Monday, 20 October 2014

Things that go bump in the night!

Halloween is creeping up on us all super fast.  I am for once ridiculously organised (unlike my other half) and have my costume pretty much ready! But the main reason being is because we're hosting our first big Halloween party... so the host has to be sorted!

I know some of you don't have a clue what you're going to wear for 31st, so I decided I'd throw together some ideas for you.  The key area I'm looking at is Fairy tales and have put three mood boards together for Snow White, Tinkerbell and Alice in Wonderland.

Zombie Snow White
I do love a good fairytale and to be honest unless you live in the USA, (where everyone dresses as anything on Halloween) you have to go as something gruesome as most do in the UK.  By selecting a fairytale character you can take the simple, well known, innocent look and create something far from angelic!

You can get some amazing costumes pretty much already done for you then just by adding a few extra bits can really make it look super cool!  With Snow White she needs red shoes so I've found these beautiful red Kurt Geiger one,s (who said a Zombie can't be stylish) fake red blood from Accessorize, lots of dark make up and some ripped zombie style tights from Claire's. 

Zombie Tinkerbell
With Tinkerbell you will always need some kind of glitter so instead of having it everywhere you can have it on your nails! Maybe black glitter? Red shoes are always a hit so these hot red ankle strapped platforms are from Nelly.  More fake blood from Accessorize and face paint from Topshop! You'll always need a star wand if you're a fairy... regardless of how evil!
Zombie Alice
Alice in Wonderland is really popular due to the various adaptations of the book, al of which make it quite dark and mysterious.  Another nearly ready outfit and all you need is accessories.  I've found this amazing bunny ring, some blonde clip in hair, fake blood, striped socks and some killer boots for £30 from New Look!

Shopping for a Halloween costume

If you're stuck for time you are gonna have to pay to get a costume.  Don't panic if you get your skates on you can get one in time for Halloween and still quite cheap - just hurry! So we've established you can't sew your way to an amazing costume, so you need to get one pre done (look for Smiffy's ones they're usually good) then add on to make it even better than it is.

1.  Find your costume
 Lots of websites but found loads at Fancydress City including the three fairytale ones above. I've looked in the various highstreet shops that sell costumes and most of them are really expensive... you can get them much cheaper online. Trust me.

2. Make Up
Poundland is amazing for Halloween bits such as face paint and fake blood.  Oh just to point out if you're having a Halloween party Poundland is your best friend! 

3. Accessories
Claire's Accessories may not be the obvious choice but if you head in now you'll thank me.  Full of Halloween outfit add ons.  Tights like the ones featured on my Zombie Snow White mood board can be found in there.

There you have some ideas to get the clogs turning.  I think I'm going to go as a Zombie Snow White... complete with black wig I got for £3 from Tesco and may have to go get those Claire's Accessories zombie tights! 

This Friday I'll be showing you how to create a look for Halloween that'll make you appear far from attractive, and instead you'll look super gruesome and scary!

Annie
xoxo

Got a niggle? Get a #Nigglefix with Triumph Magic Wire

A Niggle Shared is a Niggle Halved! 


As women we all have to put up with numerous lifestyle 'niggles'... you know those frustrating things we have to put up with as women that no man could ever understand.  Like how there is always a huge queue for the womens loos! What's that about? You're perplexed how other women can't get in and out as quick as you, and of course there is no queue in the mens...  Typical.  Another great one is cramming your flats in your handbag for a not so crafty change from your 'I can't walk in these' heels.  I'm always having to do that or my toes would be non exsistant!

Anyways so we all have little niggles but the other day I had what I'd call the most annoying niggle.  I was doing a big clothes wash and had to wear a bra I don't normally, I couldn't understand why I hadn't but trust me as the day went on I realised why I'd abadoned it to the bottom of my drawer! The underwire kept digging right into my rib as I sat at my work desk, making a very uncomfortable and frankly a fidget for the entire day. Goody.

After my day of bra niggle I actually got an email the other day about a new style of bra from Triumph... they've created a supportive bra with no underwire. It actually sounded too good to be true, how the devil would it support a fuller chest? Well it's all down to a very clever piece of silicone in their new Magic Wire bra which supports without the wires that dig in. To top it off there is also a built in mesh stabilizer which helps to give additional support whilst you're on the move.  So the bra shuffle can now be striked off the women niggles list!


