Sunday, 28 February 2016


 February has gone past quickly. It's been a good month. Nothing of note, just lots of relaxing and quality home time. Probably should have got a lot more Spring Cleaning underway, but hey ho. Spring starts next month right?

Highlights: #lfw, fresh eggs, a suave manicure, a good book.

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Friday, 26 February 2016

REVIEW: Liz Earl Botanical Essence No.100

You know when people ask what you want for Christmas and you throw a few things out there and there's one that you reallyreallyreally want, but don't want to say how much you reallyreallyreally want it because you don't want to know what you'll be getting.

Well, this was one of those.

The Lad left this present until last and I was so stoked opening it!

The Liz Earl Botanical Essence No.100 was created a couple of years ago when Chelsea Flower Show celebrated it's 100th anniversary. As an avid gardener, I picked it for that reason. It's a lovely floral warm scent that I get complimented on all the time. It reminds me of spring when all the little bright blossoms begin opening up.

In the set the Lad got me, I received a full sized Superskin Moisturiser. I've only used a tiny sample before so I was doubly stoked to try this out over a period of time. Having used it for over a month now, I absolutely love it. It sinks into my skin really fast making it a perfect base product for my makeup. One of my favourite things about it is it's not greasy AT ALL. I don't mind it getting on my hands and don't feel the need to wash them straight afterwards.

As for my face, it's responded well to the indulgence of this every morning. My skin is smoother, less greasy/dry (because it goes to extremes) and generally happy.

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Wednesday, 24 February 2016

BAKE: Healthy Scones

Who doesn't love a scone? I'm partial, gotta say.

In a bid to be healthier and also create something that I'm actually going to enjoy eating I came across a suuuper healthy recipe in the Leon Cookbook. After a quick skeg through, I decided it would probably take me hours and I wouldn't like them so it'd be a waste, so I developed my own, sugar free, version of healthy scones. I'll admit, they're a bit dry, but as a first attempt at developing a recipe fit for my own needs, it's nothing a bit of butter can't fix.

If you'd like to make your own (to eat before they fully cool with melting butter all over your fingers like I did) then here you go:

100g spelt flour
100g self raising flour
1tsp baking powder
40g butter
pinch of salt
Bit of milk

Put all your dry ingredients into a bowl and rub in the butter until the mix looks like breadcrumbs. Then add in enough milk to bring the mix together into a workable ball - not too sticky. Roll out on a floured surface and cut into as many big or small rounds as you'd like. I went for a medium sort of size and ended up with about 7 scones. Bash in the oven at 200C for about 10 minutes.

I especially like this recipe because it makes a small batch so nothing has chance to go off.

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Monday, 22 February 2016

LIFE: On Not Giving A Flying F**k

I recently read the Life Changing Magic of Not Giving A F**k and at each stage I basically went, 'uhuh, yeah, done that.'

Great start.

And once I closed that book I realised, not everyone has done that. Not everyone instantly laughs when they receive a wedding invite where the venue is over 300 miles away, subsequently filing that invite... in the bin. Not everyone feels they can say no to their In Laws when they're invited to 'come along all inclusive to a really nice hotel in Greece' (and that's without mentioning it's nearly a grand each for ten days and you're saving for a mortgage deposit). Not everyone realises how much choice they have.

And it is a choice.

My Ma used to text me constantly, but despite feeling a bit guilty about not texting her back all the time, I just ignored a few and she got the gist - that I a) work and b) have a domestic life full of chores and c) need to sleep - she now only texts me every week or so and sometimes she doesn't even text me back when I begin the texting.

We were invited to a wedding in Cornwall last year. I said no. My MIL went a little crazy because I said no immediately without giving it a chance. I did this for only two reasons: 1. I've met the couple twice and they're nice enough, but I, personally, wouldn't ruin their wedding ceremony by not turning up, 2. I live in the North and Cornwall is in the South - that means I have to pay for fuel and hotel costs... on top of taking two days holiday from work. I think those two reasons work in perfect harmony together. So I worked that weekend, earned some money, conserved my holiday days and my MIL didn't even get a Thank You card for attending.

