Friday, 29 April 2016

Style Inspiration | Salt & Chic

So far in my style inspiration series I've covered my beautiful mum, my celebrity style inspiration and my best friend. This month I wanted to talk about my biggest blogger style inspiration - Amy Liddell from Salt & Chic. She's kindly allowing me to use some of her pictures for this post, so I've picked some of my favourite outfits from her blog to include. Please note that all pictures in this post belong to her.

Amy's blog is one that I've been reading pretty much since I began reading blogs and I've always admired her style, the way she puts outfits together and her beautiful photographs that capture them. She can pull off pretty much anything in such an effortless way and carries off every outfit with an air of confidence that makes her style all the more impressionable.


She pairs statement pieces with basics and really is quite daring with her style, pushing boundaries by just the right amount. She wears trends in her own way and she definitely knows what suits her. Plus her hair and make up always look amazing - she gives me serious style envy and I always get the urge to go shopping after reading one of her posts!


As you can see her photographs are always amazing quality too and she's perfected the ideal blogger pose of managing to look like a model while also remaining completely relatable. If you could give me some lessons in that Amy, that'd be great!


As well as letting me use some pictures, Amy also very kindly answered some questions for me about her style.
How would you describe your style? My style really is a bit of everything! I have every kind of style in my wardrobe from 60's to 70's to 90's, from simple monochromes to loud patterns. I literally just wear whatever I want on that day and I don't think I really fit into one style cliché!  
What influences your style? My mood definitely influences what I wear - if I'm having a really good day I go for all the bright colours and patterns! I'd also say all of the trends influence my style. Not to the extent where I'm going out saying 'I HAVE to get something from this trend', but if there's a trend I like I go all out on it.

Who is your biggest style inspiration? It's got to be Suki Waterhouse. For years I've drooled over her Instagram and Twitter, dreaming about her Burberry coat collection and effortless 60's style. She's one of those people who just looks amazing in everything and there's not much I wouldn't do for her wardrobe.

You can check out more of Amy's outfits on her blog here. What do you think of Amy's style? Which blogger is your biggest style inspiration?

Amy x
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Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Polka Dot

So recently my friend had loads of clothes packed up to take to a charity shop (until I swept in to claim most of them) and this dress was in there. I am amazed that she was getting rid of it because it suited her so well and she loves a good polka dot, but her loss is my gain and it now has a happy place in my wardrobe.


It's actually a perfect fit for my shape as it nips in at the waist, which is where I'm smallest and then allows that bit of extra room for my hips and boobs. I also find it somehow manages to make my legs look slimmer (thank you magic dress of dreams). It's super comfy and *about to say the phrase that makes it into pretty much every blog post* it's just so easy to throw on.





I love a good polka dot and white dots on navy fabric is such a classic (although can't work out if my eyes deceive me and this is white on black?). This will be the perfect dress for summer dressed down with white trainers. Dreamy. For now though it's a bit cold so I had to whack on the black tights and wear it with these old patent shoes that were from Primark about two years ago and somehow haven't fallen apart yet. Best fiver I ever spent. It is warm enough though to whack out my summer trench coat that I still adore and will now wear until it gets cold again.

I managed to tempt Nick out of the house with the promise of coffee again so he took these photos, which I'm super happy with. As long as he doesn't get sick of coffee then my photo game is on the up.

Dress - Oh My Love (old)
Shoes - Primark (old)
Bag - Primark (old)
Coat - New Look (very similar here)

Do you like polka dots? What do you think of this outfit?

Amy x
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Sunday, 24 April 2016

10 Thoughts When Taking Outfit Pictures in Public


Recently I've really been trying to push my outfit photos in terms of location - basically trying to not just take them in my back garden! I've been really happy with the results, but I wouldn't say the process of taking them is my favourite thing. I mean, it's embarrassing isn't it? I thought this would be something a lot of bloggers would relate to so I've put together 10 thoughts I have while taking outfit pictures in public....

1 - OK there's nobody around, let's quickly get this done before anyone comes.

2 -  Is that someone coming? OK, just pretend we're taking pictures of the landscape.

3 - Are they ever going to go away? I'll just man up and take them anyway...

