Friday, 30 December 2016

Call Me Amy in 2017

HAPPY NEW YEAR (for tomorrow night...)


This is one of those posts that doesn't really qualify as a post because it's just me rambling about how much I love everyone who reads my blog etc etc. Seriously though, I do. I feel like I'm on the brink of exciting things with this blog and it could either go really well for me in 2017 or could just carry on the same. And I'm happy with either of those outcomes to be honest. 

I did a post similar to this at the beginning of 2016 where I said I was going to really try with my YouTube channel, which LOL, lasted about three weeks. So I think this year I'm not going to make any promises. I did actually consider cutting down on my blog content and posting twice a week instead of three, mainly because I want the content to be the best it can and I don't want to compromise on quality just because I've run out of time. I also have felt a bit like I'm putting too much pressure on myself and if I'm honest have felt a bit overwhelmed by life the past couple of months and felt like I'm never on top of things. 

To cut a long story short, I've decided to carry on posting three times a week and to see how it goes so we'll see. I had a grand idea that I'd post every Sunday on my YouTube channel, but sit down videos just aren't really me and I don't have an interesting enough life to sustain a vlogging channel. So I will be uploading on my YouTube channel, I just don't know what or how often (really selling it right?!). If you want to be a doll and subscribe you can do so here

Big love to everyone who reads my little blog, THANK YOU <3 I hope 2017 brings you all the happiness. 

Amy x
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Tuesday, 27 December 2016

The New Year Outfit For Whatever You're Doing


Call me a party pooper (maybe that should be my new blog name?!), but New Year always seems like a bit of an anticlimax to me. There's so much pressure on what to do, everywhere is super busy and once the countdown is over and nothing incredible has happened I lose all enthusiasm. New Year's Eve is actually my mum's birthday and I realised that although I usually spend the day with her I haven't actually spent the evening and seen the New Year in with her for at least ten years. So this year I'm seeing the New Year in with my parents at home watching the fireworks on the TV. I can see that becoming a habit.

I took these snaps old school style on self timer in my office against a plain wall and although I love nothing more than a blurry background shot, I also quite liked stripping my outfit pictures back to their basics and just focusing on the outfit instead of the location and which way the sun was facing. However the light wasn't really my friend so the quality isn't great, but you can still see the outfit and that's the whole point. 

Anyway, I digress from the point of this post. The point is the outfit and the fact that you could wear this if you're going out clubbing (seriously just using the phrase 'going out clubbing' makes me feel like a completely out of touch granny) or staying in with family like me.




Because the outfit is velvet it makes it a touch more glam, but essentially it's a casual all black ensemble and I love that. I also love that because both the top and shorts are velvet it gives the illusion of a playsuit (if you squint a bit anyway). My boots are also suedette even though they're not pictured so I win in the textile stakes.

Jacket - Topshop (here| Top - Topshop (old) | Shorts - Topshop (old)

What are your plans for New Year's Eve?

Amy x
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Friday, 23 December 2016

The Very Last Minute Gift Guide


I'd just like to brag about the fact that all of my Christmas shopping was finished and wrapped a week ago. I realise that's still not exactly early, but it's better than I usually manage. I'm usually that person who still 'has a few bits to pick up' on Christmas Eve so I thought I'd put together a very last minute gift guide for those people who are like I usually am. Hopefully I've turned over a new leaf this year and I'll just get more and more organised as the years go on (fat chance). Obviously it's two days before Christmas so online anything is out of the question so I've stuck to things you should be able to get in high street shops and the supermarket (good luck if you're braving either of those places). 


Tea/Coffee/Hot Chocolate | I mean the posh stuff. Not Tesco Everyday Value Teabags or Sainsbury's  Gold Roast Coffee. I mean along the lines of Teapigs Herbal Teas or Beanie's Flavoured Instant Coffee (top tip, I have a fair few of these and the chocolate orange flavour is by far the best and most festive). It makes a nice little thoughtful extra, plus can be picked up when you're doing your dreaded Christmas supermarket shop. 


Smellies | I don't particularly like buying people smellies unless I know it's a scent/brand they really like, but it is actually a great present because you know people will definitely use them and again you can pick them up in your local supermarket or Boots/Superdrug. Also I seem to remember that last year Boots actually started reducing some of their Christmas sets before it was actually Christmas so you may just get lucky there. I don't know why I don't like buying them as gifts because I sure love receiving them! 


