March 2011Cherry Pie : March 2011

30 March 2011

Mother's Day Gift Guide

Does anyone else browse those Gift Guides that are all over the internet and find themselves thinking that their Mum would not appreciate one single product that has been suggested? And don't even get me started on the prices...what average girl has over £100 to spare? Yes Mum, I love you dearly but £100 means a LOT to me.

My mum would be just as happy with a present costing £10, as long as it's something she likes and is definitely going to use.

You can't go wrong with flowers, seriously. When all else fails, Mums LOVE flowers. It makes them feel loved and they can show off the lovely bunch to visitors when they come round to the house.

Marks & Spencers have a great range of boquets, but I really love the flower gift bags. Although not on the website, if you take a trip to your nearest store, you'll find flower gift bags for under £10, which is just wonderful for my creaking purse.

Most of the time my Mum claims to love Gardening, but in reality, she likes to stand and watch as Dad does all the hard work. However, she does grow some mean strawberryies and tomatoes. John Lewis do a whole range of Gardening materials such as tools, seeds, plants, trees and cool starter packs.

They do a mean 'Grow Your Own Vegetables' starter kit for Mums that aren't too confident in the Garden. I would even buy this for myself if I had a cute little garden!

My mum also LOVES to read, much like other mums, but I'm not sure she'd like to read the books suggested in various gift guides. They all seem to be very 'young' books, full of chick lit and romance that quite frankly, my Mum would laugh at. My Mum loves Stephen King books and other horror/mystery type books. Have a peek at her book shelf and see what Authors occur more than once and this will give you a good idea of what to buy her.

Alternatively, give her a Waterstones (other book shops are just as good!) giftcard so she can buy whatever she likes! Giving a giftcard does NOT mean you've not put any thought into your gift, it simply shows you know that your Mum would much prefer choosing the gift herself!

Internet Gift Guides always suggest beauty products. It's another 'if all else fails' present, but instead of buying Mum a sweet smelling but absolutely non-effective beauty product, have a look at what she already uses or what she's low on and top it up! My Mum adores Elemis products which are a tad expensive, which is why I've turned to good old QVC. You can pay in installments, or do your research and you can find products for cheap. I found the Elemis 3 Piece Revitalising Radiance Collection, for £24, which includes the exact products my Mum is always droning on about! Perfect!

I was quite tempted to get my mum the Cowshed Knackered Cow products from Cowshed Online for a bit of a laugh, but it'd probably just sit in the bathroom cabinet for years and I'd get a slap for being so cheeky!

Mum likes to think she's a bit of a whizz in the kitchen so humour her with a jam making kit from Dot Com Gift Shop. In a way it's a little gift for you as you'll definitely benefit from lots of Toast and Jam! Yum!

When you're browsing websites for Gifts, don't be guided by the huge 'Mothers Day Gifts' banners that cleverly lure you in. Browse the site's separate Gift section or simply just browse the site as you normally would. You could even check out the Sales for some real bargains!

Put down the cheap smellies and tacky chocolates, do your research properly with time to spare for deliveries and get Mum a pressie that she really wants or needs!


29 March 2011

Hair experiment #2 - Colour

Wow, I haven't done one of these posts in a long time. Probably because I go through fazes with my hair. Most of the time I can't be bothered with it because it's so thin and limp that it literally won't do anything I tell it and other times, I go through fazes where I like to try lots of different styles.

When I was younger I had an array of colours in my hair, through school I had brown, red, black and purple hair at different times and in college I had black/pink and black/blonde. I don't know if anyone's noticed (how could you not) that there seems to be a huge trend in Red hair at the moment and I have to admit, I've given in to it. Technically, I had red hair when I was 14/15, so I actually started this trend :p

I've tried to capture my hair in the terrible lighted room that is my bedroom. I really need to get myself a tripod! These pics were taken with the camera carefully balanced on top of my television and my boyfriend's Piano case. You can also see my new ASOS top that I got with the Groupon voucher, I love love love the contrast between the blue top and my red hair. You'll have to excuse the no make-up and the bright white flash. I should really sort out my camera settings!


