31 Jan 2015

LIFE: Bedroom Updates

If you asked my mum to describe my room I would think that the words "untidy" and "cluttered" would probably be somewhere in her description. I think I'd agree with her too...

Recently I'd been getting a bit fed up of my room, it was always a mess and there was stuff everywhere. As in the kind of stuff that doesn't really have a place but I might just need it one day. It's also become quite obvious to me that I have hoarding tendencies! When I was offered the chance to pick a few things from George Home to rejuvenate a room of my choice I knew it was time to give my bedroom a bit of TLC.

The first port of call was my little dressing table/drawer area which used to hold two rickety chest of drawers which were very close to falling apart. Their instability meant that I was forever losing make-up underneath them and I actually managed to find the foundation I'd been hunting for since November whilst I moved them out! To replace them I chose this chest of drawers which are now stuffed to the brim with the majority of my clothes. For some finishing touches I added a new Ikea lattice pot to my collection as well as a matching candle tray which now holds bits and pieces of my jewellery. Instead of hiding my most reached for skincare & haircare away in a box with the rest of my make up I thought they'd look quite cute in one of these nesting boxes, with the other being used to hold my make up bag underneath my full length mirror and a laundry basket to match. Previously I had a couple of photo frames that more often than not ended up on the floor thanks to my shaky furniture so I decided to upgrade to this adorable frame to show off a couple of my favourite pictures of my boyfriend & I, as well as the cinema ticket from the day he "officially" asked me out. How cute am I? It was Toy Story 3, if you were wondering ;)

My desk area is home to the vast majority of my clutter as I have quite a big windowsill to keep it all on. To match my new drawers I replaced my old, much loved desk with this desk in a lighter wood. It's quite similar to my old desk in that is has shelves on one side and drawers on the other, which I love because it gives me plenty of space to store all of my useless rubbish, and the lighter finish really helps brighten up my room. In keeping with the lighter theme I replaced another one of my old black photo frames (holding quite an old picture!) with this little white number from Ikea. I love having my desk in front of my window as I get a pretty nice view over the hills. Next on my to do list in my room is to de-clutter my windowsill, as it gets a little bit messy at times!

Finally my new favourite thing - my bed. I've been after a new bed for the longest time and had been dreaming of the Ikea Leirvik frame for well over a year. After updating the rest of my room I took the plunge and finally bought myself a double bed - best decision ever. My room is a bit of an awkward shape so choosing this bed did mean that I had to sacrifice quite a bit of floor space which made me a bit dubious at first, but I do not regret it at all. Previously I'd had the same bed for as long as I can remember, which started out as bunk beds before being transformed in to one single bed. I spend a lot of time in bed, and so does my cat, so the more space the better! Now I have a seriously cosy nest, with adorable geometric sheets, a slowly growing collection of cushions (the orange one is from George & pink suede from Ikea), princess-esque fairy lights and a bubblegum pink throw - probably my cat's favourite thing right now!  For someone who claims not to like pink I sure do have a lot of pink in my room... Regardless, my bed is currently my favourite place to spend my time and I've been very well rested as a result. Am I officially a grown up if buying a bed is one of my most exciting purchases this month?

Having my little space updated has made such a difference to my motivation, which is weird but I just love having a clean, tidy room! I have a few things left on my to do list before my room is entirely complete, but that involves cutting down on my book collection which will take a long time. New year, new room!


I was very kindly gifted the items from George, this does not in any way affect my opinions.
Read my full disclaimer here.

30 Jan 2015

FOOD: Ziggy's Restaurant, St. Andrews

ziggy's restaurant st andrews review

ziggy's restaurant st andrews review

You know how sometimes you look forward to something for so long and hype it up so much in your head that when it actually happens it's kind of disappointing? Yeah... that wasn't the case for Ziggy's. A wee while ago I was offered the chance to come in and try out their menu but because I was stupidly busy at the end of last year and the start of this one I had to put it off for a while. Yesterday I braved the snow and finally headed up to St. Andrews - a beautiful place you should definitely visit if you're in Scotland - to catch up with one of my best friends, Sarah, and eat some damn good food.

