2010 will be the year I....

31.12.09

♥ Learn a new skill or take up a new hobby.

♥ Find the right job.

♥ Grow more confidence.

♥ Have more 'me' time.

♥ Learn to stop worrying so much about EVERYTHING!

♥ Learn to play an instrument.

♥ Eat a little less and move around a little more.

♥ Shop in charity shops and buy more vintage things.

♥ Give up some of my time to help others.

♥ Learn to cook.

How about you? x

A year with Lily & Lola

30.12.09

In December of last year a friend of mine used to regularly visit the Dogs Trust to see the dogs and to walk them, and on one visit he called me to say that they had 2 Pugs (because he knew how much I liked them). So the next day I went to the Dogs Trust to have a look.. I was like a small child on the way there - full of excitement and a bit anxious to see whether they were still there or not!

I filled out some forms at Reception which is where I spotted this sign:-


I headed off along the corridor and saw some of the others dogs waiting to be re-homed, some with really sad stories which was quite hard to see. Then I saw Lily and Lola in their kennel fast asleep and looking very chubby. I burst into tears! I thought how could anyone mistreat them and let them end up there. The story was that their owner had died and her daughter had brought in 3 Pugs and a couple of other small dogs as she was unable to care for them. Lily had a scar on one eye because an eye infection had been left untreated, and Lola had a dodgy leg which the vet was keeping an eye on. They hadn't been house trained and were left alone for 7 to 8 hours every day so they didn't have any social skills and they didn't know how to walk on a lead.

The next couple of days were a blur. First I asked if I could meet them and I had a little play with them. They were really playful and friendly and of course adorable! Next thing I know I had agreed to adopt them and I just knew I couldn't let someone else snap them up.

The Dogs Trust carried out their checks and I waited patiently to hear the adoption date. They said that after Christmas would be better because there tends to be a lot of people and lots of noise on Christmas Day so they set the date of 27 December.

My Mum came with me to the adoption talk where we got advice and tips, and a bag of dog food. The lady who held the talk said "good luck feeding the Pugs, they're very fussy". She had to be joking. They will eat anything you put down in front of them and anything they find on the floor! :)


Things haven't been plain sailing. Lily developed an ingrowing eyelash which had to be removed and it left her eye very sore and requiring lots of drops and visits to the vet. Their back legs aren't too strong so we have to make sure they don't get too heavy and they get enough exercise. I have to regularly clean the folds on their faces to avoid germs causing an infection. Also their nails grow like crazy and they shed hair like nothing you have seen before!

Pugs can be hard work at times but they're so loveable. They follow me round wherever I go and always want to be cuddled and stroked. Lily and Lola are really good with children and adults alike. People often ask how we tell them apart but it's so easy for me because they are totally different characters. Lily is very shy and needy; she is a Mummy's girl and always wants to sit with me. Lola is the protective sister and a lot more confident. She is very greedy and likes to bark at animals on the tv. Lola is slightly bigger than Lily and their tails both curl different ways :) Failing that the only other way to tell is by looking at their name tags!

I'd love to hear your story if you have adopted an animal. I hope you have enjoyed hearing my story.

Monday summary

28.12.09

I have lost all concept of what day it is so this week's 5 good things was almost forgotten! Having lots of time off work means the days just merge into one long food and film watching binge!

I had a lovely Christmas and at the moment I'm staying with my boyfriend's family in Blackburn for a couple of days. He's out watching football so I've grabbed a few minutes on the t'internet :)

My 5 good things right now:

1) I went to a party last night held by one of my BF's friends at his AMAZING house and it involved thai green curry, lots of alcohol, and karaoke! It was so much fun but my head hurts today.

2) I still have a week of no work and that can only be a good thing.

3) I have started to write a list of New Year's resolutions and I feel really positive about sticking to them this time. I've had a sort of mid-twenties crisis and I realised there are so many things I want to do and there's nothing to stop me doing them!

4) I was totally and utterly spoilt at Christmas with presents and I literally have everything I wanted plus more!

5) Earlier in the year Lily had an ingrowing eyelash which caused an ulcer on her eye and she had to have a costly operation to remove it (luckily we have insurance!) They said it could come back and recently her eye looked really sore and I thought it was coming back with a vengeance, but TOUCH WOOD it seems ok now. I can't bear for her to go through any more operations or treatment at the vets - she's my little baby! Let's hope she is fine :)

xxx

Trifle recipe

26.12.09

For Christmas this year I offered to make a trifle to take round to my parents house and then panicked for a couple of weeks wondering how I would make it! I rarely cook or bake anything - I can make macaroni cheese and that's about it :) *must learn how to cook more in 2010*.

