Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Colourful Collage: Navy Blue

This week's colourful collage is dedicated to all things navy and dark blue.

So, what are all these things?

1. One navy polka dot ballet pump from New Look.
2. A key print make up case from Fossil.
3. A stick of glue. 
4. Two soft pastels; one broken in two from the last time I used them about a million years ago.
5. A dark navy MUA nail varnish in shade 1.
6. A big corsage brooch. I think it came from either Accessorize or Dorothy Perkins.
7. Titanic deluxe collector's edition DVD box set- my favourite film of all time.
8. Barry M nail paint in Navy.
9. A polka dot Cath Kidston hair clip.
10. A cute bow hair clip I bought in NYC four years ago.
11. Lush Emotional Brilliance liquid eyeliner in Motivation. These eyeliners are amazing!
12. Estée Lauder Pure powder eyeshadow, still in the box, in Magenta.
13. Cath Kidston polka dot travel wallet.
14. Two bow hair clips from Cath Kidston.
15. Ciaté nail polish in Regatta. It was only £3 in my local factory shop!
16. Fall Out Boy's Infinity On High album on CD. Still one of the best albums ever!
17. An anchor hair grip which was probably from New Look or Accessorize.
18. Three random buttons.
19. Jemma Kidd Tech liquid eyeliner in Abstract. (Only £1.99 on Fragrance Direct! Here.)
20. The Body Shop eye definer pencil in French Navy.
21. A New Look polka dot hair bow.
22. My awesome squirrel necklace from Maggie Angus.

When I was searching for navy blue things to add to the collage, I realised that I own quite a lot of navy coloured stuff, but... not very many little, or interesting things. Most of the navy things I own are clothes, scarves, and bags, which were all a bit too big for this flatlay. I particularly own a lot of navy dresses because it's one of my favourite colours to wear, but more on that another day. I had to rely on a fair few nail polishes, eyeliners, and hair accessories to fill in the gaps of this week's collage, but that wasn't a problem because I have plenty of each. I love navy make up and hair accessories! It's a great alternative to black, and it's not so harsh on my super pale skin. I wish I owned more of it!

Do you own a lot of navy things? 

Other posts in the series
Light Green
Dark Green 
Light Blue

Monday, 29 June 2015

My Summer Travel Essentials

Now we're swiftly coming up to our peak Summer holiday season, I thought it would be fun if I shared my summer travel essentials with you; the things that I pack in my hand luggage to help me get through the journey without breaking a sweat or dying of boredom. 

Though, I'm not sure if I'm just teasing myself with this post because I've not had a holiday in four years, and won't be getting away this Summer! 

So, these are the things I carry on me when I travel...

1. A pair of comfortable shoes that can be easily slipped on or off. Helpful at security, and for keeping your feet cool.

2. A hair scarf or hair turban to disguise unwashed, greasy, sweaty hair.

3. A light scarf, because it can be used in lots of different ways. It can keep you warm, be used as a pillow, be turned in to a sarong, used as a hair scarf, used as a cover up from prying eyes, hung over a window as a make shift blind, and even be fashioned in to a sling or bandage if you injure yourself during your journey.

4. Hand sanitiser because public transport, passing through bus / train stations, and using service stations can all be disgusting.

5. A little can of deodorant for freshening up when things get a bit sweaty.

6. A can of dry shampoo for perking up unwashed hair. I swear by Batiste.

7. At least one bottle of water for staying hydrated in the heat. It's important to drink plenty of water during a long-haul flight, too, although remember you can't carry a big bottle of water on you until you've gone through security.

8. Sunglasses to protect our eyes from that big orange ball of fire, obvs.

9. A fully charged Kindle loaded with books is one of my most loved travel companions. I love to read when I travel because it helps the journey pass so much faster. A Kindle (or other e reader tablet) obviously takes up much less space than a bunch of paperbacks, and helps to keep the weight of your bag down, too. 

10. I never travel without a bottle of Magicool during the Summer months. It's a cooling spray that can be used on people, pets, and even sprayed on to surfaces, and it's a God send when the heat gets too much to bare. I don't cope well with the heat, but this spray helps to make it more bearable. I couldn't live without it during the Summer.

