Friday, 31 January 2014

Hello February!

So January has whizzed past and February is right around the corner. Here's what it has in store for me...

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1. I should have a little work trip abroad towards the end of February, fingers crossed. Think hot and dusty.

2. Mumma bear's birthday is in February so I'm sure a nice meal will be on the cards. I just need to think of something to get her now...

3. Valentine's Mark and I don't really do anything for Valentine's Day other than get each other a card because it would seem a bit mean if we didn't. Any excuse to go out for a nice dinner though and tell someone you love them :)

4. I will get to see my sister (even just briefly!) for brunch and some wedding updates, which will be nice as we don't get the chance to see each other very often.

4. Taylor Swift!! This just creeps in there as I'm going on 2nd February to see her at the O2 - Mark got the tickets for my birthday last year. I am so excited and hopefully she'll be amazing! I've never gone to a solo singer's gig before, can't imagine watching a stage with just the one person on it.

4. A short month means my pay has less far to stretch, and this can only be a good thing.

5. Finally I'm looking forward to keeping up my goals for 2014 because they've (mostly) been going well so far.

What are you up to this February?

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

The Week in Photos

(L-R, 1-9)

So here's what I've been up to this week according to Instagram

1. I never really switch it up with my workwear (I am strictly a skinny black jeans girl) but I ordered this jersey wrap dress from H&M on a whim and I love it. The sizing is a tiny bit odd as it's a choice of S/M/L but because of the style of the dress that doesn't matter too much. It was so comfy to wear with thick black tights and made a nice change. I am on the lookout for another one in this style but am very aware of not looking too 'mumsy'.

2. Avocado and scrambled eggs on toast for lunch. It was...alright. Not quite as scrummy as it looked because I had to do microwave eggs but it did fill me up.

3. I repurchased this mascara for the third time I think. Definitely a firm favourite. I don't know about the 'brightening effect' but I really like the formula.

4. One of my colleagues was away last week so I do a lot of solo lunching. Enter Glamour magazine. It takes me ages to get around to reading a magazine so I was making a conscious effort. Oh and leftovers for lunch: butternut squash, bacon and leek risotto. So good. Thanks Mum :)

5. On Saturday we had a lovely night out for my friend's birthday. Happy birthday Laura! This was the last photo I took with my phone that night before it promptly died as we were leaving the cocktail bar. Those Hedgerow Martinis were good by the way!

6. Another workwear snap (can you tell I don't get up to much during the week?). I know leopard print really isn't everyone's cup of tea but I love it. I just treat it as a neutral!

7. On Saturday I did the dreaded double denim, but my jeans were almost black and my shirt was very light so I think I got away with it. Also wore my favourite necklace.

8. The makeup brushes I bought on ebay arrived and, considering they were from China, didn't take as long as i had expected. They're obviously copies of the Real Techniques brushes which I love (and will continue to buy), but they're really soft and it's nice to have a couple of cheaper backups for when the real deal is long overdue a clean.

9. I did a little bit of shopping on Saturday and as you might have guessed my basket featured a few of the things I mentioned in my wishlist post. Watch this space...

What did you get up to last week?

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Wishlist #2 - Beauty Edition

January's been a lean old month, what with the expense of Christmas and having shelled out for my car insurance renewal too. I have my eye on a few beauty bits and bobs now though and am just deciding whether I should wait until payday (a week still seems so long!) or buy a couple of bits this weekend. That Boots gift card I got for Christmas may come in handy. Hm...

Anyway, here's what's popped up on my radar this week.

1. So I know these Revlon Colorburst Balms have been all over the beauty blogs this week to coincide with the official release. I wasn't all that excited from reading posts on them but I saw them in Boots yesterday and now I want. In the Matte I've got my eye on Audacious and Elusive, as shown in that order above. The Lacquers are slightly less appealing due to the glitter, but I may have a test of Demure. I really don't need any more lip products but as these aren't actual bullet lipsticks I've almost convinced myself it's okay. I'm going out for a friend's birthday on Saturday night so might get myself Audacious as a treat to wear then. Any excuse eh.

