Events 2015

Style XL 2015

Friday, July 31, 2015

Style XL was the most amazing event and was organised by Leah who managed to put together one of the best events I've been to. All the Plus Size Event's I've been to have been good and I don't want to detract from that but I think because I've been around this community for a while and feel like I' finally part of it rather than lurking round the outskirts (I do a bit but I'm starting to feel much more part of something). 

I had time to catch up with people, no where near as many people as I wanted to. I had time alone (Only child here, I can only spend so long with people before I need some alone time). I got to meet new people, catch up with people I've not seen in too long. 

I went down to Birmingham on the Friday as I like to be early and didn't want to feel rushed travelling on Saturday morning. I'd booked a Travelodge not far from the venue and I like to think I had the penthouse. (Ok it was just on the top floor) 


We got to the venue early as Daisy was the social media champ for the day and we met up with Nikki in reception and she took us through to the room and we got ourselves a table in the back corner so we could have a base and keep all our bags together.

I also spent time checking out the brands and I'm sure I'm missing some stalls nut just wanted to give a quick round up of each stand. 

Yours: Were there showing some of their products on the catwalk shows as well as having a rack of clothes that we could browses through. They also gave us a goodie bag which had a pen and a W7 Nail polish. They were also dishing out flower lei’s and had a photo cut out set up. They also gave me a card for discount at the Bull Ring store, which I sadly didn’t get chance to use but I really want the purple top The Smyth modelled on the catwalk.

Apples and pears: As well as participating in the catwalk shows they also had things for sale. I have my eye on a couple of things but couldn't make my mind up what I wanted to buy.

Topsy Curvy: I fell in love with a jumpsuit in the Topsy Curvy Catwalk show and the girls from Topsy Curvy were really lovely. They let people take their items to try on in the Loo’s and I have to say myself and Kerry-Ann were gone for quite a while we tried on a couple of things each (and chatting to people in the loo’s) I’m regretting not buying it now after all the positive comments I’ve had from people on Instagram. I’m planning a trip to their shop in Whitefield fairly soon. I just need to see when my friend is free.

A Rose Like This: Rosie was their showing her final show pieces from her degree show. She is so talented and has put together a collection of things I want to own. My favourite piece from her collection was a dress with a vintage patterned fabric top and a sheer fabric skirt that had a self-pattern of spots. Her show was fun, had props and I’ve since seen people asking for commissions. Including a wedding dress. I have no doubt she will be a success in the future and she is such a beautiful person inside and out. Good Luck Rosie.

Clairabella's Closet  – A stockist of Lady v and a has her own designs. There were a lot of dresses for sale and I saw a kitten cardie that I really wanted to but I couldn’t justify £40. I pretty warm blooded and rarely get cold so my cardies live on the back of my chair at work and this was to pretty to live it’s life like that.There was a wide range of accessories including earrings, broaches, Necklaces and much more. If you’re a long time reader you will know how much I love broaches and have a vast collection. I don’t wear them that often any more. I tend to put them on my winter coats. I bought cherry broach and some rose earrings. 

Bonprix  - Had a couple of competitions running on the day. The first was a twitter competition and  was to pick your favourite item from the selection they’d brought with them and hang a tag with your details and the winner would win the item they’d picked. I was really taken with a burgundy pleather skirt but as much as I liked it. I don’t think I’d wear it, I picked out a cardie that was grey, burgundy with neon pink detailing. The second competition was to take a selfie with the Bonprix speech bubble on instagram and they’d put together 10 goodie bags and were picking winners throughout the day. I was lucky enough to win one of these.

Simply Be & Jacamo: I had a lovely moment when I was recognised by one of the people running this stand she knew my blog and my name and I feel awful as my mind went blank and I can’t for the life of me remember her name. I think I was shocked a brand (a big brand) knew my name. I keep saying I don’t like the colour yellow but out of all the clothes they showed in their catwalk I want a yellow floral shirt.

Scarlett and Jo – They had a sample sale selling  mainly size 24 I tried a few things but none fitted comfortably and ll the things I liked had high necks which I don’t wear. Then Daisy (the beautiful, wonderful, kind, sweet Daisy) decided she only wanted one of the two dresses she’d picked out so I bought the other one. It’s the red poppy 2in1 dress. I’ve loved this style since they came out but could never justify buying one but at £20 I’ll wear this for work, It feels special and I feel good in this dress and I got lots of compliments.

Curvy Kate – I know that my boobs are too small for their products but I kept going over and looking at the set’s they’d brought with them and finally towards the end of the day I plucked up the courage to be fitted. I did mention that I’d be to small but the bra I was wearing was so badly fitted to me (Just a cheap one I’d bought myself) I decided I was worth a try. The girls were really lovely and I felt really comfortable with them. We stood behind the changing pods and I could see out so I’m sure so I’m assuming people could see me. The confidence boost I got on the day helped me to do this. I generally buy a 40B or C. They said I’m very much in between sizes and if they made them a 41C would be my fit. 40 back was too tight on the slackest setting but the D cup was pretty much spot on and the 42D was far too big in the back and cup. Even on the tightest setting. I felt a lot better supported in the 40D, I could see a massive difference in It I decided to buy that one and use an extender. I’ve worn it a couple of days a on its own and it is too tight I just need that one extra row of hooks and I think it would be perfect.

