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Sunday 29 November 2015

I Won a Cosmopolitan Blog Award!

Hello My Lovelies,

I hope you are all doing well and you have had a wonderful weekend so far! I am a little late on the bandwagon writing up this post as the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards were over a week ago now, but the last few weeks have been unlike any other and I wanted to sit down and write this post properly for you all. If you follow me on my various social media channels and if you read my previous Cosmopolitan Blog Awards blog post then you will know that I was shortlisted in this year's awards. I said it in my previous post and I will say it again, I never thought in my right mind that I would be shortlisted again this year and for two categories, I lack so much confidence in myself and my blog to be able to say I am worthy for awards like this. I work full time so blogging doesn't always have my full attention, but I just love having my little space on the internet to be able to write away, share my thoughts and meet like-minded people. Being shortlisted for awards doesn't happen very often for me...I swear I have the worst luck in the world but I feel so blessed being part of the awards this year. So, if the title of this post didn't already give it away...I am incredibly proud to announce that I actually did it...I WON a Cosmopolitan Blog Award and here is the full story!!

Before we head into all of the awards evening natter I wanted to talk you through my run up to the awards (this is going to be a really chatty post haha). This years awards will be no doubt unforgettable for me, not only for the fact I won but because I got to share it with one of my blogging best friends...India from The Jewel Beauty. When the shortlist was announced and I saw that we were both shortlisted I messaged her straight away as I knew this would be the perfect time for us to finally meet! After pretty much starting our blogs at the same time and talking pretty much every day these past few years, it was so lovely being able to finally meet my berrie (long story but this is what we call each other haha) and blogger in crime. We got planning straight away about what we wanted to do and we decided to make a day of it. I travelled down to London the Thursday morning and then travelled on to meet India at Paddington station. Once we had finally met it was as if we had known each other forever and not as if this was the first time we were actually meeting. After meeting we decided to head to our hotel, The Marylebone which I feel needs a review in itself - our room was out of this world and I would highly recommend the hotel to anyone! Once you walked in from the door you were greeting with a gorgeous and spacious living room which led onto another room which housed the Queen sized bed which then led on to a huge ensuite which had a shower and bath! I was totally regretting the fact I didn't bring any Lush bath bombs with me! We decided it was probably best to drop off our bags at the hotel so we could do some exploring, grab some lunch and make our way to our hair and makeup appointments.

Our first stop was Harrods and suprisingly we were both very good and didn't splurge at all haha. We literally just walked and walked for hours talking non-stop and catching up on pretty much everything. Whilst planning our trip beforehand we decided to visit Laduree for lunch - I have been a few times before but on this ocassion we had a table inside and ohh my goodness it was incredible. Everything from the decor to the food was just out of this world - if you ever get the chance I would definitely reccomend you stop by, even if it to pick up some Macaroons...which is what India and I did also haha. We both decided whilst we were in London that it would be a great idea to get our hair and makeup done - just feel completely pampered for a change. We didn't get round to pre-booking our hair appointment so we made a few phone calls whilst at lunch and managed to get an appointment at the Harvey Nichols Hershesons Blow Dry Bar. We both opted for big bouncy curls and both walked away incredibly impressed with the service and final look. I swear I have never known anyone to curl my hair so quickly and for it to look imaculate - I believe she used the Tourmaline Professional Waving Tong (which is currently out of stock *cries*) and I am seriously considering adding this to my hair tools collection. Once our hair was ready we literally jumped straight into a taxi to head over to Selfridges for our makeup. India very kindly arranged our make-up appointment and we decided on Charlotte Tilbury. This was the first time I had ever had a full face of Charlotte Tilbury makeup and I was so pleased with how everything came together. My makeup artist was Adebola and we decided to create a hybrid look featured the Bombshell and Golden Goddess. As my dress was a pinky nude shade we opted to pair the look with a similar lip...we firstly opted for the famous Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk and topped everything off with Penelope Pink. This is such a gorgeous pinky nude that I personally think would look incredible on everyone. I actually ended up purchasing the lipstick and also the brow product that Adebola used on coming your way shortly. I was so pleased with the final look and how well the makeup lasted throughout the evening.

