Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Wednesday Wishlist: another Topshop edit


I'm currently on my way home from Sheffield on a stuffy (and not very pleasant smelling) coach after attending Olly Murs' opening night of his Never Been Better tour, and what a show it was! My love for that cheeky chappy is almost as strong as my love for Topshop, which of course is what today's Wednesday wishlist represents.

We're now into April and the weather seems to be gradually getting worse, which is pretty normal for the UK, but not okay for my current tastes. I'm loving the fine whites, greys and the quirky denim trend but I can't see them going down well (or staying clean) in this mucky weather. The same goes for the complimenting Bardot style and the odd vibrant print that is a staple for a summer wardrobe. I have my eye on so many lovely bits but just don't think it's appropriate to start buying yet *holds temptation for as long as possible*.

Is there anything you're loving lately?

Bridie x

Monday, 30 March 2015

What I wore: culottes and camel mules

*Shoes - C/O DUO | Trench - Stradivarius | Culottes - ASOS | Top - Boohoo | Clutch - ASOS

I never thought I'd see myself in a pair of culottes. I always believed I'd look like a stumpy, circus clown but it wasn't until I found this pair on my weekly ASOS browse that I was tempted to give them a go. Luckily, my risk pulled off, they were the perfect length, not too 'woah your trousers have taken the loose gangster appearance way too far' kind and they were white which means they were an all round winner. However, with ankle grazed trousers, you need to hunt down the ideal heels to A) match and B) allow your legs to appear lengthened which is where this beautiful suede camel duo (excuse the pun) fall into the equation. They are, without a doubt, the nicest, simple but still extremely chic, pair of mules I've ever received and with my current nude and neutral shade admiration, they couldn't have arrived at a better time. 

As we move into spring (or not! Where's this heatwave we were promised?!) I'm absolutely loving the 'barely there' tones so I think the soft mixture of colours in this carefully crafted outfit really compliment each other. Hopefully my choice of clothing brightens up those Monday blues! Although I can imagine it's going to take hell of a lot more than me attempting to pose in front of the garage to bring some joy.

P.S. Don't forget, you can enter my giveaway to win a Blue Vanilla dress. It ends in 12 days time!

Bridie x

Sunday, 29 March 2015

The Sunday Natter: why I'm glad social media didn't exist when I was a kid

Social media is no longer a thing of the past, in fact it's reached the point where it's slowly becoming our future. Now, I'm not going to lie and say I absolutely hate the idea because I don't. It does have it's advantages, it's powerful, you can keep in touch with all your friends, family, stay on track with the latest info and its statistics have a great effect on your success but it also causes a lot of problems and is often the barrier to normality. Having young children around me, I've witnessed first hand how controlling it's becoming. 2 year olds are being bought iPhones, 10 year olds are oozing to become the next Zoella. Soon enough, babies are going to be born with a full set of social media accounts and a whole load of pointless drama behind them. I'm the traditional kind so I believe children should be children until they're old enough to find their own, individual steps in life which is why today's Sunday Natter post is about why I'm glad the internet take over wasn't around when I was younger (my oh my, don't I feel old!).

I actually had the access and freedom to express the characteristics of being a kid. | From the age of 3 to around 12, all I did was play outside with the other kids on the street. I experienced the fresh air, was able to enjoy direct socialising and racing down the hill on my push scooter was actually pretty beneficial exercise-wise. Now it seems more children are cooped up indoors with only their technology for company and FaceTime for their interaction between friends. Gone are the days you used to knock on your neighbours' door from morning to night begging them to play out or inviting yourself in for tea. Hello are the days you ditch the exploration for locking yourself in your room like a hermit. I remember loving my Bratz dolls and Betty Spaghetti figures right up until the start of high school and now those are being ditched and replaced with parties and underage drinking advertised all over Facebook. Not only that, children are so easily brought down by others if they're not participating in the typical 'mature' activities and thinking about it, it's actually quite sad. Unfortunately, I think they're missing out on the finer, less advanced things in life.