Ziggy's has been serving up delights to the people of St. Andrews since 1983 and is one of the longest surviving privately owned establishments in the town. Decorated with a variety of classic rock memorabilia, many pieces of which have been either donated or gifted by other rock enthusiasts, Ziggy's is the place to go for good food and a superbly friendly atmosphere.

ziggy's restaurant st andrews review

ziggy's restaurant st andrews review

I had decided to drive up to St. Andrews from Glasgow so the cocktails were sadly off the table for me, however my Oreo milkshake pretty much made up for that. When I make myself Oreo milkshakes at home I can be pretty generous with the ice cream so usually when I have them elsewhere I find them a bit watery and just generally lacking, however this one definitely was not. I could drink them by the gallon! I wish I had one right now.

To start I decided to have potato skins with bacon & cheese, which were seriously incredible. They were crispy but soft, with the perfect amount of filling and a serving of sour cream on the side - just the way I like them! The portion size was pretty massive, much like it was for Sarah's delicious cheesy garlic bread (and everything else) so I struggled to finish the last few bites.

ziggy's restaurant st andrews review

ziggy's restaurant st andrews review

When looking at the drool-inducing menu for Ziggy's I knew I'd have to have a burger - and boy am I glad I did! Sarah & I both went for burgers; mine with cheese & pineapple and Sarah's with cheese & bacon. They arrived with a generous helping of chips on the side, just for good measure. I eat a lot of burgers so I know what I like, and I definitely liked this. The 6oz burger was served beautifully cooked with plenty of toppings on a lovely soft roll. After our massive starters we both struggled to finish these, but I was determined to eat as much as possible. I'm already planning a return trip to Ziggy's and next time I will definitely finish it. I'm going to eat loads in the meantime to practice...

ziggy's restaurant st andrews review

ziggy's restaurant st andrews review

After a bit of a breather we took one for the team and ordered desserts too - it was all for you guys, honestly. The "Chocolate Thunder" had caught my eye from the very first time I saw the menu so I knew in an instant that it was the one for me. Think gooey chocolate brownies piled high, topped with hot chocolate fudge sauce, whipped cream and more brownie chunks... with chocolate ice cream on the side. How could I not?! Sarah chose the cheesecake of the day which was Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and looked so good. Our desserts were definitely winners!

On the whole our experience at Ziggy's was fantastic, with beautiful food served by super friendly staff. The portions were absolutely huge and we left feeling veeeeeery full - exactly how I like to leave a restaurant! I'll definitely be returning next time I'm in St. Andrews, I need to finish one of the burgers.

You can find Ziggy's at 6 Murray Place in St. Andrews. To check out their menu & more head to the website here.

This meal was complimentary.

29 Jan 2015

BOOKS: What I Read in January

In a similar fashion to last year I've set myself a Goodreads challenge to try and encourage myself to read more books. I only just managed my challenge last year so I decided to go for the same again, 35 books, but try to read them at a more regular pace. My rough aim for the year is to read a book a week but sometimes I read three books one week and none the next... I'm not the most consistent reader! Anyway, so far this month I've managed to read 5 books so I'm currently ahead of schedule for my challenge.

Mr Mercedes by Stephen King
Mr Mercedes follows a retired homicide detective who is haunted by an unsolved case in which the perpetrator has suddenly resurfaced and is taunting him through a mysterious website. I first attempted to read Mr Mercedes last year when it first came out, but struggled to get in to it as I found it slightly slow at first. As the story developed I quickly became hooked and ended up staying up quite late to finish it. In true Stephen King style this book is both intelligent and haunting, with incredibly well developed characters and a plot that leaves you desperate for more. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that this is actually the first book in a trilogy following the detective so I can't wait for more!

We Need To Talk About Kevin Bridges by Kevin Bridges
My boyfriend actually got this book for Christmas and I unashamedly borrowed it before he even had the chance to read it... oops! Anyway, I love Kevin Bridges as a comedian and have seen him a couple of times now so was expecting great things from his book. He's quite a young guy, so doesn't really have as many experiences to draw upon for his autobiography as some other people would. If I'm being honest I struggled with a large portion of this book because it talked a lot about football. Clearly it's a big part of Kevin's life but I found myself skimming over big chunks because I just couldn't be bothered! Despite this I still really enjoyed it and loved hearing about his rise to fame. After realising how hard he's worked to get to the level he currently operates at I truly think he deserves his place as a household name in Scottish comedy. Kevin writes just how he talks and has some absolutely cracking lines in his autobiography, worth a wee read as far as autobiographies go!

Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix
I first decided I needed Horrorstor in my life after reading about it on Hayley's blog (story of my life) and I'm so glad I bought it. Originally I was going to go for the Kindle version but then realised that I'd be missing out on the amazing catalogue-esque design of the paperback so ordered that instead! Horrorstor is about a furniture/lifestyle store not all that dissimilar to Ikea where the employees have noticed things are starting to move and break in the night. Intrigued, a few colleagues decide to undertake a night shift in an attempt to find out what's really going on behind closed doors. This book was so creepy - I absolutely loved it. It's not particularly long and gets in to the story quite quickly which I like in a book, I just couldn't put it down! It's definitely worth a read and deserves all the praise it's been receiving lately. I visited Ikea at the weekend and was thoroughly disturbed by the thought of things hiding behind seemingly closed doors...

Get Rich Blogging by Zoe Griffin
Whilst "getting rich" isn't my aim from my blog, I do love a bit of blogging advice. I spend a lot of time finding articles (and pinning them on my Blogging Tips Pinterest board) to help me expand my knowledge and develop my skills when it comes to blogging, so this book held a fair bit of appeal for me. Once again, it was influenced by Hayley. She does bad things to my "to read" list! Whilst it was an enjoyable read and I did learn a couple of things, as well as adding some things to my to do list, I wasn't totally enthralled by it and found some of the advice a bit dated or overly specific to larger, more professional blogs. As well as this, at times it was kind of over the top. For example, am I really going to pay a PR company to write a press release about my blog and then pay for the details of journalists to send it to? Hmm... not quite up my street. It's worth a read if you are wondering about the best way to monetise your blog and there are a few good guides to utilising social media.

Picture Perfect Social Media by Jennifer Young
This is a bit of a cheat as I'm actually still reading this, but technically it's still January and who knows - I'll probably finish it before Sunday! This has some really great photography tips for all walks of life and I'm looking forward to implementing some of them in the future. So far I'm finding it pretty useful and I'd think a lot of people would find it an interesting read for them!

If you want to keep up with what books I'm currently reading or wanting to read then you can find me on Goodreads here.

28 Jan 2015

LIFE: Learning To Drive

tips for learning to drive uk

Last week marked a year since I (finally) passed my driving test and a few weeks ago my mum & I got a gorgeous new car, so I figured that it was perfectly timed to talk about my experiences with learning to drive and being a young driver.

Despite being able to start driving lessons aged 17 I didn't start my lessons until about 6 or 7 months after my 17th birthday. My driving instructor was a family friend which I think made a big difference for me, as I was comfortable in the car and always had fun on my lessons. I had fewer lessons than "average" and I'd say I was reasonably quick to pick up the basics, but my main issue was getting myself in to a right state of panic when I was sitting my test... so I had to sit it three times. Frustratingly, each time I failed a test it was only by a minor margin and because my nerves had led me to make silly little mistakes like stalling at a junction causing me to burst in to tears and totally throw myself off for the rest of the test. My driving instructor called it "shaky left leg syndrome" because I rarely stalled on my lessons, however as soon as the word "test" came around I was a total wreck. My only driving experience came from my lessons as it was too expensive to insure me provisionally on my parents' cars so I didn't have as much time to practise as I would have liked. I cried so much when I finally passed my test (and on the two I failed too!) as it was such a relief for me!

Since passing my test I've been lucky enough to be insured on my mum's car, which I'm really grateful for because otherwise I probably wouldn't be driving. Being insured on a car is an absolute bomb for a young driver like me but as I build up experience driving the quoted premiums should hopefully start to come down! I keep telling myself that anyway... Nowadays so many companies are starting to be a bit more useful for younger drivers like me, with some such as More Than offering black box services that alter your cost based on how you drive. I'm far from a boy racer - I get a bit nervous just driving over bridges - so a system like this is ideal for people like me.

Although I learned to drive with a manual transmission my mum prefers to drive an automatic, so the bulk of my driving since first learning has been done in an automatic car. I didn't think I'd like it at first but now I'm used to it I find it so much easier! When I first started driving her car she had a Ford Fusion which then became a Ford "Fuson" after I accidentally crashed it in to a bollard in a car park. Yeah. To this day I maintain that it was the bollard's fault for being slightly too low to see out my rear window. Luckily this is the only time I've really damaged a car! Touch wood it's the only time. I cried for about a week straight afterwards..

