Sunday, 30 November 2014

1st Day Of Blogmas: Winter Meal Ideas

December and the lead up to Christmas is a big month for comfort food, I love to indulge during the winter. I always end up at least a stone heavier and I really can't find it in myself to feel guilty about it. This post is just going to be a list of meals I like to cook, or more likely have cooked for me, at this time of the year.

  • Diced beef slow cooked in a stew with lots of chunky farmhouse vegetables, it's a great meal to come home to after freezing my butt off at work. This is just optional but I love to have fresh and heavily buttered crusty bread along side the stew just to mop up the sauce.
  • Chicken noodle soup. I've always loved chicken noodle soup, even as a kid, and I don't know if that's because I used to be really picky with what I ate or whatever but it's just a dish I love when I'm ill or when it gets cold and frosty.
  • Some sort of noodle creation, my gran and I love to buy different flavours of noodles and mix them together with a drizzle of soy sauce. Our favourite combination at the moment is Singapore styled noodles mixed with plain chicken ones and some precooked chicken strips. We also love some Thai noodles that we found a few weeks ago but we haven't been able to find them since then.
  • I've only just started eating curry but it's a meal that warms you up and that's the purpose of this post, to list meals that I indulge in and warm up with. I don't like poppadoms but I do, however, love naan bread and in the winter I tend to like trying some different types like coriander or sultana ones.  
  • Jacket potatoes with either beans and cheese or some kind of casserole. I love really buttery jacket potatoes, that's probably why I weigh a tonne by the end of the season. Oh well... As for the casserole I prefer chicken or sausage but I don't mind either way. I know they are more for Autumn or Summer as a light bite but I eat them more this time of the year because I avoid roasts so I look forward to Christmas dinner more.
This has been my first blogmas post, I'm looking forward to tomorrow when I post my Christmas gift guide. It was supposed to just be "gifts for her" but I know how difficult it can be to buy for men and children so it's just going to be a complete mix. 

Lazy Sundays And The Day Before Blogmas

I'm not going to lie, I woke up at about 12am today and I don't regret it at all. It was great to catch up on some sleep and I feel much better for it, I don't get a chance to sleep in that often so I planned to wake up at 10 am. That didn't work out, I just assumed that I'd be awake and that I didn't need an alarm. That's why I usually set three or four before I'm supposed to get up on a weekday. 

What do you like to do on your lazy Sunday? I drink endless cups of tea and run my blog in very comfy clothes. 

I'm writing this post as a fair warning that I'm going to be doing Blogmas over the course of the month, as recommended by AJ, so everyday I will be posting one Christmas or winter themed post along with any other random posts that I type up. The first post will be a general Christmassy post so be on the look out for that. The last Blogmas post will be on New Years Eve.

If anyone else is doing Blogmas, let me know when you are posting and I'll give it a read. 

Tips For Nail Design

This post was actually a suggestion from my grandmas friends god-daughter, I know, it's a bit of a mouthful. I'm not trained in nail design but I do tend to paint my friends nails and my own nails quite a lot so these are just a few little tips I've picked up along the way.

A base coat, in my opinion, is essential. It prevents nails from colour staining which happens if you wear a particularly bold colour without some sort of protective coat, I recommend one from Sally Hansen's nail care range. The Double Duty Strengthening Base And Top Coat strengthens nails AND protects them in a healthy multi-purpose function which brings me onto the next point; A base coat also prevents the polish from making your nails brittle and weak, I find that if you peel it off it damages your nails and makes them feel much less healthy and strong.

Some nail paints require more than one coat, this could be because of the consistency but for me personally it tends to be because I want to get the most out of the colour. I wouldn't advise using any more than two coats though because that can shorten the length of time that the nail colour stays on.

Chip resistant polishes are great for longer wearing, I like to change mine up quite a lot so this doesn't matter too much to me but if I use a more neutral colour I tend to leave it on for longer. A great chip resistant polish that I find works the best is one from Claire's Accessories which I can't actually find on the site but it's definitely in store because I recently bought one. 

For nail art I find that actual nail art pens are the easiest to use but if you are good with intricate designs you might want to invest in a nail art tool or some fine paint brushes. You can clean both the tool and the brushes in nail varnish remover and then blot the tip on some tissue or kitchen roll or whatever.

Another nail design tip is that you can create a template out of masking tape, paint over it in your desired colour and then slowly peel away the tape. There are templates on sale in various shops that you could use rather than creating your own if you can't be bothered or if you aren't particularly creative.

For an ombré design you need to tip some of the polish onto a paper plate or a palette and find some makeup sponges and dip one into the paint. Then you dab it onto the end of the nail, you can use multiple colours and layer it once the first layer is dry. 

