Sunday, 27 February 2011

Looking for something to read?

Hello lovelies - I hope you're having a wonderful Sunday. I just thought I'd introduce you to my wonderful friend Becca's new blog - A Sailor's Sweetheart. She's literally at the very start of her blogging adventures but it would be lovely if some of you popped over to say hello and maybe give her a cheeky follow.


She'll mainly be blogging about her experiences as the girlfriend of a Naval Officer away at sea but as she's always an amazing cook, I'm sure we can bend her arm into sharing some of her delicious cakey creations :D Enjoy!
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Saturday, 26 February 2011

Inspirational Interview - Beauty Mouth


Morning lovelies! I hope you're all having an awesome Saturday :) This morning's Inspirational Interview has me very excited as it's with the wonderful Caroline Hirons aka Beauty Mouth! Not only is Caroline an wonderful blogger, she's also an Industry Pro and her blog combines hilarious honesty with insider knowledge. Pop on over and follow her if you don't already!

Thank you so much for agreeing to be interviewed! Firstly, can you tell us a
little bit more about yourself please?
I’m a married mum of 4 who gets her kicks working in an industry I love.

How long have you been blogging and what was it that inspired you to start a
blog?
I’ve been blogging about beauty since last April – prior to that I had a
blog about things the kids would say/do but I recently took it down because
everyone is getting older and my teens don’t want everyone knowing their
business. Louise from Get Lippie told me to start the beauty blogging. It
was the last good advice she ever gave me. ;)

What are the best and worst parts of being a beauty blogger?
The best are the reactions I get from the people who are kind enough to read
it – and the worst are the reactions I get from people I work with in the
industry who assume that because I am a blogger I am not to be trusted. That
I will break embargos/leak stories etc – which I never have and never would.
I am taking steps to fix the bad name bloggers have in the industry though –
watch this space!

You've worked in the beauty industry pretty much your whole life (correct me
if I'm wrong) and you're training in over 60 brands - what is it that you
love about the beauty industry that keeps you in there?
I genuinely like people – working with them, helping them with their
businesses and helping them with their skin. It’s satisfying doing something
that you enjoy and that you know you are good at.

Can you share a little of what your day-to-day life as a Beauty Industry
Consultant looks like?
Every day is different – it could be opening new doors, building
relationships, planning next moves, appearing on QVC (scary!), working on
new product development or organising staffing and training. It’s never dull
that’s for sure!

Having been part of the Beauty Industry for so long, what hints and tips can
you give to any of my readers hoping to get their foot in the door?
Firstly do what you are passionate about – I’ve turned down more roles than
I’ve accepted over the years because I either didn’t rate the brand or was
not inspired by the company. Follow your passion not the money.

And secondly, get qualified. I knew people would take me more seriously in
the industry if I had the best qualifications so I took an evening course at
Steiner which was neither cheap or easy as I found out I was pregnant 2
months into the course. I took my exam when I was hugely pregnant and still
working full-time – I was on maternity leave when I got the phone call
saying I had passed with distinction. I was prouder of that than anything I
did at school.

Your lovely face has made a few QVC appearances recently - can you tell us a
little more about why you were there and the brand that you were selling?
One of my roles is as Brand Ambassador for all for eve. All for Eve is a
completely philanthropic brand that raises funds for gynaecological cancer
research. It’s a privilege to be a part of the team.

I love the fact that you are willing to speak out against things that you
think are wrong in the beauty industry - how does it feel when you see
things change because of that and has it ever got you into trouble?
Well nothing has changed because of my blog – the MAC/Rodarte situation was
something that happened because we all blogged together – blogging at its
best! I’ve never got into trouble through the blog – I’m a big girl – bring it!

What can readers of Beauty Mouth look forward to over the next couple of
months?
God – maybe two posts if I’m lucky. Kidding – more skincare focused reviews and facial/spa treatment reviews –may as well play to my strengths!

What inspires you to keep blogging?
I enjoy it. And the response seems to be that people enjoy reading it so
that’s enough!

Ok time for some quick fire questions:

3 Favourite Items of Make up:
Nars SIN blusher

Chantecaille foundations

Lip gloss

3 Favourite Foods:

Oh god.

Cheeseburger

Eggs – scrambled, poached, boiled…

Poached salmon salad

(how random)

3 Desert Island Items:

Ipod

Hawaiian Tropic oil

Chef

3 People who've inspired you:
My Mum and Grandmothers.  Phenomenal women all. I get my attitude from them
– no doubt.

My kids – they’re the reason I get up every day and do what I do on days
that I’d rather lie on the sofa and eat my weight in carbs.

