A blog for fashion, beauty, hair, cosmetics and lifestyle

24 Jun 2020

Knitting lessons - chunky jumper

Who's up for some more knitting lessons? I've been kindly sponsored by Love Crafts to teach you more knitting lessons and I've chosen the Lempi Sweater by Novita Hygge (it's free to download here). It's a gorgeous, really chunky jumper which would be perfect for late summer evenings after a BBQ.

This is an easy knit, and you'll learn a new skill - to knit in the round (it's way easier than you'd think)

Here's what you'll need

Choose the size you'll need:

Body circumference in CM
Amount of yarn in grams

Once you know your size, pick your super chunky yarn and buy enough! You can use the Novita Hygge yarn if you like. I chose to make it using MillaMia Naturally Soft Super Chunky in Sailor Blue and I'm making a size S so I've got 9 balls. A cheaper but lovely alternative is Paintbox Simply Super Chunky and if you were making size S, you'd need 8 balls. The benefit of the Paintbox yarn is that you can chuck it in the washing machine, but if you choose a real wool like I have, it will be lovely and soft. Pros and cons!

Other supplies you'll need

  • 8mm 80 cm long circular needle circular needle 
  • 8mm double pointed needles
  • 10 mm 60cm long circular needle 
  • Darning needle for sewing together
For my circular needles, I have an interchangable circular needle kit which can do lots of lengths and widths of needle. I love mine, which are from Hiya Hiya. They're slippery and sharp which suits my tension, but if you have a looser tension then I'd recommend looking for bamboo ones. Check out my Instagram highlights and IGTV and YouTube for some video introductions to knitting

If you can't decide what colour to do, you can check out the Ravelry page for this jumper to see how others have made it. 

Let me know if you have any questions. I'll give you all a week to gather your supplies and then like last time, I'll do some videos for how to follow this knitting pattern!

27 Apr 2020

Lockdown knitting lessons

Lockdown! My gosh what is happening to the world? I don't know about you, but I swing wildly from being completely calm and OK, but then I move towards feeling really panicked and anxious!

One thing keeping me sane is knitting. I've always loved knitting and I'm sure I've blogged about it loads before. I've recently just finished a cable knit jumper to replace my old Topshop one which was bobbled and stained (my one on the left, Topshop on the right)

After chatting to some people on Instagram, I decided to start doing knitting lessons. Together we can knit a hot water bottle cover as a good way to learn the basics of knitting

I've uploaded the basic videos to YouTube - how to cast on, knit and purl. If you'd like to knit along with me to make the hot water bottle cover, go to my Instagram page and watch the stories highlight for the information, and then look at the IGTV videos which will talk you through making this. 

The yarn I have used is called Bloom by Biffsugar Yarns and I've done some videos here on learning the basics. 


24 Nov 2019

Date night outfit: Flattering Leopard Wrap Dress

Last night, Sam and I treated ourselves to a date night. We haven't been out together in ages, so decided to go into Bournemouth. It was a wet, rainy night! I also had the great excuse of having had my hair freshly done that morning, so I needed to wear my hair out!

I wore my lovely new leopard print wrap dress which is so flattering and comfortable (despite having had a huge pulled pork burger before going out!). I am aware that in leopard print with red hair, I look a lot like Pebbles Flintstone, but I'm ok with that!

Quick side note: How do other bloggers cope taking photos in the winter?! I've had to colour correct everything to make it seem less orange and dark which is really frustrating

This lovely dress is from ANGELEYE, a brand I had not heard of before. They contacted me and kindly offered to gift me a dress. This is the Cream Leopard Print Dress and is £38. It's so comfortable and I love the flounce on the bottom of the dress which makes it really floaty and feminine. Sometimes with wrap dresses, they fall apart when I sit down and flash my pants! This has a good amount of wrap fabric and keeps my dignity despite how many cocktails I had last night!

I paired the dress with my very old rose gold heels from ASOS. These ones are very similar but look slightly easier to walk in! 

If you're in the market for your Christmas party dress, I'd definitely check them out. They have some lovely bits like this floral suit, this navy floral satin wrap dress, or this 20s inspired beaded mini dress

We had a great night, but we were home fairly early. We're so old these days! This morning, as I write this, I can confirm that I do have a slight hangover and I'm enjoying snuggling with Teddy dog on the sofa, watching the new episodes of The Crown!

14 Nov 2019

Dying My Copper Hair and Keeping It + The Fade Out

At the beginning of August, I went to my hairdressers April Scott Hair in Southampton. I had just got married and like most of my married friends I wanted a whole new look. Rather than have the traditional wife hair chop, I decided to go ginger!

