Saturday, 31 January 2015

January Favourites 2015



Vera Wang Rock Princess Perfume

I've recently rediscovered my love for this perfume, i forgot how addictive it is. I must admit that my favourite perfume of the moment is my Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt but this one is such a fun rock 'n' roll perfume that i can wear during the day or night, completely multifunctional.

Chip Shop Curry Sauce

Just recently, me and Carl have been obsessed with curry sauce. It all started when i had it on my crispy chicken when we went out for tea a week or so ago. Then i got a craving for chinese chicken balls and curry sauce which we both ended up having the other night and it's just escalating all the time. We can't get enough of the stuff.

Gavin & Stacey

I'm so late jumping on this band wagon but i'm very jubious about anything new that comes on the TV and if my first impression is not great then i won't attempt to watch it. But the second episode of series 1 was on the tv one night and i was instantly hooked. Me and Carl ended up watching a series every night on Netflix. Why did they only make 3 series?! 

Tangle Teezer

I wouldn't be without this and i've been using mine so much over the years that i think it's coming to the stage where it needs replacing. I have very thick fast growing hair and i can only use a paddle brush to get through it but using this when i have wet hair makes my hair so soft and tangle free without pulling and yanking at my head. I love it so much.

Benefit Fake Up

This has been a life saver this month because i've had some horrendous dark circles under my eyes since Christmas and this makes them dissapear every time.

See you next month for my February favourites!



Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Confessions Of A Beauty Blogger Tag

This morning, i got a tweet from my beautiful friend Jennie from jennieemma.co.uk informing me that she had tagged me to do this Confessions Of A Beauty Blogger Tag. I'm not so much a beauty blogger per se but when you are nominated to do a tag, you damn well do it on pain of getting mascara in your eye!
1. How many hours a week do you spend planning/writing/uploading posts?
I have never looked back and thought about how long i spend doing this because with the amount of stuff i have going on in my life, it's hard to pinpoint something like this. But i generally come up with post ideas late at night, get them written down and start writing them up the following evening when i'm not busy. As a rough estimate, i would say i spend about 3 hours a week doing it.

2. Are you a spender or a saver?
Definitely more of a saver. If i see something i like, i really have to justify spending any money on it. For example, if i see a new piece of make up that i like, i will ask myself if i really need it or simply want it. I prefer to save because i hate owing money and it's always nice to have money to fall back on when you've had a rough month.

3. When is it easiest for you to write your posts?
On an evening when my working day is done. After tea, we all go off and do our seperate things so Saz will go talk to her mates, Carl will go on the PS or watch cricket and me and mum will catch up with TV. I sit down with the laptop while i'm doing this because i feel more productive when i don't have any chores hanging over me.
4. What makes writing posts comfortable for you?
Good question. Knowing that i can write a post about absolutely anything and it will appeal to at least 1 or 2 people makes it a comfortable experience. When i had my blog at 14, i was very cagey about what i wrote because i was still at school and anything that could be used as ammunition would be used and i used to write some pretty dark stuff about people at school ( no regrets whatsoever with that ) but now, i know i could write a post about a wishlist one minute then have a rant about something on the next and no one would judge me for it.
5. What’s your worst make up/hair habit?
Hair wise i'm a bugger for not using my Coltar shampoo. I have the most horrendous psoriasis on my scalp which makes it very itchy and flaky. Coltar shampoo contains coal which is fantastic for calming down psoriasis but it absolutely stinks and i hate using it. I really should start use it at least once a week. As for make up my worst habit is the age old one of not being arsed to remove it when i go to bed. If my old beauty therapy tutor knew i was doing this she would have given me a right bollocking. It's a habit i have never been able to grow out of and it's buggering up my skin something rotten.

6. What’s one quote you wish the world would live by?
Quotes have gone from being a once in a blue moon thing to being abused. I have one quote that i have used for many many years which is Carpe Diem ( Sieze the day ) simply because it's highly appropriate for the type of person i am. A quote won't save the world i'm afraid

7. How long do you spend getting ready everyday?
It all depends on what is happening on the day. If it's a normal work day then it takes me about 15 minutes but then i do have to wake our Sarah up which can take anything up to 20 minutes. On a weekend if i'm not going anywhere i literally take 5 minutes to throw some clothes on, tie my hair back and have a wash.

8. What’s your favourite post on your blog?
I don't think i have a favourite post because i'm happy with all of them

9. Who is a beauty blogger that you think deserves more subscribers that they have?
I couldn't possibly answer this because whoever i don't say would be offended

10. What’s one thing you’re excited about in the coming year?
My holiday in Tenerife. I haven't been out of the country since 2008 and i am so ready for a week of relaxing in the sun. It will also be mine and Carl's first holiday together and Sarah's first time on a plane so it's a big deal really. Only 67 days to go!!!

