Thursday 31 January 2013

Things that make me smile

In a previous post I mentioned that towards the end of last year I went through a period of feeling quite down and depressed. The last few months of the year proved to be quite stressful for me as I had a lot going on in my life and I did not feel myself at all which is really unlike me. For some reason I felt sad and alone, and I also felt guilty for feeling this way as there are people out there far worse off and less fortunate than me and I had no exact reason for why I was feeling this way. Normally I am the kind of person that doesn’t let things get on top of me or get me down – I am quite the opposite - I like to look on the bright side of life and turn negatives in to positives. I am that go-to friend that makes you feel better when you’re down and will cheer you up, and this is the way I like to be!

Any way I am back to my chirpy self now as decided to sort myself out and not let things get me down again – after all life is too short and I wanted to begin the new year as I mean to go on – positively! I decided to write a post on little things that make me happy, things that don’t have to cost a lot but that put a smile on my face! Sometimes it really is these little things that make a big difference. Next time you feel less perky than usual and need something to lift your mood, think of something that makes you happy and do it! Even better make a list and try to do a different thing each day. Share it with a friend smile and make them smile too… spread the love!


Things that make me smile…
Cute texts, hot bubble baths, scented candles, painting my nails, complimenting someone, having a healthy day, fresh bed sheets, a cup of hot chocolate, listening and singing to my favourite songs, new lip gloss, tidying my room, watching rom coms, dinner with a friend, dancing, a good work out, looking through old photos, a phone call to a friend, spraying my favourite perfume, writing a list of things I am greatful for, cuddles, writing a list of things I have achieved/that I want to achieve, The Simpsons...

House Music
Hot Chocolate... yummy!

Cute animal pictures

Me on Nissi Beach - Ayia Napa 2012

Hans Moleman Ha ha!

Me and my niece at her Christening

Bubble baths

Favourite lipgloss


What makes you smile? Share your tips!              
Holly xx

Wednesday 30 January 2013

If at first you don't succeed...

Today I feel SO happy as I have finally achieved something that I have been working towards for -well, I have lost track of how long it’s been exactly - so let’s just say a VERY long time! It is something that I found harder than many to achieve, spent a lot of effort working towards and failed at several times. But I didn’t give up, even though I came close to it a few times and felt as though it was out of my reach. But I listened to the words of one of my favourite, inspirational females – Aaliyah Haughton; if at first you don’t succeed, pick yourself up and try again. And that’s exactly what I did, and today I PASSED MY DRIVING TEST!! *jumps in the air with joy*

Monday 28 January 2013

SAG Awards – My top 5 dresses

If you are anything like me then today you will have been pouring over the pictures from yesterday’s SAG Awards and admiring all of the gorgeous dresses, hottest hairstyles and seeing those fashion faux pas! I love admiring the styles worn by the beautiful stars and spotting new hair and make-up ideas to try out. There were so many amazing designs so it was a tough choice, but here are the top 5 I liked the most…
Sofia Vergara in Donna Karan
Kerry Washington in Rodarte
Nina Dobrev in Elie Saab
Jennifer Lawrence in Dior
Jaime Alexander in Marc Bouwer

I also loved Amanda Seyfried and Jennifer Lawrence’s hair and make-up too!
Who did you think looked the best? And the worst? Which designer is your favourite?
Holly xx

