Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Liebster Award

So I was struggling with today's post really. I have a cookery post but I didn't really fancy doing that, but when the lovely Gail over at Gaily Gumdrops tagged me in the Liebster blog award, I thought I would do this. Share a bit more information about myself (maybe not very interesting I must add but never mind!) Go check Gail out at her blog, which I've linked above, her blog is so well written and she always writes such interesting posts. From her post I found out we shared a secret love of One Direction. Although if you ask me outright, I will vehemently deny it! Anyway, I hope you enjoy reading these posts because I always do. I'm terribly nosey, so finding new bits of information out about people is always fun! On with the show, as they say.

These are the rules...
1. List 11 facts about yourself.
2. Answer the 11 questions given to you.
3. Ask 11 new questions for the bloggers you nominate for the award.
4. Choose 9 bloggers with 200 or less followers to nominate.
5. Go to each blogger's page and let them know about the award.
6. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.

 11 random facts about me.
I studied Media and television studies at University, and I worked in the industry for a little bit for BBC Radio and Channel 4 but I didn't follow it as I don't think I'm good enough to work in the industry.

I currently work in a bank. The main reason I continue to work there is because I've met some of the funniest, weirdest, loveliest people ever there. 

I love books that make you cry. My favourite book is called 'The Five People You Meet in Heaven' by Mitch Alborn.

I don't wear any foundation. I hate the feel of it on my skin and I've never used a foundation that hasn't made me break out. I stick to concealer and a tiny bit of tinted moisturiser.

It took my 3 years to learn to drive, and I'm still not sure why the gentleman passed me. Pretty sure my instructor tipped him.

I am such a massive fan of Beyonce. She's my celebrity lady crush! So much so, that it's a tad creepy. (I'll leave this one there).

I broke my arm when I was in Primary school, during Sports day. They made us run in the pouring rain and I slipped. I had to have pins in my arm and I have two scars on my wrist.

I'm currently saving up money to go travelling. I'd like to go around Europe, and then to India, some places in Africa and South America too if I have the funds. If anyone would like to sponsor an around the world trip for me, I reckon that'd be fine... Anybody?

My favourite TV programme is Miranda, not sure why (maybe it's my extreme awkwardness) but I relate to it a lot! I love Miranda Hart too, she is a real inspiration to me.

My drink of choice is Rose wine and lemonade.

When I get bitten my horsefly's I swell up like a balloon and have to go to the hospital to have it drained. It's become a bit of a curse for music festivals and holidays, and my friends have started calling it the leg lurgy.

Now onto the questions...

1. Which TV/film character do you think you're most like and why?
I kind of answered this above, but definitely Miranda. Awkward, unlucky in love and a penchant for making up silly games to pass the time. Yup.

2.  Who is better? Take That with Robbie, or Take That without Robbie?
Take That without Robbie. I hate him and always have. Although I doubt my opinion matters to him, but I really wish he'd just stop making music (ooh harsh words).

3. What is your favourite food and why?
Chocolate. I didn't even need to think about this really. It's just the best. Need I say anymore?

4. If you had the chance to change your name to something else, which name would you choose?
My Grandma's name is May and I really like that name. I think its really pretty. I  love any old style names like that. So I'd probably change it to that. Or if that wasn't allowed, Consuela Bumcheek.

5. Sweet or savoury popcorn?
Can I say half & half. There is this healthy popcorn at work and its sweet and salty. So I'm greedy and having both. No, you can't stop me.

6. What is your favourite flower and why?
Roses. Preferably peach. But beggars can't be choosers. I just think they're simple and classic.

7. What is your favourite season of the year?
Winter. I love the cold, the clothes and snuggling up with special people (Or on your own!)

8.What was your favourite TV programme when you were a child?
Probably Arthur. It's still shown on BBC now and sometimes I may leave it on if I catch it at the right time.

9. Who is your most unlikely celeb crush? 
I think this means who I fancy but shouldn't. And if that's true it's Gordon Ramsay. He's a bad bad man. Bad man.

