Monthly Archives: March 2014

Fresh Faced to Fight Cancer: A Reflection

cancer selfie

You’ve probably been seeing these beat cancer selfies all over the internet recently. I did mine a while back on facebook, but I thought I’d post it here as well to further raise awareness!

TEXT BEAT TO 70099 TO DONATE £3

Over six days an enormous £8 million was raised for Cancer Research UK by this wonderful campaign.  Cancer is a disease that affects so many lives and the work needed to eradicate it still needs so much money. I have had family members affected by cancer and in fact I know very few people who can say that it has not affected their lives in some way.

There are those that will tell you that donating to cancer charities is a waste of money, that pound for pound, more good is done in relieving poverty, hunger, malaria, AIDS etc. And while this is indisputable and while these are good causes also, we need to be feeding money back into research if we are to hope that things will get better.  I wish everything could get better but it can’t, not in this current state of affairs.

I wish I was better at giving to charity. I picked up a £30 playsuit from River Island a couple of weeks ago and I absolutely love it, but do I need it? Absolutely not. There are people dying of hunger for goodness sake, how do we live like this? According to USAID $10 can feed a family of six for two days, so my overpriced please of fabric could give roughly thirty hungry people a whole days worth of food. But did that stop me from buying the playsuit? No. Do I feel guilty? For the most part no. It should be disgusting, we should all be disgusted at ourselves, but we aren’t.

I’m not a psychologist, I’ve never studied psychology or sociology so I can’t tell you any of the reasons why. I can’t tell you why we’re allowed to grow up in this heartless culture of consumerism and not one person, not one faction has gained the support to stand up and contest this hideous way of life. I’d imagine you’ve seen the hunger games (hopefully you’ve read it, but that’s not the point right now), well think about how the people in the Capitol make you feel. Think about it, because 99% of people reading this are not too dissimilar from those blissfully ignorant fools the novel so delicately depicts.

According to Hope Africa, AIDS turns a child into an orphan every 14 seconds. According to World Hunger the world produces roughly 2720 kcal of food per person per day (the RDA is 2000/woman and 2500/man) and yet around 870 million people suffer from undernourishment. The shocking statistics go on and on and on. I don’t know how we let it happen. And I’m certainly not here to preach about the issue, I am as much a part of a problem as you are. But it’s 2014, how haven’t we got to a point where we recognise that all humans are fundamentally equal? How are we still clinging to these foolish notions of state sovereignty and national identity. What is it going to take to bring us together? Yes our cultures are gloriously different but they come closer every day and our genetics are the same. We are citizens of the world and we owe ourselves that title. We owe it to those who aren’t empowered enough to use it.

But at the end of the day when I’ve wrapped up this blog post am I going to sell all my material possessions and travel far away to live the life of poverty I deserve? No. Am I going to return that River Island Playsuit? No. And that’s all you need to know about the sad state of the modern world, really.

So raise awareness about Cancer, raise awareness about poverty and hunger and AIDS and all the things you are about, but I think what I’m really saying here is something that I’ve come to know only recently. Just be grateful. For every small thing, for every victory and all the things you’d forgotten that you need to be grateful for. It’s easy to forget and I don’t ever want to forget again.

SOURCES AND RELEVANT LINKS

Cancer Research UK || Checking for Breast Cancer || Guardian Article

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St Patrick’s Day Green Themed Inspiration!

st patricks day outfit

In case you weren’t aware, it’s St Patrick’s Day today… so happy St Patrick’s Day to you laddy! What this means is you should don your best green outfit, get out your lucky horseshoe and your four leaf clover and tuck into a nice pint of Guinness… Nom! Seriously though, this holiday has inspired to pick out some of my favourite green things. Here we go.