A top coat is advantageous if you have spent a long time on a design because it sets the polish and adds shine to it. You can us the same polish as you did for the base coat if you buy a dual purpose base and top coat. 

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Avon Multi Product Review

I recently won a hamper of Avon goodies at my sisters school Christmas fair and since I didn't know anyone I wanted to give it to... Anyway, I decided I wanted to review these products just so you guys knew whether or not they are worth buying.

I prepped my skin for the mask with the Planet Spa Perfectly Purifying Face Scrub and it had a rather pleasing result, it did what it was supposed to and took off a layer of my skin to reveal a slightly fresher complexion. 

Next I applied the Planet Spa Perfectly Purifying Face Mask at waited for ten minutes whilst it set. It didn't dry crumbly like some of the similar face masks that I've tried to that's a plus. It didn't, however, give my skin that tight sort fresh feel that most masks/washes leave you with so I was slightly dubious of the quality of the mask. I can can confirm that it still benefited my skin but  the fact that it didn't leave that feeling was a disappointment because it's usually a telltale sign that a mask has worked.

I then tried the Naturals Strawberry & Guava Shower Gel, it left my body feeling soft and clean but also slightly dry rather than moisturised. One thing I was impressed with was the scent, a lot of the time when you get strawberry scented body washes they can smell overly sweet and quite obnoxious but this one had a soapy hint and the guava seemed to have toned down the candy like scent.

Last but certainly not least, I used the Skin So Soft Endless Touch Body Lotion which I can't find the link to but I'm sure there's a similar product on their site. This product counteracted the drying effect of the shower gel and improved the texture of my skin which needed a bit of TLC due to the cold weather and the side effects of my holiday earlier in the month.

Step By Step Frozen Nails

I will just warn you now that these aren't my best work, I did them for my friend today as a way of passing time. I designed them to look like the bottom of Elsa's dress in Frozen. 

It's a very simple design so it's easy for those of you who have shakey hands or struggle with the more complex strokes. The image to the right shows the polish used to create the look. 
Like I said before, it's a very simple nail design, it's sort of patterned like icicles but really you could do a quick ombré effect with a sponge and some silver nail polish.

I started with a clear base coat and then gave each nail a coat of the Cyan Blue nail polish, I did this to prevent staining and nail damage. As shown in the above image, I started the silver part of the design by using the silver nail art pen to create the icicle styles nail tips. I advise that you don't do all of the icicles the same length because it loses the essence that make it look like the trim of Elsa's dress. 

Next I added some random silver drops to add to the effect and then switched over to the silver glitter nail art pen to make it look like it's glistening. I just went over the shape I made for the icicles and dotted over close to the design. I then used the Bedazzled Nail polish to add a different sparkling effect over the top of the nail art pens. 

The ring finger can be used as a feature nail, I did this to break up the design a little bit. I just dotted the already blue nail with the silver nail art pen and then used two coats of the Bedazzled Nail Effect polish. 

A top coat is optional but helps set the polish so it's less likely to chip or peel in the first few days of having it. 

Are there any designs you would like me to try out?

Friday, 28 November 2014

5 Reasons Why Volunteering Isn’t For Everyone

This post is something I’ve picked up along the way whilst volunteering at a furniture help scheme, some of it's just common sense.

  • A lot of the time people don’t want to do something for nothing; voluntary or rather unpaid labour is something that isn’t for everyone.
  • You have to be genuinely interested in the cause you are volunteering for. Whether it’s volunteering for a charity or running a club you have to understand and sympathise with what you are doing.
  • Not everyone you are helping understands that it’s unpaid work so therefore you don’t have to be there. I say this because a lot of complaints or extra requests can be made and sometimes the customer or the general public don’t take into account that workers sometimes aren’t paid.
  • You have to have a certain way about you, if you aren’t a particularly caring or active person then voluntary work can be a chore. It’s a key factor in choosing whether or not you want to volunteer, if you don’t enjoy yourself then it’s not for you.
  • Volunteering shouldn’t come before family or work engagements, normal everyday tasks still need to be done. A lot of people don’t have the time to volunteer on a routine or scheduled basis, sometimes voluntary work can be very time consuming and can become like a full-time job without the pay.

Than concludes this list post, are there any other list posts you would like to see?

Advice To My Younger Self...

So I was tagged in this by AJ from Writers Block And Broken Lenses and whilst I did intend to use her post a template, I've decided to only take this back to as far as 2012 when I started Sixth Form because it's something I really regret doing. This is going to be quite a reflective post because it's something I've been thinking about an awful lot lately. 

