Ascot 2014

This weekend marks the King George Weekend (A Modern British Classic) at the Ascot Racecourse near Windsor.  It also marks just over a month since I graced Ladies Day at Ascot with my beautiful girlfriends (from left to right: Georgie, Chaz, Myself, Shona and Becky).  Here’s what happened:

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After a bright and early start we all met at Georgie’s house for the 30 minute taxi journey to Ascot.  As we were in the Silver Ring, we were allowed to take 1 bottle of sparkling wine/champagne/cava per person as well as a picnic taken in a cool bag or hamper. I settled on a bottle of Prosecco and a ladylike burger from a stand inside.  Here’s a snap of us before we all went in.  I’m the short one in the middle.  Whilst I contemplated wearing heels, I also figured there would be a lot of walking involved on the day, to and from the betting stations and the bar (of course).  So I bit the bullet and went for my fancy Dune sandals of 4 summers ago, and I’m so glad I did!  Sparkly feet and no foot pain whatsoever, winning.  Whilst I can’t remember where all the girls outfits are from (but if you’re interested, comment below and I’ll find out for you :)) my #OOTD is as follows:

Fascinator – British Heart Foundation Charity Shop

Dress – Planet at Debenhams

Watch – Vintage

Clutch – Florence and Fred

Sandals – Dune

Cheers!

Cheers!

After we found ourselves a patch of grass amongst the throng, we sat down to toast the day and drink our bubbles.

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We’re all such busy ladies, so it was lovely to catch some sun, chill, chat, drink and giggle catching up.  People watching was beaut too!  (Also can we please acknowledge Georgie’s gorgeous hair?!)

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As you can see, it was utterly crowded in the Silver Ring, but it was great because it added to the atmosphere in so many ways.  It was lovely seeing everyone dressed up and having a good time.  Just before the races started the Queen popped on by in her carriage, we didn’t see her, but had this pretty good view of the big screen!

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Next the races started.  There were 6 in all, between 2.30pm and around 6pm with about 30/40 minutes between each, enough time to pop to the ladies, the bar, or make your bets.  We all got involved in the betting.  Whilst my Dad had very methodically selected 6 horses with the aid of the Racing Post, we all picked the horses we liked the names of!  I came away £25 up!  #Winning

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After an AMAZING day we got our taxi home where we descended on Yates’ in all our finery to watch the England game, and we all know how that turned out!  Nevertheless we had a fantastic time, it was a great experience, and I’d really recommend Ascot to all!

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May Verbs

I’m seriously late in the game.  Again.  Well, crisp and clear apologies and onwards and upwards we go.  May has mostly been spent toodling around Paris followed by a swift return of the double Ds (dance and dissertation, don’t you know).  Here’s what I got up to this May:

Watching: Orange is the New Black

Another Netflix cracker.  Different though, because this series has been made and produced exclusively for Netflix (i.e. the show never has, and never will be on regular TV).  Which I like, makes it kinda exclusive.  It basically involves a lot of crazy women running around prison getting up to prison antics.  Its dark, sarcastic and very very funny.  Definitely worth a watch.  (Plus, Season 2 came out yesterday!)

#OITNB

#OITNB

Reading: Literature

Nothing too exciting kids, just about 100 journal articles and 50 books, all working towards my Literature Review for my dissertation.  #MastersLife

Life

Life

Listening To: Regina Spektor

So this is connected to my watch: Orange is the New Black.  The titles include Regina Spektor’s ‘You’ve Got Time’ and since then I’ve been hooked, all over again on her.  My 2009 phase loved Regina and the likes of Imogen Heap, and they’re well and truly back in force.

Babe

Babe

Wearing on my body: Primark PJs

It got to that point in life where you look in your pyjama draw and just think ‘its time for a clear out’.  You know the feeling.  So off I toddled to Primark and got 4 beaut colourful and comfy sets of summer PJs for just £5 each.  I work from home a lot, unashamedly in my PJs, so I was basically investing in work wear.  Sure.

