#TheCityGirls Launch | My First Bloggers Event

Two lovely bloggers named Lorna, and Holly-Lucy, have been working super hard over the past couple of months to launch their brand #TheCityGirls, and planning their first bloggers event. Their aim is to pop up in cities across the country and host stylish events giving bloggers, new and experienced, the chance to mingle and connect with brands and charities.

I was so lucky to have been invited to their launch which was held at pizza and cocktail bar, Bloo88, in Sheffield yesterday.

In the week leading up to #TheCityGirls event, I was admittedly very nervous as I had never met any other bloggers before. There was absolutely no need to be worried, as everyone was so lovely and it was fun trying to match people up with their twitter profile pictures as I met them in person.

Naturally, when we arrived at the venue I went for two refreshing, and obviously, Dutch courage fuelled cocktails named Raspberry Spring Punch, before being welcomed into the venue room.

As Lorna and Holly gave their opening speech, (the point when I knew I was part of something special), I was taken aback by the amazing detail which the girls had gone to in perfectly decorating the room.

With little cups and saucers filled with sweets, #TheCityGirls cupcakes, pretty balloons and frames dotted around the room containing instructions and information about the day, it is safe to say we were in good hands.

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Not only were we invited to get to know other bloggers and speak to the wonderful companies featured on the day including, Cinnamon Buns Designs, Love Panache, Lush Sheffield, Benefit, Secondthread, but we were also part of an amazing cause.

The lovely Amber from the City Hearts Anti-Trafficking Charity, gave a brilliant speech on the work which she is part of in supporting victims of human trafficking. She explained how important it is for us to speak up and contact The Salvation Army if we suspect someone is a victim of human trafficking. Amber made it clear how it is far better to be wrong and raise the alarm, rather than not to speak up and forgo a potential victim being rescued.

As a result of the raffle, #TheCityGirls raised an impressive £175 for City Hearts, and this was matched by Aviva, who brought the grand total to £350, a fantastic sum of money for a brilliant fantastic cause.

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Throughout the afternoon we had plenty of opportunity to get to know the brands, and one which I was particularly looking forward to seeing was Cinnamon Buns Designs. I had seen a sneak preview on#TheCityGirls on instagram and knew I would fall in love with their prints. I am hoping to redecorate my room in the summer and found the most gorgeous (albeit very soppy) design which has definitely set the colour scheme, but I couldn’t resist! (I didn’t buy the one below, but it is super cute!)

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At the Benefit stand, Mel taught me how to actually use my Browzings kit properly and how to map my eyebrows using just a cotton bud! She explained how by leading your brow definition by marking three pin points, you can create the perfect arch (more on this in a future post, I am sure).

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Here’s Lucie having her Rollerlash Mascara applied by Mel.

My regular readers will know I go weak at the knees for beauty products which smell divine, and so it was only natural that I was drawn to the Lush Sheffield stand like a magnet. The Lush girls gave a demonstration on making a face cleanser and let us choose which shampoo bar we would like to add to our goodie bag (again more on this later, I can’t let you in on all #TheCityGirls’ secrets all at once now, can I?).

Having lived in Sheffield the past four years, I particularly admired the local touch, and as Lorna said, I was slightly fangirling over the Henderson’s Relish, bottles explaining to fellow bloggers about how it smells just like pickled onion Monster Munch (mmmhmmm).

After we had all stuffed our faces with copious amounts of mouth watering pizza, thanks to Lorna and Holly-Lucy, (they did spoil us rotten), it was time for the raffle.

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Mmm, you can’t beat a classic margherita <3

The prizes on offer were amazing and the variation was unbelievable, from a stunning Thomas Sabo necklace provided by Silver Tree Jewellery, to bottles of gin, coffee, teeth whitening kits, cinema tickets and even a bean bag, to name just a few!

Towards the of the event Lorna and Holly-Lucy presented ‘The Social Media’ prize which was for ‘the most active person on social media, before, during and hopefully after the event’ and I was so touched to have won it! Thank you so much!

