Saturday, 24 May 2014

Make-up and accessories haul!


I seem to be starting these things way too often with an apology! Whilst I try to write as often as I can, life keeps seeing to get in the way!

In my absence however I went for a little shopping trip! I spent a good 4 or 5 hours girly shopping with my sister, so I thought i'd show you my favourite things that I just bought! :)

 So this first one could be cheating, whilst I did buy it this weekend, it's actually for my birthday which is in a couple of weeks, so I'm not allowed to keep it just yet, isn't it pretty though! I've been using the sleek palette which is quite similar but I love the naked range by urban decay so I thought i've give their flushed palette a try! I got this one from Debenhams and it was £22 :)

If you spend £50 in debenhams at the minute you get 500 bonus beauty points, so it would have been rude not to buy something else! The search led to these lovely new YSL products :)

I've been looking for a felt tip-style eyeliner, and I've heard good things about the soap and glory one, however boots is at the opposite side of meadowhall (shopping centre) to debenhams and so I went on the search for a similar product and came across the Shocking False Eyelash Effect eyeliner from YSL, i've already used it twice and I honestly don't know why i've been struggling with a paint pot and brush for so long, when these eyeliners make it so much easier! This one was £25 from the Yves Saint Laurent counter at Debenhams :) which is a bit pricey for an eyeliner, but I think you have to be really careful what you put on your face, especially if you have sensitive skin! 

That didn't bring the total quite to £50 and that's when the assistant at the YSL counter pointed out their new mascara gift set. Which includes a full size luxurious mascara and a mini eyeliner pencil and their best selling lipstick. The lipstick is a deep red and so adorable, it's about half the size of the regular lipstick and so fits perfectly into your handbag! The mini pencil is also ideal for sticking in your bag for any last minute touch ups! The whole set was £24.50 which I thought was really good as that is the same price as buying the mascara alone! You can get it online here :)

One last thing I got from debenhams was this brush shampoo from Bare Minerals

I've always just used my shampoo but when I saw this I wondered if it would make any difference, and I was very pleasantly surprised! (If not a little disgusted at how much make up it actually pulled off my brushes) I put a few drops into a bowl of warm water and let my brushes soak in it for about 5 minutes, they seemed even better than new, really soft too! It was £10 from bareMinerals at Debenhams which again could seem a bit much but I loved it, and i'll definitely be buying it again when it runs out!

I decided it was time to step away from debenhams then! And moved onto next and topshop! I love the colour mint green, and so when I found this bag I instantly fell in love!

At only £22 from Next I just had to buy it, it matches so many different colours and will go great with all the new pastel clothes i've bought for the summer! I would go on, but I don't think I really need to say much more!

I did get a few new outfits but i'm terrible at photographing clothes so i'll have to show you those in a lookbook/ootd type post(s)! I've been having a super stressful time at home so it was just nice to have a day with my sister not thinking about much and having a girly lunch/shop/pamper day! 

What do you like to do to chill out? Have you tried any of the products that I bought? Would love to know what you thought of them!

Much love, Amylou x

disclaimer - all products were purchased by myself with my own money and all views are entirely my own.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Home accessories


If you don't like interior decorating, or buying products for your kitchen that you'll only use once, then you probably won't like this post. But, if like me, you love the little details, DIY and always want things for rooms that you haven't yet decorated, then this is the post for you!

I spend way too much of my time looking on Pinterest and Etsy and in stores like Laura Ashley picking things up and saving pictures of things that one day, i'm gonna put in my house. So I thought i'd share some of my favourites with you! :)

(I'll post some photos of my own in my next post, I promise!)

This one is not just actually one product but a whole shop on Etsy (great start Amylou) and it's The Lauren Collection. The different wreaths and cushions are just adorable, and the great thing about this shop is that they also tailor make things just for you, so you are getting something personal. These cushions are my absolute favourite:
RESERVED FOR JESSICA...Hello Handsome Good Morning Gorgeous 16"x16" Pillow Cover Set in Natural Linen
I always greet my boyfriend with hey handsome, and he always says hey gorgeous, so I kind of feel like I need these in my life.

