Monday, 26 January 2015

Yay! Looking forward to Spring

any idle sunday blog laura amiss

The sun came out in London this weekend - it's amazing how a few hours of blue sky can change your outlook. I used the precious daylight to play with my camera and take some snaps of a few little items making me happy. This week I finally framed this beautiful print  by Laura Amiss that the Mr. bought me for Christmas, and noticed how I'm being drawn to the bright colour combinations lately. I'm looking forward to spring flowers and playfully colourful manicures again, and enjoying the paint-box colours popping up in the shops.  I forgot my sunnies on our cold but bright walk around the park, you just know the day I bring them the sun will disappear... It has become a bit of a weekly tradition now, a long walk cancels out the Chai Latte at the end right? FYI Mango Chai Latte - weirdly delicious, like a hot milkshake.

any idle sunday blog laura amiss

Happy that January is almost over, it's finally time to make proper plans and look forward to a few key things; a visit from my Mum and Lil Sis next week, a ski trip hen party, and a big move, including a new career direction! A lot to take in and take care of coming up, so an organised diary will be essential, and an energetic outlook will definitely help!



Sunday, 18 January 2015

Hydrating Oils for Skin and Hair - and a give-away winner!

My number 1 beauty concern is something most of us experience in Winter - dryness and dehydration. In skin terms, these are two different issues, dry skin relates to the natural level of oils in your skin (i.e. it's a skin type), and dehydration can be experienced with any skin type when your body is dehydrated or the conditions around you dry out your skin. Lucky me, I do experience both, and not just with skin - my hair is also quite dry naturally. While this is good for holding shape, I want to make sure to replenish my naturally frizzy hair and protect it from over-styling. So I'd like to share two gorgeous products I'm currently using to hydrate:

I love how succinctly Ogx labels their products, and I wasn't disappointed - this serum is so far doing exactly as it says it would. Coconut milk nourishes, coconut oil hydrates, and egg white proteins will strengthen. Having read about all the wonders of coconut oil, I've tried this in pure and solid form before and have found it great for body, but much too heavy for my hair. This serum is a light blend, but still has the delicious smell of coconuts - I use one pump on my long hair before blowdrying, and sometimes a 'half-pump' on the ends afterwards. 

Skin: Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil for de-hydrated skin
This little gem was gifted to me by my lovely friend and bridesmaid-extraordinaire, who came across this product by accident and thought of me - quote  "My De-Hydrated Friend". I love this and I adore her - the pipette-style dropper ensures you use the perfect amount, and again a little goes a long way. This smells faintly floral, very natural, and as the husband describes, a little pepper-y? It's extremely soothing without being greasy, and I can honestly say I just had my first forehead-flake-free December since....uni? Absolute winner.

Which brings me onto another winner this week - thanks to everyone who entered my new year give-away - I'm so happy to be introduced to other bloggers and readers! Congrats to Lucie - I hope you enjoy the book and find wonderful inspiration for your blog!


Monday, 12 January 2015

Idle Sunday in Clapham and 5 links

I started January with a fool-proof OneNote super-organised list of new places to go, but every "outing" so far in 2015 has been for coffee! 

We've been living in London for 5 years now, and have never made it to Hampstead Heath. Rooted in South / West London this has been (roll eyes) "not worth the trek if the weather's not nice". And if it is a nice day? "Don't want to spend an hour of this lovely weather on the Underground do we?" So yeah - that's a bit shameful, so we resolved to go no matter what yesterday. But that agreement preceded the weather warnings of extreme gales, so....Chai Latte on Wandsworth Common instead?

Sunday's outing was actually for Tea, not Coffee (wild!) and one of these delicious bakewell slices at Esca in Clapham Common, followed by some girly browsing in Sass & Belle and Oliver Bonas. My purse stayed firmly in my bag for as long as I could manage but I broke when we got to cosmetics, more on that later! Maybe I'm falling into the trap of over-organising in January, but I'm looking forward to plans of more dinner-dates, exhibition-visits, hiking outings and a visit from Mum & Lil Sis at the end of the month. 

I've also been doing a bit of blog-upkeep, but getting distracted by Twitter and finding new people to follow. I'm not fab at the ol' social networking, so making more of an effort to show my support for other bloggers by commenting more.

 Here are some of the links that have caught my attention this week:


Friday, 9 January 2015

Budget Beauty Heroes - Everyday

Last year I had a big clear-out of never-finished impulse beauty purchases, and have refined my everyday look to one that works for me in the 10 minutes I have to run out the door. I'm a sworn budget beauty and Boots points girl, so I wanted to share the current dressing table as it is now, and to be honest, it is a bit of a "before" shot. I want to find products I love this year, while these are working ok for me some of these aren't perfect for me year-round, I'll keep checking in to let you know "who makes the cut and who gets replaced"!

Vaseline Cocoa Butter
This is more of an intense night product than everyday product, I love the scent and really need this is winter, but I don't bring this in my bag as I'm not keen on the greasy fingers on the keyboard, or reapplying after handling escalator hand-rails. I don't see myself switching away from this but looking for something as delicious for the handbag.

Max Factor Ageless Elixir Foundation and Serum
I keep coming back to Max Factor as they do a great pale colour without being chalky, and often have a good SPF rating. I have a cheeky habit of using multi-buy offers to buy one foundation I know I like, and buy a new foundation in the same shade to try. This serum is great in the winter as I have very dry skin, but in summer I'll be on the hunt for something that can stand up to my super-high SPF suncreams!

