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Six Awesome Ways To Treat Yourself This Winter* #IndulgeYourself

As January comes to an end, it is time we girls treated ourselves a little. We all know that this month can be difficult. After the hype of Christmas, it always feels as though the start of a new year is a bit of a letdown. Don't get the January blues (or February)! Instead, find ways to treat yourself and have an incredible time. You need to start as you mean to go on, and that means making the most of 2015. Here are six awesome ways to treat yourself during the cold winter months.


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1. Buy a new outfit


If you have been following my outfits of the week blog posts, you will know that there is no shortage of new fashion trends this year. If you feel like you want a change, now is the perfect time to start shopping. You should buy yourself a beautiful pair of boots to get you through this harsh winter, and also some snugly, warm jumpers.


2. Visit a spa


If you are sick of the cold weather, you need a little luxury in your life. Why not book yourself into a spa for a quick break? We all know that January can be a depressing month, and so taking a break could be just what you need. Book yourself into Hoola Spa and get yourself some treatments. Sometimes, all you need is some time alone so that you feel yourself again. If you are feeling stressed out, a spa break will surely help.


3. Create new nail designs


I always find that painting my nails cheers me up. There is something therapeutic about sitting at home and pampering yourself just a little. This year, why not experiment with some funky new nail designs? Learning about nail art might sound complicated, but it doesn't have to be. There are hundreds of tutorials online that can help you create unique styles for your nails. Choose something bright and colourful, you know you want to.


4. Spend the night with the girls


In the winter, it feels like nobody wants to venture out into the cold. Sure, it is tempting to stay in watching Netflix all the time, but it is not all that good for you. Sometimes, all you need is a night out with the girls. Call up your friends and see what they say. When you stay in all the time, you can start to feel sorry for yourself. Pull yourself together and get out there. Even if you're trying to avoid alcohol you can still have an amazing, funny night. I learnt that whilst I sipped on cucumber water last Saturday!


5. Care for your skin


If you don't have a proper skin care routine in the winter, your skin will become dry and flaky. You need to make sure that you put the moisture back into your skin. Remember to drink loads of water so that your skin does not dry out. You should also create a thorough skin care regime so that your skin looks healthy every day. You should make sure that you cleanse, tone and moisturise your skin every night. That way, your skin will glow bright even when the weather is dull. Skin care is super important and so you mustn't neglect it. I've been loving using my Magnitone Lucid Brush and it's boosted my skincare routine - I can't wait to share it with you all soon.


6. Indulge your sweet tooth

If you are craving sugar, you should not ignore that. Sometimes, it is okay to indulge your sweet tooth a little. You could spend an evening creating some delicious, healthy treats for you and your friends. Remember, not all sweet things are harmful to you. You can make some tasty, dark chocolate treats, which are quite good for your health. Look at some recipes online and see what you can come up with yourself. Your friends will love that you have made some snacks for them.






Fitness Friday: Slendertoxtea Review



I started my Slendertox on a Sunday, following the suggestion to start at the weekend. I took the first day teatox, took my "before" pictures and started my introduction blog post
The first day started off fine. I found the tea a little difficult to drink but powered on through. It wasn't until just before dinner time that I started to have a sore stomach and felt a bit sick. After my dinner I felt awful and made a visit to the bathroom on numerous occasions. I was pretty scared that this was a negative side effect that I wasn't meant to be experiencing. I was close to stopping the Teatox then and there. I thought I should tweet Slendertoxtea to get advice from them. I was really worried about having the Daytox the next day when I had work and even more worried by the prospect of the Sleeptox. I turned to the Slendertoxtea website for a bit of reassurance and noted,

Remember, that a teatox is a detox on the body, and the initial few days of detoxing may be difficult, especially when you're badly in need of a cleanse. Headaches, fatigue, interrupted sleep and hunger pangs are common during the these first few days, as this is is the toxins leaving your body.