Earlier this month with college friends & Leanne 
It wasn't right for me and I mainly went there out of convenience because I lived nearby, I didn't consider any other options at the time and just picked options I thought were pretty career neutral. I got to the end of the year and I felt like I had nothing to show for all the work I did and I went through a really difficult time trying to decide what I wanted to do. Luckily enough a careers advisor paid a visit to the Sixth Form before I signed up for the second year and she recommended a college that was running a Level 3 BTEC Diploma course in Journalism and PR. It was a big decision to make and whilst I didn't carry on to do the extended qualification, it was the best year of my life and I met some of my best friends. 

From there I was referred to a work placement at a charitable furniture scheme for an administrative role in the front office, I was then transferred over the secretaries office to run social media accounts and act as a PA. Since then I have decided I want to pursue a career in social media and marketing, if anyone has any ideas or opportunities to get into this I would love to know! 

Anyway, the bottom line is that if I could go back and talk to my younger self, or even better do it again, I would have went straight to college and thought more about my options when I had a chance. I know I'm only 19 but there's still a whole lot of missed opportunities and experiences that would have helped me decide on what I wanted to do much earlier. 

I'm going to tag Lisa from Fabulous Habits, Pam from Pam's Stuff and Things and 1 Slice Of Lemon.

Cute Stocking Fillers

Hey guys! I just thought I'd do a quick little post about stocking fillers because it's nearly December and people have started to panic about gifts. 

The first item I am going to mention is the Flutter Bath Fizzer, it's only slightly scented to it's perfect for people with a sensitive sense of smell and it's a great addition to a stocking or a hamper at Christmas time.

Second on my list is the Models Own Hypergel Nail Polish Gift Set is varied in colour and showcases some of Models Own's best nail shades. It's something that I would buy for myself and I know a lot of other people who like to experiment with their nail colour and style. 

The NIP+FAB Yoga Body Blends Kit is a fantastic way to pamper yourself around the festive period, the carefully chosen ingredients improve the general texture of skin and help you relax. I suggest that you quickly add this to your wishlist before all of the Christmas shopping is finished.

Fuzzy socks are near enough essential for the late months, these Sweet Snuggles Comfy Socks are a cute and colourful way of bulking up your stocking. If not for you then as a gift to someone else like a best friend. 

All of these stocking fillers were found on the Superdrug website and can be bought at a reasonable price, there's no need to break the bank for these items.

Is there anything you add?

My Top 5 Favourite TV Shows

These aren't necessarily in order because I can't really choose between them, I love catching up on these shows when I get a chance.

  • Falling Skies I actually met Drew Roy who plays Hal Mason at Comic Con in London early this year, I was so excited when I heard he was going to be there. It was something I had just started watching and I was really getting into it so I got my photo taken with him when I got the chance.
  • Dr Who It's just one of those shows that you're pushed into by your parents but by the end of the first episode you watch, you're hooked and you're the one pushing people into watching it. I've always loved the complexity of the story lines and the near constant undercurrent of humor running through it. FYI, David Tennant was, and always will be, the best Doctor but the following two didn't do a half bad job. 
  • Sherlock It's a show that I've been obsessed with since the start, I originally tried it out because it shared the same writers as Doctor Who but it grew into something more than that. Sometimes I'm not sure which I'm more into, Sherlock or Doctor Who. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman did an amazing job at playing the modern version of Holmes and Watson the famous fictional duo. I don't really think the American version, Elementary, was up to scratch in comparison to Sherlock but that's my opinion. 
  • American Horror Stories I was introduced to the show by a friend who somewhat aggressively promoted it at college, I was skeptical at first but now I'm a massive fan. There's just something about the level of messed up it is that keeps me and many other fans anxiously waiting for more. Besides, TATE! 
  • Once Upon A Time This is a show I watched because Sebastian Stan made a few appearances in the first season, I only planned on watching those episodes but I ended up being drawn in and I finished the first three seasons in no time. The fourth season, which features characters from Frozen, is shaping up to be the best one since the first season which initially made me want to continue watching the show. 
What are your favourite Tv shows? Have you met anyone from them? 

My Home And Lifestyle Wishlist (Bedroom Decor)

This is basically just going to be a wishlist of thing I want for my bedroom because looking at the same features every night gets rather boring. 

The first item is the RAMSTA Lighting Chain from IKEA which as always is full of modern minimalist furniture. I particularly like these lights because you can buy them for over the festive period as a way to decorate your room but you can use them all the way through the year. I think these would look amazing draped around a mirror on a dresser.

The Joules bed collection from Next looks adorable and would fit in really well with a Shabby Chic styled bedroom to add to the vintage farmer sort of theme displayed in the image to the right. I would never have thought to put that mustard yellow shade with the bright and bold pink colour but I have to admit that it is a really nice combination. I hate the word nice, it's too plain but I feel like I use the words great, amazing and adorable too much.

