Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Bourjois Paris Volume Glamour Max Holidays Mascara

I'm jumping on the Mascara hype however I'm currently loving the new Bourjois mascara rather than the new Benefit Mascara as I can't find a shop that have the mag in stock!

I got given a sample at work last week and I'm never overexcited about trying mascaras as I always end up disappointed as I'm quite hard to please when it comes to make up - particularly mascara! However I must admit, and for the first time on this blog, I will say that I am surprised at how much I love this product. I belive this may be my first ever blogpost on a mascara of any kind.

 I'll keep this short and sweet as I'm a bit pants and doing review posts (world's worst blogger award winner!) but it's a great little magic power for when you're in a rush as it's fab for adding just a couple of layers which is all that's needed for an every day look without clumping. It's really easy to build up too so if you're heading out after work then definitely pop this in your bag. The brush is one of my favourite styles in the way it's bristely (I don't know the technical term - as I said, I'm pants at this) rather than plastic so you can really get between your lashes.

The tube itself is very elegant, a bit different in it's hourglass shape, sleek and looks a lot more expensive that the £5.99 price tag.

My one little moan is that it's a bit of a nightmare to get off - even with eye make up remover, I find myself picking it out and ending up picking lashes out at the same time! Maybe I've just got a naff make up remover and set of wipes but that's my only little dislike about it.

Obviously by the name this is going to be a big mascara for the spring and summer and it's available in black, turquoise, purple and blue so I'm sure if you're hitting the Ibiza neon club nights, this is definitely going to be on your holiday lists!

At the moment (correct as of Monday 2nd February) Boots have a free lipstick offer when you spend £12 on Bourjois so if you're hitting the high street this week, definitely pop in on your way past!


Sunday, 15 February 2015

Dakota Johnson - Fashion Envy!

This time last year barely anyone had even heard of her but now she's possibly one of the most famous women in the world playing the lead in 50 Shades. I'm not obsessing over the book/film like most people seem to be but I am gonna go and watch it to see what the fuss is about but over the last few weeks, Dakota Johnson has taken over the Daily Mail website with all of the 50SOG Premiers across the world and oh my days, I've fallen uncontrollably in love with her wardrobe! So much so I'm putting my ideal wardrobe together right here right now, plus it's giving me gym inspiration looking at her stunning figure!

This Dior Black Number is to die for.. what I'd give! I love how basic her hair and make up is but how flawlessly she pulls it off. 

I'm not gonna lie, and I hope my boyfriend doesn't read this, but Dakota's stunning figure and the way she can wear this beautiful YSL dress makes me want a boob reduction! I've said for years I've wanted one but I'd give anything to be able to wear beautiful gowns like this!  The small train on the back of this dress though is definitely Wedding Dress inspiration for if I ever get engaged. 

(The "leather jacket over a stunning dress" is a look I regularly go for at the end of a night out but rarely pull off as well!) 

How cute is this wooly cardigan and leather skirt combo? Perfect for date night or a quiet night out with the girls while the weather's still cold. Plus this hair do is definitely on my radar of things to give a go! 

So yeah, a bit of a pointless one but had to express my envy at how beautiful her wardrobe has been over the last couple of weeks - how one woman can give me body envy, hair ideas, boob reduction added to my Google search and dress jealously all in one go, I'll never know!

Friday, 13 February 2015

Instax Mini 8 Camera

A few people have commented on some of my recent Instagram Photos about some polaroid photo's I've recently taken and even though I've had my Instax Mini 8 Polaroid style Camera since November for my birthday, I've not really mentioned it before or blogged about it! Better late than never, right?

Last Summer when I was in London I saw some Japanese girls with these funky looking cameras that were producing Polaroid prints - one had a light blue camera and one had a baby pink one! They were giggling and comparing photos of London scenery and I thought that it was a great little toy that really brought back that retro feel from the olden days. I kept thinking that I should've gone up to them and asked them what they were as I looked around PC World and couldn't see anything similar. But in October I was watching a Zoella Vlog where she was using one and I finally learnt what it was called and a bit more about them.

I spent a bit of time (for the first time ever) researching about it before saying I was 100% sure about getting one and watching Youtube videos showing how to use them etc pretty much convinced me straight away that I needed one in my life. I'd hinted and hinted and hinted to Nick that I wanted one and reeeeeally hoped that he'd get me one for my birthday in November. The poor guy thought he was being clever when instead of the camera he got me the Instax Printer that you can connect to an App on your phone and print photos directly off of there. But due to having a pants Windows phone with even more pant apps, it wasn't compatible. We went to return the printer to Jessops and buy the camera but without his paper work we couldn't exchange it. Instead we just brought the camera and kept the printer as we knew we could connect it to Nick's phone anyway.

