Tuesday 28 January 2014

My Most Used iPad Apps.

When Apple first released the iPad, I was skeptical about the practicality of the device and fell in to the "I'd rather have a laptop" category. However their growing popularity left me intrigued and after a fair amount of commuter envy from people using their tablets on train journeys and people telling me it was one of the best investments they had made, I decided it was time to see what the fuss was about.

Well it's safe to say I am well and truly a convert to the dark side. My skepticism about the practicality of an onscreen keyboard has been over-ruled by the fact that I use my iPad for things that do not require a lot of typing, and is far outweighed by how lightweight and portable the device is. That said, I wouldn't give up my laptop in favour of an iPad, but it is definitely a good companion.

My new iPad is the White 16GB Wi-Fi iPad Mini from Argos. Whilst it's WiFi-only compatibility comes with the con that it cannot always be used on the move, the 7.9 inch screen is the perfect size for curling up on the sofa every evening and catching up on my YouTube subscriptions. Of course the beauty of the iPad is being able to choose from over 275,000 apps to tailor your tablet exactly to your own uses, and even though I haven't had my iPad long enough to really experiment with different apps thought I would put together this post to share the ones I use the most.

Facebook and Twitter
Of course, being a blogger and a social media enthusiast, Facebook and Twitter were amongst the very first apps that I downloaded when I received my iPad. Similar in style to the Facebook and Twitter applications for smart phones, they are easy to navigate and make keeping up-to-date quick and easy.

I watch videos on YouTube more than I watch TV, so I was looking forward to seeing what the experience is like on a tablet. I have to say I much prefer watching YouTube videos on my iPad as the definition of the display is amazing quality, the size of full-screened videos is perfect for viewing and the pages aren't overloaded with comments and video suggestions as they are when using YouTube on a laptop.

Okay, here's the dangerous one. I love using my iPad for online shopping as the apps make navigation and purchasing items super straightforward. The eBay app is one of my favourites as the home screen is designed to make it easy to see what items you are watching, what you have purchased and also what you are selling.

iTheory UK
My driving theory practice was another use I had in mind for my iPad before I got it. After trialling a few free driving theory apps that I either didn't find were great in terms of functionality or were swarming with advertisements, I found that this one was the best and is great for learning and revising questions by category and being able to take mock tests.

Dumb Ways to Die
I just had to throw a silly app in here somewhere. This game of reflex and speed is probably the most pointless game you will ever play, but let me tell you, it has kept me occupied for hours!

What are your favourite iPad apps?

Frances x

This post is in collaboration with Argos

Monday 27 January 2014

Outfit: Scallops and Lace.

Dress: C/O Sugarhill Boutique* | Socks: Primark | Shoes: C/O Tribeca Shoes* | Hat: H&M | Bunny Ring: Dorothy Perkins | Bow Midi-Ring: Forever 21| Watch: Tommy Hilfiger C/O Shadestation*

After a miserable, rainy weekend, I was more than happy to see the sun making an appearance today, however, that is a very deceiving ball of fire in the sky as I was still absolutely freezing taking these pictures- Definitely glad I left my frilly ankle socks at home in favour of my over-the-knees!

If you are in to peter pan collars, cutesy prints and vintage-inspired pieces then you better head on over to Sugarhill Boutique. The combination of lace, scallop detailing and the peter pan collar on this number leaves me with little else to desire in a single dress, and their new Spring collection full of bicycle, camera and duck prints is leaving me wanting more! Not to mention this bright coral dress which is getting me far too excited about Summer!

Have you checked out Sugarhill Boutique's retro prints?
Frances x

*DISCLOSURE: Starred items are PR samples.

Friday 24 January 2014

Review: Oqibo Green Tea and Passionfruit Candle

Being such an advocate of the blogger cliche of candle brands, Yankee, I had never given much thought in to trying other brands. So when Liverpool-based company, Oqibo contacted me regarding a review of their professional skincare, I opted to try one of their fragranced candles instead.

"Oqibo does do things very differently. Happy, Remarkable, You is a powerful philosophy and it’s this idea that being yourself, celebrating the you you happen to be that is a much needed and powerful antidote to the shame weighing heavily on all our faces."

I had never heard of Oqibo before, but as soon as I read their mission statement I had a good feeling that we would get along, and they were already winning me over when my candle arrived, beautifully packaged at my door. As expected of a professional, luxury brand, the frosted glass candle came buried amongst layers of tissue paper inside a sturdy box to ensure that it didn't break during transit, with an envelope containing a few samples of their skincare products thrown in. Oh, you.

My candle of choice was the Green Tea & Passionfruit fragrance. Although I can't quite detect the green tea, the passion fruit aroma was definitely evident as soon as I opened the box, and the top notes of zesty fruits and springtime flowers leave my room with a refreshing scent which would be perfect for Spring and Summer mornings. Oqibo claims that their candles have a burn time of 40+ hours, and although I can't vouch for this as I have only burnt mine for a few hours so far, I can tell that it is going to last a while.

Oqibo candles are quite pricey at £22, and although they are not something that I would purchase on a regular basis, I think they're worth it if you are looking to treat yourself or buy one as a gift as they are beautifully presented and the fragrance pay-off is one to rival Yankee. Oqibo also specialises in luxury skincare including a cleanser, an exfoliator and moisturisers, so if you would like to see what they have to offer, you can check out their website here.

Have you heard of Oqibo before? What is your favourite candle brand/fragrance?

Frances x

*DISCLOSURE: PR sample. My opinions are still 100% honest and my own.

Lounge Wear at South Beach.