I carried on with the teatox and quite quickly it started to become part of my daily routine. The extreme reaction seemed to disappear though I did start to feel like when I needed the toilet I HAD to go. This is a bit hard to deal with during a working day. Also a bit TMI but worth noting that nothing was "solid" during the teatox. I didn't suffer too much with headaches or fatigue but I did notice that I felt really hungry as I went into the 3rd and 4th day. It's hard to know exactly how you'll feel for the day as my whole fortnight varied. For a couple of days I wondered if the tea had stopped working and nearly as soon as that thought entered my mind I was back to visiting the bathroom. I also found I always needed after doing some exercise.

Throughout the teatox I maintained a healthy eating plan, and exercised almost daily. I didn't weigh myself before or after the teatox as through my exercise routines I was aiming to build muscle as well as burn fat. I decided to judge the teatox purely on how I felt and looked. My stomach is definitely less bloated and feels and looks flatter. You can even see a bit of definition starting to show - which is obviously down to ab exercises not just the tea.



Overall, I'm quite happy with the results. I think it's the sort of thing I'd do before a holiday to give me a boost in confidence. I'm glad I carried on after the 1st awful day.

Have you tried a tea-detox?
How did you get on?

Spring Primark Picks


It's been a long time since I've been in Primark and with the prospect of visiting in February I did a little bit of research into the new Spring/Summer 2015 collection. One of my picks that is very much love it or hate it is the dress, I think I'd need to see it first but that shape is normally quite flattering. There's not much other colour happening in my Spring picks just a hint of pastels in the wrap over cropped top and mint green bag. I love the later cut design on the black vest top and though a bit more daring than my usual I really like the lace bralet. 
A running trend for this year perhaps, a item of homeware managed to sneak in!

Have you been buying anything from Primark lately?
What Spring trends are you looking forward to?

Sensationail Fuse Gelnamel Review










£35*

I've got a love hate relationship with doing my nails. I love having long, strong, beautiful nails but I hate the long painting process, the drying stage and them chipping 5 minutes later. I've gone through the stages of shellac both in a salon and at home. I've had paper thin nails and nursed them back to strength. Thankfully Sensationail has introduced something brand new - a best of both worlds situation - the Fuse Gelnamel.

The tiny little box comes with everything you need for an at home Gelnamel manicure from the nifty usb lamp that also has a plug, to the 3 in 1 colour, a nail file, manicure stick, cleanser and wipes. It's a very portable kit and good for keeping it all stored together. 

When I first read the instructions I thought the nail by nail process was going to take forever. In reality it was quite speedy. From buffing, cleansing, one layer - no base or top, 30 seconds under the lamp, cleanse and done! There's a lot of time saved by cutting out the base and top but also the fact that only one layer is needed. However, you can see on the photos that on some of my nails the white has shown through slightly. At times like this I wish the instructions explained how to do 2 layers. Maybe I just needed a thicker layer. I was very mindful of the fact that the instructions emphasised a thin layer of polish. A minor niggle which I'm sure I can overcome. I love the tiny little USB lamp that literally takes 30seconds and it's dry. Gone are the days of painting my nails, needing a pee and having the awkward challenge of unbuttoning my jeans.

There are a choice of 5 colours included in the starter kit and an additional 7 colours available individually. Electric or Treat is a gorgeous coral colour which is one of my favourites in the summer. It was quite nice having a break from dark and dull colours and injecting a bit of colour into my life in amongst the horrible weather. It also put a smile on my face when my Granny spotted my nails and complimented them. The shine really is noticeable and it's easy to be tricked into thinking I'd gone for a gel manicure.

I was a bit disappointed that a couple of the nails started chipping the next day. Perhaps I'd put too thick a layer on, too thin a layer on or put it too close to the edge of my nail. I'm not sure but by the second night of wearing Fuse the majority of my nails had a little chip. Not what I was expecting when it's marketed at no chip, salon worthy nails. 

