Monthly Archives

September 2014

Beauty Haul

Boots haul #2

September 29, 2014

It’s been a while since I’ve bought any beauty products because I’ve been trying to use what I’ve already got. I was running low on some things so here’s a little Boots haul. 

Soap & Glory – The Breakfast Scrub: This is a repurchase because I love this scrub (here’s my review.) It smells so nice and leaves your skin feeling soft. If you haven’t had a sniff yet, it smells of pancakes and syrup, what more do you need to know? 

Soap & Glory – Orangeasm body wash: I’m slowly getting to the end of Clean on Me (again, here’s my review) and I’ve heard about this on a few blogs and since all S&G stuff was one buy one get one half price, it made sense to get a new body wash now. 

Barry M Gelly nail paint – Chilli and Mustard: I saw Barry M’s autumn range on Lucy’s Stash and thought Chilli and Mustard were the perfect autumn colours for me.   

Boots hair grips: Nothing exciting to say about this one. Hair grips seem to wander and I’m running low.

Montagne Jeunesse – Hot Spring Sauna: I’ve taken to using a face mask once a week and it’s been a while since I’ve used a Montagne Jeunesse one and the sound of a warming face mask was too much to resist. 

Eylure Brow Shapers: My Mum bought a packet of these a few weeks back and I tried them and loved them. They’re great for keeping your brows looking in decent condition. 

Have you tried any of these? What did you think? 




Fitness, Humour

It takes HOW long to burn 200 calories?!

September 25, 2014



Yesterday I went to the gym to continue following my Couch 2 5k app and do you know how long it took to burn 224 calories? HALF AN HOUR! 

I wasn’t running for half an hour straight but I felt shattered afterwards, so I was expecting a bit more than that. Why does it take so long to burn calories? 

I’m not in the business of counting calories, but I am partial to the odd biscuit, or ten. 

My favourite’s are malted milks (or cow biscuits as they’re called in my house) and I can quite easily eat half a packet without realising I’ve done it. 

Out of curiosity I looked at the packet and each biscuit contains 43 calories, which means when I go to the gym I would need to burn off about 430 calories. So my measly 224 calories in no way burns off that half a packet I inhaled. 

What I have burned off though is 5.3 biscuits. FIVE POINT TWO?! I sweated for half an hour, felt like my heart was going to explode, battled a major stitch and spent time in a place with other people’s sweat for half an hour for FIVE POINT TWO BISCUITS?! No, that’s not cricket.  

I go to the gym so I can be naughty and eat the odd half a packet of biscuits and still fit in my clothes.  

We all know that we have a recommended daily allowance of calories for me at least, it doesn’t mean much until you realise how much effort it takes to remove any extra calories. 

400 calories doesn’t sound as bad as an hours running does it? That sounds long and torturous. 

I think that if food companies printed on food packets (especially unhealthy foods) how long you would need to walk / run / cycle that off people would think twice about making unhealthy decisions. 

Unhealthy eating is a habit and like any habit it’s hard to break. If I read on the packet of a chocolate bar that I would need to run for an hour to burn it off, I would decide I didn’t want the chocolate bar anymore. 

Source

It looks like I’m going to actually have to go to the gym three times a week now instead of saying I go to the gym, or thinking about going to the gym. 

What food is your weakness? 


Photography

18 awesome things about autumn

September 24, 2014

I am fully embracing the arrival of autumn. It’s my very favourite time of the year and there is so much to love about it. 

  • It’s finally cool – I don’t do warm at all, hence the Twilight vampire complexion
  • Crisp morning air 
  • Winter boots
  • Wearing slipper socks to work under your boots 
  • The way dew highlights spiders webs 
  • It’s acceptable to drink hot chocolate at any time of the day
  • The leaves changing colour 
  • Mist rising off the fields
  • Preparation for Christmas (much better than Christmas itself) 
  • Snuggly hats and gloves 
  • Winter coats 
  • Warming up by the fire
  • Being all cosy sitting by a window with a warm drink and a book and looking out at autumn in all it’s glory
  • Soup for lunch 
  • Going deer-spotting with my camera 
  • Layering clothes  
  • I can start knitting copious amounts of hats again (I need to make some mittens this year)
  • It’s time to crack out the Christmas scented candles 

Please, gush about autumn below. 

Life

The time I passed out in Blue Banana

September 19, 2014
Yes, this post comes with an embarrassing
MySpace-era photo of my goodself in my emo days. 

As a teenager I had a half-assed rebellious streak and became an emo kid with a couple of piercings. I had two lip piercings and decided I needed a piece of metal in my nose too.


