I've been dropping hints/explicitly saying on twitter that something exciting this way comes.....and here it is!  Whaddya think of Scaredtoast's new look?

I figured that with all the changes and developments I've been making as a blogger (YouTubing, showing my face!), now was as good a time as any to switch things up a bit with the aesthetic of this blog.  I designed my old template years ago from scratch (we're talking before blogger gave the option of three columns....that was a headache in itself!) and the idea of making any changes filled me with terror.  But yesterday I decided to bite the bullet and go for it.

Hours of html-ing later, and here we are!  Credit where credit's due.....big thank you to Rosie for being on hand with advice (and for the inspiration behind my new header) and to my big sister for putting up with me constantly sending across links for her to check it out.  Thanks you two!

Things look a lot cleaner now and I've added new "About Me" and "Contact" pages which you can access on the right. I've also enlarged the width I can display photos at, to show off the snazzy photos I'm hoping to take with my new lens.  This will take effect from now, but old photos won't be formatted correctly....I don't think that'll make too much difference to the way it all looks though.  This also gives me a chance to play around a bit, and make the editing changes that I've been thinking of for a while.  First up, I'm debating centering the text on blog posts - any thoughts on this?

I'm so pleased with Scaredtoast's sleeker new look, and I hope you like it too.  I'd love to hear any thoughts you have on it, and if you notice anything that's not quite right then please do tell me!

Blogging Interior: Scaredtoast's make over!

31.7.13

I've been dropping hints/explicitly saying on twitter that something exciting this way comes.....and here it is!  Whaddya think of Scaredtoast's new look?

I figured that with all the changes and developments I've been making as a blogger (YouTubing, showing my face!), now was as good a time as any to switch things up a bit with the aesthetic of this blog.  I designed my old template years ago from scratch (we're talking before blogger gave the option of three columns....that was a headache in itself!) and the idea of making any changes filled me with terror.  But yesterday I decided to bite the bullet and go for it.

Hours of html-ing later, and here we are!  Credit where credit's due.....big thank you to Rosie for being on hand with advice (and for the inspiration behind my new header) and to my big sister for putting up with me constantly sending across links for her to check it out.  Thanks you two!

Things look a lot cleaner now and I've added new "About Me" and "Contact" pages which you can access on the right. I've also enlarged the width I can display photos at, to show off the snazzy photos I'm hoping to take with my new lens.  This will take effect from now, but old photos won't be formatted correctly....I don't think that'll make too much difference to the way it all looks though.  This also gives me a chance to play around a bit, and make the editing changes that I've been thinking of for a while.  First up, I'm debating centering the text on blog posts - any thoughts on this?

I'm so pleased with Scaredtoast's sleeker new look, and I hope you like it too.  I'd love to hear any thoughts you have on it, and if you notice anything that's not quite right then please do tell me!
lush-oatifix-face-mask
lush-oatifix-fresh-face-mask
For months now I've been going into Lush, applying a smudge of this mask on the back of my hand, marveling at how soft and smooth it left my skin....and then walking out empty-handed.  I don't know why I've put off purchasing, it's a budget-friendly product, but for whatever reason, I figured that a birthday shopping trip was the time to buy.  And yes, this post has been sitting as a draft for quite some time now....sorry!

I love this stuff.  It's super moisturising and, as I said, leaves my skin feeling stroke-ably soft.  You keep it in the fridge so it's lovely and cooling to apply, lie back for 5-10 minutes...et voila!  Only trouble is that I haven't yet mastered how to apply it effectively.  It's quite lumpy, so doesn't go on as a smooth all over mask that I'm used to.  I tend to just blob it on where it sticks and leave it like that!

It's packed with bananas, oatmeal, ground almonds and kaolin, which moisturise as well as gently exfoliating away dead skin.  I expect pretty much everything in Lush to smell (good or otherwise) but unfortunately, this doesn't really smell of much.  Looking at it in the tub, my instant expectation is that it'd either smell banana-ry or like cookies.  But oh well, I can't have it all!

It's £5.95 for 75g which I think is a pretty decent price.  Plus the fact that I'm one empty away from a free face mask is a pretty good incentive to keep shopping in Lush!

Lush Oatifix fresh face mask

29.7.13

lush-oatifix-face-mask
lush-oatifix-fresh-face-mask
For months now I've been going into Lush, applying a smudge of this mask on the back of my hand, marveling at how soft and smooth it left my skin....and then walking out empty-handed.  I don't know why I've put off purchasing, it's a budget-friendly product, but for whatever reason, I figured that a birthday shopping trip was the time to buy.  And yes, this post has been sitting as a draft for quite some time now....sorry!

I love this stuff.  It's super moisturising and, as I said, leaves my skin feeling stroke-ably soft.  You keep it in the fridge so it's lovely and cooling to apply, lie back for 5-10 minutes...et voila!  Only trouble is that I haven't yet mastered how to apply it effectively.  It's quite lumpy, so doesn't go on as a smooth all over mask that I'm used to.  I tend to just blob it on where it sticks and leave it like that!

It's packed with bananas, oatmeal, ground almonds and kaolin, which moisturise as well as gently exfoliating away dead skin.  I expect pretty much everything in Lush to smell (good or otherwise) but unfortunately, this doesn't really smell of much.  Looking at it in the tub, my instant expectation is that it'd either smell banana-ry or like cookies.  But oh well, I can't have it all!

It's £5.95 for 75g which I think is a pretty decent price.  Plus the fact that I'm one empty away from a free face mask is a pretty good incentive to keep shopping in Lush!
Monday marked the start of the summer hols (have I mentioned that enough?), so I celebrated by getting my money back and returning stuff to the shops!  I'm not normally one to do that, but I realised I wasn't going to get any wear out of a couple of the bits I'd got and one of the dresses I bought on a shopping trip with Rosie that had cost me £21ish was only £13 on asos!  So I returned the more expensive version and got it (and a few lot of other dresses) from asos instead.

