Sunday, 24 April 2011

I'll do it all again if I have to

Stufffffffffffffed!  Just got back from Mum's where we had the most delish Easter meal of Italian-style lamb and now I am well and truly sitting on the verge of a food coma.  How was everyone else's Easter?

I rushed to sit down feeling that I really ought to blog but have now realised that I have very little to say.  I think all that remains to be done is to introduce you to these two.....
Meet Coco and Beau!  Absolutely adorable, I didn't realise how much I missed having cats around the house.  They've definitely made my Easter.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

just fighting to get through the night

Wasn't the weather beautiful today?  Typical blogger-talk atm, but seriously, such a lovely day.  Me and Ed went to Birdworld.....he loves birds, I wasn't so fussed but there was a little farm area with the cutest baby goats running around.  You could go in and sit with them - a lady had one climbing on her lap and nibbling on her hair!  Sweetest things ever, I wish I could have taken one home!

I wasn't sure on this jumpsuit at first, but it was so light and comfortable to wear in this weather, I can see it lasting me for a number of situations from days out to evening BBQs.  I wore my hair in this hippy-chic three bun style; you can read the tutorial for it here.

Busy week, hence the lack of blogging.  Shopping on Monday where I picked up so many bargains, including a maxi dress from River Island for £2.50.  Yes, the shopping ban is most definitely off!  Mexican evening followed, where I cooked food for friends and had a really relaxed evening.  Went out for dinner on Tuesday to La Tasca; I wasn't expecting to like it but tapas was actually a really nice way to try foods that I wouldn't usually pick from the menu.  We took advantage of a voucher floating around atm and managed to get 14 dishes for £6.56 each....definitely one to try.
Is it Good Friday tomorrow?  I've been enjoying the Easter break from work since the 8th so I've kinda lost all track of time.  A bit sad that I'm back to work on Tuesday but the three day week because of the wedding makes up for it!  What are you all up to for Easter?
- Jumpsuit: Primark - Watch: asos  -

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Product Review: NARS Lip Lacquer

The first installment to my NARS collection; I haven't seen this product reviewed on other blogs before.  I opted for 'Chelsea Girls', described as an "innocent nude beige".  It's definitely one of those "my lips, only better" shades and has become my handbag hero.

The consistency is quite sticky, but it lasts.  Hours.  It feels like a gloss, is highly pigmented and I've yet to find a make up combination that this looks out of place with.

My one bug bear?  The smell.  I grew up with sheep at school and the smell reminds me of sheep shearing day.  I think in that case it must contain lanolin, but the smell isn't so off-putting that I wouldn't wear it.  I don't want to put anyone off....I think it's just my experience with sheep that makes me associate this with them, no one else has told me I smell of sheep!  Have any other lip lacquer owners noticed this?!

NARS lip lacquer retails for £17.50, and you can purchase yours from asos here.

Friday, 15 April 2011

you must have seen her dancing in the sand

Arrrrgh just realised H&M threw up on me!
Ok ok, I broke the spending ban!  But I kinda had to....20% off something I would have bought anyway, made more sense to buy it now whilst it was cheaper?  Yes?  No?!  Well either way, I bought this jacket from H&M with 20% off to celebrate their Android Market launch.  I know it's too late to tell you guys now, but if you have an iPhone or Android phone it's well worth downloading the H&M app and giving it a shake every now and then to see if there are any discounts floating about.  Yes, I do mean shake.  Literally, shake it around for a while and it'll either pop up with a discount or say there aren't any atm.  The app is free so definitely give it a go.

Had a great day in London with Mum on Wednesday.  After being evacuated from the British Museum we headed to Covent Garden.  It's a blogger's haunt so I kept my eyes peeled but alas!  Saw nobody :(  Came home to my Aussie Angel package....t shirt, conditioner and the promise of adventures to come, so thanks to the ladies at Aussie!

Car MOT as well this week.  I failed because....get this.....my tyres were on the wrong way round.  I'm glad it wasn't something more costly, but c'mon, does it make a difference?!  Racing cars do it anyway for better braking, did I really need to do an extra journey to the garage just for that?

