Thursday 31 December 2009

Factory Shop Bargain Haul

On Tuesday me and my mum bravely went out in the snow to look at televisions (both mine and the downstairs one are starting to fade) alas we didn't see anything we liked but I popped into a few shops whilst I was in my nearest all be it tiny small town. Boots had been well and truly ravaged and had nothing left, so I popped into Poundstretcher to pick up a scart switcher for my Wii, and I popped into The Original Factory Shop. I've already mentioned this shop a few times in some previous posts and I have to say it really is fabulous. They stock all sorts of ex chain store clothing including, DP's, Principles, etc. and loads of discount cosmetics. Ok you have to search amongst the tat but this week they had loads of Lancome items in -I picked up a Color Focus Eyeshadow Palette in 105 Renaissance Printaniere - a gorgeous quad of silky greens that can be used wet or dry
I paid £10 for it and it has an RRP of £31.50 I am really pleased with it and would happily have paid more for it.
I also picked up a box containing the Urban Retreat Body Detox 10 Anti Cellulite Plan - you get a 400ml jar of Seaweed Mud and 5 sachets of Cream. It seems very like the Guam wrap product which I used to use but this was only £5.00 As far as I know you can only get Urban Retreat from Harrods of QVC so I will be keen to give this a go and see if it makes a difference - the Guam product certainly helped with water retention in the time that I used it (I got that from QVC and HQ Hair) so I will be interested to see if this works similarly well, it certainly smells the same

Have you picked up any bargain in an unexpected places recently?

Lessons Learned in 2009

I was going to do a review of the year post but I decided to do things a little bit differently. Instead I have decided to do a post on things I have realised or learned in 2009 - they are beauty, fashion, and general life related - hope you find it interesting x

1) Towel dry you hair before applying hair conditioner - omg this makes such a difference to the effectiveness of the conditioner
2) Remember what you say may be taken wrongly or differently - I have been far too trusting in the past and have landed myself in the poo because of it - don't assume everyone is on your wavelength
3) The return of Wispa Gold has been bad for my hips :)
4) Blue Cheese isn't as bad as I always thought it was - in fact I have a bit of a Stilton addiction going on at the moment - rahhhh
5) Get a good skin care regime and you really will see the difference
6) Cheap make up can be as good as expensive make up
7) I do not need to buy everything in Primark just because it's cheap
8) My hair doesn't look so bad even if I don't straighten it to within an inch of its life everyday
9) I don't not need to buy something from every MAC collection - I need to be selective
10) Letting go is one of the hardest things ever - be it a pair of shoes, a friend or a relative - but it's essential - we need to let go to move forward
11) People let you down - an obvious one I know but I wish it wasn't the case - especially when they don't realise it and carry on as normal when your hurting
12) Online shopping is dangerous!
13) Paying for everything in cash is liberating
14) I think my feet are shrinking I have bought several pairs of shoes in a 7 this year either that or shoe sizing is increasingly more erratic
15) You must keep using OPI Nail Envy or your nails break
16) Always carry a nail file - the one time you don't, you need it
17) Using cuticle oil makes such a difference to your nails
18) Being untidy is a bad thing you lose too much stuff
19) There is such a thing as too many nail varnishes
20) Being chubby might not be down to over indulgence and a lack of exercises
21) There is always room in my life for another cat
22) Be careful when lifting pans or taking things out of the oven - I still have the burns to show from a few mishaps this year
23) Primark paper bags are useless
24) I am not positive enough and think too many negative thoughts
25) I spend far too much time on my laptop
26) Newcastle airport is a rip off when it comes to food and why don't they have a MAC counter
27) My television and computer monitor are not going to last much longer
28) I think I have gone off football -it no longer has the same appeal
29) I can't imagine life without my mum
30) You Tube despite being scary has given me a bit of confidence

Well here's a few from me - what are your lessons learned in 2009

Wednesday 30 December 2009

Next Sale Goodies

As a Next directory customer I got a VIP invite to the Next online sale so on the Tuesday before Christmas I spent a good hour trailing through all the Next sales listings. I must admit I am not always the biggest fan of Next but I do think they are gradually getting there design wise and in the past few years I have picked up a few nice bits (excuse the crappy pics the light is pants today)

Typically of Next though everything always comes separately :(

First of all I got this dress - which is probably more of a summery one - it's a really nice floral and polka dot pattern on dusky blue background with a cutaway detail at the back and a back tie :)(apologies this is a pic of the back of the dress don't know where the other one got too)


I also picked up this black/grey/white tissue print tunic. It's kind of looks a bit like a tie dye print which I love - I got it in tall so it will be nice and long over leggings, skinnys or jeggings