Tuesday and Wednesday were both no-make up days, spent tidying at home.  Then on Thursday it was Mum's birthday, so my sisters and I treated her to breakfast and then a little mosey around town.  I do enjoy our random shopping trips (looking forward to one tomorrow) and this time we decided that I'll never have a "conventional" engagement/wedding ring (not that that's on the cards!) and found my perfect one in Pandora of all places!

On Friday I had an exciting meeting regarding doing a bit more blogger stuff for the local paper, followed by a delicious lunch at Chiquitos with one of my besties (Naked Burger....uh-mazing!) and then a little bit of time spent with Ella.  Seriously love that baby; whilst she was drinking her milk I looked down and found her laughing at me.  Literally.  Looking up at me and laughing at some private joke.  Turned into a giggling session for both of us, and it sounds silly but it was lovely to actually be laughing at something together rather than just making her laugh by pulling faces etc.

Not much happened on Saturday.  I felt a bit ropey but managed to slap some make up on to film a new Empties video.  The Primark "Blogger Dress" that I ordered arrived, but the sleeves looked too poofy so is being sent back.  Oh, and I dog-sat for my sister too.

And finally, today was spent out on their (my sister and her husband's) boat down in Poole.  I don't think I've found my sea legs yet, and it's doubtful I ever will....perhaps something to do with my lifelong belief that I am a mermaid, and we don't have legs?  Clutching at straws.  But anyway, we drove around the quay for a bit which was fun (in a getting splashed, not having a hairband, having to wear a towel over your head kinda way), until we moored up for the boys to do some fishing and then sea sickness kicked in.  I'm not joking, I can still feel the motion now and my head feels all, wave-y.  Speaking of waves....why is it that despite the fact sea salt is meant to make your hair all beachy, yet splash a tonne of the stuff over me and my hair's straighter than ever!?
Oh, and this week is the week that I've decided to get my act together and invest some effort into my facebook page.  It would be wonderful if you could go and hit like to subscribe, and spread the word a little too?  Thank you!

The week: 22.7.13

28.7.13

Monday marked the start of the summer hols (have I mentioned that enough?), so I celebrated by getting my money back and returning stuff to the shops!  I'm not normally one to do that, but I realised I wasn't going to get any wear out of a couple of the bits I'd got and one of the dresses I bought on a shopping trip with Rosie that had cost me £21ish was only £13 on asos!  So I returned the more expensive version and got it (and a few lot of other dresses) from asos instead.

Tuesday and Wednesday were both no-make up days, spent tidying at home.  Then on Thursday it was Mum's birthday, so my sisters and I treated her to breakfast and then a little mosey around town.  I do enjoy our random shopping trips (looking forward to one tomorrow) and this time we decided that I'll never have a "conventional" engagement/wedding ring (not that that's on the cards!) and found my perfect one in Pandora of all places!

On Friday I had an exciting meeting regarding doing a bit more blogger stuff for the local paper, followed by a delicious lunch at Chiquitos with one of my besties (Naked Burger....uh-mazing!) and then a little bit of time spent with Ella.  Seriously love that baby; whilst she was drinking her milk I looked down and found her laughing at me.  Literally.  Looking up at me and laughing at some private joke.  Turned into a giggling session for both of us, and it sounds silly but it was lovely to actually be laughing at something together rather than just making her laugh by pulling faces etc.

Not much happened on Saturday.  I felt a bit ropey but managed to slap some make up on to film a new Empties video.  The Primark "Blogger Dress" that I ordered arrived, but the sleeves looked too poofy so is being sent back.  Oh, and I dog-sat for my sister too.

And finally, today was spent out on their (my sister and her husband's) boat down in Poole.  I don't think I've found my sea legs yet, and it's doubtful I ever will....perhaps something to do with my lifelong belief that I am a mermaid, and we don't have legs?  Clutching at straws.  But anyway, we drove around the quay for a bit which was fun (in a getting splashed, not having a hairband, having to wear a towel over your head kinda way), until we moored up for the boys to do some fishing and then sea sickness kicked in.  I'm not joking, I can still feel the motion now and my head feels all, wave-y.  Speaking of waves....why is it that despite the fact sea salt is meant to make your hair all beachy, yet splash a tonne of the stuff over me and my hair's straighter than ever!?
Oh, and this week is the week that I've decided to get my act together and invest some effort into my facebook page.  It would be wonderful if you could go and hit like to subscribe, and spread the word a little too?  Thank you!
little-mistress-dresses
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
I never had myself being down as particularly patriotic or bothered by the goings on of the Royal family.  I found myself watching for William and Kate to leave the hospital on Tuesday, and when I let out a squeal of excitement as the doors opened (false alarm, only nurses) I realised that actually, I was bothered.

Love her or hate her, Kate has captured the nation.  And whilst I'm most certainly not a fan of Pippa  and her eyebrows, I do secretly quite like the elder Middleton sister.  I'm not a die-hard fan, but my goodness, didn't she look beautiful as she faced the world for the first time as a mum?

So in honour of this joyous occasion, I've created a K-Midz lookbook using Little-Mistress.com.  Keep in mind that I don't have the eyes of the nation upon me, or the wrath of the palace to face, hence why some hemlines are a little (much) shorter than Kate would sport.  Why dress conservatively if you don't technically have to, eh?  That said, the colour scheme is definitely one which Kate would wear, and I've tried to feature more ladylike dresses which I could definitely see her wearing.  Albeit a touch longer for some of them.

Congratulations to Wills and Kate....and double congrats to the lady who may have inspired me to add more blue to my wardrobe!

6 of the Best: Duchess of Cambridge style

26.7.13

little-mistress-dresses
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
I never had myself being down as particularly patriotic or bothered by the goings on of the Royal family.  I found myself watching for William and Kate to leave the hospital on Tuesday, and when I let out a squeal of excitement as the doors opened (false alarm, only nurses) I realised that actually, I was bothered.

Love her or hate her, Kate has captured the nation.  And whilst I'm most certainly not a fan of Pippa  and her eyebrows, I do secretly quite like the elder Middleton sister.  I'm not a die-hard fan, but my goodness, didn't she look beautiful as she faced the world for the first time as a mum?

