31 January 2014

Bedroom Interior Tips

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Simplicity. That is the winner to a nicely designed bedroom. I don't know about you, but for me I want my bedroom to be a simple, relaxing place I can do whatever: paint, draw, read, listen to music, watch a movie, etc. Often the first step is to paint your walls white or a variation of it, and make it your blank canvas. Then you can do whatever, and change it around countless times if you wish.

Add a personalised touch. For me, this involves surrounding myself with the memories that make me happy. You can do this with photographs. I like to stick up a selection of polaroids from my FujiFilm Instax Mini 8 and then store the rest in a photo album or journal. You can put up your favourites or most recent, and switch it around so you're alternating the photos your see on your walls and the ones you store away. Or if you like, put all of them up and make a sort of collage out of them. Get creative with how you do it. Of course, you don't have to have a polaroid camera to put photos up on your wall. You can use a digital camera or your instagram pictures, print them off yourself or even have your chosen instagram photos ordered.

Surround yourself with the things you love. Let this be your own sketches, art and art posters from magazines such as Frankie and Yen, or fashion inspiration from Russh or Vogue. Sometimes you've just got to rip out that one page and plaster it on your wall. I ordered a free catalogue magazine from White Pepper, and ripped out a couple of my favourite looks or photos in it. You may be a little more reserved in what you rip out of such a precious magazine, but if you get something like this you're not doing much damage. The art posters that come in magazines are meant to be ripped out, anyway. You could make a trip to an op shop and scavenge for old issues of magazines. This way you'll have more leniency when it comes to making an inspiration board of sorts for your wall by ripping out pages. Print out quotes or poems you love and pin them on your wall, even if it's just one, when you're working at your desk you'll get the reminder or inspiration you need.

Plants. Bring the outside in with a flash of greenery here and there for your room. Buy a couple of cacti -- get creative with different colours or types, buy a little house plant and watch it grow. You can even get creative with the pots you put your beauties into. Paint them, draw patterns with sharpies on them, try your hand at pottery and make your own, make a gorgeous hanging plant like the one here from Zoe (google some tutorials or experiment in making them). If you're bored, this is a chance to make something for your room that will satisfy you when you're done.

Get hanging. Whether it be a cute set of lanterns or fairy lights, or a DIY paper garland, this will add a big feature to your room and make it that extra special. You can make this something to structure your room, so above your bed, above your desk, around your mirror. It can also offer a colour scheme for your room as seen with the cute paper garland, or if you want something a little more simplistic go for a string of lights that make your room look extra cute at night while you're cozied up in bed with a book.

Don't forget to be practical. Add a cute calendar to your wall of inspiration so when you're working at your desk you'll have the important dates right in front of you. Get this filled with your school exam dates/assignments/homework deadlines or if you're out of school, fill it with blogging post schedules if that's your thing, birthdays, events -- basically anything. Make this your go to organizer for everything important that's happening in your life. Here's a free download of the wonderful Jasmine Dowling's calendar if you're late to the party in getting one for your wall.
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29 January 2014

A Summer Mint

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Summer introduces this perfect albeit old school Essie colour in the form of mint candy apple -- a delight to see on anyone's nails this season. I don't know about you but my favourite nail polish colours involve the words dark and moody in the form of a few burgundy or deep wine colours. But you've got to embrace the summer shades that are bought forth with a few pastel concoctions. After picking up this (expensive!) Essie polish from the local Farmers stand, I've been smitten with both the colour and the formula.

The colour is a sweet but cool hybrid of mint pastel and baby blue, looking a little different whatever light you're in. A thin liquid, it's easy to coat over your nails in a couple of swipes, and bears full coverage once two or three coats are applied. It's the best formula I've used from a nail polish brand, and with my first Essie purchase they'll probably come a lot more with the sacrifice of my bank account. Please, could someone make these polishes two dollars each so I can buy at least fifty?
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28 January 2014

A Little Haul

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Over the past couple of weeks I've picked up a few bits and pieces when I've been out shopping. I found myself the owner of this gorgeous (I think) tartan dress from Dotti. I knew I had to have it after walking past about four times and wanting to have it in my possession asap. I do know that tartan can look a bit tired but I think it's cute and with a nice jacket and boots it will look nice. It was pretty expensive, and I definitely could have waited until it went on sale but no, I couldn't resist. It wasn't so bad though because my sister paid for half of it as we're going to share it! This happens with all of our clothes anyway.

