Having not blogged in months, I wondered whether I could even attend a blogger meetup. On the other hand, what better way to kick start itsneecola?! The event in question was the #BloggersSecretSanta14, organised by Hannah and Em, who did an absolutely amazing job! We met on Saturday at The Ned Ludd in Nottingham - a gorgeous bar/restaurant that I had never been to before but would definitely visit again. We were greeted with a drink and name cards (which were SO cute - I might frame mine!) before hearing from a variety of different brands.

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Waste Not, Want Not | Tubed products

I hate wasting any sort of product so love discovering ways of getting the last few drops out of my hand creams, soaps, cleansers etc. before binning them! Here is how I get all of the product out of my tubed products, using my Arbonne FC5 Ultra-Hydrating Hand Crème as an example:

Left: full hand cream tube. Right: the tube I've cut down and re-sealed with the 'lid'



Summer Day Out | Bocketts Farm

A few weeks ago, during one of the gloriously hot and sunny days the south was experiencing, Josh and I decided to visit Bocketts Farm Park in Surrey on our last day together in the south before we move! I’d read a bit about Bocketts Farm before when I was researching fun days out in the area and we thought we would take advantage of the sunny weather and have a day out at the farm. When I was younger, throughout Primary School (so when I was aged 5-11ish), I wanted to be a farmer and I love visiting farms and seeing farm animals, so I knew this would be a great day out for me!



How To Pass Your Theory Test

This is the first of many upcoming lifestyle and advice-type posts. Don't get me wrong, I don't think of my self as the fount (or font?) of all knowledge but I love reading 'top tip' and advice posts and feel there are a few areas where I could share my thoughts and tips and get some feedback on your tips for various situations.

As many of you will have seen on my Instagram, I passed my driving test back in April this year! I was so relieved to pass both my theory and practical tests first time but it definitely took a lot of blood work, sweat and tears to get there, as well as a bit of luck might I add. Today I thought I would share my top tips for passing your Theory Test, as these were the things that I felt really helped me with my test and might help you too!

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1. Learn
Don’t just memorise but actually learn the stuff so you know it not only for the theory test but for your day-to-day driving too. This might sound obvious but at first I just tried to memorise the stuff for my theory test until it clicked that it IS actually applicable to everyday life (unlike the majority of tests I took before this one, such as needing to know different types of triangles for Maths exams or why the writer chose certain words in their poems for English exams...)

2. Practice
You can revise using the variety of books and websites available, but as well as general revision and learning, do lots of practice tests and note down any questions you were unsure of or guessed the answer to and write down the correct answer once you have had the test ‘marked’. Also note down the questions/answers you got wrong and learn the correct answer. This is a way of spotting any areas that you struggle with and need to work on. Also, DON’T FORGET THE HAZARD-PERCEPTION. This is an equally important part of the test so spend just as much time on this as the general theory and I personally feel that the best way to do this is to practice, practice, practice. This way you will know exactly when to click to get the most marks and you are prepared for a wide range of hazards to appear, as some are a lot less obvious than others and you might miss them if you don’t prepare for them.

3. Variety
Visit a variety of websites for revision and practice tests so that you get used to figuring out what is being asked, not just what the answer is. Different mock tests use different layouts for the questions, different wording in their questions and different questions altogether so this ensures you expect the unexpected!

4. Creativity 
As with any revision, creativity helps. If you’ve sat exams in the past you might already know the best revision techniques for you, but if not don’t be afraid to experiment. Personally, I find bullet-pointed lists and spider diagrams work best for me, but do whatever works for you – we all learn in different ways.

5. Relax
Everyone in the exam/test room is in the same position as you so don’t feel self-conscious or stressed, just go in and do your best. You might feel you finish quicker or slower than others around you but you don’t know how long they have been there and whether they are even doing the same test as you (when I did my exam there were people sitting not only car theory tests but also motorcycle and HGV tests I think!) If you are unsure of a question, go back to it at the end. I would definitely recommend going over all your answers once or twice before you finish the test but don’t overdo it – you might start doubting yourself! And guess what? If you don't pass straight away, you can do it again when you feel ready. No pressure at all!

