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Monday, 30 June 2014

Lifestyle | Tips For Buying Your First Home

MAC Lipstick Collection
Hello Beauties, today's post is more along the lifestyle lines and is more personal too as I will be speaking about my experience when buying my first home. It's coming up to two years now so that anniversary was the inspiration for today's blog post.

So casting my mind back two years ago my boyfriend and I had graduated from University and had been together for 7 1/2 years. After living together at Uni and as we had been together for so long the next obvious step was to move in together but we hadn't actually planned to as early as we did.. it just kind of happened. My dad actually heard about a new build that had some unique features and suggested we went along to see it and the rest is pretty much history.

Despite the walls only being up to my shoulders we could see real potential and it was really easy to picture exactly where we would want everything. From the first few days I had a really good idea of exactly how I wanted each room to be designed, including our lounge in the photo above but things weren't quite as easy as that.

Firstly, being a new build we didn't actually know when the building was going to be complete for sure so when it came to getting a mortgage is was pretty risky because they only last so long. In fact, we actually only bought the property with two days left on the mortgage we had applied for so this blog post could be telling a very different story! The Legal side of things was also difficult because we didn't really have a clue what were doing but thanks to our parents we were given a lot of guidance.

Here are some tips from what I learnt along the way:

1. Save, Save, Save

Make sure you save as much as you can before looking for a property so you can be sure to look for something within your price range. We discovered that things always work out more expensive than you think they are going to be whether it be the solicitor fees, mortgage fees or interiors so the more you can save the better so you won't be disappointed.

2. Planning

Buying a place takes a lot of planning so make sure you have a really good idea of what areas you want to live in before you start hunting and also the criteria you are looking for. For example, what type of property do you want to buy? How many bedrooms? Does the location need to be near shops or a station and so on.. the list really is endless but necessary in order to save time when looking for a place.

3. Research

Research is tied in with planning but involves looking at more things. You need to do your research on the properties you choose to view but before you even get to that stage you need to think about how you're going to find the property. Of course you can scour the internet for searches such as 'property for sale in London' but it's also good to get in touch with estate agents such as Strutt and Parker so they can let you know when properties that fit your criteria become available and also give you advice. 

You should also do research on the mortgages different banks offer as well as brokers to make sure you fit their criteria which seems to be getting harder to meet each year. This is good to know because they offer different types such as fixed rate, variable, tracker and of course at a variety of rates, some of which may be more affordable than others.

When buying a property you also need to consider what solicitor you will be working with so this of course needs research too.

4. Know Your Budget

One of the key things to remember when looking for a property is to know your budget and not feel pressured to buy something you can't afford. Having a mortgage is a huge commitment and it's important you are fully aware of how much deposit you have, how much legal fees will cost and what other costs are involved such as a mortgage fee, admin fees, surveyor fees and so on. It all soon adds up and can really affect the price of property you can afford.  It may even mean you want to wait a little longer so you have more funds to buy a bigger place than purchase at the current time.

5. Legal

I've mentioned legal briefly above so I won't go on about it too much but this definitely plays an important part in property buying. You need to have a solicitor who will deal with things in a timely manner and be contactable whenever you need them but there are so many out there it's often hard to choose. It's always best to take a recommendation if you can but if not surf the internet and contact as many companies as you can about quotes. We did this and chose one that was priced mid range and it worked out pretty well. However, they weren't nearby so one downside was that we couldn't pop in to drop off documents and so on so we had the added time and expense of having to post everything!

6. Finding a Mortgage

Again, I've already mentioned finding a mortgage briefly but without this step you can't buy a place unless you can pay for it outright. There are loads of different types on offer so it can be overwhelming but search online and also ask for advice from people who work at financial institutions if you need to know more. You need to think about how much you can pay each month, over how many years you want your mortgage to be (the longer it is the cheaper the repayments) and if you want a fixed or variable rate. Variable rates are often lower so repayments can be cheaper IF the interest rate is low but this is the risky option along with trackers because of course when that interest rate starts moving so do your repayments.

I hope you enjoyed reading today's blog post and happy house hunting to any of you out there who are in the middle of buying or are thinking about it. Without doubt it is definitely one of the most stressful things I have done but I'm very lucky to have been able to get onto the property ladder at such a young age so it was definitely worth it.


