Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Highlights of 2013

I always enjoy welcoming in the new year and getting excited about the fresh feeling it brings with it. Having said that, 2013 was a good year for me so I'm not hurriedly closing the door on it just yet. I thought I'd take the chance, before all the NYE madness begins, to have a little look back on what have been my highlights this year.


Seeing Wicked for mine and Mark's 2nd anniversary. And just feeling more 'established' in our relationship now.

Seeing Bastille and the 1975 at the iTunes festival.

Cornwall, particularly riding bikes along the Camel trail. Oh and riding ponies on Dartmoor and conquering tors together :)

Morocco and riding camels and looking out into the desert and feeling like you're the only person for miles.

Seeing the Lion King show - a little surprise from Mark.

Getting stuck in at work, getting comfortable here and getting a promotion :)

Seeing Mumford & Sons twice, but particularly the Summer Stampede which was amazing weather and such a lovely summer day with my two best friends.

Seeing the musical Matilda for my birthday, and the whole drawn-out birthday weekend which was surprisingly lovely.

Lots of lovely low-key dinners with friends, nights out with cocktails, trips to the pub with my boyfriend, all of which have very happy memories attached to them.

Going to Harry Potter world, after watching all 8 films in a week with Mark.

My friend Jenny who lives in the big USA coming home for Christmas and us all having lots of giggles and laughter. And meetin her lovely American man too.

Before midnight comes and the Prosecco has gone to my head I'll be raising a glass to all the fun I've had and my partners in crime, as well as the many more memories and moments that I hope to enjoy in the new year :)

So that's it then. Goodbye 2013 and hello twenty-fourteen.

Friday, 20 December 2013

It's Christmas

So with Christmas right around the corner I felt like it would be rude not to do a post on the festivities. I'm going to keep it short and short because I'm not that Christmas-crazy, but if the cheer really takes hold of me in a few days time then maybe I'll write another one.

Here are a couple of snaps of our tree. For the last couple of years we've had a real tree and this year I convinced Mum to go sans tinsel. I generally hate the stuff, but I know it's traditional. So instead we loaded up on hanging accessories and I think it looks pretty classy. Except for the fairy who looks like she's had one-too-many.

I couldn't convince my office to come round to the idea of a Christmas jumper day, but we did have our work Christmas lunch earlier this week which was nice. It involved an expectedly large amount of red wine and none of us felt too clever the next day (who's idea was it to do it on a Wednesday?!). Seeing as I booked and organised it, I'm glad it all came together. One word of advice: copious red wine and a raging cold do not mix.

My Christmassy nails for the occasion :) Will regret that one when it comes to removing the glitter...

My Christmas shopping is all done and dusted (as you'd probably imagine by now?!). I think I may have gone a little overboard but oh well, I think I've got everyone things they will really like so I don't mind :) I started much earlier this year than I have before and I'm going to try to continue that, as it really helped with ideas and with spreading the cost of it all. Although probably contributed to my over-spending, so maybe not so helpful!

Tomorrow morning I am aiming for an early dash into town to get giftbags and mouthwash (obviously not a gift...). That's it. I want to avoid the hoards and also manage to get a parking space, so fingers crossed the rest of the world doesn't have the same idea. It'll be the most focused shopping trip ever as I want to be back home and wrapping presents before the till-point madness really builds. I'm sure people in shops just seem to lose all notion of manners during December and I can't deal with it.

So that is all. My weekend will then consist of watching my favourite Christmas film Love Actually (I think I'm the only person in the world who hates the film Elf?) and wondering how little work 'working from home' will actually involve...

Monday, 2 December 2013

Hello December!

Here we go, what awaits me in December..

1. Having a little scented Yankee candle for every day of the month. That advent calendar was £20 well-spent. I have the obligatory chocolate one from Mumma-bear too though, obvs.

2. Wearing Christmas PJs that have been banished to the back of a drawer for a year. Oh and debuting that Christmas cardigan (in the photo) that my boyfriend's mum hand-knitted me. Amazing!

3. Seeing Russell Brand - we have tickets to his show one night after work later this week which makes a nice change from the normal routine. I have high hopes, so don't disappoint me Russell!

4. A few long weekends - I had some holiday days to take before the end of the year so decided that I would appreciate a few long weekends more than a whole week off work. Cue lots of relaxing, as well as organising and some final Christmas shopping (hoping to avoid weekend shopping completely as it's already chaos. I'm telling you, the aisles of Boots become a battle field from 1st December).

5. Visiting the Harry Potter studio tour! I cannot wait to do this and have been forcing Mark to watch all the films educating Mark in preparation. I have my heart set on buying a Ministry of Magic mug. And I might be persuaded by a cuddly Crookshanks too.

6. Gift giving - I love it when you know you've bought something that the person will just love.  I unintentionally started my shopping early doors this year, which has helped. Stressful boy present purchasing is always less fun though!

