Saturday, 26 September 2015

Ooh La La: Elomi Lingerie

Today's post is a tribute to my brand new undies from Elomi!

Elomi is part of the Wacoal Europe group who calls brands such as Freya, Huit and Fantasie part of the fam! They specialise in making lingerie for all shapes and sizes and high quality to match! Now you will all know of my love for Freya as I have long sung my praises from the treetops, but I hadn't previously looked at Elomi.

As my cup size is probably what you would call on the larger size of the boobie scale I am used to other bras looking like comedy scaffolding rather than pretty and delicate (whilst providing some serious support) like Freya and Elomi. Having tried this on, it is such a lovely bra and instead of feeling like I have these ginormous norks, I feel supported and that I have a nice shape.

I can't tell you enough how important getting measured properly is and how you will not believe what a difference it makes under your clothes having the right sized underwear on. I to this day remember my first proper bra measuring at John Lewis where I went down 2 back sizes and up 3 cup sizes and looked a damn sight thinner!

Elomi have been shortlisted in the British Plus Sized Awards, fingers crossed they win!

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Professional Beauty with Nouveau Beauty Group

September is the month of beauty for me as Professional Beauty's Northern Conference and Exhibition comes to town! Each year I register and excitedly await my trip to beauty mecca and this year was just as ace as the years before!

This year I was contacted by Nouveau to get booked in for a few of their popular treatments including an 'A-Lift' Facial and LVL lashes.

I had been feeling a bit under the weather so a little perk me up was very much needed :)

The facial was divine. I do like facials but sometimes I don't see how smearing about 10 different creams on your face can possibly do that much. A Lift is so simple yet so relaxing, it uses electrical currents to promote and stimulate plumper skin, along with lymphatic draining. Using two probes, I was treated to 30 mins of bliss where my face felt massaged and relaxed.

I look so much more chirpy and fresh faced in the days after and have really felt the benefits of it!

LVL is hands down my favourite lash treatment. I adore the look of extensions and whilst I would call myself semi high maintenance, the truth is that I just can't keep up with the maintenance and I like to really get all my eye makeup off before bed. That said, if I was having lash extensions which I would for really special occasions I would 100% get nouveau lashes over any other individual lash brands as they are outstanding.

So, extension rant over, LVL is a treatment that works with what mother nature gave you and is a semi permanent lash lift and tint. The process lifts the lashes from the root giving you the look of more dramatic lashes with nothing being added. The effects wear off naturally over time as you go through the normal eyelash shedding cycle. The tint really is so you don't need to wear mascara! In the picture I have uploaded above I have no mascara on whatsoever. My lashes look nicely curled and awake and I am always super happy with the treatment.

As always the exhibition side of Professional Beauty brings your favourite beauty brands at trade prices and also demonstrations of any new products. I genuinely always really enjoy going and am so grateful to Nouveau for my lovely Sunday pamper session!

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

An Evening with MUA Derbyshire

Last Friday I headed to an evening with Camille otherwise known as MUA Derbyshire to be pampered and made over.

I am usually so mard when it comes to having a dark eye but because I know and trust Cam I let her run wild on my face and I was super pleased with the results! I have popped a couple of pics up of the night, apologies for the fuzzy bottom pic of my eyes but I just wanted to show how beaut my smokey emerald eye was!

I have also popped on a lovely pic of me and Izzie my gorgeous cousin just because I love it :)

If you want to book Camille then you can do so via Facebook or email! She is fab and covers the Derbyshire and Cheshire areas so get yourselves booked in for a glamover!

Monday, 21 September 2015

Winter Wardrobe Wishing

Simply Be // ASOS
The weather absolutely sucks today so I thought I would bring you my fave winter wardrobe looks that I am seeing pop up on my fave sites!

Over on Simply Be we have this cute swing dress that I would wear just as pictured, over the knee boots and a nice snuggly coat. You may have seen the coord on my instagram and twitter as I NEED this bad boy in my wardrobe! Paired with a black shirt you could totally wear this for work and I just love the colours and general vibe.

