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Monday, 29 September 2014

What I've been reading | September


Paper Towns - John Green

Earlier this year I read 'The Fault In Our Stars' and like the majority of people I fell in love with the story of Hazel and Augustus. I enjoyed John Green's writing style so much that I decided to give Paper Towns ago and I am so, so glad I did!


The story follows a boy called Quentin, who is infatuated with a girl called Margo, who he used to be best friends with. Margo's now a popular girl and doesn't really speak to Quentin any more, until one night she appears at his window and takes him on a wild adventure, which leaves Quentin optimistic about their future as friends. Only the next day Margo isn't at school, she's disappeared and it's up to Quentin or 'Q' as they call him, to find her.  It's a really beautiful story that is so funny in parts and touching in others. I enjoyed it every bit as much as The Fault In Our Stars and can't wait to read more of John Green's work.

Bridget Jones Mad About The Boy - Helen Fielding

If you love Bridget Jones (either the books or the films) then you will adore the latest addition to the story, Mad About The Boy. The story is of course told from the point of view of Bridget Jones, now in her fifties and let me tell you A LOT has changed. I can't say too much without spoiling it, but if you are looking for a hilarious yet heart warming easy-read, make it this one. You don't need to have read the other Bridget Jones books (I haven't) though it'll help a little if you've seen the films as you'll know more of the back story. I laughed and cried through this book and don't think I'll ever stop loving our Bridget.

Crescendo and Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick

This month I also read Crescendo and Silence (books two and three) from the Hush, Hush series. If you are thinking of reading this series, I highly recommend checking out this review of the first book. The story follows the same characters, but with new obstacles and evils testing their relationship. I really enjoyed both books far more than the first one and was pleasantly surprised how the story has advanced and the direction it is going in. I've just got the last one to read now! 

So there we have the four books I read this month! I am hoping to continue this series of posts from now on, though there won't be as many books in the next ones (I was on holiday for a week so had lots of time to read). I hope you enjoyed this post - let me know if you read any of my recommendations!
xo


Saturday, 27 September 2014

Rose Gold Thomas Sabo Ear Cuff | The Trend Piece for A/W14


Thomas Sabo Rose Gold Fairy Twines Ear Cuff - £55.00 -  Joshua James*
Let me first start by saying, this is the prettiest ear cuff I have ever seen! Ever since they came into fashion I've wanted one, but I think I've finally found the perfect piece in the Thomas Sabo Rose Gold Fairy Twines Ear Cuff. I love the feminine pink hue of rose gold and the fact the white zirconia stones sparkle when they catch the light. The elegant leaf shape is so autumnal, making this ear cuff the ideal trend piece for the season ahead.


I don't know about you, but I personally love how ear cuffs add a unique and edgy feel to outfits. They look beautiful whether you are wearing a simple t-shirt and jeggings combination or an elegant evening dress. I have seen so many female celebrities wear ear cuffs on the red carpet with their designer dresses and they always look so chic and stylish.

Ear cuffs and single earrings will continue to be on trend throughout the autumn and winter, so there's still plenty of time for you to pick one up for yourself! I am still trying to work out where on my ear this one is actually supposed to sit (as you can see below) but I don't think it really matters as long as it looks good and feels comfortable!


The Rose Gold Fairy Twines ear cuff is made from 925 Sterling Silver (plated with 18K rose gold) and is from the Thomas Sabo Glam & Soul collection. I have always admired Thomas Sabo's beautifully unique, yet fashionable jewellery so I am excited to finally own a piece myself.

The rose gold ear cuff was kindly sent to me by the lovely team at Joshua James Jewellery, an independent jeweller based in East Yorkshire. The company was founded in 2009 when they opened their first store in the town of Hessle. They have since opened another store in Lancaster's Marketgate shopping centre and launched their very own website. Just have a browse and you'll see they stock many of the leading designer jewellery brands including Pandora, Links of London, Michael Kors and of course Thomas Sabo.

