Monday, 30 June 2014

Zatchels store York

A couple of weeks ago a very nice little invite popped into my email box for the grand opening of the Zatchels shop in York. As far as events go which warrant booking the day of work and hopping on a train across Yorkshire....this event defiantly counted as one of them.

One of the main reasons I love Zatchels (other than the amazing sale at the moment) is all their products are hand produced here in the UK. Leicester to be precise. They took up the traditional skills in the area from the shoe making factory's and began manufacturing modern satchel style bags in 2011. 

If you look at the bags in details its quite amazing the amount of time and effort that goes into making each bag and it really makes it feel that little bit more special. Plus the smell of leather as you enter the shop for me is always a sign of good quality. You don't get that from many shops now do you. 

Despite all the products been made by traditional techniques it still doesn't stop the brand having a quirky edge with Zatchels bags ranging from metallic reds and blues to shocking neons. My favourite been the rose print bags, inspired by the Yorkshire rose. 

See my gorgeous metallic red Zatchels barrel bag styled in my latest outfit post


Sunday, 29 June 2014

Listen up we're looking for recruits

I  think I'm going to finally admit I love taking outfit posts. Especially when Jess is taking the pictures, I will freaking miss that gal when she goes back to Coventry although I'm sure I will see her little face out and about at events. 

This outfit I feel is "me". Statement heels, Tartan and leather, plus I seem to wear red and black quite a lot. The tights are actually fishnets as well which I feels gives more the rock chic edge too the outfit. I wore this outfit Saturday to meet some of my favourite ladies for lunch...although I was late so I only had time for desert and a cocktail (who's complaining? not me). Then it was onto a meeting with Cohorted, the social shopping website. I'll be explaining more about Cohorted in upcoming posts but for now I recommend you check the website out. 

Jacket: Topshop (old)
Dress: Ark clothing £12.00 (All sale items 241 in store)
Shoes: New look via ASOS (old)
Bag: Zatchels* Currently on sale £50 now £15.00

I love this dress I feel it's one of those multi-wear items, perfect for work, summer with bare legs and winter with thick tights. 

The bag is an amazing treat which I was gifted with at the Zatchels opening in York. It's the perfect size for nights out and I love the metallic red colour. All Zatchels bags are handmade and are excellent quality so I really don't have to worry about the embarrassment I've had over the years from Primark bags snapping on a night out. I think it's more or less fact that 90% of all girls have experiences a primark bag strap snapping on a night out. At first I didn't know what to think of the fastening on the bag been a buckle and not a magnet popper. However I am freakishly paranoid about someone mugging me as I'm waking through town or on nights out so for that reason I love it, it's also not as much hassle as you would think. Plus this weekend only Zatchels have the most amazing sale where there leather bags are reduced, meaning this beauty is down from £50.0 to only £15.00. As much as Mr Banker would disagree I feel I should stock up on more colours.

Now onto the shoes. Yes I am wearing glitter boots. I bought these in a past ASOS sale and at the time I did think, when will I get the chance to ever wear glitter heels however I bought my time for a while and still the opportunity didn't arise. So in the end this weekend I thought I would finally brave wearing them. I don't actually think they look half as outrageous as I expected and I find the cut of ankle boot style added to the  grungy look. I will admit I do like playing dress up with my outfits and creating different looks. 

Verdict on the outfit?

Hope your all enjoying the weekend.

Remeber to check out Cohorted!

 Zatchels sale , ends this weekend.


Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Monthly Beauty Favourites

Imperial leather foamburst

VO5 plump it up dry shampoo

superdrug face masks

Imperial leather Foamburst: Sweet vanilla and cherry blossom & Rebalancing green tea and jasmine.*
I love shower gels that lather well as they always tend to feel a little bit more luxurious. The newly revamped foamburst shower gels from Imperial Leather feel great on the skin and are a very affordable treat for the morning wake up shower with the rebalancing green tea and jasmine scent, or good for a post bed shower with the soothing scents of sweet vanilla and cherry blossom. I also find these a great alternative to shaving foam and much better scented (and often cheaper) too. Also the packaging looks pretty cool. 

