Saturday 31 January 2015

ASOS Sale Haul January 2015

I'm not good at being good, although I am good at being bad. This was a slight shopping spree, I was treating myself, as I promised I would, to a few cosmetic items from Space NK and NARS, there was one item I wanted that was sold out through Nars but ASOS had it so I had to get it, I then had a little browse at items that I'd previously saved and were now on sale, so I bought myself a few bargains. I blame having the flu! I was rather impressed that next day delivery was possible, I ordered yesterday and they arrived today - this is thanks to DPD, normal post service hasn't been happening due to the snow but DPD managed it! 

So, what did I get? I'm afraid I've been in bed all day because of feeling so rotten, I did test my new shoes but that's about it so my photos focus on the patterns of the tops I bought rather than the shape, here we go. 

ASOS Pocket Square With Bad Cat Print £2.00

This is actually a pocket square, it's very Felix the Cat meets Ed Roth, I actually plan to get a frame for it at some point as I think it's too gorgeous to be shoved in a pocket with a little bit of the picture poking out so will be showing it a little more respect.

NARS Soft Touch Shadow Pencil in Iraklion £18.50

The eye pencil that started it all, I'll review this properly at a later date. I'm not sure what this has to do with Crete but Iraklion is a gorgeous smoky rose quartz, I want to use this to create both dramatic looks and quick, light but eye-brightening looks for work. 

Glamorous Tall Space Dye Jumper £19.00

This melds two of my loves, the Glamorous tall range (that and ASOS tall are my go-to tall ranges, both have a fantastic variety and a perfect fit) and Space dye, I love anything space dye, there seems to be a lot of space dye patterned items around these day which pleases me. This is a very cosy polyester jumper with 3/4 length sleeves, This is going to be a perfect jumper for in-between winter and spring.

Only Long Sleeve Top £14.00

Another lifelong obsession of mine, stripes, now stripes are always everywhere but there are certain items of clothing that have to be just right for me. I was actually in the market for an evenly spaced, black and white striped long sleeve top with a scoop neckline so lucky for me this was on sale. I love that both the top and the sleeves are super long on me, below my hips and below my wrists, I'm 5'10" so I sometimes find clothing a little short on me. 

Vero Moda Tunic In Paisley Print £24.00

Another love of mine, paisley print. Now this item I picked up mainly to wear for work, it's fairly smart but with a casual fit. It's a light polyester material so perfect for spring/summer, the sleeves are just below the elbow - another thing making it perfect for work. Plus the colour is nice and bright but light, I hate wearing dark colours at work so this makes it even more perfect. 

ASOS Snap Silver Heels £19.00

I already have these in black but had always planned to pick up the silver pair as I've wanted a pair of silver heels for a while. I don't wear leather so when I find a pair of comfortable polyurethane shoes I always want to stock up on them. Not only that but these are heels that I can actually walk in which is a miracle. 

and one last shot of me modelling them in a pair of fetching Bugs Bunny socks! 

So that's it, I shouldn't have bought any new clothes, I'm supposed to be waiting for when I get to my ideal size but after this it will be nothing else for a while. I will however be posting my pre-birthday cosmetic treats that I've picked up from NARS, Space NK, Models Own, and, once they arrive. I should point out that I did also use money I'd saved from last month so not a complete blow out with this months pay, it's a good job February is a short month. 

Friday 30 January 2015

Snow with Flu = Grumpy Sharon

This isn't the usual post at all, it's more of a temporary post until I'm better. It's just flu but I ache all over so I have a bad attitude. I'm typing this Thursday night as I will be working Friday although fortunately I had already arranged to work from home for two days as we're waiting on a home visit from dad, not on his own but with social services and hospital staff just to see if he would be able to return home. Instead of no post I thought I should at least post photos of the glorious snow, I really do love snow. Plus I of course have to include one, or two of my beautiful, snow loving cat Samhain.

Beautiful midday snow scene

Still coming down
and getting heavier

Snow covered trees and hedges

Sprinkled with snow and marking his territory

Making a dash for it out of the kitchen door....he simply sat under the car for ten minutes before returning

Scene from the back door, you can now double the amount of snow

Wednesday 28 January 2015

What's in Samhain's Cat Hampurr? January 2015

I tried to neatly layout the contents but he was straight in there to lick his toy and hold onto his bag of catnip
This is slightly delayed, a week late to be exact, mainly as Samhain also received a Purrfectbox last week so I paced him, one last week and one this week. Samhain finally got to open his monthly Cat Hampurr this Sunday, it was very exciting for him, a little too exciting. I'm starting to wonder if wherever Samhain came from there were lots of other cats as one of his first reactions to something he really likes is to pee on it, something cats usually do if they're trying to make sure no other cat takes it, there are no other cats in this house so I'll put it down to him still needing to settle in a bit more. At least this time he responded to the nononono sound I made as he got into his crouching position to pee on it!

Frantically unwrapping the box

This week I'm also including a video, this was shot using my camera phone and was a bit of a last minute decision mainly as he looked so cute trying to unwrap the box! I also wanted to show his excitement over having a new toy and a new bag of catnip, I was also excited to use my new toy, my new smartphone!

