27 June 2015

5 Healthy Snacks To Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

(Just a quick note to say I am currently visiting family in Scotland, so I won't be posting regularly this week!)

We all have those days where we are really craving something sweet. For me, it's always chocolate! And sometimes I'll go and have some chocolate, but sometimes I like to try and get my fix from something a little healthier, but just as delicious!

Here are just five of my favourite snacks to satisfy my sweet tooth cravings:
1. Homemade smoothies. I've really enjoyed experimenting with nut butter smoothies with a frozen banana base. The smoothie pictured above is a recipe from Besma's blog, Curiously Conscious.
2. Avocado brownies. With no flour or butter, these gluten-free goodies are a great substitute for the average brownie! Check out my recipe here.
3. Yeo Valley organic vanilla yoghurt topped with chocolate shavings, granola, nuts, fruit, or cereal (I love Jordan's cereals!).
4. Porridge with chocolate shavings; porridge is really filling and if you're craving something sweet, why not crumble some chocolate on top or add some chocolate chips?
5. Mixed fresh fruit drizzled with honey or maple syrup.

What are your favourite healthy alternatives to satisfy those sweet tooth cravings?

24 June 2015

The Weekly Wish List

1. H&M Sleeveless Blouse, £7.99
As summer is here, I need to get some sleeveless options to wear as they are cooler. This lightweight blouse in monochrome chevron print is a bargain!
2. Little Ondine Nail Polish in "Cuddle", £7.80
I'm always on the look-out for the perfect nude polish, and this could be it! Plus, the formula is really intriguing; no need for nail polish remover - just peel off! I wonder how effective it is?
3. NEXT Denim Leggings, £24
Wearing jeans in summer is just uncomfortable with the heat, so I'd like to get some jeggings - I've never owned any! Plus, my lack of exercise lately is making it difficult to fit into my jeans... oops!
4. Green & Black's Organic Vanilla Caramel Nut Ice Cream, £4.49/500ml
I fell in love with G&B's vanilla ice-cream, so I'd love to try more varieties. This vanilla ice-cream with a swirl of caramel and crunchy hazelnuts sounds heavenly!
5. Balmology Travel Set, £17
Can you believe I'm yet to try a balm cleanser?! This brand piqued my interest, as they have some lovely sounding products, with 100% natural, 99% organic ingredients. I think this travel set would be the perfect way to try them out. This set contains a neroli & sweet basil cleansing balm, a calendula & chamomile comfort balm, and a neroli & frankincense beauty balm.
6. Cawston Press Sparkling Apple & Rhubarb Soft Drink, £4.99/6x330ml
 I've been wanting to try this for ages, so I'm hoping to get it with my next grocery order! Sounds delicious.

What's at the top of your wish list this week?

23 June 2015

5 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Beauty Products

1. Apply body wash with a sponge, loofah, or hand mitt. Using an applicator to apply your body wash will save a lot of product from being wasted, therefore saving you money!
2. Apply face masks with a brush. Using a make-up brush such as a foundation brush to apply face masks (especially from a sachet) will be a lot easier and less messy than applying with your hands! Make sure the brush is cleaned after each use.
3. Cut tubes open. When a tube of product is getting difficult to dispense, cut the top off the tube and you should be able to salvage enough product for a few more applications. Make sure you cover and use it within about 24 hours, as the product will be exposed to the air.
4. Apply serums and masks at 4pm. Did you know that our skin absorption is at its highest at 4pm each day? This is the ultimate time to apply hydrating, hard-working products, such as serums and face masks.
5. Don't stock up on the same type of products. It's tempting to keep buying new products, but try not to stock up on too much of the same type of products, as you run the risk of them expiring before you can finish them. Always throw away expired products, including make-up products.

What are your top tips for getting the most out of your beauty products?

22 June 2015

Neal's Yard Remedies Comfrey and Mallow Foot Balm

About The Brand:
Neal's Yard Remedies first opened their doors in 1981, in Covent Garden, London. With the strong belief that beauty should be natural and not synthetic, NYR strive to create high-quality, cruelty-free products with natural, organic ingredients. Their products contain no silicones, mineral oils, parabens, GM ingredients, phthalates, propylene glycol, DEA, EDTA, acrylates, nano, or BHT. They use recycled, recyclable packaging, are accredited by the Soil Association and are BUAV-approved. Their eco-factory is based right here in Dorset!
Neal's Yard Remedies Comfrey and Mallow Foot Balm, £13.50/50g

I purchased this product on our recent trip to London - see my full haul here. Firstly, I have to say that I am not keen on the scent of this product; you can smell the almond coming through, but something overpowers it and the combination is not to my liking! The formula itself is a thick cream that is easily applied evenly, without having to use too much product - I think this jar will last ages! One great thing to note is that, despite appearing as a heavy cream, this doesn't leave a greasy feeling on your feet and does sink in pretty quickly.