I also picked up this necklace pattern t-shirt - I already have a similar one in black - this one will show less cat hair lol:)

and this multi chain charm necklace

My favourite bit of my sale haul though are these babies - they are a gorgeous black patent and the gold hardware is exactly the same tone as the hardware of my Christmas bag :)
I also got a cute pink diamante piggy bank for my piggy collection, and some Miffy bunny underwear, black ribbed polo neck and some Zebra slipper socks :)

ASOS Sale Goodies

OK I have to admit little if any of this was in the sale but never mind I may as well end 2009 on a high :)

As you may have noticed lately I have gotten a few chunky, short sleeved jumpers and cardigans - I love the style of this type of top but there lies a problem. Chunky jumpers whilst being ideal for the winter aren't too great if they have short sleeves (cold arm syndrome) so I decided to stock up on a few long sleeved t-shirts for layering purposes in basic white and grey marl
I know I will get loads of wear out of these so the splurge was semi justified lol
I also picked up this super cute Gwen head t-shirt from the Harajuku Lovers range by Gwen Stefani - as well as loving the colour I think the print is super cute :)
I also picked up this long lusted after Dorothy's shoe necklace - I am sure another blogger has this (Em from Passion For Fashion?) I love it - so cute and sparkly :) (Pics courtesy of ASOS )
I also picked up a few beauty goodies (as you do)including Rude Cream Blush by Illamasqua - I have been debating this one for a while and I am happy to have it (sorry about the poor pic the lighting is awful today and its snowing again!)
I also picked up a nail polish by Essie in Mint Candy Apple such a pretty pale mint / jade green colour
and finally I picked up a Lord & Berry item. I haven't tried this brand before despite seeing it on ASOS and QVC for a while now, so I picked up a 20100 Shining Lipstick Pencil in 7265 Nudo - it's very like the Illamasqua Sonnet, Gosh Darling type Nude very pretty and soft and in a pencil format
Any questions please ask - did anyone else get anything from the ASOS sale?

Christmas Pressies Part 3 - Clothes and Accessories

Hiyas - time for the final part of my Christmas pressie haul - clothes and accessories :)
My biggie was this super cute Jane Shilton bag from my godparents - I love the old fashioned style, the clasp and the patent finish - love it :)
I also got this super cute short sleeved chunky belted Primark cardi from my godparents too - I am sure someone else has this but I can't remember who?
I also got this super cute navy blue faux suede bow and chain bag from my mum and a few pieces of jewellery
I also got some lovely pieces of jewellery as a secret Santa gift
and I also got loads of other fashion and accessory bits including a cat purse from my bestie, a corsage, slippers, a lovely ivory hat, PJ's, socks, and undies - and the usual dvds, books, chocolate etc. everybody was so, so generous this year and I just want to say a huge thank you xx

Body Shop Sale Goodies

I placed an order with The Body Shop for some sale goodies on the day the sale started - I love The Body Shop after Christmas sale :) and I was shocked when my parcel came on Christmas Eve :)I specifically love their Christmas collection so I picked up a few bits

Nutmeg and Vanilla Body Butter
Nutmeg and Vanilla Bath and Shower Gel
Black Velvet Apricot Body Butter
Black Velvet Apricot Bath and Shower Gel
Plum Plum Shimmering Bath Bubbles
Merry Cranberry Bath and Shower Gel

I really wanted the Merry Cranberry Body Butter too but it had sold out still I think I still have some from last year :)

Did anyone else get anything from the The Body Shop sale

Sunday 27 December 2009

Christmas Pressies Part 2 - Make Up and Skincare

OK more exciting goodies :) Make Up!

No7 Opulence Eye Palette - I love the No7 limited editions this has some lovely eye colours especially the gold
No7 Colour Calming Make Up Base - a green face primer and another one I haven't tried
No7 Make Up Bag with makeup and skin care - some nice stuff in here including a lovely eyeshadow in Antique Rose
Boots Botanics Quick Fix Make Up Wipes and Eye Make Up Remover - Holy Grail Skincare!
FrontCover Eye Spy Kit - OMG these shadows are fabulous a lovely kit for experimenting with bright colours and they are so pigmented

A whole batch of studio bits - brush cleaner, blush in Tickled Pink <3, eyeshadow in Mystic Moss, and the Eye Transformer
YBF by Stacey - Make Up Box - SO much stuff in here and it's surprisingly good quality -the box on the other hand isn't - I'll do a proper review on some of these items I think

