Sayonara!


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Just posting a quick Sayonara to everyone, see you in 2 weeks! Will be back with some brand giveaways I have lined up and will organise a special Japanese beauty one too :)

March Favourites


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The month has gone by so fast again hasn't it? Here are my beauty favourites for March:-

(1) Liz Earle Skin Repair Light Moisturiser* - (review) - This is one of the best moisturisers I've tried for oily/combination skin, it controls excess oil where needed and doesn't dry out the other parts. I'll be using this a lot over the coming summer months.
(2) Dr Organic Pomegranate Deodorant - (review) - Have been raving about this a lot recently and absolutely love it. Smells so good!
(3) Zoya Nail Polish in Jana - (NOTD) - Gorgeous mauve/taupe shade.
(4) Andrea Fulerton Nail Polish in Eliza - (NOTD) - One of my new favs shades for S/S, so pretty!
(5) Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie - (review) - I imagine that these little beauties will be on a lot of people's favourites this month! I have been wearing this almost everyday since the lovely Sandra sent it to me.
(6) Karma Naturals Lip Balm in Rhubarb and Custard - (review) - This smells good enough to eat and is very moisturising, love how natural it is too!

What are your beauty favourites this month?


*PR sample

What's in my make-up travel bag?


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Keeping my travel make-up fairly simple(ish!) and packing all of the above:-

Brows: Korres Eyebrow Pencil in 1 Dark Shade
Eyes: Benefit Lemon Aid, Urban Decay Primer Potion, Urban Decay Naked Palette, Urban Decay Double Eyeliner with Zero and Whiskey, The Body Shop Super Volume Mascara.
Face: Witch Anti-Blemish Skin Clearing Primer, MyFace MyMix Foundation in Medium 02, The Body Shop Vitamin E Tinted Moisture Lotion, Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealers in 2 Light and 3 Medium, Everyday Minerals Mint Colour Corrector, The Body Shop Lightening Touch Pen in 03, Benefit High Beam, Witch Pressed Powder.
Cheeks & contour: The Balm Fratboy Blush, MAC Eversun Beauty Powder Blush, Benefit Hoola bronzer
Lips: Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in 050 Berry Smoothie, Diego Dalla Palma Lipstick in 42, Barry M Lipgloss Wand in Toffee, Elf Conditioning Lip Balm with SPF 15 in Nice and Natural.


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Onto brushes (all of which will obviously be cleaned beforehand! from L-R):-
Joliebox Concealer Brush, Urban Decay Eyeshadow Brush (that came with the Naked Palette), Models Own Eye Blending Brush, Avon Eyeshadow Brush, Elf Complexion Brush, Everyday Minerals Angled Contour Brush, Ecotools Blush Brush, Everyday Minerals Kabuki Brush, Elf Fan Brush, The Body Shop Eyelash Curlers.

Only last thing to pack beauty-wise other than the bigger stuff like straightners and hairdryer etc, are nail polishes, will probably take two or three with me I think.

Are there any amazing Japanese beauty brands I should be looking for?

What's in my toiletries travel bag?


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If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen me mention that I'm heading to Tokyo on Sunday. It's a place that I've always wanted to visit and I'm so excited to finally be able to go! I've had a few requests to do a 'what's in my travel bag?' type of post detailing what beauty products I'll be taking with me, so here's my toiletries one to start things off.

[Haircare]: Macadamia Deep Repair Masque - When I saw this in last month's Joliebox, I knew that I'd have to refrain from trying it out straight away, and popped into my travel bag instead. Can't wait to use this. KMS California Free Shape Quick Blow Dry Spray does what it says on the bottle and will be perfect for using in the mornings, along with John Frieda Frizz Ease 3 Day Straight for quick and easy sleek hair. I'm also taking this trusty little bottle of Morrocan Oil for last minute touch ups. I'll be decanting a little of my usual Eucerin shampoo to keep my scalp happy and will be pairing that with The Body Shop Nettle Oil Balance Conditioner, which I believe is now discontinued but was from a gift set I received at xmas.


