Thursday, 30 January 2014

Jo Malone Earl Grey & Cucumber Fragrance

A note from Joelle... 

♫ ♪ 'I Want To Know What Love Is' - Mariah Carey ♫ ♪

You cannot get a more British fragrance than this! Earl Grey tea and the good ol' cucumber.
I have had my on this for over a year, but wasn't convinced I would actually wear it over my other favourite perfume.
I was waiting to catch my flight back to uni and there I saw it... calling: 'Go on Joelle, buy me, buy me!'
So I caved in and bought a 30ml bottle on the spot. I even got it gift wrapped even though it was for me, hehe.
I just love that feeling of opening a new perfume!
I got the 30ml as it's a lot easier to travel with and the bottle is simple and sophisticated. Really perfect for young women who want a more elegant, but playful fragrance.
This fragrance isn't for everyone though. I really recommend sampling it in store and then walking around a bit to see how the scent changes. 
I think some people will like the cucumber and bergamot (the fruit that gives Earl Grey its signature citrus flavour) scent, but others will find it a bit too much.
I personally love it and am looking to buy the bigger 100ml bottle when this runs out.
30ml for £39.00 buy it HERE.
Have you tried any Jo Malone fragrances? I am after either Orange Blossom or White Jasmine, Mint & Red Roses next.

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Facing The Facebook Friendship Facade

A note from Joelle... 

♫♪ 'Demons' - Imagine Dragons ♫♪

This is something most people bottle inside and rarely discuss, but I think it's time to have a little discussion about our obsession with online popularity...


We've all done it: stalk someone's Facebook profile and judge them on their pictures, 'likes', groups and even the amount of friends they have. You'd then refresh your page to see how many 'likes' your new status got and then keep tabs on the comments on your new profile picture. It's a great ego boost and we feel as if we are a part of something.
But does all this stuff really matter in the long run? Is someone's popularity really determined by the number of Facebook 'friends'/like/comments they have? 
If you were to ask me that as a 15-year-old back in 2009, I would've said that Facebook friends do determine popularity and how 'cool' you are, but I've grown up since then and have realised that that way of thinking is really damaging (especially to young people).
Although it can be a great ego-boost to know that you can potentially reach hundreds (if not thousands) of people with just a click of a mouse, some people actually get hooked on the constant need for 'likes' and comments. It is as if it's a drug they need to survive - so scary.
Our popularity used to be just a spoken myth, but sites like Facebook and Twitter have turned it into a virtual scripture for all to see and act upon.
The more 'friends' we accept online, the larger the audience we have to keep entertained, so that they won't find us boring and un-friends us. Pressures like that are natural, but it can turn into paranoia and obsession quicker than you think! For example, sculpting out the perfect Facebook status (with many drafts) and publishing the version you think will get more 'likes' is odd behaviour, but it happens.

You usually get Facebook at 13/14 and add your school friends and a few family members to begin with. But then when you get older, you seem to get requests from people you drunkenly brushed past at parties or met briefly through an acquaintance and it becomes a scramble for 'friends'. You don't know these people, but you don't even think twice about declining their request as you want to boost up your friendship numbers. Sound familiar? If you said no, you're lying! 
But the truth is, it's all bullshit and can ruin lives if you read into it too much. Our constant desire to be seen as 'normal' and 'accepted' used to be a physical thing but it is now a virtual thing too, which is a really huge issue. 
Some people are so obsessed with being 'popular', that they are spending real £££ to buy fake friends to boost their numbers on Facebook! Is this really the world we are living in right now?

*ACTUAL EVENT ALERT*A few months ago, some guy (who I'm not even that close to) asked why if I had low self esteem. I was really confused but then he went on to explain that he noticed I hadn't uploaded pictures of me clubbing at uni, so therefore came to that conclusion that I hated myself. WHAT A DICKHEAD. I was really offended, but just brushed it off because I didn't want to make a scene.
This guy had the audacity to stalk my profile and then practically call me socially inept just because I don't post pictures in Facebook albums anymore.
WTF, right?

