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Top Tips For Reducing The Mess Of Your Next Party*

Throwing a party at home can be one of the best nights of the year. OK, it may take a lot of planning and forward thinking, and you may have some pressure from your pals to better what came before. But taking on party planning is the least of your worries really. Parties are known to create enormous amounts of mess and waste, and you’ve only just bought that new sofa! Worse still, the impact on the environment can be pretty hefty for just one night in with thirty or so of your closest pals and their partners.
With a little bit of careful consideration, you can dramatically reduce the amount of waste you will be chucking out. Kerbside collections of rubbish that is recyclable are incredibly helpful. They will have a huge part to play in your attempt at throwing an environmentally friendly party, so let’s start there. Your recycling containers are not likely to be able to stow enough of the bottles and cans you will be getting through, so grab yourself a few reusable containers of a good size. These can be old cardboard boxes, or even new plastic crates you can use for something else after the party. Print out some great party themed signs on paper and stick them on to indicate what goes where. The signs will be recyclable too!

Decorations can be home-made from paper, or you can pick biodegradable latex balloons that you can personalise or customise. There are plenty of options. Even if you are buying bits from the party store, the good quality ones are reusable. Borrow extra plates rather than buying anything non-recyclable. The same goes for cutlery. Glasses that are a bit more delicate may be a problem. Instead, look at recyclable cups and faux glasses that can be washed up and reused.
Party food often comes in bags we just can’t recycle, and they very quickly fill up our bins. Making food from scratch sounds like a huge undertaking but is really much easier and quicker than you think. Party food tends to be small nibbles and crisps and making these in bulk can be done in just a few batches with some basic ingredients. As food waste can be collected at the kerbside, you can prepare a very green buffet quite easily. Check out some great recipes online for really yummy party foods, and then give yourself a night in the kitchen to work through them.

Finally, when the party is over, you may find your recycling containers chockablock. Most kerbside pickups will take the lot, providing you have it organised for a quick collection. As you have labelled up your containers in advance, you should be able to pop them straight out on the street on recycling day. Of course, your collections agents may have a bit of a grumble. The good thing about how you have collected your waste up is that you can get it down to the bottle bank or recycling centre really easy to dispose of responsibly yourself. Enjoy the party, and be proud of doing your bit for the environment too!

Primark Haul February 2015

When our retail therapy wasn't going too well in London I added Primark to our lists of must visit shops. The thought of Primark on Oxford Street is a scary one but going at 9.30am was a very wise decision. There's so many lovely fresh, bright Spring clothes in I had a great little browse and made a few purchases. If it wasn't for the fact I was flying with just hand luggage I'd have bought a whole lot more!

This patterned pencil skirt is so soft, the material makes it very comfortable to wear and looks great with a plain came tucked in. I've already worn it for a night out and the monochrome colours will mean it's perfect in summer too. 

These cold shoulder style tops seem to be in a lot of shops at the moment and it's nice to see Primark getting involved too. The photo doesn't do this top justice but it's actually a dusky pink colour which I love. 

£5 (was £12)
Another dusky pink coloured top. I couldn't believe my luck when I spotted this was actually on sale. I like that the attached statement necklace dresses it up a bit but it's the style of top that can be worn for lots of different occasions.

This waterfall style blazer caught my eye as soon as I walked into the shop. The bright orange colour is gorgeous and something I don't have any of in my wardrobe. It was a bit pricey but it's a lovely shape and material.

I couldn't resist this Spring/Summer top. The scalloped edges and lazer cut details look so delicate and summery. I hope it's not long until I can wear this with a pair of jeans and sandals rather than under a cardigan and scarf!

Slightly off track in my Spring wardrobe update but I can't resist a simple blouse for work or with a pair of jeans for a smart casual outfit. The zip detail along the front adds a bit of excitement and reminds me of something you'd find in Zara.

 After nearly combatting my necklace phobia (it's a strange one) I was desperate to get some more statement necklaces and this one has lovely colours and a pretty mix of shapes and gems. It doesn't look like it would just cost £5!

This gold chain style collar is perfect for adding to a plain outfit and adding instant glamour. Another bargain that looks worth a lot more than it cost.

Have you been buying anything from Primark recently?