In other news, my post the other day scored me an insane amount of traffic (by Scaredtoast standards) and I want to say a big thank you to all those who took the time to comment.  I didn't expect that reaction but looks like I put into words something a lot of you have been noticing.  I'm glad to have put something out there for debate and want to say thank you also to all those new followers.  Not that I did it for the followers before anyone says that!!

What've you all been up to this week?
- Top: H&M - Skirt: H&M - Jacket: H&M - Bracelet: Tiffany -

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Copycat

Image taken from weheartit
We bloggers all share a common interest; be it fashion or beauty, it's near on impossible for featured/reviewed products not to be duplicated.  Liz Earle's PR team have obviously been busy sending out samples lately, and my subscriptions list has had an influx of Liz Earle reviews.  I'm not bothered by this, but bloggers bear in mind, I probably will only read the first review that pops up in my reading list.

Actual copycats are a different kettle of fish.  I'm aware that there are only a certain amount of fonts available on blogger, or a limited number of backgrounds available unless you're a whizz with html, but modelling your blog on someone else's just cheapens all of your work.  I never look at a blog which is a wannabe LLYMLRS and think, wow, instead I invariably think that they just ripped the original off and often wonder how more people can't see it.  I mention Lily because she's the one I notice this happening to the most.  I don't want to turn this into an "all hail Lily" post, but she is no doubt an inspiration to many (as evidenced by her following and the sheer amount of people who do rip her off) but it's just not fair to copy her layout, features, style of writing ("001, 002, 003..." I'm looking at you) and pass it off as your own.

So what do you do when you spot a fantastic blog and wish yours was more like it?  Simple, DON'T COPY!  If you get a reputation as a copycat you won't attract the right sort of attention.  Come up with a way you can incorporate one or two of the aspects you like (Golden Rule: don't copy another blog in its entirety) and make them into your own.  Contact the original blogger and see if they would mind you developing their idea and using it on your own blog.  A lot of the time they'll be happy to share, as long as you respectfully include a little link back to them to pay them their dues.  See my buttons on the right hand side?  Inspired by Sofia, as clearly stated underneath.  It's just polite!

And what if you are the blogger being ripped off?  Tricky, but try to remember imitation is the highest form of flattery.  Be it features,style of photography, outfit choices or hairstyles.....it only means you're doing something right.  As I said before, I'll spot the copycat blogs and only respect your work more.  And let me pose this question to you...
Are you nobody until somebody copies you?
I'm not openly inviting copycats, but I can't help but feel the reason I haven't been copied is because I'm not a big enough blogger.  Looks like that's just one of the downsides that having such a huge following attracts.

On a final note, Jen summed it up far more neatly than I, on Twitter last night: "If you think someone's stealing your style (of writing, photography, design, whatever) don't get mad.  Adapt, so you're always unique.  People will always follow.  You have to be the one to lead."  ....quite good, eh?

So let's end this negative post with a little bit of love.  If you're looking for some interesting, original content, stylish outfis or beautiful blogs then check out these ladies below.  But remember, it's ok to be inspired....not cool to copy.  In no particular order.....
Milly, Lily, Morven, Jen, Emma, Claire, Beth, Victoria, Kelly, Victoria (again!), Michelle, Mariannan, Lauren, Chloe and Sofia.

What are your thoughts on this touchy issue?  Have you ever been copied?

Monday, 11 April 2011

with him she's just a grain of sand

I apologise for two similar posts in the same day, but I was chatting to a friend earlier and it reminded me of my Christmas wishlist and how I officially, 100%, most definitely need this.  £680 price tag, I'm thinking I may go into major save-mode and then ask for any extra I need as a birthday present.

What do you think of Tiffany?  A worthwhile investment or passing phase?

gingerbread men have a gingerbread sound

Isn't this amazing?  Fringing is big news this season, and whilst I don't know whether this would be terribly practical or whether it would look good on me (rather than looking like my skirt has had an argument with the shredder) I am a little bit beguiled by it. 

Easter holidays have begun; this is a dangerous time for my bank balance, with loads of free time to internet shop.  17 days left of the ban - I think I'm going strong!

What do you think of the skirt?

