31 August 2014

Taking Stock | Man Style #4

Joe is back for his turn at taking over my blog, otherwise titled as 'Taking Stock' (man style!). I thought I would keep this little series running because I actually like a little insight into his brain too, I only hope you guys are also enjoying this monthly instalment! If you have a blog and also write a 'Taking Stock' style post once a month please link to your blog in the comments because I love reading these posts, they are one of my favourites in-fact! (Try getting your other-half to join in too!).

Over to Joe now for his August round up...

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{Image sourced from Pinterest | Original found here}

Making | Lucy hiccup from laughing.
Cooking | and subsequently burning popcorn.
Drinking | Shandy (so rock and roll).
Reading | about cats.
Wanting | the new Royal Blood album.
Looking | forward to Christmas.
Playing | Olympics on the PS3 with Lucy.
Deciding | to adopt Gizmo the cat.
Wishing | Big Bang Theory was on Netflix.
Enjoying | the cooler evenings.
Waiting | in line at the barbers for 30 seconds.
Liking | having a proper haircut.
Wondering | if I'll ever find some jeans that fit properly.
Loving | our new Hoover.
Hoping | we can give Gizmo the cat a happy home.
Marvelling | at hearing our songs on US radio.
Needing | steak.
Smelling | the bin.
Wearing | some new clothes.
Following | people on twitter.
Noticing | our patio is slowly being demolished by tree roots.
Knowing | we've registered to be married feels good!
Thinking | too much.. As usual.
Feeling | tired from doing INSANITY.
Opening | presents for the birthday.
Giggling | at Sheldon Cooper.
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30 August 2014

Taking Stock | August 2014

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{Image sourced from Pinterest | Original found here}


Making | fabulous new friends in the shape of bloggers.
Cooking | much healthier dinners and feeling better for it (turkey curry anyone? Yum!).
Drinking | hot drinks in the evenings again (hello autumn!).
Reading | 'Surf Mama' - I know I have mentioned this before but I love it, watch this for my review!
Wanting | new stationary for my home office and some mid-heel ankle boots for next season.
Looking | rather tired recently (according to a whole bunch of people this week anyway!). 
Playing | 'Cranium' with friends. What I learnt when we played this is that I cannot whistle Queens 'Bohemian Rhapsody' without half spitting in someones face with laughter (whilst the other team of great whistlers win) :-)  
Deciding | how I want my office to look before commencing 'Project Make Over'!
Wishing | I had some spare cash to buy some Mac make-up (I have none, surely a crime?).
Enjoying | my blogs five minutes of fame in 'Reloved' magazines 'Blogs We Love' section!
Waiting | for my two new Avon lippies to arrive (I can't resist an offer on a new range!). I will report more on a video soon!
Liking | being able to wear layers again... I love layering.
Wondering | how many sessions with the osteopath I will need to fix my hip.
Loving | hearing Joes band on US radio... three times! 
Hoping | to send off our ceremony pack very soon now we have read over our vows.
Marveling | at how fast Joe has adapted to having a pet. He never wanted one and is now a fab dad to our little Gizmo (and she adores him).
Needing | new gym trainers rather desperately. 
Smelling | Christmas candles in the shops; they smell so good! 
Wearing | my H & M over-sized shirt and skinny jeans.
Following | new blogging opportunities as they have come my way.
Noticing | how much darker it is at 5am now.
Knowing | this year is flying by ridiculously fast.
Thinking | that gigantic, monster-spider is probably still alive in our hoover.
Feeling | hungry way too much and craving hot fudge cake and ice-cream (I'm not allowed it though...).
Giggling | at the Inbetweeners on Netflix (although not so much at the new movie...I wasn't a huge fan of that).
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29 August 2014