I realise that’s 7. Sorry!

3 blogs you'd like to recommend:
Ooh.

Well Get Lippie if you are partial to a spot of lippie as am I.

London Makeup Girl because I trust anything she says implicitly.

And Cannelle et Vanille for the gorgeous recipes and photography.

3 words of advice:

Do. It. All.

Thanks Caroline for agreeing to be interviewed! Look forward to reading plenty more rants and reviews from you in the future! Keep up the excellent work :D
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Thursday, 24 February 2011

Recipe: Bananarama Smoothie

Hello lovelies! I'm back with another yummy breakfast smoothie recipe - this one is super quick to whip up and isn't quite a crazily thick as my last one! Also, you don't need to buy any raw nuts for it - it uses things that most of us just have in our kitchen cupboards anyway!


My camera died just before I could get a picture of this delicious concoction hence you have a beautiful Photobooth piccie of me in my Pjs! For this smoothie you're going to need:

A medium/large banana
2 heaped dessert spoons of Peanut Butter (I use Whole Earth peanut butter - you can get it from most supermarkets and it's got far less rubbish in than any other supermarket brand!)
A little drizzle of tahini (totally optional - you could also sprinkle in a few seasame seeds for a similar flavour)
1 tsp cocoa powder 
1 and 1/2 tablespoons of oats
3 or 4 dates (not as sweet as the previous one!)
1 cup of water


Throw all your ingredients in your blended and then blend, blend, blend! Yum! Packed with protein (again), a whole portion of fruit and some healthy oats for good carby fuel and general yummyness! A bit of iron from the dates and tahini too (just for good measure) and cocoa for delicious antioxident goodness.

If you want to get exciting and turn this into a green monster, just add a handful of spinach!
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Wednesday, 23 February 2011

It's official!


I'm now officially a Freelance Bridal Make Up Artist for Michael Andrew Hair Salon in York! It's been a very surreal couple of days but I said yes :) My first wedding is in a couple of weeks and I'm absolutely terrified. I'm also dramatically aware of the fact that the foundation side of my kit is really rather lacking so on that note....

Does anyone happen to be selling Yaby/Graftobian/Krolan foundation palettes in a blogsale at the moment?! :P

(Also just in case you're wondering, yes I'll still be working as a Teaching Assistant AND applying for a place on the Primary GTP in Hull :D)
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Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Freaking Out a Little

Hello my lovelies!


I'm currently having a small moment of panicking and freaking out and just need to bleurgh it all out! Essentially, I've got myself into a bit of a pickle. 

As some of you will know, I'm currently in the middle of applying for a GTP (Graduate Teaching Programme) - I'm through to the 2nd stage out of a 3 stage interview/application process and I would really like to get all the way through! I love being in the classroom and teaching feels very natural :)

I've also just signed up to do the Great North Run for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.... it'll be my first ever Half Marathon and given that I almost died on my 10k last year, I'm slightly freaked out about running 13 miles!!! But still, awesome fun.

Then today I recieved an email from a very swanky salon in York asking me if I'd like to join them as a freelance makeup artist - I literally had a small fit of excitement. I'd sort of given up on the whole freelance MUA thing and now blam, it's being handed to me on a plate.

So why the freaking out? 

Well first of all, I'm a little worried that I won't actually see Peter - I increased my hours at work at the start of January, we're already fairly busy in the evenings and I'll be training for a run. The freelance work will be Saturdays and the odd Sunday and maybe Fridays in the school holidays as well. Obviously due to the nature of the work, there's no guarantee that I'll be working every weekend though.

There's also a part of me that's worried about my actual ability - I'd sort of imagined that my first few "gigs" would be TFP (time for prints), not real life actual work. What if I'm actually crap and the people who've said I'm good are delusional? What if I get a crazy bridezilla who hates me?

The final thing that worries me is my kit.... specifically the foundation side of things. I don't quite feel it's up to scratch for the kit of an actual paid MUA, but equally I don't have enough money to buy any more things for my kit itself hence arrgggh freak out!

I'm sure I'll have a little more clarity after I've had a proper meeting with the salon manager tomorrow :)
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Recipe: Protein-a-licious Smoothie

Morning Lovelies! Today I thought I'd share with you one of my favourite smoothie recipes of all time - it's packed with protein, iron and general deliciousness annnnd it has 2 portions of fruit!


Yumbarrita! You're going to need:
Around 1/3 cup Cashews (about 15-20 actual cashews... I normally just guess) - brazils work well too!
Somewhere between 5 and 8 dates depending on how much you happen to be craving their iron-filled sweetness
A medium-large banana
Around 1 cup (250mls) water..... yup, water.

