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April Favourites! <3

1 May

April Favourites 2013

Another favourites post!

This month was certainly better than February and March, yahoo! I was ridiculously productive (for the most part) and survived relatively unscathed and happy. I even dipped my toes back into the theatre (I took part in a lovely little play-reading) and got two theses proofread and ready to go. The first half of the month saw me study quite a bit, but the last two weeks have been awful on the studying front. Eek. Less than a month to go for my first exam. Urgh.

Pictured favourite products:

  • Soap & Glory Heel Genius (a foot cream that I’ve been rubbing on before popping into bed – I wake up with soft and smooth feet: easy!)
  • The fantail brush I reviewed here.
  • A Game of Thrones (finally getting past the first few chapters and now about 200 pages in) – can’t wait to finish the first book in the series and get some momentum going.
  • Rimmel Wake Me Up foundation (it’s a little ‘sparkly’ – which is how it’s supposed to wake you up, by making you look glowy – but other than that I’ve loved applying a tiny bit of this to my face with my fingers this month).
  • The Revlon Lip Butter in Macaroon (again) – it’s brilliant.
  • TRESemmé Liquid Gold Argan Oil Infused hair treatment – this hair serum has been so lovely on my hair this month. It doesn’t look greasy or wear my hair down, but just gives my curls more shine and definition.

Other favourites:

  • The warmer weather
  • Cats
  • Game of Thrones (the TV series) finally being back
  • Cake-in-a-mug (the ultimate surprise ‘delicacy’ prepared by my boyfriend’s awesome brother)
  • My little proofreading business getting along nicely – I find it to be a very satisfying endeavour, and actually helping people getting their theses to be the best they can be is fantastic.
  • Time spent with my two best friends, Annie and Anna. Little meet-ups with one or the other always lift my spirits.
  • Writing a relatively unusual post for this blog about my discomfort with always feeling like I’m ‘waiting’ for the next thing. It was well-received and so very relieving to get off my chest.
  • A few days of eating in a ‘healthier’ manner… i.e. less carbs than I would normally have, more fruit and veg than I would normally have (which is still not nearly enough, but anyway…), and less cheese + chocolate + junk food. I’m feeling more energetic and having no issues with feeling hungry or bogged down, so it’s fantastic. Pity it’s not too convenient to eat this way (yet), nor is it cheap (sometimes) and nor is it easy (for now – it’s still such a conscious effort).
  • Taking even MORE care of myself and going to a tonne of doctors this month – physiotherapist (getting insoles to sort out my wonky heels), gynaecologist (gotta be done), etc.
  • Insane productivity at some points during the month. So proud of myself. I wish I could keep this up all the time, but I guess that would be close to impossible.
  • Crosswords
  • Tumblr, always.

Best of luck to everyone who, like me, will be spending the month neck-deep in studying and work. Take frequent breaks, especially if it’s to enjoy some sunshine. I know I‘m looking forward to going for a few dips in the sea.

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March Favourites! <3

2 Apr

March Favourites 2013

It’s time for another Favourites post. This month was also a little gloomy, even though it was my birthday and I spent the first few days in beautiful Paris. BUT I have started studying for my May-June exams, I have put on my entrepreneurial hat and have given myself a freelance part-time job, I have forced myself to settle into some glorious alone-time, and I’m so pleased that it’s Spring (which in Malta means that it is about 2 hours away from being Summer!). The near future looks tough yet much brighter than the past couple of months, but I’m still very pleased to compile this little favourites post.

Not pictured, one of my favourites of March is my new lens (Nikon 35mm f/1.8 LOVE IT), which I used to take the photo. ;) It’s super pretty and the perfect addition to my (now) collection.

The MAC blusher (in Mocha) that’s leaning against little pots of French strawberry jam (so delicious! Stolen from our hotel’s breakfast buffet in Paris…) looks a little dusty in the photo, but it’s actually the most gorgeous pinky shade, which is well worth the money.

Real Techniques brushes always seem to feature in my Favourites posts. This month I bought two new ones off an American website (www.iherb.com) (much cheaper than the UK, would you believe it. Including shipping!), and they are the Powder brush and the Blush brush. They’re fantastic. So soft and effective.

The final pictured favourite is the Revlon Lip Butter (in Macaroon), which is my first Revlon lip butter ever! (Even though I’ve been eyeing them ever since they’ve been out.) It really is worth all the hype. Great colour, very buildable, and not drying at all. The colour is fantastic for Spring + Summer too!

