Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Hair extensions....what would I do without them?!

I often natter on about hair extensions and I get tweets and emails asking me about them....cue blog post!

I have been wearing extensions for about 5 years. I buy 100% human hair that can be styled and washed as normal.
It comes in one big long strip like this....

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haha camera cord!

I then cut the length I want and double it over to make it thicker...

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Add clips....

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The ones I use were expensive when I bought them, about £5 for a pair, but I have used these constantly since as they are such good quality. Most of the paint has come off from use and washing, but all the other clips I have come across since that are cheaper, just dont feel as secure as I like. When sewing on your clips, make sure you put them at the end of the strip. That way, the hair will be secure to your head and not flap out to reveal your secret! You can buy the hair with clips aready attached but I find the hair thinner than I would like and the clips not amazing quality. Thats just my persnal preference.
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I make 2 main strips, one for just under my ears, one just over. Then 2 side strips, one slightly bigger than the other as I have a thinner side because of my side partin :) To secure them in my hair, I take a little section abou hair an inch thick, twist it and slide the clip in, the click to close. You can just click it in, but I like it really secure.

I clip these in and I'm ready to go...

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NYPD hoodie... :)
I style mine with waves or curls. I love using them as it instantly gives me a new look and all the heat in styling is on the ends of the hair...which isnt mine :) I wave the ends with a cinical wand them spritz some hairspray. This can be brushed out. I wash mine whenever they need it but between washes I freshen them up with Umberto Gianini Beauty Makeover spray which I love. Each time I change my hair colour, I buy new hair. Each set costs me around £20 depending on the length. I have used most expensive brands costing around £60-80 but they were exactly the same quality as the ones I use now. It pays to shop around and to go to specialist hair shops which are likely to charge trade prices. I do take good care of them as I dont want to end up wearing a birds nest. I store them in a laundry type bag which lets them breathe but not get damaged. You know the little ones you get to put socks in?...yep, classy!
As much as I would love semi perm ones, I find the clips so easy to put in and take out again. So one those days when you just want your hair up, you can without investing in a snake charmer to put tonnes of hair up! Once my hair gets to a decent length, I think I will still use extensions for the thickness factor.
Do you wear extensions? Clips or glue?

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave me a comment and I will get back to you :)


Tuesday, 29 December 2009

I'm at it inspiration...

So it's been over a month or so since I went purple. Cabin fever has set in and I am in need of a change...again! 2009 has seen me through pretty much every hair colour apart form blonde...I'm saving that for the summer :)

So I will be going dark...dark dark. A la Audrina. But... I will need to be using gradual tanner as I'll be looking rather pale!


Are you planing a hair change for the new year?


They've done it again...

Benefit have released a new powder box...called Sugarbomb. Sold on the name! As always, this has fallen into my 'must have' list. Due to be released in the UK soon, your US chicks can already get your hands on this...jealous much.

The colours will be lovely for spring/summer. Enough to brighten any post winter cheek.



What is on your must have list?


Sunday, 27 December 2009

Am I on Cloud Nine?

You may have heard of Cloud Nine straightners. I read a couple of reviews and heard links to GHD's. I tweeted one afternoon about how I would like to try them, later that day, I had an email from Cloud Nine offering to send me a pair to try out. As if I could turn an offer like that down! A few days later they arrived on my doorstep. Brand spanking new straightners. I love new straightners, they smell all new and promise birds nest hair to be all in the past.
Cloud Nine is made by the founders and inventors of the original GHD iron. They give you 'instant control- drop the temperature, increase the heat-and enter another world of styling'. The ceramic plates are black with a sparkle to them, ths is technology that adds shine to your hair. No more greasy roots from shine sprays :)
They also have a hibernation mode which I can not thank them enough for! The other day I came home and realised I had left them on, but they have switched themselves off. They would not have been there to tell the tale if they didnt. I can say goodbye to sitting in my office wondering if I did turn them off, having visions of my house being a pile of cinders when I get home. Oh and dont forget the heat resistant sleeve, no more burn marks on my dressing table :)
There are a lot of fake GHD's in back alleys, pubs and ebay. Cloud Nines come with special chips so you can rest assured they are a genuine product and wont blow up due to cowboys making them.