7. Playing family board games at Christmas. Not really a tradition that's taken hold in my family but I was bought Articulate last month and I WILL be forcing people to play with me.

8. Watching Love Actually, my favourite Christmas film which I watch every year. It just leave me with a warm glow :) Well, except for the Alan Rickman/Emma Thompson storyline which I have to glaze over. When I say 'favourite' Christmas film, I don't really like any other Christmas films. Except maybe The Holiday. Is that a Christmas film? No films with Santa or elves though please. Especially not Elf.

9. Going on some lovely crisp winter walks where the leaves are all falling off the trees and you have to wrap up warm in scarves and gloves. And then you can come home with pink noses, warm your hands up on the fire and cosy down with a nice cup of tea and a film :) Perfect.

I don't want to talk about Christmassy things too much here as I think I'll do a separate post for that a bit nearer the time. Christmas isn't my favourite time of the year though, but I am slowly easing myself in! Let's give it a couple of weeks eh?

I have also toyed with the idea of doing 'blogmas', but I'm not sure that a) posting every day isn't a bit annoying for readers and b) I'll be able to actually achieve it. If I do go ahead then there will be little mini-posts/thoughts interspersed with proper blog posts. Watch this space

The less fun things this month: will include working on all the days around Christmas (I have deadlines then so don't have much choice. I will be working from home but I find that can be quite stressful!). My wage also appears to have already disappeared into thin air, despite payday being less than a week ago. So careful planning of pennies will be necessary until my (post-Christmas day!!) December pay. Oh and my car insurance helpfully expires on 29th December. Whose idea was that?!

What are you looking forward to this December?
Any other recommendation for Christmas films that might win me round?


Wednesday, 27 November 2013

My 24th birthday :)

Nearly two weeks ago now I was nudged my mid-20s and  turned the grand old age of 24.
 I had a really lovely long birthday weekend and it was just what I need after a few days of feeling a bit down.

Pressies to myself ...
Yankee candle advent calendar
Enrapture curler (more to come on that another day)

Lovely pressies from family and friends, including tickets to see Taylor Swift next year! Also got the practical present of an ‘Air Floss’ (yep yep, boring but useful!). And girly things like a hair dryer (works so quickly!), OPI, tan bag, oversized scarf. And  some cash, books and gift cards too.

Obligatory birthday selfie. I cracked out a new red lippie I bought during that week. Not amazing lasting power but it was a nice shade, easy to apply and didn't look awful when it had worn off a little. So I'll put up with re-applying as needed.

I took the Friday off work, as that was my actual birthday, and headed into London for a day of fun with the boyf :) We headed to the Breakfast Club (the one near Liverpool St station) for an early lunch and I had the American breakfast which was delicious. I really like this place but I think it's better during the week, it feels a bit too 'trendy' for me at the weekend.

Please excuse my funny pose, it was bloody freezing!

With full stomachs we then toddled down to the Tower of London where we had a very entertaining tour with one of the Beefeaters. I have been before but not since I was at school so it was good to go back. I love all that sort of history.

After our daytime activities Mark surprised me with dinner and cocktails at a French restaurant and finally by booking tickets for us to go and see...Matilda!! I'd heard great reviews of the show from friends and really wanted to see it so this was the perfect choice! It was amazing - the kiddy actors, the songs and the staging (which you can see a sneak peek of below!). I would definitely recommend it as the next one to see if you like musicals.

And that was the end of my actual birthday! I was exhausted and fell asleep on the train home. What a finish!

On Saturday night I went to a friends house and we had a yummy home-cooked mexican feast as well as prosecco and cocktails (thanks Emma!), before heading out to a couple of bars in town. It was a really fun girly evening and you can see me looking a little bleary-eyed in the photo below!

My parents took me and Mark out for a really yummy Sunday lunch at a nice country pub the next day as I hadn't seen them very much on my birthday. 3 courses. Done :)
And I booked Monday off work too and went for (another) lunch with Dad and my step-mum.

So there you go. Reading it back it seems like I really dragged out this birthday!

I had a really lovely weekend though and Mark, my parents and my friends all made me feel very loved :) And I didn't even mind getting older.

Turning 25 might be a different story though...

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Being Lonely

Get back to where you once belong.

Today I feel down.

I think my sad day has been sparked by the haircut I had yesterday. I hate it. I thought I might like it more once I’d washed and styled it myself but sadly not. I actually felt like crying about it this morning, which sounds ridiculous and I managed to pull myself together before that happened. Yes, it sounds so vain to be so upset about your hair. Which grows back. But I am going to hedge my bets and say that if you’re reading this blog then you probably sympathise at least slightly. My feeling of hair inadequacy was not helped by seeing three girls on the tube to work this morning who all had lovely hair which resembled the style I’d actually wanted. Having had such long hair, it has truly been chopped. It’s too short, which I could handle, but the layers and shaping that have been put into it are just not what I wanted and will take ages to grow out. It just isn't ‘me’. All my ombre/balayage colour has also been cut out so I've currently got a very boring mop of hair on my head. And this is timed brilliantly with it being my birthday later this week. Hello crappy hair in birthday photos.


