Bowery Mural

Twenty Twelve...

Monday, 31 December 2012

...The year. Gone. Just like that. It was pretty quick, although at times it was particularly trying.

It's fair to say that 2012 didn't quite go as I'd planned. And it's probably mostly my own doing. That's what you're thinking. Don't worry. It's what i think too.

I've not done a few things i'd planned. I've not stuck up for myself in the way that I should have in situations that have made me feel absolutely terrible. By people (or a person) who are selfish and think only of themselves when they're dishing out the bad vibes. I wish I could let you know the details but I can't. Let's just say I'm too nice for my own good.

But hey, it wasn't all that bad. 2012 brought the Olympics and oh my god i embraced that with the widest arms that i could find and got right into Team GB. Still do. It was absolutely AH-MAZ-ING times a million!!

I've dreamt big this year. BIG.

In 2013 I intend to make some, or at least most, of those dreams come true. If you're with me then lets get started. If not, then goodbye.

Dreamers and do-ers let's go!

Angela x

Clearing out for the new year

Sunday, 30 December 2012

The week between Christmas and New Year is a funny week. A strange week, not comedy funny. I decided that today I'd stay in and try to have a much needed clear out of 'stuff' that you accumulate over the year and arrange the new 'stuff' i got for Christmas. Books, perfume, DVDs and the like. 

I'm a hoarder and will keep a box if it looks nice just in case i can use it again. You know, for presents and the like. It never happens. All that does happen is that the aforementioned box lays there and collects dust. You get the picture...

I do keep shoe boxes though. For my 'good'/dress shoes. I like to keep them wrapped in the paper since I don't use dressy shoes that much. They're piled on top of the wardrobe at the moment. 

So, earlier today I tried to clear out my bookshelf/craft area/DVD storage. I got a black bag full of old papers and receipts. Receipts I'd kept in a box that were from last Christmas - JEEZOOO Angela!

I ripped them all up (therapeutic) and cleared some space. Whilst rearranging my book shelves I found 3 unused new Moleskine notebooks in various colours and a tesco freezer bag filled with Nepalese money and cards and photos from my trek. I suppose I kept it there so it was handy to reach if I wanted to show anyone. It's still there, of course i couldn't throw that out.
the book/dvd/craft shelves
the Tesco freezer bag filled with memories
I'm glad I came across the clean notebooks. I've got a pile of used cinema ticket stubs that I'm going to use in a project along with one of the notebooks...
brushes, hair potions, face potions, miracle workers and more... this'll be rearranged soon
How do you arrange your 'stuff'? I have to fit everything into my bedroom. Clothes, DVDs, crafty bits n bobs, skincare, make up, shoes, pj's, bed, suitcase, handbags, gym bag and work bag. Phew. A lot of things into one fairly square room. I tried to arrange all of my makeup and skincare bits into several Ikea Malmo drawers and other plastic storage boxes but it still isn't as neat as I'd like. After Christmas i'm going to go back and get the Alex 9 set of drawers that'll fit nicely alongside my current furniture and will house *all* of the stuff above.  

There are other areas of my life that are going to be cleared out...or perhaps just revamped. Do you do that too?

Angela x


Nothing to say here

Friday, 28 December 2012

Lately i've had nothing to say here. Peaks and troughs is what its been like. Barren.

You'll maybe have noticed. I have. I want to say things but I'm not sure it's what people want to read. It's my blog, I should post what I want, shouldn't I?

One thing I decided was this. I'll not be doing a post whereby I recap the year gone and set lists for the year to come. I say this now, wait for a few weeks and a list will likely appear. The last list I wrote was my 35 things in my 35th year. That was back in March. we're still in my 35th year though but the list has long been forgotten. Maybe i set my list items to high. Am I aiming too high? Am I not aiming high enough? All I know is that most things on that list haven't yet been achieved. And that's not something you want hanging over you is it. See, aiming too high?

Saying that, there are still 3 months left of my 35th year and i'm sure if i really put my mind to it I could start crossing off some things on that list. Couldn't I? Let's see shall we...