Joshua James have generously offered a 10% discount to all Seek My Scribbles readers! All you need to do to claim your 10% off is enter the code 'SCRIBBLES10' at the checkout. The discount expires on 18th October 2014 and cannot be used on Pandora, Nomination or in conjunction with any other offers.

What do you think of the ear cuff trend? Is this a piece of jewellery you'd wear yourself?
xo

*Item sent in exchange for an honest review. All words are my own!

Thursday, 25 September 2014

#NottsMeetSep14 | Blogger Meetup


Last Saturday I attended a fabulous meet up in Nottingham, organised by the lovely Gemma and Leah. Sian was kind enough to pick me up so we could head to Sobar (a beautifully decorated alcohol-free restaurant) together and meet the rest of the girls! Once at Sobar we quickly settled down and began chatting away whilst enjoying delicious food and much-needed cups of coffee.

All of the lovely #NottsMeetSep14 bloggers!

Beauty talk
We then headed upstairs to a private room where the lovely Suzie from Xenca gave a talk about the company's fabulous skincare and makeup ranges. I can honestly say that Suzie gave the best beauty presentation I have ever listened to. I loved how passionate she was about the products and really felt like I learnt so much about natural and organic skincare. I came away feeling like I needed to think far more about the types of products I put on my skin and the effect beauty products can have on the body as a whole.

Suzie also introduced us to Collagen. Prior to the event, I had heard of Collagen as an anti-ageing treatment for the skin, but I never knew that it actually helps to improve bones, joints and muscles too. It is definitely something I am going to look into more, as I could do with looking after my body a little better.

After trying out some of the organic products from Xenca, Suzie was kind enough to let us pick our favourite eyeshadow or lipstick. I chose the beautiful Cappuccino eyeshadow and will soon be sharing it here on Seek My Scribbles, so keep an eye out! Thanks Suzie!

Tombola & goody bags
Leah and Gemma had also organised a tombola, with all of the money collected going to a charity called School for Parents. I was lucky enough to win a set of 9 magnets from Sticky 9! I can't wait to create them - there's definitely going to be some of my Greece holiday photos.

Just before it was about to go, Leah and Gemma kindly presented us all with our own #NottsMeetSep14 goody bags and here's a quick preview of what was inside...


One of my favourite items has to be this custom-made Seek My Scribbles blog necklace by House of Wonderland. It even matches the colour of my layout!
So excited to have a go at making my own lip balms with this kit from Sweet Cecily's.

I am overwhelmed by the generosity of the brands, it feels like Christmas had come early! Thank you so much to all of the brands who contributed, I am excited to try out the products and review them here on Seek My Scribbles.

I had such a lovely time at the meet up and can't thank Gemma and Leah enough for not only organising a great blogger event but putting together such an awesome goody bag. You did a wonderful job ladies! 

xo

Ps if you would like to win one of these goody bags yourself, head on over to Gemma & Leah's blogs!



Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Ark Skincare Age Prepare Review

Ark Skincare Age Prepare Set - £28.00*
This set comes in a travel bag (not pictured)
I am always up for trying new skincare products in a bid to perfect my morning and evening routines, so when the Age Prepare collection by Ark Skincare, a brand focusing on skincare for your age rather than skin type, landed on my doormat, I was more than willing to give it a go!

I received the Age Prepare set from the Age Aware Discovery Collection, which featured 1 x 30ml cleanser, 1 x 30 ml exfoliator, 1 x 30ml masque and 1 x 30ml moisturiser. As I am only 23, this was the perfect set for me as it is specifically designed for those in their teens, 20s and early 30s. I tested the products for over a month and here are my thoughts...

Skin Clear Cleanser
I found the gel-based cleanser to be so light and gentle on the skin. I liked the fact it wasn’t overly soapy but still did it’s job of washing away impurities and leaving the skin feeling refreshed and clean. The gel-based cleanser contains watercress, nettle and horsetail, all potent herbs, which reduce excess sebum and help to balance out the skin. It also contains Oat Amino Acids, which wash away skin impurities, without damaging it’s barrier and white tea, great for protecting the skin from free radicals.

