Monday, 31 December 2012

Goodbye 2012 Hello 2013

Hello lovelies, 

So this is the last time you'll be hearing from me in 2012 and although nothing really changes in that tiny second it takes to go from one year to the next, I can't ignore the feeling of getting a fresh start and a renewed hope that better things are on the horizon. 

2012: A Recap

2012 is the year that... 'To be confirmed' or 'Pink for flamingos' was born. Whatever you call it, both are crap names and ultimately come from the fact that I couldn't think of anything better and didn't know what the blog would become. 'To be confirmed' reflects the fact that I can't make a decision to save my life. Regardless of the name, I love my little corner of the internet. Writing and reading blogs is my escape from real life, so thank you if you're a part of that.

2012 is the year that...I started to get better. Ok, so it's a long process, but I've felt that this year I have definitely made steps towards beating my anxiety problems and when I look back on this time last year I can see a huge difference. 

2012 is the year that...My oldest friend got pregnant. Shortly followed by my sister. I am so over the moon for both of them. Since my sister's nearly 40 I was wondering if I would ever become an aunty. We have a really small family and there hasn't been a baby born for over a decade. Next year I can look forward to spoiling both a boy and girl. 

2012 is the year that...I started volunteering for charity. It doesn't sound like the most earth shattering breakthrough, but I really really love the two mornings a week when I go in and help in the shop. I'd like to think that even when I become a 'proper grown up' I will still make the time to do something that can make a difference not only to someone/something else but also to me. 

2013: A Plan Que Sera, Sera

There are a thousand and one things that I would like to do/achieve never mind just in 2013, but in life in general. So much so that thinking about it actually scares me. I've come to the realisation over the past few years, during which I've been bogged down by anxiety, that I'm not one of those people for which it's useful to plan ahead. The thought of a one, five or even ten year plan is daunting to me. Resolutions are something I've been thinking about a lot lately. The problem is that sometimes when you make spectacular plans you're often setting yourself up for failure or at least this is how I feel. 

I think more than anything what I want from 2013 is just to be OK. 

Lauren x

Sunday, 30 December 2012

The Christmas Post 2012

Hello lovelies, 

I haven't really taken the pictures I wanted, but I feel like I need to do a Christmas post today to get it out of the way by next year. I love Christmas but I feel a bit conflicted when you say goodbye to one year and hello to another with the decorations still up and Christmas hanging around, so likewise I didn't want to be blogging about Xmas when we're in 2013. 

L-R: Fingerless gloves, Revlon mirror, Next baubles, Lush Hello Gorgeous set, bamboo socks, balls again, what I'm reading, pressies. 
Here's a snapshot of what I got for Xmas. Like my birthday I mostly had money which I have many plans for already, but I also got the odd few bits above. 

Lauren x

Daxon Blogger Opportunity!

Just a post about this blogger opportunity that I read about earlier over on Sophie's blog (which I love btw!). Daxon are giving bloggers the chance to join their network and in return receive a £50 Amazon or Threadless voucher!

A bit about Daxon taken from their website: 

"We are part of Redcats, which is the 3rd largest home shopping organisation in the world. We specialise in top quality clothing, for all occasions, to give you effortless style. We aim to find the perfect fit for you. We don’t believe in compromise when it comes to fashion! "
If you're interested then you'll need to be quick as it finishes tomorrow.

Lauren x 

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Merry Christmas To All And To All A Good Night...

Evening lovelies, 

Just a quickie to say Merry Christmas and all that, even though it's a bit late. Hope it's been a good day. It was a quiet one for me as our family didn't all get together this year and even when we do there still aren't that many of us to be honest. I've been dipping in and out of t'internet all day and love seeing people's Crimbo pics of silly but adorable jumpers and an abundance of pets wearing tinsel, etc :) I'm ending the day watching some TV taped from earlier (OMG at Dowton!) and then tomorrow I'm off to the sales which is either mad or genius, can't decide.

Merry Christmas! 
Lauren x 

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Birthday Bits and Pieces 2012

Hello lovelies, 

Things have been a bit hectic around here and I just haven't got round to blogging this week. I have loads of posts in mind but my energy levels are at an all time low. As soon as I sit down in the evenings I tend to fall asleep and then don't get much further than checking my emails and Facebook. I'm trying to keep up with the blogs I follow, I love the fact that there are loads of Christmas posts around at the moment and lots of haulin' going on. 

