Friday, 29 January 2010

Friday Finds #10

friday finds

It’s been about six weeks since I’ve done one of these! How annoying for you guys. Anyways. Here’s some hot things from the internet for you to pursue at your leisure. No theme this week, just a mix and match and mish mash.


Tongue Twisters
I occasionally take a quick stop at The Economist’s website for some topical new stories that have a bit more substance than say… the BBC website. As such, when I read this article back in December I book marked it straight away for my next FF so I could share it with other people. It’s not about fashion, or beauty, or even being a student. It’s about the world’s hardest languages. I study accounting and finance, so this has nothing to do with any of my university work, I just found it a really interesting read.


What’s on your shelf?
I discovered this on someone else’s blog a little while ago, I think it might have actually have been Tor’s? Anyways. You probably all already know about it, and I am once again tardy to the party. Shelfari is a website where you can keep track of all your books – what you’re reading, what you’ve read and what you plan to read. You can also go even further and choose which version of every book you own and give details on it’s condition. I’ve not really done much with mine except add all the obvious books, but you can find me here. Don’t laugh at my full name.


Charade Style.
Have you bought your Charade Annual yet? You don’t know what it is? I find that hard to believe! It’s the best articles from Charade Style’s first year, written by the lovely Megan. For only £15 (plus reasonable P&P) you can get a years worth of tips, tricks and inspiration. I ordered mine this morning (thank you pay day!), when will you be ordering yours?


And that is it for today! My new bag arrived literally as I was writing this so maybe some photos tonight or tomorrow. I’m going to see Sherlock Holmes this afternoon (finally!) and it’s sunny outside. I think it’s going to be a good day.


Thursday, 28 January 2010

Review: Red Cherry Lashes and Duo Glue


I talked about quite a while ago and mentioned that I would do a review when they arrived. As a whole, I have to say that I’m neither pleased or unpleased. Just a bit… “meh”, I suppose.

I ordered in the middle of December and waited about a week until I finally got any email response informing me that some of the lashes I had selected were out of stock and asking me to pick others. The lashes which were out of stock were not for me, but a friend so she quickly choose other ones and I emailed them back. From that date it took about two and a half weeks for them to arrive – but obviously they’re coming from America and it was Christmas and New Years.

Everything made it in pretty good condition, however some of the lashes had been substituted with “like for like” lashes. This annoyed me, as if there were more lashes out of stock why didn’t they email me again and ask which ones I would like instead?


I apologise for the bad pictures – it’s been so dull that even daylight isn’t working on my side. I received lashes #47, #106 and #138 for myself. #106 and #138 are not on the website at the moment so I can only assume they are out of stock. As far as I am aware, all these lashes are made out of human hair.

I also ordered a tube of Duo Eyelash Adhesive after hearing rave reviews about it. It comes out the tube white and dries clear, however you can also get a dark version, which I presume dries black.


There are the #106 being worn. When I looked in the box I thought they looked the most natural and everyday wearable. I was so wrong. Of course I trimmed the lashes to fit my eyes – I had to cut off about half a centimetre from each one and I took it from the longest side – there were actually longer lashes on the strip than what I have on my eyes. I just felt these looked a bit OTT and drag queen-ish. They also started to shed as soon as I tried to take them out the box

I was also completely underwhelmed by the Duo. It was no better than the rubbish little tubes you get in standard lash sets and just created a really weak bong between the fake lashes and myself.

Overall, I probably won’t be buying from Red Cherry again. The communication was pretty poor, the lashes don’t really seem that great and I’m just completely underwhelmed. It could be my own fault for buying the lashes I did, but it’s just put me off them for a little while. I might try the other two pairs later in the week and see if I change my mind.


Wednesday, 27 January 2010

How to make a folder holder.


My bookshelves are no where near big enough to store folders on. This means I don’t really have anywhere to put them and they normally just end up on a pile on the floor – but not anymore. I was about to throw out the box my Converse sneakers came in when I discovered it could hold three folders up right – the exact number of folders I use! To make your own folder holder you will need:


  • One Converse sneaker box with the lid cut off.
  • A big sheet of wrapping paper (mine was £1.60ish from Tescos. 1mx1.7m)
  • Scissor
  • Sellotape
  • A gluestick.
  • A pencil.

