Thursday, 30 May 2013

Derma v10: The Review

I was given some Derma v10 products to review at the #FABB event in Leeds all those moons ago and have finally gotten around to review the products. Unlike some reviews based on the initial product I've made sure I have used them up fully so I can give an honest review.

I was pleasantly surprised with this range, the products cost a couple of quid and can be picked up from places like Home Bargains, Poundland and B&M. I don't regularly trawl around these places looking for bargains but more recently have done, and persuaded my mum to buy the Derma v10 anti wrinkle cream as she was looking for a new one to try out. 

I'll start with the body butter. Normally I find myself extremely sensitive to moisturisers so generally don't bother. Luckily the Soap & Glory body wash I use has one incorporated with it so I don't worry too much. I was really happy when this product didn't break me out or make me itch! It has a gorgeous strong fragrance which I absolutely loved. Pure indulgence! The body butter is really quite thick so you only need to use a small amount to get the desired effect and moisture needed. I found after one application it lasted a few days too which I'm quite impressed about. I think this night be a repurchase!

Secondly, the moisturiser. I'm hopeless when it comes to skincare products. I never know what to buy, what to use where, or how to take care of my skin. I'm not sure what to make of this cream, maybe because my skin is combination dry/oily and I struggle anyway, but I found it quite thick and left my skin feeling quite oily. It was moisturising though so might work well for those without oily skin. I won't be repurchasing this though, I'll still with my Clinique for the time being. 

Lastly, but by no means least, the hand and nail cream. Now it's anti-aging. I'm not quite sure if I need to use this yet but did anyway. The application was wonderful, soaked in smoothly without leaving my hands greasy, which is always a plus. I don't think I'll be buying this again though as I have a million hand creams on the go, and normally fall back to using Soap & Glory as my hands get extremely dry and cracked.

Overall, I was really happy to try these products. I would normally pick something up from a cheaper shop as I'd be weary of the contents but actually was really impressed. It does go to show that it's not the price that counts! 

Friday, 24 May 2013

My Chinese Shopping Experience

I had quite a few traumatic and pleasant experiences of shopping in China, but all none the less very bizarre. On the first day of being in Jinan we went to the local supermarket, pretty similar to ASDA or what not, but I had the oddest experience of my life... Being able to pick the freshest food I could want. I don't eat fish anyway which is a good job, and pretty much through the whole trip my saying was 'fish are friends' as an excuse for me not to eat weird and wonderful things out there. Don't worry, there will be a food post up and coming shortly - you won't want to miss that one out! 

So as I said above, my first day after a horrid long haul flight (I never travel well), we had a quick walk to the local supermarket (at least 45 minutes away?!). The shop looked great, they even had small make up counters in selling Rimmel and Maybelline (overpriced no doubt!) which cheered me up quite a lot. It was over several floors and pretty much had everything you needed. Not too dissimilar to our supermarkets over here nowadays but they were much bigger. After a quick browse around the store we decided to get something for dinner and a breakfast snack. And this was what scared me. 

Yep, being able to pick my own turtle to devour for tea. Quite luckily they prepare it there and then for you so it's all ready to cook. I won't lie, this freaked me out. And when I saw a woman picking up and inspecting frogs, I did feel pretty nauseous. However, nothing like having the freshest of foods I suppose! FISH ARE FRIENDS.

What did cheer me up to no end though was the price of Iced Tea. This is my favourite stuff and in the UK costs around £1.80 per bottle. This I bought for 10p, one very happy Michelle. Oh and over in China, a bottle of beer costs 18p. 18p! You call all thank me now kids! 

THE MALLS. Oh the malls. Where do I actually start? Oh yeah, on the point that I couldn't afford to spend any money in any of them? That might be a good place. Yep, malls everywhere in China are high end marketed to western folks. All the mainstream ones are anyway, unless you know where the locals shop for cheap stuff, which unfortunately we didn't have time to. But small underground malls are brilliant to go into and have a browse. These are the places that sell trendy gear and have tattoo shops, we were happy with that one! 

The stores were pretty amazing though and I took a zillion photos of pretty much nothing but escalators, stairs, and pretty things. One place I was happy about finding was the Sanrio store in Shanghai, I love Hello Kitty. I LOVE HELLO KITTY. And there was no embarrassment me spending quite a substantial amount of my wage in that store. Just look at the photo, I was one happy bunny!

The last of my experience shopping was the cultural market. Ah it saddens me that I didn't take photos but I am so glad I didn't, there were some pretty nightmarish experiences in there that I can only have nightmares about, and trust me, I do. All in all thought, it was nice, we did pick up a pretty stamp that has our surname on it which I will never use but looks nice! Haha. 

