Monday, 30 November 2009

Words to Live By #67

"Do not follow where the path may lead.
Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

This plaque was outside the New York, New York hotel in Vegas and I just had to get a shot of it for WTLB. Watch out to the first part of my budget guide tomorrow. Enjoy your Monday!

Saturday, 28 November 2009

The Saturday Salute 28.11.09

Image thanks to helgabj

What is it about these first few weeks of winter that make you feel sooooo lazy?! I don't know. But I'm definitely suffering from it, people. Bad timing too, as uni deadlines are approaching... On that note, here's a heap of happy procrastination.

The Glam Grad Student asks: what's the secret of female friendships?

The most exciting site I've come across in quite some time: P.S. I Made This. Eye candy alert!

What do you think about The Art of Re-Gifting on University Chic? I'm not convinced.

Loving your body vs. making peace with it from Venus Vision.

Why the Media Sucks on Too Shy to Stop: "what we need is actual, legitimate, vital journalism that a curious public will consume." A very long but interesting and challenging article.

Enjoy your weekend guys and gals!

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Eclectic Aesthetic 21.11.09 (The 21st Birthday Edition)

Just a few snapshots of my birthday in the mighty Las Vegas. The budget guide will be winging its way to you next week as I'm snowed under with backed-up university work just now...(poo.)

This is me and Cai beside one of the many Bellagio swimming pools which we missed out on because we didn't bring our swimsuits - doh. We didn't expect it to be so warm. Oh heck, just another reason to go back I guess!

I know the images are a bit teeny-weeny, I didn't plan to make an outfit post, but you get the idea!

Long black top ♥ Joy
White top ♥ Dorothy Perkins
Black bow ♥ Primark
Tights ♥ Primark
Bag ♥ Suzy Smith
White bow shoes ♥ Joy

My lovely little cake with a candle and everything.

It was such a fab birthday, truly a dream come true as I've been planning it since I was about 16! What did you do/plan to do for your 21st? Have you done something amazing for another landmark birthday? Tell all (pictures most welcome.)

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Pretty Organised: Bathroom

Product information here

We spend a lot of time in the bathroom. According to this article women spend, on average, one year, seven months and 15 days in the bathroom during their lifetime. Your ten-or-so minutes every morning and night frame your day – you might as well make them yummy, don’t you think?

Storage in the bathroom is quite often limited, so for the girl with enough lotions, potions and products to sink a battleship, mess seems a given. But does it have to be this way? It sure doesn’t.

Around the Bath

♥ The bathtub is a big old chunk of space that is taken up in your bathroom. Keeping bottles and tubs lined around the edges is fine, but can often look cluttered. Why not invest in a rack across the bath like this one? Not only will you now have somewhere to place that glass of wine and riveting novel, you can also keep your ‘most used’ items to hand and looking smart.

♥ A pocketed shower curtain could just be the answer to your prayers if you’re forever standing in a sea of bottles when you shower. Alternatively, these 'Twist'n'Lock' shower corner shelves could be useful and require no screws or glue to mount them.

♥ A problem I often encounter is that I move on to one shampoo or bubble bath before I’ve quite finished with its predecessor. The result is a great deal of almost empty products that hang around with the vain hope of one day being finished off. Why not combine dregs of various shampoos and such to make a new concoction of bubble bath or shower gel?

Around the Sink

♥ I love a mirrored cupboard, but they don’t oft come cheap! Try mounting a cheap, lightweight framed mirror onto your existing cupboard or a bargain second hand one.

♥ A glass is rarely practical as a toothbrush and toothpaste holder around a porcelain sink (unless you want a one way ticket to smashville.) Try this grassy organizer instead, or this stag toothbrush holder.

♥ The area underneath your sink, unless it is boxed in, can often be a big space waster. Save hiring a carpenter to fashion you a vanity cupboard around it and get crafty by making and hanging your own sink ‘skirt’. Easy tutorial here.

Around the Edges

♥ Keep a linen basket in the bathroom if you’re one to leave clothes on the floor. I like this one because it can fit neatly into those awkward bathroom corners.

♥ Place this gorgeous towel rack above your heater for warm towels when you’re clean out of the shower and hand washed items that need to dry.

♥ Free standing shelf units are great if you’re in rented accommodation where you’re unable to add fixtures. This over-the-toilet spacesaver utilises space you never knew you had! Store all manner of knick-knacks in sweet and sightly order.

Are you lucky enough to have a bathroom all to yourself? Whether you do or not, how do you keep your space spic and span?