Why Costa Rica Should be On Every Bucket List*

If you’ve started a bucket list of countries you’d like to visit, Costa Rica should be on it. If you’ve never considered Costa Rica before, let me tell you a little about it. It’s referred to as the ‘happiest place on earth’ by visitors and locals alike. It’s an extremely peaceful place, and the people who live there love the pure life that they lead. If you think you’re interested in visiting the happiest place on earth, this guide should convince you:

The Beaches Are Beautiful
The beaches in Costa Rica are just stunning, so it’s perfect for people who’d simply like to lie back and relax. All you have to do to enjoy them is make sure you avoid the rain season.

You Can Try Your Hand at Surfing

Costa Rica is actually known for being a fabulous surfing destination. This is mainly because the water is warm and the waves are very good. In fact, if you want to go to try surfing, I would recommend going during the rain season as it can be much less crowded. Go to a surf school if you need a few lessons before going it alone, such as the Tamarindo Surf Academy run by Federico Pilurzu.

See a Sloth or Two
I think sloths are cute, you might think they’re ugly, but I'm sure that Sofa Sloth advert could help change your mind. There’s no denying they’re very interesting though, and this is a great place to see them!

The Food is Yummy
Costa Rica has its own style of food. They like the use of salsa, beans, and other dishes that are sort of Mexican but not actually Mexican. It’s hard to explain; you’ll just know when you get there. Two things you must try there are coffee and chocolate. Have some chocolate with your coffee to make it even better!

You Can Have an Adventure
If you want more adventure than laying on a beach, there’s no denying you can get it here. You can try whitewater rafting, kayaking, scuba diving, cliff diving and more. Extreme sports are abundant here!


The People are So Happy
You know that song ‘shiny happy people’? I think it was written about the guys in Costa Rica. As it’s known as the happiest country on earth, you’ll be welcomed with open arms. You’ll definitely feel at home here!

Visit the Rainforest
Visit the rainforest by taking a zipline tour or a ride through the treetops. If you’d prefer to be on foot, booking a walking tour should be no problem.

See all Kinds of Wildlife
Apart from the sloth, there’s other wildlife you can see too. Costa Rica has monkeys, raccoons, lizards, geckos, and much more. There’s plenty of birds too if you’re a keen birdwatcher.

See Some Volcanoes
This is a tourist attraction that Costa Rica is famed for. The place has over 200 volcanic formations, and this is what helps the country to grow such rich plants and crops. Hiking and camping are two popular activities you could try around the volcanoes!

Are you convinced yet? Add Costa Rica to your bucket list and you won’t regret it!
What locations are on your bucket list?

Mother's Day with Toxicfox

My Mum does so much for me so I think it's important to spoil her on Mother's Day. I always make sure to give her some of her favourite things and something to put a smile on her face. But when it comes to money I don't always have a big budget and a bit of a helping hand is always appreciated. £50 from Toxicfox would be much appreciated and it's pretty easy to be in with a chance. The picture above explains everything but basically all you need to do is share what you would buy your Mum from Toxicfox on different social media platforms. So whether you're a Tweetaholic, or love a Facebook creep it's very easy to enter! To give you a helping hand I've selected a few of my favourites. I'm not sure which my Mum would love most so I might just have to share one on each platform. Better chance of winning then, eh!
1. 2. 3. 4

Remember the competition closes on Sunday so you better make your mind up quick!
I've entered, have you?

Travel Diary: London #01

For a lot of people a weekend in London isn't a big deal but for us it's a long way to go and a big change from home. With a 6.30am flight and travelling nearly 700 miles I was so excited to be spending my Valentine's Day, and long weekend, with my boyfriend.
 Our first stop, after checking into our Travelodge (booking on budget to help my shopping fund) we headed straight out to Wembley for a bit of outlet shopping. I wasn't too impressed with the London Designer Outlets mostly because I was on the lookout for completely different things but my boyfriend fell in love with the Adidas and Superdry shop. 
Before heading back into central London and the hustle and bustle we filled up in the Handmade Burger Company. I love the one in the Omni Centre in Edinburgh, and this was just as good. I had chicken, bacon and avocado and I always go for bunless to avoid the bread and it was delicious.
A quick afternoon of tourist dodging and visiting some typical sights (and a couple of selfies) we made our way to a Pandora shop to choose my Valentine's present then a pit stop for a Cosmopolitan. 
We finished off our day around Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square. We bought our discounted musical tickets and had a Valentine's Dinner in Bubba Gump Shrimp. After visiting in New York we had to see what the British version had to offer and I'll do a review of it soon. With a 4.30am alarm we were exhausted by the end of dinner and headed straight back to the hotel to recharge for the next day.

