Moving House and The Ideal Home Show 2014

Its that time of year again!  Where I drop everything, take the day off and saunter off to Earls Court to take in a whirlwind day of interiors, food, drink, make-up and nick nacks.  You’ve guessed it, it’s the Ideal Home Show.  One of the reasons it was so important for me to head to the Ideal Home this year is because I’m moving house!  Therefore, it was absolutely essential to pick up some great interior ideas.  (And now – I’ve lived with boyfriend for 10 months and he’s finally come round to my taste!  No more tartan!)

Being quite the regular (you can see a post on a previous visit here:

https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/the-ideal-home-show/)

I know what I like, where to go and most importantly when to go.  I.e., you must lightly jog to the show homes at 10.02am to avoid 3 hour queues.  Here’s some snaps of the day:

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The amazing entrance!

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I absolutely loved this two tone wallpaper, almost dip-dye style.  I think its a design that would like great on a feature wall (I’m maybe thinking of this for my bathroom in a red), because it gives you that colour without being too bold or overpowering.

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We’ve got a lovely little alcove wall like these in our new living room, so we’ve decided to fill it with some feature wallpaper to make it really stand out.  I love this library look, but not the entire ensemble of the pictured room.  Whilst I like some elements of Scandi design, the whole wood, burning fire place and off greys is a bit much for me.  But hey, that’s my taste!

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I really like the idea of having that shelving above the bed.  I’ve invested in an incredible 5 foot head board that will really draw the eye to the bed, which is of course, the main focus of the bedroom.  We’ve expecting storage to be a slight issue in our new abode, so a shelf across the top of the bed could really help.  You can display treasured items like in this picture (which I’m sure I’ll have a few of!) or have it as more functional storage, with pretty and colourful boxes perhaps.  A great idea.

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This is just incredible, I love it.  Its by an artist called JJ Adams, and I’m seriously considering purchasing it.  We’ve got a great wall space in our kitchen where we could really do with some amazing art.  And well this, this pretty much fits that bill!

So there you have it!  I’m moving house (so apologies in advance if I’m a bit AWOL with internet problems etc.) and the Ideal Home Show!  Ta-ta.

 

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February Verbs

What a month!  I’ve been so bogged down by assignments I’ve barely had a moment to check my emails let alone blog!  How are we all?  This month I’ve mainly been working, but my load has freed up a bit now so I can sit down with a cuppa and say ‘Ahhh’.  Here’s what I’ve been up to this month:

Watching: Jonathan Creek

Or J Creek as I’ve affectionately nicknamed it.  This utter beauty appeared to me on Netflix in a moment of pure genius, and I haven’t looked back.  I’ve watched every episode since 1997, and am almost squealing with excitement at the return to our screens tomorrow night (FYI BBC1 at 9pm, Friday 28th February 2014).  Alan Davies makes me all giddy, I love the format, it makes me giggle and it’s so ridiculous it’s just excellent.

J Creek

J Creek

Reading: Ideal Home Magazine

I’m in the process of collecting different colours and patterns to create a decopauge of a very plain and boring wooden mirror.  So instead of cutting up my monthly mag and popping it into my scrapbook, the vast array of wallpaper samples, paints and cushion covers will be appearing via decopauge on my new mirror.  I’ll let you see the outcome soon!

Ideal Home Magazine

Ideal Home Magazine

Listening To: Clean Bandit

Everyone’s heard ‘Rather Be’, but not everyone has heard their full Spotify set list.  Well I encourage you to, now!  It’s no secret I love a bit of classical music, and this album combines classical with the electronic genre to create something quite wonderful.  Most definitely worth a listen.

Clean Bandit

Clean Bandit

Wearing on my body: New Henry Holland coat

I bought my new Henry Holland beauty in the Debenhams sale and absolutely love it!  It’s the perfect coat to see me through this in between weather, when it’s too warm for a winter coat, but too cold for a jacket.  I love the different detailing and its waist clinching abilities work well for my figure.

Henry Holland at Debenhams Coat

Henry Holland at Debenhams Coat

Wearing on my face: Estee Lauder Mascara

I got this mascara as part of my Boxing Day present (an amazing box of Estee Lauder make up goodies).  It’s taken me a few months to get used to it because it’s so different to any other mascara I’ve used.  The wand is much larger than average meaning it can form clumps quicker and faster, which you have to work through with the wand.  Meaning it’s a bit of extra faf, but the finished result is amazing with long, clean and separated lashes.

