March Madness

Wow I hadn't even realised it had been quite so long since I posted! I am very sorry, I can only blame a combination of Uni stress and being very very ill :-(. But there is an upside to being sick and living in front of a computer...shopping!!

So I thought to tide you over until I can concentrate long enough to give you a real post I would share my Best Bargain Buys-the March Edition, with you :-).


Gorgeous from H&M (£29.99) although I used my 25% that I got free in Glamour!
Had gone into town to get the Michael Kors version of this but it turns out that Aberdeen's FOUR floor John Lewis isn't classed as a big store, and thus they don't stock MK in store :-(...but hey BARGAIN!

Yeah because I need ANOTHER bag! I love the shape on this and because Internacionale have gone into administration this beauty was free! That's right it's buy one get one free on ALL bags and none cost more than £20.

Love the colour of this (in real life it's a soft duck egg blue) and it has the studded bottom that I love about Alexander Wang bags but at only £20 plus the added bonus of the one above this is much more purse-friendly.

Daisies!! I have a bit of a crush on daisies at the moment so when I saw this beauty in Primark (kids section again i'm afraid) I had to snap it up...only £8!

Denim and denim effect is going to be huge this summer I'm assured. So I of course promptly went out and snapped up my favourite style (skater of course) in a totally retro shade of denim. 

Pretty, pink, and baggy enough to cover that 4th year bulge that is slowly developing :-(. I love this and because it's from H&M Kids it only set me back £7.99. If you're after one though I suggest buying the smallest size you think you'll need...I bought the age 10-11 and it's MASSIVE!

I have been tempted to dye my hair pink for a long time and then I keep remembering that im almost 27 and about to enter the world of real work so keep deciding against it. With these however I can be whatever colour I want for as short a period of time as I want...colour your hair in then wash it out, simples!! I got 24 colours here for £3.99 from Amazon.

You might remember I bought John Green's The Fault in Our Stars last month, well I LOVED it!! So as I usually do I went right on a bought all of his novels so far!! (not including ones hes written with other people).
These are: Looking For Alaska- £3.07 (incuding postage) from Amazon
An Abundance of Katherines- £7.99 from Waterstones
Paper Towns- £3.98 from Waterstones (buy one get one half price)

Everyone knows I love to draw and paint and make things so I decided to make something cute for my sisters birthday. For that I needed a canvas...I headed to Hobbycraft (my third favourite shop in the world) and picked up a pack of three for just £4 in their sale :-).

SECRET CRAFT PROJECT HINT!
SECRET CRAFT PROJECT HINT NUMBER 2


My best girl Alexandra saw a print with this saying on it and instantly knew I would love it, unfortunately I couldn't get the print without travelling to Brechin :-(, fortunately though Amazon had this cute little plaque that will fit perfectly on my wall of art!

Sometimes you just want to play a computer game that requires little brain power and a steady trigger finger...Ratchet and Clank is the perfect game...this is the next game in the series which I picked up today.

This was the game that came before that which I bought on Tuesday, and finished on Wednesday!! Oops!

Anyway that's what I've been amusing myself with during this horrible month. I promise much more frequent postings as soon as I can.

Much Love
AJ
xx




Fashion Friday 3

Happy Friday everybody :-).
So I'll admit that I did promise to up my fashion game on a Friday, to give you all some fun outfits to look at, but I was so tired this morning I just rolled out of bed and grabbed the first thing I could find :-(.

Which leads us to WHAT I WORE- The Too Lazy to Make an Effort Edition.

First up, when I'm being lazy I generally just gravitate towards a pair of jeans that I know are comfy enough for sitting in classes and that go with everything. So this morning on went my skinny black jeans. Some of you may remember a wish list
 post in which I said I really wanted a pair of skinny black jeans...well thanks to the wonderful New Look 915 section I got the perfect pair. They are the perfect fit (which is quite hard for me to get) and they are the right shade of black to keep me happy.




In the interest of carrying on the comfy chain of thought that popped into my head whilst pulling on my jeans I grabbed my favourite shirt in the whole entire world!! I am not one for trends normally but I was really excited when the 90s stared to have a fashion resurgence. For those of you (like me) who remember the 90s the first time round this trend could have been disastrous! But thankfully only the best bits seem to have survived and all of a sudden our shops were full of a 2013/14 update on grunge, lumberjack prints and skirts with a twist. I snapped up this shirt as soon as it arrived at Zara and I am so glad I did. It isn't too in your face, has nice colours and is made of quite possibly the softest material for a shirt ever!! Love, Love, Love.




