Image Slider

Anyone who knows me, knows just how much I love Christmas. Christmas encapsulates all my favourite things; cold nights, twinkley fairy lights, christmas yankee candles, blustery weather, baked goodies, festive gatherings, the smell of tinsel, wine at all hours being acceptable, quality time with family and of course presents.  It is very obvious I wasn't needing another reason to love the festive season, yet the week before christmas I got one. A giant sparkley freaking reason.




My beautifully wonderful (occasionally a pain in the arse) boyfriend, ahh fiancee, asked me to marry him. Now, i'd pictured this moment many a times in my near 23 years on the earth and yet that all goes out the window once you're asked. I am literally the happiest girl ever right now and my brain has gone into planning overdrive, as has my pinterest organisation.

 I fear i'm just a few days away from calling up the 'my big fat gypsy wedding' dress designer and asking her to book me in for a massive gown, complete with fairy lights and all the trimmings. In reality, i'll continue lusting over the hundreds of brides who nailed the shabby chic wedding look and dream Craig will let me get my way and elope with just a few close friends to Gretna Green.

I probably don't tell him enough just how much the last four + years of my life and everything he has done means to me.  He has got me through some of my darkest of days, and he's been there to share some of my greatest achievements too. I feel so lucky that  I've found someone who fits so well into my life. We laugh together, plan together and we drive each other crazy. We share common interests and separate passions. We balance each other out and my family adore him. This year was most certainly our year and i'm so proud of all we've gained and achieved and I cannot wait to start yet another chapter of our lives together. That aside, he still has the ability to wind us up more than anyone else I know... ha.




I felt it apt to document such a huge important event in my life, much more important to document it using an apt beyonce lyric. Smushy post over. Normal blogging to resume soon, i'll be back with a vengeance in new year. This time documenting all my weird and wonderful wedding ideas too.

                                           





You survive three years of 'hard work', plentiful drinking, writing yourself a dissertation and manage to make your way through the task of donning a gown and getting your degree. But now what is next?

Despite going for the experience, you go to university to better your career prospects and enhance your future life, right?  There was no lecture on the first day warning you uni isn't all fun and games, and that  there is no sure fire way to leave in three years time with your life planned out. 

Uni was a blast but now graduation forces you to face the woes of adult life.


Trying to find a job? Difficult. A job you want? Impossible.





Going to every interview pretending it's the best thing you've ever seen.




When you get a job, your first pay day after graduation will leave you feeling like Bill Gates.




Until you have to pay all your bills.





Gone is the council tax exemption and all inclusive bills in student halls. 



Faking happiness for everyone on Facebook 'soul searching' and travelling after University.
Really happy you're finding yourself whilst i'm getting up at 5am for a 42hr week.





That 'awful' 9am lecture once a week really wasn't that awful when you have to be up early daily now. Sleeping at university is laughable, at work it's sackable.




Realizing you might have studied for three years but you are still yet to learn about coping with your feelings in an adult manner.






 Your student discount expiring. No more 10% off in Superdrug, ouch.







You'll hate how everyone moves away. No longer do you live with your pj, wine and krispy kreme loving soulmates.



Not living in a student house suddenly means everything is a whole lot cleaner. Don't expect to  have cutlery though.




Finally having  a decent job, your own place. good degree means you feel life is finally working out.






Jalou Newcastle.





A week or so ago Abbie (AKA The Peculiar Penguin) mentioned Jalou in Newcastle and their awesome sounding cocktails. They had us both intrigued by the weird (in a good way) sounding cocktails, and we knew we had to go. Who doesn't want a cocktail that looks like the cookie monster, is made all fancy or comes with a kinder surprise?! 
DRINKS AND SNACKS.  