Communication was obtainable. | There's nothing like having your head stuck in your phone scrolling through Instagram and Twitter to stop you from conversing. We all do it, admittedly I lose all concentration within an instance, but when children are blocking out nearly all interaction it becomes an issue in all directions. I feel like face to face communication is no longer key: kids are in their own social media bubble at family gatherings and the opportunities of sitting down together and talking is limited. Not only is allowing your child to ignore any public event and/or everyday connection an annoyance, it's also quite problematic. It seems social media is a place headed to when thoughts and feelings (whether that be from excitement or sadness and concern) are needed to be vented and I don't know about anyone else, but if I had a child, I'd like them to be as open and honest as possible, away from the internet. We can't even savour the moment anymore without directing it to strangers and craving attention has become all too familiar. 

I didn't feel pressurised to grow up. | I almost feel sorry for the children of today because adult-like behaviours are thrown and forced upon them way too quickly. I have such a biased opinion towards YouTuber's, 'Twitter famous' people and more than often, false representations of whom they really are. In some ways they can be a role model to a child, but in others they set boundaries that children are eager to imitate. I can't remember ever being so knowledgable on makeup or subject to a duck pose and a selfie during my single figured youth and now, it's crazy how children are cultivated on trivial matters, shoving the education side of things to the back of their mind. Understandably, children love to be the best version of themselves but what concerns me is, some don't even know their identification yet. It's difficult growing up and being dependent on only one certain way to act is surely going to make it worse. Children don't need to be competing with each other, they shouldn't have to log on to the internet to see someone they wish to be and start downgrading themselves. Plus, it would save some future embarrassment. Cringe-worthy moments are all part of developing, but I have a feeling the YOLO sayings will be a head in hand kind of matter in 10 years time. 

It was a safer place. | The current world is a scary place, the world of social media is even more frightening. The proven fact that parents aren't always aware of what children are exposed to online is a cause for concern. There's no doubt about it, children are going to become more and more attached to social media and the Internet which is why I think it's so important to advise and make them aware of what they share. When I was a kid, the only access to a computer I had was the gigantic kind with dial up broadband, Eastenders makeover game and the CBBC message boards. Now, just clicking on one link can lead to danger. It's not guaranteed children are protected from harm on their social media accounts and I just don't think I'd be able to put my trust into them. The same goes for shaming, labelling and stereotyping. Bullying is another negative factor of the rise in social media. It has existed for years but now it seems more and more bullies are getting away with demeaning and barbaric nastiness through anonymous cyber bullying. This can lead to a huge downfall in a child's self esteem and well being leading to much deeper consequences. Evolving through life is tough enough without social media being added to the mix and I'm so glad I wasn't part of that.

I was able to make my own mind up and see things for how they really were. | With social media comes the actual media and with the actual media, comes in your face headlines, demoralising opinions, lies, false bullshit, a need for negative attention, narcissism and drama. I don't think it's necessary for children to be introduced to a debating society, escalating arguments, lack of decision making, and only one version of the truth. Social media shows signs of all this involvement and it's something children are starting to become obsessed with and attached to. Falling back on my previous points, I think you should let children learn as they go along and allow them to strive for an ordinary life. After all, at that age, the pleasure of rolling around in mud is much more interesting than how many likes you can get.

What are your thoughts on children and social media?

Bridie x

Giveaway: Win a Blue Vanilla Baroque Print Dress

*Baroque Print White Collar Dress - C/O Blue Vanilla

You all know how much I love a pretty patterned dress as much as the next person, especially when it's gifted over from one of my most valued brands but what do you do when that dress just isn't suitable for your treacherous shape? Well you give another person the chance to flute around elegantly of course. Blue Vanilla kindly sent over this dress for me to sample but unfortunately it doesn't fit properly (perhaps this bikini body guide is working after all) which is why I am giving it away to one lucky winner. The dress is a size small, designed to fit a size 10 but there's probably a little room in there for some fluctuation. As lovely as it is, I was fully clueless on how to style it so I'd love to know how you'd make it your own. Whether it's for an event, a summer trip, or even paired with tights in this god awful spring we seem to be having, let me know in the comments!

