Friday, 7 October 2016

Lush Halloween '16!

I love Lush. Sooo much. I use their products every day, and when this time of year rolls around I HAVE to get my hands on a few bits! I recently popped into my nearest store and picked up a few items from Lush's Halloween collection, so I thought I'd share what I got as I love reading posts about the latest Lush buys!

I couldn't resist this cute little ghost! It's called 'Boo' and it's a bath melt, so it makes your bath water really moisturising for you skin. It's made with cocoa butter and Sicilian mandarin oil, and for me that really came through as it smells creamy and sweet! I also had to get the Sparkly Pumpkin bubble bar - anything covered in glitter will for sure make its way into my basket! This one contains juniper berry as well as lime and grapefruit oils, which on paper isn't something I think I'd like the smell of as lime is not one of my favourite scents. However, to me this smelled quite almost orange-y, and in a sweeter fruity way as opposed to a tangy citrus smell, and I really liked it!

I'd seen this little guy floating around on a few blogs too, and liked the look of it! It's called 'Goth Fairy' and it's a shimmer bar, so this one's not a bath product. It moisturises the skin with a combination of butters and as you run it over your skin, it leaves a subtle trail of lustre behind - perfect for a bit of extra glow! This one's scented with bergamot, grapefruit and almond, and smells sweet and fruity.

Finally, I picked up both the Lord of Misrule mini shower gel and bath bomb. I say shower gel but it's actually a shower cream - I've not tried one of these from Lush before but I'm guessing it's a more creamy and moisturising version of a gel. I have a bit of a thing for Lush's shower gels haha, so I really wanted to add this one to my collection, but I remember that last year I didn't like the smell so didn't buy it. I don't know if they've changed the ingredients or if my nose has changed, but this year I really love it! The shower cream bath bomb smell the same - spicy and earthy but also a sweet vanilla scent comes through at the same time, and it's just gorgeous! So these two contain vanilla absolute, and pair this with patchouli and black pepper oils, which creates a unique and moreish fragrance.

What have been your picks from Lush's Halloween collection? And have you seen the Christmas products yet?? I want it all!! Haha!

Friday, 30 September 2016

I Got Invisalign!

So last week on Friday, I got my first set of Invisalign fitted! I know I did A LOT of research into Invisalign before I decided to go ahead and get it, so I wanted to write about my experience on here so it might help others to make up their minds too :)

For those that haven't heard of it, Invisalign are a form of clear braces (see photo above). They are made of plastic and fit over your teeth, you take them out to eat and drink and then put them back in after. They are made by an American company, so when you get them in the U.K. they are shipped over from the U.S.A. 

I first heard of Invisalign a few years ago now, loved the sound of it but was not in the financial position to go for it (it doesn't come cheap, but more on that later!), and as I entered my late teens/early twenties, I became more and more self-conscious about my teeth. Now, my teeth are by no means awful. but they are wonky enough for me to not be happy with them and they are definitely far from straight. I didn't have braces when I was younger as they were only offered to me as an option when I was very young at 11 years old, and at that age I really wasn't bothered about my teeth and the after-care scared me a bit (basically needing a retainer afterward, like most people seem to). Because there was no real need to straighten my teeth, it didn't happen. 

More recently, I became desperate to have straight teeth! It was getting to the point where I would be genuinely jealous of people's straight teeth, and I was starting to feel uncomfortable smiling in photos and smiling in 'real-life', too. So, eventually in March of this year, I booked an appointment at my local dental practice for an Invisalign consultation. Now, not all dental practices offer Invisalign, but of you go to their website here --> you can find the nearest place to you that offers it.

Now, here a few things to note, or at least they're what I've found from my experience so far:

1. This is not a quick process, you don't just pop into your dental practice, they have a look at your teeth, say "okay great" and book you into have them fitted the following week or so. No. No no no. I mean, I didn't expect that either but considering my consultation was in March, I'd expected to have them a little sooner than September. 

You initially have a consultation with an orthodontist to assess whether or not Invisalign would be a good option for you. They asked me questions like why I want to straighten my teeth, why Invisalign and not fixed braces (something to ask yourself as fixed braces are cheaper, but of course a far more obvious on your teeth). I was told that some patients have to have 'attachments' on their teeth which are tooth-coloured, and these aid the movement of your teeth and he expected me to need those. He also told me that I may need to have some 'tooth shaving' - sounds awful, doesn't it? Haha. Instead of extracting teeth to make room for movement, Invisalign treatment shaves a tiny amount off the teeth to create the room instead - I'll let you know how that goes if and when! I was told a bit about expected treatment lengths and the rough cost, and was left to go away and think about whether or not I would like to proceed, there was no pressure to have to go through with it all. 