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[Bodycare]: I have so many body lotion travel sizes from various beauty boxes that it was difficult to just pick one, but eventually I decided to take Neom Organic Real Luxury Body Lotion because it just smells incredible. Hands and feet will by taken care of with Balance Me Super Moisturising Hand Cream and Burts Bees Coconut Foot Creme, with a mini tin of Lush Lemony Flutter to rub into cuticles before bed and for any extra dry areas that need it. My new favourite Dr Organic Pomegranate Deodorant will also accompany my travels and keep me smelling fresh throughout the busy days of sightseeing. As I'm likely to be completely jetlagged when I arrive, I thought that the Bodhi Mint The Shower Therapy* would be absolutely perfect for waking me up with its potent mint scent, and I'm going to decant a bit of Bamford Geranium Botanic Bath Oil to take with me for a soothing bath. Just in case I have any problems sleeping, I always carry a small bottle of Lavender Oil to help me relax and send me off to the land of nod.


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[Skincare]: The only cleanser I am using at the moment is Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish which gives a lovely deep clean and doubles up as an amazing make-up remover too. After this, I'll use my old faithful Lush Tea Tree Water to tone with, and apply a little of Clinique All About Eyes to my undereye dark circles which helps to de-puff them, as well as hydrating the eye area. For mornings, I'll follow with Korres Wild Rose 24 Hour Moisturiser which has SPF 6, and before bed, I'll use Institut Esthederm Time Technology Cream. Twice a week I'll use Clinique 7 Day Scrub Cream to get rid of any dull dead skin cells, and I have a mini bottle of Tea Tree Oil just in case any blemishes decide to show up. For lips, I'll be taking my Lush Honey Trap Lip Balm.

So that's everything. I am one of those people who usually leaves everything to the last minute, but doing this blogpost has helped me strike at least one thing off my enormous to-do list, hooray! I will post a make-up one at some point this evening too.

*PR Sample

YUMMY recipe.


Peanut Butter + Chocolate is one of my very favorite combinations.  Ever.
{Chocolate + Mint is a close second}.

Last night I held a presidency meeting at my house which was the perfect excuse to make something SWEET to serve.  I turned to....my Pinterest  'RECIPES TO TRYboard and stumbled upon this DEE-LISH recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything. {That blog bytheway... is pure yumminess!}.


Enjoy!!!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars
by Greta White
1 (18.25) package plain yellow cake mix
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 eggs
1 (12 oz) package semi-sweet chocolate chips1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk2 Tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla

Directions: 1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2) Combine cake mix, melted butter, peanut butter, and eggs in a large bowl using a mixer or spoon. Press this into a 9X13 pan reserving 1 1/2 cup of the mixture to crumble on top.
3) In a small pot, melt chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and butter. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and coconut.4) Spread chocolate mixture over the mixture pressed in the pan and then crumble the 1 1/2 cups of reserved cake mixture on top evenly. 
5) Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

* Note: I used a slightly smaller pan than the 9x13.  It turned out perfect!

NOTD: LCN - Free Spirit


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The sun is still shining here in the UK and I've been enjoying it so much! I have been wearing this little number on my nails for most of the week, it's the LCN nail polish in Free Spirit, from this month's Joliebox. A very pretty light pastel peach with gold/pink shimmer running through it. It was a lot sheerer than I expected it to be, so this took some time applying, the formula is a bit of a pain unfortunately. Finally got it to a good opaque with four thin coats.

Are you wearing pastel shades for Spring?

March Book List


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March is always a hectic month for us students, so most of the books I've managed to read this time around may appeal to those looking for shorter/quick reads:-

(1) The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne - This is another of those classics on my enormous to-read list, that I'm slowly working my way through. It's famed as one of the first American Tragedies and is a book that was way ahead of its time when it was written. The prose is beautiful (if a little grating at times due to the archaic language but that's more to do with my own patience more than anything else), the characters lively and colourful and the story is riveting. Like many women, I found the main character, Hester, to be such a strong figure. It's essentially her story, that of a woman who is shamed and punished in her Puritan community for having an affair and giving birth to an illegitimate daughter, and how she seeks to carry on living. [4/5]

(2) Warm Bodies by Issac Marion - A funny YA written from the point of view of a male zombie who falls in love with a female human and desperately wants to feel alive again. Cleverly written, it's the first book to ever make me feel some sort of empathy for a zombie character. So surreal and amusing! [4/5]

