Monday, 29 July 2013

USA Road Trip - Days 13-14

So as I said in the previous road trip post we decided to leave a day early from Maine so we didn't have to do a four hour drive the morning of our flight. We managed to find a hotel about a half hour from Boston Airport I can't remember the name of the area, all I know is that our hotel had an indoor water park connected to it that I begrudgingly didn't get to visit. After a night spent in yet another hotel room (our 5th!) with a few hours to spare before our flight that evening we all agreed that more shopping was in order! Woohoo! I couldn't wait for another trip to forever 21 and Sephora of course although I was a little disappointed that most things in Sephora were the same price or more expensive than at home. We got some lunch in the food hall and then it was on to the airport. By this point I was getting a little worried as there were radio reports of tornado warnings and thunderstorms so we were keeping our fingers crossed our flight wouldn't be delayed, or worse cancelled. Thankfully ours wasn't but most of the domestic flights unfortunately were, there was immense relief all round as we scanned the screens past all the cancelled flights to see the words ON TIME next to ours.  If you've ever flown from terminal E at Boston Logan Airport (I think it's the main international terminal) you'll know that there really isn't a whole lot to see or do. There's a few shops and a couple of fast food restaurants but lets just say that Heathrow Terminal 5 it isn't! Eventually we made it home after a reasonably short five and a half hour flight and boy did it feel good to be home. Knackered and jet lagged we all fell in to bed and I slept for about 7 hours. Oops not a good idea, cue me at 4:00am the next morning eating a whole bag of share sized crisps whilst watching endless Frasier re-runs!     

 I apologise this post is a little later than all the other road trip posts, I didn't realise I hadn't actually published it.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

A Day At The Zoo

Today we took a trip to Marwell zoo, a zoo which I've been visiting since I was a little girl and I have lots of very happy memories there. It's a lovely zoo set in the countryside which means the animals have tons of space to move around in as well as them being able to put different animals in together than would normally live together in the wild.

Like most people I'm a little wary of the word 'zoo', it depicts images of upset animals pacing tiny enclosures. Thankfully Marwell is the complete opposite to this and I think it's generally not accepted in this country to keep animals in that sort of environment. Marwell does so much with regards to conservation and you can tell the keepers have a real love for the animals they are tasked with looking after.

I do dislike that these animals aren't living in their natural environments but I guess in many circumstances it's the only way of protecting a species and improving the numbers of these animals left in the world.

From watching the TV programme The Zoo on ITV I've seen just how much goes on behind the scenes at zoos that we as the public wouldn't normally get to see so if you get a chance it's definitely worth a watch. 

We had such a lovely day and I thought I'd share some of my favourite pictures. Oh and I apologise for the quality of the pictures as they were all taken using my ipad and the lighting wasn't that great either.  


Friday, 26 July 2013

How To Make An Envelope Cushion Cover

I've wanted to make some lovely cushions for my bedroom for ages now and what better time to do it than when my room is having a complete overhaul. I'm finally going to start stripping off the wallpaper this weekend and I can't wait to get rid of the pink! 
My new colour scheme is aqua blue, white and coral/orange. You might have seen my previous post about buying the fabric I used (which you can read here) which I chose because I just loved the chevron print and the orange colour was exactly what I was looking for. Anyway seeing as I was getting creative and dusting off my sewing skills I thought I'd share how I made this envelope cushion cover. It's so simple even if you're not a confident  sewer as it's all about straight lines. Happy Sewing!  

You will need:
Thread to match your fabric
Sewing machine
Marking chalk
Step One: Start by measuring out the fabric. It should be two and a half times the length of the cushion plus an extra 5cm for hemming on all sides. Then cut the fabric to size.
Step two: With the right side of the fabric facing down, create a hem at either width end
by turning up 2.5cm of the fabric.
 Step three: Iron both folds then run through the sewing machine using a straight stitch.

Step four: Turn the fabric the other way so the wrong side of the material is facing the    
table. Place your cushion pad at one of the hemmed ends of the fabric. Fold the fabric    
over the cushion twice to create the envelope.  
Step five: Using a pencil mark the fabric where the folds meet then remove the cushion. Fold the fabric back to the mark. Pin together along the sides leaving 2.5cm on each side to allow for the seam.
Step six: Run down each side through the sewing machine. If you want to you can trim the edges to 1.5cm to neaten it up. Turn the cover inside out and iron if you need to. Finally place your cushion inside the cover. 

This cushion cover is so easy even a complete sewing novice can do it. You could also do it without a sewing machine and sew it by hand but it would probably take you quite a bit longer so I wouldn't advise this! My Mum taught me this technique years ago and it's one of those really easy sewing projects that anyone can do!