The cleanser can be used morning and night, but I tend to just use it in the morning, as I like using a micellar water (for taking off my makeup) followed by a cream cleanser in the evenings.

Age Prepare Cleanser // Age Prepare Exfoliator // Age Prepare Masque // Age Prepare Moisturiser


Skin Refining Exfoliator
The Age Prepare exfoliator also gets a big thumbs up from me. Again, I find this to be quite a gentle product – the exfoliator particles (made up of Bentonite Beads and Loofah) remove the dead skin cells and improve the skins texture without feeling too rough. It also contains Margosa leaf extract, an antibacterial that helps prevent blemishes.

The exfoliator is designed to use once or twice a week on both the face and neck. You simply wet your hands, squeeze a small amount on and massage it into the face using small circular motions. Whilst I never found the particles completely disappeared (even though that’s what they’re apparently supposed to do) I still found this product to be really effective and the remaining particles were very easy to remove with warm water.

Skin Purifying Masque
My favourite product from the Ark Skincare Age Prepare collection is the masque. I love a good facemask, especially when it is mess-free and effective like this one! The Age Prepare masque contains kaolin clay for healing and preventing blemishes, wild water mint for reduces the size of pores and anti-pollution algae, which prevents skin damage from free radicals.

I tend to use this mask once a week, usually when I’m having a relaxing bath on a Sunday. You simply apply a thin layer to your face and neck, leave it on for around ten minutes and then rinse it off with warm water. The mask dries a translucent white colour and is super easy to remove (no mess). My skin always feels 10x better after I have used this masque; it leaves it looking and feeling so clean and smooth!

Ark Skincare do not test on animals, nor do they allow their product manufacturers to conduct such tests on their behalf.
Skin Vitality Moisturiser
Last but not least we have the Age Prepare Moisturiser. Whilst this isn’t up there as one of my favourite moisturisers, it’s still a great product. Containing avocado, peach lipids, as well as Omega 9 fatty acids, it’s designed to keep the skin feeling hydrated and soft. It also contains olive oil great for deep down hydration and regeneration, as well as Panthenol (a form of Vitamin B) which soothes irritated skin and plumps fine lines.

Whilst I found that this moisturiser did hydrate the skin, it didn’t leave it feeling as smooth, hydrated and nourished as some of the other moisturisers I use -  so if you have dry skin, I’m not sure it would be the most effective product. I was quite surprised that it wasn’t that moisturising, especially since it’s a thicker cream.

I have been lucky that my skin has been quite calm as of recently, so I can’t really judge on whether it sooths irritations, though it does feel lovely on the skin. The same goes for the fine lines – thankfully I haven’t noticed many of those yet!

Final thoughts...
All in all I think this is a wonderful set, especially for those, who like me, are at the stage where they need to prepare for the ageing process. This skincare set definitely works to improve the quality of the skin and takes preventative measures against premature ageing.

For those over the age of thirty there is the Age Maintain set and for those over the age of fifty, the Age Repair set. I love how Ark Skincare have made sure they have a set to cater for everyone and think skincare by age rather than skin type gives them an appealing unique selling point.

Have you tried Ark Skincare? What did you think?
xo

*PR sample sent for review.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Sunday Scribbles #2


Yet another week has flown by! I can't believe that in less than two weeks time it'll be my 24th birthday - eek! I am really looking forward to going away for a couple of days with my Mr, drinking champagne and chilling out in a lovely hotel.

Blogger meet up - Yesterday I attended a blogger meet up in Nottingham (#NottsMeetSep14) organised by the lovely Leah and Gemma. I had so much fun catching up with old friends, meeting new ones and learning more about skincare from Suzie from Xenca. I will be doing a full blog post next week about the meet up and some of the products we were lucky enough to receive in our goody bags (there's a sneak peek above) but I just wanted to mention it in this Sunday Scribbles post as I had such a wonderful time!

