Thursday, 31 October 2013

Things That Make Me Happy #55 Halloween Edition

Happy Halloween! I thought I'd mix it up a bit for Halloween so this week's things that make me happy is going to be entirely Halloween related. I hope you enjoy it!

1. I seriously admire people who do amazing pumpkins!


2. Definitely doing this one!


3. Keeping with the pumpkin theme, check out this little crocheted one.


4. This is a really cute idea.


5. I love this Halloween wreath.


6. This is far too cute.


7. Oh this looks really effective. 


8. Inspirational quote of the week. Knew I could fit one in.


9. These are adorable.


10. Love this make up.

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Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Review: Lush Shoot For The Stars

It's that time of year again where Lush start putting out their Christmas collection. I for one try not to think about Christmas before Halloween but I can make an exception for Lush. I think you all know by now that I'm a massive Lush fan so I was really excited to see a lot of new things in the collection along with some old favourites like Cinders and Melting Snowman. The first thing I've tried from the new range is Shoot For The Stars. A bath ballistic(ie bath bomb) priced at £3.25. What I love about the Christmas collection is that it's very reasonable priced. Sometimes Lush products can be very expensive but very few bath bombs from the Christmas collection are over £3. Saying that I do think £3.25 is a good price for this.

Shoot For The Stars has the same smell as the Honey I Washed The Kids soap. I think this makes it smell like a toffee apple. It's so sweet and delicious. I'm not sure if it's just the stars on it but this scent almost reminds me of bonfire night. Standing at a firework display with a hot chocolate and a sparkler. It just makes me think of winter and early evenings. This was a bit of a 'slow fizzer' rather than an 'exploder' but after it had fizzed around there was a lovely pink surprise centre. This turned the water a beautiful deep purple. The only thing is that there was quite a lot of glitter in this. I'm not a massive fan of glitter so was quite disappointed, especially as you couldn't tell there was glitter in this from the outside. You know those bath bombs that leave your bath so sparkley you have to clean it? This was one of those! All in all still lovely and I'd repurchase.

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Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Nica Verona Large Tote - Bagable

Hello everyone. Today I'm showing this beautiful bag that was gifted to me by Bagable. Bagable are an online store where you can browse bags and purses from lots of different brands. They've got such a wide range of choices and there's definitely something to take everyone's fancy. They also have free delivery and free returns which is a great thing because you can't always tell how much you like something until you've seen it in the flesh.

I went for the Nica Verona Large Tote Bag in Plum. Normally when I go for bags I go for the sensible option. I stick to what is a) practical and b) can fit an A4 notepad. Despite being more of a 'proper handbag style', the Verona tote still ticks both of those boxes. This is probably the most high quality bag I've ever owned. It's something that I can see my mum buying and then justifying to my stepdad with the excuse of 'The quality, the quality! It will last for years.' I'm kind of converted now. Before you'd struggle to convince me to spend more than about £25 on a bag. This bag retails for £59 but it's only £41.30 on Bagable. I definitely think that it's worth that. The little details just make this bag for me. The perfect stitching, embellishments, the pattern on the front and the beautiful fabric for the lining.

This bag looks quite small from the outside. When it came I was like 'reallly, that's it?' but not to be fooled. This bag is actually incredibly spacious. I was expecting to just use this bag on the weekends for shopping and stuff but this is definitely a bag I can use during the week as well. As I said earlier it easily fits an A4 notebook but you can also fit a folder as well. I have no problem fitting all the things I need in it. I feel a bit like Mary Poppins. The only complaint I have is that the straps are a bit too short for my liking. I'm quite tall and lanky and whenever I try to put it over my arms I end up getting stuck with my elbows. It's hard to explain. #tallgirlproblems.

All in all I'm really impressed with this bag. Thank you so much Baggable. Nica are definitely a brand I'd buy from again. You can view the whole range of Nica bags on Bagable here.

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Monday, 28 October 2013

Revision Tips From A Straight A Student

Hello everyone. I've been thinking about publishing a post like this for a long time. But just didn't know how to go about it without appearing big headed. But I've just decided to go ahead and do it. I got straight As in my highers and whilst a lot of people just like to write that off as me 'just being really clever' I actually worked my ass off last year. To put it into perspective: from the October break to the Christmas break I done 3 hours of revision per subject per week(15) and from the Christmas break onwards I done 4 hours of revision per subject per week(20). And I have a part time job. I'm in no way saying that I'm some sort of revision expert but I was able to work out what was good for me and obviously it was effective.

