Wednesday, 27 February 2013

14 things I'm looking forward to in March

1. Payday. 
2.  New tattoos.
3.  Perhaps being able to wear ballet pumps and flats again.
4.  The last day of term.  The Easter Bunny & Chick run around the school grounds and the kids' excitement is infectious.
5.  Daffodils for Mother's Day.
6.  Having a 4 and a half week term before 2 weeks off.
7.  Ella getting more aware of her surroundings.
8.  Starting new classes at the gym.
9.  A Nandos catch up with an old friend.
10.  Starting a new series of posts here on Scaredtoast.
11.  The evenings staying lighter for longer.
12.  Pastel coloured clothes.
13.  Starting up date nights with Ed again.
14.  A month off paying the council tax!  At least, I think it is....is that right?!

February's round-up.... 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 all happened!  Pretty good right?  9 is happening this weekend!

Monday, 25 February 2013

A question.

This weekend, I plan to get a new quote tattoo. On the ones I already have the writing is in varying degrees of cursive and decorative fonts. But this time I want to go for something a bit plainer, so my question to you, dear reader, is this. Which font should I go for? 

I'm leaning towards the top one.  Although I love the middle font, I fear it's a bit too bloggy for a tattoo.  And the bottom one looks nice when the quote is written in it, but perhaps it's a bit too simple?

Would love to know what you think!  Or perhaps you know another font you could recommend that fits the bill?

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Diary of a Spendaholic 23

 Monday
Boots - £17.29
Kurt Geiger - £15
Ikea - £4.45
So like I said, I've given myself this week off the spending ban, what with it being half term and all.  We went to Gunwharf Quays today with my sister for her birthday.  Last time I went was about 4 years ago and I wasn't impressed, so I fully expected to spend nothing.  Which is probably why I splashed out on Lee Stafford Hair Growth Treatment when we went to Boots first.  Had I known that Kurt Geiger would have 95% of their stock for £29 or less, I probably wouldn't have done.  I still managed to squeeze in a cheeky pair of Carvela flats that I've had my eye on for months though.  And no trip down to Portsmouth would be complete without stopping at Ikea where I, of course, had to stock up on my favourite candles.

Tuesday
Primark - £5
Superdrug - £3.47
Sainsbury's - £4
I met up with Rosie for a hot chocolate today (should that be listed?  £3...I went for a milkshake instead) and felt a bit guilty on the way home about my spending.  I feel a bit better now I've written down the unnecessaries.  I bought a lot of boring stuff (deodorant, toilet roll), so now I look at the naughty spending it's not so bad.  A fiver on new gym trousers and £4 on another fancy colour-changing candle.  And the £3.47 in Superdrug was actually an investment.  Ed may give me some money to spend in London on Thursday, so I thought that by buying him his favourite hair wax it would maybe tip the scales my way.  Rosie agreed that it was a clever move...

Thursday
Train - £25
Zara - £22.99
Selfridges - £3.25
WH Smith - £2.50
An exceptional spending day because I went into London, but with that in mind...didn't I do well?  In actual fact, Ed gave me £20 towards the bag in Zara, but I paid for it all on my card so I'll take the money from his account to put towards my credit card bill.  Which, for the record, I am dreading.  Besides that, I bought a nice card from Selfridges (a little tradition) and a magazine for the train home.  Train fare, might I add, is extortionate when you consider I live 38 minutes away.  I swear they charge me a different amount every time.

Saturday
Boohoo - £13.59
You may have spotted from my wishlist that I'm a tad obsessed with all things acidic.  And believe it or not, this purchase should actually save me money, because buying a lime green skirt now means I no longer want the Mango shirt.  For now, anyway.  And I know I'm not meant to be spending, but I don't think £12 for a skirt is a bad deal.  Especially when I got 20% off, which made the £3.99 P&P more bearable.

Total for the week: I DON'T WANT TO KNOW!  Back to work tomorrow and the spending truly stops.  I've got my credit card to pay, something next Saturday and then perhaps I'll buy the green bag from my wishlist, but that's it!  Help me stick to it, please?!

Friday, 22 February 2013

Things I really, really would like. Please.

marc-jacobs-rose-gold-watch-lancome-rouge-in-love-lipstick-zara-city-bag-moleule-01
I already have a cheaper rose gold watch in my collection, but I saw this Marc by Marc Jacobs beauty on tumblr and fell in love.  It's pretty pricey, so I'll save up and hope for a 25% student discount to come around again on asos and then ask my sister very nicely to share the love.

