Geek Chic

25 December 2017

So there I am on my lunch break at work one recent afternoon. I’m looking on my phone and remember I haven’t tried the new app I downloaded a few days earlier. I open the app, have a play around on it and notice a really cool feature. I share this with those sitting around me but then quickly feel self conscious. Did I just geek out there? Did the plane app, with the 3D real time simulator just make me seem more geek, than chic? Most probably, but then that’s just who I am.


I have spent my teen years and even into my 20’s trying to keep my geekiness under wraps for fear of ridicule. But now I’m into my 30’s I feel like embracing my inner uncoolness and letting it be known, that I Abbie of Abbie Chic non-fame, love reading maps. I love doing jig saw puzzles. I feel a sense of peace when I’m reading a book in bed at 9pm. I pass up on alcohol on a night out (make that an annual night out) and I buy pj’s more than any other item of clothing.
I am UNCOOL.
I’ve tried to be cool and hip. But that facade often slips quite quickly and my interest in archeology programmes and dislike of Radio 1 breaks out. I don’t know how to be cool. But I do know how to be me and enjoy the random and slightly left field topics that interest me.

Blogmas #8 | My Christmas Book Must Haves

21 December 2017



If you don't know it already but I love reading. My genre of choice is romantic comedy fiction. I love a tale of love with some humour added into the mix. And what better way to while away the cold winter evenings than snuggled up with a feel good book.

Here I have selected my favourite winter reads that I fully recommend you give a go if you like this genre.

Blogmas #7 | My Christmas Wish List

18 December 2017


...


It wouldn't be Christmas without a wish list. Of course Christmas shouldn't be all about materialism, but being with the ones you love. But that doesn't stop a girl dreaming!

I have shared what I would love for the ultimate wish list for Christmas. The thing I would love if money was no object is a house with a garden, all lovingly decorated and furnished. As I don't see that happening, no matter how good I've been this year, then these items will suffice! But honestly, these are just material goods, and what is really important to me is my health and happiness and that of those I love around me.

So let me explain why I chose these items...

Vlogmas #6 | DIY Gift Tags

15 December 2017

When on Pinterest recently I came across some gift tags that had been created for Christmas gifts. They looked so easy to make that I decided to give them a go.
What you will need for this craft is...


Brown craft luggage tags, selection of buttons (£1 per bag from Hobbycraft), PVA glue and some nice pens (I used glitter gel pens).

To do this is so easy. Simply select which buttons you would like you use. Glue them to the tag in varies different heights.

Then draw a line to look like the string on a bauble, add bows too. Then finish with a festive message!

Blogmas #5 | Festive Fashion Inspiration

12 December 2017

Though it maybe cold outside, that doesn't mean style needs to fall by the way side. After having a browse on Pinterest I saw some pretty and chic outfits for the festive season.

Check out my Pinterest board below for my must have looks for this season.

Happy Holidays,



Blogmas #4 | DIY Hot Chocolate Gift

9 December 2017

There's nothing better than a hot cup of chocolate on a cold December day. And if you're feeling generous why not gift someone their own DIY jar of hot chocolate.

To make this you will need...


Hot Chocolate powder, sugar (brown or white, it's up to you), marshmallows and toppings. I used white chocolate stars and gingerbread men toppers.
Also don't for get a glass jar to put it all in!


Pop the chocolate powder into the jar. Pour sugar onto the top, add the marshmallows and finish with the toppings of your choice.




An super easy and yummy treat for someone special! I hope you enjoyed this post and be sure to look out for more Blogmas posts on my blog.

Happy Holidays,


Blogmas #3 | Free Downloadable Christmas Wallpaper

6 December 2017

As it's the season of giving I thought I would gift you free festive wallpapers for your desktop and mobile phone.



I found these ever so cute images on at www.creativemarket.com and is part of their free gifts of the week package.
They are made by the ever so talented Juily and you can see all her illustrations here.
You can also download these images and print off to use or use for your own crafting needs.

And you haven't signed up to Creative Market, I'd say it's a must, as each Monday you get sent an email with a link to 6 free digital products. Some are not my cup of tea, but there is normally one each week that I download.
It's a great website to find the images and templates you need for your blog or other craft/art needs.

Until my next post,

Happy Holidays,
























Blogmas #2 | DIY Baubles

3 December 2017

I love crafts. It's the element of having fun and being creative that I love. So when I was in Hobbycraft recently, I did a bit of a blow out and brought a number of items to make Christmas crafts with.
I had done a bit of research on Pinterest before hand, so I had some idea's I wanted to recreate. The craft I will be sharing with you in this post is so simple and equally effective.

What you'll need is...


A pack of clear plastic baubles (£2 for 6 from Hobbycraft) and a selection of materials to fill the baubles with. I also brought some red string to use to tie the baubles when completed.

The first bauble I filled with plastic beads (£1 per bag) from Hobbycraft. I liked the idea of pink and pearl but you could equally be more traditional and use green and red beads for example.




