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Thursday, 31 January 2013

Things I hope to achieve. ❤


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This list will slowly expand as the year goes on but here is what I hope to achieve in the next year or so!


  1. Find my home for the second year and swiftly. 
  2. Get robinandthorn.com up and running!
  3. Get a 2:1 or above in my Covering the Courts portfolio (please?).
  4. Master news writing.
  5. Learn how to reference like a professional.
  6. Start saving for my wedding.
  7. Make a saving plan to enable me to stick to mu budget! (poor student alert).
  8. Complete the "30 Day Shred" (note progress).
  9. Pass the first year of my print journalism BA.
  10. Begin shorthand.
  11. Secure a summer 2013 job.
  12. Visit the beach.
  13. Get some work experience at a local paper.
  14. Start vlogging (OOTD, perhaps reviews?).
  15. Start using LookBook.
  16. Learn to drive.
  17. Start collecting Beatrix Potter books again.
  18. Go to Brussels for the weekend with James.
  19. Sell any unneeded clothing.
  20. Invest in some new UGGs (I love them ok!).
  21. Read for pleasure again, not just for study.
  22. Visit Alton Towers.
  23. Go to the cinema more often. Twice a month if possible.
  24. Start saving for Columbia.
  25. Learn to game on my PC (my mouse hates me).
  26. Think up some special ideas for James' 21st.
  27. Start going to gigs again.
  28. Be healthier.
  29. Start going on long walks again.
  30. Visit more art galleries/exhibitions.
  31. Start going to the theater.
  32. Invest in an Xbox.
  33. Purchase Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy La Fleur perfume (it smells amazing).
  34. Dedicate whole days to watch Lord of the Rings, Star Wars (original trilogy) and Back to the Future in their entirety.
  35. Get a pet hamster, name him Jeff.

What do you hope to achieve this year? If you could achieve anything what would it be?

Stephanie xox

Friday, 25 January 2013

The Give and Make Up Initiative



Look in a woman's handbag, atop her dresser, or in the depths of her bathroom and you will find an astonishing array of products. We are all guilty of overspending; hoarding items we will not use but cannot bear to throw away to waste. Beautician, Caroline Hirons knows just what to do with these unneeded "essentials".

Stephanie Mulholland reports.

Caroline is the founder of Give and Make Up, a non-profit initiative that aims to get everyday health and beauty essentials into the hands of the thousands of vulnerable women and children who have to flee due to domestic violence.

Founded in 2010, Give and Make Up work alongside well-known women's charities Refuge and Women's Aid. This is to enable those most in need some normality in their lives when things seem bleak and they are at their lowest. They have a primary aim, to boost the self-esteem of these woman and children.

When asked how Give and Make Up came to be, Caroline reflects on her guilt for those who have nothing as she attempted a blog post about essentials. Turning to gaze at her own colossal collection of products, she knew she had to do something and that led her to the Refuge website.

We started as a blog post and a twitter account and we’ve pretty much stayed the same. It works for us – through word of mouth we have been in the Daily Mail, on local radio and in numerous magazines and blog posts”, says Caroline.

As a globally qualified facialist she has gathered an enviable collection of products in her sixteen years of professional work. Caroline is a beauty industry expert, specialising in skin care, a consultant to over eighty brands and friends with many in the industry. She is the third generation of her family in the profession.

Give and Make Up works by requesting donations from anyone and everyone. These include everyday items such as toiletries, beauty products, grooming accessories and clothing. They will accept any products as long as they are in a good and reusable condition. Caroline said: “If you would happily give it to a friend - we'll take it!

However, Caroline reflects on how companies often prove hesitant to get involved with the cause. “Domestic violence isn’t one of the ‘attractive’ causes. We also have to take into consideration that some brands already have ‘official’ charities or causes and so it would seem a clash to work with us”, she adds.

When Caroline is not working endless hours beautifying and helping others, she likes nothing more than just pottering around her home amidst her family. “My ways to instantly switch off are reading, watching any US crime drama and I go to as many gigs as possible. Music is a great release”, she says.

The initiative has set up numerous drop-off points across the UK with the support of retailers and their dedicated public relations agent Clare Forde. “We could not reach the amount of people we do without the help of Clare, she serves as a collection point for our posted parcels, without ever asking for a penny. Our retailers also serve as regional collection and drop-off points for us and of course there are the people who send donations!”, says Caroline.

