Lily loves Lola


A little bit of sun on my skin is all it takes to lift my mood and make me feel more energetic and enthusiastic for making plans out and about. Last week I drove over to my parents house and, while I was waiting for them to come home from work, took a few photos of the cute ponies who live just across from their garden. They were happy to pose for a few photos (probably in the hopes I had a carrot handy - next time, promise!)

It feels nice to leave the house without a winter coat on with a cardi or jacket in its place, and Lily and Lola definitely prefer the brighter weather. Walking them when it's raining, cold, snowing or windy is basically impossible!

I hope you're all enjoying the slight change in weather. Let's hope we've seen the last of the damn snow!

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ASOS peter pan collar dress.

I have a penchant for pretty dresses and I am partial to a peter pan collar so combine the two and I'm all over it! This particular ASOS swing dress which landed on my doorstep recently, in navy blue with a white peter pan collar, is a snip at just £22. (Psst, they do a long sleeved version of it too which I have my eye on too).

I was recently asked to trial the Style in View website which, after spending a rather long stretch of time on, I decided is a genius idea. It's one website which houses a multitude of brands under one roof, where you can search by dresses (like I did) or coats or whatever it is you're after, or you can search by trend such as "monochrome". The search results can be filtered by price, size, colour etc, and if you see something you like a quick click will take you to the external site where you can complete your order.

ASOS swing dress c/o Style in View

With brands such as Dorothy Perkins (one of my favourites), ASOS, Oasis, Warehouse and French Connection it's a great place to browse for purchases, and potentially find new brands or see garments you wouldn't normally spot. For example, I rarely look in Oasis or Warehouse and only look on their websites occasionally, but after a browse on Style in View I found some really lovely things from both of these stores. Oasis in particular is somewhere that does dresses and smart work clothes, things I'm always on the hunt for, but perhaps is a place I have overlooked in the past.

My only criticism of the website is that when searching by brand, instead of searching by garment, there is currently no option to "view all" which is something I personally would like to be able to do.

Style in View kindly offered to send me an item of my choice in return for sharing my honest thoughts on their website with you. The ASOS dress I picked instantly took my fancy as it's a great colour, good length and I couldn't resist the peter pan collar.

I have found the quality on ASOS to be a little hit and miss in the past but the quality of this dress is lovely. It's a soft cotton and hides a multitude of sins due to the shape of the dress, however I felt it looked better on me with the belt I added to cinch the waist in.

It's not too short, something that bugs me with a lot of nice dresses I see, which means it would be a good option for work if your dress code is smart/casual but for me I'll be wearing it on a weekend with tights or leggings and a cardi or jacket over the top.

Do let me know your thoughts on Style in View and if you agree that it's a really good idea!

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Illamasqua: Scarce polish.

I'm not normally a nail polish kind of girl, especially since my trusty Sally Hansen Teflon Tuff top coat dried up, as I find it tricky to make application look neat and I'm too impatient to wait for it to dry, but I bought a couple of bottles recently as I couldn't resist the pretty shades. One bottle I got from ASOS was an Illamasqua speckled polish, in the colour Scarce, after seeing it round the blogosphere and really liking it, and a pretty pale pink shade by Essie called Mademoiselle.

I decided to have speckled "Mini Egg" nails over the Bank Holiday weekend and hoped one coat would cut the mustard as, when it comes to nail painting, I'm a slap-dash kind of girl.

I think two coats would have looked much better and given a better "pop" of colour but I think one coat gives a nice subtle look. Using a base coat and top coat meant that removal was really quick and didn't leave any flecks of polish behind, which I have found with similar products especially glittery polishes.

At  £14.50 each these polishes aren't cheap but I'm happy to have one in my collection.

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Bank Holiday in photos.

This Bank Holiday: 
  • Jonathan turned 30 and to celebrate we played crazy golf and had dinner with his family.
    • I discovered I was reasonably good at crazy golf. 
    • I decided after this post and your comments and tweets that I will definitely get my hair chopped off soon and have a consultation for the colour change.
      • We had dinner with friends at a local restaurant, ate until we were stuffed then went home to play Mouse Trap.
      • I tried to get to grips with my camera and actually took a photo I was pleased with *hallelulah!*
      • I made an epic salad which was probably the only greenery I ate in all 4 days.
        • the sun made an appearance which made up for losing an hour of sleep.
        • Jonathan and I watched episodes of The Walking Dead behind our hands and finished series two.
        • I wore my new peplum jumper from Next and looked slightly pregnant.
        • I ate chocolate until I felt sick.
          • I painted my nails to look like Mini Eggs.
          • I took regular naps.

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          March favourites: Hemp Hand Protector & Hemp Hand Oil (The Body Shop).

          My hands really suffer in the cold weather, this year more than most with the extended bad weather we've been having. I get dry patches between my fingers that can be painful and look unsightly but this year I also developed a large patch of eczema on one of my hands which left me feeling very self conscious.

          A firm favourite of mine in terms of hand cream is Soap & Glory's Hand Food which I keep several tubes of dotted around; one in the kitchen, one in my handbag and one on my bedside table. But it hasn't been cutting the mustard with my dry skin recently.

          Just over a week ago I passed The Body Shop and thought they may have a solution for me so I asked one of the Sales Assistants for their recommendation. She took me straight to the Hemp stand and explained that although the products don't smell great they're really good for very dry skin and they have had some amazing feedback from customers claiming it has helped their eczema and other skin complaints.

          That was all I needed to hear! I picked up a 100ml tube of the Hemp hand protector and a 15ml bottle of Hemp Hand Oil Treatment. At £10.00 and £7.00 they're not the cheapest items on the market but I thought they would be worth every penny if they helped my skin. The Body Shop had a lot of offers in-store that day but unfortunately no "3 for 2" offers on skincare (only facial skincare) otherwise I would have chosen a third item for free, but that's definitely something I will look out for in the future.

          These products have worked wonders for my hands and I am so pleased and impressed with the results they have produced in a small space of time.

          I have been applying the hand cream as I would normally, at regular intervals throughout the day after washing my hands (particularly after using a hand-dryer which really drys them out). The smell isn't unpleasant in my opinion, however it's no Hand Food and doesn't smell like marshmallows or flowers or fluffy puppies.

          I have been using the oil on my patch of eczema and between my fingers every evening whilst watching tv, gently massaging it into the affected areas. I have also been applying another coat just before bed. It is oily but not really greasy, but you do need to be careful not to touch your hair or anything that you don't want the oil to transfer to. Saying that though, it does eventually sink in and gives the skin a nice protective barrier.

          After just over a week of usage the eczema on my hand has pretty much disappeared. Had I known how effective these products would be I'd have taken a before and after photo but you'll just have to take my word for it.

          The dry patches between my fingers have dramatically reduced and continue to improve as I carry on using the hand cream on a daily basis. 

          To summarise: I am so impressed with these products and will definitely repurchase them, as well as having a look into the other products in the Hemp range. They've worked absolute wonders for me! I would highly recommend them for dry skin and skin complaints such as eczema. The smell isn't super sweet or particularly nice but it's not unpleasant by any means. Top marks!

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