Monday, 23 November 2009

Words to Live By #66

Image thanks to metaldoll

"The very best thing you can do for the whole world is to make the most of yourself."
Wallace Wattles

I'm back from Las Vegas tinkers, ready and set for a week of wild posting action and a budget guide to Sin City itself!

Also, hooray for 200 Blogger followers!

Friday, 20 November 2009

BRB, in Vegas.

Slots, baby.

My sister, me and my cute pal Cai chillin' Starbucks style.

Hello! I haven't forgotten you all, Sin City has engulfed me. Back with more pictures and fun times soon. Kisses!

Monday, 16 November 2009

Words to Live By #65

Image thanks to Nicholas Kennedy

"To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing."
Elbert Hubbard

Saturday, 14 November 2009

The Saturday Salute 14.11.09

Image thanks to yasuhiro

Hello all. How was your Friday 13th? I spent it driving to my Welsh home along the dark, windy, rain swept roads of Britain. But arrived to Pizza, which made it okay. This Tuesday I am going to Las Vegas to celebrate my 21st birthday. Cue excitement: eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! But that's enough about me.

Let's all be Positively Present. Inspirational stuff!

is also a wonderful blog that I'm surprised (and disappointed) I didn't find earlier.

A pretty blog with lots of fashion talk? You know you want to... Dream Sequins.

Zen Habits has The Short but Powerful Guide to Finding Your Passion. Your university years are tricky when everyone expects you to know what you want to do... This might just help.

Delve into the Wish Jar.

What's bleeping on your blog radar this week?

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Pretty Organised: Kitchen

Pretty Organised KitchenProduct information here

I realise many of you won’t have your own kitchen (I share mine with nine other people, so my own system of pretty organisation is pretty much impossible!) but, if you’re anything like me, you dream about / salivate over the idea of your own place. Many of these tips are ones you can put into action now to form good habits in prepartation for your own wonderful abode.

In Your Cupboards

♥ Tubs and jars are great for rationalizing dried goods like rice, pasta and cereals inside your cupboards. For the outside splash out on a few pretty tins like these ‘Coffee’ and ‘Cake’ ones from Garden Trading. Try hunting for vintage tins in your local thrift and charity shops too, for a cheap and eclectic storage system.

♥ For an easy way to gain extra space in your cupboards, try this Over the Cabinet Basket from Organize World. Alternatively, these tea towel bars can hang outside of your cupboards, for somewhere other than the back of a chair to hang that soggy towel.

♥ If you hoard a lot of spices, you know they can be tricky to keep tabs on. This Corner Three Tier Organizer does just the trick and frees up space for other items.

♥ One tip for keeping cupboards organised is to avoid storing too much stuff in the first place (does that one win the obvious award?) Once a month or so, I take a few days where I refuse to shop for anything but the bare essentials, meaning I have to make use of all the tins of kidney beans, tins of chopped tomatoes and brown rice I seem to accumulate in bulk.

In Your Drawers

♥ Everyone has at least one ‘junk’ drawer in their home; a tucked away space where all those little homeless knick-knacks go to die. We used to call it ‘the drawer of all drawers’ when I was still at home with my parents. But what if you’re suddenly desperate for that pencil, replacement button, or blob of blue tack? You’ll never be able to locate it beneath the fraying string, dead batteries and rolls of freezer bags! You need a junk draw organizer like this one from Lifespace.

Having drawer organizers make for far easier cleaning too, as you can simply pull them out as and when, rather than battle with your sponge to get that little collection of crumbs out of the back corners of your drawers.

Around the Edges

♥ Although we know we shouldn’t still be using plastic bags, those of us who are know we should definitely be reusing them at the very least. However, they can get a little out of hand when you amass a collection. A bag organiser like this pretty blossom one keeps them neatly managed.

♥ You’ll notice that each of my organisational post pictures have included a variation of basket. Well, that’s because baskets are beyond useful. In the kitchen use a sectioned one with a handle like this to keep cutlery and condiments organised on the table.

♥ Make your own placemats and coasters like these from M.A.D to save you’re self a wedge and, well, be really cool. Alice suggests using magazines, but newspaper articles and pages out of old books would also work, and give your dining experience a literary edge.

♥ Once you’ve organised your kitchen a treat, treat yourself to a lovely apron from Anthropologie.

What pearls of wisdom have been passed down to you when it comes to the age-old art of kitchen organisation? Have you any particularly crafty ideas to share? We want to know!

