Ruffle Up

New season styles are hitting the shops and on my recent foray in to town, despite being reluctant to buy anything from the Autumn/Winter collections because it’s supposedly still Summer I couldn’t resist the lure of some quite trans-seasonal pieces from Zara. I have a love-hate relationship with Zara, it’s one of those shops where I go in sometimes and find absolutely nothing, and then I go in perhaps a few weeks later and love everything I see.
My last visit to the Cabot Circus store saw me fall in love with just about every item (including these rather fabulous trousers which I’d never wear, but if I was rich I’d buy them just to look at!). This blue dress with it’s sporty aesthetic and ruffle detail front isn’t the sort of thing I’d ever consider but the bright colour jumped out and me and I figured I had nothing to lose by trying it on.

Sometimes it pays to step out of your comfort zone. I love the relaxed fit of this dress and it’s bold colour combination. I couldn’t resist jazzing it up further with my pink Puma trainers- the perfect way to liven up those dull and dreary days that seem to be coming ever more frequent.

This was one of two pieces I picked up from Zara, the other I will eventually get round to posting when I ever get some spare time. Life is very busy right now, hence the sudden decline in the amount of posts I’ve been putting up. It’s not going to get any better for the next few weeks- a new venture at work and then a week away in Scotland with my boyfriend are both going to get in the way. But I wouldn’t change it for the world- I spent 2016 quite literally on hold with my life and now things are picking up it feels full on, but also that I’m making up for lost time.

Hopefully by mid-September things will be calming down and I might even be feeling more inspired when it comes to content for the blog. If you have any suggestions of what you’d like to see then do feel free to leave them in the comments, I’m all for out-sourcing my ideas.

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Pop Quiz- How well do you know your vehicle badges?*

Here’s a little brain bender for you this weekend, this quiz, produced by quality used vans specialists Van Monster is here to test how well you really know the badges you’ll find on cars made by some of the world’s biggest vehicle manufacturers.

Now, I’m no car buff but even I’m quietly confident I can do ok at this one. With some fun trivia along the way it’s time to get started- no cheating!

Questions

How many rings are found on the Audi badge?
A. 1
B. 2
C. 3
D. 4

How many chevrons are on the Citroën badge?
A. 1
B. 2
C. 3
D. 4

What colour is the background of the FIAT badge?
A. Red
B. White
C. Black
D. Blue

On the Ford badge, which letters does the top part of the ‘F’ go over?
A. It doesn’t go over any of the letters
B. It goes over the ‘o’ only
C. It goes over the ‘o’ and the ‘r’
D. It goes over the ‘o’, the ‘r’ and the ‘d’

How many points are there on the Mercedes-Benz badge?
A. 1
B. 2
C. 3
D. 4

How many diamonds are found on the Mitsubishi badge?
A. 4
B. 3
C. 2
D. 1

Which way does the lion face on the Peugeot badge?
A. Left
B. Right

On the outside of the Renault badge, how many corners are there?
A. 4
B. 5
C. 6
D. 7

How many ovals make up the Toyota badge?
A. 1
B. 2
C. 3
D. 4

Which way does the griffin face on the Vauxhall badge?
A. Left
B. Right

(Photo by Demi Kwant on Unsplash)

Answers

1. D
The four rings reflect Germany’s four oldest car makers — Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer.

2. B
The double chevron — or reversed pair of letter Vs — represents the paired helical gears that Citroën founder Andre Citroën developed and patented. Such technology is now a vital component of a vehicle’s setup.

3. A
For a long time, the FIAT badge consisted of the brand’s four letters — standing for Fabbrica Italiana di Automobili Torino—sitting on a blue background. However, the vehicle giant decided to replace the blue background with red in 2006 as a way of creating a modern and up-to-date emblem.

4. C
The script used on the letters of the Ford badge is known as ‘script with wings’. This is evident by the fact that the ‘F’ of the badge is long-tailed.

5. C
The three-pointed star of the Mercedes-Benz badge represents the company’s ambition to dominate the land, air and sea with their engines.