1. Work out what sort of revision works best for you. The top 3 ways that I learn are: rewriting notes, answering past paper questions and teaching other people. Things that I don't find effective are just listening to people talk, watching videos(although if you're doing higher physics and you've not seen GlesgaPhysics then you're missing out) and making things(models and posters and such). It's all about figuring out what works and then utilising that as best as you can.

2. Realistically keep track of what you struggle with the most in a subject and study that. There's absolutely no point in studying what you know. Yes it's a lot easier to do a lot of questions on something you're really good at, but it isn't going to get you anywhere. When I'm in class I mark my own work with a green pen(I write in black) and I also make corrections for the questions I get wrong. Then when I'm going back through my work I can easily spot what I need to work on the most because it's the areas with the most green pen.

3. Always ask for help if you don't understand something. "He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever." That's true. I always ask if I don't understand something or know how to do something. You just need to push past the idea of people thinking that you're stupid. It's going to help you in the long run so who cares? A lot of the time I get people saying 'oh thank god you asked about that because I didn't get it at all'. You're not the only one. It also helps you build a better relationship with your teachers as they know that you're really serious about passing the subjects. I'm not saying go around and kiss ass but it does help if your teachers actually like you.

4. Take advantage of any extra help your school offers. My school runs after school revision classes for almost every subject and then after school on a Friday there's a 2 hour 'master class' for English. There were also full day revision classes closer to the exams. I'm not saying that you should go to every single one because sometime life gets in the way and what not. But if you don't make the effort to go to anything at all can you really say you tried your hardest?

5. Try and start revising as soon as you get home from school. I found that if I came home and sat about for a while and said that I'd start revising after dinner. The harder it was to actually start revising after dinner. You're brain's already turned on so take advantage of that and you'll maybe even be able to get in an hour or two before dinner. This is why I liked the after school revision classes as I could get an hour of revision done before I'd even gotten home.

6. Don't beat yourself up too much to revise. Yes you should be trying to revise as much as you need to but if you slip up every now and then don't beat yourself up about it. We all have off days and that's ok. You need a break sometimes so take one. Sometimes I felt like I was really stressing myself out and making myself feel ill. That's not ok! Just make sure you get back on track.

7. Start early. A little bit of revision every week from about now to your exams will be a lot better than cramming everything in two weeks before the exams. Stop putting things off because before you know it the exams will be a month away and you haven't started revising. I find it more effective to revise as you're learning because if you wait until just before the exam you've got a lot more to go over.

So there you go. Those are a few tips from me on how to revise. Please don't take anything as concrete though, everyone has their own ways.

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Sunday, 27 October 2013

Book Haul #3

Hello everyone. I hope you're all well. Today I've got a book haul. I really enjoy writing book hauls as I'm a massive fan of reading but lately I've been using my Kindle Fire HD and it's too hard to photograph the screen! But here we go, I hope you enjoy!

I've heard a lot about Where'd You Go, Bendadette by Maria Semple on the internet so when I saw that it was quite cheap I had to snap it up. I absolutely loved this. It's written in the form of letters and emails collected by Bernadette's daughter after she runs away. It's quite like The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson in the way that it's very unrealistic but hilarious at the same time. I rated this 5/5 stars. Next is Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle. This is a collection of 3 stories set in Gracetown on Christmas Eve. I really enjoyed this but I was a little surprised that I really disliked John Green's section in this. I love John Green, he's one of my favourite writers and YouTubers but I found all the characters to be very angsty and they all thought they were better than everyone else because they don't follow trends and it was just really annoying! I loved Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle's sections though.

Next I have my new favourite series! The Lunar Chronicles consists of Cinder and Scarlet by Marissa Meyer. This is a series where fairy tales are retold with modern twists. In Cinder Cinderella is a cyborg working as a mechanic. I really enjoyed the first book and as soon as I'd finished it I ordered the second. I wasn't expecting them to tie in but they did so brilliantly and I'm so annoyed the 3rd book doesn't come out until 2014! I would thoroughly recommend them both.

