Monday, 22 June 2015

Currently Wearing #1



Hello long time no blog post.  I was recently on my holidays and decided to take a break.  I did plan to do a holiday series but a break entirely felt like a much better option.   So now I'm back plus we have a name change. My social media ie twitter and instagram have also been updated along with my Bloglovin.  I would love and appreciate it very much if you keep following me on the blogging journey.   

Any way on to the post. 

I have brought a new series to the blog and like the title suggests it's basically a what I'm currently wearing post.  It can be beauty, fashion, perfume and all that good stuff. 

The first installment is from Rimmel London and it's their BB Creams 9 in 1 Skin Perfecting Super Makeup.  This was the 'it' base for me on my holiday.  Light coverage which is buildable to a medium if you so wish.  It has nine amazing benefits, some of those being moisturising, blurring imperfections, mattifying, priming and protecting the skin. 

With SPF 25 this is great at protecting the skin from harmful affects of the sun whilst providing a fantastic base and coverage.  There is a lack of shade choice which is pretty standard from Rimmel to be honest but at £6.99 it's certainly worth a try. 

If you fancy natural glowing makeup for your holidays or your a teenage wanting to try a base for the first time then I completely recommend this. 

I love to use mine with my beauty blender or my hands to apply this just to let you know  :-) 

Ax



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Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Something New


Change is good right??

If you're reading this and have followed my blog for a while, then you'll know by the title of my blog that we have now changed names.  It was fun to write under the name Jolly.Beach.Ang for so many years, however I have been meaning to try something new for a long time.  Jolly.Beach.Ang was always a strange name ... plucking it from complete randomness.  It actually came from the holiday resort Jolly Beach in Antigua in case you ever wondered.  The weird things my little precious mind will come up with....!!!

So without further a do RIP Jolly.Beach.Ang and Hello .. Just Call Me Angela 

It's been a slight up hill struggle due to me attempting to actually find a name.  I had a names then someone decided they wanted it for themselves.  Always the way!

This is the result of change.  I hope you like.

Ax
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Monday, 1 June 2015

Life Lately #05.15



This life lately post is a bit random as half of it was written in the departures gate at the airport and the other half whilst in foreign land far far away.  Italy is pretty far right??  This is a little late being posted because - (1) I'm on my holidays and (2) Internet is a tad none existent.

I don't have the usual lists of everything that I've been up to in May like previous months (see links below) as this month has been more focused on travel and not a huge range of things.

Travel
This has played a big part this month as I knew my holiday was coming up. We (I mean I) came up with the backpacking idea and it's such a cool way to see Europe.  If only I had more time.  I will put up more travel posts but so far it has been amazing.  However I'm a little sunburnt in places...oops.

Relaxing
May is the first time this year I've taken annual leave from work and boy I think my mind and soul are happier because if it.  I'm a all work no play type of girl and it was beginning to show that my body couldn't take much more.  I need to take time out more often for me.

Blogging
I keep having the inner debate with myself about giving up blogging on this site.  There is so much competition now days it's difficult to get a look in.  I wish I could dedicate more time but with a full time job on top I must admit it's a struggle.  With the travel blog now in existence I may give that more of my time.  I'm not sure anyone reads this blog anyways anymore. Sigh!!

Previous monthsJAN | FEB | MAR |APR

Ax
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Thursday, 28 May 2015

Travel Adventure



Our backpacks are packed, our euros are in our wallets, cameras thrown in our hand lauggage and our passports are at the ready.  It's a new travelling adventure.  Yay!! 

Our travels are taking us to Europe this year.   I do love the USA and Thailand/Malaysia etc and I would quite happily go back  -  however with living in the UK I am fortunate to have a mecca of beautiful places in throwing distance of home. 

My travel companion aka the hubby have been adventurous this year.  We booked a one way flight ticket and a Eurostar train ticket home.   Thats it!  The rest will unreveal itself as the holiday goes on.  Such rebels! 

Where has this adventure begun.....  None other than Pisa, Italy! 


We caught a cheap Ryanair flight one way to Pisa, arriving yesterday morning.  We are in prime location for the Tower, good food and gelato! 

I thought I would do a mini series showing our travels - hope you don't mind.  But it's tough if you do mind as I'm doing it any way. Ha! 

Any recommendations for the Italian Rivera?? 

