Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Free things!

So this post goes along with the thrifty and frugal-ness of my previous post in a way, but it must be said that I love getting free things!! Lets be honest though who doesn't!? Stuff for free, brilliant!

I graduated a few months ago and it has taken a while to find a job. I'm pleased to say that I'll soon be able to join the ranks of the employed but for all the time that I was job searching I had a few plans of action of how I was going to entertain myself.

My first plan was that I was going to win competitions. I thought that surely if I entered enough, I was bound to win some of them. I think I read somewhere of someone that did this and made loads of money. Anyway, this didn't work. I haven't won a single one yet! Maybe I didn't enter enough.... I  think I gave up too early. I wanted instant gratification!

Anyway.. The second plan which has actually worked was to get loads of free samples! Well I did this and here I proudly present my hoard of free things...

Ta da!!

Now you may think I'm a little strange getting excited about this but here are some reasons why they are so great..

-Samples of shampoo/ conditioner are soo useful for travelling for a few days or taking to the gym. It saves either taking big bottles or transferring liquids into little bottles. Same goes for all the other beauty samples!

-I have got 22 cups of tea and at least 5 cups of coffee worth of free tea and coffee! That's quite a lot of cups!

I found most of these by putting 'free stuff' into google and going through the websites that it comes up with! Some of them are also from magazines (the bottom row in the photo).

Friday, 27 January 2012

Thrifty and Frugal..

Another type of blog that I enjoy reading are personal finance blogs. Now I wouldn't say that I'm the best person with money. I'm not very good at being strict with myself and I'm quite good at just not thinking about money when I spend it and then avoiding bank statements. I know.. I know.. not very clever!

I'm just about to start a my first real job and so this will be the first time I'll have been paid a real salary (other than from the bank or mum and dad!). I'm really going to make an effort to be good with money and am trying to turn over a new leaf. Here are some ways that I am being or I'm going to try and be thrifty and frugal and better at managing my money. . .
From pinterest

-The other day I'd realised that I'd been subscribing to a credit rating website for TWO YEARS (!!) having not read the small print. This may not have happened if I'd been more eagle-eyed when checking my bank statements but I don't try and account for every transaction, I just looked for abnormalities. Well I cancelled this as soon as I found out about it but it really showed me that I need to check my statements more closely! Now I'll be £6.99 a month better off! Doh!

-I have made an excel spreadsheet to track my money! It has colours and code and everything :-) Now I just need to remember to use it!

-I have opened an ISA. Having a salary for the first time also means paying tax!

-I have claimed back some tax from a savings account that I shouldn't have paid last year.

-I was also majorly overcharged on my mobile bill, but after about 30 hours on the phone to orange, I think I'm one small phone call away to reclaiming my money. I had to get authoritative. It was scary!

-I have spent lots of time making greetings cards before I actually start my job and get really busy. This may save me a few pennies! Has also kept me occupied!

-Not buying clothes/ shoes/ make up. I haven't bought any in January. It was a close call with the topshop website but my conscience won. I also have a black tie dinner and I haven't bought anything new! These types of events in the past have always solicited a new purchase of some sorts!

Thursday, 26 January 2012

My make up volume 2

Here is the second post in this series.. my eye stuff!

Eye stuff: 1. Benefit Primpcess kit 2. Clinique eye shaodow duo in deco dense * 3. Lancome eye shadow set * (positive, model, floralesque, daylight, best dressed, excursion and lezard) 4. Hard Candy buttered popcorn 5. M+S duo in goldrush 6. Clinique duo, beach plum 7. Clinique duo, frozen smoke 8. Body shop 08 9. Urban Decay Naked palate 10. Various pencils, many old and random although the Benefit Bad Gal was free in a magazine. 11. Barry M Gold liquid liner. 12. Benefit Magic Ink liquid liner 13. Clinique lash power mascara 14. Clinique high impact mascara. 15. Maybelline the falsies.

Before quite recently, I only wore eyeshadow in the evenings of for special occasions but since receiving the naked palate for Christmas, I’m becoming more adventurous. I think my favourite colours in it are sin and toasted. I also really like the benefit primpcess set. You get a really polished look using the colours in it! You can see that I favour gold-y type colours generally. I’ve got quite deep-set eyes so I’m slightly cautious of overly dark colours.

I like liquid liner but wouldn't rave about the benefit one. When this is used up I think I'll get a gel liner. The maybelline one is meant to be good and is affordable so I'll probably buy that one. 

I do like myself a good mascara. The two Clinique ones here are my favourites. The lash power is a tubing mascara and so stays on forever! It has a tiny brush but it separates my eyelashes really well. The High impact is my favourite for evenings as it looks less natural and its more volumnising. I’m not sure I could pick between them as they both serve a different purpose. The Maybelline one I got recently after hearing good things about it. It’s fine but doesn’t compare to high end ones. It clumps a bit and is really difficult to remove (I got the waterproof one!). Another really good one I’ve tried in the past is Diorshow. Expensive, but worth it! If anyone has some recommendations for a cheaper mascara that lives up to the high end equivalents, I’d love to hear it!