hashtag #35InMy35th

  1. a road trip north, south, east and west
  2. wear pink lips - done! light pink MAC Angel and Dior Lucky!
  3. a sunshine holiday
  4. show off my iPhonography - it's pretty cool - done. Instagram. that works for me.
  5. go out dancing, in heels! - YES, the Christmas night out at work. Once in a year. Lame ;)
  6. ride my bike to work 2 days per week (disclaimer: in summer!) - oy, big fat fail.
  7. bake more cakes - does sticky toffee pudding count. Yes!
  8. have a dinner party
  9. be 8 stone, consistently - how about 8 stone something? Yes!!
  10. see a movie at the IMAX - hello Batman! - DONE, TDKR. It was good. Not sure IMAX is worth it though.
  11. meet new people that like me just the way I am
  12. wear a skirt to work regularly - Once or twice is enough isn't it?
  13. eat less sweets and chocolate - FAIL FAIL FAIL...
  14. Alton Towers day trip! - 2013 for sure!
  15. try not to bother what anyone else thinks about me. I'm awesome. - i can't help this...
  16. get full series of a tv programme and watch them all (LoveFilm) what do you suggest? - still looking for suggestions?!!
  17. get some cools photos of me done
  18. say "yes" to a social outing when I want to say "no"
  19. make some of the things from my Crafty board on Pinterest - snowflakes for Christmas!
  20. collaborate with someone on a project
  21. keep my skin healthy - my skin is dry, i have to face that. It'll never be flawless. But i'm keeping it as best i can.
  22. finish reading the book on my bedside table - Fail, but i have read more books this year!
  23. get an international check in on Foursquare - OH MY. Failed. 
  24. tweet a picture from somewhere AMAZING -
  25. have more faith in my gut instincts. They're usually right. - I did trust my gut this year. I am right. I WIN AT THIS.
  26. get this blog sorted. If anyone wants to help me please shout! - still looking for some help?
  27. see a real life Banksy (this has been on most of my lists) - 2013, for sure, it can't be that hard to find.
  28. don't keep new clothes in the cupboard 'for a special occasion', wear them now! - or throw them out. Done a few charity bag drops this year.
  29. blog more, and for others - not sure about this one now.
  30. catch a sunrise and sunset in the summer - in dream land...
  31. meet some of my favourite Twitter people whom I've not yet met - 2013 FOR SURE. I'm looking at you Jonny Rose @98Rosjon
  32. step outside my comfort zone at least once a fortnight (I know, it's me we're talking about though!)
  33. stop buying stuff and things. Stuff does not define me. - oh dear! Must try harder...
  34. write a letter and send it every month - FAILED. I did write some letters though. And cards.
  35. laugh, smile and be thankful - I have certainly done this.
Oh and just as i said i wouldn't be doing lists again, look at one of my fab Christmas presents. My Listography book. It's brilliant. Thanks Ms Nicola!!

Angela x


Merry Christmas...

Monday, 24 December 2012

I hope that wherever you are and whoever you are with, that you are having a really good Christmas break.

Merry Christmas.

Testing testing 1, 2, 3...

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

I don't know why I never had the blogger app on my iPhone. I have it now and this is the tester.

I haven't blogged for a week. I haven't felt like it and as I've said before I don't want to do a post just for the sake of it.

Hey, here's a thing I realised today. Folk who preach, nay actually get paid by companies to engage us on some platform or another aren't very good at engaging with you themselves, are they. I noticed that today. Just a thing.

Here's a picture to test this function too. I'm reading a blog just now, about Instagram and all the palaver about that. If you're going to leave, just leave. Bye.

Angela x

Filter me this, Filter me that

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Ah Ha haha ha haa. Hahahahahaha ha ho hee hee. Aha oh hee ha. Aha. Ho hee haaa.
(I hope someone gets that reference. I LOVE it).

Yes, that is the sound of laughter emanating from the offices of Twitter and Facebook (nee Instagram) this past few weeks. It's the laughter that says 'we're launching a new filter and a kinda fancier UI' (Instagram). It's also the laugh that says 'oh yeah, punks! Well, we're introducing Filters. So, nah!' (Twitter).

What the laugh should represent is the laughs of despair from us, the users, because it means we are missing out a little bit. While they squabble in their millionaires playground, we users wish that we didn't have to click twice instead of just once to view our Brannan filtered sunrises (me!) when they appear in a tweet. For yes, that's all you'll see now is a link, not your lovely photos. It's something to do with Instagram and a disappearing card trick (please someone get these references before i finish this post?!), or... something  technical like that. Oh and I jest about having to click the link to see the photos. I don't get why folk are decrying this, it's what you do when you want to read an article from a link in a tweet too.
my favourite recent capture
In return our Twitter friends have totally eradicated all traces of your Instagram pictures from your profile. What you have left is those crappy pictures that appear in tweets you retweeted and you thought were funny at the time but goddamn you don't want them showing up on your profile. They're there. Gah!

Willow. No not some new movie set in a magical land where people are 2 foot tall and have scraggy hair, Willow is the new filter in Instagram. It's black and white and grey...  ...*tumbleweed* ...  ...  Yeah, that was my reaction too. It is nice, but i don't really do black n white photos.
Baubles in Willow on Instagram
It's okay though, because over on Twitter they are soon to launch new Filters. *Cue ticker tape and marching bands and funky street dancers that tumble all over the place*...  ...  ...  ...  Wait, have you seen the filters? Wow. I have an app called Camerabag on my phone. It was one of my early forays into camera trickery and while the filters are nice, it's pretty basic. That's what i think the Twitter Filters look like. That is me just viewing the pictures on their blog though so no hands on experience because lo and behold, shortly after announcing that filters were coming... some 18 hours later it's still not there in the App store. Click, refresh, click refresh, click refresh...nope, still not there. Oh how I so want that little red circle to change from 2 to the number 3 and for it to be there.

All joking aside (you got that reference yet?), I think it's a pity that two of my favourite ever social playgrounds appear to be at loggerheads. It's not a war as most people are calling it. A war involves guns and fighting and bad things happening. It's a disagreement, ultimately about money, and the making of it. Of course Instagram wants to make some more, I mean who in their right minds could live off 100 million, right? Of course Twitter wants to get rid of their once nice bedfellow after they only went and shacked up with the black sheep (FB) of the social family. Why can't they all just get along nicely? eh.