Loving, Needing, Meh! #61

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This week I have been LOVING: 
  • Seeing Gizmo getting in her special outdoor house (by herself!). We brought her an outside box to hold a heated pad and blanket in the winter as we don't have a cat-flap (and I will worry myself half to death about her being outdoors all day). When we got it I tried to coax her into it but she wasn't having any of it, despite wanting to get into every nook and cranny in the house (typical cat behavior!). At 6am on Tuesday, after Joe had left for work, and I was about to leave, I opened the back door to try and get her to go in there as it was absolutely falling down with rain outside but she was just sat, like a little furry statue, in the middle of the garden. I gave up and shut the back door and went to wash my hands at the sink... when I looked again she was in the box! I felt like a mum watching her baby walk for the first time - I wanted to call Joe and say 'she did it, she did it!'. This probably sounds a bit dramatic but we had been trying to get her little paws in the darn thing for days!
  • Planning how I want to re-vamp my office. It is my next little home project because I want to make the space more workable so I have been on Pinterest and looking for another small desk online to get things started!
  • Insanity workouts. I have switched routines for a while just to mix things up and am loving it. I am also enjoying the fact that Joe is doing it too (good work!).
  • This very uplifting and motivational YouTube video sent to me by a work colleague. Maybe not everyones cup of tea but it was right up my street.
  • Reading our ceremony pack that we received from our registrar. It is strange, but very lovely, to read your potential vows :-)
This week I have been NEEDING:
  • To tackle my sweet pea project. For some crazy reason I have decided to let the seed pods form on my sweet peas so I can have my very own seeds to sow ready for next year. I have even researched and learnt what colour pod is good to pick off and what I need to do to get the seeds out (get me!).
  • To get Gizmos chip re-registered and make her all official! 
This weeks 'MEH!':
  • Spiders, spiders everywhere. I ruddy hate this time of year...
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28 August 2014

Ways I Unwind...

A couple of weeks ago I started drafting a post about how I was working on new ways to find balance in my life and the small, everyday things I try to do to help me relax and unwind after a particularly stressful week. Having almost finished putting the post together I was contacted by the lovely people over at Wellbeing Escapes who were talking with me about their upcoming workshop, ‘Stress Less; Creating New Habits for Health and Happiness’, and asking whether I would like to put up a post about how I de-stress and unwind in conjunction with their workshop (they also want to offer you guys a discount too!).

So, here we go, my top five, low cost, ways to unwind…

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^^You can't beat getting out in nature^^

1 :: Get Outside
Nothing puts me in a better mood faster than getting outside in the fresh air. It’s an oldie but a goody in my humble opinion. Whether you are the sort of person who enjoys a long, rambling walk or someone of the more green-fingered disposition, getting out of the house/office is guaranteed to lift your spirits. One of my favourite things to do, weather permitting, is to take my book outside with a hot cup of tea (of course!) and sit and read, it really relaxes the mind and body just to step out for a while. 

2 :: Put the gadgets down and visit a friend (and laugh a little too!)
I’m sure I don’t have to state the obvious about how stressful being constantly attached to a gadget can be? I recently had a couple of weeks off of work and used that time to catch up with people…in person! Visiting my family and my best friend (not to mention her gorgeous little girl) and catching up face to face was an amazing way to de-clutter the mind and bring my focus back to the important things in life. When Joe and I put our phones down in the evening and talk to each other and make each other laugh I can feel my body relax immediately. 

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^^If in doubt gather friends, drink tea and chat the morning away^^

3 :: Get Active
I guess this could come under the ‘Get Outside’ section too but either way getting a bit of a sweat on can work miracles for me. My first reason for loving exercise has always been the mental health benefits, with the physical benefits coming a close second. Even on those days where I pretty much crawl home from work, feeling like all I want to do it slump on the bed and power nap my life away, I try to do something. Seriously, even a stretch can lift your mood and help clear your mind of the day. I find that after exercise I always have a better nights sleep too – an added bonus!

4 :: Have a Pamper Session
I feel most at ease when I am taking care of myself. On a Friday evening I like to take my make up off and give my face a really good cleanse before applying a mud mask and some rich moisturiser to feed my poor, tired skin. One of my other favourite things to do is to fill a bowl with warm water and soak my feet in front of one of my favourite shows on Netflix, once they are all warm and soft (trying not to put the image of me with a pumice stone in your head right now) I slather them in foot lotion and put a pair of socks on – heaven!

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^^Try a new recipe or create something to be proud of!^^

5 :: Get Creative
Distraction techniques are one of the best ways to switch off and un-wind a tired mind, for me anyway! I love making things or trying new recipes. You can’t beat switching on the radio (I usually turn it up nice and loud) and creating something new or a yummy treat. Creativity is a wonderful way to take your mind away from daily tasks and often gives you something rewarding at the end of it too. For something ultra-creative and relaxing why not learn to knit? (It’s trendy now you know!). 

They are my top ways to de-stress and unwind, what are yours? Why not let me know in the comments below!

