Friday, 31 January 2014

This Week #11

this week 11

1. DIY Neon Earrings - the week kicked off with a simple jewellery project using a childhood favourite; hama beads!

2. Style Inspiration Lux Cassidy (Life Unexpected) - Tuesday's style-focused post featured the main character of short-lived TV series Life Unexpected

3. Pastel Masking Sticker Set - on Wednesday I talked stationery and shared the sticker set that will adorn my 2014 diary

4. January Reads & Reviews Part 1 - finally this week I rounded up and briefly reviewed all of the books I read this month. In part one I talked about three YA books and a TV themed non-ficition title

5. January Reads & Reviews Part 2 - in the second part of my roundup I looked at a contemporary novel, two darker YA titles and a craft tutorial book

Coming up next week... a quick look at my February TBR, a couple of DIYs & a lengthly post about eczema!
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Thursday, 30 January 2014

January Reads & Reviews (Part 2)

january reads 2

The Sowing*, Steven dos Santos (2014)
First up is the second book in The Torch Keeper series which follows teen Lucian 'Lucky Spark' and is often considered comparable in concept to The Hunger Games. This action-packed sequel is full of rebellion, gore, twists and turns that will leave you wondering just how this dark tale will end. Luckily in this instalment we also get to learn more about some of the characters introduced in book one as well as, most interestingly, the Establishment itself. I'll be posting a full review over at Blogger's Bookshelf nearer to the March release date, so make sure you're subscribed if you want to know more about this series! In the meantime you can find out more about the beginning of the series here with my review of first book The Culling. 3/5

Attachments, Rainbow Rowell (2011)
When it came to reading a book from my challenge Gone Girl wasn't really appealing to me this month so instead I opted for Rainbow Rowell's Attachments. The chapters in the book alternate between the everyday life of Lincoln and the private email conversations of best friends Jennifer & Beth. I wouldn't necessarily have picked this one out based on premise alone however Rowell's writing style and talent for creating characters has definitely won me over in the past. Having read, and very much enjoyed her other novels, I did feel that there was perhaps something missing from Attachments. Although I was unable to pinpoint exactly what that something was I just felt that the overall story wasn't as captivating as her other tales. Having said that it was still a good read and I would recommend picking it up if you're a fan of Rowell's writing. 3/5

Ten, Gretchen McNeil (2013)
Next up is a book I purchased last year and one of the 5 books I have 'vowed to read in 2014' over at Blogger's Bookshelf. This murder mystery story has received some great reviews and after reading James Dawson's Cruel Summer, also a teen murder mystery tale, I was really looking forward to seeing how this one would compare. I ended up speeding through Ten in a day and am pleased to say, although it wasn't quite as good as Cruel Summer, I did really enjoy it. I'll be sharing a proper review later in the year but overall this one gets a thumbs up from me! 4/5

Brazilian Bracelets*, Florence Bellot (2014)
The final book this month is DIY jewellery title Brazilian Bracelets. When I saw this friendship bracelet tutorial title pop up on Netgalley I thought it would be a great one to request and share here at e-elise etc. Again, I'll be sharing a full review soon along with examples of bracelets I've made using the step-by-step guides, so keep an eye out for that if you want to know more! 3/5


Reviews posted this month
- Red*, Alison Cherry (2014)
- The 100 Most Pointless Things In The World, Alexander Armstrong & Richard Osman (2012)
- Impostor*, Susanne Winnacker (2014)

Cover images via Goodreads, titles marked with a * c/o Netgalley

Have you read any of these books?
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Wednesday, 29 January 2014

January Reads & Reviews (Part 1)

january reads 1

I didn't exactly stick to my TBR this month but I did end up reading eight books so I've decided to split the post into two parts. Bibliophiles grab your notebooks, this month's roundups are full of ideas to add to your TBR...

