Sunday, 31 May 2015

Cheap & Cheerful Lunch Idea

(I've posted very beauty heavy posts lately and I want to establish myself as a beauty and lifestyle blogger, so bear with me on the rusty posts!)

As an apprentice I am always looking for ways to save money and make life a bit easier for myself. Going out for lunch everyday racks up, even if it's a £3 meal deal from the shops. I'm also going on holiday soon so I'm trying to eat healthily, which is so hard when you see doughnuts selling for 65p compared to salads for £3.

So I thought I'd share what I usually do for my lunch a couple of times a week which is healthy, cheap and stupidly simple. I like to make pasta salads and simple salads for my dinner and this is just one of my easy things that I do.


Ingredients:
Wholemeal pasta (ASDA, 99p for 1kg)
Red pesto (ASDAs own brand, 88p) you can use green pesto as well, I prefer red.
Spinach* (Florette salads £1.49)
Crispy mixed salad* (Florette salad £1.59)

You can also make this in bulk and freeze the pasta, adding in the salad before you eat.

Method:

  • Boil the pasta 
  • Drain the pasta
  • Add the spinach and the pesto (around 3 tablespoons, or to taste)
  • Once cooled, add the salad and then you can add mayo or whatever condiment you choose.

I know this may seem really simple but planning ahead like this can be really helpful to save money. It's always helpful to look for salad ideas online, I love Florette Salads website for these as it's important to try and get those veggies in where you can! 

I hope you liked this post and I hope you'd like me to post stuff like this in the future. I know what it's like to try and budget yourself and things like planning ahead can slip your mind. You can adjust recipes like this to add more veggies or swap pesto for chopped tomatoes. 

P.s don't forget that sharing is caring, never leave the bunnies out on the greenery!



What ways do you like to plan ahead to save time and money?

(This post is sponsored but all opinions and ideas are my own)

Til' next time! XOXO

Friday, 29 May 2015

Lush Shampoo bar: Squeaky Green

After seeing many reviews of how great the Lush shampoo bars are I decided to try one out for myself. I have really thick hair that is wavy and is quite dry on the ends. When I went in to the shop a lovely assistant recommended some to me. I was after one that wouldn't weigh my hair down and would give a really good clean. Amongst the ones she recommended was Squeaky Green. This particular shampoo bar is meant to balance your scalp through the use of herbs and essential oils. It contains rosemary and peppermint which works with nettle to promote healthy hair growth. The rosemary in the product is paired with antibacterial tea tree to cleanse the scalp and hair and provide a really deep feeling of cleanliness. Rose and chamomile then calm any irritations on your scalp.



I've used this product once so far and I absolutely adore it!! I applied it to my scalp and it lathered up quite nicely and then ran it down my lengths. I then used my bog standard Herbal Essence conditioner and I can honestly say that my hair feels absolutely amazing! It's so soft and shiny and bouncy. It's not felt this refreshed in absolutely ages and it feels like any build up I've had has just been washed down the drain. Although the scent to me isn't that appealing, it's very herby, it isn't overpowering and it's doesn't linger. I plan to try other ranges and alternate them every so often so that my hair doesn't get used to the products. I also bought the little tin with it to keep it nice and dry.

£5.75 for Squeaky Green // £2.50 for the tin

Have you tried any Lush hair products? What do you recommend?

Til' next time! XOXO

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Sleek Face Contour Kit

I've been after a good contour kit for ages but I sometimes find that they can make me look really orange as I'm very pale. When I saw this kit in light for £6.49 from Boots I thought I'd try it. I really love Sleek products and so far there isn't a thing I've tried from them that I haven't liked.

The kit includes 2 parts; the contour and the highlight. Now the contour is really nice and has a matte finish. It's a really nice formula but it's not overly pigmented that it doesn't go on to your skin too heavy. You can build it up nicely without going too over the top and because it's designed for light skin it doesn't stand out too much.


