Tuesday 29 October 2013

Collection Lasting Gel Colour Nails - 11 Stormy Grey

Based on a little bit of internet research this polish formulation seems to divide the nail polish loving population. Some people say that this gel based formulations chips within hours some people say it lasts for ages. Well quite a while ago now I decided to get a bottle of the Collection Lasting Gel Colour Nails in 11 Stormy Grey to try, and before my holidays I gave it a go.

Grey really? This polish isn't grey at all, it's one of those greige (more beige), nude shades not dissimilar to Nails Inc Porchester Square, Promoted as being long lasting, and with the finish of a gel polish, this is just a normal nail polish. I has a super wide brush which makes application a breeze and I barely needed two coats for a perfect finish.

Did it last? well I got 4 days wear out of it with no top coat, not amazing by some peoples standards but by mine that's pretty good. Normally I'm lucky if I can get a couple of days out of a polish without it chipping and peeling so this gets a thumbs up from me. The colour despite being misnamed in my opinion is so easy to wear for everyday or for any occasion and I can myself wearing it lots. The colour choice is a tiny bit boring but I quite fancy one of the pink shades that I picked up for my godmother - at only £2.99 each you can afford to experiment. Which camp do you fall in? do you love these polishes or hate them ? let me know x

Monday 28 October 2013

Thinking Slimmer - Slim Pod - Week 23 - Part 2

Well it was another maintain this week. Again I'm not overtly surprised, I haven't been exactly good over the last 7 days. I'm pretty annoyed at myself to be honest I just can't seem to get back in the swing of things at the moment.

I don't think it helps that I keep falling asleep half way thorough listening to my Slimpod. They do say that it doesn't matter as your body still absorbs the messages but personally I like to hear the recordings so I can keep the messages and inspirational words at the forefront of my mind every time I'm tempted to eat something naughty. I'm going to try and alter my listening habits this weeks by trying to alter my sleeping habits a little bit.

Instead of waiting till I'm truly exhausted before I go to bed and  put my Slimpod on, I'm going to make a conscious effort to put the light off before I flake out, and have a bit of a pre sleep relaxation using my Slim and Chill pods before I go to sleep. In other words I'm going to  use the Thinking Slimmer system the way I did before my holidays :)

Other than that I'm going to try and watch what I eat and be a little bit stricter with myself when it comes to snacking. My one major hurdle will be tomorrow when I'm having tea at my Godmothers because it's her birthday :) I know for a fact she's bought some gluten free yummys from M&S but she always puts on plenty of salad so I'm going to try and fill up on that.

I've had a bad week and I'm feeling down about it but I'm still feeling positive over all and I'm going to keep at it x Any questions please leave me a comment x

(The Thinking Slimmer Slim Pod "Drop 2 Dress Sizes (Or More)" Was Provided For Review / Promotional Purposes)

Dark Nights, Crafting And Clearing Out The Clutter*

Unlike a lot of people I have to say I quite like it when the clocks go back. I love the heat and the sunshine and of course as a blogger the extra light for photography but I think the dark nights are really underrated. There is really nothing better than being warm and cosy inside, when it cold and dark outside.

It's all too tempting to snuggle up in a blanket, with a hot drink, in front of a DVD, and just chill and believe me I do it, but I also use the cold, dark to actually get things done.

Like every year I've set myself a few tasks to complete before the clocks go forward again. As well as blogging and You Tubing my little heart out, I'm also going to start paper crafting again. I used to be a real craft bunny making greetings cards and scrapbooks and I really want to get back into it again. I'm thinking of making a holiday scrapbook chronicling mine and Mummy Lou's travels over the last few years, and I also fancy making myself a little bit of wall art for my room. Something else that I'm going to try and do is learn how to knit with an excellent teacher - Mummy Lou. She says I don't have the patience but I'm determined to prove her wrong!

I've got all the bits pretty much that I need to get started but there is just one thing stopping me - the spare room, and mountains and mountains of clutter! Perhaps my key tasks for Autumn / Winter is too sort out my stuff. Every room in the house contains things that belong to me and are any of them organised ? are they heck. The thing that I'm going to do first is to sort out the spare room, at the moment it contains a desk, an old computer, my printer, several very disorganised drawer units, some wardrobes, and lots and lots of bags and boxes full of stuff, basically for the last couple of years it's been a dumping ground.

Scary isn't it? but my plan is to sort it all out, pack up my old computer, get rid of some junk, do lots of shredding, and basically transform the rabble into a craft and blogging room.

The next task will be too attack my bedroom, and give it a good sort and clear out. I'm not a huge hoarder but I just seem to have an awful lot of stuff that I could probably do without. Clothes, shoes, make up, CD's, DVDs, computer games, books, and even cuddly toys, you name it, I'm going have to be tough and get rid of it, after all as the saying supposedly goes a tidy house equals a tidy mind.