Ax


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Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Tanning Novice



Myself and fake tanning don't usually go well together.  I normally pick too darker of a shade and look like I've been tangoed plus streaks put my right off.  No matter how good I think I am... I'm not!!  Streaks are a complete NIGHTMARE - It's normally why I try to avoid tanning at any cost. 

With my holidays on the horizon (literally!!!) it's time to give my white pasty limbs a seeing to.  Two I like to use, to get a dash of colour are Simple Sun-Kissed (for my face and neck) and Dove Summer Glow (for everything but my face).   Both are moisturisers have added self tanner which develop in a few hours or over night.  Sun-Kissed is especially good as it's made specifically for the face and has lots skin beautifying properties added to it - Pro vitamin B5 anyone?!  The Dove is also fabulous as it has a colour range of fair to medium or medium to dark.  I opt for the lightest...just in case.

These have both been firm favourites for years.... However my only issue with the Dove is the freaking smell.  You don't smell the day you apply this but the day after and the intensity of the smell is ...well quite strong.  There is no lingering stink with Simple which is great (happy dance).

Ax
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Every Day Beauty Essentials


Everyone has them, including the boys -  even though they might not openly admit it.  It's the morning beauty essentials you use without fail to start your day.  These items (some new finds and some used time and time again) I use these without fail. Every single day.... What are they. 

Deodorant - Currently Using: Sanex Roll On | LINK
Considering how many deodorants line the supermarket shelves I always gravitate back to Sanex.  It's a reliable favourite of mine... No stinky pits, no white marks on my black T-shirt, no cold sharp shock from a spray.  I don't find this sticky or too wet after I roll it on and there is no nasty left over residue.  I usually find this lasts so much longer than sprays plus it's so inexpensive you can normally find it in Poundland 

Hydrating Eye Serum - Currently Using: Dr Organic Rose Otto Eye Serum | LINK
I only found this by chance as it was a free magazine gift and glad I did try it.  I really enjoy having this in my skin care routine.  It can be a little too rosy smellings for my liking on occasions but it is light and fast absorbing.  Plus it makes the delicate under eye area feel all lush and plump with hydration.

SPF Moisturiser - Currently Using: More Than One!!  (see below) 
Getting moisture in to my skin and SPF is very important - I don't want skin damage before... well basically before I'm dead!!! I'm currently using two different moisturisers that I have open which are Simple Day Cream and Avene Rich Hydrating Cream.  Both are light on the skin and give great hydration...ooo I love my hydration.  Their SPF factor is not too light and not too high (20 and 30).  I personally feel great protecting my skin from harmful rays whilst moisturising it - two in one SCORE!!!

Anti-Aging Serum - Currently Using: Clarins Double Serum | LINK
One of my greatest fears is to look old and wrinkly before I'm actually meant to.  I've used a lot potions in my life time - creams ... gels ... oils and serums but this famous Clarins Double Serum is my best bud to use.  I find it so much more user friendly in the packaging department which makes it faster to use.  I love the pump!  There is no lingering sticky residue...no one likes that do they!  And most importantly I swear I have seen a difference in my skin!! Yayyy!

Tooth Paste - Currently Using: Colgate Pro Gum Health | LINK 
Not technically your usual beauty essential like the deodorant but essential to life just like water!!  I sometimes have issues with bleeding gums as mine are quite sensitive.  Pro Gum has done wonders for knocking it on the head.  Almost - I still get a little bleeding but not half as much.  Apologises if TMI?!

So those are my essential items but there are a few other goodies I like to use for instance perfume...  but I have that on a constant rotation due to the numerous amount of bottles i'm attempting to get through.   What are your essentials for the day?  Sharing is caring! 

Ax
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Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Sew Over It



There is nothing more appealing for me in life than creating something. Baking it,  sewing it,  knitting it, crocheting it or even  building a Ikea flat pack!  It's all fun and creative.  I've never been artist -  I could probably draw a bowl of fruit but I think that's about it. 

Last weekend I attended Sew Over It -  Intro To Sewing class.  It was a follow-up to my evening class I did a few weeks ago in April.  If you are someone who wants to get a reminder of how and what to do with a sewing machine then a class like this one is the perfect place. 

Before this class all I knew what to do was thread a machine and sew in a straight line and at a push pivot a corner.  This class you get to know fabric,  how to cut it and create lovely items.  Cushions, tote bags and makeup bags.  Zips are explained in detail -  it's not as scary as you think. 

Want to up your knowledge?  Pop along to Sew Over It!! 

