Friday, 29 August 2014

Cupcakes & Chopsticks.


   Just a small post today about some very cute jewellery that arrived on my doorstep today! Tom knows how hard I have been working at the whole weight loss thing and when I lost 3 pounds this week he said he was getting me a little something to say well done....this is what arrived.

This box has the most adorable label ever! Its a little panda shaped cupcake with a pair of chopsticks (hence the brand name Cupcakes & Chopsticks.)

Inside were these super awesome Spider Man earrings! They aren't quite the same as dangly earrings because they have a stud back and they don't hang very far but they are fairly big in the ears. They look like little comic books! ^_^ Tom and I are both geeky comic types, although he definitely is ahead of me in the geeky stakes so these are perfect! He also bought me a pair of Batman studs a few weeks ago which I tried to picture but it didn't come out well :( So I now have two pairs in my collection :D

As you can see the backs have studs which seem sturdy to me although I will probably change the backs to butterfly ones as they work better in my ears!

I was very pleased with my little gift and very happy Tom knows what I like, he is yet to get me something I don't like!

Have you got any geeky jewellery?


P.S. Link to Cupcakes & Chopsticks!

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Panda Manicure.


   I know that when people say about how easy a manicure is I usually roll my eyes in disbelief! However I promise you this manicure is easy as pie and you only need five things.

Here it is.....

                                                              A panda manicure!

All you need for this is a base/topcoat, white nail polish, black nail polish and two dotting tools (I used the second biggest one and the second smallest one out of my five.) Do your base coat then either paint 3 fingers all white, or you can do pandas on all of your nails depending on how you feel!

For the pandas I painted most of the nail white but left a small gap at the top, you want it to be a sort of semi circle shape but don't be too concerned about that. Then using the bigger of the two dotting tools dot the black nail varnish where the white polish ends to create ears, you can dot more than once to make the ears slightly bigger.

I then used the smaller dotting tool with the black polish to create eyes and a nose, then used the same dotting tool in white to do in the black to make the eyes. Dot very gently otherwise you may get too much white on the black dots. Make sure the black has dried before layering over it.

Slick on your topcoat and your done, easy peasy!

I used Models Own white hypergel which is amazing if like me you use white as a colour and not just a base to make the colour pop. I believe the black is Nails Inc Black Taxi.

Let me know if you attempt this manicure or have any tips!


Friday, 22 August 2014

DIY Yankee Tarts.


     The post I am writing today isn't really a new concept, however I know that there are a lot of people out there who don't know how to make their own Yankee Candle Tarts so I am sharing information!

If you are unfamiliar with them, this is a Yankee Tart:

I wrote a big post about Yankee Tarts and this where I explain all about burning the Tarts etc so I won't bore you with going through it all again!

I buy my Yankee Tarts on Ebay, they usually cost £11 for 10 Yankee Tarts, they usually retail at £1.50 so you're saving around £4 by using Ebay. However I saw that there was a seller who had Yankee Candle Samplers (Votives) which are 10 for £14. As the Votives usually go for £1.80, again you are saving quite a bit!

However, as well as saving money from the official site, buying Votives gives you a lot more value for money as I am going to explain!

Votives all a small version of a Yankee Candle, it doesn't come in a jar so you need a container if you want to burn one of these.

Before you start you will need your Votives, a tea towel, a kitchen knife (NOT a sharp chopping knife!) some sandwich bags, a pair of scissors and some tape.

Once out of the packaging we are going to remove the wick as we are burning these in a tart burner they don't need the wick. To do this you turn the candle upside down, run the knife around the metal disk to remove the wax. Ease the disk up with the knife so it pops away from the wax, do this carefully as with two of mine the disk came out without the wick, not a complete disaster but pretty annoying!

This is what an intact wick looks like, you can reuse them if you make your own candles, I threw mine away because I didn't have a place for them.

With the candle still upside down, you will see a hole, you need to align your knife with this hole and press firmly downwards, you may find you have to wiggle the knife around a bit. The Votive should naturally split in half, however I have to warn you that some of them wont crack cleanly in half, a couple of mine had one thin and one thick half, however it isn't too much of a big deal!

This is the Votive split in half, now having half a Votive will be fine for a lot of people who have a Tart Burner that has a big basin, however mine is really small so I will be splitting mine again into quarters. As you can see there is no difference in colour (or scent which I can verify) between the two halves.

To achieve the quarter split I simply cut the two halves into half again. However some of them didn't split and so I have 6 pieces of some of the candles. It isn't that big a deal because you can either just burn a smaller piece or add two pieces to your burner.

