Saturday, 13 April 2013

Tea Party Madness!

Don't stop reading because you think you're too old for a tea party as you no longer wear fairy tutu's, you are never too old for a Tea Party.

This party is a dream come true for any girl so prepare for your inner 8 year old to turn green with envy. The first thing to think about when hosting a party is a theme. You can go crazy with an Alice in Wonderland theme!

Invitations

Use playing cards or something crazy like the hostesses face photoshopped onto the Mad Hatter or White Rabbit.

Outfit and Decorations

Have your guests dress up as white rabbits, doormice or mad hatters whilst you, the princess, reside at the head of the table as Alice. Decorate the table with playing cards, clocks, a brightly coloured table cloth and napkins, mis-matched teacups and saucers, doilies, chairs of various heights and styles and signs saying 'This Way' and 'That way'.

Food and Drink

Serve food such as various teas including fruit and herbal with traditional cakes; cherry bakewells, battenburg, angel cake, victoria sponges, scones and tea sandwiches (common fillings include cucumber and egg and cress) Make sure you serve your tea from a genuine teapot with cups and saucers. If you want to make your party more 'mad' than 'Alice' you could mix up your crazy concoctions - try serving jam and cheese sandwiches, just make sure you cut the crusts off.

Games

Play games such as lawn croquet if you're fortunate enough to have a large garden or giant chess. Buy fabric roses and play 'Paint the roses' red or white; divide yourselves into two teams and turn it into a competition, who can paint the most roses first? You could paint tea cups and plates whilst listening to Alice in Wonderland music or decorate cushions with patchwork. Set up a "photo booth" with props such as clocks, white rabbits, headgehogs, giant cards, hats, white gloves and keys for your guests to dress up in and take photographs that you can keep as memories forever.

Alice in Wonderland goes hand in hand with tea parties but it might be a tad predictable and perhaps you'd prefer something more out of the box? Okay let's do this.

Booze Parties

I am loving the idea of a traditional tea party mixed with a hell of a lot of booze. Less tea, more party. If possible host this outside in your garden or on a balcony and utilise the outdoor space; hang bunting from any available surface, hang lanterns, bird cages, tea tree lights and anything else you can lay your hands on in the trees or high spaces. Carry your theme from the party invites through to the thank you notes. Choose bold colours for example black white and yellow for some colour pop, or go for kitsch pastels. You can do this on a budget and in a short space of time so don't panic. This is a fabulous event to organise for ya friends birthday, baby shower, or even organise it for yourself.

Food and Drink

Focus more on the drink than the food. If you are holding your party outside use plastic champagne flutes filled with raspberries/strawberries and champagne (prosecco!). Fill teapots with cocktails such as strawberry daquiri, pina colada or long island iced tea. You could also scoop out the flesh of pineapples or coconuts and serve in these. It is still fun to pour your cocktail into cups and saucers and you can pick these up very cheaply; even if they are plastic its fine and adds to the effect. Dont worry about traditional food like scones and sandwiches. Choose different cakes like fondant fancies, jaffa cakes, jammy dodger biscuits and party rings. As you are drinking alcohol it is probably better to line your stomach so cook pizza and other filling food.

Games

Well, lets face it, you're going to boozed. So don't make your games too complicated. Put bubbles on the table, have sack races round the garden, play truth or dare, have a cocktail making and tasting competition, play the usual ring of fire, dress up in crazy clothes such as feather boas and take pictures. If you're going out after this (I think thats a good idea, don't you babes?) why not pamper yourself? Paint each others fingers and toes, fake tan (yes, in the garden. why not? make use of the space!), massage, facials, make up, hair...whatever you're feeling.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Shabby Chic your room

Wow it has been a long time. Im so sorry for the haitus but Ive been really busy with work, and life just seems to get in the way. I have had a lot of reuqests for blogs and have replied to emails on an individual basis but the over riding topic that I seem to be discussing with fellow bloggers, girls on my facebook and people I know in real life is "how do you make your bedroom look shabby chic on a budget".