Then we get to have some fun! This morning I added in:
1 Tsp Peanut Butter
A smidge of tahini
1 Tsp Cocoa
1 Tsp Coconut butter
Sprinkle of cinnamon
Sprinkle of nutmeg

I always added tahini and/or peanut butter and the cocoa but you can have a play around with it. If you're feeling extra awesome, add a handful of spinach - we didn't have any in today sadly :(

Chuck all your dry ingredients in the blender


Add your water and then blend, blend blend baby! I tend to knock it up on high for a minute and then bring it down a bit lower for 20 secs, then a bit lower again for 20 seconds and they give it a final 10 second blast on high! This makes sure all the chunks are gone :) I normally have my smoothies uber thick so have a bit more water on hand if you want it a little thinner. Finally, grab a glass, pour it out and drink till its gone!


Extra Tip: This smoothie is awesome for making a fake smoothie moustache! Hehe :D
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Monday, 21 February 2011

Recipe: Veggie Chilli Pasta Bake


One word - yum! I made this on a whim today and it was utterly delicious and really rather good for you.  

Ingredients:
(Wheat Free) Pasta
Onion
2 Garlic Cloves
1/2 Red Bell Pepper
Leek
Any other bits of veg you've got lying around
Pasta Sauce/Chopped Toms
Soya Mince
Herbs/Spices/Seasonings
A teeny tiny bit of cheese

First off, chop some veggies - I went with a onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 1/2 a red pepper, a leek and about 5 tenderstem broccoli shoots (including the stems):


Next pop a pan of wheat free pasta on to boil. The heat up a splash of oil in a medium pan and saute your onion, garlic and leek over a medium heat until soft:

Once they're soft, add your red pepper and some herbs and spices. I added a little salt and pepper, basil, oregano, herbs d'provence, a teeny tiny pink of za'tar, quite a bit of paprika, a little cayenne and some cumin. If you want it more bolognesey, leave out the spices and as always, feel free to sub with whatever your favourite flavours are!


Wondering about the brocolli? Never fear! You need to add it in with your pasta water now!


Now add your soya mince to the pan with the sauted veggies and your pasta sauce/chopped tomatoes. I'd normally use chopped tomatoes in a chilli but as I had no fresh mushrooms in, I decided to use a Gordon Ramsey Wild Mushroom and Mascapone pasta sauce we had in. It's completely up to you though. If you want to make it a little creamier, you could always add a little (soya) milk to your chopped tomatoes :)

At this point, I checked the seasoning and then added my 4 secret chilli ingredients.... want to know what they are? Ok then. 1) Vegetarian Worchester Sauce 2)A sprinkle of Vegetable boullion/stock powder 3)A squeeze of tomato paste (or if I'm feeling naughty/lazy a little tomato ketchup) 4)A sprinkle of vegetable gravy granules.


Looking good! Now you just need to drain your pasta, mix it with your sauce, transfer it to a baking dish, top with a tiny bit of cheese (you don't need much at all!) and pop it in the oven on 180C for about 20 minutes until it looks golden and creamy and lovely! Deeeeelicious!


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Monday's Food Musings


Hello my lovelies. A little change from the norm today as I'm scrapping my normal Monday Musings and instead I thought I'd bring you my little musings on food and a cheeky little recipe!

Today I really have felt like there's been a new start. I've felt much more in control of what I'm eating (in a good way) and much less crazy about food in general. Now I know this is only the start, but it felt like a good start. I've decided that my general eating plan is going to look something like this:

Breakfast: Homemade smoothie, Overnight Oats or Homemade delicious cereal (keep your eyes peeled over the next couple of days for some of my favourite breakfast recipes)

Mid-Morning Snack: The mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack times are my big danger zones when I'm likely to grab a random bag of chips or eat 3 cakes or something stupid. Hence I'm going to make sure that I take snacks with me - homemade date and nut bars, Nak'd bars, organic/vegan yoghurts, fruit - I want to keep it fun and mix it up but keep it healthy!

Lunch: Currently I'm stuck in a hummus and crackers rut. I love hummus and crackers but I want to throw in crudites, avocado and spinach salads, jacket potatoes with big sides of delicious salads, homemade soup, wheat-free pasta salads and I'm also going to make sure there's a little treat at the end of lunch too. A little bit of homemade brownie, a few squares of good quality chocolate, fruit and homemade chocolate dip - yummy things :)

Afternoon snack: Again, when I finish work I tend to be famished hence I need to plan in little snacks here too. Quite often I find I crave something salty when I finish work (I often get tired if I don't have enough salt) so I'm planning on chowing down on corn cakes with peanut butter, a little handful of wheat free pretzels, yummy Hale and Hearty Casava crisps, Nairns oatbake crispy thing, baby sweetcorn and a little tub of nut butter.