The packaging, of course, is gorgeous - something Neal's Yard do so well! The blue glass jar with screw-top lid house the product safely and practically. With 90% organic ingredients including comfrey, marshmallow, almond, and wheatgerm, this foot balm promises to revitalise tired and overworked feet. This is a non-GMO product with no synthetic colours, fragrances, or silicones.

Scent aside, this is an enjoyable product to use; massaging into my feet, it feels nourishing and relaxing. This definitely helps take that post-night duty ache away! It also helps soften dry areas. The product itself is really nice, but it doesn't top my favourite foot product, Lulu & Boo's Melissa and Mallow Foot Balm (review here), so I won't be repurchasing when it's finished.

Aqua (Water), Alcohol denat.*,Helianthus annuus seed oil*, Prunus amygdalus dulcis oil*, Cetearyl alcohol, Glycerin,Symphytum officinale extract*, Cetearyl glucoside, Cetearyl olivate, Triticum vulgare germ oil*, Cera alba*, Calendula officinalis flower extract*, Althaea officinalis root extract*, Aloe barbadensis leaf juice powder*, Citrus sinensis peel oil expressed*, Citrus limon peel oil*, Sorbitan olivate, Potassium sorbate, Levulinic acid, Sodium levulinate, Tocopherol, Xanthan gum, Citral, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool.
*Organically produced. From essential oils.

What is your favourite Neal's Yard product?

21 June 2015

Bloggers: My Pet Peeves

A list of my blogger-related pet peeves!
1. Apologising constantly. I hate when every other post on a blog is the blogger apologising for their lack of posting recently. This just shows that you're not committed to your blog, and by constantly apologising like this, you're only drawing attention to this fact!
2. Lack of new content. I agree with quality over quantity, but I feel that a blog should have at least one or two posts published per week.
3. Bad grammar. Don't get me started on this. Learn the difference between their and there, your and you're, definitely and defiantly, and maybe I'll take a second look at your blog. Seriously though, I can't stand bad grammar and constant spelling mistakes!
4. Lack of negative beauty reviews. Unless you're extremely lucky, you will occasionally come across a disappointing product. I love reading great, rave reviews, but I also like to know which products I may wish to avoid spending my hard-earned cash on! Don't be afraid to post negative reviews.
5. Unrelated sponsored posts. Don't take on sponsored posts just for the sake of it - or to make a bit of cash! If the content is completely unrelated to you and your blog, don't do it! To me, these types of posts are just the same as an annoying ad or spam email.
6. Tiny photographs. I want to see your photos! And I don't want to have to click on them to enlarge them, either. Make the most of your layout and match the width of your photos to width of your blog posts.
What are your blogging pet peeves?

18 June 2015

The Weekly Wish List

1. Neal's Yard Remedies Soothing Starflower Daily Moisturiser, £25/100ml
Once my current moisturiser runs out, I'll be on the lookout for a new one - with even more natural ingredients. This NYR one with aloe vera, liquorice, and alpine flower sounds great as it's aimed at sensitive skin and doesn't sound too heavy. I'm just a bit sad that it's £20 more than my current one!
2. Krisp Bohemian Style Long Summer Skirt, £16.99
I think this off-white maxi skirt would be great this summer - it's simple yet stylish, without much effort needed from me, and it'll keep me cool! I really like to subtle embroidery detail on the waistband, too.
3. Anthropologie Laurentide Mug, £8 £4.95
I want everything from the Laurentide range! But if I could just get a couple of these earthenware mugs, that would be fine. The "Hawaiian blue" shade is just perfect and I love the unique, rustic look.
4. Pacifica Island Vanilla Solid Perfume, £10/10g
I've never tried a solid perfume before, and I'd love to try some Pacifica products - namely from their Island Vanilla range! So, this solid perfume seems like a good place to start.

