....

I've definitely decided to do Alfie's bedroom in grey with white & mustard accents but it won't be done until summer as one wall needs replastering.  The girls' bathroom needs updating too so I'm veering towards all white - although they really want godawful sparkly bright fuchsia pink & lime!  Erm, no sorry girls, that's just not going to happen!!

The whole exterior of our house has to be rendered this year in order to have the extension signed off & we've always said it would be white with pale grey cladding & front door so that's a good start!

What do you think of these colours?  Could you live with them or are you more a warm palette person?

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Book Club January 2015

I haven't posted my Book Club reviews for a few months so I must get back into it!  I'll start with the first one of 2015, The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton.  This was chosen by myself & another friend as it was Waterstones' Book of the Year for 2014 & it really piqued my interest!

Set in 17th century Amsterdam, it tells the story of 18 year-old Nella Oortman as she starts her new marriage with the wealthy merchant trader Johannes Brandt.  She arrives at his grand house to be received by his less-than-welcoming sister Marin, as Johannes is away on business.  On his return, he seems very cold towards her but she is appeased when he gives her a magnificent cabinet-sized replica of their home as a wedding gift.  Nella then employs the services of a talented, yet elusive  miniaturist to furnish the house with eerily accurate creations.

As Nella discovers the secrets of the miniaturist's replicas, she begins to understand what fate awaits all who live within the house.  It's very hard to talk about the story without giving away spoilers so I won't go in to too much detail in case anybody wants to read it but I really enjoyed this book.  It engaged me from the start with great characters, especially Marin & it's fair to say that there were a few shockers along the way!

However, there were a couple of bits in the book that annoyed me slightly.  I found the ending rather disappointing as it finished so abruptly, I felt like someone had removed the last chapter of the book as, in my opinion, there was more to tell.  Also, I was expecting this book to centre around The Miniaturist when in actual fact, she is mentioned very little.  This I found really frustrating as I needed to know her story too!!

Having said that, this book is still enchanting & full of suspense & I would highly recommend reading it.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

MAC ~ Brick-O-La

I put a photo of this on Instagram the other day & then realised I hadn't actually done a blog post on it, whoops!  We have here my favourite lipstick at the moment, Brick-O-La by MAC.

*Whoa, extreme close-up, scary!!!*

I picked this up on a total whim one day from the MAC counter within Harvey Nichols in Edinburgh & I adore it.  It's an amplified finish so it's creamy & very moisturising to wear.  Longevity is not fantastic if not worn with a lip liner but that's true of most lipsticks that are not 12-hour formulas so it's not a biggie.

I can only describe the colour as warm pink with a hint of terracotta to it, making it a very wearable shade.  I find myself wearing it a lot at the moment & it's already on my re-purchase list but I'm trying hard to eek it out until I can get to duty free in 6 weeks!!

It can (obviously!) be ordered direct from MAC online for £15.50 but if I can't get to a counter, I prefer to order via Debenhams so I can collect my Beauty Card points!!

Is anyone else a fan of MAC lipsticks?

Monday, 26 January 2015

Barry M ~ Showgirl Extra Volume Black Mascara

I've had this Barry M Showgirl mascara for a couple of months now as it was a 'gift with purchase' when I bought a couple of nail polishes (quelle surprise!)  So in the mad flourish of new mascara excitement, I tried it straight away but was less than impressed with it, hence the lack of post.  However, others may love the look of it so here goes!

First of all, it's by no means the worst mascara I've ever used (that one's coming up soon!) but it doesn't live up to it's name.....not by a long shot!  It's called Showgirl Extra Volume but I found it offered no extra volume whatsoever.   Yes, it's black & yes, you can tell I'm wearing it - just - but it just doesn't offer the va-va-voom I require in a mascara!  The above photo is with 2 coats so you can imagine how little was on the lashes with just one coat.

I've mentioned before that because I wear glasses, I like a mascara to give a bit of oomph otherwise my eyes disappear behind the lenses.  This to me is a very light coverage daytime mascara, very similar in fact to the Maybelline Great Lash that everyone raved about & I hated!! 

The wand is a medium sized tightly compacted bristle brush with very little 'give' to it so I found the application quite difficult.  The formula is not too bad on application to be fair but it does flake after a few hours.  This generally tends to indicate that the formula will dry up quite quickly.  I do love however, the pinky metal tube although it's quite heavy so not the most practical for travelling with.