Thankfully in this modern era, if you don't want something you can pretty much guarantee that somebody else will. I'm big on making donations to charity shops in my area and that's something that I will always do but sometimes we all need a little bit of extra cash, especially at this time of year Auction sites are the most obvious option and are something that I often utilise but there are no guarantees that your item will sell (my major problem!), and to be honest it takes quite a bit of time and effort, so this time round I'm going to try and sell some of the DVDs that I haven't watched for ages to Music Magpie.

You've probably all seen the TV adverts, the premise is simple you simple go on the site and enter the bar codes of you CD's, DVDs and your computer games to get an instant price of your items, then you send your items to them for free, and then they send you the cash. They don't just take CD's, and DVDs though, they also take electronics and technological items such as hair straighteners, iPods and games consoles, and even clothes. I'm definitely going to give them a go this winter to try and make myself a little bit of Christmas money whilst at the same time regaining some valuable space and getting myself organised.

I'll keep you guys posted as to how I got on with my crafty things, and of course how with my decluttering, and the creation of my new blogging and craft space x Do you make any plans for the dark nights like me? and do you have any plans to declutter this winter? let me know in the the comments x

(*This Post Was Written In Collaboration with Music Magpie)

Saturday 26 October 2013

Foodie Friday On A Saturday - What I Ate In October - Holiday Eating, Cheating And Some Comfort Food

It's been another odd month food wise but above all it been characterised by a total fail when it's came to sticking to my gluten and wheat free diet and dealing with my intolerance's. I don't know why but this month I've been really fed up with my dietary restrictions and as a result I've ate all manner of naughty things  and generally I've paid the price. Thankfully I'm not seriously allergic or intolerant but with bloating, tummy pains and yes other nasties I've learnt my lesson by feeling crappy - was it worth it? In some cases (my holiday eats) yes, in some cases (a disappointing cheesecake) definitely not. Never mind it's out of my system now and I'm back trying to eat sensibly and trying not to aggravate my poor little tummy any more.

The majority of this post is all about the yummy food that I ate whilst I was on my hols in Cyprus. We've been to the the hotel that we stayed in quite a few times and I know for a fact that I can always find something to eat. We stayed on a half board basis, and we had a breakfast and an evening meal. To be honest when it's hot this was enough for the both of us, we just made sure that we ate plenty especially in the morning to last us for the day. All the meals in the hotel are served buffet style, where you eat as much as you like,and go back as many times as you like :).

This little lot was the first part of my breakfast pretty much every day, give or take an item or too depending on how hungry I felt. My breakfast consisted of a little dabble in the traditional cooked breakfast, with a bit of a Greek / Cypriot / Continental twist. Fried potatoes, scrambled or fried eggs and erm lots of cheese, the sliced continental type, and some Cypriot Anari and Halloumi. You can also see my first dabble into the dreaded wheat grain. They look like little pasties and I guess that's what they were, a sort of spinach and cheese pasty like spanakopita only made with puff pastry, and a sort of cheese pasty made with a very mild white cheese - gorgeous and well worth the bloating!

Next I normally had some fruit - oh yes Watermelon - OMG it was sooooo good, sooo juicy and so refreshing. Every day I pretty much just had that but these pics were taken on our last day and since this was the last official meal of our stay I thought I better stock up, hence the diddiest little croissants which were only about the length of my thumb. The other pastry type think that you can reminded me a bit of cannoli, but it was a vanilla custard in a sort of filo pastry tube - again gorgeous and so worth it x

Finally I ended my epic breakfast with a bowl of yogurt, they do such amazing yogurt in this part of the world, this is the peach and apricot flavour but they had quite a few and they were all delicious.

Yeah so as you can probably gather we didn't need to eat very much during the day, my mum had a sandwich once, and we either had ice cream, fruit or crisps to tide us over till dinner time, and of course we drank ridiculous amounts of water to keep us hydrated in the heat. I've mentioned this ice cream brand on the blog before but Nestle Nirvana deserves another mention for it's utter brilliance -  the Praline and Cream one was mine x

Then it was dinner time - we usually ate about 8.30 onwards so by this time we were usually starving. I usually divided my meal into three. First of taking my pick from the hot food buffet and the salad bar. This is just an example of what I had showing some assorted salads, some vegetables, some Cyprus potatoes and some hummus !!!!

