UK Lifestyle Blog

31 January 2016

Casual Faded Denim

    Coat - New Look | Shirt - Primark | Jeans - Primark | Pumps - Asda | Bag - Kurt Geiger | Sunglasses - Peacocks |
 
 



I love dressing up, but I love dressing casual even more. I find casual wear lets you be more creative with layering. Laid back chic is definitely the way forward. SS16 will see us donning more denim and more neutral tones. I thought this casual outfit marred the two of the perfectly, making it not only warm, but bang on trend too.

If you haven't already guessed, this camel coat is my favourite jacket at the moment, it's so easy to wear and goes with everything. I kinda need want to get it in grey too. I love how it has the structured fit, but also the relaxed feel to it. It's so cosy which is a major plus given he weather we've been having!


I paired a crisp white shirt (that's actually longline, but I tied it up!) and distressed blue denim jeans to finish off the off duty look.


I really love this look and definitely want to get some more fashion posts up soon!



What SS16 trends are you looking forward to?

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27 January 2016

Our Stay at Ox Pasture Hall Hotel*


 Last weekend I was invited to Scarborough, to stay at the stunning . I jumped at the opportunity to be able to spend time with my partner in such mesmerizing surroundings. The approach to the hotel itself was beautiful, long winding roads steeped with lush, green countryside, I was in awe. We arrived around 2:30pm and we were warmly greeted at the reception desk. We then were led through two picturesque court yards, which would make ideal spots to relax in during summer,  to our *.



 We were shown into our room and I was immediately blown away by how impeccable it was. With huge windows over looking the grounds, and pretty, rustic chandeliers, it was impressive. What I admired most about the room was the attention to detail, and how the décor fitted so perfectly with the surroundings. It definitely captured that luxury country feel.


 The first room you enter is the sitting room. The focal point of this room is definitely the view, I loved being able to look out over then pond and watch the geese in the morning. It had a lovely comfortable sofa, large TV, CD player and a well equipped Tea station. Again it was the sweet little touches that grabbed my attention, such as the bottles of water and the little bag of delicious fudge. It's these little touches that made our stay at Ox Pasture Hall so memorable.

 

Just off of the sitting room was the bedroom, which also featured a captivating view, alongside a huge king size bed. After the mandatory bed test I was delighted to discover not only an iron and proper ironing board, but also two white fluffy robes! It's safe to say they didn't stay in the wardrobe long!





 Last up is my favourite room, the luxury bathroom. It is dreamy, featuring not only a free standing, rainfall head shower, but also a deep glossy bathtub and twin sinks! As you can see I put the huge bath tub to good use and indulged in a sensationally relaxing bubble bath, it was nice to have a bath where the water actually covered you completely!

  Included in our stay was the chance to dine at Ox Pasture Hall Hotel's Courtyard Restaurant.
We were seated in the cosy bar, in front of a roaring open fire, whilst we perused the menu.








 We were taken into the dining area and presented with a lovely bottle of Prosecco on ice. We had chosen our three courses*, which were served promptly and piping hot, just the way we like it. For starters I chose the Vegetable Soup and my partner chose scallops, both of which were packed full of flavour. We were also given an accompaniment of freshly baked breads in the flavour fruit and nut, and cheese and chive. The cheese one was my favourite!

  For mains I opted for Whole Hartlepool Landed Lemon Sole, and the Mr chose the 8oz Rump Steak. My Sole came with Brown Shrimp, capers and potato dumplings. My palette is, what I would call, quite juvenile, in the sense that I can be a fussy eater! I was apprehensive as to whether I would like my main, but it was very delicious and full of flavour. The Mr vouched that his steak was exquisite, as he polished off his plate.

 Dessert came around, and it's my favourite part of any meal! I opted for Passion Fruit Cheesecake with Lemon Tart Ice Cream and Frozen Pina Colado. This was super sweet and tangy from the lemon and passion fruit, it was the perfect dessert to finish the meal.  My other half chose the classic, Sticky Toffee Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce, which I may, or may not, have had a nibble of, and can happily say it's the best I've ever tasted! We Finished our Prosecco and headed back to our room for tea and bed.


 
Ox Pasture Hall Hotel is situated in 17 acres of land, right on the North Yorkshire Moors. It's the perfect base for exploring- and dogs are welcome! Why not bring your furry friend along and enjoy strolling through the moors.
 