28 March 2011

Smashbox 'In Bloom' Eyeshadow Palette

The very lovely people at Debenhams sent me this gorgeous Smashbox 'In Bloom' Eyeshadow palette recently. Now I'm not totally up to date on my beauty products but I hear this is something a bit special.

'Ultra-pretty eye looks are just a few steps away with this spring-fresh palette of 10 soft shimmers and mattes. The luxe shadows are arranged in duos for surefire color coordination, or use the brush included in the palette to mix-and-match your own custom look.'

Looking at the packaging, I was expecting the product inside to be full of Summery pinks, but was really pleasantly surprised when I saw a nice mixture of coloured mattes and shimmers. I particularly like the darker colours such as 'Shimmery Copper,' 'Iris Blue' and 'Moss' as they will work well as dominant base colours while 'Pink Lily,' 'Lavender Grey' and 'Bone' all make great highlighters. Below you can see some swatches of all the colours.

L-R: Pink Lily, Lavender Grey, Golden Rose, Warm Taupe,  Bone

L-R: Soft Orchid, Iris Blue, Shimmery Copper, Moss, Nude

I love that the palette comes with a decent sized mirror and a brush. I want to try and stay away from my usual brown shades of eyeshadow so I think this palette will really help me. All the colours can blend easily together to create some amazing eye looks.

This post contains PR samples

26 March 2011

Long time, no see.

I'm back! Did you miss me? I feel like I've missed SO much. I've been getting up at 6:20am every morning and leaving the house at 7:10am and I haven't been getting home until 7:30pm, so there hasn't been much time for blogging. I've literally come in the front door, eaten dinner, watched a bit of TV and then gone to bed every night for the past two weeks.

My work experience placement was good. I feel like I could have got more out of it, but I quite enjoyed being in the office and slowly learning everything. Towards the end of the placement, I did get to do some research for some magazine features, so I really hope they use my ideas. I'll be checking! It's so interesting to see how an Office works though and how everybody works together to get each issue complete.

The best bit about the experience was the beauty sale! The beauty team get SO many free products every day. I was the one that had to open their post and collect their parcels so I got to have a good old nose at what they got, and while I was wowing at everything, they were simply chucking it into a trolley, ready to be put in the beauty cupboard. This made me sad as I would have loved some of the products. Luckily, they were holding a beauty sale in the week I was there, which basically meant they completely cleared out the cupboard and sold everything dirt cheap! I picked up LOADS, including two MAC Wonder Woman products and a Clarins palette worth £30.

Now that is what you call a haul. I'm thinking of having a blog sale. I really need to make some money and I want to try and avoid eBay listings fees, so I thought a blog sale would be ideal, though I'm having trouble pricing things up. How much would people be willing to pay for some of the products above? Please let me know in the comments!

I felt a bit guilty about how much I had spent afterwards, but then found out that the proceeds were going to help Japan. They raised over £2000, which is brilliant! All the make-up and products that were leftover (yes, can you believe it!) were donated to a women's refuge centre, though I'm sure they need more important things that eyeshadow and lipglosses?

I really enjoyed being in London again and once I was used to the early mornings, I started loving the busy, bustling city. My placement was situated on North Row which is right off Park Lane, so it was extremely posh! I spent my lunch hours on Oxford street and sitting across from the park which was pretty relaxing.

As a thank you for all of my hardwork over the two weeks, I was presented with a goody bag full of MORE beauty products! Haha! I couldn't believe it, I've got more beauty products in the last two weeks than I've brought in my entire life! Included were two nail polishes volumising hair gel, a Rimmel and Miss Sporty eye shadow, Light up lipstick, Eye treatment, Models Own Mascara, Concealer, Foot cream and Soothing Gel!