10. Strictly Come Dancing or X Factor?
Ohhh, none really! But if I have to choose I'd say Strictly. Although I have appeared on the X Factor (as a caller not a singer) I think Simon Cowell is a douchey doucher.

11. What are the 3 best things about your best friend?
Okay I'll choose my friend Lauren Faulkner for this. And the three best things about her are:
1. She has the best sense of humour ever and makes me belly laugh so much.
2. She makes friends so so easily and everyone always falls for her.
3. She's a proper beauty, inside and out!
Rightio well I've enjoyed this very much. If you would like to have a go consider yourself tagged and tell me if you've done it so I can have a good old nosey! 

What's your favourite piece of clothing?
What's your ideal first date?
Have you ever broken a bone and what if yes?
Have you ever been in love?
Why did you start blogging?
What can you cook or bake to perfection?
Who is your idol and why?
What is your favourite Spring '13 trend?
What is the one piece of make-up you cannot live without?
When you were little what did you want to be when you grew up?
Whats your favourite blog post you have ever written?

There we go. Thanks again to Gail for tagging me and enjoy the rest of your week lovelies!

Gem xo

Monday, 28 January 2013

Same as it's Always Been

So I jumped on another outfit bandwagon. I'm loving the skater skirt and shirt outfits that are all over the show at the moment. I think they look very smart and put together but they're easy to throw on. As I'm on my shopping ban I can't buy any new shirts or skirts so I've put this outfit together of old items in my wardrobe. I've not been able to stop wearing this black sheer shirt from New Look. It even featured in my last outfit post, It's a staple in anyones wardrobe, really, and works tucked into skirts or undone with skinnies for a more casual look.  With the weather not being able to make up it's mind at the moment (seriously, thick snow, then glorious sunshine for two days!?) I've been carting around jumpers in my bag to throw over this ensemble to warm it up a bit.  Anyway, I'm feeling a bit happier about 2013 at the moment, I have a few trips planned, including seeing friends, and I'm looking at new jobs which will hopefully make me a lot happier in the future. I don't mind the job I have now, mainly the people, but it's not what I want to do in the long run! Happy Monday girls!
Shirt - New Look
Skirt - Primark
Tights - Tesco
Necklace - Primark
Boots - ASOS

Gem xo

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Shopping Ban - Week 1

Day 10 of the shopping ban, I'm a fifth of the way in and surprisingly I haven't been wanting to buy that much really. I did a massive clear out of my room this week. I mainly focused on clearing out my wardrobe, and I found lots of old gems that I can restyle, including maxi skirts which can be turned into on trend pencil skirts and t-shirts which are always good wardrobe basics. Finding old, unworn clothes is just as good as buying new ones right!? I think I'll find it a bit harder as the seasons change and I'll want to buy and wear summer items. But for now I'm all good and I feel confident in my non-spending abilities. These items above are the only things that I've been seriously tempted by so far...

1. Dr Martens Boots (as featured in last weeks post)
After writing that post I ebayed some cheap black pairs but luckily I couldn't really find any. I really wanted some black ones to wear with dresses and tights in the snow. With them being black, they would just go with everything. Luckily, the snow has all melted so I don't have the urge to buy them now.

2. Essie Nail Polish
I've used up all my Nails Inc Basil Street and need a new nude nail varnish. I've been making do with reds and blacks whilst we're still in winter but again, as the seasons change I'll gravitate toward lighter, pastel shades. I'm not a massive fan of Essie nail varnish, as you can always get the same colour from an alternative, cheaper brand. But I really like this shade and can't really see it anywhere else.

3. ASOS Curve Dress
I have plenty of dresses, especially in the skater style, but I think this dress is lovely. I like how it's slightly loose as well and falls like a babydoll dress. The colours are pretty too and it will carry through to spring. I hope when this shopping ban is over it will have gone into the sale. So if any representatives from ASOS are reading, all I'm saying is, 40 days. Just throwing that out there. 

That's all for now anyway! I've had a productive day on the blog front so some new posts will be coming soon, including some outfit posts! 

