Sunday, 29 June 2014

Style Sunday - Wedding Guest / Yours Maxi Dress

This weekend we had my father-in-law's wedding. I'd been struggling for ages to find an outfit if I'm honest - partly because I'm not comfortable with my own body at the moment so everything I tried looked awful to me and partly because I'd set my heart on a maxi dress. Their wedding was at 11am and the travel time for us to get there was about 45 minutes, the reception was due to finish about 11.30pm so I was going to be in my outfit all day.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Fitness Thursday - My Results So Far

Well, as you know I'm on a bit of a mission and it seemed rude not to keep my lovely readers filled in on how I'm getting. So far I've talked about my love for kettlebells and running (as well as a couple of running app recommendations), I've also talked about I'm tracking my food with My Fitness Pal.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Craft Wednesday - A Homemade Father's Day Gift

My husband is notoriously difficult to buy for and as we've always done small gifts for Father's Day and Mother's Day, it makes it even harder to find something that he'll like and actually enjoy or use! (If anyone has any suggestions for gift ideas for men like this, please leave me a comment!)

For this reason we went for homemade gifts this year! The poem above I originally found online somewhere and I've now completely lost the link (thank you Google and iPhone synced bookmarks!). The version I saw had the footprints done in paint but the idea of painting Dennis' foot terrifies me - I have visions of her running off before I can clean it and having nice paint footprints all over the house.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Beauty Tuesday - Model's Own Hyper Gel Top Coat

This was a very considered and researched purchased and it was the only thing that I was allowed to buy during my June spending ban (read more on that here).

Models Own Hyper Gel Top Coat
I have other top coats and have recently been mainly using the Champneys top coat that I talked about here and here. And I do like the Champneys one a lot but being a Mum I don't always have a lot of time on my hands to keep changing nail polish because it has chipped. I like to be able to do my nails once or twice a week and that's it. So I've been on the look out for something hard wearing and long lasting.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Recipe Review Monday - Chicken & Leek Pie

Jamie Oliver Chicken Pie
I'm not really a massive fan of pies. Sounds odd to start a post about a pie like that doesn't it?! I think I just find all that pastry a bit heavy but in recent years more and more pie recipes have become popular when you don't use an entire pastry case, just a top. That sort of pie I can get along with.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Craft Wednesday - Card Making

Something I haven't mentioned here to date is that I like making my own cards. I haven't had the chance much in recent months and because we're waiting to move, my card stuff is packed away but I thought I would share with you a few of my favourites cards I've made over recent years.

It's a shame because I love it and going through my photos to find some to share has made me really want to get all the boxes (and boxes and boxes) of paper and stamps and pens out again and get creative! Hopefully I'll be able to soon but in the meantime I'll be posting a few old cards from time to time on a Wednesday. I hope you enjoy seeing them!

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Beauty Tuesday - I'm a Bit of a Scrubber! (Body Shop & Rituals)

Yes, you read that right - I love a good body scrub and today I have two of my current favourites to show you - The Body Shop Raspberry Scrub and Rituals Sakura Organic Rice and Cherry Blossom Sugar Scrub.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Recipe Review Monday - White Chocolate Cheesecake

This is another old reliable of mine that is often requested by friends and family, especially at summer BBQs! It's delicious but very rich so only a small slice is needed. (Please excuse the chunk out of the back of this one - my husband was in charge of getting it out of the tin and as it was just for us, he decided to pinch a bit!)

It's particularly nice (though only for adults!) if served with a medley of strawberries, raspberries and blueberries (a punnet of each), sprinkled with 1 tbsp of caster sugar and 1 tbsp of Malibu white rum. Note though that the rum starts to mush the berries down so only pour it on a maximum of half an hour or so before eating!

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Style Sunday - My Summer Wishlists

This week I discovered Polyvore - how have I never even heard of such a thing?! I heard it mentioned a few times by some other lovely bloggers on Twitter so I thought I'd give it a go. I haven't played with it as much as I'd like to yet but I did create a few wish lists with summer in mind, which I thought I'd share with you.

If you follow me on Twitter or Polyvore, you may have already seen these but I hope not!

Friday, 13 June 2014

Family Friday - You Are My Sunshine...

I chose the title of this post because, to be honest, that's how I feel about my kids. They really do make me happy 'when skies are grey' and I don't think children ever realise quite how much their parents love them.

(This photo is from about a year ago - my daughter now has the most beautiful long hair)

I have to say, when we had Dennis, one thing I was not prepared for is how different my children would be. I know its obvious, isn't it? But there's a part of you that can't comprehend it because you don't doing anything significantly different from one to the next and yet they are utterly opposite ends of the scale.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Fitness Thursday - Running with the Couch to 10k App

Way back in October I decided to set myself the challenge of running a 5 mile race for a charity that's very close to my heart (more on that another day). The race was listed for 23rd December and so I downloaded the Couch to 10k app, which is free, and got myself a decent pair of running shoes.

