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Monday, 29 February 2016

Hair Care: Elvive Extraordinary Clay


The longer my hair gets, the more often I find I have to wash it due to the roots becoming oily or greasy much faster than they used to. I'm not sure if I notice it more now because of the length, or if it's down to the time of year and cold weather/central heating playing havoc with my scalp -it could sort it's self out as we get into Spring (I live in hope).

Because I have quite a sensitive scalp I try to stay away from using dry shampoo to often, but at the same time, I don't want to over wash my hair and dry out the ends. When I started to see the new Extraordinary Clay range from Elvive popping up online, claiming to combat my exact issue -I couldn't wait to try it out. I picked up the shampoo, conditioner and clay masque, the dry shampoo had sold out when I was in store so I'm yet to try that. The packaging is much like the rest of the Elvive ranges, which I have to say, I've never tried before -I'm new to Elvive. However I was immediately drawn to the colour of this range. Of course this has absolutely nothing to do with the performance of the product, but I enjoy it anyway.

If you use it as suggested  -although I'm sure you could work one or two of these products into your usual hair car routine, you begin with the masque that you apply to your roots and leave in for up to 5 minutes. Followed by the shampoo and conditioner that you use as normal. All three products are quite heavily perfumed, which I don't mind as I enjoy the scent, but it's something to think about.


The masque really does have a clay type texture to it, which does make it that bit easier to apply to your roots. My only issue with this masque...is that it dyes your fingers tips a greyish blue! Has this happened to anyone else? It does come off after a couple of washes, but still -not a good look.

I was expecting to use this range a couple of times before seeing results, but from the first use I manged an extra day between washes, that was without the masque. When I used it a second time with the masque, I could get away with an extra two at a push. My hair feels clean and light -not at all weighed down or heavy at the roots - but at the same time it doesn't feel dry or stripped! The lengths and ends of my hair feel soft and conditioned, something that's hard to find with oil controlling products. A few clarifying shampoo's I've used in the past have help with my roots but left my ends needing extra conditioner -this range looks after both.

Also, as I mentioned, my scalp can be rather sensitive to certain hair products but I've had no issues with using this range (apart from the blue fingers). If you're having the same sort of problem I'd definitely recommend these products -for once something that does exactly as it claims too!

Well done Lo'real! If you'd like to try them out they're currently on 3 for £10 in Boots.




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Friday, 19 February 2016

Made Me Happy This Week

made-me-happy-this-week
{missing that beautiful blue sky from last Sunday}

Seeing as it's Friday, I'd usually be looking forward to tomorrow being a little slower but I have a feeling that's not going to be the case this week. My to-do list is getting longer by the minute so I'm hoping by Sunday every thing's done, and we can lie in bed, eat pancakes and weather permitting do some exploring. Also, this week we ordered everything for our new bathroom -except the tiles, we're going into store to order them in a few days. I feel that we've been talking about this bathroom forever now, so to have things ordered is all very exciting (-things you never thought you'd say).

1. McDonald's for dinner tonight. Terrible I know, but sometimes it's just what you want, so when Paul suggested it -who was I to say no.

2. As we walked into Marks and Spencers last Saturday we were met with the most heartwarming sight. Walking towards us was the sweetest looking elderly gentleman (bow tie and all), carrying his food shopping and a huge bouquet of roses. As it was Valentines the next day we assumed that's what they were for -so lovely to see.

3. This life hack -it's honestly life changing stuff! I found it online last week and can't stop telling people about it, it will change bed making forever.

4. Truly hilarious afternoons with my mum and gran. They are so funny when they're together. 

5. Our growing collection of Easter chocolate! It's actually getting rather large now, but this year I'm determined to keep it hidden away until Easter time. As apposed to what we normally do, which is eat it from the minute it starts trickling into stores. To be honest I don't mind, but it's taking all the will power Paul has to not eat all the Cream Eggs.

6. Lighter evenings. I've found myself constantly checking the time this week with days getting that little bit longer.

7. Re-discovering old tops that had made their way to the back of the wardrobe, and sadly been forgotten about. An over sized grey jumper from Zara has been a particular good find.