One thing that did get me so upset was seeing animals everywhere for sale. Dogs and terrapins/tortoises. All for pets may I add! But still, it was rather warm out there and I just felt sorry for every creature and wanted to take them home. No doubt they did find good homes though as there were a lot of children begging for them! 

Thursday, 23 May 2013

EtudeHouse Water Color Blusher: Lilac

I've recently been inspired to change the blusher colour I constantly use. I have two Sleek palettes, one coral, one pink. And these are the only colours I will use. Lately I've seen a few bloggers embracing the lilac look and I decided to give it a try. Trying to find a lilac blusher proved hard enough, but one at a reasonable price was even tougher than I thought. Until I came across one from my favourite Korean brand EtudeHouse. I paid around £5 including postage for this product, from eBay, which was delivered from Incheon, South Korea, within a week. Pretty good I hear some of you chanting!

I always adore the packaging of their products, which is probably why I always go back for more. This liquid blusher comes in a super cute water colour paint tube! I chose shade 04 lilac, and it lives up to it's expectations. 

The application is really smooth and you only need a little as the pigment is really good. As it's liquid it's really bendable so you can have as little or as much coverage as you want. It dries to a really nice matt powder finish which I really liked. Although, it is stubborn to take off so maybe is waterproof as well. 

I definitely think I will be rocking this look as it just adds a pop of different colour to your cheeks, looking slightly futuristic without going all out silver. As I like the formula so much I might end buying a few more in the collection. 

A little dull update from me!

This is the second dull update I've done recently. I won't be taking part in the #BEDM challenge for the remainder of the month as quite frankly I haven't been well enough to blog recently and doubt I will be over the next few weeks! 

Luckily I have some scheduled posts from China and a few product reviews to keep you all going until I feel a little more like myself again. Hopefully soon this awful morning sickness will stop because at this moment in time I don't even have the energy to get out of bed. Awful times. 

Saturday, 18 May 2013

#BEDM | Best Friends | Day 18

This has to be one of my favourite posts so far, I enjoy posts where I can have a heart to heart and write about the people I love as in all honesty, I don't do them enough. Also, I don't think my best friends really know who they are, so this will be an appreciation post for them...

Yuna is one of my nearest and dearest friends, and I must admit we are very inseparable. To be honest, since we first got to know each other I don't think a weekend has passed without seeing her. She has been a fantastic support throughout my pregnancy and the number one who I turn to for a rant. Yuna is the reason why Twitter and blogging have been amazing for me!

Daire is my looooong distance friend, I know Nottingham isn't that far away but honestly, when you have work and things do, months can pass by without sending a text message or a visit (although months have turned into years, sorry!). No matter what, Daire is always there for me, and we have one of those amazing relationships that no matter what happens, it's easy to fall back into old ways and nothing feels like it's changed. Daire is my common sense, and always puts me back on the ground when I get too excited or dreamy, and I couldn't be happier.

Now it seems like a really soppy post to put my husband on here, but honestly, he is my bestest friend. Sometimes we don't get on, sometimes we argue, but I'm quite sure 700 miles and the fact I'm pregnant might be the factors right there. Since we first met, we always said we would get married and have a family, and I never doubted him for one second. He is the only person I can truly be myself around, and  I know he feels the same about me. Big aw. I do love my husband very, very much.

I'm sorry about the awful photos guys. 
But these are my favourite ones, and why I love you!

Friday, 17 May 2013

Wish wish wish... Another wish list!

After seeing everyone's wish lists lately I've decided it's time for another wish list post. Now there is a slight twist on this one, as yep, I want a pram and a matching coffee cup holder... Yep, you can tell I'm pregnant. 

I must admit though, since finding out I'm pregnant I've stopped having such an interest in buying things and have become more sensible. What's happened to the old Mish? Someone help me get her back... 

You are right, that is a donut...

I'm really tempted to buy one of the Liz Earle sample packs as I want to try Cleanse and Polish, any thoughts on what this is really like? 

#BEDM | Walk To Work | Day 17

Today's #BEDM post is about walking to work, but unfortunately I don't work Fridays so I couldn't take photos of my walk to work. I work in Bradford, just out of the city centre, and there are some amazing sights to behold when I walk from the train station!

I have a nice walk through town. Firstly stopping by Starbucks in City Park, then onwards part the Media Museum. In summer it's amazing to be able to walk through the centre and see City Park full of water and in all it's glory, I must admit it's the most gorgeous part of the city at the moment, and now it's getting warmer it's always nice to have a chill down there.