If you want to find much more inspiration and learn some great techniques to readdress the balance in your life, from a professional Life Coach, why not check out Wellbeing Escapes workshop, ‘Stress Less; Creating New Habits for Health and Happiness’, taking place on 30th August in London, and receive a fab 15% discount too, by entering the code ‘WORKSHOP15’ at the checkout!

As a little after note I just wanted to say that having worked in the fitness industry for several years I am a big fan of life coaches and the unique ways they can help you see ‘outside the box’ and have personally experienced the benefits from attending sessions in the past! 
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26 August 2014

Handmade Herb Labels

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I wish I could say that I decided to make these cute little herb pot labels just because I wanted a pretty accessory for my pots but the truth is I am horrendous at identifying herbs. When I brought the recent ones for the kitchen, the conversation in the shop went as follows:

Me: '...right, I think I'll get basil, mint and this coriander'
Joe: 'that's parsley'
Me: 'oh, is it?'
Joe: 'yep!'
Me: 'ok'
Five minutes later as we are paying at the self-checkout:
Me: 'I'm so pleased I managed to get coriander because we can put that in the curry!'
Joe: 'it's parsley lovely'
Me: 'oh yeah'

My rubbish herb skills aside I have wanted to make these little clay labels for ages. I had some oven bake clay left over from when I made these hearts last year so thought I would put it to good use. 

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What you will need
:: Oven bake clay (I use Premo Sculpey) - I used white as I didn't want to have to paint it!
:: Sculpey Glaze Satin (I used this one)
:: Letter stamps (mine were from eBay a few years ago but Hobby Craft do a selection too)
:: A rolling pin
:: A knife or metal ruler (for cutting the clay)
:: A paint brush (to apply the glaze)

How to make
:: Pre-heat oven to the temperature stated on the clays packaging.
:: Roll out some clay to the desired length and thickness - I would recommend it being no thicker than 5-6mm.
:: Use your ruler to cut the labels to the size you would like. A metal ruler works really well for this.
:: Shape the ends of the labels to a point using the ruler and flatten slightly using your fingers.

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:: Using the letter stamps gently imprint the herb names into each label.

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:: Place on a metal baking tray with some foil on to stop sticking and place in the oven for the time stated in the packaging. Sculpey recommend you bake the clay for 15 minutes per 6mm thickness. 
:: Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
:: Once completely cool apply one to two coats of glaze. If you want to paint the labels a different colour to the clay do this before applying your glaze. Acrylic paint should work fine as it will be sealed with the glaze.

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I am really pleased with how these came out. They are really super simple to make and one you have got some clay (you could get away with a small block which should come in at under £3.00) and a little pot of varnish you are pretty much good to go! Let me know if you make these and what you think! Happy crafting :-)
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25 August 2014

August Favourites | New YouTube Video

Happy Bank Holiday Monday to everyone in the UK (Happy Monday to everyone else of course!). It is apparently the end of another month again so I am bringing you some favourites today. It's a bit of a mixed bag but I hope you enjoy them anyway!

The day I filmed this I was having all sorts of problems getting my words out as well as few other things so I thought I would chuck some outtakes at the end to make you smile... (apologies for the lighting in this video too...it was such a strange old weather day which does not lend itself to filming!).

To see a full list of products mentioned just click through to the video on YouTube HERE and click the menu under the video (why not subscribe while you are there?!).

Enjoy!

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22 August 2014

Loving, Needing, Meh! #60

How is it that I have been doing this regular Friday post for 60 weeks? That is beyond insane to me! Yet here we are again friends. How has your week been? Mine has been a little all over the shop but a good'un nonetheless! Let's round it up shall we?

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This week I have been LOVING:
  • Finally discovering the little story behind the cat we have been semi looking after since we moved in. We are now in the process of becoming her mummy and daddy for real! For more on little Gizmo just head on over to my Facebook page where I update regularly about all manner of things!
  • Getting pancakes at Bills restaurant in town, on a school day! Okay, I know it's the holidays, but it still felt like I was bunking off work! Seriously though, you can't not get pancakes for breakfast in that place, they are such a treat and very, very tasty.
  • Sitting down and planning blog posts and videos for the autumn time. I am trying to bring some organisation to my life because as soon as I finish my two weeks off the schedule will be mental again.
  • Spending quality time with Joe. To have two whole weeks off together has been beyond amazing. We never do that and so it has been wonderful having breakfast together, going for walks around the garden centre and generally just being together.
  • Lasagne. Do I need to say more? We have both been on a health kick and as a treat I made lasagne - so good (well, it may not have been, but I haven't had pasta in an age so ignorance is bliss!).
  • Having an impromptu lunch with my bestie and baby. I am learning how fast littlies grow up and it is quite amazing how much changes in between visits. Having little Janie crawl up my legs and hold my hand to steady herself is quite something.
This week I have been NEEDING:
  • Chocolate. Don't ask. I am not allowed it but I want it, God how I want it.
  • Moisture. My skin is dry. Why? I can only imagine it is lack of chocolate! :-)
  • The osteopath. My hips and back have finally driven me insane enough to visit one. Verdict? I am not beyond repair but in need of a fair amount it would seem!
This weeks 'MEH!':
  • Putting the 'wrong' kind of moisturiser on my face before a certain foundation and then watching in dismay (and with only 15 minutes to spare before I really needed to get moving) as it flaked off my face, leaving me looking like a patchy moron. 

