Scrapbooking:Project Life 2016

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Happy holidays everyone! Today's post is a little (or not so little) scrapbooking update. I can't believe that I've managed to keep up scrapbooking with Project Life for a whole year! From choosing which pictures to print, to selecting different pocket cards and adding a little bit of journaling, I definitely enjoy this method of scrapbooking. I also love adding embellishments (stickers and glitter, need I say more?) but Project Life doesn't require a lot of those so it's a lot less time consuming, which is perfect as I can fit it in when I have free time.

I suppose it should come as no surprise then, that I ordered a new Project Life album for 2016. I didn't order any more pocket cards as I already have a pretty large collection which I will be using up. I'm also starting a mini scrapbook project for a friend that will form part of a gift next year (unfortunately I can't give away anymore information on that just yet).

Here's a look at some snaps of my 2015 album =)


Would I recommend Project Life as a way to scrapbook? Yes!
The initial costs for the album, page protectors and cards work out a little pricey but after that, the only thing I pay for are the photos that I print. Have a read of my first Project Life blog post here for more information on where I purchase different products.

Anyone else going to be scrapbooking in 2016?


L'Occitane Christmas Advent Calendar

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I don't celebrate Christmas but I do love trying out new products as well as stocking up on travel sizes. There really isn't a better way to do so than picking up a few of the holiday gift sets that are available at the moment. I've already opened up the L'Occitane festive bauble, but have decided to wait until December starts before I open the L'Occitane Christmas advent calendar. While the kids in my class will have a chocolate advent calendar to look forward to, I will be treating myself with a different L'Occitane product in the run up to the Christmas holidays.

So what's inside the L'Occitane Advent Calender?
Well there's a range of products, including hand creams, soap, shower gel and a few festive treats and decorations. Here's a full list of what's included:

• 35ml Almond Shower Oil
• 10ml Almond Delicious Hands
• 5ml Pivoine Flora Eau de Toilette
• 10ml Delightful Rose Hand Cream
• Nail File
• Set of 5 gift tags
• 50g Jasmin & Bergamote Soap
• 10ml Shea Butter Hand Cream
• Star-shaped Pastry Cutter
• 50g Milk Extra Gentle-Soap
• 10ml Pivoine Flora Hand Cream
• Set of 10 stickers
• 10ml Ultra Rich Face Cream
• 30ml Ultra Rich Body Lotion
• Set of Place Cards
• 35ml Repairing Shampoo
• 35ml Repairing Conditioner
• Bow Tree Hanging Decoration
• 30ml Verbena Shower Gel
• 30ml Verbena Body Lotion
• 10ml Cherry Blossom Hand Cream
• 3ml Moisturising Lip Balm
• 10ml Shea Butter Foot Cream
• Sachet of Stars.SOLD OUT - Christmas Beauty Advent CalendarFor £39.00, this advent calendar is pretty good value for money and is one of the less pricier beauty advent calendars available. Plus, I'm a big fan of L'Occitane products, so I know that I'll be using everything that is included in this calendar. The advent calendar is sold out online but you may be able to find it in your local L'Occitane boutique.


The Konjac Sponge Company [review]

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A few weeks ago, I was in Oxford Street and had a look around the Selfridges beauty hall. I really wanted some NYX lip liners but they weren't stocked at the pop up stand so instead, I picked up a Konjac Sponge with Bamboo Charcoal.

I've used a Konjac Sponge before (I got the angel face cloth in this YBD box) and they're great for cleansing on make-up free days. The sponge is made from 100% vegetable fibres. When completely dry, it's quite rough and solid so you kind of wonder if it's good for your skin. However, once saturated with water, it becomes much softer.

(solid as a rock)

(after running under the tap)

I find that the Konjac sponges are a lot kinder to the skin than muslin cloths, and you can't feel the exfoliation (whereas a muslin cloth may sometimes be a bit abrasive). This might not appeal to everyone, but seeing as I use it on the days I'm not wearing makeup, I don't feel that I need the extra exfoliation that I get when using muslin cloths. Because it is 100% natural, the sponge will eventually break down, although it should last at least 2-3 months with regular use.

