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Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Getting Glossy at home

We all know what it's like, day after day us women are literally bombarded with images and adverts of a new 'up and coming' product, which in the makers, eyes is going to keep you looking and feeling like 20 year old, blonde, 40 inch legged, size 8 goddess from here until eternity, and if you're also like me, you swiftly turn the page/change the channel mumbling to yourself about how nothing can change the size of your thighs... I'm right aren't I!?

I think the only time I will venture into a new product discovery, is when I rub a free sample all over my face/body/wrists when it falls out of my (many) magazines, we all do it don't we? but I am always the sceptic when it comes to actually trying anything new. Enter Glossybox.

Now I'd heard along the grapevine (thank you Twitter) about Glossybox from the hoardes of gorgeous young beauty bloggers who were busy raving about them, the products and the excitement of their 'box' turning up. To be quite frank, I had not a clue what they were going on about, and thought perhaps it was just me being 'old' Upon looking into the new found lingo of the lush beauty bloggers I came to this http://www.glossybox.co.uk/ an absolute divine looking website, that looked so boutique and well, to be frank something that only rich people would click on. So let me tell you a little more about GlossyBox, it literally is, well, kinda what it says on the tin. Every month, Glossybox will deliver a mix of 5 new exciting product miniatures packed within a very lush box so that us 'Joe Average' can try out in the comfort of our home. simples huh!? Well, of course there's a price for this, its £10.00 per month + plus your postage and packing, Which I have to be honest, compared to the RRP of some of the products you get to try, this is mightily cheap.

On first thought - it's a genius idea, but for someone like me, who is a product phobe, who barely spends more than a tenner on her beauty regime, would this really work? well, actually, yes - its even more of genius idea! It allows me to finally try all these fancy schmancy products, before I actually part with my rather hard earned cash to buy the lotions and potions. The box arrived bang on time, and my lord, was it presented absolutely beautifully (yes, I almost didn't want to open it) when I (manically) opened it, filled to the brim full of goodies and with a clear, detailed description of every item, I felt thoroughly chuffed and like a little kid at Christmas, I wanted to try everything out all at once! Here's what I got in my box:

  • Ahava (Mineral Body Lotion)
Part of Ahava’s new My Skin Reborn range, this quickly absorbed yet rich body lotion draws on the skin-nurturing properties of Ahava’s unique Dead Sea mineral complex, Mineral Skin Osmoter™, as well as desert plant extracts and other moisturising ingredients to effectively hydrate, nourish and protect the skin. With an all-natural formulation that’s free from parabens, SLS/SLES, petroleum, harsh synthetic ingredients and GMOs, Mineral Body Lotion is allergy tested and approved for sensitive skin.
RRP: £22.00 250ml
British talent Daniel Sandler has been a makeup artist and leader in his field for over 25 years. JUMBO JET is the only mascara a woman needs when she wants high-performance, luscious lashes. “The first coat gives a natural effect, suitable for day looks; the second adds a little more drama; the third coat takes lashes to full-on night time glamour” JUMBO JET is both incredibly glossy, very glamorous, intensely black, and are Hypo-allergenic and opthamologically tested. Available only in a jet black, non- waterproof formula. It can easily be removed with a good quality eye makeup remover.
RRP: £14.85
  • KMS California (COLORVITALITY shine & shield)
This lightweight smoothing crème fights frizz, provides heat protection, and promotes natural movement and shine. Infused with lilac and ginger, plus antioxidants, UV filter and IOPS technology for color protection and condition. Shine and shield helps to prevent colour fade while adding instant shine.
RRP: £13.00 250ml
  •  Murad (Time Release Blemish Cleanser)
The new Anti-Ageing Blemish line from Murad is the first comprehensive, integrated approach designed to restore a smooth, youthful complexion, by addressing acne breakouts while diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Adult skin with blemishes is less resilient and more prone to exhibit signs of accelerated ageing, therefore optimal health and appearance can only be achieved by addressing blemishes with a system that strengthens, restores and protects the skin. Murad’s Time Release Blemish Cleanser features an advanced Multi-Active Blemish Fighting System designed to reduce existing blemishes while preventing new blemishes from forming. Suitable for all ages and skin types
RRP: £29 200ml
  • Rebel Nails (Nail Wraps)
Rebel Nail Wraps come in an ever-expanding range of styles and designs to create stunning nails you have always dreamed of! They don’t chip like regular varnish and your nails look amazing 24/7. With hundreds of designs to choose from, nail wraps let you change your look instantly with an easy application and no drying time. Create an impact with your designer Rebel Nail Wraps!
RRP: £5.99-£7.99 per pack

I haven't got round to using them all yet, but as and when I do, I shall review them all on here... I mean why not!? My vote is definitely a thumbs up for the GlossyBox, granted, it wont be for everyone mainly due to the costing, but if like me, you genuinely don't feel the need or can be bothered to go trying out new products on your own, this is ideal.... plus I really like the box.