Now, on to the giveaway. The giveaway is held through Rafflecopter and all you need to do is enter the mandatory options (and any more add ons of your choice) to ensure your entry. The giveaway begins at midnight (which when this post is live will have already started) and ends in 2 weeks time, on the 12th April. The giveaway is open internationally and the winner will be picked entirely from random. Good luck! Bridie x

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thursday, 26 March 2015

Personal: a tribute to my dad

Following last year's heartfelt blog post, I wasn't going to bring my personal life into the shadows again but after my visit to the crematorium this afternoon, the placing of flowers, lighting of a sentimental candle, and the pattern of both sincere, humorous and emotional memories racing by, I thought I owed my Dad a reminder of his influence on me as a human being. He may not be on earth, it's impossible for me to express my words face to face, but I believe he's always around me, by my side and his spirit is kept alive by the forever gracing commemoration we share within the family. It's those little signs that bring me comfort and I hope he realises just how much we still and always will care, and how his importance will never leave.

Today marks 6 years since I lost the most important man in my life. 6 years on and there's still a huge hole missing from my life. My Dad passed away at midday on the 26th March 2009, with only my mum beside him. My mum arrived at the hospital, and ten minutes later he had slipped away with his hand in hers. To this day, I believe he waited for her. They met when they were teens and loved the bones of each other. Life's unfortunate circumstances got in the way but that tenderness and attachment never left. She still has the letters he used to write to her, the 'I'm sorry' cards he sent when they'd argued, and we have dozens of photos and videos on hand to allow us to embrace the person he shaped us into and to never overlook those treasured times.

Dad, I miss you more than words can say
I miss your dodgy haircuts, some of those bowl cuts you had as a kid were terrible.
I miss your annoying sense of humour, I kind of got used to you eating the left over, out of date crisps loudly in my ears and running off like a giggling child.
I miss your smelly feet, seriously sometimes the stench was unbearable.
I miss your love for Oasis, half of the time I thought Noel and Liam were part of the family. 
I miss your awful jokes, and sometimes even inappropriate insults.
I miss those tellings off you used to get from mum, she definitely wore the trousers. 
I miss your lack of technology knowledge, with how advanced it is now I often wonder how far you'd get until you'd needed my input.
I miss your all round weirdness, I think I inherited part of it. 
I miss your funny walk, the head back, shoulders forward kind of strut. 
I miss your perspective, your way of thinking and acting was always so laid back.
I miss your voice, I'd do anything to hear it in front of me again. 
I miss your energy, you were just a big ball of fun.
I miss your dressing up, you putting on a man-thong at Christmas time still makes me laugh. 
I miss your guidance, you taught me some of life's most valued lessons.
I miss our activity filled quality time together, those bike rides, sledging in the snow and having breakfast out every Saturday morning.
I miss your homemade meals, you were a brilliant cook. 
I miss your dedication to your hometown, I don't think there was ever a time you didn't boast about the typical Yorkshire man you were.
I miss those piles of hard back shiny paper you used to struggle to bring home from work just so we had enough to keep our colouring in on board.
I miss those daddy-daughter moments that no one else but you will ever get. 
I miss your patience, I know I must have caused you some stress growing up yet you always filled my aura with happiness. 
I miss your courage, you admitted your failures, you pleaded with your problems, and you were the strongest, bravest man right until your last breath.
I miss your hard work, you tried and tried till you could try no more and for that, I appreciate.
I miss your security and your care, you provided everything we ever needed, from your love, to those beloved Barbie dolls I begged you for. 
I miss your passion, you held me in your arms and wept when I was born and that devotion carried on during the days we spent together.
I miss not looking further into your side of life, it's not until I've grown older that I understand how tough it was for you.
I miss your input, you did the best for us and I know that.
I miss your excitement, you absolutely loved being around us and making and capturing memories.
I miss those hugs, the crippling kind with your massive shoulders.
I miss your wisdom and integrity, that legacy will always live on. 
I miss the fact you'll never be able to walk me down the aisle, that realisation hurts the most.
I miss your presence completely, you'll always be my king