So like I said, the hair drama seems to have sparked a rollercoaster of sadness today. Mostly related to feeling lonely.

I have good friends, a lovely boyfriend and a supportive family and I enjoy my own company, but I still feel lonely. Like I’m missing something in terms of relationships with others. And maybe this has been highlighted to me by my aforementioned upcoming birthday celebrations?

All of my friends are pretty much ‘best friends’ if that makes sense. I have close friends from school and university who I love, but not many other friends. I work in a small, male-dominated environment where few people are close to my age. And aside from work, I’m not sure how you make friends as an adult? Join a club? Find a hobby?

Like most people, I blog because I enjoy writing, I like keeping an online diary and I wanted to chat to people who like the same things as me. The last point is an interesting one though. I know many bloggers and youtubers began their channel or blog because they wanted to talk about make up/cosmetics/fashion etc with other people who were also passionate about the same things. (And to avoid boring everyone in ‘real life’ with these topics). When asked what the best thing about blogging is, most people say it’s all the people they've met or connected with and the friends they've made through it. And I think that’s a really lovely thing.

But the internet can also be a very lonely place.

When everyone else is tagging each other in posts, blogging about their latest meet up or @replying each other about normal life things you sometimes can’t help but think...I am instagramming my ever-so-yummy looking lunch and wittering on about my latest sale bargain to absolutely no one.

There are girls who I chat to every now and again online, and they all seem lovely. But for some reason it’s never really ‘clicked’ for me making actual friends on here, and I've not built any substantial links with people. This isn't to say woe is me, and probably I just need to put myself out there a bit more. After all, everyone I have spoken to seems genuinely very nice.

But I’m often left wondering if maybe I’m not someone who makes friends easily. And why? Because I do try!

Please reassure me I’m not the only 20-something who feels lonely? Oh, and also that my terrible head of hair will grow. Preferably into something less terrible.

(Apologies for the change in tone on my blog today. This is probably the first truly personal post I've written).
Finally...the image above is from weheartit.com. If it belongs to you then please let me know and I'll remove/credit as appropriate. And yes, I know, this girl has perfect hair. Sigh.

The Week

What I wore: Yes actual colour for once! ; What I bought: Too much!

My Mon-Fri last week was pretty much just work and some dedicated cross-trainer/exercise time. Mark was away at a course for the week so I didn't see him at all. I had some extra reports etc going on at work so that kept me pretty busy.

On Saturday I went for lunch at Zizzi’s, where I have eaten in ages, and it was nice but took absolutely forever between courses and to get the bill. I hate that when you’re all done and ready to leave and there’s no one in sight to ask for the bill. The food was nice, but there is just something about that restaurant that puts me off.

I then went to London with my boyfriend and 2 friends to the ITV studios to watch All Star Family Fortunes being filmed. One was a corrie special but in the other I got to see the Kimberley Walsh in the flesh (yes, as attractive as on tv!). Not to mention the lovely Vernon Kay who was highly entertaining.

Sunday morning was really nice, we got up and went and sat downstairs in pjs and under a cosy blanket to watch Saturday’s X factor, then the remembrance parade at the Cenotaph. Then after that I was a football widow once more as our little town was actual playing a bigger team and was broadcast live on ITV1. Very happy boyfriend. So I went a did a bit more shopping (after saying I wouldn't...) then headed home for a Sunday roast and the final episode of Downton Abbey. I keep telling myself I’m buying 'staples' when I’m shopping these last couple of weeks, which is better than buying toot, but still money being spent. I opened up a savings account too though in the hope it might facilitate me actually saving money.... we'll see!

Friday, 8 November 2013

Quick spot of online shopping

I think I've bought more things this last two weeks than I have in one go for months! I really needed a few staples for work and casual now that it's turning colder. Here are the few bits I ordered online earlier this week, and the rest will pop up here soon I'm sure!

I've had my eye on this heart print New Look shirt for a couple of weeks but it's always out of stock in the shops and online. I saw it come back in stock briefly though so added it to my basket and checked out immediately! It's a perfect fit, although I haven't actually worn it to work yet as it arrived quite crumpled and I've been too lazy to get the iron out this week.

This belt was also from New Look, just a cheapy faux leather one for about £3. A;; my other belt are tan coloured, so I thought I could do with a black one.