I also picked up a handful of basic t-shirts that I really needed for my wardrobe. Funnily enough, all of these were different sizes so it goes to show how you don't shop for size, but for your body or how big or small you like things. The first shirt is a gorgeous plain white lace shirt I bought from Glassons. I liked it for the detailing in the back and on the arm area. The second shirt is from Dotti which I've been wearing pretty much every day since I got it. It's such a classic shirt that you can basically wear with anything. I am definitely a lover of stripes. The next is a baggy winged sort of style top that is so comfy and just really plain and simple. It looks great over black tights because it's quite long. It's nothing fancy but it was super cheap so I picked it up anyway. The last shirt is from Dotti again (I am loving their stuff at the moment). I loved the eye print on this one and it's the sort of thing you'd just throw on over the top of shorts and go to the beach or a festival in. As I said, I was really just craving some basic shirts that I could chuck on with just about anything.

I also bought a pair of $10 shoes from Rubi Shoes which were a bit disappointing if I'm honest. They're difficult to walk in because the backing by the heel has no support. But they were super cheap so I'll just have to wear them when I know I'm not going to have to do much walking!

I'll definitely be saving up and not buying too many things for the next few weeks, at least. P.S I got back from my holiday today and glad to be in my own bed but wishing for the beach again.
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26 January 2014

Sunday Stuff #001

Beginning from this Sunday I am starting a little blog segment featuring a bit more of my personal life as I personally love seeing lifestyle posts like these on blogs. It could include any of the following: my favourite instagram posts, life updates, things I've been up to, fashion or beauty favourites I've been enjoying, books/films/music I've been loving, basically the list is endless. This little project will also get me snapping more lifestyle photographs on my DSLR instead of JUST instagram. (If you would like to follow me on instagram you can: @ohemma_lou). I've actually only had three days at home this week so some of the content may be from a week or so ago so I actually have something to write about! This post is scheduled and right now I'll probably be soaking up the sun on a beach (let's hope the weather is nice today). So, without further ado; this weeks Sunday Stuff post.
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Recently I watched the film Now Is Good. I think it may be one of my favourite films now. One of my subconcious resolutions is to watch more films this year, and I am off to a good start in the first month. If you haven't watched this before, I really suggest you do. I don't think I've ever had such an emotional reaction to a movie ever, whether it was the film or it was just because it caught me at a sensitive time, I don't know. (Hah!)
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I purchased this lovely dress from Dotti through the week so here's a sneak peak of it until I get a haul post up of a few things I bought recently. I am smitten with it and can't wait for outfit opportunities throughout the year as it's a very versatile piece seasonally.

I have been attempting to eat healthier recently, but at most healthier and fulfilling breakfasts. My go to has been a delicious smoothie feat. any of the following: frozen bananas, berries, peaches and mangoes. I find that it really fills me up as well! Or like here in the picture some cereal and sliced banana to eat in bed as the summer days pass me by.

This week (okay, last Sunday) I went to go explore Devonport a little - I will always love that place for it's little cafes and the feel like you're on an island. It's been rainy this week but a little bit of sunshine before the storm was nice!

And true to my subconscious resolution, I have been watching films in the last few weeks. Some picks have been The Bling Ring (end result: not very good), The Heat (pretty funny), Notting Hill (I love Hugh Grant), and various others.

So, that's it from me. I'll be back next week with another lifestyle post, hopefully a little more full than the first one because I'm all about bad timing!
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21 January 2014

365 Days

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These are just few of the things layed out on my bed that I've been loving lately: My Bourjois Lip Crayon, candles, polaroids and my favourite cacti.

Lately I've been having a bit of trouble on what exactly to put in my 365 diary. This is a diary you don't have to start on January 1st, you can begin it anytime of the year. I decided to start it on the 9th of January in a spur of the moment thing, but since then I've missed quite a few days and don't feel inspired to put anything in it. I have a journal that I've been writing in since last year that I frequently write in, and that's sort of my spill-everything-out-into-the-page or 11 pages if I'm feeling like it. This diary desires something a little bit more special, something awesome to remember the year by.

