2016’s interior trends and how to make them work for you*

I’ve always had a passing interest in interior design and would quite happily flick through Mum’s pile of home decor type magazines to while away some time. Since moving in to the flat I’ve taken an even keener interest, especially in how to incorporate some of the latest trends in a budget friendly and suitable for rental way. Baytree Interiors have been looking in to some of 2016’s biggest hits for the home and there’s a great feature on the Real Homes Magazine website too. With this as my inspiration I’ve popped together my thoughts on those trends and how they could work for me and my home.
The first thing to mention is colour. Ben and I are far from colour shy which is just as well as it’s set to continue being big news when it comes to the home. From Pantone’s colour of the year through to Dulux’s colour forecast for the year it’s clear to see that white and magnolia has been banished for the time being. Rich colours paired with metallic golds and coppers are the top picks and un-wittingly we already have a lot of this in our living room (nicknamed “the amazing technicolour living room”) with our mis-matched furniture, most of which we bought second hand for a very low price then painted up with a coat or two of Annie Sloan’s infamous chalk paint. I think a bright home using rich and warm colours makes for a cosy home and our living room is my favourite place to relax.
Patterns are also still going strong with world travel being the main influence. It doesn’t have to be limited to the walls either- a colourful rug on the floor, reupholstering a dining room chair or adding a Moroccan inspired runner to a table are great ways to embrace the trend with minimal commitment and without breaking the bank.
Metallics are having a moment with everybody and their dog going crazy for copper. I’m no exception and around the flat you’ll find lots of metallic elements dotted around- from silver herb planters hosting bright and bold flowers to the copper pan taking pride of place in my kitchen. From my experience places like Home Bargains and The Range are good places to pick up inexpensive decorative bits that will certainly last the duration of the trend if you’re likely to change your mind. Slightly more pricey are H&M, Urban Outfitters and Oliver Bonas- I have a massive wish list for all three of these stores and keep a close eye out for sales or discounts! For bigger pieces of furniture and decor you can strike gold on sites like gumtree and ebay or by scouring charity shops and car boot sales. We picked up a massive filigree mirror for about £20 via gumtree when we’d previously seen them in a reclamation yard for over £200!
Have you embraced any of these trends around your home? What have been some of your homeware best buys?

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Getting Festival Ready with Essence

I might not be heading off to any festivals this year, but having been to a few in the past alongside several camping trips I felt quite equipped to take on the challenge of creating a long lasting festival makeup look with the help of Essence. The folks at Essence kindly sent over a bundle of their products, asking bloggers to use them to create a water and smudge proof look to take you from dawn to dusk…
I personally don’t like to wear heavy makeup at a festival- I’m not one for glitter and face paint because after a long day I can never be bothered to remove it and my tent ends up looking like a fairy exploded the next morning. With this in mind I opted for a fairly low maintenance, speedy look which still had some bright and fun elements to it.
I used the eye crayon as an eye makeup base negating a need for primer too- it’s such a pretty peachy/gold colour and unlike some crayons I’ve used in the past doesn’t crease or wear off over the course of the day. I added some silver eyeshadow on top of this for a subtle bit of sparkle and used the dark brown eyeshadow to fill in my brows before adding in turquoise liner to my top eyelids and silver in the corner of my eyes to brighten them up. All of these lasted the duration of the day without any smudges or streaks! The eyeshadows are £1, the crayon £2.80 and the eyeliners are £1.50 so not going to break the bank if you want to experiment with bright and bold colours.

I was actually really impressed with the mascara. I’m not a fan of waterproof mascaras in general as I find they can be drying on my lashes. This one by essence isn’t like that at all and I loved it’s petite size and the effect it had on my lashes after just two coats. A complete bargain at only £2!

Skin wise I didn’t actually test the foundation as the shade was far too dark for me (being the English Rose that I am) but if it’s anything like previous essence foundations I’ve tried then it will live up to it’s long lasting hype. The lipliner and lipstick lasted a full six hours on me which is pretty good given that I’m constantly drinking a cup of something and had lunch and snacks in that time as well. The lipsticks are very reasonable at £2.30 each…I have several from essence and they’ve all impressed me.

Whilst I’m here I thought I’d throw in a bonus couple of tips if you are heading to a festival for the first time this year…

1. Don’t forget a mirror! I did this the first time I ever went and ended up begging a compact off of a friend which was interesting to do a full face in! Even if there are mirrors in the toilets you really don’t want to be hanging round in those longer than necessary!

2. Face wipes are you friend. A quick and easy way to freshen up during the day and to take makeup off a night. Not ideal as a long term solution but perfect for a weekend in a field!

3. Pack hard workers. Unless you’re taking a gazebo to sleep in space will be limited. 2 in 1 products and travel sizes are your best friends, as are products that don’t require an army of brushes to apply.

4. Relax. Festivals are all about having fun, you really don’t need to pack your full contour kit and high end foundation…no one will be looking at your face and by the time it’s rained for six hours straight and you’re covered in mud no one will see your makeup anyway!

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Products in this post gifted to me by essence.

Throwing The Perfect Baby Shower*

I’ll preface things by saying this post isn’t some sideways means of announcing that I’m expecting, but I am at that age (29, eek) where a lot of my friends are doing awfully grown up things like getting married, buying houses and having babies! Although it’s hard to imagine any of these things happening for me in my immediate future it is an exciting time and gets my brain whirring at times.

