Me: marmite sandwiches, zombies and imperfections.

Me: marmite sandwiches, zombies and imperfections.

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I am Bronwyn. My closest friends and family call me Bee. I have a little scar next to my eye from standing on a chair in nursery, shouting at the top of my lungs for a marmite sandwich and an undying love for foam bananas. I’m terrified of zombies (despite the fact I know they don’t exist). Having worked in a baby shop and children’s nurseries- I know a ridiculous amount about babies without ever having had one (and for some reason I could list off 15 pushchair brands, but struggle to recall what I learnt last week at Uni). I love cats, but fear them equally- for I find them peculiarly unpredictable creatures. I study history because I enjoyed it and it seemed to close the least doors for me in life. I’m an open book, my emotions are splashed across my face the second I feel them, I’m oversensitive, silly 80% of the time, prone to over-apologising and ultimately imperfect, but not insignificant. I am a people person. I like to please. I am working on accepting that not everyone will like me all of the time- and that’s OK. I have been, and still am, vulnerable at times and have found confidence isn’t borne out of things going right, often confidence grows when, quite frankly, the shit hits the fan.

I am a work in progress. I am enough. I belong. I am me: perfectly imperfect.

Remember you are too. Your best is enough. You belong. You are fiercely loved. You are perfectly imperfect.

Banishing Easter Guilt

Banishing Easter Guilt

Happy Easter and Happy start of April!

This blog post is all about Easter Guilt.

Over the last week I have seen so many articles focussing on how bad Easter eggs are for you. Ranging from calories to how many burpees you would need to do to burn them off… for real?! Though I am not surprised, it is pretty sad to think that Easter (and the opportunity to eat Easter Eggs) comes round once a year, and we are being told not to enjoy it!? These sort of articles just make people feel bad. Unnecessarily. Because sometimes you need a treat. There are so many of us worrying about our health anyway, these articles are just damaging, not only to our idea of a healthy balanced diet, but to self confidence too. So here are my thoughts on eating Easter Eggs at Easter time!

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Having a healthy balanced diet: I treat myself. Otherwise, quite frankly, I’d go loopy. I have tried diets- and they just make me miserable. A healthy balanced diet means I eat good 80% of the time. In the other 20% I make room for Easter Eggs, the odd glass of wine and a meal out if I choose. Depriving yourself is really bad, deprivation simply leads to binging, which leads to unhappiness. AKA, a vicious cycle, and an unhappy you. I do not claim to be a nutritionist, but if you check any out, they are forever disproving myths surrounding diets. Often they prove that a healthy, balanced diet is the way forward. So as I’m sat here, hell yeah I’m eating an Easter Egg!!

But what about my weight? I have never, ever, stepped off of the scales feeling anything but inadequate. For me standing on the scales is the worst possible thing I could do for my mental health. I could be on a real health kick, for weeks- but the minute I step on those scales, I can lose it all. I automatically go from feeling positive about myself and expecting to see a physical difference, to thinking ‘pass me a chocolate bar, this healthy eating has done sod all for me’. Every time I do the same thing. I get upset, I compare myself to others, I wear baggy clothes for a few days (and binge) and then I give myself a pep talk. Because they really are only numbers. They don’t define me, nor my worth, or my health. I have always been heavier than I expect. But I end up assessing my life in general. Do I eat healthily 80% of the time? Yes. Am I active on a daily basis? Yes. Am I in a positive mindset the majority of the time? Yes. I know I am healthy.

One day will not make me gain weight: Have you ever gone to the gym and lost weight after a day? Nope. So this one day of eating an Easter Egg will not make you gain weight. Think of this as a day off. Granted, one day at the gym gets you one step closer to where you want to be, but these moments of indulgence will not have an impact on the long run. Especially not when mixed with a health diet the majority of the time. If you feel bad, go to the gym an extra time this week or squeeze in an extra 15 minutes work out.

Easter Egg Guilt: We live in a world where people are counting calories left, right and centre, there are apps for it, books for it and DVD’s for it. The celebratory seasons are the worst for it, whether it’s Christmas or Easter (the two biggest seasons of enjoyment), we have calorie counts rammed down our throats. When the reality is: I love skittles and wine. Sometimes I don’t ‘deserve’ them, but quite frankly the idea of ‘working for’ these indulgences is ludicrous. It’s two days a year. Real life has to come first sometimes. I am certainly not prepared to start turning down pudding at the Easter roast dinner, or ask everyone not to bother getting me an Easter Egg this year. Life is for enjoying!

