Monday, 28 April 2014

Vo5 Lovin'

I use a lot of Vo5 products and regularly too. I find them reliable, affordable and generally just great products. My new favourites are the 'Give Me Texture Tousled Style Spray', 'Revive Me Daily Shampoo & Conditioner' and 'Heat Protect Styling Spray'. Here's a basic review of each product.

Give Me Texture Tousled Style Spray:
I luuurve this stuff. I use it in a choice of two ways. I either spray, scrunch and leave to dry or separate sections, spray and blow dry. It gives me the most amazing texture despite my natural curl and always makes my hair bigger. The bigger my hair, the bigger my personality. It adds a simple shine and it's such a simple sexy look. However, my biggest issue with it is the nozzle and the way the spray comes out, it's more of a single shot rather than a mist so it's hard to work with in that sense. I tried spraying it onto my hands and then putting it through my hair and that worked better but I ended up with sticky hands (ew). This is the only, minor flaw.

Revive Me Daily Shampoo & Conditioner:
My hair gets easily damaged. I'm not always curling or straightening but it doesn't take long for split ends to show their ugly faces. This stuff is my go to. It's always rejuvenating and literally 'reviving'. It's so easy to lather and wash out. Plus it smells ah-may-zing. I don't know what it is but it's fresh and feminine and fruity. Until I find another alternative with the same value for money (it's always on offer in superdrug) I'll keep repurchasing this stuff.

Heat Protect Styling Spray:
Despite the fact I don't use excessive heat on my hair, I tend to use the hair dryer a lot. I worry about drying it out so whenever I pick up a hair dryer I grab this pink bottle too for essential heat protection. This stuff is fab. As well as a high level of heat protection my hair feels smoother and my annoying natural frizz is controlled. The best thing is that it doesn't make my hair really thick, weighed down or heavy. But, the nozzle is the opposite to the Texture Spray because the spray comes out evenly and also doesn't make my hair sticky. 

Considering the budget buy and the value of all these products, it's certainly worth your pennies. Go pick up these little beauties from the Vo5 range. What Vo5 products do you recommend?

Female Of The Month #1: Laura Whitmore

Laura Whitmore is amazing. She was born on the 4th of May 1985 and is 28. Laura is Irish and a successful TV presenter, journalist and model. She went to Dublin City University where she studied journalism. She is particularly important to me because of her growing career. I really want to work in journalism and she is the perfect role model for that.

In April 2008, a campaign called 'Pick Me Tv' was launched by MTV Networks Europe. Whitmore took part in this against other contestants to become the face of MTV News in MTV Europe. She now regularly presents new bulletins and MTV's special events. In 2009 she started her own clothing range. In 2011 she started presenting 'I'm A Celebrity''s follow up program 'I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! NOW!' with Joe Swash and more recently Rob Beckett. She also had the honor of running with the 2012 Summer Olympics torch. This year, in 2014, Whitmore has joined the BBC Eurovision team as a commentator with Scott Mills.

Laura is so beautiful, that's obvious. She pulls off so many different looks and is always experimenting. Her body is just wow and my goal body. Her hair is beyond explanation and she is so inspirational. Her instagram is so interesting and full of experience and she's becoming more and more popular. She deserves it, she's wonderful.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Shopping Haul #1

So, I spent some money today (oops). It wasn't much, the products were just beauty and fashion essentials from basic shops like Primark and Wilkinson but I thought I'd share anyway. 

1. Miniture Elastic Bands - Primark - £1.00
2. Cotton Wool Buds - Wilkinson - £1.00
3. Beige Knitted Jumper - Primark - £5.90
4. Tea Tree Oil - Wilkinson - £1.00
5. Vo5 Revive Me Daily Shampoo - Superdrug - £1.97
6. Vo5 Revive Me Daily Conditioner - Superdrug - £1.97
7. Montagne Jeunesse Face Masks - Wilkinson - £1.00 each
8. Skin Therapy Cotton Wool Pads - Wilkinson - £1.00
9. Travel Washbag (matches my makeup bag) - Primark - £4.00
10. Striped Boyfriend Tee - Primark - £3.50
11. Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser - Wilkinson - £2.00
12. Simple Eye Makeup Remover - Wilkinson - £2.00
13. NYX Lip Pencil in '16 Natural' - The Beauty Store UK - £1.95
14. NYX Lipstick in '129 Beige' - The Beauty Store UK - £3.95
15. Lace Crop Top - Primark - £5.00
16. Basic Black Belt - Primark - £1.00

Friday, 25 April 2014

The Making Of Harry Potter: Warner Bros. Studios

I love Harry Potter, I have done since I was a child. I read the books, watched the films and I don't really know who I am without it! So what could be more exciting to me than visiting the Warner Brother's Studio Tour?

