Thursday, 30 April 2015

Life Lately #04.15


Two posts in one day? Oh yes...that's right!  What an excellent way to finish off the month of April blog posts than none other than my life late post.  Here’s a little round up for the month of April.

Sewing Classes
On April 17th I attended a evening sewing class at Sew Over It.  It was a three hour class teaching the basics of loading a bobbing and threading your machine. Plus you got to make a envelope cushion (see top left picture) with a choice of fabrics which covered the studio walls – heaven!!  The classes are small (there was 8 ladies) and we were all eager beavers to learn which was nice.  I have to say I was so proud of myself after I finished my cushion, as it felt like a real achievement that I’d made something with my own bare hands.  I'm attending two more follow up classes in the beginning of May where I will make and create a tote bag plus a makeup bag with a zip!!  I can't wait.

Reading
I feel like it has been ages since I read a book.  I've been reading sewing books quite a lot but I haven't read any fiction in a while.  Sometimes it’s the pain in the backside of having to lug around a beast of book around with you - that puts me off.  Yes I could buy a Kindle or read off an iPad – but to me real reading should use an actual book.  Will books die out like CD’s?  I just picked up Paula Hawkins The Girl on The Train which I need to start getting down and dirty with.  I've heard this is meant to be a great thriller and it's apparently going to be made in to a movie.  

Water
Lately I have really attempted to up my water intake as I can lack in it sometimes.  I'm not a tea or coffee drinker so I literally only drink water.  I'm trying to carry a bottle around with me where ever I go and it seems to help.

Getting Fit – Again
After jumping up 8lbs in what feels like over night I am well truly sorting myself out.  I'm only 5’1 so as you can imagine 8lbs on a small petite frame sticks out like a sore thumb.  I'm getting to grips with eating clean plus ditching sugar (oh boy the headaches), I'm also getting out walking now we have sunshine until about 8pm.  I've been using my Fit Bit One to track my steps and the miles I'm walking as I think it helps to see it be recorded.  I just need to dust my fitness DVDs off.

Fuzzy Brain
I'm not sure if it’s where I'm cutting calories but I keep getting a fuzzy head where I feel off balance.  I can often feel that way with my anxiety but I feel fine currently so I’m not sure why I feel odd in the head.  If it persists I’ll have to get a blood test or something to have a closer look but hopefully fingers crossed it will disappear on its own.

What did your get up to in April?? 

Ax

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Clarins Skincare Haul


Between you and me (don't tell anyone) I have to admit that I'm slowly becoming a Clarins junkie.  Thats right.  I have a small growing addiction which isn't too wise for my credit card, but it's our little secret right??  Here are my new goodies from this popular French brand.

Clarins Double Serum | LINK 
I'm almost out of my other bottle of this so I decided to stock up on the bigger bottle.  Ever since this award winning anti-aging serum hit the beauty shelves I've wanted to try it.  I've used other famous skincare serums notably the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair, which I've never fallen head over heels for.  This serum is a duo phase formula which is held in two separate tubes... Press the pump the both appear just like magic.  If I had a choice between the Estee Lauder and Clarins I would always knock Estee to the kerb.  The packaging is far more user friendly plus I always reach for it morning and night over Estee.  Sorry Estee!!  #sorrybutnotsorry
Please note this does cost a small fortune but hey it's far cheaper than botox or a face-lift!

Clarins Multi-Active Early Wrinkle Correction Day Cream | LINK
I got a free to teenie tiny sample of this a few weeks ago and I have really enjoyed how it makes my skin feel and look.  I have been trying to actively prevent wrinkles and any signs of aging basically.  It smells lovely, sinks into the skin fast and your skin looks fresh and plump when using it which makes me look far younger... Yes please.  I use this after the serum in the morning.  The only downside is there is no SPF in it.  Save up for this as you won't get much change back from a £50 note.

Clarins Instant Concealer shade 1 | LINK
I've heard lots of good things about this new-ish concealer.  Specifically created for those who suffer with dark circles.  It refreshes and fights fatigue. It's long wearing and smoothes the skin.  The consistency is light but covers well.  However I do personally find it settles in to my fine lines just a wee bit.  The colour selection is poor with only 3 to select from plus it is also quite pricey at £21.50 for a tiny tube.

That is it folks.  Do you have any Clarins recommendations??