What I thought?

Its hard for me not to compare these to ghd's... so I am going to!

They look pretty much the same. These however look sleeker due to the black sparkly plates. I love the temperature control, it means I can style my hair in different ways rather than poker straight or.... poker straight. I didnt notice a huge difference between how my hair styled when I used it in the same way as my ghd's. However, my younger sister has thicker hair than me, she used them and you can tell the difference. She has sleeker, healthier looking hair. No frazzled ends either. This meant she used less finishing product on her hair and therefore is saving money by using these. You know sometime when you use GHD's and then put your fingers through your hair too soon and burn you hands? This doesnt happen with these, the hair is cool enough to touch even on the hottest setting.
So the ultimate question is....

Cloud Nine or GHD?

My personal view is Cloud Nine. Why? Because of all the extra add ons. The temperature control, shine enhancing plates, hibernating mode. I really didnt think GHD would have a big competitor on the market, but Cloud Nine are here.
Will I be throwing out my ghd's?

No as they still have life in them and have done the job I have been asking them to do for a long time. But, I will be reaching for my Cloud Nines over them. Something I never thought I would say. GHD have a circle of loyalty following them which to be honest will be hard to break. I know myself I would never give up my GHD's willingly unless I knew there was a product that could perform to the same standard, or better.
My only 'criticisism' if you can even call it that, was the box it came in. It could be sleeker and shinier. It looked cheap compared. If I saw the two boxes next to each other in the shop, the box would sway it for me.

Cloud Nine's retail at £129.99 and are only sold in approved salons. Or online at Cloud Nine.



Friday, 25 December 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas my lovely readers!
I hope Santa brings you everything you wished for. And if you are on the naughty better start making those new years resolutions for next year!
Have a lovely day. My day will be with my family, opening presents, eating the best dinner of the whole year and watching all the christmas specials on tv. No doubt my dad will be asleep on the sofa wearing a christmas hat by 5pm! I wouldn't want it any other way.



Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Product Rave - ELF Complexion Perfection

When the new studio products were released, I saw this in a couple of videos and blogs. When I added it to my online order, I really didnt expect much from it at all, but I was pleasantly surprised. I have used this a couple of times but really fell in love with it on the night of my Christmas Party. I wanted a flawless look and this made it happen. I swirled my brush around and dusted it over my face. It immeadiately evened out my skin tone and gave me a sligh brightness to my skin. You do have to be careful not to load too much product on your brush as you will be able to see it on your skin. At a price of £3.50 I really couldn't ask for more.

Love this, it has earnt its place in my everyday make up bag.

Have you tried this? What other ELF products do you love?

Monday, 21 December 2009

The Sanctuary Spa Exotic Rituals

You may remember me giving away the gift set here. Sanctuary went one better and sent a bigger gift set through! Here is what the winner Maxime thought;

'After getting over the excitement of receiving the largest package of my life I finally got around to opening it and was greeted with the most gorgeous wash bag/vanity bag, whatever you wish to call it. Not only was it HUGE but it was also the most beautiful iridescent purple with the Sanctuary Spa Covent Garden logo imprinted onto it.

All the products were already inside, not packed or displayed but just sort of casually….strewn about.
The first goodie I pulled out was what one can only describe as a “Dry scrubbing brush” which I have never used before in my life but I think the general idea is for dry exfoliation and also to stimulate circulation around the thighs and bum area. But obviously having never used one before I wasn’t entirely sure how to use it or even when to use it. Before the shower, after the shower? Who knows? And the Sanctuary spa certainly weren’t going to tell me. Although there was a list of all the products and their ingredients this little guy wasn’t mentioned once. He doesn’t even have an official name. I tried it first of all after the bath and that didn’t seem to do anything but on totally dry skin it appeared to have some exfoliating qualities. Now someone come and tell me this is a hair brush or something?

