Sunday, 30 December 2012

Two-Toned Talons

A note from Joelle...
Motcomb Street by Nails Inc and Glitter Glam by E.L.F are perfect for each other. I simply fully painted my nails with Motcomb Street blue and then covered half my nail (diagonally) with tape and then painted over the exposed side with Glitter Glam. Super easy and the colours are wintry and lovely! Great for the holiday and New Year Season!
These nails were quite big on the catwalk during the 2012 fashion weeks as well as two-toned lips!

What do you think?

Saturday, 29 December 2012


A note from Joelle...
Below is a monthly break-down of my year. I have summarised all the highs (and lows) of 2012. It is completely honest and uncensored. I would love to know what you think!
JAN: Trying haggis for the first time in Harrods|FEB: My 18th birthday| MAR:Making Oreo truffles|APR: Mt Etna erupting| MAY: Diamond Jubilee| JUN: Moving away from home| JUL: New friends at uni| AUG: Supporting Team GB in the Olympics| SEPT: Meeting Jo Elvin| OCT: View from beach| NOV: Magazine Launch| DEC: Christmas!

I promised myself that this year would be different from all the others. I would not let myself be walked over any more and would not take any crap from anyone. With that said, I wanted to make this the year where I help people get closer to their dreams/goals. Even if I wasn't that close of a friend with them or they didn't want me help, I wanted to to realise their true potential and give them a little push in the right direction.
That sounds like a really odd thing to do, but that's just me, I guess! 
At the beginning of this year I just wanted to get through the last few months of Sixth form college and leave. I spent more time working in the library than I did seeing my friends and that did affect my relationships with people. I found it really hard to revise and new that I had to ace these exams if I wanted a place at uni. Even though I got all 5 university offers, I was still really worried that I was not good enough.

I celebrated the first year of my blog on the 7th, which, being me, I completely forgot!
I also turned the milestone age of 18 at the end of the month, which felt amazing. It turns out that I share my birthday with Elizabeth Taylor and er... Peter Andre!
I got my January exam results and got ABC. I had to retake the C in June and also retake all of AS music modules. I then had to sit my Grade 8 flute exam, which I was not ready for (I was very ill!). 
I went to Sicily on a geography school trip. It was amazing and I got to spend time with people outside my normal friendship group. It was here that realised that I did make the right decision choosing geology as my university degree. OH, and Mount Etna erupted while we were on it... just a casual thing!
My mum texted me in the Sicilian airport to say that I passed my Grade 8 flute exam! I was so happy to finally achieve that after almost a decade of playing the flute!
I also went to my first ever blogger event. It was the Very DeeVee blogger event, where I met the coolest bloggers around plus the Very team and Miss Diana Vickers herself!  I did miss a lesson at college for it, but it was so worth it!
Not much happened in this month to be honest with you. It was the Diamond Jubilee and everyone seemed to be more patriotic and just happier. It seemed like old tensions between religions, races and lifestyles were forgotten for a while.