What are your top tips for passing your Theory Test? How did you find the test if you've already sat it and if not, how will you prepare if you are planning on sitting it soon?

or email nicnaknoko2@gmail.com / nicola.sharp13@hotmail.co.uk


Currently Loving | Body Scrubs

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Front row left-right: Mandara Spa scrub, Dawin Miller Body Scrub

As I mentioned in my 'Get Ready for Summer and National Bikini Day' blog post, exfoliating my body is part of my fake tanning routine and this year I've been trying out four different exfoliators. These four scrubs are very different from each other so thought I would put a summary of them all in this one post and possibly follow this up with in-depth reviews of each one in separate blog posts.

Sandy Body Scrub
The Makebelieve Spa & Polish Exfoliator (sold here) feels like a gentle but sandy scrub on the skin. This scrub smells gorgeous and leaves the skin feeling silky soft. This scrub also has my favourite packaging of all four, however it isn't the best for travelling! I actually won this scrub at a meetup I went to last year but have been using other scrubs up before trying this one. Now that I have tried it though, I can confirm that is is great!

Foaming Body Scrub
Arbonne's SeaSource Foaming Sea Salt Scrub (sold here) is the ultimate pamper-evening body and foot scrub, trust me! It smells amazing and feels beautiful on the skin as the foam gives the feeling that your skin is being thoroughly cleansed as well as exfoliated, so you can imagine how nice it is to use this as a foot scrub too.

Thick Body Scrub 
The Mandara Spa Amber Heaven exfoliating sugar scrub (range sold here, although I can't find this particular scrub, annoyingly!) is a really thick scrub, 'exfoliating sugar scrub' is definitely the best name for it! This is one of those scrubs that you can really feel working to remove dry skin, gross but good, although if you have sensitive skin I probably wouldn't recommend this as it isn't the most gentle of scrubs!

Jelly Body Scrub
The Dawin Miller Joy White Jasmine and Cranberry Body Scrub (crikey, long name! I can't find anywhere selling this online, sorry! But I've heard you can buy it in Home Bargains, although don't hold me to that!) isn't used by me all that much as I only tend to reach for an exfoliator before I fake tan and this wouldn't cut it when it comes to pre-tan-prep, however this is amazing post-tan if you feel your skin needs a quick, gentle scrub without runing the tan you've built up.

What's your favourite body scrub? Have you used any of the exfoliators I mentioned in this post?

or email nicnaknoko2@gmail.com / nicola.sharp13@hotmail.co.uk


My Evening Skincare Routine

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Step 1: Makeup Removal
When I'm at home, I always use my Lucy Bee Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil to remove my makeup as it is completely natural and feels so beautifully soft on the skin. Firstly, I put a small amount of coconut oil on a cotton pad and let it melt onto my face, wiping in circular motions to remove my foundation first. I then remove my brow makeup and any remaining lip makeup before moving onto the eyes. For the eyes I apply a small amount of coconut oil onto a cotton pad and gently press it over my eye, letting the oil melt away my eyeshadow, liner and the majority of my mascara. Depending on the amount of eye makeup I am wearing I may repeat this step. For any pesky mascara that is still clinging on after this, I close my eyes and gently wipe my lashes with a tiny amount of coconut oil using my ring fingers and then wipe the excess away with another cotton pad or cotton bud. I then splash my face with water to remove any excess coconut oil before moving on to the next step of my evening routine.

Step 2: Hot Cloth Cleanse
I've been trying out the Tropic Smoothing Cleanser recently and I absolutely love it. You could use this cleanser to remove your makeup and then repeat as a hot cloth cleanse, but I just use this after I've removed my makeup with the coconut oil. I use 2-3 pumps of this and massage it all over my face and down onto my neck. This cleanser smells absolutely divine and feels so nourishing and soft on the skin. I tend to leave it on my face for a few minutes before wringing out a hot flannel and wiping the excess off. I would really recommend this product if you are looking for a natural, indulgent experience every evening for a very good price!

