Tuesday 31 December 2013

Compliments Of The Season 2013!


Hope everyone has had a good Christmas!  I've been lucky enough to have spent last week with my family and it's been grand! Plenty of food and drink, merriment and music has been had and I really don't want to come back down to earth ...!  Just a few pics from last week to share with you ...

Somebody turn out a light ...?

Mum's Christmas Stuffing - a wonderful aromatic Anglo-Indian recipe passed down through our family - the highlight of Christmas dinner for myself and my brothers!

As usual we have enough confectionery to last until ever after - and it will last - mark my words ...

How cute are these choc boxes my bro brought over from France, (think these are specifically from Geneva airport!) ... bugs filled with smaller bugs filled with sweet stuff - almost too cute to eat!

A few of my pressies  - Gatineau and YBF from Mum and The Body Shop Moringa bits/CDs from the hubby (already loving the James Arthur CD) ...

Annual family outing to the flicks to see The Desolation of Smaug - amazing - absolutely amazing it was ...

Followed by the annual biryani made with turkey stock ...

And last but not least a before ...

... and after pic of the three of us which caused a great amount of amusement on Christmas Day ... !

Yep I should apologise for the bedding drying in the background - forgot to move it amidst all the antics!

Can't believe it's almost over with for another year.  No partying on our cards for NYE - just a bit of  food/drink and Jools on the box.  Then comes the business of getting out of the habit of the late nights and late mornings, cooking, eating and drinking loads and generally sitting around (don't do that as a rule!) with no exercise and actually being aware of what day of the week it is - sound familiar ...!

A Happy New Year to you all whatever you're up to! What are you up to by the way ...?

Jen x

Tuesday 24 December 2013

Have A Very Merry Christmas!!


Finally my daughter can say 'It's Christmas Eve...!' instead of 'It's Christmas Eve Eve...!' or 'It's Christmas Eve Eve Eve...!'.

Created by my little girl!

I spent yesterday engrossed in various wonderful domestic activities, the big food shop (the hubby helped!) and wrapping presents and then managed to drag myself down to the gym last night - it felt darn good to bob around on the treadmill! Still a few bits to tidy up today (and still have a basket full of washing but hey-ho- that's what comes of stripping all the beds at once!) and then looking forward to spending the next few days with my family!  I'll leave you with one of my brother Mike's mellow Christmas Morning Ditties - hopefully there'll be plenty of 'drink induced' piano playing going on in our dining room tomorrow as is usually the case - hope you enjoy!

A Very Merry Christmas to you all whatever you're up to - hope everyone has a stupendous time!!

Jen x

Sunday 22 December 2013

Christmas Bargain Jumper and a Fuzzy OOTN...!


The first part of this post was meant to be published mid-week but it's been so manic I didn't have time to sort it out in time! So instead of two small ones you have one big one instead (said the mistress to bishop and all that jazz!).

Let's get the fuzzy photo over and done with shall we ... just a quick pic of last Friday night's outfit and I must apologise  - my husband took a few pics as the taxi was rolling up outside, they were all either too blurred, at a stupid angle, I was doing a weird catalogue pose or I had the Christmas wreath growing out of my head, so I'm afraid this is as good as it gets folks ...

I went for all black in the end (as you can 'just about' see through the fuzziness!) - black silky keyhole top, black shorts and tights. Wore my black gladiator style high heels but you can't see them - yep hubby's fault again - maybe I'll have to teach one of the kids to take photos in future!

Make-up wise it was smokey eyes and nude lips (shorts and red lips seemed a bit OTT at my age!). Used my Laura Geller Balance n Brighten foundation, a combination of my new Elf palette and  MUA Undressed palette, Maybelline Colossal Volume Mascara over Revitalash Volumising Primer, Mally Evercolor Eyeliners, HD Brow Palette, Laura Geller Baby Cakes Blush Palette and nude lips with Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker 'How Nude' and Revlon Superlustrous Lipstick in Mink. I should point out that the hair had not been finished at this point either ...!

Anyway - back to bargains ... whilst my Dad was doing a bit of food shopping in M& S last week I popped into H&M, the sales have started but I only had time to grab this bargain jumper at £7 ...

A deep green with slightly metallic/sparkly thread running through it - thought I might stick in on with my skinnies on Christmas Day - should keep me warm enough but hopefully I won't get too hot and bothered in the kitchen! May well dress it up with one of Mum's vintage pendants and my new Rose Gold M&S watch ... (just cos it's Christmas Day!) ...

