Monday, 31 March 2014

100 Happy Days

Evening all!

Hope you've all had a great weekend. As some of you may have seen L and I started 101 things in 1001 days list when we started the blog. They come to an end this October. One of the things on my list was to do a project 365. I've run out of time to complete this now so when I saw 100 happy days I knew it was something I wanted to do.

I'd seen the hashtag on my twitter, facebook and instagram but it wasn't something I'd looked into. When the link for 100happydays.com popped up on my facebook yesterday I had a read.

I love the idea of finding at least one thing each day, no matter how insignificant it is, that makes you happy. I think sometimes we can let life get in the way and stop to appreciate the small things. I let weeks pass and cross them off as a bad week and let myself be moody. 

On the site it states 71% of people don't complete it. Many stating being too busy. This made me think it's time to step back and really start appreciating the little things.

Day 1 for me is Bristol Temple Meads train station. After a lovely weekend at home it's great to travel back to Wales to catch up with friends!!

Day 2 is leaving the gym. My Monday gym sessions are one of my favourites. I love the classes and they always make me feel better.

The final point of my 101 things was to be happy with where I am, for me this is the most important of the list and I finally feel like I'm getting there. I feel like I'm starting to find myself again and what makes me happy and this little project will only help me along the way.

I already feel more positive. I know happy on a Monday just isn't right!

Can you find a little thing each day for 100 days to make you? Let me know if you decide to do this. 

Love M

xxx


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Sunday, 30 March 2014

Naked: Fake It*


Hi there!

I've had a whirlwind of a Sunday today with a quick trip to Swindon's McArthur Glen Designer Outlet with my mum, 2 aunties, 1 cousin and my nan, a proper Mother's Day out shopping!
I've actually had a nap on the way home because it was that exhausting, leaving at 9am almost killed me off and shopping til we drop is certainly a motto in my family!

For the last few weeks I've been testing out the Naked: Fake It range.

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The Naked: Fake It Glow It Up Self Tan Lotion* is silicone free and contains a 100% natural self tanning agent. It's enriched with cocoa and shea butter and contains so many wonderful smells that the elusive biscuit smell from normal tans is a thing of the past (I'm talking pink grapefruit, zesty bergamot, orchid, amber AND vanilla extracts).

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You apply this like a normal tan; apply to clean skin and wait 10/15 mins to dry thoroughly and it will develop over the next four hours.

You can see my arm below after 1 application:

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There isn't a huge colour change but I can tel you that my skin looked a lot healthier and I definitely had a 'glow'. The lotion is white in colour which did initially worry me as it can be hard to make sure it's all rubbed in properly but I didn't have any streaks at all.

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The moisturising properties of this self tan lotion left my skin feeling more hydrated than any other tan I've ever used and feels more like a tanning moisturiser like Dove or Johnsons but with less of a biscuity smell. I honestly didn't detect any whiff of that tan smell which is very refreshing.

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As usual with Naked products this is produced with naturally derived ingredients and no sulphates, parabens or petrochemicals which is something that me and M are both big fans of.



The Naked Fake It range just wouldn't be the same without the Dust Me Mineral Shimmer Powder*:

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It's a really sturdy little pot with a twist mechanism to allow product to be used. This ensures it isn't going to go everywhere (I have white bedding and hate it when things like this explode!) I've dabbed this straight onto my cheekbones and dusted it onto my collar bones and decolletage for an extra bit of shimmer.

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The photos below show the product swiped onto my hand with and without flash:

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The photos below show it blended in with and without flash:

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This is a gorgeous gold toned shimmer powder that will be lovely to use on holiday, and if you've got yourself a gorgeous deep tan also on a Saturday night.
My hand doesn't really do it justice as unfortunately tan never sticks as I'm constantly washing my hands in the lab, but it's so finely milled that a little goes a long way and it definitely doesn't leave you looking like a disco ball. It's also fragrance free which is a huge positive for me as I can't stand those 'powdered' fragrances.


You can pick up the Self Tan Lotion for £9.99 and the Mineral Shimmer Powder for £6.99....or if you're super savvy they come in a Gotta Glow Gift set priced at £14 for the two together which is even better!

What do you think of the Naked range? Do you think it's a great idea they've branched out into self tan?
Will you trying these products out?

I think at £9.99 for the self tan it's a really good price for how moisturising it is on your skin, and no fake tan smell!


L xxx



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Saturday, 29 March 2014

Cabot Circus


Morning!

I had an absolutely amazing week off and did so much more than I thought i would. All those little things I planned on doing like sorting out my shoes, books etc have not happened at all!
Never mind eh.......I did go shopping with my mum to Cabot Circus one day and I had a bit of a haul at Primark!

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I've been craving a holiday for years....the last time I went was a good 4/5 years ago so I'm really looking forward to some genuine sun. I'm planning on a trip to Thailand in November so need some new summer clothes and also have Glastonbury coming up. I don't expect to be keeping the clothes after they've served me at a festival and backpacking so I went straight for Primark, cheap and cheerful!

