Welcome to a new series of posts, both here and on Leanne's blog.  We've toyed with the idea of collaborating for a while now, and whilst we still have another project in the pipeline, this is the first installment in a new series which we're hoping will share some tips and tricks for generally being a little bit thrifty.  Saving seems to be Leanne's forte, and I'm happy to soak up some motivation and tag along for the ride!  Watch out for a new post each month on alternating blogs....first up is shopping the stash!

Leanne's picks
As Lorna has said, I am partial to a bit of saving. When something important is on the cards that requires a bit of mullah, I get into the zone and try to save where I can.  When you have a blog, it's easy to get sucked into the hype and buy new products, meaning your beauty stash grows in a very short space of time and you end up spending far too much money than you really should.  By shopping your stash you can rediscover some old favourites, condense down your collection and save money.
I often find myself wanting to purchase the new bodycare releases, but I know I have a drawer stashed full of Soap & Glory products thanks to receiving some of their amazing gift sets! I do have a couple of old favourites, like the Righteous Butter and Breakfast Scrub, however I know I have a few I haven't tried before so I am going to make an effort to use them. The same goes for Lush products, although their face masks go off quickly, so I don't tend to keep those long. I have a few other products scattered about my collection that could be shown a bit more love! 
 Makeup wise, I have more than my fair share of eyeshadows, so realistically I do not need to 'pop to Boots' to get something new. I've dug out my Naked Palette and aim to use some of the more neglected shades rather than opting for Sin & Sidecar Every.Single.Time. Who knows, I may discover some great new colour combinations! The same can be said with my Nars multiple.  I have so many highlighters, some just don't get a look in anymore. Nars have just bought out a few new matte shades, which prompted me to dig out this bad boy. It is in the shade Copacabana, and is the nicest cream highlight! A little goes a long way too! I don't know why I don't use it more often!

My picks
I think Leanne's covered all bases on why shopping your stash is a good idea, so let's skip straight to my picks.  
My beloved Clarins primer has just run out, but rather than rush to repurchase I figured I should be a bit wiser with my money and use up a product sitting unloved in my drawer.  The Smashbox Photo Finish primer was the first I'd ever tried, and while I'm not a massive fan of the silicon-y texture to it, it does a decent job of making sure my make up stays put.  There's also the Mary-Lou Manizer which I blogged about aaaaages ago.  It's a beautiful highlight that's not for the faint-hearted.  Mine unfortunately smashed, meaning it's not very portable and hence why it's been out of action for so long.  And whilst we're on the subject of cheeks, remember when I bought the Inglot Liquid Blush?  A real obsession with blushers has meant that this has been neglected for quite a while now, but it's the perfect colour for spring that I definitely need to crack out more often.
Moving onto eyes, MAC Patina is an old favourite but I've been stuck in a bit of a rut lately when it comes to eyeshadow.  It's the perfect inoffensive golden bronze shade which I need to add in to my daily routine again.  And finally, my Kiko Smart Lipstick was another of those ill-fated nude lipsticks I tend to buy and swiftly forget about.  I found this in the back of my drawer, and with a new favourite lipgloss transforming the texture of all my lipsticks I'll be making the effort to get some use out of this again.

We really hope you enjoyed this post - leave a comment below telling us some of your unloved products that you wish you got more use out!  And be sure to head over to Leanne's blog and subscribe to make sure you don't miss next month's post.

Keeping thrifty: Shopping your stash

31.3.14

Welcome to a new series of posts, both here and on Leanne's blog.  We've toyed with the idea of collaborating for a while now, and whilst we still have another project in the pipeline, this is the first installment in a new series which we're hoping will share some tips and tricks for generally being a little bit thrifty.  Saving seems to be Leanne's forte, and I'm happy to soak up some motivation and tag along for the ride!  Watch out for a new post each month on alternating blogs....first up is shopping the stash!

