23 June 2014

June 2014 Primark Haul - Accessories: Bags, Shoes & Jewels!

I thought I'd split my haul into two this month to avoid a photo heavy post. So, first up it's the turn of the accessories! 

Here's what I've picked up in the Tottenham Court Road Primark flagship in June 2014:

Love these Hologram Stacked Sandals £14.  Super lightweight with a sturdy sole just on the acceptable side of 'clumsy' - perfect casually or versatile enough to dress up for a night out. 


In fact, I liked them that much I bought them in black too £14 - a bit more daytime/office appropriate! 


With new shoes comes the need for a matching bag right? This Iridescent Clutch was just £8. I threw it straight in my basket having seen near identical in Topshop for quadruple that price. 


For lazy dressing days there's nothing a scarf can't fix! Teamed with plain ol' vest or tee it's the perfect 'I've-made-an-effort-but-haven't' combination. 

This Floral Fringed Scarf from Primark's Limited Edition range cost just £6. 


We'll be seeing a lot of Neon this summer, but I'm not so sure I can pull it off in the form of an outfit. 

So a bit of bright accessorising is right up my street. I picked up this Highlighter Yellow Satchel for just £8. It's not too dissimilar to that cult Zara bag. I love the subtle rose gold detailing. 


Sticking with satchels I found this Pastel Pink Shoulder Bag £6 - they have them in baby blue, white & light grey too....tempting at that price!


I love this Hobo Bag from Primark's Limited Edition range. £18. 

It's funny, I ummed and ahhed over purchasing it due to it's 'hefty' price ticket, yet think nothing of spending £40-50 in other stores. 

Has Primark made you a tightwad too?


Given the intricate embellishment I of course decided it was worth every penny. My new festival or boho beach bag perhaps?! 


At £2 & £3 these Rings were thrown into my basket without a second thought. Primark rings are great - they don't discolour quickly nor leave my fingers green on first wear. 

...Which is more than what can be said for some pricier High Street retailers...


The childhood Spice Girl's fan in me squealed when I found these Hologram Double Strap Platforms

Unfortunately the strap rubs a little but I'm hopeful once they're broken in I'll soon be channelling Baby Spice circa 1997! 


I did not need more sandals. These Woven beauties were £4. 

So they came home with me. 


...as did these Peachy Sandals. £6


Finally I picked up these Skater Shoes for just £7. I love the colour which gives a girly edge to a masculine shoe. The popular monochrome Topshop pair sliced my feet to bits. 

These are so much more comfortable & one third of the price to boot!


...So I'm forgiven for getting them in Silver too right!? 


Have you been to Primark lately? Anything catch your eye? Do you like anything I bought?

Remember to follow on Bloglovin or GFC for part 2 coming soon! :)

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15 June 2014

Jamie's Italian - Stratford Westfield: Review

I made a reservation at Jamie's Italian Stratford on the 14th June and as I was about to find out - was also the day of England's first World Cup game. 

Against Italy.

My football passionate fiance (who's also named Jamie) was full of superstition that if we swapped our fish 'n' chips for an Italian cabonara, it would somehow effect 'our boys' performance. 

"They're halfway across the world in Brazil. I'm sure Wayne Rooney doesn't care for our lunchtime plans!" I tried to rationalise. Boy logic huh?!

...I also learned that the prospect of a lunchtime Tiramisu works well in effortlessly changing his mind! 


Jamie's Italian at Stratford's Westfield is situated just outside the shopping centre by John Lewis. 

On entering the restaurant your eyes are immediately drawn to the open plan kitchen area that is visible to diners - adding to it's Southern European charm. 

Amongst the hanging hams ensued well-organised chaos, perhaps reminiscent of an Italian family's busy kitchen with everyone mucking in to prepare our Mediterranean feast. 


Fortunately this bustle didn't translate into the dining area, which makes conversation amongst parties easier whilst still informal. Further affirmed by the free for all approach of the menu's share platters. 

The use of the space was another major positive. I dislike being sat in a busy restaurant (particularly on a table for two) with other diners claustrophobically within arms length. Jamie's Italian Stratford is spread across two floors. Idyllic for piled up shoppers alike, who are accommodated comfortably. Handy when considering the location. 

The decor; high ceilings, wooden floor and grey beams was a touch industrial for my personal tastes but works well within the building it is housed. I did love the huge windows which offer the perfect vantage point to watch the world go by over a glass of prosecco. 