With Triumph solving one of the big niggles that us women face, they're encourage UK women to use the hashtag #nigglefix on social media platforms too share their niggles! So anything from saggy tights (I can't stand them) or saggy jeans to frizzy hair (think Monica from Friends style). Triumph will then take some of the niggles posted on both Twitter and Facebook, illustrate the most common problems and then call on the community to suggest their best possible solutions. The solutions will then be illustrated back to the community with the outcomes!  Hey, you may even get some tips on how to deal with your biggest niggle.... mine is gonna have to be the saggy tights now that my bra issue has been solved!
 

You can find out more about this campaign from Triumph by visiting http://nigglefix.triumph.com .  You will find the niggle fix hero video, Magic Wire product video (see how it works), product information, press and blogger reviews and the upcoming SUFF Magic Wire roadshows. 
Fed up with lifes little niggles too? Go on what's you niggle? Share it with us @TriumphUK #nigglefix
Annie 
xoxo
*This post was written in association with Triumph* 
All thoughts/opinions are my own
 

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Mallzee - The Shopping Revolution

I do love shopping perhaps a little more than I should.  Handbags, shoes, coats.. you name it I have some how justified buying it! My fiance will agree undoubtedly.... but as fashion lovers of the world why can't we enjoy to shop? 

Sometimes I impulse buy without really investigating what I want, why I want it and what it'll go with. Sometimes I don't get a chance to battle with the crowds on a Saturday to hunt for a pair of black boots to go with my new jeans, I say don't have time what I really mean is... I don't have the patience to deal with Saturday slow walking shoppers whilst I hunt for boots I don't even know exsist! Oh the frustration.    

With this in mind the other week I got an email introducing me to this brand new shopping app that allows you to shop online... doesn't sound groundbreaking really does it? But it actually does much more than that...

Mallzee (in a nutshell) is a platform for you to become social with your shopping and buy your clothes online. This is all done on your phone so you can be on your lunch break at work, or on the train and be hunting for your outfit for your work party at the weekend.

What is Mallzee about

  • 2 million (yes 2 million) products ranging from ASOS, Topshop, River Island, Miss Selfridge, Urban Outfitters, Liberty London and 100s more!
  • Not just highstreet it also has boutiques too!
  •  Personalised outfit recommendations which utilise intuitive style graph technology to find clothes which suit your personal style. How clever.
  • Exclusive fashion deals - who doesn't like a bargain?
  • Easy to sign up via email or social media
  • It uses a tinder style so you can swipe yes and no on items that come up.
  • A blogger of the month is featured with their latest tips and picks
  • There is a trend of the week for you to keep up to date with what is hot! 
  • Browsing by brand, category, colour or price so you can browse easily.

You can pull ideas  from top lists created by other users, you can also create brainstorm lists yourself and you'll see weekly top trends which will all give you inspiration for your fashion hunt. For example you could create a look for a girls night out during AW14 and that could have an amazing monochrome dress and heels.  You can then add that dress to your favourites for you to come back and look at, but to top it off Mallzee will infact notify you when your dress has gone into the sale!

If you read my blog you know I don't do things 'normally' so to give you more of a visual idea of Mallzee I've created some style examples below. None of this imagery is anything to do with the app it's purely to demonstrate how easy shopping could be. By the way yes that is me styling some outfits, I took inspiration from Clueless the Movie and Cher's rotating wardrobe!

babyshower bloggers


You could of seen those shoes in a Style Feed and saved them, Mallzee has just told you they're now in the sale for £20.00! To buy or not to buy... that is the question!

Wine bloggers
You are looking for some stripes in monochrome.  Mallzee has found an amazing top for you from Miss Selfridge... shall you save it or maybe just buy it as it's just what you're looking for.

bonfire blogger
Your favourite blogger had some items that were folksy hippy inspired, all are perfect for AW14 and especially the bonfire night party you have coming up.  You can't go in your scruffs so something inbetween would be great.... mmm you do love that necklace... oh and that bag!


weekend blog



You need something to wear for an afternoon tea with Mum on a shopping trip.  Something pretty, comfy and Mum will like (she'll be paying after all!).  Wow! You've just had an alert those shoes you've been eyeing up have gone into the sale... must buy them!  You also want something in burgundy... what do you suggest Mallzee?
 