Me, well I'll still use both. At the last count i currently have 39 photo taking or photo editing apps on my phone. I love mobile photography and the wise people say, the best camera is the one you've got with you to capture that moment. I will never have too many filters in my life. The more the merrier. But what i love about Instagram is not only my beloved Amaro, XProII and Brannan filters, but the fact that people give you a little love heart when they 'like' your picture or that they can leave a comment on your picture. It's those little things that may be lost with Twitter filters. I mean we could 'star' them as favourites but then no one else would see that would they?
How you see the Likes
Instagram gives you all the pictures you want to see in your feed. Those people you have actively followed because they take the most wonderfully shot pictures with a phone. There are people who aren't necessarily on Twitter or they no longer tweet but give great Instagram. There's the brands who really excel at Instagram - Red Bull, Sharpie, Converse. It's a whole little mini social network within the wider landscape.
little like hearts and comments - love
With Twitter you get all the tweets and pictures from the folk you like to tweet and chat to, but man some of them can't take a picture to save themselves. Sorry folks. Also there's the thrill of checking your newsfeed in Instagram and seeing that X number of people liked your picture enough to 'like' it. Likes = Lovehearts *swoon*. Now don't say that doesn't bother you because evidently it does, we all want a little bit of loving, enough if it's just on the snapshots we take of our lives. Incidentally, a few weeks ago Instagram released a web platform whereby all your pics are stored and displayed in a grid format. You can also like and comments on photos there. Here's mine
ooh look, shiny shiny lovely web Instagram thingy
How will Twitter let me (and others know) when my pictures are liked? Perhaps Twitter filters are not meant to be used in that way. Perhaps they're just filters. Whatever they are i can't wait to use them too. I hope they're worth the wait. The Cinema filter looks akin to Instagram's Brannan so I'm sure it'll feature heavily in my picture tweets. Brace yourselves. I'm gonna filter the shit out of all of my photos from now on.

Oh, and that reference.... here it is Ah ha ha hahahaha ah ho hee hee. Why so serious!

Play safe, kids.

Angela x


My night at the Mumford's (and Sons)

Sunday, 9 December 2012

On Wednesday night i set off to Glasgow to see Mumford and Sons play at the SECC. I'd been wanting to see them for aaaages and when the tour was announced i snapped up a ticket straight away. The gig sorta came around pretty quickly but i couldn't wait to see them.

I'd seen a few performances on TV and liked what i saw. I like a band who can play 'live' and still sound the same - hello Kings of Leon!

I like this style of music. I won't label it as some people are really persnickety about these things, but folky rocky pop might just about do it some justice. They played hard for about an hour and a half and I swear it sounded just as good as it does on the cd. Various other musicians came on stage at certain songs; trumpets, violins, drums... GREAT!

I'm not really a fan of the SECC as a venue. It's just a big warehouse really and that night it did stink a bit from the chicken stall. Frying fat smell... eeuww.

The gig was really great. They played new songs and old and the crowd were pretty into it. I did wish i was in the standing area until i was reminded why i'll never buy anything other than a seated ticket to a gig - the stupids who throw beer tumblers and it goes everywhere. Why people, why?!

Anyway, it was a good gig nonetheless and i couldn't but think that I wished I was sharing these moments with someone...

Here's a few photos. iPhone shots so they may be 1) blurry or 2) quite far away. Enjoy.

Angela x


Upgrade to Premium Unlimited

Friday, 7 December 2012

Last week I was sent through my Cineworld Premium Unlimited card. It's black which makes it feel even more exclusive than it probably is. It's a card that I pay £14.99 per month for and which allows me to go to any Cineworld cinema and see any amount of films in a month as i want. (At least, i don't think there's a limit to the amount of films you can see. Who reads the T's and C's anyway!).

The premium unlimited card has been introduced to people who've been unlimited members for more than a year. That's me! It also allows you to get a much needed 25% discount on food and drink in the kiosks and you can now even book a ticket online too. This is a long awaited feature. The only problem is that that day i did just that, the queue for the ticket machine was extra long and so my ticket was re-sold as i hadn't redeemed it within 20 minutes of the performance starting. I think this system will only work if there are a few unlimited members only collection machines in the foyers so that we don't have to wait in super long queues. Just a thought.

My Cineworld card has been one of the single most useful and important things i have ever purchased. I'll tell you why...

I'm often to be found wandering aimlessly through town or the city if i venture out at weekends. This card means that if i have a few hours spare (which let's be honest for me is most weekends), then I can simply walk to the nearest Cineworld cinema and see a movie. I've really gone to town and taken full advantage of the card recently. I've seen a great number of brilliant films. Some good films and maybe one or two not so good films.

I wanted to share with you some of those films and why i thought they were brilliant or just plain good. Don't worry i'll try not to spoil them for you. But I can't guarantee i won't tell you some details so don't read any further if you want to avoid them...

Ben Affleck directs here. An absolutely brilliantly told tense true story. I was on the edge of my seat without even realising. Set in 1980 the clothes and hair are bang on. The story is mostly set in Iran and follows 6 fugitives and how they were extracted from a volatile troubled Tehran. You sorta knew the ending but how it got there was a different story. I'd never heard about this true story before. It's almost unbelievable but true. I've always liked Ben Affleck. Good Will Hunting is one of my favourite films ever. He stars and directs Argo and it's a triumph. "Argofuckyourself"... you have to see it.

