Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Reflecting on 2015

2015 hasn't been one of my best years. In fact, overall it's been far from a good year as the passing of my beloved grandad earlier this month has overshadowed the small moments of happiness that I've experienced over the year. I suppose grief can make you feel like that, along with many other unpleasant feelings which aren't always describable. Writing this post is really hard and I've been putting it off for a while but it's something that I feel I need to do.

If I had the opportunity to rewind about 14 months, before my grandad got ill and also before I was diagnosed with blood clots on the brain, I would but only if I knew then what I do now. Maybe then I could've saved him and myself before it was too late. I don't like to talk to those close to me about how I'm feeling as it upsets me and the grief hits me like a giant wave. As I struggle to keep afloat, the pain feels as raw as it did when I first found out that his illness was terminal back in the summer. He was only 76 so I thought he would still be around for another few years, making me laugh and putting up with me. I hoped he would still be here for when I finally get my sh*t together and start behaving like the adult that I'm meant to be (whenever that may happen) but sadly, life never seems to turn out the way we hoped. (for people like me anyway)

This year was the hardest year of my life but also one of the most slow paced and relaxing. I've spent the best part of the second half of the year out of work which has allowed me to spend much treasured time with family and close friends. It's reinforced ideas about what sort of job and life I want in the future which I hope to put into practice in 2016. I have a feeling that next year will be a turning point in my life and there will be quite a lot of change. I should be moving out of London sometime before the summer with my family which will begin a new chapter. I would love to be taking a step towards being a grown up and moving in with my boyfriend but sadly that isn't currently possible financially. I can only hope that it will be within the next couple of years. I also plan to look for a permanent job when I move which will hopefully be closer to home and not too stressful. Recent events have reinforced my view that a work life balance is incredibly important so I don't want a career that takes over my life. I plan to carry on blogging as it's a good creative outlet and I enjoy being part of a community. I don't fit in everywhere but amongst my fellow bloggers I feel accepted and at home

I hope that most of you have had a much better year than I have and I wish you all the best for 2016

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Walking in Winter Wonderland

I haven't been blogging recently as I've not been in the right frame of mind. Sadly, my grandad passed away on Monday after battling aggressive cancer. He was only diagnosed in July so the latter part of this year has been awful. I've always loved Christmas but the past two years have been tough with my illness then my granddad's passing, it's enough to make even the most avid Christmas fans turn Scrooge but I'm trying my best to enjoy moments of Christmas spirit (no, I don't mean Baileys and the like)

A trip to Winter Wonderland for Ldn Meet up's Secret Santa with some lovely fellow bloggers helped lift my mood and I was mesmerised by the lights and festive atmosphere. Lauren did a great job of organising the event, I got to meet some really nice people and loved my secret santa present which was a set of Yankee candles. I still don't know who they were from but I'm very thankful!

My camera was on the verge of running out of battery so the best pictures were taken on my phone and posted on Instagram (view these under @ChelseyPrentice)

If there is another event at Winter Wonderland next year I definitely plan to go!

Monday, 7 December 2015

5th Blog Birthday Giveaway

On 14th December my little blog turns 5 and to celebrate I've decided to do my first ever giveaway for my readers. (Sorry it's taken so long!) All you need to do to enter is follow me on Twitter (@ChelseyPrentice) and send me a tweet or DM with the following hash tag; Fashionistaonabudgetgiveaway. If you're not on Twitter please comment below with your name and email address. I've put together a small bundle of beauty goodies, jewellery and festive treats that you can win below

The giveaway includes nail polish, self tan, lipstick, shower gel, a Christmas yankee candle, hand cream, perfume samples, ear cuffs and more. Names will be written on a piece of paper, folded so I can't see the name and pulled from a tin. The closing date is 11pm on Sunday 20th December 

These are my two favourite, festive themed items from the giveaway with a handmade business card. After all, it isn't christmas without sparkly nails and a cinnamon scented candle! The winner will be announced on 14th December so best of luck!

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Fifty Shades of Beige

The tonal look can definitely make low priced pieces look more luxurious and high end, especially when mixing a variety of fabrics. Using a silky brown Zara pussybow shirt that I've had for years as a starting point, I built a look using toffee tones. My camel coat was £30 from New Look, (definitely my bargain of the season!) the trousers were around £25 from asos and the boots were £68 from Office.

