My Love for Animal Print Fashion & Accessories

Hey Sweeties,

In this post I have collated together some (not all) of my favourite animal print patterned fashion clothing and accessories from my collection, a couple of which you will have seen on either here, or my Instagram… or if you know me personally, on me while out and about, before. It’s also apt that I have been putting together this post at the same time the fashion press has also gone wild for it, so there’s no doubt that currently, animal print patterned clothing and accessories are IN! But this love of animal print won’t disappear with next seasons trends, this has been something I have loved for years and will continue to do so for many more to come.

Let’s be clear, I would NEVER wear or buy real animal fur or skin items, I don’t even like leather jackets to be honest, but I love replica prints as they add so much fun to an outfit, and/or to the home. If you’re not careful, too much print can look a bit road kill (excuse the term), but when partnered correctly with other clothing and accessories, it can look so effective. For me, animal print adds that pop of colour and fun to an outfit or the home that I just adore.

The Patterned Scarf 

Quite possibly the easiest way to introduce some print and colour into an otherwise simple and/or plain outfit, and particularly good for those not quite confident enough to wear anything more bold.

animal print

Scarf from River Island

animal print

Scarf from Accessorize

animal print

Scarf from Therapy @ House of Fraser

animal print

Scarf from Therapy @ House of Fraser

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Hey, it’s Okay: The Career Edition – Six Pieces of Life Advice

Hey Sweeties,

Every once in a while it’s good to be reassured that something you’re doing/have done, or the situation you’re in or going into, is okay. While I can share some life advice from a very general perspective, I think my particular expertise covers the area of careers well and so that will be the focus of this first, “Hey, it’s Okay” post. So here goes –

Hey it’s okay:

To spend your twenties exploring multiple roles and industries –

It is no longer the deal to train in one thing and stick with it for the rest of your life like it was in the olden days. Nowadays, it’s the norm to explore a few things before you find what it is you’re good at/want to do; it’s also the norm to move on from one employer to the next every few years, particularly when you’re still building up your experience and network. But be sensible, show logic and focus in your journey rather than moving on for the sake of it or because you got bored.

hey it's okay

To complete as many or as little qualifications as you like –

At 29 years old, I have: 9 (expired) GCSE’s; 3 A-Levels; 2 NVQs in Business Administration; a Dental Nurse qualification (National exam); a Bachelors degree in Media Communications; and a diploma in Copy Writing. I would love to do a Masters degree if time and finances allowed. Why? I enjoy studying and also I just don’t think I’ll ever really shake off the feeling that I was never considered good enough at school, so I spent years afterwards getting myself qualified in everything I pursued. But it’s not essential, a qualification shows you can apply yourself to something, experience demonstrates you can put your learning into practice. But your twenties are definitely for getting yourself qualified in whatever you want to do before time and financial commitments prevent you from having that freedom. Recently got your A-Level results? This post is for you!

hey it's okay

To be Selfish –

No one else is going to give you an opportunity if you don’t put yourself forward/make yourself known, you need to think of number one (that’s you) and work out what it is you want and go and get it. I know it’s difficult to make moves and things when you have a partner, or a mortgage etc. but where possible, don’t be afraid to move to a new location for your dream job, and it takes time to climb the salary ladder so be prepared to start low, but climb high. This day and age, you can do and be anything.

Hey it's okay

To be intimidated by highly successful women –

I don’t mean this negatively, when I read about successful women who have climbed to the top of the ladder before I’ve even got out of bed in the morning is inspiring, but it’s also intimidating. We have to champion our female leaders and those young women who have made a name for themselves in the business world, but it’s okay to be a little overwhelmed by them too. I’ve worked my damnedest to get to where I am now and while for many that might not look significant, but if you’re familiar with my Graduate experience you’ll know how long it has taken me to find my footing. You and me have probably worked as hard as those women we read about, but their journey has propelled them further, quicker, but that doesn’t make them better. See my top ten list of successful women, here.

