Sunday, 29 June 2014

136. Improving OnlyBecci Results

Last week, I asked my readers and Twitter followers to give up five minutes to help improve Only Becci, by completing a quick survey which asked how often they read my blog, what they thought of my content/style/photography, what they'd like me to introduce onto the blog, etc, and I had a great response.

Everybody who completed the survey said they felt I updated regularly enough, which is a big relief as I always feel that my blogging schedule is so erratic and sometimes pretty naff.

The vast majority of people said they'd been reading my blog for six months or less.

Most people said they caught up with my posts once a week, however 42% of people said they read every post. Nobody said they read less than once a week.

People rated my writing style as their favourite aspect of the blog (57% of people rated it as excellent - thank-you!), with content coming a close second, and photography in third/last place. Only one person rated my photography as 'poor' but, as many of my photographs are taken on my iPhone and I very rarely edit them, I can't take this personally. But it gives me an idea of what I need to work on.

And finally, when I asked what people would most like to see me introduce to the blog, it was an overwhelming majority vote for plus-size fashion!

I'm really happy with the feedback that I received on my survey. It's been very humbling, and also given me a little bit of guidance on where to take my blog next. 

In the near future, I'm going to be introducing fashion posts, and also branching out onto YouTube. 

I'm really enjoying blogging and the blogger community, at the moment; I feel like I'm finally finding not only my feet, but my voice, and I'm feeling more confident with my blog - so much so that I even created a Facebook page (head over and gimme a like, if you fancy) and invited my real life friends to like it (big step for me!). I'm pretty excited to see what the future holds for OnlyBecci...

Friday, 27 June 2014

135. Beauty // Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Elusive

I'm always drawn to two things when I pop into Superdrug or Boots: nail polish and lip sticks. As I very rarely change my base make-up, I like to play around with lip and nail colours instead, so my collection of nail polishes and lip sticks are forever growing.

I've recently rediscovered a lip colour that I purchased months ago, and it's reignited my love for it! The product in question is Revlon's Colorburst Matte Balm in the shade 'Elusive'. 
The Colorburst Matte Balm's are gorgeous; they look just like one of Clinique's Chubby Sticks. The actual balm itself is almost velvety and has a lovely refreshing quality when applied. Elusive even smells deliciously of peppermint which is a little added bonus.
(L: Three swatches, R: One swatch)

The colour itself is like a deep rosy pink, it's perfect for those of us with pale skin and fair hair, and I think it compliments my colouring perfectly which is why it's become my 'go to' lip colour.
I think Elusive has a fantastic staying quality too and it lasts hours on me, even when I've eaten. It has - as you'd expect from the name - a lovely, matte look but doesn't feel dry on your lips at all, and can be built up for a brighter tint. 

For just £7.99 (or 2 for £10 currently at Boots) you really can't go wrong!

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

134. Lifestyle // Seeking Clarity

Those of you who follow me on Twitter will know that I've recently been having a tough time with my anxiety (which I wrote about here). The last couple of months have been tough; I took the decision to leave my job, I lost my grandfather to cancer and I lost a lot of the stability that had previously been in my life - I think this is what has triggered my anxiety; having no control.
I decided to take the bull by the horns and tackle my anxieties, so that I can move forwards, so I'm spending a week at my mum's gorgeous home just outside of the Lake District in Sedbergh, Cumbria, where I've been taking time out for myself; reflecting on things that have happened, thinking about what my next steps should be, researching into courses and jobs and, generally, trying to relax and enjoy myself; discovering, along the way, who I am and what I want.
So far, so good. I find it so therapeutic out here; I feel as though I'm somewhat disconnected from everything back home - despite still being in touch with my family, friends and S - and I find that I can channel much greater clarity away from the distractions of home. I've also been able to talk at length with my Mum and Grandma about what I'm thinking about and their support and advice has been invaluable, giving me the belief that I can achieve whatever I want to.
Although it's only been three days, I believe that I'm developing some really exciting ideas for my career and life, and I feel positive that - once I've done some further research and am sure of the path which I need to follow - I can set myself realistic goals and, over time, achieve them with great success.
I'll be writing a post shortly, once everything is decided, about what I'd like to do in terms of my career, relationships, mental health, hobbies, blog and education. I'm excited to get started and to share my journey with you.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

