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Favourites // February 2016

Favourites // February 2016

So February is practically over already - how did this happen?! 

Most of this past month has been taken up with working but I did manage to fit in a sneaky 24 hours in London during a week of annual leave I had taken. Plus, it was my nan's birthday so we set up a lovely champagne afternoon tea - check out this tweet to have a nosey! Aside from those two exciting things, my February was pretty uneventful - but still very agreeable none the less! Oh yeah, the only other notable thing that happened this month was that I finally got all caught up with NCIS - I've been binge-watching the show for the last few months and I've officially finished with the whole 12 seasons! There's now a huge hole in my netflix watching so any suggestions for new series to take up my time would be much appreciated!

Anyway, onto my favourite bits and pieces for the last month!

MONOGRAM PRINT // I picked up this print from Lily Rose Co. - I couldn't resist it: copper, marble and my monogram? I was sold! Never mind how much of a blogger cliche it may be! I can't wait to hang it on my wall - but then again maybe it'll need a few more prints to balance it out? To etsy I go!..

NOVEMBER 9 BY COLLEEN HOOVER // I read this book on the train on the way to and from London and oh wow, I haven't read a book that made me feel like this in a while! The premise is basically these two people meet one November 9th and then again on that day for subsequent years but with no contact in between - how they grow as people in the meantime is just fascinating to read. Plus they're a pairing that had me rooting for them from the very beginning - they *had* to end up together! But then a plot twist left me reeling and questioning if they should be together at all - oh wow, such a powerful read that I'm doing such a poor job of explaining! All of the feels! This book had me hooked from the very beginning but then the twists and turns along the way just made me even more hooked - seriously this book is definitely worth a read. I will definitely be finding some other books of Colleen Hoover's to read, I love her writing style!

UMBERTO GIANNINI 'CURL FRIENDS' // My insanely curly hair is quite temperamental so changing up my hair care products can be quite the ordeal. I went out on a limb and gave the shampoo and conditioner from this range a go and I love how it has made my hair feel! My hair feels super soft but still crazy curly whilst managing to not be frizzy (the bane of any curly-haired persons life!). I really love this range and I'm s so glad that I gave it a chance!

PINK NAILS // Normally my nails are exclusively nude (for work) or blue (when I'm at home!). I never usually reach for pink to paint my nails with! However, this month I got a little obsessed with this Maybelline gel-ish offering in 'Pink in the Park' - I was loving the pastel creamy colour! For work this colour is a bit too much seeing as it's so opaque for a pastel so I've been wearing Barry M's new 'Mani Mask' polish instead - it's kind of an odd shade, a semi-matte very natural nail colour - perfect for being inconspicuous at work!

GALAXY GOLDEN EGGS // Easter always has the best chocolate - usually it's mini eggs (what is it about them that's so darn addictive?!) and malteaser bunnies but this year these little golden eggs have completely taken over! They're so good! The perfect sweet treat - caramel-y but a little crunch-y and galaxy chocolate is always a winner! Pro tip: put them in the fridge and they're even more incredible!

24 HOURS IN LONDON // something non-tangible as my last favourite is my London trip - it was jam-packed full of awesome fun, I can't wait to go back already! Have a read of this post to see everything we got up to!

That was pretty short and sweet for a favourites of mine so well done me! That was my February and all of my favourites from it - what've you been loving this past month?

Insta-Lately // February 2016

Insta-Lately // February 2016

It's practically the end of the month (how flippin' fast has February gone?! Considering it's only a day or so shorter than every other month it always seems to fly by!) so that means it's time for a post rounding up what I've been posting over on instagram (I'm @belsmay13 over there if you fancy following along!).

I love a good burger. The more american-ised the better in my book! Mum & I recently tried out Five Guys for the first time and I loved it! Mum wasn't so keen on the food (too greasy for her and not as 'clean or fresh as Shake Shack is!) but she did enjoy playing around with the drink machine - the millions (okay not millions but there was a really big choice!) of drink varieties on offer was crazy!

I've been gravitating towards the same makeup products for the last few weeks - I've found it to be the perfect compromise between being easy to throw on whilst still looking put together but not feeling all 'made up'!

Plus I wrote a post about it here

I love a good pj day - and grey pjs are my obsession, I'm amassing quite the collection - it's becoming a problem! 

Mum, Nam and I went to the cinema (something I haven't done in ages! It's the perfect way to spend a raining afternoon!) to see the Dad's Army movie - which we all loved! I've loved watching Dad's Army from when I was a child and I was a smidge worried about the adaptation, if it would stay true to the characters and the humour. Thankfully it did! I've never seen such perfect casting in a film - the actors played the characters (and the actors in the tv series!) perfectly! Definitely worth a watch on the next rainy day we have!