Dinner: I just need to man up with dinner - I used to love cooking but this winter I've fallen into the trap of not making the effort. In an attempt to rectify this, I'm planning on blogging a few more recipes and also making sure that our cupboards are properly stocked! I'm going to try to avoid dessert in the evenings for the most part but will still have yummy desserts every now and again.

What I probably should point out is that I'm not attempting to lose or gain any weight really (although I'm imagining that I'm going to lose a few pounds as I've been trapped in a binging cycle recently) - this is about me re-connecting with a healthy attitude to food, which is the other reason why I'm not making this a regimented diet plan :)

My question for you today is - What do you eat in an average day?
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FOTD - Bright Eyes

Hello lovelies, just thought I'd post a quick FOTD from Saturday as it was a combination I actually enjoyed! Frustratingly I can't tell what what colours I actually have on my eyes as they're from my Inglot palette but hey ho!




Face:
Bobbi Brown Moisture Rich Foundation in 3.25 Cool Beige
Topshop Creme Blush in Flush
Mac Ripe Peach

Eyes:
UDPP
A selection of grens from my INGLOT palette
ELF Waterproof Eyeliner Pen in Black
Miners Voluptulash Mascara in Black

Lips:
Bobbi Brown Rich Colour Lipstick in Guava




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Sunday, 20 February 2011

Today it stops.

Hello lovelies.

I want to share something with you that I've been thinking about for a while and that sort of came up in another way this evening.


I have a massively unhealthy, obsessive relationship with food.

It pretty much controls everything to do with my life. I'm in a constant state of stressing out about food and restricting my intake or end up completely overeating and binging on utter rubbish. And you know what? I hate that.

A few years ago I read a term that made a lot of sense to me... I don't really fall into having Anorexia or Bulimia by any stretch of the imagination - in fact to most people, I'd seem completely normal. But what I do suffer from is "Disordered Eating" and it utterly controls my life at times.


But what I've decided is that today it stops. Today I am claiming back my body and claiming back my relationship with food - I'm under no illusion that this will be an easy journey, but I don't want to carry on living my life in this way.

My plan is to put together an eating plan for the next week (and the following weeks after that) and I'll be blogging about my experiences on it. I'll be posting it tomorrow (complete with a shopping list) so if you want to join me in reclaiming your body and developing a healthier relationship with food, you're more than welcome to join me. I'll also be posting a few exercises to help us/me reconnect to a healthier way of viewing ourselves and what we eat :)
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Saturday, 19 February 2011

Inspirational Interview - Giddy Princess




Hello my lovelies - sorry that it's been so quiet over here this last week... a 7 week half term is utterly exhausting and I've spent the bulk of my last week attempting to stay awake for vital things like eating and work! Annnyway, this morning I'm gladly bringing you an interview with the beautiful Giddy Princess - a truly beautiful and super sweet beauty blogger who you should definitely be following! Enjoy :)

