Sunday, 31 August 2014

My Dream Home

We're getting a lot of work done on our house at the moment and it's causing lots of little fights about interior design (only small ones, I find it funny to be honest).  I thought it would be interesting to create this post and show my family about my dream house and my visions for interior design hehe.

When I have my own family:  My dream house would be a barn conversion.  I would love to live in a house that has a lot of land.  That way my children could always be outside (well depending on the weather obvs hehe).  I would have animals like chickens, lambs and possibly horses (even though I don't know how to ride them hehe).

I would also really love to live in a house like the one in the Notebook film.  Living in such a small town, with a lake near by where I could take my boat out! 

(Random but how perf is the NB please, Noah needs to marry moi).

If I didn't have a big family and was a successful actress living in London (we gotta dream big girls ;)).  I would love to live in either a London Townhouse or an apartment overlooking Oxford Street haha. 

I like bedrooms to be very cosy, warm and full of character.  I don't like houses that are just 100% show homes, I would want to see lots of photos, homely ornaments and Yankee candles burning through out the house hehe.  If I was an adult this room would be a dream bedroom for me, it looks simple and classy whilst still being warm and holding some character.  I would just have to put some of my photos in it hehe.

My dream bedroom at the moment would be like Hanna's or Spencer's from Pretty Little Liars.  I love both of their bedrooms they're so girly and cute, especially Hanna's butterfly wallpaper :D.

I am a bit fussy with living rooms.  I don't like when they're dated, but I don't like ultra ultra modern living rooms.  Sometimes when living rooms are too modern in my opinion they become rather clinical.  I like fire places, big cushions on the coach, carpet, fairy lights, candles, warm colours (tbh it's what I like through out the whole house).

I loveeee this one, it's very modern but still has a fireplace and cosy feel about it. 

100% my dream kitchen would have an island, I loveee them!  I also love breakfast bars, but you could have that included in your island.  I love both of these kitchens.  The first one is light and bright due to the white wood.  And the brown wood is very cosy looking and would look fab at Christmas time.  

I love bathrooms that are fully tilled floor and wall.  I HATE carpet in a bathroom and I hate too much colour.  I just like warm browns.  

I put this picture in to show that the style of bathroom I like still works on a smaller scale :).

 The bathroom above is super stylish I think it's my favourite out of the four.  I really like the bath how it's stand alone, and I also really like the lights.  They make the room super magical.

Okay I think that's all i'll do for now, other wise this post will take ages to load hehe.  I hope you like this post and leave me any comments on what your dream house would be like! :D 

Love Laura xxx 

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Re-sitting your A-Levels & A-Level Tips

I first went in to Sixth Form September 2012.  I did well in my GCSE's however it took a lot of hard work.  I am the type of student who doesn't get everything straight away, I have to be told it over and over again before it sinks in.  In my GCSE's I got 8 C's two B's and 1 A.  I was very very pleased with these results as firstly I was only predicted D's, so I worked my but off to not allow that to happen and secondly because I didn't fail one subject.

I then decided I wanted to go on to do my A-levels.  I chose Biology, History, Business Studies and Performing Arts.  Most teachers said these were a very random pick of subjects but I didn't know what I wanted to be when I was older so I just picked subjects I enjoyed at GCSE and ones I knew would be good to get employment with.  I didn't except the jump from GCSE's to A-levels to be as difficult as it was, A-levels are a completely different ball game and all need a lot of attention from you.  That whole year I discovered I loved acting, however this came at a cost.  I put all my effort in to drama and I left the other subjects untouched, just doing enough school work to get by, and I focused all of my attention on to Drama.  When results day came I wasn't too happy.  I came out with an A* in Performing Arts but an E in all my other subjects.  My head of sixth then suggested it wasn't good for me to go through to year 13, as I would have to do all my A2 exams whilst re-sitting some AS exams, it would have been far too much work.  So I resat.

I wasn't too happy at first but re-sitting turned out to be great for me.  I got to change Biology to ICT and I improved my grade is History from an E to a B.  I made lots of new friends and got an extra year to think about what I wanted to do in life.  Or at least after Sixth Form.  

If you are like me and did not get the results you wanted try not to worry, if you know why you didn't pass and in your next year you're going to try extra hard to pass then re-sitting isn't too bad.  Some people that re-sit the year come out with grades better than anyone in the year group as they know what is excepted of A-Level students.

If you have just done your GCSE's and are going on to do you A-Levels here are some tips from someone who has done the first year twice hehe. 