4 - Yup and now they're looking at me like I'm a complete weirdo and I'm going to look uncomfortable and self conscious in all of these photos.

5 - I swear it is NEVER this windy apart from when I'm taking outfit pictures.

6 - If I just look into the distance I will look all cool and thoughtful rather than like a gormless idiot right?

7 - Can I replicate that effortless hand up to the hair shot like all the big bloggers can? OK, no I can't, I just look like I'm trying to soothe a headache.

8 - I am freezing. I wish I had loads of coats so I could do 'coat of the days' instead.

9 - Ugh there's more people coming, let's just leave it at that.

10 - Can I salvage three or four good pictures out of the hundreds we just took? Probably not...


Can you relate to any of these? Or can you think of any others?

Amy x
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Friday, 22 April 2016

Quickmax Eyelash and Eyebrow Growth Serum

I love trying new shampoos, hair treatments and techniques to make the hair on my head longer and thicker, but I'd never really thought about trying to do anything about my eyebrows or eyelashes until I was contacted by Stylelux and asked if I wanted to try their Quickmax Eyelash and Eyebrow Growth Serum*. I'm generally quite happy with my eyelashes - they're already naturally curly and quite long, but my eyebrows are sadly quite thin and patchy (if I could turn back time and take those tweezers out of my 14-year-old hands).


Quickmax* is a small tube of clear liquid that you use each night before bed, applied as you would eyeliner on your lash line and brushed through the eyebrows. It's supposed to make your eyelashes and eyebrows look longer and fuller and results should be noticeable within 4-6 weeks.

In terms of using the product I found it very easy to use and incorporate into my night time skincare routine and not irritable at all to my skin. I applied it each night for 6 weeks and if I'm honest I very sceptically expected to not see much of a difference. I'm a very sceptical person in general and never usually trust products that seem to promise the impossible!

Top - before. Bottom - after.

I have to say though that I honestly did notice a difference. I noticed the difference more prominently when I was wearing makeup than without it as my eyelashes are quite blonde at the ends, but my eyelashes did look thicker, which I think you can see on the before and after. I'm happier with my eyebrows too, which although they're still a little patchy, are generally a bit fuller than they were and are much easier to fill in.

This brings me onto my main con of the product and that is the price. It retails at £49, which is very pricey in my opinion. The product worked, but I wouldn't say it worked enough that I would be able to justify spending £49 on it. It does last a long time - as I said I've been using it for 6 weeks and there's still about half left so in that sense you do get your money's worth. If you have very thin or short eyelashes and you are desperate to change that then this might be a good product to try, but I personally wouldn't splash that much cash.

Have you tried this product or anything similar? Would you try this product?

Amy x

This product was kindly sent to me by Stylelux, but my views are completely honest and my own.
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Tuesday, 19 April 2016

How to Compromise on Home Decor


You've probably dreamed of having your own house for years before you buy one, you can't wait to decorate it to make it your own, you think that you'd probably paint everything white to make it nice and bright...but then you buy a house with someone else and wait, what, you don't also want to paint the whole house white and have copper detailing everywhere?


I'd never considered that I'd have to compromise when I finally bought my own house even though I'd expected for a long time that I'd be buying one with Nick. We hadn't really discussed interior options before we'd had our offer accepted, but luckily we've managed to compromise really well and we've got a bedroom and bathroom so far that we both absolutely love. It's funny because I can't imagine wanting them any other way now so it just goes to show that compromise can be a really positive thing! Having done two rooms and currently compromising our way through the third, here are some tips on compromising on home decor:

Talk A LOT | If you don't agree straight away on interiors (and let's face it, who would?) there needs to be a lot of suggestions thrown around until you find something you can both live with. Prepare for there to be a lot of veto-ing and for the eventuality that a lot of things you've had your heart set on might get thrown out, but make sure you speak your mind too. Don't settle for anything you're not 100% happy with and make sure the other person isn't just making do either.

Mood boards | We used Pinterest a lot at the very beginning to put separate mood boards together, which we'd then share with each other and narrow down images that we both liked. This was particularly helpful with the bathroom and I don't think we'd have been as ambitious with it if it weren't for Pinterest inspiration!

