31 Mar 2014

MONTHLY ROUND UP: March

Some nice weather for a change - hitting amazing milestones - CREME EGG MCFLURRYS ARE BACK OK
Date night at TGI's - our magazine won the Student Voice award! - at the awards ceremony
My best friend came to stay - Spring is on the way - spending lots of time at Cup

This month I've been:

Reading - very little sadly, lots of university related books and this month's issue of Company but that's about it.

Watching - Yet again, House. I've also been watching Revenge, Rock of Ages, About Time, The Lego Movie, Dallas Buyers Club and I'm off to see the YSL movie on Tuesday!

Doing - I've been super busy this month! I hit some amazing milestones with my little blog which was crazy, then to top it all off our student magazine (which I'm the fashion editor for) won the Student Voice award so I'm insanely proud this month. I've also had a lot of university work, had friends visiting every weekend, and spent the longest time away from home so far. That last one was pretty difficult for me, but I'm really proud of myself for getting through.

Looking forward to - having just over a week off from university, going to Manchester for the Coronation Street tour (fangirl moment!!!), finishing university - just over a month to go, seeing McBusted and lots more.

Also, I installed a new layout late last night... it took forever but I'm proud to say it was all my own work! What do you think?

Hope March was good to you, here's to a happy April. x
SHARE:

28 Mar 2014

SHARE THE LOVE: March



Debra - Becca - Jaye
I think it's pretty fair to say that I've been slacking a bit this month. Well, on the blog front anyway - I've had plenty of uni work to do! Regardless, I've still been creeping in the shadows catching up on all of my favourite blogs and these three are my definite stand outs for March. xx
SHARE:

27 Mar 2014

REVIEW: Home Bargains Argan Oil Gift Set




Argan Oil gift set - Home Bargains
(Contents available individually in larger sizes in Home Bargains & Poundworld)
So, it's nearly April and I'm only just breaking in to my Christmas reviews... awkward. My mum picked this up for me from Home Bargains as a little extra for Christmas and seeing as my hair loves a bit of TLC it was definitely a good pick. This set contains a mini shampoo & conditioner, an intensive hydrating treatment and a packet of face wipes in a handy plastic zip pouch.

I'd already used the conditioner from this set before as it was only 79p for a big bottle so I knew that it was good, however I use a lot of conditioner so this small size was really only good for one use for me. The shampoo is also decent and I've managed to get a good four or five uses from this little tube, it doesn't leave my hair feeling too dry or knotted so that's a thumbs up from me. Paired together this duo leave my hair feeling nice and soft with minimal tangles so at this kind of price point you really can't go wrong!

The face wipes are pretty standard as far as face wipes go, I don't feel like they're any different to other brands I've tried. They aren't the best for getting eye make up off with however I usually only use face wipes as an extra step before double cleansing so that's not really a big issue for me. I can't say I'd buy these separately but the small packet is pretty handy for keeping in my bag for on the go emergencies.

At first I wasn't blown away by the hydrating treatment, for a while I was convinced that it was just baby oil repackaged... Seriously - it smells the exact same! My main issue with this was that the instructions suggest you use two or three "drops" of the oil and work it in to damp or wet hair however the cap is actually open and it's pretty much impossible to just get a drop. Now that I'm a bit more used to the packaging and have figured out what amount is best for me I do really like it but I think I'll be sticking to the Avon Argain Oil instead as it works a lot better with my hair.

Have you ever tried any of this range? I think they're perfect if you're on a tight budget, which I often am, but luckily I have quite a stash of hair products to work my way through!

x
SHARE:

21 Mar 2014

LIFESTYLE: Scottish Independence Month One

(image source)
There's just under six months to go now, and things are really starting to heat up independence wise. It's all over my Facebook feed (thanks to some slightly opinionated people that I can't bring myself to delete yet) and constantly on the news. It's also been just over a month since I started my little quest in to the facts about Scottish Independence. A couple of days ago I heard a women on the radio say that she was voting for independence "because she liked the sound of it". I'm not one to be overly disrespectful of other people's opinions, however that kind of attitude just comes across as idiotic - especially in such an important situation. That kind of outlook has just made me even more determined to do as much research as possible.