Finally the boots. This has been a long and arduous search, which I'm not sure is actually over. I wanted some black ankle boots (mainly for work, although I want some which fit the same description for casual...but I don't want them to be the same boots. Make sense?), not flat but with an everyday heel. And not an I-take-taxis-everywhere-and-drive-to-work sort of everyday heel. An actual commuting sort of everyday heel. Well I have searched basically everywhere and couldn't find a single pair that weren't too high. If you have any suggestions please fire them my way! Anyway, I found these on ASOS last week after one of their offer emails popped into my inbox. I'd had my eye on them before as a 'maybe' but they're not real leather and were £40, which I think is silly. However, down to £24 and back in stock, I bought them. They're actually really comfy and perfect for what I was looking for. But the quality isn't amazing and they would not have been worth £40. I am still on the hunt though, because I really wanted to pay a bit more for real leather ones that would last. I'm singing the praises of these now, but I bet after a month of tube use they'll be all scuffed up in a plastic unsalvageable kind of way.

What have you been buying lately?

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

The Week

Here's what I've been up to. How about you?

{Insert completely non-spectacular looking photo of firework!}

So last week was quite a nice one. I felt a bit off-kilter at the beginning but got it back on track and had a good end-week and weekend :)

Monday and Tuesday were major train disruption due to the storm and I had to work from home as all trains on my line to London were cancelled. Actually, I had to work from my boyfriend's home as that's where I'd stayed Sunday night. And he had to do the same. Cue too much time spent together in one small room, trying to do completely different things. Once I got back to work I spent the rest of the week playing catchup for my lack of at-home productivity. The willing was there, but it's just not so easy to work when you're a Windows girl using your boyfriend's Mac, have no access to your work files and have to listen to techy speak on the other side of the room. To-do list was all ticked off by Friday home time though. Win.

I love Halloween so I got thoroughly into the spirit this week. On Wednesday I went to a fright night type thing at a castle ruins near where I live. It was sort of walking dead/undead virus themed and I screamed. A lot. In hindsight it's such a weird concept, paying to be terrified. But it was really good fun! Then just a scary film night in on Thursday. I also did the obligatory pumpkin carving and baked some gingerbread vampire bats to take in to work.

Friday was a definite food day at work. I am the only female in my office and those boys are a bad influence! I was very impressed with Wasabi at lunch though. Have never been before but I got a noodle/chicken tub and was really impressed at the amount of tasty food you get. A fiver well-spent. Oh and I finished off the evening by eating lots of leftover Halloween sweets in front of the tv... May have cancelled out the session I did on the cross-trainer beforehand.

I was a football widow on Saturday so took myself off to do some shopping. I could have gone with friends but sometimes you just fancy a bit of solitary retail indulging. My debit card took a little bit of a hit in H&M and Zara but I had wanted to treat myself a bit and got some staples, so all is justified. I even bought a few Christmas presents and they're not the first of the year. What has happened to me?
Mark and I scouted out some fireworks for the evening, so I scooted back from Cambridge to wrap up in layers and go and ooh and ahh and the loud pretty things. My favourites are always the big white and slightly purpley ones (terrible description) that look a bit like Christmas lights. It was nice to just cuddle up outside and watch the fireworks. I was disappointed in no bonfire though :( We finished off the evening with dinner at an Indian restaurant and a drink in the pub with a friend. Lovely, easy Saturday evening.

Sundays always feel rushed to me, despite having had a lie-in. I did a bit more shopping (oh dear!) and then toddled back home as I tutor one of my neighbours on a Sunday evening. Finished the weekend by watching the X Factor and Downton Abbey with my parents :)

I haven't done one of these posts for a while, so here are a few other things I've been up to over the last couple of months (other than work work work)...
Mark and I went to show the show Wicked, my first trip to la Tasca (yum!), baking macaroons, London cocktails, sitting in the audience of a tv show recording, my first (and second) trips to Byron Burger, a pub quiz, and finally rinks with an old friend who I haven't seen for years....

I'll leave you with a picture of me tormenting my dog by giving her my hair as a wig...

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Hello November!

So here are the things awaiting me this month...

1. My birthday: My birthday has completely crept up on me this year...I’d sort of forgotten about it! Haven’t quite decided what I’m going to do for the occasion yet but it’s on a Friday and I’ve booked a long weekend off work. I’m sure a girly night out with cocktails will be in there somewhere. Turning 24 and entering my mid-20s, as my friends keep reminding me! Fully intend on buying myself a birthday present this year as a treat/congrats to myself with some extra work monies that I have from my promotion.

2. Bonfire night: Ah I love the autumn holidays (Halloween’s now passed obviously, but I’m including that too). Wrapping up like a Michelin man to go and stand in the cold, ooh and aah at fireworks and write your name with a sparkler. I’ll be heading to at least one display this year. There was no bonfire at the one I went to last year though and sparklers were banned too...what is this madness?!

