Thursday, 31 July 2014

Heritage Of Scotland

If there's one place I'd love to visit in the UK, it would be Scotland. Edinburgh, to be precise. I WILL go at some point but I'd have to probably find somewhere nice to stay as it'll take half the day to get there by train! A day trip is definitely out of the question. 

To feed my Scottish desires until then, Heritage of Scotland kindly sent me two of their products all the way from Scotland. They sell a variety of bags, kilts, and all things tartan. 

The first thing I received from them was a tartan handbag* which I fell in love with straight away. There's something about tartan that looks quite sophisticated, and it's great quality too. It comes with several  internal compartments, a pocket at the front, and a zip pocket at the back. It looks very stylish and I can't wait to take it out with me. This was originally priced at £64.99 but is on sale at £32.50. There are some alternative colours too.

Next up is the cashmere scarf* which is a very welcome addition to my ever expanding scarf collection. This scarf makes me so excited for Winter already! I prefer to wear dark colours and pastels so I think this will work quite nicely on me with it's pretty lilac and blue. It is 100% cashmere which is a first for me! Cashmere is supposed to keep you really warm despite being really lightweight. I do have a couple of winter scarves but they're all so chunky, which gets a little annoying when I have to take them off indoors and have nowhere to put them so this will definitely come in handy and I can see it being worn a lot once October hits. This is priced at £55, which is perhaps a little bit steep for some but I guess a good quality scarf can last for quite a while.

Now all that's left to do is head on over to Scotland. I wish! 

Monday, 28 July 2014

My Debenhams Blue Cross Sale Picks - £15 and under

Debenhams has long been one of my favourite places to shop because of it's vast range of high quality clothes. I'm not much of a Topshop or Zara girl so my go-to destination is always Debenhams. I can always find something there that I love and I know it'll fit well too. When I went out shopping the other week, I noticed that their Blue Cross Sale had started which means up to 70% off sale items! I didn't end up getting anything but I kind of wish I had now. I've been browsing through the website and picked out a few of my favourite items for less than £15! They tend to sell out quickly though so hurry!

1. Henry Holland candy floss t-shirt - This is simple and fun and great for summer. The design on the front includes an image of a candyfloss and a speech mark saying "give me the sugar". It's loose enough and long enough to be thrown over a pair of leggings too.

2. Red Herring beige heart satchel - I can never get enough bags, particularly ones that can go over the body. I love this one so much from the style to the colour to the heart print.

3. Henry Holland skirt - This is a black skirt suitable for casual wear or at the office (if you're not too corporate as the skirt does have a textured print on it). Such a bargain too!

4. Jon Richard heart and pearl drop earrings - These look so sophisticated and elegant, I think pearls are really understated and finish off an outfit well. These would also be perfect for a special occasion.

5. Henry Holland checked kilt - I have something similar in monochrome and I love how smart they look. If I love an item, I'm someone who has to then purchase the same item in as many colours and prints as possible...

6. Henry Holland grey rabbit t-shirt - Henry Holland has so much quirky stuff! I've been having a mini obsession with bunnies lately so this is the perfect shirt for me.

7. Mantaray stencil flower shirt - I've only ever owned one shirt from Mantaray and that was a few years back. I'm actually not sure why I never bought anymore since they're so comfortable and they look great. I don't really hear anyone talking about this brand but trust me, the clothes look so good when you wear them! I'm really into wearing grey for some reason so I love the subtle pattern on this.

8. Henry Holland talking milkshake t-shirt - Another adorable Henry Holland shirt. Need I say more?

9. Principles geometric patent sandals - When I saw these I just thought that they would be perfect for a summer's evening. The black patent gives it a more dressed up feel whilst the geometric print gives it a stylish look. Now I just need an excuse to wear them.

Have you shopped in the Blue Cross Sale?

Saturday, 26 July 2014

New Things #7

Origami paper (link here) - Someone bought this lovely stash of origami paper for me and I can't wait to make some pretty things out of it. I usually just stick to buying coloured paper as it's a lot cheaper than "origami paper" but I'm looking forward to not having to cut out squares from A4 paper! 