UnSouled, Neal Shusterman (2013)
First up this month is the third book in the Unwind Dystology, a series that I think deserves more recognition than it seems to get. Personally my favourite parts of UnSouled were the chapters that focused on the original trio of characters we met in first book Unwind however the varied viewpoints certainly make for an interesting read. The series also offers rich world-building, something that is often lacking in this type of story, alongside a unique premise and social commentary - its definitely one of the better YA dystopian series out there. 4/5

The Fault In Our Stars, John Green (2012)
After being unable to avoid it thanks to being part of the book blogging community I finally gave in and read John Green's The Fault In Our Stars. Although its not something I would have ordinarily picked up, and with so much hype it was almost destined to disappoint, I was pleasantly surprised when I didn't dislike it. With the film adaptation coming up this year I'm intrigued to see how this one will translate onto the big screen. Although it wasn't my favourite book of the month I'm glad I finally made the effort to read it, plus I found a Nerdfighter note inside which was a fun surprise! 3/5

Will Grayson, Will Grayson, John Green & David Levithan (2010)
John Green makes a second appearance in this month's roundup as I also picked up Will Grayson, Will Grayson, written alongside David Levithan. The book tells the story of two teens who, as the title suggests, share a name and thanks to a very strange sequence of events end up meeting and somehow becoming a part of each other's lives. At first I thought I wasn't going to enjoy this collaborative novel at all but it turned out to be a fairly good read. Sadly though, I'm still yet to find a John Green book that I absolutely love! 3/5

The 100 Most Pointless Things In The World, Alexander Armstrong & Richard Osman (2012)
A couple of non-fiction titles also managed to sneak in this month including The 100 Most Pointless Things In The World (Alexander Armstrong & Richard Osman). Pointless worked it's way onto my January list as I started reading it whilst waiting in the car on the day I picked it up from the library and it was such a quick, fun read that I ended up finishing it in a couple of days. I've already posted a review of this one which you can find here if you missed it! 3.5/5


Reviews posted this month
- Red*, Alison Cherry (2014)
- The 100 Most Pointless Things In The World, Alexander Armstrong & Richard Osman (2012)
- Impostor*, Susanne Winnacker (2014)

Cover images via Goodreads, titles marked with a * c/o Netgalley

Check back tomorrow to read about the other 4 titles!
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Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Pastel Masking Sticker Set (Afrocat Stationery)

masking sticker set 1
masking sticker set 2
masking sticker set 3Masking Sticker Set in Pastel, £1.99

As part of my stationery spending spree earlier this month I picked up this cute set of stickers designed for decorating and crafting. The set contains 27 different patterned sticker sheets in a range of pastel hues that are the perfect compliment to my pretty 2014 diary. Each sheet has a mixture of complete strips in two widths - 15mm & 7.5mm - plus one strip of four 13mm circles.

Although I opted for pastels other versions of these handy little sticker packs are also available and there's definitely one to suit your style. Other designs I've seen include 'basic' which features similar designs but with bolder colours, the beautiful 'paper' set with musical notes, maps and more and a set of solid colours.

A simple way to brighten up the pages of any diary these stickers have a paper texture that's perfect for writing on, tuck neatly into the back of your diary for easy storage and make a great alternative to chunky rolls of washi tape; Masking Sticker Sets get a big thumbs up from me!
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Monday, 27 January 2014

Character Style Inspiration - Lux Cassidy (Life Unexpected)

The people at Netflix were right... New Year's Day was definitely made for marathons and on the 1st I made my way through the second and final season of Life Unexpected.

Like I said back in November when I reviewed the first season I didn't really like many of the characters on the show but during season two I did begin to take notice of main character Lux's signature style (portrayed by Britt Robertson). The queen of layering, teenager Lux's look is comprised of check shirts, skinny jeans and lots of knitted hats!  

Here are my top picks for recreating the Lux Cassidy look...

STYLE INSPIRATION LUX CASSIDY LIFE UNEXPECTED

01 - Silver Peace Necklace by Olia, £24.99
02 - Oversized Check Shirt by Topshop, £30
03 - Sparkle Tape Beanie by Oasis, £15
04 - 'Serena' Slim Fit Jeans by Mavi, £70
05 - Biker Style Gilet by Mango, £19.99
06 - Cotton Long Sleeve T-Shirt by Jigsaw, £29
07 - 'Troopa' Boots by Steve Madden, £135
08 - Pixel Print Camisole by Warehouse, £22
09 - Large Hoop Earrings by Topshop, £6.50
10 - Cable Knit Beanie by Stella McCartney, £60
11 - Pointelle Sparkle Beanie by Oasis, £14
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Sunday, 26 January 2014

DIY Neon Hama/Perler Bead Earrings

diy neon earrings 1

Today's simple jewellery DIY is inspired by one of my childhood favourite craft supplies - hama beads! These neon earrings have a great unique look but are also very easy and inexpensive to make. Here's the step-by-step...