Before you start cutting out your wrapping paper, sellotape up all the raw edges of the box and any joints or weak spots. This just makes the box a wee bit stronger and gives you smoother edges to work against.

Begin by placing the box in the middle of the paper and drawing around it. Then tip it on all of it’s various sides and draw around it there too. You’re aiming to create a net which you can wrap around your box. Here’s a badly drawn example of what I did:


This is where I make everything much more complicated than it needs to be. The black square is the base; the red ones are the sides (and yes there should be two on each side); the blue squares the ends and the pink lines are tabs. You just wrap this cut out shape around the box, sellotaping and gluing the various tabs down to hold the paper to the box. I started with the sides, bringing them up and wrapping them inside the box – the two sides on each half line the inside of the box for you! I did the ends after all the side’s tabs were secure. The more technical amongst us would probably have doubled up the ends as well, leaving only the inside bottom of the box to line with a single rectangle of paper glued down… but I didn’t have a big enough piece of paper for that and had to do the inside ends and bottom separately.

Still, I think it came out fantastically for a spur of the moment piece of crafting. Tell me what you think!


Tuesday, 26 January 2010

New Things: Paul’s Boutique “Grace” Bag.


I have been needing a new bag for quite a few months now, but I could just never find anything that looked quite right. I wanted something fairly timeless and not faddy, but at the same time for it to look very nice and young. I was browsing ASOS as a last ditch attempt when I saw this beauty. When I first looked at it, it was also available in pink and I swithered for a few weeks, undecided until last night when I went to look again and it was only left in black. Of course, I snapped it up there and then (well half an hour later – I had forgotten my ASOS password and had too many failed attempts). At £65 it’s a small investment on a student budget, but it’s big enough to use for university things, but also as an everyday-throw-everything-in bag. I’ll be taking more pictures when it eventually arrives.

You can get your own Gracie bag at ASOS for £65 here, and remember to use the discount code ASOSINSTYLEB to get a massive 20% off anything, including any sale items as well, apparently.


Monday, 25 January 2010

Ins and Outs #2



  • Theme Hospital. I know. So 1996 and just weird. But I downloaded it from the internet the other day and when I’m not revising it’s a nice way to de-stress. Shouting at my silly little doctors also helps.
  • The Big Bang Theory. I only started watching this last week and I’m already a quarter of the way through series two. I didn’t think I would like it, but my boyfriend kept telling me to watch it and as it turns out, I love it. It’s funny and educational!
  • Aussie Dual Personality Heat Protection Spray. This has been my staple heat protection spray for about two years now. It smells yummy and leaves my hair looking nice and glossy.
  • Pantene Pro-V Classic Care Shampoo. I should probably be using a volumising shampoo, but my flat mate left this over Christmas and I’ve been using it. It makes my hair smell niiiiice and it’s a brilliant clean.


  • Exam revision. I feel like I did this all already for my original exams in December so I’m really bored and it’s just not going in very well. Hopefully I can scrape a pass on Wednesday.
  • No work. I’ve had three shifts at work in the past two weeks. While this has given me plenty of time for exam revision it does mean that I will have a pretty poor wage at the end of this month and next (due to cut off dates). It also means that come Wednesday afternoon I will be very bored until university starts for me again in the middle of February.
  • Cold. It’s still cold in the UK. While it’s stopped snowing and being ridiculously icy I’m still bundled up in layers and wishing it was summer.
  • Boots Extracts Cocoa Butter Body Wash. Ick. I’ll leave it at that since I’ll have a review for it up this week.

On a completely unrelated note, I’ve finally seen Avatar (in 3D of course). It was ok. Definitely very nice to look at, but it was also the longest version of Pocahontas I have ever seen. I might go and see it again though – possibly better the second time?

I hope everyone had a good weekend!