Ellie x

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Buying Fabric

    Medium Chevron Fabric in Orange from           Elk Family Pool Fabric By Birch Fabric
                Riley Blake Available here                                       Available here

When it comes to buying fabric I'm very limited as to where I can go, and if I want really great new designs it's even more limited. In fact I can only think of one place I go on a regular basis and that's fabric land. If you live in the south of England then you might be familiar with fabric land, they sell everything you might need in haberdashery terms but the choice of fabrics they stock (well at least at my local shop) is pretty uninspiring. Because of this I decided to have a look at buying fabric online and I've found a great website which sells the most amazing fabrics and prints. It's called and I've made a recent order of the two fabrics above which I'm quite excited about. The orange chevron fabric from Riley Blake I am going to use to make cushions for my bedroom and the Elk print fabric, which is from the 'Mod Basics' collection by Birch Fabrics, my Mum will be using to make cushions for our living room. I can't tell you how much I love the fabrics on this website, I'm sure I wouldn't be able to find fabrics like these in any of my local fabric shops. If you live in the UK then I definitely recommend checking them out at least just for a look at all the pretty prints.
A few more of my favourites from the site:
    Scalloped Edge In Ivory Available here                Penants Waving in Ivory Available here
             White Casettes Available here                                Native Band Jade Available here

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Turquoise And Coral - Room Inspiration

You might know if you've read my previous blog post (which you can read here) that I'm currently in the process of redecorating my bedroom. It's taken longer than I expected, mainly due to life in general just getting in the way, and since that first blog post I've changed my mind a little about what I want. In fact I was reading my Mum's copy of the latest Ideal Home magazine and in it they had a feature on the most beautiful bedroom using white and turquoise with accents of coral. It's funny cause I never really considered those colours together but actually I can really imagine the pops of vibrant colour against the bright white.  

I got really inspired and immediately went on the net and started (window) shopping for all the lovely things I want in my room. I then got even more carried away and put together a little wish list. Oops, I'll probably change my mind again by the time I actually comes round to decorating but gaaah I just love these colours together so much I can't help myself!    

Row 1: Chevron Fabric from Etsy - Fabric Secret, Red Picture Frame from Zara Home £5.99, Duck Egg Blue Chenille Cushion from Tesco £6.00 
Row 2: Vintage Cameras Print Set from Etsy - AldariArt, Happy Wall Art Print from Etsy - AldariArt 
Row 3: Damask Fabric from Etsy - Fabric Secret, Spindle Table Lamp from Tesco £34.97, Coral Pillow Cover from Etsy - SewGracious £12.11    
Hope you liked what I picked and let me know below if you're planning any redecorating, I'd love to hear your ideas!


Thursday, 18 July 2013

New Favourite Lipstick

I am in love with this Rimmel London Lasting Finish Matte Lipstick by Kate Moss in the shade 110. I wasn't really looking for anything in particular when I went into my local boots, just mindlessly testing out different lipsticks on the back of my hand when I found this, the most perfect watermelon pinky red. Although described as a matte lipstick, its actually quite creamy and moisturising and looks just as lovely with a pinky lip gloss over the top. It feels like more of a fun, summery colour to wear than a red but is enough of a pop of colour to brighten up any outfit. Available here for £5.49   

Monday, 15 July 2013

Birthday Presents From The USA

I thought I'd share with you what I got for my birthday last week, all of which were gifts bought for me whilst we were in America. I'm so lucky that I have the best parents and big sister in the ENTIRE WORLD who love to spoil me once in a while so I'm just going to take the opportunity again right here to tell them how thankful I am for everything they bought me and how much I love them!
 I really enjoys reading blog posts like this about what people have bought and I hope it's something which interests you too. This is going to be quite a long post but lucky for you I did cut out quite a bit of rambling and it's mostly picture heavy so happy reading!

Skull Candy Hesh 2 Headphones-£59.99 Available here
I've been looking for a pair of decent quality headphones everywhere and luckily my Dad bought these at a really great price, $39.99 I think. It's a considerable mark down from the original price of $59.99. The sound is great quality and they're really comfortable which is all I can ask for.    

Betty Crocker Cake Mixes
I've become a bit of a fan of Betty Crocker cake mixes recently so I was really excited when I saw just how many different versions they have available in US supermarkets. Literally rows and rows of them! I'd be lucky to find four of five in my local supermarket! So for that reason I just couldn't resist buying a few to take home. I'm most excited about the rainbow cake, I've never seen a cake like it and can't wait to see how it turns out!    
I only got a few make up bits including a Clinique Chubby Stick mini set, a Mac blush and an Essie Nail polish. The Clinique Chubby Stick Mini set and the Mac Blush were both bought at The Cosmetic Company Store at an outlet mall we visited and boy do I wish I had one of these near me! I've done a little research and there are a few stores at outlet malls in the UK but unfortunately none near where I live. I couldn't believe it when I walked in and they had high end products like Mac, Bobbi Brown and Clinique at discount prices, it was make up heaven!  

