January Verbs

Welcome to my new feature!  I’ve decided to combine my loves and likes of style of life, beauty and fashion and create a cheeky new feature about my doing activities for every month.  Here’s hoping I stick to it, and can give you all some inspiration for stuff to do for the month ahead.

Watching: 24

24 is a series (FYI Series 1) I think boyfriend and I began in 2012, but we got very bored and neg about it.  Whilst the real time idea is genius, it’s also tedious, and quite frankly, the storylines are just ridiculous.  Nevertheless, we persevered, finally finishing Season 1 of 24 a few nights ago.  I’m pleased we did, there were definitely a few heart pumping moments in the last few episodes.  Netflix does however inform us there are a grand total of 193 (which isn’t even a multiple of 24?!?!?) episodes on Netflix, which is a frightening concept, so we’ve decided to leave 24 for now.

24

24

Reading: The Racketeer by John Grisham

This book (crime/law/whodunit genre) is completely outside my reading comfort zone.  I actually found it brand new on a train with no owner in sight, so decided to give it a loving home.  A couple of weeks ago I spotted it on my shelf, and needing a lightweight book for the commute, grabbed it and left.  It was excellent!  I really enjoyed it; it was so interesting all about the ‘justice’ system in the States and with a real twist at the end.  I’m definitely going to read some more Grisham books in the future.

The Racketeer by John Grisham

The Racketeer by John Grisham

Listening To: Spotify Top Lists

This is such a great playlist, it really is.  I’m a Spotify free user (I can’t quite part with the monthly outgoings when all I have to endure is a WKD advert interrupting my Kesha flow) and quite frankly, haven’t got round to making my own playlists.  I like pop and I’m not ashamed of it, it’s like a permanent updating UK Top 40, for free!

Spotify Top Lists

Spotify Top Lists

Wearing: My new Mantaray Cardigan

I’ve been wearing a beautiful new, cream knitted cardigan I was given for Christmas (but actually picked out last June!).  Because it’s cream it goes with every outfit, and it’s big, oversized and is so good to snuggle into when it gets cold!

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Wearing on my face: No7 Bronzer

In this dull, drab weather I keep clicking through old holiday photos where the weather was warm and beautiful.  Thailand, Australia, Cyrpus, Turkey … sigh.  Since body fake tan looks utterly horrendous on me, I have to do what I can to fake it on my face.  My trusty No7 does the trick, and with some sneaky contouring tricks I learnt backstage at the dance show, my face looks slimmer (I hope!) with more colour.

No7 Bronzer

No7 Bronzer

Eating: Pickled Onions

I’ve recently come to realisation (albeit 10 years too late) that unhealthy snacks are not only really bad for you, but they’re also really expensive.  Pickled onions are a great snack and satisfy that need to crunch on things.  Drained from all their vinegar, they’re cheap and healthy.  Healthier than Pickled Onion flavoured Monster Munch anyway!

Pickled Onions

 

Drinking: Twinings Mint Humbug

My university campus is a 5 minute walk away from Twinings Tea Headquarters.  I went in there a couple of weeks ago for some free samples and couldn’t resist buying the Mint Humbug tea bags.  They’re in the style of Teapigs, with a netted pyramid shape tea bag and the flavour is just unreal.  Healthy, great in taste, and a good alternative to wine on cold evenings!

Mint Humbug

What have you been doing this January?

My Current Perfume Collection

Happy Monday!  I’ve spent all weekend dancing my knickers off at our bi-annual street dance show, and am feeling absolutely exhausted.  I was so tired, that my lovely Mother bought me a beautiful perfume gift as a ‘Good Luck’ and ‘Well Done’ present before our final performance.  It’s prompted me to give you a mini tour of my current perfume collection I’m spritzing.  

ImageFrom Left:

Lacoste – Touchh of Pink

Jasper Conran – Woman

Ted Baker Ldn – Eau de Toilette

Burberry – Weekend

(N.B. REALLY sorry about the poor lighting!)

