Thursday, 4 August 2011

Hair Inspiration 2011

Tomorrow morning is my first proper haircut in a while. Proper as in "going to the hairdressers rather than getting a friend to trim your split ends because you're too poor for anything else." I'm such a student!

Anyway, I've been toying with getting my hair cut shorter again, as it's been growing out for about a year (for the reason above) and I'd rather like a change, especially as I know I'll be cropping up in the odd photo or two at my friend's wedding this weekend!

Hence this, albiet rather short, hair inspiration post. My hair is somewhat problematic - curly to the extreme and generally frizzy at all times, regardless of styling and sermum, much to my dismay. Obviously, shorter hair will mean more curls but I'm okay with that!

And now, without much further ado, here is my hair inspiration:

Taylor Swift: a girl with hair as curly as mine and yet always styled so beautifully!

Not quite as curly, but my current hair colour (thank you hair dye) and I'm toying with getting it straightened but wavy so it looks nice for the wedding and doesn't require a million trips to the bathroom to control it with serum during humid weather

Leighton Meester always impresses me with her hair, esprcially the first up-do. It's gorgeous!

Emma Watson can seem to do no wrong with her hair - a matter agreed on by my mother and I this afternoon - however we also both agreed her crop look would not suit me in any way but this is probably my favourite style on her and I'm debating going approximately this length.

 And that's it! I am aware, obviously, that these are all celebrities and thus have been styled etc whereas I do not have a team of hair stylists running around after me with combs, brushes and sprays to keep my hair looking amazing. However I'd quite happily have their hair for the day. Well, until my natural frizz kicks in!

Saturday, 30 July 2011

H is for Happy 18

♥ Wedding excitement: one of my friends is getting married next weekend and I'm super excited!

♥Cameron Mitchell from Glee Project. I'm a little bit obsessed with this programme and Cameron is easily my favourite

♥Old clothes still fitting: I'm wearing this to my friend's wedding, it's two years old and - much to my surprise - fits better now than when I first bought it. Hurrah!

♥Baking with my niece: this is the plan for this weekend as we've got about 8 eggs to use up by Tuesday so it's all hands to the kitchen for some hardcore cake baking

♥My nephew in all his adorableness

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Harry Potter - The Gryffindor Look

Unless you've been living under a rock, you will - I'm sure - be aware that the release date of the final Harry Potter movie is mere days away from us. For those of you wanting to show some care in your outfits but not wanting to go the full hog - because very few of us could actually pull off Luna's lion head - I've put together a couple of outfit examples matching my house of choice.
I've chosen Gryffindor - red and golds being the colour scheme - as it's my personal favourite and probably what I'll be wearing...
This first look is very simple; a dress with cardigan thrown over the top (although if you're going to a midnight showing I'd reccomend thick tights as well, lest your legs suffer frostbite) Obviously you can swap the colours around and have a yellow dress and a red cardigan but these two pieces would contrast against each other gorgeously, and I love the slight flare on the skater skirt of the dress.
I've cheated a bit here because this skirt isn't technically red. It's kind of a burnt orange but we'll let that one slide. Balance the primness of this midi skirt out with a sheer batwing-sleeve top with optional cover up ready in your posessions.
Keep shoes simple as red and yellow are both demanding colours. A ballet pump in an earthy or nude colour will suffice. As for accessories go theme and don your geek glasses/snitch/deathly hallows sign/time turner necklace.
Owls/toads/rats/cats are optional.
All clothes and shoes pictured are from New Look's website. Time Turner picture is from Etsy.

Ending a hiatus

So those of you who drop by from time to time will have noticed I've been somewhat absent for the last month. Without getting to personal and whipping out a mini violin I've been dealing with some stuff and taking time out from my blog.
I'm now back and although I'm working full time for the summer - my overdraft won't get rid of itself - I've got several pieces planned and written ready to go up, as well as resuming my regular H is for Happy posting.
Thanks for all the visits I've had during my time away, I've visited my visitors page and was amazed that despite not posting for a while I've still been getting hits. I'll stop before I go into full on Oscar acceptance speech blubbing and thanking everyone I've ever spoken to.
See you next post!

Monday, 13 June 2011

(a belated) H is for Happy week 17

Wow okay so last week pretty much consisted of me aclimitising to waking up between 6:30 and 7:am for a full day of work. Yes it's summertime and I have been temping for a week already, courtesy of a need to pay off my overdraft and enjoy myself. Needless to say sleep took a lot of priority over most of my normal daily routines (including talking to people where optional and anything that involved my brain functioning beyond a basic level).