What I am trying to say is, future you isn’t going to think ‘I’m really glad I didn’t eat those Pringles on the 28th February’, it’s all about moderation. If you’re working towards a goal, whether that’s a number, a shape or simply a healthier lifestyle- patience is key. Results don’t happen over night. So allow yourself an Easter treat (or multiple), maybe it will give you that extra reason to stay good for the rest of the week, or work that little bit harder in the gym. In my case, I feel like it simply gives me a boost, my enjoyment this weekend will allow me to have a healthier mindset throughout the rest of the week.

We are entitled to enjoy our food. Life is for living and enjoying. Look after your body and treat it sometimes.

Bee xoxo

iDeal of Sweden- Review

iDeal of Sweden- Review

Recently I have collaborated with iDeal of Sweden and tried out one of their phone cases.  It’s safe to say I’m OBSESSED. They have a variety of beautiful designs, from prints to leather.

As a lover of all things green and botanical, I chose the Monstera Jungle Case for my iPhone 7 Plus. The case itself clips on really easily and the detail is beautiful.

These phone cases are the most glam I have ever seen!

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If you fancy a discount you can use the discount code: ‘UK2018’. Happy shopping!!

Bee xoxo

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Here is the reality of trying to take photos with a dog present.
Let’s Not Compare Ourselves To Strangers On Instagram

Let’s Not Compare Ourselves To Strangers On Instagram

This is the picture I uploaded to Instagram following my crappy email from my Dissertation email- the Instagram post that prompted this blog post!

16 million people in the UK experience a mental illness. 3 in 4 mental illnesses start in childhood. 75% of young people with mental health problems are not being treated.  Suicide is the biggest killer of young people in the UK. A study recently showed that more than A THIRD of teenage girls in England suffer from depression and anxiety.

These are some scary figures. Though social media is not the only reason for this, I think it has a huge impact. Our lives are not perfect, but nobody’s is. We’re humans, we all have sadness, worries, family issues, friendship struggles and all the crap that goes in-between. But we don’t publicise it online very often because it’s private, we don’t want people knowing.

Scrolling through your Instagram feed and seeing everyone else’s seemingly magical life can leave you feeling alone in life hurdles. It’s hard not to think everyone else’s life is perfect when you only ever see the best bits, the fun, the laughter, the happiness and the celebration of life. But this isn’t ReALiTy.

We all do it, we show the best bits of our lives. We need to talk more, and by talk I mean honest talkSocial media is never an honest representation of how that person really feels. Ask people how they are doing, even if their lives seem rosey through Instagram. A simple ‘hey, how are you?’ can open an honest conversation about LiFe.

Putting on a ‘brave face’ is so easy when you’re sat behind a phone, or a laptop, uploading to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. But let’s be ReAl, we all know its a bunch of fibs. Life is beautifully imperfect. You have to have the bad days, for the good days to shine so bright.

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Yesterday, I posted on my Instagram about an email I got from my Dissertation Tutor, that quite frankly was a pile of poop (if you want to check it out, click here). Again, something I haven’t really discussed on Instagram, Twitter or my Blog is the University Strikes. Something that has affected me in a HUGE way. But I haven’t spoken about it much as it’s one of the naffest parts of my life right now. But yesterday, as I sat at my desk, opened up my emails and was told that my Dissertation (that I have practically written over the last 4 weeks) included themes my Tutor deemed ‘irrelevant’- I decided I would talk about it (following a melt down and a pep talk from my boyfriend). Due to the strikes, I have had little to no contact with her, so cracked on with my work, thinking all was good. I thought my dissertation plan had been approved- as I hadn’t received feedback- and I would make the most of the 4 weeks of strikes. Anyway, I decided to email back saying that I had already written these sections and I believed they were relevant. I even told her why, in depth. So I’m awaiting a response and hopefully I will have convinced her.

This totally HoNeSt Instagram post, written with puffy eyes and butterflies, gave me some of the best feedback I have had to date. People were so sweet, giving me encouragement and saying they had experienced similar things. It made me realise, people identify a whole lot more to the ReALiTiEs. These realities of life include the down days.

