Health, Beauty, Fitness, Life

Thursday, 20 June 2013

What's in my Suitcase?

So there have been a lot of ''What's in my bag'' posts flying around and since I am going on holiday on Saturday, I thought I would be a little bit different and show you what products I normally pack when I go away. 

This post is heavily product based. So if you're a skincare lover like me, keep reading! 

Yes, my suitcase looks full to the brim. I never intend to pack so much. But I realised that I was staying at Ed's house after the holiday and I have had to pack for British and Italian weather. I decided I would show you some outfits that I have packed in the pictures I take when I am away. 


Some of you may know already my love for the Organix Argan Oil. It is pretty much the same as the Moroccannoil, but so much cheaper (£6.99 Boots). This detangles, smooths and adds a healthy shine to my hair. And to top it off, it smells fantastic too. 

Aussie Miracle Shine shampoo. Oh.my.gosh. This smells amazing. And indeed, it makes my hair all shiny and happy. And smelly. Yes!

No Drought powder shampoo from Lush. I prefer this over the aerosol dry shampoos. It lasts longer, adds volume, smells fruity and I can apply it easily to the areas that need some freshening up. I think Harry likes it too. He no longer runs out of the room now I don't spray crazy. 

Mark Hill UV protection serum. I dye my hair dark, so this will protect the colour from fading and prevent my hair drying out from the sun.

Percy and Reed no oil volumising hair oil. I haven't used this in a while, but I am packing it because it is small and it does give good lift. 

Aussie Beach Mate conditioner. Nourishes and conditions hair that has spent too long sunbathing. 

Osmo hair mask. In case my hair gets very dry, I can apply some of this into the ends of my hair and restore my shiny soft locks back to life. 


Liz Earle lover, as you can see. Tonic boost and cleanse and polish, as always my much loved skincare items. 

La Roche Possay face suncream SPF 50. Extra protection from the sun, designed specifically for the face, so won't clog pores and cause blackheads or spots

Avenue gentle cleanser to remove excess grime that was missing during the cleansing phase. Especially during the summer months when it is essential to remove all the SPF from your face. No need to rinse with water and is perfect for gentle skin. 

Clinique dramatically different moisturising gel. This is a lighter moisturiser during the hot weather and won't leave my face looking oily. 


Sanctuary Spa thermal detox mask. My favourite mask to use. Removes dirt from the skin by opening up the pores and the clay helps to reduce oiliness. 

Elemis overnight serum. Prevents outbreaks and reduces inflammation.

Sanctuary Spa moisture boosting mask. The sun has a drying effect on the skin so maintaining skins moisture levels on the outer layers of the skin is essential. Also helps to keep hydrated internally. 

Alpha-H liquid gold. I use this as a gentle exfoliant to remove the dead skin cells on the outer layer of my skin, to reveal brighter complexion. By exfoliating, this also means that my moisturiser or other skin treatments can act on the healthy skin cells providing  maximum effectiveness. 

La Roche Possay Effalar Duo. To reduce bacteria on the skin that can cause breakouts and evens out complexion. 


I don't wear too much make up on a daily basis. I believe that a good foundation like Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua can make the world of difference in creating a good base whilst providing skincare needs such as SPF. 

MAC studio finish concealer has an SPF 35 ideal for hot climates where the suns UV rays can cause damage and wrinkles to the delicate under eye area.

Sexy Mamma translucent powder from Benefit. For those anti-shine moments.

L'oreal Glam Bronze. This has a bronzer and a highlighter in one and when mixed together creates glowy sunkissed skin. 

Benefit High Beam. Creates a glowing healthy complexion. 

Hope you all enjoyed having a nose into my suitcase and at some of the products I am taking away with me. 

Have a good weekend!

Monday, 17 June 2013


I know, I know. Where have I been? I am unashamed to say that I have been utterly selflish. My life has currently revolved around dog walk, work, gym, dog walk, dinner, bath, yoga and sleep. The bath and relaxation is the most important part of my day. Without them, my mind cannot rest and I wake up constantly throughout the night worried about finishing a task at work. But now that I have found a balance in my life I am back on the blogging front.

Since working, I lead a rather boring life. I do not "live for the weekend" and spend my money on booze and clubbing. My ideal night is a night in cuddling up with Harry and Ed, watching Dexter or Game of thrones. Instead I save my money. I am generally strict with spending and won't buy anything unless I NEED it. But good skincare and food quality is something I don't skimp on.

