Friday, 29 March 2013

Otis Redding - A Change Is Gonna Come ...

Evening ...

I wasn't going to publish a music post day, with it being Good Friday and all. My parents are devout Catholics and music wasn't appropriate on this day - for obvious reasons - when myself and my brothers were growing up ...however this song just came to me today for some reason ...

Otis Redding - A Change Is Gonna Come...

Written and first recorded by the late great Sam Cooke in 1963 - according to Wikipedia...
"The song has gained in popularity and critical acclaim in the decades since its release, and is #12 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time."




There have been many versions of this track but if I had to choose one apart from Sam Cooke's own then this one recorded by Otis in 1965 is the one. If ever there was a song that had to be sung straight from the soul - it's up there. It's one of the most haunting, compelling, gut-wrenching, spine-tingling tunes and moves me like you've never known every time I hear it...

Jen x


Thursday, 28 March 2013

Melt Candle - Shine!

Bonjour!

I was recently contacted by Melt (not Fork Handles) Melt Candles!- to ask if I would like to try out one of their luxury handmade scented candles.  Here's a little bit about Melt directly from their website ...
"At Melt we’ve made our name by producing beautifully fragranced scented candles that intoxicate the senses.Created using blended quality wax, our luxury candles contain a high level of pure fragrance, and because they’re hand poured you can be assured that every part of our candles exudes our high quality aromas."
Apparently Melt Candles are used in the X-Factor dressing rooms - wonder which one Louis goes for?

I received Shine .. .beautifully packaged if I may say...!  As soon as I opened the box my hubby and boy both commented on the fragrance before we'd even lit up (unlike myself and my little girl they don't usually notice things like this)!






The candle has a burn time of 70+ hours which seems pretty impressive to me. It has the Melt logo on one side and a pretty scroll type thing on the other so it's whatever floats your boat really!  We lit Shine - initially  - on a night after I'd cooked a chilli and I was pleasantly surprised to smell the gorgeous scent of the candle wafting around the kitchen and down the hallway!  I've since used it after cooking (or on the morning after) as I find it effectively diffuses the left over aromas!  Suffice to say I'm thoroughly enjoying my Melt Candle and am looking forward to trying out some of the many other flavours - got my eye on Joy, Ginger and Bergamot and also Neroli and Rose Geranium, to name but a few.

If you're a candle fiend and/or want something that looks good and smells wonderful please feel free to check out the full range of luxury scented candles by Melt.  You can also find them on Twitter @meltcandles and Pinterest.

Let me know which Melt Candle you're tempted with - would love to know!

Jen x



Sunday, 24 March 2013

The Body Shop Hemp Intensive Hand Butter - Review

Bonjour!

Just wanted to do a quick post on one of my favourite hand treatments of the moment  - The Body Shop Hemp Intensive Hand Butter (hubby bought me this for Christmas).  I love the Hemp Hand Protector so was eager to try this out.




The Hemp Hand Butter contains Community Fair Trade hemp seed oil and is suitable for very dry skin.  If your hands aren't drying out at this time of year (especially with the extended cold snap) you're very lucky. Mine are dry, sensitive, prone to itchiness where the skin cracks from time to time and have a tendency to look like proper 'older lady' hands if I don't moisturise them regularly and appropriately.

I like to use my Hemp Hand Protector treatment last thing at night for an extra boost but I know some of my friends find it a tad potent and the smell a little overpowering - this one's for you lot!  I'm finding the Hemp Hand Butter much more user friendly throughout the day as it's non greasy and absorbs easily.  A lot of standard hand creams just don't cut it for me at this time of year but I've found this to be effective at moisturising, soothing and hydrating. It still has the clean, almost medicinal aroma associated with The Body Shop Hemp range but is far more of a lighter and subtle scent.

Lovely product and I will re-purchase - it retails at £11.00/100ml but I got mine with 40% off so will wait for a similar offer (you know I like my offers!) - also want to try the foot butter at some stage! You can check out the full range of Hemp products from The Body Shop here.

Have you tried The Body Shop Hemp Intensive Hand Butter? How are you looking after your hands at the moment?

Jen x

Friday, 22 March 2013

Heatwave - Always and Forever...