The next two books were given to me by my grandad. The Lewis Man by Peter May is a crime novel about a murder on Lewis, a Scottish island. If you've ever been to one of the Scottish islands then you'll know that there's this great atmosphere there that you can't describe. Peter May captured this absolutely beautifully and it made me want to go back. The story was also very interesting and easy to read. I think this is actually the middle book in a series and I will definitely be checking the other ones out. Next is Empire of Silver by Conn Iggulden. This book is about Genghis Khan. I don't really know what to expect from this as it's the only one I haven't read yet but I'm sure that it will be very interesting.

If you would like to add me on GoodReads to keep up with what I'm reading then please feel free to. 

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Saturday, 26 October 2013

Beauxoxo £20 Voucher Giveaway! CLOSED

Hello everyone! Today I'm bring you a very exciting post. I've teamed up with Beauxoxo to bring you a giveaway! Beauxoxo make absolutely gorgeous hair accessories and not only that but they ship internationally! Yes that's right, this means it's an international giveaway. I always feel so bad because I can't afford to ship giveaway prizes abroad and I now that that I have a lot of readers out with the UK. This one's for you guys.

So for your chance to win a £20 voucher for Beauxoxo fill in the Rafflecopter options below...

You must be following Beauxoxo on Twitter and my blog via BlogLovin'. These are the only mandatory entries. There are other entries that are optional but you must do those two.
The giveaway runs from today until the 9th of November.
Please use proper Twitter accounts and not accounts made soley for the purpose of entering giveaways.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A big thank you to Beauxoxo and good luck to you all :)

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Recipe: Cinnamon Cupcakes with Maple Syrup Frosting

Hello everyone! I've finally got a recipe post for you all. Recipe posts are one of my favourites to write but because I'm a little busy bee I don't often get the time to just chill out and bake. The October holidays are an absolute godsend. Time to just chill out and relax! This is actually a recipe I kind of came up with my self by altering the basic vanilla cupcake recipe from the BBC. I was really in the mood for some 'autumn' baking and really wanted something cinnamony. I added a little bit of something here and there and came up with these cinnamon cupcakes with maple syrup frosting. Delicious. This recipe will make 12 cupcakes but they won't last long.


4oz butter
4oz caster sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
4oz self raising flour
2tbsp milk

4oz butter
8oz icing sugar
2tbsp milk
maple syrup for drizzling

1. Preheat oven to gas mark 4 and line out some baking cases.
2. Cream the butter and sugar together and then add in the two eggs.
3. Stir in the vanilla extract, cinnamon and nutmeg. The cake batter will take on a very dark colour because of the cinnamon. This worried me because I thought it would be too cinnamony but it's absolutely fine. The perfect ammount if anything!
4. Slowly add the flour bit by bit. If the cake batter is too thick then add some milk.
5. Spoon into the cupcake cases and then cook for about 15 minutes. It's hard to judge them by colour so test with a skewer/cocktail stick to see if they're done.
6. Beat the icing sugar and butter together with some milk until it's thick enough. 
7. Put the icing into an icing bag/freezer bag and pipe the icing into some 'mountains'.
8. And finally drizzle some maple syrup on top.

 And there we have it. My first 'fall' recipe of the year. Seriously Starbucks should just employ me now.

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Friday, 25 October 2013

October Advertisers - Large Advertisers

Hello everyone! Today I'm showcasing my large advertisers for October. Yay. I've been following both of these blogs for a long time so I'm excited to get chatting about them.

Jess Buckley - Oh Jess. Where do I start with Jess? Well I guess we could start off by saying that Jess done my blog design for free! What a babe. That was over a year ago but I still absolutely love it. Jess's blog is a great beauty/lifestyle mash up. She lives in America and I especially love reading lifestyle blogs from the US as you get a feel for life over there which is really different from life over here. She's also my labrador partner in crime. If I've posted a photo on Instagram of Sam, Jess has liked it. I always have these fantasies that I will one day get to go to the US and meet Jess and she'll show me around all the cool places she blogs about. Please go have a little look at Jess's blog and tell her I sent you ;)

Cardigans And Nails - Jenny is another blogger I've been following for absolutely ages. You know those blogs you've been following for so long you can't even remember following in the first place. Yes. That. Cardigans And Nails is a blog about The Body Shop and nail polish beauty and lifestyle. I really enjoy Jenny's posts about The Body Shop, she's a total fan girl and I can always find some new products to try out. She also does a lot of nail posts that I really enjoy. One thing that I like about Jenny is that she's very honest about what's going on in her life. Some bloggers sugar coat everything and after a while everything gets a bit boring but that's not what you'll get on Cardigans And Nails.