Lunch, Check. Hair, check. Makeup, check. Once we had finished up with everything we headed straight back to the hotel, changed into our dresses and were ready to take on the night. The awards took place at One Marylebone which was absolutely stunning. I believe it was once a Church so the decor inside was stunning and added so much character. I don't think the Cosmopolitan team could have chosen a better venue, it was gorgeous. So, you've heard about my hair and makeup, now it's time for the outfit. I literally could not find a dress for the awards and I didn't actually find one until the week before. I was actually in New York at the time and I was browsing through Forever 21 when I came across THE dress. It came in a pink nude shade and also a grey but I decided to opt for the lighter option and I am so glad I did. I just checked the Forever 21 website (UK and US) and I actually can't find the dress online anymore. Hopefully this is just a glitch with all the sales currently running for Black Friday and Cyber Monday but hopefully it will pop online again soon. You couldn't really see my shoes but I opted for a pair of light pink platform heels from River Island. As my dress was long I needed something to nsure my dress wouldn't be dragged across the floor and of course so I couldn't trip over myself (I can be quite clumsy). I then opted for a mixture of of which was my camera even though I took hardly any photos that night haha.

Fast forward and it's time to announce the winners. First up was the 'Best for Beauty' which was my first category. Unfortunately, I did not place in this category and I did feel a tad deflated (I am sure anyone would feel the same) because beauty is a huge part of my blog BUT never the less I still felt incredibly lucky to even be shortlisted and to even be in the running with some amazing bloggers. I want to say a huge congratulations again to Alice from Tea Party with Alice for  winning Highly Commended and to Brogan Tate for winning the overall category and for coming Highly Commended for Best Vlog - I adore both of their blogs and I think the awards couldn't have gone to a nicer pair - it was so deserved! Next up was the 'Best Use of Photography' which was my second and final category. I don't really remember a lot about this as I literally spaced-out with joy, excitement, name it and I was probably feeling it! The next thing I hear is 'Sophia Meola' being called for Highly Commended and thinking did they really just say my name?! Like really?! It honestly took me a good few minutes to register everything and actually start walking on stage. I remember walking up on stage (which was a challenge in itself...the step was really wobbly), completely shaking and feeling like I was on cloud 9! I collected my certificate and frame, posed for a photo (I havent seen this yet but no doubt I look like a dear in headlights) and made my way back to the crowd honestly feeling like I needed someone to pinch me. I can sometimes be quite clumsy so I am just so thankful I didn't dress was super long and my heels were quite high so I don't know how I managed that haha. The congratulations I received when making my way back into the crowd was incredible and I want to say a huge thank you again to everyone for the kind messages...I never dreamt I'd be in this position! I could ramble on and on about the evening but honestly I don't even think I have the right words to express how I was feeling that night and how I am still feeling...I am just so grateful! Then, if that wasn't enough, at the end of the night we were presented with a spectacular goodie bag housing a slection of products from Cosmopolitan. I was then also presented with a Remington goodie bag (they sponsored the beauty category) featuring a fabulous new styling tool that I just can't wait to share with you. It honestly felt like Chistmas had come early. When myself and India headed back to the hotel after the awards, we ordered some room service and dived into the bag...literally gasping with excitement at every product we pulled out!


So, did this all actually happen?! It honestly still feels like a complete dream to me and I still can't believe I walked away with an award and I can finally say I am an award winning blogger haha! According to Cosmopolitan this years awards had the biggest voting count EVER with numbers in excess of 64K - WOW! I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been there and supported my blogging journey and of course to anyone who took the time to vote for me - it means the world to me. As you know I didn't place in the Beauty category but I did walk away with Highly Commened for 'Best Use of Photography' and I am over the moon. If you read my blog the you will know that one of my blog New Years resolutions was to improve my photography and receiving this award makes me that tiny bit closer to achieving my goal. I have walked away feeling so motivated and I can't wait to get back into my blogging routine after a few hectic weeks and bring you some fabulous new content. Thank you so much again! I also want to say a huge congratulations to all of the girls who were at the awards, it was honestly so lovely finally meeting everyone. I didn't get round to seeing absolutely everyone *cries* as the night went increibly quickly but I am sure we will all see eachother again soon.

