Wednesday, 29 April 2015

RECENT PURCHASES: APRIL

It's VLOG TIME! Since my last video, I have realised how much I love video blogging! I think it's a combination of me being an absolute show pony and never shutting up, and YOUR amazing feedback! So I just wanna say a massive thank you to anybody who has taken the time to comment/tweet me/message me/give me positive feedback because it has allowed me to breathe a huge sigh of relief and get over the nervous breakdown I had before posting my first video. 

I have decided to film a haul of the things I have purchased in the last week or so. Apologies for the lack of editing AGAIN. *Slap on the wrist* I said I would improve for next time and I think the quality has actually got worse (LOL). But I am asking my parents for a swanky new camera for my birthday next month (So at least I can look the part!) and I am going to book myself in for an iMovie tutorial at the Apple shop so watch this space.

Another apology for filming in my dressing gown like an absolute SLOB! I had just finished work and couldn't wait to get some comfy clothes on after my disgusting 6am wake up call. I know I apologise for this at the start of the video but my excuse is that I had just finished work and the sun is shining so it was a perfect time to film?!?!?! Not sure how that is an excuse for looking like a couch potato but I guess I just got caught up in the moment of filming and just went with any excuse! ENJOY! 


Monday, 27 April 2015

#THECITYGIRLS: SHEFFIELD LAUNCH

I was ever so lucky to be invited to #TheCityGirls first ever event last week. It was held in Sheffield on April 25th at one of my favourite little bars, Bloo 88. Don't worry if you weren't on the guest-list this time though, as Holly and Lorna (the girls behind #TheCityGirls) plan to make it the first of many blogger meets across the UK. (Did somebody say #TAKEOVER?!) 

Greeted by Voss, Jelly Belly, balloons and Virtue....Let the fun begin!
#TheCityGirls is my second ever blogger event, so of course I got that horrible nervous feeling as I was getting ready that morning. Annoyingly, after the absolute heatwave we have been having this week, it was cloudy when I woke up so I had to wear tights. I teamed them with my cute new dolly dress from Topshop (I think it's actually nightwear(!) but whatevs) and my leather gilet, also from Topshop. On my feet I debuted my new River Island heeled boots-the ones from my VLOG!




As soon as I arrived at Bloo 88, I was greeted by 29 other lovely bloggers and felt right at ease. Who would have thought four hours later I would be leaving feeling like I had known them for years! Everybody was drinking fabulous looking cocktails, but as I knew I was going to be stuffing my face with unlimited pizza later on I decided to stick to water and lime.

Daaaaaarling.


Shortly after I arrived (late, as usual), we were invited upstairs to a private room decorated so beautifully. Everywhere I looked there were goodies /brands/ speakers/ drinks/ demonstrations, it was kind of like a Charlie and the chocolate factory moment- I didn't know where to begin! Lorna and Holly gave us a short but sweet (and hilarious!) introduction to themselves and to the concept of #TheCityGirls, and the day started with a talk from Amber from the City Hearts charity. City Hearts is an organisation which aims to support vulnerable women and victims of human trafficking. There was a raffle with some fabulous prizes on offer so I think all of us bought a raffle ticket, with all proceeds going to the charity. I think we managed to raise £175 which is great!


The fabulous hosts introducing themselves



We were then given a couple of hours to mingle with the other bloggers, and chat to the brands. There were Second Thread, a Sheffield clothing company, LUSH, Benefit, CinnamonBuns Designs, a personalised printing company, and Panache, who were offering complementary bra fittings. The event was also sponsored by Voss water, to keep us all hydrated in between all the cocktails and carbs! I met so many lovely girls- especially Sarah from WhatSassSays! Dotted around the room were various treats and trinkets, from teeny miniature perfumes (courtesy of Penhaligons) bottles of Henderson's Relish, delicious Virtue iced tea, Jelly Belly jellybeans, strawberry bon bons, pear drops, cupcakes, you name it!


