Tuesday, 2 October 2012


So I finally took the plunge and filmed my first YouTube video! It's just a Primark haul and it's probably really awkward and my hair looks awful but apart from that... yay! I've popped it in below so feel free to have a gander, and let me know what you think. I may start making more videos but we shall see - also I'm really sorry for the constant rubbish I talk here! Hopefully you all enjoy it though :)

Monday, 1 October 2012

summer lovin'

Oh hi guys... anyone remember me? I have been so useless at blogging lately, but I blame it entirely on being at home and being busy all the time! I'm back at uni now and not so social (sorry to all my uni friends reading this, I do love you!) so I'm hoping I can get back into the swing of things. I had every intention of blogging today's outfit but I got caught in the rain on my way home so I think I'll spare you the drowned rat look today!

Instead, I thought I'd post some photos from the end of my Summer back in Somerset to cheer myself up watching the drizzle out the window.

At the beginning of September we ventured to Bath race course for my friend Dan's 21st. I've never been to the races before but I loved it and definitely want to go again, even if I lost more money than I won! My dress is Matalan, scarf from Debenhams and shoes from M&S. My sunglasses are good ol' Primark.

The end of the month saw our friends Mike and Jeannie get married. Unfortunately I didn't make it to the wedding until about midnight but a few of us had a good few hours drinking the left over beer and cider and having a private disco to Gangnam Style! Dan and Tom (at the front) decided to get 'married' so the bouquet wouldn't go to waste...

I did a hell of a lot of baking this summer, and this was one of my favourite cakes to make! It's a simple Victoria sponge covered in buttercream roses and fondant butterflies. Definitely going to try this out again soon :)

I love this picture from my cousin's little girl's Christening. She is seriously the most beautiful baby ever, and really placid too - I love her so much!

What have you been up to this Summer?

P.S. Is anyone else going to #ldnbloggermeet this Saturday?

Monday, 20 August 2012

DIY: coloured sole shoes...

Recently, I've developed a massive addiction to Pinterest! Following in the footsteps of some of my favourite pinners, I created a 'crafts to try' board and found a few crafty things I'd like to try, and on Saturday I attempted my first project: coloured sole shoes. I've always admired Louboutins from afar, but they are waaay out of my price range so this was the perfect way to get myself some of the action...

Here is what you'll need to complete the project! In the original pin, black shoes are used but as I couldn't find any and I thought that these could do with a brighten up anyway, I chose these mink coloured shoes - never worn as you can probably tell by the stickers! You will need white nail polish, as well as nail polish in the colour you want to paint your soles. Two paintbrushes are useful to paint on the polish, as nail polish brushes are too little! If you have already worn your shoes, it would be useful to clean the bottoms in rubbing alcohol before painting them.

Here are the soles of my shoes to begin with.

Pop some of the white nail polish on a paint palette or something else; here I have used an old Lush pot! There's only a little here but I found I needed to use most of the bottle of polish to cover my shoes.

Begin by painting your soles white; it will probably take a couple of coats to get them completely opaque. In the original tutorial the girl manages to get them completely white but I couldn't! I think perhaps because of the writing and ridges on the soles, so it may be better to use completely smooth soles.

Here are my shoes after a couple of coats of white nail polish! I used an Elf polish, in 'white' funnily enough.

Again, pour some of your coloured nail polish onto a palette or surface and start painting your souls. Again, this took pretty much the whole bottle of polish!

You will definitely need a few coats of polish for this step, especially if you want your soles really bright.

Here are my finished shoes! They look very shiny here, and mostly opaque so hopefully they will hold up well when I wear them. I will be sure to take an outfit photo with these shoes, and keep you up to date on how they fare! I was quite surprised no top coat or similar was used on top of the polish, so it will definitely be interesting to see how they hold up.

Have you tried this DIY, or are you going to? If you have, show me! I'd love to see.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

house of fraser blogger style challenge...

When I got an email telling me about the House of Fraser blogger style challenge, in which a very generous £200 gift card is up for grabs, I was beyond excited! I love these kind of competitions as not only do you get to have a good old gander at some gorgeous clothes, but you can also really express your personal style. Without further ado, here is my entry...


Red, black and gold is a colour palette I love; it definitely brightens up those dull Autumn days! I'm usually all about the fifties but I've gone for a sixties-ish look here, fitting in with the Mod style comeback of next season. The dress is so versatile as it can be dressed up or down, and looks gorgeous with gold accessories such as the lion belt, simple stud earrings and full on the MOST AMAZING boots I have ever seen... seriously Santa come early please?! (Cannot believe I just said that in August...) I've always been a massive fan of Biba, and was thrilled to see their collection at House of Fraser so I couldn't not feature them here! A faux fur coat is an essential for me in Winter, but will also be great on chillier Autumn days. I adore the clutch bag as well; it's big enough for all the essentials but looks absolutely stunning with the gold hardware. The tights are another essential, especially in the British blustery weather, and the nail polish is sure to finish the look off perfectly.