The walk is quite pleasant, and normally only takes me around 20 minutes, which I do morning and evening when I finish work. It's a shame now though I'm feeling quite exhausted in the mornings!

Photos sourced from Wikipedia and Media Museum.

#BEDM | Pampering | Day 16

I'm not a big fan of 'pampering' myself, such as having long baths and wearing face masks, or treating myself to new beauty treatments etc, but my pampering is in food. I love my food, and I pamper myself with a nice chocolate bar or cookie, and chill out watching a good horror movie. This is my perfect way of pampering myself.

Of course I do the standard thing occasionally, such as a face mask now and then (probably every few months actually). I do tend to have baths but I can't stand being sat in there for ages as I'm more a shower bunny, although since Yuna encouraged me to try the Cussons Mum & Me range, I'm actually finding their baby bath and balms are helping me sleep a lot more.

#BEDM | Life's A Lesson | Day 15

My biggest life's lesson is not to regret anything you have ever done. Without the mistakes you have made in the past, you wouldn't have made those wrong decisions which have brought you to the happy place you are today. Without those silly relationships I had in my early twenties, I wouldn't be happily married and pregnant now.

It seems silly to look back at the things I have done over the past 10 years, and I must admit I personally have made some stupid mistakes that I will keep to myself forever, but without those I wouldn't have developed into my character and have the strong personality I have today.

You always have to take the ups with the downs. No matter what people say. And time, yep time is a big healer. This is one of the silliest things anyone can say at a time when you think nothing will ever get better and it's the end of the road, but in time things do work out and you start to feel a lot better about yourself and your situation.

I'm sure if I could go back and tell my 17 year old self that in 10 years time she would be doing a degree she enjoyed, pregnant, and married to a Chinese guy, she would laugh in my face and tell me I was being an idiot!


Sooooo I've been a little behind with posts lately, especially my #BEDM posts buuuuut I've had severe baby nausea resulting in me being a lot more sick than I could have ever imagined and pretty much needing to sleep all the time. It's not pleasant and I've spent the past week crying all the time about it. Oh and anti-emetics haven't touched it in the slightest. Lovely.

So a little pregnancy update: After my post last week obviously I'm a week on so around 7 weeks now, yay, and also discovered I have varicose veins. NICE. Just what I always wanted, thank you. The pregnancy headaches have started, which apparently are because I'm a migraine sufferer and can get worse throughout, teamed with throwing up all the time is not a nice feeling. And another thing to add, the luxury of having a UTI which apparently could be a reason why I'm feeling a lot more worse for wear. I did have a list of things to blog about but at the moment in time can't find it (baby brain) and can't remember what I wanted to list... I'm sure these will come to me later, I might edit it when they do, either that or whack on another post.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

OOTD: The Jinan edition.

Jinan is the capital of Shandong province and where my husband originates from. It's a gorgeous city and is absolutely MASSIVE! I never thought it would be so big, but hell, it was. They have some amazing shops, obviously high end and completely out of my reach, but there is a lot more to do as well. 

This is me just hanging around during the day in their city centre, Jinan has a lot of springs which is what it's famous for. Nice to have a walk next to the river with all the skyscraper building in the distance. Everywhere I went I adored the contrast of old and new.

On this day I wore:
Primark polka dot and lace shirt dress, leggings, Primark lazer cut tan pumps, my New Look blazer duh, and a bag the MIL bought me but I couldn't manage to bring it back with me!

On this day we went to Thousand Buddha Mountain, and yes, there are a lot of Buddha statues to visit so obviously we didn't manage to see them all. This is when I started wearing my wig and people stopped looking at me inquisitively trying to work out what my race was haha. 

Today I wore:
Primark baroque print shirt dress, H&M black cardigan, leggings, Primark tan lazer cut pumps, and one of the two satchels I brought back from China! 

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Graze: Good Breakfast Club

I jumped back on the Graze box bandwagon the other day just because I miss lots of cute, exciting chocolate pots and cakes through the post. I noticed they do a breakfast box now full of different porridges with honey. Now I rarely eat breakfast so I thought it might be a good idea to give this a go. As it was invite only I searched high and low on Google for a code to be a VIP to this box! 

You get four porridges, some with honey, and it's the usual Graze malarkey: nice presentation with an instruction booklet. Today I had the almond and cherry one and I must admit it was far better than I imagined. Although the oats still come in a packet, they taste fresher and more real than Oats so Simple or other quick oats boxes. And they take the same time, 2 mins in the microwave. 

