Life Style

Harriet Wright Designs - Etsy Planner Sticker Haul

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

I'm letting you into a little sneak preview of a Etsy planner kit from Harriet Wright Designs which I've bought to make a Collab Video on my YouTube channel with Beth from Tinkabell Beth.

I've know Beth for a few years and we both love a lot of the same things including planning and stickers.



We've chosen to use the Whimsical Snow Globe Kit which which is for the Erin Condron Vertical planner. This isn't the planner I have but as my planner is not a standard size i'm sure I can make this kit work for me.


There is a really good mix of sheets, including, full boxes, washi strips, check boxes, day labels, functional stickers and deco stickers.


I'm excited to get started with this kit and as I rarely use a full kit i'm excite to have left over stickers which will work for all year (well a lot of them) as we've picked a pastel kit rather than a more traditional red / green winter kit. 

Beauty

November 2016 - Empties - Another Month, Another Mascara!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

I've been consistently filming my empties over on my Youtube Channel but I think I'm also going to start blogging them as well. Is this something you're interested in reading? 


I know empties videos and posts are a bit of blogging marmite. I personally like watching and reading them. If someone can get to the end of a product then I think you can get a true impression of if you'd like the product. 

I've often bought an item based on someones empties video, even if it wasn't something they loved. The way they described it and how they said it worked for them and knowing why things works for me made me try a couple of products so I wouldn't worry about saying something isn't good for you. If you say why. 

I know when I filmed these empties I said I didn't like the product on me and I didn't really explain why or what it was like so this post is going to try and remedy that.

The Products

Bath Products

Now winter (ok, ok I know it's still autumn) I take a lot of baths, mainly because we only have hot water when we have the heating on (boiler won't do hot water only) and this month I've used up three products.

Bath Bomb -  I picked this up from The Curve Fashion Festival and it was very nice, I wouldn't say it was the best bath bomb I've ever used and I have three more of these to use. I wouldn't go out of my way to track down the seller to buy more but if I did come across them again I'd probably buy a few more. I think these were £1 each so are very good value.

Bath Salts -  I've done myself a mischief and hurt my neck and back, meaning I've turned to bath salts to try and help ease and relax my pain levels and I've enjoyed using these. The black packet are Therapie Roques O'Neil and this size pack (100g) retails for £10 which is a lot of money. This came in one of the many Latest in Beauty boxes I've bought over the last couple of years. I'd put off using them as it made it sound like you'd be covered in a layer of salt that needed to be brushed down but that wasn't the case. They smelt amazing but for the price I don't think I would buy them myself but they were lovely and relaxing and they dissolved quickly in the bath water.

The larger pack are from TK Maxx and cost £3.95 for 1kg which I think is much better value. I've had a look on the Westlab website and they retail for £5.99, however they are being sold on ebay for £12.99. These dissolved well and I did feel very relaxed.  We've bought a couple more pack from the same brand but different types of salt but I will be picking up another bag of the epsom salts at weekend.

Shower Gel 

Is it just me who feel like shower gel lasts for ages then you use two up at once? This seems to always happen to me.


Original Source - Sweet Apple and Vanilla Milk - This was part of a gift swap and isn't a scent I'd have chosen for myself but I adored this. It made my skin feel lovely and salt and the scent reminds me of milk bottle sweets with a lovely light apple aroma.

Imperial Leather Fruit Chew - I am loving these imperial leather shower gels at the moment I've tried a couple from the swizzels inspired range and this really does smell like fruit salad chews.

Hair Products

If you've watched any of my empties videos you will notice a hair product theme, a type of product that pops up pretty much every month and that is dry shampoo. I never used to use it but this year I've got lazy and now I only wash my hair about twice a week. I could do with washing it daily but I've come to depend on my dry shampoos.


Elnet hairspray - This little tin has lasted me well, it came from a beauty box and as someone who rarely used hair spray it's been a great addition. Small enough not to take up much space but handy to have in. It worked well and always handy to have.