This was the most difficult moth of my life this year. Not only did the thought of failing my final A Level Summer exams loom over me, a day after my final exam I moved to Scotland. I hardly got to see my friends from college/school and had to leave straight away. On the plane flying over Northern Scotland, it looked bleak, really grey and wet. I was right about the rain, but people were so much more friendly up there than in the south of England. 
I met my five flatmates and started lectures. Despite the weather, I really loved the beginning of the university experience.
So much stuff happened this month, but I'll keep it sort and sweet: it did not start off great as I was hit in the face but a drunken wasteman and my head missed a concrete step by about an inch. It was an accident, but the little prick never apologised to me and my friend. I confronted him about 5 minutes before the term ended and said I forgave him. He looked embarrassed ans stunned, which I found very entertaining! Thank God my hair extensions cushioned the fall and my friends looked after me! After that, myself and a friend were completely alienated from our 'friends' because they didn't want us to report the guy. But as I don't take any crap from anyone, we did it anyway and fought back, mainly with kindness. The thing is: people like that think they are so cool and hard and they try to belittle and scare people who think are weaker than them. 
To cut a long story short, the foul-mouthed ringleader of this little group lost all her friends and became the subject of ridicule as everyone turned against her. At the beginning I couldn't give a shit because she was a nightmare to live with, but then I felt sorry for her and started to kill her with kindness - that completely destroyed her; always does with people like that!
This month, I worked tirelessly to complete all my work and hopefully get into my first choice university. I GOT IN! That meant that I could get rid of my Keele offer and finally study where I really wanted to go in Scotland. I was really happy, but ready to come home to London. It was sad to know that some awesome people I met over the last three months would not be joining me in September, but I knew that we would stay in touch.
It was good to know that I already knew people at university, so I wouldn't be a total loner during the first few weeks. Fresher's Week was amazing and I joined lot of societies (which I didn't know I had to pay for!). As for my flatmates, they are really cool girls. We are all from different countries, which I think is awesome. I am so lucky to be living with people that I like, lots of my other friends have had a few difficulties with their this term!
I'm not going to lie, this month was such a blur. It was my first full month in uni, and I LOVED it! People on my courses, accommodation and societies were all awesome. I went out write a bit but always seemed to manage to make it into my 9am lectures on time.
I'm sure I'm missing lots of stuff, but I honestly do not remember this month very well!
I was in way over my head with assessments, essays, reports, practicals and class tests - I honestly wanted to give up and go home. Two of my course module were boring the hell out of me, so I hardly went to those lectures in this month.
I came home for my little sister's birthday and spent time in London with two of my best friends. We went to see the Tim Walker Exhibition and it was amazing. I then stayed up to watch the Jenny Packham Bridal Show and I honestly fell in love with all of them.
The build up to the holidays was the only thing getting me through the hard work I think!
I also launched my first issue of TruffleDust Magazine - just a little mini-mag for bloggers about everything from fashion to lifestyle and blogger interviews. It was well received  but I will be making LOTS of changed for the next issue in January 2013.
I had a few more uni tests to do and became exempt from sitting two January Exams! YES! It is such a relief, that I now only have two exams to sit in the new year. My journey down to London from Northern Scotland was around 8 hours, but I LOVED the journey on the train.
I have spent the majority of this month back in London, surrounded by friends and family. It has been brilliant and really fun. 
The lead up to Christmas and Christmas Day was so good. And now I can't wait for new year's! 
I am so excited for what 2013 has to offer! So raise a glass to the New Year, I hope it's even more amazing than this year!
Now over to you! If you have a similar round up of your year or any things that have made your year, please use the #My2012 tag on twitter to show your stuff! I'm at @joelle_o if you want to send your link to me.
I want to RT them all! 
Happy New Year! :)

Friday, 28 December 2012

Christmas Outfit

 A note from Joelle...
                                                     ♫ ♪   Fairytale Of New York - The Pogues
Happy holidays everyone! I hope your Christmas was great and you got to spend time with your loved ones. 
This is just a quick post to show you what I wore on the big day. I WILL be doing more personal style posts in the new year, once my camera decides to love me and stay charged for more than 5 minutes!
Aztec Blazer - Primark
Purple Pussybow Blouse - Rare 
Mini skirt- H&M 
I kept it really simple this year, nothing fancy. I was in the kitchen helping to cook, so I didn't want to ruin brand new clothes. The Aztec blazer was £12 and the Skirt was £3.99 and I got them in late November. 
The sleeveless blouse added a deep burst of colour to the outfit, as I didn't want to wear just black and white any more! The blazer is actually a mixture of Aztec and Fairisle print so it's kind of Christmasy, right?

So what did you wear on Christmas Day? Let me know below! :)

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Winter Warmers: Quesadillas!

A note from Joelle... 
For lunch, I looked in the fridge and saw that all I had left were four tortilla wraps, half an onion and some cheese... not very inspiring on their own. But then looking in my kitchen cupboard, I found some tomato salsa! And then it hit me... I can make Quesadillas!
I like to make these little vegetarian Mexican beauties really gooey, with the cheese and salsa oozing out - but that's just me!
You can be creative and add whatever you want to them and eat it for lunch or as a little pick-me-up! What's great is that they usually take only 10 minutes to make, which is fab if you are always on the go.
Ingredients: 1/2 onion (diced), four tbsp tomato salsa, a pinch of salt, grated cheese (I used mild Cheddar), drizzle of sunflower oil.
Here's how to make them!
1. Put a drizzle of oil in a saucepan on medium heat and leave it to sizzle for 5 minutes

2. Dice the onion and grate the cheese, then set aside for a minute
3. Place a tortilla wrap flat in the pan and quickly spread the tomato salsa. Check that the bottom is golden brown, but not burning.
4. Then place the onions and cheese (and whatever else you want like peppers, ham, olives, etc.) evenly in the middle 
5. Grab another tortilla wrap and place it on top of the filling. Squeeze the edges together to stop the filling coming out. 
6. Flip the wrap over carefully and wait until the other side is a crispy golden brown colour
7. Put the quesadillas on a plate, slice into generous segments and serve straight away!
This may look messy with the filling oozing out, but it's fine and tastes wonderful!