Do you have any suggestions of what I could put in it?
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20 January 2014

Photography Blog

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I've decided to make a little photograpy blog showcasing some of my best photography throughout this year, so if you'd like to follow me on my adventures you can here: emmagordonphotography.tumblr.com.

I'm planning on taking a heap more photographs this year, and finding different models as well so I can experiment as much as possible. I'll also be posting some of my school photography as I'm doing NCEA L3 photography this year. I've already included some of my images from last year's course on there too.

I'm so excited for this, and shooting will give me something to do because holiday boredom is hitting fast! (p.s. I'm going away from 23-28 of January so I won't be posting during this time. I'll be bringing a lot of photos back with me though. xx
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18 January 2014

Feeling Tribal

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Dress from Cotton On

Feeling a touch tribal today whilst wearing this little dress, albeit a bit shorter than I'd usually wear, I still love it and it's a change from the usual black, blue and white I wear all too often. I am wearing my favourite sandals from Windsor Smith and can't find an excuse not to wear them since I got them for Christmas. I'm also looking for another reason not to buy another pair of Windsor Smith's after admiring these Chunks from afar...

Today was the sunniest day, and the loveliest lighting underneath the greenery so I ventured outside and shot some photographs of my sister and am working on my upcoming photography blog to showcase my photos. Stay tuned.
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15 January 2014

"What do you want to do with your life?!"

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*Unrelated image that is actually related to this that I've had floating around in my files for a while.

I felt like an important issue needed to be addressed, here. For months, maybe even years I have had to think about what I want to do when I leave high school, the (for me) dreaded move from a comfortable, expected environment to (to be quite honest) expected route of University. Now, I know that University is completely optional, and that there are other options: take a gap year to figure out what you want to do, get a full time job, get an apprenticeship, etc.

That side issue aside, I feel like there is a burdening pressure on students these days to figure out what they want to do with their life at the mere age of fifteen, sixteen, seventeen; because the subjects you choose in Year Eleven or Twelve could impact what University courses you get into, etc.

For the longest while now I personally have been toying with the idea of working in magazines. There really is nothing I can think of that I would want to do besides that. It's hard when you don't exactly know how to get there, and you don't have the information you need and good advice from industry specialists to aim to get there.

I want to work in the magazine industry. I want to be the editor for a magazine like Frankie, or Yen, or Betty, or Rookie. I could literally spend my whole income on magazines. The list goes on; I want to be that stylish, amazingly cool editor -- like the unbelievable phenomenon that is Tavi Gevinson -- for a vintage magazine that aims to empower women, celebrate arts and crafts, shoots wonderful photography, has interesting, well-written and thoughtful articles that are a mile and a half away from the mind numbing, pointless gossip magazine articles.

I want to be apart of that whole frantic, amazing, creative space with creative individuals who are all trying to meet deadlines for a creative project they love. I want to be passionate about what I do, and have others around me that are passionate, and that understand me -- that understand how I have to finish this by midnight to get it to the printers, or that understand how pretty that photo is, or understand how important that message is to put across, and I want people that empower me and make me feel like I am doing something worthy.

But I do not want rules or restrictions. I want to be creative, and use my art and design brain as well as the written side. I want to create something I'm proud of that is aesthetically pleasing and wonderful as well as intelligent. I just want to create something creative that won't bound me by a grade: an achieved, or a merit, or an excellence. I want something that is ungradeable -- yes I made that word up -- I want something that people will appreciate, and love, and cherish in their own bare hands. I want to do something with my life that is both challenging and really, really hard to explain -- that I just want to do whatever I like and have a good time doing it.

And I value print. Print is dying. Online magazines are the new thing. Except online magazines are really not good. I want to hold something in my hands, feel the paper, line up the issues lovingly on my bookshelf, not hold the back and sides of an i-Pad and have them all stored in a cloud. It makes it even harder to get into this industry; when the industry is dying and getting even more competitive at the same time, and it is changing and evolving.

I want to make a change somehow. Here in New Zealand, there are no magazines that I know of that strictly have all of the above listed things. They're all from Australia, or Europe. How am I going to make my dream come true if I'm doing something no one has done before in my country? To get a magazine published and put into your local bookstores everywhere; I mean it's harder than trying to get a novel published here in New Zealand.

