So last weekend me and Sean were bored. Like really, really bored. The weather was shit and as always money was a little bit on the tight side but we wanted to get out of the house and do something fun. Sean jokingly suggested that we go skiing. Assuming that he meant we should jet off to the French Alps or somewhere else just as luxurious I came up with the next best thing, Tamworth Snowdome.
I'd visited the Snowdome plenty of times before but I hadn't been for years. After checking the activity prices and times we were soon booked in for a 2 hour Ice Skating session and a half hour Tobogganing session the following evening. Both activities were priced at £8.75 per person which didn't break the bank too much.
We arrived the next day in our cosiest clothes ready for a bit of fun in the cold. After popping our boots on were were soon ready to skate and even though it was Sean's first time on the ice and I was a bit wobbly myself, it didn't take too long for us to get the hang of it. Before we knew it we were whizzing around the track and despite a couple of slips I think we did pretty well. I wasn't sure if two hours would be enough time to get on our feet and actually enjoy the experience but I don't think you'd really want anymore than that.
We had around an hours break before our highly anticipated tobogganing session so we grabbed our packed lunch and a little hot chocolate each from the on site Starbucks.
After our short but well deserved rest we headed down to the slope for the main event of the day. The slope is much bigger than it looks at first as it curves round slightly at the top. Although I'm sure this was a space saving idea it makes for a much more fun run. In our half an hour session me and Sean probably got around 6 or 7 runs each and only crashed into each other once, which I didn't think was too bad. Although I can't say we're expects I think we got the hang of this pretty quickly too and I know we will be back again soon to master it!
I absolutely loved our time at The Snowdome and if it wasn't so far away I honestly think we'd go every weekend as it really is the perfect place to spend a rainy day. We want to try out snowboarding lessons at some point so maybe I'll review them next time!
Have you been to the Snowdome?
Lately I've been in a funny place with my blog. Don't get me wrong, I still love it, but I can feel the passion I once had slowly fading. Blogging has changed a lot over the last few years and while I probably missed the golden years of the early 2010's I can still feel the difference.
I started my blog in mid 2013; I was getting ready to leave college and honestly I was terrified of starting a boring job and not having anything creative to do. I've always been a bit artsy and photography had always been a big thing for me too, so to leave all of that behind to work full time was such a shock. I needed a creative outlet, something of my own to put my time and passion into but now I'm not so sure what I'm doing anymore.
I loved posting hauls, telling you all about my holidays and maybe snapping the occasional outfit photo and while I still post those kinds of things I feel my little corner of the internet and blogs in general is changing rapidly. Bloggers are making magazine quality content now, with photographs you'd mistake for something out of Vogue. Their posts are written in such a professional way and I can't help but wonder what happened to diary style blog posts? Where did all the basic bloggers go? Don't get me wrong I love looking at content I know someone has spent hours on but sometimes I just want to see something a bit more raw.
Daily vlogs are probably one of my favourite things right now. Youtubers like Helen Anderson record every aspect of their lives, the ups, the downs and even the arguments. Thats what blogging was about, sharing you life with the world. I still love the blogging community and I've never had any negativity shown towards me or my blog but I can feel it getting a bit more catty. Bloggers are changing from friends to competitors. Now that money is involved, and its not pennies either, bloggers seem to be climbing over each for opportunities and jealousy is rife.
I'm still a small blogger, I'm probably not known enough to warrant nasty comments about my content but it does make me wonder what could happen if I do get a bit more popular. I'm quite sensitive about this site, I put so much effort into it and I'm not sure I could take negative comments. Would it make me quit? Most of my friends don't even know I blog.
I've noticed a lot of really unnecessary comments on Gracie Francessas videos lately, granted a lot of that has come from Youtube users and not other bloggers, but it could make her lose sponsors. She even commented in a recent vlog about how worried she was that so many people reacted negatively to a sponsored video she put out and it made her concerned that she would no longer be given paid work from that brand. That's her bread and butter, she needs to do sponsored work so she can make the content that people originally followed her for. When did it become okay to be so horrible about peoples work, sponsored or not?
This year I was also given my first ever press pass for The Clothes Show. I was over the moon. I'd been going for the past couple of years and now to actually be invited as a blogger was just incredible to me, and all of this was just after my weekend in London at The Vuelio Blog Awards. I was on a high, my blog was taking me so far and I can't even explain how happy it was making me. The day was quite nice, I handed out a few business cards and chatted to a few other bloggers but honestly I left incredibly disheartened.