Now this is something I am comfortable with talking about as I have been aiming to get the perfect shabby chich bedroom for the past year and finally feel I have achieved the desired look. You must bear in mind that I live with my partner Joey and so I have to ensure my shabbychicness does not overspill onto girly territory ie no pink.

The colour palette I have been working with is predominantly cream (neautral, see?), pale greys and duck egg blue (blue for a boy right?) and I haven't heard a peep of complaint from the lad.

When we first moved into our house the bedroom was painted a pale lemon which was, quite frankly, revolting. So, this first thing we had to do was repaint our walls. We chose cream. Obviously. My dream has always been to have a huge cream oak king size bed, with distressed matching furniture, such as dressing tables, wardrobe and chest of drawers. As we did not have a limitless budget we started small and did a lot of up-cycling. For those of you not familiar with the term it merely involves buying things (or using what you already have) on the cheap, sanding them down, painting and finishing them in your own style.

The first two items of furniture for our bedroom that we purchased, were a dark wooden double bed and a 6 drawer chest of drawers. We spent the weekend sanding the wood (so as to remove the varnish), painting the furniture (initially with a duck egg blue and after 24 hours of waiting for that to dry 3 paint of cream paint) so that the overall effect was cream but if you look closely a hint of blue was visible. The blue is not necessary but does add something else. It can be replaced with pale grey or pale turquoise for an equally shabby look. We did the same to the chest of drawers and any other furniture we have bought since then including dressing table, mirrors, shelves and signs. The look is so fresh and clean!

Now for some accessories; if you are working on a budget as most first time home owners or renters are, then here are some tips for you:

Choose statement pieces such as large bird cages - these really are a statement feature of a shabby chic room.

Wire distressed looking shelves - these are perfect for putting bits and bobs on and using to hang signs or mini chandeliers.

Wooden boxes - perfect for storing photos, or unsightly possessions that you have collected along the way.

Jewellery holders - whether it is a free standing jewellery stand or something that hangs on a wall - the look makes your bedroom feel more cosy and personal, as well as stopping necklaces from tangling together and being inaccessible.

To maximise space make sure you are really utilising your stoage options. Buy pretty boxes to keep paperwork in (you will find these in TK Maxx to a very reasonable price), use window sills and sides for storage, if things are pretty and shabby chic have them on display; if not store them in a shabby chic box - simples! Keep the colour tone simple, opt for cream and add in another colour (blue, grey, pink, pale green, pale yellow). Brighten the place up with fresh flowers, fairy lights and candles.

Finally, keep your bedding neutral. At the minute mine is from IKEA and is cream with pale bluey/grey french shabby chic leaf patterns as seen in the photo below (dbl not single). When I make my bed everyday I use a Laura Ashley throw to keep everything looking neat and add cream and blue cushions.

I really hope that has given you some ideas and anything you need to know please continue asking xxx

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Matalan [cheap home ideas] top 12

There's a lot of you dolls who have moved into your own house with friends, on your own or with a partner, who have been asking me where to get nice house bits and bobs for not a lot of money.

Unfortunately, I haven't discovered a secret cheap shop that sells everything you want for £1 but what I have learnt is that you need to put snobbery aside as when youre young you cant have the best of everything, especially first time round.

I buy the majority of my staple home items from big Supermarkets, Primark, TK Maxx and more recently Matalan.

I have always been reluctant to shop in Matalan because I have had poor experiences in there - braindead slow staff, horrendous music, no changing rooms... but since I have had my own house I have looked upon Matalan differently, more favourably! Their clothes may not be up to much but their homeware section is amazing, and so so reasonable!

I want to share with you a few of their bargains (everything is less than £10) and this is only a small selection! Some of these items I own myself, and some I have just seen and thought are lovely.