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Thursday, 24 October 2013

Things That Make Me Happy #54

1. I made snickerdoodles last year for my friend Louise's party. These sea salt & caramel stuffed snickerdoodles look even better.


2. I love this skull and cross bones nail art from Sandra's blog. 


3. Now that I know I'm moving I'm looking at decor even more. I wish I was in control of the whole house.


4. This looks perfect.

 5. I really love this sparkly skirt. I'm hoping to wear a lot of midi skirts this season.


6. Inspirational quote of the week.


7. I'm going as a cat for Halloween, I really like this make up.


8. Wrapping presents is my favourite part of giving them. I love this. It's so cute.


9. I love making my own soup and this leek, fennel, apple and walnut one looks AMAZING.


10. Basically...


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Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Introducing Ginger & Co

Hello everyone! Today I'm reviewing some products from Ginger & Co, the new kids on the block with body care. These products were sent to me for review purposes but everything expressed is my own honest opinion. Ginger & Co launched a few weeks ago and the products can be bought from Semi Chem. I think what I find most enticing about these products is the packaging. They have a very 'pin up' feel and I can't resist a bit of vintage! They also don't test of animals so if you're a cruelty free blogger like my pals Morag and Louise then this will be right up your street! 

The range includes a bubble bath, body wash, hand wash, hand cream, body butter and body lotion. Everything is priced at £3.75 apart from the hand cream which is £2.99. Very reasonably priced! I think that everything is really good value for money, especially the body butter which is massive. Unfortunately I have a bit of an issue with the scent of the range. I personally think that it smells a bit like the mini shampoos that you steal from get from hotels. I can't really think of another way to describe it. My sister loves it however so maybe it's just me. Also it bugs me a bit that their motto is 'Born & Bred In England' and they use the British flag on their packaging!

Heavenly Hands Moisturising Hand Wash - I didn't really get off to a good start with this product as the packaging broke when I was trying to open it. After decanting it into another container I was able to get using it. I really liked this hand wash, 500ml is a lot of product so I feel like it's pretty good value for money. I also think the packaging would look awesome on display in my bath room. It's just a shame mine broke. I'm not too sure if that's my fault or if the packaging is just like that.

Hand It To Me Dreamy Handcream - Working in an aquarium means that my hands are very very dry so I was quite excited to put this to the test. I found that this was really good for keeping in my bag and touching up during the day but not so great for over night. I found it to be similar in quality to Hand Food from Soap & Glory so if that works for you then this will be great.

Bathing Beauty Moisturising Bubble Bath - Because I'm not too keen on the scent I was a bit worried about using this as I didn't really want to sit in a bath of this for a while. However the scent changed a bit in the bath and I was rather pleasantly surprised! It produced a lot of bubbles and made for a quite relaxing bath. I think this would be good for using with a bath bomb if you also want bubbles because I don't think this would alter the scent too much.

Double Up Creamy Body Wash - This was one of the products that I was most excited about trying. It's an in shower moisturiser and shower gel two in one. I really enjoyed using this. I found it to be just as good as the Nivea In Shower Moisturiser but as it doubles as a shower gel it makes showering faster and is one less bottle in the shower. I think this was the highlight of the range for me.

Soft On You Daily Body Lotion - This product normally comes in the same bottle as the handwash, this little tube was just sent to me as a sample. I also really liked this lotion. I've been choosing lotions over body butters a lot lately and this is no exception. It's very light but moisturising at the same time. It's a great little product. I would buy the 500ml bottle! I especially think that the pump would be great for delivering the right amount of product as a little goes a long way with this.

