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What’s it all about? Blog Video

As some of you may know a couple of years ago I used to dabble in making YouTube videos! These were always quite amateur, usually Vlogs on my Uni life or Makeup and Fashion videos. I stopped making them a few years ago when I moved to London because my life got quite hectic and I didn’t have the right equipment or a laptop that could cope with video editing / uploading (or the money to upgrade)!

I’ve always felt quite bad directing people to my YouTube Channel and also to my existing subscribers, so yesterday I made a Blog Video! It sums up what I write about and can be used to direct any lovely YouTube people to my blog (which I’m glad to say is now more active).

Enjoy and share! I pulled this together using a really simple online program called Stupeflix which allowed me to pull in my Instagram pictures.

T w i t t e r | B l o g L o v i n ‘ | I n s t a g r a m | P i n t r e s t

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Sell me a story: Top 5 emotive adverts

SELL-ME-A-STORY-3

I really expect something special from an advert nowadays. Be that print, radio or television, It’s irksome when I see the same BORING and PREDICTABLE content being churned out again and again. Of course there are certain standards that should be met regardless; good design, good copy, good use of space but there are a few extras that I think should simply make best practice.

I want to FEEL something from an advert, that doesn’t necessary have to be a passion for the product or brand, but just a feeling in general. Humor is a great one but is often attempted through archaic stereotypes and terrible actors and tends to work best when it is a bit random and instantaneous, think the new Mercedes ‘Chicken’ advert.

I believe adverts should always attempt to think outside the box, I think they should be responsive and relevant, they should tell a story and evoke an emotion. We often don’t need a product explained to us, we want to connect to the Brand selling the product. Adverts invade our personal space and lives everyday – so it’s only fair to have expectations.

On the note of Emotive adverts I picked a few of my recent favorites which I feel have gone for an inspiring / emotional angle and all come together quite nicely! Enjoy and please share your all time favourite Ad campaigns in the comments below!

T w i t t e r | B l o g L o v i n ‘ | I n s t a g r a m | P i n t r e s t


RAM Trucks ‘Farmer’ YouTube


Dove ‘Real Beauty’ YouTube


Guinness ‘Basketball’ YouTube


Bell’s Whisky ‘The Reader’ YouTube


Schwarzkopf  ‘You – A Declaration of Love’  YouTube Continue reading

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STOP EVERYTHING you’re doing and watch the new Game of Thrones S4 sneak peak

You can imagine my delight when I Buzzfeed’d my way across this 15 minute beaut whilst enjoying some mid-afternoon online procrastination. It’s only the MOST WE’VE SEEN OF ACTUAL SEASON 4 FOOTAGE so far, plus some lovely and funny insight from the cast and crew themselves! Holy Moly.

Excitement overload subsiding. Since dedicating the later half of 2013 to completing the Game of Thrones books I’ve been left with a Westeros shaped hole in my life. Judging by the five years it took Martin to complete the fifth volume A Dance with Dragons I’m not holding out hope for the sixth to grace my life anytime soon, so the return of the equally gripping HBO TV series is the perfect way to fight off withdrawal symptoms.

Knowing what’s going to happen does not spoil the excellently crafted TV show it just makes me eager to see how they choose to bring the complex story threads to life. It makes you feel like your in a position of privilege and I’m sure this is a feeling I share with other fans of the novels.

Game of Thrones entire novel series
As for the exclusive video sneak peak: What do we find out?
Game of Thrones Season 4: Ice and Fire: A Foreshadowing
We are introduced to new character Oberyn Martell which will ignite the Dorne thread of the series I’m really looking forward to. We get to see Rory McCann who plays ‘The Hound’ speak for the nation as a he lovingly describes King Joffery as a “wee prick” and a “mummy’s boy.”

The beautiful Emilia Clarke who plays ultimate heroine and Mother of Dragons, Daenerys Targaryen, discusses the conflicts her character faces in the upcoming season as she struggles to rule over Meereen in the wake of her slavery revolt. It looks like we’re set to see more breathtaking scenery out this way (one clip shows the shadow of a rather larger wing span across Slavers bay which can only mean DRAGONS!) and of course in the snow blitzed unknown beyond the wall. PS Expect to find Jon Snow’s character quite changed as he returns to The Wall post Wildlings escapade.

Gwendoline Christie, who plays one of my favorite characters, the tenacious Brienne of Tarth is quite frankly hilarious in video as she describes the ‘mental storylines’ including the ripping off of Hoat’s ear. Meanwhile whilst we’re still left reeling from the Red Wedding that climaxed Season 3 we see no time is wasted in preparing for the extravagant Royal Wedding at King’s landing. But in true Game of Thrones style we better be expecting the unexpected…

I’m delighted to say that Game of Thrones returns with its 4th season 6th April 2014!

T w i t t e r | B l o g L o v i n ‘ | I n s t a g r a m | P i n t r e s t

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A crisis for Copenhagen Zoo

Marius Giraffe Copenhagen Murder Zoo

Image Source: Buzzfeed

I think I share the opinions of many when I say that there were a few bad decisions made at Copenhagen Zoo over the weekend. When Bengt Hols, the scientific director for the Zoo, made the decision to destroy Marius the 18 month-old healthy giraffe, against a 25,000 worldwide-strong petition, a media frenzy obviously followed suit. I say destroy here because I believe ‘euthanize’ is not contextual. When I think of euthanasia I think of pain and suffering and the alleviation of such, not of a healthy animal being killed for having an undesirable gene pool.

You can read more about the Zoo’s decision here, here and here, but in short the young giraffe, described as ‘surplus,’ was shot dead before being dissected in front of a crowd of children because he was not suitable for breeding due to a ‘well-represented’ gene pool. The decision to kill Marius sparked backlash and debate that quickly escalated globally. In the lead up to the demise of the Giraffe an online petition to save his life quickly collected over 25,000 signatures with outrage being exchanged and shared by the masses. More fuel was added to this inferno when Yorkshire Wildlife Park publicly offered to take in Marius and house him with their other male giraffes, including Marius’s brother who came over from Copenhagen in 2012. Now following the incident, firmly backed by the Zoo, Marius remains have been fed to the Zoo’s Lions and the public continue to rage.

