Sunday, 26 April 2015

What's in my purse?

Hi!

This is a post I don't think I've seen before, but from the amount of advantage cards and interesting things I have in my purse, I thought it would be a fun post!


Yes, this is the very same purse seen in this post! (You may not be surprised to know that the Primark bag didn't last the week...) I still love it, but as you may be able to see, the finish of the metal has worn away around the part you twist, which is slightly annoying.




These are some receipts with my name on... why you may ask? Because, as someone who helps to run the German Society at my Sixth Form, I often have to buy some popcorn and other snacks out of the society's budget. I've kept them because I need to be paid back at some point by the head of department! 


And here we have the collection of random and completely useless scraps of paper. Every single one of those Boots vouchers has expired. I think both of those receipts are a classic case of "oh I'll be a good person and take my receipt... oh wait this isn't my receipt at all", because I don't recognise any of the items on them! My cinema ticket for Mockingjay Part 1, which I really loved, especially the sequences of rebellion you didn't really get to hear about in the book.


Here are my important identity-type cards. 
  • A Barclays debit card, my sixth form identity card and my provisional driving license I can't really say much about!. 
  • Then there's my 16-25 Railcard, which I find so useful! If you go on a longer journey, you often find the amount of money you'll save (the card gives you a third off) is more than the cost of the railcard, especially if you have a discount. 
  • I am a member of Girlguiding UK in the Rangers, which is for girls from 14 to 18 - I enjoy it because it's an opportunity to chat, but the actual activities we do aren't that great, so I often don't go, but there is my membership card anyway!
  • My NUS card, which I found out is now out of date - these are quite useful, but I'm not completely sure they're worth the investment - the best discounts I've found are Superdrug (spoken about here) and Pizza Express, as on Mondays and Tuesdays you get 40% off. 
  • Then there's my Donor card - I encourage you all to sign up to be an organ donor, because you don't need them when you're gone!



And now the bit you've probably all been waiting for!
  • Debenhams Beauty Club Card - I think I've used this a grand total of one time! I'm definitely a drugstore girl.
  • Blott Eraser Reward Card - I've only ever bought one rubber from here, as a present for someone else (they're ridiculously expensive but very pretty) and they gave me this reward card, which promises the 11th rubber bought free.
  • New Look voucher - New Look is probably my favourite clothes shop, because I just find other places too expensive to justify buying too much from them. 
  • my John Lewis Card - Now before you all start thinking I'm secretly 100 years old, the only reason I have this is because they used to give out free coffee and cake every month to members of the rewards scheme. Unfortunately they've stopped this, so I don't really need this any more.
  • Superdrug Beauty Card - Although you only get 1 point per pound, I love that you can pay in cash and points at the same time, which I think is a downfall of the Boots card.
  • EvoCard - Unfortunately Evolution has now closed down :( It was my favourite shop for presents and nick-nacky things.
  • Lothian Ridacard - This is a momento of my trip to Edinburgh last year, but also because if you keep the card the price is reduced the next time you buy one. This card is fantastic if you're going to Edinburgh for a week or so - it gives you unlimited transport on buses and trams, which is essential if you aren't staying in the centre.
  • Nandos loyalty card - Now this is a good one. Although I haven't been to Nandos in a while, it is probably one of my favourite places to eat out. There are different levels, but basically if you spend over £7 on 10 different occasions you get an entire meal free. It's pretty great if you go there frequently.
  • Stagecoach Smart card - Yep, gotta get around somehow. 
  • Boots Advantage Card - Of course, the classic that everyone in the world should own. Everyone needs things from Boots, right?
Thanks for reading!
Penny xxx

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Beachwear Insecurities

Hi!

Since this post, my summer plans have become slightly more clear. We have booked a holiday at my friend's parents' house in Menorca. There will be 5 girls and 2 boys. Today, when I saw my friend she immediately asked us all if we would be wearing bikinis, looking extremely worried. When I and 2 of my other friends said we would be, she became even more distressed. She and another of my friends had been discussing how worried they were about it for about half an hour, when the rest of us hadn't thought too much about it. It turned out she was planning to wear shorts and a T-shirt for our entirely beach based holiday (including in the sea!).