Friday, 22 January 2010

Being contacted by companies – when they do it wrong.

As a blogger there are certain perks. For bloggers with high readerships it’s likely that they’ll be sent products related to their niche to try out provided they write a (favourable) review on their blog. Other’s may receive money to write reviews about products and services.

I will admit freely now that one day in the future I do hope that I am sent products and such to try out, but this is not the ultimate aim of my blog writing. I write because I enjoy it and it’s a nice outlet.

About a week and a half ago I was approached, via email, by a company who wanted me to write as a potential guest blogger in their fashion section as well as recommend their price comparison service and add them to my blog roll. While I have no problems with being approached and asked about these kind of things, I do have a problem when I’m approached by a company who would not interest my (small) readership at all. It’s a very basic price comparison website who were asking me to give them free advertising for nothing in return – no link back, no monetary reward and nothing of interest for you guys.

I didn’t respond to the email. I have received another email from the company asking me to yet again become a guest blogger and to mention their website in a future blog post. For those of you who are observant, you will notice that I haven’t made a post about fashion in any way since October. While I do post about things I buy, I most certainly do not count that as fashion tips or as fashion blogging. I have been making a move away from fashion (which is not my strong point) towards make up, lifestyle, student things and finance. I find it slightly insulting that from what I’ve been posting in my blog that a company would think I’m a fashion blogger.

Once again, I will not be replying to this email. I should probably give them a polite, but firm, sign of decline, but I feel that they themselves are being fairly rude by not actually reading my blog and just assuming I would want to be one of their guest bloggers in hopes that my followers number would jump.

I won’t be naming the company, of course, but I just wanted to get this out there. While I’m not objecting to being contacted in any way by companies, you guys or other bloggers, I am objecting to being contacted by people who are just hoping for free advertising.

For you other bloggers out there – what is your experience with this? Do you find that as your readership grows you get a lot of free loading companies hoping to make a quick buck from you?


PS. Sorry about the lack of pictures, but I don’t think there’s anything that would really fit with this!

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Review: Boots Extracts Fairtrade Mango Body Wash


I apologise for the terrible picture. I just couldn’t get my camera to focus on anything. Anyways, Boots Extracts Mango Body Wash. It came as part of the gift set with the Brazil Nut Body Butter and Cocoa Butter Body Wash (which I’ll review later on). The whole Boots Extracts range is all about fair trade conditions being used to create your product while you get to be clean, soft and smell great. The blurb from the website page for this specific product says:

Boots Extracts has been developed to make a difference. Extracts have created this wonderfully indulgent mango body wash with Fairtrade certified ingredients.

In this case, the fair trade ingredients included in the mixture are mango extracts and honey, with the mango also being organic. Guilt free beauty! And it is beauty; the tube promises that the product “gently cleanses, conditions and moisturises, leaving skin feeling soft and smooth” and who wouldn’t want that?

The rest of the packaging leaves a little something be desired – it’s a squeezy tube which is stored with the cap facing downwards. This can lead to a little bit too much product being dispensed as well as a bit of leakage into the actual cap itself. The labelling also looks like something you might find on a supermarket in the exotic tea section – it doesn’t scream bathroom.


The actual formula is quite thick, and a very pale orange yellow colour – this isn’t going to stain your shower curtain or bathmat (I’m looking at you Body Shop Raspberry scrub). It’s also fairly thick, so if you’re not going to use it with a puff or sponge it isn’t just going to slide off your body as soon as water hits it. If you do use it with a puff then you’re going to feel fab – it lathers up into some serious suds and the smell! It smells absolutely divine. So sweet and fruity. I’m not 100% sure what mangos smell like, if I’m being honest, but if they smell like this then they must be terribly tasty.

After using it the first couple of times I did find that my skin did seem to be a little bit softer, but I think that might be because this body wash makes me never want to leave the shower so I’m probably getting circulation and exfoliation going with the overzealous use of my shower puff.

I would definitely repurchase this body wash, even more so if it was in slightly better packaging. Overall, I’d give it 4.5/5 – the tube ruined it for me! You can buy it for yourself in Boots for £4 per 200ml tube.