One Saturday I went to my piercing place of choice, Blue Banana. For those of you who don’t know it’s a shop that sells emo and alternative clothing and rock band and TV show merchandise. They also do piercings.

I’d never had a problem with any of my previous piercings so I thought nothing of it when she said she’d nicked the inside of my nose – you know the part she wasn’t supposed to stab with a needle. 

It wasn’t gushing out and I didn’t feel ill so I hopped down and walked out into the shop to see my friends.

Half way there everything began going black and I passed out, taking out a shelf with me.

If you have never passed out before, it’s really weird. You get black spots on your vision and before you know it everything is black and it feels like you’ve had a really good sleep. I dreamt about Pokemon (I don’t know if that always happens) and it felt as if is been asleep for hours. 

I came around and it was just like waking up in the morning, apart from the huge security guard stood over me. In reality I’d been out  for 10 seconds, if that. Half an hour later with a Starbucks in me I felt right as rain. 

It turns out that my body does not take kindly to blood loss. (Something I later rediscovered when doing the finger prick test at university to test my blood type – I didn’t quite pass out but I sat on the floor of a laboratory for an hour.)

The piercing wasn’t meant to be though as days later I managed to knock the stud out. I replaced it with another ring but it got infected and a green pussy blob on your nose is not attractive.

I don’t really know why I felt the need to share this story with you. Well actually I do. Last night it suddenly came back to me and I found myself chuckling and thought it was worth a blog. 

Have you ever passed out somewhere or had a ridiculous reaction to a piercing? 
Uncategorized

Ripped jeans | Jamie – Topshop

September 18, 2014

It’s been far too long since I wore a pair of jeans that had tears in acceptable places. 

I’m the kind of girl who wears jeans to their death. Until I can no longer wear them because I would be showing the world my pants. 

About four and a half years ago when I went to New York I bought a pair of ripped jeans from Forever 21 and they lasted about two years. I wore them to the point where they grew holes in the crotch and I was forced to say goodbye to them.  

I’m ridiculously fussy when it comes to jeans in terms of fit, colour and material so it has seriously taken me two years to find another pair that I consider right for me. 

I spied Topshop’s Jamie ripped jeans a few months back but I’m far too tight to spend £42 on a pair of jeans. Luckily for me my sister gave me a gift card for my birthday which took most of the damage. 

These jeans are insanely cosy, the fit is brilliant and they are high-waisted. I’ve recently come to appreciate high-wasted jeans, no risk of builders butt! 

I’ve seriously missed my ripped jeans. You know what I haven’t missed though? Smart ass comments like ‘did you fall over?.’ I’d forgotten how annoying that was. 

What do you think about ripped jeans? Yay or nay. 

Food, Germany, Humour, Italy, Travel

Pizza wars: Italy vs Germany

September 17, 2014
Pizza Wars: Germany Vs Italy


It’s fair to say I’m a bit of a pizza fanatic. Some of my friends wonder if I even eat anything else (I do.)

For years I have longed to go to Italy and eat their pizza. With the taste of that glorious pizza I had in Germany (this must be the 6000th time I’ve mentioned it now) fresh in my memory, I wanted to find out if Italy could beat it. 

With my constant waffling about the German pizza, I think we’re all aware of how high the standards are. I was confident that Italy, the birthplace of pizza, would have no problem kicking German pizza’s butt. 

I was wrong. 

During my trip to Italy I ate four pizzas at different ‘restaurants’ (that’s a term I use loosely and you’ll see why soon.) I wasn’t overly-impressed with any of them. 

First the was a pizza from a restaurant in Lake Como which was pretty bland and forgettable (Yes, I describe some pizzas as forgettable like a song.)

Secondly there was the pizza in my hotel. Now you might be saying ‘well what did you expect?’ What I expected was a delicious pizza. I’ve stayed in a few IBIS hotels this year and the one in Spain and Germany made very nice pizza. This one did not. 

In fact, it was microwave pizza. Can you believe that’s even legal in Italy? 

My IBIS pizza was an insult to Italy and pizza. The base was soggy, the tomato sauce was bitter and there was not enough cheese. It sucked. It also cost me €8.50! €8.50 for a crap pizza. The glorious German pizza only cost €7! Why not just slap me in the face?

The third was from McDonald’s. It wasn’t really a pizza, it was more like a calzonne. I think it was called a pizzarotto. It was alright but didn’t taste of much. 

The fourth was actually the best pizza I had all week, though it wasn’t great. It was a slice of pizza that had probably been sat out for hours from LIDL.

