Friday, 29 June 2012

Exercise and diet... and going, and going...

Confession time; I was supposed to go to the gym tonight, but I got home from work and made the fatal mistake of sitting down.  Realistically there was no way I was getting up to get ready for the gym after that!

I do feel kind of guilty, particularly since my lovely fiance bought me some new Nikes to wear for training.  I mean look at them, they're so shiny and just begging to be tested out on the treadmill...

Nike Trainers
I figure sometimes you need to have a break though, and I feel like I've been consistent enough with my diet and exercise this week to give myself that tonight.  There's still tomorrow and Sunday before my next weigh in after all, and I've got myself a weekend of healthy food and exercise planned.  As always, here's hoping it pays off.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Favourite Blushers

My favourite blusher for a long time was MAC's Peachykeen, and while it's still one I reach for regularly, I have a whole new set of favourites that have made it into my everyday makeup bag...

Favourite Blushers

Bobbi Brown Blush in Apricot
Bobbi Brown Blusher in Apricot
The perfect matte coral pink shade for my skin tone.  It's really pigmented so can be used for a bold blusher look, but applied lightly and blended out gives a lovely natural looking flush.  This was one was a regular feature in my makeup bag for a long time; I'm not really sure why I stopped using it so much, but it's made it's way back again now!

MAC Cosmetics Powder Blush in Springsheen
MAC Cosmetics Powder Blush in Springsheen
This is by far my most reached for blusher for during the day when I'm at work.  It's a Sheertone so as the name suggests is pretty light in colour pay off.  It can be built up though, and I'm pretty close to addicted to it's lovely peachy tone and gold shimmer.

Sleek Blush By 3 Palette in Lace
Sleek Blush By 3 Palette in Lace
I can't believe it took me so long to buy these blushers!  I'd heard about them from a few different blogs and Youtube channels but was still really pleasantly surprised by how pretty and pigmented the shades are.  The palette contains 2 matte shades and 1 shimmer and they're really generously sized.  If I had to pick an absolute favourite I'd probably go for the bright coral pink (which I think is called Chantilly) but I'm pretty happy sweeping any of these across my cheekbones on any given day.

In the past six months or so I seem to have developed a bit of a thing for blushers, and I've got a steadily growing list of shades I want to get my hands on from Nars, MAC and Illamasqua.  I can't to start trying some of them!

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Favourite Reads - Women of the Otherworld

I love, love, love reading fiction with a fantasy/supernatural vibe.  It's a genre I've been into since I first saw Buffy on TV many many moons ago and subsequently found a wealth of fantasy and supernatural reads in the local book shop.  Don't get me wrong, my Kindle and bookshelves are packed full of a mix of genres, but when I'm craving a good hit of escapism I always reach for something in and around the supernatural, and quite often urban fantasy.

I think this genre draws me especially because it has so many interesting characters and creatures, but it's still based in a world we can identify with, that feels gritty and real.  One of my favourite series of books from this genre in recent years is the Women of the Otherworld, written by Kelley Armstrong.

The series starts with a book called Bitten; it's difficult to describe without giving away too many spoilers, but in essence, the book tells the tale of Elena, the world's only female werewolf.  She's a strong, modern woman trying to live her own life, but there are parts of her nature and her life with her pack that she just can't seem to leave behind.  I enjoyed this book immensely, it's really well paced, and the characters from Elena to her pack leader are nicely developed.  It was an easy decision to buy the next few books in the series once I'd nearly finished this one.

Each subsequent book introduces new, strong, female characters, including witches, demons, and ghosts, and it's interesting to see how their lives start to interconnect with Elena's as the series develops.  I'd definitely recommend these books to anyone who's enjoyed the Morganville books, Twilight or the Mercy Thompson series, but be warned they're definitely not YA books.  I'll definitely keep reading the series anyway.

What are your favourite fantasy or supernatural books?

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Beauty Haul

Compared to my last beauty haul I think this one is very frugal!

It's safe to say I've been getting into using Lush cosmetics recently; I've seen a few hauls by beauty bloggers in the past couple of weeks that piqued my interest but also, importantly for me, I'm falling increasingly in love with more natural beauty products.  I just figure if something is made to sink into my skin, then it should be as chemical free as I can find, while still being a good product, and I think Lush offer just that with a lot of their range.  Here are the goodies I bought to try in June anyway, with a couple of random, but beautiful, extras...

Lush Full of Grace Serum Bar, Catastrophe Cosmetic Fresh Face Mask, Mint Julips Lip Scrub, Essie Nail Polish in Mint Candy Apple Lush Full of Grace Serum Bar - The smell of this serum is sooo good, all nutty and buttery with a hint of rose.  Because it melts at body temperature, it's surprisingly easy to smooth all over your skin.  So far I've been using it a few times a week as a night cream and find that when I wake up in the morning my face feels beautifully soft.  I'm excited to see what the benefits will be longer term with this one.

Lush Catastrophe Cosmetic Fresh Face Mask - I've been trying a few of Lush's face masks recently and this is definitely one of my favourites.  It's their deep cleansing mask, but unlike others I've tried, it doesn't feel like it's stripping my skin and making it sore.  I think that's something to do with the almond oil and calamime keeping my skin soft and moisturised.  Oh and of course like many Lush products the smell is divine, like a blueberry yogurt smoothie. Yum!

