Easter 2015 @ Lush - Golden Egg Bath Bomb Melt

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I hadn't actually had the chance to pick up anything from the Lush Easter range, so when my amazing housemate came home with this in a little bag for me I was super happy. The Golden Egg (£3.75) is billed on the site as a 'Bath Bomb Melt', which basically means it fizzles like a bomb but also melts into the water, with moisturising ingredients such as olive oil and cocoa butter.

The scent of this is absolutely beautiful - a toffee-honey that's apparently shared with the Honey, I Washed The Kids Soap. Which I certainly need to pick up now. To me, it definitely had a caramel note to it too - it basically smells exactly how I imagine Easter should smell.

I'm not usually the biggest fan of glittery bath bombs, as they usually end up everywhere (and this one ended up on my boyfriend and bed when we were having a sniff!). However, I didn't find the glitter stuck to my skin too much, and instead gave the bathwater a lovely shimmer that worked perfectly with the melt's golden shade. The silky feel of the water after it had fully melted in certainly didn't go unnoticed, I felt like I was wrapped in a coccoon of loveliness.

One thing I really noticed was how soft my skin felt afterwards, thanks to the good old cocoa butter (Fair Trade, too!). I'd made the horrible, horrible mistake of emergency dry shaving my legs the day before, but this little egg sorted them right out and now I'm occasionally stroking them. Yep. Sometimes I do that.

As Easter is fast approaching, there isn't much time to snap one of these up but I'd definitely recommend it - a lovely, moisturising soak with a warming scent that would definitely hit the sweet spot for an Easter Sunday bath!

Have you tried any of Lush's Easter products?
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#geniusjeans - Rediscovering Denim

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Shockingly, before this post, I actually only owned one pair of jeans. That were too big for me. However, thanks to George at ASDA, I may have just discovered a new found enthusiasm for having denim wrapped around my legs.

Given the pick of ALL THE DENIM, I went for these Turn-Up Hem Jeans* (£18). Although they were a bit long for my stump legs, I just modified the turn up slightly, and they're an AMAZING fit. I got a 12, which I feel is pretty much true to size - something I always faff about when buying jeans online. I'm also a fan of the more faded patches on the front around the upper thighs and knees - giving them that 'worn and loved' look from the first time you put them on. They have enough give in them to be flexible and comfortable, but still enough structure to look good and emphasise the shape of my legs/perk my bum up a bit.

I paired them with this t-shirt I picked up for just £5 in my recent Primark haul, and I really love the fun pattern. It's really not something I'd have expected myself to pick out but I was surprised at how much this floral dress fanatic is actually loving on the simple jeans and bold tee look. To jazz it up a bit, I picked the brightly coloured Envelope Cross Body Bag* (£8), which can be used as both a clutch or a strappy shoulder bag - love me some multitasking accessories! And, as mentioned in my #letsgetskirty post, I'm still loving on my SpyLoveBuy Cocktail Cleated Sole Gladiator Platforms. The rings are all from Primark too, and you can see them in the aforementioned post.

Given the choice, I'm still a big time dress and playsuit girl, but I feel like everyone needs some go-to denim in their wardrobe - and at such a great price, George at ASDA definitely provide a stroke of 'jean-ius' (sorry) for denim lovers and anyone hunting for affordable wardrobe staple pieces.

Are you a big jeans wearer? Where did you get your favourite pair?

*This blog post contains items sent to me for by the George @ Asda PR team.
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Food For Thought: Innovative Ways to Pay For Dinner

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I do like a good food trend, and I also love enjoying dinner in a money-conscious way. The idea of alternative ways of paying for food is something that's cropped up a fair bit over the years - using a skill, technology or just your judgement to cover the price of a meal. I'm all for it - the interactivity makes a simple meal out become an experience, offers you the chance to share with others and draws attention to aspects of food and dining that you might not have considered before. Here are three of my favourite alternative payment dining options that I've seen...

Pay by Poker: The All-In Kitchen

Recently, PokerStars teamed up with Jones & Sons to launch All In Kitchen, the first ever pay-by-poker pop up restaurant, where your poker skills could earn you a free meal. Booking in for three rounds, the amount of chips you ended up left with at the end determined how much you paid - and even those ending up not coming up trumps still only paid just £10 for three courses, a meal normally worth £50. Even if you're useless at poker (like me), I'm pretty sure that still sounds like a great deal. Although the inital pop-up is now over, there are plans to roll it out as part of a future tour - so keep an eye on the website, as it could be coming to a city near you!