So in honour of this joyous occasion, I've created a K-Midz lookbook using Little-Mistress.com.  Keep in mind that I don't have the eyes of the nation upon me, or the wrath of the palace to face, hence why some hemlines are a little (much) shorter than Kate would sport.  Why dress conservatively if you don't technically have to, eh?  That said, the colour scheme is definitely one which Kate would wear, and I've tried to feature more ladylike dresses which I could definitely see her wearing.  Albeit a touch longer for some of them.

Congratulations to Wills and Kate....and double congrats to the lady who may have inspired me to add more blue to my wardrobe!
So with the summer holidays finally here and my spring cleaning underway, I've found some unloved clothes and have the time to get down the post office most days to send them off.  I've sifted through, and anything for sale here is in nearly-new condition, albeit a little creased.

So let's get down to the nitty gritty:
  • Blog sale is open to the UK only
  • If you see anything you like, email me (tabithabluebell@gmail.com), tweet me (@scaredtoast) or leave a comment with your email address and the item(s) you'd like...first come, first serve!
  • P&P is £2.50 per item (can be combined if buying multiple items) and will be sent Royal Mail second class.  Sorry if this seems expensive, but I got stung when I ran my beauty blog sale with the Royal Mail putting their prices up!  This is the cheapest I can go, and I've lowered the price of the items to reflect (and hopefully make up) for this.
  • I'll get proof of postage, but if you'd like the item to be sent recorded it'll be an additional 75p.  I accept no responsibility for items lost in the post.
  • Payment must be made ASAP through PayPal (contact me for my details...it's different to my blog email!), and items will be held for 24 hours.
  • Everything has been washed and comes from a smoke-free home!
  • No refunds (sorry!)
- Max C London dress in Medium : £4 (worn once) -
- Primark floral/butterfly dress in size 10 : £3.50 (worn twice) -
- Miss Selfridge Petites dress in size 10 : £3.50 (I loved this dress but it doesn't fit anymore!) -
- Topshop dress with pocket detail in size 12 : £4 (this has got a bit dusty in storage....it will be washed before being sent!) -
- Primark leopard print shirt in size 10 : £3 -
- Primark snakeskin dipped hem, sleeveless blouse in size 8 : £3 (not sure why this photo is blue-tinged?!) -
- H&M oversized waistcoat in XS : £3.50 (worn once) -
- asos high shine skirt in size 14 : £3.50 (this looks very creased but is in good condition!) -
- Topshop puffball skirt in size 12 : £3.50 (another creased one!  Great to wear under other skirts to add volume) -
- H&M beige faux-leather jacket in size 8 : £4.50 (worn a handful of times) -
- Primark pinstripe blazer in size 8 : £4 (worn once) -

Ed would be eternally grateful if we could finally get these unworn clothes out of the house....so feel free to make me an offer; I'm open to negotiations!

Happy shopping!

Clothing Blog Sale!

25.7.13

So with the summer holidays finally here and my spring cleaning underway, I've found some unloved clothes and have the time to get down the post office most days to send them off.  I've sifted through, and anything for sale here is in nearly-new condition, albeit a little creased.

So let's get down to the nitty gritty:
  • Blog sale is open to the UK only
  • If you see anything you like, email me (tabithabluebell@gmail.com), tweet me (@scaredtoast) or leave a comment with your email address and the item(s) you'd like...first come, first serve!
  • P&P is £2.50 per item (can be combined if buying multiple items) and will be sent Royal Mail second class.  Sorry if this seems expensive, but I got stung when I ran my beauty blog sale with the Royal Mail putting their prices up!  This is the cheapest I can go, and I've lowered the price of the items to reflect (and hopefully make up) for this.
  • I'll get proof of postage, but if you'd like the item to be sent recorded it'll be an additional 75p.  I accept no responsibility for items lost in the post.
  • Payment must be made ASAP through PayPal (contact me for my details...it's different to my blog email!), and items will be held for 24 hours.
  • Everything has been washed and comes from a smoke-free home!
  • No refunds (sorry!)
- Max C London dress in Medium : £4 (worn once) -
- Primark floral/butterfly dress in size 10 : £3.50 (worn twice) -
- Miss Selfridge Petites dress in size 10 : £3.50 (I loved this dress but it doesn't fit anymore!) -
- Topshop dress with pocket detail in size 12 : £4 (this has got a bit dusty in storage....it will be washed before being sent!) -
- Primark leopard print shirt in size 10 : £3 -
- Primark snakeskin dipped hem, sleeveless blouse in size 8 : £3 (not sure why this photo is blue-tinged?!) -
- H&M oversized waistcoat in XS : £3.50 (worn once) -
- asos high shine skirt in size 14 : £3.50 (this looks very creased but is in good condition!) -
- Topshop puffball skirt in size 12 : £3.50 (another creased one!  Great to wear under other skirts to add volume) -
- H&M beige faux-leather jacket in size 8 : £4.50 (worn a handful of times) -
- Primark pinstripe blazer in size 8 : £4 (worn once) -

Ed would be eternally grateful if we could finally get these unworn clothes out of the house....so feel free to make me an offer; I'm open to negotiations!

Happy shopping!
I did a post like this a year or so ago, but I figured that since I'm featuring more interiors on my blog and have a few new followers, some of you might like to have a nosy into the room we (ever so precociously) call The Library.
 
The Library is a lovely quiet and cool room at the back of the house.  Above you'll see our fire extinguisher (Ed's idea), plethora of candles, Dudley's chair from which he interrupts many a YouTube video and my big bargain Ikea desk.  I'm making a big effort this week to get to grips with the tidiness of our house, and this room was blitzed yesterday.  Just look at the state I'd managed to let the desk get in!

Where do you blog from?  Are you an on-the-go blogger, or do you have a dedicated space like this?

Interior Details: The Blogging Space

24.7.13

I did a post like this a year or so ago, but I figured that since I'm featuring more interiors on my blog and have a few new followers, some of you might like to have a nosy into the room we (ever so precociously) call The Library.
 