Girls Night Out – 26/01/2013

This weekend a group of my girlfriends and I headed to Milton Keynes to celebrate our friend Chelsey’s 22nd birthday! It was my second time partying in the city - which is located between my home town of Northampton and London - and the 7 of us celebrated with a delicious meal at our favourite Caribbean restaurant Turtle Bay Link and then enjoyed a fun filled evening filled with dancing, giggles and lots of cocktails.
The Birthday girl enjoying Strawberry Daquiri's
 Yummy food and cocktails!
To begin the evening we enjoyed a selection of Caribbean dishes washed down with some tropical cocktails and luckily arrived before 7pm – just in time for Happy hour - so all cocktails were 241! I was a little limited for menu choices as I’m not a fan of spicy food and I don’t eat meat, so I settled for a dish that I have had before; mac and cheese with a side of cheesy, jerk fries, yummy! The other girls chose a selection of Jerk chicken, burgers, wraps and dumpling dishes however the spiciness proved to be too much for some.
After the meal we headed back to the hotel to begin pampering for our night out. We had 3 rooms between us so there were plenty of bathrooms and mirrors to go around. Feeling inspired - and slightly tipsy from the drinks at dinner - we decided to make our own cocktails! My favourite was ‘Hairy Navel’ which is a mixture of Vodka, Peach schnapps and Orange juice - fruity but lethal! See the recipe here.
We headed out at around 11pm and braved the cold, rainy weather. I made sure I wore my faux fur jacket for extra warmth. My dress was one I bought from River Island a while ago but haven’t had the chance to wear yet, it was originally priced at £60 but I snapped this beaut up for £20 in the sale. I love studded things and thought the dress would go perfectly with my black suede shoe boots and red lips for a touch of glam!
Dress - River Island
Fur Jacket - Forever 21
Shoe boots - Ebay
It is safe to say we celebrated in style, drank way too many shots and cocktails, danced the night away and gave Chels a birthday to remember. Most of us were feeling the effects the next morning, luckily for me I felt fine with the exception of being a little tired, so I spent Sunday relaxing next to the fire watching films and TV. I hope everyone else had a great weekend, and Happy Birthday to Chelsey!
Holly xx

Sunday 27 January 2013

VO5 Hair Products - Review

I have only recently discovered Vo5 hair products and I am pleased I did. When it comes to hair care I tend to use a variety of products from a range of brands – some high street and some pricier higher end brands. I have never been one to use all products from the same brand, but I think if I was to choose one that is both affordable and good quality then VO5 would definitely be among the options.

VO5 Treat me right Intensive Hair Mask

This was the first product that I tried from VO5. I like to try new hair products as well as sticking to trusted ones that I know work well for me already. I decided to give this mask a go as the product description sounded like just what I needed to moisturise and tame my dry, frizzy locks. I am a huge fan of hair products containing Argan and Moroccan oils and I am yet to try one that has not worked well for me. I was impressed with the sweet smell of this mask; it isn’t the same as any of the other VO5 products I have used and after leaving on for 5-10 minutes my hair is noticeably shinier, smoother and nourished. I am now on my third pot of this mask and it has moved from the ‘new product’ list to the ‘regular purchase’ one.

VO5 Plump it up Weightless Mousse

I only bought this mousse the other day as I was running out of my current one and I have been on the look out for an alternative, also the fact that Boot’s currently have a deal on VO5 products steered me in its' direction! I always look for mousses that promise to volumise hair as for me there is nothing better than a big, bouncy blow dry. I have used this mousse a few times since purchasing and so far it does what it says on the tin. The mousse is non-sticky - I hate sticky products that leave residue in hair - it injects volume in to hair and as with the other products it also smells delish.  Although it is not the best mousse I have ever used, it is a definite must buy for someone who wants to add a bit of extra oomph to a blow dry without spending a fortune like myself.

VO5 Plump me up Dry Shampoo

One of the best dry shampoos I have used – and believe me there has been a few. I was drawn to this particular one as it is from the ‘plump me up range’ and volumising products always catch my eye as I hate having flat hair. The shampoo works a treat and gets rid of excess oil, it doesn’t leave white, powdery marks like many dry shampoos do and also adds volume to hair. A small amount goes a long way and the smell is lush too. I am on my second bottle of this now and until I am tempted to try another new one I will be sticking to this as it works a treat in between washes.

VO5 Smoothly does it Smooth & Shine Spray

Shine spray is a new addition to my hair routine. I was put off a while ago when I used a finishing cream and it made my hair greasy after using the tiniest amount so I thought the same would happen when using a finishing/shine spray. I decided to give it a go as it promises to help smooth and control locks – which is something I appreciate as my hair tends to frizz when exposed to moisture – and any extra shine is a bonus right? After blow drying and running over hair with the straighteners,  it provides the perfect finish to a straight hair do by setting hair in place, smoothing frizz, and creating a lovely shine. As with the other products I have tried, a small amount goes a long way and it doesn’t leave hair weighed-down or greasy so is suitable for fine hair.

VO5 Give me texture Instant Oomph Powder

I have used a similar hair powder by Lee Stafford which I also got on well with. This powder is very similar, but cheaper, and when a small amount is applied to the roots it gives lift and volume and also acts in a similar way to dry shampoo by absorbing excess oil - so I suggest using on hair that hasn’t just been washed for the best results. I use the powder when styling hair before a night out to create lasting volume and prevent my hair falling flat towards the end of the night.

