July Favourites

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Here we are again at the end of the month, talking about how fast the past few weeks have gone and more importantly, what products we've been loving. This month's favourites are in the form of a YouTube video so if you did enjoy watching, it'd mean a lot to me if you could take the time to subscribe and like the video! If you have done a post / video on what you've loved this month please comment below - I'd love to read / watch them!

Poppa's Pocket Chicken

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

One of my favourite meals of all time is something I like to call Poppa's Pocket Chicken. My dad's been making this for the past few months and I've fallen more and more in love with it every time I eat it. "Pocket Chicken" is basically a chicken fillet stuffed with mozzarella cheese, bacon bits and wrapped in bacon. The bacon makes it slightly unhealthy so I like to eat it with a small jacket potato, yet I still never manage to eat the lot!

I've been really getting into keeping an eye on what I eat lately. Of course, this isn't the healthiest meal of all due to the bacon bits but the grilled chicken and jacket potatoes are full of protein and good vitamins. It's got to be better than a Chicken Sandwich meal from McDonalds, hasn't it?! This is so easy to make, simply fry the bacon and slow cook the potatoes, cut the chicken fillet in half, stuff it and cook it. That's it. A delicious, quick meal as simple as that!

An Important Message

Monday, July 28, 2014

For once I'm not too sure where to begin with this post. After the usual scroll down my Facebook feed, I came across this video from Bethany. I'd always been aware that bullying was a massive deal but it didn't really click on how important it actually was until after watching the video. I'd always felt like it was something that never affected me, therefore I shouldn't get involved and always turned a blind eye to it like many other people.

I cannot stress how wrong this is to do. It's not really until I watched the video that I felt like I knew and understood about 10% of the hurt that people who suffer with bullying really go through. As soon as I watched the video I messaged Beth to ask if I could share it on my blog as a small way of helping her get to what she wants to do with anti-bullying and of course, she said that's fine. So here we are.

Watching the video literally brought tears to my eyes and I was so shocked and devastated that I know people who have been bullied and I'd been too anxious to help. Throughout exam time, Bethany's posts on Instagram about never giving up and generally kicking-arse were literally giving me a massive push to get exams done and do them the best I could. I don't think she knows about how much she has inspired me as a person to both stay strong when things get tough and to help people that are in need of our help.

Here's the bit where I need your help - please just take a few minutes to watch Beth's video and share it on your Facebook wall in a bid to get her videos noticed by more and more people. I'm sure it'd mean the world. xxx

Sunny Weekends

It's becoming quite the tradition to introduce a post with a photo of Meenie but I just can't help it - she's just too cute. Whenever we sit out in the garden she always comes and sleeps under one of the bushes, hiding away with just her head poking out. This weekend was soooo hot in England so my mum and I bought a little mini paddling pool and spent the day dipping our toes in and moaning about how cold the water was. Typical women!

I also picked up Essie's nail polish in Fiji amongst many other things and have loved how it looks on my nails. I've also been loving this outfit that I wrote about last week - it's so comfortable! How've you spent the weekend?

The Vintage Cupcake Kitchen

Sunday, July 27, 2014

 If you're a lover of anything Cath Kidston, floral or vintage related, I think I've found a little corner of the UK that'll be right up your street. The Vintage Cupcake Kitchen in Uppermill is where I spent my weekend, oggling over the dreamy interior and not to forget, the gorgeous cupcakes and smoothies. My mum, best friend and I visited here on a whim as we were wondering around the area looking for the perfect picnic place. Whilst driving past, typical me shouted, "Oh my God, mum we have to go there!".

It was so hot that I decided on having a mango & passion fruit smoothie to cool me down, as well as an Oreo cupcake... Trust me, if there's cupcakes on offer I can't decline. The whole ethos of this place is just beautiful. The staff are lovely, the area is beautiful and let's not forget, the food is to die for. The little picket fence and the floral bunting make it the typical village bakery. I could easily sit there all day and watch the world go by! It's definitely worth a visit if you're passing.

Bargain Dresses

Saturday, July 26, 2014

I'm a real sucker for a nice, summery, floral dress. In an attempt to stock up on last-minute dresses and bargains, my mum and I ventured out on a shopping trip, to which I found this gorgeous floral dress. When it comes to clothes in general, I'm not that big of a fan - I definitely prefer makeup, but I couldn't resist buying this (and many more) dress from Peacocks at just £16. I bought that many things I'm thinking of doing a little fashion haul on my YouTube channel (let me know if you're interested!) soon but I couldn't not photograph this outfit.