As anniversaries come back around, the ache in my heart returns. I can feel the emptiness in the air and sometimes it's hard to find the suitable words to speak and to bring comfort. It's grasping that awareness of what we once knew, being hit in the face with the realisation that we won't see you again until it's our turn to fly and that's when you discover that even the most trivial things were the ones that mattered. I want you back where you belong, I wish I could turn back time but then I have to think of what you needed. You needed peace, relief and freedom and maybe, hopefully, you are in a better place. Heaven stole your body but your soul will forever be preserved. Those flickers of light, gentle, cold breezes and formed hearts I receive from time to time are little reminders you're still here so please don't ever stop sending the signals down.

Dad, you fragranced my life with emotion, joy and even annoyance but your time on earth gave me an insight as to why you need to cherish every living moment with your father.

You're gone but never ever forgotten and will be kept close to my heart for eternity. I'm tired of being sad, let's celebrate your life instead.

Lots of love always, Bridie x

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Wishlist Wednesday: the summer swimwear

As the world goes into turmoil over the firing of Jeremy Clarkson and Zayn Malik leaving One Direction, I'm sat swooning over the collection of bikinis and swimsuits gracing my favourite stores as summer approaches. Thankfully, I'm not a fan of either subjects so I can continue my wishing of summer hurrying up. Swimwear shopping is always my most enjoyed type of hauling as I'm never stuck for choice. In fact, I'm spoiled for choice and end up buying way more than I could ever fit into Jet 2's luggage compartment. 

The bold and vibrant patterns in my wardrobe are slowly being replaced with clean, basic and staple colours and this is also reflecting in this years swimwear choice. I love a mixture of patterns and prints just to throw in a change for each day on holiday but the white, black and striped sets are just as appealing. I wouldn't say I'm too fussy with the shapes and the cuts, I just go with what I feel comfortable in and what looks acceptable on top of those wobbly parts (oh, and the fact I wouldn't aim for anything will dozens of cut outs because awkward tan lines are a no go). As I'm determined to reach my bikini body goal (with a little help from Kayla Itsines and a whole lot of struggle), hopefully I'll be able to venture into the world of plunge necks and tie bottoms and scrap the high waist, safer structures. One thing I never do, however, is go overboard with the price I pay as I think, no matter how high the quality, the chlorine strangely turns them a warm, yellowy colour which ends up being irreversible. In terms of where to purchase, I do tend to stick to the high street. As mentioned in my previous Primark haul, I believe their selection is the best; not only affordable but pretty, neat and simple. If I do want to treat myself to a differential and often more chic design and style, I'll always head to places like Topshop, ASOS or Motel. 

Where do you shop for swimwear? Do you have your eye on anything yet? It's never too early for planning the summer activities!

Bridie x

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

A very black and white Primark haul

The only time I seriously consider YouTube is when I'm well and truly shopped out Primark style. My awkwardness, clumsiness and god awful voice is pushed to the back of my mind because all I want to do, for once in my life, is to display the array of Primark finds in suitable lighting with me giving a real demonstration on how they look. I find photographing clothing and accessories way harder than photographing products but hopefully you get the jist of what I've picked up on yet another over-spendy Primark haul. 

That jist being near enough all black and white; I've always loved basic black and white clean cut colours but my love just keeps on growing, especially when I 'just pop' into Primark. I think I'm now at that point where I spend half my life trailing the 3 floors of Trinity browsing the freshly new, modern and recent stock that just keeps on building (seriously, every time I go in there, it's being updated with something new that I just can't resist!). You must be telling a few porkies if you say you can enter Primark with the intention of just purchasing the necessities you went in for because once you're in there, it's like a force is vigorously pulling you towards every inch of goodness. Even the rails you aren't particularly appealed to, you still have to route through just in case you miss anything and then have to face the fact you may never see it again.