Another freezing Friday... for crying out loud ...!

I don't know about you lot but I'm getting pretty hacked off with this stupid climate. What's happened to Spring? I'm fed up of wrapping myself in multiple layers because I'm so cold all the time ... hasn't helped that I've ripped/torn something - muscle/ligament - not sure and to crown it all am pretty sure I did it during a coughing fit!  Regular gym-time activities are temporarily suspended and that seems to be one of the only things that keeps me warm and gets my shocking circulation going...rant over!

Heatwave - Always and Forever...


Released in 1977 (don't forget it's disco era - hence the outfits!) - a superb live performance of Always and Forever - one of my favourites this one - sends shivers (not through the cold) down my spine!




"Always and forever, each moment with you, 
Is just like a dream to me, that somehow came true..." 

I've been singing this all day - so hard to reach the lowest and top notes and keep it clean (warmed me up actually - cheated a bit by slipping into the harmony!) ... the lead vocals by the late Johnnie Wilder Jr are so effortless and his range is just ridiculous!

Right - off to do a bit more singing practise - now I've finally started ...!

Have a lovely 'warm' weekend!

Jen x

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Percy & Reed 'Quite Frankly Flawless' Finishing Polish - Review

Bonjour!

The Percy & Reed Quite Frankly Flawless Finishing Polish is one of the products I picked up with the recent Glamour offer ... it usually retails at around £10/125ml as you can see from their groovy website here, which I think is reasonable anyway...


Quite Frankly Flawless Finishing Polish

Alleluia for horse chestnut extract and sunflower wax!
100ml tube so should last for ages!
 I use a tiny amount (Percy & Reed recommend pea-sized but my 'pea' is slightly mis-shapen!) after drying and straightening and rub well into my palms before applying. As with any product of this nature it's obviously better to start off with less and add more if needed.  It's a gel-cream which smooths, adds shape and light hold but in a flexible/malleable way and I haven't had to use any additional hairspray.  I wash my hair every 2 days. I can go to bed all nicely 'Percy & Reeded' on day 1 - however, overnight my hair has this magical ability to transform itself into a complete birds nest. I've used my Finishing Polish on day 2 and it's ideal for taming those (many) frizzy bits and creating a bit of a texturised, almost bed-head, 'Alexa Chung'd' look (which is, in fact, my ultimate 'hair-goal'!). Many finishing products are either too heavy/greasy/sticky on my super-fine hair - this is perfect for me, you can place the correct amount of product exactly where you need it and as with all the Percy & Reed products I've used, it smells good too!

I didn't intend writing this review so soon - I usually buy (numerous) products and put them away for what seems like an eternity.  However, I used this the day after I bought it and have been so impressed I just had to 'get it out there' (I've already bought another Glamour mag just to get an additional Finishing Polish!).  The Percy & Reed offer with Glamour mag is still available and at £2.00 a pop you really can't go wrong!

Have you tried out Percy & Reed Quite Frankly Flawless Finishing Polish? (Have you tried saying all that lot after a few drinks?!)

Jen x

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Elemis Melting Cleansing Gel - Review

I've been slowly getting through some of the Elemis products I received in the QVC TSV from last April (yes I did say last April - ridiculous or what?).  My Pro-Collagen Marine Cream recently finished (review here) and the Elemis Melting Cleansing Gel was another of the gems from the collection.

Directly from the Elemis website ..."Skin protective organic Argan Oil, mattifying Rice Silk and purifying Rosemary Leaf are combined with powerful anti-pollution Moringa Peptides."






Although this can be used to remove make-up (and I did so on a few occasions with success) I preferred it as my morning cleanser as it's not meant to be used around the eyes. It has a pleasant but subtle soft/warm citrus aroma. You only need a small amount of the gel for a morning wash - I apply directly to my face (where else?) - it glides on without dragging and melts to a silky oil form - I then add water and it immediately transforms to a milky liquid.  I find it best to use this way as it emulsifies so quickly you could end up losing half of it down the sink if you're not careful! I rinse/buff off with my ever trusty muslin cloth. It leaves skin soft, clean and refreshed.