Water always tastes better in a fancy bottle- right?
Lunch was EIGHTEEN pizza's which Holly and Lorna had sorted out for us. I think me and Sass ate about seventeen of these- apologies! Thank God I was wearing my nightie so my enormous food baby was hidden. My favourite had to be the sun-dried tomato and pesto pizza. Not pictured, as I had probably eaten the whole thing before I managed to take a photo, LOL.


#CARBOCIDE


In hindsight I should have got my boobs measured BEFORE I ate my bodyweight in pizza's, as I probably gained about three cup sizes in pizza dough! But the lady from Panache was lovely and assured me that I was wearing the correct size bra- Hooray! She also warned me about the effects of not wearing the right bra size....saggy tits. And NOBODY wants that, so make sure you get measured regularly ladies! After I had been fitted, ***** gave me a brochure featuring the new Panache collections and told me to choose any underwear set, sports bra, or swimwear set and she will send it to me. I was so excited I just wanted to sit and choose my set then and there, but I waited till I got home so I could analyse the brochure cover to cover before  made my choice. I will be sure to blog it when it arrives!


My favourite print from CinnamonBun Designs



The ladies from LUSH were amazing as ever, I love how passionate they are about their products! I always learn something new. This time they told me about the new 'Vote for Animals' campaign, which of course  I was all ears because I am obsessed with anything cruelty free. They gave me an amazing goody bag with a full size 'Prince Charming' shower gel, which smells of marshmallows!!!! It has to be one of my favourite smells ever, I just want to eat it! I also chose a hard shampoo bar in 'Honey, I Washed My Hair' and a rose bath bomb. They also gave me a sample of their new sesame suntan lotion which I cannot wait to try. (I just need a day off work first so I can see a glimmer of actual sunlight.)


My inner animal activist running wild!
The lovely Rachel from Benefit was demonstrating Brow-Zings brow wax and the new Roller Lash, however I wear a LOT of make-up so it was hard for her to try anything on me, but she did tell me a lot about the new Roller Lash, and gave me a sample of the They're Real! remover to try with my They're Real mascara. Does anybody else feel like they need some kind of industrial cleaner to get this mascara off at the end of the day? Hopefully the remover will reduce the torture my poor little eyelids go through daily when I have to remove my make-up. (Will keep you posted!)


Cupcakes and cosmetics, a match made in heaven

Towards the end of the day we drew the raffle, and I'm not gonna lie there were some pretty damn good prizes on offer! Everything from cinema tickets, Blanx teeth whitening, gin gift sets, Thomas Sabo necklaces, to name a few. I personally had my eyes on a gin taster session and a cocktail masterclass (can you sense the theme here?) My liver will probably thank me for NOT winning them, however I did manage to snag a cute little Cath Kidston-style trio of mini cases, they look like they will make a lovely background for my Instagram posts.


Treats galore!


And of course the goody bag! All I can say is WOW. I will be blogging the contents as soon as I can get it written up- by the looks of things it might take me a while!


ITSSSSS CHRISTTTTMASSSSS!!!


And last but not least, I just want to say a MASSIVE well done to Holly and Lorna for putting on an incredible event, you completely exceeded all expectations and more! I had a fabulous day from beginning to end and met some lovely bloggers. I can't wait to attend more #TheCityGirls events in the future!

Sunday, 19 April 2015

RECIPE: LOW FAT QUORN SWEET POTATO COTTAGE PIE

This is one of my all time favourite meals! As much as I love going out for dinner at a lavish restaurant, I just don't think you can beat good old comfort food. I know there are loads of versions of the old classic shepherds pie, but I have tailored this to fit in with my diet plan. I have just spent the last hour sweating my soul out on the treadmill so on this particular occasion I have added a bit of naughty feta cheese on top for a bit of indulgence. (You can always omit this if you are being a little more strict with your calories.)