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Monthly Round Up | Favourite June Posts

Monthly Post Round Up: June

Yet another month has passed and that means it's time for another round up of my favourite posts during June. This month saw a large variety of posts from beauty reviews, to tips, favourites and events and surprisingly I found it pretty easy to pick my favourites this time, some of which I feel very passionately about.  Here they are:

My favourite post of this month marked my dog's 4th Birthday and that was a story about her life so far. She is a rescue dog and a gift from my parents for getting a 1st in my joint honours degree in Business Adminstration with Computing with a Year in Industry. We don't know much about her past but when we first brought who own it become obvious some of things she must have gone through. This post tells all about the first day we saw Roo, to bringing her home and 4 years later how she is settled and rules the roost!

Next is a post I wrote about my experience at the Michael Van Clarke hair salon in London. The previous week I went to an event there we were all about the 3 More Inches range by the man himself and I was lucky enough to follow that up with my very own haircut. 

While I was there I learnt more about hair care, the exclusive diamond hair cut they offer and more.

I've always been a big fan of Soap and Glory so I thought it was about time I wrote a blog post on my top 5 products. Even though there are loads to choose from, ranging from skin care to makeup I actually found it really easy to make my choices because these are the clear winners to me. I love each and every one of them, particularly the Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Sticks.. they are amazing.

This month also saw another lifestyle post, this time about things to do in London. This is part of a mini series I am doing that was inspired by my boyfriends Birthday back in March when I was trying to think of places to take him as a surprise.

This post is the second in the series and covers a few interested places in London to visit whether you live there or are a tourist.

My all time favourite lipsticks are definitely either by Chanel or YSL and this month saw a post about my YSL Rouge Volupte Collection. I have three lipsticks in total which are all beautifully pigmented shades which the moist hydrating luxurious formula I have ever used.

I'm a little addicted to candles. I burn them pretty much every day as I find they create a really nice ambiance in a room, are relaxing to watch due to the pretty flicker of the flame and can make an entire house fill with their wonderful fragrance.

When I first started burning them several years ago I didn't realise there is actually a set method that should be used in order to prolong the life of a candle and make sure it burns correctly. This blog post is also about tips I have read about over the years or discovered myself.

Next is a post all about my current beauty wish list. This ranges from makeup to brushes and skincare and is definitely the list of products I am lusting after at the moment.

Last but not least is a review I wrote about a gorgeous hand made amethyst necklace by Kimberley Wilson. This isn't a brand I had heard of before blogging but is one I really like. This is one of the reasons why I love blogging so much. You can discover amazing small businesses that have so much on offer. This unique piece of jewellery is stunning.

What was your favourite blog post on Kimberley's Beauty Blog during June?
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Sunday, 29 June 2014

Advertisers | Lovely June Advertisers


Hello Beauties, as we are nearing the end of another month it's that time when I share the lovely advertisers that have been sitting in my side bar. I hope some of you have already had a sneaky peak at their blogs/website and have found some great new reading material but for those of you who haven't here is a little more about each of them:

So here we go.. please let me introduce my June Advertisers....

Advertiser: Hoad Shoes

Established in 1898 Hoad Shoes is situated in the heart of Sevenoaks providing footwear for all the family. We pride ourselves on excellent customer service, superb product knowledge and a vast range of products from fashion boots and shoes to extra wide fittings. We have recently opened our online shop selling a wide range of products such as Gabor, HB, Pedro Miralles, Dubarry and Timberland to name a few. We offer free postage on all online orders and a click and collect option if you are local to the area. We also write a blog all about fashion footwear trends, buying trips, brand information and the goings on at our little shop.

Advertiser: Beky Lou

My name is Beky and I started BekyLou in late September of this year; I've had an overwhelming response and it's become such a hug part of my life. BekyLou is a beauty,fashion and lifestyle blog in which I share all of my beauty/fashion loves and lusts with you all, review products and also mix in some personal lifestyle posts such as 'My Journey with Anxiety and Depression', which has been my most viewed and most personal post to date. I'd love it if you could take a peep over via my links below and follow - I'm aiming for 300 bloglovin followers by the end of January! 

 Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram |  Blog Lovin

Advertiser: Miss LJ Beauty

Hay everyone, 

How are you today? My wee blog contains a bit of everything but beauty is my passion. I am getting married in June so expect a few post on that. As with a wedding coming up I'm on a fitness and weight loss kick ATM.  I am currently running a series called inspirational people on Sunday to give us all a boost that dreams can come true! 


