Friday, 31 May 2013

#HolidayHotPicks: River Island

All items available from www.riverisland.com
MORE SUNSHINEEEEE! Woohoo!

I was delighted to see that the sun was out and in full force when I woke up this morning and I thought I would roll on with my #holidayhotpicks feature, bringing you my favourite summer pieces from the high street!

I have said time and time again that I think River Island has really upped it's game in the style stakes and I find myself liking alot more of their pieces nowadays!

My picks are again all quite beachy themed but my faves out of the above are the fluoro leather sandals, the gold and cream beaded playsuit and the cream check Chanel style boucle jacket.

I literally can't wait to feel the sun on my skin, sea air whipping through my hair and hopefully get a bit of a tan... :o)
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Thursday, 30 May 2013

#HolidayHotPicks: New Look

Holiday Hot Picks: All from www.newlook.co.uk
With just 5 weeks to go until Marbella for me and seemingly every other friend of mine is either currently in an airport awaiting a flight out of the very grey UK.. or counting down the days until it's their turn to jet out of here, I thought I would peruse the shops and present my Holiday Hot Picks to you all!

As Marbs for me will be ALL about being glam (we are on a hen do!) my Hot Picks are probably glitzier than required if you were going somewhere a bit more off the beaten track, but hopefully still nice to look at!

I very rarely spend alot of money on my summer wardrobe as fashions tend to change year on year and let's face it, unless I can make it work in the UK then I think it can be a waste of money to splurge on stuff you might only get a couple of wears out of! My first Holiday Hot Picks spread is from New Look.

Holidays and nights out in Europe normally involve some form of walking, either to the bars or home or to the taxi rank etc so I tend to gravitate towards lower heels than what I would wear at home to avoid the crippled feet sitch when your footsies become hot, sweaty or swollen. New Look gets this right year on year and provides many a bargain shoe that fits the bill - all of the above pairs are under £20.

A pretty beaded bag will always be used during and after a trip away so here are a few embellished treasures that would look amazing. I don't know about you but I tend to be able to go out with less in my bag when I am on holiday as I think I reserve myself to the fact that the hair will probably go a bit frizzy, face a bit shiny and you will probably struggle to remain in the groomed state you were in when you were in the comfort of your air conditioned accommodation...

I have also picked out a jersey maxi dress - great for travelling and during the day, a nice floral dress for evening, a kaftan for jazzing up poolside wear and a beaded crop top, which I personally would pair with a high waisted skirt as the midriff is NOT looking ready to be bared anytime soon!

What's on your holiday shopping list?
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Review: Palmers Coconut Butter


The small amount of sunshine we got over the weekend made me reach for my most summery scented products just incase that was one of the few times I would get to use them this year!

Those of you who have been reading SweetieSal for a while may remember that my absolute favourite smell is coconut, so things like Hawaiian Tropic Suncream, Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess and anything coconut scented normally worms it's merry way into my beauty product stores.

When I was picking up some bits and bobs to take away with me for the wedding over the bank holiday weekend, I spied this Palmer's Coconut Body Butter. One sniff and I joyously threw this into my basket to try and I can honestly say it is really nice!

The smell is amazing - the perfect mix of being strong enough that you can smell it, but not overpowering or synthetic. It sinks in quickly to the skin and provides instant relief when your skin can feel a bit sensitive post shaving, and I can imagine it would also be nice and soothing as an after-sun too!

I will definitely re-purchase this as I love it so much - not that I think it will be anytime soon, the tub is a good size and you don't need to use alot as it is quite rich. Thumbs up from me!
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Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Key 103 Ladies Lunch for Cash for Kids



Last Friday I was fortunate enough to attend the Key 103 Ladies Lunch hosted by Breakfast Show Presenter, Chelsea Norris-Spokes, in aid of Cash for Kids.

