Sunday, 30 June 2013

Food: Mediterranean Vegetables and Pasta Salad


I am not a great cook AT ALL. I will quite happily put my hands up and declare that now! However I have a few very simple recipes up my sleeve so when i have visitors over I’m not completely stuffed! This is definitely one of those recipes. It’s great for this time of year, as a dish to take to a BBQ or as part of a lunch.


·         Pasta Tubes

·         Green Pesto

·         White Wine Vinegar

·         Courgettes

·         Red, Green and Yellow Pepper

What to do...

1.       Cook the pasta, when done rinse it with cold water to stop the cooking process and prevent it from sticking together.

2.       Keep a small bit of the boiling water and add a dash of white wine vinegar and a couple of spoonfuls of green pesto. I’ve not put measurements above as this can be done to your personal taste.  Mix it together over the hob and then gentle pour over the pasta.

3.       Cut all the peppers and courgettes into strips and I personally then put them on my griddle pan and grill them. You could also roast them.

4.       When the veggies are slightly browned I then pour them into the pasta and stir.

Then Voila! You can either serve whilst warm or keep in the fridge until ready to serve.

Friday, 28 June 2013

For now we are young...

I love the song ‘In the Aeroplane Over the Sea’ by Neutral Milk Hotel. Check it out in the clip below....
I think the reason I love it is because of the lyrics, especially these ones below. I really want them as a tattoo but am yet to decide where or how they will look like. I think for me they are so poignant as they remind me to take a moment and appreciate things. I think we can all be guilty sometimes, of living in such a fast paced world and not taking time out to fully take in what amazing things surround us.
I love it how sometimes songs really hit a nerve, are there any songs or lyrics that do that to you?

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Review: Barry M Confetti Nail Effects in Dolly Mixture

I’ve wanted to try this product for a while, so when I came across the range in my local Superdrug I couldn’t stop myself from making a purchase!
I chose Dolly Mixture. The confetti in this polish Is White, blue, green, yellow and orange. It is pretty neon when you put it on which I thought was quite funky. I wasn’t sure whether to put a coat over the top of a coloured polish or try it on its own. I went for the latter option and just applied numerous layers for the look I wanted.
I’m a little on the fence with this product, part of me thinks it looks pretty cool and it’s something a bit different, whilst the other part of me thinks it looks a little scruffy. That may just be down to my personal taste.
In terms of wear ability this stuff is completely chip proof! I’ve had it in for 3 days no and not a chip in sight. This is usually unheard of for me!
I am definitely going to give it another go. I’m thinking perhaps a black base with one coat of the confetti would look awesome!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

What a Week!!

I’m afraid this is going to be a bit of a mish mash post but bear with me! I know there’s been a severe lack of posts lately but last week was a crazy one with little free time. Work has been crazy and I’m going on holiday next week so I’ve been trying to get ready and together for that. However I should know better now and know that whenever I try and be organised the fates intervene and it completely fails! Take yesterday for example, I had so much I needed to do, I even had a to do list! But instead of being like a normal productive person, my car broke down, I had a poorly dog to contend with, I ripped my favourite coat and everything went out the window! Anyways enough of my whingeing! The positive of not being able to blog is that I’ve had loads of ideas and have a long list of things I want to write about, so after a week’s break I have returned excited and raring to go!

And what a week to start on! This post is no 101! Can you believe that! I’ve written over 100 posts! I didn’t know what to expect when I started this journey and even though I started it last August it took me till February this year to get into it properly. I just wanted a place to write, to put into perspective all the things I love, all in one place. I never expected anyone to read or take notice of what I put in this tiny little space in the blogosphere. However to my surprise I have had some lovely comments on here and on twitter and can’t thank people enough. I have nearly 200 followers, which baffles me!
I can’t imagine not being able to blog now and feel lucky to be such a lovely community so just wanted to say a massive thank you!

Monday, 17 June 2013

Motivational Monday #17

I love this quote, it is so simple and to the point. We live in such a fast paced world with such high expectations and pressures, we forget that we only get one shot at this life.

