Thursday, 27 June 2013

Fluorescent frames:

Some of you might remember the Petrol Rococo frames I featured in my first Inferior Inspiration post back in May.  I bought four of them in the Urban Outfitters sale then and have only just got around to hanging them (organised!).  Still, I had time to decide where I really wanted to hang them, and I think I've found the perfect place.

I hung all four frames together (you know how I love a frame collage!) to the right of the mirror in our bedroom.  I only noticed how empty that space looked recently, but it's a relief to be able to fill it before it starts to drive me mad!  I did take a before photo of the bare wall to show you all, but, of course, I accidentally deleted it almost straight after I'd hung the frames.  Typical!

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Soap & Glory skincare review:

Back in May I decided to 'invest' in my skincare products and try something new.  Although skincare (specifically moisturising every day) has always been important to me, I usually find myself buying the first moisturiser that I see on special offer without considering how well it will actually work.  Although Soap & Glory is not a particularly high end skincare brand, their products are definitely pricier than I'm used to.  As a bit of an experiment, I decided to take home three different products and find out for myself if they're really worth the extra money.

Source: here

The Feel Good Factor moisturiser gets rave reviews on the Soap & Glory website, and I agree that it is an effective moisturiser which does what it says on the tin.  Using a daily moisturiser with SPF is vital (yes, even in rainy Scotland!), and Feel Good Factor delivers on that front.  The product has a slightly runny consistency, but not too watery, has a pleasant smell and absorbs fairly quickly into the skin.  However, there weren't really any stand out features for me, and (despite being the same size as the majority of other moisturisers) the tube didn't seem to last as long as my moisturisers usually do.  Overall, I felt a little cheated, as I have purchased comparable moisturisers for less than half the price of Feel Good Factor.

I'm not sure that I've entirely made my mind up about the Face Soap and Clarity facial wash yet, but my initial impressions are a little doubtful.  Don't get me wrong, it certainly washes my face, and is fairly good at removing make up as well, which some might argue is the whole point of the exercise.  Still, I have never had spot prone skin, and since beginning to use this face wash I have noticed quite a few nasty blemishes popping up.  This has happened in the past with other daily washes that just didn't agree with me, but I expected more from Soap & Glory.  The sparse exfoliating beads suspended in the product look pretty in the bottle, but are a little ineffective outside of the bottle, and just seem to end up everywhere but my face.  Honestly, I would much rather use a separate facial exfoliator when and where I need to.  The scent and consistency of Face Soap and Clarity are pleasant enough (minus the beads) and you need much less of the product for one wash than you might initially suspect.  This confuses me, though, as (yet again) I feel like I am getting through this bottle much faster than my last Garnier face wash, which seemed to last me months!

Finally, the Smooch Operator lip butter balm was the biggest disappointment out of my three purchases, simply because the consistency of the product means I can't actually use it! I tend to prefer stick lip balms to those packaged in pots (like Smooth Operator) as they are much easier, faster and cleaner to apply, but the majority of potted lip butters will warm up under the fingers with a little perseverance.  I gave Smooch Operator a lot of perseverance on several occasions, and I still can't say that I have truly tried the product enough to comment on its effectiveness.  Maybe it's just me who's had this issue (again, lots of enthusiastic reviews on the S&G website!) but I've honestly given up on it.  In any case, paying £6 for a lip balm is, in retrospect, somewhat ridiculous.  Especially when it is one that I will never be able to use...

So, would I recommend these products?  I do think that Feel Good Factor is an effective moisturiser, and I do think that Face Soap and Clarity is a pleasant enough face wash.  I've found that, at the very least, the products do what they claim to do.  Who knows about Smooch Operator, though.  That will forever remain a mystery...  The packaging on all of these products is great, but I can't help but feel that all I was paying that extra money for was the cute packaging and the brand name.  

These are only three items in Soap & Glory's enormous range, and maybe there are some gems in there that I am yet to discover.  I know for a fact that their Hand Food is the best hand cream I have ever used, and it is (in my eyes) both a miracle product and well worth the money.  Although I'm not sure that my most recent purchases were worth my hard earned cash, I luckily saved a little bit of money by taking advantage of Boots' three for two offer on Soap & Glory products (you get the cheapest item free).  The offer is available online as well as in store if you want to check any of their products out for yourself and save some money at the same time!

Have you found any amazing Soap & Glory products?

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Inferior Inspiration #6:

This inspiration post is really just a wishlist of cute summer clothes and accessories, because with the recent warmer weather has come the realisation that I have no summer appropriate clothes...