Pay by Instagram: The Picture House

I was absolutely gutted I missed out on this one - last year, Birds Eye opened up The Picture House, where diners were able to pay for their meals by simply uploading an Instagram snap. Food photographer Marie Marte was also on hand to help diners get the best shots for their Instagram feeds. I'm definitely a big food snapper, so absolutely loved this idea - it's an example of a great campaign that really harnesses how much social media has changed our sharing habits, snapping everything from breakfast through to dinner time. 

Pay As You Feel: The Real Junk Food Project

The Real Junk Food Project was started in Leeds by chef Adam Smith and University students Sam Joseph and Conor Walsh, in order to raise awareness of food waste and the way food is produced, distributed and consumed. They opened their first 'pay as you feel' cafe in December 2013, allowing consumers to contribute what they think the food, space, idea and bigger picture is worth. Since then, the project has seen over 40 cafes nationally take on the idea - find your local one here. The concept and message behind this project and their cafes is a really inspiring one, and not only do you get to decide what your dinner's worth and pay accordingly, you're also supporting the fight against food waste and the effect it has on the planet.

Have you been to any of these restaurants? What would you want to pay for your dinner with?

*post contains sponsored link
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What's In My Going Out Bag?

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To be honest, I don't go 'out out' all that often - but I love heading out to the pub, to gigs, going for dinner and occasionally heading out to an alternative club night in the city. When I do head into town, be it to party or try out a new restaurant, I like to think I've got my 'going out bag' packing skills down to a fine art. Back in the day it was a different story - I used to buy tiny little bags and absolutely cram them with what can only be described as just STUFF. My entire makeup bag, multiple packs of half-used chewing gum, coins all over the bottom of my bag? Check.

Nowadays I like to go more streamlined, and also choose appropriately sized bags to prevent them bulging at the seams. My current favourite is the Bryant Park Black Saffiano Cross-body Bag* from DKNY (£110). For me, a little black bag is my go-to, as it works with any outfit and I don't have to faff over mentally auditing my wardrobe every time I go bag shopping. The Bryant Park bag is quite pricey by my usual standards, but it'll definitely last me years as it's such better quality than the flimsy bags I used to buy from Primark for £4 a pop. It's the perfect size for fitting all my party essentials in, has a solid magnetic clasp to stop bag spills, and the gold detailing on the strap puts a great glam twist on the classic black bag. Plus, with the aforementioned magnetic clasp and the fact it's a cross body bag, I feel like my belongings are secure - definitely something I worry about when in busy Central London.

When it comes to going on nights out, I don't like to be weighed down by carrying around loads of makeup, so I try to stick to the bare essentials for top-ups during the night. Thanks to making very good foundation choices some of the time, I find most of it stays in place for the night - but if sweaty clubs have caused my face to melt off a bit, I find a little dab of Collection Lasting Perfection Ultimate Wear (£4.19) is a lifesaver. If I need to top up my eyeliner for a more dramatic look from dinner to bar, I'll be relying on Bourjois Liner Feutre (£6.99) - it's a strong jet black that doesn't budge easily, and the pen style makes it easy to apply even after a glass or two (okay, a bottle) of wine. Finally, there's always a lipstick in my bag - at the moment, it's MAC's Girl About Town (£15.50) - a fuschia pink which makes me feel instantly party-ready.

As I mentioned above, coins usually end up languishing at the bottom of my bag, meaning a massive scrabble at the bar to find change for a cocktail. A small coin purse was the perfect solution to my scatty ways, and this H! by Henry Holland Black Cat Face Coin Purse* (£6.40) is adorable AND practical. At the moment, I need to renew my driving license so I'm carrying my passport around as ID (hello, baby face) - and desperately hoping I don't lose it before my holiday in May! Also, if I'm going to dinner, I'll always try and have my Tastecard on me, as it gives 50% off/2-for-1 at SO many places. It costs £79.99 for a year's membership - but if you have a group of friends who go out for dinner regularly, you can take turns at getting the 30 day free trial - just don't forget to cancel!