Why Marius?
So why has this incident in particular sparked so much controversy? The culling of healthy animals happens daily and The Zoo defends its ultimate decision wholeheartedly, asking if this would really be the center of a media frenzy if it was a pig. Well no it wouldn’t but then it isn’t a pig, it’s a giraffe. The reality of the situation is that in this instance the public identified emotionally with the animal and whilst all animals should be considered equally they just aren’t. I really believe the problem here was not the reasons the Zoo claimed were behind the decision, but the way in which the whole thing was communicated. It is without doubt that the Copenhagen Zoo have a PR crisis on their hands now as they try to sedate a lot of people whose wishes they went against. The incident is still trending on Twitter worldwide more than 24 hours later with many calling for a boycott against Zoos as this opens up the wider debate about keeping and breeding animals in captivity.

Whilst the Zoo is going for consistency in their belief and resolve behind the decision their means of communication have been poor. Deciding to dissect the creature that had captured the hearts of those petitioning to save it LIVE on video stream, in front of children, was probably not one their wisest moments. They quickly gave ammunition to the media in the form of graphic imagery and then continued to defend this poor decision making as educational. Yes just what I missed out on when I was nine years old, a baby giraffe being butchered two feet away. Damn my educational flaws!

Copenhagen Zoo Giraffe Marius PR Crisis

Image source: Facebook

Maintaining control:

They have made a few halfhearted responses to the backlash via social media but damage control seems low on their list of priorities, as does sensitivity. Why should they listen to people in the first place? Because public opinion matters. Because the public are the people who pay to visit their Zoo. Because people care about animal welfare and it is a HUGE topic of controversy. This was an ordeal poorly executed (excuse the irony) from start to finish and it will be something I’ll watch closely over the next few days. It’s interesting to see how similar establishments, such as Dublin Zoo have already issued personal opinions in response to the incident. Meanwhile the Copenhagen Zoo’s Facebook page suffers a avalanche of bad reviews that will dent their online reputation for a long time to come as people share their outrage. The internet is not to be underestimated when people care, and the Copenhagen Zoo signed its Public Relations death wish when it put a name to that cute face.

T w i t t e r | B l o g L o v i n ‘ | I n s t a g r a m | P i n t r e s t

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When life gives you….

lemons? you make lemonade (or a lemon based cocktail) obviously. When life gives you a good old slap round the face, well now, what do you do then? Let me paint a bit of context to complement my bizarre opening, and I’ll ask you to bear with me on my train of thought here, I’m heavily dosed on antibiotics, paracetamol and a massive LACK of food but I am legitimately sick, I promise.

Last Friday was an important day for me. It was pay day, but not just any old. It was a very long-anticipated pay day, a 7 week post Christmas ‘I’m SO ready for you’ pay day. It just so happened to be the day we got told we were going into liquidation…. and were only being paid 50% of our salary for January. So all in all it was a rubbish pay day.

Yes I told you it was a slap, and no bitch slap either this was one mighty whack.

Over the weekend I ended up getting sick, and then sicker still on Monday as the stress demons wiggled their way into my waking and sleeping thoughts. I had Tonsillitis, an affliction I have the joy of reuniting with semi-often as one Doctor at some point in my childhood decided it was a great idea to leave mine in. Thanks!

So I’m starting to feel a bit better but am dreading the jobless days, the debt that is going to build up on my pretty massive pile of existing debt, the interviews, the endless loop that goes round in my head WHAT AM I GOING TO DO NOW??

Fall seven times and get back up

But then I took a breath, because it’s pretty important to and I was worrying my self sick(er) and decided that I was being a fool. I was looking at everything in the wrong way with the wrong attitude. Am I completely and utterly skint? Yes. Am I jobless? Yes. Do I have an empty fridge? Yes.

But, and this is a big but, I have a lot to still be grateful for. I have a roof over my head, I have a great community of friends and (ex) work colleagues, I have a fantastic family, I am fit and healthy (or will be soon) and I realised in comparison to many I am OK.

We may get in situations sometimes that stress us out and make our stomachs twist in knots but if we don’t put it all into perspective we will just get swallowed up by the stress. So I’ll keep you posted, but for now I’m going to treat that as a brand new opportunity to go out there and achieve something FANTASTIC.

T w i t t e r | B l o g L o v i n ‘ | I n s t a g r a m | P i n t r e s t

2

Last Week #3

SiobhanAlfordLastWeek2013

♥ OOTN Parrot crop tee, skinny jeans, heart necklace | Red lips & Nails | Barry M Coral with Red Wine tips | OOTN heeled trainers ♥

Sorry that this post is late! Bloody useless haha. But without further ado here is my latest ramblings and happenings complete with Instagram best snaps of the week.

♥ T H E  G O O D ♥

Outfits & Nails: So I’ll work backwards and start with the weekend : ) I went for a couple of drinks with John’s housemates & friends on Friday night to New Cross. I wore a cropped tee shirt that I’ve had for ages. It’s navy blue with little bright parrots on, subtle but with a small pop of summer colour. It also has lovely scallop edges including the sleeves which makes it a bit more interesting for a casual evening outfit. I wore this with my super skinny jeans (the type you have to wiggle in to – but luckily they have an elastic waist instead of a button!) and brown, heeled trainers from River Island. I wore red lips and painted my nails a deep coral with dark red tips (both Barry M).

aprilphotosupdate

♥ A handful of ratties | Lovely midweek sandwich | Sleepy | Homemade lasagne & wine  | Samples | Becks arty labels
| Makeup and Nails | Late night chicken burger | Hangover mission, fry up for five ♥

Work: The week itself was uneventful, I did some reception work in Farringdon Monday and Tuesday, John made a really nice Lasagne which was a surprise on Monday so that was dinner for 2 days >.<

Samples: Collecting dust amongst my beauty products are numerous samples and freebies, those you tend to accumulate every time you get a nice shop assistant or in a beauty bag free when you spend a certain amount on a brand. These little mini versions are often overlooked, I tend to already have something else on the go so put them aside. But I dug them out the other day and I thought why not!? I’ve been using them all everyday for the last week so for their miniscule size they pack in quite a bit of product. I’ll get a full review up soon, but here’s what I’m trying out: No.7 Protect and Perfect Beauty Serum, Estee Lauder Idealist Skin Care Illuminator, Dior Capture Totale eye serum and eye cream.

photosoftheweek

♥ Underground | Greenwich Park | Neutral nails for work, O.P.I Alpine snow | Buskers in Greenwich | The Market | Johno in the park! ♥

Sunday: On Sunday we walked in to Greenwich because the SUN was out, yep that long-lost friend of ours that’s been hibernating for, oh, only about 8 months!! It was a really nice day, had McDonalds, walked to the top of the hill which has a pretty good view over London and sat and drank some cider. The Market in Greenwich was pretty nice for a wander around, there were lots of unique patterned tops and crafty necklaces I’d have probably treated myself to if I’d had money!

