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Leather and Glitter

Badass, with a bit of bling!

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5 Things

5 Things – The Pregnancy Edition

Hello, hello my lovely readers. It’s been a hot minute! In case you don’t follow my Instagram or twitter, or are new to my blog, there’s a good reason I’ve been away. In March, I became a first-time mum. I didn’t want to write about my journey in too much detail during my pregnancy because I was high risk; and felt like I’d be witching the whole thing if I wrote about her before she was born.

Back in July our lives took an unexpected turn, when I started craving olives. Don’t get me wrong, I like olives, but I’d never craved them like this before. I craved them so badly I was ready to make a 15 mile round trip just to buy a jar of them. I took a pregnancy test the next day, and it came up positive in a few seconds (much more quickly than the recommended 30 seconds you’re supposed to wait – I was impatient!). I was high risk because I fell pregnant with the copper coil still in place. And it was stuck. Once I’d had a couple of scans that confirmed my pregnancy was viable, we were away. I was at higher risk of miscarriage up to 6 months, and higher risk of pre-term labour in the third trimester. Despite this, our little fighter developed healthily and was perfect at every scan.

Now, my baby girl is approaching 8 months old! Time really moves so fast! So I figured I’d write about my pregnancy as my first blog post since I’ve been away. Let’s get down to it with 5 things I learned / would recommend during pregnancy.

  1. Sea Bands

Morning sickness in the first trimester (which for me happened all. Day.) was Hell. I was never actually sick, but the nausea drove me to distraction. I decided to give sea bands a try, and they worked amazingly! There’s no medication involved, they work on acupressure so I wasn’t adding anything to my body that could potentially harm my baby.

 

  1. The elastic Band Trick!

If you know, you know. Expand your jeans / trousers with an elastic band / hair tie to make room for your growing bump when you’re not quite ready for maternity clothes. I did this until I was about 22 weeks pregnant!

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  1. Maternity AND nursing clothes.

If you’re planning on breastfeeding, get maternity clothes (or clothes youll wear while pregnant) that are also nursing compatible. Think wrap tops, deep v-necklines, zippers and buttons. Anything with easy boob access. #IfInDoubtWhipItOut

I didn’t do this, and bought a few maternity items, then had to rethink my entire wardrobe once I’d had my baby and had very little nursing friendly clothes.

  1. Birthing Ball

The name might suggest this is an item for the birth, but actually, you can use this right through your third trimester. It’s so comfortable and I spent most of my time on this when I was at home. Bouncing on them helps to strengthen your pelvic floor, and there’s also some people who say it helps get the baby into position, ready for the big day. You can buy a gym ball as they do the same thing, just be sure to check the sizing before you buy as some gym balls can be a little small to use as birthing balls.

Purple - USA Pro - Yoga Exercise Ball

  1. The Emma’s Diary App

I had seen somebody else post their pregnancy updates from the Emma’s Diary website, so I thought I’d check it out. It turns out there’s an app, which allows you to track your progress week by week, gives you a picture of what the baby should look like at each week (it’s kinda weird at first!) and how big (or small) it is. It also prepares you for what you’ll be feeling in the days / weeks ahead which for me were exactly spot on. There’s links to helpful articles on the Emma’s diary website and voucher codes for some free samples. I absolutely loved the app and it helped me stay calm knowing that what I was feeling was normal – because when it’s your first pregnancy, there’s so much going on in your body that you’ve never experienced before that it’s understandable to want some reassurance.

Emma's Diary Baby App

So there you have it. My (very condensed) pregnancy blog post. I’ll be writing a few more motherhood blog posts soon but don’t be fooled, I’ll still be writing my usual stuff too!

Let me know what you thought! Drop me a comment!

5 Things – The Pet Peeve Edition

Hi Guys! I’m well into my third trimester now (32 weeks! EEK!). I’ve also left work for Maternity leave, which means I have a bit of free time I didn’t have before. I’m going to enjoy it before all my time is taken up with nappy changes and feeding.

