Friday 31 August 2012

Fave (Rave) Friday Track!


Back to my clubbing days now, inspired by last week's 'How Clubbing Changed the World', one of my favourite dance tracks -

Injected with a Poison  - Praga Khan 

Released in 1992, what a tune...!

My hubby and I used to go down to Newquay with a group of friends over the August Bank Holiday in the early 90's, for a long weekend of basically pub and club crawls! Those were indeed the days ... we both remember visiting the 'Sailor's Alms' nightclub (amongst others) and dancing - well, me dancing with the girls, him sort of slamming with the lads  (rave style) in the 'pit' that was the dance floor - to this particular track. Wish I could have a proper 'go' at stuff like this again someday (before I get too old!) ... such a headrush!

Warning - the following video contains a bit of a flashing image type thing! (really it does).

Apologies to anyone who dislikes Rave music but now and again I just need to get it out there ...!  "There's a rainbow inside my mind....." - well most days anyway :)

Have it on my IPod for the treadmill now - definitely still gets me on a 'musical high'!

What's your 'musical headrush'?

Jen x

Wednesday 29 August 2012

Last of the Summer Nails? NOTD Beauty UK - Bon Bon


I became a little obsessed recently!

Having read Michaela's post 'NOTD - Island Girl Waikiki Color' over on her blog Lather Rinse Repeat (all the way from 'soon to be sunny' Sydney, Australia) which you can view here, I knew I just had to find a similar colour over in our neck of the woods.  You know when you see it, love it and 'have to have it' type of thing?

So what should I spot as I wandered round Superdrug but ..

Beauty UK Glam Nails - Bon Bon

I absolutely love, and I mean love this colour, it cheers me up every time I look at it! Gorgeous orangey-yellow with a tropical vibe going on - reminds me of the hot weather we haven't had - I'd hoped for a bit of an Indian Summer - pfft!  I know we're on our way into Autumn now but I'm going to drag the sunny colours out for as long as I can...!

I'm no expert in the polishing of nails (as I've no doubt mentioned before) but this seemed to go on pretty easily and although it's not totally opaque after two coats, it's got a good glossy finish (no topcoat applied here).  Not sure about the durability as yet but if it can withstand all the domestic chores my hands get up to it'll do for me!

Superdrug website didn't seem to hold much info about Beauty UK Nail Polishes, however, you can check out the full range of lovely colours directly from Beauty UK here

I have a feeling I'll be back in Superdrug very shortly ...

Have you tried any Beauty UK products?

Jen x


Tuesday 28 August 2012

Dove and Happy Hair Days on Offer!


Just a quickie to let you know of a few 'bits' I picked up from my local Sainsburys.

Dove Body Lotions...half price.

Dove Indulgent Nourishment and Essential Nourishment

Dove Deep Care Complex - 'moisturises skin from within'

I do like Dove products but tend to buy the body lotions when they're on offer, I use so much of the stuff I have to try to economise somehow!  Since these are half price at Sainsbury's at the moment it's a perfect opportunity to pick up a couple of my faves. The hand creams were on offer too but there were none left - shame.

Dove Indulgent Nourishment Body Lotion - I love products containing Shea Butter so this is a bit of a treat, lovely subtle scent which lingers on the skin for hours after. Standard 250 ml size but pretty good value at half price of £1.99.

Dove Essential Nourishment Body Lotion (formerly Rich Nourishing) - a good one for colder months, easily absorbed, skin softening and moisturising with a  'fresh and clean' smell. A whopping 400ml, so should last for ages and great value at half price of £2.49.

Happy Hair Days Shampoo and Conditioner...half price.

Happy Hair Days Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner

Happy Hair Days state "We aren't perfect but we try to use 'good stuff' where we can!"

I've hovered over this range several times, attracted by the no parabens, SLS or SLES , as my scalp can sometimes react and become flaky with continued use of certain shampoos.  Now that they're on offer what better time to try them out?  There are four different shampoo and conditioner options, all half price at £2.00 per bottle -

Marshmallow and Coconut Colour Care
Pomegranate and Ginger Moisturising
Rosemary and Mint Thickening
Blueberry and Pear Smoothing

I picked up the Blueberry and Pear, (initially went for the thickening but it had sold out) after lack of volume/thickness my next 'hair problem' is controlling frizziness.  Thought I'd therefore try the smoothing option.  My little girl also has the most tangle-prone hair ever, she has loads and loads of fine hair which is gorgeous but we have a constant battle with combing/brushing out, so as this is a gentle formula we'll give it a go and see if it helps.  Will report back on progress in due course!