11. A battery-powered pocket fan for keeping cool in stuffy, hot vehicles. I bought mine in Superdrug.

12. My iPod (and earphones) loaded with my favourite tunes and a Summer playlist or two.

13. My passport, if I'm leaving the country.

14. A few hair ties or bobbles for keeping my hair off my neck.

15. A pack of Paul & Joe blotting papers for keeping a shiny face at bay.

16. A travel wallet to keep my tickets, currency, cards, and other travel info all in one place.

17. It goes without saying that a bottle of sun tan lotion is absolutely essential. I usually carry a big bottle of factor 50+ Nivea sun lotion with me (I'm super pale and freckled), but my pocket-sized factor 30 looked better in the photo. Plus it's a handy size for keeping in my bag.

18. I don't travel without a notebook and pen. I like to document my travels, and I also find travelling inspires me to write fiction.

19. I like to pack a little emergency kit containing paracetamol, ibuprofen, imodium, plasters, antiseptic wipes, a bandage or two, savlon, etc, just in case. Chances are you won't need it, but it's better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it!

20. When I'm travelling by plane, I always carry a little pot of moisturiser on me. Recycled air really dries out the skin.

21. I can't go anywhere without a compact camera and a couple of spare batteries and memory cards. I love to take photos everywhere I go. 

22. A tube of hand cream for giving those hands a little TLC after carrying heavy bags.

23. And finally, a tub of lip balm because the heat and dehydration can really dry those lips out.

I also usually carry snacks, a magazine or two, some cash, my purse, a phrase book if I don't speak the language of the country I'm travelling to, my phone, and maybe a little make up.

As for the bag... on most of my travels, I carry my Cath Kidston messenger bag as hand luggage because it's like a Mary Poppins bag; I can fit everything but the kitchen sink in it. It has the added bonus of being really comfortable, even when it's heavy, because of that thick, wide strap.

If I'm travelling by plane, I use my Accessorize weekend bag and just pop my handbag inside during the flight. It's the exact max size for most airlines and it gives you a surprising amount of room to work with. If I'm just going away for a few days, I can fit all I need in it and don't need to pay to bring a suitcase! It also comes in handy on the way home from a holiday because it gives me more room for souvenirs, and saves me if my suitcase won't shut or is over the weight limit.

And those are my summer travel essentials. What are yours?


Sunday, 28 June 2015

Sunday Favourites #140

This week's Sunday Favourites is crammed full of gorgeous things, with no shortage of DIYs, art, and crafty things.

I want to give this watermelon nail art a try.

I would love to make this novelty doughnut bag!

These ice cream cone macarons are adorable.

I'm loving the bold use of colour on these DIY storage boxes.

These arrangements from Emily Blincoe are beautiful.

Think pink!

This! Don't ever let other people stop you from being yourself. Embrace the things you love... even if they're a bit weird and geeky, and nobody else quite gets them.

A little colour inspiration from A Subtle Revelry.

This teeny, tiny crochet rose is adorable!

How cute are these pineapple printables?

These DIY watercolour coasters from The Proper Blog are lovely.

I love these ceramic creations from artist Katharine Morling.

This photo makes me smile.

These colourful geometric tattoos are gorgeous!

I love this. It reminds me of the old Jaffa Cakes advert. 'Full moon. Half moon. Total eclipse!'

Louise's Lovely Links

♥ Becky wrote an insightful post on the truth about perfectionism.

♥ Kaylah shared the most adorable photos of her parents' little black fox cubs. 

♥ Need a little help getting to grips with Pinterest? Check out Sarah's beginner's guide.

♥ Sammi looks so pretty in her strawberry print frock.

♥ I laughed reading these 20 Euphegenia Doubtfire quotes. Mine is still "it was a run-by fruiting!"

♥ For a dose of cuteness, check out these 20 pictures of miniature pigs. I want one!

♥ These 25 things we did before smartphones are so true. How on Earth did we ever live without them?

♥ 5 types of injuries: how bad it looks vs. actual pain levels. Accurate! Why the actual fuck do stubbed toes hurt so much?! 

♥ The bride who helped pull off a wedding proposal at her own wedding reception! I doubt there are many girls who would be happy to let another couple steal her thunder on her big day.

and finally,

♥ A Buzzfeed writer received death and rape threats for a post she wrote (about The Simpsons!), and she contacted some of her trolls to ask why.

Thanks for reading!


Saturday, 27 June 2015

My Huge Cath Kidston Collection 2015

Hello, my name is Louise, and I have a Cath Kidston addiction. 

I'll just wait while you let that shock revelation sink in. It's not like I've blogged about their products much over the years or anything... ahem. Who am I kidding? 