I picked up some shorts to start with, they go with everything and are easy to wear. The ones above were about £3.50 i think, so a really good price.
I have a pair of denim shorts already but another pair are always handy. These are a boyfriend cut with a bit of fraying detail and are a bit longer than normal so should deal with every situation.

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No festival goer worth their tent will be there without some accessories....I've picked up this hat and the flower headbands/crown which I'll be featuring in an upcoming post as they're just too good for the money!

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I know for certain that aside from shorts; dresses will be my go to whilst travelling, and so I've picked up a few cotton ones to be worn as cover ups.

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The one above will be perfect for the beach and the dresses below are exactly the same just orange and white in colour (and a bargain £5 each!)

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I love this kind of detail on summer clothes (broderie anglaise isn't it??!) its so lightweight and breathable.

That was it for my trip to Primark and I ended up buying a bikini in Next. The weather was AWFUL at the time and cold and rainy, so it felt really weird to be buying such a summery item but it was too good to miss and they had my size in stock....it was a sign!

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I do love stripy things and the pink gives it an updated twist. Hopefully it will look good when I'm super pasty and when I've got a bit of a tan going!

Lastly I went to New Look and was obviously having a shorts oriented day...I couldn't resist picking up these two. The black and white patterned pair could be worn during the day with a floaty top, on the beach or out in the evenings for casual meet ups. The grey ones match the bikini perfectly! They were made for each other with the pink accents.

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The bikini retails at £10 for the top and £6 for the bottoms.
The shorts were £10-12 each.


I had a lush day browsing with my mum and could have spent so much more! We both spent a good while in Aldo checking out the bags and shoes; there was so much we wanted we had to go and do a lap of the centre before returning! Why don't we have one of those in Cardiff?? They'd make a fortune!

What do you think of my purchases? Are you buying similar items for your holidays?
What's your number one item you'll be stocking up on this summer?


Do you have any travel tips for Thailand?

I cannot wait to go and experience a totally different country, especially those idyllic beaches from paradise!


L xxx


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Friday, 28 March 2014

Fitness Fridays: Meal Prep


Hey lovelies!


Hope you're looking forward to the weekend, I'm out for a birthday meal with some friends and then spending mother's day with my mum, 2 aunties and my nan for a shopping trip, the best kind of mother's day!

This week's Fitness Friday post is dedicated to Meal Preparation.

Again, I'm no nutritionist or dietitian but I do believe I eat a healthy and balanced diet. One of the main things that my work colleagues always say to me is 'how do you make lunch like that in the morning?' 'how do you have the time?' and then rattle off excuses of like 'it's hard to keep fresh ingredients in the house' etc etc etc.

There are SO many ways you can still eat healthily and really it is a poor excuse to say that you don't have time and can't keep fresh food in the house, and I'm hoping this will show you how.

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1) Make better use of your freezer. I know that most fruits and vegetables are better fresh, but you can buy bags of frozen berries for smoothies, sweetcorn and soya beans for salads, and peppers, mushrooms, onions, garlic, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower etc for evening meals.

There is no way you can't find room in your freezer for a variety of these bags of fruit and veg and incorporate them into meals and snacks. Apart from if you've done the next step....

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2) Choose and prepare your meals in advance. 
I know those days that you don't know what you want to eat, you've had a long day and want something comforting. 
I do live at home with my parents currently (just can't seem to get away!) so I'm lucky that my mum prepares amazing food. But when I lived out I spent 1 day a week making up meals for the week and separating them into portions. I'd refrigerate some and freeze the others, taking out a meal in the morning from the freezer when I needed to. 
It's the easiest way to have some 'fast food' knowing that you only have to cook some potato, rice, pasta etc and knowing that what you're eating is healthy and nutritious. It is hard work to do it this way, but being organised is the only way I can guarantee that I won't eat rubbish and fall off the wagon.

You can buy plastic tupperware to put meals into from places like asda or Tesco, or you can have one last Chinese/Indian takeaway and keep all of the plastic pots from that ;)




3) Make use of your cupboards and have tinned food at the ready. Tinned food always has a super long use by date.
In my cupboard we have tuna, chick peas, mixed bean salad and a fair few varieties of other beans.
All of these can be added to lunches and salads and doesn't need any special treatment for storing, and if you're running low on meat, chickpeas etc can be added to pasta, chilli and casserole dishes to bulk it out with protein and make it feel more filling.

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I also have plenty of pasta, rice, noodles, cous cous and quinoa (wholegrain varieties of course!) in the cupboard and these can be added to the meals that you can heat up whenever you require.

It is a pain, there's no doubt about that, but its cheaper, less wasteful and guarantees you a decent meal that's going to fill you up and satisfy your cravings and hunger without sacrificing your hard work at the gym.