Ax
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Monday, 11 May 2015

The Gym Vs At Home Working Out


I recently called it a day with my gym membership, which is a real shame as I actually liked the gym and attended for a number of years.  Yes I did like it.   However it made sense for a few reasons to not renew my subscription (I wish the gym was for free -  just saying).

Now the gym is out of reach I wanted to compare the gym with working out at home which I have been doing - when I remember to!

[GYM] 

Price
It is well known that gym memberships are not exactly cheap.  Some soar so high you kind of expect for the price tag that the equipment to be made out of solid gold. Before signing on the dotted line... do your research.  Search for different gyms -  there might perhaps be a not so known gym on your door step for quarter the price.  Also does your employer have corporate membership?  Ask your HR department.  Plus when you find gyms,  see what they offer.  Check out the class lists if they have a pool, sauna, spa treatments... you might be surprised.  Most gyms make you sign up for one year... so research is very important.

Personal Trainers
Need advice to get your summer body...  gyms have PT's to show you the way.  They can be pricey however and make sure they are qualified, as there are some people out there who like to think they know everything when know sh*t.  They should  be on the registered personal trainers list. A legit trainer will take the time to get to know your needs and wants plus they will access your weight, fat percentage and BMI. If you do invest, try seeing them twice a week for one hour sessions if you can.

Tonnes of Equipment
Yes there is VIPRs, bosu balls, mats, spin bikes, kettle bells, treadmills everywhere you look however there are also other people you have to share them with.  At peak times you may have to line up to use the treadmill which can be frustrating.  Early morning workouts are best and Friday evenings (most people hit the pub on Friday).  I found the worst times Monday evening, lunch time and weekly between 5.30pm - 7.00pm can be a little more frantic.

Classes
Most gyms have a mixture of classes on location.  Spin, LBT (Legs Bums Tums)  boxing, yoga to name a few.  Most are included in your membership fees but there are some that are not.  Reception desk staff at the gym will have all the information for you.  Also for well loved classes you may have to book your spot in advance.

[HOME]

It's Free
The most positive point about working out at home is the money.  You do not have to pay for it as your doing it in your own home. Hipeeee.

Space
This can be an issue depending on your situation.  Unfortunately I don't have a garage, basement or a spare room to call my at home gym space.  If I do a dvd it's in the middle of the living room.  This could obviously be a problem if you flat share with 3 mates!!  I also don't have large equipment at home due to this which is fine.  I just have a little spot in the living room where all my dumbells and kettle bells live which is fine.

Get Outside
I have the privilege where I live to be on the suburbs of London town but be surrounded by green space.  Country parks are perfect for running and cycling but also seeing what nature has to offer.  I much prefer this than being stuck on a treadmill.   The other night whilst running I had the honour of seeing a barn owl fly right in front of me.  Most parks have running clubs which you can join for free or for a small fee.  I have also noticed in my park near me they have monkey bars and other various gym like equipment dotted around.  I also ride my  bike around the parks plus feed the ducks... Everyone is a winner!

Equipment 
I've always done working out at home so over the years I have managed to get myself a collection of dumbells, a decent matt, kettle bells, dvd's... skipping rope to name a few bits and bobs I own.  If you're new to working out at home don't go crazy buying tonnes of things all at once.  Just buy one of each then build up the collection... Amazon, Sports Direct, Argos, Decathlon and even the supermarket have decent work out equipment.  Plus shop around... something I always recommend.  Do not buy big equipment If you have lack of space too!

Enthusiasm
This is the hardest part of working out at home -  having the enthusiasm to actually do so.   It is very easy to say I'll do it later or maybe tomorrow.  You need to keep to a schedule and make the time and effort.  Try a morning workout as you'll get it over and done with plus you'll more than likely be good after wards.

Distraction 
Being focused is key and to keep to your routine - make a plan or list of goals.  Set a time for you time.  The house work will always keep till later!!!

Ax


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Saturday, 9 May 2015

New Read | Amelia Freer - Eat. Nourish. Glow.


I have a new read to share with you, which I think you'll like.  Amelia Freer is a name I've heard quite a bit but never been very sure why her name kept cropping up.  Then I was reading a health article which was discussing new healthy eating and amazing diets -  the 5:2 was mentioned too! 

The article then started talking about Sam Smith and his new healthier look and how he lost 2 or 3 stone (I forget how much it actually is).   Long  story short it was Amelia that changed Sam's life.   Amelia is a fully qualified trained nutritional therapist. Her book covers 10 points and they all talk a lot of sense.   You eat due to boredom and the need for a distraction...  SO TRUE!! 