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21 August 2014

Top Style Pins | August

Having just managed to get enough clothing together to get me through the spring and summer months I am now having to think about my (rather lacking) autumn/winter wardrobe. It may shock you girlies out there to know that I am not a shopping fan (unless it involves books or stationary, then I'm all over it!). Pinterest has been my biggest inspiration for flicking through what I may like to add to my wardrobe for the chillier months. These are the things that have caught my eye...

RIPPED JEANS | ANKLE BOOTS | CONVERSE
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{Images sourced from Pinterest: far left / middle / top right / bottom right}
I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I had brought some ripped jeans (sorry mum!) and I am really looking forward to wearing them in the autumn with a sloppy knit, mid-heel ankle boots or converse. I have had my eye on some white converse for a while and may have to invest soon.

OVER-SIZED KNITS
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{Images sourced from Pinterest: top left / top right / bottom left / bottom right}

In my humble opinion you cannot beat a good pair of skinny jeans and a nice over-sized knit. I think it is something, if done right, can look timeless and suit most shapes and sizes. Plus you can dress it up or down with boots or heels. This is a look I will certainly be going for as the temperature drops again.

POP OF COLOUR
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I adore colour and as I have got older I have become less afraid to just take the bull by the horns and go for it. In autumn I love to accessorise with colour and think that a bright knitted scarf or hat can really perk up your outfit!

What will you be putting in your autumn wardrobe?
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18 August 2014

Soft Pink Make Up | New YouTube Video

It's Monday so that can only mean one thing (other than the weekend has already shot by!) - a new YouTube video on my channel! This week it is a bit of a longer one as I decided to chat the entire way through (sometimes you guys ask me to drop the voice overs and talk to you - you may want to switch back after today!).

I have gone for something a bit out of my comfort zone today as it is very girly and pink but I actually really like it! If you enjoy my weekly video why not subscribe to my channel to be the first to hear about new stuff as it arrives?!

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Sunday Snaps (on a Monday...oops!)

Welcome to the Monday of two posts! This one which, as you can tell from the title, should have gone up yesterday... and, later on, my regular beauty video will be up too! But for now, here is a little round up of what has been happening over the last couple of weeks, in pictures...
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1. I enjoyed a little 'girls outing' to the garden centre for a catch up with the bestie and the 'small' this week; oh the perks of being off work and able to take a mid-week jaunt out and about! / 2. Wearing my new H & M blue shirt and pottering about at home post filming. / 3. We had a slightly belated birthday dinner for Joe this week too.The cake he is holding on the right is a very strange singing and dancing number, the one on the left is a whole lot more delicious! / 4. This was taken at a local shopping village. It had this central part which was filled with bunting and gorgeous buildings. I am also slightly obsessed with stairways that have flowers and pots on, so cute. / 5. I get 'Reloved' magazine delivered every month as it is a great source of inspiration. Yesterday I sat down to read it only to see my very own blog featured under the 'blogs we love' section. It was a fab surprise! / 6. I may have mentioned (once or twice) that Joe and I are planning our wedding at the moment. On Thursday we officially registered our intent to marry. It feels good to have done that now (and ever-so-slightly grown up too). 7. There have been a few lazy breakfasts since being off work. This was a particularly good one too. / 8.  The garden centre forced me to buy these flowers - aren't they lovely? / 9. I had to include this photo because Joe looks so cheeky in it. It made me laugh! 
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16 August 2014

Simple Summer Chicken | Recipe



This recipe is one I was given by my mum and it is super fast and easy (a prerequisite for me!). I also think it is fairly healthy as dinners go, not to mention super yummy! I served Joes with some rice but as I am currently avoiding most white foods (other than white chocolate and vanilla ice-cream obviously...doh!) I had mine with salad and it was pretty nice.



