Friday, 20 September 2013

Reorganise How To: Get Rainbow Bookshelves

Step 1: Empty your bookshelves/library of every book/ornament/piece of clutter

Step 2: Dust/polish/repair your empty bookshelves

Step 3: Store or chuck any ornaments and junk that you don't want to display

Step 4: Sell or donate any books that you have outgrown, won't read again and don't want to keep

Step 5: Organise the books and DVDs left over into colour piles (green spines, pink spines, yellow spines, etc.)

Step 6: Set up your new shelves by lining up your books in rainbow order. Within each colour organise your books by category (non-fiction, crime fiction, etc.), height

Step 7: Finally, add pretty decorations, display items or candles. Finish with fairy lights, rainbow Nepalese prayer flags, etc.

Your done, now sit back and enjoy!

Carpe Diem xx

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Watch Wednesday: The Great British Bake Off review

During the weeks that I've uploaded either a TV or film review on my blog every Wednesday I don't think I've ever mentioned my love of the Bake Off. If you like in the UK or England then you've probably heard of it, and you may even like it, but chances are you might not have heard of this recent British classic if you don't. As a foodie and evening telly junkie I've been hooked. But what's the recipe to this 4-series programme's success? Start with a goodie/baddie base of celebrity bakers Paul Hollywood (Mr Arctic Fox Eyes) and Mary Berry (Queen of Cakes). Then add in thirteen ('a baker's dozen') nervous amateur bakers who spread their love of cake around the country. Next mix in a show stopper, signature bake and technical challenge every week. Finish with comedy double act Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc to chivvy on the contestants. Finally, you have a British cookery competition classic, with a bit of good old fashioned history chucked in for luck. Watch it; you'll love it!

The Great British Bake Off is aired on BBC2 Tuesday's, 8pm

Carpe Diem xx

Monday, 16 September 2013

Makeup Monday: Simple Spotless Skin Anti-Blemish Moisturiser review

Hello there! Today is a Makeup Monday and as the weather is turning I thought it would be appropriate to review the moisturiser that I've been testing for a week. As August/September brings changeable hot/cold days, the temperature change can take a toll on our skin so it's vitally important to keep it nourished for autumn. I bought this Simple moisturiser as I needed one for when I wanted a lighter formula moisturiser for the morning. So far the effects, like the Simple face wash above, which I have reviewed previously, seem very good. My skin looks visibly better and I like the zinc and chamomile ingredients. I do however have dry skin and I'm still not sure that it's entirely right for me. Although there are times when even I need a light moisturiser, I think this might be too light. What do you think? The jury's still out for me.

Simple Spotless Skin Anti-Blemish Moisturiser can be found in Boots for £4.99 (or less during promotions)

Carpe Diem xx

Friday, 13 September 2013

How To Make A Bulb Lasagne and a Gardening Haul

On Monday I tweeted and Instagrammed to let you guys know that had a garden centre haul for you, and here it is! This might seem strange and off topic, but bare with me for a minute or two. My mum has been an avid gardener for most of her life but I have never really done any with her. So, at the age of 21 I decided to take up her offer of making a 'mini-garden' in a pot. With trepidation we set about making gardener and former BBC Gardener's World presenter Sarah Raven's 'Bulb Lasagne'. First things first, this is not edible and does not involve lasagne pasta, but it is in fact fun. The idea is to build up layers of soil and plant bulbs in a tall pot, similar to the layers of pasta in a lasagne, and allow each one to flower at different points in the year.

In order to build up your Bulb Lasagne all you need is soil and a tall/large pot. All you need then is two or three packs of bulbs that will flower at different times (for example February, March, and April/May). When you have layered up your bulbs, the largest and latest flowering planted deepest, cover with soil and some grit on top. As well as using tulips and narcissus you can also plant violas on the top layer. My bulb haul includes Queen of the Night (a tulip), White Dream (also a tulip) and Misty Glen (a narcissus). My aim is to create a unique, dramatic Shakespeare-inspired 'Black Garden', full of deep purples, blacks and contrasting whites.
Have fun!

Read Sarah Raven's guide to layering bulbs here:

Carpe Diem xx

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Watch Wednesday: About Time review

When I went to the cinema on Saturday it was the first time in quite a while, literally six months or so. So when I was talking with my family about seeing Richard Curtis' new film 'About Time' I wasn't too bothered that it was being given two stars or that many of the reviews I had read were disparaging. After taking the plunge and watching the romance with a remarkably similar premise to leading lady Rachel McAdams previous film The Time Traveler's Wife, I left feeling very pleased that I had. Cheesy, unrealistic and over-romanticized in parts, the film has moral overtones and a message to relate about space and time and human existence. With a cast including Domhnall Gleeson (Harry Potter), Bill Nighy (Curtis' Love Actually) and Margot Robbie (Neighbours), and a style that will leave you laughing in your seats, if you need a film to cheer you up as the days get shorter then this one's for you.