I then put the pieces into a sandwich bag and I cut the label off the packaging for the candle and stuck that to the bag with tape so I would know which ones were in which bag. You don't **have** to do that but I would recommend it so you can remember which your favourites are!

This is the mess of wax left over! This is why I suggest using a tea towel, as well as not wanting to accidentally scratch your table, it makes the clean up much easier if you're not having to sweep up wax,although I got it all over my rug so I think I may put a towel down next time!

                                                              This is the finished product!

I know this seems like an awful lot of effort to go to, however the money it saves is amazing. If you pay £1 for a Yankee Tart and use all of it in one go, or even split it in half you are barely saving any money. However if you split all of your Votives into 4 it is the equivalent of FORTY Yankee Tarts and so having paid £14 altogether I have saved £26 by splitting them up. So if you are frugal, spending £14 will give you Yankee scents that are going to last you for much longer and it is so easy to do!

I will be reviewing the different scents as I burn them, however at the moment I am burning Margarita Time and it smells yummy! It is pretty subtle but has a lovely limey smell that smells very summery.

So there we go, I hope that this will inspire other people to do the same thing with their Votives and get the most bang for their buck!


Thursday, 21 August 2014

Life In Letters TAG.

Image from weheartit.com

It's a Wednesday evening and I'm bored! So to alleviate some of said boredom I'm going to do a tag, yay ^_^ 

A is for.... Animals! More specifically my three kitty cats! I have an older lady calico called Katrina or Kat-Kat (original I know!) A little black and white girl called Yin Yang who has markings like a cow and a boy cat called Othello and he is all black apart from a teeny amount of white hair on his chest. Katrina and Yin Yang both found us, they lived next door in a house with far too many cats. Kat found us first, she worked her way in and never left! Then Yin Yang came when she was a teeny baby cat, around 4 months old. Their owners did a midnight run away and left Kat with us because she was too old to move again. Yin Yang was going to go with them until we found out they didn't have a plan for her and we took her on too. Little did we know she was a knocked up kitty and on my 23rd birthday she gave birth to 3 boy cats, one of which we kept. I love my little furballs, they give so much love and I couldn't imagine being without them!
B is for....Bedroom! Ok so I know I'm sad but I am in love with my bedroom! I redid it a few months ago and it is my favourite room ever. It's cute and mint green/coral and super comfy. I find myself spending more and more time there and I love it, I even love the fact its teeny, I had a big bedroom for a year a little while ago and honestly having that much space with a bit disconcerting :p Plus my bed is up against two radiators which is perfect for winter!
C is for....Cooking! I absolutely love to cook and bake. It's one of my favourite activities and even since I have started slimming world it hasn't taken the joy out of cooking for me. Baking is one of my stress busters, I turn on radio 4 and just bake away. Plus I love the fact I can create such yummy things, although these days I'm not going to be eating them myself! The return of British Bake Off is exciting to me, I really want to get some ideas from their baking.
D is for....Dreaming! I'm a really big fan of day dreaming and it seems to take up rather a huge amount of my time :p I mostly day dream about the future etc but I also let my mind wander to completely random places, it's always good fun!
E is for.... Eyeliner! I think eyeliner is probably my most used makeup item, I love the classic cat eye and I'm really particular about my eyeliner brand, I used Kat Von D's tattoo liner. Even if I don't put on any other makeup to go out, I always manage to stick on some eyeliner, I can do it in 20 seconds flat, big achievement! :p
F is for.... Fragrance! I have always been told that having a 'signature scent' was something important, however I can't whittle myself down past three favourites! I wear Amor Amor by Cacharel as a normal day time. Dot by Marc Jacobs for if I go out somewhere in the evening and Honey by Marc Jacobs for special day trips. Honey is also my go to if I am seeing Tom (my bf.) Whenever I go to Slimming World one of the ladies ALWAYS compliments me on my perfume choices which I always enjoy!
G is for....Gaming! I am a PC gamer who has a secret longing to own an Xbox, however I have tiny hands and I find controllers quite difficult to work with, my keyboard on the other hand works just fine! I'm mostly a FPS/RPG kinda gal, with Half Life 2, Bioshock, Fable, Assassins creed etc at the top of my list. I find that I'm a slow gamer, but I like a game to last me a while, especially if I am spending money on it! I usually wait for a steam sale to appear but recently I have started a little wishlist of games I would like to try! I'm also a fairly avid minecrafter, although I will be the first to admit that building things isn't really my forte, I do love exploring a new world and finding jungle fortresses etc.