Throughout the day, we had been treated to some amazing goodies, including the cutest miniature bottle of fragrance from Penhaligon’s London and stylish, light up (err, wow) compact mirror from Pebble Grey, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I opened #TheCityGirls jam packed Blogger Programme goodie bag, to find even more treats from loads of brands, (again, I have so much to share with you – stay posted!) I agree with every other blogger who described it as ‘just like Christmas’, so thank you SO much Lorna and Holly-Lucy.

Finally, at the end of #TheCityGirls launch event, as if we hadn’t been treated enough, we were given the most gorgeous slate heart to remember it by…

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So there you have it, I have ticked off ‘Attend a Blogger’s Event’ from my blogging bucket list, and I cannot wait to see what the future of blogging has in store next.

Make sure you check out Lorna and Holly-Lucy’s blogs and follow @thecitygirlsUk on twitter.

🙂 XO

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Lily Flame Candles

Happy weekend everybody! Hope you’re all enjoying the sunshine 🙂

This is the first weekend where I have not made any plans since about January time and it feels amazing to actually relax and enjoy doing completely nothing.

During the week I went on a little shopping trip to Meadowhall (my fav place in the whole of the North of England, errr HELLO more than 280 shops)! On entering Love Aroma, which is the cutest little store selling just candles, candle accessories and room diffusers, I instantly fell in love with their new collection, Lily Flame.

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It’s safe to say that the stunning packaging was the first thing that caught my eye. With a beautiful combination of gold, decorative writing, pops of coloured wax and sweet tag lines, I just knew a couple of these unique candles would make the perfect additions to our flat.

I think Fairy Dust is absolutely adorable and the slogan ‘invisible but true’ is soooooo cute. It is quite honestly incredible value for money too (£8.50), long after I blew the candle out, the sweet spring scent still filled the flat for hours and hours (even over night!!!).

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I also picked up a gorgeous smelling lime green candle called ‘Smile’ – ‘spread a little sunshine’, and I like to think that it does exactly that! Along with a fruity scent and pops of colour with the red and yellow wax, this tiny candle brings a hint of summer to the whole room.

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One other amazing thing about my new discovery is that I plan on keeping these beautifully designed tins for storing things in.

I think the decision to be brave and let go of Yankee for a little while (I think we were becoming slightly too attached), and try something different, was definitely the right move.

If you’re looking to sprinkle a little fairy dust on someone or fancy bringing a little sunshine to a friend or family member then seriously look no further, these gorgeous candles make the perfect gift.

Not a fan of candles? Lily Flame , who are celebrating their 21st birthday this year, also stock reed diffusers and room mists, which you can also find on their website here . or follow them on twitter .

Have you tried Lily Flame candles before? Which scents would you recommend? I’ve already heard amazing things about the Parma Violets and can’t wait to try that next! Let me know in the comment box below or tweet me.

XO

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Lee Stafford Vs L’Oreal Elvive – The Hair Growth Edit

Like most girls, I have always wished my hair was longer/thicker and would pretty much try everything to make it happen (except extensions, they can look great on other people, but I don’t think they are particularly my cup of tea, I don’t even like tea haha).

Way back in January when I began to see a lot of love for Lee Stafford on social media, I was desperate to give their hair growth collection a try.

So I headed to Boots to pick up the shampoo and conditioner but was thrown a curve ball when I came across L’Oreal Elvive Fibrology Thickening Range, which I guess was advertised as doing a similar thing to Lee Stafford.

Decisions, decisions. Having heard good things about Lee Stafford, I ignored the price tags of £7.49 for shampoo, and £6.99 conditioner (both 200ml), ouch, and let my bank account take the hit. I was extremely excited and couldn’t wait to see the results.

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Now, when it comes to beauty products (other than make-up) the first thing I test out is the scent. While I wasn’t completely bowled over by the smell, it is pleasant but definitely doesn’t ‘smell when the wind blows’, if you know what I mean? When someone has freshly washed their hair, you can normally smell all kinds of exotic fruits as they go past (mmm), yeah this didn’t happen.