If you have sensitive skin or just don't like muslin cloths when cleansing, I'd definitely recommend trying the Konjac sponges. You can purchase Konjac Sponges from their own website, as well as a number of retailers, including Look Fantastic and Feel Unique.


L'Occitane Shea Butter Festive Bauble

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A few days ago, I popped into L'Occitane to take a closer look at the beauty advent calendar. Instead, this is what caught my eye. At only £10, the L'Occitane Festive Baubles are great as small gifts or stocking fillers. There are a few different sets to choose from: Shea Butter, Verbena and Almond (exclusive to John Lewis).

I picked up the Shea Butter festive bauble, which contains:
  • Shea Butter Shower Cream 30ml
  • Shea Butter Ultra Rich Lotion 30ml
  • Shea Butter Hand Cream 10ml
  • Shea Extra-Gentle Milk Soap 25g 

  • The travel sizes makes this an ideal introduction to L'Occitane products, or in my case, perfect for a weekend away. The Christmas baubles are available online here and in store (currently on offer 3 for £25).


    P.S. I did go back and get the advent calendar, but more on that in another post =)

    Bargain Find - Lanolips Antibacterial Hand Cream

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    I haven't actually bought much from Boots/Superdrug in the past few months (thanks student budget). Recently, I popped into Boots to find a gift and noticed this on the clearance shelf. The Lanolips Antibacterial Hand Cream retails for £9.99 on the Boots website but I managed to pick it up for only £1!

    I've yet to try it, but seeing as I'm a big fan of the lip balms, I have high hopes for this hand cream. Whilst it says it kills 99% of germs, I'm not sure it'll replace my B&BW PocketBacs, but at least my hands will be moisturised and hopefully germ-free =)



    A little catch up =)

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    Hello lovely readers! And a belated Eid Mubarak! I can't believe it's been over a month since I last blogged. A lot has happened in the past few weeks from attending weddings, to starting a new job and just generally catching up with stuff. Unfortunately, I've had to stop painting as I just don't have the time (life of an NQT), but I'm still trying to scrapbook monthly with my Project Life album. I have a few blog posts in my drafts so will hopefully be posting more regularly, but until then, I'm off to do some planning and marking =)


    Istanbul Holiday Haul

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    No holiday is complete without a little shopping. Of course I did a little bit of duty free shopping as well as buying some bits and bobs while in Istanbul. We also found Sephora at one of the malls, so I restocked on face masks and got a few goodies for friends. Here's what I picked up for myself =)

    Duty Free: My first Nars blusher (Outlaw) and my favourite fragrance, Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire EDT.

    Carrefour and Local shops: Colouring book full of pretty patterns, Smiley stickers, Little bowl for my desk (most likely for rings), blue woven purse and mini keychain purse.

    Sephora and Sightseeing: Fibre mask discovery set, Pore clarifying mask and three bookmarks.

    Handmade Turkish soaps from a local shop. (L-R Argan Oil, Tumeric and Himalyan Salt).

    On the whole, I think I did pretty well and didn't overspend. The Turkish soaps are suitable for use on the face and body, so I'll be using them to cleanse my face in the mornings. Unfortunately, the summer holidays are coming to an end and now it's time to start getting prepared for work.


    Istanbul, Turkey 2015

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    Two weeks ago, I was in Istanbul. The city is amazing, with so many beautiful buildings and a rich history, there's plenty to see and do. During the 4 days that we spent there, we managed to visit the Topkapi Palace Museum, Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya), Blue Mosque and the Grand Bazaar. We also walked along the Galata Bridge (where there are many restaurants overlooking the river), and took a fairly long tram ride to the mall. It's a lot easier to get around Istanbul by taking the tram or metro and then walking, rather than taxi's which get stuck in a lot of traffic and as we found, also have difficulty getting to some of the smaller streets. There is no shortage of places to eat in Istanbul, and we definitely enjoyed the Turkish Cuisine (one of my favourites!). Anyway, here are some of the pictures that I took while I was away. Enjoy =)


    Have you ever visited Turkey before?


