Make A Wish

I am currently sat on my bed, surrounded by a twinkling snake of fairy lights and snowflakes, with a tiny Lily Flame candle glowing and throwing out little flickers by my side - and, as always, there is a giant goblet of coffee in a decadent mug from Starbucks, too. 

At the start of November I popped together a feature on Christmas Lusts, focusing on delicate jewellery brand Estella Bartlett. I was drawn in by their minimal designs and sentiment-filled pieces, and I wrote about two pieces which I had picked up from ASOS in mind for two of my closest friends for Christmas.

Estella Bartlett
read my festive words and got in touch, offering me a piece from their freshly launched online store, so that I didn't feel left out of the gifting circle - which has saved my friends from me swiping their presents instead!

The site is well-organised, clear and is an absolute breeze to navigate - there are no gimmicks, no aggravating pop-up questionnaires or prompts to join mailing lists - it just sits quietly, letting you browse beautiful collection after beautiful collection in absolute peace. Which, in a word, is total bliss.

The snowy enthusiast in me was drawn to the March of the Penguins feature that sits neatly on the homepage, but I settled on a dainty Crystal Heart Necklace. What drew me to this was the material - it is composed entirely of 925 sterling silver, and set with a splash of cubic zirconia. When I invest jewellery, longevity is always in my mind, so the material is of utmost importance.

The necklace is unlike anything I own - the majority of my jewellery, although dainty, is flat and plain with absolutely no sparkle. Christmas is a time for indulging and treating yourself and your loved ones to something a little out of the ordinary, so that is what I did with this beautiful piece.

Estella Bartlett's collections span across small, trend-led pieces with quirky designs (my favourite picks are resting with the P's with penguins and pineapples), and stretch over to fine silver and gold plated pieces composed with timeless elegance.

Whether you are picking something out for yourself or scouting elusive Christmas presents, before you look any further flick through the collections at Estella Bartlett, and let yourself be immersed in the delicate beauty of their designs.

How is your Christmas shopping going? I still need to buy for all the men in my family - does anyone have any suggestions?



It's cold in England. 

Being outside is less like a festive wander in crisp, frosty fields, and more like you've accidentally stumbled into an open freezer and are struggling to find the exit.

But, I love winter - it's the time of year where your hair can remain unstyled and messy under a bobble hat and still look good; the time when blanket scarves become an acceptable and practical item to wear to the office, and it's the time where fluffy cardigans, jumpers and polos become absolute wardrobe staples (and general life-savers).

Outerwear becomes so important that my actual clothes get hidden under layer upon layer of coat, overcoat and (usually) an umbrella or two (it is England, after all).
However, without fail (and constantly through rain, snow and shine), my shoes are always on show.

etailPR helped me shake hands and wave hello to Online Avenue, who have been early-Christmas fairies and sent me these tasselled boots of dreams (the professional name for these are simply Lace Up Tassel Ankle Boots) to have a little trot around in to see what I think.

They are composed entirely of faux-suede, with a sturdy block heel. Despite the side profile, the boots are incredibly comfortable - although the heel is high, they don't contort your foot into an angle that is only acceptable for a triangle. Instead, my feet are happy and snuggly inside, and the laces cinch my foot in like a little constant hug.

They do take a little wriggling to get into initially and lace up, but once you're tied in the boots feel incredibly secure and safe. What drew me in like a magpie to these boots was the tassel detail that extends around the neck of the boot, which falls down to rest on the upper ankle. They have a little nod to a 1920's flapper dress, and will be perfect when you want to have a little (or big) twirl at a Christmas party.

If lace-up isn't your thing and you fancy something easier to shimmy into, try the Side Tassel Ankle Boots instead. These are a simple Chelsea Boot style, complete with a flurry of tassells on the outer side of the boot (because we all need more tassells in our life).

What are your favourite shoes to wear during winter? Have you succumbed to the tassel trend yet?

Icy Snap

Let's talk winter. 

The days are getting shorter; the nights colder and the morning light no longer looks like the start of a new day, but like something that should still be snuggled up and left undisturbed in the midnight hours.

Getting out of bed is hard, cold and confusing - let's make the transition from bedclothes to work clothes a little easier with some help from Joules.

I love outerwear. 

I gravitate towards coats, scarves and hats like a planet in orbit - a planet that regularly collides with items and inevitably purchases them. I'm petite - standing at 5'3 I can easily be swamped by clothes - and if something is too oversized or not structured enough, I become my favourite alter ego of an indistinguishable block of material.