Shoutout to all of the lovely girls I met on the night! (so sorry if I have missed anyone)

India - The Jewel Beauty
Kristina - Creepers and Cupcakes
Emily - British Beauty Addict
Rosanna - Rosanna Pierce Makeup
Whitney - Whitney's Wonderland (I didn't get to see Whitney on the night but I am so proud of her for coming Highly Commended in Best for Fashion!) 
Brogan - Brogan Tate xo
Maddie - Mode Madeleine
Alexandra - Glamoclock 
Stephanie - Snapped Up  and Kate - Pure Irish Sugar representing Cocoa Brown Tan
Anjalee - Two Different Worlds 
Kacie - Rare Welsh Bit

If you have made it this far then thank you so much for sticking around and reading all the way through. This is a pretty chatty post so I really hope you enjoyed reading. Like always lovelies, if you have any questions, requests or if you just want a chat you can contact me via my social media or leave me a comment below. I love hearing from you all and I make sure to ready every single comment...they really make my day!

Is there anything you want to see from my blog? A particular review, Q&A or something else? I would love to hear your thoughts :)

Lots of Love

Saturday 28 November 2015

A #VerySpecialSomething Gift Guide

Hello My Lovelies, 

I hope you are all doing well and are having a fabulous week so far! Long time no speak I know, but the last few weeks have been pretty crazy that I think I needed some space to reflect on everything. What’s been going on? I will have a full blog post explaining all coming your way shortly, however, this will cover my surprise Birthday trip to New York, a personal reflection and the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards! Now, as we are heading into the festive season I love nothing more than self-indulging in a few treats, however, I also love indulging in a spot of shopping and treating all the special people in my life. I have put together a little gift guide featuring an array of products from that I know you are just going to love! The great thing about is that they stock pretty much everything you would need under one convenient website. They stock a huge selection of different brands and most of the time they have some pretty fantastic deals on offer…they currently have a 3 for 2 on a wide range of products at the moment. So, grab a cup of tea and let’s explore the website!

First up we have these Babyliss Thermo Ceramic Heated Rollers and for £29.99 these are an absolute steal! I have my very own set, which I purchased a good 5 or so years ago and *touch wood* they are still going strong. They were the first ever heated rollers I  tried and hands down they are still a holy grail product of mine that I can always turn to as they never disappoint. Give the gift of fabulous hair this Christmas with this easy-to-use heated rollers set! Next we have these gorgeous Tresor Paris Titanium White Crystal Ball Stud Earrings. These are a subtly beautiful design that makes the perfect accompaniment to any daytime or evening outfit. These earrings are set with dazzling Tresor Paris crystals and for £19 they would make the perfect gift or lovely treat for yourself. Yankee Candle is the world's best-loved scented candle manufacturer and with perfectly good reason. Each candle fragrance is carefully crafted to evoke the spirit of each season, or to rekindle precious memories and they are sure to make your home warm and inviting wherever it happens to be. This deliciously creamy Vanilla Cupcake scent will remind you of a tasty bakery with hints of lemon and buttery icing! You may think £22 is quite pricey for a candle, however, these large Yankee Candle jars offer rich delicious scents with 110-150 hours of burning time! Alternatively, you also have the option to choose between a few different sizes, which I think is a great touch. I have a few of the small jars so I can get a taste of a scent before committing to a larger size. 

Next up we have a fabulous personalised gift that will only set you back £10! There really is nothing like a spot of retail therapy, so make sure that special someone in your life is ready to grab those bargains with this personalised lightweight canvas bag. With the new legislation with carrier bags here in the UK, this would make the perfect stocking filler for anyone with a serious shopping addiction. I love carrying around canvas bags in my handbag, you hardly notice they are there and eventually saving on all those 5p bags will add up…plus, it will, of course, help the environment. Ever since I picked up YSL Black Opium Eau De Parfum back in April I have not been able to stop wearing it – it is such a gorgeous fragrance! This is one of the latest released by YSL and is an ultra glam fragrance consisting of floral notes, black coffee, white florals and vanilla. I don’t think I have ever known perfume to be super affordable, so this is another super indulging product within this gift guide – 90ml which I believe is the largest bottle size is £80, however, as the formulation is very potent this is sure to last you a very long time. If you have read my blog for a while then you will know how much I adore rose gold. When I saw that Daniel Wellington created a rose gold toned coloured strap ladies watch I instantly fell in love. Daniel Wellington watches are very much loved throughout the blogging community and, to be honest, they never really appealed to me until now – the rose gold has captured my heart haha. Each watch is a stunning classic timepiece that has a delicate design, which will suit everyone’s wrist. I am a huge fan of watches and I wear one pretty much every day so for £99 this is such a great deal and would make the perfect treat this Christmas.

