Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Review / A LUSH Christmas…

Firstly, a belated Merry Christmas to one and all! I haven't blogged in a couple of days and that was purely because I was in the full festive Christmassyness and all i have been doing for the past couple of days is eating, watching Christmas films and eating a little more. That's why the nation loves Christmas - it gives us a well deserved excuse to snack/pig out on the great things in life - mince pies, cake, crackers, yule logs, pudding (need I say more?). Before I reach for my kitchen cupboards once more and get side tracked I'll stop with the food listing (*stomach grumbled here*).
  While I'm well aware that Christmas was yesterday and all festivities should, in truth of the matter, come to a screeching halt - I'm unprepared to say goodbye to my festive spirit just yet. Christmas was in fact particularly pleasant yesterday. I was very fortunate and got spoilt rotten. I spent some time with family and feasted on many, many pigs in blankets and stuffing balls. I asked for lots of beauty and fashion related things this year, in fact, my whole Christmas list consisted of make-up, cosmetics and items of clothing. Luckily, 'Santa' came and he left many special presents for me to un-wrap on Christmas morning. There are so many things that I want to blog about all at once but I thought I'd start with the things that I've actually used and tried rather than just publish a post on a product that I haven't even had a chance to use and therefore can't review properly. Some of my gifts that I have been able to enjoy and use already are my LUSH products!
  Santa came in his almighty glory and slipped a few LUSH things into my stocking. Immediately I could smell the packages before I knew what was inside..obviously I was not disappointed when I unwrapped them to find my long awaited LUSH products. If you've not read my blog before you most probably won't be aware that I've been pining for some LUSH products for a very long time now..I've stuck their products on a few of my monthly Beauty wish lists but unfortunately I'd never got round to actually buying any of them. So, Santa did the job for me and got me a few bits and bobs himself - cheers buddy!


My Melting Snowman Christmas Bath Melt seemed to have experienced a tragic accident and lost his nose somewhere along the way from the North Pole..anyway, a noseless snowman but to be expected from a melting fella. This little Snowman is so cute and smelt so, so divine. However, my little sister took one sniff and turned her nose up at it - so apparently it's a love/hate scent. The scent is quite empowered with cinnamon and what's even better, spot the brown dots at the bottom and his eyes - they're made out of chocolate! When this melted in my bath it smelt really amazing and the chocolate was literally tempting me to lick the snowman..I didn't don't worry…The snowman is a bath melt so once it had melted in my bath its butters were released and were soaked up nicely into my skin, including cocoa butter and shea butter - this snowman really was a lovely companion in the ol' tub.


This cute little Christmas Penguin  is a bubble bar and once plopped and crumbled into the water produces bubbles and releases his essential oils! The penguin smells more on the soapy/fresh side rather than smelling of anything particularly Christmas-themed/specific but smells lovely all the same!


This Magic Wand is literally the most amazing thing I've ever encountered in relation to preparing a bath. Firstly, appearance wise this wand scored five stars before I'd even tried the actual product. I mean, look at it - a bell and a wand - what girl wouldn't feel like a complete Princess? Maybe my inner-child was too encouraged but this product scores five stars in all areas. This Magic Wand is a bubble bar, basically you swirl the top of the bar into the water and bubbles are produced! It truly is magical. The wand is based on the shower gel, Snow Fairy's scent. I have to say the scent isn't as strong as the Snow Fairy gel but is still quite sweet smelling. My wand produced a good amount of bubbles and you can obviously increase the amount produced by further swirling in the water!  I thought that the wand was really nourishing on my skin and after a bath soaked in the bubbles produced from the bar, my skin was silky smooth and felt hydrated and luscious! The best thing about this wand is that it's also re-usable, so although priced at £4.95/each, you're getting a decent amount of product because with one use the bar doesn't dissolve drastically!


Snow Fairy scent is known for its absolute love/hate smell, some of us find it divine, heavenly and sweetly sensational while others want to be sick in a bucket because it's far too sickly and sweet. I'm a Snow Fairy lover and a proud one. This shower gel is quite frankly L.U.S.H. Amen. The only downside would be its price, for a small 100g, £3.50 isn't a big stretch but when you bump up to the big ol' 500g you're looking at near to £15. Which, considering there is no animal testing and all the ingredients are natural, it really isn't that bad, but when you think that you can snatch a bottle of normal shower gel off a drugstore's shelf for about a £1, it makes parting with your money that little bit harder. Worth it though? I'd say yes.