To start we decided a sharer was the best way to sample the selection of the cured meats, cheese and olives on offer. 

This arrived on an impressive wooden plank, simply but effectively held above the table by two tins of tomatoes. As someone with a usual vendetta against olives I found these surprisingly palatable. 

I also distracted my Jamie whilst greedily helping myself to a lionshare of the melt-in-your-mouth meat. 1-nill to me!  


We also ordered a selection of artisan breads mopped up with a balsamic and olive oil dressing. A flavour marriage made in heaven and something I'll definitely try to replicate at home. 



I ummed and arred over my main with many options to chose from - not a bad thing as everyones palate's are accommodated. 

As I'm not a massive pasta lover, I opted for the flash steak. The pounded prosciutto and sage worked beautifully and I especially enjoyed the garlicky salsa - my first time sampling yellow tomatoes! 


I ordered a side of posh chips; cooked with truffle oil with a mild shaving of parmesan. 

I liked the fact sides were separate, making your meal customisable. Possibly a little dangerous for chip lovers without willpower like me, but hey! - I won't tell my gym instructor if you don't!? 


Jamie went for the day's special - a slow cooked lamb and veggie dish, finished with homemade pasta and a side of seasonal greens which he enthusiastically gobbled within minutes.



Had I not eaten at a Jamie's Italian previously I'd be skeptical that staff knew I was there to review but seeing as the attentive service received was no different to my previous visits to the chain, I say it's simply down to the hiring of well trained, personable people. 

We were waited on well, but never stifled. 


Dishes were explained to us without prompt, an aspect I particularly liked as I often feel awkward when asking about unknown dishes or struggle with pronunciation. But this is exactly what we love about Jamie Oliver, his no nonsense layman's approach in making good food accessible to all which evidently resonates within his restaurants.


I highly recommend a visit to the Jamie's Italian Stratford, especially if you're laden with bags and want a break from the hustle and bustle of the noisy shopping complex with its generic food haunts. Or perhaps ending your day at the nearby Queen Elizabeth Park with an Olympic Italian feast.  

...and as for that football result? Perhaps Mr Rooney does care about our lunchtime plans after all!

158 The Street
Westfield
Stratford City
London
E20 1EN
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11 June 2014

Poundland's Beauty Booty!

It's not an unusual occurrence for my Superdrug bill to total £40-£50 by the time I've filled my basket and made my way to the till. 

Whilst I've no regrets I always think "Oh god! How much have I spent!?!" whilst handing over my debit card to the cheery cashier.



I'm sure I'm not alone in this "how much!!" boat so wanted to share my recent Poundland stash in hope that you can grab a bargain too! 

I'd recently finished a pot of one of my favourite Primark polishes. Unfortunately it was purchased before the PS Beauty rebrand and was yet to find a replica of the nearly-neon pink shade that has frequented my toes for the past two summers. That was until I ventured to Poundland! 


Revlon's Nail Enamel in 'Infamous' filled my pinky polish void. The Revlon 'Top Speed' collection currently retails for a pricy £6.49 in Boots. 

I'd always felt my usual £2.30 outlay for my Blistex's MedPlus for lips was a reasonable one, but my eyes widened when found an identical tub stocked upon the shelves of Poundland for a quid.


Finally, on the same visit I rummaged through the make-up to uncover two Rimmel London's Scandaleyes in the popular shades: 'Mercury Silver' & 'Rich Russet'. 

I had in fact only bought these handy shadow pots recently in Boots - where they currently retail for £4.99 each. 


So, that's £18.77 worth of current season beauty bootie for just £4. Bargain!

Have you found any pound or discount store bargains lately? 
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27 February 2014

Bioderma Cleansing Cream : Review

Realising I now enjoy spending my money on the items I've pinned on my Pinterest 'Interiors' board over pricy drinks in London bars confirms to me that I am, officially, a proper grown up.


Although three weeks ago this new found sensibleness somewhat backfired. 

I had purchased fancy new feather pillows for my bedroom but woke the following morning to discover my face and neck covered in blotches. I'd had an allergic reaction to them. 

A bag over my head, a GP trip and some Aqueous cream later I found the lotion prescribed to apply messily, be non-absorbent and stain my new (less fancy) polyester pillows. 