I didn't look like the other bloggers, I was fatter than most of them, I didn't have half the followers, I hardly had an Instagram theme and my blog didn't look as professional as theirs. My confidence was knocked like it never has been before and I just didn't feel good enough. I know you shouldn't compare yourself to others but its just so easy. When everyone else looks like they've got it all together and you can barley find time to slap up a blog post how do you go on?
My blogging mojo has been wobbly at best lately. I'd never publish anything I didn't love 100% and this has left me with pretty basic content recently. I really enjoy writing product reviews and my latest OOTD post was my favourite yet but I still feel like there's something missing. I wan't to write more honest raw posts like this, I wan't to talk about things that are important to me, not just makeup and clothes. I wan't to express my opinions on Brexit, health, sex, politics, feminism and anything else that I feel passionate about.
If I died tomorrow I wouldn't want my legacy to be Asos Hauls and Eye Shadow Palettes. I want to make a difference. I want my blog to be positive, make others feel good and talk about the important things.
I know this has been a bit of a ramble and if you got this far well done but I just needed to get this all out. Lets take blogging back to its roots and write for ourselves again.
Thanks for reading
You might remember a few weeks back I reviewed a pretty pricey Benefit eye shadow primer and I was less than impressed. When I fork out £30+ on an eye shadow palette I don't want that pigment to budge all day so I need a half decent primer. As I didn't have much luck with my previous one I thought it might be nice to try one on the other end of the scale.
I've been using this Collection Primed & Ready Eye Shadow Primer for a couple of months now, enough time to give it a proper review. This product comes in at £4.99 which is really quite cheap for a product that should keep my eye shadow fresh for hours. I've used Collection for years now and even though its incredibly affordable, I've always got on really well with their products so I had high hopes for this too.
The formula is really silky and dries on my eyelids quite quickly, leaving them smooth and ready for the eye shadow to be applied. Unlike a lot of other eye primers this one isn't tinted so it wont give your eyelids an even tone or cover up any little veins, it does however have a very faint shimmer which leaves a subtle glow once applied. I find the formula to be quite soothing and some days I use even if I know I wont be wearing eye shadow just because I like the feel of it on my skin.
So does it actually make my eyeshadow last any longer? Yes. Well yes if I'm using sparkly eye shadow. If I'm using shimmery eyeshadow this product is perfect. It applies really smoothly and keeps my makeup looking fresh for hours without it creasing. If I'm using a matte eyeshadow however the story is a little different. Although it does stop it from smudging it doesn't stop it from looking a little tired after a few hours and I've also noticed after a long day of wearing matte eyeshadow it tends to gather along the crease of my eyelids.
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So would I repurchase? Yes I probably would, but I am still on the hunt for a decent primer that works for all types of eye shadows. Even though this works well for shimmery eye shadows I've been tending to wear a lot of dusty pink mattes lately and I wan't them to look fresh all day too. Overall this product is just okay and if you're on a budget £5 for a primer isn't bad at all.
Do you have a favourite eye shadow primer? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading
I'm lazy, it's a fact. It's not something I'm proud of but it does mean I try to find ways to make my everyday life easier. Beings as I spend a hell of a lot of time blogging I thought I would share my blogging hacks for lazy girls like me!
1. Keep photos - You never know when you might need a photo of a lipstick or a beautiful holiday shot. I never delete old blogging photographs as they might come in handy for a post later down the line!
2. Write titles and save them - I'll usually have an idea pop into my head and I cba to write about it then and there, so I just write down a rough title. I'll more than likely come back to write it later and this way I won't forget it.
3. Keep a blogging notebook - If you don't have access to your computer write your ideas down in a notebook or in your phone. I've covered this before but its important to remember your little bursts of inspiration.
4. Use your phone camera - Can't be bothered to get your good gear out or are you on the go? Just use your phone camera. The quality will probably be good enough and you won't be wasting time or missing out cause you're playing around with camera settings!
5. Make wishlists using specialised programs - I love making wishlists but sometimes it can get a bit tedious. Lately I've been using a program called Shop Style Collective. Not only does it let me put together really easy wishlists, it also tells me when a product is out of stock and lets me easily swap that product up for something similar!