Vintage heavy looking metal effect candle holder - £10

Retro funky, bright kitchen clock - £8

'Home Sweet Home' floral doormat - £5

Vintage 'Walls' Ice-Cream van cushion - £2

Vintage chic 'Paris' door hanger with butterfly/floral pattern - £6

Distressed blue 'Beach House' sign for bathrooms - £5

Nautical inspired 'Sunny Days' print - £4

Floral 'Bath' freestanding sign - £6

3x beach sun/sea/sand prints - £5

Union Jack charter plate perfect for themed dinner parties - £2

4x fairycake topped teaspoons - £6 (NEW IN)

Moroccan style large plastic wineglass, perfect for drinking in the garden - £1

I hope you have enjoyed some of these Matalan bargains - there is so much more besides if you visit the shops.

Happy home shopping!!

x Hols x

Friday, 20 July 2012

RIVER ISLAND A/W '12

Hey Pretty Ladies

Can you believe that the A/W 12 collections are already hitting the shops, before we've had a chance to wear our gorgeous pastel summer dresses and high waisted shorts with crop tops?

Apparently Summer is arriving next week which is a weather predicition not to be sniffed at lightly! I have just returned from nearly 2 weeks in fabulous Greece where the temperature did not dip below 40 degrees during the day, and the evening were a scorching 30 degrees. I can't moan too much then, as I have had the opportunity to wear my summer dresses, glittery sandals, hot pants and vest tops.

I have spent my morning at work today looking at what RIVER ISLAND have on their website - and there are some gorgeous clothes that are making me a bit excited for Autumn (I feel a bit disloyal to Summer) but I do love wrapping up in a new jacket and boots and going for a walk in the crispy leaves with the sun shining down on me.

Take a look at what RIVER ISLAND is offering:

Gorgeous stud earrings including skulls, swallows, crosses and peace signs for £10

Stunning Diamante Princess hair grip £10

Leopard print gloves £8

Dark Grey Punchway Fallaway Jacket £65

Beige Dip Hem Maxi Skirt with wrap around detail £22

Magenta and Black Pointed Wedges £45

How excited are you about buying some new Autumn clothes now? I know I am. Dont worry if you feel that you havent had enough wear out of your shorts and crop tops; these can be coupled with leggings/tights and a blazer or jacket with a scarf and hat to cool the outfit down.

Let me know if you have seen any amazing Autumn buys. I am going to be looking at some Miss Selfridge Autumn outfits too.

Holly x

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

How do I get my man to want me?

Hey ladies, So I seem to start most entries with "sorry I havent blogged in so long.." but I genuinely am sorry, I also apologise for the fact this blog is not related to fashion beauty or my new home! As a lot of you know the background between my boyfriend and I, I dont feel so uncomfortable posting this on here. For those that don't here is a brief synopsis; I am 24 and my boyfriend is in his early 30s. We met a couple of years ago in Australia where we were both travelling. He expressed a lot of interest but I was initially worried due to the age gap. Eventually I conceded to a date and we have been together ever since, when we left Australia and came back to Manchester (where we are both from) we moved in together and ended up buying a house. We are very much in love and I feel very lucky. He tells me he loves me all the time, he is the most kissy and cuddle man I have ever been with, he looks after me and protects me, he makes me laugh and tells me I am beautiful. He cooks dinner and cleans up after himself. He is generous and spoils me. Sounds perfect? Nearly. But there is one problem. He doesn't seem to want to have sex with me! Okay, I am kind of being OTT. It just feels ike he doesn't, but it would be a lie to say that he never does. We do it about once a week or once every 2 weeks more like. The sex is very perfunctionary and there is not much spice. He doesnt stimulate me before we get going and we dont have oral sex anymore. When we first got together we had sex a lot, although it was always just in bed, but we tried different positions and would end up shagging most days. He also would go down on me at least once a week and he knows I go wild for it, but he doesnt anymore. Nowadays we will have sex on a Saturday night if we go to bed at the same time. We will lie in bed for ages before anything happens. He will climb on top of me with a hard on and thats how I know what he wants. He will shag me until he comes, and even if I havent had an orgasm he wont attempt to satisfy me. Dont get me wrong, I love this man and want to marry him - we have a house together and I know he loves me. He isnt gay, he doesnt watch porn and he isnt cheating on me....so what is it? Its beginning to affect my confidence! Girls, I always listen to and appreciate your advice so please help me here. You know what to do - inbox my facebook http://www.facebook.com/hollybeautyqueen?ref=tn_tnmn Love you all x