Stationery | Another one you can get in the supermarket, especially if you're in Sainsbury's because they just do the cutest stationery which I think is a great last minute gift because who doesn't like or use stationery? Diaries/calendars/to do list pads make great Christmas gifts because everyone likes to think they'll be more organised in the New Year.


Food | When I say food, I mean chocolate. Unless the person you're buying the present for doesn't like chocolate (which is kind of unthinkable and maybe you shouldn't actually buy them a present?) And again, I don't mean buy a couple of bars of Tesco chocolate, go Green and Black's or Lindt all the way. You can buy little taster packs of Green and Black's which I think make the cutest gift and are perfect for a little snack so you should probably just buy some for yourself while you're at it.


Magazine Subscription | I've never bought someone a magazine subscription, but I do think it's a great idea for a present especially if you're panicking on Christmas Eve. They're actually super affordable and something thoughtful (if you get them the right magazine anyway). 

Have you finished your Christmas shopping or are you dashing out last minute? 

Amy x




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Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Christmas Day Get Ready With Me


I've got a new jumper that I'm a little bit in love with (I need to stop falling in love with clothes really don't I?!) that I'm going to be wearing on Christmas Day and wanted to show on here so I thought I'd go the whole hog and do a get ready with me style post. Obviously this isn't me actually getting ready on Christmas Day because, if you hadn't noticed, it's not been yet but this is what I'll be wearing and how I'll be doing my hair and makeup!

Makeup

I've actually been going foundation free recently because my skin has been very well behaved for once (most probably jinxed it now) so I'm using Glow Job by Soap & Glory (the immature teenager in me can't help but giggle a little at the name #sorrynotsorry) followed with a hefty amount of the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer because those eye bags ain't gonna hide themselves. Then I'm using the Rimmel Stay Matte Powder to set and to add some colour to my face I'm using Estee Lauder's Bronze Goddess and the Bourjois Little Round Pot Blush in Rose D'or.



Because I want this makeup to be quite festive I'm focusing on the highlight and lips. The highlight I'm using is Benefit's Watts Up and isn't highlighter ridiculously difficult to capture on camera?! Anyway, for my brows I'm using the Benefit Gimme Brow because I find it gives quite a natural look and if I go too heavy on my brows when I'm not doing a lot of eye make up I can look a little bit like a hawk. So all I'm doing for eyes is using Maybelline's Lash Sensational. I've chosen the Clinique Lip Pop in Cherry Pop for my lip colour because obviously red is super festive and because this one lasts ages without having to reapply and given the eating that's going to happen a fair bit on Christmas Day I need one that stays put.





Hair 

I was recently very kindly sent the ISA Professional Straightening Brushand have ditched my straighteners in favour of this (although lets not pretend I ever got much use out of my straighteners #lazygirlwithmessyhair). I am pretty lazy when it comes to styling my hair and this straightening brush is perfect for people like me. It's so easy to use because it just feels like you're taking your time over brushing your hair. My hair is a bit kinky and frizzy and I tend to wear it in plaits a lot while it's drying so it needs a bit (/a lot) of sleekness adding, which this straightening brush is perfect for. For my hair, I have it on quite a low heat setting (180 celsius) and it doesn't take that long at all. If you have curly hair I'm sure it'd take a bit longer, but you can crank the heat up to 230 if you need to. I've included a picture below where half of my hair is done with the brush and the other half is untouched so you can see the difference it makes! Apparently you can also achieve waves with this brush so I can't wait to try that out.



 After I've used the straightening brush I'm using this Josh Wood Radiant Shine Hair Treatment Oil which I've been obsessed with since I got it in my M&S Beauty Advent Calendar earlier this month because it smells incredible and will last forever because you only need the tiniest amount to add a bit of shine and tame any frizz.



Outfit 


You might find this outfit slightly anti-climatic, but I do prefer being comfortable on Christmas Day rather than overly dressed up because it's a day of food and cosyness after all. My jumper is by Fashion Union (here) and it's the cosiest jumper I've ever worn. I also love the colour - I've never been much of a pink person, but the muted colour of this is lovely and I actually love the slight clash with my lipstick. I'm wearing my velvet leggings because they're so cosy, but also look slightly dressy for Christmas Day (says the least dressed up person ever). Also I haven't shown my feet because I'm 100% just going to be wearing my slippers...

What are you wearing on Christmas Day?

