Wednesday, 28 January 2015

My Bag Addiction - Current Favourites from the Wardrobe!

I have a confession. I am addicted to bags. It's a problem I have which has been steadily growing over time but I fear I may soon be headed towards an intervention. My shoe collection, conversely, is probably much more modest than most, I have two or three sets of heels, some trainers and some flats, which is fairly practical right? But my bag collection on the other hand is a vice, it's overgrowing, so I may need to move into larger premises if I don't get a handle on it soon! I basically turn into a magpie when I see a good bag (much to Trig's dismay as he's dragged on an impromptu shopping trip) because accessorising is what makes an outfit! A good bag can give a new lease of life to a dress you've worn too many times instantly, and it can make all the difference when its coordinated right.

Here are a few of my most recent favourite bits of arm candy.

1. Light Blue Bag - Primark £5.99 - I bought this a few months ago and I love the baby blue colour! Currently jazzing it up a bit with a scarf tied round the handles that I got from last months 'My Little Box'. Love the fact that this bag has a mini satchel vibe going on and that it was such great value, too.

2. Flamingo Bag - Asylum, £26.99 (I bartered 10% off :) I love this because not only is it from one of my favourite local small fashion outlets, it's pretty unique and funky.

3. Peacock bag - Bought in Singapore for $50 (£25) - I saw this in a shop window and basically fell in love with it instantly and marched straight to the counter. It's shimmery and made of a plastic material, and is my current absolute favourite for jazzing up an outfit in the most effortless way. Everyone keeps asking me where I got it from, shame the boutique is thousands of miles away or I'd be back in there buying more!

4. Red bucket bag - this was free as an Estee Lauder gift after buying £40 worth of makeup in Boots. I got this offer this month - and I love this bag! I can fit everything in it, including my laptop, and it's a real rich and glossy red colour which goes really well with work outfits.

5. Accessorise bag - a gift (so no idea on the price tag!) - Trig knows how much I love bags, so he chose me this as a Christmas present! And it turns out he has good taste! Lucky me :o)

What's your worst fashion vice? x

Monday, 26 January 2015

500 followers giveaway and Blog Anniversary

Wooohoo! I've been blogging for a year now, plus The Thrifty Firecracker just reached 500 followers on Bloglovin, so I thought I'd celebrate with a giveaway. I've got a Tarina Tarantino bundle which I know one of you will love! I've been a bit of a fan of Tarina Tarantino ever since I was introduced to them through

Disclaimer: this post isn't sponsored by Tarina Tarantino and I'm in no way working for them/affiliated with them. I'm just a fan! 

Tarina Tarantino Dollskin Cheek Palette (worth $45)

Personally I love the colours that come with this palette, it really allows you to go from subtle to evening, and has a great mix of pink and peach tones (I love a good peach blusher!) I have two of these now so I'm more than happy to give one away so that someone else can get the benefit from it too! Plus it's really wearable and lasts for ages :)

From their website: 

This silky powder blush imparts skin with a natural glow with true color payoff that wears all day long! This formula has micronized powders (also known as “HD” or “High Definition”) which blend over skin evenly and easily. These 4 beautiful shades are housed in an incredibly luxe gunmetal casing with an iconic Tarina design detailing.

And to add to that, I've also got a Tarina Tarantino Eyelicity Glitter Liner (worth $16) too!

I love a bit of glitter liner to add a bit of sparkle to your eyes on nights out :)

From their website:

This Eyelicity Glitter Liner is a micro-glitter liner saturated with a burst of pigmented color that gives you lustrous sparkling eyes on days you want to be a little glamorous! This amazing formula is long-lasting and quick-drying once set. It is also smudge resistant and will keep the gorgeous glitter on your eyes and not your cheeks!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck! x

Giveaway Directory

Sunday, 25 January 2015

New Blog Design! And Brighton adventures..

So I've decided to streamline my blog by adding pages along the top bar to separate out my posts, seeing as I blog about various topics. I'd love to know what you think!

I happened to come across an amazing blog designer on Twitter called Trisarahtops Smiles, who did me a swift re-design for £20!! I'm so happy with it - it's pretty much exactly what I wanted and she managed to work that out without much prompting from me either, which must either make her a psychic or a genius. Anyway, I would recommend you check her out - not only did she do a fab design, she also installed it for me too.

In other news, lately I've been doing a bit of travelling for work across the Country, which has enabled me to catch up with a few friends whilst I'm off the clock! Last week I covered Norwich,  Cambridge and London all over the space of four days so it was certainly an adventure. I also popped over to Brighton in between all of this for fun to see my friend Nansi, after I managed to get a cheap bus ticket on the National Express. We've been cooking up a madcap business idea that I hope to be sharing with you in the near future, which we're both very excited about. Hint; if you're a dog lover you might love this!

Anyway with business planning comes the need for creative prompts, and by creative prompts, I actually mean prosecco. We may have had some prosecco.

I helpfully forgot my ID and it turns out they ID check everyone in Brighton, so we slunk into a bar in the early evening with a lady on the door who took pity on me, and could clearly see I wasn't a teeny bopper trying to sneak in. I cheerfully ordered us a bottle of wine, and they looked a bit shocked to be honest (perhaps that doesn't happen often) and ushered us into our own booth.

Unfortunately, said bottle of wine turned out to be the worst thing we had ever tasted on earth to date, (here is me looking very sad about having to drink the offending article).

So this is where we decided to up our game and splash out on some bubbles. This practically in-sighted a fanfare from the staff, who asked us three times if we were sure we wanted it, and that we generally understood it was £35. We re-assured them repeatedly that we were okay with this, so they brought the much anticipated bubbles out with sparklers, which was good fun.