6. B
To understand the Mitsubishi badge, we first have to understand the meaning of the brand’s name. This is because the name is a combination of the words mitsu (meaning three) and hishi (meaning water chestnut but often used by Japanese people to denote a rhombus or diamond shape). Take note that the Japanese language often sees the h sound being bent into a b sound when it occurs in the middle of a word.

7. A
A lion was chosen for the logo of Peugeot way back in 1847, at a time when the company produced saw blades and various other tools. The animal aimed to reflect the strength and suppleness of the saws that Peugeot created.

8. C
Renault first started using a diamond emblem on its badge in 1925, with the design a significant change to the company’s first logo — a logo that consisted of the intertwined initials of Louis, Marcel and Fernand; the Renault brothers.

9. C
The three ovals found on the Toyota badge combine in a horizontally symmetrical configuration. The outer oval is used to symbolize the world embracing Toyota. Inside this are two perpendicular ovals, one representing the heart of the customer and the other the heart of the company. The reason the pair overlap is to reflect a mutually beneficial relationship and trust between the two elements.

10. B
We have to rewind all the way to the 13th century to understand how the Vauxhall badge came to be. Back then, mercenary soldier Fulks le Breant was granted the Manor of Luton by King John and given a house in Lambeth, London. Fulks le Breant chose to name this building Fulks hall, though this name would alter to Vauxhall over time. So why the griffin? Simple; it was the coat of arms of Fulks le Breant.

How did you do? Leave your scores in the comments (for the record, I did not do anywhere near as well as I might have hoped, scoring a paltry 5- that’ll teach me to be smug about my potential knowledge!)

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Cosmic Vibes

The other week, fuelled by good news for us both from work Mum and I popped on the bus and headed in to Cabot Circus for a long overdue girly shopping trip. It had been forever since we last managed to do this and it was so nice to spend some time browsing the new season arrivals, having a lazy lunch and generally catching up.

Of course one of our first stops was Monki, as ever they have some amazing pieces in right now- my wish list is huge. Sadly my budget is not huge so I had to limit myself to just a couple of bits this time round but I’m setting aside some money for another treat in the not too distant future.

Dress: Monki (here) | Boots: River Island

I absolutely love this print, it reminds me of outer space and the entire range of items with it on have made their way on to my wish list (how awesome are these trousers?)

I’ve said before how much I love Monki and their over-sized dress style, perfect for someone who’s still on the weight restoration journey and generally ideal for chilling out and relaxing in whilst still looking cool. I paired the dress with my rose gold ankle boots for a girly dinner date with my best friends but I’ve also worn it with my standard Converse/Pink Puma trainers for more casual vibes.

Do excuse the state of my hair right now. It is LONG overdue a cut and colour, the 29th of August cannot come soon enough! I decided to try and stretch it out for four months rather than three and the regret is hitting hard!

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Top Treats For a Confidence Boost*

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It’s impossible to feel our best every day, we all have moments where we don’t feel so great, and when those times come the best thing that we can do is treat ourselves to something nice. Getting ourselves little treats to boost our confidence and make us feel happy can go a long way when it comes to getting us back on track and feeling our usual fabulous selves. So for any of you looking to do something a little bit lovely for yourself read on for some favourite ‘self-love’ treats.

Make Up

Sometimes all we need to feel bouncy and positive again is just to mix it up a little and try something new- and when it comes to our confidence that is never more true than when it comes to our make-up. Trying out the season’s latest vibrant lip colour, or treating yourself to a set of eye shadow colours that you’ve never tried before could be just what you need to put a little extra spring in your step- this is exactly how I’ve ended up owning 40+ lipsticks, they are my go-to confidence boost when I’m feeling down in the dumps!

Blow Dry

They say that our hair is our crowning glory and it is true that we certainly feel our best when our hair is looking glossy and healthy. It is not always possible to achieve a gorgeous, shiny mane at home however and if your hair is looking a little lacklustre then a trip to your hairdressers could be just what you need. Getting a lovely wash and blow dry can do wonders to your confidence and is well worth the money for anyone who feels the need for a little beauty injection and a little pampering to boot.

