BTS 'War of Hormone' Inspired OOTD

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Happy beginning of 'blogtober' I'm going to really try my hardest to blog everyday during the month of October... let's see how long it takes me to fail. Whilst things are going to start getting a lot spookier very soon, I thought I'd start things off with an outfit look as it's been a long time since I've posted one.

If you read my most recent favourites post then you will know that at the moment I am absolutely obsessed with K-pop group BTS. When I say obsessed I'm not exaggerating, I'm really obsessed. I've watched all of their music videos and backstage videos. One of the music videos I'm really obsessed with is 'War of Hormone,' I love the colouring of the video, I love the dance, I love that they all look insanely hot (such a creep), but mostly I love the styling - so much pinstripes. 












 This particular outfit is inspired by Rap Monster's outfit in the music video; a pin stripe two piece with a slouchy white t-shirt layered underneath, paired with some converse. 







 I love this outfit because it is so versatile, it can be dressed up or be worn more casually as worn here. 







This look was shot in Notting Hill, an area that I'd never really explored before but that has the most beautiful, vibrant backdrops including the classic pastel houses featured by many a blogger. These photos were shot by the fabulous Yossy from With Love Yossy who is not only a fantastic photographer, but also an amazing blogger.

This was my first ever actual proper shoot, so apologies if I look super awkward, it was a bit of a step outside my comfort zone, but so much fun and hopefully this will give me the confidence to post a lot more fashion content on this blog.

Speak Soon
Char xx 
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DIY Totoro Cake

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Baking is one of my favourite things to do, but is unfortunately something I don't have that much time for. I recently had the excuse to don my pinny and bake a cake for my sisters birthday. I always try to make her a creative cake, honing in on all her favourite things; her last 3 cakes have consisted of Baby Groot Cupcakes, an Olaf Cake & Rapunzel's Castle, respectively. She is currently a huge fan of all things Studio Ghibli, so I opted to make her a cake depicting everyones favourite guy: Totoro. 

This recipe is a lot easier to create than it looks, so if you are no Mary Berry don't worry as all hope is not lost.

Ingredients


For the Cake.

Butter // 12oz
Caster Sugar // 12oz
Self Raising Flour // 12oz
Golden Syrup // 3oz
Eggs // 6 
Vanilla Extract // 2tsps
Milk // if required


For the Icing & Decoration.

Butter
Icing Sugar 
(I've not added measurements as I just eyeballed it until it seemed the right consistency.)
White Chocolate Buttons
Black Icing
Black Food Colouring
Cocoa Powder (optional)

Method. 

Pre heat the oven to 150 degrees celsius (fan oven)

Cream together the butter, sugar, vanilla essence & golden syrup
Beat the eggs in a bowl
Sieve the flour & add the eggs slowly to the mixture, folding gently in.
Add milk if it's required
Pour the mixture into two circular cake tins and spread the mixture evenly.


Bake the cake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.
Allow the cake to cool and then carve the cake into the desired shape.

To make the icing:

Mix icing sugar & butter to create the icing.
Add black food colouring to create Totoro's grey colour.
Use the white icing for his tummy.
Add White chocolate buttons (or melted white chocolate) for his eyes.
Use black icing for the other details and to create optional soot sprites to use as decoration.

Eat & enjoy.



I'm very happy with how this cake turned out, my sister was absolutely over the moon when she received it. It was almost too cute to eat (almost.)

Would you give this recipe a go?
What's your favourite thing to bake?

Speak Soon
Char xx

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Quirky Gift Ideas // feat. Uncommon Goods.

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Now, it's no secret that I am a sucker for all things quirky and that's no exception when it comes to giving gifts. I absolutely adore giving people presents, and find it so satisfying to see peoples reactions to unexpected gifts. Saying that, it can often be difficult to come up with original gift ideas for people and with the dreaded c-word (Christmas) every so quickly approaching, it's nearly getting to that time to use our imaginations to come up with some decent gift ideas. Or forever be known as the person who gave the shit present. 

Uncommon Goods offer a huge range of different gifts for every occasion imaginable; birthdays, anniversaries, you name it - it's like an Aladdin's cave of gift ideas. All of which have something slightly different to them that you wouldn't necessarily find in other gift stores, hence the name. They have something for every interest you could think of, so theres something for the kids in your life, the foodies, the wine connoisseurs (or those that think they are) - the options are endless.