6. List posts - Running short on blogging ideas? Write a list post...
7. Nail Polish Wheels - Want to review a new nail varnish but can't be arsed to paint your nails? Just paint these handy little things and everyone will think you are sooo professional.
8. Use RT Twitter Accounts - If you don't have time or a huge twitter following find some blogger retweet accounts to help share your tweets. Accounts such as @BloggersInTheUK, @FemaleBloggerRT or @BloggerBees will retweet your blogging tweets to their followers so you can easily get more traffic to your blog.
9. Buy Pretty Bedsheets - I can rarely be bothered to set up a nice background to take product photos on, I do however have a gorgeous selection of bedsheets. I simply place said product on top of my pretty bedsheets and it looks like I purposely chose a gorgeous floral background, or at least I think it does!
So those are my tips for lazy/ short of time bloggers. I hope these help all you lazy girlies out a little bit. If you have any hacks I'd love to hear them too!
Thanks for reading!
So I wasn't really sure what to write today. I didn't know whether to do a 2016 round up or talk about things I'm looking forward to in 2017 but its the start of a new year and I wanted to write something so I thought I'd do a bit of both. 2016 wasn't all that bad for me but it wasn't amazing either so I am excited to start a fresh new year. I hope you enjoy some photos from our NYE last night. We had a lovely meal, a couple of cocktails and we were snuggled up in bed by half one.
My blog has taken me on some adventures this year. Although I struggled to keep up with writing posts at the start of the year, by summer I was lucky enough to be given my first sponsored blog post. I created the whole thing myself and I was really proud of it.
I was also invited to the Vuelio Blog Awards in November which was just the most amazing experience and I really hope I manage to bag a ticket next year too! You might have also seen if you follow me on social media that I was given a press pass for the Clothes Show which has been my dream since I started going a few years ago.
I finished my first year of university in 2016 and if you've read my 'Things I Wish I Knew Before Going To Uni' post, you'll know it wasn't that great. Between teachers leaving and my motivation being all over the place I just about got through the year, but I did finish it and I started my second year this September. The teaching quality has dramatically increased but my motivation is still a bit low so I'm really hoping to improve that this year.
2016 was a fab year for travel. I started it off with a 6 day trip to Barcelona in April with my Uni girls. It was honestly such an amazing trip and one that I know I will always treasure. I actually wrote two travel diaries about it when I started to get back into blogging which you can read about here and here.
The next month I flew to Rhodes with my family for a week of sunbathing and all inclusive cocktails. We hired a car which is something we've never done before and saw as much of the island as we could. I took in so much history that week and even though I haven't shown any of that holiday here it really was fab.
My last abroad holiday was in the summer with my Seany. We flew to Dublin for 4 days over my birthday and loved every second of it. We went to the Guinness Factory, took in a lot of very interesting Irish history at Kilmainham Gaol and had a tour of the huge Glasnevin Cemetery amongst other things. This is when we decided Dublin was the city for us and started our plans to move there not long afterwards. From Dublin we flew to Paris for 3 days to explore the city of love and have a little fun in our favourite place; Disneyland Paris. Although we didn't do as much as I would have liked I still enjoyed it.
In 2017 I really want to push myself to keep up with blogging. Its a hobby I've been passionate about since 2013 when I started and it's something I always want to have. Although 2016 gave me some amazing experiences and opportunities I want to do even more this year.
I post twice a week at the moment which is okay but I really want to start posting three or even four times if I get the chance. There just so much content I want to create and so much I want to talk about so I want to make this year the year that my blog really grows.
I also want to start working with a lot more brands. Although I've been able to create content with some lovely companies already and I've got to try out some amazing products I want to do that so much more this year. If sponsored opportunities come along also well then that would be fab too!
This year I'll leave Uni. I could stay for a third year and get a full degree but honestly I've outgrown education and its just not for me anymore. I'm glad that I went but I'll be so happy to leave. I've spent a lot of time worrying and procrastinating about getting my work done and its started to really get me down. I'm excited to learn as much as I can in the next few months but once its all over I will be very relieved.