I thought I would share with you my journey so far - how I kept the copper colour for 2 months, and then what it has faded to after a month of using normal shampoo and conditioner. The journey involves a lot of selfies and non-edited or posed photos!

When I first had it done, the colour was a lovely, intense copper

This is the colour in mid-September while we were in America

Starting to get some roots!

To keep it red I have been using this combo:
1. I washed my hair with a colour safe shampoo to get all the dirt out. 
2. I did a second wash with Infuse my colour copper shampoo - this shampoo adds lots of colour but is quite drying so I had to use an oil when I dried my hair. I mixed it with Schwarzkopf BlondeMe Blush Wash in Apricot to add more pink tones to the copper. I left it on while I washed and shaved my legs
3. I then used John Frieda Radiant Red Conditioner and again left it on while I washed all the red splashes off the walls of the shower and enjoyed a soak. 

After 2 months, the colour had lasted well

View this post on Instagram

How I've kept my hair colour ?? When I first went ginger I was told by a lot of red heads that it's the hardest colour to keep. Apparently red dye just washes put really quickly. I spoke to some red headed friends and did some extensive online research and started using: @infusemycolour_official shampoo in copper mixed with @schwarzkopfprouk blush wash in apricot for pinkier tones. Leave that on while I shave my legs and wash my body. Then use @johnfriedauk radiant red conditioner and leave that on while I wash all the red splashes off the shower walls! I find the infuse my colour shampoo quite drying and I know @rachus (a fellow ginge) does too so you might need an oil when drying your hair. The photos are on the day it was done. In early August, and again at the end of September. I wash my hair every 3 days and it seems to have really helped keep the colour. . . . #aprilscotthair #aprilscott #redhead #redhair #ginger #gingerhair #gingerlife #infusemycolour #schwarzkopfblushwash #schwarzkopf #johnfrieda #johnfriedaradiantred #hair #haircolor #haircolouring #bournemouthbloggers #bournemouthinfluencer #bournemouth @bournemouthbloggers @aprilscotthair #copper #copperhair
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In early October, I stopped using the shampoo to see how it faded out. My roots were getting really long and they're not that red so I wanted to blend my roots a little better. I have an appointment for late November with April so I thought I'd fade it out so we could see what colour it really was without me adding dyes and toner. 

This is the last month in order. I wash my hair every 3 days with Aussie colour safe shampoo and conditioner.

(today when I snuck off to the toilets to take an update photo) Scuse my foundation free face!

Overall, I've loved being a red head! I'm so pleased that I think it suits me and I can;t wait to get my copper locks back again next week. If you find anything that helps keep your copper from fading then please do let me know! My next job is going to MAC for a makeup lesson when I'm back to being ginge so I can learn what colours suit me as none of my blushes, eyeshadows or lippies quite work anymore. 

16 Oct 2019

Our wedding

We got married!

In June we got married at Highcliffe Castle in Dorset. It was the most wonderful day ever and we had so much fun. I thought I'd share our wedding day story. I co-wrote a really long post on Love My Dress so a lot of it is copied from my words there! The photos are a mixture of professional ones by the amazingly talented Emma and Ian at Big Bouquet Photography, and ones from friends.

The day was so beautiful and we got really lucky with the weather. It was really windy in the morning, but that died down throughout the day until we had a lovely sunny afternoon. There was also a crazy rain shower during the ceremony but it blew over so quickly and we spent most the day outdoors.

I had my New Look shoes customised by Hetty & Dave Get Hitched with our nicknames for each other - Bez and Loz

My flowers were ranunculus (my favourite), peonies and roses in cream, with lavender for my nanny, forget me nots and nigella which matched the bridesmaids dresses perfectly. I also asked for lots of greenery and a more messy look. The flowers and all the decorations were done by Simply Flower

My family, bridesmaids and I spent the morning getting ready at The Beach House in Milford on Sea. We had fun doing our own hair and makeup and each others, and gossiping. I took great pleasure in learning how to do my wedding make-up. I went to a MAC bridal lesson and learnt techniques and which colours suited me, then did loads of practice. I wanted winged eyeliner and bright red lippie because they’re my normal look. I bought 16 different red lipsticks in my pursuit of the perfect, kiss-proof one. In the end I chose ‘Rioja Red’ from Sleek and mixed in a bit of ‘Heroine’ by Maybelline to make the perfect red. It survived the whole day and not a single bit came off when I kissed Sam.

My dress was a ballgown with a clean silhouette and bateau neckline from Essense of Australia called D2485 which I got from Anya Bridal in Hampshire. “I went to Isobel’s Bridal & Groom three weeks before the wedding and found a tiara from Linzi Jay. Because it was so last minute, they sold me the sample for a third of the price which was really kind. They gave me a bag of crystals and I spent an evening gluing missing ones back in with nail glue.”


