27.2.13

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!

20.2.13

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!

18.2.13

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 -

11.2.13

(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!

6.2.13

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!

4.2.13

#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!

1.2.13

#surreylbloggersbrunch

Tomorrow, 11am at Bills in Guildford. Are you coming?