What did you get up to on Valentine's?
Where's your favourite place for dinner in London?

NOTD: Pastel Polka Dots

I needed a break from dark and dull nails and wanted to inject some Spring colours into my life. Lilac is perfect for that transition and the Models Own Lilac Sheen Hypergel is one of my favourites. I've been loving a bit of nail art recently but without a steady hand I wanted one that would be fool-proof... polka dots. I didn't use a dotting tool or anything fancy just put little blobs carefully using the normal nail polish brush. I went all fancy with my opposite colours as an extra accent nail, what do you think? As for the super shine, I put it all down to the eye Candy Gel Wrap System which I've reviewed recently.

What's your favourite nail colour for going into Spring?

007 for Women

When a fragrance brand brings out a women's version to join their male fragrances, I'm always excited to see (or smell) what they've come up with, especially when it's a brand that my boyfriend is a fan of.  With 3 existing male fragrances in the 007 collection they've added another this time to embody the dangerously seductive nature of the bond women.

They're onto a winner with the rose gold accents. The box is rose gold which is good for catching your eye on the shelf in a perfume shop. Then onto the bottle which is black (not so good when you want to see how much perfume is left) with a rose gold trim. I like the shape of the bottle along with the jagged effect which is very much in line with the 007 brand.

As I've said, when my boyfriend is a fan of the male version I'm always intrigued by the female scent and this one is gorgeous. They describe it as a unique blend of ingredients that's feminine with mystery and a modern oriental twist. Quite a complex combination but but I do know they've achieved the effortless elegance and strong personality that they desired. It's not overpowering but it's a scent everyone's been asking about. It's not too strong or heavy making it perfect for every day. It's warm, feminine and a nice combination of fragrance notes.

What sort of perfume packaging catches your eye?
What do you think of brands with a male and female version?

Wish, Want, Need: Notonthehighstreet

ghd air professional hairdryer review

I'm going to keep this one short and sweet because basically I love this hairdryer and it has honestly changed my approach to styling my hair. With long, thick, porous hair, drying my hair was a long, frustrating task which often took 20-25 minutes. I'd often leave my hair to dry over night to avoid the chore but be left with messy, frizzy hair as a results. Thanks to the ghd air hairdryer it takes 10 minutes to have totally dry hair ready to style.

To be able to cut my drying time by half if not more this obviously would need to have a powerful motor. You'd expect with a 2100w motor the ghd air would be louder or heavier but actually compared to my old BaByliss hairdryer it's much, much quieter even when I've got it full blast. It's nice to be able to carry on watching TV or not disturb the whole house whilst drying my hair. This probably isn't the lightest hair dryer on the market but compared to some I've used it's not going to leave you with arm ache after 10 minutes.

ghd products tend to come with sleek packaging and are simple to use and this is no different. The black smooth outer case and metallic branding look high quality. The long cable is definitely a bonus to the design too.  The speed settings and heat settings are both on the outside with 3 different options along with a cold air button on the inside. It's a no brainer. My preference for heat and speed settings, in case anyone is wondering, is actually highest speed, 2nd heat.

Along with the hairdryer there are two nozzles. These come in handy for a controlled blow dry rather than a quick blast of air. These, along with the power of the hairdryer, and the ionic technology have made drying my hair a much more pleasant experience. Now after 15minutes max. I've got softer, smoother, shinier hair and before. So much so my straighteners are starting to feel a bit neglected!

The only downside of the ghd air that I've come across is the price. It took a lot of consideration, a sale, and the fact that my old hair dryer was sparking and cracked, to make this very expensive purchase. It's true that you're paying for the brand but along with that you're paying for a high quality product, a time saving tool and one that's sure to last a very long time (hey, my straighteners are still going strong after almost 10 years!)

Is ghd a brand that you trust?
What's your biggest hair care splurge?
Have you tried the ghd air?