So my dear readers please take a moment to reflect on this and 'enjoy every moment' as life is so precious.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Book Club: Q&A with Sarah Louise Smith

Sarah Louise Smith is a writer I think everyone needs to keep an eye on! Her debut novel ‘Amy & Zach’ has been one of my favourite reads so far this year. Check out my review of it here!
The lovely Sarah kindly popped by the blog to do a Q&A with me and here is what happened....
 How long have you been writing for and what was your first ever story? 
I've been writing stories ever since I can remember. I can recall writing kids stories with my friends. My first complete story (that I remember) was one I did at middle school as an English project. I think it was about a girl who's best friend died (a bit sad for an 11 year old!)
What’s the best thing about being a writer?
Receiving positive comments from readers. I feel very proud and humbled by the lovely tweets, emails and Facebook messages. It makes all the hard work feel worthwhile when you know someone enjoyed your work.
What inspires you and where do you get your writing ideas from?
I get inspiration from lots of different places: films; books; songs; day dreams that get carried away. I am always writing notes but only about 10% of them are any good!
Of both your books, which one is your favourite?
Izzy's Cold Feet, for sure. I enjoyed writing Amy & Zach, but I think my writing has improved and the plot is stronger... let's hope readers agree, eek! :-)
 Which one of your characters, from the books you’ve written, are you most like?
Hmm...I suppose there are elements of my personality in both Amy and Izzy, as I've written them from the first person. A few of my friends have said they can see me in Amy (we both love boybands and animals and I'm a wannabe American!).
 Your new book which is out in July, Izzy’s cold Feet, can you tell us a bit about it?
Here's the blurb: Izzy is engaged to Greg, who is everything a girl could want. The trouble is – all she can think about is the men she loved before she met him: sexy Ewan, the first love of her life; dependable Jason, who loved her more than she deserved; and irresistible Dexter, who broke her heart… Then there’s the fact that her sister has been missing since Izzy was twelve. After such a traumatic childhood all Izzy wants is a normal, happy, settled life, but love is never simple. In the week leading up to her wedding day, Izzy is forced to ask herself who she loves the most. And, given the choice, who would she want to spend her life with?
Amy and Zach is set in Boston, with a trip to Vegas. Where's your favourite city in the world and why?
I'm not a huge fan of cities, I prefer mountains and lakes... having said that, can I pick two?! Firstly; Bath, UK. It's got so much character and charm and some of my favourite novels by Jane Austen are set there... and I also love Las Vegas. I only went there in order to get to the Grand Canyon but liked it much more than I expected. I wrote a bunch of notes which were then very helpful for writing Amy & Zach... I like Boston too - hence the inspiration to set so much of the story there!
 What’s next for you in terms of writing?
I have just started writing a third novel... and I'm also considering an Amy & Zach sequel, but perhaps about Libby, Amy's sister. I think she has a tale of her own to tell.
What are your favourite things to do when you’re not writing?
Cooking, I love to experiment... reading, my 'to read' list is ever-growing... and walking, I have a dog so we get out every day...
What’s your top 3 can’t live without beauty products?
1.       Beauty serum: I love how soft it leaves my skin... 2. Eye-liner: I never used to wear it but just lately it's my favourite thing... 3. Nail varnish: I can never have enough colours!
What’s the most expensive product you’ve ever purchased?
Hmm... I usually go for middle-of-the-range, so probably nothing that is that pricey... Maybe my hair straighteners...
What’s your top beauty trick or tip you can share with our readers?
I'm not a big make-up wearer... so my tip is: you don't have to wear it, if you don't want to... let your natural inner beauty shine through!

Sarah’s next book ‘Izzy’s cold feet’ is out the 12th July. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!
If you would like to find out more about Sarah check out her website:

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Carers Week...