I then had to make a 'record taking' appointment, where photographs, impressions and x-rays of my teeth were taken. This information is then sent to the company in the U.S. who then make your 'aligners' (what they call the braces) and ship them back to the U.K. Once these had arrived and the financial side of things was all sorted, I made the appointment to have them fitted, and here we are!

2. It is expensive. The initial consultation was £40 I believe, and then the record taking appointment was £200. Then the cost of the treatment itself was around £4,500. I know. As this has been something I'd been planning for a while I had saved up some money. I paid the consultation, record taking and half of the treatment outright, and the other half has been put into a payment plan. You do end up spending a bit more that way but that's the only way I could do it, as obviously I have other expenses like a car and bills and general living to take into account. If you can afford to pay it all, that is the most economical way. Prices I'm sure will vary between dental practices and treatment lengths, so all you can do is contact your nearest one to find out, but you don't find out the exact cost of your treatment until after record taking as each treatment is tailored to the patient. 

3. You can't get cavities. If you need any fillings you'll need to have them done before you get your Invisalign, otherwise if you have to have them during treatment your tooth may no longer fit into your aligner, meaning new impressions will be needed and a new aligner made, making it more expensive.

4. You can only drink water with your aligners in. That's it. It's because it's cool and clear, so it won't damage or stain your aligners. It's also got no sugar in, so won't damage your teeth. Saliva does get in behind the aligners, so if your're having a sugaring drink the sugar will get in behind there too, and because you're wearing aligners the sugar won't be washed away from your teeth very quickly, meaning an increased risk of developing cavities. Hot drinks can warp and damage your aligners, so don't have them either! You must take your aligners out for any food and drink other than water, then brush your teeth and clean your aligners before replacing them.

5. You must wear your aligners nearly all of them time for them to be effective. It's recommended that you wear your aligners for 22 hours a day, giving you 2 hours to do all of your eating and drinking other that water. I've downloaded the app though and it says on the FAQ on there to wear them for 20-22 hours a day. I'm still trying a to stick to only having them off for 2 hours (a couple days have even ended up being only 1 1/2 hours), but it's good to know there's a bit of leeway if you need it, e.g. if you're going out for a meal and need time for a couple of courses and glasses of wine!

My Experience:

I've had my Invisalign for 1 week now. I'm going to put in a photo of me pre-Invisalign, just so you can compare how visible it is with bare teeth. To be honest you can't see all that much of my teeth because I'd try to smile without showing them, but you'll still be able to see the difference.

So there I am, haha. You can see that my teeth aren't straight but I'd never smile to show my crowded bottom teeth anyway. My treatment is going to use 26 aligners which I'll change every 2 weeks, meaning my treatment length will be 52 weeks. There was another option of 14 aligners taking 28 weeks, which would get my teeth pretty straight but wouldn't be as 'perfect' and refined as the longer treatment. This option was £1,000 less expensive, so I did give it some thought, but decided if I was going to do it I may as well go the whole hog! I also felt that if I went for that option I'd only wish I'd got the longer treatment in the end anyway.

Getting them fitted was fine and practically painless - I just didn't enjoy having my teeth polished up first and the cold air being blown on them as I have sensitive teeth! The gluing on of the attachments was fine and so was the putting on of the aligners. So far, there was no real pain. Also, I've found that the aligners have had only the tiniest effect on my speech - some people say they've found they give them a lisp but I've hardly noticed anything. I was given the next 3 sets of aligners and a case to keep the ones I'm using in when I take them out, and made an appointment for 8 weeks time - you change the aligners yourself every two weeks, no need to go to your orthodontist for it unless there's a problem.

This is what they look like from a short distance (in addition to the photo at the top of this post), and up close:

The little bumps on my teeth are the attachments that have been glued on. As yet I've not had to have any tooth-shaving, but that may come later, I'll ask at my next appointment! The plastic on the teeth makes them look pretty shiny, but overall they're really not that noticeable - my work colleagues didn't notice there was anything different until I mentioned it.

