Loving lately (Bumble & Bumble, baking, Enrapture Totem Styler, ASOS tees!)

20.4.14

* The Hairdresser's Invisible Oil by Bumble & Bumble. I took the plunge and bought a bottle of this a couple of months ago. With its steep £31 price tag I was dubious but the glowing reviews won me over and I decided to give it a go.

This stuff is seriously amazing. It is the only thing that makes my hair shiny and soft and manageable. I smooth one to two pumps over my hair when it's wet then blow dry as normal. Sometimes I smooth a tiny bit over my dry hair to get a more polished look.

I've used it daily since I bought it and to look at it you wouldn't think I'd used it at all. It will last ages!

If you have dry ends or struggle to get a brush through your hair sometimes then buy this or try to get a sample to try before you buy. You will be amazed!


* Rosie Londoner's low carb bread recipe. I try to avoid normal bread as it doesn't do much for me apart from leave me hungry then very, very bloated. I am not the best baker/cook but this recipe sounded so easy that even an amateur like me could do it.

It was so easy to make. We had all the ingredients in the cupboard already so it was just a case of whipping up the mixture before popping it in a loaf tin and baking.

It tasted great! I enjoyed my slices with either peanut butter, houmous or just plain butter. Yum!


* The Enrapture Totem Styler. I have a couple of curling devices already, both by Babyliss I believe, but I have never been able to achieve the kind of curls I want. Enter the Enrapture styler! It's so easy to get curls that stay put and don't drop out. It's also so easy to use thanks to the flipper that holds hair in place.

I prefer my shorter hair when it's wavy/messy with a bit more volume so I have been really pleased with the curling effect I get from this. I usually pop a bit of the B&B hair oil on my hands and run my fingers through the curls to separate them before finishing with a spritz of hairspray.


* Basic tees/tops. I have stocked up on a few basic tops and t shirts lately as they're so easy to chuck on with jeans or (my new found love) patterned trousers. I have found ASOS to be a great one-stop-shop for these tops and I particularly love my nude pink "forever" tshirt which they do in a few other colours.

It's so soft and comfortable and goes with pretty much anything. For £12 you can't really go wrong!

 Dune wedges c/o Sarenza

What have you been loving lately?


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Sarenza picks: three of the best.

14.4.14

I do love a good browse on Sarenza, especially when new styles are added. There are three brands on there that I always go to first; Converse, Melissa and Ugg Australia, so I thought I would share my top picks of the moment from each of those brands.

I am obsessed with polka dot Converse especially the pale pair below. They're so pretty! I don't own any of the high top style and would quite happily parade around in either the polka dot or pale blue pair.
1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 

I have a few pairs of Melissa pumps which I have worn to death. They're really comfortable, despite appearances, and if you get the sizing right they mould perfectly to your feet. Also they smell like sweets which can only be a good thing.

I love the black and white sandals below which I would get so much wear out of but the pale pink heels are just divine. It's no wonder those beauties have nearly sold out!

1 / 2 / 3 

The thing I like about Ugg Australia is that their non-Ugg-boot footwear is quite a surprise in the style stakes. The sandals are really quite lovely! I especially like the nautical stripy red and blue pair. I can definitely see myself donning a pair on holiday sipping a cocktail or two.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 

Have any of these styles caught your eye? Don't blame me for enabling! :)

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How I got rid of my acne (and why I got it in the first place).

12.4.14

I have been wanting to write this blog post for so long but the idea of sharing these photos was slightly scary so I have been putting it off. As I have managed to get my acne under control and I am trying out treatments to fade my scarring I thought it would be a good time to bite the bullet and publish this post.

All of the photos are from my iPhone so the quality is not the best but you should be able to get an idea of what it looked like. I know it's not that bad in the grand scheme of things and people suffer with it a lot more than I did, but I would cry myself to sleep sometimes and it really affected my confidence so at the time it felt like the end of the world.

Growing up, all through my teens and into my early 20s I had no skin problems whatsoever. At school I rarely wore makeup and would often get comments on how nice my skin was. It has always been on the oily side which is probably why I look so dang young, but it never caused me problems until I was around 26.

Let's rewind to the end of 2010 / the beginning of 2011. I decided to take a break from my birth control pill because I had been taking it for quite a while. A couple of months later I started to get red, hard lumps under my skin which were really sore. They were usually on my jawline or cheek area. I ignored them at first, thinking they would go away. But unfortunately they would settle down only for new lumps to appear in a different place.


I visited the doctor who gave me cream to put on them, which (surprise surprise) didn't work. I went back and was given gel to put on them which (you guessed it) didn't work.

I eventually gave up on the doctor and tried to tackle them a different way. I drank bucket loads of water, my diet was as healthy as it could possibly be. The only thing I could put it down to was stress. I convinced myself that the spots were a result of being busy at work and resigned myself to the fact I would have the spots forever.