Aaaaanyway, life story over - that day I was so flipping excited to try it out when we were at the park with the Twins (brother and sister) I didn't bother reading the manual and just tried to remember what was said on Youtube and managed to put the pack of film in the right way first time - be sure to have a read of the instructions on the packet of the film as there's only 1 way to put them in and if you put it in the wrong way, you've lost the whole pack of films. The first attempt we were outside and I close the cloudy setting as it wasn't exactly sunny and it did come out quite pale and faint so I tried the low sun setting and it came out so much better. There are a few different settings, inside, outside but cloudly, outside but kind of sunny and outside and very sunny! It does take some time to get used to how each of them should be used but luckily I've only messed a couple up.

The hardest thing I find is if you're doing a "selfie" style photo with someone, I always end up with it a bit more to the left than to the right and I can never quite get it in the centre but that takes practice and I'll get there eventually. But taking photos directly on to something or someone is as easy as a normal camera. At first I thought you'd have to be quite far away to get something in the picture but actually, they end up being really small so standing closer to the object/person in the photo is definitely a tip worth knowing! It's so much fun and even 5 year olds can work it and take photos with it and I must admit, I get as excited as they do watching the photo pop out the top and seeing it develop. They say it takes about 8 minutes to develop fully but you can see it pretty much within a couple of minutes and it's handy that it's not ink so you've not got to be careful not to smudge it!

The camera itself is not as heavy as I thought it would be and it's really easy to hold due to how it's been shaped. If you're left handed though I can imagine it would be a bit of a pain as the button is on the front of the camera on the right hand side to take a photo. There's so many accessories too floating around on Amazon or eBay that are made for the camera and films themselves and I've ended up picking a few up, normally for just a couple of quid each.

(These are cute little plastic photo holders, in an L shape and you just slit them in the side!)

Just quickly mentioning the printer again - despite it being a lot more expensive at £130, almost double the camera price (£69 on average) it's a snazzy little device that you can by a case for and again travel around with it when you have your mobile phone. The app is really easy to use and you can actually edit the photos before you print them and see what they look like - unlike the camera.

If you're a photo-holic like me and you're never without your camera or phone, this is a great little device that is just something a bit special and a bit different that you can use on those special occasions. Instax had the great idea of selling different style/colour films etc and I've seen some online that all have a birthday or wedding theme background rather than just plain white! I do love the vintage feel of the plain white though so I'll be sticking to those. The films themselves are quite expensive and work out at about £1.50 per photo (£15 per pack of 10) but if you look on eBay they sometimes have good joblot deals which is how I got 2 packs for £12 from China.

The Instax Mini 8 is one version of the camera out of about 7 or 8 different ones by Instax and I honestly think that despite not knowing anyone else with one or seeing one since having it, with them being in Vlogs by Zoella and Saccone Jolys etc then this could be "the next big thing"!

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Granny Takes A Dip!

I admit, I've never really been a Lush fan.. no, let me correct that. Not "not a fan" but it's never been something that's really bothered me, I don't really like taking baths and I'm definitely a jump in the shower and get out as soon as possible type person! 

HOWEVER! The last couple of months I've been reading more blog posts about the products and watched one too many Zoella Lush halls! I'd went in just to have a nose a few weeks ago and thought I'd try out a hand cream or body lotion or something but got chatting to the lovely lady, Sam, in the Telford branch of Lush. I explained that I wanted to try something that worked on relaxing muscles due to how much time I'm spending in the gym while doing out 3000 mile charity challenge and she suggested a few bits and pieces that would be best for using after a big work out. I knew that yesterday we had a big event and I'd be knackered by the end of it so I saved my 2nd ever bath bomb, Granny takes a dip, until last night! 

Of course the candles came out and the laptop was propped up on a chair with the Big Bang Theory playing next to a bottle of cider! 

The colour was sooo pretty and I was mesmorised by it as it fizzed around the bath leaving a gorgeous colour trail behind it! The smell was incredible and the bath water was a lush pink colour!

I'm genuinely not sure how much it helped my muscles but I hurt that much I'm not sure it could've helped it 100% after the nearly 30 miles on an exercise bike in 6 hours! But for how quickly I got to sleep and how well I slept through the night, I'll definitely be spending another £3.35 on it again purely for how pretty it looked and how amazing it smelt! 

If you have any other Lush recommendations or blog posts, pleeeease Tweet me links! <3 

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Primark Candle: Pineapple & Ginger

Yes... you heard me.. Not Yankee Candle, not John Lewis or any other fancy pants store.. PRIMARK!

I've never picked up a Primark Candle before and yes I admit, I am a Yankee Candle addict - until now! I love candles, I'm obsessed and I'm sure if I buy anymore then my boyfriend is going to kick me out.

