Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Halloween in Pins

Ever since I was a little girl, I have always adored Halloween. I love carving pumpkins (or drawing on watermelons when the supermarket inevitably sells out) and would like to say that I love staying in, with the curtains drawn and the lights off, watching a scary film. The truth of the matter is, I don't. It's far more likely to be Harry Potter or Twilight.

One day, I would like to visit the US for the 31st October to see the decorations, but in the meantime, Pinterest is, of course, an excellent way to get a Halloween fix.

1 :: vampire make-up

2 :: boo pumpkins

3 :: arsenic bottles

4 :: witch legs

5 :: if the shoe fits

6 :: headless horseman

7 :: truck of pumpkins

8 :: scarpering skeletons

9 :: broomsticks

All Hallows Eve by Bluebell & Bumpkin on Pinterest (link)

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

cook :: a quick and healthyish sort of lunch

Dan and I have been trying to bring our lunches into work in an effort to save some pennies. But after a while, a stale cheese sandwich or the same soup lunch after lunch, gets a little dull. So I have been looking for different things to try in an attempt to liven up the midday meal.

A really quick and tasty lunch is simply getting Ryvitas, topping with perfectly soft avocados (note to self, this is the hardest part of the lunch) and whatever you else you fancy, creates the most delicious, and sort-of, healthy lunch.

My personal recommendation? Cooked Thai salmon, and slithers of brie (in an effort to be healthier, otherwise it would be chunks). Finish with slices of cucumber and you have a wonderfully tasty lunch, which is easy to make, really delicious and surprisingly filling. Dan calls it a posh pick 'n' mix and I think that sums it up perfectly. Oh, and the eagle eyed among you might notice that there is not any cucumber decorating my lunch. Spot on. We're moving in less than a week and have run out of the stuff. And this is real-life, so I'm afraid that's that!

Monday, 20 October 2014

Wonderful water, wonderful No7

I recently found myself with a few spare minutes and browsing the No7 aisles of Boots. There were a few events that led up to this frankly unremarkable situation.

It all starts with my slightly lax attitude to skincare. Of course, for years, I have cleansed and moisturised, but if I'm being honest, it was always halfheartedly and with products that I didn't really love.

And then I got engaged. And all the magazines started telling me that I had to start dieting now, I had to start looking after my skincare now, I had to stop using my hair straighteners now. And for the most part, I ignored this advise. I like cake, we've already discussed my attitude towards skin care, and I like having straight hair. Really, life is too short.

But then after battling a few too many blemishes, and suffering from dry and dull skin, I decided that it really was time to do something about it, and that maybe, just maybe, the magazines were right.

And here's the thing. Skincare is not rocket science, although at times it does feel like it. A huge part in my new approach was drinking more water. I was guilty of not drinking enough water, but since I have consciously upped my water intake, my skin has been noticeably clearer and in much better shape. The best moisturiser in the world is not going to do anything if you are working on a poor foundation. I promise. Once you've found products you like, skincare is actually not such a boring task after all. In the last few months, I have fallen in love with No7's splendid range of skincare. They pack a powerful punch, and are relatively inexpensive compared to high-end heavyweights.

I have had a rocky history with cleansers, and have found so many to be drying. I am pleased to say that the No7 Soft & Soothed Gentle Cleanser does exactly what it says on the tin. This is a really gentle cleanser, that is perfect for the most dry of dry skins. This is a fragrance free formula so it will not aggravate your skin, and once gently massaged into skin and swept off, skin is sparkling clean, and wonderful smooth. I honestly have never had such good results, and I am hugely impressed.

I've also started using the No7 Total Renewal Micro-dermabrasion Facial Exfoliator. It is recommended to use this twice a week, but I tend to only use this once a week. This really is the bees knees. Tiny crystals smooth, refine and renew dull skin-cells, and skin is instantly more radiant, and unbelievably smooth.

The No7 Protect & Perfect Advanced Serum has been highly praised and for good reason. The price-tag is at the higher end of the No7 range, but it is worth every penny. I have frequently heard that the price of your moisturiser doesn't matter, but a good serum can make all the difference. This is designed to target the appearance of fine lines, leaving skin looking younger, clearer and radiant. I adore this serum. It is like sweeping the most delicious velvet over your skin, and is a really powerful little product.

And finally, moisturisers. I use the No7 Essential Moisture Day and Night Cream. These moisturisers are just that, moisturisers. The Day Cream has an SPF, the night cream doesn't. And that's about as fancy as it gets. There aren't any bells and whistles, and that is just what I want. These are great little moisturisers, with a delightful pricetag.

What are your favourite skincare items? Have you used No7 Skincare before?

Soft & Soothed Gentle Cleanser :: £8 (link)
Total Renewal Micro-dermabrasion Facial Exfoliator :: £11 (link)
Protect & Perfect Advanced Serum :: £23.95 (link)
Essential Moisture Day Cream :: £9 (link)
Essential Moisture Night Cream :: £9.95 (link)

Sunday, 19 October 2014

this week's ten lovely things

In a week where I have been trying to balance packing up for the big move, writing the dreaded annual self-appraisal, and suffering from a particularly unglamorous ulcerative colitis flare-up, it might have been difficult to find ten lovely things. But there are always lovely things even in the most crappy of weeks. And it really hasn't even been that bad.
1 :: watching steam rising of the fence below the big oak tree on Thursday morning, whilst curled up under a blanket with a cup of tea.

2 :: Unwinding yoga, as the rain hit the skylight.

3 :: this video of a Labrador jumping into a pile of leaves.  

4 :: Uncovering and rereading our engagement cards.

5 :: Choosing a new Hoover! A blue Henry if you're wondering...

6 :: Fluffy jacket potatoes with salty, crispy skins on a cold and rainy evening.

7 :: Getting lost in a glittery world of Christmassy sparkle in Marks & Spencer, or should that be Magic & Sparkle. I know it's only October. I know. But I'm really not sorry.

8 :: Catching up on Orange is the New Black. I'm a little late to the party, but surely that's the only way to do it.

9 :: apple tea

10 :: finally watching Le Week-End starring Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan. Just magnificent.