Rust and Bone

A French movie with subtitles. Stars Marion Cotillard. I'd seen the trailer for this a few weeks before the movie was released and I immediately fell for it. I waited on the release and then one lazy Wednesday afternoon i took myself specifically to Glasgow to see it (it wasn't in any cinema in Stirling). It also stars Matthias Schoenaerts who is a Belgian actor (no i didn't remember that, I IMDB'd him). But he's not forgettable - ladies! He's Ali in the film. Father to a young son who leaves Belgium to live with his sister in Antibes, but all doesn't go to plan. Marion Cotillard is Stephanie. Ali and Stephanie meet in unusual circumstances. It was so good from the start. I wasn't sure what the story was at the beginning and then it started to make sense. Things happen (no spoilers) and this film turned into a beautiful tale of hope and ultimately it's a love story too. It's harsh at times. There are brutal and devastating scenes in it but this is what gets you so attached to the characters that you care what happens to them. Well, i cared. It's beautifully shot,  great music underpins it and the characters were real. I'd highly recommend you see this.

End of Watch

Wowsers. Great film. Shaky camera work, great rapport between the two main characters and Jake Gyllenhaal doing funny! What's not to love. Again, with this begin a cop drama set in the tough South Central LA, there are scenes that might make you look away. But that won't be for very long. I saw Jake G talk about this film on tv the other night. He said one of the crashes in the movie did actually happen in real life, accidentally, but the cameras kept rolling. You see that this was shot on handheld cameras but that kinda brought it more in your face. A good solid cop drama.

Silver Linings Playbook

Woah. A bit off the wall is our Patrick (Bradley Cooper). Patrick has just been released from a mental hospital where he's been for 8 months following an incident with his wife! He's now trying to get his life back together whilst living back at home with his parents. He meets Tiffany, a girl who seems to be just like him. Patrick is trying hard to win back his wife after the incident. It might all go to someones plan. It's a bit kooky, quite funny and was a bit of a change to Cooper's outings in The Hangover films. He makes you see the heartache in Patrick's mind through his lovely blue eyes (I couldn't write a little tale about the Cooper without mentioning those eyes). Robert De Niro wonderfully plays Patrick's troubled dad. Great. An enjoyable film I could relate in a weird way. I loved it.

The Imposter
This is a true story/documentary about a guy who pretends to be a boy who went missing from a family in America. Except he turns up in Spain! It's intriguing. It's weird. And if you didn't know it was true you'd think it was totally unbelievable. But all is not what it seems with the family... This was a step away from what i usually watch and i thoroughly enjoyed it even though i left feeling creeped out.

Other mentions go to Ruby Sparks and of course, The Perks of Being A Wallflower...

Alex Cross wasn't up to much apart from Matthew Fox playing a really great maniacal psychopath killer and Edward Burns being Edward Burns.

Anna Karenina was a bit slow but the wonderfully mesmerising dance scene at the ball had me in awe. All those hand movements, i wanted to get out of my seat and start practising straight away. Oh yes!!

Now we get to Skyfall - The more i think about Skyfall the more i get annoyed by all of the blatant product placement that was in it from the very start. I'm not a huge Bond fan but I've seen the last few. This one was beautifully shot in parts, especially the scenes in Scotland. They were breathtaking. I recognised a road I've driven a few times and my first munro i climbed too. Braw. In this one Bond has been absent for a while then reappears. (I don't want to give too much away). Javier Bardem is really good as a menacing Bond villain, almost creepy. To me there is absolutely no point in the Bond girl in this film. I think I'd prefer to know the actress playing a Bond girl so you could maybe relate to or at least care about what happens to her. I didn't here. Incidentally i thought Craig started to look a bit older in this one - dare i say past it... It started to get a bit silly at one point, people are saying it's like Home Alone. I thought that scene went on a bit too long. Oh, I must mention the opening scene (before the opening credits). Now, I can see why they had to put it there but i just found it a bit tedious. Too long perhaps? But, then came the opening credits and i was mesmerised again. The song and the graphics that were all flowy and liquid looking and kind of reminded me of Tales of the Unexpected back in the day. If you can remember that then *high five*! Overall it was a decent movie with some stunningly shot scenes. If i had to I'd give it 3/5.

Movies I'm looking forward to seeing are Les Miserables, Seven Psychopaths, Pitch Perfect, Lincoln, Gangster Squad, Hansel and Gretel and OZ; the great and powerful. Phew!

Angela x


Essie Winter Collection 2012 - mini version

Monday, 3 December 2012

This collection sort of creeped up on me. I'd read about it back in October and it slipped my mind. The Anna from Viviannadoesmakeup mentioned on Twitter that she'd bought a mini set from ASOS and i went searching again. Found the swatches over on Polishaholic (best swatches in my opinion) and decided these would be mine. Thing was, all the information i could find suggested they wouldn't be available until January.

That was that.

I headed off to Glasgow on Sunday for the last of my Christmas shopping and went into Boots. I had £23 on my Boots card and decided i'd have new La roche-posay eye cream and maybe something else. Of course I always wander to the make up section and specifically the Essie stand and lo and behold look what i found!!
Essie Winter 2012 mini set
Another cute little Essie Winter mini set for a reasonable £9.99. This one has 3 as opposed to Anna's 4 set mini from ASOS, only the turquoise blue colour is missing here. I don't mind that because those types of colours don't suit my skin tone.

