Christmas Beauty Brawl… {intro}

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I am so excited to announce that I’m bringing my blog back with a bang!! 10 days of blogs all about beauty products. What more could you want?! For the second year, the lovely Beth from la blog beaute has organised the bloggers Christmas beauty brawl and I’m so pleased that I found out about it in time to join in this year! You can follow along on twitter or Instagram with #beautybrawl16

Basically, each day all the bloggers involved will review a beauty product. Each day is a different product, but we will all review a product of the same type (e.g. moisturiser) there may be some overlap between products as we don’t know what each other has posted until after but i know i am looking forward to seeing how everyone else rates their products! The best part? We will all be using a ‘top trumps’ card as a rating system so packaging, the product itself and the price will all be rated out of 100. We will also include more in depth analysis of the product alongside the card.

Taking part will be…

Beth – La Blog Beauté

Victoria – Victoria Life On Camera

Elaine – Early Retirement Rocks

Kimberley Jessica – Kimberley Jessica

Tori – Powdered and Polished

Laura Faye – Forever Faye

Karen – The Mad House of Cats and Babies

Gemma – An Ocean Glimmer

Ellysia – Miss Dainty K

Andreia – Andreia Prieto x

Natalie –  Beauty Box Obsessed

Rabia –  Rabia Qureshi

Bethany – The Beth Blog

Becky – Hideaway Blogging

Lynn – Lemons Cake

Sarah – The Passion Ease Queen.

Taylor – Reese’s Hardwear

Cheryl – Cheryl Gemma

Daisy – Daisy Says

Phillippa – Phillippa Beauty

Kimberley – Happiness Is Madness

Charli – High Street Beauty Junkie

Natasha – Beauty By Natasha 16

Emma – Running In Couture

Hope you enjoy reading everyone’s posts, I know I will!

Emma-Jayne xxx

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New Beginnings…

  I feel like this last year has gone so fast. In some ways, everything has changed yet in others everything is the same. My gorgeous girl is in reception now, which has been an adjustment! I’m missing her more and more each day, but I treasure the time we spend together. I adore the holidays and weekends when we get whole days together not broken up by school. On the other hand, she absolutely adores it and is positively thriving. She has a whole little group of friends and keeps inviting them to her birthday party in February. I need to get cracking on that one as nothing is booked yet! She is growing up so fast, and part of me misses the baby days and toddler days, but at the same time I’m excited to see the person she is becoming. Beautiful, determined, a little stubborn and so full of love for everything she does.

In terms of blogging, I know I am so far behind it’s unreal. I’ve so many posts half written, and never published time seems to have gotten away from me. I want 2016 to be my year, the year I finally get myself sorted into a proper blogging routine, and hopefully properly launch myself into youtube. I have a new camera on order which I can’t wait for! Although, I may have to wait until my birthday in march before I can actually use it. But when it does come to me, I am so excited to take lots and lots of pictures, so I’m fully expecting my Instagram to be flooded with all sorts of shots whilst I’m getting to grips with my new toy. 2016 may also be the year I manage to get the business venture I’ve been planning for the last few years off the ground. I’m pretty excited about it, but although the plans are in place there is still a lot of work to be done until I can properly launch it. So keep your fingers crossed for me!!

I have a few new years resolutions, maybe for once they will last longer than a month or two? I’m going to come back to them in December and see what I have actually achieved!

  • Get back to blogging
  • Drink more water
  • Eat more healthy food..80/20
  • Try to workout 3 times a week
  • work on getting motivated
  • launch my business
  • Sort my skincare routine

Do you have any new years resolutions?