Now this little decorating idea I can't trace back to it's original post! I found it on pinterest and it links to but when you click it, it says it has been removed. But I am in love so I will share it with you here:
playhouse under the stairs
Is that not the cutest little playhouse EVER? I feel like I need to live in a house with a staircase, for the sole purpose of building this.

I don't think this needs an introduction:
Soft serve machine. Yes please.
My own soft serve ice-cream machine?! I need this. It even has little compartments to put your toppings on! I don't believe you if you say you don't want this. You can buy it here from the Chef's catalog. You're welcome.

My last link is to another Etsy shop called Designs by Nicolina. She makes cards and quotes to hang on your wall and they are adorable and I want to buy them all. Show i'll show you a few! :)

Did I mention La Vie en Rose is my favourite song ever?! :)

Love Amylou, x

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Bikini Shopping Ideas

Hey! :)

So it's only 50 days until I go to Mexico (not that i'm counting) so I think it's about time that I started looking for some bikini's don't you?!

I always seem to leave it until the last minute, but i'm always so excited about holiday shopping so I don't know why I don't do it sooner! I'm that girl that will take 14 bikini's on a 10 day trip, just in case.

So I thought whilst i'm looking, I might as well share some of my favourites, and ask you guys for your recommendations! :) If you click the photo's it will take you to the website where you can buy it too :)

Victoria's Secret always have the best bikini's, but unfortunately they don't have an online website in the UK and the shipping charges are quite high! So I might have to try and see if I can find this in any of the stores! I'm not sure about the fringing and what that would do for tan lines but it's a gorgeous colour! My mum is going to Orlando for a week before we go for work, so I might have to send her on a special mission to find it!

This cute parrot design is from NEXT. I tend to stray towards bandeaus as they give less tan lines on your shoulders! But this is just so cute I might have to make an exception! The bow is adorable and it's cute without looking childish. I love navy blue too. I have a similar bikini I bought in New York (?) last year when I was in the US from Abercrombie and Fitch except it has multicoloured fish instead of parrots! I don't have one with a bow though, so this is still a worthy purchase! haha :)

This one is from Topshop :) I find topshop to be a bit hit and miss lately, but no one can say they don't love a scalloped design! Well maybe they can, but I love them! It doesn't show too well in the picture but I think it's also a mint green colour, and really, what else needs to be said?!

(At this point I started dreaming and went over to net-a-porter)

This one is by Mara Hoffman :) I love the design and the shape is perfect for tanning! No shoulder straps and a v incase of a see through or low cut V dress/top! Perfect! It's so nice to find bikini's with bright designs, summer is a colourful time with flowers and I think bikinis should be too! :)

This one is Enamó :) I love the jewel detail on the top and the cute tassels on the bottoms! They look like they might hurt a bit to lie down on though! Victoria's Secret does a bikini a bit similar to this where the flowers on the top are yellow and the bikini is white, I tried to find it but I couldn't find a link to it anywhere! This one is gorgeous too though! :)

I seem to have rambled on a lot in this post! So i'll just leave it there I think! If you know anywhere where I can get a gorgeous bikini please let me know! :)

Love, Amylou x

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Friday, 16 May 2014

The Graduate College Summer Ball

Hey there! :)

I told you yesterday about how much I loved last weekend, but last weekend was also the graduate college summer ball up at Lancaster. I wanted to make a separate post about it, as it was a really good night! 

This photo was taken by the lovely Lucy Lamb and you can visit her photography page here :)
The ball signalled the end of exams (for most!) and the beginning of masters dissertations and phd upgrade panels! It was nice for everyone to get together! The ball was organised by the postgraduate board and they did an amazing job with over 150 people attending!

This year I was the chair of the board but I had to step down to focus on home matters and course commitments so the board planned a lovely surprise for me in the form of chocolates and flowers!

I don't know if any of the board will read this but if you do, it was a pleasure working with you!

