Thursday, 31 January 2013

Getting to know me!

Everyone likes to be a little bit nosy don't they?! I am loving watching blogger's '50 random facts about me' tag videos around YouTube at the moment and after I was very kindly awarded the Leibster award for my blog from the lovely Rebecca over at Rose Paddle I had an idea to write a little factsy (that definitely isn't a word) post for you today. I'll start with the 11 questions Rebecca has set and then tell you a further 11 facts!

Rebecca's Questions

1. What is your favourite thing about yourself? This is a really hard question I'm definitely not the type of person that has a long list of things they love about themselves! I would say that I'm happy that I am a positive person and if someone is in trouble or down or in need of cheering up I will do everything I can to make that person smile again.

2. What is your favourite thing about blogging? Not only are the products that bloggers can introduce you to that you would never thought of trying before being such a bonus of blogging but the friendliness of the blogging community is without a doubt my highlight of blogging.

3. What is your current hair care routine? Considering I have long and (at times annoyingly) thick hair my hair care routine isn't particularly lengthy...I wash it every other day and use Pantene Pro V's 'Repair and Protect' shampoo and conditioner and on alternate washes I switch the conditioner for Aussie's '3 Minute Miracle Luscious Long Treatment' which is so nourishing for my hair. Before I dry it I always spritz on a heat protector and I'm using Tresemme's at the moment. If I'm going anywhere fancy or I've styled my hair I finish it with Mark Hill's 'Bedazzled Anti-Humidity Shine Spray' which is basically a de-frizzer and a hair-spray. 

4. If someone was to make a film of your life, who would play you? Another really hard question! I don't know if a film about my life would be very interesting...but if Hollywood insisted (haha) I would suggest Emma Stone because she is pretty cool.

5. Who would play your love interest? As my boyfriend has a massive man-crush on Ryan Gosling I think it would have to be him plus Ryan and Emma have amazing on screen chemistry so that is a bonus!

6. What is the last book you read? 'The man who forgot his wife' by John O' Farrell- it was a really good read and the title is pretty self-explanatory of what happens. I really recommend it.

7. If you could meet anyone still living who would it be and why? This might seem a bit of an odd answer but I'd really like to meet Mary Beard, she is a classicist from Cambridge and seriously knows her stuff. I sent her a tweet the other day asking where she would recommend in Rome for me to visit AND SHE REPLIED!! 

8. What is your favourite season? Although I love the cosyness of winter and Christmas I love the summertime more, it just makes everyone happier and it's so nice to be able to go to places without having to bring a coat, umbrella, sensible shoes etc etc! As I don't live far from the beach back home either I love nothing more than a good day at the beach.

9. Where was your favourite holiday destination? A place called Champery in Switzerland- it is an absolutely stunning place set in the mountains of the Swiss alps about 45 minutes up from Lake Geneva (another gorgeous place) and it was where my great-grandparents met. We went there for my Grandpa's 80th birthday in 2006 and again in 2010. It is such a special place to my family and I think we will always keep returning there. 

10. What would be your dream job? Having a full-time job of testing and trying out new beauty products and seeing new trends so I guess working for a magazine would be where I could do that.

11. What time did you wake up this morning? I was a bit lazy and allowed myself to sleep in 'til 10 as I'm recovering from a cold. 

My Random 11 Facts
1. When I was about 7 or 8 I had been given a little nail varnish set for a birthday (god knows why someone thought I needed nail varnish at that age) and I decided a much more exciting use for the glittery red nail varnish would be to paint my EYEBROWS....I still don't know why I did it and I can still picture my parents' horrified faces when I showed them (explains why I have pretty thin eyebrows now).

2. I was so clumsy when I was younger- I cracked my chin open on the bathroom sink, I fell into a rose bush, fell over practically every week, cut my chin on the ski trip, cut both knees open at separate times and have some lovely scars.

3. If I was a boy my parents would have called me Christopher.

4. Despite living in the countryside I don't own a tractor/farm/cow/sheep or any other typical farm object!

5. Before my sister was born I was the only person convinced she was going to be a girl, everyone else thought she was going to be a boy and were worried about breaking the news to me (apparently I'd said I was only interested if it was a girl...I was 4 so guess I'm excused for being so brattish).

6+ 7. I actually started off studying Business Administration at Uni but changed to Classics after 3 weeks! It was also through starting Business that I met my boyfriend as we were in a seminar together, then a few weeks later he was at my friends' birthday and we got talking about my disappearing act from the course and the rest is history....

8. When I Skype home I always ask to see the pets too.

9. My 'signature' dish is a spinach and smoked salmon quiche.

10. I am quite a clean-freak and can't leave washing-up, I have to do it after I've eaten. 

11. I much prefer main-courses to desserts...(which I know is practically unheard of amongst women :s)

So there you have it! 
Now I tag ANY of you reading this that want to have a go yourselves on your own blog


Friday, 25 January 2013

"When the chips are down I'll be around"

Cardigan: Urban Outfitters
Dress and necklace: H+M
Boots: Next
Leggings: Topshop

This is my outfit for today for just doing some jobs around the house and doing uni work. I snapped the cardigan up in Urban Outfitter's sale at the beginning of the month and have practically lived in it since- it's so cosy! I bought the dress in an H+M when I went to Paris about 5 years ago and it still fits (a little on the short side though hence the leggings).