I'm really looking forward to tying tomorrow's breakfast too! 

If you fancy giving their breakfast box a go, you can use code C9JR17Y as it's still invite only at the moment. 

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

#BEDM | Food Glorious Food | Day 14

Food is possibly the worst thing I could be blogging about now considering I've had morning sickness for two weeks solid. But don't get me wrong, I love food. I'm a comfort eater and I know I enjoy all the wrong things. Not just some of the time, all of the time.

This will be a really short and non-informative post as I've left it late to write this and right now I'm swaying like I was on a boat. 

Tonight, whilst enjoying the Eurovision semi finals, I devoured a whole Graze box. Probably not what a lady in my condition should be doing, but boy it was good. 

Chinese is probably my favourite food. I like everything that is bad for me. Oh and I eat too much cake. But everyone loves cake, right? RIGHT!? 

Told you it was short... Short and sweet. Like cake. CAKE.

Monday, 13 May 2013

#BEDM | Go Green | Day 13

I've always been a naughty girl, and I am pretty wasteful: leaving taps on, not recycling etc, and never really thought about how it might be affecting the planet. Slap hands, naughty Michelle. 

But, I had my eyes opened when I visited China. Everything that can be recycled, will be recycled. It was really refreshing! 

One of the first oddities I noticed about conserving water, although it's not paid for or billed in China, is showering. Now they have wet rooms over there unlike us with bathtubs or shower bottoms, just a tiled floor. So when I stood in a bucket and had a shower I felt like I was in a third world! Actually, it made so much sense, just save the shower wage you use (encouraging you to use less mind you) and use it to pour down the toilet instead of flushing... Ok so that was one good trick I learnt! The second, well solar panels in every building, ok it doesn't seem much but actually when you use your solar panel to heat the shower up the hot water lasts a lot less as normal, this encouraging you to use less water. Tip number two that I absolutely relished!

I must admit that since being back in England I have changed the way I think about energy use, not only for the planet but for my pocket too. 

Sunday, 12 May 2013

My Pregnancy, My Way.

So basically this is where my blog starts to take a change and includes my pregnancy ramblings. As a few of you will know I found out a few weeks ago I'm pregnant, albeit quite early on at 6-7 weeks but boy has it hit me, and not in the best way unfortunately. 

I was going to leave my baby blogging until a little further on in my pregnancy, around the 12 week mark for obvious reasons but then thought, this is my pregnancy, and I will do it my way. I appreciate everyone's help and support but there is a time when I think some of it has to stop, especially the morning sickness tips from women who have never suffered from morning sickness before... Interesting to say the least. 

These will be in depth posts about the ins and outs of my pregnancy, warts and all, so if you don't like it then I suggest you don't read these posts! I really appreciate there are a few bloggers out there saying it as it is because I know a lot of people hide their pregnancy nasties, and these are bits which I think really need to be said and heard! 

So I'm 6-7 weeks along now, which makes Dumpling (yes, this is a suitable name for bump or baby Pan as the small being is mixed race Chinese) a honeymoon baby! I found out really early on in my pregnancy, two weeks to be exact, as I was taking medication which needed to be stopped when pregnant. This feels like it's going to be the longest pregnancy ever! So, me and the husband toddled off for our dating scan on Thursday, which went well and we saw the flicker of a heartbeat. I felt a lot more relieved then! 

As I found out early on, I'm not sure whether this made me feel more pregnant but hey, I definitely got the symptoms! Eep. The cramps, oh gosh now the cramps have been killers for me. They actually started at around 3-4 weeks and have carried on. They actually wake me up in the middle of night crying they are so uncomfortable. And the morning sickness, well that decided to jump aboard at 5 weeks which was a delight... NOT. Since then I have been a bumbling mess, holding on to everything when I feel I'm about to pass out. I've had to throw the towel in on this one and admit defeat, I literally begged my GP for some anti-nausea tablets as I really don't think I'd be able to work over the next several weeks at this rate. And finally, napping. All I do is sleep. I wake up, I go back to sleep. I eat, I need a nap. Ever since I came back from my honeymoon all I do is sleep. I'm very unprepared for this as I have an end of module assignment ongoing for university and I find I'm sleeping on the laptop... Ah well. 

Let me know what you think of my new pregnancy series of posts, whether you are a new follower or an old one!

#BEDM | Collecting | Day 12

Today is day 12 in the #BEDM challenge. Today's title and post is about collecting. Now I love collecting, more so the fact I don't actually realise at the time I am collecting until I have a collection...

