FOTD: Before & After

Wednesday, 27 February 2013
WARNING - this post features makeup free close-up photos of my ugly mug :P

I was out on Saturday night at the Scottish Bloggers Valentines meet up - this was the third blogger meetup I've been to, and the first one that's taken place in Edinburgh (yaaaay, no rushing off for a train!).  We had a lovely night of cocktails, speed dating, raffling and good chit chat.  It was lovely to see some of the girls I've met at previous events before, and to also meet lots of new blogger ladies - us Scottish Bloggers are a lovely lot!

I've been meaning to do a before/after makeup post for ages as I've read a few of these on other blogs, I just hadn't built up the courage yet.  As I had left myself plenty of time to get ready for the blogger meetup  decided to take some snaps for a Face of The Day post and I was feeling a bit brave so thought I'd also add in the "before" shots too.  So here we go.....be gentle on me!!

bare faced

eyes done

fully madeup

outfit on and good to go!

Firstly, please excuse the red eyes in the first few shots - I think I had traces of garlic or something from dinner on my fingers when I changed my contact lenses so I irritated them, ouchy!  Also, you might be wondering why I've got a picture of full eye makeup and nothing else - if I'm doing a heavy eye look that uses a lot of eye shadow then I tend to do my eyes first so I don't ruin my foundation with shadow fallout.  Once my eyes are done I'll then wipe off any spillage with cleanser, use toner and moisturiser then primer and foundation - I recommend giving that method a go if you're fed up with eye shadow spillage on your cheeks!

I've listed below the products I used:

hourglass veil mineral primer
estee lauder double wear light foundation (intensity 1.0)
benefit erase paste concealer (no1 fair)
benefit sugarbomb blush
topshop highlighter (crescent moon)
boots 17 loose powder
clarins eyebrow pencil (02 light brown)
elf mineral eyeshadow primer
naked 2 eyeshadow palette (ydk & busted)
avon super enchant mascara (black)
rimmel exaggerate eye liner (100% black)
inika organic eye liner (07 graphite) - on my lower lash line
topshop lipstick (whimsical)

Finally here's a quick shot of my outfit (although I did change the necklace just before I left as this one was annoying me).


Oscars 2013: Best Dressed

Monday, 25 February 2013
So last night it was the biggest and arguably the most exciting awards ceremony of the year....The Oscars.  I'm not one of those people who stayed up all night to watch it (I need my sleep!) but I have spent my lunch break glued to various clips and news stories to catch up on the goss (poor Jennifer Lawrence, falling over on the way to accept an award is surely your worst nightmare at The Oscars!).

Anyway, without further ado, here's my favourite dresses from the red carpet.  All images are taken from the Vogue website.

Kate Bosworth - fairly understates for the Oscars, but lovely

Amy Adams - yeah it's a bit Disney princess, but I love it!

Hillary Swank

Amanda Seyfried

Georgina Chapman - definitely the best dressed mum to be!

Charlize Theron - rocking a new hairdo

Reese Witherspoon - love this colour

Finally - how hot does Britney look with her new brunette hair??!


Bedroom Tour

Sunday, 24 February 2013
I love reading room tour posts - it appeals to my extremely nosey side!  I always end up with major house envy though - bloggers bedrooms are always full of lovely candles and fairy lights and pretty white furniture and cushions and adorable little vintage boxes and quirky makeup storage- it's a bit like watching an Ikea advert!  

I'd never considered doing a room tour post of my own as I thought it would be a bit dull, but as I was changing our bed yesterday I took a few snaps and thought I'd share them as I reckon that actually most bloggers probably don't have cool/quirky homes and this might serve as a little reassurance that we don't all have picture perfect bedrooms :)

So here's a little look around my room - it's not that exciting, but I hope you enjoy it anyway!



I've somehow been getting away with buying girlier and girlier bedding.....for ages we had a teal themed bedroom, then just after Christmas I bought us a nice pastel set from the Debenhams sale and it got a good response from B so when I was shopping at Primark last week I thought I'd push my luck and buy this white rose & butterfly print set with pink (pink!) sheets.  I think I've reached the limit though, I did get a bit of a look when I showed him the pink sheets....shame though, I really liked the look of a pink heart print set in Primark...!


The pictures above the bed are from a photoshoot we did a few years ago after getting vouchers from B's sister as a gift.  It was a fun day, albeit a bit awkward and embarrassing at first!  I've got a Saturdays calendar on my side and B has a calendar I made him for Christmas featuring his favourite sexy ladies (best. girlfriend. ever).


