Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Budget Beauty Purchases- Part 2

At the weekend, I shared a few recent beauty essentials that have made up my edited routine since cycling and spring weather kicked into my life, which is great. But there's also a few more fun bits, that in some respects are just as ummmm... essential. Kinda....

Budget Beauty Cosmetics

From L-R

First up, this was a Groupon purchase. I got 2 of these packs for £9 including delivery. Divaderme Lash Extender are tiny little fibres in a mascara bottle with you brush onto wet mascara to add length and volume. I'm still giving this a super good trial, but so far so good, and definitely good value as the box inxcludes the Divaderme mascara as well as the fibre 'extender' for £4.50.

Divaderme Lash Extender and Mascara Duo

Can you tell I recently took advantage of the ELF 50% off sale?! These mineral lip tints have been a long time love, for a flash of colour, without the intensity of a lipstick, for those of us slightly less bold. This colour is a perfect pinky red, that I love for everyday. It's nicely moisturising which is a welcome treat after a windy cycle £1.75 at half price. The ELF Mineral Mist is another 50% off whim. I have a friend (the same one who set me onto Divaderme in fact) who swears by the Urban Decay All-Nighter product, but I object to the price tag. I do however, like something to help keep my make-up put for long days at work when I go straight off to play afterward.

Having given this stuff a go, I'm still not sure what to thing. Some plus points- it's super affordable at £3 (half price) and my make-up does seem to stay put, but the spray pump is a little aggressive, I have to hold it much further from my face than expected or it blasts some of my make up off. I'd say at half price, it was fairly priced, but I think I'll be continuing my experiments with this particular product type.

ELF Mineral Lip Tint

And lastly, a bit of Spanish luxe. These natural sponges are my favourite thing to wash away my day. I could technically have put these in my part one, as the live in the shower, but they're less a necessity and much more a 99c luxury that I always ask my parents to bring back a healthy stash whenever they're in Spain. A gentle exfoliant for my face and body. It also works on a harsher level with a scrub for the more desperate days.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Budget Beauty Purchases- Part 1

With the change in season (yes I know, we'll probably be cold and wet again next week), my 'beauty' regime, such as it is takes a little turn. Aside the better weather, I've had to put a little thought into adjusting certain elements with cycling becoming a steadily more prominent feature of my day to day life. I thought I'd start with the essentials, part one.

Budget Beauty Essentials

From L-R

Sweet Lemon Body Butter, The Body Shop, £5
The Bodybutter- a dangerous addiction kicked off by Ayden, who sent me a tub of this last year. I scraped the last of it out in February, and in March, whilst waiting for someone, I happened to be stood outside a Bodyshop whilst it was pouring rain. When entering, they had some kind of sale on. I practically ran to the checkout, expecting the price tag to be wrong. It wasn't. My only regret, that I didn't buy a spare one and the matching body scrub. My name is Chloe, I am addicted to lemons.

On a serious note, I use this a couple of times per week on my legs and arms, and a much cheaper (even at the bargain price I bought my tub for) moisturiser the rest of the week. Having my legs and arms exposed to the sun, wind, spitting rain and general London polutants. It gives those drier areas of skin the much needs, gorgeous smelling boost needed.

Milk and Honey Beauty Soap, Cien Bodycare (Lidl's own brand), 99p for 2
I don't use shower gel, I hate it with a passion as I find it super tough to find ones with out oils, that actually foam properly up, and that don't have super strong colours or scents. I'm a soap girl all the way, preferably without strong colour and scent. I stumbled across this in my local Lidl, and I love it. It has a delicate scent, but is oil free, and it does it's job. Sometimes, you just have to go back to basics.