I know lots of people like the Liquid Bronze Self Tanning, but I'm intrigued by the all in one tinted moisturiser/gradual tanner that the Clarin's Instant Smooth Self Tanning purports to be.  Plus they used the words "caramel tinted complexion perfector" in the description.  It was pretty much a done deal!

Since watching P0larmilk's video where she used a Lancome Rouge In Love lipstick I've really been wanting to try one.  I swatched a couple in store and it's 159b that I've decided on, but at £21 they're a lot more expensive than my usual MACs so it's going to take me a while to build up the bottle to splurge that much on a lippie!

I already have the green version of this Leuchtturm A5 notebook that I use for blogging but I'm a sucker for stationary, and this turquoise version has really caught my eye.  They quality of these notebooks is great, and each colour comes either lined, plain or square.  I much prefer these to my blogger-cliche Moleskine.

Speaking of blogger cliches.....the infamous Zara City Bag.  It really is beautiful and ticks all the boxes for me.  I think I'll just have to make a purchase soon.

Finally, another blogger favourite - Molecule 01.  I think that when I eventually do get around to purchasing this I'll be cheap and go for the travel refill which is a rather reasonable £27.  I'm just worried that my natural smell won't actually be very nice!


EDIT
So I took a day trip to London and investigated some of my wishlist in the flesh.  The Zara bag, although lovely, has been removed from the list because I don't really need an excuse to buy a bulky bag to fill up with rubbish.  And my fears proved right.  Molecule 01 smells horrible and peppery on me.  Thank God I spritzed it rather than just ordering online!  So with that in mind, here are the new things on my wishlist.  And yes, I know I've scratched two off and replaced them with three.  That's just how I roll.
An extremely twee skirt which I'm no doubt too old for, an acidic bag that is much more green in the flesh and ditto to this lovely shirt.  Mango has some really nice stuff in right now.

What do you have your eye on at the moment?

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Money Supermarket - What's In Your Pocket?

Remember when I took part in Money Supermarket's Secret Santa challenge?  It was a really feel-good thing to do, so when they got in contact asking if I'd like to take part in another challenge all about celebrating life's little wins I jumped at the chance.

For the What's in Your Pocket? challenge we were each given £20 to spend.  No strings attached, just £20 to evoke that feeling of finding cash you didn't know you had in your pocket.  We could spend it on whatever we chose, or save it towards something bigger.  As you can probably guess, I could think of lots of things to spend it on, but in the end I decided to use the money for something I wouldn't normally do.
Despite having moved in nearly three years ago, some areas of our house just feel unfinished.  I had a few little quote postcards lying around as well as this frame from TK Maxx, so with a spare £20 to treat myself with I decided to invest in making our hallway a little more like home.

The first thing I spent my money on was a print from the very talented Jaymie.  She was really helpful and due to a mix up actually sent me two prints across - I encourage anyone looking for a new piece of art to check her out!  With a bit of change leftover I then bought three simple frames and started chopping up a couple of Elle magazines.  Being subscribed to it means I get sent collector's covers, and I'd fallen in love with February's Scarlett Johansson and this month's VB.  It seemed such a waste to just leave them stacked with my other magazines, so I put them in frames and now I get to enjoy the beautiful photography every time I go upstairs.

Without being too Anne Hathaway about it, I'd like to thank MSM for getting me involved in this challenge and providing me with the kick up the bum I needed to get this project started.  I have plans to expand upon the hallway but for now I'm really loving it!

Monday, 18 February 2013

Getting a perfect night's sleep: top tips

The excitement of Christmas means that many of us will have returned to work feeling tired.  We should all be trying for the recommended eight hours sleep a night, and this is even more important during the winter months when our immune systems are often weakened. Hectic schedules mean that switching off at the end of day can be tricky, and sleep patterns often suffer as a result. However, getting in that eight hours a night can be achieved by sticking to a few simple guidelines.

Perfect pyjamas
Being uncomfortable in bed can lead to tossing and turning, and being over – or under-dressed may cause you to wake up feeling too hot or cold. Wearing comfortable nightwear is therefore the first step we should all take. Women’s pyjamas in natural fabrics are ideal for regulating body temperature and feel soft on the skin too. You’ll find a fab range at Very.co.uk, including traditional flannel shirt and trouser combos and three-piece sets with matching robes.

Routines and habits 
Drifting off to sleep is a problem for many, so getting into a regular routine before bed can help your mind de-activate and leave you feeling relaxed. Different routines and habits will benefit different people, but look into doing something that de-stresses body and mind. Taking a warm bath,reading a book, or listening to relaxing music may all help. Lavender oil is said to have sleep-inducing effects, so try a couple of drops in your bath or on your pillow.