Batiste - I prefer the fresh over the blush scent, but both worked well for me and as I'm using it so often I always have a couple of these can on hand. I've been buying them from home bargains but i've noticed in boots a lot of the cans have had a bit of a redesign.

Aussie Winter Hair 3 min miracle - Another disappointment. I found this quite drying on my hair. It's not terrible but as someone who has dry hair I though a this hair mask would make it more oily but it seemed to feel quite dry but also really nice and shiny which is a real contradiction. Over all I'd say I wasn't keen. The scent is different form the original three min miracle but it smells nice and you can tell it's an aussie product. If one of these arrived in a beauty box i'd use it but I wouldn't go out of my way to pick one up.


The Others

John sons Cotton Bud - It's probably time I stopped mentioning these and there is rarely a month that goes by that these are a staple and they are worth buying over own brand ones.

PS...Love This Oval Cosmetic Pads - I've been buying these for a while and they are fine. 90p for a pack of 100 which I think is good value. I do prefer the oval pads over cotton rounds. I wouldn't say they are a holy grail item but I will rebuy them.

Vaseline Intensive Care Spray Moisturiser - This is a bit mixed for me as I hated the scent. The moisturising part well but I was reluctant to use very often as I couldn't get on with the strong scent.


Makeup

Boots No 7 Dramatic Lift Mascara  - I was a little disappointed in this. It was a little dry and I only got about 3 weeks use out of it before if felt like I wasn't picking up any product on to the wand. I'm not sure if mine was bad or if i'd opened it when I first bought it and it dried up but I didn't have a great experience with it.



What products havee you used up this month?

fashion

Christmas Party Dresses with House of Fraser

Thursday, November 24, 2016

How many Christmas parties have you been to so far this year? How many have you got coming up?

So far I've been to one and had a pre Christmas work nights out. It can be hard to decide what to wear and luckily House of Fraser got in contact and asked if I'd like to review one of their dresses with the festive season in mind.

My main Christmas do is straight after work at 6pm and I decided to think along the lines of something I could wear to the office then with a change of accessories and footwear dress up for the party.



I am always really impressed with House of Fraser's range of party dresses and the range of sizes they stock. The website is also really easy to navigate and I've noticed there is quite a few dresses reduced, including the one I've chosen. I do love a bargain. 


I decided to go for this Yumi Curves short sleeved spotted dress, it's a good office wear dress and works well for the party season. My wardrobe used to be full of spotty items (Did the blog name give that away?) but over the recent months I've notice a decline in the number of spotted items and this is the perfect addition to my wardrobe.

I wore this to my teams pre-Christmas night out where we played mini golf and went for a meal at Pizza express. It was comfy to wear all day in the office and didn't restrict me when we played mini golf. I even scored a hole in one! Go me!


Yumi Curves isn't a brand I'm familiar with and decided to size up to a 24 and it is slightly big on me but I much prefer that, especially when I know I'm going to be going out for food as well. I'll be on the look out for other items from this brand as I'm really impressed with the style and quality of the dress.

The dress is two layers, with a lining and the main dress layer which has a good weight to it and doesn't seem to be see through. It also has a really long, slightly too long attached at the sides belt. (Is there a technical term for this kind of belt?) I've crossed it over at the front before doing the bow at the back. I'm also really loving this length of sleeve at the moment.

I think this dress is going to be an Autumn and Winter staple and I've already worn it since our team night out and I'm planning to wear it when I go to the Christmas markets with my long boots and winter coat.

Thank you to House of Fraser for providing the dress free of charge for review purposes and as always my options of this item are my own.


Life Style

The Collab Girlies - Take 2. Christmas Wish List

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Today is the day for my second video in the new collab series I'm doing on my YouTube Channel with the following lovelies.


Each month we're giving ourselves a new challenge or task to do and all filming our own version of the video. You can see my latest efforts below and I'd love it if you check our all our videos.