Yeah Christmas kits - Smoke and Mirrors Eyeshadow Palette, Hocus Focus Face Kit, with Sunsparked Pearl and Pretty Baby Beauty Powders and Peachykeen Blush - loving the packaging on these so substantial
Baroque Boudoir - I was soooooo pleased to get these items - the packaging is amazing
Lipstick in Prive
Lipgloss in The Lap Of Luxury
If you would like any swatches of any of these items please let me know - fashion next x

Christmas Goodies Part 1 - Nails, Some Skincare and Bodycare

OK I know a few people aren't keen on Christmas pressie hauls but I thought I'd show you some of the things that I got (all these items were bought for me by my friends and family) that I will be reviewing and using throughout 2010 - I'll start off with skincare, nails and body stuff.
Rio Easy Art Nails - This is basically a Konad kit you even get Konad plates in it - can't wait to have a play with this :)
OPI Gift Set - This has some super colours in it lots of glitter and some nail treatments and a minis kit :)
Leighton Denny Gift Set - again nail treatments, and loads of full size and mini colours mainly in french and neutrals. I also got the Leighton Denny Crystal Nail File kit so far I am super impressed with this and I'll definitely do a review on it :)

Body /Skin Care
Soap & Glory Plane Jane Travel Kit - this kinda makes up for missing out on the hat box - a cute case, mini smellies and a travel pillow
Philosophy The Gingerbread Man - a Christmas staple for me this one contains the bath / shower gel, the hot salt scrub, and the body butter (I also got the cranberry orange lip gloss)
Elemis Gift Set - Bath and Shower Gel, Body Lotion, Cleanser, Exfoliator, and my favourite Pro Collagen Marine Cream (more on this to come)
Anatomicals Gift Set - Body, Face and Hair Stuff
Korres Fig Set - Body Butter and shower gel, and some fig jam :)

OK this is getting a bit pic heavy so I'll do a separate post with my make up goodies x (ETA - I have missed a whole load of bits out whoops I also got some Avon stuff and a whole load of candles :))

Saturday 26 December 2009

Hiya Peoples - Christmas Pressie Update

Hey Everyone
Hope you all had a a fabby day yesterday and that Santa was super generous you. I also hope you didn't eat too much lol I know I did :)
Anyways I thought I'd give you a quick update about my Christmas Day and details on some bits coming up over the next week :)
Christmas Day as per usual was great and so much fun - it's so much fun to spend quality time with your family having a nice time eating yummy food and drinking yummy wine, and of course getting some lovely gifts :) My family and friends were soooo generous this year I got so many lovely gifts including and iPod Touch and a Wii :)!!! I am going to do a few posts later in the week showing you some of the fashion and beauty bits I got - I won't be going in to great deal or including anything I have been so spoilt I might be accused of showing off :( - so I'll just show you the bits you might be interested in e.g MAC, Boots, Nails Stuff, handbags etc. and if you want any swatches or reviews you can let me know xx
I have to say though as spoilt as I was I didn't get any Lush or Body Shop so I have placed a few sale orders which I'll post as I get them. Needless to say my spending ban has crashed and burned totally this month never mind 2010 is nearly here and its a time for new a start. I have to say though I have been generally disappointed in the online sales this year - I have ordered a few bits from ASOS and Next but otherwise it's ll a bit bleurgh - very disappointing :( SO I'll be back in the next day or so with some Christmas pressie posts and some online sale haulage -till then the mince pies (albeit gluten free ones) call xxx

Thursday 24 December 2009

Holiday Recipe - Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Apologies for the lack of posts this week I had so many plans but the evil weather (it's still snowing in Co Durham),and the Christmas preparations have took their toll.
Still never mind I thought I'd share with you one of my favourite sweetie recipes -a homemade version of Reeses Peanut Butter Cups courtesy of the domestic goddess Nigella Lawson's book Nigella Christmas :) (I can't find the recipe online so I'll type it up for you)


Peanut Layer
50g Dark Soft Brown Sugar
200g Icing Sugar
50g Soft Butter
200g Smooth Peanut Butter (You can use crunchy but the texture will be different)

200g Milk Chocolate
100g Dark Chocolate
Edible Decorations -I used White Chocolate Snowflakes from ebay, White Chocolate Stars from Morrisions, Gold Icing Stars and Snowflakes, and edible holographic glitter from Jane Asher, and silver and gold chocolate beans from a local deli
40-50 Petit Fours / Sweet Cases - (I got gold ones and Santa's from Jane Asher)

1) Mix together both types of sugar, the butter and the peanut butter using a wooden spoon or an electric whisk (I usually start off slowing with the whisk to avoid the icing sugar flying everywhere)

you should end up with a sticky, sandy paste

2)Roll about a teaspoon of mixture into a ball and press it into the paper cases to form a disc