Step 3: Face Mask, once or twice a week
For this step I will either use my Arbonne FC5 Deep Cleansing Mask if my skin feels slightly clogged up, blemish prone and in need of a deep cleanse, or my Arbonne FC5 Intense Hydration Mask if my skin is feeling particularly dry. However every now and then I will treat myself to the use of both in one evening (I live life on the edge, I know), inspired by the infamous Triple Threat Facial that Vivianna Does Makeup drew bloggers' attention to (here and here). If I'm doing the Triple Threat Facial I will start with the FC5 Deep Cleansing Mask, followed by an exfoliator or possibly the Arbonne Sea Mud Face and Body Mask (depending on how sensitive my skin is feeling!) followed by the FC5 Intense Hydration Mask.

Step 4: Moisturise
I love using my Arbonne FC5 Moisturising Night Crème as it really rehydrates my skin while I sleep, which is needed after I've been wearing makeup all day then had a deep cleanse. However I am looking around for alternatives and might give the Aveda Tourmaline Charged Hydrating Creme a go when my Arbonne night cream runs out, although that won't be for a while as a little goes a very long way!

Step 5: Spot Treatment, if necessary 
Finally, if unwanted visitors make an appearance on my face, I will use a small amount of the previously mentioned Arbonne Deep Cleansing Mask on any spots. I find this works wonders at reducing spot size overnight, making them perfectly coverable with a dab of foundation the next day.

So there you have it! My three, sometimes five, step evening skincare routine.

What does your evening skincare routine consist of? Have you tried any of the products that I use?

or email nicnaknoko2@gmail.com / nicola.sharp13@hotmail.co.uk


My Morning Skincare Routine

I reach for one of three cleansers every morning, depending on how my skin is feeling at the time. If my skin feels dry and dehydrated or just 'normal' I will use the Arbonne FC5 Hydrating Cleanser + Freshener for normal/dry skin. This cleanser has a lovely consistency and feels very soft on the skin, leaving my face feeling smooth and fresh. I've been using this cleanser the most recently, as I combated my oily skin using the second cleanser that I might choose on a morning. The cleanser in question is the Arbonne FC5 Purifying Cleanser + Toner for oily/combination skin. This really 'fixed' my skin when I started using it back in the summer of 2013 however I still have quite a lot of this left so am slowly using it up on days when my skin feels slightly oily-prone. I will sometimes reach for the Tropic Smoothing Cleanser if I'm feeling indulgent, as this cleanser tops the rest for me in terms of smell, texture and how great it leaves my skin feeling. Once my other cleansers have run out I will probably use just this, every day, morning and night.

Step 2: Exfoliate, once or twice a week
I must admit, I'm not a fan of the exfoliator that I'm using at the minute but it is too expensive for me to just throw away and I've used too much to justify trying to sell/give it to someone else. Plus its Arbonne-priced. So I'm using it up until I can justify buying a new one. The exfoliator in question is Arbonne's FC5 Exfoliating New Cell Scrub. I find this just doesn't scrub away dead skin and really wrestle with blackheads like I like my exfoliators to do. I'm definitely considering buying Tropic's Face Smooth Polish after trying a friend of mine's a few weeks back and loving it!

Step 3: Moisturise
Recently I've been using the FC5 Nurturing Day Lotion for normal/dry skin from Arbonne to go with the Hydrating Cleanser + Freshener when my skin is feeling 'normal' or dry. However, like with my cleansers, I will swap to Arbonne's FC5 Oil-Absorbing Day Lotion if my skin is feeling particularly oily. Or, I will use both - the Oil-Absorbing moisturiser on my t-zone and the Nurturing moisturiser on the rest of my face.

Step 4: Spot treatment, if necessary
I use the Arbonne Deep Cleansing Mask on spots overnight but if they are the persistent type I will dab the teeniest amount of the cleansing mask on the spot so it can continue to work its magic during the day under my makeup.

I will soon be posting my evening skincare routine, so make sure you have a read of that to see what products I use every night!

What does your morning skincare routine consist of? Have you tried any of the products mentioned in this post?

or email nicnaknoko2@gmail.com / nicola.sharp13@hotmail.co.uk


Get ready for Summer and National Bikini Day!

I was recently contacted by the lovely ladies at Swimwear 365 asking if I would like to work with them again (see my review of the bikini they sent me here!), this time with their campaign counting down to National Bikini Day. Of course I said yes and have been reading their blog and their National Bikini Day page on their main website for tips and tricks to get ready for the summer. I thought this was the perfect excuse to put together a blog post here on itsneecola with all my tips and tricks for getting summer-ready, whether you are going abroad or staying at home!

