Sunday, 21 April 2013

Study Break


That dreaded time has arrived. Exam time. Cue menacing villain music.

I’m currently in my final year at university, and after 4 long years, this is it. Crunch time, D day, the end. It’s been like a marathon, and right now I’m in my last mile, the hardest, but the one you put all your last bit of effort into to make the previous worth it.

So I’m going on a little blogging break so I can put all my heart and soul into my work. But don’t you worry, I’ll be back on the 5th June, when I will have finished my last ever exam.

So wish me luck, and talk to you all very soon.
Laura x

P.S I’ll leave you with a snippet of my life from Instagram- yes, I am writing a final year computer science essay with a Disney Princess pencil case...





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Saturday, 20 April 2013

Zara Burgundy Heels


Ankle buckle shoes seem to be a big trend right now. From Gucci to Pierre Hardy, and Kim Kardashian just can’t seem to get enough of hers! And to be honest, I couldn’t either. As a good little blogger does, I saw these on a fashion blog and instantly fell in love. I’m afraid I can’t remember where I saw them, but I instantly wanted them.

Now I was brought up where it felt like Christmas when my mum would come home with a sack full of hand me down clothes from me friend’s older daughters, free clothes? And free clothes above my price range? Yes please.

I have no problem with seconds, and so as these shoes are no longer for sale in Zara, to eBay I went.





I love the colour of these, the burgundy hue is so vivid, and the suede gives them a luxury quality. Although maybe not the best for the current rain filled season.

When it warms up- yes, when, I’m being an optimist- I’m planning on pairing these with shorts or maybe a midi skirt for more formal dress. But right now, casual meets glamour was my aim, with a relaxed pair of camo trousers and a denim jacket.



Heels- Zara
Denim Jacket- Topshop (Similar here)
Top- Matalan
Camo Trousers- Zara (Similar here)
Necklace- An independent jewellery boutique in Manchester.


They are actually considered midi heels, which usually I stay way clear of- I’m a killer heel kind of gal. My highest are 7inch! Granted they have only ever made an appearance once... However surprisingly I rather liked the midi height, I may be a changed girl. 

I’m looking for more inspiration to wear with them, what would you suggest?




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Friday, 19 April 2013

Cranberry Yogurt Cookies


Up until about 19 I hated dairy. Milk, butter, cheese- everything. I know, strange strange child. Now I can’t get enough of the stuff, especially cheese. But my other ‘can’t get enough’ is yogurt. My dad grew concerned about my bones like any parent would, and so at one stage forced me to eat a yogurt after every lunch.

Of course I kicked and screamed ‘My rights!’ ‘My rights!’ but turns out I actually rather liked the stuff. Ok more than like it, as my whole fridge is crammed with yogurts.
And this is how the yogurt cookie was born. I wanted to bake cookies, but had no chocolate, no nuts, not fruit, nothing for the flavour. And that’s when staring aimlessly in the fridge caused the light bulb to glow. Would yogurt work?

This is no from no recipe, it’s completely my own creation. In fact when I started to make these, I had no idea if they would work. But I am glad I did, as they do. They so do. They’re very creamy and moist, and nearly all gone from my fridge!


To make 20 cookies you will need:
  • 225g Sugar
  • 125g Unsalted butter
  • 225g Plain Flour
  • ½ Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 large egg
  • Pinch Salt
  • 125g Strawberry Yogurt
  • 150g Dried Cranberries

First cream together the butter and sugar, until fully combined, and smooth.

Next, add the egg a bit at a time, again stirring until fully combined.

Sieve the flour, the salt and the baking powder into the mixture and combine.


Then pour in the yogurt. I used Activia, but this was purely out of what was in my fridge.

Once the yogurt has become fully integrated into the dough, add the cranberries.


The dough will be wetter than a typical cookie dough, as these cookies as ‘drop cookies’ meaning  that instead of rolling these into balls by hand, simply drop the mixture onto a greased baking tray. Make the cookies out of 2 heaped teaspoons. You will need more than one tray for the amount it makes.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at gas mark 5 for 16 minutes.