H is for....Hair! Currently my hair is a lilacy purple colour, dip dyed with a coloured fringe. I love my hair rather a lot, it's getting quite long, almost down to my waist and is naturally straight and black. I plan to chop a rather substantial amount off in the Autumn/ when I have lost some more weight. I love vintage hair, big quiffs, victory rolls and headscarves are all pretty awesome in my book. I plan to still have pretty vintagey hair when I cut some off. I think my hair will need some TLC after all the bleaching I have done and the summer so I will be devoting time to it in the chillier months!
I is for....Indecisive! My family/Tom/Friends would probably all testify that I am a very indecisive person in general. I find it very difficult to be the decision maker on the simplest of things. I think it's because I don't like to make 'wrong' decisions so I tend to shy away from making decisions, although once I have made up my mind I'm pretty immovable so it might be because I just want to make sure I am making the best choice!
J is for....Journey! I like to think we are all on a journey of some description. They all have times where there are bumps in the road and sometimes massive pot holes that we feel we can't get around. But there are also times when the road is smooth and you're joined by other people going along the same journey. It's good to remind myself that journeys never stay the same, they change continuously so it's always a good idea to take something from each part of it. 
K is for....Kindness. I have a lot of time for people who are genuinely kind without an agenda. Kindness costs nothing, whether it's doing something for someone or helping a task or just talking things through. I try to be as kind as I possibly can be although it can be difficult as people have been known to take advantage of that part of my nature. I try not to let that stop me though, I love the rush of being kind to someone!
L is for....Love! I will keep this short because Tom already thinks he's super awesome and I prefer to not inflate his ego anymore than it is! But I am very happy and lucky to have such a steady and loving boy in my life. I wouldn't say I am the easiest girl to be with but he understands me and is patient with me and I know he loves me very much and that in itself is all I have ever wanted and I love him very much too. :)

M is for....Meditating! I find meditation and especially guided meditation to be so helpful to me. I don't do it every day, only when I find it necessary but as someone who suffers quite badly with anxiety I find meditation really does help me to find my center and to calm my brain down in general. Plus although I don't have much problems sleeping, when I do I find it helps a lot!
N is for....Nails! I love love love painting my nails! Models Own is my polish of choice, Barry M is a good back up for me too. I really want to own some Essie nail polishes but haven't got around to purchasing any yet. I paint my nails on average twice a week, depending on what I am doing. My nails have been bare this week as I am going somewhere on Monday and planning to do a super cute manicure so I thought I would give them a bit of a break! I have short nails and they are square not rounded. I find nail art pretty tricky because my hands and nails are absolutely teeny tiny, but I do try my best!
O is for....Olivia! Well it wouldn't be a life tag without mentioning myself would it ;) I'm a short quiet gal, although when I am with people I trust I am quite animated and have even been told I'm funny on the odd occasion :p I am learning to be ok with me, although that isn't to say I'm not all about self improvement, hence me going to Slimming World. But I am figuring out that it is ok to be me and that people just have to like me for who I am or they aren't really worth my time!
P is for....Pristine! I'm the first one to admit that when it comes to my space (ie my bedroom) I am a bit of a neat freak. It really bothers me when things are out of place, at the moment I have an open wardrobe and it irritates me no end because it makes my whole room look untidy. I am saving up for a proper wardrobe at the moment and I can't wait! I clean my room properly once a week and tidy it every day. I can't sleep properly if there are things on the floor etc, it bothers me no end!
Q is for....Quirky! I have been called this on many an occasion, although I'm not sure it has always been in a positive light! I am pretty quirky, I have odd opinions about some things and I'm generally quite difficult to predict. It's probably quite exhausting being someone close to me, but I'm so loveable it's ok :p
R is for....Recluse! I know it's not a good thing to be, but honestly when I have had too much social interaction I literally have to stay away from most people! I will generally hole up in my room for a while, I won't check facebook etc and I generally don't answer my phone/whatsapp etc. As I said earlier I think I'm quite a handful to be with, which is why I am thankful that my boyfriend understands that I need alone time sometimes. Although I think he probably wishes I would give him a heads up before I just disappear!
S is for....Seaside! Ok so anyone who knows me well knows I really really really want to move to the coast. It's my lifes dream to live in a small coastal town with a little town and a cute little house. I feel a really strong link to the ocean, I don't hold much sway in star signs but I think being a water sign my have something to do with it. I just love the feel of being at what feels like the end of the world, an unblemished view and the smell of the sea makes me feel alive.