Get yourself over to Glossybox HERE

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Breaking Barriers......

Sweet Jesus, I only went and sodding broke a very solid barrier yesterday. Not a literal one, but more like a mental one. As most of you know, me and my training for Team Bangs has and is being somewhat hard. Who said things were easy right? but I never actually realised that just putting two feet in front of each other can be so sodding difficult both physically and mentally. I'm not going to lie, running is difficult. Any bugger that tells you it takes no effort, is either soul-less or hasn't really trained to a goal. I started in Team Bangs as a relative novice - sure I'd jogged before, think I even managed 10mins non-stop once, and even that was hard. Now with going past the 5 weeks till Race Day point, things really start get serious, and more painful.

Training has been going steady, my pacing is ok, not brilliant, but I'm getting there. I then got ill with some virus so I took time off which pulled me back a little on the training but I picked it back up, dusted myself down and carried on. Now, the thing is, I have kinda been stuck, not literally, but mentally, at 6 miles. 6 miles was my safe bet, I pretty much knew I could (just about) manage this: it was safe, steady, worked me hard, but left me feeling confident. However, with under 5 weeks to go, I have been playing the following words over and over in my head: 10 Miles.

10 Miles doesn't sound scary to you? Well, to me I was pretty much crapping-myself-crying scared. The sheer thought of even attempting to go that distance stopped me, my feet and my brain in their tracks - scared was not even the word. I knew that this was more mental than maybe physical, but being stuck at 6 miles for so long, and feeling confident and happy at this distance made the fact of stepping away from this so much worse. Conveniently enough, everytime I went out for the planned '10 mile-r' I was either sore, not feeling it, too cold, too wet, blah, blah, blah - I am also the Queen of excuses... and even more so when it came to running 10 miles. Until yesterday, with the help of my running angel: Michelle Allen (@_missallen) who finally managed to get me to slow-the-hell down I went for it.

I aint gonna be the one who tells you I felt fantastic, cos I didn't. It was pretty much a breeze until I got to the 6 miles mark, my lovely, safe, friendly 6 miles. But oh boy, carrying on past that safety mark was hard, it was almost if my brain said no, no, no and well, my legs followed suit. But I did, continue... I did, carry on and I did, do the 10 miles.

It felt pretty darn amazing to be quite honest, and yes, I pretty much wanted to cry, I know, I know. But blimy,it felt amazing and I was so proud. No-one can ever tell you what it's like to push your body as far as that. Granted people do alot more mileage, but for me, a novice, a newbie, it was amazing to see what a body can do.

Well ,there ya have it kids.... it is possible. Even for someone like me. Oh, and the ice bath afters? I swore... alot.

By the way, pretty please go donate donate anything you can to us 13 amazing ladies running 13 miles all in aid of Refuge. Donate HERE

Monday, 22 August 2011

Monday's Must-Have Purchase

Cute enough to raise a smile on a Monday? I think so...

OH YES. These really are rabbit hooks, yes. Yet another excuse for me to fill my house with rabbit-like goodies, not hard is it! Bringing the outdoors, in, these hooks can be adhered anywhere you like in order to add a slight bit of bunny happiness into your life. Chose from either white or silver and priced at only £12.99 with free delivery, how can you not give these woodland lovelies a home.

Get them at Firebox here

Happy Monday!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Website of The Week: My Vintage.co.uk

It's not often I pipe on about a website, and it's even rarer if I mention a website twice. So, for those who (stupidly) missed it first time, this weeks Website of The Week is..... *drum roll* My Vintage.co.uk

Run by the gloriously wonderful kick-ass Mumtrapeneur Emma, My Vintage.co.uk is literally a home from home for everything wonderful and vintage. From the outset, the website is clean, simple and easy to navigate. What I love the most, is the different options Emma has added in order for us mere Vintage mortals,to locate what we want, easily and quickly. I am as shy and scared as they come when it comes buying Vintage and am often lost in a mindfield of, well, a big load of fabric that quite frankly, I would not have a clue as to what was Vintage and what was a load of tat! But imagine my very surprise that nearly everything on My Vintage.co.uk was something that I'd most definitely wear. The descriptions of each item are flawless and the prices are well within everyones budget.