I have made a money diary which I am starting to enjoy. I love it when I have spent less than my weekly spend of £50.00. I am saving for a holiday to Australia next year and for a flat. Ed and I have plans to move out to OZ once he has finished his masters degree, so this holiday will be spent looking at flats and the jobs available in various locations. Similar to the tv show "Wanted Down Under".

On the topic of holidays, Ed and I are going to Sardinia on Saturday. I have bought some skincare, haircare and clothing goodies which I would love to share with you. If you feel like having a nose in my suitcase then check back on Thursday.

One more update before I head off. I have started to eat raw. Just as a weeks trial. This means fruit, veggies and nuts uncooked. I started Saturday and already feel fuller for longer, no bloating and a flatter stomach. The only problem is the time it takes to prepare the meals. All the peeling, chopping, blending and juicing! If you are interested in the raw diet, I will post soon.

Some recent pictures... The pretty Pandora ring Ed bought me. I don't care if it is the cheapest. It makes me smile. Some lush bath bombs and bath bar. My ultimate relaxing bath time goodies! I loved the make up I wore yesterday for Fathers day. The most make up I would consider wearing!

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Watermelon Sunshine Juice!

Hello all! I hope you all had a lovely Bank Holiday. Harry and I went back to Brighton for a sunny weekend basking in the sun and going on lots of walks. Whilst in Brighton, Ed bought me the prettiest ring. Pictures will be on the way soon. I can't wait to show you it :)

I wanted to share this refreshing watermelon juice with you. It is so, so simple to make! 

Sunshine Juice!

(Makes about 1 L) You will need:

A whole watermelon
2 oranges
You can add some blueberries if you wish
Handful of mint leaves
A good juicer or a blender
1. Cut up your watermelon. I usually chop it in into 1/4 pieces (see below). Add the watermelon to your juicer (watch out for those flying pips! - Many times have I found pips in my hair).

2. Chop up your oranges and squeeze out the juice. Pour the juice into the juicer.

3.  Add your blueberries into the juicer.

4. Watch the amazing pink goodness pour out.

5. Strain your juice using a sieve to remove and remaining pulp.

6. Pour the juice into your glass and add some mint leaves for a refreshing drink.

Nutrition Facts

1. Watermelon is packed full of nutrients. It is an excellent source of Vitamin C, an antioxidant. Vitamin A and beta carotene which supports good eyesight and prevents glaucoma.

2. The most intense red watermelons are normally the most ripe and it is these that contain the most lycopene. Lycopene is an antixoxidant and has been found to protect against cancer such as breast cancer. 

3. An abundance of potassium  and magnesium which are  important  for cardiovascular health and in eliminating kidney stones. 

4. A little fact about blueberries: cglorogenic acid in blueberries has been found to help lower blood glucose to control type 2 diabetes. 

I hope you try out this amazingly refreshing juice!

And if you do let me know what you think. Can you

 think of anything else that would work well in the juice?

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Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Some Exam Tips!

It is exam season and some of you may be going through exams or preparing for exams. I have been there, the emotional and physical battle; endless crying on the phone to my mum, waking up at 6 am to then finish revising at 10 pm.

It wasn't until University when I found out how I learn best. I love drawing pictures or diagrams in a way that I can understand it. I am far from an artist, but I find it relaxing and enjoyable at the same time. I colour code  parts of the diagram or picture that relates to one another in my ''master'' version, then repeatedly draw it out, explaining the process in my mind.

Some Useful Tips

It is essential that you organise what you are going to start revising first and what topics. Always start revision for the first couple of exams or the exams you feel less comfortable on. In terms of when to start revising, you should really have started right at the beginning, when you were taught the topic. Don't panic! This is where teachers come in handy. All those dreaded homework's do come in use. This is the revision and helps you gain more confidence in the topic. When I studied my A-levels I made sure to read over the work I did that day and then write it all out. At University it was a little more difficult, because there was so much information, so I had to make sure that I understood everything in that lecture and ask any questions then. If I had time I would then read over my notes.

Exam papers a extremely useful! This prepares you for the style of questioning and the areas of the topic you could be tested on. It also helps sieve out any topics you aren't familiar with and also gives you an idea of how much time to spend on each question. But make sure you have model answers to compare your answers with and hopefully improve your answers.

