Tuesday, 31 July 2012

OPI Skull & Glossbones

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Skull & Glossbones from OPI's Pirates of the Caribbean Collection

I've been wanting Skull & Glossbones ever since the Pirates of the Caribbean collection was released alongside the fourth film in the series On Stranger Tides last year. Whilst I didn't particularly enjoy the film I thought the collection had some really nice shades including Mermaid's Tears and Stranger Tides which I'd also love to pick up. Despite my rather large collection of polishes Skull & Glossbones is actually my first OPI shade and I'm very impressed with it. The colour applies smoothly and evenly on the nails and is opaque in two coats which I think is impressive for such a light shade. I've been wearing it now, with my usual base and top coats, for three days and have no chips so I can now understand why people love this brand so much.
As well as loving how the colour looks on it's own I've seen a lot of people use Skull & Glossbones as an alternative to white as a nail art base colour which personally I think this is a great idea. I hate using white nail polish as I find it's too sheer without applying several coats and I refuse to spend money on a good quality white when it's only ever going to be used as a base. 
Overall I am really impressed with the application, wear, shade and name (!) of this polish and would definitely recommend it. Look out for Skull & Glossbones as the base shade in my next nail art post!

I purchased Skull & Glossbones on eBay for £4.81.

Have you tried any polishes from this collection?
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Monday, 30 July 2012

Week In Photos 64

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Malteaser & Nutella milkshake / Sleepy Sawyer / Day trip / Page marker targets to try and finish this book / New necklace design available here / New LUSH haircare routine (post coming soon!) / Finally got my hands on OPI Skull & Glossbones (post coming tomorrow!) / Taking photos in the rain / Kindle case from yesterday's DIY post
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Sunday, 29 July 2012

Sunday DIY: Fabric Kindle Case

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To make your own fabric Kindle case you will need: 1 plain fabric, 1 patterned fabric, wadding, scissors, a sewing machine, embroidery thread, pins, an iron & a needle.
Optional extra: small Velcro strip

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- Cut three strips, one of each fabric, all the same size. Mine were approx. 17" x 6.5" to fit the Kindle Touch. 

- Take the strip of plain fabric and stitch the strip of wadding onto it using the sewing machine.
Place the top sides of the plain and patterned fabrics together and stitch up the sides and across one end. 

- If it is a little long trim it and then stitch partway across the other end, making sure you leave a gap in the middle to turn it back the right way afterwards!

- Once you've done all the stitching turn the case inside out (so it's now the right way round!). Make sure you get all of the corners by using something like a knitting needle or your scissors to poke them out with.

- The next step it to iron the strip to make sure it's nice a flat before stitching together. Iron flat the whole strip then fold it in half making sure the edges match up properly and iron again.

- Next stitch it together down each side to transform it from a long strip into a pouch. I chose to use a bold coloured thread and blanket stitch to make more of a feature of it.

- If you like you can finish here by just going in and stitching up the gap you left earlier. Alternatively you can make sure your Kindle is safe and won't fall out of the case by adding a fastening for extra security.

- If you want to add a Velcro fastening like I did, make another strip just like you did earlier but this time leave out the wadding and just use the two fabrics. Make sure you remember to stitch it together with the right sides facing each other! Approx measurements I used are 1.5" x 4"

- Turn the strip back in the right way and hand stitch it into the gap you left earlier.

- Once it's securely attached add the Velcro strips one hand stitched onto the fastening strip, the other onto the case itself. Alternatively attach a button, popper or a ribbon to tie it up.
 
- Your case it finished and your Kindle will now be snuggly and dust/scratch free!
It was pretty tricky to explain it step by step but hopefully the photos will help you to follow the instructions, if you have any questions let me know.