Sometimes I feel like I am limited to what I can do here. I want to live where big things happen. I don't want to sit here wasting away my life on something I might be easily able to do overseas and have a bigger audience for. And in midst of this there are so, so many other unanswered questions about how is this even possible? Work experience is a must in the magazine industry. And it's hard. It really is -- to be competing against about a million other girls or guys who want that work experience in a magazine, like something you see in the movies.

I'm interested in fashion, and in art, design, and photography. I like home decor, interior design, food, travel, writing, reading, blogging etc etc. The list goes on.

My question is; where is the available help, how exactly can you explain all of this to one person and get an answer to how you're going to get to your goal; how you're going to live your dream. It seems very impossible when there is no one who understands it or is supporting you. And it is even more difficult when you are not learning the industry at school, you are not learning what you want to eventually do. And then University -- where is my course which signs me up for magazine production and publishing, writing and photography all bundled up in one?

My problem is, I know what I want to do, but I don't know how I'm going to get there, and to me, that is scary.


Note: This was an impulsive bit of writing I just thought I had to get out. I feel as though this has been bundled up in my chest tight for a long time.

'til next time.

--Emma
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13 January 2014

Bedroom Snippets

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Things you may want to know about: 365 journal from Kikki.K, Birdcage from Typo, Art Posters all from either Frankie or Yen Magazine, Owl Pen Holder from Typo, Lanterns from Typo, LOVE tea lights from Typo, Duvet from Spotlight (Brand is Logan and Mason), Calendar from Typo, Tea-cup Candle from Typo.

Recently I've redone my room up a little, rearranging and redecorating some things in my room. I'm pretty pleased with the result, but there is still a few things to sort out: a possible alternative for a new desk which matches my room better, a new desk chair, somewhere to hang/put my T.V, new pots for my plants or to DIY them, paint the matching bedside table that goes with my dressing table, and to clean and fix up my mirror.

My walls used to be a candyfloss coloured pink -- the result of a nine year old's decision, and trust me when I say it's so lovely to have white walls (or off white) after those pink walls. The white dressing table was a result of hours and hours or stripping, sanding and painting which I'm so glad I've managed to do mostly by myself, and the art posters I've accumulated from my two favourite magazines are quite a nice touch! I barely bought anything new from doing this, so it just proves you can revamp your room if you want to a bit of a change!

My room pretty much fits my personality so I'm happy with the result! I'll still be working on it the rest of the holidays though to muster up a few other changes.

(By the way, have you noticed it looks like I live in a jungle from the view outside my windows? Trust me, I do not.)
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Stripes and Polaroids

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Shirt from Dotti
Jeans from Forever 21
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Yesterday I went on a little shopping adventure and ended up buying four new tops and a pair of shoes. For the past three weeks I have been in a state of utter mess, and let's just say it wasn't pretty. I've been stripping, sanding and painting my dressing table -- basically turning it from a dark wood to all white. It's come up very well, but in that time where I had no where to store my clothes, I was not a happy girl. Now that my bedroom is actually tidy I can breathe a sigh of relief and get on with my life.

The point is -- while clearing out most of my clothes in the process, I had realised that I really do not have all that much that I would wake up in the morning and be happy to wear. I needed some basics, and yesterday I came away with this really nice striped shirt from Dotti, the fabric is quite heavy and good quality. I am picturing wearing this with a black skirt of some sort (another basic I really need). I really am a sucker for stripes, I could wear a striped shirt any day of the week. This one is now sitting happily in my newly refurbished dressing table, and I can't wait to wear it all sorts of different ways.

Right now, the only alternative to wearing a dress or skirt for me is wearing jeans. These are my favourite jeans from Forever 21 which I picked up in America, what, seven months ago? Wow, has it really been that long? These are my favourite thing to wear mostly because they are so comfortable, they almost feel like leggings. I find that most jeans can be so stiff and so uncomfortable that I don't like wearing them because I definitely opt for comfort over anything else. These really are the closest thing to boyfriend jeans that I'm going to get right now -- does anyone else have the problem of finding well fitting boyfriend jeans that don't make you look like a farmer?

Now, I really wish I bought more Forever 21 jeans because they were so cheap and something I wouldn't really find in New Zealand stores. That's another reason to build a Forever 21 here in Auckland, okay? Please.