L'oreal Skin Perfection Anti-Fatigue Perk Up Cream
This was a new buy for me recently, and I have to say I was skeptical, as I normally search for products that scream "this is for you, you dry-skinned lizard-lady!". However, despite the packing making more about "bright and perky", my dry skin has definitely reduced. One draw-back though - the SPF20 does make this smell quite like a sun-cream, and putting this anywhere near my "dark-circles" makes my eyes water like some sun-creams. This is not too common, but if you are sensitive around the eyes like me, stay away. I'll either be looking for another "anti-fatique" moisturiser, or investing in separate moisturisers and SPFs this year.

Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara
This was actually a recent gift with purchase, and though I haven't found the must-have mascara yet this is a good even mascara, not too clumpy or too fine. Sensitive eyes mean waterproofing is a big factor, so this is a big bonus, I'll keep you posted!

Maybelline Superstay 24 Color for lips
I have fallen in love with this product, which I found when I was on the hunt for a wedding lipstick. Despite all the advice to treat myself to a nice lipstick (read: Chanel), I knew I wanted a bright lip, and even an expensive lipstick would leave it's mark on my unsuspecting new husband, and my bridesmaids would be on constant lip-check for photos. I looked at lipstains from Benefit to Smashbox, but these ranged from too pink or too subtle, to still rubbing off on kiss-tests...I retreated back to the budget aisle in Boots and started doodling on my hands with testers before going home rethinking my bridal look. The next day though, this had not budged. Even with soap, no joke this needs a proper makeup remover and light scrub, and the colour is fantastic. My mum and sister fell on the bandwagon and went for softer pinks. For a slightly vintage day look (at the time of writing even) I  wear this shade matte, adding the glossy conditioning balm for a perky refresh, or gloss for full-on glamour. This one will stay. (And multiply.)

(Don't forget to enter the giveaway - closes this weekend!)

Monday, 5 January 2015

Sparkle isn't just for Christmas

If you're refusing to let go of the glitz and glitter of Christmas, I've rounded up some links you might appreciate to keep the sparkle in your life - I'll be wearing my glittered sneakers and maybe introducing a pillow or two, and for a little sparkly bonus I may pop the gorgeous Anthropologie necklace on my "wishful thinking" birthday list...!

Glitter Frosted Donuts

Don't forget to enter the Vogue give-away!

Friday, 2 January 2015

New Year Giveaway!

Unseen Vogue: The Secret History of Fashion Photography 

I'm so excited about this year, and as I mentioned in my easy resolutions I'm aiming to improve my photo skills this year. I've flirted with photography through school, uni and on every holiday, but hopefully the 365 challenge will help improve my eye!

My love of photos started in school, "researching" Vogue in the library on my free periods, and I ended up writing my dissertation on fashion photography as an art form. So it seemed apt that I kick off 2015 by sharing this fab fashion photography book, and hopefully it will inspire someone else! 
FYI the book is in brand new condition, still packaged up in plastic so it will look perfect on your coffee table!

I'd love to use this opportunity to get to know you better too, so for extra raffle points, share with me the type of blog posts you love reading most - even if these are on another blog, and I can expand my reading list too!

Good luck!


Thursday, 1 January 2015

5 Easy Resolutions for 2015

Photo: 100 Layer Cake / Beijos Events

To start, an actual hands-on-make-a-list-and-just-do-it resolution. So many of us get stuck in a rut, feeling a little injured by silence and give up at one more "quiet" weekend. That is except those of us lucky to have that one friend who regularly chirps "Let's do something!" My resolution is to be that friend, to make more of an effort to suggest things to do, places to visit and people to see. Hopefully by the end of 2015 there will also be lots of cosy gatherings in a new little space of our own!

I considered Educate as a resolution, passing on life lessons and words of wisdom, but that would imply that if you don't have specific knowledge to share then you're not much use! I could definitely stand to encourage others more both personally and professionally, and even extend this to the wider world. One friend recently went back to school to share her career path with the "next generation" hoping to make their university choices. I'd love to do this in 2015  - I remember the creative advice I was getting at school was great, but I couldn't see any way to combine this with  my love of maths (yes really!) and life feels like a fork in the road, when so many people / bloggers I know have a really varied background - detours are important!

Aim to exchange rather than receive - looking for inspiration? Why not team up and exchange ideas with another blogger rather than trawling the internet for hours - who knows you may come up with something better together, or something you wouldn't have considered before. For myself I want to add on exchanging details / numbers / links and get to know more bloggers this year!

Take up a new hobby - and this includes exercise! Every year (like most) I think about getting fit and healthy, with a sense of  "I really should but urgh..."This year I'm trying a new outlook on that - I just haven't found the sport I love yet, so let's try a few! And don't like salad for lunch? Well sandwiches are neither exciting or particularly healthy - experiment with healthier recipes. Already got your routine sorted and it's feeling a bit same-y? Do the 365 photo challenge, if it doesn't make you appreciate the little things, it will encourage you to try something new everyday, just to photograph it - The dainty squid has posted a great article on this.

Ahhh, holidays. Is it any wonder we mark our years with "... oh yeah that was the year we went to...."? So 2014 was a big one, travelling to witness some lovely weddings in Austria and Northern Ireland, and exploring Croatia with the new Mr... 2015 is all about the new adventures, but maybe exploring more of the wonders closer to home!

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