Something isn't right here...

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

As the evening has drawn in I don't feel so good, my eyes have gotten a bit weepy, I'm have little bouts of sneezing and I can't stomach a thing!
My eyes feel light sensetive. I hope it's just a 24 hour thing or a quick cold because I've not been having much luck with my immune system lately!

It's painful to look at the screen for too long so I will leave you with this picture and head into sleep and hopefully after a long sleep I'll feel better in the morning!

Soothing acne & clearing skin

Monday, 30 July 2012

It's been a long time coming that I've felt like I have a skincare routine that just 'works' and does exactly what it is supposed to do and keep my skin clear, healthy and fresh.
I have extremely oily skin and the answer to my acne woes is not specific to one product, but to one approach: consistency.

If you've read my blog before you might remember this post:

I go into a bit of detail about how I often have many many face washes on the go and switch all about to get the benefits of them all. It wasn't until they slowly ran out and I decided to just purchase one, and stick to using that one morning and night that things began improving.
This is a mens face wash, again, in my earlier blog post I talk about why I like mens facial washes.

 It's not even this facial wash specifically that I am going to label 'The Miracle Product' because I don't think it is, I think it's just the fact that I only use this product and only have for a few weeks now, which I think now with hidsight is much kinder on my skin and over time the product is given the chance to work with my skin rather than against it because tomorrow I'd be using something else.

My other top tip and change I've made in my face washing routine is that I wet my face with a flannel, apply the face wash and massage it in but rather than washing it immediately off I brush my teeth while letting the face wash do it's thing, then when I've finished brushing my teeth, I wash off the face wash.

I suppose it's a bit like the difference between rinsing your hair with conditioner, or lathering it in conditioner for 3-5 minutes before washing it out.

In the past I have also been a moisturiser sceptic but I've found this one and like it, it's light, doesnt make me look greasy, absorbs straight in without a clogged or caked feeling.

So there you go, my straightfoward and super cheap acne solution:
Use one facial wash consistently
Leave it on for minutes not second before rinsing
Use a moisturiser even if you have oily skin

Acrylic Makeup Drawers

Sunday, 29 July 2012

It's a tough job to find makeup storage that is good, accessible, effective, large and sleek looking. I'm yet to find a company that makes really effective long term ways to store cosmetics, I find any storage cases are either not big enough, horrible colours and look clunky on surfaces or make it difficult to actually see what I have.
I'm still searching and still haven't found 'the perfect' way to store my makeup, perhaps it doesn't exist!

But here's a little something that helps..

I spotted it in stationer Rymans, I often find that stationers are the best for cosmetic storage, that and sometimes homeware storage places like IKEA.
This acrylic drawer set was in a larger size but it was a little too large so I thought I would use it to store my odds and ends that are more peculiar in terms of size so that they finally have a 'place'

 In the bottom drawer I have my concealer, Fluid eyeliner, a pore concealer and paintpots go in here too
In the middle I can stash my mascaras, I have a mascara sized eye primer in there too and some of my larger lipglosses

In the top I've kept my clear lidded vegan eyeshadows from Madison Street Beauty because I felt they looked so pretty all together, and in the top drawer they can be seen all the time!

This acrylic drawer case was a little over £10 all in all!

It's a nice day for a white wedding

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Today I went to a family friends wedding, I've had a music note dress on standby for a very long time for this special day and I found a keyboard purse in the ASOS sale to coordinate plus shoes I got from ebay a very long time ago
My outfit breakdown goes like this:
Dress Topshop was £75 but I got it from ebay for £6
Purse ASOS sale was £25 but int he sale it was £12.50
Shoes ebay, not branded and £10

Makeup went a little something like this...
Laura Mercier Moisturising foundation
Bobbi Brown Bronzing brick for abit of shimmer and a MAC matte bronzer to carve out those cheekbones and slim the face
Blusher by MAC in shade Well Dressed
Highlighting powder by MAC in Snowglobe (from the christmas range)
Lipstick by MAC in shade Lovelorn
Lipgloss by MAC in shade Pretty Plush
Eyebrows filled in with Folie eyeshadow by MAC
Eyes went a little like this:
Eye Primer by Bare Escentuals
Eyeshadow all over the eyelid in shade Shroom by MAC
Champagne golden eyeshadow from this fun Bed Head pallette over Shroom
Eyeshadow in shade Folie by Mac in the crease and blended to keep it fresh and pretty
The bottom eyeshadow in the bedhead pallette which is like a paler version of MAC's Mulch goes over the top of Folie to make it a little more shimmery
Use an eyeliner brush and take Folie along the top lashline
Shroom by MAC on the browbone as a highlight
White eyeliner along the waterline I used Fascinating by MAC
Black Mascara mine was from Bare Escentuals

Then finally, a spritz of MAC Fix plus all over the face to keep it on all day!