133. Beauty // Bargain Nail Polishes Ft. Barry M & Jess for Poundland

I've been trying for years to stop biting my nails. I've always wanted gorgeous, long, manicured nails to make my stumpy fingers look a little less sausage-like.. However, it's never really happened, and so my nails have always remained relatively short.

Despite the lack of length or nice shape, I really enjoy to paint my nails and my nail polish collection is - without a doubt - the largest of all my make-up products. The most expensive nail polish I've ever bought was OPI's 'Vampsterdam' which set me back around a tenner, but I wasn't overly impressed and time after time, I find myself browsing the Barry M section in Superdrug.

What I love about Barry M's nail polishes is the range. There are so many different polishes to choose from; from their gelly range, to matte, silk, the Aquarium collection, etc. They are all awesome. I find the range of colours to be fantastic, there's something for everyone - whether you're looking for a bright neon to emphasize your tan, or an elegant nude, you can find whatever you need. And do you know the best bit? They're cheap as chips (coming in, generally, at either £1.99 on £2.99 each - although Superdrug often have special offers on!)

I recently picked up one of Barry M's matte polishes, in the shade 'Espresso' which is basically just black, exactly what I wanted. The nail polish is a lovely, thick consistency and although it takes a couple of coats, by the end it looks fantastic. It almost looks like leather, which I think is pretty cool. You can always add a glossy top coat too, but that sort of defeats the object.  
I also popped into my local Poundland the other day and had a look through their own brand collection of nail polishes. The collection is called 'Jess' and is only available in Poundland and - guess what?! - they're only £1 each. Bargain. 

I chose the 'Candy Crush' top coat which is a gorgeous, glitzy mix of glitter and sequins, in various shades of pink, and tried it on over my new matte nails and I can't get over how pretty it looks (even on short, chewed nails, like mine!) It looks almost like an outer-space effect, if you know what I mean?! There's probably a "proper" word for it...
In short (like my nails - pahaha... sorry), I think that this just goes to show that you don't need to spend a fortune of fancy nail polishes, when the high-street and even the budget options do such a good job! 

Do you think you would try Poundland's nail polish collection?
What's your favourite bargain nail polish?

Saturday, 21 June 2014

132. Improving OnlyBecci

I'm currently working on developing my blog and would love some feedback from you lovely lot. If you could spare five minutes to follow the link below & complete my survey, I'd be really grateful.


Friday, 20 June 2014

131. Beauty // Scented Guru Review

One of my very best of friends recently sent me the link to a website I'd never heard of, because she thought their products would be right up my street. She wasn't wrong.

Scented Guru is an awesome bath product company, run by the lovely James who was so, so helpful on Twitter when I was choosing my products and placing my order. Here's what James has to say: "I have always liked soaps and bath bombs because I was always shopping at Lush, but I thought I would like to sell my own soaps and that's when I established in July 2013 my company Scented Guru. My aim is to provide customers with the best possible service and with a hassle-free approach to get your order delivered directly to your door with our peace of mind and fast delivery service. By providing Fresh handmade Low Cost Soaps, Bath Bombs, Bath Salts, Hair Shampoo, Gift Sets and along with much more. Ancient Wisdom produces high quality ethical aromatherapy products and scrumptious bathroom items which are made from high quality ingredients in imaginative ways to produce traditional recipes with contemporary twists. You can smell us from miles away, the sweetest smelling company in the north."

All of Scented Guru's wide array of products are handmade and never tested on animals, which is reassuring, they're also ethically sourced which is another box ticked. Plus, the price is amazing - their products are so affordable and beat the likes of Lush hands down.

