Girl Crush: Whinnie Williams

Since starting this blog i've always tried to celebrate other bloggers by featuring them on my 'Blogger of the Month'. I started to think that just featuring bloggers was too limiting especially as recently i've been finding loads of stylish girls away from the blogging world. So have decided to launch 'Girl Crush' a new style of post where I can feature amazing girls with amazing talents and style.

For my first 'Girl Crush' i've picked the lovely Whinnie Williams. I'm sure most people have heard of Whinnie but just in case, she's a London based singer with a beautiful 70s home, a cute poodle and the kind of wardrobe dreams are made of. I found her a while ago on Instagram and fell in love with her pets and outfits; although i'm not sure which one I love more! Whinnie recently covered LFW with New Look and posted some enviable outfits on Instagram, most notably the red suede pinafore in the bottom picture - which I still can't find online! With her Barbarella style look and beautiful hair, Whinnie modernises the 70s trend, by seeming to mix genuine vintage with current high street pieces. She is a total babe and Whinnie I salute you :) 

Autumn Afternoons

Hat - H&M
Jumper - Primark
Gilet - eBay
Flares - Missguided
Necklace - Waiste
Sunglasses - eBay
Boots - Missguided

I haven't done an outfit post for such a long time i've kinda forgotten what to do! I was super happy yesterday after managing to get Glastonbury '16 tickets so me and Newm went for a bit of lunch in Somerset and decided to bite the bullet and take some blog photos. I look major awkward so any tips for looking like I actually like having my photo taken are welcome, also Newm isn't great with a camera so they're not the best quality. But enough of the apologies! I absolutely love these flares from Missguided though, they're jersey material which makes them really comfortable, and they've started doing a velvet pair which I might have to get too. 

Yes to Carrots: Product Review

I found the 'Yes To' range at the beginning of the year when I was looking for a new night cream. I have dry skin and have found that I need a rich night cream to stop my skin flaking by morning. The company is called 'Yes To' and contains different sub brands which cater to different skin types by focusing on a main ingredient; which you can find on the little chart below. I chose the carrots range as it's for normal to dry skin and was really pleased to find they are against animal testing and most products are vegan friendly.

The range can be found here on ASOS and in TK Maxx, and this product is around £10 which for a good quality night cream is a bit of a bargain! I did kind of hope it would be orange when I opened it, which it's obviously not, but it's a thick consistency and a little goes a very long way. I use this every night after cleansing and toning my face and find my skin still feels hydrated and plumped in the morning- which is something I haven't found before, usually my skin is screaming out for moisture the next day. I'm hesitant to try the rest of the range as I don't like to change up my skin care routine too often because of my rosacea but am thinking the coconut body range will be next on my list.

Blogger Love: Elizabeth Lola

Back when I first started blogging I used to do a little feature called blogger of the month. I've always been a huge blog follower and it was a good way for me to show other bloggers I liked their style and to hopefully introduce my followers to new blogs, you know share the blogger love! I fell out of love with  blogging for a while so blogger of the month took a back seat but recently i've been finding so many girls with amazing style I thought it was about time I brought the feature back and gave a shout out to some of my favourites. 

I found Beth on Instagram and immediately fell in love with her 70s bohemian style, she has some gorgeous printed dresses and way too many beautiful necklaces to mention. I love the way all of her outfits are completed by overloading on accessories and the way she clashes prints and textures, Beth if you're reading I salute you! 

You can find Beths instagram here or follow her blog here :) 

Choosing Cruelty Free at Home

Before this post I do want to point out that i'm not all high and mighty about this subject. I choose to do this because I want to and I don't want this to come across as though i'm forcing my opinion on anyone or will look down on anyone who has a different opinion because just do what you want innit! 

About 18 months ago I decided I cared more about animals than to just be a vegetarian and I needed to change my shopping habits to suit my feelings towards animal welfare. I naively assumed testing on animals didn't happen anymore but a bit of research slowly opened my eyes to something that is still a very big deal. I discovered a lot of my favourite brands still weren't certified by PETA and was shocked to find out that some companies still actively test on animals in order to be sold in China. This research started a very long campaign in my brain to make sure that everything I use is cruelty free and I was so happy to find a huge range of brands who make a point of being cruelty free.

What began as a plight to make sure my foundation wasn't tested on bunnies has opened my eyes to a lot of things especially the idea of animals being subjected to cruelty with our home cleaning products. Call me stupid but I genuinely never realised that ingredients in toilet bleach and washing up liquid had, at some point been tested on animals. I was fairly overwhelmed already at the idea of having to change my skin care, hair care and make up routine to cruelty free so the idea of extending it to my home cleaning nearly caused a breakdown!

