Style Inspiration | My Best Friend Martha

Despite the title of this post sounding a little like I'm 8 years old and about to give you a fun fact file all about my best friend, it's actually some pretty pictures of my friend Martha and some fun facts about her style (so similar I guess...)

Martha is one of those naturally beautiful people who could wear a bin bag and still look nice, although she doesn't (thanks Marth cause that would be embarrassing). Her style is basic but effective and compliments her perfectly. She's good at layering and she just gives off that effortlessly chic vibe that only a select few have. She has a lot of timeless items in her wardrobe, partly because her colour palette is mainly black or navy so she can never go wrong really! Anyway, enough of my inadequate description skills, let's just look at the pretty pictures instead!

Who is your style inspiration? Do your friends influence your style?

Amy x

Interiors | Fireplace

I wanted to dedicate an entire post to something I'm super proud of doing all my myself and one of my favourite parts of the bed room: the fireplace. When we bought the house this fireplace was boarded up and wallpapered over so we didn't know whether there was still a fireplace there or not. Luckily for us there was and it was a beautiful old fireplace with original tiling down the sides and to the front.

I cleaned the whole fireplace up and stripped all the paint off. Underneath the white paint was an amazing black slate surround, but because it had already been painted over I wasn't able to get it in good enough condition to keep that way and in hindsight it would probably have looked out of place in our mostly white bedroom anyway. So I repainted the surround white, repainted the fireplace bronze and put some beading around it to separate the tiles from the laminate floor.

I absolutely loved putting the finishing touches to the fireplace. I bought the two pots a while ago from a vintage market in Hull and I realised the colours match the fireplace perfectly! I bought a couple of cheap house plants to put in them (my house plant obsession is real). I also bought these cute baby succulents, which I'm keeping on this beautiful saucer that I picked up so cheap from the Barrowlands markets in Glasgow.

I wanted to put some candles out too, but I decided not to clutter it up too much so I'm leaving it as it is for now. The mirror above the fireplace used to belong to my grandparents and I have no idea where it's from or how old it is, but I love it!

What do you think of my fireplace?

Amy x

A Wee Weekend in Glasgow

Last weekend I visited Glasgow for the first time (well, apart from an apparent visit when I was about three, but yanno, no memory and that). My best friend lives there and despite the five hour solo drive (fuelled by a million coffees) I thought it was about time I paid her a visit. And Glasgow, you are beautiful and I was not disappointed. 

I'm not going to structure this post in particular because it wasn't a visit with the purpose of touring around Glasgow and we spent a lot of it just wandering and chatting, but I'll just take you through what we did, which will of course include the odd recommendation for food, drink and sightseeing (also you should just go really because it's lovely).

ceiling of huge botanical greenhouse

The weather was amazing; so sunny and actually really warm (a rarity for Glasgow though apparently). I'm sure that even when it's a bit grey Glasgow would still be beautiful though, as all the buildings and streets are so pretty. Even though it is a totally different kind of city, it made me miss living in London so much because it has that same exciting fast paced feeling and coming back to Hull made me realise how behind Hull is as a city (sorry Hull, love you still but c'mon mate).

On my first day we went to the Barrowlands, which are huge markets full of cheap gems (got some jammy saucers to keep my plants on as well as some new plants so probably should have gone back to buy extra saucers...) then wandered into the city centre where I lusted over the Jo Malone counter and spent too much money in Lush. 

I didn't know before I went, but Glasgow is the vegan capital of the UK and we ate at the yummiest vegan cafe called Mono (someone tell me how they make mayonnaise without using eggs??). In the evening we went to the cutest (although also massive) pub called The Chip, which was on a street covered in fairy lights. Much impressive Glasgow.

The next day we spent wandering the West End, where my friend lives, which is jam packed with cute cafes, vintage shops and the like. We visited the botanical gardens (basically my absolute heaven) and sat in the park in the glorious sunshine. Healthy food was ridiculously available in Glasgow (someone please open a healthy deli in Hull where I can buy lunch) and I had a tasty green juice from All About Juice (later followed by McDonalds at a service station on my way home so that's balance right there). I was pleasantly surprised by Glasgow and I'll definitely be doing back to explore even more!

woman walking along walkway in a botanical greenhouse

close up of plants in botanical greenhouse

pond inside greenhouse surrounded by plants

sunlight streaming through huge tall plants

huge palm leaf

huge leaf against blue sky through greenhouse roof

Have you been to Glasgow? 

Amy x

20 Things You Notice During a Harry Potter Marathon

At the start of this year me and one of my best friends had an actual Harry Potter marathon. When I usually use the term 'Harry Potter marathon' it means a couple of the films were on TV and that's how I spent my afternoon, but this time I mean that we started watching The Philosopher's Stone at 8 in the morning and finished Deathly Hallows part 2 at 3am the following morning. We were both so proud (this is the point where you're allowed to be rude and tell me to get a life), but along the way there were a few 'observations' we made - I thought it could be fun to list our random musings on here (sorry if you're not a Harry Potter fan, this will be dull for you!) 