I was so excited to see just how many choices there were for the products. There are so many different scents for the bath bombs and soaps, gifts for men and even some really quirky bath/personal hygiene products that I'd never heard of, or even imagined, before!
First up, I decided to pick a bath bomb as I'm definitely a bath-girl, rather than a shower-girl. I love nothing more than a long soak in a bubble bath, so when I spotted the Lemongrass & Mandarin Bath Bomb, I knew it was the one for me. The scent of mandarins, oranges and clementines are one of my absolute favourite scents, and the lemongrass adds a lovely exotic twist. I tried the bath bomb out last week, to refresh myself after the flight home from Portugal, and it was amazing.

The bath bomb fizzed tremendously and there were no little 'bits' floating around in my bath. The scent was delicious and the bath turned a lovely peachy colour. It was just so nice. I'd definitely buy again, I'd love to try the Apple Pie & Custard Bath Bomb. 

Next up, was one of the products I'd never heard of before - paper soap. Intriguing, right? I wasn't really sure what this was, so I thought I'd chuck it in my basket and try it out on a whim. I opted for the Coconut Paper Soap (which I also can't find on the website anymore - but there are loads more to choose from, such as lavender, rose, etc). When they arrived, I thought they were so cool - you get twenty sheets of the soap in a handy little compact, making them ideal for keeping in your handbag or taking on holiday, or even to a festival. They are just little sheets of soap, and the smell of the coconut soap was divine.
You put one on the palm of your hand, add warm warm and then just rub your hands together, as you would if you were washing your hands with 'normal soap' - it works up into a wonderful lather and left my hands feeling really clean and smelling incredible. For just £1.99 for 20 sheets, I'd totally recommend them - they're ideal to carry around with you.

Last up was another intriguing product - one that I've seen Lush produce, but their price tag had always put me off - Shampoo Bars. I went for the Thyme & Mint Shampoo Slice (for Anti-Dandruff) and I've been so pleasantly surprised. They also have different shampoo slices for hair types; from Lavendar & Rosemary for Damaged Hair to Ginger for Faster-Growing Hair. The Shampoo Slices cost just £2.49 each, and I think you'll get loads of washes out of each bar.

I've used this shampoo bar twice now - once without conditioner and once with conditioner - are the results have been great both times. Not a fleck of dandruff (which I'm prone to with some shampoos) and my hair has been looking great. I didn't use conditioner the first time as I wanted to test the product out without adding any other products in which may make it look better or worse. Normally, if I don't condition my hair, it looks brittle and is prone to tangling - but, no word of a lie, my hair was smooth and tangle-free. I'm seriously impressed.
I'm so, so glad that I discovered (with the help of my wonderful friend, Becca) Scented Guru as I couldn't recommend them enough. The products are brilliant quality, the range is fantastic & there are so many products that I can't wait to try out, incredibly low prices, delivery was quick & painless, and James is always there to help on Twitter if you need him. 


Have you ever tried Scented Guru?
Do you think you will?

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

130. Travel // My Dream Anniversary Weekend in Edinburgh

Recently I've been thinking a lot about mine and S's 5 year anniversary. Although we won't be celebrating this special occasion until November (what can I say? I'm a forward-planner!) I can't help myself from scouring websites such as TripAdvisor and, looking for perfect accommodation, fun places to visit & tasty eateries. 