Head office has a homely location and is from the comfort of Caroline’s living room. Clare’s office is the donation point for London and the duo single-handedly do the administrative work for the entire initiative. The amount of donations has increased dramatically over these last two years. “We had our largest donations ever this Christmas, people were very generous”, Caroline adds.

These donations are hand-delivered to Refuge and Women’s Aid where they are distributed amongst women and their children. In response to whether Give and Make Up would be expanding to other organisations, Caroline said: “not at the moment, no – they have plenty of need and we have only just reached the tip of the iceberg.”
Caroline received the Woman of the Year award in 2011 for her admirable efforts in the creation of Give and Make Up. Caroline in response to the impressive achievement said: “It was a lovely surprise and very humbling to be honest. My family were proud but I don’t really talk about it with my extended family and friends. Although the recognition is appreciated, it’s not why I do it.”

She thanked all those who take an interest and have volunteered their time to support Give and Make Up. “Anything that raises awareness is always wonderful”, she added.

Refuge UK praised the initiative and said: “Items such as these are invaluable and have brought a lot of joy for the women who use our services. Refuge saves lives, helping over 1000 women and children every day to escape violence and build a safe and positive future. It is donations such as yours which make it possible and help make a difference.

If you would like to donate, send your packages to Give and Makeup, c/o Clare Forde, Media & PR ltd, Unit 210, Black Bull Yard, 24 -28 Hatton Wall, London, EC1N 8JH.


Thursday, 24 January 2013

Beauty Review: Volturi Twilight Enrapture Lip Gloss


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I am  a lipstick girl through and through. I have always steered away from gloss as I simply cannot bear the sticky feeling it gives upon the lips.
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As the Volturi Twilight Enrapture Lip Gloss* arrived at my door I was very intrigued. Could this convert me?

What struck me instantly was the packaging, it is just beautiful. The gothic black and regal gold lettering, a small, seemingly ancient crest of the Volturi coven upon the front.

This dark and bewitching exterior was met with a colourful damask interior of gold and purple, the brightness kept hidden inside along with the striking magneta coloured gloss, hauntingly named "obsess". 

GlossopenAlthough a bright delight, the gloss  once applied gives a wonderfully subtle colour with a lovely golden glimmer that proves to be just enough "shimmer to bring out your inner sinner".

It left my lips feeling shiny and to my great surprise and delight, not overly sticky! The gloss is laced with vitamin e and I believe that this may contribute to its lovely feel upon the lip.

Obsess also has a deliciously fruity and sweet raspberry scent. Unfortunately, it lacks the taste and my efforts in licking my lips proved rather futile! I think I have been converted to the dark side...

What do you think of this gloss? are you a fan of Twilight?

Stephanie xox



Some lovely purchases while shopping in Nottingham ❤


SimonsCatAfter a long morning covering an employment tribunal in Nottingham, me and my classmates made our way to May Sum (an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet) for a bit of lunch. We stuffed our faces with deliciously unhealthy Chinese and wicked marshmallows with chocolate dipping sauce and waddled back towards the town centre.

I should be on a shopping ban really but could not resist the following (and reasonably priced might I add) items!

DSCF2845I got this adorable Simon's Cat journal from WH Smith for only £2.50! For anyone who has not seen this lovable animation I implore you to head to YouTube now and watch his videos. It will have any cat lover in hysterics.

Secondly, I got this beautiful vintage looking bra and underwear set from Primark. Now usually I would not touch the store as I find the quality to be a bit temperamental  However, these were just so pretty I could not resist! I love the dusky pink and the floral lace overlay. I find the set to be utterly gorgeous and I shall be keeping my eye on Primarks "vintage inspired" range.  For only £10 for the set it was a steal!
PeterRabbitLastly, I found this beautiful breakfast tea filled Beatrix Potter tin. It features my childhood and dearly beloved character Peter Rabbit and other notable characters. It is just so sweet! Once all the delicious tea is drained I can also use it for storing special bits and pieces! I believe this tin was £2.99 and I found it in TK Maxx!

You truly never know where you might find something you truly love!

What do you think of my mini shop? What are your favourite items to buy?
Stephanie xox

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Home and Accessories Review: Bomb Cosmetics 'Passion Fruit Sundae' Tinned Candle


candleclosedAccessories can really make a room at times, they are personal, gorgeous and can really help to create that perfect space.