A few years ago I was offered a promotion. In my position I believe a lot of people would have taken it with both hands and stumbled through what was expected of them. I said no. I know me and I didn't want it. I wasn't ready. I was told that it would hinder me in the future, but here I am, fully prepared and now ready to snag the next promotion over my unskilled competition.

That might sound like not giving a f**k is about saying no, but it's more about prioritising. 

Those holiday days I saved from not going to the wedding, I used to go vacation with the MIL over New Year in the Dales. It was closer to home and way more enjoyable than a formal black tie wedding any day (my MIL got completely wasted, hilar!). So although you're taking away with one hand, you're also giving a lot back with the other.

I spend the majority of my days doing things that I've chosen to to do rather than doing what I think I should be doing. And that's the key. Basically f**k everyone else. As long as it's legal and isn't harming anyone else then do whatever it is you want to do. It might seem backward, but I like putting money aside each month to pay the gas and electric bills because I really f**king love coming home to a super warm house on an evening so my heating is on 24/7. Do I wish it was cheaper? certainly. But, I can't really do much more than shop about for the best deal - and I've done that - so it's not something I have any control over.

The choice is yours, my friends, to either open your eyes and hearts and start doing what you want to do, or continue living in the shackles of our society (or most probably, your Mother In Law).

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Sunday, 21 February 2016

REVIEW: Dove Hair Therapy Fresh and Care Dry Shampoo

Oh, dry shampoo, you godsend you.

Sundays are basically made for dry shampoo and topknots. Two day hair, don't care.

This Dove Dry Shampoo is a great addition to my haircare stash. It's light, doesn't look like talc on the scalp and really freshens my hair so it doesn't stick down with oils.

It claims to "absorb oils and leave hair refreshed and volumised between washes" which, to a degree, I think it does. I'm not so sure about volumising, but instead of having slick dirty hair, it does make it easier to fluff up.

For a Sunday, when I'm only awake for only about four hours of daylight at this time of year anyway, who cares about washing, drying and styling when I've got this badboy in the cabinet?

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Friday, 19 February 2016

LIFE: On losing a family pet

A month ago I got home and found our cat crouched in the corner of our kitchen, in a pool of wee, foaming at the mouth.

I set about washing her in the sink, trying to open her mouth to see if anything had got caught in there - sometimes a bit of fur would get wrapped around her tooth or whatever and she ended up dribbling - but this time she wouldn't open her mouth, or meow, or hiss at me whilst washing her.

I dried her off and tried her on food.

First little cat treats, then soft catfood in gravy, then a little flake of mackerel. She wouldn't open her mouth and the foaming/dribbling was still continuing.

I rang the vet. I took her over there. They said nothing was stuck in her throat. They gave her three shots - one of a steroid, one of a multivitamin (because she was so small)  and one of an antibiotic. I took her home.

I hoped, sadly, that if she was going to pass away, she'd pass away overnight in her catbed in her sleep. I hoped and prayed and hoped some more. Or that she'd miraculously begin eating and drinking and we'd continue on with life as normal.

I set my alarm for 7am and worried myself to sleep.

7am came and she was alive. But completely not with it. I found her collapsed, quite stiffly, in the litter tray.

At 9am, after a rush to the vets again, the vet turned to us and said, 'I think it's time to let her go'.

As much as I feel guilty about the pain she was in whilst I couldn't do anything about it, the only reason I can find as to why I cried so much at that point isn't because I felt guilty at all, but a super amount of relief that I wasn't going to be put on the spot and made to chose to put her down.

Our cat was eleven; she'd been dumped at the end of our farm track when she was about three months old; she was the runt of her litter (or a fine specimen out of a litter of runty type kittens); she'd had a leisurely life alongside my family. It was time.

There comes a point in every animals life when it wants to crawl into a little hole and accept the darkness that's overcoming it.

At 9am that Saturday morning, I accepted that darkness too. And I cried for the next two days.

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Wednesday, 17 February 2016

STYLE: What's On My Face

This is my current face.

I begin with the Olay duo and Maybelline concealer before using the Naked Palette as a slight contour and the Rimmel blush on the apples of my cheeks (carefully as to not overdo it). 

I use the Maybelline eyebrow pencil and a mix of the Naked palette's taupe and dark brown through my brows.