And thus here is what should have been last week's H is for Happy! I have a couple of other posts tucked up my sleeve so the next few weeks at least should be better post-wise.

♥Dougie; Mcfly did an episode of gameshow The Cube (well I say Mcfly...Tom did everything while the others were in the audience) which aired over the weekend. I adore Mcfly and Dougie was just amazing. The best moment was easily when Tom was asking for advice about whether or not to continue onto the next game and Dougie's response was to go for it because he was having a nice time and that he didn't "want to go home yet"

♥Happened the other day with The Little Mermaid. Love, love, love this film and completely ignored the fact it was on Disney Junior to watch it

♥The coffee cart declaration of love as demonstrated by Seth Cohen.
One of the best OC scenes ever

♥Make up that makes you look awake: I've been heavily relying on Benefit Eye Bright this week!

♥"Wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey STUFF" easily one of my top Doctor Who quotes

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

H is for Happy week 16

Good afternoon my lovely reader! This week's H is for Happy is going up a bit earlier than usual this week as after three hours of law exams tomorrow I won't be fit for much except collapsing with celebratory ice cream/junk food and a couple of films, and Friday is reserved for last minute meet ups with friends over in Newcastle, last minute packing additions (having done most of it last night in a fit of organisation) and travelling home. Now, without much further ado, here is this week's H is for Happy:

♥ A summer job: for those of you who missed yesterday's post I have a job for summer temping at the same finance company as last year. It's pretty needed money wise and it'll be nice going back to somewhere familiar rather than having to start all over again.

♥Preparing to travel back: it's been a bit of an odd one this uni year and I'm achingly looking forward to going back to my familiar house and spend the weekend hanging out with my mum before starting work on Monday.

♥Harry Potter promo posters: the last week or so has seen these posters be released one by one and each one has prompted a fan girl squeal of excitement from me. I think my favourite three are the joint Harry and Voldermort one, Neville's (how bad ass does he look!) and Snape's.

♥Chalet Girl: Yes I am aware there's more to the movie than Ed Westwick...but I'm showing local pride as we're from the same town so hush. Anyway, my friend lent me this film this morning as I missed seeing it in the cinema when it was out ages ago and despite its undeniable cheesiness, I quite enjoyed it. And Ed was wonderful as always.

♥Family visits: this summer (okay the weekends of summer and after work) will be spent visiting family and hanging out with them. I love this picture so much, the four generations of Rampley men (my dad, granddad, brother and nephew) taken the last week of Easter holidays at my dad's new house. It's also quite heavy on family events with several birthdays and father's day in a short space of time. I've already been manically buying presents!

And to see you off on this week's post is the song I've had on repeat all week: The Strokes and Regina Spektor Modern Girls and Old Fashioned Men. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Gangster Microsoft Word

I was typing up a document in Microsoft Word when (in the annoying way it does) it offered me a grammar change. Usually these are ridiculous and don't make sense but I think this is the worst/best one I've ever seen:

Microsoft Word: now programmed by gangsters?

A Working Wardrobe

For those of you who follow me on Twitter you'll know that I got offered a job for over summer today. It's not a job at a magazine/fashion company (as awesome as that would be) as all the internships down south have already been snapped up. It is, however, a job I am familiar with as it's for the same company I worked for last year.

As it's with the same company I'm at a couple of advantages: I know the computer system I'll be working on, I know the layout of the building, I know a few of the permanent staff and I know the dress code. Last year I blogged panicking about the lack of suitable items in my wardrobe that fitted the dress code. This year I have managed to avoid this issue as I have several suitable items already packed in my bag ready to go home with me on Friday and be worn from (at the earliest) Monday...

Headbands: I've got a ton of these in my wardrobe but I'm only taking my most-worn ones with me including a peach one and a giant pink one to jazz up certain outfits.

Coloured tights: to go under skirts and dresses. I've got blue and purple coloured tights but I also bought a few pairs of Primark patterned tights for a bit of a change.
New Look button down top: probably my favourite top right now and can be teamed with a skirt or a pair of trousers. It also strikes the right side of casual/formal to go from work to meeting friends/the boyfriend.
My Luella-esque dress: I harp on about this quite a bit as I'm in love with the dress. It's knee length, I always get compliments on it and it looks awesome.

Knee length black skater/ballet skirt: I don't have a proper picture of my skirt so I've pinched one that looks similar for photo purposes from here. I wear this quite a lot at uni but it's suitable for work wear as well, making it twice as good considering I think I paid about £10 for it from H&M last Autumn. This skirt is also really versatile and works well with the button down top from new look and millions of other vest tops I already own.