I adore anything "pretty" and unique. When I came across the tinned candle collection by Bomb Cosmetics I instantly fell in love. I was tempted by the Vintage Velvet Tinned Candle but after a nudge in the right direction chose the Passion Fruit Sundae Tinned Candle*.

Oh gosh was this the perfect choice! This is one of Bomb Cosmetics most popular products and I can see why. Firstly, the packaging is just beautiful. A golden tin with regal looking purple covering and gold letters stating this candle to be "easy like a Sunday morning". I can see why, the smell just makes you feel so relaxed!

candleopenIt is a very sweet citrus smell, a perfect combination of the two, the passion fruit fragrance is strong and other notes include peach, mango and satsuma. Talk about a fruity treat eh! Bomb Cosmetics themselves say: "We pride ourselves on making our product not only smell and feel wonderful on your skin, but it also must look beautiful too!" The candle within features a gorgeous bright yellow colour with the addition of four pretty orange hearts, just lovely upon a bedside table

Did I mention that all the products made by Bomb Cosmetics are all handmade on the premises, as natural as possible and packed full of love essential oils? The Passion Fruit Sundae candle is graced with the addition of pure orange and mandarin essential oils and has an approximate burn time of around 35 hours.

What do you think of Bomb Cosmetics tinned candles? What is your favourite fragrance of candle? 

Stephanie xox

Monday, 21 January 2013

Food Review: Cybercandy Lucky Charms


Here we probably have one of the most famous cereals to grace the Earth and an American breakfast favourite among children and adults alike. If you say you have not heard of Lucky Charms, I dare say your lying!

This delicious cereal contains frosted whole grain oat and numerous pastel coloured "lucky charm" shaped marshmallow pieces. A great sugary delight, Lucky Charms remind me of ridiculously sugar-coated Cheerios savaged by the sweet taste of marshmallow.

This "magically delicious" cereal arrived at my door from Cybercandy in a very generous 49g sized portion pack*, much bigger than the British standard of 30g, don't you just love imported products?

LCCONTENTOnce opened I literally could not resist, the smell is just so enticing  and before I realised I had eaten half of the packet without a dash of milk. They are literally that good! The marshmallows prove to be foamy with a delicious crunch and I sat there for some time just letting them melt in my mouth! The pack is riddled with them and they account for about 25% of the product!

The cereal contains twelve essential vitamins and minerals and proves a good source of both calcium and iron. Not bad for something so tasty eh! Who doesn't love the idea of sweets in their cereal?

Be careful though, it is despairingly protected by its Irish inspired green and ginger mascot, Lucky the Leprechaun, "They're after me lucky charms!" he cries.

Have you tried Lucky Charms yet? What do you think of the handy portion sized pack?

Stephanie xox

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Beauty Review: Time Bomb Co, Operation: Glam Lockstar Shampoo and Conditioner


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With a name like the above you would expect these products to be rather fabulous. I tried out both the Operation: Glam Lockstar Shampoo and Conditioner*.

My hair is a tangled mess and finding products to tame it is a miracle in itself. I headed to my shower on a chilly night, ready to start my mission against my mane, the Operation: Glam Lockstar duo in hand. The shampoo was a lovely pearl white shade, both thick in consistency and texture, almost like a hair mask. It left my hair feeling wonderfully sleek as I rinsed it out. The conditioner, also white, proved to surprisingly be even thicker! However, I did not feel that same immediate smoothness on my hair as I lathered it in.

Once rinsed,  it felt fabulous. Both products left my hair feeling amazingly soft and tangle free. It felt better before I even began the tedious process of blow drying, something I desperately try to avoid as heat damage does not aid tangles! I loved the fruity fragrance of the shampoo, while the hard-working conditioner boasted a more bland yet delightfully fresh scent.

I previously done a hairspray review for Tomb Bomb Co (when they were Lulu's Place) so you can check it out here on how to finish that wonderfully clean and prepped hair!

What do you think of these two? Do you do anything special in your hair care routine?

Stephanie xox



Monday, 14 January 2013

My love for bags and accessories ♥


What girl does not adore their bags and accessories? Delving through the beautiful collection of Mybag.com  I was met by an abundance of beautiful colours and designs. It is safe to say I got a little click happy, desperately attempting to narrow down my huge wish list of possible purchases.