I finished the tube a couple of months ago (included it in my January favourites) and honestly my skin appeared to 'behave' whilst I was using it every morning. My pores looked smaller, skin felt clearer and I seemed to lose those hormonal (I think) spotty bumps that appear on my cheeks from time to time. Was it just co-incidence or is this really my perfect morning cleanser.  I'm now using another a.m. face wash from my stash am not sure I'm getting the same results.

I would love to re-purchase  Elemis Melting Cleansing Gel but it retails at around £21.00/125ml so not the cheapest.  I'm keeping an eye on the super size which is available from QVC - around £28.00/250ml so much better value - (on 'waitlist' at the moment as it's obviously very popular!).

Have you tried Elemis Cleansing Gel - have you found your Holy Grail cleanser yet?

Jen x


Saturday, 16 March 2013

Glossybox - March

Morning!

Time's marching on (no pun intended there) and this month's Glossybox is here ...  includes 'My little Travelling Book' - a cute little Glossy City guide with tips and stickers etc - my daughter has already pinched it!



Quick rundown of the products ...


Tresemme Salon Finish Extra Hold Hairspray 100ml Full Size £4.69/500ml - always good to have a few travel size hairsprays knocking around - this one contains 24 hour climate control/humidity resistance. Hope it's suitable as Tresemme products are so well priced.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant Fragrance Free 7ml Full Size £25.00/50ml - my friend has raved about this iconic cream for years. Never got round to trying it so now is the time (I'm sure there's a song title in there)!

Nails Inc Bruton St 4ml Full Size £11.00/10ml  - can't really go wrong with a Nails Inc polish in my book - wearable soft pink - think I also received this sample in another beauty box months ago and gave it to my daughter - I'm keeping this one!

Jelly Pong Pong Lip Blush Full Size £12.00/2.5g - a 'juicy lip stain and moisturiser in one' - can't see what colour this is known as (am I just being stupid?).

Juicy Couture - Couture La La Sample Full Size £63.00 - this is my kind of fragrance - it really is a gorgeous juicy summery scent. If this was ever on offer I'd snap it up!

So that's March's box ... it's not mind-blowing but it's not too bad I guess. What did you think of this month's Glossybox?

Jen x



Friday, 15 March 2013

Ne-Yo - Closer!

Bonjour!

I didn't do a music post last week - it was migraine time - dratted things!  Anyway at least we've had some sun this week and now it's grey and miserable again - what a surprise! Today I'm going for ...

Ne-Yo - Closer

Released in 2008 - feels like this has been around for much longer...it's got a bit of R&B, dance and pop all mixed in. It makes me think of warm summers and dancing the night away (not that I've experienced either lately!).




So ... I'm sitting at the computer, minding my own business, listening to this on youtube and doing that thing when the upper half of your body is getting on down whilst you are actually sitting down - can't help a bit of a dance every time I hear this song!  My little girl is sitting next to me and gives me an embarrassed sideways glance...

I ask 'What's the matter - don't you like this tune?'
She replies 'It's ok but you're dancing...'
I say 'What's wrong with that - I've been dancing a long time...'
She replies 'Looks weird...'

Thanks a bunch! It's obviously got to 'that stage' and the kids aren't even teenagers yet! Great!

Anyway - I can't complain too much because this is what she gave to me on Mother's Day as part of my pressie...she said I could share it with you...



Lovely isn't it - brought a little tear to my eye!
Jen x


Tuesday, 12 March 2013

February Favourites, Empties and Shopping My Stash!

Bonjour!

February faves and empties here ...



Mandara Spa Tropical Blooms Softening Body Cream - (from Sainsburys) - my favourite fragrance from this range - heady floral scented cream that moisturises well.  Takes a while to rub in so I only use it when I know I've a little more time - great on a night out because the fragrance lasts and lasts. (I already re-purchased a while ago as they are frequently on offer at Sainsburys).

Dove Indulgent (with Shea Butter) Nourishing Lotion - an everyday favourite - glides on, sinks in easily and leaves skin soft and smelling good man. I'll re-purchase when it's on offer again.

Olay Essentials Complete Care Day Lotion - recently empty. Meant to be suitable for normal/dry or combi skin. Bought this mainly for it's spf 30.  Not sure whether this is the day cream for me - it's thicker than any I've used before - seems to moisturise ok and make up stayed put with primer but felt somewhat greasy on my T-Zone - maybe better suited to a dryer skin.  I'm a bit on the fence so am trying a new day cream out.

