New Year's Resolutions

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Well it’s that time of year again. The time where I lie to myself and pretend I’m going to be a better person when in reality, all I’m going to do is eat copious amounts of crisps and maybe get out of bed before 12pm. Despite the obvious lies I’m about to tell, I will do my best to make 2016 a good year and maybe one day, I’ll see 10am on the weekend. Okay, let’s get into the – lies – New Year’s resolutions.

Starting the resolutions early by doodling a quick picture.

1. Be Healthier

The crisps I just mentioned clearly contradict this resolution but there’s no harm in trying is there? 2015 was the year of fruit, occasional workouts, crisps and soda so 2016 will be the year of more fruit, more workouts, less crisps and less soda. I make no promises in those workouts but one sit up a day is better than none.

2. Save More Money

I did really well at saving money in 2015 but then I went shopping in October and I haven’t seen that money since. I’ll be 23 in 2016 so I guess I should be an adult and save for boring things like car repairs, houses and washing up liquid. Life was so much more fun when I was saving for shoes.

3. Plan Ahead

Organisation and I sometimes cross paths but for the most part, we’re in completely different forests. I have tried to plan ahead with meals, days out and general human related things but I’ve pretty much failed every time. In 2016 I want to know what I need to buy from the shop rather than wandering around aimlessly and I want to know what time I need to leave the house by in order to get a full day trip in. Oh my goodness have I just become an adult?

4. Draw More

I almost achieved this in October but then I had to start a new job in November and discovered I no longer had time for such frustrating tasks. Now that I’m beginning to get my body used to waking up at awful times in the morning, I have a bit more energy at night to put into drawing. By the end of 2016 I will be the next Van Gogh (i.e poor, earless but talented).

I think 4 resolutions is a good stopping point. It’ll be a miracle if I even manage to stick to one of these but as my sketchbooks lay empty and my kidneys remain sore, I think some of these things need to be done. 2016, the year I become an adult while still looking like a 14 year old.

Oxfam Unwrapped Gifts

Sunday, 27 December 2015

I was taught very little about poverty while at school. Of course it was briefly touched upon and I went to school around the time those “Make Poverty History” bands were popular but as teenagers, we weren’t really bothered about the lives of people we didn’t know. We were aware that not everyone had enough food and water but it never really registered with us. High school was more about silly teenage drama rather than selfless acts of kindness.

Now that I’m fast approaching 23 years old, I’m more aware of both my surroundings and the places beyond. I can’t relate to poverty but I'm beginning to understand it. The idea that there are people with absolutely nothing while I have everything I’ve ever wanted and more still completely baffles me but I’m now realising I can be part of the solution as opposed to the selfish problem. With that realisation in mind, I jumped at the chance to work with Oxfam on a post that really registered with me.

Oxfam Unwrapped gifts makes a huge difference to the lives of people who otherwise go without the little things we take for granted. Simple things like soap are a common feature in most bathrooms but in poverty stricken countries, soap is a luxury that not many have.

It still amazes me that something I use after every trip to the bathroom is not something everyone can easily access. Soap and good hygiene in general has the power to cut down the risk of disease and in turn, limit the amount of disease related deaths. Buying soap for £5.00 (that’s the same price as a large tin of chocolate in various supermarkets) will not only help a family desperately in need but it will also provide them with education on hygiene and how to keep their family safe from illness. To give a gift of soap for £5.00 please click here.

While something as small as soap can make a huge difference to the day to day living of a family, there is something else that can also enhance their quality of life. I’m used to petting goats in zoos but for a family in need, they can be used for so much more. Oxfam aims to source local, fully vaccinated goats in order to give a family a source of income. The goat’s milk can be sold at market and as the goats breed, the kids can be passed on to other vulnerable families. Business training is also provided along with the goats so the receiving families will be able to support themselves and potentially help others. To give gift of a goat for £25.00 please click here.

Now this thing may not be so glamorous but it’s a necessary thing in countries where droughts and floods are frequent. In order for people in poverty stricken countries to have a healthy, balanced diet, they require crops and an Oxfam “pile of poo” can help small scale farmers achieve just that.

The weather in third world countries is unpredictable and providing a family with a blend of manure and organic fertiliser as well as training on growing crops, makes things that little bit easier for them. One in eight people go to bed hungry every night but with a “pile of poo”, we can cut down this number and give people a meal to look forward to every day. To give a pile of poo gift for £9.00 please click here.

I know this post is a bit beyond my usual frivolous blabbering but hopefully you’re just as determined as I am to make a dent in the fight against poverty. A goat, soap and a pile of poo may be small gifts to us but they have the ability to change someone's entire life for the better. I can't think of anything more amazing than that!

Disclaimer: I am affiliated with Oxfam but I am not being compensated for this post. All opinions are my own and I believe this is a really worthy cause.

YSL Rouge Rock Lipstick Review

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Bad blogger alert! I’ve barely even thought about my blog in December and I blame my complete lack of energy for it. Spinning on my chair and staring at a computer screen all day at work has left me wanting my bed as soon as I get home. Blogging has had to take a back seat for now thanks to my inability to balance anything in life. How other full time workers manage to juggle blogging and all the other adult things they have to do is beyond me. I can barely keep my eyes open!

YSL Rouge Rock lipstick

Alas, I have completely digressed on what I actually planned on talking about today. This post shall now focus on a lipstick from this point forward. The lipstick in question is from the Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture: The Mats collection and is called ‘Rouge Rock’. I didn’t intend to buy this but my other half discovered a Boots gift card lying around and I decided I absolutely needed a new red lipstick.

