Christmas Wish List

Wednesday, 31 October 2012
Pinterest is one of those sites that I LOVED when I first joined, and spent a few days excitedly putting together boards and pinning things like there's no tomorrow, but my interest in it quickly waned and up until recently I hadn't been on it for months.  Christmas seems like the perfect excuse to start using the site again though as it's ideal for putting together a Christmas Wish List and is a fun alternative to my usual hastily pulled together "Santa list" email that my mum asks for each year.

I've been doing a lot of online window shopping during my lunch breaks recently, partly for ideas for friends/family presents and partly for my own wish list.  You can see my full wish list here (still regularly updating this as I discover new things!), but here's a pick of some of my favourites so far.

tea & bunny ring - Jewellery by Jaymie

wild & wolf netbook sleeve - Rocking Pony

owl slippers - NEXT

wagtail wallet - Little Moose

speech bubble necklace - Jelly Button Jewellery

make a difference plus rejuvenating treatment - Origins

sugarbomb - benefit

My Life in....2007

Tuesday, 30 October 2012
I'm making an effort to try and write more general life update type posts on here, as it's something I really enjoy reading on other peoples' blogs.  I don't know about you, but if a blogger writes stuff about what they've been up to and gives you a bit of an insight into them as a person then I'm definitely much more likely to keep coming back, and to read their new posts, and value their opinion in reviews etc.  I get a lot more enjoyment from reading blogs if I feel like I know about the person whose blog I am reading - I like to see a bit of personality and I'm sure most people feel the same.  

I'm conscious that as I'm still fairly new to this, sometimes when I'm writing a post I'm not sure if it's coming across a bit boring or a bit impersonal (certainly when I read back some of my earlier posts they sound a bit "here's how I think a makeup review should sound", when really I want this to read like I'm telling friends about products I've been trying out, or things I want to buy etc).

Soooo I've decided to try and start adding more "life" posts and came up with the idea this week to do a series where I pick a random year and tell you about what I was doing at the time and share some old photos - because everyone loves a good reminisce don't they?!  Once I started getting into the idea I thought it would make quite a good blog tag (check me out....making a "tag") which I am calling "My Life in...".  If you also like the idea then feel free to write your own "My Life in..." post and pick yourself a random year (all I ask is that if you use the tag then please credit the idea back to this post).

As my first post in this series I've chosen 2007 as my year (no reason, I just let a random year pop into my head and this was it!) so let's get started!  Oh and as I haven't got permission from friends to use any of their images I've gone through and (poorly) replaced all their heads with Ryan Gosling....

This has ended up quite a long post by the way, so you might want to grab a cup of tea before having a read or you know, just skip through and look at the pictures!


I've trawled Facebook for a 2007 profile picture and also a sample of status updates - this is why the Timeline profile is AMAZING.


Jan - June
At the start of 2007 I was in my final year of uni (I studied Psychology at Edinburgh University) so most of my time was spent avoiding revising for my exams and putting off writing my dissertation until the very last minute.  

July - December

I was lucky to get a job pretty much straight from uni, despite me getting drunk at my interview and being convinced I'd blown it (can I just caveat this with, it was a graduate open night and everyone was drinking so that makes it ok....ok?).  My job was in an online marketing agency down at the Shore in Leith and the first year or so were a lot of fun, lots of socialising with workmates, fun work parties, plus I was learning a lot and it was a brilliant intro to the world of full time working.  I've since left this company and now work somewhere else within the same industry, but we'll maybe get onto that in another one of these life updates!

Living Situation

Jan - June
While I was in my last 2 years of uni I stayed in uni accommodation (funnily enough, back in the same student flats that I myself lived in in first year) working as a Residents Assistant.  In case you don't know what this is, basically an RA is there to provide guidance and advice to help freshers settle in - we also dealt with a lot of fire alarms and organised social events (this was the best bit - getting to relive Freshers Week every year!).  I was living with two really great friends (fellow RA's) on the Cowgate which was the perfect location - only 5 mins walk from uni and a short stumble home from the pub.

July - December
After I graduated I went home briefly for a few weeks before moving into a flat on the Pleasance with 2 of my best friends.  This was a really nice little flat and we ended up having one of the best parties EVER here (more on this later).