 So we decided we had to go and have a nice girly day, a shock for both of us. The atmosphere in Jalou is amazing, there wasn't any weird bar vibe and they were playing Beyonce when we arrived. Not just one song, the whole darn album. I LOVE Beyonce, so it just added to my love for them. 
We got there not long after the bar had opened and it was already pretty busy inside, even though it was the afternoon! By the time we left it was getting really busy, which doesn't surprise me at all to be honest
We were lucky enough to find ourselves a table outside, and by the time we were leaving, table-hungry girls were ready to pounce before we'd even walked away! 

The fancy nature of the cocktails is reflected in the price, ranging from about £7-£9 a cocktail. Although they have deals on throughout the week, with 2-4-1 Wednesdays and half price Thursdays, so they're not as expensive. That said. they are nice cocktails, and not some random mix of fruit juice, so it's 100% worth it. Now I've tasted their cocktails, cheap alternatives won't cut it anymore.



Bubblegum flavoured things are my current fave, well that and coconut.
 To make things even better, it was topped with popping candy. I couldn't control my excitement to shovel popping candy and alcohol in my mouth. It felt wonderful and tasted wonderful. It definitely deserves it's place on Jalou's menu under the most popular and favourite cocktails!


We both taste tested each other's cocktails, cause, it'd have been criminal not to!
 I was confident i'd have been falling in love with a cocktail that tasted like Kinder Bueno, but although it did taste nice, it was a little strong, and I was glad I opted mainly for the fruity options Jalou had to offer.





It's alcohol, that looks like the effing cookie monster, and again, you get a snack with your drink! 
Their Cherry Cola Bottle drink was just divine too. It tastes like the cola cubes I used to get in the pick and mix at the cinema when I was younger too.  It is like reliving your youth with an adult twist. 




I've fallen so in love with Jalou I want to go drag everyone to come drink here now. If you're in Newcastle anytime, you have to go.

 I would go gulp down their cocktails 24/7 if not for that whole having to do normal human things like work was stopping me!



Battle Of The Micellar Water : L'Oreal  Skin Perfection Micellar Solution vs Garnier Cleansing Micellar Water || Review.

I've been using and loving Micellar waters for a while now and rely nightly on using one to take off my make up before using my cleansing oil, and the hype in the beauty world is still going strong for them!

If you don't know what Micellar Water is, where the heck have you been hiding!?
Micellar Water looks like normal water but is a 'special' (I read what makes it all swish and special once, but really, I only care if it takes off my make up and doesn't hurt my face, so we'll skip the science!)  water suitable for sensitive skin which you apply to cotton wool to gently remove make up from your skin. It's a lot more gentle and less irritating that harsh make up washes or wipes.

The huge hype surrounding them might explain the increase the availability of Miceller water from different brands; L'oreal, Garnier, B. and Nivea waters all have all caught my eye whilst I've been in Superdrug over the months, yet  I stayed loyal to my  L'Oreal Skin Perfection for some time simply cause I had no issues with it, until I strayed towards the Garnier version. 

The L'oreal and Garnier waters seem to be the two most favoured in the beauty blogging world and there is defiantly pros and cons for both. 

L'Oreal Skin Perfection Micellar Solution


RRP: £4.99.
(Although this water does retail for £4.99, it is often on sale/on some sort of deal!)


Pros:
  • Despite using for months, the water has never broken my skin out, made it sore, or hurt my eyes at all.
  • It's the strongest micellar water i've used. Despite being gentle on the skin it beasts through even water proof mascara.
  • It has accompanying products in the skin perfection range, which are also of equal standard, including a toner and cleansing oil. Both of which are amazing too!  
 Cons:
  • The 200ml bottle makes it half the size of the garnier bottle, which is often still cheaper.
  • The lid makes it very annoying to pour out as it is a rather large hole. The product sort of spills everywhere, not where you're trying to pour it on the cotton wool. Some (a lot...) of nights I end up pouring it down myself by mistake.


Garnier Cleansing Micellar Water


RRP: £4.99
(Although, i'm yet to see it in superdrug/boots not on offer for around £3!)