The highlight is very shimmery and appears yellow in the packaging but when you apply it to your skin it looks really nice and although you can tell it's shimmery, it doesn't look too over the top and the light just hits it nicely. I use the highlight on the bridge of my nose and above the contour. I thought it was going to be yellow compared to my skin tone, which is quite pink, but it blends in really nicely and you can't really tell I have it on unless the light catches it.



The packaging is really nice, like most Sleek products and it's nicely compact meaning that you can easily slip it in to your handbag to top up throughout the day. I think the mirror that you get with it is nice and a decent size. However, I'd find out quite difficult to apply this product using that dinky mirror!

Overall, I was very impressed with this product. It is not at all orange but blends nicely so that it does appear like a bronzer. I am very pale and this works on me, but I'm curious to see how it'll look when I wear fake tan.

Rating: 8/10

You can find it here.

Til' next time! XOXO

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Bank holiday weekend: Sheffield

Hi there! I hope everyone had an amazing bank holiday weekend and for those who were working, sorry! I'm from Sheffield, and so with the sunny weather I had to make the most of my long weekend. This weekend there was  Food Festival in the city centre, which I just had to visit! I love food and I love discovering little stores who make a living putting their heart and soul into something they love.

We went on the Saturday, and it was stupidly busy! But we still managed to get some amazing freshly made doughnuts from The Doughnut Guy! Oh my god, they were good.


I actually didn't end up buying much from the food festival, I think there was that much choice that I got a bit confused and I couldn't choose! So we ended up walking to a local mexican. But I did get to see some chickens and stuff and that made me happy!

My mum also bought me this gorgeous bracelet which I completely fell in love with from this nice little boutique in Sheffield called Within Reason. I was so in love with it, but the second time I went to put it on it broke! I'm absolutely gutted but will be taking it back! I don't know whether to bother getting another one because even though it's really nice, I don't think the quality is worth the price! *Heart breaks*



Did anyone else do anything nice with their weekend? Or did you just enjoy having a lazy weekend?

Til' next time! XOXO

Monday, 25 May 2015

Meet my pets!

I've been a bit review crazy lately so I thought I'd try something different and introduce you to my animals! (I have a few!)I have always been a lover of animals and I can't remember a time growing up where I didn't have at least one thing running around the house.

At the moment I am the proud owner of 3 American Bulldogs; Chester, Freya and Bella. I know that sounds like a whole bunch of a huge size dog, but they aren't all mine. I have the momma, Bella, Freya is my brothers and Chester is my mums but we all live together (Chester and Freya are Bella's pups). Bella is 6 in June and she is getting to an old lady, big dogs are a lot quicker to age than smaller dogs and so she is getting very old very fast! But she is still my baby and I don't think I can express my love enough for her fugly little face (I say fugly in an affectionate way ofcourse). Chester and Freya turned 2 in May and they are craaaazy. Chester is the biggest American Bulldog in the world, I'm quite sure of it, and he is a typical boisterous puppy whereas Freya is the complete opposite and is just the worlds most affectionate thing, who doesn't like strangers and has a slight obsession with nibbling feet and likes to greet you when you arrive home by howling at you.

(Chester)

 (Freya)
(Bella: who has perfected the sad face)

I also have two bunnies, Benedict and Floppy. I know, the names couldn't be further apart from each other. Benedict used to he housed with another rabbit called Rupert who sadly passed away earlier this year whereas Floppy was a little rescue rabbit who I agreed to foster until she gained weight. But she was the most loving rabbit I have ever met and I just couldn't part with her (I used to work at a pet shop so I'm lucky I don't have like a million critters running around the house). When Rupert passed we decided to put Benedict and Floppy together and now they are so happy to be cuddling all the time and she's helped make Benedict a bit more affectionate as he acts a bit like a grumpy old man. Floppy is around 1 and Benedict around 2, they couldn't be further apart in personalities but I think that makes them both special in their own little ways.
(Side note: Benedict is not a fan of anyone but Floppy, meaning that he is not keen on posing for the camera)


 (Floppy)
 (Benedict: the mardy bunny who won't let me take pictures of him)

There you go, they are my crazy bunch of animals. I cannot see myself ever being without animals and I hope you've all enjoyed meeting my babies.