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First things first: Beach Body.
At this time of year so much focus is put on getting the 'perfect' beach body through exercise and healthy eating, which is great but I would like to focus on working with the bodies we already have and focus on things like fake tan and fashion rather than toning and sculpting. I used to tan naturally in the sun but, due to my Crohn's disease and medication I have to be extra careful in the sun nowadays as I'm at a higher risk of getting skin cancer. (I'm not entirely sure why, I will learn more about it in the future, but for now my nurses have been very stern with me when it comes to what SPF I should use!) This means that I've been perfecting my fake-tan routine as I love having a tan, especially in the summer months. This involves exfoliating (less often than I should really!), shaving (or waxing, if you prefer), moisturising (again, less frequently than I should) and finally tanning about once a week, or every other day if I'm using a gradual tanner. I'm trialling a new chemical-free fake tan at the moment so might do a review on that soon if you're interested?

Secondly: Summer Skin.
By this I mean yo beautiful face. I tend not to fake tan my face as I'm too scared I will look like I've fallen headfirst in a muddy puddle, so I stick to the bronzer and a fluffly brush. My skin preparation for the summer goes something like this: cleansing and moisturising daily, morning and night. Exfoliation about once a week, as with my body to remove all the dead skin (ew) and give me a fresh, smooth base for my makeup. When I exfoliate I also give my lips a quick scrub too to keep them smooth. I tend to keep my makeup very light and fresh in the summer months and I might do a 'Get The Look' post surrounding summer makeup...

Thirdly: Hands and Feet.
Again, exfoliate! Well, this applies more to feet than hands really. If you're getting your feet out this summer by the pool, the beach or at the park in your flip-flops then you're gonna want to exfoliate those babies after a long winter of being hidden. As for polish, I will be doing a separate post about my favourite polishes for summer, so keep your eyes peeled for that!

Last but not least: Inside Out.
I may not be the best role model when it comes to healthy eating and exercise (although I have my moments where I really commit to it, and I am determined to get into a health and fitness routine when I've moved house and settled in!) but I do do pretty well when it comes to drinking water. When I drink plenty of water I notice a difference in how I feel within myself and how my body and skin looks...I look and feel properly hydrated again!

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You can follow Swimwear365's countdown to National Bikini Day, which is on the 5th July, on twitter using the hashtags #LoveNBD and #NationalBikiniDay. Also, check out their NBD section on their website for giveaways and tips, along with their blog for National Bikini Day blog posts.

How do you get ready for summer? Please share any tips in the comments below or tweet me @itsneecola!

or email nicnaknoko2@gmail.com / nicola.sharp13@hotmail.co.uk


What's in my coach bag?

You may or may not be aware that during my gap year I have been spending a heck of a lot of time to-ing and fro-ing to London on the coach to visit my boyfriend Josh. This has meant that I have got into a pretty good routine when it comes to coach journeys (if you need to know how to get a seat to yourself and keep it that way, just ask!) and have narrowed my coach bag contents down to a useful few items that won't break your back.

Obviously I take my suitcase too, but that goes under the coach. This post is all about the things I take in my hand luggage as it were - my on-board coach bag.

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After taking these photos I realised Josh was calling me via FaceTime haha, oops!

Overall summary of contents:
Scarf - obviously only on colder days! From my experience, coaches are either freezing cold or baking hot, so layers are a must.
Purse - does this need explaining?
Book - whatever book I'm currently reading will make it to my coach journey for entertainment purposes.
Notepad and pen - for drafting blog posts and ideas, writing notes etc.
Coach card and ticket - this is kindof essential... If you make a lot of coach journeys during the year I would recommend getting a coach card to save you some money on each journey.
iPod - this gets me through the seemingly endless hours...
Phone - for communicating with people outside the coach.
Charger - most National Express coaches have sockets on and on some of those coaches, the sockets actually work! So my charger comes with me just in case I'm lucky enough to be able to charge my phone/iPod if necessary.
Hand cream - because nobody wants dry hands now do they?
Emergency bits bag - see below for contents.
Sunglasses - for sunny days/hiding behind.
Makeup bagsee below for contents.
Water bottle - to keep hydrated. Tip - don't drink the full contents unless you fancy visiting the on-board loo. This happened to me once...never again.