Serves 4

INGREDIENTS:
1x bag of QUORN mince (300g)
1 red onion
1 pepper (any colour is fine)
1 carrot
1x can of chopped tomatoes
1x beef stock cube (you only need about half)
seasoning! I used salt, pepper, chilli flakes, and a little shake of some chilli con carne flavouring I found lurking in my cupboard
1x large sweet potato (about 450g)

METHOD:

1. Chop the sweet potato into small chunks and put into a medium size pan. I decided to leave the skin on because I like a more rustic, chunky mash (also I couldn't really be arsed to peel it), but you can peel it if you wish. Boil the kettle, pour over the potato chunks and leave to boil until they are soft.

2. Chop your onion, pepper and carrot into small pieces. Pour a little oil into a large frying pan, and add the chopped veg. Let them soften a little, then add the whole bag of QUORN mince and chopped tomatoes. Make up your stock according to the instructions, and slowly add to the mixture. Add your seasoning and leave to simmer for about 10 minutes.

3. When the sweet potato is completely soft, drain completely and mash with a fork. 

4. Tip the mince mixture from the frying pan into a small casserole dish, and top with the mash. I crumbled 30g of feta cheese over the top for a little indulgence, but you can always leave this out.

5. Oven cook on 200 degrees for about 20 minutes and VOILA!

Quorn mince has SO much less fat and calories than standard mince so if you are watching your figure this is perfect. My recipe doesn't include any butter or cream either so you can enjoy completely guilt free!



Let me know if you give it a go!


Friday, 17 April 2015

APRIL LUST LIST

APRIL LUST LIST

Little bit of a late lust list this month! I have been working sooooo many hours, then I went back home last weekend for my friends birthday so I have been slacking a little on the old blog, but I am back! So I will stop wasting time and crack on with this month's wish-list...
(Starting top left)
IT IS OFFICIALLY BIKINI SEASON. I have already been buying quite a few beaut pieces for this years trip abroad so far, and after booking holiday number 2 this week I don't need any more excuses to invest in more! I LOVE the colour of this rust number from Topshop, it is going to look AH-MAZING with a nice deep tan, and I love the plaited detail.
KIMONOS. Again, a holiday essential. I love this black Topshop piece, it looks even better from behind as it has a super low back. Stuuuupidly I didn't buy this when it came in a couple of weeks ago and now we have sold out :( I think I am going to have to plan a trip to Manchester/Leeds and see what their Topshop hotshop is saying.
TOPSHOP FRINGED SNAKE PRINT CLUTCH BAG. I think I have talked about this bag way too much already, so much in fact it is actually so weird that I haven't already bought it. Strange.
FOR LOVE & LEMONS DRESS. It is my BIRTHDAY next month!!!!!!! Yes, I will be turning VERY OLD (23) and my boyfriend is taking me to Manchester for the night so I need something super sexy to show off in. We are officially into the one month countdown now so if anybody can point me in the direction of some amazing birthday-girl-worthy dresses then hook a sista up.
ADIDAS X PHARRELL SUPERCOLORS. I fell in love with these bad boys ever since I laid eyes on them! They come in fifty colours but I have been dead set on red since day 1. However when I was lusting over them in Foot Locker the other day I kinda fell in love with the pink. And now I can't decide. WAH.
Anastasia Beverly Hills cream contour kit. Apparently impossible to get hold of? I know they also do a powder contour kit but I would much prefer to try the cream. My Dad goes to Vegas next month so ideally I could get him to pick me up a palette from Sephora or Macy's but I know he's gonna have absolutely no idea what the hell it is and come home with some Collection 2000 pressed powder from the duty free at the airport or something.                          
NARS LIGHT REFLECTING POWDER. Is this the light powder that make-up artists use under the eyes and then dust off at the last minute to reveal a glowing under-eye area? I am dying to know the secret! Now I mention it, I STILL have a MAC make-up lesson voucher that my boyfriend got me for Christmas that I haven't redeemed, hopefully I can learn SOMETHING so I can stop looking like the slug receptionist from Monsters Inc every day of my life.
TIPTOP TIE DYE KIMONO. I LOVE this so much! I have seen so many customers try it on and can't stop thinking about how amazing it will look on holiday. I also can't help thinking about it being reduced to about £5 in the end of summer sale after I have forked out £36 for it and worn it twice. #THESTRUGGLE

What's on your April lust list? Have you started holiday shopping yet?