This year we traded in the "Fuson" and upgraded to a Fiat 500L. The Fiat 500 in mint is basically my dream car, but my mum & dad weren't so keen on it and decided to go for the larger size instead. It's such a great car to drive and I love all the fancy features that it has, it makes me stupidly happy to have a button on my steering wheel to change the song that's playing. It also has a mode that apparently makes parking manoeuvres easier which is ideal for someone like me who has only parallel parked once since my test. I hate parallel parking. Does anyone even like parallel parking?! Plus I now have a working cigarette lighter so I can finally use a sat-nav or charge my phone in the car. Result!

I know a fair few people have mentioned passing their driving test in their aims for the new year, so I thought this post might come in useful for anyone who's been considering starting down the route of lessons. If that's you, then I have a few little tips that might come in handy:

  • Sit your theory test as soon as possible, it helps to provide a knowledge base of how driving works and what laws you need to obey. There are some great apps available to help you study for the test too!
  • If you have someone who can provisionally insure you on their car (and is willing to help you practise!) then make the most of it - the more experience you have the more comfortable you'll be.
  • Get to know the test area. I didn't know the area where my driving test would take place awfully well at first which made me uneasy at times, but as I practised more and more and roughly knew where certain routes would take me I felt a lot more confident behind the wheel.
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions. If you didn't hear something or are unsure of how to carry out a certain manoeuvre then ask for help! Having it explained one more time might make the world of difference to you.
  • Make sure you have an instructor you are comfortable with. It makes a real difference when you feel at ease with your instructor. Mine was always trying to make me laugh if I was stressing out which was a life saver for me.
  • Be sure to eat something! Sugar helps, trust me ;)
What was your experience learning to drive like? Can you parallel park like a boss or do you hate it like me?


This is a sponsored post however that does not affect my views or opinions in any way. 
See my full disclaimer here.

27 Jan 2015


Sons of Anarchy - American Horror Story - Community
Suits - Dexter - Nurse Jackie - A Bit of Fry & Laurie
Orphan Black - Lost - Scandal
I spend a fair bit of time watching TV, but I often find myself re-indulging in programmes that I already know and love... like House and Gossip Girl. The list of TV shows that I want to watch is constantly growing and I think it's about time that I started making my way through the list. Quite a few of these series are available on Netflix so I don't really have an excuse...

I think that the DVD boxset of A Bit of Fry & Laurie might be my payday treat next month, but as I'm going to London at the end of the month I should really be saving every penny for that! However seeing as I bought myself a bed at the weekend and I think it's only right that I find a fabulous new series to watch in order to justify spending all of my time making a nest of blankets and not moving all day!

What TV shows have caught your eye recently? Any recommendations for a must watch series? If it stars Hugh Laurie then that's a massive bonus, I can't wait for his next show with Tom Hiddleston to come out!


26 Jan 2015

FAVOURITES: January 2015

Well the first month of 2015 is nearly over, how crazy is that?! I can't believe how fast it's going, I swear each year just gets faster and faster. Is this what growing up is like? Anyway... there are a few things that have really stood out for me this month and I thought were worth a little mention.

Technically I listened to the bulk of Serial in December, but I finished it the first weekend of January so it's being included. Before finding Serial I'd never been a big listener of podcasts but this totally converted me. There's something about Sarah Koenig's voice that I find really enthralling and the story itself kept me hooked. Serial consists of 12 episodes following the story of a murder case that isn't entirely as it seems. So addicting.

My only other non-beauty favourite is Horrorstor, a book by Grady Hendrix. I'll go in to a bit more detail about this in my reading round up for the month but let's just say it was nothing short of amazing. It's quite short and really gripping so made for a quick read - plus the design is so awesome. To sum it up, Horrorstor is about a furniture store (not too dissimilar to Ikea) where things start to move during the night. Scary stuff! I'll never look at Ikea the same way.

Moving on to beauty, I have two skincare and two make-up items that I've been loving so far this month. I've raved about both bits of skincare before, with my love for the Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix exfoliating facial pads being made pretty clear in my review last week. These have seriously turned my skin around and I can't get enough of them! Aside from that I've just finished my bottle of The Body Shop's Vitamin E moisture serum which I reviewed back in November. I really enjoyed it right from the start, but for me it was definitely one of the products where I didn't realise just how much it was doing for me until I ran out. It's safe to say that I am definitely purchasing another bottle!