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Product Review: Stila Sheer Colour Tinted Moisturiser

As I wrote my primer post the other week I started reconsidering my make up regime.  At weekends I use Chanel Mat Lumiere, Body Shop Nature's Minerals during the week.  But lately they haven't been working for me.  I've been getting patchy and hating it.  Something had to change.

I decided to give tinted moisturiser a go, and I'm loving it.  I bought Stila's moisturiser in Medium and it matches me perfectly, blends in seamlessly to my skin and gives an even appearance all day.  It's fragrance-free and you get a hefty 50ml.  Compare this to Chanel's 30ml and you're getting a lot of product for a fraction of the price.

Described as "perfection in a bottle", here's what Stila have to say:

"Stila Tinted Moisturiser is an instant skin-illuminator, combining a tinted moisturiser with SPF 15, and provides barely-there coverage.

Enriched with sweet almond oil and other hydrating nutrients to quench thirsty skin, this featherweight formula is a great alternative to foundation.  Applies easily and without streaking for long-lasting coverage."

I don't tend to stick to one product with my make up regime, but for now this moisturiser is working wonders.  I no longer come home with half my make up worn up.  My one bug bear?  I wish the coverage was ever so slightly heavier.  It does give an even appearance, but not full enough for my liking on problem areas by the end of the day.

You can get this moisturiser here.  I bought mine for the bargain price of £3.70!  What are your thoughts on tinted moisturiser?

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

make you swallow your pride

Day 7.  I've made it a week, and now I've fallen in love with these bags.  I'm desperate for a eye-catching colour pop bag, and this blue on is just gorgeous.  But these to me are fast fashion.  Transient with the seasons, so perhaps not worth the £79.99 price tag.  I'll just have to admire from afar....

Handbags should be a more classic style for me to part with over £40.  How much is too much for you to spend on a seasonal trend?

Sunday, 3 April 2011

i'm in love with this feeling

Here's my wannabe Nicole Richie outfit that I mentioned the other day.  I've spent the day floating about feeling deliciously hobo-chic, and received numerous compliments from Mother Bear.  And that's not something that happens often!  For the first time I can remember in ages she told me I looked "lovely" the other day, although I'd been off work ill so perhaps that was her way of cheering me up...

Speaking of Mum, what did you all get yours for Mother's Day?  I tweeted the other day about my cheesecake/cupcake creations.  Yeah, they didn't work.  So instead of waste the yummy cheesecake topping I whipped up a lemon cheesecake to give to Mum alongside a book, scarf and vase I got to go in my old bedroom that she's now converted into a study.  

And speaking of scarves.....I couldn't resist picking up two from Primark.  But no, before you tell me off for breaking the spending ban, Ed bought me them as a treat.  I got the Aztec inspired one as seen on cowbiscuits and a multicoloured leopard print one.  There were so many vibrant prints to choose from, I'll no doubt be heading there in 25 days time!

Just a question for you, how long do refunds normally take to be processed from asos?  I've sent loads of things back and never checked, they say within 10 working days but Ed sent back my bag he bought me and received an email to say the refund would be processed in February but we've yet to see the £85 go back into his account.  Have any of you experienced this?  Do you even check when they say they've refunded you?  I definitely will be in future!

Myself and Ed are off out for dinner tonight.  After Emma mentioned Harvester last night I've been dying to go there to visit the salad cart but now I'm swaying towards Nando's or Wagamama.....which should I choose?!
- Top: Topshop - Leggings: H&M - Necklace: House of Harlow 1960 - Boots: eBay - Nailvarnish: Collection 2000 in 'BMX Bandit' -

Saturday, 2 April 2011

i want y'all to see this


I need this.  My heart is thumping just looking at it, the only thing saving me from buying it is the fact that it's not in stock in my size.  Although I haven't bought from River Island in years....don't their sizes come up smaller?  Perhaps I could get away with a 12 instead of 10...?  NO!!  Day 4, I won't give up yet!!

As I sadly click the cross on my River Island page, I'm telling myself that perhaps it isn't in the bang on trend sheer style.  Perhaps it's just a white maxi.  *sigh*  I know in reality it's everything I wanted....