(3) As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner - I have wanted to read something by Faulkner for a while and was recommended this as a good book to begin with. The novel is pretty miserable in context (the title may have already given that away for you!), but I found the writing itself largely enjoyable in a poetic, pretentiously arty kinda way. You kind of just have to go along with it and not stop to question why Faulkner chooses not to explain or give reason for anything that he does with the characters. I found that the book was largely open to interpretation, especially the ending which just stops everything in its tracks. [3/5]

(4) Mr Nice by Howard Marks - What can I say about Howard Marks that hasn't already been said? Even if you frown upon his dope smuggling antics, it's hard not to get sucked into this book. It's filled with his intelligent charisma that just oozes from every page and makes for utterly addictive reading. Easily one of the most interesting and entertaining autobiographies I've ever read and certainly worthy of being put onto my 'all time favourites' shelf without a doubt. [5/5]

(5) Delicate Edible Birds and Other Stories by Lauren Groff - Wonderful collection of short stories that you can really get your teeth into and enjoy. The writing is excellent, and I'd recommend this collection to anyone who thinks short stories aren't for them. This should change your mind. [4/5]

(6) Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay - A lot more different than the TV series, but still a darkly humorous and quick read. [3/5]

(7) Perfect Lives by Polly Samson - I can see what the author was trying to do by linking together all of the short stories in this collection, but can't help but wonder why she chose to keep them as short stories and not turn this into a novel/novella? The stories are OK, though a little predictable here and there. Good for a quick summer/holiday read. [3/5]

What are you currently reading?

March Empties


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Thought I'd post my empties a few days earlier than usual as the recycling is being picked up tomorrow and it would be good to get these out of the house! Here's what I've used up this month and whether I would repurchase them or not:-

James Brown London Scandalous Intensively Glossy Rescue Treatment - A very good hair mask for weekly treatments. Only thing I didn't like about it was the highly perfumed scent which put me off using it for ages. Repurchase? No, I think it's been discontinued now. Korres Quince Body Butter - Loved this, fantastic for dry skin and soaks in immediately, gorgeous subtle scent too. Repurchase? Yes. Purity Facial Wash* - Used this as my in-shower foaming cleanser for a few months, stopped using it as it dried out my skin too much, but then started using the rest of it up these last couple of weeks due to the change in weather. Repurchase? No, doesn't really suit my oily/combo skin, would be better for very oily/sensitive instead. Lush Ultra Bland - Amazing cream/oil based cleanser that removes makeup quickly with no scrubbing. You only need the tiniest amount to do your whole face with so a little definitely goes a long way with this. Repurchase? Not at the moment as I'm happy with my Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish, but it might be something I come back to at some point.

Laura Mercier Eye Shadow in Vanilla Nuts - I've had this for such a long time but it took me forever to hit pan on it, and I've finally only now used the whole thing up! Repurchase? Not sure if they do this shade anymore and I wouldn't really need another neutral eyeshadow due to UD Naked Palette, but Laura Mercier eye shadows are really good, wonderfully soft and pigmented. Blistex Raspberry Lemonade Blast Lip Balm - This was a nice change but it got a little too sickly for my liking when I used it a lot. Repurchase? No. Lush Sweet Lips Scrub - Love this, lasted me a good couple of months. Repurchase? Yes, though I may try a DIY version. The Body Shop Hemp Foot Protector - Got this travel size pot from a gift set at xmas. I do like it but I like my usual Lush Fairtrade Foot Lotion more. Repurchase? Probably not. BareMinerals Original SPF Foundation in Medium Beige - I really liked this sample and think it's a great foundation, though the coverage is on the sheer side, it's very good for people with oily skin. Repurchase? Yes, will buy a full size once I've used up some of my other foundations.


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Caudalie Quenching Sorbet Creme - This was OK, but had a really strong floral scent which I wasn't keen on. Repurchase? No. Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Recovery Masque - Can't really vouch for the 'agesmart' properties that this claims to have, but it was pleasant to use and I got about four uses out of this 15ml sample. Didn't notice enough of a difference to warrant a full size purchase though. Repurchase? No. Crabtree & Evelyn Lavender Bath & Shower Gel - This was a little on the artificial side for me scent-wise, think there are much nicer lavender products on the market. Repurchase? No. L'Occitane 20% Shea Butter Hand Cream - Seriously the BEST hand cream ever, I always seem to have a travel size one of these around. Repurchase? Yes! Westlab Himalayan Bath Salts - I asked around to see if anyone wanted these and I got a resounding "NO!" so I ended up using them myself last week. They did nothing for me, had virtually no scent and it was like sitting in a bath of plain hot water. Only positive thing I can say is that they didn't irriate my skin. Repurchase? No.