Leanne's picks
As Lorna has said, I am partial to a bit of saving. When something important is on the cards that requires a bit of mullah, I get into the zone and try to save where I can.  When you have a blog, it's easy to get sucked into the hype and buy new products, meaning your beauty stash grows in a very short space of time and you end up spending far too much money than you really should.  By shopping your stash you can rediscover some old favourites, condense down your collection and save money.
I often find myself wanting to purchase the new bodycare releases, but I know I have a drawer stashed full of Soap & Glory products thanks to receiving some of their amazing gift sets! I do have a couple of old favourites, like the Righteous Butter and Breakfast Scrub, however I know I have a few I haven't tried before so I am going to make an effort to use them. The same goes for Lush products, although their face masks go off quickly, so I don't tend to keep those long. I have a few other products scattered about my collection that could be shown a bit more love! 
 Makeup wise, I have more than my fair share of eyeshadows, so realistically I do not need to 'pop to Boots' to get something new. I've dug out my Naked Palette and aim to use some of the more neglected shades rather than opting for Sin & Sidecar Every.Single.Time. Who knows, I may discover some great new colour combinations! The same can be said with my Nars multiple.  I have so many highlighters, some just don't get a look in anymore. Nars have just bought out a few new matte shades, which prompted me to dig out this bad boy. It is in the shade Copacabana, and is the nicest cream highlight! A little goes a long way too! I don't know why I don't use it more often!

My picks
I think Leanne's covered all bases on why shopping your stash is a good idea, so let's skip straight to my picks.  
My beloved Clarins primer has just run out, but rather than rush to repurchase I figured I should be a bit wiser with my money and use up a product sitting unloved in my drawer.  The Smashbox Photo Finish primer was the first I'd ever tried, and while I'm not a massive fan of the silicon-y texture to it, it does a decent job of making sure my make up stays put.  There's also the Mary-Lou Manizer which I blogged about aaaaages ago.  It's a beautiful highlight that's not for the faint-hearted.  Mine unfortunately smashed, meaning it's not very portable and hence why it's been out of action for so long.  And whilst we're on the subject of cheeks, remember when I bought the Inglot Liquid Blush?  A real obsession with blushers has meant that this has been neglected for quite a while now, but it's the perfect colour for spring that I definitely need to crack out more often.
Moving onto eyes, MAC Patina is an old favourite but I've been stuck in a bit of a rut lately when it comes to eyeshadow.  It's the perfect inoffensive golden bronze shade which I need to add in to my daily routine again.  And finally, my Kiko Smart Lipstick was another of those ill-fated nude lipsticks I tend to buy and swiftly forget about.  I found this in the back of my drawer, and with a new favourite lipgloss transforming the texture of all my lipsticks I'll be making the effort to get some use out of this again.

We really hope you enjoyed this post - leave a comment below telling us some of your unloved products that you wish you got more use out!  And be sure to head over to Leanne's blog and subscribe to make sure you don't miss next month's post.
I make no bones about the fact that I'm not a dog person (<<< see what I did there?)  Cats are my furry friends of choice, although I'm sure you can't have failed to notice that I do have the pleasure of sharing my home with a great ginger lump that goes by the name of Dudley.  I can't deny that he has his benefits, though.  He may not be the sharpest tool in the box, but Dudley certainly provides entertainment when he's tearing through the house chasing the air.  And God forbid the situation ever arose, but I feel safe in the house when Ed's away just knowing that Dudley's downstairs.  The reality is, he's a big soppy fool that loves to sit on top of me, but after watching one too many Criminal Minds sat at home on my own, the fact that he has one mean bark is definitely comforting. 

The reason behind this post is this poster from Bolt Burdon Kemp which was recently brought to my attention.  I didn't realise there were so many different types of assistance dog, and it's incredible to think of the difference a dog can make to a person's life.  We have a dog that visits our school for the children to read to, as part of a Pets as Therapy service and there's no denying the calming effect an animal as a companion can have on a person.  But autism assistance dogs, and veteran service dogs?  It's just remarkable that dogs can be trained to provide that level of support and friendship.

Maybe I am more of a dog person than I realised?  Much as I won't admit it to Ed, life wouldn't be the same without Dudley.  And perhaps dogs are a bit more "useful" than cats....

And for anybody not familiar with ginger prince, be sure to subscribe to both my instagram (username 'scaredtoast') and my YouTube channel where he regularly makes appearances....eyes peeled for the special pet-themed video coming up next week!

- Sponsored Post -
 

Man's best friend?

28.3.14

I make no bones about the fact that I'm not a dog person (<<< see what I did there?)  Cats are my furry friends of choice, although I'm sure you can't have failed to notice that I do have the pleasure of sharing my home with a great ginger lump that goes by the name of Dudley.  I can't deny that he has his benefits, though.  He may not be the sharpest tool in the box, but Dudley certainly provides entertainment when he's tearing through the house chasing the air.  And God forbid the situation ever arose, but I feel safe in the house when Ed's away just knowing that Dudley's downstairs.  The reality is, he's a big soppy fool that loves to sit on top of me, but after watching one too many Criminal Minds sat at home on my own, the fact that he has one mean bark is definitely comforting. 