Dresses, I have an addiction to buying dresses which might suggest a collection right there. Same is applicable with cardigans, I bloody love cardigans and have half a wardrobe full. I buy them even if I don't wear them. I think this makes me a little bit of a clothing hoarder!? 

I also really enjoy collecting cosmetics, especially Asian brands. A lot of the time they aren't even suitable for my skin type but I'll buy them anyway as they are so cute! 

Today I hoped I'd be able to start taking a few photos to contribute to my #BEDM posts but unfortunately I've had really bad morning sickness which has resulted in me pretty much sleeping and being nauseous for the past four days. 

Saturday, 11 May 2013

#BEDM | Book Love | Day 11

Well here we go with day 11 of the 'Blog Every Day In May' challenge, and I can safely say I've definitely kept up to this one!

Today the title was 'book love'. Although I didn't struggle with this title, I must admit I'm not a big reader as I used to be. I do still read occasionally but recently I've had a lot of University work to keep up with and it seems that all I can manage to read are academic texts which is a shame!

I wanted to let you all in on my favourite books. Matthew Reilly is my favourite author, possibly ever. And I couldn't rave about his books any more! Everyone I speak to gets a recommendation of his books. His style is almost archaeology meets military, so I guess SAS meets Indiana Jones! There is never a dull moment in his novels, he does countdowns which I think are amazing and are always cliffhangers. Every time he has a new release I will literally buy it on the day and not stop reading until the following day or until the book is read. His stuff is unmissable and you cannot put it down. 

My favourite series of his novels would have to be the Jack West Jr. series. 

Give them a go, you might be pleasantly surprised if it's a change from your normal reading genre.

Friday, 10 May 2013

EtudeHouse: Sweet Recipe Ice Cream Nails in Strawberry

As most people know by now, I'm a massive fan of Korean cosmetics and in particular my favourite brand of EtudeHouse. Their products are so cute and that is the main selling point for me!

There have been a few reviews on their Sweet Recipe Ice Cream nail polishes, and I doubt mine will be much different. I bought a few of these nail polishes when I was in China, and I'm still waiting for the Mint Chocolate one. This is the most sold out as is a very good dupe for Illamasqua for only a few pounds. I paid around £1 for my polishes but they can be found on eBay around £3 including postage.

The bottle itself is absolutely gorgeous and looks like an old school ice cream with a waffle cone! This was it's selling point to me alone! The nail polish is a good size and comes with quite a wide brush which I found brilliant for application. I did need to apply it three times as it is quite light, but this added more glitter and looked fab. As usual, if you type a lot it does chip off quite quickly but for the price, is a brilliant dupe to some of the other high end or high street brands out there!

Please excuse my nails, my acrylics came off just before my wedding which was a nightmare! And I haven't had time to get a decent manicure since being back in the UK.

What do you think about buying Asian dupes?
Will you be buying more Korean cosmetics in the future?

#BEDM | Travel Dreams | Day 10

This is definitely one of my favourite #BEDM posts as travelling is something I really enjoy doing, basically it's in my blood to travel. I have family all over the world and have done for most of my life which has given me the ability to visit new places which others could only dream of. It therefore made sense to marry someone from a different race and cultural background so I could expand my travel a little further! 

If I could be anywhere in the world right now... That is actually a really hard question for me to answer as there are so many places which I adore. I would say Shanghai as it's definitely my second home. 

I doubt these views will ever make me feel any less about this place. I still get goosebumps now when I see photos of Shanghai. Never have I been anywhere in the world which felt so much like home for me. 

Thursday, 9 May 2013

#BEDM | My Favourite Social Media Channel | Day 9

This is definitely an easy question to answer. Twitter! By far Twitter, it's the most interesting social media tool I have ever used. Sure it was hard getting used to it at the beginning, wondering how you started following people and how to make your text count within such a small box of characters. But actually it did work, and I met some amazing people. Before I started blogging I used Twitter to follow my favourite bloggers and even used to talk to them. Participating in some of the #lbloggers, #fbloggers and #bbloggers chats are what inspired me to blog myself, so without Twitter I wouldn't be here today writing this post. Nor would I be half the woman I am today, with the friends I've made along the way!

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

#BEDM | My First Job | Day 8

My first job was an office junior for a small legal firm. Which I hated, with an absolute passion. I had to get a job after being severely ill and quitting college as it was too late in the year for me to apply for another course.