I realise it's a bit of a cliche to have lit candles in a room tour post but they were already lit before I decided to take photos, honest, lol.  I bought these 2 candle tins in Primark earlier this week - I'd never bought candles from there before but at £2  couldn't resist.  The white one is coconut and mango (I think) and the pink one is raspberry and something (I've peeled the labels off, sorry!).  The scent isn't as prominent as you get with say a Yankee candle, but they do smell pretty nice and for the price I definitely can't complain.


This is B's side of the bed.....yeah, the Gosling poster is his....


These chest of drawers sit at the end of our bed (with a wee walkway space inbetween).  The drawers on the right are mine, I've got beauty products in the top drawer and then underwear, pyjamas and t-shirts/gym clothes in the other drawers.


On the top of the drawers I've got my makeup storage which I bought just after Christmas from Homebase.  I love being able to see all the makeup at once, gone are the days of having to rake through a box trying to find a particular lipstick.  The only annoying thing about them is the drawers get stuck all the time so I keep having to pull them all the way out and reposition them.  

The white basket on the left has a collection of DVDs that we tend to reach for if we fancy watching something before going to sleep.  We switch what's in here quite a bit, but at the moment there's a few Thick of It series, I'm Alan Partridge, People Like Us, and The Armando Iannucci Show.


This is just a wee picture so you can get a sense of the size of the room - it's pretty small but has room for everything we need and the fitted wardrobe is a good size.  The area near the door is where I get ready in the morning as it's where the full length mirror is (it's where I take my outfit of the day shots, that's why they are always at an awkward angle as I can't stand too far back!).


Here's my side of the wardrobe - it looks a bit messy in the picture but it's actually well organised!  I've got those space saving hanger things where you can fit 5 coat hangers on a hook that folds down (I should have taken a picture of that, the description isn't the best!).  At the front is my hanging jewellery organiser (close up below) that I got from Primark for like £2 or something ridiculously cheap like that.  The plastic drawer tower on the right has extra toilettries that don't fit in my main chest of drawers - things like shower gel, shampoo, fake tan etc.  I also keep my straighteners and Enrapture Totem Styler in here too.



Finally, down the bottom I keep my hairdryer, the blue box has belts and the canvas box has handbags.  My black tote bag is too big for the box though so that sits on it's own in the space next to my drawers.  The ASOS packaging has stuff I need to return in it.

So there we have it, a wee tour of my boudoir - hope you enjoyed it, be sure to leave me a link below if you've also added a room tour so I can have a nosey!


Avon Planet Spa Hot Oil Treatment

Saturday, 23 February 2013
As I'm sure I've mentioned before, my mum is an Avon lady, so at birthdays and Christmases I often get lots of lovely Avon bits and pieces to try.  One of the gift sets I got for Christmas contained this oil treatment - hair oils are something I've only really got into in the last 6 months or so and now I LOVE them so I was excited to try this out.

Avon planet spa hot oil treatment with lavendar and jasmine


The Planet Spa Lavendar & Jasmine Hot Oil Hair Treatment is, as the name would suggest, a hot oil pre-shampoo treatment.  You just heat the bottle under hot water for about a minute then apply to wet hair, leave for a minute then rinse and shampoo/condition as normal.  As it contains lavendar is smells absolutely lovely and has been a welcome addition to my Sunday afternoon pamper routine.  

The one thing I would say about Avon products that annoys me though is the lack of detail on the bottles - the instructions for use are often under the label (i.e. you peel back to top layer to read) but even then they are generally very basic and rarely explain the purpose or benefit of using the product.  Sometimes I get a product (e.g. the Reviving Facial Gold Glow Gel which I've been using recently) and I'm like "hmmm yes this looks very nice and everything but what is it FOR??".

Anyway, back to the review....

The only hot oil treatment I've tried before is the VO5 Hot Oil sachets - but having used this Avon treatment a couple of times in the last month I definitely feel like the results have been better.  I'm not sure though if it's maybe because I've been using a lot of oil each time - with the VO5 sachets I always felt like I only got a light layer through my hair (which is pretty long these days) but with the Avon bottle I've been able to be quite liberal with the application and have been giving my hair (particularly the ends) a proper coating in the oil - so that's probably helped.  

I do definitely notice a difference on the days I use the treatment though - I don't tend to use any product on my hair before drying on the days I've used it (so that way I know that any softness etc must have come from using the oil) and it always feel silky smooth.  

I wouldn't say I'd rush out to buy it or anything, but it was a nice treatment and in the comparison with VO5 it clearly came out on top (so if anything, I won't be buying the VO5 one again!).


Chicken & Leek Pie Recipe

Friday, 22 February 2013
Chicken and Leek Pie is one of my favourite recipes in my repertoire (i.e. my list of 10 or so meals that I make all the time), and it's B's all-time favourite so for Valentine's Day last week I thought I'd make it for us, rather than going out for an overpriced meal at a restaurant.

