Sunday, 31 July 2016

The playsuit that actually suits

Ever since playsuits became a thing again I've really struggled to find any that fit me, let alone look nice. I'm of fairly average height at just under 5'7", but have a very long body - queue wedgie central every time I even dared try on any kind of all-in-one!! Even tall clothing ranges seem to neglect those of us that are this shape, so I was really taking a gamble when I ordered this wrap style playsuit from ASOS.

Luckily, I was very pleasantly surprised. Not only does it fit nicely but it's comfortable to wear, not too short and has a flattering wrap-around cut. You could easily dress this up with heels and a blazer for a wedding or party, or down with sandals or plimsolls for a summer holiday look. This weekend I opted to pair it with a leather jacket out to a Sunday Brunch. What do you think? 

At the time of posting there are still almost all sizes available, plus it's also in the sale!!

Jacket: Very old | Playsuit: ASOS | Bag: F+F (no longer online but there are plenty more to choose from!) | Choker: Forever21  | Watch: Olivia Burton | Ring: Pandora | Photos by: Pippa


Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Three to try: Soap and Glory

I've always been a fan of the Soap and Glory range. Not only does the packaging look great and the products smell amazing, but they tend to make stuff that actually works. Although I've used their bath and body range every day for years, I had never really gotten into their makeup until this year. Here are my top 3 to try.

First up is the Sexy Mother Pucker lipgloss. I'm not a lipgloss person at all, but this stuff is a little different. It's not particularly pigmented (although varying shades are available) but contains plumping 'spheres' that instantly make your lips tingle and appear far fuller than usual. It's the perfect lip product for when you're after a bit of glam and a matte lipstick just won't do. 

The Brow Archery tint and pencil is something I can't live without these days. The tint brush helps define the shape, while the pencil fills in any gaps. Since lightening my hair I found my old brow pencils too harsh and dark, but the shade 'Brownie Points' does the trick now. It's such an easy to use product.

My final and most recent discovery are the Made You Blush blushes. I went for the shade 'Rosy Chic' and it gives the most amazing blush effect. The powder is pigmented, extremely long lasting compared to many other blushes, and easy to blend even with the brush it comes with. I love the mirror on the compact too as it's big enough to actually use!

As it happens, there's currently a 3 for 2 offer on Soap and Glory at Boots, so I couldn't have timed this post better! Why not treat yourself?

Are there any Soap and Glory products you'd recommend? Let me know in the comments below.


Sunday, 24 July 2016

Worth the wait: dinner at the Old Bicycle Shop in Cambridge

If you've ever lived in or been a frequent visitor to Cambridge, you'll probably remember Howe's bike shop. The family owned shop stood open for 173 years, with rumored customers including Charles Darwin himself. Sadly the business closed a while ago, and with Cambridge becoming more 'shoreditchy' by the day, it was only natural that a twee restaurant, The Old Bicycle Shop, sprang up in its place. I met up with some of the local #CambMeetUp blogger ladies and went to check it out.

Let me start by saying that the owners have done an excellent job preserving the shop's history - there are bike parts and old photos everywhere and the choice of furniture and decor works well to give off a traditional yet strangely modern vibe. Special shout out to the funny quotes about cycling hung in the bathroom!

The Old Bicycle Shop boasts a gorgeous cocktail menu, with a few unusual additions. Lauren's 'Lance's Lemonade' (get it?!) cocktail came with a very suspicious looking pouch of sherbet, which when added to the gin and lemon drink fizzed up. Odd? Yes. Fun? Also yes.

So, let's get to the good stuff and talk about the food. While The Old Bicycle Shop is not necessarily easy on the purse strings compared to some other places in town, the menu is refined and well thought out. From nibbles to veggie dishes to steaks, there's something to please everyone, but we weren't so overwhelmed by choice that it took an age to decide what we wanted.

I went for the 'posh kebab', which featured some mouth-wateringly tasty slow cooked lamb, topped with ginger slaw and saffron aoili. The portion size was huge but little of the food went unappreciated. It was so full of flavour that I all but finished the plate, to my amazement. I also tried some of the chips, which were bloomin' delish.

The only slight downside to our visit was that our food ended up taking so long to arrive that we didn't have time for dessert before catching trains and buses home for the night, which was a shame. I would however ask that you don't let this put you off. The staff were extremely apologetic and even took quite a large sum off our bill to make up for it and threw in some extra drinks. Turns out the delay was due to a large private party arriving very late for their function, leading to an unexpected back-up in the kitchen. 

Despite the above teething issue in what is still a very new local restaurant, I'd gladly head back to eat this all over again, this time with pudding! It seems I'm not the only one, as the place is packed to the rafters every evening with Cambridge residents and visitors enjoying food and cocktails. Next stop, the brunch menu!

Have you visited the Old Bicycle Shop in Cambridge? Want to recommend some other foodie hotspots? Let me know in the comments below!


Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Finding inspiration in blogging again

Three years ago the world of blogging and YouTube was an exciting one, with some of our most read and watched names just starting to make it big and a huge marketing buzz around the rise of the influencer meaning it was about to become a lucrative business. Fast forward to now and our universe is an incredibly noisy one. We're naturally all enamored with the idea of making a living through blogging and YouTube, with thousands taking up the hobby with a hope of going viral and becoming recognised for their efforts. I started blogging in 2013, just on the pinnacle of the movement, but so much has changed since then.

