Thursday, 30 April 2015

April Favourites

Hello and welcome to my April favourites post, I realise that's very 'cheesy American tv host' but it's actually quite difficult to type up the first paragraph of this sort of post. As I'm nearing the 20,000 mark for page views I just want to say thank you to everyone reading and to everyone who has returned post after post since I started this blog in November.

Anyway, enough babbling on like an idiot, this month I've splashed out quite a bit and treated myself to a few items that, to be honest, I've been desperate for. Shoes were on the top of my list so I bought the pair in the image to the left, they were under £10 from Shoe Zone and what you can't really see from the image is that they are very much like chunky Toms but with a shiny black crocodile print. They are so comfy and they are great for the daily walk through the industrial estate on the way to work. 

I've also finally invested in some ripped skinny jeans from New Look, I've wanted a pair for ages so they've quickly made their way onto my favourites list. They are the perfect fit at size 12 and I'm fairly pleased with the way they look so I'll be buying jeans from New Look again in the future.

Anyone who follows me on Twitter will know how much I adore this bag from Zara, it's called The Ladylike Backpack on the site. I love everything down to the shape and colour of this bag, I tend to go for a more monochrome style so this cute Spring piece is the perfect accent of colour. Speaking of Spring style, the floral headband I got for my holiday to Tenerife last year is perfect for this time of the year. It isn't in store since it was part of last years collection but floral headbands are on sale everywhere. 

I mentioned the Drama Clean 5 in 1 Cleanser from Soap & Glory in My Latest Beauty HAUL and I'm loving it, it's fresh and fruity and does the job it's supposed to do. It's efficient in cleansing away my daily makeup and I'm liking it more than most of the other drugstore cleansers I've tried. 

The final item of my April favourites post is my new laptop, the Toshiba Satalite Pro which is equipped with AMD Radeon Graphics. It has something like a 17 inch screen so it's pretty damn big and it's very similar to my work laptop so I actually know how to use it! It's my first NEW laptop for a few years and I've made do with one that was broken and dated, it's great having a decent laptop to blog from.

So that's it for this months favourites post, sorry that it's not particularly lengthy but I haven't collected quite as many favourites as last month or the month before. 

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

NEW BLOG DESIGN

For those of you who have been on my blog before you'll notice that I've had a design revamp. I've been wanting to sort it out for quite some time so when Jemma from Dorkface blog mentioned that she was doing some design work I emailed her straight away. I think I was her first client so my design was done by about 7pm, I think. Either way, she was very efficient and we talked through what I wanted and she designed something based on my blogging style. We went through some draft ideas first and decided to keep the colours down to black, white and gold to keep it quite minimalist and mature. 

To be honest, I gave Jemma quite a bit of freedom for the design because I wanted to change up the whole colour scheme and font style anyway so really she just ran with the vague idea I gave her. We decided against the font in the image to the right because I was already in love with the more rough and elegant cursive writing style that we'd already discussed. The draft ideas weren't massively different once we decided on the way the font for the title, we both really loved the cute cursive look. 

The draft to the left included swirls at the end and that was the only difference to the design but we decided against it. We came to this after deciding to keep the font though we didn't discuss the colour scheme that much because we were both so set on the black and gold design. I did like the look of the swirls but I felt like the design didn't need them, particularly for the look I was going for. We reverted back to the original font and colour scheme though the original draft had no pencils. The addition of the pencils seemed to make sense because it matched well with my blogging style.

This design was different in the way that we scrapped the camera so we had something else to think about as an alternative. I loved how cute the cartoon me was but it changed the direction in which the design went, I preferred the camera and the extra accents of gold from the previous design. The whole way through this process Jemma talked me through what she was doing, what she thought and asked my opinion on the direction she was taking the design. I think that by this point we were both really on the same page when it came to the design, I just didn't know how to ask for what I wanted but she rolled with it and created exactly what I wanted. 

Thanks again, Jemma. I'm sure everyone else loves the design as much as I do, I couldn't recommend anyone else more highly for header design. I think the fact that Jemma runs her own blog and spends a lot of time reading other blogs gives her that edge so she knows what sort of thing goes well with which sort of blog. 

Monday, 27 April 2015

The Avengers: Age Of Ultron (No Spoilers)

As a full on Marvel fangirl, I've been waiting for this film for quite some time. As the title of this post suggests, I am not going to be giving any spoilers but I really just want to vent about how great the film was.