Who doesn't love sequins? Having seen this gold number in the flesh I think it would be ace for a casual night out teamed with leggings and either boots or even the sandals I have popped on there!

In this rain I can't imagine anything worse than getting my tootsies wet but I do lovet these with the gold block heel! Both the top and the shoes are also from Simply Be.

Moving on to ASOS, I love these oxblood cord leggings, I think they will slip right into my wardrobe and become a staple almost immediately! Also will brighten up my usual palette of black and grey...

This playsuit is the playsuit of dreams. Flattering shape, glittery and just beaut, I want this for the upcoming festive season! Hellooooo Christmas Party!!!!

The black bodycon dress I'd buy a couple of sizes too big so it wasn't skin tight and reveal ALL my lady lumps but I like the simplicity of this and I can imagine it would be one of those versatile pieces you can just throw on!

What are you wishing for this winter??

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Welcome to Manchester

And so freshers week begins.

12 years ago (MY GOD) I packed up my room and headed the short distance from South Manchester to Owens Park Halls of Residence at the Uni of Manchester in Fallowfield.

I am in quite a unique situation as I have actually been to two out of three Manchester Universities.. I did my undergrad degree at Uni of Manchester and my post grad diploma at MMU. So really what I am trying to tell you is that I know my sh!t... haha!

I was absolutely terrified about moving away from home even despite the very short commute back to my parents house. Being let loose in the big wide world seemed incredibly daunting and I will be honest I was slightly apprehensive, even after a couple of weeks living in halls!

I look back now though and I am so fond of my time at uni, I think you feel such a pressure to feel settled and I really wouldn't worry how long that takes for you to feel that way.. just throw yourself into things and you will be reet.

My first worry was such a #middleclassproblem and sounds so much worse than it actually is. I was baffled by the thought of getting on the bus. I didn't know what you ask for and it made me feel all kinds of useless. To explain, I am not averse to using public transport and had regularly got the train but from where I lived with my parents there just wasn't any buses that I could get on? So just incase any of you are in the same position as me, there are really on a few things to know - if you live in Fallowfield then really there are SO many buses you can jump on to get yourself into town. It's a £1 standard fare so none of this.. umm I am not really sure where I am going malarkey! Wilmslow Road - Rusholme - Oxford Road is supposedly the busiest bus route in Europe so you shouldn't be hanging around for too long.

Next up is some helpful tips and hints;
  • Go to the freshers fair - I got loads of random freebies that seemed really weird and out of place but trust me the free can of beans and washing up liquid came in handy!
  • ALWAYS ALWAYS keep and emergency loo roll in your room. Yes you will all merrily agree to take it in turns to purchase but there will be times when annoyingly the person whose turn it is forgets and it ain't gonna wipe itself. Also, even in halls, some of the more immature boys will no doubt come along and wreak havoc with the toilet roll. It just happens.
  • You are very lucky if you don't have at least one 9am lecture the day after a popular night out or club night. My tip for this is to think ahead, have a pizza upon your return and have some emergency snacks ready for when you tackle the trip into uni. Tracksuits are your friend.
  • Everyone resents spending the student loan on seriously mundane household supplies. There are two huge pound shops in Manchester City Centre and a Quality Save - buy that boring stuff there so you don't have to waste your dollar on none fun stuff!
  • Yes Rusholme curry houses are open until the early hours and yes I have been for a curry at 2am before. 
  • Make use of all the student lock in and discount nights - normally you will get extra discount on top of the normal student discount so it's worth it!
  • Pasta and pesto is a food group.
  • You will most likely end up with a photo key ring in your bag after a night out.
  • Be prepared to get dressed up. In any costume and most likely on a week night. Strength in numbers is the key. Being a lone french maid or pirate is not the one.
  • Try and eat some fruit and vegetables at least once a day.
  • You will become intolerant to at least one form of alcohol from overuse.
I could go on but you will have to learn some lessons on your own :)

Enjoy every minute, the next few years will fly by and you will love Manchester, we welcome newbies with open arms!