Make sure you have ''me time''. When I was at University I had an hour for both lunch and dinner followed by some toning or stretching exercises. I remember watching Grey's Anatomy whilst doing shoulder dips on my chair! I would also watch some more Grey's Anatomy before bed just to take my mind off revision, but most nights I revised in my sleep! That was very strange experience but at the same time useful. I would wake up the next morning and remind myself to go over anything I couldn't remember in my sleep.

During the exam read over all of the questions first and make any notes beside the questions and mark it based on whether you could answer all of it. I used to circle to questions I could confidently answer and put a squiggle next to the ones I was unsure of.

I know everyone learns differently, but if you are struggling to find a way to learn efficiently then try this method! There are other ways such as saying it aloud, reading text then putting it into your own words and repeating this many times until it is lodged into your memory. 

Good luck! I am sure all of you will do amazing!

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Osmo Intensive Deep Repair Hair Mask

I haven't tried any hair masks before so I have nothing to compare this with. But I know there are the high street brands such as L'oreal that do sell their own brand of hair masks. What I love about this product is the price and quantity. I bought the trial size (100 ml) for £2.80  at feelunique.com about 2 months ago and there is still almost a full pot left. 

The texture is creamy and smooth and the scent of the product reminds me of marzipan, but having looked at the ingredients list the only fragrences used include jojoba, patchouli and ylang ylang. 

How I use the Hair Mask

I use this once a month to maintain the condition of my hair, strengthen hair strands preventing any breakages and to add a glossy shine. My hair very long and does get oily quickly, and although I can't see any immediate benefits in the condition of my hair I think this mask would be best suited to anyone who has dry and damaged hair. 

I wash my hair as normal. At the moment I am using Aussie Luscious long shampoo. I skip out my conditioner and instead squeeze out the excess water from my hair and generously apply the hair mask to the ends of my hair. I then wrap my hair up in a warm heated towel and leave the mask on for about 20 minutes. 

I wash all of the mask off using cold water to seal the hair follicles which helps creates shine and smoothness.   Although it's tempting to leave the silky smooth hair mask in your hair, it is always best to wash off every bit of the hair mask. Otherwise you hair will look heavy and dull with some of the product in. 

Products I use after the Hair Mask

After squeezing out the water from my hair I use Organix Renewing Argan Oil (click here to read my review on the Organix argan oil). I apply a 10 pence sized amount into my palm and smooth the argan oil into the ends of my hair. 

My hair does get tangled easily, so I used a wide toothed comb and start combing from the ends of my hair working my way up to the scalp.

Next I use my sample of Precy and Reed Volumising No Oil Oil. I pump out 2 amounts of the product into my palm and massage my comb into the product before combing through my hair. 

Most of the time I don't use a hair drier. I let my hair dry naturally and usually wait until it is semi-dry before plaiting it up. It's always nice waking up to smooth, silky wavy hair that only needs a quick brush through and no styling! 

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Tuesday, 14 May 2013

I Challenge You to Yoga! #7

This is the last in the ''I Challenge You to Yoga!'' posts. But I am hoping to post more of these types of posts to really challenge you and most importantly, make you feel happy about yourself.

I hope you have enjoyed these posts and tried out at least one yoga workout. Before I started yoga, I did not see the benefits of it. I would do all of the intense exercises at the gym; kettlebell, spin classes and barbell classes and stick my nose up to any yoga, thinking it to be unchallenging. In fact, yoga can be challenging. For me, I find the leg toning yoga poses rather difficult and my flexibility isn't the best. This year I am going to add these to my goals, to improve my flexibility and strengthen my legs. Yoga can be what you want to make of it. It is very diverse. Aside from the toning benefits, I find it can be relaxing and releases any tension I get when sitting at a computer all day. I have already done a ''Bedtime'' yoga post (click here to read), but I want this post to help de-stress and focus on 'me-time'. 

De-stress Yoga

It helps if you are in the right frame of mind, so turn off all electrical devices such as your phone and TV. Dim the lights down to create a relaxing glow, maybe burn a fragranced candle or incense. You can put on some chilled out music - YouTube has some good ones. Click here to go to one of YouTube's chilled out videos. 

These are some poses that are meant to flow into one another, so once you learn the sequence, you can focus on your breath a bit more and release any tension at the same time. 

1. Sit down on your matt with legs cross and arms resting on your legs. You can close you eyes. move your shoulders forward and back, 10 times each way continuing to breathe gently.

