Wednesday, 29 February 2012

My 100 follower giveaway!!!

I was so so so excited to reach 100 GFC followers that I really wanted to do something to say thank you- it means so much to me that so many of you like my little blog enough to follow it and leave such lovely comments :) (I did a happy dance all over my house (thankfully no one else was home) when I logged on to blogger and discovered I had 100 followers; I remember when I first stared blogging I thought 100 was a huge, unobtainable number!!!)

So I went shopping (really... any excuse!) and picked up a couple of my absolute favourite items- things I think everyone should have (you'll probably recognise these items from many many favourites posts- in fact almost all of them made it into my 2011 favourites post!) and I'll be posting them off to one of you lovely followers next week :)

Here's what will be in my little parcel:

MUA Heaven and Earth Palette- an amazing neutral palette, everyone who wears eyeshadow should own this little beauty :)

A pot of Cherry Carmex- an awesome lip moisturiser :)

Collection 2000 Sparkle Top Coat; I think this is the best sparkly polish ever, it gives a beautiful subtle shimmer over the nails :)

M71 Plate- forgive the peeling cover, my sister and I have had this for ages now (don't worry it's never been used) because we bought it separately (Amy wanted the Hello Kitty stamp) then received another m71 in a mixed collection of plates we bought from eBay about 2 days later- I hope it can finally be put to good use by someone, it's a great plate :)

I also wanted to include something I'd made but I don't think a cake would travel well... So I've put in a little pot of my DIY Lip Scrub (I think it's 10ml, but it will last forever!) for you too.

The rules are simple:
  • Be a follower of my blog via GFC (anywhere in the world, I'm happy to post internationally)
  • If you're under 16 (or you have a legal guardian) please ask permission to enter- if you win you'll have to give my your address and I don't want parents thinking I'm some kind of internet creeper!
  • Leave me one comment below to enter- if you could tell me which posts of mine you like best, or what kinds of posts you'd like to see more of I'd really appreciate it :)
  • Include an email address so that I can contact you if you win! 

I'll close the giveaway on Wednesday the 7th of March (at 11:59pm GMT if we're being precise) I'll draw using and I'll announce the winner on Thursday the 8th :)

Good luck everyone!


p.s.  If you'd like to follow me on twitter or pinterest you're very welcome to :)

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Why yes I DID need three new nail polishes.... (a little haul)

First of all some book news; I just finished reading Catching Fire (the 2nd in The Hunger Games trilogy) and OMG it was awesome!!! (I very nearly refused to leave the house for shopping or picking Amy up from school...) I was on the edge of my seat the whole way through, although I did sort of predict the ending :)

Anyway, I went shopping today- mostly with intention of purchasing the items I want for my 100 follower giveaway (which should be posted tomorrow) but somewhat inevitably I also bought a few things for myself... because obviously I need more nail polish and lip balm in my life!

NYC Lights-Camera-Glitter and Rosy Knows, No7 Stand Back

I've been wanting NYC Lights-Camera-Glitter for a while now and my Superdrug finally had it in stock-when I noticed that the NYC Expert Last range was on 2 for £2.99 (£2.49 for one) I really couldn't say no.
This is a beautiful glitter polish- there's lots of small silver glitter, with larger bright blue and some lavender glitter particles.

None of the other shades particularly grabbed me (the range is mostly basic colours) but I picked out Rosy Knows (cute name!) and since getting it home I'm really glad that I did- it's not actually similar to any pinks I own (surprising considering I've filled a whole nail wheel with my pinks!) It's a lovely deep raspberry pink shade :) Despite the roundness of the lids (which I usually hate- like the Models Own polish bottles) I think I'll like the lid for application, because it's shorter I can still get a decent grip on them- I'll see how the actual polish works for me though.

