Recently Received Records

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Hello Again!

I do hope that you all had a very lovely Christmas! I personally had a really great time and was also lucky enough to receive some great presents off my family and friends, as well as going on a visit to one of my favourite cities, Liverpool, in the days following Christmas day.

I have previously mentioned that I would try and get round to doing a 'What I got for Christmas' post, and although I will share some more of the bits and bobs that I received over the coming weeks, what I really wanted to write about first of all was something about the records that I got. As someone who likes to buy vinyl, it was really nice to be able to ask for some different albums for Christmas - and so now, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to share the new additions to my record collection with you all...

Merry Christmas! Plus a New Skincare Product...

Sunday, 24 December 2017

I'm sitting here writing this post as we fast approach Christmas, and seeing as it's now so close to the big day all I really wanted to do was wish you all a very HAPPY CHRISTMAS!

Despite it being cold and the weather being not so nice in Winter, I do always look forward to Christmas and all that comes with it. In the next few weeks, I'll have a fair few exciting posts coming your way - hopefully I will be able to share all about my Christmas presents with you, along with some posts about the weekends away that I will be going on over the next few weeks and months...


I thought perhaps that this post might end up being a little short, so it seems the perfect time to pop in a small review of a new skincare product that I recently received...

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you may well have noticed that I have been lucky enough to work with REN Skincare on a number of occasions, and just a few weeks ago they again sent me a sample of one of their newest releases. I have found all of the products that I have previously received from REN to be really lovely, and I therefore had high hopes for my latest addition too.

This Anti-Fatigue Toning Oil contains Atlantic Kelp and Microalgae which help to moisturise and replenish the skin. I have been trying to use this oil everyday (or thereabouts), and have mostly been applying it to my legs, which is an area of my body that could possibly most do with a bit of toning - and, I must say that since using this product my legs have been feeling incredibly smooth, whilst my skin has generally be feeling really quite refreshed.

Like with all REN products, the packaging of my Toning Oil is rather lovely in it's glass bottle. Plus, as well as leaving my skin feeling silky smooth and refreshed, the actual scent of the oil is pretty nice too, which always gains extra brownie points for a product in my eyes!


I know, this post was a little random... however, some more structured posts will certainly be on the way very soon...

Merry Christmas!

Olivia xo

This post was sponsored by REN Skincare.

Christmas Time in Bath

Sunday, 17 December 2017

A couple of weekends ago, I went on a day trip to Bath to visit the Christmas market, and seeing as I had a pretty lovely time, I thought I would share some photos of my day with you all...

By the time we reached the city (which is a good two and a half hours from where I live), it was already getting pretty busy, so we immediately decided to get something to eat before all the restaurants and pubs got completely rammed. Up the cute little street that you can see in the photo below, was a quaint little pub called 'The Raven', where we had a drink and some lunch - the food was really gorgeous, with me and my parents all having the winter comfort food staple of pie and mash.

Eating pie and mash at The Raven

My pie was filled with sweet potato, spinach and goat's cheese, plus it came with some lovely mashed potato... minus the gravy though as I'm not the biggest fan.

After having a bite to eat, we then of course had a browse around the city. We had actually been to Bath a few years ago so had explored all the main tourist attractions like the Roman Baths before, so this time it was nice to just have a little look round. 

There are so many shops dotted around the city, but the main shopping area is called Southgate - there, I managed to pick up a couple of items of clothing, including a new skirt from H&M and a t-shirt from Urban Outfitters (although I will probably try and share those in a later post). Everywhere looked lovely covered in Christmas decorations, but it was around this area that there was a snow machine adding to the festive feeling, as you can hopefully see in the photo below!

The Christmas market itself was incredibly busy, which made it quite difficult to actually get right up to the stalls and have a look at what was on offer. Due to this, we sadly didn't get to buy anything, but in any case it was still nice to have a wander around.

All the walking around did eventually get a bit tiring though, so before we headed home we decided to visit a cafe and have another drink. This was easier said than done though as everywhere really was packed with people - in the end, we ventured out to the old railway station that we remembered walking through years ago, and had some tea in a cute little place called the Green Park Brasserie. The old station has been converted into a sort of market area that has some cute little independent stores inside, so we also had a look round there too... with me miraculously finding a record shop to visit, although I didn't actually buy anything.