After that I then had a fruit and cheese course, which usually consisted of either some halloumi, some anari, feta, a goats cheese or a cheddar, and again I had some melon. I probably ate an entire watermelon in the the course of the week :)

Finally pudding, the usually involved creme caramel, some form of mousse, and maybe some form of cake or trifle. Here I had a little bit of something which was a cross between chocolate biscuit cake and tiffin - soooo good!

Then on a couple of occasions I ended my meal (usually waiting for Mummy Lou who took full advantage of the starters and meat and fish items) with an ice lolly - again by Nestle these Nestea lollies were amazing, this is the peach one but they also did a berry one and they really tasted of fresh fruit - so nice and a great way to end a meal.

I wouldn't be a holiday without a drink or two, and we started early with a little cocktail in a can on our outbound flight - I had an On The Beach and my mum had a mojito - I'm blaming the turbulence for the quality of this picture ;) lol

Again something else that I've mentioned on the blog before - is this ivi - which to be honest is just a slightly nicer version of Fanta - addictive on it's own or mixed with a bit of vodka ;)

I also frequented one of the hotel bars for my customary vodka and orange juice :)

Oh and I also managed to get another one of these,

Yes the Costa Raspberry And White Chocolate Cooler, available for such a short time in the UK, I was delighted to find these in the Costa next to the hotel :)

Ah dreams of sunshine x It's no surprise that from the moment I got back home I wanted to be back out there on the beach - boo - never mind I decided to make a dish using some of the yummy halloumi and feta that I brought back with me -Nigellas Double Potato and Halloumi Bake - because of the now traditional post flight cold I also added some pickled jalapenos and some chilli flakes.

and I also had a little dessert treat that reminded me of my holidays  - Creme Caramel.

The rest of my food intake this month screams comfort food - I've wanted to eat things that are warming, soothing and that make me happy -  first up my mums gorgeous homemade cauliflower cheese, with gluten free cheese sauce, mature cheddar and Stilton.

Something else that I've eaten a couple of times this month is a ready meal. If your vegetarian and gluten free then you NEED to look at the Amy's Kitchen brand - you can get some of their bits in most larger supermarkets, online and in some health food shops. Yes, there more expensive but I've loved every single item that I've tried.This is the Cheddar, Rice And Bean Burrito which makes a great snack on it own or with salad or veg as a main meal.

Everything else in the post is all about the sugar, when your feeling a bit rubbish a bit of sugary sweetness always helps lift your spirits. We'll start off with some else out of packet - the Asda Free From Chocolate Brownie Mix

Yummy, something else that's yummy is homemade gluten free crumble - this one was made with plums and apples from my uncle's garden served with custard :)

The final fabulous things that I've consumed this month have been drinks and maybe a cheeky little chocolate treat. This month I've rediscovered my coffee and hot drink obsession and I've consumed countless cups of tea, hot chocolate, and coffee.

These are the Nestle Cafe Mocha Sachets and they are soooo good. I've been having mine with some Starbucks Toffee Nut Syrup for an Autumn / Winter warmer. I'm lusting after a pod style coffee machine now but my mum won't relent lol.

Autumn also means the return of a few Starbucks classics - Pumpkin Spice Latte to be honest doesn't do a lot of me but the Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate on the other hand.....

Wow amazing, a few people have said that they find it too sweet, but for me there is no such thing - warming and sweet, you get a nice salty kick thanks to the sprinkles - make this permanent please Starbucks x Finally carrying on with the sweet and salty theme,  a pre Halloween treat - Reeses Peanut Butter Pumpkins 

So that was my foodie month, some treats, some holiday eats, and the realisation that I need to be more careful about what I eat, and I need to be stronger and try to stick to my gluten and wheat free diet no matter how much I crave things. Have you eaten anything amazing in October, leave me a comment and let me know xx

Wednesday 23 October 2013

Holiday Hauling - Dr Lewinns, Benefit, Givenchy, Clarins And More x

I'm so sorry that it's taken me so long to get this post up but you can blame the weather - how dull has it been over the last few weeks? yuck! so hard to take any decent pictures or videos! Thankfully though there's been some very rare sunny spells, so it's haul time :)

Walking around in duty free spraying perfume, and swatching things is all part of the holiday experience and this time was no different. I don't know what it was though but nothing really screamed buy me in Newcastle airport, in most cases you weren't saving that much and I couldn't really justify buying some all be it very lovely things (the new Chanel cream blusher, and Benenfit Rockateur in particular). So all I got in Newcastle airport was a bottle of my favourite fragrance at the moment Givenchy - Dahlia Noir.

I saved about 10-15 pounds on this 75ml bottle which was pretty good. I also got a free gift a small tube of Givenchy Ange Ou Demon Le Secret Silk Body Veil, which actually smells nice and works well alongside the Dahlia Noir.