My feet wanted to be comfortable too, which 9 times out of 10 would mean I'd slip on my trusty ballet flats, but today I was feeling the cold and couldn't subject my feet to the harsh weather. So I slipped on these babies. I'll admit I have no idea where I got these but I love them! They are quite high for comfy shoes but they really are so comfortable I almost forget I'm wearing heels at all.



Lastly, in the ultimate lazy girl manoeuvre, I threw my hair up in a pony, decided against make-up, and swished out the door -somewhat ready for the long day ahead :-).
Thanks for reading guys. Remember I love hearing from you, on all of my platforms, so do feel free to give me a shout and share your lazy girl favourites with me.

Much Love
AJ
xx

Try it yourself Tuesday 2

As promised on Twitter, today I'm going to show you how I made my new jewellery holder :-).
I clearly have a Bottled Treasures addiction that much is obvious, but it also turns out I generally love necklaces in all forms. So it was with a growing collection in mind that I decided to build my own holder. Let's have a look...

What you need:
Foam display board (size is your preference) 
Wallpaper featuring pattern of your choice.
Wood beading- any type of wood. 
Paste
Hacksaw
20 small screws + screwdriver
Paint or woodstain + paintbrush 


What to do:
Okay so I forgot to take photos of each thing needed before I started but this gives you an idea. First I got a foam display board (the kind you use for moodboards and presentations) and cut it to the size I wanted. Because these are foamcore they cut really simply with a Stanley knife (just watch your fingers). 
Now for my wallpaper I'll admit I was a bit sneaky- I didn't see the point in buying a whole roll for a small board- so I went and got a sample from B&Q. Their samples are there for the taking just don't take too much, I took about 3ft but felt bloody cheeky doing it! 
I cut my board to fit the width of the paper which is a few inches narrower than the standard A2 board :-). 

Next up I used wallpaper paste to attach the two, first paste the board- don't be scared here be quite liberal with your paste and don't worry about lumps. Then I pasted the paper itself and folded it to absorb the paste for a few minutes. 
Once I'd let the paste lie for a bit I took this little guy out 
This is a squeegee that I got when I bought furniture stickers from not on the high street. Any flat surfaced spreader will do but I had this so figured I best use it. I placed the paper onto the board, spread it down with my hands and then used the squeegee to flatten out any air bubbles. This took about ten minutes because I am a perfectionist. But the result looks pretty good...
I left this to dry overnight-although this is probably not necessary. While it was drying I moved on to building my frame. 

I picked a thin beading (2cm) with a graduated pattern. This bit is pretty simple-just measure out the lengths for each edge of your board, draw a pencil line on the beading where you need to cut, and then very carefully using a hacksaw, cut to size.
I needed 96inches total of wood-thankfully B&Q's beading comes in just above that :-). So now I have four pieces of wood that could be stained, painted, or left as is. Because my dear father accidentally snapped one of my pieces, I had to piece it back together with No More Nails, which left it covered in glue-like residue, I decided to paint mine. 
I used an off-white shade called bracken which is softer than pure white, and doesn't overshadow the paper. 
I painted these and left them to dry overnight. 

The next day I was good to go. I had originally planned to attach the frame using No More Nails but seeing how annoying it was the day before I went with screws instead. 

If you're using nails find a hard flat surface to work on. I drew on the back of the board where the wood pieces would go so I had a guide when working with screws. I then simply placed a piece at a time on the right side, flipped the board and placed my screws. (That's the good thing about using foamcore, the screws sit in place without effort.) Now it's just a case of screwing away, I placed 5 screws  along the vertical frames, and 4 along each horizontal frame. After about half an hour, and a tired wrist my board was all but finished :-). 

All that was left was adding a hook and hanging her. I used a simple silver hook, which I placed in the centre of the top frame piece, screwed in and the hung over a pin on my wall. 

Sadly I noticed once she was on the wall that because the softness of the board (needed if you want to use pins for hanging your jewellery) the board didn't lie flush against the wall, it appeared more curved. To get around this I simply placed two screws in the bottom corners, and screwed these straight into the wall. 

And that's it!! I then stuck pins where I wanted them and started hanging my collection. 
I use pins because it means I can move them around quite easily if I want to add more necklaces. However if you want a set layout you can use a harder board and some small hooks. 

Now whilst I did do this all, I couldn't have done it without my dad's tools and random helpfulness (although I could have done without the snapping bits of wood antics). So I'll thank him with this...
Thanks Daddy!! xxx


Hope you liked this how to, and if I can help with your own projects just give me a shout. I'm always happy to help fellow DIY-ers. 