Graze Snack Box - Another healthy snack box! I opt for the Light Box nowadays which is even healthier. My favourite thing from this box has got to be the coconut crumble cake! It was delicious and I could have easily eaten a whole one, might have to make one myself if I can find a healthy recipe somewhere. If you'd like to try a FREE Graze box, then click here or enter LINDAL54B at

Penny Collector's Book - I never even knew that such books existed until the other week. It' a great way of displaying all my souvenir coins. In case anyone is a little confused right now, penny souvenirs are basically made by popping a penny into this machine (and it usually costs £1 to use it) and it flattens it into a design of your choice. The one in the photo is from Twycross Zoo (blog post to come!). I have so many of these pennies, I always use the machines if there is one. Now I finally have something to display them all in. 

The Heat DVD (link here) - I really wanted to see this when it first came out at the cinema so I'm glad that I've finally seen it. It's such a funny movie and they make a great duo. There was a bit of an expletives overload but, other than that, it was brilliant to watch.

Apple crisps (link here) - As part of my healthy lifestyle, I've had to reduce the snacking and find healthier alternatives to some of my favourites. I absolutely love these apple crisps, they're so crunchy and full of flavour. I've only ever had normal apple and dried apple so this made a nice change. I highly recommend it!

Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The Simple Life


Over the past few years, I've developed such a love of nature. In a world full of concrete buildings, busy commuters, and petrol-fuelled cars, it's nice to be able to step away from all of that and enjoy the simplicity of life in a peaceful place. It was time to put down my phone, step away from the TV, and just enjoy the great outdoors. I actually wrote a post about how consumed we all are with technology and social media and you can read it by clicking here

I love the outdoors and how beautiful nature is, even just being able to stare up at the clouds is enough to put a smile on my face. I know that a lot of people find it a bit boring to just walk around outdoors aimlessly but I love it and it's great to be able to appreciate the little things. The only issue I have is that I'm so scared of dogs so I have to choose my destination wisely! 

I'd love to live in the countryside or by the seaside one day but for now, I have to settle for what I do have. I don't live in a particularly tranquil and scenic area but there are a few hidden gems when you venture out a little.

The other week, I headed out to some meadows to go for a relaxing walk. It's usually pretty quiet as I don't think many people really venture this far out and I surprisingly didn't bump into any dogs! It's been a while since I've been to these meadows so it was quite nostalgic to come back. The grass used to be a lot longer and more meadow-like but they've since cut it all which I was a little disappointed about as it looked quite bare but it'll grow!

The grass is always full of grasshoppers but they're usually hard to spot. You can never fail to hear them, but actually catching sight of one is pretty difficult in a place full of green grass. I did manage to find one though and I'm actually surprised that I managed to take a photo of it, I assumed it would jump away really quickly but this one was clearly made for modelling. I managed to snap away for about a minute before finally giving it a little encouragement to jump away. 

The simple life. Don't you just love it?

Friday, 18 July 2014

Review: SewLomax - Lipstick Make-Up Pouch

Anyone who has read my blog from the beginning will know that I love anything handmade. There's always that tiny bit more love and detail crafted into something that has taken more time to make over products that are mass produced.

Created in 2011, SewLomax makes great looking ethical bags which are all hand-stitched so each product is unique in its own way. There are a range of products from make-up bags to camera bags to baby bibs, their products really appeal to a vast audience.

SewLomax kindly sent me the Luscious Lemon Lipstick Pouch* which is part of their make-up bags range.
Presentation is pretty important to me and it's nice when a product arrives in good packaging, and it also means that it would make a great gift. I really like their gift wrapping and gift box.

I love the colour of this pouch because it reminds me of sunshine and that makes me happy. I used to actively avoid anything yellow because I just didn't like the colour but now it's fast becoming one of my favourites! The lipstick design on the front has been delicately stitched and the bag can be wiped clean.

There is also the option to personalise the back of your bag at no extra cost! I was originally going to have "LINDA'S MAKE-UP BAG" on the back but I settled for just "LINDA" in the end because the bag is so versatile that I might end up using it for something other than make-up.

The inside of the bag has a red nylon lining, and the bag includes their signature SewLomax bobbin zip which I think is so cute. I'm in love with this bag and I'm really pleased that SewLomax taken off. Handmade businesses are the best!

I'm also pleased to announce that I am a SewLomax Ambassador! So I am able to offer you all an exclusive discount - use the code AMBASSADOR10 at checkout to get 10% off your order.

What do you think of this bag?
Are you a fan of SewLomax?

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Review: Avene - Soothing Hydrating Serum

Anyone who knows me or regularly reads my blog will know how much of a skincare obsessive I am. I don't believe that you need expensive products for a good skincare regime, nor do I believe you need every type of cream, serum, and exfoliant on the market hence why I hadn't previously ventured into the world of serums until recently. 