Onto my birthday (thurs last week)..... I said I'd blog about what I got. I mostly just received money and vouchers which is great because I'd much rather be able to spend the money on something I want/need rather than have the elderly/male relations who gave them to me trying to choose something and getting it completely wrong. It keeps me happy and it keeps them happy! 
I also got a selection of little bits and bobs, some of which are below.
L-R: Pretty flowery cup, Hello Daughter card, my name in lights!, wax tin, snood, Paris box, hanging frame, tea lights.
 Cute little magnetic box with verbena soap. 
 Beautifully detialed cushion
The duvet cover half the blogosphere has!

I'm in the middle of redoing my bedroom at the moment; off white walls, white furniture, with french country/shabby chic style decor but without looking too fussy if you know what I mean. So far I've done the walls and made a start on painting the furniture but when I'm done these little things will add the finishing touches and go with the look of the room. I'll probably post on this when it happens!

There you go, nothing fancy, but all things I love and appreciate! 

Lauren x

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Xmas Party Outfit Blogger Comp with

Hello lovelies, are hosting another competition for the chance to win £100 of vouchers. All you have to do is choose one of their retailers and put together a Xmas party outfit for £100 or less. 
I chose New Look because they've got some excellent reductions on their party wear and there's a great range. This outfit comes to just under £97!
L-R: Black Top £12, Faux Fur Jacket £34.99, Black Courts £19.99, Sequin Skirt £10, Silver Beaded Clutch £19.99. 

I have a major obsession with sequins at the moment, particularly sequinned skirts. The colour makes this one perfect for the festive season. I think the black top looks quite sophisticated due to the lace insert and sheer sleeves. Don't even get me started on the fur jacket, I would love to own one, it's gorgeous. I finished the outfit off with a pair of classic black courts that you really can't go wrong with and a sparkly art deco style clutch. What do you think?

If you fancy doing this challenge too you can find the details via this link. You'll have to be fast though as tomorrow is the closing date!

Lauren x

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Soap and Glory: The Best of All Gift Set @ Boots

Hello lovelies, 

This is just a quick post to show you what I got today. When I say I got this today what I really mean is that I got my mum to buy it for me for Xmas and I had a quick look at it before she took it away  from me again! There's been a lot of hype around this set and it's sold out online already., For those of you who don't know, it's Boots Star Gift this week which means it's £27 instead of £60. I've never tried any Soap and Glory before (I know, I'm years behind) but this was the perfect opportunity and I can't wait to get it back and try everything out.
So anyway, as I haven't tried any of it yet I can't tell you what it's like or anything, but I wanted to tell you about the vouchers inside. I was really surprised to find that you get nearly 10 different vouchers to use during the first 3 months of 2013. Some are money off and the majority are extra advantage card points when you spend on certain things such as 'facial skincare' or 'indulgent bathing'. These will be so tempting and will give me the excuse to try even more of the range. 
First impressions are that it's a really really good offer. You get a lot of product for your money. Even if you bought the products individually on the 3 for 2 offer at the moment you'd still be spending way more. It works out £3 per item not including the bag so would even be good for splitting up for birthdays or Christmas. 
Before you ask, I don't work for Boots. I just think it's a great offer and am happy that I'm getting it :)

Thank you by the way for the birthday messages I received yesterday, I had a lovely day and will be doing a post with presents etc tomorrow hopefully. 

Lauren x 

P.S. Sorry about the rubbish picture quality, they're a combination of poor lighting and an even poorer photographer.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

What's Occuring? A Catch Up.

Hello lovelies, 

So as I haven't blogged for a week I thought I'd do a post with some random bits and bobs in it about my week and what I've been doing recently. Time seems to be flying, I can't believe it's already the 8th of December and I haven't got my decorations up or done my shoppoing yet - I wish I could say I'm an early bird but I'm not. I'd like to get it done by the 13th which is my birthday :) Hopefully I'll get that sorted in the next couple days. 

Here are a few pics from my week, I've just discovered, it's fab!
1. Giant fake tree at a local shop, so tall I couldn't get the top in the pic. 
2. I can't get enough of these M&S biscuits, they're so moreish!
3. Every year our village has a wreath making morning at the hall and this is the one we made this morning.
4. What I'm reading at the moment.

The best bit of my week was on Thursday when I went with my sister to her 20 week baby scan. I haven't stepped foot in a hospital for nearly 10 years because they really set off my anxiety and I get very panicky, I normally avoid them at all costs but this was something  I was adament I was going to do. I'm so so glad that I went with her because it was amazing. This is the one where they check to see if everything's formed properly and the sonographer spent a long time looking at different organs from all sorts of angles and explaining to us what she was looking for and what we were looking at. We got to see the heart (which they check for holes), kidneys, brain, etc. We even saw the lips because they check for signs of clefting. 
Towards the end of the session my sister was asked if she wanted to find out the sex. She's been back and forth on whether she wanted to know but finally decided that she would find out...

