Lifestyle | Work Trip to Copenhagen

Last week I went on a last minute work trip to Copenhagen. Usually work related trips are jam packed with meetings and I have very little time to see where I'm staying. Luckily due to flight times I ended up with loads of free time over the three days to explore the city and surrounding areas. All I can say is wow, Copenhagen you are simply a stunner! 

I was staying in a hotel in Osterport which happened to be where the Little Mermaid statue lives. She's a gorgeous little understated piece of art right at the waters edge. There was also a lovely area down by the harbour filled with quirky little shops, restaurants and bright buildings at every turn. I've never seen such a mix of beautiful colourful buildings in one place. The only negative was the cold, I've never felt anything like it. It chilled me to the core and I got a lovely cold as a parting gift! I'd definitely go back in the warmer months though, who knows I may even make a romantic weekend out of it....

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Favourites | 2014 Skincare

2014 skincare favourites

I have never been a skincare girl - well lets be honest haircare and makeup were never my thing either until I started blogging! Nevertheless, in 2014 I made a huge effort to spend more time on my skin and figure out what works best for me. My go to products are ones that have helped to restore the balance to my skin and make it really glow. These little beauties above fit those needs perfectly.

I've been using Clinique's 3 step for over a year now and the combination gives my skin everything I'm looking for. They cleanse without being too harsh, restore moisture and leave my skin feeling silky soft and fresh without that nasty squeaky sensation. Simply perfection! For Christmas I was lucky enough to get the Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush. I'll write a full review shortly but I must say I've been impressed with the change to my skin so far.

At night I like a slightly heavier moisturiser than my Clinique lotion. My go to product of 2014 was the Eucerin Hyaluron Filler Day Cream. I know, I know a day cream at night, but I prefer the consistency of the day cream. It melts into my skin, gives an amazing boost of moisture and helps plump it up to keep fine lines at bay. The smell isn't the best though, so I'd be careful of how much you apply!

My last pick is a product which really helped improve my overall skincare routine, Bi-facil make up remover. Yes, this is an eye make up remover but what a game changer. I have a habit of leaving my mascara on overnight which made my entire eye area look simply terrible. This cleanser removes all traces of my make up without any irritation and leaves me looking fresh the next morning.

Although my skincare has improved 1000% I realise I still have a long way to go. Over the next few weeks I'm planning on investing in some face masks, serums, eye creams and oils to really help my skin look its best for my wedding day. I'd love to try some Ren products next, particulary their Invisible Pore Detox mask. I'm hoping to reduce the size of the pores on and around my nose and I've heard some really great things.

What skincare have you been loving recently?

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Wishlist | Oasis January Sales

1 | 2 | 3 | 4
5 | 6 | 7 | 8
I love a good sale! This is the first year I haven't hit the town to grab a bargain or two and it's been more of a struggle than I expected. With Mexico a little over three months away, I thought I'd see if I there were any honeymoon outfits I could bag for a pretty penny. Oasis is one of my all time favourite stores and these were my picks...
My plan is to go for simply styles that can be dressed up or down with accessories. As you can see I went for lots of bold colours and pretty prints. To be honest picking my top 8 items was a challenge, the sale had soo many things I adored! I surprised myself by choosing two jumpsuits but I really loved them both and may have purchased one oops! The blue dress is equally gorgeous and would look great with some gold strappy sandals and a (hopefully) good tan. Another favourite is the black sequin dress. I think it would be perfect for a night on the town in Miami with my hubby - eek!

Do you have a favourite? x
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Wedding Plans | How to afford your day

Rustic Wedding Box Set - Cute Box and Chalkboard Sign - Honeymoon Fund, Guest Book Alternative

One of the hardest things when planning a wedding is working out how to afford everything you want. No mean feat! I absolutely do not claim to be an expert but I think Eric and I have done quite well getting everything we wanted within our budget. So I thought it would be nice to share some of the tricks we've used to stay on track.

One: Pick everything for your dream day | This is your moment to go a little wild with your imagination and choose your perfect day. Do you want a big do with all your family and friends or is a small intimate ceremony more your thing? Is a destination venue on the cards? What kind of food and drinks would you like? Music styles, live or recorded? I had massive dreams for my wedding day and writing everything down really helped de-clutter my thoughts and come back to reality a little.

Two: Work out what your budget will be | Now all the dreams are out there, sit down and work out what you can actually afford be it £5000 or £25000. Eric and I wanted to pay for everything ourselves so we opted for a long 30 month engagement and a saving plan that we could realistically achieve month to month. Yes, the number will look scary but if you break it down to a monthly number I promise it is achievable.