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Featured Sponsor: Eclectic Eccentricity

(Clockwise from top left) 12 3 4

You might remember a while back on the blog I mentioned Eclectic Eccentricity in one of my Saturday Salutes. Well, I do declare – they only noticed and proposed a follow up sponsored shout-out. Being totally enamoured with them, of course I agreed!

It’s not hard to sing the praises of such a delightfully quirky emporium of trinkets. You only have to take one look at their online store to realise how truly beautiful their collection is. Word on the street? If you’re looking for a personality statement from your jewellery, you’ve come to the right place sister. Just look at this Twittering Vintage Heart Necklace.

Headed by jewellery designer Lucy Averill, the range is continually updated with pieces that are crying out to be adopted into the world of whimsy that is your life. From love notes, to globes, to roses and even robots, ‘something for everyone’ never rang so true. And with prices from as little as £6.99 for these Tweet Hair Slides, you’re sure to find a bargain icon of your individuality.

With each item professedly ‘designed to brighten your day’, and Christmas just around the corner, an order from Eclectic Eccentricity is one you’ll be kneeling at the letterbox for. Plus, they ship worldwide – bonus!

Don’t you love how they make fairytale style so utterly wearable? Like this 'A Good Apple' Vintage Necklace, and I will certainly be hoping to find the Play it Again Radio Brooch in my stocking this festive season.

What's more, until December 10th you will recieve 10% off at Eclectic Eccentricity with the coupon code CHARADE. Get something for all your friends!

Visit the shop now for a snoop, which item is your favourite?

Monday, 9 November 2009

Words to Live By #64

Image thanks to Laura

“I have an everyday religion that works for me. Love yourself first, and everything else falls into line.”
Lucille Ball

Thanks for all your lovely links and emails in response to my Saturday Salute, I really enjoyed them! If you want your link to appear in my picks next Saturday, just let me know and I'll check it out.

Also, I did an interview with a very nice lady named Linda over at Fuel Your Writing, so please take a look / Tweet it / leave a comment, I'd really appreciate it :)

Have a wonderful Monday!

Saturday, 7 November 2009

The Saturday Salute 07.11.09

Ah, hello Saturday, and all the pleasures you bring... I'm in a good mood, can you tell? Who knows why, it's just swept me up like a shimmering wave and I'm happily riding atop it. In fact, I'd wager I'm even happier than this kid:

Image thanks to zitona

Okay, perhaps not.

Here's the thing: I know a lot of you really dig the Salute ('cos you dun'told me so!) so how about helping make it better? It's all well and good me posting my happy links (and I shall continue to do so) but I want to hear from you, mysterious maidens of the web.

What are
you finding out there that we should all know about??

I'd hazard a guess that about 99.9% of you have your own blog - what are you posting this week? And I'd warrant that 100% of you religiously follow a whole wealth of other blogs - what have they posted this week?

There are two ways to get involved:

1. Comment. Tell us all what you're enthusiastically saluting.

2. Email me your links. I love you all. I'm actually in love with you. And what happens when one gets an email from their love interest? They pretty nearly wet themselves with excitement, that's what. So do it, I'm on my knees to you. Why? Boost your traffic / poach my readers / make BFF with me / be a member of my imaginary International Charade Brigade. It's all good news, really.


There, I wrote it in capitals, with hearts, so you have no excuses.

But enough of that mad rant! Here's a slice of my Internet life this week:

♥ If Rik Lee sketched a picture of me, I might never recover. My life would definitely peak at that point.

♥ Talk about Kitsch.

♥ Talk about Kitsch... again.

♥ All of these crafty 12 projects at It's a Creative World are Love that pumpkin mini-book!

♥ Further Ado is "a blog about living well and pursuing passions, with segues into culture, fashion, lifestyle, literature and travel." Plus, she loves Drew Barrymore. Come and write for Charade, please?

Now, leave me a virtual kiss in the form of a comment, and then continue to lovingly live up your weekend.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Pretty Organised: Bedroom

My Bedroom (I wish...) Product info here

Your bedroom should be a space of calm, though, that’s not always easy when you live in a shared house or halls – your room becomes your study space, your entertaining space, even your dining space in some instances. What’s important to remember is functionality; if your room doesn’t work for you; if every morning it’s a battle to get dressed, find what you need etc., organisation becomes imperative.

In Your Wardrobe

Bedroom organisation is, on the most part, made up of wardrobe organisation, and I already wrote a lot about that as part of The Dream Style Series. Without recounting what I wrote there, your wardrobe is likely to be where many difficulties lie... Space is often hard to come by in this area, yet it’s likely to be where you have the most stuff to store.