The reason behind this post is this poster from Bolt Burdon Kemp which was recently brought to my attention.  I didn't realise there were so many different types of assistance dog, and it's incredible to think of the difference a dog can make to a person's life.  We have a dog that visits our school for the children to read to, as part of a Pets as Therapy service and there's no denying the calming effect an animal as a companion can have on a person.  But autism assistance dogs, and veteran service dogs?  It's just remarkable that dogs can be trained to provide that level of support and friendship.

Maybe I am more of a dog person than I realised?  Much as I won't admit it to Ed, life wouldn't be the same without Dudley.  And perhaps dogs are a bit more "useful" than cats....

And for anybody not familiar with ginger prince, be sure to subscribe to both my instagram (username 'scaredtoast') and my YouTube channel where he regularly makes appearances....eyes peeled for the special pet-themed video coming up next week!

- Sponsored Post -
 
If you missed it, my challenge with my sister this month was to go ice skating.  I haven't been for at least 15 years, so it was a little nervously that I ventured out last weekend.  I say "nervously", as the time to actually get skating got nearer, mild tummy butterflies began turning into full on fear.

First few minutes on the ice and, I'll be honest, I wanted to cry.  My family's absolute confidence that I would fall over didn't exactly calm my nerves.  I was clinging to the edge and literally shuffling my way around, laughing only slightly hysterically.  Zara was incredibly patient with me though, surprisingly self-assured on the ice (I had visions of us ending up in a tumbled heap together), and without her I would have only made it half way round.  Possibly with tears streaking down my face.

I did it though.  I managed a good few laps of the rink (ok, so Zara did have to hold my hand the entire time) and eventually made it to more than an arm's length away from the walls.  AND I didn't fall over!   The kindness of strangers in the form of words of encouragement also helped spur me on a little.

So in actual fact, the challenge this month was rather short.  We had a full day trip in February, compared to just a few laps of the local ice rink.  We did, however, spend a good length of time sharing vinegary chips in the cafe and just catching up and sharing sisterly advice.  I think that having less time taken up having to focus on a full-on activity gave us lots of time for bonding.  Which is exactly what this whole journey is about, actually.

Roll on next month....I'm hoping for something a little less terrifying, I've done enough conquering of my fears for the time being!

________________________________________________
To get the gist of this series and catch up on posts so far, click here.

March 2014's Memory: ice skating

26.3.14

If you missed it, my challenge with my sister this month was to go ice skating.  I haven't been for at least 15 years, so it was a little nervously that I ventured out last weekend.  I say "nervously", as the time to actually get skating got nearer, mild tummy butterflies began turning into full on fear.

First few minutes on the ice and, I'll be honest, I wanted to cry.  My family's absolute confidence that I would fall over didn't exactly calm my nerves.  I was clinging to the edge and literally shuffling my way around, laughing only slightly hysterically.  Zara was incredibly patient with me though, surprisingly self-assured on the ice (I had visions of us ending up in a tumbled heap together), and without her I would have only made it half way round.  Possibly with tears streaking down my face.

I did it though.  I managed a good few laps of the rink (ok, so Zara did have to hold my hand the entire time) and eventually made it to more than an arm's length away from the walls.  AND I didn't fall over!   The kindness of strangers in the form of words of encouragement also helped spur me on a little.

So in actual fact, the challenge this month was rather short.  We had a full day trip in February, compared to just a few laps of the local ice rink.  We did, however, spend a good length of time sharing vinegary chips in the cafe and just catching up and sharing sisterly advice.  I think that having less time taken up having to focus on a full-on activity gave us lots of time for bonding.  Which is exactly what this whole journey is about, actually.

Roll on next month....I'm hoping for something a little less terrifying, I've done enough conquering of my fears for the time being!

________________________________________________
To get the gist of this series and catch up on posts so far, click here.