1) Don't prioritise one subject 
Don't be like me in my first year.  I was going to after school drama rehearsals three - four times a week, I was always in school doing drama in the holidays, and I focused on my lines and log book way too much.  I did improve my drama massively but it came at a cost.  You need to give each A Level the same amount of time.  Teachers suggest three hours a day of study.  Use the website to make yourself a study timetable and stick to it giving each subject the same amount of time.  Don't just always do your favourite and say you're "studying"  

2) Plan your studies 
Don't just say:  Monday = History.  Say in your timetable exactly what you're going to do, and slot yourself some breaks in to your timetable, every 30 minutes or so.

3) Pick subjects you enjoy 
Don't just pick subjects because they sound academic, I don't care what any one says you need to pick subjects your going to do the work for, because if you don't enjoy what you're learning about you won't learn it, you'll just ignore it.  That being said don't just pick a subject because you think it is easy, all A Levels are hard, sense the name.  A = Advanced level. 

4) Pick wisely 
If you want a certain job and to go to university have a look at the entry requirements for that course because that may effect the A Levels you choose.  For example, if you want to be a doctor you're going to have to do the Sciences.  But if you want to go in to Law, they look more for essay based courses like History, English, R.E. 

5) Talk to your teachers
At A-Level your teachers become your best friends, honestly you need them on your side, they know the course inside and out and they know how the examiners mark the papers.  Bring them back essays and past papers, ask them questions.  Don't be afraid.  Teachers are there to help, honestly most teachers are much nicer when you go back to see them anyway as it shows you have an interest in the subject.  I got a U in women's history the first year around but I just wouldn't leave my teacher alone I kept bringing him back essays to mark and kept trying to improve on where I went wrong.  From that I now have an A in women's history.

6) Use year 13 students 
Year 13s won't bite, they have done the subject before too and can give advice from a students point of view and they know exactly what you're going through. 

7) Buy the revision guides
The revision guides may seem like a waste of money when we have resources like Google at our finger tips, but let me tell you they are a life saver.  They are all filled with course material and most of them have a section at the back with A grade example essays.  This is a tool I always find useful to read as you can't find them in many other places.  Plus they always have them bad jokes in them which do make you laugh hehe.

8) Learn how to answers the questions being asked 
This is a skill that is so so hard to master (well I think so).  At A Level the examiners go sneaky, they make the questions sound much more complex than they really are, this makes a lot of students trip up and start rambling.  When you start to ramble you cause yourself to make lots of mistakes and end up not even answering the question. 

9) Don't waste your free periods 
I know how easy it is to go over to the vending machine and get yourself a 60p creamy choc, but no!!  Get that at break, free periods are precious time and need to be used wisely to study.  (This took me a while to get over, so don't worry you're not alone).

10) Have a break, don't stress 
Honestly teachers and maybe your parents will make you feel like your A Levels are the most important things in life and if you don't pass them you're the biggest failure ever!  WRONG!  They are important yes, but if you don't get them don't worry A Levels are not for everyone, they were never designed to be for everyone.  It doesn't mean you can't be successful in life, as long as you always try your best no one can ask for any more from you.  It's only bad when you don't try but don't understand why your grades are like they are.  You need to be honest with yourself. 

Good luck everyone, it's not long until we go back to school now!.  I hope these tips helped, if there is anything else you would like to know feel free to leave a comment below.  I would be happy to help ^_^.

Love Laura xxx

Monday, 25 August 2014

Liebster Award

Hello!  Hopefully I am going to do this right as I have never done one before.  But I have been nominated by the ever so lovely Kay, for a Liebster Award.

Thank you for nominating me Kay, I find this super exciting hehe.  Everyone you need to check out Kay's blog she is a gorgeous girl and has a super cute blog with really interesting posts. 

If you're like me and are unfamiliar with the rules of the Liebster award then here you go: 

The Rules
1. Thank the person who nominated you by linking their blog.
2. Answer 11 questions the nominator gave to you.
3. Nominate 11 other bloggers who have less than 200 followers.
4. Create 11 questions for your nominees.
5. Let the nominees know they have been nominated by contacting them.

Kay's Questions 

1. What is your favourite book, film and TV series?
My favourite book is the Fault in our Stars, I read it around January 2014 and I just couldn't put it down, yes I cried and cried.  That was the first John Green book I read and I just loved his style of writing.  That being said I didn't enjoy LFA as much as TFIOS.  

My favourite film hmmm now this is hard.  I would say the Goonies, it's a classic and I could never get bored of watching it over and over again.  But I have so many favourite films, I think i'll make a blog post on them all hehe.