One of the overwhelming factors was the cost, i'm someone whose never exactly been rolling in it, so the idea of having to switch from 90p bleach from Wilko to £5 a bottle from a more eco friendly brand was making me feel a bit like making responsible choices was only for people who could afford it. However after a bit of research I was absolutely chuffed to discover that all of the own brand cleaning products from The Co-operative are all cruelty free, and the same price as other own brand products. With the huge leaping bunny logo printed on the front The Co-op have proudly positioned themselves as a supermarket who want to make a difference and are aligning themselves with so many other people who do.

I have bought all of my home products from The Co-op and can happily say they are great products, the laundry gel is priced at around £3 and makes my washing smell gorgeous and the 90p washing up liquid rivals the other supermarket brands I used to buy. I never used to consider shopping in The Co-op not for any other reason than force of habit taking me to one of the bigger named supermarkets however I can firmly say I won't be changing to buying these products for anyone else.

Like I said at the beginning I don't want this post to be preachy or a way of forcing others to take on this choice., but if anyone is struggling with the idea of wanting to choose cruelty free but doesn't know where to begin then hopefully this post can help point you in the right direction.

Valley of the Dolls Brand

Like most of you I absolutely love to shop and would count all the high street brands like Missguided, ASOS, Urban Outfitters etc amongst my favourite and usual places to shop. However sometimes when you buy a really stand out item a big worry is whether you're going to see someone else wearing it. Something that has happened once or twice to me, cue those 'ha how funny we're wearing the same thing' or 'ah it looks so nice on you' standard phrases when deep down you're absolutely fuming! This is one of the many reasons I love vintage clothes, you can bet your life i'm never gonna bump into someone in a bar wearing that 70s disco gold cowl neck dress that I love so much! 

Aside from looking to vintage to find a unique piece i'm always on the look out for new, smaller brands and every once in a while I come across a true gem like Valley of the Dolls. Presumably named after it's 1966 film namesake, I found this brand through JOY the store and have really struggled to find any information about it online. There is a website with a beautiful lookbook, full of 1970s style folk dresses, and aztec inspired printed coats but no online shop, about us section or Twitter page  so i'm guessing it is a very new brand - even better! 

I can't wait to see the collection released for A/W and can definitely imagine myself buying this amazing coat below! If you know anything about the brand or collection make sure you let me know in the comments, or if it's new to you too I hope you like it as much as I do.

WOMAD Festival 2015

This weekend I headed to Malmesbury for WOMAD festival with one of my favourite friends, who was taking some pictures for a local magazine she edits. After the torrential storm of Friday we were unbelievably lucky to be able to see some sun, sit on the grass and enjoy the day without clinging to an umbrella and complaining of being cold - which happens a lot!

The festival is fairly small, but has a really relaxed and friendly atmosphere, it didn't feel too busy and rammed which I liked and definitely has more of a family focus than the usual 'lets get off our tits' which is something I haven't experienced much from festivals! It's described as a world of music and dance so the music is very diverse and whilst I didn't go expecting to hear my usual choice of music we did manage to catch the amazing Cambodian Space Project; a psychedelic Cambodian 60's rock band - yeah try and imagine that! 

I wore my H&M Coachella crochet dress for the first time and you can't really see but I have covered my face in glitter, which I think I like doing too much! Not a great outfit shot but I was a little bit embarrassed having my photo taken in front of lots of people - something i'm gonna have to get over! 

Pay Day Wishlist

I spend a very large amount of my time looking at clothes online and lusting after the instagram images from some of my favourite brands, lucky for me I genuinely like a lot of clothes from cheaper brands such as Boohoo and Missguided, otherwise I would probably have been declared bankrupt a long time ago! 

I always have a little list going on of things I want to buy, and it's never completely empty, so I thought I would share some of my favourite wish list items at the moment. 

I am slightly obsessed with these tortoise shoes from ASOS, i'm not a huge heels fan but these ones look quite chunky which I like and I think the print is quite unusual, I also can't believe this faux suede jacket is only £15 on eBay! 

Energy Snacks

raw cacao butter
1 cup of walnuts
1 cup of dates
1/2 cup of cocoa powder

Recently I have been a bit more focused on health and wellness and have slowly stopped eating pizza and lazing around every day, instead i've been cutting down on sugar, carbs and exercising a lot more - which makes me sound really boring! However since doing so I have noticed a few changes; my acne has cleared up, i've lost a bit of weight and I have ALOT more energy then I ever had before. Sounds pretty obvious cut down on junk food and exercise more but when you have a busy life it's easy to get stuck in unhealthy habits.