Mum, Nam and I (again! We spent a lot of time together whilst I was off work on a week of annual leave!) spent just 24 short hours in London at the start of the month! We packed tonnes of activities in (lots of shopping, a trip to the theatre, breakfast at fortnum's and loads more!) and we had such a laugh! We may or may not be planning our next trip already!

Pssst I shared what we got up to in a whole post of its own here

I had a tough time choosing my Valentine's mani - I'm rarely gravitate towards pink/red polishes (I'm way more of a blue/grey girl!) but I was really feeling in the festive spirit this Valentine's Day!

 I spent Valentine's Day albeit Valentines-less but I had these Godiva chocolate covered strawberries to console me so I managed to struggle through :P

I stumbled across the cutest homeware shop Lily Rose Co. so made a sneaky order - how gorgeous is this print? I mean - my monogram, marble and copper?! How much more of a blogger cliche could I be - I love it!

Plus (last sneaky plug of my own posts, I promise!) they offer a homeware subscription box that I really think is pretty darn awesome, check out the post here

I decided to try out a new hair care brand this month - the curly offerings from Umberto Giannini. It's always a risk straying from my tried and tested products (John Freida fyi) but I'm really loving how these new products have left my hair - keeping my corkscrew curls but still managing to relax my crazy curls enough to retain some length!

To finish of the month we all took a trip to the theatre (again! Lucky me!) to see a Frankie Valli-type show - it was so much fun! Plus going out with my mum, nan and grandad was so lovely, I treasure those times.

So that was February! It was a good 'un!

The Lily Rose Co. Posy Subscription Box

The Lily Rose Co. Posy Subscription Box

I recently discovered the blog At Home With Abby recently (thank you Bloglovin' explore section!) and immediately followed! As I was perusing her blog I realised that the lovely Abby also runs a super cute shop - Lily Rose Co.!

Lily Rose Co. sells a fabulous selection of stationery, gifts, party supplies and homeware. There are so many adorable bits and pieces in there that are so unique! I kind of went through the site adding practically everything to my mental wish list!

I saw on the shop that Lily Rose Co. has just started to offer a monthly subscription service - I thought it would be a really fun change from the many beauty subscription boxes that are out there at the moment! 

For just £15 you receive a box of at least two amazing goodies from Lily Rose Co. - I think this is such a fab idea because there are so many lovely things on the shop that I kind of want everything anyway! I placed my order - along with one of these prints that I just couldn't resist - marble, my monogram and rose gold? I was sold!

A few of days later (fantastic processing and shipping times!) a box of awesomeness showed up on my doorstep - I may have been a smidge overexcited when I was opening it!

This month the box featured a METAL AND GLASS PHOTO FRAME (so happy about this because I've been wanting one for ages but just never gotten around to buying one!), a CANDLE (I'm a bit of a candle hoarder so I'm looking forward to adding this to my stash - plus salted grapefruit smells awesome, who knew?!) plus the pièce de résistance in my opinion - this PRINT! It has definitely given me the push I needed (and wanted!) to start collecting some prints for my room - I think it's going to look fab on my wall!

I'm so happy with this subscription box - I've never been interested in the beauty subscription boxes but this one is much more up my street - for the variety of products that you could receive and just how unique and original everything on Lily Rose Co. is! 

I will definitely be ordering next months' Posy subscription box - and I'm already looking forward to it!


*Please note that this subscription box featured in this post was not sent to my for free to review/share - it was purchased with my own money. And yes my bank balance is a little annoyed with me because I can definitely see myself ordering this on a monthly basis! :P*

Currently // 17-2

Currently // 17-2

I loved this writing this quick-fire post last month (check it out here) so I thought I'd bring this format back and share what I'm loving at the moment!

Eating // my newest sweet discovery - drumstick squashies! ie. the amazing taste of drumstick lollies but without the trauma of potentially getting your jaw stuck together - seriously, try them!

Drinking // I'm writing this post as I eat my breakfast so my beverage of choice is tea. Specifically, English Breakfast tea from Fortnum & Mason's that I picked up when I was in London last week (have a read of this post if you fancy finding out what I got up to!)

Watching // NCIS. Still. I've been working my way through this TV show for the last couple of months and I'm still loving it! 

Listening // The Les Mis soundtrack. After seeing the show again last week when I was in London I've had all of the songs stuck in my head!