Lately, I've been drawn towards the homeware and the shoe department in Primark. They have some really lovely unique and reasonable pieces to brighten up your home and the same goes for the shoes. Their current sandal game is extremely strong, whether that's a flat sandal or a block heel, there's just about every choice visible. As you can probably see, this reflects in the following unveiled list...

From left to right: black pointed heels - £12.00 | tan block heel sandals - £14.00 | rose gold sliders - £8.00 | white sliders - £4.00 | snake print sandals - £4.00

throw blanket - £3.00 | patterned mini drawers - £5.00 | pineapple candle - £2.00

small cosmetic bag - £3.00 | earrings - £2.00

jacquard bag - £8.00
grey/ice blue bag - £8.00
monochrome bikini top - £8.00 | monochrome bikini bottoms - £4.00

geometric skirt - £4.00

striped high neck knit - £5.00
black polo neck top - £8.00 | monochrome striped knit - £12.00

white boho crop top - £5.00 | black boho crop top - £5.00

cream scuba coat - £23.00 | d-ring waistcoat - £17.00

navy blanket wrap coat - £10.00 (sale) | v neck d-ring top - £10.00

emoji t-shirt - £6.00 | striped night shirt - £8.00

white cotton trousers - £7.00

I don't think I've ever been this pleased with a Primark haul. Apart from the odd unavailable size (like the white version of the high neck top I was wanting) I managed to collect lots of brilliant value, gorgeous items that will see me through to the spring/summer. I very nearly jumped for joy when I spotted the waistcoat and the scuba round neck coat (one left in my size, if that isn't fate waiting for me then I don't know what is!) and I didn't hesitate in chucking them in my basket with the rest of the tangled mess that was weighing my hands down. The d-ring style which is around everywhere at the moment is such a classy detail that can make or break an outfit and this one is almost identical the Topshop one! They had the exact same one in black and it took so much power for me to discipline my spending needs (but it hasn't taken away the fact I am still lusting over the black version). The coat is also a great dupe of this current Zara one and that's what I love so much about Primark; almost three quarters of the price but still a decent quality and not cheap looking in the slightest. There's nothing better than a member of the public asking where you got *insert said item here* from and you smugly answer, "oh, it's only Primark", like the ultimate goal has been met right there and then.

Once again, I definitely do have to clarify this wasn't all bought at once, it's been spread out over the last few months and has mainly been bought through the funds of my eBay selling talents (although who needs an excuse when Primark's involved?!). Unsurprisingly, it doesn't look like my spending stops there as Primark have released a sneak peek of their summer stock and there's some serious soul pleasing bikinis and beachwear on there. I've already began a small amount of my summer shopping but I think I can always rely on Primark to give me that final push.

Have you picked up anything in Primark, lately?

Bridie x

Sunday, 22 March 2015

The Sunday Natter: 35 little things that make me happy

Supposedly, last Friday was International Day of Happiness yet I woke up feeling down in the dumps, all horrible and panicky and I definitely didn't feel like a room without a roof. It wasn't until later on, when I was sat chatting with my grandma with a hot chocolate and some peanut M&M's in her luxury conservatory with huge windows and one hell of a view, the sky turning from cloudy to a fiery orange as the sun set, that I gave my head a shake and thought actually, there's so many small reasons why I shouldn't be seizing the savours. Just sat here, enjoying some quality time, being fed and made comfortable by the one woman who loves being in my company and would do anything to maintain a happy, healthy lifestyle for me is a solid reason I should be turning that frown upside down. Outweighing the negative with positive is something I'm trying to do more of because I believe reminding yourself of the small pursuits that bring pleasure and satisfaction to both your mood and your general well being are sure to transform you from a pessimist to an optimist. In aid of International Happiness Day (despite it being two days late) I made my own list of life's simple enjoyments.