Thank you so much for agreeing to be interviewed! Firstly, can you tell us a little bit more about yourself please?
Ooooo, these kind of questions always throw me!! You think I would know myself after 24 years!
Erm ok... Naturally as the name suggests I am a giddy girl who gets overly excited and can usually be found making fun of something (usually me)!  I spent much of my youth with my head in fashion magazines, fantasising about the days I would be glamourous! I never quite reached that stage but the quest for glamour has left me with an undying love for beauty and fashion.
How long have you been blogging and what was it that inspired you to start a blog?
I started blogging in Spring 2010 after spending a couple of months reading beauty blogs and realising my obsession was definitely something other girls experienced! Once I learnt I was not alone, I felt I owed it to the other bloggers putting themselves out there to share my experiences too!
What are the best and worst parts of being a beauty blogger?
The best part is without a doubt all the feedback you get from readers. It's great to receive all the encouraging comments on my posts and share little hints and tips I have learnt through my trials and tribulations with others!
The worst part for me is that it encourages me to give in to the obsession. I had a huge clear out before I started reading blogs and then after that - particularly when I started blogging - the collection just started getting bigger and bigger to the point where I don't know where to store things now!
You blog about a whole range of things - fashion, makeup, skincare etc. What are your favourite things to blog about?
For me I love blogging about things I have discovered that WORK! Sounds like such a strange statement, but for example - my hair has been the bane of my life for years, so if I find something that works I'm going to let you know, because it will have probably taken years to find. I cant believe for one second that there is only me with hair this difficult...
One thing you've been very open about on your blog is your weight loss - how much have you lost in total and how to did you achieve it?
Well I had lost 30lbs in total, although I'll be honest, a couple of lbs have recently crept back on...
What sort of things are you doing to maintain/keep the weight off? Do you feel that it's changed you at all as a person?
At the moment I barely have time to shower so it's all about the eating. Meaning in the day I eat a lot of satsumas, low fat yogurts and cuppa soups! I'm trying to eat healthy meals at night too because I'm usually eating pretty late.
What has been the highlight of your time as a blogger?
Gosh it's hard to pick one particular highlight. It was probably a very natural face of the day post I did and got such positive comments on. You can't help but smile when your follower make such nice comments!
You've recently blogged a bit about starting your dream career - how are you finding it?
Tough! It's pretty intense at the moment and I have to move into different areas every couple of months so I am getting used to my first move. Feeling a little like a fish out of water, but I anticipated that would happen! 
A little while ago your started a youtube channel - which do you prefer, blogging or youtube?
I think I probably prefer the blogging. Don't get me wrong - there is something great about getting your camera out and just saying what you think about something but it can be time consuming when you haven't got the right equipment, which I don't! I think if I had more time and was more organised I would lean toward YouTube more, once I had got used to my voice that is...
How do you spend your free time when you're not blogging?
At the moment sleeping! And trying to catch up with boyf, friends and family. I do a lot of reading on the train to and from work. Aside from that nights out are still a love of mine ad trips to the cinema!
What can readers of Giddy Princess look forward to over the next couple of months?
I plan to do a lot more reviews on my huge supply of hair and beauty products. 
Also expect a BIG IMATs related post! I'm talking The Haul, The Reviews and The Event!
What inspires you to keep blogging?
Definitely without a doubt the comments from followers. I think it's great that my posts make someone want to say something back. Also, it's a fabulous girlie escape from the seriousness of the working week.
Ok time for some quick fire questions:
3 Favourite Items of Make up:
Foundation, mascara, lip balm, bronzer and Concealer 
3 Favourite Foods:
Anything and I mean anything Italian.  Also have a major weakness for crisps and ice-cream (not at the same time).
3 Desert Island Items:
Water, book, suncreen and mobile phone to call for a rescue...
Or, sunscreen, conditioner, lip balm with SPF and mascara.
3 People who've inspired you:
I find those most close to me the most inspiring and my approach to life is influenced by each of them individually.
3 blogs you'd like to recommend:
BeautifullyAddictedTo - close friend with whom I first started blogging 
A Beauty Junkie in London - first beauty blog I ever saw!
Tacky Blue Eyeshadow - just absolutely fantastic for reviews and demonstrations of how to wear a certain look.
3 words of advice:
Choose your destiny.
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Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Blog Sale

Hello lovelies! I'm re-doing the blog sale - prices are much lower and there's a couple of new bits added so do take a look and let me know if there's anything that interests you! I'm also open to offers

Terms and Conditions:
♥ Postage to the UK is £2 for the first item and then 50p for every item after that
♥ Paypal only
♥ Items will be sent first class
♥ Items sold as seen
♥ Leave a comment with what you're interested in and your email address in the comment section
♥ First come, first served :)

♥ All items have either been used twice at the most or only swatched unless otherwise stated.
♥ Uk only







1. ELF Studio Corrective Concealer Palette - £2 (Used 3 or 4 times)





2. Collection 2000 Poptastic Palette - £1



3. Mac LE Liberty of London Peachstock Lipstick  - £7 SOLD



(L-R)
4.  Fyrinnae Lip Lustre mini - Deceptive Innocence - £2 SOLD
5. Fyrinnae Lip Lustre mini - Trickster - £2 SOLD
6. Fyrinnae Lip Lustre mini - Ultra Phantom - £2
7. Fyrinnae Lip Lustre mini - Ghostly Voice - £2





8. Bourjois Little Round Pot in Vert Petillant - £1.75 (Used 4-5 times)



9. Be Never Too Busy To Be Beautiful Eyeshadow in Boogie  - £3 SOLD
10. Be Never Too Busy To Be Beautiful Eyeshadow in Bay  - £1.50 (Hit pan but still plenty left)



11. ELF Mineral Lipstick in Bare Brown - £2 SOLD



12. Lush Colour Supplement in Light Yellow - £4 PENDING



13. High Voltage Cosmetics Sample Set - 18 samples, no repeats £6 SOLD



14. 32 Aromaleigh Samples - mainly the Rocks Collection. Discontinued - £10 


15. ELF Mineral Lipstick in Natural Nymph - £2


16. Boots 17 Lasting Fix Nail Polish in Smoke Signals (It's actually grey not black) - £1.25


17. Eyeko Lilac Polish - £2 SOLD


18. Boots 17 Starry Eyes Trio in Galactic - £2.50




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Sunday, 13 February 2011

Finding what works for you

Hello lovelies

As you'll know if you've been reading my Monday Musings recently, I've fallen out of the habit of exercising recently and it wasn't until I started again that I realised why - I was trying to get myself to exercising in a way that isn't really me!