What do you think of this look? Have you taken part in the House of Fraser blogger challenge?

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

chocolate cupcakes...

Lately I have been spending a lot of time in the kitchen, baking! On Sunday I made these gorgeous chocolate cupcakes which you may have already seen on my twitter or instagram, but I thought I'd blog about them too!

I (mostly) followed a recipe from the Primrose Bakery cupcake book, which I'll pop in below with my amendments, and then I used my Wilton 1M nozzle to ice the cakes, then sprinkled on gold stars and glitter on half the cakes, then chocolate and pink hearts with silver glitter on the others. I got most of these decorations from eBay, but the pink hearts are Lakeland. My friends have been trying to convince me to open my own cupcake business which I am seriously considering at the moment... exciting times!

Primrose Bakery Chocolate Cupcakes - The Helen way!
(makes around 12 regular cupcakes, 24 fairy cakes or 48 mini cupcakes)

 115g good quality dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids)
85 unsalted butter
175g soft brown sugar
2 large eggs, free- range or organic, separated
185g plain flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
250ml semi- skimmed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Preheat the oven to 170c (fan)/ 190c/ 375F/ gas mark 5 and line two twelve hole muffin trays.
2. Break the chocolate into pieces and melt - you can do this either over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave. Stir until it is completely melted and is smooth. Leave this to cool slightly.

3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until the mixture is pale and smooth. In a separate bowl beat the egg yolks for several minutes and slowly add to the butter mixture and beat well. Beat in the melted chocolate.

4. Combine the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a separate bowl. Pour the milk into a jug and add the vanilla extract to it. Add a third of the flour to the chocolate mixture and beat well. Pour in a third of the milk and beat again. Repeat these steps until all the flour and milk has been added.

5. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks start to form. Carefully fold the egg whites into the batter. Do not beat or you will take all the air out of the mixture.

6. Carefully spoon the cupcake mixture into cupcake cases, filling them to about two thirds full. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, or until a skewer comes out of the cake clean. Remove from the oven and leave them in their tins for ten minutes before placing on a wire rack to cool. Ice the cupcakes once they are completely cool.

Chocolate Buttercream Icing

   175g good quality dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids)
225g unsalted butter
1 tablespoon semi- skimmed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
250g icing sugar, sifted


1. Melt the chocolate as before, until it's a thick pouring consistency; completely melted and smooth. Leave to cool slightly.

2. Beat the butter, milk, vanilla and icing sugar together until smooth with an electric hand mixer. Add the chocolate and beat again until thick and creamy.

3. Frost the cupcakes and decorate!

What do you think of my cupcakes? Will you be trying this recipe out?

Saturday, 21 July 2012

fruit and nut (and pumpkin pie)...

Recently I have really been enjoying this trio of products in the shower. They were all £1 each which I think is a little bit of a bargain! I mentioned the Original Source shampoo in my May favourites post, and it has remained hands down the best shampoo I've ever used since. It kept my hair healthy and shiny whilst I was in Portugal and continues to strengthen and soften every time I use it. I never thought a shampoo could make an actual difference to my hair, I just thought they would only ever clean my locks but this one really disproves that theory! I picked it up in Bodycare but I think they are also sold in Asda.

The conditioner smells just like strawberry milkshake, and the scent lingers for quite a while which I love! It's not the best conditioner ever but after I comb this through my hair, it becomes much more manageable and lovely and smooth. I picked this up in my local pharmacy but I've seen them in pound shops and Bodycare before. I've used the coconut shampoo Alberto Balsam do as well before, and that smells gorgeous too!

Pumpkin Pie shower gel is definitely not going to be to everyone's taste; my mum and dad both looked disgusted when they first smelled it but I think it's lovely. In the bottle it smells really quite pungent but once you've showered it just leaves a light scent which is quite reminiscent of a sweet pastry but doesn't last too long! They also do a strawberries and cream version which smells incredible! This too was from my local pharmacy but I'm not sure where else you can buy them. I think they're quite obviously a rip off of Philosophy products, but for £1 I'm not going to complain!

Have you tried any of these products? Do you have any bargain shower products?

Thursday, 19 July 2012

£100 asos challenge...


It appears I took an accidental blogging break for a few weeks! I've had various commitments over the past few weeks and don't seem to have any sort of schedule to my life which is a bit detrimental to my blog. I'm back now though and have a little daily schedule worked out for the next couple of months so I do hope you will all see me posting a little more!