(Quiz time: how many dogs can you spot in the picture!)

Do any of you have an crazy animals like mine? And do you treat them as much like your babies as I do?

'Til next time XOXO

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Review: Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge



I've heard about the beauty blender and sponges similar for years but the price tag didn't seem worth it when my cheap eBay make up brushes were doing a adequate job of sloshing foundation onto my face. Lately, however, my foundation brush is just not doing it. I find that around my nose area foundation looks horrible and patchy and just doesn't want to blend. Even if I try blending it out with my finger, it still looks dry and highlights all my pores and blemishes.

The Real Techniques sponge by Sam Chapman is similar to the beauty blender, but more than half the price and, in my opinion, better for your money. At £5.99 in Boots you get 3 sides to the sponge; a flat side for getting in the nooks and crannies such as around your nose and under your eyes, a pointy end for blemishes, and the rounded side for the general facial area.

I have used this a couple of times already with different foundations and can honestly say I'm well and truly converted! My make-up on my nose is absolutely perfect and there is no pore visibility and it also applied effortlessly to the rest of my face. It blends my foundation really well to create a flawless finish, using both matte foundations and dewy foundations.

I cannot rave about this product enough and I am so happy that I decided to purchase it! The only flaw I would say is that you have to wash it every 3 uses, which is something I know I'll forget to do (I can't remember the last time I cleaned my brushes eek!). Also, I feel that I'm losing more foundation with a sponge than what I would with a brush as it does soak into the sponge, but I find because it applies so well I'm using less foundation anyway. However, I would absolutely suggest you try this product and I can not see myself using a foundation brush in the foreseeable future.

Rating: 9/10

Have you used any beauty sponges before, what did you think?

Til' next time! XOXO

Friday, 22 May 2015

Etsy: Maple and Whisky

Maple and Whisky is a shop on the popular online marketplace, Etsy. Now, I've always browsed on Etsy, but this is one of my first purchases. I think that it's more popular in the US as it has limited UK sellers and that's a big thing for me, because shipping is so costly.

I discovered them one day as they sell candles and wax scents based on Disney and Harry Potter (which as we've established, I'm a geek over). So, like the big nerd that I am, I had to buy some. Because I didn't know what scents I'd like, I purchased 'Sugar Rush' and 'Arendelle' in wax tarts rather than full candles. There's nothing worse than forking out £15 on a candle to discover you hate it.


Now Arendelle is based on the popular Disney film, Frozen, (it's where it's based) and smells very much like Mint with an undertone of something spicy, like cinnamon. I really really really like mint and spearmint scents, one of my favourite candles is the candy cane Yankee candle. I didn't expect the undertone of cinnamon, which is one of my ultra hated scents, but when burning the candle smells really nice. It's not the earthy mint but more sweet like a spearmint chew.


The Sugar Rush scent is based from the movie Wreck It Ralph and is very sweet! It's like marshmallows and bubblegum and candy floss. I can tell this scent would not be for everyone as it can be quite sickly, but I love it. I love sweet scents like this and I put this one in my bathroom. The scent managed to drift all around upstairs and when burning it isn't as sickly.


They offer scents like Sherbet Lemon and Butterbeer which are on my wishlist, but I may try their candles next!

You get them in little cubes and so you get a lot for what you pay. The burn time is really good on these products and I think I had one of the little cubes burning for around 6-8 hours before the smell wore off. At £2.50 for 6 little cubes I think they're really good for their money, and a lot more cost efficient than other wax tarts.

They're really worth a check if you're a big Disney fan, or even if you just like different types of candles with very sleek packaging. Check out their store here.

What's your favourite candle scent?

