Saturday, 28 February 2015

Life Lately #02.15


February is coming to a close already and we are just getting ready to move into March.  Here I am yet a again with a Life Lately post.  A favourites with a twist, a glance into my diary perhaps maybe.  If you fancy checking back to my January post you can click HERE.  So what been going on in my life lately.

French Class Update 
Back in January I told you that my mum and I had signed up for French.  I can tell you now that attempting to learn another language in six weeks is not easy.  Especially when it's only two hours a week.  Today was our last session and it's a shame it's already over.  Do I feel like I know everything I wanted to know?? Erm noooope.  There is so much we still need to cover and it frustrating we cannot do it for longer.  If they have a follow up class I'd certainly say yes to it.  I cannot wait to visit France in the summer.  I think the south of France is calling my name.

Working Out
Sundays is now my hiking, running, walking around the country park day.  I spend approximately two hours freezing my butt off trying to burn off my jelly belly.  At least I'm trying folks!!  I never knew I had miles and miles of stunning picturesque nature right on my very door step.  Thursday night I did a kettle bell DVD and oh my days it was painful.  I screamed, I groaned and sweated like a nutter.  But the scales are going down slowly as I'm doing lots of healthy eating too.  Consistency does pay off plus eating the correct foods. Thumbs up to me!

Negativity? No thanks!
I have a friend of mine from work who is always Miss doom and gloom.  We get on well, been mates for many years but it has come to a point where I feel like I'm just her agony aunt.  She always comes to me with her negative life and I don't like it.  I know with friends you're meant to take the bad and the good... Ying and yang and all that but negativity is a evil thing that can spread like a disease.  I've taken a step back from our friendship and I feel so much better for it.  I know it might sound like I'm an unsupportive friend, but sometimes if something affects you badly... you just need to know when to walk away or back off.  I just do not want it around me.

Stress
Work has not been the easiest, there are lots of changes, pressure, dramas - you name it.  I like change and pressure... I generally work best under it but sometimes it's too much to deal with. I'm often forced to work late nights, which on top of early starts and a 20 minute lunch break (or not having one at all) - it can be a bit overwhelming.  I can tell from previous signs that stress and anxiety is starting to rise their ugly heads.  When I had my lush bath the other night it was to attempt to relive myself of stress.  I don't recommend stress it at all.  If you can avoid it.. AVOID IT.  Me time, good food and exercise I think works to help.

Ax

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Thursday, 26 February 2015

Relaxing With Lush


Yesterday my working day was hellish.  It was stressful, the craziness mainly came down to other human beings acting like idiots.  I suppose to that's life folks.  If I was my own boss I would of walked away and took 5 or maybe even 10, but I have to live and breath by someone else rules.  This can suck.... a lot.  I was coming home late (I might add) on the train and I just felt rattled with stress.  I knew I had to try and relax to calm myself when I finally got home.

What came next is pretty standard after a stressful 9 til 5.  Dinner cooked by the hubby, a glass of diet lemonade and disaronno, chocolate, relaxing music, candles and a bath.  Last night I opted for a Lush bath bomb bath.  I haven't had one of those in years it feels like.  I got all the above bombs as a Christmas present last year and this is the first time I have managed to take a look.

I have never tried Dragons Egg before (the white one), I didn't end up using this as it has a strong lemon scent and I didn't fancy that.  Plus it contains popping candy and gold dust which I didn't fancy dealing with.

Sex Bomb (the pink flower) doesn't look like your average sex bomb, it looks too girly to me.  But it is known for helping people when they are feeling either anxious, stressed or tired.... Or all three!! Floral jasmine and ylang ylang oils help de-stress and soothe you plus clary sage will clear your mind of any negativity.

Honey Bee (the yellow one) is another I've have used before, it doesn't have an amazing wow factor like say Dragons Egg but it contains soothing and calming ingredients like honey, mud, clay and aloe vera. It's nice without the fuss.

Blackberry Bath Bomb (the blue one) is sweet and woody with a hint of citrus.  Another tension banishing life saver with frankincense and bergamot oils to help uplift and relax you.  Bergamot is used in aromatherapy to help with depression and anxiety...certainly glad I got bought this one!!

I finally decided on Avobath (the green one) which contains lemongrass and bergamot oils which give you an uplifting boost plus avocado and olive oil to tackle dry skin which I seem to be suffering from right now.  Boo! 

What is your best ways to relax. What's your favourite bath bombs?