Anyway - one thing led to another and we may have accidentally ordered a third one. I can't help  but think that this decision may have affected the business planning talk somewhat.

Still, it's always nice to catch up with friends! Even if that does mean a slight headache the next day :)

Alice x

Monday, 19 January 2015

Kuala Lumpur - Unexpected Adventures

It's been quite a few weeks now since I returned from my little stint around Asia, and the all too familiar nostalgic sense of what already feels like some sort of past life carefree adventure has already piqued my deep set desire to explore the world even more. In other words, I'm itching to get out of here, but my worldly responsibilities and the voice of reason in my head reminding me that I have a tax bill to pay by the end of the month has thus far stopped me from booking some new flights. It's all far too easy when you know how to get them on the cheap! But enough about my desires for new adventures. I've yet to update properly on the last one!

Kuala Lumpur was only ever meant to be a three day stop, but it ended up being so much more. It was our crossover point between Singapore and Thailand that would be 'kind of nice to see' on the way to our island hopping adventures, but what I didn't realise when we were planning was just quite how much I would fall in love with Malaysia in such a short space of time. This has resulted in me promoting it to near the top of my travel list, in order to explore surrounding areas and Borneo too.

 We opted for an Airbnb and rented a really luxurious apartment in a condo, which barely cost us anything. One of the best things about it was its incredible view infinity pool, which was on my list of things to tick off as we traversed through a number of hotels across Asia.

Kuala Lumpur is a city undergoing a lot of regeneration, and never have I quite been in a place which looks so destitute on one street and so cosmopolitan on the next. We met a lovely man called Colin in (our new favourite) bar in Istanbul, who told us we needed to visit an Irish pub in KL called 'The Green Man'. He told us a story about the owner, a Scottish man who had been offered millions to give up the pub because they wanted to regenerate the area, but refused to budge. So effectively his little run down Irish bar was surrounded by swanky venues. It sounded perfect for us as we love little bars with character! More about this later.

The first thing that we discovered really was that the food in KL is incredible, if not a little too deep fried after a while. There aren't many vegetables in sight, but if you're only there for a few days a little indulgence isn't a bad thing! We stumbled across a restaurant called 'Opium' in a plethora of classy establishments along the lit up, newly renovated side of the city, and it ended up quite possibly being one of the best places we have ever eaten in. I'm never one to go into too much detail about food in writing, I believe you have to taste it to believe it, but you'll just have to take my word for it on this one. We ordered food of a Chinese/Malaysian fusion menu that just completely blew our little minds. Drinking beer out of a bowl also amused us greatly.

What followed this was probably some of the most 'random' and 'spontaneous' days of my life to date.  We started off by looking for this 'Green Man' establishment that Colin had told us about. We found it, but there was no sign of a Scottish man in sight, so we wandered further up the road to see what we could see.

Settling at a bar, I noticed there was a Scottish man sitting on a bar stool next to us and struck up a conversation. We'd come all this way, so I had to know if it was him! Turns out it wasn't, but he ended up telling us about his huge multi million pound water project that he was running for Shell. His name was George and he was such an interesting man, it ended up being one of those encounters that we'll probably never forget. He wiped our bar tab (despite my protests) and had the sambuca and rum on a constant supply from the bar whilst we chatted about our lives, his project, our lives in England, his family in Scotland, and his life in Malaysia. It was fascinating.

The next day, feeling a little worse for wear, we booked a tour to visit some of the local sights. Our tour guide took us to the Batu Caves, a local sacred beautiful temple. On the journey up the steps (which believe me, was not easy considering the amount of rum we had consumed the night before) we encountered quite a few monkeys, who were not shy creatures. One tried to steal my bag! We were warned that they were vicious and prone to attack, and I don't think I've ever run up so many steps that quickly before in my life.

Inside the Batu Caves, I felt really peaceful. Our tour guide really kindly took us to a few other temples on the way to our next stop, and the intricacy in their architecture was just completely stunning.

Luckily we had a tour arranged for the evening, and met some much more friendly silver backed monkeys at that one who were more than happy to make friends in exchange for a banana or two.

Later that evening, we went on a boat ride alongside a river which was surrounded by fireflies. It was pretty magical!

The next day we visited a converted Helipad bar to try and catch the sunset. We missed it, sadly, but struck up a conversation with two really lovely people. Andrea was visiting her friend Souna from Chaing Mai, and Souna was a local who had lived in KL for the past 6 months. Our conversations ended in Souna offering to show us some local secrets, which we gladly took him up on! He took us to see some dancing lights and a water show in KL, and showed us a great spot in front of the absolutely stunning Twin Towers where we could get a picture.

By a stroke of complete luck and synchronicity, it turned out that one of my best friends from the UK and her brother had travelled to KL at the exact same time as us, on a pre adventure stop before moving to Australia for the year. We'd told them to meet us at The Green Man, and Souna and Andrea offered to walk us there. On the way, we bumped into a group of Irish people who were a bit lost and were heading a a bar right next to the Green Man, so we offered to walk with them. You can probably imagine what happened next. I'll blame it on being half Irish! Now this may be generalising, but it is widely known that the Irish, like the Scots, can really drink. The problem with KL, and equally the great thing about KL, is that the drinks are actually very reasonable. Having travelled from Singapore, where the drinks cost us the price of a small mortgage, we were really ready to take advantage of cheap beer. Julia and John joined us later and we ended up sharing travelling stories as a big group, laughing lots and just making some great new friends. They had to catch a flight at 6am the next morning - we were praying for them!

We never did find the Scottish owner of The Green Man, but thanks to Colin, we met some amazing people and created the best memories in Kuala Lumpur!