Winter Coat Watch

Friday, 28 September 2012
As it's starting to get colder and the mornings and evenings are getting darker, I thought it was about time I started to think about buying a new winter coat. I'm quite looking forward to the winter months actually, I'm definitely more of a winter girl than a summer girl - give me boots, tights and a jumper over bare legs and sandals any day! Also I'm much rather be cosying up on a warm sofa watching TV with a cup of hot chocolate than say being at the beach, burning in the hot sun, trying to eat an ice cream and being pestered by wasps! 

When it comes to winter wear I'm not one of those sensible people who buys a "classic coat" that they can reuse year after year, mainly because I change my mind quite a lot so it's unlikely I'll like something long enough to wear it two years in a row!  So this means I end up splashing out on a new coat every year.  

I've been doing a bit of online browsing and haven't committed to anything yet - but here's some of my favourites so far. It's helped to give me an idea of what I actually want, so I think I'm looking for something with a hood, probably with a swing style (as it's the most flattering for my shape), or maybe a duffle coat.

1) ASOS £75.00
2) Very £49.00
3) Debenhams £49.00
4) Next £60.00
5) Dorothy Perkins £62.10*


I'm off to Primark after work this evening (when it should be nice and quiet!) so I'll have a little nose around their coats section to see if there are any cheap alternatives out there - fingers crossed! I might also have a look for some jumpers - ooooh I can't wait to start wearing cost clothes again! Have you started shopping for your winter wardrobe yet?  

*RRP is £69 but DP's have a 30% off deal on just now

Paris Highlights

Thursday, 20 September 2012
Hello I'm back from a lovely 5 days in Paris!  We had a great time taking in the sights, eating lots of pastries and frites (not together), watching crap US crime dramas in bed (it was the only English TV they had!) and doing lots and lots of walking (my poor feet are blistered and sore!).  Normal blogging service will resume at the weekend, but for now here's some highlights from our trip....

an obligatory Eiffel Tower pic

relaxing by the fountains at the Trocadero 

enjoying a pastry for breakfast in the Tuilleries 

gawping at the stunning architecture at The Louvre 

lusting after amazing Egyptian jewellery (The Louvre) 

enjoying the (albeit foggy) view of Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower 

smiling smugly at B's fear of heights! 

enjoying a river cruise, complete with funky audio commentary sticks

visiting Notre Dame 

being excited about travelling on a double-decker train 


Disneylaaaand! 


hearing B scream "FUCK OFFF!" on the Tower of Terror 

chaining a padlock to the Pont Des Arts bridge (yep, we wrote out initials on a plaster!) 

amazing steak and frites 

mmmm giant macarons 

looking forward to cooking "Paris Pasta" (using up my Euro coins at Duty Free) 

Holidays: The Liquid Allowance Dilemma

Thursday, 13 September 2012
I'm off to Paris at the weekend for a 4 night holiday with B (yaaaay!).  We're only taking hand luggage which means I need to fit all of my beauty products into a tiny 20x20cm liquid allowance bag - c'est impossible!!

I've been sorting through all of my stuff recently though and have worked out which things I absolutely need to take, which things I can switch for minis, and which things I can leave and just buy when we're there.  I thought it might be quite useful to share what I'm taking on here as some of your might find yourself in a similar predicament next time you're flying, so hopefully you can use some of these tips!

Also before we go on, I apologise for the crap quality of the pictures - I took them on my iphone at night and I didn't realise they were so rubbish until I uploaded them!  Really should have taken them in the daytime, iphone photos look so much better in natural light.  Anyway....!

Read on to find out how I managed to get from THIS....


...to THIS!



Hair

Firstly let's look at hair products.  Over a normal 5 day period I use various lotions and potions on my hair as well as the usual shampoo and conditioner, including volumising spray, heat protective spray, dry shampoo and hair oil.  To downsize I'm taking a small bottle of Clynol colour care shampoo (from a Glossybox), a mini Aussie 3 Minute Miracle, and a Paul Mitchell hair oil treatment (again from a Glossybox).  I'm just going to have to go with the old backcombing technique instead of relying on dry shampoo and volumising spray to give my roots some "oomph"!





Makeup

With makeup I tend to rotate my 3 favourite foundations (and actually mix some of them usually - as the Mac one is a bit too light for me).  I also rotate my 2 favourite mascaras, and use different Revlon Lip Butters depending on my mood.  To downsize I'm taking away my options by only taking 1 foundation and 1 mascara, along with a concealer (in case I get holiday spots!) and 2 lip butters.