The thing is, when everyone's trying to achieve the same end result, it can be difficult to produce original content and stand out from the masses. It can also feel like that elite group of huge bloggers have a bit of a monopoly on readership and engagement. I won't lie, I've asked myself many times what the real point is now that almost everybody is doing it. Is this really just a hobby for me or a greater passion? What do I want this blog to become in a year? In two? Beyond?

Over the last few weeks I've seen a number of high profile bloggers expressing their concern at how flooded the world of blogging has become. My snapchat has been filled with some of my favourite bloggers saying that they just aren't sure where to take their enterprises now that the smaller bloggers out there have your basic content like reviews and daily vlogs covered.

They say that comparison is the enemy of success, and I've resolved to make this my philosophy. As a relatively small blogger I have in the past found myself feeling quite bitterly envious of those more successful than me - not helpful or productive in the slightest!

Instead of letting negativity and self doubt creep in, I'm now looking at blogging in a whole new light. Gone are the days of posting because I feel like I have to, reviewing any old thing and taking any sponsored post that comes my way. I'm pledging to create in the best way I can and to strive every day to provide you guys with interesting subject matter, better photography and as much of my attention as I can give. By getting my head back in the game I know the growth of this blog will continue naturally and we'll carry on building those blogger-reader relationships I love so much.

Do you have a blog yourself, or just read them? What do you think of how far bloggers and YouTubers have come?

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Why I won't stop travelling

I've always loved travelling. Whether it's a beach holiday or a city break, the world has so much to offer. I don't think I'll ever go 'full on' travelling, preferring to visit a couple of places a year, but I love it all the same. My news feeds and social media these last few weeks have been full of people questioning if they'll be safe on their summer getaways, or saying they aren't sure where to travel, if anywhere.

I'm not going to suggest that people should travel to war zones or dangerous regions for the sake of a tan - that would be ludicrous. What I am going to say is that for many countries tourism is a primary industry, and by snubbing travel we could be cheating ourselves out of amazing experiences and making the discontent in those places even worse by depriving them of income.

It's true that from France to Turkey, the US to Egypt, many countries have some very public troubles, but by staying home we let the terrorists, fascists and racists win. Don't let them deprive you of the world.


Monday, 11 July 2016

8 beautiful reading nooks to help you reach peak chill

With recent events around the world weighing on my mind, I can't help but want to switch off a little, turn of the news and pick up a book or two instead. I always associate curling up for a cosy read with dark winter evenings, but the long summer nights mean plenty of extra hours of reading time. As we're in a new flat with more space, I've been in search of inspiration for the perfect little reading nook over on Pinterest. Here are my faves:

This one's pretty simple, because who needs interior fussiness when there's a view like this. Slightly embarrassingly it reminds me of the Cullen house in the Twilight films, but is beautiful nonetheless.

This corner sofa is uber traditional looking, perfect if your home has a period or cottage feel to it. 

Continuing the cosy theme, this colourful attic space is the stuff of boookworm dreams.

The pops of colour in this nook make for an inspirational work space, too.

Or perhaps you prefer a more feminine colour palette? This chair is calling out to me!

Let's take it monochome for a minute here, blankets and all.

This attic space is bright, airy, cosy and comfy all at once!

And last but not least, my personal favourite. The tree trunk shelves remind me of the hobbit houses in the shire!

Where do you like to curl up and read?

All images in this post, and their sources, can be found over on my Interiors Pinterest board. Don't forget to follow for more!


Saturday, 9 July 2016

My summer skin essentials

I used to really hate summer. I struggled to find the right products and would go through May-August with the greasiest skin imaginable! That's all changed since I've gotten more into my skincare, and I've built up a repertoire of bits and bobs that mean my skin actually copes with heat and humidity quite well these days. 

While given the disappointing weather these last couple of weeks this post now feels somewhat ironic, my essential summer skincare will also come in handy on my holiday later this year! Here's the shortlist:

With my weird and wonderful struggle with eye allergies and sensitive skin, I'm conscious this year to protect my skin as much as I can with as gentle a sun tan lotion as possible. Many brands have a reputation for stinging the eyes and irritating sensitive skin, and some have also caused me breakouts in the past. Piz Buin's allergy range has a great reputation, and with broad spectrum coverage trumps many other sensitive sun-care products out on the market

To get that perfect tan - whether it's real or fake - smooth, exfoliated skin is a must. I also really love the Breakfast Scrub from Soap and Glory, but this stuff is perfect for packing in a suitcase and ensuring you're peel-free on holiday.

Can you tell I'm a Soap and Glory fan? I don't really do full on fake tan as it takes a bit of maintenance, but from time to time for parties, BBQs etc I feel like I need a bit more 'glow'. This tinted lotion applies so evenly and will last until you shower it off. The effect is bronzed, not orange, which is perfect for those with a fear of being tangoed!

I had sort of forgotten about body mists and spritzes since my early teens, but over in America Bath and Body Works have truly revived them. My parents bought be back a few beauty bits from their recent trip across the pond, and this was one of them. It's gorgeously fruity but not sickly sweet, and perfect if like me your perfume range is more Christmas party than summer evening.

Lush's toner waters are among my favourite of their entire range, and Breath of Fresh Air is no exception. Sea water, aloe vera, rose and patchuoli mean the formula is calming and refreshing. It's ideal used with cotton pads to remove excess make-up and soothe the skin, but can also be kept in the fridge and used as a mist on hot days.

What are your favourite summer products? Let me know in the comments below!

© kelly anne rist

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