Wednesday, 23 April 2014

My Birthday Presents 2014

As most of you probably already know it was my Birthday on Sunday. I didn't have loads of presents as I asked for Primark vouchers, and very luckily received quite a few along with some other gorgeous gifts.

My main present from Spencer was the nights stay in Chester that we added onto our holiday. He did generously get me other presents too including this beautiful Clogau charm that will live on my Clogau necklace*, I'll show you the two of them together in more detail in another post.

Spencer also got me a Macro lens extension for my camera, to be honest neither of us really know what to do with this! He bought it thinking it was a macro lens so now we are both a little stumped and can't figure out how to work it, more research needed! I received this amazing smelling candle from Spencer's parents.

My parents bought me both of these fridge magnets and I love them, the cats and chocolate one is so apt! Spencer's parents got me the cute cat brooch, crazy cat lady theme right here! 

My sister and her partner bought me this gorgeous bag from Peacocks, it is a nice size and will be great for short trips away and days out.

I also received the Primark vouchers and lots of Birthday cards, so lucky! 

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Review : Limited Edition Steamcream Secret & Purity Set via Baobella

Steamcream is a product that has been on my 'to try' list for quite a while as there is so much hype surrounding it in the blogging world. Not only is it said to be a fantastic product but the packaging is always ridiculously pretty.

Steamcream is an award winning, multi-use moisturiser that is 100% vegan, made with natural anti-ageing ingredients and doesn't cost the earth. 

I was a little concerned that the cream may not agree with my oily skin, but I needn't have been. I have been using it for a while now and have suffered with no extra spots than usual and no excess oil. It has definitely improved my skin and is fast at helping to heal skin left dry and damaged from acne.

It does have a Lavender scent which is fine by me and doesn't stick around for long, though this may put some off.

Steamcream comes in a twist tin, this and the fact that it is multi-use makes it an ideal product to take on holiday, which is exactly what I've just done. 

This set is still available on Baobella for the fantastic price of £12.95, but I would be quick as there are only six sets remaining. To buy this offer and check out the amazing other deals click here. As you can see from the screenshot they have the Yuko shampoo & conditioner that I recently reviewed back in stock, read my review of those here.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Week in Photos #155 (Holiday, Birthday & Easter!)

I had a super busy week last week as we went on holiday and celebrated both Easter and my Birthday yesterday. I spent last Sunday scheduling blog posts for the week while I was away, it felt good being so organised for a change! I hope you enjoyed the posts that went up. We drove to North Wales on Monday in the glorious sunshine and enjoyed plenty of beautiful views along the way.

We knew when we had arrived in North Wales as the signs had changed. Here in South Wales we have the English followed by the Welsh translation, in North Wales the Welsh comes first! We stayed at the lovely Royal Victoria Hotel in Llanberis where we were surrounded by gorgeous views and even had a lamb directly outside our bedroom window one morning. 

While in North Wales we did loads including a trip to Caernarfon Castle, Portmeirion and Mount Snowdon. I bought Spencer a lovely car air freshener made from sheep poo! 

We added a night in Chester onto the end of our holiday, as we were so close I managed to persuade Spencer to sort it out for my Birthday. He surprised me with bubbly on arrival at the hotel to celebrate. We had a delightful afternoon tea at Mad Hatters on the Friday followed by a casual Starbucks lunch on the Saturday before heading home. 

Yesterday I celebrated my Birthday :) Spencer bought my presents up to bed for me and made me delicious Eggs Benedict (my fave) followed by cake and coffee.

As well as celebrating my Birthday yesterday I also celebrated Easter at my parents' house. We had a lovely chocolatey cake which we left quite plain ready for my niece to decorate, my niece also made us our own place names. We had an amazing lamb dinner, my mam does the best roasts. I had the idea of buying Welsh Easter eggs for my niece and nephew while we were in North Wales but I didn't find any, I then had the brain wave of getting them iced in Thorntons with the Welsh for Happy Easter - Pasg Hapus.