Usually I gravitate towards red lipsticks with strong orange undertones but this time around, I went for a full on red. I wanted something that would make me look like I had been drinking blood all day; I’m possibly taking the “vampy red” a bit too literally here. Rouge Rock fit my blood drinking requirements and as a result, was swiftly purchased.

YSL Rouge Rock lipstick swatches

I assume “The Mats” implies the lipstick has a matte finish however, I’m not entirely convinced by this. Rouge Rock applies and wears like a very creamy lipstick which throws the matte claims right out the window. The creamy texture does mean the lipstick glides onto your lips with ease and refrains from completely drying them out.

Annoyingly my lips have been hideously dry for 2 months now and I have taken a few gambles with wearing Rouge Rock during this period. Usually dry lips plus a bold lipstick equals utter mess on my face but I’m pleased to say, Rouge Rock did well at not emphasising the Sahara desert that is my lips. Of course Rouge Rock did cling to a few patches but for the most part, it did well at not displaying how much the cold weather affects a place I’d rather it didn’t.

YSL Rouge Rock lipstick

The only issue with Rouge Rock is the fact it gets all over your glass, food, other half, pillow and dog. This is probably a result of the overly creamy formula so reapplication is required often. You should probably tell your other half to stay clear of you while wearing this lipstick unless they really want to look like the Joker that day.

While I may have a few too many red lipsticks as it is, I’m rather pleased with my Rouge Rock purchase. As I’ve got a rather pale face and somewhat black hair, Rouge Rock and I get along like a house on fire. It may be a fairly standard red lipstick but the luxurious packaging, creamy formula and the fact I bought it with a forgotten about gift card makes it so much better!

Yankee Christmas Eve Candle

Sunday, 13 December 2015

While the Christmas decorations remain in the cupboard, the Christmas candles are out in full force. After overindulging in the Yankee Christmas Cookie candle last year, I decided to purchase the larger size along with a small Christmas Eve candle.

Yankee Candle Christmas Eve candle

The debate as to whether we will be getting a real tree this year is in full swing so, until that decision is made, I do have something that smells Christmassy to keep the festive spirit alive. I picked up Christmas Eve over all of the other Yankee Candle Christmas scents mainly because the other scents – excluding Christmas Cookie – smell like public bathrooms.

Christmas Eve is a beautiful blend of berries, cinnamon and vanilla. It’s warm and comforting and fills the air with that cosy, Christmas scent. Admittedly I wasn’t overly keen on the scent when I initially smelt it in the jar but it’s incredible once lit. I have it burning right now and it’s making me want to watch a ridiculous amount of Christmas movies while drinking hot chocolate after hot chocolate.

I may be a bit of a Scrooge at times but this candle has given me that fuzzy Christmas feeling. I’m one step away from dressing up like Santa and throwing sweets at strangers. What on earth has Yankee Candle done to me?

Edinburgh Winter Market

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Before the Forth Road Bridge closed for the remainder of the year, my other half and I crossed the now defunct metal structure in a bid to eat some waffles. We were also planning on doing some Christmas shopping but for the sake of this post, let’s focus on the waffle eating.

Edinburgh winter market

The waffles in question were located in the Winter Market that seems to be scattered across Edinburgh city centre. We ignored all of the rides due to the ridiculously powerful wind and the ice rink was completely out of the question; some of us aren’t graceful enough for such slippery fun. A few stops were made to gawp at the rides but I tended to use those stops to remove the hair that the wind had thrown into my eyes and mouth.

We did also visit a few stands all in the name of obscure Christmas shopping. Annoyingly the people my other half and I have on our Christmas present lists are horrific to buy for so absolutely nothing caught our eye. I did enjoy the little wooden pig though but who on earth would I give a wooden pig to?

Edinburgh winter market

While we avoided the majority of the food stands I did feel my feet trying to walk over to the cheese stand. Usually when I visit the Winter Market I’m in the middle of a “my body will go on fire if I dare have dairy” thing but for once, my skin was fine and I wanted cheese. I refrained from letting my feet take me to the cheese stands as knowing me, I’d choose a delightfully stinky one that would make me want to throw up whenever I opened the fridge.

There was one food stand I of course allowed myself to engage with and that was the waffle stand. Every year I visit this one specific stall and I’m always tempted by the apple strudel but the waffle is where it’s at. While my other half and I were supposed to share a waffle due to visiting David Bann’s restaurant later in the day, my other half brain farted and ordered 2 waffles. I of course didn’t complain, I don’t like sharing waffles after all. We did also have a hot chocolate each but obviously, the waffle covered in vanilla sauce is far more important.

Edinburgh winter market

What I’ve done throughout this post is made it sound like I am a total waffle obsessed human and now I’m slightly worried by the fact I’m craving such sugary delights. I’m just happy we managed to get to Edinburgh the weekend before all hell broke loose and the place I live in was cut off from the rest of Scotland. The road that leads me up north is also shut due to flooding, are the people of Scotland trying to contain me in one area? Send help!

Lush Haul

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

While the rain drenched the whole country last weekend my other half and I had a solid plan in place that was not going to be ruined by a bit of water. The giant puddles that delayed traffic for an hour tried to stop us but when I want to go to Lush, you can bet your bottom dollar I am going to Lush. We may have had to fight some large crowds and drink a hot chocolate really fast but we managed to make it through the Edinburgh rain to the Lush store. You gotta try harder than that weather!

Lush haul

As usual the store was absolutely mobbed which meant we were stuck in the same section for a good 10 minutes. Fortunately the majority of things we needed just happened to be at the back of the store but the size of every Lush shop I’ve been in always annoys me. Expand your premises for the sake of my sanity!