My favourite TV series was Pretty Little Liars, but I haven't watched it in agessss.  And now I am so far behind it just seems to daunting to catch up as so much has happened.  ATM I am loving Dexter, that may be a huge surprise to lots of use as Dexter is about a Serial Killer who only kills bad guys.  Lots of people are disgusted by it but I just love it!  Michael C Hall is such an amazing actor. 

2. What would you say your statement look is? (Beauty & Fashion)
Statement look?  Hmm, I don't know.  My beauty look is pretty much very natural, I remember when I was about 15 I would always used a silver glitter liquid eye liner.  I suppose that was a statement look for Laura Barlow hehe.

Fashion: I am often seen it cute print, tea dresses, blouses with cats on, jumpers with penguins etc.  I also love to wear bows and milk maid braids. 

3. What are the top five places you want to visit and why?

1) New york 
I dream so much of going to New York.  Having breakfast at Tiffany's dressed like Audrey herself, watching a Broadway show, visiting the statue of liberty, spinning around in a revolving door just like Buddy the Elf, giving an elderly lady a turtle dove, seeing the massive Christmas tree in Rockefeller centre THE LIST GOES ON!!  New York is calling me, my Mum also shares my dream of New York but we think we're going to wait till I am 21 before we go.

2) Thailand 
Thailand is such a beautiful country, I love the look of the culture, architecture, I want to go down the shops in one of them rowing boats.  

3) China 
I have wanted to go to China for years now.  I have been very lucky to have travelled a lot, and have seen many places in Europe, but the only place in Asia I have seen is Turkey (yes half of Turkey is in Asia!).  I would love to see the Great Wall of China, and the Terracotta Warriors.  China and Thailand both have cultures and architecture that I dream of seeing.

4) California 
Okay what girl doesn't want to go to Cali with their friends and hit the beach everyday, and go celebrity spotting.  Well I do? hehe.  Sign me up now. 

Okay I know it's not very specific to a state but that's because there are so many I want to visit.  I just want to do a large tour of America.  I have always had it in my head that my honey moon would be a Route 66 hehe.

4. What is your biggest fear?
Losing my family and friends.

5. What is your all time favourite skincare, makeup item and haircare product?
Skincare:  Palmer's Cocoa Butter body lotion 
Makeup:  Naked Palate
Haircare: Macadamia Oil 

6. Do you prefer makeup or fashion?
Fashion 100%!! 

7. What is your dream job?
I change my dream job every day, I would love to be an actress, dancer or entertainment staff on a cruise sip, fashion journalist, primary school teacher, dental nurse, own my own business like a dance school or clothes shop.

I have a lot of ideas in mind hehe.  I just don't want to work in an office forever.

8. What are three things you cannot live without?
My family, photo albums, camera, teddies, certain jewelry. 

9. What was the last thing you bought that you were disappointed with?
Hmmm... I'm not too sure actually. 

10. If you could be a character from a film or tv series, who would you choose and why?
I would be Blair Waldorf. 

11. What is your ideal holiday? City break, beach or camping?
I love city breaks and beach holidays.  I need a mix of both.  Camping sounds like fun but I wouldn't consider it a holiday.

My Questions For You! (: 

1) Why did you start blogging?
2) Who is your favourite blogger?
3) If you could live anywhere where would it be and why?
4) Sweet tooth or savoury?
5) Who is your favourite actor and actress? 
6) Do you have any other hobbies other than blogging?
7) If you could have any superpower what would it be and why?
8) ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE!  Where would you go, what would you bring with you? 
9)If you could live in any time era which would it be and why? 
10) Mac or PC?
11) If you could swap lives with someone for the day who would it be and why? 

Who I Tag (:  

1) Lauren - itslaurenslooks 
2) Erica - Kinky Curly ME
3) Rachel - Geek Fever 
4) Laura - lauranormanphipps
5) Sophie - Just Sophie 
6) Karla - The Goldbrush 
7) Jade - Jadey Bug
8) Samantha - sjmcdf 
9) Sandra - Ropa de Verano 
10) Pia - Piamarlene 

Thanks for reading, I hope you all enjoyed and I look forward to reading your answers! :D 

Love Laura xxx 

The Disney Tag

OMG the minuet I seen this was a tag I just had to do it!  I am a mega mega Disney fan, I love it so much.  I seen this on Alexandra's blog Sweet Dreams.

Lets get started:

1) Favourite Disney film?
When I was little I would watch one of five films every night before bed, the Little Mermaid 2, Rugrats in Paris, the Goofy Movie 2 or Lady and the Tramp 1 & 2.  I never wanted to watch anything else.  I would have to say though out of them all the Little Mermaid series will most likely always be my number one favourite, I have the 3 part box set, LM clothes, I know all the words to each song and when I was little I would pretend to be Melody and on holiday I would bring a small bag like hers in the pool with me and pretend I was collecting shells hehe.  (I also had a LM2 locket like Melody's, unfortunately it didn't open up to show Atlantica).