Sometimes I can’t believe how fast a week flies by! I’m starting a new temping job role next with as a Communication assistant for a Hotel brand. Wish me luck! It’s scheduled to last a few weeks but we’ll see! What have you been up to now the sun has surfaced?!

T w i t t e r | B l o g L o v i n | Y o u T u b e | I n s t a g r a m | T u m b l r

6

March Favourites | Product Reviews

march favourites

Well better late than never! Here is a round up of products that have all brought something g o o d to my life during the bitter month of March 2013! As this is my first ‘favourites’ post I’m going to chuck in some mini reviews as well. As you probably know (I moan about it enough) I don’t have any money at the moment, it’s all going on bills and my flat, so (most of) these aren’t new products for me but still products that have worked a little magic lately.

♥ Beauty Favourites ♥

SOAPANDGLORYFAVOURITES

S k i n C a r e | Soap & Glory: Hocus Pocus
Soap & Glory’s ‘Instant visual flaw-softening’ Hocus Pocus works as a kind-of primer, kind of-highlighter, kind-of skin tone evener. I say ‘kind-of’ because it doesn’t really come across strongly as any of these. So why do I like it then?! Good question, I’ve always had a penchant for the S&G brand, I love their shower products, moisturisers, the floral fun scent they have going on and the packaging too. They are mid range price wise and in Boots there is a never ending 3 for 2 offer going on which makes stocking up cheap and easy. Even though I can’t pin down exactly why I enjoy using Hocus Pocus I’ve kept going back. This March it has been a life saver in brightening up my dull, red skin. I mix it with moisturiser and it gives a radiant finish. I’ve also opted a few times to mix it with foundation which makes my heavy coverage foundation (Nars Sheer Glow) a bit lighter and a bit brighter (yes, I don’t really find this foundation ‘bright’ despite the name, we’ll save that for another time!) Hocus Pocus comes in a dinky but heavy glass bottle that just screams quality.

S k i n C a r e | Soap & Glory: Instant Radiance Energy Balm
Another one from S&G, so same applies as above. Again it’s a radiance product and promises (as S&G tend to do a lot) BIG things, primarily ‘Beautifully luminous skin.’ I don’t think this balm lives up to all its claims, there is nothing particularly ‘instant’ about the benefits either. But then that’s the way it goes with beauty, it’s best just to blank out anything written by the brand itself and look at user reviews instead. What I will say about this is it is a great moisturiser for flagging and tired skin, whilst it doesn’t give me luminosity, it absorbs well and tackles dry areas, smells nice and has been a regular go-to for me in March.

skincarebest

S k i n C a r e | La Roche-Posay: Effaclar Duo
You will definitely have seen this product on the YouTube and Blogging circuit lately! I bought this after hearing rave reviews online from some trusted beauty gurus, It was accoladed as a skin-savior for blemishes, redness and pesky pores a bit more open than we’d like them to be. The consistency is not fragranced, quite watery (definitely not heavy or seemingly moisturisng) but surprisingly does not dry out skin at all. I’ve been using this for about five months and more often than not it is the only product I use after my cleanser. Which means it’s already ticking a lot of boxes, good moisturiser, good make up base. Sometimes I find a bit more product is needed than I’d like to cover all dry patches, but in these instances I’d suggest prepping with a beauty serum, mixing the Effaclar Duo with a moisturiser or following up after with one. In terms of results I can say without a doubt it has improved my blemishes, I have a more even skin tone, break out less and when I do get hormonal/stress spots (I never seem to be able to avoid these) they reduce and fade a lot quicker than before. I won’t stop using this little gem any time soon.

S k i n C a r e | Korres: Body Butter Guava
This was a present that came as part of a set I got at Christmas and I have to say I’m majorly impressed. I’ve been using two Korres body products, this and the Body Milk: Coconut Milk. I find they both moisturise great and smell DELICIOUS. A fragrance that lingers as well so you feel fresh all day. I’ve picked the Guava body butter as my favourite this month because I think it just tops the other (it’s close), it’s a bit more of a heavy weight moisturiser so really tackles dry bits and lately my skin has needed this. I tend to use on my arms, elbows, neck and chest area and walk around feeling like I’m on holiday whenever I get a whiff!

nailcarefavouritesmarch

N a i l s | O.P.I: Nail Envy
Recommended by my friend Daisy I purchased this off Ebay (worth checking out it was £9 compared to the £18 it goes for in Boots). I was desperate for any sort of nail saviour after suffering for a long time with short, brittle nails that can’t quite make it over the edge of my finger. I’ve mentioned this product in more depth h e r e but to cut a long story short this is a base coat nail product that has improved the condition of my nails dramatically! They are currently all sporting (small) white tips and are healthier looking than they ever were before March and the before the start of my love affair with Nail Envy.

N a i l s | Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat
Another nail life save saver for me, this is the best top coat I’ve ever tried. Big claims?! Well I’m pretty darn impressed. I used to find my nail polish would be chipped to the point it looks tatty and I’d have to take it off almost instantly! I’m quite clumsy as well so find it hard not to ruin nails as soon as I’ve painted them. This little beaut flash dries nails and greatly improves the resistance of the polish.

N a i l s | Shades of the Month: Barry M
Pastels have been dominating the nail trends recently and I can’t get enough of lavender/lilac shades. I’ve been using Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine: Papya and Barry M: Berry.

MAC COLOUR 3

M a k e U p | Mac: Colour 3 Eyeshadow Quad
This was another steal off of ebay (£11 I think I paid) and is a cool toned, purple eye shadow quad. The shades are (from top left): Mink Pink, Brusied Plum, Black Tulip & Jungle Moon. Purple may not be everyone’s first choice of eye colour, I do usually tend to stick to my brown, beige and gold, But purple is a colour I think suits my skin tone and eye colour (hazel) and I couldn’t resist this well ranged palette that allows me to create a soft ‘barely-there’ hue of pink or build a dramatic smokey eye with Jungle Moon in the crease and along the lower lash line. I’ve been wearing this heaps during March, if you can’t find spring, you gotta bring it to you!

