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Leather and Glitter

Badass, with a bit of bling!

Happy 2019!

What a year 2018 has been! Looking back, I have to admit it was certainly a better year than quite a few in my adult life. While 2018 was not without loss, I feel like I gained so much from the year that the good outweighed the bad.

In January, since waiting for six previous months, we got an offer on our house, which we accepted. We started dolling out our wedding invitations, and used this as an excuse to build some bridges, and encourage connections with family and friends. It felt so good to start the year with a clean slate, so to speak.

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February through to April were spent wedding planning and getting all the necessaries sorted for the move. We had a lot of fun choosing our wedding playlist, and not so much fun with the packing.

Not forgetting the two rounds of snow we had in March which broke up the craziness for a while. It was so much fun to take the dog out, take some photos and play around like kids.

 

At the end of April we moved house, and had a bloody brilliant housewarming party. It was really where our year truly began. Finally we were in a place we could call home.

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The fun didn’t stop there. My hen party was a week after we moved; which meant my friends and family got to fill the house and I tuned it into a pink palace for the weekend. I will never forget the hen party, which I did on a budget so my hens didn’t have to spend much. The first thing was a day trip to a wildlife and dinosaur park. I think the girls were a little dubious at first but they seemed to absorb my enthusiasm and the day was incredible. The girls even surprised me with a meet and greet with a sea-lion! The evening was a girly night in with DIY pizza, party games, plenty of chocolate and some cheesy pop songs. We did the cha-cha slide in the new dining room at midnight. The Sunday was a chilled out morning, with pancakes for breakfast in the garden (the weather was beautiful basically from the moment we moved in); then afternoon tea at a local hotel, where we all dressed up like it was ladies day at Ascot.

Of course the next big event in May was a wedding (and not Meghan and Harry’s)! I’ve written about it a lot but since I’d been waiting for it to happen for 9 years, it was an event that made my year. The fact that it went without a hitch (aside from getting hitched) was fantastic.

Unfortunately, my wedding was the last day that I saw my granddad. In early June, less than two weeks after my wedding, he passed away. Despite this, we still managed to make the most of the glorious weather, with regular BBQs and al fresco dining. Our new garden was something we were really starting to enjoy, with a rocking bench, some fun signage and a paddling pool.

July was much the same, and as the grass turned brown, my skin went a little red.

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In late July, just before our honeymoon, I started to feel weird. Exhaustion crept up on me for no reason and I had a craving for olives one Friday night that drove me slightly insane. Took a pregnancy test the next day and boom! Baby on the way! The honeymoon wasn’t quite what we expected, what with me not being able to eat certain foods, or drink alcohol. And I was starting to get nauseous. Still, we went to Italy and I ate real Italian food – a bucket list item.

The rest of the year was baby, baby, baby. It’s been quite a ride through this thing they call pregnancy so far, but it was news I was so happy about; despite the timing and the fact she was not at all planned!

Christmas this year was awesome; despite me missing baileys, brie and paté (no, not all at the same time). I was waited on hand and foot, and a plate full of food was never far away. I wasnt judged for eating all the mince pies or napping whenever I felt like it. There’s something to be said for being pregnant at Christmas time.

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So, for 2019, I’m a little nervous, as I’ll be a mama before long! The first quarter of the year (the third trimester) will be as much about me as possible before my baby girl arrives in March. I’m booked in for a mani/pedi at my local salon; and plan on sleeping in as much as possible when my maternity leave starts.

So, what does the future of my blog hold? Well, you can expect more posts between my maternity leave starting and baby’s arrival; and then, who knows? Maybe more content when I’m awake at 3 in the morning because baby is hungry. Maybe less, because I’ll have no time to sit and type. One thing is for sure though; when I do have the time, I’ll be writing about being a new mum as much as I can, because I want to share my experiences with you.

So anyway, that’s the end of a personal post; get ready for some fun posts to come in the next few weeks!

Wishing all of my readers a healthy, happy 2019!

What was your 2018 like? Did you achieve goals? Reach targets? Have fun? What are your plans for the new year? Any resolutions?

Drop me a comment below.

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5 Things – The Christmas Edition

First of all, let me apologise to any of you reading this that have seen my Instagram and were expecting a makeup related post. December has become increasingly exhausting for me as I approach the third trimester – who knew growing a human was so tiring? I naively thought the tiredness didn’t start until after the baby was born! Anyway, I digress. I felt like a festive post was necessary, and I wanted to write about the festive makeup looks I’ve been creating of late. They’ve been really fun, and it’s something I can do to relax; but having to write about them afterwards was mentally draining and I simply couldn’t be arsed to do so. Forgive me? Good. Let’s continue with five things I love the most about Christmas. (P.S. Number 5 will include some of my makeup looks, because I couldn’t just leave them out completely.)

