Friday, 30 December 2011

SOTW: Speculoos

You're probably thinking 'what the hell is Speculoos' and to be honest, I wouldn't blame you! It's a very odd name for what is essentially a very nice food.

My family has only recently discovered Speculoos. We bought a jar of it in France last summer and when I went back there last week, I came back with 2 more jars (which I wrapped up as Christmas presents! - yes I know it's cheating!).

So now you can find out the product behind the name...

It also comes in biscuits form (as shown on the jar) and in cereal form and basically tastes like crushed up ginger biscuits in a paste. Yum!

This is what I'm eating as I type. (The top crackers have honey on them and the bottom ones are covered with Speculoos!) Sorry for the unclear picture, I can't wait to eat them!

And yes, I am eating Jacob's cream crackers with it. But what can I say? It tastes good!

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Review of BaByliss Curling Wand

As promised, today I'm going to do a review on my brand new BaByliss Curling Wand! I was so excited to get this and I had been wanting it for ages before I finally opened it on Christmas day. Obviously, I tried it out straight away so I'll give you my first impressions on it and, after trying it out for a second time today, my overall impression.

But firsly, in case you have no idea what a curling wand is, and I don't blame you if you don't (I had no idea what it was until about a year ago) then here it is in all it's glory...

Basically, it is a conical shape and has no clamp, which allows you to create any number of different types of curls from tight ringlets to flowing waves (although I've only worked out how to do a standard curl so far!).

The box includes a glove which is very useful if you don't like the idea of having your fingers too close to the hot 'barrel'. Personally, I don't use the glove. Partly because I don't need it and the wand it easy enough for me to use on its own, and partly because the 'all size fits all' glove is way too small for my hand! But that is one of my only critisims.

The other disadvantage of the curling wand is that it is extremely difficult to curl the hair on one side of your head (for me anyway). I'm left handed which means it's difficult for me to curl the left side of my head, even with a clamp (but maybe that's just me...). And I suppose you get better with practise because I found that today it was much easier to curl the left side of my head. You sort of have to hold the wand upside down and wrap your hair around it that way, away from your face.

One very useful function of the curling wand are the five temperature settings. It goes from 'power' (whatever that means!?) to 155oC to 200oC and the '+' and '-' buttons are very easy to use. However, having the easy to press buttons on the handle of the wand makes it very easy to turn off the appliance while you are using it. Having said that, the wand does heat up very quickly so, for me, it is not a problem.

What I especially like about the curling wand is it's ability to curl your hair away from your face so easily. I used to have a hard time with my 'fringe' using a curler with a clamp, but now it is so much easier to do! Also, you only have to hold the hair completely on the clamp for a few seconds at most (maybe longer for ringlet curls) and I find that extremely useful if I'm in a rush (which I was today!).

I also like how the curls soften throughout the day. I've had my curls in all day and now they are soft waves, which is an effect I like.

Overall, I'm really pleased with this curling wand and I would recommend it to anyone. Even the price is good; about £25.00, maybe less now that it is time for the sales!  

5 stars!

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

The Beauty of Typography

You're probably thinking why there is such a wierd title for today's post but there are two good reasons for it.

1. I came across this blog post called 'The Beauty of Typography' today and found it really interesting so I wanted to share it with you. It's writted by Jessica Bordeau who is a student (or was a student, depending on when her profile was last updated!) and she has collected together a massive amount of information on the different alphabets and writing systems of the world.

Her article is in two parts and includes Chinese Characters, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Sini, Thai, Hebrew, Latin, the Cyrillic alphabet, Armenian, Georgian, Mongolian and Inuktitut. Personally, I think the Georgian and the Armenian writing systems are the most beautiful, but in Jessica's article you can find out about the ideas behind the systems, like Hebrew, for example. Hebrew uses 'Gematria,' which is 'the system of assigning numerical value to a word or phrase, in the belief that words or phrases with identical numerical values bear some relation to each other.' If you click here, you can find out more about it and how Gematria actually works within the language.

And 2. I couldn't think of anything else to post about!

Here's an example of the Georgian alphabet:

I particularly like the letter ts'ili because it looks like an ice cream! :)

This is an example of Mongolian handwriting. Mongolian is descended from the Uyghur script and it, and the other descendants, are unique in that the writing is vertical and written from left to right, unlike Chinese writing.