Friday, 18 September 2015

Urban Massage Review

You know when an email pops into your inbox and you do an internal, silent happy dance? Well this is what happened when I got an email from Urban Massage, which basically delivers a massage direct to your door.

If any of you follow me on twitter, you will know that I probably moan quite frequently in the early hours of the morning about my back or my shoulder, and to put that into context, I have been under the care of a physio for a couple of weeks now. I have a shoulder impingement which means my tendons and all the bits and pieces of muscle are super irritated and trapped which results in a very sore shoulder.

It has affected what I can do at the gym, makes my arm ache when I am sat at work at my desk and generally leaves me feeling pretty uncomfortable. On a bad day it can ache and hurt when I am washing my hair, pushing a toilet flush button or even lying on it the wrong way, and the body compensates by using other muscles to help you do things. This has resulted in generally a very tighty, knotty and unhappy back. I have a lumber support at work, foot rest and even with all that I can wake up and have such a sore back that it hurts to even turn over in bed (insert crying face emoji).

I knew that I needed to get someone to give my back a good pummelling so when I went on to Urban Massage, I was determined to get myself either a sports or deep tissue massage. When you input your address and what day you want, a list of the available therapists pops up, you can read a profile about them and select who you feel best suits your requirements.

I selected Megan and then eagerly awaited my appointment which I was able to get at 5pm on a Sunday. Megan arrived on time, very professionally dressed and brought her massage table and all equipment along with her. We ran through a client consultation card and then I settled myself down on the table ready to have my knots and tightness manipulated away...

Now, for massage newbies out there, I wouldn't recommend going right in for a deep tissue massage as they are designed to get right in to your muscles, can be pretty uncomfortable and cause tenderness afterwards. I knew exactly what I was getting myself in to and I can assure you that Megan is fantastic at this type of massage. I wasn't expecting a relaxing massage as such, and I had mentally prepared for the discomfort both during and after the massage.

After the hour was up, Megan advised that I probably would feel pretty sore and headachy and told me to drink lots of water to flush out the toxins. Trust me I felt pretty pants afterwards and I know damn well it's because my back was so bad. Monday was difficult to say the least. My back was tender, just as Megan had advised  and I just felt a bit meh all day. I toyed with cancelling my personal training appointment but figure moving my ass would probably make me feel better which it very much did.

Monday night I slept like a baby and my back has felt tons better ever since. I visited my physio on Wednesday and have been informed that my shoulder is much more mobile and he is impressed with the effect this massage has had on my progress.

What I loved about Urban Massage is that I felt really comfortable in my own home, knew who was turning up and that because I knew I would feel a little rubbish directly after I could literally get straight into bed.

I cannot recommend this app and service enough. It suits all, and if you have a bit of a niggle with back pain or want to have a relaxing treatment in your own home then it's perfect. You can double up and book two therapists at once so you and a pal can have an at home spa day, safe in the knowledge that you don't have to be thrown out into the real world after being in a relaxing spa.

You can download the Urban Massage app or book online, and sometimes even get an appointment in the next hour! Urban Massage also cater for workplaces too, check out their website for more details!

For £10 off your first treatment please quote RSALLYH5 when booking your appointment or click here.


Thursday, 17 September 2015

#LFW Essentials

I'm not heading to London Fashion Week this year but I have to say I very much enjoy reading these types of post!

Rather than the usual here's a snap of my bag, I thought I would shake it up and just narrate what was and would be with me if I was taking the trip to the capital this weekend.

Firstly, I think everyone and anyone can head to London Fashion Week - even if you aren't gracing the frow of a show it doesn't mean you can't soak up the atmosphere just like everyone else. I actually think that can be the best bit! A lot of brands and companies use the opportunity of the city being busier than ever to provide pop up events and services, sometimes discounts so there is always something fun to get involved in and look at.