GOING GREEN FOR ST PATRICK…

Firstly the three dresses above are from Topshop (£60), Pixiemarket ($55) and Arrogant Cat at ASOS (£55) respectively. I think all three of them are absolutely adorable and if you’re looking for a pop of colour to spice up your spring wardrobe then these are as good as any!

jeffrey campbell boots

Next I spotted these absolutely amazing platforms from Jeffrey Campbell ($185). They’re mega pricey but the mint green colour is just so pretty. They’re leather lined with a suede finish and to be frank they’re just to die for. If I owned a pair of shoes like this you’d never get them off my feet!

michael kors green bag

This Michael Kors bag (£242) is also super precious. I’d find it hard to commit to a green bag for that amount of money because green has never been one of my main accent colours (I myself have two bright red handbags) but if you think you could pull it off, this would be an amazing statement piece.

topman mint shirt

Not to leave out the boys… I’m also super in love with this shirt from Topman (£25). Now I feel like I’m kind of cheating here because this is one of the things I bought my boyfriend for his birthday, but I absolutely love it. I realise it looks a little blue in the image but it’s very green in person and it’s absolutely on trend for spring!

green zara coat

Last but by no means least this is gorgeous coat from Zara (£69.99) which I think is just so so beautiful. In fact, if you’re looking for a new coat at the moment, you’d be a fool not to look in Zara first of all. They have so many stunning, colourful spring jackets in at the moment and I just want to scoop them all up (I’m such a coat fiend). In any case, this beautiful green wool coat does not disappoint.

That’s it for my green roundup! I really enjoyed looking for new items and it’s really got me into the spirit of Paddy’s Day!

xx

SOURCES AND RELEVANT LINKS

St Patrick’s Day Website || My Inspiration for this Post || Guinness Website

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Origins Skincare Review

origins giftset
origins giftsetorigins megabright

So a little while ago I purchased a few bits from Origins and I thought I’d do a little write up about what I thought of them.

MY ORIGINS OBSESSION…

I originally went to the Origins counter to pick up the Mega-Bright Dark Circle Minimizer £32 for 15ml pictured to the bottom right, because I’d heard wonderful things about it and I have the worst dark circles of anyone I know. I have to say that so far this product has not disappointed me at all. My dark circles appear visibly reduced and I feel more confident than I can ever remember leaving the house with no make up on. Before this, the idea was entirely laughable purely because of my under eye circles, but this product has given me so much confidence in my face. It’s my number one hero product!

While I was at the counter the sales assistant mentioned that she had some Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief gift sets left over from Christmas. She was selling them for £35, which was an absolute bargain, so being the impulse buyer that I am I really couldn’t say no. In my set I got the Soothing Treatment Lotion 50ml (worth £7.50), Soothing Face Cream 30ml (worth £29), Face Cleanser 50ml (worth £17.50) and the Advanced Face Serum 50ml (which they don’t appear to stock any longer but when I used to buy it I’m certain it was £58). Bearing that in mind I got £112 worth of product for £35, making a saving of £76. This is how I justified it to myself at least.

In any case I’m really happy with the products generally. As aforementioned I already use the Advanced Face Serum, it is my favourite skincare product and I’ve repurchased it more than once. I love the way it smells and glides onto my skin so nicely. It’s not as heavy as a moisturiser and I really like that about it. It does a great job at soothing and combating the redness I get in my skin and keeps it generally clear, soft and fresh. I’m always pleased to have a bottle of this on my bedside table.

It is probably for this reason that I haven’t got around to trying the Soothing Face Cream. I don’t usually like to use a serum and a moisturiser on my face because my skin just doesn’t need it. I’ll definitely give it a go when I’m all out of serum, particularly because I’m not entirely sure if the product they’re replacing it with is identical or if they’ve changed it in some way, I really need to look into it.

The Soothing Treatment Lotion does what it says on the tin, reducing redness and keeping my skin calm and clear of breakouts. That being said it’s not exactly what I look for in a toner and though I’ve been using it, I’ve been finding myself going back to my trusty Elemis Balancing Lavender Toner just because it’s an old favourite. Unfortunately I too often become a creature of habit when I find a product I really like.

Finally there’s the Face Cleanser, now this has been the most underwhelming of all the products though it is by no means a bad product. I think I have too many cleansers I am so fond of, and as I said before can be a little too adverse to change. It smells lovely like the rest of the range and it deals with the sensitivity of my skin really well, I’m just not entirely sold on the way it makes me skin feel when I’ve taken it off. It’s a little tighter than some of the cleansers I’m used to and while it does the job I don’t think it’s something I’d buy again.