1. Christmas Food

I mean, I’m living for food right now. And so is my growing girl – she goes nuts about half an hour after I’ve eaten, and I can see her movements. So exciting – I had to throw that in. But Christmas is particularly special because the flavours that explode from everything at this time of year are so much more delicious. There are the festive coffees (decaf for me, of course) like gingerbread and cinnamon. Christmas menus at all our favourite cafes and restaurants – usually involving some kind of twist on turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce, which I am totally here for! Then if you walk into the supermarket, there’s all the festive favourites – mince pies, I see you. Unusual crisp flavours, and more often than not, a whole aisle of festive party food that you just don’t get any other time of the year. Not to mention that most years, I love to cook some amazing festive recipes. Last year I made the most awesome mint chocolate cake which I decorated with mint humbugs and peppermint candy canes. This year I made some chocolate orange cupcakes, which were so amazing; and we’ve just now eaten our fourth roast turkey dinner this month (I’m having a bit of a gravy craving phase at the moment, so any excuse to get my gravy on is fine by me). The one thing I’m a little sad about is the cheeses and the cured meats (Smoked salmon and brie, I miss you!) Along with my usual baileys hot chocolate that I have every year; these are things I’m not really allowed, but next year I’ll be indulging in these like there’s no tomorrow!

2. Christmas Music

Let me get one thing straight here, I F*cking LOVE Christmas music. There’s something about having to wait a whole year before you can hear a song; so I, unfortunately, am one of those people who drives everyone else nuts by having a Christmas playlist on repeat throughout December. Christmas music is usually so damn cheery – even the depressing stuff has little jingly bells in it so it’s hard not to smile when you hear it. I also love carols. I used to wait all year to go to my local carol concert in the village hall just so I could sing descant in “O Come All Ye Faithful” when I was younger. I still sing; just not in the carol concerts like I used to. This year, my top 5 Christmas songs have been:

  1. Lady Gaga – White Christmas
  2. Shake Up Christmas – Train
  3. What’s This? – Nightmare before Christmas Soundtrack
  4. Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End) – The Darkness
  5. Thank God it’s Christmas – Queen

3. Downtime & Family Time

It’s the one time of year when I have the time to do all the things I enjoy – crafting, writing, sleeping, eating, spending time with loved ones. Having time off work doesn’t happen for everyone, I know – I’ve done my fair share of festive work too; so I feel blessed that I have time to indulge over Christmas. I usually make a list of projects I want to start or finish over Christmas time; along with all the friends and family I want to see. I sometimes don’t get around to doing everything on my list, or seeing everyone I planned to; but I get a lot more done and spend a lot more time with my people than I would if I was working. Last year, all of my downtime was spent sewing and crafting for the wedding. I had so many needle punctures in the New Year after a Christmas spent finishing my dress.

4. Christmas Decorations and Lights

If there’s one thing that turns me into an excited child at Christmas time, it’s the lights. There’s something about them that instils excitement and wonder. I love going out in the car at night time over Christmas time. You never know what you’ll see – some people do some really crazy stuff to their houses and it makes me squeal with glee when I see a house lit up like Blackpool illuminations; giant inflatable light up Santa included. Unfortunately, as of yet, I haven’t been able to do this to our house. The last place we lived was a bit awkward to put lights up. And our first Christmas in the new place sees me unable (and also too lazy) to climb ladders to put up outdoor lights. I’ve put some in the window; and that will have to do until next year; when the neighbours will probably have quite the surprise come the 1st December – at least, it would be nice to have some pretty lights up. I also love decorating the house; but this year, as we are in a bigger house, I found the decorations were a bit sparse as I’d d tried to spread them across more space. But I will be getting some more decorations in the January sales (who actually pays full price for decorations anyway?) so that next year will not only see more lights, but more decorations too; especially as I want my baby girl to have some beautiful things to look at, so she too delights at all things sparkly and shiny.

5. Christmas Makeup

As promised. I mentioned earlier that I loved having downtime. This is one of the reasons why. I get to have a real play with makeup. Halloween is a time for experimenting with special effects and unusual colours; but as there’s no time off for it, I don’t get to play around as much as I do at Christmas. At Christmas, I will look like a glitter ball most of the time; usually with a bright, festive colour palette to boot. Part of my Christmas morning routine is doing my makeup – not that anyone but family sees it, it’s just nice to get my glam on. So, here’s four of my Christmas “looks” that I created for a Blog post that is sadly not going to happen now. If you do want to know how I did anything; or what products I used; don’t be afraid to drop me a line or tweet me.

 

So that’s it from me this year. I’ll be chilling out and eating my baby’s body weight in chocolate (and probably gravy too) for the next few days until the new year. To all my lovely readers, I just want to say Merry Christmas. Hope you all have an amazing time!

What are your favourite Christmas traditions and indulgences? Do you agree with my list? Comment below!

