Tuesday, 10 December 2013

// Christmas Gift Guide: For Her

// Christmas Gift Guide: For Her
1.// Pajama set - French Connection 2.// Diptyque mini candles - Selfridges  3.// Rose gold headphones - Frends 4.// Leather Notebook - Smythson 5.// Wish bone necklace - Jennifer Zeuner 6.// Multi-miracle glow cleanser, mask & balm - Charlotte Tilbury 7.//  Lingerie - Agent Provocateur 8.// Perfume - Elie Saab 9.// Faux fur collar - French Connection 10.// Clutch - Forever21 11.// Heels - Zara 12.// What Katie Ate Cook book - Anthropologie    

For the girl who has everything - any one of these luxury hand picked gifts will do the trick. Be warned though. Extreme jealousy will ensue. 

Thursday, 5 December 2013

// Christmas Party #1 - The LBD

Christmas Party #1

1.// Dress - Topshop 2.// Lipstick - MAC 3.// Clutch - Whistles 4.// Shoes - River Island 
5.// Earrings - Mango

You can't go wrong with a 'little black dress' and this elegant embellished version from Topshop is perfect for this year's Christmas festivities. Pair with a killer pair of heels and some OTT earrings and you are set to go. 

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

// Finishing Touches #1 : Frame your room with curtains

Curtains and blinds are an extremely important part of a room's look that should never be rushed or overlooked. Not only because of the price tag (especially ones as large as these) but also due to the large expanse of wall space that they occupy, meaning that they have a large impact on your room's overall look. 

Curtains and blinds are one of the first things you must think about when planning your new room. Like any big piece of furniture, you need to work out style, colours, size and budget. You can buy pre-made curtains or blinds, but you will always run the risk of them not fitting perfectly. Many places like Dunelm Mill, M&S, Debenhams, etc all offer a range of pre-made curtains and blinds in a few variations of sizes, however, the choice of length and fabric is always very limited. Work out the size that you want yours to sit at and spend a couple of hours browsing the internet to see what is out there. You may decide that you want to go for a neutral colour and then go all out in your accessories. In which case, this option will be much simpler.

However, if like me, nothing suits your fancy and you want something a bit more bespoke, you will need to pre-order. The same places I listed above do also offer this option, and the range of fabric choices is much larger. You can also find local companies who will come to your house, collect the correct measurements for you and offer help and advice on lengths and fabrics. Going down this route is more expensive and will also mean that you do need to plan in advance, as most companies will take several weeks to make and deliver. 

I know this sounds like a lot of faff, but trust me, the end result is so worth it. You won't believe the transformation it will have on your room. Before I put my curtains up, the room looked hard, cold and unconnected. I choose to go with long, neutral curtains that fall and billow on the floor for a chic, town-house style look. Because my room is long and thin, it can get cold in the winter, especially with the large doors. To help keep down the heating bills, I decided to opt for adding thin wadding for insulation, which actually also adds a more luxurious feel to the curtains. The fabric is a beautiful, silky soft cotton in taupe to offset my light grey walls.

  • For rooms that are lucky enough to have high ceilings and tall windows, long curtains that touch the floor will look extremely elegant. However, if you opt for long curtains, try to stick to either plain or simple patterns to avoid pattern overload.
  • Cute cottage style homes tend to have smaller windows and lower ceilings. Perhaps think about going for roman blinds in pretty, kitsch fabrics.
  • Think about where your furniture is going to go - you don't want to have long curtains that will be trapped by big sofas or tvs.
  • Also remember where you radiators are. If you radiator is under your window, then putting up a long curtain that will fall over the top of it will trap all your heat in the air pockets formed behind when they are closed. In this instance, maybe shorter length curtains or blinds (or both) are the better option.

If you have any questions or any more tips to add then let me know!

Helena x

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

// Christmas Gift Guide: For Him

// Christmas Gift Guide: For Him
1.// Paco Rabanne 1 Million Eau de Toilette - Debenhams 2.// Weekend Bag - Topman 3.// Touchscreen Gloves - French Connection 4.// Mulberry iPad Sleeve - Selfridges 5.// Beanie - Topman 6.// Game of Thrones Books - Amazon 7.// Go Pro Camera - Amazon 8.// Ray-Bans - House of Fraser 9.// Ralph Lauren Shirt - Ralph Lauren 10.// Suede Shoes - Topman

It's less than a month until Christmas and so far you have...ZERO ideas of what to get the special man in your life. Let me guess, you've been frantically searching IWOOT for the past few days? Well fear not a moment longer. I have put my internet procrastination expertise into good use and carefully selected a range of fine presents any young man would be over joyed to receive. 

