Thursday, 31 January 2013

Happy Birthday to me!

.....to celebrate, I will be hosting a giveaway!!! Check back soon!

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Film Review: The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey (2012)

 My boyfriend and I watched the highly anticipated 'The Hobbit' when it was released at the end of last year and although definitely not as exciting as The Lord of the Rings, it was still a lovely film to watch and I still wanted to type up a quick review of it. (Unfortunately too far down the line for me to remember everything I wanted to mention, but I'll try my best!)
So, 'The Hobbit' is of course the prequel to 'The Lord of the Rings' film trilogy and although (and admittedly) I don't really find hobbits very interesting - they are slightly annoying, they don't wear cool armour or any of the sort and they generally do not look appealing... I knew there would still be large aspects of the film I would love.
Apart from it being centered around the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins...I primarily had to get over the fact that the main actor was Martin Freeman. I have nothing against him but as I live in the UK, I only remember him being in cheesy British dramas...I really struggled believing, or liking him as a hobbit... where, for example, Cate Blanchett as Galadriel or Ian McKellen as Gandalf is a completely different league. I am still unsure about the Bilbo Baggins character, but luckily there are enough Elves, Dwarves and Orcs to keep me occupied.
I loved the story around the Dwarven kingdom, and Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield was fantastic! He really shines in 'The Hobbit'...something I did not really notice (apart from, being a pretty good bad guy) when I used to watch him every now and again in 'Robin Hood'.
One thing I really do remember though is when the Dwarves assemble at Bilbo Baggins house, and make a bit of a mess, and then they discuss their mission. This whole scene was SO long, TOO long...to the point of making me feel a little bored, and I NEVER felt bored watching 'Lord of the Rings'. 
On a positive note, I loved the scene with the Stone Giants! I loved that they were fighting each other rather than attacking the group - as that would've been boring and unfair! A last character mention, Gollum. I don't think I could ever tire of this character and with a higher graphic quality, Gollum was amazing!!
Overall, a good film. If I was younger and hadn't watched 'Lord of the Rings', I could go as far as saying I loved it, but in comparison, 'Lord of the Rings' is much more epic. 
On a funny note though (well, I found this hilarious) ...my brother had also watched 'The Hobbit', and sent me a text afterwards, where he was cursing and asked me what had happened to the ending... there was no ending of course because this is part of a trilogy, so it was a cliff-hanger! He had no idea there were two more films due!!

Friday, 18 January 2013

Etsy Treasury.

I recently got included in this beautiful treasury titled 'Magic Happens' by Andy on Etsy. All of my favourite colours!


Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Quick Tom Yum Noodle Soup.

I love spicy food! So, whenever I get the sniffles or my throat is feeling a little itchy, I always turn to Tom Yum soup to help clear it...and 99% of the time it works! There are many ways to make this and if you order it in restaurants, they will always be different - sometimes they are seen more as a starter or sometimes as a main.
The way I like to make it is very quickly and with only my favourite ingredients. Firstly, put the kettle on and fill a small pan with the boiled water - this will be your soup - the amount you put in depends how soupy you want it. I then add in prawns and mushrooms. Many other places would probably also include lemongrass, beansprouts and other vegetable.
I would then add in Ho Fun noodles which is a wide, flat noodle...my favourite! Let it simmer and soften - or you can buy pre-cooked noodles which can be added and eaten instantly - but have a very short expiry date.
Then, the most important ingredient. Tom Yum paste! Hopefully I will learn how to make this from scratch one day but right now, it's perfect! It's exactly what it says - paste - and I find this brand the best one. I usually use two packets for one serving so that it is extra spicy but you might want to start with one.
You will immediately see and smell the difference once the paste is added. I would then usually let this simmer for a while to ensure it has dissolved properly.
And here is the finished dish! I have this very often, probably too often...regardless of feeling a cold coming through or not! I recently added peas to it (when I didn't have mushrooms) and it was pretty nice too!

Monday, 14 January 2013

Aesop Mandarin Facial Hydrating Cream.


Nivea has become my most favourite skincare brand and I need to dedicate an entire post about them, but, I do also like to try out other products, especially those that are recommended to me.
Aesop was one of these recommended beauty brands. I have dry/sensitive skin and the Mandarin Facial Hydrating Cream by Aesop (expensive-£31) was recommended to me by two of my work colleagues as a general cream.
I started using the cream sporadically, every 2-3 days instead of my Nivea cream and it seemed quite nice. It smelt lovely (very orangey!) and the texture was easy to apply and sinked into my skin. It was just an OK cream but with the price tag, I was sure I wouldn't buy it again.
Then, after going away for a week and forgetting to pack my Nivea cream, I ended up using the Aesop cream for the whole 7 days and developed a rash on my face. To be totally honest though, it does say that the cream is for normal/combination skin so the cream is not entirely to blame. Despite the conflict with my skin and the cream (I have now passed it over to my mother to use instead), I would still like to try some of their other products, so watch this space.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Refreshing my blog.

