Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Midweek Manicure // Models Own Polish for Tans - Turquoise Sea

Well haven't we been lucky with the weather recently?! After a pretty atrocious wet and windy start to September, the weather has perked up again the last week with some blue skies and even some warmth in the sunshine. I decided this Indian Summer was the perfect excuse to crack open one of the Models Own Polish for Tans - Turquoise Sea.

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I became a little obsessed with the Polish for Tans collection last summer so couldn't wait to try out some of their new shades for 2015. I really love blue polishes and thought Turquoise Sea was so pretty and I'd wear it all year round, not just in the summer (though it would be STUNNING with a tan!)

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I was a bit worried that Turquoise Sea would be a little bit thin and streaky on application, as I have so many beautiful blues which just don't translate well onto the nail. I should have trusted good old Models Own though, as I had no such troubles with Turquoise Sea! It applies really nicely - a creme consistency - and with good colour pay off and coverage. I used my standard two coats in the images here.

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I am so pleased I picked up Turquoise Sea. It's a stunning shade which I think will probably end up being one of my most worn polishes. Let's hope this beautiful weather continues, but even if not Turquoise Sea will certainly perk up a gloomy grey day! 


What's your favourite blue nail polish?


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Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Lifestyle // Afternoon Tea With Betty's #BettysTeaParty

One of my favourite things about blogging is getting invited to some amazing events where I get to meet some really exciting brands and really lovely people. A couple of weeks ago I was invited to what was quite possibly my favourite event yet - a tea party with Betty's! Betty's is an absolute British institution. Based in Yorkshire, there are now six cafe tea rooms which are famous for their fabulous cakes and afternoon teas. I was dying to take my boyfriend when we went to York for the weekend earlier in the year but unfortunately the queue was literally around the block and we didn't have time to wait. So you can imagine my excitement when the lovely invitation arrived! Cake, champagne and lots of blogger chat - perfect!

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On the day we started by watching one of the Betty's Babes icing some fondant fancies and learning different techniques and tips. This was great for me as I always find I can bake well but my decoration always makes my creations appear very "homemade"! 

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It was then our turn to get decorating! It appears I hadn't quite mastered all of those tips I had just been shown as my fondant fancies definitely didn't look too good by the time is finished with them haha! It was really fun to try though and so lovely to chat with Katie, Josie, Hannah, Charlotte, Charlotte and Rebecca while we worked our magic!

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It was then time to lay out the perfect afternoon tea table. Armed with boxes and boxes of cake, beautiful packaging and gorgeous crockery we did what bloggers do best - put together the best flat lay you ever did see! I loved setting up the table together and it was great to pick up some tips for taking the perfect flat lay from my fellow bloggers. It was really nice to see each table's take on the task too and all four tables looked stunning. After taking tonnes of photos it was finally time to tuck in and try some of the amazing treats we'd so carefully laid out. 

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Everything was as delicious as it looked! The macarons were the nicest I've ever had - crisp on the outside with a deliciously chewy centre; the chocolate mice were almost too cute to eat but were filled with a divinely light chocolate mousse and I could have eaten the whole box of them! We were given some paper boxes to fill with goodies to take home and their coffee and walnut cake was incredible, as were the chocolate and hazelnut swirl biscuits. 

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Before we left the event we all gathered round to look at everyone's decorated fondant fancies and they all looked amazing - everyone had such creative ideas! Unfortunately I didn't win a prize but I did get to take my ones home and I think they were my favourite things to eat! The sponge was so light and the fondant icing was just the right level of sweetness. Perfect! 

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We were also kindly given a beautiful Betty's canvas bag to take home (I'm a sucker for a tote bag!) with even more goodies including a beautiful book of short stories speculating on who Betty was, written by lots of different celebrities, which made for very sweet reading whilst on the train home (and I think would make a perfect stocking filler!) Also included was their Christmas catalogue which looks amazing! Whilst there are no plans just yet for Betty's to open a tea room down south (boooo!!) they do deliver (hurrah!)
It's going to be a very tasty Christmas in the Pickle household!

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Thanks so much for having me Betty's I had such a lovely time! I will definitely be popping in next time I'm back up north! 


Have you ever been to Betty's? 

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Lifestyle // The Cake & Bake Show 2015 - Now Partnered with #GBBO

Happy Sunday friends! Hope you're having a good weekend! I've got a little update about The Cake and Bake Show today which is really exciting as it's just one week to go until the London shows wahoo!!! Even more exciting is the fact that the Show has teamed up with The Great British Bake Off - creating a double act almost as jammy as Mel and Sue!