So what did he get? it's all here.....

Before I go into the descriptions you should check out the video,...

Meowing Heads Dry Cat Food in Hey Good Looking 250g
It's always nice to get a complete cat biscuit for Samhain to try, we have a few that he likes but we aren't settled on what is best so new is always good. I'm pleased that Meowing Heads offer all natural, unadulterated nutritious food as there are so many products on the market that have either questionable ingredients or are full of filler. I also like to pick up food that has taurine in as that is essential to a cats well-being so it's nice to see the addition of this.

Thrive Freeze Dried Treats in Chicken 25g
Thrive are his favourite snacks, I use them when teaching him tricks or just when I need to lure him into another room, so I'm very happy to have another tube in stock. Thrive are 100% natural so what you get is 100% chicken, it's freeze dried making a crunchy and wholesome snack, no fillers here just one very pleased pussy.

Giving Freddie a good licking
BecoThings Freddie the Fish Plush Toy
This was the surprise favourite, I wouldn't have picked this for him myself but he loved it. I'm not sure whether it was the stuffing, the texture, the shape or possibly Samhain is very eco-friendly but he loved playing with this. It was easy for him to pick up but still rugged enough for him meaning it wasn't destroyed immediately, it really does feel solid and the vivid colour is really quite beautiful, you can see him playing with this toy in the video I've posted above. This has opened me up to the world of BecoThings, we already have a couple of bowls and that is what I associated them with, I didn't realise they did toys. I can't wait to explore what other products they have to offer.

Crunching down on the bag of nip
Cheshire & Wain Loose Organic Catnip 20g
He loves catnip, he really truly does, more than any other cat I've known. It just makes him happy, he loves to be rubbed with it as well as rubbing himself against it, he loves licking it and loves to eat it. The effect isn't quite mania with him just a series of blissful moments with him and his nip. This is a beautifully presented bag of nip which is perfect for Samhain. As I say nip just makes him happy, he doesn't even need direct contact so the bag is ideal for him to rub his head over and cuddle up to. The photo at the top of the page depicts him playing with his beloved Freddie the Fish whilst keeping his claws dug into his bag of nip.

Yarrah Organic Dry Food in Chicken 75g
I can't buy this brand locally but I've always been intrigued when I've spied it in the aisles of online shops, I've never picked it up but the cat always looks so happy. I tried adding this to Samhain's usual biscuit mix but he didn't seem to take to it, however on its own he gobbles it up so I'm not sure if I'm just upsetting the balance of his mix or if he prefers this as a one off snack type of biscuit. Still, not all cats like the same thing, the quality is there but it's just not quite up Samhain's street as a complete dry food biscuit. I'd still give the fish or the grain free version a go in future as Samhain's taste buds have changed since being with us.

Another exciting Cat Hampurr for Samhain! There are a few different subscription options, mine is the monthly Cat Hampurr which costs £11.95 + p&p, you can also subscribe to a bi-montly box which costs £6 a month plus p&p or if you have more than one cat or want a really big box you can get double helpings at £21.90 a month plus p&p. Further details can be found here

Sunday 25 January 2015

Sunday Weigh-In: Third of the New Year!

Sticking with the easy post titles!

Not much has changed this week, I'm coasting along nicely and have managed to stick to a routine, working out Tuesday and Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. I'm also making the effort to reach 10,000 steps each day, once I've managed to reach that amount for a few weeks running, I'll try and up my game. Now I was a few hundred steps short on Monday and Friday, next week I'll be better. I didn't think I'd make my steps on Saturday but shockingly I did! I'm not quite at 10,000 yet today but just because I'm posting this now doesn't mean I've finished - I will make 10,000 steps today, I will make sure I do. So far this week I've done over the equivalent of 10,000 steps a day so I'm pleased with that.

Food wise I feel like I am changing my eating patterns somewhat, I'm trying to cut down portion size slightly whilst eating what I like in moderation. I've been working on changing my weekend lunches, a quick fix would be soup, not too bad, but this weekend I've had eggs and either some fruit or a piece of toast, my breakfasts have been yoghurt, granola and fruit with a little bit of what I fancy in the evening, all within my calorie range though.

This week I'm hoping to keep this up, increase my steps a little, decrease my food intake a little and keep it up with the exercise. There might be some hurdles this week with family/work commitments but I will do my best.

I've even started daydreaming about the sports kit I'll treat myself too when I get to my ideal size, see here.

Anyway I'm keeping it short and sweet this week, I hope everyone else is gradually getting towards their goals and I also hope everyone is feeling completely positive about it as that is half of the battle.

New Year, New Kit

New Year, New Kit

We are over three weeks into the new year but it is still the new year, it still feels positive, having got back on the horse when it comes to fitness, I wanted to celebrate by putting together my dream work-out kit, half practical, half visually stunning. Unfortunately I've told myself no new clothes until I get to my dream shape which could be a while, I've also promised myself a Sweaty Betty splurge which will hopefully see me picking up the gorgeous jacket featured above, hopefully it will still be available by the time I get to where I want to be. my next pick would be the gorgeous Adidas animal print performance tights followed by the Mizuno trainers but I have my own hurdles to leap over first but for now it's not only nice but motivating to dream. 