Shop around | The very first colour we both agreed on was a Farrow & Ball paint, which was completely unrealistic for our budget so we went out and about searching for something similar (thanks Wilko you babe). We ended up shopping around for everything and quite often we'd have a day of completely unsuccessful browsing! Remember that it's still a productive day even if you've only managed to decide on things you don't want.

Check in with each other | It's easy to argue about things and sulk when you don't get your own way, but it's important to remember that the other person isn't getting their own way either. Make sure every step of the way that you're checking with each other that you're definitely happy with what you've decided.

Hopefully these tips are in some way helpful if you've bought or are thinking of buying a house with someone else. Let me know if you have any others!

Amy x
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Sunday, 17 April 2016

Things My Disabled Sibling Has Taught Me


I don't write posts about my sister often (others can be found here and here), but I absolutely love writing about her and seeing as tomorrow marks twenty years since she came into this world (which is hella scary might I add) I thought I'd write one to mark the occasion. So HAPPY BIRTHDAY (for tomorrow) Bethany and here's some things she's taught me over the years:

Patience | It's funny that she's taught me this because she is actually the most impatient person ever. Maybe it's because dealing with an impatient person takes patience! I think mainly it's the little things - if something makes her laugh then I'll do it over and over again until I'm past bored as long as it's still making her laugh. Meal times take a long time with her as she looks around and makes noise in between each mouthful! In a way it's nice because it makes you slow down a bit and not be so fast paced in everything, but you definitely need patience if you're waiting for pudding!

Appreciation | Bethany has been and still goes through a lot, yet she doesn't make a fuss and she very rarely cries or complains. That just makes me appreciate my health and my life in general so much more. It puts everything into perspective for me and helps me appreciate the good in life and not worry so much about the bad.

Determination | Bethany is such a little fighter and the fact that she keeps on going through the bad makes me all the more determined to fight through anything too. If she can fight through the ups and downs of physical and mental disability then I can definitely fight through my latest crisis at work or anything else life throws at me.

Acceptance | I've learnt that life isn't fair and that bad things happen to good people, but I've learnt to accept that and whatever life throws at me.

What have your siblings taught you?

Amy x
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Friday, 15 April 2016

LUXE by Hugh Rice Launch Event

Last Friday I was lucky enough to be invited along to the new LUXE by Hugh Rice store in Beverley along with some lovely Hull bloggers and LOCO magazine for their launch event. It was a great chance for me to get to know some other Hull bloggers a bit better as well as have a snoop at all the pretty jewellery of course!


LUXE is a new branch of Hugh Rice (for those of you who don't know, Hugh Rice is a chain of jewellery stores across Yorkshire) that sells more quirky and unique jewellery than their traditional stores. There was enough rose gold to keep a bunch of bloggers happy and some of the most beautiful ranges! The Alex Monroe and Daisy London ranges were by far my favourite *crosses fingers that Nick is reading this* and they just had the cutest pieces! Just how gorgeous are those bracelets?



There are lots of ranges in the store, catering for lots of different tastes and price ranges including blogger watch favourite Daniel Wellington, Pandora, Thomas Sabo and so many more! The store itself is beautiful too - so light, modern and spacious while still retaining the atmosphere of being an older building. It was the perfect venue for a lovely evening of fizz, chat and jewellery lusting!






Thank you so much to Hugh Rice and LOCO magazine for hosting a lovely event!

Have you heard of LUXE by Hugh Rice? Where do you go for your jewellery?

Amy x
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Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Casual Double Denim

I've never been massively comfortable wearing double denim (it can go soooo wrong) but I've finally found a double denim outfit I'm happy with. I feel like it's kind of cheating because the jeans are black, but oh well!


It's not the most flattering of outfits, but it's oh so comfortable and so easy to throw on for heading into town for a casual day out. I am so in love with the jacket, I've never seen anything like it before and I guess the best way to describe it would be an anorak-look denim jacket? Probably not the best way, but the only way I can think of! It's definitely going to be a spring staple for me.

The jeans are my Joni jeans from Topshop which again are just so unbelievably comfortable. I think stripes go so well with this outfit (although I think that about most outfits) so I wore my yellow Boden breton underneath, which looks so summery (especially compared to the grey weather in these pictures!). I love the Boden breton tops - they're a little pricier than some, but the quality and fit is amazing.

