Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Adapting To The Sunlight: Life As A Pale Brit

Things are starting to brighten up a bit here, the sun has been shining and flowers have been blooming... Basically, Spring has finally booked up it's ideas and decided to grace us with a bit of warmth!

I don't drive, it's just something I don't feel ready to do and to be honest... I need the exercise anyway so walking isn't something I particularly dislike, I actually enjoy walking. The issue with this, however, is that it's difficult to decide which jacket to go for when going to work. My usual leather staple keeps heat in the jacket and if I keep it on I end up a sweaty mess, of course I could take it off but then I'm left carrying a jacket all the way home. My favourite denim jacket works out okay for the warm weather, the downside of this one is that sometimes the weather turns and then I'm left freezing my butt off. 

I don't know about you guys but I tend to spend a lot more when things get a little hotter, I end up treating myself to a frappĂ© or an icey cold smoothie. I love anything with caffeine and a little syrup so I try quite a few different kinds. It's almost like when I was in Hong Kong and I just "treated myself" to a cocktail on the way back to the boat most evenings. 

I've been told that I should drink a hot beverage to make my body react in a certain way, now, whilst I understand how that works... The last thing I think about when I'm overheating is a hot chocolate or a cappuccino. 

Last year when I was abroad I got so annoyed with having my hair matted against my neck all the time that I got it all chopped off. I had a pixie cut for months and I regretted getting rid of it all when I got home. Since seeing all of the Coachella pics and getting festival style inspo I've been desperately wishing for longer hair.

This leads me to the retrial of the hair extensions as all of the bleach that previously covered my hair has now been cut out and I currently have a short bob. The colour matches up quite well but since these extensions are synthetic I struggle to get the blend right. I think it worked out quite well when I pushed it all over to the side. Hopefully I'll have mermaid locks for next summer but we'll just see how long it takes for my hair to pass the stubborn "I don't want to grow anymore" stage.

As you can see in the image to the right, I've lost that nice healthy glow that I gained during last years travels. I was quite happy with my slight tan as my arms, face and legs tend to look an unhealthy pasty colour over winter. My nana brought my pastyness to my attention at the weekend when I visited her for lunch, cheers nana!

I'm going to try to build something of a colour up again but I doubt I'll go abroad until the very end of the year so I'll have to rely on a decent British Summer. If I've jinxed this for us, I'm very sorry! I know we don't get great weather in the scheme of things. 

Well, that was my nod to my kind... The pale and the whiny. If you're naturally tanned or recently sunkissed, I'll be eternally jealous of you! Thanks for reading today's post!

Monday, 9 May 2016

Disney Themed Baking (Recipe From Bero)

So what do 20 year old's do when they've borrowed their dad's caravan for the weekend? Drink copious amounts of alcohol? Have a mini party? Nah, not this one. I baked Disney themed cupcakes with my best friend. I will say now that if it was left to me the cakes would have been flat and they would have tasted like acetone but maybe one day I won't be crap at baking.

I prefer sponge to chocolate as chocolate can be a little sickly if you mess up the consistency. We used the Bero recipe for Victoria Sandwich and divided the mixture into three batches. We also used pre-made icing and added the colouring for effect. 

The ingredients used for one batch of six:
  • 100g margarine
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g self raising flour

Start off by pre-heating the oven at 180 degrees and then put the sugar and the margarine together in a mixing bowl and mix until "light and fluffy" before also beating in the eggs ONE AT A TIME. I was told off for adding them both at the same time but, hey, I'm not the best at baking.

As you do this just add a little flour with each egg and then fold in the remaining flour. Not too difficult as far as mix goes and all you need to do from there is put the mixture into the cases and then plop them into the tin. These go in the oven for about 25 minutes but you should keep an eye on them anyway. 

The cakes came out looking like store bought cakes and being fair, we did follow the instructions down to the letter. We ate two from this batch "just to check that I hadn't been a bad influence" and we ended up flattening out the rest so that the icing would flat our right and be easy to decorate.

