A Visit To Spain

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Hi again! You may or may not have noticed that I have been a little bit absent from my blog and social media over the past week or so... the reason for that break of sorts, being that I have recently been on holiday to Spain! I actually went to Benidorm for a week, and although this may not be the most sort after travel destination for most of you reading (said holiday resort does have rather strong connotations of being more suited to the older generation, particularly at Christmas time), I must say that despite all my original apprehensions I really did find my holiday to be the perfect escape from normal life to a bit of winter sun. 

It was really quite lovely to have a bit of a detox from everyday life, and instead enjoy many an hour lounging around on the beach - it was particularly helpful that the weather was glorious for the entire week (staying in the early 20's every day), and despite the difficulties that I usually face when trying to get a tan, I must say that my very pale skin does seem a little more sun kissed now that I'm back home! Due to the gloriously sunny weather that we were lucky enough to have (I managed to wear shorts/skirts/dresses everyday which really was an incredible feat considering I had been expecting jeans and shirts weather), I snapped a number of rather pretty beach and seaside photos during my trip that you can see throughout this post, and also managed to rack up a heck of a lot of miles in terms of walking about the resort and surrounding areas everyday. 

Instagram Round Up 2016

Friday, 23 December 2016

It only really occurred to me the other day that it is now so very nearly the end of yet another year - 2016 seems to have literally flown by, and although I do find myself saying this every single year, it has to be said that this past year has definitely passed particularly quickly! 

In fairness, we do have another week or so left of 2016, yet I thought I would do a bit of a photo-related round up of my year now, because by the time I next post, I would really like to be doing a little write up on some of the things that I have received for Christmas (if that's something you would all be interested in seeing/reading)! Therefore, over the past couple of weeks I have been scouring through my Instagram account (@_oliviabeth or https://www.instagram.com/_oliviabeth/) looking for some of my favourite photos of the past 12 months to share with you all today...

California - in the summer, I was lucky enough to visit California for a few weeks (although quite a lot of you probably already know this, because I did mention it a hell of a lot), and whilst I was on my little road trip of sorts, I definitely managed to snap a fair few photos! Visiting Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, I really did have the most amazing time - exploring in the sun
was literally a dream, and even though it did become a tad colder once we had headed north to San Francisco, I still managed to tick an awful lot off my bucket list along the way...

Advent Calendar Favourites So Far...

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Last year I was lucky enough to have the M&S Beauty Advent Calendar in my possession, to open up every day in December leading up to Christmas. Inside said calendar were all manner of lovely items, some of which I have since used up or am still using to this day - a particularly loved item that last year's calendar opened my eyes up to being the Pixi Glow Tonic, which I seemed to use almost every day upon receiving, and have since repurchased due to my immense love!

Therefore this year, I just knew that I had to get myself another Advent Calendar, as upon looking at the wide range of items in this year's addition, it became clear that M&S had again stepped up their advent calendar game and had featured another large selection of fantastic brands in their countdown to the big day! So now that we are well over half way through the month of December, and now that I am well over half way through my lovely advent calendar, I though it would be nice to share a few of my favourite items so far with you all...

Neal's Yard Hand Cream - To be perfectly honest, I have been a bit of a fan of Neal's Yard and their gorgeous collection of products for a rather long time anyway, so to receive a hand cream by the brand itself in my first advent calendar box of December certainly was very pleasing indeed. My hands seem to become very chapped very quickly in the colder months, but I am rather picky over hand creams and am not really a bit fan of all the more floral scented ones that you can get - therefore, to have this particular hand cream smell of honey in such a gorgeous way really is pretty good for me, and to have it also smooth my dry and sore skin at the same time is definitely a bonus!

Autograph Nail Polish in Cranberry - As soon as I opened one of the boxes in my M&S Advent Calendar and saw this cute little nail polish, I was pretty besotted with it! I don't think I have ever tried one of the Autograph collection nail colours before, hence why I was so excited to try this one out - just as I had imagined, once the shade was on my nails (and dried), it looked really quite lovely, with it's dark pink colour shimmering nicely in a rather festive way. Despite how prone I am to chipping my nails, this polish also actually stayed on rather well last weekend when I tried it out, and when rather scruffy areas did start to develop after a couple of days, they were pretty easy to go over anyway.

Eyeko Eyeliner - For a while now, I have been contemplating trying out a new eyeliner from somewhere other than Soap&Glory (I'm sorry but the Supercat liner is just so good that I can't seem to stop repurchasing it for myself!), and it would seem that receiving an Eyeko Eyeliner in my Advent Calendar a few days ago, is the answer to my contemplation. I am actually yet to give this new eyeliner a go, but I thought I would include it in this round up anyway due to my happiness at receiving it, and also because it's perfect little size makes it the ideal item to pop into my travel bag whenever I go off on holiday, or away for a few days.

Alpha-H Liquid Gold - This is yet another item that I was seriously excited to have received in my M&S Advent Calendar, as although I wasn't too familiar with this particular product at first, after a quick browse through some rather excellent reviews on sites such as LookFantastic, I found myself really quite enthusiastic to try this 'Liquid Gold' treatment. Reportedly meant to help even out skin tone, as well as firm the skin, reduce to presence of pores and help deal with acne related issues, this skin care item really does seem to rake in the positive reviews - so far I have only used it a couple of times (according to the bottle, you are supposed to use it every other day), but in that short time I have noticed that my t-zone spots have actually reduced a fair bit and am therefore pretty excited to keep on using this bottle to see if these sorts of results continue (although, maybe not too quickly, because to repurchase it would cost somewhere in the region of £30).

