2016 Resolutions – revisited!

As we’re almost at the end of the year I thought it was the perfect time to check in with the goals I set for 2016 and see how I’ve done so far.  There’s still time to make a change so if you haven’t reached your goals yet – do it now and finish the year feeling accomplished!

My first goal was to practice and improve my photography skills.  This goal has been a bit of a fail so far!  I am super busy up until January so I doubt that I’ll have time to work on this but it’s still something I enjoy so if I do get any opportunities to take some snaps before the end of the year I’ll be sure to make the extra effort.

This year I also wanted to join an am-dram club.  This one took me a little while, but I finally bit the bullet and auditioned for a local pantomime which I’ll be performing in at Christmas!  I’m so happy that I pushed myself to do it, as I’ve loved meeting new people and being back in rehearsals – I’m already looking for shows I can be involved in once this one is over!

This year I wanted to do more for others.  I took the plunge and donated my hair to the Little Princess Trust, and signed up to start giving blood!  Three blood donations later and I’m kicking myself for not doing it sooner, it takes an hour out of your day but can save someones life.  You can find out more about my experience of giving blood for the first time here.

The next goal on my list was to visit as many cities as possible. Although we’ve been to a couple of places this year (mostly in England but we did hop over to Dublin as well), a change in my job has meant that money has been a little tighter and we haven’t been able to stray too far.

I had so many home improvements that I wanted to get through that they earned themselves their very own post which you can read here!  I think I’ll do an update post later on, but I’m happy to tell you that we’ve managed to tick off everything on our list already.  Well, almost – as we speak my husband is busy decorating the sitting room, but then we’re done!  I’m not sure what we’ll do with ourselves once it’s finished!

My last goal was to stop wasting my weekends!  I do feel like I’ve made the effort to get out of the house more this year,  and have spent lots of weekends with family and going for walks with Sean.  This is a goal I’m going to keep working on throughout this year, especially in the run up to Christmas!  As London is pretty much on our doorstep, I want to make a big effort to go and do lots of touristy things we usually wouldn’t bother with to make this year extra magical!

So far I think I’ve done pretty well in reaching my goals, let me know how you’ve done – is there anything you’ll be trying to achieve before the end of the year?!

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Maybelline Brow Drama: Review

I purchased this product out of curiosity, and Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Mascara has fast become a staple in my make up bag.

Supposedly a dupe to Benefit’s Gimme Brow (which I’m yet to try), this product is a brow gel which helps to make brows look fuller as well as keeping them tamed throughout the day.  Winner!

The product is applied using a wand which makes it pretty much fool proof, although as the wand is circular like a little ball, it’s not easy to get a super precise application.

I’ve found that a little goes a long way with this one, as things can get a bit scary looking and clumpy if you apply too liberally!  A light layer of this is all you need to keep everything looking neat and natural all day.

Have you tried this or the Benefit version?  What are your thoughts?!

♥♥♥

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Donating my hair

At the beginning of the year I decided that I wanted to be more selfless.

I started off by signing up to give blood (you can read about my experience here!) and then found out about The Little Princess Trust.

Instantly, I knew that donating my hair was something I wanted to and not long after I took the plunge and got my hair cut!

As I had #HairToSpare, I had 18cm of hair chopped off which doesn’t sound like a lot but certainly felt like a lot to me!

The process is easy, my hairdresser washed and dried my hair in the salon, before sectioning it into ponytails and snipping away!  It felt really odd to be taking my hair home with me!

Once you get your hair home you simply pop it in a bag and post it off along with the donation form!

I’m really happy that I’ve done it, and although I’m not such a huge fan of my shorter locks (hence the lack of photos!), it’s a great feeling  knowing you’ve done something to help someone else out.

If it’s something you’re interested in doing, that’s awesome!  Check out The Little Princess Trust website for all the info!

♥♥♥

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Collection Eyes Uncovered Eyeshadow Palettes

I picked up these eyeshadow palettes when I was looking for a neutral ‘everyday’ palette which I could use for work.

At just £2.99 they’re an absolute steal!  I picked up both the Nude and Grey Nude palettes, as I couldn’t decide which I liked more!  At such an affordable price, I wasn’t expected the packaging to hold up.  The outer packaging is made of cardboard, but has a slight magnetic closing, meaning it will stay closed when stored.  Surprisingly, the packaging still in good condition a few months down the line!  So far so good….

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On to the product!

These shadows have amazing pigmentation considering the price!  They are super blendable and perfect for work.  The Nude palette has a beautiful warm tone, and is so neutral you just can;t go wrong!  The Nude Grey is cooler toned, so I’m really glad I picked up both.

As for staying power – they’re pretty good!  Use a primer or base and they’ll last even longer, but even without I’m happy with how it’s lasted by the end of the day!

If you’re looking to update your make up bag or want an inexpensive product to practise a smokey eye I would definitely recommend these.  These could even make it onto the ever elusive ‘re-purchase’ list!

♥♥♥

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Giggling Squid Hove: Restaurant Review

As serious Thai food fans, we decided to visit the Giggling Squid restaurant in Hove.