We all know that I absolutely adore travel, and Uncommon Goods have so many items on offer for any travel fanatic, which go beyond the typical scratch maps (although they do have them too and there is nothing wrong with a good scratch map.) It's so refreshing to see so many different products and ideas. They range from practical items to take travelling to quirky travel themed products, so there really is something for everyone.



1. Travel Cord Roll // £14.74

'Easily pack your electronics cords and other knick knacks with this stylish travel roll.'

2. Scratch Travel Journal // £18.42

'The compact journal allows the jet setter to plan their trip and record every experience along the way.'

3. Wanderlust Cross Stitch Map // £25.79

'Cross seas and stitches with this charming DIY embroidery map wall art.' 

4. Colourful Koi Travel Laundry Bag // £10.32

'Keep your laundry on the other side of the pond--er, suitcase -- during your next excursion.'

5. Little Sun Solar Lamp // £18.42

'Hold the power of the sun in the palm of your hand with this pocket-sized solar-powered lamp.'

6. Neighborwoods Map Coasters // £26.53

'Celebrate your favourite locale with these cedar coasters that are etched with snippets of your urban grid.'

7. Watercolour World Map // £25.79

8. Game Night in a Can // £18.42

'This unique set of 30 games is the jazz your next car trip or family night in needs.'

9. Anti-Theft Backpack // £69.97

'This backpack uses clever design to defy pickpockets on your daily commute.'

If you are looking to step away from the traditional scratch map for your travel loving friend, (because let's face it, they probably already have one) why not try a scratch travel journal or a cross stitch map? The same fun with some added creativity. I am especially obsessed with the Koi travel laundry bag, I know from first hand experience that when you are on the other side of the world it's very difficult to keep your dirty clothes from contaminating your clean clothes, so it's definitely a good idea to keep your dirty clothes separate in some sort of bag - my go to was a skanky supermarket carrier bag, but that's no fun. This jazzy laundry bag is not only extremely practical, but it's also a bit of fun, and let's face it you won't lose it in your bag.

If you've been paying attention to this blog then you will know that I am a bit of a geek and I love imparting that geekiness onto others with some niche gifts every now and then, and there is definitely plenty of them to go around.



1. Kisa Cat Candle // £25.06

'These geometric candles carry with them a dark secret that can only be revealed as their wax melts away...'

2. Personalised Record Doormat // £25.79

'Make your family go platinum with this LP-inspired doormat, personalised with your name on the record label.'

3.  Custom Pet Pillows  // £106.85

'Whether it's a kitty, a canine, or a canary, honour your pet with a personalised pillow in their likeness.

4. Birthstone Wishing Balls // £23.58

'Capture a single wish, accomplishment, or meditation every week throughout the year inside this work of art.'

5.  Break the Pinata Bank // £14.74

'This hand-painted porcelain bank looks like a classic burro piñata.' 

6. 60 Hour Candle // £13.26 - 22.11

'This buzzworthy, coiled beeswax candle is designed to burn longer than traditional shapes.'

7. Sea Spell Doormat // £23.58

' A cast of seafaring creatures welcome you home or wishes you well on your way.'

8. Moon Clock // £29.48

'Sleep under the stars from the comfort of your bed with this glow-in-the-dark lunar clock.'

9. Agate Night Lights // £25.06

'lend natural illumination with these gorgeous agate night lights, showcasing vibrant colours and patterns.'

I am so freaking obsessed with this geometric Kisa cat candle, not only is it a cute candle but it also holds a surprise underneath, burning away to reveal the cats skeleton to create a cool yet slightly creepy ornament. My favourite item is the Sea spell doormat, I absolutely adore the colours and think it would be the perfect gift for any mermaid lover, I know there's plenty of us out there (I'm actually thinking of picking one of these up for myself.)

Uncommon Goods aims to celebrate the artists and their creations by telling the story behind the products by working with emerging up and coming designers. Taking inspiration from and collaborating with low income countries and trying to breach the gap between the creation of the product and the destination of the consumer. Inspiration for this company was taken from seeing unique handmade goods and the public demand for beautiful design. Looking to take this one step further Uncommon Goods merges the work of local artists and makes it accessible to consumers all around the world, making the unique products available worldwide.

