Thursday, 1 January 2015

Oh Hey, 2015!

Well it's been exactly one month since I last blogged. Reason? I could say I've been busy. I have been - some of the time. I went to Vegas, I've been working, we've had the usual run-up-to-Crimbo madness. I've also been binge-watching Sons Of Anarchy and that's taken up a LOT of my time (considering the sixth season was released on Netflix just today, I'm surprised I've even torn myself away long enough to type this). But that's not really the reason I haven't blogged. Mainly I haven't blogged because, basically, I just didn't want to. Couldn't be bothered.

I'm currently in a period of what's-the-point-and-where-the-hell-is-this-blog-going-ness. I get this regularly. And, even though I'm not one for new year resolutions, this year I'm going to give myself a blogging break. Not literally - I'm still going to blog, as and when I want/can be bothered/finish up with SoA on Netflix. I'm just not going to force myself. And I'm going to blog about stuff I want to write about, whenever inspo strikes (hopefully, this'll be fairly regularly. Like every time I buy new shoes. And I DEFINITELY need to write about Black Friday in Vegas, because that was just insane. IN. SANE. But who knows?!)

So for now, this is a short and sweet post. Wishing all my blog-writing and blog-reading buds a success, happiness and glitter-filled 2015. Now I'm off back to my Pringles and unashamed Jax Teller perving. Toots!


Monday, 1 December 2014

Glamglow - Worth The Hype?

There probably isn't a beauty blogger out there who hasn't tried Glamglow. It has to be one of the most raved about products over the last couple of years - I mean, the claims Glamglow make about their Youthmud mask are pretty awesome: brighter, radiant skin, wrinkles and lines softened, dark circles and pores reduced - all in a few minutes. If it weren't for the hefty price tag (The RRP of this particular product is £49.99) I'd probably have a cupboard full of this stuff based on the product write up alone! But does it really do the do? Well, I first bought a small tub of the Youthmud in the USA a while ago just to try, It actually does work! Yes, it tingles, no, it's not uncomfortable (although I have read reviews where others have said it has been - I don't have sensitive skin though). It is a pain to get off though (I found this out after I left it on for 30 minutes longer than I should have, due to getting engrossed in an old episode of CSI), but, yes, the Youthmud is amazing. I think we all know that.

So then I became curious to try the rest of Glamglow's range, just to see if they were as good. I don't have dry skin, but after using the Thirstymud my skin felt soft and plumped - I've had a similar effect after a facial before.

The Brightmud eye treatments come in little silver half-spheres and the idea is that you lightly tap product around your eye area then wipe off to plump and tone the area and make you look more alert. Whilst I did look a bit fresher after using these, my (worsening, almost permanent during winter) eyebags were still there. Ah well, I suppose you can't expect miracles. Although I did hope.

The newest addition to the Glamglow family is Powermud, which is a dual cleansing 'mud to oil' treatment. This one smells lovely and fresh and came off so smoothly, leaving clean, glowing skin.

I'm saving the Supermud for my next chin breakout (it will happen, it's only a matter of time. Gah.) but seeing how amazing the other products are, I have no doubt that this one will also live up to it's claims of reducing spot redness and speeding up the healing process.

Worth buying? 

I don't know how the Glamglow team have done it - they obviously have some magical skincare powers that enable them to come up with the most amazing products I've used in a long time - maybe ever. If I had to choose a favourite, Youthmud would come up tops - just because I love the exfoliating properties and really feel like it makes a huge difference to pores and general skin texture. Yes it's expensive, but as a treat - or maybe after dropping heavy hints for Christmas - this is a winner for me.

*The minis I have were kindly given to me by a friend in a salon, however you can try out Glamglow products via their Try Before You Buy kits, which contain samples of the products and start at £13.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Ultimate Winter Skin Perk Up

There are some things I love about winter: chunky knits, boots, berry lip shades; and there are some things I hate: cold feet, snoods (mainly just the word. I mean, snood. Really?!) and dull, tired skin. The cold feet and the snoods I can work around, and for my skin, lately I've been loving this:

So, this is L'Oreal's Skin Perfection Anti Fatigue Perk Up Cream. Bit of a mouthful, yeah? So let's just call it Glow In A (Cute Pink) Tube. I bought this on impulse in Superdrug, where it's currently on offer for £7.99 (rrp £11.99). Not gonna lie, I was drawn to the pink and orange ombre packaging, and that's basically the entire reason I bought it.