On my personal Facebook, I have about 555 friends. To some, that is a lot and to others it's a pea-size number. But who actually cares about these numbers and takes them so seriously?
Does it make me unpopular because I don't have over 1000 friends? Does it make me a loser, uncool, awkward, anti-social because I don't upload new pictures into albums? Nope, it means I have a life outside of cyberspace and want to live it without hundreds of people knowing every detail.

The truth is this: we don't know everyone on our Facebook page and we never will. The average person (US study)  has about seven close friends in real life and that is okay! 
There is no correlation between how many online 'friends' you have and the number of friends you have in real life, as it's just down to who you accept.
These are the people who really care about you, love/know you and will be there for you no matter what.
So, if you are a young person feeling unpopular/pressured into increasing online friendship numbers, just remember that it's not a big deal and a power cut/virus will easily wipe out everyone's account one day.
Having thousands of online 'friends' won't get you anywhere in life and it's not like you can write it on your resume. So don't get obsessed with the numbers and just live your life!

Frankly, we are not in 2009 anymore and I am not going to let a social media site determine how I feel about myself or the content of my character. I just do not give a fuck anymore and you should do the same.

(oh, the irony)
I'd love to know your thoughts on this. Please leave me a comment below and join the discussion!
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Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Best Dresses At The Grammys 2014

A note from Joelle...
The fashion at this year's Grammy Awards was a mess on the female side of things if I#m being honest.
There were just some really weird gowns that we not flattering at all! 
That is why this 'Best Dressed' list is incredibly short! Ladies, STEP YOUR GAME UP!
All pics from cosmopolitan.co.uk
Katy Perry in Valentino | I saw this dress on  a model on Pinterest a while back and I was delighted that Katy Perry wore it. She looks stunning.
katy perry on grammy awards 2014 red carpet

Taylor Swift went for this lovely shimmering gown. Very classy and elegant.
Taylor Swift red carpet dress grammys 2014

I really like this dress even though it's really revealing and has a weird front slit. Anna seems to pull it off though!
grammys 2014 red carpet Anna Kendrick

Well, that's it! I told you it would be a short list. Even Queen Bey let me down! Who was your best dressed? 
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This Is The Dawning Of The Age Of Aquarius

A note from Joelle...

♫♪'Aquarius' - HAIR Cast♫♪

I seriously love crazy prints and vibrant colours but this pencil skirt is really out of my comfort zone! Firstly, I don't actually like pencil skirts, but I bucked the trend and bought my first ever one!
I couldn't resist the crazy colours (and the 20% off ASOS discount) and I wanted to try something I would never normally go for!
*Excuse the odd title of this post. The skirt reminded me of the HAIR song 'Aquarius' because it's all psychedelic and vibrant, like the hippies in the song!
As the skirt is in a world of its own, I played it safe and matched it with a long sleeveless blouse from H&M.
Necklace - Topshop
Ring - Market stall
Heels (wearing with socks) - ASOS
I bought the skirt from ASOS and you can find it HERE
Ahhh it's making me excited for summer!
What do you think?
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Monday, 27 January 2014

Quote Of The Week

A note from Joelle... 
'Work hard in silence, let your success be your noise...'
photography | Tumblr
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Sunday, 26 January 2014

The Wired Ring

A note from Joelle...

♫♪'Open Your Eyes' LMNT ♫♪


This is by far my favourite statement jewellery piece. I bought it at a gorgeous hand-made jewellery stall in Camden Market in 2012 have have been trying to incorporate it into almost all my outfits.!
The lovely lady running the stall told me that her partner made all the jewellery on display! Check out some of his creations below.
She had such a great eye for style and said that the gold ring looked better on me than the silver ones! I wanted a silver wired ring at first but, she was right of course!
Market stalls are the best places to find jewellery that no one else will have.
It makes me miss living so close to London sometimes!
If you are looking for unique treasures at negotiable prices, head to Camden Market!
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Saturday, 25 January 2014

Lunch At The Limetree Kitchen

A note from Joelle... 

♫♪ 'Took Me To The River' - Wildflowers ♫♪

Don't you just love finding cute, quirky eateries with amazing food? I know I do! 
Back in the Summer, the day after The Lewes Stopover, Ama, Gurps and I packed up our tent (*sobs*), applied some extra sunscreen and headed for the station to go home.
But before we headed back, we needed food and lots of it. The thing about camping at festivals is that you are never thirsty, just really, really hungry during them!
Just a hop, skip and a jump from the station, we found the Limetree Kitchen. It was one of the few places open on a Sunday afternoon, so we practically forced our way through the doors! 