I'm quite the emotional sort so inevitably I was having to hold back tears at how happy and surprised I was! 
Sometimes it's nice to be reminded that people do appreciate what you do, and though I often felt like I wasn't achieving much and got frustrated with it, it's nice to know they appreciated me trying! :)

I wore one of my favourite dresses to the ball. I'm usually more of a gown type girl when it comes to balls but it was a summer ball and I was driving, so this just seemed far more practical! It's from Rare London and it's just so floaty and nice! The bag is from accessorize and my shoes new look! I would post links but it's all at least a year old so I don't think they sell them anymore! My jewelry is breil/tiffany/pandora and are mostly charm bracelets (which I love) :) 

I'm not sure really what you'll take from this post! I think it's probably more for me than you, sorry! I just thought that it was really sweet and so I thought i'd share it! 

How did you spend your weekend? :)

Love, Amylou x

Thursday, 15 May 2014

A Wonderful Weekend

Hey! :)

I had the best weekend in Kirkby Lonsdale this past weekend so I thought i'd share my walk from Saturday morning with you! I've had the pleasure of living in kirkby lonsdale for a while and it really is one of the most beautiful little towns! I don't know if many of you watched a program called Jamaica Inn on the BBC a few weeks back but the village filmed was kirkby lonsdale and other than a few store fronts and the mud, nothing was really added! If you get the chance you should go! There is a beautiful short walk you can do if you walk past the church and down the steps to devil's bridge and that's where my photos are from! :)

These two pictures at the end are of the radical steps in kirkby lonsdale, they were built in 1819 by Francis Pearson (bit of history for you there) and there are 86 of them. Now you might be thinking 86 steps is really quick and easy to get up! Did you know that if steps aren't even most people trip or take a lot longer to get up them? Well the spacing on these steps ranges from a step that only childs foot would fit on, to steps that are actually really steep. But that's what makes them so nice I think, they are old and they haven't been evened out so they still have character which fits in well with the town!

It's one of my favourite places to go! Have you ever been to kirkby? What's your favourite place to go for a walk?

Love, Amylou x

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

The Liebster Award :)