As the day went on, my teeth did become a bit painful. It wasn't terrible and I didn't feel the need to take painkillers or anything, but it was the pressure pain I'd expected to feel when the aligners were put in initially. On Saturday (the following day) they were still pretty uncomfortable, and the underneath of my tongue was sore for a few days but that's completely gone now. I'd say my teeth started to feel normal again on the Sunday evening, and now they're fine, but I expect this will happen each time I change my aligners.

Speaking of the aligners, they're kinda tricky to take out. This is because they're obviously tight to maintain pressure on the teeth, and there's the wonky teeth themselves and attachments to navigate! You have to try to pull the aligners away from your teeth slightly to move them past the attachments, and I always struggle my front tooth that's on the slant and has two attachments on. Once they're off my teeth feel a little tender, but nothing too bad. I've found my bottom teeth can be a bit sensitive to me electric toothbrush now, though. Getting the bottom aligners off is easier than the top ones, and getting them both back in is much easier than taking them out! But the more I've done it the easier it gets, a couple of times it has been so difficult I worried I'd got them stuck haha, but managed to ease them off. As my teeth become straighter, hopefully removing the aligners will become easier.

So before I put the aligners back in I brush my teeth and use mouthwash, and use a gentle toothbrush (different to the one I clean my teeth with!) and toothpaste to clean the aligners. You can get special Invisalign cleaning stuff but the app says toothpaste and lukewarm water is fine too (not hot water, remember the advice about hot drinks!). At work I bring a manual toothbrush with me, not my electric one, in a little case and my aligner-cleaning toothbrush in a different coloured case so I don't mix them up. 

So that's about it! Long post I know but I thought if I split it into different posts I'd never get around to doing them all. I'm planning on writing an update when I change to my second set of aligners next week, just notes on whether it's as uncomfortable as I expect and if it's tricky to get the new ones on or not, that sort of thing :) but I don't think I'll update every time I change them as I don't think there'll be that much to report.

Hopefully this was helpful to somebody :) Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

My Favourite Books

I've just had to take an unintentional break from typing away at my blog, because my laptop broke! After googling the problem over and over and over again, and about 100000000000 attempts at system restore (I exaggerate, but you know what I mean), I'm back in business! I found that because I wasn't able to write, it was all I wanted to do and I found it soooo frustrating. Isn't that always the way? Anyway, today I thought I thought I'd tell you about some of my favourite books :)

1. Harry Potter (J.K. Rowling) - the story of the Boy Who Lived, need I say more? Haha. I am obsessed. I love the books so, so much. I also love the films and I've been to the Warner Bros Studio tour twice so far, hopefully I'll make it a third soon! My dad bought them all for me and my sister when they originally came out, and he read the first four of them to us because we were still fairly little. I remember waiting for the new book to come out each year, it was so exciting! I love the incredible magical world that J.K. Rowling has invented, I love how there's so much depth to it and so much detail, and you can really picture yourself in that world. If I think too much about how I will never ever go to Hogwarts I actually start to get a bit upset haha, so let's keep this short! I've been re-reading them and have read five out of the seven so far - I stupidly lent the last two to someone who seems very reluctant to give them back... hopefully they'll be back soon as they're so sentimental to me because of having them from the beginning. If for some crazyyyy reason you've not read them, give The Philosopher's Stone a go, and hopefully you'll love the world of Harry Potter too!

2. American Gods (Neil Gaiman) - this one was a bit of a surprise favourite for me! For some reason when I read the blurb I just thought that it wasn't really for me, despite all ready being a fan of Neil Gaiman's work. I originally bought this book as a gift for someone else, they read it and said it was really good and that they thought I'd like it, so I borrowed it back and they were so right. American Gods is about a man called Shadow who, just as he's about to be released from prison, receives the devastating news that his wife has been killed in a car crash. On his way home, he meets a man called Mr Wednesday who claims to be a god of America, and wants Shadow to accompany him on his own journey. Because Shadow has nothing left for him back home, he does, and from there the story unfolds. I really enjoyed this one, I also liked how the book mirrored the changes in the world now, where things like television and the internet are perhaps becoming more important to people now than rituals and social celebrations that were important to people years ago. It really is a very good read.

