Lauren Loves Blog

18 Feb 2018

Taking my new trainers out - an update on life

Hi team!

I've been wearing these new all-black Nike trainers constantly for the last week. Life's been on the go, so I was so grateful to Footway for sending me a discount code so I could buy these sneaks to sneak around in

We've had a pretty manic time recently. The update is in the last week, we gave up on waiting for the house we were buying in Bournemouth. The guy showed no interest in moving out so we withdrew our offer. Thankfully another house (which I prefer) came on the market and we got our offer accepted. Hopefully we're still full steam ahead to move by the summer. I can't wait to have time for running, joining a new netball team, going out!

I've been commuting 4 hours a day still, but surviving better. I've discovered podcasts and am binging My Dad Wrote a Porno series 1 which is hilarious. Thankfully I get to stretch my legs - I'm on my feet a lot with my new job as I'm working on inpatient wards, so the trainers are perfect - smart enough for work but comfy for running up and down hallways and dashing in the rain back to my office. They're the Nike Air Max Thea Premium in black and cost £105. I'm actually really impressed with Footway - they stock everything and at really good prices! My main complaint is there is too much choice for lazy browsers like me and are more for shoppers who know what they want. 

My Misfit Ray broke at the beginning of the month, but thanks to their warrenty I was sent a new one really quickly and it's an upgrade with a grey leather strap. Perfect for tracking those steps and how much (little) sleep I'm getting!

This week I've also been at my lovely friend Emma's hen do! 5 weeks till the wedding and I have the huge honour of doing her hair and makeup. We had a trial run a couple of weekends ago and I had a really fun time playing around with my favourite hobby - beauty! It does help that her face is such a flawless canvas to begin with though. We went to New Manor Spa in the New Forest and I enjoyed my first hot stone massage. I really needed it and felt so relaxed after, and I think I fell asleep several times during the massage. Then we went out for dinner and I provided the mandatory willy cake! I won't post it, just in case you're reading this at work!

This week, Sam and I are off together so we've got plans to go for breakfast, go to the New Forest for a dog walk and have a mid-week night out together! I'm really excited for it, plus lots of knitting and resting. I love a stay-cation. 

25 Jan 2018

My yarn dying workshop experience

In December, my BFF Becky and I went on a yarn dying course! We're both huge knitting fans, and had been eyeing up gorgeous (and expensive) hand dyed yarns for years. We decided as a Christmas present to each other, we'd go on a course together to learn! After a lot of research, we discovered a place near Andover, North Hampshire called Beaker Button. It's run by a lovely lady called Jen who is passionate about all things yarn-based. Her beautiful shop was a cave of inspiration and gorgeous colours. 

The class was £40, and there were only the two of us. We got 3 skeins of sock yarn each and learnt 3 different dye techniques - kettle dying, hand painting, and dip-dying. We learn to hot-dye, and how to do it at home. 

Jen was a brilliant teacher - so knowledgeable and confident in her well-practiced skills. She was hands-off enough that we got to mess around, choosing and mixing dyes and playing with colour schemes. However she was also always watching us (usually me!) like a hawk to remind me not to let colours touch, where I'd missed and to remind me to put bright colours in for change! She had a great eye for colours too. 

She then taught us how to wrap, heat and prepare our newly dyed yarns for knitting. We learnt lots of little bits for how to do it and took home some dye to play ourselves. I was amazed that using the same three colours: grey, teal and yellow, I got so many different looks (plus I pinched some purple from Becky for my dip dyed one)

L-R: Kettle dye, hand painted, dip dyed

I knitted mine up into an asymmetric scarf, perfect for spring! Look at the colour pooling! It was really fun to knit up, and see how the colours fell (geek!) This is it blocking out after I finished it.

If you have a knitter in your life, I'd really recommend taking them to this class. I feel really confident now and am going to have a go at making my own kettle-dyed yarn for a jumper - I love that gentle, variegated effect.

17 Jan 2018

Stationery addict - my new office

New year, new job! When I'm not blogging or knitting, I have a real job! I'm a Psychologist in a hospital and in my new role I have my own desk! I was recently contacted by a stationery company called Mustard about their range of bright, fun things and they kindly sent me a few bits and bobs to look after me

My particular favourite thing is the tiny pencil case (£8) on an elastic - it's absolutely genius! Now I can keep my diary shut and I always have pens for writing in my diary. It also has a tiny lucky cat zip pull

The range of sticky notes is INSANE! I love a sticky - I have them dotted everywhere. It started out  a helpful habit, but now I have so many with "important" notes dotted around that I have gone note blind! Like my other habit of highlighting everything so nothing ends up standing out! 