Much Love
AJ
xx

Shopaholics Anonymous

I can't help myself!! :-(. Went to do a nice simple food shop yesterday, even had a list of what I needed!! Then I ventured to the upper level of Asda Garthdee and it all went horribly wrong...

Prepare for a retro/geek overload.
The Goonies!! If you don't know who the Goonies are get yourself to ANYWHERE that sells DVDs and educate yo'selfs! (Sorry for the slang but I felt it was required). Love this t-shirt it's so very me, you'll soon learn that I like a good, comfy printed tee. Want your own one? Asda, boys section, £7! 

Bargain alert!!!!
Me and the dear fiancé are heading to the Dominican at the end of July, an because I am super organised we've already started hunting for the perfect luggage set...until then though it seems I have found the perfect luggage tags :-). These were reduced to £1!!! So of course  I got the Marvel one and my ever so grown-up and mature other half opted for Spongebob. Love, love, love! 

Speaking of Marvel...Asda seem to be having a bit of a fangirl/boy, love-in with the company. Which I am fully on board with :-). This is a ring-binder, I don't need another ring-binder, in-fact I probably have too many, but it's Marvel!! So yeah £3 later and it was mine. 

Ok didn't strictly buy this one yesterday, Damian got it for me the week before BUT I'm just trying to emphasise my point about the Asda/Marvel love-in. This is a notebook, again didn't TECHNICALLY need one but I am a big fan of having a dedicated notebook for each class, so this is my Celebrity Culture Notebook :-).  

Lastly from my adventures in Asda...
These are pretty self-explanatory. I'm a student, I'm in fourth year, I'm writing a dissertation, I NEED TO HIGHLIGHT! and these were £1...Sharpie Highlighters on same shelf were about £3.95 but in the spirit of the new budget conscious me I ignored the name brand and went for Asda's own. They work! 

So yeah...I'm Amanda-Jaied, I'm a shopaholic and even Asda isn't safe. 

Much Love
AJ
xx




Fashion Friday 2

So as promised on twitter this post is all about how I challenged myself to get everything I wanted, in town today, for under £30! This may not seem difficult to some of you but I'm an unashamed spender, I like nice things and I will sooner pay for quality before I buy discount (so sue me). But today-on payday no less I set myself a budget AND I nailed it!! 

First things first as those that read my latest Wish Wednesday post will know I was after a BB Cream to trial and despite my worries I gave in and bought the Garnier one, because it was the cheapest brand name version available and because I wouldn't feel right writing something off without first trying it myself. 
So I purchased the Garnier BB for Sensitive Skin in light-here's hoping it works! I'll let you all know over the weekend. 

Secondly I really wanted a black nail varnish, feeling kind of vampy at the moment ;-). As luck would have it Miss Sporty are doing a two for £3 deal in Superdrug, which means my trial and error doesn't have to break the bank. I did want a matte black but settled for glossy. Like I said TWO for £3 so I also grabbed at nice cornflower blue shade (cos it's my favourite against my skin tone). 
The black goes on really thinly and I needed three coats to give a proper black coverage- and I have tiny nails. So I probably wouldn't recommend it, however the blue is very pretty and went on quite easily. If I had one gripe I'd say it's a bit too bright for your usual cornflower shade (but pretty blue is still pretty blue). 

Next I headed over to Waterstones to pick up the must have book of the month- John Green's The Fault in Our Stars. There has been a lot of hype around Mr Green- and I usually don't buy into that kind of stuff- but I had a sneaky read of the first few chapters while lazing about in Waterstones Costa a couple of weeks ago and I was hooked. So into the  bought pile it went :-). 

Onto the clothing...I was after a simple tee, nothing in particular in mind just something cute I could tuck into all the high-waisted skirts I seem to have accrued. So a jaunt round Primark ensued. And I found TWO that I thought were totally cute. One was a baseball style tee with a Barbie motif (who doesn't love Barbie??) and the other was a navy tee with a Bulldog wearing rockstar shades and retro headphones! And the winner is.... 
Just look at that face!! Lol this one won because it fit best, the Barbie one was only available in 8 and above and was just a bit on the unstructured baggy side :-(. This one however is from the kids section, fits perfectly AND was in the sale -bargain! 
While perusing said kids section I stumbled upon a cute little skater dress, and I'm a sucker for a skater dress so onto the pile that went. It's totally pretty too, look... 
Waist clearly not to size ;-). 