So if you’re feeling low and you feel comfortable sharing it on social media, you could touch someone else who is struggling. We all fight battles, some of which nobody knows about. Some days are a little bit foggy and we have to realise its OK not to be OK all of the time.

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YoU aRe NoT aLoNe.

Bee xoxo

Why University Boosted My Confidence

Why University Boosted My Confidence

Forever a home bird, I found moving out and going to University difficult. Despite people telling me about this incredible new chapter/ season/ adventure I was about to experience, I honestly wasn’t overly buzzed to go. Which sounds dreadful, because most people I speak to are so excited for University. That’s not to say I wasn’t looking forward to it entirely, I just wasn’t as ecstatic as my friends. To me, it just felt like I was leaving behind my family and my boyfriend and stepping completely out of my comfort zone. It forced me to do things independently and my confidence in myself grew.

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I became comfortable in my own company.

It’s funny how our minds embellish things, when I think back to my parents dropping me off at my halls of residence, I picture me stood in my room, surrounded by my stuff- simply wanting to cry. Which is actually super sad. I remember forcing myself to walk into the kitchen, introduce myself and make a cup of tea. I wasn’t to know, at that point, that my flat and I weren’t going to ‘click’ (What People Don’t Tell You About University). I think this is a general misconception. I honestly don’t know anyone who has got along with everyone in their flat. But I know pleeeenty of people who met friends on their course and through societies. Anyway, I ended up spending a lot of time on my own- and most of the time I liked it. I got into YouTube (a lot) and I started blogging. I skyped my boyfriend and family once a day too. I was comfortable in my own company. Though, I did find it hard to adapt to. Now the idea of being alone doesn’t intimidate me, but I know for sure that I prefer being with other people.

I could start a conversation with anyone.

I decided that as my flat and I didn’t ‘click’ I would make new friends. I mastered the art of walking up to people I barely knew and inviting them to coffee. Maybe I did come across loopy. But I felt lonely. I liked being on my own for short periods of time, but I needed to socialise. Otherwise I would have gone crazy. I had recently watched ‘We Bought A Zoo’ and one of the characters said that all you need is 10 seconds of courage. And that’s how I justified it. Because once I’d said ‘do you fancy going for a coffee?’ it was out there and I couldn’t take it back, no matter how silly I felt. I went on quite a few coffee trips, meals out and started being invited to social events outside my flat. So it worked and it boosted my confidence! One of the things that bothered me most was that I worried I was the problem. This proved that I wasn’t.

I realised I was OK.

That was one of the biggest, and most important lessons  University taught me. I had struggled at school and had quite low confidence. College was good for me in that sense, but I became far more confident at University. I ended up thinking that if I smiled, waved or spoke to someone and they didn’t do it back it was their problem, not mine. What’s the worst that could happen when you wave at someone and they don’t wave back? You look overly friendly? I mean over friendly has never offended me.

I was confident in my own decisions.

I didn’t particularly enjoy my Freshers, I had a rather unfortunate experience on my first Freshers event, and it really affected me. I felt quite uncomfortable on nights out and I realised pretty quickly I wasn’t going to be peer pressured into anything I didn’t want to do. This was something I felt really strongly about. I did, and still do, only go out if I have my ‘wingman’ (or woman!) with me. I’ve never felt entirely comfortable with clubbing, it’s just something I get quite anxious about- and my solution was surrounding myself in people I trust. People I know wouldn’t leave me alone in a club, feeling vulnerable. This confidence through making decisions for myself made me far more self confident. I socialised with who I wanted and when. Even now, I try really hard not to give into peer pressure.

 

University hasn’t been the easiest journey for me, but it taught me a lot about myself and what I want out of life. I would love to hear if you learnt any life lessons at University, had a bad experience or feel like an experience has shaped you as a person.

 

Dot To Dot- Wish List

Dot To Dot- Wish List

I am loving all things dots at the moment and if I had more money I would certainly be wearing more of them! So today, I put together a Wish List of dot inspired clothing. I feel like Cruella Deville (minus all things animal cruelty!).