Amy x
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Sunday, 18 December 2016

How To Feel Festive When You Have To Work


I absolutely love getting in the festive spirit, but along with probably a huge percentage of people reading this I do still have to work over Christmas. I'm lucky enough to never have to work on Christmas Day itself, but news doesn't stop over Christmas so neither do I. Work doesn't stop me feeling festive though and here are some of the ways I keep it up! Deramores sent me this lovely Christmas hamper* last week to help me get in a festive mood and it's definitely been helping! Here are some of my little ways to stay festive when you have to work over Christmas:


Pop on a bit of red lipstick. I don't know about anyone else but popping on a bit of red lippy instantly makes me feel more festive and just generally in a better mood! Who cares if anyone thinks red lipstick is too much at work? It's Christmas!

Swap your after work cocktail for some mulled wine. Or swap whatever you usually drink for mulled wine. Whenever I have it I wonder why I ever drink red wine that isn't hot and spiced.


Amp up the sparkle. I'm very cautious of glitter, but at Christmas I love to pile on the highlighter and sparkly eyeshadow. This No7 Glamourous Nudes Palette* that came in my hamper is perfect for me because it's got just the right amount of subtle sparkle and look how pretty! 

Get some festive tunes on. Anyone who doesn't like Christmas music must be lying surely? Personally I'm a Michael Buble Christmas album fan because it makes me feel like I'm getting all the cheese but with a touch of class (ha). Whether you're allowed to listen to music at work or if you just jam on your way in get your fix somehow!


If you have an evening off, make it a cosy one! I feel like I've been banging on far too much about cosy evenings on this blog recently, but I can't get enough of them! Make the most of the time you do have at home. Light some candles (Yankee Christmas ones are my ultimate fave like this Sparkling Snow* one) and snuggle down on the sofa in front of the telly.

Do more tea rounds. And then bring back mulled wine instead. I'm joking, just bring back tea because that makes everyone happier and a happy workplace is a better place to be at Christmas.


Have a festive bath. Not at work, obvs. Run yourself a nice bath when you get home and have a bit of a pamper. There's nothing better than a Lush Christmas bath bomb to keep you in the mood is there? I also got some lovely Champneys* and Bayliss and Harding* goodies that I'll be adding to my bath this weekend.

Wear all the knitwear. I love nothing more than a big jumper at this time of year and luckily I don't have a work uniform or any dress rules (I think they MIGHT draw the line at dressing gown though unfortunately).

Spread some festive cheer and take treats to work. Says she who's only done that once this year. But yeah, preferably mince pies or a big tub of festive chocolates. Better still, if someone else has brought treats in, eat them.


Get in those Christmas pyjamas as soon as you're home. Mine are subtle, but still red. I also love wearing huge socks around the house at this time of year (because hey circulation where did you go?) so these totes* are just perfect, plus they're actually fleece lined which is the cosiest thing ever. 

Make the most of your time off. See your family. See your friends. Do things you enjoy. Your house can be cleaned in the new year.

How do you stay festive while you still have to work?

Amy x

This post includes some complimentary products sent to me, but all opinions and feelings of festivity are my own.  


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Friday, 16 December 2016

Faking Style Confidence


I bang on about personal style enough on this blog for you all to know that I'm a big believer in everyone wearing whatever they want and although I do wear whatever I want that doesn't mean I always feel confident in it.


There's a tag that's been doing the rounds on Twitter recently - you know the 'like this and I'll tweet anonymously about you' one. Well when I liked Rachel's from No Space For Milk she tweeted that she wished she had my confidence in fashion. It took me ages to realise that it was about me because I didn't realise that was how people perceived me. It made me realise that even thought I don't necessarily feel confident wearing certain things, I'm pretty darn good at faking it. 



These leggings for example. I bloomin' love them, they're so comfortable and they're leopard print, but not overtly leopard print and I'm not overtly anything so they're pretty 'me'. I put them on one day, pretty happy because I love them and tootled off to work. As soon as I got to work I suddenly experienced THE DOUBT. The doubt made me wonder what other people at work thought of the leggings, were they too risqué for work? Did everyone now think badly of me? I had that doubt in my mind for most of the day, but I didn't let it show. I walked around the office as if I didn't have a care in the world and I think that's what fools people. 