My bag is a Longchamp classic that I've owned for a few years. I think this palette works particularly well on golden blondes but it would also suit brunettes with sun kissed skin and those with bronze tones in their hair. The trousers are so comfortable and would be great for work with a pair of brogues or loafers

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Ready to Roka

For a couple of years I've wanted to try Roka, an upmarket Japanese restaurant in Canary Wharf but was too busy wasting my money on overpriced cocktails in ridiculously busy bars. Over the past month or so my head pains have been pretty bad so I'm trying not to overdo things and eating out is the perfect way for me to get out of the house, get dressed up, socialise but is also chilled enough not to affect my health. My friend Sarah also wanted to try it so we booked a table for last Thursday to see what all the fuss was about. It definitely lives up to its good reputation as the food was amazing and I really enjoyed the relaxing atmosphere. I don't like cold or raw food (I know, I'm weird but that's another story) so we chose a selection of hot dishes including baby back ribs, vegetable tempura, lamb cutlets, steamed rice and chicken skewers. The ribs were my favourite but I enjoyed all of the dishes

We also enjoyed a champagne cocktail each (more than one makes my head worse!) and I chose an apple, pear and cinnamon bellini which was quite festive

The desserts were weird but wonderful! I went for the concoction on the right which was banana ice cream with crunchy chocolate pieces and a roll of rice paper wrapped ice cream which tasted like yoghurt. I was very impressed and would definitely go back to Roka

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Candle Crazy

Since I fell ill last December, I've enjoyed a much slower pace of life which involves less nights out and more time at home. During this period my obsession with scented candles has grown! Now that the winter nights are drawing in I love nothing more than burning a (preferably festive scented) candle and enjoying the cosy atmosphere and subtle scent that it creates. My favourites include Yankee Candle, Diptique, Jo Malone and Pecksniff's and I prefer the votive or jar candles rather than wax tarts as the smell is more subtle and no tea lights are needed

Pecksniff's Pine and Clove votives from TK Maxx

Some of my Yankee Candle festive votives which I plan to use up between now and December. Pine and cinnamon scents are my favourites

Diptyque and Jo Malone candles are a special treat

The only problem with the sweet scented versions is that they make me want to eat sweet or cakes, especially any that smell like vanilla or cinnamon! Which candles are your favourites?

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Jump On It

Jumpsuits have always been one of my favourite items to wear on a night out. Despite the palava every time you need to use the toilet, I really like them because they are usually smart, versatile and comfortable. I own about 3 jumpsuits but have had others in the past which I sadly no longer have. (I'm still mourning a black velvet asos jumpsuit which I sold a couple of years ago as it didn't fit at the time) On friday night I went for a few drinks in the city to celebrate my birthday which was the perfect opportunity to wear a navy sparkly lurex jumpsuit which I bought in New Look last winter but hadn't had the chance to wear as I fell ill last December. (Read more about this here)

My friend Eleni wore a similar jumpsuit in black but obviously she looks much better in it than I did! I really must invest in a pair of spanx!

I think next time I wear it I'll wear a long jacket to hide my stomach and thigh area as I don't really like clothes that are too fitted to my body. It could also be dressed down with a roll neck top underneath and a pair of ankle boots

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Birthday Boisdale

It was my birthday last week and I don't get out much so I wanted to celebrate in style. I've been thinking about trying Boisdale, a Scottish restaurant over Canary Wharf for a while so it was the perfect opportunity. I wanted to match my outfit to the red decor and wear something with plenty of room for my post dinner belly so my red tunic dress from Topshop was ideal. Popping a Lurex Topshop top on underneath prevented me from flashing any flesh and scaring the waiters! My favourite things about Boisdale were the food, view and atmosphere, the tartan carpet and the fairground mirrors near the entrance which gave us a laugh

My bag is a trusty M&S sale bargain and I got my patent boots in the Zara sale early this year. I was having a bad hair day (as usual) so went for quite bold smokey eyes which look much better in my selfies! (See my Instagram; @ChelseyPrentice)

For my main course I went for the poached Halibut which was delicious and came with prawns, greens and champagne & chive sauce. It makes my mouth water thinking about it!

The weekend after my birthday was a quiet affair but I plan to have a few birthday drinks in the city on Friday night which I'm looking forward to as I can't remember my last non restaurant night out.

Friday, 6 November 2015

Gothic Glam

Until this year I hadn't been out on Halloween since 2009 so when my friend invited me out for a meal for her brother's birthday I had to accept. The gothic trend is one of my favourites this season so I went all out with Goth inspired make-up and accessories, lace and PVC. My friends wore halloween face paint so we did look slightly out of place in a casual Turkish restaurant on Roman Road! The food was delicious though and we had a fun night, although I was home by 10.30 as I get so tired.

 My lace shirt with necktie is from Primark, the asos skirt is two years old and the tights and accessories are all a few years old too. The shoe boots are from River Island. I love it when trends come back around and I can dig out clothes or jewellery that I've had for years.

Saturday, 31 October 2015

A Nod To Halloween

I'm quite partial to a theme so once Halloween comes around I often try to sneak some pumpkin orange hues into my outfits and make-up. When I saw this First & I dress in the asos sale for £13 I had to snap it up. It's so comfortable and soft but as it's a body con fit I went up a size so it doesn't cling to my lumps and bumps. The orange and burgundy stripes are very autumnal so I continued the theme with tights from Primark and loafers from Office. When I left the house I threw on a camel coat and my outfit was complete

My Cullen-esque pale skin in these pictures make me realise that after Halloween I need to crack open a bottle of fake tan! My plans for tonight involve going for a meal with friends so quite a tame Halloween for me but I do plan to rock a Gothic look. I hope you enjoy tonight however you spend your evening. Happy Halloween!