Helena x

Saturday, 30 November 2013

// Christmas Gift Guide: For the Homemaker

1.// stag head jewellery holder: £25 Urban Outfitters 2.// measuring cups: £32 Anthropologie 3.// 'Sup' doormat: £32.75 Nordstrom 4.// Decorating with Style : £16.99 Abigail Ahern - Anthropologie 5.//  Jo Malone Peony and Blush Candle:  £39 Selfridges 6.// love me love my dog cushion: Barbara Coupe - Selfridges 7.// cake stand: £6.99 H&M 8.// faux fur blanket: £49.99 H&M 9.// faux roses tray: £45 Next 10.// limited edition cups: £8 Anthropologie 11.// glass jewellery box: £15 Urban Outfitters

I've finally put my procrastination to good use and have created a series of gift guides for those of you struggling/hesitant to find the time to waste hours trudging around the shops during the year's busiest retail period.

Each guide covers purse friendly to purse stretching items and hopefully cater for a variety of tastes. I have to admit, that compiling these was definitely a struggle for my self-control. Pretty much everything I have included (bar a few of the 'For Him' gifts) I would quite happily receive myself. Always a key determinate for a good gift. 

This first compilation is my favourite. As previously mentioned in an earlier post, I have recently moved into my first home. So this is basically more of wish list for me. Any friends and family reading this...THIS IS A GIGANTIC HINT. Especially the limited edition alphabet cups. Oh and the faux fur throw, and the stag jewellery holder, and the hipster doormat..OK, just everything alright!

// Beauty Haul #1

There is nothing better than a lunch break drugstore haul. Yes, rush hour traffic is the bane of my life, but working in such close proximity to town also has its obvious upsides.

After perusing my weekly beauty blogs, I was inspired to give my old makeup routine a little shakeup. With Winter well and truly here (-1oc yesterday morning!), my wardrobe palette has quickly plummeted into it's standard seasonal three colours: black, dark grey and light grey. Cheerful, I know. So I decided that I'd try and inject some more colour through my makeup. Nothing bright (as my charming red complexion quickly puts me in drag queen makeup territory at the hint of any colour), just some nice autumnal tones to give a boost to my outfits.

My skin can become very dry and dull in the winter, so I thought I'd try out some new highlighting products to add a bit of glow to my face post moisturising. The beautifully packaged Bourjois Poudre de Riz was recommended to me by a dear friend (plus it's been circulating the blogosphere for the past few months). This little pot of shimmery goodness has been cleverly packaged with a twisty lid inside to prevent any catastrophic spillages upon opening. I have to say, however, for the product itself, I do hold some reservations.The only way I can describe the look of it is fairy dust. So we shall see when I give it a test run tomorrow.

The L'Oreal Lumi Magique is another highlighter, but in a liquid form. Whereas the Bourjois 'poudre' is more of a top coat finishing powder, the Lumi Magique is a base product to be applied under/instead of foundation. I'm not quite sure how you would see the effects under a foundation though (especially a heavy coverage one). Again, we shall see.

My other two purchases were again Bourjois. Woops. I went for the new Bourjois powder blusher in Rose Frisson and Bourjois Colour Edition 24hr cream eye shadow in Desir. Both have beautiful warm undertones to them. The cream eye shadow gets me most excited though. It has a pretty pink metallic sheen to it. Perfect for the Christmas party season.

I have absolutely nothing planned this weekend. The boyfriend is away on work so I'm staying chez parents with the pup. I'm looking forward to trialing my new makeup purchases, finishing off my living room curtains with the mothership and talking the doggies on some lovely winter walks. Have any of you got anything nice planned? Visiting any Christmas fairs on this weekend?

Helena x

Sunday, 24 November 2013

// Pretty in Pink

Pretty in Pink

This season is all about the pink. Don't worry, we aren't talking tacky Barbie pink. Think more...baby pink

Sweet and subtle hues of rose and blush. The perfect compliment to your winter rosy cheeks. 

Keep your outfits sweet and girly. Perhaps pair with a peter pan collar and some cute slipper shoes. 

When I think of this trend, I like to see myself channeling Audrey Hepburn in her pea coats and pointed flats. 

Finish off with a flick of liquid eyeliner and a hint of colour on the lips and you are good to go!