Pros:
  • Unlike the L'orreal version, it is much easier to pour.
  • Large bottle size.  Of all the brands in superdrug, this water is the one sold in the largest bottle.
  • The bottle size vs price (although the same rrp, it is more often on offer vs l'oreal, and still is larger!) makes it the best for value.
Cons:
  • I find the garnier version sometimes struggles to get off my mascara as well as the l'orreal one does.
  • I often have to use a lot more water to get the same amount of make up off compared to l'orreal.
  • It has made my face burn/sore once or twice after use. I'm not 100% sure it was to blame, but highly likely.
  • It claims that you can get 200 uses out of the bottle. Pfffft. No. Maybe if you only wear concealer under your eyes. But still, no.
I've made my way through one and a bit Garnier bottles, and countless amounts of the l'oreal ones and the l'orreal is my faviourite overall. That said, I'd not turn my nose up at the garnier one, as it is excellent value for money and still many peoples go-to. If you're new to miceller water, Garnier's might be the one for you!



Today is a little reflective post to get me back into the swing of blogging regularly (ha, who am I kidding!). I've so many make-up reviews, a favourites and a few more recipes I want to post! Here's to hoping the Easter break gives me a chance to write them all up! 


Despite living here for very in Sunderland for nearly three years, i've not really had a chance to explore around where I live. The north-east of England has some beautiful sights and although I don't think i'll be leaving the north-east when I graduate, i've decided to make good i've the spare time I do have to explore where it is that I live.

I walk past or see these sights nearly every day as my university overlooks them, and despite living here for nearly three years now, i've never really taken in how lovely it was. 



I was walking past the river the other week on a way to pick up an exam result and realised just how pretty it was and how lucky I am to have a university which overlooks such a pretty river, bridge and scenery.
More so, summer is coming and my university is so close to the beach. I think i'm going to have to take a lot more walks to soak up the wonderful sights, which means trying to find time to go on a good few beach walks before graduation!

It's the little things like this that are so easy to not appreciate when the stresses in life get to you. Exploring the wonderful scenery has a surprisingly calming affect, so I really should do it more often.

Soap and Glory Beauty Sleep Accelerator: Night & Flight Moisture Miracle


When 'browsing' in Boots the other day I spotted this bad boy, but if i'm honest, it's impossible to ever browse in Boots. I must leave having brought something!



I have been looking for a night cream for so long now, but one thing what always puts me off is the hefty price tag that comes with many. This however can be found in boots for £13. Even better, they currently have 1/3 off at the moment, making it just over £8. It really is a snip for how good the product is. 

 This product is amazing! I didn't think I needed to moisturise for so long as I thought I had 'oily' skin, but I couldn't have been more wrong. Since starting to moisturise my skin is far less sore. Thinking oily skin means no need to moisturise was a silly idea on my part!


This cream has the standard beautiful soap and glory scent you'd expect! Peachy and fruity. It is marketed for dry and dehydrated skin, and after denying my skin for so long, it is just what it needed. I'm not too sure how it'd fair on oily skin though, as it is very thick.

I've been using it every night for the past week and I am in love. It is rather thick, but by morning it's totally sunk into the skin and my skin feels so plump, soft and renewed. It did make my face feel all shiny to begin with, but put on right before bedtime, it's not really an issue, I learnt not to put it on mid-afternoon to test the hard way though!



Although I don't really have aged skin so to speak, my skin has become really tight and dry lately so I really love this cream, it is moisturising enough to keep skin healthy and hydrated and I already know i'll be buying this over and over again once it is used, unless I stumble upon an even better product, but I'm doubtful that will happen!
I saw this list over on Missisgoode's blog and my reasons for thinking it's an excellent idea are pretty similar!  What with so many deadlines, writing really long blog posts are not the easiest thing to do! Hopefully posting every day for a month will get me in the swing of regularly blogging as well!

Some of the things (Mainly day 19! What on earth do they mean?!) are a little bit weird, and I might change a couple of them, but for the most part i'll be stealing Issy's list! So, as of Saturday, i'll be blogging 30 days straight! 