Ax
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Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Wardrobe Cleanse


The other day I was putting my clean clothes away in my wardrobe.  I stood back...  staring at it thinking to myself 'oh my days, what a mess' see inserted picture above.   My precious wardrobe is a giant pit of hangers and clothing which some have certainly been loved to death literally and perhaps others items don't get the love they actually deserve.

With Spring well and truly in the air I had a spring clean of my wardrobe (or closet ;-)) here my tips to a better healthy cleaner looking wardrobe.

Get It All Out
The first step is to see what you have.  Get it all out on to the bed (or floor) and if need be clean the wardrobe...it gets dusty in there too.  From experience you cannot have a good clear out without making big mounds of clothes on the bed!  Make piles of jeans, skirts dresses etc and look at it.  Do you own two similar skirts...do you need them both??

Stop Being Sentimental
Fact - I still own some clothes that I purchased around or over 10 years ago.  Do I still wear them?  When it comes to most items I'd probably say no.  Why do I still own them?  God knows.  Clothes can bring back memories - some good and some bad, but is it necessary to keep it cluttering an already small space?  Let's be realistic....it's time to say farewell.

Organisation
An obvious point to make but a good one.   Most of my clothes are work related... skirts,  black trousers, some nice tops - you get the jist.  I have all these items in one section on the left but in groups of skirts, tops,  cardigans, trousers etc.  I then have sections of casual hanging tops, dresses and trousers.  Not jeans just linen style trousers that must hang up.  Then to the far left I have fancy date night dresses.  I prefer to store mine in type of items instead of colour.

Reverse Hanger Trick
You've been through all your clothes and you hang on to an item as you 'think' you may wear it one day.  Put it back into your wardrobe with the hanger point/tip facing towards you.  Then on your phone diary set up a reminder for 3 to 6 months time to pop back to that said item.  If your hanger is still facing that way, you'll know you haven't worn it.  Let it go, let it goooooo.

Seasonal Clothes 
Unfortunately I am not blessed with a walk in wardrobes or a huge American style closet (oh I wish).  I have one average sized wardrobe from Ikea (in case you are wondering it's a custom made Pax in oak).  When it's winter I store summer clothes in clothes boxes on top of the wardrobes themselves, as it's the best option for me.  I use the Ikea Garnityr range as they are pretty and colours are fresh.

Keep, Give Away, Donate
When going through your clothes make three piles.  The keep pile, the give away to family and friends pile and the donate to charity pile.  Be ruthless and realistic.  Have you worn it recently and do you plan to wear it soon?  Anything you have not touched in 6 months needs to go -  let's be honest... why keep it?  Donate it so someone else who can enjoy it.

Saying Goodbye
You have your charity bag.  Look at the items and think 'would you buy this in a charity shop?'  If it has holes in it,  looks worn to death and discoloured is it fair to donate it?  Toss it out.  Give charity shops items they can actually sell on.

I hope these tips help you with your spring cleaning.

Ax
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Friday, 24 April 2015

Lush | Sex Bomb Bath Bomb



l had a Lush bath bomb bath last night and I just had to share this.  I popped Sex Bomb in the bath and looked what happened? Like a sad crazy woman I went running for my camera to capture it (as you do).  I thought the affect it left in the water was rather cool.  What do you think?

After spending some time appreciating the beauty my bath bomb had created,  I hopped in for my long deserved soak.  With dimmed lighting,  some candles and relaxing music (thunderstorms,  waterfalls and singing birds anyone??) I drifted away relaxing in a cocoon of warmth.

I love this bath bomb when I need a relaxing chill out,  as it hits the nail on the head every time!

Ax
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Monday, 20 April 2015

Giving To Those In Need


This is such a random post but hey I'm a random person after all, who is attempting to spread goodness everywhere I go like a fairy and her fairy dust.  Yesterday I did my weekly shop in Tesco.  By the way FYI this is not sponsored at all by Tesco,  I just happened to be there - next time I might choose Sainsbury or Waitrose.   Anyways I walked in the door armed with my trolley, shopping list and reusable bags.... I love my reusable bags!!!  Whenever I go shopping I see the charity basket where you donate food.  I've always wanted to do my bit,  but in all honesty the time I reach the checkout at the end I've forgotten all about it. 

Yesterday I spotted the basket and added to my shopping list as a reminder to pick up some extra goodies.  I did just that... tomato spaghetti,  dried pasta and rice plus cereal.  I didn't spend a mass of money because to help others sometimes you don't need to.   The other week I spent £2 in a charity shop buying old pillow cases to practice my sewing skills on -  everyone is a winner! 