Saturday 24 January 2015


I'm now a fully fledged member of the modern world! Having recently, finally replaced my old fashioned phone I now have a snazzy smartphone which not only takes nifty photographs but also allows me to be connected to the interweb most of the the day. So if you like random photos of kitsch items, beauty products, cats, fitness inspired photographs and my random collection of crap please go ahead and add me, I go by sharonlynette.

and although I've been on there for a while don't forget my twitter account, shrivelup

Friday 23 January 2015

Post Beauty Buying Ban Cosmetic Wishlist 2015

I've had a super busy week, hence the lack of posts, so I've decided to round off the week with my favourite type of post, the imaginary shop, or, in other words, an insight into a tiny percentage of my wishlist.

Now I am on a self-imposed beauty buying ban which means, no make-up, nail polish, toiletries - a big fat no to buying anything new, pretty much the whole year - unless I manage to use up a ton of stuff up. I did always say that there were a few items I would pick up as a necessity (shampoo, nail polish remover, etc.) AND a few items that I really need (want) - Benefit they're real push up liner, for Example!

We haven't even left January and I'm already getting a bit restless. I really really want stuff! So in an attempt to tame the shopping beast I'm making this wishlist which could also be seen as the will be buying next list, some in the next couple of weeks (I'm treating myself to a few bits from Space NK as a pre-birthday treat) but I promise no more than that.....we'll see how long that will last*.

Cosmetics Wish List

This is a very hefty list, NARS is completely dominating it! Instead of listing in a logical left to right sequence I'll be grouping together by brand.

Starting with NARS, I'll start at the bottom and work myself up, NARS Nail Polish in Arabesque £15.00 a gorgeous pink sheer base with pink glitter in, what's not to love? Now I had to pick two lipsticks from NARS, the light shade to the left is NARS Audacious Lipstick Anita Antique Rose £24.00 and the stunning darker shade is NARS Audacious Lipstick Jeanne Cherry Red £24.00, but which to go for first? Green is my favourite colour and whether it suits me or not I don't care, so it was love at first sight with NARS Shimmer Eyeshadow in Night Porter £18.00, it's so dark, 70s and amazing, even though we're supposedly creeping up to spring I'm fully embracing my darker, winter side and have already ordered this. One last item from NARS, the very practical Dual Intensity Eyeshadow Pallet in Dione Metallic Champagne Beige £21.00, it's a perfect day to day, quick fix, eye brightening shade.

I'll move on to the items where I've only picked one item from a brand, again I'll start at the bottom and work my way up. Lord & Berry Creamy Concealer £12.00 - this is a totally retro pick, I haven't had a concealer stick in my handbag in a long time but it's time to change this as I certainly could do with one.
The first of two eyeliners on my list, Eyeko Me & My Shadow £15.00 is both a liner and an eyeshadow in one stick, something I'm hoping I can shove in my handbag to up-scale my make-up on certain occasions, post work drinks! I haven't decided which shade to go for but I'm swinging towards taupe.
I have to admit I don't care about the product, it's all about the packaging with this Anna Sui Lipstick in Brilliant Red £23,00 - nothing wrong in having such weak reasons every so often,
Last year I picked up a lipstick from the Illamasqua Glamore collection, Glissade - a shocking pink, which I loved and wore to death last summer so it's only right to pick up another shade, this time, Soaked £19.00, an amazing vibrant orange.

Finally I'll move on to the multiple Benefit items I've chosen. One item I mentioned at the time of my self-imposed ban, they're real push-up liner £19.00 is something I really want to try the full version of so that will be picked up soon. Next California Kissin' £15.00, a lip shine with a subtle blue tint which helps to make teeth look whiter, I really have to try this. The next item is something I've wanted to try for a while now, Fine-One-One Brightener £24.00, something my skin certainly needs. The last item is simply a top up, I'm just about to run out of Rockateur £24.00, I love it, I wear it daily, a refresh just has to be allowed.

So that's it, not that many items but a long winded explanation to why I must have them.

What beauty products will you be splurging on next?

*of course if I win the lottery there will be no ban, just a perfectly organised (by product type then colour) walk-in make-up wardrobe. 

Tuesday 20 January 2015

Sunday Weigh-In: Second of the New Year

I couldn't think of an interesting post title so I might just keep track on the weeks! Plus I'm two days behind with my update so I better keep it short and sweet.

I did okay last week, food wise I stuck to my plan 75% of the time so I'm hoping next week to up that to 85% of the time. I'm back to salad at work which is fine and I had been snacking in-between but I've decided to just up my calories at lunch as the salad on its own is only around 200 calories so now I have a yoghurt, hopefully some melon and on the occasion I'll add a bit of bean salad and some oat biscuits to take me closer towards 500. I've made a slight alteration with breakfast too, I don't have breakfast until I'm at work, time is so precious right now and although I believe you can have everything in moderation I'm cutting down slightly on my bread intake. So instead of two slices of toast I'll have one and a small banana.