2. Inhale deeply as you bring your shoulders up to your head and exhale deeply and you drop your shoulders.

3. Stand up on your matt and inhale deeply lifting your arms up over your head and rock forward on your toes. Exhale as you bring your arms down along with your heels. Repeat this for a couple of breaths.

4. Stay standing up, but as you exhale bring your hands to the floor and hold here for a couple of breaths. Let your head and body hang here and cross your arms, starting to swing them gently from side to side breathing gently.

5. Bring your hands to the floor and start to move into plank position and hold here for a couple of breaths.

6. From plank position, start to move into downward dog (see below). Bend your left knee slightly, so that you can feel more of a stretch in your right let. Then bend your right knee slightly. 

5. From downward dog,  bend your knees to the floor to Cat pose (see below). Inhale as you tuck in your head and suck in your tummy. Exhale as you lift your head up and stick your tail bone out. 

7. From Cat pose, move into Cobra (see below). Drop your shoulders and lift up your head. Gently rock from side to side as you continue to breathe.

8. Move back into plank position and place your right foot in between your hands and bend your right knee. Lift your arms up over your head (see below). Inhale as you straighten your right knee, exhale as you bend it again. Try this for a couple of breaths before moving on to the left leg. 

9. From the lower lunge, place your hands to the floor and bring your legs back to move into down ward dog.

10. From downward dog move your feet towards your hands and follow steps 3-10 twice more.

11. Lie on your matt on your back, hugging your knees into your chest. Gentle rock from side to side massaging your back on the floor.

12. Lie with your back on the floor and extend your arms and legs out and stretch. Then rest your arms by your side and breathe here for a couple of minutes. Start to notice parts of your body - work your way up from your feet. 

a) So start to notice your big toes and little toes, the ball of your feet and your heel on each foot. Focus on one part of your body at a time.
b) The shins and calves, knees, back of the knees, thighs, pelvis, your bum and back pressed against the floor.
c) Your tummy, your abdomen, chest, hands, arms pressed to the floor, shoulders, neck, head pressed to the floor.
d) Your ears, nose, mouth slightly open, eyes soft. 

Previous ''I Challenge You!'' Posts

Monday, 13 May 2013

I Challenge You to Yoga! #6

If you are ever feeling any tightness in your back or hips then try this routine. Weirdly I love the hip opening stretches! Maybe it's because I get a lot of tightness around my hips, especially in the morning and creating space around this area stretches my muscles releasing those lovely endorphins!

Opening Hips, Back and Shoulders

1. Sit on your matt with your legs crossed and arms resting on your legs breathing deeply here for a couple of minutes. Start to circle your shoulders back and then to the front. Inhale deeply whilst lifting your shoulders then exhale deeply, dropping your shoulders. Continue with this for a couple of breaths.

2. Stay sitting on your matt with your legs crossed, but move your hands behind you and inhale  pushing your body up with your hands as you do so. Feel the stretch in your upper thighs and hips. Exhale as you bring your body down.

3. Move into downward dog (see below) and extend your right leg out as you exhale and inhale as you bend your knee and move your knee towards your head. Repeat this movement with your left leg. 

4. From downward dog move into cobra (see below), dropping your shoulders. Start to look over you left and right shoulder then  If it feels good you can bring your thighs off the floor by pushing you body up a bit more through your hands and start to rock gently from side to side.

5. Move into plank position and hold here for a couple of breaths. Drop your knees to the floor, hip width apart. In hale as you curl your head under your body and suck in your tummy. Exhale as you lift your head up, looking to the ceiling, dropping your tummy creating a dip in your back. This is called Cat Pose (see below). 

6. Move back into plank position and place your right leg in between your hands. Hold this low lunge (see below) for a couple of breaths lifting your arms over your head and arching your back slightly. 

7. Stay in low lunge, but bring your forearms to the floor making sure your right leg is outside of your arms. If this feels too intense you can just rest your hands on the floor (see below).

8. From here start to move your right leg, still bent, across the floor (see below). You can then bend forward and breathe here for a couple of breaths.

9. Move back into plank position and place your left leg in between your hands. Hold this low lunge for a couple of breaths lifting your arms over your head and arching your back slightly.

10. Stay in low lunge, but bring your forearms to the floor making sure your left leg is outside of your arms. If this feels too intense you can just rest your hands on the floor.

11. From here start to move your left leg, still bent, across the floor (see above). You can then bend forward and breathe here for a couple of breaths.

12. Start to move into child's pose and breathe here for a couple of breaths. 

Previous ''I Challenge You!'' posts

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