Superdrug Vitamin E nourishing night cream £2.99
I've had quite dry skin recently and I will admit I don't tent to stick to any long cleansing skin care routine I just use the basics. Therefore I want my products to be simple and require very little effort. Since I do usually forget to moisturise on a morning and am usually running out the house in a rush I prefer to stick to more an easy night time routine. I've never tried many night creams but for £2.99 I picked this up in a Superdrug haul (I think I'm preferring Superdrug to Boots recently) and it's working just fine to add moisture back into my skin. It's by far not the best but for the price It's pretty good and the moisturiser has a good texture. It does the trick for me so spending money on a more expensive night cream seems pretty silly. 

Superdrug dead sea mud mask & aloe vera mud mask £2.59
whenever I'm having bad skin days I seem to always think I really should put a face mask on. Despite these occurring thoughts I haven't bought face masks in years as quite honestly I find them a chore. I am trying to be better to my skin so I picked up these 2 mud mask (buy one get one half price). I must say both have been impressive and they dry very quickly on the skin and you can really feel the tightening tingly sensation on the skin. There is something about mud masks that makes me instantly feel refreshed and reminds me of a spa. Again for the price I'm impressed and hope I find that little bit of extra time to pamper myself every now and again. 

VO5 Plump it up dry shampoo £1.77
I talk quite a bit about my my fine damaged hair and I'm always looking for a quick fix to cure it. Whilst there is no quick fix to this what there is, is a quick fix to volume. Having had a love hate relationship with batiste xxl volume dry shampoo for about 2 years I find it drys the hair out and makes it feel matted. I was sceptical this product would do the same but for a volumising dry shampoo it actually still leaves the hair feeling soft just with the added extra bounce.

What are your favourites this month?


Sunday, 22 June 2014

She said now, what about

Shoes: Blowfish

I am 100% in awe of this outfit from FD Avenue right now. It's stylish yet modern and I'm a huge fan of the 2 piece combo outfits. It makes a great value wardrobe addition. I can imagine the top looking very 80s with some bright disco leggings or the skirt been mixed into a whole range of outfits from work wear to nights out. Unfortunately I am very much missing a pair of killer heels (I would of gone for a white platform heel) for this outfit, however I was spending a day in York Saturday with some of my favourite ladies and if you have ever visited York, you will know it's not the most heel friendly place, with their adorable yet dangerous cobbled streets. By dangerous I don't mean your likely to be mugged, in the street, it's a very nice pleasant place, however in terms of breaking my ankle the chances for me (with my crazy shoe addiction) is very high. Obviously I'm really selling York to you guys right now.

I've posted about York on a number of occasions and the city is somewhat a bloggers dream. Despite spending the day with HayleyKel, Sharon and my newly appointed photographer Jess (just kidding, but she did take these amazing photos). We made it a no blogging day, it's nice to see how blogging how bought me together with some amazing ladies who are now very much very good friends. It was nice for us all spending the day together shopping, drinking and having lunch as simply friends not bloggers. 

Verdicts on the outfit?


Sunday, 8 June 2014

Roxy Lane's Leeds | Launch night

A little while back I was invited down to Roxy Lanes, the sister bar or Roxy Ballroom in Leeds to check out the new hotspot in town, a cocktails bar / 4 lane adult bowling alley. Genius eh? 

When I originally posted on Roxy Ballroom I describes this as almost a secret hide out and quite like your not supposed to be there. Roxy Lanes for me fits the same description, although this time this place feels even more of a secret. Especially because I walked past the place everyday on my way to work and still failed to spot it before the opening. 

Located on the edge of Bond Street tucked away next to the Tesco Metro and accessible through some small doors it's only a stones throw away from the very successful sister bar Roxy Ballroom yet a little more unknown.

Walking up the stairs and into the bar the first thing to greet you is the bowling alley shoe exchange. Very cleaver to establish very quickly this ain't just a bar...its a freaking bowling alley. Obviously I make a b-line straight for the bar and resumed to bowing after a few cocktails.

Roxy Lanes Leeds
Roxy Lanes Leeds
Roxy Lanes Leeds
Roxy Lanes Leeds
Roxy Lanes Leeds

Upon arrival I decided it would be best to put the bar staff through the paces testing out their cocktail making skills. I ordered " a proper spanking" (cocktail you little rascals) containing Absolute raspberry, Chambord, apple schnapps shaken with lime, raspberry and apple. This was delicious and dare I say it was the best "proper spanking" I'd had! (did I really just write that?). The bar was well stocked and there was a good range of cocktails and drinks on offer, I don't feel the cocktail selection was the most creative I've seen but it was a nice balance of classics with the odd twist. 