2) Favourite Disney character?
Hmmm, I don't know.  As out of the Disney Princesses my favourite is Ariel.  But on Disney Pixar films I love Mike from Monsters Inc, I love Boo as well as I used to look like her when I was younger.  But all that being said growing up I would always pretend to be Melody from the LM2 or Angel from Lady and the Tramp 2.  You will soon learn that I find picking favourites really hard hehe.

3) Favourite Disney Princess?
Ariel and Melody.

4) Rathe be Aurora or Cinderella?
Cinderella.  I love that she has mice for friends and gets to wear glass slippers.  Even though she does have many years locked up cleaning.  I do enjoy sleep, but not for 100 years.

5) Rather be Hercules or Tarzan?
Tarzan 100%!  I actually watched Tarzan yesterday hehe.  I would just love his life so much, swinging from trees being friends with Elephants and living with a herd of Aps.

6) Rather be Lizzie McGuire or Raven Baxter?
Oooo this is so hard as both of these will always be my favourite Disney Shows.  I would love to be Lizzie as she got to perform on stage in Rome in front of thousands, she also has a cool life and I used to copy her style.  Hoesntly for about six years I would a silver love heart necklace like hers and I had a blue bubble backpack life hers.  It was a very sad day when it popped.  However, Raven can see in to the future having visions would be so cool!  She is also very sassy and I would love to dress up like her when she pretends to be different people in difficult situations.

Okay I can't pick, both are cool!  Mon, Tue, Wed i'll be Lizzie and Thu, Fri, Sat i'll be Raven.  Sunday i'll be moi hehe.

7) Favourite Disney Song?
Part of your World and For a Moment.

8) Which Disney Character would be your best friend?
Hmmm... I think Terk from Tarzan would be a cool friend to have, she will always be there for you, even if she is a bit of a drama queen.

9) Which Disney character would you choose to have as your pet?
Any of the dogs from Lady and the Tramp (Lady, Tramp, Angel, Scamp).  Stitch would make too much of a mess, but it would be super cool to have an alien as a pet.  Flounder the fish would be cool also, but he belongs in the sea.  Hmmm... Oliver the cat from Oliver and Company.  Or Bolt the dog! :D

10) Have you ever been to Disney Land?
Yes I went to Disney World Orlando Florida in 2007.  Wow, seven years ago!  I need to go back ASAP.  I love Disney so much hehe.

I hope you enjoyed this, and I tag all of you to do it!

Bye, love Laura xxx 

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Dance Series - Ireland


I have done ballroom dancing since I was four years old, but this June was an end of an era for myself and my partner Todd as we competed in our last competition.  It was the All Ireland Dance Championships in Carlow Ireland.  I went there the year before by myself but it was much better this year to go with Todd.

We got in to Ireland on Friday the 28th of June (the day after my prom, surprisingly getting up wasn't as hard as I thought it would be hehe).  We had a day in Dublin (well four hours).  So we went to Burger King for lunch before getting on a Hop Off Hop On bus.  If you're going to Dublin, or any city for that matter these buses are really useful as you get to see a lot of the city in a short amount of time.  I love Dublin, lots of my family are Irish so I feel a real sense of history and home when I visit there, especially when my Nana shows me places she grew up, and when she used to sell fruit at the Dublin markets.

Best tour guide! :) 

After the bus we didn't have a lot of time left as we had to be back at the airport to meet our dance school.  So we just did a quick spot of shopping before jumping back on the Air Link bus.  If you're in Dublin I would also recommend this bus, it goes directly from the Air Port taking 30 mins (a return ticket is £10).

Once we had met up with our dance school it took an hour and a half on the coach to get to Carlow, but we had snacks, great company and drinks so it turned out to be a really fun journey.

That night we didn't do a lot, we unpacked our cases sat down with a beer and pot noddle (dancers diet right there for you hehe) and got ready for the comp the next day.  Todd needed to do his fake tan, and this was the outcome haha.  I promise it looked better the next day.

We had two days of comps in Ballroom, Latin American and Old Time dancing, we did very well we got three 1st, a 4th and a 6th.  I love competing away as we get to dance with such amazing people.  Where we are from you can only really compete against your age group and for us that isn't many people; so going across is such a great experience as we dance against such a wide age range and ability.  The Irish made us all feel very at home in Carlow. 

