Saturday, 30 December 2017

Looking back at 2017 and some challenging New Year resolutions

I’m going to be basic and spout out loads of crap I’m going to do in the New Year but then I’m actually going to accomplish it all because I just can’t have another year of bingeing Netflix series while watching the world go by.

I jokingly titled last years resolution post ‘Time to get my fat arse off the sofa, join a gym, end poverty and have a green juice every morning’ I can barely wake up in time let alone end poverty. In that post (read it here) I mocked resolutions yet in the same article I made some, and here I am, yet again, making resolutions. But before I get into my goals for 2018, did I manage to achieve them for 2017?

They were to be better with money, keep my room tidy, post frequently on my blog, lose over a stone in weight, and most importantly pass my journalism apprenticeship. *Drum roll* I conquered them all. At the start of the year I’ll be honest, I was still rubbish with money but as the year has gone on I’ve got smarter and smarter with it. I’ve always been OCD when it comes to my space and it being clean so that one wasn’t really a challenge but posting frequently on here was – yet I managed to do it aside from in September when I only posted four times, which still works out at one post a week I suppose. I joined Slimming World and lost a stone and a half, but my biggest achievement was that I passed my apprenticeship and am now an NCTJ qualified journalist and have a permanent full-time job in the industry that I have fallen deeply in love with.

I also fell head over heels in love with cycling. I know, backtrack, what?! I absolutely adore it. I cycle to and from work (works out at about an hour of cycling there and back, five days a week, which typically burns just under 3,000 calories alone). I would have never pictured myself loving 1, a physical activity and 2, one that gives you helmet hair but I've been converted. I can now cycle for hours before my legs start aching. When I first started half a year ago I could barely cycle up a steep hill.

All of this may sound great but truthfully, aside from the resolutions I managed to accomplish, it's been a monotonous and rather shit year. For months and month's things kept going wrong - eventually, I took a step back and made the changes I needed to make. I went through another breakup in 2017 (what's new?), but it made me make new friends, become even closer to old friends, and I spent a lot more time with my family, especially my nan.

In the 'girls' group chat the other day my friend jokingly said she could 'feel it her bones' that she was going to meet her future husband in 2018. It got me thinking, 'will I meet mine?' only then to realise that love is the last thing on my mind for next year. If it happens and I bump into him while paying for my groceries in Tesco then fabulous, but I certainly won't be looking. Likewise, I've even stopped using Tinder to find, excuse my frankness, dick. Don't judge me, I know I'm not the only person who uses the app for a quick hook up in a car. 

Although I'm excited about a new year there are some downsides to 2018 already. My best friend, who has been since we were four-years-old, is going travelling and hasn't booked a return ticket so far and another very very close friend is going away for four months, as she's in the army. Of course, I have other friends and I'll be fine but I am going to miss them so unbelievably much. Therefore, I need to find a friend with benefits who will watch Black Mirror with me because I'm too scared to watch it on my own but I also want cuddles. 

Now that I've updated the internet on my life, here are my New Year resolutions for 2018 which, like 2017, I will accomplish. It may seem like A LOT but most of them are small ones that I feel, are doable - but will see.

  • Learn to drive. This one is a biggie for me as I've been putting it off for far too long as admittedly I have been very frightened to get behind a wheel. That fear is gone now and instead, I am filled with excitement at the thought of driving.
  • Look after myself. As I previously said I lost a bit of weight this year but I want to hit my goal in 2018. By December 31st next year I want to be filled with knowledge on clean eating and be living a healthy lifestyle. Of course, this includes working out and while I will continue to cycle five days a week for roughly an hour a day I also want to either go to a gym or do an at home work out a few times a week.
  • Frequent uploads to my YouTube channel. In October I started YouTube and I have been uploading content at least once a week since. I want to carry this on throughout 2018 as I have been really enjoying vlogging. If you have any video suggestions please let me know. You can find my channel by clicking (here) or searching 'vavaviolett'.
  • Read a book a month. I feel like this is doable but reading is time-consuming and with a blog to run, a full-time job, a YouTube channel, seeing friends and family, it's not always easy to fit it in. However, if I'm in bed by 9.30pm on a work night I can get in an hour of reading before I start to fall asleep. I'm a fast reader so I suppose I have that in my favour. 
  • Up my journalism game. Monday to Friday I work at my local paper and I adore it but next year I really want to produce the best work I possibly can. I'm going to study grammar more in my spare time, go over my media law knowledge and really master my shorthand. 

I am so ready for a 'fresh start' and cannot wait to get my teeth stuck into January. I've already planned 60% of my blog and YouTube content for next year #keen.