The mirror shown to the left looks incredible, I'm so sick of seeing all of those plain contemporary mirrors that have no character. This one from John Lewis called the Bistro Mirror With Hooks and whilst it is over £100, it does have a fantastic style and it would be a shame to ignore this piece. The site actually says it's for the bathroom or the hallway but I think that the hooks are just as useful in the bedroom where you can hang dressing gowns and similar items rather than slinging them to the side.

The next item is from Wilkinsons and it's a lovely addition to the bedroom at any time of the year. The Wilko Flower Bottle Decor Black, as it's named on the site, is simplistic yet incredibly stylish so it would be a great way to accessorise a plain yet mature room or add to the definition of a more jumbled and eclectic mix. There's not many items that this bottle decoration can be anything less than a compliment to. 

These have been a few items I've had my eye on for a while, what sort of style is your bedroom? 

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Product Review: Rimmel London Exaggerate Eyeliner

I'm not usually keen on eyeliner, it's one thing I never really bother with. The only time before this review that I've even worn eyeliner is when I stopped out at my friend Alisha's and she decided to see how I looked with it on. The picture to the left is atrocious but it makes me smile everytime I see it. 

Anyway I was in Superdrug earlier today when I spotted Rimmel London's Exaggerate Eyeliner and I was curious so I picked it up. If you read my last review you will have noticed that I made sure it was clear that it was an unpaid placement, I'm yet again declaring the very same thing. It's important to know that the opinion you are viewing is my own and not something brewed up by Rimmel.

I chose the waterproof version in 003 Glossy Black because I wanted something long wearing and bold. I have to say, I'm impressed. This is the second new Rimmel London product I've bought this week and I'm falling in love with the brand even more. 

It was easy to apply due to the fact that it had a flexible yet solid tip that made it so much more accurate. This is something very important to me when it comes to picking out makeup as I have a bit of a shakey hand so it can get frustrating if a product is overly complex.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this post, drop me a link if you have reviewed a similar product or think there's something I should try out. 

The Ultimate Winter Trend: Tartan

I can't speak for everyone but my ultimate winter fashion trend is definitely tartan. This highland trend has the potential to either be edgy and punky or classic and elegant. It all depends on how you style it. Come to think of it, I included tartan in my wishlist post yesterday, that just shows how much I love this trend. 

I found these Pj's on the Next site and I think they are utterly adorable, I wish I had include these in my wishlist post now. If not for yourself, I advise that you buy these for someone else for Christmas. Next always does the most incredibly soft and comfy pj's so this is high on my recommend list. They are short sleeved so they are wearable in both the hot and the cold. I know that it's not tartan but I also recommend this Luxury Knitted Robe because it would compensate for the lack of long sleeves. 

Since it's just getting colder and colder, I've been looking for a new scarf. I don't like scarves to be too thick because they get irritating if you are wearing one for too long so I found this one whilst browsing the web. It's subtle so if you don't want to make a statement with tartan then this is definitely the one for you. It's from River Island and it's called the Grey Tartan Check Scarf, I love the tassel trim as it kind of reminds me of a vintage picnic blanket.

Another item I found from River Island is the Grey Tartan Check Blanket Cape because it is great for then you are wearing a very plain outfit and you just want to give it a little something extra. Besides, it's very wearable for both work and general usage so you get your moneys worth. I actually really want to buy one now, unfortunately I don't have any money to spare on it. It actually strikes me as something Perrie Edwards would wear, I'm not sure why, I just think it's the sort of thing that would really suit her, 

The Love Moschino Tartan Dress With Buttons is by far the most expensive item I have chosen to mention but I love the slightly military style of the piece and my favourite colour for tartan isn't the standard red; it's blue. This is an item I would love to wear for having coffee with friends, I don't think I would wear it at work unless I was working in fashion. 

Anyway, this is my take on Tartan.

What's yours? 

Jurassic World: Anyone Else Way Too Excited?

The sequel everyone's been waiting for, me more than most. I'm not going to lie, when I heard that there was going to be a new Jurassic Park move I was quite skeptical. I loved the first film, the other two were great, they just didn't quite live up to the first one. 

Paleontologists have already criticised the movie due to the appearance of a Jurassic croc in the newly released trailer. This kind of put me off when I heard this because it was the sliver of reality that I was first drawn into loving this franchise. 

What changed my mind was the trailer, it's amazing and I may or may not have cried when I heard the theme song playing in the background. Also, the fact that it's connected to the first film and the original park is something I think is really great writing. Also, it doesn't exactly hurt that Chris Pratt's character seems like a junior version of Bob Peck's character, Robert Muldoon.  The parallels can already be drawn and the film isn't even out yet, that's a great testament to the director and the producer. 

I think I'm so excited because Jurassic Park was such a big part of my childhood, it was my favourite film and if things had gone differently I would be studying paleontology right now.