I'm so glad it's all finished with now though as I can get back to normal. I have some promising writing work coming up soon so I'm going to get stuck into that and settle back into life with Vince. He has treated me like a Princess over the past two weeks, cooking me delicious meals and tidying the house for me!

Again, let me know what sort of prices you'd be willing to pay for some of the products and I'll get the blog sale set up soon!

23 March 2011

Matalan Press Day

Yesterday I was invited to the Matalan Press Day for the showing of their High Summer 2011 range, which is in stores now if you must know. :P

I was granted the afternoon off from work experience to attend the event, which was very nice of Red magazine to allow, and made my way to the Sanctum Soho Hotel in Picadilly (to say the hotel was posh is an understatement). The event was held on the rooftop (thank goodness it didn't rain) and under the beaming hot lights, it definitely felt like Summer. Happily helping myself to cutesy canap├ęs and drinks, I took a nosy at the range!

I was really impressed with the range. Of course there was lots of lovely maxi dresses and beachwear and the bikinis in particular were extremely cute, with lots of different colours, patterns and detailing, but what really stood out to me were the accessories, jewellery, bags and jumpsuits.

I spotted a few Summer jumpsuits, all with cute animal and floral prints, I even found one that I would consider wearing (I'm not usually one for showing off ANY skin), which had a gorgeous bird pattern and ruffled neckline. I loved the floral wedges and gladiator sandals, but fell even more in love with the jewellery. Gorgeous chunky rings were scattered all over the place, I spotted a cute rabbit face ring and even a ring in the shape of angel wings, and the necklaces are huge must haves! Delicate chains with feminine charms, beaded necklaces and bold statement pieces.

I managed to snap a few photos on my phone, you'll see plenty of floral pieces within the range, perfect for Summer! I also loved the range of beach bags that will be available in all sorts of colours and patterns and I was extremely pleased when one of them was given to me as a goody bag! Also spot the nautical flats which I am also in love with!

They were also offering up a few beauty treatments. I chose to have my nails painted and filed at the little manicure station. I went for a Barry M green with a Blue Barry M crackle polish on top! The coloured crackle range is hopefully going to be available in the Summer! Can't wait!

For my first ever event, I quite enjoyed it and yes those nail photos were taken in the middle of the street. My love for Matalan products is rapidly growing and I can't wait until all of this range filters into my local store, I am definitely going to snap it up!

Finally, as I left I was given a little goody bag. The bag is actually a beachbag from the range and inside was a cute polka dot beach towel (very much needed), a Cherry necklace (do you think they knew?) Matalan press release and lookbook, Barry M catalogue and a Summer straw hat!


21 March 2011

NOTD: Nails Inc Haymarket

Thank goodness for scheduled posts! Anyway, after I reviewed the lovely Debenhams High Summer 2011 Lookbook for my own blog and a few other publications, I was rewarded with a beauty goody bag which included a Nails Inc polish in 'Haymarket', a Get Waisted body shaper and a Smashbox 'In Bloom' eyeshadow palette.

I'll be reviewing the body shaper and eyeshadow palette in future posts, but for today I want to show you all the Nails Inc polish. I love Nails Inc polishes and I am quickly building up a collection but I've never actually paid full price for any of the polishes I own! I've collected them from magazine freebies and the numerous Diet Coke offers. Unless I had cash to splash, I don't think I would pay the high price tag for one of the polishes!

Haymarket is a gorgeous colour that I've wanted to get my hands on for ages. I recently wore a new top in a similar shade and thought this would be a great match for it. The Nails Inc site describes the polish as: "Duck egg blue nail polish. Pastels are still big news for this season. This delicate shade is super flattering and fashion foward too."

I might also call it a minty green kind of colour, but either way, it's gorgeous. The polish dried in super quick time and really only needed one layer. I found my bottle a little gloopy so tried my best not to overlap strokes as I kept getting indentation in the polish already on the nail. The colour is bright and fun and a grand addition to my nail polish collection!