Hey everyone! :)
 Sorry I haven't posted in a while! I've been feeling a bit down and I didn't want to post anything half-hearted! But everything will be ok in the end, so it's time to buckle up and get on with it! C'est la vie!
A lovely thing to come back with is a wonderful Liebster Award nomination from the lovely Jillian over at Breakfast at Jillian's so make sure you pop on over to say hi! :)
I’ve been nominated for a Liebster award from miss Emily of Pumpkin Emily Smiles! Thank you so much, this seems like a wonderful way to get to know fellow bloggers who are new to the blogging world.
The Rules Are:
1. Post the award on your blog. 2. Thank the blogger who presented this award and link back to their blog.  3. Write 11 random facts about yourself. 4. Answer 11 questions posted by the presenter and ask 11 for your nominees to answer. 5. Nominate 11 bloggers who you feel deserve this award and who have less than 1000 followers. 6. Let the nominees know you nominated them.
11 Random Facts About Me:
1. Montaine is actually my Chinese first name and English middle name. 2. I love to sing! Check out: 3. I live with my boyfriend and his two cats, Jean-Luc and Starbuck (as in Picard and Kara Thrace). 4. I went to art school at Otis College of Art & Design. 5. I play guitar, piano, and clarinet. 6. I am obsessed with short hair on girls, but always make the mistake of thinking short hair will work on me and end up crying for hours after the chop! 7. I did ballet for 9 years. 8. I love pasta - all of them. 9. My first job was at a Hello Kitty Sanrio Surprises. 10. I love rollercoasters. 11. I love flat design.
Questions From Emily:
1. What’s your favorite anime or cartoon? - Vampire Knight2. What’s your favorite type of music? - Anything that makes my head bob, I love it all3. If you could listen to a band or singer for the rest of your life, who would it be? - Foxes4. What’s your favorite animal? - Cat5. What country would you like to visit? - Italy6. If you could live in any country or city, where would you live? - I haven’t traveled enough to know, but my ideal place would be a city with lots of cute shops and cafes, surrounded by a rustic countryside - anyone know where I can find this place?7. What’s your favorite band or singer? - Always changing! Really into MØ right now.8. What’s your favorite thing to do? - Sing, period.9. What’s your favorite day of the week? - Friday.. gotta get down10. What’s your favorite childhood TV show? - Sesame Street11. If you could take a picture of anything in the world, what or who would it be? - Happiness
Questions For My Nominees:
1. What’s your favorite piece of clothing in your wardrobe?2. What’s your favorite food?3. What’s your favorite dessert?4. What made you want to start a blog?5. Who inspires you?6. Ultimate vacation destination?7. What’s your favorite accessory?8. What’s your favorite hobby?9. What do you do when you’re not blogging?10. What’s your favorite brand or shop?11. Do you prefer online or in-store shopping?
My Nominations (I apologize if you’ve already received a Liebster nom):
1. Undecided Street2. Breakfast @ Jillian’s3. gkate4. Iris5. Nicola Wood6. Rose’s Rooftop7. FashionLookLa8. Leopards & Laces9. Brunette Trend10. FuckHighClass11. Kavue
So there are a set of rules when you get nominated!
1. Post the award on your blog
2. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog!
3. Write 11 random facts about yourself
4. Answer the 11 questions asked by the nominator and ask 11 for your nominees!
5. Nominate 11 bloggers who deserve the award and have under 1000 followers
6. Let the nominees know you've nominated them!
So let's get started shall we?!
11 Random Facts About Me
1. I have a fear of dolphins. I know that's really weird, but they kill sharks! and that makes them pretty scary to me!
2. I'm a real homebird. I talk to my family every single day!
3. I love summer, but I hate being too hot!
4. I'm 21, studying for my masters degree, and I still have no idea what I want to do when I 'grow up' :P
5. I love disney, and dreamworks, and generally any film aimed at young children, they are just so simple and nice!
6. I wish I was better at photography
7. (sorry for the cheese) I genuinely think I've found the guy i'm going to spend the rest of my life with
8. I love to sing, and I do so at the top of my lungs, though I think i'm getting more tone deaf with age haha
9. I once went to a Yankees game and instantly fell in love with baseball. Such a better atmosphere than English sports!
10. I have a manual driving licence, but I have an automatic car because i'm too lazy for clutch control haha
11. I love computer games (such a nerd)
11 Questions from Jillian
1. Favourite place you've ever been? - Vegas. Vegas. Vegas. Amazing. You have to go.
2. Favourite fruit? - banana - it's the only fruit I like!
3. Who is your celebrity crush? - I don't know! I don't think I have one! Is that really bad?
4. What's something embarrassing that has happened to you? How long have you got :P I once tried to turn my car around, driving FORWARD, and I drove straight into a post and got my car stuck on it. I was looking where I was going too.
5. Favourite colour? - Duck egg blue!
6. What do you do when you're bored? Bug people until they entertain me :P or search bloglovin for some new blogs!
7. What's the weather like where you are? Well its the UK, so it's raining!
8. Why did you start your blog? So I have somewhere to share what I do so I have something to look back on when I inevitably forget!
9. Favourite movie? Breakfast at Tiffanys!
10. Describe your dream date? Just a relaxed day, a little walk and lunch in café or a picnic :) just a day with no plans to do what we like and see where the day takes us :)
11. Favourite piece of clothing that you own? My black barbour jacket :)
My 11 (5) Nominations! Sorry if you've already been nominated! Also sorry if you have more than 1000 followers, i'm just going off of the bloglovin number! :)
5. Sunny Sweet Pea

Sorry for just the five nominations! I wanted to post links to blogs that I already read quite often and not link to blogs that I haven't had time to read! Hopefully this week i'm going to find some free time and start reading some new blogs! If you have any recommendations make sure you post them in comments and i'll head on over and have a look!