I'm quite good when it comes to charity... any decent clothes or home goods I no longer want I give to charity shops.  I could sell things myself on eBay for example but that's my way of helping with charities.  The thing that gets me most though, is I always get caught with no spare change in my purse.  There is always a charity pot at my London station and I never have spare change.... I always feel so guilty when I walk by not giving :-(

I am thinking of doing a 5km charity run this summer.  I've always wanted to try to do one and I think this year will be my year - again everyone is a winner.  Exciting times ahead people!!  

Just remember you don't have to give an arm and a leg to help others.  Sometimes small gestures have the biggest impact!! 

Ax
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Friday, 17 April 2015

Coconut Oil - What's the deal?


I think 10 years ago no one really knew what the deal was about coconut oil.  But now the stuff is everywhere.  It's such a versatile product - you can eat it, rub over you body and use it in your hair plus you can use it as a mouth wash!  Yes really.

Solid at room temperature with a creamy texture -  it only needs a gentle rub with warm hands or 30 seconds in the microwave then you are in business!  Using coconut oil has many benefits for the body both inside and out.  It is well and truly the winner of most amazing product in my eyes.  I'm going to mention a few uses and benefits.... but the actual list is wayyyyyy bigger.  Here are some great uses and benefits for yummy delicious coconut oil.

The Body
As I said above the oil can provide great benefits inside and outside the body.  Yes coconuts are fatty but it's the kind of fat it offers - GOOD FATS!  Good fats are essential for living... You cannot cut them out all together -  just like carbs. Your body depends on them.  Research says coconut oil is great for a healthy heart,  glowing skin, combating fungi imbalance aka thrush, digestion - it's a source of fiber and it's hydrating. Coconut water is another big thing hitting our shelves -  have you noticed??  The coconut provides tonnes of goodness. 

Hair 
Want shiny soft hair... well coconut oil should be your friend for life.  Packed full of moisture it'll make dry fizzy hair soft and looking very glad indeed.  I've read (not tried it myself)  you can use it as a hair mask by applying to the hair then letting it sit for a while to work it's magic.  Give it a rinse and ta-dah soft silky hair. 

Nails Care    
There is no need to buy cuticle oil any more. As this softens and hydrates the skin it is perfect for the nails.  After doing a little research I read that it can also combat fungi.... fungal nails any one??? 

Hydrating The Skin
Fresh glowing skin is on everyone's want list and it is certainly on mine.  Coconut oil can help with that.  I love using my oil after a shower...  I put little in my hand and my body temperature melts it down whilst I'm massaging it into my body. Bonuses you smell soooooo good... Yummy! It is especially good for elbows, knees and feet as they are very prone to being dry.

Digestion/Diet Aid/Weightloss
Ask yourself this?  On tropical Islands where coconuts are consumed in abundance by islanders have you ever seen them to be overweight??  No one on tropical islands of paradise are ever fat! So true!!  Coconut can help you burn fat and not just any fat - the fat that gathers internally around your organs.  This kind of fat is dangerous and can lead to heart disease/heart attacks.

I've been using this oil from Boots (see picture) -  you cannot eat this one (not sure why you can't) and I also have another one for cooking which I picked up in good old Tesco.

Click HERE if you fancy picking up a jar of your own.

Ax
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Tuesday, 14 April 2015

& Other Stories Makeup Tools


& Other Stories is a store I've heard about quite frequently from the likes of Anna and Lily on YouTube.  I work in London but I've never managed to get there... until now.  A little jolly after work to Oxford Circus and I found a little mecca of gorgeous outfits,  adorable petite jewellery pieces... and the beauty section.  I held myself back from going too crazy but I did pick up these two makeup brushes. 


I was attracted to quite a lot of the brushes they sold,  but I was good and only bought two brushes that I felt like I didn't already own something simular from another brand.  First up the Smudge Brush (link HERE) I like this a lot as is (to me anyway) a slightly bigger verion of the Real Technicals Accent brush.  I LOVE that brush but I can be a tad small.  This is the perfect size. 

Finally I have an Angled Eye Liner Brush (which had no link doh!).  Am I sad to admit I have wanted an angled brush for years??  I love gel eye liner especially cat eye looks but I'm not the best at putting the stuff on.  I tried this brush once so far and it is a dream to use.  The cat eye I did almost looked professional!!  I'm so glad I picked this up. 