19 March 2011

City Buzz

Hello! Time for a proper update now that I'm at home for the weekend. It's nice to of had a lye in this morning, but I'm actually getting used to the early mornings that come with my work experience. My train is at 7:30am every morning, which means I'm getting up at 6:30am and it definitely helps that the mornings are much brighter now, if it was still the middle of Winter, I wouldn't be finding it so easy to jump out of bed.

The train journey isn't too bad, just 1 hour 20 minutes, and I spend most of that sleeping. The only thing I hate is that it's so packed with London business people all tap tap tapping on their laptops and mobile phones, and I never get to sit on my own and stretch out, instead I'm squished up against the window as I sleep.

As I mentioned in my quick update during the week, my Work Experience is going well. The office has a nice relaxed atmosphere and everyone is very friendly. I've been put next to the features intern who is interning for a whole year (lucky thing) and she is helping me out if I get stuck. I have a list of daily tasks to do which I've gotten into a routine with now. When I come in, in the morning, I hand out the papers, check the emails and readers letter and update the files until the newspapers get put back on my desks with various pages that have been marked. The pages are marked with Celebrity, Health and General stories that might be of interest to Red magazine readers. Sometimes there are lots of pages marked, sometimes there aren't, but there are 8 papers in total so photocopying all of the marked pages takes quite a while! Once these are all photocopied, I have to make up packs for the features team so there's even more copying to be done, I keep getting extremely muddled up with all the packs and photocopies but slowly I'm getting it right and getting it done quicker and quicker. While all this is being done, the post is usually delivered which I then have to sort and hand out. Again, I kept getting muddled with this in the beginning but I'm slowly learning where everyone sits. At least the office map I've been given is correct, unlike the ones I've had at other Work Experience placements!

This usually takes up most of my morning. Through out the day I have to visit the post room and pick up the deliveries for the Beauty and Features desks. The beauty team get so many products and freebies. It's my job to open the beauty post so I get to have a cheeky look at what they receive and I'm so jealous! There is a little freebie desk opposite my own which attracts a lot of people and I've had a sneaky peek myself and picked up a spray that is supposed to help you sleep. I thought I'd give it a try but it's pretty much just Lavender scented water that I'm spraying all over my bedding!

I get an hour for lunch which I've been spending sitting in an area on Park Lane. The past few days I've been going for a little walk down Oxford Street and popping into Selfridges. I managed to finally find a Glamour magazine with the free Clinique Make-up Remover and Eye Cream which I was very pleased with. I did spot a magazine on blogging but quickly replaced it when I saw its £15 price tag, RIDICULOUS!

I quite enjoy the rush of being in London actually, but when you're rushing to get to Waterloo in time for your train, it's not so fun bashing into tourists and slow walkers! At 5:30pm I turn into one of those Londoners that run up and down the escalators and attempt to run across Waterloo station, darting inbetween everyone to try and get to my platform. While I'm on lunch I quite enjoy just wondering around and watching everything that's going on. I've been taking my own packed lunches to try and save money. The building has a small kitchen and microwave room so there's no need to go out and spend loads of money on an overpriced sandwich when you can bring something cheap from home.

The afternoons are spent doing odd jobs. I keep an eye on the emails through-out the day and file them away as well as flicking through book catalogues and noting down which ones might be of interest to Red readers. At the end of this week I've had to search for press contacts for camcorder companies as the magazine want to hire some. I've had to call various companies and actually came across a really rude man from Practika who was basically horrible to me. I hate talking on the phone as it is so I got a bit flustered and didn't know what to say to him. Typically, I managed to think of something to say once I'd already put the phone down!