We were warmly greeted by two really cool-looking guys who were super friendly. We didn't want a normal sandwich so they suggested we try the steak sandwich (oh yes!)
We all went for the beef steak sandwich with rocket salad. It was perfect.
Here's another picture of the same sandwich. I wasn't joking when I said IT WAS PERFECT!
 We took our seats in the corner in the next room and I fell in love with the decor and overall vibe of the bistro.
And the decor is so dreamy. I love the summery whites and the rustic wood panelling!
 It's so rustic, Summerish and dreamy - just what we needed after hours of dancing to Mumford & Sons and Vampire Weekend!
 Manuscript as wallpaper! Love it!
With friendly staff, amazing food and a nice atmosphere, our batteries were fully recharged (literally, there were sockets to charge our phones) and we were ready to hit the road again!
If you ever find yourself wandering the pretty streets of Lewes, give the Limetree Kitchen a visit!
Address: 14 Station St, Lewes, East Sussex BN7 2DA
Phone:01273 478636



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Friday, 24 January 2014

The Wonders Of Jasmine Tea

A note from Joelle... 
source
Today, I bring you a rather different post: it's all about TEA! I know that it's super cliche that bloggers like tea, but I honestly drink about 4-5 cups a day (mainly Earl Grey or Twinning fruit teas) and it really affected my health. My overuse of caffeine caused these horrible bags under my eyes, so I am on a detox and am sticking to my favourite tea -Jasmine! 
Jasmine tea is the most popular scented tea in China and tastes delicious!
When I went to China a few years back, this was all we drank in restaurants! From the regular teabag version, to the impressing flowering tea version!  Since then, I have been buying it from Wing Yip and it's so refreshing (even if it doesn't really taste of much)!

According to www.livestrong.com, jasmine tea helps to lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of strokes, calms moods and decreases the heart rate.
Not to mention, it really helps me through menstrual cramps (better than any hot water bottle!).

Sorry about the randomness of this post. It's not sponsored or anything, I just wanted to give it a shoutout!

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Thursday, 23 January 2014

Blissfully Benna!

A note from Joelle... 
*sponsored post
Benna is an online designer and fashion jewellery outlet set up by designer Benna Harry in 2009.She hand picks all the pieces that go on to the site and strongly believes in great quality customer service.
I had a long look on the website, umming and arring over the pieces. You realise straight away that it's a wide range of jewellery and in the zoomed-in shots, the detail is exquisite! Here are my favourites!

Zoe and Morgan 'Forget Me Knot' Ring - the detail is wonderful and it also comes in gold
Holiday Romance Necklace - great for all you globetrotters! Viva Italia!
Monica Lapis ring - very minimalistic and would be great as part of a stacked ring look.
Yes Necklace - My personal favourite! The metallic and carved-out feel is very appealing to me. It's also nice and positive :)

There is FREE UK delivery on all orders (YAY!) so what's not to love?
What's you favourite Benna piece?
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Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Blogging 101 Part 6: Refreshing Your Blog in the New Year

A note from Joelle... 

♫ ♪ 'Fill My Little World' - The Feeling ♫ ♪

The New Year is a really good time to freshen up your site and decide the direction you want to take this season. I have a really good spring clean of my blog every January and I would like to share with you a few things that I do!
†madness returns† | via Tumblr
source
1) Declutter your sidebar – There is no better feeling than getting your sidebar in order. A good place to start is by scrolling down and finding buttons/links/pictures that you want to get rid of. Have you checked if all the links are still active? Are the images the same size? Maybe your affiliate banners have expired without you realising. This is the time to check! 

2) Unfollow follow inactive bloggers – You may think it mean, but what is the point of dormant blogs clogging up your reading list? It’s best to get rid of them and find new, fresh blogs that will inspire and entertain you! Many blogs are no longer available to view, so you can delete them by going to the ‘Manage Blogs I'm Following’ on the dashboard (for blogs on Blogger).