Pixi Brow Gel - I must say that I have become a rather big fan of Pixi over the past year or so, after owning and loving both the Glow Tonic (which is simply incredible!), as well as a rather beautiful Eyeshadow Palette by the aforementioned brand. Therefore, when I opened up a box in my Advent Calendar and found a Pixi Brow Gel inside, I was certainly very happy indeed - I have only tried this item the once so far, but I can already tell that I will find it very useful to have in my possession whenever my brows need a bit of taming (as the so regularly do)!

I really am very happy with the items that I have received so far in my M&S calendar, and in all honesty can't wait to proceed with the rest of the month, and open up the rest of the boxes! Hopefully you all enjoyed this post - if so, I really would love to write up a similar post, perhaps after Christmas, featuring some of the other much-loved items that I receive a little further along the month.

P.S. You can find the full M&S Beauty Collection, and all the products mentioned in this post HERE!

Olivia xo

Affiliate Links were used in this post.

Christmas Time...

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

It's so very nearly Christmas (just over a week to be more precise), and I must admit that I am rather excited. My favourite part about Christmas probably has to be the couple of months beforehand that form the whole festive build up to the day itself - I really do enjoy making the most of these weeks, and like to indulge in all the Christmassy things about... hence why today, I thought I would just talk a little about some of my favourite festive things, including Advent Calendars and Decorations!

As well, of course, as Christmas socks... because what's more festive than a pair of socks with Christmas presents and glitter on!!

Advent Calendars.... these are really the coolest things aren't they? I mean, chocolate every single day up till Christmas, what more could I ask for? What's more, in recent years all sorts of different advent calendars have also started to appear in the shops, and after having (and loving) the M&S Beauty Advent Calendar last year, the 2016 one is also now in my possession and although half of it has now been opened up (don't worry, there's a post coming very soon about what I have received inside said calendar), the rest of it's little boxes of goodies are still waiting to be opened up!

Whilst some may think that these sorts of calendars are a little pricey (especially when the chocolate ones are so cheap nowadays), I must say that from personal experience they are totally worth the money, as not only do you get the excitement of opening up a beauty gift in each day of December, you also get really quite fantastic items inside - last year in my M&S calendar,  I recollect getting several lovely nail polishes, a couple of lip products by brands such as Stila, and also a travel sized bottle of the Pixi Glow Tonic, which has since gone on to become one of the essential skincare items in my collection. Therefore, I have been finding myself really rather excited to open up the 2016 addition everyday... as well as opening up my Cadbury's one as well, because.... I just love chocolate!

Christmas Drinks.... there's also really nothing better than going into coffee shops such as Costa and discovering that their Christmassy drinks are back (as well as their other Christmas-themed cakes and sandwiches of course). I started off the colder months with a fair few Pumpkin Spiced Lattes and Frappuccinos from Starbucks to get me in the autumnal spirit, and now that we are fast approaching Christmas itself I have been trying out a few of the Costa drinks as well - I particularly love the new Toasted Marshmallows Hot Chocolate, as well as my old favourite the Black Forest Hot Chocolate too... and to be honest will feel quite disheartened when they have left stores again!

Decorations... we also managed to put our Christmas decorations up a couple of weeks ago too, and to get further into the festive spirit I thought I would also add a few bits and bobs to my bedroom considering how much time I spend in there working etc, on a daily basis. Just like last year, I bought myself a couple of Christmas postcards from Paperchase that I have popped on my pinboards (these only cost about 70p each, and I have pretty much been collecting many from the collection throughout the year, but the Christmas ones are by far the cutest!), and I also have my M&S Beauty and Cadbury's Advent Calendars in full view from my bedside drawers, to try and add to the festive look!

Lights... I seem to mention all the time how much I love the dark nights, and how cosy they make me feel - however, a big part of what makes me love them so much at this time of year, is all the christmas lights and how pretty they look when driving alongside them, or when catching a glimpse of them out of the windows of my house. This love of mine was particularly emphasised whilst I was in London a few weekends ago, and when walking past Harrods at sunset, I saw the whole building lit up in the most beautiful way... as well as outside the Natural History Museum, where lights were hung all over the trees to create a really lovely wintry feel by the ice rink that is there for the colder months!

As you can probably tell from my festive round up, I am a reasonably big fan of Christmas and the festive season... everywhere definitely looks that bit more pretty when decorated for Christmas (and of course, that bit more crowded when it comes to shopping), and to be honest I will be quite sad when Christmas is over once again... yet, in all honesty, Christmas comes around that quickly, that by next year it will probably feel like hardly any time has passed since I last proclaimed my love of the colder months!

I hope you are all looking forward to Christmas, and enjoying the season as much as me!

Olivia xo

NYX Lingerie Lipstick

Sunday, 11 December 2016

I'm certainly a massive fan of NYX Cosmetics, and therefore it may come as a bit of a shock to you all that I didn't actually possess any of their Lingerie Lipsticks in my rather large collection up until very recently (and by very recently, I mean a couple of weeks ago). Of course, I had wanted to purchase one of the Lingerie Lipsticks for a very long time, after seeing several people swatch, review and post about them - however, whenever I visited my local Boots store, I sadly discovered that they seemingly had every other lipstick in the entire NYX lip collection, apart from the Lingerie ones for some unknown reason...

