Last week I was contacted my MoneySupermarket who wanted to give me £50 to revamp a room in my home.. ah-mazing! I have had Ella’s bedroom on my to do list for the longest time, she’s had new furniture and bedding etc but in the 4 years we’ve lived her we’ve never properly redecorated and it was looking pretty grim so the task pushed me to finally do it. I had already painted the panel behind her bed pink in a bid to freshen things up a couple of years ago so that gives it a pop of colour but I decided to keep the rest of the walls white (partly because of the limited budget – white is cheaper). With that in mind I wanted everything to look cleaner, she had posters and school work up on the walls and even when her room was tidy it looked a mess so my theme was minimalistic.. for a 7 year old.
How I spent the £50..
- Bedding £11 – Asda – (we did most of our shopping there) – buy here
- Clock – £6 – Asda (in the sale – she can’t tell time yet) – oddly it’s full price here
- Small white wicker drawers – £5 – Asda – these were on sale but here are some similar
- Lampshade £5 – Asda – not exact but similar here
- Flower string lights (over bed) – £10 – Asda – buy here
- 2 ‘pen holders’ (actually for the bathroom) – £1 each – Asda – can’t find online but you can see the range here
- Curtain Hooks – 2x 10 at £2.48 each = £4.96 – B&Q – buy here
- Paint – £5.98 – B&Q – I got a huge 5L tub for that price and also did the drawer fronts with it – buy here
So if my maths is correct I came in at 6p under budget!
Other big changes..
I moved a lot of furniture around, it was so cluttered and she just didn’t need it. I had intended to get her a new TV for her birthday and move things as I have but that’s a couple of months away so I did just take out the long, dark unit and put the tall drawers and mirror next to the two white tables but when I mentioned it to my Mum she happened to have a spare. I know that’s kind of cheating so you can just pretend the big TV is still there if it bothers you but I’m so pleased with the layout as it is and now Ella’s asked for ‘Netflix’ for her birthday (Apple TV it is then). Taking down all of the posters and freshening up the walls was a huge improvement, there was pen and dirty hand prints all over the place – there’s been a threat of big trouble if she ever draws on these beautiful new white walls. The bedding Ella chose was again a little less fussy and I happened to have pillows (random fact: they were a gift from a friend on my 14th birthday) that went perfectly with the colours. Finally I think that painting the drawer fronts made the world of difference to bring the room together, I hate to mix furniture usually so I feel better now the colours are grouped.. the pine drawers and mirror are together, the paler Ikea drawers are with the similarly coloured desk which also has a white panel in the back so it ties in with the white in the drawers which in turn connects with the wardrobes.. is it just me? I’m peculiar, I know. The string of lights above the bed was a cute finishing touch that I think bridges that gap between little girl and tween and given that she’s about to turn 8 I didn’t want to decorate her room in a super young style as before I know it she will be asking for something more grown up so I think I’ve found a happy medium. You may have also noticed a little extra decor on the drawers.. glitter nail polish at Ella’s request as she thought they looked too plain. On last mention you would never notice was that the curtain hooks were so old and needed replacing as they kept pinging off when she closed them so that was an invisible addition to the room.
So, what do you think? Ella has seen the majority of the changes but I spent the best half of today clearing out and reorganising her wardrobes which will be a huge surprise for her when she gets back from her Dad’s house on Wednesday and she hasn’t seen it all put together yet so I’m excited to unveil the final makeover. When I was a kid I remember my Mum redoing my room for me while I was away (changing rooms was very popular back then – I think she got the bug) and I loved it but it must have killed her to see it in such a state all the time. I’ve never been a tidy person but it’s only when you have your own kids and these moments arise that you realise how annoying you must have been (/still be) to live with. Hopefully Lee can impart some of his neat freak tendancies and she will pick up less of mine.
When I filmed my teen makeup starter kit I was overwhelmed by the requests for a budget brush video. I have a large brush collection but the majority are Sigma and Sedona Lace which aren’t necessarily the cheapest when you consider shipping if you’re outside the US plus a lot of you were looking for something you could just go out and buy, after all if you’re under 18 you may not have the means to shop online. I bought the Real Techniques Starter Kit (all eye brushes) when it first launched two years ago but despite rave reviews was never tempted by the face brushes until MakeupSavvy posted a link to a discount Amazon seller. I decided to ‘complete’ my set with a view to testing them out for a video and having had them for more than a month now I think I’m just about ready..