Here is a few items I love:

GeeksCosmeticKate Garey ‘Geeks’ Cosmetics Bag
Everything about this cosmetics bag is just adorable. The bright and bold stripes of orange and white, the embroidered and school-child like font and stitched heart, and our nerdy duo unable to fathom a response behind their oversized black frames. This cute bag is made from recycled cotton canvas and features a pretty floral inner. To put it quite plainly this zip pocket cosmetic bag is just fabulously unique and something I am just going to have invest in, goodbye to my plain black Prada!


LuluFramesLulu Guinness Dita Quilted Arm Retro Sunglasses (Purple Frame/Grey Lens)
These oversized purple frame glasses from Lulu Guinness are just stunning. These vintage inspired glasses feature quilted temples with embellised diamate and grey gradient lenses. Perfect for keeping those peepers looking fabulous and protected in the sun.

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Grafea Pink Lemonade Medium Leather Rucksack (Pink)
I can not resist a sturdy bag, especially one so pretty and spacious! Just take a look at my very similar satchel here. I love the bright and girly pastel pink, the cute statement this old-school chic rucksack makes. This classic satchel-inspired bag from Grafea is made from beautiful full-grain leather and comes with enough buckled pockets to carry everything you'll ever need!






This beautiful gold and turquoise bangle just screams "buy me for a little black dress affair". I am a lover of quality jewellery and rarely buy into costume jewellery unless it is something very special. As green is my all time favourite colour this is just a perfect item for me! I love the unconventional teardrop shape too, just makes it look so much more elegant!



10646028-1352992047-876438 French Connection Winter Flash Pony Club Leather Clutch
You can never have enough black clutches in your closet. They are always needed for an evening out and black goes with everything! This bold and luxurious clutch from French Connection features a soft calf skin upper and fold over flap closing with a silver fastening, making the bag a unique statement piece and fabulous!
 Have you purchased anything from Mybag.com? What do you think of these gorgeous bags and accessories?

Stephanie xox








Sunday, 6 January 2013

Afternoon Tea at Patisserie Valerie, Leicester


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a071a37c581911e2b17a22000a1fa432_6This weekend I came back to university from my Christmas break. My boyfriends family gave me a lift to Leicester and I hopped on the train back to Nottingham luggage galore from there. It was so quick travelling in the car and we got there in less than an hour and a half! I really must learn to drive...

I helped James to unpack his things in his university accommodation and we all went in to the town centre for some food.

Browsing around the Highcross shopping centre we stopped at Patisserie Valerie and its tempting cake display. It was very busy and took a while for the five of us to be seated. After salivating over the menu, we decided on two afternoon teas consisting of four hot beverages and a scone and a half each (with a jug of clotted cream, butter and jams and honey included of course!) and a strawberry gateau for James' sister.
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My gosh was it the best scone I had ever tasted! Patisserie Valerie just know what they are doing with their cakes. The tea was lovely too, loose leaves that caused me to feel slightly dizzy with the intensity of taste (me having three cups probably aided this). It was all just delicious and I left feeling very full, satisfied and a little ill from all  the moreish clotted cream.

I shall definitely be treating myself to it all again in the near future!

What is your favourite place to have afternoon tea? 

Stephanie xox

Friday, 4 January 2013

Beauty Review: Freyaluna Try Me Selection Box


Freyaluna from Love Yourself Naturally is a wonderful natural skincare product range that really compliments instead of overloading the skin.

TRYMEBOXI was thrilled when a Freyaluna Try Me Selection Box* arrived at my door. The box contains eight sample products from the range, five of which you select from the websites huge variety, and three which are carefully chosen for you. What I love about Freyaluna is the process you take in selecting your box. Founder Sami, took my through all the products, asking me a variety of questions about my skin type so she could help me put together a tailor-made selection, both perfect and extremely beneficial for me.

The products are lovely, evidently natural with a real quality to them. The packaging is just adorable also. With bright prints and sturdy containers. I particularly love the screw top metal tins, perfect for all those lovely fresh natural ingredients. I received the following in my box:

Shed Your Skin Facial Moisturiser
This is a lovely thick cream meaning you only need a little! It leaves your face feeling fabulously hydrated. It is not heavily fragranced so also gives the skin a real fresh feel. The product feels quite oily so is brilliant at combating that winter damaged skin, just in time to get you looking beautiful for spring!

Skin Support Cleansing Cream
FREYLUNA PRODUCTSThis floral cream is packed full of the scents of lavender, chamomile and geranium. The white cream is light and goes on smoothly, leaving your skin wonderfully soft and prepped for the day ahead!