And whilst we're still on the subject of Christmas ...

Oh dear...well it's not Christmas without Pringles is it...?

Which flavour of Pringles would you go for? Have you bagged any festive bargains recently? Who takes your outfit pics?

Jen x

Friday 20 December 2013

For Once In My Life ...

...I would like to be prepared for Christmas!  Happy Mad Friday!!

Didn't manage a midweek post this week with all the madness going on - hubby went away on a works Christmas conference/dinner thingy (any excuse for a booze up these managers!) and came back poorly, then the dog was poorly and had us up all night (every two hours to be precise). Christmas 'school' things, Christmas shopping, work, more Christmas shopping and I hadn't wrapped a thing before today - only just got the kids stuff done whilst they're at school ... !

Anyway ... just wanted to let you in on one of my favourite Christmassy tunes, I say Christmassy because you can guarantee that every year on Christmas day my brother Mike (the musician) will put this on whilst we're cooking dinner.  And why not, it's a brilliant combination of Tony and Stevie, doing their own thing, side by side, in complete harmony...

Tony Bennett and Stevie Wonder - For Once In My Life...

Have I ever mentioned that Mike once had the opportunity to play with Stevie, yes Stevie Wonder himself happened to call in on one of Mike's gigs at Ronnie Scott's earlier this year and ended up joining in on the act first of all with his harmonica and then at the piano! To say that the band were gobsmacked is an understatement! What an experience ...

Here's a pic of them from London Jazz News...


Well I'm off to have a cup of tea and mince pie and listen to Tony and Stevie in an attempt to chill...! I tell myself every year that I will take it all in my stride, I will not get stressed and I will not run around like a headless turkey (get it!), guess what - it never happens! This time next week it'll all be over with for yet another year - how bizarre is that!

What are your plans for this 'Mad Friday' evening? Are you chilling or partying? Are you prepared for next week?

Jen x

Monday 16 December 2013

Party Nails Are Go ...!


Party season is in full swing and Christmas is just round the corner (slight panic as I type that!) so thought I'd share a few polishes I'll be favouring over the festive period. After all - if a girl wants to bling up her nails what better time ...?

Here are my picks left to right ...

Barry M Textured Nail Paint in Duchess
17 Fast Finish Nail Polish in Navy Glint
Seche Nail Lacquer in Iconic
Beauty UK Glam Nails in Gun Metal
Elf Nail Polish in Chic Confetti

I  had to move to the window to take the pic below as the light was fading fast and ended up waking someone up who had been fast asleep in his chair - sorry pooch!

Below pic taken in the evening with lights on ... you'll have to excuse the state of my cuticles but I had just completed  a marathon of potato and vege peeling for dinner! Blogging and 'mum' duties do not always go hand in hand!

17 Navy Glint and Beauty UK Gun Metal are from last year - you can see NOTD posts here and here. I received Seche Iconic in a beauty box last year and gave it to my mum but she's let me have it back for the moment! Elf Chic Confetti (would look great over another colour - can't wait to try that out) and Barry M Duchess  are a couple of sparklies I bought recently as I was getting into the Christmas spirit ...

Can't decide which to use for Christmas Day? Which is your favourite? What will you be wearing on your nails?

Jen x

Friday 13 December 2013


Bonjour and Happy Friday!

It's Christmas Party Day!! Yes it's the annual office party tonight and I'm a tad giddy! Actually maybe the word is delirious? Have sooo much to do before tonight! One of my beautiful young friends at work asked me if I would be spending Friday pampering - I nearly fell on the floor laughing - as if!!

Not even sure what I'm wearing now - you know when you think you've decided on an outfit (black top, black shorts, black tights) and then thoughts of 'that dress' creep into your mind? You know the groovy, slightly sparkly one that you haven't worn for ages but love to bits (even though it is a bit tight round the middle all of a sudden!) and really if you don't push the boat out and stick it on tonight when will you get chance again? Can't decide...

Obviously once we're all on the dance floor though, (having drunk the free wine that is provided on the tables!) will anyone really notice what people are wearing? - at this point the focus is all about the throwing of various ridiculous shapes...

Arctic Monkeys - I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor...

Has this really been around since 2005 - can't get my head around that...!

