Wednesday, 11 December 2013

NOTD Barry M ~ Navy

Well here's a shocker.......I've found yet another Barry M gem of a polish & it's just perfect for adding some serious Christmas shimmery bling to your tips!

Let me introduce you to Navy, the most perfect shimmering blue shade I've found to date.  It applies like a dream with the usual Barry M great longevity - 7 days with no tip wear or chipping.....amazeballs!!  (Did I really just say that.....?!)

Yet again, my photos don't do the intense colour of this beauty any justice but you'll just have to take my word for it & get yourselves out to the shops to go & get it!!

I've been getting all festive with my nails this week & I'll post soon about my Christmassy candy cane nails!

Sunday, 8 December 2013

House of Farnell - the best Christmas shop......ever!!!

Ooooh,it's Christmas-a-gogo in our house at the exciting!!  There are many, many things I love about winter & Christmas but I have to be honest & say that visiting the House of Farnell, is one of my most favourites!!  You know that warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you visit somewhere you Disneyworld, for example?  That's how I feel when I pull into the driveway here, it's so beautiful I could cry!!
This amazing Christmas shop is in the tiny hamlet of Farnell near to Brechin, about a 20 minute drive from our home & I like to get 2 or 3 visits in whilst it's open.  It closes this year on Sunday 15th December so if you're in the area & want to visit, you have a week left to go, it's so worth the drive & they serve the best cinnamon Danish I have ever tasted!
Here's a wee taster of what awaits you here (apologies for the photos, they were taken on my husband's iphone after my camera broke!)



Do let me know if you get to visit here or have been already!

Monday, 18 November 2013

Library overhaul part 1

How bad have I been on the old blogging front lately?  I know, terrible but in my defence, I have a great excuse!!
About a month ago, myself & 2 other mums from my son's school were asked if we'd help to set up a new library in the school.  We were all really keen to do this as quite frankly, the existing 'library' was pretty shocking ie. a couple of bookcases in a hallway!
First of all, we took over what was the music room & special education needs room & realised they both needed blitzing as the décor was extremely bleurgh!  We along with the head teacher, spent a morning visiting some local school libraries to see what they'd done with them & came back bursting with ideas.  After much debating, we decided to keep the walls neutral & then add colour with posters, murals & displays.
So work began last week!  After 6 hours of de-stapling & filling the walls in the horrible school-toilet-blue SEN room, the first of many coats of magnolia went on the walls.  We just have to now paint the tiles & cupboard doors in here & we'll have a blank canvas to work from.  This will now become a reading area & the music room.
The room which used to be the music room will now become the library & again, the walls have been neutralised & are ready to go!  We've already sifted through a couple of thousand books & binned the old, ripped books & are selling the ones we no longer want/need.  Any left over will go to charity.
We've installed the Junior Librarian software on our pc & this'll get set up on our fab new reception desk that my lovely hubby is making for the school!
So after the painting is completed this week, we'll begin the huge task of updating the book catalogue & then making a list of the many, many new books we have to buy - this part I'm really looking forward to!
We organised a Pamper Night fundraiser which was held last Friday night & we raised over £700 to go towards books & resources for the library, which was fantastic!  So apologies for being MIA for a few weeks, but being at the school day long & then getting home & catching up on housework etc has left me short on time!
Here's what we've been doing so far......


I can't wait to put the final photos of the finished library this space!!

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Silent Sunday


Sunday, 3 November 2013

Bad blogger alert!

I've been seriously neglecting my blog for the last couple of weeks, my bad!! In my defence, I've had such a chock-full fortnight starting with a 5 day visit from the in-laws so we were out & about during the days. 

Then a couple of weeks back, myself & 2 other mums from my son's primary school were asked by the new headteacher if we would be up for the challenge of starting a new library for the school.  I have to admit, as a complete & utter bookworm, this really, really pleased me as I believe it's so important for ALL schools to encourage reading & provide a library of sorts, no matter what size.