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Pic 2: makeup bag:
Perfume - this little So...? perfume is always in my mini makeup bag and is much-needed after sweltering coach journeys.
Compact mirror - I'm pretty sure I bought this from Wilkos or Poundland or something so it was super cheap but does the job nicely!
Mascara - for touch-ups during the day.
Lip balm (and lipstick/gloss of choice) - to keep my lips nice and soft and pwetty!
Concealer and brush - also for touch-ups during the day...again, much-needed after sweltering coach journeys.

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Pic 3: emergency bits bag:
STs - sorry if this makes you cringe, but lets be real! These are a must for any female emergencies.

Tissues - yep.
Hand gel - antibac hand gel is a must for me. I have zero immune system thanks to my medication so am constantly using this to keep germs at bay, especially when I'm out in public.
Comb - for bad hair days.
Nail file - because there isn't much worse than when you break a nail and can't sort it out straight away.
Bobby pins - I'm sure I'm not the only girl who isn't eternally grateful for the inventor of bobby pins?! They can fix most things.
Bobble - I usually shove my hair up in a bun before the coach journey is over due to the heat/stickyness, so if there isn't a bobble on my wrist I know I will always have this as a back up.
Plasters - these come in handy.

Not pictured: food! My coach journeys often overlap lunch or dinner time so I do take some munchies with me.

Do you do much travelling? What would be your coach-bag essentials?

or email nicnaknoko2@gmail.com / nicola.sharp13@hotmail.co.uk


Mini Space NK Haul

You can imagine my excitement when I saw a tweet from Beth telling me I was lucky enough to win her giveaway of a £40 Space NK voucher - eee!! I've never been to Space NK before but have spent many hours browsing their site, wishing I was rich. I went into the Leeds store on Thursday with Georgina and Charlotte - fellow bloggers were definitely needed for this task. What to choose?! I wanted to buy things that I would never usually spend that much money on and ended up spending just £7.50 for two beautiful high-end products.

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I was sure one of the items I would leave with would be a Nars lip pencil as I'd been eyeing them up online. I tried an orange-toned one on but it just didn't feel right - while I wanted to buy something special I also wanted to be able to wear it on a daily basis and I just knew I wouldn't reach for this particular Nars product every day as it was a bit too vibrant and in-your-face (although I was impressed with the quality and would love to own a Nars lip pencil one day!). I explained these thoughts to the assistant and she very helpfully suggested other options within a similar price range to the Nars pencils until I settled on this Laura Mercier lipstick in the shade 'Rose'. For me, its a my-lips-but-better colour which is perfect for everyday wear while also being a bit special as it is a high-end product and the only Laura Mercier product I own!

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The second product I treated myself to was the By Terry Ombre Blackstar cream eyeshadow in the shade Misty Rock. Oh my. Firstly, the packaging. I feel like royalty with this in my make-up stash, it is beautiful! Secondly, the pigmentation. This eyeshadow is so pigmented but easy to blend and can be washed over the eye for a stunning shimmery one-colour look or built up to a smoky effect. The staying power of this eyeshadow is also brilliant, but at £28 it should be! There is a beautiful range of shades available and I'd definitely add a couple to your wishlist if I were you! I've just bought Mac's Woodwinked (blog post here!) so wanted to go for a different colour altogether as I have so many brown/gold shades in my collection already.

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Thank you so much to Beth for my vouchers - it was so lovely being able to treat myself to two gorgeous high-end products from a store I never thought I'd be able to shop in!

Do you own either of these products? What's on your Space NK wishlist?

or email nicnaknoko2@gmail.com / nicola.sharp13@hotmail.co.uk


Mac Woodwinked

A few weeks ago I blogged about a beauty event I went to at Harvey Nichols and one of the things on my wishlist before the event was Mac's Woodwinked eyeshadow, so I was very chuffed when I was able to try it on the night, loved it and brought it home with me. 