3. The Ocean At The End Of The Lane (Neil Gaiman) - if you hadn't all ready guessed by now, my absolute favourite genre of writing is fantasy. There's something about magical worlds that just grips me, I can get completely immersed in them. The Ocean At The End Of The Lane is hard to describe, but it is incredibly good - another one by Neil Gaiman who is an amazing storyteller. It's about a boy who lives with his parents, he seems to have a somewhat lonely life with no friends, but then he befriends a mysterious girl who lives on a neighbouring farm at the end of the lane. His family acquires a lodger, who then steals the family's car and commits suicide in it. This incident somehow stirs up ancient magical forces and creatures (not good ones!) begin to cross over from their world into his, and it seems that the mysterious girl and the two other women at the farm may be the only ones who can fix this. It's so gripping and so well told and described - a good one to go for if you think fantasy may not be your thing as I think it's a very accessible read.

4. Feather Boy (Nicky Singer) - again, I like this book for sentimental value also, as it's one I read when I was much younger and I watched the children's BBC adaptation of it years ago - did any of you see that? This is one perhaps more for younger readers (teens I'd say, as there is one naughty swear word :O :O :O and it does get a bit suspenseful and scary in places), or those who prefer lighter reads as it's not a very long book - you could probably read it in a day if you wanted. It's about Robert Nobel, the awkward kid in school who always gets a hard time from the school bully but tries to laugh it off, despite having a stressed out mum at home and a dad who never comes to see him. He volunteers to take part in a school project involving a nursing home, about bringing young and old people together. Here, he meets an elderly woman called Edith Sorrel, who sends him on a quest to the intimidating and abandoned Chance House... a short book, but gripping!

5. The Help (Kathryn Stockett) - if you haven't heard of the book, you've maybe heard of or seen the more recent film adaptation. In my opinion, the film isn't nearly as good as the book as it inevitably misses things out that contribute to the growth of the characters and their relationships - The Help is very much character-driven and is set in Jackson, Mississippi in 1962. The book follows three women - Aibileen and Minnie who are two black maids, serving white women in their homes, raising their children, but are not trusted by the families they serve to not steal and are treated poorly, to say the least. There is also Skeeter, a white woman returned home from college to find out that the family's maid whom she loved as she raised her, has mysteriously disappeared, 'gone away', and no one can tell her why or where, not even her own mother. A search for the truth and something more brings these women together despite the intolerant time they live in. Definitely one to put on your reading pile if you haven't all ready.

6. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold) - I think this book is really good, but I have met a couple of people who hated it haha, I say read it and decide for yourself :) it's the story of Susie Salmon, a 14 year old girl who is murdered by her neighbour on her way home from school one day. The book follows Susie in 'heaven' and her family back in the real world in the aftermath of her death, who she can see. It's an unusual book and I'd not read anything else like it before, there's been a film made of it too in which her murderer looked EXACTLY like how I'd pictured him, so creepy! 

7. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy (J.R.R. Tolkien) - amazing. I really love The Lord Of The Rings. I first read it when I was 10 after I saw the first of the films (which I was also also obsessed with and used to get up at 6am before school and watch all of the special features... anyway...) and I was hooked. I will say that it's maybe not for everyone as it's an older book, so the way it's written can be a bit hard going, but if you stick with it you'll get into it and they really are so very good. Again I love that there is this whole other world to create in your imagination, I love the maps of Middle Earth at the beginning of the books - I just love to read it, as you can tell by my very worn copy of The Fellowship Of The Ring haha.

Lastly, I have some Honorable Mentions! Being The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom) and Room (Emma Donoghue), both of which I borrowed off others so have neither to hand to include in the photos. The Five People You Meet In Heaven is about Eddie, who dies trying to save a young girl from being killed in an accident at an amusement park. When he dies he goes to heaven, where he meets five people who made an impact on his life in some way. It's well written and emotional - one of the chapters definitely brought me to tears. I really must read another one of his books, I'm thinking The Time Keeper. Now with Room, I'm not going to tell you what it's about! Haha! It's since been made into a very popular film (which I've yet to see) so chances are you probably know at least the gist of it, but if not then that's the best way, in my opinion! When I read it, because of the particular paperback copy of the book I had, I couldn't find the blurb straight away, so I just opened it and started reading. It's told from the perspective of five year old Jack, so you know as much as five year old Jack knows about the world. He doesn't fully understand it all, and is still learning and discovering new things about it, and so are you along with him. It's so gripping (I keep saying that about everything haha) and I read it in just a few days, I couldn't put it down!