So over the space of 4 days last week, we sifted through around 3000 old scabby books that the school had in storage & have got rid of three quarters of them.  We've now got to go on a Junior Librarian course to learn how to catalogue & arrange new books & to train up some of the Primary 7s to be Junior Librarians.  We've got a budget to decorate 2 new rooms for the new library & then buy a heap of new books & we've got to do some serious fundraising too!

We went on tours of some local schools to see what they've done with their libraries & have got some amazing ideas what to do now.  So it's going to be a really busy few months ahead of us but I'm so excited & I haven't been so riled up about a project for years!! 

But annoyingly yesterday, my phone completely died a death & guess who hadn't downloaded all my photos & blog drafts??? So I promise I'll get back on it soon but I need to re-take a LOT of blog photos & I'll be spending an awful lot of time at the school every day.........but I WILL get back on form soon!!


Sunday, 20 October 2013

Silent Sunday


Friday, 18 October 2013

NOTD Barry M ~ Crush matte

When I saw the press photos of these new matte colours that Barry M were releasing for autumn, I knew that I'd be getting this particular colour.  I've always steered away from any sort of textured or gimmicky polish as I just like the feel of shiny, glossy nails rather than a rough finish so I wasn't sure how I'd feel about these ones.
As always I started with the China Glaze Strong Adhesion base coat, then applied 2 coats of this gorgeous colour.  It falls somewhere between red & brown with a hint of conker in there too, a true autumnal colour!  It felt a bit weird to not be applying a top coat but I have to say, I'm so, so impressed with this.  Even though it's a matte finish, it still has a slight sheen to it in the light & feels so smooth, no roughness here whatsoever which pleases me immensely! 
The colour is just 'me' & so far, I'm 4 days in with no wear on the tips or chips, excellent seeing as there's no top coat for protection.  I absolutely love this new release & I have to say, Barry M are fast becoming my go-to nail polish range.  Why pay £10 or more for a polish when these, in my humble opinion, offer just as good (& often better!) results for far less?  Keep up the fabulous work Barry M, I look forward to seeing what other gems you release during winter!
*Heads to the shops to buy more polishes!*

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Next Winter wishlist


Next Winter wishlist
I've been shopping at, and have been a huge fan of Next for many, many years.....since I was 14 in fact but the last couple of years, I've been feeling a bit disappointed in their ranges.  However, this year they seem to have seriously got their mojo back & I cannot keep count of how many things I'd love from their A/W range.  Don't even get me started on their bags this season......oh my days!!!
Anyhoo, I thought you'd like to see what's on my Winter Wishlist, most of which are fairly self-explanatory.  Well, all except the wooden console table but this matches my living room furniture & now my hallway is so very nearly finished(!), I'd love this too.  It's calling out for a tall lamp, a couple of photos & scented candles!
I have a rather extensive winter hat collection already but having seen these two, I simply must have them!!  What's not to love about a black furry beanie with cat ears & a xmas pud perched on your bonce, heh heh!!!
I'll be posting a Next bag wish list soon......I might just have to leave the page open on my pc for Mr F to notice it *coughs* Christmas presents alert *cough*!!!