Clinique Redness Solutions Makeup SPF 15 - Liked this a lot, all of the Clinique foundations I've sampled in the past have been great so I'll definitely look more into their range when I need a full size. Repurchase? Yes. Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation in Soft Beige - Still umming and ahhing over this. The shade was a perfect match for me right now (would probably need one a touch darker for summer) and I liked the formula a lot but you need a lot of powder on top of it if you have oily skin like I do. Repurchase? Not sure. Bourjois Organic Bio Detox Foundation - Hands down one of the worst foundations I've ever tried! It was patchy, stuck to my face like glue and refused to blend. Awful! Repurchase? No! Avon Advance Techniques Frizz Control Lotus Shield - This is pretty good, reduced frizz by about 50% and made my hair a lot more manageable. It also didn't make it look greasy which is always a bonus with these products. Repurchase? Yes.

What products have you used up this month?


*PR sample

Happy Nine.


The hubs and I celebrate NINE years of marriage today.  NINE!  
Here are some things you should know about us:

* We laugh at EVERYTHING.  And EVERYONE. 
*We have nicknames for EVERYONE. 
*We can't keep secrets from each other.  It's impossible.  Even when we're not 'supposed' to tell the other person something.....we do.  
* We LOVE to go on trips. 
*Our very favorite thing to do on Sunday nights is watch America's Funniest Videos with the kids and make cookies.
* We see more of each other...than most couples.  And we STILL love each other.
* We {kinda} have a secret made up language.  For example...if we say the words TACO BELL...we mean that someone around us is talking WAY too much. {It doesn't always necessarily make sense!}
* We have three of the best kiddos a husband and wife could ask for.
*We like to eat out.
*We like to entertain in our home.
* We like Disneyland WAY too much.
* We wanna go somewhere BIG for our TEN year anniversary.
* We're laid back.
*We don't take things too seriously.
* We go on late night SODA runs for each other.
*He ALWAYS lets me sleep on the side of the bed closest to the bathroom. No matter where we are staying.
* We DIE laughing at:  Modern Family, The Middle and Up All Night.
*We get teary watching Parenthood.
* We have the exact opposite taste in movies and music.
*THIS is our song.
*Every night before bed we 'snuggle' our kids and talk about our very favorite things from the day.
*He likes to sleep with the fan on.  I do not.
* We go on date nights every weekend.
* We love going to the movies.  Even if we don't always agree on what to see.
*Joe's cousin Kami {my bff} introduced us. At the Macaroni Grill.
*We were friends BEFORE we started dating.
* We like to stay up late.
*We die laughing at Saturday Night Live.  Even if it's dumb.

If I could sum up our relationship in just one picture...it would be this:


Thanks for NINE of the best years of my life babe.  You make me happier than I could've ever imagined. Click HERE to see an example of what I'm talking about {excerpt from my old blog}.

The Body Shop Super Volume Mascara


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Due to the glorious weather we're currently experiencing in the UK, I haven't been wearing an awful lot of make-up these last couple of days. I have however been reaching for this mascara quite a lot recently and wanted to do a quick review of it. The Body Shop's Super Volume Mascara is supposed to be one of those mega volumising mascaras (as the name certainly suggests it should be!), but I wasn't all that impressed with it when I first purchased it a couple of weeks back. I think the main issue I have with it is the design of the brush. I mean it just looks clumpy doesn't it?! The bristles are that touch too stumpy to properly coat the lashes evenly and it has a tendency to clump straight away, especially if you attempt to put on more than one coat. However despite this major flaw, it's got good pigmentation and lasts on me all day, no flakes or anything, even in this summery heat. I like this mascara for days when I just want a little something on my lashes to add a bit of definition and in my opinion it works well for that. At £10 a tube, I personally don't think it's worth that price tag, but I picked this one up on eBay for around £4 which made it much more affordable to try out.


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[Swatch above with one coat of The Body Shop's Super Volume Mascara. Excuse my creased eyeshadow, it's been a long day and I forgot to put my trusty UDPP on this morning!]