From start to finish the dialogue was full of innuendos, cleverly placed digs and fandom references. It was interesting to hear which people understood which jokes because some of them went right over the audiences head. In terms of scripting they've clearly listened to the fans though and made the film everything we could have wanted. The back and forth nature of the film very much makes the films what they are, DC are really going to have to step up and TRY to fight back because Marvel are kicking ass right now. I hate myself for saying this word but 'banter' was very much present between the Avengers but we also got to see a softer side of the the characters, particularly Natasha, Bruce and Clint but I'm not giving anything away so I'll say no more on that matter. 

The film was full of character development and whilst Sebastian Stan was not present, there was a slight reference to where Steve and Sam left off in the last Captain America film. All in all, I was incredibly pleased with the way the film went and I noticed that they still tied in with the comic universe whilst still staying true to the cinematic one. I also loved the introduction of the Maximoff twins as the actor and actress playing them had a lot of chemistry so they were able to act very well together. It's so frustrating typing this up and trying not to give too much away but it was fantastic.

Since this is a lifestyle, FASHION and beauty blog I'm just going to mention what I wore to go and see the film. I didn't want to go too fancy or too casual so I just went for a smart casual look though when I was a few years younger I would have been in a fandom based shirt or something like that. 

I went with a plain royal blue tank to because the weather was fairly nice and I associate the colour blue with Captain America. I teamed that up with my black New Look Jeggings and cotton navy and white blazer style jacket whilst I wore my new black and white shoes which I got for less than £10 from Shoe Zone. As for makeup I went for quite a natural look because I didn't want to wear anything heavy to sit in the cinemas. Check out my last post to find out about the foundation and setting powder I used because I've switched up my products.

Thanks for reading about my trip to Teeside Cinemas, I'd love it if you could comment with your thoughts on the films or any blog posts of a similar nature. 

My Latest Beauty HAUL: Boots & Wilko's

Well this months payday was a VERY welcomed day because I was running low on quite a few essentials. I apologise for the awful picture but I'm typing this up from work before everyone gets in and I just pulled up the one I used of Instagram.

So, sometimes when I get in after work I really can't be bothered to cleanse, tone and moisturise so I find it really useful to have a pack of cleansing wipes on hand. I bought the Simple Spotless Skin wipes because I struggle with spots and blemishes so the zinc in them really helps with that. These are actually a repurchase because I love how they make my skin feel. I would, however, just like to say that the wipes aren't particularly soft so if you prefer something more gentle I would just go for store brand wipes because they do the same job. 

Most nights I cleanse with a Micellar water or a general cleanser, I've only just started using micellar water this year as it's been the big 'skincare hype' but I actually genuinely like using micellar water. Before I needed to buy a new one I was just using the Superdrug B. Micellar Water but it was too heavy and felt quite oily and greasy on my face so I used toner to balance that out. I just bought the 3 in 1 Cleansing Water from the Thrice As Nice range in Wilko's and the Drama Clean 5 in 1 Cleanser from Soap & Glory at Boots. So far I'm loving both products and I would recommend both the same amount though the Thrice As Nice stuff is a few pound cheaper.

I bought the Dream Matte Mouse foundation in Vanilla to try something warmer than my usual tone, the one I had been using prior to this was quite cool in tone so it washed me out since I have nearly white hair now. Anyway, I love how smooth the application was but I feel like it's difficult to get a decent coverage as it is so thin in application. It is for very light light coverage so I would only recommend it for a 'good skin day' as it does little to conceal blemishes but it does even skin tone and  feel very light on. Of course, you could use it with concealer as I have been doing but if you want a foundation that just goes on and doesn't need much further attention then I'd say this product wasn't for you. I also bought the Matte Maker Pressed Powder and whilst I haven't had the chance to try it properly yet I will say that it seems to have the desired matte effect which some products don't stay true to their descriptions properly.

Since just about every YouTuber and Blogger utterly rave on about the Soap & Glory Translucent 'One Heck Of A Blot' powder I just had to buy it and see what the fuss is about. To put it simply, I agree. It helped both my new foundation and my old foundation (Rimmel's Wake Me Up Foundation) stay where it was and it added an extra level to the matte effect I was going for. I have oily to combination type skin so I often struggle to find products that stay and don't look shiny by the end of the working day. I can't stress enough about how much I love this product, it will definitely be on my re-buy list as it just really works for me.