I always remember being bossed around and treat like a child when actually I was quite mature for my age (17, but I had my own house and was extremely independent). I used to be left on reception on my own for hours, and became a glorified typist on a ridiculous salary where I worked around 45 hours a week and came home with about £400 a month. I was always picked on my the boss and her daughter, thinking they were something special when in fact they weren't that interesting or good at their jobs!

However, I should say that because of this job, I did move on to bigger and brighter things as a legal secretary working in Leeds, which I must admit I loved for several years before being make redundant! But hey, everything happens for a reason, and all this counts for where I am today, so all I could think of saying to them now would be 'stick it where the sun doesn't shine you fat old tramp'. :')

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

My FAVOURITE Japanese Beauty Skincare Item Revealed... Cure: Natural Aqua Gel

Cure's Natural Aqua Gel has been one of my favourite beauty and skincare products for quite a while now. When I saw my first review of this product in a haul video quite some time ago, I knew I had to buy this as I struggle with exfoliators being too harsh on my skin and get slightly annoyed having to constantly rub them in and wash them off. 

This is where this product is different. It's natural so no harsh chemicals on the skin to make it burn or leave it red, and it's a water gel, which means the application is so easy. You only need to pop a small dot on your skin and rub. Now as you rub, you will notice that your skin begins to peel. The product peels off you dead skin. Without being harsh. I have no idea how that works! This is possibly the most easiest exfoliator on the market to use.

Now all I simply did when I finished using the product was wash it off and et voila, all done and dusted. Nice, clean, exfoliated and soft skin without any harshness or red marks. 

Now here comes the downside, the price and how to get hold of the product. I really struggled with trying to source this without using eBay, but Amazon were still the same price. It rocks in at about £30 which might not be much depending on your budget but to others could be very expensive however, with the amount you need to use, this will last a long time, so this product is definitely worth it's weight in gold.

Monday, 6 May 2013

#BEDM | Pets | Day 7

I have a cat, a plain black called, called Chii. She doesn't really do much, at all. She likes to sleep a lot, and snore a lot too. She doesn't really talk much either and isn't really that lovey dovey! She doesn't do much or come when you call her name, pretty boring cat really. It was hard to take a photo of her too as she just sat there doing nada! Haha :')

This has been the most boring post I have ever written, but I can't think of my to say about my independent lady!

#BEDM | Bank Holiday Fun | Day 6

I'm really excited that this week I'll only have a three day week, well potentially a two day week as I really need to have Thursday off work for a scan, so effectively I've had a four day weekend as I don't work Fridays either! 

That has been great! However, on a not so great note I haven't been in the best of health. I've started with 'baby nausea' which pretty much happens whenever it fancies and makes me feel like my feet don't belong to me. I can't explain it any other way but it's pretty terrifying when I'm out and about on my own!

On Saturday I had the pleasure of seeing Yuna (as usual!), Kel, Kieron (for only a few minutes), and meeting Arash for the first time, which was an absolute pleasure! We popped over to Mrs Atha's in Leeds for tea and cake. WHICH WAS AMAZING. Everyone knows how much I love tea and cake but this definitely is the winner. I had a gorgeous cherry coke along with a piece of banana and chocolate loaf. We also tested their Jasmine tea which I think I'll be having more of in the future. I headed over to the University library after that to pick up a few books for my end of module assignment research and after feeling pretty yucky, headed home. 
Sunday, well Sunday got a little better. I headed off with the family for lunch in Saltaire and we had a little drive around after that. I suggested we head off to a garden centre as it seems the traditional bank holiday thing to do. And it worked out perfectly! My dad bought a swing seat for the garden which cheered me up a lot, and I bought some pretty bright daisy seeds. On the way home we took a hefty detour to look at a few new houses which were being built, and checking out the centre where I'm due to have my midwife appointments, in the least desirable area of my town. Yay for me. On the way home... I saw... ALPACAS. I won't lie, this was amazing. I never knew I lived so close to an Alpaca farm. 

Today. Lets not really go into that much. It's been a day of sleeping and research for my last assignment. I hoped I might feel a bit better but I'm back at work tomorrow so thought I might just chill for the day. 

Satisfying Samples? The Mini-Facial Edition.

I fancied using up some of my recent Korean freebies (received with other purchases, or given to me by family, this is not a sponsored post) so thought it would be nice to have a mini-facial evening as my skin has not been looking it's best in a while.

I really like EtudeHouse's beauty collection so thought it best to have a full deep cleanse with their BB Baking Powder cleansing foam. This really does foam up and takes a lot of washing to get off but works wonders and leaves your skin feeling incredibly clean.

