Monday, 31 January 2011

Pop the champagne open, I've won my first blogger award!

Trumpet fanfare please - I've won my first Blogger Award.  I was reading through my hundreds of blogs on Google Reader and spotted my name... I was shocked, I can tell you!  I was like "OH!  It's me... is it me?  Yes, it's me... Are you sure???" 

But before I start digress into an Oscar-style speech, let me introduce the gorgeous "Pretty In The Desert" who was the stunning sweetie who gave me first award - I love her blog!  When I first discovered it, I was immediately hooked and read her entire archives too.  Her style is so easy to read and feels like she is an old friend just chatting away to you.  I particularly love her quick tips and her cat Bowie is super cute too!  Much love and appreciation hun!  I'd award her right back if I could!

Not long after winning my first award, I was also lucky enough to win my second!  This time from "The "E" Girl" whose blog is extremely informative!  She puts so much time and effort into each post.  Thanks so much!

Renee's award requires me to tell you 7 things about yourself and as I'm a fairly new blogger and could come across as a bit of a closed book so far, WHY NOT!
  1. Born in Chelmsford (yes I’m an Essex girl), I'm half Filipina, half English but my dad actually grew up in Kenya. His grandmother was from Barbados so apparently I'm part Barbadian, but you'd never tell just by looking at me!! 
  2. I don’t have a sense of smell. And yes I can taste. Trust me, I would be a size 6 if I couldn’t taste – I’d live on lettuce leaves.
  3. I know dance routines to some very cheesy songs that I should be embarrassed about, eg. most of Five and A1’s songs, Spice Girls…
  4. I like cooking but resent it if it’s expected of me. I make some mean chocolate brownies!
  5. I was in Miami when Versace was assassinated there.
  6. I have a weird phobia of buttons. I don’t wear clothes with buttons, except jeans/trousers. I don’t know why. Lol!
  7. I would like my career to be based in charity and non-profit organisations and hope my mortgage doesn’t force me to veer away from this.
OK, so there are a few rules that came along with this award:

Post about the award and copy the rules
Link to the person who gave you the award
Choose 3-5 blogs you would like to give the award to and link to them as well. Leave a comment ontheir blog to let them know!
Important: The award is for unknown and/or new blogs only!
Here are the blogs that I've "discovered" and think deserve this award, however I would not describe them as unknown as they nearly all have more followers than I!
Laura & Boutique 73 (I wish Laura would blog more as I don't often have time to pop into her shop which is tres cool!)
My last award would have been to another Laura whose blog You Are So Pretty Laura I discovered a matter of weeks before she decided to depart from the virtual world... Sad times.  I'd read back through her archives and had really enjoyed them, she seems like my kinda person, plus she's from the same town as me.  But I can relate to feeling uninspired sometimes, I often feel overwhelmed by the talent and interesting lives of other bloggers.  Fingers crossed she misses blogging soon and returns!
Thanks again for my awards, I will be feeling very chuffed for quite sometime!  Very very happy right now!

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Hoping for the Jimmy Choo perfume for Valentine's Day

Tamara Mellon, co-founder and president of stiletto mecca Jimmy Choo, is now bringing us another fabulous accessory: perfume.

This latest accessory, following handbags, sunglasses and scarves, has been on the cards since a 12 year worldwide license agreement was signed with Inter Parfums, who also distribute Burberry and Paul Smith perfumes.  Tamara features in the ad herself and describes the scent as "feminine and empowering, with a lot of sensuality to it".

The new stylish scent is described as a fruity fusion of green top notes, exotic tiger orchid and orange blossom, with a touch of toffee to add a twist.  Sounds gorgeous!

The textured bottle, inspired by Murano glass, is tres pretty but simple and I would even resent throwing away the purple snakeskin box!  I'd like the large bottle that she's clutching in the ad please!  Unless The Hubby decides to treat me to a pair of Jimmy Choo shoes (unlikely!), I would be very happy with this instead!  Much more affordable since prices start from £38.50.

