July Verbs

Well look at us.  We’ve made it to the second half of the beautiful year 2014.  Part 1 flew by, but writing monthly updates like this really help me see what I’ve been up to.  Here’s July:

Watching: Hemlock Grove

Another Netflix original here, with a creepy storyline and a stunning cast.  I’m about 6 episodes in and I have to be honest, am still not quite sure what it’s about, but I’m loving every minute of it.  It’s absolutely captivating TV and Bill Skarsgard is beaut.

Hemlock Grove

Hemlock Grove

Reading: The Wedding Girl – Madeleine Wickham

Madeleine Wickham is an excellent author, also writing under the name Sophie Kinsella, who brought us the Shopaholic series.  She writes small and easy novels that are girly, gossipy and make you giggle.  They’re light fun reads that fit nicely in a handbag for the train and that you think about all day.  Would definitely recommend.

The Wedding Girl - Madeleine Wickham

The Wedding Girl – Madeleine Wickham

Listening To: Embers – Just Jack

I heard this beaut in the back of a Gossip Girl episode (yep, that’s still happening) and immediately whipped out my Soundhound app to hear what it was.  I was pleased to know this stunning track is on Spotify and it’s been on replay pretty much ever since.  A gorgeous song.

Tune.

Tune.

Wearing on my Body: Havaianas

I bought my black bejewelled Havis in Australia last year, after I fell in love with the same pair which my cousin owned.  In this gorgeous weather, they haven’t been off my feet.  Being black they go with anything, are super comfy and make whatever nail polish I’m rocking pop.

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Beaut.

Wearing on my Face: Instablur

My love affair with Benefit’s Porefessional has come to an end.  I’d read a lot about this Body Shop product Instablur on beauty blogs, so thought I’d give it a go, and we’ve embarked on a fully fledged fling.  It’s a very odd consistency I must admit, but really does minimise pores and act as a great priming base for both foundation and powder.  Again, would definitely recommend.

Instablur

Instablur

Eating: Leeks

Leeks are one of my all-time favourite vegetables and are currently in season, meaning they’re much cheaper and better for the environment than if you bought them at another time of year.  Leeks feature at least daily in my diet this time of year, being great on a roasting tray of vegetables, fried up with some peas and bacon for a side dish, or an ingredient in a healthy vegetable packed soup.  Beaut of a veg.

Yum

Yum

Drinking: Coconut Water

I remember in Thailand we’d drink fresh coconut water every single day.  Back in England however, I was greeted with unattractive cartons and even more unattractive prices.  So I was absolutely thrilled to see M and S have launched a coconut water in a great sized bottle (currently on offer too!).  It’s light, refreshing and almost tastes as good as the real thing!

Yes Please!

Yes Please!

What have you been up to this July?

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200

Welcome to the 200th post of Bella’s Bits!  I quite like milestones like this, little as they may be.  It gives one a chance to quietly reflect on achievements.  For this, I’ll do as I did for 100 posts in the making and share with you some of my favourite pieces of writing and posts from the last couple of years.

Way back when in 2012, I wrote a couple of letters to my camera, which got an amazing response (view by clicking here).  One reader even told me I made them cry!  This was a piece of writing that was very much just me sitting down by myself and pouring out all my thoughts and emotions, albeit about a camera!  Fortunately, I found said camera a few days later and welcomed it back into my life with open arms here.

These last 100 posts have also seen my documents of various travels, along with #OOTDs to match.  You can read about Thailand, Australia, Cyprus and Paris by clicking.

Another post which had a good response was this one titled X Factor Humble Pie.  It involved my tipsy twitter ramblings whilst watching The X Factor a couple of years back, followed by sober reflections.  It speaks for itself really.

A couple of posts that I feel really showcase my style of writing include Social Media Madness and Bella Evening, the latter of which I almost titled ‘The Importance of Being Alone’.  I love this style of post, but I have to be in a certain kind of mood to write like this.  These just go to show how much life influences writing, and vice versa almost and how living and loving your life is the most important thing of all, and if that inspires writing, well it’s just a bonus really.

And finally, a post I’m most proud of is rather personal to me, 2013 an amazing year.  This was a rundown of all the accomplishments I’d achieved that year and even reading it now makes me swell with pride and emotion.  I believe that reflection is such a key part to progression and moving forward.  Sometimes, when you’re stuck in a rut or unsure of where life is headed, looking back can provide you with the motivation you need.  Being proud and happy of what you’ve achieved in the past can refocus your direction in life and remind yourself that you can do anything.  And that’s what this post did for me.

So a very happy 200 posts to Bella’s Bits, here’s to the next 200!

 

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?

Pride of Playsuit

Hello!  Here is my third and final #OOTD post from my holiday in Cyprus.  

ImageThe playsuit is from ASOS and the sandals are from Dune.  I have a lot of love for this playsuit.  I bought it for my Thailand travels last year and it is one of the most comfortable getups to throw on as it’s 100% cotton.  Happy Day.

And have a lovely day yourself!

 

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

 

 

 

 

Gonna Party Like .. it’s 2012

In a few short hours it won’t be 2012 anymore!  Usually I’m one to get sad and emotional about that, I’m not a massive fan of New Years Eve and the concept of time terrifies me but nevertheless I have decided to embrace it by looking over the highlights of my year and looking forward to a bright 2013.

So, in 2012 I:

  • Rebranded my blog!  ‘BellasBits’ was born.
  • Competed in dance competitions around the country, falling back in love with music and movement and getting to know some of my squad better.
  • Visited the Ideal Home Show and loved it, bring on 2013!
  • Saw Steps and The Throne at the 02, as well as climbing over it!
  • Went on some amazing travels: Amsterdam, Thailand, Berlin, Edinburgh, Bruges.
  • Went on my first real road trip down to Cornwall, surfing included!
  • Learned to like Sauvingnon Blanc (but not how to spell it ..) – shocker!
  • Became instaobsessed.
  • Learnt how to BBQ like a pro.
  • Played ‘Pointless’ .. for real!
  • Learned to love myself as my friends, family and amazing boyfriend all love me.

2012 has been a very special year for me.  I’ve worked incredibly hard, as I will continue to do so, I’ve learnt alot about myself and will continue to better myself, I’ve experienced and loved every day to the full, and will continue to do so, as 2013 dawns and every year after that.  2012 has also been a very special year for our country.  I know we’ve been hearing/seeing/reading about this absolutely everywhere so I won’t go into it to much, but felt like it deserved a mention (Go Brits, woo.).  So as 2013 dawns, I am looking to the future and what I wish to achieve.  I’ve got lots of exciting plans for Bellas Bits in 2013 so stick around, and we can continue this incredible journey they call ‘life’ together.  And please say hello!  I would really love to get to know you all better :)

Happy New Year!