Monday, 18 January 2010

5 Tips for Better Revision.

revisingSee the full sized image by Noora Suliman at Flickr here. 

I know for a majority of people exams are now over for the time being and the next set won’t be hitting you until nearer the summer. I still have one exam to re-sit in just under two weeks and I’m still a little worried. However, I think I can now safely say I know a thing or two about revision techniques and because of this, I want to pass on what I’ve discovered to you guys!

Everyone is different.
This is the key to revision – you are not your friends or course mates. You are you! Being you means that certain techniques are going to work for you and others aren’t. If you’re a visual arty person then it might  be easier for you to see things as pictures rather than written text; musical types might enjoy making up a little song filled with facts and figures to recall their knowledge; factual types might find it easier to just write and rewrite their key information until it’s totally sunk in. My point is, you need to do whatever works best for you. Not to say you shouldn’t try something if you don’t think it’s going to work – you never know, it might be just the thing missing from your revision technique.

Yet another list.
So here are some of my tips and ideas for you to try out to see which works for you! (I have to add that some of these may have been stolen from willing friends as well!)

  1. When is your peak time?
    Do you work better in the morning or the afternoon. Maybe you’re a little bit nocturnal and work best at three in the morning when you can have absolute silence. I find I work best in the morning and get up a bit earlier than normal if I have a lot to get through in the day. But for you, it might be different – experiment and see.
  2. What is your ideal technique.?
    This relates to the techniques I mentioned above. Find out how you remember things best – whether it’s pictures, words or music. It’s all about trial and error.
  3. What is your ideal environment?
    Do you work better in silence or with some music playing in the background? Do you like it to be very warm or a little bit chilly to keep you alert? Find out where you revise best. Maybe it’s in a library or your own room. Once you know, never leave it!
  4. What is your fuel?
    And I mean that in the literal sense. Is water your elixir of knowledge, or is a strong cup of coffee going to help you get through the day? Is a nice healthy apple going to keep your smart hat on, or is calorific chocolate going to help you remember that complicated formula?
  5. Why do you want to study?
    And the answer isn’t “to pass my exam”. I mean why do you want to pass the exam? Think about it in the short and long term – in the short term it is so you can pass the exam, but in the long term what do you want to achieve with your qualification or diploma? A nice and comfortable life with the people you love? A high powered job? Being able to help people? It’s your goal and you are the only one who is going to make it happen – that should be enough of an incentive to help you revise and to find your ideal revision zone.

Finding out the ideal way to revise for you is crucial to any and all tests and exams. Even if you’re set in your ways, you may find that there is one thing which can take your revision from A- to A+.

What are your best revision tips?


Sunday, 17 January 2010

Change of Blog Address

Just a quick note to say that my blog address has changed! I felt that the URL needed something which was easily identified with the name of the blog so it is now:

So you might need to change bookmarks or anything if you have me saved. Sorry for any inconvience everyone, but this is maybe one step closer to having my own .com or address!


Blog Award #1

I got my first blog award today. I know they’re silly, but it’s still nice to think that someone thought of my blog – especially in the same post as some other high profile blogs.

gorgeousbloggerawardThe Gorgeous Blogger Award
(Though I’ve never shown my face so how can anyone know if I’m gorgeous or if I’m an absolute minger?!)

I received this award from Olivia. Thank you very much – sadly I couldn’t comment on your blog, but I think that may be a glich on my end!

The Rules:
1. Thank the person who nominated you.
2. Copy the award and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
4. Tell 7 interesting things about yourself.
5. Nominate 7 bloggers.
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.

Seven (not so) Interesting Facts About Me.
1. I read a lot of bad chick lit and novels.
2. I only wear white gold jewellery except for the occasional costume bracelet.
3. I wish I had actually done a degree in an essay based subject rather than Accounting and Finance.
4. I have to save all my blog images in PNG format because I hate JPEG. I think the above image may be a JPEG though, which annoys me since they’re so loss-y in quality.
5. I used to be a Scout and a Scout leader. Not very girly, I know.
6. I speak German, though it’s much more limited than it used to be. I can also read Italian to a reasonable standard.
7. My favourite fruit is grapes.