Once cooked, remove from tray and allow to cool. I then cut my cookies out using a cookie cutter to make them prettier, but feel free to just get stuck in. 




I honestly have no idea why I hated diary as a child, what was I thinking? No cream teas, no jelly and ice-cream, no milkshakes... I think I better go have another cookie, you know, to make sure I defiantly do like diary....




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Monday, 15 April 2013

Manicure Monday: Kiss Nail Wrap


I’ve haven’t done a Manicure Monday post in quite a while. The reason for this? My nails fell off? I developed an intolerance to nail varnish? Nope. Just sheer laziness.

Which happens to be half the reason why this Manicure Monday is slightly different. Slightly cheaty.

Nail wraps have been out for a long time now, so I’m pretty sure you will have all heard of them. Yet as a lover of painting my nails myself, I’ve never quite felt the need to try them before. However after receiving a pair at the #NorthMeetUp, I thought I should break my lazy streak, and give them a go.


These are Kiss Nail Wrap in Fashion Strips KWN12. There are 18 nail wraps in the pack which are essentially stickers of varnish which peel of a plastic sheet and press over your nail. There are 18 so that you can find the right size for your nails or in case you tear one… not that I did or anything…


The instructions say to peel back, stick as close to your cuticle as possible, bend the wrap over the edge of the nail and file off the excess, with the handy file included. Simple enough.

However they are a little more difficult to align and put on than that. As they are so sticky, and thin, it was a little awkward trying to align them without creasing or causing air pockets, however after a couple it does get easier. Patience was never my strong point.


My over all impressions are that they are very pretty designs, and do look really good actually. My mum was most impressed, and I can see their appeal to those who don’t have the steady hand nail art requires.


However I do have 2 negatives about them. The first is filing off the excess isn’t as easy or as neat as I expected. I’ve been sort of left with a rough edge which doesn’t smooth down, making them look a little untidy. 


However, it is the sizing though that causes the main issues. I didn’t think I had particular wide nails yet none of the wraps completely covered my nails, leaving gaps at the side. While it isn’t such an issue with the pale colour of these wraps, any other bright colour would clearly show the gaps.

From a distance they do look very impressive, and I really like their ease of use, it’s just a shame they don’t quite fit my nails.

I would recommend these, only if you have slim nails though.
Personally for me? I’ll be back on the nail art next week, don’t you worry! 




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Saturday, 13 April 2013

Spring Time Essentials


Despite what the weather might suggest, it is spring. To me spring is all about beauty. Flowers are starting to bloom, lambs are leaping around fields, the soft scent of cut grass in the air. It all just feels rather romantic. And it is this time of year that I start to rethink my essentials, trading winter’s thick creams for light delicate primers and so forth.

So I’ve put together my spring essentials to help get us into the new season mood... even if the weather isn’t helping out. 


The first I notice about spring is my skin. I can tell it’s time to lighten the density of my creams as otherwise my skin starts to break out.

Estee Lauder is renown for their skin care, it seems to be something that is passed on down generations of women. My mum first got me into Estee Lauder and I’ve been using it ever since.

I’m currently using the DayWearAdvanced Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant Creme as it is really light and silky smooth, so doesn’t clog my pores.  


Talking of pores, I’ve just discovered primer. I can’t believe I have never used primer before. I will admit I always thought they were a little waste of money, however my skin has actually been visibly more radiant since using one, and for a casual day, I can forsake the foundation, which is a blessing for my skin. 

Arbonne’s primer has a lovely smooth texture to it, and doesn’t have much of a scent which is a good thing. I also like how my little laughter lines appeared reduced- always, always a bonus. 


Which then brings me onto the rest of my makeup. I love big lashes, as I have big eyes and strong brows, so I need big lashes to balance out my features. Now, I swear to god, by no exaggeration, this is the best mascara I have ever used! I would never write a dishonest review as it would ruin my blog, so trust me when I say my lashes have never been so big, so full and so fabulous. Benefit They’re Real, I am yours!