Arrival at the Studio's. Oh so exciting! Starring two of my favourite people Sophie and Sam.
Standing in the Entrance with the group! The main cast are featured on the high walls.
In the Great Hall! 'TROLL! TROLL IN THE DUNGEON!' was beautifully re-enacted.
An autumnal Hogwarts feast on the benches in the Great Hall and the fireplace with the crest in the background.
Harry, Cho, Hermione, Krum and Ron's Yule Ball costumes and the drinks stand part of the set.
The chocolate feast! Nom nom nom. Such a shame it's all fake right?
The Hogwarts gates in all their glory. Let me in!
Gryffindor common room featuring Hermione, Harry and Ron's outfits from Prisoner of Azkaban. I wish I could get out of Defense Against The Dark Arts and chill here.
The clock tower pendulum swinging. Tick tick tick. One of the best parts of Prisoner of Azkaban.
Dumbledore's Office and Michael Gambon's costume from the series.
The potions classroom. The cauldron stirs itself and there's so many bottles individually made and labelled. Also Slughorn's outifit.
Lots of pink and a horrible idea of interior design? Must be Umbridge's office.
The Magic is Might statue in The Ministry of Magic.
Death Eater's costumes: Scabior, Bellatrix Lestrange, Lord Voldemort, Lucius Malfoy, Draco Malfoy.
Offices in the Ministry of Magic including Rufus Scrimgeour's costume.
Various props used throughout the franchise including: The Marauder's Map, The Quibbler, The Daily Prophet and Advanced Potion-Making Book.
Death at Riddle's grave. This thing is kinda terrifying.
The Knight Bus. I wish I was a bus driver, I'd give anything to drive this.
The creatures shop. Trolls, goblins, werewolves and Fawkes the Phoenix. 
Aragog the Spider looking casual up there.
Diagon Alley! Ollivander's on the left. It was incredible, like walking through a different universe. Also real life death eaters were patrolling the streets and one kept beckoning me towards him. I got a little scared.
The ever orange Weasley's Wizard Wheezes complete with the moving hat.
Ta-da! The beautiful, emotional finale. A scale model of Hogwarts. It's huge, you can walk around the whole thing, see everything in the movies in perfect detail. And I swear to god they play the saddest songs from the films to make you sob. Well I did anyway, both times.

Harry Potter is part of my childhood. It helped shape who I am and it means so much to me. I'm always going to love the wonderful world of Harry Potter and the lessons it taught me. It's the sort of thing that never truly goes away. I'd do anything to be at Hogwarts. It's my home, always.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

My Homemade Smoothie

Fruit is good. And even better when you can drink it. We had loads of fruit to be used up in our fridge and I wanted to make a smoothie. This isn't a very complex recipe but I just wanted to share it with you.

 200g of natural vanilla yogurt 
200g of chopped strawberries
200g of raspberries
Half a chopped banana
1 tbsp of honey

I just blended all this together until it was smooth but of course there were still some seeds. I didn't mind that, partly because they're extremely small but also because they're difficult to remove anyway. This tasted so good andddd it's healthy!

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Looking For Alaska

I've mentioned it before in my 25 Facts About Me post but 'Looking For Alaska' by John Green is my favourite book. I don't know why I'm so attached to it. It's so gripping, emotional, relatable and brilliant. I'm going to keep this review short, because so much has already been said on this book. 

Miles Halter's whole existence has been boring besides his obsession with famous last words. In a search for his 'Great Prehaps', he heads off to the sometimes crazy, unstable world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his whole life is flipped upside down. Because just down the hall is the gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. And nothing is the same.
- Simplified summary from Goodreads.

John Green is absolutely incredible. In only 221 pages I traveled through happiness, sadness and peace, just like the characters would've. I felt like I was there. He makes the story unfold in a continuous pace that keeps you reading. The way Green creates and develops characters is amazing. I felt deeply connected to the characters which is why the book is so special to me. In 'Looking For Alaska' John Green created a mysterious plot. He tells us what happened before, counting down to an event we have no idea about. It was the last thing I wanted it to be and I had a few tears in my eyes. The After was heart-wrenching but I'm not spoiling it otherwise you won't feel the impact if you choose to read it.