Thursday, 16 April 2015

GET HOLIDAY READY WITH PRIMARK!

Yes, Primark! But before you click the 'X' and get back to your shopping basket on Net-A-Porter, just hear me out. Now I am an absolute sucker for a designer label, just by browsing down through my older posts you can see how I am always lusting after little luxuries. Not particularly with clothes, but bags, belts, accessories, shoes, I am ALL over it. I love nothing more than buying myself an entire new holiday wardrobe before I jet off, even if I am only going away for a week, and then half the things I buy I don't even end up wearing anyway. 

On my way to the gym last week I passed Primark and noticed the holiday department in the window. I am in dire need of updating my bikini collection before I go away, and had a little time to kill before my 'Body Attack' class started so I decided to check out what they had to offer, and I must say I was pleasantly surprised!


SO much money is wasted on bits and bobs we buy in preparation for our holidays (especially mine) and as I was browsing the aisles I realised how much money I could be saving myself by purchasing them at Primark. (More dollar to spend whilst I'm away!) Of course, there is a LOT of crap, but if you are lucky you can discover some absolute gems. For example these bikinis! The patterns are so summery and fun, and I especially love the cute frilly bandeau top with the matching high waisted bottoms. This style is so popular at pool parties in the summer time, and at a fraction of the price you would be paying elsewhere you can afford to buy one for every day of the week (£12!!!) Personally I look VILE in a high waisted bikini, it does absolutely nothing for my body shape so I just bought the one on the left, I think it will look beaut with a nice dark tan.

Left bikini set £8
Right bikini set £12

That brings me to the accessories! Why buy a hat for £20-£30 when lets be honest you are probably only going to wear it about three times. These were a measly FOUR POUNDS each! I also spied a massive cream floppy hat but it was positioned next to the ugliest bags in the history of bags, and my blog is not ready for that kind of atrocity yet.


And everybody needs a beach bag! I found this little treat for £8. I love the raffia style, so easy to match with anything. Plus it is big enough for a towel, suncream, all your beach essentials, and even a few bottles of vodka to sneak in to which ever pool party you are en route to.


I didn't know that Primark also sold miniature toiletries! This excited me because I love EVERYTHING miniature, and at a fraction of the price of Boots/Superdrug, you would be crazy not to stock up. Make-up sponges, mini shaving foam, nail files, vaseline, exfoliating gloves, hand cream, you name it! And it ISN'T just Primark own brand stuff, which could be decent (emphasis on the COULD), but for now I am too much of a cosmetic snob to try it out. For the toiletry brand lovers out there, Primark stock Carmex, Vaseline, Nivea, Simple, Herbal Essences etc etc etc.


All your favourite brands at a fraction of the cost...in miniature! Perfect for travelling.

Disposable bottles are perfect for trips away to save your using all your luggage allowance on full size toiletries! 
And last but not least, Primark even cater for all you CRAZY bitches hitting IBIZA this year!!!!! (loooooooooooool) Ok, so I maybe slightly taking the piss here but hey, if laser finger beams are your thing then you can grab a right bargain here!

(Who the F created this,)

WHY PRIMARK WHY


Have you managed to snag any bargains this year? I rarely shop in Primark but I will most definitely be picking up some holiday essentials and saving myself some money this summer!

Monday, 13 April 2015

HEY, IT'S OK! (Inspired by Glamour)

To spend all night stalking hot girls on insta and crying about how ugly you are...you never know who could be stalking yours and thinking the same!

To constantly re-evaluate your life and wonder what the hell you are doing. Just remember, everything will be OK in the end, and if it isn't OK, it's not the end. (I LOVE that quote.)

To tell the whole world on every social media feed that you are going to the gym and that you are healthy eating...Remember to include a photo of your trainers to prove it!