To create these you will need: neon hama/perler beads, a pegboard, an iron, parchment paper, earring posts & strong glue

Tip! - you can even pick up a starter kit, which includes a small board, beads and paper for just £3!

diy neon earrings 2

1. The first step is to create your design by placing the beads onto the pegboard. For this tutorial I've gone for a really simple square but of course you can make your design as complicated as you like!

2. Next up is ironing the beads to fuse them together. Before applying heat to the beads you must make sure that you cover them with a piece of parchment paper otherwise they will melt all over your iron! As for how long to apply the heat/the correct temperature etc my best advice would be to consult the instructions provided with the beads/pegboard as these may vary between brands

3. Once the beads have fused together leave them to cool on the parchment paper for around ten minutes and you will easily be able to peel them off

4. The final step is to use a strong glue to apply the earring posts. Alternatively to create dangly earrings pierce a hole through the top bead and add on an earring wire instead!

diy neon earrings 3

As always I'd love to hear from you if you try out this or any other project from my DIY Archives - use the hashtag #eelisediys to share your photos with me!

P.S - don't forget to save up your leftover beads, I have a few more hama/perler projects coming up soon!
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Friday, 24 January 2014

This Week #10

this week 10

Outside of blogging highlights this week included Sawyer and his bunny acrobatics (!), beginning my second attempt at completing the Couch To 5K podcast series, and lots of 'throwback' crafting involving a beading loom, mini mosaics and hama beads. I failed to finish the Couch To 5K podcast first time round due to hurting my ankle...and then my knees, but I'm hoping this time I'll be all set to run outside again once the warmer weather sets in - so far, so good.

Here's what happened on e-elise etc this week...

1. DIY Embellished Beanie Ideas - on Sunday I shared 7 different ways to stay stylish in the cold weather

2. My 2014 Diary - Monday's post was all about stationery as I showcased my new diary from The Magic Notebook

3. DIY Inspiration Pom Pom Pumps - there was a little more style on Tuesday, this time with a designer-inspired idea

4. The 100 Most Pointless Things In The World - the blogging week ended with a non-fiction book review with TV gameshow roots

Elsewhere...
1. On Wednesday I reviewed new YA science fiction release Impostor (Susanne Winnacker) over at Blogger's Bookshelf
2. Also over at BB myself and the rest of the team shared our reading goals for 2014 & the 5 books we 'vow to read' this year

Coming up next week... yet more stationery talk, some TV style inspiration & a simple neon earring DIY
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Thursday, 23 January 2014

The 100 Most Pointless Things In The World

pointless book

Alexander Armstrong & Richard Osman (2012) | Find it on Amazon

As a fan of the dinner time BBC quiz show Pointless I was of course intrigued by the release of a ‘pointless’ book penned by presenting duo Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman.

The 100 Most Pointless Things In The World is a quirky coffee table book which takes a closer look at some of the everyday things the duo would deem pointless. Just like on the show you will find a huge variety of topics amongst the book’s pages. Counting down from 100 to 1 each chapter features a different ‘pointless’ subject with everything from receipts to pet goldfish and even online reviews making it onto the list. The short, humorous rambles and observations in this book reminded me of those found in titles such as Miranda Hart’s debut Is It Just Me? and another popular BBC show Room 101.

In addition there are also quiz questions, anagrams and facts dotted throughout (with the answers all available in a section at the back of the book) to keep fans of the show on their toes whilst reading. Unfortunately I have a feeling I won’t remember much of the trivia I discovered along the way but nonetheless I enjoyed learning about various things as I read!

3 and a half stars
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Tuesday, 21 January 2014

DIY Inspiration - Pom Pom Pumps

pom pom pumps diy inspiration 6


I recently came across these statement pumps whilst searching for items to include in my guest post over at Anjali's blog and as soon as I saw them I instantly thought they would make a great DIY project!

Shown above are three designer examples; a Liam Fahy design which originally retailed at £435, a pair by Federica Moretti with an RRP of £250 and finally the Jimmy Choo version coming in at £145.

A simple pair of slipper shoes, like these ones from Pull & Bear, can easily be embellished with pom poms to resemble any of these designs. If you don't want to commit to the trend why not create yourself some pom pom shoe clips? You can pick up shoe clip blanks on eBay then all you'll need to do is attach on the pom poms.

