Tag Archives: lifestyle blog

Beauty Review: Top five Birchbox Picks

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I only joined Birchbox a few months ago, having always told myself it was too indulgent… but curiosity got the better of me and I’m now 5 boxes in. For those of you that don’t know, Birchbox delivers a monthly box of beauty goodies to your door, including a mix of sample size (and occasionally full-size) well-known, exclusive and cult brands. This means that you get to try lots of products to see what really suits you before buying the full-size versions – and it’s also great because it introduces you to brands and products you’ve never heard of. Here are my top 5 recommendations from this year’s Birchboxes:
Continue reading Beauty Review: Top five Birchbox Picks

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Simple Ikebana display

I’ve been following Sansei Life for a few months now and I often visit to explore her blog and chill out for a few minutes with her beautifully simple and peaceful posts. In her own words: “Sansei Life! A blog exploring and learning about the Asian community in Denver. When I was much younger I tried a new Japanese restaurant in Arvada called Namiko’s for a sushi snack. It was very good. I got into a conversation with Yuri the owner and she ended up offering me a part time job on weekends. I spent most of the first evening running to Yuri asking her what the various dishes were and what was in them and what they tasted like. In exasperation Yuri asked me if I was Japanese! She could not understand how a Japanese did not know simple restaurant fare.That is when I really understood that I was a Sansei out of touch with my culture. I am ready to experience and learn about today’s Asian culture”.

Ikebana (生け花, “living flowers”) is the Japanese art of flower arrangement, More than simply putting flowers in a container, ikebana is a disciplined art form in which nature and humanity are brought together. Ikebana often emphasizes other areas of the plant, such as its stems and leaves, and draws emphasis toward shape, line, form. Another aspect present in ikebana is its employment of minimalism. That is, an arrangement may consist of only a minimal number of blooms interspersed among stalks and leaves. The spiritual aspect of ikebana is considered very important to its practitioners. Silence is a must during practices of ikebana. It is a time to appreciate things in nature that people often overlook because of their busy lives (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ikebana).

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Ikebana, the art of observing nature.

Here is an ikebana display from my heart.

Simple ivy allowed to grow on its own path.  At one with nature, it is nature.

Reaching out on its own journey.

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A short history of The humble espadrille

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Espadrilles are once again “having a moment” – or should that be, they’ve been “having a moment” every summer for so many years that they’ve now made the leap into must-have summer staple. I’ve just ordered this pair from ASOS (yippee!) which I hope will cover me for a wedding, work and my summer holiday:

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Here’s a short history lesson on these humble rope and canvas shoes, followed by some summer shoe shopping inspo (another yippee!). The Archaeological museum of Granada holds the earliest known pair of espadrilles – estimated to be a staggering 4,000 years old, which were found with human remains inside the “cueva de los murielagos” (the bat-cave).

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A 4,000 year old fashion, still going strong. I’ll take mine from ASOS though, thanks.

Espadrilles were also commonly used in the Pyrenees as peasant footwear dating back as far as the 14th century. They first “had a moment” fashion-wise during the 19th Century in the French Pyrenean city of Mauléon, where they were apparently on-trend for soldiers and priests.

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Espadrilles next had a fashion resurgence in the USA in the 1940s, partly due to their appearance on the feet of Lauren Bacall’s stylish character Nora Temple in Key Largo.

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In 1970, Yves Saint Laurent  invented the wedge espadrille and women worldwide embraced the concept of a shoe that was comfortable and stylish, glamorous and casual.

Espadrille popularity skyrocketed again in the 1980s, thanks to Sonny Crockett (played by Don Johnson) in Miami Vice. 