Other food this week has included a romantic meal of lager and crisps in Chester on the first evening, we didn't want a big meal as we'd had the afternoon tea earlier | a Chinese when we arrived home as we have no food in the house | Bagels with Strawberry & Champagne jam bought from Portmeirion this morning | I'm still munching my way through this Dominos, we bought a huge one earlier for both lunch and tea today. Must go food shopping soon. 

I have a lot of chocolate to eat, I will get around to dieting one day again soon....

I hope you all had a great Easter and ate a stupid amount of chocolate :) 

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Home : Simple Sofa Update with Cherry Blossom Cushion Covers

We wanted to update our tired looking sofa but couldn't afford a complete new sofa, so I settled on new cushion covers. Cushion covers in the correct sizes were surprisingly difficult to get hold of, we tried Dunelm Mill, IKEA and even SCS where we originally bought our sofa. Places either didn't have the correct size, had horrible patterns or only sold the size with the cushion for a ridiculous price (around £60 per cushion in some places!). There may well be other more obvious places to look but I didn't know where so took to eBay, the place where you can buy absolutely anything. 

The old feature cushions were quite dark, we've lightened our room a lot so lightening the sofas was the next obvious step. Annoyingly I forgot to take a before photo of the larger sofa but you should be able to get the gist of it from the smaller sofa.

The covers aren't as sturdy as our previous ones and seem to attract a lot more fluff but that aside I am really pleased with them. They have refreshed the look of the sofas and in turn the whole living room without costing the earth.

This is a scheduled post as I am currently in Chester.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Tag : Oh No, Not Another Tag!

I was tagged by Ellie of Misellyre to take part in this fun tag, thanks for tagging me! 

You've made it BIG & bagged some VIP Fashion Week tickets. You lucky devil you. But in your rush to get there & get yourself noticed you forgot your VIP Passes. The guy on the door says he will cut you a deal, you can go in only if you sacrifice either your Front Row seat, backstage privileges or goody bag. What's it gonna be? 
This is probably an unpopular choice but I would sacrifice my front row seat. I hate being the centre of attention and sitting front row I would be so paranoid that I may be caught on camera and wouldn't be able to enjoy myself properly. It would actually be a bit of a relief not to have to sit front row! 

You're making a new Subscription box, what 4 items & which dreaded perfume sample would you include in it? 
This is so difficult as we all have completely different preferences when it comes to subscription boxes. Mine would be a complete mixture, a bit like my blog! Mine would be geared towards pampering so I would include a luxury tea sample, a candle, a face mask and a delicious bar of raw chocolate. For the perfume I would opt for Beyonce's Midnight Heat, purely because this is the last perfume sample that I received and loved (I actually went on to request and receive the perfume for Christmas!).

What's your biggest blogging bug bear? The one thing guaranteed to make your blood boil & have you screaming/eye rolling at your laptop?
I have to agree with Ellie on the bad punctuation and small photos, these two things do make reading a blog less pleasant. My main bug bear is drama and bitchiness. We all share common interests so why can't we all just get along?

No more joining in Twitter chats only slightly relevant to your blog. You can only join in one blogger chat a week for the rest of your blogging days, which one's it gonna be & why? 
I rarely join in the Twitter chats because with working full-time and writing a blog I don't always have the time. The only one that I have ever taken part in is #BBloggers so I guess that is the one that I would go for! 

'Fess up, do you actually own any MAC? If so what don't you like about the product? 
The only Mac products that I own are lipsticks and the Studio Fix foundation. I have no qualms whatsoever with the lipsticks but do find the foundation can be a little orange if applied too heavily.

The blogging Gods ban arm swatching, which body part will you swatch on now? 
I would show the product on the part of the body that it is used. I always try to do this in review posts anyway, I personally prefer to see lipsticks on the lips, etc.

You can no longer have Yankee Candles & Perfume Bottles in the background of your shots, what other inanimate object will you choose?
I don't actually tend to do this anyway. I would just opt for a plain background such as my white brick wall wallpaper or my white wooden floor which is what I usually use. 

Your blogs Instagram - is it for cats or meal shots?
Both! My Instagram is probably more 'well known' for food photos but I do often include photos of my cute little babies :) 

Thanks for tagging me Ellie

I tag anyone who would like to join in. Please let me know in the comments or Twitter if you take part.