But whilst mooching around the home section in Primark last weekend, I picked up a random candle half heartedly as I walked around in a daze not really taking much notice at what I was looking at. Oh my days, it definitely brought me back to planet earth. I hadn't even taken notice of what scent it was when I picked it up but the freshness and hawaiian/holiday/cocktail-y smell filled my nose and the candle hit the pile of clothes in my basket.

In all honesty, I'd not even taken notice of how much it was so when I got to the till and it was £2, I was almost ready to chuck away the Yankees and buy the rest of the Primark scents. The jar aswell is really plain and basic but that's why I like it, it just has a classy and expensive feel to it which I love (sounds snobby I know). It has that amazing power that a lot of candles have where you walk into the room and instantly smell it when it's lit and out of all the candles I own (and thats a looooooooooot!) not many have that special power.

There's not much more I have to say on the matter and nothing that I can moan about (that's a first) so if you're heading past a Primark, be sure to pop in and take a sniff of all the different candles - for £2, can you really keep walking?

(I'm editing this post before I've even posted it purely to add in what Nick just said - he moaned when he saw another candle last week but last night after I'd written this post he got home from work and goes "actually, that smell is amazing. It smells really nice. It's possibly my favourite smell from your candles" - so there you have it, even the boys love it!)

Friday, 6 February 2015

#FoodFriday: The Favourites

I keep scrolling through my photos on my phone and I swear that about 87.6% of them are food! And I've not done a #FoodFriday for a couple of months so after doing my fitness post earlier in the week, I'd do a little post about my healthier options and my the new favourites that are landing on our table!

One of my all time favourite places to eat is Carluccios - 9/10 times I have the spicy sausage pasta and I've never really given anything else ago so for Christmas my Mum got me a Antonio Carluccio pasta cook book! I can't remember if I've ever posted about my basil pesto chicken pasta but I found a recipe that's really similar! Pretty basic, quick, relatively healthy and it's easy to change around to take out/add ingredients to your liking: 
Pasta (I changed the pasta to a wholemeal pasta so it was healthier) 
Diced Chicken 
Basil Pesto 
The trick is it to use a couple of teaspoons of basil pesto instead of sauce! ;) So easy! 

Because I've been going to the gym most nights after work, betime I've got back and had a shower etc, I'm only wanting something quick to make and really easy to eat! So, as gross as it looks and sounds, a 2 minute in the Mic Uncle Ben's Tomato and Basil rice with half a can of tuna is so super quick and actually really tasty. Definitely one of my most made meals at night! 

For Christmas I got Nick a Nandos sauce set and even though I can only just handle Lemon and Herb and I'm the wimpiest person when it come to spice, I've been using them quite a lot! Infact the Lemon and Herb one ran out last night. My favourite is slicing a large chicken breast in half, soaking it in the sauce for half hour or so then fry them! To crisp them up I add a little paprika on each side. Great with some skinny fries and/or again, Uncle Ben's rice - they do a great mixed veg one too! 

A popular breakfast option the last few weeks has been a mug of Tiny Tea or Anti C Tea from Your Tea depending on what order I end up doing them that day from, along with a bowl of fat free vanilla or greek yoghurt, berries (particularly raspberries, blueberries and strawberries) sprinkled with gluten free Chocolate granola! Mmmmhmmm! 

Again, another cheat meal! Tesco's pre-made Pasta Tortellini parcels - They do a few versions but I'm in love with the sausage and ham, and the basil pesto (basil seems to be cropping up a lot in this post... only just realised I clearly have an addiction to it!). It's so easy, cook it for 6 minutes in boiling water and boom, done! The first couple of times I've added a Tesco pasta sauce that's in the fridge next to it but the last time I made it I added chopped tomatoes and peppers which had been simmered down in a smaller pan to make a kinda covering sauce! 

Ok so not a healthy option (apart from the Strawberries) but adding this to remind myself that I can't give up on my Mary Berry ambition! I love making cakes from scratch and I find it really theraputic but I was in a rush a couple of weeks ago when Mum was coming up for her birthday so I brought one of the Betty Crocker mixes where you just add eggs and water and omg, tasted amazing! So much better than what I can make from scratch! At the mo the packs are 2 for £4 in Tesco and you can mix and match with frosting! This chocolate fudge one is just beaaaaaut! 

Back to healthy options and another breakfast meal! Well, breakfast/snacking all morning meal! Along with a cuppa Tiny Tea! Great just for grazing at work when I arrive and saves me having to get up earlier to eat it at home. 

Finally, one of my favourite weekend treats - home made paninis! They're so great as you can add whatever you want and Tesco do some really nice wholemeal panini rolls! Anyone who knows me knows my absolute favourite food is a Costa Coffee tuna melt but as much as I try to recreate it I can never get it the same! Just a simple tuna with mayo, some cheese... and of course basil pesto... and shove it in the panini machine for 10 minutes! 