To show you just how simple it is, I have, within 10minutes, come up with three, yes three, outfits for you lovelies,  to show you just how simple this Vintage shopping business is!

*1960's Orange Waistcoat £22, 1970's Denim High Waisted Shorts £25, 1970's Jaeger Neck-tie Blouse £38, Red 1970's Wedges £30, 1980's Orange Escada weave bag £90*

*1970's Burgundy and Gold piping dress £26, 1970's Gold Tassle Necklace £18, 1980's Vicki Beth Shoes £36, Gold Drawstring bag £16*

*1980's Sage Green Pencil Skirt £28, 1980's Starzewski Cream Blouse £245, 1970's Lanvin Scarf £160, 1960's Leather Box Bag £52, 1970's Russell and Bromley Leather Peeptoes £98*

Tell me these are not simply, absolutely amazing??? Exactly, I thought so. You're sold right!? I ruddy well am. I finally feel I can access Vintage shopping easily and confidently and not feel like I don't know what I'm looking for and how the hell I actually wear it! Get yourself over to My Vintage.co.uk to create some absolute fabness in your wardrobe.

Now to save my pennies for that blouse.....

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Ooooo What are YOU wearing?!

No, I'm not being dirty and neither am I rubbing my thighs as I'm asking, This, my ladies (and Gents) will be the question on everyone's lips very very soon.

The genius, and ruddy gorgeous, Poppy Dinsey has started something, that I predict is going to go viral - it is going to give you and me a whole new, better, alternative to Facebook - none of the crappy, irritating status updates, nope, but still keeping with the same social media aspect. Already famous for her simple but effective WIWT website, she is now giving us all the chance to become style icons. WIWT is simple, it gives you the opportunity to showcase exactly what you're wearing - literally just that. You upload your photos to the site under your account, and Bob's your uncle, you are now online. Other users than come along and 'star' your outfit if they like it, also allowing comments. Not only do you show off your individual styles, but you can tag the items in your outfit linking them to the brands, there is an Editors choice section, where Poppy picks her favourite outfits out - which could see your very own style getting on the Homepage for all to see... The list is endless.

So why is this perfect? err, well let me tell you. We all love to secretly 'people watch' don't we? and don't you dare tell me otherwise, it is programmed into all women to scope out, look, and sometimes even judge other women or men's outfits/looks - well instead of hiding behind dark glasses, Poppy's website brings you every outfit that you ever wanted to stare at for either the right or wrong reasons. This is the future - tying both the world's love for all things fashion, and for every one's roving eye. I have been lucky tryout the trial site and I have been using it for a while now. My Verdict? I haven't been this obsessive and excited about something since I started really getting into Twitter, and you know ?this is probably better. I love the freedom to express my, sometimes bad, outfits, what I consider to be stylish, but it also allows me to freely pick on other people's styling and hopefully find new ways of using my already bursting wardrobe.

The full site is due to be launching soon and when it does, I'll be sure to let you all know. However, the trial version site is on: http://beta.wiwt.com/ where you can fill in and possibly get entered into using the trial site...

Now I cant go showing you too much on here, but keep your eyes peeled people, for it is coming, it is the future.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Monday's Must-Have

If you ever needed cheering up on a Monday, this would be it! Monday Must-Have Purchase is back and today's really is a must-have!

Priced at only £24.99 this animal-print inspired necklace really is the only necklace to be sporting come this A/W11. Maggie Angus is by far, a long standing love of mine - with eclectic looks that are always a guaranteed eye-catcher, this necklace is by far one of my faves! At this price and with this beauty, you cant really say no can you?

Go check out this and many other gorgeous designs, on the Maggie Angus website HERE

p.s Don't forget to nominate me in this years 2011 Cosmo Blog Awards HERE

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Knitting - the place to be...

Knitting is most definitely not just something your Gran used to do, Oh no, there is a new breed and social aspect to knitting in 2011, and right at the forefront of this breed of knitters is the delightful Louise Dungate.