Pit of hell or entrance to heaven?  You decide.

Pit of hell or entrance to heaven? You decide.

Wearing on my face: Benefit High Beam highlighter

The dance world has taught me a few of life’s great make-up lessons, one of which is contouring.  Benefit High Beam highlighter was made for this, and can really change the shape and angles of your face.  I use this highlighter just above and below bronzer to enhance my cheekbones, it also gives me a real glow.

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Eating: Clean

This month, I’ve been attempting to eat clean (as the new craze would say).  I’m not in any drastic weight loss attempts, it’s just nice to have a colourful and healthy plate full of veggies that keeps me full and does wonders for my hair and skin.  It also makes me feel better about life when I have a Camembert craving.

Fruity Word-Art.

Fruity Word-Art.

Drinking: Bootea

With my ‘eat clean’ and ‘Teatox’ it really looks like I am out on a healthkick?!  No.  Bootea is titled a ‘Teatox’ (they so clever) but has done nothing really of the sort for me.  It tastes mediocre, performs none of the detoxing effects it claims to and the teabag tab is too short.  The best thing about it is the packaging.

Not worth the hype, madness or money.

Not worth the hype, madness or money.

What did you get up to this May?

September Syndrome

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It’s currently 8.38am.  So far today I have had two mugs of coffee, washed up and have done a load of laundry.  Now I’m sitting watching Lorraine contemplating my day, and it’s not even 9am.

On Monday, I started my Masters course at University and Boyfriend started a new job.  We are well and truly in the swing of September Syndrome.  Granted, we’re a few weeks behind everyone else.  All the children ran back to school the first few days of September, us Uni students are just catching up.  But nevertheless, the stationary shops continue to plug ‘Back to College’ gear, everyone decides they need new commuting shoes and a new bag is just, well, essential.  I also find September the time of year where people, young or old, assess changes in their lives.  Maybe it’s the combination of coming home from a summer holiday, the evenings getting drastically shorter and the need to find your scarf but something changes and people become more ambitious, driven and contemplative about the future.  I know friends who are years from education who use September as a time to address that diet, consider that savings plan or change their hair.  I don’t know why it is, or what it is, but with the going back to education season, people seem to want to become brighter, want to become better.  Myself included.  It’s almost a mid-year revolution feeling if you like.

Are you suffering from September Syndrome?  Don’t feel bad, it’s a good thing!  Perhaps you’ll fall in love with life..?  I dare you.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream – The Look

So last weekend I was invited to a good friend of mine’s belated 21st birthday party, with the theme ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.  At first, Boyfriend and I thought we’d go all out with togas, pink body paint and glitter but when we discovered we were heading out on the town afterwards, we thought better of it.  Instead, I opted for this look, and thought I’d tell you guys about how I achieved it.

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The dress is from TK Maxx, and has always been a summer favourite of mine.  (I’m also wearing it in this post: https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2012/04/07/the-day-i-turned-20/).  I thought it suited the brief as it’s flowery, floaty and ethereal – not to mention super comfy.  I teamed this up with a £2 crown from Hobbycraft (the final idea ended that Boyfriend and I were King and Queen of the forest) and lots of fake Hobbycraft flowers.  Using garden twine I wrapped real ivy from my Mum and Dad’s garden around it to make a sash, with the fake flowers.  I also wrapped the fake flowers around a clubbing bag from TK Maxx and my favourite gold sandals from Dune.  And Voila!

ImageMy makeup for the look is very subtle, as I wanted my hair and outfit to do the talking.  All I added (to my standard ‘clubby’ makeup) was liquid eyeliner and gold eyeshadow.  I felt this look was all about the hair!  (You can read about my hair here: https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2013/01/23/hair-story/)  I have wavy to curly hair anyway, so this look was created with hair mousse, curling tongs, some braids and a whole lotta hairspray.

There you have it!  My Midsummer Night’s Dream Look.  I do love a good costume party, anyone got any coming up I can come to?  Please and thankyou.  Tarah!