I also went to boots and picked up some boring essentials (including a Neutrogena Visibly Clear face wash for me, and a Clean and Clear daily scrub for my sister) so I got myself a £5 off No7 voucher. Naturally I couldn't not use it, and I picked out Stand Back, it's fairly similar to Models Own Feeling Blue, but is actually a lot more teal than it's showing in the picture (that's what I get for reading in daylight hours instead of taking pictures!) it's a beautiful colour! And will probably be my next NOTD :)

MUA Love Hearts Lip Balm in Sugar Lips

Superdrug also finally had the MUA Love Hearts range in stock- all 6 polishes and 4 of the lip balms. I didn't purchase any of the polishes as they are all essentially dupes of what I already have, but I did buy a lip balm- I chose Sugar Lips which is a lovely pastely pink shade.

The balm doesn't seem to offer any pigment to the lips (I imagine the darker shades would though, I did pick one of the lightest options) but the scent, taste (or lack thereof) and moisturising more than makes up for it. They smell rather convincingly of vanilla cake- yum! but don't have a taste at all, and they are actually rather moisturising so far, if Superdrug has any different shades available next time I'm in I think I might have to buy another!

What have you been buying recently? And what have you been reading recently? (I have a feeling I'll be finishing The Hunger Games trilogy soon and I'll need something to fill the void)


Monday, 27 February 2012

Challenge Week 22: Inspired by a Flag!

So this weeks 52 week nail challenge theme is 'inspired by a flag'- not a very easy one for me actually. I thought about doing some kind of flag design from The Lord of the Rings, but they're all too pretty and intricate for me to have a hope of replicating on my nails... Or something witty to do with Eddie Izzards Flag Sketch, but I couldn't think of anything...

So instead I decided I should be a little patriotic and attempt a Union Flag. Unfortunately, that too was beyond my abilities (I tried, and it did not turn out well...) and in the end I decided to do each of the three flags that make up the Union Flag- the flags of St. George, St. Patrick and St. Andrew- separately, and finished it off with two random nails (the thumb and little finger) with dots in the three colours :)

The Flags of: St. Patrick (Ireland) St. Andrew (Scotland) and St. George (England)

I seem to have used No7 Poolside Blue rather a lot recently, but it's become such a useful colour... I also used (rather predictably) Models Own Snow White and e.l.f. Light Red. I used a couple of nail art brushes to create the stripes, and several sizes of dotting tool to make the dots on my little finger and thumb :)

No7 Poolside Blue, Models Own Snow White,
 e.l.f. Light Red

Have you ever gone all patriotic on your nails? (If so and you're British, how the heck do you get a Union Flag to work!?)


Sunday, 26 February 2012

I love The Hunger Games!

(no spoilers, don't worry!)

I've spent practically all day reading (hence the lack of a 'normal' post from me) and I've finished reading the first book in the Hunger Games trilogy- I started reading it last weekend but I got sidetracked by other things and got around to reading most of it today :) I thought I'd share my own mini review of it with you!

If you haven't read it yet, you seriously need too! I have to say I was pretty sceptical about it for a while- after all the last book to receive such hype was erm... Twilight... but my sister read it and I do (generally) trust her judgement so she persuaded me to give it a read. I am definitely pleasantly surprised, it kept me totally hooked from the very first page.

I love the main character Katniss; she manages to be a strong character that is still able to show weakness (a benefit of writing in the first person I think) and Peeta (though I hated him for a while in the middle!) The plot is really well thought out- there are unexpected twists and turns all over the place; I kept turning to Amy and saying 'OMG did that really just happen!'

Suzanne Collins has created such an interesting world- I think it's supposed to be a dystopian version of America, but it could be anywhere- another planet even- and she has the just got the right balance of description within the book; with enough detail to give the reader a good picture of what's happening, but enough gaps to allow room for my own imagination :)

I can imagine that IF it's done well this film will be absolutely amazing (and for me that's a big if- I don't rate the Harry Potter films at all because they change so much from the books- I'm quite fussy about book adaptations) but I really do recommend reading the books before the film- you've got until March the 23rd in the UK!

Have you read The Hunger Games yet?


Saturday, 25 February 2012

(my sisters) Nail of the Day: Harry Potter Nails!!!

I meant to post this a while back- Amy actually did these nails as an Inspired by a TV Show/Film look (I'm saving Harry Potter nails as a Book inspired look- because the books are so much better than the films!) so these pictures have been hanging around on my computer for some time now...