Reading // November 9 by Colleen Hoover. Oh wow this book! I've not loved a book this much for a good couple of years! It's incredible! A beautiful love story with a healthy twist in the plot and the potential for a happy ending. I can see this book being one that I re-read each year (I love my collection of these re-read books!). Seriously, you need to read this book I'm not doing it justice!

Planning // out how I'm going to decorate the next few weeks in my ECLP planner - I've got three weekly kits that I'm so excited to use in March!

Obsessing // over my latest finds in TK Maxx (again!), some super cute planner bits and bobs - check out this photo that I posted on my instagram to have a nosey!

Smelling // the Splash candle from the Kringle Candle Company. I found a stash of their potpourri wax melts when I was tidying out my room the other day (oops! Who knew I was such a candle hoarder?!) and decided to give them a try. This one especially is so fresh, clean and unobtrusive - I really love it. Definitely not heading over to their website to see what other scents they have on offer...

Wearing // fleecy and oh so attractive pjs. I'm pre-night shift today so I'm spending the day snuggled up in bed trying to conserve my energy for later!

Wanting // This sleep tee from ASOS - it's so fun! Oh and this Rebecca Minkoff bag is just begging to be added to my collection - all of the heart-eyed emojis.

Feeling // ever so slightly sad that I'm not back in London like I was this time last week! We had such an amazing 24 hours there!

24 Hours in London

24 Hours in London

Don't get me wrong, I adore living in the countryside but every so often I feel the call of city life. So when that happens I book myself a little trip to London (usually dragging my mum along with me!). 

I was feeling like this a couple of weeks ago, so I decided to book a quick trip to the big smoke but decided to legitimise this trip by making it somewhat of a girly shopping trip for my nan's birthday. 

Mum, Nan and I spent just one day in the capital but we managed to pack a whole lot in, so what better post for for this week? Sharing what we got up to during our 24 hours in London.

We hopped off the train, deposited our cases in our hotel room and strolled across to Covent Garden. This is our  favourite part of London - amazing shopping combined with the quaintness of the arches and cobbles of Covent Garden! 

Our first stop, as per usual, was lunch at Shake Shack - it was delicious, of course! Nam loved the atmosphere of Covent Garden - and was quite partial to a Shackburger - something that I'd never thought I'd see! 

We did a little shopping around Covent Garden: picked up some macarons from Laduree and some chocolate covered strawberries from Godiva as snack for that evening. We visited Kate Spade (some many cute things were almost purchased - I'm regretting now not buying a knot bangle I had my eye on!), nearly bought all of the stationery at Kikki K and had an amazing shopping experience in Jo Malone. I bought Nan some Jo Malone bath bits and pieces for Christmas last year and she loved the scent so much (Lime, Basil & Mandarin by the way!) that she wanted to purchase the perfume for herself! The shop assistants in there were so friendly and helpful - it was lovely!

We decided to walk through to Wholefoods to pick up supplies for our hotel room picnic that we decided to have that evening. Of course, on the way we had to pop into some other shops that we passed - well it would've been rude not to! Oh hello Anthro, J Crew & Zara Home!

After a lovely afternoon wandering around and shopping we rushed back to the hotel for a quick outfit change and freshen up ready for an evening at the theatre!

Nan was desperate to see China Town so we walked that way to The Queens Theatre. It was so much fun to see how excited she was at all of the Chinese New Year decorations!

We got to the theatre a little early to pick up our tickets so there was just enough time for some bubbles to celebrate Nan's birthday a smidge early! Also we discovered that a half bottle of champers fits perfectly in the pocket of a Barbour jacket :P.

Mum and I saw Les Mis last time we were in London (by the way you can see what we got up to on the slightly longer trip last year, here) - it's my favourite musical and of course it didn't disappoint this time around! Plus we were desperate for Nan to see it whilst Carrie was still playing Eponine. Carrie is the embodiment of Eponine - I've never seen a person more in character in my life, when she was on stage - she was Eponine! Nan was reduced to a sobbing wreck by the end of the first act! And we were all crying at the end! 

After getting slightly lost on the way back to our hotel - we were all a bit too excited and chatting about the incredible show! We tucked into a delicious midnight feast - we do love a good hotel picnic!

We woke up bright and early the next day, sipping tea in crisp white bed sheets re-living every amazing moment of seeing Les Mis the night before!

We couldn't linger in bed for long though - we had breakfast reservations at Fortnum & Mason's to make so we headed out for a walk through the London Streets - stopping every so often to peek into a cute little deli we passed, or to ooh and aah at a pretty window display!