Finally the make-up! My Naked Basics palette has been such a handy addition to my make-up bag recently, due to the variety it provides. I've been travelling between home & university a lot this month so having one compact palette that's still versatile despite its size has been ideal. I've been using this pretty much every day recently and my use is starting to show! Soap & Glory's cosmetics range are kinda taking over my collection one by one and you can expect to see a review of the Sexy Mother Pucker gloss stick in 'Plumful' appearing here very soon. It's effortless to use and a gorgeous shade!

Blogwise, I can't get enough of Becky Bedbug this month. She's clearly been putting a hell of a lot of effort in to the content she produces and I think she deserves recognition for her hard work! There hasn't been a post that I haven't loved recently, she's honest, witty and just all-round awesome.

What have you been loving this week?


23 Jan 2015

BEAUTY: joeSCRUB Coffee Scrub

joeSCRUB's Coffee Scrub* - available here

I'm sure I've probably mentioned my love for a good scrub before, but if not then let's make it pretty clear. I LOVE SCRUBS. For as long as I can remember I've had keratosis pilaris all over my arms and legs but nothing seems to be able to shift it. It's not painful, it's just something I'm quite self conscious of because it can get quite red and obvious at times. It's trivial but I find myself wishing I didn't have it a fair amount of the time!

Step in joeSCRUB & their fantastic coffee based scrub. This scrub is made from coffee grinds, cacoa, brown sugar & coconut oil (amongst other equally as fabulous ingredients) and provides an experience that is both exfoliating and moisturising at the same time. It's all natural and totally vegan and also works.

I can't recall any other scrub I've used that is anything like this, as I usually opt for an oilier scrub and use it on dry skin for the highest impact. joeSCRUB's scrub is a dry scrub (scrub is starting to look strange to me now) and looks kind of like soil... but obviously it's not full of worms and stuff. Unsurprisingly this smells very strongly of coffee and despite not being a big coffee drinker I keep sniffing the bag - it's perfect for your morning shower! 

You can use this scrub on both body & face but I just stick to my body as my face can be really sensitive at times. I apply this to damp skin, being sure to fully massage it in, and leave it for ten minutes to let the ingredients work their magic. After using my skin feels so lovely and soft (probably thanks to the Vitamin E!) and noticeably less dry. Whilst my keratosis pilaris doesn't disappear it certainly does improve and fingers crossed continued use will really help to clear it up for me. I've yet to find a scrub that can make such a difference to my skin, so maybe dry scrubs are the way to go for me in future!

P.S. Until January 31st you can get free shipping when buying online (here) using the code "FREESHIPPING" at the checkout. I'm definitely going to be stocking up!

22 Jan 2015

FOOD: Three Sisters Bake, Killearn

Yup, another post about food. I'm not even slightly sorry. I love going out to eat and trying new places so it makes sense that it would be something I'd share a lot! This year I want to try and post a lot more foodie pieces be it restaurant reviews or recipes and so far I'm not doing all that bad.

It's my mums birthday on Saturday and I thought it would be a nice idea to take her & my brother for lunch, last year I took her for afternoon tea which she loved! I spotted a deal for Three Sisters Bake on Itison and after hearing so much about their catering & cafes I figured it would be an ideal choice for lunch. Three Sisters Bake have a cafe in Quarriers Village and one in Killearn, with the latter being about a half hour's drive from where I stay. The drive to Killearn is really lovely, especially in the snow, and the views from the cafe itself were fantastic too. Much like the food...

The Itison deal entitled us to a two course meal and at first I was a bit worried as to a lack of choice or small portions. I was so wrong. For our starters my brother & I both opted for leek, potato & vanilla soup and were presented with an absolutely massive bowl which I got nowhere near finishing. Vanilla might seem like a bit of a strange addition to soup but it was barely noticeable with the soup tasting like a slightly sweeter version of the classic leek & potato that I love. My mum went for smoked mackerel pate which she demolished. Mackerel isn't really my thing but from what I tasted it seemed quite fresh and not all that bad for someone who's favoured fish is exclusively tuna.

I'm practically drooling again just looking at our mains - but if you think they look good then wait for the desserts! My choice was a toasted bagel with chorizo, cream cheese, rocket & roast tomato which was delicious. My mum decided against a sandwich and opted for the homemade tartlet of the day which - if I remember correctly - was leek, cheddar & mustard. I was pretty tempted by this too! Finally my brother selected a bacon & brie toastie with tomato & apple chutney. This was totally devoured too, so I'd say it was a very successful choice. Now for the main event...