It's a girl!

I'm so excited for her arrival in April because it will be the first time I'm an aunty and we don't have any kids in our family yet :) 

On a completely unrelated note, I also wanted to share this that I came across on Pinterest because it's popped up in my head a lot since I saw it and it's really good advice to bear in mind if you're a bit of a worrier like me.
so true

Hope you enjoy the weekend whatever you're up to and speak to you soon :)

Lauren x 

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Review: 17 Photo Flawless Primer

Like many bloggers, I got the Porefessional sample free with Glamour mag earlier this year. I really really liked it and realised how much difference a primer can make to your overall make up. No matter how good it is I really couldn't afford to purchase the full size so I settled for this much cheaper alternative. 
The primer costs just £4.99 and as you know with Boots the make up is often on offer (I bought it as part of a buy one get one half price offer). At the moment if you spend £5.99 on 17 you get a free smokey eye palette. 
The primer itself looks like silicone but feels really silky and is so so soft. It blends onto your skin to make what feels like a protective layer and definitely makes a better base for make up. I'd also agree with the claim that it minimises pores, I presume it stops your make up clogging them up too. It does come in quite a small tube but I think considering the price it's still great value for money and a little of this goes a long way. This is something I'd definitely repurchase.

Do you use primer? Which brand do you prefer?

Lauren x 

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Recent Primark Jumper Buys December 2012

Hello Lovelies, 

So you couldn't have missed the flooding that was going on in the UK last week, but did you feel the sudden cold snap that came after? Or was that just down south? Anyway, I've been thinking for a while that I need more jumpers so I made the trip to my local Primark hoping I would find something warm and cheap to buy. 

I think I must have been in the right place at the right time because they had a sale rail where I picked up these two:

This one was £16 down to £7! It's not the colours I would normally go for but I think it looks quite good on and it's a great fit. It even goes with the nail varnish I had on at the time. 

This one was £5 down from £12 and is really comfy to wear. My mum says it looks like a navajo type pattern?!

Last but not least I picked up this cropped sweater which was £6. I really like the elbow patches and the cropped sweaters like this are a good length to go well with my skater skirts. 

I also picked up this Boughs of Holly candle for £1, I have a few of these little candle jars now, they're good.

So that was my budget Primark shop. Have you picked up anything good in there recently?

Lauren x

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Christmas Treats for Me and You

Another day another gift list. Or at least that's how it seems when I log onto my blogger feed. Don't get me wrong, I like looking at them, but I just thought I'd do something different. So with that in mind I've picked out a few things that I think are perfect pre-Christmas treats to get yourself. 
 Cath Kidston Mug, £6. 
Christmas Cushion, ,£3.99 Dunelm Mill. 
With Love At Christmas, £4.33 Amazon.
Ciate Advent Calendar, £38, Selfridges
Yankee Christmas Tree medium jar, £15.49,

Lauren x

Monday, 26 November 2012

NOTD M&S Limited Collection in Lilac

Back in the summer I did a little haul post with some things I'd bought in the M&S sale. This was one of them but I've only just got round to using it. It's called Lilac and it's really quite an interesting colour as it's very highly pigmented with a gold shimmer. From some angles it looks like a flat light purple but as soon as a bit of light catches it it instantly picks up the iridescent gold tone. 

It's quite different than most the other polishes I have, I can't stop looking at it. I used two coats and it went on really nicely. Although the brush was quite short and stubby it was one of the easiest polishes to apply that I've ever used and it lived up to it's promise as being quick dry. I've used a few of these M&S polishes now and would definitely recommend them.

Lauren x 

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Winter Tag

Winter Tag!

I saw this tag over on Rose-Marie's blog and thought I'd do it too :)

1. Favourite Winter Nail Polish?
I'm really loving my new Natural Collection Black Cherry that I posted about here. Such a bargain and the perfect winter colour.

2. Favourite Winter lip product?
Good old Palmer's cocoa butter lip balm, great for keeping the chaps away ;)

3. Most worn Winter clothing piece?
Aside from my quilted jacket which is super snug, it would have to be my oversized owl jumper (pic here).

4. Most worn Winter accessory?
A scarf which I bought from Primark a few years back. It goes with pretty much everything and has had  so much wear for the few quid I paid.

5. Favourite winter scent/candle?
I haven't even burned it yet, but I have a Yankee 'Christmas Tree' candle waiting to be used that smells so so good. I love the smell of Christmas trees and as we don't have a real one it will make things a bit more authentic!