Time for a change - As much as I love my current blog design, I am feeling like it's time for a change. I have had this beautiful, girly design for over a year, but I've been thinking of changing it for a little while now. I'm still not 100% sure on what I want or when I'll be changing it, but just know that Seek My Scribbles will be having a makeover sometime in the near future. I am planning on working on parts of it with one of my best friends, Sarah. Her drawings and illustrations are amazing - I'm excited to see what we come up with!

Reading and watching - This week I laughed and cried watching the last few episodes of The Office (US). It's such a hilarious and beautiful TV show. You really fall in love with the characters, so I was so sad to have to say goodbye after watching it for years with James. 

I have also recently got back into reading more. On holiday in Greece I managed to read three books, Paper Towns and books two and three of the Hush, Hush saga. I loved Paper Towns so much that it's up there as one of my favourites now and I can't wait for the film, even though I'm still unsure of how I feel about Cara Delevingne playing Margo. I'm now onto Bridget Jones Mad About the Boy. As a huge Bridget Jones fan, I already know I'm going to love it. In fact, I'm going to go run a bath now (complete with the Lush Comforter Bubble Bar I picked up yesterday) and read a bit more!

Hope you're all having a lovely Sunday.
I've got lots of reviews & posts coming up next week so keep an eye out!
xo

Friday, 19 September 2014

A week in Rhodes

This summer I was lucky enough to get to spend a week on the Greek island of Rhodes. Yes indeed, I got over my fear of flying, jumped on a Thomson plane with three of my best friends and headed off for a week of sunshine, beautiful sights, cocktails and giggles.

I really wanted to share some of the places I visited and thought it might be useful for anyone planning a holiday to Rhodes next summer.


No matter where you stay on the Greek island of Rhodes, I highly recommend visiting the old, medieval town of Rhodes (Rhodos). There were a number of tours we could have gone on, but we decided to just get the bus there ourselves from Pefkos. We had so much fun wandering the streets and taking in the sights, which were unlike anything I'd ever seen before.

I'm not going to go into it's history - I couldn't do it justice, but there are plenty of online resources, as well as guide books you can pick up if you fancy learning more about the old town.

My most memorable part of our day spent in the Rhodes town was visiting the Roloi Clock Tower pictured above. After stopping off for a quick drink at the bar (included in the €5 admission fee) we took a trip all the way up to the top of the tower. Although I wouldn't recommend it if you are claustrophobic or scared of heights, the views from the top are amazing, as you can see in the picture above! Make sure you take your camera as it's the best way to get a panoramic view of the city.


Lindos was conveniently located just a ten minute drive (or in our case taxi ride) from where we were staying in Pefkos. We enjoyed a lovely meal at one of the rooftop restaurants there and also had a wander around the numerous stalls dotted along the lanes, selling everything from small souvenirs to food, jewellery and clothing.

On our last full day in Greece we went back to Lindos to take a stroll up to the acropolis. Han and Emily hopped on donkeys, but Liz and I decided to take a gentle stroll and let me tell you, it's not half as bad as people are making it out to be on Trip Advisor! However you get up there, it is definitely worth the effort as the views from the top of the acropolis are absolutely stunning. If you are into Greek architecture, history and culture, it is a must-see attraction in Lindos.


One of my favourite days in Greece was spent on a luxury yacht that sailed a long the coast of Rhodes. We were picked up at St Paul’s Bay (featured above), which was literally the most beautiful place I have ever seen and spent the day chilling out at sea, topping up our tans and doing a little sightseeing along the way.


There were a number of swim stops during the coastline cruise, which were super fun! I’m so glad I was able to get over my fear of going in the sea, because it was so, so beautiful. 