I have never been to Ladies Lunch before so didn't really know what to expect - the event completely surpassed my expectations though as I had a fab time and it was fantastic to see some much needed funds were raised for Cash for Kids, which if you have not heard of the Charity before, does some amazing work to help support disabled and disadvantaged children in Manchester.

There was an abundance of seriously glam outfits which is always fun to see and there were shopping opportunities available with specially selected concessions appearing at the event. The Gym (Elite Performance Fitness) I go to for my #myfirstbikini challenge were there, along with my fantastic Hairdressers, Jane Alexandra who are based in Cheadle, Cheshire. Always nice to see a friendly face at these things isn't it! :o)

There were raffle prizes, an auction and other competitions running on the day along with celebrity guests, Rylan, Gaz from Geordie Shore (who, good lord the ladies went WILD for!) and Danny Miller from Emmerdale! They were VERY well received and as I was sat at the front I nearly got crushed by the people running to the front of the stage trying to wave and scream in their general direction! Rylan performed for us and then we were treated to a Fashion Show from John Lewis which was hilarious! Those of you who attended will know exactly what I mean - Ian the studmuffin brought the house down...

On a serious note - during the course of the day £59,000 was raised for Cash for Kids which is truly incredible. It was a great day and I definitely want to be there next year!
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Please Vote for SweetieSal in the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards 2013

NOMINATE ME FOR A COSMO BLOG AWARD
I know that every Blogger and their dog has posted about the Cosmo Blog Awards and I am sorry for being such a sheep and following suit.. HOWEVER those of you who have read my Blog or my 'To-Do List' will know that I have set myself the goal of hopefully one day winning a Cosmo Blogging Award so I felt that I wouldn't exactly be trying very hard if I didn't at least ask for you to nominate me if you enjoy reading my Blog.

I know I am a newbie to this so I am thinking Best New Beauty Blog is the most appropriate category but whatever you think really - just know that I will appreciate any support I am given and you potentially are helping make a dream of mine come true.

I write my Blog as a hobby and it's become one of my favourite things to do, pushed me to do things I never thought I would and encouraged me to try new things and in the name of one of my favourite songs, 'Just Say Yes' to projects, events, pieces of work, networking opportunities, bikini wearing etc.

I think life can sometimes become a little stagnant and you get caught in the daily grind of work, play, and sleep. I have found myself taking on projects that I probably would have written off or not even attempted before starting this blog and I think that can only be a positive thing. I am a complete dreamer and having a place where I can make my dreams a reality has been a welcome addition to my life.

Ok.. cheesy statements over. Please vote for me, I will love you forever... :o)
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Monday, 20 May 2013

@Selfridges Summer Beauty Event - Manchester Exchange


Last Wednesday night as well as the South Beach Swimwear Party, I attended the Selfridges Summer Beauty Event at the Manchester Exchange Square store, check me and my busy schedule.. haha!

I think Selfridges Beauty Events are always fantastic and this one was no exception, attendees were treated to makeup demonstrations, free hair styling, manicures, popcorn, candyfloss, snow cones and musical entertainment by the lovely Zoe - London Lipgloss! 

I got wristbanded up (I do love a wristband) and had a nosey round the brands to see their summer collections and the one that definitely drew me in the most was MAC's Summer Bronzey offerings!
You can see from the above pics that I had a little play with their products and had to have quite a serious chat with myself that I simply do not need any more nude eye products. What I really wanted to get were the chubby eye pencils that you can see scrawled on my hand! I also swatched one of the bronzers and a coral blush that was divine. I seriously could have gone wild but instead I limited myself to my staple MAC tinted moisturiser!


Azature nail polishes were something I had heard about but not actually seen in the flesh until I spotted them at the event - my picture doesn't do the polish justice in just how sparkly it was - it was the most amazingly pigmented emerald shimmer polish I have possibly ever seen.. I am aware that is a big statement! 