So this is my verdict on VO5 hair products, what have your experiences been like? Is there another must-try product from the brand? Get at me!

Holly xx

Thursday 24 January 2013

Acqua di Gioia by Georgio Armani

I am aware this is not a brand new fragrance, but it is the latest addition to my collection! I was lucky enough to pick up this fabulous gift set in the Debenhams January sale at a generously discounted price. Never one to be able to resist a new fragrance, or a bargain for that matter, I snapped it up and have been addicted to the sweet smell ever since.
I would describe the fragrance as a soft, floral and fruity scent that reminds me of the ocean. The perfume is very feminine and gentle and not over powering which is my ideal kind of fragrance as I find that even the tiniest amount of perfume is very noticeable on me – maybe I just have a very sensitive nose! The key notes used in the perfume are Jasmine, Mint, Cedarwood and Brown sugar – an interesting combination – but one that works!

I don’t tend to use Body Lotion as I suffer from very dry skin so I stick to more intense moisturisers such as body butter and cocoa butter. The Acqua di Gioia Body Lotion has the delicious fragrance of the perfume and leaves skin smelling gorgeous after a bath or shower, however as it is only a lotion it doesn’t really moisturise skin or leave it very soft so I wouldn’t recommend using it regularly if you do suffer from dry skin, however it is ideal to use just before a night out to help intensify the fragrance and leave you smelling sweet for longer. I have been keeping it in my handbag and using as a hand cream for on the go which works well for me!
You can purchase Acqua di Gioia £38.50 for 30ml from The Perfume Shop Link
Have you tried this perfume or any others from Georgio Armani? What's your favourite?
Holly xx

Wednesday 23 January 2013

Quote of the week

Holly xx

Boots mini-splurge 23/01/2013

During my travels today I had a spare 20 minutes before my next bus was due. Instead of waiting in the cold, eery bus station with some slightly strange and scary looking people, I decided to take a wander and have a browse in Boots which is located next to the station.

As many of you will appreciate, there is not really such a thing as a ‘browse’ in Boots or any other cosmetics and beauty retailer for that matter, and as the store often does, they had some great offers on – one being on V05 hair products - which I have recently discovered a love for, so I quickly snapped up some new items and hopefully reviews will follow shortly! Here’s what I bought…

VO5 Plump me up Dry Shampoo
VO5 Plump me up Weightless Mousse
VO5 Smoothly does it Sleek and Shine spray
VO5 Give me Texture Instant Oomph powder
Boots Style Works Hair Serum
Collection 2000 Colour match Foundation
Have you tried any of these products? How did you find them?

Current offer on selected VO5 products: 2 for £5. Link

Holly xx

Sunday 20 January 2013

You Only Live Twice

Today I decided to paint my nails. I love nail polish but because I usually have acrylic nails on I don’t often paint them. I always paint my toe nails but due to the fact that it is winter and my feet are always wrapped up in thick socks and boots, painting them kind of defeats the object! Anyway I am trying to resist my monthly trip to the nail salon in a bid to save money so hopefully I will be able to put my nail polish collection to good use.
Today I chose OPI nail lacquer in shade ‘You only live twice’.I love this colour as it’s not pink but not quite red. It’s a glittery, metallic shade that sparkles when the light catches it. Like with all OPI polishes it only requires 2 coats, nails dry quickly, the consistency of the polish is of excellent quality, it doesn’t chip easily and lasts a good week or so.
In my opinion OPI is one of the best nail polish manufacturers which is why their polishes are often used by professionals and in salons. I love the packaging and the shape of the bottles, the great quality of the polish and the quirky and fun names given to each different colour. They also do many gorgeous limited edition colours and collections as well. Each bottle is around £7-£15 for 15ml and can be purchased at I also wanted to include some of my other OPI favourites, especially the minis as they are so cute!
What's your favourite OPI shade?
Holly xx
You Only Live Twice, Shorts Story and I'm All Ears


Saturday 19 January 2013

Resolutions Shmesolutions…

The month of February is fast approaching which is something I am pleased to welcome with open arms. After what feels like a very long month we can finally say goodbye to our January blues, farewell to the post-Christmas bloat, and so long to the rubbish new year sales. On a more positive note we can say hello to lighter evenings, that long awaited pay day (yay!), spring collections in stores and the countdown to summer can begin.