The Lie Tree (Frances Hardinge) is what I'm reading currently. My dad gave it to me to read (we have similar tastes when it comes to books!) and at first I wasn't sure about it - it's a slow burner that's taken it's time building an atmosphere before the things really start happening, but now they have it's become very intriguing. It's about Faith and her family in a Victorian-era England, who must leave their home for a small island community as something to do with her father's work has brought their family into disrepute. Then, Faith's father is suddenly found dead under strange circumstances, and Faith now feels compelled to discover exactly what has been going on. So far, so good! I will report back :)

Have you read any of these? If you have, what did you think? What are your favourite books?

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Lush Haulin'

Sooooo, I got a few things from Lush. This probably isn't the biggest Lush haul anyone has ever seen, but it felt pretty extravagant to me, haha! I love Lush and I usually pop in a buy a couple of things whenever I'm near a shop, and I picked up these bits from the Lush on Oxford Street. I actually got all of this a little while ago but, me being me, I've only got around to putting this post up now! I'm going to go through stuff row by row, so let's get started...

L-R: Cyanide Pill, Yoga Bomb, The Experimenter

I got three bath bombs, first of which is Cyanide Pill - I think this one is exclusive to Oxford Street as I couldn't find it on the website. I has a slightly odd scent, like citrus-y and musky at the same time, it contains both lemon and cedar wood oils so this is probably why and (if I remember correctly!) each half has a different scent so one end is the citrus, zesty side and the other contains the musky, woody aromas. In the water it fizzes instantly and once it begins to dissolve silver glitter emerges from it's centre, which I loved! However, because of the bomb's colour, it does turn your bath a sulphuric shade of yellow. I also got Yoga Bomb - definitely one of my new favourites! It smells gorgeously herbal and soothing, containing sandalwood, olibanum, and ho wood (I didn't know what that was, but it comes from the camphor tree according to Lush) oils. It looks plain orange but once it starts to dissolve in the water it releases a pastel rainbow of colour, beautiful! Then there's also The Experimenter - I basically got this one because I'd seen it all over peoples' blogs and wanted to see it for myself! On first sniff I knew it was right up my street, and looking at the ingredients I could see why - vanilla bean and tonka absolute, two of my favourites! It also contains vetivert oil, which is great for soothing and relaxation. In the water this bomb is very impressive - it bursts into bright colours that swirl together (and I think it contained a subtle luster, too) resulting in deep purple bathwater. 

L-R: Milky Bath, Flowering Tea
Next up are a couple of bubble bars, which I got because of the cute shapes they're in haha. Milky Bath really does have skimmed milk as one of the ingredients! It also contains cocoa butter and resulted in a really skin-softening bath with lots of bubbles. It does also have orange oil in but I personally didn't think it smelled of anything much. Flowering Tea, on the other hand, smelled strongly herbal with jasmine mixed in - one of my favourite scents! It's in the shape of a teabag complete with a little label on a string, and the 'bag' is filled with cornflowers instead of tea which float around the bath - cute! In addition to jasmine, it contains rosewood and neroli oils, and orange flower absolute, and I really enjoyed this one. 

L-R: Sun, Cloak of Invisibility, Happy Thoughts, Mmmelting Marshmallow Moment

Lastly, I bought a few of these solid bath oils! You can get them online now and I think in stores, but at the time they were a brand new product and exclusive to the Oxford Street store, so I went a bit mad and got four haha. The bath oils give an oily (but not overly greasy, moisturising bath that leaves your skin super soft! The first three I think are still exclusive to Oxford Street as I can't see them on the website - let's start with Sun, so called because of the shimmery gold lustre coating it and its bright, uplifting scent. Sun contains mandarin, tangerine and Brazilian orange oils, giving it a really nice but subtle bitter orange smell. To nourish the skin it contains shea and cocoa butters, and also contains jojoba and coconut oils - my skin didn't really feel like I needed to apply body lotion after having a dip with one of these bath oils! Cloak of Invisibility attracted me not just because of the glittery star shape on top, but also because it smelled of my favourite jasmine along with ylang ylang and rosewood, giving it a really heady, relaxing fragrance - this was probably my favourite bath oil to use. It differs from Sun in that it contains almond oil instead of jojoba oil. 

To me, Happy Thoughts looks like a cute little sugar-covered bonbon! It has a zesty scent that leans more fruity than Sun, containing Brazilian orange and neroli oils. Again this oil left my skin super-soft, and it contains the same moisturising butters and oils as Sun. What I will say about the three brightly coloured orange bath oils is that they all left a bit of an orange stain around my bath - nothing a few spritzes of surface cleaner didn't remove, but something to mention. Lastly is Mmmelting Marshmallow Moment which I picked up because I really like the bath melt of the same name (which I think has now been discontinued and sort of replaced by the oil, but correct me if I'm wrong!). This has the same sugary sweet scent as the bath melt, which is also akin to Snow Fairy. Shea and cocoa butters along with coconut and almond oils leave the skin silky soft, and the delicate fragrance made for a very lovely bath!