I'm sorted shoe wise as well (provided it doesn't rain) as I've got a white pair of converse-style pumps from New Look and a mock-suede pair of pumps. If it does rain...well I'll work something out!

Monday, 30 May 2011

Plus Size Kick Back

I found this tonight when I was going through some old work in my portfolio. If I'm honest I think I handed in a shorter version of this in as a portfolio piece for university but I've changed it round a bit and quite liked it upon re-reading it and decided it should get an airing on my blog. It's an opinion piece so please interact with it and let me know what you think...

How thin is too thin? This is the question which seems to be habitually popping up in fashion and media circles. As pictures of shrinking celebrities and models appear in celebrity magazines and are uploaded to blogs the spotlight on the human body gets brighter and brighter. But how damaging is this? As a young girl I had a select handful of celebrities I wanted to emulate and paid a huge amount of attention to how they looked and acted. And nothing’s changed. Young girls still look up to the celebrities who appear on the cover of magazines and while some people say that advertising doesn’t have such a big affect as we think it does. Even if it’s just one person, an affect is had.

The media has a big impact on what reaches us as consumers, and what people pick up on is what is presented to them. If someone is told something enough, it becomes a fact in their mind. An easy example is the sky being blue: we’re told it is blue and it’s something we don’t question because we’re told this from a young age. So if a young girl, boy, woman or man is shown enough images of ‘beautiful’ models and celebrities who look immaculate and are so often celebrated for being thin, then brutalised for putting on weight, that standard become the ideal in their mind.

Sometimes it’s absolutely ridiculous. The UK’s national average dress size for a woman is a size 16. My size six friend genuinely thinks she’s obese and hideous. She’s beautiful and easily gets the most attention on a night out, but because she’s told to desire perfection she doesn’t think she’s good enough. The ‘perfect’ body she aspires to is one staring at her from the computer screen or a magazine and is often airbrushed to the extreme. It’s not realistic and it doesn’t celebrate our individuality.

I’ve struggled with weight for years, I’ve stepped the first steps of an eating disorder only to be dragged back by close friends and I’ve finally accepted my body for what it is. It’s imperfect. My hair can be wild, becoming tangled at a moment’s notice, my stomach isn’t flat and I have feet larger than I’d like them to be. But it’s me. And so what if those things are wrong with me? Why do we focus on the negatives? Yes my hair is frizzy but it curls beautifully and is my most complimented feature. Over the last year I have, with some set-backs and crisis moments of low confidence cropping up to haunt me again – stopped desiring to be stick thin and embraced myself in all my plus-sized wonder.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

H is for Happy week 15

Good evening everybody! I know it's only Wednesday night but I've got exams tomorrow and Friday and plan on crashing once they're done so I doubt I'll be posting anything in the next few days unless I really feel I need to. It's been a bit mixed so far this week. I've not been sleeping very well again (what's new there, right?) and my knee is still injured. One of my friends went through something similar and said it might be a sprained ligament. Fun, huh? So I'm supposed to be resting but have a 40 minute round-about journey to uni per exam. *Sighs* Guess I'll be living off anti-inflammatory tablets/cream and ice with my foot propped up for the next few days until I can legitimately collapse and refuse to resurface from my room for a long stretch.

Anyway, complaints about my injury out of the way (bring on Boots trip tomorrow for Deep Heat/Deep Freeze is all I can say!) here is this week's H is for Happy:

♥Cake baking: these particular beauties were made a couple of weeks ago with a friend/flatmate of mine but I made some more cakes yesterday with her in a fit of "let's make cake"/"my eggs are out of date tomorrow!" The results of said batch are in a Tupperware box in my food cupboard.

♥Meaningful flowers: it's 3 months this week since my grandma died so as kind of a memorial thing for her I bought two bunches of Irises (her name) and a yellow Gerba daisy as she liked purple and yellow flowers. It's something nice to remember her and it's made my room smell lovely as well which is always a bonus.

♥The relief of finishing an exam: one down, four to go. Or rather, two down; three to go as I shall be saying tomorrow afternoon. The first exam I had, on Tuesday, went rather well and I even finished a bit earlier than expected meaning I got to leave the rather stuffy room we were using for the exam and get some fresh air. The worst of my exams is tomorrow so this feeling will be particularly strong then, even if I can't jump for joy

♥Random compliments: or rather, unexpected compliments. I was talking to a couple I'm friends with on Sunday at church and they both informed me I was looking nice (or "well" as it was put), asked if I'd lost weight and told that the colour of my top really suited me. I'd actually gone there in a fairly bad mood so the complete unexpectedness and genuineness of it really cheered me up.

