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Sunday, 30 September 2012

Weddings Days

Many of you will know after reading my blog that this past weekend has been the weekend of my Mum and her partner’s wedding. It was an amazing fun filled two day event, even if it was a little tiring. We are currently all sat around my mum and her new husbands house, eating Dominos in our PJ’s and looking through all the pictures, so I thought I would share some with you.

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Friday night was an informal gathering and a chance for both sides of the family to meet and mingle. There was a lot of chatting, laughing and drinking going on, and with the help of my game of ‘Crazy Little Game Called Love’, a lot of scheming. The game is one I have come across through the hours I spend reading wedding blogs… I a woman obsessed. The game involves taking pictures of famous celebrity and royal bride and grooms and superimposing your own bride and grooms face in place of the famous star. The pictures turned out great, and were very humorous. The game itself brought out everyone’s competitive side especially when a drinks voucher was revealed as the prize, overall it proved a great ice breaker for everyone.
If the game itself didn’t break the ice, the sight of my Grandma having her head shaved by my mother, definitely did. My family has unfortunately been affected by breast cancer both now and in the past, so to help raise money for a cause both very close the our hearts and central to the wedding she decided she wanted to raise money by having her head shaved. No one was told beforehand, so it proved to be quite a shock to many, however she raised around £400 for charity, deeming it very successful. Everyone again did not know that Grandma has a beautiful wig that she wore for the Wedding day, so there was no bald bridesmaids running around, well at least not at the ceremony, it soon came off when the dancing started.
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I only have a small selection of pictures of the ceremony, as I was too busy enjoying the day/carrying champagne and flowers around to take pictures, but you can see that pink was a strong theme in the wedding, as it is my mums favourite colour, and relates to the breast cancer charity. From the third picture you will see that shoes also played a big part, my mum wore hot pink stilettos on under her dress, and each bridesmaid had a different pair of sparkly shoes.
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Many of the lovely guests who attended commented that it was the little details that made the day so spectacular, many of which were handmade by my mum and her willing helpers. Above are a selection of these little details along with the pictures I took while getting ready… seemingly the only free time I had.
*The hotel* *The view from my room* *Champers and cake for breakfast* *Hair clips* *OOTD-bridesmaid edition* *Curly bridesmaid hair* *Wedding favours* *Wedding Breakfast* *Assiette of deserts* *Wedding cake and flowers* Pink Wedding Popcakes* Curly hair 15 hours later*

I plan on posting another couple of wedding related posts, one with more of the wedding pictures, so you can gain a greater idea of the day. The other on the popcakes we baked and decorated for the guests. So keep checking back if you like cake or beautiful photographs.
Have any of you been to a wedding recently? What made the day extra special and stand out for you?

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Luscious Locks| Lee Stafford Hair Growth| Review


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A few months ago I was the victim of a scissor happy hair dresser, this resulted in having hair that was much shorter than the couple of inches trim I had asked for. Not enjoying my new short bob I decided that this was the time to invest in Lee Stafford Hair Growth products. My best friend used these products before her graduation and enjoyed them, and after seeing many other bloggers both rave and slate this product, I decided to give it a go myself and form my own opinion.

Lee Stafford claim that this product range contains a pro-Growth complex formula for strength within. This protein based complex will fertilize your follicles, and create a healthy environment on your scalp helping your hair grow faster and reach its maximum potential length.

I purchased the shampoo and conditioner from Boots, each cost £6.99, but they are often on three for two, so you can make a saving. For me £6.99 is quite pricey for a shampoo so I did have high hopes for this product.

I have used this product for for around 2 months now, so feel I have tried it enough to give a fair and true opinion.

Firstly this product made my hair amazingly soft and shiny, it is possibly the shiniest it has ever been. I also noticed that when using this product my hair became a lot stronger. I am a girl who seems to loose my entire head of hair while showering, I literally malt everywhere; my family and boyfriend hate it. However I noticed when using this product my hair did not malt as much as previously.