I've seen quite a few bloggers post about the £100 Asos challenge over at the Discount Coder blog and I was feeling in need of a little online window shopping so decided to add my look! Altogether this costs £99.50 which I think is a bit of a bargain for such a gorgeous outfit. I adore the midi dress; I am hugely into longer length skirts that flare out; perfect for a twirl on the dancefloor! I've added a little bit of a fifties twist with the back seam tights and the mid heels, and stuck to a pink theme to bring it all together. I think the butterfly headband adds a really sweet modern update to the dress; and the little bracelet type loop on the clutch bag means you won't be in danger of leaving your bag somewhere silly (not that I've ever done that...!)

What do you think of my entry? Have you entered the £100 Asos challenge?

Friday, 29 June 2012

hello sailor...

Top: vintage | Skirt: New Look | Earrings: H&M
Whilst on holiday I had every intention of taking outfit posts before I went out in the evening, however a few too many cocktails and fateful karaoke bars put pay to that and I only have this one outfit! Saying that, this is one of my favourite outfits that I've worn both in the UK (when it's sunny!) and on holiday. I may not be the skinniest of people but I've really been getting into wearing crop tops with high waisted skirts, as I am here. The skirt is actually navy despite the picture and I got it in New Look last year; it's really versatile and I've worn it with so many different tops. The top I got from a blog sale probably about a year and a half ago but I've only started wearing it lately - I love it though! The earrings are probably the ones I wear most and I got them in New York about four years ago so this is a pretty old outfit I guess.

Here is a picture of my face that night, just to prove I do leave the house occasionally! I'm not 100% sure of what make up I'm wearing but I know it's Avon Calming Effects foundation, Benefit They're Real! mascara and I do believe there's some Benefit SunBeam there too!

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

oh heaven, i wait with good intentions...

So I returned from Portugal on Saturday but since then have been busy socialising (which means drinking too much Malibu!) and haven't had much time to blog! We've been going to Carvoeiro, in the Algarve since I was twelve but this year was definitely the best holiday yet. I've a few posts from things I wore/ did/ bought whilst I was away which I'll pop up in the coming week but for now I'll leave you with a little selection of my pictures...

How have you all been?

Saturday, 9 June 2012

leaving on a jet plane...

Just a quick post to say au revoir for a while as I'm off to Portugal in the morning! I'm going for twelve days but I'll be sure to take lots of pictures and show you all my travels :)

Hope you all have a lovely couple of weeks!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

jubilee frolics...

I have honestly just had one of the best, if not the best weekend of my life! So thanks for that Queenie ;) My Jubilee celebrations began on Friday with a themed disco down the local which included the 'moth dance' and being told Justin Bieber was not on the playlist as he's not British... rubbish! Saturday was probably the most boring evening of my life so we'll skim over that, but then Sunday was brill as we all headed to the Jubilee themed pub quiz and then out on the town for my friend Flo's birthday. Monday was the best day of all though; we started at the local Party in the Park where we won far too many coconuts and then headed to our friends Phil and Lynne's beautiful house for a day of drinking, eating, cupcake competitions and three legged races! Here are some photos from my fab few days...

From top to bottom I am wearing:
1) New Look top, New Look skirt, Just Beauty headband, eBay necklace and Tesco glasses.
2) Debenhams jacket, Quiz dress and eBay necklace.
3) Vintage cardigan, Next lace top, New Look skirt.

How did you celebrate the Jubilee?

Saturday, 2 June 2012

i put my new shoes on...

Recently I seem to have accumulated a few more pairs of shoes into my extensive collection! I did have a clear out recently and I'm off on my holibobs soon so it's definitely justified ;)

First up are these floral print canvas shoes from none other than Sports Direct! They actually have quite a few nice things in from time to time so it's always worth having a look. These will be perfect for holiday as they're quite a thin canvas and really comfortable, as well as having a really pretty pattern!

These ballet pumps were a birthday present from my mum. I love these shoes; currently I've got three pairs including these on the go and two pairs spare in case any of them break! They are insanely comfortable and I love the nude colour as they go with literally everything. These coral ones will be perfect if the British summer time ever returns!

I saw these on Daisy Street when I was buying the pair of shoes below and thought they'd be perfect for chillier days or if I needed to smarten an outfit up. They have a pink sole which you can't see in this picture but it adds a really cute pop of colour to an otherwise normal pair of shoes!

These were the shoes I originally went on to Daisy Street for; how amazing are they?! I've seen a lot of bloggers with them and couldn't resist getting a pair for myself as they're so cute. Definitely embracing my youth for a little longer yet...

These were another birthday present from my mum, and they are the perfect heels. I really love the low square heel; it reminds me of the shoes Rachel wears in Glee which I adore! They'd be perfect for a summer wedding, now if only someone I know can hurry up and get married...

Last but definitely not least I got these jelly pumps from my mum's catalogue but they're also available on Very. Definitely a bit more sophisticated than the jelly shoes of my youth! I'm so excited to wear these as I adore the pattern and the fifties-ish style!

Have you bought any new shoes lately?
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