Lastly, this vanilla beauty was the last LUSH product that Santa and his elves left me. This snowman  smells like vanilla and once left to chill in the bath for a bit (no pun intended but roll with it please), its natural amazing-ness is released and again, your skin is left feeling as soft as a baby's butt (apparently they're soft, like a baby's arm/head/any other limb..babies are in general very smooth, soft and cute..just like this snowman)..

There you have it - my LUSH surprises! Unfortunately these particular LUSH products are seasonal and only come around in the festive season, as a result they'll be vanishing off the shelves until next year..but if you're lucky you might just catch them before they do! Re-ignite that Christmas spirit, even if Christmas is over for another 365 days.


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Thursday, 19 December 2013

Just Relax..


This post is a little different from the others but I hope that many of you can relate to it in some shape or form!
  Lots of us are tangled up in the hustle and bustle of general life and we forget to relax. Relaxing? Who has time for relaxing? Well, not many of us, but I'm ordering you now - put some time aside and relax! When you’re caught up in the world of school/work, they seem to be the only things that matter – this is so WRONG. Obviously we all need to try our best to fulfil our goals and work to our full potential but it’s also so important to remember to unwind and relax. It is easy to slip into an unhealthy mindset of work, work and more work. If there's one thing that's for sure it's that life is all about balance. I’ve experienced the importance of ‘balance’ first hand with my experience of exams so far. A few months ago I was busy slaving away for my GCSE exams - whether it was revising or actually doing the tests, GCSE took over months of my life. During this time they seemed like the 'be-all' and 'end-all'. Now, on reflection, they really weren't. Of course it was important to revise for them and for me to try my best but if I said that I didn't get incredibly stressed during this time, I would be lying. It was during my GCSE's that I realised the importance of 'time out' and taking time to relax and clear my mind. 
  In a way I guess that this blog post is about sharing my experiences and hoping that a few of you will use these relaxation tips which were invaluable for me in the MEGA stressful time period of my exams. 


      Escape


The beach was my perfect escape - walking along the beach was my ideal detox. This was a picture I took on one of  my many walks during my exam period!
Possibly one of the most effective ways for me to relax is to take some time ‘out’. By ‘out’ I mean get out of that library where you have been studying for the past few hours or leave the house for a few minutes/hours by taking the dog for a walk, going on a brisk walk or jog! The space in which you work  becomes sort of negative and depressing after a while so getting some fresh, natural air is good for so many reasons -  you’re exercising which is a good and healthy way to destress yourself; you’re realising that there is life outside of your study walls; you’re realising that there is more to life than just an A4 sheet of paper and a biro.. The list of why escaping is a good way to relax is pretty much endless! Just GO and escape for a few moments.


       Surround yourself with what you love.

photo taken from google images
It’s so easy to get to that ‘freak out’ point, whether it’s an impossible mathematical problem (literally), or just a general ‘I can’t do this anymore’ breakdown moment, it’s important to realise that you need to walk (or run, depending on which is more effective for you) away from the problem. You may think that this is avoiding the situation, which momentarily you are, but it’s a method that has been working for me over the past couple of weeks. I recognised that when I reached this ‘freak out’ point my brain sent itself into a frenzy of panic where it refused to do work and just made me panic instead. So, I was wasting my time trying to work when I physically couldn’t because I was so freaked out.
  When you get to this mind set I have found that there are two options that you can take;

a)    Freak out further (good luck with that one.)
or
b)    Surround yourself with the things that you love and make you happy.

 For me surrounding myself with the things that I love and make me happy immediately relaxes me. It acts as a temporary ‘escape’ route away from my problem. The sorts of things that work for me are:-

Blogging, watching some TV rubbish or YouTube clips, reading magazines/books etc. What ever makes you happy and gives you the option to unwind do it and watch yourself relax and unwind!