Anyway the trifle was a huge success - it was scrummy! And the custard was made from scratch so I was very proud. With a little help from my boyfriend here's how we did it.

First of all we cut up a raspberry swiss roll and placed the pieces in the bottom of the dish. We poured some sherry over the swiss roll - not too much - and left the sherry to soak in overnight in the fridge.



Then we added raspberries and raspberry jelly (using some of the juice from the tin of raspberries in the jelly mix). This was poured over the swiss roll and left in the fridge overnight to set.


Then we made the custard which was the trickiest bit. We heated some double cream, and made a mixture of egg yolks, caster sugar and corn flour. Then we added everything together and I kid you not, I was stirring the mixture over a hob for about 45 minutes! Eventually it thickened a little and it could be left to cool.



Once the custard had cooled I poured it over the jelly and finally whipped some double cream to add on to the top.


Some chocolate sprinkles finished things off and voila! So easy and really tasty :)


What did you make this Christmas?

Merry Christmas

24.12.09

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you have a lovely day and get everything on your list :)

My boyfriend and I (plus the 3 dogs) are going to my parents house for Christmas day and then to my Uncle's for Boxing Day.. both only live about 20 minutes away. Then we will visit my boyfriend's family for a couple of days.

I am going to consume some serious food and alcohol over the next few days - the next time you see me I may be looking a little plumper ;)

Lots of love and Christmas cheer! xxx

Barbie range for New Look - part 2

23.12.09

I recently talked about some products that I was sent from the Barbie for New Look range and to finish off I'm going to talk about the Beautiful Eyes Kit which is £5.


The concealer - it reminds me of the Eyeko concealer pen which is a similar colour and consistency. This one seemed to dry quite quickly before I could finish patting it in. I found I had to rub it in which I don't like to do - I'm conscious of wrinkly eyes approaching 25 years old in February!

But I was quite pleased with the end result and I liked the colour.


The mascara - I did one eye and thought 'wow, this is pretty damn good'. The wand was quite chunky but it didn't get mascara everywhere like Badgal sometimes can. It was great at seperating my lashes and I had no clumps at all on the first eye. I did have to apply a few layers to see a difference but overall I was pleased. It all went wrong when I did the next eye though. The mascara wand dried up completely and no amount of re-dipping and swirling could save my eyelashes which ended up looking like spiders legs.


Really disappointing :( I am still raving about the blusher and the nail polishes though. They are definitely my recommendations if you want to purchase anything from the Barbie range. You can read the reviews on those items here.

Thanks for reading! xxx

Thank you zuneta.com!

I recently received a little package in the post and oh my, it was the most beautifully packaged and wrapped present from the kind people behind www.zuneta.com.


I received the Hourglass eyeshadow duo in Prism - click here for a close up. I'm sure you will agree it's a gorgeous palette - I especially love the swivel mirror.

They seem to have struck a chord with the bloggers that they contacted for being really friendly and genuine and not at all pushy, and I completely agree.

Thank you Zuneta.com! xxx

Monday summary

21.12.09

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a good weekend? I mainly ate stollen and watched films which is the best ways to spend the weekend. I watched Frost/Nixon (slow start but good second half), Yes Man (hilarious), The Eye (scary but pretty good), the latest Indiana Jones (half-watched the parts that Shia LaBeouf was in :)) and a couple of others.

This week's 5 good things:

1) First and foremost, it's Christmas on Friday! Enough said!

2) I'm looking forward to some time off work although I'm not looking forward to piling on the pounds and becoming a total stollen-monster! (must try not to eat the entire contents of my parents house).

3) I received a £20 voucher from The Body Shop to thank me for reviewing items and such over the past few months and I think it's such a sweet gesture. I'm looking forward to spending the voucher - let me know what you would get with it?

4) I haven't managed to fully fall over in the snow yet. Lots of slipping but no full-on fall. This is a good result!

5) On a different note I was pleased to see Rage Against the Machine secure the number 1 slot but only because I feel like the X Factor formula of automatically securing a number 1 every year is getting tired and it needs to be shaken up. Please don't be offended Joe fans. I don't mean anything malacios by it. In the future I would like to see more original Christmas songs being released along the lines of The Darkness - Don't Let The Bells End and the Bo Selecta Christmas song. They were fab!