Me and my Mum
There are lots of definitions of a carer, some just didn’t do the term justice, some were a bit derogative and some just pissed me off, so here is the best one I came across:
‘A carer is someone of any age who provides unpaid support to family or friends who could not manage without this help. This could be caring for a relative, partner or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or substance misuse problems.’
I guess under this definition, I myself am a carer. I don’t tend to delve into my personal life too much on this blog, this is for many reasons which include not wanting to bore you all, wanting to keep this space positive and fun, but mainly sometimes not knowing the right words to say to explain my personal world. However this week is national carers’ week and it is a subject that is close to my heart. I feel I need to express my views on the subject and I just wanted to share with you my own experience of being a carer.
You see, my mum has Multiple Sclerosis (MS). This is something that effects people who suffer from it in many different ways and there is very limited medication to stop it. For my mum she has no feeling from the waist down and is slowly losing the use of her hands now too. This then has other knock on effects, such as having to use a catheter which then means she suffers from horrendous water infections. My mum also suffers from depression and has short term memory problems, then there’s the slurred speech thrown in for fun. It’s also one of those things where she has good days and bad days and the weather has a big effect on this, for example the heat seems to make all the symptoms worse. It’s a degenerative illness, so we have watched as little by little the MS takes more of a hold. I am not a doctor, this is just what I’ve seen my mum go through, and it affects everyone so differently.
Therefore due to my mum’s illness, I, my siblings and especially my dad have cared for my mum. She needs help with most things, she is a wheelchair and needs support going to the bathroom, having a bath, being put to bed as well a smaller things like writing and cutting up her food. I remember one summer holiday when I was younger, my dad had to work away so us children all dug in and cared for my mum. I don’t remember ever thinking of it like that, it was just something we got on with and did. Now as I’m older and especially as I recently moved back home for a bit, I have realized how much work this entails and how incredible my Dad is. I’m sure when he married my Mum 30 odd years ago he never envisioned wiping her bum one day or having to learn an encyclopedia of medication. But my Dad has and I know will continue to do this as he loves her. He works full time, however if my mum is stuck and needs him he dashes home, he does. How many people do you know who would do that without complaining?
I don’t want anyone’s sympathy, I don’t know life any other way. I have grown up with this and its part of who I am now. I think what I and my siblings have experienced growing up has made us stronger, open and more caring, worldly individuals. We all have a good sense of humour and we know how to handle uncomfortable situations in a light hearted way. You’d be surprised at how often that comes in handy! I’m also super lucky at how close my family is, and even though we are normal and drive each mad at times, I know my mum being poorly is made a lot easier to manage by us all being supportive of each other. It is funny we never really talk about this subject, id even go as far as saying it’s probably a bit of taboo, we all have the mentality of its life, let’s get on with it. On reflection it makes me wonder how many other carers think and act like this? And do they get the support they need?
The purpose of me writing this is to say that carers don’t get enough recognition, they are amazing people who put others above themselves and often go beyond the call of duty. They give however they are caring for that little bit self dignity and independence which is so important.  Also as someone whose experienced firsthand what it’s like to be a young carer, they don’t need you to feel sorry for them, they just need a bit of understanding and support. Life goes on and you have to do what you have to do. I just feel there are some amazing people out there such as carers, who often put their own lives on hold whilst looking after a loved one and we need to let them know how valued they are. If you know someone who cares for someone, take some time to offer them a cuppa and let them know they have someone who can be there for them too. A small gesture can make such a massive difference.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Review: MUA Nail Constellation

I’ve had my eye on MUA’s Nail Constellations for a while and I’ve seen this look in a few magazines and was keen to give it a try. Firstly I painted my nails in Barry M’s Nail Paint in Indigo, then whilst still wet you tip the little balls out the nozzle. Make sure you have a tissue underneath your hand, they do tend to go everywhere! You then need to pat them into place and let them dry.


I only did one nail on each hand but found the application process quite stressful. All the balls got stuck in the dispenser nozzle and when I did manage to get them out, they went everywhere! The overall look was fab and it was a great contrast with my blue nails.
However and it’s a big however.... they didn’t last long at all! I did them early one evening and by the time I woke up the next morning they had all fallen off!
Seriously disappointed with this product and won’t be purchasing it again, which is a shame as I had high hopes for it.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Motivational Monday #16

Madonna is the ultimate modern day feminist. She is fierce, fearless and driven to achieve. I love this quote and my aim this week is to channel it. I want to be more assertive, start focusing on myself more and most importantly stop apologizing for it!

We often spend a lot of time worrying about other people, in terms of if they are ok, what they are thinking and what they think of you. I know I do! So as great as it is to care for others, if you don't start fighting for, and looking after yourself, who else will?

Happy Monday! x

Sunday, 9 June 2013

A 90's Child...

Lately I’ve been feeling hugely nostalgic, reminiscing about my childhood. I think this all stemmed from a few weeks ago, I went and watched the Big Reunion live with the likes of Five, Blue and B*Witched performing. It took me back to my ore-teens and as a result led to numerous ‘OMG, do you remember…’ conversations! So if you’re a 90’s kid too you may remember a few of these. I thought it would be fun to share what me and my pals came up with. Would love to hear if you can remember anymore, so please leave comments!