Social Life

Vodka luge at the work Christmas do
My first beer!

Ridiculously cheap pitchers at Stereo
I was in a dance society....

Awful outfit and equally awful dance moves
Social life wise this was a pretty good year with me making new friends through work whilst also still seeing all my old friends from uni.    I was living with one of my best friends (our other friend sadly moved down South after a few months), had my little group of RA buddies (we spent pretty much every weekend at The Big Cheese or Cav, good times), still saw friends from school for regular Sunday nights at Cav, had good friends from classes at uni and also from my job at Debenhams (still see them now!) and also made some great new friends at my new job (some of whom are now my best buds!).

Lovelife wise I didn't have a boyfriend at all this year, and in fact I was going through a bit of a depressed-single phase with me simultaneously being in love with someone who had a girlfriend, being lead on by a compulsive liar, pining after someone who was no good for me, and making a lot of "mistakes".  Ahh if only I'd known that 1 year later I'd meet the love of my life....

Notable Events

I graduated in the summer of 2007 with a 2:1 in Psychology - still not entirely sure how I managed that considering how little effort I put in, tut tut.  So the graduation ceremony and subsequent graduation ball at the Corn Exchange were pretty big events this year.  I got very very drunk very early on at the grad ball and ended up throwing up straight after the starter - oh dear.  Oh and by the way, I can't actually believe I wore that dress - my boobs look fucking ridiculous.

Me and my parents - Ryan and Ryan
The real Ryan can do that any day

As it was quite a big year in our family - with me graduating  my sister turning 18, my parents turning 50 and it also being their 25th wedding anniversary we went on a cruise round the med in the summer.  I had actually been on a similar cruise the year before with an ex, but that was slightly marred by the fact we argued the whole time and split up on the holiday, oops!  This time around it was obviously much more fun - we had an amazing time, visiting places like Monte Carlo, Pisa and Florence - we talked at the time about doing another cruise in 5 years time but so far it hasn't happened yet, would definitely love to cruise again though!

Flat Party
As I mentioned earlier we had an amazing flat party this year - it was for Halloween and if you've read my Halloween Costumes post you'll have seen pictures of my outfit already.  I dressed up as a sheep but the outfit ended up falling apart a few hours in (cotton wool balls EVERYWHERE) so I switched into a makeshift fairy costume reusing some old bits and pieces from previous years.  I was possibly the drunkest I've every been at this party, which was a bad idea as I was going on a weekend away to Amsterdam (via the boat from Newcastle) the next morning....this ended up being the most hungover train journey ever, I spent most of it sitting on the floor in the toilet.  I was actually so drunk that I don't even remember getting to bed, but apparantly my flatmate had to strip me and physically lift me into bed - the shame!

We had to buy about 10 bags of ice for this


Don't hurt Shaun!

The weekend in Amsterdam was another notable event this year - my friend worked as a holiday rep and this was the reunion weekend, I had been out to visit her in Gran Canaria when she was working so tagged along to the Amsterdam weekender with her and the other reps - it was mental, but a lot of fun!

Ahh sexy Ben from Shipwrecked

Remember these Shipwreckers?

This was my attempt at "beach wear" for fancy dress
Hiding in the showers in the hostel in Newcastle

So there we go, 2007 was probably quite a good one to start with actually as so much happened while I was transitioning from uni life into adulthood/the 9-5.  I hope that gave you a bit of insight into my world, and at the very least I hope you had a good laugh at some of my awful photos!  Like I said at the start, I've tried to make this a blogger tag so feel free to write your own "My Life in..." post - and remember to leave me a link below so I can have a read of yours!

Halloween Costumes

Monday, 29 October 2012
With Halloween this Wednesday (and also my mum's birthday - Happy Birthday Mum!) I've seen a few bloggers put up fancy dress posts and it's made me want to do my own!  I'm not going to any Halloween parties myself this year (you know you're getting old when the fancy dress party invites stop rolling in!) but back in the day I used to be a big fan of DIY outfits so I thought I'd share some of my costumes from over the years so we can all have a good laugh.



This costume was a bit of a disaster - one of those that sounds AMAZING in your head but then when you put it all together it goes a bit wrong.  I wore this at a Halloween party at my flat in 2007, and actually had to change out of this costume halfway through as it had fallen apart so much (I left behind me a little cotton wool trail....the next day you could work out exactly where I'd been in the flat/outside due to the little piles of cotton wool!).  