♥ Fashion Favourites ♥

otherfavourites

B a g | Primark: Aztec Rucksack
Since I haven’t bought any new clothes thought I’d share this cute aztec print rucksack I got from Primark for £9. It’s a lightweight bag that is just adorable. I think these mini rucksacks are bang on trend and are actually a really practical alternative to a handbag : )

S c e n t | Tu: Orchid and Sweet Coconut
At £4 you can’t go wrong, a delicious summery scent I’ve been burning a lot this month.

♥ Other Favourites ♥

currentlyreading

B o o k | In The Woods Tana French
Currently reading so can’t review just yet but enjoying so far! It’s been a while since I read a crime thriller and they are always good to get really engrossed in. This story focuses on a pair of detectives trying to solve the murder of a 12 year old girl, however protagonist Detective Adam Ryan must face some hidden memories from his own past and races against time to remember what happened when he was 12 when his two best friends disappeared. I’m about half way through so will let you know how that goes.

B o o k | The Pocket Muse Monica Wood
I dug this little gem out of my book case recently, it gives ‘ideas and inspiration for writing.’  I bought this a few years ago to help me with my dissertation in which I created a series of short stories each based on a central motif. I was reading some blogs that featured a lot of creative writing and was thinking how I’d like to start a series of weekly creative fiction posts. This book is great at giving you scenarios to work off, beautifully presented with some great imagery inside it offers tips on writing, lets you read some fiction, and offers you a starting point – word, idea or question, on which to base your piece. You’ll see more of this book once I launch the weekly creative posts, watch this space!

So they were the items that rocked my world more so than usual in March.
What has been rocking yours lately? Any suggestions what I should read once I finish this book?

T w i t t e r | B l o g L o v i n | Y o u T u b e | I n s t a g r a m | T u m b l r

4

Liebster Blog Award

So last night I received an email from the lovely Beca off of Those Moments of Serendipity nominating me for the Liebster Blog award… Lobster blog award?! I was intrigued! After a little bit of reading and research I found out that the Liebster (duh) Blog award is to give recognition to up and coming bloggers with 200 followers or less. It’s a tool of encouragement, not an ‘official’ award but a way of finding, sharing and communicating with blogs & bloggers you may not have been familiar with before, (how sweet!) I must say I’ve had a great time today just exploring Blog Lovin’ finding blogs in the furthest corners. I’ve read about peoples lives, seen photos and read poems. If this is not what sharing is about than I don’t know what is. So without further ado I will jump in to the requirements of the Liebster Blog Nomination!

♥ R e q u i r e m e n t s ♥

1. Share eleven things about myself
2. Answer eleven questions provided by the nominator
3. Nominate eleven blogs (under 200 followers) that deserve the title
4. Think of eleven questions to ask these nominees
5. Thank the person that nominated me and link back to their blog

I absolutely l o v e the way this works on a question and tagging system, not only does it give me some content to ramble on about but it connects me with other bloggers >.< and there’s nothing like a bit of networking to help boost a blogs morale (go us!) so if you find yourself tagged by me (you’re welcome) then it’s because I’ve found something special in your writing and I hope we can stay connected.

headerpanda

  1. I’ve lived in Cornwall, Bournemouth & London (all in the UK)
  2. I believe love truly makes the world go round
  3. I used to be addicted to World of Warcraft
  4. I regularly sleep talk
  5. I  flick between being really tidy and really messy
  6. When I find time I like to make and edit videos
  7. I adore all things cute
  8. I enjoy graphic design and making things pretty online
  9. I love Anime and Manga
  10. Cheese makes most things tastier
  11. I can sometimes be very socially awkward and shy

  1. What is your all time favorite product?
    For practicality it’s got to be concealer! I find Mac Studio Fix gives great coverage
  2. Do you prefer Boots or Superdug?
    Boots
  3. What do you do as a job?
    A bit of everything, currently Receptionist/Office Administration
  4. If you had to never use either makeup or hair products again (including shampoo!) which would you keep?
    Make up (in the hope my hair would wash itself, that happens right…)
  5. Do you have any pets?
    Two rats: Pandee & Brie
  6. What is your dream job?
    Realistically: Marketing/Communications
    Unrealistically: Freelance Writer, in a little studio in my (dream) sunlit house
  7. Do you prefer pants of skirts?
    Skirts
  8. Do you prefer twitter or facebook?
    Facebook
  9. What is your favorite genre of movie?
    Drama/Intense-plot-twisty type
  10. Cakes, brownies or cookies?
    Cookies
  11. What is your favorite flower?
    Pansies

I did some hunting high and low to compile this blog list, I’ve picked a variety of different blogs, writers, poets, photographers, those that share thoughts and those that share beauty & style. It would be great if you went and had a gander at their sites, leave some comments and connect with the content, after all that’s what this award is about!

  1. C o r n i s h  B e a u t y
  2. S i m p l e  B l i s s
  3. R e a d  M y  M i n d
  4. T h e  R a i n  G i r l
  5. M y   F a i r y t a l e  B o n e s
  6. H o w  I  D w e l l  N o w
  7. Y o u n g  G e o r g i a  L o v e
  8. T h r o u g h  a  C a t s  E y e s
  9. C a l v i  R o s e
  10. A z t e c  D o l l
  11. D i v i n e  C h a o s

p. s. In my recommending you please don’t feel any obligation to carry on the tag, it can be an honorary award : ) Also I think some of you nominees have received a Liebster nomination before – I hope you know this just means your page is loved + apologies if you have more than 200 followers, it’s hard to tell sometimes, I just went off BlogLovin’ figures : )

  1. Night or Day?
  2. Favourite quote?
  3. Girl Crush?
  4. 1 word, choose wisely:
  5. The best place you’ve ever visited?
  6. When do you feel h a p p y?
  7. What are you most looking forward to right now?
  8. 1 secret, choose wisely:
  9. Hot or Cold?
  10. 1 goal in life, choose wisely:
  11. What are you most grateful for?

Thanks for reading guys, what hidden blog gems do you think deserve the Liebster award? Make sure if you are nominated to write in the comments below if you’re going to answer my questions – I’m intrigued! : )
p.s Did you like my seal titles above? too cute!