Soft On You Comforting Body Butter - I also really liked this. It's very, very thick but it actually soaks into the skin quicker than the lotion. I can tell that once it starts to get really cold I'll lean towards this a lot more. Did I mention how big it was? This tub is so huge! Definitely good value for money and will last me absolutely ages.

All in all I think that Ginger & Co are delivering some good quality products at great prices. There are a few issues that I had with some of the products but for a newly established company I think they're doing extremely well. Next time you're in Semi Chem go and check the products out, you won't be disappointed! 

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Tuesday, 22 October 2013

How To Clean A Candle Jar

Now I love to burn candles. But there's something that feels so wasteful about them, what do you do with the glass container when you're done. I'd seen a few photos floating around Pinterest of empty Yankee Candle jars as make up brush holders and I thought it looked really cute. I had a few lying around so tried a few methods and I've found what works best. All you need is a knife, a scourer sponge and some boiling water.

Start off my by scoring the bottom of the candle wax with your knife. This helps the wax melt a lot quicker. Then pour some boiling water into the glass jar. I was paranoid that this would make it shatter but is doesn't! As you can see all the wax will melt and rise to the top. DON'T POUR IT DOWN THE SINK. I saw a lot of people saying you should do that which makes me want to smack my face off the table. The wax will solidify again!

Once you've waited a while the wax will have hardened again at the top of the water. Then cut a little hole in the top with your knife and simply pick the pieces out! 

Then all you need to do is to go round the inside of the glass with the scouring sponge to get rid of any remaining wax and soot. If you want to remove the label then you can do so but I think it looks really cute with the label still stuck on. Then wah-la! You're done. Just dry it out with some paper towel and you're good to go. I think my make up brushes look great on my desk in these, I also done another and gave it to my sister. My pens and pencils are getting put in the next one.

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Monday, 21 October 2013

Halloween Tag

Hello everyone. In preparation for my second favourite holiday of the year, I thought I'd do a little Halloween Tag for you all. I thought that there would be loads out there but all I could actually find was this one from an old forum somewhere. It's a bit of a weird website(aren't all forums?) but I really like the questions so I'm doing it anyway! I hope you enjoy!

What is your favourite Halloween movie?
My favourite movie that's directly related to Halloween has to be Halloween Town. I was definitely a Disney Channel kid growing up and there was something that was just so great about this movie. It feels very nostalgic to watch it now. The first is the definitely the best, the sequels just aren't worth the time. My favourite horror films are IT and The Woman In Black.

1-10 How much do you enjoy Halloween?
Like 12. Duh.

What is your fondest Halloween memory?
Probably trick or treating. I was lucky to grow up in a street where there were lots of other kids so most of the houses had treats. There was this one house in my street that always went way out and had the best decorations. Even though no one really knew the people they all felt comfortable going there to trick or treat. These days I have to dish out the treats because I'm far too old but it's still fun.

Have you always been a Halloween lover?
Yes! As a kid Halloween meant free sweets and who doesn't love free sweets? Weirdos. Although this one year someone hit me with a car door whilst I was running town the street and it knocked me flying. Was not a fan of Halloween that year. It's kind of hard to explain but as I was going past the door they opened it and it hit me on the back and as I was running I kind of went up in the air and smacked back down on the pavement. Not nice.

How do you get into the Halloween spirit?
Planning a costume, getting some pumpkin carving done and watching Halloween Town.

Favourite Halloween decorations?
I always have to have a pumpkin with a candle sitting on the door step. My mum was never into decorating the house any more than that so I can't wait to get my own place. I like hanging bats and skeletons and cobwebs.

Favourite Halloween/fall scent?
I'm just going to put this out there: I hate the smell and taste of pumpkin. Just eww. No thank you. I definitely would say either toffee apple or cinnamon. So much nicer!

Favourite candy?
I'm not overly picky when it comes to chocolate apart from the fact that I don't like nuts. I love boost bars, M&Ms, Turkish delight and skittles! One thing that I used to hate was all those cheap gits that would put loads of monkey nuts in the trick or treat bag. I could never get rid of them all. That is not a treat!

Vampires or zombies?

What is your weird/odd fear?
Birds. Nut. I do not like those little feathery fuckers. Watched an episode of Casualty once as a kid where a man got scalped my a seagull. A seagull?! No no no no. Get away from me.