Here are the questions which form the challenge;

Day 1 - Your current relationship, or how single life is.
Day 2 - Where you would like to be in ten years
Day 3 - Your views on drugs and alcohol
Day 4 - Your views on religion
 Day 5 - The happiest memory of your life
Day 6 - Write thirty interesting facts about yourself
 Day 7 - Your zodiac sign and if you think it fits your personality
Day 8 - A moment you felt the most satisfied with your life
Day 9 - What you hope your future will be like
Day 10 - Discuss your first love and first kiss
Day 11 - Put your music player on shuffle and write ten songs that pop up
Day 12 - Bullet your whole day
 Day 13 - Somewhere you would like to move or visit
Day 14 - Your earliest memory
 Day 15 - Your favourite Tumblrs
Day 16 - Your views on mainstream music
Day 17 - Your highs and lows of the past year
Day 18 - Your beliefs
 Day 19 - Disrespecting your parents
 Day 20 - How important you think education is
 Day 21 - One of your favourite shows
 Day 22 - How have you changed in the past two years?
Day 23 - Give pictures of five guys who are famous who you find attractive
Day 24 - Your favourite movie and what it's about
 Day 25 - Someone who fascinates you and why
 Day 26 - What kind of person attracts you?
 Day 27 - A problem that you have had
Day 28 - Something that you miss
 Day 29 - Goals for the next thirty days
Day 30 - Your highs and lows of this month
I started this year on a bit of a health kick, and now that I have come the end of February, I'm struggling, badly! Popping the new Happi Feet into my gym shoes and realising just how long it has been since I've worn them, has made me realise I need to get my bum back to the gym!

Happi Feet are marketed as being 3 in 1 shoe fresheners which combine style, fragrance and deodarising abilities. They come in four scents of Japanese Cherry Blossom, Madagascan Vanilla, Caribbean Beach Breeze and Freshly Laundered. The pack I was sent had a sample of Freshly Laundered and a scratch and sniff tester of the other scents. All are far from unpleasant smelling but I think the Cherry Blossom and Freshly Laundered are the nicest scents! They smelt the strongest of the four scents, and if you're putting them in shoes, this is something I'd look for.



(Here on the left you can see the blue elastic with tags on around the tongues of my shoe, these are the shoe fresheners! On the right is the back of the bag which has gives information about the product, and is reseable so you can pop them back in and lock in that fragrance!)

The packet said they can last up to six weeks, and having had them in my gym shoes for a couple of days already, they still smell strong and my shoes are smelling fresh! When I first opened the packaged, I started to worry a little, my gym shoes are only a little over a month old, and in comparison to my old smelly gym shoes I replaced with these bad boys, they're hardly ponging yet!What I think is good is if I get in the habit of using these early enough, I think my new gym shoes will remain fresh and new for far longer, and when you shell out on gym shoes, the longer they don't smell for, the better! 

The shoe fresheners work by having an elastic loop which is hooked over the tongue of your shoe, so the freshener hovers inside, and the freshener is small enough to fit in any shoe. I was surprised how easy it was to get onto the shoe, as I sort of expected to be hooking it though my laces to stay, but it just slots right in! Unlike shoe sprays or other like products, you only need to put it in once and it works away, so you don't have to constantly spray stuff into your shoes! 

  Happi Feet come with a resealable bag, so once you feel your shoes are fresh enough, or you need to wear them, you're able to put them back into the bag to lock in the scent to ensure the 6 weeks of use out of them. They're available in Tesco retailing at an RRP of £2.60, which is excellent for 6 weeks of freshness, and a snip of what new smelling gym shoes would cost!

The packet says you can use them in any shoes, even slippers, or try slipping them into your wardrobe, but i'm definitely going to stick with using these in my gym shoes. That said, I definitely need to get myself back to the gym so they can get to work on ridding my shoes of smells!