I mentioned in my last post that I was heading to an independence debate that was being held at my university and it was a pretty interesting experience... There were participants from both sides who were involved with a variety of campaigns, projects & companies, it was a pretty decent mix. I think it's fair to say that this debate cleared up a lot of things for me (I've ended up with four pages of notes!) on both sides. Both sides did make some valid points however I felt like the Yes side made quite a lot of invalid points, one woman kept nattering on about Eurovision. As much as I love Eurovision it's really not something I care about in this context.

Key points gathered from the debate (not necessarily pros, just the points from my notes) :
Yes Campaign - Westminster does not have Scotland's best interests at heart (this was repeated a lot) // Scottish citizens did not vote for the current WM government // Avoids the "Rise of UKIP" // Removal of Trident from Scottish soil - saves £100 billion // Lots of money in oil industry // There would be a separate Scottish Pound // David Cameron doesn't represent our interests (basically the thing about WM) // we can decide against joining the EU

No Campaign - £5 million of taxpayers' money spent on producing the White Paper (more on this later) // lots of uncertainty regarding currency and what markets we will operate in // cutting corporation tax means less money for public services // no guaranteed EU membership // Oil is a volatile industry and cannot be relied on // a lot of the proposed changes are very dependent on negotiation // We get more out of WM than we currently put in // our health service is already devolved // If a yes vote happens there will need to be £6 billion in cuts to public spending // the UK is a G8 nation, we can participate at a high level on a world stage // High set up costs from embassies etc

I also attempted to read The White Paper on Scottish Independence. Which was a difficult one... I personally feel like it was full of a lot of assumptions based on uncertain terms as well as SO. MUCH. REPETITION. I gave up about 20% of the way through (according to my Kindle) as it just felt like such a pointless read. Nothing about it seemed certain and if anything it quite put me off the idea of independence. A fair majority of the content was useless scaremongering, and a good portion of the rest was just hypocritically accusing the Better Together campaign of doing the same thing! It doesn't need to be anywhere near as long as it is and just comes across as a waste of money.

Aside from this, I've also been reading a few random articles as they pop up in my news feed but nothing is really standing out to me. Out of interest (and nosiness) I put together a quick survey to find out my friends & Twitter followers opinions on Independence which you can answer here. As of yesterday, the voting stood at 1 unsure, 5 yes and 26 no with 32 participants.

So far, based on what I've found out this month, I'm starting to lean towards voting no. I'm planning on attending more debates at my university as well as doing a bit more reading, so if you have any interesting articles please send them my way.

What are you thinking in regards to Independence at the moment? I'd love to hear your thoughts, but please keep it as respectful as possible and allow other people to voice their opinions too!
SHARE:

20 Mar 2014

REVIEW: Nivea Luscious Lips






Nivea Luscious Lips gift tin - RRP £5 (available here, here and probably in stores too)
I'm a bit of a lip balm hoarder, but not a lip balm user. Bad, I know! Since I got this set for Christmas I've been making more of a conscious effort to keep my lips in a decent condition - partly because they were painfully dry before Christmas - and partly because I love the Raspberry Rose lip butter so much.

So, this set contains four Nivea lip products: the original lip butter, Raspberry Rose lip butter, Essential Care chap stick and a Pearly Shine chap stick.

The original lip butter does what it says on the tin with no real fuss, it's pretty basic but does a great job at moisturising. At the moment it lives on my bedside table so that I remember to use it before I go to bed. The Raspberry Rose version lives in my handbag and is possibly the most beautiful smelling lip butter I have ever used, EVER. I do love a raspberry scented product! Like the original version this is also very moisturising and perfect to pop in my bag. I think the scent of this encourages me to use it a bit more throughout the day which is pretty useful!

I find the Essential Care chap stick a bit more heavy duty and so it's reserved for "lip emergencies" and currently lives beside the Raspberry Rose butter in my bag. It's not as easy to apply as the lip butters but it's very moisturising. I actually use lip balms on the ends of my hair at night because I find it helps reduce the appearance of my numerous split ends... Weird beauty tip of the day! I find the Pearly Shine chap stick a bit of a weird one, I'm not a big fan of the pink pearl (ooh what a surprise) finish and I'm not quite sure when to wear it. I suppose it would look nice over a pale pink lipstick, but I don't wear a lot of pale pink shades. It's been relegated to my lip product drawer for now!