Emma-Jayne xxx

Scallop, asparagus and tomato pasta…

IMG_3640Until a few days ago, I had only had scallops in Coquilles St. Jacques, from Marks and Spencers… we had them last valentines day, and really enjoyed them but having heard horror stories about how difficult it is to get scallops right we didn’t attempt to recreate the dish at home. fast forward a few months, and I was in Tesco and noticed that they had fresh scallops that weren’t too expensive. They then sat in my freezer for a little longer as I wondered what to do with them until I watched an episode of the pioneer woman cooks and noticed she paired them with tomato pasta. This recipe, is a pretty simple tomato sauce jazzed up with the mushrooms, asparagus and scallops. If (like in my house) someone doesn’t eat mushrooms, cook them in a seperate pan to the sauce in a little butter. These scallops are Lillee approved so this dish is looking to become a new family favourite in our house!

  • 1 pack of fresh scallops (about 300g)
  • asparagus (3-4 spears per person)
  • carton of passata
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 10 mushrooms, sliced
  • pinch of sugar
  • olive oil
  • Worchestershire sauce
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 300g pasta
  • 1tsp mixed herbs

Cook pasta according to packet instructions. Meanwhile, soften the onions in a large pan with a little oil. When translucent, add the garlic, herbs and mushrooms. Cook for a few minutes and stir in the passata, Worchestershire sauce and sugar. Leave to simmer on a low heat. Heat a griddle pan or frying pan, and add the asparagus. Cook until lightly browned on one side before turning over and browning the other side. it should take 5-10 minutes. When the pasta is cooked, drain and stir into the tomato sauce. Heat a frying pan with a small amount of oil. When hot, add the scallops cook for 1-2 minutes until starting to brown. Turn over and cook for another minute. Serve on top of the pasta with the asparagus.

Serves 4.

Hope you enjoy it!

Emma-Jayne xx

What I got for Christmas…

**Disclaimer: I am not bragging or showing off what we got for christmas, I like to look at what other people got so I decided to share what I had with you**

This year, we had so much for christmas that I’m just going to show some of my favourite presents instead of everything!

My amazing husband got me a macbook!! I’ve been wanting one for ages, but the price always put me off. Luckily, we managed to get one second hand that is pratically new! It is the perfect thing for me to blog on so expect more frequent posting in the new year.

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Dan really spoilt me this year. Not only did i get my macbook, i also got a beautiful new pandora charm some more of my favourite perfume, Chambord black raspberry liqueur and the b.right! skin care set from benefit cosmetics amongst other things.

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A few months ago, my washing machiene gave up on me, and so we were living with no washer the day before me and lillee went to camp! My parents, having had enough of washing my clothes for me, brought us a new washing machine as part wedding present and part christmas present. Because of this, we really didn’t expect anything else from my parents as they had already been so generous. We were plesently surprised though with a gorgeous Yankee candle gift set

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A yoghurt maker and some yoghurt my mom let us steal out of the cupboard

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and a multi-fryer to which makes healthy chips and many more things according to the recipe booklet! At the moment, we have only tried chips but they were so tasty! Cooked perfectly; crisp on the outside and fluffy in the middle. Perfect presents for getting healthy in the new year!

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From my Aunties and Uncles, we had a really cute owl cushion, a new loaf tin and some different bread mixes to try in it and a movie box containing sweets, an amazon gift card and a really gorgeous sign like they use in the movies!

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We were also lucky enough to receive some new clothes, money and chocolates. My parents-in-law gave us a really thoughtful present this year, they took a selection of pictures from our wedding and framed them for us! At the moment, its being kept safe until we can hang it up hopefully as part of the frame wall I’m planning!

What did you get for christmas?

Emma-Jayne xx

 

Christmas 2014…

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This year, Christmas was so lovely. Lillee is a perfect age to enjoy all of the magic and wonder of this time of year. We have seen Santa a few times, opened some gorgeous presents and have new memories to treasure for years to come.

20141204_232038802_iOSMy favourite ornament this year is probably my wedding bouquet bauble that I made in early December. It was an idea I saw on pinterest, and was pretty simple to recreate. All I had to do, was carefully push some of the dried flowers from my bouquet into a large glass bauble being careful not to break the delicate petals.