Estee Lauder Mascara

Estee Lauder Mascara

Eating: Soup

I first received a ‘Soup’ recipe book for my birthday last year, but its only in the last few months I’ve really got into it.  I make it fresh with stock and any veg I’ve got, buy it fresh from the supermarket, or have tins at least once a day, every day.  Whilst some people hate pureed food, I find soup is tasty, eases digestion and is a great healthy and filling meal, perfect for lunch time.

The Soup Book

The Soup Book

Drinking: Wine

After my January stint, my favourite poison of white wine has reappeared as a firm favourite in the liquid stakes.  I’ve had some glorious ladies lunches with white wine, some beautiful food or a quiet evening in.  The perfect accompaniment to my February!

White Wine

White Wine

What have you been doing this February?

 

Berlin Baby

Apologies for not blogging in a week or so, the reason being … I’ve been in Berlin!  It was first and foremost a University field trip for my course, but I still had a fantastic time and met some beautiful new people.  Snaps and stories: (Go left to right, kinda like a book)

 

From left to right like pages:

  • Victoria Park: a beautiful monument up the highest hill in Berlin
  • The Fernsehrturn (TV Tower), the tallest building in the EU that you can go up and look across Berlin
  • CURRYWURST.  One of the best inventions ever.  It is so tasty, I’m looking into making it
  • Part of the Reichstag with the German Flag (the equivalent of the Houses of Parliament)
  • Part of the Berlin Wall – very poignant
  • The dome at the top of the Reichstag
  • Some clever poster graffiti
  • Chewing gum on the Berlin Wall
  • The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
  • The Brandenburg Tor
  • Some gorgeous apartments

I won’t write too much about it all, I don’t really want to.  I find that when you’re studying a place as in depth as we were with up to 10 hours work a day, your view is somewhat distorted.  Berlin was a gorgeous city and I had a great time, but studying it has made me see it in a whole new light, thus I wouldn’t want to ruin it for anybody!  My overall favourite thing though was the East Side Gallery:

If we weren’t so hindered by time, I definitely could have spent a whole day there.  The East Side Gallery is the largest remaining stretch of the Berlin Wall, stretching 1.5 km that has been made into the largest open air art gallery in the world with paintings, pictures, graffiti, photograph and some very political quotes.  Just gorgeous.

So short and sweet, a beautiful city.

Nails 102

Some more nail tips peeps :)

So this is pretty random to be honest.  I started with a mint base colour (but as with any of these, you can use more or less any colour) before adding a red crackle affect polish to half the nail, but diagonally.  Then I used a gold nail art pen to add three dots parallel to the diagonal line before finishing with a clear top coat.  You need a steady hand, but its quite an easy one really and looks really effective.

 

 

These are a couple of Union Jack designs I did for the Olympics!  The first one is on my Mum so its a bit better than the bottom one which is on myself.  I started with a blue base (you can’t really mess with the colours on this one!) then did the white criss cross with a nail art pen quite wide.  On top I did the red criss cross with a nail art pen, following the shape of the white one but a bit slimmer so the white can still be seen.  As always, cover with a clear topcoat and voila!

 

Please excuse the messy mani!  To get rid of the excess nail polish around the edge of your fingers, dip a cotton bud in some nail polish remover and wipe it off around your nails; what I failed to do here!  This is what I call tye-dye nails.  I painted the base of my nails with white nail polish that was from a french manicure kit.  Next I picked 5 or 6 different colour nail polishes and put a different dot of each colour on each nail.  That was supposed to be the end effect, but no, Bella messed it up!  As I put the clear top coat on, because I didn’t let the colours dry properly they messed up and smudged.  I went with it anyway and voila, tye dye nails; not bad at all!

Boom.

 

Musical Palette

I love music.  Who doesn’t?!  I’m a complete chameleon when it comes to most of my life, my fashion, my plans, my diet … why not my musical palette?  I’ve blogged a bit about music in the past, my favourite things, what I’m listening to.  Here’s just a big old round up of my music life, right, now.

1)  8 Tracks

8 tracks is basically a giant mix tape that anyone can contribute to.  Since I’ve used up my free trials on Spotify AND LastFM (boo!) and I’m too stingy to buy a membership for either, 8 tracks has become a new favourite.  You search the playlists by artist or tag.  My favourite tags include ‘summer’, ‘pre-drinking’ and ‘chill’.  It’s great combination playlists too, check out Disney versus Hip Hop for giggles.

2)  Anti-ITunes

Okay, maybe ANTI I-Tunes is a bit harsh.  We all know that I’m a complete technophobe.  My ideas of being able to use a computer are facebooking, blogging and the odd word document.  So when it turned out my computer was essentially full, stuff had to go and I picked my music collection (well, there was no way that the photos were going!).  I’ve been feeling this for a while actually.  Having a music collection, be it records, CDs or digital, is becoming increasingly more outdated.  Websites where you share music and can listen to stuff for free really are the way forward.  Anyone got anymore they can let me know about?!

