- Tuesday, 29 April 2014 -

*A GLORIOUS GIVEAWAY*


Hello my lovelies! I hope that wherever you are, you're soaking up some luscious sunshine! I have a little surprise for you all today actually for being such good little readers *pats on head.* 

Introducing my first ever giveaway!

Now, I realise that this is long overdue, considering you've all been so amazing and supportive since the birth of this little blog, so I wanted to give something back to you all. Additionally, I realise that a lot of you may strictly be beauty bloggers or fashion bloggers or what have you, so I desperately desired to give something away that you would all equally adore, and let's be honest, who doesn't love a good camera?

Giveaway Rules!

  • You must be living in the UK to enter. Unfortunately I can not do an international giveaway as I simply can't afford the shipping at this moment in time! 
  • The giveaway begins on the 29th of April and will conclude at the end of May - giving you a full month to enter! However, if you enter after this time, your entry will not be valid.
  • The winner will be notified via Twitter and must respond within 3 days of being notified to claim their prize, if not, it will be given to another entry.
  • If there are any technical issues with my giveaway I will try my hardest to resolve them ASAP. But please remember that technical issues can happen and can't be helped so please be kind and patient if they do.
  • Lastly, please don't just follow and then unfollow, I am aware that this is quite common so I will be keeping an eye out for any sneaky activity!
Good luck lovelies!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

- Wednesday, 23 April 2014 -

Sugar, Spice and Everything Nice

Hello my lovelies! Hope you've all been well, and if you haven't, well just hang in there because we're half way through the week which means the weekend is just round the corner YAY! Today's adventure took place in the lovely Vintage Powder Room and Tea Shop, just off the coast of Newcastle, based in the quaint seaside town of Whitley Bay. From the moment I walked in, I was completely mesmerised by the shops gorgeous decor - it's a pastel haven. Everything from the beautiful tea sets down to the twinkling fairy lights screamed sugar coated sweetness! 



Oh yeah, and did I mention that this sweet vintage sanctuary also doubles as a powder room where you can beautify yourself? The Vintage Powder Room and Tea Shop not only specialise in delicious delicacies, but they also arrange vintage makeovers and even have loads of lovely little bits and bobs for sale in the shop, including dresses to die for! They cater for hen parties, birthdays, baby showers and everything in between, ensuring you have the ultimate tea party experience.



Obviously whilst there I had to indulge a little bit so I opted for some tea, homemade pink lemonade and a cupcake I can only describe as scrumptious - for even though it was four in the evening when I visited, I was astounded to find that the icing atop the cupcake was still fresh, creamy and oh so GOOD.




After lining my belly with vintage sweets and treats, I then ventured into the Powder Room, which is a beautifully dimly lit room with an air of 1950s Hollywood Glamour about it! The Powder Room offers all kinds of titivating services, from manicures and retro hair styling to getting dolled up with some make up! And not forgetting the dazzling array of dresses they have to offer, I wish I could just move into the shop permanently and live there. 




All in all, I had an absolutely fantastic time at The Vintage Powder Room and Tea Shop, with delightful food and such an elegant atmosphere, it definitely won't be my last time visiting!



Have you visited any lovely places recently?


 

- Monday, 21 April 2014 -

Hello darkness my old friend...

Hello my lovelies, I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend and haven't slipped into a chocolatey coma! This post admittedly is a little bit gloomier and personal than all my previous posts as it focuses on my life journey dealing with depression. For those of you reading this and thinking that you can relate to that feeling of absolute despair, I hope that my story offers you comfort, hope and moreover, a friend.

