Wednesday 15 April 2015

Living in a Flat

This sunshine makes me both super happy and increasingly miserable. It’s so perfect to be out and about in, going to the park, having picnics and days out but I’d love to be able to enjoy the sunshine from the comfort of my own home or garden but living in a flat takes that option away unfortunately. Every year for the past 3, we’ve enjoyed being in the flat but come summer, we hate it. We crave a garden, BBQ’s, paddling pool fun and just the ability to sit out at night and have a drink or two. Due to finances, we’re staying putt for another year or two before moving into our own house and with that, comes 1 or 2 more summers of getting used to the ‘No garden’ aspect of our lovely little 2 bed flat.  

Living in a Flat

One of the benefits we have at the flat is that if any of our appliances break, or something goes wrong, it’s the landlords duty to get them fixed so it is saving us money in the long run, I guess. Our dishwasher has a fault at the moment and our washing machine door is still broken, it’s still useable mind, but they’re just things that we need to get fixed that seem to get pushed aside. Panasonic do some extremely snazzy home appliances that I’d love to get my hands on and just have something that we can call our own. We already have a few little bits: kettle, microwave, slow cooker, tassimo machine etc but I know that when we do move out, we’ll have to bulk buy the majority to furnish the kitchen and it looks like Panasonic do it all. From fridge freezers to ovens and cookers - we’ll be set on getting the best of everything to make sure we have no problems in future. 

I do suppose that living in a flat has it’s ups and downs, if we could do anything to it though we’d love to have a french window/door put in the living room which would open out onto the little bit of woodland at the back but it’s just not safe to do as it’s accessible by everyone else - it would be amazing though, just a tiny little deck... Ahh, the dream! 
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Saturday 11 April 2015

Slimming World Eats: Pitta Pizzas (child friendly)

Millie loves her food as much as I do and when craving the good stuff, I do try and find healthier alternatives and this week, it was Pizza. Of course, Pizza is full of alllllll the syns but, making your own and varying the base can make them syn-free and actually packed with your speed foods to boost your weight loss!

I used Pitta bread for the base of Adams and Millie’s pizzas and then I used the Warburton Thins, as my healthy extra B choice, for my base, I used the cheese as my healthy extra A too - making it completely free and super yummy! They’re so easy to make and you can differ the ingredients to your liking but for ours we used: 
Tomato (Pasta) sauce (which is simply pasta, chopped tomatoes and garlic)
Add salad or slimming world chips and you have the perfect fake-away! 
Pitta Pizza Making
Cooking with a Toddler
Slimming world friendly Pizza
Slimming world pizza

You can see that Millie loved making these, she was eating the ingredients before putting them on the pizza and it’s a great way to get them to eat their vegetables! She absolutely loves mushrooms and peppers now too! Let me know if you try these out and send me your pics on twitter too! 

Thursday 9 April 2015

L’Oreal Color Riche Lipsticks

You may, or may not, have seen that last week, Superdrug had an incredible one day only offer on their L’Oreal Colour Riche lipsticks making them just £3.00 each but alongside that, there was also a 3 for 2 offer meaning that these normally £6.99 each lipsticks were now only £2.00 each - how amazing!? 

I didn’t want to go crazy as I already have 5 of the colours so I went for the brighter pinks ready for summer; 132 Magnolia Irreverence, 430 Mon Jules, 364 Pi Vendome, 431 Fuchsia Declaration, 229 Cliche and 228 VIP. The formula of these lipsticks is incredible and I still can’t believe I didn’t take advantage of this offer more and buy the whole lot! The staying power of the pigments is ridiculous, I can wear a colour and not have to top it up for a good 4-5 hours! Take a look at the colours below...

L’oreal lipstick collection

Colour riche swatches

L’Oreal lipstick swatches
Most of the lipsticks are a lovely matte finish, they don’t dry out your lips and have amazing coverage and pigmentation. Colour 431 is a sheer lipstick but still gives off such an amazing colour as normally I stay away from sheer’s - I love my bold lips, but this is such a beautiful pink and perfect for casual days when you just want that flush of colour. My favourite out of them all has to be 228 though, a gorgeous coral, orangey pink - a true summer colour and a little bit like MAC Vegas Volt, again, a super pay off of colour but leaves your lips silky and not dry! 

