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Wedding Wednesday: Bridesmaid Gifts

One of the things I want to put a lot of thought and time into is the gift I give to my bridesmaids on the eve or morning of our wedding. Lets face it, they're my best friends and they've worked so hard on my pre-wedding celebrations and been there for me throughout the planning stages they deserve a great big thank you. There's a big market out there for Bridesmaid gifts and I have to admit the personalised ones tend to be my favourite. Choosing the right presents depends on who you've chosen, what kind of person they are and age. I've pulled together some potential presents and stumbled upon some of the loveliest businesses and crafters. It's nice to have a mix of practical items and things they'll treasure for ever. How do you stick to a budget?!

Have you been a bridesmaid and been given a wow gift or maybe you gave a bridesmaid bundle that had everyone talking? Your help is appreciated...

First Impressions: Fanola No Yellow Shampoo

Fanola No Yellow Shampoo (350ml)

I've had bright blonde hair for around 6 years now so it's fair to say I've tried out a lot of different products designed for blonde and dyed hair. Many have been recommended on blogs and through Youtube, some by my hairdresser and others have been my own discoveries by taking a risk whilst shopping. My latest purchase is as a result of my hairdresser. Instead of using purple shampoo and a toner at my last appointment she just used this and I left the salon with the brightest hair in months, receiving compliments from staff, other customers and even people on the street outside. 
I was straight onto the internet to order it when I got home. I bought it from eBay for £14 since then it seem to be cheaper on Amazon. It can be anything from £8 to £20 for 350ml. As far as purple shampoo goes that's quite an average price. Though this doesn't seem to be your average purple shampoo. Brassy tones is a common complaint when you've got blonde hair and most people know to grab the purple stuff. Fanola No Yellow Shampoo is an extremely intense purple shampoo, so much so you run the risk of purple stained hands. I knew to expect this as my hairdresser showed me hers. It washes off with a bit of soap but if you've got dry hands it'll be a little more stubborn.
The instructions on the bottle says to leave it on for 1-5 minutes. This is a little bit scary as I've had the purple wash look from leaving purple shampoo on too long before. Because my hair was washed with it quite recently I didn't want to push it but wanted to work so I massaged it in for around 3 minutes, making sure to get every last hair. My only complaint so far was my scalp looked a little purple but my hair looks great. I'm looking forward to seeing the results a few weeks from now, when I'm further away from my last hair appointment and looking forward to my next.

Summer Haul - River Island, Forever 21, Quiz & Schuh

River Island
I bought my first leather jacket from Miss Selfridge when I was in uni. Considering I've had 4 different classes as a qualified teacher that a long time ago! I've worn the jacket hundreds, if not thousands, of times but it's now a bit big. I probably won't part with it but I wanted a newer, smaller, more fitted jacket. With the amount I'll wear this I know it's worth the money.

Speaking about things being too big I've had one of my favourite non-scale victories of the year - I've bought a size 10 pair of jeans from River Island! I love River Island jeans and my current denim Amelie pair are getting too big so it was time to treat myself to a proper fitted, comfortable pair to celebrate.

Forever 21
I'm looking ahead to the Summer nights out and making use of the 20% student discount by buying this bodysuit. They're much better for tucking into pencil skirts and I've got a few different ones that will go best with black. This one feels like a swimming costume and is long enough to be comfortable but might need some tit tape to keep it all in place.

This shift dress sums up some of my favourite trends right now - yellow, tropical print and shift dresses. I'll be wearing this at work with a pair of tights or leggings because it's a little on the short side. Hello trendy teacher. 

The floral print of this top caught my eye then I was drawn to the high neck style. The cowl back is quite nice too but not particularly noticeable. The one problem with the top is under the arms are very low so I might need a vest top underneath or to get the tit tape back out! I'm going to be double sided taped into all my clothes at this rate.

I'm wearing a jumpsuit for a hen weekend soon and wanted something to wear underneath because it's got an open back. I needed a high neck and this little bargain was perfect. It also helps avoid the stripping off in the bathroom situation.

How gorgeous are these shoes? Nude, rose gold and a chunky heel, they tick all the boxes I was looking for. I'm hoping these will be 'comfortable' enough for all day and night at a wedding. These colours will go with nearly any dress too.

I had no idea Quiz did fascinators and hatinators in their accessories. This made getting wedding guest ready a little easier. I was able to try this on in the changing room with the dress I bought back in March. Perfect! Now I just need to find a navy clutch, any ideas or suggestions?

Is payday a valid excuse for this haul? If so, that's exactly what happened when these trainers jumped into my online basket. I've been eyeing up Gazelles for months now because lets face it they are the prettiest trainers ever. The pale pink sums up my girliness, there was no other option for me.