If you want to go all out you can even DIY the pom poms too! This great step-by-step tutorial from Clones N Clowns shows you how to make a woollen pom pom that has the look of faux fur.

Would you wear this trend?
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Monday, 20 January 2014

My 2014 Diary

piyo diary
piyo diary tabs

As promised earlier this month today's post is all about my beautiful new 2014 diary. Thanks to unresolved health issues the only type of physical diary I've kept over the last couple of years has been a food one*. After deciding last year that this wasn't helping me solve any issues and was in fact making me stress more about them I gave up the food diaries and allowed myself to have stationery back as a treat rather than a chore and picked out a pretty 2014 weekly planner from TKMaxx.

Being the organised person that I apparently am I started jotting notes into my new planner from late 2013 and sadly a few of the pages fell out before the new year even began! So, a few weeks ago when I saw Michelle's post all about her lovely new diary I caved and decided to replace it. This was partly due to the fact that I was so disappointed about my inferior diary falling apart already and partly because I had a cold at the time and was feeling rather sorry for myself. Either way I went straight off to place an order and discovered that the Piyo Diary - version 2, the very diary that Michelle had showcased, also came with two other cover design options, and when I saw that one of these had bunnies on there was no turning back!

*This is a bit of a lie as I also keep a 'film diary'... but that's just in a regular notebook not an actual diary!

piyo diary weeks
piyo diary month

This beautiful illustrated undated diary design is the perfect addition to my organising routine. With yearly, monthly and weekly page formats all included there are lots of layout options however I decided to keep the same format as I was using in my previous diary - reserving the monthly pages for blog planning and the weekly sections for everything else.

piyo diary markers
Diary washi tapes

Since then I have been looking for various ways to jazz up my pretty new diary friend with cute accessories like these bunny page markers which, of course I couldn't resist. I've also been personalising the pages by adding various tapes, stickers and transfers - somebody hand me the rolls of washi tape, colourful organising is fun!
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Sunday, 19 January 2014

DIY Embellished Beanie (7 Ideas To Inspire)

DIY EMBELLISHED BEANIE INSP

This week's DIY post is a collection of seven ideas for embellishing a simple beanie. We all want to keep warm throughout the winter but this doesn't mean we can't be stylish and get creative with a little DIY at the same time. Here are a few ideas to (hopefully) inspire you...

The beanie shown in the images below is one I picked up in the New Look sale for just £1!

DIY BEANIE 1

First up is this night sky inspired design - a twist on the simple studded beanie with the addition of a few small star shaped studs | Supplies: star studs, round studs

DIY BEANIE 2

For a simple yet edgy embellishment stitch on a length of chunky chain. You could even use an old broken bracelet or necklace | Supplies: a length of chunky chain, a needle and thread

DIY BEANIE 3

As an alternative to the classic studded look move the hardware trend away from jewellery and onto other accessories by stitching on rows of mini hex nuts | Supplies: mini hex nuts, a needle and thread

DIY BEANIE 4

For a subtle way to wear the tartan trend sew a patterned ribbon onto your beanie | Supplies: a length of tartan ribbon, a needle and thread

DIY BEANIE 5

A girlier alternative to studs, small faux pearl beads are a pretty addition to any beanie. Stitch on at random (as shown above) or in uniform lines | Supplies: small plastic pearl beads, a needle and thread

DIY BEANIE 6

If you like the studded look why not play around with different shapes? Triangles are great for creating all sorts of patterns | Supplies: large triangle studs

DIY BEANIE 7

Vintage buttons may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think beanies but if you're looking for something more unique this could be it! | Supplies: vintage style buttons, a needle and thread

Which idea is your favourite?
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Friday, 17 January 2014

This Week #9

this week 9

Overall it hasn't been a particularly eventful week behind the scenes meaning, rather sadly, that Hart Of Dixie's return was one of the highlights. Realising exactly how many books I own but haven't read yet was definitely a low point - please remind me that as of now I am back on a book buying ban until I get some of them read!

Aside from that I discovered that my blog had two profiles on Bloglovin'; one for my blogspot URL, which I had claimed, and another for my .com which I hadn't. After contacting them I managed to get the two profiles combined within the hour and I now realise there are more of you out there reading than I thought! *waves*
Speaking of Bloglovin', this week Blogger's Bookshelf passed 300 followers on the site - I'm feeling pretty proud of our little team right now! :)

Anyway, here's what happened on e-elise etc in the last seven days...