Nicky Rockets (the stall wasn’t there due to traffic) but as they are so awesome they deserve a mention. They were missed and almost everyone I spoke to were willing them to get to us but It wasn’t to be.

There was such an amazing and uplifting atmosphere in the room, everyone was so friendly and there was a constant sounds of squeals as people met with people they’ve been chatting on line to but have never met before and catching up with people they only get to see any events like these.
I don’t feel like I spoke to half the people I wanted to. I said hello to a lot of people but I wish we could have chatted more.

There was also a huge support for all the people who walked the catwalk. I’ve just watched back some of the clips I recorded of the cat walk shows and I’m sat here with a smile on my face. I need to sit down and edit it and put some copy write free music over the top. 

Leah has worked so hard to bring together not only brand, bloggers and everyone else who came to the event. She created a positive and safe space. People felt comfortable to try things on in the main room. I for one took my top off and tried on dresses in the main room. It was before the official opening time but I didn’t feel like I needed to go to the loo’s or use a changing pod. But there were changing pods for people who didn’t feel comfortable and I’m sure most of the brands were happy for people to take items to the loo’s to try on.

There were two other parts to the weekend. Model XL on the Saturday Night and Sunday was a day of Workshops. More about these will be coming soon. 

I took a lot more pictures and I've added them into an Album on Facebook if you want to take a look.

I’m already missing the people I spent time with and can’t wait till we call all meet up again. The strength and positivity these people give me is far more than they will ever know and for that I thank them all. 


July 2015 - Empties

Thursday, July 30, 2015

It still amazes me how many products I get through in a month and there was actually more than these as I used things up over the Weekend of Style XL and I didn't bring back the empties but those were mini L'occitaine Shampoo, Conditioner and shower gel they were all nice but nothing special I don't think. 

I also used three face masks and I binned my Collection Warm Medium Concealer and the Maybelline Eye Eraser as they'd both leaked and were in danger of ruining the rest of my male up bag. 

It's been a month of moisturising by the look of it, next month is also going to be similar as well. We've already finished another pot of the Garnier Night Gel and I'm well on my way to finishing another one.


Clinique Happy Heart - I adore this scent, I'm not sure if I'm ready to commit to a full size bottle but I wouldn't be sad if I got another one of these in a Bonus Time gift, which is where this came from. 

Moisturising Products

Body Shop Wild Rose Hand Cream - If you have been following my adventures on Youtube you'll know I'm doing a use 8 products by Bonfire Night and this was my number 8. I haven't enjoyed this product at all until the very last couple of weeks when I decided to use this on my legs where I had graze marks from a sock / boot rub combination. The smell is very Turkish Delight, quite sweet. It isn't unpleasant, especially as I'm not a fan of Rose scents. The problem I've found with this hand cream is that it leaves a chalky film behind but also feels a bit tacky. Once those feelings have worn off my hands feel great but I feel like those are not worth the payoff. There are so many great hand creams from The Body Shop but this isn't the one for me. 

There is also a small sample tub of The Green Tea Body Butter. I love the smell of this range but I get bored of body butters but if you like body butters I think this would be one to check out as it smells amazing. 

Neal's Yard Garden Mint & Bergamot Hand Cream - I go through so much hand cream. I'm trying to only have one opened at once but as I have a decent stash of them. This one came free with a magazine a few months ago. I always think of Neal's Yard as quite posh and therefore expensive but it's around the same price as The Body Shop. I would consider buying this one again. The smell is lovely and fresh and it makes my hand feel really soft. 

Vaseline Spray and Go - The concept of  a spray can of moisturiser works really well for me, especially since I came back of holiday and I'm a bit lazy with body moisturisers but this one didn't work for me as the spray was too concentrated and I wasn't keen on the smell. I have another one of these in the Aloe Vera and I much prefer that one and the spray is much better. I still feel these are a little expensive for how much product you get but I think as more brands are bringing them out they should start to become cheaper. 

Schwarzkopf Diamond Color Intensive Mask - Recently I haven't been conditioning my hair as I've not been using clear gel shampoo's and I find I don't need it but once a week or so I've been using this mask. I bought it early on in the year when I was in a real phase of using a mask in almost every wash. The smell reminds me of products they use in hair salons which is quite nice to have at home. I've been considering buying the other things in this range but I really want to use up what we have in the bathroom. 

Garnier Night Gel Cream  - As I said at the start of this post we've since been through another pot of this product. I bought this on a whim, a half price offer and because I was curious after seeing it on a Vlog. I really enjoy using it. I haven't seen this on offer anywhere recently but the full prince is only £4. 

Clinique Moisturiser - This is one of those products I can never make my mind up about. When I use it I really like it but it isn't on my must buy products and I'm in no rush to buy another one but if I end up with another sample size I will be happy.  