Skincare

My skincare routine is where I'm making the biggest sacrifice, going from a cleanser, toner and moisturiser routine to just Simple Cleansing Wipes.  Up until a few months ago this basically was my entire skincare routine (seriously) - I used the Simple wipes morning and evening, no moisturiser or anything (I used an exfoliater once a week in the shower but that was it).  Now though I spend a lot more time (and money) on my skin so it's going to feel a bit strange going back to a lazy-girl routine, even if it's just for a few days!  The only other skincare item I'm taking is a facial SPF - I've got mini bottles of REN and Elizabeth Arden SPF 15 so I'll take both of those.




Perfume

I've got quite a big selection of perfumes in my drawer but the main ones I use are Valentino Valentina, Vera Wang Princess Night, and Calvin Klein Euphoria Blossom -  unfortunately they are the 3 with the biggest bottles so there's no way I can take them with me.  Luckily for me though I have a few perfume samples that I really like - 2 are "try"'s that I got through What's In My Handbag.com and the Prada sample came free with a Escentual order - so I'm going to take them instead.  So from 3 big bottles to 3 tiny samples - that's a lot of space saved!




Everything Else

Some of these are essentials that I can't leave behind or find smaller alternatives - i.e. my contact lenses and deodorant - but I'm planning on buying shower gel and sun lotion at the airport once we're through security as you can take a bag of purchases with you on the plane that doesn't count as part of your liquid allowance - sneaky!




So there we have it - that's how I'm planning on fitting my beauty essentials into my hand luggage.  I will probably find it annoying not having all my usual lotions and potions at hand, but I'm sure I'll be having such a lovely time that I won't care if I can't use dry shampoo or exfoliate or use a face mask for 5 days!



Now that I've packed it all up I'm actually shocked at how much room I have left  - so I think I'm going to add a few more things in, like a second foundation and mascara, a little mini shower gel, and my Yves Rocher anti-blemish lotion (ooh I might also take the Origins Spot Remover just in case the sun gives me a breakout!).

Let me know if you have any other useful packing tips for me in the comments!

Au revoir!!



Primark Haul September 2012

Wednesday, 12 September 2012
I popped to Primark on Sunday to pick up some things for my trip to Paris next weekend.  It was quite difficult to find holiday clothes though as the shop was full of autumn/winter stuff (loads of new things I want to get for the new season!) but I managed to resist buying jumpers and boots and got myself a few nice bits and bobs. 

Black High-Top Trainers Primark
Black High-Top Trainers Primark
black high-top trainers £8.00

These aren't exactly what I was looking for (I've been lusting after a pair of high-top hidden wedge trainers for weeks) but they will do for walking around Paris, and at £8 they were a right bargain!

Primark Black Studded Clutch Bag

Primark Black Studded Clutch Bag

Primark Black Studded Clutch Bag
black studded clutch £8.00

I LOVE this clutch - I saw it when I was on my way to the till and was like, oooh I'm having that!  It almost exactly matches my black studded slipper shoes that I got from Primark last month too, so will go quite nicely with a jeans, t-shirt and blazer combo.

Primark Stretch Pearl Bracelet

Primark Stretch Pearl Bracelet

Primark Stretch Pearl Bracelet
pearl stretch bracelet £3.00

Primark Silver and Pearl Spike Necklace

Primark Silver and Pearl Spike Necklace
silver and pearl spike necklace £5.00
Black Heart Studded Purse Primark

Black Heart Studded Purse Primark
black heart print purse £4.00


Black Saddle Bag Primark

Black Saddle Bag Primark

Black Saddle Bag Primark
black saddle bag £4.00

I thought this would be perfect for sightseeing as it's got an overbody strap so I don't need to faff about with it over my arm, and also it's quite secure (as it folds over and fastens at the bottom) so I shouldn't need to worry too much about being pickpocketed!

Black and White Ponte Dress Primark
black & white fit and flare dress £16.00

Not sure I'll take this one to Paris as it's a little bit tight across the chest (a few more weeks at the gym will sort that out!), but it will be perfect for more formal days at work like client meetings etc.  

Pearl Beaded Pocket Nude Cardigan Primark

Pearl Beaded Pocket Nude Cardigan Primark
beaded pocket detail nude cardigan £14.00

Saw this on a mannequin and loved it so much I went in search of it.  The pearl detail on the pockets is sooo pretty, and I think it will look lovely over a dress.