While we were stuck at the back of the shop we were approached by a sales assistant (who I believe was called Gayle) who probably thought we were really confused by the concept of shaving cream. While speaking to her the issue my other half had with Ultrabland came up and after deciding that perhaps he’d accidentally received Ultrabalm, the sales assistant hit us with a random act of kindness and gave my other half a tub of Ultrabland for free. I had no idea Lush had started to introduce this in their stores so it was rather sweet and totally unexpected.

Lush Dirty, D'Fluff, Ultrabland

Once Ultrabland was placed in our basket we started to focus on the necessities. I was there solely for another tub of D’Fluff but I almost completely bypassed it in favour of something else. Fortunately I found my brain and D’Fluff was firmly placed in the basket. My other half also required shaving cream – despite his patchy attempt at facial hair – so Dirty was picked up as well.

While my other half pondered over which shaving cream to purchase I decided to try a sample of Celestial. I was in dire need of a new moisturiser so it only seemed fitting to buy a tub of Celestial. My decision to place the tub in our basket may have been fuelled by the fact my other half was paying but let’s ignore that detail!

It did take an awful long time for my other half to choose a shaving cream so I also had time to ponder over Pumice Power. My feet are getting rather icky thanks to all of the heels I insist on wearing so hopefully Pumice Power will help them out. I always ignore my feet when it comes to pampering sessions so Pumice Power should encourage me to pay attention to the poor little things.

Lush Pumice Power, Dirty Springwash, Celestial

Once we managed to break free from the one section at the back the rest of our shopping was a breeze. A large bottle of Dirty Springwash - the best shower gel ever – was picked up and Snow Fairy was considered. In the end, I chose to be good and refrained from buying more shower gel but knowing my Lush oriented mind, I’ll place an order online for a bottle or 7.

The last thing on our list was the regular bar of soap for my dad. The majority of the Christmas soaps weren’t really doing it for us so we decided to get him another block of Reindeer Rock. He seemed to enjoy the last block he had so I imagine he’ll be happy with the same scent again.

Lush Reindeer Rock, Outback Mate

While we were sniffing the soaps I noticed one called Outback Mate. My brother is coming home from Australia for Christmas so it only seemed fitting to pick up a small slither of this soap for him. I’m not sure about the rules of travelling with soap these days so I figured a small amount should get him through the short period of time that he’ll be home for.

Phew, that’s one more Lush haul done and dusted. I was quite proud of myself for not setting foot into Lush for a few months but let me tell you, it was getting hard. The problem with products is they run out and you have to replace them which makes a Lush ban rather difficult. Come to think of it, I’m about to run out of my body lotion…whoops!

David Bann Restaurant

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Thanks to being a vegetarian I’m always rather limited on what restaurants I can eat at. Most restaurants begrudgingly cater to the vegetarians of this world but the options are usually rather bland. Fortunately I have a rather thoughtful other half who suggested we take a long, overdue trip to David Bann; an all vegetarian restaurant in Edinburgh.

It’s been a while since I went to the cosy albeit slightly fancy David Bann restaurant but at least I knew what I was in for. My other half was a little worried when he saw the menu and I think he started wishing we’d gone to a steak house. He did eventually settle on the stir fried vegetables with udon noodles and smoked tofu despite me insisting he try the chili and chocolate pancake. I on the other hand, chose the aubergine, chick pea and cashew kofta without really knowing what I was going to get.

David Bann Restaurant

As the restaurant was fairly empty at this point (it was 3.30pm after all) our food came out rather quickly. Both options looked lovely on the plate and were even better on the taste buds. My other half happily tucked into his noodles and vegetables while I tried to refrain from raving about how fabulous my entire meal was.

I was paranoid that the coconut, courgette and tomato sauce that covered my sweet potatoes was going to be too coconuty for my liking but it was absolutely perfect. The only downside to my meal was the papaya salad but my other half appreciated it for me. We also both discovered we don’t like tofu but it seemed to be devoured regardless.

David Bann Restaurant

We had been to the Winter Market prior to going to the restaurant and stupidly had a waffle each so dessert was out of the question. We did have a look at the dessert menu and the hot apple and calvados tart did sound rather appealing but in the end, we opted for hot drinks. My other half went for apple and cinnamon tea which was both refreshing and Christmassy while I went for my second hot chocolate of the day. I seem to have been cramming the hot chocolate in recently, it must be that time of year!

David Bann Restaurant

While 3.30pm was an odd time to eat, the entire meal was fabulous. I genuinely cannot find fault in any aspect of the restaurant other than the view of the rather rundown looking Travelodge across the road. The meal was also fairly cheap at just under £30.00 and I think it may be a place my other half would like to return to. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan who’s bored of the usual bland offerings at restaurants be sure to check out David Bann (St Mary’s Street, Edinburgh) and for goodness sake, try the chili and chocolate pancake!

Biting Back

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past 11 (soon to be 12, eek) months it’s how fragile confidence can be. I’ve never been the most confident of people - I’m too shy, awkward and goofy for such a luxury – but I’m slowly learning what situations I rule at and which ones I shouldn’t put myself in if I can help it.

I’ve recently had to walk into a situation that would usually scare the living daylights out of me and although a great deal of nerves were present, I soon got over that and quickly became a confident little human. It just so happens I’m somewhat in my element but that’s not the biggest contribution to how I’m feeling. For once in my life, I’m surrounded by positive, motivated and genuinely lovely people and I’m feeding off of those good vibes.

I can’t even begin to explain how much of a relief it’s been to have a great deal of negativity leave my life. I won’t bother going into what caused all the unnecessary bad feelings as that’ll just bring me and this post down but it’s so nice to flip my hair in that disgusting direction. Who needs narcissists and rudeness when you can have puppies and lollipops!