Whilst we were a little disappointed at the re-brand of The Fountain restaurant into the 'hip' 45 Jermyn St bar/restaurant but the food was still delicious (even if they didn't serve the incredible freshly squeezed pineapple juice that I had last time!) and it was well worth the early start just for those eggs!

We willed away the next few hours wandering around Regent Street doing some more shopping, of course a trip to Liberty's had to happen! 

We had to make a pit stop around midday for a little pick-me-up so we decided to try out the Hotel Cafe Royal. Their iced chocolate was life changing and the service was incredible - the staff were so attentive! Next time we'll definitely be going back to try their lobster club sandwiches - they looked stunning!

All too soon it was time to say goodbye to London. We had an amazing trip and felt we really made the most of the time we had there - albeit it was far too short, we all agreed that 24 hours just wasn't enough for us!  

So now I'm snuggled up in bed, munching on some more Godiva chocolate covered strawberries that I couldn't resist picking up to bring home, re-living our trip and already trying to figure out when we can fit in another visit to the city!


I hope that you enjoyed seeing what we got up to in our short but sweet trip to London - what're your favourite things to do when you're in the city? Let me know because I'm always on the look our for recommendations to add to our to-do list for the next time we visit!

UK Etsy Planner Sticker Shops - Part 1

UK Etsy Planner Sticker Shops - Part 1

It's time for another planner-y post on the blog today! 

I've been thoroughly obsessed with the whole "decorating your planner with stickers" trend for about a year now. When I first started "planning" I found that there was an abundance of US-based etsy shops devoted to selling planner stickers (so much so that my postman now doesn't even bat an eyelid when I receive a handful of envelopes from the US every so often!) but really not very many UK based ones - which was very upsetting because shipping from the US is a little hard to stomach!

Anyway, in the last few months there seems to be loads more UK sticker shops that have sprung up - now I don't if this is because I've just made more of an effort to search for UK sellers to support or if a lot people in the UK have started creating their own stickers - either was it's fabulous because the shipping is so much faster and makes my sticker obsession that little bit cheaper!

So in the spirit of sharing I thought I'd post about my most favourite UK etsy planner sticker shops, some of which are old favourites and some are new discoveries!

ELLIEBETH DESIGNS UK // Rachel's shop was the first UK-based sticker shop that I discovered and I've been a loyal purchaser ever since! The monthly kits are the basis for every single spread in my planner - they're amazing! Honestly I think that this shop is an amazing go-to for all of your sticker needs: the functional stickers are great, the weekly kits are so cute but the monthly kits are the stand out stickers for me - I love how you can pick and mix stickers to create the perfect spreads! Plus Rachel offers three (yes three!) different types of sticker paper (glossy vinyl, matte vinyl or matte re-positionable) so you can find your perfect match - I'm #teamglossy all the way! Also, there's the EBDUK facebook group you can join for some fab inspiration and conversation (and enabling!) - especially on the first Wednesday of each month for #whatsnewwednesday (when Rachel drops her new designs - all of the pretty guaranteed!) 

photo featuring: February monthly kit 

THE HUMMINGBIRD PLANNER // When I first received my Erin Condren planner I wanted to find a seller of MDN headers that would make it cost effective because getting such a lot of stickers shipped from the US each month would be quite an expense! Enter the hummingbird planner shop! They have a massive colour selection of glossy (yes!) header stickers that are customisable (a real game changer!) that I use in every single one of my spreads! I've also been using a load of their icon stickers to create my 'little things' sections each day - such a cost-effective way of planning! They do also have kits for sale which I'm yet to try but have my eye on! Plus Emily offers a load of her stickers as printable files so if printable stickers are your thing then she has you covered!

photo featuring: birthday cake boxes, TV boxescustomisable headers - all in the bright colour scheme, a pastel colour scheme is also available

EMILY MORELLO // This shop is a pretty recent discovery for me but I am so glad I stumbled across it! Emily's stickers are so unique and very American-y in terms of her sticker designs - they're stunning! I try to limit myself to buying one weekly kit each month (otherwise I would be bankrupt buying a new set of stickers for each week - my monthly kit covers the other weeks in the month!) and I love Emily's weekly kits - plus they're glossy so I'm extra happy! If you want some seriously pretty weekly kits then check out this shop! Additionally, Emily also offers her kits for MAMBI planners, not just ECLPs - so if you're a MAMBI user then these are the kits for you!

photo featuring: foxy floral weekly kit

MICHELLE & PATCH // If hand drawn stickers are your thing then you need to check out Michelle & Patch. Honestly the talent that goes into creating these stickers astounds me! All of her stickers are so unusual - I've not found any like it! They add such a cute and fun decorative element to a really functional spread. They're just so pretty - which means I'm always "saving" them - what I'm saving them for I don't know but they do fall into that "too pretty" to use category (like the stack of empty gold/kraft paper notebooks I keep on my desk)!


