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It has taken me six year to take the plunge and get my first tattoo and I am glad I waited it out. Here is my first tattoo experience:

I wanted to be 100% sure and to satisfy my mother (she has never liked tattoos). Since my early teenage years I have wanted the above. This little illustration of a robin has a lot of meaning to myself and it is something I find myself often shy about sharing the story behind (odd for me considering how often I talk and write!).

The tattoo is in memory of my late grandfather. As a child I was very imaginative, believing that after he died he came back to visit me as a little robin on frosty days and even some sunny ones.

Whenever I saw the pretty red-breasted bird I would always have a great day and it has remained the same my entire life and is a great comfort for me when times are a bit tough.

Strange to some, but it keeps me happy knowing I will always have it. In a way, it keeps my grandfather close to me!

Do you like it? Do you have any tattoos?

Stephanie xox

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Nothing quite says  English garden party and charm like some bunting draped across the lawn in the summertime.
However, for those of us living in student accommodation and therefore not having lawns (or any real recreational space), we must beautify our bedrooms.
This pretty and floral English Rose Party Bunting from dotcomgiftshop is just perfect to add a bit of vintage charm, be it on a sunny day or to improve the look of a room.Measuring eight metres in length it is just perfect for draping along your wall or across the garden before an important and fun-filled event.
I myself chose to tac the beautiful spring and summer time pennants close together in my room. As the board I have is not particularly long, I still had plenty of pennants to spare!
The fifteen pennants come in five different patterns, repeating them in order as you go along, a lovely combination of roses, sprigs and blossoms.
I am such a fan of floral prints and the brightness and variety of the colours just gets me every time.  I would imagine with proper care you would be able to use it outside for many years to come.
As the bunting is made from cotton it is also super easy to clean and freshen up, leaving everything looking a bit nicer and more festive.
Do you not just adore this bunting? What are you plans for parties this summer? 

Stephanie xox

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Accessories can really make a room at times, they are personal, gorgeous and can really help to create that perfect space.
I adore anything “pretty” and unique. When I came across the tinned candle collection by Bomb Cosmetics I instantly fell in love. I was tempted by the Vintage Velvet Tinned Candle but after a nudge in the right direction chose the Passion Fruit Sundae Tinned Candle*.
Oh gosh was this the perfect choice! This is one of Bomb Cosmetics most popular products and I can see why. Firstly, the packaging is just beautiful. A golden tin with regal looking purple covering and gold letters stating this candle to be “easy like a Sunday morning“. I can see why, the smell just makes you feel so relaxed!
It is a very sweet citrus smell, a perfect combination of the two, the passion fruit fragrance is strong and other notes include peach, mango and satsuma. Talk about a fruity treat eh! Bomb Cosmetics themselves say: “We pride ourselves on making our product not only smell and feel wonderful on your skin, but it also must look beautiful too!” The candle within features a gorgeous bright yellow colour with the addition of four pretty orange hearts, just lovely upon a bedside table
Did I mention that all the products made by Bomb Cosmetics are all handmade on the premises, as natural as possible and packed full of love essential oils? The Passion Fruit Sundae candle is graced with the addition of pure orange and mandarin essential oils and has an approximate burn time of around 35 hours.
What do you think of Bomb Cosmetics tinned candles? What is your favourite fragrance of candle? 
 
Stephanie xox

Body Shapes-tile

Why you should dress for your body shape and not your dress size

The amount of times I have been out with my female family members and friends and heard the frustrated cries from their dressing room while jumping about in an outfit is ridiculous.

Worst thing is, I too have been guilty of exclaiming ‘why doesn’t it look right?!’ before giving up and slinking off for a coffee and depleted chat.

Shopping can be both a pain and a joy when it comes to finding the perfect outfit and the amount of damage these changing room blunders can cause on us girls is shocking.

I’ve decided to take Trinny and Susannah’s 12 body shapes as a definitive guide to help you dress to suit your shape, avoid that body criticism and dress to show off your best assets!

A GUIDE TO THE DIFFERENT BODY SHAPES:

APPLE: Average chest, larger tummy, flat bum and average legs.

BELL: Small shoulders and chest, small and short waist with large thighs and bottom.

BRICK: Broad shoulders, undefined waist, average tummy, flat bum and large thighs and calves.

CELLO: Large chest, hips, bottom, and thighs with a  short waist and slim lower legs.