This retails at £4.99, which is a decent price if you prefer a lighter mascara but I definitely won't be repurchasing, it will get passed on to one of my daughters!

Have you tried this?

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Wide leg trousers

Wide leg trousers

Wide leg trousers by fortytherapy 

I was reading one of Kat's posts over on the other day & she was talking about wide leg trousers & how they're going to be all around this season *punches the air in happiness!!*  I really do love WLT, I find them so comfortable & if the cut is right, very flattering on my shape.  She had listed a jersey pair from ASOS which I knew would be perfect for my upcoming trips to Marrakech & New York as they'd be comfortable enough to travel in but could be dressed up when needed.

However, I was having a mooch round town yesterday whilst my car was being MOTed (it passed, phew!) & popped in to Next where low & behold, they had a perfect pair of jersey WLT just in.  They're lovely soft, but thick jersey fabric with a tie belt over an elasticated waist & pockets & they fit like a glove.

So this afternoon I had a wee trying on session to see how I would wear them for travelling & then for going out in the evening thinking about the fact I've got to keep my packing to a minimum.  I kept my Converse on for both outfits as we'll more than likely still be out & about walking in the evenings but you could also swap them for dressier flat sandals for the evening.  I wouldn't personally wear them with heels as I think they look better with flats & also, I'd need another pair in a longer length for heels!

Apologies in advance for the grainy phone photos, I think I need to re-jig the settings a bit as my photos keep coming out dreadful at the moment!!  I've also taken them in my daughter's room as I can't get far enough away from my mirror in my room to get a full-length shot!!

The second photo is my ideal sort of outfit for travelling in as it's just so slouchy & apart from the laces on the Converse, very easy to slip on & off through customs.  In fact, I may just swap the Converse for my slip-on Skechers, which sadly don't look as good but are so bloody comfortable, it's like walking on marshmallows!! 

 I always take a scarf on plane journeys because even if I'm not cold (highly unlikely at the moment - hot flushes are back with a vengeance, hence the pink-faced photos!!) I can use it as a pillow.  Also, no makeup, just a really good hydrating serum, moisturiser & lip balm to stop my skin from drying out too much during the flights.

For evening, I'd chuck on the trousers with a simple fitted black t-shirt & my favourite leopard blazer, minimal makeup, slick of hydrating Revlon Lip butter in Candy Apple & that's me done & ready to go in 5 minutes!!

When I was making the board on Polyvore, I noticed that Next also do them in navy which I know I'm going to have to get too.  Are you a fan of the wide leg trouser?

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

NOTD China Glaze ~ Conduct Yourself

I haven't done a NOTD for quite a while so let me show you this polish I bought a couple of months back, Conduct Yourself by China Glaze.

(Sorry about the different sized photos, not quite sure what went wrong there?!)

This is my favourite & usual winter shade, deep & vampy but this one is pearlescent, which is not entirely evident from the photos though!  You can buy this shade here at Nail Polish Direct for only £3.95 - which is actually cheaper than I paid in my beauty wholesaler, grrrr!!  I've just found this website & I see they do free delivery too so I'll have to give it a whirl!

I'm a huge fan of China Glaze polishes & only ever use their Strong Adhesion base coat, which is amazing.  However, I'd like to try their Fast Forward top coat next as I currently use - and love - the blogger favourite, Seche Vite but on paper, this product offers the same thing.

Are you a fan of dark nails too?  I know Jenny over at is!!

Monday, 19 January 2015

Eateries - Taypark House, Dundee

So I thought it'd be fun to start a blog series with my favourite local places to eat & drink, you know, just in case anyone is ever in my neck of the woods!!  (She says trying to justify going out for breakfast once a week!!)  

Somehow, myself & my two good friends seem to be heading out for breakfast on a Monday morning now - not every single week, although it seems to be heading that way!  There are so many fabulous places near to us to choose from so I thought I'd start sharing them.  The place we visited this morning is totally new to all of us & was on a recommendation of my friend's sister-in-law & it is truly fabulous.  In fact, I think I'll go all out & say it's my new favourite eatery!