Diamond Whites Black Edition Charcoal Tooth Polish

I've tried a few different teeth whitening products but I'm always wary of ones that are going to leave me with any sensitivity. The latest trend in teeth whitening that's all over social media is charcoal. The natural ingredient that takes me back to art lessons in primary school is the trendiest way to remove stains on the surface of your teeth.  There's lots of brands with 100% charcoal products but I think I've found a winner in Diamond Whites - the leaders in non-peroxide teeth whitening (apparantly).

I have to admit when I first bought this I had a moment of panic thinking I wouldn't be able to stomach the taste. I mean charcoal doesn't sound very appetising, does it? Thankfully it doesn't actually taste of anything. It's got a gritty sort of texture rather than being very powdery or chalky. A good way to use this polish is as a treatment before brushing your teeth. This means you polish off any stains and then use a regular toothpaste to clean away the black and plaque. Finish off with a mouthwash and you'll be gleaming.
It's worth remembering that although you're likely to notice improvements from the first use it's not a bleaching product. Your teeth will be whitened by stains being removed quickly, easily and effectively. 

There's no denying this is extremely messy. You have to be prepared to clean your bathroom after using this, it gets all over the sink, the counters and the floor if you're anything like my fiance. For that reason I only leave it in the bathroom on days he's allowed to use it and I've got time to get the anti-bacterial wipes out! It's a powder and it's jet black, what do you expect? To use the activated charcoal from coconut shells you dip your toothbrush into the powder then brush your teeth just like normal. It's an interesting look - black everywhere. Your teeth, gums and tongue will look like something out of a horror movie.

So all in all, if you've been over-doing the red wine or tea recently and are looking for an easy way to get rid of stains on your teeth then I'd recommend trying out Diamond Whites Charcoal tooth polish. It's not overly expensive, the pot is going to last for a long time and you can start to see results straight away. It's worth the mess, I promise.

Outfit of the Night - Missguided & Primark

Lots of nights out start of with the wardrobe door lying open and me complaining that I've got nothing to wear. For the first time in a while it was the complete opposite - I had so many options. I was going on a girly night out to a party with my Mum, Auntie and Cousin and with the influence of a bit of sunshine I went for a skirt and bodysuit combo. With the chunky platform heels I spent much of the night on the dancefloor (and sipping Prosecco).

Shoes: Primark

Primark Haul May 2017

Suede A-Line Mini Skirt
I absolutely love these A-Line skirts from Primark. The material is so soft and the fit is really flattering. I've got a khaki one and wear it to work with tights, a long sleeve Tshirt and boots loads. The grey one will be good for coming into the Summer months but to be fair this could be worn all year round.

Lace Panel Tshirt
Primark had lots of blouses and camis in for the Summer but this was the only one that really stood out for me this time. It's got a bit of everything that I want for summer - lace, slightly flared sleeves and it's white. With a pair of jeans and flip flops I've got an easy, go-to Summer outfit.

Stretch Scoop Neck Tshirt 
Is it just me that thinks Primark has upped the quality of their basics? This stretch, scoop neck Tshirt is a good fit and nice material. You can't go wrong with a tshirt that costs less than a coffee at Starbucks!

Denim Skinny Jeans
Super High Waist Skinny Jeans
I wear black jeans nearly everyday and one of my pairs is starting to look a little faded and grey. When it's £8 it's easy to refresh and replace them rather than paying out £40 for a River Island pair. I've also branched out a little and bought a denim pair. I feel like I've not worn blue jeans for so long because most of my blue ones have rips and they're just not as flattering as black one. It's time to branch out! 

 Workout Top
£3 (down from £6)
Primark has an impressive selection of workout clothes and accessories and when they're on sale it's even more tempting. I quite like these workout tops that have an inbuilt 'sports bra' because lets face it I don't have much going on there so I can get away with it.

Chunky Midi Heels
I've got a couple of weddings this summer and I thought these heels would be good for wearing through the whole day and night. The chunky heel and platform should hopefully make them more comfortable but the sandal style stops them being too clumpy.

 Bow Clutch
This is my favourite thing that I bought from Primark this time, it's gorgeous. A nude clutch is perfect for most going out outfits and the big bow is quite classic. It's a good size clutch too, it's not too big that you feel like you're carrying a huge weight around and it's not too small to fit your belongings in. Good work Primark. 

Look Good and Feel Great at the Gym

Struggling to find the motivation to get up and workout every morning? Hitting the gym can be a chore if exercise isn’t exactly your favourite thing, but if you want to lose weight and keep fit and healthy for as long as possible it is necessary, and there is one benefit of forcing yourself to be a gym bunny – the cute workout clothes you can buy.