I paired the dress with a very old Matalan tote bag, some tan sandals and of course, some sunnies* from Firmoo. This is definitely one of my favourite outfits yet will probably look even better with a tan. I tweeted yesterday that I'm literally either NW10 or bright red. Not fun. I couldn't resist adding in this last photo - Meenie makes me laugh when she swans around the garden interrupting my photographing session.

New Nail Love

Friday, July 25, 2014

When it comes to nails I tend to be more of a neutral/bright red all-or-nothing kinda girl. I picked up the Natural Collection nail polish in Hibiscus after looking for a nice, unusual bright pink shade that I don't have in my collection and I am literally amazed by it. I don't tend to buy Natural Collection products because in my eyes, you get what you pay for. With this, you get what you pay for and much much more. For under £2 you get a gorgeous shade that's opaque within one coat and lasts up to five days with no chips in sight. I love it!

Disappointing Products

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

It's inevitable that sometimes we can spend extreme amounts of money on products that are very disappointing when we try them again at home. I'm the first to admit that I hate it when this happens - nobody likes wasting money, right? But I suppose if you don't try you'll never know. These are the products that I've tried, tested & have been disappointing!

The first product I'm quick to mention is the Maybelline Brow Drama. I express my hate for this in an up & coming YouTube video but I really really really dislike this product. The name confuses me - it gives no drama to the brows whatsoever and instead leaves them crispy and not nice. I was also disappointed by MAC's Creme D'Nude lipstick. This was my second ever lipstick from MAC and I've not been completely in love with it since I bought it. It's way too golden for my skin and makes me end up looking like I'm even paler and washed out!

I also didn't get along with NARS Laguna bronzer which was a surprising one for me. I'm very pale and have a hard time finding bronzers that don't look muddy, which is exactly what this one did. It takes a while to build up the colour so it's visible and then doesn't blend evenly. £25 is definitely not justifyable for me! Finally is the Philosophy Devine Satin-Finish Illuminating Powder. I got this after reading all of the 5* reviews on QVC and it was a massive disappointed when I got it home. This doesn't make the slightest difference to how my makeup looks and really doesn't do anything for me. Losing money sucks!

Meenie Updates

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Can you believe that this little cheeky monkey is almost 8 months old?! It's crazy how time flies. I still remember when we first brought her home and she spent the whole day exploring the new house and getting used to where everything is. It's so enjoyable watching her grow into herself and looking back at how much she's developed. 

She's been so cheeky lately and even brought home five birds within a matter of days. She timed the first one very unluckily for me - hiding a half-eaten bird behind my bag whilst I was home alone, forcing me to run across to my neighbors' house and asking them to move it. Gross! 

Her new favourite trick is to wake my mum up at the crack of dawn to play outside - she loves it out there! I'm lucky in the fact that she knows she shouldn't wake me up at 5am to chase birds and attack flies. It wasn't until a few days ago that I realized how much she'd grown. I was convinced she'd only grown a few inches since we got her but she's huge now! I think she's always going to be a small cat as she's much smaller than the rest of her friends but she has grown indefinitely. She may be small but she isn't half feisty!

Everyday Makeup

Monday, July 21, 2014

I pretty much wear makeup on an everyday basis and these kinds of videos/blog posts always seem to go down well. On an everyday basis I like to keep my makeup natural looking yet still fresh and healthy. If you want to see what I wear on an almost everyday basis, have a look at the video! It would also mean a lot to me if you could subscribe to my YouTube channel whilst you're there! :)

Loyalty Cards?

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Loyalty cards can be confusing things. How many points are worth £1? Which is the best store that offers the best deals? How much do I have to spend to get £5 in points? When you have a bunch of store loyalty cards stuffed away in your purse, it's easy to get confused on which one does what. Stores like Boots and Superdrug have their own loyalty cards with different offers, along with Costa and Debenhams, but which is the best?

This is personally my favourite out of all the loyalty cards. Boots offer 4 points for every £1 you spend and each point equates to a penny. For example, spending £5 will give you 20 points, worth 20p. I love Boots' scheme because you can insert your card into a small machine in store where you get little printable offers tailored to you. I love saving up my points and buying the more expensive side of makeup - free makeup is good makeup! Boots have also recently launched their new app which gives you deals tailored to you.