Dry Shampoo

Batiste and CoLab - Neither of these worked well for me. The  Batiste was too powdery and I've really gone off the CoLab products. I feel like the formula has changed but I think it might be to do with how I'm washing / conditioning my hair. 

Cotton Buds & Wipes

Lacura Cotton Buds - These were an emergency purchase but I was pleasantly surprised. They are not as sturdy as Johnsons ones but I would buy them again. 

Aldi Baby Wipes - My main use of these is to clean my hands after I put make up on and they are fine for that, fairly cheap and cheerful. 

Garnier Miceler wipes  - As wipes go they are quite decent. I use them when i'm in a rush or as a first cleanse if i've had a lot of make up on. I would buy them again. 


#OOTD What I wore at Style XL

Monday, July 27, 2015

I'm still writing my main Style XL post. I'm struggling to put into words the awesomeness of the whole weekend. From spending time with amazing bloggers, to the catwalk shows and meeting the brands. 

I have a draft post which is 1500 words and that just talks about the brands and it's all a bit formal and really doesn't seem to express how good it was. 

I feel like I want to talk about the weekend constantly but I can't get it down on the blog. I did a post about the places I ate over the weekend and now I thought I'd show you the Scarlett and Jo dress I bought. 

While I'd planned to be ultra casual all weekend, this dress wouldn't fit into my case so it mean I had to wear it (any excuse). 

I got a lot of compliments on the dress and I'm so happy with it. Even better it was a bargain £20. I almost missed out as all of these dresses seemed to have gone but the very lovely Daisy decided to only buy one of the two dresses she'd picked out and this is the one she'd decided not to get and I'd asked her to keep hold of one if she decided against buying both. THANK YOU! I still feel a bit guilty that I got it and so many people missed out on getting one. 

The dress is a size 24 and I think the 22 would have been better for the top half as looking at these pictures it looks a little baggy but as the elastic is quite strong I think I would feel too constricted by the elastic. 

I was worried I'd feel too warm in the dress as I am very warm blooded and over heat easily. I did get warm but I don't remember feeling too hot. 

I do wish this came in a sleeveless version as that would be far more up by street. The do make skirts with a similar wide elastic at the waistband. I'm thinking of trying one and I can wear my own black vest top to create the look I prefer to wear. 

There is a built in underskirt with some mesh but on me the dress doesn't seem to have too much volume. I'm not sure if pictures I've seen of these dresses people are holding the skirts out or have added petticoats to add some volume or this is a different style of dress. This isn't an issue for me as I'm planning on making this a work dress but thought it was worth mentioning. Let me know? 

I've really liked this style of dress since they first came out but couldn't justify the price as I know It would end up n my work wardrobe. For £20 I will wear this a lot and not feel like I need to keep it for best. 

Did you go to Style XL? Did you grab a bargain. If you did leave your links in the comments and I'm excited to read all the posts and see the event through other peoples eyes. 

26 Books in 2015

A non update, update

Saturday, July 25, 2015

I'd planned to do another update of the books I've read this year and there are about 7 books I still need to share with you but my list is at home.

Since I came back from holiday on 30th June I haven't read one book. That's almost a whole month and I hadn't missed reading till this week. I don't know what book I'll read next but I think it's going to be one of the two books pictured. 

Marian Keyes - the woman who stole my life
Monica McInerney - Hello from the Galespies.

My mum picked both of these up from the British Heart Foundation charity shop in my local town centre this week.

I can't believe I've gone almost a month without picking up a book.

That will change in August. My aim is to read at least 5 books 6 if I can manage it. I'm going to be plugging the kindle when I get home and put it in my work bag so I know I have something  to read on the bus to work


Mini Boots Haul

Friday, July 24, 2015

Since coming back from holiday I’ve been really struggling to find a base that works well for my colouring that has a bit of coverage but isn’t cakey and evens everything out. I have what I call book readers neck, in that my throat area stays pale as I have my chin on my chest reading a book for most of the time I’m away.

I’ve been scouring boots looking for a BB / CC cream but they all have SPF 15 or above and I find it gives them a white cast that I don’t want. Helen from my local No7 counter came to my rescue by discussing with me exactly what I wanted and recommending the Boots no7 Intelligent Colour Foundation. This only has an SPF6 and it changes to match your skin tone.

I used this years ago when it first came out but never went back to it again. I think that was after a holiday and when I faded and was too pale for it I just went back to using what I had before the holiday.

I have to say I’m really enjoying using it. It’s light enough not to feel like it’s going to melt off but blends the different colours of my face to match each other.

It also seems to last most of the day and when I take my make up off at night there is always lots of the product to take off. I didn’t expect it to last as well as it does on me as it’s so light.

It has an almost mouse like texture but I find I need to make sure I’ve shaken the tube before I use it as it can be a bit separated.

There was a buy one get one half price offer on so I decided to get the new mascara which was on a trail price of £10 this lengthens and curls. I have lots of mascara’s and I really didn’t need another one but I will try it soon, I just need to work through the open ones before I do start using it. 