I understand that these offers are on until next Tuesday or Wednesday.

Will you be picking up any 'bits' this week or next?

Jen x

Sunday 26 August 2012

Liz Earle Botanical Shine Treatment - Review


As you may know, I'm a bit of a Liz Earle junkie!  I love the Botanical Shine Shampoo and Conditioner.  The shampoo leaves my hair squeaky clean and seems to counteract product build-up and clear up my flake-prone scalp. I've used each of the three conditioners (and rate them all), but am currently reaching for the 'dry or damaged hair' option since returning from holiday, as my hair has been a little frazzled.

With this in mind what better addition to my haircare routine than the Liz Earle Botanical Shine Treatment. Although my hair is not coarse (fine and rather thin), it is certainly prone to frizz and dryness on the ends, especially after a bout in the sun.

Some info directly from the Liz Earle website...
Naturally active ingredients include red algae to help enhance the hair’s natural barrier, cotton extract to improve smoothness and sumac wax to smooth and tame even the most unmanageable hair, plus apple and orange extracts to boost shine.

The treatment has a good creamy texture and smells just as you would expect from a Liz Earle product, fresh and natural, you can really smell the apple and orange in there!  I've been using this after shampooing, as it says on the tube, concentrating on mid lengths and ends.  I've left it on for between 10 and 30 mins, I think the longer it's left on the better but even after the 10 minute stint I could definitely tell a difference.  My hair is difficult to manage at the best of times but after using the Botanical Shine Treatment, it's so much easier to style, just blow dry with my normal styling product and I've only had to straighten the ends to get rid of the kinks.  It just seems to improve the manageability and leaves it shinier, smoother, hydrated and volumised. It feels stronger, if that makes sense!

So, really impressed with this and definitely something I'll be re-purchasing.  I bought mine directly from Liz Earle at £14.00/150ml - details here.

Have you used the Liz Earle Botanical Shine Treatment? What's your favourite product for 'post-holiday frazzled' locks?

Jen x

Saturday 25 August 2012

Slice of Cake?


Got one of these?

Somewhat over-ripe banana

Prefer one of these instead?

Banana Sponge

My mum gave me this recipe book a few years ago, it's very old and well used as you can see...!

Here's the recipe ...  

Mum's seal of approval at the top of page!

I tweak the recipe slightly, I use 4oz of marg and 6oz of flour and also swap the lemon juice for a few tablespoons of milk to make the mixture a bit easier to mix. 

You can do the traditional thing ie cream the marg and sugar, add the wet ingredients, mashed banana and fold in the flour or just chuck it all in a bowl together and mix it all up. Place the mixture in your chosen greased 'baking vessel', I use an earthenwear loaf dish that's about 24cm by 14cm. Bake on 160deg (fan) or 180deg (conv) for 40ish minutes (more than the recipe states but I make a slightly bigger cake because I'm greedy and I like the top a bit crusty!). The book does state that the cake should be eaten within 3 days (not a problem in our house!) and isn't suitable for freezing.

The finished article...

Just enough for me there... 

Now all you need is one of these...

Good strong mug of tea!

My kids love this cake while it's still warm!  What do you do with your skanky bananas?

Jen x

Friday 24 August 2012

Favourite Friday Track!


I'm desperately trying to cling onto that 'summer thing' even though autumn is just round the corner.  Hence today's track...

The Isley Brothers - Summer Breeze  

'Summer Breeze makes me feel fine ... Blowing through the jasmine in my mind ...' 

My favourite version of this song, it was released by The Isley Brothers as a single in 1974.  It's a timeless, laid back but totally groovesome summertime anthem in my opinion, fantastic arrangement ... don't really need to say any more, just let the music do the talking ...

Jen x

Wednesday 22 August 2012

Sanctuary Spa Skin Perfecting BB Cream - Review


I've been continuing on the great BB exploration trail ... I've tried a couple more since my last review and this is one of them - Sanctuary Spa Skin Perfecting BB Cream in Medium to Dark.