Baby showers are a fairly new “thing” in the UK and for a long time I wasn’t really sure on what I made of them. On one hand they can seem grabby or an extravagance but on the other hand I think it’s really nice way to get together with the expectant mum and share a bit of social time before the little one arrives. It also doesn’t have to cost the earth, and on that train of thought I’ve popped together this post with my ideas on how a low-key but lovely baby shower could be done.

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1. Planning: Getting everyone together can be tricky, I see less of my friends now than ever before due to the demands of every day life so start by throwing a few dates around to see when most people will be able to attend. A group e-mail should do the job. When it comes to the invites make sure you include key details like if there will be a theme or if you’d like guests to contribute food or drinks (a great way to take pressure off the planner!).
2. It doesn’t need to be expensive: Decorations can be fun and easy to make and cost next to nothing. Seek out inspiration from sites like Pinterest or from the plethora of blogs out there and raid your local discount shop for supplies! Food doesn’t have to be anything fancy, I highly doubt anyone will be expecting a sit down meal. A little buffet of party food and snacks, perhaps some home made cake for dessert should be sufficient and guests could all bring a little something, or a selection of soft drinks with them as a contribution. If you’re feeling adventurous a “mock-tail” bar could be fun!
3. Gift Wisely: As tempting as it is to go out and buy ALL the cute baby clothes ever when you find out a friend is expecting try to reign it in! The new mums I know have been inundated with things that baby will soon grow out of or end up with tonnes of bibs and socks (although I also know that you probably can’t ever have too many of those!). Consider a group gift, something practical like a footmuff for the buggy or speak to the mum to be and see if there is anything she really needs, or really wants but isn’t essential like a really pretty changing bag.
And that’s about as far as my current inspiration runs. I think I shall be referring back to this post in the months and years to come so if you have any tips and advice, or have had a baby shower I’d love to know what you’ve found worked best for you.

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Tips for Saving Money on Holidays*

For most of us, holidays are the time that we cherish, doing what we love to do. It can be anything from sitting back and relaxing to something adventurous and sporty. With holiday season in full swing a lot of us are looking for ways to reduce the amount of money we pay for our entertainment. It all starts at the saving money and booking stage and continues right through to souvenir shopping whilst away. Here are some top tips for reducing holiday financial freak outs and getting the most out of your stay.
1- Toiletries
It’s tempting to stock up on travel sized toiletries for your trip but if you look carefully you’ll see you are paying a massive premium for the luxury. Instead pick up some cheap empty containers from the pound shop and decant your regular size products in to those. You can also pack along free samples of various products in magazines or on websites sites like WOW FreeStuff. Sample products come in sachets and single use form which makes them perfect for traveling. You’ll also find plenty of discounts and vouchers when you search online.
2- Get the most out of your Daily-Use Products

There are a lot of daily-use products that can be used not only for their intended purpose but for a surprising number of things. For example toothpaste can not only help you keep your teeth clean and your breath fresh throughout the day but it can also be used to soothe mosquito bites. You can use tea which is usually offered for free at various hotels as an after-sun to soothe the redness (apply it cold!). You can also apply petroleum jelly on minor skin burns and can also use it for removing makeup.
3- Reading Material and Books

Books always turn out to be a great companion on long journeys and as a beach companion. If you like reading it is highly unlikely that you wouldn’t want to pack some for your vacations. Buying new books is always thrilling for book-reading enthusiasts but moving onto e-books can save you a lot of money and space in your suitcase. You can read an e-book anywhere you like with much ease thanks to an e-reader, smartphone or a tablet. You can pick up daily bargains on books from sites like Amazon as well as a plethora of free reading material. If you don’t like the idea of staring at a screen for the sake of reading a lot of hotels feature free libraries compiled by the books left by their previous guests same taste in vacation spot means you’re very likely to find a book of your taste as well as the chance to discover something new.

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Embroidery and Elephants

With my love of Henryka Jewellery already well documented on the blog it won’t surprise you in the least that I follow pretty much all of their social media channels. So when, last week I caught sight of a stunning new arrival and then kindly offered to send me one that I graciously (and very swiftly) accepted.

Elephant pendant c/o Henryka

Whilst all of the stone choices were stunning for some reason rose quartz has always been something I am drawn to, rumoured to lower stress and tension in the heart, allowing repair of the damage caused my negative emotions (an also known as the romance stone as it’s believed it can also attract love) this was always the stone I picked when taken to various fossil and crystal shops on Devon holidays as a child.

The detailing on the Indian elephant is just beautiful and it hangs like a dream from it’s 16.5″ chain. It seems to be, the perfect summer silver accessory and as such I’ve been wearing it non-stop.

Vest: Primark (last year) | Jeans: Glamorous (some sizes still available) | Sandals: Sarenza (similar here)

Technically I’m on a clothes buying ban until I’ve put on enough weight to buy things that will fit me in the long term, just not for this interim period but these jeans…oh these jeans broke me! I’d been eyeing them up full price, so I when I saw them in the sale for just £15 I caved. And you know what? That’s ok, I refuse to feel bad about that. Just because I’m not in the greatest place physically or mentally right now I still deserve treats…and a pair of jeans that doesn’t leave my arse exposed to the world is actually kind of essential right?

I got a distinct 90s vibe from this outfit. I don’t know if it was the plaits that tipped the balance, the flatform sandals or just the “mom jeans” style but I felt transported back a couple of decades. Which is no bad thing in my eyes as long as there is a resurgence of shell suits any time soon.

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