Sunday, 31 January 2016

The other day on my bus journey to work I was thinking about how I rarely do beauty blog posts these days. Riveting stuff eh. I do all of my best thinking on the bus I'll have you know. Closely followed by the shower.

Anyway, I was thinking about how I first started this blog as a place to primarily share my thoughts on the beauty products I was using, but over the years that beauty section has gradually gotten quieter and quieter. My love of all things makeup and skincare and hair etc hasn't changed though, I've just stopped writing about it for some reason.

I thought to myself that I could easily start writing more beauty posts if I wanted to. In fact, I could write a new beauty blog post EVERY DAY if I really wanted to. And let me tell you, once that idea was in my head, my inner Monica Geller couldn't resist the challenge, and so...FEBeauty was born.

For the month of February I am going to upload a beauty related blogpost to Cocktails & Daydreams every day. That's 29 BEAUTY POSTS coming your way in the next month. I've already got those 29 post ideas mapped out, and 5 are written up and scheduled already. Sorry to brag, but I am feeling organised as fuck right now.

So if you like reading beauty blogs then you are in for a right treat next month.  Make sure you're subscribed on Bloglovin or whatever other platform you use (if you use something else let me know - I'm not a Bloglovin fan and would love to find an alternative to follow/read blogs!).  

Wish me luck!

Camera Roll #5

Friday, 29 January 2016
Time for another sneak peek at my iPhone camera roll, and a round up of what I've been up to over the last few weeks.

1) I treated myself to the Olympus Pen camera just before Christmas.  I'd fancied a new camera for ages and after reading a few reviews of the pen I decided to just go for it.  I love using it for vlogging, the flip down screen at the front is ideal although I am falling into that typical vlogger habit of staring at my own face rather than the lens.  Sorry!  

2) & 3) I was in charge of organising our work Christmas party this year and I'm pleased to say it was a huge success!  We held it at Surgeons Hall in Edinburgh and as well as the usual drinks and dinner we included a tour of the pathology museum (lots of body parts in jars - lovely!) and casino tables after the meal.  It was so much fun!  I ended up getting far too into the gambling though so it's just as well it wasn't for real money.

4) I will never get over the view from my office, especially when the sun sets like THIS.

Alphabet Dating: A-C Ideas

Wednesday, 27 January 2016
My husband and I are currently alphabet dating -  every month one of us organises a secret date, starting with a different letter of the alphabet.  We started the month after getting married, so in October I organised date A, in November Blair organised date B, in December I planned date C, and next weekend Blair is taking me on date D.  It will take us the first 2 years of our marriage to finish getting through the alphabet, so it will be a fun way of making sure that we still go out on dates now that we're husband and wife!

Here's how we've spent dates A-C, with some additional ideas in case you fancy taking on the alphabet dating challenge too!  You wouldn't even necessarily need to do these with a boyfriend / husband etc, it would make a fun friend-date challenge too for you and your pals.

A for Aquarium

10 Dinner Ideas

Monday, 25 January 2016
I've been getting really into meal planning and meal prepping recently.  Anything to try reduce the amount of time I have to spend in the kitchen when I get home from work, and to reduce our amount of food wastage (we're forever chucking out things that have gone off before we got round to using them).   Whenever we get back from a big food shop I sit and write out a meal plan, working around the best before dates on the meat/veg we've just bought.  This has been really helpful, and it's stopped us having those nights where we just go "I can't decide what to make - ah fuck it, let's just order a takeaway".  I thought I'd share some of the meals I've been making, so if you're struggling for dinner ideas maybe this will give you some inspiration!  

Salmon stir-fry
This is probably the quickest meal on the list, so a good one for a night where you don't have much time.  I just spray a couple of salmon fillets with Frylight, season and sprinkle on some mixed herbs then wrap in foil and bake in the oven for around 20 minutes.  Stir-fry some veg (I've used onion, baby corn, mange tout and tender stem broccoli), boil noodles for a few minutes then drain and stir fry with a little soy sauce.  Pile it all together and ta-da - a healthy and speedy dinner.

You Go Glen Coco #5

Saturday, 23 January 2016
You Go Glen Coco is a series where I share blog posts that I've loved reading recently.  The title comes from Mean Girls, one of my favourite films.  It's a place to "share the love" and hopefully highlight some new blogs for you to check out. 

1) Forever Amber - Dear Diary
I love day-in-the-life or diary style posts, and this one from Amber is hilarious.  Coincidentally I may have also spent my week Googling 'How to Make a Murderer' theories....

2) Kate La Vie - New York in Photos
New York has never been that high up on my 'to visit' list but after reading this post it's climbed the rankings!  I don't know how Kate manages to always find the coolest looking places to eat, I need your skilllllz!