Night time meal is still something I need to take stock of, we have a freezer full of bits that need to be used up but not everything gels well together so trying to put a meal together isn't always so straight forward or the healthiest, never that terrible but if I was buying ingredients daily for a meal it would just be easier. I'm still watching the portion size with my evening meal trying to make sure that it is a bit lower, especially on evenings where I don't work-out.

Speaking of my exercise routine, I managed to work-out last week, four days as I'd hoped I would, so I'll aim for the same this week, and the next. 4 days of week is plenty for now. Although I love my dvd's having the Wii to use is just quick, easy and fun. So I'm working hard to beat my high scores and also working on my balance which is very useful.

I've also found the Free Step option on the Wii Fit Plus a useful tool at the weekend. Last Saturday was the first weekend that I've been in and managed to easily beat 10,000 steps. I'm hoping to do even better this week but my steps weren't too bad.

Anyway, I better go and get on with my exercise, I'll leave you with my step count from last week. I'm going to leave my short/long term goals for this week as they haven't really changed. Although a good short term goal would be to see the graph on my wii bmi measurement steadily head down!

I should also point out another plus this week, I finally jumped forward with technology and bought myself a "smartphone" so I have access to a wealth of apps, mainly ones I already use but now I can utilise them better, for example FitBit, I wasn't able to take part in the challenges up until now!

Also, if you have Instagram or Twitter, consider adding me there, I'm planning to post photos of my fitness endeavours and high scores and my cat and the occasional cake. I go by ShrivelUp on Twitter (I'm a big fan of Devo) and sharonlynette on Instagram.

Sunday 18 January 2015

Purrfectbox January 2015

Not so long ago I was contacted and asked if I wanted to try out a Purrfectbox for my cat, I didn't have to ask him twice, I'm a mad cat person and I love my Samhain to bits, I spoil him rotten and if I could he would have all the cat subscription boxes going. I also like discovering new things for him to try, so it was a big fat yes.

I'd forgotten all about it until today when it arrived, it's a super sized box. Samhain was so excited he decided it would be best to sit on it for a while, which he did. When we did open it he got super excited again, in usual Samhain fashion he got in and, well, we had to remove him before he marked his property. Him marking it (he's had the snip so marks with urine) is the highest compliment a product can get!

I've never seen him look at me so lovingly!

Firstly I was impressed with the range of products included, as we already receive a cat subscription box I was worried there would be an overlap but there wasn't with a single item. There are products that should satisfy him, the food, the toys but there are also a couple of items that will give me peace of mind.

So what did he get?

Sanicat Bathing Mitts with Aloe Vera (4 units) Around £5.00 a pack of 4
This product is certainly for me and not Samhain, although he does love to be towel dried after an adventure in the rain (which for some reason he loves). In general Samhain is clean but sadly he gets into fights. Samhain is a rescue cat and is generally settled with us but hasn't sorted out his territory outside. Worryingly he has had a few bad fights and is currently under house arrest (which is torture for him). Now this isn't suitable for open wounds but as everything is scabbed over on Samhain, half of the scabs have come off, I'm going to use this mitt to give him a good clean, but will he like it? actually, he didn't mind it at all. The mitt isn't too wet so this didn't alarm him, he just enjoyed it as an extra little rub down.

Flamingo fish toy & Karlie horse toy 
Two new toys for Samhain, we will never know Samhain's real age but he is estimated to be around 10, he plays like a kitten though. We can never get enough toys as he always wants new entertainment. We bought him an activity tunnel for Christmas and one thing he likes us to do is hide little toys in it, balls, catnip toys - or straight up catnip! Six months into his adoption we are getting to the point where we need to retire some of his toys so these are a welcome addition. The fish toy is from a brand called Flamingo, Both the horse and the fish toy are well made even for Samhain's frantic playtimes. I hadn't heard of them before but they're a Belgian company, I've just looked them up and they have some other amazing products. The horse toy is a German company called Karlie however Karlie and Flamingo merged a few years ago, not that it matters just and interesting fact.

Schesir 100% Natural Foods
We received two different flavours from the same brand to try, both are fish based, I try and feed Samhain a fish dish each day. More importantly I try to feed him as much natural food as possible  I'm a vegetarian so he doesn't get anything from myself. The two flavours we received are Tuna and Chicken with Ham and Tuna and Sea Bream - I was only just thinking the other day whether Samhain would go for sea bream so this will be interesting to try out. I hadn't heard of this company before so I made sure to check out who they are and was please to see they are both ethical and eco friendly, in a way they remind me of Applaws b(which Samhain loves) - the food itself appears to be very similar which is great as I'm not always convinced when a cat food brand claims to be natural. I'm hoping that I'll get to see their products readily available in the UK sometime soon.

Since biting the string he has since moved on to patting the scratching post, we might even get to its proper use one day soon! 