Secondly, I used another EtudeHouse product which I received recently. I've used these before but I'm not taken aback by them. A simple Black Charcoal Chin Pack which aims to reduce sebum build up on your chin. I think it's similar to a blackhead unblocker for your nose but I don't really find they work. They just end up black and sticky on your chin and take a lot of scrubbing off! Not one I would purchase!

Thirdly, I used my wonder product (separate review to come so I won't say much!) which is a fantastic exfoliator and works really quickly leaving the skin very smooth with a new lease of life. This product is not a sample and is a full sized and purchased with my own money. Le sigh, it wasn't cheap either.

The forth item I applied was a simple full face paper mask. Now I can't get enough of these, as you may have seen in my recent Chinese haul post, but they are fantastic and work wonders. This Vanedo face mask is moisturising and works wonders. Just pop it on and get on with your evening!

Then I applied Crystal Eyelid Patches just to reduce the puffiness under my eyes lately (lack of sleep).  These are quite refreshing and recently I've received several samples from goody bags or monthly subscription beauty boxes. 

I'm sorry this keeps going... I don't normally use so many products! 

Last of all I slicked on some of EtudeHouse's Wonder Pore Freshner just to have a final cleanse and refresh of my pores before closing them up again. This really makes your face refreshed and very cleansed without being overpowering of leaving a stinging sensation.

All finished off with my usual moisturiser and voila, a nice mini-facial with more samples used!

How do you use your samples? Do you have too many lying around your house like me?
If you are interested in any of these products, full sizes or samples can be bought easily on eBay or my favourite website, Cosmetic Love

Sunday, 5 May 2013

#BEDM | Fit And Healthy | Day 5

Today's post on the challenge 'Blog Every Day In May' is all about being fit and healthy. Which I would like to point out, is something I definitely am not. I'm fat, obese, overweight, whatever you might like to call it, I suppose, quite considerably according to my BMI.

I won't lie, I generally have no motivation to lose weight or keep fit. Until now that is... Now that I'm having a baby. I'm still quite early on which I guess means I have a lot more time to get into the healthier eating habits and trying to get more exercise. So, my pledges for the next few months are:

1. Not to try too hard to lose weight, as I don't think this is the best thing to do right now.
2. Eat healthier and introduce more fruit and vegetables into my diet, and generally just have a look over what I eat and try cut the fatty foods out of my diet.
3. I will try to cut down on cake, but lets be honest, that's the one thing in my life I can't get enough of.
4. Do a little more exercise, this definitely does not mean I'm joining the gym or anything silly like that, but take more walks in the evening and try increase my exercise regime, perhaps introduce a little yoga into my lifestyle or something.

So those are the four things I think I should be able to stick to. My unhealthy lifestyle needs to stop as soon as possible really!

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Benefit Fake Up Review

I rarely buy high end or more expensive cosmetic products unless I really think they will work for me, much like how I felt when I saw everyone's Fake Up reviews! I absolutely fell in love with this product straight after the Benefit event (which I didn't get an invite to unfortunately!) so couldn't simply wait for the release date at the end of March... Only I had to, because it wasn't the same launch date at Sephora in China. ARGH. But when I got home, eventually I got hold of one. 

The main selling points for this product were the fact that it was also a hydrating stick as well as a concealer. I have so many problems with under eye concealers flaking off or making me look like some kind of lizard or snake which is not my favourite look. This is where Fake Up is different, significantly different, and I couldn't appreciate it more. Not only does it have a sleek application with very thick coverage, but hydrates the skin and doesn't leave powdery residue. It's easily to apply, you only really need one swipe. And as usual, the packaging is super cute and vintage style which always looks fabulous in my make up kit! And, last but not least, you only need a little, which means it will definitely last a long time, good value for money.

Two thumbs up from me. 
This product is easily available (unless you live in China and it hasn't come out yet!).

Do you usually buy high end or more expensive cosmetics?
How do you feel about spending a little more on something you know will last?

#BEDM | Five Fave Blogs | Day 4

So today I am sharing my blog love and letting you guys know who my fave blogs are. This is day number four of the 'Blog Every Day In May' challenge.

These are in no particular order:

1. I'mBeingErica - I've been a fan of her blog for so long now, and appreciate that I can call her one of my friends... AWWWW. I respect her as a person, and well, I'm nosey so it's nice having a look into her life. We share a similar fashion sense so I get a lot of inspiration from her!