35 things that make me happy:
1) Fresh flowers on a spring day.
2) Waking up and realising you still have hours left to sleep.
3) Stepping off a plane into the holiday heat.
4) Finding an item of clothing that looks just as good on you as it did on the model.
5) Getting lost in a good book.
6) Getting into the car just as my favourite song comes on.
7) Seeing my family smile.
8) When people prove they do care.
9) Having a good hair, makeup and brow day.
10) A lazy day filled with Disney films, chocolate and duvets.
11) Road trips to the seaside.
12) Fresh, white interior.
13) Food. Especially the indulgent junk kind I shouldn't really be eating.
14) Those long chats which end in plenty of laughs and hugs. 
15) Reminiscing on old memories and remembering the special times.
16) Beautiful photography and discovering new places which enable the chance to snap some beauties.
17) Being carefree, having those moments where you let life slip through your fingers.
18) Friendly strangers going out of their way to help you.
19) Receiving mail directly addressed to me.
20) Accidentally hearing someone say something nice about me.
21) When someone messages me first because I know they were thinking about me. 
22) The sound of a child's laughter and the other comical stories a 4 year old can tell you. 
23) Planning outfits for an occasion.
24) New lipstick.
25) Being proud of who I am, telling myself I am worthy.
26) Making people feel better.
27) Knowing the answer to a question instantly.
28) A candle lit bath.
29) Changing into pyjamas after a busy day.
30) Thinking of a creative idea and getting down dirty making it happen.
31) Live music.
32) The atmposphere when the lights drop at a gig.
33) Having an anxiety free day.
34) That instant connection you have when you meet people for the first time which makes you question why you were ever without them.
35) Alexa Chung and her babing sense of style.

What makes you happy?

Bridie x

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Life: the Beauty Matters salon relaunch event

Last week I attended the exclusive relaunch of the Beauty Matters salon in Garforth, Leeds, and as soon as I stepped into the glorious room full of fresh, white interior, crystal lighting and neatly set work spaces, I instantly felt privileged to have been invited. Unfamiliar of the founding of Beauty Matters and what it had to offer, I was intrigued to get to know and soon learned it was an independent, unique brand which focuses on offering a range of non-surgical treatments and products, not just the everyday aspects you come across at an ordinary salon (although those are also available and by the looks of it, completely pampering!). 

After I'd finished eyeing up the extremely appetising canapés, champagne and chocolate desserts we were greeted with, I was ushered to take a look at said treatments on show upstairs and for my entertainment, this is where I spent most of the night. 

The beautiful detail continued throughout with the staple chandelier brightening up the staircase that lead to the many rooms. What made this event stand out from previous opening nights is the way there was an open door to view everything which was tested, along with the helpful, enthusiastic and incredibly friendly staff providing information, so you could receive an insight and learn for yourself as you worked your way around. The first private and peaceful room I had a peek in was the Colonic Hydrotherapy room, something which at first didn't sound like a pleasant experience (and something I don't think I'd personally choose), but something which when contemplating the healthy, rehydrating and detoxing benefits for both digestion problems and bad toxins, became more convincing.

Just across the landing opposite the Colonic Hydrotherapy Room was a popular, and much busier room featuring a first hand demonstration of 3D-lipo. I was desperate to have a nosy, and that's not just because I have many wobbly bits I'd love to lose! To say there was a group of captivated girls gathered round the bedside, the therapist and the lady having the procedure were surprisingly relaxed, professional, instructive and even partial to a giggle or two. We were advised how this advanced, innovative technology actually works and how just eight sessions can treat cellulite, contribute towards skin tightening and remove fat in a non-aggressive way. I was slightly fascinated by how simple it all appeared to be, the machine is held suctioned on the desired areas and is followed by electro and cyro therapy which kills 20-40% of the fat cells in a natural way as they dissolve over the course of several months, backed up with a couple more high target treatment services. The lady everyone had their eyes on assured us there was no pain felt, only a slight tingly, cold feeling. In fact, laying down straight for one hour was probably the most uncomfortable part, and even then you are put at ease. Unsurprisingly, the lipo has had many positive reviews and has taken the celebrity world by storm. It can't be a hard life when you step into a salon and come out glowing, feeling like a brand new (less loose) woman. I'd love to try it out one day!