The really amazing thing about this company is that they aim to be as sustainable as possible by using recycled materials, and environmentally friendlier packaging, to reduce their carbon footprint. They also are involved in charity work with non-profit organisations and have created a programme that enables customers to choose a partner for them to donate $1 with every order. I think it's so important for businesses to give back to the community and also do their bit in preventing the environmental damage to the planet. It's great to see businesses supporting smaller artists and working in a sustainable manner, it's also nice to know that the gifts you give are not only given with love, but also created with love.

I would thoroughly reccommend checking out Uncommon Goods if you are looking to break the mould on gift giving and truly surprise someone with a completely unique gift.

What are your thoughts on the products I've mentioned?
What's your favourite gift giving website?

*This post has been written in collaboration with Uncommon Goods, but all opinions are my own and all products suggested have been picked by myself.

Speak Soon
Char xx

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June Favourites

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Here we are with another ridiculously late monthly favourites... one day I'll get better at this, I promise. Until then here is a bunch of things that I was loving during the month of June.

The first couple of items are both skincare related. As June marked the beginning of summer I desperately wanted to try and get my act together and take better care of my skin, both on my face and body.

I started using the Neutrogena Visibly Clear Pink Grapefruit Facial Wash in the mornings to help refresh my skin and help wake me up. I really like this product because it actually feel like it works. The little beads in the face wash really makes it feel like its getting deep into your skin and properly getting all the dirt out. It's one of those skincare products that leaves your skin feeling fresh and kind of tingling after you use it. A little really goes a long way with this product which is great because it means it's long lasting, it's also extremely cost effective so it won't break the bank when it does come to replacing it. I love when high street skincare product results match those of high end products. The scent of this is Pink Grapefruit so I'm sure you can imagine how fantastic it smells, but it is not at all overpowering, just the perfect amount of freshness. The face wash itself is also pink which just matches my aesthetic perfectly, although that is not the reason that I purchased it (kind of.)

The next skincare item I've been loving is one for the body and it's Body Shop's Glazed Apple Moisturiser. As you can probably guess from the jazzy packaging, this is one of the Body Shops Christmas products so I don't know how readily available this is year round. I have always been a huge fan of Body Shop's body butters, they are so moisturising and so creamy. The apple smell is absolutely amazing, I could actually just sit and smell it for hours. This product is perfect for summer as it is quick drying, does an amazing job of getting rid of dry skin and is so soothing to freshly shaved legs. I got mine last December, obvs, and I've still got over half left, a little definitely goes a long way. I would 100% recommend trying these body butters, they have so many scents to choose from for whatever takes your fancy.

Did you guys know I'd dyed my hair? I don't really know I've mentioned it enough... jokes, I know I mention it too much. This will be the last time for a while I swear, but I wanted to mention my favourite hair dye brand at the moment. Bleach London has been one of my most trusted hair dye brands over the last couple of years. I really love the variety of colours that they offer and the pastel shades that the dyes deliver. They aren't the most long lasting on their own but when mixed with other dyes they add amazing tones and layers and look really lovely on the hair. I really love that they now offer shampoos and conditioners that contain colour that help top up hair between dyes, which I've not yet found offered with other dyes.

Now onto the random bits

I've been saying that I've wanted to learn a new language for ages, and rather than pick a nice sensible one like French or Spanish I've decided to learn Japanese. I've always been obsessed with Japanese culture and I've always thought the Japanese language sounds amazing & looks so cool. As I'm sure you can imagine it's not the easiest language to learn. I've been using the app Duolingo which is a really good stress free way to go about learning a new language. There are so many different languages to choose from, so whichever takes your pick. It's completely free to use which is good if you're looking to try out a new language without properly committing. There are a bunch of different levels, starting form absolute beginner to advanced so you can make sure you're doing at the right pace for you. It's so easy to do on your commute or during a spare 5 or 10 minutes and I've noticed a vast improvement already.

Last up, we're on to music. I recently stepped out of my comfort zone and into the world of K-pop, after hearing it mentioned so much. As you guys know, I am a massive fan girl so it's safe to say I got quite obsessed and went in quite deep. There are so many different groups that I'm loving and so many songs I'm obsessed with and I'm hopefully going to do a post delving into this more soon. But you know when you gain a new obsession and it's always the first thing that you discovered that becomes your ultimate obsession? Or is that just me? But anyway, my first introduction was (unsurprisingly) through BTS.