3. Work...sort of: As I mentioned, I got a promotion recently following a prolonged period of 'what am I doing here?!' so I am looking forward to embracing that and really getting stuck in with my new role. That said, expect me to still be moaning about work on Twitter on a regular basis.

4. Keeping up with fitness: Way back in August I was failing miserably at the exercise goal with no sign of motivation in sight. But recently I've sort of got into a bit of a routine with doing exercise which I really want to keep up...and I think I actually might manage it! I feel slightly more in control of my body, if that makes sense? And that's a good feeling. My only problem is that I get bored, so I don't go for half as long as I potentially good. But someone recently told me that audiobooks are really good to run to...so I've just added one to my itunes and am going to give that a whirl! I get bored of music quite quickly when I'm doing exercise, so any suggestions for staying non-bored are much appreciated!

5. Saving monies: I got my finances under much better control a few months ago now (having 2 bank accounts has helped me so much in managing my money each month!) so now I'd like to focus on starting to build up some savings. Because I cannot be living at home forever! Having said that, I do also need to learn to enjoy my wages slightly more and not feel bad for making a few purchases. I work hard so I do deserve to actually spend a little bit of the money I'm earning on nice things (yes Dad...I really do).

6. Looking better: I really need to start putting some work outfits together better. I am always in a rush for everything, including getting ready for work in the mornings. Cue throwing on a few simple things that can't clash and adding a bit printed scarf. Yes there's something to be said for a signature look but this is not quite that. I sit on the tube with outfit envy on a daily basis so it's time to up my game. I bought the 'Stylebook' app a couple of months ago now and it's amazing and perfect for outfit planning, but so far I've only dabbled. I have a few free weekend slots coming up though, so now might be the time to commit.

7.  Bloggy blog blog: I know I've said this a lot of times before...but I really do want to be blogging more! I have a tonne of things I've bought that I want to show you on here, and I want to keep my little weekend updates etc going too so I can look back at this and remember the things I've done and what I was thinking/feeling. But I just haven't put words to (virtual) paper for some reason. Yes I'm busy. But so is everyone else. I need to make some more time for this hobby so I am really going to be try. I must keep reminding myself that it doesn't have to be perfect for me to press 'publish'. So expect some more regularity from me here... Fingers crossed!

Let me know what you're up to this month :)

Image from Google. If this belongs to you please let me know and I'll credit/remove as appropriate!

Thursday, 19 September 2013

My Dartmoor / Cornwall holiday 2013

With a week's holiday booked from work and finances having already taken a slight dent from our Morocco trip earlier this year, Mark and I loaded up the car and trundled down to the South West for a lovely (and actually very sunny!) week away.

Picture heavy and slightly scrambles, but here you go anyway!

Note: We don't have matching sunglasses!...Mark just apparently only buys 1 type

We didn't have too many firm plans other than our accommodation but we did have some things in mind as Devon and Cornwall are places we'd both holidayed at when we were younger.

Exploring, Cream teas, Wild ponies and horse riding :)

Conquering the first of many tors
Cute little house from the film War Horse

I love this picture even though we're squinting at the very bright sunshine!
Eating chips at the harbour
Mine exploring...safely and in style
Introducing Mark to crabbing!

Yummy Rick Stein fish & chips!
Hiring bikes (and cycling 10 miles!)

Breakfast at Bill's during a last minute stop-over in my old uni city of Bath
Time to go home :(

With the weather being so uncharacteristically lovely for September we were able to do lots of outdoors things which kept us busy and also made for a much cheaper holiday. I definitely didn't anticipate such an active holiday. In fact, before we booked it we were weighing up either the UK or a week on the beach in Spain. I'm glad we went for England though!

Our week away was absolutely lovely, so much so that I kept thinking that everything was working out so perfectly that we were definitely due for something to go wrong! (Which, thankfully, it didn't!)

My mum and step-dad are off to Cornwall this week for a holiday and so far the weather's looking pretty rubbish, so fingers crossed they get at least a little bit of the sunshine we had!

Do you have any suggestions for where else we should visit in the UK? Either for weekends away or for a full week at some point?

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Wish List #1 - September Edition

There are several items that I've been mulling over for a few weeks now so I thought I'd share them with you, as well as giving myself a little reminder to check back on when payday comes and I get all dizzy-headed.

Having just come back from holiday (post coming soon..!) I think I should hold off spending any more cash for a little while...but maybe a couple of these items will sneak in before payday.

1: Topshop; 2: Topshop; 3: Zara; 4: ASOS; 5: La Roche Posay; 6: ASOS; 7: New Look

Despite it being perfect for this time of year, I've never owned a mac - I love them but always think they look a bit too 'grown up' for me! I think at 23 it might be time to take the plunge. I'm torn between these 2 styles but will probably turn to ebay to look for a cheaper alternative anyway...so I can justify buying it now before the weather turns a bit too chilly.