Every Sulphate-Free Shampoo I’ve Used, Ranked from Worst to Best

Hello lovely readers! How is your December going so far? If you’ve seen my instagram, you’ll know I got my decorations up at the weekend and despite it being a tiring job with this growing bump, I’m rather proud of my decorating skills – if I do say so myself. I have a few Christmas themed blog posts lined up; but in the meantime, I thought I’d share with you my favourite (and not so favourite) sulphate-free shampoos. As someone who colours their hair; I have read a lot about the benefit of going sulphate-free. Sulphate-free shampoos are less drying and a lot less damaging over time; but they also have the added benefit of being less harsh and therefore more preventative of fading on colour-treated hair. Which is great for me, because when my brunette colour fades; it leaves behind a coppery undertone that washes out my skin tone. Before anyone asks, my natural colour is so close to the colour I usually dye it; but as it grows out it does the same thing – goes copper. There’s nothing wrong with copper hair if you can pull it off; but my more cool-toned skin and dark eyes lend themselves to a nice dark brunette. Anyway; I’ve been experimenting with sulphate free shampoos for about a year and a half now; and I have finally found what I believe to be “the one”. Keep reading to find out how my testing has gone over the months and which one I rank most highly.

L’Oréal Elvive Colour Protect Low Shampoo – £6.99

L'Oreal Elvive Colour Protect Low Shampoo 400ml

When this came out, I was thrilled, because it was the first drugstore shampoo that contained no SLS, which meant it slowed down the coppery effect that washing had on my hair and prevented fading of the dye. I had been looking for an SLS free shampoo available in the shops (So I didn’t have to buy online) for ages. Unfortunately, despite it’s ease of access and good price, it wasn’t for me. It protects coloured hair, yes, but it has a TON of silicone in it. It felt more like a co-wash – and for someone with greasy hair, co-washing is not something I make a habit of. Due to the heavy silicone content, the more you use it, the thicker that layer of product film gets on your hair, making it lank and greasy looking. Eventually a regular shampoo is needed to wash off the residue. Not good. On a side note, if you don’t struggle with greasy hair and your strands are lightweight, this stuff is great, because it will tame your flyaways and protect your colour. I know someone with fine, blonde hair who swears by it as it stops her hair from going really brassy.

Score: 2/10

Roots Double Effect Shampoo for Coloured Hair – £9.99

Again I was thrilled when I heard about this release as it is available in Superdrug stores. Unfortunately, though, it too contained silicone. It was a very small amount, but the formula wasn’t all that nice either. It was kind of thick and jelly-like, I couldn’t get it out of the bottle particularly easily and it made showers a bit of a faff if I’m honest. As far as price goes, it was a lot for the quality of the product; and I wasn’t all that thrilled.

Score: 3/10

eSalon Classic Shampoo – £13.00

Classic Shampoo

This was a lovely formula which felt just like a regular shampoo; but without the sulphates. The ingredients are derived from sulphates to give the foaming effect everyone knows and loves; but the chemical compounds are much less dying / damaging / fading to hair. But aside from feeling nice and clean, and preventing colour fade, this really didn’t do all that much for me; and I certainly wouldn’t pay £13 for it again! It was a bit “meh” if I’m being honest. And also, points deducted for containing silicone, again!

Score: 4 / 10

Roots Double Effect Sensitive Shampoo – £9.99

Tying in score with the eSalon Classic, is this. It contained no silicone – a first for this list so far. The formula was better than the colour protect version; but the results, again, were a bit “meh”. I also didn’t like the really strong smell of tea tree. I like tea tree, but when you want to incorporate aromatherapy into your shower routine as I often do, it’s hard to smell certain scents when the aroma of tea tree is fogging out everything else up. Maybe I’m too fussy; I don’t know.

Score: 4/10

eSalon Repair Shampoo – £13.00

Repair Shampoo

I have to say, I really liked this one. I actually thought it was “The One” until I read the ingredients only to discover yet more silicone! How do I escape this madness?! The formula was a bit less runny than the last 2, which made application easier. It lathered up nicely and I felt like it was actually helping my hair. But I learned of that nasty ingredient, and it made me realise maybe it was just the silicone building up on my strands.

Score: 6 / 10

Aveda Shampure Shampoo – £14.50

This is a beautiful shampoo. It nourished. It strengthened. It didn’t fade my colour. It smelled awesome; and is made with lots of natural goodness. It did, however, lose points for containing silicone AND a sulphate which was not SLS but still a sulphate all the same. I naively thought that because Aveda market themselves as a natural company who use the power of plants in their ranges; that they would contain no harsh chemicals. Alas, I was wrong. But it was a great shampoo all the same. The only downside is the price – the most expensive on this list so far.

Score: 7 / 10

Kind Natured Colour Care Shampoo – £4.99

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Yes. Yas. YASSS! Holy Mother of haircare! This is the BEST Shampoo I have EVER used. Ever. No sulphates. No Silicone. No Parabens. Vegan. Cruelty Free. 97% Natural. AND Available at boots! It smells awesome; and as it says on the bottle, cares for my coloured hair very well indeed. It wins extra points for all the good stuff but also for the price! This is now my regular shampoo; and I challenge you to find me one that I can pop into boots and buy, costing less than a fiver with all the natural benefits and free of all the nasty chemicals. If they ever discontinue this without a comparable replacement; I will actually cry!