My favourite thing about this book is the curious Alaska Young. She's so untamed and wild. It's so ironic how I'd never look up to her as a role model (in fact I'd despise her). Alaska enjoys sex, smokes and drinks excessively and really doesn't care. Despite this, I think we are alike in the simplest of ways. There is something extraordinary about Alaska, the mystery that always surrounds her. She has so many secrets (most that are never revealed).

John is a wonderful writer. He has a way with words that makes you feel. If you use tumblr you've probably come across his quotes but here are three favourites from 'Looking For Alaska'.
  • “When adults say, "Teenagers think they are invincible" with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don't know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail.” 
  • “Imagining the future is a kind of nostalgia. (...) You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you'll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.” 
  • “So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.” 
Despite the fact that it's quite short the book has in ways changed my life. A majority of John Green fans would say 'The Fault In Our Stars' is the best of his works but I've never thought that. Green never plays on the 'happily ever after' and often discards it but always seems to find a little serenity to end on, a serenity I will always remember from this beautiful, remarkable story.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Wonderful Wales

If you only take one thing from this post it should be that you don't have to travel abroad (as nice as it is) for a good holiday. When my Dad suggested 4x4 off-roading in Wales for the weekend I wasn't impressed. But, Wales is beautiful. Even though it's known for it's depressing weather, Wales showed us some sun. The skies were blue, only a few clouds dampened the day. The views were incredible.

Our hotel room was adorable. I absolutely loved the bay window, it's something I want in my future house. I'm kinda mad we only stayed for one night, look how calm and cute it is! I don't quite think these photos do Wales justice. The dam, random little houses, bridges, hills, fields. It seemed to go on forever, miles of green-ness and open air. I'll always be, at heart, a country girl.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Maybelline The Rocket Volume Express Marcara

I'm a difficult person when it comes to mascara. Don't get me wrong I'm open to trying new products but usually when I find a mascara I like I stick to it and don't change until I need a new one. Maybelline's 'The Rocket Volum' Express' is a mascara I'm considering adding to my makeup bag which is a big thing for me. I currently use Benefit's 'they're real' everyday but this mascara is probably going to be my second choice now. That's a big statement.

To put it bluntly it's a good product. My eyelashes are of a medium length anyway and the only problem I have with them is that often I get a few strays that like to point in the opposite direction to the others. I love the packaging because the colours make it easier to find in my makeup bag in a hurry and it's so simple. I love the pink too! The brush itself is big enough and doesn't collect loads of mascara at once. 

'The Rocket Volum' Express' frames my eyes nicely and seperates the lashes well. In the pictures below I'd applied around 4 strokes of the brush so that's good. It didn't really help with my downward pointing lashes but unless you face this problem like me that's no biggie. It's quite lengthening and I wore it for about 6 hours before I noticed a real sag in my eyelashes. There was no flaking during the day and it stayed in place well. I do have one problem though. Others seem to have experienced this too. Even though this was not the waterproof version, the mascara is strong. It stays on well, which of course is brilliant, until you need to take it off which took me several cotton pads of eye make-up remover. All the rubbing and pulling resulted in actually pulling some lashes out which worries me because this isn't even the waterproof version. Good luck to those of you who buy that one!

My lashes in this picture were not curled and there was no eyeliner/shadow of any sort.
Overall it's a wonderful product, I was very pleased by the big effect on my lashes with such little applied. It probably will go into my makeup bag I'l just have to find some stronger makeup remover I guess. I'd appreciate it if you all let me know what makeup remover you use, my bottle is running dangerously empty.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Liebster Award

I've been kindly nominated for a Liebster Award! It's great to know people are actually starting to enjoy my blog! In all honesty, I had no idea what this was but after some research I've worked it out. It's a way of recognizing new bloggers, helping them gain attention on the internet. Thank you so much to Aimee for the nomination. I now have some questions to answer!