The shampoo and conditioner lasted about a month with use around 5/6 times a week (I am really bad and normally wash my hair every day) and I didn’t particularly witness any hair growth or thickness.

Admittedly, it’s quite difficult to gauge whether my hair was actually affected at all by Lee Stafford’s range as I don’t want to be giving into the placebo effect, especially when I really want my hair to grow/become thicker.

However, when it came to the next trip to Boots to stock up on some more hair products, I was easily swayed by the L’Oreal Elvive Fibrology Thickening range (fyi £3.99 per 400ml per bottle, that’s double the amount of Lee Stafford!) and curious to know if it would have more of an impact.

Loreal

As I mentioned, the smell of shampoo and conditioner is a big deal and oh wow does L’Oreal impress. Smelling of what I’m guessing is ‘sweetened raspberries’, I can’t actually find a description, it is simply divine and people might catch me sniffing my hair at points throughout the day.

Again, I was dedicated to this range for about a month before coming to a decision. This time round my hair is noticeably thicker, especially when plaited. It generally feels healthier and more loved (although it is desperate for a cut).

Different products work for different people, and on this occasion the cheaper and well-known brand was definitely the winner. So girls, if you are looking to thicken your hair, I can strongly recommend L’Oreal’s fab fibrology duo, and at just £3.99 for the shampoo/conditioner each, you will be snapping up a bargain!

Have you used either of these ranges? Can you recommend any hair thickening/growing products? Let me know in the comment box below or tweet me @charlottesid

xo

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Reasons Bournemouth is the Place to Live

If you ask anybody who lives in Bournemouth, they will probably tell you that they are completely in love with where they live, and that they genuinely did appreciate growing up on the South Coast.

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There are a million reasons why our little tropical-esque paradise is perfect, but I’ve narrowed it down to 23 reasons, and who knows, I might convince you to pay Bournemouth a little visit (and if you do, you will definitely be back for more!).

1. The beach | It would be a criminal offence to not kick this list off by mentioning the beach. With the softest sand and a good seven miles of it, you could easily be convinced that you were in France or Spain on the hottest of summer days. Plus if you’re feeling brave, the sea is just about warm enough to venture further than just paddling, so why not take on Bournemouth and Boscombe piers and swim between them?

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2. Up the Cherries | Some of you reading this might remember watching the boys, hoping and wishing and praying that they may actually win a game one day (I don’t think we ever saw them win, in the couple of games I went to with my Dad and brother), but now it is a completely different story.

3. Sandbanks | Taking a little drive along the peninsula in Sandbanks is always a fun and interesting past time. With unimaginable and gorgeous houses gracing the shores of Poole Harbour, you will find yourself lusting after them and before you know it, you will be mentally moving yourself in.

4. You can never really have a bad night out | With pub quizzes, live comedy and music, karaoke bars and night clubs coming out of your ears, there is something for everybody, young and old, visitor or resident.

5. The BIC (Bournemouth International Centre) | Thankfully our modest music venue in the centre of town is just big enough to host some big names, and even S Club 7 have chosen Bournemouth as a stop on their reunion tour 😉 (You can see me there, with my friend Lolly on the 11th May completely in our element). The BIC holds fond memories for me, it’s where I got a huge black bruise after jumping in the mosh pit at Pendulum and also where my friend Harriet and I made it into One Direction’s ‘One Thing’ video by fangirling at the stage door haha.

6. We made it into the Geography text books | Yep that’s right, with a World Heritage Site on our doorstep, the Jurassic delights of Lulworth Cove, Durdle Door, Chessil Beach to name a few, are more or less a stone’s throw away for a rural day out.

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7. Clean air | Until I moved away to a city, I had absolutely no idea that the air quality could be so very different in two different places. Even my friends noticed the difference when they came up to Sheffield to visit for the weekend, no wonder the Victorians used to head to the coast to recuperate.

8. The Isle of Wight | Observing from afar, the white chalk cliffs adopt the shape of a polar bear injecting character into the horizon. This island is also home to the annual and aptly named Isle of Wight music festival.

