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

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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, 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, 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, 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!
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