Events 2015

#NWBloggerEvents - liverpool

Thursday, July 23, 2015

North West Blogger Events
Liverpool 12th July 2015

On Sunday a couple of weeks ago I travelled to Liverpool to meet up with a bunch of local bloggers for the NWBloggerEvernts meet up organised by Katie and Jenny

I met up with Nadine, Holly, Paige and Kayleigh at the station before heading over to the venue which was The Lime Kiln Lloyds bar. They'd reserved all of the mezzanine level for us which was amazing as we had plenty of space for the brands and the other bloggers. The only issue for me was the noise from the bar below, I missed out on hearing much of what was said and had to ask for things to be repeated a couple of times. 

On arrival we were given name badges which contained a QR code to our own blogs. I've never used QR codes before but I'm totally sold on this idea now and I want some new blogger cards with the code on. 

There was also a personalised box with a treat from Sweet Cecily's which is a skin care brand, The box was personalise and I was a bit overwhelmed by how much thought and care had gone into the packaging. I'm not sure if we all got the same but I received a rose body butter. I haven't tried it yet as i'm not fond of rose scented products and really have to work myself up to use them but the packaging was adorable and I keep looking at the website. I've got my eye on a couple of the facemasks and body scrub.

There were also a macaroon each from The Little Macron Shop I had a pink one and it was delicious. I wish I could have bought a box full to take home. 

Lisa From Hollybobs

After some introductions, Lisa who blogs at Hollybobs gave a talk about different aspects of blogging and there were some really useful tips. I want to put some of the things she mentioned in to place. I just wish I'd written some notes now. She also got us on our feet swapping business cards, and one of the tips was interaction. Share the love. RT each other and comment on each others blogs 

My Showcase

Melanie from My Showcase told us a little about the company which stocks around 30 brands all carefully curated by the Telegraph's Beauty Editor. You can buy from their website or whole a party in your own home, the host gets a voucher to spend on products and a discount code.  A lot of it seems higher end but I was surprised to try some body lotion that for a huge bottle came it at around £35, I was expecting it to be a lot dearer so that came as a nice surprise. 

We also got to see and swatch some of the products, Melanie also showed me how to use a product I already own but was wary of which was really nice of her. We were also given a catalogue and a rose flavoured lip balm (and more) pot again i haven't tried this mainly due to the rose scent. 


Next up was Motives cosmetics which is a brand I've not heard of before. Hannah who is also a blogger told us a little about the company and did a demonstration of filling in eyebrows.

 I really liked the look of the products and I need to have proper look at their website to see every item. I think this may be a similar concept to my showcase and you can host a party at your own home.  

Skinny Tan

Skinny Tan had brought along a pop up spray tanning booth and a couple of people had tans and were buying products from them. I’m not a tanner and I’ve just come back from holiday but it was really interesting hearing about the products and treatments they offer.

Jenny set us a quiz answering blogging related questions I quite well as I guessed every question and really wasn't confident. I got 5/10. But 4 other people also got 5 and I lost out on the tie breaker!

We then had time to have a chat with the brands and other bloggers, we also got to try some popcorn which had been supplied by Thomas Tuckers they'd brought two flavours Caramel Summer Fruits which was nice but i'm not sure I could eat a lot of in one sitting and I love me some popcorn. There was also coconut toffee which if i'm honest I didn't get a lot of coconut flavour from but I had a bag in my goodie bag and that had a lot more coconut flavour.

The atmosphere was fantastic a lot of selfies were taken (but not by me - I'm so self concious taking them) and I had one with Laura before the food was brought out . The food was a buffet of all different things from the whetherspoons menu in a buffet style. Which I think worked really well. 

I’ve only been to Liverpool a couple of times before and it was nice to see a bit more of the city as I managed to go the long way round back to the station and I’m thinking of booking a weekend there for me and my mum in September/ October time

Goodie Bag Contents:

Lush Spa Goodie Bag

Virtue Ice Tea Drink

Thomas Tucker Popcorn

 Earthnicity Finishing Powder

Greener Cleaner Brush

Passion for Natural Product

W7 Make up

Playboy Make up

Mello Mallo Marshmallow

Sweet Heart Wax Melt

Crabtree & Evelyn Hand Cream

Boden Clutch Bag

Manuka Dr Samples

Sweet Cecily's Body Butter

Milton Lloyd Perfume

The Blogger Programme Bag 

I will be doing a separate post about the goodie bag contents, as I work my way through them. Sadly my drink spilt in my bag on my way home so things look a little but worse for wear, but nothing got so badly damaged it was unusable (so YAY) 

I also forgot to mention that I won some Milton Lloyd Perfume in a random raffle. I'm not quite sure how I won it as I missed what was said but the cocktail party effect kicked in and I heard my name. 


Style XL Weekend Food and Drink

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Socialising over food played a great part of my weekend and it was lovely to spend time in smaller groups to chat to people. While the main Style XL was awesome and amazing you I only spoke to the majority of people for brief periods on the Saturday. 