I shouldn't feel THE DOUBT (I put it in caps the first time so feel like I have to do it again) in the first place because I love these leggings and I feel great in them so why should I not feel confident in them? Unfortunately I think it's because I know we've got a long way to go in terms of accepting each other's personal styles - I've heard people at work bitching about what other people are wearing so I guess it's safe to assume they'd bitch about what I'm wearing too. Please let's all be kinder so everyone can actually feel confident rather than faking it. 

Top - Asos (old) | Leggings - Asos (here) | Jacket - Topshop (here) | Boots - Topshop (here) | Bag - Fiorelli (here)

Do you ever fake style confidence?

Amy x
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Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Afternoon Tea With a Difference at Tapasya



When you hear the phrase afternoon tea I imagine it conjures up images of cream scones, finger sandwiches and some good old English Breakfast tea. It does for me anyway even though I've never even eaten an traditional English afternoon tea. So I was intrigued when I was invited along with some of the lovely Hull Blogger ladies to the newly opened Tapasya on Hull Marina for an afternoon tea with a bit of a difference.







Tapasya is an Indian restaurant so the tea we were served was a delicious Chai Tea, and I mean proper Chai Tea made with milk instead of water. They don't serve it in enough places and I'm always meaning to make some myself at home, but it's just much easier to boil the kettle #lazylife, but at least I know somewhere in Hull that serves it now! If you're an English Breakfast fanatic then it's probably not for you, but for herbal tea fanatics like me it was perfect.

When we were brought out a three tier stand each I did wonder how on earth we would eat it all, but funnily enough we managed. We got an assortment of savoury pastries and a grilled sandwich each, which were all delicious and just the right amount of spicy, but let's face it, dessert was the main event here.

I don't think I've ever ordered dessert at an Indian restaurant before because I've usually just stuffed my face with a massive curry and all the naan bread and I've obviously been doing it wrong all this time because they were beautiful. There was two Naan Khatai each which is the most buttery, melt in the mouth shortbread I've ever tasted. Served with those was what I can only describe as Indian fudge, which I believe is called Barfi (but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong!) and again it was so melt in the mouth delicious and as you can see we got a huge helping of it!

The glass frontage of the restaurant gives you the most beautiful view across Hull Marina and I can just imagine how amazing it will be in summer (or just on a nice day as we were unfortunate enough to visit on the foggiest day so far this year!) The interiors are just as pretty and it feels very much like a high end restaurant inside, but luckily with affordable prices! The afternoon tea cost £12.50 per person and you can upgrade to fizz for a little extra (but I'd highly recommend the tea!).

Have you ever tried an Indian afternoon tea?

Amy x

I was invited to try an complimentary afternoon tea at Tapasya, but opinions and newfound love of Naan Khatai is my own. 
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Sunday, 11 December 2016

Self Acceptance


Self acceptance. The clue is in the name really, but I always thought self acceptance would come when I'd lost a bit of weight, my skin was totally flawless and I had my dream job. Etc etc. Turns out, as the phrase would suggest, it means accepting yourself exactly as you are and as whatever you may become. Self acceptance is unconditional and is actually a completely different thing to self confidence.

Well I never lost the weight, I still get spots but yes I do have a job I like. Somehow self acceptance happened somewhere along the way. I'm OK with me as I am. I've learnt there's a big difference between self acceptance and self confidence, but I've been able to accept the things I don't like about myself. I hope that makes sense. It's been a pretty long slog to get here though and that's what I want to speak about in this post. 

The dream of being someone I'm not began in my teens. I always felt like the ugly fat one among my pretty friends as well as the boring girl who should try harder to be a bit more fun. I remember one girl telling me everyone else though I was the 'Jas' from the Georgia Nicholson books in our group because she was annoying and desperate. From then on that's pretty much how I saw myself too. 

In my late teens I was no longer friends with that girl (funny eh) and I felt much better about myself looks-wise, although mainly because I had started to get attention from boys and that's not really the best way to validate your body image because once you lose that attention your self confidence falls right back down again. The main issue at this point in time was my desire to people please. I wanted people to like me and think I was fun so I said yes to everything. I don't actually regret having that attitude because I had a lot of fun in those years, but some of the choices I made were probably not the best.

You'd think it would continue to get better, but my early twenties was oddly probably the worst time for me. Because I'd placed so much of my self confidence in my body image in the hands of boys it was completely shattered and I'd stopped saying yes to everything, which caused friends from university to (in my mind) think I'd become boring because I no longer wanted to stay out until 4am. I wasn't particularly happy at university in my final year, but I also had no clue as to what direction my life was going to take afterwards. 