3) Update your Blogroll  – I realised that I had not done this since August 2012, which is crazy seeing as I love sharing all the blog gems I come across. I just copy my alphabetical reading list from my Blogger profile and the links are already attached – easy!

4) Make a new header – Nothing says ‘New Year’ like a new blog header. If you are feeling confident with art/graphics, why not try making a fresh, brighter header for 2014? For photo editing, why not try the online free Picmonkey software? For free fonts, I go to dafont.com for lovely downloadable fonts for Microsoft word. I then mess around with ideas in Paint and then upload it to the blog.

5) Learn HTML to tidy your social media links – Want to make your blog link stand out when commenting on other blogs? Just use this HTML code:  
This is a lot neater than putting http://www... Pretty nifty, right? And people are more likely to click because a link to your blog has already been created (sometimes I'm too lazy to copy + paste every link I get).

6) Advanced Changes If you want to give your blog some extra pizzazz, why not delve into the advanced design settings and have a play around?( Dashboard - Template - Customise).  Here you can change font colour/size, backgrounds in more depth.

7) Compact your social Media links – I used to make different links to every social media platform I was on for my blog. I found it easier to download media icons, place then in Photobucket and then create coding for them using the tag.

8) Change blog width size – It’s great to check how your blog layout looks on other devices such as a phone or tablet. I found that on my tablet, my sidebar was too far away from the main body of the blog and looked weird. So it's a good idea to adjust the widths accordingly. 

9) SAVE – This is the most important thing you can do for your blog. Trust me, saving the entire coding of your blog will save you a lot of heartache and stress if you accidentally delete/alter your blog HTML codes. To do this (on Blogger), just go to Dashboard - Template - Edit HTML and then copy the coding and save it into a Word document for safety. I think that this should be done monthly.


I hope that this helps you! :)
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Sunday, 19 January 2014

Gallo Moscato & Passionfruit Cupcakes!‏

A note from Joelle... 

♫ ♪ 'Pack Up' - Eliza Doolittle ♫ ♪

It may still be freezing cold outside, but I'm going to convince myself that it's Spring and bring you a fruity dessert!
I was very kindly sent a bottle of Gallo Family Vineyards Moscato and have been allowed to create a recipe around the wine.
Gallo Moscato is a beautifully sweet wine made from peach, pineapple, orange blossom and honey. It's really refreshing as a drink on it's own, but it's equally as delicious in cupcakes, who knew?
Here's my recipe for my Gallo Moscato and Passionfruit Cupcakes!

Cupcakes:
110g Butter
110g Caster Sugar
1tsp Vanilla extract 
Blitzed pulp of 2 passion fruits
2 large eggs
1 tsp Baking powder
110g Self-raising Flour
Glug of Gallo Moscato
- Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
- Add in the eggs, vanilla and passion fruit and stir until smooth and even
- Add a few glugs of Gallo Moscato and stir until it forms a golden cake batter
- Fold in the baking powder and plain flour in a figure of 8 pattern
 - Spoon into muffin cases and bake until golden at 180 degrees Celcius 
 - Decorate it in any style you want. A small hint of the Gallo Moscato in the icing is delicious too!
If you'd like another recipe with the delicious Gallo Moscato, check out this Spiced Orange Blossom Punch:
You'll need:
  • 2 bottles of Gallo Family Vineyards Moscato
  • Half a lemon, half an orange & 4 kumquats
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 2 tablespoons of orange blossom water
  • 80g sugar
  • 6 whole allspice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • Twist of orange zest and physalis
How to:
  • Thinly slice the lemon, orange and kumquats, discarding any seeds. Quarter the orange slices.
  • Put the fruit into a pan and add honey, sugar, orange blossom and allspice. 
  • With a knife, cut the cinnamon sticks lengthwise into thinner strips & add to the pan.
  • Add two cups of water to the pan, bring to boil over high heat then reduce heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes
  • Pour both bottles of Gallo Family Vineyards Moscato into the hot citrus base and heat until steaming for about 8 minutes
  • Pour into martini glasses with a twist of orange zest and a physalis for garnish.
Gallo Moscato has an RRP of £6.79 and is available from all major retailers!
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Best Dressed At the Screen Actors Guild Awards

A note from Joelle... 
It was the SAG Awards last night and boy, were there some amazing dresses. It's getting me so excited to see what they wear to the Oscars! 
Most the the dresses that stood out for me were the shimmering ones and blue ones. Have a look below to see my faves.

