Sunday, 17 August 2014

Weekly Reflect | #4

Hello everyone!

What a week.
The world tragically lost one if it's most treasured actors, Robin Williams, leaving so many people heartbroken. His death really affected me in a way very unique to other celebrity passings. For me and many others I've no doubt, his acting filled my childhood with so much happiness and laughter and so I think it's awful he left us in the most opposite state. I don't want to make this a sad space so I'll move on to happier things but I just felt it would be distasteful to gloss over something as poignant in a weekly reflect.


This week:

  • . . . I got my AS Level results! I mentioned them briefly at the end of my back to school haul post and how they were very different to what I was expecting. I'm happy with them but am definitely going to work hard this year (which will be my last year of school!) to improve them.
  • . . . I watched the Great British Bake Off! I've loved this show for so long and this series is no exception! So far I really like Nancy, Norman and Martha, who's the same age as me! I'm also a big fan of Emmerdale and thought Thursday night's episode was extremely dramatic and intense. I'll not give anything away incase you haven't seen it and want to catch up, but prepare for an ending that will leave you very emotional!
  • . . . we had an absolutely delicious blackberry pie made by my mum!
  • . . . I got two lovely parcels in the post, one from Makeup Rumours and the other from Ark Skincare. I'm very surprised at the fantastic quality of the makeup seeing as it's so affordable! My thoughts will be up in a post soon, and I'll be trying out the skincare for a while and you can expect my review on that in the near future.
  • . . . my family and I went out for a lovely dinner on Friday night to Frankie & Benny's which I think is my favourite restaurant, that I've been to so far anyway. I had a yummy Cajun burger then warm chocolate brownies with mint choc chip ice cream for dessert which I'd gladly have again. We all left with very full but very happy tummies!


So that was my last seven days! 
How was your week?

It was also the week when Company magazine announced they would no longer be printing or selling paper copies and would be going digital only. To my mind it's a huge shame because I love flipping through magazine pages! Although when I think about it, I haven't bought a magazine in quite a while and with the whole internet age and blogging, it seems that's just the way things are going. Huge, huge shame - there's just something about those glossy pages that can't be beat, isn't there?

Thanks for reading,

Friday, 15 August 2014

Back to School Haul | Stationery & Schoolbag

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Hello everyone!

August is well and truly upon us, and for those of you a similar age to myself that means our Summer holidays are nearly over and it’s fast approaching back to school time. I tell myself every year I’m going to get really organised, study every week and do my homework the night I get it. Sound familar? For some reason, we all fool ourselves these "New School Year’s Resolutions". 

Well, this is my last year of school and I’m really going to make an effort to knuckle down and do the best I can. One way I like to prepare myself is to collect stationery, aka the things that make me want to revise. There’s just something so satisfying about a pencil case full of the stuff and a tidy desk with all the tools set out neatly isn't there?

So here's my back to school haul!



Last year I posted about the hunt for a schoolbag and you seemed to like that little series! In the end I went for a colourful bag very reminiscent of Elmer the Patchwork Elephant (google him if you don’t recall!) which I got a lot of compliments on throughout the year! It was an Amazon bargain and I still love it, so I turned to Amazon again this year however, to no avail. I searched all the sites I know but nothing struck my attention. I headed to the mothership (Primark) and perused the bag aisles hoping to snap up a bargainous beauty and eventually found this £10 number! It’s quite the opposite to last years bag but I’m thinking of tying a colourful scarf round it to jazz it up a bit. 

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What do you think?
It's a lot roomier than it would seem which is great for me. I only do three subjects, one being Art and another being Media Studies so the only one I really need to carry around notes for is French. However I do also need to bring my homework diary, pencil case, file block, lunch and purse as well as other bits and bobs so I want a bag that will be able to house all of that without being too bulky. It’s a tall order. Well done Primark, you’ve done well with this half velvet half mock croc satchel!

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If you can go into Primark and resist buying more than one thing then give yourself a round of applause. Seriously, that is some serious pat on the back material. I find it so tempting and always end up needing to get a basket. 

I've been wanting to downsize my purse from the big River Island wallet I’ve been lugging around for quite a while now but still be able to hold all of my cards, coins and notes nice and snug. The lucky purse that came home with me was this little bow adorned grey one! I admit this wasn't on my list of priorities but I was going to get one sometime anyway and £3 doesn't hurt too much!

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Next on my shopping list was a pencil case. I knew I wanted to find one in ol’ Primarni as they always have such pretty makeup bags which can also be used as stationery homes! Well I only went and found the most beautiful one EVER. Pastel pink and a bow. Two zipped compartments! £3. What more can I say. Pencil case – check. Or so I thought until I spotted this palm print bag out of the corner of my eye, hidden amongst a bunch of clothes for just £1 and realised this would be my pencil case. What about the pink bow bag, you ask? I tried to put it back. I tried to tell myself I didn’t need it, I really, really did. But the pink and the bow proved to be too powerful and I succombed. New makeup bag love.