Summary: If you're looking for a volumising mascara, then I think this will disappoint most, as there are much better mascaras on the market that do the job. However, if you're after a mascara for an 'everyday/simple' make-up look and you see this on offer, then it might be perfect for you.

Have you tried this? Which volumising mascaras do you use?

General Conference Handout.


Joe has nicknamed me the 'Queen of Puns'.  
I don't mind.
I love a good pun.

I handed these out to my sweet young women today to encourage them to prayerfully watch General Conference next weekend.

After all, it is one of my most favorite weekends of the entire year.



Easter decor ala Coombs.


My house is finally bursting with bunnies and eggs!  Here are some of my most favorite spots:




I FINALLY bought egg cups.  Scored these cute polka dot ones at Fry's {local grocery store} for only 74 cents each!



LOVE the detail on my new Easter banner.  
Purchased at TJ Maxx for $5.99



Last year AFTER Easter my friend spied this Pottery Barn Easter tree for 75% off!  She was nice enough to pick it up for me {she knows me all too well} and I LOVE it!

Still working on my kitchen table centerpiece.....

Joliebox - March


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This month's Joliebox boasts a first for any beauty box; it contains all full size products! Do you think someone perhaps took notice of the drama surrounding last month's box of small (but still sample) sizes? Hmmmm. There's also the addition of the 'Joliemag', a 24-page glossy magazine showcasing new beauty products, meet the team features and how-to guides etc, which is pretty neat. Onto the products that I received, firstly there's a 200ml Yardley Luxury Body Wash in English Lavender. Now, I'm probably in the minority here when I say that I actually like lavender, I know that it's certainly something of a marmite scent for most people so I can imagine a few being disappointed with receiving this. I've seen some of the other floral scents that were sent out so I guess it's just one of those luck of the draw things? The product that I'm most excited about is the Davines Authentic Moisturising Balm which was sent out with one of the other beauty boxes recently and I thought it sounded really interesting. It's a 98% natural balm that can be used on hair, face and body so I'll certainly make use of this. Oh how I love multi-purpose products!

Two make-up items were included this month, an Eyeko Skinny Eyeliner in Powder Pink and an LCN nail polish which is a German brand I believe. I'm happy with the colours that I got sent; the nail polish looks like a pretty shimmery peach shade and I've been meaning to experiment with a pink eyeliner for that 'wide awake/bigger eyes' look. There's also a little extra in the shape of the Joliebox mirror which isn't exactly great quality wise as it looks mega cheap, but no doubt it will get thrown into one of my many make-up bags regardless. Summary: I thought this box was great, all things that I will use again which is always good of course!

Whilst I'm here, I just wanted to add my two cents to the news of the Carmine box being no more. Carmine was definitely my favourite out of all of the beauty boxes as they always offered great value and a good range of products. Sad to see them go, but I didn't think much of them merging with Glossybox. What was that all about?! I don't think I'll be signing up again to Glossybox, though my mind may change if they become more like how Carmine used to be. I'm sure only time will tell.

Did you receive a Joliebox this month? What did you think?

Random Wednesday {posted on Thursday}.

Technically...since cupcake batter has EGGS in it...it classifies itself as a BREAKFAST food, right?


* If you're at the play place with your kids and you THINK that one of your kids may have a dirty diaper....please do us all a favor and take them OUTTA THERE to change them.  Please don't change them IN the play place for the rest of us to watch and smell.  Plus....that bench that you just changed your unruly child on... is SCREAMING {ecoli bacteria} now that your son's dirty bum has skidded across it. It takes a lot for me to lose my appetite...however this recent incident at the mall....definitely did it in for me.

* Hands down my favorite show on TV right now is THE VOICE.  But does it freak anybody else out watching Cee Lo  stroke his white cat every time he gives a commentary?!?  Isn't it just a tad weird?

* I think that Pandora Radio is pretty much the greatest thing ever invented right now.  You want a good station to listen to?  Program in the Natasha Bedingfield station. BOTH Joe and I agree...it's gooo-oood.

* Joe and I celebrated our anniversary this week....a week early actually...{thank you mom and dad for taking the kids overnight!}  We stayed at a swanky resort for the evening and if I were a hotel exec....I would have a shop next to the gift shop of every hotel....that sold ONLY their pillows and comforters.  They could make a fortune doing this, no?  Joe and I fell in LOVE with the pillows at our hotel.  And it left us wondering...where on earth can we ever buy anything as comfy??