 ♥ I was picked by Beca of Those Moments of Serendipity check out her stuff and you can find her on Blog Lovin here 
(Thanks Beca!) ♥


T w i t t e r  | B l o g L o v i n  | Y o u T u b e | I n s t a g r a m | T u m b l r

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I ♥ Cute Things – David & Goliath

Okay so here is another I  ♥ Cute Things Post! I hope you enjoy. I’ve rounded up a selection of goodies from the cutesy brand David & GoliathI absolutely adore their products and clothes. They are bright, fun, quirky and H A P P Y. I particularly like their T-shirts to wear in bed or lounging around the house and if your everyday style is not as bold or cartoon-y as this then try just grabbing a few accessories for a splash of fun amongst your everyday fashion choices. My most wanted on this list is the iPhone Case, the dinosaur T-shirts and the Hoodie (I’ve wanted this for yonks) CUTE ♥

Button Badges: £1
T-Shirts: £20
I I ♥ Nerds Hoodie: £29.99
iPhone Case: £10
Vans Heart Shoes: £40
Skull Leggings: £10
Sushi PJ Shorts: £15
Veggi USB Snap Bracelet: £15
Key Rings: £5
Panda Flat Cap: £25

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Last Week #2

♥ T H E  G O O D ♥

TV Roundup: Game of Thrones, New Girl, Dr Who: *spoiler alerts* *spoiler alerts* 

Well Game of Thrones season 3 is here!! There was a huge buzz about its return and I think the first episode didn’t disappoint! I’ve only recently become addicted to this series but as you can probably tell I can’t stop raving about it. Definitely one of the best television shows out there at the moment and I do stand by my belief that atypically for its genre it appeals to a wide audience so if you don’t think this will be your cup of tea you may be surprised. Me and John become so engrossed each episode that we are often literally shouting at the screen and you feel such a huge rush of pride when one of the ‘goodies’ triumphs! (Although the line between the ‘goodies’ and the ‘badies’ is always thin in GOT.) Things I cant wait to find out in the upcoming series, When will Daenerys (who I did love but seems to be quite a brat recently) make it to Westeros and will she have any allies? Will Jon Snow become a traitor or will there be a allying of the Wildlings and The Wall as they fight the white walkers? P.S best quote from him in S3E1: “I want to fight for the side that fights for the living.” Also how is Arya going to get on and Bran (they’re two of my favourite characters)?! I’m thinking I have to start reading the books, they seem right up my street plus I just want to know more about the world and the characters. The only downside to the return of the show on TV means I can’t watch them back-to-back anymore, a week is so loong (yes I’m impatient).

Other things I’ve been watching this week are the latest Dr Who episodes. I quite like Clara as a side kick. She seems brave, curious and kind-hearted  (and I’ve got a bit of a girl crush >.<). Plus I’m very interested to find out about her parallel versions. I also caught up on New Girl. I kinda get why they are dragging out the Jess/Nick romance, (its hard to imagine where they are going to go with it’), but I think it opens up a lot of avenues and am rooting… so just happen all ready! Schmidt still continues to deliver epic quote after quote: (to Nick) “Here are some things you want to hide about yourself on tonight’s date–you’re cheap, you’re a heavy drinker, you’re broke, you have a problem with anger” (S2E21).
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Socialising: For the past month I’ve been being good on the weekend and staying in, trying to save money, and except for my trip to Cornwall for Lucy’s birthday, I’ve been achieving this. However with Lucy out over the weekend and John back in his hometown Oxford I thought I better get out and about and see some friends. Surprisingly I managed to have two really great budget nights! On Friday I went in to Leicester Square with my friend Charlie and we had a few (4 large each…) glasses of wine at Yates. It was one of those nights where it was just really fun to get drunk together and have a natter about whats been happening in our lives and it was only £6.30 a round (which Charlie mostly bought because she’s amazing like that.) I ended up falling asleep on the last train home though which is never fun! On Saturday I met up with my ex work colleagues (and beautiful friends) who worked with me in my last restaurant. It was a guy’s birthday which he had reserved an area for, there was wine, there was jugs of cocktails and there was prosecco… yum! Here’s some piccys from the night! I stopped myself getting a taxi back and went for the night bus home so all in all a pretty cheap night : )

♥ Saturday Night | Friday Night outfit: Skinny Jeans, heeled boots, denim shirt done up, grey vest | Bus Friends
| Make up Friday | Birthday Present | Cecilia & Vlad | Me and Beautiful Tara | Make up Saturday | Birthday Boy & Us ♥

♥  T H E  N O T – S O – G O O D  ♥

Hangover Hell: With the joy of going out and having a good time usually comes the dreaded HANGOVER day! Of course you can argue that days such as these would easily be avoided if you didn’t drink to excess the night before, but in all fairness I don’t think I do. Sometimes I can escape with a minor headache, or a general grotty feeling but both nights out this week left me feeling rotten the next day. The hangover miracle cure I swear by is drinking tonnes of water, (in fact I’m a bit of a water obsesso in general), but as always I don’t always follow my own advice. Instead I stupidly passed out in bed as soon as I got home, no water was drank, no make-up removed (ouch poor skin). This meant I missed out on a really nice day Saturday, I stayed in bed all day mewing and feeling sorry for myself watching too much YouTube and New Girl until I finally dragged myself to Tesco. After some Lucozade, Innocent raspberry and apple juice, tea, soup, bread, pringles and dip (I always have the weirdest cravings when I’m hungover) and a shower I felt marginally better and dragged myself in to town for round two. OH the things we do to our poor bodies! It’s safe to say I’m going to be taking it easy this week and making sure I’m being a bit more healthy.

Window Shopping: Is the only shopping I can do right now *cry* I had a browse around Urban Outfitters in Spitalfields the other day, so many cute things I want! Nice mugs (I love buying mugs) nail polishes, coasters, candles and quirky books (don’t even get me started on the clothes!) Oh well a girl can dream.

