Sunday, 31 August 2014

LIFE: Lazy Sundays

Lavender reminds me of my late Grandma. She had a row of lavender bushes along the path in front of her house. She used to get me to cut it back in the Autumn and that late summer smell of lavender has always stuck with me.

The year before last, I planted a row of lavender across the front of our house.

I didn't make the connection with Grandma at the time, all I wanted was a nice smelling, bee attracting, pretty hedge at the front to stop people trampling the other bulbs and plants in there (our neighbours seem to think our front garden is a public park).

Today I spent the morning nursing a slight hangover whilst sitting outside and sorting the lavender from the chaff. In a few weeks, once all of the flowers still on the plants have turned,  I'll collect the rest and make little pouches of lavender to pop in the bedding drawers.

It's the simple pleasures in life: a late August sun, a sweet smelling task and a quiet morning.

If only every day could be like today.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

LIFE: Being twenty-something

In the future, I will look back at these years and love them. I am creating the life I will have, right now, this very second. I am the oldest I've ever been and the youngest I'll ever be again. It's an awesome thought.

However, I think these twenty-something ages are the most confusing. You're meant to be having fun, yet settling down. You're meant to be out on the lash every weekend, but saving for a mortgage. You're meant to have a full time job, but have time to socialise, pamper AND have creative hobbies.

How can I do all that?

Being true to myself is the hardest thing I've really ever fought for. It goes through tough patches. When people question 'why?' about my everything. To have my beliefs poo pooed. To be made to doubt myself.

It ain't nice. But, it happens.

Being who you are might not be going out on a Friday and a Saturday night, but sitting in watching Xfactor and reading, single and quite happy to count eating cereal from the box a hobby. Being who you are might be feeling right at home surrounded by loads of mates and spending your pay packet on awesome amounts of Dominos whilst being in a long term relationship.

In the end, the only person who cares is you.

Being a twenty-something is the time to discover what 'being you' is. What it means. How you're going to get to being you in ten years time is up to you and only you.

Just remember to enjoy the journey.

Monday, 25 August 2014

REVIEW: Nivea Cleansing Mousse

I loved the thought of liquid being turned into mousse in the squirt of a bottle. Too good to be true I thought, and on this occasion I was right.

It does turn a liquid into a mousse, but it's not a very good mousse. I expected thick and claggy to drag the dirt off in one fell swoop - what I got what a floaty bubbly mass that disappated, within seconds, to nothing.

Think instead of a Rolo Yoghurt Mousse from Tesco, you get a sample of the bubbles from your dads bath water.

Ain't a super thought, that.

It cleanses a bit. If you were having a no makeup day and just wanted a freshen up, this is perfect. If you had a full face on, eyeliner and all, this is definately not tough enough.

It doesn't grip the dirt very well on the first try, however if you're into double cleansing then this might make the cut to be the second cleanser.

It's a shame, but alongside the other cleansers and soap I have sat next to the basin in the bathroom, this has made its way fairly quickly to the back.

Points for trying, Nivea. Better luck next time.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

THREE THINGS: To keep you happy

1. Even if it looks cloudy outside, remember that above all that the air is clear and the sun is shining. Rise above the shit and stay in the sun.

2. Just do it. Don't fret, fanny or arse around. Don't spend precious time debating whether or not to do what you want, spend it doing it!

3. Look for the small things. The big things will always be awesome, but it's the small things that keep life ticking over until those big this come to fruition. Whether that be a smile from a stranger or finding an old photograph at the back of a drawer. Don't take those small things for granted. Take them and admire them.

There will be something to be happy about, forever and always.

Friday, 22 August 2014

REVIEW: The cheap mascara

I used to be a I'm-only-going-to-use-expensive-makeup type of gal, but once the Student Loans dried up, the cheaper versions just seemed to appeal more.

Guess you might've already guessed that from previous posts, huh?

I picked this up a couple of weeks ago for a whole £2.30. Didn't expect too much. All I wanted from this was for it to make my eyelashes black. And, yeah, it did that.

But it's also opened my eyes in other aspects too.

I've used other 'volumising' and 'curling' mascaras before and always been disappointed, even with the more expensive versions. Each one has had something missing - either/ or, rather than both.

The wand is huge, like super massive, but still easy to maneover across my lashes. It covers evenly and hasn't yet clumped (I'm waiting for that to happen - it always happens so surely this one will?) and it lasts all day. I've never had that either. I've always had to reapply at some stage, but this beauty just keeps on holding. Doesn't flake, doesn't drop. Just holds.

The curling part of this formula is awesome too. I have dead straight lashes usually despite always curling them before applying mascara* so I was chuffed when after nine hours at work I came home to lashes that looked exactly the same as the minute I applied my makeup.

I'm in love.

*I used to curl after applying mascara too, but the combination of supermarkets own lash curlers and brittle mascara meant my lashes broke off to about 2mm in length. I've just asked the Lad and he assures me that my lashes today look about 6mm (although I think he's trying to flatter me more than be precise).

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

LIFE: Glimmers of self belief

I've mentioned before about my fairly basic self belief.