Tour of my Handbag

Well hey there!  The first half of my Semester has ended meaning I have descended on Woking once again, to clean floors, an excess of food and a full garage.  Happy Days.  Meaning I have much more time to blog to you lovely people!  I’ve been meaning to do a Handbag Tour post for a long while, and here it is!  Welcome ..

ImageHere’s the handbag I’m on at the moment.  I tend to switch around as an when between this Cath Kidston beauty and my trusty Topshop slouch.  And here’s what I’m currently carrying:

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  • Bottle of Water – Hydration is ESSENTIAL folks!
  • Balsalm Tissues
  • Miss Dior by Dior Perfume – Mini Edition for Daily Spritz’
  • Samsung S3 – The most amazing phone in the world!
  • Wallet – Picked up this beauty in a Thai Market, still perfect!
  • Clinique Compact Mirror and Powder
  • Hand Gel
  • Evelyn and Crabtree Hand Cream
  • Cherry Flavoured High Shine Lip Gloss
  • Clinique Hazelnut Chubby Stick – THE ONE.
  • Paracetamol
  • House Keys
  • Car Keys
  • Glasses
  • Moleskine Diary
  • Pen
  • Comb

What’s in your handbag?  Love Bella x

 

Insta an Hour

Well hey there!  I’m back!  Now the double Ds are over, I am slowly starting to feel like my old self again and with that comes the rise from the ashes of Bella and her Bits.  I’d seen a few features on other blogs back in January on ‘A Photo an Hour’, but wasn’t sure if it would look funny or not dragging my camera around campus all day, so I settled for Insta an Hour!  I thought that it was a great way for me to get back into blogging, and to show you what I’m doing all day!  I set my phone alarm every hour, on the hour, then wherever I was whacked out my phone and took a snap.  It’s not particularly exciting and luxurious, but it’s studentdom, it’s my life!  Enjoy .. :)

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This is what a standard morning looks like for me.  Porridge and coffee, complete with our oh-so-clean hob.  I did say studentdom!

9am

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So it was ever so slightly awkward when my alarm went off on the bus, and I was forced to take this snap, giggling on the inside pretending to be texting.  The guy opposite was NOT amused.

10am

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This shows me well and truly camped out in the library, story of my life right now.  Complete with my beautiful Moleskine diary, coffee and my snazzy new laptop!

11am

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I do love libraries.  Since working in one when I was 16, I just love them.  The smell, the colors of the books, the quiet .. I love it.  So I was secretly pleased when I popped to get a book out and the 11am alarm rang in my back pocket; perfection.

12pm

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Midday came and I popped out for an appointment into the most beautiful sunshine of the year!  I enjoyed my lunch sat on a bench, soaking up some Vitamin D on campus.  

1pm and 2pm

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Back to the Library I headed, and didn’t move for a couple of hours.  Since finishing my Diss, I’ve started work on a new essay.  Just some light reading to accompany that, of course.

3pm and 4pm

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Lecture time!  I actually had to disable my alarm for this one, and found it really awkward trying to take a pic with low lighting and a cautious lecturer, but here’s the snap anyway; trusty pukka pad in tow.

5pm

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After a glorious stroll home in the sunshine, I was feeling pretty tired so laid down to watch a TV show.  Right now, I’m loving ‘Hotel Babylon’, a BBC series from a few years ago; I would recommend.  Here’s my gorgeous bedroom!

6pm

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6pm came when I was just getting ready to head out, and boyfriend couldn’t resist popping into the background of the ‘Selfie’ shot.  I’m trying a new look here, of slightly slicked hair; still unsure if I like it or not.  I’m wearing 17 Coral lipstick and Barry M Jelly affect nail polish.  My jacket is from a market in Bangkok, Thailand.

7pm and 8pm

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Pub time!  There’s a great local about 2 minutes from my house that serves 2 meals for £10 Mondays to Wednesdays when I can’t be bothered to cook.  Scrum-diddly-umptious.

9pm

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Home and snuggled up on the sofa to watch ’16 Kids and Counting’, I’m utterly fascinated by it!  After a busy day – off to bed.