I've been on the hunt for the perfect breton striped top for a while and I'm yet to find 'the one'. This isn't it. The hunt continues but with increased impatience!

This Zara bag is a real bargain and I'm eyeing it up (but probably in black not tan) as my next every day work bag. Literally the only reason I didn't buy it in-store a few weeks ago is because I thought it was too nice to mess up/get battered about as a work bag. So I didn't buy it all. Find the logic there then.

I love La Roche Posay as a brand and regularly recommend their Effaclar range to anyone within earshot. Despite having been on the looking out for a good hydrating face mask for months I'd never even thought of this. Definitely on my next shopping list for Boots.

Ankle boots - another sign of the change of season! Now I know the wedge ones are definitely not the most attractive of boots but I own them in tan and they are really comfy and easy to wear, so I want the black ones for work. They're also super cheap from the kiddies/teen section.
Yes I know I'm late to the party with the other boots up there, but I still want a pair in this style. I'll probably be turning to ebay for these too as there's no way I'm paying £75! Contemplating these ones but I'm not sure. I want to know how comfy/high they'll be first. Has anyone else got a good pair of boots in this sort of style from anywhere that's cheaper than the Topshop ones? (Am I being stingy here?!)

Although I have managed to be fairly restrained with my money recently (holiday spending aside) I would like to be able to up my savings potential for a little while. I was inspired by fellow spendaholic and one of my favourite bloggers Tabitha's post and the plan to let yourself buy one nice thing each week - something you've already decided on. I have a feeling though that I would end up buying that 'one thing'...and then lots of other things that I 'need'!

Anyway, I'm hoping to continue these little posts of my planned and wished for purchases :) As the seasons get colder I can already envisage a big fluffy parka coat creeping its way onto the list... When that happens though you'll all have to remind me I'll look like the michelin man in one.

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Hello September!

As stated in my August post here, I am going to be looking forward to the weeks ahead and listing anything that I'm looking forward to, hoping to achieve or need to tackle.

So here we go, what awaits me in September...

Image from Weheartit.com - Please let me know if it's yours and I'll credit/remove as appropriate

1. Holiday in England: With my week off work, Mark and I are heading to Devon (Dartmoor specifically...) and then further down to Cornwall. Fingers crossed the weather holds out on full-on autumn until we come back. I don't mind a bit chilly, but please not too soggy!

2. Autumn: Although I'm not ready to say a proper goodbye to the sunshine yet, I'm trying to get enthusiastic about autumn. Think chunky cardigans, scarves and boots :)

3. Unexpected life turns: The long and short of it is that I was intending on starting a postgraduate degree this month and now, for several reasons, that can't happen. Yes I'm disappointed and annoyed but there's no point in dwelling on it. Onwards and upwards for the next year!

4. Non-spring cleaning: So the mass clear-out and tidy up didn't quite happen last month but is firmly on the cards for September! I might even take a day's leave from work to fully commit!

5. Regular blogging: I started blogging a bit more regularly in August but it's something I really want to keep up in September. I really enjoy documenting my goings on, I just need to make more time for it.

What's everyone else got in store for September?

And in terms of last months...what did I achieve?

1. Getting better control over my finances: Yes! Big tick for this one. New bank account open, balances under control and have got my head around stuff properly. Let's continue this way.
2. Clearout of my wardrobe: No. Not yet. Bunny hop this one onto this month
3. Mass tidy up of my bedroom: Same goes for this one as above. I have a day off work a week or so after my holiday so that WILL be happening then!
4. A bit more commitment to exercise and fitness: Big fat no! Unlikely to happen with the weather getting chillier either...
5. Making some big-ish life decisions: See number 3 above :(
6. Planning what to do with my holiday: Yes! All planned and excitement has set in! We are off tomorrow after work :)
7. Photos: Pfft nope not done this either. In fairness I did think about it, but it actually requires a lot more organisation, working out what I've have and haven't printed and where all the images are. So I'm pushing this back to post-room tidy.

Friday, 30 August 2013

The Week (fortnight...)

Well, this week seems to have turned into this fortnight but I didn't want to just skip out this post so am going to put up an extended version anyway.

My week a couple of week's ago was actually pretty full...

Aside from the usual mundane stuff at work my manager actually quit pretty unexpectedly, so it was all a bit up in the air and stressed/confusing at work. Hopefully it's all settled a bit now though. Carrying on with work, we had our quarterly social and went to Go Ape! It was really fun but I was absolutely terrified when I got up in the trees! I've never been scared of heights before and wasn't feeling nervous at all but I just got really nervous once I was up there. needless to say, my manager and my boss had to help me along the entire way! I definitely recommend it though and shall be going back with boyfriend and/or friends :)

Then the weekend came and Kim, my bestie from uni came to stay which was absolutely lovely! I haven't seen her in months (which is far too long Kim!) so it was so nice just to chat and hang out. After all, we did live together for 3 years! We definitely can't leave it so long next time. We even cracked out Mean Girls. Now you know it was a good weekend.

