Thursday, 30 January 2014

January Favourites 2014

I haven't done one of these for soo long, but I've been trying to rotate products a little more this month, so hopefully these will now be a recurring monthly post..


Radox shower gel in Passion Splash - I absolutely love the Coconut version of this - in fact, this whole range from Radox are amazing! 'Passion Splash' contains 'sunny passion fruit and tangerine oil, which smells incredible, sweet but fresh and it lingers on the skin all day! It's currently £1 in Wilkinsons, absolute bargain.

Sweet Cecily Witch Hazel Toner - This has completely cleared up my skin and clears off any lingering make-up that hasn't been swiped by my cleanser, I have done a full review,  here!!

Marc Jacobs Oh Lola! perfume - For some reason, even though I've had this for about a year, I've never actually used it until this month and I am seriously regretting that now because it is fabulous! It's a flowery, sweet scent which is actually very subtle and so great for daily use, plus the bottle is so cute, definitely keeping it after I finish it, just for decoration..!

MUA Love Hearts lip balm in 'Sweet Kiss' - This month I cleared out a lot of my lip products and am trying to get more use out of neglected products and this is an absolute pearl of a find! It's a great lip balm for days when lipgloss/stick is too much effort, but you still want to look put together, as it leaves a subtle nude sheen to the lips which is super flattering on all skin tones in my opinion. It's ridiculously cheap, with a huge amount of product and isn't drying in the slightest, win!

L - MUA lipbalm, R - Revlon lipbalm
Revlon Matte Lip Balm in Elusive- This new release just had to be included in my favourites because oh my god, I am in love with this range and literally want every shade!! I have written a full reviw on the matte and lacquer balms here and I am also GIVING AWAY one of the matte lip balms! Have you entered?


YSL 'Shocking' mascara - This is a holy grail mascara, no doubt about it. Having wanted it for so long, I was so pleased when I received it as a Christmas gift and it has not disappointed at all! The wand is very thin and has bristles instead of plastic, which I love as I think it grabs the eyelashes and curls them a lot more, and holy crap, it really does live up to it's name as with literally 2 applications, I have long, voluminous and full on spider eyelashes which I loooooove! It did take me a couple of days to get used to it however, as at first, the formula was quite wet and therefore it was going quite clumpy but like most mascaras(and wine..and Gary Barlow..), it's gotten better with age! The price is ridiculous and does put me off but the packaging is beautiful and the mascara seriously is incredible, the best I've ever ever used!

What were your favourites this month?

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Sunday, 26 January 2014

current tv addictions

How I'm currently wasting my time, and what I'm watching whilst hibernating in bed, hoping the cold weather and the idea of the gym being a good idea...disappear!!

Real Housewives of Orange County

I do love a good crappy reality show and this definitely lives up to expectations, but even though they're such whiny middle aged women, I'm addicted! It amazes me how 6 women, who must literally use up all of the botox in the whole of America, can cause and create so much drama between themselves, I swear they have never actually left high school with the crap that they argue about but I still love it - I have to get me itv2 fix every day and seeing as I only have 8hrs a week at university, I never miss a single one(not something to be proud of..at all!). I can't stand Vicki, anyone that calls themselves 'the party' and 'the fun' needs a punch in the face and Alexis as well, Jesus, does she actually think anyone believes that her husband isn't a sexist, controlling pig? They're all so hypocritical and I love how they all hop from 1 to the other, all thinking they're friends with people when actually they basically all hate each other!
Where to watch it - ITV2 @ 4:10pm

Revenge

I've only just started watching Revenge over the past 2 months, after it was recommended from so many of my friends. The first 2 series were absolutely amazing, I was addicted - I think me and my flatmates watched the first series in the space of a week! As the series have gone on though, I don't actually like Emily? I feel like the audience are meant to love her, but she really pisses me off, like seriously, let it go! Nolan and Aiden are by far my favourites, although I can't get enough of Victoria's evil, fake smile, absolutely hilarious! I'm currently on series 3, epi7 and I feel like stuff is about to happen, but I hope they don't ruin it like Pretty Little Liars and drag it out a series too long...
Where to watch it - E4 Monday 9pm, Netlix,WatchSeriesUs

Coronation Street

Oh. My. God. This past week's Corrie has been so emotional, I can't even cope with it! I don't think I've ever cried so much at a soap at Monday's episode, I was sobbing! I love Hayley and Roy, they're so cute and I just can't cope with Roy's sad face, I just want to hug him! Even though it's only a soap, it's like they're a real couple in real life, I'm so pathetic it's unreal but when I saw them on the NTA's, it actually made me happy to see them together again...I need to go and get a life, Jesus Christ..
Where to watch - ITV1/ITV Player

What have you been watching this week?