Escentual kindly sent me this Avene Soothing Hydrating Serum* a couple of months ago to test out and, despite not getting along with some other serums that I've tried, I had high hopes for this one. It just sounded good. 

This contains a high concentration of Avéne Thermal Spring Water which is meant to soothe your skin and heal it, providing deep nourishment and hydration. It's also good for sensitive skin. Serums are designed to be applied beneath your moisturiser so that all it's ingredients can really penetrate the skin.

First of all, I think the bottle looks great with the frosted glass and simple design, sometimes simple really is best. The smell of the product is pretty light and it's one that I love because it's just so fresh and it smells exactly how a luxury product would smell, it's a lovely gentle fragrance. 

Upon initial application, I loved how light the formula was and how easily it glided onto my skin without being sticky, I really enjoyed applying this in the mornings. It's like an added refreshing step. However, having used the product for over a month, I decided to stop. 

For me, I couldn't really see a difference in my skin other than a few extra bumps that had started appearing. I don't think it was so much the serum that was causing the bumps to appear, it was more that my face couldn't handle having an additional layer of product on it. I've heard great things about this serum and it definitely didn't cause any irritation when I applied it but it's just not something that I feel I can incorporate into my daily routine.

Maybe serums just aren't for me or maybe I just haven't found the right one....
Do you use face serums? Have you tried this one?

P.S: Don't forget to enter my giveaway to win a personalised necklace from Punky Pins. Enter here!

Saturday, 12 July 2014

"Take In Your Surroundings & Make The Most Of Today"

The modern day. 21st century. Where do I even begin? I've been wanting to write this post for a while now as it's something that I feel is quite important but it's taken me some time to be able to condense it down so that it includes everything I want to say without being a really long ramble!

A few weeks ago, my internet went down for pretty much the entire day. When it switched back on again, I mentioned this to someone via text. Their response was "How have you survived with no internet?". It reminded me of just how big a part the internet plays in our day to day life. Without it, the world as we know it probably wouldn't function.

I guess I decided to write this post as a way to make everyone think a little bit about how consumed we can all be with the internet, technology, and social media....

Gosh social media is such a big part of modern day life! Before, everyone would watch TV shows and discuss it with whoever they were watching it with, or perhaps text a few friends about it. Nowadays, Twitter is the place to discuss TV as you can use the relevant hashtag to see what everyone else is saying. I used to always scroll through my Twitter feed whilst watching shows but I now only pick it up if there's something I'm absolutely dying to tweet! That's only when I'm on my own though. When I'm watching TV with others, my phone is strictly off limits.

I have a Twitter account but its main purpose is for my blog and I don't think I'd use it very often it if it wasn't for that. I used to have a personal Facebook account but it suddenly occurred to me how pointless it was for me. People who I'm close to will have my phone number anyway. I'd rather see them in person than have conversations over Facebook. As for those who don't have my phone number, it probably means that we're not very close. I think Facebook is a good way of connecting with friends & family abroad, but since I didn't have anyone on my account that fitted into that category, I finally said goodbye to Facebook. I recently set up a Facebook page for my blog but I have a feeling I might be taking it down pretty soon...

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.... Let's be real here, who cares what someone else had for lunch? Who cares what a great time someone is having abroad? Who cares how someone has just found a spider on the ceiling? How can we possibly enjoy our own lives when we're so consumed with what everyone else is doing with their lives?

During my usual browsing of Youtube, which has become somewhat of an addiction that I should curb, I came across a video called Look Up which was made by a guy named Gary Turk. It's basically a poem about how we're all so attached to the online world and how we should look up from our gadgets and experience the real world. The video went viral and I'll leave the video at the bottom of this post for anyone who hasn't already seen it.

I know that the video did get a bit of criticism because of how he used an online platform (Youtube) to make the video in the first place but what I took from it was that although the online world is great, we shouldn't let our lives revolve around it. There is a whole world out there to be discovered and lots of new people to meet. Technology in general, be it online or offline, can often overwhelm us.

How many times have you uploaded photos of your day out onto Instagram whilst you're still out?
How many times have you lay on your bed scrolling through your Twitter feed at bedtime?
How many times have you missed witnessing something special with your own eyes and being in the moment because you were too busy looking at it through a camera lens?
How many times have you played around on your phone outside because you don't want to look awkward standing on your own?
How many times have you tweeted about what a great time you're having when you could be saving those seconds or minutes to actually have fun?