Removing the Fuse Gelnamel wasn't too tricky, I used a combination of buffing and 100% acetone. Just be gentle and don't go too made or you'll end up with no nail left. It's very similar to gel polish when it comes to removal. 

I'm determined to work on how I apply it. Perhaps I'll experiment with doing 2 really thin layers, or maybe go a bit thicker? Has anyone got any hints and tips they could share? As for colours I'd love to try Gone Fission or Intens-so-fly next. £15 is quite a good price for a gelnamel polish.


What's your nail loves and loathes?
Have you tried the Sensationail gel or gelnamel at home kit?

How To Boost Your Funds By Spring Cleaning Your Wardrobe*


With Christmas having been and gone, I’m currently turning my attention towards being more organised and keeping things mess and stress-free. This includes my wardrobe. I have accumulated so many additional outfits and accessories over the past year that now seems like a good time to have a bit of a clear out. It’s a great opportunity to make use of those items at the back of my wardrobe that have been gathering dust as I wait for the ‘perfect opportunity’ to wear them. Which of course just never comes! The plan is to donate some items and to eBay some of the things that I don’t use. If you are thinking of doing something similar, here are a few top tips for you.

Be Decisive - Get an eBay or Depop account - If you haven’t already then get yourself an eBay account. You can still make money online, despite the rise in buy and sell sites on local Facebook selling pages. Create a username and add your products. Some people prefer to go with a low starting price to draw more attention to their items but make sure that you only do this if you have no minimum value in mind. If you want to go for a set price with a high fashion piece try Depop. The app for your phone or tablet is easy to use and doesn't charge per photo meaning you can add a lot more detail and set prices higher than 99p without being charged more.

Use your online resources - These days you can print stamps online, arrange postage and even have items collected from your home to be sent out. Couriers will pick up your parcels at your convenience and send them out for you. You can do just about everything you’d ever need to, from the comfort of your home. Make use of these options as you’re more likely to be productive and actually get things done if you take the easiest route!

Get friends involved - There are a  few ways that your friends might be able to help with your wardrobe spring clean. Firstly, get together and try on the outfits you’re undecided on. Your friends will tell you if they think they suit you. Another way to get your friends involved is to have an evening in and host a beauty and fashion swap. The concept is simple. Everyone brings products and clothing that they don’t want or wear. You then swap between yourselves, and you all end up with something new and exciting!

Save your profits - It’s sometimes easier to motivate yourself to keep selling your unwanted items if you can physically see your money building up. Get yourself a cute glass jar and put it somewhere safe. Every time you make a few sales, add the money to your jar. This way, you can put the savings towards something you really want. This is a fun way to save for this season’s new products and trends.


If you don’t like the idea of selling online then wait for a warmer day and do a car boot sale with your unwanted items. You’ll be able to get rid of loads of products at once, and you won’t lose anything in fees. You will have to pay out for the cost of a table though and for a float to give people change from anything they buy from you. Take plenty of carrier bags with you as customers are more likely to buy from your stall if you can bag everything up for them.


Valentines Ready Lips: Anatomicals Stop Cracking Up Lip Balm




With Valentines Day just around the corner you might be keen to get your lips soft and kissable, but that's no easy task with the cold weather outside and the heating blasting inside. I've been struggling with sore, chapped lips since the winter weather got a bit extreme. Lots of lip balms seem to sink in with no effect so I'm always up for trying something new. 

I've heard lots about Anatomicals, after being intrigued by their bright cartoon-like packaging, and quirky names. The description on the back of the box and side of the tube both put a smile on my face and make me hopeful for a quick fix and a new lip balm addition. With Vitamin E, Sweet Almond Oil and Beeswax there's lots of ingredients ready to  help condition, soothe and soften.


