May 2015 archive

Fragrance Direct/Tanya Burr Haul

  • Fragrance Direct is a really rather marvellous website. 
  • It is like finding the hidden bit in your local Boots store where everything is super cheap and exciting. They stock make-up, skincare, bath and of course fragrance. I love to spend hours looking at all the hundreds of item, fill my basket and never actually buy anything. (Especially at the weekend, usually after I have consumed too many fizzy pops the night before) This time however I clicked “buy”. I spent £20 on the following 10 items!! Got to love a bargain! 
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  • Fashionista Custom Design Palette1 6 x 2.5g
 
  • I love a palette, I have my eye on a couple of Urban Decay and Stila ones but at around the £30 mark they aren’t something I can bring myself to just buy. This was £2.99 (RRP £12.99). It has 3 eye shadows, 1 blush and 2 bronzers. It has a huge big mirror and looks really pretty. However I can’t help but feel like something is missing from this. Upon researching “Fashionista” I cannot find anywhere that stocks this brand any more. I suspect the reason it was so cheap is because they are no longer about. There is usually a reason for something like this! I don’t feel like it is really special and have not found myself going to pick it up when I put my make up on, but still sticking to what I usually use. Still for £2.99 I think it was worth a punt.
  • It certainly didn’t fill my need to own Stila Eyes are the Windows in Soul
 
  • I have finally come to terms with the fact that as a freckly red-headed lass I am never going to have a tan. I am very aware of how easily I burn and have been caught out on many occasions and ended up with a face the shade of a lovely ripe tomato.
  • I was very interested in this specific lotion from a well known sun cream company designed for your face. The packaging is quite nice, the liquid has a nice swirl in it which is quite attractive. The lid isn’t very secure and I get the feeling that it would probably come off in your bag and all of your handbag would end up covered in sun cream, but as a bass for my make up it works pretty well.
  • It smells like sun cream rather than a normal moisturiser, slightly coconutty like Hawaiian Tropic lotion always does. It did initially feel a little greasy but it soon sunk in and felt fine. The smell was a little much for me, on holiday this will be fine but as a day to day thing I am not sure I would want to smell like I am on the beach all the time!
  • I will not get this again to be honest, I will probably use it but there are many more products out there that do the same thing and I wasn’t hugely impressed with it.
  • Especially as this hit our news http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-32738241
 
  • For those who are down with the kids and the rise of the “YouTuber” you will know who Tanya Burr is. (Yes, I am down with the kids….) 
  • Tanya Burr is a beauty blogger, make up artist and writer well known for her YouTube videos. Last year she released a line of beauty products and I have wanted to give them a go. Being that she is quite hot property at the moment, they have been raved about in the blogging community so when I spotted them on Fragrance Direct I was excited to get a few and give them a go! I got 3 lipglosses and 4 nail varnishes. £1.50 each (RRP £5.99-£6.99) 
  • Tanya Burr Lip Gloss 8ml (Mistletoe Kisses, Red)
  • Tanya Burr Lip Gloss 8ml (Just Peachy, Natural)
  • Tanya Burr Lip Gloss 8ml (Aurora, Pink)
I am not a huge fan of lip gloss. To be honest I struggle with all lip products, to not look like a 3 year old that has got into her mums make-up.  However everyone has raved about these so much I wanted to give them a go. 
They are nice, they have a very sweet flavour and smell tasty. The package feels nice in your hand, solid and good quality. The applicator is really nice, it doesn’t take on too much product so during application you can put on as little or as much as you like. 
I went for 3 different shades, a strong red colour, peachy natural colour, and a gentle pink colour.
 
 
 
I love the Mistletoe kisses, it is lovely, it gives your lips a really gentle lovely flushed look without looking too made up. I think this one will find its way into my regularly used collection.
Just Peachy is really not for me, it is quite opaque, pastel and creamy. It really doesn’t suit my skin tone. I really didn’t like the shade or the way it applied, being quite pastel it either had to be laid on quite thick or smoothed out so it didn’t look like I had any on. One extreme to the other. I really didn’t like this one.
Initially I wasn’t bowled over by Aurora, it is a very similar to the shade of my lips, and I didn’t really see the point. However I have found myself picking it up and using it more and more. As a day to day product its great, doesn’t look too much for work, but adds a nice tint to your lips.  
If you like lip gloss then get involved, there are many different shades and definitely one to suit everyone! 
 