Seven Wonderful Fantastical Blogs:
1. glad rags to riches : a personal style blog which I don’t mind waiting for to update.
2. …that’s peachy : a personal blog from Tor who has a lovely personality.
3. Lipstick & Lollipops : a beauty blog from the lovely Laura.
4. Smudge Glamour : another beauty blog by Samantha, as well as style inspiration.
5. Sophie’s Realm : yet another beauty blog from the wonderful Sophie. Lot’s of reviews and product recommendations, especially for all you red heads out there.

And I’m very sorry, but those are the only blogs I can think of which haven’t already been awarded a million times. I probably would have added Cupcakes and Cherries and Lipglossing, but I know for sure they have already been linked a million times and are probably bored of it!

So, once again, thank you Olivia!


Thursday, 14 January 2010

Where am I?

I am here of course. Here being at home with my parents and not in my university town or own flat. I’m having so flatmate problems at the moment so I’ve came home for a while. I also have to resit my finance exam at the end of the month. This is leaving me with; 1) no time to blog; and 2) nothing to blog about. My camera and most of my make up and beauty products are still in the flat.

I do have three reviews almost finished though, so once I’m back in the flat they will be finished and posted quickly. It’s the two Body Washes that I got with the Boots Body Butter as well as Red Cherry Lashes and Duo eyelash glue which have finally arrived from America.

While I’m at home I might write a guide on better revision – I have now certainly learned which techniques work the best and which do not.

I hope everyone’s well and if you’ve started back at work or university that you’re having a good time!


Thursday, 7 January 2010

Review: Boots Extracts Fairtrade Brazil Nut Body Butter

I received this as part of a gift set at Christmas along with two body washes which I’ll also be reviewing separately in the next week. It’s a body butter from the Boots Extracts range – all fairtrade and what not. I don’t know if it’s just me, but when I think of body butter, my mind instantly jumps to The Body Shop. I’ve never tried any of their body butters though – in fact, this is my first dance with body butters rather than just moisturiser.

The spiel on the Boots website page for this product is:

“Boots Extracts has been developed to make a difference. Extracts have created this wonderfully indulgent brazil nut body butter with Fairtrade certified ingredients.”

and on the packaging it is claimed that the product “intensively moisturises and hydrates, leaving skin feeling soft and smooth”. The base of the product also has a little story about shea butter and it’s work to support West African communities.

First off, I wouldn’t have chosen brazil nut as the flavour, if I had had the chance to choose. The smell isn’t exactly horrible, but it’s not pleasant to me. Sometimes it even smells a little bit like plasticine. And it’s not too pleasing on the eye either:


I don’t know if this is a problem with the formula or just a problem that’s occurred due to the extreme cold snap we’ve been having in Britain since forever. The butter has taken on a fairly solid consistency and seems to be a little bit waxy, buy I do think that is due to the cold – we don’t leave the heating on while we’re in bed so the flat is freezing. Even right now, the bottom of the pot is very very very cold against my thigh where it’s perched. This has been making it difficult to get the butter out – you can see in the picture where my fingers have been clawing at it pitifully.

Once it’s out of the pot and on warm skin though, it’s all fine and dandy. I tend to use it straight out of the shower while my skin is still hot and it practically melts away from the solid little lumps I manage to get out into a nice thick cream… or, well, butter. It’s quickly absorbed into skin while it’s warm and leaves it feeling quite soft and smooth. The smell of the brazil nut lingers for a few hours, but it’s most definitely not overpowering.

Overall, I would give this product 3.5 out of 5 – the smell doesn’t appeal and due to the current consistency of the product, I’m not too pleased. I might re-evaluate this score once the cold goes away. I can’t blast this product for price though; at only £7.50 for 200ml compared to The Body Shop’s £12.50 for their butter of the same size, it’s almost half price. You can also get 50ml mini body butters from both companies with Boots weighing in at a measly £2.50 and The Body Shop being a splurge at £5. You can get Boots Extract Fairtrade Body Butters online or in store.