So, I'll start where every good tale starts - the beginning. I was born into this world an only child, and with this status it have been both blissful and a blight. From the day I was born, I was showered with love and affection, but with this adoration also came a somewhat sheltered lifestyle, as you can imagine. I was very timid and worrisome as a child and can remember my first days at both primary and secondary school being a complete nightmare. I was so scared, so worried, so alone. I'd cling onto my mum's hand for dear life, terrified to venture into the real world, and would sob and cry so much that I'd simply have to be sent home - this ritual continued for years. I remember even up until my GCSE days that I would sit in the car at the school car-park, eyeing up those huge, foreboding buildings with panic growing inside me. I was afraid of everything, the pupils, the teachers, the long, torturous hours away from the safe little refuge I like to call home. 

By the time I was 12 years old, I had started counselling and was on antidepressants because I was getting frequent panic attacks and my attendance at school was dropping drastically. I would spend 50% of the day crying and the other 50% of it sleeping and I hadn't a clue why. My counsellor suggested that it was perhaps the stress of school coupled with the fact my parents had recently split and my dad had decided to move on and make a new family. I'm not going to lie, my dad leaving did bruise me emotionally, and having already been categorised as quite fragile, I guess this ultimately did make matters worse for me - I felt more alone than ever

Then the bullying began, and by a "close friend" no less. This girl can only be described as a monster, not only because of all she put me through but because she made me doubt myself. I wasn't progressing in counselling because I was convinced she was my friend and that this is how all close friendships are - the slapping, the name calling, the mental manipulation. This torture went on for my 6 years at secondary school until I'd finally had enough and left to pursue my A-levels else where. When I look back at that dark era, I'm amazed that I managed to complete any exams at all, I was that frail. It's only now, when I'm older and stronger, it dawns upon that that girl was a catalyst for my depression, self-consciousness and social anxiety that I still experience today. 

Most of my teen years were spent sat in a corner contemplating suicide. As I write this, actual tears are streaming down my face because I feel sorry for the girl who counted how many tablets she'd need to take to kill herself. I felt I had no other choice and that life couldn't possibly get any better for me. This part of my past, I've repressed, because even though it's these experiences that make you who you are, it pains me too much to look back at the memories of the girl sat in the corner. 

However, my one constant, major support system was my mother. She helped me through everything and if it hadn't have been for her, who knows if I'd still be here today. Out of the 200 school days in a general school year, I must have only attended 40 annually during my entire time in secondary school, and did my mum mind? Not one bit. The crying would commence in the morning, waking up would be a complete shock to me as I couldn't deal with reality. She'd soon hurry in, look at me and ask; "Not today?" and I'd shake my head and bury myself in her, rife with relief and guilt. She used to take me on numerous trips and holidays just to take my mind off things - hell, she even booked a last minute trip to New York for us just so I could distance myself from the depression.

Right now, at this exact moment, never did I think I'd be where I am today. My life has really turned around since my teenage years slowly slipped away. I'm not a believer in god or fate or anything like that but I do believe in myself, and you should too. Believe that with time, things will start to get better, believe that you'll get stronger with the more help you get - and don't EVER be afraid to ask for it. Surround yourself in things that make you happy, immerse yourself in positivity and embrace your experiences, be they good or bad.

 

- Thursday, 17 April 2014 -

A Letter To My Younger Self


Dear Claire,

If you're reading this now it can only mean one thing... my time machine works! But joking aside, I wish to bestow with you some very useful information about growing up - it sucks. Your childhood will be hard and lonely, but please take comfort in knowing that you WILL be loved. Remember your first trip to Disneyland after your parents split? The agonising forlornness you felt? It will pass, because it's good to be on your own once in a while and believe it or not, now you relish in solitude and have become more stronger and more independent because of it. A lot of things are going to hit you all at once though; the coming of two new half sisters being brought into the world, the stress of school and of course, the plight of puberty. But please trust me when I say this - these are the best years of your life. 

Just to warn you though, school will be torturous, and the matter definitely won't be helped by dying your hair jet black and proclaiming to hate the world with My Chemical Romance on full blast. You'll not make a lot of friends, but the ones that'll be there from the start, will be there 'till the end. And let me assure you, MSN does not constitute an actual social life - you have to go out there and experience life for yourself! Oh and boys, there'll be plenty of them even though I know you always saw them as a cryptic foreign species, but boys will come and go, it's family and friendship that matters most.