 Blog | Twitter | Instagram |  Blog Lovin

Advertiser: Polkadella

Hello Daniella here the ultra violet haired miss behind Polkadella. I enjoy sharing my latest buys, pretty things & my very own thoughts. Bargain is my favourite word and BYGOF is my favourite sentence. Come over say hey & enjoy some rambles

Advertiser: Lulabelle Loves

Hi everyone, my blog is and I blog daily about my LOVE of beauty products. I am training to be a makeup artist and I definitely have a beauty product addiction! If you like to read about up to date beauty trends then come over and have a look. I blog about what I get up to from various events to internships; I also like to throw in some fashion & lifestyle posts too... Over the next couple of months I have some exciting adventures so be sure to have a look! Bye xx

 Blog | Blog LovinTwitter |  Instagram 

Advertiser: Lily Ann Loves

Lily Ann Loves was created as part of my university module. I’ve always loved reading blogs so I loved having the opportunity to start my own small space on the internet. Lily Ann Loves focuses mainly around make up and beauty but also with posts about everything I, Lily Ann, loves. Hence the name!

Although Lily Ann Loves is in the very early stages of its life it has had so many wonderful achievements already including achieving Benefit Cosmetics Blogger of the month. Lily Ann Loves is now stemming into the world of Youtube so keep your eyes on my channel. Happy reading!

Advertiser: Topdraw Fashion

Hello, I am Anna-Maria the writer of Topdraw Fashion. I believe fashion, beauty and fitness alls rom together and this is what my blog is all about. I love bringing you guys fashion tips, amazing beauty finds and fitness tips and tricks. I post every other day, and sometimes more if i can and along with this i have just started a youtube channel. At the end of every week I do a ‘Deal of the Week’ post where I find 5 of the best deals for you and where to find them. Hope you stop by and follow my journey here.

 Blog | Blog Lovin | Twitter | Instagram

Advertiser: Athina's Boutique

Here at Athina's Boutique we believe every girl should look and feel fabulous at all times no matter what they are wearing.  We love all things fashion and beauty here be it the clothes we wear or the accessories which accompany them, and this is our way as woman to express ourselves. 

All our products here are handpicked for you, we take our time and pick items that we believe are you will enjoy and like the most.  We share our expression of fashion through our Instagram page and give the credit to those who pieces they are. 

 Website | Twitter 

Advertiser: Beauty Queen UK

Hey guys, my name is Rachel and I blog over at and I love all things Beauty with the odd handbag, shoe and cat thrown in. Whether it is a new cream, lotion, perfume or body wash not to mention nail polish, mascara or blusher then I want to try it. I love to interact with people who read my blog and you can do that in many different ways shown below.  So please do drop me a line, come and say hello or if you want to contact me personally my email is - I love to talk!

Blog | Twitter |  Blog Lovin | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest | Networked Blogs

Advertiser: Beauty King UK

Hi there, I'm Stephen and I blog over at  On the wrong side of 35, male and obsessed with trying to reverse the signs of old age while smelling delightful. You can expect  to find lots of reviews on aftershaves from my ever expanding collection, my thoughts on differing hair products, shampoos, shower gels, clothes, food and anything which takes my fancy. 

If you want to know anything just contact me, all my details can be found below

Advertiser: Scottish Stef's Nails

Hey everyone!I'm Stef from and I am really excited to be featured in Kimberley's post! My blog documents my polish discoveries including swatches and reviews of polishes and nail products. I also post about easy nail art designs that I would like to think that everyone can have a go at. The nail art designs I write about are usually quite expressive rather than precise and intricate so you don't have to worry about whether your nails looks perfect. I love a good beauty/fashion tag post too! Hopefully you will be able to find inspiration from some of the polishes in my blog if you are ever feeling bored with your nails. I love interacting with all the lovely bloggers out there so feel free to leave me a comment or tweet me anytime!

Advertiser: Two Little Owls

We are Chloe and Annie and we started our duo blog based on a shared love of make up, fashion and all things beautiful. We both review and share (our often differing opinions) on each post, so unlike other blogs you get two reviews in one! We also post funny pictures/videos of our dogs/cats, what more could you want?! 