11. What’s been your favourite blogging moment?
I have a few if i'm honest. The first has to be the blog meets where i met some new people who became some of my closest mates, the second was blogging at Hull Fashion Week and the third was doing a colaboration with Myeloma UK.

12. How long does it take to prep for a post?
It completely depends on the post. The biggest time consumer is taking the photos because if your lighting isn't right, you're buggered. I would say it's at least a 45 minute job for me if i'm doing a post with a fair amount of photos and text.

13. Are you wearing jeans/skirt right now or are you wearing pajama bottoms?
I'm actually wearing leggings and a jumper at the minute but in a couple of hours i'll be changing into my formal gear because i'm off for an interview. However, as soon as i get home from that i'm putting on Carl's lounge pants ( you have no idea how comfy they are )

14. What are you most proud of in your life?
Well the obvious first and most important thing i am proud of is my daughter. I'm also proud of qualifying as a counsellor which was a real uphill struggle and also i'm proud that i managed to get through loosing my dad and best friend in such a short space of time. I didn't turn to drink or drugs to numb the pain, i just dealt with it through sheer strength of will.
There we have it! Thankyou again to Jennie for tagging me in this, i tag the following bloggers to do it aswell...
 student-stylexo.co.uk
Don't forget to link back to me if you have been tagged or wish to do this tag so i can see all your answers!


Thursday, 15 January 2015

My Lipstick Collection


 Hold the phone people, but i have only just got into wearing lipstick.

I hear gasps from every corner of the internet but it's true. A bit of lipsyl was always enough for me when i put the war paint on but i realised that more often than not, my make up never looked quite finished and that was when i bought my first proper lipstick. Fast forward a year and i now have quite a reasonable little stock pile.

Lipsticks are listed in the order the appear in the photo

L'Oreal Collection Privé Nude - Eva Longoria

I love this lipstick, infact i love it so much that this is my second one. The first time i saw this, i went on the L'Oreal website and did the little questionnaire to see which shade would be right for me and it turns out that for my skin tone, the perfect shade was the one by Eva. Well low and behold, it was spot on and when i first applied it, i was really happy with the results. A fail safe lippy.

Rimmel Kate Moss Collection - Red 01

This was in my #HullBloggers box swap from Charlie. I admit, red was never my first option when it came to lipstick simply because it only suits certain people, specifically women who have pale/porcelain skin. I have worn it twice and i can only just make it work on me. I'm not sure what it is, i think maybe because i have naturally tanned skin and i think it washes me out a little bit. It's a bit of a disappointment really because it's a beautiful colour.

MAC - Girl About Town

This was the first lipstick i bought that was a really bold shade and i didn't know if i would be able to pull it off. I was pleasantly surprised though when i found out that it did actually suit me. Unfortunately, my daughter loves it too so i think i will be having to fork out for another one fairly soon.

 MAC - Candy Yum Yum

My latest purchase. Candy Yum Yum is quite a popular shade from MAC and i can see why. It's very 'in your face' but i like that about it. Thankfully it suits me which is a relief because pink can be a really funny colour to work with.

MAC - Peach Blossom

I'm in two minds about this shade. On one day it looks really nice but on others it looks ridiculous. I can't quite decide wether it's in my imagination or it's a shade that his it's off days. A bit dissapointed really but i can't bear to part with it. Hopefully one day it will decide to co-operate and i can learn to love it.

Barry M Genie Lipstick

I love this thing. If you've never heard of the genie lipstick then where have you been?! On opening the lip, you discover that the lipstick is green but that's where the magic happens. When you apply it to your lips, it gives you the perfect shade of pink for your lips and it does this by reacting with the alkaline in your skin. It's amazing and is perfect everytime. The perfect lippy for on the go. ( It's not pictured unfortunately because my daughter has 'borrowed' it and i have a feeling she's lost it ARGH! )







 

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Holiday Packing 101 // The Survival Kit


On the 29th of March; myself, Carl and Sarah are jetting off to the sunny (and much warmer destination) of Playa De Las Americas in Tenerife and i cannot even begin to tell you how excited and ready i am for this holiday. The last sunshine break i had was in 2008 when i went to Ibiza with my friend Gemma, i know i know! You don't need to remind me that was seven years ago but as you get older and bills start to become the norm, it's near enough impossible to save the money for a holiday.

Of course with going on holiday, it means endless planning and making sure you pack everything you need. That's why i'm doing some blog posts about holiday packing and sharing with you what i take and all the essentials i think is needed for a relaxing and stress free holiday. In this post, it's all about the survival kit. My survival kit includes...