The other day, after the childish incident, I was feeling pretty down. Mostly confused, but still down. I was worried that other people see me in the way that my taunter does.

So I went round, as I sometimes do, and asked everyone I know what they honestly thought of me and how they thought I could improve on anything I'm shite at.

No-one said anything bad. A few people said I should be more confident in myself, believe in myself and trust my judgment more (and then spent a long time giving me examples and tips on when I should get my iron fists out). I love that they said those things. 

I posted a status on Facebook the other day stating:

If I keep telling myself "today is a great day" everyday, then everyday will be great and I will be happy.


The only comment I got was:

Today will be a great day because your awesome.

Nine words that lifted my heart so, so high.

(Albeit grammar issues there grate ever so slightly.)

I do not class myself as a popular person. I am not a go-all-out-friend. I keep myself to myself. And to hear those compliments from people at the point I felt completely lost, just totally overwhelmed me. It still does. I'm speechless, but I feel strong.

Surrounding myself with people who believe in me means I'm beginning to see a glimmer of belief in myself.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

REVIEW: Maybelline Baby Lips

I'm not a lipstick girl. Well, unless you count the amount of times I've eaten the lipstick I tried to apply.

Last weekend, I went to a leaving do for a work colleague. I left everything kinda late. The shoes, the dress, the makeup. Typical. On a rush trip into town about three hours before meeting everyone, I spied these little beauts.

I chose Pink Punch and Cherry Me.

These are a superb alternative to a lipstick. I especially liked that although the colour was stronger than I thought for them being a lip balm, it didn't leave any odd marks around my lips as it wore off - something I find most lipsticks do.

I also like that they haven't made it specifically for colour and forgotten that this product is a lip balm, it's super moisturising and glossy. Win, win so far.

I haven't found a downfall with them, really. The size is perfect for popping in my bag. The colours are ace. They last reasonably well. They smarten up a mediocre day face. The price is spot on.

What more can I say?

Thursday, 14 August 2014

LIFE: Childish behaviour

On Tuesday, for the first time in years, in probably a decade or so, I was called childish. 

For starters, I was hurt. Secondly, I was pissed off. Thirdly, I laughed.
I'd met them, maybe three times before that day and thought they were an okay person and then out of the blue, out comes this comment. It's stuck with me because I always openly ask for criticism. I believe that by asking people for their honest feedback of how I perform at work, at driving, at shopping, at baking, whatever... I'll gain an understanding of what I can do to improve.

The person that told me this though, was not saying it in a positive feedback way, but in a 'I want to see how you react' kind of way and as I thought that was uncalled for, I was left completely confused with the situation.

There are things I do and say and behave that I don't like, but a personal goal of mine is to slowly mould myself into something that I do. Currently, overall I do like myself. I think I could be less rash and more patient - with myself and others - but less childish?


Not really.

If you Google the word childish there are two definitions:

of, like, or appropriate to a child.
"childish enthusiasm"

silly and immature.
"a childish outburst"

I don't know what the subjective description of each of yours is on being 'childish', but for me it means seeing the glory in everything I do, living in the moment and taking risks. The opposite of childish is paying bills, doing a bloody good job at work and respecting everyone and everything.

I class myself as both those things. (People eat ice cream and jelly for tea sometimes, right?)

The one thing I want to do with my life is be happy and if that means embracing my childish side, then so be it. If that person wants to lose out on loving their life by wallowing in spite then good for them. 

Game on, mofo.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

THREE THINGS: to remember

1. I will never please everyone
2. Happiness is a frame of mind
3. Take the time you make

Monday, 11 August 2014

REVIEW: Bare Minerals Starter Kit (Light)

I'm normally a daily user of liquid face makeup and have never really ventured into the realm of mineral or powder before. I got this kit on an offer from feelunique a few weeks back.

There's a good amount of product in each of the little tubs (1.5g) and I can see it lasting me a good few months of daily use. I especially like that there's two shades of the foundation for me to try so I can match up which shade is best in different situations and base my future purchases on that.

Neat little idea, huh?

I'm not a great fan of the primer - silicone eat your heart out. It doesn't feel the most breathe-able thing ever so after a few tries to start, I began using my own. 

I've Youtube'd a few videos about how to apply it and the techniques to use to try to make it last a little bit longer, but I don't seem to have the skills to make it a day-long-face. By the time I've gone to work and sat down five hours later for my dinner, I basically have a bare face.

I do think this is a good option instead of liquid, but not for full coverage, and only for brief meetings or errands.

The only other thing to note is that the brushes shed an absolute shit load. I've been using them for about a month, probably longer now, and I am covered in little bits of brush when I'm finished. 

For the price, I think it was worth it and I'd recommend the kit for anyone wanting to try the brand out. I'm going to invest in some other fluffy face brushes and see if that helps me applying it, but for now I'm a little on the fence as to whether this will be a permanent addition to my daily regime.

Sunday, 10 August 2014


This weekend has been awesome.

I had Friday off work and went to the coast. I burnt my fingertips on super hot sand from under the bbq, not the best move I've ever made, so a quick trip to the nearest Tesco for some plasters meant we ended up in town. I've never been into Scarborough town before so it was nice to explore and find some new places.