These last few weeks, my hormones have been playing with my moods (not much change there!). I’ve been decidedly more irritable and the pregnancy rage is real. Very real. Anyway; I’ve always had a few pet peeves, but figured since I’m a bit grumpy right now, it’s the perfect time to have a good old rant; and where better to vent my frustration than my own personal slice of the internet? So, here come my top five pet peeves. Be prepared for some very grumpy writing; which I don’t tend to do very much of here on my blog; so this is new. If you’re offended by any of this; I’m not even sorry. There, I said it.

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1. Leggings as Trousers

They are NOT trousers! They are footless tights, designed to keep you slightly warmer on those in between days; whilst allowing you to wear ballerina shoes without looking like a granny; or sandals without looking like a tourist. They are also more versatile than tights in the pattern department; so you can wear leopard print or florals on your legs (provided you do it correctly). The only time it is socially acceptable to wear leggings in public without a dress that completely covers your arse is when you are working out. Even then; you should be wearing sports leggings which are made of a much less see-through fabric. Nobody wants to see your VPL. Nobody wants to see your camel toe. At the very least, put on a longer top so you’ve concealed everything nicely. If you want to wear something with a skinny fit that’s not jeans, look for the word TROUSERS on the label. If it doesn’t say Trousers, then they’re likely to be leggings. Stay classy, ladies. Wear leggings as they were meant to be worn. As footless tights.

2. Indicators!

When you approach a turning, and the driver in front of you suddenly turns into it with no warning and you have to slam your brakes on to accommodate for their stupidity. When you’re waiting at a roundabout, thinking the driver to your right is going straight across in front of you when, in fact, they turn left and you could have gone. F*cking indicate! I mean, it’s a little stick on the steering wheel, that moves the same direction as the one you’re turning. How hard is it? Usually when I see people do this you could hear me about three miles away, yelling at them. I may actually over-use my indicators; because when my husband is in the car with me, He quite often says: “Why are you indicating? There’s nobody behind you.” To which my reply is “just in case”. If everybody had that mentality there might be less road rage, fewer prangs and a lot less anxious drivers – myself included.

3. Poor Table Manners

Where did etiquette go since I became an adult? Am I the only one who eats with their mouth closed now? When you eat, you should NOT open your mouth. If you can’t breathe, you should take smaller mouthfuls so you can swallow them before opening your mouth again; not sit there chomping a huge mouthful with your mouth wide open making the most disgusting noises imaginable; and letting everyone see your half chewed food going around as if it were in a cement mixer. This one has REALLY got me riled up whilst being pregnant. So much so that if there’s someone eating with their mouth open, I’ll likely leave the room so I don’t end up smacking them. Not. Even. Sorry.

4. Being underestimated

I am female. And proud. But I hate to be underestimated because of my gender. I don’t consider myself a feminist, because of the bad connotations that go with it; but I do agree that women should be equal to men on at least some things – their knowledge base and understanding of the world being one of them.

When you’re talking to a man who doesn’t like what you have to say; but then your husband/ male boss/ father/ other significant male in your life; makes the same point, and said man agrees with him over you? Well it makes your blood boil.

When you go into a shop that is considered “Manly” by society (Hardware shops, computer shops etc.) and the male sales assistants assume you have no idea what you’re looking for. This is a favourite pastime of mine; because I love to see their faces when I reel off a list of item specifics that often leave them dumbstruck. You can see the cogs start turning. It’s a woman? Who knows what she wants? Good Lord No! It works even better when you look extra “feminine” (Heels, pretty dress, lipstick etc.)

So yes; I am female. And yes, I know some sh*t. Deal with it.