Lavender Lip, Face and Body Balm
Now this just smells wonderful. It has a lovely strong smell of lavender and proves to be very nourishing. I have been using this upon my lips a lot recently and it has really aided against dryness and proves to be a very unique fragranced balm too!

Coco- & Mango Body Butter
This is just fabulous, it really has a buttery texture and leaves the skin feeling amazing. Like the Shed Your Skin Facial Moisturiser it proves to be quite oily. However, this is no flaw! You simply use less product (saving resources and money) and it really treat the skin! Its ingredients include shea and mango butter, coconut, olive and a gorgeous selection of citrus oils! You'll certainly get noticed while using this body butter, it smells great!

Skin Support Facial Tonic
Containing the same beautiful fragrances of lavender, chamomile and geranium as the Skin Support Cleansing Cream this tonic leaves the skin feeling refreshed. It is really light upon the face and gives it a brilliant clean tingle to wake you up in the morning! (or night for you late risers!). It balances the skins natural oils aiding you to a fantastic complexion everyday!

Rose & Geranium Handmade Herbal Soap
This handmade herbal soap is perfect for all skin times and will leave you smelling as great as you are clean! The rose scent is particularly noticeable and leaves its lovely soft scent upon the hands.

Smile! Bath & Body Oil
This scented oil is perfect for soothing aching skin or adding to a steaming bath after a hard day. Smelling of sweet almond, coconut and citrus oils, it works hard to get that Smile! back on your face and to leave the skin feeling cleansed.

Tea Tree & Peppermint Pumice Foot Scrub
I can never resist the smell of tea tree or mint. The peppermint is very sweet, leaving your feet smelling great as the raw sugar and natural pumice grit really works to exfoliate them. The anti-septic tea tree oil also ensures thoroughly cleansed and refreshed feet as it nourishes. Get walking ladies!

What do you think of Freyaluna? Do you like to use natural products?
Stephanie xox

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

New Years and my Resolutions ♥


New Years eve was just fabulous! After a long coach journey and way to many badly flavoured fruity shots, me and James arrived in London from Oxford. We had a quick look around before jumping on the tube to Leicester Square before walking through to China Town.

We started the night by eating  like kings in the Kowloon restaurant. The food was not particularly fancy and was a buffet style affair, but oh god did it taste good! Our bellies full, we waddled towards the the Embankment amidst half of London.

It was all very rushed and packed, being pushed to and fro like a load of squished cattle. The atmosphere was truly mental and at times rather out of control. I managed to get drenched by drinks twice and had to assist in breaking up the same number of fights. Eek!

All of the stress was worth it as the London sky lit up with an array of beautifully colourful fireworks! All the grumpiness of the cramped crowd dispersed for ten to fifteen minutes of brightly shaped bangs. Plus I got a midnight kiss from the most beautiful man I know hehe!

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We all say it, 'New Year, new me'. This time I am adamant.

My resolutions are as follows:

Work hard
I want a first in my first year of university. I know people go on and on about how it does not count toward your final marks but it is really important for me to feel I am on the right track. I also want to update Thoughts of a Wannabe Journalist a lot more, with lots of interesting new content. If there is anything you would like to see more of, or anything new, then please do let me know!

Take long walks, get out more
Moving to Nottingham for university I find that I have not been walking as much. I want to really explore my new city and find some lovely places to relax and study in for when it gets warmer. It is going to be my home away from home for the next three years after all! Plus the exercise will be good for me!

Visit beautiful places - arrange a life changing trip
I really want to see more of the world and go to places others would not necessarily rush to. I am desperate to visit Columbia, I have seen so many beautiful things there that I want to see. It is all just a matter of saving up now!

Start a small online business
Keep your eyes peeled for this one. I am starting a new venture and shall be releasing all the details in the next few weeks. It is all very exciting!

Revise!
I need to get the grades so I plan to revise a lot more and for set hours. Hopefully a proper structure will have me on the right track to getting the grades I desire.

Get at least 8 hours sleep each night
This is a must! In my first term at university I barely slept. I put it down to stress, so hopefully all will be well now and I can catch up on all that well needed rest!

Be happy :)
I have been so stressed lately and have found it hard to adjust to all the changes. The Christmas break has given me a lot of time to reflect on what is important in life and I am going to fight for it!

Start saving, get a job
I need to save for all my planned adventures and to get by as a poor student. Here is to hoping I can find a nice part time job in 2013!

What are your New Years resolutions? Did you enjoy New Years Eve?

Stephanie xox