The Library is a lovely quiet and cool room at the back of the house.  Above you'll see our fire extinguisher (Ed's idea), plethora of candles, Dudley's chair from which he interrupts many a YouTube video and my big bargain Ikea desk.  I'm making a big effort this week to get to grips with the tidiness of our house, and this room was blitzed yesterday.  Just look at the state I'd managed to let the desk get in!

Where do you blog from?  Are you an on-the-go blogger, or do you have a dedicated space like this?
karora-botanical-bronzing
karora-instant-tan
karora-spray-tan
My love of fake tan should be no surprise here.  On my skin, pale is not interested, so when presented with the opportunity to test out a new range my answer was (literally) "the darker the better!"

I was given the Self Tan Mist Dark, and Instant Tan Wash Off to have a go with.  The Karora range contains no parabens, chemicals, artificial fragrances or dyes, and is packed with their signature ingredients of grape seed, acai berry, jojoba and argan....but were they as good as they sound?

My days of sun shimmer are long gone, so in all honesty I was a bit dubious as to whether I'd get much use out of the Wash Off lotion.  But, come Friday with an unexpectedly hot day and the inevitability of having to wear a skirt to work or boil in jeans, and this stuff was a life saver.  I quickly rubbed it into my legs and was left with a nice, golden glow.

The one thing I instantly noticed was just how thick it was.  This reminded me of foundation for my legs, and sitting down to write this I've noticed that it's described as "face, body & leg makeup".  Definitely accurate!  I mixed this in with moisturiser and could feel it on my skin for much of the day; something which I'm not sure I liked.  And I'm just not sure on the shade.  People complimented me on it, but it was much more in the orange family of tans.  Not in a bad way, just much more golden than the usual olive tones that I go for.  All in all, a good basic to have in the bathroom cupboard for leg-baring emergencies!

As for the Self Tan Mist?  It's a mixed bag in my opinion.  On the one hand it gave a nice, subtle colour, left my skin feeling  lovely and soft and had no hint of biscuit-y smell whatsoever, to the point it almost smelt perfumed.  But I wasn't a fan of the application.  You'll see from the photo, it looks as if it has a spritzer-type pump, but after a while of using it I realised you could hold it down for a continuous mist.  I guess that's because it's not an aerosol bottle, but it really confused me and meant I had to go back over areas I'd probably missed!  Which brings me to my next point; the "guide colour".  To my eyes, there was no guide colour.  Colour definitely came out (as evidenced by the state of my bath tub after I'd applied) but it was very difficult to see, appearing as splodges where it had hit the skin but virtually disappearing when I rubbed it in.  I was really worried that I'd turn out streaky, but in actual fact the colour on my skin the next day was very even with no tell-tale tan lines.

I think the Karora range is perfect for fairer-skinned people and those looking for a healthy glow.  I'm not sure how many layers of the mist I'd have to put on to get the rich bronzed effect promised, and it just wasn't as easy to apply as I'd like.  I managed to get an even tan, but is that because I'm an experienced faker or due to formula of the product?  I'm not sure, so I don't know whether I'd recommend this to a fake tanning newbie.  And at £14.99 for the Wash Off and £17.99 for the Self Tan Mist Dark, the products are a little higher in price than I like to pay.

The verdict?  Worth a go if you like a subtle colour and want something that doesn't give off a fake tan whiff.  Your skin will feel moisturised and soft, but there are darker and easier to apply tans out there as well.

Check out the rest of the Karora range here.

EDIT:  I've just come back from a family barbecue where I was sat on Mum's (cream) carpet with Ella.  Mum thought someone had had a little accident.  The patch where I was sat was left a suspicious colour....looks like the Wash Off transfers easily!

Karora Botanical Bronzing Range

22.7.13

karora-botanical-bronzing
karora-instant-tan
karora-spray-tan
My love of fake tan should be no surprise here.  On my skin, pale is not interested, so when presented with the opportunity to test out a new range my answer was (literally) "the darker the better!"

I was given the Self Tan Mist Dark, and Instant Tan Wash Off to have a go with.  The Karora range contains no parabens, chemicals, artificial fragrances or dyes, and is packed with their signature ingredients of grape seed, acai berry, jojoba and argan....but were they as good as they sound?

My days of sun shimmer are long gone, so in all honesty I was a bit dubious as to whether I'd get much use out of the Wash Off lotion.  But, come Friday with an unexpectedly hot day and the inevitability of having to wear a skirt to work or boil in jeans, and this stuff was a life saver.  I quickly rubbed it into my legs and was left with a nice, golden glow.

The one thing I instantly noticed was just how thick it was.  This reminded me of foundation for my legs, and sitting down to write this I've noticed that it's described as "face, body & leg makeup".  Definitely accurate!  I mixed this in with moisturiser and could feel it on my skin for much of the day; something which I'm not sure I liked.  And I'm just not sure on the shade.  People complimented me on it, but it was much more in the orange family of tans.  Not in a bad way, just much more golden than the usual olive tones that I go for.  All in all, a good basic to have in the bathroom cupboard for leg-baring emergencies!

As for the Self Tan Mist?  It's a mixed bag in my opinion.  On the one hand it gave a nice, subtle colour, left my skin feeling  lovely and soft and had no hint of biscuit-y smell whatsoever, to the point it almost smelt perfumed.  But I wasn't a fan of the application.  You'll see from the photo, it looks as if it has a spritzer-type pump, but after a while of using it I realised you could hold it down for a continuous mist.  I guess that's because it's not an aerosol bottle, but it really confused me and meant I had to go back over areas I'd probably missed!  Which brings me to my next point; the "guide colour".  To my eyes, there was no guide colour.  Colour definitely came out (as evidenced by the state of my bath tub after I'd applied) but it was very difficult to see, appearing as splodges where it had hit the skin but virtually disappearing when I rubbed it in.  I was really worried that I'd turn out streaky, but in actual fact the colour on my skin the next day was very even with no tell-tale tan lines.