This design can also be easily adapted to make a cosy case for your phone, iPad or mp3 player, all you need to do is adjust the measurements to make it fit! 
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Thursday, 26 July 2012

Bunny Appreciation Post

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 Taken on Sony NEX 3

I believe I promised that when the bunnies moved into their new home I'd put together the occasional photo post showing off their cuteness. So as promised here they are, my two favourites.
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Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Weekly Style Inspiration 71

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Flatforms by Deena & Ozzy £55 : Urban Outfitters
Open Stitch Jumper £35 : River Island
 Basic Sweater £4.99 : New Look
Floral Dress £19.99 : H&M 
Felt Clutch £40 : ASOS

This week I'm showcasing a few of the darker A/W shades I was so excited about in last week's post! Because of of the new stock appearing on the websites and my preference of winter shades over summer pastels and brights, I managed to get this prepared several days ago and have already gathered a few bits for next week as well, very organised!

My favourite item this week is the velvet shorts which are similar (or maybe even the same?) as the ones on sale last year that I was disappointed to miss out on. Hopefully this year I'll be able to get my hands on them although I'm still struggling to find a new pair of denim shorts which are probably a much more practical choice.
I wanted to pick up the highlighter as a cheaper alternative to my current one (High Beam) but my local Topshop store didn't have it, I'll be keeping an eye out though!

If like me you live the UK you'll be aware of how hot it's been for the last few days and just how inappropriate half of the items in this post are! It is coming from the girl who yesterday purchased her second jumper for A/W though....
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Sunday, 22 July 2012

Sunday DIY: Skull Cutout Tee

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Friday, 20 July 2012

Coming Soon to Sawyer & Scout!

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All coming soon to Sawyer & Scout!

Just a brief post today as I've been working hard on re-stocking the shop and designing new pieces like the ones in the photos above. I really hope you like them, let me know in the comments what your favourite design is!

I just want to say thank you to everyone who responded to my previous post about advertising spaces for August. I was really surprised at how many people were interested and all the spots have now been filled. I've actually taken on a few more than originally intended as I recieved more emails than I was expecting which is great so thank you again! If you missed out but are interested in advertising for September you can find all of the information here, prices start from just £2.
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Thursday, 19 July 2012

Sponsor/Advertise for free in August!

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As a blogger and small online business owner I know how important it is to advertise and spread the word about your work. In the past I have advertised my shop on various blogs and have found it to be really worthwhile so I'm finally opening up sponsor/advertising spots here on etc. Hopefully I'll be able to bring in some extra traffic for some of my reader's lovely blogs and businesses too! For the first month (August) I have decided to offer the spots for free or as a button-exchange if you would like to return the favour.
 
Your button advert will be added on the 1st and remain in the sidebar for the whole month. In addition to this I will be doing one feature post per month all about the sponsors with links, images and a little bit of information about the blog/shop.

The advert will need to be:
- Small: 200px wide x 100px tall
- Large: 200px wide x 200px tall 
(Pictures only, no moving images/gifs)

There are only a limited amount of spots left so if you are interested drop me an email eliseetc@hotmail.co.uk and I'll get back to you ASAP!

All of the free spots for August have now been filled. 

If you are a blogger or brand interested in taking a small or large ad space or being my 'Main Advertiser' for September you can also find more information about that here. 
Rates start from just £2.
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Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Weekly Style Inspiration 70

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Autograph Blush in Apricot £6 : Marks & Spencer | Bunny Earrings $26/£17 : Figs & Ginge | Snake Print Dress £39 : Miss Selfridge | Flatforms £17.99 : Internacionale | Blouse £14.99 : New Look | Jumper £18 : Topshop

My favourite item this week is hands down the bunny earrings of course! They're so cute and are perfect for sensitive ears as they're sterling silver, I really wish I could afford to order them for myself! I'm also pretty pleased to see a more affordable pair of flatforms although so far I haven't had much luck with any. For my first attempt I ordered a pair from H&M which were horribly uncomfortable and were sent straight back. My second attempt at owning flatforms (from a different store) didn't go well either as they arrived damaged, well actually unfinished, with the inside foam part of the soles exposed and had to be returned too! :(