I still have a week left which will hopefully lead to some new tasks. I definitely need to stop myself wondering down Oxford street on my lunch breaks though. On the Saturday after my placement finishes, I have an induction at River Island and then start work on Monday! I can't wait to be working again and earning some money! As well as working at River Island, I hopefully have a writing job lined up to go alongside it, which means more money! The River Island job is 15 hours a week, Monday, Thursday and Friday which is great as I won't be working on a busy Saturday!

I'm off now to have a lovely dinner of Burgers and home-made wedges, made for my by Vince. H's been great this past week. I don't get home from London until 7:20pm every dat so he's been making me dinner every night and picking me up from the station! Aw! <3

I'll try and do another quick blog during next week but no promises! In the mean time, if you're not a follower, why not become one?! I'm so close to reaching the 200 mark!

16 March 2011

Quick hello!

Hi everyone! Wow, l94 followers, I can't believe it! When I have a moment I promise I will get round to you all and return the follow favour. I'm currently on Work Experience at Red Magazine, so haven't really had a chance to blog. I've been getting up at 6:30am every morning and catching the train to London ready for work at 9:30am. It's all going well at the moment, I'm still learning (and making a few mistakes) but it's a nice friendly atmosphere and I'm slowly getting into the swing of things. Hopefully I'll get to do a few more bits and pieces over the next week or so. I'll have a chance to blog this weekend, see you then!

13 March 2011

Matalan Haul!

The lovely lovely people at Matalan recently gave me a £50 voucher to spend in-store on whatever I wanted!! Well, as soon as it came through the post, I was out shopping in a flash.

Although Primark is the cheapest on the highstreet, I much prefer Matalan because their clothing isn't of bad quality and £50 can go quite a long way, unlike other high-street stores where £50 will barely buy you anything.

As I have work experience on Monday, I was looking for a few bits I could wear that will be casual, yet still smart looking. With their Spring/Summer range filtering into stores, there were quite a few pretty pieces, but unfortunately I couldn't find my size in most (such as the Striped Tunic and the Nautical Button Cardigan). Of course, the Nautical theme is back for Spring and Matalan are already carrying some pieces, I picked up a nautical style crop top with a Crochet neckline.

I also wanted a simple black dress to wear with tights. Something that would make a change from trousers! First of all I purchased the Animal Print Burnout Tunic, but when I got it home I realised it had a hole in the armpit and was practically see through in the daylight! Deciding to take it back, I managed to find a simple short sleeved black dress with an empire line that I will definitely feel comfortable in. Excuse the fact that my hair is a complete mess and I'm not wearing any makeup.

The black dress is pretty perfect for wearing with bright coloured tights. Unfortuntely, the only ones I have are from my Student 'neon' nights out which are just too bright for my liking. Instead I wore a pair of burgundy tights over a pair of black ones for warmth. You can see the real colour of the tights better below:

When it comes to Matalan accessories, I'm like a moth to a flame. I love their jewellery and handbags. Their Spring/Summer range of accessories include nautical, floral and crocheted themes. I picked up a the Tapestry Bowling Bag as well as the Multi Charm Skinny Belt and two bracelets.

I also picked up a pair of grey jogging bottoms for Vince which he really loves! Many of the items from the Spring/Summer lookbook were not yet in stock so I'm looking forward to when they are introduced in store, I need to get my hands on the Stripe Sundress! I'm extremely pleased with all the goodies I picked up, thank you Matalan!

10 March 2011

Good things come to those who wait

If you're a regular reader of my blog you would have heard me moaning on a regular occasion about the fact that I can't find a job and have no money at the moment! Well, in the past hour or so three pretty cool things have happened and I feel like a little weight has lifted off my shoulders!

You might remember how I didn't get the River Island job that I had an interview for a few weeks ago. Well, I just got a phonecall from them out of the blue offering me a 15 hours a week job on a Monday, Thursday and Friday. It does mean I can't go home during the Easter holidays but I'm sure I'll survive!