Other favourites:

  • Paris!
  • A tiny new-found love for cooking (maybe!)
  • Ali Baba (a restaurant mentioned in my latest photo mishmash)
  • Birthday gifts!
  • Cake in a mug
  • Game of Thrones
  • This recipe
  • Pink French cider (best thing ever)
  • feedly
  • Cardigans

Who’s excited about the warmer weather? I know I am. Let’s hope this month is absolutely wonderful.

February Favourites! <3

6 Mar

Feb 2013 Favourites 1

February is my least favourite month of the year. This year I was hoping it would be a pleasant one, but NO-SIR-EE. It was mostly awful. I spent most of it ill with the flu in bed (ugh ugh ugh), and the cold weather bothered me lots. I also received a sudden barrage of bad news that knocked me down that little bit more. Let’s just say that I certainly wasn’t myself for most of the month.

The highlight of the month was a week-long trip to Paris. It was superb. I had a blast and ate oh-so-much food. A Paris post will follow shortly with tips and tidbits of Amazing Things to See + Eat + Do in Paris. It’s going to be packed with awesome stuff!

Anyway. I still have a few favourites from the month of February, even though most of it was spent in bed feeling super-sorry for myself. First, there’s Blistex MedPlus For Lips, which is a little blue tub of lip balm. It works so well – the menthol in it makes my lips tingle, but the balm’s moisturising powers are incredibly quick and effective.  Then there’s my favourite book of the month: Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day. I adore Never Let Me Go, so I wasn’t so sure about how this would fare, even though I had heard amazing things. However, this masterpiece of a book was so readable and intimate in its own strange way. The fact that most of it is set in the inter-war period (one of my favourite periods.) was even better for a history-nerd like me. The characters were touching, the narrator (and protagonist) was such a sweet man (set in his ways yet adorably so). It was a fantastic book which I highly recommend if you’d like something really well written and highly readable.

Since I was so sick and house-bound, I sent my lovely boyfriend to the local toy shop to buy me a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle. He got me The Kiss, which is absolutely gorgeous (and it has been a real toughie). I still haven’t finished it (the brown background has been impossible), but I’m hoping to fit the last pieces together soon. The last favourite item that’s pictured is the Real Techniques buffing brush. I also mentioned this in last month’s favourites post, but I was totally using it all wrong. I had only used it for powder, but hadn’t realised that it would be fantastic for liquid foundation! Seriously impressed with this one.

Other assorted favourites:

  • The TV show Chopped
  • Pancakes with Nutella
  • My red coat (always.)
  • Paris
  • Naps
  • Buttered popcorn (i.e. plain microwave popcorn (still warm), microwaved lump of butter (freshly melted), all mixed together) – actual heaven.
  • Skyfall (really enjoyed this Bond film)
  • Foie Gras (!!)
  • My boyfriend (he’s a favourite every month and a regular feature on my TILTs but during this month he had moments of particularly-lovely loveliness)
  • French people
  • Cider – definitely my drink of choice (closely followed by red wine)
  • My favourite album of the month is definitely Biffy Clyro’s Opposites which was released at the end of January. I did mention it indirectly on last month’s favourites post, but it deserves a proper mention this time ’round (because my copy finally arrived in the mail, and I’ve listened to it several times in my car). Splendid stuff.
  • France
  • Boulangeries (fresh croissants au beurre! OH MY.)

Let me know if you’ve also loved (or you’ve hated!) anything I mentioned. Let’s hope March brings more favourites and happy times (it’d better… it’s my birthday month!).

January Favourites! <3

4 Feb

I’m starting a new regular feature on my blog (echoing lots of other bloggers’ “monthly favourites” posts and lots of video bloggers’ “monthly favourites” videos) – monthly favourites! These will be blog posts with my favourite things from the past month. They will go up within the first week of the following month. You all know how I’m all about the gratitude. Well, these are going to be like my TILTs, but on a whole new (monthly) level. And they’ll be more product based, but rest assured, there will be a few random (more abstract) things in there too.

So without further ado, my January favourites!

Owl-shaped bag: this was a Christmas present from one of my best friends. She bought if for me from a market in Southampton, and I’ve gotten so many compliments and comments on it. It’s really fun and sweet. I wore it non-stop during the Christmas holidays.

Gold necklace with a ‘C’ pendant: I bought this from BHS in Durham. You can’t really see it in the photo above, but it’s really dainty and sweet.