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Since then I have worn Woodwinked almost every day, sometimes paired with other colours (such as a matte brown in the crease) but mostly just on its own following a Tanya Burr tutorial in which she pats the colour all over the lid and then blends it out into the crease. When blended, Woodwinked turns into a slightly more rusty tone so you end up with two different tones on the lids, which looks like you've put more effort into your eye makeup than you actually have (always a bonus on those lazy days!) I then run Woodwinked underneath my eyes and blend it slightly on the outer edge to balance out the look. I find that this look really compliments my blue eyes and I might do a separate post on the best eyeshadows for making blue eyes pop.

Woodwinked if one of the few Mac eyeshadows that I own but so far I would say that they are great quality, very pigmented and come in an amazing range of shades. I also have my eye on All That Glitters, however I do think Mac eyeshadows are pretty pricey so you won't see a full palette in my collection any time soon (although I know they are at the cheaper end as far as high-end products go!)

Do you own many Mac eyeshadows - what's your favourite? Is Woodwinked in your collection?

or email nicnaknoko2@gmail.com / nicola.sharp13@hotmail.co.uk


Oaks Boutique Chapel Allerton

A few months ago I went to a blogger event hosted by the fabulous ladies at Oaks Boutique at their Roundhay store (which I blogged about here!) and I fell in love. I fell in love with the store, the layout, the clothes, the accessories... So when I was in Chapel Allerton the other week I had to pop into the Oaks Boutique store there and browse the sale rails.

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These were to items that really stood out to me and made me wish I wasn't restricted with my spending at the moment! Isn't the blue blazer just amazing? And those shorts...with a tan...and some wedges...yes please.

The Chapel Allerton store has a lot of stock from the previous season at discounted prices, so it is great if you are looking for a bargain! On the sale rail I found a black cape for a tenner - I'd been looking for one last winter and couldn't find a reasonably-priced one so even though it is totally weather-inappropriate at the moment I still picked it up ready for the winter.

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If you live up north you should definitely visit one of the Oaks Boutique stores. The staff are always so friendly and they have an amazing range of clothes, shoes and accessories in each of their stores at purse-friendly prices. You're sure to leave with a unique bargain in your bag and a smile on your face!

Have you been to any of the Oaks Boutique stores? Or do you have a similar boutique near you?

or email nicnaknoko2@gmail.com / nicola.sharp13@hotmail.co.uk


Swimwear 365

Swimwear365 have an amazing website, with hundreds of bikinis, tankinis and swimsuits to choose from alongside an impressive range of tops, sarongs, playsuits and other clothing items. The website is easy to navigate around and has a variety of filters to use when choosing your swimwear, including top style, bottom style, figure shape, price, size etc. If you're not sure which bikini style would suit you best, there is a shape calculator on the site to help determine your body shape and which styles are best for that shape, which is such a helpful feature! I was after a bikini so spent most of my time on the website browsing through this section. Most, if not all, bikinis are shown both on and off a model and there is a variety of models featured on the site with different skin tones and figure shapes although I didn't spot any plus-sized models.

The downside to the website, from my experience, is the limited number of photos per bikini and no photos of the backs of the bikinis that I looked at, which I would have liked as brief shape is an important factor to me - I don't like showing too much of ma cheeks, if you know what I'm saying...

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I found the customer service great while trying to decide which bikini I wanted. I was emailing Lucinda from Swimwear365 and she was very helpful in letting me return the first bikini I ordered as it didn't fit and ordering me a different design when I'd had another look. Thank you for all your help Lucinda!

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Finally, on to the bikini itself! I love the print of this White Bird Print Bikini* bikini, I've never had a bikini or swimsuit like it before and I'm glad I went for something quite different. The bikini top is padded and underwired and fits me perfectly, the padding is enough to avoid nips being on show and give a bit of lift without taking it to the victoria's secret push-up level. It has adjustable straps which are great (I definitely think all bikinis should have adjustable straps) and they can be taken off and swapped over to create a halterneck strap. The bottoms have a really cute frill round the waistband and aren't tiny and skimpy which is a definite must for me.

Thanks so much to Swimwear365 for this bikini!