Have you tried any of these? What did you think?

x
SHARE:

19 Mar 2014

LIFESTYLE: Juiced Up with Currys




Philips Juicer - Currys*
I'm sure I've mentioned before that I want to say "yes" to a wider variety of opportunities this year, and despite my initial hesitation when this e-mail first appeared in my inbox I decided to just go for it. Basically, Currys ever so kindly offered me the chance to try out a juicer as well as providing me with a free gym session and a food voucher to purchase ingredients for my new toy! You can read a bit more about the initiative over on the Currys' blog.

Now I'm not a big "health freak" as such but I would like to make a conscious effort to be a bit healthier, not only with exercise but also what food I consume. I've never tried a juicer before, but they certainly seem to be all the rage at the moment. Seeing as I am a bit of a fussy eater - in particular when it comes to textures - I thought it would be a really easy way to help get my 5 a day, if not more.

So, the exercise. Now I'm very happy to admit that I am a lazy person when it comes to exercise. I'm not terribly unfit, I do have to climb 5 flights of stairs to my flat at least twice a day, but lately I've been slacking and I definitely don't feel as fit as I used to be. After the summer I'm planning on starting back at netball with my university team but I think I'll need to get my fitness levels back up a bit before I do so!

I was given the chance to try out Nuffield Health Centre in Aberdeen which was a pretty swanky place compared to my old local gym. I was shown around by a lovely member of staff (I think her name was Laura, but I'm appalling with names) who was incredibly helpful. I'd been planning on attending an exercise class, however when I was there the classes ended up being full so instead I got to try out the other facilities. The gym itself was also pretty decent (based on previous experiences) and I surprisingly enjoyed myself there. If I had the money I would love to renew my gym membership however at the moment it's just not something I can afford.

On my way home I popped in to the Tesco next door to pick up some fruit-y things for my juice. I didn't really have a particular recipe in mind and ended up picking up some apples, raspberries, lemons and a bag of kale (word on the street is that it's good for you). I probably should have looked in to it a bit more beforehand as despite using what I thought was a lot of fruit I didn't really get that much juice... I blame the raspberries.

What I did get was absolutely delicious and very tart, just how I like it. I did feel like it was a fair bit of effort & input for not a lot of juice however the juicer itself was really simple to use and is in fact dishwasher friendly to make cleaning easier (if you have a dishwasher, which I don't... damn was that tedious). I'm looking forward to trying some new recipes and Pinterest has been a treasure trove for ideas!

Overall, I'm pretty darn glad I said yes on this occasion. Maybe there's a gym bunny inside me somewhere? Doubtful... but hey.

Have you got any good juice recipes to share? Please do if so! <3
SHARE:

18 Mar 2014

TUESDAY TEN: Gifts & Pieces

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5

6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10
I discovered Gifts and Pieces last week after an influx of blog posts about the site (pretty successful marketing there I'd say!) and I've been obsessed ever since. It's full of adorable homeware & gifts and I want it aaaaall. I've turned in to quite a homeware junkie lately and it doesn't help that I'm constantly on the look out for my flat for after the summer as well as perusing the home section of Pinterest...

At the moment I feel like I just have to have the adorable monogrammed mug, but to be honest it changes daily. Which is your favourite?
SHARE:

17 Mar 2014

LIFESTYLE: A weekend in Aberdeen


So things have been a little quiet over here recently, I've had a very busy week and got a bit fed up of stressing about getting blog posts up! I've got some stressful deadlines coming up within the next week (including a massive presentation today, boooo) so university is priority right now. I do have a day off tomorrow so I'll hopefully get through a decent chunk of my to do list! After this week things get a bit calmer for a few days before I have my Student Awards ball for the magazine (pretty please like our Facebook page - would mean the world!) then a few days back at uni and a whole week off! I can't wait.