Wasabycat Scratching Post
Another one for me more than him, Samhain doesn't use scratching posts, he scratches everything else though, that doesn't stop me trying so for me this is a welcome addition and it might just be clever enough to make him use it. Samhain is a catnip fiend, he just loves anything catnip and the fact that the catnip sits just underneath the scratching pad might mean that he actually does the right thing and uses it as a scratching post. So far he has had a bit of a nosy at it today, not quite got the hang of it but was very interested in the cord that can be used to hang it up. He has since progressed to patting it a bit, sniffing and licking it, you never know, a proper scratch might be around the corner!

Zolux Catnip Treats
As mentioned above Samhain loves his catnip so these catnip filled biscuits are a welcome treat, I've given them an outing and he loved them so more treats to keep my little boy happy.

I'm super impressed with this box, such a wide range of products to treat my little boy with. It's nice to have a mix of treats and useful products. Also included in the box is a little magazine full of interesting cat titbits, which is a very well put together little booklet.

Purrfectbox costs £19.90 a month or sign up for half a year and pay the equivalent of £17.90 and an even better deal if you sign up for a year, just £15.90 a month. Not only that but you'll also be helping out a great cause. For each box Purrfectbox that is sent out the company donate part of the proceeds to help pet charities, so even better, you aren't just treating your own puss but also those less fortunate moggies. More information on this can be found on their website.

Saturday 17 January 2015

What's in my Birchbox? January 2015 - Women's Health Special

Magazine sold separately

Finally, my Birchbox has arrived, it has felt like I've been waiting forever this month and I'd completely forgotten all about the Women's Health/Birchbox collaboration. It only occurred to me after picking up Women's Health, I was reading it after I came home from work on Thursday, I was looking at all these fabulous products in the foreword and noticed that it was tied to Birchbox, it then struck me - fortunately my Birchbox had arrived that day so I tore it open, so what did I get?

It's all after the cut!

Tuesday 13 January 2015

butter London Lippy Tinted Balm in Teddy Boy Review

At the end of November last year the butter London website was offering 30% off everything so I indulged in a number of nail varnishes and I also decided to give one of their lipsticks a go. With December being so busy I decided to wait until this year to give it my full, undivided attention.

Now it is described as a tinted balm and it does feel like that on the lips, it softens and moisturises. Yet, unlike most tinted balm the shade is more opaque than sheer. For me this is very welcome. I chose Teddy Boy, part of the Boho Rock Collection, as I wanted another nude shade to wear to work, I love my light 60s style nudes but this time I was after something darker with a hint of rosy pink which is exactly what this shade is.

I don't have high expectations when it comes to the longevity of tinted lip balm, usually the colour disappears as soon as the balm sinks in, or in some cases there might be a slight stain but this actually sits like a lipstick. Like with most light shades I found myself needing to reapply a few times in a working day but that's simply as often as I'd apply lip balm anyway so there's no hardship.

This really is a super tinted balm, one of eleven gorgeous shades on offer and although I'm on a beauty buying ban I think I'll have to treat myself to their Black Cherry tinted balm at the beginning of March as a little birthday treat!

Sunday 11 January 2015

Sunday Weigh-In: First of the New Year

With a manic end of the year my fitness routine slipped, this couldn't be helped, family come first but I thought I should mention it. With new year I feel refreshed and ready to get back to it. Some over-indulgence over Christmas (plus eating on the go between hospital trips) has left me feeling rather dumpy so I'm very happy to be easing myself back into normal life.

Back to normal means more accurate measurement of the food I eat, everything in moderation I believe is the key so I will still have a bit of bread, pasta, potatoes, i.e. the evil "P" foods - no I don't really believe certain foods are evil you just have to be balanced.

With this post I'm not going to focus on the past but instead the future. This year I plan on big changes but with small steps. I'm not gatecrashing into the new year working out everyday only to let it slip, instead I'm building up to it. I have to admit I planned to do more this week with my workouts but I just haven't had the time as sadly my gran died at the end of December and I have been helping with sorting out (clearing) my grandparents out, not much, but in-between I've been working, James has been ill but when I was at work I made sure I got my steps up a bit more as they had been on the low side recently (especially those couple of days when my fitbit died and I couldn't find the charger!).

I do actually enjoy exercise so I'm looking forward to getting back into the swing of it, I actually got my bright, positive trainers back on this Saturday for a quick spin. The new Sweaty Betty catalogue arrived today and that spurred me on as I've promised myself to splurge on items from them when I get to my ideal size (and I do really mean splurge!).

So there will be some slow positive steps to kick off the New Year. Logging food, weighing, interesting new meals and more exercise. I managed to do 50 minutes on Saturday and 50 minutes today. I actually went ahead and set up the Wii balance board and used Wii Fit Plus an although I was weighed I didn't look, instead I've set myself a goal which I have now forgotten, something like 21lbs in 3 months to start with. I'm going to focus on that and try and do Wii Fit Plus 4 times a week averaging 45 minutes each time, but no less than 20 minutes at a time, so then if on a Tuesday and Thursday I'm short of time and only do 20 minutes I need to 2 hours and 10 minutes in total at the weekend. Hopefully tracking how I'm doing on there and being able to see my progress with exercise AND it being a load of fun will help!