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  • I had to stop myself from buying all of these, I stopped at 4 shades which I thought would give me a good sample across the range.
 
  • I have been after a brown/grey shade so the first into my basket was Penguin Chic, which I really like. I remember first seeing grey and brown shades of nail varnishes and not instantly thinking wow but they have really grown on me. I think they can look quite classy and they are a good shade for all times of year. I really like this, it is listed as grey but I think it is more of a grey brown. 2 coats and it was good to go.
Second into the basket was Little Duck, described as green but I would say more of a blue, perhaps duck egg blue is where the name of the shade came from. This also only needed 2-coats to give a lovely colour. I really liked this, and I think it will be a lovely colour for spring and summer. It is quite playful and fun,
Peaches & Cream is a nice peachy orange shade which again I think is really lovely and will be great for the summer. This also only needed 2-coats.
Mini Marshmallows is a really cute pastel pink shade, this needed at least 3-coats to get to a good level but is super cute and very girlie. 
All in all I am really pleased with the nail varnishes, they are all lovely shades and good quality. The lids did crack and creak a little when I opened them and I was a bit worried the plastic would break but it was fine, not quite as good quality as the lip glosses but still good.
 
Overall pretty pleased with my Fragrance Direct purchases, and really pleased that I finally got to try out some of Tanya Burrs products. 

#findthehappy – Week 6

FIND THE HAPPY – Week 6 – Monday 11th May 2015 – Sunday 17th May 2015
 
Happy #1:  On Wednesday evening I went over to see my friends Gemma and Mike for the evening and have dinner with them. We had the most delicious chicken, leek and mushroom doings (3 of my favourite ingredients!) and put the world to rights. Had a really super good natter with them and then because apparently they had not already been kind enough in giving me my dinner, they gave me a lift home. Super lovely evening.
 
Happy #2: On Thursday I went over to my parents house to see them and to have dinner. It has been a couple of weeks since I last saw them (bad daughter) but we had a really lovely evening, with lots of giggles and homemade pizza – nom!
Happy #3: This week I told lots of my friends about the blog! I have set up a Facebook page (please go “like” me!) so that my friends and family would know about my ramblings. They have all been really positive and encouraging which was nice. It is always a little nerve racking showing people that know you something creative that you have been working on.
But all in all everyone has been lovely. Thank you :) xx
Happy #4: Birchbox came this week! It was full of great stuff again this month, and had a great theme of colouring! This seems to be all the rage at the moment. I got (L-R) Caudalie Vino Perfect Radiance Tinted Moisturiser, WAH London nail art pen in Navy, RMK Point Make Up Remover, PARLOR by Jeff Chastain Moisturising Sea Salt Spray, Number 4 Lumiere d’Hiver Reconstructing Masque and Mirenesse Mattfinity Lip Rouge. It also came with a little pack of colouring pencils and a box you could colour, what a fab idea!
By far my favourite item was the WAH London nail art pen, it comes with a fine brush and a pen-like nib to do pretty patterns on your nails! It’s a bit tricky but with practise I think you can have some great fancy schmansy nails!

Happy #5: On Sunday I had a really lovely day with the boy. We had a lovely lay in and then a nice cup of tea while watching an episode of House (now on the final season..boohoo!!) and then we went into town for lunch. We went to Noodles soup, one of our current favourite places to go for lunch. I had king prawn laksa with rice noodles, it was delicious! We then went to see The Avengers – Age of Ultron at the cinema. Can’t beat a bit of superhero action movie!

Embarrassing Mix Tape

We all have our dark secrets. 
 