6. Favourite Winter beverage?
You can't beat hot chocolate with marshmallows. I don't drink tea or coffee so I can get away with drinking a lot of this :)

7. All time favorite Christmas/Holiday movie?
This is tough. The first two Home Alone films always remind me of Christmas and I've watched them year in year out. For something in your face Christmassy I'd have to say Elf. 

8. Favourite Christmas/Holiday song?
Fairytale of New York. The lyrics are excellent and completely different to all the other Christmas songs. 

9. Favourite Holiday food/treat?
I know they're not traditional, but Cheeselets. You don't tend to see them the rest of the year so I have to get my fill while they're around. 

10. What is your favourite Christmas decoration this year? 
It will probably be the tree, Christmas isn't Christmas without a tree!

11. What's at the top of your Christmas list?
Nothing that exciting but that's because it's my birthday two weeks before and I'm hopefully getting a camera. 

12. What are your plans for the holidays this year?
I'm not sure what's happening on Christmas day yet but I've got a few things planned in the run up, including my first ever Christmas market and attempting to make a cake!

If you do the tag too let me know!

Lauren x 

Monday, 19 November 2012

Cosmetics Haul November 2012

I'm still trying not to spend or at least keep it to a minimum, but here are some things I picked up in town last week. 

I really needed some shampoo but knew I had an Avon one on the way, so I bought this double pack of shampoo and conditioner for £1.49 in Savers.
The Chit chat nail varnish was from Poundland, as far as I know it's their own range of make-up. They had this in quite a few different colours and I really liked this blue.
17 Miracle matte powder £5.49 - having a bit of a problem with the balance of my combination skin at the moment so hopefully this will control my shininess! Make-up is buy one get one half price at the moment in Boots so I also got 17 Photo Flawless Primer - this is my replacement for my Porefessional sample. I'm not expecting it to be as good but it's a fraction of the price at £5 and because of the offer I only paid £2.50.
Natural Collection Corrector Stick - I've seen this on other blogs and wanted to try it out because I'm intrigued. It was £2ish and with that I got a black cherry nail varnish which ended up costing around £1.
Last but not least, Burt's lip balm with pomegranate oil. I like to have a lot of lip balms on the go so I can have one in each bag/pocket/room pretty much.

Not bad for around £15. I just need to get my arse into gear and buy some blimmin Christmas presents now.

Lauren x 

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Empties Novemberish 2012

Hello lovelies,

I really don't get through that many products and when I do it's normally things like shampoo and shower gel, but here are my empties from the past couple months. 
 Sure Deodorant ~ I love the smell of this (flowers and apricots), but I don't think I'll bother buying it again. It does the job, but I've had better.
Avon Smooth Minerals Foundation ~ This foundation leaves my skin a bit too dewy and is slightly too dark for me now that it's winter, despite the fact that it's meant to be Ivory!
Avon Ideal Shade Light Make Up ~ I bought this ages back because it was going really cheap, bit of a mistake really as I need more coverage than this can offer.
Avon Supershock Mascara ~ I've been a fan of this mascara for a long time, but I never stay loyal to one mascara, I'm always on the hunt for something better.
The Porefessional Sample ~ This was the Glamour freebie, I absolutely love it but can't afford the real size one so have had to replace it with a cheap 17 primer.
Palmer's Cocoa Butter Lip Balm ~ My go to for a plain(ish) lip balm, cheap and effective.
Dove Daily Care Shampoo ~ I like this and would buy it again, feels like it really moisturises your hair.
Avon Nail Enamel Remover ~ This works, but is around £4 which I think is too much for one that just works. It doesn't smell too great either, I've replaced it with a Boots one that's a bearable smell.
Sanex Pro Hydrate Bath ~ I have really dry skin so have to watch what I use in the bath, anything too overly soapy is a nightmare. This is great though, I'd buy it again.

I wish I had some more exciting empties to share, but unless I win the lottery it's not likely!

Lauren x 

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

NOTD Natural Collection's Black Cherry

The title of this post is pretty self explanatory. This is one of the things I picked up in Boots the other day as part of their buy one get one half price make-up offer. I was after the green tone correcting stick which was £1.99 and this was £1.89 but in the end it worked out as 90 something pence instead :) I was stuck between getting this one and the raspberry shade which was a bit lighter but still looked like a deep berry colour. This one is a very rich colour with a slightly golden toned shimmer. 

I'm impressed because I thought being so cheap the quality might be lacking but it actually went on really well and it has a lovely shiny finish. I'll definitely be looking at the other colours they do when I'm next in Boots.