I've been making this for a few years now, it started off as a pie recipe I found online (can't remember where now) but I've adapted it over the years and have now got it just how we like it.  It's fairly simple to make, and is a nice cheats way of making a pie (i.e. making the filling and then doing pastry seperate- I find it such a faff making it all in a tin and you end up wasting a lot of pastry as it folds over the edge).

You could of course go down the more traditional pie route (I've mentioned this in the instructions) but to be honest it tastes the same, and is much easier if you just make the filling and then do pastry shapes on a tray in the oven later.

Chicken & Leek Pie Ingredients

Boiling Potatoes

Carrots in roasting tin

Chopped leeks

Chicken and leek in pot

Homemade roast potatoes

Chicken and leek pie filling

Chicken and leek pie filling

Heart shaped pastry cut outs

Heart shaped pastry cut outs

Chicken and leek pie


Ingredients

2 chicken breasts (or turkey if you want a healthier option)
2 leeks
300ml chicken stock
200ml double cream
200ml white wine
puff pastry
mixed herbs
salt & pepper
peeled potatoes (optional)
peeled carrots (optional)

Instructions

1) If you want to make roast potatoes to serve with the pie then start by peeling and chopping your potatoes into large chunks and placing in a pan of cold salted water.  Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.While they are bubbling away stick the oven on high.

2) Meanwhile, peel and chop the carrots and place in a small roasting dish sprayed with low-cal cooking spray (or normal oil).  Leave aside for now. (this step is also optional - so if you don't want to serve with carrots then just ignore)

3) When the potatoes are almost done stick a roasting tray in the oven with some vegetable oil and heat for 2 minutes.  Once the potatoes are ready drain and shake in a colander to roughen the edges (it makes for crispier roasties).  Take the tray out the oven and add the potatoes - turning to coat them in the oil.  Sprinkle with some salt and pepper and stick in the oven for about 45 minutes.

4) Slice the leeks, melt a nob (hehe) of butter in a pot and then gently fry the leeks on a medium heat for a few minutes.

5) While the leeks are on a hob chop up the chicken/turkey into small chunks.  Add to the pot with the leeks and fry for a few minutes until cooked through.

6) Add the white wine to the pot and simmer until reduced by half.

7) Next add the chicken stock and simmer until reduced by half again.

8) Finally stir in the cream, chuck in some herbs and season with salt and pepper.  Bring to the boil then reduce the heat, stick a lid on and leave for about half an hour (stirring occasionally).  If you wanted to do a proper pie then at this stage you'd stick the mixture in a tin and cover with pastry, poking a wee hole in the top for the steam to escape and pop in the oven for an hour.

9) Roll out your pastry and cut into whatever shape you like - I went for sad little hearts as it was valentines day, but normally I just go with boring old squares.  Stick the pastry on a baking tray which has been sprayed with cooking spray and leave aside.

10) Once the potatoes have been in for about 25 minutes add the baking tray with the pastry and the tray with the carrots to the oven for the remaining 20 minutes.

11) Once the 45 mins in the oven are up you should be ready to serve everything at once.  Spoon some of the chicken & leek mixture onto a warmed plate and top with a pastry shape for a little makeshift pie - enjoy!

Related posts:



Brits 2013: Best Dressed

Thursday, 21 February 2013
I didn't actually bother watching any of the Brits last night - I just followed the goss on Twitter whilst watching stuff from our Sky Planner - how postmodern!

Anyway, one thing I did pay attention to however were all the red carpet round ups so I could take a look at the outfits.  I majorly struggled to find some "best dressed" ones by the way - there were some truelly awful outfits on show last night!

Here's my (quite short) pick of the frocks - for a full round up of all the photos from the Brits check out the gallery on Vogue.

Jessie J Brit Awards 2013 outfit
Jessie J - probably a bit of a contraversial one, but I thought she looked hot!

Aluna Francis Brit Awards 2013 outfit
Aluna Francis from AlunaGeorge - love her dress

Little Mix Brit Awards 2013 outfits
Little Mix - I love that they are all in completely different outfits, no matchy matchy for them!

Paloma Faith Brit Awards 2013 outfit
Paloma Faith - quite plain by her standards really!

Taylor Swift Brit Awards 2013 outfit
Taylor Swift - definitely the best dressed this year



FCUK Primark Dupe

Wednesday, 20 February 2013
I haven't written a dupes post in a while but when I was flipping through More magazine the other day I stumbled across this French Connection cardigan and was like "that looks exactly like my new Primark cardi!" so thought I'd share it as the price difference is huuuuuge.