Needless to say I remain to be a huge Origins fan and there are still so many products of theirs I want to try. The dark circle minimiser has made me even more loyal to brand and I’m very tempted to try one of their face masks next, I’d be interested to hear any reviews.

SOURCES AND RELEVANT LINKS

Origins Website || My Fashion and Beauty Posts || Skin Tips

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Making a Kitty Cat Birthday Cake

kitty cat cakekitty cat cake

So it’s my boyfriend’s birthday today and he absolutely loves cats, so what kind of cake was I to make for his birthday? A cat one of of course! I followed a recipe from a very old book, so I’ll post that below as well a a simplified version of the items I used.

I LOVE MY KITTY CAT…

Simplified for experienced bakers:

  • I made two standard Victoria Sponge cakes, in a 1 pint pudding basin and a 2 pint pudding basin
  • I shaped the smaller cake into a sphere so it could be the head
  • I stuck the two cakes together with buttercream icing
  • I used this buttercream icing with orange food dye to cover the cake
  • I used sponge fingers  to make the paws and the tail, covering them in icing also
  • The ears are made out of hollowed out ice cream cones
  • The nose, collar and mouth are assorted pick ‘n’ mix sweets
  • I cut the eyes out of regular icing, which also formed the writing
  • And finally added the spaghetti whiskers for good measure

kitty cat cakekitty cat cake

Official recipe as per my cook book:

You will need (cake):1 pint pudding basin, 2 pint pudding basin 250g butter, 250g caster sugar, 4 eggs, 250g self-raising flour and 2 tablespoons of hot water, 3 sponge fingers, 2 ice cream cones, few liquorice sweets, 1 piece red liquorice ribbon, few short pieces of spaghetti

You will need (butter icing): 250g butter, 500g sifted icing sugar, 4 tablespoons milk, colourant

  1. Line and grease the pudding basins
  2. Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees/Gas mark 4
  3. Cream the fat and the sugar together until light and fluffy
  4. Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a tablespoon of flour with the third egg
  5. Fold in the remaining flour with a metal spoon, then the hot water
  6. Two-thirds fill each basin with the mixture
  7. Bake in the preheated oven an hour for the small cake and an hour and twenty minutes for the large
  8. While cooking, make the butter icing (recipe below)
  9. Turn onto a wire rack to cool
  10. Trim the small cake into a ball for the head
  11. Place the large cake on a cake board and fix the small one on top with a little butter icing
  12. Position a sponge finger at the side for a tail
  13. Cut a slice off the other sponge fingers, place them either side of the chest, as legs and paws
  14. Cut the tips off the ice cream cones and place on either side of the head for ears
  15. Cover the kitten with icing
  16. Shape the sweets for the eyes and nose, press into position
  17. Tie the liquorice round the neck in a bow and position the spaghetti as whiskers

Butter Icing:

  1. Beat the butter with half the icing sugar until smooth
  2. Add remaining icing sugar with the milk and flavouring/colourant
  3. Beat until creamy

Hope this helped and that you enjoyed my kitty cat cake! xxxxx

SOURCES AND RELEVANT LINKS

All the Bakeware || More cat cakes || One of my favourite baking blogs

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365 Picture Challenge : March

march 2014

This is where I’ll be posting my daily pictures for my 365 Picture Challenge.

060-MARCH 1ST: Because after midnight, attractive pictures are our forte

anxiouslybold

061-MARCH 2ND: Dress rehearsal for Eden

lutheatre eden

062-MARCH 3RD: Cyclists on my way into uni

victoria park leicester

063-MARCH 4TH: Pancake Day!

pancakes with sugar

064-MARCH 5TH: Eden Performance #1 and the worst headcold ever

sickness cure

065- MARCH 6TH: Eden programme, so amazing!

lutheatre eden

066-MARCH 7TH: Final Night nerves!

anxiouslybold

067-MARCH 8TH: Spending my Saturday off watching AVPM

draco and goyle avpm

068-MARCH 9TH: Drawing of my character done by the amazing Ivo

lutheatre eden

069-MARCH 10TH: Always have time for a strong eyebrow

anxiouslybold

070-MARCH 11TH: Kitty Cat Birthday Cake!