As I took pictures of some of my meals I thought i'd share them with you. 

Jamie's Italian 

I met with Tanya and Kerry-Ann when I arrived in Birmingham and we headed to get some lunch from Jamie's Italian.

We started with Cocktails which were very very nice, we all had different and I can't for the life of me remember the names of them! I think mine was the Amalfi Collins. 

I decided to get three snacky things rather than a main course, I couldn't decide what I wanted and seemed a good way to try a few new things 

Crispy fried mini ravioli stuffed with mozzarella, ricotta & parmesan, served with Sicilian tomato sauce
 Wow these were crunchy with a soft centre and I could have happily eaten another portion of them.

With garlicky lemon mayo, chilli, parsley & fried garlic
I was a bit put off at first as there were bits of squid and while baby squid  rather than rings that i've had before. As I was with people I'd not met before I just ate it and it tasted so good. I'm glad I pushed through a food barrier to try something I felt a bit squeamish about 

With rosemary & Parmesan 

I expected these to be potato dusted with polenta but they are polenta squashed into chip shapes, they have to be one of the nicest chip type products i've had for a while. 

Everything was so nicely presented and we had a table outside which was great as we were in a really sheltered spot. All the staff were really friendly and they even offered to keep our bags behind a counter inside out of the way and as we paid they brought them out for us. Which they really didn't have to do. 

The Handmade Burger Co

I was glad I went for nibbles at Jamie's as later on I met up with Tanya , Becky and a few others (I'm really sorry I'm not sure who all the others were. I think they were from Apples and Pairs) 

I have been craving sweet potato fries since March and I have to say I was a bit disappointed. The portion size was tiny compared to the regular chips and they didn't have much flavour so I'm still on the hunt for the perfect sweet potato fries. 

 I was torn between a couple of burgers but as recently I've been wanting to eat avocado and I've been getting Mexican Chicken Bagels from Bagel Nash so decided to get the bacon avocado burger. The bread and the burger was really tasty but the avocado was more mushy than I was expecting (i thought slices) and the bacon was cold. It tasted ok but i've had nicer.

Five Guys

After Style XL we had a couple of hours so myself, Kathryn and Daisy This was my first experience of  Five Guys and I really enjoyed it. It is very much a novelty and I made and error in my choice of drink (Peach Sprite Zero) 

With it being my first time I kept my order simple, Plain hot dog, regular fries and a soft drink. I really enjoyed this and I think it has to be the most fun meal of the weekend food wise. It was a great novelty having it in a bag. You got so many chips. One regular between the three of us would have been enough I think. I ate what was in the tub but you get loads more in the bag. 

The Old Crown 

Debz had booked a table for Sunday lunch after Style XL and nine of us headed to The Old Crown which had a sign outside saying it was the oldest inn, in Birmingham. Debz had found it via a random google search and it was a great little pub. Actually it wasn't that little. It was a rabbit warren of rooms and looked like it had a decent beer garden.

As well as Debz and myself there was also Sharon, Jerry, Kate, April, Amber, Tammy & Bianca (Sorry I don't have links to the others blogs but if you send me a message I will add them in).

I had two courses but I really did only need the main meal, but it was delicious and so nicely presented.

Bruscetta which was a huge portion and really tasty. The salad was really fresh and I really liked the dressing on the side salad.

For the main course I went for Turkey and Beef roast dinner. On the menu you could choose two cooked meats and the choice was ham, turkey and beef. I almost wish I'd just asked for beef as it was really nice but I did enjoy the turkey and stuffing.

I still need to write the posts for the main event but I'm still trying to process all the amazing times I had and I've spent a good couple of hours trying to upload some of the pictures to my facebook page and they are finally up.

Coronation Street

Backstage Pass - Coronation Street Tour

Monday, July 20, 2015

I was lucky enough to be invited to a bloggers Back Stage tour of Coronation Street or Corrie to those who know it well. 

I work at less than 1 minutes walk away from the tour and so excited when the email came through.

Corrie was always on when I was a kid even when it was only on a couple of times a week. I went on the Granda studios tour when I was about 8 and ever since I’ve worked where I do now keep saying I wish they’d re-open the full tour, the highlight back then was the street and I had the obligatory picture outside Jack & Vera’s Cladding.

The tour lasts for around and hour you start in the green room which is where the cast used to hang out in till filming their scenes followed by a trip down the hallway of the stars past the dressing rooms. Some of the doors are left open and you can see how each person had set out their own rooms. I was snapping away feeling very privileged to be allowed to take pictures only 10 Minutes later to realise I didn’t have a memory card in my camera (I can’t work out if my camera has an internal memory so there may only be pictures from the sets)

At the end of the corridor you turn into the costume department where a lot of the cast’s original costumes are still kept. It was fun guessing who’s out fit was whose and I love all the info the guide provided.

There is so much to see I feel like if I went another three times I still won’t have seen it all.