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The Cake & Bake Show will now feature a live Great British Bake Off stage where you can see stars from the current series and also previous winners John Whaite, and Jo Wheatley, runner up Brendan Lynch, and many more. How exciting!!! 

Like the rest of the country, I am a HUGE GBBO fan so it's amazing news to hear that the show has partnered up with The Cake & Bake Show


Have you got tickets to any of this year's Shows? 

Friday, 25 September 2015

Fashion // Style by Portobello - Vintage Fashion Subscription Box

I think everyone is familiar with the concept of beauty boxes these days, there are now so many types and brands to choose from (I reviewed a nail polish one yesterday!) However I'd never heard of a monthly fashion box before, and certainly not a vintage fashion subscription box...until now! Style by Portobello* got in touch to tell me about their monthly vintage fashion box which delivers a selection of hand picked vintage accessories right to your door, bringing the delights of Portobello Market to you, no matter where you live.

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Style by Portobello is the first service of its kind, and is a really great initiative for those who love one off vintage pieces but  aren't able to get to the famous Portobello Market, or perhaps don't want to root around to find the perfect accessory. Style by Portobello does all the hard work for you! For £35 a month you will receive three or four hand selected items which you know won't be seen on every Tara, Dee or Sally walking down the street. 

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In my box I received three gorgeous accessories - a leather bag, bejewelled brooch and black bead necklace. The bag is navy leather with a delicate silver chain strap and silver hardware detail on the front. It's a really great size for going out and will be perfect for the Christmas party season.

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The black bead necklace is fairly classic, which on one hand makes it a little non-descript but on the other means it will pretty much suit anyone's style and taste, which is just what you need in a subscription box service.

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The brooch is absolutely gorgeous! The colours are stunning and I've been loving brightening up my boring black work blazers with it. My grandmother used to wear really similar pieces so it's really nice to have something like it myself.

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I really loved trying out the Style by Portobello box. I don't own many vintage pieces and the monthly service is a great way to expand my collection. I really like that all three items are super wearable and I think would suit most people's style. While it's a bit of a gamble signing up to receive surprise items it certainly is fun and you know you'll be getting hand picked one-off pieces which is always nice!


Would you like a mystery fashion box, or would you prefer to choose your own treasures?


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*Thanks so much to Style by Portobello for inviting me to try out their monthly subscription box. All thoughts are honest and my own. For more information please see my Disclaimer Page.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Midweek Manicure // Coloristiq Box - September 2015

Coloristiq first hit the scene launching their innovative nail polish rental service - a bit like a library, you borrow three polishes a month then return them - great for those who never get through a full bottle or just like to try before they buy. They've since launched their monthly subscription box* service (which is what I'm trying out today) where you pay £15 (+ £2.80 p&p) and are sent four gorgeous polishes all fitting with a monthly theme which you get to keep. September's theme is Nails in the City which being a London girl, and polishaholic speaks straight to my heart.

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My parcel arrived packaged as a neat little cardboard pouch tied with ribbon and included a little note card about the theme and included polishes. I was really excited to find three very well known brands inside (Nails Inc, OPI and my new fave Essie) and also one from a UK indie brand, Danglefoot. I've never tried hand mixed polish from an independent maker before so was excited to try it out! It also came with a 10% off code for any future Danglefoot purchases which I thought was a nice touch. So let's have a look at the polishes I received...

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Essie Fifth Avenue (RRP £7.99) - New York polish

I am fast becoming obsessed with Essie polishes! This is the third in my collection (I also own Lapiz of Luxury and Status Symbol) and they're both such gorgeous colours and really good quality. Fifth Avenue is no exception - it's a beautiful oranged toned red which I think would suit every skin tone. It gives a really good coverage in just one layer and has a super shiny finish. Gorgeous!  

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Nails Inc The Mall (RRP £11) - London polish

I was really surprised with how The Mall came out on the nail - it's a really pretty purple with navy blue undertones, despite looking totally blue in the bottle. It has a very fine blue shimmer running through it and I think this colour would be gorgeous for Halloween.

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OPI - Venice polish

OPI nail polishes are some of the best available in my opinion. This vampy red is such a stunning colour and a staple which everyone needs in their collection. It's a shame not to get a full sized bottle in the box but look how adorable this mini one is!

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Danglefoot Budapest (RRP £6.50) - Budapest polish

Budapest is so pretty and unlike about other in my collection - a light turquoise with gold shimmer running through - it's a bit like having the sea splashed on your nails (perfect for my inner mermaid!) Danglefoot polishes retail at £6.50 and apparently contains the best 5-free non-toxic ingredients.