The amazing thing is ever since I’ve gotten rid of that awfulness a lot of things have just fallen into place. I feel like I’ve grown up a lot just in the last few months and I’m ready to “adult” properly. It took a lot of shaky moments with a fair bit of crying at parts (I rarely cry so things must be bad for me to cry regularly) to get to this stage in my life but I’m rather blessed to be here. I’m still awkward, shy and goofy but I’m learning to own it and for once, I’m refusing to let the douchebags drag me down. The ones who thought they had me cornered must be really mad; I know they’re reading this post xx

Bvlgari Omnia Coral Perfume

Saturday, 21 November 2015

You know when you’ve been meaning to write a review on a product since July but completely forget to do it? Well, I appear to have had one of these moments as I’ve just realised I never got round to reviewing the latest addition to my perfume collection. Do I have to sit in the bad blogger corner and think about what I’ve done now?

Bvlgari Omnia Coral Perfume

Bvlgari (or is it Bulgari?) Omnia Coral was given to me by parents upon their return home from Spain. I’ve never sniffed any Bvlgari perfumes aside from the one my mum once owned which my dad described as “fousty” so I was rather intrigued by this one. Of course the pink packaging (or is it coral?) helped in my perfume excitement.

I really have no preference when it comes to perfumes so I am rather delighted with the sweet, fruity scent Omnia Coral offers. Usually fruity scents tend to border on the artificial side of things once they’ve mixed with my skin but Omnia Coral remains musky and delicious. I’m absolutely awful at describing perfume notes – which makes me the perfect person to review perfume of course - but I’m sure there’s a hint of floral notes in Omnia Coral somewhere.

Bvlgari Omnia Coral Perfume

Omnia Coral earns me so many compliments whenever I wear it as it’s such a nose friendly (excellent description there) scent. I was worried about it becoming undetectable throughout the day but this perfume remains present until my next shower. It’s one of those perfumes where you walk past someone and they instantly think to themselves “that person smells good, would it be totally weird to ask them what they’re wearing?”.

It’s possibly not the most grown up of scents and it’s definitely more suitable for summer if you’re one of those people who keep things for certain times of year. Omnia Coral is really just a light, friendly perfume that should suit most people. It’s hardly the most original of scents but let’s be honest, the bottle and the utter confusion it causes me makes the generic scent worth it.

Moda In Pelle Boots

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

I tried but in the end, I just couldn’t resist them. They were hiding away in the corner of the store and I could hear them calling out to me. It’s not my fault, I’m weak okay!

The Moda In Pelle boots in question are everything I’ve ever wanted in a pair of boots. They’re made from soft, black leather, have the perfect heel size and they fit so well I’m adamant they were designed for me. They’re also sexy as hell and give one major confidence boost (until you stumble in front of a group of people while wearing them).

I was obviously attracted to the overall look of the boots when I first spotted them but it was the fit that sold me. I have quite skinny legs so most boots in this style are usually too wide but the Moda in Pelle boots fit perfectly. The boots don’t really stretch with your leg size so, should I ever gain weight or a considerable amount of muscle on my legs, they’re going to become useless.

Admittedly the boots can be a little irritating to put on and remove so if I’m in a rush, these will definitely agitate me. It’s a small price to pay for such a good fit but it’s probably better to have someone to assist you during the removal process.

The heel height was intimidating me a little when I spotted the boots. It had been a while since I had worn heels at this point and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to walk properly. Fortunately the heel height is around 3.5 inches so these boots are quite easy to walk in. They’re also incredibly comfortable so although you’re wearing heels, your feet should stay pain free for as long as the boots are on you. I’ve wandered around the cobbles and hills of Edinburgh in these boots and I actually forgot I was wearing them as they’re that comfy.

Annoyingly I’ve worn the boots that often the little stubbies on the bottom of the heel have had to be replaced – one actually shifted out of place after getting the heel slightly stuck in a hole in the pavement. Something tells me this is going to be a regular occurrence and I’ve read that hammering the nail into the heel could potentially snap the heel. Whether that’s true or not is a different story but I know I don’t want to find out.

Maybe my weakness for nice boots paid off here as the quality of these boots means they are going to last for a very long time. They’re also my new go to shoes so I’m really getting my money’s worth. I had never actually heard of Moda in Pelle prior to finding these boots and now that I have, I can’t stay away from their website. These boots have started something bad!

Norton House Hotel and Spa

Sunday, 15 November 2015

It’s unlike my other half to be spontaneous so when he suggested we stayed at the Norton House Hotel and Spa this weekend you can imagine my surprise. We booked a classic room a mere 5 days ago and impatiently waited for the weekend to roll around.

Norton House Hotel and Spa

Our check in was the standard 3pm so we pottered about for most of Saturday before braving the miserable weather. Upon our arrival to the hotel we were greeted by a red carpet which we assume was out for someone’s wedding. It was a rather nice touch though and I wouldn’t complain if it was a permanent fixture.

When we last stayed at the Norton House Hotel and Spa we stayed in the Edinburgh suite but this time, we went for the cheaper option (not that cheap mind you) and opted for the standard, classic room. The room was spacious and cosy and had everyhing you would need in a hotel. The bed was incredibly comfortable, the balcony was freezing and the TV in the bathroom was much appreciated. I also got a little too excited about the size of the showerhead (it’s huge!) but I did that last time we stayed too, simple things.

Norton House Hotel and Spa

We had booked dinner in the Brasserie restaurant for 7pm – last time we were in the Ushers restaurant which was possibly a bit too fancy for our taste. When we showed up for our reservation we were the only guests there but it soon filled up. Who knew 7pm was early for dinner?