1. DIY Pom Pom Earrings - on Sunday I shared a very simple jewellery DIY via a very short video

2. 90's Throwback The Powerpuff Girls To The Rescue! - Monday's throwback post featured a very cute graphic novel

3. DIY Inspiration Phone Cases - Tuesday's inspiration post showed a list of five DIY phone case ideasfrom other bloggers

4. Library Haul #3 - on Wednesday I shared the latest three books I collected from the library including Will Grayson, Will Grayson (pictured above)

5. Rimmel London Blue Eyed Girl - yesterday's nail polish swatch post showcased a bold blue that's perfect for the Summer
 
Coming up next week... my 2014 diary, a quick book review & 7 ways to embellish beanies!
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Thursday, 16 January 2014

Rimmel London - Blue Eyed Girl

blue eyed girl rimmel

After some months spent searching around for the perfect creme finish primary blue nail polish and having no luck I picked up Rimmel London's Blue Eyed Girl just before Christmas as part of a 3 for 2 offer.

Although lighter than the shade I had originally been looking for this bold blue won me over straight away with it's opaque-in-one-coat formula. Much like other shades in the '60 Seconds' range this polish is pretty long-lasting and doesn't chip too easily.

I think its safe to say I won't be giving up my favourite green shades any time soon (!) but I'm definitely happy to have Blue Eyed Girl in my collection.

Do you have a favourite blue polish?
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Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Library Haul #3

library haul 3.JPG_effected

Welcome to my most colourful library haul to date!

The 100 Most Pointless Things In The World, Alexander Armstrong & Richard Osman (2012)
This quirky coffee table book from the presenters of BBC game show Pointless takes a closer look at some of the everyday things that could be considered 'pointless'. Intertwined within the short chapters are quiz questions, anagrams and facts to keep readers (and fans of the show) on their toes!

Will Grayson, Will Grayson, John Green & David Levithan (2010)
Another day another John Green title. Despite not adoring any of his novels that I have read to date (I've liked them all but none have become favourites) I seem to have them all on my TBR list for 2014... maybe I'm just determined to find one that I love? Or maybe I just feel like I need to catch up? Anyway, Will Grayson, Will Grayson sees Green team up with fellow YA author David Levithan to tell the story of two teens with the same name.

Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World, Jane McGonigal (2010) 
When I came across the description of this title by game designer Jane McGonigal I was very intrigued. The author has explored how the alternative realities and challenges found in games are effecting us, arguing that gaming is having a positive effect on the way real-life issues are solved. Whether I'll actually find the time to get through the whole thing before I have to return it to the library is another story...

Have you read any of these titles?
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Tuesday, 14 January 2014

DIY Inspiration - Phone Cases

diy phone case inspiration

I've got another inspiration post for you today this time focused on customised phone cases. Although all of the tutorials below are for iPhones, most could be adapted to suit whichever phone model you use. Here are 5 of my favourite ideas...

1. Needlepoint iPhone Cases (via The Purl Bee)
Cross-stitch phone cases? Yes please! The cases over at The Purl Bee were created using Leese Designs iPhone Cases which have cross-stitch grids on them so you can create your own designs. I really love this unique idea and think they would make great gifts!

2. Painterly iPhone Cases (via 52 Weeks Project)
These cases have a sweeping ombre effect created using acrylic pints and a large brush. With their bright colours and simple concept these striking cases really caught my eye. If you don't have acrylic paints, try using nail polishes to paint a design onto your case instead.

3. Tribal Print iPhone Case (via Unexpected Expectations)
This amazing, intricate design was created using everyone's favourite - Sharpies! Denise has used a whole range of colours and Aztec/Tribal inspired patterns to cover her iPhone case and the result looks beautiful.

4. Starry iPhone Case (via Whimsey Box)
This super simple idea looks very effective and is perfect for the festive time of year. All you need to make your own is some spray glue and star sequins. Instead of covering the whole case Alicia has sprinkled on the stars, creating a beautiful effect.

5. iPhone 3 Cases (via Even Artichokes Have Hearts)
Finally, we have another project from the lovely Skye who used pretty wrapping paper and washi tape to create inserts to use with a clear case. I love that you can make lots of these and switch up your design whenever you want! I also love these map cases (from maps.com) which use the same technique.