I think the Karora range is perfect for fairer-skinned people and those looking for a healthy glow.  I'm not sure how many layers of the mist I'd have to put on to get the rich bronzed effect promised, and it just wasn't as easy to apply as I'd like.  I managed to get an even tan, but is that because I'm an experienced faker or due to formula of the product?  I'm not sure, so I don't know whether I'd recommend this to a fake tanning newbie.  And at £14.99 for the Wash Off and £17.99 for the Self Tan Mist Dark, the products are a little higher in price than I like to pay.

The verdict?  Worth a go if you like a subtle colour and want something that doesn't give off a fake tan whiff.  Your skin will feel moisturised and soft, but there are darker and easier to apply tans out there as well.

Check out the rest of the Karora range here.

EDIT:  I've just come back from a family barbecue where I was sat on Mum's (cream) carpet with Ella.  Mum thought someone had had a little accident.  The patch where I was sat was left a suspicious colour....looks like the Wash Off transfers easily!
What a week!  I can't for the life of me think what I did on Monday, but on Tuesday we went on a school trip to a local gurdwara (Sikh place of worship if, like me, you didn't know already!) in the sweltering heat.  I think the fact that we had our shoulders and hair covered with scarves, coupled with me opting for all black and being fed curry for lunch meant that I just couldn't cool down all day and suffered with the world's worst headache.  Oh, and cringe moment of the month would be when I got confused about what "bow" meant, so curtseyed to the holy book, the Guru Granth Sahib.  Oh the shame!

Wednesday was sports day and thankfully a bit cooler, so I got to spend an afternoon in the sun out on the field.  I'm not sure if I've managed to cultivate a tan yet, but I'm sure the fake stuff on my arms must have faded by now and I don't have any patchy bits, so perhaps it's natural now?

Thursday was just another busy day moving classrooms at work, and then on Friday the inevitable happened, and I had to say goodbye to my 1:1 chap of 3 years at work as he makes his way off to secondary school.  His mum gave me a lovely Kate Spade New York bangle, and I'm hoping to still see him every now and then next year when he comes to pick his sister up from school.  I've got a new little boy to work with next year, and whilst he's lovely, I'm a bit nervous because I know it won't be the same!

On Saturday I may or may not have had a Primark binge << click the link for the haul video!  It's been so long and I really enjoyed it.  Which makes me sound like such an addict, but it's true!  I also met up with a friend for her son's birthday and then we went to a different town to help her find an outfit for a weekend away.  And you know what it's like....new towns, new Primarks, new stock, but I ended up buying a jacket.  And paying £6.50 parking.  I could have bought the necklace I put back with that money!

Finally, today we had the annual family BBQ at Mum's, with more of her delicious potatoes as well as seriously yummy sausages that I smuggled home with me!   The weather was lovely and made even more enjoyable by the fact that I don't have work tomorrow!  I also had a change of heart about some stuff I bought yesterday and during the week, so I'll be taking those back pronto to ease my guilt about buying that jacket.

You may have noticed a lack of gym updates this week.  That killer headache I mentioned lasted 3 days and I just couldn't face it in this heat.  Good news though, because the chocolate diet I seem to have been on has paid off and I've dropped 2lbs!  In all seriousness, perhaps there is some truth in the old "drink more water" adage.  I always drink water, but trying to fight off this headache (and my snazzy new cup) has seen me upping my intake by miles....could this be the catalyst for the weight loss?!

The week: 15.7.13

21.7.13

What a week!  I can't for the life of me think what I did on Monday, but on Tuesday we went on a school trip to a local gurdwara (Sikh place of worship if, like me, you didn't know already!) in the sweltering heat.  I think the fact that we had our shoulders and hair covered with scarves, coupled with me opting for all black and being fed curry for lunch meant that I just couldn't cool down all day and suffered with the world's worst headache.  Oh, and cringe moment of the month would be when I got confused about what "bow" meant, so curtseyed to the holy book, the Guru Granth Sahib.  Oh the shame!

Wednesday was sports day and thankfully a bit cooler, so I got to spend an afternoon in the sun out on the field.  I'm not sure if I've managed to cultivate a tan yet, but I'm sure the fake stuff on my arms must have faded by now and I don't have any patchy bits, so perhaps it's natural now?

Thursday was just another busy day moving classrooms at work, and then on Friday the inevitable happened, and I had to say goodbye to my 1:1 chap of 3 years at work as he makes his way off to secondary school.  His mum gave me a lovely Kate Spade New York bangle, and I'm hoping to still see him every now and then next year when he comes to pick his sister up from school.  I've got a new little boy to work with next year, and whilst he's lovely, I'm a bit nervous because I know it won't be the same!

On Saturday I may or may not have had a Primark binge << click the link for the haul video!  It's been so long and I really enjoyed it.  Which makes me sound like such an addict, but it's true!  I also met up with a friend for her son's birthday and then we went to a different town to help her find an outfit for a weekend away.  And you know what it's like....new towns, new Primarks, new stock, but I ended up buying a jacket.  And paying £6.50 parking.  I could have bought the necklace I put back with that money!

Finally, today we had the annual family BBQ at Mum's, with more of her delicious potatoes as well as seriously yummy sausages that I smuggled home with me!   The weather was lovely and made even more enjoyable by the fact that I don't have work tomorrow!  I also had a change of heart about some stuff I bought yesterday and during the week, so I'll be taking those back pronto to ease my guilt about buying that jacket.

You may have noticed a lack of gym updates this week.  That killer headache I mentioned lasted 3 days and I just couldn't face it in this heat.  Good news though, because the chocolate diet I seem to have been on has paid off and I've dropped 2lbs!  In all seriousness, perhaps there is some truth in the old "drink more water" adage.  I always drink water, but trying to fight off this headache (and my snazzy new cup) has seen me upping my intake by miles....could this be the catalyst for the weight loss?!
Image found on pinterest
So the other week we talked bathrooms, this week it's my bedroom. Or more specifically, the wardrobe.

Long story short, our wardrobe is actually in the spare bedroom (aka the messy place where I instagram many of my outfits from), as well as a small clothes rail that sits down the end of our bed.  This summer though, I'm dreaming of making a change.

