Friday, 17 October 2014

Halloween Links Roundup

Have you noticed Santa on supermarket shelves yet? I love the deep mid-winter, but October is a time to slow down and enjoy the nights in, the changing colours, the extra woolly layers....and remember that little one-night holiday in Autumn.

I may well be staying in with the boy and Buffy (how different to every other Friday night), but I'm still appreciating all the creative effort these guys put into the season:

Free Printables:
Fun with Food:
Pick Your Poison:

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Vintage Hair Inspiration

So excited for the next girly wedding in a few short weeks! My girlfriends back home in Belfast seem to have started a tradition of getting vintage hairdo's for weddings, I think we're a bit addicted now. While my fab friends have even mastered the art of doing it themselves for a night out, my unruly hair looks forward to the professional treatment, and I'm gathering inspiration.

So far I've done the classic bumped french twist, and a half-up "quiff", and I'm torn between going back towards the beehive and an updo with  lots of lovely swirls. Sometimes it's fun to let the stylist loose - maybe I'll let her surprise me!

Pinterest's new search tool is great for narrowing down exactly what you're after, but two salons I really recommend back home in Belfast are Vintage Rocks and Hair by Cherry on Top - I'd trust these ladies to tackle my tresses and show me something new!


Saturday, 11 October 2014

10 Wedding Cake Details You Could DIY

....with time and patience!

Speaking from experience - I had neither when I decided to decorate our wedding cake, and I can totally see why my mum ordered a surprise (back-up??) cake from Ginger Princess Cakes. But all went well and we had two cakes on the day!

It started (as it always does) on Pinterest, I loved the simple or slightly detailed wedding cakes, and was feeling a little uncreative, having switched wedding plans from handmade and rustic to elegant hotel with a view. So obviously I decided to put my creative mark on the one thing that gets destroyed on the day anyway! We also have a massive soft spot for good old M&S, so the idea was borne to order 3 delicious M&S cakes and find the right detail to add - here are ten ideas:

...and for #10, I'm going to slip in our finished wedding cake. Taking inspiration from the ruffled rose, I used fondant with chrysanthemum cutters, rolling the bottom petals thinly and layering up with an indented top petal and edible pearls, and arranged on top of each of the three tiers. Small, simple and sweet? 


Thursday, 9 October 2014

Painted Love: Arty Books

As much as I adore my Kindle (a solid hour of fiction on the Tube everyday), there's no sense in missing out on some beautiful books. I've rounded up a few of my current favourites to perk up a boring bookshelf. 

The Notebooks:

Always handy for making plans, Christmas lists or {if you're feeling generous}  lovely selfless gifts. Not to mention those of you who may just want to scribble down a beautiful memoir of your own,

The Coffee Table Book:

Ok, not my coffee table (more likely to be covered in tea, nail varnish and remote controls), but one of these days I will be a cultured grown-up enough to spend a rainy Sunday immersed in these gorgeous photos and reading up on their creator.

The Classics:

These are timeless stories but I love that they are constantly re-imagined through creative covers and special editions. Sense and Sensibilty is one of a range of rustic-ly modern covers, while Anne of Green Gables is part of the girlishly gorgeous Puffin In Bloom series below:

In Bloom Book Collection Set of 4 Books Published by Puffin In Bloom with Matching Bookmarks

Seriously superficial about these book covers, but the stories do have a special place in my memory. Do you covet beautiful books or are you all about the words?

Friday, 19 September 2014

Croatia part II: Hvar

After kicking off the honeymoon in Split, we left the mainland and headed for a change of pace on the beautiful island of Hvar. The town itself is a pretty maze of steps and streets, best enjoyed early in the morning before the big boats and party-yachters arrive. Luckiy Hvar is surrounded by many even smaller islands, ideal for exploring, sun(shade)bathing, not to mention saltly sea swimming..

 *all photos by me, and still more to come!


Sunday, 7 September 2014

Blog Relay: Beauty Reviews

Whether or not you're on a budget, you really don't want buyers remorse on un-returnable beauty products, so thank goodness for the world of beauty bloggers. We all have certain blogs we know and trust (those that disclose sponsored products!), and I just wanted to share a few of my favourites. The Sunday Girl was my original starting point, and eventually I discovered a few new favourites you may already know:

An abundance of reviews and beauty news including ones to watch and new launches. Refreshingly honest, The Sunday Girl even shares details of testing periods for each product on her About page.

Suzie seems to have added more lifestyle and fashion posts recently, which I'm loving, but still shares monthly beauty favourites. Her cool clean style is clear in her blog, where you can find great photos and fun videos.

Another big contender, Emma shares her reviews on a goregeous shop-able blog, with full-face photos so you can see the products at work. I love that she tries out a few shades of lippies in lip product reviews - so much better than coming home from Boots with a  multicoloured hand!

Not to ignore the fab lifestyle and fashion posts, but as this magazine-style blog was founded by beauty blogger Kate of ghostparties, it has amazing beauty content. I read Nouvelle for wish-list products and practical advice, and Ghostparties for down-to-earth reviews of the products I'm probably more likely to buy. Kate also shares amazing advice about blogging - always appreciated!


Saturday, 6 September 2014

Croatia part I: Split

It's been a full week back to normality, but am still wistfully looking at photos of beautiful Croatia...

Being more Pale and Interesting than Beach Bronzers, we knew we wanted a honeymoon with a bit of variety, rather than 2 weeks hiding in the shade beside a beautiful resort pool, but it was so hard to narrow down Croatia to a few places to visit! We made the decision to raincheck Dubrovnik for a separate future holiday, and started in Split, on the recommendation of the lovely Viv.

It was just as difficult to narrow down the hundreds of photos, as Split was such an unusual combination of ancient and new, walled "city" and port, bursts of colour and washed out stone...

We stayed in an amazing boutique hotel just outside the walls of Diocletian's Palace, Hotel Luxe, The interiors were such a contrast to the rustic city outside, but I loved the open feeling of this hotel, it really made a feature of the surroundings. Our sea facing room was lovely, cool and spacious, and the spa was so relaxing I got a little too used to a jacuzzi and sauna to unwind after a hard days tourist-ing...

Inside the walls of Diocletians Palace was a maze of shops, bars, history and homes, not to mention the tiniest chapel (above). There really is something to gape at around every corner, but outside the walls is well worth exploring too. Take a long uphill walk (we did wish we took bikes!) and you'll get great views of the coastline, then spot a cove for swimming and head downhill again! 

Before leaving for the islands we headed inland with a small tour group to Krka National Park, taking a boat across the still blue lakes to the beautiful waterfalls. We immediately cooled off with a quick swim (the first of my "become a confident swimmer" challenges!), before taking a walk around the protected park in the cool shade of the forest. We finished the day with full body massages in the hotel spa, and packed for the islands... 


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