Which idea is your favourite?
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Monday, 13 January 2014

90's Throwback - The Powerpuff Girls To The Rescue!

powerpuffgirls1

If like me you grew up in the 90's you'll probably remember the days when Cartoon Network was a big deal. My personal favourite show from their selection was cute crime-fighting cartoon The Powerpuff Girls which Netflix UK happened to add to their catalogue a couple of months back. After re-watching some old episodes and having previously promised myself I would attempt to read more in the way of graphic novels I was encouraged to pick up 'To The Rescue!' from my local library as my 80th and final read of 2013.

This cute, pocket-sized graphic novel is a collection of short stories which take on the same style as the TV show. As well as the famous trio – Blossom, Bubbles & Buttercup - the stories also feature many familiar villains including the Amoeba Boys, the Ganggreen Gang, Princess Morbucks and of course many appearances from fan favourite Mojo Jojo.

powerpuff girls graphic novel

What was your favourite 90's cartoon?
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Sunday, 12 January 2014

DIY Pom Pom Earrings

pom pom earrings diy

Today's DIY is quirky, fun and definitely one of the easiest ideas I've shared here at e-elise etc to date. I came across the idea when I saw a post over at Confetti Pop and thought it would be a good one to share with you.

These bold earrings take less than a minute to make and all you'll need are pom poms, earring posts and all purpose glue! Here's a very quick step-by-step...



As always I'd love to hear from you if you try out this or any other project from my DIY Archives - use the hashtag #eelisediys to share your photos with me!
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Friday, 10 January 2014

This Week #8

thisweek8

This week has been pretty unproductive behind the scenes as I've been fighting off a cold. I'm ashamed to say that I'm one of those people who sort of shuts down thanks to the common cold (they just frustrate me so much!) but I have been working away on some posts you'll see over the next few weeks. One thing that did cheer me up was the arrival of my beautiful new 2014 diary - a purchase inspired by my pal Michelle - which I'll be showing off in a future post. Oh and, when I was reading on Wednesday evening a Nerdfighter note fell out of my library book - an interesting surprise!
Here's what happened on e-elise etc this week...

1. DIY Upcycled Glass Jars - on Sunday I shared my first proper video tutorial!

2. January TBR - Monday's post was all about books as I shared the six titles I'm planning to read my way through this month

3. 2014 In A Jar - on Tuesday I revisited this week's DIY and shared what I will be using one of the upcycled jars for

4. DIY Dip Dye - I went back in time for Wednesday's offering, and shared swatches of two colourful hair dyes

5. Getting Organised For 2014 - in yesterday's post I shared a little stationery inspiration, because who doesn't love stationery?!

Elsewhere...
1. I posted my first book review of 2014 over at Blogger's Bookshelf, featuring Red by Alison Cherry
2. Whilst Anjali is away on her travels I was one of her guest bloggers over at From L&P To English Tea where I shared my own version of her 'Colour Crush' series

Coming up next week... blue nails, a quirky jewellery DIY & a 90's throwback!
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Thursday, 9 January 2014

Getting Organised For 2014

paperchase organised

There's nothing better than some new stationery to motivate you to get the new year off to a very organised start. I'll be sharing my awesome new 2014 diary with you in a future post however I've also recently been browsing the Paperchase website for inspiration. Here my top picks for making organising a little bit more fun this year...

1. Rosalie Notepad £8 - I don't know about you but I'm forever writing to-do lists on boring white lined paper. This pretty floral design notepad could definitely help to make mundane lists more fun!

2. Woodland Carry Case £6 - if you're looking to be more organised in terms of tidying things away handy storage with a cute design like this one may be a good incentive...

3. Woodland Sticky Note Set £4.50 - & matching sticky notes are sure to brighten up your 2014 diary or planner!

4. Midnight Garden Tin Recipe Box £30 - if it's recipes you want to keep organised why not pick up a recipe tin. These are great for storage and should help keep your kitchen tidy too!

5. Diamond Printed Edge Notebook £4.50 - nobody loves a plain notebook (...do they?!) so for something with a little more interest look for a design like this one with a patterned cover and contrasting floral print edges

6. Citrus Floral Recipe Cards £12 - of course if you decide a recipe tin is the way forward you may want to pick up some equally pretty recipe cards like these to fill it up with

7. Frame Academy Gel Pens £3.75 - finally, you'll need something colourful like these gel pens to write in your new notebooks/diaries/recipe cards etc

Disclaimer: as much as it may look like it, this post was not sponsored by Paperchase - I just really love their products!
 