kitty cat cake

071-MARCH 12TH: Kitty cat presents for my boy! yay!

kitty cat presents

072-MARCH 13TH: First sunglasses outing of the year!

tods sunglasses

073-MARCH 14TH: Got this gorgeous present in the post from my auntie!

glitter magnet

074-MARCH 15TH: Got my tiara on with the Bishop!

lutheatre richard III

075-MARCH 16TH: Dress Rehearsal

lutheatre richard III

076-MARCH 17TH: Hair!

halo braid

077-MARCH 18TH: Having a fresh faced day, no make up, no editing

no make up selfie

078-MARCH 19TH: Cupcakes made for Emily’s Birthday

vanilla cupcakes

079-MARCH 20TH: Opening Night!

lutheatre richard III

080-MARCH 21ST: Emily Looking Gorgeous in her Pawn Costume

lutheatre richard III

081-MARCH 22ND: I enjoyed this tiara way more than I should

lutheatre richard III

082-MARCH 23RD: A Lovely Nothing Day

scarlet forrest

083-MARCH 24TH: My Incredigirl outfit, knocked out in thirty minutes

incredibles costume

084-MARCH 25TH: Because these sorts of selfies were the only order of business that evening

incredibles make up

085-MARCH 26TH: Thoroughly Enjoying Rugby Varsity!

leicester rugby varsity

086-MARCH 27TH: Snuggling with Piggy in the cold

piggy hot water bottle

087-MARCH 28TH: Lovely to be home with my girl

sophie cat

088-MARCH 29TH: First BBQ of the year!

yummy bbq food

089-MARCH 30TH: Mother’s Day

mothers day presents

090-MARCH 31ST: Rehearsals in the cathedral!

lutheatre richard III

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February 2014 in Review

february 2014

A wee bit late with my update this month, but things have been super duper busy. Not to mention, February was a pretty terrible month for me overall. It was last year as well, I hope I’m not starting a tradition for myself, that’s certainly not something I’d like to keep up to be frank. Well, here’s how I did this month.

THE FEBRUARY BLUES.

Looking through my February 365 it seems that the month started out really well, I was doing all the reading for my seminars, enjoying rehearsals and eating well. It’s a shame  that didn’t last very long! I had a couple of lovely nights out with theatre and work, though I’m definitely missing going out with my uni friends. The weather seems to have taken a turn for the better, which I am always loathed to complain about. I had a lovely Valentine’s Day and a really nice trip up to London. That’s when the problems started…

I completely messed up my Civil Service Assessment Centre. Now I’ve typed up half a blog post about this, but I want to post it when I’ve got my feedback from them. I can say with over 99% certainty that I haven’t progressed in the application process, but it was a really useful day and I’m glad that I had the opportunity to go. I just wasn’t at my best and some of the other candidates were far stronger than I. Following that I broke my phone, cut my knee open,managed to delete all my texts (which upset me because I’m one of those strange people who likes to look back on them and reminisce) and  burnt my hand. There were lots of other little upsets that happened in February and while none of them were lifechanging, they all added up to make sure I had a pretty bad month overall.

On to the goal progress, needless to say this goes along with the theme of having an awful month…

1) I am no healthier this month, I would go so far as to say I have been less healthy this month than in January
2) I’ve been doing well keeping up with uni work so I think I’m still on track with my degree
3) I am no closer to securing a grown up job,possibly further still since failing my assessment centre
4) I am still yet to book or organise a holiday

This month I’ve been loving Frozen and my new Origins products. I’ve been baking a little, which is nice and my dinners are becoming slightly (emphasis on the slightly) more adventurous than usual. All my other progress with goals is slow, it remains that there simply aren’t enough hours in my day. I’m hoping my March update will be considerably more positive than this, although I know for a fact it begins with a terrible dress rehearsal, a dreadful essay and a hideous head cold. There’s only up from here…

SOURCES AND RELEVANT LINKS

My February Flipagram || My Goals Post || 365 Picture Challenge

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

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