If you’re looking to add to your lipstick collection, I really do recommend grabbing a few of these L’Oreal Colour Riche lipsticks as they’re still 3 for 2 in Superdrug! Let me know if you do pick any up and what your thoughts are on them! 

Tuesday 7 April 2015

Travel: Tips for visiting Paris

Another Paris post, this time I’m sharing what I wish I had known before we went a few weeks ago! It’s a big old city and there is stuff to do for a good 4 or 5 days but even then, if you don’t facilitate well and plan what you’re doing or where you’re going, you could be waisting valuable time! We went for 3 nights, 4 days and were definitely ready to come home on the 4th day but there was still so much we could have done but we were just so tired. 

Tips for visiting Paris

Tip 1 - Pack comfortable shoes. Forget about looking good and fitting in with the ‘fashion’ over in Paris, your poor feet will hate you if you don’t pack comfy shoes so treat yourself to a new pair of sneaks if you need to or pack a pair of flat boots, you’ll be thanking me later, I promise. 

Tip 2 - Apps can be your best friend for the weekend. Before we went, I downloaded a few apps to use whilst out in Paris because my French is terrible! Not only for the language, it’s handy to have a metro app on your phone too because the metro is the easiest thing to get around on if you know where you need to go! I got the Paris Metro RATP Map and Route Planner app (Apple devices) which allowed you to type in where you wanted to go and it gave you the fastest and easiest route - p.s., most of the Metro lines still give you phone signal too! I also installed the iTranslate app just to translate words at meal times as a lot of restaurants don’t have English menus. 

Tip 3 - Research places to eat for each day or search for restaurants near your hotel before you go. We really struggled to find places to eat, yes there are 100’s of restaurants but without knowing what they were serving without actually picking up a menu it was tough to choose and I feel like we would have benefitted so much more by finding places to eat before we were there. A lot of the cafes served the same sort of things so unless you’re fine with Burgers or Pizza for the whole time you’re there, do this. We only had 2 decent meals whilst we were out in Paris and even they weren’t ones to shout about. Do your research, you’ll really appreciate it when you’re there! 

Tip 4 - Beat the queues and Pre-book tickets for excursions before you go. We would have loved to go up the Eiffel Tower but we weren’t prepared to wait in the 2-3 hour long queue for it! If I had known that you can pre-book your Eiffel Tour ticket before you go then I would have done that but because we didn’t, we would have had to queue for a ticket. The same goes for The Louvre. I have never seen so many people waiting in a line, upstairs and downstairs! 

Tip 5 - Get your Macaroons from McDonalds! There are so many patisseries that serve Macarons but out of the ones I tried, the McDonalds ‘McCafe’ ones are not only the cheapest but I actually think they were the nicest. I like my Macarons a little chewy and these were just perfect. Obviously everyone is different but for the nearly €12 price difference on a pack of 6, they’re definitely worth trying! 

Tip 6 - Be prepared to see lots of homeless people in the popular areas. I know you see this in most big cities but the homeless will beg and seem like they’re everywhere within the touristy areas. We saw so many people on Champs-Elysee that it was quite overwhelming, some people may not be phased but others get quite emotional so at least you’re now aware! 

Tip 7 - Buy a Crepe from the street vendors near Notre Dame. You can’t go to Paris and not have a Crepe, they’re so good and I’ve found that the littler stalls selling them are the best! Again, you’ll thank me later...

Tip 8 - Book an Uber to take you to and from the Airport! The taxi service in Paris costs you between €50-60 depending where you’re staying for transfers to/from Charles de Gaulle but if you book an Uber, it is a set fare of €30.00 plus, if you use my code uberemlou you’ll get €10.00 free credit! You can download the app and you’re ready to go! 