These are all products I would wear. So I’ve picked out things that would suit my body type. I am a HUGE promoter of dressing to suit your figure and to make you comfortable. And quite frankly, not all the ‘on trend’ styles suit me. So being brutally honest: I am 5 ft 3, I have big boobs and chunky thighs. So here is what I have learnt:

  1. Never underestimate the importance of feeling good in your clothes. You wear it with confidence and you will own it.
  2. You got big thighs? Emphasise your waist- oh and floaty trousers are your new best friend. 
  3. Fact: People pay mega bucks for boobs. Though I am the first to complain about their inconvenience, I know they ain’t going nowhere, so why not dress to suit! This, for me, means avoiding baggy tops and wearing comfy, supportive bras (even if they are a little granny-like or you have to pay a little extra!).
  4. Would you talk to your best friend the way you talk to yourself (in terms of body image)? No? Then stop. Be nice to yourself!

I hope you enjoy!

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Mae Woven Pleated Polka Dot Culottes- £20, Boohoo.

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Bethany Polka Dot Wrap Front Jumpsuit- £25, Boohoo.

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Boutique Indira Polka Dot Tulle Full Midi Skirt- £20, Boohoo.

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Polka Dot Wrap Self Tie Waist Frill Cami Dress- £12, Shein.

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ASOS Bardot Long Sleeve Mini Skater Dress in Polka Dot- £28, ASOS.

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Missguided Polka Dot Jumpsuit- £35, Missguided.

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Mango Dot and Floral Midi Skirt- £16, and Floral Tie Crop-Top- £11.50, Mango

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New Look Polka Dot Wide Leg Trousers-£11, New Look

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Club L Polka Dot Wrap Dress With Flute Sleeve- £25, Club L/ASOS

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Black Polka Dot Gathered Sleeve Blazer Set- £35, Missguided

Is it just me that dreams of the day I can see something I like and just click ‘buy now’ without a second thought?

 

Time Management and Positive Mindset Tips

Time Management and Positive Mindset Tips

‘I am not an early bird or a night owl. I am some form of permanently exhausted pigeon’

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Being one step ahead is undeniably a wonderful feeling, but at what cost? I have learnt that at University, it is just as important to be OK, happy and on track. I used to put a lot of effort into being prepared for the week before it had even started, but sometimes you have to admit, being ahead of the game is hard work, and actually not necessary. So here are a few ways that I manage my time and maintain a healthy mindset when going into each new week.

How do you manage your time?

‘time is non-refundable. use it with intention.’

Time management is so central to any degree and maintaining a healthy mindset. I love the phrase ‘work smarter, not harder’ and it’s something I really try to live by. Here are a few ways I manage my time to work smarter.

  • Complete my most important tasks first– if it has to be done, it’s top of the list.
  • Don’t over-commit– I take on enough. Why give yourself an unrealistic target? It’s not worth having mountains of things to do, but never finishing them to a standard you are proud of.
  • Have a good night sleep- boring but true. 7 to 8 hours is best to be productive the next day.
  • Work at your optimum time– I find I work best in the afternoon and when I get the motivation, I grasp it with both hands! Some people work best in the morning. Find out what works for you and plan your time accordingly.
  • Don’t procrastinate– as the Queen of Procrastination I can say this is a tough one. So I usually put my phone far away from my bed. Or even on a high up shelf, which sounds ridiculous, but my lazy butt won’t be able to justify reaching up to get it off of the shelf when I know I should be doing something else.
  • Give your tasks a time limit– it’s tough but more time efficient. For example, I can have hundreds of pages to read for pre-reading, but if I have a lot of other tasks needing to be completed, then I will allocate myself 2 hours
  • Leave a buffer time between tasks– I usually add 30% of the time I expected the task to take. This way if you run over, it’s OK and you have factored it in.
  • Think of each task as an individual one- looking at a long list of ‘to-do’s’ is enough to stress anyone out. So plan what you need to do to complete your tasks and focus on only one at a time. I even get rid of all my other tabs, so I can fully focus on the task at hand.
  • Exercise and eat healthily- I am a lover of chocolate and an advocate of treating yourself when the going gets tough. But, eating a healthy, balanced diet is key. Plus the gym is a great outlet.
  • Make weekends actual breaks– granted we all have work that runs into the weekend, but take some time off for yourself.
  • Create an organised system that works for you– I like to print of a calendar at the beginning of term and fill in all my deadlines and social events I would like to attend. Seeing it in this format makes everything look a lot less daunting.

