Wednesday, 30 January 2013

January Favourites


January has been a cold and snowy month, but I've been feeling fairly positive about the year ahead. Here's my favouritist (is that a word?) bits and bobs from the past month!



 What's Left Of Me by Kat Zhang - This novel has a very odd concept which takes a few pages to get your head around - a world where people are born with two souls in one body. However it becomes a very moving story, and although I haven't yet finished it, I'd already recommend this.

Origins Super Spot Remover - At £13 per teeny tiny bottle (it's no bigger than my thumb) I ummed and arred about picking this up, but I am SO glad I did! It gets rid of spots and soothes them down after just one or two days and now there's no going back from this product.


Miranda (TV Show) - If you haven't been watching Miranda yet on BBC, WHY EVER NOT? It's Miranda Hart's hilarious comedy show, and just my kind of humour. It's had me in fits every episode.





 Heaven's Attic Bracelet - I received this from my parents for Christmas, and it is inscribed with a Bible verse around the edge. It's a really meaningful gift to me so I've been wearing it everyday and you can find it HERE.


Hay Day App - ADDICTED. Oh so addicted. Yes it looks sad and boring, but it's free, so if you haven't already, just try it.


Kath Kidson small make-up bag - This was another Christmas gift, along with the larger Make up bag, but I've found this one super useful for keeping makeup from swimming around the bottom of my bag. I don't think they still stock this exact one, but you can find similar ones HERE.


If you've done a January Favourites post, please let me know below, I love seeing what other people have been loving!


Amy
xxx

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Get Fit, Feel Epic - My Weightloss/Fitness Experience

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I mentioned in my New Year's post that one of my goals for 2013 is to get to my goal weight by the summer. I thought some of you might like to know how I plan on doing this, and when I saw Sandra's post over at the much loved Black Pearl Blog, it reminded me of all the things I wanted to talk to you about. She's currently holding a competition called the 'Get Fit, Feel Epic competition' (you can join in the fun here) in conjunction with the MoneySupermarket.com.

So let's go!

What's my goal?
My goal is to lose 9-10 pounds by the summer. I don't feel entirely comfortable posting my height and weight here and I don't feel it's all that relevant anyway. Whatever size you are, I think the best way of getting to your goal weight is the same - a healthy diet in which you can still eat what you love in moderation, and a sensible exercise plan.


What have I changed?

Before January 1st, I did about 2-3 hours of exercise per week, through dance classes at my university. Now I'm currently doing 7 hours of dancing per week, plus walking (fast!) for 25 minutes to get there 3 times per week. I would highly recommend dancing as a form of enjoyable exercise since a lot of the time you're so busy remembering routines and enjoying the moves that you don't even notice you're exercising! I take classes ranging from ballet to modern, to muscial theatre to Irish, but I've also previously loved Zumba and would totally recommend finding a local Zumba class.

My diet was previously not awful, but I did have large portion sizes and would binge quite often on crisps (Doritos are my weakness!) and chocolate (Lindt Lindor I love you!) I've been using Fitness Pal (I mentioned this in my App favourites post), to document what I'm eating and how much exercise I'm doing. It's incredibly motivational to see what you're putting into your body every day, and I couldn't stick to my calorie allowance without it. For motivation I'd also recommend getting Tumblr if you haven't already and following many of the fitness and diet blogs there - I find that seeing other people's transformations and the bikini bodies you long for can stop you from reaching for that much-longed-for Creme egg. Here's a few tumblr blogs with great inspiration:

Expecting Perfection's Tumblr Wall


http://expectingthinperfection.tumblr.com/

http://daily-fitness-motivation.tumblr.com/

- http://fitpotential.tumblr.com/

- http://fitandfreaky.tumblr.com/







The effects so far (after one month):

♥ I have so much more energy! I never thought that in eating less and doing more active stuff you'd feel MORE energetic but it really does work. I feel less sluggish and my brain seems to work faster too, I love it.

♥ I'm generally happier. In the winter months (especially January) I can tend to feel pretty down about how life is going, but this month I've felt much more positive, and am seeing the best in all kinds of little things.

♥ Since I'm currently at uni and don't own my own scales, I can't tell you how effective my new regime (can I even call it that?) has been in respect to actually losing weight, but I know I'd already lost 3 pounds halfway through the month before I came back to uni. I am feeling slightly more skinny though and in better shape, which has actually made me then take better care of my nails, skin and hair too. I take more time moisturising, tanning and painting my nails as I'm feeling better about myself, which in turn gives me....