To then upload a photo of the worlds largest Chinese takeaway three days later..Because we ALL know junk food feasts rake in the most likes on Instagram ;)

To spend the journey to your destination making up a long-winded sob story excuse as to why you are late, when in actual fact you have spent the last hour taking that perfect Instagram worthy selfie.



To rough draft a text message three times and ask a friend to double check it twice before you send it to a new crush. Only for him to reply 'cool'. We've all been there.

To continue to wear oversized sunglasses even when it's raining. It's Spring. Sunglasses are accepted anytime. (This mainly applies to me after the amount I just spent- They will be glued to my face 24/7 rain or shine!)

To be utterly obsessed with a 17 year old. Yes I am referring to Kylie Jenner. I'm sure when I was 17 I was still wearing glitter hair gel, wearing Hush Puppy trainers and got about £3 pocket money a week, not a multi-millionaire cruising around LA in a G Wagon and dating rappers. SO. FREAKING. JEALOUS.

#INSANE

To ignore that comment on Insta asking where your outfit is from, juuuust to make sure you are the only one rocking it for that little while longer....until someone spills the beans eventually. (Ugh.)

To plan an imaginary argument with somebody in the shower and plan what you want to say down to a tee. Who knows, you might get to act it out for real one day.. Just remember Charlotte in SATC when Big stands up Carrie at their wedding!




Friday, 10 April 2015

VLOG #1! RIVER ISLAND HAUL

The day is finally here! I actually recorded this video on Wednesday morning before work, but by the time I would have got home at 10pm it would have been too late to post. Then my MacBook completely locked me out on Thursday and the earliest one of the guys from Apple could call me to sort it out was this morning, so I felt like everything was against me to stop me posting this video! Is that a sign to delete the video and pretend it never happened?! Maybe. But after the positive response from all my loyal readers on Twitter and Instagram (love u guyz) I have decided to bite the bullet and reveal my first ever VLOG!

I decided to show off my River Island sale bargains in my haul video. I found it so much easier to record a vid as opposed to attempting to take flattering photos so if this has a good response I promise to do more!

Oh, and before I forget, apologies for the lack of editing/music/lighting/all singing all dancing additions! I have just purchased iMovie and had no idea how confusing it would be to try and edit a video. Im not gonna lie- I thought it was going to be like creating a slideshow on Microsoft Powerpoint...Boy was I wrong! Going to watch some tutorials and try and knowledge myself on editing- All tips welcome!

\

I was quite surprised how well filming went. I had the perfect lighting, perfect space to film...aside from channelling Debbie from 'TOWIE' with my bushy fro and my sweaty upper lip things seemed to go TOO well. Until I walked back into my bedroom to see this little freakazoid copying me. Of COURSE the little show pony couldn't help but get involved! Do you think he has caught the blogging bug? Will there be a RyanDutton.com coming soon? Watch this space! (LOL)


What did you think? Shall I continue with the Vlogs or just stick to blogging?

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

SUNS OUT, PRADA'S OUT

*MASSIVE PURCHASE ALERT* So last week when I finished work, my friend Chloe and I decided to have a little browse round the shops before we left Meadowhall. En route to Zara we decided to take a little detour into the Sunglass Hut. It is an open plan store on the corner so it takes a lot of willpower not to pop in and try and few pairs on. Anyone who has been reading my blog for a while will know that I have been lusting over THAT pair of Miu Miu sunglasses since forever, however it was this pair of thick tortoise shell Prada shades that caught my eye this time. I LOVE how unique and bold they are, but with a £215 price tag, I reluctantly put them back.


When I got home I couldn't stop thinking about how amazing they would be for my holiday this year, and just summer in general. I attempted to justify the price by all the 'oh, well sunglasses ARE an essential....and I WILL wear them every day.....' And after a positive response from my Twitter pals, it was a definite case of #YOLO! I bought them the next day using a voucher code from O2 Priority moments which gave me a massive 20% off! For anyone who is on the O2 network and hasn't downloaded it yet then WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU PLAYING AT?! It is a free app which displays all the offers in your local area, with everything from free coffee's at Cafe Nero, to 25% off your food bill at certain restaurants, to dozens of shopping offers! The offer brought the grand total of my sunglasses from £215 to £172.