Joules' scarf collection hosts an abundance of nature and woodland inspired pieces - with a choice of material ranging from thin foil-printed cotton straight through to oversized woollen blanket wraps - so no matter what you are looking for, the chances are that you will invariably find it nestled within their extensive stock.  

I found this grey, black and white scarf huddled together with its brightly coloured counterparts in store at Solihull. It has a soft frayed edge with a check design throughout, and is rectangular in shape, so it locks in warmth without adding bundles of bulk. 

It adds a bright shot of white to whatever I am wearing, and suspends me in the belief that I may actually still be in bed - which is something of a miracle.

What is your go-to piece this winter? I am on the hunt for a new bobble hat - do you have any suggestions?

The Fear of Wanderlust

'Wanderlust' is like the boardroom buzzword for Millennials and the dreamers of Generation Y. Three little syllables with the power to enchant and inspire, to evoke the need to travel; to see, to explore. I fit the demographic: I'm 23, out of education and trying to figure out how to write the rest of my life. 
 It seems like the perfect time to catch the itch for wanderlust, right?

..except for the tiny fact that I am totally scared of flying. 

The time I have spent being a passenger in a flying tube is less than the number of fingers I have on my left hand (it's been a monumental three times). For those 14 hours I have spent collecting air miles, I have been scared for a good 840 minutes. Or, more simply put: for the whole time.  

 Getting me to fly somewhere is like getting a child to let go of a lollipop. More often than not, it is not going to happen. Friend's invitations to holidays or suggestions for weekend retreats aren't met with excitement or a giggly whirl of thrill, but with an all-encompassing trepidation and sense of unease. 

Let me reiterate: I am 23, and I am able to travel. I shouldn't have these deep-set fears and worries about dipping over the coast and exploring, should I? How is it that I have already lost the child-like want to discover, to play and navigate without purpose? 

The majority of online content I see is filled to the brim with wanderlust: my Facebook feed is awash with friends who have started their lives again in Australia, New Zealand, or nuzzled deep into South America. And whilst I dozily scroll through their pictures, I'm not met with the same wanderlust-pang as others who comment "I wish I was there". 

 I think I've captured the ability to admire from a distance - I appreciate the gorgeous vistas, waterfalls and overseas cuisine without leaving the ground or consulting my passport. 

I don't know if I am alone with this feeling, or if my body is simply just more cautiously wired than others, but I would love to open a dialogue on this topic, as I feel all I have seen so far is conflicting to my honest opinion - being that I have not been bitten by the wanderlust bug, and I don't think I ever will.

What's your view? Do you long to travel and wander unknown lands, or are you happy to stick to where you are?


OK, I'm going to admit it: I'm irrevocably scared of fireworks. They terrify me; the noise, speed, the unpredictability - everything (minus the incredible smell) scares me to the back of the crowd, shivering and nuzzling into whoever is stood next to me.

A few days ago I posted a Halloween Spider Eye tutorial, and, like some homework you're really proud of, I ran to find my mum to show her what I had done with my face. After two cups of coffee, a few nibbles at some ginger biscuits and a gold star for effort, she suggested that I did something similar for Bonfire night. At 23, it felt incredibly odd to finally have permission to attack my face with all that glitters. 

Being a grown up is great.

Let's start with the simple stuff. On my lids I have a wash of No7 Stay Perfect Eyeshadow in Truffle, which I also used to line my lower lash line. On my lips I wanted an iridescent, shimmering finish, so I patted on the No7 Instant Radiance Highlighter a little south of where it is designed to be used - lips instead of cheekbones - because multi-purpose products are oh-so-great.

I then created basic eye lines with a few strokes of the Maybelline Color Tattoo Gel Shadow in Pink Gold, using an Angled Liner Brush from Seventeen. This is a great base for any powder shadow, as it is gel-like in texture, so any powder applied on top sticks with minimal fallout. I then chose a selection of green, blue, purple and orange powder shades to pat over the gel line to add some colour and depth. 

Directly over the coloured lines I then dotted and dashed some line work using the Collection Fast Stroke Liquid Liner in Brown (similar here) to add a bit of definition, and added some little stars to finish the lines. I then applied my Eyelure Exaggerate 141 Lashes and lightly merged falsies to real lashes with the Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara

Are you seeing any displays this year? Whether it is in the fields or sitting by your windowsill, enjoy the pretty lights and smokey air - I'll be watching with a cup of coffee by my window whilst I try to calm down a very upset cat.  
Being a grown up is great. ;)

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