INGREDIENTS 
(Serves 4 people)
:: 1 tbsp of olive oil
:: 4 boneless chicken/skinless chicken breasts
:: 200g pack of cherry tomatoes
:: 3 tbsp of pesto
:: 3 tbsp of low fat creme fraiche
:: fresh basil

HOW TO

1. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan. Add the chicken and cook through thoroughly. Add a little salt and pepper at this point if you wish.

2. Halve the tomatoes and throw them into the pan with the cooked chicken. Stir them for a few minutes until they have softened. 

3. Reduce the heat and stir in the pesto and creme fraiche until it makes a sauce. Allow to heat through and add some basil leaves. Serve with rice, salad or vegetables!



It really is as simple as that - perfect for a quick and healthy family meal and heats up great for second day leftovers too! Let me know if you have try it! Why not tweet me a picture?!
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15 August 2014

Loving, Needing, Meh! #59

Happy Friday once again lovely people! I hope this week has been a great one for you all. 

I have been having all sorts of blogging melt downs this end due to my site failing to load up on numerous occasions - to add insult to injury it seems to only happen at home...coincidence? Not sure, but if you are trying to get on here and it fails please rest assured that it usually comes back to life if you keep refreshing the page and I am working on trying to fix it (when I say 'I', I mean Joe...and the blogger forum people who know many, many more things about the life of websites than I do!). Please do bear with me - I would hate it if you gave up on me :-(

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This week I have been LOVING:
  • Having time off work to actually sleep and rest (a little!).
  • Formally registering our intent to marry at our local registry office. Very grown up! We are officially good to go for our wedding in April now. I can't quite believe it, but it's true! It has all come together very fast but feels great. I must admit to googling what questions they ask you when they take you into the room to register. I had visions of 'favourite film/colour/animal/exotic fruit' etc, but none of that happened, thank goodness! 
  • Joes band, Minus Cube, being played on a radio station in the US of A! How ruddy cool! We set our alarms for 2am to listen to it and it was truly fab! A great introduction and lovely words from the DJ too. Plus it was sandwiched in-between some of rock musics royalty... a-mazing! For more information you can check out the bands Facebook Page here!
  • Treat day. I have been eating super healthy recently (I know I have mentioned it a lot! It's called self motivation and if I tell you guys then I have to keep it up!). But this week we had a curry with friends on Monday and a little late birthday dinner with my parents yesterday for Joe. Cake was eaten, pudding was also eaten (separate to cake!). Back on the wagon today though with enough food inside me to last me a week!
  • Estee and Aslans 'Nordic Vlogs'. My favourite beauty YouTuber is travelling at the moment and we are both enjoying their daily vlogs on their vlog channel
  • The Inbetweeners. Being at home a little more has resulted in us venturing back to this series on Netflix. It makes me laugh so much this programme. We may venture to see the new film next week but are currently working our way through some of our faves from the various episodes online!
  • My new book. You know sometimes you see a book review, get a couple of lines into it and realise you are going to need that! Luckily for me I still had some money left on a book voucher so said book was ordered and, although I am only a few pages in, I already know I love it. The book is called 'Surf Mama' and is a true story about a 40 something who decided she wanted to 'seize the day', move her family abroad and learn to surf. These stories of inspiration really motivate me, maybe I am hitting a mid life crisis... hang on in there Joe!
This week I have been NEEDING:
  • Gardening time. I have not done any of my 'tidy the garden' to-do list yet and am planning on heading out there immediately I publish this post to plant my gorgeous new violas and rescue a tree that is a victim of the strong winds and is now resembling the leaning tower of Pisa. Wish me luck! (Just looked out the window and it is mighty grey outside... I'll brave it anyway, I'm such a trooper, I know!)
  • To call the osteopath. I am surrendering to the gammy hip I have been suffering with for months because it is getting crazy-painful. I have tried stretching, foam rollering, icing, heat, anti-inflammatories in tablet and gel form, painkillers and sleep (!) but nothing is working so I give up.
This weeks 'MEH!':
  • Other than the rubbish hip and the moody blog/internet issues...I had an experience in a certain bookstore yesterday that I wanted to mention, just to get it off my chest. So, it's 9am, you know, the beginning of the day when you are feeling fresh and ready for the hours ahead... I wander in to said bookstore to collect the above mentioned read, approach the counter and say to the grumpy man behind the till 'hi' (no response) 'I have a quick question!' (still no response, so I continue on my merry way with what I want to ask) 'I ordered a book online to collect in here, where do I go to pick it up?'. His first reaction was a classic 'that wasn't a quick question'. Great. At first I thought he was being dry, in a Jack Dee kinda way, nope, just rude as it turns out. Then I say 'er, ok. So where do I collect it please?' and he says 'well, I guess you just need to ask anyone who's around'. Now, I can't get over on a blog the attitude in his voice, just take my word for it that he was Grumpy Cat personified! He heads off to get my book, passes it to me and we leave. Half an hour later I was still wanting to go back and have it out with him about being miserable but Joe convinced me otherwise. Until next time Grumpy Man (which, FYI, will be next week, when I am collecting another book...buck up or face the music because being nice costs zilch).
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13 August 2014