My steps this week:

I know I'm not where I was but I'm pretty pleased

Short Term Goals

  1. Exercise using Wii Fit Plus to a total of 3 hours or more a week. 
  2. Cut portion sizes slightly

Long Term Goals
  1. To get to a figure that I'm happy with and to go on holiday!

Anyway a nice gentle start to the New Year, I'm really hoping this year is a lot more positive full stop!

Anyway, is anyone else making changes to their health and fitness routine?

Saturday 10 January 2015

Winter Skin Saviours

I'm usually quite fortunate with my skin, I don't moisturise daily (something I'm planning to change this year) but I don't suffer with dry skin, until winter. When it does come to winter I do tend to go from soft skin to super dry overnight. A mix of the cold weather outside and the heavy use of central heating plays havoc with my skin and even more so my lips. Luckily I have a few products to hand that save my skin.

  1. L'Occitane Cherry Blossom Hand Cream (30ml) £8.00 - I've been carrying this around in my handbag for a while (hence the propped up empty tube) a little certainly goes a long way as I've had this for two years. Okay, I don't use it day in, day out but I have used it heavily, just a pea sized amount is enough for both hands. I love L'Occitane's Cherry Blossom range and this works perfectly, the scent is amazingly but it also makes my hands silky soft.
  2. Compagnie De Provence Hand Cream - Cotton Flower (30ml) £2.80 - A new brand to me introduced via way of Birchbox I actually picked this up in the sale from, pre beauty buying ban. I mainly picked it up because it was such a bargain plus I wanted to try a different scent from this brand, I already have the mediterranean sea hand cream and I simply adore it but see it as more of a summer scent so wanted to save it for the warmer weather. I chose Cotton Flower as I wanted something light and barely scented but still fresh and this is just that. It's not just about the smell though it does work amazingly well at moisturising my currently winter dry hands. 
  3. Dr Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips (15ml) £11.50 - I've had a couple of trial samples of this and have just loved it. It has rescued my lips many a time from incredibly dry spells in the past and is stepping in to rescue them once more at the moment as the circulated heat at work is playing havoc on my lips. In a way it's very basic, it's not scented, no frills but it really works and the tube is attractive but, to be honest, the only thing I care about is how it truly does revive my lips, immediately!
  4. SteamCream (75ml) £12.95 - If you haven't tried SteamCream I would highly recommend it, seriously, order some right now. I know I said I don't tend to moisturise as part of my daily routine but when I do I use this. I have a backlog of tins as every time I visit the site I end up buying another tin design. It's a really light, quick drying moisturiser that works just as well on the body as it does the face. The smell is light but the lavender oil really breaks through and although the scent is strong it is in no way overpowering. 
  5. Waitrose Pure Beauty Balm (50ml) £2.99 - This really is a wonder product, it hasn't had the stampeding fanfare that surrounded their baby bottom butter but it should. This is actually my saviour all year round, it's perfect for sensitive skin, I use it after a depilatory session with my top lip - it's the only thing that doesn't agitate my skin after removing the hair. It's very thick, like a hard petroleum jelly, it's greasy but in a good way. As it is thick and slick a little goes a long way but I like to add quite a bit to help calm down any rashes I get, it soothes any irritation immediately and brings swelling and redness down within an hour. 
  6. Rituals Magic Touch Cherry Blossom & Rice Milk 75ml - The smell is the overwhelming factor of my love for this, it's just gorgeous. It does work well as a moisturiser too, don't get me wrong. It's not the type I'd use on my face as the scent is quite strong but this thick, whipped body cream is perfect on my arms and legs. It leaves them ultra soft and also makes me smell gorgeous, if I do say so myself. 

So, what products do you rely on when the temperature drops? or are you blessed with eternally soft skin?

Friday 9 January 2015

Sale Picks: Winter Warmers = Weekend in Bed

This is a tough post for me to do, part of my New Year's Resolutions was to not buy any more clothes until I'm closer to my dream size - as well as a beauty product buying ban - and yes I'll keep on mentioning this until I fail, then I'll just go quiet. I still wanted to have a look what is on offer and the fact that I haven't then bought something hopefully shows I'm trying to be serious with my resolutions.

Today I'm looking predominantly at cosy weekend indoors wear, why so? because it is freaking cold. I don't know about you but I do love the cold however my feelings about it change after the festive period. Those first few grim weeks of January make me miserable, part of it is my post-Christmas grump. The only thing that makes me feel better is bundling up warm and cosy, especially at the weekend when I can stay in bed with warm comfortable nightwear. Now the key is to pick items that you wouldn't just wear in bed, cat print pyjama bottoms with a "normal" jumper is perfectly acceptable wear to answer the door in, heck, even going to the corner shop in.

So here are my picks.