I hope you've enjoyed this post! I always love a good Lush haul :) if you've done one recently, please share it in the comments! 

Sunday, 17 April 2016

My Sleep and Lounge-wear Picks

 Well, like I said, this blog is moving more into being about stuff I like in general, not exclusively beauty anymore! So that being said, something I reallyyyy like to do is have lazy days tucked up under a blanket with a hot water bottle and my laptop, and to nap/sleep for a very long time when I can haha. I also like to do these things in cute'n'comfy attire! So I'd like to show you some sleep and lounge-wear items that I've picked up recently :)

I'm going to start at the top of the photo above and work anti-clockwise. First up is the 'You've Cat To Be Kitten Me' shorts and tee pyjama set I got in the Accessorize sale - I love it because I love cats and I love puns! And on the whole I prefer to wear shorts to be instead of long-legged things unless it's cold. It's no longer available on their website but you might be able to find it in-store still, however there are still lots of pretty sets to choose from online - my faves are this elephant print set and this pineapple print set :)

Next up are a couple of things I bought from the TU range at Sainsbury's - I'd seen them a few weeks before and then popped in again one day on my lunch break and they had 25% off all the clothing! I got this 'Hey Honey' top and the matching bumble bee bottoms. They're made of such soft material, they're so comfortable! The top is very over-sized, I usually size up for pj's just as a personal preference but I didn't feel the need to with this - I'd have been swimming in it if I had, haha! It's a perfect over-sized fit in what you usually buy :) The bottoms are elasticated at the ankle but are not tight or uncomfortable at all (the legs are really nice and roomy) and won't ride up your legs when you're in bed - I hate when that happens! I also bought this mint-turquoise colour striped chemise, again made of reallyyyy soft material and I love the lace detailing! As well as these, I got this set of two cami tops (not pictured) as they're really useful and will go with lots pyjama and lounge-wear stuff :)

Another pyjama set I bought recently was this all-over space and unicorn print shorts and tee set from ASOS. I wanted it for aaaages and I kept being out of stock in my size, it would come back in stock when I checked the website at work but by the time I got home in the evening it would be gone again, it drove me mad haha! When I finally caught it back in stock at a time when I could place the order, I bought it straight away and I love it! It's out of stock again now I'm afraid and I don't know if it'll be coming back, but ASOS have loads of other really cute tee and shorts sets on their website :) I really like this cactus set and this macaroon set (although they are 'macarons', not 'macaroons' on the print, but that is just a little pet hate/irritation of mine haha). I also love this shark head print one, it's so hilarious I think I'm going to have to get it! But as I said there are loads of nice ones, you can browse them here :)

Finally, I bought a few lounge-wear pieces a couple of weekends ago. I love the white and grey space-dye jogger bottoms (I'm wearing them now!), they're lightly fleece-lined and very comfortable. I also picked up some dusky pink joggers with a soft, towelling lining - again, super comfy! Finally, my favourite out of the three is the cream hoodie - it's fleece-lined and fairly fitted for a hoodie, but you could always size up if you wanted a more relaxed fit. And the best bit? It was only £7 from Primark, and I think the joggers were £5 each, also from Primark - bargain! You know what it's like, you go into Primark planning on buying a handful of budget pieces for work, you come out fifty quid or so poorer with two massive bags full of stuff, haha!

Hope you enjoyed this post today! Are you also a big fan of comfy, lazy clothes? Or are you not as bothered about them as I am? Hahaha :)

Friday, 8 April 2016

Loving Lately #1

I've never actually done a 'Loving Lately' post, but I thought it would be a good thing to sort of 're-introduce' myself to writing a blog post! In my last post waaaaay back in January, I said I'd have a lot more time to spend on my blog this year, but as it turns out I haven't yet! I do have more time as in I have more days off in the week now, but because the days I do work are so long I tend to spend my days off feeling pretty exhausted and, more recently, I've had a lot more social stuff on which has been really nice, however also tiring on top of work! I have managed to be semi-organised and have got two (maybe three) more posts after this one all planned, so hopefully I might be able to get myself into some sort of schedule soon :)

Also before I get started, I just wanted to give a little mention to one of my best friends Roben Beauty - she's fairly new to Bloglovin', if you love all things beauty related then please do check out her blog! She's a really lovely lady and she knows what she's talking about as, like me, she's a bit of beauty addict AND she's also a makeup artist in-training :) so head on over for some great beauty advice and tutorials! Now, onto the 'lovings'...