The article has lots of really interesting information and I urge you to check it out if you're interesting in how written languages are formed. Jessica also has a list of resources at the end of each article that are also useful for further reading.

I hope you enjoyed this post and I will be back to my normal, shoe-y self soon!

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

New Year's Eve Dresses!

I've chosen a couple of dresses from the River Island sale that might inspire you with what to wear for any New Year's Eve parties you might be going to, or any other party for that matter!

I've chosen dresses that are completely different, but that can all go with the same pair of shoes:

Black Peep Toe Stud Ankle Boots £70.00

Cream Jewellery Print Shift Dress £40.00 £20.00

Black Textured Dress £25.00 £15.00

Gold Chelsea Girl Frill Front Dress £30.00 £15.00

Cream Gold Leaf Print Waisted Dress £35.00 £15.00

Red One Shoulder Bodycon Dress £25.00 £10.00

I hope these inspire you and I hope you have a great New Year!
Don't forget to comment :)

Monday, 26 December 2011

Rimmel London Disco Ball Nail Polish Review

I forgot to add this to my last post so I've decided to do it now. I got a Rimmel London nail polish in Disco Ball in my stocking on Christmas day and here is the review for it. The polish itself has got silver and blue sparkles in a clear varnish.

From inside the bottle, the polish looks like it's packed with glitter, but in fact, when you apply only one coat the glitter is very sparse. In my next picture, I've layered the nail polish 5 times on each nail because I didn't put a coloured nail polish under neath it. Of course, if you put another colour as an undercoat, you could put only one layer of this polish.

As you can see, it almost looks like a glittery silver nail varnish rather than just an over coat.
I would say that one disadvantage of it is that it's really easy to peel off if you put too many overcoats.

Overall, I would give this polish a 4/5.
(losing one mark because of the sparse glitter and gel-like quality it gets when there are lots of layers)

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Merry Christmas and Upcoming Reviews

Merry Christmas!

I hope you had a lovely day, everyone!

Since it's Christmas, I'm going to have a load of reviews in the next couple of weeks so this post is just to outline what I'll be reviewing soon (and also some of what I got for Christmas! So happy with all of these!!).

BaByliss Curling Wand

LUSH products: Whoosh and Snowglobe (I think, but it doesn't have the packaging!)

Yankee Candle Wax Tartlets in Clean Cotton and Midsummer's Night

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Christmas Eve and 18-Tiered Cake!

A Christmassy themed post today:

I just came back from France and came home to find my sister had made this beauty! (she's 15)

Friday, 23 December 2011

Lust Have

What I wouldn't give for these shoes...

New Look - Kandee After8 Platforms £198.99
(heel height - 6.1 inches)

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Exam and Revision Advice

Today, I'm just going to do a quick post on some advice I would give to someone doing their A levels (or other important exams).

From experience, I can say that whatever the students in the year above you tell you, is the truth. If they say work non stop during the first half term holidays, make sure you work hard during those holidays. If they say spend your entire Christmas holiday revising for January exams, make sure you do that. I didn't pay attention to what they, or my teachers, were saying in the first term and I did barely any work in the half term holidays. Big mistake! Those two weeks (or however long your holiday is) are two of the most important weeks in the first week of A level (except the exams weeks, of course). Make sure you use them effectively!

My second piece of advice is to do past papers! I know everyone says this, but I have to reinforce it. Print off as many past papers as possible! You can even use papers from different exam boards if there aren't many from your exam board. Most subjects cover basically the same things so just skip the questions that your syllabus doesn't cover.

That brings me to my third peice of advice. If your teacher gives you a syllabus or specification at the start of the year, use it. Refer back to it over the course of the year, ticking the things you know as you go. This can be a very useful revision tool when you need to go back over the things you don't understand completely.

Finally, use the teachers. They're there to help you so don't be afraid to ask for it! Also, go to any revision sessions that are planned, even if you only do your homework there, it is useful to have your teacher there to help you. I'm very lucky in that I go to a boarding school (I don't board though) so many of my teachers live on site and are easily accessible.