The first video we did a full face of make up for under £20.00 which was a lot of fun. I did mine before I went a way and had to use products I already had but the others went out and did the challenge proper and spent their money wisely.

For this months challenge we decided to do a Christmas wish list type post. Which has come in handy as we're doing a secret santa and I've now got lost of ideas what to buy secret santa and Idea's to buy for other people. So it's really worked out well.

So sit back and check out what I would like for Christmas.

Lifestyle

Stick to Stigu Planner for 2017 - Review

Thursday, November 17, 2016

My 2016 Stick to Stigu planner has been invaluable. I love the column layout and use the five column system to plan blog posts, you tube videos, general life things and any events and gym trips. 

That planner was in the Blog On 2016 summer goodie bag and I've really enjoyed using it. When Stigu reached out to me to ask if I'd like to review the 2017 version, I was very interested to see what changes they'd made. 



The first change is the choice of formats and cover designs. As well as the spiral bound option there is now a case bound faux leather cover. I have been really happy with the 2016 spiral bound version so I stuck to this and decided to go for the bright coloured cover. 

The first few pages have space for resolutions or 2017 goals and a 2017 year to view. I don't tend to use these, however I have used 2017 view in the back of last years planner so I'm glad they've included this and there is a 2018 version at the back. It's handy to see things at a glance. 


The over all layout remains the same with a notes page on the left which has cartoons and tips. I adore the page layout for valentines week. They have alternated different shaped boxes but still keeping the same format which works really well for me. 

I like to dedicate a column to different things and some of the boxes on the right page has things printed in. I'll probably just white out these and write over them but it's not too intrusive. Some of the text is also quite cute and informative. 

There is also a quote at the top of each page which I really enjoy reading each week. 

My only real negative with the planner is, because they have reduced the extra's on the right hand page they've taken up more space on the left page. I use this page for my planning, lists and general jottings, however there is a huge number of blank pages at the back of the planner and a pocket to keep extra things in, so there is plenty of pages to jot things down but my preference would be to have the space free on both sides for me to add my own things. 

One of the things I am excited about is the addition to the range of stickers. I've really got into planning over the last few months and I've got some in my amazon basket ready to check out on payday. 

I'm excited to start using this planner. I've already got a few things booked in for 2017. All I need to do now is decide on a pen to use with it and start filling in all the exciting things I've got coming up. 

This planner was sent to me free of charge for review purpose, as always all opinions are my own

Books

#ZoellaBookClub Autumn Books - First Impressions

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

I really enjoyed the first set of books from the Zoella Book Club back in Summer. I've still got a couple of them still to read but I'm happy with the selection. I decided to get the Autumn collection almost without reading what the books where and in some ways this may have been a mistake. On the other hand I've always wanted to buy a book wrapped in brown paper and not know what it is. 

It was £35 for 8 books which is more than I'd normally pay for a book. I'm a charity shop book shopper but this works out as a good saving on RRP and WH Smiths usual prices / current offers. 

Another reason I ordered this collection is because I'd spotted there is a Girl Gang Book Club on twitter and the first book was A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. This isn't a book I'd have looked twice at and I'd just seen the trailer for the movie the day before and thought it was for a horror film! 


The Books: 
Sophie Kinsella - Finding Audrey: My initial thoughts are I'm not excited. I've not enjoyed any other Sophie Kinsella book I've read in the past. The blurb sounds interesting.it sounds like Audrey has agoraphobia and her brothers friend tries to  bring her back to the outside world. 

Paige Toon - The One We Fell In Love With: I've read a few Paige Toon Books but off the top of my head I can't remember them, but I think I enjoyed them, So I'm looking forward to reading this. Three very different women have one thing in common a man, they all fell in love with. 

Gayle Forman - I was Here: These seems like it will be a tough book, it deals with the aftermath of suicide and I think it will be an interesting book. I don't think I will find it easy to read. 