I'm still struggling a little with finding items for these posts but I did smile earlier today when I was browsing various websites and to my delight saw lots of burgundy, khaki, grey and navy appearing on the 'New In' sections! These are my favourite kind of colours to wear so fingers crossed more items I like will be appearing soon in the A/W collections. I'm also still thinking about how to best re-vamp these posts but I'm not quite decided on that yet. I have however taken the suggestion to add in links directly to the items (although I had to link a different colour sweater because red isn't there anymore!) so let me know if you prefer that.
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Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Low FODMAP Friendly Rocky Road

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Rocky road is super easy to make and very messy but always tastes amazing. I've put together this recipe which is suitable for anyone who, like myself, is following the Low FODMAP exclusion diet but of course you can add in more things or use different brands if you're lucky enough not to have any food issues! Either way I hope you like it!
Ingredients:
125g unsalted butter
200g plain chocolate
1 heaped tbsp of Nutella
2 tbsp of maple syrup
 

12-15 large marshmallows (chopped)
5 gluten free biscuits (crumbled)
1 crunchie (chopped)
a handful of chopped hazelnuts

1. Crush or chop the biscuits, crunchie and marshmallows. If you can, use mini marshmallows as its much easier! (Unfortunately I don't know of any that are Low FODMAP friendly)

2. Break up the chocolate into squares and add it to a saucepan along with the butter, nutella and syrup. Gently heat the pan, stirring as you go, until the butter and chocolate have melted and are mixed together well.

3. Take the pan off the heat, stir again and leave to cool slightly for a few minutes before adding in the biscuit, marshmallow and crunchie (otherwise the marshmallows will melt completely!) and stir them into the mixture.

4. Fill a tray with cupcake cases and evenly spoon the mixture into them. Sprinkle chopped hazelnuts on the top and pop the tray into the fridge to set for a couple of hours. I think the cupcake cases are great for snack sized portions and are easy to store in the fridge. Alternatively use a tin to make one large rocky road and cut into slices later.

Let me know if you try out the recipe!
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Monday, 16 July 2012

Week In Photos 62

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Bunny onesie! / Reading Never Let Me Go / Making Rocky Road / New bunting necklace design over at S&S / The Scorch Trials arrived / Wearing my custom LOST t-shirt from 2010 / Bunnies fighting over treats / Spiked necklace / The Amazing Spider-Man / New Revlon balm stain in Honey / Minicards from MOO / The best popcorn ever / Working on new designs for the shop / Bunnies both trying to fit on the same stool / Organised to-read shelf

Today is the lovely Niina over at It Seems Pretty Obvious' birthday, so go leave her lots of birthday comments!
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Sunday, 15 July 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man 2D

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Image from www.imdb.com

As I may have mentioned just a few times, I was desperate to see this film, desperate enough in fact that I was even considering making my first ever solo trip to the cinema which would have ended in this post being about an entirely different thing. As it turned out, most likely because I kept complaining, my mum said she would watch it with me so you'll have to wait a bit longer for my post on achieving my personal goal of visiting the cinema alone.

It's difficult to know where to start with this film but I guess a suitable place would be comparisons to the original trilogy. Naturally watching The Amazing Spider-Man you can't help but compare it to the 2002-2007 series starring Tobey Maguire. Although I do like the original series I was never a big fan of Tobey as Peter. This time around I think they really got Peter Parker spot on by casting Brit actor Andrew Garfield. The combination of the casting choice and the script meant that this version of Peter Parker, although still socially awkward, had a great sense of humour and was a much more likable character. Alongside Andrew there is a list of other famous names including Rhys Ifans, Sally Field, Martin Sheen and of course Emma Stone. Overall I wasn't disappointed with the casting but the big surprise was how impressed I was by Rhys Ifans portrayal of Curt Conners/the Lizard. As for how the story itself differs from the original trilogy there are quite a few changes but I actually preferred the new version of events as an origins story, it felt fresh and more complete than the previous tale.