Next up, we visited the room next door where there was an even bigger queue. Inside there was an inviting, almost extraterrestrial machine ready for us to stick our sweaty faces in (seriously, it was very warm in there) and have some special photos taken which unveiled every little feature in our skin (eeek, a pretty terrifying thought!). As we waited for the exciting skin analysis awaiting us, we were briefed on the promoted Environ skincare brand which linked in to the importance of looking after your skin. Environ is a highly effective vitamin-rich skin care brand from South Africa which claims to make the best skin care in the world, through a philosophy of well researched, scientific skin care. There are a number of methods and rhythmic products that when formed together as a package would most likely become a staple skincare routine. The clinically-tested formulations are packed with powerful antioxidants and active vitamins to help improve the appearance of lines, dehydration, sun-damage, problem skin, uneven skin tone and dryness. Environ products are now available to purchase in the salon and it will now be used in a number of Beauty Matters professional treatments, such as facials.

When it got closer to being my turn to be assessed, I felt myself becoming more apprehensive. As I've developed a dedicated skincare regime over the years, I've become compulsive around keeping my skin clean but it's not always been steady, I don't always choose the right products and to tell you the truth, I was quite scared I was going to get told off for being too lazy, or too heavy on my skin (no, really). It could have gone either way, and luckily it wasn't that bad. Beforehand, I was asked about the problematic issues I have with my skin; I listed extreme oiliness and being prone to breakouts and the analysis confirmed this. It showed bacteria around my t-zone, slightly clogged pores and to my shock, a high amount of sun damage. The lovely lady who held this intriguing lesson (I'm sorry I didn't catch your name) reassured me this is not just an instant thing, it's the daily sun damage over the past 21 years and not just something that's happened recently, but still I'll now be more careful when choosing an SPF, making sure I'm always protected. She also sat with me and kindly answered all of my concerns, gave me fruitful advice on the do's and don't and the skincare products that would benefit my skin type. That then lead to a group conversation about the cosmetic type products I often pile on my skin without second thought and how sometimes they're packed with chemicals and are not so pleasant when your skin could do with a breather. In particular, my trusty Estée Lauder Double Wear which may or may not be the reason I can't seem to shift my spots! As much as I love everything about the foundation, I'll definitely be checking out the recommendations I quickly noted on my phone from this small consultation. Thank you to the staff who took the time out to provide me with some suggestions!

After an hour or so of investigating, I felt it was time to take a break so I headed back downstairs to hear the speeches of the founder of Beauty Matters, Mel, and a lady on behalf of Macmillan Cancer Trust, the charity the evening raffle funds' will go to; another compassionate gesture from Beauty Matters that made the whole experience worthy. Both speeches were short but sweet and really heartfelt. I could feel the passion and commitment to providing a business that reflects an individual's inner glow. Beauty Matters holds any concerns at heart and always puts the key to beauty first. Mel's continued success from Beauty Matters is something she should be entirely proud of. The crowds were building, the atmosphere was busy, and the energy was bouncing off the walls. Seats were vacant with all kinds of characters, classic manicures were occurring and it was time for me to continue my tour of the upstairs!

I can honestly say I never thought as I caught the train to Garforth that day that I would be stood watching every movement of semi-permanent makeup taking place for around an hour and a half but I did, and I enjoyed the revelation entirely! From the stencilling of the eyebrows, to the actual procedure of using pigment, needles and precise techniques; I saw everything and now I'm seriously considering saving up to have my eyebrows reinforced. Miriam Grice was the lady leader on this chatty, laid back, yet explanatory expedition and her amazing work has tempted me to take the plunge into semi-permanent makeup. The end results were exactly how I'd imagined the ideal brow would look; a perfectly arched sculpture with natural hair strokes and a colour shade that matched your skin tone appropriately. The lady having them done was really overwhelmed with joy when she saw the difference and if was such a lovely moment to witness. How a couple of hours of skilled work can change someone's self confidence is incredible and identifies the point of why we step into the world of these continually developing beauty treatments. Plus, not only does it enhance features but it would also save a lot of time!