Verdict
There you have the new shopaholics best friend.  I think my shopping has become less impulsive as I'm investigating trends, looks and items far more closely.  For me the creative side of the app is my favourite part as it's one big fashionistas forum to gain inspiration to shop! The Mallzee app is going to get bigger and bigger with the buzz that is already circulating even now...

As part of all this there is an absolutely amazing competition for bloggers to win a bundle of prizes!
  • £250 to spend with a retailer of your choice
  • A blogging short course at the world-renowned London College of Fashion
  • An iPad Air
  • A Canon wireless printer
Find out more on how to get your hands on these visit Mallzee blog post.

What do you think?  Would you give this app a go?  If you have already... do you like it as much as me?

Annie 
xoxo



NOOK GlowLight Review

Banres and Noble Glowlight

nook.com/gb

You can't beat a good book can you? The idea of taking those minutes out of your daily life and lost within the crisp printed pages is like nothing else? Exactly why I have so many books that I have 6 bookshelves!
I was due to be going my holiday and couldn't wait for a week of relaxing and frankly doing not a lot.  I love to read but often enough I never have time to get through as many books as I like - usually because I'll fall asleep in bed before I get to the end of the first chapter!

I was kindly sent a Nook GlowLight* to try out and as I'm a technology geek I thought me going away would be the perfect opportunity to give it a go.  I'd already got about ten books on my hit list to read and the idea of taking such a light weight option with me was a saving grace... my handbag and suitcase were already full!
review ereaders uk
Nook UK ereader
A crisp white device created by Barnes & Noble, arrived ready to join me on my holiday adventure. I couldn't really get over how small it was and the fact I could take it in my handbag. I don't think my handbag has ever felt so light. 

I did find it bizarre to begin with as I'm so used to using a touch screen pad that I did try touching the screen a few times before I got the hang of it.  It is touch screen but gentle motions are needed with a quick swipe waking the Nook up and giving you various options.  It is E ink display so it is just like paper.

After setting up, one thing I was stunned by was how much choice there was in the shop.  Before you panic about this being a pay monthly mobile phone style device, it does have the option to connect to the Internet but it isn't necessary.  The wifi connection is purely to give you the options to browse the shop, so you could download the books you want then read them whilst sat in the park where there is no connection. 
 
reviews of the best ereaders
NOOK Vs Kindle

I won't lie even I was wondering how this was any difference to the Kindle.  I bought my finance a Kindle previously so made him test out the Nook and the Kindle, he said it was simple to use and much lighter.  The Nook Glowlight is very similar in offerings but this is only 89.00 and a Kindle Paperwhite (most similar model) is £109.00 or more depending on what you're wanting.
  • Built-in Reading Light
  • Sample Books for Free
  • Parental Controls
  • Free Cloud Storage
  • 175g in weight
  • Book Lending & Borrowing
  • Three colours to choose from
  • 8 weeks battery life

The Nook GlowLight is slightly lighter in weight and can store up to a whopping 2,000 books...which you can store in the free cloud storage and the Kindle can only hold up to 1,100. Even though it is lighter it still feels sturdy. I've been told there is far more choice in the Nook store and being totally materialist this is white and looks beautiful with it's curvy edges.

So there are many similarities with only a few differences but the price? Well it seems almost daft spending more when you're getting an equal spec, more stylish look and something with more storage and selection.


The Store 

One thing I really must point out is how much choice their is on the Nook, everything you can possibly think of.  I decided to test this by hunting for an old Jane Green Book (Jemima J where the fat girl gets thin and it's ll a big party?!) and they had it!  I spent around a day of my holiday reading that before soaking up Cosmopolitan magazine near the pool.  It was great to know I wasn't going to be carting half the beach back in my book or ripping the pages of a magazine after dropping it in the pool. 

better than kindle
The Nook turns off on the top and then will have a screen that indicates that the Nook is completely turned off.  To turn it on you hold the button and slide across.  There is an option to make it light up so when it gets late you can still read easily. 