Again in Larnaca airport I wasn't that inspired, the brand choice is amazing and way superior to Newcastle with MAC, Bobbie Brown and Kiehls, but alas the prices were equal too if not more what you would pay in the UK so I just got one thing.

The Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner is something that's been on my wishlist for a while now. I paid €25.50 which roughly works out at £22 so the saving was only abut £3 but at least it was something.

I've been using Alpha H Liquid Gold which I love but fancied giving this a go, I've got about a month or so's supply of Liquid Gold left, so I'll do a review of this for you when I've used it for a bit x

So they were my airport purchases, as well as duty free shops, I'm also a great believer in in-flight shopping. As soon as every one gets strapped in it isn't the flight safety card that they pull out of the curiously tight seat pocket it's the in-flight shopping and refreshment catalogues lol; It fills the time I guess but this time there were a few bits that I quite fancied. The item that me and the majority of my flight seemed to want though (the Marc Jacobs Mini Fragrance Set) alas was sold out :( so instead I went for the Benefit airline exclusive She's So Jet Set kit.

I'm having a bit of a Benefit love in at the moment, rediscovering old products in my collection and craving new ones, so this seemed like a good buy.

It's basically one of their boxed palettes, which comes complete with a mirror,  eyeshadow and blusher applicators and a step by step tutorial leaflet showing you some looks that you can create with the loveliness inside.

The palette comes complete with 3 removable mini products the Porefessional primer, a lipgloss in Life On The A List a gorgeous peachy nude , and a mini They're Real mascara.

As well as the items it contains 4 brown and neutral toned eyeshadows in Champagne Please, Gold Card, Pretty In Mink, and Elegant Espresso. All of the shadows have a bit of shimmer in them and the pigmentation is superb.

The kit also comes with a duo blush / highlighter called First Class Face Powder. Apologies for the awful photograph but these pale peachy / coral pink shades aren't that pigmented on my tanned arm (no it's not grey irl lol) They are very pretty shades though and give a lovely subtle, shimmer and glow to the cheeks.
You can also see Life On The A List swatched here - I already own the full size of this one and it's so pretty and wearable.

There are some really nice things in this kit which was about £25, both the cheek and eye colours seem to be exclusives and the other 3 items are things that I've already used before and love. I'll do a full look sometime with this kit so you can see how all these gorgeous shimmers and nudes work together.

My final in-flight purchase was something that I've wanted to try for ages. My nails at the moment are ranging between okay to dreadful in the space of a couple of days. I've tried pretty  much everything else on the market and this is pretty much my last hope 

Yes Dr Lewinns Renunail :) I've read a lot of good things about this and this was a really good offer for just £15 you get a huge 30ml of the Renunail Strengthener, and a 15ml bottle of the Renunail Nourishing Oil.

This kit is £22 on the Dr Lewinns website so it was a pretty good saving. I'm going to be doing the 4 week challenge, where you basically apply the strengthener once a day for a week, then after a week you remove it then start again and do the same for 4 weeks. You not really supposed to wear polish for this stage so I have a few nail posts to go up in the meantime and I'll report back in a month so you can see how I get on x 

The final part of my holiday haul comes from the resort itself. I didn't buy an awful lot to be honest the prices had majorly gone up since the last time I was there. I bought a few bits that I haven't photographed including some gorgeous halloumi cheese, and some framboise, and some postcards for scrapbooking :) but as per usual I bought a few jewellery pieces, including these bracelets, 2 with side ways crosses, and one with gorgeous brown stones.

I also bought another pashmina like scarf, I bought a gorgeous leopard print the last time I was here so this I managed to find the Zebra version :)

My next purchase was a bit of an emergency one, my lovely polka dot hanging toiletry bag didn't really survive it's journey very well, and the bottom zipped section broke spilling skincare all over the vanity. So I bought another make up bag / wristlet to put my bits in.

Yeah it's a fake Marc Jacobs one, whoops - no matter I love the design and I couldn't afford the real thing, and it did the job keeping my goodies safe on my return flight :)

My final two purchases were typical touristy things, this cute handmade wooden cat keyring :)

and this cats of Cyprus pen :) I also got the matching mug for free because I spent so much in one shop  :)

I've also made a little video so you can see some of my buys up close xx Don't forget to subscribe to my You Tube channel if you haven't already, you can find it here x

So that was my haul I expected to buy a few more bits to be honest but I didn't, the prices weren't amazing, and I just couldn't justify paying more for something than I would at home just for the sake of it, so I came home with some Euro's and some pounds - I still have the Euros' but the pounds may been spent since I got home - whoops - more on that to come next week ;) In the meantime though if you have any questions on anything that I've bought please leave me a comment x I love reading what you have to say and I really value your input x