Score: 10 / 10

So there you have it. A pretty extensive, tried and tested list. I will definitely be trying out more from the “Kind Natured” range; and should there be any newbies that I spot; I’ll be giving them a go too. I’m also thinking of writing a silicone-free conditioner post. Let me know if that’s something you’d like to see. Have you gone sulphate-free? What are your thoughts? Drop me a comment as usual. Don’t forget to follow me and give this post a thumbs up if you enjoyed reading!

Shop Miss A

Hello Lovely Readers! I’ve been waiting to write this post for a while now! I was supposed to upload it last week but due to some issues with my cloud storage, I’ve only just been able to get it done. If you’ve seen my instagram lately you’ll already know that recently I bought a few items from a site in America called “Shop Miss A”. It’s a website that has hundreds of makeup items for sale that are $1 each! Yeah, you read that right! Now I’d always been told if something seemed too good to be true then it probably was, but after hearing some positive reviews from some of my favourite youtubers, I thought it was worth a shot. So, here’s a detailed list of each item I bought (I got 19 x $1 things in total), what I thought about it and how it performed when swatching / wearing. I’ll add some more thoughts of the site in general down below.

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AOA POW-Lighter – Galactic

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A cute little pot of loose highlighter with a pink/blue chrome tint; that was much smaller than I’d imagined. Beautiful highlight – it was a perfect colour match for me with my favour of cool tones. There were also some more warm shades available too. Very bright and pigmented – you definitely don’t need a lot. It was a mix of very finely milled highlighter which gave the chromatic finish, and a slightly chunkier powder which made me sparkle like a goddamn unicorn! There was quite a lot of fallout so again, a little goes a long way. It wore well and stayed in place throughout the day. I reckon this could easily be used as eyeshadow or eyeshadow topper for that extra bit of shimmer.

Rating: 8/10

AOA Wonder Matte Lipstick – Tease

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This was a nice big tube, so you get lots of product. It dried down very quickly, and felt a bit too dry for my liking; and went a bit cakey. Unfortunately, it didn’t last very long either. Colour-wise it was gorgeous with a really good pigment, so it’s a shame that it didn’t wear so well. I did find that it worked well with a lip balm to turn it into a vinyl finish lipstick rather than matte, and this actually helped it to last a bit longer.

Rating: 5/10

AOA Wonder Liquid Liner – Black

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Basically, I’m in love with this eyeliner. It’s SO Good. REALLY black – the pigment is darker than I expected and gives my current rimmel liner a real run for it’s money, thanks to it’s superfine applicator just like the rimmel Glam Eyes Liquid Liner. The application is smooth and the wearability is awesome! It lasted through my tears during a hormonal pregnant cry; and it came out the other side looking untouched!

Rating: 10/10

AOA Starlet Eyeliner – Superstar

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A metallic eyeliner with a gorgeous blue colour. Unfortunately though, the pigment isn’t all that good and it doesn’t last. You have to layer it up to get a good colour but then as it dries it can go a bit cakey. It also takes a long time to dry. Disappointing to say the least.

Rating: 3/10

Polka Dot Ears Headband – White

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These are the cutest things since fluffy puppies! They’re soft and fleecy and really good quality considering the price. My only tiny complaint is that they are a little tight on me, but I do have a big head!

Rating: 9/10

AOA Wonder Blender – Black Teardrop

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This really is a wonder blender. I wonder how they make it for $1. I wonder how they get it so soft. I wonder if the beauty blender is as good as this. I still don’t have a beauty blender. Someday I’ll invest in one I’m sure, but when there are blending sponges out there that give a smooth even finish and great coverage for only ONE DOLLAR, then why would I bother spending a stupid amount of money on a sponge, I wonder.

Rating: 10/10

AOA Studio Lashes – Alexis

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These looked, on the site, like Ardell Demi Wispies. I Love the Demi Wispies, but when I tried these AOA lashes on, they were MUCH longer. I have small eyes, so sometimes lashes can look huge on me. These were no exception. In all honesty, though, they were really comfortable to wear; and I’d imagine on larger eyes they would look great. They don’t come with glue but I use the Duo Dark lash glue. They stayed on all day and looked great when I figured out how to make excessive lashes work for me. You can see the look I created down below. I have noticed though that the site offers a handy size guide for all AOA lashes, so maybe I can find something a little shorter. Fingers crossed, as they’re much cheaper than Ardell!

Rating: 8/10

Princessa Tru Fusion Blush – Peach

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The packaging looks cheap, but this is actually a really nice formula. It’s buttery soft and really highly pigmented. Not much fallout and buildable colour. Not bad for $1.

Rating: 7/10

Rose Cheek Pop Blush – Peach

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This one has some shimmer to it and it’s a really pigmented blush. You don’t need very much and it lasts all day. The packaging looked cheap, but the rose pattern pressed into the powder along with the sponge applicator are actually quite nice.