Before you head over to the soundstage where all the sets are kept we watched a film montage of lots of classic corrie moments. This brought back so many memories and I’d forgotten about so many of the cast. I can’t even begin to think about all the names. Corrie is one of those programmes that as well as the sad times has so many laughs and such comedic brilliance to it.

The first sets we saw are Carla’s flat and Gail’s house, it’s phenomenal how much details goes into them and they are able to take them down and move things around if they need to film something else there.

It wouldn’t be a trip to corrie without pulling a pint in the Rovers or calling time for last orders. The Rovers is smaller than you think but as with all the sets, they have lots of tips and tricks to extend the set physically and visually. We also had our picture taken behind the bar, which we received at the end of the tour. I think you have to pay for these as a rule but we received a complementarity copy. 

The sets might be compact but they fit in so much detail to everyone. After the Rovers we headed to the Knicker Factory followed by a look at some iconic props from over the years before a trip to the home of Coronation Street Royalty Jack and Vera. They had some of the sweetest scenes, volcanic fights and that tearaway son Terry.

On to the Kabin which is a fairly new set to the tour, this set really shows off the level of detail, the sweets are real (but out of date) they have real magazines to bulk out the shelves and for the top layer fake magazines are made by the production team even though they probably won’t be picked up by the camera. They also switch out the greeting cards to match the seasons. Have you noticed that? I haven’t but I’m sure some eagle eyed viewers will have.

The final part of the tour is through the production suit which has been left in the same state it was after the final episode was recorded there in December 2013, then you head out into the bistro doors on the cobbles.

Out on the cobbles you can wander into Gail’s back yard and down the ginnel behind the houses on the opposite side of the street. Details everywhere. 

As a treat they’d put on some pizza’s which we got from the Kebab shop and a tin of pop while we sat on a picnic bench, while we chatted and then had another wander round before heading to the medical centre which is also the gift shop to collect a goodie bag containing a postcard which we posted in the post box outside Dev’s shop. This is new thing and Royal mail are now doing collections direct from the street and you can put a Weatherfield post mark across the stamp which is so cute. I sent mine to my mum.

I had such a good experience and while I got more access then the normal guest by being allowed on the sets and to take pictures inside it was such a good experience it is such a shame it’s going to close on 31st December this year, I hope they are somehow able to move it all to a new home to keep the tour going. While it won’t be the same not being in the actual location it would be a shame to lose all the heritage that is in that small plot of land at the bottom end of Manchester.

All remaining tickets have now been released to the website and I know my mum and gran want to visit so I’ll be booking some tickets if there are any left when payday comes around.


Beauty Basket 5 - Getting up Early to put my Makeup On

Friday, July 17, 2015

Welcome back to another Beauty Basket, if you’re not familiar with these types of posts. It’s where I gather the main make up products I’m going to be using for the week.

I don’t always swap things out every week, I have a couple of reasons behind these posts.

Beauty basket, Beauty,

One it’s to get me to wear the makeup I have.
To make it easier for getting ready in the mornings.
To have all the products I’ve decided for the week in one place rather than rooting through all the different places I keep my makeup.

Every week I’m changing and almost evolving how and where I put my face on.

As a rule I’ve been doing my face on the bus so the idea of having everything in one place and I was keeping it to a minimum, but since I’ve been back off holiday which is just over a week I’ve been managing to put my makeup on before I go out the door.


Beauty basket, Beauty,

No7 Intelligent Colour Foundation Medium – This is a new product to me but I have used it before when it was first released. As I have a touch of colour and none of my foundations match or the one that does is too heavy. I’ve been looking at BB creams but because they all have SPF 15+ they look too white against my skin.

Milani Illuminating Face Powder 02 Hermosa Rose – A really beautiful product, it gives me just a hint more colour and it has such a lovely designed texture to it. I’m really happy with this.

 Essence Silk Touch Blush 20 Baby doll - This week I’m back into this product. Last week I was ready to ditch this from my Use 8 by Bonfire Night challenge and I think that putting my make up on at home is helping me apply this.

Essence Stay All Day Powder 10 Matte Beige - I am really enjoying using this at the moment. I feel like it really sets my makeup nicely and isn’t too pale against my tan.

Collection Concealer 03 Warm Medium – This is on its way out. The consistency has changed a bit. I’m going to carry on using it for a bit longer but I don’t think I’ll be using it for much longer

Maybelline Eye Eraser - I really want to use this up but like with the collection one it’s on its way out. It is in my Use 8 by Bonfire Night challenge so I’m going to persevere with it. Has anyone else pulled the foam sponge off? I’ve seen someone done this with it. Has anyone else pulled the foam sponge off? I’ve seen someone who has done this but I’m scared it will be too messy. 


Beauty basket, Beauty,

Essence Long Lasting Lip Liner 01 Ready for Red – I’m not sure if this is the basket of makeup that I will be taking to Style XL at weekend or if I will be packing up a new one. I tend to switch things on a Friday night but I’m going straight to Birmingham from Work on Friday. For this reason I’ve added some make up for a night out which may or may not include red lips

NYX Butter Gloss Cherry Pie- I was inspired by the colours of the Rainbow challenge I’ve seen on YouTube started by Leah XL and I’m thinking of filming my own version which will include this if I do it.