Til' next time XOXO

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Nip & Fab Review: Hyaluronic Fix Body Gel

A while back I noticed that Boots were having an online sale on the Nip & Fab products. I've only ever heard of these from reading an article about Kylie Jenner one day (I'm a sucker for the shame column on daily mail!) and noticed she was in London promoting it. Not really caring about it I dismissed it for another day. Yet when I saw them on boots I was intrigued and looked at the reviews on some of them to see that people really seemed to like them.

So I purchased the Hyaluronic Fix Body Gel after seeing it had a lot of 4/5 stars. I've used this one for about a month everyday and I didn't really see much of a difference. The website claims that it is supposed to "provide intense hydration for soft and plumper looking skin". Well, in all honesty, I don't feel that it did that at all. My skin did feel hydrated but it wasn't hydrated in the way that helped my dry patches or made my skin significantly softer. It contains aloe vera which is very good for soothing and that is one thing that this product does.

(image from nipandfab.com)

I also use this on my knees and elbows just before I fake tan and it makes for a very easy application! Which is one of the only things that I liked about this product. It's got a fairly alright smell to it what I don't think everyone will enjoy and could find quite chemically. I've found that you're sticky for about 5 minutes after application but then it sinks in fairly well after that.

I accidentally used this on my face one day, I was watching YouTube while moisturising and was in a world of my own. I didn't realise until about 5 minutes later when my face had gone incredibly red and itchy! For a couple of weeks after that my face was so dehydrated and flaky I didn't know what to do! It hasn't stopped me using it on my body because I've seen no reactions that way but I will definitely be avoiding that. It was entirely my own fault and no fault of the brand as it clearly states on the front that it contains acid.

I haven't been blown away by this product. It is one of the cheaper products that Nip and Fab do (£7.99 but I bought it when it was 1/3 off), so maybe I just didn't pick the right one! Overall, I just feel a bit on the fence with this product. I haven't seen vast amounts of improvement so I don't think I'll repurchase. I can recommend it for after use on a hot day as it is very cooling, but definitely not if you have sensitive skin.

Overall rating: 5/10. It doesn't do what it says it will, but it hydrated my skin ok and didn't make my dryness worse. Would I buy it again? Probably not.

Have you got an Nip and Fab products that you would recommend?

Til' next time! XOXO

Monday, 18 May 2015

Society 6

Hi everyone! So, the other day I was browsing on Instagram and came across a Disney blog (don't judge) and saw that they had posted the prettiest things from a website called society6. Now, I feel like I'd heard of the website before and so I went to have a little browse on there and discovered it is an AWESOME website where artists can put their work on and you can buy it in the form of pillows and phone cases, rugs, t-shirts, wall art, etc. It's amazing!

I have a slight, slight obsession with home d├ęcor. I love buying bedding and mugs and little things for my bedroom and when I saw some of the throw pillows I melted a little bit inside. The currency on the website is in dollars, but they do have good policies on delivery and I believe I got free delivery on all my purchases.

I bought 2 throw pillows, without the middle.
The pillows were both by the same artist (Alice X.Zhang) and the first one was a based on The Little Mermaid and it is very elegantly done. I did not expect the print to be exactly as I saw on screen because I know the fabric of pillows can be quite dulling. However, it was beautiful. You can easily see the design and it is so beautiful!

(pictures taken from society6.com)

The second pillow is also a Disney design and it is based on Tangled, the beautiful light scene. It is so so pretty! The colours are so well put together and they come through so well. All in all I am very impressed with these. I bought cushion fillers separately for cheap on Amazon and I bought them a size up so they are so squishy.

My room is decorated in a grey neutral scheme and so they don't ideally fit in with the decor, but I just don't care. I am completely in love with these and I want them on show for all to see!

I'd highly recommend Society6.com for you to browse for unique and quirky things. From Disney to Harry Potter, zombies to vampires, they have something for everything you like and I can't fault it at all!

(Disclosure: I paid for these products myself and the reviews are views entirely of my own)


Do I have any more disney fans out there, what is your favourite disney themed thing you have?