The main habit that I have struggled to get out of is my sweet tooth, I absolutely love chocolate and genuinely want to cry sometimes when there's none in my fridge and I don't want to go out to the supermarket! However my addiction to chocolate and sweet treats had to be re-addressed with this new health kick so I was relieved to find a recipe from Deliciously Ella. I didn't have all of the ingredients and did substitute one or two but they taste great and really satisfy my sweet tooth without the need to snack on a sugar filled treat.

You can substitute the walnuts for pecans or almonds and make sure you use a coca powder that is 100% cocoa rather than one with added sugar. The first thing you need to do is pit the dates (chop them in half and pull out the stone), then comes the chopping, if you have a blender this will definitely be easier because you can just blend the nuts and dates but the first time I made this I just chopped them up into tiny pieces. 

Next just add all of the ingredients together in a bowl, add a pinch of salt and blend together with a wooden spoon. Then pick a small amount and roll into a ball, if the consistency is too 'wet' just add some more cocoa powder to make it sticker. 

Roll into a ball and refrigerate until slightly harder and enjoy :) Let me know if you make these or have any tweaks!

DIY Bath Salts

After a few more months away from the blogging world I have decided to return! When I re-launched my blog in February it was too difficult to keep up with, as I was still living in the pub, making it impossible to take photos, and my motivation was at an all time low. Now it's July, I have a new job as marketing assistant for a drinks company, and am living in a beautiful little flat with my boyfriend, which I will be sure to show you at some point.

I've been super productive recently and have a tonne of recipes, outfits and photos to share, but today I wanted to post about this DIY bath salts recipe, it's super easy and the results are amazing.

You will need:
1 cup of epsom salts
1/2 cup of coarse sea salts
15 drops of lavender

All you need to do is put all of the ingredients into a bowl, mix it up, put it in a jar and leave for 3-4 days so the lavender can infuse the salts. Then when it's ready pop a few scoops into a hot bath and honestly it's the most relaxing experience i've had in a while! The salt gently exfoliates your skin and is apparently really detoxifying with the warm water and the lavender makes you feel really sleepy, which is great for me as I am a terrible sleeper! 

Let me know how you get on if you make this :)

Pukka Tea Review

As i've mentioned before on this blog I have been working as a temp since June, alongside a part time analytics job here in Bristol. One assignment I had just before Christmas was with Pukka Herbs, a organic herbal remedy company whose philosophy is based on the ancient wisdom Ayurveda 'the art of living wisely'. 

They sell a range of teas and supplements, a few of which I had already tried, and it was really exciting to get there on my first day and be told there is free herbal tea all day every day! I only did a short stint with the company, however my main role was to support the team during their annual training week and I was able to sit in on a few presentations and really find out a lot about the company, their ethics towards farming and the benefits of introducing herbal remedies into our lives. I sampled quite a few of the teas during my two weeks and my favourites had to be Womankind and Serene Jasmine Green, I decided to purchase them from my local health food store and have really integrated them into my daily routine.

The leaves come in tea bags which are individually packed in little sachets meaning I can throw a few into my bag for work and i'm not going to end up with tea leaves everywhere! Everyone knows how to make tea so I won't patronise you with a description of how to use them, but i've found with herbal tea it is best to leave the tea bag in rather than taking it out straight away. Before trying these my main experience with herbal teas had been flavours overpowered by nettle which I didn't particularly like, however Pukka teas have strong distinctive flavours and you can really distinguish between the different herbs and spices which make up the tea.

My favourite so far has to be Womankind, a blend of vanilla and cranberry make this tea a sweet and light drink which is designed to help give women balance, I tend to have one of these mid morning. Pukka have a range of different green teas but my favourite is definitely Serene Jasmine Green, in the past I have found green tea to be a bit strong but this recipe is blended with camomile and lavender, the green tea helps with digestion and the camomile is calming and helps me to relax.

You can find your local stockist of Pukka Tea here on the website and they retail at around £2.50, let me know if you're already a fan or are keen to try them!

Girl Power

I'm a self confessed Pinterest addict, and one of my favourite boards is dedicated to famous woman who I find stylish and/or inspirational. I wanted to share with you some of these women, from my favourite lady of all time, Kate Moss and my ultimate style icon Anita Pallenberg to some new favourites Stevie Nicks and Jane Birkin.

It's not all about the clothes however, I love Iris Apfel because of her dedication to not be defined by her age and conform to how older ladies are 'supposed to dress' and Annie Hall has such a great character, it's also a bit sentimental because I always get compared to her by my Dad and Grandad; mainly her driving and untidiness! 

Sienna Miller

 Debbie Harry

 Stevie Nicks

Anita Pallenberg

Brigitte Bardot

Jane Birkin

Iris Apfel

Edie Sedgwick

Penny Lane

Annie Hall