And all that remainds of the day!

I love keeping my name place settings of the weddings that I go to, just looking at it will reminds me of the colour scheme, theme, setting and the day so I think it deserves a place in the magical scrapbook which is a hobby I am determined to keep!

Innocent Garden Lunches

Friday, 27 July 2012

I've been lapping up the lovely weather and decided to make use of the garden furniture and ate lunch outside!
I didn't make it myself, I just put it in the microwave but the fun people at Innocent Towers did and it was de-licious

I thought I'd share the packaging with you as I think it's great and so positive!

How fun to hand someone a random rosette just to tell them that they are lovely! In the small print around the rosette it says lots of cute things that the person does to make them brilliant such as calling their mum often haha
 If you can't read the writing on the packagaing, click on the picture to make it bigger! If you're too tired to read it's all about telling you to imagine you are in the beautiful water looking up at the candy floss sky!

And this was my delicious lunch, the sweet chilli flavour is my absolute favourite as it's not too spicy like the others and it has baby corn in it and potato, i love baby corn especially

 I took a picture of the side of the pot to try and demonstrate the 'trifle effect' as it has lots of different layers, but by the time I had mixed it all up the layers were a little ruined and didn't look so pretty

And what lunch is complete without dessert?

Crunchie ice cream because Summer is too short to skip out on bowls of ice cream!

And here I am showing off my aysymetric bikini top that I just love! I look like I have taken a holiday all the way to my back garden!
I am such a globe trotter...

Wedding dress shopping...Round 2!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

If you've read my blog before you may know that my sister is getting married next year!
We've been looking for dresses for a long time and there isn't many styles that she doesn't suit which has made it extra tricky!

Sometimes bridal shops are funny about taking pictures and although they didn't outright say anything against it I took a few sneaky shots of potential dresses-to-be!

It was a whirlwind of silk and taffeta and gems and petticoats and fairytale dreamy happiness!

In the end we've decided between two dresses so we're going for a third, and maybe final browsing in a couple weeks!

And neither of the two has been photographed, it will be a complete fairytale surprise!


Wednesday, 25 July 2012

While I'm still at my sisters we decided that perhaps it wasn't such a smart idea to nap in the sunshine and eat profiteroles all day every day and found within ourselves raw motivation to take part in a Zumba workout class on the hottest day of the year! It was 30 degrees celcius!

I'd never been to a Zumba class before but my sister had convinced me that it was a lot of fun, and she was right!
I wasn't prepared for working out so didn't bring any work out gear but managed to scramble together some old trainers, black, light joggers and a tie dye Athens top that looks like it's from the 80s!

See, I bet you never knew I was so stylish and I bet I've become your new go-to person for gym fashion!

Luckily, I wasn't the only one that didn't look like I had jogged into the class straight off Hollywoods sidewalks and the class was 60 minutes of sweaty fun!

It's difficult to exactly explain what Zumba is, but the closest thing I can link it to is an aerobics class, but a little more 'dance-ish'
We did about 15 different routines, some were fast and others slow, and what was great was the amount of fun that was involved. In a standard aerobics class every move you do you are very aware that it's to burn calories and tone up but in Zumba much of the dance moves just feel like they are a part of the routine to make it that much more fun!

So all in all I give Zumba classes two sweaty thumbs up (and boy was I sweaty) I would recommend it especially to those who aren't use to gym classes but love to dance dance dance!

Here's a little clip that will show you what a class is like and below a link to classes near you worldwide!

Class finder

A day of sweetness

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

I was caught off guard with the heat and since I'm staying away from home at the moment I had to make the best of what I had with me which was...jeans
Here I did a little improvisation and rolles the jeans up to mid-calf to give them a fresh summery look. These jeans are my trusty pastel pair that I have blogged about before many times, I got them from the kids section in Next

I matched it with my well-loved 'chocolate box' tshirt, it reminds me of fancy chocolate boxes because of the fancy ribbons!

To sweeten it up a little more and add more colours I'm wearing my triple pastel belt from New Look and it has all the sweetest colours in it!

 The sweetness doesn't stop there, for dessert that night we had chocolate mousse with a deliciously chocolatey base that's all biscuity and crumbly

 ...and a little box of heart chocolates and an umbrella chocolate! I think the umbrella is the funniest, what a random shape to decide to make a chocolate!

Now as you can imagine I'm bouncing off the walls in this sticky heat on a suagr rush!