I'm just going to warn you now that when the film comes out next year there will be a very long and descriptive review on the way.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

The People's Millions: The Result

Rural Refurb won the funding! I'm not speaking on behalf of the trustees, the director or the secretary of the charity but I'd just like to quickly thank each and every one of you who has voted for us and supported us throughout our campaign. 

As I mentioned on here before, I'm a Volunteer at the County Durham Furniture Help Scheme (CDFHS) so I see day to day what needs to be done and what can be done with funding. The £49, 983 will go a long way so hopefully things will only getting bigger and better for us from here on out. 

This is only concluding an excellent month here at the furniture scheme, earlier in the month we held an open day to celebrate our tenth anniversary, won an environmental award and now we have been awarded this funding. We are truly grateful for your support and we hope to continue doing this for as long as possible. 

You can find out more about us and what we do through our website, our Twitter or our Facebook.

My Wishlist

The LBloggersChat on Twitter was recommended to me today as a way to boost networking with other views and to introduce my blog to new people. Their chat is about wishlists today so I figured I might as well do one for myself. Besides, I've read a lot of wishlists as of late and I've been toying with the idea of doing one myself so since I have a spare hour...

Kat Von D Lock 'N Load Makeup Setting Mist

This is a product I've been wanted since it came out, I've tried similar products but this one from Sephora seems to have some of the best reviews. Either way, I'm a big Kat Von D fan and I don't think she would put her name on something if she wasn't 100% about it. 

The next item on my wishlist is the Tartan Heart Chalet Thermal from Wildfox. I've wanted an item from their site since I ran my last blog but I've completely fallen in love with this thermal. I'm really into tartan anyway so the fact that it's within the cute heart shape is great. It's a less edgy and more highland take on the trend so it really works for this season.

The ASOS Everlasting Ankle Boots are amazing! I'd love a pair of these, I've only just started wearing strappy/cut out boots (in autumn, stupid, I know) so these would be a great addition to my collection. I have plenty of outfits that these would go with them because they are quite plain and not in a big bold colour so I could really switch thing up when I got to styling them. 

The last item on my wishlist is Barry M Nail Paint in Pink Silver Glitter. I don't have many Barry M products but I've just wanted this colour for so long. It's subtle enough for work but that hint of pink makes it a feminine touch to any slightly darker outfit.

Thanks for reading my wishlist, are there any items on yours that you think I would love?

Office Essentials

First of all, I'm going to mention the fact that I need to invest in a discreet hot water bottle to use at work. Thanks for the tip One Slice of Lemon!

Keeping organised is a very important thing within the office, I find that a tidy desk gets a better reaction from supervisors and it means I can find everything I need when I need it. 

I got these two pieces from Paperchase, I keep my files in the taller one and the smaller, matching one has an even smaller one inside that separates my highlighters, pens and other stationary. Similarly, you can use drawer dividers so you where everything is and if other people use your desk they can find what they need. 

I might also try to use mason jars as pen pots because they are clear so you know what is within the jars and you can decorate with ribbons or labels for a cute addition to your desk. 

I keep many notebooks lying around, all with different purposes, I need to get some labels for them but for the moment I have a pretty good idea about what's what. Making note at work for the organisation and for my blog helps me to summarise at the end of the day.

Speaking of labels, most people know that post-it notes are handy to have around but have you tried using them on the computer? There's a type function on most laptops/computers that allows you to leave notes on your desktop.

Also, Sharpies are great for labelling files, folders and stationary if you aren't keen on using self-adhesive labels. They come in lots of different colours depending on which pack you buy and you can colour co-ordinate your office. 

These are just a few tips and ideas that help me, do you have any desk organisation hacks? 

My First Week Of Blogging

I know my first week actually ends tomorrow but I was just talking to some other bloggers on Twitter and I just thought I'd share my experience and mention some bloggers who have helped me and given me feedback/advice/tips.

At the very beginning I had no clue about running a blog, I've had a blog before this one but it never really took off. I think that my downfall was my lack of networking and this time I've focused a lot on talking to other bloggers and getting feedback.

I can't thank you all enough!
I think I'll do a monthly appreciation post as I go along just so I can thank everyone who helps me along the way. Eventually, I'll do a 'Hidden Gem Of The Month' to rate and review a blog I've discovered that I think needs more recognition. 

The Beauty Tag (10 Questions)

I don't necessarily wear makeup everyday, in fact, I don't wear that much when I do. I like to go for a more natural look but I do like to experiment when I get the chance to test out new products. Like I've said before, I'm not a beauty blogger, I'm a lifestyle blogger but I throw a few other topics in the mix to keep my content varied. 