Amy did a different house on each of her nails, then a Deathly Hallows sign on the thumb. The letters and Deathly Hallows sign are in Barry M Silver Foil Effect and e.l.f. Black. She used a small nail art brush for the lettering and the polish brushes themselves for the stripes.

The Gryffindor colours are No7 I'm Exquisite and e.l.f. Light Red; Hufflepuff colours are Barry M Pale Yellow and e.l.f. Black; Ravenclaw colours are Models Own Pro Midnight Blue and Barry M Silver Foil and Slytherin colours are No7 Dollar and Barry M Silver Foil :)

Have you ever done Harry Potter nails?


p.s. I'm totally unimpressed that the blogger spell check doesn't recognise the house names as real words!!!

Friday, 24 February 2012

A little haul- I won a giveaway! :)

I didn't tell you at the time but I was lucky enough (me, lucky!) to win one of Rachel's (of A Pretty Obsession) giveaways in celebration of her 1 year old blog (go check it out!) :)

It took a while for me to get my hands on it because my silly postman played his usual trick of waiting until I'd left the house to attempt to deliver a parcel that doesn't fit through the letterbox... Needless to say it was totally worth the wait- Rachel was so generous with the prizes, especially when you consider that this is one of 5 parcels she put together and gave away!

Here's what I won:

First up is the lovely tangle teaser dupe from Primark- I've actually been wanting one of these for quite a while now but my local Primark has never bothered to stock them so I'm thrilled to have won one! Obviously I've spent my afternoon brushing my hair a lot to test it out, and so far I really love it- it really does brush so smoothly. I suppose the real test will be next time I wash my hair- it's so long now that it really is a nightmare to brush out when wet.

Next is the item I think I'm most excited about- the Sleek PPQ Me Myself & Eye palette. I've never bought a Sleek palette for myself before, which is silly really- considering I've heard nothing but absolute rave reviews, and they have such great colour combinations in palettes- perhaps it's because (like MUA's Immaculate Collection) there are some (bright!) shades mixed in (especially Simply Red!) that I wouldn't necessarily pick out- but this palette is beautiful and I'm hoping it will encourage me to further experiment with colour :)

I think I might end up rather loving Chris De Burgundy and Blue Monday- though they are both shades I definitely wouldn't dream of choosing for myself! I love the names they've given each shade, and the pretty waffle texture pleases me far more than it probably should... I was actually quite annoyed with myself that I'd already put on make up when I went to pick this up from the post office- I would've loved an afternoon playing with this palette!

Last, but certainly not least, is a lovely little tube of the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer. I have to say that I don't own a liquid foundation, so I'm not sure how well this will work for me- do you really need a primer under a BB cream? Either way I am delighted to test this out- I've already tested it out on my hand and it gives such a smooth base.

Plus: who doesn't love Love Hearts! :)

A huge thank you again to Rachel- I absolutely love these items and I cannot wait to try them out properly :) happy blog anniversary!


Thursday, 23 February 2012

Review: Dove Visible Effects Body Lotion.

Over the past few months I've been making a bit of an effort to clear out the collection of random lotions and potions I had lying around- samples of shampoo and travel sized moisturisers etc, and its been going quite well- I'm all out of hair product samples and I've down to just a couple of body moisturisers (including two delicious smelling Body Shop body butters in Coconut and Mango) but up until now I've not discovered anything particularly exciting... 'nothing to write home about' anyway. But this week I got around to using my sample bottle of the Dove Visible Effects body lotion and I am super-impressed :)

I'm sure you'll have noticed if you've seen some of my favourites posts that I really love Dove's body washes, so it wasn't too much of a surprise to me that I like this moisturiser so much. I'm fairly certain that I got this sample size sent to me (join the withDove mailing list and they often send out samples!) at some stage, but this retails at £5.49 for 250ml (currently on offer for £3 at Adsa) - possibly more than I'd generally pay for a moisturiser, but I think this one could be worth it.

