Friday, 30 November 2012

Polish Swap - The Reveal!

I am so excited to post photos from my very first swap! I was lucky enough to join in this swap hosted by four lovely ladies: Katyln, Jessica, Kristen and Melissa. After reading about it on Cindii's blog I knew I needed to get involved - I am turning into a bit of a nail polish addict!
I got paired with the sweetie that is Helen, and I have been following her blog at Eat.Enjoy.Live since we got linked up for this swap. She packaged my polish in a pretty gift box, and I have to say I am addicted to the ice cream nail file! Been using this non-stop since I got my package :) It is so cute! As is the butterfly buffer. I was also really excited that Helen included a card, as I love giving / receiving post!
I LOVE this card! So pretty - it suits me down to a T! And the polishes are lovely, I got a red O.P.I. number, and a shimmery pink (not sure the brand, but I am wearing it right now and it applied really nicely and dried super quick!).
A close up of the polishes. How shimmery is the pink! Lovely :)

It was so exciting to be part of this swap, keeping my eye out for more to join in on. I think it's a great way to open my eyes to blogs I might not have otherwise come across.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

ohemgee Stocking Stuffer Swap

Do you love swaps?! I really do! Having been following Cindii's blog for a while, I'm so pleased she has been posting links to swaps she is participating in. When she posted about the stocking stuffer swap, I just knew I had to get involved. It looks so fun, and in my family having a stocking has never been a tradition. I love getting presents for people so it will be great fun to see who my partner is.

If you are interested, head over to Nat's blog ohemgee and sign up!

DIY Love - Christmas Party Ideas

I have the DIY bug at the moment! And thankfully so do a lot of other bloggers, providing me with endless ideas and inspiration! Today I am going to show you a few links of what I am loving, and will hopefully get around to doing.

Funkytime Holiday Magazine
I have a lot of respect for Funkytime. The amount of work and effort that goes into these magazines is amazing, so I was beyond pleased to see the new holiday edition went live today. There are so many ideas in here, am most likely going to have a go at the glitter cups and glitter place settings for my upcoming secret santa party with my friends. Go take a look, you won't regret it.

Honesty WTF DIY Surprise Balls
Honestly WTF is another site that constantly provides amazing quality tutorials, and inspirational photographs. In the summer I was addicted to Erica's bracelet tutorials, spending hours in coffee shops with my friend whilst making bracelets. These surprise balls are amazing, I can't wait to make these for my upcoming Christmas dinner with my friends! Just need to get my hands on some crepe paper and let loose at the supermarket / toy shops. I love how brightly coloured these are, they are going to look fantastic at the table, maybe even as place settings.

I hope you enjoy these links, please share any Christmas craft links you find, I love looking at things other people have made!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

CRAFT DIY - Festive stocking garland

I am already in the full blown festive mood. I've started my Christmas shopping, wrapped the bits and pieces I have already made, and I am starting to get my Christmas craft on! I've been working on a lot of things lately which I will be sharing in the run up to Christmas. 

First off we have a very simple garland to add a bit of festive cheer to the walls, which costs next to nothing!
My owl cushions were desperate to get in on the picture too.

Supplies needed:

  • Christmas patterned paper
  • Stocking template (I used a foot cutout from some lace socks!)
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Ribbon
  • Needle and thread

Step 1: Gather your supplies
Step 2: Draw around your stocking template and cut out as many as you need!

Step 3: Stick your stockings to the ribbon then sew with some co-ordinating thread to fasten securely. If tight on time, you could just use staples / sticky tape instead. I left a 10cm gap between each, and 20cm length at either end for hanging up.
That's it! Glitter if you wish, I may do on the next one. Hang up and enjoy the start of the festive season!

Saturday, 24 November 2012

No Spend November: Update 2

This week my spending has been easier in some ways, but harder in others. I have been working a lot more, so at least am making some more money than last week. The majority of my spending on this week has been on food - two meals out and just general groceries for home. Having money in my purse means I am more likely to part with it, so trying my best to get it straight into the bank!

Week 2 empties
Finished Products

  • Hello Kitty face wipes - these were from the pound shop and I loved them! So sad they don't have any left in stock.
  • Vanilla nail polish remover pads - These are fantastic at removing non-glitter polishes, and really nourish my nails while they are at it. These are from NPW, I got a small pot as a gift last year, and had to run out and buy a big one too! They smell so yummy!
  • Bath and Body Works Sweet Pea hand gel - Love this stuff. Picked this up in America, I have a bunch of these in all my handbags, never want to be without one! Sweet pea is a nice fragrance, bath and body works really do the hand gel better than any other company I know.

Week 2 spend: £75.97, which feels like A LOT when I write it down... but really the majority went on food and travel. I think the only thing I got for myself was £1 face wipes - not exactly a luxury! It is scary how easy money gets away from you, even when you are keeping an eye on things!!

Friday, 23 November 2012

NOTD - Purple glitter

My latest manicure is a mix of beautiful purples, and lots of glitter! Sorry for the bad quality of this pic! Took it on my phone once the sun had gone down.