    Review: Lush Full of Grace Serum Bar

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    Since purchasing the Lush Full of Grace Serum Bar way back in June, I've been trying to use it every evening before applying moisturiser. As I'm so used to applying moisturiser straight after cleansing, it took a while to get used to adding the extra step into my routine especially as the serum comes in a solid bar, rather than a liquid. It doesn't take long for the serum to soften at body temperature, so I prefer to rub the bar over my hands, and then apply the serum to my face. I use it at night, simply because it does leave my skin a little tacky, and this wouldn't make a great base for any makeup to be worn over the top. 

    So has it made a difference?
    I'd say yes -in combination with a new skincare routine- it has. My skin is definitely a lot more softer and I have noticed that I don't have any dry patches of skin on my cheeks. Full of Grace is made from all natural ingredients (vegan friendly) and is suitable for sensitive skin. It hasn't made me break out or affected my eczema. As it is only wrapped in the paper, I would recommend storing it in a container (I use a Lush oval tin) and in a cool place, as mine did soften when the weather got very hot in the middle of July. So far, I've been using the Full of Grace serum bar for two months and still have about half a bar left. While it may seem slightly pricey at £8.25 for the size, a little goes a long way and I know that I'll be repurchasing again in two months time.

    Do you include a serum in your routine? Any recommendations?


    Summer Holidays!

    Finally, the Summer holidays have arrived and after attending a wedding in Manchester over the weekend, I will be flying off to Istanbul tomorrow morning! I've been to Turkey before, but visited Bodrum which is on the South coast. There's a lot to see and do in Istanbul, which I am looking forward to. And I'm especially looking forward to doing some shopping (especially at the Grand Bazaar) and eating Turkish food (which I love!).

    I'll be back next week with a blog post about my holiday =)


    You Beauty Discovery - July (Travel)

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    As the Summer holidays approach, I think it's a good thing that this month's You Beauty Discovery Box theme is travel. The products in the shortlist are all travel-friendly sizes and give you the chance to try something new as the weather gets warmer.

    From this month's shortlist, I chose the Philip Kingsley Moisture Balancing Shampoo & Conditioner Duo, and the Vichy Purete Thermale 3 in 1 One-Step Cleanser & Idelia Life Serum Duo. As I'll be going away for a few days to Turkey next month, I chose these products as they'll be perfect to take with me. It'll be a good opportunity to try out new products whilst on holiday and it means that I've got my hair and skincare already sorted (partially anyway). All that's left to get is some sun protection and pack away any other samples I have lying around. The extra products this month include a St Tropez Gradual Tan in-shower lotion, a sachet of Emma Hardie Protect+Prime SPF30 and a taster pack of Nairns Muesli Breaks Oatcakes.
    I haven't quite worked out the retail value of this box, but I'm sure it is worth at least the cost of the box (if not more!). What do you think?


    Lush Oxford Street Haul

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    Following on from my visit to the Lush Oxford Street store, is what I bought while I was there. I am a big fan of Lush products and so I did go a little overboard with what I put in my basket. Bear in mind that a few of these products are exclusive to the Oxford Street store, and so won't be available online.

    First in my haul, I picked up a new fresh face mask. I've used a number of different ones over the past few years, and this time it was recommended that I go for 'The Man in the Mushroom' (OxSt only). Funnily enough, it smells nothing like mushroom, but more like a sweet caramel. The mask itself is suitable for sensitive skin, and focuses on brightening the skin. It's a very runny mask that doesn't actually set and you just wash it off after 10-15 minutes (I use a flannel to help get it off). I also got the 'Full of Grace' Serum Bar, which is a solid serum that moisturises the skin without feeling heavy. It was recommended that I use this before I apply my fresh face mask so that I could get the benefits of the mask and serum at the same time.