I want to flip the room around, have the bed at the opposite end and build something along the lines of the beauty above.  I've had a look on the ikea website and found a system which would create a similar effect; but it could get pricey.  The dilemma is, do I put the money I've got saved towards a holiday or blow it on a kick-arse wardobe?  And one where the cats could freely swing from my beloved clothes?

What's the verdict then?  Or do you know anywhere I could get these railings for a lot less?

Interior Details: The Wardrobe

17.7.13

Image found on pinterest
So the other week we talked bathrooms, this week it's my bedroom. Or more specifically, the wardrobe.

Long story short, our wardrobe is actually in the spare bedroom (aka the messy place where I instagram many of my outfits from), as well as a small clothes rail that sits down the end of our bed.  This summer though, I'm dreaming of making a change.

I want to flip the room around, have the bed at the opposite end and build something along the lines of the beauty above.  I've had a look on the ikea website and found a system which would create a similar effect; but it could get pricey.  The dilemma is, do I put the money I've got saved towards a holiday or blow it on a kick-arse wardobe?  And one where the cats could freely swing from my beloved clothes?

What's the verdict then?  Or do you know anywhere I could get these railings for a lot less?
mens-denim-shirt
tk-maxx-menswear-modbox-for-men
I don't think it's any secret that 'regular', male fashion blogs are thin on the ground.  As much as I love Pharrell's recent ankle flashing, it's not a look that I can imagine translating well into every day life.  With a lack of fashion inspiration for men, having a boyfriend who wants to indulge his stylish side yet poses awkwardly in everything (with the result being that nothing looks right), can be a tricky thing.  He tries on everything as though it's two sizes too small, and it's rare to walk into a shop and spot things that look like "him".  So when I was contacted and told about the Mod-Box section in TK Maxx being extended to men, I seized the opportunity to have a go and help Ed step out of this comfort zone. 

The result however, was that we pretty much stuck to his usual style.  As quite often happens in TK Maxx, the Mod-Box section for men was one rail, and clothes in Ed's size were fairly thin on the ground.  He's loving denim jackets for summer, so we chose this one and layered it over a graphic vest.  I love the look of printed tops, but whenever I see them in store they never strike me as something Ed would wear.  I grabbed this one as a last resort (aka the only passable thing in his size) and actually, I think it looks good!

I have to admit, I forgot to pay attention to prices here....something that never happens when shopping for myself!  I know the vest was £9.99, so I think all in all, this little update cost around about £30.  Trousers were severely lacking; the only thing on offer was jeans that even Ed knew hadn't been in style for the last 2 years!

I think the point of this challenge was to create an entire outfit, but that's an impossibility for me in TK Maxx.  I love it for accessories, homeware and toiletries, but I think the only items of clothing I've ever bought there have been jackets; never a whole outfit.  So given the lack of trousers and the fact that we were shopping for the most awkward boy ever on the hottest day of the year, I'm pretty pleased with the result!

What's your verdict?  Would you ever shop in TK Maxx for the man in your life?

Styling Ed

15.7.13

mens-denim-shirt
tk-maxx-menswear-modbox-for-men
I don't think it's any secret that 'regular', male fashion blogs are thin on the ground.  As much as I love Pharrell's recent ankle flashing, it's not a look that I can imagine translating well into every day life.  With a lack of fashion inspiration for men, having a boyfriend who wants to indulge his stylish side yet poses awkwardly in everything (with the result being that nothing looks right), can be a tricky thing.  He tries on everything as though it's two sizes too small, and it's rare to walk into a shop and spot things that look like "him".  So when I was contacted and told about the Mod-Box section in TK Maxx being extended to men, I seized the opportunity to have a go and help Ed step out of this comfort zone. 

The result however, was that we pretty much stuck to his usual style.  As quite often happens in TK Maxx, the Mod-Box section for men was one rail, and clothes in Ed's size were fairly thin on the ground.  He's loving denim jackets for summer, so we chose this one and layered it over a graphic vest.  I love the look of printed tops, but whenever I see them in store they never strike me as something Ed would wear.  I grabbed this one as a last resort (aka the only passable thing in his size) and actually, I think it looks good!

I have to admit, I forgot to pay attention to prices here....something that never happens when shopping for myself!  I know the vest was £9.99, so I think all in all, this little update cost around about £30.  Trousers were severely lacking; the only thing on offer was jeans that even Ed knew hadn't been in style for the last 2 years!

I think the point of this challenge was to create an entire outfit, but that's an impossibility for me in TK Maxx.  I love it for accessories, homeware and toiletries, but I think the only items of clothing I've ever bought there have been jackets; never a whole outfit.  So given the lack of trousers and the fact that we were shopping for the most awkward boy ever on the hottest day of the year, I'm pretty pleased with the result!

What's your verdict?  Would you ever shop in TK Maxx for the man in your life?
This week was a tough one for me.  I've felt exhausted every night (so only made it to the gym on Friday) and as a result I've been feeling really on edge.  Remember my biggest New Years resolution?  Yeah, that's fallen by the wayside a bit lately so I'm looking forward to the summer holidays for a chance to relax and get a bit of perspective.

I had a much-needed midweek break when I hit Nandos on Wednesday for a belated birthday meal with some of the ladies from work.  We were there till 11 (closing time...I've never stayed in a restaurant so long!) and my love for frozen yogurt has been cemented.

I was very excited on Thursday to discover that Rosie has made her YouTube debut!  I've said it before, but Rosie's lovely so check her video out (and my new one at the same time!)

Friday was Bastille Day at work so I had a crisis trying to find red, white and blue to wear and for the first time ever wore a skirt to work which wasn't a maxi!  I had to hastily apply an instant tan I've been sent to try, so watch out for a review on that shortly.  Speaking of tans, did you see my review of the Soap & Glory Breakfast Scrub on Monday?  On Friday I also blogged about a family barbecue we had last weekend - who else has had one?

