Magazine love...

Helloooo! My name is Claire and I am a fashion and style blogger, juggling a Junior PR role with fangirling Maria. While she's off sunning herself, today I wanted to write about magazines. It might come as a bit of a shock to you that, as a blogger and a self-confessed social media addict, I'm a rather big fan of print.

 Perhaps it's the feel of holding something solid, something than can't be accidentally deleted in the middle of an electrical storm, and will lie, untouched, in boxes in years to come until discovered by my great grandchildren (ahem) in 2060 to gasps of “I can't BELIEVE what they wore in the noughties!” I've been lucky enough to be featured in Grazia magazine this week, and it has been the single most exciting blogging exposure I have had, to date. It's not even the readership, or the name “Grazia”, that is so awe-inspiring. It's that it is in print.

Vice & Jalouse
Blogging is immediate and fresh and current and delicious and wonderful, but I think there will always be a place in the fashion world for a good glossy. Something you can stick in your handbag and spill your tea over. So, even though I will happily concur that magazines can be slower off the mark with trends and gossip, monthly editions especially, there will still always be a special place in my heart for the shiny and tactile world of print. Here are a few of my favourites...
Thank you to Maria for letting me fill the space while she's away! Come and visit me at my blog Jazzpad xox

The fear...

Hi, my name is Chloe, I blog over at Chloe Likes To Talk. I’m 23, I probably drink too much Diet Coke and Coffee for my own good, and have a mild to middling love of Miffy, my taste in television is probably questionable. Yes, that’s me below... 

I am a logical person. I like logic, and it’s a quality I recognise and praise in others too. Which is probably amusing to many as I’m an Arts graduate twice over. As a love of logic, I find it difficult to sympathise or empathise with people who have fear after fear. I’m truly terrified of only one maybe two things- falling- which incidentally is one of only two fears we are born with, and I am also scared of masks, mostly people wearing them. If you can’t see someone’s face, you can’t identify them.

Falling is an easy one to rationalise- if I’m falling it means I’m going to land, and chances are I have no choice in that landing. And along with loud noises, it’s one of the only things we as human beings are programmed to be frightened of from day one. At this stage it’s also fair to point out that friends and family take great amusement from watching me jump out of my own skin at sudden loud noises... but I wouldn’t call it the same terror that sinks right into the pit of my stomach and takes over when I think about things like skydiving.... *shudders*

But I guess the real question, is what do you do, if like me, you pride yourself on logic, when you hit a fear you’ve never had  before, and you don’t know how to make it fit with your reasoning? I’m sure some people would call it a test of character, I call it really damn stressful!
Like many young women, I try and live my life healthily and cautiously, in particular I practise safe sex, I try to exercise regularly and eat healthily, I don’t play in traffic (often) and I try not to stick my head in the sand if I think I might be ill or injured. Except.... this week I’m not sure I did such a good job of that.
Brace yourself, this is about to get girly...

Having found that I had some unusual bleeding- and by that I mean bleeding that was not a period, I knew, in the deep dark recesses of the thing I hope is my brain that I should really go see my Dr. I did, I really did. But I picked up the phone, was fobbed off with an appointment a week later, and was actually kind of relieved to have an excuse not to go. Why? Because I was scared.

In recent years, there has been massive emphasis on the importance of woman exercising caution with regards to breast and cervical cancer, and rightly so- knowledge is power so they say, and where cancer is concerned, early knowledge means early treatment, and can save lives. But when you’re 23 years old, and your experience of gynaecological matters is by and large limited to intimacy between you and your chosen partner, and you don’t really know what’s coming, the logic that dictates a 10 minute appointment, maybe 30 seconds of embarrassment and a few reassuring words from a Dr are probably all that’s required, and even if it’s not the case, it’s better to know there’s a problem in order to find a solution rather than ignoring something that could, maybe, might be serious, yeah, that kind of goes out of the window.

I KNOW, a hundred times over, that to solve a problem, you have to identify and explain it first, but you know what it still took some hand holding from a close friend, and a bit of a backside kicking to go back and actually insist on a more urgent appointment, and to make sure that I went, and to make sure that I was truly, wholly honest about the WHOLE LOT. It didn’t stop me feeling what I think I now understand to be The Fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of something bigger, badder and nastier than I can deal with alone.
So the moral of this story? Well there are two. First up, fear, whatever you happen to be scared of, is as real as you allow it to be, and sometimes you have to steel yourself, and face it, because deep down, you know you need to in order to be a functioning, healthy, happy, successful adult- however you define those adjectives. And it’s ok to need help to do it. It’s ok to freak out and panic and text your friend with simply the words ‘I don’t know what to do’. But you have to do something, even if it’s admitting that you need someone to tell you what to do.

