Sunday, 31 January 2016

Sunday Favourites #171

Time for another very colourful Sunday Faves...

This pastel rainbow meringue cake is so pretty. (No recipe, though- sorry!)

These pins from Creature Type are so cute.

These cross stitch patterns from Cat Lady Cross Stitch are the cutest patterns I've ever seen.

A super cute cross-eyed kitty who looks permanently worried.

These two hair dos make me wish I had rainbow hair..

How cute is this echidna puggle?! 

Did you hear that Mattel are launching three new Barbie dolls with petite, tall, and curvy body shapes? About time, right? The collection will include seven new skin colours, eighteen eye colours, and eighteen hair styles, so it's definitely a positive step forward in Barbie world.

And these DIY sprinkle nails are awesome.

Louise's Lovely Links

♥ The lovely Callie has become the new plus size columnist for Marie Claire! I'm so excited for her!

♥ 18 photos that won't make sense to sisterless families. I laughed so hard at this post because it sums up exactly what growing up with two sisters was like for me.

♥ 18 struggles that are way too real for people who cry easily. Accurate! I cry over sad stuff, I cry over happy stuff and lovely stuff, and sometimes I don't even know why I'm crying at all. 

♥ These beautiful raccoon dogs are being killed to make bobble hats and other fur fashion pieces, while brands are advertising the fur as raccoon or even faux! What the fuck is wrong with people? And why is raccoon fur any more acceptable? 

♥ An adorable dog accidentally ran a half marathon and finished in seventh place!

♥ A powerful prank that convinced a woman not to put a dog in a rescue shelter. This is so creepy I would've got the hell out of there and ran for my life!

♥ This GIF of an otter scratching his back and simultaneously having a little dance is hilarious.

If you'd like to see more images and articles like these, come say hello on Tumblr and Pinterest.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, 29 January 2016

Book Review | 642 Things To Write About Me

Last month I treated myself to a copy of the creative writing journal 642 Things To Write About Me, and I've been looking forward to telling you guys all about it ever since. It's a book which I think you're going to love as much as I do if you enjoy creative writing, and also if you're a lifestyle blogger who likes to share a lot of personal posts about yourself with your readers.

If you've been following my blog for a while, you probably know how much I love the Things To Write books. I've blogged about them so many times! I own the three other books in the series that are aimed at adults, and I've lost count of how many hours I've spent happily writing away in them. The number grows by the day. I enjoy these books so much that I was excited to hear that a new book was joining the collection. Amazon had the release date down as March, so I was amazed and excited to stumble up on it last month when I was Christmas shopping in Waterstones. I bought it there and then, and left a happy little camper.

So, like the other books, 642 Things To Write About Me is filled with hundreds of fun and inspiring creative writing prompts that should challenge your creativity and writing skills whether you're new to creative writing or an old pro.

You don't need to be blessed with a wild imagination to work your way through this book because unlike the others books in the series, every prompt in 642 Things To Write About Me is personal. Every single one is about you. You; your life, your memories, your dreams, your past, present and future, your family and friends, your thoughts and feelings, your hobbies and interests, your experiences and milestones... every little aspect of life you can possibly imagine has been covered- the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Unlike most creative writing work books, almost all of the prompts are non-fiction, but there are a few fiction tasks mixed in for good measure that ask you to imagine what you would do in certain situations or how your life could be different if you hadn't done x, y, and z.

These are some of my favourite prompts from the book:

Name the person in life who's least like you. How did you meet? What kept you bonded?
Was there a moment when you began to accept a part of your body that you had never liked before?
What's the nicest compliment anyone's given you?
What job would you have been most suited to 400 years ago?
How did the way your parents felt about their bodies or physicality affect you and how you feel about your body and physicality?
What would you put in a personal time capsule and how do they represent your life?
Imagine someone describing you to a blind person. How would they paint a non visual portrait of you?
List five favourite songs. Describe what you were doing when you became hooked on each one.
What's the meanest thing a stranger has ever said to you? How did you react?
If you could go back to one moment in your life and live there for the rest of your life, what moment would it be?
What was on your bedroom wall as a teenager?
What mistake would you gladly make all over again?
What do you do when noone's looking?
Write about an evening at your home from the perspective of your cat.
Describe the outfit that is most characteristically you and why.
The entire book is filled with fantastic thought-provoking prompts like these and all kinds of other fun, interesting ideas which should keep even the most eager writer busy for months or even years.You can work through them from front to back or choose prompts at random, it's totally up to you. You're free to work at your own pace, by your own rules.

The great thing about this book is that it gives you plenty of room to complete each task in the book, so there's no need for a separate notebook. All you need is a pen or a pencil, and your imagination. With one to four prompts per page on plain or lined good quality white paper, there isn't room to write lengthy memoirs, and answers need to be fairly brief, but this also means that each task can be completed in a relatively short space of time. It's a great book for creative writer's who don't have a lot of time to spare for writing because many of the prompts could be finished in minutes, and you can pick up the book and complete one or two whenever you have a spare five minutes- say on your coffee break or commute to work.