For our three year anniversary back in November 2012, we headed up to Edinburgh and spent three wonderful days sightseeing and enjoying ourselves. We visited the castle, zoo and spent hours just wandering, taking in the breathtaking architecture and enjoying the sights. 
I would love to return to Edinburgh for this years celebrations but this time incorporate a little luxury into our stay. For starters, we need an incredible hotel - last time, we stayed in some lovely apartments, but this time I would love to stay in a plush hotel. If money were no option, I'd opt for the Balmoral Hotel which is in the most ideal location, and looks incredible. It is situated on Princes Street, ideal for Edinburgh's best shops and a lovely walk through Princes Street Gardens. The rooms look modern and elegant, and it even has a champagne bar and spa! 
Next up, we need to consider entertainment and days out. I think the hotel spa would get a great deal of use as it looks stunning, and I'm sure we would enjoy a spa day during our break, but I'd also love to get out and about and explore. Our anniversary actually falls on Bonfire Night (or Guy Fawkes Night) which is a huge celebration here in the UK. I heard about the extensive Meadowbank Fireworks Display which takes place in Edinburgh each year, and I would love to attend - the thought of cuddling up together, all cosy in our scarves and hats, whilst watching the glittering fireworks makes my heart go all gooey. I'm a romantic, can't you tell?
We missed out on the Edinburgh Dungeons last time we were in the city, but it's something I've been dying to see! I've visited the London Dungeons and I thought they were so much fun although I was absolutely terrified the entire way through! Tickets are only £10.95 when you buy online, which I think is a bargain, and it looks like there is loads to do!
I'd also love to check out the Scottish Parliament buildings, Camera Obscura and Holyrood Palace!
Food is, of course, an incredibly important aspect of a holiday for me! I love nothing more than to gorge on tasty goodies whilst I'm away - if you can't enjoy yourself and let loose on holiday then when can you?! I've been eyeing up The Mussel & Steak Bar on Facebook for quite some time... They're currently in the process of opening up a new restaurant on Jeffrey Street (in addition to the one already open in Grassmarket, Edinburgh) so we'd be spoilt for choice on where we fancied eating. The menu includes culinary delights such as sirloin steak, scallops with pesto, seafood coconut curry, shellfish pasta, oh, I could go on and on! Don't even get me started on the desserts - chocolate torte, anyone?

I also have to add that I wouldn't say no to a cheeky pub crawl up Edinburgh's famous Royal Mile!

What do you think of my dream anniversary weekend?
Have you ever visited Edinburgh?
How did/would you celebrate your anniversary?

Monday, 16 June 2014

129. Beauty // Summer Saviours

Today I'm going to share two of my must-have beauty products for the summer. These products were my saviours whilst I was on holiday in Portugal earlier this month.
First up is Schwarzkopf 'got2b beach matt texturizing salt spray' which aims to create a mermaid look, beach wave hairstyle. 

I've heard a lot about salt sprays recently, and when I spotted this one on offer in Superdrug, I thought I'd give it a try. I used it near enough everyday on holiday as my hair was drying so quickly in the heat that I didn't need to use a hairdryer, so I simply spritzed about ten sprays of the salt spray on and let the wind and sun do the rest.

The result was actually pretty impressive. I have naturally wavy hair but the spray left it looking tousled, with individual curls, and I didn't even have to run the hairbrush through my usually tatty hair. My hair felt soft, rather than crunchy and brittle, too. 

The only downside was that, at the end of the day, it was quite hard to brush it out - but I guess you get that with most hair products, especially if you've applied it directly to wet hair without brushing it first. 

If you're heading off on a hot holiday this year, or simply want a low-maintenance, beach-style look, I'd recommend giving got2b beach matt texturizing salt spray a go!

I don't like to wear much make-up when it's hot, as I always feel like my skin ends up looking patchy, with huge pores and big shiny patches! But, at the same time, I find the idea of leaving the house without make-up on incredibly daunting. 

I have a red tint to my skin naturally, as well as a couple of unsightly spots, so I knew that I couldn't leave my skin completely uncovered - that's where SEVENTEEN Blemish Balm BB Cream (with SPF 25 - yay!) came to my rescue. 

I chose the shade medium as I had a spray tan the day before my holiday, and I found the colour to be a great match. It was slightly darker than the rest of me, but it was easily blendable and covered all my pores and blemishes. It gave me a lovely, summery glow, with even coverage, but to the naked eye you wouldn't even be able to tell I was wearing any product.

As my spray tan faded I started to mix a touch of my usual foundation in with the BB Cream, so that it matched my natural skin tone better, and this worked a dream too.