Finally, onto the YSL red lipstick and nail polish. My gran actually bought a pack that was reduced from the Christmas stock but she says she's "too old for red makeup" so she gave it to me. Now, whilst I don't tend to go for much red as my hair is white I do have to admit that the lipstick has one of the smoothes applications I've ever found in a lipstick. It is only a mini sample but for the amount that I use red I'm sure it will last quite some time.

Well, this has been my latest beauty haul. Thank you for reading and for any of my returning readers, thank you for being so patient because I was fairly lazy last week in terms of blogging.  

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Do It For Yourself

A few things have happened to me recently that have really inspired me to write this post, it really has been a mix of circumstances but it has made me very reflective. I just really want this post to, in a way, promote a more positive and confident self image for both me and my readers because most people these days just sit back and let life just run past them. For the longest time I've based my actions off of how I believed people would react to them. My friend Leanne would tell you about the time I decided to quit sixth form and I wouldn't dare tell the teachers or my parents, I just didn't want to disappoint anyone. Leanne spent a good few weeks laughing at me as I chatted to everyone as if I was staying but in the end it was the right decision for me and I had to tell everyone.

Hiding behind someone else isn't the answer to all of your problems. For years I hid behind someone I called a best friend, I let her personality take over my own and whilst I'm not on speaking terms with her now I would still say that we shared some pretty great experiences because we fit together pretty well. I think it took me moving from sixth form to college to give us both a chance to be ourselves and really decide the sort of people we wanted to be respectively. We always joked that it was her who was the pushover because she was just so nice most of the time but really it was me because I was never a ruling force. Even now I still just go with the flow and let other people make decisions for me, I don't like saying no and I've just let people walk all over me.

I've dated people because I didn't want to say no and to be honest it's been more hassle than it was worth. I think in general people feel like they HAVE to be in a relationship and that's the mindset that you really don't want to be in, relationships don't necessarily determine happiness. Don't get me wrong, I'm not crapping all over relationships, I just think that you should never feel like you're settling or feel pressured to be with someone.

I would have to say that I let my childhood and teen years just go to waste just by being scared, I wouldn't go on boats, trains or planes and I certainly wouldn't try new foods and spices. I spent most of my schooling years hiding away after school because I just didn't feel comfortable with new people or experiences, I would use one word to describe those years and that's 'bland'. I was bullied in primary school and a little bit in secondary school and that just knocked my confidence right off, it's taken a long time to trust people and make myself be the adult I should be and I really just blame it on over-thinking and lack of motivation.

The more I let myself be ruled by other people, the more I seemed set on self destruction and there was a time when I felt myself slipping into unhealthy habits. I used to say that I wanted to be a scientist, a teacher or even a marine and as I got older I just let myself think that I wouldn't reach any of those goals and I would say that for a good four years I just didn't care. I laughed my way through my GCSE's, AS Levels and my BTEC Diploma so now I've started my apprenticeships it's just so refreshing to feel bothered about where my life is going to go.

I'm just saying that you need to be your own person, you need to overcome your fears and more importantly; you need to do it for yourself. Don't let anyone else's opinions dictate your life and don't waste the time you have on doing something that you hate because you'll never be happy. I'm twenty at the end of this year and I'm finally in a position that I'm happy with, some people don't ever get the chance so I'm incredibly lucky that things have fallen into place.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Monday Morning Update

Morning all! I just wanted to sit back and take a chance to let everyone know what's going on with me this week. I always say that this is a LIFESTYLE, beauty and fashion blog but I don't actually seem to write a lot of posts about my life. Just let me know what you think about a Monday Morning Update sort of series but for today I figured I would just have a little babble on.

So this past week I've just been getting used to having my new haircut and colour. I'm not going to go too far into that because I've already posted 'My Hair Transformation' but for those of you who haven't visited before; my hair is nearly white and about three inches shorter. Dry shampoo was my saviour last week, I tried to preserve the colour as much as possible as I do for the first week of every colour. Now that I'm over the first week I've started using a 'silver shampoo', namely the BLEACH London one but I've been pairing that up with the Provoke 'silver conditioner' to add that extra bit of shine that my hair doesn't usually have.