Their brushes are really good quality and they are cheap too at under £10 each.  I certainly recommend giving them a try.  Have you picked up any new brushes lately?  What's your favourite brush EVER?!? 

Ax



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Sunday, 12 April 2015

Back On The Wagon!!


Oh dear, so I let things slip a little and I have put on a few pounds.  A few pounds is not technically a big deal...but for the last few weeks (that being 3 of them) I haven't really been in the right frame of mind to eat good.  I haven't exercised properly, not kept a log of what I eaten and just be a bit of a little miss piggy to be frank.

This morning whilst attempting to have a lay in (unsuccessfully when your cat is sleeping on back - true story) I got thinking that summer is only around the corner.  I was watching the Tone It Up ladies on their YouTube channel and they are starting the 8 week bikini series.  I don't think I'll participate in the actual series but I'm going to sort my crap out.  They have inspired me to get off my butt and change.  I mean they are friggin sexy man!  Anyways I don't want to feel like whale on the beach this summer...so to cut a loooong story short - I'm going to starve myself.  No really I won't do that but I got a do something.

Today's breakfast was healthy banana pancakes (click HERE for info on how to make them) and a smoothie...probably too much but hey am only on day one.  Tomorrow I will do a quick exercise DVD before work....got a get my jelly belly gone!

Are you getting fit and in shape for summer?  What are your plans?

Ax
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Friday, 10 April 2015

New Topshop Shoes


Hands up if you find shoe shopping an effort?  A chore?  Aye, I certainly do.  If life was perfect I'd be able to walk into one shop and find what I need in one hit.  If I need new shoes  I usually either go to Tesco or Primark as that's as far as I like to venture to these days.  I can't remember the last time I went crazy in the shoe aisle.

A few weeks/months ago I saw Ingrid in one of her video talking about her Vans and I quite liked the look of hers.  I kept it in my mind that one day I'd like my own Vans.   Then one day at band camp... Wait no actually at Topshop I made a discovery - Van shoe look-alikes!!  I then bought three pairs of the same shoe... Yes I am one of those people that if I find a shoe I like... I buy pretty much every colour I can find.  Sad I know.  But at £20 a pop it's technically not a bad investment.

These for me kind of resemble primary school plimsolls (remember those) however these are way more cool!  I'm getting fancy look-alike Van style shoes for peanuts too.   Win win!  I also like that these are not trainers,  very causal and stylish. Here are the shoes I got. 


Tiga Slip On Skater Snake skin shoes - HERE
random black and white snake skin (faux of course) I was intially drawn to these for the style.  I kind of thought why not give you a go as it's something different!  When I wear them people always very complimentary on the way they look. 


I also bought the Scuba Skater HERE, the material to me resembles a wet suit -  rubber spongy in texture.  Sounds weird but looks good,  so who cares. 


Finally... I also bought faux fur skaters (couldn't find a link -  sorry).  At 31 I never thought I would like faux fur shoes lol.  They definitely were not on my wish list.  But hey I'm trying to be more stylish and be down with the kids! 


So that's it... I'm in a shoe band for the rest of the year.  Would you wear any of these?  Do you like the style? 

Ax
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Thursday, 9 April 2015

Benefit | Crescent Row Perfumes


If there was an award for the cutest perfume packaging (no doubt there probably is somewhere) then I'd give it to the Benefit Cosmetics 'Crescent Row' line.  Small gold cocktail shaker style bottles... How cure are they????  I currently own two Benefit scents and here's what I think of them.

First up let's start with Laugh With Me LeeLee (R), Out of the duo LeeLee is the most fruity floral scent.  It kind of reminds me of Delicious by DKNY. Light fruity with a slight hint of floral, it's very fresh and has spring time written all over it!!

Now Under My Spell Noelle (L) is the complete opposite to LeeLee.  This is more warm,  woody... exotic...  sexy smelling.  I've never sniffed any thing else like this... I love it.   I think it is more a colder months of the year scent,  but I still love using it in spring summer.

Each one is £29.50 for only 30ml which is an ok cost to pay.  I think the packaging is cute like I already mentioned but I also love is the longevity.  It lasts,  honest it really does!!!

I have given See and Be Seen Sasha a sniff and I quite like that one...  but I have got to first use and finish two perfume bottles I have in my collection first before I treat myself to any more.  That's the rules!!