Volume 3, lip products coming up soon!

Saturday, 21 January 2012

My make-up volume 1

So it is popular on youtube and blogs and such for people to do make-up collection tours. These are a guilty pleasure of mine! I think it’s interesting seeing what people like and what they spend their money on. The ones I usually see are by beauty ‘gurus’ whose idea of a small collection is 20 blushes and only ‘a handful of MAC eye shadows’. Well I thought I’d do a make up collection too, just for shiggles. I’ll be honest; I mainly took pictures as I was sorting through it this morning, throwing out a few ancient things (ie. Things I bought for my 5th year prom age 16 (I’m now 23!!)). My collection is a hellava lot bigger than it was five years ago because I have since gotten into higher end brands and following blogs etc. As I don’t have a lot, I prefer to spend money on a few nice things rather than lots of cheap things. Also I’m a sucker for free gifts with purchase or free gifts in a magazine. Just so you can see how many I’ve got that way, I’ve starred them! 

 1. Clinique almost makeup in 04 deep 2. laura mercier tinted moisturizer in bisque 3. Garnier roll-on concealer 4. Clinique concealer in 02 medium 5. Benefit it stick* 6. Benefit eye bright* 7. Urban decay primer potion 8. Benefit high beam* 9. Clinique colour rub in rose lustre, 10. Benefit cha cha tint (love this!) 11. Sleek contour kit in light 12. Rimmel blush in smoked oyster 13. MUA blush in shade 2 14. No. 7 eyeshadow (that I use on my cheeks) in antique rose *.

Mmm what to say about face products.. I am very happy not wearing foundation. Both the ‘bases’ that I have are tinted moisturizers really. I actually prefer my skin sans base if it’s having a good day although the laura mercier tinted moisturizer is excellent in looking like skin (so worth the high price, although it was a birthday present)!

I’ve recently got into blushes and I think the coral colour of cha cha tint suits my skin tone. I also like the MUA pink blush. It was only £1 but I wasn’t sure about how I felt about such a pink blush so obvious so I didn’t want to spend loads. You can’t go wrong with £1!

I quite like having a glow hence the highlighters. I hate the powdery look and recently got rid of my only (and very old) rimmel powder which I think was making matters worse by being the wrong colour! I don’t really have a shine problem but maybe that should be my next investment, a powder that doesn’t look powdery but will make my make up stay on longer.

I was going to put all the photos in one post but thought that would be a bit of an overload so they’ll come in installments! Stay tuned for ‘my make-up volume 2 -Eye stuff’!!

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Recent things I have enjoyed..

 Buyapower/ moroccanoil
From pinterest
Buyapower  is a website where they sell  a limited amount of various beauty products and the more they closer they get to selling the total number, the cheaper the price gets. I've seen things in the past that have tempted me but I've always resisted. However, yesterday, when I saw that they were selling a 100ml bottle of moroccanoil for £21 I got a little bit excited. Turns out, I was in the nick of time, as I grabbed the last bottle of the offer!

I love moroccanoil! Following a disastrous set of highlights about a year ago, I've been on a mission to recondition my hair and moroccanoil does wonders. The only bad thing about it is it's pricey, so much so, that last time I ran out, I tried a cheaper loreal alternative which unfortunately does not cut the mustard! Nevertheless, I'm very excited that I snaffled this bargain!!

The Artist

From pinterest

From pinterest

I saw it last night and loved it! I laughed, I (almost) cried and I bit my nails in anticipation. Go and see it if you haven't already. I love old movies and knew that I'd have no problem with it being in black and white but I wasn't sure how I'd cope with the silent thing! After seeing it I think if anything,  it enhances your viewing. It makes you read more into the expressions because you don't always know what is being said.


I've tried out a few recipes that I've seen on blogs recently. Both of them have been American written which has provided a few immediate translation difficulties. I'm getting used to using cups as a measure though now!

I tried this recipe. It looked delicious. I didn't know what wheat berries were so I used bulgar wheat. I'm also not sure if what I know as curly kale is the same as kale in the US. Also, in absence of my 'local middle eastern grocery store', I made my own pomegranate molasses and I think it turned out okay. My only problem was I think I overdid the curly kale, quantity wise... it was tasty though!
As you can see.. I've discovered food photography isn't as easy as it seems..

The second recipe was the one I posted in my last post, the reese's peanut butter banana bread. I just put chunks of chocolate instead of the reeses. I also assumed that baking soda was bicarbonate of soda?? Who knows!? Anyway, this was delicious :-) Quite crumbly but that doesn't affect the taste one bit!
Mmm.. tasty!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Designing the home I don't have

I don't know whether it's because I have quite a lot of spare time at the moment or whether it's because I've been helping my mother redecorate her house.. but I've been dreaming of how I'll decorate my future house (that I'm no where near buying btw)! I've been browsing pinterest and random sources. I thought I'd share my ideas so far...
Piano stairs:

I love the tiles on the work surfaces:

I really want a picture wall like these two.. though not all black and white.