Since I've just been writing about my hair I might as well move onto beauty next for my Monday update. I've had a massive spot outbreak around my mouth and the rest of my face hasn't been exactly blemish free so I've been going makeup free wherever possible to try and give my skin a break. Last night I used a self-heating mask from Superdrug last night to give my skin a bit of a boost and I'm rather pleased with the results. The thing about my skin now is that my hair makes any blemish stand out more, it's motivating me to take more care care of my skin and try to make my skincare as natural as possible. I'm looking into trying an aloe vera gel shot for mornings to just give myself a fighting chance with these spots! I'm sure I'll post about the success or failure of the gel drink once I've had the chance to buy it and try it.

Last week I had fairly dark nails, I think I really just loved the contrast between my hair colour and the colours I wore to compliment it. My inspiration for last weeks nail look was a 'starry night' which I created by using a bright blue base from Miss Sporty and a dark glittery top coat from a nail bar. I didn't have the polish I wanted to I created it myself with those two polishes, even if I do say so myself I felt like it came out very well. I only used one coat of each polish because I didn't really need second coats as they balanced each other a bit.

My job is going well as far as I know, last week was a great week for social visits so I can't be doing that bad of a job. I might actually do a post fairly soon about how I decided to work in social media and how I actually got my current job so keep an eye out for that. I wouldn't say I'm an expert but I think the post will be quite useful for those of you who want to work in social media but don't want to go to university because it can be done - I'm proof of that! If I knew what I know now a few years ago I would already be way past this point, I went through a year of sixth form and year of college before I came to my 'big realisation'. Also, if any of you are bloggers that have written a similar post I would LOVE to read it whether it's social media based or whatever. 

My latest woe is my lack of shoe ownership and I don't say that in an "Oh dear, I don't want to wear those shoes" sort of way, I've actually ruined all of my shoes bar my running trainers from walking through the industrial estate to get to work and the bus stop. It's not all bad though because I see bunnies and all sorts as I walk to the office but the ground is very uneven and I'm a clumsy oaf that obviously can't walk without tripping over myself. Anyway, I needed to go into Spennymoor on Saturday and for some reason I thought that walking there in flip flops was a good idea. No. I have blisters galore and my feet still hurt but at the time I didn't know where my trainers were (that proves just how much I go out for a run!) so I just went for it. I am regretting that decision now but there's nothing I can do about it because it's already been done. My poor feet! Which leads me onto my next topic, I want to buy a good pair of durable and comfy shoes that will last me quite a while. I don't want them to be too colourful because they'll be for work but anything good for walking in would be fantastic. Any suggestions?

I'm working very hard to put out some great content this week so I'd love to hear ANY request or suggestions, if anyone is working on any tags or collaborations I'd love to know what's going on. I have Kik and Skype if any bloggers would like to connect, just leave your usernames in the comments. Thanks for reading this post, there should be more coming up VERY soon.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Aloe Vera: Forever Living (+ Shampoo And Conditioner)

(Not a sponsored post, content is inspired by fact and my own opinion)

It's not a secret that aloe vera has restorative properties, it's also not a widely appreciated fact. When I was in Tenerife there wasn't a shop without some form of aloe vera substitute for after-sun, I'm assuming people from other hot countries use its properties to their advantage but why don't we? Sure, we can buy products with extracts of the plant in them but I haven't got a clue as to why us Brits don't use it quite as much. I noticed that the gel actually healed my sunburn better than any Nivea this, that or other and it left my skin feeling so much more soft. That's why I jumped at the chance to try some of the Forever Living samples when Elsa asked me. 

I was sent a complete mix of their products and since then we have chatted over Skype about the effects of them. What we really found important and touched on the most was the fact that a lot of other products include the percentage of the plant used in their products but it's unknown which parts of the plant that are included. Forever Living only use the inner leaf rather than the whole plant as the other parts can actually be harmful, many of their competitors harvest the whole plant and then separate the rind and the leaves later in the process. 

Another important thing to mention is that the products have, in no way, been tested on animals which is also something Elsa and I touched on quite heavily during our calls. It's unbelievable how cruel some companies are!

Now that the intro is over and done with I can get on with the review for both the Aloe-Jojoba Shampoo and the Conditioning Rinse. With the shampoo I found that even in the sample sachets you don't need to use a lot, I actually managed to get two washes from the sample as the product was easily lathered. I thought that the shampoo was almost like a clarifying shampoo, it felt healthy and like I had gotten rid of the product build-up. I wouldn't say that the product was an instant fixer but it did have a nice effect on my hair, one thing I would say though is that I wouldn't use it on fine hair. I feel like it would be too rich for thin hair but since mine is quite thick and coarse it was quite well suited. The information leaflets say that the product is suitable for all hair types but I would only recommend it to someone with fine hair if it was diluted.