More importantly, did it make my hair grow? Well judging by the picture above of my awful roots I would say it does make it grow quicker. Obviously the only accurate way of measuring this would be to measure my hair growth rate both with and without this product then compare the results; however I am not that scientific so will just give you my opinion. My roots in the picture above are around 2/3 inches and based on own hair, this is a pretty good hair growth rate. Even after only a month of usage I was much happier with the length of my hair, as it was nearing the length it was prior to it being cut.

Overall I am very happy with this shampoo, I am one of those on the side of the fence that says this product does make your hair grow. But above all that it has left my hair in a beautiful condition; strong, soft, sleek and shiny.

Have you ever tried this product before? Are you sceptical as I was prior to using it? What is you favourite shampoo and conditioner for soft shiny hair?

Thursday, 20 September 2012

The days gone by| Instagram

 

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Just a little update for you all. I have been quite busy recently, with work but also as my mother’s wedding is next weekend there has been a lot of preparation for that, so I actually feel like I don’t have a lot of free time; which is a lie, as I still get up to plenty. So I will run you through the above pictures, as I seem to be documenting my life through Instagram at the moment, but I suppose that’s an obsession all us bloggers have. As much as my family tire of me taking pictures of even the least significant parts of my day, they enjoy the finished product; the blog posts, so they can’t complain too much.

  • Flowers For A Friend- My best friend is going through a messy divorce at the moment, but we celebrated her becoming a ‘Miss’ again the other day. It’s great for her to be back to the name that was of the girl that I befriended 20 years ago, the name of the independent, fun and flirty girl she used to, and will be again in time.
  • Blogging Goodies- Monu contacted me a few weeks ago and offered me some goodies to try, I was completely over the moon with this opportunity, and am happily testing them at the moment, so a review will come in time.
  • Glitter Galore- Being a desk working girl now, my obsession with nail art continues. This week was my first attempt at glitter dipper nails.
  • Product Testing Central- This was me using the Soap and glory Detox mask for the first time, the review for which is below.
  • Cake Pops- We have had a busy week in our house making 100 pop cakes. We are yet to ice and decorate them, but I can say that the inners are so yummy!
  • Train Travels- I have been travelling around for the past few weeks, very often to Newcastle to see my boy, but other ‘exciting’ places including Carlisle and Lancaster, to visit friends and family.
  • Newcastle City Games- I was lucky enough to be in Newcastle for the Great North Run weekend, which meant I got to watch the City Games on Quayside and saw legends like Mo Farrah and Greg Rutherford!
  • The Great North Run- I spend an hour in the rain cheering on the 55,000 runners, in which were a few of my friends who all did fantastic! It has even inspired me, to perhaps enter next year… if I’m lucky enough to get a place.
  • Pretty in Pink- Another Nail of the Day.
  • Massive Milestone- I surpassed 400 followers on my blog this week! It really surprised me as I think I gained 15 followers in a day. But as always I want to thank you all; new and old for reading, commenting and sharing my blog. It is my passion and I enjoy it so much, but to know that others read and enjoy what I have to say makes it so much more fun.
  • Fun with fruit- My boy gave me a choice of a sausage butty or a bowl of fruit for my breakfast last weekend, and low and behold I chose the fruit! I even shocked myself, I think my fitness kick is finally starting to change my attitude towards food, which is a great thing!
  • Christmas comfies- Last night (and right now) I have been rocking my Christmas pyjama bottoms, because it is just so damn cold! What happened to out Indian summer!

What’s been going on in your life recently? Am I the only one rocking my Christmas Pyjamas far too early? Please say I’m not!

Monday, 17 September 2012

Soap and Glory| No Clogs Allowed Super Self Heating Deep Pore Detox Mask| Review

 

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My regular readers and followers will know that I am a Soap and glory fiend! I love this brand, although I have not tried every single product in their range I have ambitions to do so. The newest products to my ever growing collection is the ‘No Clogs Allowed Detox Mask’, and the ‘Greatest Scrub of All’, both are products I have heard many good things about, and have been longing after for some time. I finally took the plunge last weekend and bought them both as Soap and Glory products were on offer for Buy One Get One Half Price, and never being one to pass on a bargain they soon appeared in my basket.

As the title suggest I am firstly going to review the ‘No Clogs Allowed Detox Mask’. I have used the mask three times now, and believe this is long enough to give you a summery of my thoughts on the product and its results.