What we have in this set is Leading Lady - a cranberry jelly with small dainty ruby red glitter particles in it. It looks just like Dorothy's slippers. A beautiful Christmas red glitter. We also have Snap Happy - an orange based true red creme. It's not the kind of red i tend to go for but lovely all the same. And then we have Beyond Cozy - a sliver gold glitter polish. This isn't chunky glitter but fine glitter. It would need a topcoat if you like a smooth finish. Leading Lady would need one too.
The glitter one looks really silver in this picture, there is some gold in it though
This is a set of colours that would happily go nice on any Christmas day, party night nail. I was a bit disappointed that She's Pampered wasn't in this set but luckily there was one full size bottle left so i snapped that up too.

She's Pampered is what i like to call a true red. Darker and more blue toned than Snap Happy. I'd describe it as the red from a candy cane. That proper Christmassy red. I'll definitely have this on over the next few weeks too. I can see this whole set being rotated with Chanel Malice.

She's Pampered
I quickly painted a nail with each colour to see what they were like on and they don't disappoint. I didn't think the gold glitter one would suit me but it's really nice. Perhaps i'll wear it as a ring finger accent of colour... I'll decide later.
Snap Happy red on middle finger, She's Pampered red on pinky
The formulations were smooth and triple bonus is even these mini bottles have the great wider Essie brush. Thank goodness. I hate thin brushes. You could pretty much get away with one coat if you were in a rush. Two coats for totally opacity. I'll do a proper NOTD report soon.

So glad I found these!

Angela x


Fedora this, Fedora that

Saturday, 1 December 2012

I've always been a hat wearer. Baseball caps, wool hats, beanie hats, wool hat with pom pom, flat cap, trilby. Recently, however, I've been really really wanting a fedora. A proper nice one. Not a cheapo one.

I've found a few online and i'd like your opinion.

There's this gorgeous navy affair from Eugenia Kim. The Farrah Portrait Fedora. Available from Shopbop.

Or we have this Rag & Bone Floppy Brim Fedora, also available from Shopbop. 

This is also available in red which i kinda like the look of too. 

What do you think? are you a hat wearer? and do you know anywhere that stocks these hats n the UK?

Angela x

Winter skin woes

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

About a month ago it started to get cold, proper autumnal weather. The sun is lower in the sky, the colours are orangey/red and my skin goes to pot.

It's been a few months since my first facial in August and the start of that new skincare regime. What I can tell you is that was working. WAS. Until this cold snap kicked in. Normally my skin is dry. In winter it gets even drier. The only area that doesn't get dry skin is my torso. I have a rather smooth toned torso, even if i do say so myself, thankyouverymuch. But everywhere else i get varying degrees of dry skin. Even in my hair - that's been the bain of my life since i can remember.

Back to the face. My cheeks get red blotchy patches and it looks like tiny acne/spot scars get redder int this weather. (I think it's only me that notices this). With that comes dry skin on my nose, around my lips, on my lips, down the sides of my face near the hairline and in my eyebrows. Yes, i get flaky eyebrows. That is more annoying than anything else.

About a month ago i read a blog (from someone whom a lot of people recommend for her skincare picks). Then she recommended a few products to someone else and i copied one of those products. It was meant to be pure hydration in a tube. "Well in that case i must have this miracle elixir that will end all of my dry skin woes, so that i may tip toe through winter with the dewiest of faces". Aye, i knew it wouldn't end well too...

I skipped to Boots. Dithered. Went home. Went back the next day, dithered again, and finally bought a 30ml (30 fucking mil) tube of Hydraluron hydration serum.

As the name suggests it has hyaluronic acid in it - more on that later... There's loads of science and graphs and time frames on the box, but basically, within 8 weeks it's meant to have transformed your skin into a moistened pillow of health. It's a clear gel and a little goes a long way. It feels nice putting this on my face and neck - a pea sized blob does all of that. But it's been about 4 weeks now of me using this juju and i can report that whilst it does feel nice applying it onto my parched skin after cleansing, my skin hasn't seen any marked improvements. In fact, I'd say my skin was the same as before. I won't say worse because I really do think the cold weather upsets my skin more but i would say no real noticeable improvements yet. I'm going to power through and stick with it. I'm not gonna quit you miracle gel thing, no I'm not! At £25 a tube i expected a lot more from this. I'll use it up but hardly think I'll buy it again.

Now before you start. I know that everyone has unique skin tones and types and what's good for one may not necessarily be good for the other. I'm just telling you my experience of this product.

At the same time i bought the Hydraluron, i also bought a new eye cream.

Now, here's another thing about me and my eyes. I have really sensitive eyes. I wear glasses too. I can't get contact lenses in and i only really started wearing eye make up in the past 3 years. Some products make my eyes sting. Some concealers do this, MAC moisture cover being one, some mascaras and most eye creams.

Near the start of the year I bought a La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense eye cream. It was good, great in fact, but most of all it did not irritate my eyes at all. Bonus! But after a few months use the pointed end of the tube broke off so that was the end of that. I was literally unscrewing the cap one day and the whole pointy tube came off too. I was in the market for a new one anyway. I bought a few cheap ones. They stung. So i laid off the eye cream for a few weeks. I mean i'm 35, i don't have really bad eye bags, they're not too wrinkly, but the skin around my eyes is thin and gets a bit crepey and of course, dry too. I wanted to keep them moisturised.

I decided the try another La Roche-Posay cream. I really do like that brand and it's reasonably priced and available in Boots. Although you can get it cheaper online. This time i opted the La Roche-Posay Redermic C for eyes.