One of Sheffield's finest at work here and I'll be more than happy if the Arctics are played tonight instead of some of the usual Xmas cheese - can't see it happening somehow - can you?!

What will you be wearing on the dance floor?

Jen x

Wednesday 11 December 2013

ELF Hauling ... !


Believe it or not I have been fairly good recently on the 'make-up purchase' front - wonders will never cease! However, when ELF had a half price event on the other week it was just too good to resist ... so here we go ...!

A picture of Elf Haul

Baked Eyeshadow Palette in California
Baked Blush in Rich Rose
Eyelid Primer
Mineral Blush in Rose
Lipstick in Voodoo
Blush Brush
Glitter Nail Polish in Chic Confetti (my daughter has already laid claim to this!)

I've heard good things about the Elf Eyelid Primer - (it will be put to test at our office party later this week) and first impressions of the Baked Blush and Lippie are favourable!  Swatches of the Baked Eyeshadow Palette in California (knows how to party!) below - it can be used wet or dry ...

Dry swatches ...

A picture of Elf Baked Eyeshadow Palette in California

A few wet swatches of several colours ...

Pretty colours - perfect for beating the winter blues, looking forward to having a 'mess about' over the festive period and beyond!   Best thing is all of the above products came to around £15 (yes - for the lot!) - bargain or what! Check out ELF goodies for yourself here.

Have you tried out any products from ELF? Which is your favourite?

Jen x

Monday 9 December 2013

Aloo Saag aka 'Potato Stuff'!


It's been ages since I've 'done a foodie' but after I watched 'Rick Stein in India' (a while ago I know!) I was inspired!   Just a humble offering of Aloo Saag (Spinach potatoes) or 'potato stuff'! as myself and brothers called it when we were little. It's so simple to make but so tasty and satisfies my carb cravings - of which I have many ...

The ingredients are approximate and you can use more or less until you happen upon your perfect combo - Mum always says not too much turmeric though as it can makes things bitter!

Oil -couple of tablespoons
Onion - 1 large chopped
Garlic - few cloves chopped
Ginger - couple of teaspoons lazy ginger (or a small piece of chopped unlazy/fresh ginger)
Chillies - chopped - amount depends on hot how you like it!
Mustard Seeds - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric - 3/4 teaspoon
Potatoes (5/6 small/medium chopped to make 4 servings?)
Spinach (I use frozen for convenience and add a good few tablespoons)
Fresh/Frozen coriander to season (I am addicted to coriander!)
Salt to taste

Fry the onions, garlic, ginger and chillies in the oil to soften - add mustard seeds and turmeric and fry for a further 5 mins or so.  Chuck in the potatoes, spinach, coriander and salt to taste. Add enough hot boiled water to steam the potatoes and the amount is really trial and error, depending on how much you're cooking. Too much and you end up with soup so better to use less as you can always add more from the kettle at any time.  Bring to the boil and simmer for about 20 mins until potatoes are soft.

When we were little we would sometimes have our 'potato stuff' with dhal and parathas - makes a great veggie meal.  Also as a side dish with curry and rice - we had it with roasted garlic chicken, rice and Mum's South Indian pepper-water the other night (because we're greedy!) and it went down a treat!

Hadn't added the pepper-water, yogurt, salad and pickle at this stage but you get the picture!

What would you eat with your Aloo Saag - or should I say 'Potato Stuff'?

Jen x

Friday 6 December 2013

Bob Marley and that old H&M frock again...!


I had the opportunity of going out tonight for our 'Team Christmas Do' but decided against it as I was out last Friday and am out again next Friday! I did wonder whether I should have pushed the boat out and done 3 weeks on the trot but not happening so tonight I'm hoping for wine, chilli and chillin' indoors in my slobs!

Speaking of chilly - hubby has had the day off and has been performing various paint and floor staining tasks that are long overdue. The windows are still open to get rid of paint fumes and it's bloomin' freezing in here!

Moving on ... this is one of my absolute favourite tracks from old Bob and seems particularly appropriate today ...

Bob Marley & The Wailers - Is This Love ... 

Released in 1978 - such a long time ago yet it remains fresh to this day and has such a warm and serene feeling - and trust me I don't feel warm or serene at this time of year often!

Don't you just want to do that old laid back reggae hip-swing ... !

Quick pic of last weeks H&M dress ...  I swear I will never get the hand of this outfit post lark! I mean - do you look at the camera, away from the camera, up, down, up again, to the side ... ?? And ... spot the sexy slippers - see I could have cropped them out but we're keeping it real here folks...!

