4 Notebooks You Need to Stay Organised

I’ll be the first to admit I bloody love stationery shopping. There’s just something about buying new stationery that makes you want to become a better, more organised version of yourself. Well, at least the intention is there right, even if sometimes you spend longer just looking at stationery rather than getting on with anything…

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The best part of stationery shopping has to be notebooks and organisers (just me?). I’m reaching the stage now where I’ll write a to-do list and then write the same thing in my planner and on my calendar. And then tick them all off. In a colour coded system. Once I realised that was a little bit insane, and that I was spending more time on my to-do lists than actually doing anything, I decided to put each notebook to good use.

So, without further rambling on my escalating stationery obsession, here are my top 4 (that’s right, there are more…ha…help) notebooks to stay organised:

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1. The Agenda

Arguably the most important type of notebook to add to your collection, the agenda is going to help you plan each day and schedule in meetings, events, social occasions etc. It will become your new best friend.

I absolutely love this Kate Spade agenda I picked up in Edinburgh a while ago. Yes, it is rather on the pricey side of life (around £30.00…oops) but it’s just so efficient, how could I refuse?! Plus each month has a “This is the Month to” list, which is too cute. The price tag isn’t so cute but there you go. Who doesn’t want to be reminded that October is the month to carve a pumpkin? Absolutely no one.

The agenda is a fantastic addition to your desk- you can plan things in advance and feel important enough to use the phrase “let me just pencil that in my diary” (yet to happen to me but I can dream). If you buy just one notebook from this post, let it be this one. It’s great.

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2. The Journal

Now, the journal is typically seen as the “creative” style of notebook, filled with unfinished poems and musings on everyday life. Of course, you can use it for that if you want. Personally, I find my journal useful as a “random thoughts” notebook. I use it to quickly jot down ideas for blog posts, or to make notes during my ongoing job search (#graduatelife; the struggle is real). Essentially, a journal is great for scribbling down notes on anything. Plus this one from Waterstones is French and therefore instantly cool.

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3. The Diary

Ok, so this one is perhaps a little less to do with organisation and perhaps more of a…um, diary. You don’t have to go all “Dear Diary” with this notebook though. Instead, it’s great for making a quick, succinct note on what you’ve done that day. I bought this “One Line a Day” diary from Amazon, although I have spied it on various stationery shop shelves. (It’s also second-hand, hence the peek of writing you can see later on in the diary, which I thought was kind of cool).

What I love about this diary is that you’re given a very limited writing space, so it prevents you from rambling on about what you had for dinner (did anyone else do that when they were younger? I genuinely have accounts of the contents of my lunchbox). Plus, it’s a five-year memory book- you can look back and see what you were doing on this day five years ago. Great for keeping track of your time, especially if, like me, you lose track of the days very quickly.

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4. The Handbag Size Notebook

Of course, nowadays most people (including me in all honesty) will just use their phones to make quick memos when they’re out and about. However, there are occasions when your phone just won’t do. I personally always struggle using my phone as a shopping list in a supermarket; I’m one of those people that has to walk around with a physical list that I can cross stuff off of and pretend I’m looking at when standing in the cake aisle. Really I’m just debating whether I need to buy more cakes (always). Anyway, sometimes it’s just nice to write things down rather than type them and popping a notebook in your bag feels more professional.

I hope some (or all!) of the notebooks in this post inspire you to become more organised. If not, well, at least the notebooks are pretty.

 

4 Summer Budget Buys

In today’s post I want to show you some affordable bits and bobs that I picked up recently and inspire you to save money…by spending money. Sorry.

As sad as it is that BHS is closing down, it does mean that the store currently has a massive “everything must go” sale on at the moment (see: sale = saving money! Woo!). This means that every brand stocked in BHS is also on sale so I managed to grab a few things in there. I had to restrain myself from going crazy but I have a feeling I will return at some point soon…

Firstly, I picked up these earrings from Dorothy Perkins and Wallis:

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I really love flat, circular style earrings; I think they look really simple and pretty. Admittedly, it turned out that these earrings weren’t actually in the sale, fantastic sale-hunter that I am, but at only £5.00 for three pairs of earrings I think they’re still a real bargain!

They come in a selection of black, silver and bronze coloured glittery stones set in gold and silver coloured discs. They may be cheap but I think these earrings look really classy and elegant.