Back in November, I blogged about refreshing my website (although it has since been 'refreshed' again!)...and recently, I noticed that it was about time my blog got a refreshing also! It just looked incredibly flat and boring and it really didn't show anything about me at all...apart from possibly liking grey and blue. See below for how it looked before! Yuck!
I think I forgot about it because I'd had it like that for such a long time and that it took me a VERY long time to get it like that! When I started blogging, there weren't many blog design options through Blogger at all...I'm sure it took me about a day to make it a 3-column blog using HTML...then working out how to make the sidebars have colour underneath, and getting the edge of my banner to match up perfectly with the edge of the sidebars... it was an absolute nightmare!

Nowadays, there are many more options in Blogger to help with blog design but I wanted so much more than what was available. I then came across some fantastic looking sites that had a beautiful background and amazing banner to match...and at the same time, came across sites that offered great templates. However, I didn't want something that someone else may have and as I am a designer by profession, it made sense for me to design one myself!

However, it was the whole HTML/CSS coding malarky that was still preventing me in getting my blog how I wanted it to look so I did a LOT of reading! One of the sites I constantly kept referring to for tutorials is The Cutest Blog on the Block. It helped me realise that it actually isn't that hard...you just need a bit of patience.

I specialize in designing Evening dresses and Embellishment for my full-time job and is something I have always loved...I am always hunting out amazing beads and trims for inspiration on eBay and/or vintage markets ...I love the 1920s (jet beading)...lace....sparkle...couture! So I decided to use my skill (designing embellishment) in this area as my blog theme...mixed with all my other interests such as decadence, Sci-Fi (my boyfriend said the central piece in my banner looks like a cybernetic eye which was totally unintentional!) spots ...and stripes almost got added in! I started looking for stock images online but I never found what I wanted, so dug out all of my own bits and pieces and photographed/scanned them to use which was really fun and I found things I totally forgot about! Here are some of the original photos, which I'm sure you can spot in my blog design and a snapshot of me working on them on Photoshop!

I won't pretend it didn't take a long time, but now that I've done it once, I think I could do it again much faster...which I am certain I will as I have already noticed a few things I need to tweak! This tutorial by The Cutest Blog on the Block made me realise how easy it was and helped guide me through it - although you will come across other things that you might have to work out yourself/Google.
Also, I have no idea how it may look on other screens but I am hoping it looks a little like this? Any feedback on this would be great!! I also hope I have inspired you to think about your own blog design!

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Kurt Geiger Simon.

I've been wanting over-the-knee boots for years but I never came across the perfect ones...until I spotted 'Simon' from Kurt Geiger. I tried them on in the shop and they were just super comfortable (shearling-lined), had the perfect heel height (not too high, not too low) ...and I loved the buckle detailing.
However, there was no way on earth that I was going to spend £320 on them... sure, I would wear them whenever it was cold and they would last a lifetime...but it still didn't justify the price for me.
A couple of months later, I was telling a friend about them, who happened to know someone who could get a discount for me. It was a very effective discount and my boyfriend also chipped in as an early Christmas present...so I ended up paying a very small amount of my own money for the boots!
I have now worn them many times and have no regret with getting them (this may be a different case if I had paid the full amount though!) .... they are incredibly comfortable and I can REALLY feel how much they keep my legs warm. The only small thing that bugs me is that I wish they did not ruch, I wish they were completely straight up and down, like riding boots...but I know it would probably make it difficult for me to bend my knees in them!

Monday, 7 January 2013

McQueen.

Just a quick snap of a display piece in the Alexander McQueen concession at Harvey Nichols!

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Kiehl's Cream Eye Treatment with Avocado.

A few months ago when it was super chilly in London, I noticed that the delicate skin under my eyes was becoming very dry. I knew this was due to the cold weather and also because my eyes water very easily. A friend recommended the Kiehl's Avocado eye cream and I had read some great reviews, so I decided to splash out (just under £30 I think!) on it.
A few days after using the cream, I did notice my skin becoming less dry... but about a week later, I suddenly got tiny red bumps. My friend told me that the cream was possibly too rich for me/I didn't blend it properly/put too much on ...and this was all probably true as my skin is dry/sensitive, whereas her skin is the opposite. 
I can't say this product is awful, but it certainly isn't for me. I do still have it and I may still try it but I would definitely not purchase it again. I am still on the hunt for a good all-year-round eye cream for sensitive skin, so any recommendations would be appreciated!