I'm only a couple of pages on but I can tell this will be life changing read. So I thought I'd share :-)  I will do a more in depth review when I have read more. 

Ax
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Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Spinach Feta Pepper Omelette



There is one meal I like to cook if I'm in that I want to eat it right now and not wait mood.  A healthy omelette.  Most of the time my omelette ends up looking like scrambled eggs, however on this occasion I was successful at making it resemble an actual omelette.  Yay for me. 

Eggs a great source of protein and energy.  This meal/snack is perfect to eat after a work out as the protein from the eggs is used by the body to repair and build muscles.   Hence why body builders love their eggs! 

I love to load my omelette with extra nutritious goodies like pepper, spinach and a few bits of crumbled feta cheese.  I usually add my cheese towards the end so it does not totally melt.. yum yum. 

Are  hungry?  Cannot be bothered to go into much effort for a quick easy meal?  But you want it to be clean and healthy?  Here's an idea for you - an omelette 

What is your favourite healthy quick snack?? 

Ax



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Sunday, 3 May 2015

The C-Word


I just finished watching something amazing, so .... so brilliantly filmed that I had tears streaming down my face and a giant frog in my throat.  The C-Word based on the real life of Lisa Lynch - young, married, successful and breast cancer sufferer.  The BBC adaptation staring Sheridan Smith (she portrays Lisa in such an incredible way) and Paul Nicholls (still hot in case you are wondering) brings to life the journey of Lisa and her husband Peter.  From diagnosis, living with cancer, recovering and finding out the news it has returned and is terminal.

I felt so moved I had to write and share it on the blog.  Her story brings to light that breast cancer or any cancer for that matter doesn't discriminate against age, sex or whether you are good or bad.  It just happens and it sucks.  Lisa created an outlet where she could pen her thoughts, fears and feelings.  Alright Tit is still going strong today with the help of family and friends and it is a great read.  During her treatment she also wrote a book which documents in detail her story.  Her telling her story has helped so many others.

Sadly Lisa lost her fight, but her memory lives on at Alright Tit.  If you're worried about anything, a lump, bump, pain, mole, your big toe - go seek medical help and get it checked.  Always better to be safe than sorry isn't it?! :-)

You can read Lisa Blog Alright Tit HERE and you can buy her book The C-Word HERE.

Ax
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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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Tuesday, 31 March 2015

The Milestone Hotel | Afternoon Tea


Every now again there is nothing better than a real or should I say a 'proper' afternoon tea.  Lots of places seem to have jumped on the popular bandwagon of serving this age old English tradition. On Sunday the hubby took me out for a long over due afternoon tea.  After a little googling looking for top afternoon teas locations in London...the hubby found The Milestone Hotel.  Heard of it ... No?  Join the club.


The Milestone Hotel if I had to describe it,  is a traditional oldie worldly boutique hotel. Sat opposite Kensington Park not too far from Harroads and Harvey Nics it is a real gem.  Inside it feels like a set from Downton Abbey.  Its quaint drawing room style room makes you feel very posh indeed.  You could almost imagine gentlemen in dickie bows strolling around and stepping into the room to have their cigars

The nice thing about the Milestone is you have to book in advance, you cannot just walk in off the street and request it.  Plus there is a very smart dress code...it is Kensington after all!


For our tea we requested the champagne tea. An tradition afternoon tea plus an half bottle of champagne and strawberries with cream.  There are quite a few versions to choose from, vegetarian, prince and princesses teas for the kids and the gentleman's tea which includes whisky drinks. 


You are treated to a wide array of tea choices and overwhelmed by cakes and sandwiches.   It's not a cheap tea but they treat you like royalty.  And the standards are very high. 


If you have a sweet tooth, you'll be spoilt for choice of what you can have.   If I had to recommend a place for afternoon tea, The Milestone would come first... I've had a few in my time and this is the best!!

Want to see what The Milestone Hotel has to offer, then click HERE for their website.

What's your favourite part of afternoon tea....cakes, sandwiches, scones?  I think the warm scones are my favourite.

Ax
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Sunday, 29 March 2015

Life Lately #03.15


Well it's nearly the end of March already.  How can this be???  If you're new to the blog, my life lately posts are a once a month series where I basically tell you what's going on in my life.  Kind of like what's in my hand bag but way more personal.  You can read February HERE and January HERE.