I thought I'd give the Bioderma Nutri-Protective Cleansing Cream* a whizz, intrigued by the fact it is marketed for dry to very dry sensitive skin and therefore less likely to irritate my rash covered face.

It felt rich but not greasy when lathered onto wet skin. A creamy texture with a subtle but unobtrusive fragrance. The ingredients were soothing and eased the feeling of tightness while creating a much needed layer of moisture to my broken, flaked skin. 

This paraben, soap free, hypoallergenic product also limits proliferation of the organisms that can aggravate dry skin. I'm not entirely sure what that means if I'm honest but it worked a treat.


Whilst of course I would never recommend any product in place of your GPs prescribed medication I found the Bioderma cleanser a positive addition in hastily eradicating the unsightly blemishes left by my allergy. My skin was soon feeling soft and nourished again.

As a sufferer of dry-skin even on my best day, the Bioderma Cleanser has now deservingly taken centre stage in my skincare routine - and I think it'll be a hard one to beat!

Do you use Bioderma products? Do you suffer with allergies like me? 
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25 February 2014

QUICK! Super Cheap Real Techniques Brushes

Whilst undertaking the monotony of my weekly Asda shop I stumbled across quite the revelation in isle 11. 

Staring at me from a shelf alongside discounted DVDs was a Real Techniques display stand which looked like it had been turned over by a pack of wolves - probably from in-the-know beauty junkies alike, snapping up what is obviously the deal of the century...


Asda are selling these cult brushes ridiculously cheap. 

Now I don't know whenever the price-disher-outterer at Asda's head office has made a huge mistake? Perhaps they don't realise what they have? Or order in such massive bulk they can afford to pass the discount on to consumers? Either way I snapped them up and joined my fellow beauty lovers in the isle 11 pack-like mentality. 

Grrr!

An Expert Face Brush for £5.29 and a Blush Brush for £5.97? I'll take two!

The Core Collection is particularly generous at £12.34. In Boots these retail at double the price - even on offer are never that cheap.

I'm sure you'll find Real Techniques in your local Asda store but they're also currently on the Asda Direct website here - but be quick! Unsurprisingly they're selling out super fast (I placed a 'back up' order Sunday night and some of the items are out of stock already!)

So there ya go. Don't say I don't tell you anything! ;)

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24 February 2014

Cage Sandals - Linzi Shoes

If you're a shoeaholic like me I have no doubt that you are already acquainted with Linzi shoes.

Linzi is an online retailer that also hosts a small chain of shops selling affordable, fashionable footwear.


Rewind 5+ years and Linzi was just my little secret!

The brand had two shops in Romford shopping centre in Essex. I fondly remember going in on Saturdays and being met by a combination of cheerful shop staff, trendy yet affordable shoes and the best of UK Garage blasting from the speaker system assisting my mood for my pending night out.

The business grew with the opening of more stores and Linzi began trading online. Despite the shift from small retailer to fashionista's firm favourite their prices remain affordable with designs to rival bigger brands.

I recently popped into the new(ish) Westfield Stratford City branch for a mooch. A mooch in Linzi often results in a purchase and this time it was no different.

I found these beautiful nude patent caged shoes (more affectionately titled 'Stacie') for a reasonable £30. Having seen similar 5 minutes earlier for double the price - and as you'll known from venturing to Fashion Week or having seen the Street style pictures online; stacked, caged 90's inspired sandals are all the rage this SS14. 

I had to have them.



Despite the lack of DJ Luck & MC Neat soundtrack at the Westfield branch (much to my disappointment) my browse on Saturday reignited my love of Linzi & a wishlist of my current faves:

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Have you shopped at Linzi before? Do you like any of the shoes from my wishlist or the Linzi website? 

NB: This post is in no way sponsored. I just think the buyers do a fab job! :)
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7 February 2014

Spring At Home: High Street Edit

Whilst it's still freezing here in London, slowly the nights are staying lighter longer, flowers are rising from their beds and our favourite clothing retailers are showcasing candy coloured hues.

But what about at home? By switching just a few key accessories we can also transform our interiors. Making it not only simple to keep our rooms as seasonal as our wardrobes - but often really affordably too!

Here's my current favourite High Street picks all retailing for £30 or less: 


Do you change your home accessories often? Or is it strictly your wardrobe that gets a seasonal update? 
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