Santee Blush Me – Toasted

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The packaging of this one again looks cheap; but the product itself is actually really nice. The formula is buttery soft and the pigment is perfect. It’s a matte finish and the colour suited me really well.

Rating: 6/10

Rose Matte Blush – Dusty Rose

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The packaging on this one looks more expensive with a sliding lid and a nice big mirror on back. There’s also a hidden compartment where a brush is stored, although the brush is cheap and nasty. There’s a pretty rose pattern pressed into the powder again with this one. The product is buttery and buildable, but not overly pigmented like the others. The cool neutral shade is a great one for everyday wear; especially at the price!

Rating: 7/10

LA Colors Tinted Cheek & Lips – Blushing

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When I placed the order, I was pretty sure I ordered the shade “cheery”, Even though that’s not what came through on the order confirmation. Despite that, I kind of like this shade. It’s got a lot of shimmer to it which I was not expecting. It also feels quite tacky. I used it as a lip balm and it’s really great as it adds tint and shimmer without feeling sticky like a gloss. I probably wont use it as a blusher but I will likely get some more shades to use as lip balms.

Rating: 8/10

Loose Eyeshadow Pigment – 19

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This is a beautiful coppery glitter. I love the little pot that is comes in which makes it look quite expensive. The only problem is it gets everywhere! You’ll need a good quality glitter glue or eyeshadow primer to hold this stuff in place.

Rating: 7/10

AOA XL Shadow Stick – Matte Mellow

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I got this with the intention to use it as an eyeshadow primer and for cut creases, but it’s not that great. It doesn’t apply well, dragging a lot. It was the perfect skin tone colour for me and it wears really well but because it’s quite dry and waxy I wasn’t a fan of the application.

Rating: 4/10

9 Colour Eyeshadow Kits – Colour 1, 2, 3 & 4

YASSS QUEEN! This is what we came for! These are gorgeous. Cannot believe they were only $1 each. In my opinion they are so worth it. They are a beautiful buttery formula with a really good pigment for the money. There’s not much fallout either. The metallics are SUPER bright and the Matte colours build well for a gorgeous colour finish. The packaging looks a bit cheap, and was quite scratched and battered, but the product quality is way above what my expectations were. I’ve basically fallen in love with the warm neutrals and have been wearing them as part of my everyday makeup since I got them. These will be regulars in my kit from now on.

Rating: 10/10

LOL Crème Glitter – The Joker

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These are a bit like Vaseline mixed with glitter. They’re not all that great but still better than I expected. They do sink into creases and longevity s not a strong point for these glitters, but for use on the face (as opposed to the eyes) at festivals and the like would be ideal.

Rating: 3/10

So, with all these products I’ve created two great full face looks so far, which means I have managed to use everything and do a couple of wear tests:

Here are the important details about buying with Shop Miss A. The carriage to the UK is just under $10 for any orders under $40 which means for my order I paid less than £7.80* for shipping. One thing to bear in mind is the duties and taxes. The more expensive your order is, the more you’d have to pay. If you keep the goods value less than £15 – which I did, just – you wont have to pay any duties and taxes, which is definitely worth bearing in mind. I ordered on the 28th October and my order arrived on 6th November; so not a bad delivery time. I was expecting a much longer wait. The tracking was brilliant and I was able to track my order right up to delivery. I also loved the little freebie they threw in – some pure cotton squares. Pretty handy to take off all that makeup when you’re done playing!

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So, would I buy from Shop Miss A again? Absolutely! Some of the products will be making my regulars list and I love trying new products. When each item costs less than 78p each* there’s certainly no harm in it. There’s also no harm to animals either as all their products (as far as I can tell) are vegan and cruelty free. I think at some point I’ll be trying out some of their more expensive items too. They just recently released a new collection of eyeshadow palettes which I’m dying to try!

So, would you buy from Shop Miss A? Have you ever bought from them? What are you’re thoughts? Drop me a comment!

*Conversion correct at time of publishing.

It’s Update Time

So I was planning on posting a blog post about Shop Miss A this weekend, since my order finally arrived and I have quite a few thoughts. But this post is a bit more personal; and the Makeup post can wait for a little while.

We had our 20 Week scan on Thursday, and after telling our families and announcing it on Facebook this weekend, I can now proudly say that hubby and I are expecting a baby girl!

I’m so excited!

To be honest, I’d be just as excited if we were due to be having a baby boy, but I’m really looking forward to having a daughter!

I wanted to do something really creative with a pink babygro or something for the social media gender reveal but we ran out of time and I couldn’t really figure out what to do! So I just thought I’d update everyone on that before I get back to rabbiting about makeup again.

Cheers all.