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Christmas Eve this year was truely magical. I spent most of the day cooking and cleaning, while Dan took her too a Christmas party at his parents golf club. When they got back, she told me all about dancing, having her face painted and winning the singing competition! When she got home, there was a bag on the coffee table full of presents! Santa had come early to deliver some things to a special little girl for Christmas Eve night. In her bag, there were:

  • New Pyjamas
  • Reindeer food
  • A Christmas story
  • Miracle on 34th street on DVD
  • Popcorn
  • Mini jaffa cakes
  • Bubble Bath

She loved it so much! She had a bath in her new bubbles, got dressed in her new pyjamas, snuggled up and ate some popcorn while watching her movie and sprinkled the reindeer food outside just before cleaning her teeth, reading her story and snuggling up in bed all ready for Santa to come on Christmas morning!

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On Christmas morning, Lillee was so exited to open her present!
We spent some time opening everything as a family before Christmas tree Crumpets and Buck’s Fizz for breakfast (or OJ in Dan and Lillee’s case!) The rest of christmas day passed with lots of present opening and yummy food! We were all very spoilt and I’m so thankful to our amazing family for all the lovely things we had.

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How did you spend your christmas?

Emma-Jayne xx

 

The start of Christmas…

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For me, Christmas really begins when we go to the Christmas lights switch on in town. It’s usually the first time we see Santa too! There are always fireworks, and and the atmosphere is really lovely with Christmas songs playing in the background, and people of all ages together and getting exited for Christmas!

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A relatively new tradition in our house is to buy a festive candle. This year I got “snow in love” it smells so gorgeous!! It’s quite a hard scent to describe, it has a sweet note too it, but is still pretty fresh and not too overpowering. I think I will definitely be stocking up on this scent, as unfortunately last years christmas candle is no longer available.

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I struggle to resist costa at the best of times, but Christmas cups and a festive drinks menu means I spend twice as much money compared to normal! This year I’m attempting to try each of the festive drinks.. Currently, I’ve tried three of my own, and some of my sisters does that count as four?

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Every year, since I was 10 I’ve been part of the same guide unit, and every Christmas we do a Christmas camp. Usually it’s craft based (although last year we went to London) and as the crafts and games are usually Christmas based it makes me feel especially festive an Christmassy by the time I get home! This year, we made truffles, sock snowmen, tree ornaments and Santa sacks amongst other activities!

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The coca cola advert Is probably One of the first signs for me that Christmas is nearly here! Every year I look forward to seeing it and then seeing what companies like John Lewis and marks and Spencer’s put together. This year I’m also really loving the Sainsbury’s advert, i think it’s a lovely way to remember those in WW1 and the cease fire on Christmas Day.

What signifies Christmas to you?
Emma-Jayne xx

Afternoon tea..

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So, I thought I’d try something new today, with part of my post being an OOTD (outfit of the day) I know it’s not something I normally do, but I love fashion and I figured I may as well see how it goes!

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My dress is from Primark
The jacket is Asda, however they don’t have this exact jacket anymore but there are quite a few around at the moment.
The shoes are Marks and Spencer’s.

I wore this outfit to afternoon tea. My auntie is getting married soon, and is having a “family” hen and one for all her friends(cocktail making and a 1920’s theme!). I wanted something classy for our afternoon tea, and this is what I came up with! I’m in love with these shoes at the moment, so comfy and only £18 which is a bargain especially for M&S!

As for the afternoon tea itself, the cakes were delicious and tree was an endless supply of tea. It was a lovely way to spend an afternoon.

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Let me know what you think of the OOTD style post!

Emma-Jayne xx

Lest we forget…

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They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England’s foam

-ode to remembrance, taken from “for the fallen” Laurence Binyon.

We will remember them.

In 1914, at 11pm on the 4th of august the foreign secretary, Sir Edward Grey said “the lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them again in our lifetime.” Tonight, 100 years from the announcement of World War One, lights in Britain are being turned out between 10pm and 11pm in honour of the soldiers who Lost their lives in the Great War. #lightsout

My lights are out, are yours?

Emma-Jayne xx

The snug…

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A few months ago, a new coffee shop opened near where I live. As soon as I heard about it I wanted to go!