Last but not least: do you believe in ghosts?
Honestly I think that all paranormal characters are a load of crap. Fun to get all dressed up at this time of year but none of it's true.

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Sunday, 20 October 2013

Week In Photos #52

Graze box / Ginger & Co delivery / THAT tartan scarf
Wagamama event / Hitting 900 followers
Night in / Bowling for Soup / Cinnamon cupcakes / Hitler fish

Hello everyone! I've been a busy bee since I last wrote a week in photos post. I can't remember the last time I had this many photos. I completed my 3 blogging events in 3 weeks streak with the Wagamama A/W menu launch. It was probably one of the best events I've ever been too, who can say no to free food? I definitely will be going back once the menu is released for more of the pulled pork dumplings and pancakes. I'm going to stop talking about it now because it's making me hungry.

I also went to see Bowling For Soup last Tuesday at the Glasgow O2 Academy. It was their farewell UK tour which is absolutely devastating. The first gig I actually went to was Bowling For Soup at the O2 Academy so it was very sentimental. My step sister came up from Penrith to go with me. We had a great time and it was lovely to see her again. They played some of my favourites which is good but I still hope that they'll come back again.

I'm now on my October break and I'm glad to have a few days off to chill out. Going to school and working Saturdays and Sundays really takes it out of me. I'll have the time to do lots of dog walking and blogging. I also have a physics write up to do and a maths test the day I go back so it won't be a holiday without work but at least I can break up the work a bit. I also have to rejig my personal statement a bit. I've pretty much finished it I just need to reword my sentences so that they don't all start with 'I'.

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Saturday, 19 October 2013

Review: Blackhead Killers

Hello everyone! Today I'm reviewing a few face mask sachets that I was sent to review from Style Lux. These are the black head killers. I have lots lots of black heads on my nose and a few on my chin. It's probably my main concern with my skin and something that I'm always struggling with.

The black head killers are jet black and very thick in consistency I kind of felt like I was applying tar to my face. It isn't the most convenient of  masks as it is quite hard to clean off your hands but I'm willing to let that slide because damn, these work. About 10-15 minutes after applying the mask you peel if off. I hadn't used a peel off mask for a long time and to be honest I'd forgotten how painful it was! It's pretty damn nippy! But anyway, I noticed a great difference along my chin and a pretty good difference on my nose which is where the oldest blackheads are. I'd used a lot of the black head strips where you could see the black heads coming out on the strips but not notice a visible difference on my face. However, I was really amazed by how many of my black heads were gone. Out of all of the black head removing products I've tried over the years(and trust that's a lot) I'd say this has been the most effective.

The only issue that I have with these is the price. It's £14.95 for 5 sachets which makes each mask £2.99. Ouchie. Very steep. I wish it was sold in a tube because that would be so much better value money. As much as I loved this product I know it's definitely not something I can afford to repurchase on a regular basis.

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Friday, 18 October 2013

Share The Love #3

Hello everyone. Just another wee post from little, old me to introduce to you some of the blogs I've been loving this month.

Indigo Buttons is a lifestyle blog written by the lovely Kirsty who I had the pleasure of meeting at the end of September. She was one of the girls I went to the Mallzee event with. Kirsty is such a lovely and really funny girl. Indigo Buttons is a very varied blog so there'll be something for you whatever your tastes are. And Kirsty has amazing fashion sense! Please go have a wee look around her blog as I'm sure that you'll find something you love.

Gemma's blog, Miss Makeup Magpie, has been a favourite of mine for a long time. It's mainly a beauty blog and what I love the most is that Gemma's posts are brutally honest. If she thinks a products a piece of crap she'll pretty much say so. It's quite refreshing when you see blogs that never have anything negative to say. I talk to Gemma quite a bit on Twitter and she's so lovely, please go have a look at her blog!

And lastly another new find for me. Life Set Sail is a blog written by a lovely Canadian girl called Brittany. What first drew me to the blog was the lovely photography and the minimalistic layout. Very clean. And yet again it's a very varied blog and there's lots of really great posts to read. I especially love the hot chocolate recipe. Please show Life Set Sail some love!

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Please check out the blogs of my advertisers this month: Cardigans and Nails and Jess Buckley

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