Azature are the brand who made the INSANELY expensive Black Diamond Nail Polish - so if you have a spare £160,000 (yep that's right) click here to purchase!!! The Green Polish pictured above isn't quite so expensive but at £17 is a luxury treat!

Hair do's were being done courtesy of the Fake Bake Boutique and I opted for a backcombed half up do, however by the time I got home and took a picture I looked so tired and gross that the picture won't be making it's way onto the blog post unfortunately.. they created some amazing up-dos though so definitely worth a try if you want a new look for an event or a night out!

If you are sad to have missed out on this event then fear not - the Manchester Trafford Centre event takes place on Thursday evening from 6-10pm so get yourself down there - Zoe's playlist is awesome!!
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#SouthBeachBlogParty


Last Wednesday evening South Beach Swimwear invited me to attend a Blogger Party at Frurt Frozen Yogurt in Spinningfields, Manchester.

As you all know, the quest for a bikini bod continues so that I can summon the courage to wear #myfirstbikini in July so I was rather excited to go along and check out the gorgeous pieces from South Beach, including swimwear and beachwear (crochet mini dress you will be mine) and tell you all about it.

Brights, animal prints, crochet, fringing and beading were definitely the themes throughout the collections and when we arrived we were asked to place our name tag on the item we would like and a prize draw would happen on the night for 2 lucky bloggers to win their favourite item!

I couldn't believe it when I got the tweet to say I had won! I picked this cut out black swimsuit, in the hope that it fits and can be a number to showcase in Marbs...

We were also treated to some Frozen Yogurt and cocktails featuring Coconut Water! I love the original coconut water so I was intrigued to find out how the Coco Latte one would taste - good lord it is good!

If you have never been to Frurt before then get your ass down to one of their shops and give it a whirl, it's low fat and they have dairy and non dairy options so you can be as naughty as you want!

It was a great event and I think it was the perfect location to host the party, as always I love seeing my Blogger Pals, Heather, Lily Kitten, Martyna and I finally got to meet Anna after we have tweeted about our mutual love of pugs! Always lovely to see a few friendly faces at these things :o)

Definitely check out South Beach for any of your upcoming jollys! You will be pleased to know that I have a cheeky discount code if anything takes your fancy.. it is for 15% off everything and all you need to do is enter TOPBLOG15 at the checkout. This is one use per customer and is valid until 30th June.
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Friday, 17 May 2013

Weekday Wishlist #23


Peach Kimono: Topshop, Sandals: Topshop, Tunic Dress, Topshop, Turquoise Necklace: Zara, Floral Jacket: River Island, Pug Life T-Shirt: Topshop, Cut Out Dress: ASOS
I just realised I haven't done a weekday wishlist for a while and thought I would share what I have been lusting over..

We have just booked Marbs and obviously I have immediately got giddy about outfit planning!

I love this kaftan/kimono thing as it is very 'missoni' style and would complement a variety of swimwear colours but would also look nice over a vest and shorts back in the not so sunny UK!

These sandals seem to be doing the rounds at the moment and I have seen them featured on a number of blogs - perfect colour combo and comfortable, I think these could be a staple summer item!

This coral tunic dress is really unique and would look amazing dressed down with gold flip flops or could be dressed up for a wedding too.. I have my beady eyes on this for Marbs!

Corrie from Dizzy Brunette first showcased this BEAUT of a necklace on her blog and like the complete bandwagon jumper onner that I am, I want it too. It is sooooo pretty and with a tan and a coral lip and beachy hair this would look a dream. Someone buy it for me pleeeeaaassseee?

One of the bonuses of losing weight is that I am having to get rid of a lot of my wardrobe to make room for clothes that fit (it is also really annoying when you put something on that was a former fave and discover that it now hangs off you.. RIP fave LBD) and jackets seem to be something I really lack! I LOVE the floral print of this jacket, it is very Erdem in the print and just perfect in my eyes!

Pug T-Shirt, nuff said really. I heart pugs.