My Italian pizza experience was disappointing and Germany is the clear winner here. If you’re planning to go to Italy for pizza, don’t. Go to Im Alten Zollhaus in Aachen, Germany – it’s not that far, it’ll take you about eight hours by car. 

What’s the best pizza you’ve ever had? 




Uncategorized

Triptych – Karin Slaughter (Will Trent #1) | Book review

September 16, 2014
Source: Goodreads
Spoiler free! 
Title: Triptych (Will Trent #1) 
Author: Karin Slaughter
Genre: Crime, thriller


Goodreads descriptionIn the city of Atlanta, women are dying—at the hands of a killer who signs his work with a single, chilling act of mutilation. Leaving behind enough evidence to fuel a frenzied police hunt, this cunning madman is bringing together dozens of lives, crossing the boundaries of wealth and race. And the people who are chasing him must cross those boundaries too. Among them is Michael Ormewood, a veteran detective whose marriage is hanging by a thread—and whose arrogance and explosive temper are threatening his career. And Angie Polaski, a beautiful vice cop who was once Michael’s lover before she became his enemy.

But another player has entered the game: a loser ex-con who has stumbled upon the killer’s trail in the most coincidental of ways—someone who may be the key to breaking the case wide open.



It appears to have become a bit of a habit that I read a Karin Slaughter book every September. 

I’ve read two of her books from the Will Trent series, Fallen (my review) and Criminal (my review) and really enjoyed them. Before picking up the next book in the series I decided I would start the series from the beginning to do it justice.  

Before I go any further, I want to stress that if you don’t pick up the first book you won’t struggle to get to know the characters. Their past and personality is revisited, explained and built on each book so it isn’t essential to start at the start.  

Slaughter builds fantastically detailed characters, all of which have intricate backstories, making it harder to figure out the ‘whodunnit’.   

Triptych follows our three main characters and at times it flicks between the past and the present day in the book. It isn’t done in a confusing way and with dates at the start of each chapter you can easily tell where you are and know which character you’re following within the first sentence.  

As you may have guessed from the series name, the main character is called Will Trent. He’s a loveable character with quite a sad backstory and I personally, couldn’t help but like him and his slightly awkward ways. 

I haven’t read many crime novels but I thought this was quite gory and I think it was more graphic than two other books I’ve read from this series. There are plenty of people on Goodreads who agree so this might not be for you if you don’t like gore and graphic detail. 

Triptych is an unpredictable and thrilling crime novel. There’s a magical moment where everything clicks and the story is drawn together and all is revealed. 

I always love it when an author managed to keep you in the dark for the most part but then after the reveal all the little clues make sense when you look back at what’s happened. 

If you like a good crime novel I cannot recommend this book, and anything else from this series, enough. 

This book was that good that I began reading it in the airport when I went to Italy and I somehow managed to finish it in 24 hours despite being crazy busy. 

In short: A thrilling and gripping start to a series. 

Price: UK Kindle – £3.32 // UK Amazon – £3.50 paperback

Would I recommend it: Yes, though perhaps not if you don’t like gory detail. 

Have you read anything by Karin Slaughter before? Or can you recommend me another crime author? 

Writing

The next step…

September 15, 2014

Today I wanted to share a dream and a fear and beg for some advice. 

Some of you may know that outside of my day job I am a Formula One journalist and it is my dream to make a living out of writing. 

For almost two years I have been writing for F1Plus.com and over time my responsibilities have grown. I began submitting the occasional opinion piece and then I started to pick up some news stories and now I cover a large portion of the news on the website as well as attending races. 

As a fellow blogger you can probably understand how difficult it can be to hold down a full-time job, blog and live. I feel things are beginning to come to the point where I need to take the plunge and try to quit the day job because I don’t feel that my day job, my writing job or my family and friends are getting enough attention. 

All three of those are suffering and I think it’s time to focus on writing. If I really want to make writing work, I have to quit the day job so I can spend more time writing about F1 and try to create some kind of income from that and freelance SEO and writing work. 

I’m lucky that I live at home so I don’t have huge bills to pay however I do need to afford to get to races. I keep thinking that if I don’t try it now I will regret it but I’m pretty sensible so the other part of me is thinking, ‘Yeah but what if it goes wrong? How are you going to get a job again? You’re going to end up working in a bar forever.’

I’m worried about taking the plunge and failing and I need your help, lovely readers of mine. 

I’m willing to bet that some of you are freelancers, or maybe you do a bit in your spare time, so please, please, share some tips, useful blogs or your thoughts on your experience with me. 

I’ve read a few books and a few blogs but to my mind, there are still a lot of questions unanswered which I think I have to find out by doing.