What's at the top of your wish list this week?

17 June 2015

My Top 10 Summer Essentials

With the arrival of summer, this means longer, sunnier days, and warmer weather, which brings more opportunities to get out and about! I'm looking forward to exploring our local area more this year.

Here are my top ten summer essentials:
1. With the devilishly bright sunshine, especially first thing in the morning, sunglasses are a must. I finally purchased a proper pair of prescription sunglasses last year, and I love them! The only annoying thing is that when walking around a town, I have to swap back to normal glasses or walk around blindly when we enter shops!
2. My spring/summer make-up look tends to be very natural and minimal, but I love to have the focus on my lip product, and this time round, I will be keeping my newly purchased ZOEVA lip crayon in "tender rose" with me at all times! It's a gorgeous shade. During summer, I often opt for a brighter lip.
3. Keeping the dreaded shine at bay is a must, so I dust Lily Lolo's "flawless matte" mineral finishing powder all over my finished make-up look to increase its longevity and to absorb excess oils.
4. Exfoliating is really important (all year round, actually!), especially with the increase of regular hair removal at this time of year. So before the shaving/waxing commences, make sure you've exfoliated well to remove all the dead skin cells and dry patches. I love a hard-working scrub for my body, and I'm currently using The Body Shop's Chocomania body scrub.
5. Keeping with the hair removal theme here, once you're done, you need to lock in moisture and soothe your skin, especially after waxing, so make sure you have a deeply nourishing and hydrating body lotion or butter on hand. I really like using my LUSH Percup massage bar, as it is extremely moisturising!
6. I also like to keep my hands looking their best, and they're still suffering from winter's harsh effects, so I like to use FoM London's age-defying hand scrub a couple of times a week to encourage softer, newer skin, and improve the overall condition.
7. I like to have a fragrance mist handy for a quick freshen-up and cool-down. I love my Victoria's Secret strawberries & champagne fragrance mist, as it adds a sweet scent while making me feel refreshed.
8. I love wearing dresses whenever possible, so I always like to have a few nice options around for spring and summer. My favourite one in my wardrobe is this paisley number from Dorothy Perkins!
9. Unfortunately the weather can still be a little unpredictable, so I like to keep my cute and lightweight Primark umbrella print parka handy, just in case of any downpours!
10. Staying hydrated is very important, especially if you're out in the sun and warmth a lot. Plus, we all want perfect skin, and we know the benefits that water has in that department! I've recently started popping a slice of cucumber in my glass of water, as opposed to a slice of lemon, which I'm not that keen on. Cucumber water is a really refreshing and healthy beverage!

What are your summer essentials?

16 June 2015

Desert Essence Nourishing Coconut Shampoo & Conditioner For Dry Hair

About the brand:
Desert Essence was founded in 1978, channeling the best of nature's offerings into their beauty products. They strive to use only high quality, responsibly sourced ingredients, with biodegradable formulas. The packaging they use is recyclable and their business materials are printed on recycled paper. Their products are Leaping Bunny certified and free from parabens, SLS, phthalates, silicones, EDTA, glycol, artifical colours, and petroleum-based ingredients.
I recently finished up these two hair products which I had been using consistently from start to finish. The scent is very overpowering and smells like coconut and pineapple. The formula of both products is really creamy and quite thick; I found the shampoo quite difficult to dispense (and after reading reviews, this seems to be a common problem), although a little does go a long way. The shampoo lathers very well and is spread evenly throughout hair with ease. The conditioner is more difficult to work through hair.

After use, I found that my hair looked and felt weighed down. My hair felt chalky to touch and it looked greasy after washing. They didn't seem to control frizz or add shine; my hair was left looking quite dull and felt surprisingly dry at the ends. The more I used these, the more I felt like the product was just building up in my hair and it never truly felt deeply cleansed.

As an everyday hair care duo, this is definitely not for me, but if you have severely dry hair, perhaps this would work for you. This duo may be better used as a weekly treatment. I would like to try other ranges from Desert Essence, but I won't be repurchasing these products.