This was to be the turbo charged eye cream. It's anti-ageing as well as suitable for sensitive eyes (all LRP products are good for sensitive skin). I had high hopes for this baby. I applied a few dots as instructed. It's a thicker cream than the last one and promises so much more. Helps deep wrinkles (not that i have those but you gotta strike while the iron is hot), it aids hydration and it has our old friend hyaluronic acid as well as 5% pure vitamin C in it. I mean come on ladies, 5% Vit C! Our friend, the latest beauty buzz words Hyaluronic Acid. Here's the blurb on that... 
this powerful ingredient can hold up to 1000x its weight in water, creating a plumping effect on the skin. 

Sounds great right?!

Anyway, after a few applications i thought yes, this is fine. But then midway through the day a slight sting would start to appear. My eyes began to water and that's how i knew this is not going to work for me. Grrrrr. Such a disappointment. AND the skin around my eyes appears to have gotten a bit drier. Now that of course could be the turn in the weather.

Oh but i nearly forgot. The end of the little tube is a pointy plastic thing. If you have a tube of eye cream you'll know what i mean. It means you can squeeze out a little at a time and not waste any product. But the end of that tube has a crack in it. This means that the cream is clogging in there and turning yellow. The eye cream has a slight yellow tone to it anyway, but when it clogs in that crack and dries it's turning a dark yellow colour and doesn't look nice.
the clogged tube!
This was an expensive eye cream too at just shy of £20 so I'd expect more. I'll try to keep using it if the eye irritation doesn't get too much. After that I'll go back to the less expensive but better for me Hydraphase Intense. It as more of a cool thinner cream/gel. Much better for my little peepers. We gotta keep them happy.

Angela x


What colour do you blush?

Monday, 26 November 2012

I've had a long weekend off work. It's been bliss. It'll be the last holiday until the Christmas holidays so i chilled in the only real way i know. I went to the cinema and i did some Christmas shopping.

Today i decided to head into town to break that back of the Christmas shopping. £80 later in Boots and a visit to Superdrug and i was done. Of course I was lured in by their 3 for 2 deals!

In the end I resisted the Superdrug 3 for 2 offer on make up and only bought one product. As an aside I should say i live in a small town. Well, a big town, a small city. Our shops are quite dated, except we've recently seen an 'Apple' shop open in the shape of Stormfront - a premium Apple reseller and our Superdrug has undergone a make over. So much so that they've finally got the Accesorize make up range in and the Essie nail polishes that southern girls have been going on about for months.

Anyway, in this new layout the make up stands have been tidied up and renewed - phew, they were a bit dirty looking. The new, clean stands obviously caught my eye. Especially the Sleek Make Up stand. All shiny, new and fully stocked! Jesus wept! FULLY STOCKED. This has never happened.

I was drawn to the set of 3 blushes that have been available since summer but never really in stock here. They also have the PPQ x Sleek palettes, blushes, lip stains, eye shadow palettes in all colours and it's very reasonably priced AND included in the 3 for 2 offer. But like i say i resisted.

What i did buy was this... a Sleek Make Up blush in the shade Pixie Pink (£4.49).
Sleek Pixie Pink blush - looks pretty full on
It looks pretty full on bright baby pink in the palette. Don't be scared though because applied with a light touch and you get that pretty 'been out in the cold too long' autumn/winter blush on your cheeks. Delicate and really pretty. It's really pigmented and a few swooshes of a brush gives you enough for a delicate pink cheek.

I've got a MAC cream blush in the shade So Sweet, So Easy and it applies much the same colour. I haven't used that for a while because to be honest i dipped a brush in it to apply it and it got all bits of fluff. I've managed to clean it though.
MAC (left), Sleek (right) 
I'd say the Sleek is a more delicate pink and the MAC is more of a blue based pink. A dark Barbie pink.

I've swatched them lightly on my arm (you won't ever get a close up make up picture of my face!). I can't wait to wear this tomorrow :)
Sleek pixie pink (left), MAC So Sweet, So Easy (right)
I'm quite a fan of Sleek Make Up but honestly, the empty (slightly dirty) stands have always put me off. Now that they're all new and fully stocked, i might head back to Superdrug and get the Storm eye shadow palette. I have the All Natural one already and the colours are great for a barely there look.

Angela x


When I Give Blood...

Saturday, 24 November 2012 never goes to plan.

I never thought I'd be saying this but i got a letter last week from The Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service. A few weeks ago i headed to the Albert Hall in Stirling for what was to be my second time giving blood. I honestly don't know why it took me until last year to actually do it.

I waited in the queue, got checked in and sat in the seating area waiting until they called my name. The hall was busy with people all there doing their bit. I felt a sense of pride that i was doing this. I'm not a scaredy cat but needles aren't my favourite thing.

My name was called and i was taken to a make-shift booth (an area with a curtain around it). The nurse went over my questionnaire. It was sent to me in the post so had all of my details already printed on it, with a few other sentences that made no sense to me but did to the nurse. After here double checking with me that i'd filled it in properly she got a senior nurse over to explain...

After my first giving blood session last November, i'd received a letter to say that due to a technicality the couldn't use my blood. It had gotten contaminated somewhere between my vein and the testing centre.

This time the senior nurse informed me that due to the above they only take a couple of test tubes (instead of the bags) of blood and get it tested again to make sure everything was ok. It's normal she said. Ok I replied, but the worrier in me had started to reappear.