Finally just as I was packing up for the day I stumbled upon a nail art pack featuring MATTE BLACK nail varnish! It's actually like blackboard paint and comes with nail pens to draw on said blackboard so going to have some fun playing with that. The paint goes on easily and is very black, does turn out matte and seems grand so far. The matte topcoat however is tacky and overly gloopy so I'd suggest using a different one. 


I know you're all thinking "there's no way you got all that for less than £30" but dear readers let me tell you something...I have change...

Garnier BB Cream- £6.46
Miss Sporty Varnish x2- £3
The Fault in Our Stars- £7.99
Bulldog Tee- £2
Blue Spotty Dress- £8 
Blackboard Nail Art set- £2 

Grand total £29.45 :-). 

Anyone else challenged themselves like this? Share your best budget buys with me on twitter, or down in the comments. And don't forget it you like what you see here you can follow me on Tumblr and Bloglovin too. 

Much Love
AJ
xx

Wish Wednesday 2

Happy Wednesday guys and gals :-). 

My Wish this week is totally superficial but I think a girl is allowed to be superficial once in a while right??

I wish I had better skin! My whole life I have had dry, horrible skin that just doesn't like me :-(. I can't wear make-up because it causes me to come out in a rash (which is more than annoying cos this face needs make-up!), and I can't wear a skirt without tights because my skin is so dry and white, on my legs, I just look awful -which sucks by the way because my legs are like totally my best body part!! 

Anyway so I have this special moisturiser from the Doctor that works really well for a grand total of maybe an hour if i'm lucky :-(. So yeah I'm kind of at the stage where I am wishing for the perfect moisturiser. 
Neat little trick idea though...if you have really, really dry skin like me then Nipple cream for expectant mothers and the like works quite well (however it is really heavy and if used for too long it will start to clog things).

I was considering trying a BB Cream but have no idea where to begin!! 
Like seriously WHICH ONE???


So if you guys have any suggestions please let me know, either in the comments or on twitter :-).

Much Love
AJ 
xx

The Oscars!!

A very loyal reader asked me on twitter yesterday if I was going to do an Oscars post and I couldn't say no, it would be wrong on so many levels! The Oscars are my Superbowl, I mean I like the Superbowl and I stayed up until 3am to watch that too BUT The Oscars is so much better. It combines movies and dresses and Jennifer Lawrence which are by far three of my favourite things :-).

I intended to live tweet the Oscars red carpet but SKY's coverage was an hour behind the US and thus my tweets would have made no sense whatsoever, I did end up practically live tweeting the actual ceremony on my personal twitter but that was completely unintentional and thus not very coherent. For my blog post I figured the best thing to do would be a round of of my BEST DRESSED OF THE OSCARS 2014. 

Angelina Jolie in Elie Saab- a little bit different than we expect from Ms. Jolie but no less stunning.

The Divine Miss M in Reem Acra. I swear my jaw dropped when I saw this queen saunter down the red carpet, this dress is so pretty and so age appropriate. The dress she wore later in her (they kept that bloody quiet) performance was gorgeous too!

Idina Menzel in Vera Wang. Elphaba is that you?? 

Jenna Dewan-Tatum in Reem Acra- last year Jenna rocked a gorgeous baby bump and this year Channing Tatum's wife nailed it again with this gorgeous frothy gown. 


E! News correspondent and Fashion Swan Kelly Osbourne looked amazing in this Badgley Mischka frock, she's come a long way since pink and black bowl cuts and skater cut-offs.

My award for Hottest Baby Mama on the red carpet goes to Kerry Washington in Jason Wu. Just LOOK at her!!

Best Newcomer was a given if you've seen Lupita Nyong'o on the red carpet at all this season, and she did not disappoint last night. This gorgeous custom Prada gown made her look fun and fancy, and the colour "Nairobi Blue" is the sweetest thing I've seen ever.

Best Dressed Couple goes to Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis, in Valentino and Prada respectively. They are just beautiful. A few men wore navy on the red carpet last night but Jason was by far my favourite.

Sandra Bullock in Alexander McQueen is just a goddess. She doesn't buy into trends, she knows what suits her and she nails it time and time again! I'm biased because she is my favourite actress but she really does look beautiful here.
AND FINALLY my Best Dressed of the Night Overall goes to Kate Hudson in Versace! Old school glamour, plunging neckline and a very modern 3/4 cape makes this my favourite look of the night. 

Did your favourite make my list?