I recently invested (I say invested, they were £14.50) in some white trainers and I can see myself wearing these all summer long. They did result in an emergency Boots stop off for plasters the first time I wore them out, but I'm hoping that's them all worn in now. Unfortunately white trainers don't photograph well and I promise they're not actually this glaringly white IRL!

I don't often include bags in outfit posts because I usually use the same for aaaages, but I've recently started using a new one so I thought I'd include it. This one is from Cotton Traders* and it's a budget version of those ones by that designer I can't remember because I'm not all that clued up when it comes to designer, BUT those ones are expensive and this one is cheap!













Coat - Tu (here)
Top - Boden (old)
Jeans - Topshop (here)
Trainers - Tu (here)
Bag - Cotton Traders* (here)

What do you think of this outfit? Do you ever wear double denim?

Amy x

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Sunday, 10 April 2016

Why I Keep My Blog Secret

Yup, you read the title right, I keep this blog a secret from people I know. Shock horror.


My parents, boyfriend and two of my friends know, but that's it. I don't tell people about it and if someone were to ask what I do with my spare time I'm more likely to say not a lot rather than admit I spend it blogging.
I've read conflicting things from other bloggers - some are totally open about their blog (kudos to you guys) and some, like me, keep it a secret. I find it really interesting reading people's reasons for not telling others about their blog so I thought today I'd speak about mine.


When I started my blog I wasn't 100% sure if it was something I'd be able to keep up with and I said to myself that if I was still doing it in a few month's time and if it was 'doing well' I'd tell people about it. I didn't really want to tell loads of people that I was starting a blog, get them to read it and then give up on it within a few weeks. Turns out, it wasn't a fad and a year and a half later I'm still blogging. Problem is, once you've not told people something it becomes a bit awkward. How can I say to some of my closest friends 'oh by the way, I've had a blog for a year and a half, here it is'?
I'm ashamed to say I'm also afraid of judgement. I know I shouldn't be and I am proud of my blog and the content I produce, but there's this part of me that just thinks people will think it's stupid. I think unfortunately this is a common theme with bloggers, which is really sad, but the even sadder fact is that there will be people who would judge me if they knew about my blog so my fear isn't unfounded. This comes back to my 'doing well' point. I always think if my blog was doing a little better I wouldn't care about the judgement because I would be 'successful'. Turns out 'doing well' is harder to define than I thought it would be and it means different things to different people so although I may think I'm doing OK for a part time blogger others might wonder why I bother.


I think the time will come when I'll have to tell people about my blog. There are already some awkward conversations where I've had to explain my way out of things. One of my work colleagues asked me why on earth I'd had a blow dry one morning when all I was doing that day was going to work. Instead of admitting that I'd been invited to review the salon I pretended I'd had a free voucher posted through my door. She still thought it was weird.
I'd like to think I'll tell people soon, but who knows?
Do you keep your blog a secret or do you tell people? What influenced your choice?
Amy x
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Friday, 8 April 2016

Finding Your Personal Style

I'm a big believer in personal style over following trends. I love fashion, but I think finding what suits you and what, most importantly, you actually like is so important. There's nothing worse than wearing something bang on trend that actually makes you feel ten sizes bigger than you are and makes you feel as uncomfortable as the tall person in the front row of assembly. I feel like recently I've really discovered what works for me so I thought I'd share my tips on finding your personal style.


Trial and error | Unfortunately you're not going to find your personal style without making some mistakes along the way, but these will only help you to discover what doesn't suit you, which can only be a good thing. Just make sure you remember what works and what doesn't!

Don't give up straight away | If you really love a trend, but don't feel that it suits you, don't give up on it straight away. You might just need to find a different way for it to suit you. Obviously this isn't always the case, but sometimes shopping around a bit can do the trick. I was about a year late to the pinafore trend because the classic denim/cord style didn't suit me, but eventually I found a dress that can double up as a pinafore that does!


Be inspired | I think reading style blogs has helped my own style so much because I'm constantly being inspired by new content. I'm able to keep my personal style refreshed by taking inspiration from others and I'm able to decide for myself whether new trends suit me or not.