The Brasserie menu caters to us vegetarians with a good old 2 options – seriously I’m quite pleased with two options since some restaurants barely do one. I went for the tomato arancini and oh my goodness was it incredible. Admittedly when it arrived I did look at my plate and think “is this a starter” since it was such a small portion but I also had chips as a side order so I was happy. My other half went for the classic cheeseburger which came complete with bacon and chips. Apparently it was very meaty and I’m still unsure as to whether this is good or bad.

Norton House Hotel and Spa

For once in my life I still had room for dessert so I went for something I’ve never had before. Yes ladies and gentlemen, I had a cheeseboard. How wonderfully dull of me! My other half did have the cheesecake though so at least one of us was having a proper dessert. While the cheesecake went down a treat (despite the consumer having a very full stomach) the cheeseboard was a bit of a hit and miss.

Norton House Hotel and Spa

After dinner we returned to our room to find bagpipes were in full swing. The wedding the aforementioned red carpet was for was being held in the building opposite our room so the bagpipes were as loud as can be for us. They did stop but it was a rather strange thing to walk into a room to. I thought I was getting a patriotic welcome back!

The rest of our night was spent in a Lush Bunch of Carrots scented bath watching The Inbetweeners 2 before returning to our warm bed. I rarely get a good nights sleep in hotels but I slept like a baby at the Norton.

Norton House Hotel and Spa

Being the lazy sods that we are, we chose to have breakfast sent to our room. We got a little too food happy and ordered pancakes, boiled eggs, toast, a fry up (for my other half), pastries, porridge, hot chocolate and orange juice. Annoyingly we didn’t notice the toast until after I’d finished the eggs so there was no egg and soldiers for me. Is it wrong to admit I’m quite sad about this?

The rest of breakfast however, was fantastic. The hot chocolate was the perfect temperature and chocolatey enough without being sickly and the eggs were exactly how I like them. I was hoping I would get the same pastries as our last visit but sadly, it wasn’t mean to be. The 4 jars of jam were appreciated though.

Norton House Hotel and Spa

Checkout was at 11am but we weren’t leaving at this point. We had booked in for a massage so off we trotted to the spa. We visited the spa during our last stay but I found the pressure of that massage to be a little too much so this time, I went for the light pressure. I cannot even begin to explain how amazing the massage was. My other half and I had a full body massage each and I think we were both incredibly relaxed and smelling awesome afterwards.

After our hour session we nipped into the steam room, sauna and hydrotherapy pool for a few hours. I haven’t been in a sauna since I had a Turkish bath at the ripe old age of 8 and I had forgotten how ridiculously hot they are. I know that sounds weird but I much prefer the temperature of steam rooms to saunas; it doesn’t hurt to breathe so much in a steam room as it does in a sauna.

By about 2 o’clock we were resembling human prunes so we dried and dressed ourselves before leaving the spa and a great weekend behind. Going to the Norton House Hotel and Spa was such a random decision but it was a lovely treat. I imagine it won’t be long before we return, I think my other half and I may love the place a little too much. We can go back next weekend right?

P.S. Apologies for the poor food photos; I haven't quite got the hang of photographing food in bad lighting yet.

Real Techniques Haul

Thursday, 12 November 2015

As Boots decided to be nice to us humans who can’t resist a deal, I’ve acquired some Real Techniques items. The 3 for 2 offer is a horrible thing for your bank account but excellent for your face. I wouldn’t usually buy anything from the Real Techniques Bold Metal collection due to the prices being similar to high end brands (major brand confusion) but the 3 for 2 helped me along a little.

The 301 Flat Contour brush is what caught my eye. I initially wasn’t going to get it due to it being £22 but eventually I decided I deserve sculpted cheekbones and this brush would help me achieve such dreams. I’ve only used the brush a few times and it has been in the dark (thank you November) but so far, I’m pleased with the outcome. I’m not the best at contouring so hopefully this brush will help me along the way.

In the spirit of the ever popular “oh my god it’s 3 for 2 and I’ve only got one item” statement I searched frantically for a second product. The brushes weren’t really catching my eye and I ended up picking up the 201 Pointed Crease brush out of frustration. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it yet. I’m not one for doing intricate eye make up looks but hey, maybe this brush will inspire me to draw on my eyelids.

Last but not least was the item I searched high and low for and almost gave up on ever finding. The *Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge is something I’ve wanted to try for a while but never really got round to buying. Now that I have it, I’m a little worried about using it particularly since I’m so bad at cleaning my make up tools. I’m excited to use it but knowing me, I’ll ruin the sponge.

I’m now beginning to understand the Real Techniques hype now people! I’m shaking my faux “hipster” image here. The only annoying thing about the Bold Metal collection is the fact the brushes are white, why on earth would I want white bristles? As soon as I use the brushes they look dirty and it annoys me. I’m never happy!

Disclaimer: Anything marked with an asterisk (*) is an affiliate link.

Lush Reindeer Rock Soap

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

I admit it, I can’t stand Christmas. I like it on the actual day but I cannot be bothered with the lead up that seems to begin in August. The other day I walked into a shop and almost attacked a Christmas tree for daring to be in my presence in November. That being said, I do appreciate the Lush Christmas items that hit the shelves obnoxiously early and a favourite has returned.

Reindeer Rock was hiding away in the Lush box I received last Christmas (seriously it was hiding under a lot of packing peanuts) and it was the first thing I used. It pains me to know that this is a limited edition product as it’s so lovely I want to shove it on my face; yes, my face.

If you’re a fan of The Comforter - whether it be in bubble bar or shower cream form – you will love Reindeer Rock. It has the same berry scent as The Comforter but I find it reminds me a little of Parma Violet. It’s also usually a much nicer shade of purple than the one in the picture; I’m a little annoyed this one is so dark, I know, I’m so fickle.