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Mascara

I've needed a new mascara for ages, as my Dior one ran out. I have been trying to cut down on make up spending so bought myself a fairly reasonably Bourjois 'Volume Clubbing' mascara which I do actually really like, as it makes my eyelashes look really long and thick, on both top and bottom lashes. The aspect I dislike the most, however, is the fact it is waterproof (yes, I know, that's the whole point hence why it is good for clubbing) and hard to get off at night. I get up early to go to work (6.30am) and get annoyed taking my mascara off for the second time!

Anyway, when I was buying my nail varnishes in Boots the other day I noticed an offer on a new 17 mascara called 'Peep Show'. Its in a synthetically pleasing packaging - pink my favourite colour and until 25/01/2012 it costs just £5.29.

The best bit is I got a free eyeshadow with the mascara. I am a sucker for free gifts but I thought 'Ah this eyeshadow will be crap, so I won't buy the mascara purely for the eyeshadow'. When I got home though, I opened up my eyeshadow (there were no testers in Boots) and was most pleased! There are 4 eyeshadows in the little pallette including pale pink, grey, brown and shimmery brown.

This offer will last until 25th January (or until the eyeshadows run out) so if you need a new mascara make the most of the price reduction and free gift.


I am loving..

Barry M Crackle Paint! It is, quite simply, amazing.
These effective varnishes have been kicking about for some time now, so this probably isn't new to many of you, but I want to show my appreciation for them.

For those who are not familiar with these, let me explain.
They come in various shades (black, white, pink, blue, gold etc..) and are applied to a base coat of any colour. They work with any brand of Nail Varnish so there is no need to go out and buy more.

Once the base coat has dried (let's say for example youre using Gold) you brush a coat of the Crackle Paint over the top as a sort of top coat (let's say we're using Black this time). It is up to you how much you use.

If you are looking for a mainly Gold with small flecks of black look, then just use a small amount of crackle paint, or vice versa. The effect is astounding. I found using a small amount of black created a leopard print effect, whereas using a generous amount of black gave the impression of black nail varnish with gold streaks running through it.



As you can see from this photo, the crackle paint has been used to create different effects and different colours.

It lasts for such a long time and hardly chips. I painted my toes over a month ago (gross I know, sorry) as I was wearing peep toe heels on a night out and I took a picture of my toes this morning when I got out of the shower to show you just how long they last for (Please bear in mind these were originally painted at the beginning of December and I do need to re-do them when I find time!! I am not advocating never repainting toenails)



Barry M has more recently launched its croc paint which I am dying to try.. when I do girlies, you will be the first to know my opinions.



Boots currently have an offer on where if you buy two Barry M products you receive a Limited Edition Nail Varnish for FREE (or you can buy it for £3.99) - depending upon the size of your local Boots store the colours on offer are neon purple, neon pink and silver glitter.

I chose silver glitter as I have already have lots of purples and pinks and I was rteally happy with this, if you are in a hurry you only need to apply 1 coat and it doesnt have to be neat at all due to the glittery effect.

One negative is the lid of the Nail Varnish is holographic, which gives the impression that the varnish will be too.. well it's not. But that is fine by me as I still love it.



This is one coat, but with 2 or 3 this can be really eye catching. It is also gorgeous used as a top coat. I have got so addicted to buying nail varnishes at the moment and so will be doing another nail varnish blog very soon.

Hope you enjoyed, Hols x