Being a girl it was easy to cover them up with my beloved Double Wear foundation but my confidence was at its absolute rock bottom. I didn't want to go out or meet new people. When I talked to people all I could think was that they were staring at my skin.

Over the years I must have spent hundreds and hundreds of pounds on skincare and facials. I even tried an expensive course of LED light therapy which did absolutely bugger all.

In September of 2013 I went back to the doctors and saw someone new. He immediately said he thought it was PCOS related and sent me for an internal ultrasound scan at the hospital which confirmed I do indeed have polycystic ovaries.

Whilst it was a relief to know what was causing the acne I was advised that a good diet and exercise was the best way to control it. This was so frustrating as I already exercise regularly and have a really healthy diet. I didn't know what more I could do!

I went back to the drawing board and now I can share the 3 things that have made me acne-free for several months and hopefully, forever!

1) Cutting out yoghurt and cutting down on other dairy

This is the main one which I think, if I didn't do the other two things, would still make a difference. I wish I had tried this years ago! When I would research acne the one thing that would come up over and over again was dairy which I ignored because I loved yoghurt and milk and cheese too much.

Then I realised that I was having a yoghurt every single day, having milk in my tea and having cheese a couple of times a week and if I could cut down a little maybe my acne would go away. I cut out my daily yoghurt completely, have almond milk in my cereal and tea, and only have cheese every now and again. It worked!

I haven't had a single new acne spot since I did this.

2) Dermaquest cleanser and Clearasil pads

When it comes to serums and moisturisers I swap and change but the skincare I couldn't live without are the Dermaquest Beta Hydroxy cleanser and the Clearasil Superfruits pads.

The Dermaquest product was recommended to me by a skin specialist and it can be bought online. Salicylic acid is great for my oily skin so this cleanser and the Clearasil wipes are a godsend. I pray that Clearasil don't discontinue these wipes because they are seriously amazing. I think I can credit them, over the cleanser, to keeping my skin under control.


3) Acupuncture

This is the one that I am slightly on the fence about but I have to include it as I stopped getting acne shortly after I started acupuncture. The acupuncturist I saw targeted my stomach area (due to the PCOS) and generally tried to address my inability to relax and not worry. The sessions made me feel more relaxed and hopefully the needle placements did what they were meant to do.

I haven't been for about a month now but I would go back again if my skin caused me any more problems.

So there you have it! I hope this has been helpful to some of you and you have stuck with my waffling. I plan to do another post on "how I have helped reduce my acne scarring" but I'm still in the process of trying different things so bear with me on that one.

Thank you for reading. Please feel free to share your skincare stories below and any tips you have that may help me and others!

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Jacket in.

5.4.14

In this post I mentioned my love for my new ASOS boucle blazer with its fluorescent piping which always draws a comment or two when I wear it. That ASOS number, along with my new White Stuff jacket, are my current favourite things to wear.

White Stuff sent me their Pierrot jacket recently (which has since gone in the sale - here's the link!) and it's perfect for wearing to work with black trousers and a blouse, or on a weekend like my outfit below. I wore it out to dinner last weekend with black skinny jeans and a white top from good old M&S.

It's not really "big Winter coat" weather at the moment and I don't have many lighter jackets (i.e. to keep me warm from the car to the front door of wherever we're going) so these two are just right!

Pierrot jacket c/o White Stuff 

I like it because it's sophisticated, really good quality and I know I will get so much wear out of it.

The same goes for my ASOS number which was a sale bargain of £14. Sadly it's almost sold out now but if you're a UK4 you're in luck! Here's the link.

If you like this kind of thing but you're not a UK4 you could be in luck with this or this!


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Life lately.

1.4.14

Hi folks! I hope you're all having a good week? The past few weeks have flown by in a bit of a whirlwind for me. Normally when I am on a holiday countdown time goes verrryyy slowly but it feels like my holiday will be here in no time. Actually, 4 1/2 weeks isn't actually very long so I'm sure it will be here in a flash!

I'm ready for some sun on my pasty skin, ready to hit Bath & Body Works and Victoria's Secret for a spot of shopping and ready to consume my body weight in Baby Ruth's and Take 5 bars.

It was Jonathan's 31st birthday on Saturday so we had a lovely day. We went into Sheffield for a stroll and a spot of lunch before heading off to a foot massage (present from me.. he did want one, it's not as random as it sounds!) and I busied myself having a quick trim and blow dry. After a spot of shopping and picking up a few bits for Mother's Day we had a relaxing afternoon at home eating the buns I had baked the night before.

Ring from my sister's shop - link!


I had a disastrous baking session as the electric whisk broke before my mixture was combined and the oven was too hot but they turned out okay. Actually they weren't bad at all. They taste a lot better than they look let's put it that way! Here's the recipe if you want to have a slightly more successful attempt.