The end of January also means you are either well on your way to achieving the resolutions you made at the start of the month, or like many, they may have went out the window with in the first week! If the first option applies to you then congratulations, give yourself a pat on the back. If not, who says you need a whole new year in order to make a change?

I don’t like New Year’s resolutions. In my opinion if something needs to change then there is no time like the present to do it. I like to think of it as less of a ‘resolution’ and more of a lifestyle improvement, a positive change or a goal to work towards. Whatever you decide you want to do, it needs to be something that you really want to do – not just what someone else wants you to. Set yourself a goal to achieve something that will benefit you and make a positive change in your life. Only you really know what you are capable of and if you want it enough then anything is within your reach so do it!

If you fancy a career change, research it, gain experience, make a plan and be successful! If you want to lead a healthier life style don’t think of eating healthy as being on a diet, it’s a health kick. Exercising isn’t a chore, it’s a dance class with friends, a stroll in the park on a frosty morning or doing a fun workout DVD in the comfort of your living room. Sometimes it’s the smallest changes that make the biggest difference.  Being careful with money doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself; make an investment, shop around and compare prices to make sure you get the best deal available. Think about purchases before making them to avoid buying on impulse and I guarantee you will reach your goal and feel happier.

Whatever you’re aiming for, there are millions of options out there and ways to get advice to help you be the best you can be. Just remember that if there’s something you really want, then the number one person to help you is yourself. Only you know what you are capable of achieving and what it will take you to get it. So what’s stopping you? You don’t need a whole new year to make a change or set a goal, start now! There’s always room for improvement, the possibilities are endless and there is a part of the world out there that is yours, so go and get it! Oh and remember, you're amazing J


Here’s a few of the positive changes I am hoping to make this year…

To pass my driving test.
This will be such a relief once I do it as I have been learning for a long, long time and I am growing very tired of it to say the least. As the saying goes, ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again’!

To make more effort to see friends and family.
Sometimes it can be almost impossible arranging a date when everyone Is free/has money/can get to the same place. I want to see more of my friends and family as I’m fed up of saying ‘we need to catch up soon’ and never getting round to it! It can be hard travelling to see everyone as I have friends and family all over the place, however I am going to make a conscious effort to travel more and arrange to meet up in different places. As get older I realise the importance of friends and family more and more, so I definitely want to make the most of the ones I have.

To be more conscious with money.
Currently I work full time and live at home with my mum and sister so I am lucky to have a good salary and a minimal cost of living. It’s not going to be this way forever so I want to prepare myself for having less money and learn to be more sensible with my finances. I have always been fairly good with money in the sense that I don’t spend what I don’t have and have never been in debt, however I take for granted being able to buy whatever takes my fancy and I have never really wanted for anything due to not being able to afford it. I plan to cut back on my spending and luxuries and continue to build a healthy savings account. This means no more getting my nails done, treating myself to regular splurges at Asos and I think I can forget that Marc Jacobs tote I had my eye on, something tells me this is going to be hard…!

To be happier.
I like to think of myself as a positive person, I always see the glass as half full as opposed to half empty, however towards the end of 2012 I found myself feeling low and generally quite depressed. Whether it was a mixture of stress, the cold weather or just various things going on in my life, I just didn’t want to do anything or see anyone. This is so unlike me as I have always been a fun and outgoing person.  I felt guilty for feeling like this as there are so many people far worse off than me, so I made the decision that this would not continue in to the New Year. Sometimes it is important to realise what makes us happy and make sure we do things to maintain a good and happy lifestyle. I plan to write further posts on this in the future and share tips on ways to promote happiness and live life to the full!
Holly xx


New Year New Blog

It's over halfway through January and so far this year I have been pretty busy. By busy I mean watching the Series 8 Desperate Housewives box set that I got for Christmas (in my opinion one of the best TV shows ever!), catching up on sleep after all of the excitement of the festive season and the dreaded return to work and also making the most of the January sales, which I have found to be somewhat disappointing this year.  Amongst watching DVD’s, sleeping and shopping I’ve also been preparing myself for the year ahead and making a start on those New Year resolutions, one of which was to start a new blog.

I previously posted on a small blog every now and again, but after giving it some thought I decided I wanted to make it better. I want to post more regularly and connect with readers; I hope people will enjoy reading my blog and share their comments. So here it is, the new and improved Caramella Couture. Feel free to contact me with any questions, suggestions or just your general thoughts… I’d love to hear from you J Happy belated New Year! Love Holly xx