hey it's okay

To want a family –

It’s amazing how in the 21st Century, women fundamentally still have to chose between being a mother, or having a career. I say fuck society and do both… if you want to. But it’s also okay to choose motherhood and spend some time raising a family because that’s still a pretty crucial role to play. For me I am at that point where motherhood beckons on the horizon but so does my want to still do well and do more in my career first. I also have concerns about what will happen to my job once I go on maternity leave; will it still be there several months on for me to take back or will I begin a frustrating period of life whereby I am punished for having a family? Who knows. But from what I’ve been told, by both men and women, is that you can’t really ever know and if you’re lucky enough to have a family, you’ll make it work and there’s no point delaying it because you’re worried about the what ifs.

hey it's okay

To have your cake and eat it –

Because you can.

hey it's okay

What I am wearing: Shirt – Dorothy Perkins; black leggings – ASOS; Shoes – Dorothy Perkins; Bag – Fiorelli.

 

What life advice would you pass on to your younger self?

Until next time x

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How to Grow an Avocado: From Pit to Tree -A Step-by-Step Guide

Hey Sweeties,

Something a bit different for you this fine Sunday, but hopefully a welcome one. As you, me, my rabbit Wilfred and the entire western world know, we have gone nuts for avocados in recent times and as we devour these peculiar looking, soapy feeling, delicious tasting food stuffs, most people remove the pit and lob it in the bin; not me. For the past few months I have been trying to grow an avocado and while I am still yet to produce an actual avocado (apologies for the early spoiler), I feel it’s only time before I do. Until then however, I thought I would share with you the growing process so far and should you wish to also try and grow an Avocado or two, you can see how it’s done.

Disclaimer: I am in no way an expert on avocado growing, my advise should be perceived as a guide only.

So, to begin you need to have an avocado with the pit removed; cocktail sticks; a tall pot or cup (I have been using jam jars); and patience. It’s also very easy to get carried away and save all future avocado pits with a view of growing trees from them, hence why in the photos you will soon see, I have several pits on the go in various stages of growing.

So.

With the avocado pit removed, you need to clean it and peel off the outer skin. I won’t lie, this can be really fiddly and while some pits are easy to peel, others take ages and in these situations, I often use a knife tip to help pick off the skin (please seek the help of an adult in the event you’re a child reading this). Sometimes leaving the pit to dry out a little can help with the peeling process to.

Avocado growing

avocado growing

avocado growing

With your pit(s) peeled, you need to get three cocktail sticks and pin them into the top part of the pit in like, a triangular formation so the pit will be able to balance in a cup. It’s also really important here to make sure you get the pit the right way around so that you root the correct part in the cup, and also to ensure you don’t pin the sticks along what looks to be cracks; once the pit grows, it’ll split and it’ll just help things if it can do that freely.

avocado growing

Then, with your pit(s) peeled and the cocktail sticks in place, you simply need to balance it within the top of a pot or cup –the reason why I said earlier it ideally needs to be tall, is because once the roots of the avocado tree grow, again it just helps if it has room and the pictures below should help you understand why more visually.

avocado growing

The best place to position your cup(s) with the pits balanced inside is along a windowsill so it can get lots of light. You also need to fill your cup with water until only the top of the pit is exposed; I would also recommend changing the water weekly to ensure it’s clean, but do check the pit every couple of days and top up the water as necessary.

After a couple of weeks, hopefully you should start to see the pit split and the beginnings of roots and the stalk of the avocado tree appear, but be warned, this can be an extremely timely process and if you don’t see anything after a couple of weeks, just be patient.

avocado growing

avocado growing

After a couple of months of growing, you should have a split pit with roots and a tree stalk (with leaves, and it’s not uncommon for two stalks to sprout) and firmly outgrown the cup/jar/pot it has been growing in until this point. Now it’s time to plant!

avocado growing

avocado growing

avocado growing

avocado growing

I won’t patronise you and tell you how to plant something in soil (except do of course remove the cocktail sticks), but although they now look strong in health, I would still advise keeping the avocado plants indoors or if they do go outside, they need to be sheltered. Of course it depends on where you live in the world but if you’re in the UK, our weather can quite quickly kill anything not yet sturdy enough to fend for itself. However, a greenhouse or similar should be fine.

avocado growing

How long it takes after that to eventually grow an avocado you can actually eat is anyone’s guess to be honest and I may never get there, but I’m enjoying the process so far. I’ll be sure to let you know if I do succeed!