My sister also came back home to visit on Sunday which was again really nice as I haven't seen her in ages. Was a really nice family day and am looking forward to keeping in better contact and seeing her more often :)

Now moving on to week 2...
I had a fun Bank Holiday weekend, involving going to Mark's gig, spending the day with my dad and then going to Colchester Zoo with Mark. Oh and Indian takeaway. I was exhausted by the time work rolled around on Tuesday but it was worth it.

Nothing exciting has happened during this shortened week but I am off on holiday as off this evening so I will update you next week! :)

Friday, 16 August 2013

The Week

Yep, i know this is super later as it is now Friday and this is the update all the way from laaaast week. But it's been sitting in my drafts and I wanted to post it, so I thought why bloody not? Next week's will be somewhat more eventful (I can guarantee this...what with it being Friday already...)

Monday-Friday: Not a whole lot to say really. Work, work and more work. Boring. The only pictures I seemed to take were quick mirror shots of my work outfits, as demonstrated above!

Saturday: Mark and I went for a yummy Wagamama lunch (ordering what I always order- usch a creature of habit!) then we headed to a doggy rescue centre because we love looking at the little furrballs. No intention of adopting one (don't think my 3 would accept an 'outsider' so will wait until I have a house all of my own), but we did see a lovely terrier than I would have easily smuggled home in my jumper. Well, I'd probably take them all home! Feeling like this is the only downside to trips to the dog rescue centres. 
In the evening I then had yummy food and a really good night out with one of  my bestest chums Laura, as well as Mark and a few friends. This didn't end well though after a horrible cheapo bottle of wine.

Sun: Literally took me the whole day to recover from Saturday. And I've felt sick well into this week too. Not big or clever.
(I have to add - in case any of you think I'm a regular super-drunkard - I'm NEVER ill from drinking and never even get hangovers really. This was an odd one off and one I hope never to repeat! Forever going to blame the very cheap wine).

What did you all get up to?

Monday, 12 August 2013

Weekend shopping...continued

Following on from last week's post...here's the second half of my weekend shopping, which includes all the non-beauty related bits I bought a couple of weeks ago. (If you didn't catch it, you can see the skincare, make up etc I bought here).

First up is my new favourite handbag which I had spotted online so was on a mission to find in store. I love the fringing and it's a great 'weekend' size, Plus it has both a long and a short strap - something I always prefer in a bag. All for £19.99. Sold. Thanks H&M.

Then I picked up these few bits and pieces in River Island - I shop I normally never go in. Mixed bag here, as I've gone off the crosses bracelet a bit now, and as cute as I think finger top rings are...they're really annoying to wear! I can see me losing both of them in the not too distant future.

Once again I filmed a video of this haul, which also includes a few bits of clothing that I haven't shown here as I find clothes really hard to photograph well! So have a watch if you want to see those bits or if you just want to here me chat a bit more about the things I bought :) 

Friday, 9 August 2013

Hello August!

This is a new post that I'd like to keep going in the coming months, looking forward to the weeks ahead and listing anything that I'm looking forward to, hoping to achieve or need to tackle.

So here we go, what awaits me in August...

1. Getting better control over my finances: I left uni over a year ago now, with my bank account showing the signs of 4 years spent as a student. Following this with an unpaid internship in London didn't help much. Fast-forward though and I now work full-time and earn a monthly wage. My bank account is back look semi-healthy again and I want to keep it this way and start budgeting and laying down some plans for the future. The next year looks like it might be an expensive one so having something to fall back on will give me peace of mind - being the eternal worrier that I am!

2. Clearout of my wardrobe...again: There's a fine line between having enough options and having lots of stuff you never wear, and the latter fuzzes up my brain. I always try to be ruthless but I am going to take inspiration from Anna and really go for it. Just need to get in the right mind-set!

3. Mass tidy up of my bedroom: I don't get many free hours at home so I tend to have a mammoth tidy up/reorganisation when I can devote some time to it, and preserve that for as long as I can before it all descends into chaos again. If my room stays messy for too long it starts to stress me out, and we're creeping towards that right now. Messy bed messy head!

4. A bit more commitment to exercise and fitness: I've chosen a little running route near my house and been a few times now, so I'm hoping to persevere with this and maybe spend a bit more quality time with the cross-trainer too. It's in my house, I've no excuse! Otherwise I'm going to be one of those people who slowly becomes chubby and doesn't notice until my jeans don't do up.

5. Making some big-ish life decisions...watch this space!

6. Planning what to do with my holiday: Mark and I have both booked a week off work in early September so we need to decide what to do and where to go! We're staying UK bound as we went to Morocco back in April, but other than that we can do anything! Currently leaning towards some time in Cornwall...