Nivea Sunny Melon & Oil Shower Gel - now finished (the bottle is actually a golden colour so it stilll looks full but it's empty - shame!). Exactly as the name suggests - smells of warm melons in the summer sun (that sounds wrong!).  It has teeny tiny balls of oil which burst when showering and moisturise skin - like it and will re-purchase (again will wait until on offer).

Elemis Re-Hydrating Ginseng Toner - this was another from last year's Elemis TSV - lovely product - refreshing, hydrating and invigorating in the morning. This is the first toner I've used from Elemis and I'd like to re-purchase at some stage.

Percy & Reed Bodifying Cream and No Oil Oil (for fine hair) - yep they're here again! Another kit from QVC - it's a favourite alright - full review to follow.

Carmex Moisturising Lip Balm Original -  needs no intro. I hadn't used Carmex before (despite being a bit of a lip-balm addict) and bought the pot and the tube when Claire from Another New Day mentioned it as one of her absolute favourites for winter lips. I'm  glad I did because it's now one of my favourites, it's like wearing a protective shield. Love it.



 Laura Geller Baby Cakes Baked Blush Palette - love Laura Geller 'baked' products - available from QVC (also have her famous Balance 'n' Brighten.)  I've heard Laura's baked blushes are comparable to MAC's Mineralised  blushes? This is what I believe is called 'Shopping my Stash?' - bought the palette last year when it was on offer on QVC - where else? (don't think it's available in the UK at the moment - shame). I tend to save it for nights' out but dug it out to use recently and glad I did. The Baby Cakes blush palette contains three colours with a subtle shimmer (not full on glitter!) and one matte. Each gives a gorgeous wash of colour and lift to my tired old cheeks. You only need a little of the product but can build up for a stronger look - great pigment and stays put all day or night!


Ahh - a firm favourite (but soon to be empty!) this month - was on offer at Tesco half price.  Tastes wonderful with those bits of chocolate and gooey bits!

What have been your favourites this month - have you tried Creme Egg Ice Cream yet?


Jen x

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Percy & Reed /Glamour Offer!

Bonjour!

I caved in! I've been trying so hard to ignore the magazine freebies that are floating around but no way could I walk past the current Glamour mag with it's Percy & Reed fabulous freebies...!



You get to choose from:-

Really Rather Radiant Colour & Shine Shampoo 100ml
Really Rather Radiant Colour & Shine Conditioner 100ml
Quite Frankly Flawless Finishing Polish 100ml
Smoothed, Sealed & Sensational Volumising No Oil Oil (for fine hair) 30ml

Glamour state that the whole lot is the equivalent of £41 worth of product so at £2.00 a pop for the mag I had to get all four - silly not to! The shampoo, conditioner and oil look like ideal travel sizes so could save them (or just buy a couple more!).

I've been loving the Really Rather Radiant Shampoo and Conditioner - full review here and am currently using their Bodifying Cream and No Oil Oil anyway - both of which are going down well so couldn't resist the chance to try the Finishing Polish for £2.00.

Did you pick up April's Glamour magazine - which Percy & Reed product/products did you go for?


Jen x

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

20 Random Facts Tag!

Evening All!

I've seen this tag post knocking around some of my favourite blogs for a while - most recently done by Sasha from Ramblings of a Beauty Bird, Jayne from Miss Jayne Becca and Sam from Honey Go-Lightly.   I really enjoy having a nosey through random facts so here's my contribution...!

*I love tuna mayo sarnies with Wotsits.
*I am exceedingly short tempered (bark worse than bite and all that jazz!)
*Music moves me immeasurably!
*I'm scared of wasps and spiders - in fact I don't do well with any insect!
*I'd rather be too hot than too cold.
*Nothing winds me up more than someone pulling out on you in the car and then DRIVING SLOWLY!
*I can eat for England.
*I dropped out of Art school and worked at Top Shop for a few years (not sure that was the right move now but the staff discount was amazing!).
*I was a New Romantic.
*Badly stacked dishwashers get on my goat!
*I got married in red and we partied the night away to groovy tunes including Faithless, Stevie Wonder and The Cult.  Here we are a little worse for wear! Oh dear - no idea what's going on there!