This made me laugh - and yes, I do own about 80% of those things and now realise that what I've been missing in life is some ironing water and hmm yeah I should maybe sort out some annual travel insurance.

4) The Life & Loves of Ninegrandstudent - Hogwarts in the Snow
I'm desperate to go to the WB Studio Tour, I'm not even that huge a Harry Potter fan but from what I've seen on the tour on blogs / Youtube it looks amazing, so I loved this post from Chloe.

5) Girl Lost In The City - Getting Shit Done
I can totally relate to Emma's tips on how to "get shit done" - tunnel vision is pretty much all that works for me too, if I don't cut out all distractions then I never get things....ooooh a WhatsApp message!

6) Ruby Ruby Slippers - Being Thankful 2016
This is a really lovely post from my pal Lianne - she is just the sweetest!  And I for one am thankful for having YOU in my life Lianne, you little ray of sunshine.

My Morning Routine

Sunday, 17 January 2016

I get out of bed between 7am and 7.30am, grab a new pair of daily contact lenses from my drawer and head into the bathroom.  For Christmas I got a shower timer which I am currently using for my morning and evening routines and for showers.  It's mainly so I don't spend too long in the bathroom, as being able to see the minutes count up makes you realise how long you're taking on each task.  I also enjoy setting myself mini challenges - like 5 minutes to put my lenses in, get my face washed, and teeth brushed.  At the moment I'm using the Vichy 3-in-1 Cleanser in the mornings - it's a nice gentle product which I find really soothing first thing in the morning.

Soundtrack to my Youth

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Music can be a powerful memory trigger.  A song can remind you of a person from your past, a specific event, a place you've visited, or a time in your life.  The other day I listened to an album that I hadn't heard in over a decade and was surprised to find that I still knew all the words despite the fact I hasn't listened to the songs in 10 years and had pretty much forgotten they even existed.  It got me thinking about other songs that hold strong memories for me and I decided to put them together in a blog post.  So, here's a list of 7 songs from my teens and the memories they represent.

Recipe: Slimming World Friendly Scones

Monday, 11 January 2016
Slimming world scones recipe

The other day I made a Cottage Cobbler Pie for dinner - taking the recipe from the latest Slimming World magazine.  The cobbler topping on the pie was basically a scone recipe, and they were so tasty that I had the idea to tweak it slightly so I could make some scones as a sweet treat.  Having made them at the weekend I can confirm that they turned out really well, so thought I'd share the recipe.

My 2016 Goals

Thursday, 7 January 2016
I know, I know....everyone is probably sick of 2016 goals / resolutions posts by now, but I'm going to throw my two pence in anyway.  This is more for my own benefit anyway as I figured having stuff written down in a public forum would help keep me on track.  In saying that, I'm sure I said the same thing in this 13 Resolutions for 2013 post and well....those went well...

Being a 90's Teen vs Now....

Saturday, 2 January 2016
Let's firstly get past the fact that this post has a terrible title.  I've had it sitting in drafts for ages because of this very reason, but it was either this or "If I Was a Teenager Now..." which I'm not even sure is proper English.  

Anyway, I had the idea for the post last year after watching the Channel 4 documentary Teens which followed the lives of a group of teenagers in England and was unique in that you also got to see all of their text messages, what's app convos, tweets, Facebook posts etc along the way so you were fully immersed in their day to day lives.  *I've actually just looked it up by the way and that came out in March....MARCH!  So that shows you how late I am at getting round to posting this*.

Whilst watching the show I was thinking about how completely different life is growing up in the age of social media.  Back in my day MSN Messenger or a mobile phone that could access emails was about as advanced as you got.  These days the usual teen worries like whether or not that boy fancies you back are almost overshadowed by the stress of not having enough likes on your latest Instagram, or having less Twitter followers than your best pal.  It makes growing up in the 90's seem like a piece of piss walk in the park.

It got me thinking about how my teen years would have been different if I was a teenager now....

With hundreds of Youtube tutorials and the whole beauty blogger community at my finger tips I like to think that modern-day-teen-me would have significantly better makeup skills than actual-teen-me.  One of my most memorable makeup mistakes back in the day was blue eyeliner with pink eyeshadow which I wore daily for months.....I'm just glad I don't have any photographic evidence of this ground-breaking look.  I also never quite got the hang of bronzer - in fact the photo above shows that even at age 20 the closest I got to "bronzed goddess" was "mud stained hamster cheeks".  Teenagers these days seem to have mastered contouring and liquid eyeliner by the time they are 15.  Lucky bitches.