Blogs::
- She could well be preying on my latest addiction to buying ALL OF THE BAGS, but Leanne's Saturday Spending post was spot on.  Somebody hide my credit card! -
- Rebecca's look of the day has inspired me to dig my Naked 2 palette out and have a go at recreating her perfect daywear smokey eye....and how flawless is her skin?! -

YouTube::
- Suzie's tattoos and piercings video has got me wanting to get tattooed again! -
- I can't link to just one video, Poppy's whole YouTube channel is amazing.  She's just won the Daily Mix Beauty Bootcamp, has flawless skin and posts regular, fantastic tutorials.  New favourite YouTuber right there! -

Shopping::
- I've already got the black Topshop skater shoes that every blogger and their mum owns, but I'm wondering whether the pink versions would be the perfect pastel addition to my wardrobe - 
- I can't wait for my most recent lobe piercings to heal up so I can buy this earring

General::
  - With reference to the wanting to get a tattoo mentioned above, my pinterest board has jumped back into action again, and is rapidly filling up with micro tattoos that have really been catching my eye lately -

bookmarked #1

24.3.14


Blogs::
- She could well be preying on my latest addiction to buying ALL OF THE BAGS, but Leanne's Saturday Spending post was spot on.  Somebody hide my credit card! -
- Rebecca's look of the day has inspired me to dig my Naked 2 palette out and have a go at recreating her perfect daywear smokey eye....and how flawless is her skin?! -

YouTube::
- Suzie's tattoos and piercings video has got me wanting to get tattooed again! -
- I can't link to just one video, Poppy's whole YouTube channel is amazing.  She's just won the Daily Mix Beauty Bootcamp, has flawless skin and posts regular, fantastic tutorials.  New favourite YouTuber right there! -

Shopping::
- I've already got the black Topshop skater shoes that every blogger and their mum owns, but I'm wondering whether the pink versions would be the perfect pastel addition to my wardrobe - 
- I can't wait for my most recent lobe piercings to heal up so I can buy this earring

General::
  - With reference to the wanting to get a tattoo mentioned above, my pinterest board has jumped back into action again, and is rapidly filling up with micro tattoos that have really been catching my eye lately -
I've been familiar with the Organic Skincare range for a while now, so with my Clinique nighttime moisturiser on its way out, when the offer to give this Overnight Sensation Night Cream a whirl cropped up I eagerly accepted. 

I've said it before, unless a skincare product's horrendous and breaks me out, I don't tend to find anything particularly negative about it.  This cream does the job, but it hasn't wowed me.  It's not bad, but it's not a rave product either.  It's nice and thick, just how I like my nighttime moisturisers, and smells typically Organic Surge-y.  For those not in the know, that's kind of herbally...scented but not synthetically perfumed.  It sinks nicely into my skin and feels like it's really doing the job.  The next morning, my skin feels moisturised and soft.  Not sensational though, boo!

I think that the really telling factor however, is that I don't think I'll repurchase this.  At £8.99 for 50ml though, it is a fantastic price and one to bear in mind when I'm not feeling too flush!

Which is your favourite night cream?

Organic Surge Overnight Sensation Night Cream

21.3.14

I've been familiar with the Organic Skincare range for a while now, so with my Clinique nighttime moisturiser on its way out, when the offer to give this Overnight Sensation Night Cream a whirl cropped up I eagerly accepted. 

I've said it before, unless a skincare product's horrendous and breaks me out, I don't tend to find anything particularly negative about it.  This cream does the job, but it hasn't wowed me.  It's not bad, but it's not a rave product either.  It's nice and thick, just how I like my nighttime moisturisers, and smells typically Organic Surge-y.  For those not in the know, that's kind of herbally...scented but not synthetically perfumed.  It sinks nicely into my skin and feels like it's really doing the job.  The next morning, my skin feels moisturised and soft.  Not sensational though, boo!

I think that the really telling factor however, is that I don't think I'll repurchase this.  At £8.99 for 50ml though, it is a fantastic price and one to bear in mind when I'm not feeling too flush!

Which is your favourite night cream?
Sunny weekends were made for playing with sticks in the park.  I say "sticks", perhaps "chunky sections of fallen branches" is more accurate?

It's amazing how much the weather affects us.  I took a stroll around to the shops earlier, and the joy it brought me to wear sunglasses and not have to worry about a coat was just perfect.  The warmth on my skin was glorious, and for the last few days all has been right in the world.  This morning, that handsome chap above practically raced me out the back door to do some sunbathing!  And should I be admitting that being able to hang washing out to dry on the line has been the highlight of my weekend? 

I really am full of the joys of spring and can't wait for this warmer weather to last.  I'm not even a fan of those sweltering hot days, but I love the sense of focus and motivation the slight rise in temperature has brought me.  And driving home in the light, oh it lifts my spirits!

Springtime happiness

19.3.14

Sunny weekends were made for playing with sticks in the park.  I say "sticks", perhaps "chunky sections of fallen branches" is more accurate?