5 Things – The hearty food edition

Winter is fast approaching – some might say it’s already here – and that can only mean one thing. Hearty food. Now this year, I feel pretty good about the fact that I can enjoy many a hearty meal without feeling guilty – because I’m feeding a growing baby! Normally I eat fairly healthily, so my hearty foods are not always guilty foods; but since I’m very much a hot food kinda gal (salads, eugh!), this time of year is my favourite. So today I’m going to share with you five of my favourite foods to eat at this time of year.

1. Bangers and Mash.

I’m talking juicy sausages, fluffy mash, sweet peas, and buttery onion gravy, all served in a giant Yorkshire pudding. It’s my all time favourite comfort food and is a regular in our house. To make it less guilty I use turkey or chicken sausages to reduce the fat content without skimping on flavour. Turkey sausages are really damn tasty!

2. Apple Pie and Custard.

So, so, so damn good! I love it made without sugar, and then sprinkling cinnamon sugar over it before pouring the custard. Everything needs to be seaming hot, and the pastry can’t be soggy. A fluffy, crunchy shortcuts suits me fine, and a really thick filling. I can’t be doing with these pies that are all pastry with a tiny amount of filling. What’s the point? This always reminds me of my nan, who makes the best Apple pies! She prefers hers with good old Cornish clotted cream, but in the winter, a warm custard is definitely my go-to option.

3. Stews and Casserolles.

Give me gravy. Give me dumplings. Give me big chunks of tender meat and a rainbow of seasonal vegetables. Food that all comes in one pot is a win-win for me, firstly because it’s delicious, and secondly because it saves on washing up. Score!

4. Toast and Jam.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but is this not the ULTIMATE comfort food? Breakfast? Toast and jam. Snack? Toast and jam. Dessert? Toast and jam! (If you haven’t had jam on toast for dessert, you’re doing something wrong!) Of course toast is, in itself, a wonderful comfort food; but topping it with a sweet, fruity jam (Or even marmalade) of your choice takes it to the next level.

5. Roast Turkey with ALL the trimmings.

So it’s no secret to those that have ever spent Christmas with me that I LOVE roast turkey. Preferably with a big dose of trimmings like stuffing, Yorkshire puddings, pigs in blankets, cranberry sauce and heaps of golden roast potatoes, absolutely drenched in gravy. I can’t say I particularly like the Brussel sprouts, but if they’re done with bacon and chestnuts they’re pretty much edible.

So, those are my favourite 5 comfort foods t eat in the winter. Would you agree? What would you choose differently? Let me know in the comments!

5 Things – The Youtube Edition

I’ve been youtubing a lot lately. Particularly beauty vloggers, because there’s something so relaxing about watching people do their makeup. I also love haul videos and reviews, because I’m such a makeup junkie. I’m going to share with you my favourites because there are a few who I watch all the time.

1. NikkieTutorials

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Of course, she makes the list. I LOVE her! And so too, do 11 Million subscribers. She’s got such a cheery personality and her reviews are so honest. She’s incredibly talented and I am so inspired by her with my own makeup looks. I also kind of love her accent. One of her recent videos  – the what’s in the bag challenge – has inspired me to do something similar, but with my husband choosing my makeup. I’ll let you know how I get on.

2. Nikkia Joy

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Another beauty vlogger whom I love the accent of, Nikkia Joy is an Australian beauty Vlogger; and like me, she has hella oily skin. Her videos include high-end and drugstore products; and she talks a lot about skincare for oily skin, which has helped me to no end.

3. SophDoesNails

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She doesn’t actually do nails. She did, but she’s moved onto makeup. I love watching her because she’s so chirpy and super honest. She also kind of reminds me of my cousin. Her skin type is also oily so it’s really helpful for me. She mainly uses  drugstore products, which is great because who has the money for high-end everything? She has also collaborated with my all time favourite makeup brand, Makeup Revolution.

4. Casey Holmes

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Her channel is actually not just beauty, but I love the makeup content. I love watching her create a look, and she always looks amazing when she’s done. She uses quite a lot of high-end stuff, but it’s really useful to know if it’s worth it. She’s also inspired me to do the blindfolded makeup challenge thanks to this video. Keep your eyes peeled on here, as I’ll be blogging about how it went.

5. Stephanie Toms

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She’s so relatable! The most down to earth beauty vlogger I watch regularly. She’s also a bit of a badass who doesn’t give a rats ass, and I totally dig that. She does a LOT of “Full face” videos using ridiculously cheap makeup. She’s done poundland, shop miss a and primark to name a few. It never ceases to amaze me how she can turn such cheap products which might not work for mere mortals, into some amazing looks.

So, there you have it. All the Youtubers I love. If you’re looking for some makeup inspiration, or just want to watch some incredible artists at work, I would recommend all of these women.

 

Granddad’s Scrambled Eggs

Hey everyone! I’ve been eating a lot of eggs recently. Three guesses why. But I’ve also realized that I’m becoming more like my granddad every day. His legacy certainly lives on; especially in my current taste in food. Salt and pepper on EVERYTHING! And also his special scrambled eggs which he taught me and my sister to make one weekend. I’m pretty sure it was the first thing I ever learned to cook. We’ve been making them ever since; and I can’t have my eggs any other way now. They just don’t taste right. So I’m gonna share the recipe with you, and trust me, you’ll thank me. Especially if you like a bit of a kick to your food.