Now my brows. I love my eyebrows as I love to make a statement with them. They are naturally very big and bushy, so I will admit they take work, and I have had some cringe moments looking through past photos. Yet currently I’m using Maybelline’s Master Brow pencil in Soft Brown and they’ve never looked better. The pencil is rather creamy, which is good for the soft natural colour, however it does run our rather quickly. However it is the best pencil I’ve tried so far and I’ve tried a fair few.

Finally another makeup classic I can’t seem to put down is eyeliner. Now eyeliner can look rather heavy and well, winter like, yet L’Oreal’s Super Liner Perfect Slim is well, so slim, I can achieve that dainty flick that spring calls for. Also what I love about this is that it doesn’t smudge through the day, as I have trouble with my eyes watering sometimes. 


Of course, I couldn’t miss out the great Estee Lauder from my makeup collection. She doesn’t just make great skin care but also makeup. While I was buying my day cream I couldn’t resist this little pop of colour from the Pure Lip gloss range, as it’s pale enough for a soft, romantic look, yet still bright enough to get the boys lookin’!


Anne Semonin is fast becoming a favourite of mine, as her products are just so luxurious, and trust me when you’re a student, it’s not often I get to say that phrase.  This shower gel just melts into the skin, making me feel like I’m wrapped in cashmere... when really I’m stood in university hall showers which have probably existed since the 70’s!

Yet it is the smell, ohhh the smell that really gets me.  It smells of Lemon Sherbet sweets! Now that’s one way to get my sugar fix.


Talking of sweets... Now spring beauty isn’t just about what’s on the outside, it’s also about taking care of the inside. Spring is the perfect opportunity to start afresh, slow down from all the manic that Christmas and New Year brought, and just take some time out for yourself. After all, if you don’t look after your mental state, then it will inevitably show on your appearance.

So my perfect way to unwind and take some me time, is to curl up with a good book, light a relaxing candle and nibble on some goodies. It just always puts me in a good mood. 

First, the nibbles. While I may have just said mental state was important, and to me, my metal happiness is directly proportional to my tummies happiness, my mental state is also sadly directly proportional to my weight, and as we know those two are not compatible. Yet there is hope, I’ve discovered these bad boys. Bittersweet  are a sweet company who make sugar free, gluten free, low fat and low carb sweets! Are they taste free too? Defiantly not! I love the Cherry DreamGum, as they are the saintly sister to the Haribo Cherries. At last my excuse to eat sweets!


Yet no chilled out evening would be complete without the great British cuppa. Tea Pigs are all about sustainability. They are Ethically certified, Rainforest Alliance certified, eco friendly packaging and help fund orphanages in Rwanda... phew, this along with the sweets is making me feel like Mother Theresa! 


If like me, after all that, you feel rather knackered, I have the perfect solution. My go at the moment is Birger et Mikkelsen’s candles.  I have a small confession. I am an interior freak, I just love home wear stuff. My (lad) friend took me to Harrods’s and I just pounced on the home wear. I was in love with the cushions, the ornaments and of course the candles. DAY just gives of the perfect evening glow to round off any stress filled day, and right now, I’m feeling like I’ll need 10 of these baby’s!




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Thursday, 11 April 2013

Azuni Gold Ring Necklace


Like a moth to a flame, a magpie to silver, I am attracted to jewellery.

A piece of statement jewellery can make an outfit, but cheap jewellery can break it. You can tell great craftsmanship from the look and feel, with the intricacy and attention to detail.

If you follow me on Twitter or read my last blog post, you’ll know on Sunday I went to  #NorthMeetUp. Throughout the day there were spot prizes, and I was lucky enough to win, so naturally I chose this gorgeous necklace by Azuni.  Ashley Marshall, founder and designer of Azuni is a man after my own heart. He was actually a chef working in The Dorchester and The Ivy before turning to Jewellery design. A man who cooks and designs Jewellery? Can I have your number?