Alex Bell - Frozen Charlotte: On the back of the book it has a warning "Not for young readers" I'm 35 and I had chills reading the blurb. An old boarding school is now a private house that the main character gets sent to live in with her cousins, plus one cousin who shouldn't be there because they have died. Ekkkk I will read it but I used to struggle with Point Horror. I'm scared already. Plus I think Pot Dolls feature and if they aren't straight from the world of the dead I don't know what is! 

Rachel Cohn & David Levithan - The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily: This book really doesn't appeal when I read the blurb. Lily has lost her Christmas spirit when her grandad falls ill. Her boyfriend teams up with a host of friends to get her grove back (grove back really??) I didn't get an overwhelming feeling either way with this. 

Sue Wallman -  Lying about last summer:  Another one with a horror / thriller vibe. still grieving for her sister her parents think Skye will benefit from attending a summer camp for bereaved teenagers. When she starts getting text from her dead sister. I'm intrigued. I didn't get the chills like I did with some of the others. I am looking forward to reading this. 

Meredith Russo - If I was your girl: Amanda has a secret and the whole school is about to find out. I'm looking forward to to this one. The cover is also very metallic which appeals to my inner magpie. 

Patrick Ness - A Monstser Calls: The only one of the books I've read. I'm part way though  a review post that will be up after 22nd when the #GGBookClub chat is. It's safe to say I loved this book. It covers a hard topic but it's up there with the best books of the year for me. 

I've also made a video on my YouTube Channel and I'd love it if you'd check it out 



Beauty

NYX - Beauty Emporium

Sunday, November 13, 2016

A couple of weeks ago I spotted in invite to try the new NXY beauty Emporium in boots in Manchester. I hastily put my name forward to the day I came back from holiday. Knowing. I’d want to buy new makeup and it would be a chance to get some tips and advice for how to move in to Autumn make up while having a bit of colour in my cheeks. 



The girl from NXY asked me what I was looking for in terms of the make over and for me it was post-holiday makeup. It was the day I returned home and I was ready to embrace dark lips and smokey eyes but when I looked in the mirror I didn’t know to approach this look.

We kept the look simple and she talked me through using a bronzer in the crease of my eye lid to give depth. This isn’t something I’d ever heard of and I loved how it looked. It makes a lot of sense now she’s use it but it hadn’t occurred to me to use anything other than eye shadow on my lids.

After talking through which products I liked to use and which NYX products I own and use she went with those to show me how to use my existing products and showed me some new lipliners that were due to come out. They may be out not. (CHECK) for £2.50 each they seem like really good value. I like to use a lip liner with darker lips in Autumn & Winter.

I was expecting to be upsold products but the makeup artist, showed me products, recommended products but there was no pressure or expectation to buy anything and what I found good about the experience was she used products I already owned and showed me different ways to use them.
We agreed on a natural look as I had no real plans for the rest of the day and I was really happy with the way my makeup turned out. I posted this picture on my instagram and got one of the best responses I’ve had from any pictures so that speaks for itself.


I made a note of a few of the products to check if I already own them or to look for them in the future and I bought a couple of “essential” items. A new mascara, another chubby eye pencil and an eyeliner.

I really like the NYX products, I find them good value for how they perform and I always get compliments when I wear them. While I was invited by the brand to try this service these appointments are open to anyone. If you call into the counter they can book you book an appointment. 

Books

Holiday Paperbacks - Lanzarote 2016

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Despite buying a new kindle earlier this year I will always prefer a paper book. When I went on holiday last month I loaded up my kindle with books I wanted to read and a few free / Kindle unlimited books. 

I did read a few books on the kindle but paper still wins and luckily my complex had two book cases so every day I checked the book cases and I worked my way through a total of 18 books with only 4 or 5 of them being on my kindle. 

What the kindle was good for was reading in bed as it has a backlight. But on my sun lounger paper was easier for me to read. 

I've done my usual BookTube video but as I didn't have any of the books to show I thought I'd do a post about some of the books I remembered to take a picture of. 