 If this doesn't whet your whistle, Scarborough Town is only 2 miles away, where you can pop in and out of the cute boutique stores, or take a walk along the pier with fish and chips in hand (Watch out for those seagulls!). We enjoyed walking along the beach up to the pretty colourful beach huts and finished the day with fish and chips at Winking Willies Famous Fish & Chip Shop.
 




 We decided to make a whole weekend out of the trip and also pay a visit to the pretty seaside town of Whitby, which is only a 20 minute drive from Ox Pasture Hall Hotel. We went up to the famous Whitby Abbey (make sure you have your walking shoes on, it's 199 steps up!) and saw the stretch of embankment where Dracula was said to have landed. Afterwards we went in search of more food! The Mr munched away on Scampi, whilst I had fish cake and chips! It was very much a weekend of indulgence in all senses of the word!



 Overall, we had the best weekend away. It was refreshing to escape from it all, enjoy nature and spend time together. I would highly recommend a stay at Ox Pasture Hall Hotel, it is the perfect base for exploring, as well as being a brilliant hotel to relax in luxurious surroundings. The staff are all friendly and attentive and we loved the attention to detail the hotel has. We would definitely love to visit again, especially in summer, as I can imagine just how beautiful it would be to sit outside in those courtyards!
 
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*All Items marked with the asterisk were gifted to me. Opinions given are all my own.

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22 January 2016

Winter Weekend Break Essentials


 I'm travel obsessed, and have been fortunate enough to have visited quite a few beautiful cities,  because of this I have learnt to pack better. I wouldn't say I'm super efficient- a girl can never have too many outfit options! However, I am better than what I used to be.

 When it comes to packing for a winter break, practicality should rule over all. Which I know sounds pretty boring, but it's essential. I visited Edinburgh one September and in the Midlands it was still fairly warm, so I just packed a thin blazer jacket. Needless to say I made a dash to the nearest Primark to stock up on Jumpers! I now always check the weather of where I'm going before packing!


 Footwear is key, it's winter, it's highly likely to be raining. Think about what kind of activities you'll be doing, where are you going - city streets or country fields? I always like to take one pair of boots and one pair of flats for day time wear. I'd also recommend looking at the clothes you're packing and choose footwear that can be mixed and matched for all the outfits. Some of you brave babes may wear heels in snow but I'd be flat on the floor within seconds!



 A flask! Now I know this isn't what most people deem an 'essential' when packing, but I find them so useful, especially in winter. Most hotel rooms have their own tea stations where you can make your own drinks as you please, if you're in a rush you can use this to fill up your flask and off you go, hot drink in hand. It saves you stopping at the nearest Starbucks, although the temptation is still there...


 Warm accessories; hats, gloves, scarves. These not only help keep you warm but they also can really put together an outfit. Plain tee and jeans? pop on a thick, snuggly scarf and bowler hat for instant chic. I like to take a felt floppy hat and a cosy bobble hat. One keeps my head warm the other keeps my face dry! Win, Win really?

 Also if you're not taking a hooded jacket, I recommend remembering your umbrella! It's one of the first things I pop into my handbag when going anywhere, even in summer!


Pretty Lingerie. Again not high on many peoples essential list, but I find that winter weekend breaks usually see me wearing an array of snuggly knitwear whilst I frolic about in the rain. Even in winter it's nice to wear something pretty, feminine and dare I say a bit sexy. Well sexier than that large knitted jumper I've just stuffed wildly into my case!

 So these are my not so conventional winter weekend essentials, of course you have your usual subjects- toiletries, underwear etc. But these are my little extra something's that I find handy on trips and hope you will too!

What are your trip essentials?


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20 January 2016

How To Make A Mint Chocolate Smoothie


 I started my #sheddingforthewedding health kick on New Year's Day (I know, all the clichés!). However, I have managed to stick very firmly to it this year, and dare I say, I'm actually enjoying it! I've been experimenting with new healthy food and have a few delicious recipes up my sleeve, keep an eye out for them!

  For the first delicious instalment I thought I would share this sweet, Mint Chocolate Smoothie. It's all kinds of tasty, and actually fairly good for you too!