They obviously aren't identical, but the general idea is the same - a cream cardigan with a crochet/lace front.  I'm not one to buy expensive items of clothing anyway, but there's no chance I'd ever spend £77 on a flipping cardigan so I definitely bagged a bargain with the Primark version (especially when I'll probably wear it in spring and maybe summer then it will end up relegated to the back of my wardrobe).

French Connection Primark Dupe Cream Lace Cardigan


Primark Denim Dress Outfit
Me wearing the Primark version

Have you spotted any good dupes lately?



You Go Glen Coco #3

Tuesday, 19 February 2013
Firstly, a big hello to all the new followers that have come through from Sprinkle of Glitter in the last few days and for your comments/tweets - you are a lovely lot aren't you?! 

Anyway speaking of lovelies, it's time for another round up of the blog posts I've been enjoying reading recently.

A Million Dresses blog


Sarah always makes the most amazing looking cakes, and this one was no exception.  I'm intrigued by the fact that it includes Guinness as that's definitely not something I would have thought of ever putting in a cake!  Funnily enough I actually have some cans of Guinness in the house that neither B or I will EVER drink (I bought it for this beef & guinness pie recipe) so I think I'll give the recipe a go soon - would be perfect for St Patricks Day which is coming up in a few weeks!


Jemma Eat World blog


As you may have guessed from the millions of tweets and blog reviews that have been springing up recently, Krispy Kreme have just opened their first Scottish store in Edinburgh (it took £66,000 in the first week - that is MENTAL!).  My real-life friend Jemma from Jemma Eat World was a lucky wee cow and got an invite to the launch night but as she is currently living the high life housesitting in France she sent our friend Euan along as her roving reporter instead.  The write up was as hilarious as ever - I especially enjoyed the part where he links out to a particularly scathing Tripadvisor review from his last stay at a dodgy Glasgow hotel.


Indigo Buttons blog

Indigo Buttons - E is for....Edinburgh!

Another Edinburgh themed post (what can I say, I love my city!).  I've only discovered Kirsty's blog fairly recently but it's quickly becoming one of my faves - I love the chatty writing style and her photography is great too.  I love reading about places in Edinburgh that people like to go (restaurants, bars, shops, museums etc) and get especially excited when I read about places I'd never heard of before - and I hadn't heard of most of the places Kirsty mentioned in this post so I've got more to add to my ever increasing "to visit" list!


It's a Kind of Lovely blog

It's a Kind of Lovely - Seriously?

Ahh I do love a good rant, and this one in particular was right on the money.  In brief, the post was inspired by a tweet from the TV show Daybreak asking whether girls flirting or being drunk can ever be to blame for sexual assault.  Now this sort of thing really riles me up - I can't quite believe that in this day and age we are still discussing this - no, of course women aren't to blame for rape in ANY circumstance.  Wearing revealing clothes or high heels, being under the influence of alcohol, flirting - none of these things mean a girl is "asking for it".  

Rather than wasting time discussing what women *shouldn't* do in order to "avoid" rape maybe more time and energy should be put into gender equality issues and changing attitudes about male/female interplay from the ground up - e.g. no it's not ok to still be saying to little girls that if a boy hits her in the playground then it means he likes her (and vice versa, it's not ok to let little boys get away with this), and while we're on the subject - boys and girls are never going to see themselves as "equal" if we're still pushing old fashioned ideas of "boys things" (blue, sports, fighting) vs "girls things" (pink, playing house, fragile) so if you could all stop with the everyday sexism that would be great (seriously, reading the @everydaysexism twitter feed makes me want to cry).


Anyway enough ranting from me - go and read these blog posts instead :)




Birthday Outfit Wishlist

Monday, 18 February 2013
I haven't really done much clothes shopping this year so far, apart from one trip to Primark at the end of January.  Not quite sure how I've managed to be so well behaved with my spending!!  

Anyway, as I'm sure I've mentioned a few times already - it's my birthday next month and I'll be celebrating it in Glasgow at the Girls Aloud concert (sooo excited!).  This gives me the perfect excuse to buy a new outfit so I've been doing a lot of window shopping the last few days but still haven't settled on anything yet.  

I've picked out a few things I've like so far below - think I might order a few and see how they look on.

ASOS daisy print dress
ASOS

ASOS tie dye print dress
ASOS
Coral embellished dress
CG Wholesale Fashion*

ASOS Curve ballet wrap dress red
ASOS Curve

Black and white lace dress
CG Wholesale Fashion*

River Island Tapestry print dress
River Island

Dorothy Perkins blue lace dress
Dorothy Perkins
AX Paris black prom dress
AX Paris