Rumour has it, Tamara is also intending to expand into jewellery, watches and men's "choo's".  This woman has serious ambition!  Her shoe and handbag empire is already worth £500 million, has been made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (whatever that means!) and an ambassador for UK business.

BTW, loving the Jimmy Choo Uggs:




(pics taken from Jimmy Choo website)

Way out of my price range - maybe I'll just experiment with a few embellishments on my cheapo ones instead... ;-)

So Hubby - if you're reading this: you have no excuses for not knowing what to get me for Valentine's Day!

Friday, 14 January 2011

Soap & Glory Fantastic Value Bundle

I was gutted at missing out on the Soap & Glory deal Boots offered before Christmas.  So when I spotted on Money Saving Expert that they were bringing out another deal, the Soap & Glory Fantastic Value Bundle, I vowed to make the same mistake twice!  They delayed the deal from Monday (I even set myself an alarm) to Wednesday so I was chomping at the bit and finally cheered a "hurrah" when I clicked the buy button.

And it just arrived an hour ago!

The bundle consists of 10 treats:
  • Soap & Glory Marvelips, 4.53g (a lip crayon)
  • Soap & Glory Clean Mary, 180ml (cleansing milk)
  • Soap & Glory Wash Almighty, 500ml (body cleansing gel)
  • Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker, 7ml (lip plumping lip gloss)
  • Soap & Glory Slimwear, 190ml (puff-draining peptide balm)
  • Soap & Glory Return to Slender, 200ml (intensive body-contouring gel)
  • Soap & Glory Touch & Glow, 75ml (moisture lotion with micro-bronzer beads)
  • Soap & Glory Eye Lift, 15ml (eye cream)
  • Soap & Glory Mighty Mouth, 9ml + 2 x 4g (lip stick and lip shine)
  • Soap & Glory Wizard of Flaws, 1ml (line filling luminizer & concealer)

Woop woop!  Fingers crossed I will have in one month's time, Angelina Jolie lips, a wrinkle-free face, a skinny bum and cellulite-free thighs! Hmmm.  The RRP for this is a whopping £80.98, but the offer was for £30.63!  Bargain!

December's deal sold out quick but this month it is still in stock two days later, not surprisingly since everyone's always broke after Christmas and New Year.  So grab this bargain while you can!

I will try to remember to do some reviews but I will probably give some of these items as gifts.  Shame it didn't come in a nice vanity case or something!

Taking you back to 18th March 2007

Day 2

Current mood:nervous
Woke up extremely early this morning after finishing my last entry at  last night.  Everyone goes to bed early here, about 9 or 10 but it gets dark earlier than I thought, about so it feels much later for some reason!  Roosters owned by our homestay are kept underneath our window – and they are so noisy!!  They don't "crow" at sunrise like they're supposed to, nor do they make a simple "cock-a-doodle-doo" – these roosters start crowing late at night and don't stop until we get up and leave the house, and they sound like their necks are being strangled mid-squawk!
Anyway, following on from my last entry last night, Lorena and Natasha rode in the jeepney with us, asking questions and telling us about themselves.
Lorena: 23 year old Filipina; works for the agency we paid to come here, Volunteers for the Visayans (VFV) and is Ethel's assistant.
Natasha: 23 years old, apparently Australian but she told us she's originally from Dubai and she also talks with an American accent – confusing…  Has been here 2 months already and stays with the same homestay (host family) as us.

