Tuesday 28 April 2015

Un Petit KIKO Haul

Whilst on my French Exchange in Rouen we visited a big shopping centre. A majority of the shops were the same as what we have in the UK but I spotted a KIKO store and couldn't resist taking a look, as there is not a store in Cardiff and I often make orders online. 
As soon as I entered the shop I saw the Frosted Look Lipsticks and had to pick one up as I have seen countless raving reviews. I got it in 04 Innovatory Red as we all know I'm a sucker for a red lip. I'm slightly confused about the name as from what I can tell it isn't my idea of 'frosted' (shimmering/glittery) but instead is a lovely bold colour. I swatched a few eyeshadows and immediately fell in love with the colour 118, a taupe with a slight shimmer, and 139, a dusty rose again with a bit of a shimmer. I'm definitely one for natural, barely-there eyeshadow and these colours seemed perfect for me and had fantastic pigmentation. I spotted that KIKO's Long Lasting Eyeshadow Pencil was on sale and as I have been lusting after one for a while I decided to pick it up. I got the shade 24, a gorgeous ash-grey/taupe colour. I swatched it in-store and it was still on the back of my hand hours later, completely unmoved, so it really is long lasting!
This really was a petit post, but I hope you enjoyed it all the same. I absolutely adore KIKO and think they're such a good quality, reliable brand with amazingly affordable prices!

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Friday 24 April 2015

A Day in the Life - Breakfast, Revision, Cake & Shoes!

I started my morning by going out for breakfast with my mum at Waterloo Tea in Wyndham Arcade, Cardiff. We don't do this all the time but do love a little treat once in a while, and it gives us a chance to catch up as we often miss each other due to her work and travel, and my college and job. We always end up getting into really deep conversations when we spend time together which I love!

On this particular morning, I chose to have the french toast with poached plums, hazelnuts and crème fraîche, which was absolutely divine! My mum decided on the smoked salmon, scrambled eggs and malted toast, which she also said was gorgeous.

After breakfast, my mum went off to run some errands and I stayed in town. I absolutely adore Cardiff city centre and could honestly spend hours just wandering the streets and looking in all of the shops and arcades! I went to Waterstones as I was meeting a friend in the café, and spotted a big guide to Paris with lots of cute illustrations called Taschen's Paris, which I would just love to own as I adore everything about France and especially Paris! My friend Ffion snapped a photo of me posing with it.

Photo credit to Ffion for this super attractive photograph of me revising! We spent the afternoon chatting and going over our A level subjects as exams are fast approaching. I had a pot of tea and a slice of lemon curd cake, which definitely contributed to me surviving the copious amounts of work! We both had a little giggle when Ffion managed to spell "politics" without the "c", and I just had to embarrass her via Snapchat! (i'm jodievoss if you're wondering)

I decided to walk the half hour journey home as the weather was gorgeous, but when I arrived at my doorstep I realised I had forgotten my key which was a bit silly! Luckily, my dad was only round the corner watching my brother play in a tennis tournament, so he popped back to save the day.

When I finally got inside, I was super excited to find that my parcel from Shoe Zone had arrived! I adore these stiletto ankle boots* and they will be featuring in a post in the near future, so keep your eyes peeled! I spent the evening at work, which wasn't really interesting enough to document in a photo, but on a side note I am absolutely loving life as a working woman (finally!) I work as a waitress in a new restaurant called Fish & Field and I love the buzz of such a fast-paced environment, serving and talking to customers (as well as the pay!)

I hope you enjoyed reading about the kind of things I get up to on a "more interesting than average" day! Recently I have been spending an awful lot of time holed up in my house surrounded with mountains of revision, so it was really nice to have a bit of a change in scenery and spend time with some of my favourite people too!

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Tuesday 21 April 2015

A Trip to London

A few weeks ago, my mum and I hopped on the train to London for a day out. We had quite a busy day and so I thought I'd write a post about some of the places we visited and what we did!

One of the main reasons we went up to London was to visit the King's College London Strand Campus as I am currently trying to decide where I will be going to University in September 2016 (next year eeek!) I was optimistic but when we arrived I knew immediately that it wasn't going to be the place for me. As someone who dislikes stressful environments and large groups of people, you can see why I wouldn't cope with studying in the centre of London, on a main road! Putting the issue of living costs in London aside which I had already been worried about, when I saw the architecture of the building (above) I wasn't too inspired. I'm definitely more in favour of going to a university with old beautiful architecture, such as Oxford, Bath or St. Andrews (although Exeter is really tickling my fancy too right now.)