Once again, Lupita nails it! This time in a stunning powder blue gown by Gucci
And she won Best Supporting Actress! YEAHBOY!
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Jennifer Lawrence in a sequinned Dior Haute Couture frock (what a shocker...) 
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Amy Adams in a cobalt blue Antonio Berardi dress
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Sofia Vergara in a slinky Donna Karan gown
Shimmering star: Sofia Vergara may have complained of feeling 'old and dry' but she looked anything but on the red carpet for the Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine in Los Angeles on Saturday

Jennifer Garner in a Max Mara matte navy gown

Who stood out for you? 
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Friday, 17 January 2014

Baldwins Oils and Cleansing Lotion Review

A note from Joelle... 

♫ ♪ 'Thank U' - Alanis Morissette ♫ ♪

G Baldwin & Co specialise in bringing affordable and natural products to the masses. I was very kindly allowed to review a few beauty products! 
Harmonising Bath Oil (25ml)- This is pure bliss in a bottle. All I did was add about half of the bottle into my bubble bath and I soaked in it for 15 mins. 
The lavender is the most soothing of all the scents and the Marjoram and Geranium oils balance it out nicely.
To be honest, I did not have high hopes for this product, as I didn't really get the hype of bath oils. But now I totally understand and can't believe I've been missing out! I don't think I've been so relaxed and I have saved the other half of the bottle to have another soak before my exams next week!

Pomegranate, Bilberry & Rose Cleansing Lotion (150ml) - You can see from the picture about that there is only half of this lotion left! The aroma is really lovely and the three scents really work well together, which I was not expecting I thought the rose scent would overpower the other two, but it's a light, summery fragrance. This lotion also contains hints of white clay, papaya and passion seed oil, which makes the lotion extra rich.
I use it by massaging it into my face and neck, then rinsing it off with wet cloth. My skin was left bright and soft as all the dirt/oil/makeup from my skin was now visible on the cloth (there was more than I was expecting). 
It's also wonderful to know that this lotion was not tested on animals and is suitable for all skin types!
I just wish it came in a tub instead of a glass dispenser though, as it would be easier to scoop some instead of pump out really small amounts every time. 

Pure Essentials Christmas Oil (10ml) - I use this as both a room fragrance and a body oil (it's fabulously versatile!)
The Christmas Oil is exactly what it says: Christmas in a bottle! It's a warm blend of cloves, cinnamon, pine, nutmeg and orange. I just wish that you guys could smell it, because it's the most beautiful aroma ever!
For use on my skin, I added a few drops of the oil onto a wet flannel. Even though my skin was left silky and bright, I personally don't think it's for me as the both the oil and aroma was a bit too heavy for my skin.
For room use, I added a few drops into my oil burner and after a few minutes, everything around me smelled of Christmas and I got that warm, fuzzy nostalgic feeling! It was wonderful

I really do recommend all three of these products as they add a hint of luxury to your everyday life!
All the links to the products are above if you've like to give them a go! 
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Thursday, 16 January 2014

Newspaper Nail Art (Revisited)

A note from Joelle... 

♫ ♪ 'She Moves In Her Own Way' - The Kooks ♫ ♪


I did a similar post last year (you can find it HERE), but I would love to share with your some new snaps with a much better camera!

It's been a while since I've done this and it's really not as complicated as it looks! 
It's still the same stuff you need:
White nail polish - I used Barry M as my saffron London polish ran out
Newspaper clippings (the bolder the print, the better!)
Cotton buds
Surgical Spirit (or rubbing alcohol if you're in the USA)
Spare wet cloth in case there's a spillage
Top Coat clear polish

1. Paint your nails white (about three/four coats to make it last longer)
2. Leave for a few hours to dry fully
3. Take the cotton bud, dip it in surgical spirit
4. Gently dab the spirit onto a nail and immediately press the newspaper clipping ink-side-down onto the nail
5.Press down firmly for five seconds and the gently peel off
6 Repeat this process for every nail and then wash your hands before applying the clear top coat.

Told you it was simple! 
If you try this nail art, holla at me:
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