It's amazing how much the weather affects us.  I took a stroll around to the shops earlier, and the joy it brought me to wear sunglasses and not have to worry about a coat was just perfect.  The warmth on my skin was glorious, and for the last few days all has been right in the world.  This morning, that handsome chap above practically raced me out the back door to do some sunbathing!  And should I be admitting that being able to hang washing out to dry on the line has been the highlight of my weekend? 

I really am full of the joys of spring and can't wait for this warmer weather to last.  I'm not even a fan of those sweltering hot days, but I love the sense of focus and motivation the slight rise in temperature has brought me.  And driving home in the light, oh it lifts my spirits!
Can you believe we're a quarter of the way through 2014??  The time has flown by, so today I'm taking sitting back and having a look at some of my favourite beauty buys this year.

L'Oreal L'Extraordinaire Liquid Lipsticks
So I raved about these YSL Glossy Stain dupes last month and yes, the beady-eyed among you may have noticed that I've snuck another shade into my collection.  I couldn't pass up getting 101 Rose Melody, a beautiful pinky nude that I've been wearing non-stop.  These feel great on the lips, last really well and have reignited my passion for all things lip-related.  I couldn't not include them on this list!

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge
There are loads of variations on the beauty blender out there, and if I'm honest I actually originally purchased the RT offering last year.  This is a new one, purchased 2014 though (promise!) and I'm adding it in because I feel like I've really got to grips with it in the past month or so.  I can't imagine putting my foundation on with a brush now.  Using the sponge damp is actually quite refreshing on my skin in the mornings, and I love the flawless base it creates.

L'Oreal Infallible 24 hour Foundation
From what I gather, we all seem to get the foundation itch and periodically set off on the hunt for that perfect base.  This foundation was the one I settled for.  It's only £9.99, and the sales assistant told me it had been reformulated to last even longer (24 hours vs. the original 16) and now contains hyaluron complex.  Oh, and it's in much nicer packaging now, too!

Bobbi Brown Nude Glow Shimmer Brick
I'm taking baby steps into the world of Bobbi Brown, and picked up this highlighting quad with a Christmas voucher.  I was sucked in by the beautiful golden shades, and the fact that each one can be used alone as an eyeshadow or highlighter.  A sweep of this across the tops of my cheeks gives me instant radiance and is much quicker to use in the mornings than my cream products.

Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer
When my Origins concealer ran out, I was on the hunt for a cheaper alternative.  This Rimmel offering provides pretty decent coverage, is really creamy and moisturising and lasts really well throughout the day.  Ok, so no concealer ever has managed to hide my dark circles for more than a few hours, but for a drugstore concealer coming it at just over a fiver I'll be sticking with this for the long haul.

What would you say are your best beauty buys of the year so far?

My 5 best beauty buys of 2014...so far!

17.3.14

Can you believe we're a quarter of the way through 2014??  The time has flown by, so today I'm taking sitting back and having a look at some of my favourite beauty buys this year.

L'Oreal L'Extraordinaire Liquid Lipsticks
So I raved about these YSL Glossy Stain dupes last month and yes, the beady-eyed among you may have noticed that I've snuck another shade into my collection.  I couldn't pass up getting 101 Rose Melody, a beautiful pinky nude that I've been wearing non-stop.  These feel great on the lips, last really well and have reignited my passion for all things lip-related.  I couldn't not include them on this list!

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge
There are loads of variations on the beauty blender out there, and if I'm honest I actually originally purchased the RT offering last year.  This is a new one, purchased 2014 though (promise!) and I'm adding it in because I feel like I've really got to grips with it in the past month or so.  I can't imagine putting my foundation on with a brush now.  Using the sponge damp is actually quite refreshing on my skin in the mornings, and I love the flawless base it creates.

L'Oreal Infallible 24 hour Foundation
From what I gather, we all seem to get the foundation itch and periodically set off on the hunt for that perfect base.  This foundation was the one I settled for.  It's only £9.99, and the sales assistant told me it had been reformulated to last even longer (24 hours vs. the original 16) and now contains hyaluron complex.  Oh, and it's in much nicer packaging now, too!

Bobbi Brown Nude Glow Shimmer Brick
I'm taking baby steps into the world of Bobbi Brown, and picked up this highlighting quad with a Christmas voucher.  I was sucked in by the beautiful golden shades, and the fact that each one can be used alone as an eyeshadow or highlighter.  A sweep of this across the tops of my cheeks gives me instant radiance and is much quicker to use in the mornings than my cream products.

Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer
When my Origins concealer ran out, I was on the hunt for a cheaper alternative.  This Rimmel offering provides pretty decent coverage, is really creamy and moisturising and lasts really well throughout the day.  Ok, so no concealer ever has managed to hide my dark circles for more than a few hours, but for a drugstore concealer coming it at just over a fiver I'll be sticking with this for the long haul.

What would you say are your best beauty buys of the year so far?
So the sun's come out and orange lips have found their way back, firmly onto my radar.  They can be a tricky trend to pull off, so here are some top tips.

TRY IT:
1.  There's an orange out there for everyone, so shop around for a shade and texture that will suit your skin tone and lifestyle.
2. Keep your skin light and fresh; go easy on the bronzer to avoid looking "muddy".
3. Don't go for anything too harsh on the eyes.  At the most, a smudge of brown kohl pencil with a sweep of mascara should be enough.
4. Here's a crazy, slightly unrelated tip, that I found whilst researching this post.  A matte orange lipstick can be used as a colour corrector on undereye circles.  I love it when a product is multi-use!

THE VERDICT:
I love the orange lips trend, and come warmer weather it's the first thing I check out on any beauty counter.  I'm eternally drawn to MAC's Vegas Volt (pictured on the bottom left), but clockwise from top, my other top picks are the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Rendezvous, The Body Shop Colour Crush lipstick in 105, Louise Gray for Topshop lipstick in Mexican Wave and MAC's Ravishing.  Rendezvous and Ravishing are far less 'in your face', but the other three are perfect for anyone who fancies a full on orange pout.

Try the Trend: orange lips

14.3.14

So the sun's come out and orange lips have found their way back, firmly onto my radar.  They can be a tricky trend to pull off, so here are some top tips.

TRY IT:
1.  There's an orange out there for everyone, so shop around for a shade and texture that will suit your skin tone and lifestyle.
2. Keep your skin light and fresh; go easy on the bronzer to avoid looking "muddy".
3. Don't go for anything too harsh on the eyes.  At the most, a smudge of brown kohl pencil with a sweep of mascara should be enough.
4. Here's a crazy, slightly unrelated tip, that I found whilst researching this post.  A matte orange lipstick can be used as a colour corrector on undereye circles.  I love it when a product is multi-use!

THE VERDICT:
I love the orange lips trend, and come warmer weather it's the first thing I check out on any beauty counter.  I'm eternally drawn to MAC's Vegas Volt (pictured on the bottom left), but clockwise from top, my other top picks are the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Rendezvous, The Body Shop Colour Crush lipstick in 105, Louise Gray for Topshop lipstick in Mexican Wave and MAC's Ravishing.  Rendezvous and Ravishing are far less 'in your face', but the other three are perfect for anyone who fancies a full on orange pout.
Image credits - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Remember before Christmas when I was obsessed with Kim K's blonde hair?  All I wanted was that warm, subtle golden blonde shade, and now that I've achieved going lighter I want more.  Zero warmth this time though, I'm craving that icy, Scandinavian blonde shade.

My hair's been a whole host of colours - from white-blonde all over, to red, to dark and now here at a warm, balayage bronde.  Next on the list is this, which should hopefully be happening soon!  The big photo in the middle is my main inspiration....isn't it perfect?!  I want to stick to that ashy shade at the roots all over, and am anxious that I don't get too bright blonde around my face.

I've asked already on twitter, but please leave any haircare tips and tricks down below for maintaining this shade!  My hair has a tendency to show up warmer than it should be, so any suggestions for good shampoos etc would be much appreciated! 

Blonde ambition

12.3.14

Image credits - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Remember before Christmas when I was obsessed with Kim K's blonde hair?  All I wanted was that warm, subtle golden blonde shade, and now that I've achieved going lighter I want more.  Zero warmth this time though, I'm craving that icy, Scandinavian blonde shade.

My hair's been a whole host of colours - from white-blonde all over, to red, to dark and now here at a warm, balayage bronde.  Next on the list is this, which should hopefully be happening soon!  The big photo in the middle is my main inspiration....isn't it perfect?!  I want to stick to that ashy shade at the roots all over, and am anxious that I don't get too bright blonde around my face.

I've asked already on twitter, but please leave any haircare tips and tricks down below for maintaining this shade!  My hair has a tendency to show up warmer than it should be, so any suggestions for good shampoos etc would be much appreciated! 
I may have finally found a glitter nail varnish that doesn't make me look, or feel like a child. Hurrah!