As for the conditioner, my hair didn't feel quite as frizzy once it was dried as it usually does so that is a very big thing for me. My hair is quite naturally frizzy so I was very happy with the sample, it worked very well with the shampoo and I really liked the way my hair felt after use. One negative issue I would like to point out is that you NEED to make sure that your hair is dry before you go to bed or it makes your hair look like it needs another wash. If it's dry it really does make a difference though so it's well worth a go if you have thick, coarse and frizzy hair like mine.

More reviews are to come for a diverse range of products as I want to further test the effects of aloe vera products. Elsa's focus, like mine, is on NATURAL beauty and the quality of the product; ethical practice and confidence in the products/company. If you've never read one of my reviews I would like to just reinforce the fact that I wouldn't write a review I wasn't 100% truthful in.

Shop link: Forever Living
Elsa's email: Elsab.forever@gmail.com

Monday, 13 April 2015

Katy Perry Inspired Wishlist


Following last weeks Emma Stone Inspired Wishlist which was quite relaxed and casual, I wanted to create a more vibrant and lively post for this installment of the series. Who else could I choose but Katy Perry? Her lavender locks from the Grammy Awards were perfection, I loved the glamorous yet tousled and undone look. 

To kick off this post I just want to start by mentioning hair colour, for those of you who have pre-lightened or naturally light hair it's easy to switch up your colour and go for purple like Katy has. Since mine has just been dyed a silvery white(ish) colour I would personally just use a semi-permanent colour so I could wash it out easily and just change it up very simply. For my returning readers, you'll probably know of my BLEACH London obsession but for those of you who are here for the first time (hi!) I would just say that I can't recommend them enough for their colour products. Their semi-permanent purple shades are the BLEACH Super Cool Colour Violet Skies dye which is the best to achieve Katy's look or the  Bleach Super Cool colours Bruised Violet dye which creates a more grungey colour. I would also love to try some of their more crazy colours but right now I'm happy with the shade I am thanks!

As for makeup, Katy usually goes for quite bold eyeliner flicks along with some sort of smokey and sparkly blended eyeshadow look. The Kat Von D Tattoo Eyeliner from Sephora is great for that because it has a very precise brush tip and it's long lasting. As for the eyeshadow, I LOVE the Bourjois Smoky Eyes Trio Eyeshadow Gris Party because it's a very shimmery palette and it's fantastic when it comes to blending out a smokey eye look.

Katy Perry isn't like Lady Gaga in terms of style but she's had her moments, this is a really fun wishlist to compile because she's really creative with the way she styles things and she's not afraid to dress brightly. I found this French Connection Leo Leopard Dress in Jersey and quite surprisingly, I love it. It's not something that's easy to fit in a wishlist but with Katy Perry, just about anything goes. It's just such a fun print that goes with Katy's eclectic sense of style, she would probably wear this with a silky bomber jacket or a leather jacket and totally rock it. Due to the style of the dress, I wouldn't add a belt as there is a stiching and black panel at the back of the dress but for a style like this you don't really need to. I'd also be willing to wager that this dress would be really comfortable due to the fact that this dress is made of a jersey material.

Going back to an earlier style snapshot of Katy's career you'll probably see a lot of cute looking vintage style. I adore the polka dot look and I'm fairly sure I've seen Katy rock a similar style before. The Love Skater Dress With Cut Out In Polka Print is utterly gorgeous and so fitted, it is a very flattering style and I'm sure it would look great on more curvy shapes too. This dress manages to be modern and slightly revealing whilst still giving off 1940's vibes and that's something worth channeling for a party or a night out. I'd love to be Katy Perry's stylist, seriously, you can be so vibrant and diverse when it comes to pulling up a style wishlist. She seems very experimental and willing to try out many different style but she still stays true to her own look which is refreshing considering all of the pop clone wannabes these days. 