1. What do you do in terms of skincare?
For skincare, I keep it simple and use the Superdrug Tea Tree Cleanser and Toner and then I moisturise with their Daily Facial Moisturiser which doesn't seem to be on their site. I use both products once on a morning and once on a night, that way I can start my makeup base with fresh skin and the cleanser cleans away the makeup at night. Superdrugs skincare range is great if you are on a budget, which I am, and it's just as good if not better than some of the more expensive brands. I get most of my skincare and makeup from Superdrug, whether it's their own brand or some of the big beauty brands. A tip for skincare that I swear by is washing my sheets as often as possible because bacteria builds up on your sheets and pillow from oils in your skin and other things you don't particularly want on your skin.

2. Do you avoid certain ingredients in cosmetics like parabens or sulfates?
Not really but I do like to keep things simple and stay away from the products with more complex lists of ingredients. 

3. What foundation do you use? What type of coverage do you prefer?
Up until last week I was using the Rimmel London 25 Hour Lasting Finish Foundation in shade 103 True Ivory. I've recently started using tinted moisturiser because I like the lighter coverage and skin benefits, I bought the Nivea Tinted Moisturising Day Cream in Natural. It feels much less like it's caked on than the Lasting Finish Foundation and I can barely tell I'm wearing it.

4. Do you wear false lashes?
No but I've been wanting to try some for ages, I'm just not to sure I'd suit them and I don't know what style to get. There's just so many!

5. What are you using on your lips at the moment?
Going back to makeup and the neutral look, to the left is test patches on my hand from the lipsticks that currently reside in my makeup bag. Most of them are mentioned in my What's In My Bag post except for the one next to the purple shade which the Rimmel Moisture Renew lipstick I reviewed the other day. The purple one is the most adventurous I get with lip colour, I'm not actually to keen on it though because it smudges easily and the colour bleeds. 

6. How often do you shop for makeup? Do you like to pick up an item here and there or get lots of goodies at once?
I pick up an item here and an item there, I like to try out new products so I just visit Superdrug often to see what's new and on offer.

7.  If you could only buy from one brand, which brand would you choose?
Probably Rimmel, it's not ridiculously over-priced and all of the products I've bought from them have worked really well for me.

8. Favourite beauty guru?
Easy! Sammi Maria (The Beauty Crush). I love her Youtube channel, I tend to keep up with what she uploads.

9. Do you ever consider taking makeup classes?
I'd love to! It would be great to learn how to contour and get some simple makeup tips and cheats.

10. What do you love about makeup?
I love that on days when I feel like crap I can cover up what needs to be covered and feel much more confident than I did before I put it on.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Places I'd Love To Go (Travel Bucket List)

This post is basically going to be a list of places I'd love to go to and why I'd love to go to them, I've always wanted to travel more (even though I'm scared of flying). So far I've been to Spain, Tenerife, Cyprus and Paris but I'd love to go way further and hopefully I will one day! The list is in no particular order or pattern, I'm just listing what I think of as I go along. 
Hong Kong (Tuen mun)
  • Italy I've always wanted to visit Italy, I just think it's one of those places that has such a rich and interesting history. The art and culture of the whole place is something I definitely hope to experience one day. Besides, who doesn't love Italian food?
  • Hong Kong My gran has lived there for over ten years now and she always sends me loads of photos and talks about her life there. I have to say, I'm very jealous! Anyway, I'd like to see the contrast between Western and Eastern culture.
  • America There's just so much to do in America; Orlando, Disney, film sets, landmarks... The list goes on and on. I'd particularly like to visit New York around the winter time because I just have a completely romanticised vision of it at that time of the year.
  • Germany I'd love to go at Christmas time to see the real German Christmas markets, I've seen many images of them and think that it's something that everyone should see at some point in their lives.
  • Australia I wish I could live in Australia, the weather and the scenery seems so beautiful. Also, I'd love to try surfing but I've never quite fancied doing it in the choppy waves in England. 
  • Japan The anime and cartoon scene over there is very vivid, I don't think we appreciate it enough over here. Some images I've seen make it look like a giant dolls house so I'd like to see the more technological side of things.
  • Prague I'd love to check out the nightlife there, I'm not big on clubbing and things like that but from what I've heard, it's quite a unique experience. Plus, I'm actually really interested in the architecture and general atmosphere of there. 
  • The Caribbean The beaches look amazing and from what I've heard, they are just as beautiful in real life as they are in the brochures. It seems like somewhere great to relax and take a holiday.
I could continue but I would be on writing this post all day and I don't think people could read as much as I could write about travel.

What places are on your travel bucket list?

Winter Warm-Ups (Favourites)

With winter quickly approaching and the bitter cold serving as a reminder that Christmas is around the corner, I fancied writing yet another winter themed post. I'm just going to mention some of my non-beauty winter favourites.