1.      Shag Bands – those really tacky plastic bracelets that you would wedge 100s of up your arm. If one snapped….. Oooh the implications!

2.      Blow up bags, chairs etc. Massive craze for this at one point!

3.      You either collected ‘Goosebumps’ or ‘True Romance’ books. I was a ‘True Romance’ girl, I couldn’t even watch the Goosebumps TV show as it used to scare me too much!

4.      Pogs and Tazos.

5.      Saturday afternoons/evenings sat in front of the TV consisted of Baywatch, Gladiators, Generation Game and Noels House Party. I used to love Noels House Party, Bring it back!!!

6.      Penny sweets were actually a penny!

7.      Hooch, Bacardi Breezers etc.

8.      The Spice Girls were running the world! Girl Power!

9.      Everyone knew the dance to the Macarena and Saturday night, even if they won’t admit it!

10.  Trolls! I used to have loads of these. I came across one of these the other day and are actually pretty freaky looking. How did we all think they were cute!

11.  Saved by the Bell on a Saturday morning. Screech was a legend!

12.  Blue Mascara and awful coffee named lipsticks – Just me?!

13.  Byker Grove used to be on just as you got home from school.

14.  Sing it with me… 0181 811 8181… you couldn’t help yourself could you? The live and kicking phone number! The only way to start your weekend!

15.  Jelly Shoes!

They just don’t make childhoods like this anymore!!

Thursday, 6 June 2013

FOTD: Au Natural

I don’t know how everyone else feels, but when the weather starts to perk up and the sun is shining like it has been lately, I want my look to be a bit more natural and embrace my looks. But and there is a big but, when I don’t wear any make up, rather than being told how beautiful and fresh I look, I get asked if I’m unwell and get told how pale, tired and rough I look! The joys of being a woman!

So the ‘Au Natural’ look for me is pulling off a barely any make up look whilst wearing enough to cover blemishes and bags, and adding a touch of colour. This can be a delicate balance to create, but I think I manage to pull it off?!

FACE: MAC Studio Finish Concealer in NC15, Benefit Fake Up in 01 Light
EYES: Chanel Paris Le Crayon Yeux Precision Eye Definer in Black, Benefit They’re Real Mascara
LIPS:  Bourjois Paris Effet 3D Volume and Shine Elixer Gloss in 53

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Feeling Blue...

I am obsessing over Essie polishes at the moment, and I have to admit my lust for them is increasing now they are being sold in my local Superdrug. They don’t seem to chip easily, they dry so quickly and they come in a wide range of colours. What’s not to love?!

My nails are currently sporting ‘Lapiz of luxury’, a gorgeous cornflower blue almost verging on indigo. It’s a really fun colour, but isn’t too in your face. Perfect for work! I’ve had nothing but compliments about this polish and think it’s going to be a firm favourite.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Monday Motivation #15

It’s the small things that make me smile! It really is. I came across this quote the other day and it really touched me. I love it when someone remembers my name, or something I may have mentioned a while back and they care to ask about it. I try hard to do this to do this when it comes to others, I think its touching, caring and makes people feel valued.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Book Club: Q & A with Lindsey Kelk