White Blank Page by Mumford and Sons; I know a ton of people went on about this song when it first came out but it came up on my iTunes shuffle tonight and reminded me of how much I love it all over again. This version is from the Bookshop Session they did and I prefer it to the official studio quality one as I think it's a lot more raw and passionate that way.

Speaking of music I love right now, I've been addicted all day to the Glee original song Light Up the World from the season finale. I won't spoil it as I've been a bit cheeky and watched it already when it's not out yet until later in the UK. Check it out, below, and see how catchy it is for yourself!

The Blog Issue 2

The Blog Issue is a resource for anyone who develops online content.

Every month The Blog Issue tackles a different topic. We cover common problems, digital trends, developing skills, branding and much more. For last week's post click here

This week's issue is: Promotion.

This is something I struggle with, in all honesty. I have never been all that bold, confident and pushy in anything I do and I find it awkward to be all "LOOK AT ME AND MY AMAZING THING/ACT/SELF" etc. This isn't necessarily bad in itself as, let's face it, if we all went around bragging about how awesome we were eventually everyone would get sick of everyone else and things would get violent pretty quickly, right?

However this has meant it's an issue when it comes to promoting this here darling blog of mine. In my head I'm a 20 year old woman who enjoys writing, fashion and various other things that trickle onto this blog. To quote that old cliché, I write for myself. I'm not going to lie and say I wouldn't love it if more people read my blog, because I get a surge of excitement when I see anyone has read my blog, regardless of whether they comment or not (although comments would be nice...)

So I'm stuck in a catch:22. I would, in reality, like to know more people are reading/'following' my blog, but I suck at promoting it. If I was amazing at promotions I'd be doing PR as my degree, not journalism. I do the writing side.

Of course there's the beautiful tool of social networking and most posts do end up on my twitter and facebook urging my friends/Twitter 'followers' to read x/y/z post but that's about all I know how to do. Other people's blogs seem to gain a zillion followers, comments etc in the world's shortest amount of time, while I've been going for over a year and officially have 6.

Maybe it's because I do suck at promo. I'm not winging about the six I do have as I'm totally thankful to them for reading this, as I'm thankful for the comments I get. I guess I'm just trying to work out this part of blogging still. In my head I'm still stuck in the "this is somewhere for me to rant, and if people like it then so be it" frame of mind.

What do you think? Should promotion be an important factor in the running of your blog?

Friday, 20 May 2011

H is for Happy week 14

I know, I know, I've been a bad blogger this week. It's a bit manic at the moment with deadlines and a knee injury I've had for the last week so coming online has been one of the last things on my mind. Bit of a non-event week really so a little round-up of what's been making me happy this week:

♥M&S chocolate shortbread

♥Should I learn to bake bread I'll do it all the time, just for the smell

♥Lazy days: to tie-in with my non-event week I've been lounging around doing not all that much. Slobbing around in my pjs with some music, a book and a drink.

♥Rachel Bilson: Has a new show due to air soon. I'm desperately excited as it's been ages since she's been on T.V. and she's one of my favourite actresses. I'm also intrigued to see what kind of look her character will have.

♥Look-a-like dresses: I have a dress extremely similar to the Luella Bartley one above. Mine, however, is from Tesco. Victoria White (Company magazine's editor) did a talk at uni on Monday which I attended and she complimented it afterwards. Result.

Friday, 13 May 2011

H is for Happy week 13

Good evening everybody! This is this week's H is for Happy and I'm actually cheating a bit and writing this Thursday evening. I've scheduled this week's H is for Happy as I'm away over the weekend with my church at a place called Blaithwaite House in the Lake District area. I had a little nosy at their website and I'm super excited; the building looks gorgeous! Anyway, while I'm happily tucked away in the countryside away from most things technical (I shall have my blackberry but I'm debating having it off most of the time) here is what's been keeping me happy this week;

♥ Glee does prom: Two things I love are Glee and an excuse to dance so I was thrilled when this week's Glee was a prom centred episode. I fell in love with Darren Criss' voice again when he sung Black Kids' "I'm Not Gonna (Teach Your Boyfriend to Dance)" and was amazed by Lea Michelle's voice on "Rolling in the Deep". The dresses were also brilliant, as you can see, and I allowed myself a moment or two to think back to my prom and 6th form ball in a fit of nostalgia.

♥ Clemence Poesy: known to many as "Bill Weasley's missus" in the Harry Potter series, Clemence is actually a French model/actress (she's starring in Chloe perfume ads and was in Gossip Girl). I have a slight girl crush on her which was added to this week when I found a Miles Kane song she's singing on Happenstance. She sounds so sultry it's brilliant! My flatmate and I have been listening to this pretty much on repeat all week.