Gem xo

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Best Skin Beauty Products

1.  2.  3.  4.

I do not really know anything about beauty regimes. But I've been watching a lot of Youtube beauty vloggers over the past few months and I've been looking for things that will brighten and moisturise my skin. I have very dry skin with the occasional hormonal blemish. So I look for products that won't make my skin produce any excess oil, but will still keep my skin hydrated. These items have managed to keep my skin balanced over winter and I've been really impressed. This is what has worked for me, I'd recommend to read up on your skin type and read lots of reviews to see how people react to products. Youtube and Beauty blogs are a great place to start.

1. No.7 Beautiful Skin - Dry Skin Rescue.
This thick balm is so hydrating and sinks really easily into my skin. It's cleared dry patches up on my skin literally over night and is so easy to use. It has no scent and it just feels good on my skin. I'm really happy I picked this up a couple weeks ago and I've been using it every couple of days when I feel my skin getting a bit tight. I'm very impressed with this product.

2. La Roche-Posay - Effaclar Duo
This does state that it is for severe imperfections, which *touch wood* I don't tend to get. But this has improved my skin so much. I have quite large pores over my nose and slight discolouration and scarring. This has cleared all that up really well, and hasn't dried my skin out either. It's a great primer as well, making it multi-use. I want to try more of their stuff now but as I'm on the ban, this will have to do for now.

3. Nivea Daily Essentials - Rejuvenating Night Cream
This is my go to cheap night cream. I love the smell and it sinks in really well. It doesn't make me break out and lasts all night. When I wake up in the morning I can still feel the lovely creamy smooth texture sitting on my skin a little bit. It's not the best but for the price you can't go wrong.

4. Skin Repair Moisturiser - Liz Earle
My mum got me this for Christmas and I'm using it sparingly every day but I really love it. I love the smell, it doesn't feel greasy and is so creamy. It's a bit pricey for a moisturiser but before this I didn't have a moisturiser I loved and would be my all time go to. Now I do. It fits in really well with the cleanse and tone system I use with them and is so gentle on my skin.

Like I said, I'd recommend to anyone to read up on ingredients and how products affect peoples skin. But I would recommend these products to everyone as they're very gentle on the skin. What are your favourite skin products? Can you recommend any for me to try?

Gem xo

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Snow Day

So I thought I'd join in with the rest of the blogger world and take some snowy pictures. I love the snow and how pretty it makes everything look. I've been taking long snowy walks with the dog and playing out in it. I've reverted back to being a child! But I dislike how the whole of Britain feels the need to come to a stop. I think we've coped pretty well though during the flurry of snow we've had recently, and hopefully everyone stays safe and keeps warm while we have the remaining cold snap. As I said on Sunday I've been wanting to keep warm and comfortable during the weather. I've not really been venturing out much, only to catch Les Mis (must see!) with my Mum and going for a wintery pub dinner in front of a fire with some friends over the weekend. So my outfits have been pretty simple really. Jumpers and jeans and tights and casual dresses. In this outfit I wore black skinnies, and a black shirt. But the best item I was wearing was my faux fur stole. This stole has attracted so many compliments and I've loved throwing it over all my coats, particularly as fur collars seem to have been a big trend for A/W 12. It also matches my tan Dr Martens and goes really well with gold jewellery. Such as my lovely watch! I'd love to see what you've been wearing in the snow, just leave a comment. Hope everyone is keeping safe!
Jeans - Dorothy Perkins
Shirt - New Look
Leather Jacket - (old)
Boots - Dr Martens
Stole - Dorothy Perkins
Necklace - Primark
Watch - Michael Kors

Gem xo

Sunday, 20 January 2013

What to Wear in the Snow...