Shampoo Ingredients:
Water (Aqua), Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract *, Arctium Lappa (Burdock) Root Extract*, Achillea Millefolium (Yarrow) Extract*, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Leaf Extract *, Foeniculum Vulgare (Fennel) Seed Extract*, Sambucus Nigra (Black Elderberry) Flower Extract*, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract *, Sodium Coco-Sulfate (Coconut Derived), Decyl Glucoside (Coconut and Corn Derived), Propanediol (Corn Derived), Coco-Glucoside (Coconut Derived), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil *, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil*, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil*, Dehydroacetic Acid, Glycerin, Hydrogenated Coco-Glycerides (Coconut Derived), Sodium Chloride, Potassium Sorbate (Fruit Derived), Lauryl Glucoside (Plant Derived), Citric Acid, Stearyl Citrate (Vegetable Derived), Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Benzoate, Coumarin, Limonene, Fragrance (Parfum).
*Certified Organic.

Conditioner Ingredients:
Water (Aqua), Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract*, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Leaf Extract*, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract*, Cetearyl Alcohol (Coconut Derived), Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil *, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil*, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Coconut Derived), Dehydroacetic Acid, Cetrimonium Chloride, Glycerin, Potassium Sorbate (Fruit Derived), Citric Acid, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Benzoate, Coumarin, Limonene, Fragrance (Parfum).
*Certified Organic.

Have you tried anything from Desert Essence?

14 June 2015

8 Under The Weather Pick-Me-Ups

I've just finished a week of horrendously busy and stressful night shifts, and after my sleep on Friday morning, I woke up with a sore throat, stuffy nose, and headache. Lovely. Just as well I've got a week off to try and recover! I thought I'd share some things that help me when I'm feeling run-down and under the weather.
1. Herbal teas. The warmth of a herbal tea is comforting, and the steam helps to clear your airways. Plus, they have many beneficial properties, depending on which variety you opt for.
2. A long, hot bath. Again, the steam from a hot bath with help clear your airways. I find baths really soothing and comforting, helping to ease aching muscles. A bath without excess bubbles just won't do!
3. A face mask. Preferably of the gently warming kind. These are really relaxing and calming, plus they will help clear congested skin.
4. A short stroll. I find going for a short walk helps, as the fresh air wakes you up a little and you get some much-needed vitamin D from the sunlight.
5. Chocolate. Sometimes you really do need a chocolate fix. My favourite is a few (too many) pieces of a Green & Black's organic chocolate bar. This gives me a little energy boost and makes me happy!
6. Fruit. Getting a regular dose of vitamins is essential, especially while feeling unwell, so I try to up my fruit intake.
7. Drinking more water. Staying well hydrated is always important, but more so when you're suffering from a bad cold. Drinking water will keep your skin hydrated and help to ease headaches.
8. Rest. Getting enough rest and not overdoing it will help you recover. I'm not saying to stay in bed all day long, but take it easy and if you feel exhausted, take a nap!

What are your under the weather pick-me-ups?

11 June 2015

The Weekly Wish List

All I'm wishing for at the moment is a quiet night at work, but as that's not going to happen any time soon, here's my weekly wish list instead! Last night tonight and then I can relax for a week.
1. Sister Jane Shirt Dress with Tapestry Style Skirt, £65
This is something completely different to anything in my wardrobe, and I love it! I love the sharp collar and the flared skirt.
2. Bomb Cosmetics Velvet Strawberry Massage Bar, £3.49
This strawberry-scented massage bar features a cocoa butter base with added eucalyptus oil and black pepper oil to soothe aching muscles and intensively hydrate skin. Compared to LUSH's offerings, this is a fraction of the price!
3. Olivia Burton Big Dial Chronograph Watch, £125
I've never really been that into watches. I always forget to wear the one I do have. But this Olivia Burton creation really caught my eye. With the textured leather strap, the neutral colour,  rose gold hardware, and the gorgeous dial, this really is stunning!
4. Nordic House Round Vintage Tray, £52
This vintage-style  ceramic tray would look gorgeous displaying perfumes or special beauty products on my dressing table!
5. Warehouse Aqua Rhinestone Ring, £8.50 £3
The aqua shade is really pretty; this ring would add lovely detail to a simple outfit.