Things to avoid
A good night's sleep may be just as much about the things you don’t do, as the things you do do. Caffeine is a stimulant and can leave you feeling energised and awake – not what you want when trying to nod off! Swap coffee and tea for decaff or herbal versions in the evening, and steer clear of fizzy drinks, which can contain caffeine. Working at a computer can also keep the mind active, so set a cut-off time for using your computer or smart phone; a couple of hours before bed.
Stick to these simple guidelines to up your chances of a restful sleep, and you’ll wake in the morning feeling refreshed 


- Guest post -

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Diary of a Spendaholic 22

Tuesday
I've made the decision this year (as with the previous two years) to give up shopping for Lent.  The first year I succeeded, last year I failed.  Seeing as it's half term next week, I am however allowed to make a few cheeky purchases.  I've got my mind set on a a few specific things though so I won't be going overboard.  And I'm even considering making the Lent period go on for a week after Easter to make up for this sneaky week's delay.

Saturday
New Look - £31.50
Primark - £5
Poo.  I didn't mean to buy £34.50-worth of this stuff.  After buying a new skirt I realised that I needed a new leather jacket.  All of mine either have statement sleeves, aren't black, or are a bomber style.  My wardrobe was lacking a plain biker one to complete the outfit I have with my skirt in mind.  I tried on a really nice on in Topshop for £58, then (after announcing how much I dislike the place) found a cheaper yet still nice enough quality one in New Look.  I did speak to Charlotte however, and she told me that I haven't actually broken the rules because I was spending wisely and cleverly managed to save myself £26.50!  
Those mathematically-minded amongst you will notice that I'm only owning up to meaning to spend £2 today.  And yes, that £2 was meant to go on a tanning mitt but I picked up a cheeky £3 canvas too.

Sunday
Capital Hair & Beauty - £19
The Range - £6.27
The money at Capital was necessary, although because it was for hair dye and brush cleaner I'm listing it in my spending diary because technically I could have had hideous roots and gone without.  At The Range I bought frames, again saving money because I fully intended to spend double the amount on frames when we go to Ikea tomorrow.  Always saving money, me! 

Total for the week: £61.77  I was so on track to not spend anything this week!!  I think that after half term I'll have to avoid going near shops at the weekend because that's where my downfall is.  I've also gotten myself all confused about when to list things; Ed had my debit card in his wallet, so the spending I did on Saturday all had to go on my credit card.  I've taken £70 out of my actual account today though to go towards my credit card bill which I'm dreading.  So where did I say I'd list that?!

Oh, and the photo this week is my way of proving that my shopping isn't completely self-indulgent.  I get new clothes, the cats get new carrier bags to sleep on and play in.  Win win.  I'm well on my way to Mother of the Year.

Friday, 15 February 2013

RIP to my favourite cleanser

lush-let-the-good-times-roll-cleanser
You were in my life for such a short time; I discovered you far too late and now you've been discontinued.

I haven't yet finished this pot up, but the thought of doing so fills me with sadness.  I love everything about this cleanser from the delicious scent to the gently exfoliating texture.  So my plea is this....if anyone can recommend me another product which smells half as amazing (caramel-y goodness for those who don't know) then please let me know in a comment down below!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

6 of the Best: brandboudoir.com

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
I was contacted recently and asked if I'd like to have a look at brandboudoir.com, so look I did and here I am with another 6 of the Best post for you all!

brandboudoir is a UK site offering brand names for discount prices.  They cater to women, men and children, and although predominantly stocking shoes, as you can see they also stock some clothes and bags.  There aren't loads of brands stocked there, but there is a good range of items to choose from.  Some of the brands I'd heard of before (Ash, Sam Edelman and See by Chloe), whereas some I wasn't familiar with.  By Zoe falls into the latter category but having discovered them I'm loving their knitwear! 

Now granted, the stuff stock here isn't the cheapest but on most things you do get an incredible saving when you consider what it would cost full price.  Those joggers for example are 50% off at £62.50...pricey for joggers but a great saving nonetheless!

Are you a fan of outlet shopping?  Let me know what you think!
- Sponsored post -

Monday, 11 February 2013

(Neatly) in my wardrobe

My side of the wardrobe was really beginning to depress me.  The "folded" (and I use that word loosely) items on the shelves were constantly falling on my head, it was impossible to find what I was looking for and, on occasion, it took a whole lot of manpower to actually get the damn thing open.  So last weekend I decided enough was enough and decided to have a spring clean.  And the finished result? 
Much better, I'm sure you'll agree!  I've been left with a sackful of clothes waiting to go to the charity shop and a whole new perspective when I open my wardrobe in the morning.  I've rediscovered old favourites and gotten rid of embarrassing memories.  And I feel so much better for it.