There is no glare on the screen so you can read whatever and wherever.  I believe Kindle have only recently introduced this in their Paperwhite model.  I might be wrong but regardless the Nook is very much embracing this feature, and of course you can book mark pages, preview books and get involved with book reviews after reading. 
buy the nook glowlight
If after reading for a while you want a break simply press the 'n' at the bottom of the device and it'll go to sleep.  When you're ready to read again press the 'n' and it'll be good to go.

The Nook comes in other colours mine is the matted white with grey, but you can also have the rim in red or purple.  The only issue is if white will remain white? I was really concerned on holiday with it going in and out of my bag all the time. 

It is really easy to use and even though there is lots you can do, it doesn't make anything complicated and remains easy to navigate around.  I'm hooked already because I managed a whooping 8 books and 2 magazines whilst I was away!  The idea of carting that across the globe is laughable, and having something I could have in my handbag with all that and more is super. I acknowledge that I will always want hard copies of some books but atto be quite honest I won't for a vast majority I do read.

Whether you go for this kind of ereader or another one, the concept is quite genius.... the added bonus about this for me is the price, look and storage. Thanks for my Nook Glowlight gift it gets a big thumbs up... now back to my book!
 

Annie
xoxo

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Welcome Fall


As a celebration of quitting my job and a belated birthday treat, one of my lovely friends was taking me for a lovely lunch at Browns Lane. I couldn't wait!

I never know what to wear for a 'lunch' especially as the fantastic UK weather (hint of sarcasm there) has decided to remain quite warm as all the shops are full of AW14 items... typical... so this poses a slight wardrobe dilemma as per usual.
AW14 Daytime


I am all about ankle boots at the moment particularly chunky heeled ones. They provide height without making an outfit look overdressed and as an added bonus boots in autumn keep your feet warm and dry. There are hundreds of styles out there for AW14 so I suggest going for some flat ones and little chunky ones like mine.
My look for my lunch treat was a bit of a fence sitter in terms of seasons.  I love, love, love longline t-shirts at the moment and I seem to have these ones from New Look in about 4 different colours. They are perfect with jeans or leggings and trainers or boots... I always add some statement necklace with mine, they are certainly a firm favourite in my wardrobe right now. 
 I never seem to wear these jeans much but I decided after organising my wardrobe I would take them out for the day! Teamed with my winter floral Quiz bomber jacket*, this outfit is a happy inbetween for a relaxed catch up with friends.
You may have noticed my super long hair... well no it isn't all mine... it's clip in hair extensions from Hairtrade*.  Initially I was a bit unsure as I know some hair extensions can look a bit tacky and normally this is down to the fact people don't wear what is right for them.  I'd usually use hair extensions to make my hair look thicker but these made it look longer... I think quite naturally too!

I've simply side plaited my hair with the extensions in (really easy to put in without clips showing)... I love how thick my hair feels and only if you know I don't have super dooper long hair, I doubt you would know it wasn't mine.

What I'm wearing
Boots - New Look (Kids boots) £19.99
Bag - Fiorelli Kenzie Bag - £29.99
Necklace - Accessorize Seedbead Necklace - [Similar] £8.00
Bangle -  Next Black Gem Bracelet - Birthday Gift
The lunch was a perfect little treat over the weekend but how are we already on Sunday night?  Monday seems to creep up so quickly!  What a crazy few weeks it's been.  My life has had some huge changes and I'm just about there after mentally catching up with it all.  I decided after I hit my 30th to quit my job and do something I was interested in... no doubt I'll keep you posted on what I do...!

 Annie
xoxo

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Stoptober with Boots - Get Set For Success

A big slab of mouth watering chocolate cake sits eagerly awaiting your lips, urging you to eat it even though you’re trying not to as you'd just started that diet about an hour ago... but somehow the divine smell overcomes you and it’s immediately gobbled up leaving nothing but crumbs.  This seems to happen most days but somehow you still just can’t say no.  Sound familiar?!

We all have temptations that we'd like to give up, whether that is something like trying to avoid the standard eleven o'clock biscuit run, drinking too much at the weekend or even that not so cheeky cigarette. 
How to give up smoking
You’ve probably heard along the grapevine either via TV, radio or social media campaigns that it is in fact Stoptober.  What is Stoptober? It’s a time to give you that boost to say no to smoking and start your new healthy journey in life.

I’ve never been a full smoker but I won’t lie I’ve had the occasional cigarette. Even just by doing that I would take a drag and think how nice and relaxing it was, but that thought alone encouraged me not to continue. I knew it could quite easily become addictive.