When I headed down to LFW a couple of years back, I purely went as I was invited to the Handpicked Media Blogger Suite. I was invited to a couple of shows but they were on the Monday and I was only there for the weekend.. ah well, it wasn't meant to be!

However, should an opportunity drop into your inbox like the Handpicked Media one did for me, I would honestly urge you to take it if you have the resources to do so! I was lucky as I had a bit of money back then so on a whim I decided to go to London, stay in Shoreditch for the night and do a bit of LFW stalking.

I was able to connect with some of my favourite brands and I genuinely look back on the weekend very fondly as an event that I have checked off my to-do list! Somerset House is absolutely buzzing and whilst all the activity isn't there, the most part is and it is unrivalled in terms of people spotting. You never know you may just spy your favourite bloggers and celebs there too!

I think there are a good few staples I would recommend if you are off to LFW - no matter how long your trip you will most likely need the following;
  • Camera, and/or phone and/or tablet (basically all the electricals!)
  • Charger(s) I found a fab backup charger for my iPhone on Amazon that you can use to get two/three full charges from so it's ace if your start to lose juice..
  • Oyster Card/Tube Ticket/Taxi Fare - getting to Somerset House is fairly easy so I'd just ensure you have a variety of ways you can get there and back out again, there are plenty of taxis around but if budget is limited then the tube is really very easy.
  • Depending on what you want to achieve from visiting LFW you may or may not need a notepad. I didn't use mine when I went, I used the notes function on my iPhone and collected bits and bobs of info within there.
  • Business Cards - If you don't have business cards then seriously don't fret. You may only give one or two out at the very most and really that's only if you are heading to events and brands are there. I did take some with me and it was easier than reeling off my email address but please don't feel inferior if you don't have any because you certainly won't look that way!
  • Flat or low heeled shoes - I have news for you. Somerset House and the surrounding area is cobbled. Which means walking in heels is a pain.. all well and good for celebs who are making a beeline from taxi to show but for those of you wanting to wander around, it's worth bearing in mind as you don't want to ruin your experience by being uncomfortable.
  • Toiletries and makeup - mini deodorant, perfume, a bit of makeup to touch up will all be welcomed, trust me. I was lucky and had my makeup done by Bourjois when I went to LFW but in the hustle and bustle, and especially if it's a warm day you will want to just make sure you are looking as lovely as when you first arrived all day.
  • Confidence - this is something I probably didn't have that much of at the time but would really urge anyone wanting to go, to try and summon. Listen to me when I say, you have every right to go to Fashion Week. Before I started blogging, LFW was almost a mythical special event that only really cool people got to attend. Stuff that. If you want to go then go! Hold your head up high and even if its just you on your own (like I was) then you go and enjoy it! Hell, go get a blow dry and own it!!!
  • A spare tote bag or roomy bag - freebies are rife at LFW so milk it and make sure you have room to house any bits you are given!
So that's it! Please let me know if you are heading to the capital and let me know what you think :)

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Manchester Eats: Prezzo Deansgate

On Thursday Evening (after a day of travelling to Belfast) I was invited to try out the new Prezzo Restaurant on Deansgate in Manchester.

I don't think I have ever been to a Prezzo Restaurant before and I have to say I was very impressed with the decor, service and food! Me and my pal opted for a sharing platter to start, then we both had a bunless burger and I had sticky toffee pudding for dessert!

I would highly recommend the restaurant so get booked in this weekend! It is situated on the main Deansgate strip :)

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Ruby Shoesday

Deichmann x Hanneli Mustaparta Collection
I do love to hear about a Blogger Collab and this one is a good'un for all you shoe fans!

Deichmann Shoes have joined forces with Hanneli Mustaparta to create a gorgeous AW15 shoe and boot collection that have paired fashion with affordability! With prices ranging from £14.99 to £39.99 these beauties will not break the bank, and may well form your entire winter footwear wardrobe.