Some information directly from 'Sanctuary Spa ' -

Key Ingredients:
Silica – Evens skin tone and helps to control oils within the skin. Naturally derived spherical powders diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles 
Hyaluronic Acid & Glycerin – Ensures skin remains moisturised and protected for 24 hours
Hydroviton 24 – Rejuvinates and protects the skin
UV Filters – Provide long lasting sun protection
Oils rich in antioxidants to combat free radicals

 So - I've used it as it says 'on the tin', in place of my usual moisturiser but also after moisturising, ie as you would a foundation. The latter is my preferred method, I leave my moisturiser to sink in a little and then apply where needed. I find I use less of the BB this way, although it's a good creamy consistency it's quite deep in tone and is easier to blend. It doesn't clog pores or break me out/upset my oily t-zone, seems to keep the hydration thing up and smells great - refreshing and natural.

I'm always on the lookout for products that take the 'yellowness' out of my olive skin and thankfully this has proved to be one of them! Creates a lovely golden hue and warms up my skin nicely without any 'orange stuff' going on! You only need a small amount for a healthy glow but it's also buildable if you want more coverage.  Took this on holiday this year for a bit of 'enhancement' and have also used it on office days with a bit of my Bare Minerals Tinted Mineral Veil over the top.

Good Creamy Thing!

Ready to Blend

Blended In!

The Sanctuary Spa Skin Perfecting BB Cream is available in two options, Light to Medium and Medium to Dark.  You can check out full details from Sanctuary Spa here.

I can honestly say this has been my ultimate 'go to' product this summertime, I really like it and will re-purchase.  Priced at £14.99/50ml, it's a lovely product and a real 'pick me up' for my skin!

What's been your favourite BB this summertime?

Jen x

Sunday 19 August 2012

August Glossybox!


So here is the August Glossybox, hot on the heels of the Olympics this is the International Superstars box.  Apparently this box contains 'brands that are well known in the UK as well as products that have cult status in their native country...'

Here's what was in my Glossybox...

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil 30ml - Fullsize £18.50/200ml
DHC Cleansing Oil (from Japan). 'This revolutionary water-soluble cleanser is better than any other make-up remover you've ever tried.'  I'm really loving my current cleansing balm at the moment but will definitely give this a go, interested to see what effect it has on my oily-ish T-zone.

Alessandro Pro White - RRP £7.85/10ml
Alessandro Pro White (from Germany). Apparently an 'Optically brightening effect nail polish with anti-yellowing formula for radiant white and gleaming nails.'  Never heard of this sort of nail treatment, I'm sometimes a bit slack with undercoat and just plonk my polish directly onto my nails. They can become a wee bit discoloured with the highly pigmented nail polishes, so this should be handy.

Lipcote RRP £3.99/7ml
'Original Lipstick Sealer...' (from UK of course!).  This has been around for years and is meant to be applied after lipstick as a sort of 'topcoat' to seal your lippy and prevent fading/feathering etc. Should come in useful for nights out!

Eve's Balm - Fullsize £4.99/7g

A multi-purpose recovery balm to nourish dry, chapped bits! Great for chucking in your handbag with it's lil mirror!  Have used it on lips but should be good on cuticles and nails too, the aroma is very natural and subtle, a lovely balm, I love balms!

Vera Valenti Eyeshadow Palette - RRP £3.85

An eyeshadow palette (from Spain).  I like the neutrals and the darker greens but won't use the paler/minty greens (remember George and Mildred, well obviously just Mildred?).  I used one of the neutral colours the other day and it actually went on ok and lasted quite well (it's got a very slight shimmer to it but not too much for daytime wear!).  Chucked a few of the colours on my arm here ...... the applicators aren't great - bit flimsy, but what the heck eh?

Glossybox Lipstick RRP £9.50

That's more like it!  The lipstick is 'Glossy Pink' a really pretty soft pink, thought it may be too pale for me but it wasn't and looked fine with my bit of tan!

So that's it. Overall I'm pleased with this box, some really nice products, the Eve's Balm and the lovely Glossybox lipstick are my initial faves.