Thank you for reading my little blog this year. Even if this is the first post you're reading, I really appreciate it. I have a £30 ASOS gift card GIVEAWAY going up in January as a thank you so stay tuned for that!

Let me know your New Year resolutions in the comments below!

Written by VavaViolet's Founder and Editor-in-Chief Sophie Blackman.


Tuesday, 19 December 2017

The most glamorous yet affordable Christmas Day outfits

What better excuse to look fabulous than on Christmas Day? A day filled with presents, food, lots of laughter, oh and the best outfits of course. 

I’ve done the hard job for you, we all know how difficult it can be to find the perfect look for your day, whether you’re simply visiting family, or attending a 5* dinner with all the trimmings, I’ve searched high and low for the perfect outfits for you. From the cutest Christmas jumpers to the most divine dresses, there’s something for everyone.

I think this may be one of my favourite garments which I have come across this year. The designs come in both a pull over jumper and a cardigan. The simple black garments paired with the stunning silver and pink tassels are what attracted me. If you’re like me, you’ll love adding a bit of bling to your ensembles, but with this jumper, you don’t need to! 
The detailing of the flashes of colour allows a simple outfit to be created, by simply adding a pair of jeans like in the images above, or the cardigan could be paired with a little black dress and make a killer outfit for Christmas day.

Topshop have outdone themselves for metallic, glittery, sparkly, amazingness this Christmas. The first piece which I absolutely LOVE are these silver sequin trousers. I have a pair quite like these, only with silver and pink sequins from French Connection, (however I would much have preferred these at over half the price of what I paid). They remain a little expensive at £59.00, however, I feel that they’re an investment which you can make and pull out for so many events, not just Christmas. I love that in the photoshoot they paired the trousers with an oversized velvet blazer, and the colour works stunningly with the silver too. If you’re daring and want to make a statement this Christmas I would recommend these for you. 
The second outfit which I adore from Topshop is this silver metallic suit. Now if you’re not looking for dresses this Christmas, and you’re more into suits, then Topshop is the place you need to go. They have this style suit in a range of colours, in fact, Rochelle Humes recently wore the olive colour (from Topshop) to a red-carpet event. What I love about the silver suit is that its fun and playful and you can pair it with so many exciting things. If you’re going all out on Christmas day and are dressing to impress, get this in your shopping bag now. The suit jacket retails at £55.00 and the trousers at £45.00, so quite expensive. Also, on the plus side, Topshop have free delivery when you spend £100 and over, a silver lining I guess!

If you’re more of a girly girl and love floaty, loose and elegant outfits then this playsuit is the one for you. The metallic sheen paired with the simplistic black creates a very powerful outfit. I actually love that they paired a brightly coloured bag with this outfit, I think that you could pair a bold colour shoe and bag with this outfit and be ready for the compliments throughout the festive period. Both conservative and playful. However, the one downside to this playsuit is its retailing at £95.00 from Topshop, which I appreciate is expensive for one garment.

Ok, so this next garment, honestly, I can’t even explain to you just how much I love it. I first saw it in the Oxford Street store and fell completely in love with it. You think it looks fluffy, but it feels SO much softer than it looks. The words “it’s so fluffy I could die” seriously spring to mind. It could be paired simply with some jeans, or imagine it with a metallic silver skirt. It’s on my Christmas list so if you get one we’ll be matching! If you can’t already tell I seriously love this garment and would definitely be adding it to your baskets ASAP because I don’t think it will stay in stock for long. The one bad thing about this is the price. It is VERY expensive, but I honestly think that if I had it I could die happy. It is THAT cute. 

Missguided was lacking a little in things which I actually liked. However, I did come across these two very cute tops which would be perfect for Christmas day. Both the red and the gold versions are festive colours and would look amazing paired with a skirt or some black jeans, with heels or flats, either would work and would look amazing on you during your festivities! The bell sleeves paired with the tie front really give them a Christmassy feel and automatically make me feel festive. For £22.00 you can’t really go wrong, why don’t you treat yourself to both? I mean, after all, there is Christmas day AND Boxing day, eh?

Written by VavaViolet's Fashion Editor Libby Burgess. 


Saturday, 16 December 2017


I do not feel festive at all this year so I ventured out to pick up some candles, Lush bath bombs and Christmas magazines in a bid to get me into the mood.

Every year I either place an order or visit a Lush Cosmetics store and fill my basket with their festive collection. Theres just something about lobbing a snowman bath bomb into the tub that gets me excited.

This year I picked up the following to spice up my tub time...

If you want to see everything else I got I filmed a haul for my YouTube channel search vavaviolet or watch the video below.