Repeat till all the mixture is used. I find it easier to chill the mixture a bit first and put a bit of icing sugar on my hands to stop them sticking. This is a long drawn out, repetitive procedure - if you have children they might enjoy doing this too

3) Once you have filled all your cases put both bars of chocolate into a bowl and melt it over a pan of boiling water or in the microwave

4)spoon one tsp of the melted chocolate into each paper case making sure it covers the peanut butter layer (this is again quite repetitive work)

5)Sprinkle or add your decorations stars, snowflakes, glitter etc. the the top of the cup whilst the chocolate is still soft

Voila Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups a la Nigella - these also work just as good with milk or white chocolate toppings if you want to really indulge - enjoy xx

Merry Christmas Everyone :)

Hiya Everyone
I thought I'd follow the masses and do a holiday post.
I'd like to say a huge thank you for you good wishes, follows, subs, comments and more throughout the year. I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and I am looking forward to loads of holiday hauling posts from you all soon :). Even if you don't celebrate Christmas I still hope you have a thoroughly pleasant, safe, happy, healthy and warm holiday season x
See You Soon hopefully with some Christmas pressie hauls - Merry Christmas xxx

Monday 21 December 2009

Festive Tag

I saw this on the lovely Jo's blog and decided to do it :)

Favourite Colour Probably shades of blue or purple :)

Facebook? Yeah afraid so I don't spend as much time on it as I used to

Favourite Christmas Song I love all the Christmas songs but it would have to be an unusual one The Waitresses - Christmas Wrapping

Christmas Tree - Real or Fake? I have to say fake now but we used to have a real one all the time when I was little the smell is something else but they are sooo messy and with cats the plastic is easier and safer

Hottest Celebrity? Must admit nobody is rocking my world at the moment

Favourite Restaurant - I don't eat out a lot it's too awkward but I like Est Est and Chiquitos I can normally find something to eat there

Favourite Magazine - I buy so many probably Elle or Vogue

Favourite Holiday Drink - ooo Bucks Fizz, Mulled Wine, Pepsi - odd one that but it used to be the only time my mum ever bought it :)

Favourite Christmas Movie A Muppet Christmas Carol or Raymond Briggs The Father Christmas

I'd love to know yours too so I tag all of you x

Sunday 20 December 2009

Pretty Snow

Doesn't it look so clean and pretty with the snow :) I know it's not pretty for some though :( I went out this afternoon to try and clean the snow off the car and I managed to get the top layer off but the underneath was frozen solid. It hasn't snowed so far today but the temperature never moved above freezing all day brrrr bring on the extra quilt or two or more kitty cats to sleep on my bed tonight - they beat any hot water bottle xx

Store Twenty One + Asda Haul

Yes, yes, yes I know I am over my limit for this month but it's Christmas!
I popped to my nearest small town the other day to pick up my glasses from the opticians and I noticed that the former Woolworths store had reopened and was a shop called Store Twenty One. Oooo I hadn't heard of that one so in I went (as you do :))I have to say it was absolutely crammed you could barely get moved it was so busy. I managed to pick up a few bits for Christmas pressies and a couple of bits for me :)
First of all I saw this gorgeous multi coloured, zig, zag patterned scarf - It looks so like Missoni it's untrue and as you probably know I lost my beloved Missoni a few years ago (I have cried tears over that scarf believe me), it in no way compares to the beauty I lost but I love it and it was only £4 (as opposed to the £70 sale price of my Missoni :( )
I also picked up this navy blue, cable knit batwing jumper. Whether I bought it because I was so cold I don't know but I really like it and it was only £12 :)
I also popped into Asda to buy my mum some Christmas polar bear PJ's (we always buy each other nightwear from Christmas which we give to each other on Christmas Eve), and picked up this cute Hello Kitty sleep tee for me :)
Ok I have gone over my limit but I don't feel guilty I paid for it all in cold, hard cash and it slightly made up for the fact I missed out on the Soap & Glory Big Thrill Box - Damn You Boots On and Off Line!!!

Remington Wet 2 Straight Review

Like many other bloggers I was recently sent a pair of the Remington Wet 2 Straight hair irons to try, so If you have had enough of reading reviews on these I suggest you look away now (I've always wanted to say this like when they show the football results on the tv lol.)

I was super excited to try these as my and my bestie had been discussing the possible merits and pitfalls about this product since it first launched. The idea in theory sounds fabulous a set of hair straighteners which you can use on wet hair to dry as you straighten, and on dry hair as a normal straightening iron. I must admit I have real problems blow drying my own hair due to CFS related pains and thick hair so I was hoping that these would be a good solution (I normally dry my hair naturally and then straighten it)

I have to admit before I start the review that I am a GHD addict I am on my second pair and I love them, other straighteners I have used in the past just dont compare and have usually ended up in the charity bag so I was interested to see how these performed in comparison.