This weekend I had my lovely friend Sarah visiting so I spent my time showing her around the city, the very stormy beach and showing her some delicious places to eat. I may or may not have ended up back in Cup again... (I did). For dinner I took her to experience her very first Wagamama's and we both ended the day absolutely stuffed! For lunch on Sunday we popped to a little cafe up the road from me (Rosie's Cafe on Rosemount Place if anyone's interested) for a cheap and cheerful lunch then had a wander round the shops before Sarah returned to St Andrews. On Sunday night my dad was up in Aberdeen for work which meant we got to go for dinner which was lovely, at the moment it's the longest period I haven't been home to Glasgow and as I reach the final stretch it's definitely starting to get to me. Only 6 more days left until my next trip home now :)

How did you spend your weekend?
SHARE:

11 Mar 2014

TUESDAY TEN: Phone Cases

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5

6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10
Much to my dismay I've broken my beloved Iconemesis case and so am on a hunt for a new one. eBay, Etsy, Iconemesis and Casetagram are my usual suspects for phone cases so I've had a hunt and found some pretty nice ones to choose from! I couldn't resist including a CTFxC phone case too which I love, but would much prefer in white to match my phone or just another colour that isn't black. In an ideal world, I would have a phone case with Hugh Laurie's face on or House related (something like this or this) but they're proving difficult to find at a decent price.

At the moment my favourite is the floral "Ain't nobody got time for that" case which I keep seeing on Instagram, but I also love the first one with the sugar skulls. Which is your favourite?
SHARE:

10 Mar 2014

FOOD: Cup Aberdeen

Cup Aberdeen cafe

Cup Aberdeen cafe

Cup Aberdeen cafe

Cup Aberdeen cafe

Cup Aberdeen cafe

I'd heard some pretty good things about Cup in Aberdeen so when my friends were visiting over the weekend I seized the opportunity for a little visit. 

Cup is located on Little Belmont Street (just off Union Street) and sells a variety of yummy breakfast & lunchtime treats alongside numerous tea options and delicious cakes. 

We popped in on Saturday afternoon when it was pretty busy, we had a short wait for a table but it was worth the wait. I had a raspberry iced tea with a tuna & cheese sandwich which were both amazing. Afterwards I treated myself to a Mars bar crispy cake and a little raspberry macaron, they were difficult to resist. In the end, we loved our food & experience so much that we ended up heading back on the Sunday for some brunch!

Cup isn't the cheapest of places but I definitely wouldn't call it expensive, for my sandwich, tea and two cakes it cost me about £13 and it was more than satisfying! I'm definitely going to be heading back for lunch or even just a hot chocolate and a cake another day. If you're after a good lunch in the city centre Cup is definitely somewhere to consider. 

Make sure you check out the Alice in Wonderland themed toilets!
SHARE:

8 Mar 2014

OOTD: It's a shot in the dark but I'll make it




Dress - Topshop
Jacket - Nevada
hand me down from my mum (totes vintage), similar on eBay
Shoes - Office
Bag - Primark
I have had this dress for well over a year, wear it all the time and yet it is still to feature in a proper outfit post! I have a feeling it popped up in my London photo diary, but I thought it deserved a post to itself. This is a very standard outfit for me, easy dress, black tights & a denim jacket. Admittedly, it's still a bit too chilly for just a denim jacket and sometimes an extra layer (or three) is required before I can brave the Aberdeen air.

This weekend I have two of my best friends up visiting from Glasgow (fitting in my room is a struggle...) and it's such a lovely way to spend my weekend. The weather's not fantastic but hey is it ever? I think today we're going to take a wander down to the beach for some lunch (or maybe just down the street depending on the weather) then maybe have a look round the shops before tea and see where the night takes us! It's my first weekend in Aberdeen in a while and I couldn't have asked for better company.

On another note, I've been featured in a post over on the Currys blog in their Ultimate Blogger Workout Playlist - you can check out my (pretty standard Charlotte) choices over there and have a listen to the whole playlist below!



How are you spending your weekend?

x
SHARE:

7 Mar 2014

REVIEW: Lush Grease Lightning Spot Treatment

Lush Grease Lightning spot treatment

Lush Grease Lightning spot treatment
Lush Grease Lighting Spot Treatment - £5.95
Now, I'm pretty lucky with my skin. I used to be quite spotty in my early teens but now a breakout is a rare occasion for me - which I am very thankful for. However recently my skins been a bit more temperamental than usual so I'm pretty glad that I picked up Grease Lightning by Lush in their Christmas sale for about £2.