Then, just a couple of weeks ago, to both my shock and excitement, on a spur of the moment journey into Boots, I saw the whole Lingerie Lip collection before my very eyes. To say the least, I was very happy indeed, and thus proceeded to swatch just about every single shade of lip product onto my hand in order to find out just which one I should purchase and take home with me. As a big lover of nude lipsticks, the decision was a very difficult one to make (especially when you're as poor at making decisions as I am anyway), but in the end I settled upon the lovely, yet rather light nude shade of Corset which, like every other lipstick in the collection, cost just £6.50.

And, after trying out and loving this product, I thought I would create a little round up about the details my Lingerie Lipstick, and provide a sort of review on it...

Happy Socks Christmas

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

You may well remember a recent post of mine detailing some rather amazing socks that I received from the pretty fabulous Happy Socks brand... well, since writing up that post a few weeks ago, I have been enjoying sporting my socks on a regular basis, whether it be to keep my feet nice and cosy whilst in the house, or warm against the cold weather outside. Then, the other day, I received yet another parcel from Happy Socks (who are quickly becoming my favourite brand like, ever!) that caught me completely by surprise and was, as you may have guessed from the title of this post, filled with Christmas Socks!

So thank you very much to Happy Socks for this rather amazing delivery, and here again today is another round up of the socks that I received in said package!

Before I start on the socks themselves, I must say that I just adore the little box that my items came in - as you can see in the below photo, the packaging of this gift really is rather lovely, and totally Christmassy with it's cute present pattern, so would definitely make the perfect gift for anyone really...as to be honest just who doesn't love cute, patterned socks? I do think that opening up such a box on Christmas morning would be really quite nice though, as this Happy Socks gift is quite different from the usual, simple sock packaging that you get - I may just be rather easily impressed when it comes to presents, but this box is certainly something that I would be very happy to receive!!

MAC Whirl - First Impressions

Sunday, 4 December 2016

My love of nude lipsticks really is something else, as is my love of MAC lipsticks... so when you combine my two loves together in a lipstick like Whirl, then you can probably guess how excited and happy I was with purchasing such an item as the new addition to my ever growing collection!

Just over a year ago, I felt a similar thrill when finally purchasing Velvet Teddy for myself after what felt like months upon months of practically drooling over the many images of it that I regularly saw on my feeds. However, now a year has passed swiftly by, and I must say that my beloved Velvet Teddy certainly is nearing the end of it's life - I have of course worn it pretty much every single day since I bought it (maybe a  slight exaggeration, but I have worn it an awful lot), so all things considered, this lipstick has lasted very well indeed... especially when I did actually drop it on my desk not long after first purchasing it, and lost a bit of the top part in the process (whoops)!

Keeping Warm in the Winter - Jumpers & Sweatshirts

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

It has been absolutely freezing lately here in the UK....and I mean bitterly, bitterly cold, so therefore, my large selection of jumpers and sweatshirts have really come into their own, and proved rather useful in my mission to keep as warm as possible. I do love this time of year though, when all of the knitwear and oversized jumpers are absolutely everywhere, and recently I have been buying my fair share of such items - and as I sat down to write this post, feeling particularly cold as we creep on over into December, I thought what better topic to detail than my recently bought, and recently worn jumpers and sweatshirts!

A Day in London!

Sunday, 27 November 2016

London certainly is one of my favourite places to visit, and my year long wait to revisit this bustling city was ended yesterday when I in fact got the chance to head down south and explore the city once again. I have only been to London a handful of times, but each time I can safely say that I have definitely made the most of my visit and covered as much of the city as possible within the given time - my most recent journey to London was no different either, and after a good 7 or so hours on my feet, walking back and forth, I must say that I did feel pretty shattered (but of course, also pretty happy to have seen so much in one day)!

Anyway, I will keep this post pretty concise and try not to ramble on as I normally do.... We actually started our day off in Knightsbridge, with a brief look around the V&A Museum, which although wasn't really the best tourist attraction that I have been to in London (in my personal opinion, of course), was somewhere that I had wanted to pay a visit to for a very long time, so I was in the end actually pretty glad to have ticked it off my London visit wish list as it were.

My Current Scarf Collection...

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

I really really really adore autumn and winter, and all of the fashion and accessory trends that said seasons bring with them (as you may well all know thanks to my mention of this on numerous occasions), and a particular item that I love to buy and wear at this time of year are scarves! Stripy scarves, checkered scarves, plain scarves, big, ginormously cosy scarves, I really do just love this accessory, and definitely seem to be building up more and more of a collection as time goes by - so much so that I now struggle to even shut the drawer in which my scarves are meant to be kept, and yet, knowing me, this probably won't even stop me from buying ever more scarves in the future...

Because of this evident love of scarves and the wearing of them in the colder months (as well as at other parts of the year too, because the weather never really gets all that scorching in the UK), I thought it only right to make a post about some of my current favourites of the aforementioned accessory... (I do apologise that my photos aren't the best for this post though - who knew that it was so difficult to take good photos of scarves?!)

Both of the first two scarves that I'm going to mention were bought a good few weeks ago when I last visited Primark in Birmingham. I have in fact mentioned them before in a previous post detailing said shopping trip (so sorry if I seem to be repeating myself a bit), but despite my in-depth description of both scarves, I actually failed to include a photo of either of them, so therefore thought it would be alright for me to speak of them again today.

Anyway....these two rather lovely scarves were in fact only £4 each, just like many of the other scarves in Primark (so definitely go and take a look at their large selection if you are on a bit of a budget like myself), and mostly caught my eye due to their really cool patterns - I have in fact wanted a houndstooth patterned scarf for the best part of forever, and what's more, I just generally really liked the look of the other scarf due to the cute little elements of lime green that are added into it. For £4 each though, I really don't think you can possibly go wrong with such items, as not only are they really quite stylish and cool in terms of their design, but they are also of surprisingly good quality for such a cheap price and are so far doing a great job of keeping me nice and warm in the colder weather (and boy, has it been cold lately?!).