I used the BB Cream everyday and it lasted all day, throughout the heat. For the price (just £6.99 for 30ml) I'd definitely recommend this incredible BB Cream, which I think I'll be using all summer instead of my more expensive, heavier foundation!

Saturday, 14 June 2014

128. Lifestyle // Holiday Reads

As mentioned in my previous post, I've just returned from an amazing week in the Algarve, which was spent sunbathing, swimming, eating delicious food and - of course - reading.

I'm always looking for inspiration and recommendations of books to take with me on holiday, so I thought I'd share the books that I read and enjoyed this summer, with you. I managed to get through seven books in seven days, so I'm going to share a few of them with you today...

The Three by Sarah Lotz*

I was kindly sent Sarah Lotz' new book to review (thank-you!) Now, I'm not usually into thrillers/mystery and I hate conspiracy theories, but I loved this book. 

The gist of the novel is that four passenger planes crash, on four different continents, all within 24 hours. Strange? Yup. Want to know something even stranger? Somehow, three out of the four planes have only one surviving passenger, and on each plane it's a child. 
Through a series of different mediums, from online messages, newspaper articles and interviews, we are exposed to the aftermath of the devastation and these mysterious children who have survived. As the story progresses, each child begins to exhibit bizarre and unnerving behaviour, which leads to many conspiracy theories, such as believing the children are aliens, or it's a sign of the rapture, being thrown about. 

With a huge international media interest, the children and their families are forced into hiding, but this cannot save them from the public - especially those who believe that these children are not just children - and the public's trust, as well as these children's guardians faith, begins to waver. 

I literally could not put this book down; it's intensely gripping, wonderfully written and so interesting. Although the ending is rather ambiguous, it really makes you think. I'd whole heartedly recommend this book to anybody, whether you like thrillers or not! 

The book is available to buy on Amazon or you can check out the trailer here

I was recommended this book and, at first glance, it appeared to be just my cup of tea! I love books set in different countries and cultures, as I enjoy reading about people from all walks of lives, and hearing a side of a story that I'd never normally be exposed to.

The protagonist in this biographical novel, ex-hairdresser Debbie, leaves her comfortable but unexciting live in America, and travels to Afghanistan to help in any way she can. Within a short amount of time, she realises that she loves the country and it's people, and wants to help the women there as much as she can.

It is from this dream, that the Kabul Beauty School is born. Debbie sets up a beauty school, enabling local women to gain a qualification, earn money and, most importantly, their independence in a country where women are severely repressed. 

However, as you'd expect, it isn't all plain sailing and Debbie and the other characters, whom you really warm to throughout the novel, have many trials and tribulations to overcome. We hear the stories of many of these Afghan women and it's wonderful to hear it from, what is essentially, their perspective.

I have to admit that I didn't particularly enjoy this book, despite the glowing recommendations from friends and online. There was something about the authors style of writing that just didn't appeal to me - it just didn't seem like it was written by a 'writer,' if that makes any sense! I did love to hear about these women's struggles and how they overcame them, however and I believe that this book will be an enjoyable read for many people.

I recently read (and loved) Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, which you can read my review of here, so I couldn't wait to get stuck into Purple Hisbiscus when I spotted it on my mums bookshelf.

I managed to get through this book in just a few hours as I could not put it down, here's why... Set in Nigeria, the story revolves around a fifteen year old girl, Kambili, who lives with her wealthy, generous but controlling father, a religious fanatic and businessman, her subsmissive but supportive mother, and her brave, protective brother. 

Kambili's life is meticulously controlled and organised by her father, to the extent that she has no social life, has allocated time for prayer, study and even listening to the radio, and has seen very little of the outside world, beyond school, home and the church.

It isn't until Kambili and her brother are sent to stay with their Aunt, that their perceptions and desires begin to stray from what their father has taught them. Laughter, freedom and love, fills their Aunt's house and they find themselves exposed to emotions that they hadn't experienced within their fathers' strict, regimented world.