Disclaimer: I was sent this product for the purpose of this review, however all opinions are my own, and form part of an honest review.

My obsession with lush bath bombs, well, lush in general is bordering on neurotic. It's up there with my love of cats and crisps. I must have been about twelve when I first tried a bath bomb from them, i'm pretty sure it was a birthday present, and I wasn't overally taken. I don't think I had outgrown my tom-boy stage where still saw baths as a chore, rather than a pleasure. Yes, twelve was a little late to still hate hygiene.

 Any whom, after finally getting a bathroom which isn't shared with the male species (downside to uni accomodation,) me and the girls have developed an obsession. I rarely go into town without going into Lush and buying something to try out. Baring in mind we are all poor students, it's becoming a bit of an issue. They smell so good it's hard to resist! I really don't need the excuse of mid-week blues to lie in the lovely bathy goodness if i'm honest!

What I really love is the wide range they do, from bath bombs which make the water remain clear and silky to moisturise you, to highly perfumed and glittery, there is such a wide choice. If you ask one of the ever so helpful members of staff they'll advise you what best suits your needs, from dry skin to stress; there's something to help.

HoneyBee.
 I've only ever had one bath bomb I didn't like, and it had nothing to do with the feel or the smell. In fact, it smelt lovely, and made my skin feel so moisturised, but it was a yellow coulor and sent the bath water a murky yellow shade, and I felt like I was bathing in wee. That said, if you're hardly as squimish as me, Honey Bee might be the bath bomb for you!

Honeybee looking beautiful before going into the bath!




Honebee after making the water all murky!


Space Girl.
Another I've tried out recently is space girl.

It's really similar to Sex Bomb in terms of colouring and smell I think, but it has a little bit of sparkle on top. It goes away once in the water though and the water becomes and beautiful smelling shade of pink and purple! One thing I really loved is unlike Sex Bomb, Space girl has popping candy in and pops away whilst melting away in the bath.  I'm pretty sure the fine glittery bit on tops the popping candy part.


Butterball.
On the total opposite end of the scale is Butterball, it gentley fizzes away in the bath and doesn't change the colour, it's just a plain white ball, ! It was that boring to look at I forgot to take a photo of it! 

Although it might be overlooked by some for the plain appearance, it has the most benefits from all the bath bombs i've tried as it makes the water so silky and mouisturining! It also smells like chocolate, and ooh, that bits good!


Sex Bomb.


However, my all time fave is sex bomb! It's a lovely pink and purple colour. It has a little flowered rose in the top which means foamy petals float in your bath with you and it smells delish! Online it says it's full of all the scents to help relax and calm anxiety such as jasmine and ylang ylang. It just looks so lovely, and it really does calm me. Over Christmas I managed to fall asleep in the bath for a good five hours as I felt that calm and soothed! I really doubt any bath bomb will come close to overtaking my love for Sex Bomb!



 I find bath bombs are such a good way to relax. Now matter how busy I get, I try to find a small pocket of 30/60 minutes where I can zone out from the world and enjoy some colourful soothing water. I realise the older I get and the closer work, marriage, babies, pets become, the less time i'm likely to have, so might use this as an excuse to get buying some more bath bombs!

When Canvas Design posted on twitter looking for bloggers who would like to review their canvas', I jumped at the chance! I've always loved taking photos and I am that annoying person who is always shoving a camera in your face, so I had plenty of photos to choose from!

I emailed Loren at Canvas Design and I was asked to pop an email over with the photo I'd like. I'm not very good at all things techy, and didn't know how to check the size of the images (a lot had been taken on my iPhone, and the quality means it could lead to a fuzzy image) so I sent over a couple images for them to look over to find a suitable one. They were really helpful in making sure they were printed at a suitable size to ensure a good quality image remained!