My dress was so huge, my friend Abi could hide in it!

I chose to also wear a short veil over my face to go with the 1950s theme, my pearl stud earrings and a pearl bracelet my mum wore on her wedding day in 1986.

I really enjoyed the morning, spending time with my lovely family such as my little brother (who gets married next year!)

My beautiful bridesmaids were my best friends Sarah, Becky and Jen and my future sister-in-law Beth

I got them azure blue gowns from Vinibelle which had a lovely sheer back. 

We hired some awesome vintage cars from RK Prestige (the driver was brilliant and had a little kit of things any nervous bride would need to help them calm down!)

My lovely dad, John, walked me down the aisle to ‘Bloom’ by Rhodes. It’s a gorgeous song about love growing and has a beautiful, swelling end. We made the ceremony as personal as possible by having our favourite love songs.Music was really important to us and we made sure we had lots of quirky songs which mean a lot to us. Sam has a really eclectic music taste so it took us hours to choose them!

We had our meal in the great hall, which had a huge stained glass window. We chose to decorate it really simply, with lots of greenery as the venue was so beautiful already.

The only decoration we really provided was a personalised neon sign with our newly shared last name from Nailed It by Holly

I knitted little favours for the bridesmaids, groomsmen and our parents (mainly because I knew what they would be wearing on the day!) and our cake topper from an Alan Dart pattern

The speeches were all fabulous. I'd like to make an honourable mention to my Dad's speech in which he produced a troll which I had a paddy over as a 4 year old in an airport!

We then headed into the beautiful gardens and down to the beach for photos

I also knitted this lace shawl which was the sweet dreams shawl by Boo Knits

Our first dance was God Only Knows by The Beach Boys

We then had a Scottish Ceilidh for the dance. We asked Ceilidh Tree to perform who were really good. Ceilidh is a traditional Scottish dance which my family used to do loads of when we lived in Shetland. There's a caller who shouts the dance moves, so nobody has an excuse not to dance. It was brilliant and it all got a bit rowdy with everyone throwing themselves around the dance floor. I had so many texts the next day from people who had sprained their ankles.

We had Alex Haynes Wedding Films with us for the day filming the wedding. He was brilliant, we barely noticed him and yet the video made us so emotional when we watched it back

Lauren & Sam from Alex Haynes on Vimeo.

Our reflections on getting married and planning a wedding?
Think about how you make decisions as a couple and use this strength. I am very creative but terrible at decision-making so I would pick two or three ideas I liked with photos from Love My Dress or Pinterest and got Sam to narrow it down to one option.

Try not to sweat the small stuff. It’s really hard when you’re getting ready for a wedding and everyone is asking you to make choices about things you might not have an opinion on. Trust your suppliers; they’ve done this loads before and you picked them for a reason so let them help you make decisions.

Start a Google spreadsheet with tabs for everything – budget and payment deadlines, suppliers details, your to-do list, guest info including addresses, their RSVP response and meal choices – and share it with your partner. When you open your gifts, make a note of what you were given and by who to is make thank you cards easier.

On the day, remember you two are a team and you’re there to enjoy the day together so try and soak in every second by taking a step back every few minutes.

After the wedding, make sure you have a whole day to sit and reflect on every small detail of the wedding. Someone told me to write down your memories and reflections as close to the wedding as possible and I think that’s a great idea – so much is slipping from my mind already.

I was quite set against having anyone take photos on their phones because of the horror stories about people having them out in the official photographs. My mum convinced me to not be so strict and instead we requested they didn’t take photos during the ceremony, so people videoed and snapped away during the rest of the day. The day after the wedding, the blues were real! Having photos from friends and family really helped cheer us up.

Our suppliers: 

  • Venue - HIGHCLIFFE CASTLE, Highcliffe, Dorset
  • Wedding Dress - ESSENSE OF AUSTRALIA
  • Dress + Belt - ANYA BRIDAL
  • Shawl - knitted by the bride to a BOO KNITS pattern
  • Shoes - NEW LOOK + HETTY & DAVE GET HITCHED personalisation
  • Accessories - Her mum's pearl bracelet + pearl earrings
  • Bridesmaids - VINIBELLE gowns + PRIMARK + EBAY hair accessories
  • Florist - SIMPLY FLOWER
  • Cake - MARKS & SPENCER
  • Transport - RK PRESTIGE CAR HIRE
  • Entertainment - CEILIDH TREE
  • Rings - DOT JEWELLERY + her nan's wedding ring
  • Catering - BEALES GOURMET
  • Stationery - The bride + PALM PRINT
  • Hair Stylist - Bridesmaid Jen
  • Makeup Artist - The bride
  • Neon sign- NAILED IT BY HOLLY
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