Superdrug is where I tend to stock up on essentials, such as my Collection concealer, deodorant and hair products. These products add up to a lot of money in the long run and you may as well use one of Superdrug's Beautycards. This is less generous than Boots, giving you just 1 point per £1 but again, one point = 1 penny.

Ahh, the most luxurious shop (with the most luxurious prices!) comes with a loyalty card. I find this is one of the ones that is definitely worth the money. Considering the majority of the products in store are above £25, you may as well be collecting points from them! Space NK offer 1 point per £1 and once you've collected 100 points, you get £5 off your next shop. I also received a full-sized Jurlique Rose Water Balancing Mist on my birthday for free!

Another loyalty card worth having is Debenhams' Beauty Club card. Debenhams offer 3 points per £1 which is pretty impressive! You also receive free delivery when collecting points online, as well as free samples and makeovers on your favourite brands and even a free Benefit brow wax on your birthday! This card has some serious perks. Remember, points make pounds!

The Smell Test

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

To me, there's nothing better than a gorgeously smelling makeup product. It just makes the whole makeup application experience much more interesting, pleasurable and exciting and I'm much more inclined to wear something that smells good than one that smells full of chemicals. Over the past few months I've been forcing new makeup products to go under what I like to call "The Smell Test". Yes, I sit in my room sniffing all of the latest lip glosses and yes, there are some goodens!

Bourjois' Chocolate Bronzer was an easy one to pass the test - it smells like chocolate. What's not to like?! I also love the smell of MAC lipsticks. Unless you own one of these, I literally cannot describe the smell but they all smell the same. I would say something along the lines of a Vanilla, buttery scent? Anyway, I love it, making my lipstick application a good experience.

I also love the smell of the L'Oreal Glam Shine lip glosses, which smell like candyfloss and sweets. It's delicious! The Rimmel Apocalips also have a really distinctive smell and when I first got this, I said it reminded me of my Grandma's house. It smells like some sort of fruit that my gran used to cook in one of her fruit pies. I'm still undecided on whether I like the smell so this has taken a bit of a backseat in the lip department.

Of course, I had to mention the Chanel Rouge Coco Shines. I didn't expect anything less from Chanel than to have gorgeous smelling lipstick in a gorgeous, sleek packaging. These smell like the signature scent you get when walking past a Chanel counter is the scent you get when applying this onto your lips. Sheer luxury.

Palettes, Palettes, Palettes

Sunday, July 13, 2014

If a number of things can be kept together in an organised way that makes transferring/using makeup much easier, I'm all over it. I am a palette lover, as you can carry around a number of different things within a certain space. It's an amazing invention! Over my makeup years I've collected my fair share of palettes but these are what I've found to be the best.

I have to start with MAC palettes. Ok, the price can get a bit ridiculous as it can cost near enough £200 to create your own palette but both the colour range and quality of the actual products themselves mean it's hard to go wrong. You can build your own customized palette and you don't have to fill them up all at once - the price can be stretched over a matter of months (or even years!).

The Sleek palettes are also worth mentioning - they're incredible for the price! For around £10 you can get 12 eyeshadows that are gorgeous, pigmented and easy to blend. I have the Storm palette, full of mainly neutral shades but you can get palettes full of bright, iridescent shades. Although they may be a little difficult to actually open, they're a great (and cheap!) alternative to brands along the lines of MAC.

If you're looking for a little neutral quad, The Body Shop's 4-Step Smokey Eye palette* is where I'd point you to. This little quad contains 3 neutral and 1 matte shade as well as a small blending brush, a small angled brush and a little mirror. This palette provides you with a gorgeous everyday makeup look with the shades being very pigmented and easy to blend, but the shadows do have a slight issue with fallout. To see the look that I created, you can click here.

What would a palette post be without featuring the Naked palette? Every blogger, their aunt, uncle and pet cat have this palette and it's not surprising. For just under £40 you can get a gorgeous neutral palette that have a combination of matte and shimmery finishes all in one nicely boxed palette. Plus, the pigmentation of these eyeshadows are like none other. Plus, 'Hustle' is one of my all-time favourite eyeshadows. It's seriously stunning.