Following this, it was time to go home - I was pretty worn out after walking round Bath all day and travelling back and forth, but all in all it was a really lovely day, and I hope you all enjoyed seeing some of my photos!

Olivia xo

Baking - Mince Pies

Sunday, 10 December 2017

As many of you may have noticed, Christmas is fast approaching, and of course this means that it was about time for me to do some festive baking. In previous years, I have tried making some mince pies and considering that they turned out rather well, I thought that I would give them another go this year and share the recipe with you all in the process...


200g Plain Flour
40g Golden Caster Sugar
75g Ground Almonds
125g Unsalted Butter
1 Egg
Milk for glazing


1. Firstly, I buttered a cupcake tin, and then placed the flour, sugar, almonds and butter into a bowl and rubbed the ingredients together until they resembled breadcrumbs.
2. I then added an egg to bind the mixture together, before rolling the pastry together into a ball and placing in the fridge for around half an hour to chill.
3. Next, I rolled the pastry out on a floured surface and cut out 12 circles which I placed into the holes of the baking tray. Then, I added a spoonful of mincemeat to each one, before cutting out 12 more circles which I placed on top, pressing down the edges to seal them.
4. Before placing in the oven, I sliced a small cross in the top of each mince pie, and then brushed a small coat of milk on them too. They then went into the oven for around 20 minutes, when they were golden brown in colour.
5. After leaving to cool for a while, all that was left to do was to dust some icing sugar over the mince pies... and then of course, proceeding to eat them!

Hopefully this post got you all in the festive mood, because I know that baking mince pies certainly helped to get me feeling Christmassy...

Olivia xo

P.S. You can find a link to the original recipe HERE, however I did slightly alter it.

A Day In Birmingham

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Living in the Midlands means that Birmingham is just a short train journey away, and it is therefore somewhere that I often visit to shop and explore. Therefore, on one of my more recent trips into the city centre, I decided to take some photos of to show you all what I normally get up to in Birmingham, and where I like to visit...

Visiting a city quite often means that you get the chance to try out lots of places to eat and drink, and it was on a recent visit to Birmingham that I finally visited the Boston Tea Party. After passing this cafe several times before and seeing the good reviews that it receives on sites such as Trip Advisor, it was finally time to try out this lovely-looking eatery. 

I certainly wasn't disappointed by my experience in the Boston Tea Party either, as with it's cool and quirky interior, plus it's gorgeous range of cakes (I just had to try a chocolate brownie!), it is certainly only a matter of time before I visit again as all the food on their menu looked really good too!

Inside the Boston Tea Party Cafe...
...where I had the most gorgeous brownie

After a bite to eat, I then visited another cool place within the city - this time, I went to the Oasis, which is an alternative clothing shop full of independent sellers and lots of items of vintage clothing. The store was actually being refurbished when I last visited so some parts were closed off, but nevertheless, I still managed to find myself a Smiths shirt amongst the hoards of band t-shirts. What's more, there were also several other bits and pieces that I had my eye on (including some lovely culottes) which probably means that a return visit is on the cards in the future, especially considering that the store also houses a record shop too.

As wel as this, I also had to visit all my usual favourite shops within the Bullring (the main shopping centre in Birmingham City Centre), including HMV for a browse through the vinyl, Harper&Lewis which is a super cool vintage store, and also Selfridges where I managed to get a photo of the gorgeous Christmas decorations that have gone up.

Grand Central is also very handy for nice shops though, and is linked to the train station which is pretty convenient considering that that is my choice of transport into the city. Featuring a rather large John Lewis, I usually tend to pay a visit to Foyle's bookshop and Tiger whenever I visit this shopping area. However, it also contains some rather lovely looking restaurants that I am determined to try out in the future...

Christmas comes early to Selfridges

Taking the train home.

I really do love exploring cities, and with Birmingham being pretty local, it's always nice to visit different places there - therefore, I do hope that this post provided anyone who is perhaps going to Birmingham at some point with a bit of inspiration on where to visit.

Olivia xo

My (Recent) Favourite Things

Sunday, 26 November 2017

It occurred to me not so long ago that I haven't actually wrote up a 'favourites' post in quite some time. Therefore, instead of doing a monthly round up of the things that I have recently been loving, I decided to compile a small list of a few random things that I have obsessed with over the past few weeks...