I've just realised that this post is already quite long and wordy - sorry about that! And I've still got some more shops to share so I thought I'd stop this post here, put a pin it if you will, and then I'll be back with part two of my favourite UK etsy planner sticker shops next time I write a planner-y post!

Hope you all enjoyed this post and for all of the planner addicts reading this, I hope you've discovered some new etsy shops to order from!


*Please note that all of the stickers featured in this post were not sent to me for free to review/share - they were all purchased with my own money. And yes my bank balance is a little annoyed with me :P*

Makeup for the Weekend

Makeup for the Weekend

When it's the weekend (and pretty much every day during the working week too!) I'm all about quick and easy makeup that makes me look presentable to the outside world (the world does not need to be witness to my naked face!) so I thought I'd share the products that I reach for on the weekend.

I think that everyone has that one piece of makeup that they hoard, for some people it's lipsticks (where they have approximately a million shades of that "your lips but better" colour!) but for me it's foundation! Hi I'm Belle and I'm a foundation junkie! Making sure that I have a base that's as flawless as it can be is my number one priority when I'm doing my makeup so I have an embarrassingly large collection of foundations to help me achieve that! My current go-to base-wise is the newest addition to my foundation stash, the TOO FACED BORN THIS WAY FOUNDATION - and boy was this difficult to get my hands on (which of course made me want it even more)! The colour is a smidge too dark for me (I mean pale ghost problems - pretty much every foundation is too dark for me!) but I can just about make it work - but the coverage is great, full coverage without it feeling cakey and gross, plus it lasts all day without slipping/sliding everywhere. A win I think! 

To deal with the dark circles that seem to have appeared since I started shift work (and the inevitable occasional blemish that refuses to be covered by my foundation) I pop on a bit of the URBAN DECAY NAKED SKIN CONCEALER - the ultimate concealer in my eyes, I love this stuff! 

To finish off my base I've been reaching for the HOURGLASS AMBIENT LIGHTING POWDER in Diffused Light that I "borrowed" from my mums makeup stash (shh don't tell her!). I've really been liking this powder - it sets my foundation without making everything a bit cakey and adding a bit of natural glow as well. Big fan.

Next up I deal with my eyebrows - I have no patience when it comes to sorting my eyebrows out so I just whack on a bit of the powder from this ELF EYEBROW KIT and vaguely fill them in until I'm happy or just give up on them, whichever comes first!

After that traumatic event I finish off my eyes with mascara - on the weekend if I'm not up to anything exciting I tend to be wearing my glasses so I really can't face trying to put eyeshadow on without my contact lenses (my eyesight is literally terrible without my glasses/lenses!) so I just whack on some mascara. For everyday lashes I plump for BENEFIT THEY'RE REAL - no complaints here but for ultimate lashes (that end up touching my glasses!) BENEFIT ROLLERLASH is incredible!

Finally if I'm feeling fancy I'll slick on a bit of the CLARINS INSTANT LIGHT NATURAL LIP PERFECTOR in 07 Toffee Pink, the perfect lip product to look make your lips look all cute and glossy but not left feeling sticky. Although, let's face it - more often than not I slap on a bit of an EOS lip balm - it's the weekend after all!

What're your go-to products for the weekend? Let me know, I'm always on the lookout for new products to add to my makeup stash!

Share the Love // January 2016

Share the Love // January 2016

I spend most of my spare time (when I'm not blogging or binge watching NCIS) getting lost in my Bloglovin' feed, catching up of fabulous posts the all of the bloggers I follow have written. 

I get loads of inspiration for my own posts, discover tonnes of things to add to my wishlists and get to catch up with all the goings on of my bloggy friends (aka the people behind the blogs that I follow religiously but have never met and am vicariously brunching/travelling through their blogs!) - so I figured that it was only fair that I share the love with my fellow bloggers and share some of my favourite posts that I've read recently with y'all...

I really enjoyed compiling this post - it was fun to go back and read my fave posts that I discovered this past month! I'm going to try to aim to do this type of post fairly regularly to share the bloggy love :)

What were your favourite posts that you read/wrote this past month? Leave me links in below please!