Compeed & regular plasters - These are essential, infact they're so important that i will have to repeat that and put it in capitals. THESE ARE ESSENTIAL! I'm travelling with my 11 year old who will no doubt be running riot the whole time we are there and accidents will happen so having a plentiful supply of plasters for those little scrapes are a staple in my survival kit. Having Compeed blister patches are a must also for all those new holiday shoe blisters that we all get.

Tweezers - I wouldn't be without this little instrument. Not only is it compulsary for eyebrow maintenance and for plucking out those irritating stray hairs that your shaver inadvertantly missed out, but they're useful for getting splinters out. Ok so we're on holiday but you just never know!

Painkillers - Another crucial element. Headaches, period pains, sun burn, hangover; you are almost certainly guaranteed to get at least one of them while you're on holiday so taking some decent painkillers with you is vital. I take Solpadeine Max which is codeine and paracetamol; if you are in pain, you want it gone quick and these will definitely speed up the recovery.

Dioralyte sachets - I've never understood why this is, but when you land in a hot country you tend to have the runs pretty much straight away and it's not the best way to start the holiday. Taking rehydration sachets like these is a great idea because all you do is get a glass of water (making sure it's bottled) pour in the contents of a sachet and drink it straight down. It restores all the salts and fluids you have lost from having a dicky tummy and instantly rehydrates you. They're also great for hangovers.

Immodium - For exactly the same reason as the Dioralyte. Immodium are the best thing for stopping a runny tummy and quite frankly, the sooner it stops, the sooner you can go enjoy yourself in the sun!

Cold gel patches - These are specifically made to relieve migraines and that's one of the reasons why i take these with me because i do sadly suffer with them. But they are also great for the night time when you are trying to sleep. Thankfully, i can sleep when it's humid but Carl and Sarah find it quite difficult. So i take these with us and all they do, is pop one on their forehead when they go to bed and it cools them down enough to drift off. Alot of your body heat comes from the head so it's a pretty good idea when you think about it.

Cold & flu tablets - It's common knowledge that the oxygen on a plane is recycled so if someone on your flight has a cold, there is a possibility you will soon have it aswell (i've been there and it's so annoying) Having learnt from experience, i now take some kind of cold and flu medication everytime i go on holiday just incase.

E45 Hydrocortisone cream - Oo that's a moutful. This is an itch cream that i have used on Sarah's eczema ever since she was a baby and it's brilliant. It's not only good for eczema but for mosquito bites aswell. 

I would never consider going away even if it's in the UK without my survival kit. It's always a good idea (especially if you have kids) to be prepared for every eventuality. Plus Carl is a clumsy sod and will end up hurting himself at some point.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Nigella Lawson's Clementine Cake // Breaking Baking #1


This is going to be a new series of blogging posts that i have wanted to start for so long now. Next to shoes and Alice in Wonderland, baking is one of my biggest passions. Baking might seem easy but it's definitely an art form, you have to be so precise and being patient is one of the most important factors. The basis for these posts will be me making interesting and quirky baking recipes that i read about and also some of my own creations. 

For Breaking Baking (A strange title it may be, but technically i am breaking into a new world of baking. I like it, shut up) number one, i'm making a Clementine Cake created by my favourite chef, Nigella Lawson.

Ingredients

  • 375 grams clementines (approx. 3 medium-sized ones) 
  • 6 large eggs
  • 225 grams white sugar
  • 250 grams ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
I have never used ground almonds in place of flour before so it will be really interesting to see how this turns out.

Method


 The first thing you need to do, is put the oranges in a pan of cold water and bring to the boil for two hours. Yes i know i'm using five oranges and not three but that's because three of them didn't come to 375 grams so i used my initiative. I also checked these after an hour because of the size and they were ready ( you are looking for a real squidgy consistency ) but if you are using larger oranges, boil them for two hours.


While the oranges are bubbling away nicely, you can get a head start by putting the sugar, ground almonds, and baking powder in a bowl but don't add the eggs just yet.


Once the oranges are squishy, drain off the water and leave to cool for five minutes. Once they're cool enough to work with, cut them into halves or wedges (again depending on size) and remove the pips.


Add all of the orange segments and i mean ALL of them..fruit, pith, rind everything (not the pips of course) and blend in a food processor until you get this type of consistency. Granted it's not very appealing but it smells fricking awesome. Pour the orange mixture into a bowl and put to one side.


At this point, pre heat the oven to gas mark 5/190ºC/375ºF. Then you can add the eggs to the ground almonds, sugar & baking powder


Put all the dry ingredients and eggs into the food processor and blitz together until you get a cake batter type mix


Finally, put the orange mixture into the cake mix and give it another blitz until it's all combined together. I will warn you that when it's mixed together, it will look lumpy but it's meant to. This isn't a conventional cake and shouldn't be completely smooth like a normal cake.
 