What's most important in your wardrobe is to be sure you're making use of all the space that is available. Here are a few budget buys that might help:

♥ A shoe rack at the base of any wardrobe can be invaluable in avoiding shoes strewn all over the floor and tucked into every corner. Try these savvy shoe drawers from Practical Princess or these shoe pockets.

♥ Extra hanging space can also be gained using the potential of your wardrobe doors with this Over Door Add On Valet.

♥ These Clear Drawers are another useful and, more importantly, usable way to organise the spare space in your closet.

Under Your Bed

Never underestimate how much can be stored under your bed (if you have a bed on raised legs, that is!)

♥ I like the Dilling Bed Storage Box from Ikea because of its lid (it folds in the middle, meaning you don’t have to pull the whole thing out to get at what’s inside.)

♥ For things like blankets or big ski jackets that you’re not using, consider a VacuSac.

♥ Furthermore, I know this seems obvious, but I only just worked out that I’ve been doing it in my place for over a year... If you’re storing suitcases, don’t just store them, fill them with stuff! Spare linen packs into them a treat, and although it might be a pain once or twice a year to unload them for a trip, it’ll probably be worth having everything out of the way the rest of the year.

On Your Dressing Table

Check out what I posted on jewellery organisation and the useful tips from readers that were left in the comments. With so much to organise on your dressing table: make-up, make-up brushes, perfumes, hair taming objects and hair accessories etc., it’s easy to get in a pickle pretty quick.

♥ These heart boxes from Zara Home are a gorgeous way to store some of those odds and ends.

♥ Add a sweet embellishment like a doily or lace handkerchief to place things on (also handily avoiding any marks on your table.)

♥ Various sized glass jars can be a useful and stylish storage device for cotton wool balls, bobby pins, hair bands and make-up brushes alike. I like these sweet bird ones from Elizabeth’s Embellishments.

Around the Edges

If there’s a corner of your room going unused – utilise it! As nice as it is to have bare walls and floor space, I find that, even as a fairly neat person, spare space accumulates mess; it invites mess; it’s just asking for adulteration. Organise this space before the inevitable occurs.

♥ Stack-able cubes are a great investment as they can be adapted to fit various living spaces you may inhabit through your university and post-university experience. These Tribeca Boxes are an ideal option.

How do you keep your bedroom ship shape? Tell all!

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Monthly Must-Haves: November 2009

A new feature here on Charade, yippee! You lot always seem to get most excited about my fashion posts, so I thought I’d add a regular slot where I share the items that are really titillating my taste buds. It’s called ‘Monthly Must-Haves’ and you guys can let me know what you think, and even offer links to the items you’re lusting over. Enjoy!

November brings to mind many things (chilly winds and mounting college work being right up there) but if bonfire night and fireworks are anything to go by, it's also a month to celebrate despite the gloomy obstacles. Let's brighten our wardrobes with a post-Halloween treat (or two.)

The Dress. It's hard to feel guilty when buying a black dress, you just know you'll have so many opportunities to wear it, and this little baby from Oli is no exception. It's so ridiculously versatile, about ten outfit ideas spring to mind just looking at it: woolly tights and suede boots, sky-scraper platform shoes and a fascinator ala Lady Gaga, worn over a brightly coloured band t-shirt with Doc Martins... I could go on.

The Scarf. If I could have things my way, I’m sure I would dress like a seven year old girl pretty much 24/7. This cutesy-cake scarf from Modcloth is no exception. I love the way it looks as though your grandma could have knitted it for you (in fact, why not get your grandma to knit one for you?) Wrapping up never was so tasty.

The Casual Staple. If you're a long-standing fan of Charade, you'll know how much I favour a good old staple, and Dorothy Perkins does them so well. This dotty number is your anticipatory Christmas jumper (minus the cringey reindeer motif.)

The Boots. I don't think I could be anymore in love with these Legend Booties, *strains*, nope, no more love to give. They rock. Wear with everything from knitted dresses to tweed shorts to skinny jeans and beyond.

The Bag. Satchels, satchels, satchels... How do they manage to be both stylish and practical simultaneously, where so many other bags fail? I don't know, but they do a damn good job of it. Topshop have even added stripes - bonus!

The Splurge. If you're going to spend your money on something utterly frivolous but completely enviable this November, it can only be this Phone Booth Charm from Juicy Couture. Yes please.

Any particular items you refuse to be without as we skip merrily into the winter months?

Monday, 2 November 2009

Words to Live By #63

Image thanks to glitter feet

"Mistakes are the usual bridge between inexperience and wisdom."
Phyllis Theroux