10 June 2015

The Konjac Sponge Co. French Pink Clay Facial Puff Sponge

About the brand:
The Konjac Sponge Co. is the original and largest Konjac sponge company, providing high quality, hand-made Konjac products worldwide. Their Konjac is grown on the fertile volcanic hills of Jeju Island in South Korea; a UNESCO world heritage protected site, and renowned as a pristine area of outstanding beauty, reputed to have some of the purest water in the world! Being Vegan Society and Leaping Bunny certified, you can be sure to place your trust in this cruelty-free brand! With sponges for your face, body, babies, and pets, there is literally a sponge for everyone!
I was really intrigued by the concept of a Konjac sponge, so I popped this on my Christmas wish list last year and my younger sister kindly got one for me! The sponge is very soft and springy in your hand - it's also the perfect size for your face. It has a flat and a round side, plus an attached string to hang up to dry after use. It doesn't have any particular scent about it, which is nice.

This feels so soft and relaxing to use on my face, but it also gently exfoliates to remove dry and dead skin. I used my sponge without any added cleanser so that I could measure up the pure properties of the sponge. I wouldn't say my skin changed in any dramatic way, but it didn't get any worse, either! With the daily light exfoliation, my dry patches reduced and the sponge did not irritate my skin in any way at all. One great bonus was that my redness reduced slightly! This sponge is an extremely gentle option for the most sensitive of skins. As you don't need to use a cleanser with it, this is also a great money-saving option. I now only use a facial cleanser product to remove my make-up. I won't use the sponge for this purpose as I wouldn't like to dirty it with old make-up!

Depending on how well you care for them, the sponges should last around 2-3 months. Mine lasted around two months before looking tired and getting mouldy; I completely put this down to being stored in the bathroom, therefore never getting to dry out completely or air properly. My next sponge will be stored elsewhere and will hopefully last longer! You can also store the sponges in a fridge, but I would worry about it absorbing food smells.

I really enjoyed my Konjac sponge experience and am now a complete convert! I've already re-purchased one which will be featured in my June purchases post at the end of the month/start of next.

100% natural vegetable fibre from Konjac potatoes with added French pink clay. 

Are you intrigued by this product or are you already a convert?!

09 June 2015

Blog Love #2

I'm all for supporting other bloggers, and I'm always very appreciative when someone else shows my blog some love, so I'm aiming to "show the love" to fellow bloggers by dedicating at least one post per month to some of my favourite blogs.

Recently Discovered:
Wild Organic Beauty by Kate

I recently discovered Kate's organic beauty blog, and pretty much read every post! Kate is a fellow fan of organic, natural beauty products and often posts reviews on new and old favourites. I particularly like her weekend in pictures posts!

Old Favourite:
Helen's Fashion & Beauty Blog by Helen

I really enjoy Helen's photography, as well as her hauls and lifestyle posts! I recently enjoyed her latest haul post.

Wish List Fuel:
Beauty Balm by Sandra

Another fellow Scot, yay! Sandra features a great mix of luxe and purse-friendly natural, organic beauty products - I'm always finding things to add to my wish lists! I'm intrigued about her recent post on beauty chocolate!

Which other blogs should I be reading? Leave your favourite links below!

06 June 2015

Maple Syrup Banana Loaf Recipe

I was browsing for a simple banana loaf recipe the other day, and this maple syrup one popped up, so I thought I'd give it a try - I do love maple syrup!
(view original recipe here)

120g butter
120g caster sugar
2 eggs
4 tablespoons maple syrup
120g flour
1 medium over-ripe banana
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
(click ingredient links to see exactly what I used)
1. Set your fan oven to 170°C and prepare two small loaf tins - I used these fancy ones* from Cake Mart!
2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon.
3. Add both eggs, plus 2 tablespoons of the maple syrup. Mix well.
4. Sieve in the flour and fold into the mixture. Whisk vigorously to eliminate any lumps.
5. In a separate bowl, mash the banana with the remaining maple syrup. Add this to the mixture. Mix well.
6. Separate the mixture between your two loaf tins and bake in the oven for approximately 25 minutes. Test your loaf with a skewer to ensure it is cooked in the middle.
7. Leave the banana loaf to cool completely before slicing - most definitely the hardest part!
8. Serve as you wish and enjoy!

This recipe makes a really delicious, soft, and moist banana loaf. I found the loaf cases to be excellent without the need for greasing or flouring - their non-stick lining really works! Plus, they can be recycled.

*items kindly sent for review purposes; all thoughts and opinions are, and always will be, my own.