 Blog | Blog Lovin | Twitter | Instagram

Advertiser: Lazy Days Beauty

Hi, I’m Jaq from I write the kind of posts that I like to read so there are plenty of reviews of high street brands with some high end thrown in, hauls, monthly empties/favourites, beauty box contents and the occasional giveaway. I haven’t had any training in beauty or make up – I’m just a normal girl that spends too much money in Superdrug with too many Advantage Card points to publicly reveal! I’m addicted to nude lips, can’t apply eyeliner to save my life and if I ever find my holy grail foundation it will be a miracle!

Advertiser: The Cleanser Beauty Blog

Hello hello! My name is Ila and I am a Make-Up Artist and Beauty blogger.

I have started The Cleanser beauty blog in May 2013 with the idea of creating a little space for beauty lovers, a place where readers feel free to share opinions and discuss ideas about beauty products, with a special attention to the natural and organic ones. 

I love trying new beauty products but most I love talking about them with fellows bloggers and readers who share the same passion for make-up and skincare!

So don't wait any longer, come and say "Hi" to The Cleanser Beauty Blog :) Ila x

Advertiser: Samelia's World

SAMELIA's WORLD shares with you the Adventures of SAMELIA's personal life as the working, mother of Terrell Owens youngest son Atlin... And the progression of her professional career as a celebrity skin care, makeup artist & men's grooming expert. In a unique way showcasing how the fashion, sports, music and entertainment industries, intersect and MOST of importantly, how they All contain elements of BEAUTY!

 Blog | Twitter | You Tube

Advertiser: Rhianna Philips

Specialising in texturised digital print that runs along the continuous theme of Organic, Synthetic. Rianna finds inspiration all around her but mostly whilst traveling whether in another country or within the U.K. Landmarks spotted in London, New York, Malta, The Dominican Republic and Australia are amongst some of the destinations captured and fused between layers of print and pattern.

 If you would like to advertise with Kimberley's Beauty Blog the details can be found here

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Saturday, 28 June 2014

Tag | The Summer Tag

The Summer Tag
Today I spotted this tag on Beauty Queen UK and as I enjoyed reading it I thought I would also take part. The tag was created by the lovely Georgina over at Makeup-Pixi3 and it is open for everyone to take part.

If you decide to do this tag, there are one or two stipulations which are:

"Feel free to consider yourself tagged as well, IF you do it, please remember to credit me as the source of the tag, and feel free to use the image above too.  Either tweet me or (ideally) leave a comment with your post URL of the tag, and I'll add it to the bottom of this post so others can find all the summer tag posts :)  Lets get on with the questions"

1.  What's your favourite thing about Summer?
I love the Summer because the weather improves and along with it everyone's mood. I love to see the sun shining bright and as I'm a sun worshipper I enjoy the heat too. Nature is also at it's peak as the flowers are blooming bright, the birds singing load and more animals seem to be out and about. I also really enjoy swapping my snuggly Winter clothes for my pretty skirts and dresses which are often more colourful and going to Summer BBQ's, picnics and meet ups with friends.

2.  Do you have a favourite Summer drink?
The drink that always reminds me of Summer is Pimms. This is a cool freshing drink mixed with fruit, lemonade and ice which is perfect for this time of year. 

During Summer I also tend to drink more fruit juices but I have no idea why. My favourites are orange, cherry, apple and lychee.

3.  Is there a location you like to go to each Summer?
I love going to the beach during the Summer because you can enjoy the sun and the heat but you also have the gentle sea breeze which makes it less intense. I enjoy going there with my family and we often take my dog along too. It's a really lovely day out.

4.  Favourite makeup look for Summer?
I like to keep my Summer makeup light and fresh so I tend to use a BB cream or light foundation such as Nars Sheer Glow of Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua. I always wear a pale pink blush and highlighter and usually keep my eye make-up to the minimum leaning more towards lighter shades during the day and maybe slightly more smokey in the evening. As for lips I either go for baby pink like MAC Creme Cup or a deeper, richer pigment like MAC Girl About Town which is a stunning bright pink.

5.  Dresses or skirts?
Both.  I actually tend to wear dresses and skirts all year around particularly when it comes to work because it's easier. You can just select a simple dress from your wardrobe and team it with some accessories yet it looks like you've made a lot more effort with your outfit.