So yeah, just a few of my favourites and just a few ideas for a couple of healthier options and what I've been scoffing on lately. If you're trying to be healthy, would love to see other posts with food ideas. :) 

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Fitness in 15

If you follow me on Twitter or if you know me personally, you'll know that this year is going to be a big year for me with fitness and health which was sparked off by taking on a year long 3000 mile challenge for charity (see the link at bottom of page for more info)! So from January 1st it was a case of hitting the fruit and veg isles in Tesco and setting up my camp bed in the gym.

I've had a bit of writers block over the last couple of weeks so thought I'd do a bit of a fitness update and start a record of what I've been doing and how I'm getting on etc so I apologise this is a bit of a random post - also it'll help me keep track of everything and I can look back at the end of the year and be proud (hopefully) of what I've done and set myself targets each month.

So yeah, over the last year I've put on over a stone and the last few months it's really been getting to me as I couldn't get my jeans on and I've really struggled to find dresses and outfits over my Birthday and then the run up to Christmas and after losing weight using my Tiny Tea, I really had to stop myself buying more as I was desperately trying to save some pennies! I was losing motivation through the last few months of 2014 and I was only going to the gym once a week if that and after having a couple of emotional and stressful months, I was scoffing my face at every opportunity. So come January 1st, I knew it was going to be a hard year with our challenge and I'd have to sort myself out and kick my arse into gear and get into the gym.

I read that it takes 21 days for something to become a routine and for it to become natural to 'want' to do it and I have to admit, last week when I got to the gym to find out I'd forgotten to pack my joggers in my gym bag, I was genuinely gutted that I couldn't go to the gym (to the point I nearly went to the Sports Direct down the road to buy a whole new pair). So yes, the saying is so true - it takes 21 days for you to learn to 'enjoy' something and for it to be part of your natural routine.

I've been going to the gym 5 or 6 times a week, both weekend days every weekend throughout January without fail - even this weekend I was away and I did an hours worth of swimming in the hotel both days! Acutally I must admit, I'm starting to enjoy it - I'm trying new things and different machines including more weight machines to try and tone up a bit more. I can see that I'm losing weight physically but that's leaving me needing to tone up more - the last few days I've been trying on dresses as I've got a few nights out and the sight of my flabby top half arms and bingo wings literally makes me want to cry so that's definitely something I've been looking into to learn the best ways to do it! I've found Pintrest a help as I'm definitely a visual learner and I like seeing photos of what to do to make sure I'm doing it right so I've got a list of things I need to try in the gym.

I've already noticed a change though in how long I can stick in the gym without walking out after 20 minutes due to getting bored and generally I've noticed that I can do things for longer or do miles quicker on certain machines. When I first moved (7/8 months ago) I could only just make it 2 minutes on the treadmill running without stopping (even for just 30 seconds or so) but now I can do about 7 minutes without having to stop so I know I'm definitely heading the right way (I'm just impatient and wish I could go from that to being able to do a marathon over night!)

So the gym and newly found Body Combat classes are becoming a success, but over the last couple of weeks my energy levels have dropped and when I'm doing up to 30 miles a week it's the last thing that I need so I've found inspiration on Instagram, Pintrest and other blogs with food and meal ideas that are perfect for those spending a lot of time exercising or in the gym. Food shopping the last couple of weeks has been trolly-fulls of bananas, spinach and other healthy (and normally expensive!) food and I keep taking photos of everything so one of these days I'll do a #FoodFriday blogpost with some healthy recipe ideas.

I do go in and out of phases where I can almost train myself so to speak not to want to eat as much so I've gone from eating crisps and snacks inbetween meals, to eat an apple or some fruit or realise when I'm not actually hungry to stop myself eating just because I'm bored. My biggest drawback is not knowing any healthy desert ideas and it's a habit that after a meal I always want something sweet to finish with - I've avoided cake as much as possible and instead just had a yoghurt but I definitely need to look into more desert ideas for my sweet tooth!

Finally, I've also caved this week and ordered some more Tiny Tea from Your Tea which I've blogged about and raved on about previously plenty of times so hoping that this gives me an extra boost - I've also got the anti-cellulite tea from Your Tea so I've got a schedule to attempt to try and stick to daily so they will work together - hoping this sticks around and I don't end up giving up on one or losing track!

I've got a few targets to do through February so I'm going to attempt to try and work hard and work through them to help fitness, weightloss and my confidence in a dress!

My targets for February:
Tone up the Bingo Wings
Learn of more healthy desert options
Drink Tiny/Anti C Tea regularly
Drink less alcohol - if I do drink, avoid wine/fizzy drinks
Keep at the interval training and try to get to 8 or 9 minutes running without stopping

Sorry this is a bit of a random post - but thought that it was a)better than no post and b) a good way for me to keep track of what I've been doing! If you're targets are to keep fit this year, send me links to your posts as would love to get more tips and tricks and see how you're getting on! xox