Ax



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Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Hand Bag Essentials


I am trying to be a good girl and not carry around every piece of makeup I own plus the kitchen sink.  There is no need for me to do so really, as I don't tend to touch up my makeup during the day unless I have plans that evening.  I've also been carrying around a smaller hand bag so I cannot really over flow the bag to bursting point.

My main hand bag makeup essentials are a powder, a fragrance, a concealer and a lip balm.

I think a miniature perfume is really handy to have as I always find my perfume wares off by lunch time.  A small spritz makes a world of difference.  I have mini set of Dior perfumes and I'm currently loving Miss Dior.

A tube of concealer is a must if you need to touch up any problem areas. Zits be gone!! I take the cheap but excellent Collection Lasting Perfection concealer as it's just the best.  Plus if I lost it out and about I wouldn't be as upset compared if I lost my Estee Lauder one.

Another must is a lip balm and I loooooove the Clarins Natural Lip Protectors.  They keep your lips  smooth and hydrated.  They also have a subtle shimmer and tint.... Your lips but better I think.  I just can't get enough of these at the moment.

The final essential is a powder and for the past few months I've been dusting my face with Seventeen Mircale Matte Pressed powder.  It comes with a cheap powder puff, so you don't necessarily need a  brush if you don't have room to carry one with you.   I reapply this throughout the day to keep the oily skin at bay.

What do you carry with you??

Ax
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Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Empties #Feb15


Another day another post...kind of.  This is just a shout out to a recent empties video I uploaded to my YouTube channel.  I didn't have a heck of a lot of great exciting goodies to share and no doubt you have probably seem me mention so of them previously.  Simple face wipes anyone??

Any way I hope you enjoy!!  Have you finished up any beauty goodies lately??


Ax


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Monday, 23 February 2015

Eye Cream and Magazines



For quite a while I have been pondering whether to get myself a new tub of the Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream, as that is one of my ultimate favourite eye creams. I have an old review HERE if you want to take a look.

Anyways whilst in WH Smiths this other week I spotted Healthy, I've never seen this magazine before and I was looking for some new reading material.  It also happened to come with a full size tube of an Dr Organic eye serum called Organic Rose Otto Eye Serum.  How handy is that? Mine mine Mine!!!

Rose has anti-aging properties and has been used for centuries as a skin care product.  It will tone, smooth, soften, firm and can prove skin texture.  That's a lot of great things that we all crave in a skincare.

The eye serum itself is an intensely hydrating overnight serum with a formula to help tackle the onset of wrinkles.   Minimising fine lines fights,  under-eye puffiness and dark circles, refreshes tired lines and eye lives. It softens the skin, stimulating cell regeneration to relax and revitalise.

I love that this is a vegan and organic product... There are no harsh chemicals or animal ingredients.   Dr Organics source the highest quality natural raw ingredients.  I do like mindful caring brands.

I have been using this for a few weeks now and I do think I look smoother and more plump under the eyes.  I'm not sure if it's my imagination but I swear the texture looks younger!! This does however have a strong rose scent (obviously being a rose product) so this might be a tad overwhelming for some.  I initially found a bit much but you get accustomed to it and don't notice it.

This on the shelves costs approx. £10.50 and that's great value for for a free magazine gift.  A full size 15 ml tube I might add too.  When I run out I'd quite happily buy this myself.

Pop along to Holland and Barrett to buy your own tube or pick up online HERE.

Ax
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Sunday, 22 February 2015

Banana Oat Cookies


There is always a time when I just crave something naughty, be it a woman thing or just fancy a pig out... you know how it is.  However this can be difficult if you are attempting to live a healthy life style and not to eat so much crap.  I am up to day 21 of entering my daily food in take in to My Fitness Pal.   Not a naughty thing has crossed my lips with the exception of a piece of dark chocolate now and again.  But day 21 has proved challenging.  So with some very ripe bananas I did some baking.  But healthy baking I might add and yes there is such a thing.

What you'll need ingredients wise are...

3 cups of porridge oats
3 large or 3 1/2 small ripe bananas (ripe being the KEY word there)

That's it!!  That is all you need.  However you can add some optional extras like the following...

Nuts: almonds/pecans/walnuts
Chocolate chips: dark/milk/white
Coconut flakes
Vanilla or Almond extract
Dried fruit: cranberries/sultanas/raisins

If you include an optional extra, you need to add 1/2 a cup.  

In my cookies I added a TBS of nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla extract and 1/2 cup of raisins.

Equipment you need is a food processor, measuring cups, baking trays, a large bowl and wooden spoon.