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I then picked up these little diamanté cross earrings from Wallis. I usually sway away from cross-shaped jewellery as it reminds me of questionable accessory choices I made in my younger years, but I think these tiny little crosses are quite cute. Plus, these actually WERE in the sale so they were reduced from £8.50 to £6.30 which isn’t too bad!

I’ve been on the lookout for some strappy black sandals for AGES and hadn’t managed to find any comfortable ones anywhere. I would never have thought to look in BHS for shoes but then I discovered these beauties hidden in the sale…

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Now, I haven’t actually worn these shoes out yet so I can’t give you an entirely accurate rating on the pain-and-blister scale, but from trying them on in the shop and prancing around in my bedroom admiring them (we all do that, right?) they do seem really comfortable. They’re made of a material that seems like it will soften with wear (I’ve probably jinxed them now and will be hobbling around the street when I do wear them out), and the strings don’t cut into your leg or anything (as I imagine some may).

They have a slight heel which does seem a little pointless – is being an inch off the ground really necessary?- but I shall forgive them because they’re pretty. Plus they only set me back £22.40 (originally £28).

Finally, I found this skirt in Primark:

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I actually went into town with the aim of finding a buttoned camel or rust coloured skirt (I WILL find one eventually) but then I spotted this pretty dusky pink colour. Plus it is made of the SOFTEST fabric, kind of like suede but still quite thin and light. Best of all, it is only £8.00. I repeat, £8.00. The only bummer is that I’m an idiot and didn’t realise this is actually too big for me, so I’m going to have to go and exchange it tomorrow. Such is life.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this post and found inspiration for a few affordable purchases!

Gold Smokey Eye

Today I thought I would attempt to do another makeup look. I really enjoyed blogging about my last makeup post (you can read that here), even though it takes forever to do the makeup and take a photo at every stage. By forever, I mean around 2 hours- it wouldn’t usually take me this long to do my makeup (can you imagine).

So, this look is a “Gold Smokey Eye”; aka a chance for me to trial a makeup look I was thinking of doing for a summer ball I’m attending. I may have to try out a few other looks, which I will definitely try to blog about, so this could form part of a little series of summer makeup looks.

If you are a student, or maybe just have a busy social life, then you may have summer balls and parties coming up. I think gold is a lovely colour to wear all year round, but looks particularly flattering with a neutral lip and a summery dress!

  1. After initially priming the lid, I applied a light neutral shade all over to act as a base for the other shadows- this is Maybelline The Nudes palette. Excuse the tired-looking eye by the way- this was before 10 in the morning… 😉

2. I then blended this warm brown shade through the crease to add some slight definition.

3. Next, I darkened up the crease some more by mixing the cool-toned brown and the black- both matte shades- to smoke out the eye.

4. After this, I applied the dark bronze-gold colour from The Nudes palette over the bottom part of my lid below the crease. This colour actually came out a lot more red-toned that I intended.

5. To make the lid colour a little more gold rather than bronze, I layered MAC’s All That Glitters over the top.

6. To make the eyes REALLY glittery, I then applied Collection’s ‘Dazzle Me’ loose eyeshadow in Magical (I’ve had this for an absolute age so I’m not even sure if you can get it anymore, but something like Barry M’s Dazzle Dust would give a similar finish).

7. I lined my eyes with the Maybelline Master Precise eyeliner to create a thin, neat wing on my top lashline.

8. Next, I applied a coat of Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara to my top lashes.

9. Finally, I applied the Ardell Demi Wispies lashes and blended the matte brown eyeshadows I used earlier underneath the lower lashline, before applying mascara to my bottom lashes.

Here are all of the products I used on my eyes and the finished eye makeup:

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Clockwise from top left: Maybelline The Nudes eyeshadow palette | MAC Paint Pot in Painterly | MAC eyeshadow in All That Glitters | Maybelline Master Precise eyeliner | Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara | Collection Dazzle Me eyeshadow in Magical.

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I then applied NYX lip pencil in Soft Brown to my lips (obviously) and finished off the rest of my face makeup.

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Can you tell this is my favourite lip colour…? Definitely need to get a new one.

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Clockwise from top left: Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade in Dark Brown | NARS Laguna bronzer | Kevin Aucoin Sculpting Powder in Medium (to contour slightly) | Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish Pressed Powder in Warm Natural | Collection Concealer in no.2 Cool Medium | MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle (to highlight) | Revlon Colourstay Foundation in Sand Beige for Normal/Dry Skin | Rimmel Wake Me Up concealer | Maybelline Brow Drama in Dark Brown.