This soap has a lot of yummy ingredients that your skin will love which makes this the perfect shower companion for Winter. We all know how good berries are for consumption but think about what they can do for your skin! If you think the cold weather has ruined your skin and it’s in need of some TLC you can’t go wrong with some Reindeer Rock. I think I might shove it in my face now.

A Late Display

Saturday, 7 November 2015

It’s been a long time since I went to a firework display. The only fireworks I’ve really watched in the last 10 years or so have been at the end of T in the Park while Flower of Scotland was played on the bagpipes. My family and I used to spend November 5th in Dunfermline or in some brave sod’s back garden but standing in the freezing cold lost its appeal in my teenage years. Now that I spend the majority of my time in Dunfermline the idea of standing in a park in November has suddenly become a good idea again.

Bonfire night didn’t happen until November 7th in Dunfermline which I assume was done so more people could attend. It must’ve worked as there were apparently 25,000 people squeezed into Pittencrieff Park (how they know that is beyond me though). As it was so packed we ended up standing behind a tree although that seems to be a usual occurrence for me at any event.

If we had left slightly earlier the tree wouldn’t have been an issue but we were trying to avoid the One Direction tribute band. There are a few things I hate in life and I can honestly say out of tune One Direction songs are one of them. They got the children dancing and screaming so I guess they served their purpose but what on earth compels people to start a One Direction tribute band? I’m confused by the mere concept.

Anyway, aside from the weirdness of the tribute band the rest of the hour in the cold was well spent. There’s hardly a lot I can say about fireworks that you probably haven’t heard before (i.e. colourful, loud, “did someone get shot or was that a firework” etc.) so I’ll refrain from a minute by minute review. My other half has attended many firework displays in Dunfermline and has reliably informed me that this year was better than the displays before.

Pharrell was a nice break in between all of the awful gunk they insisted on playing!

Hats off to the people in charge of organising such an event as the fireworks were rather fabulous. It’s quite nice to see people actually paying attention to something as opposed to filming it on their phone (says the girl who clearly took a video and some photos but I was watching 95% of the display, blogger woes yo). I think I might return for next year’s display and hopefully I won’t have a killer cold! Now it’s time to chill out with a vegetable pot pie and some college football. Pass the Lemsip!

P.S There would be a lot more photos if I hadn't picked up the wrong cable for my camera. That's probably a good thing though.

Faith In Nature: Grapefruit And Orange Shampoo and Conditioner Review

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

A few months ago Faith in Nature were kind enough to send me their coconut shampoo and conditioner to try out and I ended up loving the products so much I bought another set. My original plan was to go for the chocolate version but instead I went for a fruity option. I decided that orange and grapefruit shampoo and conditioner belonged on my hair and thus, this review was born. I bet you didn’t see that coming…

The first few times I used this orange and grapefruit shampoo the majority of it went down the drain as opposed to on my hair. The shampoo is the runniest shampoo I’ve ever used so I have to be rather careful when trying to wash my hair; I had to stop quickly slapping the shampoo on my hair and getting stuck in. Fortunately the conditioner is the perfect consistency although I do have a tendency to squeeze too much of it out of the bottle, first world problems!

When the shampoo does make it to my hair I find it doesn’t lather up as much as I would like. I am one of those people who associate a good lather with clean hair so I do have mild worries that my hair will not be squeaky clean when using this shampoo. I can confirm though that every ounce of oil, paint and lord knows what else is in my hair is completely gone by the time I’ve rinsed the shampoo out.

Once I’m over my mild hair cleaning worries I slather the conditioner to 2/3 of my hair. I’m afraid the conditioner really isn’t anything to rave about. It doesn’t do anything extraordinary but it does perform well as a bog standard conditioner which is absolutely fine if that’s what you're looking for. I occasionally use the Aussie 3 Minute Miracle in place of this Faith in Nature conditioner as I find it doesn’t always get my dry ends out of their funk.

I didn’t really think too much about the smell of an orange and grapefruit shampoo and conditioner set before purchasing. I did hope they would smell zesty and delicious but they actually kind of smell like Fairy Liquid. The smell isn’t terrible and I can’t detect it on my hair (that’s either a good thing or a bad thing depending on your stance on Fairy Liquid) but it makes me miss the coconut scent my hair once had. If I was able to smell this shampoo and conditioner prior to purchasing them I would have opted into something else.

Despite the Orange and Grapefruit shampoo and conditioner not performing as well as the coconut version I’m still quite pleased with them. I’m in no rush to buy this scent again but I do like Faith in Nature’s products (especially since they’re made from natural ingredients, win) so I’m tempted into a few more scents. I wonder if Pineapple and Lime will give me the scent I crave!

Blogtober: Day Thirty One

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Break out the party hats and streamers as I have officially made it to the end of Blogtober! I genuinely didn’t think I would get this far so I’m rather proud of myself at the moment. I can honestly say that I never want to blog every single day for a month ever again; it’s rather hard work! Trying to think of new posts and create content that I actually want on my blog was incredibly difficult and I did post a few things that I’m not totally pleased with. I guess it’s a learning experience at the end of the day though and I had a good time doing it.

While it may be the end of Blogtober it also happens to be Halloween. I really wish I could do a more Halloween themed post but I’m afraid to say, this is not my favourite day. I don’t really get the appeal of Halloween; I never have to be honest. I did go trick or treating as a kid and have been to a few Halloween parties in my time but it’s just another day of the year to me. I am currently munching my way through the sweets intended for the trick or treaters though so there’s one plus.

Despite my lack of ability to enjoy the day to its full extent I did do something slightly Halloween like today. There was a small article in our local newspaper the other day about a zombie parade that would be taking place on Dunfermline high street today. Upon seeing this, my other half and I chose to investigate and made our way to the town centre in time for the parade starting.