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

And The Bells Are Ringing Out For Christmas Day

A note from Joelle...
Hi everyone! As you can probably guess, this is an automatic post today, as I am spending time with my family and having a jolly old time! I just wanted to let you know that I hope that you have an awesome day and get to be with the people that you love. 
I also hope that you enjoy your presents, good company, music and the Christmas food (of course!)
It's great to also remember the true meaning of Christmas, that we are actually celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ - not just getting presents!
I love knowing about Christmas in different countries and your traditions! Let me know what your Christmas is like!
Happy holidays, you beauties!

Monday, 24 December 2012

The Knitwear Before Christmas

A note from Joelle...
                   ♫ ♪ Warm This Winter - Gabriella Cilmi 
Like my little pun in the title? That took me a good 30 seconds to come up with - world record punning time!
Moving swiftly on... I LOVE winter knits: jumpers, leggings, cardigan, bobble hats, tights and even skirts!
They not only keep you warm but, you look cheery, festive and chic as well.
As a female I recommend you invest in all of the following in order to stay merry, chic and warm this winter!

The Cable knit cardigan - These are so cosy and well-fitted for all shapes. I thought they were really old-fashioned back in the day but this season, they are just perfect to wear around the house and for the casual festive trips, out and about!
First two are from Republic, third from ASOS: 1, 2, 3

The Knitted Leggings - Mine are from Boohoo two years ago, and I have just bought a similar one from FD Avenue. Check out my picks below.

1, 2, 3

The Woolly Hat - my bobble hat is from Sweden, but have a look at some cool ones below!

All from ASOS: 1, 2, 3
All the shops that I have featured above now have online sales! So when you are full up on turkey and mulled wine, check then out!
Merry Christmas!

Sunday, 23 December 2012

The 'Deen Scene: Offset 57 Exhibition

A note from Joelle...
For the next few years while I am up in Aberdeen, I will be letting you all know about the cool events going on in the city. I've called this feature 'The 'Deen Scene' and will keep you posted on my whereabouts! When I fist got here in June, I honestly thought that it could never match up to the bright lights of London. I thought the events and city life would be awful - I am glad to say that I was wrong!
So, I will include music, art, culture and dining in the feature so I hope you enjoy this post and the future 'Deen Scene goodness! 

In late November, a friend and I rocked up to an art exhibition at the Academy Shopping Centre. This is a pop-up exhibition run by the Robert Gordon University students, and will be on show until the end of December.
The exhibition has taken over two shop spaces and is crammed with shaped cardboard, art doodles on the wall (that you can contribute to!) and visual motion picture art. As I went on the launch night, there was plenty of alcohol and a DJ (who played the most random music - ever). 
Right, on to the art: It was all right - not to sure about the cardboard bit-and-bobs to be honest. I loved the jewellery and even picked up the business cards of the designers  They were kitsch and retro, which I am really fascinated in. The handmade Christmas cards and T-shirts that are on sale incredible as well! It is easy to see how passionate and creative the students are.

I have to admit, the reception was cold and a bit chaotic - there was no real structure to the event, which was a tad bit odd. I felt a bit out of place, as I came as a blogger and not an art student. People were standing and having a chat in the entrance and refused to let my friend and I through or even acknowledged our presence! Then I realised that all the students were dressed the same: the arty student look with the oversized jumpers, red lippy, hair either back-combed or in top ballerina bun, etc. As chic as they all looked, I did not appreciated the odd stares at my choice of attire: just a simple blue jumper and leggings! 
I realised that the art scene is incredible cliquey and odd from this point on. It was like being at high school all over again, so we only stayed for about 45 minuets, then left to get food!

Overall, I did enjoy the artwork on display - the jewellery the most. I even took some business cards so I could remember the names. More work needs to go into presentation and social awareness however, as visitors that were not members of the art department were not made to feel welcome. With that said, this is a great exhibition and the artists are very talented. 

Saturday, 22 December 2012

All Back, Everything: Is Back Detail The New Cleavage?

A note from Joelle...
                               ♫ ♪ Sexy Back - Justin Timberlake (cringey, but it gets my point across) 
I started to write this post back in November, but then realised that the trend was not as big as I thought back then. I kept it in the draft file just in case it became more and more prominent on the catwalk and red carpet in the beginning of the Winter season. And boy, was I right! Plunging/open back dresses are everywhere at the moment and I don't think it will slow down any-time soon.
I think that it is so much better for women to show a slightly bare back instead of your cleavage, for obvious reasons. But hey, that's my opinion. I just find it more chic and can give a boost to your jewellery and/or hairstyle. Open and plunging back dresses have been worn by the likes of Kristin Stewart (at Twilight premières Elizabeth Banks, Rihanna and more!
There is just something more mysterious yet really elegant about open back detail instead of exposing your cleavage these days. What do you think?