Hopefully this is the year me and Sean can make the big move to the Emerald Isle. We fell in love with Dublin and with all the uncertainty around Brexit I really just want to pack up and start a new in an EU country. When we voted to leave the European union my heart sank. I'd always had plans to live, work and travel freely all over Europe, I just love meeting people from all over. So when that all began to fall apart this summer I knew we needed to move soon. Sean has Irish grandparents so he already qualifies for citizenship however I don't so that's something I need to work on but honestly I cannot wait to start my new life with my Guinness loving boyfriend.
As we won't have much holiday money once we've moved out, me and Sean have decided to go inter-railing for at least two weeks in the summer. We know we wont have much spare cash when were living alone so we thought we should have one last big blowout holiday and see as many countries as possible. The list isn't final yet but were thinking Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland.
So that was a little round up of the main things I did in 2016 and my hopes and dreams for the coming year. I hope you all had a fab New Years Eve last night and I honestly wish you all the best for this year!
Did you make any new years resolutions?
Thanks for reading!
Christmas has just about wiped all of us out of energy and our hard earned cash, but with New Years Eve looming we all still want to look a little glam, even if budgets are a bit tight. Well fear not as I've rounded up 24 of the best New Years Eve appropriate dresses for under £25! I did want to include 25 but it couldn't be done on the widget haha.
I've tried to include a little something for every shape and size. I know the pain of trying to find that perfect dress only to be shown a thousand things that would never suit me. I really hope this little wishlist helped you guys find yourselves an NYE outfit!
What are you all up to this New Years?
Thanks for reading!
So I'm posting this a day ahead of schedule which give you guys a chance to get ready and pick out your faves before the big day! Christmas is usually pretty hectic for Sean and I as we have to run between each others houses but we still make time for a little bit of fun and what could be more fun than a good drinking game with your friends and family?! I've rounded up some of the best Christmas themed drinking games for you all to play tomorrow night!
1. Santa Hat Drinking Game - This is pretty simple, you pop a santa hat on the corner of the tv and if it lines up with someones head on screen you all take a shot! Take two shots if it lines up with the Queens face during her speech!
2. Who Am I Christmas Edition - For this game you need a load of post it notes and pens. Each person writes down a famous Christmas related person on their post it note and sticks it on the forehead of the person next to them. You can't know who is stuck on your forehead but everyone else can see. You take it in turns to ask the group yes / no questions until someone guesses who they are. You take a shot every time you guess wrong and at the end everyone but the winner has to take a shot too!
3. Christmas Playlist Drinking Game - Pop on a standard Christmas playlist. You have to actually listen to it though. Every time you hear the word Christmas you take a shot! You might want to get quite a lot of shots ready for this!
4. Vodka Gummy Bear Fluffy Bunny - Everyone knows the fluffy bunny game right? Well I'm going to change it slightly. Instead of stuffing your face with marshmallows you'll play with vodka gummy bears and instead of saying Fluffy Bunny you say Merry Christmas. Each person takes it in turns to put one vodka gummy in their mouth and say Merry Christmas the next person will then put one in their mouth and also say Merry Christmas. This keeps going until one by one people will stop being able to say Merry Christmas without dribbling. As long as you eat the bears you wont even need any alcohol after this one, trust me.
So those were some of the best Christmassy drinking games I can think of off the top of my head! I'd love to hear if you guys give any of these a go or if you have any other fun drinking games! Let me know in the comments or over on Twitter.
I hope you all have the absolute best Christmas!
Thanks for reading
So I'm back with another collaboration post with the lovely Amanda. In case you've missed it, for the last couple of months we've been working on posts all about high end and budget makeup! You can catch up on my last posts here and Amanda's last post here. So if you haven't guessed already this months post is all about Highlighter!
The product I've chosen to talk about is this absolutely incredible MAC highlighter in Lightscapade. This little beauty was a complete impulse buy at the airport back in April. I was dazzled by the selection of shimmery colours and also egged on by my friends who insisted I needed it. I boarded my plane around £20 lighter and excited to try out my new purchase.
As always lets chat about the price first. This sparkly little product comes in at £24 but as I bought it in Duty Free I managed to snap it up slightly cheaper. Honestly when I first bought this I thought it was quite expensive; I mean £20+ for a bit of sparkle? But after the lovely makeup counter girl covered my face in it I was sold and I still am months on. I purchased this wayyyy back at the start of April and I doubt Im even half way through it yet, I'm not stingy with it either.