It's no secret that I love fashion and clothing but I'd be lying if I said that I enjoy dressing up every day. A girl just needs a break from leather jackets, pretty dresses and knee-high boots every now and again, right? This is where my South Beach (no, they don't only do swimwear!) onesie and slipper boots play a significant role in my life. I love the fact that this is a short jumpsuit as it means that I can take my love affair with onesies and lazy days all the way through in to the warmer months, but South Beach also make this stripey number in full-length onesie form for those of you who prefer to keep your legs wrapped up!

South Beach has got you covered on those duvet days with their range of onesies, robes and pyjama sets which you can check out here!

How do you spend your lazy days?

Frances x

*DISCLOSURE: Starred items are PR samples.

Thursday 23 January 2014

Review: oNecklace Personalised Jewellery.

24K Gold Plated Unique Line Name Necklace: $69.95 $49.95 (approx £30.00)*

It's that time of year again where we think we are done emptying our pockets on presents but sooner than we know it the shop windows are reminding us that Valentine's Day and Mother's Day are fast approaching. Just as well, the lovely people over at oNecklace got in touch with me asking if I would like to review a piece of their personalised jewellery ahead of the occasions. As I already have a name necklace myself Because I'm an amazing daughter, I decided to get one adorned with my mum's name (however, this does not get me out of buying her a gift when Mother's Day actually comes around!).

The necklace we chose is 24K gold plated and features intricate line detailing below the name which far surpassed my expectations in terms of the quality of the piece. oNecklace makes jewellery in a multitude of designs and materials including sterling silver, 14K gold, 14K white gold and pieces embedded with Swarovski crystals. As well as name necklaces they cater towards monogram necklaces, bracelets, rings (which I love!) and even earrings. oNecklace offers free (!) Worldwide shipping and this piece dropped through my letter box around a week and a half after it was ordered, which means that you still have plenty of time to get choosing one for your loved ones! 

If you fancy treating somebody special to a piece of personalised jewellery this year, I definitely recommend checking out what oNecklace has to offer :)

Frances x

*DISCLOSURE: PR sample. My opinions are still 100% honest and my own.

Outfit: Iridescence + Win This Dress!

Dress: AX Paris* | Shoes: C/O Nelly.com* | Clutch: C/O Marc B* | Bracelet: Fiorelli

The party season may have come to an end but I'm not ready to put away the sequins just yet. In fact, they're adding a little bit of glamour to an otherwise depressing, rainy January. Upon leaving my internship at AX Paris last month, they were kind enough to let me take away this gorgeous iridescent blue/green midi dress to give away to one of you lovely ladies. It is brand new (only worn to take these photographs) with the the tags still intact and it is a size 8, so if you fancy a chance of winning it, enter using the Rafflecopter widget below! Otherwise, this dress is also still available to buy here, on the AX Paris website for £55! 

-This giveaway is open to the UK only, sorry international followers! :(
-Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. To enter, you must be a follower of my blog via GFC or Bloglovin', and "like" the AX Paris Facebook Page. There are plenty of optional entries too!
-Please note that I run these giveaways to say thank you to my loyal followers. Entries will be checked and accounts created solely for the purpose of entering giveaways will be disregarded.
- The giveaway will run for one week, and will end at 11:59PM GMT on Thursday, January 30, 2014
-The winner will be contacted via email and/or Twitter and will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is picked.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck! :) <3

Frances x

*DISCLOSURE: Sponsored giveaway. AX Paris have kindly provided the prize for this giveaway.
Starred items are PR samples.

Wednesday 22 January 2014

Review: My Life Story Diary

Being a sentimental girl I've always loved the idea of having somewhere to keep all my thoughts and my best memories, but having tried and failed at keeping a yearly diary many times when I was younger I had truly written off the idea, until I came across this little gem over at Find Me A Gift.

The My Life Story Diary is a lifetime journal containing a spread per season (Spring, Summer, etc) for 100 years, plus a page for the highlights of each year, photographs of you and also your "top 10s". It is perfect for jotting down one-liners to help you remember a special time and for sticking in photographs, ticket stubs and other keepsakes. The front of the diary also has pages dedicated to writing down the details of your birth, your education, jobs and achievements as well as marking any tattoos and piercings you have and keeping track of where you have lived/visited on a little map of the world. I think this would make a thoughtful gift for anybody, whether they be just starting their life after university like myself or even a newborn! I can't wait to flick back through my diary twenty or thirty years down the line and see what I have achieved and how much I have changed!

The diary is a good quality hardback bound book with an engraved golden font on the front, which can be personalized with a unique message to make this gift extra special. They can also be purchased in pairs so that you and your significant other can record your lives together or they could also make beautiful mother-daughter gifts for somebody who is expecting.

If you would like to purchase a My Life Story Diary or see more information, you can find it here.

Do you keep a diary? How do you keep track of your memories? :)

Frances x

*DISCLOSURE: PR Samples. My thoughts and opinions are still 100% honest and my own.

Outfit: All Black Everything.

Top & Bracelet: C/O Fashion Union* | Skirt: C/O Lavish Alice* | Shoes: C/O Tribeca Shoes* | Hat: H&M | Saw Ring: C/O Papa East* | Black Stone Ring: Primark

Hello lovely ladies!

Firstly, I'll start off by saying a very belated Happy New Year! I've been well and truly out of the blogging loop for the past three weeks due to my laptop being away for repair- Not the way I wanted to start 2014! However I'm back with lots to catch up on so expect to be seeing lots from me :)

With the January sales almost out of the way, the high street stores have been busy restocking their rails with floral prints, pastels and summer dresses, all of which excite the Summer baby in me very much. However, dreary January is seeing me make the most of my love affair with velvet and darkness before my inner goth takes a back seat to make way for the Summer trends (although you will never get me away from leather and lace).

What Spring/Summer trends are you most looking forward to this year?

Frances x

*DISCLOSURE: Starred items are PR samples.