Sunday, 15 December 2013

Shoe Showcase #5 - Recent Purchases

Hello lovelies,

Hope you are all well and had a lovely weekend. 
Yesterday I headed to Chester with my Mum for a girls day out and had a lovely time. Today however, I have been feeling somewhat under the weather as I am coming down with a stinking cold! Fingers crossed I'm fit and well for Christmas; it's the first Christmas in 5 years where I will have no uni assignments or exams to worry about!

Anyway, to perk myself up, I thought I'd bring you another instalment of shoe showcase and share with you some pics of the newest additions to my collection!


These amazing shoes are from a Facebook run business called Totes Princess. I ordered them back in August when I blogged about my Ariel pair...they were so worth the wait!


These New Look boots are unbelievable sparkly; even more so in real life! They're perfect for the party season and I plan on wearing these on Christmas Day!


Whilst ordering my Christmas Day boots, I couldn't resist popping these into my basket also. I've been dying to add a pair of burgundy boots to my shoe collection (quick pop fact - burgundy is probably my favourite colour!) the fact that they were in the sale sealed the deal! They were from the wide section so I ordered a size 5 rather than my usual 6. 

Are you all set for Christmas now? I've a few more bits to pick up then have to tackle the task of wrapping; thankfully I've made a minor start to that too!

Charlotte xx



Sunday, 8 December 2013

Boss Jour Pour Femme

Well, it has been a while! I've a whole host of posts planned however it's simply a case of finding the time and energy to do them all! Not to mention some decent lighting. Winter nights mean by the time I'm home from work it's pitch black outside and with Christmas looming over us my weekends have been somewhat busy!

Are you all set for Christmas? I've a few more things to pick up, providing I don't remember yet another person I need to buy for! When it comes to last minute presents, I always find perfume or aftershave is a fail safe option; and it's certainly a gift that I always love to receive. I love discovering new scents, however the problem is, I often fall in love and end up repurchasing them to add to my ever expanding perfume collection!

I was recently sent a new fragrance to add to my collection. 


BOSS JOUR Pour Femme is the sophisticated new fragrance for women from BOSS Parfums. Inspired by the first light of day, BOSS JOUR Pour Femme is using this unique moment to inspire women to seize all of their opportunities and create their very own stories, every day. With an elegant composition, the scent has been created to reflect three important female facets light, inspiration, and elegant composure, brought together in a beautiful blend of white florals with vibrant citrus 
I find this to be a very light, delicate and fresh fragrance. It has a subtle floral scent with an edge of citrus; for me it certainly wouldn't be one for the party season as I prefer something a little heavier for a night out. It is however, perfect for an everyday fragrance to wear for work, and would be lovely for a spring day. 

As it is only a light fragrance, I don't find it to have the longest wear time, however the scent does stick around for a good few hours before you feel the need to re-spritz. 



The bottle is very simplistic and unique with an opaque white bottle, as opposed to transparent glass as it often found with other perfumes. I do love the faceted lid, along with the gold "BOSS" embossed gold band which makes the bottle look expensive and luxurious. 


The perfume is available in 30ml, 50ml and 75 ml bottles; I was sent a 75ml bottle which retails £63. 

Are you a fan of Boss perfume? Have you tried Boss Jour?

Charlotte.xx

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

New Batiste on the Block - Floral, Monochrome & Oriental

Regular readers of my blog will no doubt by now, know my love for Batiste dry shampoo; heck, even non-regular readers probably know!

Not only do I love Batiste for their super affordable price tag, and the fact that their product performs miles better than its high-end competitor, but also due to the fact they are an ever expanding family...
this time they've released three BRAND NEW dry shampoo fragrances and I was kindly sent them to review...

Floral, Monochrome, & Oriental




Floral is described as a light delicate fragrance with top notes of blossom, a heart of fruity melon, orange and peach, and a deep floral base of rose, muguet and violet. For me it smells like a delicate citrus/floral perfume, and reminds me somewhat of one of my favourite fragrances; DKNY Be Delicious Fresh Blossom. I love the design of the can with it's Cath Kidston-esque floral print.

Monochrome is describes as a spicy and dynamic fragrance with top notes of orange blossom and pepper, a heart of hyacinth, iris, lilac, wisteria and heliotrope, with a warm base of musk. I find monochrome to be a musky floral scent, and a much heavier scent than floral.

Oriental is described as a warm delicate fragrance with fruity top notes including apple, wild berry, and grape. Floral middle notes of jasmine and iris and a base of rich coconut, sandalwood and cedar. For me oriental is a lovely fruity scent which has the floral scent of jasmine shining through. Thankfully for me my nose doesn't pick up any of the coconut base.
I am also in love with the can design; so much so I actually did an oooooh, when I unwrapped the parcel.