Til' next time! XOXO

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Review: Chappie (2015)




 I recently watched the movie Chappie which features some familiar faces such as Hugh Jackman and Dev Patel. In a nutshell it is based in the near future (2016 I think they mentioned) and it is just when robots are becoming big and helping the police, but they can't think for themselves. A young programmer called Deon reprograms a broken robot to have a conciousness and start to think for itself.

Source: https://cdn2.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/3473756/chappie_main_bcf188704cb30ab16c50e5cd188b04cc.0.jpg

I am not really into robot films and thought I wouldn't like this film when in actual fact I really enjoyed it. It has a quirky aspect to it and slight humour that I didn't expect and the actors make this film really believable. When Chappie first comes to life he is like a child and has to learn everything new, and he has 'gangsters' teaching him everything so he ends up becoming very cheeky. Even though he's a robot you feel yourself becoming attached to him and feeling sorry for him when bad things happen.
                                Source:http://www.wired.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/SNY_CHapPie_2120x1192_G-CoverPhoto_NW_05_v1b.jpg

It's not a film to take seriously and I think the idea behind it is clever. Weirdly, I had more trouble adjusting to Hugh Jackman as a bad guy than the idea that a robot could be a gangsta. I know, I feel you all shaking your head at me.

All in all I really enjoyed it, and even though it has bad reviews online I think it's a good film to watch if you don't know what to watch, but you know you don't want to watch anything serious!

Rating: 7/10

Source:http://cdn.hitfix.com/photos/5825857/Chappie_trailer_shows_off_the_robot.jpg

Let me know what you think if you watch it yourself!

Til' next time! XOXO

Friday, 15 May 2015

Review: MakeupRevolution

Being a girl who's currently doing an apprenticeship, I'm always on the lookout for cheaper alternatives to high end make-up. I'm a lover of Revlon and Maybelline, Elf and Rimmel and so when I saw a blogpost on Pretty52  (click there to read it) stating about MakeupRevolution and their £1 blush I thought I'd look in to their site. I immediately went to the blush that I saw on the blogpost and was amazed at the range of colours, for such an unheard of brand (to me anyway) I didn't expect them to have so many things. In total, with shipping and handling, I spent £22.97 and I received 12 products!

With the amount of money I spent, and the price of the products, I wasn't expecting much to be honest. When the package came, however, I was impressed! In my package I bought 4 lipsticks ranging from £1-£3 and definitely in a range of colours.

(Left to right: vamp, make it right, totally not boring and the one)

Salvation Lip Lacquer- Vamp was the most expensive of the lot at £3 and it is a matte drying lipstick which starts out wet and dries very very matte. The colour is very highly pigmented but I didn't expect it to be so dark! I'm not saying this is a fault, as I thought this was a very good product. The only problem I have with it is that it can be quite hard to get off, and unlike some other lacquers that I've bought, it doesn't entirely survive the kiss test. It is also ridiculously hard to get off!



Atomic Lipstick Make It Right was £1 and was another purple colour. This one I really like, it isn't matte but for £1 I'm impressed with it. The pigmenting isn't total amazing and it is slightly opaque, but for £1 it was definitely worth the price!


Amazing Lipstick The One (£1) was my favourite thing out of the collection and is currently my daily go to lipstick. It's a lovely nude that is on the lighter scale of nude and has really good pigmentation. I'm not a huge nude lipstick wearer so for £1 I thought I'd try it out so if I did like it I could add more to my collection. Again, this isn't a matte lipstick, but I really like it.



I ♡ Makeup Lip Geek-Totally NOT boring- was £1.99 and I would say this is my least favourite lipstick. There isn't anything wrong with it and I don't have any colours like it, so I would wear it. The pigmentation isn't great and it's quite opaque. Being more expensive than the £1 lipsticks I quite expected it to be a bit better, but no. Overall, it was the packaging that put me off the most. It's very bright metallic pink, and looks quite rude (I think some of you will know what I mean). I don't think I'd repurchase this one, or others in the collection, mainly because of the packaging. 