I've had a good week, I booked the flights to Rome with my friends and we are going in less than two weeks. As classics students we thought it was high time we went- so excited! I also bought this necklace from H+M, it's very different to what I usually go for but I thought I needed a statement necklace in my life and hopefully I don't look like Rachel the wannabe gangster :s

Those looking for a new blog to read check out my lovely friend Mel's over at her blog. She's been an avid fan of the blogging world for a while and I persuaded her to start her own.


Sunday, 20 January 2013

Battle of the Hot Cloth Cleansers: Liz Earle vs. Soap & Glory

After hearing so much praise for hot cloth cleansers at the end of last year I decided to give them a whirl myself. I started off with Soap & Glory's offering: 'The Fab Pore Hot Cloth Cleanser' which promises to "cleanse, smooth and melt away make-up" and boasts having panthenol (no, I don't know what that is either...), sweet almond and orange and lavender oils in it's ingredients. It came with a muslin cloth too. 

However, after using it for about three or four days I started to notice how dry my cheeks were looking and found that I was still having to remove my eye make-up separately after using the cleanser as it was too strong on my eyes. NOT things I was looking for in a supposed 'holy grail' of beauty. I do have quite sensitive skin BUT not to the extent that I expect products to literally remove that top layer of skin!

So the next weekend when I found myself in John Lewis I bought Liz Earle's 'Cleanse and Polish: Hot Cloth Cleanser' which like Soap & Glory's one contained natural ingredients such as: rosemary, chamomile, cocoa butter and eucalyptus oil. I was overwhelmed by how much more gentle the scent of the Liz Earle one was compared to the very perfumed Soap & Glory product. I know Soap & Glory are famous for their great smelling products but the one for the hot cloth cleanser just seemed a little too over-powering.

Here is both products swatched on my hand:

Don't they look really similar in appearance! Soap & Glory's has somewhat more of a 'sheen' than Liz Earle's. So then I trialed Liz Earle's for a week and I was overwhelmed by the fact that: 1) ALL of my make-up including mascara came off, 2) It wasn't too harsh on my eyes, 3) My skin didn't go too dry and 4) Just how smooth my skin felt after use.

So this is my final opinion of the products before revealing the winner (in my opinion!)

Soap & Glory
1) Scent: 7
2) Make-up removing ability: 6
3) Gentleness on skin: 4
4) Packaging: 7
5) Price: 8
6) Overall score: 6

Liz Earle
1) Scent: 9
2) Make-up removing ability: 10
3) Gentleness on skin: 9
4) Packaging: 9
5) Price: 7
6) Overall score: 9

Liz Earle is the overall winner for me due to the product being more gentle yet arguably more effective on my skin which is what I was looking for in a hot cloth cleanser. But if you have more resilient skin than me and like your products really perfumed then Soap & Glory's might be perfect for you!

Do you use either of these products? Or do you have another favourite hot cloth cleanser?


Wednesday, 16 January 2013


Source: here

I've really wanted to write this post for a while but haven't been too sure how it would be received as it is quite a bit different to my normal topics but anyway I really wanted to share it with you all. For Christmas I was given an amazing book written by Katie Piper  called 'Start your day with Katie: 365 affirmations for a year of positive thinking'. I'm sure you are all familiar with Katie and she is such an inspiring person (for those of you who don't know Katie and her story you can watch her talk about her journey here). The book has a quote or thought for every single day of the year to help you think positively. For example today (the 16th January) the thought of the day is a quote from Marie Curie: "Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood" which I think is really lovely. 

I know some days I am definitely in need of a positive thought to help me feel better about myself and this definitely helps you get into the habit of thinking about things with a 'go get 'em' attitude. Now I try to approach situations and even people I am slightly unsure about with a positive angle. 

This is a truly lovely book and I really recommend it if sometimes you are in need of a little pick me up of positivity and from who better than such an inspirational woman! 

Things I do to make myself more positive:
  • Scroll through Pinterest for the gorgeous photography, outfits, ideas etc.
  • Watch Kittencam (live kittens on a webcam- I defy anyone to not feel better after watching these balls of cuteness!).
  • Do some baking.
  • Call/arrange to meet up with a friend and have a long catch up.
  • If I see a friend and I like what they are wearing I actually tell them- everyone loves a compliment!
What things to you do to make yourself more positive?

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Afternoon tea at The Ritz

I was extremely lucky to be treated to an amazing experience of afternoon tea at The Ritz by my boyfriend for my Christmas present. Due to the popularity of its famous tea and cakes the waiting list went on until early January so yesterday we spent our afternoon being treated like royalty and eating delicious sandwiches, pastries and scones.

With a strict smart dress code I wore this dress with a cardigan for added warmth and Reiss wore a shirt, tie and suit. I had hoped to wear heels but I knew walking around London beforehand it wouldn't have been a good idea! 

The Ritz say that they do permit photography but they ask for it to be discreet so I didn't get too many pictures but here are some that I managed to get:

Me at the entrance to the 'Palm Court' which is where the afternoon tea is held. 
Our table with our stand of sandwiches (which were constantly being replenished by the lovely waiters) and cakes. The scones are out of shot.

We had a lovely time and agreed it was such an amazing experience and one we certainly won't be forgetting for a while. It was our two year anniversary together at the weekend as well so there was plenty to celebrate! The service was absolutely incredible- you were made to feel special but not out of place and they were attentive without being interfering. This is the website incase you fancy having a look (or are curious to book it yourself!) here

Where have you had an amazing experience of afternoon tea?