As we all know the most important thing about Christmas is the presents (ha kidding) but like every year I wanted to give one reader a Christmas present as a way to say thank you for reading/watching my content this year.

The only rules are 1 you must be subscribed to my YouTube channel (vavaviolet) and two if you are under 18 you will need your parents permission blah blah.

THE GIVEAWAY IS OPEN INTERNATIONALLY yes, anyone can win even if you live in Madagascar. I will announce the winner on Christmas Day on my Twitter @vavaviolett so go and follow if you want to keep your eye out.

You can also gain extra entries by following me on Bloglovin, Twitter, Instagram etc so make sure you do those if you really want to win.

The winner will be randomly selected and I will be checking every single entry so if you cheat, dont worry, you wont win.

Good luck and I wish every single one of you the best Christmas ever!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Written by VavaViolet's Founder and Editor-in-Chief Sophie Blackman.


Wednesday, 13 December 2017

An affordable gift guide for every girl in your life

If you’re like me and have left your Christmas shopping to the week before even though you said it would be done and wrapped up by December 1st then here are some affordable things you can pick up in your local high-street or order online just in time for the big day - or if you fancy treating yourself/need some ideas of things to ask others for Christmas, priorities ha.

The Beauty Lover

You would think it’s easy to buy a gift for a makeup lover but it’s not. Unless you know their exact taste and every inch and corner of their collection it can be tricky not to buy something they already own. That’s the case with most items but you can’t return makeup so beware of this and have a look in their stash before you buy.

Once you’ve had a peep of their collection some things I recommend for every girl’s stash is the Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette, Kylie Jenner lip-kits, Kat Von D liquid lipsticks, Lush lip scrubs, Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat, Bumble and Bumble Pret-a-Powder, this amazing Pokemon highlighter for the geeky girl, Gigi Hadid’s new mascara collab with Maybelline, cute chap sticks, Mac’s Lip Duo kits, the mini Too Faced Chocolate Chip palette and their famous Better than sex mascara.

Charlotte Tilbury has brought out this mini set of lipsticks for Christmas and I am obsessed. It’s a perfect stocking filler. The packaging is oh so fancy and the formula, it’s to die for!

The Pamper Pooch

Getting facemasks and bath products are one of my favourite gifts to receive on Christmas Day because I love pampering myself that night while looking through all my new stuff. Sitting on my sofa eating Quality Streets while watching EastEnders with a facemask slapped all over my face has become a tradition now.

Of course, I’m only going to recommend the best I’ve tried and those are the Oh K! Coffee mask, FaceInc Cat Nap, Chocolate Milk one-pack, and Primark’s Holler and Glow. An eye-mask worth trying is Soap and Glory’s Puffy Eye Attack – perfect hungover eye cure.

To be honest, when it comes to picking a gift for a bath lover I recommend the entire festive range at Lush Cosmetics but my favourite is the Magic Wand and the new edition this year, The Snowman.

For the animal lover

This is my favourite idea. If you want to mix up beauty, pampering, stationary, gadgets, etc. then get a box and fill it with bits that are themed of the receiver’s favourite animal. For example, my favourite animal is clearly a panda but there are products out there for every single animal. Most of these bits are from Primark so I cannot link them.

Cheap and cheerful fashion ideas

Fashion pieces can be expensive or tricky to get right as a gift but if you go for accessories… You can’t go wrong with some cute/funky socks. I get the majority of mine from Topshop and Primark.

A place I have been really loving for accessories is Punky Pins. They sell enamel pins, iron-on patches, keyrings, jewellery and stickers. Their festive range is killing it. I’m going to be putting mine on a denim jacket. You could put together a little box of pins and patches for the fashionista in your life.

Talking of Keyrings, you may or may not know that I collect Funko Pops – basically a figurine with a massive head and small body – but they also do key rings which look super cute hanging off your bag instead of a pom pom. I’ve been using my John Snow one and he just looks adorable hanging from my bag.

The Stationary Whore

Who doesn’t love stationery? I have loads of notebooks that I’ve never used yet I always want more. The one with Zac Efron, Chad Michael Murray etc and the Kardashian one was from Urban Outfitters. Wrap that up with a cute pen and some bits and bobs from Paperchase and you’re good to go!

And of course, candles...

Worse comes to worse, you can NEVER go wrong with a candle and most high-streets have a Clintons which means Yankee Candles. I adore all their Christmas scents. You just can’t go wrong with a good ol’ Yankee.

Did you see anything here you’re going to get someone or perhaps a cheeky purchase for yourself?

Written by VavaViolet’s Founder and Editor-in-Chief Sophie Blackman.

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