Claire, I know you were born a worrier, but try to take it one day at a time. Life is harsh and kind all in equal measure but you definitely wouldn't be the person you are today without all the experiences you've had, remember that. Remember the days were you just used to spend hours upon hours sat on the floor doodling away on pieces of paper in desperate attempt of making your drawings come to life? Well, I'll let you in on a little secret - you continue to pursue art and illustration and design when you're older and you love it.

There are some things that'll never change though, so let me prepare you... You're still going to adore Pokemon and habitually queue outside a store awaiting the new game like you did when you were a kid. You're still going to be a massive worrier and let the little things get to you, but this is what makes you who you are, accept it, embrace it, you'll be okay. That excitement of eating a kinder egg will always resonate with you but shhh, we won't tell anyone!




- Tuesday, 15 April 2014 -

Home Sweet Home!

Hello my lovelies, hope you're all doing fine and dandy! My sincerest apologies that my blog's been quite lacking recently, the poor thing's on the verge of materialising cobwebs! I've been so busy and buzzing to head home for a few days that I didn't even get a chance to look at my laptop let alone use it. As some of you may know, I originally hail from fair Ireland (Northern Ireland to be exact) and I've been yearning to return home for a few days for some Easter rest and relaxation! So, what better way to return to the blogosphere than showing you all a little snippet of my world? It feels like absolutely everything in my bedroom holds a special memory to me - my room is chock full of random little bits and bobs. Admittedly, this is going to be more of a photography-based post but hopefully you'll enjoy it all the same! :)



My beautiful bed where I like to partake in my most favourite pastime - napping of course! I love decorating my sleeping space with loads of little cushions and floral nightlights, anything to keep it colourful!


I bought this whimsical Aristocats glass globe the first time I visited Disney Land Paris. Even though Aristocats isn't my favourite Disney flick, this globe was by far the most exciting of the rest! If you spin it round it also features all the musical alleycats and it even plays the infamous song 'Everybody Wants To Be A Cat.'



I have been working hard on filling up every nook and cranny of this door since I was about 13 years old. There's everything from Derren Brown, Pokemon, Robert Pattinson (cringe central), Batman, Johnny Depp, Breaking Bad and obviously the love of my life; Fall Out Boy.



Collecting little ceramic kitsch figurines of animals is relatively a new habit of mine - I absolutely adore the looks on each of their little faces and they really do brighten up the dullest of tables!




The above photograph depicts the view from my bedroom window, with lovely green fields on show and the shining, happy sun glowing away! It's the best feeling in the world opening up my curtains in the morning to be blasted with beautiful sunshine and hearing nothing but tweeting birds and bleating sheep all day long.



- Tuesday, 8 April 2014 -

DIY: Rainbow collar/cardigan clips!

Hello my lovelies, it's been a while! Hope you've all been keeping well and have been soaking up the springtime sun (with hopefully not too many April showers in sight!). Okay, so I'm wandering on uncharted territory here, because this marks my very first DIY post! I've been pondering over what I wanted to make for some time now, gaining inspiration from lovely handmade bunting, garlands, earrings etc. However, hopefully this tutorial will show you how to make your very own quirky rainbow cardigan/collar clips, because who doesn't love a bitta colour? :) 


(L-R)
White Modelling Clay - Hobbycraft
Super Glue - Hobbycraft
Craft Scalpel - Hobbycraft
Jewellery Pliers - Hobbycraft
Silver Plated Midi Jump Rings - Hobbycraft
Clip On Earring Findings - Ebay
Multicoloured Plastic Links - Ebay


So, after you've went out hunting for all the necessary bits and bobs, you should firstly draw out a cloud shaped outline onto a piece of thick paper - this'll be used as a guide when you're carving around the clay. Afterwards, cut out the cloud guide very carefully and don't worry, you only need the one as it can be reused! Saving the earth one tree at a time and all that.