While there were around 30 people in the parade I don’t think it was advertised enough for people to be fully aware of it. I think a lot of people were completely confused when they noticed a bunch of people staggering towards them. Hopefully this will become an annual thing and will be on a bigger scale next year. The people in the parade did look really good though, there just needs to be more of them.

Today also happened to be the day of the rugby World Cup final, something I’m not overly interested in but was forced into watching regardless. I don’t fully understand rugby (I’m more of a NFL fan) but I’ve watched countless games during this World Cup so I guess it made sense for me to watch the final. I really had no preference over who I wanted to win but I really thought there would be an upset with New Zealand and Australia would take the win. It’s probably a good thing I didn’t put a bet on!

I did have a few items to help me through the final game though. When Tesco discovered I’m not a huge rugby fan they were kind enough to send me some items to get me through the day*. The box arrived this morning and inside was a few goodies that will come in handy for any major sporting event (Super Bowl 50 I’m looking at you). I received a rugby ball which will no doubt be thrown at my face by accident at one point, an inflatable beer bucket, a 30 foot long crowd mural and a Tesco gift card. My other half used to play rugby so I imagine he’s itching to get me on the rugby field near my house and teach me how to play. Oh Tesco what have you done?!

So that’s the last post of Blogtober finished, if you managed to stick with me for the last 31 days then you deserve a medal. I’ll be returning to my regular, sporadic posts from this point forward and I will definitely not be doing Blogmas! I think I deserve another tiny pack of gummy bears for making it to the end!

*Tesco kindly gifted me these items however, I am not being compensated for this post and all opinions are my own.

Blogtober: Day Thirty

Friday, 30 October 2015

As a small child I wanted to be either a vet or a zoologist. I absolutely adored all animals (aside from spiders) when I was growing up and I thought working with them would be the ultimate dream. As I got older I started to realise that working with animals isn’t all fun and games. I knew fine well there was no way in hell I could ever put an animal down and soon after that realisation hit me, I no longer wanted to work with animals.

At 14 years old, I became a vegetarian. I don’t really like the taste of meat anyway but I also can’t stand the idea that the thing I’m chewing on was wandering around in a field a few days beforehand. I do occasionally devour a pepperoni pizza or a sausage roll from time to time but I rarely feel good afterwards. Vegetarianism is the obvious way forward for me and I’m rather happy to be – predominately – meat free.

Annoyingly though, not everyone can understand why I live my life without meat on my plate and feel the need to question me to death about it. I could explain until I’m blue in the face why I’ve chosen to be a vegetarian but it really wouldn’t matter; people want meat and are confused by those who don’t.

I’ve refrained from being a preaching vegetarian as it’s really none of my business if people want to eat meat but sadly, not all meat eaters are the same. I’ve lost count of how many people have tried to “educate” me on the benefits of eating meat not to mention the amount of times I’ve had a bacon roll shoved in my face. It amuses me to no end that people feel the need to involve themselves in my diet. It’s like they must convert me to their flesh eating ways or I’ll die of lack of chicken nuggets.

I can happily sit at a table with meat eaters and I hope one day meat eaters can sit at the table with me and not interrogate me. I don’t mind questions from people who are genuinely curious but if you’re going to shove a bloody steak in my face, I’d rather you shoved your head down the toilet. Now if you don’t mind, I have a zucchini pizza to enjoy.

P.S Tomorrow is the last day of Blogtober, I'm almost at the finish line! I'll bring the party hats, you bring the cookies.

Blogtober: Day Twenty Nine

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Aside from my place of birth, there are very few things about me that are Scottish. I have a blend of a Scottish and American accent (which occasionally comes out as Irish judging by the amount of people who ask me where in Ireland I’m from), I can’t stand Scottish food and I’ve never managed to toss a caber. That being said, I can’t resist a candle with a tartan design on the tin so when I spotted the Highland by Shearer Candle in Cranachan I had to buy it.

Worryingly I have never smelt Cranachan so I genuinely cannot tell you if this smells correct or not; I can tell you it smells nice though so there’s a plus. I have refrained from burning it for quite some time as I thoroughly enjoy getting the occasional whiff of it whenever I end up on the wrong side of the bed. I quickly lit it for the above picture and I’m not sure if I’m impressed with the scent when it’s burning. I didn’t exactly give it much of a chance though so my first impression may be wrong.

I’m a little worried by Shearer candles now that I’ve had 3 in my possession. The Black Vanilla one I had was incredible and I had it burning all the time but the Red Red Rose one I bought was disgusting and was swiftly thrown away, hopefully Cranachan will be amazing and will be burning every night. It does inject some Scottish flair into my bedroom though so there’s one positive! What actually is Cranachan though…?

Blogtober: Day Twenty Eight

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Every so often a post or a photo will appear on my Facebook newsfeed that encourages me to become a very annoyed human. Usually I don’t take anything I see on Facebook seriously but there’s one thing that is appearing rather frequently and I can’t help but take notice of it.

These posts/photos will usually follow the same pattern; they’ll encourage people to watch out for motorbikes while the comment section insists it’s the fault of a motorbiker if they are hit. I tend to ignore any moron who says something so idiotic but I find it incredibly difficult to ignore blaming everyone who rides a motorbike for accidents.

While on a road we would travel frequently my dad was hit by a car. He was riding his motorbike home, he was around 5 minutes away but the woman in the car wasn’t paying attention. She chose to speak to her friend rather than check the road was safe prior to turning into a popular cafĂ©. She never saw my dad and he didn’t have time to stop. She cut him off, he hit the car and that was that.