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Monday, 15 February 2016

A Sunny Walk Along The Coast

a-walk-along-the-coast
a-walk-along-the-coast

The weather yesterday was absolutely beautiful -cold, but beautiful. The sky was mostly clear and the sun was shining, if you couldn't feel the icy chill in the wind you would've been forgiven for thinking it was a summers day. As it was Valentines Day and we had no real plans, we thought it would be a nice idea to make the most of the sunshine, wrap up warm and head to the beach. So after some tasty lemon and sugar pancakes for breakfast (pancake day just wasn't enough), that's what we did -with flasks of tea and dog treats in hand. I hadn't planned on taking my camera but as I did, I thought it would be a shame not to share some of the shots.

When we arrived it was surprisingly busy, so we stayed away from the sand and wondered along the coastal path instead. It was much quieter and we found some pretty amazing views. We sat for a while sipping on tea, looking out over the water and watching our crazy little dog explore as far as she dared go. And yes -that is a Christmas jumper shes wearing but it was cold and all we could find to keep her warm...she didn't seem to mind really. All in all, a rather perfect Sunday.

a-walk-along-the-coast
a-walk-along-the-coast
a-walk-along-the-coast
a-walk-along-the-coast
a-walk-along-the-coast






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Friday, 12 February 2016

Made Me Happy This Week

made-me-happy-this-week

Well it's Friday again and I couldn't be happier. I feel as if Paul and I haven't seen much of each other this week so we've planned to spend most of this weekend together -which is always nice. I'm not sure yet what we're doing but at some point it will involve making a decision on bathroom tiles. We've looked for that long, we now have no idea what we want -but it needs done! Maybe we should just flip a coin? I hope you all have a lovely weekend, and a lovely Valentines Day, however you're celebrating it. We aren't doing anything particular for it, but I do feel that pancakes for breakfast is a good way to start the day.

1. New trainers. One thing I'm lacking in my shoe collection is good decent footwear to walk around in day to day. I'm guilty of forever being in ballet flats or something else with no support at all, I'm pretty sure it not that good for you so I'm glad to now have these.

2. Red velvet cupcakes. They really are one of the best cupcakes out there and as I made a batch for a post this week (that you can find here) they've been sitting there calling our name all week. Sadly they're gone now but in all honesty, that's probably a good thing!

3. Sunny days when it's so crisp and cold are some of the most beautiful. So sunny even, that you forget how cold it is before you walk outside -then immediately freeze!

4.From sunny days to random snow flurries. So out of the blue but always so beautiful.

5. Ordering another skinny dip luggage tag, it would seem I've started some kind of collection.

6. Having the best nights sleep I've had in a while. I'm not a great sleeper most of the time so when I do sleep well I really do appreciate it.

7. Spending an entire evening on Trip Advisor planning places to eat in New York -some damage will definitely be done.

8. Nutella and raspberries. They were left over from our pancake brunch but make the tastiest treat.
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Thursday, 11 February 2016

Valentines Day: Red Velvet Cupcakes

red-velvet-cupcakes
red-velvet-cupcakes

Paul and I never do anything big for Valentines Day and this year's no different. We have no definite plan as of yet, but it will more than likely be us at home, cooking a meal together and after enjoying that, cuddling up with a film -and cupcake or two (or four).

Even though we don't have any big fancy plans I did want to make a little something, and it would seem I can never really pass up an excuse to make cupcakes. The perfect and obvious choice had to be red velvet. For a start they taste fantastic and the fact that they have a slight sour taste, means they aren't nearly as sickly when you eat more than you should -as we do often. Also, if you want to cover something in little heart sprinkles then they look adorable, and are lovely thing to give out to friends and family if you're feeling all sweet and romantic.

Ingredients: (for 24 cupcakes)
250g self raising flour
15g cocoa powder
250g caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
270g butter - soft/room temperature
4 large eggs
150ml buttermilk
1 teaspoon of red food colouring (paste works best)
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1.5 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
1.5 teaspoon cider vinegar

Ingredients: (for cream cheese frosting)
150g butter -room temperature
250g cream cheese - room temperature
850g icing sugar -sifted

red-velvet-cupcakes
red-velvet-cupcakes

Pre-heat your oven to 170°C and line two cupcake trays with cases. If you'd prefer to make a smaller batch, line 1 tray and half the ingredients.

With a stand or hand mixer, beat your butter for a minute until soft and then start to add in your sugar a little at a time until all creamed together.

Add in your eggs and vanilla -all at once is fine, and mix until combined. Then add in your flour, cocoa powder and salt and mix until smooth.

Add your red food colouring to your buttermilk and give it a mix. Add this to your batter and mix until you have a smooth bright red mixture.