Cut out LBD, to replace my FAVE LBD that no longer fits... I would love to have this in my wardrobe as I think it's really different and I love the detail on the neck!

What have you been wishing for this week?
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Thursday, 16 May 2013

I am Britain's Best Bridesmaid 2013!!


I have clocked up a whopping 4 Bridesmaid duties between September 2012 and August 2013. What can I say I am clearly a person to have around in a stressful situation? Well, either that or my hen party planning prowess..

So when I heard about CompareStagandHen.com's Best Bridesmaid 2013 competition I thought to myself that I should be/made it quite obvious I wanted to be nominated...

I was absolutely delighted to be declared a finalist and after some fairly shameless self promotion across social media to get likes on my voting flag I was so pleased to be declared the winner!

WOOHOOOOO!

Can't wait to spend my £100 voucher for Revolution :o)

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Hiiiii I am BACK!


I thought I had better take to the blog and explain myself as to why I have not been overly active on here last couple of weeks.. #badblogger.

I have had an absolute 'mare getting internet sorted in the flat - not really any fault of O2 or BT but trying to get the router delivered was like trying to get blood from a stone.

Does NO ONE REALISE I WORK FULL TIME?! Anyways cue some parcel tennis between me, UK Mail and O2 and we now have it. HURRAYYYYY! I feel a new lease of blogging life and I am ready to get back in the game!

So, in other news I have been sticking with the #myfirstbikini diet (give or take a few treats and drinks) and I have lost 20lbs of fat! I am genuinely delighted with this result and it is keeping me motivated to stick at it, especially now that I am finding it harder and the novelty is starting to wear off a little...

Keeping the gorgeous Freya Bikini hung up in my room is helping me stay focused but I can't help but feel slightly panicked at the fact it really isn't long now til the trip to Marbs! I'm sure many of you, like me, see photos and feel pretty inadequate when you measure yourself up.

I made the mistake of looking at Ocean Club's facebook page and some photos from a recent Champagne Spray Party and it quite honestly it made me feel pretty anxious about going. It is very posey and whilst I am sure I will have a fabulous time, I can't help but think that I am not ready! Eek!

I went to the All Star Lanes in Manchester at the weekend for a friends Birthday and it was awesome - such a great venue and so much fun, I forgot how hilarious bowling is and who knew that alcohol really could improve my aim?!

I was also very kindly invited to the #SouthBeachBlogParty last night at Frurt in Spinningfields to look at South Beach's latest swimwear collections and good lord if you have a holiday this summer, be sure to check them out they have some amazing pieces! A post will be up with some photies very soon! I also went to the Selfridges Summer Beauty Event last night where the Beauty Hall at the Manchester Exchange store was transformed into a fun fair - but again stay tuned for a full post.

Next up for me this week is the Key 103 Ladies Lunch tomorrow where I will be blogging live from this fab fund-raising event! I can't wait :o)

What have you all been up to?
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Wednesday, 15 May 2013

#MicellarBlindTrial with @Escentualdotcom


Last week I got a rather exciting email from Escentual telling me all about a great new trial they were launching, where Beauty Bloggers would have the chance to trial 7 (I think!) Micellar Waters.

For those of you who are thinking what on earth is Micellar Water, it is essentially oil suspended in water which can be used to remove makeup or refresh the face. I am personally completely converted to Micellar Waters after dabbling with the Etat Pur one and most recently the Bioderma Sensibio which I purchased from Escentual's newly launched French Pharmacie offerings!

I really love Micellar Waters as I have suffered with adult acne and sensitive skin in the past and I have found it to gently but effectively cleanse my face leaving me with the best skin I have had in a long time.

I am genuinely looking forward to seeing which Micellar Water comes out on top during the trial!

Have you tried Micellar Water? What did you think and what has been your fave?
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SpinFest Manchester

Seeing as I live in Manchester and all that I thought I would do my bit to publicise some events coming your way in the coming months that are a bit different!

