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Monday, 18 October 2021

How to Create a Pumpkin Flower Arrangement for Halloween

pumpkin flower arrangement

floral pumpkin arrangement

 If like me, you'd prefer to opt for a prettier take on pumpkins at Halloween rather than frightening ghosts and ghouls, you've come to the right place. In this post I'll guide you through how to create a pumpkin flower arrangement like the one I've made below.


What you'll need

  • A large pumpkin
  • A knife for carving
  • A pencil
  • A bowl
  • Autumnal flowers
  • Floristry scissors
  • Floristry oasis

How to create your floral pumpkin arrangement

  1. First you'll need to prep your pumpkin. Ensure your flowers are kept in cool water while you're doing this so that they stay hydrated. You'll need to carve the top off of your pumpkin, you could choose to do this in a curved line or in a zig-zag fashion. I've chosen a curved line for this particular pumpkin. To get a precise line, turn a bowl upside down over the top end of your pumpkin, draw around the edge of the bowl with a pencil, then remove the bowl. Now you have a nice neat line to use as a guide. Stick your knife in and out of the pumpkin to make the first cut, and repeat this process until you've cut all the way around. You should now be able to pull the top off so it becomes the lid.
  2. Using your hands or a utensil, empty out the contents of the pumpkin as best you can. Put the seeds and flesh to one side in a bowl so that you can make the most out of them later in recipes. Meanwhile, measure out the size of your floristry oasis. This will be sitting inside your pumpkin, so it needs to be able to fit comfortably. Soak your floristry oasis in cool water in the sink so that it absorbs all the moisture. 
  3. Once it's fully absorbed, put your oasis block into the inside of your pumpkin. This will be holding your flowers in place and providing them with the water they'll need to keep them looking good.
  4. Prepare your flowers by splitting them into types. For example, put all your red roses into one section, pink in another, and foliage in another. Strip off any leaves that will not be visible or will get in the way of your arrangement. I like to keep a few of the top leaves to bulk out the arrangement and keep it more natural but this is entirely up to you.
  5. Measure your first flower stem down to size by carefully snipping at the bottom of the stem a few cm at a time. Gently insert the stem into the oasis until it stands alone, is secure and sits at the desired height above your pumpkin. 
  6. Build out your arrangement around the first stem by considering colours, textures and varying heights. You can also try inserting the stems at a diagonal angle so that some of the flowers elegantly hang over the edge of the pumpkin, disguising the raw edge from sight.
  7. Once you're happy with how it looks, pop it on display on your side table or even as a centre piece at the dinner table while you enjoy a comforting autumnal feast.

pumpkin flower arranging

floral pumpkin

Friday, 17 September 2021

How to look confident on camera

look more confident on camera
 
how to look confident on camera
confident on camera

The professionals definitely make it look easy but if you're somebody who hates being on camera and struggles to feel confident, you are not alone! Many people feel uncomfortable being in front of the lens but there are ways to appear more confident on camera even when you're not feeling it.

Being a blogger, I'm generally used to having my photo taken but there have been times when I'm shooting out in public and I feel awkward. The last thing I'd want is for that to translate on film so in order to appear more confident in the photos, I'll follow a few steps to combat the shyness.

Keep a natural gaze

My favourite tip is to imagine you're smiling at a loved one or your celebrity crush instead of down the barrel of a lens. This will (hopefully) make you feel more at ease, and keep your smile feeling more natural rather than forced. Try to avoid fixating your eyes on the lens by keeping your eye movements relaxed. If you need to, take a brief moment to look away or look down before looking back at the camera.

Fix your posture

Fixing my posture and standing tall always makes me feel more confident, whether on camera or just in real life! Keep your core tight, pull your shoulders back and neck tall, but do so without tensing. Tensing will make you look more rigid which is what we're trying to avoid.

If in doubt, smile

It's no secret that your facial expression will be a big part of how you'll translate on camera. Try to relax your facial muscles. Don't be afraid to try a few funny faces if it'll make you feel more at ease and if in doubt, just smile!

Consider your body language

Personally, I like to experiment with poses. I'll create movement by positioning my arms, hands and legs in specific positions. One of my go-to stances is to stand tall with one leg in front of the other, clutching or gently swinging a handbag. If you follow me on Instagram, you may be already familiar with this one!

Dress for the occasion

Wear an outfit that you feel most confident in. Do you see those black heeled boots in the pictures above? Those boots make me feel like I could take on the world. It's important you feel happy in what you're wearing so dress with comfort and confidence in mind.