1. Although playsuits rarely fit nicely on me in real life, this one from New Look looks lovely on whoever they decapitated and dismembered to get the above image.  I'm definitely tempted to give it a go!  The playsuit seems pretty versatile, and could be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.  It's an online exclusive, though, so won't be available in stores. (£16.99)

 2. I very nearly bought these Vans in the Office sale the other day.  The neon pink might not seem like my usual style, but I think it's balanced out by the grey, and I do like to embrace my girliness every once in a while! (£25)

3. Iona from Iona Blogs alerted my attention to this adorable fox satchel from the online store Temporary Secretary on Twitter, and it was love at first sight!  I'm probably going to order one of these for myself in the very near future! (£18)

4. If a backpack is more your style, how about this one from the Paperchase sale?  Just because it's sensible, doesn't mean it can't be cute!  Useful for summer expeditions and adventures. (£12.50)

5. After seeing this iPhone case in store today, it would be totally impractical to have on your phone, but it's still a fun design!  It's also from Paperchase. (£12)

Friday, 21 June 2013

Excuse me while I die:

Apologies for the lack of activity here recently.  Unfortunately I've not been very well for a few weeks now.  I have swollen glands popping up all over the shop (who knew you had glands on the back of your neck?!), with the queen bee nestling her ping pong ball sized derrière in the right side of my throat and refusing to budge.  That's her, pictured below.

Evil throat blob drawn with love by Marianne

Normal service will resume shortly, I'm just taking a little while to try and feel better.  Thank you all for sticking with me!

Friday, 14 June 2013

Resolutions review #2:

Six months into 2013, New Year feels like an awfully long time ago.  I really should have printed my resolutions out and stuck them somewhere I couldn't avoid looking (the insides of my eyelids, maybe?) to avoid letting myself down yet again.  Still, in the spirit of consistency, I thought I'd let you all know how I've been getting on since my original resolutions post (here) and my three month review (here).

1. Write:
I haven't done a great deal of writing lately (apart from blogging!) much to the despair of my family and friends.  What kind of aspiring novelist doesn't ever write anything down?  Still, one small victory is that I'm pretty sure the ideas are all in there somewhere.  I have recurring ideas for stories, characters and situations that won't go away and just kind of develop themselves over time inside my head.  This gives me hope that if I had more time to write (which hopefully I will some day in the not too distant future) I wouldn't just be sat constantly staring at a blank Word document.

2. Read:
Stop me if you've heard this one before, but I'm convinced I would read more if I had more free time...  While we were on holiday in April for a few days, I managed to read more than I had all year!  I recently bought Mindy Kaling's book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), but there are quite a few other books waiting to be read before I can get to her.  I'd better get cracking!

3. Blog:
Okay, this one I actually feel I've done okay with.  Next month will mark my first full year as a blogger, and Inferior Design's first birthday!  I've kept up with regular posts (at least one a week, usually more), gained a modest but loyal group of followers (yes, you!) and my passion for blogging has only grown as I've learned more about it.  Being invited to the Oliver Bonas Edinburgh blogger event last month off the back of my own blog and content was a very proud moment for me, as cringey as that might seem to some.  I'm excited to keep going with Inferior Design, as (I think!) it has already changed and improved so much since I started.

4. Decorate:
Although no big decoration projects have been undertaken recently, I've made some small but satisfying improvements here and there in the flat since March.  These include a major photo frame obsession and a bathroom tidy up.  Next on the agenda is covering the sofa!

5. Save:
Next!  (Although at least I'm not totally skint quite yet...)

6. Travel:
I've already mentioned mine and Craig's trip to Paris in April, which was fantastic, but apart from that there isn't much travel on the horizon.  I'd like to take a trip up to the north of Scotland sometime during the next few months, hopefully to make the most of whatever summer Scotland gets this year.  I'll keep you all posted!

7. Waste less time:
It's been a very busy couple of months, and I'm happy to say that I've spent a lot less time on the internet and a lot more time out with friends and family.  It's been a pleasure to take advantage of the sunshine while we've got it!

Monday, 10 June 2013

Inferior Inspiration #5:

After spending the weekend celebrating a family friend's birthday and having some delicious meals on some amazing tableware, I've been dreaming of new crockery.

1. The whole collection of Nature Table plates from Anthropologie are my favourite combination of strange and beautiful, but the Praying Mantis design is the weirdest (and therefore best). (£16)

2. These Burleigh Blue Calico plates are a more traditional style, but I still find them very pretty to look at.  It might be tricky to make sure they're clean when you're washing up, mind you!  You can find them at John Lewis in various sizes. (£9 - £14.50)

3. Although they're probably the most impractical type of crockery, I'm a sucker for dainty tea cups and saucers.  Some day, I'd like to have a whole mismatched collection of them!  I love the scalloped effect this set from Oliver Bonas has, as well as the lovely pastel colour. (£12.50)

4. I was very excited when I discovered that Le Creuset make mugs.  I mean, of course they do.  Why wouldn't they?  But, still, it's exciting!  They come in pretty much every colour you can imagine, and I spotted them at Debenhams. (£12)