The VIP cruise (booked through our rep at Thomson) was priced at around €60 but it was so, so worth it. There were only twenty two of us on board, a long with three crew members, so it wasn’t overcrowded and we were able to chill out with plenty of space. It was also an adults only crews (no children YAY) and the price included lunch and drinks, so all in all, well worth the money. The crew were so lovely and the lunch was absolutely delicious, I couldn’t have asked for anything more!


During our week in Rhodes, we stayed at a lovely hotel in Pefkos, aptly named the Pefkos Beach Hotel. I can't recommend this hotel enough! The studio apartment we stayed in was ideal for the four of us and we were lucky to be located right near one of the pools. The hotel has it's own snack bar (a must-have when you need a break from perfecting your tan), cocktail bar and a-la-carte restaurant on-site. We loved Nostalgia (the restaurant on-site) so much that we ate their twice! They have such a big menu, with something to offer everyone - even vegetarians like me!

Speaking of vegetarian dishes, I was very impressed that all of the restaurants we visited in Rhodes had plenty of options available. Another restaurant well worth a visit in Pefkos is Tsambikos. Don't be put off by the stroll up the hill, it's not as bad as you think and is definitely worth it for the stunning views of the beach at night from the rooftop restaurant.

There are also plenty of cocktail bars to visit in Pefkos. As you can see in the images above, we made it our duty to try out as many different cocktails as possible! My two favourite places were the Palm Cocktail bar (which also has free Wifi - you just need to enter your email address) and Zig Zag.

So there we have it - a mini guide to my week in Rhodes, a long with a few recommendations for anyone thinking of visiting Pefkos on their next summer holiday! I hope you enjoyed this post! Let me know if you have any questions or recommendations of your own.

xo

Whilst I'm still here I just want to say a massive thank you to my beautiful best friends Emily, Hannah and Liz for an amazing holiday. Yamas!


Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Models Own Scented Fizzy Cola Bottles | nail polish review


Coming back from a fun holiday away is always hard, but something that cheered me up massively was the prize Boohoo.com sent me for my festival blog post. One of the prizes was this cute and quirky scented Fizzy Cola Bottles nail polish by Models Own.


Now I know what you're thinking, this probably isn't a colour that I would think to pick up if I saw it in Superdrug, but my oh my is it beautiful! The light brown creme shade looks so lovely on the nails (especially with my hands being quite tanned at the moment) and I love that the gold glitter and silver shimmer running through it gives it a subtle 'glammed-up' finish.


Although I was seriously impressed with the colour, my favourite thing about the nail polish is the fact it actually smells like fizzy cola bottles! I'm a sucker for a novelty nail polish. Even though the scented nail polish label should have given it away, I really didn't expect the scent to linger on the nails! If I remember rightly my 'scented' Blueberry Muffin polish from Models Own didn't smell of anything! It was definitely a good surprise, especially with the scent being so true to that of the penny sweets.

The fizzy cola bottles scent stuck around for about a day, which I don't think is too bad to say I did apply a top coat to my nails. Oh and a word of advice, you can scratch and sniff the top of the polish or smell it on your nails dry, but don't try and sniff the actual polish. You'll just get a headache...


The nail polish is really easy to apply, though two coats is a definite must as it'll be too sheer with just one. I also recommend using a top coat like Seche Vite as glitter polishes are always a little less smooth on the nails.

I love this polish so much that I'm definitely tempted by some of the other polishes in the Models Own scented Sweet Shop collection, which include:

  • Pear Drops - a bright coral-red polish with silver and red shimmer
  • Liquorice Allsorts - a plain black creme polish
  • Gumballs - a bright pink creme polish
  • Rhubarb and Custard - a bright red polish with silver glitter

Models Own's Fizzy Cola Bottles nail polish is available at the purse-friendly price of £4.99 from the brand's website and Superdrug where you can currently pick up two polishes for £7.99.

Have you tried any of the Models Own scented nail polishes?
Is Fizzy Cola Bottles a polish you'd like to try?
xo

*A big thank you to Boohoo.com for sending me this nail polish as part of my prize!*


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