5. Then & Than

So, I don’t know when or why this started. I started noticing it about three years ago. At first I thought it was just a couple of insignificant, possibly innocent, grammatical mistakes. No big deal. But then it became more “popular” if that’s the right word. People using the word “than” instead of “then”; and the word “then” instead of “than”. Can somebody explain to me why? I mean, it’s not like anything extra needs to be typed. It’s just plain idiocy at its finest. In case you need re-educating because you didn’t pay attention in Basic English classes in primary school or you have just lost the ability to be grammatically correct in the age of social media; let me give you a little reminder:

  • Then – adverb – commonly used to detail a specific time; usually after another event.

“There was lightening flashing all around; and then came the thunder.”

  • Than – preposition – commonly used for the sake of comparison.

“The thunder was much louder than a jet engine.”

Get it right people! Or I may have to start correcting your grammar!


So there you have it. A totally new side to my blog – having a good old rant about stuff. Don’t forget to comment your pet peeves and let me know if you agree with mine. I promise I’ll write a less grumpy post next time.

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!

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.

 

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.

5 things: The Wedding Edition

So, as if I haven’t talked about it enough, I got married in May. It was quite an event, and I thought I’d share with you the 5 most important things I learned in the run up to the big day, and afterwards too. So here you go:

1. Learn what to DIY and what to Buy.

It sounds obvious, but it’s definitely worth thinking about. Short story: I was going to DIY a whole load of little crates for the centrepieces. I worked out the cost of the wood and the time it would take to make them. Then I went on eBay and realised I could get some exactly the right size for half the price of the materials without any production time. That saved me SO much money/time/stress.

2. Planning a wedding is a great time to engage with family & Friends

I rebuilt connections. I built bridges. And we hosted a couple of pre-marriage parties that introduced people from different circles. My social life now is so great compared to a year ago and building bridges with the important people in my life really was worth it.

3. Don’t waste money on extra food.

I made a candy cart and a cheese tower. We took 90% of it home with us. Seriously, it’s really not worth it.

The photo booth however? Totally worth the infinitesimal amount of money for some props – photos below. (I bought some cardboard props from eBay, and used a bunch of stuff from my dress up box, with an old curtain as a backdrop)

4. Enjoy the planning, and the day.

It takes up so much of your life, that when it’s finally there, it’s over so quickly and you feel a little empty afterwards. I had a few plans made for after the wedding so I didn’t feel too lost, and our honeymoon wasn’t until July so we had something to look forward to. Some of the best parts of the planning for me were my husband and I choosing the songs for our playlist, makeup trials, and getting all the girls together for dressing up sessions. On the day, I had only three alcoholic drinks. Keeping a clear head was totally worth it as I can remember 3very minute detail of the day and it’s something I can cherish.

5. The honeymoon period DOES exist.

I thought it was just a saying. But if you truly love your partner, there will be magic on the day. And magic for quite a while after. You will both feel it. My husband and I have never been closer than since we got married. It sounds totally daft, and I never believed it myself because we’ve been together for 11 years. I just assumed it would be just another day. Wrong. It was so unbelievably special!

So there you have it. 5 wedding tips for all you brides (or grooms) to be. Good luck!

5 Under £5 – The Makeup Revolution Edit

Hi Guys! Welcome back. So, the second half of this year will see me being a little more frugal – a wedding and a house move will do that to a girl. But me being me, I do love a good treat. I’ve decided to start a new idea. 5 little treats for under a fiver*. It will help me be a little more frugal, and learn to shop for the best bargains out there. Now since I’m a beauty junkie, I knew my first 5 treats had to come from makeup revolution. They are one of my favourite budget makeup companies and the products are such good quality. So, without further ado…

1. Revolution Pro Conceal and Camouflage concealer in C5 – £5

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I have tried their conceal and define concealer which is my go-to concealer for full coverage. I wrote about it in my 10 things post back along. This one comes in a tube without an applicator, and has a bit more product. I chose C5 because my other revolution concealer is in the shade C5, and the description for both was the same, so I thought I’d be safe, right? Wrong. The shade is MUCH darker. It’s gonna be great when my tan starts to sow through, but for everyday wear, it’s a bit on the dark side for my liking. As far as the product itself goes, I still prefer the conceal and define. This one is a bit more of a pasty texture with a very dewy finish. Not so great for oily skin types like myself. It still blends out really well and gives great coverage (although I would say slightly less coverage than the conceal and define). So all in all? Not such a good one for me. Onto the next!