First of all, the handles – they’re aluminum so lightweight and considerably shorter than your average brushes which makes them just as great for travel as for day to day use. They’re also colour coded depending on what they’re designed to be used for, purple for eyes, orange for face and (I’m guessing) pink for cheeks? Anyone know pink? Another bonus if you’re looking at this brand for your first brush kit but don’t think that means you can’t use a face brush for your eyes.. rules are made to be broken, right? Each brush also has a name printed on it suggesting how it should be used ie: detailer brush which I like.
I’ve never found a brush I love applying my foundation with, I usually use my hands so I can feel where the product needs blending and I prefer the finish but I love the blogger-hyped buffing brush for my finishing powder. The contour is amazing for blush and the pointed foundation brush is my go to for blending my concealer. What I love most about the RT brushes is their unique shape, so many companies just make their own version of the cookie cutter brush set but these are so different and that’s probably why I find myself reaching for them over my others. The stand outs from the eye brushes for me have to be the shading (I think I bought this separately now I come to think of it), the base shadow and the accent, I think I could survive with these three brushes alone for my eyes and given the volume I have to choose from that’s pretty tall talk. All in all this is a very impressive range and you get the feeling that Sam Chapman really did have a hand in it rather than just lending her name.
Although you can’t get quite the awesome deal from the Amazon seller I bought my Core Collection from as you could when Fee posted about it a discount is a discount and you can get the Eye kit for £16.43 here and the Face kit for £17.23 here both with free delivery. I now have my eye on the blush brush too having heard nothing but awesome things and if any of you have any other fab recommendations from the range leave me a comment.. my Sigma brushes are slowly making their way into my surplus brush holder..
I had a major iPhone malfunction last night and seriously almost lost my **** when I thought it had erased an entire days vlog footage. The mini meltdown prompted me to finally order a compact camera to live in my handbag for vlogging, of course I ordered in a moment of rage and did zero research ahead of the purchase so today with clearer mind.. I ordered another. The two cameras arriving tomorrow (excited? me?) are those below..
Panasonic Lumix FS45 – £69.99 here or Fuji JZ200 – £71.68 here
I ordered the Fujifilm first, in truth it was the hot pink that drew me to it and at almost midnight after a couple of drinks with dinner it seemed like a good idea at the time but having read some reviews today I am nervous that the video quality may not be as great as I’d need given that the it’s sole use will be filming. I read that it excels outdoors in natural light but I film a lot inside and I’ve had enough issues with poor quality low light cameras to last me a lifetime. That being said all reviews were positive.. it’s tough to find something that’s aimed towards a vlogger as most review these compacts for photography on the go with video as an afterthought. When I compare side by side the two are very similar, if anything the Fuji seems to have more options for still photos I’m just torn because I’ve read a little snippet of something negative about the Fuji and nothing about the Lumix so I thought I would put this out there in the hope that one of you may have one of these and can let me know what you think of it. I would usually post this on my ‘life’ blog (link) so apologies from the very non-beauty related post but there aren’t so many of you reading over there so I thought my best chance of feedback was here, hope you don’t mind.
Unfortunately I can’t get them out of the boxes and play with each of them to make my mind up (I can’t open the one I intend to send back) but I”m very excited to have a new toy arrive tomorrow in one of these beautiful candy colours – On that note I just thought of another benefit to using one of these over my iPhone, I will definitely be able to find it at the bottom of my bag!
This week I’ve started to think about what to pack for my upcoming weekend in London for IMATS and in turn.. what to wear. This outfit it a definite contender, I want to pack light so I need something that will work day to night with just a change of shirt or jewellery. Jacket wise I think the blazer is the way to go (this is an old favourite from Primark) as it will fit in my bag if I’m hot and I guess I’ll just have to keep my fingers crossed that it doesn’t rain.. I’ll take a scarf for extra warmth just in case it’s a typically English June day. I’m almost certainly going to wear jeans, I’d love to wear a dress but the weather is so unpredictable and being so far from home that kind of thing just invites something to go wrong, I think. For a while I was settled on my much worn Primark boots as they add a little height and can look a little more dressed up but on the warmer days lately my feet have been so hot, I’d hate to be uncomfortable with all the walking we will be doing so I think one of my many pairs of these H&M pumps will be a better choice. These are literally the most comfy flats I’ve ever worn, they’re totally flexible (I could screw them up in my hand!) so no rubbing whatsoever, great to throw in your bag if you are plumping for heels but suspect your feet will need a rest later. The Tshirt I’m wearing is a recent Primark, I love the jewels on the shoulders – thanks to all who advised me to wash it inside out in a pillowcase.. worked like a charm! I’m a big fan of navy and an even bigger one of stripes (my wardrobe looks like that of a sailors, I swear) so it couldn’t miss for me and providing it doesn’t fall apart before then I think this is the best tshirt option. Lastly my jeans.. I had this blazer in mind and knew my only regular denim jeans had a mark on them so I was in the market for another pair. I wanted dark denim, something smart/casual and I was almost certainly going to buy another pair of Topshop Jamies (I’ve not yet had to pay full price for them and loathe to but I love the style I was prepared to) when I saw these in Asda for a bargainous £14. I wasn’t sure how I’d like them but bought them anyway and I couldn’t be happier.. well.. that’s not true, I prefer a higher waist as it hold me in rather than cuts in to my tummy but for the price they’re awesome.