See at heart, I'm a complete Yoga bunny - if you watched my video on my favourite workouts the other day, you'll have noted that well over half of the workout DVDs I own are Yoga or Yogalates. Buuuut, I've been trying to convince myself that I love high energy cardio DVDs and as a result, I've avoided exercising at all! Now don't get me wrong, I do utterly love 30 day Shred - I enjoy the challenge of it and the structure and think Jillian is awesome, yet there's something that doesn't quite fit with who I am as a person :)





My husband describes me as a cat - I like slow, smooth movement, peaceful things, calmness and a still silent inner strength. I naturally place my body into bizarre stretches when I want to relax or get more movement in my body. I enjoy challenging my body AND my mind. My happy place is anywhere with a waterfall in the middle of a deep wood - I'm a country girl who dreams of living a simple life. Hence it makes sense that Yoga appeals much more to my personality than any pounding, fast paced workout everwill. So why had I completely forgotten this? Because I'd stopped challenging myself - I've been doing the same couple of beginners DVDs for years and I've got really, really bored! And of course, if you've been doing Yoga for a few years, you're not really an absolute beginners anymore are you?!

"But what about cardio?!" I hear you cry - well two things. Firstly, fast paced Yoga can really get that heart pumping! Secondly, as the months are slowly getting warmer, I'll reinstate my cycle commute (I'm a winter wuss!) and I'll also re-start my running as I train for the York 10k again. Now that I've completed a 10k, I'm going to be able to set myself much more realistic goals and challenge my body that little bit more! If I've done it once, I can do it again - and this time I'll do it even better!!




So why am I writing this post? Partially because I plan on sharing some of my favourite youtube workouts that I've found recently but also to challenge you to re-evaluate the way that you're working out at the moment - does it really suit you? Do you enjoy it? Does it fit your personality? And if you're avoiding working out... think about what it is that's put you off. What sort of a person are you - a go-getter? A sleepy, stretchy cat? A busy city slicker yearning for peace? An adrenaline junkie? Think about who you are and try to find something that suits you.  There is absolutely no shame in not "going with the flow" of what's popular when it comes to exercise! Zumba is really popular at the moment, but if the thought of dancing sends you into a cold sweat - find something else that works for you! What about Spinning - your best friend loves it but you've been finding excuses for the past few weeks because it makes you feel like poo? Stop making the excuses, accept that it's not for you, tell your friend you're sorry and find something else!!

At the same time, don't be afraid of challenging yourself to do something you never thought you'd enjoy - this isn't a chance to avoid doing the hard work! I never thought I'd be a runner but I utterly loved training for my 10k! I couldn't ride a bike until 3 years ago but now I cycle 8 miles a day (when the weather's not evil). I'm not really bendy (in fact I have uber tight hamstrings which mean I can't properly straighten my legs) but I adore Yoga. Try something different and be open to what your body tells you :) Remember though, although exercise should be a challenge, you're still meant to enjoy it! This is your life - there a squillions of ways of working out to try, don't do the ones that you hate. If you enjoy what you're doing, you're more likely to stick with it and see results.





So what Yoga would I recommend for those who might want to give it a go? I just spent a little time on Youtube putting together my favourite videos and you can see them just here - if you want more, I suggest you subscribe to Tara Stiles (she's an elfin beauty and she's just so passionate about Yoga - she gets me excited about working out!), Yoga Today (especially some of their older stuff which is aimed a little more at Novices) and Sadie Nardini (who's awesome if you want to strengthen your core).

Also, if you'd like any suggestions of some different types of exercise to try just pop me a comment with your email and a little about your personality and I'll happily send you some suggestions :)

PS Apologies if this is just common sense for some of you - it's something that only really hit me properly over the past week or so
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Saturday, 12 February 2011

A little change to Sparkle and Shade

As some of you might know, I've been trying to keep two blogs going - Sparkle and Shade for makeup, beauty and fitness and inmywindow for cooking, sewing and photography. Turns out that's a really reaaaaally hard thing to do - if I invest into one, the other seems to suffer.