The Brighton restaurant was totally booked out, but we managed to make a reservation for the Hove branch!   On arrival, we were met by a friendly waiter who showed us to our table.

The restaurant felt very cosy and comfortable, and Sean was delighted that they had the authentic Thai beer ‘Singha’ on offer!

There was so much to choose from on the menu, and I was happy to see that they were able to make your food as spicy (or not in my case!) as you liked.  Sean ordered possibly the only non-authentic Thai dish (Lamb Shank Massaman Curry) and I went for a Penang Curry.  Both meals were absolutely delicious, and unlike in Thailand – our food was actually brought out at the same time, hooray!

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Overall, the staff were friendly, the food was amazing, and it didn’t break the bank – with 2 meals and 4 drinks coming in at £45 (service included!).  We really enjoyed our visit and can’t wait for a branch to open closer to us, so that we can go more often!

Sawadee Ka!x

♥♥♥

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Playing with my lens…

I recently splashed out on the beautiful Sigma 30mm f1.4 lens,  which I’d had my eye on for about a year and a half before I finally caved in!

On our recent trip to Brighton which you can read about here, I had a little play around – so thought I’d share a few more of my snaps with you!

1 daffodils

5 Stanmer Village Brighton

Autumn Leaves

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Still lots to learn but I had fun using this lens!

Do you have a favourite camera or lens?  Anything on your wish list?!

♥♥♥

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Maybelline The Falsies Push Up Drama Mascara: Review

Although I try my best not to get sucked in by the hype of new product,  having seen the shiny new packaging (literally) and promise of  boosting and thickening lashes (exactly what I look for in a mascara!), I just couldn’t resist giving it a go!

maybelline falsies push up drama

As my favourite high street/ drugstore mascara is the Maybelline Falsies (original), I was intrigued to see if the new ‘Push Up Drama’ could beat it!

Let’s start with the packaging, it certainly feels a little fancier than your regular high street mascara, although the clashing red and pink colours don’t really do it for me.  This mascara is  Maybelline’s ‘first Push-Up brush with Cup-Shaped bristles’, how very exciting…

The formula is meant to ‘instantly plump & volumise the look of lashes, with Styling Wax to keep them lifted’.  Hmm, I can’t say I agree.

On applying the product, one word springs to mind, CLUMPY!  I’m sorry to say that I just cannot get on with this mascara, and I’m so disappointed considering how brilliant the original ‘Falsies’ mascara is for thickening and lengthening lashes.

No matter what I do the formula just clumps straight away, and  I find myself having to use another mascara on top to try and help distribute the product more evenly.

Overall , if you’re looking for a mascara to lengthen and thicken your lashes and add ‘drama’, don’t go for this one!  Instead, I highly recommend the original Maybelline Falsies mascara.

Maybelline – If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

♥♥♥

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Brighton : Visiting Stanmer Park

For my husband’s birthday we decided to head to Brighton to celebrate!  We love Brighton, the atmosphere always seems to be so laid back and it’s filled with interesting shops and boutiques to explore!

This time we wanted to go a little further afield to explore somewhere different, and stumbled across the beautiful Stanmer Park.

20 Stanmer Park Brighton

Located on the north-east outskirts of Brighton city, Stanmer Park is perfect for a winter walk or summer picnic!  It’s free to park (always a bonus) and is incredibly peaceful and picturesque.

There were lots of dog walkers out and about, but the park is very clean – with lots of options for different routes, all with stunning views!

We started off at Stanmer House, which I thought was a stately home but turns out to be a restaurant!  We didn’t go inside as we’d already treated ourselves to a full english breakfast that morning, but I wish I’d taken a sneaky peek!  As it was Mother’s Day, we guessed it would be pretty busy inside, so just admired the gorgeousness of the building outside.  Ah well, an excuse to visit again!

2 Stanmer Village Church Brighton

We carried on up past the church, into the heart of Stanmer Village!  The houses here are so quaint and quintessentially British!  The tea room was packed, and I adored the exposed beams – such a beautiful feature! I’d love to come on a rainy afternoon and cosy up with a good cuppa!

3 Stanmer Tea Rooms Brighton

4 Stanmer Tea Rooms Brighton

If you’re looking for a relaxing and inexpensive morning/afternoon out, I’d definitely recommend it!

6 Stanmer Village Brighton

Stanmer House Brighton

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My experience giving blood!

If you’re squeamish I’m sorry – but today I wanted to talk about something which is so important, giving blood!

I recently gave blood for the first time and was amazed at how I felt after!  Having been worried that I’d feel light headed or pass out, or that donating would hurt – I’d put off trying it for years and I’m seriously kicking myself for it now.

It wasn’t a big deal whatsoever, it didn’t hurt and I felt absolutely fine throughout and after the whole process.

If you’ve been thinking about giving blood and are a bit nervous about it then grab yourself a cup of tea and give this video a little watch – I tell you all about my experience!

For more information or if you’d like to sign up (go you!) then visit https://www.blood.co.uk

♥♥♥

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