Buses: Neither good or bad but I found it quite amusing when I was walking down The Strand the other day and saw seven buses in a row… you know the saying >.<

Do you have any miracle hangover cures? Have you been watching any of the TV shows mentioned, thoughts please! : D

photo credits ©:  BBC | HBO | Fox Broadcasting

1

Easter 2013 ♥ Cornwall

Last weekend was the Easter bank holiday and I can tell you a touch of escapism was greatly needed! My life in London lately has been a bit rocky (to say the least), I’ve been between jobs, have an unsightly bank balance and am just in one of those what-am-I-doing-with-my-life-black-holes!! (Okay touch dramatic) But you get the picture. So when my flatmate, who is also from Cornwall, decided to head back home for her birthday on Good Friday I thought I’d take the excuse to go back too, celebrate with her and catch up with my family. As an added bonus I got to drag John with me (mwahaha) to show him where I’m from and allow him to get scrutinised by my mum (which didn’t happen – she’s lovely.)

So me, John, Pandee & Brie set off at 4.30am on Friday the 29th! We made quite a sleepy bunch dragging ourselves from South East London to Paddington in the wee hours. What didn’t help was the fact we’d been awake watching Game of Thrones at 1am (and admittedly I was still packing). Our original plan was to get the 5.30pm Megabus home on Thursday (we were both working that day) and the coach made sense as it is the cheapest (albeit most uncomfortable & longest) way to travel to down to the far corner of the UK. Although, as is usual with me and my last-minute-ness, things didn’t go to plan. The Megabus sold out : ( and I was thrown in to a mad panic because we couldn’t afford the train at least until I saw there was one at 6am on Good Friday for a fraction of the price. Again though I didn’t really think about it in great detail and it was only the night before that we realised there were no trains or tubes to get us directly to Paddington at 5am so we had to opt for a grueling one hour night bus which was naturally the perfect way to start a long day of travelling : | My little jelly squids were perfectly behaved on the train and Brie even had a little stretch of her legs on our seats to the horror/fascination/joy of the other travelers. John was pretty impressed by the sea when the train hit the coast as he said he hadn’t seen it since he was 17! (Aww) In all honesty though it just goes to show how easy it is to take natural beauty for granted and growing up by the coast has meant I definitely don’t always appreciate the sea and the beautiful beaches we have. must. do. more.

cornwall1

Anyway so we pulled in to the beautiful station of Camborne (haha it’s really not beautiful) at about 1.30pm a little tired and extremely hungry. We went back to my home, let the rats settle and I caught up with my mum and brothers. But we didn’t have long to rest before we caught the train to Truro for Lucy’s birthday celebrations! We ate out in a really nice restaurant called Bustophers I had this posh looking chicken dish with ‘fondant potatoes’ (didn’t have a clue what they were!) and lots of wine. John had the steak though which made me very jealous (but not of the price tag!) The evening was just perfect because I got to spend time with my Cornish girls, and since going separate ways after University, this is always cherished. The night got a bit more merry, was filled with Jäger bombs, lots of photos and dancing. We moved onto Spoons then Vanilla Bar before ending up in one of our college day haunts L2 nightclub.

♥ Me and my girls. My outfit: black skinny jeans, peplum top & heeled trainers all primark.
Birthday girl, Rhos and Mike. More pics of us! ♥

The rest of the weekend was relaxed. We spent time at home watching films with my family, went down to Godrevy for a walk on Saturday and then to Carbis Bay and St Ives on Easter Sunday. Got to partake in (and win!!) an Easter Egg hunt with Aidan (my little brother) and John. Enjoyed mum’s classic Sunday roast and indulged in a bit too much cake and chocolate >.< It was a lovely break away from the city and a reality shock when we had to endure the 8 hour Megabus back on the Monday at 5am!! Time back home is always special and I’m so happy I go to spend some time in one of the most beautiful places in the country with my favourite people : ) Hope you enjoy my pictures.

♥ Mums Easter cake | Aidan & John | Easter bunnies | Chocolate overdose | Sunday Roast
Sleepy cat | Caves | Early mornings | Exploring | John at Carbis Bay | Cat attack | Friday night  ♥

What did you get up to for the Easter weekend? Has anyone visited Cornwall before, what are your thoughts? I love being by the seaside and feel lucky to have grown up there!

1

Hand & Nail TLC

My nails are not in the best shape, they are flaky and brittle and every time they get close to having a respectable “white” tip they crack and break. It’s a very frustrating cycle to be in! Last year I worked in waitressing which meant I put a lot of pressure on my nails. I was often polishing glasses and cutlery, cleaning surfaces or washing my hands, (nails HATE water), which meant even if I tried to look after my hands at the start of a 12 hour day they were a bit worse for wear by the end. In saying this you don’t have to give up on achieving your dream nails if your job (or other aspects of your life) take their toll on nail maintenance! As much as I blame my old job for the state of them, I equally blame myself and how I would always slip out of the ‘get-nice-nails’ routine that was giving me results. Anyway this is what works for me, it may work for you too if you’re struggling.

Know your hands/nails:
I have friends who have gorgeous nails no matter what, (some even worked in the SAME job as me), this is just the way it is. Sometimes they look after their nails more (hand cream, base coats, more calcium, vitamins) but unfortunately it can just be in your genes, (I say unfortunately because I’m jealous, of course). Anyway my point is, know which type you are. Are your nails falling apart at the seams because you’re neglecting them? Overworking them? Or are they just naturally weak? The cracks in my nails began through neglecting them and now the condition they are in perpetuates the cycle. Once they start to creep over the edge of my finger the splits and layers say NO and I will inevitably end up breaking them. I have brittle nails that I need to work on strengthening, directly linking to this I often get dry hands which I know adds to the problem, a lack of moisture in the hands can lead to a lack of nail growth (plus it doesn’t feel or look too good either).

Moisturise and Condition:
Once you establish the key problem areas invest in a good hand cream (or a few). I have about four hand creams on the go, partly because they have different strong points but mostly because I like to make sure I have a tube with me at all times and I am notoriously bad at leaving things in different places, if I took my handbag hand cream out I would most definitely end up leaving it beside my bed when I went to work. I think it’s good to have a light hand cream you can top up throughout the day, I use Vaseline Healthy Hands + Stronger Nails or for a treat I use my Laura Mercier Almond Coconut Milk Hand Creme because it smells delicious (even from a distance!) I believe it’s also good to have an intensive hand cream to really work into your cuticles, bare nails (especially after stripping them of polish) and between the fingers, which is where I get dry patches. In the past I’ve used The Body Shop Almond Oil Nail & Hand Cream and I’ve tried Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream (which leaves hands SO soft). Don’t just take my recommendations, there are so many creams out their to get your hands on (haha) so go experiment, not much can go wrong apart from some may be a bit greasy for the day time and some may not tackle dry spots efficiently. Look for something that smells great, absorbs quickly and leaves a soft finish then apply it REGULARLY! My biggest sin in this department is being too lazy (isn’t that always the biggest beauty sin!?) I’m lying in bed and I can feel my hands are dry from washing up or cleansing my face, but my hand cream is somewhere else in the room… so I just fall asleep. It sounds silly but times like these bring me back to square one and it’s important to always maintain the routine that helps your nails to strengthen and grow.