This is a scheduled post as I am currently in Chester.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Home : Updated Fireplace with Shabby Chic Distressed Mantle Clock

We've recently added the finishing touch to our fireplace in the form of this beautiful mantle clock. I stumbled across this in one of Victoria's eBay posts and knew that it would be the perfect addition to our living room. 

We painted the fireplace white a little while ago and vowed not to clutter is up again, so far so good. We bought two IKEA Ribba frames for our Wedding anniversary portrait and card. One of my Bridesmaid's bought us the card for our first anniversary from Kelly Cuts Paper

I think the distressed style clock fits in perfectly with my DIY decoupaged mirror and white fireplace. 

If you click on the DIY decoupaged mirror link you will see just how much my living room has changed lately, it shocked me when I saw it! 

This post is scheduled as I am currently in North Wales. 

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Guest Post : Jess of Lovely Jubbly's Mutli-Use Make-Up Products

As I'm away on holiday the lovely Jess offered to provide me with a guest post to help keep my blog ticking over. Jess blogs about a range of topics including beauty, lifestyle and weight loss. She is friendly, chatty and one of the many local Welsh bloggers that I have had the pleasure to meet. 

Buying lots of makeup products can often mean that I end up carrying around way more makeup than I need and have a makeup bag that is bursting at the zip. So, it's always nice when I find a multi-use product that I can use for a few different things, save space and condense my makeup bag! Here are some of my favourite multi-use makeup products: 

Mac MSF in soft and gentle is a cult favourite and definitely one of the most beautiful powder product ever, not only is it a great highlight but you can also use this for a subtle blush, an inner corner eyelid highlight or even an all over base shadow for lazy days! Another great powder product is sleeks face form kit (mine is in the shade light) which contains a contour powder, highlight and blush. This trio already condenses your makeup into one product but the contour and highlight can also be used on the eyes for a soft all over lid colour and by placing the contour in the crease you can create an easy neutral eye look! 

Urban Decay's Naked Basics palette is already very compact and is smaller than an iPhone but it gets even better. Crave is a matte black shade so makes the perfect eyeliner used with a brush whilst faint and naked 2 can become the perfect brow combo depending on your shade, I like to use a mix of both. Another dual purpose eyeshadow is the maybelline 24hr colour tattoo, which makes a brilliant eyeshadow base but also a lovely eyeliner so the smokey bronze and black shades are great for that. They also offer natural matte shades which can double up as primers. Speaking of primers, this little pot of primer from Avon can be used as a colour corrector to even out any small patches of redness as well as making a fantastic base for any eyeshadow. 

Sometimes it's worth investing in a product if you can use it for multiple things and also save space at the same time. Do you have any multi-use products you love? 

Thanks for the great post Jess! I don't own any of these products but may invest now that I know how versatile they are!

Don't forget to visit Jess' blog and Twitter

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Tag : The Beauty Blogger TAG

The lovely Madeline of Cappuccino and Fashion tagged me for The Beauty Blogger Tag a little while ago, I am finally getting around to replying! 

Why did you start blogging and how long have you been blogging for?
I started my blog a whopping three years ago back in February 2011. I was actually looking at places to start a Wedding website when I stumbled across blogs and Frugal February. I decided to take part in Frugal February and to start a blog documenting my progress in this and life in general, things just grew from here as writing my blog helped me to discover other blogs which taught me just how much you could actually do with a blog. 

Whose blog did you fall in love with first?
I really cannot remember whose blog I first fell in love with, a lot of the bloggers that I followed back in the day have now stopped blogging. The blog that I have been reading for the longest is probably Lilly Melrose, I really enjoy both her fashion and beauty blogs.

What was the first blogosphere hyped about product that you bought? Was it worth the hype?
Estee Lauder maximum coverage foundation and yes, it was definitely worth the hype and is still my go to foundation for bad skin days.

