March Verbs

A little late in the game here (well, only 9 days but you get the point!).  I’ve moved house!  March has officially been moving month, which I can safely say has completely and utterly taken over my life.  But not in a bad way, I hasten to add.  I have absolutely loved every second, sofa shopping, interiors buying, packing, life in boxes, Ikea flat pack (not so much) .. the list goes on.  It’s definitely the biggest and most exciting thing boyfriend and I have ever done, a new chapter!  And we couldn’t be happier.  Here’s what I got up to in March:

Watching: Kirstie’s Best of Both Worlds

I absolutely love Kirstie Alsopp.  I giggle at her and Phil Spencer, lust after her ladylike elegant dresses and aspire to have her home and property knowledge, which is all rather funny, because boyfriend cannot STAND her.  Anyway, she’s got this great new show on 4od which involves couples searching for the best of both worlds between urban and rural. Being a homeowner and all (squee!), property is another interest added to my list.  This show takes you all around the country, seeing different properties, prices and ideas – a great watch.

The lovely lady herself.

The lovely lady herself.

Reading: Debenhams Catalogue

Not particularly literary genius, I know.  Since beginning on my quest for my ideal home, I have found Debenhams homewares to be absolutely excellent.  I think they have the best variety of quirky and colourful designers (right up my street) at reasonably affordable prices (but make sure to wait for the sale!).  The catalogue allows me to peruse at my leisure and pin point bits and bobs I might save up for, all to make our lovely flat a little more lovely.

My March Must-Read

My March Must-Read

Listening To: Moving House Playlist

Oh yes, we made a playlist.  Since we were without the internet for a while, we reverted back to grand old reliable Itunes to make a moving playlist.  We were so lucky to have all our friends and family rallying round helping us, so it had to be something everyone would like (and not get sick of!).  It mainly included the likes of Bastille, Simon and Garfunkel and Katy Perry.

Bastille made regular appearances in our move.

Bastille made regular appearances in our move.

Wearing on my body: BDG Bad Boys – Comfort Edition

Long term readers may remember a post I did last year about my FAVOURITE ever pair of jeans (which you can read about here:https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2013/03/19/bdg-bad-boys/ ).  BDG has since become a favourite brand of mine in the jean stakes, and I haven’t been out of this pair this month.  They are really ill fitting Mum, Helen Hunt style jeans, but are comfy as anything.  They are 90s high rise straight leg, but look good with anything and have been a life saver in the moving house department.

They look a bit like this.

They look a bit like this.

Wearing on my face: Maybelline Baby Skin

Having big pores, the same as my Mother and my Grandmother, I have found the recent pore minimising beauty products a life saver.  After a year of shelling out £20+ for Benefit’s ‘Porefessional’ version, when Maybelline launched Baby Skin at just £7.99 I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.  Whilst the quality and coverage isn’t quite as good as Benefit, Maybelline’s product still acts as a great pore minimiser and primer for foundation (just make sure you let it set!).

Baby Skin

Baby Skin

Eating: Pizza

Anyone who knows me will know how much I like (okay, love) my pizza.  Our new flat is a stone’s throw from a Pizza Hut, so pizza became a well loved, easy, cheesy comfy favourite in the dinner department.  But April is now here and I’m a year older so I’m trying to only have pizza once a month now.

Too much?!

Too much?!

Drinking: Leffe

As a thank you present to all our friends and family for helping us move, it was only fair we stocked our brand new Whirlpool fridge with ice cold beer for the hot and sticky weekends.  We go to Belgium most years, and this beer has become a firm favourite.  Leffe Blonde is the version we’ve mostly been drinking and is very light and refreshing.

Blondes are clearly the best.

Blondes are clearly the best.

What did you get up to this March?

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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?  

 

 

 

 

 

SS/13 Lust List

Hello all!  Gosh, wasn’t the weather gorgeous today?  I found myself with a spring in my step needing my sunglasses.  It really got me in the mood for Spring and all the beautiful new bits and pieces that will grace the shelves of the top shops.  After my Mother and I’s jaunt around Harrods a couple of weeks ago, I really am having champagne dreams on a beer budget.  But it doesn’t matter!  The girl can dream :)  And here’s what I’m dreaming of ..!

SS LL1) Coast Amiana Maxi Skirt, Mole (from John Lewis) – £160

2)  M Missoni Bow Embellished Fine Knit Dress (from Harvey Nichols) – £399

3)  Chloe Floral Print Top (from Harrods) – £550

4)  Delhi Paisley Wool Stole (from East) – £50

5)  Legacy D Leather Tassel Mocassin (from Dune) – £59

6)  Light Denim Cassie Ripped Boyfriend Jeans (from River Island) – £45

The items I’ve picked are VERY much ‘Day’ items.  Things I could just pop on, walk to Uni in, have a lecture, cheeky pub lunch perhaps then hit the library.  Item 1 I put in small because I’m not completely sure about it.  I love wearing skirts and dresses, with tights in the Winter then providing my legs look alright, baring brave in Spring/Summer!  I looked around quite a few websites compiling this list, and couldn’t find a single skirt (for my body shape) I liked the look of!  Other than this, I do like the colour transition and the hippy floaty feel.