The L'Oreal Color Riche in Gold Leaf was a guilty little purchase made out on a recent trip with Leanne, and it's been adorning my nails ever since.  It's glitter, but in a more sophisticated way, with shards of gold leaf catching the light in a pretty mosaic-effect.

I've worn this nail varnish as a stand-out shade against a black background, although this is my current favourite; teaming it with Barry M's Matte Nail Paint in Vanilla to create a more muted pairing. 

This polish dries in a decent time and is fairly easy to use.  For the most part you get a pretty even coating, although on occasion I had to splodge more flecks in certain spots of my nail to get better coverage.  It can feel slightly rough, so a top coat is a must!

"What about the dreaded removal?" I hear you ask.  Well, any glitter nail varnish is a bitch to get rid of, but this is marginally less of a bitch.  It doesn't seem as gritty as traditional glitters so does, in my opinion, come off the nail slightly easier. 

At £4.99, the Color Riche topcoat range is an absolute bargain.  Have you given any of the shades a whirl yet?

The glitter mani for grown ups

10.3.14

I may have finally found a glitter nail varnish that doesn't make me look, or feel like a child. Hurrah!

The L'Oreal Color Riche in Gold Leaf was a guilty little purchase made out on a recent trip with Leanne, and it's been adorning my nails ever since.  It's glitter, but in a more sophisticated way, with shards of gold leaf catching the light in a pretty mosaic-effect.

I've worn this nail varnish as a stand-out shade against a black background, although this is my current favourite; teaming it with Barry M's Matte Nail Paint in Vanilla to create a more muted pairing. 

This polish dries in a decent time and is fairly easy to use.  For the most part you get a pretty even coating, although on occasion I had to splodge more flecks in certain spots of my nail to get better coverage.  It can feel slightly rough, so a top coat is a must!

"What about the dreaded removal?" I hear you ask.  Well, any glitter nail varnish is a bitch to get rid of, but this is marginally less of a bitch.  It doesn't seem as gritty as traditional glitters so does, in my opinion, come off the nail slightly easier. 

At £4.99, the Color Riche topcoat range is an absolute bargain.  Have you given any of the shades a whirl yet?
March is upon us (is that spring on the horizon?) so I was eager to get going on another monthly memory.  First thing I did on the 1st of March was pull out another piece of folded brown paper and was met with the task of ice skating.

I really like the idea of this, but it could be tricky.  I have zero balance and am pretty sure that now I'm a grown up I'll do some serious damage when I (inevitably) fall over.  But it'll be fun to give it a go after at least 15 years and the promise of hot chocolates rink-side is too good to miss.

And if you're wondering what on Earth I'm on about, click here to get up to speed about this whole memory making challenge!

Making Memories: March

7.3.14

March is upon us (is that spring on the horizon?) so I was eager to get going on another monthly memory.  First thing I did on the 1st of March was pull out another piece of folded brown paper and was met with the task of ice skating.

I really like the idea of this, but it could be tricky.  I have zero balance and am pretty sure that now I'm a grown up I'll do some serious damage when I (inevitably) fall over.  But it'll be fun to give it a go after at least 15 years and the promise of hot chocolates rink-side is too good to miss.

And if you're wondering what on Earth I'm on about, click here to get up to speed about this whole memory making challenge!
Image found via pinterest

It's hard to imagine life without the internet.  How else will I check, mid-film, where else I've seen the main character?  What would a day without Twitter be like?  Where would I go to look at photos of what people are eating, if Instagram didn't exist?  And where would I fritter away most of my wages each month?

It's a funny old thing, isn't in.  That I can spend so much money shopping, whilst wearing my Primarni comfy pants and sitting on the sofa.  Honestly, if the internet didn't exist, I think I'd be a millionaire.

Exhibit A.  The blogosphere is the world's biggest enabler.  Every day I see fabulous people in fabulous clothes, or read a rave review of the next must-have product.  I remember a time before blogging, when I umm-ed and aaah-ed over buying a £40 pair of boots from River Island, some of which was with birthday money.  Where did that girl go?  These days I'll easily drop that and then head next door to Topshop for more retail therapy.  I live in a perpetual state of fear that things I want will either be sold out, or won't be on offer when I come to buy them.

Besides that, it's the ease with which things can be bought online that really gets me spending.  As I said, I can shop from the comfort of my own home in clothes I'd be ashamed to wear outside.  And then there's the rush you get when the packages start rolling in.  It's like Christmas all over again!  