Their opinion

Soap and Glory claim that the the mask is a an intensive-action pore-refining facial peel. Here is what they have to say about the product-

“A super self-heating 5 minute deep pore detox face mask with a free skin smoothing sponge. This is a deep cleansing treatment, ideal for greasy and blackhead prone skin.”

My opinion

The product has the consistency of a mud mask, but is not as thick as traditional ones. It comes out of the tube with ease, and when rubbed into my skin heats up with immediate effect. At first the mask feels a little grainy, but these grains soon rub out when you scrub the mask into your skin. It leaves a thin layer upon the surface of your skin and doesn’t take too long to dry. When drying the heating sensation soon levels off, and there is no tingly sensation that there is with some masks. When drying it doesn’t dry solid and crack like other mud masks.

For removal you are provided with a ‘skin smoothing sponge’. Although it is handy for removal I can’t say it leaves my skin anymore smooth than when I don’t use it. The mask cleans off easily, due to the fact only a thing layer is needed for application.

The end result is very good. My skin glows, looks very healthy and feels a lot smoother, and my blemishes and blackheads appearance are reduced. I feel like my skin is left completely clean with no dryness or sensitivity that I often suffer with after using mud masks. 

The only downsides to this product for myself are that firstly, I do not experience the blue Smurf face effect that is meant to happen when apply the mask. My face stayed white, as you can see from the pictures. Secondly, although I believe my pores appearance has reduced by using this mask, my blackheads have not reduced dramatically. This is one of the main reasons I bought this product, as I am always looking for a miracle product for reducing blackheads. I will continue to use this mask as I do love it regardless of this. I hope that in time my blackheads do disappear as it suggests on the tube, so watch this space as I will keep you updated with my progress.

Which Soap and Glory products are your favourite? Any you recommend for my collection? Or do you have any miracle cure for blackheads that you can recommend?

Friday, 14 September 2012

Fitness Friday| Sleeping Beauty


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*Pictures from We Heart It*
Just a quick Fitness Friday for you lovelies. I am an avid reader of Zest magazine; a health and fitness magazine, and treated myself to the magazine app for my phone. I was amazed that I could get an annual subscription for on £20… such a bargain. The magazine is always filled with really interesting articles on health, fitness and beauty. One of their recent article’s was about getting a goods night sleep, and I thought it would be good to share it with you.
Considering many of you will be returning to university, sleep sometimes is hard to come by, especially in your final year when that dreaded dissertation comes around, so I thought sharing some tips would be helpful. I myself often have difficulty sleeping when I am stressed or anxious so any extra tips are always helpful.
Anyways onto what the professionals have to say. Here are the tops tips from Zest magazine that ensure you sleep like a baby;
  1. Breakfast like a queen- Digesting a big meal takes a lots of energy, so eating your heaviest meal close to bedtime will disturb your sleep. A big breakfast (around 500-600 calories) followed by a smaller lunch and dinner stabilises energy levels and improves sleep. I think this is a little unrealistic and I prefer to actually eat 5 smaller meals throughout the day so I’m not eating a big dinner.
  2. Meet your mates- A study published in the journal Sleep found the lonelier you are, the more likely you’ll wake at night, so have lunch with some friends. But if you’re off to Starbucks, remember an afternoon caffeine hit can take hours to leave your system, so opt for a herbal tea
  3. Use the landline- Research shows being exposed to low-level radiation from a mobile phone close to bedtime makes it both harder to drop off and means you’ll spend less time in the deeper, more restorative phases of sleep, so you'll wake up feeling like you haven’t properly rested. Try to place your phone further away from you, at least not on the bedside table and not underneath your pillow.
  4. Get intimate- A recent survey revealed one in six doctors recommended sex for insomnia, with good reason: getting frisky reduces stress and lowers your blood pressure, plus the hormone oxytocin released when you orgasm promotes healthy slumber, too.
  5. Stop snoozing- Your body anticipates your regular alarm an hour before it goes off, so your sleep lightens and hormones release to give you a boost. hHtting the snooze button might mean a few more zzzs, but your body wont prep you to wake up a second time so you'll feel groggy.
What are your top tips to get a good nights sleep? Do you follow any of the tips above?

