Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Wednesday Wishlist | Feeling Festive

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The festive season is pretty much upon us, with Christmas songs starting to make their way onto the radio, lights being switched on and decorations put up. Although I absolutely love Christmas and take every opportunity to get into the festive spirit, it still feels a little too early to go into full-blown Christmas mode - so I thought I'd ease into things with a slightly Christmassy, slightly just rose gold and pretty, wishlist. 

I've recently discovered Lisa Angel and it's safe to say that the majority of their jewellery will be making it's way onto my Christmas list. I've saved my favourite pieces for another post, but these gorgeous triangle personalised necklaces are so pretty I just had to include them. 

Who can resist a gorgeous perfume bottle (hint: not me), and especially with the party season coming up I think it's the perfect time to treat yo'self or pop this on the Christmas list, you can never go wrong with a classic scent.

Christmas lights: need I say more?! OK so this is pretty pricey and so firmly a wishlist item but if I had no budget and wanted to make my house look Pinterest perfect I have no doubt this 'Noel' light set would be one of the first things I'd buy.

It's hard to avoid this Olympus camera at the moment, it's fast become a bloggers favourite and it seems like everyone and their dog has it on a wishlist of some kind. I've only seen positive reviews, and with offers like In the Frow's 25% off it's seeming like an increasingly attractive investment.

I actually saw this mug first in Sainsbury's, and if you see it there definitely grab it as it's the cheapest I've found, however it seems to be sold out online so I trawled the internet to find a similar option. I love the copper mug and gold handle combination, and this one from IWOOT is just gorgeous.

Homeware, accessories and stationary store Lily Rose Co. never fails to have such an array of lust-worthy items. With a wide variety of beautiful prints, this 'Coffee' one is definitely a favourite - because, coffee. 

We have a similar Christmas tree to this one from M&S at work, and it's so stunning. A brilliant alternative to an actual Christmas tree, or a pretty addition, it lights up and looks so subtle yet festive. 

Sea salt caramel truffles - need I say more?! My love affair with salted caramel has shown no signs of slowing down, so these are pretty much perfection.

What's on your wishlist this week?

Monday, 23 November 2015

Lifestyle | Graduation Photo Diary

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Last week, my sister graduated university (with a 2:1, which is amazing - I couldn't have been prouder). I loved my graduation but it's a stressful day in quite a few ways, so it was so much fun to relax and enjoy someone elses. Me, my mum, my dad and my granny all traveled up to York to celebrate. The ceremony was held in the stunning York Minster, a truly beautiful building and I can't think of a better setting. As you're basically sitting and clapping for over 100 people, waiting for the one you came to see walk onto the stage, whilst an amazing day graduations can be a bit dull (let's be honest), but there were some really interesting speakers and the ceremony flew by...before we knew it, it was time to head outside for that obligatory hat-throwing photograph, before heading to Jamie's Italian for lunch. York is the cutest city, all cobbled streets and pretty shops - I highly recommend a visit, and a wander around in the evening for drinks!

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 photo Graduation4_zpsxpd03lap.jpg photo Graduation5_zpsrlxnh1ij.jpg photo Graduation6_zps2hemna5m.jpg We had the best time celebrating and I can't quite believe that both my sister and I are graduates and have to face the real world (I'm firmly in denial). It goes by in a blur but graduation is one of the best days, with so much to celebrate, as managing to make it through three, four or however many years of uni is definitely an achievement to be proud of.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Beauty | Kiko Eyebrow Marker

Since buying my MUA eyebrow palette a looong time ago, I'll admit to being pretty stuck in my ways - when it works, it works and I was pretty happy with what I was using. Until, that is, arriving in Barcelona to find a Kiko store a mere 5 minutes from my flat, stocking the highly recommended Eyebrow Marker. I've heard great things about Kiko, but this was actually my last purchase there before heading home. Having been recommended this by a few people, I was going to snap eventually and for €5.90 euro it seemed silly to resist. (Annoyingly, the UK store seem to keep the euro prices but in GBP, so it's £5.90 here - still worth it in my opinion, but if you're in a euro country even more worth keeping an eye out).