Getting Help
If you have read my blog recently, you will know I have been having a battle with anxiety/depression /stress.  I visited my doctor, who was very good to me.  I told my need to know people at work and it's been great... they have been very supportive which I have really appreciate.  It feels good that they have taken me seriously, plus it may or may not make changes to our department.  We all are quite stressed and I think my openness and honesty has made others see the light.  I've made a vow to myself to no longer stay late as it is not healthy, plus it affects a lot more of my life.  See below...

Motivation
Following on from the depression part above, my motivation for exercise and clean eating has plummeted.  I think it's a side affect of not really caring or having the actual time to care.  My belly now feels like it's got a spare tyre attached to it.  I've been eating semi good, but biscuits and chocolate plus a Chinese have been my friends.  As for exercise I haven't moved much to be honest...and I'm annoyed at myself for that.  I need to get my arse in gear!

Sewing
I'm excited to announce I have got my first ever sewing machine!  Not exciting for some but for me I've been lusting after one for quite a while.  I haven't used a machine since about year 9 of secondary school... so quite a while.  I only got it yesterday and I've already managed to sewing some bits using a donated old shirt from the hubby.  I can't wait to sew more .... what to do what to do????  I'm also doing a small sewing class after work in April with a company called Sew Over It.  They do a mixture of classes depending on skills etc and they are small groups of about 8-10 people.  Really looking forward to that.... bring it on.

New Blog
I was looking at my blog thinking there is quite a lot going on.  Food, fitness beauty, need I go on.  Well I've decided to make a second blog dedicated to the creative side of me.  Baking, sewing...etc.  Obviously it's new so we are kind of in the construction phase but I think it'll be good.  Twitter, Instagram and Bloglovin' are all up and running.  Just need to build my site and write some posts.  I will write a future blog post with instructions soon!

Out With The Old
I don't know if it's due to spring coming but I really want to spring clean.  Not just my house, but everything in it.  I keep staring at my makeup thinking 'if I don't use you, I should ditch you'.  It's also the same with my clothes and random house decor.  I own too much of everything and I really want to down size.  Who wants to buy my makeup collection from me?

Tea My Dear
Today I'm off with the hubby for afternoon tea.  I haven't had a 'proper' afternoon tea for ages.  We're going to the Milestone Hotel in Kensington...posh hey.  I do like a good old afternoon tea....finger sandwiches, scones cream and jam....CAKE!!!  I've never heard of the Milestone before but I'll take pictures and share with you later on.                            

Ax

p.s. ...in my next life I want to come back as a cat!!





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Saturday, 28 March 2015

New Fitness DVDs


I love working out in my own living room.  No hefty gym fees are involved which is a blessing.  All you need is a mat for the floor (mine are wooden so it's a must), some hand weights and a TV/DVD player... then you're ready to go.   Simples!!!

I've added two new fitness DVDs to my collection and I thought I'd share and review what they are.

Charlotte's 3 Minute Belly Blitz | Buy HERE
I'd heard such excellent things about this fitness DVD plus the Amazon reviews had nothing but praise for it.  I also got a personal recommendation from a work colleague who raved about it.  SOLD!  The easiest part of this is slipping it into the DVD player, from there onward you will be dripping like you are in a sauna and completely out of breath.  If you are a fan of cardio and HIIT which happens in short bursts only lasting 3 minutes (yep 3 minutes...  that's right!) then buy this now!!!!   Charlotte has two trainers with her doing both hard and easy options of the exercises and there are 12 workouts which are 3 minutes long.  You can either do them all or pick and chose what you want.  Now Charlotte looks hot right.... So it obviously works given time.

Davina 7 Minute Fit | Buy HERE
Before I got this one I had recently got the 'Fit in 15',  which I loved.  Due to loving that one I had no hesitation in popping this one in my Amazon basket thinking it would similar.  In all honesty I hate this DVD. Davina and her trainer just don't get well plus the exercises are not going to work you into a sweat.  This is perfect if you are just starting or returning to exercise,  but if you are already quite fit.... Give it a miss.  You'll be bored... I live Davina and all her other fitness DVD where she was joined by her trainers Mark and Jackie... There was good chemistry and flow but this just falls flat.  I barely broke a sweat which isn't a good sign in my books.  This gets a thumbs down from me which is a shame.