I've featured our Louise before, I was originally entranced with her delectable and statement but precise knitwear style: her collections were distinguished yet easy to wear. There was something oh so comforting about the chunkiness of Dungate's knitwear, and something about the styling that made it so fashion forward. It was most certainly a welcome change on what my nan used to knit!

After designing her own knitwear for two years, Louise has developed her own signature style of Big Chunky Knitting. She is currently working on a commission to create 38 garments for 'Dagny & Barstow', a new boutique opening in New York this month. And if that wasn't enough for our Knit-trepreneur, Louise has opened her very own Knit Shop Studio, aptly named 'The Knit Club' on the High Street in Caterham-on-the-Hill. Louise has put her heart and soul into the shop and opened it following the closure of 'The Yarn House' so the community still had somewhere to buy yarn.The Knit Club proudly stocks Louise Dungate Knitwear and tees, as well as a large range of knitting yarns and accessories, carrying popular brands like Rowan, Sirdar, Rico, Brittany, Pony and Artesano.

Louise will be holding her own knit club on Thursday evenings for anyone who wants to learn, or simply wants to enjoy knitting with others and a crochet club will also be held in due course. Louise said of the club: "Anyone who's interested in knitting should just do it, Knitting with a group of people is great, you get inspired by others, get to share knowledge and show off your work. Knitting is making a comeback!"

Now if that isn't enough to make you grab those knitting needles, all of this is done in the shops amazing surroundings, all served with copious tea and cake. That's me pretty much sold..... Now to see if I can make something out of this little lot...

If you don’t knit, don’t worry – just get yourself along to The Knit Club, pick up one of Louise's hand-knitted accessories or take a lesson with the lady herself, and she'll have you knitting in no time!

The address is 27 High Street, Caterham, Surrey, CR3 5UE
Telephone number is 01883 345220.

P.s Dont forget you can vote for me in the Cosmo Blogger Awards HERE

I'd like to thank my Mum.... my Dad.... blah blah blah

No, I'm not going to start blubbing all over your computer a la Gwyneth Paltrow, well, not yet anyway! For it is time for me to get on my hands and knees and ask you lovely readers, if you would do another favour for me!

Back in 2010 Cosmopolitan magazine held the first ever Cosmopolitan Blog Awards, if you're a fellow blogger you will know just how amazing it is to have competitions like this, if not, it's a huge deal for alot of us. I chose last year not to enter - simply because I felt I was too new. I felt the blog wasn't really that good and would get little to no readers. This year however, I've decided to put myself forward.

Now firstly, its because of you readers that I'm doing it - I guess you guys have made me feel like what I write, is, well, interesting, and secondly I done it for me. Now I know alot of these competitions are a popularity contest etc etc but to even be in with a chance of winning, I have to put myself out there - so here it is!

If any of you would like, please click on the below link and nominate me - I cant tell you how amazing it would be to even stand a chance of getting through the nominations, I'll be eternally grateful to you all, and even promise to cry on acceptance of my award if I win.... yes, I'd do that for you! In all seriousness though, it's because of you lot I'm here so a nomination vote would be amazing!

Thanking you all!

Fruity Nails...

You know what it's like when you're nearing the end of the month and you are a little somewhat 'strapped for cash' you end up seeing a million and one things that you simply must have in your life, well, that's me every month.

After realising I have just enough money to feed myself, I knew that the much-lusted after pair of brogues were not going to be mine, however with the words of a Thrift book I've been reading ringing in my ears, I knew of a cheap and easy way to update my look - nail varnish! I wanted some new, summery-type colours so popped off to Boots after work. To my utter delight, Boots had a special deal on Rimmel nail varnish's so I well and truly stocked up! Here are my new Summer nails:

From L-R: 'Sunshine', 'Apricot Punch', 'Misty Jade', 'Strawberry'

Overall, I really love these colours! All work really well together and by themselves, plus I quite like how 'juicy' they look! Yum yum!

What are your nail colours for Summer?

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Shining Happy People....

You know that R.E.M song where Michael Stipe sings about "Shiny, Happy People"? Yeah, well, that is me in a nutshell right now.

No, I haven't won the Lottery, no, it's not me birthday and neither has that Jason Statham called me up wanting to take me for dinner. Nope, the reason why I am practically skipping round with a perma grin (doing this on a Monday is frowned upon!) all because of this running malarky! When I'm not running, I'm thinking of running and when I am running I am pretty much loving.every.god.damn.second.