For my eyes, I use the light Walk of Shame shade from the palette swept over the whole lid and a cat flick created by the L'Oreal liner before topping it off with the Rimmel mascara.

This creates a super fresh, but still made up face that's presentable for work and with the addition of the berry lip pencil suitable for the evening too.

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Monday, 15 February 2016

Three Things: Knowledge is power

1. Worries are shackles.
2. Freedom is the sky.
3. Curiosity is a prerequisite to learning.

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Sunday, 14 February 2016

BAKE: Baked cookies

Have you ever tried these?

I found this recipe through Charlotte and gave it a go the other evening. It's super simple and they turn out tasting exactly like those baked cookies you can get from the supermarket (aka, lovely).

80g caster sugar
80g soft brown sugar
225g flour
2tsp vanilla extract
150g butter
1/2 tsp bicarb
pinch of salt
1 egg
Roughly broken up bar of chocolate (or use chips or buttons)

Combine the sugars together and cream in the butter. Then add the vanilla extract and egg. Sift over the flour, bicarb and salt and then bash in your choice of chocolate. Spoon out your mix leaving a decent amount of space between lumps and pop in the oven at 190C for, at most, 10 minutes before taking out and leaving to cool.

Friday, 12 February 2016

REVIEW: Olay Anti Wrinkle Primer and Olay Total Effects BB cream

I've been using the Olay BB Cream for about a year now. 

I've still got about a quarter left, however I've noticed that the Fair tone is usually the one that's always out of stock so when I saw it the other day, I put it in my basket right away. 
The Fair isn't so white that it washes me out. In fact it gives me a nice glow - like I've had a few days in the sun.

I like this so much, I actually bought this for my mum too.

It's a super consistency - basically a creamy moisturising foundation that buffs into the skin really well. It is definately not full coverage. But I love it because it's dewy and looks like skin on my skin, rather than completely covering all my freckles and every single blemish. I use a separate concealer to cover any super blemishes and my under eye circles.

The primer is again, an old favourite. It works well alongside the BB cream because it moisturises and primes in one so there's less product to cake your face up with. It smells fresh, doesn't feel sticky or sit on my face and keeps my BB cream in place all day - straight up win.

Have any of you tried this duo?

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Wednesday, 10 February 2016

REVIEW: L'Oreal Lip Liner Couture

 This year I want to master applying colour to my lips. I love, love, love a red lip. But within five minutes I've got it all over my teeth and end up with a thin line around my lips rather than the luscious sweep of colour I hoped I'd be sporting for the rest of the day.

So my hunt begins.

I came across these two shades and despite a longing for Spring, berry colours have always appealed. Give them a try, I thought, why not? The lighter of the two 630 Beige Anu is very similar to my actual lip colour and just defines my normal lips to a better-than-normal standard, whilst 374 Intense Plum satisfies my need for a darker lip.

I layer these on with my Burts Bees lip balm beneath to give my lips at least some moisture. Though these aren't too OTT with sucking out the moisture, they aren't particularly forgiving either. They do last though. Without eating or drinking I managed to go into town and have a little peruse around the shops before coming home and finding only minimal wear and fading along the middle of my lips.

Considering these are most definately drugstore lipliners, I really love them.

Monday, 8 February 2016

WEAR: New Look Haul

I have a little obsession with New Look. I think they're reasonably priced, reasonable quality and they have a reasonable range. If I ever need a new top, or some shoes, or a jumper, New Look is the first place I try. 

I'll admit, everyone and their nan's will be wearing the same things as I am, but I'm of the opinion that it's how I style them up that makes the outfit mine.

I've been on the lookout for some slip on pumps for about six months now and I was so close to bagging myself some lovely printed ones on ASOS in the sale, but I missed out. These were only £15 and fit beautifully. (These were the closest I could find online)

The red breton tee has also been on the wishlist since I saw Alfie wearing one aaaages ago. I loved it. Stoked when I found this beast. I especially love that it's quite a large fit so it's super comfy, but looks quite put together.

The sweater was an impulse buy. Again, it's a large fit (which in this weather is great) and I love that although it's a neutral colour, it's texture makes it a key piece.

I've got my eye on a few other pieces too including this blue shirt and this denim skirt.

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