Simple place the beads into the bauble. Close the bauble and finish with some string and ta da, your own designed bauble.

Here are the other baubles I decorated:


Various sized pom poms from a £5 bag of pom poms from Hobbycraft.


Alternatively you can use sequins to fill a bauble. These I had purchased from The Works.


I also had some gold and silver stars confetti from Paperchase to fill one of the baubles.



For this bauble I stuck inside the bauble gold glitter stars from Hobbycraft (£1 for a pack).


Lastly I filled this bauble with pink feathers from haberdashers C&H fabrics.
The options of what to fill each bauble with is endless. You could use cut up strips of coloured paper, put a picture or a festive character inside. It's up to your imagination.




I hope this has given you some inspiration for creating your own Christmas baubles. It's fun to do (for both adults and children!).

Look out for my next Christmas craft post coming soon!

Happy Holidays!



Blogmas #1 | Win a SIGNED Giovanna Fletcher 'Some Kind of Wonderful' Book!

1 December 2017


It's Blogmas! Welcome to the first of a number of blog posts I will be posting that are all festive related on my blog.
This is my second year doing Blogmas, so I hope you like my forthcoming festive inspired posts!

And what better than to start Blogmas with a giveaway! It is the season of giving after all.

If you would like to win this copy of Giovanna Fletcher's latest book 'Some kind of wonderful', which is also signed by Giovanna, then all you need to do is leave a comment below stating what wonderful thing you are hoping for Christmas and I will pick one comment at random to receive the book.
I've started reading a copy of this book myself and so far I love it, I'm sure you will too!

Also here is a link to my interview from Giovanna Fletcher herself.

A few rules...

Prize is for one commenter below to win one hard back signed copy of Giovanna Fletcher's book 'Some kind of wonderful'.
Open to UK residents only, so this can be posted in time for Christmas.
Closing date is midnight UK time on Thursday 7th December 2017.
This prize is not endorsed by Giovanna or anyone connected to her. This book was purchased for this giveaway.



Good luck for entering and come back on the 3rd December for a new blogmas post!

Festive wishes,

Abbie
xoxoxo

An open letter to Glamour

26 November 2017


Ever since I can remember I have brought weekly, fortnightly and monthly publications. Be it a comic (I used to love a Disney one) to tween magazines like Mizz and Bliss, to celebrity magazines like TV Hits and Smash Hits, then to young adult magazines such as More and then to women's monthly's like Company and New Woman.

I love the joy of looking forward to the new issue of my current fav publications. One of my favourite ways to relax is to be cosied up on the sofa, snacks to hand and a magazine in the other, getting absorbed in the articles, fashion pieces and over all content. Utter bliss.
One magazine I have been buying every month since it's launch in 2001 is Glamour magazine. It was full of the latest fashions (love), empowering articles on how to Girl Boss, even before Girl Boss was a thing and full of up beat and positive messages.



Up until a few years ago I used to go to the newsstand and pick up 5 glossy mags each month; New Woman, B, Company, Cosmopolitan and Glamour. I would while away many an afternoon flicking through these mags.
But alas, social media have become more prevalent and popular and the days of going to pick up a copy each month has gone down to one magazine a month, Cosmo.
The cost of printing and getting advertisements in the magazines is both increasing for the former and decreasing for the latter. As such all but one of my fav reads still stands, the rest has succumbed to the internet. Such as shame as I am old school and love reading a hard copy of a magazine.

It was with much sadness that I recently learnt that Glamour will now be focused on two editions a year with focus to their online content and their Beauty Festivals. Which I am so glad they are still running. I have been to the two previous ones and this March it will be their 3rd one and I am so looking forward to it.
If you love your beauty brands, it's the place for you. Not only do you get to experience fantastic brands, but you get to go to talks with top influencers and beauty stars and also get a goodie bag full of amazing products.





So I wanted to use my blog as a space to say a big thank you to the staff at Glamour, including their editor extraordinaire, Jo Galvin for bringing Glamour to the market and making it an awesome, positive and inspiring publication.
There have been great cover stars, thought provoking and educational articles, creative fashion sections and everything else in between.
Not to forget their annual Glamour Women of the Year, highlighting the amazing work females have been doing for the world. Praise of the highest order indeed.


Glamour I shall miss you, it won't be the same not having a new copy to read. I loved the innovative smaller version they ran for a while. Perfect hand bag size and very forward thinking.
I will follow Glamour online so I still get my fix and of course I will be at their beauty festivals.

Thank you Glamour, you rocked in every way!

Love and hugs,


The Body Shop Blogger Event

Chichester, UK

Scroll to the bottom of post for a photo gallery
 

Being a blogger has it's perks. If you're lucky a brand may contact you and offer to send you a free product to review and keep or maybe they will even pay you!
One perk I do want to explore more in 2018 is Blogger Events. Some brands are excellent in engaging with the blogging community and one brand that is getting more involved with bloggers is The Body Shop.