Image found on Google.
I am absolutely loving BTS at the moment, they are such a talented group. I absolutely adore their sound I think all their songs are so multilayered and they all are amazing for creating different moods and atmosphere's. I love their mixture of singing and rap, it all flows amazingly well. All their songs are so catchy, like obviously I can't speak Korean but I sing along to their songs, mostly just making noises but it counts, their songs are so catchy and so memorable. It also baffles me how 7 people can be so in sync and be so good at dancing. Their dances were actually one of the first things that drew me to them, the choreography is amazing and I love the concepts behind them. The Blood, Sweat & Tears music video & dance is so aesthetically pleasing to watch, I love the Boy in Luv & War of Hormone dances, both are incredibly cool. As I mentioned, I'm obsessed so obviously I've binge watched loads of their performances, behind the scenes and vlogs and they are all absolutely hilarious, they crack me up and they just seem an all around good group of people. It also helps that they are nice to look at, they are all really attractive, like REALLY attractive. I'm just an all around massive fan at the moment. I would 100% recommend checking them out if you are looking to get into or are intrigued by K-pop, or even if you are just looking for some new music to listen to.

As always it's been a random bunch of things I've been loving, but are you surprised? I'll 100% try to get my next favourites up promptly but you can probably expect it to appear around October...joking...but also probably not.

What are your favourites recently?
Do you have any thoughts on any of these?
Do you have any recommendations for me?

Speak Soon
Char xx
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My tips for coloured hair // dyeing & maintaining.

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I think it's safe to say that when it comes to dyeing my hair, I've been round the block a few times. I've been pretty much every hair colour under the sun and I think that makes me a bit of a hair dye connoisseur. As I'm very much a DIY kind of gal, I've had a lot of practice and developed a few tips and tricks over the years. 

So I thought I would share a few tips to help you if you are looking to dye your hair some jazzy colours or just looking to maintain colour you already have.

Dyeing //

One of my biggest tips for dyeing your hair, especially when dying your hair artificial colours is to always put the dye on dry hair. Most packaging will tell you to use it on damp/towel dried hair, but I find putting it on dry hair allows for a more even coverage and helps the colour to fully saturate into your hair.

Conditioner is your friend. Mixing your dye with conditioner not only means you can get more use out of your dye, it also enables you to mix your own colours to get the exact look you are going for. Also, even though most non-natural hair dyes are just vegetable dyes and aren't actually that damaging, adding conditioner to your dye means that your hair will be in the best possible condition from the get go and will hold you in good stead for when it comes to maintaining the colour.

Ensure the hair is fully coated and has been properly saturated. I always make sure to divide my hair and dye it bit by bit and properly work the dye into my hair using my hands. By rubbing it all in and separating the strands it will prevent a patchy dye job which nobody wants (trust me, I've been there) but will also make the colour last longer because it is properly in the hair follicles. 

Do a bit of research into brands to use, some are much better for keeping colour than others. My go to brands are Bleach London (not the best for keeping colour, but I love the shades,) Schwarzkopf and colour freedom. I've also heard amazing things about Arctic Fox and think I'll be trying them next time. All these brands produce really lovely colours, are really good for mixing and building up colour and are also for the most part quite long lasting.

When it comes to rinsing the colour out, make sure you use cold water, it's not the most comfortable experience but will ensure the colour locks into the hair helping it to last a lot longer. Warm or hot water will pretty much just rinse the majority of the colour out straight away.


Maintaining //

This is going to sound super grubby but the best way to stop your colour fading is to wash it as little as possible. I went from washing my hair 2-3 times a week to 1-2 and have noticed a vast improvement in how often I need to top up the colour. If you can just reduce the amount of times you wash your hair it will be a massive help in maintaning your colour.

When it comes to not washing your hair as much, dry shampoo will become your best friend. It is perfect for helping to keep your hair looking fresh during those in between days. Some brands now offer coloured dry shampoos which are also perfect for hiding those pesky roots for a little bit longer too.

If you can find shampoos and conditioners that are specifically designed to maintain colour, this will also help prevent colour leakage when washing your hair as it will help to keep it locked in a bit more. I recently started using the Bleach London pink shampoo and conditioners which actually contain colour, so help top up your dye with each wash. They aren't dyes so aren't a massive help, but they do enough to keep it looking slightly brighter.


These were just a few of the things I do to keep my hair looking as fresh as possible. Obviously these are all affected by the individual hair quality and colour. Some colours do just stay in your hair better whereas others are just a bit more of a ball ache to maintain. Pink is one of these colours, and is definitely more of a commitment than other hair colours I have been, so that is also something to bear in mind when picking a colour to go.