I find that the biggest challenge I get from this book is writing about myself. They say that to write well, we should write what we know, but it isn't always easy to think back to the past and write about certain parts of our lives or expose our personal thoughts and feelings on paper for all to see. (Says the blogger)! That said, it's really fun to work on and a good learning curve, and it would be an interesting read for family to discover in a box in fifty years

I also think 642 Things To Write About Me can be a fantastic source of inspiration for lifestyle bloggers, as there are so many interesting and unique prompts that would translate well in the blogging world, including many about fashion and body image!

As somebody who has enjoyed creative writing ever since I learned to write, I bloody love 642 Things To Write About Me! I've barely gone a day without writing in it since I bought it last month! The Things To Write books are the ultimate creative writing companions- no other books come close, and in my opinion, every creative writer needs at least one of them in their writing arsenal.

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Thursday, 28 January 2016

L'Occitane En Provence Advent Calendar Review 2015

Last month, I counted down the days 'til Christmas with the L'Occitane En Provence Advent calendar and I loved every second of it.

I'd planned to share what was behind each window daily on Instagram, but that kinda went out the window because my phone stopped working, and I couldn't access the app. I thought I'd share what I found behind all twenty-four windows today instead, and do a little review of the calendar as well.

So, this was L'Occitane's first twenty-four day Advent calendar, and it was one of those things I just had to get my hands on because L'Occitane is one of my favourite beauty brands. The thought of waking up to a different L'Occitane treat every day for almost a month was too tempting to resist, especially when it turned out to be one of the most affordable beauty calendars of 2015 at just £39! (With contents worth £52)!

Behind every beautifully illustrated cardboard window was a different festive treat, including 17 mini L'Occitane beauty products, and 7 festive-themed gifts like gift tags, place cards, and a cookie cutter.

I'm sure some people will have been disappointed that there wasn't a beauty product behind every window, but I wasn't. I knew what the contents were before I bought it, and was happy to chance it since I'm a sucker for stationery, gift wrapping supplies, and all things Christmas. Thankfully, I loved almost all of the goodies inside, including most of the non-beauty gifts, so I wasn't at all disappointed.

Here's a list of everything that was in the advent calendar, in order by date.

1. Ultra rich face cream with shea butter for dry skin 10ml.
2. Essential oils shampoo 35ml.
3. Set of 5 gift tags.
4. Milk extra-gentle soap with shea butter 50g.
5. Delightful Rose Hand Cream 10ml.
6. Almond oil shower gel 35ml.
7. Red bow Christmas decoration.
8. Pivoine flora (peony) hand cream 10ml.
9. Essential oils conditioner 35ml.
10. Cherry blossom hand cream 30ml.
11. Mini emery board nail file.
12. Jasmin & Bergamote perfumed soap 50g.
13. Ultra rich body lotion with shea butter 30ml.
14. Shea foot cream for dry skin 10ml.
15. Verbena body lotion 30ml.
16. Set of 10 Christmas place cards.
17. Delicious hands almond milk hand cream 10ml.
18. Star-shaped cookie cutter.
19. Moisturising shea butter lip balm 3ml.
20. Verbena shower gel 30ml.
21. Strip of 10 festive stickers.
22. Shea Hand Cream for dry skin 10ml.
23. Sachet of gold star table confetti.
24. Pivoine Flora (peony) eau de toilette.

There were five hand creams in different scents- rose, peony, almond, shea, and cherry blossom (my personal fave), which I was really pleased to get as I adore L'Occitane hand creams and will actually use them. I get through hand creams like there's no tomorrow, and these babies always leave me with the softest skin. I also got a tube of shea butter foot cream- an old favourite that works wonders on transforming dry feet back to their former silky-soft, sandal-season glory, and an ultra rich shea butter face cream, which I can't wait to try. 

There were two body lotions (shea and verbena), two shower gels (almond and verbena), and a shampoo and conditioner (with essential oils). The only two products I've used before are the verbena body lotion and shower gel, both of which I was excited to find inside because they're two of my favourite beauty products. The fragrance is to die for, and the products are both amazing! I can't say much about the others because I haven't tried them yet, but I'm particularly loving the scent of the almond shower gel, and can't wait to try them all. 

The calendar also included two decent-sized soaps in milk and jasmin & bergamote, a lip balm, and a small bottle of the Pivoine Flora eau de toilette, as an extra-special gift on Christmas Eve. I don't usually like floral fragrances, but this one is quite sweet-scented and not at all over powering, It's lovely. I'm going to keep it in my bag to use on the go.

I haven't had a chance to sample the other goodies yet, but I'll review all of the other beauty products as and when I use them.