As you can see from the title of this post I opted to watch the film in 2D rather than 3D. Now I could sit here and debate for hours about digital 3D, or repeat my dissertation to you but nobody wants to read that so what I will say is generally speaking I dislike 3D. In this case however I can see where it would have been effective (think swinging from the buildings of New York) and how it could potentially be one of the few exceptions where 3D is used successfully and purposefully. As soon as the opening credits appeared I could see how they had been designed for a 3D screening but luckily aside from that it wasn't too noticeable or distracting throughout. Another concern I had was the use of special effects and what kind of look they would go for but again I didn't find the choices to be too extreme, just enough to do the job and to do it well.

Marc Webb best known for directing 500 Days of Summer, and who also has an excellent name for this particular job, created quite beautiful work with a yellow filter effect. Usually I tend to hate bright casts over films as I find it distracting and generally not aesthetically pleasing however in this case it was so perfectly suited to the story and tone of the film that I can't object.

I'm really looking forward to seeing a second instalment (apparently scheduled for 2014) that is just as good if not better, as this latest version of the story has so much potential to really be, please excuse the pun, amazing.

Have you seen The Amazing Spider-Man yet?
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Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Weekly Style Inspiration 69

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Floral Skirt £19.99 : New Look
Acid Wash Jeans £36 : Miss Selfridge
Space Print Bikini £32, Mint Satchel £28, Wedged Boots £70, 
Skull Print Vest £16, Striped Tee £16, Nails in Queen of Green £6 : Topshop


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Tuesday, 10 July 2012

DIY: Plastic Bag Nail Art

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The first technique is the one I used on my nails this week. I painted them with a base colour (Lead by Topshop) then mixed NYX Antique with Models Own Sterling Silver to create a light gold shade. I scrunched up a small piece of a plastic bag and then lightly painted the gold polish onto it the dabbed it into my nails and finished with a topcoat, simple!

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After this I realised that this particular technique would be really good for creating a camo print effect on the nails too so as you can see I also tried that out on a nail wheel. I used China Glaze Agro as my base colour then dabbed on MUA Shade 23, ELF Chocolate & a black nail art pen. I actually really like how these turned out although I probably won't be sporting camo nails myself any time soon.

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Another way to use a plastic bag to create nail art is for simple marble nails. It can be quite tricky and time consuming to get water marbling right and it also doesn't seem to work with every polish brand. If you're looking for a quick and easy way to create marble nails all you need to do it place blobs of colour onto the nail, then lightly press a piece of plastic bag over the top to smudge and blend them together and finish with a topcoat. My examples above were rushed so they don't look great but hopefully you get the idea!

First idea inspired by this post at The Beauty Department, second idea taken from this Pinterest post.
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Friday, 6 July 2012

Weekly Style Inspiration 68

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Boots £75, Floral Shirt £36, Nails in Easy Breezy £5 : Topshop
Polish in Mixed Up £5 : Models Own
Teal Cutout Vest £11.99 : New Look
Jacket £35 : Dorothy Perkins
Effie Tote £595 : Mulberry
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Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Peanut Butter Cookies

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No Weekly Style post today as once again I haven't managed to find enough items to include, I'll try and put something together to post on Friday instead though. In the meantime I thought I'd show you what I've been up to today which happened to be baking these cookies. I got the recipe from my lovely friend Skye's blog 'even artichokes have hearts' which I hope you're all following already (hint hint!). I'd been meaning to try them since she posted them back in February and I have no idea why it took me so long to find the time. The first great thing about them is that they're gluten free (and low FODMAP friendly), the second is that you hardly need anything to make them with!