You’ll need:

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  • 1 medium egg per person, plus one extra (so; 2 eggs for one person; 3 eggs for 2 people; 4 eggs for 3 people, etc.)

  • Milk (whatever colour lid you usually use. I’ve used green top and blue top and they both work equally well)

  • Butter or spread

  • Salt & Pepper

  • Curry Powder (Nothing special, just cheap, basic curry powder with a medium heat)

  • Your favourite bread (A good white farmhouse cut into thick slices is my favourite)

Method:

  1. Crack the eggs into a jug, add a splosh of milk and a knob of butter; and the salt, pepper and curry powder to taste. I like a good tablespoon of curry powder for my single portion size – but f you don’t like spice so much, use a bit less.2018-09-10 12.23.04

  2. Whisk vigorously until the egg is smooth and the butter is lumpy. It will look a bit gross and the curry powder will turn it a funny brown colour, but trust me on this, it tastes awesome.2018-09-10 12.23.31

  3. Pour into a pan on high heat and continue to whisk.

    • The pan is all down to preference. Typically I use non-stick as the eggs tend to burn otherwise. But I’ve used a frying pan, a saucepan, and even a wok. Don’t judge me, it was the only pan in the cupboard and I was hungry.

  1. While the eggs are cooking, toast & butter your bread the way you like it.

  2. Let the eggs cook to the consistency that you like. I enjoy proper rubbery eggs that are cooked until they are bouncy and fluffy and all goopyness has disappeared, but I know some people like their eggs a bit sloppier.

  3. Take the eggs off the heat, butter your toast and toss the eggs over the top. Add some more salt and pepper if required. In my case extra pepper is ALWAYS required.

  4. Enjoy!

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If you try this, do let me know. I would love to know what you think of my granddad’s recipe. It’s been a favourite of mine since I was a child and it’s super good for you thanks to eggs high protein content.

That’s all for now folks!

5 Things – The Plastic Edition

Since January (after watching Blue Planet 2), I vowed to make more of an effort to reduce the plastic waste from our household. It’s been a long, ongoing process and I’m still doing everything I can – even if it does get on everyone’s nerves when I nag them about it too. But I’ve managed to reduce my plastic output quite a bit in the last few months. This is a subject that I’ve become incredibly passionate about, so please excuse me if I sound preachy. I’m really not trying to cause any offence or judge – I understand plastic is a huge part of everyone’s lives; and it’s hard to change habits. But at the same time if you want to change the world, it starts with your own life and home. Please also note that these are just the things I’ve done. I know there is so much more that can be done and that so many higher powers can change the way the plastic comes in to our homes to start with; and believe me, I’ve signed petitions and given so many companies a thumbs up when I see them using paper straws or plastic free packaging. This is also a pretty lengthy read, and the first time I’ve posted anything like this, so if you have anything to say, please be gentle. Without further ado, here are my top 5 ways in which I’ve done that.

  1. Think about plastic when you’re out and about.

Take a water bottle out with you. It’ll save you heaps of money on bottled water. And if you do buy a bottle, don’t just chuck the empties in a litter bin while you’re out. Keep them in your bag and put them in the recycling when you get home. Bonus, you can refill them when you’re done rather than buying another bottle. Try to opt for eat-in cafés rather than takeaways if you can, so you don’t get given a load of plastic food wrapping. And lastly, there’s absolutely #NoExcuseForSingleUse. Get yourself a reusable coffee mug and ask for your favourite coffee in that instead of your usual takeaway cup. They look far prettier anyway. I’ve got a gorgeous, panda safe bamboo one that insulates my hot beverages better than any disposable cup. And in recent months, you can also get bonuses from some cafés for having a reusable cup – I get an extra stamp on my card at Café Nero each time, so I’m an extra step closer to my free drink. I think Costa has a similar scheme. Also, reusable bags! The amount of plastic bags we get through as a country is absolutely disgusting, so I always carry several folded in the bottom of my bag. Primark sell them for £1 each and they are bigger than the average 5p bag, so you don’t need as many. When you’re out and about, thinking about your plastic output will save you money, as well as saving the environment.

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  1. Go through your bathroom!

The bathroom is the WORST place for plastic waste. Face Wipes, toothbrushes, bottles, jars, and everything in between. But it can be quite fun to find new and inventive ways to cut down your plastic output in there. So here’s a breakdown of what I’ve managed to cut back on so far:

  • Wipes. Be that facial, baby or other. Use toilet paper, or get some bamboo or microfibre flannels and use them with micellar or regular water to remove makeup – they feel just as gentle, but actually work better to get makeup off because they have longer fibres so exfoliate your skin at the same time as cleansing it. Then you can just chuck them in the washing machine after a couple of uses. That’s right, you can use them twice (or more if you’re smart about how you store them) by rinsing them out or using a gentle soap like dove to clean them. I use B&Ms bamboo cloths, and at pence each, they will save you SO much money!