1.  Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
2.  In a food processor blend your oats in to flour.  Some little lumps are OK so don't worry about it being perfect.
3.  In a large bowl place your peeled bananas and mash them up until smooth.
4.  Add your oat flour - at this point I threw in my 1/2 cup of dried fruit, cinnamon/nutmeg and and a TBS of vanilla extract.
5.  Combine together with a wooden spoon, then on your greased baking tray (I sprayed mine with Fry Light) place balls of the mixture.  Flatten each one with a fork.
6.  Place into the oven for 15 minutes.

Now take them out and let them cool.  Then enjoy them with a cuppa.


You will have these cookies prepped, baked and eaten within 30 minutes.  Or if you cannot eat them all at once, they will keep for about 10 days in an air tight container.  They may not look the nicest but they taste pretty darn good plus they are better than a Mars bar!!

Ax
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Wednesday, 18 February 2015

The Lazy Girls Makeup Removal


We've all had it... you've crept in to bed with a full face of makeup on.   You're comfortable and settled...  you don't want to get out of your warm cosy bed.  So how on earth do you remove the face you are wearing??  What do you use??

Cue the handy award winning bottle named Bioderma H2O Micelle Solution.  Heard of it??  Of course you have...  I love to have a bottle of Bioderma beside my bed.  I opt for the Sebium version,  as this is made specifically for oily combination skin types. They also have two other versions: sensitive (hydrabio/blue cap) and normal (sensibo/red cap).

I'm not quite sure what the magic ingredients are that make this so good, but all makeup seems to not stand a chance against it.  A cleanser toner product all in one, it's  very simple to use.   Grab a cotton pad,  soak it and wipe.  You repeat the process until cotton pad appears clear.  It removes all foundations/blush/concealer/eyeshadows (including creams) but I do find you have to really work at waterproof mascaras as they are quite stubborn.

You are left with no residue, it doesn't dry your skin and I always find my skin is very smooth afterwards. The best thing is there is no need to rinse the skin, perfect for the girl who doesn't want to get out of bed.

I need to go shopping for a new bottle as mine is rather empty...  you can pick up your own bottle HERE at Escentuals.

Ax
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Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Heart and Home Candles


My hubby will tell ya I'm addicted to candles and I will openly say it.  Hi my name is Angela and I have an addiction to candles, especially yummy scented ones!!!  A while back whilst out with the mother at an gardening centre,  we discovered a new brand (well new to her and me) of lovely candles. 

Wowed by the cute packaging, we gave them a sniff.  We didn't stop the sniffing session for about 10-15 minutes...  they smelt soooooo good.  I knew I had to buy some but there was a big choice that all smelt so good.  It was very difficult just to stick to two but I finally opted for Baked Apple and Jasmine Daydream. 

Baked Apple smells likely freshly baked apple pie.  If you had the pie and the candle next to one another and you were blind folded,  I'm not sure you would be able to tell the difference.  I totally recommend it. 

Jasmine is one of my favourite scents,  if I see it growing I have to give the plant a sniff.   Jasmine Daydream captures the true fragrance of a Jasmine much like the Baked Apple.  There entire range smells so good and I'd certainly buy more. 

Ax 

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Monday, 16 February 2015

Cooking Inspiration


I love planning and putting together meals, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Being creative is great and I completely encourage it in any shape or form and of course in the kitchen.  After time we may end up feeling uninspired and because of this sometimes meals can become repetitive and boring. No one likes to eat the same meals day in day out do they??

These days many look to the internet for inspiration but I like the old traditional way of grabbing a book.  Will books exist in years to come??? Any ways I picked up this book Five Ingredients, Ten Minutes by Jules Clancy in Home Sense a few months ago.  The name and the fact it only takes ten minutes to knock up the dishes in this book grabbed my attention.

If you are looking for fast not very good for you meals, then this is not for you.  Each recipe in the book contains only five ingredients and are healthy and delicious.  I'll be honest and tell you that some are a little basic, however you could perhaps add a few extra ingredients if you fancy.  As for getting the dishes ready in ten minutes...I'm not the most skilled knifes-men and I'd rather keep all my fingers in tacked...but that said if your organised you can easily get the meal done in that time.

The book contains lots of pictures so you can see what the finished result will be and the instructions are easy to follow.  There are also variations in case you are fussy and don't like a particular items on the list.  Any one should be able to make these meals as most ingredients are likely to be in you fridge/freezer or stored in your kitchen cupboards.

I completely recommend this book if you are looking for some healthy eating clean meal recommendations.  You can pick up your copy from Amazon right HERE.