Anyway, i was sat at another seating area and a nurse came over, stuck the needle in my arm and promptly took 4 test tubes of my blood. She labelled them, marked them up and bagged them, then sent me on my way. I was feeling somewhat deflated. I realised at that point that i wanted to have that feeling of doing something good, to help others. That's my real reason for doing this, to help others. To do my bit.

Last week a letter came through. I recognised it because they type them in comic sans!!!.... I know!!

see! comic sans letter... 
I opened it and once again it read that my blood had somehow been spoiled again(!!) and that this time i wouldn't be called to give blood again within 2 years!! TWO YEARS. My heart fell. Literally fell into my stomach. WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME?!!

(Interlude: apologies for the overuse of exclamation marks).

The actual words are that my 'samples taken are showing a false reaction. I can, however, reassure you that extended detailed test have not confirmed the screening test result, and we can therefore conclude that this is a false reaction, due to the extremely sensitive nature of our test systems'. I was left feeling really really really disappointed but kind of reassured by their serious letter that had been typed in comic sans... hhmm.
Aw man. It really knocked me again. I want to do some good. Something that people will benefit from. This is how my feelings started when I ventured off the Nepal (go back to the start of this blog if you want to read that story!).

So who knows... out of some minor disappointment, a new adventure may rise up. But if you can stand it, please do give blood. It's relatively painless and a great thing to do. Please.

What should I do next?

Angela x


#NOTD Ange does Chanel Malice

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Chanel Malice. Part of the winter range this colour is everything I'd hoped OPI Every Month is Oktoberfest.
argh, flash!
You might think it's a bit like Essie Skirting The Issue from a previous post, and you might be right. But this is enough to be different and different enough that i forked out £18 for a bottle. I think the shimmer is the difference. It's red shimmer. It says 'christmas party' sparkle to me.

weird finger position shot
It's deep dark, plummy, red with the most gorgeous shimmer in it. The good thing about this is that in daylight it still leans dark plum/purple/wine and not the brownish tint that i feel OPI does.

I used to struggle with Chanel's thinner brush. Yes, I'm talking about you Chanel Mimosa! But the brush on both this bottle and my beloved Rouge Carat seem to work with ease. Perhaps I'm just getting better at application.

The formula on this was great. No runny mess, no gloopy thick stuff, just right. As ever my pictures are OPI nail envy base coat, two coats of polish and I don't bother with a top coat as i like to change my polish often. It lasted a good 3 days without the topcoat and only minor signs of wear of the ends. You can find more amazing swatches over at Temptalia
Perfect deep dark red party nails
hands look weird, don't they?!
I love this colour. It's a proper classy dark red/wine shimmer shade. It's like a darker version of my other love, Rouge Carat from last years winter collection. With a little black dress, I'll sure to be swapping between these two through this party season!

Angela x


UCI Track World Cup, Glasgow

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

I'd waited on this weekend to arrive for months. Only a few months mind, but it felt like longer. This weekend I attended the UCI Track World Cup cycling event at the new Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow's east end. Oh man i was sooooo excited for it.
Sunrise from the railway bridge in Stirling
I headed on the train early to catch the very handy free shuttle bus from Buchanan Street bus station to the venue. I haven't done this journey so wasn't sure how long it would take. Turns out it was only about 15-20 minutes as there was some traffic. On arriving in the area I remembered it well. It's been a couple of years since I've been to the football at Celtic Park. The velodrome sits directly across the London Road from Celtic Park. Together they are a formidable sight. The Emirates Arena houses the velodrome incidentally.

I leaped off the bus and headed up the staircase where we were greeted by cheery 'gamesmaker' types at the front door in nice pink jackets. A welcome surprise on this sunny but chilly morning.

Once inside the foyer area it wasn't that big for a venue that will see thousands come through it's door at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. But hey it was was fairly quiet. In the middle there was a refreshment concession that served drinks, pizza, hot dogs, popcorn(?) and crisps. Thankfully Golden Wonder (good choice). It wasn't too badly priced either i thought. £1.20 for a 500ml bottle of Cola, £1 for a small tea/coffee. Pretty decent. The hot dogs however were £4.50 - i don't eat them so wasn't sure if this was expensive or not. they were pretty huge though.

I headed into the velodrome and wow... First thing that struck me was how small it was.  I mean, I'm not sure what I expected but the track was small to me. Perhaps it was because the cyclists were flying around it at speed that made it seem small.
iPhone Panorama of the venue
I found my seat (a great seat on the start finish straight) about 4 rows from the front. The place started to fill up, which made it seem hotter than it's 26 degrees. There were a variety of spectators gathered. Mums, dads, kids, babies, boys, girls. The people I was sat beside were pretty friendly too, bonus. A few Twitter exchanges and I managed to spy @Pyllon busy doing some work in the track centre.

The action was happening at a pace. Not too long to wait between races. Good stuff. The daytime session was the qualifying for later rounds. Men's, Women's sprints, keirin, omnium and lots of different nationalities.

The noise rose when a Team GB rider appeared. It was amazing to see competitive cycling up close like this. And Olympic and World champions among them to boot! Wonderful.

Behind my seating zone was the BBC commentary position hosting Chris Boardman and Hugh Porter - the cycling commentary voices I've grown up with. High up to the right hand side of the start straight was the BBC TV commentary position. It's not all glamorous. Scaffolding! In the seat was Jonathan Edwards and Craig McLean.