♥ Having a fridge/cupboard full of food: I'll be honest here - I'm a foodie. I love cooking and baking. I have an apron in my wardrobe. Dedication to the cause right there! My cupboard and drawer in the fridge are currently pretty well stocked. If you open my cupboard at the moment the smell of pepper and vinegar wafts out to you and it just smells so good!

♥Getting away from it all: pretty simple. I'll be doing that this weekend in the Lake District away from as much technology as possible. I plan on several walks around the area so long as the weather's good.

♥The relief of dealing with a heavy workload: At the beginning of this week I had two essays, three articles and two assessments to get through. I've now completed all of this except one essay which is due next Friday. All of my lectures have finished now so I'll be able to focus on this properly after a talk at uni on Monday by the editor of Company magazine, Victoria White, about the magazine industry and fashion. It's a bit of an early start but I'm looking forward to it so much.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Benefit Beauty Buys

Why hello alliteration in the title! Sorry, excuse my dorky moment there. Today I have behaved exactly like a uni student with their loan and had a mini shop. In my defence some things were needed (sleeping bag for a trip away this weekend and posting mum's birthday presents so they'd be there for Sunday).

However others weren't. Some of said others were from New Look and shall be coming up on here soon but this post is about the beauty section of my buying. Or more specifically, the Benefit buys (because I'm sure nobody care about my Lush face mask and toner tablet purchases as much).

I had a £2 off voucher thanks to my advantage card to spend on either lipstick or mascara in (obviously) Boots. Handily for me, my local boots (at uni anyway) is home to a Benefit counter. Hurrah! So I indulged myself make up wise and purchased the waterproof Bad Gal mascara.

Benefit Bad Gal waterproof mascara in black, £16.50

While I was paying for it the Benefit assistant told me about the celebrity files they do. Basically I signed up, got a freebie and get a free make up lesson in a couple of weeks before going home for summer. I got given the total moisture facial cream from the b.right! range they do (I do believe it's quite new still. Very exciting!) I used some this evening and my face is so soft and yummy smelling. Totally a good combination. I might just be tempted to buy some more after my make up lesson. Or perhaps something cheaper...

Benefit b.right! Total Moisture facial cream £7.31 (ish) in this trial pack
of the range OR £26.50 for a normal sized one

At £26.50 a pop I might have to stick that on the Christmas list and go for something cheaper like a lipstick. Conveniently I do actually need a new lipstick as my favourite one broke ages ago when I dropped it and I haven't found a decent colour for me since then.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

H is for Happy week 12

Hello there lovely readers! I hope this post finds you all well. As I type this I'm attempting not to rub my eyes as I have developed hay fever recently and have a bunch of pretty flowers in my room (oops) so the pollen is driving me a little bit insane. I should probably take a hay fever tablet really...oh well I'll do that later!

This week's H is for Happy is a bit more special for me as I've been needing to focus on the little things to cheer me up having spent last week clearing through things at my grandma's old house. The worst/best was easily her bedroom as it was her clothes and jewellery, it was also where I used to sneak in and look at said jewellery like the little magpie I was when I was a little girl. Not much has changed on the magpie front!

So, rambling introduction out of the way let us delve into this week's H is for Happy...

Half price goodies: GU soufflés were about half price when I did a food shop on bank holiday Monday and were promptly snapped up.

Getting (and reading) a new book; my loan came through late last week so I treated myself to a couple of new books. My mum was reading one when I noticed she'd bent the cover all the way back and I was filled with some kind of book lover/OCD dread. "Don't bend the cover all the way back mum! You'll make it have an ugly crease." Promptly left my mouth and, lovingly humouring my eccentricity my mum did unbend the cover. Phew.

Summer shopping: in short; student + loan + summer = £££. I've treated myself a bit this week and one purchase has been this rather gorgeous white button down shirt (and I totally blame Michelle for this buy as I told her over BBM) from New Look for a bargainous £10(ish) with a 20% discount. I promptly teamed it with a black skirt, coloured tights, red cardigan and headband in a Hermione Granger meets Blair Waldorf way.

Finding old letters: something I got to take back with me from my grandma's house were some of the letters we found (and there were loads). Among the ones I took were ones from my mum when I was little and a few from my granddad. He died when I was seven so I don't really have many memories of him so it's amazing to have letters that he wrote to my grandma.

The image explains it all really. This happened to me with one essay and has given me an extra week or so to do it, which eased a burden over the Easter holidays. I'm back into the full swing of uni work now though but it was nice to relax a bit.

And that's it for this week's H is for Happy.
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