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Firmoo FREE Frames Giveaway!

November 7, 2014

Remember Firmoo, the stylish glasses brand I’ve featured on the blog a couple of times before? (the photo above also features a pair of their frames). This time I’m giving away a free pair of frames. That’s right, the frames are totally FREE!

To participate in the giveaway, just have a look at the available styles, drop me a comment letting me know the ones you want and fill in the Rafflecopter widget. This competition will end on the 21st of November, so you have 2 weeks to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Ask a… Blogger

November 7, 2014

Bloggers are equally loved and hated, by both bloggers and non-bloggers. Either because some people can be a little bit obnoxious, others condemn receiving free gifts and writing reviews… Whatever the reason is (there are plenty and really, no one is a dollar bill to be loved by everyone, right?), sometimes it can be a little bit embarrassing to say I am a blogger. Even makes me feel a little bit “dirty”. So I wanted to ask other bloggers:

Do you feel “dirty” when you tell people you are a blogger?

No, not at all. For the most part, I don’t really get asked if I’m a blogger or what my blog is like. Only my husband and daughters know, I feel no need to tell anyone else in my family. My sister knows, but thankfully all of them think it’s great. And have been supportive. But, I know there are people who look down on bloggers and think it’s not a ‘real’ job or needs much energy put into it. My husband realized this when he sat down with me as I was putting a post together & it took me hours instead of a ‘few minutes’ as he thought it would take.

A blog can essentially be like a webzine like place for not only one’s thoughts, but also a platform for sharing news and other important issues and opinions. So, I never feel ‘dirty’ so to speak when I say I’m a blogger, I think I only would if I was publishing information that wasn’t well informed or pointless. Or if I was one of those bloggers that were being pulled by strings just to be famous or well known. As long as I’m myself and other bloggers are themselves, then being a blogger should never been considered ‘dirty’. It’s just another form of expression, a creative way to reach people around the world that otherwise, you’d never come into contact with. I’m proud to be a blogger & also one that strives to be different and present exactly who she is!”

Kizzy, The Dainty Dolls House

“When I started blogging I didn’t tell anyone as it never crossed my mind. Eventually though my uni friends found my blog. Most of them were genuinely interested, although a few people were weird about it. It made me realise that something that seemed so positive to me could be seen as odd or even shallow by others. That upset me as I was so proud of what I had created.

Now all my friends and family know, and everyone is super lovely about it. They support me and are genuinely interested in it. Blogging isn’t dirty and I’m proud to tell everyone and anyone.”

Emma, Bloomzy

“For the most part, I don’t feel ‘dirty’ when I introduce myself as a blogger. However, having said, that I have had plenty people who have made me feel rather Christina Aguilera ‘Dirty’ when they have made comments to me about why I do my blogging- indicating that I write or give my opinion in exchange for freebies. Thank Goodness I get so much free soap, and cleansers; as what state would my conscience be in without it?

Blogs and blogging is perceived rather differently to how it is perceived in the US or abroad-where it can be a more serious form of media and hence, writers or editors of the blogs are paid for editorial content. Here, in the UK it is looked upon as more of a contra concept where goods or services are exchanged for posts. Perhaps this is why I come across some who gives me those dirty looks. Blogging here, also seems to be associated with students, and namely students with no jobs. Being a freelance Marketing & PR consultant for the last three years I saw the extraordinary value my blog has brought me in terms of business. I always like to describe my blog as ‘the little engine’. Doing free blog posts for the most part, has given little tasters to potential clients who have asked me to do copy writing, and other tasks for them over the last few years.

I never feel bad about blogging because of all the wonderful people I have met through my art of writing. I know that at the end of the day it is truly appreciated, and I’ve got more than 10,000 fans who support and encourage me in what I do. My blog is a special place where I can share my expertise to others in fashion, beauty, and other lifestyle issues. I would and have encouraged many others to start their own blogs in the time I’ve been doing mine, because who knows where will it lead you on your path? Like all paths though, as in every enchanted forest we’re sure to encounter a troll or two. So whenever someone tries to make a blogger feel dirty, we’ll refer them to a beauty contact of ours who make great soap! Trolls wash your mouths out, as bloggers are here to stay!”

Lili, Beauty and the Snob

“The short answer is no. I tell people that I’m a blogger when they ask me about my interests and my passions; the subject comes out naturally when I mention that I’m a food lover and a writer. Sometimes, they’re absolutely unimpressed, and we move on to talk about something else. Others put up an excited face and ask me for my URL; flattering at first, disheartening when I discover that they never spent a second on my blog, and were just faking enthusiasm. Other times, the most surprising, unlikely connections come up; hadn’t I mentioned that I have a food blog on my first day at my new workplace, I would never have found out that a colleague’s girlfriend is a food blogger too!