With the May Bank Holiday on it's way and a free event going on in town, I wanted to share the information of what is looking to be a great event!

SpinFest is a mini festival located in Spinningfields where local musicians, comedians, foodies and festival lovers can congregate and enjoy an open air event where you will not be forced to use a portaloo (which quite frankly puts me off going to other festivals!)

The next SpinFest Event takes place on Monday 27th May in Spinningfields and it is Latin Themed!

The line up is as follows;

2.15PM AND 3.15PM - IPANEMA
MUSICIANS FROM ARGENTINA, BRAZIL, VENEZUELA, SPAIN & THE UK PERFORM BOSSA NOVA CLASSICS BY ANTONIO CARLOS JOBIM, CAETANO VELOSO, GAL COST, JOAO GILBERTON AND MANY MORE...

4.15PM AND 5.30PM - LATINO BROS
FRONTMAN DANIEL AND JAMES - FROM PERU AND VENEZUELA - WILL PERFORM YOUR FAVORITE POP SONGS WITH A LATIN TWIST.
 
5PM AND 6.15PM - MANCHESTER SCHOOL OF SAMBA
SPINFEST'S FIRST CARNIVAL PARADE BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE MANCHESTER SCHOOL OF SAMBA.
 
6.45PM - SALSA DANCE CLASS
RELEASE YOUR INNER 'LATINA/O' AND LEARN HOW TO DANCE SALSA WITH MOJITO.
 
7PM - MOJITO
MOJITO BRINGS THE TRUE TASTE OF CUBA TO THE UK, PLAYING AUTHENTIC AND INSPIRING MIXES OF SALSA, TIMBA, MERENGUE, SON, REGGAETON AND CHACHACHA.

AFTER PARTY (8PM-12AM) - DJ MUVELO
BORN AND BRED IN COSTA RICA DJ MUVELO WILL PROVIDE THE SOUNDTRACK FOR THE AFTERPARTY... AZUCAR! A BAILAR!
 
There are other SpinFest events throughout the year with the next one being American Vintage themed on July 28th and on August 25th you can head to the Beer and Blues event!

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Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Diamonds are Forever...

www.DIAMONDMANUFACTURERS.co.uk

It's that time of year when wedding season is upon us, graduations etc and some of you may be purchasing or receiving some rather sparkly gifts..
 
It occurred to me that I know absolutely nothing about purchasing diamonds or what you should look for as I have heard all of my recently married male friends talking about how they picked out their engagement rings for their better halves.
 
Diamond Manufacturers.co.uk very kindly have supplied me with some tips on how to buy diamonds to share with you - so hopefully they will come in useful if you are ever buying a glittering gift... :o)
 
When in the market for any diamond jewellery always make sure that you do your research. It’s easy to be swayed by pushy sales-people and low-lighting but be aware, that luxurious surroundings cost a lot of money to run and so therefore you can probably save money by purchasing your jewellery online.

Vashi Dominguez, Diamond Expert and Founder of DiamondManufacturers.co.uk offers some advice on what to look for when buying diamond pieces and passes on some money saving tips;
 
Do your Research

When choosing any diamond pieces, make sure that you are getting the best diamond for your money. Do your research on the 4 C’s (Carat, Clarity, Cut and Colour) and shop around for the best prices.
The 4C’s consist of:
  • The Cut
    The cut is the most important factor when determining value of the diamond. A good cut lets a diamond handle light well and emit sparkle. Grades of cut range from ‘Super Ideal’ to ‘Good’, ‘Super Ideal’ being the highest cut grade.
    In a well cut diamond the light enters the diamond and is reflected from one side of the diamond to the other and back into the viewer’s eye.  This light is called the ‘brilliance’. In a poorly cut diamond the light ‘leaks’ out the sides or bottom of the diamond, rather than being reflected.
  • The Carat:
    The Carat is the weight of the diamond. The higher the carat the higher the value and size.
  • Colour:
    The colour of a diamond is graded by how ‘white’ the stone is. Grade D is colourless and Z has a yellow tint. The whiter the diamond the greater it’s value.
  • Clarity:Clarity is affected by flaws known as ‘inclusions’ on or in the stone. Grades of clarity range from FL (flawless) to i3 (visible inclusions). The less inclusions a diamond has, the more valuable it is.