Also I really want a bed in the style of this one so that the wardrobe is behind the head board of the bed. Not so much made of scaffolding though! From this article by the daily mail.

Also from pinterest there are a few recipes I really want to try..

Superfood salad with lemon vinaigrette from Iowa Girl Eats

Zucchini, black bean and rice skillet from ready, set, eat

Rolo Turtles from so wonderful, so marvelous

Reese's peanut butter banana bread from cookies and cups

Wednesday, 11 January 2012


In the near future I am moving due to a new job. I'm excited for a new start and I have been toying with the idea to use this new start to introduce some minimalistic ideas into my life.

I have been interested in minimalism for a while now, since reading an article in the Times a few years ago. I love the lack of clutter and the ability to carry all of ones possessions in a few bags, able to go anywhere at the drop of a hat. I doubt at this point in my life (who knows about the future!) that I could be a full blown minimalist, or, for another matter, would I want to? I like shiny pretty, things. I am materialistic and no matter how hard I tell myself that I don't need things, I want them! Even more so, I don't want to get rid of sentimental items. I have items I've brought back from all my travels and I like to use them to remember the good times. I like that you catch sight of them everyday rather than actively looking at photos on a computer screen. I also have quite a lot of equipment for different hobbies that I use but not continuously that I'd never think of getting rid of.

Minimalistic people feel that by living a more simple life they increase their happiness.  I quite like the philosophy of the everyday minimalist who has a non extreme, friendly view on minimalism. There's no way I'll ever get my possessions into two suitcases but I like the idea of it! Therefore... mental battle aside, I think I'm going to try and take minimal possessions with me to start with (as long as my parents don't mind me leaving some things behind) and see how I cope. It'll be like an experiment to see what I really need! I want to make a continual effort to get rid of things that I don't use. I'll let you know how I get on!

Sunday, 8 January 2012

30 before 30

I saw this on another blog and liked the idea so thought I'd give it a go. The idea is to list 30 things that you want to do before you are 30 years old. At 23 years old this gives me seven years to accomplish things which is a fair amount of time so I've been fairly adventurous!

1. Buy a house/ flat
2. Complete a triathalon
3. Visit New York
4. Find the man of my dreams
5. Sail across the Atlantic
6. Learn Spanish well enough to live in Spain
7. Live for over 3 months in another country
8. Learn how to tango

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Recent fashion purchases/ the last for a while?

By urbancode at ASOS. This was a major purchase for me.. I've wanted a leather jacket for ages but have struggled to find one that I like for under £100. This one was £77 (which is a lot for me!) and I'm so glad that I took the plunge. I love it! The fur collar is detachable which I think will be good for summer/ when fur collars aren't in any more. I hope I'll be wearing this jacket for many years to come!

Here starts my obsession with playsuits... These were both from ASOS and were £12 each. I didn't mean to keep both, I meant to send one back but I liked them both... doh! Oh well! I've worn both already and while I really like them, one downside of them is that they were a pain to get out of when I wanted to go to the loo!

That's my recent 'haul' as people like to say. I'm not sure I like the word haul, I'm not sure I'll use it again.. Anyway, something I've been thinking about for the new year is to try and impose a ban on spending any money on clothes... Dun dun dun.. will I be able to do it? Who knows? It may end up being just a January ban, but we'll see.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

About me... food

I come from a family of foodies. My mum is an excellent cook and I am thankful for how much they pushed me to be adventurous in my tastes. My friends joke that I am a serial bad order-er (ie. I always pick the one dodgy thing on the menu) and I think that's because sometimes I try and be too adventurous with my choices!

I am also a self confessed fruit bat! My good friend recently admitted that when I went round their house as a child that her mum would hide the grapes because otherwise I would eat them all!

Me in disguise
I love fresh healthy foods. Lots of salads and vegetables make up a lot of my diet but I think there is always room to incorporate more!

An augergine/ penguin.. how old am I?

My food weaknesses lie with my sweet tooth! I have given up chocolate for lent in previous years but I'm not sure I could give it up permanently!

The spread put on for my birthday party last year!

However, when healthy food looks this delicious, there's no excuse not to eat it!

From.. http://www.joanne-eatswellwithothers.com/2011/12/recipe-garlic-roasted-butternut-squash.html

How good does this look!? I think I'm going to have to try and make it!

All this thinking about food has got me hungry.. I'm off for a snack!

Fashion inspiration

About me.. fashion inspiration.

I'm not a dedicated follower of fashion as in a slave to the latest trends and I certainly often am just found wearing jeans and a T shirt but I do enjoy following fashion blogs. I thought I'd include a post showing my style and fashionable people that inspire me.

Audrey Hepburn


I really have quite a lot of optimism for this year which is exciting. I feel like good things will happen. The last year I have followed quite a lot of blogs covering a wide range of subjects; fashion, personal finance, lifestyle, travel, minimalist.... I thought that I would start the new year with my own blog and maybe touch on some (or all) of these topics a few times!
The picture is from my view of the new year taken from Trafalgar square!
So here's to the new year.... to unpathed waters and to undreamed shores!!