Lush Mint Julips Lip Scrub - anyone who loves bright or matte lipsticks knows that on occasion a lip scrub is essential.  Normally I'm quite happy to use an old toothbrush but I spotted this at the till in Lush and decided to give it a go.  I'm really glad I did actually, the base of this scrub is sugar and jojoba oil so it really gently exfoliates but leaves your lips feeling moisturised.  And it's flavoured too, with chocolate, vanilla and peppermint.  Delicious.

Essie Nail Polish in Mint Candy Apple - the obvious non-Lush item in this shot, I've been addicted to this polish in the last couple of weeks.  It's a beautiful pale mint green colour and the wide brush on the Essie polishes from Boots makes them super easy to apply.  I can't imagine I'll be getting tired of this polish any time soon.

Lush Eau Roma Water, Lush Vanilla Puff Dusting Powder, No7 Beautiful Skin BB Cream
Lush Eau Roma Water - I have a slight addiction to toning waters and this little beauty has quickly become one of my favourites.  It's so light and soothing because of the lavender and rose water that go into it and I use it several times a day, after I've cleansed or just at times when I need a little refreshing pick-me-up during the long days at work.  I've got pretty normal skin but am prone to occasional redness and find that using Eau Roma Water has a lovely calming effect on my skin.

Lush Vanilla Puff Dusting Powder - Vanilla is one of my absolute favourite scents (and flavours) so when I saw the lovely Estée (essiebutton on Youtube) talk about this dusting powder in one of her videos recently I did make a pretty swift dash out to buy it the next day.  It didn't let me down either, the vanilla fragrance is lovely and rich, without being overpowering, and the product is pretty good too.  I like to give myself a good covering with this powder after I've had a bath on a night and it just leaves my skin feeling really silky smooth and beautifully scented.  I'll definitely be repurchasing when I run out. 

No7 Beautiful Skin BB Cream - Non Lush item number 2!  I've been pretty sceptical about trying any of the BB creams that are swamping the market at the moment, because I'd heard from a lot of places that they're pretty much just tinted moisturisers.  I can't say I feel that this one from No7 is any different to those descriptions but that being said I do like it.  It's been nice to wear on days when the weather's felt a bit oppressive and I don't want too much on my skin, it just gives nice light coverage while enhancing my natural skin tone.  I'm not sure yet if it's something I'd buy again, but I'll keep testing it and playing with it.

Well that is it for my haul this time round.  There were a lot more products that I wanted to buy this month but I did my best to restrain myself.  I've got so many products to use up already, and of course I can always buy and test in the future and feature in an upcoming haul!

Monday, 25 June 2012

Accessories Haul

After my last haul I told myself (like I always do) that I wasn't going to do any spending, but when Urban Outfitters opened in York this month and then had a sale, I thought to myself it'd be rude not to buy a little something.  Wouldn't it?  And as for the other goodies from elsewhere, well, a girl's got to try and look her best...

Turquoise Skull Bracelet (Urban Outfitters) - I love this bracelet so much, and it incorporates two of my favourite things, skulls and bright colour.  It looks really nice on its own or layered up with other bracelets for an arm candy look.

Skull Necklace (Urban Outfitters) - The best thing about this short necklace is how delicate and feminine it looks from a distance, and how it shocks more conservative types when they get up close and see it ;-)

Hamsa Hand Necklace and Crescent Moon Necklace (Urban Outfitters) - These are two quite long necklaces, they look great with casual tees at a weekend and I love them layered up together with the little skull necklace.

Loungefly Earrings ( - These were such a bargain, 6 pairs of earrings for £10!  I'm totally in love, particularly with the sugar skulls and stripy hearts.

Owl Ring ( - I'm not normally much of a wearer of rings, except my engagement ring, but I just loved this little guy and his sparkly blue eyes.

Hamsa Hand Earrings (Urban Outfitters) - Well, I just couldn't say no when I saw these, they're so little and cute and were only £6

Peace Vest (Ark Sale Store, York) - I've been pretty good at resisting the urge to buy clothes this month but I would have kicked myself if I'd have let this one go.  It's got that perfect balance of baggy but flattering, has drop armholes and just feels so perfect for summer (if summer ever turns up, that is).

My purchases this month have pleased me so much, but always I've got in the back of my mind that I need to hurry up and get to my goal so I can buy lots of clothes.  And in the meantime, if I get depressed about not being there yet, I go and get myself some skincare and pampering goodies.  That haul is coming very soon... 

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Exercise and diet.... still going...

I've really got into Weight Watchers over the past few weeks and I'm so pleased to have dropped half a stone so far! 

It's been surprisingly easy to fit counting Pro Points into my everyday life again.  I tend to carry around the cute little journal with me so I can write down the Pro Points of everything I've eaten.  Since everything I do at work or at home tends to revolve around technology, phones, laptops/PCs or even my kindle, I enjoy taking a few moments to get away from all of that to make sure my journal is up to date.  I do find some of the Weight Watchers online tools useful too, but for the most part I stick with my little book.

Up until this week the exercise side of healthy lifestyle plan wasn't going quite so well as the changes to my diet.  Although I'd still been cycling everywhere, I hadn't been to the gym in more than a fortnight and couldn't seem to get the energy up to go, and it was hurting like hell when I did go.  Finally this week I made an appointment with a trainer to get my plan looked at again.  As it turned out, the one I was on had been made a little too advanced for me (hence the pain) and I got yet another new plan written.  Already I can feel the difference; my new workout is less than an hour long but is really targeted, and I feel like it's doing me some good.

Whatever hiccups happen in the short-term, it's not a quick-fix I'm after with this healthy lifestyle plan of mine, but if I keep my goals in mind I'm sure I'll get to where I want to be.

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