And secondly, ladies. This has been a personal post for me, and when Maria asked me to write a guest post for her, this wasn’t what I had in mind, it just kind of flowed from me through the keyboard. But allow me to remind you of this. Causes of unusual bleeding can be: pregnancy, a build up of uterus lining, sexually transmitted infections, polyps, cervical infections, and lastly, cancer. If in doubt, it’s surely, surely better to endure a Dr’s appointment, because ultimately, the chances are that it’s nothing to worry about, but not knowing is neither good for you, nor conducive to staying healthy. And, my experience of my own Dr, is that they will understand that you’re scared. They will understand that although they’ve seen it all before, you’re probably not accustomed to anyone with rubber gloves poking around below your waistline. And they will understand that you’re not trying to waste anyone’s time, and that you aren’t wasting anyone’s time, you’re just trying to do your best to keep healthy. 


Liz Earle Healthy Glow Powder Blush & Liz Earle Natural Glow Bronzer...

Hello lovely Frills and Spills readers!  I’m Lauren from and I love to write about makeup, fashion, hair and crimes of fashion!

I love Liz Earle skincare, it’s perfect for my super-sensitive skin, so like most other bloggers I was so excited to hear they have a new makeup range. Here are my reviews of two products, the Healthy Glow Powder Blush and the Natural Glow Bronzer. 

Liz Earle Healthy Glow Powder Blush

The colour I am reviewing is called Peony and it’s a lovely raspberry pink which is great for darker skin tones, but I think it looks lovely on pale skin tones too, a great all-rounder. 

The packaging is very sleek and minimalist, a deep blue compact which has subtle glitter in, and the top features a small mirror which is handy for if you’re travelling and haven’t got anything to look in. 

The powder is super-soft and very finely milled

Top stripe – applied with blusher brush, Bottom stripe – applied with finger
And gives huge colour payoff

This means the colour is very strong if it isn’t carefully applied, but once you get used to it, it gives a lovely healthy flush and is easily spread out.  Overall, although I am a high-street make-up lover and wouldn’t normally dream of paying £16.50 for a blusher, I admit that I don’t want to give this blusher up!

Product – 8.5/10. Score could be improved if the price was cheaper!

Liz Earle Natural Glow Bronzer
Being the pale person I am, in the summer I love bronzer! However I really hate those ones with flecks of glitter in, you know the ones that make you look like some sort of crazed disco chick who got lost in an office. Another draw-back of the ones without glitter in though are that they can leave your skin looking “muddy” and dirty (not sure why...) so I tend to use Benefit’s Hoola

This bronzer by Liz Earle is a very fine pressed powder which doesn’t look very dark compared to many other bronzers but don’t let that deceive you.

Again, the compact is a sleek blue sheen with a mirror. It’s bigger than the blusher and perfect for popping in your handbag for after work touch-ups. Actually, it would probably be quite hard to tell your products apart if you owned lots of Liz Earle makeup!

The powder is again a lovely texture but spreads very well. The colour payoff is very pale however, but is easily built up.

You can’t see it spread out ,but you can barely see a line created with my finger at the bottom. However with a build up and a good kabuki brush it gives a lovely colour!

Bronzer applied to right hand side of the photo
You can see it gives a lovely natural colour, but this is about 4 layers to demonstrate the colour! It’s perfect for very pale girls or people who want a subtle wash of colour. I absolutely love it, I don’t look muddy or dirty, but have a healthy “week in Spain” glow. It’s brilliant for sensitive skinned girls like me who don’t want to put fake tan on their faces in case we get spots! The bronzer is cheaper than Benefit Hoola at £19.50 and I would definitely purchase this again. It’s potentially a pale girl’s perfect bronzer!

Rating – 9.5/10 – I don’t feel I could give a 10, because one day there might be something better... but until then this is amazing!

Hope you enjoyed my reviews, pop on over to my blog for more!

Lauren xxx

5 minute chocolate cake...

Hi Everyone!!! I’m Katrina from Muffin Top Vintage, Maria asked for guest posts and I thought I would volunteer :) Now I am a huge chocolate cake fan so when I stumbled across this recipe that meant you could make a chocolate cake in 5 minutes using a microwave, a few years back I have made it my mission to share it with many people as possible. Let's be honest, sharing is caring right?!

Ciao Italia!

As you may have guessed from my excited tweets, I am off  to Italy again! I will be away for quite a while but I am leaving you in some very capable hands when I am away so look out for some great guest posts...

 Wish me luck, I am off to try and finish packing! 

Broderie anglaise...

I have been meaning to post about this dress for ages but I completely forgot about the pictures until I started getting everything ready to go on holiday (only a couple of days to go, eek!) A few years ago I bought a white knee length dress from H&M which was perfect for hot weather but somehow or other I lost it, I think it went to the same place my favourite grey cardigan did :( Luckily, this gorgeous River Island number is a more than worthy replacement...

Dress:River Island via ASOS, cardigan: Wallis, belt: vintage, necklace: Accessorize,  Nanette Lepore for Keds: Office
 Really this outfit was sort of a test drive for Italy to see just how comfortable it was (very!) and whether or not the length would be suitable for places which require you to be a bit more covered up (e.g. the Vatican) and it passed on both counts.