Ones that we will take to the grave having never told a soul for fear of persecution and ridicule.
Ones that hide in the deep recesses of our minds…
…and iPods.

Welcome to Amy’s Embarrassing Mix Tape!

Side A

1. Take That – Promises
2. Enya – Orinoco Flow
3. Ennio Morricone & His Orchestra – Chi Ma
4. Carly Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe
5. Sisqo – Thong Song
6. Pat Benatar – Love is a Battlefield

Side B

7. 50 Cent – Ayo Technology ft. Justin Timberlake
8. Limp Bizkit – Rollin’
9. Vanessa Carlton – A Thousand Miles
10. N’Sync – Bye Bye Bye
11. Hoobastank – The Reason
12. Depeche Mode – Enjoy the Silence
You’re welcome.

What songs are there lurking on your iPod that you are ashamed to admit?

#findthehappy – Week 5

FIND THE HAPPY – Week 5 – Monday 4th May 2015 – Sunday 10th May 2015
 
Happy #1: On Friday I bought some French Fancies to work as a treat. I forgot how good they were. 
We did end up getting into a huge debate about whether or not the yellow ones are lemon flavoured. What do you think? The packet suggests they are not flavoured but I am convinced the yellow ones taste ..well.. yellow! I think a blind taste test is in order.. I will need to get more! 
 

Happy #2: Friday night was girls night, some of my best girl friends came over to my flat where we drank too much gin, sang very loudly and out of tune to Proud Mary. We danced and generally had a very silly, glorious time of it.

I am pretty sure this probably wasn’t a happy for my neighbours however. Apologies to them.

Happy #3: Friday evenings make up felt like a great success, I purchased a lip brush from Boots on Thursday and gave that ago. I usually have trouble applying lipstick and often end up looking like Miranda Sings but the brush seemed to help. I had some compliments from my friends about it so that was nice. #bighead
Happy #4: Eggy Peppers. My lovely work colleague Jenna has a rather splendid food blog with lots of delicious recipes – she recently did this egg baked peppers which I gave a go during the week. I cooked them for a bit too long but I love the idea! I think with more practise this will be delicious, roasted pepper and rich runny yolk.. om nom nom. She also did the same thing with an avocado… I will also be trying this. Check out Jenna’s blog Raw Rhubarb for more yummy, healthy recipes!
Happy #5: On Sunday we went to Hangleton to see some friends and their beautiful children. Jezz & I, and my flat mate & her boyfriend are going on holiday with them at the end of the month so we sorted out the last few bits and went for a pub lunch at the lovely Hangleton Manor pubI had whitebait for my starter, chicken roast dinner for my main and then Pimms Eton Mess for pudding all washed down with a lovely pear cider.  Somewhat gluttonous but glorious.  I had lots of baby cuddles with the newest addition to their family, lots of giggles, and excited holiday squeaks from all. Not long to go now!! Less that two weeks and we are off to Gatwick :) :) :) Woop woop!
A photo posted by Amy Teresa Elliott (@amynoos) on

Ten things they forgot to tell you about being a grown up.

1. Eating a whole cake to yourself will damned near impossible. But you will do it.
2. Spots will consistently appear on your face and body, not just when you are a teenager.

3. You will never quite be sure if you need to clean your mattress, or how you would go about it if you did. Same with your duvet.
4. Potato smilies will make you just as happy and they did when you were 5.
 5. As will Disney movies.

6. You will feel a genuine sense of achievement when you have cleaned the oven. After 8 months of putting it off.
7. Vegetables will actually be eaten through choice.
8. You will very suddenly realise you are not cool. You will actually start to doubt you ever were.

9. Random hairs will grow from places and you will not be sure how or why.

10. Your pay-check is not actually that much money when you have rent, electricity, water, gas, internet, council tax and gin to buy.