Not my image


I find it very interesting that these two friends are worried about wearing bikinis, especially as they're both extremely slim. I have never been too concerned about baring myself to the world (apart from the obvious bikini line issues)! However, I thought I would find some options for people who are trying to find swimwear that covers up a bit more. They're mostly quite pricey, but I'm sure there would be cheaper options out there if you search around - these are just ideas! (...it turns out I like blue a lot)

Swim Shorts - Coolibar - $55

Dresskini - Lands End - £55.58

Boy Shorts - Lime Ricki - $9.50 (on sale!)

Swim Dress - Hydrochic - $79

Tankini Top - Limi Ricki - $47.50

Ruffle Wrap Skirt - Limi Ricki - $36.50

Boyleg Swimsuit - Slazenger - £6.49

I also think something really great is a cover-up or kaftan - I definitely want to get my hands on one this year! Here are some of my favourites:



Crotchet Trim Kaftan Top - Boohoo - £18
Brave Soul Blue Paisley Kimono - New Look - £14.99

Brave Soul Pink Abstract Longline Kimono - New Look - £19.99


Thanks for reading!
Penny xxx

PS Sorry this post is extremely late - exams are fast approaching so I've been a little slack on the blogging front.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Tips for small bloggers, from a small blogger

Hi!

As I've only been regularly blogging since December, I feel like such a fraud writing an advice post! But I hope I can help some of you out.


The most important thing for me in a blog post is the spelling and grammar. Someone could be writing about something I'm really interested in, but if there are a lot of mistakes it just distracts me from the actual content. Take the extra 5 minutes to just read through the post again.

Pictures are also very important for me. The main problem I see with smaller bloggers is that the pictures are often taken in bad light, often making everything seem yellowy - especially a problem when they're showing swatches or something! I don't think you need a particularly good camera though - I just use my phone and although obviously they're not the best quality, I don't think my photos are terrible quality. I don't edit my photos at all, except from the occasional crop, so I probably should do this, but that's just not really something that interests me - I'm more interested by the composition. I'm by no means an expert, in fact I've never taken any proper photos other than for this blog, but I'm really enjoying trying out something new.

I've found that something that's really helped me is having a schedule. I really wanted to post at least once a week this year, so I decided to post on Sundays. I also occasionally do another one midweek (like this week), but the main thing is to have an aim, as this motivates you to keep going! Last year when I technically started blogging, I was very irregular and in the end just stopped. Planning everything out in my notebook is also really useful. I have a list of post ideas and then at the start of the month I write down what I will do for the next 4 weeks. I've changed something every time I've done it so far, but it's just helpful to have an idea of what you'll be doing.

Commenting on other blogs really helps people to be able to see your blog. I think it's best if you write something thoughtful and nice about the other person's post, then linking your blog at the end, rather than just saying "Check my blog out!". You can use this:
<a href="http://polka-dot-penny.blogspot.co.uk">Polka Dot Penny</a>
with your own address and blog name to have a direct hyperlink to your blog. Something else that increases traffic is blogging awards, such as the Liebster Award or Versatile Blogger Award. If you get nominated for one of these, I really recommend that you take the time to not only write the post, but also comment on the blog of the person who nominated you and the people you nominate.

Thanks for reading and I hope these tips helped you! What tips do you have?
Penny xxx

Friday, 10 April 2015

CURRENTLY #2

Hi!

It's time for another post about what I've been up to lately, this month including lots of beauty-type products!



Currently listening to:
Jealous by Labrinth - This song always gets in my head, so I have to listen to it, then it carries on around my head meaning I have to listen to it again... a vicious circle! But it is a beautiful song.
Heartbeat Song by Kelly Clarkson - A fun and upbeat song that always makes me dance around the room!
Lay Me Down ft. John Legend by Sam Smith - I am obsessed with Sam Smith's voice and this song is just so soulful and sad.

Currently watching:
Bluestone 42 - I really love this programme - it's a comedy about a bomb disposal unit in the army, which doesn't sound particularly funny, but trust me, it's hilarious!