If you are a more a nails kind of girl then treating yourself to a lovely, relaxing manicure could be just what you need to make you feel extra special again. Looking down and seeing perfectly polished and manicured nails can really give us a boost in positivity, so again it is money well spent.

Jewellery

What girl doesn’t love jewellery? And what girl doesn’t feel great in a fantastic new necklace, bracelet or set of pearl earrings? We all have our own style whether you are a boho wooden bangle kind of girl or whether you are a statement necklace, or even if you are more of a classic pearl earrings kind of girl. The point is, buying yourself something pretty and sparkly is one of the quickest ways to have you feeling fabulous again.

Accessories

We can never have too many right? Finishing our outfits off with the perfect bag, scarf or hat is practically an art form and we never get bored of perfecting it. Going out and buying yourself a new asset to your accessories wardrobe could be just what you need to set off that favourite leather jacket or to perfectly compliment that pair of sexy summer sandals.

Self love and positivity is all in the little details. It doesn’t have to cost the earth to treat ourselves to little things that will give us that boost to our confidence, put the bounce back in our step and put the smile back on our face.

What are some of your favourite feel good boosts? For me it’s definitely lipstick or nail polish- the use of these is never dictated by how bloated you feel or what size you are making it the perfect little pick me up when body image struggles are getting the better of me.

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Simple Decorating Ideas for Your Rented Home*

When you rent a room or house how far you go when it comes to decorating can be tricky to get right. Some landlords allow you to do pretty much what you like- but there are not many that take that approach. Often, even if they do, part of the deal is that you have to return the property to a neutral state when you leave it. Fortunately putting your own personal mark on your home does not necessarily mean redecorating it. There are lots of alternative approaches which won’t leave a mark. Below are some of my favourites.

(Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash)

Hang some artwork
By far the easiest and safest option is to use artwork and prints to decorate your walls. You can get any image turned into a work of art by using this canvas printing company. They have been in the business for more than a decade so really know how to make the process as easy as possible.
The fact they will print any image (and do so in a range of sizes) makes it easy to truly personalise each room. Provided the frame you choose is not too heavy you can often hang the prints without having to drill any holes in the walls- when I was in my rented flat I used velcro tabs to put things on the wall, they are strong but the sticky side is specially designed not to leave a residue on the wall.

Other wall hanging options
Mirrors, photo collages, wall stickers and decals are also really good options for putting your stamp on a place. If you choose to hang mirrors it is safer to hang them by drilling into the wall- just be careful not to hit a pipe or cable when you hang them.
When you leave make sure you allow enough time to fill the holes, rub them down, re-sand them and apply a couple of coats of paint, this way the repair job should be good enough to allow you to keep your deposit.
If you use wall stickers make sure they are the kind that can be peeled off without leaving any residue. Again, remove them at least a week before you are due to move out to give yourself enough time to fix any issues. You can also use stickers on doors and windows as well.

Flooring
Flooring has a huge impact on the look and feel of a room, if it is shoddy nothing you do to the rest of the room will make it look much better. Fortunately there is a lot you can do about this problem even if you are on quite a tight budget.
There are plenty of affordable rugs available- for rooms like the kitchen, dining room, toilet or bathroom vinyl flooring is a good option. You can cut it to size and just roll it up when it is time to leave. Be careful not to cut the flooring underneath when you fit it and be sure to buy the type that will not leak colour into the original flooring.

Shelves and hooks
It is best not to hang shelves where possible, instead opting for freestanding shelving units. For the sake of safety remember to secure the units so they don’t fall over, and add filling any holes once you are ready to move to your `to do’ list.
If you need hooks opt for the suction cup kind whenever you can.

Understand the rules
Before you sign the rental contract it is best to understand exactly what is and what is not allowed. You should also familiarise yourself with your rights and obligations as a tenant in the eyes of the law. This article is a good starting point.

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