2. HelloTerriLowe - Terri is actually the reason why I started blogging. I've followed blogs for a while, and talk to people/take part in chats on Twitter but never had the confidence to start blogging myself. Until one dreary Sunday evening in January taking part in a chat, something just hit me, and that is when my blog arrived. She has a cracking personality and never fails to make me laugh.

3. EllaMasters - I've read Ella's blog for quite some time now. I've always admired how creative she is and really love the insight into her life she gives in detail on her blog. She's such a sweet, caring girl and her blog actively reflects that.

4. StyleSuzi - Another blogger/vlogger I've followed for quite some time. Suzi was one of the first Asian ladies I followed giving me hope and faith in Asian cosmetics. I really love her HK hauls and seeing what the latest trends in China are!

5. TheMaleNanny - Now this might come as a shock but this is one of my all time favourite blogs. Just take a look and you will see. How the other world live eh? Haha.

Well I hope you like my fave blogs and hopefully you will give every one a read and become a new follower too! 

Friday, 3 May 2013

#BEDM | Day In The Life | Day 3

Today's 'Blog Every Day In May' post is all about a day in the life of me. Well today is Friday and it probably isn't the best of ideas to do this today as it's my day off work and pretty dull, but here goes.

Last night I went to see the Yeah Yeah Yeahs with Clare, a band who I have loved for years, but unfortunately a bout of morning/evening/all day sickness hit me and I was pretty exhausted so left before the gig ended, which I was gutted about but at least I heard my three favourite songs! Gigging whilst pregnant is not something I would recommend in your first trimester, but at least it's one thing ticked off my list...

So today, I'm pretty exhausted. Exhausted might be an understatement, I can hardly keep my eyes open. So this post unfortunately is pretty bad. All I did was take photos of Jeremy Kyle and my breakfast this morning. But I guess something is better than nothing right? Unfortunately my day will consist of blogging, sleeping, watching crap on TV and hopefully having a gorgeous sausage sandwich for dinner!

If it had been tomorrow it would have been a better day! I'm off for cake in Leeds with a few bloggers and then heading off to Uni to get some books for my end of module assignment - at least the photos may have been better haha!

Thanks all for looking at my very uninteresting day. I'm gonna join my cat now for a sleep, hopefully I don't snore as loud as she does...

John Lewis | Ted Baker

I've always been a fan of John Lewis, and even more so now Leeds will be getting a shiny new store, which hopefully will be open in 2016 *fingers crossed*. So until then, as I'm not a big traveller, I resort to their online store, much like many people do nowadays. 

When I was approached to do a feature post working with Ted Baker I jumped at the chance. I've always been a fan of Ted Baker, and now they have their new range online with John Lewis, I couldn't resist a sneak peek at their very versatile range of clothing and accessories! I thought I would create a little wish list of clothing that I would definitely love to see myself wearing this Spring/Summer (if Spring actually does turn up... Lets not go into that yet). 

So using their extremely simple browse option in womenswear and accessories, I've come up with my  three key pieces which I think can be the staple for any outfit this season. 

We all know how fond I am of satchels, but I thought I would have a change in my style for this post and have gone for something a little more brighter than my usual tan ensemble. This is where the neon Bigcon Ikon shopper bag comes in handy. Now I have a few more assignments due at Uni and find myself having to cart a lot more books around, but this bag is extremely sturdy and can take the weight without looking dull. Definitely an item to set any outfit off. 

My second wish list item is this Rufia Blazer. I live in Summer with blazers on as I feel they can inject class into any outfit, and luckily, manage to go with any outfit. I fell in love with this one because of the double breasted button fastening and tailored finish. And to top it off, the light nude pink pastel shade of the jacket will match anything pastel this season, so it's a win-win situation all round!
And last, but certainly not least, is probably my favourite from the John Lewis | Ted Baker website. And this will come with no surprise to anyone, has a print. I'm a big sucker for anything with a cute print, especially this polka dot dress, and this does not disappoint! I'm a big fan of shirt dresses as I'm bottom heavy and I always feel having a belt at the waist makes me look a little less chunky. The nude base with neutral toned polka dots is a fantastic combination as you can make anything match with this dress. Such a great addition to any wardrobe for wearing to work, dressing casually for a shopping trip, or jazzing up for a night out. 

At the moment my finger is hovering over the checkout button on the John Lewis website... Hehe.

So what do you all think of my wish list?
Is there anyone you would all like as an addition to your wardrobe?
And have I inspired you to pursue your online shopping urges?
You can thank me for your new purchases, but not your ever decreasing bank account...

*This is a sponsored post*