Much Love
AJ
xx

Music Monday 3

Some of you may know that I like a good go on the karaoke, I mean yeah I have horrible, sometimes debilitating stage-fright, and yes I shake uncontrollably when I have to stand up in front of a crowd and sing BUT put a few drinks in me and give me a crowd that actually seems to appreciate it and I'll have a grand old time. 
I get asked all the time why I've not gone on the X Factor etc and the answer is always the same...I have! The audition process is shocking, and in all honesty if I had to sing for a job I wouldn't like it anymore, so i'll stick to a few bars at the karaoke club and annoying Damian by singing around the house ALL THE TIME! 

I guess the point of telling you this is that this weeks Music Monday will be me sharing my go to karaoke songs :-)...Please share your favourite song to belt out, whether that's at home or in a crowded bar full of drunks.


I'll admit I prefer the original versions of this song...and the Imogen Heep version that is playing while *SPOILER ALERT* Marrisa lies dying in The OC, but this version is the most popular in karaoke books, and this is one of those songs that if you sing it well once people will still be asking you to sing it 5 years later!!

Honesty time...I first sang this song because I was in a bitchy mood and the skank the guy I was dating slept with was in MY BAR! Lol how shocking does that sentence read! Anyhow I was young, I got cheated on I lashed out in the best way I know how...with talent :-p. That's better than shouting, punching and breaking things right?

An oldie and a goodie!! I grew up singing this song in little "bands" I started with friends at school. We used to perform it at old folk's homes-minus the costumes of course!! It became a sort of running joke between us that if we were going to karaoke I should just dress up as Cher, (and then an ever supportive group of friends formed the Cherettes-because they THOUGHT they were funny- I'm looking at you Craig, Dave and Dave!)

This is one of the more recent additions to my repertoire. It's a true 90s/early 00s dance tune and it's actually one of Damian and I's songs, that we sing to each other all the time (feel free to make vomiting noises here). It's probably going to be the first dance at our wedding too. 

I know this probably sounds like a weird song for karaoke but it had been stuck in my head for almost a week and I kind of just walked around the house singing it on repeat. When we went into town last week Damian snuck off to the DJ and put me up to sing this, and it was actually a lot of fun...so it earns a space in my list.

There are many more but these are the favourites. Do feel free to share yours AND remember you can now follow me on Bloglovin, Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram.

Much Love
AJ
xx



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My Heart-My Home Part 2

I've been a bit quiet this week, sorry. Just been shattered and super busy so had to step back a bit, but a good friend of mine has asked me to do a post about something important to him and I can't say no to that!!
I wasn't planning on doing a follow up to the My Heart-My Home post but this ties in perfectly, so welcome to My Heart-My Home part 2.


So like I said a friend of mine reminded me on Tuesday evening about two beautiful parts of Aberdeen and asked me to raise some awareness. These are Victoria and Westburn Park.

I spent a lot of my childhood in Westburn Park and then along with the rest of the city (and me) it aged and fell behind in my mind. I still remember the cute little stone bridge, tennis courts, and acres of greenery were perfect for a summer's day learning to rollerblade, or ride my bike, but it seems in recent years the park has been forgotten about by both the city's residents and the council.

Photo credit belongs to www.geograph.org.uk

Victoria Park/Gardens used to be known for its abundance of Roses and the gorgeous scents that hit your nose when you walked in- growing up I always used to refer to it as the "blind people" park (in only a way a completely innocent child could) because you did not need to be able to see it to know it was beautiful. Then of course it to began to age and begin to fade into being just another open space surrounded by roads and new builds. Right in the centre of Victoria Park is a beautiful old-style fountain which lies empty and unattended, what could be a beautiful centrepiece for a summer-time picnic is simply a dusty old relic taking up perfect picnic space (and this saddens me). 

This is the photo of what the fountain used to look like, courtesy of the council website.

But www.geograph.org.uk shows us what it has been turned into through lack of maintenance.

Thankfully for these two beautiful green spaces a community group has come together to address the issues of the parks and they aim to return them to their former glory. In much the same way Friends of Duthie Park has worked to make Duthie the best it can be, Friends of Victoria and Westburn Park have formed out of a need to see true beauty returned to our city. 

The group are looking for members that are interested in being a part of a team that has Aberdeen's best interests at heart. I will not pretend to be an expert on what FoVWP are currently doing, but I intend to keep up-to-date by liking their Facebook Page, and following them on Twitter, and I would love it if you guys would do it too. Of course if you have time to help the team then definitely do that too!!

Much Love
AJ
xx

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