7. Photos: I MUST remember to make a big order of digital prints online. I haven't printed off any photos over the past year and, whilst having them all on the computer is really handy, it's just not the same as having them in frames and photo albums.

What's everyone else got in store this August?

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Weekend shopping

I did a little bit of spending the other week when I was out shopping for family birthday presents with my mum (who was a bad influence!). Here are the haircare/skincare/makeup bits. The non-beauty related bits will be up here in a separate post in the coming week (and it includes my new favourite handbag!)

The picture shows all the items, but if you want to watch me ramble on a bit more about them then please watch the youtube video I filmed :)
I love a few of these products and others I'm still on the fence about, but when I've made my mind up about them they'll probably crop up again in a post. Otherwise, let me know if you want my thoughts on anything I bought.

Liked the video? Have any thoughts on any of things I bought or other recommendations? Let me know :)

Monday, 5 August 2013

Sunny birthday weekend

Last weekend was Mark's birthday (hello 27!) and we had a lovely time celebrating it in the London sunshine so I thought I'd share some of the photos.

The photo below seems to be our automatic 'let's have a picture of us here' pose for every time it's an occasion or we visit somewhere. Which is a bit silly, because we could literally be anywhere and you wouldn't be able to tell! We are, in fact, at London Zoo. Yep, super mature birthday outing.

No great animal snaps to include here, but my favourites were the otters, penguins and of course the sloths! Watching one being fed was the slowest mealtime I've ever seen.

We thought we'd go to an American style diner for dinner, so I had a little scout around beforehand and settles on 'The Diner' (yep, super original) at Covent Garden, although they have a few others scattered around London. As you can see, I had an overloaded hotdog and sweet potato fries, seriously tasty. I really wanted one of their alcohol milkshakes for pudding but we were just too full! If you like diner food then it's worth a visit, especially with the diner music and the booths. Not ideal for a proper birthday meal though as there's only so long you can labour over a hotdog.

Finally we were going to head to a few pubs/bars in Covent Garden but instead we did something spontaneous and followed a leaflet we were given for a Comedy Club round the corner. It was peeing down with rain and we've been saying we'll go to a comedy night for ages, so we just went with it! Tickets were half price, the bar was cheap and the show was actually really funny so it was a good choice. I imagine it's a bit hit or miss, but you haven't got much to lose really if you're just looking to try out a comedy show.

So that was our lovely birthday Saturday. (In case you're wondering, it was rounded up with a slice of Colin the Caterpillar cake).

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Products I've used up/Empties

I've been harvesting my empty products for a while now in the hope that I would eventually have enough to put in a blog post. And hurrah I made it! I seem to take ages to get through anything, especially make up. It was nice finally throwing away (and recycling!) all the packaging once I’d taken these pictures, but I will start collecting again so I can do another one of these posts.

So here are the products that I’ve worked my way through in the last month or so and my brief thoughts on them. I have actually made a youtube video of this too so you can go and watch that by clicking here if you want to. I know sometimes you just prefer reading a blog post though, so I wanted to do both. Let me know if you went and watched the video though!

So the key question...Would I repurchase?

1. Rimmel Scandaleyes Mascara - No. The brush is too big and fat and the formula's not fab
2. Boots Simply Sensitive Cleansing Gel/Facewash - No, obviously just a cheapy but really hard to rinse off!
3. Origins Moisturising + - Really liked this sample so added to wishlist
4. Boots Time Delay Youth Maintain Eye Cream -  Blah. Nothing special, any other recommendations?
5. La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo - Holy grail product! And I don't give that title lightly.
6. MakeUp Forever Face&Body Foundation - Another absolute favourite. Light coverage, nice finish and mega staying power.
7. Rimmel Waterproof Eyeliner in Black - Yes, this has a permanent place in my makeup bag for some bottom lash line smudging.

8. Got2b Big Volume Hairspray - Yes, favourite hair spray
9. Dove Leave-in Conditioning Spray -  Yes, this is a nice little detangling/moisturising addition to ym haircare routine
10. Tresemme Platinum Strength Conditioner- Maybe, it was nice but there are lots of others to try
11. Soap and Glory Clean On Me Shower Gel - Yes, but not straight away. I love this but I like to chop and change
12. Toni&Guy Dry Shampoo - Yes, smells like boy (in a nice way) and comes out clear. I tend to buy this or the Umberto Gianinni one.

I want to try to make a concerted effort to use more things up. Although I have told myself this many times before and it never seems to happen. There’s always something new to try or an offer calling me to buy 3 for 2!

If you've tried any of these products or have suggestions for alternatives then I'd love to hear them :)
Also, if you'd like a fuller review on anything mentioned then let me know and I'll step to it.