Speaking of keeping it real - look who's made his usual appearance in the background trying to blend into the floor - yep it's my usual faithful sidekick - he just can't help himself ...!

What's your top tune for warmth and serenity?

Jen x

*I should point out that I removed my slippers and donned my ankle boots before leaving the house!

Wednesday 4 December 2013

November Favourites and Empties ...


Can you believe it's December? It's ridiculous ... be the end of the year soon and I can't get my head round it!  November favourites then (and a couple of empties thrown in for good measure!) ...

John Frieda Luxurious Volume Dry Shampoo - got this ages ago, used it on and off and it's just come to an end.  It has a pleasant 'clean' smell and is more on the 'wet' side of the dry shampoo spectrum. It refreshes hair but doesn't dry up greasy roots so much or add loads of body - on the plus side though it doesn't mattify or leave any build up/gunk in your hair. It's a bit pricey so probably wouldn't repurchase unless it was on offer.

Gatineau Activ Eclat Flash Radiance - I've so needed a boost of radiance over the past few weeks. This is a brilliant product for 'faking it' when your skin is looking a bit grey and dowdy - just press a tiny amount onto the old leather lace, either under or over make-up and you're good to go - it wakes up your skin and gives it a glow!

Original Source Orange and Cinnamon Shower Gel - I love this shower gel - it's so warm and sweet and zingy all at once - a real pick me up! Problem is, it was a Seasonal Edition (only I can't remember which season we were in when I bought it!) and can't seem to find it anywhere otherwise I would repurchase - rubbish!

Soap & Glory Super-Colour FabuLipstick in Naked Beige - I can't get enough of this lippie! This is my perfect nude - it's so wearable I'm constantly sticking it on most days with reckless abandon! You can see my full review here - will be repurchasing!

Q Radiance The Fine Fragrance Body Spray - got this in a beauty box ages ago and shoved it in my gym bag the other week. What a lovely body spray - it's floral but fresh and great after a sweaty gym session! I've seem it in Sainsbury's at £2.29 so will be repurchasing when it finishes.

Liz Earle Superskin Concentrate - I've been using this since the weather turned colder, several nights a week under my moisturiser and my skin has been lapping it up - review to follow shortly!

Calvin Klein Eternity Moment - one of my favourite fragrances now finished (maybe the hubby will replace for Christmas or at least buy me another in the sales!). Fresh flowers - lingers on the skin for ages - love it!

Ah - old Trev has certainly been a favourite this month and has kept me company in the car on many a dreary journey. Great triple album - hope he makes another!

What have your favourites been this November? What music have you been playing in your car?

Jen x

Sunday 1 December 2013

Mally Evercolor Waterproof Eyeliners - Review and Swatches


These are my Mally Evercolor Starlight Waterproof Eyeliners.  I won Midnight (top) in a Twitter competition and Black Violet (bottom) was included in a QVC kit a while ago.

A picture of Mally Evercolor Waterproof Eyeliner
A picture of Mally Evercolor Waterproof Eyeliner
A picture of Mally Evercolor Waterproof Eyeliner

Midnight is an intense velvety black and Black Violet is, as the name suggests, a deep violet with a hint of metallic.  You can use as a standard eyeliner to create a fine line in or outside of the waterline (although I only use out) or as more of an eyeshadow stick and blend for a heavier/smokier look - they must be smudged fairly quickly though - first 30-40 seconds or so - after that they are set for the day.   Mally is known for her bulletproof products and these eyeliners certainly live up to that claim.  If you've ever seen her in action on QVC you'll have seen the vigorous rubbing  of swatches on her hand - I've tried this at home myself and they really don't shift! Applied first thing in the morning before 7, they are still in place with no smudges after 10 at night when I've come to remove - also brilliant on a night out! They are soft and silky to apply and glide smoothly across the lid with no pulling or dragging whatsoever. I reckon these are probably the creamiest eyeliners I've used and are my favourites of all the Mally products so far (I think!).

Just applied on the upper lid here ...

The Evercolor Eyeliners seem to only be available in the UK at QVC in various kits - which actually makes them quite affordable.  I'm sure fellow Mallynistas out there will have picked up a few in their time - you know who you are!

Have you tried any products from Mally Beauty? Which eyeliners are you loving at  the moment?

Jen x

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