*Blocking out da haterz*

Now I just have to concentrate on not losing them/sitting on them/scratching them!
What do you think? Do you prefer designer shades over high street brands?

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

MY NEW FAVOURITE HIGHLIGHTING DUO (ft. MAC and NARS)



I bought NARS 'Orgasm' about a year ago after hearing rave reviews about it. Stupidly I didn't try it out first, and when I finally got round to using it, wasn't really a fan. I mean, I love the colour, and I LOVE the name (lol), but as a die-hard bronzer super-fan I found it was a little too rosy for my cheeks. The blusher has flecks of gold in it to make it suit every skin type, but I felt like I looked too pink, like I was having some kind of hot flush, and I didn't want people to assume I was going through the menopause about twenty years too early.

However, after forking out just over £20, I wasn't quite ready to part with it yet. Enter MAC's 'soft and gentle'. This was another wonder product that I kept seeing this crop up on my social media feeds, so last month I caved and bought it.

So SHINY and beautiful!
I apply NARS Orgasm to my cheekbones first, then with the same brush I apply MAC's soft and gentle over the top. It creates a beautiful, delicate soft shimmer which is just perfect for spring. I am currently in the process of toning down my 'daytime' make-up look and I feel this is perfect for me.

(Ignore the hair/hoodie, I was still in the process of getting ready for work!)

Has anybody else tried any of these products? What did you think?

Sunday, 5 April 2015

MY EASTER WEEKEND.


IT'S EASTER! EGGS! JESUS! FOUR DAY WEEKEND! BANK HOLIDAY! Lucky for some, I suppose. Unfortunately for me I have had an absolute SHOCKER of an Easter weekend this year. Why is that, you ask? WELL, don't you worry my little easter bunnies, because I will vent all my frustration to you right now.



FIRST AND FOREMOST. I WORK IN RETAIL. Therefore I have no soul. Just kidding, but it does realllllllllly test your patience, and I sometimes forget what laughter really feels like after having to plaster a false smile across my face all day every day. ALSO we have to work bank holidays. UGH. I got today off (Easter Sunday) but it is one of the only two days a year we are allowed off, but Sundays are my usual days off anyway so it hasn't really affected me much anyway! The ONE good thing is I get paid double time to work tomorrow, which does mean I can't go out tonight, but to be fair I'm not really a fan of bank holidays anyway. I'm not saying I don't love an all day drinking session because I am all for a large glass of rose at 11am, but as soon as the sun goes down town turns into a circus of fighting, ambulances, a very small bartender to crowd ratio, people spewing at the side of the road, you get the picture. I would much rather stay in and watch TOWIE. (Plus I went  out last night so I am way too hungover for round two anyway...)

Top- River Island 

Trousers- Boutique by Topshop
Shoes- Kurt Geiger
(apologies for the poor quality...see Exhibit B)

Exhibit B. Take 209329238. Thank you Ryan for the astounding photography.... :|

I couldn't help but to include this photobomb! HILARIOUS.

SECONDLY. I got no easter eggs!!!! NONE. Not even a mini egg! The closest thing I got was a mini caramel egg my friend gave me at work, after she had chewed off the top half. It's hardly the easter EGGSTRAVAGANZA I was hoping for. Let's hope my parents can pull something out of the bag when I see them next weekend.



THIRDLY. I STILL haven't baked creme egg brownies!! I see them all over my social media feeds every year and always tell myself I will make them. I could have made them today, but instead Ryan took me to the most disgusting Chinese buffet in the world. The meat looked like jelly and SO unappealing, and randomly in with all the sauces there was custard(?!) then a random apple strudel on the side in amongst all the noodles and prawn toast! SO random, I wish I had taken a photo but the waitress was watching me like a hawk. It was actually so hilarious, I would have loved to see somebody smother their food in custard thinking it was curry sauce.

So there we have it! The most un-eastery easter weekend in the world. What did everybody else get up to this Easter?