The Tresspass - Barbra Ewing (spoilers - sorry) 

I butchered the description of this book in my video and think I said the wrong plot. This book covers the story of a young girl who is the daughter of a Lord and is separated from her disabled sister when the cholera epidemic during the Victorian Era in London. She's sent to live with her cousins in the country and away from her controlling father. While away she starts to teach her cousin to read and learns and older cousin plans to emigrate to New Zeland and she wants to do the same with her sister to get away from their father. 

In the story her older sister passes away and her father basically drags her home and wants the daughter to become The mistress of the house and all that entails (wifely duties) 

The book was hard going, covering difficult topics but there was so much going on, two brothers who really didn't need to be mentioned at all. lots of cousins and wedding. I feel like they needed to concentrate on other parts of the story and cut the bumpt. 

There were some really great potential storylines they could have used such as 2 workers who asked for help writing letters. A cab driver and book seller who knew the elder  sister. 

I feel like I want to know more about the people who only had bit parts and I didn't really care about the cousins wedding. 

I really wasn't a fan of this book. 


The Little Shop of Happy Ever After - Jenny Colgan

If you've seen my video you might notice I looked a bit blank as in my notes I'd given this 4 stars but I didn't have a  clue or even remember the book.

I often make little notes about books I read in a month and stick them on a post it inside the cover to jog my memory when I do the book tube videos but as I was away all I did was write the title and a rating down.

This book was actually a very nice read.

Shy and introverted girl buys a van to turn into a mobile book shop, girl is refused a parking permit in Birmingham so moved to the town in Scotland where she bought the van from and makes a lovely life for herself.

Lots of classic chick lit moment, but a fun and sweet read and well worth reading.


 The Narrows - Michael Connelly

The Poet is back, Bosh is retired, Rachel The FBI agent is called in to observe,  Bosh is engaged by his ex-partners wife to investigate his death and everything become tangled together.

I've read a lot of the Michael Connelly books but most of them are quite old this was was 2004 which for me is quite modern (I think I don't keep track really)

I really enjoyed this book, I felt like I was watching it rather than reading it.


 10 Reasons not to fall in love - Linda Green

This was a really enjoyable read, fairly predictable but a nice journey to get to what we all knew would happen. It also features one of the best place I've ever been. Eureka the children museum in Halifax. It was a long time since I've been but it was such a good day out  

I love books that feature places I know, especially when they are ace places.

The book centres around a single mum who is a TV Journalist who is going back to work after 2 years maternity leave. Her new boss happens to be her ex and she's become the "And Finally" girl at the end of the news. This does lead to some cracking laughs.



I'm going away again in December and need some more book recommendations.

I don't really I should just read whats on my kindle

Send me recommendations :) 

fashion

Autumn Dresses with Lovedrobe

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Hello Autumn, when did you get here? All of a sudden the leaves have changed colours and the air smells better, or is that just me? Have you sorted out your Autumn wardrobe? I haven't. It was only two weeks ago I was wearing shorts and T-Shirts in 28 degrees. To say I wasn't prepared for Autumn is a bit of an understatement. 

I love Autumn days, those days that are clear and mild but with the leaves turned to reds and orange. It feels special and with that comes the issue of what to wear. You need a coat and scarf maybe even gloves first things in the morning, sweltering on the commute home. Sadly in the past few days this hasn't been true. I've been cold pretty much all the time.

When Lovedrobe got in contact to ask if I'd like to review one of their dresses, I knew it was the prefect way to update my autumn wardrobe. When I was at The Curve Fashion Festival earlier in the year I was drawn to a few of the dresses they had but my head was very much in holiday mode and I couldn't decide on one to buy. 

I decided it was also time to step out of my comfort zone and try the cold shoulder trend which is something I've always steered away from but I'm really happy I've tried it. 

The dress is two layers with the under layer being a fairly heavy weight lining which actually fits the dress. The cold shoulder element is more of a split that a circle cut out. 