We jumped off the jeepney about 10 mins later and were surrounded by people.  2 guys took our suitcases – another volunteer, Alan, took mine and a Filipino guy picked up Grace's large and extremely heavy suitcase and held it above his head like it was empty!  We were led along some dark lanes, passing a basketball court along the way, until we arrived at our homestay.  Stepping past a barking dog on the porch, we were greeted by our "mother" who we are to call Nana Marlin and about 10 children/grandchildren, all different ages.  Including a 4 month old baby boy with the cutest big eyes and is so strong that he can almost crawl already; "Shy-shy", a 9 year old girl who is anything but shy; and "Twinkle", an 11 year old girl who is chatty as well.  Nana Marlin had prepared us a meal which was ready and we were ushered to the table to eat rice, vegetable dishes and some chicken and rice for me.  No pancit, I was disappointed to see…

After finishing our meal and watching tv with the family for a while, Natasha and Shy-shy took us for a walk to show us a nearby internet cafĂ© that would prove useful to us for the next few weeks. 

Forgot to mention – also staying with us in our homestay is Evan, a tall 27 year old Australian guy who seems pretty friendly so far and has built up good relationships with the family in the 2 weeks that he has been here.  He has a good rapport with the kids and they seem to love him.  I think he looks half-Filipino or has a mixed ethnicity, but Grace disagrees, and I haven't asked him about it yet.

Back to todays events, we were taken for breakfast at the store, which our homestay family own.  They sell Filipino dishes such as pancit that Nana Marlin makes herself.  This store is also where the majority of the family sleeps although I haven't seen any bedrooms – they must be up the ladder that I spotted.  Nana Marlin told us that everyday she gets up and goes to the market for food at , and cooks by the time we even get up ()!  Breakfast was rice and vegetables again, with a bread that I think tastes like Madeira cake.

After breakfast, we went to the centre for our induction and Ethel (volunteer co-ordinator) just told us about the history of the agency, about our placement and homestay.  We were also informed that we each have a sponsored local kid for the next few weeks who we have to pay special attention to.  I met mine, Hazel who is eleven, straight away, downstairs at the centre where the kids were eating and watching tv.

Then for the majority of the day, we were taken on a tour downtown in Tacloban city by Lorena.  Busy, confusing and HOT!  Was feeling pretty skeptical about being able to figure it all out without any help – and we were to catch a jeepney the next day to the orphanage.  We dropped by the orphanage to meet Sister Mystika (the orphanage is run by nuns).  Luckily Matt, another volunteer who works at the orphanage, later offered to meet us at the centre, which is just around the corner, at and go with us as we're more than a little afraid of catching a jeepney by ourselves!

This evening, after a long nap (not sure if it was jet lag or lack of sleep due to those damn roosters), we had dinner at the store and sat by the bball court so I could watch the local guys play a little.  Lots of little girls befriended us, so many names in such little time – I hope I remember them all in the morning.
Anyway off to bed, early start tomorrow!

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Home Sweet Home: Cushions

What is it with us girlies and cushions?  It's totally a female thing, The Hubby is totally uninterested in pretty cushions, cosy throws etc.

I've spotted this cutie on the John Lewis website:

It's perfect for me - happiness, love, romance, home, amore, hope, life, affection and of course my own name, JOY! 

Of course, sod's law, it's out of stock.  Will have to keep checking back and checking instore for it.  It will go perfectly with the H&M cushion that I bought in the online Christmas sale (a bargainous 7.99) and arrived today:

It is still available on the H&M UK website, in both red and black.  I already have 2 black sequin cushions that sometimes sit on the bed so I chose this for a pop of colour!

H&M have got some nice home stuff in their new spring range:

I like the aqua throw on the bed in the top picture (although the duvet set reminds me of a garish yellow number my mum's had for at least as long as I've been alive!) and the Cath Kidston style fabric used for the table runner and accessories in the second picture.  Nothing inspires me enough to buy it full price though!  I'm a sucker for anything in the sale!  ;-)

Personally I love TK Maxx and BHS for their home departments, particularly BHS's Maison Vintage collections:

Liberty flush ceiling light
How gorgeous is this lampshade!

Ohhh how I hanker after my own house.  Hubby and I are desperate to trade our top-floor apartment for a cosy house we can start our own family in.  Fingers crossed 2011 will be the year!