1. A layer of Save the Nail's Toughen Up Basecoat - I love this basecoat. It is quite pricey at £7.50, but really is worth it. My nails feel so much happier with this on than cheaper basecoats I have used in the past. And luckily I had enough Boots points to snap this up :)

2. A layer of Ciate Wait Until Dark - I got this for free with a magazine. I like it, but when I put it on I always forget how dark it is, much darker than I would normally wear. So this is why I rarely use this polish alone, but it is great for dimension under more sheer polishes!

3. A layer of O.P.I. It's My Year from the Miss Universe Collection - This polish is gorgeous. Part of the reason I layered this over the Ciate polish is because I love this so much, and have the tendancy to put on so many layers because it is so pretty! But it cost me quite a lot, more than I would normally allow myself to spend on polish, so I want to make it last a long time!

4. A layer of Bourjois 1 second gel polish in purple glitter - the holographic glitter in different sizes makes this a showstopper of a polish. The gel texture really does dry quick and it helped my polish from chipping, lasting around 5 days, and it only chipped on one nail as I was opening a lot of deliveries at work. I love this polish!!

5. A final topcoat of Model's Own to seal the deal.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012


This morning I was reading Ally's post about joining Instagram, and thought it would be fun to share my own profile. I have been using Instagram for quite a while now, I think it's a great way of capturing everyday moments when I don't have my proper camera with me. And it's nice to have pictures all in the same format / size for crafts. I have seen a lot of Instagram based crafts like magnets and prints.

My username is @miniflakes, feel free to add me or leave your own username so I can have a peek at your photos!

Friday, 16 November 2012

River Island Wishlist

River Island Wishlist

I went to Westfield the other evening to meet a friend for chats and cups of tea. We wandered the shops and I was good and didn't spend money, but it was particularly difficult! The stand out store for both of us was River Island, they have such a pretty selection of things in at the moment! I particularly want the blue skirt - so shimmery and gorgeous! 

No Spend November: Update 1

So earlier this week I decided I needed to get a hold of my spending! So far I have done pretty well with only one naughty purchase - Pretty Little Liars season 1 DVD from Amazon.My justification was that it dropped to £15.00, which was a bargain considering it was £30.00 before. And the dvds are really pretty, and I think watching these first episodes is helping me with my mountain of job applications....

Anyway, aside from that slight setback, I have done really well with the rest of my spending. I used up some beauty products / samples to help me focus on making the most of what I already have, and not be on a mission to get new things I don't need. Having a sneaky window shop is okay though :)

Week 1 empties

Finished products:

  • Tesco cucumber cleansing wipes - Standard face wipes!
  • Vintage Florals rose hand lotion - Think this was from Superdrug, pretty nice but nothing special.
  • ELF foundation - This was pretty great. Nice to use over my Shu Uemura liquid foundation and was bargainous at about £3
  • The Body Shop seaweed mattifying day cream sample - This felt more like a serum, it was nice but slightly tacky when dried.
  • Nivea natural beauty range samples - The only item I rate from these three would be the radiance boosting daily scrub. Smelt gorgeous and was really nice and gentle on my face, and left it glowy, removing dead skin. Will think about purchasing this when I'm due a new face scrub!
Week 1 spend: £39.63, which is less than I had incoming so a fantastic start to my thriftiness!

Monday, 12 November 2012

No Spend November

I am a bit of a sad cat. After all the birthday festivities of this weekend, I decided this morning I should probably check my balance, and I was beyond shocked to find myself in my overdraft! This has not happened since my student days, and as a marginally employed person I really shouldn't have been as surprised as I was.

You see, my problem is that I am a complete shopaholic. And because I live very near some shops (many of them terrible bargain £1 shops), and have a lot of time on my hands, I go fairly often! These kind of shops trick you into thinking everything is SO CHEAP that it's okay to go mental (or is it just me?!), but it really does all add up - especially because you probably only could actually use about 5% of what you buy. I have so much stationary / homeware I've picked up from bargain shops, but I still live at home and have no need for things like £3 owl salt and pepper shakers (from Tiger if you are interested!).

This shock has made me even more determined to write the best job applications possible, but also to be much wiser about the little money I have. Thankfully I had some eBay earnings to rectify the overdraft situation, though I am pretty sure I will be getting a bank charge sometime this week. I am going to continue with the eBay purge, and as an avid kawaii collector I think I may set up an Etsy store to sell some of my stationary collection. I have way more stickers than one person could ever use!

I have decided to enforce No Spend November on myself, where I will limit and track everything I am spending! I may even make a spreadsheet. Because I'm that kind of girl!

Allowed purchases will be:
  • Postage (for ebay/amazon sales)
  • Travel
  • Food (obviously!)
  • Bargain Xmas presents
Disallowed purchases will be:
  • Stationary (I have enough to last a lifetime!)
  • Beauty/bath/skin products (Again, I really don't need to purchase anything for a good few years)
  • Random £1 shop purchases that really add up and I 100% don't need
Any frugal tips?? As a big crafter I am going to try and keep Christmas costs down by hand making some presents. This will also hopefully keep me away from the shops!!