05 June 2015

The Weekly Wish List

1. Long Tall Sally Barefoot Tess Blossom Canvas Flats, £26
They may look like your Grandad's slippers, but I really like these and they are neutral so will go will all my casual outfits. I bet they're really comfy, too!
2. Canon EOS 1200D DSLR Camera Kit (18-55 III), £359 £224.76
This has been on my wish list since last year and I am determined to save up the money to purchase it, especially at such a great price! I really want to perfect my blog (and personal) photos and take them that little bit further, and I think a DSLR camera will do just that.
3. Organic Surge Blissful Daily Moisturiser, £9.50 £6.34
I have searched and searched for a replacement to my current daily moisturiser (Amie's Morning Dew), looking to ditch certain ingredients, while trying to keep cost to a minimum. Well, it turns out that most of the budget-friendly options still contain those ingredients, and most of the more natural ones are hella expensive! But. This OS moisturiser isn't too badly priced (currently on offer, too) and the ingredients are the best I've seen on my search! The reviews I've read are really good, too.
4. Faith In Nature Coconut Body Lotion, £6.25/150ml
I hate the fact that the coconut hand cream costs more for less product (50mls), so I'd like to try the body lotion as a hand cream - the ingredients are almost identical!
5. Closet Pleated Skater Dress In Butterfly Print, £50
Isn't this just gorgeous and perfect for summer? I love the style of the dress and the delicate print.

What's at the top of your wish list this week?

04 June 2015

My May Purchases

May was a lot quieter than April on the purchase front. I tried not to buy anything unnecessary and I think I did quite well.
Amie Morning Dew Matte Finish Moisturiser, £4.95/100ml
Firstly, I re-purchased my daily moisturiser, and I bought two tubes to stock up. I was lucky enough to buy them on offer, meaning that my total for the two plus delivery was just £4.96 - so just 1p more than one tube usually costs! I will say though, that after re-examining the ingredients, I am thinking of moving away from this product as it does contain some ingredients I'd rather not be using. This is such a shame as this is really affordable and smells beautiful! Any similar recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
Earth Conscious Mens Natural Deodorant, £4.99
I featured this in my Battle Of The Natural Deodorants post; it's a definite staple in my daily routine now. The best, most effective natural deodorant I have tried! It would be great if they ditched the beeswax for something vegan-friendly, and also with the delivery charge being £3 per order, it does seem a little costly if you're going to be buying this every 3-6 months. I will probably buy two pots on each order from now on. Delivery is free on orders of over £10, but even buying two at a time won't quite reach the mark!

Next up was a little order on BeautyBay.com, with a 10% off discount code:
ZOEVA Lip Crayon in Tender Rose, £5.95/2.8g
I'd wanted to try this lip crayon for a while, so I bought it and really love it. The shade is just perfect for any time of year, and very wearable. The formula is creamy, easy to apply, and very long-lasting - even after eating and drinking! After further research, some ZOEVA products do unfortunately contain carmine, so please do fully check the ingredients of the individual product before purchasing. This particular shade does not contain carmine.
ZOEVA Graphic Eyes Eyeliner in Skyline, £5.50/1.2g
I've always wanted to try a grey eyeliner, so when I saw this "skyline" shade for such a good price, I thought I'd give it a go. I haven't tried this out yet, so stay tuned for my thoughts on this. And again, please do fully check the ingredients of the individual product before purchasing. This particular shade does not contain carmine.
BeautyBay The Collection Brow/Lash Comb & Brush, £2 (not pictured)
I was in desperate need of a new brow brush, as my very old one was attached to a Rimmel eyeliner, yikes! I hadn't used the eyeliner since going cruelty-free, hence the previous purchase. Yes, so this 2-in-1 tool will be great, as I also wanted a lash comb to perfect my mascara application - combing lashes before applying mascara should get rid of excess eyeshadow. The brush bristles are synthetic. Oh, and it cost just £2!
Pai Skincare Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil, £22/30ml
This has been on my wish list for what feels like forever and I finally took the plunge and bought it! Mainly because I'm fed up with my skin, and I'm hoping this product will sort it out. Pai's rosehip oil is meant to be much more powerful that others on the market, so I'm hoping for great things; acne scars, fine lines and uneven skin tone - be gone!

We popped into TK Maxx for a quick wander, and I always have a look at the beauty section for any bargains:
Faith In Nature Coconut Hand Wash, £4.19 £2.99/300ml
I re-purchased this coconut hand wash as I really like it - I much prefer a cream formula to a gel formula when it comes to hand wash in the bathroom.
Organic Surge Tropical Orange & Bergamot Hand Wash, £4.95 £2.99/250ml
This is the first Organic Surge item I have purchased, so I'm looking forward to trying it. The scent is really refreshing.