Clinique Whole Llotta Colour Chubby Stick set  
It seems like forever that I've wanted to try the Clinique Chubby sticks but I always thought they were too expensive so I had to get the mini set when I saw it. They've soon become my go to lip product and are perfect for the summer when I don't want to wear anything too heavy.

Mac Pro Longwear Blush in 'Rosy Outlook'-£20.00
     The Mac Pro Longwear Blush in 'Rosy Outlook' was too good to resist at a discounted price. Unfortunately I can't remember how much I paid for either products in The Cosmetic Company Store but lets just say it was a lot less than I would of paid in the UK. It's a pretty Coral/Pink colour and I'm really impressed at how long lasting it is. 

Essie Nail Polish in 'E-nuf is E-nuf'
I've already written a post about this nail polish which you can read here

All the clothes I got are from Forever 21, a shop which I absolutely loved! The two stores I visited were huge, full of amazing clothes that if I could have taken home with me I would have. You've probably noticed there's a bit of a theme colour wise, I obviously love the colour coral, I didn't actually notice until I got it all home. Again I can't remember prices nor can I find any of these items on the forever 21 UK website, I'm not being a very good blogger today am I?!       


Sunday, 7 July 2013

Current Favourite Nail Polish

I'm in love with this colour 'e-nuf is e-nuf'' from Essie, a creamy pink, coral colour perfect for the summer months. I bought it whilst in the US as Essie polishes are much cheaper there than at home. Put it this way I paid $8.00 whereas in the UK I'd pay £7.99 (about $12.00!) The colour is opaque with one coat although I applied two for durability and I was little disappointed that it chipped on the first day of wear even with a top coat. However I don't think I've ever loved a colour this much so I'm gonna over look that. I feel like it's one I could wear all year round and I'm really not sure what I'm going to do when it runs out! If anyone knows where I can get Essie nail polished for cheaper in the UK please let me know!  


Friday, 5 July 2013

USA Road Trip - Days 7-12

Days 7 and 8 were mostly spent on the road, 11 hours to be exact but surprisingly it passed quite quickly. I spent most of the journey on my ipad watching TV shows and playing games so the drive was pretty easy really.

Eventually we reached our final destination in Maine, a house we were renting for the week in a lovely seaside town. We were all really impressed with the house and were more than comfortable for the week, I guess it was just nice not to have to stay in yet another hotel room! In the area itself there wasn't really much going on but thankfully we had the hire car so most days we travelled about an hour out of the area to the nearest excursions. In fact the nearest shopping mall was about an hour and a half away, I'm so glad the nearest shopping centre at home is only 15 minutes away! Obviously we took advantage of the price difference and did a lot of shopping and just generally explored the pretty seaside towns along Maine's coast.

For a special treat on my Dad's birthday we all visited Fort Knox State Historical Site, which is a fort built on the banks of the Penobscot River in the town of Prospect, Maine to defend against any British invasion.  My Dad was in the Navy for 15 years so anything to do with war, history and the sea floats his boat if you'll pardon the pun. The fort never saw any battle but it was still interesting to see a little bit of American history although we were a little disappointed they hadn't made more of the exhibits etc. I can't actually find any pictures we took of the fort but if I do I will put them up. 
After being so lucky with the weather at the beginning of the week unfortunately the weather took a turn for the worse and there was thunder storms/rain the last few days so we couldn't take advantage of any of the lovely lakes and beaches. Partly due to the weather and partly due to the unexpected four hour drive to the airport (we actually thought we were staying in Rockport MA not Rockport ME!) we decided to leave a day earlier than expected to  stay the nigh in a town closer to Boston. The area was just starting to get busy for the 4th of July celebrations and I was really disappointed we were going to miss out on all the fun, but was definitely glad we didn't have to do a stressful four hour drive the morning of our flight. I apologise this was such long post but there was just so much to fit in! 


Wednesday, 3 July 2013

USA Road Trip 2013 - I'm Home!

This is just a little update to say that I'm home from my travels. Oh it feels good to be home! We got back early yesterday morning and I mistakenly spent half the day asleep which meant I also spent most of the night awake. I'm certainly suffering the effects of jet lag today! But anyway as soon as I feel a bit more human and my brain feels a little less like mush I will post the remainder of my travel diaries. I've also plenty more pictures to share which I'll get right on with tomorrow. We had the most amazing time and I spent so long looking forward to it that I'm quite sad it's all over already. Thankfully I've got my birthday to look forward to this coming weekend and it looks like the weather will be good for a birthday barbecue!
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