So, I was actually really pleasantly surprised when I tried this and found that it actually does give my skin a really nice glow. Not only that, but it's rich enough to nourish the drier bits of my pesky combo skin whilst not over-oiling my t-zone. I've also been using this as a make up base for the last few days to see how it fares, and although I've had to powder throughout the day I love that the radiant effect of the cream seems to work even under make up.

Worth buying?

Yup - you can't go wrong at this price (especially if you can grab it in Superdrug while it's on offer). If you're looking for a bit of extra glow in the mornings - and let's face it, who isn't? - this is for you. Go. GO!! And then buy the takeaway, because...well, you deserve it.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Breakfast at Knitsley Farm

I've been hearing great things about Knitsley Farm for what seems like years now, and for some reason never actually got around to trying it. So on Sunday morning, with nowhere to be and a craving for bacon (it's this problem I have), the Husband and I decided to head over for breakfast.

Did someone say bacon?
The farm is in the village of Knitsley, just south of Consett in County Durham. We arrived just after opening at 10am and the carpark was already starting to get busy which is a sign of how popular Knitsley Farm is. We also had a nice welcome from a hopeful looking beagle who was hovering outside the entrance door. Amongst various other awards, the farm has recently won the title of Butcher's Shop of the Year as well as the prestigious Taste of England Gold award. The actual cafe is quite small with only eleven tables which filled up within ten minutes of being there. The Husband declared he must try everything on the breakfast menu so went for a full English which was £8.95 and was HUGE. In addition to the plate full of bacon, sausage, eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes and black pudding, it also came with a rack of toast and orange juice.

Obviously I gave into my craving and ordered the slightly less photogenic bacon sandwich which consisted of three thick slices of bacon in a soft white bun- and it was amazing. I tried not to think too much of the (delicious, juicy) pigs on the farm as I ate. The Husband was equally impressed with his meal and had to admit defeat before finishing (which is unheard of usually). As the cafe was so busy I couldn't really take any photos of anything other than our plates, but once we'd finished (and freed up the table for one of the twenty or so people queuing outside), we wandered into the adjoining farm shop, which sells all of the farm's fresh produce as well as other local foods and confectionary, to pick up some fresh eggs, bread and a slice of what is possibly the most amazing vanilla cheesecake I've ever tasted to take home.

Before we could leave I had to have a stern conversation with a cockerel who'd made himself at home in front of my car in the carpark. He finally moved on, whilst complaining loudly, and this prompted me to wonder whether anyone has ever been attacked by a cock. I did a google search when I got home and the results were...well, best left off this blog, I think.

We'll be returning to Knitsley soon, apparently the Sunday lunches are amazing (although I am not a huge Sunday dinner fan, as I've mentioned previously). Considering how busy it gets, I'd imagine you definitely need to book, though.

Have you tried Knitsley Farm?

Sunday, 23 November 2014

My Little Box - November

I was only just starting to get over the excitement of my October My Little Box when the mailroom at work informed me that a VERY, VERY, EXTREMELY IMPORTANT PACKAGE had arrived for me. (I often remind them that any packages that come for me are, obviously, ESSENTIAL and I need to be informed RIGHT AWAY. I'll stop with the capitals now.)

Turns out it was my November edition of My Little Box, and this month's theme is My Little Cosy Box. Who doesn't love cosy? Nobody, that's who. So I excitedly opened my parcel. The first thing I pulled out was this adorable polka dotted heat cushion. How cute! The idea of this is that you pop it in the microwave and use it to keep you snuggly on those cold winter nights whilst watching Tom Hardy movies And pretending the cushion is actually Tom Hardy. Now, I do like the idea of this, but in reality I'm not sure it's something I'll use. In fact, I'm pretty sure I already have one of these cushiony things somewhere in my house. Still, it's red, and polka dotted. I like it!

The next item in my cosy box is this adorable little coffee mug featuring original artwork by MLB's resident artiste Kanako. So cute, and perfect for espresso! If only I drank it. I'm a tea, tea and more tea kinda gal, but this mug is so cute that I'm sure I'll find a use for it elsewhere. Maybe to hold my makeup brushes?

Like last month, my box also contained a simple but chic drawstring pouch. This month's contained a black volume mascara by My Little Beauty, an Arcancil waterproof eye pencil and an Intense Colour Eye Shadow by Yves Rocher in the colour Brun Cafe Mat. I actually really like the pencil and the shadow, which can be used to create a simple smoky eye as shown in the copy of My Little World mag which is also in the box. I'm reserving judgement on the mascara as I've only briefly tried it so far.