Necklace- Azuni
Leather look top- Zara
Red Coated jeans- Zara
Orange blazer- Zara
(I think I'm singlehandedly keeping Zara in business)


I’ve never been one to play it safe either when it comes to fashion. I love to mix up textures and clash colours. An orange blazer, with red jeans? Why not? Just ask yourself, what would Olivia do? (Palermo- The final word on fashion in my eyes). That’s why the delicate nature of the necklace works so well with the touch leather of the top, it creates texture and layers to draw the eye.


Azuni has top clientele, having been worn by Kate Middleton, so I feel I’m in good company.

I love the tiny blue hematite beads and the 24 ct gold plated rings with their embossed detail, as it feels very Mediterranean, the only bit of sun I think I’m going to experience for a while!

To see some of their other designs, go to their website.
Or you can buy the necklace from here.





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Tuesday, 9 April 2013

#NorthMeetUp


I started this blog 6 months ago, with not too much of a strategy, more of just a... a want to write about what I love, and share my experiences and honest opinions with others. I never imagined where it would take me. Never did I imagine going to a blogger event.

Yet, on Sunday, I attended my first ever blogger event #NorthMeetUp and all I can say is I hope this is where my blog is going from now on.

It was an event for beauty bloggers by beauty bloggers, or should I say blogger. The amazing Em Sheldon from EmTalks organised and hosted the entire event- such a feat, but such a success. It was a chance to finally get to meet and put faces to names to all the blogs I read and follow, and chat about blogging and beauty with like minded people.

Of course I had to represent my ‘brand’ and wear some fierce heels to the event.



Heels: Topshop


Jacket: Zara

The event started with the chance to finally meet and put faces to names to all the blogs I read and follow, and chat about blogging and beauty with like minded people, such as Lauren and Bryony. Capital FM were also there to capture the moments.


Of course the event also combined 4 of my favourite things- Fashion, Beauty, blogging and cocktails! Although there was sort of my 5th- food, courtesy of the amazing cupcakes by Lauren from CherryLovesIt




Where there is food, there is Laura. (By the way, if you are wondering what on earth is on my hand, its Glam Glow, one of the products I tried. Not some hideous tropical disease).


I discovered some amazing brands, with one being Xen-Tan. I have a confession to make, which OK, seeing as I ‘confessed’ it to a room of around 60 people it’s hardly new, but I’ve never tanned. Being a red head and pale just means fake tan usually ends up with a delightful all over orange look going on. Not sexy. So naturally they wanted a challenge, and gave me a bottle of their Xen-Tan Premium Light Tan. Challenge accepted, so stay tuned for an update post.


Also Skin Solutions, the company who first launched Xen-Tan into the UK were also representing Glam Glow; a range of facial mud treatments. It’s made of green tea leaves for a natural exfoliate, which I tried on the back of my hands. I left mine on for a good 30 minutes, but when I came to rinse it off; my hand was remarkably... glowing. Very impressed.



Another brand there was ILAH brows, created by Tahira Wells, who has worked with Sir Paul McCartney, Holly Vallence and Carol Vordaman. Her hands touched Pauls, which touched mine?! Legend.




The amazing work of Special Effects makeup artists Abi Pulleyn and Megan Bulmer




Now, I’m not normally one to talk about a goodie bag, as I’d never ever put something on my blog I wasn’t truly impressed by, otherwise my blog wouldn’t be what I intended it to be; a place to discuss things that I love. However, Em did THE most amazing job organising the goodie bags that I had to sing her praises. The whole event was done by her, so I take my hat (metaphorically, but damn, do I want a hat now) off to her.


The gorgeous Em Sheldon

There were so many other great brands, including Neal and Wolf, Arbonne and Blanx, but the best part of the day was meeting so many great bloggers. It’s hard to talk blog to people who don’t blog sometimes, as they don’t always get it. To be honest before I started blogging, I don’t think I did. I read blogs, but never understood where they came from really, or who did them. I had one of the best Sundays I’ve had in a long time and felt truly pampered, which made me realise, I love beauty, so why don’t I post about it more? It was a real eye opener for me and my blog.

So I would like to thank the amazing Em again for organising the event, it was honestly one of the most fun day's I've had in a long long time. Here’s hoping for another event sometime soon. 




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