All three varieties come in a 200ml can retailing at £2.99. Oriental is available from a wide range of stockist, whilst Monochrome is exclusive to Boots, and Floral is exclusive to Superdrug.

Have you tried any of the new Batiste fragrances?
Which one catches your eye?

Charlotte
xx

Friday, 1 November 2013

A little Matalan trip

Hello lovelies,
On Wednesday I popped into Matalan for a little browse. Recently I've been on full on Autumn mode picking up jumpers, jackets, coats and jeans. Whilst in Matalan, I decided to raid the kids section on my quest to expand my Autumn wardrobe. I am delighted with my finds! 

I've been lusting over a cosy cream jumper and a jacket with a fur trim and the kids section delivered both!


This jacket is unbelievably cosy with its soft fur lining, it also has a fine gold thread running through the knit. 
I think this jacket looks like it could have easily cost around the £50 mark however it was a bargainous £22!


Despite the fact my other half described this as a "granny-jumper" when I had it on yesterday I simply love this jumper. The knit feels so soft and again it has gold running through the top half of the knit. 
This was an utter bargain at £14!



I also opted for two pairs of jeggings at £6 each, they were originally £10. They're not like a typical pair of jeggings however as they have a full zip fly with a lovely  button and have the usual 5-pockets as found in jeans. 

My haul was even more of a bargain as I had a £10 off a £50 spend voucher meaning that these items plus a 5-pack of socks my Mum popped in the basket cost only £40!

Do you ever turn to the children's section for bargainous finds? Have you been to Matalan recently? 

Charlotte
xx

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Shoe Showcase #4 - Iron Fist Part 2

Ooops, it seems that my regular feature of "Shoe Showcase" hasn't been all that regular with the last post being the last day in August!
It's unbelievable how long it actually takes to photograph shoes and so has been a task I haven't quite mustered the energy to do after finishing a shift at work, or found the time for either!
However, with a little more free-time due to half term here I am rectifying the situation...yay...shoes!!!

All of these shoes are of the "Shotgun style". With regards to comfort, these are some of the comfiest heels I have ever worn, and are the most comfortable of any of the iron fist shoes I own. The insole of the shoe feels slightly padded and they feel secure on the foot due to the t-bar strap. With regards to sizing, like all Iron Fist shoes, I opted to take these in a size larger than I usually take in shoes. 

Mary Had A T-Bar Platform

How adorable are these little lambs! I actually bought these shoes from New Look, back when they offered Iron Fist as one of their online brands. I had a voucher code for a whopping 50% off and couldn't resist buying these, especially as at the time they hadn't even been released on the Iron Fist website!!!
The one thing that is a little disheartening with these shoes, and that is purely due to the fact we live in England, is that they are made of material, whereas I would prefer them to be imitation leather/patent. This makes me sad as it means I can't wear them as often as I would like as I don't want the typical british rain to ruin the pale grey of the shoe. 
In addition to the obvious sheep detail, there are lots of little extra detailing that adds to the shoe, such as a cute skull dangling from the buckle of the ankle strap and a skull design embossed into the spiked bow at the front of the shoe. The inside of the shoe is also a fabulous coral polka dot/skull print of the same design as these shoes...

Little Lamby T-Bar Platforms
...and this shoe has the cute lamb print on the inside!
These were bought at the same time as the previous pair using the New Look discount code. They have the same skull embossed bow, and skull dangle as the lamb pair. These pair however, are a more practical "wipe-clean" material making them a pair suitable for those rainy days. 

Iron Fist Super Bitches T-Bar Platform
I have to admit that these shoes have already appeared on the blog before, however I couldn't resist showing them off in all their glory. How amazing are they with the cheeky half-naked pics of Poison Ivy, Wonderwoman, Bat Girl and Cat Woman in a pin-up esque style. 
They also have a silky leopard print insole, with a matching undersole.

It really is harder than you would think to take pictures of shoes on your foot (I have no idea how The Shoe Girl Diaries manages on a daily basis!) especially with the poor Autumn lighting, so I've only taken pics of one of the shoes to show how they look on the foot.


Are you happy to see the return of Shoe Showcase?

Charlotte
xx

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Uncommon phone case

A few months ago, Martin treated me to a new phone contract as a graduation present, and so I replaced my sluggish and somewhat slightly battered iPhone 3GS for a shiny new white iPhone 4. 

One thing I often found slightly annoying being the owner of a 3GS, was that nice cases that fit my phone were hard to come by, meaning that towards the end of it's life my phone ended up...naked!