Ax

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Friday, 13 February 2015

Space NK Haul Purchases



Hey ... so I have to laugh at myself before I get on with this post. Like a complete idiot I had this Space NK haul blog post semi ready to be posted in November.  Did I remember to finish and hit the publish button??  No! I'm a bit useless sometimes but nevertheless here is what I bought in whenever it was last year.

NARS - Larger than Life Eyeliner in Via Appia | LINK
I LOVE my Via Vento liner... the black shade to you and I.  It has excellent staying power on the lash line and even when you tight line.  This is great news for us oily skin girls.  You can easily smudge it for a smokey look, then it sets like glue!  I 
sometimes struggle to remove it in the evenings.  With this in mind it was a no brainer to buy the brown version Via Appia. 

Caudalie - Beauty Excilir | LINK
Is this a repurchase because I love this stuff and can't quite put my finger on why.  It's just a lovely product.  It sets makeup and it refreshes the skin.  It also smells great and leaves your skin feeling good.  Victoria Beckham is supposedly a fan, so if it works for her... I'm going to keep on using it.  I always buy myself the small bottles as the are the approved travel size of under 100mls.

Orbie - Dry Texturising Spray | LINK
The hype of this product lead me to buy this. It wasn't on my shopping list at all but I saw a mini version of the can at the tills and thought why not give it a whirl.  This tiny can cost me £19.00, yep you read it right. £19.00!!!!  And that's for the small can, the large one was £38.00...god knows why!?!?  I've used this a few times and it does give you great texture.  However I also found it made my roots feel greasy.  I'm not going to buy this again, I'd rather stick to a sea salt spray.

By Terry - Ombre BlackStar in Misty Rock | LINK
Expensive?  Yes.  Gorgeous, lovely and stunning?  HELL YES!!  Worth it?  Yes and no.  I'm totally willing to expand my collection... Slowly due to the price however there are probably cheaper alternatives out there for half the price.  Due to my oily lids, I have to prime them first before using this.  If I don't I get creasing unfortunately. But the colour and look you can create is stunning.  A subtle brown smokey eye that I have been wearing pretty much everyday for months.

Have you bought any goodies lately??

Ax


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Wednesday, 11 February 2015

On the face recently....


On the face this week I've been wearing one newbie and some oldies.  I thought I'd give the low down and share my opinion on them for you.  So here goes...

MAC Mineralised Blush - Warm Soul | LINK
If I got asked the question "What's your favourite MAC blush?" my answer would be Warm Soul. I haven't got this out in a while but I was having a rummage and picked it out. I had been feeling a lacking of colour on my cheeks and this always does the trick. I like using this as a bronzer style blush mainly.  I apply it far back on my cheeks (think tip of eyebrow to ear lope distance)... This for me isn't an apple of the cheeks kind of blush. I also brush the excess powder on my temples.  Hey presto... A warmer face.  It is expensive but it'll last you forever - mine has.

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara | LINK
Like all the other women in Great Britain I headed out and bought my own copy of Elle Magazine as this mascara was with the current issue.  Have I looked at the magazine yet?  Nope...it's all been about the mascara, Natural, full-ish lashes which are separated and lifted.  I really quite like it but I'm not sure I'd buy the full size tube due to the price tag attached to it sadly.  Booooo!!

Clarins Natural Lip Protectors - Apricot Shimmer | LINK
Since I bought this in September last year it has not left my handbag.  Why on earth it took me so long to get on the end of Natural Lip Protector conga line, god knows!!!  But I'm glad I'm on it now because this is lovely.  Glossy without the ickly stickiness, subtle colours and good for your lips.  I'd certainly buy more if it run out.

Estee Lauder DayWear Advanced Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant Creme | LINK
I got this a while back as a gift with purchase sample and it is one of them samples you wish it could last a little longer.  It does have the longest name ever I think but a part from that, it's a really luscious crème to slap on the face in the mornings.  Even though it is thick in consistency, it is absorbed in no time at all.  It leaves your skin plump, moisturised and generally refreshed.  Bonuses are it smells pretty good and has a SPF 25 too.  Any takers - me!

MAC Eyeshadow Palette - Misc. Colours | LINK
I have so many unloved MAC eyeshadows, I thought it was time to dust them off and give them a hug.  A few years ago I went through a craze of buying a MAC shadow every week it seems.  I have so many and it will take me years to get through them all.  I have some great shades and its a shame to leave them neglected.  Makeup tutorial any one??

So that is what I have been wearing recently.... how about you?  What have you got on your face at the moment?