What are your going out bag essentials?

*post contains PR samples/gifted items
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'Is University for You?' - The Other, Other Side to the Coin

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It's about the time of year when UCAS offers will be coming in, and plenty of school-leavers or those who've taken a gap year (I took two...) will be deciding what they want to do with the next three+ years of their life. Recently, I've seen a spate of posts about not going to University from bloggers. Which is absolutely fine. If Uni really isn't for you, not going or leaving mid-course isn't 'giving up' and you shouldn't be ashamed. It's great that people are giving the side of the story your college careers advisor doesn't want you to hear, but I wanted to chip in on the debate by sharing my experience of University and what I've taken from it, beyond just a degree. For me, student life doesn't have to just be about cramming, studying and partying, and in fact it was the aspects outside of that which really made my experience invaluable to my future and personal growth. Although those bits did happen. Regularly, in the case of the latter.

I went to Uni in Portsmouth. It's not a red brick, not particularly high up on the league tables and the grades they asked for were actually below both my predicted and achieved grades. And I didn't even visit before deciding it was where I wanted to go. Crazy, right? But it turns out I had the most incredible time there. I came out with a 2:1 BA (Hons.) in Drama & Film Studies, but as useful as my degree has been for bulking up my CV, the real quality of my university experiences came from areas beyond assignments, projects and exams.

From when I started at Uni, I instantly involved myself with the things I was interested in. I wrote for the Uni paper, and continued on to become Marketing Manager and Copy Editor. I joined the Rock Society, and ended up as Social Secretary/Publicity Officer, as well as representing societies on the RAG committee. When I was in school, taking part in extracurricular activities was nerdy, but at Uni, I met some of the best people through them, and gained experience that I never would have had through my degree alone. I also worked on a casual basis at various venues, and still managed to have a great social life and complete my degree. Yes, it took organisation and time management to keep up with all of these things, but that's something that really benefits me even now, working two jobs, blogging and still having the time for fun.


At the end of my final year, I ran in student elections and thanks to the confidence I'd gained and given others in myself (and plenty of socialising...), I managed to win - a full-time, paid position running an organisation that represented 22,000 students. A pretty big deal, really. That role has been the reason I've had the jobs I've had since, and if it wasn't for doing that, I have no idea where I'd be career-wise right now. My advice of going down to your Students Union/employability and volunteering department/local organisations and finding things to get involved with doesn't just apply to those who'll just be starting at Uni. If you're feeling lonely, homesick or like you don't quite fit in, the advice still applies. If I hadn't taken it myself, I'd probably have ended my first year crying on the floor in Tiger Tiger wishing I'd just found a job instead.

Beyond just the education side, I purposefully chose a Uni that was far enough from home that I couldn't go back to see my parents every weekend. Not that I don't adore them (I have to say that, they read my blog...!), but another really important thing about Uni for me was the ability to live 'alone' for the first time, and find my feet in a bit of a halfway point between living at home and total independence. When you're away from home, you have to cook and do your own washing. Like, all the time. You learn that it's way more embarrassing when a housemate yells at you for being an ass than an ever-loving parent. For someone who might not have experienced those things before, it's a great learning experience while having the support of others in the same boat around you.


Apart from time you'll be spending studying or doing other things, your time is very much your own. On my first day of Uni, I went for a three hour walk around the city just taking things in on my own. Now I'm working 40+ hours a week, I'm glad I made the most of having ACTUAL FREE TIME. The things I learnt at Uni shaped me from an unsure 20 year old to a vaguely clued-in, pretty sassy mini adult. If you'd asked me at the beginning of the three years if I'd stand up in a debate in front of a room full of people, I'd have laughed in your face. Fast-forward three years, and that's exactly what I found myself doing.

My experience isn't going to be relatable for everyone - some readers out there may be embarking on a career where a good degree is essential to even getting on the career ladder. But if you're debating whether to go to Uni, it's not always about degree vs going straight into work experience - think about the other personal benefits you might gain from it too. Yes, a degree is an important part of Uni life so you will have to do some work (soz), and Uni in general isn't for some (which is fine), but whether you're considering Uni or already have a place, make sure to take the time to work out how YOU can get the most out of it - whether that's educationally, experience-wise or just in terms of personal growth.