For me, it's important get the best deals on stationery and so I got these six items in Poundland for, you guessed it, £6!

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If there’s ever a pink option of anything, 9 times out of 10 I’ll choose it and that’s what happened with this expanding file. It’s got 5 sections so that’s one for each subject and two for other miscellaneous notes.  

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Some other self explanatory items, a file block, pens and highlighters! If you do art, you’ll know glue sticks are extremely necessary. They also get used up so quickly so I got myself 6 which should do me for a while! 

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Last but not least from Poundland, I decided to pick up this cute little whiteboard which I’m going to put near my desk at home to remind me of upcoming deadlines and tasks to do. Anything to get more on top of things!


Well there you have it! 
That's everything I got for going back to school, the only thing I need to get now is shoes! I find school shoes the hardest to find - where do you get yours?

Are you ready for going back to school?
Do you love stationery as much as I do?

Thanks for reading,


P.S. I got my AS Level results yesterday. I'm quite pleased with them overall but they were completely not what I expected them to be. I did the worst in French which I thought would be my top grade, and I thought I was going to do much worse in Art and Media Studies yet I did best in those. I'm confused! I put so much work into my French, I wasn't really satisfied with my Art and I came out of my Media exam a bit disheartened. So I do feel quite mixed up, but that's just how it goes sometimes. I'm not disappointed but I know I have to work really hard this coming year. I know that 3 letters on paper don't determine my life and if you're in the same position as me, don't worry. It's not the be all and end all. If you'd like to share your results with me feel free go ahead and do so in the comments or drop me a tweet, I'm proud of you no matter what you got!

Monday, 11 August 2014

Rio Neon Nail Art Pens | REVIEW

Hello everyone! 

If you know me, you'll know that I love nail art. 
Whether it's aztec pattern, polka dots, watermelon inspired or an intricate floral display, I really enjoy creating art on my nails (just as much as I love marvelling at it afterwards!).

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The love affair began when I picked up a dotting tool for just 25p in a charity shop. Don't get me wrong, you can do a lot more than just dotting with the thing, but I always longed for some nail art pens which could make the job easier as well as allow me to create more detailed and artistic designs. I was very lucky to be sent this of Rio Professional pens c/o the lovely Eve of The Hut Group. She saw my watermelon nail art and very considerately thought I'd enjoy these. She wasn't wrong!

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You get so much in the set; 6 nail art pens, a paintbrush, a DVD and a booklet full of useful tips and information that you'll actually want to read. 
If you get the set from BeautyExpert, you can get it all for £19.99 instead of the £24.99 it usually is! I can truthfully say I think it's worth the price for nail art addicts like myself and it would also make a really lovely gift come Christmas or birthday time for a friend. Plus, when you consider one pen alone will cost you £5.95, if you were buying 6 pens seperately that would set you back £35!

So what did I think?


The paint itself comes encased in a very well designed bottle. If you twist the lid off you get a long, thin brush which is great for painting straight lines. When you pull the lid off you reveal a needle-like detailing tool which you squeeze the bottle to apply. I find this method to be fantastic for dots and drawing intricate details. If this ever gets clogged with polish, they've even provided you with a handy pin to unclog it! It's clearly a well thought through bottle, however if I was to pick a fault - well, not really a fault - but I would say that when you pull or twist the lid off you have to be very careful if your polish is still slightly wet as it's really easy to smudge it. My tip would be to make sure your base polish is thoroughly dry before attempting any art.

This pack is Rio's neon selection. I wouldn't exactly call them neon but they are bright and peppy colours with a very decent amount of pigmentation. The pink and purple are quite pearlescent which make for nice additions, while the yellow and blue remain true, non-shimmer shades. The black and white are also very useful to have so I think it's really advantageous they haven't skipped on those, this being a 'neon' set.

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Filled with handy tips, this book is really worth a read through. It not only describes how to create techniques but also how to take care of and prep your nails. At the back you get four pages filled with inspiration so it's a great thing to have on hand if you're ever short of a good idea! They can all be achieved with the pens and a little practice.

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The DVD does cover a lot of what's already in the booklet, but the visual aid makes it that bit easier to grasp explanations. You're shown how to take care of your nails, make your polish stay on the nail longer, and of course how to create simple shapes and patterns. It's nothing too lengthy but I think they could have perhaps taken a little extra time to demonstrate some popular nail art looks such as leopard print, ombre and the likes but I guess they're just letting each individual have their own creativity!

Some useful tips to note are:
* You can use the pens to 'glue' gems, studs and other decorations down to the nail.
*A clean, oil-free nail will help polish last the longest so make sure to remove any existing polish and wash your hands before painting.
*Always secure your design with a clear topcoat to ensure it's longevity.


Rio have also added a brush which you can use for dipping into polishes for an all over colour. For me, it won't be something I'll be using very often for nails. It's just a bit unnecessary when I can just as easily use the brushes that come with my regular nail polish bottles. However if you want to use the paint from the pens then it's always a possibility. I do think it's a nice touch that they added it though and I'll be using it for painting pictures as it's still a very respectable brush!