Ax


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Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara


Well hello Keira Knightley.  You're looking mighty fine today!

I think every woman and their dog has raced to get the latest copy of Elle magazine ....due to small fact that this months free goodie is indeed the newest mascara from Benefit.  Do I hear a Ooooooo!!

The Roller Lash has yet to be released which probably increased the interest.  So any way like a lone sheep I followed the herd of women and bought myself a copy. I tossed the magazine to the side and got wearing this as soon as I could.

Let's first tall wand/brush... It's a plastic comb style wand which is slightly curved in shape.  Each side of the wand has different lengths of bristles.   I like this fact as I like to wiggle my wands and rotate them when I apply mascara.

I find personally wiggling and rotating gets the best affect,  as it coats every lash from the base to the tip  which is what we want hey ladies???


The finished look is very natural, lifted and separated application.  This above is just one application and I hadn't curled my lashes either.  I quite like the finished look! ! !




You can grab a fall size tube online and in stores on February 12th when it comes rolling out on to the shelves. Corny joke I know!

Ax


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Monday, 9 February 2015

Salmon Feta Green Salad



I sometimes find with my cooking it works best when I'm winging it.  Literally throwing ingredients together in the pan.  This is what this dish is and it worked out quite well if I say so myself.  I ate it all...not a piece left behind.  What's great about this dish it is super healthy and contains less than 10 items.  What's also good about this meal - you get a good balance of nutrients, omega 3, protein, vitamin B12 and lots more healthy nutrients for all the vegetables.

I had a cooked piece of salmon in my fridge from the day earlier which I needed to use.  Plus kale and brussel sprouts.  So here is what I used and what I did with them.

My pre-cooked salmon piece from the night earlier - flake this into small pieces
Kale - two cups/handfuls and remove the hard stork. Rinse it too!
A small carrot - peeled and chopped thinly.
Half a courgette (it was a left over in the fridge) - slice this up
Brussel Sprouts - approx.10-15 of them.  Chopped off the base and peel, then shred them up
Feta Cheese - 20g serving (as this is a meal for one)
Salt/Pepper/Garlic - for seasoning

Firstly peel and chop the base off your brussels, shred them in to pieces and place them into a microwavable bowl.  Half submerge them in water and place in to the microwave for 5 minutes.  You can steam if you want but for speed, microwave is fine.

In a big pan cook your finely chopped courgette and peeled and chopped carrot to soften.  Then throw in your rinsed kale.  Because it is wet, when you throw this in the pan with your courgette and carrot - it will start to steam it, which you want.

When the brussels are cooked, sieve them to drain the excess water.  Before adding to the pan, add salt/pepper/garlic (I used powdered garlic) to the brussels.  Put in to the pan and stir away!!!  You want to keep it on the heat until the brussels don't look so wet and soggy any more.

Once done, remove from the heat and place in your serving bowl.  Throw on top your salmon and the feta cheese which is best to crumble in to pieces.

Give it a stir and eat like a hungry horse.

That's it, A salmon and feta 'green salad', but there is no actual salad...it's all vegetables!  Try it people, you'll like it.  I promise!!

Ax
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Sunday, 8 February 2015

Sunday Rambles



We're eight days into February and I'm only just posting a post. Sooooorrrrrrrry. I literally have had no time to myself.  Get up, eat, go to work, come home, cook dinner, attempt to do something productive, cuddle the cat.... then fall asleep in to a coma-like sleep.  I've had it written all week on a post-it ... must do blog post....must do video for youtube.  However it just did not happen.  I'm so naughty and I apologise.

Right now I'm pretty proud of myself because as you can probably tell my blog has had a spring clean / make over.  It only been a year since my last paint job on the blog but I wasn't that happy with it.  If you're not happy with something - change it.  Right???  So I did.  Also if you read my All Change Here post HERE you'd know the change was kind of coming. 

So anyway after what feels like forever staring at the computer screen last night, trying to learn another language (that being HTML) I finally finished creating my new blog layout.  All thanks to PIPDIG.  I managed to work out how to install it with their instructions, which they provide you at the time of purchase.  But the can do it all for you, if need be.  I'll be honest I'm no IT geek and I managed just fine.  I totally recommend them.

Another Sunday rumble is I did for the second time the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred DVD.....holy cr@p that DVD kills.  But why does it kill?  Because it works you out.  And I certainly need working out. Lol.

Tonight I'm off out with the folks to see Collabro play at the London Palladium.  It should be a good night.  I might even sneak into Whole Foods if I have time hehe.

How are you on this fine Sunday eve?

Ax
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