I am ridiculously excited to bring you this post today. Lindsey Kelk is one of my favourite authors and she kindly agreed to do a Q & A for the blog, talking about her books and beauty, my fave subjects! I have read all Lindsey books and she manages to create a fab balance of romance and comedy. If you've not read her ‘I Heart...’ series, I seriously recommend you check it out. Lindsey also lives in New York and is a big fan of WWE. I defy you not to like this woman!
You live in New York, What made you move there?
I loved the city and from the first time I visited for work, I knew I wanted to move but couldn’t see a way how. Happily, a job came up within my company and I got the opportunity to move. Now I write fulltime and am applying for a green card. I can’t imagine living anywhere else, the city makes me myself.
Where is your favourite place in NYC?
I live in Brooklyn and I love, love, love just being in my apartment. I’m close enough to Prospect Park to see some trees from time to time but near enough to the subway that I can be anywhere I need to be in half an hour. Other than that, my go to spots are mostly downtown, brunch in the West Village, drinks in the East Village, dancing in Williamsburg. If I’m in a bit of a mood, I search out a view. I love the waterfront in Williamsburg and often pop down to Battery Park to stare at the Statue of Liberty. Sorts me right out.
What’s your favourite US beauty buy that you just can’t get in the UK?
I’m not sure there actually is one – I’m far more likely to buy up Bourjois and Boots 17 these days! That said, I love NYC for manicures, they’re so cheap and so available. I’ve turned into a bit of a madam about them.
What’s the one thing you most miss about the UK?
My friends and the prices in Topshop. Everything is double here!
What’s the best thing about being a writer?
There are so many amazing things about being able to do what I love and tell stories for a living but if I step away and look at the bigger picture, it’s got to be that what I do makes people happy. Can’t argue with that.
What inspires you and where do you get your writing ideas from?
Everything and everywhere. I’m a big fan of women and I think we’re living in such an interesting time right now, so much is changing and we’re dealing with a lot of new stuff that previous generations haven’t had to think about. The burden of choice. I find a lot of inspiration in friendships – even though a lot of the focus on my books ends up being about the romance, the friendships and personal growth of the characters is what concerns me the most when I’m writing.
Of all your books, which one is your favourite?
It changes all the time. I love I Heart New York because it was the first, I really like Paris because I think it’s a good story. Vegas is fun because it reminds me of my trips to Vegas and now I’ve got some distance from it, I love About A Girl. It was hard to write but I think it’s good. I never think my books are good. Hopefully that’s a positive sign!
Which one of your characters, from all the books you’ve written, are you most like?
I’m like all of them. The girls, the boys, the bitches and the doormats. There’s definitely part of me in every character or part of every character in me. Upsettingly, it’s often the flaws I identify with the most but that’s probably why I write a way out of them for the characters! I’m easily as terrible at communicating as Angela, I can be as domineering and psych 101 as Jenny and I’m as useless at getting what I want from a relationship as Tess. Rachel was pretty together although I’ve floundered in dying relationships too. They’re all in there.
Your new book which is out in July, About a Girl, is about Tess, who to escapes her life pretends to be someone else. Have you ever done that?
No! I wouldn’t have the balls. When I moved to New York, I thought I was super cool and was going to live in Hipsterville and run with all these cool kids in bands but after a couple of months, I just wanted to go home, have a cup of tea and put on a Buffy boxset. I’m set as who I am and I’m pretty happy with it.
If you could pretend to be someone else, and get away with it, who would you be?
Beyonce. Which would be interesting.
About a Girl is set in Hawaii, where is your favourite sunshine destination?
Hawaii. It was amazing. I’ve never been a beach person and writing about a sunshine destination was a big test for me. Before I got to Oahu, I was really struggling with the book, I just couldn’t make it come alive but as soon as I landed, I fell in love. Everything fell into place after that. I’m constantly scheming to go back but I have no time!
Is it true, this book is part of a new series?
It is. The second book will be out next summer.
What are your favourite things to do when you’re not writing?
Sleep, sleep and sleep. And once I’m awake, it’s definitely hang out with my friends. I can actually feel myself recharging every second that I’m with them, it really doesn’t matter where. I love to travel and I’ve managed to pick up some pretty awesome people everywhere I’ve been so I try to get around and see everyone. I also love music so I go to as many gigs as I can, not that many these days, I love to dance and I love to practise yoga. I’m getting better but I still can’t stand on my head!
What’s your top 3 can’t live without beauty products?
Benefit They’re Real mascara, Maybelline Dark Circle Eraser concealer and Dior Lip Glow balm.
What’s the most expensive product you’ve ever purchased?
My Mulberry Alexa bag. I got it in duty free when I was delayed and convinced myself it was a bargain then nearly threw up on the plane. I use it all the time though!
What’s your top beauty trick or tip you can share with our readers?
I don’t really have any secret tips but I cannot pass up an opportunity to tell people to use sunscreen. I’m always getting compliments on my skin and it’s ALL SUNSCREEN. I wear it every day. Do it, people!
Can you tell us a secret about ‘I heart Christmas’?
Someone has a baby…
Lindsey’s latest offering ‘About a Girl’ will be available from the 4th July. I’ve pre-ordered my copy, have you?

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