The product itself is a thin white cream, with a 'fresh' scent that reminds me of aloe vera and cucumber. It sinks into the skin really quickly and feels lovely and silky, though I'm not convinced it has a 'visible effect' on the condition of my skin. I'm also not convinced by the claims that it penetrates deep into the skin.... but it works- so I don't particularly care about the pseudo scientific claims.

My skin has felt really soft and smooth since using it and I think it's much better than other body moisturisers I've tried (bar The Body Shop Body Butter) and because of the light but deeply moisturising texture I think it would be especially good for hot weather and holidays- where you need the moisture but really don't want a thick, heavy formula that leaves you feeling sticky...

The ingredients are somewhat chemical heavy- but among the top ingredients are glycerin and urea- both great moisturisers, and it has definitely not irritated my skin at all (including the small patch of eczema I currently have inside my elbow) so I wouldn't worry too much about trying it if you have sensitive skin like me.

Overall I really love this body lotion, it's one of the most richly moisturising lotions I've tried- and has a lovely non-greasy formula, what's not to love! If you're in the market for a new body lotion I definitely recommend giving this one a try :)

Are you a fan of Dove skincare?


Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Nail of the Day: Happy World Thinking Day!!! :)

Today is World Thinking day, the day Guides, Brownies and Rainbows remember and celebrate other members of the Guide Association around the world. The date is the birthday of both Lord and Lady Baden-Powell, the founders of Guides and Scouts (what a happy coincidence they share a birthday!)

So, somewhat naturally for me, I decided to mark the occasion on my nails- I used No7 Poolside Blue (one coat! I love this polish!), which as well as being a good TARDIS blue also works well as the background of my Promise Badge, then added the Trefoil with Barry M Gold Foil (I've used a lot of gold this week haven't I?!) and a small nail art brush :)

Barry M Gold Foil and No7 Poolside Blue

It's definitely not my best 'artwork'- the basic shape is there but the star in the middle became more of a blob... (I don't think I'll ever be very good with nail art brushes, I can't draw either!) but my Brownies did actually recognise what it is (they thought it was pretty cool) so I consider it a success!

Happy Thinking Day! Especially to those who have been involved in Guiding at some point! (I bet lots of you were Brownies as a child!)


Tuesday, 21 February 2012

If money were no object #7

I've had a very lazy day today- I'm sure there are 100s of things I should have been doing instead... but I've been reading The Hunger Games (awesome book so far) and perusing pinterest, blog posts and the internet- finding several things that I'm now totally in lust with :)

First up (surprise surprise) it's a nail polish- Revlon's Whimsical to be precise. I'm really really hoping this will come to the UK soon, because I love it! It's a glittery pastel blue- what's not to love! I enjoy the word whimsical too, it even sounds pretty... OK I'll shut up now, it's only nail polish! I also quite love Popular, which is basically a pale pink version of Whimsical. I hate how America gets products so much sooner than we do, it's so unfair!

Photo courtesy of Oh So Lacquered! (an awesome blog I discovered today)

Something I'd love to do is redecorate my bedroom- if I could I'd rip out the fitted wardrobe and drawers (hideous, old and impractical for my needs), get some new shelving (also old and impractical) and replace my bed. I feel like the space in my room is badly used, I've rearranged everything many times but I'm not particularly happy, mostly because I can't change where most of my furniture is! I'd love to have an actual desk for my computer, but it's on top of a fitted cupboard so I have sit on the end of my bed to use it (no space for a chair... not the most comfortable position)

I'd also remove the horrible wallpaper- I didn't choose it (it's pale purple with weird purple squares and silvery lines... I hate it!) and it's peeling off in places as my room is prone to damp (it's on the outside corner of the house, which means it's also the coldest room in the house) To be honest I'd be happy if it could just be painted plain old cream, I have lots of pictures and posters to cover it anyway :) And the carpet= possibly my most hated bedroom item, it's older than I am (!!!) and is grey with red dots... It could be a pretty design on my nails, but certainly not on my floor! I have a feeling there could be some really lovely floorboards underneath too...