On the night there was also samples the new food menu. The menu consists of mostly Pizza's and grilled sandwiches, nothing too fancy, just simple lunch (or soaking up beer) done food at its best.  We made the rookie error of sitting away from where the food was dished out, but what I did get to try was very nice. I also remember describing the chips as the best chips I had tasted. I'm not sure if this was the cocktails talking but either way what a compliment. 

The bowling alleys officially opened with a match between two of my favourite Leeds bands, The Pigeon Detectives and Sunshine Underground. I believe from my cocktail laden conversation with the Pigeon Detectives they won. Note to self when you get the chance to chat your all time favourite band it's best not be drunk! Although they are nice guys and as embarrassing as I promised myself I wouldn't be, they did pose for photos. 

Overall I love the concept of the bar and the idea of an adult bowling alley. Putting a pair of bowling shoes back on defiantly bought back some good childhood memories and I forgot how fun a game of bowling with your friends could be. I cant wait to return and It's nice to have something "grown up" to do other than a night of cocktails (not that there's anything wrong with that).

Have you been to Roxy Lanes?


Updated version: What defines someone as a Blogger/YouTuber?

I've made a few amendments to this post since it was originally posted live yesterday. I've been questioning some of my own points since I posted this and feel I wrote the post, quickly and a little sloppy. So here are a few amendments. I just want to clarify my own views on this better. Also I feel some of the statements were taken out of the contexts and the original point to article was missed.  However to clarify the basis of my original argument still remains the same.

Where did the debate begin? 

So after Toya going into the Big Brother house on Friday night a big stir was created on twitter amongst the blogging community and some very divided opinions came out. 

Firstly the rumour mill was already in overdrive that a YouTuber was going into the Big Brother house and everyone was eager to see who this was. When the YouTuber star was revealed as 29 year old Toya a "who is she" broke out. When her YouTube channel was finally found and we all saw she had 173 followers (this has risen significantly after launch night) the question that caused a lot of divided onions was can she be classified a YouTuber. (I will also say now this is nothing personally against here, I quite like the girl. I'm going to look at the bigger question of what makes someone a YouTuber or a blogger). 

To some people the answer is quite simple:

"If you write a blog your a blogger, if you make a YouTube video your a YouTuber"

Obviously since the boom of blogging and YouTube it has only been recently the public and the media have classified certain well know high profile YouTube personalities under the word "YouTuber". However where do the smaller less know bloggers and YouTubers fall into the classification.  There's nothing that says x amount of followers gives you this credibility that we have come to associate with the higher profiled higher followed YouTube personality's.  

Even when I'm at events or have emails from PR companies I'm referred to as a blogger, I refer to my friends with blogs as bloggers or YouTubers, however I think all bloggers feel a little weird when refereed to by this term from other people sometimes. For me if a PR company is saying "This is Sammie, She's one of the bloggers" I start to instantly question my own credibility. I've had my blog for around a year and a half, work hard at it almost on a daily basis and have gained substantial traffic, yet I still feel a little wobbly as to what other people feel the term means. Are other people thinking I'm "bigger" than what I am by using the term blogger to classify me?

Hobby vs Occupation.

Most bloggers or YouTubers have probably been to an event where we have been asked what we actually do. Typically most of  us see this question as what we do when were not blogging or making YouTube videos. Typically I answer this question with what I do as my day time job and so do most other people, with the exceptions of full time mum, student etc which is just as creditable and just as time consuming as any full time job. My point is we answer this question with what we feel is best definition of ourselves. 

If you saw the few tweets last night that said blogger or YouTuber is a code word for the unemployed, you may think this isn't fair. However there is still credibility to the statement.

If you are unemployed and write a blog, you are unemployed with a hobby.Yet still Blogger is most likely the description of yourself that shows you in the best light. 
If you blog as your occupation (such as registered as a self employed blogger) than it's likely you would feel blogger is the best description of yourself also. 

We all know blogging can be a time consuming hobby for the smallest of blogger and if you've been lucky enough to make enough to make a living from writing a blog or making YouTube videos, you are clearly within your rights to call this your full time occupation and as such apply that same word "Blogger" or "YouTuber" to yourself. The difference been your success. I feel it's fair to assume anyone who is able to make a living from blogging has a successful blog. 