Revlon Balm Stain 001 Honey - I’m still loving this and I want to use this up as part of new Pan Challenge I’ve got in mind. I haven’t written a post yet but I think it’s called 5 by Fall to run alongside by Use 8 by Bonfire Night.

Milani 66 Matte Passion - Again this is a possibility as a night out lipstick, we’ll see what happens.

Nivea Soft Rose Lip Balm - Another product from my Use 8 by Bonfire night. I really seem to be getting through this at the moment which is really satisfying.

Beauty basket, Beauty,

Benefit Bad Gal Eyeliner – Another product with a night out in mind. I haven’t worn black eyeliner for a while. I’m thinking about doing either do a simple eye and red lips or a really smoky eye and keep my lips natural.

Benefit They’re Real Mascara - This is another carry over from last week’s basket and I have really enjoyed using it. Someone at work asked if my lashes were my own as my lashes were super long after using this. I do have really long lashes anyway but this seems to add so much more length to them.

Essence stays no matter what Shadow and eye pencil 06 Cute Copper - I’m still trying to play around with these kinds of pencils. I usually forget or don’t spend enough time. I’m going to watch some more YouTube tutorials to see if I can get the hang of them.

 Essence Eyebrow designer in Brown - I really like this pencil and I’m on my second one. It’s really easy to use and a good match for me.

Essence Eye Pencil in 02 Hot Chocolate and 20 Lucky Lead - The 02 Hot Chocolate is my all-time favourite, when I went to replace it I spotted the Lucky Lead which is a brown / grey colour.

Essence Quattro 05 To Die For and 07 Over The Taupe – I have a few quads and trios and I never reach for them. This week I’ve decided to only give myself two quads and I’m really enjoying using them. The pigmentation is fantastic and they are really soft and easy to blend. 

What have you been wearing this week? 


June 2015 Favourites

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

How on earth has it got to Mid-July already? This year is flying by far too quickly. My June flew buy as I spent half of it in Lanzarote and I’ve mentioned my holiday far too many time already on this blog and I’m starting to bore myself talking about it. I’m already lusting for the next break. 

OGX Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner 
I’ve been reading so many positive things about these products and I am in love. I got the shampoo in a beauty box and it annoyed me as I’m one of those people who likes to use matching shampoo and conditioner. I decided to bite the bullet and buy the matching conditioner in boots.

I feel like this is what I’ve been looking for as far as shampoo and conditioner goes. I’m not going to repurchase at the moment as we have so many products on the go but I’m keeping my eyes peeled for any special offers and I’m sure I’ll end up with the full size sooner rather than later.

 Sanctury spa body scrub and beaded shower gel 

These were part of the huge Christmas box I got in the boots Christmas sale and I was saving it for best but if I do that nothing will ever get used. Up. I really like the smell of these which is unusual for me. It’s really refreshing and it doesn’t linger in a powerful way. I feel like the beads in the showergel aren’t needed and are a bit early 90s. I was using the scrub pre-holiday and it was pretty effective.

Elixir treats and tonics 

I went for an afternoon out in Manchester for a friend’s birthday and we spent quite a bit if time in Elixir having birdcage cocktails, we got to sit outside under a bit of a cover and they have the most amazing loo’s.

 Donut day

My work is trying to make things fun and exciting and they decided to get on board with national donut day which I’m pretty sure is an American thing but we had 24 donuts between 5 of us and we managed it. We had a crazy five mins divvying up the left overs before home time.

My Holiday 

I couldn’t not mention it, I had such an amazing fortnight. Shadebathing, reading books, going shopping (a lot) eating good food. I would whole heartedly recommend going to Lanarote for a holiday and I have a few more holiday posts planned. I have a huge holiday haul I need to take pictures of and get written up.

One of the best moments of the holiday was going to the cafĂ© on the 17th floor of the Aricife Gran Hotel. The view was stunning and it’s made me want to stay at that hotel next time I go (It was nothing to do with the poster advertising Gin tastings at all!)

Over all June has been a pretty good month and I’m sure there were a lot of other things I wanted to mention but I think we’ll leave it there for now


Weekend Haul Featuring Sainsburys, Home Bargains and BodyCare

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

I'm sure I've said this before but I really need to go on a spending ban... I buy so much and these are the things I got last weekend, this weekend I went and bought more things I could have probably (definitely) done without but that's another story. 

I keep thinking I will only buy essentials which to be fair some of these things are. Others are whim purchases that I really, really didn't need. 

Creative Colour - This is most definitely a whim purchase if ever I've bought one. It's a grown up colouring book / magazine and I spotted it as I nipped across the top aisles to grab some ice. I already own two colouring books that I rarely touch.  


Gillette Satin Care - In my last empties I shared by used up last saving gel so this is classes as an essential. I've not used this one before and I have to say it was the gold can that sold it to me. I haven't tried it yet but I'm sure it will be good. 