With all this snow I've really been struggling to get dressed as I know in a few hours I'll be a) cold and miserable or b) I'll have a wet bum from falling over in silly shoes with no grip. This is why I've dug out my docs. And I've been really enjoying wearing them. I have some tan ones and they do go with a lot of you can't go wrong with a pair of black originals. i've been wearing mine with black skinnies and thick wooly jumpers and fur collars. I think it's hard to keep hold of your style when the extreme weather kicks in but I've been feeling comfortable and casual in my outfits recently. I love this damask print woolly with the navy fur collar. I have been wearing my biker jacket but I think this black biker coat is a lot more versatile and probably a lot warmer. I hope you're all keeping warm in the snow! I still haven't bought anything in my shopping ban, a whole weekend without purchasing something, go me!

Gem xo

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Show the World How You Try

Day 2 of 50 day shopping ban and it's really snowy! I can wear all my jumpers this is great! I never pass up an opportunity to get out the knits and layer up. I love this cheap one from ASDA. The pale knits that all the shops in at the moment can be carried over to Spring, when it finally comes around, as the colours are really pretty. As stated yesterday I've put myself onto a 50 day shopping ban but, I just want to buy all the pale knits though that all the shops have in. Some shops that seem to have the lovely fluorescent pale knits are M&S, George at ASDA and Dorothy Perkins. They're really easy to throw on with jeans or tucked into skater skirts. I love the studs too and it means it goes with a lot of silver jewellery I have. I put mine on with boots and jeans for a more casual look. It looks great with a biker jacket thrown over the top too. Plus I didn't want to get my legs out in the snow and have tights stuck to my legs all day. I'm going to try and get some outfit pictures in the show as I think it'll be a bit more prettier to look at than my wall and bunting! I hope everyone is keeping warm and cosy in the snow.
Jumper - ASDA
Jeans - Dorothy Perkins 
Boots - ASOS
Rings - M&S and Pia 
Necklace - Primark

Gem xo

Friday, 18 January 2013

50 Days of Shopping Ban

I know this is normally 100 day's and I was genuinely going to do that. But I honestly have no will power. So I've set myself a little 50 day challenge, and if I get to that, I will see how I feel about the 100 day one. I'm setting myself this as I need to save money for more important things in life, I have hundreds of items of clothing in my wardrobe and I disgust myself with how much I buy that I genuinely don't need. I also think it's quite apt for January too when everyone is cutting back, and shopping is the biggest thing I need to cut back on. So the rules are:

  • No buying of clothes.
  • No buying of jewellery.
  • No buying of accessories, such as bags, hats, scarves and shoes.
  • No buying of make up, or skin care.
  • No buying of any media of any sort, books, music or films in any format.
  • No buying of gadgets of any kind.

I am allowed to spend money on some things as a girl can't stop everything in a day, so I'm allowing myself money for social activities such as nights out, cinema nights and going for dinner with the girls. I'm also allowed to buy presents for family and friends as I have my brothers, uncles and a friends birthday in the next 50 days. If you want to have a go please leave a comment and a link to your blog, as I think it'd be quite fun to do it with someone.  Plus my Mum just scoffed and laughed in my face when I told her so I'm going to need some moral support. Today was day 1, so here it goes....

Gem xo

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Black and Blue

I'm being super lazy with my clothes at the moment. I've been doing a 5 in 4 to free up desk space and I'm knackered. I just want to throw on easy quick dresses in the morning. So I asked my mum for a few of Dorothy Perkins fit and flare skater dresses for Christmas. She chose some lovely ones including this textured Navy dress. I love wearing it to work as it looks smart with a blazer and slipper pumps but looks great with a leather jacket and boots on the weekend too. I like the sleeves too on this as I'm not too keen on my arms and the office gets freezing so to have a little coverage is always a bonus. I love these clarks pumps too, they're really cute and simple. I've ruined them a little in the icy weather we've been having so I'm a bit sad about that. With a lick of red lipstick the look is great for the office. Whats your go to outfit for work?
Dress - Dorothy Perkins
Tights - Tesco
Shoes - Clarks
Necklace - Primark

Gem xo

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Mum's Wants of the Week

It's my mother's birthday on Tuesday, and my Dad's taking her away to York for a couple of days to have a little break. I hope the snow stays off and doesn't scupper their plans it'll be really upsetting. Anyway, my mum needs some presents to open whilst she is there. So I've compiled a little book of what I think she'll like and most of which I've bought her or a variation on it.