 24 Hour Party People 

The first favourite thing that I'm going to mention today just has to be '24 Hour Party People', as not only is it a fantastic film that I discovered a couple of months ago, but also a pretty good book too. Based on the Manchester music scene and detailing the career of record label founder Tony Wilson, the film was right up my street considering that it focussed on things like punk music in the late 1970's, and also one of my favourite bands Joy Division. I then proceeded to have a read of the book too, as I really do love a good musically-themed novel - I certainly wasn't disappointed with that either due to how it gave a more in-depth look at the bits and pieces featured in the film.

Dr Martens

Over the past couple of months, I have virtually lived in my Dr Martens. At first, they did rub my feet a fair bit, but now they're rather comfy and so have ended up being paired with all manner of my outfits. What I really like about my DM's is that they seem to make even the most casual outfits just look that little bit more dressy - for someone who would probably otherwise wear trainers, this is an incredibly good thing, as these shoes do look really good with a lot of my autumn/winter outfits and will certainly be getting a fair bit of wear over the next few months.

A New Ring

I have really been looking to expand on my ring collection recently, as I have found that it's probably about time that I stop buying cheap rings that turn a funny colour after a few wears ( the amount of money I have spent on these sorts of rings is kind of ridiculous), and I'm instead trying to buy ones of a better quality. 

Accessorize have a particularly nice ring selection, and on a recent visit, after trying on a few different styles I finally opted for the cute one you can see in the image above. Made of Sterling Silver, I certainly didn't mind paying around £14 for this ring - I really love the simplistic style of it, plus the little black gem in the middle really appealed to me with it's wintry vibe.

Benefit Mini Concealer 

In terms of makeup, this little beauty has definitely proved pretty useful over the past few weeks, because not only is the concealer itself of a very good quality but the handy travel-size of the product means that I can easily pop it into my handbag to used when I'm out and about.

Due to it being the Airbrush concealer that Benefit brought out not too long ago, it is literally perfect at covering up any blemishes and red patches - plus, due to it's flawless application, it is easy to top up this product throughout the day without it looking all too cakey.

On a final (arguably pretty random) note, I feel like I have to mention my excitement at the approach of Christmas and the return of the dark nights. Every year I get excited for when the clocks go back, as it then feels like Christmas is finally on it's way, and although I do end up moaning about being cold a lot of the time, so far everything has been feeling pretty cosy so far with me being able to light my candles and put on my fairy lights!

Olivia xo

Affiliate Links have been used in this post.

Sweet Dreams with REN...

Sunday, 19 November 2017

I always feel pretty intrigued when REN let me know of a new item that they are soon to release, and this was to happen again just a couple of weeks ago when I learned of their new product, '& Now to Sleep'...

The idea of a scent that you spray onto your pillows and linen when you go to bed which helps you to relax before heading off to sleep, immediately appealed to me - as an A-Level student, I feel pretty accustomed to the stresses of school-work, and so this product seemed ideal to help create a more tranquil atmosphere for me of a night.

Containing a blend of frankincense and lavender, the smell of this spray is really quite comforting, and in my opinion, pretty perfect in creating a sense of warmth throughout the colder Autumn and Winter months. With it's adorable, perfectly designed packaging, I have so far really enjoyed spritzing a bit of this product around my bed of a night, as it creates a soothing atmosphere that ultimately smells pretty good.

What's more, I must also say how much I love the little bag that I received alongside me '& Now to Sleep' spray. Featuring a similar cute design to the packaging of my product, this bag is the perfect size to pop my new sleep spray into... however, I may well pop it into my handbag to use as a makeup bag too, because it's just so adorable!

After feeling pretty intrigued by this product from the off, I can say that within my first couple of weeks using it, it does seem to create a pretty calming surrounding for me to sleep in - of course though, I'm going to have to keep up with using it over the next few months to see how it helps me become more relaxed during say, exam season...

Olivia xo

You can find the '& Now to Sleep' Spray HERE

This post was sponsored by REN Skincare.

A New Bag

Sunday, 12 November 2017

A new season means a new handbag, right? Well, that's what I thought anyway, and so a few weeks ago I set about on a mission to find myself a new bag for the Autumn and Winter months.