ImageLacoste – Touch of Pink

I have a very strong sense of smell, so scent and perfume have the ability to instantly take me back to a certain occasion or time in my life.  I wore Lacoste – Touch of Pink one very important summer, and every time I spritz I’m instantly taken back to some very happy memories, and it’s since then been a firm favourite of mine.  It’s amazing the power of perfume!  My main comment about this perfume is that it’s very long lasting, I spray onto my main pulse points and into my hair of a morning, and by 4pm people still comment on how nice I smell (or the perfume smells!).  Despite being long-lasting, it’s a very light scent.  The tones are very fresh and fruity and it isn’t too strong or pungent.  It’s a very summery scent, so it feels slightly odd wearing it in the winter, but definitely worth it when the sun comes out!

ImageJasper Conran – Woman

I got this set just before Christmas in a set with the bath and shower gel of the same fragrance.  Being a woman who NEVER saves good stuff for a special occasion (i.e. I use and wear nice, good quality and expensive things whenever I feel like it – life’s too short!) I used the shower gel straight away, and funnily enough, preferred it to the perfume of the same scent.  It’s a very strong smelling perfume, the kind that might give you a headache if you spray too much, with very masculine tones.  Boyfriend uses Calvin Klein – One and there are very similar notes involved.  A pro point is that it’s definitely a very autumnal perfume, meaning it’s perfect to see me through the next month or two.

ImageTed Baker Ldn – Eau de Toilette

Whilst this is a lovely, simple perfume full of citrusy undertones, I was unimpressed at how long it lasted, but I guess that’s in the name; ‘Eau de Toilette’.  I feel this perfume definitely matches the Ted Baker brand (more than the other perfumes), with it’s pink colour, edgy geometric bottle and slight floral scent.  Despite not being long lasting, at first spray its a very crisp and sharp perfume that smells lovely and isn’t too pungent.

ImageBurberry – Weekend

Last, but definitely not least is another long standing personal favourite of mine that I’ve been wearing for years now.  It’s a very high quality perfume, and feels very urban and edgy when you spray it, like you can rule London (well, that’s how I feel!).  There are vanilla and cinnamon tones in this scent, which means it can be worn guilt free summer or winter and will compliment any environment.  Being high quality, it is very long lasting and a firm favourite in the perfume stakes.

What perfume are you spraying this season?  

 

 

 

 

 

Happy New Year! & ‘Dry January’

 

Happy New Year, one and all!  2013 really was, perhaps my greatest year to date.  But it’s over now, yesterday is officially last year and today is the start of not only a new year, but a new month.  It’s safe to say that 2013 was very celebratory for me in many ways, I turned 21, I got a 2:1, I graduated; meaning quite a few drinks in my 365 days!  And what seems like even more over the festive period! 

 

Every year, December 7th arrives and every night appears to be booked up with soirees, meals and parties, it’s really hard not to get swept away with all the wine and sparkles!  December has left me feeling rather foggy, and with a crazy amount of university work to be tackled, I’ve decided to partake in ‘Dry January’, where one stays alcohol free for the month of January.  I’ve made the decision not to do it officially for charity, because I would feel terrible if I failed sponsors if I had one glass of wine after a stressful day.

 

No, ‘Dry January’ is just for me.  Whilst I plan to give a personal donation to Cancer Research UK because I believe alcohol and liver damage awareness is an excellent cause, I’ve made the personal decision against the sponsorship side of it. 

 

So anyway, in the light of all my work, blogging might be a bit few and far between for the next few weeks.  Whilst I’ve read so many blogs with bloggy new years resolutions, I’ve steered clear of those so far.  I hate making any form of promise I can’t keep, so here’s hoping I can keep the Dry January promise to myself!  Happy New Year to you all, talk soon.

 

2013 – An AMAZING Year.