Oh and here's a pic of George and Mildred from the late 70's, just in case any of you youngies were wondering?  Fond memories of my grandparents watching this sitcom...!

'Not now dear, the Horse of the Year Show hasn't finished!'

Glossybox subscription details can be found here for anyone that wants to share the experience! What did you think of this month's box? What was your favourite product?

Jen x

Saturday 18 August 2012

Blog Award!!


I'm really honoured (and gobsmacked) to have been tagged for the Liebster Blog Award by the lovely bloggers - Claire at Another New Day, Lilla at Lilla Loves and Jenni from Jenni My Style (so sorry to Jenni, I know it was a few weeks ago that you tagged me - better late than never I suppose!). Thankyou girls!

The Liebster Blog award is given to up-and-coming bloggers with less than 200 followers and the meaning of the german word 'Liebster' is 'sweetest/ kindest'!  It's a lovely bit of recognition and support to keep on blogging!

So apparently I have to answer the 11 questions set by 'tagger', I'm going to answer Claire's 11 if that's ok since I really don't think anyone wants to sit through 33 answers! I then have to nominate another 11 fab blogs and set them 11 questions!

So my answers to Claire's questions:-

1. Why did you start blogging?

I suppose I felt like I needed a creative outlet, so this is my own space, a bit of an escape (and I can't see the bored look in my friends' eyes when I ramble on constantly about beauty and make-up products!).  

2. Are you an organised or chaotic person when it comes to blogging?

Organised in theory, chaotic in pracise!

3. Do you plan your posts well in advance or go with the flow?

A bit of both I suppose, if something comes to me I'll just do it there and then!

4. Who are your Blog crushes?

I love Beauty in the Mirror, 30 Something Mel and Flutter and Sparkle. Lovely blogs by lovely ladies! 

5. What is the main theme/themes of your blog and why did you choose these in particular?

Beauty and make-up - you could say a bit of an obsession, music - moves me and food - love it to bits! 

6. Where is your favourite holiday destination?

Must be the South of France, we've been for the last few years! 

7. What is your favourite chill out music track?

Hard one this! There are many, however I do love George Benson - On Broadway  a lot!

8. What is your favourite well known saying or quote?

'Sorry I'm late...' I always try to cram too much in beforehand and end up racing to my destination late and full of apologies! 

9. What is your favourite thing to do to switch off and relax?

Apart from blogging ;) a bit of wine and spotify or a good night out!

10. Do you find it hard to turn off from blogging/twitter/facebook/instagram etc to make quality time for family?

Yes, bad I know, I'm often to be found with my laptop on my knee! 

11. To blog or not to blog - would you recommend it to a friend?!

Yes I would recommend if you have something you are passionate about, it's a good way to get it off your chest (if you get my drift!).

My 11 fab blogs:-

1  BeautyandtheBooks
2  Eat.Play.Shop.Love
3  Ramblings of a Beauty Bird
4  All Made Up
5  The Cafe Cat
6  Beauty Box
7  Shilpoon
8  Tatty Tulip
9  The Quirky Fox
10 Never Too Broke For Beauty
11 My Sugar Rush x

And these are my 11 questions:-

1  Sweet or savoury snacker?
2  Which track always gets you on the dance floor?
3  Favourite fashion era?
4  Morning or evening person?
5  Favourite film?
6  Country or city?
7  If you could play any musical instrument which would it be?
8  What's your dream holiday destination?
9  What's your favourite season and why?
10 Any phobias?
11 Who's gig/concert would you most like to attend?

There you go girls! Grab the award logo for your lovely blogs and pass the award on if you can ... and don't worry if you don't have time to follow up the full post... I know exactly what it's like to juggle, believe me!!

Jen x

Friday 17 August 2012

Favourite Friday Track!


It's a rainy old Friday in my neck of the woods!  Todays track is an old alternative/punk classic!

Ian Drury and the Blockheads - Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick!

Released in November 1978 by Stiff Records  it reached No 1 in the UK Singles Chart in January 1979.
Myself and my hubby both had this on vinyl back in the day! Remember the old 7 inch/45 speed?

 This looks like another old TOTP  video.

"Hit me with your rhythm stick, it's nice to be a lunatic...!"