I wouldn't recommend recreating this outfit, but here's how I made it:  I took a cheap black skirt and long-sleeved black top (which I already had), bought a big bag of cotton wool balls from Boots and then glued them all ofer the body of the top using PVA glue.  I also glued 2 cotton wool balls to a black hairband (again, this was already in my wardrobe) and then finished the look off by using black kohl eyeliner to draw on a nose!  Oh yeah and the red stain on the front isn't part of the costume....I'd just spilled my drink down myself, classy. 

All in all this was a super cheap outfit as all I needed to buy was the cotton wool and glue, and it definitely looked homemade so you could tell I'd put a bit more effort in than if I'd just word a shop bought costume!

Woodland Fairy

better look at the wings - taken on the night I had to change out of the sheep costume!

It might not look it, but this outfit took AGES to make.  Pretty much everything came from eBay so it was fairly cheap - I basically bought regular old fairy wings from  then glued on loads of leaves (which I also bought from ebay....yep, I actually bought a bag of leaves!), similarly I wore a hairband that also had leaves glued on.  The tutu was also from ebay, and I wore it with a plain brown tee from Topshop with, you guessed it, leaves glued round the neckline.  The boots I borrowed from my sister and wrapped brown ribbon around the top.  Finally the necklace was a cheap pendant from New Look (I think) that I stuck a big leaf on.  I wore this in 2005 to a friends flat party and also a party for our 1st years at Frankensteins (I lived/worked as a Residents Assistant in uni accommodation in my final 2 years of uni - it was great fun, I'd highly recommend it!).

I think this is one of my favourite outfits from over the years purely because I put so much effort into it!  If you wanted to recreate this outfit you could save money even further by collecting your own leaves for glueing on (rather than being a saddo like me and buying craft leaves online!).

Army Girl


This was the first flat party that I went to with B (it was also the night I drunkenly told him I loved him...awww). The outfit was quite an easy one; the tutu, bullet belt, dog tag, headband and face paint all came from ebay.  B was dressed as Donnie Darko by the way!

Are you a fan of homemade halloween costumes, or do you prefer to splash out on a proper outfit from a fancy dress shop?  I'm definitely more of a DIY girl - partly because it's generally the cheaper option (I did buy a Red Riding Hood outfit from an online fancy dress shop a few years ago but it cost like £30 and I only wore it once!) and also because it's a lot of fun putting the outfit together!

*This post is my entry into the Home Made Halloween competition*

Origins Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask

Friday, 26 October 2012
Origins Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask

Origins Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask

Origins Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask

I love a good clay face mask - there's something about that hard, dry clay feeling on your face that is just really appealing (ha, ok that sounds weird).  Also does anyone else love scrunching up their face when the mask has gone hard so it goes all cracked and flaky....or am I just a weirdo?!

I'd seen a few bloggers talk about the Origins Charcoal mask and given my love of clay masks I thought I'd give it a try and ordered a bottle when I was buying the Zero Oil cleanser and toner I wrote about earlier in the week.  

The Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask is a clay mask containing active charcoal (duh) which absorbs toxins, dissolves impurities and clears pores with the charcoal acting as a magnet and drawing out all the gunk (my word not theirs).  It's a delightful dark grey/black colour which means it makes you look incredibly sexy whilst it's on (proof below).  

To apply you first open your pores by dabbing your face with a warm, moist towel or muslin cloth and then layering on the mask.  It doesn't actually give you a treatment time on the bottle, it just says "allow to dry", but I usually leave it on for about 10-15 minutes which seems to be enough.  It's a bit of a messy job to wash it off but what I normally do is wet a muslin cloth with hot water then squeeze it so it's just damp.  Then I rub all of the mask off as best I can without going back to the water, before rinsing the muslin cloth clean and starting again.  I find this avoids you ending up with black stuff splashed all over your sink/floor/walls!

Afterwards my skin always feel super soft - I normally find myself absentmindedly stroking my cheeks whilst watching the TV or saying to B "touch my face!" every 5 minutes!  There's also normally a noticable difference in my skin tone too, with reduced pores and generally a much smoother appearance.  I love it!


