Christmas Beauty Brawl… {day one}

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Today, we were challenged to review… Moisturiser!! So, I picked the simple kind to skin hydrating light moisturiser.

I have rated this product on packaging, price and the product itself. (Unfortunately, the top trumps card app is currently down so i will update with the card as soon as i can)

Packaging… 65

Price… 100 (£3)

Product… 95

Simple Says…

for natural healthy looking skin’

‘Our Hydrating Light Moisturiser is a perfect blend of multi-vitamins and skin-loving ingredients to keep our skin moisturised and pampered, and carries on working for 12 hours. Perfect even for sensitive skin’

What I love…

Straight away, you cannot go wrong with the price of this product. At just £3 for 125ml it is one of the cheapest moisturizers around that actually works! Because it is a light weight moisturiser, my skin doesn’t feel at all greasy and it soaks in within no time at all. I’m one of those people that hates my face to feel like there is too much product on, and this fits the bill perfectly! I love that they use all natural ingredients and no perfumes and this leaves my face feeling soft and nourished every time.

What I Don’t Love…

Although this is a cheap product, I’m not a big fan of the packaging. I prefer my beauty products to come in pretty bottles and a pump or squeezy tube makes life much easier when getting towards the bottom of the tube. Also, I have found that a few days after starting to use this product my skin breaks out a little. It clears up within a day or two though, and then my face feels better than ever!

Have you tried this moisturiser? let me know how you got on in the comments down below! Don’t forget to check out what Natasha wrote over on
Beauty by Natasha 16

Emma-Jayne xxx

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

Bluesky soak off gel nail polish review…

I love getting my nails done professionally, but at £25 every 3-4 weeks it was costing me more money than I could really afford. So I went off looking for a more affordable solution. For a while, I went back to painting my nails as normal but I found that even with high quality polishes I chipped my nails really quickly. I started to look into at home gel nails. I started off looking at the high end brands like gelish and CND but at over £100 for the starter kit, it was more than I wanted to spend, especially as I have no experience with gel nails. In the end I found the brand bluesky on amazon. At half the price I was allotrope worried about the quality as when it comes to nails I’m a big believer in “you get what you pay for” but after reading mostly positive reveiws, and looking into UV lamps vs LED lamps (UV is cheaper and cures all gel polish but takes longer, whereas LED is more expensive an can only cute polish suitable for LED but will cure in 30s) and making sure I could use the higher end brands with the lamp I took the plunge. I chose this starter kit containing:

  • A UV lamp
  • 3 random gel polishes
  • Base coat
  • Too coat
  • 5 Prep and wipe wipes

You will need to get a remover, as this particular kit doesn’t come with one but there are several starter kits on amazon containing variations. However I decided to go for the extra polishes and brought acetone based false nail remover from boots.

To use, you simply set your lamp up following the instructions, then, lightly buff clean nails and paint a thin layer of base coat on each nail, then cure for two minutes. Most lamps come with a timer setting which makes this easy, mine turns of after the two minutes is up and I simply have to flick a switch to turn it on for another few minutes.

After the base coat, apply your colour. Cute for two minutes and repeat. Finally apply top coat to seal and cure for a final two minutes.

Just a little word of warning, if you get any polish on your skin while painting make sure to clean up the edges BEFORE you cure the polish. I didn’t realise, but I left some top coat on the tip of my finger and although it does eventually peel off it was much harder to remove than normal polish.

Obviously, the next test was to see how long it lasts!

This is when they were first done. J found it easy to apply, and I love how shiny it is and it feels the same as normal polish on my nails! The black triangle gems are from poundland, and I stuck them on with nail glue before applying the top coat.

 

This is five days in, although generally they have lasted well a few of my nails are starting to chip along the free edge. One has actualy peeled off when I washed my hair.

Although the gel polish does last longer than a normal polish I have not managed to get 2 weeks wear out of it. The bonuses to it are definetly the faster drying time and easy application but I was dissappointed with the longevity. However I would buy it again and I think, for £5 a bottle it is worth it for nearly a weeks wear as it’s no dearer than many high street polishes!

Have you tried it? Let me know what you think in the coments!

Emma-Jayne xx

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

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

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

Glitter tip nail art tutorial…

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Since the wedding, I haven’t kept up with my acrylic nail appointments. There are various reasons including time, and it being an unnecessary expense. As much as I love having them on, it has made much more sense recently for me not too. I will be having them back on before the end of the year, my auntie gets married in October so if not before I will definitely be having them done for the hen night! But until then, I want to make them pretty. And I have to be honest, one thing I have missed with my nails on is trying out various different nail designs myself. And changing it when I feel like it!

I love grey nails. I’ve had them similar to this professionally, although she used a different technique. But I do find sometimes just plain colour is a little boring. I don’t have the skills to do some of these amazing nail art designs out there so I wanted something simple but pretty. I personally think this ticks all the boxes!

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So today, I am using:-

•Barry M nail paint in grey 293.
•Jess nail polish in celebration.
•Nail varnish remover, cotton wool pad and a cotton bud.
•Avon nail experts liquid freeze quick dry nail spray.
•topcoat/base coat.