Next out the bag was the Mande Lular sensuous body scrub. This one told me EXACTLY what I needed to do. Rub into skin. Sorted. Won’t be dipping my chips into this one any time soon then. The smell is something that is quite unusual for me. Almost like spices. Not unpleasant but definitely an acquired taste I would say. I was a tiny bit disappointed with the body scrub. At first I used it just with my hands and it did NOTHING. No lather no nothing. I then put on an exfoliating glove and managed to produce a small amount of lather after a good scrub. The exfoliating beads seemed few and far between. It is a nice gentle scrub but I prefer something a bit harsher on my skin to really work off all the dead cells.

The next product is the Kuan Jin orchid and pear bath float. The most striking thing about this product is the appearance itself. It is a beautiful white pearlised cream. I hoped this product would have as many luxurious bubbles as it claims to create. Again I wasn’t too sure on the smell; it would take a little getting used to. This product was a total dud for me. I used about quarter of the bottle trying to produce my “luxurious bubbles” but all I got was a milky film over the bath and a couple of bubbles hiding in the corner. The milky foam appeared to be very rich, creamy and moisturising however if it is luxurious bubbles you are after then I am afraid you will not get it with this.

The Mestizo Body Wash I loved instantly. The smell was to die for. A beautiful rich fruity smell without the over powering fake citrus scent you get with most “fruit” flavoured products. Upon using this I fell in love a little more, it’s the softest thing I have ever put on my skin. As a small child I had two blankets which I called “Gunnys” and I loved them because they were so soft and I likened using this shower gel to stroking my gunnys. It left my skin feeling like velvet.

With the Mande Lular Body Soufflé I have to be honest, I can’t tell you the difference between a body soufflé and a body butter. In fact I had never heard of a body soufflé until I received this. It looks like a body butter; it works like a body butter… It just sounds posher and it’s loaded with vitamin E. it’s the same spicy scent as the body scrub but after using this I just thought it smelt gorgeous. Some things definitely smell different on the skin and this is one of those products. It left my skin silky smooth and the smell was still lingering the next day. VERY impressed.
Finally the Kyphi Nourishing Lotus body butter. At first I couldn’t pin point the smell and just used “floral” but after a few more sniffs it hit me to be more like pollen. It’s certainly not your typical floral smell but more rich like pollen. I wasn’t sure at all if I liked this but on the skin it was beautiful. The body butter to me was the same as the soufflé. Soft, smooth and stunning with its fresh long lasting fragrance...
Overall I am impressed with this gift set and would be more than happy to find out Santa had left this under my tree. It’s a little bit of luxury with a dash of the exotic. Something a bit different to your ordinary gift set. If you know someone who likes to splash out a bit on fancy products then I would highly recommend this as a present for them. At £20 it looks a lot more expensive inside its lavish wash bag and the products will give the illusion of opulent expenditure without the dent in your wallet.

ALL of these products are against animal testing and every single one of them states that clearly on the packaging. The Sanctuary Spa Exotic Rituals can be purchased from Boots and is currently part of the 3 for 2 mix and match offer. Or you can buy them straight from Sanctuary and grab the same offer here.'


Sunday, 20 December 2009

Christmas Nails

Who said Christmas has to stop at presents? I have been eyeing up this colour on my nail technicians colour chart for months waiting for Christmas to roll round so I can don nails made for Santa!
Here they are....
Red with glitter rolled in. I think they are number 64(if i can remember) in Biosculpture gels.

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Whats your polish of choice for the festive season?

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Top Secret Aussie...

On Thursday night, myself a 3 other Aussie Angels went to Cocoon in Picadilly to meet with some 'Aussie heads' as I like to call them! We were invited to find out more about the brand behind the Aussie Angels, where it was heading and what exciting things they have planned. And yes, it is exciting! We saw Spring/Summer limited edition bottles (cuteness for your bathroom shelf), no pictures I'm secret!! Sadly a lot of what we discussed is under wraps, but you guys will be the first to soon as I do!