Origins Zero Oil Skincare

Wednesday, 24 October 2012
Origins Zero Oil Cleanser and Toner

I've had quite a bad time with my skin recently so have been on the lookout for new products to help clear it up.  Origins is a brand that I've read great things about from other bloggers, and in fact one of my all-time favourite skincare products is their Spot Remover which is just amazing, so I was keen to try out some of their products.  After browsing their website I came across the fairly new Zero Oil range which is tailored for oily and blemish prone skin and sounded perfect.  I opted to try the Deep Pore Cleanser and the Pore Purifying Toner, and I also got a couple of freebie samples but I haven't tried any of them out yet.

The Deep Pore Cleanser contains Saw Palmetto and Mint so has a lovely fresh scent.  I use the cleanser over the sink in the morning and in the shower in the evening (I'm not a morning shower person - prefer to get as much time in bed as possible!).  I normally dampen my hands, squeeze on a 1p sized blob and rub together to form a lather then smooth over my face (avoiding the eyes), working in with a circular motion for about 30 seconds before rubbing off gently with a muslin cloth.  It leaves my skin feeling so soft and fresh, and not at all tight (which I sometimes get with with foaming cleansers).

The Pore Purifying Cleanser also contains Saw Palmetto and Mint so again it's very refreshing.  I normally pour a small amount on a cotton page and sweep this over my face (again avoiding the eye area - mint in the eye would be a bit nippy!) after cleansing.  I find it soaks into my skin pretty quickly leaving it lovely and soft, and my pores look much less visible.

I've been really impressed with the Zero Oil range so far - I've been using the cleanser and toner for a few weeks now and definitely feel like the oiliness has reduced a lot.  Have you tried any of the products from this range, or are there any other blemish-prone skin treatments you'd recommend I try?

Bloggers Breast Cancer Awareness Raffle

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

As you will have probably heard, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the UK and to help the cause the lovely Sarah from A Million Dresses is organising a bloggers raffle.  

The Bloggers Breast Cancer Awareness Raffle was started last year by Sarah at Essbeevee, and will this year take place on Friday 26th October.  There are some fantastic prizes up for grabs - see a full list here - and I've highlighted a selection of my personal favourites below.

  • £75 of products from Bumble & Bumble courtesy of Warwick's premium hair salon Nashwhite
  • A dress of your choice from AX Paris (clothing available from sizes 8-26)
  • Blog redesign from ElevatorMusik (Gillian did my beautiful blog design!)
  • A months supply of Popchips (I really want to try these!)
  • Jewellery and a voucher from Jelly Button Jewellery (total prize value of £50)

How to Enter

To take part you just need to visit this Just Giving page and donate money (only donations made on the 26th will count for the raffle).  For every £2 you donate you will get a raffle ticket (please the note the raffle is open to UK residents only).  You don't need to be a blogger to enter, so make sure you tell your friends, family, colleagues etc!

The Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign is a fantastic cause so a big thank you to Sarah for organising this! If you want to find our more info on TBBCAR then check out Sarah's blog.  

Good luck everyone!

Primark Autumn/Winter Haul

Monday, 22 October 2012
I'm loving the fact that we're heading into autumn/winter - so excited about getting to wear jumpers and scarfs and hats and cosy boots again!  A few weeks ago I had a bit of a spending spree in Primark, there were so many lovely things I could have spent a fortune!  I picked up some nice jumpers and a few dresses that I've been wearing under the jumpers - unfortunately I've lost my receipt so I can't put the prices next to the photos, but I'm pretty sure everything was under £15 each!

This one is super cute, although it's a bit baggy on me which isn't particularly flattering but it's perfect for lounging around the house.

They had this in a few different colours - looks really nice with jeans and a statement necklace (with a vest underneath of course, unless you're comfortable with serious bra flashing!)

Sooo sparkly!  Bit scratchy but it's worth it for the sparkle.

The ultimate Christmas jumper!

Not sure if it's obvious in the photo but this has a ribbed (for your pleasure) cotton feel.  They also had this in cream and I think black too maybe?

This has a lovely fit, I've been wearing it to work with a black waist belt, black cardi, black tights and ankle boots, and spike necklace.