After unwrapping your new clay, you want to kneed and roll it to get rid of it's stiffness, making it more malleable. When you've flattened it, not to the point of making it paper thin, but leaving a bit of thickness to it, you can place your little cut-out cloud guide daintily on top! Now for the bit that requires patience and concentration: carefully cut around your cloud frame using your scalpel. Emphasis on the word CAREFULLY, as scalpels are highly dangerous and should be used with extreme precaution and precision.


When you've completed cutting around the clay to create your clouds, it may also be a good idea to carve out an extra one just incase something might go wrong with one of the others so you can use as a replacement (always the contingency planner!). When you're happy with your little cloudy creations, it's recommended that you oven bake them for around half an hour at 110 degrees celsius - however I am aware that air dry clay exists, and if you so happen to purchase this brand instead of the over bake clay, just ignore this particular part and continue onwards!


When you've popped them out of the oven, just be aware that they will be piping hot! So make sure you give them about 10-15 minutes to cool down and harden properly. From Ebay, I ordered 10 pieces of plastic links of varied colours, however considering our clips will be rainbow inspired, I think now's as good a time as any for me to recite my GSCE Physics lesson: 

Richard
Of 
York
Gave
Battle 
In
Vain

However, to my disappointment the packet didn't come with any violet hues, only a singular purple one, so it's fine to make do with just the six chains, as it'll actually make the clips look less cluttered!


When the clouds have hardened, you're ready to get stickin'! As you can probably already imagine, for any of you out there who haven't used SuperGlue before, the clue is in the name - it sticks hard and FAST! So a word of warning, be very cautious when utilising it because I can't tell you the amount of  times I've managed to make an extra layer of gluey skin for my fingers whilst using this stuff! What you simply do next is carefully glue your clip on earring findings onto the back of your clouds - and please make sure that they're facing the right direction of where you're planning to clip them!


And lastly, already on your clip on earring findings, there should be a little hole available for you to loop your jump rings. Using the pliers, I gingerly slipped the rings through the little hole and then easily placed my rainbow links inside before closing the gap up again with the pliers. And it's honestly as simple as that!



Have you ever done a DIY?


 

- Tuesday, 1 April 2014 -

Cute as a button!

Hello my lovelies and a very happy April to you all! The year is absolutely whizzing past us, which can only be a good thing because I'm so excited for summer! I can see it now... Hazy, lazy days spent sipping Kopparberg on the freshly cut grass with closest friends, random road trips to god knows where, heading to the beach and gingerly dipping your toes in the cool sea water - ahh absolute bliss. Speaking of all things lovely and dreamy, I was luckily afforded the opportunity to work with the wonderful Joanna Osborn to assist in raising awareness of her beautiful jewellery pieces. 


Jo's Lymehouse Jewellery collection is brimming with delightfully unique pieces, her most notable being her beautiful button earrings, which she was kind enough to allow me to review. As you all know, I'm a sucker for anything quirky and cute, so these were right up my street! Before arrival, Jo was very attentive and accommodating in knowing what style of button earring I'd prefer to be sent out, but to be honest, I was just so grateful that I was receiving such gorgeous earrings in the first place! When they finally arrived, I couldn't open the package quick enough. Planted inside were not one but TWO pairs of dainty button earrings and the loveliest little note accompanying them from Jo, thoughtfully stating that "the pink ones go with your hair!"


In today's fashion trends, sometimes I can feel quite overwhelmed by overpowering statement necklaces and mammoth cocktail rings, that sometimes the simplest of pieces can stand out the most. I absolutely adore my dainty button earrings and am quite pleased to say that they go with anything! I couldn't recommend Lymehouse Jewellery more for their beautiful collection of bits and bobs, if you're quite the jewellery magpie like me, you should definitely check it out!


What lovely bits and bobs have you purchased recently?