And these are the other festive gifts I found inside. There were ten place cards, ten stickers, five gift tags, and a mini emery board which were all beautifully illustrated with festive designs like candy canes, bows, sprigs of holly, and Santa Claus; designs which matched those on the inner windows of the calendar. Along with the sachet of tiny gold star table confetti, and a star-shaped cookie cutter, I thought all of these extras were lovely, tasteful, and great quality little gifts. The only one I really didn't like was the red felt bow decoration, which looked like it had been fished out of a bargain bin at a pound shop. It looked and felt cheap and nasty. It doesn't match L'Occitane's usual level of quality, and I still think it was a bad choice for an otherwise high-quality calendar. Still, one dud out of twenty-four ain't bad, right?

As a whole, I really loved these little gifts. I was itching to use them all straight away, but in true blogger form, I needed to photograph them all first, so I made myself put them aside to use for next Christmas instead. I will definitely be using them all later in the year when Christmas rolls around again.

I can honestly say I loved L'Occitane's first Advent calendar! I looked forward to opening the windows every day, and it gave me a little Christmas morning excitement every morning during Advent. It was so much fun having a different gift to enjoy every day, especially on the days when I found a beauty product waiting for me behind the cardboard windows. I thought there was a great selection of products and fragrances, with plenty of old favourites and new ones for me to try. The other gifts rarely left me feeling disappointed, and all in all, the calendar just made my Christmas all the more magical. For just £39, it was so reasonably priced, great value, and well worth the price tag.
I would definitely consider buying a L'Occitane Advent calendar again in the future, and I think it's highly likely that I will!

Two enthusiastic thumbs up from me! Well done, L'Occitane!

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Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Wednesday Wish List

Here are some of the things on my wish list this week...

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11 // 12 // 13 // 14

Yet again, Lindy Bop have stolen my heart with their latest pieces. They just keep on getting better and better! I'd love to add all of these pieces to my wardrobe, especially numbers 1, 3, 4, 7, and 11; they're all so beautiful. If only money grew on trees... *Sigh.*

1 // 2

I love these two novelty bags from Skinnydip- especially the cactus. It would make a great little Summer day bag, don't you think?

1 // 2

I'm so excited that Lush have added Happy Soap and Happy Pill to the Lush Kitchen! These were my two favourite Lush products until they decided to discontinue them a few years ago, and ruined everything. I was absolutely gutted! I'm not even sure why they stopped making them because they both have the most amazing orange-citrus scent, and were great products. I wish they'd bring them back permanently but for now I'll just have to bulk buy them before they sell out.

Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons Palette

Aside from the Happy Soap, the item on the top of my wish list is the Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons palette, which has to be the cutest eyeshadow palette in existence. It has heart-shaped eyeshadow pans, for crying out loud! I don't have a lot of neutral / more subdued eyeshadows in my collection, so I've decided I totally need this palette, and it will probably be my next purchase!

What's on your wish list right now?


Sunday, 24 January 2016

Sunday Favourites #170

Who's ready for another dose of my Sunday Favourites?

Amazing rainbow ombre hair! It reminds me of the hair mascara trend we had in the late nineties; I was totally addicted to electric blue and purple! Haha!

This colourful DIY sand art manicure is so much fun.

These DIY heart emoji doughnuts are so cute.

I don't know what this print is from, but dolphin bananas!

I love this Jareth brooch from Baccurelli.

This colourful art installation from Pip & Pop is amazing.

Love these words from Rachele of Rad Fat Vegan. If only!

I love these enamel pins and Valentine's printables from Aww Sam and In Company.

This tattoo is amazing.

I'm digging this colour palette.

Amina from Studio Mucci's novelty bag collection is the thing of dreams!

I love these Tina embroideries!

These Simpsons and Bob's Burgers embroideries from Hoop Dreams are pretty damn awesome!

I adore this anchor tattoo from Martyna Popiel.

Baby echidnas are the cutest little critters ever! Also, they're called puggles!

Louise's Lovely Links

♥ Betty Pamper looks amazing in one of her latest outfit posts, wearing a red polka dot dress and leather jacket.

♥ I love Natalie's monochrome kitty ensemble. Doesn't she look awesome?!

♥ How to determine if you're a "real woman": hold a marker pen under your boob and take a photo for Instagram. *Rolls eyes*. Whatever next?

♥ 27 Bob's Burgers moments that will make you laugh if you're a fan of the show. Numbers 2, 18, and 19 always make me giggle.

♥ Want to do a good deed for somebody? Here's a list of 52 random acts of kindness to give you a little inspiration.

♥ These GIFS of Matt Le Blanc demonstrating Joey's acting tricks are brilliant! Am I the only one who thinks he's turning in to a right silver fox?

♥ Ever wondered what maternity wear was like centuries ago? I can't say I have, but this post popped up on my Tumblr dash the other day, and it made for an interesting read.

♥ Bright & Bold sure know how to put a birthday box together. I think I'm going to do one for my best friend's birthday this year.

♥ This video of a man shovelling snow while wearing a dinosaur costume is hilarious.

For more photos and articles like these, come say "hello" on Pinterest and Tumblr.

Thanks for reading!
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