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Saturday, 25 January 2014

obsession of the week #3

Jess 

Since I've been home for the last week or so, I've had a not so little shadow following me around the house, wherever I go.. I've always grown up in a house with pets, so it's weird at uni not to have any loitering around, whether it be a cat sleeping on the end of my bed or a dog constantly nudging it's favourite toy onto my leg because she wants to play!



I miss her a lot whilst I'm at university - it's not like I can give her a quick ring or call her on Skype call like my parents and yes ok, I am a huuuge dog lady! Am I the only person who talks in a different voice to my pets? Yep, ok, great, just me..

I love having a dog just because they're always soo excited to see you - although when I first came back last week, she was in such a mood with me for leaving her, such an attention seeker!



If you haven't seen my posts on Jess when she was a little dot, click here and here! She was soo cute!

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Thursday, 23 January 2014

REVIEW | Revlon Matte & Lacquer Lip Balms + GIVEAWAY!

I tried my hardest to steer my eyes away from these new releases from Revlon but I succumbed to the 3 for 2 offer in Boots and got my mits on 1 of the matte balms, 1 lacquer..and 1 for you guys, I'm giving the matte red lip balm in Striking away!


I first saw these in my local Boots at home, which is the size of a postage stamp, so there was only 4 shades to choose from, however everyone knows I'm a sucker for a pinky nude so when I saw 'Elusive' and 'Demur', I just had to have them!

Elusive is the perfect 'your lips but better' shade - a matte pinky nude with an extra kick to it and is really easy to wear for every day use.The matte balms are very creamy and can be applied like an absolute dream leaving a velvety finish which stays put for hours!


Demure is a glossy nude, with teeny particles of subtle glitter, which if anything, just make the shade look even shinier, and is has the same texture and consistency as a lip balm, with it almost being as hydrating! I absolutely love this shade, it's such a beautiful nude, and I know this will be getting  a lot of use!


Like the Revlon lip crayons released last year, they have a minty scent and taste, with the balms being able to be twisted upwards to get more of the product - yay, no messy sharpeners needed! At £7.99, I think they're such a great price as the quality of these lip products can compete against many high end brands!


As soon as I get back upto Newcastle, I am heading straight to the biggest Boots store, and picking up the matte balms in Mischievous, Sultry and Complex!

If you would like the chance to win the matte lip balm shade in Striking(shown below), enter below!!



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Wednesday, 22 January 2014

RECIPE | Twix Chocolate Brownies

I've got a lot of time on my hands at the minute, with a break between end of exams and start of lectures, so thought I'd make the most of it and do a spot of baking.. 

With brownies you can basically add anything to it and so this time I decided to add twix, milk and white chocolate chunks into them because obviously they aren't chocolatey enough..


What you will need - 
185g butter
275g caster sugar
85g plain flour
4 eggs
40g cocoa powder
175g dark chocolate
50g milk chocolate
50g white chocolate
1 Twix bar

 1.  Break up 175g dark chocolate and 20g milk chocolate into a bowl, along with 185g of butter, and place on pan, half filled with hot water. Stir occasionally. Whilst you are waiting for the chocolate to melt, preheat the oven, at temp of 165c.


2. Once mixture appears like picture below, completely smooth throughout, take bowl off the heat and allow to cool.


3. Sieve 85g plain flour and 40g cocoa powder into a bowl together, and place on the side. Leave until later on.


4. Take the twix, with 30g milk chocolate and 50g white chocolate and cut into small chunks.


 Tip - place the tip of the knife on the chocolate, and press down - this makes it much easier to cut and avoids any mishaps involving knives and fingers!


5. Crack 4 eggs into the bowl, along with 275g of caster sugar and mix until it is pale in colour, thick and has doubled in size. This will take around 15mins by hand or 3-8mins with electric whisk.


6. Once the mixture appears like above, pour in the melted chocolate and carefully fold the mixture to form   1. Plunge the spoon in at one side, then underneath and through to the opposite side and then in again at the middle.


7. Once the mixture looks like below, add the flour and cocoa powder. It looks like a complete disaster when you first add this, basically a dusty mess, however keep on stirring like you did with the melted chocolate and it should begin to thicken.


8. Once the mixture has thickened, it should become quite fudgey and gungey, and when this happens, add the chopped up chocolate and it's ready to be baked, yaay!


9. Brownies are often difficult to tell when they are actually ready, so even though they should only be in for   25minutes, I actually had mine in for 40minutes, as if the middle still wobbles, then they are not ready yet! When they are done, leave them in the tin until they are completely cool and taadaaah, you're done!