Sale Picks: Winter Warmers = Weekend in Bed

Wednesday 7 January 2015

Samhain's Catnip Review: KraftyKatsUK Handmade Catnip Mouse

Now it's been a while since Samhain reviewed a new catnip product but that doesn't mean he hasn't had plenty of new products to try, he was truly spoilt rotten over Christmas but the product featured today is something he received in his last Cat Hampurr, a Christmas Catnip Mouse £3.00 from KraftyKatsUK.

Now the day we looked at the box was the day of another big fight and he was so exhausted and down-hearted he just couldn't enjoy anything like he usually would but since then he has gone slightly wild over his new toy.

2 Paw hug - must be good! 
This Krafty Kats UK mouse is a lovely, durable, handmade mouse. One thing I liked - and he liked was the size, slightly larger than your usual catnip mouse which makes it easier for him to get a grip on. If he ain't licking his catnip toys he is holding onto them so he can give them a good kicking, which again makes the larger toys more suitable for him.

This toy sent him into a crazy mood, he chose to enjoy this toy whilst lying on his back with his back paws in the air and his front paws clutching or licking his new toy while I rubbed his belly, see photo below!

A quick belly tickle, I couldn't resist! 
He doesn't mind having his belly rubbed but he doesn't demand it and he rarely rolls onto his back for this type of mollycoddling but the toy sent him off in a dreamy state which was just lovely.

Trying to take it away isn't an easy task at all! 
Another great thing about the size is that when he has had enough of licking and kicking the soft toy makes a perfect pillow for a completely knackered pussy cat!

Zonked, Zombified or simply dazed & confused

Such a fantastic addition to his mound of toys, I've never had a toy make him want to just lie on his back like this does, what a weird effect but truly marvellous! 

Sunday 4 January 2015

Jessica The Kiss Nouveau Set Review

Jessica The Kiss Nouveau Gift Set £14.70 from

Now I should mention that I bought this set pre-buying ban so I haven't cheated just yet. I thought it was time to feature this as it is currently on sale at for a very reasonable £14.70. This was bought in a week that I sorely failed to be reasonable when it comes to updating my nail varnish collection, this was one of five sets I'd bought. I have no regrets though.

New to Jessica nail varnish, I was aware of the brand but nothing had really caught my eye so I hadn't felt the need to explore, until I saw this. I love Klimt and the idea of a nail varnish set based on his piece "The Kiss" was both amazing and ridiculous, I don't know why it hadn't been done before, it works so well.

There are three nail varnishes in the set, all very wearable, two slightly more versatile than the other. Those two are both metallic, chrome shades, the names of them are self-explanatory, Platinum Passion and Golden Embrace. The final nail varnish, Be Jewelled, is the most Klimt of them all, the base is a golden yellow with multiple particles in different colours reminiscent of Klimt during his golden phase which makes it very rich and vibrant.

Having never used Jessica nail varnish before I wasn't sure what to expect quality wise but it applies rather easily and evenly, it lasts well after drying in a fairly reasonable ten minutes for the solid colour but slightly longer was needed for the nail varnish with particles - possibly as this was more layered. My only issue came when using Be Jewelled, possibly because of the array of particles but I found that unless I scraped the brush it would run all over the shop, instead I found it best just to apply several thin coats, rather than the two standard I'd done with the other two but for the overall effect it is totally worth the effort. 

Friday 2 January 2015

New Year Low-key Sparkle Nail Style

I didn't got our New Year's Eve but I did do my nails, 15 minutes before midnight to be truthful. Okay, so I didn't have the wildest night and even though I did them super late I still wanted a bit of sparkle. I decided to do something glitzy but low-key, so avoiding being full on I decided to use an opaque nude shade along with some gradual golden glitter.

For my base I used Barry M in Lychee a creamy light brown, or, like a peeled lychee, I applied two coats leaving it nice and opaque. Once dried I added Illamasqua's Spartan (Sadly discontinued but still available as part of this set). I made sure to wipe as much of the glitter of the brush as possible before applying it starting three quarters of the way, next coat from half way leaving a little bit more glitter on the nail and for the final coat starting at the quarter up mark I applied as much glitter as I could get on the brush.

It's a pretty simple look - I'm incapable of anything too complex, it's nice and light and will look low-key with jeans and a jumper but would equally look rather glitzy with a glamorous dress. 

Thursday 1 January 2015

Resolutions for 2015

I don't go wild with New Year's resolutions, in a way I don't "believe" in them, if you want to change something you should start straight away, however, it is inevitable that at the end of the year you just can't help but evaluate what has gone right in the last year and what has gone wrong. The new year does feel like a fresh start and I do love a good list so this year I've gone overboard.

I still believe that small specific goals work better than large general goals, even just splitting a large goal into a couple of smaller actions makes it more doable. In fact, most of my list covers being tidier, being healthier (and losing weight) and saving money, just in smaller more manageable chunks. So, straight on with the novel, err....list!