On a side note, Polaroids have been adorning my walls as of late and this camera is my new obsession -- too bad it adds up to about $1.50 for a photo in film. I'll be sharing a few snippets of my bedroom soon, and I've got a mini haul post planned for the near future.
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11 January 2014

Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm

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This was partly an impulsive buy, and an expensive one at that. Considering I do not have much of an income, this put a bit of a dent in my bank account. Do I regret it? I can't say I do. This cleansing balm by Emma Hardie has been raved about on a lot of beauty blogs, and I've seen it have 10/10 reviews everywhere I looked; I mean just look here for verification. So, I decided to be impulsive and go for it. I don't want to sound cringe-worthy, but YOLO right? Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and buy things like this. Does it live up to the hype? Taking into account that after I've used this, I've had the softest, most supple skin I've ever had, then yes; I would say it definitely does live up to the hype.

Emma Hardie's Cleansing Balm claims to: "Thoroughly cleanse and moisturise skin, help purify and minimise the appearance of open pores, calm sensitive skin and revitalise dull and mature skin." It can also be used as a rescue balm on dry elbows or knees or as a lip balm. You can also use it as a soothing mask if left on the skin for ten minutes.

As you can see in the photo above, the texture is creamy and silky and thick like butter in the pot. You have to add a few drops of warm water and work it in the palm of your hand to then apply to your face. It is a creamy and luxurious cleanser which you work into your face gently, and once you rub the access of with a cloth you are left with amazing glowing skin, melting off all of your make-up in the process. After using this my skin was incredibly soft, so much that I wanted to keep touching it. I think it evens out my skin tone and rejuvenates it. It definitely does minimize your pores, immediately making the skin clean, fresh and supple. It's a really great base for make-up, as once you've cleansed with it, your foundation applies even smoother and looks better.

I have combination skin, and I feel like it works better on the drier areas of my skin (mainly my cheeks) but still cleans the oilier parts really well and smoothes over blemishes better than other cleansers I've tried, once again making a better base for whatever you put on your face next. It also has a pleasant, subtle scent.

I'm happy I made the jump with buying this, and I think it's worth the money if you know you're going to get a fantastic product.
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6 January 2014

New Year, New Look

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Aloha! Today I have been working on a new look for the blog; simple is always what I'm after and I've achieved something that I really like! That, up top is my own handwriting, and you'll have to scroll below to marvel at my amazing html skills (read: not very amazing).

If you hadn't already noticed, it is now 2014! On New Years Eve I actually wrote in my diary that I didn't have any New Year's resolutions apart from 1) follow my instincts and 2) do what makes my heart happy. Last year, I did make resolutions. I didn't exactly follow them to a tee throughout the year, but rather subconsciously I followed them; put them to the back of my mind and when I needed a little boost, I'd remind myself what I'd aimed for this year, and to keep at it.

This year, I don't want to make the usual New Year's resolutions that you see (and I sometimes condone): 'Eat healthier', 'Loose weight and exercise more' etc, etc. I find it to be so unrealistic, and rather than making myself enjoy life more, the resolutions just make me feel restrained and disappointed. So, the past few years I've liked to make my resolutions partly vague and a bit more interesting. So, albeit a few days late, here are my 'resolutions' (not promises or constraints, merely a guide to how I want to live life) for 2014:

One. Write more. This was one of my resolutions for last year, and in the past few weeks I have written more school unrelated things than I have for most of last year. So, I reckon that's off to a very good start. Last year I was pretty good at writing at least a few times a week in my journal, about things that have been happening and whatever comes to my mind, what is frustrating me, what I'm glad about, etc; basically letting my emotions spill out on the page, so I will definitely keep up at that because it makes me happy. Also, I don't want to share my writing (unrelated to my diary) to anyone, or if anyone, probably just my sister. I find that I really want to make it a personal thing and have it as something to explore and develop my writing style instead of showing work to people and them criticizing me (I know constructive criticism is good and all that jazz, but to me, it just makes me not want to write anymore on it).

Two. Not care about what anyone thinks. Now, this is a tough one, because at some stage you're going to have thoughts come into your brain comparing yourself to other people, bringing yourself down, thinking a million things about how other people view you. In the end, the only person that matters is you, because you're going to have to live with yourself for the rest of your life. I want to become a little more selfish when needed (because again, it's important to like yourself and not care about others that bring you down or you don't want in your life). My confidence in many ways is already developing, and I want to continue feeling great about myself.