 

What it feels like getting a paycheck as an adult (By Books of Adam for BuzzFeed BFF)
Posted by BuzzFeed BFF on Thursday, 30 April 2015

#findthehappy – Week 4

FIND THE HAPPY – Week 4 – Monday 27th April 2015 – Sunday 3rd May 2015
 
Happy #1: On Tuesday a good friend who is moving back to Brighton from London later this year came down for a visit. Jezz and I headed to the pub to meet him for a drink after work, another friend who is due to become a father for the first time was also there. I haven’t seen either of them for a while so it was really nice to catch up! We did the pub quiz, failed miserably but did have the most obscene ridiculous burger ever. 
 
Happy #2: This week saw pay day and therefore a wee Primark shop was in order. I picked up a few tops for my holiday at the end of the month, a skirt (reduced to £3… HURRAH) some cute tote bags and some socks. I apparently cant leave Primark without socks that are cute.
Happy #3: Friday was the 1st of May and marked 6 months ago that I quit smoking. I posted about it here. Quite proud.
Happy #4: A colleague that I work with retired this week, (that is not the happy, she will be hugely missed) and on Friday my work colleagues and I went out. We went for a lovely Greek meal, I had halloumi to start and swordfish as my main, it was delicious! After we went to the pub and had a few drinks. I forgot to take photos of anything exciting here… too busy eating and drinking!
However in the morning there were some dogs painted on the road… so here is a picture of them instead…
Happy #5: This weekend Jezz and I were able to attend the Foodies Festival on Hove lawns, courtesy of a colleague who gave me some tickets for entry. We met up with some friends there and essentially spend the majority of the day eating and drinking. We shared pork belly sandwich, spring rolls, tempura prawns, chicken satay, LOTS of churros and a hog roast sandwich. Washed down with a pint of cider, pint of beer and a over-priced glass of spritz. We had a lovely time, however I can’t help but feel that if I had paid for the tickets I would have been very annoying. The face value of the tickets was around £13… once in there you had to pay for everything, or everyone was trying to sell you something. Dishes were between £4 and £9, drinks around £5 for a pint. Considering the entry cost I was surprised there wasn’t more to do. However, we didn’t pay to get in so it was fine and we were happy to spend a bit of money on some food. We rounded off with one more drink in the pub, all very much over-fed and sleepy by 5pm. Rock and roll.

6 Months Smoke Free!

I have never been one to be told what to do. 
So when the Department of Health launched their “Stoptober” campaign last year I was like;
“TO HELL WITH YOU, I WON’T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME”
So I quit in November 1st.
It hasn’t always been easy, but I am so glad I am finally free of the smoggy jacket that had enveloped me for the past *gasp* 13 years. Horrendous.
I had been thinking about quitting for a quite a while, more and more I was finding the smell and taste unpleasant and was feeling more and more grossed out by myself. I was finally convinced, encouraged by a couple of my friends who had recently quit using an e-cigarette. I searched the internet (bit of a mind field when it comes to these) and settled upon this kit from UK ECIG STORE which seemed to have good recommendations, was affordable and purple. (Yes, the purple pretty much sold it…)
It has been so helpful. I used it as a replacement to start with for the first few weeks, using it as I would have smoked. After a month or so decided to try and stop using it so much. Now I just have it with me when I am having a drink, which as most ex-smokers will tell you is the toughest time! 
 
From the start I used the lowest level of nicotine. As I have used it so little, the bottles of liquid have lasted me an age! I think I will get some without any nicotine for when I have a drink once the ones I currently have eventually run out, I am sure that now it is just more of the action rather than nicotine. 
But yes, so far so good, and no regrets. Only that I started smoking in the first place. 
But yes, today marks 6 months I have been smoke free. Here are some of my statistics from the QuitNow app I have been using. Scary!
 You can get the app here on Android  and on iTunes , it doesn’t cost a penny for the basic version which was fine for me! :)
If you are thinking of quitting do take advantage of all the help there is out there, Stoptober released a pack which I applied for (just didn’t crack open until November like the free-spirited-will-not-be-controlled person I am *snort*) and Smokefree run all year round so check their website out . Go and see your GP, many surgeries offer stop-smoking clinics and will really help you to quit.
So yes, today I am feeling quite proud of myself. Long may the non-smoking continue!