It's a beautiful story about love and growing up, but with religion, abuse, war and even murder, added into the mix. It's a realistic, emotive and touching story that I'd urge anybody to read.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

127. Travel // A Week in Portugal

Oh, it's good to be back in the UK, snuggled up in my cosy bed with a cup of tea and a slice of marmite on toast. I really do miss my home comforts whilst I'm away. 

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you'll know that I've just spent an absolutley perfect week in sunny Portugal. I thought I'd share a few of my holiday snaps and a quick run through of what S and I got up to whilst we were away. Warning: this post is very photo-heavy. 

We flew out from Newcastle International Airport, arriving at our gorgeous apartment (Quintas das Figueirinhas, near the fishing town of Armacao de Pera) at around 9.30pm. We quickly settled in, shared a bottle of wine and headed off to bed for a good nights rest, before our first 'proper day' in the Algarve.
We arose fairly early on our first morning and had a delicious continental breakfast, consisting of lots of bread, croissants, fruit and cold meats. Then we decided to take a dip in the pool which was freezing, I repeat: freezing, but lovely after a while. In the afternoon, we headed into town (taking full advantage of the free shuttle service on offer!) and had a wander along the promenade, taking in the scenery, checking out the local bars (I'd thoroughly recommend Pedro's - they do a mean Pina Colada and an awesome hot dog!) and dipping our toes in the sea. 
The next day, after our compulsory swim, read & stroll down the promenade, we decided it was time for lunch and we had the most amazing meal at a lovely fish restaurant called Bombordo, I opted for the tuna steak which was divine, whilst Shane had some weird big fish thing (I have no idea what it was...) and we were served a side dish of octopus which was... interesting... it was surprisingly nice actually, but very chewy! For dessert, we found a lovely little ice-cream parlour serving traditional gelato but in a huge variety of flavours, so I opted for one scoop of Kinder Bueno and one scoop of Ferrerro Rocher. My mouth is watering at the thought of it. Although it was a slightly cloudy day, it was still hot enough to relax at Pedro's with (yet another) cocktail and watch the world go by. 
On our third day, we decided to stay in the resort and have a bit of a lazy day. This consisted of me reading two books, messing about in the pool & sunbathing on our patio terrace. We were luckily just a minute away from the cafe, restaurant and bar, meaning that we didn't have to walk far for our next bottle (or two) of wine. 
It wasn't until the fourth day that we decided to walk down to our nearest beach which turned out to be an absolutely stunning cove beach, with the most incredible views and a lovely restaurant where I had a delicious vegetable tagliatelle. 
On the fifth day, we headed back down to the cove beach and swam around in the sea (which was even colder than the pool!) before sunbathing on the white, sandy beach for several hours and having a spot of lunch at a lovely restaurant on the beach, overlooking the rest of the holiday makers and the dazzling, blue seas. We also got to meet a little turtle, a huge snake and a massive lizard that day too - to say I was uncomfortable, would be a massive understatement!
Day six and I was suffering from some serious chaffing. Sorry, TMI I know, but my God it hurt like a b*tch. I didn't really want to go anywhere, so we just lazed about by the pool, finished off a couple more books, before deciding (it took S quite a while to persuade me...) that we'd take yet another wander down to the beach for a swim and sunbathe. We then had a delicious meal at the beach restaurant again, before heading back up to the resort for cocktails (I've lost count of the number of Pina Colada's and Sex On The Beach's I got through...) and a couple of games of pool.
We spent our final day on the resort, as we weren't leaving for the airport until after 5 o'clock. We treated ourselves to a tasty lunch and tried to soak up as much of the sun as we could, before heading back to Blighty. The resort staff were kind enough to let us keep our things in the apartment until 4 o'clock, which meant we were free to stroll around the resort, sunbathe in the gardens and relax on the patio, sipping ice cold lemonades, until we were ready to go. I finished off another book whilst S had a game of football with some of the kids who were on holiday.