If anything, mine were a tad undercooked, as they were quite gooey and moist, but omggg, they were so tasty and went down a treat with my family! It's also good for people, who like me, always wonder how people can make such perfect looking cakes - I don't think I will ever be able to do that!

If you try the recipe, let me know how you get on with it!


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Tuesday, 21 January 2014

a day in the life - a country walk

After my exams finished last Thursday, I caught the train home to have a relaxing week at home with, well I would say family, but basically my dog..! After my first semester at university, living in a city has made me realise how much I have taken living in the countryside for granted, especially the peace and quiet as I don't think there's been a moment of complete silence in my accommodation in Newcastle the whole time I've been there, what with 768 ambulances an hour going past our street end! On the walk I've done so many times with my dog, instead of just walking on and not taking any notice of my surroundings, I decided to take pictures and live by my new motto, 'collect moments, not things'..

It was nice to just go out, and as bad as it sounds, not talk to anyone, not hear anything but the birds singing and get some fresh air! As much as I love Newcastle, sometimes it is just nice to go back to what you've known for so long, and by experiencing living in a city, appreciate my surroundings much much more!




The most mischievous dog I've ever known, clearly she thinks shes some kind of monkey with the amount of jumping she does from 1 thing to another..!!



This is my favourite picture of the lot, such a nosy dog!
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Sunday, 19 January 2014

part 2 - my first semester at university

My first semester at university had its ups and downs for sure, and it definitely wasn't an easy ride so I thought I would share with you my experiences and tell you why this was definitely, the moment that mattered in 2013 with this post being an entry in Hannah and Lloyd Bank's competition..

I got into my first choice, Northumbria University and so on September 13th, my mum and I packed up my things and drove to Newcastle. I look back and know that at that point, I completely underestimated how huge this step was and I feel like that's maybe one of the reasons why I found my first week at university, probably one of the worst of my life! To say it was an emotional week was a complete understatement! I would say, no joke, I cried about 4 times a day, rang my parents at least twice a day and thought about quitting around 6 times a day! My family is very close, and so I found it difficult to suddenly not see them every day, and realised how much I took for granted. If you want to know how I felt in my first week in more detail, I wrote a post about my homesickness a few months ago, just click here

Halloween 2013
After a shocking first week at university, I did begin to see the light, especially as the awkwardness, that is obviously going to be there for a while with flatmates, began to subside and a friend from where I lived, by complete coincidence, lives in my flat too which was really lovely for those low moments, so I began to settle into life at university. There are 4 girls and 2 boys in the flat, and for the first few weeks, the girls especially, made an effort to get to know each other better, with little things, like all eating tea at the same time and watching tv in the kitchen at night instead of disappearing into our rooms, which 100% made us become closer and I love the other 3 girls so much, I would definitely now class them as my closest friends. The house for next year is already sorted, with 7 girls sharing; the house is so lovely - traditional and homely - and I can't to sit on a sofa that isn't like sitting on a rock *ahem like halls* and to be able to have baths and candles again, it's the little things in life..!


Newcastle is a great city, I absolutely love it! It's got so much to offer, but nothing is 'too far away' - everything is just so close together, especially as my halls are pretty much right in the city centre, which is always good when you only have your own feet for transport! ewcastle is also on the main train line, like my home is, so even though it takes 1hr 40mins to get home, there's commonly no changes so it's so easier to travel home which is one of the main factors that I took into consideration when I was choosing universities - I'm a home bird, I can't help it!

Carnage night out
 My course, BA Geography is ok,  although I know I will enjoy it a lot more next year, when I can choose my own modules - the sooner I can get rid of the 'physical' module the better, aint nobody got time for rocks n' mountains.. I have just had my first set of exams, which, *touch wood* went ok, and wasn't nearly as hard as I had prepared myself for! I have a couple of friends on my course who are lovely and definitely destressed and told me to put.the.revision.down when I was getting stressed so it's nice to have support from all directions.

I do still miss my family, and my pets especially seeing as I can't just ring them up and have a chat, like my mum, dad etc and so I do still find that part of university life quite hard, but it's so much easier to handle now I enjoy going back to my flat to see the girls but when I come home for weekends etc, the 'catching the train and saying goodbye' is hard and yes..I do sometimes still cry! 

Flat Christmas Meal
University has already taught me so many life lessons - 
1 - Cooking is actually pretty easy to do, and quite enjoyable!
2 - Even though I feel uncomfortable in situations where I don't know people, I can actually make friends on my own, yay!
3 - Sometimes life isn't peachy but giving up is definitely not the person, if I had quit like I so soo wanted to in that first week, I know that would be a huge regret in my life, if not the biggest so I'm glad I stood my ground and got myself through!
4 - Family are always, always there for you.
5 - Dogs don't like it when you leave them so proceed to sulk for the first hour when I come home(!)