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The overall RRP of the Coloristiq monthly box is £28 (not including the sample sized OPI polish). Although you are still getting practically double the worth of your £15 subscription fee, this is not as good value as the Nailbox monthly subscription box I tried earlier in the year, though this may fluctuate of course depending on which products you receive each month.

Overall I was really pleased with the Coloristiq monthly subscription box. I loved the mix of high profile and independent brands and the colour range was really nice and broad, and it's really fun to have a different theme each month.


Have you tried any nail polish subscription boxes before? 


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*Thanks so much to Coloristiq for inviting me to try out their monthly subscription box. All thoughts are honest and my own. For more information please see my Disclaimer Page.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Lifestyle // Halloween Decorations Haul

Halloween is just over a month away and I love fully getting into the holiday spirit (no pun intended!) So when the gorgeous ghoulies at Matalan asked me if I'd like to have a little shop of their Halloween goodies I of course said yes please! What a (trick or) treat!

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Matalan is always brilliant for buying inexpensive but good quality homeware, decorations and costumes for all the holiday seasons. Their Halloween collection this year is great with so much to choose from and a costume for everyone!

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I ordered this really cool bunting to get my flat looking spooktacular and was really pleased it came separated into three garlands so you can spread it out across different rooms if you want to, and makes it much easier to hang than if it was one long piece. For £2 it's a really cheap and easy way to get Halloween ready!
I really love pinwheel decorations and think they look really pretty. This trio of pin wheels is a really nice way of injecting some Autumnal / Halloween themeing to your home without going the garish ghosty route.

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There is nothing spookier than candlelight and Matalan has a whole range of LED faux candles, complete with flickering effect. This is another way of giving your home a spooky feel but in a more chic way. These battery operated church candles are such good value and the flicker effect is actually quite soft and gentle rather than comedic haunted house style, so will be perfect for keeping on display all year round (Christmas time I'm thinking of you!) LED candles are also a really good safe way of having some candle light in your home as you know they're not going to set fire to anything - particularly perfect if you have kids, pets or, like me, are just a little bit accident prone!  

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I also picked out this cute little ceramic pumpkin tealight holder. He was only £1.50 but really nicely made and he's a really fun addition to my Halloween haul. I've been using a real candle in this one, but Matalan do also sell tea light versions of their LED lights above.

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Halloween 3 Tier Cake Stand - £3

We all know I'm a big fan of baking and making themed cakes is my favourite way of getting in a holiday mood. This spooky Halloween cake stand is fab! I love all the creepy cut outs and silhouettes and it's a right bargain for £3. It comes flat packed but is so simple to put together and is made of very sturdy card so will take the weight of a lot of cakes. It's pretty hard wearing too so will definitely be something you can dismantle and pack away ready to use next year.
Well what's a creepy cake stand with out some tricky treats to put on it?! This cupcake decorating kit is really cute and comes with 12 Halloween themed sticks and funky orange cupcake cases to make your sponges spooktacular. They look so cool on the cake stand too!

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Now we all know it's not really a party if you haven't instagrammed at least 3 photos of your night! This photo booth accessories kit is so perfect for hosting your own haunted house party and comes with a frame and selection of props to take the scariest (and most fabulous) pictures ever!

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Meet my new friend Tom Bones! This life size poseable skeleton is absolutely awesome! I think he's the perfect piece to finish decorating for Halloween and I've had so much fun scaring my boyfriend with him ever since he arrived! (He's been sat on the sofa waiting for Tony to come home after a night of drinking, hiding under his side of the duvet and even laid down in the bath to cause a fright during a night time trip to the bathroom - mwah ha haaaa!!) As you can see, I've been having lots of fun with Tom and he's been loving getting in on the Photo Booth Props Kit action!

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I am SO EXCITED for Halloween now - thanks Matalan! Tom Bones looks pretty excited about it all too! Let me know if you'd like to see some more Halloween posts leading up to the big day.


You can check out some of my previous Halloween posts here:

♥ Baking Halloween GingerDEAD Men 

♥ Baking Autumn Adventures Apple Pie (complete with spooky Halloween toffee tree!) 

♥ Halloween Day of the Dead Manicure

♥ Halloween Nail Art

♥ Halloween Book Review: Dead Romantic by Ruth Saberton


Will you be getting in the Halloween spirit this year?


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*Thanks so much to Matalan for inviting me to try out some of their fab Halloween decorations. All thoughts are honest and my own. For more information please see my Disclaimer Page.


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