With the collection containing everything from day flats, brogues, boots and a shimmery court shoe, I am really very impressed with how versatile they are.

I opted for the gorgeous over the knee boots that are an absolute steal at £34.99, they are so comfy and I can't wait for the temperature to drop a little so I can get my wear out of them. Quality wise, they are fantastic and I don't think the low price means a compromise in longevity and wearability.

In terms of the rest of the collection, I am particularly drawn to the zipped flatform shoes that are just £24.99, these will look amazing with some ankle grazer jeans, along with shorts or a mini skirt with tights!

I also have to say I think it's amazing to hear of bloggers sharing their style and influence by partnering up with our favourite brands. Hanneli has created something that she can be so proud of and it's awesome to think her blog and hard work has provided her with an opportunity to share her fashion style with Deichmann customers. I really think the collection will be a big hit!

I have included a link to the collection above, let me know your thoughts and I apologise in advance if you just can't decide between them all...

Happy Shopping!


Monday, 14 September 2015

Beauty Personal Shopping at Selfridges Exchange Square

On Friday Evening I had a rather exciting appointment with Charlotte, Selfridges very own Beauty Personal Shopper.

I was whisked into a gorgeous little room just off the main beauty hall where I settled in for a chat about all things beauty. The purpose behind the service is to assist if you are looking for something specific, a new look, to learn about new products, anything really!

Charlotte is Selfridges resident beauty guru, she is not affiliated to any particular brand and can help you stock up the make up bag of your dreams.

I personally think the concept of beauty personal shopping is AMAZING. With so many brands, products and finishes out there, the beauty hall can be a source of anxiety and stressful decision making. I personally love wandering between the brands, but I do think sometimes that it would be nice to just have the exact thing you want, presented in front of you so you can compare and contrast all in one sitting.

If I think of say my mum, she would probably be put off going to the MAC counter as it's loud and very trend lead in terms of the looks their MUAs wear, it's no discredit to their products and that is their sales model, but for someone who doesn't know what they are buying, it probably isn't a very relaxing purchasing environment. This is where Charlotte is worth her weight in gold!

Looking for a red lipstick? Charlotte will go and find you ten to try from all different brands and prices. Want to master contouring but no idea what brand will suit you? Charlotte can source you the products and also teach you how to do it. You might just be a beauty lover and want to hear all about new products that have come in and have a little test and find something that you may not have found yourself (YSL Gold Primer was this scenario for me). She can also find you your flawless foundation and colour match to perfection.

There is nothing really you can't ask Charlotte, she can also go and hunt out a specific product for you and hold it for you, we can't all run in to Selfridges to get our mitts on new limited edition purchases so if you send Charlotte an email she can do the grabbing for you!

Charlotte is really lovely and I genuinely really enjoyed my time with her, I can highly recommend this service, it's free, no obligation to purchase and a nice treat for yourself or a loved one. The only thing I would bear in mind is that the appointments are not designed to be a 'makeover'. You will try out the makeup and know how to use it when you leave but it isn't a makeup lesson as such.

To book in please email or call 07341 070 587.

Monday, 7 September 2015

Sweet Shower Treats

Anyone else enjoy stepping out of the shower and smelling good enough to eat? Just me?! Thought not...

Today's post is a shortie proclaiming my love for Treaclemoon Products.. I have long enjoyed using the Coconut/Vanilla versions as I pick them up from Tesco during my weekly shop, but when I saw Almond Tart I was ALL OVER IT!

Macaroons and cherry/almond scents are my ultimate love but you don't often see them! You can purchase Treaclemoon Products from Tesco and Waitrose Stores and there is a wide variety of flavours on offer and the shower gels normally retail for £2.99*. Each has a really cute description on the front too so be sure to have a read when you are selecting your smell!!

Treaclemoon is also proud to partner with BulliesOut, a fantastic charity that provides help and information to individuals, schools, workplaces, and community settings, to support a vision whereby all young people are able to recognise their self-worth and potential, and flourish in caring environments to ensure a positive future.