Best blasted out this one - love it!

Jen x

Tuesday 14 August 2012

She Said Beauty Box - August!


A belated She Said box post this month as I was on holiday when it arrived so sorry about that!  Just a quick gander of the August box then!

White Glo Professional Choice 24g - Full Size £4.07/150g

Apparently this is 'Australia's No.1 whitening toothpaste' which 'gently lifts stains and discolouration from teeth.' Had my teeth whitened a few years ago but you need to keep it up every so often (which I haven't recently) so will be interested to try this out.

Nails Inc Polish 4ml - Full Size £11.00/10ml               

Love Nail Inc Polishes. This one is Bruton Street, a lovely soft lilac colour. Good little sample.

Redken Color Extend 30ml - Full size £19.99/170ml (Introductory Offer)

What a shame I didn't have this to take on holiday, have a feeling it would have been ideal! This apparently 'combines the richness of a nourishing lotion with the lightness of a spray to provide 10 essential benefits...'. Looking forward to using this.

Balance Me Rose Otto Intensive Lip Salve Full Size £12.00

I very nearly went for this when it was offered as one of the recent Glamour freebies but opted for the Balance Me Pure Skin Face Wash instead (which I've yet to try). Lovely product, leaves lips soft and nourished and smells like Turkish delight!

Papier Poudre Rachel Powdered Paper 20 Sheets 
6 Booklets -20 leaf/£7.95

I do suffer from an oily t-zone, this is meant to 'freshen and cleanse'. I'll take these into work with me as the air-conditioning in our office usually sets the old oil-production off (don't get me started on our air-conditioning system)!

4711 Eau De Cologne 3ml - Full Size £17.00/100ml long has this cologne been around for? I can remember my friend buying this years and years ago!  Still the same fresh, crisp (almost aftershave-like) scent, my hubby will probably nick this!

Not a bad box then? The Balance Me Lip Salve and Redken Color Extend have grabbed me initially!

Anyone interested in subscribing to She Said Beauty can check out the details here.

What did you think of this month's box?

Jen x

Sunday 12 August 2012

Summer Grub Special!!


Ok so this is the last time I'll be 'going on' about my holiday but I had some gentle criticism from a male friend at work who complained that there was 'too much beauty and not enough biryani' on my blog, sorry about that Lenno - don't seem to have had much time for 'proper cooking' lately! So without further ado, I've compiled a 'Beauty and the Biryani and Gourmet Gorman Summer Special'!

On holiday all the 'proper' cooking was done by my muso brother Gourmet Gorman, he seems to be able to apply himself to culinary matters in anyone's kitchen and improvise with whatever tools/ingredients he's presented with (giving my mum a well earned break!).  All the eating was done by the rest of the family as well as copious amounts of boozing by my hubby and two brothers, once they all get together, that's it!!

Some of the delicious meals we were treated to ...

1st night!

 Gourmet Gorman says - ' improvised part baked chicken fricasee/casserole type thing with a Dijon/cream sauce and a braised (in butter, chicken stock and wine) mushroom and shallot garniture.'
Dads birthday dinner!

Mince curry with aubergine, red pepper and potato, buttered tomato and vege pilau and masala fried aubergine.

Fishy night! 

Oven poached fish on a bed of cherry tomatoes in stock, wine, paprika and herbs.

Omelette night!

Massive omelette with potato and mushroom. Ratatouille vege with red wine, creme fraiche and Dijon mustard.

Little Bro's birthday dinner!

Chicken curry, lemon vegetable pilau and masala fried aubergine.

Pasta night!

Sausage and haricot bean pasta bake with a tomato, red wine, and creme fraiche sauce with paprika and nutmeg served with homemade garlic bread.

A couple of the lads' holiday tipples!

Little bro and myself watching Gourmet Gorman slaving over a hot stove!

We also had a barbeque night which speaks for itself! and a few 'shove in the oven/open a can' nights while Gourmet Gorman was elsewhere in France gigging with Kid Creole and the Coconuts! Bet many of you don't remember them!

Gourmet Gorman has given a brief description of each dish but if anyone wants any specific recipes in more detail you can always email me and I'll do my best to sort it out for you!

What's your fave holiday fodder?

Jen x

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