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Wednesday, 8 January 2014

DIY Dip Dye - Crazy Color Peacock Blue & Directions Alpine Green

turquoise hair crazy color peacock blue directions alpine green
crazy color peacock blue directions alpine green mermaid hair dye

A few months back I decided to have some fun with my hair colour and opted for a mixture of turquoise and green. I completely forgot to post about this at the time but I thought it might still be worth sharing now as I know people will always be looking for swatches and reviews before choosing a dye brand or colour.

To achieve the colour I wanted I mixed together these two shades (approx. 2/3 blue, 1/3 green) as I applied them onto my hair rather than pre-mixing. As you can see from the photographs above over a few washes the colour faded from a bright turquoise to more of a mint green shade. This fading process happened fairly quickly however the mint green shade I was left with, although it has faded, is still refusing to budge completely. I have since had a haircut where I left several inches of mint green hair on the floor of the hairdressers however even months later I am left with a few slightly green tinted strands.

Of course everyone's hair is different and the swatch photographs above only show how this mix of dyes turned out and faded on my hair but hopefully this will be helpful to someone considering trying out these colours.

For reference: the ends of my hair had been pre-lightened at home using a box kit a while before applying these dyes

Have you tried either of these colours? 
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Tuesday, 7 January 2014

2014 In A Jar

memory jar

For my first DIY post of the year I upcycled some glass jars by decorating them with paper scraps and today I thought I would share what I'll be using one of the jars for - keeping all of the best memories of 2014.

Known by many names including 'the jar of awesome', 'jar of happiness', simply just a 'memory jar' or as I like to think of it a 'jar of positivity', this little project idea is a nice way of keeping track of all the good things the year brings. Thanks to sites like Tumblr & Pinterest this idea has become very popular over the last few years and gives you something nice to reflect on when December 31st rolls around once again. If you haven't heard about the idea before here's how it works... every time something good happens throughout the year you write it down on a piece of paper and pop it in the jar. Hopefully by the end of the year you'll have a jar full of good memories to open, read and remember.

Since 2013 wasn't the best year for me seeing others open their memory jars and look back over the good times got me thinking about how especially nice it would have been to have had my own to delve into after a not-so-kind year - it's so easy to forget the good moments when the year overall wasn't the best! Plus, I definitely need to work on my positivity so, after originally buying this jar to use for my reading challenge I've decided to jump on the bandwagon and instead use it to start keeping a note of the positive things that the year (hopefully) brings. Fingers crossed I'll have a full jar of awesomeness to share this time next year!

Will you be creating a memory jar for 2014?
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Monday, 6 January 2014

January TBR

january tbr

I'm kicking off the new year with quite the task this month as I have lots of library books still left over from December, plus a Netgalley title I also didn't get to last month AND I'm starting my 2014 challenge. I chose 24 books for the challenge as I thought I could then attempt to read two each month however I've only picked out one for January because of all the other catching up I have to do! 

First up are the two books I didn't quite manage to fit in last month - The Sowing (Steven dos Santos) and Quiet (Susan Cain) - now joined by three new library books in the form of UnSouled (Neal Shusterman), The Name Of The Star (Maureen Johnson) and finally the much-loved The Fault In Our Stars (John Green).

I'll let you in on a secret... I've actually already finished UnSouled, the third book in Shusterman's Unwind series, as I started it at the end of December. Of course I'll be talking about it in this month's roundup post however if you want to find out more in the meantime check out Alice's review of the series so far over at A Is For Alice!

This month's 2014 Challenge pick - Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

What will you be reading this month?
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Sunday, 5 January 2014

DIY Upcycled Glass Jars

diy glass jar1
upcycled jar

For my first DIY post of the year, and my first using a video tutorial format (more on that in a future post) I thought I would share a little upcycling project. This idea is perfect for recycling old glass jars and you can even use leftover Christmas giftwrap as part of the decoration! Of course, there are so many different ways to recycle and decorate old glass jars but for today's post I've opted for a simple design using old book/catalogue pages and tissue paper.

diy glass jar2

Before I jump into the tutorial I thought I would just mention that, being a video DIY newbie, I only realised after filming and editing that it would have been better to show a more colourful example on film as it would have shown up better - videos are set to be a huge learning curve so you'll have to bear with me! Anyway, here's the DIY...