The cakes weren't included in the Itison deal, but when visiting a place founded by people renowned for their baking how could we resist?! My brother had a sickly sweet empire biscuit that was just too big for one sitting and we ended up bringing home. I may or may not have finished it off for him whilst writing this post... So good. The apple cake with maple icing caught my mum's eye and she's been raving about it since! Then, my meringue. I ordered this expecting just a little meringue with a splash of sauce and a splattering of cream but then a towering mountain of sugar arrived. Hey - I did not complain! It was so, so, so beautiful, albeit filling. By this point my belt was well and truly off and I spent the rest of the night absolutely stuffed.

So all in all I'd say that Three Sisters Bake was a very successful choice. The setting was perfect, with incredibly friendly staff and beautiful views across the snowy countryside. I'm already desperate to return for afternoon tea and after checking out their breakfast menu I have my heart set on the toasted banana & raspberry bread, mmmm. The Three Sisters Bake cook book may possibly have also ended up in my basket on Amazon...

If you're ever looking for somewhere to head for lunch I would wholeheartedly recommend giving Three Sisters Bake a visit. It's the perfect location for a lazy weekend lunch and I hear the brownies are to die for too. For more information you can head over to their website here.


21 Jan 2015

RECIPE: Key Lime Cupcakes

I love lemons, but limes are a different story. Not that I don't like them - I just never eat them! When I was in Asda last week I spotted a mix for Key Lime cupcakes and thought they sounded pretty interesting so decided to give them a bash.


For the sponge:
225g self raising flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
75g unsalted butter
150g caster sugar
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons of "Key Lime" juice
1 teaspoon lime zest
150ml milk

For the icing:
75g unsalted butter (softened)
225g cream cheese
1 tablespoon of "Key Lime" juice
1 teaspoon lime zest
350g icing sugar

These are pretty simple to make, I just threw all of the sponge ingredients in to a large bowl and mixed thoroughly until the mixture was quite light and fluffy. I then spooned the mixture in to cupcake liners and popped them in to the oven at 170 degrees celsius for approximately 15 minutes before removing to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Whilst they cooled I creamed together the butter and cream cheese before adding the lime juice & zest then finally mixed in the icing sugar until combined.

I decided to make mines layered (the ones from Asda were like mini sponges!) so I cut each cupcake in half and added a layer of icing in the middle. This is totally optional, obviously, I just thought it was quite cute and a bit of a different idea. I then - quite haphazardly - coated the top with another blob of icing and finished with some sparkly green edible glitter, again from Asda.

The end result was a lovely light sponge with a gorgeous hint of citrus. Lime is such an unusual flavour and it's one I really enjoy - I just don't have it enough! I can imagine a lime shortbread would be delicious too so that's definitely one for the "to bake" list.


Original recipe here, I adapted the ingredients and method a tad based on my baking experiences!

20 Jan 2015

TUESDAY TEN: Nars Cosmetics

1 - 2 - 3 - 4
5 - 6 - 7 - 8
9 - 10
Nars is a brand that's been on my radar for a while but I am yet to purchase anything from them. Recently I've kind of had my eye on their foundations and I'm pretty close to taking the plunge after reading hundreds of reviews. Whilst looking in to their foundations I found a few other pieces that have seriously caught my eye, such as their lip pencils for a start!

I've not been near a Nars counter in a long time which is probably for the best however I am planning to go and get colour matched for their foundations sometime soon... god knows what I'll come away with! I can't quite decide if I want Sheer Glow or Sheer Matte but I'm leaning towards Sheer Glow. If anyone has any experiences with both foundations I'd love to hear your thoughts!


19 Jan 2015

BEAUTY: Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Exfoliating Facial Pads First Impressions

Glycolic Fix Exfoliating Facial Pads by Nip + Fab
(available from Boots, Superdrug & ASOS

The Glycolic Fix Exfoliating Facial pads by Nip + Fab have been on my wish list for months now, and when I noticed that they were 1/3rd off in Boots (until the end of February!) I decided it was time I bit the bullet and gave them a go. I've been using these for a little over a week now and normally I wouldn't be so quick to post about skincare however these have had such an incredible impact I decided to share my initial impressions.