 Grease and line a spring form cake tin. I'm using a a 12 inch tin but use whatever tin you have to hand.


I used the whole mixture and it came quite close to the top of the tin but i'm living dangerously here and hoping it won't erupt.

So now, pop the cake into the oven! Check it after about 40 minutes and if it is starting to look like it is getting too dark, put some foil over the top to stop it burning. The cooking time is 1 hour but do the skewer test to make sure. Spear the cake in the centre with a skewer and if it comes out clean, it's cooked. If it comes out with batter still on it then pop it back in. For me, it took about 1 hour 15 minutes to get it cooked all the way through.


And here it is! The finished product! Even though it has no flour and only the smallest amount of baking powder, it's incredibly light and not at all sickly. You can definitely taste the orange but not so much the almond which is good for me as i'm not a massive fan. If you like lemon drizzle cake then you will love this as it has the same texture and lovely citrus taste. Overall, i'm quite impressed with this though i think it will be the last time i work with ground almonds and go back to my trusty self raising.




Wednesday, 7 January 2015

The Theory Of Everything // Film Review



When i saw this advertised, i didn't make a conscious effort to immediately go out and watch it. Not that i don't like Stephen Hawking, but this kind of film isn't really my cup of tea. Oh how wrong i was about that...

The theory of everything is solely based on Stephen Hawking and his wife Jane. Stephen met Jane at Cambridge in the 60s, they fell in love and got married. All sweetness and butterflies you may think, but Stephen starts to develop problems with his hands and feet and ends up falling. In hospital, he is diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease and is told he only has two years to live. 


With this playing on his mind, he pushes everyone close to him away, including Jane. However, with the love she had for him, she stood by his side and cared for him as his ailment continued to take over. They had three children together and Stephens mind continued to work and work which resulted in him doing talks about The Big Bang and such until he fell ill with pneumonia and ended up in a coma. Jane refused to let his life support be turned off and instead took the only other option, which was for Stephen to have a tracheostomy but this would mean him never speaking again.



Time passes and Jane has to accept that she needs help to care for Stephen so she asks for the help of a specialist nurse called Elaine who's husband fits a special computer to Stephens wheelchair which means he is able to speak just be clicking a little switch. Jane falls in love with her choir master at the church, Jonathan, who had been helping them previously and became good friends with Stephen. Jane eventually admits defeat and her and Stephen seperate, with Jane falling into the arms of Jonathan but Stephen isn't left on his own. He marries Elaine and is soon granted a CBE from the Queen. The films ends with Stephen and Jane looking at their three grown up children and Stephen saying ' Look what we made together '.



Before i watched this, i knew very little about Stephen Hawking and his actual life. This film really opened up my eyes to the struggles that Jane had with looking after three children while also caring for the man she deeply loved.  It also showed me that even when he was given a two year window of life left, he defied everything and beat the odds ( he is now 73 )

Even if this may not seem like the kind of film you generally watch, i recommend you at least give it a try. It's one of the most heartwarming, eye opening films i have ever seen and it really pulled at my heartstrings. It's well worth a watch


*All pictures used are from Google Images

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Elegant touch false nails // Twinkle Twinkle




Biting my nails became a thing of the past six years ago and i have managed to have relatively nice long nails ever since. But sometimes, even i can't be bothered to manicure, buff, polish and maintain them so i do on (very rare) occasions buy myself a set of false nails. I saw these Elegant Touch ones in Twinkle Twinkle and i thought they would be great for New Year so i bought them and hoped they would give me a beautiful, sparkly manicure.
 

As with all false nail kits, you get the false nails themselves which come in an array of sizes, a nail buffer and usually a small tube of nail glue but these came with sticky tabs which intrigued me. Nail glue usually comes off really easily aslong as you apply it to the false nail and not your own but it can leave a horrible, hard mass on your nail when they come off but with these, i knew there would be no chance of that happening and they would leave no residue (hopefully)


 Application was relatively painless and straightforward, the main ballache with false nails is spending the time finding the right fit for each nail, trimming them down to size, applying the adhesive etc but these were definitely alot easier to do than the ones with glue. All was looking well it would seem....


Oh they looked so pretty and sparkly and i was thrilled with them, until 10 minutes later when i picked up my phone to take some pictures and two pinged off. Not a massive problem because i just pushed them back on but everytime i did something, they would keep coming off! And not just now and again, but literally every 10-20 minutes! I never have it this bad with glue ones. I thought that sticky tabs would be a revelation but quite frankly, they're bloody rubbish!

These nails would be great if they came with glue as they would be alot more durable. I would've used glue on them after all the faff but with the sticky tab still being attached to the nail, it would've been counter productive but the next time i buy any Elegant touch nails, i will definitely be using glue and avoiding the alternative adhesive method.