I thought I didn't get the original job because of my Work Experience placement at Red Magazine which starts on Monday (OMG nerves!), but I mentioned this on the phone and they were fine with me starting after it. So I've got a 3 hour induction on the 26th and start on the 28th. Finally I'm going to have a bit of spending money to play with (hello Discount!), but I also want to make sure I do the sensible thing and save some of it as well.

Not long after that I found out I was one of the winners in Ellie Loves... Bourjois Effet 3D lip gloss giveaway. I'm not usually a lip gloss fan but I've seen this being raved about all over the Blogosphere so I thought why not enter and I can review the product for the blog when I recieve it!

After these two bits of good news I was pretty damn happy and certainly wasn't expecting to be contacted by a staff member from my University who I had previously worked with. He offered me a Content Writer position on the University website! And the best thing is, I can work from home!

Now I'm really starting to believe that good things come to those who wait, and I have been waiting a pretty long time! I start my Work Experience placement on Monday and although I'm extremely nervous and dreading the early mornings, I'm determined to get as much experience as possible and be one of those annoying people that bugs everyone for jobs to do! I really want to make a good impression as it could lead to other opportunities! Wish me luck!

9 March 2011

NOTD: Topshop Unique inspired!

I was definitely not the only one that was hugely impressed by Topshop Unique's collection at London Fashion Week last month. As soon as I saw the Dalmation Print I thought about re-creating it on my nails.

It was a little difficult due to the fact that the Barry M Matt White is the worst colour in the world to work with. I needed about four layers of it before my nails were completely covered, and then I couldn't find a black polish for the spots. Instead I used Topshop's Nails in Lead polish, which gave the dots a nice sparkle.

Topshop Nails in Lead & Barry M Matt White

7 March 2011

Debenhams Spring/Summer 2011 Lookbook

The very lovely people at Debenhams recently sent me their new Summer Fashion 2011 Lookbook, which I went on to write about at, but, I wanted to write a less formal and more personal piece about the Lookbook here on my blog because I love it so much!

The Lookbook was accompanied by a packet of Haribo sweets which were very much appreciated (Thank you Emily!) and scoffed down in extra quick time for my breakfast.

The Lookbook itself left me pleasantly surprised and drooling over the H! by Henry Holland collection. I have to admit I'm usually one that totally forgets about Debenhams when I go shopping, unless I'm really hungry, then I'll visit their awesome cafe, but from now on I will definitely be making a concious effort to visit them more often.

Their Summer range is particularly gorgeous and is definitely causing me to consider being brave and actually wearing a dress. The Cherry print dress in the H! by Henry Holland collection is by far my favourite, but would it be a bit sad seeing as my name is Cherry?

H! by Henry Holland Cherry Print Dress

The best thing is, it's only £40 which is quite the bargain when you think about it. The Lollipop Print Dress, £35, is another bargain to be had. I love the Peter Pan collar and ditsy print, cute!

H! by Henry Holland Lollipop Print Dress

Their swimwear and accessories collections were also really surprising. I definitely want to take up swimming again when I move home, which means I'll need a new swimsuit after putting on an extra bit of timber recently! They have some gorgeous one pieces, which I admit, aren't something I'd wear, but I do like to imagine they'd suit me. The bikinis are all gorgeous and I'm thinking it's going to be very hard to choose between then!

Floozie by FrostFrench Rose Frill Suit

Floozie by FrostFrench Rose Frill Bikini

Red Herring Bikini

Last but not least, the collection of bags inside this very Lookbook is actually to die for. A cute collection of totes and cross-body bags that I would definitely pay good money for. The Millie Multi Stripe cross-body bag by Jasper Conran is beautiful, as are the H! by Henry Holland cross-body bags for just £22!

Betty Jackson Tote

H! by Henry Holland Patent Cross-body Bag

H! by Henry Holland Ethan Stripe Cross-body bag - *coughsomeonebuymethiscough*

Now I have to go an extend my wishlist to include most of the pieces in the Lookbook, doh.
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