Base & Top Coat
I’ve always heard good things but only started using O.P.I. Nail Envy base coat a couple of months ago and I LOVE it. It really does work wonders, not only has it greatly improved my nail condition and length, it dries in seconds and is really nice and glossy for a nail strengthener. Although it is important to let our nails breathe I try not to stop regular coats of Nail Envy because when nails are bare they can split really easily. When I wear coloured nail polish I make sure I’ve always got this on as the base so it can be working its magic beneath. Which brings me on to my latest purchase (recommended by my flatmate Lucy) which is the Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat. Seeing as I’ve only just started using this I shouldn’t be on the best authority to start dishing out recommendations, however, you only need to work this in to your routine once to see the benefits. It keeps nail polish chip free for a LOT longer and helps you avoid ruining freshly painted nails, plus it adds a healthy shine to any coat of colour. All well and good, but how does this actually help the condition of your nails? Well for me it means I don’t have to be stripping my nails of all their polish so often. Whereas before my nails would be chipped the next day (meaning the ends would be venerable to water damage and cracking) and I would have to put my nails through the ordeal of being stripped down with remover. However, now my polish lasts so much better, I get a good 3/4 days out of polish – sometimes longer, I can give them a rest.

ETC:
There are other reasons why our nails suffer. It could be something lacking in your diet, your nail polish remover might be too harsh or it can even be certain other things that our hands come in to contact with such as washing up liquid or a harsh cleaning product. Try swapping different aspects of your daily routine to see if there is any changes, use the Fairy Liquid that is kind to hands, or even better wear washing up gloves. Get some more calcium, zinc, Iron and B-12 in your diet (try looking up which foods these can be found in, or opt for supplements) as nails love a dose of these vitamins and minerals.

Get some incentive:
Treat yourself to some new nail colours, It’ll give you a boost that may just keep you on track with your nail care routine. These are my favourite picks for spring (All Barry M – Normal/Gelly). Pease share your nail care secrets as I’m still on the search for the best tips and tricks to ensure healthy, vital nails!

1.Papya     2.Prickly Pear     3.Berry     4.Mint Green     5.Coral

0

Last Week #1

LASTWEEK

♥ T H E  G O O D ♥

Work:
So last week marked my second (and a bit) week of temping. I haven’t really mentioned much about this because I’m saving it up to write a blog post all about my temping experience (the pay, the hours and my general opinion.)  But just to fill you in briefly I’ve signed up with a lovely recruitment agency who send you out on assignments across central London to office assistant or reception based roles. So far I’ve done a Friday on reception for a financial company, the majority of the week before last I helped out with event co-ordination for another financial firm (they had an absolutely lovely kitchen with lots of yummy food and tonnes of tea we could help ourselves to!) and last week I worked right next to Tower Bridge in another reception role.

It was a front desk position at this super posh building called 4 More London.  There was a slight misunderstanding about the dress code when I arrived so spent the first day sheepishly in my light brown (dress code black) top and casual cardy (dress code smart). But despite my NON-EXISTENT funds at the moment I managed to make a dash to Primark to better equip myself. I got a few nice black tops, some patent look high heels and a blazer. Teamed all week with the only pencil skirt I own (also Primarks finest)!

It’s been quite a nice role, 8am – 5pm, and I just had to look attentive at the front desk, sign in visitors, call the companies in the building to announce people etc etc. I’ve spent a fair amount of each day reading blogs because there are long quiet periods. Situated right on the river there was an AMAZING view from the all-glass reception area, but on the downside when you step outside it’s a hurricane. Strong, icy winds that destroy any attempt at nice hair for the day and manage to seep in and make you shiver whilst working. But working in the heart of London is definitely an experience I wouldn’t pass up on. Each day is pretty unique and I had an easy journey this week, ten minutes to London Bridge and a 5 minute walk.

Game of Thrones:
In other things me and John have been plowing through Game of Thrones we only started watching last week and are now halfway through season 2. (Coincidentally season 3 comes out now! so must catch up.) It’s so addictive, confusing at times but fast paced, action filled (a tad gory really) and fascinating. I love things that fall into a high fantasy genre but only when they are structured with a solid back story and a certain level of realism. GOT translates really well to the screen and I think they’ve done a superb job of crafting the world of Westeros and Easteros and intertwining the parallel story lines and the conflicts between characters. Not just one for those with a love for Medieval drama either GOT has depth and is also heavily focused on politics, family values, betrayal and morality.

CORNWALL:
I took John Home to Cornwall for Easter!! which you can read about more h e r e. I had a Lovely Easter weekend with my family and it was also my flatmate’s 23rd birthday so we celebrated that in one of our old haunts in Truro.

Pizza Bus:
We went to our local Deptford pub, which is called The Bird’s Nest, after work this week. Well happy hour ‘one-drink’ turned into happy hour three and before we knew it we were pretty starving! I’d always wanted to try the Pizza Bus next door which is a novelty London double decker bus turned restuarant. It was much better than I expected. The interior of the bus is decked out (haha) nicely with candles on each table and the food was great. There was also a bar and seating area outside with pretty fairy lights! : )

Home made treats:
Made a pretty tasty spagetti bolonaise the other day (the leftovers also turned into chilli) and John made us some American style pancakes which we ate with Bacon, eggs and maple syrup. MMmmmm.