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In SS2013, espadrilles even got the Chanel seal of approval with this seriously covetable pair:

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Today, the humble espadrille can take you from work to the supermarket and from the beach to dinner. Here are my top summer picks:

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Michael Kors $99
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Banana Republic $98
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H&M £12
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Kurt Geiger £150

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Monsoon £59
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ASOS £15
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Love Moschino £74
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Soludos £48

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7 inspiring things that happened this week

1. I’ve been nominated for the “Encouraging Thunder” blog award! Thank you so much to Encouraging Life for this lovely award. You know how sometimes you’re feeling slightly down about your blog, doubting yourself, not feeling inspired? Well I sometimes feel like that anyway – I sure was feeling it this week and then I got this award, which has made me feel inspired again 🙂

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2. Our house purchase fell through this week. I know, that doesn’t sound inspiring! But instead of crumbling, we’ve managed to approach it with a zen-like calm (mostly), taking comfort from the knowledge that it wasn’t meant to be – to quote my favourite saying, “What’s for you will not go by you”. Our dream house is out there somewhere… Continue reading 7 inspiring things that happened this week

go faux and share some snake love

There are nearly 3,000 species of snake in the world. Only around 375 of these are venomous, and only a small proportion of these are potentially harmful to humans. In the UK, we have adder, grass snake and the rare smooth snake, all of which are legally protected (as are their lizard friends). My favourite is the lovely slow worm – actually not a worm or a snake but a legless lizard (insert obvious joke here). These little cuties are only 50cm long and are have lovely smooth skin (for legal and safety reasons reptiles should only be handled by experts, obv!). Continue reading go faux and share some snake love

Vintage Medicine Cabinet Upcycle

Hello! Today I finally finished upcycling my vintage 1960’s medicine cabinet! Did I need an extremely heavy 1960’s medicine cabinet in grubby condition? Err.. probably not. Did I want it? Yes. Can I imagine how cool, awesome and useful it might be once I upcycle it (if I don’t mess it up)? Hell yeah. Challenge accepted. Continue reading Vintage Medicine Cabinet Upcycle

Bold is Beautiful: Look Good, Do Good AND a Benefit Freebie?!

Regular readers will know how much I love Benefit cosmetics (if not, check out my post Friends with Benefit) – so imagine how happy I was when I heard about the campaign they’re running for the whole of May. If you live in the UK, USA, France or Australia, head to a Benefit Brow Bar for a Brow Wax in May 2015 and 100% of Benefit’s profits from the treatment will go to charities supporting women and girls, an issue close to my heart. As a thank you you’ll also receive a free, full sized Gimme Brow volumising fibre gel!

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Continue reading Bold is Beautiful: Look Good, Do Good AND a Benefit Freebie?!

Lazy Sunday Side Table Upcycle

Hello! You know when you want to do something useful and creative but you have that lazy Sunday feeling? Here’a an easy 20 minute project to make something pretty with minimal effort.

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I bought this little folding mid-century modern side table at a charity furniture store in Byker, Newcastle (note to British readers – yes, that Byker). At £4, it was a bargain, and I thought it would come in handy for occasional use.

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This morning I thought it could use a little makeover, but nothing which would detract from it’s simplicity and clean lines. Then I remembered I still had a small amount of paint left over from my copper spray paint superhero post, so I decided to paint the bottom third of the legs as if they had been dipped in copper (Rustoleum Painters Touch in copper, £4.99).

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I’ve been nominated for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers award!

Thank you so much to Orbb’s Fashion for the nomination, awesome, so grateful! (and sorry it took me a while to do this post). Please check out her lovely fashion blog, which features themed picks across a range of clothing stores, often focussing on affordable ranges for those of us who might be a bit skint! My current favourite is Youthful Exuberance – loving the blue suede boots and heart shaped pastel sunglasses!

sisterhood1 Continue reading I’ve been nominated for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers award!

Coconut Oil Skin Saviour

I’ve been hearing about the benefits of coconut oil for a while now, but in true Eclectic Feel fashion, hearing about how good things are frequently stirs up a natural resistance to trying them. Aah, teenage rebellion, alive and kicking and still happy to cut my nose off to spite my face.

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I’ve suffered from mild psoriaisis on and off for most of my life, but until recently it’s been pretty much under control. A hideous bout of work-related stress, an eyeball-dessicating office environment as hot and dry as a well-burnt pop tart, and the vitamin D drought that is the British winter have recently combined in a bad flare up. There is no cure for psoriaisis, and the only really effective treatment involves applying a topical cream which feels akin to sulphuric acid and renders me to tears and the kind of contorted postures last seen in Pompeii. Continue reading Coconut Oil Skin Saviour