Though it's marketed as a lip balm I think they'd get away with classing Stop Cracking Up as a lip gloss. It's quite a thick, glossy consistency which shines on the lips. It doesn't actually taste of anything, which I suppose is better than a horrible tasting product. This also means there's no temptation to lick it all off and with it not smelling of much there's nothing to put you off. My lips feel hydrated and protected after application and they look healthier too. No cracked, dry skin in sight. As for staying power, it hangs around for quite a while, no need to reapply every 5 minutes. Be prepared for lip gloss marks on your glass if you're having a drink but you'll still have balm left afterwards.


The squeezy tube is quite big at 15ml. Theres no real applicator, just a hole in the top of the slanted tube but because it's quite sticky I avoid using my finger to apply it. A bit of a nuisance getting the lip balm all over the tube but at least I've got an excuse not to share with anyone.

Would you recommend any other Anatomicals products?

Have you got any exciting Valentines plans or are you doing everything to avoid the "forever alone" day?

Outfits of the Week: January #3


Monday
Dress: Forever 21
Cardigan: H&M
Boots: New Look
Watch: Michael Kors
Bracelet: Pandora
Glasses: Osiris
 Tuesday
Cardigan: New Look
Vest Top: Forever 21
Jeans: Primark
Boots: New Look
Scarf: New Look
Watch: Michael Kors
Bracelet: Pandora

Wednesday
Dress: H&M
Cardigan: New Look
Boots: New Look

 Thursday
Dress: Primark
Cardigan: Bank
Scarf: Accessorize
Shoes: Primark

Friday
Blouse: Primark
Jeans: Primark
Scarf: Primark
Boots: New Look
Earrings: Guess

Mr Nutcase Phone Case Review







I'm a sucker for anything personalised and a personalised phone case was next on my list. Mr Nutcase has a huge range of phone cases, tablet cases and laptop covers for a whole host of brands and with affordable prices and free delivery it's no surprise they're the number 1 cutomised phone case provider in the UK.

With so many favourite photos I knew I wanted a collage on my iPhone 5 case and Mr Nutcase have quite a few templates to choose from. I loved the heart design but it didn't work well with the photos I had wanted so I went for the circle/bubble design. I like that you get to choose the case colour and inspired by my trip to Tiffany's in New York I went for a Tiffany blue colour. The whole process was really easy. I uploaded a selection of photos from my laptop and was able to move them about and zoom in and out until I was happy with what was showing. It barely took 5 minutes to go through the process and my order was processing. As for delivery my phone case was sent out of the warehouse within 24 hours and arrived to me within a couple of days.

The case really is lightweight, it is barely noticeable on my phone, it's lovely and thin too. With that being said it's a good quality case, it doesn't feel like it's going to snap or break. It clipped onto my phone easily and is snug in place. The photos are really high quality and even the tiny little bubbles are easy to see. I wasn't too keen on the transparent sides when it first arrived but now that I've got used to them (and they make my light up notifications look even more like lightning) I'm quite happy with it.

5 stars from me Mr Nutcase! I'm tempted to head back on and order a Macbook cover. I'd just have to choose who's lucky enough to be featured! Whether you've got an iPhone, Samsung or HTC Mr Nutcase has got a phone cover for you. If you fancy ordering one you can use the code Thanku10 for 10% off!

Who would feature on your Mr Nutcase case?

Fitness Friday: Arms

When it comes to working out I tend to neglect my arms. I can barely do a press up to save myself and instead of tackling it I avoided it. Thankfully I've discovered some fab videos on Youtube which are challenging, have my arms burning but don't have me feeling defeated and giving up. Turns out adding some weights is a big motivator for me. 





What area of your body do you neglect?
What arm workouts do you enjoy?


Fashion and Beauty Freebie Finding Tips*


Finding a free or discounted product can be a real buzz. If you’re a fashion and beauty fanatic like me, you’ll get seriously excited when occasional freebies pop up. Fashion and beauty freebies or sales are some of the most popular, so the key thing to remember when trying to get hold of them, is to be quick! Some stores or brands will give away a set number of products or limit vouchers to a certain amount before the deal closes. Here are a few key ways that you can make sure you never miss a freebie again!