As the weeks of training for the Half Marathon are wearing on, my excitement and feelings towards myself and my body are changing each and every day. As I've previously chattered on about, I've never been a huge fan about my body, who is right? but every single time I run, it is an accomplishment: my two (very short and stumpy) legs have given me the ability to run, to move fast, to bounce off the tarmac - this is my body. Yeah I'm not the fastest or strongest runner, but I sure as hell am out there doing it! Thanks to Team Bangs I literally have opened a new chapter in my life: Never before have I seen how strong muscles can be, how mechanically my body works, and most of all, what it's like to be in a team, to be supported.

There is not a day that goes by that I don't lean on the Team Bangs girls for help: whether I'm having a bad training day, or a bad day in general - they are always there, always. It got me thinking though - why was I so unhappy with life before? I'm healthy, have both my parents who I love, a fab brother and a job that I enjoy, doesn't sound so bad does it!? but what I was lacking was some real focus in my life outside of work. I didn't have anything but work and the occasional blog post to write, I don't have many friends and would often find myself alone, alot, of the time. Running and Team Bangs has pretty much given me new focus - focus to get off my rotund arse and get out there. I'm meeting new people at the gym I signed up for, I'm getting out to see the countryside whilst running and immediately I have Twelve  kick-ass girls that, I hope, will be my friends for life. I go about my life, every day, happy. I get up with an absolute spring in my step, my body feels better than it ever has done - granted, I have not lost a mere gram of fat, but I am healthy as an egg! and my mind is in the best shape of its life. How can you knock that?!

It's a sheer wonder how complete my life feels now... so, what about, winning the lottery eh?

What makes you happy? Do you need focus to feel complete?

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Ironing out the bumps...

Now, if you're a guy reading this, look away now! This post is strictly for us lady-folk only, and it concerns the minefield that is hair removal. This is not only a minefield but also a chore that I pretty much hate with a passion. For me, and my werewolf self, I cannot express how utterly boring and laborious it is to spend time removing hair that happens to grow back at the speed of light.

I never used to consider myself hairy when I was younger, but I can pretty much swear that the older I'm getting, the hairier I'm turning out to be - how does that work eh? I used to have a hair removal routine, it was serious stuff I tell you. On a Sunday evening I'd run the bath, and attempt to relax and spend god knows how long de-fluffing myself. This penciled in session would last me to Thursday, if not Friday if I was really lucky and in that time, I wouldn't be seen scaring young children off to shouts of "Yetti" however, now? well, that Sunday sesh still exists, but I find myself being in the same position on a Tuesday, then again on Thursday and if I'm feeling rebellious, I'll wait till Sunday again, but this is only if I am not leaving the perimeter of my house. And so the task begins and begins and err, never ends.... *sigh*

Despite my obvious hatred for all kinds and areas of hair removal (This is the only time I kinda wish I was bald) I have always tended to stick with good ol' shaving. I've tried hair removal cream and err, please tell me I'm not the only one to think it smells of farts!? and I've pretty much kept to what I know and carried on shaving. However, lately, *please note: this is where we get a little personal* I have been getting the dreaded shaving rash. We're not just talking the odd little lump and bump - this is full-on big, red, angry lumps that are not only really sore, but so god damn itchy, and I mean, lets face it, that is not a good look. After reading up about causes etc etc I've put it down to ingrown hairs - a simple but sodding painful problem. I was verging on desperate, lets face it, walking around scratching yourself is (often) frowned upon. After a visit to Boots, I stumbled upon Nad's Ingrow Solution.

Upon reading the blurb "developed to release ingrown hairs and eliminate irritation redness and bumps caused by shaving waxing hair removal creams and electrolysis.", it pretty much ticked all the boxes to heal my rather sore problem and out of sheer desperation and at the expense of £10.49, I decided to give it a go and Lordy, it worked an actual treat. Even after the first usage, the redness went down considerably, and the itchiness disappeared, I decided to follow the instructions and continue to use for two weeks and my problem has disappeared completely. I'm so pleased with the results and the best thing is, the product is in gel format, so you literally do not have to use much at all, so it will last for ages, therefore the cost is pretty much irrelevant in the end! I have even begun to integrate using the gel as part of my daily routine, and the problem has been eradicated - does the job nicely.

Available from Boots, but you can also get it online from various stockists, but if like me, you have that kind of sensitive skin, this is perfect for you!

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