I'm sure anyone trying to be a full time blogger as their occupation or anyone who has started a self employed business will know this takes dedication. 80% of new businesses fail in there first year, if you aren't making enough money to pay your bills or overheads you would have to cease trading. You would no longer be self employed you would be unemployed. However blogging doesn't come with much cost, it's likely if your blog doesn't take of you wouldn't just pack it in, you would try harder. Yet it's likely you would still feel Blogger is the best description of yourself if that is your only focus. 

What gives a blog or a YouTube channel credibility? & What defines success?
I feel this is quite simple in some ways and falls under basic supply and demand. If people like your blog they will read it, if people like the videos you make they will watch them. If you are successful in say creating make up looks on YouTube and people learn from your videos and 1000's of people request more, it's hard to say the video wasn't a success. If you make a video showing people your £1000's of pounds worth of make up what mummy and daddy bought you and it gets 1000's of views yes that may be successful but what credibility are you expecting to gain..credibility of a spoiled brat? 

Obviously anyone would rather define themselves as a blogger as opposed unemployed. However just because you have a blog or YouTube channel and are able to devote more time to it than say someone working full time or someone with children isn't going to gain you any more credibility. The extra time you can devote to your hobby is likely to make it more successful, but it isn't automatically gaining any more instant creditability.  

If you make an appearance on Jeremy Kyle or You've been framed are you then going to call yourself a "TV personality"?

Credibility is always going to be earned buy the quality of the content you produce and success is never going to happen over night. 

If you aren't bored of reading lets me sum up my point?

Everyone is entitled to define themselves by how they see themselves best. I would define myself as a blogger depending on the situation I am in. When someone asks what I do I choose to answer this by my full time occupation. When someone asks what my hobbies are, I say I'm a  "Blogger". We are human and it is in our nature to always try represent ourself in the best light. 

However just because we define ourself by something doesn't make it creditable. If you define yourself as a "full time yummy mummy" (vom) and your child is 18 then anyone would question the credibility of this and assume unemployed. If you define yourself as a celebrity after your appearance on Big Brother 2007 and no one has heard of you, it's transparent there isn't creditability to the statement. 

Credibility in any occupation or hobby is earned. I know I could easily talk about this topic in much more detail all day and could easily touch on the rise of social media, the rise of reality TV star and the rise of the fame hungry but I'll leave that for another day. What are your views on the debate?

Remember to leave all your comments and views below, you can also tweet me at @LilBlondeSammie


Friday, 6 June 2014

Monthly Beauty Favourites

So you may know by now I'm not the most punctual of people. Although this is a little late, here are my monthly beauty favourites from May. Better late than never aye?

Tanya Burr Nail Varnish in Little Duck
Superdrug - £5.99
So to most of you I doubt Tanya Burr needs little introduction. I must admit although I don't follow her myself I was still bound to be curious when a blogger/YouTuber launched her own range of nail varnishes and lip glosses. I'm also proud of the way it shows the positive changes in the media industry from the power of social networks. Good on you girl! After visits to 3 Superdrug stores I finally tracked down the one product I wanted the most. This delightful little nail varnish in the shade Little Duck. I wouldn't say it's a long lasting nail varnish or particularly great quality but the colour is stunning. It's also an excellent dupe of the well loved (more expensive) Essie's Candy Apple (nail varnish). I would defiantly recommend using a good quality top coat to prevent from such quick chipping. 

Oriflame The One Eyeliner stylo*
Oriflame - £5.95
This is a fairly impressive product. Although I don't have the steadiest of hands when it come to applying any kind of liquid eye-liner or pen style eye-liners I was really impressed with this product. I may need a little work at applying it in a straight line however one thing that's guaranteed is this product lasts. The stuff seriously does not budge. Further details of Oriflame here.  

Sleek blush in Rosegold
Superdrug - £4.49
I've never been a massive blusher person. I really don't know what changed recently as the last few months I seemed to of made quite a few blush purchases. The one shade that I utterly love and what has become a make up bag staple for me has been the sleek blusher in rose gold. It's a georgeous rose colour with a very obvious gold shimmer. It gives a very flushed look to the cheeks with a brilliant shimmer. For me this is also lazy make up at it's best. I find when I cant be bothered with highlighters and contouring this is a perfect quick fix for still looking like you made an effort with your face.  