Hubby is convinced this was taken during Happy Mondays 'Step-On' cos he's doing his impression of Bez!

*I am the 'neshest' person this side of 'neshville'.
*Green is my favourite colour.
*I partied first (pretty well actually!) and then had kids (good job I did it that way round - no energy these days!).
*I'm looking to start singing again and do some local gigs before I get too old (anyone up for a jam session?)!
*I worry a lot.
*I prefer pasta to pizza.
*When Grease the movie came out I wanted to marry Danny Zuko!
*I love toilet/carry-on humour - big-ones/bangers etc crack me up - 'ooh Matron!'
*I went on Honeymoon to America and drove round Boston, Vermont, Montreal, Niagara Falls, Cape Cod and New York - our best friends came too and got married at the Green Mountain Inn in Vermont!
*If I don't have a load of washing in the machine I panic a little!
*I once met Boy George backstage when my bro was playing keyboards for him - he said I was shy!




Ok - so those are my random facts - hope you enjoyed reading them and don't think I'm too weird! I've gone over 20 facts and have plenty more actually (I'm very random!) but I won't bore you tonight - maybe another time eh?

Jen x

PS - Hopefully everyone knows what 'nesh' means?

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Seventeen Va Va Voom Volume Mascara - Review

Bonjour!

Ok so when I bought this 17 Va Va Voom mascara (months and months ago) it looked liked this...


...so you can tell how long I've had the tube! With this in mind I thought I'd best open it up and have a bash with it before Christmas.  The external packaging has been re-vamped and now looks like this...


...however the formula and brush remains the same (I checked at Boots recently but didn't buy anything - can you believe it!).



So - as the name suggests this mascara is all about making the lashes pop - just what I'm after - always!  The brush is a big bristle one rather than plastic - it's one of the biggest I've used and I've used a fair few! I had to be careful not to get the mascara on my top lid when applying at the roots of the lashes but it's just practise I guess and I think I've cracked it. The formula is actually pretty thick (don't know whether you can see the blob on top of the brush) which can 'up' the clump factor but - again - with a bit of wiggling/practise I seem be able to avoid too many clumps and just use my eyelash comb if needs be.  It's a good solid black, stays put all day without flaking or smudging but is easily removed with my cleansing balm without excessive rubbing etc.

The usual naked barely there lashes...




Cutting straight to the chase with a couple of coats of  Va Va Voom and specs...



At first I wasn't sure I liked this mascara - the size of the brush and type of formula took a bit of getting used to - but I have to say it's grown on me and really thickens the look of my lashes.  So, another mascara success from Seventeen here.  My Va Va Voom is in Black - however looks like there is also a Blackest Black available  - which sounds very tempting!

Seventeen/17 Va Va Voom is priced a mere £6.29 from Boots here.

Have you tried out any Seventeen/17 mascaras - I'm slowly working my way the range - can you tell? - which is your favourite so far?
.

Jen x


Friday, 1 March 2013

The Human League - The Sound of the Crowd ...

Bonjour!

Friday 1st March - can you believe it? My youngest bro Little G has been home from France this week and appears to have brought some decent weather back with him (not sure how long it will last but anyway!) - it's been so nice to have sunshine and a sibling around!

Anyway - today's track is such an old (and I mean old!) favourite of mine ...

The Human League - The Sound of the Crowd...

Released in 1981 - Sheffield has produced some pretty good sounds over the years and this synthpop sound was all the rage with myself and my (school) friends.  I bought this as an AA single (youngsters you won't have a clue what I'm talking about!) with Empire State Human (I think) on the other side - it's still somewhere at my mum and dads!




Yes - we used to dance like Suzanne and Joanne (the backing singers). Yes I can still do the moves now - even sober!  The best bit is during the wailing in the chorus - arms still want/need to waft around in the air - automatic reflex!  And yes - I did try out one of those early eighties angled haircuts (although nowhere near as severe as old Phil Oakey's barnett!) but it just looked like a complete pig's ear on me - lesson learned!

Now I really feel like 'getting around town and adding my voice to the sound of the crowd'!

Jen x



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