Don't waver | Sometimes it's tempting to revisit something you know doesn't suit you *cough* pencil skirts *cough*. If you know something doesn't work for you, don't buy it. I'm always enticed by pretty patterned pencil skirts, but they do not flatter me one bit and I know that if I caved in and bought one I wouldn't wear it because it would make my thighs look like baby whales (no exaggeration or anything there...)

Don't think about it too much | This might be contradicting all of my above points, but I think the point where I really found my personal style was when I stopped thinking so much about what I was wearing. I was just automatically putting on what was natural and what felt right. Trust your gut!


How did you find your personal style?
Amy x

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Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Blue Suede Dress

I feel like I've done loads of outfit posts recently, but that's what I've been enjoying doing and I'm also hoping to really push my outfit posts to be better by venturing out of my back garden and into the big bad world to take my pictures (eek). I took my last outfit pictures all by myself which was hella scary, so this time I bribed Nick with coffee. He takes better pictures than my tripod anyway.


Ramble over, onto the outfit. Last time I went shopping I had a bit of a 'OMG I look fat in everything' moment - you know when you've been hiding behind big jumpers all winter and then you realise it's suddenly time for spring and you are in no way prepared? Yeah, that. Eventually though I found this dress that flatters me in all the right places and I had a 'hallelujah maybe I will be OK this spring' moment instead.





I love the colour, the fabric (which FYI isn't real suede, didn't suddenly get a money tree) and the fit. I've actually been looking for a button down skirt for ages, but they're never quite right on me so I'm over the moon that I've found a button down dress instead! While it's still a bit too chilly for no sleeves I wore a plain grey top underneath. Paired with my Truffle Collection boots it's the perfect combo for that in between period where you feel like it should be spring by now, but actually it's still a bit nippy.

Dress - AX Paris via New Look (current, not online)
Top - H&M (old)
Boots - Truffle Collection via Asos (out of stock)

What do you think of this outfit? Are you a fan of suedette?

Amy x
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Sunday, 3 April 2016

Bedroom Transformation




Warning, very picture heavy post! Today I'm so excited to show you our long overdue bedroom transformation! It's been kind of finished for a while, but we dilly dallied around with the finishing touches. I thought I'd go through the stages of what we did to the bedroom because it really has changed quite dramatically!

Before





The bedroom was originally two rooms; you entered through a dressing room and then went through to the main bedroom from there. The whole room was wallpapered and carpeted, the fireplace was completely boarded up (we had no idea what was behind it at the time!) and the woodwork was coated in decades of paint.


During





We ripped up the carpets to find that the floorboards weren't in great condition and because we wanted to get this room decorated fairly quickly we decided to cover them rather than try to restore them. We stripped all the wallpaper off and then decided on a whim to take down the dividing wall. This was a stud wall so we did this ourselves fairly quickly. We then faced a bit of a dilemma that there was original coving in the dressing room but not in the main bedroom and we'd also ripped a rather large chunk out of the ceiling by taking the wall down (total experts obviously!) so we got a plasterer in to take down the coving, replace the ceiling and skim the whole room as the plaster was so old that it was in bad condition anyway. We then stripped all the paint off the woodwork (most laborious job ever) and also off the fireplace. Once all the boring stuff was out of the way it was time to decorate! We painted the walls, ceiling and woodwork, put up some new coving then laid the laminate floor.


After














The room is so much brighter and spacious than it was before. The colour we chose for the walls was 'Whispering Sage' from Wilko's, the woodwork and fireplace are all white and we chose a dark laminate floor to contrast with the rest of the room and make sure it didn't look too cold (even though I would have had the entire room white if I didn't have to compromise with another person!) We took our inspiration for the colours from the original fireplace, which we've cleaned up and left exposed because it's beautiful! Because the other colour in the fireplace was yellow we got a rug, bedding and curtains with yellow in them. Our furniture we had already and is all from Ikea. There are still a few finishing touches to put to the room and I'm sure there will be a growing collection of trinkets and pictures on the walls soon!

I also made a video of the whole transformation over on my YouTube channel if you're not already sick of seeing pictures!


What do you think of our transformation? How is your bedroom decorated or how would you decorate it?

Amy x
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