1. My NYPD hoodie!
This hoodie is by Tee and Cake at Topshop. My sister and I have a bit of an inside joke that involves yelling 'NYPD! FREEZE!' at each other haha, so when I saw it I had to have it! It's super cosy and fleecy inside, over-sized fit but still nice and lightweight. I really like the look of the NASA sweater they do as well, just a question of which colour... but I basically want everything they do!

I used to read looooads when I was younger, then during my teens I just got out of the habit unless it was for school, and I only got back in to reading a lot maybe two or three years ago but now I've started I can't believe I ever stopped! Neil Gaiman is an author I've loved for a long time, the first book of his I read was Coraline a long time ago, and ever since I've been hooked. He's an amazing writer, he has an incredible way of drawing you into a story, his writing seamlessly creates images in your head as you read and his storytelling just sucks you in and holds you there. Anansi Boys is the book I'm currently reading and I'm really enjoying it - it's about 'Fat Charlie' Nancy, a bit of loser but has managed to get his life pretty much on track and has a steady job, whose brother who he never knew he had comes to stay with him. His brother is his complete opposite in every way, and starts to wreak havoc in his life. If you know anything of Neil Gaiman's writing you'll know that the plot is undoubtedly more complicated than that, but I don't want to spoil anything if you're thinking of giving it a go and haven't heard of it all ready! One of my next posts is going to be about the books I'd highly recommend, so keep your eyes peeled for that one :) 

3.Fruit-flavoured chocolate!
Okay, so a bit of an odd one haha, but I really have! I never used to be that big on fruit-flavoured chocolate (or white chocolate, for that matter) but recently I've been absolutely loving it! Pictured above are pink champagne truffles with a hint of strawberry, 'strawberries and cream' white chocolate with strawberry ganache, and 'raspberry smoothie' milk chocolate with a seriously juicy raspberry centre, all from Hotel Chocolat. I've also been loving the Strawberries and Cream Lindor and was lucky enough to get the Easter egg! (Which, by the way, is still standing! I've somehow only eaten one bag of Dairy Milk eggs since Easter! How is this possible? What has happened to me?? Haha) Also have to give a shout out to the Coconut Lindor, too - not fruity but bloody delicious! - and the incredibly moreish Prestat Red Velvet Truffles; I bought I load of the bauble-packaged ones in the Christmas sale in Jarrolds, so good. 

4. Charlotte Tilbury makeup

Let's face it, who isn't loving Charlotte Tilbury's gorgeous makeup line. I now have quite a few of her products, but these three in  particular have made it into my daily rotation. Pictured above is her Magic Foundation in Shade 2 -  it's slightly on the thicker side in consistency but is super creamy and blends easily, gives a high medium-to-full coverage, and I would say a demi-matte finish. I get really dry skin and I find this base suits me really well and lasts all day. I like to apply it best with my Beauty Blender but also use my Urban Decay Good Karma Optical Blurring Brush a lot, too! Also pictured is her K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick lippie in the shade Stoned Rose and her Lip Cheat lip liner in the shade Iconic Nude - I've swatched these two for you as well! Stoned Rose is a brown-toned rusty-rose hue which looks really beautiful on and is the kind of shade that would suit pretty much everyone! I've found that it goes really well with the Iconic Nude lip liner and together they make a perfect lip! Iconic nude is a beige-toned nude liner that goes with basically everything - I use it with all my lip colours except really dark shades and reds, but that's just personal preference as it could be used with any shade. It also looks really nice on it's own and it really good for the beigey-brown 90's inspired lip trend :)

5. My new duvet sets!
Last, but by no means least, I wanted to share with you these two super, super cute (in my opinion, anyway haha, my sister was not really a fan of the unicorns) duvet sets from George At Home at Asda! I've bought stuff from George At Home before because it's really well priced, and I love their duvet sets because for the most part they are made of that easy-care, non-iron fabric which is totally up my street - I have no time for battling with a double duvet cover over an ironing board! These two were only £12 each for double-sized sets - I had to get the unicorn one because unicorns, and the cat one is called 'Purrmaids' because they are cat-mermaids, hahaha! I love cats so cat-mermaids to me was incredible. 