Operation: Organize

Friday, July 11, 2014

I'm a very well organised person and am a firm believer in that "an organised mind is a happy mind". From the looks of my work space, you'd think I was the most unkempt, untidy and unorganized person ever to have lived but in my mind, I know where everything is and that it's in its place. Organizing my blog is something that I love to do (please tell me I'm not the only one?) as it gives me a clear image in my head of what's happening and makes sure everything is in order.

I keep everything blog-related in this little notepad where I have the dates and days along the margin and what post will be going live on that day. Opposite this I have a little column with the headings P, E, W, S which means photographed, edited, written and scheduled. Once I've done one of the steps I then tick off and I know exactly where I'm up to.  I also do this with my YouTube channel except the headings are F, E, S (filmed, edited and scheduled).

I also like to keep a note of upcoming post/video ideas as well as monthly favourites and notes for my "10 Things That Made Me Happy" series. There's nothing worse than coming to write your monthly favourites and you've forgotten everything that you've loved within that month. Keeping a little note of these kinds of things can help you feel much more organized and you don't rush around in a flurry taking photos of products that you've already photographed.... Trust me, I've done that before.

As well as paper notes, I have a sheet in Google Docs where I made a calendar and colour co-ordinate where I'm up to on that particular project but if you have any other organisation tips, tell me below! Fellow organizers, we can work together on this one!

Clinique Cheek Pops

Monday, July 07, 2014

It's not new news that I have been professing my love for the Clinique Cheek Pop in Ginger Pop on both my blog and my YouTube channel endlessly over the past few weeks. It's by far the best makeup-related purchase I've bought in such a long time and I'm completely in love with it – how can anyone not love a flower shaped pink luxurious makeup product? I picked it up in my Post-Exam Haul and it has been a staple in my makeup bag ever since.

I tend to go for reddish-brown muted shades as I find them to be the most complimentary on my skin and this shade is perfect for me. “Ginger Pop” is the one I chose from the four shades in the new collection and it gives my skin such a healthy and natural glow that it’s quickly become a staple in my makeup routine. Although they’re really pigmented, they’re also really easy to blend. You can also see it in action in my Kylie Jenner Inspired Makeup Tutorial… I’m obsessed!

DIY Polaroids

Saturday, July 05, 2014

There's not many things I love more than sitting down and going through old memory boxes full of photos. Nowadays our photos are stored on social networking sites like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and it means those special nostalgic sessions are few and far between. One thing I've loved doing lately is making my own DIY Polaroids (which are so easy and cheap to make!) and storing them in a cute memory box for me to look over every now and again.

For this little DIY you will need:
// Photos
// Scissors
// A Ruler (if you tend to make wonky lines)
// Card
// Glue

The first step is to print your photos. I used the FreePrints app (use invite code edopson2 for extra bonus prints) and imported my photos straight from my private Instagram account. This is such an amazing service and you get all of your 6x4 photos printed for free and your first 10 photos receive free delivery. It took such a small amount of time for these to be delivered and the quality is amazing. I then cut them into squares.

After your photos are all in squares, glue them on a piece of card and leave approx. 2 inches below to write your captions. To make sure all of the captions on your photos are the same size, turn them upside down and trim the tops off. 

Once the photos have been glued and the cards have been cut to the right shape, use a permanent marker to write your captions and voila! You have your own DIY Polaroids! I like to store mine in this little floral box from Tesco's and it makes a lovely little coffee table piece. Everyone who comes to your house can have a flick through your photos and if some of the people who visit are in the photos, it makes it even more special!  I think this is such an amazingly cheap way to store your photos and to make 10 of them, it cost me around £2... Amazing!

The Perfect Red

Thursday, July 03, 2014

I'm a sucker for a good red nail. I've also been searching high and low for the perfect red nail polish for my tips and toes that is the right shade, formula and has the best staying power with no chipping... I think I've found it. This little gem comes in the form of Nails Inc Kate Spade's Big Apple Red. Now I bought this last year in a magazine and it's pretty hard to come by now but I'm sure a quick search on eBay will show the nearest one to you. If you can get your hands on it, please do. I've had two coats on my nails for the past five days and no chips are in sight and I'm still as in love with the colour as I was when I put it on. I don't say this often but I think I'm in love.

Can we please also acknowledge the fact that every time I wear a grey hoodie/jumper I feel like Pennsatucky from Orange Is The New Black. I don't know what's wrong with me... I swear that programme is haunting me.