So - another super cute offering from My Little Box. Not gonna lie, I don't love this like I loved my October box, but then, that was DVF themed, so it was never really going to live up to that, was it? The cushion and the mug will probably be relegated to my 'bought never to be seen again' drawer but the boxes arrive so exquisitely packaged that I'll be keeping my subscription going just to receive more pretty parcels.

Have you given in to My Little Box yet?

Friday, 21 November 2014

Gift Inspo - CandyRocks Winter Collection

It seems like statement jewellery is sticking around for a while, and this is GREAT news for me for a couple of reasons; firstly, I love a good ol' bit o' bling, and secondly, as I've mentioned before, I have a little sideline venture with a friend called CandyRocks Jewellery. We sell...errmm...statement jewellery. Sooo....

Yeah. There may be a slightly selfish reason for this post but in all honesty, I don't know many (female!) people who don't love a good statement piece. For that reason, they make the perfect Christmas gift!

When choosing pieces for our Winter Collection my fellow CandyRocks-er Andrea and I wanted to go for lots of sparkle, rich, jewel tones and pieces that would really pack a punch at the Christmas party. And of course, as always, we wanted to keep our prices low (this is mainly due to me being from the 'Oh, that's all? In which case I'll have two!' school of shopping.)

As with all things CandyRocks, styles are only ever available in very limited numbers so you won't see loads of people wearing the same piece. And if you do, chances are they paid WAY more than you did! We've spotted a few of our styles on the high street and in magazines at much higher prices than ours.

These are a few of our current pieces, although stock changes all the time. To order, message us via our facebook page - postage prices start at £1.30.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Feeling Festive at Bayberry Hollow

For a while now, people who know about my love of tea and cake have been asking me if I've visited Bayberry Hollow. Aside from cooing over the incredibly cute name, I'd been told that this little converted pub-come-gift-shop in Tanfield has a gorgeous tea room serving delicious cakes. SOLD!

Although Tanfield isn't too far from where I live, the Husband and I had a rather perilous drive through ridiculously thick fog to find the place on Saturday morning, as I wanted to get there as soon as it opened since I'd heard the tea room is incredibly popular. We got there in one piece so as I parked the car I'd already decided to reward myself with a huge slice of cake. Seems fair, right?

As I mentioned, Bayberry Hollow is also a gift shop, so we had a little mooch around this part first. I spotted around 100 things I loved and mentally tried to work out who I could give them all to for Christmas (I find this tactic lessens my usual shopping guilt). Since we are hurtling into the festive period now, the gift shop was full of cute decorative items including some amazing smelling candles in Christmassy scents like Cranberry Spice and Frankincense.

The building used to be a pub, so there are lots of alcoves and low beams which gives the place a really cosy feel (watch your head, though!). The tea room is at the back of the building up a small flight of stairs, and there is also a snug lounge area off to the right. Whilst exploring I also had a peek at the upstairs area which has recently been converted into the Bay Lounge where evening events including Tapas nights will be held. I love the idea of this so will definitely be checking it out!

Anyway, back to the important subject of food. The tea room counter was piled high with delicious looking scones and I was very tempted to go with one of those until I spotted the Victoria sponge. For some reason, I just can't resist a Victoria sponge, so that and a pot of tea
it was for me (yes, I am now eating cake for breakfast). The Husband went for a more traditional breakfast of a bacon sandwich and pumpkin latte. My cake was delicious, light and fluffy with lots of filling, and the Husband's sarnie was apparently delicious too (yet again, I didn't get a sniff of it).

The other cakes on the menu (Chocolate Heaven. Need I say more?!) all sounded delicious too so OBVIOUSLY I'm going to have to go back very soon and try them. I could have happily sat sipping tea in Bayberry Hollow all day but it started to get really busy once we'd finished our food so we left. I'll definitely be popping back again before Christmas both for the cakes and to pick up a few gifts. I might even just go back to hover around for a while, since the place has such a lovely, welcoming homely feel.

I'll also be dragging asking the Husband to go back so he can buy me this for Christmas. IT'S A MOUSE! IN WELLINGTONS! You can't actually see the wellingtons due to my crappy photography but take my word for it, it's wearing wellingtons. So cute.

Have you visited Bayberry Hollow?