Lauren x 

Friday, 9 November 2012

Cake Decorating: My First Go

Hello lovelies, 

Last week it was my sister's birthday and I'd said I'd make her a cake. I've never really got into the whole decorating side of cake-making but I've seen some absolutely fabulous cakes online with figurines of people, dogs, etc made from modelling paste. These are great but a bit too ambitious for my first go, so I got  a couple of books from the library with the hope of mastering a few basics.

Pictures from The Cake Decorating Bible by Juliet Sear

Pictures from Good Housekeeping's The Book Of Cake Decorating
Both were really good and full of inspiration, but for the first time I wanted to try something really simple. I bought a packet of ready to roll white icing and a couple of tubes of gel food colouring. First off I rolled out a block of white which I used to simply cover the cake. I then kneaded the food colouring into some of the remaining icing, rolled it out, and cut shapes from it. 
It was all a bit quick and slapdash, for most of last week I was streaming with cold so put off making the cake until late wednesday night when I was feeling a bit better and less likely to make it germ ridden! Thursdays I volunteer at the shop so as soon as I'd finished It was home for a quick bite to eat, decorate the cake, and out again to get to my sister's house for presents and cake. 
The finished result was a bit rough around the edges and you can see I'm an amateur but even so I was quite pleased because I know in the future I can do it again and each time will be a bit better. 

It didn't even make it onto the cake stand properly before going to my sister's as I was too scared it would break if I moved the baking parchment, it was a bit awkward and the icing was already showing signs of cracking. She was really pleased with it (I think!) and just appreciated that I'd made the effort. 

So there it is, my first venture into the world of cake decorating!

Lauren x 

Monday, 5 November 2012

Beauty Buys On A Budget (non make-up)

I've been a bit strapped for cash lately and am really trying not to spend because I haven't bought any Christmas pressies yet and that's a priority. It's my birthday next month too so I'm holding off buying things I want and hoping I'll receive them! So I've been super cautious when it comes to spending. 
Left to right, I bought:

Skin Therapy pore strips, £1 for 6, Wilkinsons. I've not used these before but really like the face wipes that are the same make.

Timotei grape and rose shower gel, 50p, Wilkinsons. I grabbed this because it was so cheap and smelt nice.

George nail varnish in 'Jackpot'. It was £1half price so I couldn't resist.

Johnson's baby shampoo, 69p, Lidl. Another thing that was on offer. I'd been after some brush cleaner for my real techniques set but heard that baby shampoo also does the job.

George nail varnish in 'Midnight Black', £1. Just another thing I was in need of as I don't have a black in my collection.

Boots conditioning nail polish remover, £1.30. I wanted one that didn't smell awful and this one's good. It has aprictot kernel oil in it and I can smell it on my hands afterwards.

So that's my boring little inexpensive beauty buys from last week. I'm being extremely good. 

Lauren x

Saturday, 3 November 2012

October Wins 2012

Over the last month or so I've been lucky enough to win or else receive some of the prizes I've previously won. 
First up I had a small parcel package and opened it to find loads of those little foamy things and right in the middle was this set of nail varnishes! I've never won anything before that I hadn't known was coming so it was a great surprise and I love it. 

It's a shame I didn't have these earlier on in the year, but I don't see why you can't wear pastely colours in winter too. They're all so pretty :)

Next up is this sweet little tea pot keyring which I won from the Marks and Spencer free magazine that they do. Around the time of the Queen's Jubilee they had lots of things you could win by emailing them your details, so that's what I did.

Lastly, I won this Max Factor 2000 calorie mascara from their Facebook page. I'll review this once I've tried it out.

Lauren x 

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Sunday Summary 28th October 2012

Hello my lovelies, I'm back!

I've got some proper posts lined up but for now you'll have to make do with a sweeping SS. I've not blogged for a week or so, and also not read as many as I usually do so I need to get my fix.  Don't get me wrong, I love the WWW but every now and then I get a bit guilty about spending so much time with my beloved plastic machine. With this in mind I've had a bit of a computer break and have managed to get so much more stuff done. Last week I did a car boot with my mum (I don't have a car) and pocketed £30 but also got rid of lots, it feels so good to get rid of things! I met up with a friend who I've not seen for 3 years! I went shopping (of course). I did a bit extra than my normal volunteering at the charity shop. I did some more shopping. I helped take up a carpet. I helped lay a new floor. I shopped again. I stayed with my sister (we watched 'Friends with Benefits' last night, worth a watch if you enjoy rom-coms). I caught up with family from up north.
Now I'm curled up inning (and pining for some of the clothes) my heart out.

You know my no picture post policy, here are some of my re-pins...




I want these shorts!  love this look.

fall colors + textures

Lauren X