So while there was a lot of talking, I was trying to master chopsticks, not on the piano... trying to find a way of getting the food from the plate to my mouth... I did it with a little help from Thom! Want a chopstick master class? Head on over to see this guy! Amazing food, great company, and lots of secrets that I might not be able to contain!
Oh and these arrived... yummy!!

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Aussie M&M's, whatever next!!

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Friday, 18 December 2009

Dr Organic Manuka Honey Body Butter

I've tried many a body butter over the years finally settling with the Body Shop's after experiences of awful smells, greasy films left on my skin and general rubbishness.

Recently I was sent this to try out. As the brand suggests, it is 100% organic. Why honey? Manuka honey is derived from the Manuka Tree and is a natural healing agent. All the products in the range contain organic active ingredients. Bia Active simply means the ingredient is working as it would in its raw state, that means you get the most out of each ingredient.

My first thoughts were how sweet the smell was. I was worried that the smell would transfer onto my skin and I would be a honey trap for bees. Lucikly, when I used the product the smell died down completely and I was left with a slight scent when I got up close to where I had used the product. Phew! The butter is a lot more creamy that the body shops version and left my skin hydrated and softer for longer. It definitely felt like there was less water content to the product. It also contains no parabens, no SLS, no GMO ingredients and no mineral oils.

The Dr Organic range is massive. Under each ingredient, are an extensive range of lotions, body butters, hair care, deodarant, toothpaste, mouthwash, nody washes, pure oil, wipes and lip balms. You can get all of these in; Manuka Honey, Tea Tree, Vitamin E, Pomegranate and Lavender.
Even though the range is 100% organic, you dont have the pay through the nose for it. Prices start at £2.49 with the body butter being the most expensive at £8.99 compared to a £12 body shop one... you do the math!
Dr Organic is stocked at Holland & Barrett.


Thursday, 17 December 2009

How I grew my hair from this....

This time last year my hair looked like this...

Now, it looks like this....
This time last year my hair was short, the shortest it has ever been. As much as I loved it, I longed to have my long hair back! So I started on my mission. The mission to grow my hair. I knew to do this, I would have to ensure I didnt damage the front of my hair with over exposure to heat. When my hair was shorter, I always wanted a sleek bob and so straightners were a must. As it grew longer, I felt really scruffy with using heat, so I turned to styling my hair to prevent me from wanting to crack out the GHD's at every opportunity. My hair grows slowly, mainly because it doesnt get a chance to grow!

For day to day styles I use, braids, twists, messy buns and up do's. Anything to stop me straightening it. Bobby pins and clamps have become my friends. Alice bands are also great for messy up do's.






Its been a long year of regular trims, hair care products and generally being hair friendly but I made it! I finally have some length in my hair and I will continue to let it grow. I am booked in for a good trim on Xmas eve to get rid of the ends, I am going to have some more shape put into it too so it isnt as blah!

If you are growing your hair, try some of these styles. If anyone has any questions on products I used or anything I didn to help the process, feel free to comment below.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Aussie Winner...

As you have all heard about the Aussie Angel winner here.

Aussie have given our prizes to our readers too!

My blog's winner was Pyxie!

Congratulations chick, you win a £50 Red Letter Day voucher!

Please email me your address (email in the sidebar) or DM me on twitter and I will arrange for your prize to be sent out!!

For those of you who didnt enter....look out for the next one!

You snooze, you lose!


Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Want to outsmart Mother Nature?

There are 4 prizes up for grabs including;

£100 ASOS Voucher, £100 Spa Voucher, Casio Z2 Magenta Digital Camera, Boots 'Ultimate Choice For Her' voucher.

The competition has just opened up to my readers.

All you need to do, is head over to Mother Nature's facebook page and complete the sentence...

'I outsmarted Mother Nature by......'

You have to be quick though as you only have till 16th!

Good luck!


Another bargain find...

After my last Primark find, I searched the shelves a little closer and found these.


These arer exactly the same as the ones I normally pick up in boots for 3 times the price. I normally use these to remove fake tan and for general exoliating. For £1 I can afford to be a bit of a scrubber :)

Spread the credit crunch friendly word!