Going completely different yet again, I found the Story Of Lola Festival Big Tee Metallic Dress In Sheer Fabric With Sequin Motif just after the polka dot dress and fell in love with it. I've used the word 'love' way too many times in this wishlist, I guess I just love everything that I've found today. I think this t-shirt dress just looks like something she could perform in quite comfortably with a crop top and a pair of high-waisted shorts underneath. It's adorable, different and it reminds me of California for some reason. The colour is gorgeous and if you chose to wear it with vibrant mermaid green shorts and a matching crop top it would look so funky and cute. Mermaid style is everywhere on bloggers and celebrities right now whether it's hair, style or makeup. It's a trend I can definitely get behind as a Disney fanatic myself.

These shoes are beautiful and they go with literally everything on this wishlist. The ASOS HAZELINE Leather Heeled Sandals are so versatile and work with most colours, the holographic finish makes them seem less plain as lots of different colours are reflected onto them as they are hit by light. I actually REALLY want a pair of these so I'll have to come back across the link either after payday or closer to my birthday. They are quite blocky so I can imaging that they will be fairly easy to walk in because they aren't as dainty as a lot of heels are. 

I hope you've enjoyed my latest wishlist because I certainly enjoyed writing it, this has definitely been one of my more fun posts because I usually choose quite neutral looks for my celeb inspired wishlist series. I'm still deciding on the next celebrity to create an inspired wishlist for so if you have any ideas or requests I'd love to hear from you!

Saturday, 11 April 2015

My Hair Transformation (Malfoy Has Nothing On Me!)

So after months of putting up with this brassy mess, I've finally managed to make time for a hair appointment. For quite some time I've fancied a more bold and vibrant do but in the end I settled on a pearly blonde colour. Since this is my first 'hair transformation' since I started this blog back in November I figured it would be a good idea to blog about the process. 

This was my second visit to Bronzing Beauty & The Salon in Ferryhill and I have to say, I was very impressed. Ashleigh was very professional and did a fantastic job at my colour change AND cut which is hard to come by when you're searching for a hairdresser. My past experiences with hairdressers had previously led me to believe the notion that it was an either/or scenario. You can check them out on Facebook here if anyone lives near by.

Ashleigh started by bleaching my hair from the roots to the ends, it actually developed really quickly. I'm not sure whether that's because my hair is very porous or because it was pure bleach but either way I was impressed with how quickly it took to my hair. 

Once the bleach was washed away she dried my hair and applied a toner mixed with permanent dye so it would banish the yellow tones. I was warned before-hand that the bleach would make my hair 'canary yellow' before the second dye but to be honest it wasn't as yellow as either of us thought it would be. I know I've mentioned it before but the dye really did take quite quickly and I can't fault Ashleigh on the colouring at all because I adore the way it has turned out.

So here's a picture of the finished product, sorry for stealing the picture Ashleigh! As you can see, the colour is a very pearly/silvery blonde and I got a bit of a shock when I first saw the colour. When I first walked into the salon I had a vague idea of how I wanted my hair so really it was all Ashleigh's input. I love the way that she cut my layers in because it added to the bounce of the curls she created, my hair looks so much more healthy than it did when I arrived.

For after-care I am going to be using the BLEACH LONDON Silver Shampoo to try and keep the shade... Not yellow. 

4 Meals 4 Days (Skype Cooking Lessons With AJ)

Life at home when you live with your parents can be somewhat sheltered, I for one am quite useless with cooking unless it's just noodles or pasta. This week whilst I've been working and pottering on, the rest of my family have been in Southport staying in a chalet. When I told AJ that I was at home alone for the week I think she had visions of me starving to death so she suggested Skype cooking lessons for the week. 

I'm actually writing this post with the intention of telling you all to learn how to cook and to diversify your diets. Eating healthily isn't just for people who want to lose weight, healthy eating has so many benefits including the dispersion of energy and the fact that it improves your skin. If you put the right sort of stuff into your body, you will reap the benefits. Personally I'm quite lazy when it comes to food, if it was left to me I would have just survived on noodles and a slice of toast here and there this week so thank you AJ!

Anyway, the first night we started off with a beef hot pot, I made too much because I got the portioning wrong but I had enough for lunch at work the next day. It was some proper hearty comfort food! It included meat, veggies and lots of flavour. 

For night number two we moved onto Chinese style chicken curry, it was fairly easy to make and it tasted great. I do, however, think that I added too many chili flakes so it was spicy to say the least. Luckily enough I love spicy food, huh? Gary told me how to make the rice, it will all be explained when it comes to the fourth and final dish!