It isn’t your run-of-the-mill coffee shop, it has a vintage vibe to it and everything is served on mismatched china which adds to the charm. The decor was beautiful, and each table had comfy chairs and little vases of flowers.

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There were so many different types of tea to choose from, with a mixture of bagged and loose leaf. I just had English breakfast tea, but next time I’d be tempted to try something else! They also serve a selection of coffees, milkshakes, smoothies and cold drinks.
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We also treated ourselves to some cake. Lillee chose a cupcake, and Dan and I split a piece of carrot cake and a piece of chocolate orange cake. It was so delicious! Obviously homemade, moist and full of flavour. The chocolate orange cake even had a swirl of orange curd running through the middle of it, and a chocolate flower on the top, which dan gave to me. Isn’t he a lovely husband? I think, I would be tempted to go again just for the cake. The wasn’t a huge selection of cakes, but having seen pictures of when others have been in I know they rotate them depending on the day.

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We are planning on going again for lunch soon, and hopefully will be booking afternoon tea for during august as I know my mom wants to go too so that should be good!

If you’ve been to the snug or go in the future, let me know what you think and what kind of cake you had!

Emma-Jayne xx

Going on a health kick…

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So, I have to be honest I LOVE fresh fruits and vegetables. I have been known to eat an entire 500g bag of sliced cabbage and leeks to myself. (Cooked in with a tiny bit of oil and some garlic. Delicious) broccoli is among one of my top 10 foods to eat, but even so recently I’ve noticed the weight has been creeping up. A few pounds here, a few pounds there and now I’m at least half a stone heavier than I was at the wedding. Not that I managed to loose weight for I in the first place.. So that got me thinking. What is it I’m doing wrong? I live fruit and vegetables, i prefer chicken to red meat most of the time and I rarely eat bread, pasta or rice and when I do it’s the wholewheat kind. But, let’s be honest here, that’s not ALL I eat. We have ice-cream in the freezer, cheese in the fridge and this week I know I’ve eaten crisps, biscuits and pizza. Not that any of these things are bad in moderation, but that’s the key to it isn’t it? In moderation. So actually, when I think a little harder, I’ve Been indulging a bit too often. And as for water? Not very long ago, I was pretty much only drinking water. At the moment I’m lucky if I get one glass of pure water in a day. So really, when I get down to it I’m not really that healthy am I?

Well, after this revelation, what’s a girl to do? For a start, I need to put down this glass of wine and actually do some exercise! I think I’ll say it in a whisper so I don’t shock my system. I rarely do proper exercise. I take Lillee to and from school during the week but honestly? These days that’s about as good as it gets. I am aware that housework and walking are good alternatives to exercise but I have to be honest here, I don’t do anywhere near enough to actually be able to count it as doing my recommended level.

So what am I going to do? Well, I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently, and although I’ve said it before and then slowly backslid. Especially when things like gü puddings end up it the trolly.. I NEED to change my diet. But I don’t want to go on a diet because then I’ll get fed up. And really, who wants to be counting calories or syns or points for the rest of their life? I know I don’t. So obviously, the answer here is to start making better choices. To eat more “clean” foods. I don’t want to stop having treats but it’s gotten quite clear that it’s not really a treat if you have it every day is it? Therefore, starting today.. well, technically it’ll start tomorrow as it’s now 10pm and I’ve already eaten for today I’m planning in upping my levels of fruit and veg, looking into things like chia seeds and flax seed which I’ve heard so much about but never tried and Definitely drinking WAY more water! As for exercise? Well, in theory I will start doing maybe 3 workouts a week.. But I think that will probably start to come in a little later once I have the food locked down.

Although I’m hoping I will loose some weight, this isn’t really the main reason for doing this. I want to improve my health and especially my fitness levels. Plus I want to jump on te opportunity while Lillee still prefers strawberries to chocolate and she asks to drink water if she’s thirsty. I really need to start taking life lessons from her!

Wish me luck!

Emma-Jayne xx