You can buy them both HERE at Benefit.  Happy shopping if you decide to buy! !

Ax
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Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Hauling at Superdrug


This little haul is a little late to grace the blog with its presents.... but hey the products are still out there to be bought - So why not try and persuade you to buy them??!! Hehe I'm so evil!  Here is what I got... oh and PS Bourjois were doing buy two get the second half price... So as you can imagine I went nuts :-)


Sleek Blush - Pomegranate  | HERE
Believe it or not this is the first ever Sleek blush I have tried.  I wanted to try a shade that was different from your bog standard pink. Pomegranate is a plum like shade and pretty much resembles the shade of the outside of pomegranate... hence the name.  You have to be careful with this as it's pigmentation is strong.  And by that I mean strong!  You only need the smallest amount to get a bold look.  Probably not the best shade choice if you have light skin tone  but warm to dark skin tones can rock this shade out!! 
Barry M Speedy Quick Dry - Pit Stop | HERE
I'm awful at smudging my polish whilst it's drying so when I saw Barry M 'Speedy Quick Dry'  I did a hop skip and a jump to get a look at them.  I pretty much own nearly every colour in existence but I opted for Pit Stop which is a creamy lilac mauve shade, which is pretty nice.  Perfect for the spring.

Bourjois Colourband  Eye Crayon - Rose Fauviste  | HERE
I think the older I get, the lazier I have become with eyeshadows.  I love easy crayon pencil like eyeshadows where you literally draw on your lid.  Just like the By Terry Ombre Blackstar but much cheaper.  I'm a sucker for rose gold shades and this colour Rose Fauviste hits the nail on the head in the colour department.  Plus mega bonus included when it comes to longevity... It lasts for ages!!!  Surprising indeed for a high street buy.  Love it!

Bourjois Volume 1 Second Mascara - Ultra Black | HERE
The strangest wand/brush in the land, plus I didn't really need it but hey every girl needs an extra tube of mascara laying around don't they??  I've used it a few times already and I quite like it.  You can achieve quite a nice look with just one application and it gets all my lashes from root to tip which gets the thumbs up from moi!  Random thought though, the ultra black shade?  Is there such a thing?  Looks black to me?!

Bourjois Feutre Eyeliner - Noir/Black | HERE
When it comes to my cat eye liner looks, my skills are about a grade F - F for fail... I'm just rubbish.  I find felt tip liners really help to try and attempt to get a good-ish liner look.  The tip is hard but slightly bendy (sounds so rude my apologises) plus it doesn't put too much liquid on the lid.  It also dries quite quick for a gal on the go like myself.  No fanning it dry!

Bourjois Happy Light Foundation | HERE
I had to repurchase this as I loooooove it.  I won't talk about it too much as I have written about this before a few months ago.  My review is right HERE.

So thats it....do I have a shopping addiction?  Yes I think so.  Oops!  You bought anything lately?

Ax
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Sunday, 5 April 2015

The Little Things


Sometimes in life it is the little things that make a huge difference.  With the Easter holidays coming to a close, I have felt the massive benefit of having a break.  Four days might not seem a lot, but I didn't realise I felt so over worked and completely overloaded.  To actually spend time at home and not have a place to be, has really just released me.  It might sound weird to say I feel 'released' but, when you're someone who is overwhelmed with feelings and emotions - the release is an amazing feeling.  A weight on your shoulders lifts and you instantly feel lighter.  I can hand on heart say I have come out of the other side when it comes to my stress anxiety.

This Easter I have done nothing.  Well that's a fat lie, I have eaten my body weight in chocolate!!!  I have also attempted to make a woven rug (more on that later), spring cleaned, filmed some videos.  I have also reorganised my wardrobe and put together a charity bag of bits and pieces that need a new loving home.  I feel so much better now that I'm feeling normal again.  I just need to get my eating back on track and get rid of the pot belly that I gained in March.  My stress anxiety really made me not give a monkeys about what I ate.  I still ate my salads but sugar has been calling my name big time...so I need to knock that on the head.

Tomorrow I'm going to go on nice long hike with the hubby...wellies, winter jackets, mud, puddles...therapeutic time.  I love being out doors and now the weather is some what nice I'm taking advantage.  Nature is the best cure for lifes ups and downs.

I hope you're having an amazing Easter!!

Ax
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