My other half was a big smoker and had done since he was 16.  We got together 7 years ago and he can proudly say he has been smoke free for 4 years! I actually can't believe he was even a smoker now as he's so fighting fit and healthy! When he gave up it was after starting to get into triathlon and he found it hard to breathe doing the amount of exercise required.  One day he said to me he was going to quit and that was it!  He was so passionate about getting better with his fitness that he simply went cold turkey.
health benefits of quitting

Nick is a rare case as most people who suddenly go cold turkey will fall off the wagon and smoke again, so my advice is to get into the right frame of mind if you do want to stop smoking... make your choice and stick to it! If this Stoptober you're looking to say goodbye to that packet of cigarettes for good you have numerous options to help you.

Boots actually provide many products in their NikAssist range to help you such as patches, inhalator, lozenges, spray and gum, but they also have a service called the Smoke Less Plan which is there help you every step of the way.  This is perfect if you need a little bit more of a push and assistance achieving your goal!

Nick gave his words of wisdom as a quitter...
"Set yourself a target that is attainable, so some sort of a goal, whether it's a race or even just joining a football team. Tell your friends and family you're doing it, this way you'll stick to it but also you'll feel mentally occupied. If you quit like me you'll also have more health benefits such as breathing better... I even got my tastebuds back!"

This is exactly what Boots pharmacist Angela Chalmers suggests, to swap smoking for a new hobby but also to try and reward yourself when you do well.  You'll save so much more money not buying cigarettes,(pack of 20 can cost around £8.00) so you could even go away for the weekend.  Nick decided that with his new love of sports to spend his on bikes... trainers... running bits... gym bits... you get the idea!


Quit Your Own Way
 It's great to have a time to encourage you to quit such as Stoptober, but the last thing you want to do is force yourself when you're not ready.  Do it when you are ready... that way you're more likely to quit fully. 

Know Your Smoking Triggers
When do you smoke? With your morning coffee? Perhaps after you've eaten?  Just like when people diet and they want to avoid diving in for that bar of chocolate after a lunch (purely because they think they 'need' it) you need to occupy yourself with something else.  Maybe meet with colleagues and start a walking group or change your cigarette for a cup of tea.  Just start shaking your routine up.

Swap Smoking For a New Hobby
Why not take up dancing, or maybe even triathlon like Nick did?  Just keep busy and active.

Don't Give Up Giving Up
If you want something the more effort you put in the more likely you'll keep going.  If you do fall off then pick yourself up again... you WILL get there.
Reward Yourself
New handbag when you hit the 6 month mark?! Go on then! 

Just don't give up giving up!!

 If you're taking part in Stoptober than a big congratulations you're on day 7! Keep going but make sure you join in the Twitter party 1-2pm on 16th October to discuss all things Stoptober!  #bootsukstoptober
If you do have any questions for Boots expert Angela, please post them in the comments box below and I'll pass them on.
I'll be there so I'll see you then... and if you're already doing Stoptober keep up the good work!


Annie 
xoxo


*Sponsored Post*

Thursday, 2 October 2014

She Who Dares - Nothing is Impossible

The other week the team at She Who Dares sent me a gorgeous wicker hamper full of goodies.  After digging through I discovered one of the gifts was their signature perfume. 
A bold floral fragrance that can be worn day or night, however for me it is a bit too strong for the day.  It is well known that fragrances sit differently on each person, so you will know what does and doesn't work on you.  I love a light floral fragrance normally so this an exciting change.
I love the design of the Eminence perfume bottle it just oozes elegance, making it perfect for a treat for yourself or a glamourous gift for a friend. It is £45.00 per bottle and can be purchased here; http://swdfashion.com/product/eminence-eau-de-parfum/
There was also a Eminence scented lotion which was a refreshing change from other perfumes, this was because the lotion has a softer scent meaning it's not overpowering.
There was a beautiful silky scarf which comes in two different designs for £20.00* each... Again fantastic gifts! 

Don't forget to check out the clutches and jewellery on the website, you can also nominate someone who has been inspirational to you.. http://swdfashion.com/nominations/

It's definitely a website to have a look at www.swdfashion.com

Lots of love,
Annie xoxo 

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