1 - What did all the pure blood children do before Hogwarts? Did they go to wizard primary school? And if they didn't how did they learn to read and write?

2 - Although it's nice that wizards use owls, mobile phones would definitely be quicker...

3 - Also biros would be a lot less hassle than quills.

4 - In The Philosopher's Stone why did Dumbledore fly all the way to the Ministry of Magic in response to that urgent message when he could have used floo powder and got there straight away? Then he would have known it was a hoax much quicker (but I guess that wouldn't do much for the plot...)

5 - Why did they only ever have one flying lesson?

6 - Where are the showers?

7 - Isn't it just the biggest coincidence that Scabbers the rat ended up living with someone who would become Harry's best friend? 

8 - Where did Ron get the sellotape to fix his wand from in The Chamber of Secrets?

9 - The slug belching scene is definitely not as gross as you imagined it would be.

10 - In the Prisoner of Azkaban it's never actually explained who Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs are.

11 - If Fred and George had always had the Marauder's Map, how had they never noticed that Peter Pettigrew was sleeping in Ron's dorm?

12 - The way Hermione pronounces 'owl' when she says 'I'm not an owl' in Goblet of Fire will never cease to annoy you.

13 - Once the idea is planted in your head that every time there's a close up of Harry in pain in the final film it's actually his sex face, it's hard to take him seriously.

14 - Why are the characters not much sadder when Fred, Lupin and Tonks die in the final film? I mean while I'm still sat on the sofa sobbing they're having the generic end of film motivational chat.

15 - Isn't Harry whiny?

16 - Seeing as Harry has loads of money in the bank why does he never ask if he can use some of it to do something a bit better in the summer holidays?

17 - Since Harry is a horcrux would it have been impossible for him to die any of the times he nearly died? (apart from when he's stabbed by the basilisk, obvs).

18 - At the very end how was Harry just able to snap the most powerful wand in the world in half with his bare hands?

19 - Snape dying will never get any easier.

20 - A Harry Potter marathon is always a good idea.

I hope you enjoyed this slightly different post! If you have any other Harry Potter wonderings please leave them in the comments!

Amy x

System Professional at Unique Salons

Recently I've been in a real hair rut, partly because it's the one part of my beauty regime that I always seem to skimp on (messy hair is chic right?) and partly because I couldn't seem to find any products that worked for my hair. So when I was kindly invited to Unique Salon in Hessle for a blow dry and an introduction to the System Professional product range I jumped at the chance.

The premise behind System Professional is that we as individuals need a tailored haircare routine to suit our needs, just as we have a skincare routine. It's fairly logical if you think about it - I wouldn't use all moisture heavy products on my skin because as well as dryness I need to tackle blemishes and some oiliness and the exact same goes for my hair. System Professional gives you an individual 'energy code', which tells you which products from the range suit your hair. This is worked out by answering some simple questions about your hair and you can actually find yours out online here.

My experience at Unique itself was made absolutely lovely by my stylist Ellis. I felt totally at ease talking about my hair concerns and she was very helpful and honest in her advice. Once I'd found out my energy code (B1+R2+V3 if you're interested) Ellis explained exactly what that meant and what each product would do for my hair. Straight after washing I could see and feel the difference in my hair. I have quite a sensitive scalp, which is usually visibly red after washing and my ends are usually quite tangled and dry. After a wash with the Balance Shampoo my scalp looked so much better, which I was amazed by as I'm not used to seeing results the first time I use a product. My hair was also much less tangled than usual and felt amazingly soft.

 I've had a fair few bad experiences at salons, mainly involving the stylist not listening and giving me a style I've not been happy with. This experience was completely different - Ellis listened to exactly how I like wearing my hair and blow dried it into a style that I loved and that made my hair look really healthy. This was the first salon I've been to where I actually felt like my stylist was truly passionate about her job and actually cared about making my hair the best it could be. I will 100% be going back there in the future and even though it's a little bit more than I've paid in the past it's worth spending that little bit extra to get hair you're 100% happy with.

In terms of System Professional I was so impressed with the results from the shampoo that I bought it (and this is a girl who has never bought a product from a salon before #ultimatestinge.) The shampoo was really very pricey at £18.25, but I'm willing to pay that if it's going to solve my scalp issues and having tried so many products that have failed I'm just so pleased to have discovered one that actually works!

I would definitely recommend the lovely team at Unique and if you're not local you can check out which salons near you offer the System Professional range on their website.

Have you heard of System Professional? Where do you like getting your hair done?

Amy x

Hessle, UK