Did you go to Uni? Or are you still considering it? I'd love to hear stories of others' Uni experiences in the comments - positive or negative.
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#letsgetskirty Leopard Print Love

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I was contacted recently by George @ ASDA to take part in two campaigns they're running at the moment - so in the coming week or so, you'll be getting multiple outfit posts from me styling up different items! The first of the campaigns I'm showcasing is #letsgetskirty, which, as you just MIGHT be able to guess, is all about skirts. I'm definitely a dress and skirt lover at heart, so this campaign was something I got super excited about. My first outfit is something I wore out last night on a bit of a pub/bar session, and got tons of compliments on which was ace.

The Leopard Print Skater Skirt was one of the first things that completely jumped out at me on the page. I do love me a bit of leopard print, and the bright pink is super eye-catching and a total homage to my emo/punky side. I thought the best way to wear something so visual would be with a black top, and the Lace Shoulder Top gives just enough detail to make the whole outfit a bit more exciting. And what goes best with leopard print? More leopard, obv. I've never been one for delicate jewellery really, the chunkier the better, and the Leopard Print Statement Necklace I'm wearing is basically me in jewellery form. And the most amazing part of this is the price - the skirt, top and necklace come to a total of £26, which I think is awesome value for how lovely the items are/

The only part of the outfit that isn't from George is the shoes - I was lucky enough to win a pair of shoes from SpyLoveBuy. Instead of taking on the 'safe' option of yet another pair of chunky black boots (there's a line, I have crossed it), I went for something that'll be a bit more hot weather-friendly, the Cocktail Cleated Sole Platform Gladiator Shoes. Pleased to report they're super comfy, although I'll need to make an extra hole on the ankle straps as I have silly skinny ankles! They're only £25 too, which is definitely a steal - meaning in total this entire outfit cost just over £50 (I haven't counted the tights in that cause everyone has tights, right?)

What do you think of my George @ ASDA outfit? Are you more of a skirts or trousers type?

*This blog post contains items sent to me for by the George @ Asda PR team.
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London Grace Nail Polishes

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London Grace Nail bar polishes
London Grace Nail bar polishes swatch

London Grace Nail Bar in Putney are all about putting the fun into beauty treatments, offering high quality nail services combined with catching up with friends over a glass of wine. As well as late opening hours to allow an after-work girly evening, London Grace also have a 'clean thinking' approach to their products, from formaldehyde-free laquers to organic milk in their coffees. Owner Kirsten Hazell's entrepreneurial spirit saw her quit her job in graphic design to pursue her dream of opening a New York-inspired nail bar in London.

Just a year later, London Grace was open for business. Alongside offering a variety of nail bar treatments, Kirsten has also created London Grace's own range of products to get the look at home. I was lucky enough to win three polishes as part of a Twitter giveaway, and they're three of the loveliest shades my fingers have ever encountered!

The range have all been named after people that helped London Grace establish itself, which I think is a lovely, personal touch. Named after the bar's founder herself, 'Kirsten' is a bright, pretty pink - the kind of shade that fits perfectly into any 'nail wardrobe'. 'Sarah' is a classic purple, which looks slightly darker on than it does in the bottle. My favourite of the three is 'Chloe', named after Kirsten's sister - a warm, pinky coral that'll be perfect for spring/summer nails. The packaging is very simple and classy, and the brush is the perfect size to apply the right amount of polish neatly. I used three light coats above, but realistically you'd only really need two to reach the desired effect. They have great staying power and dry more quickly than other polishes at a similar price point I've tried.

At £11 a polish, these come in at the same price point as higher end polishes, and I do feel that their salon quality justifies the price. I really like the fact that they're an independent line - supporting up-and-coming local small businesses is something I'm really interested in. Kirsten's story is a perfect example of inspirational women who take the plunge into starting their own business, and something I'm really keen on getting behind and supporting.

Unfortunately, London Grace don't have an online store yet, but if you're in London and feel like treating yourself, I'd definitely recommend popping in to pick up some of these lovely shades. And although I haven't actually visited the salon yet, I'll definitely be heading over to have my nails done there very soon!
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