Next up is an old favourite of mine - well, when I say 'old', I do mean that it's been about a year since I bought this scarf, but in terms of clothes and accessories turnover for me, that is pretty old. This particular scarf (the grey checked one that you can see part of in the below photo) was actually from New Look, and although I can't remember exactly how much it cost, I would hazard a guess at around £15, which I must say was definitely a very fair price considering how much I have worn and loved this scarf since I got it around 12 months ago. Firstly, the thickness and general comfort of this scarf are just something else, and during the spells of freezing cold weather that we always seem to encounter in the UK, wrapping this gorgeous scarf around my neck really seems to make all the difference and immediately helps to warm me up! As well as the serious comfort levels that come with this scarf, I also really adore it's pattern and general colour theme - not only does the grey go incredibly well with all manner of different outfits, the fact that this scarf has two differing patterns on either side also adds to it's versatility ever more, and firmly cements it as one of the most-loved scarves in my collection.

The last couple of scarves that I will mentioned today are quite different from those that I have previously spoke about in this post - these items are probably more suitable than those above for use throughout the whole year, as with them being made of lighter materials, they don't feel so stuffy and thick when worn around the neck. 

The first of these really quite versatile scarves, is actually also rather new to my ever-growing collection - from Forever 21, this snood-style scarf is the most lovely coppery colour and only cost around £10. Due to it's simplistic nature, it really is a great scarf to throw on with just about any outfit, as there is no chance of a pattern clash occurring if you pair it with stripes, slogans or anything in between...making it the perfect buy, and also rather essential to any scarf collection.

I can't actually remember for the life of me just where the second, lighter scarf that I want to mention came from, mostly because I in fact bought it some years back (a tad ironic considering that earlier I was saying that to have a scarf for a year is a long time for me), and have no idea just where it was actually bought! That being said, it is still a really lovely scarf, and one that I have actually only recently rediscovered, and hence realised that I need to start having a wear of again. With it's rather gorgeous checked pattern, this item never really seems to go out of style and due to it not being too majorly thick either, it is quite a practical scarf to wear for a large proportion of the year, and not just when it's absolutely freezing as with my other scarves - the fact that I can't think where I bought this scarf from will continue to annoy me though, yet it is very unlikely that said store will still stock this accessory considering how long ago I purchased it anyway!

In terms of my current favourite scarves though, hopefully you can all see from this post just why I love the items that I have mentioned, and why I will continue to make the most of wearing them all (especially the more wintry ones) over the course of the colder months.

Olivia xo

Affiliate Links were used in this post.

Favourite Records

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Music is one of my great passions, and in all honesty, I do spend the vast majority of my day listening to my favourite songs, as whether it be whilst I'm travelling to and from sixth form, or when I'm at home getting on with some studying, I normally have my headphones on or my record player going. I haven't actually had the chance to purchase many new records lately though for my turntable, and instead have been indulging in some of my favourites from my already rather large collection, as well as having a listen to some of the albums and singles that I perhaps hadn't given much of a chance before....and therefore, decided to compile a list of sorts of some of my current favourite records here today for you all to have a browse of...

Favourite Albums -

The Beatles - The Red & Blue Albums - most of you may well be aware that I am quite a big fan of the The Beatles (maybe 'quite a big fan' is a bit of an understatement), and therefore, when my neighbours kindly donated a few of their old Beatles LPs to me a couple of months ago, I was pretty much over the moon, as one might expect. Within the selection of records that they gave me, were two that I had desperately wanted to get my hands on for quite some time - said albums being the infamous red and blue albums containing some of the bands greatest hits. Both albums contain two separate records packed full of amazing songs, that I could simply listen to all day long....leaving me wondering how on Earth I lived without such a selection of Beatles songs on vinyl beforehand.

Happy Socks

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

A few weeks ago now, I was lucky enough to be asked to work with a lovely brand known as Happy Socks...which, you guessed it, sell socks (and other underwear items as well, in case you were wondering). I had heard the odd mention of this brand beforehand, and had also spotted them on such websites as John Lewis, plus after a good look on their actual website, had seen just how cool and quirky all of their different sock varieties are - hence why I jumped at the opportunity to work with them, and simply couldn't wait to receive my socks, and also start writing and posting about them!

Firstly, before I start to talk about the socks that I received (and just why I love them so much!), I think it's only fair to tell you all a little about Happy Socks as a brand. A Swedish company, Happy Socks strive to make socks that will put a smile on just about anyone's face, with all manner of styles and designs on offer, so there is just about something for everyone in their massive collection. As well as creating fun socks that look great, this brand also take the quality of their items very seriously - something that I really love about them, because there's nothing better than a cosy pair of socks that keep your feet nice and warm, especially at this time of year.

If you want to take a better look at the Happy Socks collection (they also sell other really cool underwear items such as pants too) feel free to have a thorough browse of their website https://www.happysocks.com/uk/, as well as a look at other sites such as John Lewis and House of Fraser, which also sell said socks.

Recently Read....

Sunday, 13 November 2016

I do love a good book, and simply find my life feeling a little empty whenever there isn't a book in it for me to read (as I found out some weeks ago, after having not read a book on my own accord for a month or so). Therefore, as you can probably imagine, I do get through books rather quickly indeed, and because of this, thought it wise to compile a list of some of the books that I have read more recently in a post today...