It ties at the waist but rather than the traditional belt that's attached at the sides and is ties in a bow at the back or a belt. It has a drawstring (but the same fabric as the dress) waist and acts a little bit like a swim bag. (Please tell me you know what I mean). I really like that as its unobtrusive and if you want to wear a belt it will won't get in the way too much. 


I've worn the dress time. The second time was to work as I had an event in the evening and it was comfortable to wear all day and I looked smart but not over dressed. 

The first time was for a much more fun shopping and cocktails day with my friends to celebrate a birthday. 

It's amazing that using a smaller bag and some nice accessories really dressed it up. The bag is from Primark and was £5.00 


I decided to go down the black and gold jewellery route mainly as I had new things. The necklace was a gift and if from a German brand my mum picked up for me in Spain last year. I can't remember the name sadly. The Earrings and Bracelet are from Sfera and I picked these up on holiday. The earring was part of a set of about 8 pairs and cost €4.


*Dress provided for review purpose by Lovedrobe as always all opinions are my own. 

Lifestyle

Month in a Minute - October 2016

Sunday, November 06, 2016

It feels like October was only a minute long, it's a bit cliché but it really has flown.

I was trying to think what I'd done in October. I know I was away for half the month (Did I mention my holiday)  but I feel like it was a really busy month.

I got myself into a routine for posting blogs and youtube videos which felt so good. I missed a few blog posts because I assumed I'd be able to find enough wifi to blog from my phone but it didn't happen like that.

The the month started with a trip to Nandos with my friend and fellow blogger Lottie. We've been trying to fix a mate date since she moved up North and we finally made it. It was lovely to spend some quality time with her and I enjoyed my chicken.

I also started a new collab series on my You Tube Channel. Our first video was to create a full face of makeup for under £20.

My Holiday was amazing, a chilled out fortnight in the sun. A spot of shopping here and there and one of the biggest H&M+ sections I've ever seen. We had great food, early nights and decent sunbeds. I have about 45 mins of footage that I need to edit. It will hopefully be done later this month.


I also had a lovely shopping and cocktails afternoon in Manchester with a couple of friends and that rounded off my month nicely.

It would be lovely if you also watched the video and subscribe for more updates


What did you get up to in October? Leave me a comment and let me know. 



Month in a Minute

Beauty

The Joy of Pan

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

I finally picked up the courage to start my YouTube channel by joining the panning community. This year I set myself the goal of panning 16 specific products but as the year as gone on, i've lost a little bit of focus and I don't even know which of those products I'm still working on. 

However I know I have used / decluttered more than 16 items of make up this year and as I've switched my focus to trying different open products every couple of week and find out what I like. Making sure I get rid of things I'm really not like. Not forcing myself to use things up If I really hate them. 

Saying all this I still get a little spark of joy when I hit pan on things. Before trying to pan products I don't think I ever really got to the end of a product but now I am getting through products and it's a great feeling. 

Over the last month I hit Pan one two products I wasn't trying to use up, I'm just using because I've bought them.

The first it the L'Oreal BB Powder. I don't love this product but I keep reaching for it and it was such a good feeling to see the initial tiny glimmer of pan. I've now used more than the photo shows with all the centre square being clear. 

I don't think I'd buy this again but it does the job well but I don't really know what it is about this that I don't like. I guess there is nothing really but I can never say it's a favourite. 


With the powered I knew it was only a matter of time before I hit pan as you could see the shadow of pan (that's what I call it but it's the metal ridge in the pan you can just see in the picture) 

With the Tanya Burr pallet I was shocked when I hit pan, I really didn't see it coming and It made me wonder If I could try and pan the whole thing in 2017. 

I adore this pallet which is called fairy tale. Three matte shades and one shimmer, it works really well for work looks and I also use it for nights out. The only colour I don't use is the black but I'm sure with practice I could try and use it. (note to self - Do a YT search for ideas) 



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