Icy Sunshine Funshine

Monday, 23 July 2012

I'm staying with my ssiter which is so so fun
and.... while I'm here summer has rolled along too which is the most pleasant surprise as it was becoming mid July with just rain rain rain
So at the first sign of sun my sister and I headed out to indulge in some summer shopping and there was a really fun sale on at Jack Wills, I was very tempted to buy these little red shorts with white tennis rackets all over but right at the last minute I put them down because I decided that while I may want them I don't actually need them.

On a more delicious note we cooled down with milkshakes from Cafe Nero I got peppermint flavour and my sister got a more healthy strawberry and raspberry. They were both delicious but I think mine was the best! It was mixed with crushed ice so it was really icy cold and refreshing and I've never had a milkshake that was just mint before, usually it's mixed with chocolate which believe me is not as good as mint by itself.

Afterwards we had lunch in a sweet little cafe which was lovely under the sun, there was ivy entwined all around and the cafe looked like a converted house which made it feel all 'homey'
I ordered delicious pasta with mushrooms and my sister had a baguette

Afterwards we headed back home and fell asleep in the sunshine!

Scratching myself alive with hives

Sunday, 22 July 2012

It all began with an itchy scalp, my first thought was that I'd used a shampoo or conditioner that evening that was making me scratch my head and the back of my neck to shreds but eventually I dropped off to sleep hoping it would have calmed down by the morning.When I woke up I saw it on my elbow, lumps- little bubbles like my flesh had been boiled, they were itchy and a little dry

At first I mistaked them for eczma, but we headed to the pharmacy who gave me some cream to calm down the effects a little, he had diagnosed me with hives- I always though hives were some kind of gross contagious chicken pox but luckily these weren't contagious, but by the time I was back home they had spread further across my body and onto my hips, the back of my knees and under my armpits. We just couldn't figure out the cause- nothing in my environment or diet had changed at all!

So what began as individual red spots, were multiplying into clumps and would be on the front of my body one minute, then fifteen minutes later there were only half as many and I'd say 'Oh! I'm healing!' only to see that they had instead sprung up twice as bad all over my back!
Frustrating as it was, the worst part really was the appearance, I wasn't in constant pain and the itching was not on the scale of chicken pox so if I just stopped thinking about it, it would just go away...surely?

Another day passed and with no improvement having happened overnight. I was getting a little disheartened but was still thankful that I could cover them up easily as they didn't go past my neck so my face looked somewhat normal, but later on in the evening I felt a tingle in my hands my fingers got increasingly uncomfortable as through they were bloating up! I quickly rubbed on some more cream from the pharmacy but nothing was stopping the bloating until eventually it wasn't just uncomfortable to close my hands in a fist shape- I physically couldn't! The swelling was so bad and happened so quickly! But that's not all! The swelling happened to my feet, lips and cheeks until I began to see what I might look like if I was 2 or 3 stone heavier! I didn't like what was happening and it frightened me a little bit, but again I wasn't in any urgent pain just a little discomfort with the swelling and itching on the back of the neck so I slept through the night certain tomorrow things would be imporved.

The next morning I woke up feeling a little weary and headed to the bathroom, in the bathroom I felt myself pouring with sweat and wondered what on earth was going on! Something did not feel right inside. I felt like I had no energy, I felt lightheaded and a little woozy and I just didn't feel like functioning properly when THWACK! I pass straight out on the landing between the bathroom and bedroom, I didn't have time to put out my hands to protect myself which left me with a lovely black eye, cheek graze, cut lip and finger grazes from the wooden floorboards, a thumping head and a genuine fear that nothing was improving at all and perhaps things were even getting a little serious.

This is my 'Keepin' my cool in a medical dilemma' pose, those pouty lips and peace finger rarely make an appearance because frankly I'm not cool enough to pull them off unless I have a mark down my face that looks like I've been in a scuffle!

I gave a quick call to the NHS Direct helpine and the kind nurse on the end of the phone told me that it was important that I went to A&E that day mainly for the head injury and to check for a fracture, so off we went, prepared to be waiting for 8 hours when infact we only waited 2. The nurse told me that my hives were very severe and my hands were extremely swollen (I knew that already, but the fact she pointed it out made me feel better and like something magical would appear from the medicine cabinet to help calm them) and I was diagnosed with having hives in the form of a 'medical rash' so I'd taken some tablets that hadn't agreed with me, and was given yet MORE tablets to help the problem (I'm not into popping tablets, I only use paracetemol in an absolute emergency and mostly prescribe myself a nap to cure most problems)

So out we go, expecting things to get all dandy from here onwards when the following day...
My fear had been realised and the hives had erupted all over my face!

 But I didn't want to be cooped up for another day, so I took what I was prescribed from A&E and 2 hours or so later I almost looked like my normal self! I wasn't kidding when I said it moves from place to place, and dissapears then reappears faster than an army of ants!