Sign up! Firstly you need to sign yourself up to anything and everything! The more places you are signed up, the more information you are going to have access to. You can’t expect to receive the latest news and hot deals if you’re not looking in the right places to begin with. Take a look at companies websites. Most of them will have a newsletter or email list that you can get on. Add yourself to this and stay updated. You can also follow your favourite brands on their social media accounts. Popular places for brands to give away freebies or post deals is on the Facebook, Twitter or Instagram page.

Make an account! Try making a separate email account for your freebie hunting. You need to check this on a very regular basis for it to benefit you though. It will keep your daily or work emails separate to your freebie and deals emails though. This will lead to better organization and a dedicated approach to finding those freebies and getting to them in record time.

Getting free samples daily by mail is a great way to keep you motivated on your freebie hunting journey! You will soon learn which companies give out the most free products and discount codes and can then keep a closer eye on those.


Interacting with popular brands! Brands love to hear your comments. If you love a product, then get on Twitter and rave about it. Be sure to direct your tweet to the company you are talking about and mention their Twitter handle directly. You want them to see what you are saying. The same works if you are disappointed with a product. Brands want to keep you happy. Some would often offer you a free product or a sample of a different product to try if you weren’t pleased with your purchase. Be fair and give detailed comments or reasons why you liked or disliked a product. Companies pay good money for market research, so getting your thoughts for free is a huge bonus.

Join a community! To get access to the best freebies, you should join a community. There are loads to choose from on Facebook. Most of them have their own groups and are either set to ‘members-only’ or public. Just join the group with the most members, and you’ll get notifications pop up daily with the latest deals to click through!

Recent Competition Wins

It doesn't seem like that long since my last competition wins post but luck has definitely been on my side for the past month. Probably to do with the fact that during the Christmas holidays I spent a bit more time reading blogs and on twitter. I've had such amazing prizes land through my door and have been loving trying out lots of new beauty products. 



Minted.com Review



$16

Another year, another notebook. I'm a list girl - to do list, packing lists, blogging lists, shopping lists. I like to keep organised and a notebook is essential. Getting my hands on a notebook with my favourite photo and my name etched across the front is even more exciting. I love the font on the front, my little quote on the inside, the colour theme, even the quality of the paper. I'm looking forward to using this everyday. As far as cost goes, just over £10 for a personalised notebook isn't bad in comparison to some stationery in Paperchase.


16" x 16" 
$71

I mentioned on my Minted.com post that my boyfriend's mum wanted a photo collage from our American adventures. I was inspired, and with a future house in mind, I order one the the snapshot photo collages in a heart shape. I went for a random selection of photos, mostly of my boyfriend and I (considering it'll be for our house). Some of the photos were quickly downloaded from Facebook and some were the original copy. You can't really tell the difference which is fantastic. All of the photos are clear, high quality and well coloured. This was a bit more on the pricey side costing just over £45. I think there's more affordable options available but this is quite a unique design and high quality printing. At 16" x 16" it'll be quite a feature on a wall somewhere in my non-existent house.


8" x 10"
$32

The foil-pressed pictures on Minted looked lovely but a lot of them were American themed. I couldn't resist getting one and after featuring it in my Minted Wishlist I took the plunge and ordered a Christmas themed reindeer name design. It's a shame this can't be up on my wall 365 days of the year but at least I've got a gorgeous  (slightly more sophisticated) Christmas decoration ready for next year. £20 isn't too bad for a foil-pressed piece of art work and the quality of the work is fantastic. 

As for the delivery from Minted.com, I placed my order on the 16th of December and it arrived on the 24th of December. Pretty impressive considering 2 of the items were personalised AND it came from America. Postage only cost £6.50 which isn't too expensive in comparison to the price some British companies charge.