Have you ever bought anything from Swimwear365? What's your favourite bikini or swimsuit from their site?

or email nicnaknoko2@gmail.com / nicola.sharp13@hotmail.co.uk


CFL fashion show

A few weeks ago I attended a fashion show at Crag House Farm in Cookridge, the home of the Leeds-based charity Caring For Life (CFL). I really admire the work of CFL, who care for some of the most vulnerable people in our society, promising to care for them for life, or as long as they need or want help, so I jumped at the chance to combine supporting the charity with a night of fashion!

I went along with my mum, aunt and cousin as well as fellow blogger Charlotte. We were greeted with a drink and invited to browse the rails of second-hand clothes, shoes, bags and accessories that were being sold from the beginning of the night. Charlotte spotted a really nice scarf and bought it before we left (us bloggers are such enablers when it comes to shopping!)

Image credit: Caring For Life

The fashion show itself featured a mix of quality high street and designer second-hand clothes which would be available to buy at the end of the night, as well as a vintage section just for show. All the models were staff and volunteers at CFL and showcased a range of clothes for various ages and sizes. They did such a great job, I'd have been so nervous! A few items caught my eye during the show, including a pair of white jeans from River Island and a fitted black, high-neck, almost-maxi dress. 

Image credit: Caring For Life

Image credit: Caring For Life

There was a short interval during the show during which there were beautiful macarons and cupcakes for sale along with drinks. Charlotte and I had a further browse of the clothes rails before the finale.

After the interval came The Big Wedding! The models came out one by one in their wedding-guest attire followed by Peter, the founder of Caring For Life, who walked the beautiful bride down the aisle. The bride herself was wearing a gorgeous second-hand wedding dress!

Image credit: Caring For Life

After the show the clothes modelled were up for grabs and I tried the jeans and dress I'd spotted. I fell in love with the dress and brought it home...thanks CFL!

If you'd like to know more information about Caring For Life, their background, ethos and the work they do, you can visit their website www.caringforlife.co.uk.

or email nicnaknoko2@gmail.com / nicola.sharp13@hotmail.co.uk


Oaks Boutique Jumpsuit

A few weeks ago I went to a Blogger event hosted by Oaks Boutique at their store in Roundhay. I followed my blog post about the event with a blog post showing my favourite items from Oaks that I had spotted on the night. Oaks were holding a competition for all the bloggers who attended the event to be in with the chance to win one of their favourite items. Remember the jumpsuit I mentioned in my blog post? Well, I won it! I was so so excited when Oaks tweeted me to tell me that I was one of the winners and I went to collect my jumpsuit a couple of days later.

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I tried on both the small/medium and medium/large and the smaller of the two definitely fitted better - it is quite a loose-fitting jumpsuit anyway so looks better when it is more fitted as opposed to being really loose and drapey. It is a really flattering fit and I think it would look good on any body shape and size as it sinches in at the waist and has a really flattering scooped neckline but is loose enough over the tummy and legs to cover and lumps and bumps you don't want to show. This jumpsuit will be great for hot days when you want to wear something that will keep you cool but don't fancy showing your legs (come on, surely I'm not the only girl who has that in-between-leg-shaving stubble that I don't want the world to see?!).

At the event I only spotted the jumpsuit in pink, however when I went to collect it I was shown the baby blue version which is also really nice. I stuck with my original choice of pink however, as I have a lot of blue clothes already and felt that the pink jumpsuit was full of warmer, more summery shades that would look amazing with a bikini and a tan on the beach. When you look closely the jumpsuit appears to be see-through, so I was a tad nervous when I tried it on however once on its fine. I would probably opt for nude-coloured underwear just to feel totally safe and because the cut of the jumpsuit means that your bra might peep out to say hi..!

The other reason why this jumpsuit is perfect for hot holidays is that it can be worn casually during the day or dressed up for the evening. I would wear it with casual flats or flip flops and a sun hat during the day and dress it up with heels and jewellery for meals out during the evening. Is it just me that likes to dress up extra nice for hot holiday evenings?

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If you live near any of the Oaks stores I would definitely recommend popping in and trying this on, in either the pink or the blue! This jumpsuit would suit pretty much anyone and would be a great addition to your summer wardrobe. Thanks again Oaks!

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Arbonne Independent Consultant, ID: 441117872
For Arbonne business or product enquiries, email nicola.sharp13@hotmail.co.uk
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