Don't get me wrong, I think it's super impressive how far technology has advanced and how social media enables our voices to be heard more easily. However, it also enables us to isolate ourselves from the world, and it also gives way to online malice at times whether directed towards someone or otherwise. The amount of times I've scrolled through a hashtag and seen some shocking things is uncountable.

The world is a beautiful place full of wonderful people. I'm all for the simple things in life and sometimes we all just need to take a step back from all these screens that are eyes have become fixated with. I feel like so many people get so consumed with what's happening online that they forget about what is physically happening around them.

Even offline technology can get the better of us. People spend so much time typing that they forget how to write neatly. People are able to easily use spellcheck on a computer that they no longer have to focus on improving their spelling.

So switch off those gadgets, step away from the TV, and bring life back to basics once in a while. I sometimes like to pretend that there's a powercut (which is completely normal of me...) and do things that don't revolve around anything that needs to be powered by electricity or that needs to be charged.

As someone who blogs, technology can sometimes consume me and I thought that this may resonate with some of you lot too who are reading this. I love blogging but nowadays I set aside a few days a week to read & write posts so that I'm not constantly on here every day. I also love the Look Up video and I've been emailing it to anyone who will watch! I'm thankful that technology allows me to write this blog but now I'm going to switch off and head outside to enjoy the sunshine! 

Technology can be great, but what's even better is being in the present and embracing real life. 

I'd love to know what you all think so please do leave your comments below!
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Strawberries & Cream Cake

I'm trying hard to be healthy at the moment but that always goes straight out of the window when there's a birthday or special event. I can't deprive others of cake to suit my own needs now, can I? And since I've baked it, I may as well have a slice...

I normally like something a bit more decorative for birthdays but I was working on limited time so I opted for this strawberries & cream cake - simple but oh so good! Traditionally, the strawberries are sandwiched in the middle but I like how they look when they're placed on top of the cake.

I made the sponge using a standard Victoria sponge recipe. The top is slathered with delicious cream. I used a spoon to smooth it out a bit but it doesn't need to be perfect as the strawberries will be placed on top anyway. For me, I think that a nice thick layer of cream makes it delicious, even moreso when it's been in the fridge overnight. In the middle of the 2 sponges lies a yummy mix of strawberry jam and the leftover cream. Delicious!

This is an easy to make cake but the cream is where it can go wrong so easily. I don't like anything too sweet so it says a lot coming from me when I say that something isn't sweet enough. All too often I've tried cakes that look similar to this but the cream tastes so bland and perhaps a bit too fluffy. The cream is key to making this cake. Always purchase double cream and never use whipped cream from a can! Always whip it yourself using an electric whisk! I don't have a set amount of sugar that I put in, I normally add as I go along and taste to test because I tend to alter it depending on who I'm baking for but it's a good idea to measure it out so you have something to go on the next time round. Double cream is often quite bland so always add sugar of some sort unless your cream has been pre-sweetened. Not having any sugar in the cream is a big no-no for this cake!

Strawberries and cream go so well together and this is my go-to cake of choice when I don't have much time to whip up something more extravagant.

What I used

170g self-raising flour
170g butter
150g caster sugar
1 tsp bsking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 medium-sized eggs

Filling & top:
125ml double cream
Sugar to taste 
Fresh strawberries
Strawberry jam

What do you think of this cake?
Let me know if you try it out yourself!

Monday, 7 July 2014

Summer 2014 Fashion Haul

New season means new clothes! I've also had a lot of gift cards and store credit to spend lately so I've been making the most of them to top up my wardrobe with some new summery bits and I thought I'd share some of my favourites with you.

Bird Print Cut Out Shoulder Top from Very (link here)
I usually like to save the best until last but I'm going to start with my favourite this time. With the weather getting hotter, I like to let my shoudlers breathe a bit but I don't really like vest tops so this is the perfect compromise with it's cut out shoulders (that you can't really see from the photo...). It's so flattering and I love the print.

Floral Print Cut Out Shoulder Top from Very (link here)
Another cut out shoulder top! I'm not as crazy about this print as I am with the previous one but it's still nice and I've wanted something with some kind of floral print on it for summer. 