Along the way I added some running clothes (all bought from Asda - yay for nice workout gear that's not too spendy!) and a nice water bottle from Sports Direct. I even took my running gear on my holiday to Kos in late October. Unfortunately a horrible ankle sprain in early December meant I couldn't race (my entire foot and ankle went black. Eurgh!) so in January when it felt steady again, I started back up with my app and on 23rd March 2013 I ran 10km for the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign in 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Beauty Review Tuesday - Nail Art and New Nail Polish

I love having painted nails, there's just something about it that makes me feel better. Shallow but true.
So lately I've been trying to regularly do my nails because it makes a small but significant difference to my general feeling of well being. I think it just makes me feel more 'put together'. (The more I say it, the more shallow it feels!)

Even so its fact I'm sure many women can relate too - or maybe it really is just me??! Anyway, with my love for nail polish in mind, I decided to do a little post about nail art and my most recent additions to my nail polish collection!

Monday, 9 June 2014

Recipe Review Monday - Banana Batter Cake

This week I had a few extra bananas left over that were looking distinctly over ripe. Having already made a banana loaf (standard use for them once past their best!), I was on the look out for a recipe that was slightly different.

I had a little hunt online and on the Guardian website I came across this one....

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Style Sunday - A Belt Makes It All Better

I've had this dress for a while but as you can see on me, it looks a little, well let's be honest here...frumpy!

It's from Very's Holly Willoughby collection about 2 years ago and it's sat in my wardrobe ever since. It looked so good on Holly in the website photos that I just couldn't bear to sling it in the charity bins. I've worn it once or twice but always felt very self conscious in it.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Why Blog?

First off, those of you who've read my blog from the outset will know that I set myself a weekly schedule of what I write about and on what days - I don't always write every day but as my content is so varied it means you know what days to look out for the posts that interest you! Anyway, I'd left Saturday free as I couldn't think of something I was particularly passionate about to include there. I've now decided Saturdays will be Random Saturday! This means anything that doesn't fit into my 'usual' categories will appear here on Saturdays - it could include book reviews (there was some discussion on Twitter about a Bloggers Book Club ), tag posts or completely random chit-chat like today!

This second part of my post I'm going to answer a couple of questions which I think might be of interest to my readers. If any of you also blog I would be interested to read your own answers to these questions too so feel free to pinch the idea, just leave me a comment so I can check out your post!

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Fitness Thursday - MyFitnessPal

I'd been on WeightWatchers for about two months now and to be honest my weight loss was minimal. Its almost certainly my own fault for my lack of willpower and tendency to say 'oh sod it, one naughty treat won't hurt.' I was starting to begrudge paying £11.95 per month when I didn't seem to be getting anywhere so I decided to cancel my membership!

Now, let's be honest here, those of us who want to lose weight (and I'm not saying there's anything wrong with being bigger here - I've said it before, if you're happy then I think that's amazing, I however am not happy and would feel better if I lost a few pounds), we know the formula is pretty basic - eat less and move more!

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Beauty Tuesday - June Spending Ban

I was chatting on Twitter the other night when I came across a tweet from the lovely Jaq @ Lazy Days Beauty saying she was starting a beauty spending ban in June and wanting others to join. Eesha from Eesha's Glam was already on board and then I joined to make it a trio!

Being as my husband is still out of work and we're saving to buy a house, I'm not exactly rolling in cash right now so it seemed like a good plan. I always spend more than I really should in general but beauty products is a particular weakness. I, like many women and in particular beauty bloggers, am always on the hunt for holy grail products! I'm also a sucker for companies big fancy PR campaigns and have many a time fallen for their big claims only for the product to be a huge disappoint.

This has resulted in an overflow of products - they're everywhere! Half-finished bottles of this, that and the other that I keep promising myself I will finish up and haven't as yet! So this month I'm going to start getting through them all.

I've decided I'm going to try not to spend on clothes or shoes either this month. Really just to see how much I save.

I do though need a pair of new wellies and a new photo diary so they will be my sole spends for the month (apart from the one beauty product Jaq says we're allowed on the ban!).

I'm already planning what my one other purchase will be - I think it might as a necessity be a silver shampoo to remove the brassiness from my blonde hair unless anyone has any amazing tips for a homemade remedy for this?!

In the meantime though, my June reviews will be limited to reviewing the bits I bought from Superdrug before the ban started (3 for 2 on make up - go there now!) or old favourites or, hopefully, things I've come back to that I'd forgotten and subsequently fallen in love with. Here's to hoping anyway!

Can I do it? I hope so! I'm sure there was once a time when I didn't feel the need to splurge on this sort of thing so hopefully this will help curb my spending even after the ban ends.

Wish me luck!

Monday, 2 June 2014

Recipe Review Monday - Oreo Brownies

A couple of week's ago my husband's cousin turned 21. She's a bit of a chocaholic and she had text me some time ago asking if I could make some brownies for her party. I have a recipe for triple chocolate brownies that I blogged about here but I wanted to try out something different.

Oreo Brownies

I had a scout around and came across a recipe for Oreo brownies I'd been sent by a friend ages ago. This seemed like the perfect time to try it!