Thursday afternoon, whilst sat in a lecture a text popped up on my phone telling me my my parcel would be delivered the next day and gave me the chance to reply to have it delivered to a neighbour, the next day, or the day after instead. If that wasn't helpful enough, I got another text Friday morning giving me an hour time frame in which the order would arrive in! If you're like me and try and fit a million and one things to do in one day, knowing you're not sitting around all day for a parcel is really good! More so, when you place an order you get free 48h delivery. To get your parcel that quick, without a delivery fee, and in an designated hour time slot, is pretty darn good!

When the canvas arrived, it was like christmas all over again! It was VERY well packaged, and I took great pleasure in ripping off (carefully!) the wrapping!  Fear not planet lovers, it was recycled!


I wouldn't say I was skeptical as such, but the companies prices are far lower than their competitors, starting at £7.99 for a 6 x 6  canvas. So, part of me was expecting the excellent prices to be reflected in a lower quality canvas but I couldn't have been more wrong!

 They're such excellent quality. The frames are so sturdy and the canvas material is made from 380gsm pure cotton canvas. One of the heaviest in the market place, according to their website. More so, you've no need to fiddle about in your 'DIY' box trying to find some tacks to put it up with, nor do you need to buy any, as each canvas comes with a hanging kit so you can hang your canvas up on the wall!


 I've seen canvas' from other companies before and as well as being more expensive in compassion, the quality is no match for these! I've been tempted to buy photos on canvas for a while now, but something that always put me off was some fold the image around the canvas box, meaning you lose out on parts of your image, but not at Canvas Design. They mirror the last bit if your image and make it look like part of the photo and ensure that it looks normal, so your image still covers the whole canvas, rather than being left with white gaps around the end of the box and without you losing out on any of the image on the actual frame. Although, if you're wanting the white gaps, fear not, you can pick that option too!



I really can't recommend this company enough! I actually let out a sequel when I opened the parcel, and my housemate even commented on how lovely they are! I'm carefully resting them on a shelf at the moment as I going to put them up in the new house, and I really cannot wait to have these beautiful canvas' up in the new house!


Disclaimer: I was sent a free canvas for the purpose of this review, however all opinions are my own, and an honest review.
I've been longing after a new blusher for a while now, but after investing in a Bobbi Brown blusher over summer and really hating it, I had been put off slighly from splashing out on another. After a stressful day last week I popped into Mac in Newcastle and treated myself to some lovely goodies, one of which was this blush in peachykeen.





I suffer from a lot of redness in my skin, and i'm very pale, so a lot of blushers make the redness even more obvious. I asked the lady on the counter what she would advise me to go for. She suggested I went for a blusher with a little bit of shimmer in. I really hated shimmer blush, but often go for garish matte colours which  make the redness worse, so I decided to remain open minded to new options.

She suggested a couple she thought would suit me and I decided to try Peachykeen on. It's very subtle on yet is highly pigmented. The Mac website describes it as a very baby peach, and it is a sheertone shimmer finish. Which is a fair description. Soon as it was on I fell in love. It's not overly shimmery and it appears very natural. It's a blusher I can wear everyday without fearing I will look blotchy or like a clown. It gives a natural glow without looking like your face was dipped in glitter.

PeachyKeen *With Flash*

Peachykeen *Without Flash*

It might not be such a suitable blush if you have darker skin or  you're not looking for a very subtle blush colour though, as obviously I've only tried it on my pasty skin. I tend to apply it to the apples of my cheeks very lighly and then across my cheekbones. When swatching it, its possible to build it darker, but its not something I have or would want to try on my cheeks, as I like the nice soft finish it gives, as well as acting a little like a highlighter too due to the little shimmer in it. As you can see below.

PeachyKeen Swatched *with flash*

The blusher came in at £18 and I have read online some people compare it to Nars Orgasm blush. The price difference between the two is not massive as Nars blushers come in at around £21.50 online. So depending how many pennies you want to save it might be a possibility to swap over from Nars to Mac I guess, but there isn't much price difference.

I have most defiantly fallen in love with Peachykeen and will be keeping this in my every day make-up bag!