‘the key is not to prioritise what’s on your schedule but to schedule your priorities’

How do you maintain your mental health?

Maintaining a healthy can be hard, especially when you have deadlines coming out your ears- so here are a few way’s that I rationalise my ‘to-do’s’ and maintain a healthy mindset.

  • Keep perspective- everyone has those days where things just go wrong. But tomorrow is a new day. A new start.
  • I write a list or a mindmap of everything on my mind, right before bed. It’s quite therapeutic, I pour out all my worries, concerns and to-do’s and go to bed with the knowledge I’ll pick up where I left off in the morning. You can even have a chuckle with yourself when you think ‘future me can deal with that’.
  • Value yourself- a friend said to me that you should be your own best friend. Like the phrase ‘treat others the way you would like to be treated’ but in reverse. Treat yourself the way you treat others. Value yourself and avoid self-criticism. Make time for hobbies and the things you enjoy the most.
  • Do not compare yourself to others– you’re doing your best and that’s all that matters.
  • Take care of your body- eat a healthy diet, treat yourself occasionally, drink lots of water and avoid the consumption of things that aren’t going to benefit your body, such as cigarettes.
  • Find something that makes you happy. For me it’s chocolate. Some may say comfort eating is bad, but when you’ve got deadlines and need a boost, or even have had a bad day… treat yo self.
  • Surround yourself with good people- positive vibes are so important to maintaining a healthy mindset. People generally feel better with a bigger support network.
  • Control the controllables. Change what you can and don’t worry about the rest.

    ‘surround yourself with people who see your value and remind you of it’

Top Ten Beauty Hacks

Top Ten Beauty Hacks

Hello everybody!

Today I am talking about my top ten beauty hacks that I use! I hope you enjoy!

1) Fixing smudged nail varnish

There is nothing worse than doing your nails and then catching them on something, putting a mighty finger print on it or fluff getting stuck on them. So I figured out this trick a few years ago and have been doing it ever since. When the nail varnish is tacky, but no longer wet, you can (and this is going to sound super weird) lick the nail varnish. You can flatten and smooth out any marks and nobody would even know you smudged your nails. Top tip: make sure it’s not still wet though, because that just tastes gross.

2) Having that big eye look.

Use a white eye-liner on your waterline to give your eyes a pop.

3) Keeping your lips healthy and looking pumped. 

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I use the Carmex Lipbalm before I use any lipstick or lip gloss- it plumps up your lips and they never dry out. This works with matte lipsticks aswell.

4) Getting the perfect lip line. 

I intentionally brush the remnants of foundation from my brush over my lips, this means that when I apply my lipliner and lip stick I have a lighter base tone. This also helps because I always find that the skin around my lips can look a little pinker than other areas on my face.

5) When you buy the wrong shade foundation

I am the queen of mixing foudations. Sometimes it’s simply because I’m stingy, and other times it’s because I like the qualities of both foundations. If I want a full coverage look, but I perhaps haven’t tanned for a while, I will add a lighter shade of a different brand of foundation to the darker, full coverage one. This way I get the full coverage, but avoid the big orange line that no girl wants! This also works with foundations that you buy after holiday, when you’re that shade darker.

I personally use Rimmel Lasting Finish Foundation in the shade True Ivory (which was perfect after my holiday and is a total coverage foundations) and combine it with my L’Oreal Paris Colour Match Foundation in the shade 1N (which is more accurate now!).

6) Soap and Glory Wonderbronze Shimmer Brick

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This is one of the best products I have ever got. If I’m in a rush, I’ll use it as a bronzer, an eye shadow and will pick out the lighter tones (with a different brush) and use it for highlight as well. It also gives a lovely sun-tint that I always feel I’m lacking in the colder seasons. It’s a constant in my handbag for those moments I want to touch up my makeup!

7) Find that perfect lip colour- Tanya Burr, Pink Cocoa

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I searched for ages trying to find a lip stick that was just the right shade. I wanted one that I didn’t need to line my lips with and was a shade darker than my natural lip colour. This, for me, is Tanya Burr’s: Pink Cocoa, it’s so perfect and I can whack it out when I’m out and about to give my lips a little more colour but still look natural.