Some recently hearted pictures on my weheartit page:


Film review: New Moon

20.12.09

Well, I finally went to see it :) I waited a few weeks to let the crowds die down a bit. The only time I will sit in a packed out cinema is for Harry Potter - I love going to the midnight screenings to see that first.

New Moon didn't disappoint me. Actually it was better than I thought it would be. I'm quite late on the Twilight bandwagon; I didn't see the first film at the cinema and I'm only just reading the first book (but I love both) so I'm definitely converted! But not quite a "Twi hard" yet.

I thought that Taylor Lautner as Jacob Black, aside from the bulging muscles and that fact that he is hot, was brilliant! And I emerged from the cinema 100% Team Jacob.

I really like Kristen Stewart as Bella. I know she isn't so popular among some fans but I think she plays the part really well and I think she's really pretty too. When I'm reading the book I find it easy to picture the character as her.

I'm pretty sure most of you have been to see this by now but if you haven't I really recommend you do!

xxx

Soap & Glory hat box

18.12.09

I got my hands on one! It's the Soap & Glory hat box which was reduced from £50 to £20 today in Boots.

Here's a peek inside the box. The box itself will be perfect for storage and there's a handy drawstring bag inside. I'm going to have fun trying out these products. I've already had a go with Sexy Motherpucker lipgloss and my lips are tingling like crazy!


Soap & Glory's Big Thrill Giant Hatbox includes:
  • A limited edition Sexy Mother™ Pucker Lip Gloss 7ml
  • The Daily Smooth™ Body Butter 250ml
  • Clean On Me™ Body Wash 75ml
  • Flake Away™ Body Buff 50ml
  • Girligo™ Moisturising Mist 100ml
  • Hair Supply™ Hair Mask 50ml
  • Hand Food™ Hand Cream 50ml
  • The Greatest Scrub of All™ Facial Smoother 125ml
  • Clean Mary™ Facial Cleansing Milk 75ml
  • I-Foam™ Body Wash 200ml
  • Butter Up™ Body Butter 200ml
  • A super sized Sudsy Puff 
  • A beautiful striped drawstring bag

Did you manage to get hold of a hat box today?

Any products in there you would like me to review first?

xxx

What makes my heart happy...

16.12.09

I saw this over at http://randomnessisessential.blogspot.com/ and I wanted to share my list with everyone. Feel free to do your own list and let me know what makes you happy. (photos are from weheartit).

♥ Letting the dogs sleep on the bed and waking up to find one of them sat on my head

♥ Putting on a new outfit and feeling fantastic in it

♥ Christmas day morning

♥ Taking a long walk in the snow wrapped up warm

♥ Finding a lovely new blog and reading it from start to finish

♥ Hopping on a plane heading to a sunny destination, knowing I get 2 weeks of sunshine and fun

♥ Friday evening - the feeling of not having work for 2 whole days and making lots of lovely weekend plans

♥ Shopping

♥ Singing

♥ Talking on the phone for hours

♥ Taylor Lautner

Monday summary

14.12.09

My 5 good things this week are:

1) I'm going to see New Moon tonight and I can't wait! I'm hoping the crowds have died down and I can enjoy it in peace :)

2) I only have 6 more working days until I break up for Christmas and I get 2 weeks off. Brilliant!

3) I have fully recovered from hurting my head and my constant headache has gone.

4) I received a parcel today containing a scarf that I won in a blog contest and I love it! I'm wearing it to work and I have been complimented on it. It's lovely. I'll try and post some pictures soon.

5) I spotted my boyfriend with a very swanky designer carrier bag which I think may be my extra Christmas present. We have already picked out our presents to each other but I've got a feeling he has bought an extra special something. Roll on the 25th!

Let me know your good things in the comments box.

xxx

Share the Love: cellardoor magazine

13.12.09

I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend? I love that my weekends leading up to Christmas are filled with laziness, spending time with my family and my pooches, and trifle-practice instead of battling my way through the shops and picking out Christmas presents. I am so organised this year that everything is bought, wrapped and ready to be ripped open on Christmas day!

So.. I received an email yesterday similar to other emails that I receive. I get a lot of people asking me to talk about their blogs, or give them advice on how to make their blog successful, or asking me to talk about a brand, etc. Now I couldn't possibly do a blog post for everyone who emails me and also I only like to share things with you guys that I truly feel passionate about.

The email I received was about an online magazine called cellardoor. It is described as "a mix of fashion, music and art, alongside contributions from writers and photographers across the globe, and cute illustrations to show off our love for all the beautiful things".