Tip 9 - If you order a Burger or Steak, make sure you ask for it to be cooked brown throughout. The French love their Beef pink, to the point that when we ordered a Burger on the last day, the mince hadn’t been cooked and it was falling apart. We couldn’t eat it and even though we asked for it ‘Medium’ it literally looked like it had been put under the grill for 10 seconds. So unless you’re prepared to eat it like that, ensure the waiter understands you want it cooked throughly! 

Tip 10 - Have a back-up plan for each day incase of bad weather. A lot of Paris’ attractions involve you being outside, luckily, we didn’t experience any rain so were able to stay outside for the majority of the weekend but if you get a heavy downpour, you may want to do something to avoid the rain. Things like shopping, museums and cafe’s are all fab to fall back on so try and be flexible with your days if the weather is predicted to be bad. 

I hope these tips help you have a wonderful weekend in Paris, it’s such a gorgeous city and there is something to do for everyone, no matter what time of year you go or who you go with! Let me know if any of these are helpful too or if you have any more tips for people who are planning a trip to Paris soon! 

Monday 6 April 2015

Paris Beauty Haul

You may remember seeing a post of my Paris photo diary last week and a little promise of sharing with you what I bought whilst I was out there. Well, here it is. It’s nothing huge or fancy, I didn’t spend 100’s of euros on makeup I don’t actually need, I bought things that I knew I’d use, knew I wanted before I headed out there and actually looked like it would be worth the pennies. 

I visited the Sephora store which was on Champs-Élysées, just up the street from H&M and MAC, and when I walked in, I was in shock! There was SO much choice, it was completely overwhelming! I didn’t know where to start, I found myself wandering back and forth past the same stands but not actually looking at anything. There were mini counters for Benefit, Makeup Forever, Dior, MAC and so much more. I feel like I didn’t actually spend enough time in there to find some of the hidden gems but it was ridiculously busy and Adam was waiting patiently for me outside so I just looked at the stands of the brands of the products we can’t get in England. The same went for the Pharmacies we went into, I just looked for the things that I knew I wanted to try rather than looking at everything and being overwhelmed. 

Sephora Paris

Who can resist buying a few bits in Duty free, hey? Not me! I grabbed 2 lipsticks and a gorgeous eyeshadow from Birmingham Airport Departures - MAC Toledo Victoriana Lipstick and SIN were the shades of the lipsticks, one a bright orangey Red and the other, a deep berry Purple brown. 

From Sephora, I picked up:
Sephora Triple Action Cleansing Water
Sephora Soothing Cleansing Milk
Sephora Express Eye Makeup Remover wipes
Sephora Matte Liquid Lipstick 
Makeup Forever Smoky Extravagant Mascara
Im pretty sure the bill was less than €40 which is pretty good and I also got given a sample size of Marc Jacobs Eyeliner and also a Lancome Moisturiser sample! 

From the Pharmacy I got:
Bioderma (for Oily skin)
Caudalie Beauty Elixr 
(not in photos) and some Nuxe lip balms 

There are a few things that I regret not getting, more from Makeup Forever including their HD Foundation and concealer, I also wanted to try and get my hands on more of the Lipsticks but because I didn’t have much times, I picked the one out that I saw first! So, if you think that there’s something I should have got whilst I was out there, let me know and I am compiling a list of bits to order from Sephora online later in the year! 

Thursday 2 April 2015

OOTD: Jumpsuit Dreams

One thing I’m a HUGE fan of, is jumpsuits. I think they’re so easy to wear and can be dressed up and down. Team them with a pair of flats, heels, trainers... You name it, they’ll go with pretty much everything. I picked up this jumpsuit from an Oh my Love stand at The Clothes Show back in December and I love it! It has a partially open back and long trouser legs and is super comfy - I will admit it’s a little difficult to get on alone as there is buttons and obviously, a little hard to take off alone too but for a quick, casual going out outfit, this is perfect! 

My Pandora bracelet is something that I’m slowly filling. A lot of my charms are sentimental, the newest additions being an Elephant and a Tortoise that were from Millie for Christmas and Mothers Day. I picked up the Polar Bear and the French Floret symbol in their Boxing day sale for £15.00 each - what a bargain!