Then this weekend has been a sweltering one, where I've taken any opportunity to just stay still and keep cool.  We hit TK Maxx on Saturday for a blogging challenge featuring Ed, which will be up next week.  We also cut Coco's claws to try and stop her from constantly scratching her face.  It looks really sore, and she's had a course of antibiotics and is still on steroids.  It's looking a bit better already, but if she doesn't leave it alone she'll have to go back to the vets for skin scrapes.  Poor Coco!

Today I've had my hair trimmed, hung out more washing (yay!) and we're planning to go to Harvester for dinner later.  Speaking of which, my lunch at work this week has been lettuce, onions, sweetcorn and ham with Tesco's own tomato pasta on top with a sprinkling of grated cheese....tastes just like Harvester's Salad Cart and has been brightening up my day a treat!

How was your week?

The week: 8.7.13

14.7.13

This week was a tough one for me.  I've felt exhausted every night (so only made it to the gym on Friday) and as a result I've been feeling really on edge.  Remember my biggest New Years resolution?  Yeah, that's fallen by the wayside a bit lately so I'm looking forward to the summer holidays for a chance to relax and get a bit of perspective.

I had a much-needed midweek break when I hit Nandos on Wednesday for a belated birthday meal with some of the ladies from work.  We were there till 11 (closing time...I've never stayed in a restaurant so long!) and my love for frozen yogurt has been cemented.

I was very excited on Thursday to discover that Rosie has made her YouTube debut!  I've said it before, but Rosie's lovely so check her video out (and my new one at the same time!)

Friday was Bastille Day at work so I had a crisis trying to find red, white and blue to wear and for the first time ever wore a skirt to work which wasn't a maxi!  I had to hastily apply an instant tan I've been sent to try, so watch out for a review on that shortly.  Speaking of tans, did you see my review of the Soap & Glory Breakfast Scrub on Monday?  On Friday I also blogged about a family barbecue we had last weekend - who else has had one?

Then this weekend has been a sweltering one, where I've taken any opportunity to just stay still and keep cool.  We hit TK Maxx on Saturday for a blogging challenge featuring Ed, which will be up next week.  We also cut Coco's claws to try and stop her from constantly scratching her face.  It looks really sore, and she's had a course of antibiotics and is still on steroids.  It's looking a bit better already, but if she doesn't leave it alone she'll have to go back to the vets for skin scrapes.  Poor Coco!

Today I've had my hair trimmed, hung out more washing (yay!) and we're planning to go to Harvester for dinner later.  Speaking of which, my lunch at work this week has been lettuce, onions, sweetcorn and ham with Tesco's own tomato pasta on top with a sprinkling of grated cheese....tastes just like Harvester's Salad Cart and has been brightening up my day a treat!

How was your week?
eton-mess
Time for another MoneySupermarket challenge!  This time it was to host a barbecue and then share the results.

I kept it fairly simple with my barbecue.  Ideas of crazy-themed bashes came to me first, but then I figured there was no better way to spend a barbecue than with family.  Glasses of Pimms, music and relaxing in the sun on what was perhaps the hottest day of the year so far...perfection.

The BBQ itself was delicious; sausages, burgers, bacon, kebabs, those simple foods that taste so much better cooked al fresco.  We also had salad, dips and crisps and Mum's specialty - new potatoes cooked with sea salt and feta cheese....yum.

But my favourite part?  Dessert!  Cupcakes galore alongside fresh little Greek pastries.  We went a little strawberry crazy and had punnets of them everywhere, to be enjoyed dipped in chocolate or (in my favourite) a mammoth Eton Mess.  Is there anything better than meringue and strawberries in a thick, gooey, creamy mess?

You'll have to excuse the lack of photographs, we had generations of family there and I did seem a little odd doing the usual blogger thing of photographing my food before I ate it.  Plus I didn't think they'd appreciate (or "get") me splashing their faces across the internet.

I'm fairly lazy with barbecues and tend to neglect doing them.  They always smell so good though wafting through the air from a neighbour's garden, so I'm glad that this challenge spurred me on to have our first  (and hopefully not the last!) barbecue of the year.  In my experience, barbecues can get a little expensive, but by keeping it fairly simple and focusing on good quality food and the company, you can definitely throw an enjoyable one on a budget.  And with the promise of another scorcher tomorrow, who else will be taking advantage of the beautiful weather and having a barbecue?

The Charcoal Challenge

12.7.13

eton-mess
Time for another MoneySupermarket challenge!  This time it was to host a barbecue and then share the results.

I kept it fairly simple with my barbecue.  Ideas of crazy-themed bashes came to me first, but then I figured there was no better way to spend a barbecue than with family.  Glasses of Pimms, music and relaxing in the sun on what was perhaps the hottest day of the year so far...perfection.

The BBQ itself was delicious; sausages, burgers, bacon, kebabs, those simple foods that taste so much better cooked al fresco.  We also had salad, dips and crisps and Mum's specialty - new potatoes cooked with sea salt and feta cheese....yum.

But my favourite part?  Dessert!  Cupcakes galore alongside fresh little Greek pastries.  We went a little strawberry crazy and had punnets of them everywhere, to be enjoyed dipped in chocolate or (in my favourite) a mammoth Eton Mess.  Is there anything better than meringue and strawberries in a thick, gooey, creamy mess?

You'll have to excuse the lack of photographs, we had generations of family there and I did seem a little odd doing the usual blogger thing of photographing my food before I ate it.  Plus I didn't think they'd appreciate (or "get") me splashing their faces across the internet.

I'm fairly lazy with barbecues and tend to neglect doing them.  They always smell so good though wafting through the air from a neighbour's garden, so I'm glad that this challenge spurred me on to have our first  (and hopefully not the last!) barbecue of the year.  In my experience, barbecues can get a little expensive, but by keeping it fairly simple and focusing on good quality food and the company, you can definitely throw an enjoyable one on a budget.  And with the promise of another scorcher tomorrow, who else will be taking advantage of the beautiful weather and having a barbecue?
Image found on pinterest
If you’re looking to inject some style into your home this summer, why not treat it to some much needed celebrity glamour? Forget about shy and retiring pastels or calm and collected neutral hues; what every home needs in 2013 is a bubbly burst of colour to brighten up the place.