After a few unsuccessful searches around the shops, I thought I would instead do a bit of online shopping, and eventually ended up on Bershka (one of my old favourites), where I found exactly the sort of handbag that I was looking for...

Out & About in Birmingham with my New Bag...
I had a few specific wants in my new bag: it needed to be black to match the majority of my Autumn/Winter wardrobe, it needed to have a cross-body strap, and it also needed to be big enough to fit all my necessities in, but at the same time not too massive (I know, I am a little bit picky). Anyway, the bag that I spotted on the Bershka website seemed to tick the boxes of all the above categories, and so I immediately decided to get it!

As you can hopefully see, this new bag of mine is pretty cute - for just £17.99, I have to admit that it was a bit of a bargain, especially when I have found the quality of Bershka items to be incredibly good in the past. I really love the look of it as despite being rather simple in terms of style, I can easily add a little something extra to it by tying my cute little M&S neck scarf onto it's handle. 

 What's more, it's also nice and roomy inside so fits all my bits and bobs in perfectly, and of course seems to pair well with the vast majority of my outfits. The long cross-body strap adds to the practicality, as it is pretty simple to just sling it across me when I am out and about, or have to carry additional bags (I do normally manage to accumulate a fair few shopping bags whilst out), which means that I have been using it pretty much every day recently and will probably carry on doing so for the foreseeable future.

Hopefully you all like my new handbag as much as I do... and if so, you can find it HERE.

Olivia xo

Affiliate Links were included in this post.

Beauty Buys From Bourjois

Sunday, 5 November 2017

As usual, upon paying a visit to Boots the other week for just one thing, I ended up coming out with multiple items. In my defence, there was 3 for 2 on all Bourjois Cosmetics... so, my one bottle of foundation ended up also turning into a new nail polish and a new lipstick!

I have used the Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation on multiple occasions now, and due to my Smashbox foundation all but running out recently, I thought it would be smart to opt for a drugstore item that I trust, to take it's place. They have actually changed up the bottle of this foundation since I last got it (that was some time ago though), but the product itself is still just as good as it used to be - I definitely class it as one of my favourite drugstore products, as it applies really well and seems to stay in place for the majority of the day, despite it's price tag of £9.99.

All That Jazz!

Sunday, 29 October 2017

I feel as though I am forever waffling on about nail polishes, and just the other week I actually posted about a new Essie polish that I bought especially for Autumn. Within that post, I also mentioned that I would really quite like to try out some new nail polish brands (other than just my usual Essie)...and so, it was a rather lovely surprise to have All That Jazz send me over some beautiful nail products just a few days ago!

If I'm going to be perfectly honest, I hadn't actually heard of All That Jazz before, but due my love of trying out products from different brands, I felt pretty intrigued so immediately set about having a browse of their website. On the site, I was pretty overwhelmed by the amount of gorgeous nail polish colours featured - there is literally a colour for every occasion and every time of year on there (feel free to check it out for yourself HERE), and although I found it quite a challenge to pick out my favourite shades, I eventually opted for 'Opportunity Knocks' and 'Dance With Me'.

Baking - Cherry and Chocolate Cookies

Sunday, 22 October 2017

After what seemed like an age, I finally got around to doing some baking the other week. I really felt in the mood to make some cookies, so after a browse of various recipes, I eventually found one that sounded rather tempting on the Good Food Website... that recipe was for Cherry and Chocolate Cookies, and seeing as my baking of them went pretty well, I thought I would share the recipe with you all today!


For the Cookies:

200g Unsalted Butter
85g Muscovado Sugar
85g Golden Caster Sugar
1 Egg
225g Self-Raising Flour
50g Milk Chocolate
50g White Chocolate
85g Glacé Cherries

To go on Top:

Around 100-150g of Milk Chocolate


1. Firstly, I preheated the oven to 180 degrees celsius, and then I put the butter, egg, and sugars into a mixing bowl and beat them together.

2. Then, I also added the flour, chocolates and cherries, and mixed them in as well - for the chocolate, I just broke the bars into their squares, and with the cherries, I just chopped them in half.

3. Next, I spooned blobs of the mixture onto baking trays (making sure that they were well spread out so that they didn't all stick together whilst cooking), and popped them into the oven for 15 minutes.