On track Laura Trott was going through rounds of her Omnium. She's currently the World Champion at that. Jason Kenny was safely through his round of the men's keirin which was see him race later at night. Can't wait.

In the middle - track centre - i spied the GB area. They were all there. The riders, the coaches and the guys who work behind the scenes fixing the bikes, going through each step with precision. I needed a toilet break so headed up the back and there i spied David Brailsford himself. I'm not that bold as to ask for a picture with them so instead, what you have here is the back of his distinctive head! :)

He really is a legend, not only masterminding several Olympic champions but also, this year, Britain's Tour De France winning Team Sky. Wowsers.

Back to the action and i couldn't stop taking pictures all the while conscious of the fact the Instagram really runs your iPhone battery down low. I had to ration it's use. The racing for the daytime finished around 4.30pm so i headed back on the bus into Glasgow to grab a bit to eat and charge my phone. Thankfully i found myself in Eat which had both a plug and a panini to see me through.

Back to the evening session. I had chosen different seats. The back straight this time. Right in the middle and in the front row. AMAZING. I kid you not, you could feel the backdraft whooshing past when the men's scratch race was taking place. The phone and camera took a battering too!
I even caught the aftermath of Jason Kenny's fall, which he tweeted later on!! Thanks Jason!

Ouch. Jason Kenny after his fall in the Keirin heats
I'd decided i didn't want to hang around Glasgow on a dark November Saturday night so i left the venue around 9.40pm to get the bus back in time for the 10.18pm train. I'd be home around 11.15pm. Sorted. Or rather it was until the Stagecoach bus driver got us lost so much we almost ended up on the M8 motorway going east. Thankfully a passenger put him right and I found myself jumping off the bus and sprinting down North Hanover Street to catch the train. It was 10.16pm, and a long shot but i tried. I got to the station and missed the train by 2 minutes. I could've cried, real tears too. Grrrrrrr to the stupid driver. I had a half hour wait on the next one. Driving home the stars and planets in the sky were so clear. Driving into the village I caught my very first shooting star. It was bright and cheered me up again. I was so knackered when i got home that I fell asleep in anticipation of the next day.

Sunday saw me rise earlier, and drive to Glasgow this time. I got there dead on 9am and parked in Buchanan Galleries, £3 all day on a Sunday, and I wouldn't need to worry about catching a train later. The bus took us to the venue in short time as there was less traffic. Caught the bus and headed into the track. This time it was a little empty. Only to be expected. But the action was just beginning and it was the heats of the women's keirin and men's sprints. The big guns. Sadly Jason Kenny wasn't racing due to last nights crash but young Philip Hindes was. As were Jess Varnish, Becky James and Laura Trott.

Philip Hindes after a little meeting with the boards - ouch, again.
The omnium time trial (women's) saw Laura Trott do a superb ride and immediately after she got off her bike, she almost threw up over in the waiting area. After a wee lie down for 10 minutes she was back up and on a col down/warm up for the final race that would come later. What a champ!

A little check on Twitter and the @TrackWorldCup account told me that the man himself was in the building. Sir Chris Hoy of course! He was interviewed in the track centre by Dougie Vipond but not before they played a film of all of his Olympic and Commonwealth medals over the years. It was really emotional but great to be reminded of them. And he looked so young in 2004!

Sir Chris and the Deacon Blue drummer...
As each race passed the atmosphere grew as the velodrome filled up. We were now on the afternoon (and sadly the final) session of an amazing weekend. I snapped away photo after photo and soaked it all in. then came the final race in the women's omnium. Could Laura Trott snatch victory from the Australian girl Ankudinoff? You bet she could! Brilliant rider she is.
Trott, before her final race of the weekend. So tiny, but so strong!
Laura Trott receives her Gold medal.
Next up was the men's sprint. Germany V Germany. who would win? Would it be he of the gigantic thighs, Robert Foerstemann or would it be Stefan Boetticher?.... It was Boetticher, surprisingly! I ventured around to the bend to try to catch a few pics on the ramp. Man it was steep. This picture kind of shows it...
Foerstemann in front, Boetticher behind
Now it was time for me to head home after a thoroughly brilliant weekend. I was on cloud nine after my first live cycling event. I'll be back. But I won't go before telling you who else was there, at the end of my row... Redbull trickster himself, Danny Macaskill. I didn't have the guts to go and ask for a photo but plenty of kids did. He was very accommodating too. Nice to see. He seemed really quite shy at one point when Dougie Vipond was over hassling him for a wee interview. Head in hands and beetroot red face at one point. Wee shame.
Danny Macaskill, with Sir Chris Hoy in the background in the BBC commentary position
If I had to choose I'd pick rows D to H of any of the zones. Front row was great but the metal railing around the barrier got in the way when snapping away.

Between each race and the riders coming to the start, a musical soundtrack was played. Good pumping tunes. My only complaint was that it could've been a little bit louder to get the crowd going more. Nonetheless the atmosphere all weekend was great.

I had the best weekend. The volunteers were nice and helpful. The venue was really great. The racing was fab. And I can only imagine what the atmosphere will be like at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. I for one cannot wait. Thanks to everyone involved in that weekend. And to the @TrackWorldCup tweeter, great tweets. And to British Cycling for my heavily male orientated members goodie bag! Anyone want some Adidas mens shower gel?!... haha.

Angela x