In Summer I also prefer wearing dressers or skirts because they are cooler and more feminine. I have a few maxi dresses in my wardrobe which I love but I'm yet to actually wear those.. I can't get used to them being so long (because I'm short) but I really like the look of them on other people. I'm going to try and find a way to style them this Summer, though!

6.  Sandals or ballet pumps?
I prefer sandals because they keep my feet cool and they look so pretty and delicate. I've got quite a few in my collection and I love that they are so easily available in Summer. You can go somewhere like Selfridges and spend a lot on a designer pair or pick up an equally as beautifully sandal from Primark.

7.  Do you prefer to wear your hair up or down for Summer?
No matter what time of year I prefer to have my hair down but on the odd occasion, I suppose around once a week I will wear it up. For me, it doesn't make a difference what season it is unless I'm on holiday in which case I will always wear my hair up to prevent getting bad tan lines.

8.  Deep smokey eyes or bold lips?
I tend to avoid deep smokey eyes in Summer because I prefer a fresher less made up look although I will do a more subtle smokey eye in the evening. I do, however, wear bold lips, as mentioned above although I won't always wear these.

9.  Favourite perfume for Summer?
This is tough because there are so many scents I love at the moment so I'm going to name a few. For day time I have been loving Mia by Ted Baker and Moment de Bonheur by Yves Rocher because they are light, fresh and girly. For the evening I like to switch between Viva La Juicy by Juicy Couture and Midnight Rain by La Prairie although there are also several others I enjoy to wear.

10.  Last but not least, favourite music for Summer?
I always find questions about music difficult to answer because I have such a large taste in music. There isn't a particular band or artist that I really like to listen to, it really is a large mixture of songs! Some of my favourites are Ellie Goulding - How Long Will I Love You, One Direction - Best Song Ever, Emeli Sande, Paloma Faith and more.

What do you think of this tag? If you take part please leave your link below so I can have a read.
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Friday, 27 June 2014

Review | Kimberley Wilson Necklace

Kimberley Wilson Jewellery Kimberley Wilson Jewellery Kimberley Wilson Jewellery

Hello Everyone, I hope you're all having a good morning. Mine is going well but I'm crazy busy as always! My team at work is quickly growing and within the last four months I've gone from having one person in my team to 14 and counting. It's a really great opportunity and I'm really loving it but I haven't quite got my head around the fact I've gone from being a graduate trainee Business Analyst to a fully fledged Business Analyst to a manager within 3.5 years... it's crazy!

Anyway onto today's post...

I absolutely love wearing jewellery and the latest edition to my collection is a beautiful handmade piece from a small company named Kimberley Wilson Jewellery. Besides being biased towards the name (hehe) I love to support small companies because not only do I think it is amazing how people follow their dreams and set them up I also love finding unique pieces I know my friends would never have.

Kimberley Wilson started creating jewellery as a hobby but it soon expanded into something bigger when she saw her bead collection was growing and friends and family asking her to create bespoke pieces. Her favourite items to make are charm jewellery as they are easy to wear and perfect for all seasons as well as gemstone 

The piece I have is a stunning *Amethyst Gemstone necklace which naturally is a mixture of lilac and purple stones but this necklace has more to it than what first meets the eye. Firstly, the pretty stones are a variety of shapes including delicate hearts and balls which make this necklace even more special and unique. If you look even closer you will notice each of these are cut with a hexagon on the surface which catch the light at different angles... I really love this effect. The stones are also cold due to them being genuine gemstones so when you first wear it they feel really cooling on the skin.

The packaging of this necklace was also stunning when it arrived and makes this necklace or other pieces from this company the perfect gift for friends and family.  The intense purple bag and matching business card worked particularly well with the Amethyst and it is also a really great way to store your jewellery so it doesn't get lost or damaged.

I have really enjoyed wearing this Amethyst necklace and I have had countless comments from family, friends and colleagues about how pretty it is and where I purchased it. It is a great necklace that can be worn all year around particularly during the Spring and Summer months.

If you want to find out more about Kimberley Wilson Jewellery you can check her out on Facebook and Twitter or her website or Etsy Store. I would definitely recommend it. Kimberley is a lovely girl and creates really pretty jewellery.

What do you think of this Amethyst necklace?
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