♥  T H E  N O T – S O – G O O D  ♥

Train Etiquette:
I’ve found my rage for how a certain few (in fact most) use the London train and underground system has reached new levels. It’s never pleasant when you have to join the masses and fight your way onto the train, just to stand between someone’s newspaper and another’s armpit (lovely). But it must be done if you need to be somewhere between those peak times and it can be bearable if everyone just showed a little train etiquette! Now I rush myself, it’s hard not to match the pace those mornings require, but it really riles me when you get someone behind you stepping on your heels when YOU CAN’T GET ANY FASTER. I always shoot them a dagger look. Same goes for when the overground train pulls into the station and you get that eager guy by the door pressing the ‘Open’ button repeatedly before you’ve even stopped. You’re already rolling your eyes at him and waiting to get off, then someone behind you starts elbowing through trying to pass you in their panic to disembark. Just be calm, be patient we’re all going the same way! It’s so frustrating and makes an already unpleasant journey even more so. Rant over.

Early Mornings:
I. do. not. like.

Mess:
No matter how often it feels like I tidy my room… mess finds me again! I need to get a bit more organised I think and start making my room prettier.


0

I ♥ cute things – Spring / Happy / Yellow

iheartcutethings

Here’s a little sample of a few things currently on my Artbox wishlist! We’ve been trapped in this endless cycle of bitter, winter nastiness for the past 6 months (doesn’t it feel like forever!) so I think it’s about time we got some S U N S H I N E in our lives. The colour yellow is uplifting so it is inspiring this little cute mood-board.

I love buying things for my kitchen (or more often lusting over things for my kitchen) hence the cute mug and bowl (would make cereal and tea a bit more bearable at 7am!)

I couldn’t resist adding the panda T-shirt and adorable socks and the Mario toadstool rucksack, well that’s just a bit of fun (think beach bag!) Ahh I want spring to finally arrive.

2

Bringing back the Diary

Between the years 2001 – 2007 I was an avid dairy writer and, although towards the ’06, 07′ years said diaries were practically incomplete, for the most part of my teen years I documented EVERYTHING.

The meaning of ‘diary’ is completely elusive in itself, it can be what we use to jot appointments and meetings in, (if you’re more organised than me that is) or it can be the outlet for all our hopes, dreams and secrets. Whilst my diary writing days followed the latter route, I managed to mix hopes & dreams with a LOT of factual, everyday descriptions… “Woke up at 7am, showered and had cereal for breakfast. I walked to school…” etc etc, I’m sure you get the drift, not riveting stuff. However whenever I’m visiting my family back in Cornwall and I come across the stack of worn away, W H Smith diaries, in the ‘junk’ cupboard above my bed it’s so easy to become engrossed reading through my mundane early years.

Memories are SO precious and (at the risk of sounding completely scientificly inacurate) the conscious part of our brain (you know the active bit we can almost speak thoughts in) is too small to deal efficiently with the HUGE catalog of memories we store in the other areas of our subconscious. So most of the time memories we have will never be recalled unless promoted or triggered.  I find this really sad, and I notice it more than ever when I read my diaries, there are events and feelings that otherwise I would not have brought to mind, that would have slipped through the cracks forever.

If this isn’t reason enough to put pen to paper then I don’t know what is, but it’s still easier said than done. For a start what is an entirely natural process for a socially-awkward, insanely crush-obsessed, teenage girl doesn’t sit so well with an older me. Dear Dirary… no longer flows so easily on to paper let alone an out-pour of your day and emotional state of mind. I don’t know if this is true for everyone but whilst I may of been more socially awkward as a teenager I still felt comfortable scribbling down my private thoughts, something that has been lost in the transition to 23 year old me. I feel a disconnection with writing down how I feel, I’m no longer inhibition-free and I struggle to begin a typical diary passage that my 14 year old self eagarly spilled onto the page (in a variety of colours and scents – gel pens were the rage.)

Secondly we just don’t have the time. It’s ironic how angst-ridden our teenage years feel, how we are, en-mass, being oppressed and persecuted by the adult population, by our peers, by our siblings – how burdensome everything is. When in reality we never have it so easy again. I’m generalising here of course but you get the jist. 13 year old me walked home from school around 3.30pm (no nasty hour commute), this was followed by dinner being made by my parents and a relaxed evening interjected occasionaly by homework or an argument about getting off the computer and going to bed. There was no cooking, laundry, commitments, appointments or stress. Chores that were given were completed with sulky, heavy steps, (how ghastly that I’ve been forced to complete this outrageous task of washing up after dinner. Ahkjags.) Life is tough. Yet there is always time for documenting how unfair it is. Once you wave goodbye to your last Summer/Christmas/Easter holiday (ah how good were they?) then life tends to get a bit more hectic and we know where diary writing falls on our prioirty lists…

However I love the rush of nostalgia you get from reading back over thoughts from the past. It’s similar to how I feel when I often flick through the photos on my phone or instagram account, or when I hear a story from my childhood, if it brings back even just one recolection from a certain day or event than its worked for me. Whilst it’s difficult, incorporating some element of the ‘Diary’ into our busy and stressful lives can be hugely rewarding in more ways than one. Collecting thoughts can serve to help us organise our worrys, it can help us make decisions  and I think it’s important sometimes to take a break away from digital documenting! Yes our facebook may have all our holiday pictures in, and yes twitter is an active timeline of the things we’ve done recently but there is something special about holding a memory in your hand, about it being a solid object!

This is why I’m champing for “Bring back the diary(Even as I write this blog I will point out I am nortoriously awful at keeping a project going, and so this is as much a challenge for me as it is for anyone who wants to give it a go.) I want you to tackle this in any way that suits you, it doesn’t matter how much or how little you are writing, you can get creative stick in some printed out photos you love, train tickets, cinema tickets – don’t be neat! 

♥ TIPS AND TRICKS: ♥

  Try and write something everyday. One thougt, one activity, one emotion.

Keep your Journal with you EVERYWHERE you go

When you hear a song you want to download later write it down same goes for movies, books, meal ideas, holiday spots – the list is endless

Don’t be afraid to ramble

Put down milestones – whether that milestone is the day you got engaged (time, place, how!) or the day you decided to quit your job or the day that boy you’ve had a crush on said Hey – it doesn’t matter how big or small, it’s fascinating to look back and read these things

Here’s a little sample of some notebooks and stationary you can use to inspire you to start your journal, scrapbook or diary! I’m a stationary worshiper (and I’m sure you can see the panda/cutsey/cartoon theme going on too hehe). You can find all of the above from either Artbox (my favourite site to buy kawaii themed bits and bobs from it is a m a z i n g) Paperchase, Urban Outfitters or Cath Kidston

Happy Writing! I will document how I get on with my journal/scrapbook/diary.

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