I absolutely LOVE Item 2, just beautiful.  Item 3 is gorgeous too, would look great with basically any plain bottoms.  Item 4 I love because it’s not too out of my price range.  This is the kind of item I might splash out on if I needed a treat, beautiful, goes with anything and long lasting.  I remember I used to have some mocassins like this way back when as school shoes, and I loved them!  I’ve looked for some since and haven’t been able to find any, so was very chuffed when I stumbled upon these.  They are so comfy, and again, go with anything.  And a good pair of jeans for a good new season.  Can’t go wrong.

What’s on your SS13 lust list?  Bella x

 

Karaoke Playlist

So last week on an impromptu snow day night in (#SNOLO) and after reading a list of 50 things to do before you leave University, my friends and I decided to have a Karaoke Night.  I absolutely love Karaoke.  It usually occurs on a night out in a bar, or in front of the family computer after a dinner party, but we decided to give it a full on go; microphone and everything.  So I thought I’d share with you my personal Karaoke Playlist, my favourite songs to sing (warble/scream/shout) when a Karaoke night comes my way.  Sooo ..

NOTE: Technophobe over here, click on the link if you want to hear the songs :)  Sorry if it looks wrong or anything!

Smokie – Living Next Door To Alice

ImageNow this a tune my Ma introduced to me (on my parents 24th Wedding Anniversary no less, naw!) about a year ago now.  It’s from the 70s when she was growing up and was one of her favourites.  I cannot count the number of times my Mum and I have screamed this after some wine, its always the one I start with on a Karaoke night – I just love it!

Ironik – Stay With Me (Live Lounge Version)

IronikThis is the Radio 1 Live Lounge version (that is VERY important people) that I discovered on a ‘Best of Live Lounge’ CD a few years ago.  I played it to my Dad and he LOVED it so much, so much we both learnt it to whack out at a dinner party.  He does the girly bits, and I do the rapper bits .. which I know EVERY word to!  I’m not really sure how I managed it, I’ve never actually looked at the lyrics, but nevertheless I know ALL the words, he knows the girly bit – and we rock that mike.

I_Will_Survive_Gloria_GaynorThis is just a Karaoke CLASSIC if we’re all being honest, and the one I bring out when I really want to impress (i.e. in a social situation that doesn’t involve family, family friends or my best mates).  I know everybody thinks they’re absolutely incredible up on a stage after a few drinks, and I am no exception in  this – I rock!

Rihanna EminemAnother corker, especially if your secret talent is rapping.  My Dad isn’t a fan of this one as such, so this is one I crack out on my own.  This song did indeed require checking out a lyric website, but now I’m a pro!  Maybe in time, the more confidence I get in this blogging thing after giving vlogging a go, if you guys are very very lucky you might be able to catch a cheeky video of me rapping, ha!

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtEzZEe_5kA

EdelweissTheSoundOfMusicThis is a most definite end of the night tune.  (Ironic, cause you might think that would be the ‘Goodbye’ song from The Sound of Music, but I find that one a bit too stressful.)  It’s quite a recent addition to my Karaoke Playlist.  When people are over, we always ask them their favourite song and what they would like to song (or like us to sing), and this is one that popped up recently.  Just beautiful.

I absolutely LOVE a good bit of Karaoke, and I’m not ashamed to say so!  What are your favourite tunes?!  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

 

 

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.

 

Steps at the O2

Steps.  My childhood love.  My dream was to be able to cook like Claire (kind of LOL looking at her now), dance like Lisa (think I achieved that one) and have dreadlocks like Faye (not yet…).  I wanted to be as funny as H and just wanted to marry Lee.  To see them ten years on, knowing what I now know about them was just insane.

The evening itself was beautiful.  I took the day off Uni to travel up to London with the Ma, to hit the shops (where I bought a BEAUTIFUL maxi dress for two weddings I’m hitting up this summer), eat, drink and laugh.  Eat, drink and laugh we certainly did.  Eat: Cafe Rouge, one of my favourite places to eat in the world.  French food is the bomb.  Drink: Pinot Grigio, in large quantities.  Laugh: at pretty much everything.

Stumbling to our seats a few hours later we were buzzing, on top of the world, not just the O2.  Cue fireworks, lights, dancers, screaming, flashes.  Uh-maz-ing.  Here and Now, One for Sorrow, Tragedy, 5,6,7,8 … the works.  But not only that, they decided to do solos (a perfect opportunity to sprint, and I mean sprint, to the ladies).  Lee did Moves like Jagger; pretty standard I have to say.  Faye, One Night Only from Dreamgirls, actually really good!  H sung Don’t Stop Believing.  Predictably and Autotuned.  Lisa sang her 2000s hit ‘Lately’.  I’m thinking of a nice word for terrible.  And I’m failing.  But Claire, wow.  Just wow.  She sang ‘I Surrender’.  Absolutely beautiful.  She didn’t need any theatrics.  Just her, in a beautiful gold mermaid dress commanding the stage, commanding all 14,000 of us.  Outstanding.  Here’s a recording I found.  If you just listen to ten seconds of it, you will see what I mean.

So in short, amazing.  I came away happy, on top of the world, with a severe lack of voice left.  I know Steps aren’t the band I grew up with, but were they ever?  I’m sticking with yes.  I don’t care about the one night stands or the tour bus catfights or who got fat and who got pregnant (I’ve watched their reality show FAR too much.)   I care that their songs make me happy, make me smile and gave me one of the best nights of my life.  Incredible.