Design and Features
They are an ergonomically designed straightner with a slight curve to fit in the hand and to the scalp more easily. They also have longer and slightly thinner ceramic plates than my GHD's.
Unlike GHD's they also have an adjustable temperature control which is something I like this means you can adjust the temperature of the stylers depending on your hair thickness or type, e.g. higher temperatures for thicker hair etc. Like GHD's they also have dual voltage which means you can use them throughout Europe too.
The big difference though with the Remington Wet To Straights though is that they can be used on wet (realistically though damp hair) and dry hair. The straighteners features an easy 4 button control panel and an LCD display and you can easily switch between wet and dry at the touch of a button. The top set of plates feature a set of steam vents (in my pic they are upside down). According to Remington these vents draw the water away from your hair and create steam which helps the condition of the hair.
These straightners also come with a heat proof silver pouch which is very handy because they can get very hot!!

The Test - Wet Hair
As I said before wet to straight is probably a bit misleading - the straightners must be used on damp, towel dried hair, that has been combed through and sectionned out. I put the straightners on the wet mode and put it up to the highest heat setting of 230 degrees as recommended - obviously they take a little bit longer to heat up the higher the tempertaure you set them at but it still wasn't any more than a few minutes and they let you know with an indicator beep. I am in no doubt that these do indeed straighten and dry very well but I do have a few issues. First of all the biggie are they damaging the condition of you hair? Remington claim not - the production of the steam and the frizz resistant conditioners built into the plates prevent damage and actually aid the conditioning process -I have no reason not to believe this my hair certainly didn't feel any drier although I will say that I found the sizzling noise quite off putting!. Perhaps my biggest problem with wet to straight when used in wet mode was that it was incredibly difficult to get close enough to the scalp to dry the roots -the straighteners got very hot and it was very hard to hold them in a way to get to the roots without burning my fingers, and I found the same with my fringe. I also found it quite time consuming to dry all of my hair especially the underneath section -it seemed to take quite a while and you kept having to go over sections to make sure they were completely dry. Having said that it was for me personally easier than blow drying my own hair and I have to say I was quite pleased with the results - my hair was pretty straight, dry and not frizzy at all, and this seemed to last till the next morning

The Test - Dry Hair
The is the most familiar way to most of us of using hair straighteners - as I say I normally leave my hair to dry naturally and then straighten it when it's dry. As you can see naturally it's quite wavy, I sometimes leave it but more often than not I wear it straight. All you do with these is set the straightener to the dry setting with the touch of a button and adjust the temperature accordingly (I set it to about 190-200 degrees which is the GHD temperature). As before I applied a heat protector spray all over my hair sectionned it out and started straightening. The straighteners were pretty effective although I did find I had to go over certain sections a few times to achieve maximum straightness. Again though I found them a little hot to hold at times and again it was quite hard to straighten my fringe due to the design and shape of the irons. I was pretty pleased with the finish that they gave my hair but Remington claim that your hair should be left without frizz for up to 8 hours - I don't actually believe this -although all hair types are different, weather conditions can vary and so on mine only stayed really frizz free for a couple of hours or so
What Do I Think
Well as I said I'd always been interested in trying these straighteners- anything that can make my life easier I'm all for! I have to say on the whole I was quite impressed they did what they promised all be it with a few issues that I have mentionned. I do query a few of Remington's claims about this product though. I don't particulary understand the concept of how they protect the hair rather than damaging it maybe that is something you would only see over time, I also don't quite believe they banish frizz for up to 8 hours it certainly didn't in my case. I also don't think this product would be suitable for anyone with any thicker or longer hair than mine, I think the drying process would just take to long to complete. Would I buy this erm if I had GHD's already probably not I personally get just as good a result from drying my hair naturally and straightening it afterwards but if I wanted a set of straighteners and I didn't want to spend GHD money - yeah I think they are worth a try especially with the added drying feature. I get the impression that these are like Marmite a love / hate product -this is just my opinion and what I thought about them after a few weeks of use yours may be very different.

Where Can I Get Them
The Remington Style Therapy Wet 2 Straight Slim Straighteners RRP is £79.99 but there are loads of special offers around at the moment where you can get them for up to half price. You can get them from all good electrical retailers including Boots, Superdrug, and Argos

If you have any queries or questions please don't hesitate to ask me or check out Remington's own site for more information :)