However, there are a plethora of cases available for iPhone 4, and I was lucky enough to be sent this lovely uncommon phone case, courtesy of three mobile.






How adorable are those little owls! The perfect autumnal case; does anyone else associate owls with autumn?

The case clicks onto the phone with ease, and there's no worry of scratching your phone getting the case on and off. There's also a nifty "anti-glare ring" around the camera cut out to improve picture quality.

I've been using this case for 4 weeks now, and it still looks as good as it did the day I put it on! There has been no scuffing of the print, and no colour has transferred onto the case from bags/pockets etc.; I find this can often be a worry with a white case.

Have you ever heard of uncommon phone cases? I would definitely look to them in future for a case, they are slightly pricier than your bog-standard eBay case, but they do say you get what you pay for! 

Charlotte
xx

Sunday, 6 October 2013

A breakthrough

You may remember a few posts back in my winter wish list, I mentioned how I was on the hunt for a pair of jeans that fit as close to perfect as possible. 
Well today I struck luck in good old internacionale and bought myself a cute and casual outfit...something I'm severely lacking in my wardrobe. 

buy here

It's a little difficult to see on this picture but these jeans have "biker detailing" to them making them a little more different to a pair of plain skinny jeans. They appear quite black on this image but are more of a charcoal colour...the perfect shade for this adorable jumper!!! 

buy here
The ultimate cat lady jumper...whilst I have one of my four cats curled up on my knee I can also have this cutey draped over my shoulders! 

The jeans were on a "wow offer" down from £22.99 to £15 whilst the jumper was £22.99, but I received 20% discount. 

Have you been shopping recently? Any fellow crazy cat ladies out there? 

Charlotte 
xx

Monday, 23 September 2013

Specspost sunglasses

I have been wearing glasses since the age of 11. Whilst at school, as bad as my sight was, I was reluctant to wear my glasses other than when I was in class; this was despite the fact that catching the correct bus home meant sticking my hand out for any bus, so I could see if it was the correct number once it had stopped...oops!
Anyway, once I began driving at 17, I let my stubbornness slide and wearing glasses and contact lenses became a 24 hour (minus sleeping of course) thing.

Wearing glasses can often be somewhat a chore, with stylish frames often meaning having to dig deep in those pockets. However, Specsposts is an online store that specialise in providing glasses that are both stylish and affordable (prescription/non-prescription).

I was lucky enough to be offered the chance to receive a pair of glasses from their site. 
Specspost provide a great concept in that you can order upto 3 pairs of frames to try at home, before commiting to a style which you then return via post to be fitted in your prescription.

I opted for the Alicia and Pixie frames, with a tinted lens as I have yet to try a pair of prescription sunglasses. The great thing is, that any of the frames on the site can be fitted with tinted lenses, so you can have any style as a pair of snazzy sunnies. 


Both styles are identical in shape, and have glitter detailing to the shoulders, however Pixie is a pink/purple shade, whilst Alicia is the traditional black. The problem I have now, is deciding which pair to have fitted with my prescription

Alicia
Pixie

I seriously can't make my mind up which pair I want, and keep toying between the two!
Which pair would you recommend?

Do you wear glasses? Have you ever considered mail ordering frames?

Charlotte
xx

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Walking on air

Long time, no blog! I started my new job the beginning of this month, so have been a little lapse on the  blogging front whilst I let myself get back into the swing of full time employment.

A few weeks ago I was contacted by SportShoes.com, a website that specialises in affordable sports footwear, asking if I would like to select a pair of Nike Free trainers to review. I've heard many a good thing about Nike Frees so I of course jumped at the chance, and boy they don't disappoint.


As you can see I opted for this snazzy pink/purple pair of Nike Free 5.0+ as I like to sport a bit of colour when heading to the gym or to bokwa; my everyday wardrobe is a plethora of colour so why should I stick to the black for the gym? 


I find many ladies gym clothes are often pink/purple and these shoes are the perfect match for my pink Karrimor top. When it comes to choosing gym clothes I like to opt for a breathable material; it avoids any awkard wet bums after I've finished my 10K cycle. I have however, seen many people wearing inappropriate gym attire, including people wearing a wooly hat?
When it comes to a visit to the gym or to bokwa class I am very minimalist with my appearance; I wear no make-up and pop my hair into a plait as it is the most convenient hair style - the length of my hair means a pony tails flaps about too much. I have however, spotted many people wearing a full face of make-up (think night on the tiles), and even wearing their hair down.