In a small bowl, add your bicarbonate of soda to your cider vinegar and give it a little stir, it will start to foam and bubble up. Add this straight into your batter and mix it through evenly.

Spoon your mixture into your cases and put them straight in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes until risen and until they bounce back when lightly touched.

To make your frosting, cream together your butter and cream cheese then start to add in your icing sugar a little at a time until it's smooth and fully combined. It should be soft enough to spread or pipe, but able to hold it's shape too.

Once your cakes have cooled completely you can ice them. If you aren't using your icing straight away it's a good idea to cover it with cling film and keep it in the fridge. Cream cheese frosting can go a little crispy if left uncovered.

I used a piping bag but it looks just as lovely when spooned on. And seeing as they're for Valentines Day I thought I'd cover mine in little heart sprinkles...I mean, why not?



What are you're plans for Valentines Day, if any? Or do you try to avoid the madness?

red-velvet-cupcakes
red-velvet-cupcakes



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Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Pancake Day: Brunch with Best Friends

pancake-day
pancake-day

Happy Pancake Day!

Pancake day is a big deal in this house and one that's never missed, I mean, a whole day dedicated to pancakes! What could be better, I ask you?

This year we decided to move the day it's self to the Sunday just before, that way we could really make the most of it. Also, in my humble opinion, Sunday is the perfect pancake day. It's a slow easy going day and a huge pancake brunch with best friends is the perfect way to spend it. Followed buy an hour or two of relaxing on the sofa after you have stuffed yourself at said pancake brunch.

pancake-day

The day was lovely from start to finish. After waking up and having a cup of tea in bed, we got ready, put on some music and started making pancakes. When our friends arrived, Paul made yet more tea -and coffee, and we sat down to an enormous amount of pancakes, bacon, sausages and all the toppings you could ever need. I have to say, the biggest hit probably had to be the cinnamon roll pancakes topped with the cream cheese frosting. We have to make them again soon. After one or two plates each, followed by more tea, smoothies and orange juice, we tidied up (thankful for helpful guests) and collapsed in piles on the sofa.

It was honestly the perfect lazy Sunday and I wouldn't have changed a thing. It's definitely something we need to do more often.

So, now it's actually pancake day I am wondering if we should have some more? After all -it seems wrong not to.

How are you enjoying your pancakes today?

pancake-day
pancake-day


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Friday, 5 February 2016

Made Me Happy This Week


This week has been surrounded with drama. Absolutely everyone seems to be having some kind of issue, sadly some much bigger than others. Even we've had a couple of things thrown at us. But you have to deal with life's problems as best you can, and try not to get too worried about it all -even if that can be hard. All of that aside, it has been a lovely week and lets be honest, it's always better to focus on the positive. We celebrated our 10 year anniversary (you can read about it here), I've been helping my best friend get ready for her little girls birthday party tomorrow -it's been lovely to spend time with her, and generally had some very pleasant days.

1. My best friend and I have the most ridiculous outings. For example, we went on a little trip to pick up some off-cuts of astro turf (it's for the party decoration), and ended up trying to squeeze an enormous roll of it into the car! Also they man we'd spoken to about it all couldn't stick around, so if you'd seen us it really did look as if we were stealing.

2. Paul giving me a neck rub in the morning after I woke with in the most uncomfortable position with an aching neck. *Note to self -must get new pillows!

3. Finally having a new Urban Decay primer -I feel ashamed to say how long I'd had my other one. Lets just say it was past it's best, packaging and product.

4. I am now the very happy owner of a mini muffin tray. While I won't be making mini muffins I am planning on making chocolate cups filled with anything and everything that I can think of -Biscoff spread is definitely going to be first. Just think of the possibilities!

5. While typing this I have tea and a Kinder Bueno and it's making me very happy indeed. Especially since we've been so good with what we've been eating lately.

6. The fridge being full of goodies for our Pancake Day lunch on Sunday. I know it's not officially until Tuesday but Sunday works better for us so that's what we're doing.

7. Booking tickets for exciting things for when we're in New York.

8. Our new luggage tags! They are so bright and so ridiculous, and I love them!



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Thursday, 4 February 2016

Our 10 Year Anniversary: Five Things We Love About Each Other

anniversary post

Today, Paul and I have been together for 10 years! When I say that, it makes me laugh. 10 years sounds like such a huge length of time, and such an enormous part of our life -which of course it is, but at the same time it feels as if hardly any time has passed at all, and I'm left wondering how it could possibly have been 10. whole. years.