It takes a few minutes to kneed in the colour and get the icing a bit more pliable and ready to be cut out for the cupcakes. We chose the colours based on the Disney princesses that we chose beforehand, my favourite being Ariel. The sole reason I want long flowing mermaid hair.

They looked fairly even and consistent in shape, we cut out a cardboard stencil for the icing using packaging for something. There's some of that blogging glamour right there! 

We had flour all over the benches to stop things from sticking and ruining how neat and well put together things seemed to be. Not exactly how my previous baking endeavours have really gone... 

Anyway, from there I crafted a mermaid tail and other little themed pieces for the tops of the cupcakes. One cupcake of each set had lyrics on and the other had a glittery themed image based on the movies. 

I enjoyed making these cupcakes as we listened to Disney songs, I think it kind of helps to keep some things from your childhood as an adult because sometimes life gets a little heavy. That's just how things are and I think that whilst I'm responsible, I do do enjoy being a little immature. 

So come on, my favourite Disney film is The Little Mermaid. What's yours? We all have one movie that we particularly loved as kids, let me know in the comments. Well, thanks for reading today's post. It's good to be back and blogging again. 

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

#NOTD - Floral Nails "Granny Chic"

Hello everyone, as unexpected as this may be... I'm back with another post. I'm just going to apologise yet again for how sparse my blog activity has been recently. Anyway, this is going to be a #NOTD post because I've had the pictures for a few weeks now. 

These aren't my best work, I'm not going to lie. The polish was patchy and the general style was a little simple but I used a product to dry the polish quicker and it messed up the consistency of the base. Without the spray these would have looked much better, I just wish I had tried out the spray on just one nail and then checked the effect before continuing.

I was inspired by the boho vibes wafting their way over from Coachella again to be honest, when I did these it was maybe three days before the actual festival started. I've never attended Coachella but I do enjoy stalking Instagram to get a good scope of the style. When I mentioned a festival theme, my friend was a little dubious. I don't know what she was expecting but I don't think the design itself was all that bad.

After a base coat I used a Nails Inc Hyper Gel in
a nude tone for the base and then a "quick dry" product as fore mentioned in the post. I still quite like the nude nail trend that has spanned over the past few years, I just kind of prefer bolder statement colours at the moment for my own nails.

I think I actually prefer the nude shades from Rimmel as they're slightly more pigmented. I think the ones I'm talking about were from last year's collection from Kate Moss. Not that any of this will make sense if you don't know what I'm rambling on about!

I then added the little half faux pearls to the nails of the ring fingers as features. They were very easy to add and I didn't even use adhesive to stick them on, I painted the backs of the pieces using the clear coat I used as a base.

For the flowers on the thumbnails were painted on using the brush side of a dotting tool. I used Primark nail polishes to create the leaves and the petals. I added the white to soften the look as I wanted it to be less big and bold.

The design is kind of reminiscent of granny bedsheets if you know what I mean... Dated and floral. Not that I'm stereotyping, I just can't think of another way to put it as a theme. The thing with this design is that you don't have to be particularly neat, you can neaten it to taste... And I would have if I hadn't been super cold and tired but hey, I enjoy having something like nail painting to keep me occupied!

Well, thanks for reading! I'll be back with more posts as soon as possible, I have loads of these backed up. Until then, bye!

Monday, 2 May 2016

Asian Skincare HAUL: Sasa Beauty

Sasa Beauty
For those of you who have been following my blog, it won't be new information that I visited Hong Kong last year. For those of you who are new to my blog, I mentioned a few times last year that I enjoyed the great amount of skincare available there. 

They have more options when it comes to skincare and they really seem to know what they're talking about. One shop in particular that I took a liking to was Sasa, it was hard not to seeing as though there was one at nearly every turn. About a month ago I watched a video by the Fashion Mumblr and found myself fascinated by one of the masks she talked about. After watching it I went straight online in search of Yeon masks and added two to my checkout.