1984 -  George Orwell - many of you may well be wondering why I chose to read this book, considering that on the most part it is often considered as a book that people frequently read at school and at university. However, I have personally never had the chance to read this book under such circumstances and had therefore found myself feeling rather intrigued by it for some years...plus, after buying a really cool bookmark, that contains a list of the books that 'you have to read before you die' and seeing it sat right at the top of said list, I just knew that I had to give this one a go.

I do quite like a classic novel, and because of this 1984 was right up my street, and was also in fact, on the most part, a rather enjoyable read. Most people kind of know a little about the background story of this book, and how it is set in a dystopian world, where what was formerly the UK is now controlled by an omnipresent government, fronted by the leader Big Brother. This book is filled with all sorts of themes, and is mostly made up of the forbidden romance between two people in a tyrannic society - whilst some parts were a little slow, and a little dull, I did mostly really enjoy this read (I also really loved the cover of the book itself, and was pretty drawn in to buy it because of that too) and can see why it is so highly regarded in the literary world, as it really does make you look at some aspects of life a little differently.

Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte - another rather classic novel, I know, but it occurred to me after looking at the books that I am to read for my A-Level English Literature course, that this certain title was one of those that I would soon be studying...so, me being me, and wanting to get a bit of a head start on the reading, decided to purchase this book some months back.

I actually got round to reading this book towards the latter stages of the summer, and to be honest, actually got through it's near 500 page mass rather quickly considering the fact that I wasn't sure whether I would like this book at all to begin with. Centred around the character of Jane Eyre (obviously), this book follows said person as they narrate us through their life and explain all of the ups and downs of their relationships and emotions with us. Although, at the start of reading this book, I wasn't really feeling as though the story was going anywhere anytime soon, it did quickly pick up and after the first couple of chapters or so, I felt myself getting rather immersed in the tale - and now, simply cannot wait to actually begin studying it at school, as it is certainly a classic tale that everyone should have a read of at least once.

The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald - what is it with me and all these classic books? The simple answer is that I really do actually enjoy having a read of all the 'timeless', 'you need to read this book in your lifetime' types of novel, and therefore, after feeling the urge to read The Great Gatsby for a reasonably long amount of time, I finally took the plunge a few weeks back and ordered it.

I did sort of know the story of this book after having watched the film version of it not so long ago (the one with Leonardo Di Caprio)...although, I didn't actually reach the end of the film, so after reading the book from cover to cover, the ending was still a bit of surprise to me. However, I must say that whilst this book didn't take me all that long to read, I really really did enjoy it - the detailed descriptions really do transport you back to the glitz and glamour of a 1920's New York party, whilst the story itself and the characters involved really do keep you turning the pages...all the while leaving you thinking just who is this mysterious Gatsby, and what will become of all those around him?

Currently Reading - Where My Heart Used to Beat - Sebastian Faulks - despite the fact that I am only two thirds of the way through this book, and so can't completely judge it in terms of story (and of course the all important ending), from what a have read so far, I can confirm that it is a pretty good book, and whilst not one of my all time favourites, is still definitely worth a read. 'Where My Heart Used To Beat' tells the story of a man who is reflecting on the events that have shaped his life throughout the twentieth century, after he journeys to France to meet a mysterious gentleman who claims to have been friends with his late father. At the moment, I can't really envisage just where the whole storyline of this book is going, and unlike with many books I don't have a clue what sort of ending it will have...which is really making me want to get through the last one hundred pages or so, to find out just what is on the horizon.

I know personally that I just love having a look through posts centred on book reviews, or about book that people love and have recently read, so as to get some inspiration on the novels and titles that I should also look out for in the future....therefore, I do hope that you all enjoyed having a nose at the books that I have recently read today, as whether certain books are your cup of tea or not, sometimes I do find that it's just nice to see what people think of them anyway!

Also....don't forget to mention some of your recently read and favourite books in the comments below!

Olivia xo

My Current Ring Collection

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

I love rings. There we go, that's all there is to it.... I really, really do love rings. Recently, I have found myself wearing more and more, and have therefore found myself buying more and more too. Big rings, small rings, midi rings, gold rings, silver rings - you name it, I love it, and it has now reached the stage where I simply cannot go out the house without wearing at least a few of my favourite rings on my fingers; otherwise, my hands just feel....well, pretty plain to be honest.

Due to this sudden influx of new rings to my ever-growing collection, I therefore thought it wise to create a post about said accessory today, and within it just share with you some of my new, old, and favourite rings, that I most love, and most enjoy wearing....

*** Sorry that you have to look at my hands for the entirety of this post though - I know they may not be the nicest of hands (yes, they're pretty bony and strange), but obviously I needed to model the rings somehow!

The way that I think I will go about this post, is by talking about the rings from each image as I go along (yes, that sounds about right), so as that no one (especially me) gets confused about which one I am talking about, at each particular time. So, starting with the first image, both rings are from my latest ring set purchase, which was in fact from Miss Selfridge and cost £8.50 for six differing rings (that are all actually really quite nice, which is quite a rarity for a ring set, as you normally get at least one naff looking one, to put it politely).

A Visit to Birmingham

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Over the past few weeks, I have found myself journeying into Birmingham on a number of occasions...because, after all, it is one of my favourite local places to go shopping, and for a 20 minute train journey, contains pretty much all of the shops that I could ever ask for!! What's more, recently, it has in fact been the half term holidays and I therefore thought it apt to do a fair bit of shopping after going a fair few weeks without buying all that much at all (I know, how tragic?!) - so, of course, on my very recent visit to Birmingham, I made sure to have a proper spend, and I now think it very appropriate to share where I went, and what I purchased with you all today!