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

// DIY Phone Case

Last Sunday was one of those delicious, rare weekend mornings where you have absolutely nothing planned. 

After managing to remain dreaming away for a good 10 hours, I awoke refreshed and ready to make the most of the crisp autumnal morning and take the pup on a long stroll. 

Nothing sparks your creativity like the beautiful English countryside. 

This little project has been one that I have been meaning to tackle for quite a while, but with the usual hum drum of everyday life taking up the majority of my spare time, it's one that quietly got forgotten.

The DIY was inspired by an Etsy post I saw a few months ago of a hand made phone case made out of hand dried flowers. 

Anyone that knows me too well will be able to tell you that there is no way I would ever bother with the faff of hand drying my own flowers. I'm more one of those kinds of DIY enthusiasts who only tackles projects that involve minimal effort and minimal materials

Hence the major adaption to the original project.

This is the perfect DIY to let your imagination run free. Go as crazy as you like. Paint on a snazzy geometric pattern, or heck, print out and transfer Ryan Goslings face to the inside (the thought did cross my mind). 

Materials list for my version of the DIY:
1. Clear phone case (you can find these anywhere on the web for less than £5 - I got mine from amazon)
2. Glitter nail varnish
3. Clear nail varnish
4. Paint brushes
5. Selection of acrylic paints

Step 1: Prepare your work surfaces and ensure plastic clear case is clean on the inside.

Step 2. Paint the inside of the case with your glittery nail varnish. The more sparkly you want it to be, the more coats you need to do. It's all about the layers baby.

Step 3: Allow to dry. (The time it took me to boil the kettle and brew a cup of tea was plenty of time.)

Step 4: Sorry, I lied. This isn't step 4. I just wanted to document and admire the fact that I managed to grow all my nails to this length without any of them breaking. A rare feat.

The 'real' step 4: Choose your colour and mix a good enough amount to cover the case.

Step 5: Apply a thick layer of paint to the inside of your case, ensuring to cover all surfaces equally.

Step 7: Allow paint to dry fully and then apply a layer or two of clear nail varnish to seal.

Make sure you let your case dry fully before using it on your phone. 

As promised, this DIY really is that easy. They could make the perfect presents for friends and families. You could even personalise them with their names using a gold Sharpie pen. The possibilities for variation are endless. 

I'm already planning my next Kate Spade inspired gold stripe case.

Helena x

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Autumn Accessories.

Anything involving black suede, leopard print or tartan is on my wishlist for AW13. They are the fail-safe staples that everyone returns to each winter. I'll be wrapping up and keeping myself nice and cosy in these luxury accessories this season. 

Thursday, 3 October 2013

First Home

As someone who has been obsessed with interiors from a very young age (I have been signed up to the Primelocation email list since as long as I can remember), I was keen to start saving for my first home from my very first pay cheque. However University certainly dented my savings account. Never live within a 5 minutes walk from Topshop..

I finished University in July 2012 and Seb, my partner of 7 years, and I decided that we would like to start our search for a place of our own. Whilst on the hunt for a graduate job I was working as many hours as I could on minimum wage as a waitress and Seb was pulling as much overtime as he could get away with. 8 months went by like this, with money only going out on petrol to get to and from work and the occasional night out to see friends. I'm not going to lie. It was bloomin' hard. But thankfully both our families were extremely supportive.

Around Christmas time 2012 we were almost there and the frantic search began! I checked every estate agent's online updates in the area on a twice daily basis to ensure I never missed out on a trick. It even got to the point where we used to make regular detours on the way home from work to literally trawl the streets of our preferred areas looking for for-sale signs. Sad, I know.

But the craziness paid off. A few days before Christmas we found the one. It didn't even have a for sale sign yet. A seven year old, 3 storey town house on the outskirts of the town, a minutes walk into the countryside but still close to local amenities and only a short drive from work. It was the best Christmas present we could ask for. It was perfect.

Since then, with a VERY limited budget we have gradually been putting our stamp on the place.

Over the course of my blog posts I will occasionally share tips and techniques on redecorating your home, with easy to follow tutorials, budget friendly DIYs and inspiration boards. If anyone ever has any questions or has any tips to share themselves, please feel free to leave any comments after each post.

Catch up later x

Friday, 30 August 2013

Brand new blog

Welcome to my blog, a place for me to keep on top of all my ideas and inspiration for my daily life. From next seasons wardrobe updates to inspiration boards to re do my kitchen, this blog shall be a place for me to collect everything together and share it with anyone who's listening. Keep in touch!