The next night we made risotto, this was probably my least favourite dish. I'm not sure whether it was because I made it wrong or because I just don't like risotto as I had never tried it before this week. I used bacon rather than ham but I think it was an either/or sort of recipe and the consistency seemed right from the description but it just tasted too rich and salty.

To balance out the meal that I didn't like, I think it was only fair to my taste buds that I really enjoyed the coconut chicken dish that I made with rice. Funnily enough, rice is the only thing that AJ can't cook. Whilst we were on Skype her rice actually exploded everywhere and Gary had to come back to her kitchen to sort it out. 

So yeah, I didn't add the recipes or mention how I actually made these dishes but I'm not a great cook and I just wanted to give you guys a good scope for my week of lone(ish) survival. 

Monday, 6 April 2015

Emma Stone Inspired Wishlist

This celebrity inspired wishlist is a day late and, for that, I apologise. I've had a rather busy Easter weekend and my bank holiday Monday was packed full of things I had to get on with. 

Anyway, since Nicola and I have decided to put off our Emma Stone inspired makeup collaborations I've decided to create and Emma Stone Inspired Wishlist just to tide both myself and you lovely people over.

One of the things that really strike me about Emma is her hair colour; I utterly adore her amber hue. I've been a similar colour myself and it was one of my favourites until I changed it to a more startling red tone. To achieve a similar hair colour I would use the L'Oreal Casting Creme Gloss in Amber 645 as it's a really nourishing dye that creates long lasting colour as well and replacing the moisture that is usually drawn away from hair once dyed.

I'm not going to include a makeup section to the wishlist because Nicola and I will be collaborating on such a post in the near future. I am, however, going to include a few skincare suggestions to achieve a more bright and luminous complexion because Emma has fantastic skin. The Tarte Maracuja C-brighter™ Eye Treatment is a product that really refreshes and brightens the skin around the eyes, I personally like to use it when I've had a late night and feel like my eyes need a little extra help. I'd also love to use the Visible Difference Skin Balancing Lotion from Elizabeth Arden to create the healthy dewy skin of Emma Stone because it balances skin and includes SP15 so there is still a subtle hint of sun protection.

In terms of candid style, Emma Stone has a really plain yet chic look so it's really easy to recreate and mimic her style. The ASOS Turtle Neck Jumper in Rib is an item of clothing that certainly mimics a look that she has created, it's cute and casual yet doesn't look too dressed down when paired with the right items. Dark blue skinny jeans and some cute heals would create the perfect look for work, a lunch date or a cinema trip. I love the way that the material hugs the figure whilst still not clinging to every curve so it's a very flattering jumper. This jumper also reminds me quite a bit of Courtney Cox's style whilst she was in Friends because she often opted for such a mature and chic style. I do have to say though, Emma Stone totally rocked this look when she wore a similar jumper.

I know I use a lot of items from ASOS in my wishlists but they really do have everything! I found the jeans I had in mind for this wishlist really easily and they just really work for Emma's style. The ASOS "Sculpt Me" Premium Jeans In London Blue are adorable, well fitted and have that worn sort of faded design on the front of them. They are also really versatile because everyone needs at least one pair of jeans that can be paired with any outfit and these ones certainly fit the bill. As the name suggests, these jeans "sculpt" the body shape and mold to fit any body shape providing the right size is bought. One issue, however, is that these jeans stop just above the ankle so if you have long legs they may not really work for you. That being said, it would give you the chance to wear a really cute anklet without it being hidden so, hey, every cloud...

Emma doesn't really seem to have a staple shoe style but I have seen her wear quite a few pairs of cute brogues. The Glamorous Rose Gold Brogue Flat Chunky Sole Flat Shoes are just a pair that I found whilst browsing the internet for brogues but I felt like they would be a great addition to any wardrobe for the simple fact that they are a comfy design. The soles are thick meaning that they will last a while and they have that shiny metallic sort of colouring so they can be work to jazz up an otherwise boring outfit. I also love that they are lace up shoes, for me that's where I'm won over, I love a pair of good lace up shoes because you can decide how tight you make them feel on your feet.

Thanks, yet again, for reading my latest wishlist if you're a returning reader and for those of you who are new to my blog... Welcome! It's always lovely to chat with my readers so feel free to say hi in the comments. Also, I'd love it if you could check out next weeks installment of this blogging series as I'm fairly excited about my Katy Perry Inspired Wishlist which is scheduled to be next.