Three: Prioritise | If I can give any advice about wedding planning it would be this! Take time to decide what you absolutely cannot live without. That original list will soon seem like a distant memory. For us, our number one priority was having a destination wedding with our immediate family. Once we had decided that, it gave us our budget for everything else. I mean why spend thousands on a dress when it means your dream venue is out of the question? Take time with this one, its the most important thing you will do.

Four: Start saving | The tricky part, actually saving for what you want. We found the easiest way to do this was to change the way we used our bank account. Our joint account became a 'bills only' account and we set up a few more for spending money and savings. We transfer a set amount at the beginning of each month to ISA accounts so we know we're always saving. The good thing is we can easily transfer money back and forth fee free as and when we need to pay wedding related bills.

We also consolidated lots of things and cut our monthly bills down. For example; our phones were out of contract so instead of getting new ones right away we kept our handsets and changed to monthly payments which halved our costs. All those extras you can't live without (yes that includes Sky Movies and Sports), you can, really!

Five: Live a little| Trying not to spend money is a very difficult thing to maintain over a prolonged period of time. To combat this, Eric and I set up two new accounts that we also transfer money too at the beginning of each month. This is essentially our pocket money! Yes, I am back in school.... Seriously though, this pays for all of our meals out, clothes, haircuts, drinks etc. It allows us to still feel like we get treats without cutting into our savings. If all you do is save, you'll start to really resent it. This has been a life saver. We also really appreciate having lunch in town or a coffee as we don't do it all the time.

Six: Negotiate|Don't be scared of this last one. Eric and I have got a few great deals by simply asking if that's the best price people can do. You'll be surprised how quickly someone will be able to take 10% off and it quickly adds up to some serious savings. Who knows you may even save enough for that extravagant extra you had on that original wishlist.

So there you have it a few ideas on how to afford your perfect day. Is it difficult, yes, but is it worth it in the end? Absolutely! With a little over three months to go, Eric and I have paid for almost everything. It means there's a lot less stress and we can even afford to treat ourselves a little with some new clothes for our honeymoon.

All it takes is planning and dedication x

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2015 Resolutions

Looking back at last years resolutions I really didn't achieve any of them. I could feel disappointed about that but after the year I've had I'm really not. All I can do is hope 2015 will be a better year.

Direct your attention and be mindful about where you spend your time and energy ;)

I actually thought about not making any resolutions this year but I like goals to work towards. I'm not going to promise to blog more; instead my resolutions will be small, tangible goals that I can work on day to day.

Complete Insanity Max 30: I want to be in the best shape of my life on my wedding day. It's that simple really. I've done a few beachbody workouts and they always give me results. I'm kicking this one off on 05 Jan and I'll be posting weekly on my progress - eek!

Cut the junk: Yup, that's right my diet is completely changing too... 
Eric and I have designed a food plan with set meals for every day of the week. I'll talk more about this later but it includes 2 vegetable juices a day, lean proteins, plenty of vegetables and raw foods.

Skincare: In November I had my first ever facial at 30 years old. I'm sure many of you are recoiling in horror but it's true. I want to have regular facials, body treatments and really take time daily to look after myself. No more dirty brushes or sleeping with my make up on!

Work/home balance: Last year I got a massive promotion which I know will involve a ton of overtime and stress. I'm already working at nights and during some holidays. My goal is to make sure I don't compromise my personal life for my work one. I want to work to live, not the other way around.

And that's it, 4 simple goals. So here's to 2015, may it be the best one yet!

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2014 - A mixed bag

Well 2014 it's safe to say you were a challenging year! To be honest I'm not even sure if challenging is the right word, unpredictable may be a better option. You've included some of the best and worst moments of my life.

My number one 2014 moment had to be being a bridesmaid at my sister Sarah's wedding. She was so beautiful and it was just the happiest day. No drama, just wonderful people celebrating an amazing couple - simply perfection. A very close second has been planning our own wedding. It's been a blast and I've loved every second. My favourite part so far has been shopping for my wedding dress. There's something about finding the perfect dress that just makes you feel so beautiful and confident. My heart still flutters every time I think of it.

Then of course there was a torrid of terrible events. I had a medical drama which thankfully turned out to be minor but would have had serious implications on any potential children in our future. I lost both of my gran's unexpectedly over a very short period of time and my aunt was diagnosed with cancer. Life pretty much went on hold and if I'm honest I've really struggled get back to normality.

From a blogging perspective, 2014 has been awful. I've lost count of the number of times I've taken breaks or written posts that I've never published. I really struggled to stay in love with my blog with so much going on. It's gotten me down a lot but I've made a decision to just leave all that negatively in 2014 and start fresh next year. I will get my mojo back!

Right now life is good, if a little quiet. It's the perfect combination. The loss of loved ones cast a major shadow over the year as a whole; 2014 I have to say I'm not going to miss you!