Beauty Blogger Tag

Hello loves,

Today I am going to do the Beauty Blogger Tag, as I seen my friend Lauren had does it on her blog and it looks like a fun post to do ^_^.  Enjoy!

1.) Is your hair naturally curly or straight? 
Bone straight, to be honest it can hardly hold a curl, it has to have a lot of spray it in hehe. 

2.) What is your natural hair colour? 
Brown, I have never died my hair either.  

3.) Do you dye it yourself or go to a salon?
I dont dye it :).

4.) How often do you wash your hair?
I try to wash it as little as possible, so around twice a week.  But sometimes I do have to wash it a third time. 

5.) Do you wear the same hairstyle every day or change it?
I like to change my hairstyle but I either wear it down, in a bun, or in milkmaid plaits.  If I have time I will curl it :).

6.) Do you do your own mani/pedi or go to a salon?
My own.  I have never had my nails done at a salon.  I may try it one day though.

7.) How often do you change your nail polish?
I am so bad for this but my nails are 90% of the time left natural.  I always have my toes done but I hate when hand nail varnish chips, so it's much easier to just not paint them (haha I am the worst excuse for a girl ever).

8.) Do you polish your toes in the winter too or just in the summer?
I always paint them, they look gross not painted hehe.

9.) How long does it take to put on your make-up?
Not look at all everyday school make up 5 mins, going out make up 15 mins.  And when I have dance comp make up on It takes me around 25 mins to do it properly.  

10.) What do you do first? Face or eyes?

11.) Do you "collect" make-up or just buy what you need when you need it?
Collect, my makeup collection is far too big for one person, and it's full of loads of make up I don't even use.  However I love buying nice makeup, and each time I go across I will always buy one MAC product :).

12.) How often do you wear false eyelashes?
When I have dance comps I always wear them, then for Prom this year I wore them.  I am lucky that my eyelashes are naturally very dark and long, however they don't curl with most mascaras because of that.

13.) Do you wear a full face of make-up everyday?
Hahaha no!  I forget to wear makeup half the time now a days.  I wore more when I was around 15.

14.) Do you wear make-up when you're home alone?
Nope never!.

15.) Will you leave the house without make-up?
Yes, I don't wear makeup everyday so I am always seen without make up on.  

16.) High end or drugstore?
High end all the way, I think the products hold their value for longer as I feel special when I wear the makeup so I don't mind spending that little extra.

17.) How many high end products do you own?
Ermmm... I don't know hehe.  A few, but not hundreds like many people on YouTube, I envy their collections hehe.

18.) How often do you wash your make-up brushes?
Okay I won't lie to you, I never wash them :S.  I don't use any face brushes, the only makeup brush I use is for my eye shadows and I use a different brush for different eye shadows, so I have never felt I needed to wash them.  However, I have washed my brushed a couple of times before, but that was because I was bored and it looked like fun (haha no idea why). 

19.) Do you plan your OOTD every night or decide on the day? 
Pfft on the day, who has time hehe.  No truthfully I do plan if I am going somewhere specific but if it is just for school I jus decided in the morning. 

20.) What's the most important thing in life do you think?
Being a healthy and happy person.  Happiness is so important in life, you shouldn't care what people think of you, the only people who's opinion you should listen to is your family and true friends.  I may do a full blog post of being happy as I won't lie I am lucky that I am happy 99% of the time :).

21.) How tall are you? 
I think I am now classed as the shorted end of being tall haha.  I am 5ft 7. 

22.) Left handed or right handed? 
I'm right handed 

23.) Do you speak a foreign language?
No :'(.  It is one of my goals in life to learn a different language or two.  I can speak enough french to get buy in a shop and hold a two minuet conversation. 

24.) How many pets do you have?
I have a budgie called Bruce and five fish. 

25.) How often are you on blogger?
Not enough :(.  I love blogging and wish I could keep it up.  I want to do a few posts a week.  That's my aim hehe.

26.) Do you read the comments posted on your blog?
I would... but I don't get many hehe.  Please feel free to comment ;). 

27.) Do you keep a list of products to try? 
Not really, maybe with a few products, but it's not that long hehe.

28.) How did you come up with your blog name? 
Ermm... It's my name haha.  My dad made my first version of my website back in 2007 but it has changed so much moving around from Wordpress to Blogger, but the domain has always stayed the same.

29.) What is your favourite beauty/fashion magazine?
Company, Vogue, Teen Vogue, Elle, Seventeen (when I can get it).

30.) What is your favourite colour?
Oooo I love all colours, honestly couldn't decide... pink however is always good hehe. 

Hopefully this let you know a little more about me and my beauty secrets hehe.  Thanks for reading! :) 

Laura xxx
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