Like I said last year in my Book Jar DIY post you can use these handy decorated jars for anything you like. From inspiration jars to hold day out ideas or to help you choose which book to read next, or just simple storage solutions and tea light holders - with a little imagination you can find a use that best suits you. I have a specific plan in mind for the jar seen in the video above which I'll be sharing in another post this week so keep an eye out for that!
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Friday, 3 January 2014

This Week #7

this week 7

1. Top Ten DIYs Of 2013 - Sunday's post was all about my favourite DIYs of the year including coloured glass, shaving foam prints and lots of jewellery projects

2. A Year In Books (2013) - on Tuesday I looked back over all of the (80!) books I read in 2013 and picked out some favourites/recommendations for you to check out

3. 2014 Reading Challenge - just like my last post of 2013 my first post of the new year was also all about books. I've set my self a little reading challenge aiming to read my way through some of the (many) books I have already bought in an effort to cut down on spending out on too many books this year - you can keep up to date with my progress here

4. Sawyer & Scout January Sale Offers - yesterday I revealed that I'll be running various discount codes and offers over at Sawyer & Scout throughout January - follow @sawyerandscout on Twitter to find out about the deals!

Coming up next week... my January TBR, turquoise dip dye & my first DIY of the year!
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Thursday, 2 January 2014

Sawyer & Scout January Sale Offers

january sale

Throughout the month I'll be running various offers and discounts over at Sawyer & Scout with all of the discount codes being released on Twitter. To keep up to date make sure you head on over and follow the shop's new Twitter account @sawyerandscout

The first offer currently running is a discount on the popular Harry Potter inspired range with £2 off when you order any item from this collection.

If there are any particular products or ranges that you would like to see featured in the sale let me know in the comments and I'll see what I can do!
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Wednesday, 1 January 2014

A 2014 Reading Challenge

tbr

Here's the thing... it appears that I may have bought a lot of books over the last year and a half (thanks BB!) and many of them have sadly spent their lives sitting unread on either my bookshelf or Kindle. I don't really believe in New Years resolutions but I will be setting myself a few reading goals for the year, including cutting down on the amount of books I buy and reading my way through those I have already purchased.

Attempting to get through all of them in the space of one year, along with all of the new releases I'll also want to pick up, seemed like a bit of a stretch so instead I've handpicked 24 titles from the shelf to read as part of my Goodreads 50 books challenge. Here are the titles I've chosen...

1. Pride & Prejudice, Jane Austen (1813)
2. Attachments, Rainbow Rowell (2011)
3. Ghost Time, Courtney Eldridge (2013)
4. Looking For Alaska, John Green (2005)
5. Trapped, Michael Northropp (2011)
6. Beauty Queens, Libba Bray (2011)
7. The Unit, Ninni Holmqvist (2006)
8. Partials, Dan Wells (2012)
9. Unremembered, Jessica Brody (2013)
10. The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin (2009)
11. Harken, Kaleb Nation (2013)
12. Legend, Marie Lu (2011)
13. A Long Way Down, Nick Hornby (2005)
14. The Horologicon, Mark Forsyth (2012)
15. An Abundance Of Katherines, John Green (2006)
16. Extras, Scott Westerfeld (2007)
17. Dexter In The Dark, Jeff Lindsay (2007)
18. Under The Never Sky, Veronica Rossi (2012)
19. The Hunt, Andrew Fukuda (2012)
20. Before I Fall, Lauren Oliver (2010)
21. Sweet Little Lies, Lauren Conrad (2010)
22. Department 19, Will Hill (2011)
23. Yes Man, Danny Wallace (2005)
24. Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn (2012)

As well as the usual TBR and monthly reads posts I'll also be tracking my progress with this list here, crossing off the books as I finish them, hopefully ending 2014 having read all of these and more!

*Edit: for those that have asked my overall goal is not 24 books, but 50 new books (cutting down a little from the last two years to allow for some re-reads as well) - follow my challenge on Goodreads here

I'd also love to hear your thoughts if you've read any of these books so don't forget to leave them in the comments section below.

Do you have any reading goals for 2014?
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