I love these marbly ones (£6) - they're all different lengths and my geeky thought is the sticky area is really large so they stick really well. I also got rainbow ones (£6) which have a stand so they look gorgeous on my desk. I don't really want to use them. The marble block (£8) isn't sticky, but so helpful for taking a quick number or phone message down. 

At lunch, I also have some new treats. My HydrateM8 bottle broke really quicky so I luckily got this new fruit infusing water bottle in a watermelon print (£15). It has some little markers on the side with encouragement to drink, my favourite saying "looking good!" I popped some frozen berries into the middle infuser and left it with water in overnight for some yummy juice!

and my favourite thing ever - a t-rex lunchbox in dayglo brights (£8.99)!

So far I'm settling in well. The staff seem really lovely and I'm excited to move. I still haven't - sigh. The sale fell through again but hopefully will be coming together soon. 

24 Dec 2017

Outfit post: Christmas parties and New Years Eve

Yikes it's Christmas weekend already! Hope you're all having a lovely time. I went to the pub yesterday with my lovely friends for a 30th birthday/Christmas meet up.

I don't know about you, but sometimes I find this time of year very hard to dress for - I'm out and about all day, doing loads of different visits and meetings - family, friends, pubs, homes. I tend to need an outfit for all occasions. This year I've been wearing this outfit

Look at these fab drinks baubles - they are made by Mason. Mum got them from the local off-license but I've definitely seen them elsewhere on Insta! My outfit is

Star print camisole with lace trim - now £7, sent to me by F&F
Tinsley sparkly tweed jacket - now £12, sent to me by F&F
Jeans are Ridley by ASOS in Lily £28
Shoes are LOTD black suede all over studded - now £10. I live in these shoes!

My lippie is my new favourite purchase - It's Gigi Hadid for Maybelline West Coast Lip Kit in Austyn and I bought it the other night. It's a bright coral/pink/orange/red lipstick and lip liner. The colour is fantastic, really bright but flattering on all skin tones. I don't normally suit orange tones but I love this. My Mum went out and bought one for herself today!

I am so in love with the jacket! It's like a tweedy classic Chanel shape and I love the glitz running through it. If you're working between Christmas and New Year, this is perfect for work. Or gorgeous on top of a dress for your New Years night out. It's a real classic and sale bargain

20 Nov 2017

My Favourite Autumn Look and house hunting!

If you've been keeping up with my ramblings on Instagram, you'll know we're trying to move house at the moment. We're moving from my home town outside of Portsmouth, to Bournemouth. Sam and I both have new jobs there so we're hoping to move ASAP.  This means we've been doing a lot of house hunting. Let me tell you, this is no easy task. 

It involves lots of wandering around, arriving early for viewings and walking up and down the street to check the area out. Not being from Bournemouth, we're having to suss out each area as we arrive. This means I need a warm outfit and lots of layers - keeping warm outside and able to take them off when we get inside or in the car. This has been my standard cold weather, being outdoors outfit

Taking inspiration from my Autumn Pinterest board, I've been wearing a lot of this outfit. I was sent the River Island jacket last week and I don't think I've taken it off since. It's fully lined with faux fur and it's so thick, warm and soft! It's like snuggling down into a soft cloud on my long commutes in the dark, and I love it! Plus it has huge pockets so perfect for throwing my phone and keys into before running to the next viewing.

Jacket: River Island black Faux Leather Aviator Jacket £90
Scarf: New Look Check scarf £9.99
Trousers: Levi 501 CT tapered jeans (£85 from Levis or £67.99 from Zalando)
Shirt: New Look Iris shirt £22.99 on Amazon
Hat: From New Look last year, but similar here
Shoes: Studded flats from LOTD £18
Bag: DKNY Gansevoort medium (£270 but I got it in the Zalando sale in the new year)

I don't know about you, but lipstick makes me feel like I'm in control! Sam's been laughing at me because every time we go to view a house I think I'll really like, or before I make that "Location Location Location" offer phone call from the coffee shop, I always top up my lippie. I've been wearing either MAC Ruby Woo (my favourite and what I'm wearing in this one) or MAC Sin on a rainy day. 

So far we've had some luck! We've found a house we really want! We've put an offer in on one we love! The hard part is not falling too in love with the house because I keep being warned that house sales always fall through and we could lose it. However mentally Sam and I have totally moved into our "new family home" and keep talking about what we'll do to it, where we'll put all our furniture, what life will look like living in the house... sigh. Our house has a buyer, but we're waiting with high anxiety for her to find a buyer so we can definitely confirm the offer on the house we want has been accepted. Obviously I'll keep you all posted as we go through the process. Please keep everything crossed for us!
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