Know the Money Saving Tricks

Try to think outside of the box and look at the facts behind the value of diamond jewellery. For instance if you buy a stone that’s slightly under-size to the nearest round carat weighting e.g. 0.9 of a carat, you can save up to 30%.
 
Also anything that you buy now is likely to increase in value, so not only are you buying something gorgeous for yourself but you are also making a sound investment for the future.
 
Also don’t underestimate the value of after-care services, at Diamond Manufacturers we offer lifetime warranty as standard, which covers free cleaning, ring re-sizing, adjusting, prong tightening and rhodium plating at any time, completely free of charge, so this will save you money in the long-run.
 
Anyone else fighting an urge so spend some pennies on a bit of bling???
 
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Friday, 3 May 2013

Laduree for UNIQLO


LADUREE FOR UNIQLO
Anyone who has been to Paris and experienced the pastel delights of Laduree Macaroons will probably be as excited about this as I was!

Laduree have teamed up with Uniqlo to design a range of gorgeously-girlie Parisien themed t-shirts which will be sold exlusively in Laduree Shops, and Uniqlo Stores in London, Japan and New York.

You will be pleased to note that you can also purchase these lovely t-shirts online for a mere £12.90! The link to the Uniqlo online store is below the image.

These are an adorable addition to a spring wardrobe - I may *have* to invest!

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Thursday, 2 May 2013

Britain's Best Bridesmaid 2013


WOOHOOOOO!

That's right I am a finalist in Britain's Best Bridesmaid Competition with Compare Stag and Hen.com!

The winner gets a £100 Revolution Gift Card and the status as Britain's Best Bridesmaid 2013 so I WANT TO WIN!!

All you have to do is 'like' my flag on Facebook and the Bridesmaid with the most likes wins! Please click here and like the picture to vote for me and I will love you forever :o) https://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?fbid=462216647190545&set=a.380334918712052.91802.344363638975847&type=1&theater
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Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Review: Lunaling Capri Pants

www.LUNALING.com
Recently I was asked if I would like to try some Lunaling Capri Pants (£50*) as a part of my quest to get in #myfirstbikini.

Lunaling are a brand I hadn't heard of previously, but when I read about their products I was intrigued to give them a go and was pretty excited to see what they would do for me!

According to Lunaling, in 30 minutes of exercise, weight loss is around 4x greater when wearing Lunaling than in a standard workout garment. On average, testers lost 1.13% of body mass in Lunaling compared to 0.27% in the workout garment.

Also, Lunaling increases the core body temperature by an average of 18% more than similar control/workout garments, which leads to an increase in metabolism.

I shimmied myself into the capri pants and have been wearing them round the house for about a week now. The material is almost like wet-suit material and is soft and stretchy. The outer side of the fabric is not rough as such but when it rubs together it is quite noisy if that makes sense - something to bear in mind if you were considering these pants for the gym!

The capri pants were really comfortable and I didn't feel particularly hot whilst wearing them - I can imagine if you wore them for a work out they might be pretty hot but if this isn't something that bothers you then go for it!

I can see how these would give great results as even after just wearing them for a few hours of an evening, my skin felt smoother and they definitely do raise your body temperature. When I took them off my skin was very warm underneath, almost clammy (sorry if that was TMI!) but at no point did I feel uncomfortably warm!

I haven't taken measurements or anything as yet but I am confident these are helping towards my bikini bod goals and I definitely will be continuing to wear them!

Check out the Lunaling Facebook Page for more information.
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