So (after chatting with a couple of peeps on twitter), I've decided I'm going to integrate my inmywindow posts over to Sparkle and Shade and just have the one blog :) This means that my Sparkle and Shade followers will be seeing the odd bit of cooking and sewing now as well - I hope that's not too annoying for you.

Also, big apology - I'm going to move my inmywindow blog posts over to this blog as well which means that you're going to get a sudden influx of posts from me in your feed. Sorry xx
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Inspirational Interview - London Beauty Queen



Hello my lovelies! It's time for yet another Inspirational Interview, this week with the wonderful London Beauty Queen. LBQ always seems to have the hottest beauty gossip and brings us plenty of reviews so if you don't follow her already, I recommend you tootle on over now and check her out!


Thank you so much for agreeing to be interviewed! Firstly, can you tell us a little bit more about yourself please?
I'm a 28 year old Marketing Manager living and working in London who likes wine and spends way too much time watching Criminal Minds. 
How long have you been blogging and what was it that inspired you to start a blog?
I've been blogging for about 9 months and it really just started out of boredom. I've always worked in the health and beauty industry and had become aware of blogs through my work - I literally thought 'I could have a go at that' and one bored afternoon started LBQ. I found it reignited my passion for beauty products and gave me an outlet to write, which I really enjoy. I never thought it would lead to the success it has!
What are the best and worst parts of being a beauty blogger?
The best part is definitely the feedback and interaction you get with your readers... some ask me really personal questions like what foundation should the use on their wedding day! It's great having an audience that really listens to what you say and trusts your opinion; I still get really flattered when someone tells me they've bought something based on a reccomendation from me.

The worst part is probably the time it takes up. I could spend my whole weekend trying products and preparing posts and quite often come back after a night out and force myself to write! I say this, but then I wouldn't do it if I didn't love it - plus I'd probably moan I was bored. 
Your blog always seems to have the most up to date beauty news and releases - how do you find out so much exciting information and what sort of process do you go to in deciding whether or not to share it with your readers?
I'm quite lucky that the majority of my information comes from brands themselves or PR agencies. I do still find great products through having a browse in Boots or being given something as a gift, but on the whole the PRs make my life a lot easier by sending it directly.

I do always go through a process of choosing what to feature - whatever I write about must be interesting and relevant to my readers, so the product has to be new, innovative, good value for money or simply effective. I won't write about a product that's just ok or not that great when I could be telling people about something fab!
You post really frequently (daily - sometimes more than twice daily!) - where do you find your inspiration and motivation for posting?
I just enjoy doing it. I think it's quite therapeautic sometimes as I have to really think about the experience I had and why I did/n't like it. Most of the time I have so much to say that I need to post just to get it off my mind! I also feel an obligation to my readers to give them something new to read every day... It drives me insane when I go on a lot of the magazine websites and they haven't updated their beauty pages in three weeks. There's so much going on I don't know how they get away with it!
What has been the highlight of your time as a blogger?</b>an>
Definitely the awards I've been nominated for. To be a blogger for literally a few months and be nominated for a Cosmopolitan Blog Award (and be in such great company) was amazing... I was on a high for about a week after I found out. I've also just been nominated for a Rodial Beautiful Blog Award (which is still open for voting... shameless self-plugging here!) and I find out the results in February. To me the recognition of these award nominations is fantastic - I don't know why I've been so successful, but it means the world that I am. 
One of the things that I love about your blog is that it features a complete mishmash of high end and budget brands - do you have any particular favourite brands? What encourages to make a decision on whether or not to buy a beauty product?
That was my aim when I first started blogging. Nobody has a cupboard full of high-end beauty products because we just can't afford it. Having worked in the industry I know that a lot of the time you just pay for the packaging and the name, particularly when the same formulations are used in cheaper 'sister' brands. I believe that you should pay for what you get - there are some great highly priced products out there, but there are also a lot of pretty fantastic cheap ones too.