1. Cookery Book (The Great British Bake Off) - ASDA £10
My mum and I love cooking and baking. So any cookery book would be a good idea. She bought me this for Christmas but she keeps stealing it off me so I thought one of her own would be a good idea. I've actually bought her Lorraine Pascale's book. She really likes her show and her cook book looks simple and easy enough to follow, and was a variation of the baking book. I think she'll like it anyway. This is a surprise too so I hope she likes them!

2. The Lion King Broadway Show - Manchester Palace Theatre from £22 - £75.
We've always loved going to the theatre, so when I saw this was coming I knew my mum would love it. It looks so good, has always had good reviews and since its in Manchester it means its a bit cheaper for us to go as it's only down the road. I bought my mum two tickets. And I'm going to heavily hint that if she wants to she can take me with her.

3. Leather Bracelet - Pandora £45
My mum liked leather bracelets and friendship bracelets. She's picked this out before so she'll love this. I have the brown one, but I love the black and silver one for her as I think it'd go with her closet a bit better.

4. Ghost Perfume Set - Boots/ Superdrug £20
My mums favourite perfume is Ghost, and we haven't bought it for her since last Mothers day so she needs some more really. So when I saw a Ghost gift set that was reduced in store I made my brother buy it for my mum. Its nice to indulge her sometimes.

5. Chocolates & Flowers - Anywhere
I think the ultimate present for Mums is chocolate and flowers. So Ive picked up some of these Lindor chocolates but instructed my Dad to buy some flowers for her when they're away as a surprise.

I hope she likes her presents as my Mums quite hard to buy for. Wish me luck!

Gem xo

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Won't Dance, Not Without You.

Back to my normal self now! Food is staying down in my system and I'm back to work. The rest of my week has been fairly normal and uneventful, but I thought I'd share this outfit that I wore when I went out shopping on Saturday to the Trafford Centre. I actually wore this outfit on Christmas day as thats when I got the jumper. We're more casual in our house on Christmas day so this was good attire. I love this waffle jumper, it's the same as the purple one I picked up in the sale, but I may prefer this colour but not the more expensive price! It look great with skinny jeans and a statement necklace, but I've been wearing it with pencil skirts, tights and boots. The pencil skirt is a bit longer than in this photo and goes over my knees, it's tight and stretchy which makes it really chic (I think anyway). I think it's a great look and really easy to throw on and wear, without looking too slouchy or casual. As well as this it's a super comfy outfit, which always wins in my books. I stuck with silver and black accessories to keep the outfit looking simple. This has been my staple outfit really recently. I've amassed a large collection of jumpers and pencil skirts to mix and match. This cold snap thats apparently hitting the UK is great for me as I'll get to wear this combo a little bit longer. Whats your favourite go-to outfit that you're wearing at the moment?
Jumper - M&S
Skirt - Primark
Tights - Tesco
Boots - ASOS
Ring - Jewellers in Manchester
Necklace - Dorothy Perkins

Gem xo

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Sales bargains

Unfortunately, I've been struck down with some sort of sickness bug that everyone is getting recently. So whilst I had plans to take an outfit photo I don't think my outfit of the day would be very nice to look at, unless you like to look at sticky up hair and an old nightie. Didn't think so! So I thought I'd share what I've picked up in the January Sales. I'm quite happy with my little haul and only bought staples for my wardrobe that I will wear or use again. Firstly I'll talk about the underwear, I spoke about my love of Anne Summers underwear a couple weeks ago. So when I saw this longline bra in the sale I just had to pick it up, paired with some cheapo knickers for £3 I think I got a bargain. Dorothy Perkins was another shop I have to stop at, they always have good sales. And I did good again. A black peplum top which will go with lots of items in my wardrobe, and a floral pencil skirt for £7. This pencil skirt will look lovely in summer on account of the floral print. It'll also look great with this purple jumper from M&S. I got the Dark green version for Christmas off my Mum, and loved the slouchy oversized waffle knit. So when I saw this in the sale I did a big smile. Accessorize had 70% off and none of these little beauties (keyring, bracelet, necklace) were over £2. My last item and this was a splurge, was this Mulberry bag. It was very cheap for a Mulberry bag but I love it. And it's the only one I'll ever be able to afford probably. It reminds me of the Chanel chain bags with the gold hard wear, but it's a Mulberry bag. In all honestly I have massive buyers guilt about this and it will probably stay in its dust bag forever and ever I'm so ashamed of myself! Oh well we only live once! I hope you enjoyed my little sales haul. If you picked up anything interesting and have blogged about it leave me a link I love these sorts of posts!! I'm off to try and sleep of this sickness before dragging myself into work tomorrow. Bad times. 