Not only have we been a couple for 10, but we've known each other for almost 17 -so I'd say by now we know each other inside and out. After talking to Paul about what to do as a post to celebrate, we thought it would be fun to do something together, and share a few things we love about each other. I think it's also a nice thing to have to look back on when we're feeling all soppy and romantic.

anniversary pictures

Shelley
What I Love About Paul...

1. How Calm He Is. I am by nature a very anxious person, I can worry about appointments, thing's that need done, money, time, a number of different situations and sometimes I can get myself into a terrible state over nothing. I honestly don't think there's anything I could ever say to Paul that would panic him. No matter what it is, he can look at the situation and just know that things will work out. He is unbelievably cool under pressure and never gets stressed out or worked up. His calm and collected nature helps return me to a state or normality when I'm freaking out.

2. His Spontaneous Singing. I wouldn't say Paul is very musical, his talents definitely lie elsewhere, but that doesn't stop him. He sings along to most songs but making up his own lyrics along the way -most of the time about me -which does make me laugh.

3. How He Loves To Be Home. I'm very much a home body, I love nothing more than spending time at home together with Paul watching films and cuddled up on the sofa. It makes me so happy knowing that Paul feels the same when it comes to this. We can spend whole Sunday mornings (sometimes afternoons) in bed and we couldn't be happier, an evening cuddles up with a good film is our idea of perfect. It also makes me smile to see how happy he is each day, just to be home.

4. The Little Things He Does. I don't know if Paul realises how much I appreciate all the little things he does. How he will randomly and without reason, just bring me a cup of tea. How he'll bring me breakfast in bed if the house hasn't warmed up yet so I don't have to feel cold. But one thing I love most is what he does when he thinks I can't hear him come home. As I've said before, I hate being frightened. I don't enjoy it at all. If Paul comes home and he thinks I can't hear him, because I have the music up to loud while dancing around the kitchen he'll start shouting "hello" until I know he's there -way before he gets in the room and makes me jump out of my skin. It may be small but it's just another thing that shows how sweet and caring he is.

5. His Faith In Me. As everyone is at some point, occasionally I'm full of self doubt. I don't think I can do or achieve something, or come to the conclusion that what I am doing is rubbish. Paul takes all of that away from me and leaves me to believe that if I wanted to go to the moon I could. No matter how unsure I am about something I'm doing he always has complete and total faith in me, and it has made such a big difference in my life -and I know it will continue to do so.  I would never have started this Blog if it wasn't for him and it's one of the best things I ever did.

Paul
What I Love About Shelley...

1. Support and Encouragement. I'm not the most confident person in the world, no matter how well I portray myself. I doubt myself constantly and am never fully confident in my abilities. Shelley changes that. She helps me with my confidence, she reassures me when I do the right thing and supports me through times when I struggle. I would not be where I am today without her.

2. Organisation. If you came to me at work you would be pleasantly surprised at how organised I am, unfortunately this doesn't carry over to being at home. I have no idea why not but it doesn't. I'm very untidy, I put things down and say I'll put them away but I forget. Going on holiday - I sort everything last minute. Shelley makes sure everything is planned and does so with so much detail that nothing can ever go wrong (even though she never believes that last part).

3. Empathy. We love animal, of any shape or size -sometimes more than some people. She will never let anyone treat an animal in a bad way. Seeing an animal looking scared or alone, she can't help but see if it's ok. The most recent example involved us chasing a dog around at 1am as we seen it run past the house with a lead but no owner. It was 0 degrees and snowing heavily and by the time we got home we were frozen solid! I love this about Shelley, and how she cares so genuinely, it upsets her and leaves her in tears when she hears stories of people hurting animal.

4. Honesty. Some people think honesty is a bad trait, I admire it in people. Shelley is straight with me and everyone else around her. She will always let you know if she disagrees or is upset with you, but in a way that shows she cares for and loves you. You know where you stand, she will give you her opinion but is always constructive. Being honest with someone shows that you care deeply for them and this has helped me many times in my life, and one of the reasons our relationship works so well.

5. Time Alone. I'm not one for going out and getting drunk -neither is Shelley. We would rather sit in onesies, drinking tea and binge watching films or a TV series. And there's not much better than cuddling in bed until late on a Sunday -rotating who's the big spoon.

anniversary post

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