I fully admit that I'm a little obsessed with Cath Kidston. I probably own enough of their stuff to star on an episode of hoarders. I just can't resist their fun, quirky prints and retro designs, and the quality just keeps me going back for more. It's why I've unintentionally built up quite a large collection over the years. I own all sorts of Cath K goodies from luggage to jewellery, homeware to stationery, and everything in between.

It's been a couple of years since I last shared my collection, so today I'm going to do an update and give you a peek at it all. It's going to be a bit of a long one, so put your feet up and get comfortable! This might take a while.

I told you I had a big collection! The scary thing is, the photo above only shows about half of it...  I couldn't fit it all in one photo!

I'm sorry I haven't got more photos of everything displayed together. None of them came out very well, which is frustrating as it took me three hours to set it all up, and I did it all twice! No amount of editing salvaged them, and I haven't got the energy to try a third time, so I'm making do with the photo above. You'll get a closer look at everything as the post goes on, anyway.

So, let's start with some of my very first Cath K purchases, the red star print purses and gadget cases. I bought them all on sale about six or seven years ago, and I was so impressed with them that I was instantly hooked on the brand. I fell in love with the quality as well as the designs, and I can say without a doubt that these purses were where my love of CK began. I've used them all regularly since I bought them, and it shows just how well-made and hard-wearing their products really are. It's part of the reason why I keep on going back for more.

I only recently added the rainbow needle case to the collection. It was quite pricey for a little bit of felt and a few needles, but it was too cute to resist. Plus, I really did need somewhere to store my extra sewing needles. Honest! One thing I didn't need and don't quite know why I have it, is the lanyard strap. I've never needed ID for work, but I'm sure one day it'll come in handy. Maybe.

My current favourites are my heart print pieces, which I blogged about a couple of months ago (here). They're some of the few pieces I didn't buy on sale. I loved the print so much I just couldn't wait 'til sale time... although, most of them are finally on sale now.

In the multi-coloured star print I have a laptop case, a pencil case, and a glasses case. They're all around four or five years old, and I bought them on sale because I thought the print was really fun. The polka dot key fob was another of my very first purchases, and the floral case is home to my Kindle. I think the print is Kingswood Rose, but I'm not 100% certain.

I own a random assortment of travel accessories which always keep me organised when I'm on my travels. As you can see, I like to mix and match. I have a navy polka dot travel wallet (for keeping tickets, currency, cards, and passports together); a strawberry print passport cover; a luggage tag; and a ticket holder (which is handy for train and tube tickets). I also have a floral cover on my old Blackberry, and a green polka dot purse.

The rabbit and mushroom print wash bag, and make up case are a year or two old, and came in a set. I couldn't resist them because I love bunnies and toadstools; always have, always will. I've realised they're a little too small for my needs, but I'm sure I'll find a new purpose for them soon.

I adore Cath K's quirky jewellery, and I'm building up a nice little collection of their brooches and bracelets. I particularly love their resin accessories, but I have several metal and wooden pieces, too. The four resin brooches are definitely my favourites. The tulip brooch and red rose bracelet are still available, and are on sale, too!

I have quite a few Cath K hair accessories, too, and I'm sure I've got more knocking about somewhere. I've no idea where my hair grips disappear to! It's one of life's greatest unsolved mysteries. I unashamedly buy hair accessories from the kids range, as well as the adults (like the strawberry clips), because they often have such cute designs. Why should kids have all the fun?

One of my favourite ever buys was the pretty strawberry suitcase. It was actually marketed as a children's suitcase, but when I found it on sale for just £15 I knew I had to have it for storage. It looks really pretty in my bedroom, too.

The two big white, and little pink star-print boxes were my very first CK buys. They were part of a Penny Kennedy gift box range, which I claimed before they'd even hit the shop floor when I worked in interiors. Money well spent. I originally had four of the big ones, but I used two as caskets for my guinea pigs a few years back. The other three are stationery boxes, which I bought in a set on sale last year, and will be using as gift boxes at some point.

One of my biggest weaknesses is pretty stationery, and Cath Kidston always have beautiful pieces to choose from. I've gone through quite a lot of it since the noughties. At the moment, I have eight pink and green Provence Rose folders which I mainly use to organise my hospital, physio, and other medical paperwork. I also use a few for craft paper. I have a couple of pretty floral notebooks, an old diary from 2012, a set of notecards, a sheet of stickers, a writing set, and a floral scrapbook, which I've had for years, but still haven't used. I really need to find a use for it.

I always look forward to Cath K's Christmas collections, although, I tend to buy most of it on sale. The only items I bought full price in the photo above are the tea light holders, which are from Christmas 2013. I couldn't resist them.