To me, this holiday was perfect. S and I had agreed that we wanted a holiday where we did "nothing, except sunbathe, sleep and eat" and - to be honest - I think we were pretty darn close to that! It was a lovely holiday and I really enjoyed spending some quality time with S, without the distractions of daily life wearing us down. We were lucky that the weather averaged about 25 degrees throughout our stay, the resort and local area was stunning, and I've come home feeling thoroughly refreshed!

Now to plan our next holiday...

Saturday, 7 June 2014

126. Lifestyle // The A-Z Of Me

I find 'getting to know me' posts really interesting, as an inherently nosey person, so when I stumbled across Cat's brilliant The A-Z of Me post earlier in the week, I couldn't wait to give it a go myself!

A - ASOS Curve. This website is literally my saviour, although my bank would probably disagree. I always get compliments on items of clothing that I've bought from ASOS Curve, and spend hours on their website each week.

B - Breaking Bad. I can't even talk about it, I'm still in bits about the ending. I got so ridiculously and embarassingly attached to the show and all the characters, I'm seriously still having withdrawal symptoms, but it is - without a shadow of a doubt - in my opinion, the best TV show EVER. End of.

C - Chocolate. I love chocolate, especially dark chocolate or anything that combines chocolate and orange, mmm.

D - Disaronno. Disaronno and lemonade is my drink of choice, after my sister Fi introduced it to me! It's so good

E - Edinburgh. Edinburgh is probably my favourite city in the UK; I've visited with family, with friends and with Shane, and I've loved it every time. The people are lovely, the architecture is beautiful and there is so much to do!

F - Feminism. I'd describe myself as a feminist, in as far as I support the movement for equal rights, and I disagree hugely with misogyny, chauvinism, sexism and all the rest of it, to the extent that I bore my friends and family (and in particular, Shane) to death with my rants. 

G - Gaming. Although I'm not a big gamer myself, my boyfriend is and therefore I've turned into some weird Xbox-sponge that just soaks up all this background noise and info about his games. Seriously, I know a lot more about Assassins Creed and FIFA than anybody needs to.

H - History. I've got a real interest in history and studied it throughout school. My favourite topics are Native Americans, Classics and local history as I live in a really interesting, historic part of the country, near to Hadrian's Wall and home to the infamous Border Reivers.

I - Independence. I pride myself on being independent, it's something that I've had to develop as an anxiety sufferer. I enjoy my own company, I'm happy to be by myself and I can do most things myself, which I'm proud of.

J - Journalism. It's always been my dream to be a writer; whether that's an author of novels, a historical writer or a journalist for a newspaper or magazine. I think it'd be really interesting and I'd love to put my creative talents to good use.

K - Kate Winslet. I know, I know, this is a bit of a sad one, but she's my favourite actress and I think she's just beautiful. I loved her in Titanic, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and thought she was hilarious in Episodes too. I love how diverse she is. 

L - Lingerie. As a "voluptuous" "curvy" "large chested" big-boobed" lady, I struggle with lingerie - bras, if we're being particular. I love reading blogs that cover lingerie reviews for ladies with "ample bosoms" as it's so helpful, I particularly love Georgia's blog.

M - Money. I have a serious love/hate relationship with money. I live payday to payday each month as I'm a total spendaholic, but I am trying to tone it down, I promise...

N - November. November is my favourite month for several reasons; it's the month S and I got together (way back in 2009!), it's Bonfire Night which is one of my favourite nights of the year, and it's a beautiful month too as it begins to turn crisp and chilly, and I love the dark nights.

O - Oranges. I love the smell of oranges and the taste of them too. They are so refreshingly summery!

P - Photography. I've had an interest in photography for a long time, in particular landscape photography and I'm always snapping away at little things like my lunch, pretty flowers or my latest purchases, which I share on Instagram and Twitter.

Q - Quiet. Much like Cat, I love peace and quiet. I'm no good with loud noises, unless I'm listening to some awesome music (or having a shouty argument, oops..). I can't sleep unless I'm in total silence either, which can be difficult sometimes!