My hot water bottle! I never really had one until last year but it was a mini one of my sisters. I recently invested in one of my own, I've used it nearly every night and it's not even winter yet. Just a tip- I find that the ones with woolly covers tend to provide more warmth than the ones with furry covers.

A hand warmer My hands get really cold at work and when I walk into the nearby town so I heat up one of these and keep it in my pocket just in case I get too cold. Mine looks like a tiny hot water bottle, the only issue is that you have to put it in boiling water for 20 minutes and that's difficult to do at work. 

Yorkshire Tea I love a good cup of tea but I'm really picky about what type of tea I drink, I'm not bad mouthing other brands I'm just saying that this one is my personal favourite. I did, however, get the most adorable gift for my birthday earlier this month from my friend. It included Redbush herbal type tea, sweets and the cutest mug. 

Extra blankets Around this time of the year I like to invest in some new soft blankets to stop me shivering at home. I got my blankets from the Home Department of Primark this year, they have snowflakes on them and they make my bedroom look subtly Christmassy. I don't have a photo of it because I'm typing this up at work but trust me, they are amazing! 

So these were just a few items that I find help me survive in the winter, it's my favourite time of the year but it's just too cold!

Product Review: Rimmel London Moisture Renew Lipstick

Fist of all, I'm just going to say that I absolutely love this product. This is in no way a paid placement or whatever, I went out and bought some as a mini treat to myself at the weekend. 

I chose a less pink and more neutral shade because I've been wanting to try a nude colour for ages, I have been put off though because some shades just look like concealer. Anyway, I picked up the Moisture Renew lipstick in 700 Nude Delight and tried it on before work yesterday. 

This lipstick is one marketed for moisture and it does exactly that, it provides colour with a smooth and shiny feel which is what I wanted. I get chapped lips quite frequently in the winter so this is probably going to be a favourite of mine in the coming months. 

The colour is a very neutral peachy-beige but it works and that's saying something because my pale skin goes with near enough nothing. Throughout the day I found that it didn't fade and I only had to reapply when I ate/drank something. Another good point is that it's a great shade for everyday use so I can wear it at work, out with friends or visiting family. I think I might buy it in other shades so I can play about with it, I love the durability of this product. 

I have an 'Advice For My Younger Self' piece coming towards the end of the week because I think AJ is tagging me when she posts hers, it should be a fun post anyway.

Monday, 24 November 2014

The Christmas Tag

Decor at the Metro Center
Hi everyone! So today I got quite a bit of networking done and I learnt a lot about running a blog thanks to AJ who runs Writer's Block and Broken Lenses. Anyway, AJ recommended that I do this tag and since I absolutely love Christmas so I'm just going to get on with it and see how it turns out. During my little blog finding frenzy I discovered Birds Words, Tea Party Designs and She Might Be Loved which I now adore so I nominate them to post this tag next.

1. What's your favourite Christmas movie/s?
I would have to say Love Actually or Home Alone 2, both very different movies but it's like a tradition to watch them at Christmas in my house. 

2. Do you open Christmas presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
Christmas morning! I only open my presents before then if my friends want to watch me open what they got me. 

My dad sometime near Christmas in 2008
3. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
Not a specific one, the main thing that springs to mind is tapping on the wall so my brother would wake up and then waiting for him to wake up my sister. We never wanted to be caught being the first ones up at about 4am!

4. What's your favourite festive food?
I just love the whole of Christmas dinner, I always look forward to that the most because my mum cooks the turkey overnight so we can smell it when we wake up.

5. What's been your favourite Christmas gift?
That's a difficult one! Uh... I guess it was my first iPod, I had it for ages and the backlight broke eventually but I continued to use it. I still have it lying around in my room now. 

6. Do you have a Christmas Eve tradition?
It's a big family thing for me so I always settle in early and watch a Christmas film with my mum, dad, brother and sister. Whilst we watch it my parents prep the dinner for the next day so Christmas dinner isn't quite as stressful.

7. What tops your tree?
For years we had an awful looking golden angel to stick on top of the tree but now we just use a sparkly silver star. 

9. As a kid, what was the one (crazy, extravagent) gift you wanted but never got?

I don't think I ever really asked for something crazy or extravagant, I was one of those kids that hated writing a list but would hate it if I had nothing to open.

10. What do you think is the best part of Christmas?
I love everything festive. I love the music, the jumpers, the food... I guess if I absolutely had to choose it would be Christmas dinner. Yummy. 

Thanks for the recommendation, AJ. I really enjoyed typing this one out and I'm now really in the Christmas spirit!  