2. Revolution Pro Supreme Pigment Dip Liquid Eyeliner in White – £3

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I have been wanting a white eyeliner for ages! I’ve been seeing them used for some beautiful arty looks on Instagram and pinterest and I really wanted to try it for myself. This little baby will be my new favourite. I can already tell. It’s got a great, fine applicator. It’s highly pigmented and it dries quickly. What more can I say? For £3 it’s totally worth it!

3. Eat Sleep Makeup Repeat Palette – £3

The first of three palettes – I now have around 20. I think I may have a problem….. So this one’s neon colours and Oh. My. Gosh! They are SO bright! I cannot wait to turn these bad boys into a look for everyone. Keep your eyes peeled over on my Instagram for that look soon. They are super pigmented (as always. I totally trust revolution’s eyeshadows) and buttery soft to apply. They don’t have much fallout either which is awesome. Buildable from subtle neon glow to full megawatt bright, I would have gladly paid more for this palette!

4. Eyes Like Angels Palette – £4

Yes. Yes! YES! This is my new favourite. After LOVING the neutral shades of the “fortune favours the brave” palette, I wanted a big palette that gave me more brights and metallics. This one delivered. I am in love! Again, the pigment and texture is perfect; but the colour choice is what’s got me hooked. My new summer favourite for do-all looks.

5. Makeup Geek Palette – £4

Yes, I realise I bought three huge eyeshadow palettes. No, I’m not sorry. This one has ALL the colours. It’s a great all rounder if you’re away and can’t take it all with you (I’d need an extra two suitcases for all my makeup!). But what I really love is the texture. All the other revolution palettes I’ve tried have been a little more on the powdery side, which meant great buildability and blending, with a little fallout. But this? This is in a league of it’s own. It’s so damn buttery. Almost a cream eyeshadow palette but not quite. One sweep is enough to get a great colour. And I thought this would be the worst one of the lot. I also love the holographic design on the packaging. Total bonus.

So there you have it. 5 little treats for under a fiver*. The postage wasn’t too bad either at £1.95 for standard delivery (It did take a little while to arrive – 4 days – but I wasn’t in any rush).

Will you be stopping by Makeup Revolution anytime soon? Keep your eyes peeled for my next round of bargain hunting!

*Prices correct at time of purchase.

10 Things – The Makeup Edition

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Now, I was going to make this a simple 5 things post; but since passing my makeup diploma, I’ve been buying rather a lot of makeup; and in preparation for my wedding I wanted to make sure my face looked it’s absolute best. It sort of spiralled out of control from there, but in the process I found some amazing things! Here are the ten best that I have been using lately.

  1. Max factor facefinity all day primer – £10.99 – BootsThis stuff keeps your makeup on all day! It’s sticky (in a good way), mattifying, and goes on smoothly. If you leave it for a few seconds to go tacky before applying your foundation, it will hold it in place for hours. It is very runny when it first comes out, so you don’t need a lot. It feels refreshing on your face and once applied it blurs out most imperfections. My only fault is that it doesn’t cover rosacea, so I have to mix it with No 7. Airbrush Away Green CC primer to hide my redness.