These dresses don't even have to cost a fortune! I have found some from both luxury and high street brands. Enjoy!
Click the numbers below!

Friday, 21 December 2012

The Christmas Tag

A note from Joelle...
                                                ♫ ♪  All I Want For Christmas Is You - Mariah Carey ♫ ♪ 
Images from
  When do you start getting excited about Christmas?
Around early December time. The pre winter sales start and I like to do shopping in advance.

What's Your Favourite Christmas Colour?
Red! So festive and cosy!

What's Your Favourite Holiday Film? 
I saw 'Elf' for the first time a week ago 'and didn't like it! I know, there must be something wrong with me! I like the festive ballets and concerts that are shown on TV like The Nutcracker.
I do like The Holiday, Love Actually and Bridget Jones though, do they count? 

Do you have any Christmas traditions?
 As a family, we don't have any! We always have mulled wine after a carol service on Christmas Eve. We don't do stockings but we open our presents together around 11 on Christmas Day and then entertain our guests with music and jokes. I try to watch the Queen's speech, but always miss it, does that count? haha :)

Which are your favourite Christmas songs?
There are so loads! 'O Holy Night' the Mariah Carey version,  'Fairytale of New York' by The Pogues and 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, either the Michael Buble one or the Judy Garland one!

Do You Like To Stay in Your PJs Or Dress Up For Christmas?
I always dress up on Christmas! Sometimes it's just a jumper and leggings, but I do try to look presentable. I just stay in my PJs on Boxing Day

If You Could Only Buy One Person a Present This Year Who Would It Be?
My Dad! 

What Do You Like To Do On Your Winter/Christmas Break?

Before Christmas I like to take it easy and relax. For the past couple of years, I take this time to revise for January exams, but this year, I only have two so I'll revise after the holidays. I used to watch films, but I get too tired and end up wondering off and doing something else! Shopping, eating and going to London plays a bit part of this festive time as I love do do all those three things.  

Favourite Christmas Smell?
The smell of mulled wine, hot cider and cinnamon is just too good. I'm off to buy my scented candles today.

What’s your favourite make-up look for the festive season?
I'm still not a make-up person! At the moment, I wear L'Oreal Telescopic Carbon Black mascara and Pink Bubbly Vaseline. That's it! I did buy a few berry coloured bits and bobs (like the new red Kate Moss Rimmel lippy) as I think that will look nice.
Giving presents or receiving presents?
GIVING! I love to spend all my money on other people around this time. This is because I see the smile on their face at the end, which is priceless. I like receiving gifts of course, but it's not as special as giving!

Handmade Christmas cards or bought?
I'm way too lazy to make handmade cards any more. Bought one's all the way!

What’s your favourite Christmas food?

I honestly think I can live off turkey, stuffing, Yorkshire pudding and gravy. I have no time for vegetables at 
If you are a blogger and have not done this, then I tag YOU! Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Style Inspiration: The Nutcracker Ballet

A note from Joelle...
                                                  ♫ ♪ Waltz Of The Flowers - PI Tchaikovsky
According to Google, today marks the 120th anniversary of Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker. It's the only ballet where you will see and army of mice, rats and toy soldiers marching/prancing around.
I saw The Nutcracker for the first time in the mid-90s when a Russian Ballet company toured in London. I was only about 2/3, but still twirled in the aisles with other children (whom were complete strangers!). 
 Back then I was in love with the ballet dancing, festive costumes and than giant Christmas tree that appears on stage in the first scene. Now for the past five or so years, it's been about the music. Tchaikovsky is one of my favourite Romantic composers as he used the most beautiful instruments (like harps, triangles and celestas) to express the festive feeling of the ballet. The 'Dance of the SugarPlum Fairy' (I'm sure you'll know the tune if you YouTube it!) and the Waltz of the Flowers' are my favourite extracts from the ballet as the music is simply incredible!
If you have never seen it, the full show is usually shown on Channel 4 or ITV in the lead up to Christmas! If ballets usually bore you, this one won't!
Enough about music, I have created Nutcracker-inspired outfits for the festive season. We all know that high ballerina buns and glitter is in for this season, so why not complete the look with a ballet-themed outfit?

Look One: SugarPlum Fairy 

Look Two: Prima Ballerina



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