I won't bore you anymore with my ramblings but hope you enjoyed it!

What were your memories of your first semester at university?

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read and reviewed | Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah #2

Firefly Lane is one of the most traumatic books I have ever read - seriously, I have never cried so much at the end of a book, ever! After reading Amy's post on her favourite books of 2013, I added this, along with about 5 others, to my list of 'must read' and quickly ordered it from Amazon as I couldn't wait to find out for myself how good it really was..



Firefly Lane is about two girls, who were both from completely different worlds, who found themselves living on the same street and in need of a friend and it shows the progression of both Tully and Katie, going from teens to adults, always together and always supporting each other. Whilst Tully, who came from a troubled background, has her heart set on being a famous news reporter/journalist, Katie on the other hand wants a husband and kids and it shows how once their dreams have come true, it's not all it cracks up
to be!

Tully and Katie go through so much together, from their 'first times' to marriage to job promotions to babies, they're always there for each other, until one day a betrayal so big, breaks them apart...until one of the women, finds out news so devastating that surely, they can't stay enemies for long, can they?

I'm not sure if the author intended this but I actually started to seriously dislike Tully from about a 1/4 of the book in - I felt like she was just so selfish and demanding, with Katie constantly in her shadow, even with her own family. I felt myself just feeling so sorry for Katie, especially in her adult years which, I think is why the end was so upsetting although I'm not saying anything else, I don't want to give it away!!

I devoured this book in about 3 days, I just couldn't put it down with the story constantly moving and something always happening that makes you want to carry onto 'just one more chapter..!' Towards the end of the book, it takes such an unexpected turn that I was actually sat there reading, with my mouth wide open, it's heartbreaking! I cried for, pretty much the last 50 pages, it's so devastating, I know it's only a book but SERIOUSLY!!!

Recommend this to absolutely anyone - such an incredible book..

If you have any other recommendations, please leave them in the comments!!

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Saturday, 18 January 2014

obsession of the week #2

Yankee Candle Diffuser in Fluffy Towels

One of the main things I miss not having in my room in university halls are candles, and with the weird smells that come with staying in such accommodation, I needed something to give my room a constant but subtle smell all the time, although I really didn't want to actually pay more than a couple of pounds for a diffuser, and Primark ones just don't cut it, they are completely pointless! So, when my sister bought me the Yankee Candle diffuser in one of my favourite scents, it has quickly become my obsession of the week!


I hate super sickly smells, or even most of the fruit ones that Yankee Candle have to offer, with the only two scents I like being Fluffy Towels and my all time favourite, Clean Cotton. This diffuser makes my room smell so fresh and lovely, without being too overpowering and giving me a headache, with even my other flatmates coming in and mentioning how nice it smells!

This has definitely taught me that sometimes paying a little more, is always worth it for good quality things!

What have you been loving this week?

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Friday, 17 January 2014

read and reviewed | About a Girl - Lindsey Kelk #1

My first finished book of 2013..


Lindsey Kelk is my favourite author, hands down! I love that it's chick lit without being ridiculously soppy and really predictable.

About a Girl is about a 20 something girl called Tess, whose whole life has revolved around work since she left university, however when she gets made redundant, confesses her love for her boy best friend and gets rejected and falls out with her mum, she makes a rash decision and decides to head off on a photographer job, which is actually her bitchy housemates 'profession', and jets off to Hawaii under the name of her, Vanessa! She meets an arrogant journalist called Nick and soo much begins to happen from then on...which I'm not going to tell you, you have to read it!

Even though the whole trying-to-resist-a-womanizing-bad-boy story has been done to absolute death, Lindsey Kelk's witty writing is absolutely hilarious and is completely refreshing! I couldn't put the book down and finished it within 2 days flat - it's addictive, easy reading and funny and I absolutely cannot wait for the sequel to it, it was left on such a cliffhanger that I had to take an hour or two to recover!!!

I'm Team Nick FYI...
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Thursday, 16 January 2014

The Serena Van De Woodsen Dream.. #1

I was extremely late to the 'Gossip Girl' party having only almost finished series 4 and in every.single.episode, I just want to be Serena and I am so desperate for her wardrobe I would do literally anything to get my hands on even one outfit that she wears..

Due to my complete obsession, I thought I'd do a little outfit post on a typical Serena outfit, and weep at how I'll never look like her... Enjoy..
Beautysets - The Serena Van de Woodsen Dream..


The Serena Van de Woodsen Dream.. with BaubleBarManolo BlahnikMarc by Marc Jacobs

This is my dream spring-summer outfit - I wish it was acceptable to wear heels in the day wear I live..or that I could walk in them well enough to pull it off..

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