Welcome to Taypark House, Dundee.

Taypark House on the Perth Road is a former Scots Baronial home dating back to circa 1863 & is Category B Listed, isn't it just stunning?  There are several different rooms to eat & drink in, each with slightly different decor but equally as stunning.  The rooms are full of quirky decorative items & furniture & I have completely fallen in love with the place!  

I'm sorry about the 'toilet' photo but even those were fabulous!!  I appreciate that everywhere is fairly new & therefore spotlessly clean at the moment but I love the thoughtful touches of leaving a basket full of nappies & wipes & providing a comfortable tartan armchair in the bay window for breastfeeding mums.  Somebody has clearly done their research before doing this place up!

They have 4 suites on the first floor & 2 further rooms on the second floor boasting 180 degree views of the River Tay, which on a glorious day like today, would be stunning!  I noticed that they also do a supper club which I might have to investigate further for a certain upcoming birthday & you can hire rooms for private functions too.

We enjoyed a breakfast of pancakes, crispy bacon & maple syrup, which was divine & a total bargain at only £3.50!!  They serve Matthew Algie coffee, which I'm a huge fan of & we will most certainly be back soon.  We have to try out the lunch menu next!!

I found their menu on their Facebook page.

So, if you're ever in the vicinity of Dundee, I highly recommend a visit here, you'll not be disappointed!

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

What's in my bag?

I love these sort of posts as I'm such a curious nosey mare!  This was the topic today for the Instagram #JanuaryPhotoChallenge but I thought I'd share it on here for those of you not on IG.

A lot of posts like this consist of very neat & tidy bag contents.....well mine today was basically full of crap, crumpled up receipts & fluffy mints included!!

Today, I was using my lovely Nica bag that I bought in John Lewis last November.  When I carry a larger bag like this, I tend to chuck everything into my lift-out organiser from Primark, it's so handy!  In this, I always keep a notepad, pen, tape measure, tissues, paracetamol & mints - standard bag contents really!  My friends take the mickey out of me for carrying a tape measure but I can't tell you the times it's come in handy.  So much so that's it's falling to pieces!

My Cath Kidston pouch contains Kiehl's lip balm, Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream, Cath Kidston mini hand cream, plasters, my library card, a perfume sample & 4(why?) lipsticks (Revlon Lip Butter in Candy Apple, Clinique Chubby Stick mini in Super Strawberry, MAC Brick-O-La & Plumful)  

I've also got a sample pot of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Graphite that my friend had picked up for me the other day.  My new bar stools & bedside tables are going to get a hit of this!  Oh, and of course my phone (Samsung Galaxy S4 mini), my keys & my purse - which for some reason I forgot to add in the photo.

Please tell me I'm not the only person who has a stack of old receipts & fluffy sweets in their bag!!

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Favourite gowns of the Golden Globes 2015

I love awards season & eyeing up all of the stunning gowns on display!  Here are my picks from the Golden Globes 2015.

Amy Adams in Versace

Anna Kendrick in Monique Lhullier

Chrissy Teigan in Zuhair Murad

Christine Baranski in Zac Posen

Heidi Klum in Atelier Versace

Helen Mirren in Dolce & Gabbana

Jennifer Lopez in Zuhair Murad

Julianne Moore in Givenchy Couture

Kate Beckinsake in Elie Saab (my favourite designer ever, I adore his gowns!!)

Katie Holmes in Marchesa

Kelly Osborne in Georges Chakra

Lorde in Narciso Rodriguez

Naomi Watts in Gucci

Salma Hayek in Alexander McQueen

All such beautiful gowns (except for Lorde - I love masculine styling on women!) but I have to say, my favourite pick of the evening is Kelly Osborne.  I adore the shape, the caped sleeves, the jewelled neckline & the colour is divine - simply gorgeous, I LOVE it!!

Does anyone else like to 'gown watch' during awards season.....or am I just a huge saddo?!

Monday, 12 January 2015

New year, new blog

Just a quick one everyone but I'm having a wee re-jig of my blog so don't worry if it keeps changing every time you come on as I'm still tweaking it!  I fancied a change & seeing as I have a thing for grey at the moment, that's the new theme.

I'm hopefully going to be getting a new header too at some point - isn't it bizarre what makes you happy sometimes!

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