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  2. Makeup revolution conceal and define concealer £4.00 – SuperdrugThis! Quite possibly the best concealer I’ve ever used! SO full coverage and so smooth. It blends out flawlessly and stays on for hours. It’s a bargain at £4 a tube. I’ve bought up a stockpile of these babies because they are so awesome. And their shade range is ever increasing.
  3. Maybelline fit me loose setting powder – £7.49 + 5.23 P&P – EbayNikkia Joy recommended this stuff, and it’s a total game changer! If you haven’t watched any of her tutorials or reviews, they’re totally worth a nosey. Her Australian accent is adorable and she’s so relatable. Anyway, back to the setting powder. It’s not yet available in the UK, but you can get it from eBay using the link above. It’s so finely milled and sets makeup beautifully without looking cakey. For someone with oily skin it’s worth the wait for the delivery.
  4. Makeup revolution pearl lights loose highlighter in True Gold – £5.00 – SuperdrugNow, I never expected this. I’d been struggling with my highlight game for a while. No matter what I did, I seemed to look too matte, or WAY too shiny. I’m an oily creature, but I still want to glow (just not drip). This was the answer. I mix it with my loose setting powder to pack in the shine without making me an oil slick.

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  5. Urban decay all nighter setting spray – £10.00 – FeelUniqueThe best setting spray on the market. I’d been putting off buying it thanks to it’s hefty price tag, but when I found out it comes in a travel size, I just had to try it out. Best. Decision. Ever. I used it on my wedding day, and it kept everything in place. It didn’t feel tight like some other setting sprays do; and the spray nozzle delivers a super fine mist. It does smell a little funky but that soon disappears when it dries.
  6. BarryM mist and fix dewy finish setting spray – £4.99 – SuperdrugI use this over the top of the Urban Decay spray, as an extra bit of shimmer. It definitely doesn’t hold like the All Nighter, but it does make your skin glow on another level. It does need a LOT of shaking and can sometimes leave a few little spots of pink glitter on your face, but a gentle dab with a sponge soon sorts that out.
  7. Maybelline lasting drama gel eyeliner – £8.99 – SuperdrugYES! Finally an eyeliner that does both inner waterline and tightlining. It can be used for wings too if you have an ultra-thin brush. It paints on smoothly, dries slowly (which means if you make a mistake you can use a cotton bud to correct it) and smudges beautifully if you want that “Billy-Joe Armstrong in 2005” look.
  8. Makeup revolution flawless 4 palette – £8.00 – Makeup RevolutionNow a few years ago, I HATED warm coloured eyeshadow, opting for silvers, blues and purples. Then, I tried out gold for the first time, and have been experimenting cautiously ever since. Now, I tend to opt for the warmer colours out of choice, and love the vibrant looks that can be created with them. I bought this palette to continue my experiments, and found that it’s so smooth and highly pigmented. There are a good share of more subtle colours which are great for everyday wear. The metallics are so sparkly, and can work fantastically for evening looks. Then there’s the bold, bright pinks and oranges. They blend so well and make an amazing cut crease. This palette – for anyone who likes war hues – is definitely worth buying. Especially at the price. Makeup Revolution never ceases to amaze me with their value.

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  9. BarryM holographic eyeshadow topper – £4.99 – SuperdrugYes. Yes. YES! These little creamy wonders turn you into a unicorn! They are translucent, duochrome creams, that come with a doefoot applicator. So far the colours are all more on the cool side. I have 3 out of the 4 available shades and use them all the time. They also look great on their own. The effect is stunning, and looks remeniscent of mermaids, unicorns and fairies – and all the other magical things that are trendy right now.

     

  10. Finishing touch flawless by JML – £19.99 – SuperdrugOK, I know it’s not technically a makeup item, but it’s been a crucial part of my kit ever since I got it. I am so DONE with waxing, plucking and using hair removal creams that all leave my face sore, dry and red. This thing is a razor, yes; but it doesn’t make you stubbly. The hair that grows back is fine and fluffy, and it takes half the time to quickly rub away those pesky facial hairs. I still pluck my eyebrows, but for upper lip and even cheek hair (which I never realised how much I had until I removed it) this little gadget is worth every penny. It makes makeup application so much smoother and I cannot recommend this one enough.

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So, have you guys tried any of these? Will you? What are your thoughts? What are your favourite makeup products?

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