If you want to make some of these tasty cookies for yourself head on over to Skye's blog for the recipe & let me know if you try them!
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Monday, 2 July 2012

Week In Photos 60

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Necklace inspired by Divergent / Three new additions to the book pile / Zombieland suggested a rather convincing reason to learn to drive / Started re-watching LOST from the beginning / Gemstone Chip Bracelets are now available in two different colour sets / Reading Drive / Started my re-introduction with sugar snap peas! / Squidge having a rest in the heat / Purchase from the Topshop sale / Birthday cupcakes for Grandma / Bunnies enjoying their new home
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Sunday, 1 July 2012

2012 Reading Challenge: Eleven Books Down!

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The first book, or rather chapter, in question is Free Four which is a chapter from Divergent re-written from Four's point of view. I'm not sure whether it should really count towards my challenge however Goodreads says it does so for now I'm including it too. After feeling slightly disappointed by Divergent I was surprised to find that I loved Free Four. I felt the same way about Four as I did about Peeta after reading The Hunger Games; I wanted to hear his side of the story. Interestingly the chapter that author Veronica Roth chose to show us from Four's side was from the Dauntless intiation rather than later in the story. It was particularly intriguing to read about his motives and to find out why he ended up as a trainer in the first place. Even though it was only one chapter Free Four got me excited about continuing with this series. You can read Free Four on Facebook here.

When I got my Kindle the next day I knew exactly what my first book should be; Insurgent. I'm probably being totally lame with my choices for the challenge so far but I can't deny that I enjoyed it and I definitely wasn't expecting that at all. I've watched and read lots of reviews but I'm yet to find anyone else who enjoyed this sequel more than it's predecessor. For me Divergent was just the set up that you have to work through to get to the real story. Yes, it was an intriguing start but I was waiting for something bigger to happen and in Insurgent it did. Either way I'll be re-reading both of these when the challenge is over and of course picking up the final installment when its released next year.

Taking a break from the YA fiction for my second Kindle read and ninth book in the challenge I turned to The Great Gatsby. I already have plans to see the Baz Luhrmann film adaptation (the trailer is interesting) which is due for release in the UK in December so I'm doing things the "right" way round for once and reading it beforehand. If I'm being completely honest I didn't find the first two chapters very captivating but by the third, a party at Gatsby's house, it picked up. That may not sound too bad at first but it is the third chapter in a nine chapter book so I would consider that a little tricky to get into. I think the problem for me was that I didn't particularly like any of the characters. It sounds ridiculous but I felt the same way about The Great Gatsby as I do about How I Met Your Mother; it's not terrible, I'll watch it but I'm not invested because I don't care for any of the characters (sorry HIMYM fans!). It was however nice to read something a bit different and I'll be keeping it in mind when I watch the film.

Book ten was a short ebook I heard about through Sanne's Youtube channel (booksandquills) called Zombicorns. It only took a short time to read through but I really enjoyed it and I actually wish it had been a longer and fuller story. I particularly loved John Green's writing style so I may pick up another of his books, possibly Looking For Alaska which a few of you have recommended to me already. If you have a spare hour to read it you can download Zombicorns for free here.

Since books seven through ten were all digital I decided to return to the paperbacks for book eleven. That book was Emma and the Vampires, one of the Jane Austen undead novels. Whilst I know the plot well, and not just because of the amazingness that is Clueless, I've actually never read the original. Aside from a few couple-of-sentence vampire attacks and a plan to rid Hartfield of wild vampires their prescence was, well, a bit pointless really. In addition to that there was the quite implausible fact that none of the human residents seemed to be able to put two and two together and realise that their friends, who have bright red eyes and don't sleep or eat, are in fact vampires themselves. I enjoyed the story itself but not enough was changed from the original plot and after about a third of the way through the half-hearted inclusion of vampires just became irritating. If you're interested in the story of Emma, pick up the original!

I'm not sure whether I should be asking you guys to recommend me something to swiftly steer me away from the dystopian fiction or to send me forward toward more? I'll let you decide...

You can read about books 1-6 here.
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