What's your favourite hair colour?
Do you have any tips for maintaining colour?

Speak Soon
Char xx 

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Black Lipstick FOTD // Not just for Halloween

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It's no secret that my main aesthetic is the whole pastel goth thing, what can I say? pink & black just works. Part of that whole vibe is that I love to experiment with my appearance and push the boat out a bit. I also love to bring elements of Halloween into my everyday look. 

Black lipstick is one of those things that I was scared of for so long, I saw so many fabulous ladies on Instagram rocking it but thought that I'd look a fool as it's such a strong look. I've since found a strong love for black lipstick, I just think it looks really cool. I'll admit that it brings with it a lot of strange looks from people who aren't quite used to it, but who cares? One of the things I struggled with at first when wearing black lipstick was how to stop it looking too 'fancy dress' so that it fitted into day to day life. 

I thought I'd share my wearable black lipstick look to show how easy it is to rock, to show you that it's not a lip colour that you should be scared of. At first I used to do little to no eye makeup when wearing black lipstick because I was worried it would just look like Halloween make up, but upon reflection it didn't work that well, it kind of drained me and made me look a bit dead. Now, I opt for a dark but subtle smokey eye to add a bit of contrast and to take away the attention a little bit, and I definitely prefer how it looks like this.



Obviously the main attraction of the look is the lipstick so I think it's important not to go too bold with the colours as it could look like there's too much going on. I chose a dark brown/black smokey eye but you could try grey, or a copper/brown smokey eye, I think all would suit it. Normally I wear false eyelashes day to day, but my hay fever was playing up when I took these photos so I left them off. False eyelashes are obviously optional, they do make the look all kinds of extra, which I love but I know is not everyone's cup of tea.


FOUNDATION // Rimmel Lasting Finish - 200 Soft Beige
CONCEALER // Collection 200 - Fair
POWDER //  Loreal True Match - Rose Vanilla
BRONZER // Bourjois Bronzing Powder
EYEBROWS // Stila - In the Light Palette
EYESHADOW // Stila - In the Light Palette
EYELINER // Rimmel Exaggerate Liquid Eyeliner
MASCARA // Rimmel Wonder'full
LIP LINER // Rimmel - Black Eyeliner
LIPSTICK // Barry M 

My main tip when applying black lipstick is to use a lip liner, because the colour can bleed quite a bit, and it's definitely not the most subtle colour to have smudged all over your face. I don't own a black lip liner so I just use a black pencil eyeliner which works just as well. 


I love this look so much, it brings out the Morticia Addams goth queen within me, and whilst it's definitely not a typical look I'd wear everyday, it's nice to experiment with something different and mix it up a bit. 

Plus every time I do this look I get 100 times more excited for Halloween...Hurry up October! 

What are your thoughts on black lipstick?
Are you brave enough to give it a go?
What's your favourite makeup look to experiment with?

Speak Soon
Char xx

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This Week #15

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My bad for this post being up late, I've had a pretty busy week and I think over the weekend everything caught up with me and I just needed to chill. 

This week has been pretty productive in terms of blogging, taking photos and general admin. I had a massive spring clean of my bedroom, getting rid of 6 bags of clothes and 4 bags of general tat, and I must say it feels like a weight off my shoulders. As cliche as it sounds, a tidy space does equal a tidy mind. 

Friday and Saturday night were both absolute chill fests, sometimes it's easy to forget how nice it is to stay in and have a solo chill evening. It felt so nice to rest and recuperate. On Sunday I headed up to London for a family BBQ to celebrate my brother and cousin's birthdays. Our family love the booze and of course things escalated a bit. 

I don't really have a massive amount planned for this upcoming week/ weekend apart from work. I might try and get ahead on some outfit posts/photos and get some ideas down for posts -- I've already started thinking about my Halloween/Autumn content, which is probably incredibly sad, but it's my favourite time of year and I want to go all out this time. 

This week will also see my starting a new hobby, as my ballet class is on a 6 week break over the summer I wanted to fill the time with another activity, so one of my friends from work is going to try and teach me guitar. It's been on my list of things I've wanted to learn for years and finally I'm going to commit and actually try and learn. We shall see how I get on, I sense that I may be a lost cause. 

How was your week?
What are your plans for this week/weekend?

Speak Soon
Char xx
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