R - Reading. A good book can keep me occupied for days, I just love to read. I tend to stick mainly to chick-lit but I occasionally delve into the odd classic, or even action sometimes. My favourite authors are Cecilia Ahern and Mitch Alborn. 

S - Shane. I've been with Shane for 5 years in November, I can't quite believe it myself! He's my rock. We argue a hell of a lot but, you know what, how can you appreciate the good without being subject to the bad sometimes? He keeps me sane, he supports me, he makes me laugh, he understands me and, most importantly, he loves me (and I love him).

T - Twitter. I'm a total Twitter addict. I'm constantly checking my news feed and I find it to be a brilliant tool for networking my blog and meeting lots of other lovely bloggers and readers. You can find my Twitter by clicking on the icon to the right of this post.

U - Umming and Ahhing. I'm an awful decision maker. And by that I don't mean that the choices I make are always awful, but just the length of bloody time that it takes me to come to a decision! I drive myself crazy with it.

V - Vinnie Jones. One of my (numerous) cringe-worthy celebrity crushes. This list also includes Ade Edmondson, Seth Rogen and the posh guy on Gogglebox! 

X - Xbox. I'm pretty much an an Xbox widow whenever there is a new game out, plus it's the only thing I could think of for X apart from X-Ray or Xylaphone! 

Y - YOU! Thank you for reading this post and for all my lovely readers who comment on my posts and chat with me on Twitter, it means so much to me and I'm eternally grateful.

Z - Zodiac signs. I'm not sold on the idea of horoscopes but I still do find them fun to read once in a while, it's guilty pleasure! I'm a Libra and I do think that many of the characteristics are very suited to me, however a lot of them are pretty general so, like I say, I'm not totally sold on it.

I hope you enjoyed reading this little personal, getting to know me post!

Thursday, 5 June 2014

125. Guest Post // Everyday Eye Shadows

Hi everyone, I am Emily Napier, I have a little beauty blog over at What Beauty Taught, and can more often than not be found tweeting over on What Beauty Taught.  I have been allowed by Becci (very brave of her!) to guest post today to chat about my favourite eye shadows.

I have to say I'm a little lazy when it comes to applying eye shadow on a day to day basis, sleeping is just way more appealing! But on those days where a fancy looking a bit more presentable and ladylike, I always opt for neutral tones for an effortless yet polished look. And these are the ones I reach for...
Maybelline Color Tattoo 24hr Cream Gel Eyeshadow - 35 On and On Bronze and 70 Metallic Pomegranate.
These are my ultimate favourite Eye shadows of all time. Seriously, these have incredible staying power, great colour pay off and are a perfect base if you want to pack on more products for a more intense look. Metallic Pomegranate is a gorgeous deep purple colour with a slight gold shimmer running through it and On and On bronze is almost taupe, making it so versatile and wearable. The cream consistency makes these effortless to apply and blend - fool proof. If you don't have these already, what are you waiting for?
An intense copper, bronze which is highly pigmented and blends like a dream. For day time I only put on a very small amount and blend it out with a brush to make it look more sheer. I usually put MAC Pro Long Wear Paint Pot in the shadow Painterly underneath as it is a neutral base that holds product amazingly, but you could even put Maybelline colour tattoo underneath for more impact. 
I was lucky enough to win this through a Twitter competition about month ago and it has become a staple of mine when I want a really subtle, light look. I would say this is more pale pink than beige and it has a slight silver iridescence when the light hits it. The cream consistency makes it super easy to apply with your fingers and lasts rather well too (not as good as Maybelline but what is??) Perfect for that spring/summer freshness without  the effort.
In this palette you get 12 neutral shimmery shades ranging from pale pink which are great for inner corner highlighting, coppers for defining the crease and dark browns for all out smoke! The shades blend well together meaning you never have to create the same look twice (unless you want to of course!). I would suggest putting an eye primer underneath as they don't have great stay power on their own. Nevertheless, at £4 for 12 shades, who can complain?