Some inspiration :)

Another thing I'd rather like to own is a light box- I'm so fed up of having pathetic English weather to contend with when taking pictures of things, and I think it would make it so much easier to take decent photographs :) Unfortunately even the 'box' parts are fairly expensive, and I'd need lights to go with it... maybe one day!

And finally, something totally unrealistic... how awesome would it be to own an island! For me, I'd love to have on in Fiji (did you know it actually made the news when the temperature 'dropped to 18C'- it's like their lowest on record!) when I went even when it rained (cyclone season) it was at least 27C, and the sea was always the temperature of bath water... The only downside is the sand flies!

What would you buy if money were no object?


Monday, 20 February 2012

Challenge Week 21: Green!

Well we're onto week 21 of the 52 week challenge, and this week it's green... I have to admit that green is one of my least favourite colours, so I wasn't particularly excited about this weeks theme, but (not one to give up) I picked out a green- then decided to go the whole hog and use it with a gold shade (another of my least favourite colours... mostly because I don't think it suits me!) and added a stamp I've been wanting to try for ages, a fairly simple grid/net design :)

I used two coats of No7 Dollar, a green I actually really like- it's a beautiful deep bottle green with tiny blueish-green shimmery particles on all but my ring finger then used Barry M Gold Foil (I bought this for Amy at Christmas, I'm quite glad I did now! It seems quite cool toned too so it doesn't look too bad on me) to add an accent on my ring finger, then to stamp the net pattern from Bundle Monster Plate BM 209.

And because there wasn't nearly enough glitter involved for my liking... I also added two coats of Golden Goddess (another of Amy's polishes) over my ring finger :) Unfortunately this doesn't show up too well, but I can assure you that in real life my ring fingers are very pretty and sparkly- Golden Goddess is another must-have e.l.f. polish for glitter lovers!

And here are the polishes I used:

No7 Dollar, Barry M Gold Foil and e.l.f. Golden Goddess

Do you have polishes and colours that you don't like on your skin? Or am I just awkward...


p.s. Pancake day tomorrow!- I hope you're going to make some :)

Sunday, 19 February 2012


I don't know about you but I really love pancakes, my sister and I often have them as a breakfast treat on Sundays (the only day we have time and can be bothered to make anything complex in the morning!) so as Shrove Tuesday is coming up (this Tuesday in fact) I thought I'd share my 'recipe' for pancake batter with you.

Unfortunately for the purposes of providing a recipe for you, pancakes are one of those things that I never measure or weigh out... I make the mixture by eye- I've been making them for so long it's second nature to me, but this morning I tried my best to take notes of measurements for you...

You will need:

Eggs (I generally use 1 egg per pancake)
Plain flour (about 2/3 cup per egg)
Milk (about 1 or 2 tablespoons per egg)

1) Crack the egg(s) into a bowl and whisk a little. Add about 1 or 2 tablespoons of milk per egg- enough to make the mixture more creamy coloured and about double in volume- and whisk again.

2) Add about 2/3 of a cup of flour per egg, whisk hard to remove lumps and get the ingredients combined. If the mixture is too thick, add a little more milk/too thin, add more flour. You want the mixture to have the consistency of like, thick cream- runny enough to spread in the frying pan.

4) Add a little oil to a frying pan and heat until the pan is quite hot. Add the pancake mixture and swirl it around the pan to get an even coating.

5) Leave the heat on high for a couple of minutes to crisp the bottom, then turn it down to a medium heat to allow it to cook through without burning.

6) Toss! (or use a fish slice to flip it over.... I'm too uncoordinated to trust myself to throw it and catch it!)

If the edges puff up just use the fish slice to push it down against the pan or it might not cook properly.

7) Once it's cooked through and nicely browned on both sides, take it out of the pan and add your favourite topping :)

My personal favourite it sugar and lemon, but you can use pretty much anything- nutella & banana, golden syrup, fruit & cream, chocolate chips (my sisters favourite) or even savoury fillings :)

Om nom nom...

What's your favourite pancake topping? Are you excied about Shrove Tuesday (I am- I can legitimately eat pancakes all day and have an excuse!)