The contents of my online basket:
  • The Yeon Juju Hallabong Energy mask
  • The Yeon Pore Gassoul Mask
  • SNP Charcoal Mineral Black Ampoule Mask 
  • Secret A Pore 3-Step total facial mask
  • Anti Acne Cleaning Mask Pack
  • Neogence PORE CARE Serum Extremely Off-Heads PH5.5 

I also got two free Neogence Hyaluronic Acid Travel Sets for spending a certain amount on the products. It took a few weeks for everything to arrive but that was to be expected as they were shipped from Asia. I was quite impressed by the fact that nothing was damaged as they were shipped from quite a distance and I've had bad experiences with companies in THIS country.

The Pore Ghassoul Mask smelled fresh and sort of like citrus, the consistency makes the mask more like a mud based product. I like how the smell matches up to the product packaging, you don't really get products like this here in the UK. The packaging is both fun and practical as it serves as a protective pot for the product.

The little spatula type thing is quite handy and providing you wash it after every use it is more hygienic and it's less likely that it will spread any bacteria that may have been on your skin. Spots have oil that can create more spots if you rub or transfer it, as gross as that sounds!

Here's another bizarre product usage selfie for those of you wondering what the consistency of it actually looks like on. I put it on quite thinly because I like to see that the product has dried before I wash it off. 

There is a slight stinging sensation that sort of comes with the mask but only where the spots are, if you know what I mean. It's not painful, you can just feel the mask working. My skin felt fresh and clean once it was washed off and that's all I really wanted, to feel refreshed after a long week at work.

Well, I hope you guys have enjoyed my little HAUL post and peak at one of the products that I tried out. I figured it would be more interesting than a post that would just say "well I bought this and "I bought that" because I know I prefer that sort of thing. Anyway, thanks for reading! 

Friday, 29 April 2016

5 Seconds Of Summer SLFL Tour (Newcastle)

Ashton Irwin image by Aymie Barton
Admittedly this post is quite late, I went to see 5SOS a few weeks ago but it's taken me a while to get around to the write up. I need to start making time for my little hobby again, I really do! I'm going to start attempting to do YouTube videos when I get time, I even have it all written down and planned out. Anyway...

The tickets were another impulse buy and I was actually really pleased that I bought them because no matter what you think of them as a band... They're super good live. For me, I guess 2016 is the year of live music as I've already seen The Vamps, 5SOS and Busted will be the next concert I see. I'm fairly certain that those won't be the only shows that I'll go to see. 

The support acts were Don Broco and Jessarae which I enjoyed but I wasn't particularly interested in, check back in with me in about six months by which time I will have gotten a song stuck in my head or something...

The 5SOS setlist consisted of some old favourites and some new ones, it was fairly mixed and even Leanne knew some of the songs that they played. That's saying something because she couldn't stand them before the concert. She did say that she was concerned about the "Asian minority" as she deemed him too red and a little tired looking. I would like to clarify that he's not Asian and Leanne has a way with words... 

I will say, the crowd was an itty bit younger and shorter than the crowd for The Vamps as we had similar seats but managed to see more easily. I was pleased for the parents taking their 10 year olds to the concerts that the band only swore once which is probably quite good for what they're used to.

Moving swiftly onwards, what I liked about the show was that despite the fact that they're a young band they didn't make it gimmicky or OTT. They played their strengths and through that they showed some fairly impressive guitar and drum skills. 

Their songs are generally catchy and easy to keep up with, they're sound is distinct but maybe not as distinct as that of The Vamps who I saw maybe a week or to prior to this concert. None of the band member seemed tipsy at this one, I thought that Brad from The Vamps seemed utterly smashed at their concert... 

Anyway, here's the compulsory concert selfie of the event... Another one to add to the growing collection! I always make whoever I'm with at the time take one with me when I see a live event and I don't know why, I guess it's habit or tradition now.

So to summarise the event, I really enjoyed myself and possibly got Leanne to tolerate 5 Seconds Of Summer. Score. The show went without a hitch, the songs were played well and even the granny who was sat next to me had a good little dance. I don't even think she was there with kids... Strange. Thanks for reading today's post, I hope you enjoyed it!

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

The Vamps Wake Up Tour (Newcastle)

I don't go to concerts enough, I really don't. I've been to a few but I just love going to see live music so when The Vamps put up tickets for less than a tenner I guess I just couldn't help myself.