Here is the final look!

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(Excuse the awkward posing).

 

Outfit | Spring Transition

I haven’t done a fashion/outfit post since last December (how did time go so fast?!), so this section of my blog is definitely in need of an update.

This is the outfit I wore to Brixham the other week (post about my trip here if you’re interested). It was a really lovely day; it was sunny but still a bit chilly – part of that week-long summer we had – so I needed an outfit that had layers in case of changeable weather.

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I decided to wear my mac that has been sitting in my wardrobe for years. I never really knew how to style it but I think I’ve finally found a way of wearing it that I like!

I layered my mac over a simple outfit consisting of my striped top and a black skater skirt with tights and my black boots.

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(This is me trying to look “effortless” in my pose, not sure it worked. I’m kind of just awkwardly smiling at the ground but oh well).

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I’ve realised that pretty much the entire outfit is from New Look. Oops. Somehow I always end up finding something I like in there, and usually at a reasonable price too!

Top, skirt, coat, boots (basically the entire outfit…) – New Look

Satchel – Zatchels

Sunglasses – H&M

Places to visit in the UK: Brixham, Devon

Out of all of my recent day trips around Devon, I think Brixham has been my favourite so far. Brixham is a little harbour town with a really unique feel and PLENTY of photo-taking opportunities (I went a bit mad on this one).

Brixham doesn’t have its own train station, so we got the train to Paignton and the number 12 bus on to Brixham (luckily, this bus goes every 10 minutes). (more…)

Places to visit in the UK: Dawlish, Devon

Another lovely part of Devon I visited recently was Dawlish, a town on the south coast of Devon. This was actually part of a society walk from Dawlish to Dawlish Warren (around 5 miles I think), but we had some free time at the end to stay on the beach. 5 miles isn’t too draining, however, walking through sand dunes is surprisingly challenging with walking boots on- you kind of end up walking like your feet are in bricks rather than boots. Not exactly the beach babe look you want (more like some idiot dressed all in black on a sunny day sweating their ass off as they try to climb the sand dunes) but oh well. (more…)

Review | Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara

Brow mascara always seemed quite a strange concept to me, but after seeing it used in so many makeup tutorials I thought there must be something I was missing out on. Plus, I’d heard that brow mascaras and gels are great for eyebrow hairs that have a tendency to stray out of place, which mine just love to do. So, not wanting to spend loads of money on a product I was unsure of, I went for this affordable brow mascara from Maybelline. It’s only £4.99 so I thought there’s no harm in trying it! I purchased the shade “Dark Brown”. (more…)

Places to visit in the UK: Totnes, Devon

This week I visited Totnes as part of my aim to see as much of Devon as I can before I leave university (I can’t believe how quickly it’s come around). There are loads of lovely little towns in Devon, as well as beautiful countryside like Dartmoor and Exmoor, so it’s a really amazing place to explore. I’m determined not to spend my last term stuck in my room (although I have to admit, the temptation to just sleep all day is strong), as, in my opinion, this is one of the most beautiful parts of England. (more…)

Makeup Tutorial | Pretty Spring Evening

Ok so I say tutorial, turns out it’s actually really hard to do a tutorial through pictures. Who would have guessed. Also, I say “Spring” but really this is just a going-out type makeup you can wear any time of year- I do think the lip colour makes it look a lot more Springy though (Springy? Spring-y? Who knows). (more…)

Places to visit in the UK: Lyme Regis, Dorset

Being an English student, I spend most of my time reading and my weekends are usually occupied with making my way through a novel (that and sleeping until noon every day obviously). However, I am also part of the “Out of Doors” society, meaning that when I can sacrifice a day’s work, I get to jump on a coach or train and walk around the Devon/Cornwall/Dorset countryside. (more…)

Maybelline Lash Sensational | The best affordable mascara?

Maybelline Lash Sensational is definitely one of the most talked about mascaras at the moment. Bloggers/vloggers everywhere seem to be loving this mascara. So, I decided to get my hands on one myself and put this theory of “best mascara” to the test. (more…)

Review | Maybelline The Nudes Palette

I’ve never really been one to buy eyeshadow palettes. Admittedly, I did buy two huge Costal Scents palettes back in the day with a very wearable selection of blues, greens and reds (not), but aside from that, I struggled to find many eyeshadows I really loved. There’s only so many times you can convince yourself that you WILL wear blue eyeshadow one day (save the money, it never happens). (more…)