As my first pen-style eyebrow marker, I wasn't too sure what to expect and I'm not going to lie, I was also pretty concerned it would look unnatural - I've never got the pen idea, always thinking that powder gave a more natural effect. Well now I've seen the error of my ways because ladies and gentlemen, this is a little gem and I am well and truly in love. No longer living under any such misconceptions, I'm totally converted.

As a fair skinned blonde, I went for shade number 3 and it's the perfect match - not too warm, not too cool, not too dark, not too's just right.With a good, pointy nib, this goes on like a dream and against my fears, it's so easy to use and looks super natural. I find that this allows me to create a much more precise and polished effect than my powder set did, which takes no time at all to achieve and looks the same in the evening as it did when you applied it 8 hours earlier. I've had this for about a month now, and I'm already dreading the day it runs out (although seriously hoping that's not anytime soon!). I can't recommend this enough, it's become an absolute staple for me and its slim pen form means it's easy to just pop it in my bag and be on my way, perfect for traveling or on-the-go touch ups. As I said, I've never used a pen-style eyebrow definer before so I have no point of comparison and I have no doubt I'll be trying out a few more despite being 100% happy with this one, just to see what it's up against. However, I'm also pretty sure that this will never be long out of my makeup bag as it's just such a reliable, brilliant little product. To conclude, if you see this, buy it. It is truly the bees knees.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Barcelona | Alsur Café

 photo AlsurCafe1_zpsnx0yzx6p.jpg photo AlsurCafe2_zps0i0grj2f.jpg photo AlsurCafe6_zps76wdyyxk.jpg After a while in a new city, you start to notice that certain things are feeling more familiar than strange, more routine than novelty. You'll start to have a favourite place to get lunch, a favourite supermarket, a favourite fruit and veg shop. After a while, if like me, you love to take your laptop and hide away in a café for hours on end to do some work, blogging or simply casual browsing, you'll also have your favourite retreat from which to do so. It took me a month and a half to find mine, but when I did, it was so worth the wait.

Alsur Café has three main locations across the city, and their philosophy is simple: "Lo que quieras, cuando quieras". In English, that pretty much means 'whatever you want, whenever you want it'. Mojitos in the morning? No problem. Brunch for supper? Done. Serving one menu all day long, it's the perfect place if you just want to grab something relaxed and don't want to be constrained by time.

 photo AlsurCafe3_zpsyeb6nkpt.jpg photo AlsurCafe5_zps9xw8eewv.jpg There are three different Alsur Cafés across Barcelona, all pretty much in the centre, but each takes on its own unique personality. Both locations I visited have free wifi, and I'm sure the third (Alsur Lluria) does as well. The small and cosy 'Palau' location was basically right next to my flat, and I went a few times for drinks and coffee. The 'El Born' location, however, rapidly became a favourite of mine and my housemate's. Larger, with an outside seating area, this one had a dedicated 'laptop area', which just goes to show how great this place is for coworking or solo working. Cushions, comfy chairs, colourful - but not too colourful - decor, quirky decorations and massive windows through which to procrastinate watch the world go by make this an incredibly welcoming space. Add to that the friendly staff, and the fact that nobody bothers you if you want to spend hours there, and it's easy to see why this is such a popular choice for many.

I've been just for coffee and cake, I've been for coffee and cake followed by mojitos and supper an hour later, and I've been for brunch. Their cakes are just perfection. OK so I've only had the red velvet cake because when you find the one, you find the one, but I have it on good authority that their chocolate cake is 'the best ever', and their carrot cake is reputedly the best of the bunch. If it can beat the red velvet, I'd like to see it try. Brunch was pretty good - if I was to go again, I'd head to the Palau location as they have some pancakes which look incredible (it's worth noting here that each location has a slightly different menu). In the evening (or afternoon, or at lunch!) try the delicious patatas bravas, and grab a cocktail - mojitos are €3.60, as are a few others, so it would really be rude not to. 

The relaxed atmosphere, amazing cakes and good coffee are what kept me coming back and I cannot recommend Alsur Café enough. An afternoon of blogging, drinks with a friend, tapas in the evening...this place really does cater to a huge variety of needs. Chilled out vibes pretty much sums it up - what more could you want?


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