Goody Hair Brush -  This looks like a Denman briush of my childhood and I really should just bite the bullet and buy another Denman brush but wanted to try this. It does have a bit of weight behind it. I've used it a few times to brush my hair and it seems pretty good. I've not used it to dry my hair with yet. 

Afro Comb - I left my Denman shower de-tangler on holiday so picked this up for my in shower comb and it's not as good as the Denman but for 79p it'll do. 

AirWick Reed Difusser in Crisp Linen and Lilac -  I love the smell of this but it's sooooooo strong. I've shoved it inside the bottom of the wardrobe and my room smells amazing. I just wish it wasn't as strong as it's really quite and attractive bottle. 

Antihistamines - One a DAY! I seem to be taking 3 a day (I have spoken to a doctor about this) my hay fever is out of control and they last about 3 hours. I can never decide which antihistamine works best for me. I've been prescribed stronger ones from a doctor but as I have to take them every day one I can't afford the prescription charges and they sent me loop and really didn't agree with me. The doctor agreed with me and I take up to three over the counter ones (most days I take one) 

Home Bargains

Garnier deodrant - I decided to take a break from Mitchum. I've been using it for quite a while now and I accidentally bought the scent free one and I really don't like it so decided to have a break and I have a bit of buyers remorse. I don't feel like it keeps me all that fresh but it has been extremely warm so it might not have had a fair chance. 

Nivea in shower aftersun -  I was looking everywhere for this to take on holiday and could I find it anywhere? NO! I've only used this once and I wasn't all that impressed. I didn't use any additional moisturiser after my shower and I noticed part way through the day i'd started to go a little bit scaly.  I really like the in shower body conditioner so I should have just bought that and I think this was a bit dear at £3.99 (Home Bargain prices) but I will keep using it but use moisturiser as well.  


#OOTD - #NWBloggerEvents

Monday, July 13, 2015

I might be the most rubbish "fashion" blogger in the world as I'm really struggling to find a good place for OOTD pictures. 

I want to show you what I'm wearing but I either forget to ask someone to take a picture or can't find somewhere to balance my new camera (I'm so scared of breaking it). My old camera also has a really great self-timer feature where you can do a custom number of seconds before the first picture and how many pictures it takes. My new camera has a 2 second or 10 second and will take 5 shots but they are rapid fire. I need to read the manual. 

Yesterday I went to Liverpool for the #NWBloggerEvents and the weather was horrible as I was leaving home, it was chilly and raining but as soon as I got to Birchwood the sun came out and I instantly regretted my outfit.  

Coat - Asda It's a size too small but as it's not the style you'd wear closed I feel pretty good about it. 

Top - Primark  Size 20 £8, I'm not sure if this was a bit clichĂ© to wear for a day in Liverpool but as soon as I saw this I wanted it. I don't even like the Beatles! 

Jeans - New Look Size 24 Last year. I'd forgotten about these and they were rediscovered in my clothes short out of last weekend. 

I had a really lovely day in Liverpool and despite my train stress (when do I not have train stress!) I was super easy to get to Liverpool from Manchester and I would love to go there for a weekend of shopping with my mum. In fact I might even book a night or two once her foot is better and she's got her next two holidays out of the way. 


Blogger of the Month - The Brick Castle

Sunday, July 12, 2015

For my second blogger of the month I've chosen to feature Jenny from The Brick Castle, I have met Jenny a couple of times and it is always fun. The first time we met I ended up with a Police Man up my skirt. His mother was less than impressed and I didn't even notice! (he was about 3 and in fancy dress. I was wearing leggins and it's given us hours of amusement since). I've also been locked in a room with her while we battled to escape (we did and lived to tell the tale). Jenny always had a big smile on her face and has such a huge heart. Things haven't been great for her and her family over the past couple of years and she has shown such strength and is truly one of the nicest people I've ever met. 

The Questions 

How long have you been running your current blog?
Since December 2012 

What was the fist blog you remember reading? (In the same genre as your own blog)
Writings, Ramblings and Reviews  - I was inspired to write a blog because I was reviewing toys and was asked if I had all of the videos on my blog. I realised that was a great idea, and I'd considered a public blog for a while, so I started The Brick Castle.

What is your best resource and what would be your number one tip for a new blogger?
My best resource is friends I've made through blogging. Sharing information, know-how and advice, learning together and supporting one another.

On average how many pictures do you take per post?

Image taken with permission from The Brick Castle

What is your favourite form of Social Media?
Facebook (You can find her Facebook page Here)

Name something you find out of your comfort zone?

What has been your best moment or biggest achievement since starting your blog?
This is the second time one of my peers has included me in a spotlight like this, and to find someone you like and respect feels your blogging is worthy of a post is really very special and my biggest achievement. So thank you x

Ask me a question 
Did you enjoy being locked in a room for an hour with me as much as I did?

You know what I really did, I couldn't think of anyone I'd rather be locked in a room with (the others weren't bad either!)