The People's Millions: Vote For Rural Refurb

I am currently volunteering at the County Durham Furniture Help Scheme (CDFHS) after an 8 week work placement in their front office. The purpose of this post is to tell you why you should support us in our campaign for the Peoples Millions and vote for us on the 25th November and also to educate some people on what we actually do. 

The RURAL REFURB branch of the CDFHS runs in a similar manner to the main operation, the following text in italics is a quote from the site.   

The primary aim of CDFHS is to provide any individual in need with low-cost, affordable items - primarily furniture, but our scope has expanded in recent years to include all types of household items. 

We collect free of charge, repair and redistribute items from the County Durham area which would otherwise go into landfill, while also making available thousands of items of furniture and household goods every year to people from the region. We are widely recognised for our positive environmental impact and helped save some 150 tonnes of items from entering the refuse system in the last year alone!

At County Durham Furniture Help Scheme we believe in giving more to the community and so we provide the chance to learn key skills at our establishment from carpentry through to IT tech.

Whether you volunteer or are here on placement we guarantee that you will leave with valuable experience (that all employers look for) and some new skills to add to your CV. This also includes a one-to-one session with our Training and Employment Coordinator, Steve Mitton, who will craft a tailor made CV for you.

So basically the CDFHS is a charitable organisation that collects and sells unwanted reusable furniture, household goods and appliances from around the County Durham area. 

Sunday, 23 November 2014


I've always been quite creative so when I started doing my friends nails for parties and events I really got into nail art. I think I actually mentioned my love for funky nails briefly in my November Favourites post. For this installment of my blog I am going to include some of my favourite designs I've done over the years.

This is a picture of the first time I ever did my friend Leanne's nails,  we had been discussing the party she was going to so I ended up doing them during a free lesson at the end of my last GCSE year. She was going to a dressing up party at the ice rink and she had decided on Snow White so we searched through designs and came up with this one. We decided to leave the base coat clear and draw the designs on the tips with nail art pens.

The next time I did her nails I opted for an Easter/Spring styled theme. I actually enjoyed doing this design more because it was less strict in terms of design and I got to have a bit more fun with that aspect of the nail design. I chose an Easter egg, a bunny, a chick, some daisies and a sun to give is a more varied and colourful style. I also did other designs during that year, including a Batman themed one and a christmassy one with silver and blue snowflakes, I just can't find any images on my phone or laptop. I actually did these designs about three years ago.

The design to the left is less original than the other two but it was done out of boredom and didn't really have a theme. I loved the way the silver contrasted with the lilac shade but it wasn't particularly bold. Anyway, I gave it a purple base coat because at the time pastels were just coming back into fashion properly and then added silver designs over the top. The designs consisted of a yin yang symbol, stripes, swirls, arrows and a diamond. It was a bit of a rush job and didn't come out exactly as planned but it payed off to test out the colours against easch other.

Next I am going to talk about the Despicable Me minion theme that I recently did when the second film came out. Leanne was recovering from a foot operation when I did the minion theme so really it was a fun way to pass time. I'm proud of how this one turned out though I have been told that the yellow coat stained her nails and I was rather hasty and didn't wait long enough for the first yellow coat to dry. Other than that it was really simple and I just painted the dungarees in blue, added the eyes and the straps and this design was good to go. 

I hope people have enjoyed this post, if anyone wants to know anymore information on how I achieved these designs then please do not hesitate to comment below! 

My Brothers Pre-Birthday Outing (It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!)

Between Christmas and Halloween, I can't really decide which holiday I love more. I love Halloween for all its quirkiness and the fact that it gives me a reason to dress up but at the same time I love Christmas because, well, who doesn't? Christmas dinner, presents, family time... The list goes on and on. The only issue is that Christmas has very quickly crept up this year and everything seems to have flown over. 

So it's my brothers 16th birthday tomorrow and since we all have work and school we decided to celebrate a day early. Anyway, we went to the Metro Center in Newcastle and he wasted all his birthday money, I'm honestly not shocked at all. What we did today isn't actually the theme of this post, it's actually where we went that has given me cause to blog. When I stepped foot into the Metro Center today, I got quite a shock because I didn't realise how close Christmas really is. Anyone who has visited the Metro Center will know what I'm talking about, nearly everything has some sort connection to Christmas and it's difficult to think about anything else. 

This has all gotten me to seriously start looking for Christmas gifts, why do I never get it all out of the way early? If I remember next year I'll start shopping around summertime and then I'll have plenty of time to sort out the finishing touches before the December-time rush starts. I think that the most difficult people to buy for are my dad and my brother but luckily enough I know what I'm getting for them this time around. My main problem is that I tend to start looking for myself so far through my Christmas shopping. When it comes to buying presents for my friends though I like to get them something in reference to something we've said over the last year or something so the gift is more personal. 

Anyone else caught in a bit of a rush for Christmas?