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Burning a hole in my pocket| Haul


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Well as the title suggest, I have been hauling my bum off recently, once while I was in Spain and the another last weekend, and lets just say I don’t really have the funds to be shopping like a crazy person. However as always, that never stops me! I have thankfully paid my overheads, so there will be no debt collectors on my doorstep, however I should be saving, not spending my money, but what is a girl to do. The items I have bought are needed… not urgently but still needed, so I’m not beating myself up too much.

My first haul was when I was in Spain on holiday. There was a few sales going on, and as I needed clothes for work I indulged and bought the blazer and two t-shirts above. Like many others I am obsessed with blazers, I have quite a little collection going on, and it’s still growing. I love how versatile they are, and how they instantly smarten up any outfit. This one is from Pull and Bear, which I’m not sure we have in the UK. It’s very high-street; key new styles mixed with essentials all at reasonable prices. The blazer was only 20 Euros, so a bargain really. My T-shirts like the blazer are bargains as well. They are both from Zara where there was a huge sale going on, which was more like a jumble sale; picture girls grabbing anything, clothes thrown everywhere, and girls trying things on in the middle of the shop. I got both t-shirts for 8 euros, and they should of been 45 euros collectively, so I was pretty pleased with that.

My second haul is from last Saturday, I only went into town for my bridesmaid dress fitting and to pick up a few things, but ended up with this lot and £120 down. Again, it is stuff I need, but maybe I shouldn’t of bought it all at once. I got the two bags from Tkmaxx, the large teal one is now my new work bag. I had been searching for one that was large enough for all my lunch and paperwork, as well as all the other crap I carry around, that was in a design I loved and would last me a while. This one turned out to be the winner, it’s teal coloured leather, has many pockets and compartments, zip fastening, and only cost me £60. The second more interesting bag is the clutch bag I am going to wear for my mums wedding. I needed a silver glittery one to match my shoes which I blogged about here, with it being only £15 I picked this one. The perfume again is from Tkmaxx, but thankfully my boyfriend was being a star and treated me. Overall I was pretty impressed with Tkmaxx, its not normally a place I shop, but it’s one of the few shops we have in Kendal so I don’t have much choice but to try it now.

The beauty products, are all form Boots, and I’m pleased to say they were discounted or on offer. However it seems that doesn’t stop me spend any less money, I just end up buying more! The Maybelline products were my best bargain as they had an offer on where all Maybelline products were 2 for £10, so I pretty much got an item free! I’ve never come across such a good offer before, and was hugely impressed. The 

Soap and Glory products are some that I have wanted to try for a while, and as it was buy one get one half price I indulged and added to my huge Soap and Glory collection at home. The Rimmel products were both reduced, the powder was just needed, and the primer is something I have been wanting to try. I have been struggling with my foundation recently; it hits about 3 o clock in the afternoon and my makeup has slid right off my face, so I’m going to try using a primer and see if it will help make my make up last at least till the end of the working day. I started with a cheap one, and if this doesn't work will venture into more expensive territory, but expect a review in a few weeks.

Have you been indulging recently? Did you take advantage of the Maybelline offer? Also if anyone has any primers they recommend let me know!

Monday, 10 September 2012

Spanish Sun| Holiday outfits


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*Outfit 1- Dress- New Look, Blazer- Pull and Bear, Sandals- Stylist Pick*
*Outfit 2- Dress- River Island, Belt- Primark, Sandals- Stylist Pick, Bag- Ebay*
*Outfit 3- Dress- Dorothy Perkins, Sandals- Stylist Pick, Bag- Ebay*
*Outfit 4- Shorts- Primark, T-shirt- H&M, Sandals- Stylist Pick, Bag- Ebay*

As you may of read I was lucky enough recently to have been on a little holiday with my boyfriend and his parents, to their apartment in Eastern Spain. While we spent a good deal of time relaxing by the pool, sunbathing on the sun terrace, and having lazy boozy lunches, we still crammed in some culture and visited Valencia for a couple of days. I have not previously been before but have been eager to go as heard the old town was beautiful; which it was. However there is a great mix of old and new architecture around the city, so it was very picturesque and interesting. For those not into architecture and history, there was plenty of shopping and bars to keep yourself busy with.