Moonlighting

(Before I get in to todays post I just want to quickly say that Blogger/Google seems to be having a few difficulties and sometimes it seems this site won't load - just wanted to let you know that I am trying to work out what's going on and rectify it! - I am going slightly grey worrying about it too!)

Moving swiftly on...

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Yesterday I was lucky enough to be a guest blogger on the wonderful lifestyle blog 'Creative Countryside'. I have been reading this blog for a while, so when I was invited to write a little something I didn't hesitate (but I was extremely anxious about getting it right for the lovely Eleanor, whose blog it is!).

I thought I would use today to link to it so you can have a read of my post 'Summertime Happy List' - do check out the rest of the blog too, it really is fab!

Thank you to Eleanor for giving me the opportunity to write something for her blog - I hope you are having a great holiday lovely lady!

Let me know what you thought below in my comments!
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11 August 2014

Augusts 'You Beauty Discovery Box' | New YouTube Video

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Another month, another You Beauty Discovery box to open, it's a hard life! I love the arrival of these boxes and always look forward to the email with the menu on. This month I chose a hair masque by Louise Galvin and a little set for the face, by the brand Gazelli, which included a serum and cream. Why not watch the YouTube video below to see what I thought of this months box and see what little added extras got thrown in? Please click here to subscribe to my channel to stay up to date my videos (new ones every Monday!).


As always, the box was great value for money. The Louise Galvin 'Sacred Locks' hair masque was a 100ml sample (should last about 4-5 treatments in my estimation). The full size would be 300ml, priced at £26.00, so definitely value for money with this one. I have used the treatment just once so far and it was fairly good. It may not be the one for you if, like me, free time is rare and sacred! The tube recommended a minimum 10 minute wait once the masque was applied, stating that it would be ideal to leave for 'as long as possible'... about two minutes for me then! If I am being completely honest I wasn't all that blown away when I washed it out. For me it was lacking the silky feeling you get from washing out a hair treatment that you have left in for a while (you know what I mean!). I could be made to eat my words here. Maybe that feeling comes from many chemicals and horrible things one should avoid putting on their scalp... Personally I still prefer the Aussie, Treseme and Dove treatments, sorry Ms Galvin. On the plus side it didn't leave my hair greasy or weighed down and that's always a bonus!

My second sample was in the form of a set by the brand 'Gazelli'. It was from their Triple Youth range, designed with organic compounds and rich in antioxidants. I received a 5ml sample of the Ultimate Firming Serum (full size 30ml and priced at a rather breath taking £75.00). The serum is meant to improve the skins ability to regenerate itself and is also anti-aging and has plumping effects to improve appearance. I enjoyed this serum as it was light and quick to absorb. It left me wanting to touch my skin a lot afterwards (stop it!) and my face felt quite nourished. The next step was to apply some of the little sample of Intensive Age Repair Cream (full size 50ml, priced at £70.00). This went on fairly heavy and felt sticky once applied. I could still feel the residue in the morning, although my skin did look quite radiant. I didn't love the cream at all and I guess I expect to be wowed given the full asking price of this product. Still, it is fabulous to be able to try these things and also it is good to bear in mind that this is only my humble opinion based on my skin type and everyone will be different!