Love, Amylou x

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Home decorating inspiration from Pinterest

If you've ever been on pinterest, you'll know how addictive it is and once you start, you just can't stop.
I love looking up home decorating ideas, and although most of the rooms I find tend to be huge, it's nice to look at their colour schemes and accessories and then think about how you could adapt them into your own rooms. I thought as a change today i'd just share with you a few of my favourite ideas from pinterest for different rooms of the house! :)
Beautiful bedroom
Ethan Allen - Romance Bedroom

I love this bedroom. (If you click the link above it will take you to the Ethan Allen website to buy all the items!) You may or may not know that duck egg blue is my favourite colour ever, and I love creams and gold tones for interiors, so this is perfect to me! I love beds that have loads of pillows and cushions, a total pain when making the bed but they always just look so good! For some reason I also love armchairs and delicate chairs in the bedroom, not for any real purpose, it's just something that I like to be there! Any room looks better with a huge bunch of flowers, real or fake, they just make it better!

Centsational Girl » Blog Archive » Bunk Beds for a Girl

I actually can't find the link for this one! :( but isn't it pretty! If I ever had little girls I would definitely want to do their room like this! Whilst bunk beds are great for saving space, and most kids love them I'm not really a fan of how they look usually, but these are beautiful! I love the cream and soft pinks and the pillows and duvet just look so soft! I know you can't tell from a photo if something is soft, but in my mind it is, so I want it! ha :)


Cute kitchen
I don't know where this photo originated but you can see this along with similar designs on the Raising the bar blog :) I've visited the states quite a few times now, and as bad as it sounds, a meal is always more enjoyable in a booth! Especially one as pretty as this! They are a regular occurrence in the houses I've stayed in in Florida and I just think that they make a kitchen much more liveable and family friendly. This kitchen is cute whilst still being elegant, and I love it. The marble tops are beautiful. I'm not sure about the Perspex chairs I think i'd prefer some cream quilted stools to match the booth if I was doing it!
love the wood beam.
I found this kitchen here :) This is more of an traditional English kitchen than the last one. My friends have a table similar to this in their kitchen and it is wonky and bumpy and is just the best table! If you have exposed beams in any room of the house, you should definitely keep them! I have them going across the roof of my living room at the moment and they look so nice! It makes me so sad when people paint them or even worse cover them up! They just bring so much character! This kitchen also has an AGA oven which are just amazing, they are quite expensive to run as they are always on but because they are always on you can put food straight in with no waiting around, and they also heat up your whole kitchen, it makes the room so cosy! I miss having an AGA to cook with! Although it can be hard to control the temperature precisely so baking is interesting!
I think this post ended up being a bit of a long ramble so I'll probably leave it there for today! Do you like decorating inspiration posts like this? I might make some more for other rooms in the future! :)
What is your favourite thing to have in a kitchen or bedroom? Do you have any certain colour schemes that you always stick to?
Love, Amylou x

Monday, 5 May 2014

Dirty Works Detox Mask

Hey there!

So for a while i've been reading about clay masks and how good they are at detoxifying and clearing your skin. I've been wanting to try the KORA Organics clay purifying mask but thought before I do i'd try a cheaper clay mask first! The KORA one is £38 so wanted to make sure I actually liked the style of the mask first!

I was doing my weekly shop in sainsbury's when I saw the Dirty Works Berry Berry Detox Mask.

The product says: 'Get ready to let your skin GLOW with new radiance! An INTENSIVE-ACTION face mask to deep cleanse and replenish your skin. With superfruit extract of Blueberry, skin clearing Willow Bark and detoxifying Green Clay and Kaolin to help draw impurities from your skin leaving it fresh and glowing!'

The mask was really easy to apply but you do need to use a fair amount as it can go on quite thin if you don't. It started to harden after about a minute so you have time to finish putting it on before it starts to set!

I didn't go too close to my hairline as i've used different masks that have set before and it hurts to get it out of your hair! But this one didn't so I might go closer to my hairline next time! 

You put the mask on and leave it to set for 10 minutes, by the end of the 10 minutes you really can't move your face, I was trying to smile in the photo above and I could hardly move! After 10 minutes you either rinse with warm water or use a damp cloth. As soon as you put water onto the mask it softens again into a liquid so is really easy to remove. It did take a while to wash off though so halfway through I ended up getting a flannel and using that to get the rest off!