4) Spare some room in your fridge with easy foods that you can grab and go. Packets of chicken, pots of cottage cheese, even babybel for an easy bit of protein. I personally rarely eat cheese from cows milk as I'm dairy intolerant but I do love feta and mozzarella on occasion. Boiled eggs can also be kept in your fridge for a good amount of time and they're easy to snack on and add to salads with tuna and chicken.

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Tomatoes and bags of salad leaves and spinach are also easy to grab to add to lunches.
When I make my lunch I honestly pour in chicken or tuna, grab tomatoes and sweetcorn/soya beans from the freezer, fill the rest of the lunch box with leaves and put salt and pepper on. Lunch sorted in 2 mins flat!


Do you follow a similar sort of thing to this for your meal plans? Do you pack your lunch the night before and prepare your meals on weekends?

L xxx



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Birthday Fun!


Hi lovelies!

This is a bit of a photo diary post for you. I had my birthday on Wednesday (26 on the 26th ooh er!) so I thought I'd share my day with you.
Here are two of my favourite cards from some family members...they know me well!



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I borrowed M's Lauren's Way rollers for the night so that I could give them a go. It was an interesting experience putting rollers in my own hair. I've never done it before as M is definitely a lot faster and its easier to do someone else's hair but wooooo, it took me over an hour to get them in mine! It was a big struggle as I'm blessed with a considerable mop on my head and needed so many rollers, plus it's so long at the back I couldn't actually reach the ends of my own hair! But I got there in the end and managed to put up with sleeping in them too which surprised me.



It wasn't exactly comfortable but the rollers squashed enough that I could sleep if only a bit restlessly.
It didn't curl my hair which was disappointing but I had lovely bounce and volume for the whole day and it was nice to have that 'just blow dried' look all day.



I treated myself to protein pancakes for breakfast, there were two of them so I smothered them together with Nutella and put a banana on the side for good measure and an extra energy boost for a busy day of shopping.

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I met a friend who I'm planning to go to Thailand with later on in the year so we could make a few more travel plans, catch up over lunch and a cheeky birthday cocktail and go shopping.





This is a Jamboree Daquiri....lots of rum and berries and it was TASTY. We teamed it with a gorgeous home made fish finger sandwich and super crunchy fries and it was yummmm.

It was a lush day and although I didn't buy much I did have my brows done and wander around Debenhams browsing all the make up (specifically Benefit, Mac and Urban Decay). It wasn't long before we needed a pit stop and a frappuccino was the best idea ever, cold and sugary for a boost of energy!



I was an extremely lucky girl and was spoilt by my family.
I knew I was having the nude Dune handbag and Levi jeans as I'd already chosen them myself but the others I didn't. My mum had sneakily chosen me a Michael Kors black satchel handbag which was an amazing surprise and I can see it becoming a firm fave!
I also got a full size bottle of my perfume, a Ted Baker pencil case, Naked 3 palette (eek!) and some gold Havaianas which I cannot wait to wear.




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Every year we get a Colin the Caterpillar cake for our birthdays and this year was no exception so I have been tucking into pieces of that over the last few days.
We went out to a Pan-Asian restaurant for my birthday meal and it had such tasty food, the table set up was lovely too. Are you good at using chopsticks? I'm normally fine but was far too hungry!

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Last weekend me and M went out with another friend for my birthday. There was lots of dressing up and getting ready before we went to a bar for cocktails.




M definitely enjoyed herself on the dancefloor! We were pulling some 'shapes' as I'm sure you can imagine!

It's been a great week and I've got so much more planned. I went to Cabot circus with my mum on Monday, had a training session with my personal trainer, and to finish the week off, today me and M checking out a new eaterie in Cardiff and watching the new Captain America film. Cannot wait to see more of these films; I'm such a sucker for a superhero film!

What have you been up to? Do you have similar activities and rituals for your birthdays too?
Do you like my presents?


L xxx


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Thursday, 27 March 2014

NOTD: Essie Stylenomics


Morning lovelies!

I've got a long awaited NOTD for you today. I asked my friend in America to send me these beauties in a Christmas present in November but unfortunately they didn't arrive until the end of February! 

But all the same they are beautiful colours and I still need to show you them :)

These two polishes are Leading Lady and Stylenomics:

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I've previously posted about Leading Lady in the Winter 2012 Collection here. I absolutely loved it and have been using up the bottle over the last year. Sadly it was only a limited edition one for us Brits and I was panicking that one of my favourites would never be in my collection again......I was SO glad when I realised they still had it in the US so begged my friend to send it to me. Now I can rest assured I won't be running out any time soon now that I've got a full bottle :)

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Stylenomics is a beautifully dark green, almost black colour. I love dark polishes on nails and this one has been raved about so I couldn't refuse another Essie could I?

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The formula is the same as always, easy to apply and super shiny.

It was opaque in 2 coats and I couldn't stop staring at how lovely it was.

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Although it SHOULD be spring time, I find myself wearing darker colours still as the weather has been so awful!

Have you tried Stylenomics? Are you still wearing darker colours?

What's your latest Essie purchase?


L xxx



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