Pieces Faux Leather Shoulder Bag, £35
I totally fell in love with this bag at first sight! And I know I only bought a new bag last month, but it was quite an impulse buy which I've just sold on eBay as I went off it quite quickly. Plus, I got 20% off my Pieces bag, and the colour is described as "chocolate chip" - how cute! Ok, so you may be thinking that this bag is quite plain, but this is exactly what I need right now; neutral, soft, and easy to wear, it's a great size for me and it will go with everything. Also, don't you think the zip detail to the front is similar to the gorgeous 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli bag?! I'm hoping it will stop me buying any more new bags for quite a while so that I can focus on saving up!

What did you buy during May?

03 June 2015

Dining In The Vale

The Blackmore Vale Inn, that is. We decided to dine here for our first wedding anniversary meal, as we had enjoyed it so much the first time we visited. We both had the exact same for starter, main, and dessert.
http://oi58.tinypic.com/106dpbp.jpg http://oi57.tinypic.com/w1cqw6.jpg
To start we had chorizo with pasta in a four cheese sauce; this was really nice - lots of chorizo and the sauce was really creamy. For our mains, we chose the house cajun chicken burger (which I had on our previous visit), topped with Farmhouse cheddar and bacon, with a side of salad and chips. Dean loved his, I wasn't too impressed with the chicken as it was a little dry and not quite to my liking. The bacon wasn't crispy either, but that's personal preference, I guess. The cajun sauce on the side was lovely, and their "famous" chips truly are the best you'll ever taste! I'd go back again just for the chips!
We went with the chocolate Bailey's cheesecake for dessert, but I wasn't amazed by it; it was just ok and you could hardly taste the Bailey's; it was quite bland overall. Desserts for me are my favourite part of a meal, but this was disappointing. There was not a great choice of desserts - no sticky toffee pudding! We had a nice coffee to finish. The pub itself is lovely and it was a nice, quiet evening, with a friendly atmosphere. The couple behind us did have a couple of little complaints, too, such as their steak being overdone. Maybe the kitchen staff were having an off day?!

I went with a smart-casual approach to my outfit for the evening, and wore the same jewellery (necklace and earrings) as I did on our wedding day:
http://oi61.tinypic.com/14smiac.jpg http://oi59.tinypic.com/nl3gb8.jpg
Primark Cardigan (similar)
Dorothy Perkins Dip Hem Floral Top
NEXT Skinny Jeans (similar)
New Look Buckle Ankle Boots (similar)
Pieces Faux Leather Zip Detail Bag
Cian Jewels White Gold Czech Solitaire Crystal Drop Earrings
Blue Stone Ring - eBay find
Crystal Heart Necklace - gift


02 June 2015

May At A Glance + Monthly Favourites

May has definitely whizzed by for me. I was presented with my Level 2 Diploma in Health & Social Care, which I completed last year. I've nearly completed my online Criminal Psychology course, which I embarked upon last year, just out of interest. I have also signed up for an online Interior Design course, which I can't wait to start - I think this is the career path I want to pursue!

We saw Mad Max: Fury Road in the cinema, which I enjoyed much more than I thought I would! We've also been working our way through the Saw films - just one left to watch!
I was intrigued by the Lindt roasted sesame chocolate, and it's actually really nice! We're yet to try the blueberry one, but I have a feeling it won't last much longer...

I also started curling my eyelashes in May, which is a bit random, but it's something I've always been apprehensive about - curlers look a bit scary! But it's going well. The 31st of May was our very first wedding anniversary; we had a chilled day and went out for a meal in the evening. And we obviously think alike - just look at the inside of our cards to each other:
And onto May's favourites:
I've been loving using my new favourite deodorant, Earth Conscious Mens Natural Deodorant, as it is really natural and very effective! I've rediscovered my e.l.f. Studio Blush in Fuchsia Fusion, which is just perfect for spring and summer - check out the make-up look I featured it in here. I'm in love with my latest lip product, the ZOEVA Lip Crayon in Tender Rose, which has such a great staying power and a lovely creamy formula!
We started watching An Idiot Abroad and are absolutely loving it! We've just finished series one. Karl Pilkington is brilliant.