Oh, and remember my storedrobe at the end of the bed?  Well I've had a re-jig of that too, and some of the autumnal colours are now back in the wardrobe whilst more spring-like shades have made it to the rail.
Does anyone else rotate their clothes?  Doing this has really got me in the mood for Spring!

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Diary of a Spendaholic 21

Tuesday
Sainsbury's - £3
I like going for a mooch in Sainsbury's to check out their home section because they have some really nice bits and bobs that always seem to be on offer.  In the end I went for these lovely tulips which really brighten up my desk.  I have this photo as the lock screen on my phone and it makes me smile every time I see it.

Wednesday
PayPal - £10.50
I instagrammed a picture of our photo wall the other day and I've become addicted to finding things to add to it.  I could just go out and buy any old print, but I've decided to invest in slightly more personal bits drawn by fellow bloggers.  I love Jaymie's work so sent her the money across for one of her prints.  Can't wait to see it in person now!

Saturday
Primark - £15
Ed and I went for a Frankie & Benny's breakfast (which was amazing, as every, but so doesn't count for the diary) and then I went for a quick look in Primark after.  Does anyone else ever decide randomly one day that they need a specific addition to their wardrobe?  After buying new shoes last week I decided I needed a new grey blazer to go with them and found one in Primark for £7.  I also got another studded clutch bag, this time black with tarnished silver studs and skulls (thanks to Sian for pointing it out!) because I love my gold studded one and don't actually have a "going out" bag with silver hardware on it.  On  a whim I also picked up a water bottle from by the till because I will start going to the gym more regularly again!

Sunday
Topshop - £22
An entirely unnecessary purchase inspired by Sara Luxe's instagram photo.  I really want to get into wearing pencil skirts casually and fell in love with the aztec print on this one.  £20 for a tube skirt from Topshop also seemed quite reasonable to me?!  Oh, and as a side note, buying a water bottle definitely worked.  I went to the gym and worked hard yesterday.  My legs are killing me today!

Total for the week: £50.50 I'm impressed!  £20 of this was from my PayPal balance (so not real money at all) and when you consider I've got flowers, a picture, a blazer, a bag, a water bottle and a skirt for £30 of my own money I think this is really good!

Friday, 8 February 2013

Empties 05

Aveeno Daily Moisturising Lotion
I'm not sure if I've ever featured one of these in an Empties post before because they last so long!  They're a staple in my everyday routine, as I've said many times I suffered from blepharitis around my eyes a couple of years ago so I use this every day and night to try and prevent that ever happening again!
Would I repurchase?  Yes!  I'd be lost without this.

Strictly Professional Cosmetic Brush Cleaner
Before discovering this I was a baby shampoo kinda gal when it came to cleaning my brushes.  This was a couple of pounds at the hair and beauty supply shop that I go to with my sister and made cleaning my brushes a dream.
Would I repurchase?  Yes, but the shop itself is a bit of a pain to get to.

Batiste Dry Shampoo
I warned you these would feature every time.  I love them.
Would I repurchase?  Need you ask?

No 7 Beautiful Skin Quick Thinking Wipes
I discovered these when I got the aforementioned blepharitis as they were really gentle on my eyes.  Now that I use the Botanics eye make up remover I've been using the wipes as a pre-cleanse before I use my actual cleanser.
Would I repurchase?  These are beginning to feel a bit dry on my skin so I switched to an alternative (and cheaper) brand, so for the meantime, no.

L'Oreal Elvive Damage-Care Conditioning Repair Spray
My hair is so tangled when I get out of the shower that some form of conditioning spray is essential in order to get the comb through it.  This stuff did the job nicely.
Would I repurchase?  No, I like my conditioning sprays to have a nice fragrance but this one didn't.

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula
I use this with a little exfoliating loofahs on the eczema that I get on my forehead.  It works to exfoliate gently, but the cocoa butter keeps the area nicely moisturised.
Would I repurchase?  This wasn't strictly an empty, but it had begun to smell a bit funny because I've had it so long so yes, I repurchased and replaced!

Botanics Facial Oil
I mentioned this in a Winter skincare post.  Love it.
Would I repurchase? Already did while this was on offer!

Botanics Soothing Eye Make Up Remover
I reviewed this here and really enjoy taking my eye make up off with this.
Would I repurchase?  Ditto for the facial oil - I stocked up on this when it was 1/3 off!