In the evening we tried somewhere new for tea, NYC in Bawtry - Doncaster, and it was superb. We will be going back no doubt about it! The ribs were to die for and I basically got through a bucket of Jack Daniels sauce dunking anything and everything into it!

On Sunday we spent the day separately with our families. I drove to Leeds and spent the day with my mum and dad, eating homemade Jamie Oliver burgers, watching The Walking Dead, consuming more lemon drizzle buns(!) and looking through old photo albums for the lols.

Jonathan cooked for his mum and family and we reunited in the evening for a few cuddles and a spot of telly before the start of a brand new week.


What did you get up to at the weekend? I am still recovering from losing an hour of sleep. Although the sunny journeys home from work and evenings are most welcome.

:P
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Mother's Day presents (with Cath Kidston).

23.3.14

We popped to Meadowhall yesterday just after opening time for what we thought would be a fairly quiet stroll round a few shops, but thanks to the Next sale it was a bit busier than expected. Luckily Cath Kidston had tasked me with finding some Mother's Day gifts and sent me a gift card just in time for our shopping trip, so I escaped into the sanctuary of the Cath Kidston store for a good old browse.

It has been a while since I've browsed round a CK store and oh my, I wanted to buy everything! I wanted the Safari playsuit, Aubrey Rose skirt, the Pembridge Rose shawl, and the entire homeware department but I had to keep my eye on the task in hand and pick out presents that my mum would love.

After much careful consideration I opted for homeware items as my mum is a brilliant cook and baker. The Painterly Rose range really caught my eye as the print is so pretty and timeless. I was also drawn in by some of the Safari homeware items.


I found the prices really reasonable so I was able to get her a handful of things which I am certain she will love and get plenty of use out of. I don't want to spoil the surprise as she may see this so you will have to wait until Mother's Day itself to see my picks.

If you're looking for some gift inspiration I would recommend popping into your local store as there is bound to be something your mum will love. Alternatively use the online gift finder for a bit of extra help. Failing that here are a few ideas of my own to help you along!


Something tells me I am going to be visiting this store a lot more in the future!

* in collaboration with Cath Kidston

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A weekend with the big sis.

18.3.14

I booked Friday of last week off work to make way for a nice long weekend. My sister lives on the Isle of Man but was back home for the weekend so she made a pit stop to spend the day and night with Jonathan and I at our house.

Friday was spent devouring mac n cheese burgers, dashing round Meadowhall, eating our treats from the American sweet shop, baking a carrot cake and getting dolled up for a night out in Sheffield. One or two (or ten) cocktails were consumed and I got the chance to don my newly purchased printed trousers which are a whole new and scary thing for me!

Aforementioned printed trousers (River Island) and my current favourite shoes (by Georgia Rose c/o Sarenza) I've worn them to death over the past couple of months!


There's no rest for the wicked. On Saturday I was woken up early by the dogs so I decided to stay up at risk of sleeping through the whole day. I left my sister snoozing in the spare bedroom while I tidied up ready for our mum and dad to come over for lunch.

Jonathan made a big help-yourself type of lunch with salad, bread, roast chicken and homemade wedges, followed by a slice of carrot cake (homemade the previous day!) and all washed down with a cup of tea and plenty of chatter about our holiday to Florida in a few weeks time (#sixandahalfweekstogo!)

A sneak peek of my new Sugarhill Boutique blouse - how fab is that print!

We waved my parents goodbye and my sister headed off not long after. Jonathan and I had a lazy afternoon and a sunny stroll to the duck pond with Lily and Lola before I admitted defeat at 7pm and fell asleep. It's a good job I had another day to recover before work. Sunday was nice and relaxed, with a roast dinner at Jonathan's parents house a couple of minutes up the road, and plenty of telly watching.

I'm getting too old for nights out! ;) I'm still tired now!

Did you all have a good weekend? Wednesday tomorrow - hasn't that come round quick!?

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3 ingredient Nutella brownies.

9.3.14

It has been a while since any of my baking efforts were successful, especially a recent attempt to make healthy brownies with chickpeas which were a disaster. I had a spare afternoon yesterday so I decided to don my apron and have a bash at making something sweet. When I spotted a recipe for 3 ingredient Nutella brownies I figured I couldn't possibly go wrong!


Not only were they really easy to make but they turned out so well. Crispy on the outside, squishy and wonderful in the middle. All you need is a jar of Nutella, eggs and flour (and a pinch of salt which the recipe I followed suggested - see link above!)

Mix together, stick in the oven and voila. Perfect brownies which you can spend all weekend devouring. Oh well, I did have a personal training session this morning so I kind of deserved it ;)


Unfortunately for my waistline I will definitely be making these again!

If you have any foolproof recipe suggestions please feel free to leave them in the comments bit below - thanks!


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