On my recent visit, I made it a priority to visit Primark, Lush and Urban Outfitters (Primark because I was generally on the lookout for some bargains, Lush because I was yet to buy anything from their Autumn/Winter Collection before my visit, and Urban Outfitters because, well, who doesn't love that shop?), and due to the fact that they all reside on the same street outside of the Bullring shopping centre, it was pretty easy to call into them all in quick succession.

Benefit Gift Sets 2016

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

I can't exactly pin point when and where my love of Benefit began, but for the sake of this post we will just assume it to be several years ago, and over those several years I have accumulated a large number of Benefit products and seen the brand itself release all manner of new items...

Every Christmas time, Benefit release a new set of beauty gifts, and for some reason, every year quite recently I have seemed to acquire at least one of these marvellous products. Of course, said box sets do seem to have the same sort of items featured in them each year, but for a lover of Benefit like myself, they do still make for pretty great presents and help me to regularly top up my collection of items from the aforementioned brand at the point in the year when I am normally running low on my favourites. This year, I feel that Benefit have done particularly well with the designs and look of their box sets, and when I got my Girl-A-Rama one a few weeks ago (I pretty much immediately fell in love with it's super cute packaging straight away) I just knew that I had to write up a review of sorts on it!

The first of many classic Benefit products in this set, is the Professional Primer, which I have to admit is probably one of my all time favourite primers and I was, in fact, pretty happy to see a small, travel-sized version of this item in my new set due to the fact that I am near enough ran out of my old bottle. This primer is pretty much a cult classic nowadays amongst much of the blogging community, and I for one am going to follow with tradition and rave ever more about my love for this primer - with a creamy consistency, I must say that this primer does very much live up to expectations and leaves the skin feeling incredibly smooth and ready for the makeup application that follows. However, it is pretty pricey to just go out and buy on an average shopping day (but, saying that, many of the best primers are), so with such a reasonably sized bottle finding it's way into this set, I did find myself feeling pretty chuffed indeed!

Halloween Baking

Sunday, 30 October 2016

It really doesn't seem like five seconds since it was last Halloween, yet, here we are again, a year later, with Halloween only a day away! Last year, I don't actually remember doing Halloween baking of any sort, but this year, after a quick look around Hobbycraft at all their seasonal baking goodies, I thought I would try my hand at some themed sweet treats...

After much deliberation, I opted to bake some biscuits, and after scouring through the cookie cutters in fact found a really cute little ghost one. I have seen several ghostly biscuits on my feeds and in magazines before, so decided that such biscuits would be perfect to have a try of whilst I'm off school on half term...so, after finding out an old recipe (I have no idea at all where it came from, and like most of my recipe folder was just wrote on a piece of scrap paper), and gathering together all of my ingredients, I made a start...


For the Biscuits

225g Self-Raising Flour
150g Butter
100g Caster Sugar
A Beaten Egg to Mix

For the Decoration

Ready to Roll White Icing
Strawberry Jam
Black Writing Icing Pen

Lush Purchases

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

I will be straight up and honest here, by saying that this post will only be a short one, but after my visit to Lush the other day, I just knew I had to do a mini haul (and I mean mini) here today and share what I bought with you all. The main reason for my want to share my new purchases so badly, is the fact that this was in fact my first Lush visit of the Autumn season, and was therefore my first look at all the new goodies that they stock... as well as all of the old favourites too, of course!

As per usual, the gorgeous scent of Lush and all the products that reside behind it's doors hit me from a good few shops away, and as soon as I entered the Birmingham store, my excitement pretty much peaked after having not visited any of the Lush stores for such a long time. It sounds so odd, but in the spring and summer months I prefer to shower instead of having a bath, so find no use for any of my favourite bath bombs and bubble bars - however, when it begins to get colder again, I simply hate having to stand in a freezing cold torrent of water, so prefer to soak in a lovely, warm bath (and that's where all my favourite Lush products really come into their own once again).

Must-Have Accessories (for Autumn and Winter)

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Autumn and Winter really are the seasons when accessories come into their own, aren't they?! As soon as the colder seasons commence, we immediately see tonnes of cute and quirky accessories begin to arrive in shops, and as a lover of the A/W fashions (don't get me wrong, Spring and Summer are great and all, but I just can't resist all the jumpers and sweatshirts of the latter stages of the year), I simply cannot just walk past said items, and tend to rebuild my collection of Autumn and Winter accessories each year....

Scarves, hats, shoes, jewellery - you name it, it all just seems to be a little bit more my cup of tea at this point in the year, and for that reason, I thought today I would share some of my essential accessories for the colder months here....(obviously some of them are a little bit obvious in terms of being must -haves, but I'm just loving the Autumn/Winter vibes so much at the moment, that I thought I would write about them anyway).

3 Items That I Would Repurchase

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Every now and again, a product comes along that is really just something out of the ordinary.... and by 'out of the ordinary', I mean something that you sit and admire the outstanding quality of, and immediately wonder how you ever did without said product in the past. Well, lately for me, this feeling has come over me on a number of occasions and as the time to repurchase a few of my most beloved items approaches, I thought it would be a nice idea to tell you a little about each of them today....

One of the first items that springs to mind when I think of something that I will almost definitely repurchase, just has to be the Pixi Glow Tonic. This stuff has received such hype from all corners of the blogging world, as well from many others outside of it, and I have to admit that I would be the first to sing it's praises after using this rather amazing solution for almost a year now. When I first received my little bottle of this product (the 100ml bottle, as part of the M&S Advent Calendar last year), to be honest I did think that it was merely just another cleansing product, and was perhaps sort of like some of the micellar water items that I had previously owned...