With regards to the shoes themselves, I have found them to be amazing! The first thing that suprised me was how weightless they are!! When my parcel arrived, it felt like an empty box.
For those that aren't familiar with the Nike Free concept, the basic jist is that the lower the number, the closest to a fully barefoot running experience the shoe provides. I opted for 5.0 which is recommended for "runners new to a natural ride" as I have never tried a shoe like this before. The slits in the shoe have an 8mm offset but as you can see from the above images, still offer great flexibility.

All in all, I could recommend these shoes enough, they provide comfort and flexibility for your feet, whilst being weightless, and don't feel heavy or clumpy on the feet like some running trainers can.

Do you own a pair of Nike Free trainers? If so what was your experience?
Also, when you work out, what do you prefer to wear? And are you ever tempted to have a tickle with the make-up brushes?

Charlotte
xx

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Winter Wishlist

Yes, I am indeed one of those people who is already planning their winter wardrobe, but lets face it; it's getting colder by the day and soon heading out without a jacket will be a distant memory. 

My usual winter style is dresses with tights, and a chunky cardi, with a pair of boots. However this year, I am craving cute jumpers with jeans and little ankle boots...now all I need is to find a pair of jeans that fit properly (a harder task than it sounds!).

Anyway, whilst out and about I've seen many perfect jumpers which I plan on purchasing as soon as I'm successful on my denim quest!!!

Dog Jumper - Dunnes £21
How adorable is this jumper! I tried this on in my local Dunnes store and it looked so nice on, I did try it with a pair of jeggings but they were too slack on the waist and they didn't have any sizes smaller :( The jumper is much more flattering than in this picture too!

Pug Jumper - Tesco - £18
I spotted this jumper in my local tesco and it really is adorable! I love the fleck knit and the extra detailing of the studs to the collar - I haven't tried this on but I'm sure it would look fab!

Cat Jumper - Asos £25 

And of course, been the cat loving lady that I am, no wishlist is complete without a kitty jumper...I adore this Monki jumper with its gold design...cute!

Have you begun planning your Autumn/Winter wardrobe yet?
Also, if you've spotted any good fitting high-waisted jeans without a hefty price tag, please let me know!

Charlotte
xx

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Shoe Showcase #3 - Totes Princess

Sorry I've been a bit lapse on the old blogging front recently - being poorly and then having my birthday and a few days together with the Mr before we are both back to work on Monday (first official day in my new job) meant that blogging had been put on the back burner. 

I've been dying to get this post up since I received these shoes, especially after I posted a sneaky pic on instagram and seen how much many of you loved them! This post however, is sooo worth the wait, just look at these beauties my Mum got me for my birthday...


How amazing! I seriously am in love! The amount of work that has gone into these is unbelievable, as is the attention to detail...


How pretty and girly are they; lots of glitter and diamantes - I especially love the diamantes as I feel they look like little bubbles under the sea.


Now I've plagued you all with pictures I'm sure your dying to know how to get your hands on a pair...

the best part is, they are made specifically to order! Totes Princess is a small business run by a lovely lady via Facebook. She offers bespoke hi-top shoes and tote-bags. You can see many of her previously commissioned styles (including my gorgeous pair) on her facebook page here, or if you send a message you can discuss a style of your choosing.
As if that wasn't good enough, wait until you hear the price!!! A pair of shoes like mine will set you back £30 (including postage)! Now, for me that is a complete and utter bargain, nowhere on the high street can you find a pair of trainers or shoes, with such detail for such a low price tag, and when you think of the time and effort that goes into painting these shoes, you really are getting a bargain!

Another thing that I would like to point out is that these pictures were taken after a day of wearing and driving in them, and as you can see the design is still perfect and there is no cracking to the paint.

I seriously cannot praise these shoes enough. There is not a single bad word I have to say, so much so, that I have already put in a second order for a blue pair with The Lion King painted on...so excited!!

Will you be making an order from Totes Princess?
They'd make a perfect present for Christmas, but be quick as the books are filling up fast!

Charlotte
xx

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Neal's Yard Remedies Manchester Blog Event

A few weeks ago I met with Steph, Pippa and Jennifer for a yummy lunch at Wagamamas, and then the 4 of us headed to the Neal's Yard Remedies Manchester store on John Dalton Street.

A few of us had tried the brand before, however some of us were complete newbies; myself included, therefore I had no idea of what to expect but boy I wasn't disappointed!

We were greeted by the lovely staff, offered a drink of champagne/juice/herbal tea and then asked which of the available therapies on offer we would like to be treated to...this was a surprise for me as I didn't realise that NYR offered treatments such as massages instore. I opted for a neck and back massage which was so relaxing, I especially loved the little karate chopping motion - perfect for getting all those knots out of your back.