4. Once the cookies were baked, I took them out of the oven and left them to cool for a good 10 minutes or so. I then melted the remaining chocolate and drizzled it over the top of the cookies (as you can see from the pictures of my cookies, this doesn't have to be neat!).

And that's all there really was to making these cookies - they were so simple to do, and tasted so good, that I will definitely be baking them again at some point in the future!

Olivia xo

P.S Find the original recipe HERE.

Vinyl Bargains and Purchases...

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

It's that time again... I have been waiting for a couple of months to amass a fair few records before writing up another haul, but now with quite a few purchased I thought it would be a great time to tell you all about them... 

Firstly, some charity shop finds...

'How Soon is Now?' - The Smiths

Now this 7" single was a fair bit more expensive than my other charity shop purchases - for £9.99, it did take me a little longer to decide on whether to actually buy this one, but after some serious thought I just went for it. 'How Soon is Now?' is one of my favourite Smiths songs, so to own it on 7" feels pretty great... and the money that I spent on it also went to charity so that makes me feel good too.

'Regatta de Blanc' - The Police

I was definitely pretty shocked to have found this in Oxfam (no offence to any fans of Cliff Richard, but the shelves are normally just stacked with his albums), and so I just had to buy it. It was only £4.99, which I don't think is all that bad for an album by The Police, and considering how good an LP it actually is, I definitely didn't mind parting with my money.

Favourite Songs - 'Message in a Bottle' & 'Bring on the Night'

Spending the Weekend in Sheffield...

Sunday, 15 October 2017

After being back at home for just around a month after my holiday to Italy, I was recently on the move again... although, this time it was to spend a couple of nights in Sheffield.

The main reason for our trip up to Sheffield, was that we were going to see Rob Brydon play at the City Hall on the evening, but it made sense to spend the day exploring the city too. I have actually been to Sheffield a couple of times before, and as I remembered it to be a pretty lovely city, I was rather excited to visit again!

So, me being me, I made sure to research a few places to visit before we made our journey up North - whilst doing so, I discovered that the city actually holds a fair few record shops, and I eventually ended up in Record Junkee (which is situated close to Primark, so proved pretty handy), where I perused through the thousands of records for some time, before eventually coming away with a Frankie Goes To Hollywood single.

I did also pop into HMV a little later to get another couple of records (although more on those another time), after I had a little search of the city for some vintage clothing shops. For ages, I had wanted to visit a COW vintage store, and luckily enough, Sheffield had one... however, although there were lots of cool items in-store, I didn't actually find anything in particular that I wanted to buy. But, I do know that a couple of the cities that I will be visiting in the near future also have COW shops, so perhaps on those occasions I might find something to buy!

After that small disappointment though, we headed to The Botanist for a drink (which is situated in Leopold Square, which is a rare cute area that you can hopefully see in the photo above), before then going back to the hotel to get ready for our evening out...

When it rains for most of the evening, so you have to find somewhere suitable to take some outfit photos...
Denim Jacket - Topshop
Top - Afflecks Palace, Manchester
Trousers - Zara

I do feel like we had a super busy day in Sheffield, because pretty soon after showering and getting changed, we were off into the city centre once again.

By this time though, it was raining, so my idea to take a few outfit photos for this blog post was proving a bit of a challenge. However, we eventually decided to take a few (with me looking as awkward as usual) in the Winter Gardens which are helpfully indoors, and happened to be right next to the restaurant that we were going to be eating in.

Ego is a chain of restaurants that serves Mediterranean-style food, and we do actually have one near us in Lichfield so had visited a few times before and loved the food. This meal was no different, as I was served with three lovely dishes - starting with some Grilled Goat's Cheese (I am OBSESSED with Goat's Cheese), then going on to some Chickpea, Lemon and Coriander Cakes, before finishing with Tiramisu for desert (another of my favourite foods), the food I ate was literally gorgeous.

My part of my lovely dinner at Ego - Chickpea, Lemon and Coriander Cakes (plus some fries on the side).

Following on from a great meal, we then saw a great performance by Rob Brydon at the City Hall... it was pretty late by the time we got back to the hotel, and I was pretty tired after a full-on day. 

However, I must say that I had a really nice time in Sheffield, and I hope you all enjoyed hearing little about my trip, and getting to see some of my photos!

Olivia xo 
template design by Studio Mommy (© copyright 2015)
09 10