How wrong I was! Firstly, the Pixi Glow Tonic is not a cleanser, it is in fact an exfoliating product, and is recommended for use after cleansing to completely rid your face of any of the nasty left over beauty items from throughout the day. A quick swoosh of this tonic all over the face and neck, really leaves the skin feeling incredibly fresh and ultimately aids in the smoothing of your skin tone and texture. I have found this product particularly useful in helping to exfoliate my t-zone and nose, as after going at those areas with a cotton wool pad of this stuff, they really do feel a lot healthier, and not so oily and gross. Unfortunately, my bottle of Pixi Glow Tonic is now at the end of my life span (I do have to say that it did last very well indeed though), and my mind is now hellbent on repurchasing this item as quickly as possible - I know for a fact that M&S stock all the Pixi products, so a search of their web page is definitely on the cards over the next couple of weeks.

** since writing this post, I have in fact repurchased this tonic, and now have a nice full bottle of the stuff to get through once again!

Another great (and I mean great) item, that I really do not think I could live without, has to be the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer. This particular product has been in my possession since the beginning of July, after a trip to Sephora whilst in California led to curiosity getting the better of me in terms of this item. After testing out several shades on my hand, I eventually opted for Vanilla - which I have to say, suits my skin tone pretty perfectly, and doesn't leave me looking too ghostly pale or too dark and blotchy, as other concealers have done in the past.

From the first application of this product, I just knew that it was to become a staple in my everyday makeup routine...and I definitely wasn't far wrong with that verdict either, as over the past few months I have been using this concealer over and over again, on most days, to cover pesky blemishes and correct any ugly discoloured patches. There is certainly a heck of a lot of hype over this product, and after finally trying it out for myself, I can now safely say that I totally get why everyone is so in love with this concealer and regard it as such a cult favourite. At the moment, I think I am still pretty much in the clear with my bottle, as no drying out is to be seen (yet anyway) - although, I do know for a fact that once the inevitable happens and I have ran out of this amazing product (that just seems to blend so well over foundation, and stays firmly in place for pretty much the best part of the day), I will just have to go out and buy it for myself again...even though the price tag of £22.50 is a little bit of an issue when you're a student, like myself.

The final product that I am going to mention today, in terms of something that I am sure to repurchase in the future, is the Morphe Eyeshadow Palette. Since the day I first heard about the Morphe Palettes (and even more so when I first saw a photo of them), I just knew that I had to get my hands on one - as a great lover of eyeshadow, seeing so many people with such a beautiful product really did make me feel like I was missing out, but the selection of palettes on offer really doesn't make it easy for you to decide on which one to buy.

After my Birthday earlier this year, I finally opted to treat myself to the 35W Palette, and in all honesty, fell in love as soon as I opened it up and gave it a go... All the shadows inside are so incredibly pigmented (as you can hopefully see from the swatches of my favourites below), and what's more, the range of colours that you actually get is pretty fantastic considering the price tag of £19.50 (from Beauty Bay). Obviously, due to the mass of product that you actually receive with such a Morphe Palette, I am yet to hit pan on any of the shadows and am probably quite far off doing so too. However, I am one for planning ahead, and already know that I would just love to get myself another of the Morphe Eyeshadow Palettes in the future (I do love the one that I currently own, but there are just so many others out there, that I don't think I could resist trying out a different one next time), as I would have to regard mine as one of the best eyeshadow palettes that I have tried - maybe even better than Urban Decay (ooooh controversial)!

Everyone has a completely differing set of products that they love and value the most, but hopefully today I managed to shed a little light on the items that I adore the most, and why I feel so strongly about them (and want to repurchase them in the future)...

Which beauty and skincare products are you sure to repurchase in the future? Let me know in the comments below!

Olivia xo

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Several of the best...Pizza's!

Sunday, 16 October 2016

'Okay, Olivia so perhaps the pizza obsession is getting a little out of hand', I hear you cry. Yet as someone who highly regards pizza as their favourite food, I do think its only right to type up a little post on the matter of said foodstuff today. 

To be honest, I think I have always loved pizza, and I'm pretty sure most other people love it too (of course, I totally accept the fact that it's not for everyone, and that some people aren't so much of a fan), and with the amount of pizzas that I consume, it's a surprise that I haven't wrote a post dedicated to this glorious food before. Seeing as I'm one of those annoying people who always takes photos of their food when they go out, I have quite a large stock of images of the pizza's that I have eaten in the past - therefore, after scouring through them not so long ago (when I was made to delete half of my photos off my phone due to its storage filling up again), I decided to pick out some of my favourites, and get the tastebuds going with a pizza themed post.

Review - Sleek Solstice Palette

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

I can't quite describe how excited I get over highlighters of any kind, and whenever I see a rather beautiful looking highlight on Instagram or on someone else's blog, I frequently make a note of said product's name so I can try and get my hands on it as soon as insanely possible! For some strange reason, I had never got round to buying myself the Sleek Solstice Palette though, despite seeing it appear on one of my feeds quite some time back, and immediately deciding that I definitely needed said palette in my life....

The shades of highlight always looked rather beautiful in this product, and I just couldn't wait to one day try it out for myself and see how glorious each shimmery colour would actually look on the skin. Despite this desperate want, I managed to put off getting this Sleek palette up until very recently - I had seen it on a couple of my past visits to Superdrug, but at those times had unfortunately needed to put other product purchases first, then when I finally had the money and means to buy it, it wasn't in stock in my local Boots store anyway!