T is for....Twin! I have a twin sister who means a great deal to me. We tread different paths in life but I know that if I need her she will always be there for me and I hope she knows I would be there for her too. She has always fought my corner and been a constant in my life since day one. Being a twin is special, it's something that is difficult to explain to someone who isn't one. You have never had time without them, you came together and that is such a bizarre thought, it's very special.
U is for....Understanding! I have been told before that I am an understanding person, I always try to see where people are coming from and why they do/feel the things they do. I love to understand why people are the way they are, I find it fascinating. I have a lot of time for others and I try my best not to be judgmental towards others.
V is for....Vision! I'm talking the eyesight kind of vision here! I wear very strong lenses as I am extremely short sighted, I will never forget the day I got my glasses and finally saw the world how everyone else saw it! I do need to get some new glasses soon, I always seem to put off getting the eye test! I have to go to a specific optician these days as I had an eye sight scare a couple of years ago and if I go to Boots I will set off the machine and they will just send me for a referral.
W is for....Walking! I never thought this would be here, ever!! However since beginning to lose weight I have found walking to be a great source of exercise. I don't go far or very fast at the moment, however I go every day and at the moment it is making a difference to my weight and that is what matters to me. As I get smaller I will get fitter and the longer the walks will get, but at the moment I am happy with my progress and I feel like I am doing what I am capable of and compared to how I was a couple of months ago I am very proud of me!
X is for....Xmas! I know, I know.....but I needed to get Christmas in somewhere and there were no other X words :p I am the biggest Christmas freak ever. I love it so much, love the build up, love thegift wrapping....I have a tradition when I take an afternoon to wrap Christmas presents, I get a big mug of baileys, stick on a christmas film and get all my wrapping done, it's one of my favourite days of the year. I spend Christmas with my family and I love it, we usually go to the pub before Christmas lunch which is always fun. This year I will still be doing SW so I am going to try and not make it all about the food and hopefully go for a walk during the day.

Y is for....Yankee! I'm such a Yankee candle obsessive, the tarts mostly! I just ordered 10 voltives which I am going to break up for my tart burner. I bought a lot of autumnal scents, mostly because that season is creeping up on us and also because I love those kind of spicy smells. I also love the jar candles although they cost quite a bit of money! I love the light flickering candles give off and I'm looking for a tea light holder for my bedroom so I can get lots of candles going! 
Z is for....Zoos! Welllll more safari parks, but Zoos will do! I love the Zoo, animals like giraffes and elephants just amaze me and I love monkeys in general. Although last time I went to the zoo these stupid people (over 40 years old) were trying to bait this lion into roaring at them. They were really riling her up and it actually made me feel a bit sick! Lack of respect for animals annoys me no end and they aren't there to be show ponies for you! I really want to go to the zoo again soon, its the main reason I'm forcing Tom to learn how to drive.....I have my priorities sorted as you can tell :p

That was much trickier than I imagined! Have a go at thinking about your life letters!


Sunday, 3 August 2014

Slimming world.


   So I have been suspiciously quiet blog wise for quite a while now and this is due only to the fact that I haven't had a phone for over a month. My phone is my only source of a camera and it would be difficult to review anything without photos and I dislike using stock photos!

   Anyway on to the point of this post! For the last month now I have been quietly embarking on Slimming World. I'm proud to be a bigger lady and I'm not ashamed of who I am, however I have started to notice the beginnings of some health problems with I can only link with being obese and I feel it is time to do something about it. For me the starting point was seeing a picture of me when I was younger looking much healthier and I miss that. Also I'm looking towards the future and want to have a good foundation to work with if I decide to have children and so on and it makes sense to fix things now before I move on with life.

  It took me a really long time to build up the courage to actually go to a meeting and I said I was going to go many times before taking the plunge. But honestly I have not regretted it since, my group is lovely and supportive and I don't feel judged there.

I have lost 8.5 pounds in four weeks and last week I got the 'Slimmer of the Month' award!

I'm not saying it's easy, I have to exercise a lot of willpower and yesterday I cried because I couldn't eat the food that was bought for lunch. As someone who likes to plan and know what they're doing it's a big upheaval for me to be able to adapt and say no to things that used to be in my routine food wise, but I'm getting there :)

I don't plan to make regular updates about how much I have lost etc, apart from maybe when I get to the bigger milestones, but there's a little update on something I have been doing ^_^

Has anyone else been doing slimming world? Any good recipes or snacks.....Im always on the lookout!