I've liked The Vamps for quite some time so it was easy to get into the music before the concert, I even picked up a few favourites! I would probably say that at this point I favour Cheater, Volcano and I Found A Girl but it's kind of impossible to dislike The Vamps. They write their own songs, they cover other peoples songs well and they're not as in your face as One Direction. I actually think that they're more deserving of attention than one Direction for those reasons. They really have their own sound, no matter what they sing whether they're singing their own songs or covering someone elses you can always hear their voices and styles as a band.

The Vamps have fairly good merch to be honest, I like the colours they use and it's not as obvious as a shirt covered in their faces. Anyway, decked out in our new merch T shirts we waited for the start of the show which was to be supported by The Tide, Hometown and Conor Maynard.

Both The Tide and Hometown just didn't click for me, you know when you hear a band and you just know they're going to be big? Well, that just didn't happen for me with either of those two bands. They were good but I wouldn't add them to a playlist if you catch my drift.

Conor Maynard was good though, which honestly, I wasn't expecting because I took a dislike to him when Can't Say No came out ages ago. I guess he's just grown on me, he was always good I just didn't like him as an artist. I think I've been converted now though.

I think it was at this point that I got a little hyper about the concert and I really started getting into the concert mood. Sometimes all it takes is a good support act and a little singing to get into something. At this point I was still shattered from being stranded in London the night before so I was trying to perk myself up and this kind of rewired me.

By the time The Vamps actually came on stage I was really psyched for it, I knew their main singles and I'd tried to pick up some of their lesser known songs too so I would know what they were singing so I was half prepared.

We booked these tickets on a whim and we were glad that we did because we had a good laugh! The only thing I would complain about is this chick called Amy that was sat behind me, she was annoying and a bit over top but, hey, she was enjoying herself so I won't call her too much. It doesn't mean that I didn't want to shout at her though...

On a brighter note, I really like the pyrotechnics and lights that they used for the show, they didn't go overboard with stage props or features but that just meant that I could appreciate the sound of the band more without focusing on sight.

I guess to wrap up this post I'll just say that I really enjoyed myself and and that The Vamps will make a few appearances in my playlists over the coming months. I'm going to see 5 Seconds Of Summer next week if I can get the time off so keep an eye out for that post, I got those tickets on a whim too!

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. The next post should be a Glossybox Unboxing one so that should be a change of pace. You guys have been bombarded with lifestyle post after lifestyle post recently and this blog has turned into a diary... Well, until next time! Bye!

Monday, 11 April 2016

My Friend Is An Actual Mermaid (Long Crimped Hair Details)

Just a quick one before tomorrow's post about The Vamps concert, I want to do something a little different because hair posts aren't all too common on my blog. I'm not going to lie, I'm pretty jealous of Leanne's long locks. That's why I ended up messing on with her hair on the way home from our trip to London... 

We had been talking about the 80's themed party she went to when she was younger because I took out the braids for it during PE... It was one of our reasons to skive. We took out the braids to reveal a frizzly bushy style but things turned out differently this time. Of course, the circumstances were different. 

Last time she slept in wet braids, this time I did them at about 1am on the train with some Frozen hair detangler and no brush. I tried to get the braids as even as possible but because her hair is slightly layered so they got gradually thinner. 

The detangler was from Poundland and the spray wasn't really a spray, it was more like a squirt so I had to put some on my hands and run it through each individual braid. It turned out to be quite a lengthy process to be honest. Though, it did make her hair look glossier and it made braiding it without a brush a little bit easier too.

Last time it was more Hermione Granger, this time I think it was more of a Coachella sort of festival look. I will say though, this wouldn't have worked on shorter hair, the length and weight of Leanne's hair stopped the crimped locks from looking more like an afro. 

If I was to do this to my hair it wouldn't have a festival vibe, it would be a bit more... "I'm going through an awkward phase" because it would just stick out. Then again, my hair is still at a weird stage anyway because of last years pixie crop that I'm still growing out. 

Anyway, that's it for today's post! I'll get straight onto writing the post about The Vamps concert that I went to last week. Until next time, bye!