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Recent reads #3

It's a sure sign that the nights are drawing in when I suddenly up my reading game again - cosy nights in front of the fire in my pjs with a great book & a glass of wine....perfect!  Here's a few of my most recent reads....
The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes
There's a fabulous teashop I go to nearby that always has books to borrow or take for free & last time I was there, this particular one caught my eye as I'd seen it on the bestseller lists since its release in April 2013. 
This is a really, really great book & the best way to describe it without giving the story away too much is that it's a time-travelling murder mystery set in Depression-era Chicago.  If follows the story of serial killer Harper Curtis who has to kill the Shining Girls, 'bright young women who burn with potential'.  It's so clever & it gripped my attention right from the off, I think I finished this one in 2 nights - cue bleary eyes the following morning on the school run after staying up until 2am!!
I absolutely loved this & if you like thriller/crime/murder/grisly stories, you'll love it too I'm sure!
Passion by Louise Bagshawe
When I'm after a bit of girlie escapism from a book, Louise Bagshawe just doesn't disappoint & I've been reading her books for years.  Yes, they kind of follow the same story in that you can pretty much guess who will end up together within the first couple of chapters but it doesn't make them any less enjoyable.  However, this one took a slightly new direction in that it's part chick-lit, part thriller!
The story follows Melissa Elmet, an Oxford academic & Will Hyde, billionaire banker.  This couple fell madly in love in their teens & swiftly married but Melissa's parents guilt-tripped her into having the marriage immediately annulled.  Heartbroken Will fled Oxford & their paths never crossed again until many years later when he becomes the only one who can save her from an assassin out to get her....kind of James Bond for girls if you like!!
Again, you know pretty early on what the outcome will be but I still loved it, as I have all of her books that I've read.  Definitely worth a read if you're after something a bit lighter.
'Kathleen Turner' series by Tiffany Snow
I actually downloaded these books after receiving a daily Kindle offer email from Amazon as I thought they were crime thrillers.  Well, they are I suppose but in a racy, girlie, dare I say it, Fifty Shades kind of way!  They were definitely not was I was expecting.......but I loved them!!
The protagonist is Kathleen Turner, a runner for a top law firm in Indianapolis & follows her story of getting closer to her boss, the inevitably gorgeous, rich & clever Blane Kirk.  She accidentally becomes involved when her friend & neighbour is brutally murdered & finds herself fearing for her life.  Predictably, Blane vows to protect her & at one point, someone who she initially fears is trying to kill her, turns out to also be gorgeous, rich & clever........& Blane's younger brother Kade.
The three stories all centre around these three main characters & how the brothers battle over who will protect.......& love......Kathleen the most, mixed in with some crime-fighting & sex scenes of course!  From that point of view, it's hard not to compare them to the Fifty Shades books but whereas I couldn't stand the main female character in those books, this one I do like!  I read all three books in four days & then went straight onto Amazon to download the fourth in the series only to find out it doesn't come out until December, wahhhhh!!!
So yes, these are such typical girlie storylines but I really got sucked into the story of the Blane v. Kade.....ooooh, it's just like Team Edward v. Team Jacob all over again, heh heh!!!  But enough with the chick-lits (jeez, I still despise that term!!) I'm just about to start The Grapes of Wrath for my October Book Club read!!  That should bring me back to earth with a bump.....