♥ More confidence. I'm quite a shy person really, but because I'm feeling happier, more upbeat and (dare I say) better looking (!), I am actually feeling more confident :) I know this might not mean much to some people but for me this means starting up a conversation with someone I've never talked before in one of my dance classes without worrying too much about what they think of me, which is just amazing.

I've experienced many benefits from not too many huge changes to my lifestyle, and am planning on keeping this new routine up for, well, forever! I hope this post may have helped you in some way, perhaps given you a few ideas on how to achieve your goal, or maybe even inspired you a little (!)


Amy
xxx

Monday, 28 January 2013

Oilatum Natural Repair Face Cream Review

I have seriously pesky skin - it's majorly combination so it's super oily in some places and super dry in others. I'd been neglected taking care of the dry parts, since I fear putting rich moisturisers on my face will make it more oily and worsen my acne (this has happened a lot in the past with moisturisers). I think using only products made to combat oily skin had completely dried my skin out. My skin was flaking around my nose which as well as looking gross, was allowing bacteria to more easily enter the skin and cause breakouts (I know, Ewww.) However, I'd heard good things about Oilatum (scary name for someone worried about excess oil!) from Pixiwoo, so I ordered a tube from Amazon for £9.69. 
It's marketed as a cream with natural ingredients that won't irritate sensitive skin that will combat dry, tight or itchy skin.

Oilatum: Skin Saviour

Three days into using Oilatum, my skin was no longer flakey, had a nice glow to it and my breakouts had completely cleared up. A couple of weeks later and I have had very few breakouts and my skin is looking better than it has done in months. I wish I'd bought this product sooner, and I've already repurchased two more bottles as I can tell this is a product that will not be leaving my skincare routine any time soon!
5 out of 5 for me!

Amy
xxx


Saturday, 26 January 2013

NOTD (Nails of the day)

I'm in such a good mood today, and I don't even really know why! Don't you just love those days?
Anyway, after my Essie splurge, I painted my nails with Too Too Hot. I only used one coat, and whilst it's quite a good colour just with one coat, I'll use two next time. Apologies for the stupidly short nails, they kept breaking, so I decided to just cut them all down and kind of start again. By the next NOTD, hopefully they'll be looking long and lovely again!

Essie - Too Too Hot
Amy
xxx


Friday, 25 January 2013

Essie Polish Haul!


I was looking online for Essie polishes when I stumbled across http://www.cosmeticsfairy.co.uk, who sell discounted beauty products. At the moment they've got a load of last summer's Essie polishes at around £4.99 each (some cheaper!), which is an absolute bargain considering they're around £7.99 in superdrug. Plus this site had free delivery and 10% off, so I was one happy bunny :) I picked up four full size polishes and a set of two mini ones.

Yum yum yum, they look good enough to eat.

I really trust Essie as a brand, every polish of theirs I've tried has a gorgeous colour pay-off on the nail and lasts for ages, plus they have a great colour range.

Top Left: Too Too Hot

Top Right: Super Bossa Nova

Bottom Left: Case Study

Bottom Middle: Brazziliant

Bottom Right: Meet me at sunset & Smooth sailing

I couldn't quite capture the difference between the colours, so take a look on Essie's website if you'd like a more true representation.

Too Too Hot is a bright red, a real staple colour. Super Bossa Nova is a barbie pink with subtle blue shimmer, Braziliant is an orange with what looks like gold shimmer, and Case Study is a greeny-beige, which I'm exited to pair with a gold polish as an accent nail. (Ooh, how sophisticated!)
Regarding the little polishes (they are literally so tiny and cute), Meet me at sunset is what I'd imagine you'd get if you mixed Too Too Hot with Braziliant (a kind of reddy orange), and Smooth sailing is a lazy day jean blue with silver shimmer.

I'm loving all these new colours, but I think I'm going to paint my nails with 'Too Too Hot' to perk me up after a week of snow! If you have a favourite Essie Polish please let me know, I'm always looking to try new colours :)



Amy
xxx

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

The Best ipad (Mini) Apps

I'd thought it would be fun to share with you my favourite apps that I've got on my ipad mini, which I've now had for about a month. I've had enough time to try out the hundreds of apps I was desperate to have, and now I've got a set that I don't know what I'd do without. Some of them are pretty standard, but I hope I can introduce you to some slightly less-known ones too :)

There's a fair few on my ipad so although I'll picture all of them, I'll only talk about my favourites.
Lets Go!