Stay cool under pressure

When we're the subject of a photographer, it's easy to be extra hard on yourself in that moment. Before the image has even been taken, you may find yourself already thinking "oh, I'll look awful". Don't! Give yourself a chance by remembering it's only a photo - a photo that can be ripped up and deleted if needed. You never know, if you're happy with it, it could be a photo that you cherish for years to come and use to remember a fond memory.

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Monday, 17 May 2021

Why the H&M wildflower collection is just what we need right now

h&m wildflower dress

h&m wildflowers

close up of wildflower collection

wildflower meadow dress
h&m wildflower collection dress


 If a clothing collection ever had my name written all over it, it's the H&M wildflower collection. Each piece of this collection is adorned by dainty floral designs inspired by the beauty of our natural surroundings. It was born as a result of the uncertain times we're all facing, having been in and out of lockdown multiple times. That feeling of wanting to escape has been common for most. For me, often the only way to do that was to go out for a quiet walk in nature and admire the changing of the seasons. I won't be alone in saying how much nature has helped me carry hope and belief in the beauty of life over the past year. It's even more prominent now than ever before and the wildflower collection truly triumphs that.


The background behind this collection is a beautiful story within itself. The prints were designed and hand painted in house by H&M's print designers Abigail, Holly, Kavita and Florentin. They walked through fields of wildflowers seeking their muse and inspiration then sketched down designs, alive and untamed - just like what they had seen at the meadows. The flowers were hand painted in water colour giving them a soft and subtle look, mimicking that of real delicate petals. 


With sustainability at its heart, the range is made entirely from 100 percent organic cotton and a cotton-linen mix. In a soft colour palette, the clothes are beautifully vintage inspired yet kept in line with contemporary features, such as puffed sleeves and cut out detailing.


For a high street brand to connect with people in this way is refreshing and up-lifting. It feels as though we've got to see the creative process and the people behind the designs.

 The collection launched on April 12 and most pieces sold out within a day. You can still find a few pieces from the wildflower collection online and in store, but here's to hoping they'll be a second drop and extension of this stunning collection coming soon.


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Friday, 14 May 2021

5 Easy Sustainable Beauty Swaps You Can Make Every Day

sustainable beauty swaps

Sustainable beauty is a hot topic right now and rightly so. As a beauty product loving human, I am not perfect but I'm certainly trying to make sustainable beauty swaps every day to be more conscious of the products I am using and reduce waste. 


Before you read any further, I must add a disclaimer that if you are looking for a sustainability expert, I hold my hands up that I do not know enough about this topic to be considered an expert.


Swap out single use cotton pads for re-usable pads

I was skeptical at first but honestly, I'm embarrassed that I didn't make this swap sooner. The product is a diamond! Not only are these re-usable pads softer on the skin than disposable cotton pads, they're very easily washable by hand with soap and water or in the washing machine with detergent for a deeper clean. I use the Garnier Reusable Makeup Remover Eco Pads, linked below.

Use refillable containers 

As cute as they look, it's time to ditch the travel sized mini beauty products in favour of refillable bottles. By buying minis, you're wasting additional plastic that didn't need to be wasted. Save yourself a few pennies by investing in refillable travel beauty bottles and top them up with your full size product every time you go away.


Recycle containers

Avoiding plastic where you can is a good idea but it's often difficult to avoid in our current day and age. Opting for glass or aluminium containers is a much better option than plastic because it can be recycled indefinitely, meaning it can be recycled over and over again without ever losing its quality. Once your beauty products are empty, if it's eligible to be recycled, give the bottle a rinse and pop it straight in your recycling bin or bottle bank. Alternatively, certain beauty brands such as MAC will offer you incentives to bring back your empties into the store to be recycled.


Swap liquids for solids

One of the easiest ways to turn your beauty routine either plastic free or less plastic reliant is by switching from liquids to soaps or bars instead. In addition to requiring less packaging, solids such as soaps are more affordable and will last longer than liquids due to their higher concentration.


Wave goodbye to single use face wipes

I gave these up long, long ago! While the convenience of a single use face wipe is undeniable, their cost on our environment is ghastly, especially when they're disposed of in the wrong places and end up blocking drains and littering up our rivers. 

In fact, I've never used a disposable face wipe and found it to cleanse my skin as thoroughly as a hot face cloth and cleanser so you'll be doing your skin a favour. Since removing face wipes from my beauty routine, I've swapped them out for a muslin cloth. The fabric is ever so soft on my skin but gently cleansing too. 


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