There has never been a wider variety of pretty workout clothes for women than there are now from bright printed leggings to vintage style trainers and even colour-coordinated fitness trackers, which means that, even if you hate every second on the treadmill, you’ll always look good, especially if you check out these tips:

Take a Tote
You don’t just want to look good at the gym; you also want to look good on your way there, which is why you should invest in an oversized tote. You’ll be able to fit your gym clothes and a bottle of water in there, and it’ll look just as good as your everyday handbag.

Pick Printed Yoga Pants
Yoga pants are the ultimate in gym style. They hug your body in all the right ways, ensure you’re free to move around, and they’re safer than most other types of gym trousers. However, an awful lot of yoga pants are bland and boring. If you want to look amazing and stand out, don’t go for boring black or grey yoga pants – choose bright, Indian inspired patterned pants instead!

Choose Your Sports Bra Wisely
Few women would consider a sports bra to be particularly attractive, but that doesn’t have to be the case. It is perfectly possible to find a sports bra that offers that much-needed support without flattening your curves completely.

Find Trainers That Fit
You might think that you know your shoe size, and that’s all there is to it, but when you’re buying trainers for exercise purposes, you need to consider the width of your feet and your gait too. If you can do this, you will cut your chances of sustaining an injury.
Choosing trainers that look good as well as fit well has never been easier because there are so many on the market now, but what I would suggest is that instead of buying those bright pink training shoes, you go for a colour that will compliment all of your workout outfits.

No Visible Panty Lines
Workout clothes tend to be a lot tighter than your average outfit, which is why choosing low rise thongs might be a good idea. Other forms of underwear are more likely to give you a visible panty line, and that’s rarely a good look. Ideally, you should also choose underwear which is made from natural fabrics or which are specially designed for exercise if you want to be comfortable when you’re sweating it out in the gym.

Fall in Love with Long-Line Vests
Long-line vests are a gym going gal’s best friend. They skim the hips, cover any lumps and bumps that you haven’t sorted out yet and look really pretty paired with yoga pants. Invest in a few vests, and you’ll always look pretty and ready for action when you hit the treadmill.

Wedding Wednesday - High Street Bridesmaid Dresses

So often when it comes to buying Bridesmaid dresses it used to be all about bridal shops, Debenhams or eBay. Thankfully the high street stores have joined the party and boy are they killing it! There's so many colours, styles and sizes available and they don't break the bank. If you're planning a wedding you'll know just how quickly everything adds up and finding a drop dead gorgeous dress for your girls shouldn't mean sacrificing something else. I can't wait to take my 3 besties to get their dresses now.

Have you been a bridesmaid? Did you have much say in your dress? Where did you buy your bridesmaids dresses from if you're married?

Slimming World - Month 4

This month marked a year since getting engaged, one of my friend's hen weekends in Liverpool, Easter holidays from school and some exciting news at the end of the month. With all of that I had a few 'off plan' days and watched the scales hover around the same weight for the whole month until right at the end when I cracked with plateau with the help of 10 syn days and a few SP meals. So my total lose for my 4th month of Slimming World is 1lb bringing my total loss to 20lbs. I've spent most of my month in size 10 clothes with a few size 8s thrown in there too. I've also moved away from always wearing black jeans and have found a love for blue jeans, which hasn't been the case for months and months! I'm still happy and still loving it. I even survived measuring out my Easter egg instead of devouring it in one go!

Crunchie spread on toast with fruit (HEX b & 4 syns)
Banana on toast with strawberries and tea (HEXb)
Fruit and Vanilla Skyr yogurt (free)
Quaker Oats porridge and fruit (HEXb)

Naked Noodles (free)
Subway salad (1.5 syns for Honey Mustard Dressing)
Lunches prepped for work (free)
Leftover KFC chicken salad with Walden Farms Caesar dressing (free)

Phillycheese Steak and veg (HEXa)
Pasta 'n Sauce with chicken, cheese and veg (HEXa)
Sweet and sour chicken with noodles and veg (free)
Beef Olives and mash (8syns?)

Hunters chicken and oxo roast potatos (Free)
Salmon, salad and veg (SP)
KFC chicken salad and chips (1 syn ketchup)
Carbonara (HEXa)

Turkey burger on Schar Gluten free ciabata, sweet potato chips and salad (HEXa and b)
Cheesy Cajun Pasta (HEXa)
woops - KFC chicken again!
Chicken stir fry (free)

Eating Out
Anniversary meal - Risotto
Exciting news - High Tea
Hen Weekend - Goats Cheese starter
Hen Weekend - Chicken Caesar Salad

Easter egg & mini eggs (9syns)
Mini eggs (9syns)
Fruit medley (free)
Wholegrain popcorn (2.5syns)

28g Easter Egg (7.5syns)
Caramel egg (9syns)
White chocolate and raspberry cheesecake (who knows!?)
Tea and meal planning

Not so Slimming World
We devoured this whole fridge of drink and snacks! Hen weekend celebrations at their finest.