Before I headed home, I managed to squeeze in a rounded up journey into the rest of the rooms to see where they carried out their standard procedures such as nail designing, tanning, waxing and so on. All rooms were equally as luxurious but one room that stood out for me was the couples room, a calming, hypnotising room filled with soothing music and vibrant lights ensuring a pampering experience and most likely, a snoring pair by the end of it. 

The Beauty Matters salon is one of those new discoveries I wish I'd have known about way back when I was a clueless teen. It has such a beautiful, chilled vibe, spa like feel to it and everyone involved are happy to assist your needs. Speaking to the attendees felt like I'd known everyone for more than just one evening and I was so well looked after by both the staff and the PR team. I had such a brilliant time, it was extremely interesting and I learnt many beauty related educational tips that I never knew before. The turn out was fantastic and it was so well deserved. To top off a wonderful night, I was also kindly gifted with a goodie bag packed with some Environ products to try out for myself, a summary of all the treatments available and even a £10 voucher to go towards any treatment over £40 at the salon. I definitely think I'll be treating myself to some me time in the upcoming months! 

Thank you to the organisers and to Faith PR for inviting me along. You all did a great job of creating a well formed environment that spells out nothing but delight!

Bridie x

P.S. I may have pinched a couple of 'before the madness' pictures from the team at Beauty Matters  purely because the bliss was hard to capture once the people packed in and began blocking any natural picture worthy moments!

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Wednesday Wishlist: Motel Rocks


Motel Rocks is one of those blogger cliche clothing providers that I've never really found myself attached to. The store certainly has that edgy, eclectic uniqueness to it but I think it's the mixed bag of heavy patterns and the grunge prints that I've stayed away from in fear of looking like I've flown in from Mars and am completely clueless on how to dress the risky pieces. Lately, however, I've grown to love the coveted styles, especially the vintage trends and the oversized garments with the 70's vibe. The shirt dresses scream out comfort for me, and with denim and khaki being bang on trend, you wouldn't have to worry about being outdated. Same goes for the bell sleeved items, like the zig zag, hippy style crop top and dress (which is only made to be more purchase persuasive by a few of my favourite bloggers rocking the look). 

I don't think you can ever go wrong with stripes; from plain pinstripe, to vertical, to all round Breton stripes. I am in absolute love with the two piece jacket and short combination, it's the perfect cross between feminine and masculine. Motel actually have plenty of mismatch clothing with the same print as this and I can see myself slowly giving in to the lust as the days pass by. As it's only 3 and a half months until I go away, I'm also thinking about the outfits I'm going to put together and force down into my suitcase (having one for everyday isn't good when there's a luggage limit!). The halter neck dresses and pretty floral a-line dresses are striking for me this season, nice and lightweight and the type of dress you can sling on after a sweaty day of sunbathing turns into a clean, fresh shower full of goodness.

Is Motel Rocks a site you regularly visit? What're your favourite pieces at the moment?

Bridie x

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

What I wore: School girl dressing

Trench - Stradivarius | Blouse - Zara | Dress - New Look | Boots - eBay | Hat - Primark

I left primary school 11 years ago yet somehow I seem to still incorporate the dress code into my everyday outfits (although I think if school uniform entailed of Victorian style blouses and actual trendy not the so-hideous-even-my-grandma-wouldn't-wear-them kind of pinafores than I'd have been solely happy about attending). There's something about pinafores with pretty shirts underneath that keep drawing me back in (and that's not just because I wish I was a kid again). I even went full out and inserted the 'ideal for school acivities' trench coat into the equation. I've been on the hunt for a short, classic trench and when I discovered Stradivarius it only began to feed my coat obsession. 

As we're moving into spring I should really be thinking about ditching the outerwear but with the weather still being freezing cold at the moment, cosying up warm with a hot chocolate after trudging through the mud ridden grass in hope of taking newly improved outfit photos sounds much more appealing to me.

Hope everyone is having a bearable week!

Bridie x
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