Vivid Blush Lacquer Heart was on sale at £1 and it is a liquid blush, which I've never tried before, and I gave it a try. I was impressed with this, you only have to use a very little bit to get the effect you want and it dries matte. Although it hasn't swayed me to go on to liquid blushes, I would repurchase this.

(Left is the liquid blush, right is sugar)

The powder blush that initially got me onto the website is also a favourite of mine. I bought it in the shade Sugar and it is a very nice pinky peach colour. I would definitely say that this blush competes well with that of more expensive brands. It's very highly pigmented and you only need a very tiny bit for it to look good, which for some may be a negative. The colour is great and lasts all day, and because they have such a huge collection there are shades for everybody! 

(Top:insomnia bottom:panic)

I bought two eyeshadows from this website, a dust and a normal singular eyeshadow. The eyedust was in the shade Panic and was £1. It is a typical eyedust, very high fallout. I've not used it in a look yet so I don't know how it fairs to be blended but it hasn't got the highest pigment when swatching it. It is a black eyeshadow with silver glitter, the glitter is very visible, which I actually don't like. The eyeshadow was in the shade Insomnia and was again £1. The colour was very nice but it isn't very pigmented and you have to use a lot of it to get a good smoky eye going. For £1 I didn't expect it to be great, and it wasn't. 



I bought one eyeshadow pallette from MakeupRevolution and it was a 5 coloured one on sale for £2.50. The 5 Baked Eyeshadows Pure and Innocent is very shimmery, which I knew when purchasing them. They are VERY shimmery, and the fallout is quite great on the lighter of the shades. However, I am quite happy with them and they are very pigmented on the lighter shades, the darker ones not so much. You get one of those crappy little brushes with them, which I didn't use. I did like this palette, but it doesn't compare to that of higher quality ones. 



Finally, on the makeup front I ordered the Focus & Fix Brow Kit in Light-Medium for £2.50. In it you get 3 different shades and one gel and a brow brush. The brush is rubbish, I must admit, it's very light and fluffy so will give you no definition. I don't know what the gel is for, maybe taming your eyebrows? I use this pallette everyday in combination with the gel from the Rimmel Brow kit and I really like the effect I get. The combination of light and dark powders makes for a really nice brow and I'm very impressed with this kit. 

My last purchases were two brushes, the Pro F102 Concealer Brush which was £1.99 and the Pro E104 Eyebrow Brush which was also £1.99. The concealer brush was rubbish, it feels sharp on your face and doesn't do anything your finger couldn't do better. However, the eyebrow brush has now become an everyday essential. It's very sharp and defined and is perfect to get the sharp edges on your eyebrows, if that's the style that you're after. I would definitely recommend that brush over more high end ones that lose their shape quickly. 

Overall, I was pretty impressed with my purchases from makeuprevolution and would most likely shop their again for their prices and their lipsticks. Although their lettering for their logo looks suspiciously like Revlon! Their eyeshadows aren't the best but their blushes and lipsticks are pretty good so I'd recommend a visit.

(I apologise for the quality of the pictures. My camera broke earlier but I wanted to get this posted so i've used my iPhone) 

Til' next time! XOXO

Thursday, 7 May 2015

About me

Hi there,

My name is Courtney and I'm a 19 year old Digital Marketing Apprentice from the north of England. I decided to start writing a blog because frankly, what else was I going to do after work, go for a jog?! I like to write, always have and I've played with the motion of starting a blog or a YouTube channel for YEARS! So I finally took the plunge and It's such a stress reliever typing all your emotions and all that dribble that's built up in your head all day.

I love to write about my animals, my life, my products. Anything I can write about, I will. So it's quite hard defining what my blog is, because it's really a jumble of all my day to day rubbish. Hopefully, those who read it will enjoy it just as much as I enjoy writing it!

I wouldn't call myself a fashionista or a beauty guru because frankly, I am hella not. I like makeup and I like clothes, but I make both fashion mistakes and beauty mistakes so I will not pretend to give you advice on the matters. But I like to share, and I want you to share back!

So, if you have any questions, feel free to ask!

Til' next time! XOXO

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