The power of modern medicene and a little bit of concealer!

So where I am at now, 5 days on from the first itchy scratchy on the back of the neck.
Well the hives have completely gone or so it seems, literally instantanseously , this morning is the first in which I cannot even find the mark of one left behind on my body or the faintest red imprint- which has got to be a good sign as according to google (reliable medical most cases of hives last from a few hours to 2 days.

Here you can see I'm still dealing with a bit of face swelling as shown by deeper crease under my eye and the eye is healing, I'm just trying to not pull too many facial expressions so as to not disturb the healing! But I am feeling normal and human again!

I hope this gave a little explanation of what I've been up to the past few days, and maybe this will be comfort to someone who is feeling distressed with something similar and can't find the explanation in anyone elses 'hives experience' on the internet-there are a lot of them and none of them seemed to be that similar to mine!
Sending lots of well wishes if you are feeling under the weather or have been caught off guard by something making you feel (and look) sickly!

Visiting Cadbury World!

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Today sempt like the perfect day to visit Cadbury World which was just nearby where I was staying, we booked a time slot online for 11:40am but due to a whole host of reasons we showed up about an hour late but the kind people at the desk acted like it was no problem that we missed our time slot and let us go through straight away anyway because it is a self guided tour! So my top tip is book over the phone and if you're late- it probably doesnt even matter!
On the walk to the Cadbury World you have to walk past the factories and the scent of melted chocolate gets your mouth salivating which is convenient as the first sight when you walk in is a HUGE Cadbury sweet shop!

Here's a little looky at what was inside...

Here's where you start, in a walk-through museum jungle where you learn a little bit about cocoa beans and where they came from

The educational stuff is then broken up by a little trip in a car at giant story books and cute cocoa beans dancing and fishing...

Then there's a few other educational-type bits before you finish up in the 'Advertising Avenue' where you see how Cadbury advertising has dated and changed

Then you're faced with displays of lots of fun things made out of chocolate like the Olympic stadium and a chocolate crown!

It was a combination of museumy type things, lots of education via videos, lots of walking, reading, and smelling chocolate and watching machinary in action.
There's lots of different 'zones' where you look at the advertising part of Cadbury, the manufacturing, the packagaing etc

As for free stuff- everyone each got 1 Crunchie Bar, 1 Dairy Milk, 1 Curly Wurly, 1 mini pot of melted chocolate, 1 bigger (egg cup sized) of melted chocoalte with other bits mixed in like marshmallows or biscuit pieces.

The best part was... the ride! It's a little like 'it's a small word' from Disneyland

Despite the fact that it is marketed so heavily at children I think is a little bit misleading, so here I'll give you some of the practical stuff that means I'm glad I didn't go until I was well above and beyond the so-called 'target age'

Alexia's Practical Cadbury World tips:
-We luckily brought with us a few bottles of water which was a relief as with all the chocolate and walking you do get really thirsty, and they strategically place drinks machines everywhere- at hefty prices, over £1 for 500ml of water which will get expensive if you're in a group!

-There is a lot of walking involved, if kids are still in pram age bring them, if not be prepared for potentially weary kids, there were times where you are sent to walk this way and that with really nothing to look at except for modern Cadbury advertisment posters on the walls, I can only presume this is to somehow 'ease' the queues to send the visitors on a bit of a wild goose chase which is fine if you're two adults who can chit-chat the whole time, not so fun for kids with little legs

-Everywhere is busy, we went before school summer holidays even began and you still end up with about 40/50 other people at any one time which means lots of queing which is why they like to stick in lots of educational videos to stagger the amount of people nice and evenly (doesn't always work though)

-The Cadbury gift shop sells some exclusive Cadbury World stuff but the sweeties that you can buy in regular shops are the same price as a supermarket, there is a small 'factory outlet' part where you can buy stuff a little cheaper if you buy it in bulk (I don't even think you need a ticket to go in the gift shop)

-The illusion is that you'll be stepping into some sort of 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' replica- this is not true, there is no flowing chocolate rivers but actually it's rather industrial and much of the educational content seems very 'school trip-ish' and somewhat old school kids at that, maybe 10 years or older to fully understand and enjoy it.

-Keep in mind it is more museum than 'candy land'

We had done our homework beforehand and so I loved every minute of it and I did know what to expect, but I was very aware of lots of kids and adults around us that were maybe even a little dissapointed by what they were experiencing, so hopefully reading this stops that dissapointment for you too!

I left without even eating my free chocolate and couldn't finish the last chocolate pot, and the sweet chocolate scent that had led us to the entrance was making me feel nauseated on the way out.

Let me know if you visited, and what your experience was. Were you dissapointed? Or had you read up beforehand and had a good grasp of what it would be like?