Laura xx

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Workwear for Hourglass Figures | Tailored Coat

Every girl should have a good quality coat in their work wardrobe. No matter what you're wearing underneath I find a great coat will always give you more confidence. For hourglass girls the number one option should be a tailored coat which cinches in at the waist with simple detailing i.e. no bulky collars. You simply cannot beat it, believe me I've tried!

My current favourite is this gorgeous double breasted, checked coat from Michael Kors. It has a slight cinched waist built in but I can add further definition with the belt. The pleating is wide rather than narrow and it goes all the way around the base which means I don't get any pull around the hips or bum areas. The shoulders are also slightly padded which emphasises my waist even further. For me it's the perfect winter coat.

I was lucky enough to pick this up at a local TK Maxx but there are some great cheaper alternatives on the High Street. Oasis and Debenhams have some beauties this year so get out there and start shopping!

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Outfit | Aztec Print

Jeans Mango | Cardigan Debenhams | Top Oasis | Boots Clarks*

With winter well and truly on it's way I can feel myself reaching for chunky knits and jeans more and more. Basic I know but oh so cosy! And who could resist this cardigan, isn't it a beaut? I have a few waterfall styled cardi's but this aztec one is my current favourite; it's just so versatile. The jeans were a purchase from last year but I didn't feel confident enough to wear them as they're really skinny. I tend to be a simple blue denim girl but this wax pair may have just converted me. They're surprisingly comfortable and I've had a few compliments wearing them which is always a good sign.

I've been looking for a black heeled pair of boots that are still suitable over the winter months for ages and these ones are in a word - perfect! I love the mix of leather and suede with the chunky buckle detailing and think they'll go great with trousers or skirts and dresses. If a good quality pair of boots are your thing, then I'd definitely recommend getting yourself over to the Clarks website. They have 20% off any purchase over £70 at the moment too.

Anyway I'm off to start packing for a work trip to Oslo. I've no idea what I'm going to wear yet so I better get started! Hope you have a relaxing Sunday guys.

Laura x

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Event | Rainbow Rooms International

Last week I popped along to an event at Rainbow Rooms International in Glasgows Royal Exchange Square to see their new HD brow and express beauty services. After catching up with some blogger friends over chocolates and processo (evidently my last drink of the year!) I met Lesley Wilks, a celebrity MUA, who told me all about the new express services on offer from manicures to makeup and hair treatments. Perfect for a quick lunchtime treat!
There were demonstrations of each of the services and my friend Jules was lucky enough to get picked for HD brows. While she was being tweezed, waxed and threaded to perfection I started chatting to David the salon director. I mentioned that I am getting married in Mexico and am a little unsure how to style my hair. He invited me upstairs to the salon to have a consultation and try some looks.
If I'm honest I expected to be paired up with one of the friendly hair stylists on the floor but David sat me down and began asking me questions about my dress. After a quick discussion he set about playing with different styles to show me how best to wear my hair on the day. It was honestly the most helpful discussion I've ever had about my hair.
I like the idea of long flowing curls but with the heat and humidity David explained that they won't last the day and a partial or full up do would be best. Apart from completely changing my mind about what sort of hair style I want for the wedding (which I'm keeping a secret) I learnt that I have an oval face which doesn't suit my hair pulled tightly back. Instead it's much more flattering if I back comb a little prior to tying up. I also learnt that my old ombre colouring hadn't damaged my hair as much as I had thought and using Nioxim products which are specific for fine or thinning hair will help to thicken it and treat my scalp.
David then showed me several simple, quick styles to tie my hair up using a small elastic hair tie and three of four hair pins, including a roll up and a gorgeous little bob! I felt like such a lucky lady to learn so many practical tips and have wedding hair advice in one night. Some of my fellow bloggers had some beautiful styles done but I really think I got something a little special! When I went back downstairs Jules eyebrows were finished and she looked amazing. So much so that I booked myself in for an HD brows treatment and had a patch test done on the night.
I've been trying to grow out my brows recently so it's been about three months since I've had them waxed - you have been warned. The beauty therapist Sarah talked over what shape and colour I'm looking to achieve - a natural brow with a slight arch - and then set to work! The tinting, waxing, plucking and trimming was all fine. Threading on the other hand is a little more painful if you've never had it done before like me but is so worth it for the final result. The look was finished with some HD eyebrow pencil and powders.
I have to say the difference after one treatment was quite striking. I had a lot more hairs than I realised and once they had been tinted my eyebrows looked much fuller. I am utterly in love! I need some more growth on one side before Sarah can get the final shape I'm after so I'll need a few more treatments but she thinks they'll be perfect by the time the wedding comes round. Happy days!
Do you want the perfect brow? If so, I'd highly recommend popping into Rainbow Rooms International for their HD Brow treatment. You could even treat yourself to a wee massage or new hair style while you're there!

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