L'Oreal Elvive extraordinary oil mist
L'Oreal - £9.99
This product was defiantly not an instant attraction, however over time I have grown to love this hair oil mist. At first I found it made my hair feel weighed down and a bit greasy, however after my roots were done my hair has been feeling very sorry for it's self as the bleach really seems to have taken it's toll this time and I turned to this hair oil for comfort. I've found spraying onto towel dried hair and leaving for a few minuets before blow drying really helps keep my hair soft and tangle free. I am still cautious of using this on dry hair as it can make hair feel greasy however in small amounts this is a very good product for seriously dry hair. 

Eco Tools - Flawless face set
Feel unique - £11.99
This is such a cute unique little kit and it has some very nice make up brushes which I hadn't seen in other ranges before. Although the foundation brush is tiney tiny and not practical for the whole face I really enjoy using these brushes for applying concealer more precisely and overall helping create a more flawless face. 

What have been your beauty favourites this month?


Monday, 2 June 2014

An introduction to Crabtree & Evelyn

So last week, I took a little trip for the first time to Crabtree & Evelyn in the Victoria Quarter in Leeds. I've never visited this store before, so It was nice to be invited down for a little nosey and try out some of their products. Crabtree & Evelyn also have such a cute little campaign going at the moment to share your beauty tips (the leaves on the tree in the window all have hand written beauty tips on from customers..and of course me) and in return receive a £5 voucher for the store. 

I will admit I did use to avoid the smaller beauty stores such as this one, unless I knew I wanted to buy something in particular.  I felt either the staff at these kind of intimate stores typically persuade me into buying things and I feel quite awkward having to stand and chat with the assistants as they big up there expensive products and make me feel guilty that I don't already know about the wonderful magical powers of lavender for example or that I haven't been in the store before. Or the other option is leave empty handed and have a guilty feeling that they must feel I was trying to steal something if I didn't buy anything. Now please tell me you all understand this.

Anyway's after my visit to Neal Yards Remedies a while back I realised these places aren't so bad and actually it's quite nice to have shop assistance who care and know about their own products. In fact they should teach the girls at the Mac counter a thing or two about been warm and friendly. 

The event was the perfect opportunity to mingle with the staff, who I actually can't believe didn't once try to sell me any products! Other than mentioning they sell their own range of biscuit after I practically scoffed all the display ones, there was no sales antics going on at all. FYI They really are the nicest biscuits I have ever tasted. (and that's also probably where the tummy has come from in my latest outfit post

The fact there was no hard sell really spoke volumes about the products. I love their unique scents of hand creams including the avocado and basil scented one. Don't worry it wasn't too weird and the scent was actually rather refreshing. I was also pretty shocked to find out they stock their own range of nail varnishes in some very pretty colours and I was especially shocked by just how wonderful their perfume range is the Venetian Violet is such a wonderful scent and reminds me of parma violets.  

Have you tried Crabtree & Evelynn

Don't forget to leave your beauty tip in store and to pick up your £5.00 voucher

My beauty tip - Don't over pluck your eyebrows!


Sunday, 1 June 2014

Style it up with shoes | Outfit of the day |

Well you may have guessed but recently outfit photos are one of my favourite things to share with you. The lovely Jess took these for me at the #LeedsMayMeet organised by another of my favourite ladies Hayley

I had my outfit planned for a while in my head but then when I went shopping I couldn't find the outfit I had dreamed up. So this is what I wore on the day instead. Does anyone else do that, then becomes disappointed when the shops don't have in stock what you have imaged in your own head?

I thought I would go fairly casual and then style the outfit up with some shoes (reading that line back makes me think I've watched too many episodes of SATC, however I would long for the wardrobe of Miss Bradshaw). 

I've got a habit of turning up to blogger events in Jeffrey Campbell's as if I'm honest there impractical to wear for anything else. Although as you can see this pair I do happen to get a lot of wear from. Maybe I should of cleaned them eh? 

Shirt - Topshop (old)
Jeans - Topshop (similiar)
Necklace - Primark in stores now

I'm kind of in two minds about this outfit. Firstly I'm looking at these thinking Jesus woman suck your stomach in! The second thought is the outfit is very "casual me". Although casual me doesn't usually wear heels as much. I really love this necklace with the buttoned up shirt. The last few months I've noticed primark really have upped their game in terms of accessories and they have some stunning necklaces in at bargain prices. 

Finally the shoes....ahhh the shoes. These have been my favourite pair for a while. They are the Jeffrey Campbell Madame heels in black. I've worn them so much on nights out as you can see they aren't in great condition now but they still managed to generate a lot of compliments on Saturday.


Disqus comments