Monday, 4 January 2010

Promises of 2010: So far.

This obviously relates back to the post I made yesterday. Being that it is only the 4th of January, I haven’t made too much of a dent into any of my promises so far, but I would love to share with you what I have done already!

Love and Life.
Since I’m actually in the flat on my own I haven’t had a chance to make any improvements with the toxic friends, however thanks to the internet and my mobile phone I have been able to tell my boyfriend that I love him everyday so far. I’ve also spent some time with my real and new friends over the start of the year which is brilliant. And I’m blogging more! Two days in a row. The reading situation isn’t being remedied yet – I’m trying to tidy up the flat and get important things done for the rest of the month so I have more time to relax.

I have actually saved money! I’ve made a cute little graphic to monitor my saving as well!:

Each of the little bars represents £10, which means that I’ve saved £40 so far from my work pay. I also designed this graphic in such a way that I need to save in £20 increments or I would also be one bar short because of the white on white colour scheme. I’m consider changing the white bars though – but you’ll have to wait until February to see if I do. I also wasted a little bit of money the day before yesterday – I had to order in for my dinner because Tesco’s had shut earlier. But I made the take away stretch to last night’s dinner as well which makes it slightly better value.

I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I don’t actually go back to university until the middle of February, so I can’t really tackle this section of my promises until then. However, I am still waiting for the result of that terrible finance exam I mentioned which means I might end up having to spend all of this month studying for a re-sit.

The mention of take away above obviously means I’m not having much luck with the weight side of things at the moment, but that will all change when I go to Tesco’s later on today – I will be planning out a menu and sticking to it and it’s going to be packed full of fruit and veggies – I live about 5 minutes away from Tesco and Sainsburys which means that I can pick up fresh ones whenever I need. For the nails side of thing, I’ve painted them with a clear glitter varnish which is barely noticeable to anyone if they choose to look and my horrible hands, but I know it’s there – meaning I don’t want to bite them! And since I’ve not left the house since New Years Day, I haven’t really had a chance to work on my self image or confidence, but they will probably improve as my weight drops and my nails grow.

How has the first half week of the New Year been to everyone?


Sunday, 3 January 2010

Promises of 2010

newstartThis is a list of everything I want to try and accomplish this year. Some of it is very boring, mundane, superficial or just downright silly - but I will do it.

Love and Life

  • Tell my boyfriend I love him everyday.
    Because if I don’t, who will?
  • Get rid of the toxic friends in my life.
    Because I don’t need them. I have better friends who treat me well.
  • Blog more.
    Because I love you guys and love to write silly little things, like reviews, which help someone from wasting money.
  • Read more books.
    Because I love to read and don’t make enough of an effort to do it.


  • Save at least £500 from work pay.
    Because it’s never too early to start saving for the deposit on that house.
  • Be more careful with money.
    Because it would scare me if I added up how much I spend on rubbish.


  • Keep more concise notes and just be a better student in general.
    Because no one else is going to do it for me.
  • Don’t leave things until the last minute.
    Because the essay I did in plenty of time last semester got the best grade I’ve ever had and I want to continue with that.
  • Get upper 2 grades on everything this semester and the next.
    Because I need to get a good work ethic and degree result.


  • Stop biting my nails so I can wear pretty nail varnishes.
    Because I can’t remember a time when I haven’t bitten my nails, and at 19 that’s just out of order.
  • Slim down to a size 10.
    Because, though I’m not overly overweight, I’m not as toned as I would like to be and feel very self conscious.
  • Improve my self image and confidence.
    Because I should be a strong and confident young woman, and not hiding in the background of photos.

I’ll be doing a quick update post tomorrow on how I’ve done so far with what I can do at the moment. I would love to know what everyone else’s promises and resolutions are – leave a comment or link me to your very own blog post!


Friday, 1 January 2010



I hope that this is the start for a great year for everyone!