Last September, I bought a basket full of the wrapping paper, gift bags, tissue paper, and gift tags in their Bicester Village outlet store for next to nothing, and I've still got plenty left to see me through this Christmas. I did the same the year before, and I still have a few cards and gift tags left. I love using good quality products without the price tag that would normally go with them! I keep organised at Christmas with my Christmas organiser, and I picked up a Xmas Notes notepad last year, which I've been using for writing present shopping lists, and to plan xmas blog posts. I also have a Christmas coffee mug (seen in this post), and a set of Christmas plates stored away in the kitchen somewhere, but I couldn't be bothered to dig them out.

Helpful tip: If you want to get their Christmas things on sale, check their outlet shops after Christmas and around September time.

There are also a few bags in my collection, but only a few because most of them aren't really my style.

I have the most amazing teal polka dot suitcase (post here) , that I snagged on sale for just £40 a few years ago. I think it was originally around £90! It's a beauty, and I can easily fit a week's worth of stuff in it, which is a bonus. I use the red polka dot messenger bag (post here) for travelling, day-trips, and hospital appointments because it's so roomy, and comfortable to carry, even when it's heavy. I also have the same bag in a denim-blue, but I couldn't find it to photograph. (See it in an old post here). My Christmas book bag was bought on sale a couple of months ago for about £7, and I can't wait to use it this December for shopping and carrying presents in. And last, but not least, is my floral laundry bag, which is another oldie. I don't use it for laundry, but for storing some of my scarves in.

And finally, a few pieces I bought on sale this past week, which I've wanted for months. I picked up the small heart print travel case, and sandwich plate last week, and yesterday, I treated myself to the duck brooch and rainbow pin cushion which are both so damn cute! 

And that's my Cath Kidston collection!

Not pictured are my blue polka dot messenger bag, star print apron, Christmas plates and Christmas coffee mug. but here are a few stock photos of them.

Woah, I have a lot of Cath Kidston stuff! And, I have a feeling my collection won't stop growing just yet.

Should I be worried?!

Nah. I know I'd own much more if I had my own home. I'd love to have a kitchen full of their gorgeous kitchenware, which I know will happen one day. Sadly, it doesn't really go with my Mum's Port Merion stuff, or I'd phase some of it in now! I basically love all kinds of Cath K products-fashion, luggage, homeware, stationery, crafty things, fabric, even their kids range. I can't resist buying things from the kids range for my best friend's little boy; I've already got him some of the thieves, London buses, and taxi stationery for Christmas.

The vast majority of my collection was bought on sale or through outlet shops. If you want to snag a bargain, I'd recommend checking out their outlet stores at Bicester Village in Oxfordshire, and Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth. Those shops are fantastic. I'm sure there are others up and down the UK, too. They also throw pretty decent sales throughout the year with some great discounts, so it's always worth keeping an eye on their website. There's actually a sale on right now!

If you've made it to the end, thanks for sticking with me, and putting up with my ramblings!

Do you have a Cath Kidston collection to rival mine?

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Wednesday Wish List

Hey guys,

I'm sorry this post is a little later than usually scheduled (I fell asleep while putting it together last night), but it's time for this week's wish list. I've got some awesome things to share today, too.

1 // 2 // 3

The novelty bags just keep on coming. How cute are the banana and watermelon clutches from Monki?! The 'fruity pineapple drink' carton from Skinny Dip is really cute, too. 

1 // 2 // 3 // 4

I love the new pink and blue Provence Rose design Cath Kidston has just launched; it's so eye-catching. I'm digging the purses, wallets, and ticket holders it's been made in to.

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9

Oh, Lady Vintage, stop tempting me with beautiful dresses.

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

Lindy Bop keep on taunting me with gorgeous dresses, too. Their latest additions are stunning, especially dresses number 1 and 4.

1 // 2

I love these two dresses from Dorothy Perkins. The watermelon print sun dress has captured my heart, but it's sold out of my size (and most sizes) online. I wish I'd found it sooner. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it gets restocked or that I can find it in store, because I need it.

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

ASOS Curve are killing it at the moment. Just look at all these gorgeous dresses! One of each, please!

1 // 2 // 3

And last but not least, these vintage colour wheel watches from 10 North Creative are amazing. I think they're the best watches I've ever seen!

If you'd like to see more of the things I covet on a weekly basis, why not check out my style boards on Pinterest

What's on your wish list this week?
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