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Instagram #11:

1. A delicious crêpe at Le Café Gourmand on Nicolson Street  2. Found this amazing shark backpack at Baby Gap  3. All the patterns after a bit of a splurge in H&M

4. Some new skincare from Soap & Glory  5. Homemade Nando's  6. A spooky Mercat Tours ghost walk in the Edinburgh vaults

7. A beautiful, handmade cupcake from a workmate  8. A Cuban Fix from Bar Kohl  9. A pitcher of American Psycho, also at Bar Kohl

10. Free Ben & Jerry's in the Grassmarket on a sunny day  11. Channelling my inner Schrute on a haybale  12. I managed to put my Vanilla Ink Kickstarter badge on upside down at first...

13. Kind of a hideous photo of me, but being reunited with an old friend makes it okay        14. Me and my big sister (we actually look quite similar here, for once!)  15. Sunning my (hungover) feet out of the living room window

16. Yummy cupcakes at the new Oliver Bonas Edinburgh store  17. Trying something new on a whim (not sure I'm convinced, though...)  18. The amazing egg spatula I bought Craig from John Lewis

19. Craig's vandalising of my airedale terrier calendar  20. My official Frightened Rabbit tea towel in pride of place  21. I seriously considered nicking this cocktail pitcher at The Tron on Hunter Square

22. My magnificent Dwight Schrute badge, made by Kate from Scathingly Brilliant, and bought from her online shop, Sweet and Lovely (I cannot stress how much I love this!)      23. My lovely pink gerberas that featured in my Oliver Bonas post are still thriving!

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Bathroom under sink organisation:

I'd like to start this post by putting my hands up and admitting that I am a terrible blogger.  When I finally found a solution to my under sink storage problems, I was so excited that I immediately tidied everything up and forgot to take any 'before' photos whatsoever...  This means that the 'after' shots (which, admittedly, were taken at night time in what is generally a dark bathroom) don't look very impressive at all, but it's a big improvement, just trust me!

The secret to my storage success is actually a slightly modified MOLGER step stool from IKEA (£17).  Craig moved the bottom step of the stool further back for me so that both steps (or shelves, as I am using them) are one on top of the other and fit to the left of the sink pedestal.  My 'organisation' on this side of the sink previously was just a plastic box with loose items piled on top of it.  I very rarely went into that box, because it was too much effort to move everything off it, so all of the things inside went unused and forgotten.

I put all of the items from the dreaded plastic box into a BYHOLMA basket (also from IKEA, £5.50) and on the top shelf of my stool.  Now all of my bath products are on display, easily accessible and no longer out of sight or out of mind.

Although space is limited on the lower shelf, Craig's washbag is tucked away neatly in its new home under there.  I like everything to have a place!  I keep all of our plastic bottles (bubble bath, moisturiser, mouthwash, that kind of thing) in the green plastic basket to the right.  The basket was from Poundland a while ago, and it is brilliant for the price!  I'm sure they still stock them, or will have something similar.  I keep my nail varnish in an identical basket in purple, and it makes it so easy to carry it all from room to room!

This set up might still look like a bit of a hot mess to some of you, but it's such an improvement on what we had before, in terms of functionality.  The space under the sink is such an awkward size and shape, and the bathroom is really too narrow to have anything bigger there.  I'll always be on the look out to improve this space (any suggestions are more than welcome!), but for now I'm just happy to have access to all my products again.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Inferior Inspiration #4:

I can't stop myself fantasising about gardens, patios and balconies.  It might have something to do with working through these rare but lovely, sunny days in a tin box with no windows!  If I had a garden, patio or balcony (which, unfortunately, I don't) I'd be very tempted by some of these items!

1. No doubt I would get myself trapped in one of these retro style deckchairs, but it doesn't stop me wanting one!  Unfortunately, these Penguin Classics themed chairs proved impossible to find in stock anywhere online, but they were too good not to show you all.  Price wise, they seemed to average between £60 and £70, so maybe it's better that I can't find one for sale!

2. Argos are offering this much more affordable (and much more available!) Garden Deck Chair in cheerful multicoloured stripes, gimme! (£25.49)

3. I mentioned in my last post about my visit to Edinburgh's new Oliver Bonas store that I was lusting after these Primrose Garden Chairs.  I can't choose between the mint and coral colours, so I'd probably just have to get one of each! (£59)

4. Also from Oliver Bonas (and also very necessary for any sunny garden or balcony situation) are these Shir Pastel Aztec Wayfarer Sunglasses.  I love this style of sunglasses, and I'm pretty much sold on anything with an aztec pattern. (£16)

5. As long as we're dreaming, I might as well imagine that I would go to the effort of packing myself a picnic to sit in my own back garden.  This Cherry Two Person Hamper from BHS would come in handy for that, wouldn't it? (£25)