Dark blue woolly snood: this snood has been such a cuddly, snuggly companion to me on cold days! I bought it from Primark last summer (I think) from the Metrocentre in Gateshead (I think). It was £5 and it is amazing. Best thing is that it makes my head look marginally smaller, which is Very Desirable To Me.

Constellations: this is a play by Nick Payne which one of my friends mentioned to me earlier this month. I looked it up on Google, read that it is Amazingness Itself, and hopped over to play.com to purchase it. I read it in about an hour and it’s such a good ‘un. Highly recommended. (It’s also going to be put up by WhatsTheirNames Theatre in April – so watch out for that!)

Tresemmé 24 Hour Body Amplifying Mousse: this is my favourite hair mousse, and when I came back from Durham I couldn’t find it ANYWHERE in Malta. When we visited Durham, my Mum nabbed a bottle for me from Boots, and my hair has been thanking her ever since.

Rose water: this stuff was a Christmas present from one of my best friends, and it has been so much fun to use it. I’ve been using it almost every morning or night. The smell is amazing and it is an excellent toner. Soothing, and takes off any traces of make-up. I’ve also been slipping it into my lathered hair while washing it.

Soap & Glory Clean On Me shower gel: this stuff is SO GOOD. I love it in so many ways. Its pump dispenses the perfect amount. The smell is lovely. The way it lathers is just right. And it’s all pink and fun.

The tangle teezer: this brush is from lookfantastic.com (which has free worldwide shipping!) and has really helped with my mane of tangled hair. It’s good to use when hair is either wet or dry, and it’s purple and sparkly. The fact that it doesn’t have a handle is a bit annoying… but the “ergonomic” (or whatever…) shape is supposed to fit your hand perfectly. It does, but I still tend to lose grip. I dunno.

Black Primark shoes: these flat shoes were a few pounds from Primark. They fit really well, they’re very sweet, I love them. The perfect replacement for my old, tattered Primark ballerina flats.

Collection Lasting Perfection concealor: this is the best concealor ever. And it’s extremely cheap. Pity it’s not available in Malta. But I’m all stocked up – don’t worry. The writing on the packaging rubs off almost immediately, but otherwise, it’s perfection. Over pimples, over red areas, under the eyes. Good stuff.

A cigar: my boyfriend and I bought two of these from the Durham Indoor Market. We “smoked” them after our graduation. I say “smoked” because I did not inhale at all and only “used up” about 3mm of cigar. It came in such a pretty case though, and the smell/taste/whatever was actually really pleasant. Having said that, I don’t smoke at all, I only smoked because I got a Master’s degree and I wanted to celebrate in a slightly wacky way, and please don’t smoke because it is disgusting, thank you.

Real Techniques brushes: I bought these from the Metrocentre Boots in Gateshead when I went up a few weeks ago. The stippling brush and the buffing brush (shown) are my favourites. They’re so great for applying make-up. The stippling brush especially. Airbrush effect application of foundation/BB cream? Yes, please!

A pink Swarovski pen: I used this for my exam on Wednesday. It was a Christmas present from my aunt’s family, and it’s been lovely for (actual) writing.

New perfumes: I received a couple of perfumes for Christmas, and it’s been so nice to apply one or the other every day. Some may say that they seem like impersonal, easy-t0-get-wrong presents, but these two have been such hits with me that I wouldn’t have wanted anything else.

Oreos: I’ve had my fair share of Oreo milkshakes this month, and I’ve even attempted my own (which turned out thick and YUMMEH). It’s a pity they are SO expensive from Malta, but that’s not stopping me. They are tasty and creamy and they leave black crumbs all over my face for HOURS.

Other favourites:

  • My red coat from New Look.
  • Durham.
  • Highlighters. (Nice ones, in good colours like green and pink. Green has been a favourite this month, however.)
  • Biffy Clyro. (Their new album, their previous album. It’s all good.)
  • Swimming. I may have only swum once this year, but it was glorious. Definitely a favourite.
  • Blogilates. This is a strange one. I heard a recommendation from ClothesEncounters on YouTube where she said that this YouTube channel is fantastic for working out, and I tried a couple of videos and they really are effective. Even though I do one, and then have to rest for a week. Hoping to work my way up to doing one a day, maybe? One day…

So that’s it. Those are some of my favourites for the month. Let me know what you think, and whether you like this sort of thing. Compiling this post was great fun (even though I filled my entire house with droplets of water as I walked around with the wet shower gel bottle! Oops…).