I'm a proud member of Mecca Bingo (fun fact about me, that) although we don't go that often so I got a text from mecca saying that because they missed me (awwh), a friend and I could get in for free. Bingo! - literally and metaphorically. The Lad didn't win, neither did I and my mum, who came along for some shits and giggles, didn't either. Fail or no though, it was really fun.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

LIFE: 5 tips to organise your clothes

This is our wardrobe. In the centre of the wall we keep all our clothes on there's a tiny chimney breast - only forty five centimetres wide - so to utilise that space, instead of a traditional wardrobe, we chose this DIY.

1. Take out all your clothes
Pretty simple start, right?

2. Be rutheless
Th first port of call for unwanted clothes is always going to be the charity shop. Sometimes though the items are just bin ready. Frayed hems? Unpatchable holes? Do yourself and the charities a favour and bin it. If you want to treat your bank balance though, try selling the wearable items on Depop, eBay or local carboots.

3. Piles are your friends
Something you never thought you'd read? Well, there you go. I pile my clothes up into outfit components - trousers, tops, workwear etc, it means that it's much easier to put an outfit together.
For the hanging part, I don't organise by component as most of the things in there are either dresses or shirts so instead I sort by colour.

4. The return of the clothes
Don't put your clothes back in the same spot they were in before. Rotating your clothes around your wardrobe when you clear out means that it stays fresh and feels rejuvenated. The more you see an item the more likely you are to wear it.

5. Those sentimental items
Keep special items away from your everyday clothes to avoid confusion and/or possible damage. I keep mine wrapped up under my bed, but if you don't have the space try a vacuum packed bag and pop in the attic.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

BAKE: Lemon Crumble Cake

Everybody loves cake.

I had a feeling in my belly the other day that cake was needed. I cracked out my trusty Good Housekeeping Baking Book and got ma bake on. 

Lemon is not a flavour that's usually used in any of the food in our home. The Lad doesn't right like citrus, so I was pushing boundaries with this one.

There's two parts to this recipe, the crumble topping and the sponge base. The brown parts in the picture show the sponge with the golden crumble on the top. I found it pretty easy to find all the ingredients in the cupboard and a short while to prepare. Didn't see the part where it takes 50 minutes to cook (so that went my quick feast idea), but it was well worth the wait.

Half a block of butter
250g sugar
125g plain flour
175g self raising flour
Lemon (in any of it's forms - I used essence, you could use the rind, juice, chunks... anything)
3 eggs
A good drop of vanilla essence

For the crumble first, just under half of the original half a block goes into the bowl and about the same weight of sugar goes in too. Mix it together and then add in all the plain flour so it looks like breadcrumbs.

Put the rest of the butter and sugar, the other flour, eggs, vanilla and I put a tonne of lemon essence into a bowl and mashed it about until it all combined. Then tipped out into a reasonably well sized tray (I over-estimated how big my batch was) and then press the crumble top all over until it's covered.

Whack in the oven until it looks good (or is firm, or is golden, or for 50 minutes at 180C) and then devour!

Sunday, 3 August 2014

LIFE: the little things count the most.

The Lad and I have been together for seven and a half years. Through that time, I have finished College, gone to and graduated from University and worked my way through seven jobs. I've seen him fail University twice, work through five jobs and discover his favourite hobby - being down the allotment.

We have times when we scream at each other, course we do. However, recently, I've been making an effort to prevent the situations that arguments normally occur in. Instead of rising to the things that usually raise my blood pressure, I've relaxed, taken things more lightly and brushed them off in favour of searching for the positive aspects.

(Something I never thought I'd say.)

EXAMPLE: Instead of yelling at the Lad for leaving all of his dirty dishes and cutlery smothering the worktops after making this pie, I enjoyed the pie and made the effort to help him clear up once we'd eaten. Working together halves the time it takes to make the kitchen presentable and it gives us time to talk together without interruption.

In essence I'm turning the bad into a positive and appreciating those little things more. Saying thank you, laughing at crap jokes, putting the iPad down when we talk. Weirdly, because of this I'm being more inspired by us and the life we have.

Sometimes, appreciating all the little things, even the arguments and dirty pie tins, create the best environment for a happy life.

Friday, 1 August 2014

REVIEW: The cheap angle brush

A little while ago I posted about the Rimmel Gel liner and that it just didn't tickle my fancy as much as I'd hoped. Well, recently that's changed. If you visit that old post, you'll see the bush that it comes with is fairly small and fairly square. I really couldn't get it to work that way I wanted it to so pushed the product to the back of my makeup drawer.

Wilkinson's (good ol' Wilko's) have released a new range of cheap makeup tools. I saw this and thought of the gel. Glad I did really as it's opened my eyes (pun intended) to the possibilities that come with using a gel liner. Application time has halved, probably takes less time to do than when I use my trusty liquid liner, it's very easy to control where the liner is going and makes a flick a piece of proverbial piss.

This has revolutionised my eye wear and for the grand price of £1, it's well worth it.
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