Currently using:
Body Shop Tea Tree BB Cream - I really went off using a base for quite a long time, because the others I own don't give an effect I love, but since having this I love wearing a base!
Soho Soap Co Spiced Apple Tart Shower Gel - I kept going into Sainsburys, basically just to smell this and finally I caved in and bought it. It is a lovely smell, but it's really too much to use as a shower gel, in my opinion. It's an extremely sweet smell so I wish I'd picked up a different fruity flavour, because they are all scrummy smelling.
Maybelline Age Rewind - I've been using this a lot recently, especially under my eyes. It is too dark for my skin tone, but once it's blended in you can't tell at all. This is the best concealer to use without any foundation, (most of the time for me!) as it looks quite natural.
Nivea Cleanser and Toner - For a while I didn't think I was that keen on this, but lately I've incorporated it into my morning routine and it seems to make my skin feel so much softer.
Topshop Kohl liner in Coal - I'm LOVING wearing this in the waterline and tightline at the moment! I was scared of that for quite a long time, and it does feel a bit weird, but I love the understated, but also dramatic way it looks. This liner doesn't budge from there for quite a few hours, and when/if it does, it just creates a smudgy look, which I love.
Boots Vitamin E Night Cream - I'm not in love with this moisturiser. As you would imagine, I use it at night and it definitely keeps me moisturised, but it doesn't do anything spectaculor. I wouldn't say my skin feels particularly soft after using it, but my main issue is that once or twice after using a harsh mask or scrub, it has had a mild reaction on my skin, making it feel a bit raw.
Benefit Roller Lash Mascara - I realise that I've talked about this fairly negatively before (here and here), but now I've decided that I really like this mascara. I don't know what wasn't working for me before, but after using my Rocket Volum mascara and being so unimpressed by the results (whereas before I quite liked it), I realised this really is a good one for lengthening and separating.
ELF Cream blush in Vixen - This blusher looks terrifying in the pot, but once applied sparingly on your cheeks, it looks very natural (as seem in this post).

Currently doing:
Me and my friends have finally booked a holiday! As I talked about in this post, we have been planning this for a while, but it seemed like it wouldn't happen. However, my friend recently passed her driving test (on the 5th attempt!!), which means we'll be able to get around in her family's shared house in Menorca! So I really can't wait to go there, as I think it will be so much fun.
With A level exams fast approaching, I really should be doing a lot more revision than I am... let's not talk about that one any more.

Currently wanting:
Rimmel Kate Moss Matte Lipstick in 107 - This is a classic that I feel like I need, if I'm to call myself a beauty blogger!
Collection Liner - I really want a liner that can go really close to the lash line and just enhance it, rather than being a statement of the look. As this one has been talked about a lot recently, and it's only £1.50 at Superdrug, I may just have to pick it up! Does anyone have any suggestions of a good thin eyeliner?

Thanks for reading!
Penny xxx

Sunday, 5 April 2015

To print or not to print?

Hi!

I've been thinking about photos a lot recently. And I don't just mean the difficult decision of what to put as the picture on a blog post about pictures!



These days, it's so easy to not print pictures, even though having pictures around is so lovely! It's a brilliant idea to have photos easily accessible online or on your phone, but the reality is we just don't look at them! Printing photos has become such a faff, either you get grainy bad quality ones from the printer at home, or you spend loads of money printing them online or in Boots. Bring back the days when disposable cameras were all the rage, eh?

Another problem is that I find is that with some groups of friends I take loads of photos and with others I barely take any at all. Neither is ideal! On the one hand, you end up with 50 photos of the same 6 people standing in a line and on the other hand there's nothing to show for years of brilliant friendship. Photos have become commonplace, so we know that we *could* have a photo together, but it just never happens I would love a happy medium, but it just never works out that way!

I think it was so much better when everyone had a film camera that would be brought out at special occasions, and when the pictures were sent back in a handy envelope you could have a lovely family event looking back at all the recent memories, or sharing them with people who weren't there. I wonder if you guys think I'm just being an old granny about it, or if you agree. Comment down below your thoughts on printing pictures and if you have the same problems with friendship groups!

Thanks for reading!
Penny xxx