What are your five favourite things about blogging and being a Beauty Blogger?
1. Writing a blog pushes me to be more creative in a lot of areas in my life, which is never a bad thing.
2. I love being part of the blogging community, I know it can be bitchy at times but generally it is such a nice community where we all stick together. 
3. Meeting new people. I have met so many nice people through blogging which has greatly improved my confidence and my friends list :)
4. Followers, people who actually read my blog amaze me, I still can't believe that you're here! 
5. Being lucky enough to hear about and discover new products for review purposes, I have tried so many products and previously wouldn't have been on my radar.

What have you learnt from being a Beauty Blogger?
Dark days suck for photography purposes | don't be afraid to ask, there is a massive community of people willing to help | be more confident we are all in the same boat after all. 

Have you changed anything since becoming a Beauty Blogger?
Beauty blogging has opened up my eyes to the more expensive brands that I would never have considered previously, I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing haha! 

What advice would you give to a beauty blogger just starting out?
Be patient. Provide great content and photos and just keep doing what you love. The followers may not come for a while but they will eventually. Follow and comment on other blogs to get yourself out there and also be active on Twitter with both brands and fellow bloggers.
What are your top 5 makeup brands?
1. Urban Decay - eyeshadows
2. Mac - Lipsticks
3. Benefit - Everything
4. ELF - Mid-range price, great products.
5. MUA - Cheap products, some great some not so great but always worth trying

Recommend your top 5 beauty products:
1. Estee Lauder Maximum coverage foundation for bad skin days
2. Benefit Hello Flawless foundation for okay skin days
3. Urban Decay Naked Palette
4. Mac Lipsticks
5. Collection 2000 lasting perfection concealer

Thanks for the tag Madeline! I tag everyone who would like to join in, let me know in the comments or on Twitter if you do take part! 

This is a scheduled post as I am currently in North Wales.

Monday, 14 April 2014

My Picks : Easter Nail Stickers

1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  

Events such as Easter seem to be getting bigger and bigger each year in the UK. When I was younger we would have one big egg, two smaller ones, a packet of Mini Eggs and some Creme Eggs and celebrate with a lamb dinner. Twenty nine years later (I turn 29 on Easter Sunday) you are able to buy Easter decorations, Easter Nail Art, Easter everything - I'm also pretty sure that the kids have a lot more than we did! I'm not one to sit around and moan about what we did in our day, I'm one to move with the times and get carried away with the celebrations which is exactly why I've been eyeing up Easter Nail stickers. Now I just need to decide which set to buy...

How will you be celebrating Easter this year? Do you join in with decorations, etc?

This post is scheduled as I am currently in North Wales.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Week in Photos #154

I decided to share this beautiful photo of me and my big sister for National Sibling day. It would seem that I was a poser even back then! 

Meals this week : Lamb, veg & roast potatoes | use-y upp-y week randomness of cottage pie and rice | Chinese rice with king prawns and chicken | bacon roll.

Going into work on Monday morning and seeing these two beautiful cakes certainly made the day seem a whole lot better | A few of  us have started walking in our dinner hour, I went on my first walk on Friday and am still aching today, they said they would ease me in gently... | Friday was my last day in work until 23 April so I came home with early Birthday cards and an Easter Egg. My Birthday is the same day as Easter this year and it felt strange to be receiving both so early.

On Saturday : Wore my new glasses from Abby's giveaway | Caught up with some friends over a delicious Frankie & Benny's breakfast | Played retro games including Mario Kart and Sonic the Hedgehog | Drank a beer just because it has our surname on it, we then had friends over for a few more alcoholic beverages.

I received an email today for a free Birthday meal at our local Table Table. We go there quite often and were a little disappointed with the service tonight, it was stupidly slow. The voucher also stated that as the card holder my meal would be free, so I ordered the most expensive meal in the form of a Mixed Grill, upon payment they had taken the cheapest meal off the bill. Apparently this was in the terms & conditions, I checked when I got home and it wasn't. I am awaiting a response to my complaint on their website. | We enjoyed sharing some Egg 'n' Spoon between us earlier, I love Easter! 

We're going on holiday to North Wales tomorrow until Friday, followed by a night in Chester. I've spent most of today scheduling posts and actually have one up for each day, including one guest post. Quite ironic that the week I'm away my blog will actually have more content than in a normal week! I hope you enjoy it.