Now the quality of the product is as good as I would expect from MAC. It's fairly long lasting on the skin and I think it's quite buildable too. It's not creamy however, like a lot of other highlighters. My sister swears by a much cheaper Makeup Revolution highlighter that takes only a small amount of product to create a very visible highlight. This is the complete opposite of that, it's much more dusty. As I'm very pale I really don't mind that at all but if you're even slightly darker than me you might struggle to build the product up without looking like you have a white dust on your cheeks. I would always recommend trying it out in store before you purchase.
Another thing I just want to mention is that although the beautiful pastel colours are very clear in the product, they aren't so obvious when applied to the skin. I do manage to get a subtle glimmer of colour if I really build this up but thats worth thinking about before buying.
I normally talk about the packaging too in my reviews but honestly theres not much I can say about the standard sleek MAC packaging so I'm going to leave it here. Overall I'm literally in love with this product. Would I repurchase? Hell yes. I'm actually getting one for my sister for Xmas because even though her fave Makeup Revolution one does the job, even she couldn't resist the magic of this absolute beauty! You can pick one up yourself here.
Don't forget to click here to read all about Amanda's favourite budget Highlighter!
Do you have a Highlighter you can't live without?
Thanks for reading!
I've been in love with beauty products for years now and although I love trying out new things, I always have my favourite products I keep coming back for. I thought it was only fair to share my holy grail products with you guys too so everyone can benefit from the best products out there!
BodyShop Tea Tree Squeaky-Clean Scrub - This is the best exfoliating face wash I've ever used in my whole life and I'm not even exaggerating. Not only does this scrub away at my dead flaky skin, it also smells incredible. You can purchases the best facewash in the world for £7 although The Body Shop does occasionally have deals on!
Simple Rich Moisturiser - God knows how long I and everybody in my family has been using this for but we always repurchase. Its incredibly gentle on sensitive skin but it also moisturises more than most products I've used before. Its non greasy so I use it pretty much everywhere and it usually retails at around £3 - £4.
Kat Von D Ink Liner - This is one of the more expensive products on this list but it has really earned its place. I've been using the same Ink Liner since I bought it back in April and its still going strong now. Its one of the most vivid, long lasting liquid eyeliners I've ever used which is why it comes in at £16.
Dr Paw Paw Lip Balm - I first started using this when it was gifted to me for a review about 2 years ago and I've been using it ever since. Although its marketed as a multi-use product I'd only ever use it as a lip balm. A 25ml tube retails at around £7. You can read my full review of the DR Paw Paw Lip Balm here.
Aussie 3 minute miracle reconstructor - This is the best thing I've ever used on my hair. Although its technically a treatment I just use it as a normal conditioner and it really has helped my damaged hair look half decent. I also feel that it helps de-tangle knotted hair. This usually retails between £3 - £4 although many places have continuous deals on Aussie products so you could pick it up cheaper.
Vo5 High Volume Hairspray - I have quite thick hair as it is but I can never get enough volume. I use this hairspray most days and I really do feel like its one of the best out there. The hold isn't great but I prefer a natural finish, plus this stuff smells amazing too. You can pick up a 400ml can for around £2 - £3.
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish - I know I always talk about this and I even covered it recently when me and Amanda collaborated on a post but its just great. Again although its a little but pricey its well worth it and I'm happy to keep repurchasing! You can usually get this little beauty for £24 although I always wait until I go to the airport to buy it so its a little bit cheaper!
Soap & Glory Clean On Me Cleanser - I haven't been using this product for as long as most of the others but its so good I needed to list it here! I've never used a budget cleanser that removes makeup ( especially eye makeup ) as well as this. It retails at £6.50 for a 500ml bottle which lasts literally forever.
Maybelline Lash Sensational - This is the best budget mascara I have ever used and actually I use it most days before I apply my more expensive mascaras. Although this little beauty retails at just £7.99 I do think it gives a lot of high end mascaras a run for their money!
MAC Velvet Teddy - Last but not least, every bloggers fave lippy! I'm not even sorry that I've included such an obvious choice as its probably one of my all time favourite makeup products. There are several dupes for this on the market but I don't think anything you buy can actually top the real thing. As you all probably already know it retails at £15.50 and is worth every penny!
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So those were the products I think you should all run out and buy right now! Although some of them where on the more expensive side, they are all 100% worth it! I would love to hear some of the products you guys really can't live without!
Thanks for reading!