Monday, 14 December 2009

MeMeMe Mascaras...

I was sent and been trying out some mascaras from MeMeMe. The brand are best known for higher end dupes especially Benefit and Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks.
First up, Drama Queen.

The wand is a comb. I have never been a huge fan of the combs, I think I had a bad experience once. The comb gives me a completely different look for my lashes. The formula is very wet and product does gether in the well of the combs but this gave me wha I would describe as flirty lashes. No irittable eyes or flaking either.

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Next, Fat Cat Lashes.
In my opinion this is a dupe for Benefits Bad Gal. The brush is chunky and a traditional bristle brush. This gives me the same results as Bad Gal except the formulation is my glossy and more pigmented whcich gave a nicer finish than Bad Gal. Once again no irritated eyes :)

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Both of these retail for under £8 each and are stocked in Superdrug. Perfect secret santa items :)

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Aussie Competition Winner

For those of you who entered, you may have seen some amazing looks flying around.

Well, Aussie have picked their winning Angel!

Well done Lipglossiping!

You can see her winning look here. Amazing.

Charlotte wins a day with Nic from Pixiwoo!

Enjoy :)

For all the latest Aussie goings on, click here.


Saturday, 12 December 2009

Merry Christmas from Aussie

On Thursday, I received an email from Aussie telling me to look out for a guy on a bike with a present for me!!

I expected to get home wih it waiting on the doorstep but the guy turned up at around 8pm which was really exciting! I ran to the door and there was a delivery guy who presented an Aussie bag to me with a big bow and my name on.

In my excitement I forgot to take pictures so I had to wrap it back up to show you. :)

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How cute is this! It is by a company called Mimco. It has been hand sculpted and decorated.

Also in the bag were some styling products which I cant wait to try out.
Thank you Aussie!

Tampax VIP Swishing Party

What better way to spend a cold Wednesday night in December than swishing with some Tampax VIP's?!
On Wednesday, myself and a whole host of fashion bloggers went to Punk in Soho for clothes swapping, cocktails and cupcakes!

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I arrived late after leaving the office and sprinting across London, when I arrived most of the swishing was done, these girls are ruthless! I kept back from the elbows and scenes to rival those in Confessions of a Shopaholic and sipped champagne from one of the comfy sofas!

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After the swishing there was some more cocktails, some dancing and lots of chatting. Sadly for me there wasnt much drinking involved as I couldnt face another Friday in the office with a hangover like last week!
And how could I forget the drag queen for extra entertinment! Hilarious!

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And this mirror with Unicorns....I want it!

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A good night had by all, I will defo be getting on the swishing wagon!

Oh and of course the goodie bag....

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Dont forget Mother Nature is giving away some cool prizes on her Gift-O-Matic.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Beauty Awards 2009

A bit like the oscars...but not! Over the past 12 months I have used and reviewed a lot of products. Some good, some not so good. Below are my nominations, they are my top 3 products from each category... and of course, the winners. My winners are in ***stars***.

Best Foundation
Rimmel Lasting Finish
Revlon Colorstay
***Maybelline Dream Satin Liquid***

Best Supporting Artist (Primer)
***Too Faced Wrinkle Injection***
Gosh Velvet Touch

Best Newcomer
Garnier Spot Roll On
***Eyeko 3 in 1 Beauty Cream***
L'Oreal Lash Serum

Best Cleanser
***Clinique Facial Wash***
Body Shop Vit E Facial Wash
Best Face Wipes
***Johnsons 3 in 1***
Body Shop Vit E

Best Female Artist (Inspiration)
***Lauren Conrad***
Pixie Lott
Allie (The City)
Best Bronzer-
Nars Laguna
***Benefit Dallas***
Body Shop

Best Volumising Shampoo Range-
Loreal Elvive
Herbal Essences
***Aussie Aussome Volume***

Best Styling Product-
Aussie Coloured Hair Serum
***Sebastian Whipped Creme***
Chi Silk Infusion

Best Styling Tool-
Remington Wet2Straight
***Tigi Fat  Curl Stick***

Best Dry Shampoo-
***Batiste Brown Hair***
James Brown
Tigi Rockaholic

Best Hair Mask-
***Aussie 3 Minute Miracle***
James Brown Mask
Tigi Treat Me Right

So those are some of my favourite products of 2009. I will be taking these into 2010 with me.