9. The New Forest is on our doorstep | You could be walking on the warm sand down the beach one minute, and just half an hour later be relaxing with a pub lunch in the forest (or falling asleep in a field full of cows, yes this has happened haha).

10. Making a splash | From swan pedalos at Poole Park, to jet skiing and sailing in Poole Harbour and surf lessons on Boscombe Beach, you are spoilt for choice with reasons to get in the water!

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11. Bournemouth Eye | If the view of the picturesque coastline from the cliff top just lies short of your expectations (you must have something wrong with you), then you can take to the skies in the balloon situated in Bournemouth’s Gardens and obtain a true bird’s eye view of your surroundings.

12. The sunsets | Every view of a sunset can be stunning, but each time I log onto Facebook, twitter or Instagram I seem to find a captivating picture that creates a pang of jealousy within me, making me wish I was back home enjoying it too.

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13. The family | While Bournemouth’s population is boarding on a small city, everyone seems to sort of know everyone, yet still maintain a private life.

14. You’re never bored | Apart from adventures with nature, there are so many things to do including ski bobbing down the dry ski slopes at Matchams, hitting the flumes at Splashdown Waterpark, taking on one of the crazy golf courses, swinging from the high ropes with Go Ape at Moors Valley or painting a plate at All Fired Up, you will always have a fun packed day out!

15. Hengistbury Head | My mum’s favourite place in Bournemouth, and probably mine and my boyfriend’s too. It boasts breathtaking views stretching across Christchurch harbour and out to sea across to the Isle of Wight. While the Noddy train is perfect to give both big and little kids a break from all the tiring walks and sea air.

16. Everything is so close | If you fancy escaping Dorset for a while, adrenaline fuelled Thorpe Park is just two hours away in the car, while Gunwharf Quays Shopping Outlet and The Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth are an absolute must, try walking across the glass floor – I dare you!

17. The Bournemouth Air Festival | The Red Arrows are a national treasure and you can see them soaring across the summer sky every year during Bournemouth’s Air Festival. The whole town comes to a standstill as tens of thousands of plane spotters decend on the beaches and cliff tops hoping to snap some shots of some of the world’s most famous aircraft.

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18. Fireworks | Every Friday during the school summer holidays, we are treated to a spectacular display launched from Bournemouth pier, always ending a scorching summer’s day down by the sea.

19. The Arcades | Who doesn’t like trying their luck on the 2p machines? At the pier there are pool tables, table football, air hockey, dance and grabber machines beckoning you to take a break from the sunshine.

20. Beaulieu | For those of you who are a fan of cars, the National Motor Museum is less than an hour away in our neighbouring county of Hampshire, with more than 250 iconic cars waiting for you to marvel at. Plus for the historians in you, the 13th Century Abbey is worth visiting too.

21. Rhinefield Ornamental Drive | Nestled in the heart of the New Forest are some pretty impressive trees, known as the Giant Redwoods (they are normally found in America and some are even 3,000 years old!), ours have just hit the 150-year-old mark, but still reach for the sky.

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22. Mary Shelley | famous for her novel Frankenstein, is buried in the town, despite never actually living in Bournemouth. For more information on this amazing legacy click here

23. Aruba | This is one of my favourite places in Bournemouth, night or day this restaurant come bar is just perfect. Whatever the season you can enjoy a delicious meal (in the photo below are calamari and brushetta starters, mmmmmm!) or cocktails while sat either in the cosy warmth inside or sunbathing outside and perhaps even kid yourself for a couple of moments that you are living the Californian lifestyle.

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I have been called a ‘Bournemouth Sales Person’ in the past by someone at university, and it’s no wonder judging by the fact I had to reduce my list a number of times. I am ever so lucky to have been born in such a beautiful part of the country and I absolutely cannot wait to move back home this summer after four years away.

Are you planning a trip down south? If not, why not? Haha, I’m just kidding, if you come and see the place for yourself, you may just find yourself ‘accidentally’ browsing at potential houses to live in (and not just the million pound ones!).

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Let me know your memories of Bournemouth and the South Coast by commenting in the box or tweeting me.

XO

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