* Speaking of celebrating....Joe and I's 'evening out' consisted of:  eating dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, checking into the hotel, laying on the bed watching tv until 10:00, falling asleep and not waking up until 10:00 the next morning.  Now thats true love.  Who needs a fancy night out on the town?  Not us...that is for sure.  It's funny how the word 'relaxation' takes on a whole new meaning once you're married with kids.  Watching TV without kids interrupting for a sippy cup, or a bum to be wiped....PURE. BLISS.  

* It kinda bugs me that at places like Wal-mart and Kohls....they have an 'Associate Carpool Parking' spot.  Right. Up. Front.  Seriously?  Who carpools to a place like that?  My dad carpooled when we lived back in Fairfax, VA and his commute was 20-30 minutes INTO Washington, DC. Now...that's a need for a carpool. Me?  I intentionally park in these 'Associate Carpool Parking' spots because lets be honest...I'm carpooling my kids everywhere I go these days...especially with it being Spring Break.  That's a good enough reason to park up front, right?

* I'm kinda over Siri.  Why can't she ever get anything I say right??  Yesterday I asked her to TEXT JOE - Ask Grant if he wants a breakfast burrito.  Her first attempt was: 'Ask Grandma if he wants a burrito.  Her second attempt was: ' Ask Karen if she wants a burrito'.  I honestly don't think I even have anyone named 'Karen' programmed in my phone.  You gotta step up your game Siri girl.  Because yes...sometimes I'm too lazy to type out my texts.

* Remember the band THE FORMAT?  They remind me of Joe and I's newlywed days living in an apartment.  Good times.  The lead singer has joined with a new band called FUN and I can't get enough of their new song 'We are Young'.  {LOVE!}

* What the heck is a hash tag and what does it even mean?  I know I'm like the only person left on the face of the earth who doesn't know how to 'twitter'....but....should I know what a hash tag is?

Burts Bees Tips And Toes Kit


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I was doing very well with my self-imposed spending ban/restricted budgeting for the month, when I spotted this bargain over at Buyapowa. I purchased it straight away for my mum, as I knew she'd love it for Mother's Day (buying stuff for other people doesn't count right?), being a Burts Bees fan like myself. Then I checked my Paypal account, saw that I still had some surplus funds in there, and bought one for myself. Did I need this? Erm....no. Did I want it because it was a bargain that I couldn't refuse? Yes!

So for the grand sum of around £7 plus postage, I bought myself the Burts Bees Tips And Toes Kit, which consists of travel size/try me versions of some of their bestselling products. You get all of these: Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Cream, Thoroughly Therapeutic Honey & Grapeseed Oil Hand Cream, Coconut Foot Cream, Hand Salve, Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream, and a full size Replenishing Pomegranate Lip Balm. Seeing that the lip balm alone is nearly £4, I thought this was a great bargain and I've wanted to try out some more products from Burts Bees for ages but never gotten around to picking anything other than the lip balms up. I'll put up some mini reviews of the products once I've tried them out, so you'll probably see them in some upcoming empties posts.

Have you tried any of these from Burts Bees?

Strawberry Cupcakes.


While attending June's Fiesta last week...I tasted the most amazing strawberry flavored cupcakes that I have EVER tried, thanks to my sis-in-law Jenny. Lucky for me...she shared the recipe so I was able to make them up for my young women on Sunday, as it was my counselors birthday.  Perfect reason to celebrate, right?! 

The recipe comes from Paula Deen {LOVE!} and includes a package of dry strawberry Jello mix and frozen pureed strawberries in syrup.  Did I mention...they're TASTY?!?  


Ingredients

 

1 (18.25-ounce) box white cake mix 
1 (3-ounce) box strawberry-flavored instant gelatin 1 (15-ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed 4 large eggs 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1/4 cup water 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans.
In a large bowl, combine cake mix and gelatin. Add pureed strawberries, eggs, oil, and water; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour into prepared pans, and bake for 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

As for the frosting...I made up my favorite Cream Cheese Frosting recipe.  It complimented the strawberry flavor, perfectly!  My sis-in-law used a Vanilla Buttercream recipe for her frosting...and it was equally as mouth watering!