How do you best enjoy eating avocado? For me I love it mashed up on toast!

Until next time x

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MAC x Caitlyn Jenner Finally Free Lipstick Review & Swatches

Hey Sweeties,

Whether I have made it obvious on here (ClaireySweetie) or not, I am someone that loves to both support and take part in initiatives, sporting events, bakes and sales of specific products etc. that raise money for important causes, whether that be big national/international campaigns, or locally with friends, family and colleagues. I am a big fan of MAC makeup, but rather than go mad in stores, I am quite selective with what I purchase, selecting products that I truly feel will be a welcome addition to my collection. Of course that doesn’t mean I don’t do the odd spontaneous buy, but you get what I mean.

Long time readers of my blog will be familiar with my two posts that I wrote last year about/involving Caitlyn Jenner, first of her announcement to transition (here), and secondly of the Vanity Fair cover that she revealed her new image (here). While we could argue all day about her privileged decent into becoming a woman, the awareness she has raised for the transgender community is huge and cannot be disputed, and her collaborating with MAC, continues the message of support.

MAC Finally Free

MAC Finally Free

“Caitlyn Jenner has fearlessly shared her transition with the world. Her new M.A.C lipstick, Finally Free, champions all ages, all races and all sexes. The full RRP less VAT will benefit the transgender community in the UK” -MAC website.

While I am a sucker for purchasing lipstick (aren’t we all!), Finally Free -a mid-toned rosey nude- is beautiful and I would argue a real asset to any collection. As a matte lip lover, the cremesheen formula makes for a welcome change and leaves lips with a gorgeous (erm,) sheen to them upon application. I have tried the lipstick with and without the additional of lip liner and while I personally prefer to wear lipstick with liner, it works just as well without.

MAC Finally Free

MAC Finally Free

It’s always a risk purchasing online exclusives when you haven’t seen them before, but reviews of MAC’s Finally Free lipstick put me at ease, and for those familiar with the various MAC formulas, should be comfortable with what they are purchasing. Overall, I would thoroughly recommend Finally Free and have no doubt it’ll become an every day staple nude.

What are your favourite MAC lipsticks?

Until next time x

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Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara & Stay All Day Liquid Eye Liner | Review

Hey Sweeties,

Recently I was lucky enough to win (through Twitter) a competition to receive the Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara and the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner. Until this, I had only tried one other Stila product in the past which was the Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner (review here), which I received in the Latest in Beauty Glamour Party Beauty edit box a couple of Christmas’ ago (review here); to this day still one of the best beauty boxes I have ever purchased/received!

Stila mascara and eye liner review

Stila mascara and eye liner review

Stila mascara and eye liner review

I’ve got to be honest, when I first opened the Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara and saw the wand applicator, with its large head and clumpy bristles, I was sceptical that it was going to give the kind of finish I like and also be true to its name. But how wrong I was, this is a gorgeous mascara and it absolutely lives up to what it says on the tin -huge, extreme lashes, and the wand coats product without clumping; it’s amazing!

The eye liner, it’s got to be said, applies like a dream –it’s so easy and quick to do! I love the pen shape of the product which makes it really easy to hold, and the nib is lovely and fine so it will work for those that like to lightly define their eyes, as well as for those like me who like a dramatic wing/cat eye flick, as you can of course build the thickness. The product also lasts really well and once it’s applied you can pretty much leave it for the rest of the day without worrying that it has smudged, I even played hockey the other night and it all stayed beautifully in place.

Stila mascara and eye liner review

Stila as a brand sit a little bit on par with Benefit for price point, so while their ranges are affordable and good quality, they do sit at the higher end of the high street scale. The Huge Extreme Lash mascara is about £18, and the eye liner ranges between £13-14.50 depending on where you shop, but both are available on Amazon.

Have any of you tired either of the Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara or Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner? Thoughts?

Until next time x

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