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Skin saviours

Skin saviours


Ugh, I can't tell you how bad my skin has been over the last 8 weeks or so.  I've always been lucky in that I've had great skin all my life, even as a teen I was never really plagued with spots or acne.  Every now & again I'd get a hormonal spot or two but not very often so when my skin suddenly took a very bad turn for the worse, I didn't know how to treat it!
I have the Liz Earle Spot-On Treatment Oil that I roll onto any spots usually but even this, which normally works a treat, wasn't working.  My chin & upper lip were covered in big, angry lumps that were really bloody painful & no amount of clay masks or spot treatments were working.
I though for a while I was having a reaction to a product that I loved using it but I've come to realise now after a trip to the GP that it really was down to some serious hormonal issues I have going on at the minute.  I'll bore you with the details another day!
Anyway, as my normal skincare products seemed to be exacerbating my already problematic skin, I decided that now would be a good time to completely change my products & I want to tell you how I'm getting on with them. 
1.  Clarins Pure Melt Face Gel  £19.50 for 125ml
I apply a pea-sized amount of this thick gel cleanser which, when rubbed over my face, turns into a light oil so massages in comfortably.  When water is applied, it emulsifies into a milk but I usually gently rinse mine off with a muslin or flannel.  My skin feels scrupulously clean with no oily residue left behind. 
2.  Clarins Gentle Exfoliating toner  £25.00 for 125ml
I was really cautious about using this beauty blogger favourite as I also suffer with rosacea & anything with AHAs usually makes it flare up but after reading so many reviews saying it was suitable for the most sensitive of skin, I decided to give it a whirl.  I spoke to a sales assistant about my worries beforehand so she gave me a sample to try first & after only a few days, I noticed such a huge improvement in my skin, I went & purchased a full bottle.  I get no tingling sensation or irritation whatsoever from this slightly viscous toner but my scarring & lumps have lessened substantially in the 2 weeks I've been using it.  I use it probably 4 or 5 times a week, more than the recommended use, but my skin seems to thrive on it.  This is definitely my new skincare BFF!!
3.  Clarins Beauty Flash Balm  £29.00 for 50ml
This is another blogger favourite that admittedly I had been using for years but hadn't replaced when my last tube ran out about 6 months ago.  My skin feels so nourished when used as a mask & looks so much better when used as a base primer.  There are oodles of reviews online about this fabulous cream so I won't bore you with another one!
Indeed Labs Hydraluron  £24.99 for 30ml
After reading Caroline Hirons banging on about this product so much, I decided a few weeks ago to try it when it was on offer for a third off at Boots.  My first impression on opening the box was how teeny tiny the tube looked but this product really goes a long way.  I use the tiniest amount over a freshly cleansed & toned face, applying just where my skin feels really dehydrated (my chin & cheeks at the moment) & then apply my moisturiser over the top.  My skin has felt so much plumper since using this & my scarring is getting better too - I'm sure this in conjunction with the Exfoliating Toner is working its magic on my poor skin & I will definitely be repurchasing when it's ran out.
Clarins Multi-Active Day Cream  £40.00 for 50ml
I had a generous sized tube of this cream in a Clarins GWP so have been using it for a few weeks & again, my skin seems to love it.  I've had no adverse reaction to it & I alternate between this day cream & another for my rosacea, which I'll review another time.
So slowly but surely, my skin is clearing up.  The large angry bumps have gone but I still have a couple of smaller lumps still hanging around.  The redness seems to be kept in check & the pigmentation & scarring is much less noticeable now.  I'll keep up with these products for another few weeks & report back on how my skin is again - watch this space!

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

NOTD Rimmel Salon Pro ~ Rhythm & Blues

I have to be honest here & say that when I went to the shops the other day, I was on the hunt for After School Boy Blazer by Essie but it's still sold out everywhere so when I spotted this navy blue polish by Rimmel, I though I'd give it a shot instead!
I'm a huge fan of the regular Rimmel polishes but this is the first one I've tried of the Salon Pro range.  I love the colour although it's not as blue as I'd like, it looks more like a black with a slight blueish tinge to it to me!  Both of my daughters asked why I'd painted my nails black.....
I don't think the longevity is great, I started getting some serious wear on the tips just the following day, not at all great.  To be honest, I find the regular Rimmel polishes wear much better.
Although I thought the brush was just the right size & firmness, I hated the short stumpy lid, I found it really difficult to hold & control.  The first coat was really streaky but it covered perfectly in 2 coats & as always, I finished it off with Seche Vite top coat.
So, I don't hate it........but I don't love it either & I wouldn't rush to buy another from the Salon Pro range.  I think I'll stick to the regular ones!

Collection Eyeshadow Stick ~ Hot Chocolate 4

I very rarely wear eye makeup on a daily basis (excluding mascara, natch!!) as I'm usually just on school run & PTA duties but as autumn approaches, I do like a bit of a smoky eye thing going on!  I picked up this Collection Eyeshadow Pencil in Hot Chocolate 4 in Boots a couple of weeks ago when it was on offer for about £3 I think (sorry, can't remember for sure)
This is a gorgeous eyeshadow pencil in a slighty shimmery, dirty brown colour that is so wearable & creates a gorgeous nude eye base.  As you can see by the label, it's both waterproof & long-lasting, which I totally agree with.  However, the "blendable" part...not so much!  Don't get me wrong, this shadow has some serious staying power - I wore it for approximately 9 hours & it didn't crease, flake or disappear until I removed it but because of this, I found it impossible to blend as you'll see on the next photos.
The photo on the left is just your usual colour swatch.  The photo on the right is after I tried to blend it, approximately 30 seconds later!!  So whilst this product is excellent for it's longevity, it's nigh on impossible to blend so make sure you apply it exactly where you want it!!
Would I buy it again though?  Absolutely, even if only for it's amazing staying-power!
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