COLUMN: Slight waist, long legs, same width shoulders, and hips.

CORNET: Broad shoulders, small breasts, undefined waist, slim hips, and long slender legs.

GOBLET: Broad shoulders, large chest, undefined waist, narrow hips, and long legs.

HOURGLASS: Large chest, small and short waist, big hips, and generous thighs.

LOLLIPOP: Large chest, slight waist, slim hips, and long legs.

PEAR: Small chest, long waist, flat stomach, and large legs.

SKITTLE: Average chest, slim waist, average stomach, large thighs, and calves.

VASE: Large chest, longer defined waist, hips to match, slim thighs and legs.

Still confused about which you are? Use the Body Shape Calculator based on Trinny and Susannah’s shapes here or the diagram below.

Trinny and Susannah Body Shape Quiz

HOW TO DRESS FOR YOUR BODY SHAPE:

Now to dressing for body shape,  here is what to opt for to flatter the following shapes:

APPLE: To avoid attention to your midriff wear clothing items that elongate your figure and adds structure such as blazers, ruched dresses and shirts, tunics and empire tops that gather below the bust and flow outwards. Opt for bootcut and flat fronted trousers to lengthen and compliment your legs. The use of large vertical print and patterns also works a treat on highlighting your best assets. Avoid baggy, tight and high-necked clothing that will swamp your figure.

BELL: The bell, like the pear and skittle, means you are bigger on the bottom. As bells naturally have a narrow top half balance needs to be restored to keep you in proportion.  To do so you must use volume in clothing to increase your upper half, avoiding use of the same colour, v necked clothing and long jackets which will emphasis. Use of turtle and cowl necks, vests and frilly shirts will make your upper half appear larger and therefore your lower half will appear smaller. Wearing pleated heavy fabrics and wide trousers will cover and compliment your widest parts.

BRICK: Draw attention and create the illusion of a waist with the use of belts and dresses that clinch your midsection, avoid shapeless clothing and opt for well fitting and structured items that will compliment your figure. Avoid strapless items that will broaden your shoulders and mini skirts that will throw off the proportions of your lower half. Opt for draped fabrics to create curves, fitted tops and knitwear that will bring in and compliment your figure, patterned items that will create shape and panelled skirt which will define your waist and flare to elongate your body.

CELLO:  The cello is voluptuous and often tall, everything remains quite proportionate with a defined waist which needs to be focused on. Wear fitted items that flatter your figure and chest and stand tall. Items such as scooped and v necks, long fitted jackets, empire waist clothing and wide-legged trousers will define and flatter your slim torso, long legs, and large thighs.  Avoid mini skirts, skinny jeans, and polo-necks that will draw attention to these larger areas.

COLUMN: Like the brick you must draw attention and create the illusion of a waist with the use of belts and dresses that clinch at your midsection. Use a variety of solid colours when choosing clothing and avoid the use of print which will fail to highlight your slender figure and the creation of curves.  Opt for high waisted or wide legged trousers which will frame your waist and show off your legs, additionally you can get away with wearing round necked jumpers which will balance your frame. However, avoid cropped  items as they will elongate and emphasize your already enviably long limbs.

CORNET: With your athletic and slender figure draw attention and create the illusion of a waist with the use of belts and dresses that clinch your midsection. Shapeless clothes are a no-go, it will only throw off your proportions even more. Opt for asymmetric clothing that creates shape and proportion, skinny jeans that will give you the illusion of curves and show off your long and slender limbs and flared dresses that shape you.

GOBLET: Known for larger upper halves and slender legs, goblets must take the emphasis off their upper body to create proportion. Avoid baggy clothing (such as shift dresses, wide legged pants and ?), bright colours that will create emphasis on the top half and create disproportion and high neck lines.  Opt for empire waisted tops that bring in your waist and flatter your midriff, wide-necked tops that compliment your chest and low-rise trousers that skim your hips and compliment your slender legs.

HOURGLASS: An evenly proportioned shape that needs simplistic and fitted clothing that work with your natural curves. Opt for items that compliment your chest, hips, and waist and avoid shapeless items. Wrap dresses work well to define your shape, as do scoop and v necklines, three-quarter length sleeves, small belts at the waist, pencil skirts and skinny jeans. Hourglass shapes must avoid layering, baggy clothing, tunics, chunky knitwear and high necklines which will swamp, covering up throws off your proportions and can lead you to feeling and looking frumpy.