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As you can see here, it's possible to create all sorts of shapes and patterns. A lot of people disregard nail art because they think it's too complicated but these pens really do make it so easy and cut out a lot of the faffing. It's actually a lot of fun to do when you have the time to sit down and get creative! Even if it's just a simple pin stripe or polka dot, or if it's a slightly more complex daisy or aztec print you can create it. As I said before, the set would make a great gift and getting the girls round to do some nail art together would make for a good night!

The proof of the pudding is that even my brother commented on these, and we all know how little the male kind, especially those around the 14 year old mark, care about makeup and nails!

In short, I can vouch for these pens and truthfully say I love and highly recommend them. You can expect some more nail art posts from now on!


You can browse the other Rio nail products have here, including foils, metallics, holographics - you name it they have it!

Do you like nail art?
What would you like to see me create with these pens?
Share your favourite mani idea with me in the comments below!

Thanks for reading,


Would I lie to you baby, would I lie to you?
No, I wouldn't.
This post contains products which were sent to me for reviewing purposes but all opinions are honest and my own.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Weekly Reflect | #3

Hello everyone!

On the whole, I had quite a lovely week! I didn't do anything huge or major but a few exciting things happened. It's officially August and so it's nearly back to school time which I'm in two minds about - on the one hand I do want to get back to routine and organisation but on the other hand lie ins and being able to eat any time of the day I want.

This week . . .

  • . . .if you read Friday's post then you'll know I had a wonderful time blackberry picking while on a countryside walk. It's a really cool thing to be able to provide something for your whole family to eat, for free! I'm aware this may make me sound closer to 70 than 17 but I'd love to grow my own fruit and veg.

  • . . . possibly the most exciting thing that happened this week was that my formal dress arrived! If you're not familiar with what a formal is, basically it's a big night where all the upper 6ths get dressed up, have dinner and dance at a fancy venue. You're 'supposed' to take a date but in all honesty I'm not that bothered, I'm more excited by getting dressed and made up! My dress is from Quiz and it was such a bargain. When it came I was so pleasantly surprised, I thought I might have to send it back because it either didn't fit or look as nice as I thought. It's even prettier than it looks on the website! Excited.

  • . . . I began creating the ultimate 80's music playlist. Eye of the Tiger, Don't You Forget About Me, Take on Me, Should I Stay or Should I Go, Don't You Want Me, Just Be Good To Me. . . that kinda thing. Any suggestions would be gratefully appreciated!

  • Yesterday I went shopping for some back to school stuff - I hit up Primark, Poundland and a charity shop and picked up some bits which I'm pretty happy with. I'll be posting some 'back to school' posts so you'll see the fruits of my journey soon! 


I don't have any plans for next week, but I might go and pick some more blackberries and bake something! What should I bake?

What did you get up to this week?

Thanks for reading,

Friday, 8 August 2014

Blackberry Picking

Hello everyone!

I'm very lucky to live where I do in the beautiful Irish countryside. 

It can sometimes be a nuisance if I need to go somewhere because I'm quite far out and public transport is minimal. Thank goodness for internet shopping! Sometimes I fantasise about what it might be like to live in a big city like London but I know I'd never be able to stay there permanently. I'd always have to come back to live where it's green and open. One massive perk of living in the country is being able to go for walks in the fresh air with beautiful landscapes in sight. Yesterday morning, I awoke at half seven and my parents and I went for a lovely walk near to our home. 

Armed with an empty ice cream tub, we went hunting for blackberries - Seamus Heaney style. I'm going to let the photos do most of the talking and leave you with the poem Seamus wrote back in the day!

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Late August, given heavy rain and sun
for a full week, the blackberries would ripen.
At first, just one, a glossy purple clot
among others, red, green, hard as a knot.
You ate that first one and its flesh was sweet
like thickened wine: summer's blood was in it
leaving stains upon the tongue and lust for
picking. Then red ones inked up and that hunger
sent us out with milk-cans, pea-tins, jam-pots
where briars scratched and wet grass bleached our boots.
Round hayfields, cornfields and potato-drills
we trekked and picked until the cans were full,
until the tinkling bottom had been covered
with green ones, and on top big dark blobs burned
like a plate of eyes. Our hands were peppered
with thorn pricks, our palms sticky as Bluebeard's.
We hoarded the fresh berries in the byre.
But when the bath was filled we found a fur,
A rat-grey fungus, glutting on our cache.
The juice was stinking too. Once off the bush
the fruit fermented, the sweet flesh would turn sour.
I always felt like crying. It wasn't fair
that all the lovely canfuls smelt of rot.
Each year I hoped they'd keep, knew they would not.

Seamus Heaney

give him a name in the comments!


For dessert last night we had vanilla icecream, marshmallows and warmed blackberries and for breakfast this morning I had blackberries in my granola! Absolutely delicious.

Have you ever been blackberry picking?

Do you like countryside walks?

Thanks for reading,