The change from then to now is pretty drastic when I think about it and I can't really explain why it happened apart from that I guess the friendships that weren't real fizzled out, I stopped caring so much what other people thought and I started this blog, which has been the best thing for self confidence. At some point in the past couple of years I accepted myself just as I am. Obviously there are times when I have little hiccups about my appearance or personality, but generally I'm pretty comfortable with who I am and it's such a big weight off my shoulders. There are things about myself that I don't like, but I don't let them bother me (very often anway). Pretty much every day I look in the mirror and think I could do with losing a bit of weight or a nose job, but it also doesn't bother me that I'm probably not going to do either of those things. It's a difficult one to try to explain so I'll stop trying to and sign out, hoping that you get what I mean!

Amy x
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Friday, 9 December 2016

Adding Colour to Your Wardrobe


It may seem ironic that the title of this post is all about adding colour to your wardrobe and I'm actually wearing a black dress, but hear me out. I used to be scared of colour and stick to black, grey, navy or white. That may sound quite chic, but unfortunately I'm not one of those people who can make a basic outfit look interesting (those people are the coolest) so I do need a bit of help. I still love keeping it simple and classic and I'm actually obsessed with grey at the moment, but in the past year or so I've really learnt to embrace colour into my wardrobe.


I've learnt to stick to one rule when it comes to colour, which has helped me incorporate it into my wardrobe without running scared. It's pretty simple - if I'm wearing colour I also wear either black, grey, navy or white. I get the comfort of one of my safe colours, which I find tends to make the colour much more wearable and I feel less like 'HEY EVERYONE, I'M WEARING COLOUR'. Hence the black dress. Yes it's black, but look at all the colour in it too.




Let's talk a little bit about the dress because I'm madly in love with it (to the extent that you can be madly in love with a dress). It's actually the only thing I bought on Black Friday and it wasn't on offer so I'm either a champ for not getting drawn in by all the deals or I'm a fool for not making the most of the cheap stuff. Anyway, it's black with just the right amount of colour so I feel like I'm pushing myself out of my comfort zone a little. The shape and length are perfect and the print along with the ruffle detailing just make me swoon (I told you I was madly in love with it). I have a feeling this will probably make it into my most worn winter outfits post because I'm wearing it for pretty much every occasion I can.

Oh and I also love my bag and my boots, but I've mentioned them before and seeing as I wrote a pretty hefty paragraph about the dress I'll leave it there.





Dress - Next (here) | Boots - Truffle Collection (old) | Bag - Fiorelli (here)

How do you wear colour?

Amy x
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Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Autumn Favourites

My favourites this season are a bit more lifestyle based than usual because I haven't really tried that many new products and have mainly been using the same old stuff, but there are some lifestyle favourites I've really been loving!




Candle Displays | If you read my Cosy Christmas Night In Essentials post you'll know I went a little candle spendy in IKEA recently and I've been lighting my little candle display pretty much every night because it just makes the room so snug and happy. I've got one either side of the hearth and am very tempted to do the same in our bedroom too. A couple of them are scented so they make my living room smell great (and mask the smell of takeaway pizza that's sometimes lingering...)

Queen Bee Vaseline | The weather has been playing havoc with my lips and there's only one thing I turn to in a lip crisis - Vaseline. This one is my current favourite because HONEY. This was one of those that came out as limited edition and I rushed out to Selfridges to buy my first one (when I lived in London - I'm not that dedicated to travel all the way there from Hull), but then they carried it on anyway so you can buy them anywhere now. Top tip: don't wait for your penny change in Selfridges, it would seem it's not that type of place...

Rimmel Lasting Finish Kate Moss in #30 | I've whacked out my stereotypical autumn lip shade again and I think I'll be wearing it throughout winter as well just because I love it and it makes me feel ten times more sassy than I actually am. It really is a shade that I feel like transforms my whole face and just makes me feel a bit better about myself. 

The Walking Dead | We've been binge watching The Walking Dead (like seriously binge watching) and have just finished season three. It's one of those series that everyone bangs on about and as soon as you start watching it you realise why. We'll probably be up to date in about another month at the rate we're going to be honest...

Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess | This was actually in last year's autumn favourites and I thought it was an odd autumn love back then, but here it is again! I think because it's a matte bronzer I turn to it in autumn, plus I'm paler at this time of year so need the colour! 

What are your favourites at the moment?

Amy x
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