What have been your favourites of 2009? Feel free to post a link to yours below...



Celebrity Endorsed Products

If a company want a product to sell, they just need to get a celeb to say 'because you're worth it', smile sweetly and flick their hair. Simples.
Any magazine has a section where we are told a celebrity wears a product and we believe that a blusher or lipstick can make us look like Kate Hudson or Holly Willoughby or Paris Hilton. As much as I want to believe a mascara can give me lashes a la Penelope Cruz in the advert with the small words 'shot with lash inserts' at the bottom; On your average chick who has 10 minutes to get ready in the morning before running out the door and tackling climbing the career ladder, do these really give us the results we desire?

When shopping recently, I overheard a SA telling an innocent girl, 'Kylie wears this mascara', within seconds the girl was sold. I had a giggle to myself and felt a bit bad that the girl was sold a mascara that I have used in the past and didnt really rate. I even tweeted about it at the time. This didnt however stop me picking up the lastest product to be run though the celeb trap, L'Oreal's Full Restore shampoo and conditioner.

Lucikly for me, any products I pick up are always with a view of reviewing for my blog. If they dont live up to the hype, then atleast you can make an informed decision whether or not to rush out and buy it.

Are we really as fickle as these companies are lead to believe? Do celebrity endorsed products entice you to pop them in your basket over ones who are standing in the shadows? Or do they make you more wary about how the product will actually perform?


Maxfactor Lash Extension Effect

Most of you will know my love for their False Lash Effect Mascara. Last week, False Lashes younger sister was in my Aussie goodie bag. Obviously I was really excited and started using it the very next day!

The 'extreme lengthening mascara' does pretty much that. The wand is more of a precision wand than the chunky one on the false lash effect, think Lash Stiletto rather than Bad Gal Lash. This seperates more than lengthens but my lashes were still pretty long. The formula isnt as glossy as the last but this makes it look more natural. Would I add this to my ever growing mascara collection....hell yeah!

My personal favourite? I cant decide, I like them both!

Lash Extension Effect for daytime.

False Lash Effect for night. :)



Sunday, 6 December 2009

You don't always have to spend a fortune...

I needed new eyelash curlers as my last ones were looking a bit run down. I spotted these on a recent Primark spree.

They look nice in my brush holder and have a hard cushion so you can't push down too hard and therefore damage your lashes. Special feature...they are spring loaded. Now I may have missed the boat on this one, but I havent come across any that have this before. That means they dont automatically close, you need to press them down to close them. This has made them to much easier to use and control. They also come with a spare cushion.

The best part? They are £1. Just when you thought you couldnt get anything for a £1. Nothing about how they look or work says that I only paid £1 for them! Take them out of the primark packaging and these could easily be fobbed off as high end.

Bargain on the year.



L'Oreal Full Restore Shampoo & Conditioner

My ongoing quest for volumous hair led me to the new 'Cheryl Cole' shampoo and conditioner. These were 2 for £3 in boots so I took that as an opportunity to try them out! Yes, Cheryl is my curent hair crush, especially from Saturday nights look!


No major volume but my hair is so much thicker and feels silky. It feels so much thicker that when I tie my hair up, it feels like there is 3 times as much hair to work with. I have had to rely on styling products to get the volume going, but I am more than happy with the results. The smell isnt overpowering, a clean smell rather than fruity or flowery.

This range is currently on offer in Boots and Sainsburys.



Friday, 4 December 2009

Going back to the old school....

With my love for anything retro/old school, whatever you want to call it... when it comes to present time I always finds myself on Truffle Shuffle. They do t shirts, jewellery and gifts from all your children tv characters and everything you can think of!

On my wishlist is...





Luckily a 10% discount postcard landed on my doorstep this week!!

Type HOHOHO at the checkout!

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