       Have a work free zone

photo taken from google images
It’s important to have a work free zone. At the start of my revision I had no work free zone. Everywhere I turned there were brightly coloured post-it notes bathing literally every wall of my bedroom. I have always liked my bedroom to be a place where I can unwind and it was virtually impossible to do that when everywhere I looked I was reminded of work and exams. I literally felt like I was being assaulted by pieces of paper in my own bedroom, a moment I thought would never come. So I decided to rip down hours of work. It may sound crazy and ridiculous but the method of revision didn’t actually work for me. I have a slight photographic memory so having a wall full of information just didn’t work, it wasn’t specific enough for me to remember. I’m not saying that other people wouldn’t find plastering their bedrooms with post-it notes useful, but for me it wasn’t helpful for revision purposes or from a relaxation point of view. I found the result amazing, I could actually walk into my bedroom without wanting to cry. The moral of this little saga is not to rip down all your revision in anticipation that it won’t work, but to make sure that you have a work free zone allowing you to relax. A place where you can focus your energy to a place other than work and exams!

     Finally, Pamper yourself


photo taken from google images

That’s right bring out all the bath bombs, bath salts and deliciously scented products that you own because it’s time to pamper! Bath time is my most favourite part of the day..I realise that I sound about 6 years old saying that but it’s true.. It completely transforms my mood and makes sure that I have an amazing night's sleep even before a nerve-wracking exam. Some essential DO’s to make your bath 100 times more relaxing are as follows –


a)    Candles -  I ran out of my stash of tea lights not so long ago and was probably on the verge of a mental breakdown for candles are my life at the moment. My bedroom is probably due to be set alight again any moment (yes I say again because I have already burnt a minor hole in my carpet due to a lit match flying out of my hand while trying to light a candle which unfortunately landed on my lovely carpet..) but just so that you don’t think I am an arsonist I’ll explain that it’s the general look of candles and smell that appeals to me more than the matches used to instigate the flame. If you were to take a sneaky look into my bedroom you would discover many candles dotted around which is because they completely relax me. Not only do I like candles to be in my room but they’re also amazing when it comes to unwinding in the bath. I like to use the candle as my only light source when I’m in the bath because not only is it super relaxing but I find that the candles reflect in the water which is on another level of relaxation! The smell of a blown out candle is also amazing because it reminds me of my birthday, so, naturally I enjoy blowing out the candles to recreate my birthday happiness.
b)   Bubbles – this blog is really just emphasising how much of a child I really am but I feel like bubbles are such an important part of relaxing, they truly are the key to a good bath. That’s why we call it having a ‘bubble bath’. Now aside from the fantastic alliteration used there, I think you’ll agree that bubbles were made for baths. Bubbles are essentially your clothes in water, your blanket, keeping you safe and protected (quite literally.). 
c)    Zen music – ok, so not quite Nicki Minaj, but candles + bubbles + zen music are a sure guarantee that you’re going to relax. But, if zen music just isn’t ‘hipster’ enough for you then replace it with some relaxing Lana Del Rey or something that chills you out.

So there it is! A little different but I hope that you can read this and relate to it or at least take a few relaxation tips from this post. 


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Sunday, 15 December 2013

Blogger Wishes

Since I started my blog I think that my life really has changed for the better. For me, blogging is more than just a hobby – it’s my escape and it’s something that I love. But, blogging comes at a price. Although you can budget, the better your technology and tools, the more you can progress and add that extra something into your blog posts. That’s why I put together my personal ‘blogger wishes’ – a small collection of some items that I feel would benefit me and my blogging…


       1.     Apple Magic Mouse – I’ve got a MacBook Pro and it’s safe to say that without it my world would crumble to pieces. However, sometimes I do wish that I had a mouse when I’m sitting down at my desk and blogging with cramped fingers because I’ve been swiping the track pad at lightening speed for several hours. 
      2.     Kindle Fire HD Tablet – This Kindle would not only be a really useful tool for my blogging but it would also be a really useful tool for my alter-ego life as an AS English Literature student. Being an English student, there is obviously a hefty amount of reading involved in the course. I’m a believer in Feng Sui  (if you’re unfamiliar with terms such as auras and energy releases when it comes to possessions, you’ll probably not appreciate what I’m about to say), so as much as I want to extend my literary knowledge, I have neither the space nor the desire for piles of books around my room. Don’t get me wrong, I love a new book  - the smell, the crisp pages – but I feel like books are a waste of space and once I finish I book I very rarely ever pick it back up again to re-read it. That’s why I love the idea of this Kindle Fire - not only would it store the hundreds of books that I want to read and access, it also has features that would help my blogging. Much like an iPad, the Kindle Fire allows you to download apps, listen to music, watch films, browse the Internet and so much more. It would mean that I could stay connected, send tweets on my journeys and most importantly, carry around a bookshelf of books at my fingertips!
      3.     Post-it Apple Dispenser – Although, to the untrained eye this might just be a silly little gadget, to many bloggers out there it is a godsend. I don’t know one blogger who doesn’t use post-it notes – they’re pretty much a must-have. Thoughts, notes and ideas come firing at you at the randomest moments and the post-it notes ensure that these ideas don’t get lost. This dispenser saves the one downside of post-it notes – the faff of separating the notes and peeling them off. With one swift pull, this dispenser provides you with a quick service,  producing a single post-it note. I told you, it really is a godsend.