If you want to try a beauty box I highly recommend these! 
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8 August 2014

Loving, Needing, Meh! #58

Joe and I are now the proud owners of two weeks off (hurrah!) - I will still be blogging away merrily though, no fear good people (unless you want a rest from me of course?!). The week running up to a holiday for me is both exciting and stressful because I am trying to get everything done so I can switch off and try not to worry for 14 whole days and another part of me is all 'come on Friday!' and throwing caution to the wind! But it is here, the day, Friday! Let's round up what has been happening this week shall we?

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This week I have been LOVING:
  • Costas peach and lemonade on ice...oh my! Heavenly goodness in a plastic cup with a straw! 
  • A full on health overhaul. It is happening. Yesterday I was working from home and got up and went to the gym for 6.30am. I felt buzzing and ready for the day. I have really sorted the nutrition this week too; I've increased my protein intake and reduced the carbs down a notch. The biggest thing for me is not having things like cereal bars that are full of sugar right before bed just because I have a cup of tea (I need training that tea can be drunk without a companion!). Instead of that I am just drinking water and ending the day with a good protein shake made with water to feed and help heal the body over night. 
  • Teaching Joe about Twitter. He is running his bands Twitter Page now so go and follow and check it out if you fancy. You can also find them on Sound Cloud. I love their song 'Into the Air'.
  • Lots of skincare samples in my magazines...let's face it, I can't afford them so it is nice to have a little insight into how young I could be looking!
  • Seeing Joe get all soppy over all the cats on the cats protection website. From someone who, not so long ago, didn't want to go near any animals he is doing pretty well.
  • (Am I allowed to say our new hoover?) Our new hoover. Every darn hoover I have ever owned has been beyond rubbish, I would have more success sucking up the dust through a straw (?!). As an early wedding present my mum and dad brought us a ruddy awesome hoover that we got all excited about as we pushed it around the just hoovered lounge and it picked up loads of floor junk! I know I am officially needing more to do in my life when I spend an evening saying to Joe 'just look at that carpet! It's amazing...there's hoover lines on the floor...I can't wait to do the whole house'...help me.
This week I have been NEEDING:
  • A girly movie night. It is not often that I force Joe to watch a film that I really like that I don't think he will, in fact, I don't believe I have ever done that, but I am feeling a 'Notebook' night coming on. I adore that film and may have to throw it out there as an option this weekend. Maybe I can balance it out with some guitar hero Metallica afterwards.
This weeks 'MEH!':
  • It appears that we have made quite the cosy home for a False-Widow spider this week. I didn't know they even existed until I got a frantic call from Joe on Tuesday night to say that he'd found one. He went on to give me far too many details about the markings on its back matching all the ones online (even the more reliable source of online reference 'The Natural History Museum' seemed to agree with his identification). Being ridiculously terrified of spiders you can probably imagine I wasn't over the moon with this news. I was then informed that they won't kill you but can make you bloody poorly with their bite and / or make your bitten limb resemble something from a zombie movie. Fabulous. Thoughts people? Have you seen these things? (I couldn't even bring myself to link the spider to this post so you can see it because I can't stand to see them on the screen - FYI, typing the 's' word freaks me out!)
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5 August 2014

Super quick & easy Eton Mess | Photo recipe



I know that Eton Mess is kind of a 'no brainer' pudding but I thought I would add this little photo recipe to my blog, mostly because it tasted yummy and also because I made a strawberry coulis (I know, how very cultured!). I thought coulis would be something super tricky but evidently not - two steps and done! 

Here we go then, a fast, very simple and well received dessert (my friends are easily pleased)...


^^Simple ingredients^^


^^Start with the coulis. Chop some strawberries (about half of the quantity you are using)^^


^^Place them into a blender with one heaped tablespoon of icing sugar. Blend for 1-2 minutes^^


^^Once blended pour into a sieve, over a bowl, and drain juice. Use the back of a spoon to push through. Place the coulis into the fridge to cool^^


^^Take your double cream and whisk until the cream stiffens into a light consistency^^

then, chop the remainder of the strawberries...


^^Gently fold in the strawberries and the meringues (crushed). You can also pour a small amount of coulis in at this point and very softly fold into the mixture to create a marbled effect^^


^^Layer into a glass with strawberries in the bottom, some more meringue and a large spoonful of the mixture. Finish with the coulis and a strawberry on top^^

I hope you enjoyed this post - I enjoyed making this delicious dessert and enjoyed eating it a whole lot more! I would recommend mixing the final part (whipped cream, strawberries and meringue) at the last minute before you serve it up as the meringue may go a little soft and it is nice to have the different textures in there.