Yes, that high street staple of great quality beauty and skin products that has committed to being against animal cruelty.
I've loved The Body Shop as long as I can remember and I have fond memories of visiting my local store as a teenager and using my pocket money to purchase their bath beads (bath bombs were way off in the future!) and their animal shaped soaps, a blue dolphin being my favourite.

It's a brand I know I can trust for fun products that are beautifully scented and is against animal cruelty. And as I get older being cruelty free becomes something I care about more and more.
So when I randomly came across a tweet from my local The Body Shop store manager asking for any local bloggers who wanted to come to a VIP blogger evening, I jumped at the chance!

I've not been to many blogger events as most of them are held in London or larger cities, so this was a real treat to have one in my own town.

So off I went one November evening recently, with my husband Dan in tow (we come as a pair!) to my local The Body Shop. I wasn't sure how many people would be there but in total there was about 40 other local bloggers and Instragrammers.

I was welcomed by James and his wonderful team of staff. We were offered some fizz and nibbles and handed a goodie bag upon entry. I will add there was no charge to attend, which for what we received is amazing!

I had a good look around the shop, taking in all their festive ranges and new products, to which there was lots! Including amazing smelling bath bombs, for a mere £1.50 each, and a collaboration with fashion designer Henry Holland on a selection of their Christmas products and some very festive scents like Vanilla Chai and Frosted Plum.




We then had a talk by some of the staff which I found really interesting. For example I learnt that:


  • The Body Shop store in Chichester was the second ever The Body Shop to open, and has been open for business ever since the mid 1970's.
  • After a little Google search I also learnt that Anita (the founder) needed a bank loan of £4000 to open the Chichester store, but kept getting refused by the banks. It wasn't until a local business man stepped in, offered the full amount she needed for a stake in the business. Fast forward a number of years and that £4000 was worth well into the millions!
  • Until June 2017, The Body Shop has been owned by L'Oreal after Anita sold it for well over £100m. There was controversy around the new owners as L'Oreal has a reputation of testing on animals which is against The Body Shop's ethics. 
  • The Body Shop has since been brought by a company called Natura who Anita knew and the companies views are much aligned to that of The Body Shop's own.
  • Anita started the company by making all the products herself and would often recycle the bottles, as well as being more ethical, it helped as she didn't have the supply of new bottles to use!
  • The first ever The Body Shop in Brighton was situated in between two under takers, and Anita used this to her advantage as it was seen odd having a 'Body Shop' between two such businesses and used this to create PR for the shop.
  • The Body Shop is the first ever brand to being fully committed to being against animal testing and still is to this day.
  • Their body butters are so called, as when Anita was making them at her kitchen table, her children thought they looked like butter and the name stuck!
  • Interestingly my friend used to work at The Body Shop UK head office based near Littlehampton a few miles up the road. She worked as a buyer and it is her we thank for coming up with their 3 for 2 offers on the body butters.

After hearing about the history of the company and getting to sample some of their festive ranges, we were free to shop!
The staff in the shop (and I'm sure across all the over The Body Shop stores) are so helpful and friendly and their customer service is second to none.
They even said we could have 30% off our purchases that evening, including their advent calendars which normally do not get discounted.
And to add to their already generous offers, they said if we spend over £30 we get a free gift worth £20, which included a full size shower gel and a body butter. I naturally went for the strawberry scent and they even gave us all a free personalised sticker to put on our body butter tub.

This is a new service across the stores and allows you for free, to print a sticker with the name of your recipient (or you if you're treating yourself!) to go on the body butter. Perfect for a gift for Christmas! 

I did end up using this as an opportunity to spend a fair amount and get some Christmas gifts. I did purchase one of their advent calendars, which I will be sharing each day from the 1st December on my blog, what I get on each day.


I also got one of their new metallic lip colours as I think these will be great for the party season and they are only £6! I also got a few other bits, but I don't want to share them all as they are going to be Christmas presents.





Another great element to the evening was chatting to other local bloggers. It was great to have an opportunity to find other local like minded people and find out that there is more than just me who blogs in my area. I'm looking forward to their next event in January to get to catch up with them.

I also took the liberty to have a chat to James, who had spent quite some time planning and setting up the event. James had recently come from Lush, who we know are well engaged with the social media community, and James wanted to bring this to The Body Shop.
He took the idea of the blogger event to Head Office and got the buy in from the Retail Director. Little did James know that the Retail Director took this as an opportunity to surprise him with a visit earlier that day!
James created a lot of the graphics for the event himself, but you'd never know as they looked so well made.
I could tell he had put in a lot of effort and with the support of his team and it paid off, as I had a great time and felt thoroughly spoilt. 
There are plans for a similar event to be held in the Isle of Wight on the back of this event and who knows, this could become a regular feature in a number of The Body Shop stores around the country on the back of James's work. Which is exactly what Anita strived for, breaking the boundaries and thinking outside the box.

I think I have now reaffirmed my love for The Body Shop and I'm sure you will too when you next visit a The Body Shop store!

Love and hugs,

Abbie
xoxoxo




































Below are some of the products I brought:




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