Throughout the night there were lots of yummy nibbles on offer and we got to browse the whole store, and sample all the lovely testers...










The amazing wall of loose herbs behind the till
I was simply amazed by the vast range of the store; NYR offer much more than face and body products, providing a range of herbal supplements and teas as they believe beauty should also come from within.
All NYR products are natural and organic with no sign of any mineral oils, silicones, or sythetic fragrances. This means that their products also smell unbelievably amazing as does the shop itself. I was eyeing up the essential oils which can be burnt to give a lovely scent to your room.


The Bee Lovely range was one that I fell incredibly in love with; mostly due to its gorgeous honey and orange scent...think I may have to go back for the hand cream.

I didn't however come home empty handed as I was kindly gifted an amazing goodie bag upon my exit containing...

yes...they even offer make-up including eyeshadows, blushers, foundations, lipgloss and lipstick! On the evening there was a lovely make-up artist offering makeovers, I myself didn't opt for one but everyone who did receive one looked lovely.

All in all it was a lovely evening, and now I've discovered my love for the brand I think I will be heading back instore to see what else takes my fancy.
If you would to see reviews of any of the products I received in my goody bag please do let me know. Sadly though I can't feature a post on the facial mist as I took it on a weekend away however it leaked all over my bag as the top had come loose :( however, up until then I was loving it - such a refreshing scent and a spritz on the face was lovely during the warm weather - it can be used over make up as a pick me up throughout the day.

Thanks again to NYR for inviting me along!

Have you tried NYR before? Have you ever been in your local NYR store?

Charlotte
xx

Saturday, 10 August 2013

John Lewis BBQ Challenge - Chicken, Chorizo & Halloumi Skewers

I was recently contacted by John Lewis asking if I would like to take part in their John Lewis BBQ challenge.
The challenge I was set, was to create a typically British BBQ dish...now whilst this recipe isn't British in origination I feel it definitely emulates the British attitude towards a BBQ.
BBQ's for many Brits are a time to relax and celebrate with family and friends. Which is why for me I feel all the cooking should be minimal fuss with minimal preparation. Therefore this recipe is exactly that!

I love chicken, I love chorizo, and I love halloumi; I decided the best way to incorporate all 3 would be by creating a kebab skewer...a BBQ is all about getting stuck in with your hands, who needs a knife and fork!

What you need...


Skewers (wooden or metal)
Chicken breast
Halloumi cheese
Chorizo ring (cooked)


The first thing you need to do is slice the chorizo (be sure to remove the casing) into 1cm thick slices. You can then use this as a guide for how big to slice your halloumi cheese. 
I was lazy and bought chicken that was already diced (mainly because it was cheaper), however if you are using chicken breasts you would again, chop your chicken into a similar size to the cheese and chorizo. 
(*top tip* - for extra flavour, drizzle a little garlic infused oil over the diced chicken). 


Once all your ingredient have been chopped and sliced you can get to work on assembling your skewers. I went for a chicken-chorizo-halloumi alternation. Take care to not stab your fingers when threading onto the skewer and load as much or as little as you prefer onto the skewers. 
 (*top tip* - to prevent wooden skewers from burning/scorching, soak in a bowl of water overnight before assembling your kebabs)


Once assembled, it's simply a case of popping your skewers onto a BBQ (they also taste equally as amazing if cooked on a griddle pan - no extra oil is needed if you've marinated your chicken in garlic oil as this and the oils released from the chorizo prevent sticking). 
Be sure to frequently turn your skewers throughout cooking to ensure the chicken is fully cooked. 


Once cooked serve as you wish. I opted for a yummy side salad with a range of dips. 

If you want to incorporate some of your 5 a day you can choose to add onions or peppers...the kebabs would be equally as tasty with or without. 


We enjoyed lots of other yummy food but the skewers were the biggest hit! 
We opted to go for a blue and green theme with our picnic-ware, the majority of which we purchased from John Lewis (the butterflies were from elsewhere sadly).


And also, like any other fashion loving blogger, a BBQ is always the perfect opportunity to wear a pretty dress and some heels! Personally I think floaty maxi's are perfect for a BBQ, pretty whilst being functional (at hiding those food babies). This high-low maxi style dress has to be my favourite dress for a sunny day, especially due to the pretty butterfly print. I opted to wear it with my bargain £25 (!) KG shoes. I managed to snag them before they went out of stock and thought they were the perfect tribute to my kitty who recently got knocked down as they too like her are called Bella.

What is your favourite meal to cook on the BBQ?
Would these kebabs be something you'd like to try?

Charlotte
xx

Disclaimer - John Lewis provided gift vouchers and contributed to the cost of ingredients.
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