Sometimes I get the impression that people think I'm a shopaholic.  Don't get me wrong, I'm well on my way, but I think they'd be surprised to learn just how much I get from my money.  I don't click "purchase" unless I've scoured the web for a discount code.  Or two, or three.  They do sometimes have the oppoite effect though, when I find myself buying much more than I originally intended just because of the lure of 20% off!  And I always see if I'd get money back by going through Top CashBack, so I really do get a lot for my money.

I've said it before though, but things have to change.  And this time I mean it.  There's a big reason why I want to start spending less (more on that in the future), and if I don't start being sensible now I never will.  And there's an exciting collaboration on the horizon, with a money saving, rather than spending, focus... so watch out for that!

How did the internet change your life (and your bank balance!)?

- Collaborative Post -

Shopping and the internet

5.3.14

Image found via pinterest

It's hard to imagine life without the internet.  How else will I check, mid-film, where else I've seen the main character?  What would a day without Twitter be like?  Where would I go to look at photos of what people are eating, if Instagram didn't exist?  And where would I fritter away most of my wages each month?

It's a funny old thing, isn't in.  That I can spend so much money shopping, whilst wearing my Primarni comfy pants and sitting on the sofa.  Honestly, if the internet didn't exist, I think I'd be a millionaire.

Exhibit A.  The blogosphere is the world's biggest enabler.  Every day I see fabulous people in fabulous clothes, or read a rave review of the next must-have product.  I remember a time before blogging, when I umm-ed and aaah-ed over buying a £40 pair of boots from River Island, some of which was with birthday money.  Where did that girl go?  These days I'll easily drop that and then head next door to Topshop for more retail therapy.  I live in a perpetual state of fear that things I want will either be sold out, or won't be on offer when I come to buy them.

Besides that, it's the ease with which things can be bought online that really gets me spending.  As I said, I can shop from the comfort of my own home in clothes I'd be ashamed to wear outside.  And then there's the rush you get when the packages start rolling in.  It's like Christmas all over again!  

Sometimes I get the impression that people think I'm a shopaholic.  Don't get me wrong, I'm well on my way, but I think they'd be surprised to learn just how much I get from my money.  I don't click "purchase" unless I've scoured the web for a discount code.  Or two, or three.  They do sometimes have the oppoite effect though, when I find myself buying much more than I originally intended just because of the lure of 20% off!  And I always see if I'd get money back by going through Top CashBack, so I really do get a lot for my money.

I've said it before though, but things have to change.  And this time I mean it.  There's a big reason why I want to start spending less (more on that in the future), and if I don't start being sensible now I never will.  And there's an exciting collaboration on the horizon, with a money saving, rather than spending, focus... so watch out for that!

How did the internet change your life (and your bank balance!)?

- Collaborative Post -
In February... 

... I went on a bike ride with my sister and had a lovely day in London.

... Ed and I celebrated our 5th anniversary.  We don't tend to do Valentine's or anniversaries; we make a fuss for Christmas or birthdays, so can do without spending excess money on such a commercial event.  I just wish our anniversary didn't fall on the 14th, then it might be easier to go out for dinner!

... my new favourite, beautiful Baia bag arrived in the post.  I'm smitten, and whilst it doesn't accompany me into work (expensive bags and children don't mix!), I've been wearing it as often as possible.

... I learnt that I actually like salad!  My own creation, bung all the ingredients in together, and it's actually delicious and full of flavour!

... I vowed to get back into reading.  Bookshops are some of my favourite places to be, and I really need to dedicate more time to getting lost in books again.

Things that happened in: February

3.3.14

In February... 

... I went on a bike ride with my sister and had a lovely day in London.

... Ed and I celebrated our 5th anniversary.  We don't tend to do Valentine's or anniversaries; we make a fuss for Christmas or birthdays, so can do without spending excess money on such a commercial event.  I just wish our anniversary didn't fall on the 14th, then it might be easier to go out for dinner!

... my new favourite, beautiful Baia bag arrived in the post.  I'm smitten, and whilst it doesn't accompany me into work (expensive bags and children don't mix!), I've been wearing it as often as possible.

... I learnt that I actually like salad!  My own creation, bung all the ingredients in together, and it's actually delicious and full of flavour!

... I vowed to get back into reading.  Bookshops are some of my favourite places to be, and I really need to dedicate more time to getting lost in books again.

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