So that was my Insta an Hour day!  Hope you enjoyed ;)  Love, Bella x

 

 

 

 

Hair Story

Ever since the lovely Louise over at Sprinkle of Glitter (I blogged about her beauty challenge here: https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2013/01/20/bedroom-beauty-challenge-january-vivacious-vixen/ – check it out!) did a post about her Hair History, I thought what a great idea!  Though mine isn’t really a history, it’s more of a story.  So here goes:

Even since I was little I’ve had blonde, fluffy, frizzy wavy hair and to be perfectly honest, it’s only in the last year or two I’ve learnt how to manage it!  It’s always been about boob length, with no layers making it quite heavy, but I’ve learnt how to roll with that, and I like it, so why change it?!  

ImageHere’s me way back when in 2007, at a Wedding I believe.  As you can see, no product, no accessories (apart from the John Lewis red peacock thing going on..!), no nothing really.  I think I just spritzed it with some hair spray and off I went.  How wrong of me!  I mean, it’s fine because I was only 15, but looking back it looks awful!  It was around about this time my hair started to go darker and my Mum sat me down and we had the highlights talk .. and I’ve never looked back!

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Gosh, how terribly natural!  Aha!  This is me in Kenya, Africa in 2009 whilst I was out there at a school teaching street dance to kids.  Apologies for the dazed look, I discovered my love of coffee on this trip and think I was off on a caffeine high somewhere above.  This is pretty much my hair, completely natural!  This is what I have to work with everyday, and NOW, I think I do okay.  But here’s what happened next …

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Oh hey there cheeky.  This is one of my MANY dance looks I’ve had over the years.  I’ve had braids, the tightest plaits in the world, up dos, down dos and lots and lots of hairspray.  All the hairspray from dance was seriously starting to damage my hair around this point (2009) as well, until I discovered deep conditioning hair treatments.  L’Oreal do a great one for highlighted hair.  You have a shower normally, shampoo your hair normally, then whack on the treatment and leave it for as long as you like really!  My hair dresser told me if I wear a plastic shower cap over the treatment it works more effectively so I do that as well, cling film works just fine also.  I tend to do that about once a month when I feel like my hair needs some loving.

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And the girl discovered straighteners!  I don’t tend to straighten my hair very much at all really, only ever usually for nights out clubbing.  Every time I have a special event, it’s always curls r us over at Bella Land.  I love this picture because my hair looks so shiny!  As it tends to when it’s straight.  I always prep it with a heat protection serum or spray, that really helps with the shine factor!

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This was taken in 2010, and probably when my hair was the longest it’s ever been.  It also shows my pretty signature style: curls (created with tongs) and my side parting kirby gripped to the side/up.  I discovered my side parting when I was about 11, and it only ever heads central when I forget to brush it after it’s washed (usually being when I have a lot of work on).  The side parting is my saviour.  It makes my face look slimmer and I love all the styles you can do with it, without looking like a 5 year old: braids, plaits, even bunches!

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When I discovered dip dying!  I had this done in 2012 and I remember it only happened a day or two before Jessie J went public with her purple tips.  Annoyed?  Me?!  I love dip dying with random colours because it allows you to have the freedom of a different colour without going too drastic, and it usually washes out in about 6 weeks anyway.  My hair style here is literally just braided in plaits when wet the night before, then spruced with some hairspray.  If in doubt, that’s what I usually go for.

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And here’s me just a few weeks ago!  My hair dresser persuaded me to move away from the dip dye because he thought it was a bit too blocky (and to some extent, I agree with him) and allow him to just brush casual streaks of this deep red through my hair from about half way down.  And I have to say, I loved it!  Definitely my favourite so far :)

So there’s my sort of hair story!  The red has almost gone now and my hair is still about the same length because it grows at snails pace but I can’t wait to try some more colours!  I don’t have a hair appointment til around March time now, but I’m thinking some copper streaks?  What do we think guys?  

What’s your Hair Story?

Love Bella x