However, now though it would seem that Boots have seriously (and I mean seriously) upped their game in terms of Sleek products, and now actually stock a little Christmas gift range of products by the aforementioned brand. To my surprise, within the group of Sleek products that I found in the Festive section of the store, there was in fact a little box set containing none other than the Solstice Palette....plus a Matte Lipstick too, in case you were wondering.

Autumn Skin (and Hair) Care Saviours

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Autumn and Winter are rather beautiful months by all accounts, and are undoubtably full of the most exciting events of the year...e.g. Christmas, Halloween, Cute Cosy Clothes, Pumpkin Spice Lattes etc etc. However, there is an ugly side to these two otherwise magnificent seasons, and this imperfection lies in the hands of the weather - yes, the cold, windy, rainy weather that envelopes us throughout the latter stages of the year, and in the simplest of terms, drives my skin and hair up the wall!

There's rarely a day in the colder months when I can go out and keep my hair in the desired style (whether it be wavy or straight), as it always just seems to end up as a bit of a frizzy mess after about ten seconds of bearing the elements. My skin also seems to struggle a little against the torrents of wind and rain, and the spells of chill - of course though, I am not the only one who feels this way and because of that, I thought what better time than today than to share my Autumn Skin and Hair Care Saviours?!

Beauty Wishlist (High End)

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

It has occurred to me, after almost a year and a half of blogging that all I ever seem to talk about is the makeup that I have, and the makeup that I want to get. Call me a bit obsessed (okay, I know that I definitely am), but there's nothing that I love more than scouring through the shelves of makeup when I go shopping, and of course, talking about my recent purchases and future wants, to anyone who will listen...

You all most probably know that now though (a read of a couple of my previous beauty themed posts,  is enough to give anyone an insight into how passionate I feel), and because you are all pretty much used to my beauty rantings and ravings, I thought what better route to go down this week, than a Beauty Wishlist Post (or a High End Beauty Wishlist, to give it it's full title), where I can share all the current items that I am lusting after, and why I want to add them to my collection so badly!

I will start with a couple of biggies, those items being by none other than Kat Von D, and since said makeup brand emerged on the online depths of Debenhams recently, I have definitely been eyeing up a fair few items. Firstly, there's the Kat Von D Shade and Light Palette that I have developed a distinct yearning to own over the past few weeks after seeing and reading several reviews and posts about. If I do want to make this item my own though, I had better start saving my pennies as for £36 it definitely isn't on the cheap side (but this is a high end wishlist, so how much are you seriously expecting the items to cost Olivia?) - yet with a distinctly good selection of shades inside it, and also a massive following of hype and rave reviews, I really don't think I would mind spending so much money on it. 

Another item that I feel rather tempted by is the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner, that although has attracted a sort of mix of reviews, is still pretty much a must-have for an eyeliner lover like myself. I adore pen style liners, and for that reason desperately want to give this product a go too - the pen nib itself looks incredibly sleek in photos and I can just imagine how lovely it would be to actually apply to the eyes... even if the reviews I have previously read do give off mixed feelings about it. 

Onto another brand for a while now though, and another item that I have recently added to my wishlist...that item being the Urban Decay Naked Concealer. I have previously expressed my love of Urban Decay items, and therefore really want to expand my collection in the near future. I'm forever wanting to try out different concealers (mostly just to compare them to the Nars Creamy Concealer, which is simply incredible), as they are just one of those items that I definitely cannot live without, and for that reason upon seeing the Naked Concealer recently, I just knew I had to add it to my collection in the near future. 

Sticking with Urban Decay though, and recently I wrote a post on my two new purchases from the aforementioned brand (you can find said post HERE). Within those purchases was a gorgeous lipstick from the Vice collection - this lipstick (which I have been wearing as often as possible since I received my delivery) was from the Metallised Collection (its actually called Amulet), and is the most gorgeous shimmery brown! Upon loving this very lipstick, I decided that I really should invest in another similar one in the near future, as the metallised finish of lipstick really does give the lips a healthy shine and in fact stays in place for the majority of the day...unfortunately though, I'm not really sure which shade of  Urban Decay Metallised Lipstick I should get, as there are just so many to choose from (although Cruel, which is a shiny red sort of shade, does look particularly lovely).

Finally on this wishlist of mine, are a couple of items from Too Faced, which is another brand that I really want to try and purchase more products from in the future (at the moment I sadly only own one of their products; a Melted Lipstick in the shade Melted Nude). A couple of items that particularly stand out from said brand being the Too Faced Sweet Heart Blusher, which I pretty much simply want due to how gorgeous it looks, and how I could undoubtably take tons of photos of it (although I'm sure it's an amazing quality blusher too), and also the Too Faced Hangover Primer. The primer is however, probably the item a fair bit higher up my wishlist, as I do desperately need to invest in a new primer at the moment, and after testing this particular one in Debenhams a few weeks ago became rather set on getting it at some point!

As you can probably tell, for me, the hobby of buying and building a fantastic collection of makeup never really does stop, and I am forever seeing new items and stumbling upon new brands that I want to try. It would be really great to try and expand the number of High End items that I own in the future though...although what with being a student it is quite difficult to get my hands on the money needed to buy said products (however, Christmas and my Birthday are on the horizon, so hopefully I may receive some of the above items then...hint, hint).

Thank you all for reading anyway, and don't forget to let me know which items are currently on your Beauty Wishlist in the comments below!

Olivia xo

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