The debut issue features an interview with Frassy - one of my favourite bloggers. And it is jam packed with gorgeous pictures, articles, new blogs to check out, fashion, and the handwriting featured across the magazine is so lovely!

I have had a proper look through it this morning but I haven't had chance to read it all yet, however I'm sure you guys will love it! I was really impressed with the quality and the amount of articles to read.

Want to have a look for yourself? Click here.

You can also follow their Twitter here, follow their blog here, and become a fan on Facebook here.

Let me know what you guys think. xxx

Happy anniversary - Lily loves Lola

11.12.09

As of tomorrow I have been blogging for 6 months - crikey! In a way it feels like I've been doing it forever. In a short space of time I have attended events, made friends with other bloggers, reviewed many products, shared stories of my life with you all, shared piccies of my pooches, and have really felt a part of the community that's out there.

Some of my earlier posts include my trip to London to see Britney (click here),  a few facts about me (click here) and a few shopping trips (here, here and here). You have seen my holidays snaps too! (here and here).

Thanks to the people who made me feel welcome when I was a newbie and thanks to all the other gorgeous ladies who have commented and contacted me over the months.

I hope you continue to enjoy reading what I've got to say!

Lots of love,

xxx

Barbie range for New Look - part 1

9.12.09

I was sent some products to test/review/share with you guys and the products in question are from the Barbie for New Look range.  

For Barbie's 50th anniversary, New Look and Mattel have joined forces to produce a range of beauty products to be sold exclusively at New Look. With a full range of makeup including lip glosses, mascaras, blushers and even those 'must haves' of the moment false eyelashes, as well as makeup brush sets, manicure sets and makeup bags. To make sure you are fully 'Barbied up' there is a selection of cute underwear sets, Pyjamas, slippers, t shirts and a cool Barbie watch.


I love Barbie and I love makeup so I was more than happy to be sent some things to have a look at. The first couple of things I've tried out are the Rosy Glow Blusher and the French Manicure set. I've added some pictures below so that you can have a good look at the packaging and the quality of the items.


I love the packaging for the blusher and I love the subtle colour it gives. At £4 this is a complete bargain as it's such a pretty item and any Barbie fan would love to have this! A great little stocking filler for Christmas.


The nail polishes are FAB! I had lots of fun playing around with these. The set of 3 costs £5 which again is a good price, and the set creates a french manicure with a sparkly top coat which is what I created below (click on the pictures to enlarge them for a closer look).


Once I'd got over the shock of my neat white tips I really loved the look and again, I think this set would make a lovely gift for someone.

I didn't want to overwhelm you with reviews so I'll talk about the other items another time. If you like the look of anything above the products are available in stores and online now! Any questions, ask me in the comments box.


xxx

Reviews: Lush products

8.12.09

Recently I have tried out a few Lush products that were completely new to me and I wanted to share my thoughts with you.

Amandopondo bubble bar - scented with rose and lemon. "Each little cream pillow of this bubble bar has a rosebud on top to symbolise an appeal for forgiveness. Present one to anyone whom you own an apology; once they have bathed in its fragrant, rose-scented foam to soothe resentment, lemon to clear the mind and orange to lift the spirits, all should be forgiven".

I love the concept of this bubble bar and it really delivers on quality. The bubbles I got from this were unreal and it left my skin feeling so so soft and smelling really clean and fresh.

A great present for someone - especially if you forgot their birthday :) I would definitely repurchase one of these for myself.

The Olive Branch shower gel - contains organic olive oil, an infusion of vine leaves, sea salt and the fresh juice of mandarins. "If your body is beaten by the rigours of the rat race, accept an olive branch".

I really like this shower gel. It smells lovely, really warm and musky. It reminds me of the shower gels from Molton Brown. This would be great for a male or a female as the smell is unisex, in my opinion. It lathers up really well and leaves a lovely scent behind. Really impressed! I love Snow Fairy but this is like the total opposite and I think I prefer it! Sometimes first thing on a morning a bubblegum-y cotton candy smell is too much.

Catastrophe Cosmetic face mask - contains fresh blueberries, chamomile, Irish moss, almond oil and calamine lotion which gently cleanses to "save your skin".

This leaves my skin feeling very clean and smooth. No irritation at all. My skin is looking a lot healthier lately but I can't put that solely down to using this. I've changed my diet, my exercise routine and have been less stressed which have all helped! But I do love these face masks. For me it's a real treat to slap one on and relax in my pjs while it does its work!