Treaclemoon support BulliesOut with monthly donations and have pledged to work with them this year, to help raise further funds and awareness of the charity’s work.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

In the Nude

Here are a few of my favourite nudes..  despite not having the super plumped up lips a la Kylie Jenner, I do think a nude lip product can help you cheat a bigger pout than what mother nature gave you!

You don't have to spend a fortune to get the effect, I use everything from Topshop to Nars, Essence Cosmetics and the new sleek candy balms (which are awesome by the way!)

If matte isn't your style or gloss is more your thang then Bare Minerals can also cater for you!

What are your nudes of choice?

Friday, 4 September 2015

SweetieSal Bakes: Banana Blondies

Here's an absolute fave recipe of mine.. Banana Blondies. It makes the most amazingly gooey dessert treats and they really aren't bad in terms of ingredients! They are also super easy to make for baking-phobes!
  • 2 large ripe bananas (the squishier the better).
  • ½ cup nut butter (I have found peanut butter to taste awesome, but cashew butter and almond butter work very nicely too).
  • ⅓ cup pure maple syrup or honey.
  • ⅓ cup coconut flour.
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract.
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder.
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda.
  • Cinnamon.
  • You can top the blondies how you choose, I have used dessicated coconut in the past or dark chocolate chips or raisins and all have been a nice addition!
How To
  1. Preheat oven to 200/250 degrees.
  2. Grease a baking tray or line with greased paper, alternatively if you are lazy like me use a silicone baking tray!
  3. Place all of the ingredients except the toppings into a blender or food processor. Mix the ingredients using a blender (my nutribullet works quite well but can get a bit cloggy if the bananas aren't super ripe). The mix goes like a sticky paste/batter. I would highly recommend you lick the spoon at this point...
  4. Spreadthe mixture into your baking tray of choice and smooth the top. Sprinkle with chocolate chips or alternative toppings.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for approx. 20-30 mins or until golden brown and the surface feels dry.
  6. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely in the tray. These are easier to remove once they have cooled fully. They also last really well in Tupperware for a good few days.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

My Relaxation Mantra

This post, in association with Spa Seekers is all about #MyRelaxationMantra.

Life moves a million miles an hour, and sometimes time and how quickly it goes can be overwhelming.

My image portrays that for me, relaxation isn't about a bubble bath or an early night (much as they are delightful) it's about spending time doing things that reduce stress. Being outside, laughing with friends, listening to music and letting the tension fade away.

My day to day role involves having to think on my feet and deal with whatever is thrown at me and whilst I absolutely thrive on the fast paced nature and interesting projects that present themselves to me, I physically need relaxation time to be good at what I do.

I will always make time for relaxation and quality me time as I think it is one of the most important things you can do for your mental health and wellbeing.

My week often looks like this and you might be interested as to what I count as relaxation!
  •     Listening to my music on the bus and before going to sleep.
  •     Going to the gym.
  •     Early nights.
  •     Blogging and being creative.
  •     Getting outside for some fresh air.
  •     Using the Meditation App.
So, here's where it's over to you!

Are you a blogger and fancy winning yourself an amazing relaxation trip with SpaSeekers?

The prize is one weekend away to Hoar Cross Hall Spa Hotel for you and a friend, including;
  • A one night stay, including dinner, bed and breakfast.
  • Full use of the extensive leisure and spa facilities and access to the wide programme of exercise and relaxation classes.
  • A 30 min body massage per person.
To enter, all you have to do is create your own inspirational #MyRelaxationMantra image and write an accompanying blog post offering some insight into your relaxation tips and techniques! This is a chance for you to get creative so use your own photography and inspirational mantra and when done, share it across Twitter using the hashtag #MyRelaxationMantra for a chance of winning yourself a relaxing weekend away with a friend!

The competition runs from September 2nd to September 30th.

Please see the full prize details and Terms and Conditions of entry here.
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