My dad was taken to one hospital but after realising the extent of his injuries, he was quickly taken through to Edinburgh. While doctors worked their magic on him, there wasn’t a whole lot they could do. His kidney was removed and he suffered from a great deal of internal bleeding to the point where the whole family were called to wait around for what medical professionals believed to be the inevitable.

The thing is though, my dad is stubborn. He may have slipped away at one point but then he decided he wasn’t quite done yet. My dad pulled through despite the fact the odds were completely against him. He had 120 pints of blood pumped into him during his hospital stay and, despite not being back to his previous health, he still does his best to lead an active lifestyle. The accident has made him more vulnerable to illnesses such as pneumonia which can be rather frightening when it puts him back in hospital but he’s still determined to fight every single thing life throws at him. He won’t even stay in hospitals for very long if he can help it.

Unfortunately our family fell apart following my dad’s accident. Things were said that should have never even been thought and as a result, we stopped talking to my grandparents. I won’t go into the full details as they don’t need to be plastered on the internet but I can tell you that it wasn’t pleasant.

I wish I could tell anyone who seriously believes that all bikers cause their own accident this story. My dad went out for a leisurely ride on a Sunday afternoon and almost never came home again. He was on a road he knew like the back of his and had years of experience with motorbikes under his belt but it didn’t matter; the woman just never saw him.

Of course there are motorbikers who drive dangerously but the same can be said for car drivers, it just so happens a motorbiker has less protection. They may (hopefully) have their leathers and helmet on but if I could show you how little of my dad’s leathers survived his accident I would. All I ask is that anyone who dares get behind the wheel of any vehicle looks out for anyone on a motorbike. I almost lost my dad due to someone not paying attention and I’d hate for anyone else to have to go through the same thing.

Blogtober: Day Twenty Seven

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Worryingly 2015 is nearing an end and there are a few things I wish to achieve before December 31st. I always make New Year’s resolutions but never stick to them so I’ve chosen to make mini goals every so often. Who needs a new year to achieve little things?

As the nights are longer and daylight is scarce I’ve really started to slack on workouts. The idea of getting out of my bed at ridiculous o’clock to run around in the freezing cold is not appealing whatsoever. My other half and I will be venturing off on a zombie survival experience in the next few months and I want to have some level of fitness before we run for our lives. I’ll need to brace the cold and get back into more of a routine.

The distinct lack of daylight also affects another one of my mini goals. Throughout Blogtober I’ve shown you some of my favourite art materials and, while I’m doing my best to draw more, the darkness means I have little time to do it in. I’m going to need to find a way around the early nights; I’m not making the mistake of painting by electric light ever again!

I really want to revise my wardrobe and autumn and winter seems like a rather good time to do it. Living in Scotland means it’s permanently cold so having layers to turn to is never a bad idea. I’m brilliant at picking out clothes for other people but I’m awful at dressing myself so I’m determined to change that. Knowing me I’ll just end up with a billion pairs of black skinny jeans and a scarf or two.

Revising my wardrobe also means throwing a few things away. I have around 40 pairs of shoes which really need to be whittled down along with the tops that lie crumpled up at the bottom of a drawer. I’m awful when it comes to throwing things away as I always look at the item and convince myself I’ll wear it again. Maybe I should enlist the help of someone else as nothing will leave my wardrobe if I do it myself.

So there we have my little goals for the end of the year. I really wish I could bring back the sun to encourage my legs to work in the morning but sadly, I was not blessed with such ability. On the plus side, the goal I set myself at the beginning of October is almost complete; there’s only 4 days left of Blogtober people!

Blogtober: Day Twenty Six

Monday, 26 October 2015

While I love blogging to the point where I decided to blog every day in October there are some things in the blogosphere that irritate me. I’m afraid day 26 of Blogtober is going to be my blogging pet peeves, who doesn’t love a good old rant though?

There’s one thing that’s really been annoying me recently and that is something that happens a lot in blogging groups on Facebook. Someone asks a question and 10 different people respond in the exact same way. I’m not sure I understand why people do this; surely to goodness they can see the first response (unless it was posted at the exact same time as theirs)?

Another thing that’s really starting to bother me is blatant plagiarism. I won’t name any names here but I’m sure a few bloggers are aware of the main culprits. If you must be a douche and steal someone else’s work at least use a thesaurus on some of the words so it’s hidden slightly better.

A lack of proof reading is a sure fire way to get me to leave a blog. Whenever I forget to proof read a post I find silly mistakes throughout when I finally go back to read it so it amazes me when people just hit publish without reading it over. An otherwise nice blog with a distinct lack of proof reading is a major pet peeve of mine.

Mirror shots for outfits of the days are fine for Twitter and maybe Instagram at a push but they annoy me for proper blog posts. If I like the look of your outfit I want to see the whole thing in detail, not a blurry shot taken in your mirror. Outfit of the day pictures are always awkward to take especially if you’re doing it in public but please stop with the mirror photos! You’re not doing yourself or your blog any justice.

The last pet peeve is something I know a lot of bloggers hate and that’s the self-entitled attitude of some. Sure it’s nice to be paid to write a post or be provided with free items but it’s not cute when bloggers hound brands for freebies. Remember that drama with the macarons (or is it macaroons? I don’t know the difference) and the girl was asking for £100 worth of free stuff? That to me was the definition of a self-entitled blogger. It’s a pain in the butt when a brand wants you to work with them for free but greedy bloggers are giving the rest of us a bad name!

There are probably a few more pet peeves I could go on about but I think these are the main ones for now. The blogging world is usually a great place to be so these things are only minor hiccups – although the plagiarism is rather disgusting – but they still annoy me to no end. Is there anything out there that doesn’t annoy me?
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