8) Give yourself a healing foot treatment while you sleep

Sometimes it’s nice to pamper yourself, but feet never seem to be at the top of my ‘pamper yo-self’ routine. I like to cover my feet in a thick moisturiser and go to bed with socks on- they feel like heaven the next day!

9) Spots vs. tooth paste/ sudocrem

If ever I am out at a friends and haven’t brought over my night time face routine with me (or even if I am super tired) I use tooth paste or sudocrem. Stupid though I may look, my spot’s are not going to be as aggravated the next day!

10) Run out of dry shampoo? Baby powder. 

I am blond, so maybe it works better on lighter hair, but this trick is legit! It works and lets face it, baby powder smells nice too. Double bonus.

These tricks are all ones that I use myself! I hope they are helpful!

Bee xoxox

 

NOT HAVING A PLAN (& BEING OK WITH IT)

NOT HAVING A PLAN (& BEING OK WITH IT)

Hello everybody!

I am in my final year of my degree and I have no idea where I will be in 5 years time. And I am learning to embrace this.

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Here are the my thoughts:

UNTIL NOW MY LIFE HAS BEEN METICULOUSLY PLANNED

Since the age of four, there has been an obvious ‘next step’. In Britain you move from  Reception, to Year One. Primary school to Secondary school. Secondary school to College. Even University can seem ‘expected’ of teenagers today.

The question: “Where will I be in 5 years?” is one that can be quite daunting. It almost requires commitment. To a lifestyle, a career, a destination or specific people. When, in actual fact, you don’t need to commit to anything.

KNOWING ALL THE ANSWERS- WHERE’S THE FUN IN  THAT?

“What are your plans after Uni?” or “What are you going to do with your degree?” are two questions Graduates are frequently asked. And frequently don’t know the answer to.

But, why is it so important to know the answer?

  1. Fear of disappointment. Nobody wants to be a ‘flop’. But question what your idea of ‘success’ is. For me, success is to be happy.
  2. Money. Spending over £30,000 on University education is far too much money to ‘throw away’. There is a lot of pressure to make sure you don’t ‘waste’ your degree.

There is almost a sense of sophistication in having a plan, but remember to do what YOU want to do.

5 YEARS FROM NOW

Where you will be in five years is just an estimated guess. People grow. People change. And you will continue to.

Embrace this, who knows how many adventures and successes the next five years will hold. Dream big.

Isn’t part of the fun NOT knowing?

MY FUTURE

I hope to be a better version of myself. To be happy in my career. To be a strong woman. To be well traveled, with piles of memories to go with it. I want to be genuinely satisfied with my life. I like the idea of constantly setting new goals, overcoming obstacles and grasping every opportunity.

 

It’s actually a wonderful feeling- a sort of freedom. You could be a number of things. The world is quite literally your oyster.

Bee xoxo

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In love with Ineffabless!

In love with Ineffabless!

Hi everybody!

Today’s blog is a little different, it’s about a piece of jewelry I absolutely LOVE.

I am 20, going on 21, so I have a year full of friends BIG birthdays coming up and finding a present that can stay with people for a long time is really important to me. This is where Ineffabless comes in!

A few weeks ago Ineffabless approached me to try out their jewelry. I’ve never had this before and so was – as you can imagine- super excited! I went onto their webpage and was overwhelmed with the choice they have. You can choose from rings, necklaces, bracelets, bangles and can even personalise them. How perfect is that for a present for a loved one?

Oh and the price is ridiculously affordable. It’s quality jewelry- for less.

I used to work in Ernest Jones and while it was quiet (which was a lot of the time!) I would pick out which pieces of jewelry I would choose for myself. But one of the things I noticed were that the styles were quite mature. Ineffabless offers really up to date, statement pieces of jewelry. The sort of statement pieces that define an outfit.

I chose these earrings:

I have seen this style earring in Accessories and Pandora, but not for the same price or quality. I had the hardest time choosing!

If you have a special birthday coming up- create your own ‘wish list’. It’s easy and then you can choose what you get!

If it’s your Mums/ Sisters/ Aunts/ friends birthday- definitely look here before any other jewelers. Or even if you fancy a pick me up- just do it!

Add a little sparkle to your life!

You can visit the Ineffabless website at:

http://www.ineffabless.com

http://www.ineffabless.co.uk