3)  UK Top 40

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a UK Top 40 kind of girl.  Maybe a couple of years ago, I would, but now, I just don’t care.  I like whatever is current.  I don’t have a favourite band or artist and I regularly go night clubbing.  And the places I go night clubbing (gosh I hate that, I feel so old!) are just a general mix match of good, current, up to date songs which I am exposed to on the radio (big up SURGE!), in the shops, online, and clubbing.  RIGHT now, my favourites include:

  • Rita Ora – How We Do (song OF Thailand, baby!)
  • Maroon 5 – Payphone
  • Stooche – Black Heart
  • fun. – We Are Young
  • Train – Drive By

I told you; chameleon!

4)  Fast Car

One of my all time favourite songs.  Other than the fact for about 10 years I was convinced that Tracy Chapman was a man (come on, the deep voice, the dreads, the leathers..?!) until one fateful evening where I learnt the truth (I still haven’t quite got over it), I do know every word, know every meaning and feel every syllable.  Sometimes a song comes along that just touches your heart, and to me, this is one of them.

5)  N-Dubz

Okay, so this is potentially one I should be a tiny bit embarrassed about.  But nope, N-Dubz til the end!  It’s only actually this summer that I’ve discovered my love for them.  The hilarious lyrics, the sarcastic comments, the weird background noises – listening to them (in particular, their Greatest Hits album) is pure comedy.

6)  Live Lounge

You know, maybe not Live Lounge.  Maybe, just covers in general.  I freaking love them.  I think it originates from shower singing, not just singing another artist’s song, but putting your swing on it.  Live Lounge and Covers showcase artists completely differently to how we perceive them, which is generally by their songs, their music videos and occasionally the odd interview.  Covers give them to opportunity to mix it up and prove that they actually are musical artists, ARTISTS being the buzz word.  And most of the time, they succeed.

7)  Walk Off The Earth cover Somebody That I Used To Know

Now this, this is incredible.  As per always, I don’t know if my tecnhology has worked, so if it hasn’t please please follow the link and take the 4/5 minutes to watch this.  It will change your life.  Uh-may-zing.

So in terms of my music life, RIGHT NOW, that pretty much sums it up.  What do you guys dig?

 

Nails 101

These are my bunting nails!  I started with a plain blue base coat (aiming to be like the sky, but meh), then used a white nail art pen (similar to the ones you get for french manicures) to make my bunting shapes.  Finished with adding some purple polka dots but you could add anything here, a clear top coat and voila!

And these are the standard crackle nails.  I stated with a yellow base coat and then added the black crackle coat.  My tip with these though is to paint the brush over your nails in lots of different directions, making it a more crazy geometric effect.

Newsprint nails!  Again start with a plain base coat (white is probably best, but I experimented with these on a trip home and didn’t have my nail set with me) then find some vodka!  I’ve been told that water will probably do the exact same thing, but vodka is more fun, and your nails smell good.  Once your base coat has dried, dip your nails into the vodka then find some newspaper.  With fingers still wet, apply the newspaper pint to your nail and leave for about five seconds.  Be careful when peeling it off.  Leave to dry, clear top coat and boom!

Here is one of my favorites; leopard print nails.  Again start with a plain bottom coat and get a nail pen.  Make leopard like squiggles, top coat and bobs your uncle.  Really quick, but really effective.

Nails 101!

Simple Diary

That’s what it is, simple.  I’ve been keeping a diary since 6th March 2002, that’s more or less every day for ten years.  In case you’re interested, I remember the date because it was my then boyfriend (I was 9 and in love, okay?!) ‘s birthday and I needed to write down how much I lurrrvveedd him on the Year 5 school trip.  Standard.  However, it was only in the summer in the Tate Art Gallery shop that I discovered this little beauty … The Simple Diary:

This bad boy, is the Simple Diary.  It’s flipping amazing.  On days you just can’t really be bothered to write down your life story, what you ate for lunch and who’s digging on who, this little bad boy helps you right out …

You guys are more than capable of reading this for yourself, but I just love the quote ‘Thank you for your time.  It’s all yours.’  Hell yes it is!  As much as I love writing down my thoughts, feelings, emotions, experiences … yada yada yada all the rest of it.  I need to LIVE in order to WRITE.  Thank you Philipp Keel, you are a right ledge.

Hey, I never said I could draw.  I had to flick through quite a few pages before I found one I could publish, bummer the only one with no juicy goss was the one with my rubbish drawings. Aha.  So here’s a cheeky example of La ‘Simple Diary’.  It’s awesome, get one.  Laters!