Gem xo

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Wants of the Week #32

I know it's just been the season giving, but reading blogs and having access to the internet just makes me want more stuff! At least I'm not buying everything I see. Okay I have bought one of these items but it's okay. I needed it, well sort of. 

1.Jacket - Dorothy Perkins £32 
Look at this perfect jacket. I spotted it yesterday when I went to the Trafford Centre with my mum. I was on the lookout for sales purchases so I didn't get it, but this knitted jacket is so so lovely. I love the blues and greens and it has a subtle sparkle to it too. It's also in black and cream. I think it's great for spring, and we all need to start working on our spring wardrobes now!

2. Naked Palet - Urban Decay £20
This was not a sales purchase but I did get it yesterday. I love the Naked pallets but I have a lot of neutral nude sparkly shades. So I didn't need another sparkly pallet. This matt one which is cheaper than the larger pallets is perfect for work. The shadows can be used for correcting, highlighting and filling in.

3. Nail Varnish - L'Oreal Paris £4.99
I'm moving toward more nude shades for nails recently. I think it's more appropriate for work. Or maybe I'm just getting more old and boring! I love this cool grey from L'oreal. The Colour Riche are my favourite type of nail varnish at the moment. They take one to two coats and dry really quickly. I'd recommend them to anyone.

4. iPad Mini - Apple from £269
I got my dad a tablet for christmas and I've been playing on it more than he has. So when me and my mum went into the Apple store yesterday I sneakily eyed this up. Its so so cute but I really don't need it, or do I?

5. Ring - ASOS £8
This ring is very tacky but I think this is why I like it. It'd be a great gift for a friend or to yourself if you're looking for a cute little different piece of jewellery.

6. Brogues - River Island £45
I'm still looking for some chunky black brogues. I want some cheap ones really and these are a bit too far out of my price range still. But I like the suede on these and the chunky sole. They have them in a tan too which is nice for the winter months, tan and navy is a great colour combination.

I have taken photos of my sales purchases before I've worn them to show you all. I'm very happy with the bits I've picked up. Hope you have picked up some great sale purchases too.

Gem xo

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Round Up of 2012

Well, I hope everyone had a lovely New Year I certainly did with two of my closest friends in Leeds. Then back to see the family yesterday for some good old crying in front of the tele when Up! was on. I'm not going to lie 2012 hasn't been the best year for me, I won't go into it, because I tend to grin and bear things and get on with them. I mean my life is very very good, but I've had a reality check this year about the real world and I'm trying very hard to keep my head from the clouds because I seem to go there too often. I don't moan to anyone about things and rarely let people see how low I can get. But whenever I was sad, *cliche moment* blogging really did help me escape. I love fashion and make up and this has been the best creative outlet for me ever. I'm so happy I decided to get back into blogging. I had a little push from someone, he probably doesn't even realise, but it really did help me through this year. I really appreciate everyone who takes the time to read and comment on my little personal blog because it genuinely has put a smile on my face so many times this year. I'm definitely going to carry it on for a long time to come. Sorry for the big ramble! ANYWAY, I decided to do a little round up of my favourite outfits from each month from February when I got back into blogging. So hope you enjoy a little recap!


Gem xo