  1. Drink green tea daily - slightly strange but there is a reason. I'm not quite one for magic elixirs or even taking vitamins - I prefer to try and have a balanced diet but I do find there is a period when I get home from work when I'm just hungry and can snack horribly.  Instead I'm replacing my snacking with green tea (and a banana if I'm working out), I'm actually going for the matcha variety and although I was already planning to pick some up from Tea Pigs I was very lucky that they currently have 20% off their matcha green tea range and are re-running their matcha green tea challenge throughout January - I'll certainly be taking part.  I also picked up more Popcorn tea for James - I've not told him though, it will be a nice surprise. 
  2. Organise my collectible figures. I have a wide selection of interests, I really do, This does mean I collect a lot of stuff, an awful lot, In 2013 I bought some pieces of furniture to help organise my "front room" somewhat, see here and here. It worked but one of the items that arrived was broken so I had to arrange for a swap, once that happened the momentum had gone and the shelving has sat in the conservatory, still in the box since. My collection of collectible figures has grown out of control, especially with the release of the Funko Pop Vinyl Buffy the Vampire Slayer figures (although I'm still to pick up Angel and Oz). I need the shelving up so I can display all my figures, still in the boxes of course. 
  3. Organise my front room in general, it's a bit of a tip. Both my wardrobes are broken so clothes are everywhere, my dvd and blu-ray collection has taken over. I plan to move a piece of furniture out of the room to store elsewhere so that I can more in a couple more other shelving units along with the shelving unit mentioned above. I will also aim to get rid of at least a couple of boxes worth of stuff, any old stuff. 
  4. A buying ban on toiletries, make-up and especially nail varnish. Apart from a few choice items and essentials, although is make-up really ever essential, no. I have a couple of items on my list to pick up next month, two items from Benefit - Rockateur as I'm nearly out and They're real push up liner as it really is amazing. Other than that foundation will be the only other thing I'll pick up. This isn't a year long ban but my aim is for it to cover the first three months of the year at least. 
  5.  Use up the toiletries and make-up I do have. This is in relation to the goal before I will aim to use up a third of what I already have or get rid of anything that is just out of date.
  6. Organise my nail varnish. I have hundreds of nail varnishes and last night it took me an hour to find the shade I wanted. I have a load of empty glossyboxes and birchboxes that I could utilise to organise my nail varnish by colour. I have so many varnishes to use I really don't need to buy myself any for the next year (I've known this for a while yet I still bought 5 new sets in December!). I really need to use up what I already have. 
  7. Which leads to the next goal, I need to wear nail varnish more often. It's so daft that I don't get around to doing my nails yet I have so many shades to choose from. This year I'm going to make the effort, the wonderful discovery that is OPI glitter-off peelable base will help as it means I can wear more dazzling effects at the weekend, remove it easily so that I can return to more subdued nails in the week. 
  8. Back on track with my exercise regime. Now the reason I stopped was due to family commitments, I just didn't have the time as family is more important but I plan to do more exercise, my aim will be to get back to four days a week. Now it might not mean that each of these days is a fully suited, heart rate monitor wearing, trainers on day - Using the Wii to dance to Abba will count - although I will wear the heart rate monitor for this. 
  9. Watch my diet - again this downfall has only been in the last few months due to family commitments but I want to get back to logging my food on My Fitness Pal. I also want to cut down my portion sizes slightly. I don't believe in big changes, I also don't think you have to cut everything out you like just keep it in moderation but I want to make sure my evening meal is a little lighter. I'll cut down gradually. 
  10. No more clothes until I've got down to my to my ideal size. I want to get to a size I'm happy with and I'm wasting money buying new clothes, okay, t-shirts and jumpers aren't going to be too bad but I have so many clothes as it is so instead I'll treat myself when I've got to where I want to be - that's something to aim for and look forward too, shopping is nice but a shopping spree is just amazing. 
  11. Budget and save money. I want to be careful with my finances. I need to save up to move out of my parents so I need to save money for a deposit as I don't want to go back to renting. I want to budget so that I have a little bit of money to spend each month as I don't have any other vices, I don't smoke any longer and rarely have a drink, plus we don't go out much. I can put money away and still have a bit of spending money especially if I create a budget for groceries and not buy toiletries (apart from essentials) for the first three months. I'm hoping that once I have a little money in my savings it becomes a lot easier to put money aside. 
  12. Get out more. Although this does conflict slightly with the budgeting I would like to get out more often. Where this is just a trip to the local museum or travelling out of town to go to the cinema it would be nice to do something different each month.
  13.  Last but not least, watch the equivalent of a film a day, I managed it in 2014, I watched 365 films. It would be nice to exceed this goal. I know it does seem excessive but I don't actually watch a film daily, one of my favourite things to do when I have a bit of time off work is to have a film marathon, which also includes camping out in the front room (although at my age I do have to take the mattress down with me). A three day marathon can lead to watching 20 films if not more so hopefully this will be an easy challenge. I'd also like to make sure I use my tablet less and read more - I have so many books on my to-read shelf along with library books I really need to at least aim for one a month this year if not more. 

I'm hoping a few of the items I can consider completed within the first month, or even first week of the year whereas others are slow burners.

Have you set yourself any goals for 2015?

Happy New Year!