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First, I made sure my nails were clean and nail-polish free with a quick swipe all over with the remover before applying a base coat. I don’t know what brand it is, because I’ve had it for so long the label had come off.. Just use your favourite one! Then I used 2 coats of the Barry M nail paint. I use this colour on my nails a lot. I originally brought it because I think it’s a really great neutral colour but because it isn’t as harsh as black it is more wearable. At this point you can use a quick spray of the freeze spray, or wait for it to become touch-dry.

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At this point, I used my Jess nail varnish. This is actually from poundland. Personally, I think it takes a long time to dry but I really love the colours in the glitter. I actually brought it for Lillee, as she loves to have her nails painted but she is worse than I am for chipping it, so I only buy her cheap ones for now.

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I carefully, put a thin-ish line across the tip of my nail in the glitter. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but I try to get as many glitter particles as I can closest to the tip of my nail so it creates a little gradient meaning the line doesn’t have to be straight. If you struggle with keeping it relatively even, you could use a French manicure template to get a more crisp edge.

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I finished with a topcoat, a spritz of freeze dry spray, and cleaned up my edges with a cotton bud soaked in a little nail varnish remover. And there you have it!

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I hope you like it!

Emma-Jayne xx

Good Food Show…

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So, last Sunday we went to the good food show in Birmingham!

We had an amazing time, and we spent the day browsing the stalls, tasting and subsequently buying some pretty yummy food and drink. I did Vlog during the day, so check out the video here.

On the way to the NEC, we had to go through Birmingham international train station. While we were there, we went into the toilets and this sign was above one of the toilets…

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I have to be honest, it really amused me hence why I decided to post it on here! There were so many things there, that it wasn’t possible to taste everything or buy everything.. Or at least not for us anyway! But, some of my favorite purchases are…

  • Scarlet angel salad dressings. We brought two lemon and black pepper, and one sweet pepper and chilli. Because we brought 3, we also got a free little jute bag to bring them home in which I have to be honest is super cute. They are made in wales and all organic. and we love them, so much that I’m already wishing we brought more…
  • Belvoir fruit cordials in elder-flower, raspberry and lemon and raspberry and rose. I’ve had the elder-flower cordial before, and also the elder-flower pressé
    as well as the raspberry lemonade. The raspberry and rose was new to me but so delicious I had to buy some! The entire range of cordials is also currently available from ocado.
  • We also got some amazing vintagey shabby-chic items from one of the stalls. unfortunately, I’m not sure of the name but we got a wicker picnic basket with a handle that reminded us of something little red riding hood would carry, some hooks for Lillee’s room which I’ll post a picture of once they are up and a hanging candle holder in the shape of a heart with a little bird on for my mom and dad’s silver wedding anniversary on Tuesday. I could have spent so much money on that stall. I just had to try not to look to hard!

We brought and tried so many other things, which I wont list but I would definitely recommend going if you want a foodies day out!

Our ticket price also included a seat in the super theater. Originally, I wanted to see Paul Hollywood. However, it turned out he was only there on the Thursday and Friday which we couldn’t go to as Dan was at work. So, instead we saw Tom Kerridge proper pub food. It was funny, and his food looked tasty. I have also brought his book but I haven’t had a chance to properly sit down and read it yet. I have tried one recipe, which was the lemon posset. I liked it but personally, it was a little sweet so i’d cut down on the sugar and I don’t think I left it in the fridge long enough to set properly. I do recommend eating strawberries with it though! They went together so well and I will be trying it out again although with less sugar next time.

We are planning on going again to the winter good food show at the end of November. So, hopefully I’ll be able to get some more amazing food items!

Emma-Jayne xx

*Disclaimer. This was not a sponsored post. Just a day trip we had and really enjoyed.*

YouTube…

It’s official, we have a YouTube channel!! The content will run alongside the blog. I’m hoping to do some Vlogs in the future and also a house tour. Soo keep an eye out, or subscribe to never miss an update! As ever, all updates to the blog or YouTube will be linked on the facebook page so go check it out!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaiQaHl8CT33m4dCeECgRYg

 

Emma-Jayne xx

#100happydays…

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Lately, I’ve noticed #100happydays floating around on my Facebook and Instagram. Eventually, my curiosity got the better of me and I googled it. I came across a website www.100happydays.com. According the the site, 71% of people fail the challenge. Lack of time was quoted as the main reason. Are you to busy to be happy? That really made me think. I mean this whole challenge is simple. You take a picture of something that makes you happy, then, upload it onto Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the tag #100happydays. There is even an email address if your super private.

I find it really sad that people are claiming they are too busy to be happy. I know there’s something every day that makes me happy no matter how small!

Sooo I’m taking up the challenge! You can follow my progress here on Instagram, want to join me? Simply go to the website and hit sign up! Make sure you comment telling me where your posting so I can follow your progress! Plus, if you manage to do the entire 100 days there is supposed to be a book of all 100 pictures available. If not? I think it’s worth it to remember all the little things in life that make us happy.

I have so far done a week on the challenge, and actually found it really easy so far so I’m hoping that this is going to continue! Here’s my happy things so far…

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Good luck to all who try it! Can’t wait to see what makes you happy.

Emma-Jayne xx