Afterwards my skin felt super soft, and although I didn't notice a difference in my skin clarity it still felt nice so it will still be a good treat now and again! My face did start to feel a bit tight afterwards though so I had to use a little more moisturiser than usual! This led to my face being a little oily in the morning afterwards but after a quick cleanse and tone it was back to normal.

Overall, I didn't notice a spectacular difference in how clear my skin is, but it definitely made my skin feel a bit softer so for only £5 for a 100ml bottle I think it would be great just as a pamper treat when you feel like something special!

If you want to have a look at the mask or any other dirty works products you can get them at Sainsbury's here :)

Have you ever used a clay mask before? What did you think?

Love, Amylou x

disclaimer - I purchased this product myself, and all views are entirely my own.

Friday, 2 May 2014

6 Things I'm Thankful For

Hey everyone!

As I was driving home from Uni today after my exam, and the sun was shining, I thought to myself I really do have a lot to be thankful for, and as this is a place of sharing, I thought i'd share just 6 things that i'm really thankful for. I know there are obviously a lot more, but this is just a start!

This seems a little bit like a silly one. But the stress that exams cause me is ridiculous. I have no idea why, nothing else every stresses me out that much! It's like I go into a little bubble and I don't to talk to anyone until it's all over. Not good. But today I finished my last exam for my first year of my Masters, so no more until this time next year! Now I just get to enjoy the summer, get on with my job and write my dissertation in the sunshine. (or most likely shut up in my study).

2. My amazing parents and a happy childhood.

Though you may not believe it, I was actually cute and blonde once upon a time. A loving family is not something that should ever be taken for granted. I speak to parents every single day, whether it be in person, a phone call, skype or a text. I'm almost 22 and not a day goes by when i'm not thankful for everything they have given me. Being a parent isn't always easy, and I think it's important that our parents know how much we love and appreciate them. 

3. My wonderful little sister
Cue another family photo (i've been looking through the albums)

Since day one i've loved her to bits, we've never really had a fight and i'm the proudest big sister ever. She has achieved higher grades than I did in every year of school, passed her driving test on her first try at 17 (it took me 3 attempts and I was almost 19 when I passed) and just this week found out in the summer as work experience she will get her chef whites to work with a pastry chef at a michelin star restaurant, whilst studying for her A-Levels. As you can tell, I love to tell people about her, she makes me proud and I couldn't ask for a more wonderful sister.

4. My incredible boyfriend.

I won't make it too mushy, but there are literally not enough words to tell you how much I love my boyfriend. We've been through a lot together in the last 3 and a half years, and I honestly don't know what i'd do without him. He makes me happier than i've ever been, and even though we have lived together for almost 3 years, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't get butterflies i'm so excited to see him. He's always been there for me, and i'll always be there for him.

5. My beautiful, beautiful best friends.

These two girls, Lauren and Jo, are the best girls ever. We all met within the first month of starting uni together, stayed friends throughout, graduated together, and we still speak every day. We've seen a lot, and we've done a lot, with memories to last a lifetime. These girls make me laugh harder than anyone, and I can't imagine spending my life without them. I'm thankful that I have them in my life, and I know they always will be.

6. You Guys!
I'm especially grateful to anyone and everyone who reads these blogs. It's only a little place for me to share my thoughts and things I love but 12 of you are following my blog on bloglovin and over 1,000 of you have read my posts which puts a massive smile on my face. I started this blog just to make little memories and have something to look back on when i've been wondering what i've spent all my time doing, and the fact that you read it makes it even more special. If you read my blog, or want to leave a comment, if you leave a link or the web address to your blog i'll pop on over as I love seeing what you're all up to and sharing too! :)

I could make a list that goes on forever with everything that i'm thankful for, but I thought i'd just share these 6 with you. It's important that we are thankful for what we have, and that we learn to appreciate the little things!

What are you all thankful for? :)

Love, Amylou x