What would this Christmas gift guide be without a scarf?! I for one absolutely adore scarves and I would love to receive this multi-check designed one this Christmas. For £14 it comes in at a great price and the fact that it is out of stock proves how popular it is this season. It is a great alternative to a Burberry esque design and is currently on a 3-for-2 offer! There is just something so special about Tom Ford and their fragrance line. I for one have always wanted a Tom Ford fragrance, however, admittedly their high price tag has always swayed me away *cries*. This 100ml Black Orchid Woman Eau De Parfume is currently on offer with a £22 saving at £88 which sounds so much better than the original £110 price! This luxurious and sensual scent features rich dark traces of black orchid and spices to complete a modern and timeless fragrance that is sure to leave a mark wherever you go…plus, if that wasn’t enough just look at the gorgeous black and gold design! Treat somebody special to a vintage tea party with this set of vintage chic teacups. The set itself includes two ceramic cups and saucers, which are decorated with a beautiful floral print. I am a huge fan of tea and sometimes using a pretty cup and saucer just adds a special little something. Packaged in a pretty presentation box and coming in at £13 this set would make such a cute gift.

This Ted Baker Glitter Bow washbag would make the perfect gift for any beauty junkie looking for a new makeup bag this season. I have one from a few years ago and the stiff structure and plastic design makes it ideal and pretty much indestructible *touch wood*. This particular design is a gorgeous taupe shade with delicate flecks of rose gold (which of course I had to include) that I am sure anyone and everyone are going to love. If anyone friends or family are reading this post…hint hint! ;) Another Ted Baker to add into this mix is this Oriental Bloom Touchscreen pen which is a fabulous multifunctional product perfect for someone on the go or for someone at the office. If you know me personally then you will know I have an obsession with cute stationary so when I saw this special piece by Ted Baker, I just could not let it go by. At £25 it is definitely up there with pricey stationary, however, you are receiving more than just your average pen. Of course you are paying for the Ted Baker name, however, you are also receiving this beautiful oriental design with the added bonus of a stylus and matching pouch.  Next up we have the second personalise gift within this gift guide…and one Carrie Bradshaw would approve of. When a gift is personal it means so much more, so this sterling silver name necklace would make the perfect gift this Christmas. This necklace is carefully crafted in a scroll type design and can be designed to say anything as long as it is within 10 letters. At £20 this is such a great deal as I know personalised necklaces can cost in excess of £100+ depending on where you go and, of course, the metal you opt for. I was very lucky to receive a personalised 24k gold necklace from my late grandparents for my Communion when I was younger and it is something I will always cherish.

Lastly but certainly not least we have this gorgeous GHD V Arctic Gold Dry and Style Gift Set. This is the most expensive item in the gift guide coming in at £195…but oh so worth it! This gift set includes a hairdryer, GHD V gold classic styler, heat mat and artic gold gift box. The straighteners feature smoother gold plates that glide effortlessly through your hair to make straightening on all hair types and lengths even quicker and easier. Then you can also get gorgeous hair in double quick time with this air professional hairdryer. The perfect gift for any hair styling junkie or for someone striating out their hair styling journey. Either way if anyone is offering me this fabulous gift I would definitely not refuse haha!

Overall, I really hope you enjoyed this gift guide. I wanted to include a variety of different products at different prices so I really hope there is something that caught your eye. I would love to hear your thoughts on the products included and what you currently have your eye on from the website. Make sure you share your wish list via social media using the #VerySpecialSomething hashtag and drop those hints haha! Like always lovelies, if you have any questions, requests or if you just want a chat you can contact me via my social media or leave me a comment below. I love hearing from you all and I make sure to ready every single comment...they really make my day!

Lots of Love

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