What have you tried from Lush lately? xxx

Monday summary

7.12.09

My weekly Monday summary is a bit late this week. On Saturday evening I hit my head really hard and the next morning I was woken up with the urge to be sick - not nice! Things only got worse and I developed the WORST pulsing pain in my head, cold sweats, sensitivity to the light and I was sick constantly for hours and hours.

Off I trundled to A&E thinking they would do some basic tests and send me on my way, but they wanted to keep me in overnight. I had to be woken every 2 hours to check I was ok and to have my blood pressure and temperature checked.

I was just about to be sent for a scan this afternoon when the head doctor decided I would be ok and sent me home, but warned me I will have a sore head for a week or so.

I'm finding it tricky to think of 5 good things at the moment to be honest, BUT I can't let you guys down and let the negativity get in the way so here we go!

1) I'm still keeping up to my exercise plan and feeling motivated to get fitter. I feel a lot better already! - well apart from the sore head.

2) Christmas is coming - I can't wait! I have got all my presents bought and wrapped and all that is left now is to practice my trifle making! :)


3) My hair has grown soo much - I'm well on my way to target! I'm going to do a hair history post at some point. I love reading those posts and I have changed my hair more times than anyone I know - it has literally been every colour and style under the sun!

4) My Sister is in New York as we speak and I'm very excited to see what my Christmas present is!

5) It's nearly 2010 so I can start planning my holiday for next year. Planning holidays is my ultimate favourite thing to do! Do you guys have any holidays booked?

Orlando - my favourite place in the whole world!

Don't forget to check my last post to see if you were a winner on my contest!

Lots of love.xxx

Anatomicals contest winners!

Congratulations to:

Nikki

Lauren Rhiannon

Katy Wilko

Juicygirl

Daisychain

Please email your name, address & blog name to pinkbubbles123@yahoo.co.uk

xxx

My new blog header

5.12.09

A huge thanks to Lil for being so kind and a complete doll and designing my new blog header - let me know what you guys think! I love it :)

Lil kindly offered to draw a sketch for me and I gave her a rough idea of what I wanted; something simple that incorporated the Pugs and me. My old header used to annoy me because, even though I really liked the design, the colours and the style didn't match the background - and it used to niggle at me everytime I saw it.


Once Lil had sent me the image, Photoshop was used to sharpen the colour of the lettering to ensure it stood out.


Then finally a background colour was added and the picture was resized to fit into the template for the header, and voila!


I hope you guys like it - I think it looks great! And she has really captured the likeness of Lola (on the left) and Lily (on the right). It looks just like them!

xxx

Review: BIC leg & foot pamper kit

4.12.09

First things first, I was kindly sent this kit for free for reviewing purposes but I tested everything out keeping my impartial head on at all times.
.
This kit, exclusively for bloggers, is great for the party season especially if you've got the pins to brave no tights with your LBD! The kit contains Soleil Lady Gel, Soliel Scent razors, and a pedicure kit from E.l.f (eyes lips face) which includes a french manicure polish set. All of these things come in a handy pouch.
.

I'm normally a cheap disposable razor kinda girl so I jumped at the chance to try out something new. I'm normally such a cheapskate and always thought buying special razors and shaving gel was a waste of money as shower gel has always done the job. But I was wrong!

The razors left me nick and bump free for the first time ever, and the shaving gel left my legs feeling ultra smooth. The lavender scented handles on the razors are meant to provide a relaxing scent to make the experience more luxurious! Very fancy :)

These products can be purchased seperately; Soliel Scent is available at Superdrug and Wilkinsons and Soleil Gel is available at Superdrug and Boots. The E.l.f website is www.eyeslipsface.co.uk. xxx

Christmas shopping & tea for 2..

3.12.09

This afternoon I went Christmas shopping and then out for some tea with the BF. I wore a white Zara vest with a Topshop tunic over the top. The leggings are from Zara and so is the cardigan. I wore my trusty Uggs and my favourite hat which is from River Island.

I stepped outside then swiftly stepped back inside to add a coat and mittens - it's fair to say it was freezing in Leeds today!

I'm quite proud of myself that I ate out but managed to keep it relatively healthy - it was all unintentionally vegetarian and I just had the one glass of wine. Lovely!

I'm currently sat in my pjs watching Bones, about to launch into an intense present wrapping session!

It's nearly the weekend guys! Hope you're as excited as I am :)

xxx