Do you work out at home??  Got any favourites you like to wat

Ax
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Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Home Made Popcorn + Chocolate


We all love a cheeky snack don't we?  Sometimes it doesn't have to be a naughty snack,  but it can be a healthy one with a little something naughty added to it.  I love chocolate, especially dark chocolate and I also love popcorn.  Oh yes chocolate and popcorn two of my favourite treats yum yum.

To me popcorn isn't too bad, trust me there are worse things you can eat.... I could name plenty if you'd let me.  Anyway... I am a sucker for salty popcorn goodness.  It is seriously addicting.  Instead of buying a packet of ready made popcorn I opted to make my own.  It was a little more time  consuming but we'll worth it and fun!

To make this all you need is... 

* A large sauce pan and a lid for it. 
* One TBS of cooking oil (you can use anything - except olive) 
* A bag of kernels
* Some salt (optional) 
* Chocolate of your choice - I used dark :-)
* Another pan, hot water, a heat proof bowl plus a wooden spoon (this will be your banmarie)
* A large baking tray

How to make it is easy.

In your pan,  place your TBS of oil and add about 1/2 cup of the kernels (more if you desire).  Make sure the kernels get a light coating of oil. Then pop on your lid.. Cook it on a medium heat.

You'll soon hear popping.  Every now again pick the pan up,  holding down the lid and give it a shake and replace back on the heat.   The is no 'ready' time just until the is no more popping or the popcorn is busting out of the pan... You can always lift the lid to see.. but be careful.

Take off heat and leave for a few minutes. Then lift the lid and sprinkle on your salt.  Replace the lid and shake.   You can now eat it if you want but I'm covering mine in chocolate.

Melt your chocolate in a banmarie,  whilst it's melting place your popcorn on a baking sheet as flat as possible.  Once the chocolate had melted you can you use a fork to dribble on your chocolate.  Once your happy with the way it looks... Leave it to cool.

You're done..... now eat!!!!

Ax
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Monday, 23 March 2015

Getting Crafty #Crochet


I love to be creative and make things.  I think there is nothing more satisfying than building something with your bare hands....  Be it cakes,  a crochet snood or doing a DIY on some old jars with glitter. More on the latter later on.  In the above picture I was  making a snood for my mum.  It looks a jumbled mess but trust me the end result was lovely. 

I have gradually built up  collection of yarns, hooks and books.  These are some of favourite books and they are great,  but I personally think YouTube is the best place to see crochet at work.  There is only so much a book can show. 


When it comes to crochet I love that I can make something useful.  I can see it and it doesn't take forever to see a result.   I find it spurs me on to work faster.   The snood I'm wearing below is something I knocked up in two days. 


I made it with the help of Simply Hooked YouTubes channel (link HERE) and the cowl snood video is HERE.   Anyone can make this as her instructions are clear and easy for a complete novice to understand.  I did it... so you can.  You just need a ball or yarn,  a large hook and YouTube!!  The snood I'm wearing and my mum's one are the same stitch. Once you get a stitch in your head,  you just want to keep doing it over and over to perfect it!! 

I think my next project will a a granny square blanket of some sort.   Fun times a head. 

Ax




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Sunday, 22 March 2015

Short Bread Biscuits


Short Bread Biscuits are my ultimate favourite biscuit treat, closely followed by biscotti.  I did some baking for work to raise a bit  a cash for comic relief.  These are yummy and very easy to make and everyone seems to love them.

What you need....

250g/8oz butter (which is softened at room temp)
180g/12oz Plain Flour
110g/4oz Caster Sugar

You could throw in chocolate chips if you wish to make them even more yummy. A little FYI,  you'll need extra flour and sugar for later on.  You need to preheat your oven to gas mark 5/190 (mine is a fan oven).

In a big bowl cream together your butter and sugar.  Wooden spoon,  hands or hand mixer work well.

Once creamed together add your flour a small amount at a time.  Using your hands to mix works best due to the warmth of them.  Keep adding until you've added it all. By now you should have a dough formed.

On a clean flat service,  dust with a little flour and with a rolling pin.... Get rolling. You want the dough to be between 0.5 to 1cm thick or they will crumble when cooked.

With cookie cutters or a just a knife,  create your shapes.  Place them on a lined oven tray with good spacing between them.  Decorate with a folk if you wish and sprinkle on a little caster sugar. Then pop in the oven for 13 minutes.

Take them out and let them cool before munching on them.  I'm tempted to make these again and half dip them in chocolate hmmm!!!


Side note.... I know these are not very healthy but I find baking therapeutic :-) Enjoy x

Ax

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