After that disappointment, we decided to go for lunch as food pretty much solves every problem in my book. I decided I wanted to try out The Good Life Eatery on Sloane Avenue after having read a review of it by Niomi Smart. It is a tiny little café, so tucked away that we almost walked straight past it! They had an amazing selection of wheat free cakes on display in the window, the red velvet taster I had was insane and I really regret not having a whole slice! The interior was quite small and I can see it getting cramped on busy days but luckily we found a table. I ordered a lentil salad which came with quinoa, peppers, apple, and my favourite salad dressing of all time - balsamic vinaigrette (I don't know what it is but I can't get enough of this stuff!). The food came in good portion sizes and was extremely filling due to all the wholesome ingredients.

We took a stroll through Chelsea and Fulham pretending we lived there and looking in awe at the neat, orderly, pristine houses which pleased me very much as I enjoy things looking perfect! I spotted a wine quote which I had a giggle at and thought I'd also share with you guys.

We went for a look around the Science Museum which I was really excited about but wasn't very pleased once we were inside. The exhibitions were interesting but as it was the school holidays there were hundreds of children running around and being generally loud, which really took away from the experience. I'd love to go back there on a quieter day to have a proper look around and release my inner nerd!

We then went to the V&A museum to see their Fashion exhibition which showcases fashion through the ages. I really enjoyed seeing how styles have changed and admiring the amazing details of all the items! One of my favourite pieces was a Chanel sequined trouser suit which was designed when women were getting more freedom around the way they dressed and could finally wear trousers as well as dresses and skirts. Chanel brought out a regular trouser suit and a de luxe sequined trouser suit for the evenings too!

After spending the whole day on our feet, we had a well deserved break in the V&A Café before heading back to Paddington. The decor was absolutely gorgeous and I spent the entire time looking up and admiring the beautiful designs. I had a lovely pot of tea and shared a strawberry shortcake and a Victoria sponge with my mum.

I had a really lovely day wandering around London with my mum, even though I'm pretty adamant I don't want to spend 3 years there for university! My favourite part was probably the V&A Museum and Café, it was right up my street with interesting exhibitions, beautiful architecture and fantastic cake! I was hoping to see the Alexander McQueen exhibition but unfortunately it was fully booked, so I might have to head back to London for that at some point!

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Friday 17 April 2015

Goodbye e.l.f.!

I was so upset to find out that one of my favourite make-up brands of all time is closing down. e.l.f. Cosmetics has been my go-to for good quality, affordable products for months and maybe even years, so I'm really sad to see it go as I'm doubtful about finding a brand which ticks as many boxes for me as e.l.f. does. One of the biggest shames about it is that their only store is in my city, Cardiff, and over the time I have been popping in there I have got to know the staff and they're always so warm, friendly and lovely.
As e.l.f. are shutting their doors for the final time, they're having a huge clearance sale so I thought I'd purchase a few things so I could make a sort of "farewell" haul post.

I have always wanted to try out the e.l.f. Studio Cream Blushes so I definitely couldn't resist when they were massively reduced in the sale and I knew I would never be able to try them again. I ended up getting two colours; vixen and seductress. I'm looking forward to using them in the spring and summer to give me a dewy glow, as I tend to stay away from having a thick base and a lot of powders. I'll probably use these on top of a sunscreen and concealer base to create a really natural look. I also picked up one of their HD Blushes in the shade headliner, which looks as if it will be really easy and practical to use with the pump.
As you know, I am really into my lip products, so of course I couldn't not get some final e.l.f. products to add to my collection. I got two Jumbo Lip Gloss Sticks, in a bold red (Movie Star) and a shimmery pink (Flirty & Girly). Apparently they apply like a lipstick but look like a gloss, which will make application so much easier as I can sometimes really struggle with slippery lip glosses. They contain nourishing natural ingredients to moisturise and condition the lips too, so what's not to love? I also got a Mineral Lip Tint in the shade Guava, which seems to act as a lip balm to save chapped lips while also adding a bit of colour. It contains some amazing ingredients to really nourish your lips such as Shea, Jojoba and Vitamin E, and it also contains no parabens, preservatives or chemical dyes. I think all of e.l.f.'s lip products are fantastic as they are so multi-purpose, looking great while also treating your lips well.