Burt's Bees Beeswax & Banana Hand Cream
I really enjoyed using this, but because I didn't want it to run out I stopped before it was empty.  This is another one that again, isn't quite empty, but it smells bad now, probably because I didn't use it for so long.  In hindsight this is a bit too greasy for me.
Would I repurchase?  No.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Max Factor Eye Brightening Tonal Black Volumising Mascara

max-factor-eye-brightening-tonal-black-volumising-mascara
maxfactor-eye-brightening-tonal-black-volumising-mascara
I'm going to try and keep this post relatively sweet because, let's face it, reading about mascara is pretty boring.  I bought this on a whim in Superdrug and it has become my favourite mascara ever.

This mascara comes in three different shades for green, blue or brown eyes.  I got the one for green eyes, which means it has a plummy, almost metallic tinge to it which should help to brighten the eyes.  I'm not sure if it actually does this, but what it does do is thicken my lashes nicely, hold some sort of curl and make my eyelashes look much fuller and more noticeable for longer.  It's a thick enough formula, without being gloopy, and whilst the wand can sometimes feel a little scratchy (like the mascara's going a bit dry....only it isn't!), it just means that I can really give it a wiggle without rubbing mascara all across my eyelid.  In fact, this is one of the only mascaras that doesn't transfer onto my eyelid whilst I'm applying it.  The bristles are also tapered towards the end, meaning that it really gets in and grabs smaller eyelashes.

And the best part?  This mascara is pretty cheap as far as mascaras go!  I've not heard this mentioned at all on the blogosphere, but if you suffer from medium/short, sparse lashes which never hold a curl then this is well worth giving a go!

Monday, 4 February 2013

#surreylbloggersbrunch

Yes, I've recycled the photo...shoot me! 
Last Saturday was the event that, it's safe to say, I'd been waiting what seemed like forever for.  Finally, the day came where a few #lbloggers met up, and I finally got to meet some of my favourite people to chat to on twitter.

We went to Bill's in Guildford; I was previously a Bill's virgin but I'm not a convert.  I opted for the French toast and it didn't let me down.  I'm now making plans with everyone I know to go back there so I can try everything else on the breakfast menu as well.

But besides having possibly the best breakfast ever, the highlight of my day was definitely meeting some of the nicest people I've had the pleasure to meet through blogging.  It was a cosy affair, with 10 of us there, which meant it was just the right amount to talk to everyone without the hustle and bustle I've experienced at bigger events.

I got to meet Samantha (who isn't as scary as I anticipated), Rosie (who's naughtier than I anticipated), Ellie (who I feel like I've met already before?!), Emma (whose hair isn't curly like I for some reason thought it was!), Catherine (who was lovely despite suffering from a rotten a cold), Gem (who was the only one of us who thought to bring a camera....but then didn't use it!), Cariad (who was so sweet), Ceri (who sadly had to dash off) and Sharmeen (who I had no idea lived so close!)And the most important thing I learned?  Never trust a twitter display pic!!

All in all the perfect Saturday.  I mastered public transport and had a really great time shopping, chatting and laughing with some really lovely girls...can't wait to do it again!

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Diary of a Spendaholic 20

Saturday
Cash withdrawal - £20
Topshop - £15
Office - £62.99
I've confused myself.  I bought a pair of shoes on my credit card, so do I list them here or not?  Technically I haven't spent any money yet, but last week I listed things that I bought on the credit card....surely I'll end up listing again when I actually pay it off, so should I just wait until it's real money being spent?!  The money in Topshop was "real" money, spent on another jumper like my grey one which had been reduced in the sale.  Luckily the one I already own wasn't there - don't you just love it when that happens?

Sunday
Primark - £13.10
House of Fraser - £50
Superdrug - £6.79
I definitely didn't need to go shopping today, but Ed was lazing in bed and I got bored so it happened.  I don't think I did too badly though; the £50 was "real" money again - paying off my credit card, and the Primark money was on jeans, socks (boring) and a ring.  I also used my points card in Superdrug to get money off.  I love it that they let you take money off something rather than having the complete amount.  And is it me, or are points much easier to collect in Superdrug?  I had £4 that I didn't know about....that would have taken me ages to build up in Boots!  Sadly it was only on a razor....again, one of the most boring things you could buy!  

Total for the week: £104.89 Woah.  And yes, I decided not to take into account the purchase that went on my credit card, otherwise I'd be weeping right now.  I've pretty much written February off as a penniless month though, and considering nearly half of this total went on paying off my card (coincidentally, another shoe purchase), am I right in thinking that it isn't actually too bad?!

Friday, 1 February 2013