It comes to that time of year again of reflection, reflecting about the past 12 months and what you’ve achieved, whether it’s been a good year, a great year, or whether January 1st just can’t come quick enough.  I did a similar post this time last year (https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2012/12/31/gonna-party-like-its-2012/), I do just find it so amazing seeing how far you come.  It’s only when you really sit and think about it, that you realise it.  Here’s what I’ve done this year:

January

  • Celebrated New Year in Bruges, Belgium, one hour ahead of London!
  • Created the term #SNOLO (Holla, snow day, anyone?!)

February

  • Appeared on national television, on the hit BBC1 show ‘Pointless’.
  • Had a lovely getaway to Portsmouth to celebrate V Day.
  • Partook in the ‘Pure Dance’ dance show in front of hundreds of people with my university street dance competition team.

March

  • Competed at one of the biggest university dance competitions in Loughborough with my street dance competition team.
  • Celebrated my birthday (ever so slightly early!) with a murder mystery party.
  • Once again, attended the amazing Ideal Home Show and at ate at Greg Wallace’s restaurant.
  • Attended my first ever baby shower for a great friend.

April

  • Celebrated my 21st birthday with a getaway to beautiful hotel in Bath.

May

  • Sat (and passed!) my university final exams.

June

  • Spent an incredible 3 and a half weeks in Sydney and the Gold Coast, Australia.

July

  • Moved into my first ever grown-up flat with Boyfriend.
  • Went to the Cricket for the first time.
  • Graduated from university with a BA Geography 2:1 (Hons)

August

  • Spent a fabulous two weeks in Cyprus.

September

  • Had a lovely few and relaxing days in the Isle of Man.
  • Learnt to like red wine (this is a big one!).
  • Went Glamping for the first time.
  • Rejoined my local dance school, that I have attended since I was 11!
  • Began a Masters course in London.
  • Joined the gym.
  • Went on my first ever London night out.

October

  • Saw Jessie J perform live at the O2.

November

  • Joined a church Gospel Choir.

December

  • Celebrated 3 years with Boyfriend with a weekend city break to Barcelona.
  • Performed with the church Gospel Choir in a Christmas carol concert.

To Do:

  • Celebrate Christmas with a wonderful few days away in the Isle of Man.

Wow, when you write it all down like that, it really does seem like a lot.  Whilst Bella’s Bits is a place for me to chat to you all about clothes and make-up, it’s also a place where I share some of the bigger, more important things in my life, like my take on political or ethical issues, for example.  It’s also my little diary like slice of the internet where I can think about what I’ve achieved, and looking at 2013, I’m proud!  I really have done so much this year and am so proud and happy with what I’ve achieved.  I feel so blessed with the life and opportunities I’ve been given.  You know, I can’t really do it justice here, there aren’t any words!

I would really encourage you to do as I have, go through your year, and really think about what you’ve achieved.  Think about your friends, your dreams, your family, your hopes, your travels, anything that inspires you to wake up the next day and keep going.

Fall in love with life in 2014, I dare you.

(FYI – I’m taking a bloggy break over the holidays, so have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and I’ll see you in 2014.  Toodaloo!)

Home Alone – Kevin, The Fashion Icon

I had a pretty chilled Sunday afternoon.  I watched Home Alone, burnt my new Yankee Candle and wrote all my Christmas cards with a cuppa and a mince pie.  Jubbly.  It was only after I got thinking how freaking cool the character Kevin is in Home Alone!  I mean, alone all by himself, no crazy family .. every kid’s dream come true to have free reign over the house!  Not just that though, his outfits.  That kid has style!  See what I mean?