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Autumnal Hues

I don't get out that much nowadays and spend most of my evenings at home or my boyfriend's house so it's always nice to have evening plans to look forward to. Last night our friends invited us round their house for food and drinks and it was really nice to catch up with everyone. I've been doing work experience for the past two weeks which involved being on my feet all day and was quite physical which means I've been wearing mostly jeggings and trainers so I saw last night as an opportunity to dress less casually. I bought a faux fur gillet from TK Maxx about 3 months ago and wore it for the first time with a polo neck top from Lindex, skirt from River Island and boots from Public Desire (£40)

I'm hoping to get out a bit more around my birthday next month and during the festive period as long as my health continues to improve (fingers crossed!)

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Ascot QIPCO British Champions Day

Yesterday I went to Ascot for the first time with a group of 12 friends. I had a bit of an outfit panic as I only got my ticket two weeks ago and I've been interning for the past week so didn't have much time to find a suitable dress. I did have a Zara dress but when I tried it on the arms and chest were way too tight and I managed to rip it down the back trying to get it off! In the end I decided to wear my See By Chloe dress from TK Maxx as it's classy, loose and comfortable. As it was so chilly I also wore a pink coat from Topshop and a pair of tights with grey suede shoes from next which I struggled to walk in as I'm not used to heels anymore! I felt very underdressed next to my friends in their smart dresses and fascinators.

The day itself wasn't quite what I expected but I enjoyed the excitement of the races despite not winning anything. The downsides for me were the lack of food places but abundance of bars, (I only ate chips all day as I could only find one food kiosk) the crowds and how easy it was to get lost! We all kept losing each other and spent most of the day trying to regroup. I ended up with pains in my head as I didn't eat enough throughout the day so that pretty much ruined the experience for me. The journey there and back was also mostly sitting in traffic so if I was to go again I'd definitely get the train! One thing I will say is that one of the men who worked on the disabled seating area was very helpful and accommodating towards my friend who has a disability which isn't visible. His name was Mick and I would like to thank him for making her feel so comfortable and being understanding. Sadly, some of the race goers were not so sympathetic and a group of young men called my friend a 'lazy c**t' for needing to use the lift as they were unaware of her disability. This really angered me and put me in a bad mood for a few hours. I'm not sure if I would go again but if I did, I would need to be back to full health and take some snacks with me!

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Lush Oxford Street Mini Haul

I've been wanting to visit the Lush store on Oxford Street since it opened but I thought it would be sensible to let the crowds die down a bit before I braved the hustle and bustle of the West End to get there. I finally went at the end of September and boy, was it worth it! If you're a fan of Lush you will feel like a kid in a sweet shop in this three storey cosmetic heaven. They also already have their Halloween and Christmas ranges on sale which I can never resist, even if it is a bit early! The staff are all really friendly, cheery and helpful so I can't wait to go back and replenish my stash once it starts getting low. One regret is not picking up the Yognog bath bomb as I've since smelt the soap which smells good enough to eat

I picked up Peeping Santa bubble bar, Rub Rub Rub shower scrub, Big Bang bubble bar, two bath oil melts, So White bath bomb and Stardust bath bomb but once I'm working I plan to have a proper haul! 

Peeping Santa (£3.95) looks like a cute, festive macaroon and once you've crumbled it into your bath it smells like a subtle strawberry bubblegum. Despite appearances the scent isn't particularly festive which means you can use it from now all the way up until Christmas and beyond. I got two sweet scented baths out of this so that's just under £2 per bath

I love a Lush body scrub and Rub Rub Rub doesn't disappoint. At £8.75 it's on the pricey side but you get quite a lot of product for your money and a little goes a long way. I love the fresh blossom scent and although the exfoliating salts aren't as gritty as those in Ocean Salt they do the job and leave your skin soft, smooth and delicately floral scented

The Big Bang smells like a citrusy soap and half is enough so you can get two baths out of it. At first you see blue, pink and yellow swirling around which is almost like a firework effect then the water turns light blue which is pleasant. I would buy it again as it's revitalising and helps you wake up if you're feeling tired which I often do!

I picked up two bath oil melts as I'd never tried them before and they looked intriguing. I know that the blue one is called Oil on Troubled Waters but my receipt doesn't mention the green one. (it just says oil on troubled waters x2) Anyway, I tried the green one and it smells gorgeous - like crisp apples with a hint of cinnamon so quite festive and autumnal. It also had just the right amount of oil for one quite deep bath. Just make sure that the bath is hot when you first run it to ensure that it melts properly. I will be buying more!

Last but not least, Stardust bath bomb has a comforting, light vanilla scent which reminds me a bit of butter bear. Apparently it releases tiny stars as it fizzes but I didn't notice them at the time! I love the smell though so would use it again

Have you been to Lush Oxford Street yet? What else would you recommend from there?