     4.     Fujifilm Instax Mini 7 Instant Film Camera – I think these cameras are super, super adorable. Not only do they have that vintage feel that I adore, they mark the return of polaroid instamatics (yay). With this camera I could snap pictures and collage them creatively to create artistic and fun uploads for fashion, beauty and lifestyle posts. The mini size would be portable for travelling and would make great souvenirs for when I attend fashion events etc.

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Friday, 13 December 2013

It's Hard Out Here For A B***h

Lily Allen is back, and boy is she back. A few weeks ago Lily Allen published the music video for her brand new single 'Hard Out Here'. Instantly, as soon as I heard the track, I basically fell in love with it -why? It addresses basically what's wrong with society today for women in a lighthearted and fun way. Hence, this is why I'm writing this blog post. Not so long ago I wrote a blog post called 'A Memoir For Those Chocolate Biscuit days', you can read the post here if you haven't already but I basically addressed lightly the topic of weight. Today, girls are expected to look a certain why, and that certain way is the way that supermodels in our magazines look - teenie tiny waists, a flat stomach and a thigh gap. For most of us this image wouldn't be healthy to obtain and would involve elements of starvation to gain the 'perfect figure'. In Lily Allen's new song, 'Hard Out Here' she sings about women today and the opinions and expectations of society. I think some people can take Allen's new song a little wrongly and see it as disrespectful to women calling us 'b**ches' etc, but you've got to recognise her attempt to address an issue in a lighthearted and fun way. With lyrics like;

'If you're not a size six, then you're not good looking'
'You should probably lose some weight, 'cos we can't see your bones'
and
'If you can't detect the sarcasm, you're misunderstood'

Lily obviously doesn't mean any offence! If anything it's empowering and should give you a boost of confidence when you look in the mirror and don't see what you see in all the magazines! As I've already basically gone into a ramble about this subject in that blog post, I don't want to go into it in too much detail again and if you are interested on my views and opinions on the topic go ahead and check out last months' blog post.
However, this blog post is just a quick reminder of a) how utterly awesome Lilly Allen is and b) that women can stick together and it's ok to be different, similarly it's ok to be that size 6 if that's the way you're built!

Watch and listen to her new song here because I can't stop hitting repeat! :)




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Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Christmas Jumper Ideas with ASOS / Guys and Girls Special!

Not all Christmas jumpers have to have the cringe factor or be remotely embarrassing or ugly in any way. I've hunted down some of my favourite Christmas jumpers so you can feel festive in a jumper without wanting to cry because it's so hideous. I endorsed this post to ASOS because all my favourite jumpers were quite honestly all on this site - you can't get better! This post is also the very first post that I'm blogging for the guys reading my blog - there are a few of you out there and I thought I'd show you some love and T.L.C in the form of Christmas jumpers - aren't you lucky!

As always, ladies first…


1. Holiday Sweater In Snowflake Pattern With Collar / 2. Christmas Jumper With Sequin Stars /3.  Christmas Jumper with Pug / 4. Statement Jumper 5. Christmas Jumper with Snowmen



1. Christmas Jumper with Skiiers / 2. Solid Roll Neck Jumper / 3. Vacant Christmas Jumper / 4. Christmas Jumper 


In the spirit of Christmas, I've also been loving Leona Lewis's brand new Christmas Album - Christmas, with Love. I recommend you give it a good ol' listen!

             
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Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Clothes Show Shopping

In Yesterday's post I blogged about my visit to the N.E.C in Birmingham on Sunday to see the Clothes Show Live. I took so many photos it literally took me hours to edit, cut and upload all of them into each post. In this blog post I'll basically be blogging about the Clothes Show and my little shopping trip and mini splurge, oh and meeting Mr Peter Andre... 






