None of this makes me feel embarrassed in the least: if the things I write about (or the fact that anyone with an internet connection can read them) made me feel uncomfortable, I would simply avoid writing them online. As for the people who dislike bloggers…well, as they say, it takes all sorts. Some people despise salesmen; others hate bankers; that there may be someone, out there, who feels that bloggers are a sham doesn’t surprise me in the least. We’re all entitled to our own views; whatever others choose to think of what I do is their business, and theirs alone. While I respect everyone else’s opinion, I have no intention to lose my sleep over it. All I care about is doing what I love, having fun while I do it, and connecting with like-minded people with whom I can share my passion. That shouldn’t be something to feel ashamed of, right?”

Federica, Whatever Gets You Through The Day

If you are a blogger, what do you think? Do you feel dirty to tell people you are a blogger? What would make you feel dirty to be a blogger? I want to know!


Liliputians – quirky hair accessories for kids

November 4, 2014

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I am now able and proud to show you a little project I’ve been working on with my friend Lili. She is launching her own business, selling gorgeous good quality, handmade accessories for children. Liliputians mostly sells hairbands but will very soon have some different and exciting things that I’ll share with you in due time.

So, what have I been doing for Liliputians? I did a few pictures and illustrations, for the back to school collections. How cute are they? I will be sharing a few more as I make them. For now, take a look at the offerings and enjoy an exclusive 20% discount, use the discount code SPARKLE20 when you check out. Hurry, the code lasts until the end of November. Just in time to start your Christmas shopping, heh?

PicMonkey Collage


Things to do in Mallorca

October 24, 2014


If you are looking for a getaway and not spending too much money, Mallorca is a great option. As  England is bracing itself for the cold weather, a few days in the sun and balmy temperatures is just what the doctor ordered.



As it’s low season, you can find flights as cheap as £50 one way and there are plenty of good and economical options on Airbnb. We stayed for three nights with a really nice couple at a very central location, with a great view of the port and mountain and two lovely cats, for little over £100.


Palma de Mallorca seems to be very popular with Germans. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many Germans in one place (yes, I’ve never been to Germany, tut tut). For the first time in my life I was spoken to in German, which was confusing because I don’t think I look German in the least. Not that it is important but nonetheless funny.


First night we had dinner at La Boveda. Tapas and good wine, finished by sorbet de limón con cava. Paid an average of 50 euros per person but worth every cent. Delicious food. Don’t miss out on the boquerones, the smoked ham, the pimientos de padrón and the squid in black sauce.


On the second day we went for a drive in the countryside and  around the island.




Rock On!


We went through the Tramuntana mountain on the way to Sollér, and you go through a carved up tunnel (you pay 5 euros toll, for a regular car).





Stopped for lunch at Port de Valldemosa, at the Es Port restaurant. If you don’t like seafood and fish, go somewhere else, as there isn’t a lot of options on the menu, other than maritime creatures. Great food, 30 euros average per person.




As you make your way around the island, there’s plenty of scenic views, where you can park your car and stop for a couple of pics. And cats. Loads of cats to play with and take pictures of – I was in heaven!



In the old town centre in Palma de Mallorca,  the windy roads hide some architectural gems, as I was occasionally surprised by a few Art Nouveau buildings, with gorgeous details. The light is incredible and great for taking photos too.



If you want to do some shopping, there are options for all budgets, from high end to high street prices. There are plenty of quirky shops too, just don’t expect much on the vintage side of things, as I didn’t see anything. There are a lot of local handicrafts available though and I would recommend taking a look at the bags made of straw and other vegetable fibers.




The older part of Palma de Mallorca has an interesting mix of old and new. There is some street art to be seen every now and then.




I have to also say that in this weekend I couldn’t help noticing the large number of penises scrawled around on walls, dirty windows, you name it. I didn’t bother to document them all but you can see what I’m talking about. Very rude!




The cathedral was quite a sight. It took my breath away, as I entered and saw how big it was. The stained glass roses are definitely a must see and there are a handful of interesting pieces in the cloisters museum.




Another nice place for dinner is Quina Creu, with a great selection of wines, tapas, pintxos and other main courses. Definitely worth a visit.




During the day you can eat tapas in terraces all across town (or the whole island, even) and stuff yourself with jamon iberico, a delicious specialty. funnily enough a lot of things including the food made me think about home, which wasn’t a bad thing per se. It just made me feel very comfortable.


I really enjoyed these days away and I would definitely be happy to go back. The combination of affordable great food and travel, with sunny weather and beautiful landscapes definitely make Mallorca a destination to go back to.