If I think of any more advice to give you, I'll edit this post and add them in. I hope you found this useful, and please comment if you did so!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

New Spring Favourites

I know it's very early but I've seen so many new spring items on the River Island website that I've fallen in love with that I thought I would do a spring styling post so you can stock up on your spring clothes in advance! Some of these clothes aren't actually from the spring section of the River Island website, but they go nicely with the colours that I love for this season.

I've chosen mainly pastel colours, like light pink and yellow, because I think spring is all about youth and a fresh start to a new year and, for me, these colours symbolise youthfulness. A year ago, I would never have chosen anything on this list (pink, lace, dresses, etc...) I just wore hoodys and jeans so choosing clothes for spring is a completely new concept for me! I hope you enjoy my list and don't forget to comment, even if you're only saying hello! It only takes a minute!

Pink Stitch Pocket Jumper £40.00

Light Purple Stitch Pocket Jumper £40.00

Cream Belted Skater Dress £35.00

Pink Chelsea Girl Lace Dress £25.00

Pink Lace Top £18.00

Yellow Lace Top £18.00

White Floral Print Embellished Tank £20.00

Black Lace Bandeau Top £12.00
(perfect for underneath a white/cream see through blouse)

Light Green Ballerina Pumps £25.00

Red Ankle Strap Ballerina Shoes £40.00
(and at that price, it had better be real gold!)

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Winter Fashion, a French Lesson and Comments!

Today's post will be focusing on fashion during the colder months. In the next few days, I'll be doing a post on spring fashion because some clothing stores are now stocking clothes for spring time.

For me, winter is centered around these basic colours:
  • brown
  • orange
  • beige/nude
  • cream
  • burgundy
  • black
  • and a pop of colour (like the multicoloured scarf in this post)
So, having got that out of the way, let's move on to the clothes:

Light Brown Faux Fur Gilet £60.00 £30.00

Beige Roll Neck Jacquard Polo Top £18.00 £10.00

Brown Buckle Lace Up Ankle Boot £80.00
- my favourite shoes! I can't wait until I have enough money to buy them, they'll be going out of stock soon I think though :'( -

Brown Peacock Charm Head Piece £12.00
- I wouldn't usually wear something like this, but it's so pretty and you can wear it in any season -

Dark Red Skinny Trousers £30.00 £15.00

Cream Belted Skater Dress £35.00
- you can wear this for summer as well! -

Coral Owl Print Top £20.00
- I love the owl design, it's so cute! -

Et voilà!

Just in case anyone out there wants to know a bit of useless information (or useful, depending on how you look at it), I have a piece right here:

The positioning of some adjectives in French changes the meaning, par exemple:

un bâtiment ancien an old building
un ancien collegue a former collegue

une chambre propre a clean bedroom
ma propre chambre my own bedroom

un homme grand a tall man
un grand homme a great man

un vase cher an expensive vase
un cher ami a dear friend (close friend)

la semaine dernière last week
la dernière semaine the last week of (août, par exemple)

I learnt all that today :)

And one last thing:

If you read my blog, please please comment! It would be the best Christmas present ever to know that someone is enjoying what I'm writing!
Or if you have some constructive critisism, email me at

Au revoir, mes amis!

Monday, 19 December 2011

Attention! Attention! Attention!

I thought the title might catch your attention! That phrase has been drummed into me by my French teacher today. I'm staying with a couple who run French lessons this week. I went before, in August, for one week of lessons and one week of relaxing with my family but now I'm back again for an 'intensive' course. Today was my first day of lessons. I spent a couple of hours going through some questions I had, mainly on the subjonctif, then I had a conversation class in the afternoon. I've got a packed itinerary for the week, even though it's nearly Christmas, but I'm going to be watching a French film tomorrow while my teacher is doing a lesson with some people who have just started learning French.

I'll tell you where I'm staying at the moment when I'm back home (for safety reasons, ya know) but if anyone is interested in doing some French lessons with a brilliant French teacher then make sure you take a look at my blog in about a week's time. He teaches anyone from beginners, to GCSE (or equivalent), to A level (or equivalent), to practically fluent (just to practice conversation, etc...). I really recommend them! And not because they've asked me to, in fact, they don't even know I do a blog!

And I know you won't want to read through all that without even picture at the end of it, so here you go. My LustHaves of the week...