Hope you enjoyed this post! I found it fun to write and it's actually put me in a really good mood :) what have you all been loving recently? x

Friday, 1 January 2016

A New Year

I don't have any New Year's related photos, so here's one of my cat Misty instead :)

This past year has had a few ups and down and, for me, ended on a very mixed note. Some good things have happened this year - about half way through I got a promotion at work and I finally started learning to drive. Other highlights include going to the Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour for the second time (which I absolutely love and hope to again in the future!) and seeing the Foo Fighters live for my birthday, which was awesome as they're one of my favourite bands. However with the good there always seems to be the bad... eventually my job in retail started getting me really down and I began to feel trapped there. I have a degree in Psychology but so far had had no luck with field-related job applications, so at the time taking the full-time promotion at work seemed sensible and took my mind off my apparent failure for a while, but the feeling didn't last. It was making me really miserable and feeling like it wasn't going to change any time soon just made it worse. Then just before Christmas (which, by the way, did not feel like Christmas. I know everyone has been saying it but it really didn't, not even on the actual day) I found myself on the other side of a four-year relationship. It just all of a sudden happened (for me, anyway) and feels like being pushed out onto a freezing mountain-top, completely alone, in nothing but your nightie, when only seconds before you were tucked up warm and safe in bed. One minute you're cosy and happy feel like you know exactly what's going on and what's going to happen in your life, then the next you're so confused and upset and cross and hurt and you have no idea what's going on or how it happened.

So at that point this new year was looking pretty horrible from where I was standing. All my plans I'd had for 2016 were gone, because they pretty much all revolved around my relationship, and I just wanted to go into a dark room and hide away forever and never have to face real life. Then, I saw an advert for a job, applied for it, got a call the very next day to arrange an interview, had the interview the following week before heading to my current job, got home after work to a message asking me to call them back, called them back and they offered me the job and I (of course!) took it! So I'm now leaving my job as a Beauty Advisor for Boots at the end of January to be a Support Worker for adults with learning disabilities, and right now I can hardly believe it! I know it's going to be very hard work and the shifts are long, but it will all be so worth it. So by the end of 2015 I was left feeling simultaneously very happy and very unhappy.

I didn't really feel like going out on New Years Eve when it came to it, but I'm glad that I decided to join my sister and her friends as once I'd got dressed and ready I was really in the mood. We didn't do much, just had a few drinks and a chat in a Wetherspoons and then went to a nice little local pub with a fun, cheesy band playing for a bit of a dance and to see in the new year - everyone had party poppers, we ended up jumping round in a circle, crossed arms, singing Auld Lang Syne, and all in all it was a really fun, relaxed night that I would have been very sorry to have missed out on :)

I hope 2016 brings more stability and direction to my life, and I really feel that it will. I feel like I've gained the confidence to just get out there and do what I want, I have wonderful people around me and - although it's horrible starting the year without my best friend, the person who I always thought would be the other half of me - I am strong, and I will be okay, what ever happens. I feel like once I've got my full driving licence and gained the experience that my new job will give me to back up my degree, the world will be my oyster, haha!

As far as my blog goes, I'm going to dedicate more time to it and move away from it being so focuses on beauty, and try to make it more of a lifestyle, just general 'what I'm up to and stuff I like' kind of a thing. I do still like my makeup so I'm sure I'll still write about that kind of thing, but it being exclusively beauty focuses and with my job being working in beauty too, I've simply become a bit bored of it and this space is in need of a refresh! When I start my new job I'll have twice much free time as I have currently so I'll definitely have more posts coming your way then! I'm also going to make a conscious effort to be more active in the blogging community, I've recently just got a smart phone which is a big deal to me haha - I literally had one that just did calls and texts before, not internet, camera, nothing - so I should have access to all my social media much more easily, so I can interact a lot more with other bloggers and readers :)

Isn't it weird how that start of a new year is always seems the best time for a complete life revamp, whether it's really up to you or not? Haha. I don't really know what I wanted to say with this post, but I will say that I've found it quite therapeutic writing it all down, like I've been able to process the last few days a bit better! If any of you have made it to the end of this rather long ramble, how was your New Years? Do you have any major plans for 2016, or are you going to wait and see what the year throws at you? x