1. Provide a link back to the blogger who nominated you
2. Post 11 random facts about you
3. Answer 11 random questions set by the blogger who nominated you
4. Nominate 11 bloggers with under 200 followers (excluding who nominated you) and 11 questions for them
5. Let the nominees know that you have nominated them

11 Random Facts About Me
1. My prom dress is red
2. I shut my first iPod in a car door
3. I am very angry about the How I Met Your Mother finale
4. I hate McDonalds
5. I'm going to see Little Mix at the O2 soon
6. I was once on Don't Tell The Bride
7. I love custard
8. I am currently doing online shopping
9. My laptop is purple
10. I'm obsessed with Emma Stone at the moment
11. My favourite Disney movie is Aladdin

Aimee's Questions

1. Have you ever faked being ill? Why? 
Yes to get out of school tests mainly (eek).
2. Have you ever been in a car accident? 
No, touch wood. I hate that it happens every 
3. How would you describe yourself? 
Quite pessimistic but always wanting to improve the lives of others. 
4. If you could change your name, what would you change it to? 
I don't know I quite like my name anyway, it's original even if people always get my name wrong. I've always loved the name Ameila or Alyssa.
5. If you could change anything about yourself what would it be? 
Here's the pessimistic me but my body, just everything about my body. A size 8 or 10 would be the dream, I'd be happier.
6. What was the last film you watched? 
Crazy, Stupid, Love. I love Emma Stone soooo much and Ryan Gosling is gorgeous as always. Plus it's funny and realistic.
7. Are you a morning or a night person? 
Hm, it depends. I mean recently I've been getting up to run in the morning but I prefer the nights, I'm calmer and more relaxed.
8. Do you have any phobias? 
Oh god, here we go. Stickers. I hate the way as a kid you just put stickers on everything. Thinking about them attaching to your clothes or skin and you not knowing makes me feel ill. I don't know why..
9. What makes you happy? 
Terrible television, 80's/90's films, books, tea, tumblr, good food, interior design, meaningful music you relate to, poetry, company magazine, creme eggs, new makeup, baking, karma, autumn and big jumpers.
10. What makes you sad? 
Bullying, mental illness, discrimination, pretty people, my body, divorce, my negativity.
11. Where do you want to be in ten years time? 
Working in the media industry, doing well and making good money. In a comfortable relationship, maybe kids, a nice house. You know, the dream.

My Nominations
Helena - Helena Mulhearn
Harriet - Life Of Harriet
Bryony - Glitter Berry
Paige - Paige's Blog

My Questions to Nominees 
1. Who's the most famous person you've ever met?
2. What's your favourite television programme?
3. Who's you biggest girl crush?
4. What did you have for breakfast this morning?
5. What is you most used makeup product?
6. If you were a fictional character, who would you be?
7. What's your best friends name? Describe them in three words.
8. Pick up the nearest book and open it on a random page. What does the 3rd word on the 5th line mean to you?
9. What colour are your bedroom walls?
10. Where was the last place you slept that wasn't your bed?
11. Who is your biggest inspiration?

Thank you again for the nomination Aimee. Spread the word by adding the Liebster Award picture to your blog. I hope you all continue to share the blogging universe's love and try this yourself if I've nominated you.

Monday, 14 April 2014

A Wardrobe Spring Clean

It's getting warmer and it's spring. There's blossom on the trees, plants are growing and bugs are everywhere. In order to refresh my wardrobe for spring/summer I had a good old clear out. I just picked up items and tried them on. It was really simple, if I didn't like it I put it in one pile and if I did like it I put it in another. I made quite a mess (oops) but it all looks very organized and clean now. 

I don't technically have a wardrobe, it's an awkward alcove in the corner of my room we turned into one. My Dad put up some shelves and a rail and covered it with a curtain that matches my window curtains. I threw out so much stuff, a whole black sack full. I plan to sell or donate these items for a little cash to put toward filling the wardrobe back up! I recommend you do the same. Let's see how long I can keep it tidy, shall we?! 

Sunday, 13 April 2014

The Red Tour: Taylor Swift At The O2

On the second of February 2014, I went to the London 02 to see Taylor Swift's Red Tour. It was no doubt one of the best moments of my life. I have never felt so many emotions in such a short space of time. I'd been following her North American tour since the beginning, wishing for the European leg to be announced. As soon as the tickets were released I panicked and realized I'd already left it too late. When I'd spoken to my Mum she seemed uninterested so I sulked to my friends about how cruel life was. My best friend put up with me as I wallowed in pity about having no tickets every day. Unbeknownst to me, my parents had already bought two tickets for me and my Mum with amazing seats too. Plus, they had told my best friend. So for a month, they lied to me and kept it a secret and I dismissed the idea of seeing Taylor Swift. But on my birthday, they surprised me. The first thing I did was text my best friend in happiness but also frustration because she'd kept this secret so well for so long. Well done though Molly, I couldn't have done it!