Image1)  Grey, White and Red Fairisle Beanie – Topman – £12.00

2)  Burgundy Mohair Mix Knitted Snood – New Look – £7.99

3)  Light Brown Patterned Sleeve Jacket – River Island – £85.00

4)  Loom Tartan Wool Scarf – Franco Ferrari at Harvey Nichols – £185.00

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Cheap Monday Marble Jumper – Cheap Monday at ASOS – £50.00

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1)  Bomber Jacket by Schott NYC – Topshop – £150.00

2)  Scandi Fairisle Beanie – Topshop – £14.00

3)  Classic Cabe V Neck – Crew Clothing Company – £58.00

4)  Linea 100% Wool Scarf – House of Fraser – Was £39.00 Now £29.00

Well I certainly want to dress like Kevin.  Nothing like a little fash inspo from a favourite childhood Christmas movie, ciao!

Barcelona

I went to Barcelona last weekend.  Casual.  Just jetted off for a couple of days.

We booked a very last minute trip to celebrate boyfriend and I’s 3 years (nawww) with two nights in Barcelona.  We didn’t have that much time, so I thought Barcelona would be a great place to head as it’s quite a small city and we’d be able to do everything we needed in three days.

Arriving on the Saturday morning we checked into our hotel then trotted swiftly off to Nou Camp (the Barcelona FC football stadium).  It’s the biggest stadium in Europe and has one of the biggest capacities in the world.  Expecting this just to be a boy thing, I really enjoyed it!  It was amazing seeing the real life press rooms, the changing rooms, not to mention the pitch and the trophy room.

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Nou Camp – Barcelona

After a rest up at the hotel and a bath (cor, I do love a good hotel bath) we rambled down La Rambla (see what I did there?!).  It was so beautiful with all the Christmas lights, and a perfect temperature of about 12 degrees C.  Not so cold you had to lug a duffle around!  We checked out a market then had a wonderful meal at a traditional Catalan restaurant before heading home, drinking wine and playing cards.

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The traditional Catalan restaurant we ate in

On the Sunday we were up bright and early to visit Parc Guell, the park the architect Gaudi designed which was just absolutely incredible.  I’ve found my new kitchen tiles there!  The weather was beautiful (I even got a little bit red on my nose!) and the views stretching across Barcelona to the sea were gorgeous.

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View from Parc Guell

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My new kitchen tiles – please Mr Gaudi?!

We next headed to the Sangrada Familia, another Gaudi work of art towering over the city.  Managing to escape the crowds, we found a lovely local park where we just sat and marveled at it without the hubbub of ipads and audio guides.

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The Sangrada Familia

After a winding walk through the old town, we had a spot of lunch then a rest, before heading out on the town.  We ate at a lovely back street local tapas bar (also go on the back streets for cheaper food!) then bar hopped our way back to the hotel sampling lots of traditional Catalan delicacies …!

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Definitely considered a delicacy.

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This too.

On our last morning, we stumbled across a very new and modern flea market, that we gathered had been built due to the tradespeople’s old site being demolished.  It felt rather an odd juxtaposition, the old style flea market and the postmodern architecture.  Nevertheless, we had a great saunter round and I picked up some very cheap vintage jewellery.

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Barcelona Flea Market

I had a wonderful weekend and Barcelona is a city that I would most definitely recommend.  We did the whole thing very last minute, and very cheaply so it just goes to show you can jet off for the weekend with just a couple of hours planning – a great trip!

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La Rambla, Barcelona

Christmas Party – Afternoon Style

Greetings!  I’m just about to head off to my first Christmas Party of 2013.  Well, sort of.  It’s a party in one of my modules, to wrap up the semester, but being only from 3-5pm and just at Uni, I’ve dressed Christmas Casual with just a little bit of sparkle.

ImageTop – Zara

Skirt – Topshop via Ebay

Leggings – Florence and Fred

Boots – Nine West

ImageMake up – Everday with Bronze Eye Shadow

Turquoise – Barry M Gelly Hi-Shire in Greenberry

Coral – Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine in Passionfruit

It’s certainly no where near my winter and wine wish list (https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2013/11/09/winter-and-wine-wishlist/), but it is technically winter and there will be wine (even at parties between 3-5pm!).  Off I pop!  Laters.