*What I’m Wearing*
- Tshirt – Primark – bought a couple of months ago
- Jeans – George at Asda – this season
- Jacket – Primark – old
- Pumps – H&M – always available
- Bracelets – Next – this season
- Necklace – Primark – this season
- Watch – Michael Kors – MK5020
- Sunglasses – Primark
- Bag – Louis Vuitton Neverfull (it’s first OOTD appearance)
Are you going to IMATS? It’s my first year and I’m so excited to see what’s there but maybe even more so to meet other bloggers and YouTubers.. eee!
Can we please ignore my horrendous peeling hands for a moment (I have no idea what has happened but they’re blistering all over the shop) and agree how cool this looks? I love nail art but don’t often have the time to play with colour.. I have just about enough time to paint them at all but when the Rainbow Tag cropped up on YouTube I knew I had to give rainbow nails a go for the video. I didn’t film a step bu step but I’m tempted to do it again for a tutorial because so many people have asked me how I did it both via the internet and in ‘real life’. I just layered a bunch of colours, it was really simple just time consuming. To clarify I didn’t paint my entire nail with each colour just a a little at a time otherwise it would have been waay too thick but for a first attempt I think it turned out pretty well. I decided to finish with glitter because glitters are usually a little more chip resistant than cream colours and I’m writing this a week later with no chipping to report. I trimmed them and added another coat of seche vite last night in a bid to get them to last me over the weekend but I’m really impressed with the wear time so far and although it took a while to do I’m definitely going to try it with some different colours in future!
What’s your favourite ‘nail art’ style? I’m considering trying some others now..
I love DITL style posts from other bloggers but I vlog and you can see what I do day to day whenever you like so I decided to do more of a ‘This is How I Blog’ post instead. Most bloggers at some time or another have made blogging look very glamourous, whether it be the free samples or the seemingly unending string of events they attend it’s all a matter of perception and I for one can tell you that my life is certainly not glamourous! I think most of us like to give the illusion that our lives are like the above picture while for many it’s much more like the below..
I am a wife (not really a job as my husband is a *HUGE* help around the house and with the kids), mother of two, employee 4 days per week and I post a minimum of 3 videos and 14 blog posts per week. I do think their are different categories of blogger and although I don’t class myself as a ‘Mummy Blogger’ I definitely have a lot more going on than my blog. I am supremely jealous of all the young London blogettes drinking cocktails with their blogging buddies but much as you have a preconceived idea of my life that may not be entirely accurate I’m sure theirs is not all as it appears to be either. I get one full day per week to dedicate to filming, editing, photographing and blogging but that’s also my only day home with my son. My priority is always my family but I am very lucky to be coming to a stage with my blog where I could earn more at home than going out to work so while I want to spend as much time with them as possible I also know the more time I spend here now the more time I will hopefully have with them down the road. It’s a tricky balance when you have kids, a job and I guess.. another job but it’s so worth it and if one day it enables me to work from home doing something I love I will be forever thankful to all of you who read what I write every day. That being said it’s a lot of work and what may appear to be a quick post about hair care isn’t just a 5 minute job, it was probably a week of testing, photographing and researching prior to sharing my review. I have to multitask (again, see above) I’m testing out a new candle while wearing a face mask, while swatching an eyeshadow palette, writing up a perfume review and balancing the baby on my knee, trying to deter him from happy slapping my keyboard and distracting him with Curious George. It’s not all frappuccinos and macbook pro’s with perfectly manicured nails and cool typo prints in the background.. but that would be nice, wouldn’t it?