Vulgar Sheffield was the very first stall that I went to and it was the first stall to receive my money! I bought the Feline Meow sweater you can see above from this stall - a quirky spin on designer brand Celine. I really liked the stall, it was stuffed to the brim with the essence of quirky, from shirts to fun tees and jumpers. The jumper was £20, which, I didn't think was too crazy and even if it was I don't care because it was worth every penny - I love it to bits. What was even more exciting was when I got home I realised that Vulgar Sheffield was on ASOS Marketplace and I've had a browse and I want it all please! (Check out Vulgar Sheffield here). After a couple hours of browsing thoroughly, I came across an urban vintage stall where I bought the necklace above for only £6 - which I thought was a pretty good price for a sturdy, one of a kind sort of buy. My next buy was Elemis skin glow face wash which was for the Momma bear for Christmas (shh)..
  In-between the purchasing I came across the car I want and need for a few months' time when I'm lucky enough to finally (and legally) be allowed behind the wheel. The driving age in the UK is seventeen and my birthday is fast approaching with only 8 weeks left to go.




Finally, to round off an amazing day full of fashion, beauty and bargain buys I met Peter Andre. Peter was absolutely lovely and signed the perfume my Mum bought and posed for a quick picture. Although the meeting was fleeting (unintentional rhythmical flow there), Peter really was what you see on TV - a genuine, funny and happy guy with a supportive team of PR and friends travelling with him.

So that's the Clothes Show summed up in just two blog posts. I'd like to say a massive thank you to GoodResults PR for the Press pass, enabling me to attend and experience the Clothes Show for the very first time. I would really recommend going next year if you haven't already been - an awesome show and great for some early Christmas treats and shopping!


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Monday, 9 December 2013

Clothes Show Live

Phew - it's been a long day! With a total of just over 4 hours of travelling and a few magazines later, it was time that I came straight to my laptop and blogged about yesterday's very exciting antics - Clothes Show Live. Yep, the four hours of travelling was in fact to the Clothes Show in Birmingham.
  I was lucky enough to be sent tickets for the Clothes Show by the ever so lovely GoodResults PR team. It was my first time at the Clothes Show and I really didn't know what to expect. I'd heard amazing things about the show, the stalls and the atmosphere and I was beyond excited to attend this year. I wasn't disappointed - the stalls were packed with merchandise and different exciting products, the atmosphere was bustling and the show was uh-maz-ing. Naturally, being a blogger, I took more than the average amount of photos and I'm not sorry. However, I did have to reduce the 200+ amount of photos for this blog post and pick the 'best of the bunch'. When I arrived at the Clothes Show I followed the crowd to a bus stop..this confused me a little, never have I had to catch a bus once I've arrived at a destination..once I realised that the bus was the only option other than to walk a long way (god forbid), I hopped on thankfully. The N.E.C was quite literally huge and so was the area surrounding it. The bus dropped me off and I ventured into the press office to collect my press pass (something new and exciting!)...

And then, it was show time..

  Seeing as 'a picture can paint a thousand words' etc, I might as well get on with it and introduce to you my little photo diary of Clothes Show…hope you like it :))






























To start the show off with a bang, the gorgeous Union J graced the stage with their flawless presence. Ps: Is it just me or is Josh looking straight at the camera? Singing their new single the boys were so good and I was a bit gutted they only sang one song - definitely wish I'd caught them on tour! As you can see the show was spectacular. The effects, lighting and choreography were flawless (similarly so were the models - I particularly enjoyed the male models..as you can tell from my photographical evidence..). The show itself showcased gorgeous clothes - from swimwear to evening glamour, it had a bit of everything for anyone. One thing that I wasn't expecting was the dance breaking up the strutting every so often but I loved it. It broke up the show in an entertaining and exciting way. From the music to what was showcased on the catwalk - the show was undoubtedly my favourite part.  It was amazing seeing the gorgeous Jade (and Times Red, Staz, who I met earlier this year at Clothes Show TV launch party), up on the catwalk as the face of the Clothes show!
  To sum up the live show it was absolutely amazing. I felt so lucky to have been able to attend the Clothes Show and I would recommend you definitely grabbing tickets if you're not already planning on taking a trip down to N.E.C this week!

Tomorrow I will be publishing a post on my Clothes Show shopping featuring my favourite stalls and photos including when I met the lovely Peter Andre!



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