Grease Lightning has plenty of your usual spot fighting ingredients such as tea tree oil, rose water, witch hazel and aloe vera. My skin doesn't always get on very well with tea tree as of late but I had absolutely no issues with this! I find this a lot gentler than other spot treatments and it doesn't dry out my skin as much, just leaves it a little tight where it has been applied. You can quite easily apply your make up over this and it doesn't have any major effect on it.

The pump dispenses a clear gel (it can be a bit difficult to control the amount of product that you get!) which I then dab on to the areas that are suffering from a break out or feel like a spot is going to appear, the cooling gel reduces all signs of inflammation and redness. I tend to apply this at night after cleansing & toning if my skin is needing a bit of TLC then I leave it to settle for a bit before applying my usual moisturiser.

This is definitely one of the more effective spot treatments I've tried recently, and it doesn't break the bank either!
SHARE:

6 Mar 2014

FASHION: Threads by The Shine Project




Bracelet - Threads by The Shine Project*
"Threads is a cause driven business that changes the future of at risk youth. They come from various backgrounds, but all have one thing in common: they want to break the cycle. By employing them, we instill values of self reliance and hard work. They are paid fair wages for the bracelets they make, and in turn are able to pay their way through school. Many of Threads employees are first generation college students. They dream of becoming nurses, broadcasters, writers and engineers.

Your purchase has directly impacted a student. Even beyond financial support, your belief in them is a symbol of hope and trust that they can achieve what for so long seemed impossible. By purchasing Threads you are wearing more than just a bracelet, you are wearing change."

Education & experience are two things that are so very important in this day and age but not everyone has access to them. Ashley from The Shine Project decided that she wanted to change that, and so Threads was born. I personally think this is an absolutely fantastic cause, and the jewellery they produce is beautiful. My bracelet is such great quality and so wearable, I love the idea of "wearing change" and it's been perched on my wrist most days. Unlike some other American based stores shipping isn't a bitch either, I definitely fancy some more pieces if my tight budget permits!

If you fancy ordering one of the lovely pieces from Threads you can use the code "colours10" for 10% off!

x
SHARE:

5 Mar 2014

RECIPE: White Chocolate Mini Egg Rocky Road

Mini Egg Rocky Road ingredients

Mini Egg Rocky Road

Mini Egg Rocky Road

Mini Egg Rocky Road

Mini Egg Rocky Road

Mini Egg Rocky Road

Mini Egg Rocky Road

Mini Egg Rocky Road

Mini Egg Rocky Road

Ingredients
400g white chocolate
100g digestives
100g Cadbury's mini eggs
150g mini marshmallows

On one of my many visits to the food & drink section of Pinterest I stumbled across this delicious sounding recipe for Rocky Road with a bit of an Easter twist. It's pretty similar to my go to Rocky Road recipe with a couple of minor changes. I'm on a bit of a Rocky Road kick at the moment and I'm trying to test lots of new combinations, I kind of fancy some sort of Creme Egg concoction!

Basically, all you have to do is melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of boiling water and then crush some biscuits in to crumbs (with some larger chunks for a bit of crunch). After the chocolate has melted stir in the biscuit crumbs, the mini marshmallows and the mini eggs. Then fill a lined baking tin (I used clingfilm) and chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours until solid. I added a bit of a chocolate drizzle on the top for some decoration because I had some leftover icing from another baking project but that's not really necessary! To serve just slice it in to pieces and enjoy :)

I personally found this recipe a bit chewier than my usual Rocky Road (probably because of the marshmallow/biscuit ratio thingmy) but it was still really nice so if you'd prefer it a bit crunchier I'd opt for more biscuits and less marshmallows!

Let me know if you make this, I'd love to see. Do you have any other recipes I could try?

x
SHARE:

4 Mar 2014

TUESDAY TEN: Recipes

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5
6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10
To make a change from my usual fashion-y Tuesday Ten I thought I'd share ten recipes that I really fancy trying at the moment! I've been in quite a foody mood lately, which is typical seeing as I have no money to buy fancy ingredients. If you want to have a look at some other treats that I've been fancying I have a whole board on Pinterest dedicated to yummy food!

As per usual I doubt I can decide on just one favourite, but the grilled chicken with lemon & basil pasta (first on top row) looks pretty simple and I already have the majority of the ingredients so it will probably be the first one I try!

Which one catches your fancy?
SHARE:
Blogger Template Created by pipdig