2. My skin has been really dry for the last few weeks so I want to try out the La Roche Posay Hydraphase Intense Masque for some hydration. Anyone have any hydrating/moisturising face mask recommendations other than Origins Drink Up?

3. I absolutely love the LRP Effaclar range and the Effaclar Duo is a firm favourite and has played a big part in managing my acne and boosting my confidence. I could not sing its praises enough. So imagine my delight at hearing they've improved and enhanced the formula and are releasing an Effaclar Duo+ which does all the same things as the old favourite, plus more. This formula will apparently help with the blemishes, redness and dark marks left behind after a spot has disappeared. I cannot wait to try this as my skin marks really easily and often it's these marks which bother me more than the spots in the long run. I still have a full standard Effaclar backup to get through first though...

4. I would never fork out nearly £30 for the Oribe Dry Texturising Spray that everyone raves about but this Charles Worthington Volume and Bounce Texturising Spray was named by Amelia as a great dupe, without the heaviness of lots of other products that make the same claims. I'm always on the lookout for bigger hair and hate the dry shampoo feeling so want to give this a whirl. I have to be honest though, my expectations aren't too high. Maybe I'll be proven wrong!

5. This is what I'm possibly most excited to try after reading about the shampoo in Stylist magazine on the tube home last's the new Loreal Elvive Fibrology thickening range. (Just as well really, as it's the cheapest of the bunch!). Now I know that these claims are there to hook us in, but consider me well and truly sold by the marketing. Like I said, I'm always looking for more oomph for my hair and the new technology in this range is supposed to beef up your hair fibres in a more lasting way than the volumising products that just coat them and ending up weighing it down. The effects even claim to last for 10 washes after you last used the products. Sounds too good to be true, but I'm being an optimist with this one. I didn't think the range was released until February but it's on Boots website already with an offer of 3 items for £10, so it's worth a go for my fellow limp-haired ladies! I'll definitely be getting the shampoo and conditioner sand maybe the booster too. And if it's good, then the others may follow suit. Watch this space! (Can you tell I'm very excited about this release?)

6. Lastly is a product that I have heard nothing about apart from a promo email that magicked into my inbox yesterday. This is the No7 Stay Perfect Superlight Foundation. I'm not a huge No7 fan and have none of their foundations but the description fits exactly what I look for in a foundation: light coverage and really long-lasting. A combination that is near impossible to find on the high street. I am always open to finding replacements for the expensive MUFE foundation that's my daily go-to though, so I'm keen to give this a go. No7 foundations aren't the cheapest around though (I think this is about £13?) so I am reluctant to part with my cash until I've seen a couple of blog reviews and can get a better idea of whether it's any good. So please let me know if you've tried this foundation or seen anyone else mention it :)

So that's what I am currently craving from the beauty aisles. Any other recommendations? Or if you've tried any of these things and want to encourage my spending my telling me it's amazing (or alternately save my pennies if it was crapola) then please go ahead.

Monday, 20 January 2014

The Week in Photos

(L-R, 1-13)

So here's what I've been snapping quickly on Instagram over the last week or two.

1. Work wear number one. I got this khaki shirt in the New Look sale and paired it with a chunky gold necklace that a friend bought me for Christmas. Really liked this combo. You will notice  I am a real creature of habit with my work clothes though. Black jeans, check. Slightly loose shirt, check.

2. Finally wearing the Pandora bracelet my boyfriend bought me for Christmas. I have a few of these charm type bracelets but am always so paranoid they're going to fall off!

3. Debuting my patterned Zara trousers that I tweeted about the night before as I wasn't sure about them. They caught my eye when I was on my way to the till and I love the print, especially as I'd been looking for some printed work trousers for a while. I'm glad I went with them though and ignored any 'why are you wearing your pjs?' comments because I really liked them and even got a few compliments.

4. Yummy lunchtime trip to Bill's. I had the fish finger sandwich and we shared some long stem broccoli as a side. I couldn't finish it all though as I ignored my better judgement and had a starter. In my defence though, the mushroom pasty parcel was VERY good.