LOLLIPOP: Lollipops are tall and slender with long limbs and a sizeable chest so the idea is to broaden your hips and shoulders to maintain proportions. Avoid high necked and high waisted clothing that will over emphasise your chest, long legs and create unbalance, shapeless items are a no go also. Opt for fitted items and draping fabrics to create curves, wide neck lines that will compliment your chest and bring in your waist and flared trousers to balance out your chest and make the most of your slender legs.

PEAR: Pear are a slim shape with wide thighs, not necessarily hips (although this is a common misconception). To create proportion you must balance your small upper and wide lower half. Opt for items that compliment your chest, hips and waist and avoid shapeless items such as tunics and wrap dresses. Wide and straight-legged pants are great for slimming your thighs and adding length to your legs, especially dark colours. The use of an A-line skirt works wonders too, covering your thighs and creating a classic look. The use of high necks is also goods as it will broaden your torso Avoid skinny jeans that will hug your wider half, mini skirts that will elaborate your thighs and bright colours on your lower half that will draw unwanted attention and throw you off  balance.

SKITTLE: Similar to the pear, skittles have wide thighs and calves along with voluptuous legs. Once more to create proportion you must balance your small upper and wide lower half. Opt for fitting clothing on your upper half to draw attention away from your lower, detailed blouses work wonders also. The addition of a flared skirt will skim your thighs and highlight your enviably small waist. Like the pear, wide and straight-legged pants are great for slimming your thighs and adding length to your legs. Avoid skinny jeans that will hug your wider half, mini skirts that will elaborate your thighs and calves and bright colours on your lower half that will draw unwanted attention and throw you off balance.

VASE: A vase closely resembles an hourglass but with a much longer and gently curving torso that must be complimented in similar ways. With long limbs, it is best to show them off with straight leg trousers and high waisted pencil skirts. Opt for fitted shirts to compliment your waist. It’s best to keep clothing simplistic and to avoid covering up with layers, especially baggy or high necked items that will swamp you.

The idea is to understand your body and its proportions and dress to flatter them, but at the end of the day wear whatever makes you happy and confident!

What do you think of the Trinny and Susannah body shapes? Do you dress to suit your shape?

Stephanie xox

St Giles Fair Oxford

St. Giles’ Fair has been an Oxford tradition and annual affair since the 13th century. Each September, people attend in their masses to the two-day event. Held in Oxfords city centre, the fair is always on the first Monday and Tuesday of the month. The funfair is particularly popular with local children, calming them before they begin intense studying during their first term. It is a place to see familiar faces and catch up with close friends.

The rides have got more impressive lately, varying in price but generally between £2.50 and £5. Running till around 11pm, the prices increase later in the evening as the crowds gather. My selection of rides were pitiful in scare factor this year, and hardly the choice of a daredevil as I dashed to Twister, the Waltzers, and The Ghost Train.

The Waltzers were the usual affair, ‘scream if you want to go faster girls’ and oh we did. Who doesn’t want to? We all know we will come off feeling nauseous, but the fun of it brings us back every time.

My fear of The Ghost Train stems from my childhood. I decided to ride alone and a live actor in his ghost-faced splendour began squirting me with water. This resulted in me punching the poor guy in the face, running out crying and swearing to myself I would never board one of those dreaded carts again. Since that moment, my childhood fear has dwindled, and I dared to enter The Ghost Train once more, Thankfully, there were no live actors and the experience, interior and decor were a tad rubbish, to be frank! I guess at 19 I can finally say I am no longer terrified.

Twister is one of my funfair favourites. Raring to go we sang along to the club classics and waved our hands in the air, ready for the laughter the tame ride would bring before the rush home. Little did we know that the ride would completely shut down moments later. This was definitely a first for me and thankfully was not on one of the bigger rides. Annoyingly, they did not get it working again, giving us a fifteen-second ride and a full refund. This is the reason I am weary of fun fairs, yet addicted to theme parks. Safety is a BIG thing for me.
The evening was fun, filled with laughter, candy floss, and dizzy spells. If you are ever in Oxford at the beginning of September I would definitely recommend visiting. There is a little something for everyone and the atmosphere is lovely amidst the music and flashing lights. Opt for the bigger rides, if you’re brave enough that is!