From controversial contemporary art to furniture for home cinema, here are our suggestions on how you can best embrace the life of the rich and famous.

The Big Screen
Word on the street is, staying in is the new going out. So make the most of the home social-hub with your own big screen. In this day and age, a home cinema is the ultimate luxury. It’s ultramodern, chic, not to mention the fact it provides the most incredible screening experience, all in the comfort of your own home.
Our advice? Head to Neville Johnson and discover the best home cinema furniture for your household. With a whole host of breathtaking designs to select from, you’ll certainly find a look to suit your personal tastes.

Monochrome
If you really want to rival the life of the rich and famous, go monochrome. It’s a timeless combination that never fails to create instant drama and style, perfect for achieving celebrity glamour. And the beauty of opting for black and white is, there’s plenty of scope to work with. One option to try is bold vertical stripes as a feature wall. It’s confident, striking and definitely breaks convention; all you could ask for from celebrity inspired décor.
Or alternatively, if you’d prefer to be a little less daring, keep your monochrome style low key. For instance in the bedroom, think sleek and sophisticated. Try distressed, white-washed wooden flooring and plain white walls, with black accessories for embellishment. These can be anything from black detailed bedding or black wall stencils; the choice is yours!

Wall Art 
When you envision the homes of the rich and famous, what springs to mind? Walls covered in gold and platinum discs; emblems of their success? Well in order to succeed the same level of celebrity glamour, it’s important to add a touch of wall glitter.
Forget about your average vase or photo of the family, we’re talking eye-catching numbers that are guaranteed to leave any visitor in awe. A popular choice for many interior enthusiasts is Banksy, as this controversial artist can instantly grab a guest’s attention with his colourful prints. Perfect.
- Guest post -

Brighten your home with some celebrity glamour

10.7.13

Image found on pinterest
If you’re looking to inject some style into your home this summer, why not treat it to some much needed celebrity glamour? Forget about shy and retiring pastels or calm and collected neutral hues; what every home needs in 2013 is a bubbly burst of colour to brighten up the place.

From controversial contemporary art to furniture for home cinema, here are our suggestions on how you can best embrace the life of the rich and famous.

The Big Screen
Word on the street is, staying in is the new going out. So make the most of the home social-hub with your own big screen. In this day and age, a home cinema is the ultimate luxury. It’s ultramodern, chic, not to mention the fact it provides the most incredible screening experience, all in the comfort of your own home.
Our advice? Head to Neville Johnson and discover the best home cinema furniture for your household. With a whole host of breathtaking designs to select from, you’ll certainly find a look to suit your personal tastes.

Monochrome
If you really want to rival the life of the rich and famous, go monochrome. It’s a timeless combination that never fails to create instant drama and style, perfect for achieving celebrity glamour. And the beauty of opting for black and white is, there’s plenty of scope to work with. One option to try is bold vertical stripes as a feature wall. It’s confident, striking and definitely breaks convention; all you could ask for from celebrity inspired décor.
Or alternatively, if you’d prefer to be a little less daring, keep your monochrome style low key. For instance in the bedroom, think sleek and sophisticated. Try distressed, white-washed wooden flooring and plain white walls, with black accessories for embellishment. These can be anything from black detailed bedding or black wall stencils; the choice is yours!

Wall Art 
When you envision the homes of the rich and famous, what springs to mind? Walls covered in gold and platinum discs; emblems of their success? Well in order to succeed the same level of celebrity glamour, it’s important to add a touch of wall glitter.
Forget about your average vase or photo of the family, we’re talking eye-catching numbers that are guaranteed to leave any visitor in awe. A popular choice for many interior enthusiasts is Banksy, as this controversial artist can instantly grab a guest’s attention with his colourful prints. Perfect.
- Guest post -
soap-and-glory-exfoliator
soap-and-glory-the-breakfast-scrub
Do you know, until Boxing Day 2012 I'd never tried Soap & Glory?  I heard the hype but it just didn't appeal to me.  How things change!

I am obsessed with the oat-y, popcorn-y scented range (FYI this is Rich & Foamous, Smoothie Star and this!).  The Breakfast Scrub just smells divine.  Warming and sweet, in that cookie sort of way rather than the citrus scent of Sugar Crush, it's just amazing.

This is one of those oily-feeling scrubs which is abrasive without being too scratchy, and leaves my skin feeling lovely and nourished rather than red-raw.

This 300ml tub is £8, which I think is a fantastic price.  I do seem to be going through this quite quickly, but then again I do like to cover myself in fake tan, so a more intense scrub than normal every now and then is a must!  And when you consider that Soap & Glory products have, according to my beady eye, been on 3 for 2 offers in Boots at least 4 times since I became acquainted with the brand, it actually works out as quite a good deal.

Have you tried this?  Or do you know of any other similar smelling products I should try?  From anywhere, not just Soap & Glory!

Soap & Glory The Breakfast Scrub

8.7.13

soap-and-glory-exfoliator
soap-and-glory-the-breakfast-scrub
Do you know, until Boxing Day 2012 I'd never tried Soap & Glory?  I heard the hype but it just didn't appeal to me.  How things change!

I am obsessed with the oat-y, popcorn-y scented range (FYI this is Rich & Foamous, Smoothie Star and this!).  The Breakfast Scrub just smells divine.  Warming and sweet, in that cookie sort of way rather than the citrus scent of Sugar Crush, it's just amazing.

This is one of those oily-feeling scrubs which is abrasive without being too scratchy, and leaves my skin feeling lovely and nourished rather than red-raw.

This 300ml tub is £8, which I think is a fantastic price.  I do seem to be going through this quite quickly, but then again I do like to cover myself in fake tan, so a more intense scrub than normal every now and then is a must!  And when you consider that Soap & Glory products have, according to my beady eye, been on 3 for 2 offers in Boots at least 4 times since I became acquainted with the brand, it actually works out as quite a good deal.

Have you tried this?  Or do you know of any other similar smelling products I should try?  From anywhere, not just Soap & Glory!

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