When I'm buying a product (or reviewing it) I really question if it's value for money. If it's £80 but turns me into Jessica Alba then I'm happy, but if it's that same price and does nothing then what's the point? Some of my favourite products are under a tenner because technology has moved on - customers are demanding more and companies are trying to meet these needs. Some of my favourite brands include Liz Earle for skincare (really natural, fab quality products that aren't over priced,) MeMeMe for cheap but effective make-up and L'Occitane for everything inbetween.
How do you spend your free time when you're not blogging?
I'm a massive music lover so spend my winter months at gigs and summer months camping out in festivals. I love history so spend a lot of time in museums or visiting old homes/castles and spooking myself out! I also love Sci-Fi and crime so quite often I'm quite happy sitting at home with a boxset of Criminal Minds, Bones or Battlestar Galactica and a bottle of wine. Blogging takes up a lot of my time though and I've made so many friends that a lot of my weeks are taken up through events or socialising - with yet more wine!
What can readers of London Beauty Queen look forward to over the next couple of months?
Lots of exciting news, reviews and beauty gossip! 2010 was a great year in the industry and from what I've seen already 2011 is going to be even better. I want to start doing more 'progress' reviews too so you get to see me use a product over a number of weeks, rather than just my final thoughts. I'd really like to make my blog more interactive and get my readers to review products for me or suggest things they'd like to see. 
Ok time for some quick fire questions:
3 Favourite Items of Make up:
Concealer, Powder & Mascara. (Bags, shiny nose and non-existent lashes!) 
3 Favourite Foods:
Pad Thai (my local takeaway don't even ask now!), Wahaca (Mexican street food restaurant in Westfield) and a choice between pizza and sarnies... they always fill a hole. 
3 Desert Island Items:
Either a Philippa Gregory or Jodi Picoult book, my Blackberry (which is permanantly attached to me) and probably my sister so we could talk about Doctor Who. 
3 People who've inspired you:
Oooh this is a hard one. Probably my mum as she's always positive no matter how much rubbish she's been through. I get inspired when I see successful businesswomen like Michelle Mone or Karren Brady in high profile positions. Other than that I get inspired by random things I see and random stories I hear!
3 blogs you'd like to recommend:
A Model Recommends - the one blog I read religiously because Ruth is bloody hilarious.
Saskia the Style Fairy - a fairly new discovery, but I love her outfits.
Belle of the Bald - a fab girl called Maya who's documenting her battle with cancer through decorating her bald head!
3 words of advice:
Be strong, be determined and be positive. (A bit more than 3!) 
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Friday, 11 February 2011

ELF Tinted Moisturiser Sneak Peak

Hello again my lovelies!

Just thought I'd share this little exciting picture that just popped up in my inbox - ELF are releasing a Tinted Moisturiser some point soon!


I don't know much else about it but I'm definitely looking forward to a reasonably priced tinted moisturiser for the summer - my current favourite is an Aveda one that costs a small fortune so I'll be excited to see how this compares :)

What do you think ladies? Will you be trying this when it comes out?
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Blog Sale Update!

Hello lovelies :) Hope you're having a wonderful week. Just a quick update on my blog sale:
1. Anything that's already been bought was sent out today by 1st class recorded delivery :) Apologies for the delay xx
2. My blog sale is still has tonnes of things left including a discontinued Aromaleigh Rocks sample set, MAC lippie, Lush, High Voltage and lots more :) I've also reduced some of the prices so go grab yourself a bargain here xx
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Thursday, 10 February 2011

New Video - Favourite Workouts

Hello lovelies - Just popped up a little video sharing some of of favourite workout DVDs and fitness bloggers/youtubers - enjoy!


Also, I'd love it if you could tell me your current favourite workout dvds and recommend me some awesome blogs and youtube channels to follow :) xx


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Living Nature Luminous Pressed Powder Review

Hello lovelies!

Today I'm going to bring you a quick review of a product that I chose to try as part of the My Pure blogger's scheme - this time I decided to give this beautiful Living Nature Luminous pressed powder a try.


The first thing I noticed about Living Nature is that they've really invest in their design and packaging - something that some organic makeup companies I've reviewed in the past haven't really bothered in. This is possibly the most beautiful packaging for pressed powder I've ever seen!


I mean how can I not love a piece of packaging that reminds me to chill out, take a moment and just... breathe.



See, I told you it was beautiful! Now, it's all very well and good having beautiful packaging but how does it hold up performance wise? Amazingly - I utterly adore using this powder, so much so that its become my daily go to base product (overtaking MAC MSF Natural in Light Medium). It gives a light even coverage and really does give the skin that extra lift and luminous glow - it gets rid of all my redness in my cheeks and nose but doesn't leave me feeling caked in makeup. You might be able to see some tiny bits of glitter in the picture above but I can't say I've actually noticed them at all. I've found that it lasts well and doesn't cling too much to my dry bits :)

I'm trying this in the lightest option (Fair) which is fine for my winter tone but I might need to go up a colour for summer - even now fair is edging towards being a little on the light side, but I do like to play it safe wherever possible.

If you want to see what this looks like on the skin, watch either of my most recent youtube videos as I'm wearing this powder in both of them :)

Price: £17.99
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ out of 5
Would I buy this again?: Yes!!
Living Nature Luminous Pressed Powder is availiable from My Pure

*Disclaimer* I was sent this product for review purposes, but this in no way affects the review that I give



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