    As well as skincare, I picked up a few hair care products to treat my dry, bleached hair. I picked up 'Superbalm', which is a treatment designed to soothe a dry scalp. It's melts into an oil which I then use on specific areas rather than my whole head as it does take a while to wash out properly. I can definitely say that it has reduced the dry patches on my scalp, so I'll be using it as a weekly treatment for my hair. Another hair care product that I got was the 'Damaged' hot oil hair treatment (OxSt only). I've yet to use this but it's to help condition and save my bleach damaged hair.

    The last few products are all bath products. I picked up my favourite bubble bar in 'Creamy Candy' and also a new one called 'Rose Jam' (which I think is the bubbleroon). The last product I got is the 'Melting Marshmallow Moment' Bath Oil (OxSt only - the tiny round, pink and gold bar in the front). I picked this up on a whim as it smelt really sweet, and even though I'm more of a shower than a bath person, I know that I'll be using it to have a nice, relaxing bath.

    And that's the end of my haul! I'm looking forward to using my Lush goodies and hopefully I'll have some new favourites to buy the next time I'm in Lush.


    #PGCElife to #NQTlife

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    I've finally finished my PGCE! It's been an incredibly long and stressful year, but looking back on it now, I wouldn't have changed a single thing. Along the way I've learnt so many different things (not just about teaching) and I'm looking forward to having my own class in September (although this is also scaring me slightly!). I'd like to say that the PGCE year was a year full of hard work and I know that my NQT year will be no different. If you're thinking about going into teaching, the PGCE does take over your life for 9 months, but it's all worth it at the end. Perseverance, dedication and a passion for working with kids will keep you going.

    Keep a look out for a graduation post in November =)


    You Beauty Discovery - June (Beauty Heroes)

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    This month's YBD box is following on from last months and focuses on beauty products that stand-out. The products range from body-care to makeup to skincare, with a few extra goodies included in the box. From the selection available, I chose the Crown C436 Mini Duo Fibre Blender Brush and the NUDE ProGenius Omega Treatment Rescue Oil (5ml).

    The Crown Mini Duo Fibre Brush is the perfect size for blending in concealer. It's very soft and fairly dense, allowing you to buff in the makeup with small circular motions. I'm always on the look out for new and different brushes, so this is a good addition to my collection. I also chose the NUDE Treatment Rescue Oil as my skin has been going a bit crazy (oily, dry, sensitive and spotty). This oil is supposed to refine and clarify the skin, with key natural ingredients to help repair the skin. I'll definitely be using this over the next few weeks. The extra's included in this months box are a packet of Urban Fruit baked fruit snack, Good To Go Anywhere wipes trio, which are great for travel, and 2 Clipper tea bags in Green Tea and Red Fruits & Aronia Berry. Overall, I'm really liking this month's box, and with a retail value of approximately £17 (the brush at £7.39, and the oil working out as £9.66). These are both products that I'll be using regularly so it's definitely worth the £6,95 for the YBD box.

    What do you think of this month's box?


    Lush Oxford Street

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    Last weekend, I made the trip to Oxford Street and of course, I had to pay a visit to the new Lush store that had opened. In simple terms, the store is amazing. It's set out over three floors, with products stocked from floor to ceiling and across every possible surface. Lush Oxford Street has all the usual Lush products as well as many more that are exclusive to this store. I did pick up a few goodies (which will come in a haul post soon!), but for now, here are some pictures from inside the store. I'd also like to mention that even though it was a very busy Saturday afternoon inside the store, the staff were very friendly and available to talk through the products to help you choose the ones best suited for you. I walked out of the store with a bag full of goodies and my purse a lot lighter =)


    Some of the products I tried out =)

    If you're in and around London, then you can find Lush at 175-179 Oxford Street, opposite Uniqlo and next to Marks and Spencer. The closest station is Oxford Circus and it's less than a 5 minute walk from there.