You Will Need:

- Low Fat Natural Yogurt (always check the sugar content)
- One cup of Semi-skimmed/Skimmed Milk
- Fresh Mint Leaves
- One Frozen Banana (I pop mine in the freezer the night before)
- Dark Cocoa Powder



That's all that's in it! Peel and chop up your banana, wash your mint leaves and Pop all of the ingredients into your blender and blend until nice and smooth. Depending on how you like your smoothies add more yogurt for a thicker consistency, or more milk for a lighter consistency.

I use the Breville Blend Active and would highly recommend it, I got it in the Argos sale for roughly £20 but I've seen them in quite a few other places too. It's quick and very powerful, no lumps if you don't want them!



 Enjoy as a scrumptious filling breakfast, or as a rejuvenating post work-out snack. I love making smoothies and can't wait to share a few more of my favourites with you - peanut butter did I here you say?

Will you be trying out this smoothie?
Let me know what your favourite smoothie flavours are!

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17 January 2016

How To Style The Faux Fur Gilet

Gilet:Peacocks | Shirt:Peacocks | Jeans:New Look | Boots:New Look | Bag:Kurt Geiger
 
 
There's something about faux fur that makes any old outfit look luxe. I spotted this gem of a gilet in Peacocks and thought it was the perfect addition to my winter wardrobe. I imagined the many ways it could be styled;  layered with jeans and a tee for casual days or slunk over a staple black dress for a super glam evening look. It was because of this I practically ran to the counter with it. As well as looking good, the faux fur gilet also helps give you a bit of extra warmth for those colder days that you don't want to wear a big coat.
 
 I chose to pair it with a long line, split side, monochrome shirt, which I adore. It's very flattering as it skims over all the right places and hangs loosely over the hips. This makes it so comfortable to wear. Monochrome will always be my go to colour palette as it looks good all year round and never really goes out of fashion.
 
 The Blue Denim Contrasts perfectly with the monochrome and these skinnies by New Look are uber comfortable. They are very stretchy, making them easy for day time wear and you don't feel restricted or uncomfortable. They practically feel like a second skin.
 
  I had been looking for some knee length brown boots for a while, but because I have big calves I found it difficult to get some that I could zip all the way up. These stunning boots from New Look have elasticated sides, meaning they are the perfect fit - and I can put on some warm thick socks too! They are currently my favourite boots and I like to wear them with jeans, skirts and dresses.
 
  For accessories I chose a statement black and gold necklace, which I believe compliments the tones in my outfit well. I also picked my new beige Kurt Geiger Bag, which has pretty gold hardware and is very structured. For my lips I opted for a wintery deep berry purple.
 
 
What do you think of Faux Fur Gilets?
 
 


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11 January 2016

Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani Palette Review


Just before Christmas I decided to treat myself to Urban Decay's new palette that was collaborated with Gwen Stefani. I was immediately sold by the packaging, let alone the beautiful choice of shadows inside. Urban Decay are my go to brand for eye shadow. I have all 3 of the Naked Palettes and was very tempted by the Smokey palette, however, because I'm very fair I didn't think I would get the most wear out of it and sorrowfully decided not to buy it.

What grabbed my attention with this Gwen Stefani Palette is, that not only does it have a beautiful selection of neutral tones, it also has some striking pops of colour too for those brave days.


The palette contains 15 shades, ranging from beautiful champagnes to vivid blue. There are 10 neutral toned shades and 5 colourful shades. I really love the burgundy shadow, it's perfect for this time of year. My favourite shade in the whole palette is 1987, which is a really pretty gold. I regularly like to wear a light brown smoky eye with a pop of gold in the centre, and this palette is perfect for creating this look.


The colours are very pigmented and blend together beautifully, enabling you to create so many versatile make-up looks. I created this look using 'Bathwater' all over my lid, which is a pretty peachy gold. I then used 'Anaheim' in the crease and finished off the look with a pop of '1987' in the centre of my lid. I can't wait to experiment more with the different colour combinations and create some unique looks.  It's definitely a palette that will take you through the seasons, as the light champagne and peach tones will look pretty for summer, whilst the dark browns and burgundy's will look sultry for the winter.


Overall, I really can't fault this palette. The packaging is sturdy and easy to keep clean. The shades are versatile, yet very wearable, and all of them are hugely pigmented and easy to blend. What more could you ask for in an eye shadow palette! 10/10 Urban Decay!

What's your favourite eye shadow palette?
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