Cream Cheese Frosting
2 - 8 oz. packages of Cream Cheese
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c. powdered sugar
pinch of salt
Mix cream cheese and butter until smooth.  Blend on slow as you add vanilla, salt and powdered sugar.  Once blended, turn mixer on high and blend until nice and fluffily.  Use immediately or refrigerate.  


June's Fiesta.

London & June.

London has a cousin that she's pretty much obsessed with.  Her name is June.  
June turned ONE last week and her mom threw her the cutest FIESTA I have ever been to.  The details were deluxe.  To see for yourself click HERE.

{I'm almost to 300 followers.  Whoa.  I smell a giveaway for all of my following peeps in the near future.....}

NOTD: Zoya - Jana


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Zoya's Jana is a beautiful mauve cream/pale taupe and it's one of those neutral colours that I pick every now and again, especially when I'm feeling a bit indecisive. These shades are just perfect for everyday wear and always look simple yet chic. Like the other Zoya polishes I have, Jana applies perfectly in two coats with no fuss, and delivers a lovely smooth finish.

What are you wearing on your nails today?

Tried & Tested: Dr Organic Pomegranate Deodorant


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I made the switch to more natural based deodorants a few years ago and had mainly stuck with my trusty Crystal Spring deodorant which is fragrance free. For a change, I picked up the Dr Organic Pomegranate Deodorant to try out and have been road testing it for a few weeks. My main two reasons for buying this was that it was pretty cheap for an organic deodorant (these retail for about £4.29 for 50ml) and it smelt incredible. Honestly, I could not stop sniffing this in the shop and had to refrain from purchasing the entire Pomegranate range by Dr Organic. If you have a Holland and Barratt near you, pop in and have a sniff of this range, it's seriously amazing!

Onto the deodorant itself, it's a liquid cream based roll-on that is free of Aluminium, SLS, Parabens and Alcohol, as well as artificial colours, fragrances and preservative. The active and organic ingredients come from Pomegranate, Aloe Vera, Icelandic Moss, Vitamin E and Sunflower Seed Oil. The main thing to remember about natural based deodorants is that they won't stop you from sweating as they're not antiperspirants. I don't think it's very good for your skin to block it with chemicals to stop it from doing its natural function of perspiring, which is why I use these deodorants instead. Natural deodorants will however eliminate odour from your sweat, so don't worry, you're not going to be walking around reeking of BO! The deodorants from Dr Organic all have a non-pore clogging formula and I found this very effective. As it's a natural liquid cream roll-on, on application it is wet of course and does take a little time to dry. I don't find this a problem for me personally, as I always apply deodorant straight after a shower, so by the time I've put on my body lotion and everything else, it's dry and fine for me to get dressed. You can however speed the drying time up with a quick blast of your hairdryer if you wish.

Protection-wise, I found it worked well throughout the day without needing to be reapplied, but I did need to reapply it if I did some exercise (which seems normal for most conventional deodorants too). It doesn't irritate my sensitive skin and can be applied straight away after shaving with no stinging at all. But the best thing about this deodorant is the scent. I can smell it subtly throughout the day and it's so nice. Lovely, fresh and feminine, perfect!

Have you tried any natural/organic deodorants?

10 Films list


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(1) Bad Teacher (2011) - Was channel flicking and came across this, thought it was pretty dreadful, but I did want Cameron Diaz's shoes!
(2) Breaking Dawn Part 1 (2012) - I am unashamedly a big Twilight fan, but do feel that this was majorly dragged out so that they could split Breaking Dawn into two parts.
(3) Cinema Paradiso (1989) - One of my favourite foreign films, so beautifully written. It's set in post-WW2 Italy and depicts a life before everyone had a TV and went to a local cinema instead. Heartwarming and sad at the same time, I highly recommend this.
(4) Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009) - A girly guilty pleasure!
(5) Dirty Dancing (1987) - And another guilty pleasure ;)
(6) Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2012) - Dark fantasy, has a couple of good moments in it.
(7) Final Destination 5 (2011) - Love this franchise, this follows the exact same formula as the others of course.
(8) Planet of The Apes (2001) - Tim Burton's re-imagining of the cult classic, was interesting to see his take on this but definitely prefer the shock element of the original.
(9) Super 8 (2011) - Young adventure sci-fi, was a bit too sentimental for my liking.
(10) The Three Musketeers (2011) - Loved this, fantastic big budget blockbuster.

What films have you been watching recently?