Celebration Weekend

This weekend was such a good one. I had friends visiting for some birthday celebrations so was lovely to have a catch up.

We decided to meet in South Kensington for a spot of lunch before embarking on the craziest weekend activity I have heard of. A friend had informed me of a free tour of the science museum that only runs on weekends, and it's main selling point is that you dress up as a cockroach. Yes, you heard me right! Grown men and women, dressing as cockroaches and freaking the rest of the science museum out! It was genuinely the funniest thing I have ever done - spent the whole time giggling!

The tour guide was wonderful, putting on a 'Professor' voice, and he told some silly jokes. You had to scuttle around after him, and we learnt interesting facts about humans that are puzzling to the cockroach species. If you are interested, have a look at the microsite and please do book it - it will make for a very silly weekend! And best of all it's FREE!

The only warning I would give is it gets fairly warm in the suits, so advisable to not wear too many layers and to put bags and coats in the cloakroom if you can. You want to have all of your arms and legs free for scuttling fun!

Our costumes! I'm the one with glasses

The rest of our group. I think everyone was in their twenties but this would be suitable for any age!

The end of the tour

We ended our evening with food and cocktails at Navajo Joe in Covent Garden. Nice food and drink, but a seriously pervy and kind of rude waiter meant I probably would not go back! The music was so loud it felt more like a bar than a restaurant. None the less a fantastic weekend - love my friends!!!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

25 (and a day)

Yesterday was my birthday!! Officially 25, and not feeling my age at all. When I was younger I thought people in their twenties were really quite mature and I had so many ideas about what my life would be like once I was in my mid-twenties. But now I am here, I really don't think I've changed much since I hit my twenties, to be honest I still feel like a teenager inside.

I don't know about anyone else, but it always feels a bit weird the day after my birthday, like so much excitement and expectation, and then you wake up the next morning and realise that actually, not much has changed. Saying that, I had a great time being with my family, and got some lovely gifts. The most exciting one was the Cinderella A Brush with Fate nail polish set from Sephora! My parents just got back from California, so I asked them to pick it up for me as you just can't get it in the UK. It's so pretty! Am wearing So Totally Enchanted (the icy/silvery blue) with Step Off, Sister! (blue and silver glitter) on my ring fingers as an accent. Really love the packaging, colours and quality, but the bottles are teeny weeny which makes me a bit sad! I hope I don't run them down really quick!

I also got a lovely gift from the postman (well, a gift to myself!) of these gorgeous heeled brogues from Clarks. I already have the plain brogue version which I have been wearing to absolute death - I love them and they go with everything! I wondered if I really needed the heeled version, but the ones I already have are a bit scuffed now and when Clarks had £10 off last week I decided to just go for it. They are so pretty! Going to wear them tonight with a pretty Mossimo dress (another birthday gift!) to meet one of my best friends for a birthday dinner :)

Also going to pick up some nail polishes for a swap I have joined here, thanks to Cindii from Purrincup for blogging about this, would never have found out about it otherwise! This is my first swap so I am going to try and get really nice nail polishes from Westfield today, and package them up prettily to send to my swap partner! Having fun things like this to do really can brighten the day. I love giving and receiving post!

Friday, 2 November 2012

CRAFT DIY - Hand Stamped Notebooks

This week I have been customising some notebooks which I got from Tiger. It was a pack of three for £1 so pretty much a bargain! I just went crazy with stamps I had, jazzing up the designs with some metallic ink. Planning on making some more for Christmas presents, but definitely keeping the squirrels for myself - they are just too sweet! They will make my handbag feel a bit more exciting so I can keep notes while I am out.

I think this would be a great craft for party bags or any occasion where you want to personalise gifts without overspending!

Step 1: Grab your supplies together and get ready to craft!
Supplies needed:
  • Plain kraft notebook
  • Assortment of stamps
  • Ink - Versafine is my favourite for clear, crisp images, Encore was the brand I used for metallics as the quality is second to none, it dries really quickly and is nice and shimmery

Step 2: Stamp away! Get creative with your patterns

I love the squirrels! And the owl is a metallic green, looks gorgeous and shimmery, the photo really does not do it justice!

Hello Kitty Eyeliner Set

 I am a sucker for Hello Kitty - saw the new range in Superdrug and had to pick this item up! At only £6.99 it really doesn't break the bank, and I was in the market for a purple eyeliner. They have a full stand of new Hello Kitty products in Superdrug, the nail polish bottles are extremely cute, as are the lipsticks. It helps that its all reasonably priced too.

Close up of the eyeliners
The quality of these isn't top notch, but that is to be expected with the price. But very wearable, and nice to have the choice of a few colours. Included is a green and purple (which are shimmery), black and brown (which are matt) and a highlighter pencil too.

Yay for Hello Kitty!!!