Carpe Diem xx

Monday, 9 September 2013

Makeup Monday: Nivea and Simple Skincare Haul

Hello there on a wet Monday morning (the kind where you want to hide under your duvet)! Some of you might be thinking that I've been slacking on my posts and the truth is that I just haven't bought much recently. I try to blog 2-3 times a week when I really feel strongly about a subject or product and want to produce high quality, informative and entertaining content for you, so keep your eyes peeled because I'm not going anywhere!

Nivea Daily Essentials Rich Moisturising Day Cream (50ml) Dry and Sensitive Skin - I use this on hot and sunny days because its SPF 25 protects against sun damage and ageing, even the hidden kind. Great for sensitive skin, although I find it on the oily side.

Nivea Pure and Natural Regenerating Night Cream for All Skin Types - Perfect for all skin types. A rich texture that 'turns over' your skin at night.

Simple Spotless Skin Triple Action Face Wash - A really great face wash, especially if you have dry or sensitive skin, but definitively for all skin types.
Why not check out my previous blog post review:

Simple Spotless Skin Anti-Blemish Moisturiser - Use on days when you need a lighter formula moisturiser! I still need to test this one out more but may blog about it soon.

Carpe Diem xx

Sunday, 8 September 2013

How To: Autumn Clean Your Wardrobe

It's that time of year when 'school term syndrome' starts. Research shows that a lot of people, in the habit of having started school and uni in the academic term beginning in September, make life changing shifts or decisions in August/September time. Forget spring cleaning your wardrobe or closet, fall/autumn is all about autumn cleaning! 

Step 1: Take all of your clothes and shoes out of their hiding places (yes, all of them!). This is likely to make a big mess of your room or house as most people have a lot of clothes!

Step 2: Get a plastic bag and put anything for charity, recycling or rubbish in. If you haven't worn it in 2 years chuck it out!

Step 3: Organise your clothes and shoes into piles categorised by type (short sleeved tops, summer bottoms, long sleeved tops, day dresses, autumn/winter dresses). Make a note of clothes that you need to replace on a shopping spree or repair.

Step 4: Hang up dresses, blouses and shirts that you will wear in the autumn and winter in your wardrobe or on a rail. Use wooden, white or slim non-slip hangers to categorise the items by colour or type.

Step 5: Wash and fold the summer clothes that you will wear next year and store them in clear storage boxes and containers. Do the same for summer shoes. Don't use plastic bin bags because they won't allow your clothes to breathe and will damage the material.

Step 6: Finally, fold and categorise your autumn/winter clothes that need folding and store them in easily accessible drawers.

And your done! Congratulate yourself and enjoy a stress free transition to autumn!

Carpe Diem xx

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Thrifty Crafts How To: Make Bowls from Vinyl Records

In thrifty times a perfect craft that reuses old, unused materials can be a great way of 'filling your house for free'. Vinyl records can usually be found amongst family, friends or thrift and second-hand stalls, so why not turn them into a pretty and practical storage container in less than 10 minutes?

To melt a vinyl record into a bowl shape first heat an oven to 100-120 Celsius or 200-250 Faranheit. Then place a small glass mixing bowl (the kind you might make a cake mix in) on top of a baking tray. Put the record on top of the upturned bowl. Heat in the oven for 4-8 minutes, checking regularly. When out of the oven the vinyl should be floppy and fold into a flower shape over the bowl. 
Leave to cool for a minute to allow the bowl the set into shape before releasing the vinyl. Turn it upright and mold it into shape as it sets on the baking tray.

Alternatively, melt a vinyl by pouring boiling water from a kettle over it repeatedly. Be careful of the heat! This usually creates a shallower bowl.
Perfect for chip and dips, crisp bowls, a jewellery container or a catch-all for your front hall junk!

Carpe Diem xx

Monday, 2 September 2013

August Favourites 2013: My Review of The Month

As the nights are getting longer and we enter September and the season of leaves, academic terms and Halloween, I can't help feeling excited! Strange as it is, Autumn and Winter celebrations are my favourite time of year. So, on the first Monday of September it is time for me to review the month and reveal my favourite books, cosmetics, music and food from the month of August. What have you been loving?

Beauty: I am still loving the Simple Spotless Skin Triple Action Face Wash, which has cleared my skin up miraculously. Read my review here!

Music: This month has been kind of difficult and transitional for me, so power ballads are in! Specifically I have been obsessed with Kelly Clarkson's Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You) from 2011. Who doesn't like this anthem just a little bit? And let's not mention the Jane Austen ring debacle!

Books: This month despite have plenty of time to I haven't actually read that much. I am currently reading J.K. Rowling's The Casual Vacancy, which I have already made a first impressions review of here on my blog for Title Tuesday:

Food: Out and about travelling and enjoying time with family and friends, as well as some of the best weather this year, I couldn't help having an ice cream or two. Magnums are my favourite. I usually like white chocolate Magnums but this year my new favourite is the Magnum Infinity Chocolate and Caramel. It is dark chocolate, and thus not for everyone, but I recommend trying one!

Finally, however your August has been, thanks for reading and have a great September.

Carpe Diem xx