The biggest challenge with this holiday was that I was only allowed to take hand luggage with me, as we did not pay for hold luggage, so cramming two weeks of clothes into the tinniest suitcase was a big ask. As you can see from the pictures above it did severely restrict my collection of shoes and bags, so much so I only took one handbag, and 3 pairs of shoes. The rest of my luggage consisted of 6 dresses, 1 playsuit, 2 t-shirts, 1 pair of shorts, and 3 bikinis, not forgetting my workout gear… yes I was good and still went running while on holiday! When I was on holiday I felt quite restricted to my outfit choices, however I have previously travelled Europe for a month with only a small backpack, so I should be used to it by now.

Outfits 1 to 3 are from when I was off out for dinner and drinks, so they are some of my dressed up looks while on holiday. Outfit 4 was my tourist outfit for wandering around the streets of Valencia… not much style just something cool and comfortable. I very rarely get dressed up on holiday and never really wear heels, I much prefer to keep it more casual, and with so many pretty sandals and wedges around I don’t feel the need to take my party heels with me. During the day as I mentioned I choose comfort over style... is that a crime for us bloggers? Especially if I am going to be wandering around a city for hours on end in 40c heat I would much prefer to be comfortable than sweating it out in a pretty ensemble.

So my question for you is, do you keep it stylish on holiday? Or do your take a break and keep it comfortable?

Friday, 7 September 2012

MTV’s VMA’s| The good, the bad and the ugly

Last night was a huge night for celebrities, press and fashion lovers everywhere. Not only was it Fashion Night Out, it was also the MTV Video Music Awards, which is always eventful. This year saw the reunion of Rihanna and Chris Brown, with them sharing a little kiss in front of all to see. However it is not the show that I am interested in, my guilty pleasure with award shows, which I guess I share with many of you, is to cast my critical eye upon the fashion on the red carpet. So I will share with you my pick of the good, the bad and the ugly.
the good
  • Emma Watson did us British girls proud, and showed up in a fun and flirty dress. Although the loud print is not something I would wear, I admire that she let the dress do the talking and kept accessories, hair and makeup to a minimal.
  • Demi Lovato was my favourite, she dressed down this sparkly cocktail dress with her studded leather jacket, but her dramatic red lips and long tumbling waves make her look smart enough to be walking the red carpet.
  • Miley Cyrus dressed to impress! Like Demi Lovato she channelled her inner rock chick. Miley's dress alone is beautiful, but her chose of accessories, and her dramatic quiff have made the dress more fun.
  • Katy Perry’s dress hugs her curves and gives us a glimpse of her legs, making her look like a vixen. I’m not one hundred per cent certain of the print, but no one can deny that she looks incredibly sexy. I think I am most in love with her hair and makeup choices, very glamourous.
the bad
  • Jessica Szohr’s outfit just looks a mess. I don’t really know where to begin, so I shall just say it all. In my opinion her top looks like it’s a piece of supportive shape-wear, the skirt it too casual, as are the trainers, and the headband is just wrong. This is not a red carpet suitable outfit.
  • Rihanna is a girl who’s outfits I either love of hate, and unfortunately I hate this one. If the dress did not have the knot detail on the front I think I would love it, but as it does Rihanna looks like she is wearing her bed sheet and is on her way to a toga party.
  • Rita Ora… oh dear! I admit the detailing on the jumpsuit is exquisite, but it is not flattering in the slightest. The girl has such a great body, she should be making the most of it.
  • Pink really disappointed me in this dress. Like Rita Ora she has an amazing body and yet she has covered every inch of it. I do actually love the dress; if only it showed more skin.
Nicki Minaj
I know Nikki Minaj is an obviously choice for a girl who gets it wrong, but she just can’t be avoided.  I agree her body is ridiculous… even if her bum does scare me a bit, but there is no need to show it off all the time. There is not one thing right with her ensemble, too tight, too many fabrics and textures and too much detail.
Do you agree with my picks? Or was there someone else who caught your eye? Let me know what you think!