Now let's get this straight. I have loved Taylor since around the age of 8 or 9. Her and her music means so much to me, I can't really express it with words. Even with the slut-shaming currently and the unnecessary mean media coverage I believe she is a strong, powerful and absolutely incredible woman. She works insanely hard and still manages to please millions of fans worldwide, that's achievement. Along with charity work, feminism, baking cookies, cat videos and occasional acting, anyone who can write and release four platinum albums is special right? My admiration for her is huge.

I was so excited. I'd go even further and say I'd never been more excited for anything in my life. In addition to this, The Red Tour was my first concert ever. Queuing wasn't fun (who came up with the stereotype of the Brits loving to queue?) but, when I'd bought my t-shirt, program, glow stick and merchandise things sped up. As soon as we started moving, it was a blur. Going into the arena and finding my seat (3rd row from the floor on the left side so brilliant views) was crazy. I kept thinking, 'I'm going to see her soon, she'll be there singing, she'll be right there.' We were pretty early in so we waited, watched the seats fill up. The amount of people was overwhelming. There were childish quizzes about Taylor and I knew the answers so just tested Mum. I'd made her learn words and do her revision before hand but honestly I didn't mind if she knew no words, I was sharing the amazing experience with her. People screamed when The Vamps started to appear. Their music is so good. They sounded great but I was mainly focused on how they looked. Hello Brad Simpson!

After The Vamps had performed a few hits like 'Can We Dance', 'Wild Heart' and' Last Night' with a few covers throw in too, everything went pretty silent again. In the break, Taylor's Mum was walking around handing out Red Club tickets to meet Taylor. That was pretty cool. I didn't get picked but I was so happy for the 10 year olds with homemade flashing signs and costumes. Their little smiles, knowing they'd meet their idol. The wait seemed like forever. But then there were lights flashing again, a beat started and she was there. Wow. Taylor is quite the performer. She always has been. On her Fearless tour she made rain pour down so that she could sing in it and threw chairs across the stage. The Speak now tour had a gold spinning tree for her to perform acoustically underneath and she wrote lyrics up her arms. 

The Red Tour was incredible too. With several costume changes, lavish dance routines, stories for each song and emotional break downs Taylor put on an amazing show. Sam Smith appeared too and they sang his single 'Money On My Mind'. In particular she used a video before her song 'The Lucky One' to reflect how the media have made her look. She frowned saying how they change and 'break you'. But a few seconds later she added a quick 'but not yet' and smiled as everyone screamed in support. Pleasing the crowd is her forte. Every single song was like a different show. However the best song on the album 'All Too Well' the most emotional of all her songs was my favourite part of the night. She spends the whole night talking to the crowd and her speech before was heart-breaking.

"A lot of the time, when I’m lucky enough to get you meet you guys before or after my shows, a lot of the time I get asked one question more than most of the other questions. And that question is related to songwriting and is there a certain place where I go to write songs, or is there a certain time I write songs the most. The answer to that question is that I could get an idea for a song at any point in the day, at any time no matter where I am, there could be some idea that hits me and all of the sudden I have to go and grab my guitar or sit at the piano and write it. But if I’m writing a song in the middle of the night like if I wake up and I have an idea to write a song, chances are it’s because I’m trying to forget somebody, and chances are it’s because maybe I miss somebody that I shouldn’t miss, because they’re bad for me, and I know that I can’t pick up the phone and call them, so I write a song instead. The term trying to forget someone is so awful because you‘ll never forget someone if you’re trying to forget them. This was a song that I wrote when I was trying to forget someone but really all it did was remind me that I remembered it all too well.”

Halfway through the song she actually broke down, cried and stopped singing. The crowd screamed and she carried on playing the piano and yelled her song in pain. I was sobbing, the song is so emotional and means so much to me. She really can sing live no matter what everyone says. I adore her way with words and the way her fans know every word of every one of her songs and literally perform with her. 

This was the most surreal night of my life. The power Taylor Swift has is unimaginable. I am so excited to return to the 02 to see Little Mix with Molly soon but I know it won't be at all like Taylor, she is one of my favourite people in existence. She is a goddess.