Three. Read more. I really don't read as much as I could, mainly because of social media being so bloody distracting, but I'm going to make an effort to read a whole heap this year, even if it's trying out a book I see on a shelf of the library that looks interesting. Writers become better when they read more, and reading passes the time in between school and homework and boring stuff like that, so it's a win-win.

Four. Enjoy the little things. Like lying in bed on a Saturday morning, drinking the most delicious smoothie ever, staying up late watching movies and eating chocolate, buying your favourite magazine and reading it, getting a ton of books out from the library to read over the holidays, going outside for a twenty minute walk. I always record good things that have happened in my life, and have since more than a year ago, even if it's the most basic thing as 'Mum making my favourite dinner'; when it all adds up you realize you're a very lucky person just to have those little things. I want to concentrate on those little things this year, and without sounding cliche (I am), appreciate the little things rather than the big things, and if/when those big things happen, then that's an added bonus in my mind.

Five. Work hard. Every time I work hard on something, e.g. finish a successful week/term/year at school, even re-do and clean my whole bedroom, or go for a long and tiring walk, I feel really good afterwards that I've achieved something, and that I know I've worked hard to complete it. School is really a love/hate relationship for me; undoubtedly school is going to be my no.1 focus this year because it's my last year of high school (wtf?). If I'm having a really bad day or a bad week I need to remember that if I stick at it, grit my teeth, and get on with it, I'll finish it and feel a billion times better afterwards than if I didn't do it at all.

Six. Spend lots of time alone, and spend lots of time doing nothing. By 'nothing' I mean nothing of importance, but something that makes me happy regardless. I love spending time alone. It's my favourite time. I'd go insane without it. I need to be alone to gather my thoughts, think things through, write, read, listen to music, draw or paint, have a bath, whatever. Spending time alone allows me to not get too bound up in what's happening in life and just take a look back on everything that's happening, and feel sad or happy about it.

Thanks for reading if you got this far, and thank you for the last few months of supporting my blog if you have, and/or commenting/following. I really do appreciate every comment and follow.

Here's to an amazing 2014.
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4 January 2014

Limited Edition Christmas Luxury Lush Pud

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One sneaky little purchase while in town later, and I have a Lush bubble bomb in my hands. I did actually buy something else there for my sister's Christmas present, but I decided to treat myself to this since I live so far away from a Lush store; only buy a few things a year, and because I wanted to try at least one of their limited edition Christmas products.

The bubble bomb I got was the Luxury Lush Pud which I'd seen a couple of YouTubers purchase and is part of the limited edition Christmas range. Once I had dropped it in a bath of warm water, the colourful bits separated and floated to the top while it exploded into a huge colourful mess, settling to a dark purple colour. Once you're in, it immediately softens your skin and continues to be silky soft after you've had your bath. This one didn't really smell like anything in particular to me, but I find it so relaxing and nice to use after a tiring day. It makes you feel luxurious while your water is vibrant, thick and I found that it even softens your face because of the steam rising up in your bath, if you make it extra hot like I do.

The only downside to it is that it leaves purple marks on the inside of the tub where the water level stopped. But, nothing a bit of scrubbing won't fix.

Next Christmas I think I'll probably be heading down to Lush to sample even more of their limited edition goodies. Have you purchased any Lush products, or any bath bombs? The next Lush product on my mind is the Tea Tree Water or the Eau Roma Water.
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2 January 2014

January Playlist

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Hey everyone. So today I thought I'd compile a playlist for January of songs I have been listening to for the past month, albeit if I've only been listening to One Direction for the past week. Guilty pleasure, right there.

This month I have been getting a lot more into Ed Sheeran, I used to listen to his albums all the time, but then I sort of moved on and listened to different music. Now that I've had a break, I can come back to him in full swing and relish his amazing voice once more, and since I've been doing a lot of writing recently, it makes a perfect soundtrack for that if I happen to fancy it.

Before Christmas The X Factor USA finished, and my favourite during the competition was Alex and Sierra, I absolutely loved every single thing they sang, and my favourites from their performances on X Factor are featured in this playlist.

Lorde's new single was released, No Better, and I think it's such a cool song; I will love anything she does anyway.

January Playlist by Emma on Grooveshark
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