What is your favourite summer dessert? Let me know in the comments or Tweet me!
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4 August 2014

Get Ready With Me | New YouTube Video

Monday is new video day and today I have a 'Get Ready With Me' for you. It was Joes birthday dinner get together on Friday so I filmed this whilst I was getting ready for that! I wanted something a little shimmery and more dramatic to normal but still wearable so I used some soft taupe-browns to create a semi-smokey eye, but the main focus is on layering the base to create a matt skin that lasts all evening and doesn't move about the face. I hope you enjoy it! For the full list of products I used click here and then view the down bar on the video.

Please feel free to comment below and if you enjoy watching then do 'Subscribe' to my channel to get the latest videos and stay up to date too.

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3 August 2014

Sunday Snaps!

Fancy a round up of the last couple of weeks via the medium of photograph? Let's do this:
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1. Is it just me or is the British summer giving anyone else fluffy hair? It has been laughable this week, it really has! / 2. Today is Joes birthday but Friday was the get-together-of-friends-to-celebrate...thing! I cooked my little socks off, on the menu was vegetarian lasagne, Eton mess and vanilla cupcakes - on the menu for next week is...the gym! / 3. My new icing kit did a pretty great job (I split the bag of the old one immediately) - thanks mum for buying it for me (x) / 4. A birthday trip to Wagamamas. This chicken curry was phenomenal. / 5. This years sweet peas have grown like monsters and have produced so many beautiful flowers, plus they smell gorgeous. / 6. Salisbury Market. So many stalls with so many yummy foods and smells... / 7. I love living in this part of the world and sunny days makes it all the more beautiful. / 8. I was feeling blue (the colour that is!). I have been on the look out for an over-sized blue, cotton shirt for a while and H & M came up trumps for that. I also grabbed a beautiful necklace from Accessorize and two Barry M Gelly nail paints (Huckleberry and Elderberry) / 9. Super pretty flowers from my bestie, Lois. You just can't beat flowers can you? 
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1 August 2014

Loving, Needing, Meh! #57

These posts seem to come around all too quickly - although I am certainly not complaining - it is Friday after all! I hope you have all had a good week. I have heard from a fair few of you this week via comments and messages; hello to all of you who are new readers, so happy to have you aboard, and thank you to those of you that have been with me for a while - you must be up for parole soon :-)

If you want to keep up to date with all the other random bits and bobs I talk about please 'Like' my Facebook Page!

Enough ramblings then, let's round up the week!

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This week I have been LOVING:
  • The random acts of Gizmo the cat (tail pictured above!). She has been as mad as a box of frogs this week, which Joe puts down to the fact that we gave her some chicken scraps (apparently she hasn't been the same since) and I just put down to her being fully charged from sitting in the sun. Although she isn't ours, only a (very) frequent visitor to the garden, I love her so much and she brings so much joy everyday.
  • Lovely messages from lovely people. I had a wonderful message to my Facebook inbox yesterday which brought on my 'allergies' (see the 'about me' section if you don't know what I am talking about there!). I have been doing this blog for a long time and did two others before this one but don't advertise it to people who know me because I get a little shy about it. One of my gorgeous colleagues discovered it and sent me an awesome message - *insert crazy grin here* - thank you Paula (x).
  • Having a day off... in the week! (sharp intake of breath!). I decided to take yesterday off work as it had all been a bit mental. I decided to celebrate that by deep-cleaning the entire house like a nutter. Does anyone else just feel a whole lot better by doing that or am I alone on the crazy train?
  • Setting a wedding date; booked, deposits paid, bish-bash-bosh! (I thought I would sneak that in here...).
  • Planning Joes birthday dinner - I will need to go the gym for about a week to burn it off, but it has to be a special one doesn't it!
  • My sold out wedding dress miraculously have one in stock. We are talking weeks of refreshing a page with fingers crossed hoping and praying. The wedding fairy came through through. It arrives today.
This week I have been NEEDING:
  • My clumsiness to stop. This is a common thing for me when I am over tired; phone dropping (more than three times per day on average), toe stubbing, water spilling, food launching etc etc.
  • The weather report to not be right for August. Mr Weather Man reported it will rain up a storm this month - typical, I have some time off. 
This weeks 'MEH!':
  • Finally getting through to the Cornish registrar and booking it only to see that they had spelt our address wrong. Not just wrong, crazy person wrong. Now I have to wait another four days for them to respond. Arrrrrrggggghhhh!
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