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  • Toothbrushes! These are something that’s meant to be changed every 3 months. So that’s four toothbrushes a year. Per PERSON. Times that by seven billion and you have a LOT of plastic waste going straight to landfill and/or the ocean each year. A bamboo toothbrush is a great alternative. The bristles are softer, and if you’re a heavy brusher like myself you’ll probably have to replace it more often than every three months; but as they are not plastic, and cost far less than most conventional plastic toothbrushes, you’ll not feel bad about switching them up regularly.

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  • Bottles & Jars. This is your shampoo; Your shower gel; Your face masks; your body butters. These are, in most cases, recyclable. So don’t be lazy and put them in the bin. Carry them to your recycling container and put them in it!
  • Cotton Buds. These can be made of plastic or paper. I ALWAYS choose paper. If there’s a plastic free alternative, I wonder, why waste your time buying the plastic variant? I’m living in hope that if we don’t buy the plastic items, the shops eventually wont stock them.
  • Sanitary wear. (Scroll past this to point 3 if you don’t want to read in too much detail, as I am sharing my experience, blood and all) Before you turn your nose up in disgust, please read the articles on google about the dangers of disposable pads. It’s scary. And I’d much rather reduce my risk of thrush, endometriosis, CANCER, and painful cramps – thank you very much. It cost me around £50 for a set of pads; and although I only used them for three periods before I fell pregnant, they changed my LIFE! Here’s a few reasons I love them:
    • I felt cleaner, despite there not being any perfumes to mask that odour; because they do have a waterproof external lining so when you’ve got all your clothes on you don’t notice any smells at all.
    • It was like having a pair of fleecy, supersoft knickers on, and that’s awesome when you want to feel comfortable at your most ‘vulnerable’ time of the month.
    • They didn’t make me itch! I’ve got to be honest, the disposable ones were awful. Even the “Cotton feel” ones were itchy as hell and really not pleasant.
    • They didn’t move around half as much as I expected. No more than a usual pad.
    • I’ve saved a TON of money! Unfortunately mother nature blessed me with the heaviest periods I’ve heard of compared to females I’ve spoken to. Which meant even the heaviest pads on the market were not enough of a match for me. I had to change them every couple of hours for four to five days, and wear an extra pair of shorts between my underwear and my pyjamas at night as I’d ALWAYS leak. Now, not only have I not had to buy as much because I wash and re-use the pads, but also because they are actually more absorbent so I didn’t have to change them as much. And guess what? I haven’t leaked since as the night-time ones are HUGE!

    There’s still a few items I’m trying to find alternatives for. I’m looking into a safety razor instead of disposables, and also toothpaste tubes – as some of these are not recyclable, which makes me a little bit angry, every time I brush my teeth.

3. Go through the kitchen.

I’ve put a blanket ban on cling film, opting for tin foil instead as it can be recycled. I use storage tubs for food instead of wrapping them – it keeps them much fresher too. I always try to make sure the food I buy is wrapped in as little plastic as possible – although the supermarkets really do need to do more to combat this. I also look at the packaging of food to see if it is recyclable before I buy it now. It drives my husband nuts but we aren’t filling our bin up anywhere near as much and the recycling is usually overflowing each week because I’m so scrutinous. I limit the amount that goes in the bin, recycling every scrap I can – boxes, jars, bottles etc. I always use a food waste bin for compostable leftovers (that wont get eaten) along with peels, shells, teabags and other biodegradable food waste.

4. Don’t be lazy!

As I’ve said previously; it takes a lot to change your habits. If you want to change them, you can’t be lazy. You need to have the drive to do it. Just look at all the heartbreaking photos of animals being killed by plastic that are readily available online. If that still isn’t enough, watch blue planet 2. You’ll soon be sorting through your rubbish and rethinking the way you shop, eat, and clean your teeth.

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The “rubbish” I brought downstairs from bedroom and bathroom bins that CAN be recycled!

5. Share your progress.

Social media is a fantastic way to share how you’re getting on, with the “5 minute beach clean-up”; “no excuse for single” use and “plastic free” movements being just a few to join in with. Using the hash-tags and spreading awareness to others is just as helpful as the act of recycling. If it trends on social media, more people will get involved and we’ll be living in a healthier world before we know it.

As always, thank you for reading. I know this is a much longer and slightly different blog post than usual, but what’s the point in me making all these changes if I don’t share them with the world? (See point 5). And I know that a lot of you may be wondering about my pregnancy, and how I’m going to bring my baby up in an eco-friendly environment. Well, I’ve been doing my research on biodegradable nappies, wipes and other baby products; and rest assured, if there’s plastic that can be avoided while taking care of my baby; then it will most definitely be avoided! If you’ve come up with any ways to reduce your plastic output, I’d love to hear them. As usual, please drop me a comment or reach me on social media.

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