I took these photos with the cover off because to be honest I don't like the cover I have that much, and haven't found one I love for it yet :(








Here's my home-screen with the apps I use most frequently. I'm addicted to facebook and tumblr, with slightly less serious addiction to pintrest and twitter! iTunes U is great if you're a uni or A-level student, with loads of free lectures etc.



MyFitnessPal is a diet/calorie planner, where you can scan the barcodes of your food to enter them into  your food diary. It's so easy, you feel bad if you don't do it. It's a free app too, which I think is insanely good.



iBooks is a pretty standard app, but I didn't initially realise that if you click on Store (top left of screen) and then go to free books, there are hundreds of free to download books of all kinds. I've been loving reading books in bed on my ipad, and don't worry, you can adjust the screen brightness in the app.



In the folders on my homescreen I've got the following:
Pic Collage is great for making cute collages with pictures and text (with a lovely interface) and I'd say BeFunky is the best free photo editor I've found for ipad.
My current favourite game is HayDay (This will feature in my January favourites, no doubt!) and I also love Yatzy, Shark Dash and Monopoly.


TV Catchup is a weird name for this app as it actually streams TV realtime. As long as you have a TV liscense where you're watching, it completely legal, and it's good quality too.











Here's my second screen of apps. I'd highly recommend getting the following: Podcasts, MailOnline, ColorSmart (great if you're redecorating!), Google Earth (to replace the dreadful iMaps) and of course Blogger!



Sorry this turned out to be a quite a long post, but I hope it was helpful :)
Do you have any app gems? I'd love to hear about them!


Amy
xxx

Mavala Double-lash Review

This was my first ever lash-growth/strengthening treatment, and I'd heard mainly good reviews about this one, which was also cheaper than many others at £11. My lashes aren't great, and I had high hopes for this little bottle.


Unfortunately it did not deliver. Not even a bit. I used it as instructed (applying before bed each day for almost two months) and I've not noticed any difference at all. For me this was a complete waste of money.
It would be good to know if you've used this and did  notice an improvement, or if you've tried any other kinds of lash treatment, as it's something I'd really like to find.

Keep cosy!

Amy
xxx

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Bag Organisation // What's in my Bag?



I LOVE bags. I love staring at them on unaffordable websites. I love buying them and rubbing my hands with glee when I take them out of there packaging. I love holding them. I love organising them. I just love them. Maybe a little too much....
My most recent purchase is this greyish large day bag from Accessorize (in the sale for £30, reduced from £60). I justified buying it since 1, it's BEAUTIFUL, 2, it's an 'investment', and 3, it would be a crime to say no to a discount like that.
With gold hardware and quilting on the front pocket, it feels so luxurious and fits in all my bits and bobs.

Sorry this next set of images is a little small, feel free to zooooooom in.

Purse - River Island
Diary - WHSmiths
Ipad mini case - Jammy Lizard on Amazon
Bag Organiser - Amazon (link here)


The only problem with this bag is it's lack of internal pockets, so I bought a bag organiser (link above) to house all my stuff. Now I don't have to fumble around for half an hour looking for that packet of polos!
I always feel the need to carry water around with me; either me or someone else gets thirsty, but regular plastic bottles may break or spill onto gadgets, and they are proven to release nasty chemicals into the water, eughh. So I got one made of a special plastic that is also completely leak free.


Here are all the other bits that I keep in the little bag organiser:


Do you splurge on gorgeous bags and obssess about how to organise them? If you do, please let me know in the comments; it would make me feel a lot better :p


Amy
xxx

Monday, 7 January 2013

Decor Idea - Real Life Tumblr Wall

Here's a quick and easy idea to fill up a blank space of wall. Just make a real life tumblr wall! I printed off photos onto photo paper (you could order them or get them printed at boots etc) from my tumblr (http://thelittlekoala.tumblr.com/)


You could print off more or less and arrange them in any shape you like. You could even get some printed off larger, and some smaller.


Amy
xxx



Thursday, 3 January 2013

My New Years

This new years I had the wonderful opportunity to go to Brouges in Belgium for 3 days with my boyfriend, his family, and a few of their family friends.
Here's a couple of photos:






My New Years Resolutions 2013:

♥ Use my time more wisely - stop procrastinating
♥ Pray more
♥ Go to three (or more!) dance classes every week
♥ Use fitness pal every day to get to my goal weight by the summer
♥ Figure out my career and make active decisions to making it happen
♥ Grow my hair to my waist!
♥ Drink more water

The best of luck to anyone who has made New Years Resolutions like me!


Amy
xxx