I'm so sad to see e.l.f. Cosmetics go, and I wish all their staff the absolute best. I can't wait to see what Distribeauty has planned for the future!

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Tuesday 14 April 2015

Tumblr #1

I love using Tumblr as a way to gather all of my favourite inspirations in one place, whether that be fashion, beauty, lifestyle, travel, quotes or anything else which catches my eye whilst scrolling through my dashboard. I thought it might be a nice idea to make a small summary post of my favourite photos for you all every once in a while, so you can see what is inspiring me at that moment. My Tumblr blog URL is itsjodie.tumblr.com and I'd love you to follow me!











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Friday 10 April 2015

My French Exchange to Rouen

As you may know, one of my greatest passions in life is for the French language and anything to do with France in general. I was lucky enough to participate in a French exchange between my college and a college in Rouen, and finally the time had come for us to travel over there! The journey was insanely complicated and stressful with three different trains to catch, but we were all so excited that the 12 hours of travelling flew by with card games, word games and just general chatter in both French and English! We got the Eurostar to Paris and then walked through the beautiful city to the other train station, and I think in that tiny space of time I fell in love with it all over again. It's my dream to move to Paris in the future and I was just reminded of how much I want to do that!

On the first full day, we drove to Caen to see the memorial museum all about the Second World War which was amazing and also very upsetting and made us all reflect on the events of the past. We went to one of the D-Day landing beaches and then to Ohama beach to see the American War Memorial. I was completely blown away by the sheer amount of graves, all white crosses or stars in perfect rows, seeming to stretch on forever. We then went to the Pointe Du Hoc which you may know if you have seen Saving Private Ryan as it is where the soldiers are climbing up the cliffs of Normandy. There are still huge craters in the landscape from where bombs landed. In the evening we went to a crêperie with all of the correspondents and then to a bar for drinks, where I had some of the best white wine I have ever tasted.

On Saturday morning we had to go to college with our correspondents as the poor things had school! We sat in on an economics lesson in French which was an odd experience. We then went to the house of the teacher organising the exchange and did some French baking, including chouquettes and madeleines. They tasted amazing and we ended up eating far too much. We went to a big shopping centre with our exchanges but the shops were very similar to the UK so we ended up in yet another bar. In the evening I went to a party at another correspondent's house which was so fun! We played ring of fire in French and it was really nice to talk to all of their other friends whose English is not so advanced as we had to speak French to them with no exceptions. We danced the night away to both French and English music and I had my first (few) tequila shots with salt and lime.

On Sunday morning I finally was able to have a lie-in. (I don't know how they cope having school on Saturdays!) Solveig, my correspondent, went out to buy pain au chocolat aux amandes for breakfast and we had a lazy morning talking with her brother, who looked like Alex Turner and was wearing British flag socks as I was there! In the afternoon, we went to see a French film in the cinema with my friend Natalie and her correspondent, who is also Solveig's friend. We were both baffled that we understood it completely without subtitles!


On Monday we spent a day in the centre of Rouen. We walked through all of the pretty side streets with colourful wooden houses and stopped off in a café for a coffee and popped over the road to a boulangerie where I got the best pain au chocolat aux amandes I have ever tasted. We visited some of Rouen's most famous cathedrals which were absolutely breathtakingly beautiful. We went to the Sienne museum to look at the impressionism which was also a fantastic experience and I found what I think is one of favourite paintings; Claude Monet's Vive la France. We went for lunch and I ordered macarons for desert which were so delicate and delicious. We then had some free time to walk around to shops, but we only managed a bit of shopping before we ended up in yet another bar for more drinks! Solveig and her sister took me out to dinner at a really expensive traditional French restaurant which was absolutely lovely of them. I was so proud of myself as I managed to conduct the entire conversation while we were there in French! As it was our last night, we met up with all of the correspondents for more drinks and to say a little goodbye.

I had some of the best days ever in Rouen and I can't wait to go back again. I have fallen in love with the French language and culture all over again and I know it's what I want to pursue in the future! My French has improved an insane amount and I am so much more confident in my speaking, however I did learn quite a lot of slang which I need to remember not to use in my exam... I'm now in a permanent state of Franglais as I am just using whichever word comes to mind whether it is French or English, much to the dismay of my boyfriend who doesn't speak a word of French!
I hope you enjoyed this slightly wordier post about my time in Rouen as much as I enjoyed my time there and also reflecting back on it by writing this!

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