Swing Dress with PU Sleeves from ASOS (link here)
I think that the contrast between the leather sleeves and the grey top is really nice. I'm not much of a dresses person and I wouldn't normally go for this but the sleeves swayed me and I'm glad because it looks amazing on. It can easily be teamed with black tights or bare legs.

New Look Black Tunic (link here)
This looks similar to the swing dress (with the colours reversed) but I promise you it's not! This is a tunic and the main body is a mesh material. I'm short enough to wear this as a dress but I tend to wear it with a pair of denim-look leggings, which are not the same as jeggings in case anyone is wondering. I actually need a few more pairs of denim-look leggings. I dislike denim and I find that even jeggings are uncomfortable for me.

Chiffon Shirt from Boohoo (sold out)
I took one of the last ones of this online and I'm so glad I did. Chiffon is one of my favourite materials as it's so airy and feels nice on my skin. I've been looking for a new button-up shirt for ages now and I think this one looks really good with denim shorts. 

Accessorize Mint Daisies Silk Scarf (not available online - other silk scarves here)
If you didn't know already, I absolutely love scarves. I'll wear them whatever the weather so this one from Accessorize is great for summer as it's 100% silk so it's really light and thin. I'm loving daisies and mint green at the moment so I'm really pleased with this.

What do you think of my new wardrobe additions?

Saturday, 5 July 2014

GIVEAWAY: Punky Pins Personalised Alice Necklace

Punky Pins is a brand that I've become very familiar with over the last year and they never fail to disappoint with their quirky and unique jewellery creations. If you haven't already, you can see my previous Punky Pins posts here and here

Most recently, they sent me a quirky Personalised Alice Necklace*. I've loved Alice In Wonderland ever since watching the film on TV as a child. Everything about Alice In Wonderland is cute and quirky so it's only right that they made an appearance on one of the Punky Pins designs.

Carved out of acrylic, this necklace is sturdy but light and the printing on it is clear to read. I've mentioned before in one of my other Punky Pins posts about how unique I think it is that they use acrylic for their jewellery, it's not something I see very often. My favourite bit about this necklace is the glittery heart charm which adds an extra bit of cuteness to the necklace. 

Punky Pins have kindly offered my readers the chance to win your very own personalised Alice In Wonderland necklace!

Please enter via the Rafflecopter below. 

Terms & Conditions:
This giveaway will run for 2 weeks and a winner will be chosen within 3 days of the closing date.
The winner will be randomly selected. Their name will be displayed on the Rafflecopter widget and an email will be sent, allowing 3 days for a response before another winner is chosen.
The only requirement is that you follow my blog via bloglovin'. All other entries are optional.
The winner will have a name of their choice printed onto a necklace.
The prize has been kindly supplied by Punky Pins and will be sent directly from them.
This giveaway is open to UK residents already.

Good luck!

Giveaway sponsored by Punky Pins.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

The Graze Breakfast Box + FREE code

By now, most people will have heard of the Graze Snack Box but when they recently launched their Breakfast Box, I jumped right to it to get myself a box. They do a lovely selection of granolas and, as per usual, you can select which ones you'd like to try, which ones you'd like to bin etc. They've also got porridge coming up soon as well!

Graze Breakfast Granolas

My first box contained 4 delicious granolas (Mango Lassi, Oaty Berry Crumble, Dark Chocolate Orange, Toasted Quinoa with Zested Orange) and the only one that was missing that I really wanted to try was the Strawberries and Cream one. In line with what Graze is all about, these are all healthy! You can have them with milk, top yoghurt with them, or even just have them as snacks.

The front of the box was personalised with my name which was such a lovely touch. I wasn't expecting this at all because they don't do this for the Graze Snack Boxes. 

I have yoghurt quite often for breakfast so these granolas have been really useful. Here we have Alpro Soya yoghurt with strawberries, topped with Oaty Berry Crumble granola.  A bag usually lasts for about 6 breakfasts if you're just sprinkling some on top of yoghurt but it will obviously disappear a lot quicker if you're someone who likes to really load up on it. So far, Mango Lassi is my favourite because the mango bits are just so delicious!

If you fancy trying out a FREE Breakfast Box, you can enter the code 1J21KJFV at This code is for BOTH NEW AND EXISTING customers. For new customers, your first box will be free. For existing customers, you will get an extra box free when you buy a breakfast box. You can also click here if you want to try a free Graze Snack Box.

So what do you think of the Graze Breakfast Box?
Will you be trying it out?