5. My handbag broke on the way to the office one morning in the rain, so it was the perfect opportunity to get myself a new work bag. I got this in the Zara sale the same day and chucked the broken one straight in the bin! Love the bag, but having said that, Zara's sale reductions are complete pants. I would have walked past on principle. But I really needed a bag. 

6. Another firm favourite for the office. Loud shirt plus black skinny jeans and boots. Easy.

7. My tartan scarf hasn't had much air time this winter.

8. Here's my streamlined 'to-read' list after clearing up my messy bed-side table. I am a magazine hoarder and it's so annoying.

9. I took Mum out for brunch on Saturday to a cute little tea shop in my town. She had a cooked breakfast and I had pancakes with maple syrup and bacon. It was so good. I was thirsty for the rest of the day though.

10. Went with Essie Fiji on my nails, which is my favourite 'natural' polish at the moment. Oh, and another loud office shirt.

11. I tutor a neighbour's daughter in French every week, and we're working on reading Harry Potter at the moment.

12. I made an online order with H&M and the items actually didn't take forever to arrive, despite their usually terrible online service. The mustard jumper you can see was really the main reason for the order. I was pleasantly surprised by the spotty wrap dress though. Not clingy and only £15, win.

13. Finally I had the dull task of cleaning my makeup brushes. Snoreeeee. It was well overdue though.

See you for another catchup next week :)

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Goals for 2014

I have loved reading everyone's 'start of year' posts to kick of 2014, and have delayed doing mine for a few days whilst I finalised in my head exactly what I want to achieve in the coming year. Like most people, I'm not calling these resolutions for the new year, but goals. In the end, everyone's aspirations are ultimately just things that will make them and those around them happier, right? So that's basically the key. Be me. But better.


1. USE things more - enjoy the things I have, rather than hoarding or saving for the ‘right’ occasion.

2. Fitness. So cliché I know. I don’t want to lose any weight or become slimmer but I would like to tone my body, improve my overall fitness and strength and keep up the effort required to achieve this. I’ve set my sister’s wedding in September as a sort of goal date for this and something to aim for.

3. Progress in my career. Whether that be salary, promotion or completion of some big tasks. I achieved quite a lot work-wise over the last year but I want to maintain that focus and push that bit more. At 24 it's time to take control of my career, rather than just calling it my 'work'.

4. Money money money. Now that I’m in a position to, I want to carry on saving money properly. I would really like to move out into my own apartment with my boyfriend. That might not happen in 2014 but I at least want to know I'm making some progress towards this.

5. Controlling my worry. This will be challenging because it’s hard to change the way you think, even when you know you want to. I am going to try hard to just let go of things that are out of my control or aren’t ultimately that important. I’ve seen this crop up a few times on other people’s blogs, so maybe us blogger are just a worrisome bunch? Nice to know I’m not alone though!

6. Work harder at my relationships. With friends, family and Mark.

7. Blogging. Again, another popular one. I am not going to make promises to upload stunning photos or write 3 posts a week. I’m just going to make more time for my blog and social media when I can, comment on others’ posts more and keep chatting to other lovely girls who blog too. A possible rebrand may be the on the cards at some point too, as this has become more of a lifestyle blog and I want the name to reflect that.

8. Took good care of my teeth! I don’t currently have a dentist BUT I’ve taken up regular flossing, got a fancy Philips Airfloss as a gift and have been looking after my teeth better than ever. I may even dabble in some at-home whitening this year. Or, you know, get myself a dentist…

9. Earlier bed times on a school night. For at least a few nights a week anyway. Hard but necessary, especially during the dark winter months. Towards the end of last year my no-time-for-hairwash mornings were far too many.

10. Working on my French (otherwise what a wasted portion of a degree that was!) and maybe dabble in another language.

I know we're not very far in to the new year at all yet, but I feel like I've had a positive start so am hoping things will continue that way. And I have this blog post to remind me of what I wanted to work towards if I waiver :)

I'd love to hear what everyone else is hoping to work on or achieve in the new year. Are your goals similar to mine or completely different?