Aztec Cape - New Look £39.99 £20.00

Lace Up Wedge Shoeboot - New Look £24.99

Exposed Seam Skirted Coat (Plum) - Topshop £98.00

I also found this coat. It is very much like my new coat, but without the fur collar. And the price is a lot higher. But I've included it just in case there is anyone out there who wants the coat I mentioned in this post, but is unable to order from Next.

And just a quick note to say: If you read my posts, don't be afraid to comment. I'd love to hear from you.

And I know there's some Russian people who read this too so thank Google translate for this:

Если вы читали мои посты, не бойтесь давать комментарии. Я хотел бы услышать от вас. 

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Bonjour, mes amis!

I'm in France! I was so excited about flying on my own for the first time and it lived up to my expectations! I love flying, especially in the dark, but I prefer longer flights (the ones with aeroplane meals!). I flew from Gatwick, which was straight forward enough, but the tiny little airport in France was a nightmare. There were massive windows from floor to ceiling which all these French people were peering through (and when you don't know where you're going, that can be kind of embarassing!). But, anyway, I made it in one piece!

So now I can cross one more thing off my list:

2. Travel to another country on my own

I though I would do an outfit post today as well:

Sorry the images aren't very clear, I forgot to bring a tripod (and it wouldn't have fitted in my suitcase anyway!) and it's dark outside. Basically, I'm wearing a burgundy cable knitted jumper, khaki green jeans, oatmeal coloured socks and brown boots (which you can see later in this post). However, when I was on the plane, I was wearing the burgundy coloured coat I mentioned in this post instead of the jumper.

(This is me being artistic)

Saturday, 17 December 2011

How to Pack In Winter

In my last post, I said I would be able to cross off another thing from my Bucket List and today I've been packing for it. I'm going to France on my own (for the first time!) for a week (until Christmas Eve) tomorrow and I've been packing my suitcase so today my post is going to be on How to Pack In Winter.

Some people find it difficult to pack in the colder months because of the massive bulky jumpers you need, and I know what they mean! I had to pack my clothes into two different suitcases before I found this one!

So here's how I pack for winter...

This is everything spread out on my bed

L-R Top Row
Knitted Top with Buckles - Jane Norman
Two T-Shirts - New Look
Scarf - Marks and Spencers
L-R Bottom Row
Burgundy and Teal Vest Tops - New Look
(There's a lacy cardigan underneath the burgundy vest top which is from Topshop)
Thick Cardigan - Primark (Atmosphere)
Shoes - New Look
White Button Down Shirt - Primark

L-R Top Row
Burgundy Jumper - New Look (I recommend this - it's so comfy and is available on the website last time I checked!)
Black and White Jumper Dress - Tammy, BHS
Brown Shaggy Jumper (under shoes) - New Look
Shoes - New Look
L-R Bottom Row
Teal Jumper - Tammy, BHS
Lime Green Gloves - Marks and Spencers
Grey Dress - New Look
Rainbow Jumper - New Look (to see this in full, click here)

L-R Top Row
Rainbow Scarf - knitted by my mum
L-R Middle Row
Black Top - Next (use for layering)
Khaki Jeans - New Look
Blue Jeans - New Look
Purple Hat (with cameo detail on one side) - Marks and Spencers
Sparkly Scarf - New Look
Bag - knitted and 'felted' by my mum
Shorts (under scarf) - New Look
L-R Bottom Row
Purple and Teal Opaque Tights - Marks and Spencers
Shorts - New Look

Here are some close ups of my shoes. I know they're all summery but I didn't get enough use out of them in Summer so I'm going to reuse them this holiday. I'm going to be wearing some brown boots tomorrow so I completely forgot to take a photo of them but if I had any other boots, I would be taking them instead of these summery sandals. I'm also taking my converses but they're all muddy so I didn't want to share them on the internet! :)

These shoes have fabric ties which tie round your ankles. They're really hard to wear though!

A couple more pictures. These are much clearer.

This is my coat, from Next. It's described as 'Berry' on the website, but to me is more of a burgundy. It also comes in Camel and is £60.00.

The fur collar is detachable, but I keep it on because it's really cosy.

Here's the back. When you're wearing it, the back has a few ruffles which means it comes out slightly and enhances your waist :)

And here's the bag once it's been packed to the brim with jumpers! I recommend getting a large bag/suitcase if you are going away for winter, it's very useful!