This cardigan was a bit of an impulse buy too from a few years ago when I was interning in London as I had to go on a business trip to Preston... and I forgot my coat. All Northern stereotypes came to the fore that day and I grabbed this to add an extra layer to protect me from the wind and rain from the tiny sale collection in the Wallis store. It never gets worn enough but I love the bright blue colour and it matches perfectly so I am determined to wear it more- it is probably one of my favourite impulse purchases!

Swooshy skirt...
 These are possibly the comfiest pair of shoes that I own, perhaps tied with my other pair of Keds, and I thoroughly recommend them when you are doing lots of walking as the bouncy sole is beyond comfy- these are definitely going on holiday with me! 

What do you wear on holiday when you need to be demure? What is your favourite impulse buy?

Wearing my heart on my sleeve...

Cheesy I know but is there a more apt title for an outfit post featuring this wonderful cardigan?! A long grey cardigan has long been a staple in my wardrobe, ever since I got this grey one as a 16th birthday present it barely left my body but unfortunately I lost it a while back (to this day I still don't know where!) and I have been searching for a replacement ever since...

Cardigan: ASOS, top: Hobbs, jeans: Topshop, boots: Dr. Martens

 Ever since I first got my hands on my first pair of Doc Martens, I have been unstoppable and I spied these boots in their sale. Funnily enough these boots are also replacing old favourites, my beloved Nine West biker boots (which I can't believe I have never blogged) as they have worn beyond repair :( They weren't cheap but I know they will last forever and I would rather spend my money on something that can actually withstand the winter weather! 

These are a gorgeous rough suede which feels really luxurious and makes these feel a bit less utilitarian, despit their practicality, definitely a win from me! 

I love the cardi, it is just the right thickness and the length is near perfect. I bought it a size down but it is still quite roomy so size down unless you like an oversized fit! I am also quite tempted by the jumper too, I may be taking another look on payday...

The elbow patches can't fail to put a smile on your face! 

Originally I put my boots on as it was really windy and rainy but they were just far too warm for the weirdly warm weather so I switched to some cute patterned socks and my trusty loafers instead. I'm not actually sure which version if the outfit I prefer, I usually avoid socks but I think I will be investing in some cute patterned ones for Autumn now I'm wearing jeans again!

create gif

Just to show off the bouncing soles, I really am in love!

What items in your wardrobe have been replaced time and time again? Do you prefer the boots or the loafers?

Carnival dress...

I wore this dress when we went to Bristol last weekend as I needed something that was comfortable to wear all day and dressy enough to celebrate properly. I love the swooshy skirt of this and the stripes remind me of carnivals, maybe its because I resemble the 'big top'?! I bought it when the lovely Hattie and I met up for lunch in Cheltenham recently. She seems to be good luck for my wardrobe, last time we met up she persuaded me to buy my favourite black trousers (we definitely have to meet up soon if she is this good for my wardrobe!) 

Dress: Oasis, shoes: ASDA, bag: vintage, via my mum's wardrobe
I love it when things match and it was the perfect opportunity to pull out this bag which never gets used much due to just how tiny it is, thank goodness I had someone to carry everything I couldn't...thanks Mark! ;)

The 50s style of this dress required a retro inspired hairstyle and so this is my very feeble attempt at a 'victory roll' hairdo, unfortunately it completely collapsed when there was the slightest gust of wind- anyone have any tips?

Recently I seem to keep buying things with back detailing and this was no exception - I now have a wonderful patch of sunburn which should be rather amusing on holiday next week!

Have you ever tried victory rolls? What's your most versatile dress?

BBQs in Bristol...

A long overdue catch-up with some of my best friends this weekend, it's rare that we are all in the same place at the same time but a few of us made the trip to Bristol to see Cindy and Dan and celebrate their engagement which was really fun. We spent the whole weekend eating, drinking and laughing so much that I couldn't breathe- definitely the best kind of weekend and just what I needed after a pretty stressful week...

♥ Sophie and me
♥ Oli and me
♥ Chopping potatoes to make garlic and rosemary potatoes (which were beyond divine)
♥ Dan firing up the barbeque
♥ Brunel and the SS Great Britain
♥ Pegging up Mark...
♥ A nice glass of wine in  the sunshine
♥ Cindy & Dan's newly redone garden
♥ Mark falling off the hammock (after dying of laughter at Mark falling foul of the hammock, I also fell off but those photos are far too awful to share!)
♥ Oli nearly falling off...
♥ 'Very Pamp' wine- grapefruit laced rose- quite refreshing but the name was definitely the highlight of it- isn't pamplemousse the best word?!
♥ Cheesy pasta salad
♥ Barbecued chorizo- definitely my new favourite thing, barbequeing it, enhances the smokiness and I have to say, hot chorizo is just AMAZING. 
♥ Garlic stuffed olives
♥ My two girls 
♥ Every house should have magnetic letters!
♥ Mandarin and peach cheesecake