These pads claimed to solve pretty much every issue I had with my skin - dryness, texture and dullness. Obviously I was a bit sceptical as to how one little cotton pad used at morning and night could really fix my skincare woes but damn have they shown me! Each tub contains 60 pre-soaked cotton pads with a mixture of glycolic acid for resurfacing, witch hazel to tone, blue daisy to brighten and the so called miracle worker hyaluronic acid to add moisture. There is a slightly chemical smell to these however it's nothing too harsh and it disappears a few minutes after use.

After just a week of using these my skin feels amazing. I really didn't believe that these would be able to live up to all of their claims however for me they definitely do. Even after the first couple of uses there was a noticeable difference in the texture of my skin and it's ability to retain moisture! As the days go on my skin is looking brighter, feeling smoother and I have way less pesky dry patches. Over Christmas my poor nose was dry as hell and now - as strange as it sounds - I can't stop stroking it to feel how soft it is! 

The only downside for is the price... I'm not entirely sure how I feel about spending £13 on a tub of cotton pads, no matter how amazing they are. It's more my own warped perception as these are obviously more than just cotton pads but it still doesn't sit entirely right for me. I'm thinking about cutting down to using one pad a day instead of two so that I can stretch a tub a little further and only repurchasing when they're on offer (or using my advantage cards points!). Luckily these do seem to be on offer a fair bit so they should remain a staple part of my skincare routine for now.

If you've ever tried these, do you feel the same way? I'm still kind of blown away by how much of a difference they've made for me!

15 Jan 2015

READING: Mollie Makes - Blogging

Okay. First things first, I have to apologise. I'm so annoyed at myself for what I'm about to do and that is ramble about how much I've loved something that is stupidly difficult to get hold of. I'm sorry, but I couldn't not share this.

A while ago everyone was talking about the special issue of Mollie Makes magazine dedicated to blogging and I was a little bit late to the game, as per usual, meaning that by the time I started my hunt it was sold out everywhere. Fast forward a few months later and I entered a Twitter giveaway on a whim and WON a copy - result! Massive thank you to Georgie for sending me the new addition to my blogging arsenal.

Mollie Makes: Blogging is a handy 180 page guide to the world of blogging, covering everything from what platform to use to monetisation and ways to make your blog stand out. With features from blogging guru's Elsie & Emma from A Beautiful Mess as well as the founders of Blogtacular blogging conference there's so many expert tips to adopt and sneak peeks in to their lives as professional bloggers.

I don't want to give too much away in case you do manage to get your hands on a copy, but one of the stand out features for me were the social media guides which had some fantastic advice for building your networks alongside your blog. I also really enjoyed the in-depth guides to the blogging platforms available and am finally starting to consider a move to Wordpress... Consider being the operating word here.

This magazine is one of many new additions to my blogging related reading material as I've ordered a few books to read, which I'll be reviewing here too. With an RRP of £9.99 it's a pricey magazine, but I would say its too useful to pass up. There's an absolute wealth of information in the gorgeous glossy pages and I spend hours going over and over the features making lists of things to do for my blog. As I mentioned earlier it's not too easy to get hold of, however keep an eye on places like eBay and you might just strike it lucky.

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14 Jan 2015

BEAUTY: Soap & Glory Archery 2 in 1 Brow Pencil and Brush

Archey 2 in 1 Brow Pencil in Hot Chocolate - £8 by Soap & Glory

Up until a few months ago I'd never tried anything from Soap & Glory's cosmetics range, but now they are quickly taking over my make up collection. After falling in love with their Supercat liner originally, I then went on to try their Thick & Fast mascara and Sexy Mother Pucker lip lacquer as I received them in the massive gift set at Christmas - reviews of those coming soon - after that I headed to their stand in Boots determined to find something else to try and came away with the much raved about Archery brow pencil (and some other things...).

Archery is a double ended pencil with a spoolie at one end and the brow pencil at the other, making it ideal to pop in your make up bag and use on the go. At first I was surprised by how dark the pencil appeared in the tube however it applies much lighter. The pencil itself is very fine which makes it easy to mimic the natural eyebrow hairs, meaning that you can have a more natural look or build it up for a bolder brow. I find the pencil quite waxy, meaning that it does stay put, however needs a little extra pressure in order to make a difference.

In the above photo - if you excuse my tired face - I've used it on my right eyebrow and I really love how it's given me a slightly more defined brow whilst still looking natural. Having previously opted for powder more often than pencil when doing my eyebrows I'm quite impressed with this, it's so easy to use and makes filling my brows a whiz!

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