Batiste Medium & Brunette Dry Shampoo, Boots, £3.99 or £2.66 on the 3 for 2 offer I was using
Is there a girl in blogland who doesn't use dry shampoo? I sometimes wonder.... since having darker hair, I'd shied away from my favourite (Batiste Tropical, FYI) as it made my hair look grey and powder-y. When they brought this version for medium/brunette hair, I was straight on the bandwagon, and haven't looked back. Also, wearing a cycle helmet makes my head hot, so aside *ahem* lazy days, it's a good refresh when I arrive at work.

ELF Mineral Cleanser, £6 or £3 in a 50% off event
I bloody love this stuff. This is a powder that becomes a soapy cleanser when added to wet hands. Genius if you do a lot of travelling, as it's not part of your in-flight liquids allowance, and also is one thing to leak all over your wash bag- oh come on, it's happened to us all. It's other benefits- it leaves my skin feeling super squeaky clean, I sometimes also use this with a muslin cloth sometimes as a gentle exfoliant.

Opia Hair Ties and Donut, Primark, £1 & £1.50 respectively
Please tell me it's not just me, whose hair ties walk? I have a full pack of these in my drawer at work, in every wash bag, and usually a new pack tucked away somewhere. My hair is over a foot long, do I really need to explain why I have a couple of hundred inexpensive hair ties around.

I've gotten into the donut for me hair too, it's a bit tidier for the office, than my usual 'grabaholdofitallandshoveitup' approach. If you have long hair, I reckon these are just the chic injected needed for day to day.

The current essentials of a London girl, cycling in a warmer London. Am I missing something especially, hit me with it. I think I'm turning into a beauty junkie... Part 2- the slightly less essential but even more fun, will be up early doors next week.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Chloe Likes To Eat

So this one is touch different- it doesn't contain cocktails (although there is wine) and it isn't as much about the food as it is the setting.


Not to everyone's taste I'm sure, but this what I sat down to on Easter Sunday. 

Families up and down the country enjoy traditional roasted Lamb or go out for lunch or have special cakes. And for my family,  for the 4 people around this table were my dad's parents, T & I, occasions where we're all around the same table are rare, so we tend to place less importance on the exact nature of the food we're eating and more on the fact we're all eating together. For me, breaking bread with family will always be important, we talk, we laugh, we make decisions, we catch up on each other's lives and we share things. 

So whilst this isn't the refinement some people will have enjoyed for Easter Sunday, I especially enjoyed the wine (local to where my extended family live), laughing a lot, sitting around a table for almost 2 hours, eating nothing but cheese, biscuits and grapes and this little 'art piece' (otherwise known as Jill being able to get a grip...)

Grapes in a Glass

Happy bread breaking. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


On Saturday, rather than my usual leggings, t-shirt and date with catch up TV, I swanned off to Carnaby street to take a look at the George at Asda High Summer collection. Asda is somewhere I've found some real gems, especially some of the most worn items on my Nigeria trip last year, which you can see HERE.

With candy floss on tap, ladies at hand to make my nails and hair look pretty, AND the new collection to have a good look at, I had rather a good afternoon.

During and after having my hair styled



Oooh ooh ooh and there was CANDY FLOSS


But mostly, I got to look at the shiny new high summer collection, which made me desperately want to go on holiday.

Green Jungle Print Skirt George At Asda High Summer

I desperately want this skirt, It would be perfect for work, and I think it would be pretty cool with a relaxed t-shirt for a drink with friends also.

More on trend prints.... tell me this doesn't make you think of cocktails at a seafront bar....

Printed Maxi Dress George At Asda High Summer

I've had swimwear from George at Asda before, and found it great for something bold and bright, or just a bit of something this season without a huge price tag, and often they sell separates which is great, if like my you have strange sizing!



And although I could show you lots lots more things I really like, I'll leave you with the lovely dress, perfect for a summer event, or just a girlie night out.

Untitled Untitled

Thanks for a lovely girlie afternoon George, but mostly, I am now lusting after half a dozen things from your look book, and thanks to some very competitive pricing, that actually puts some of the budget high street retailers to shame, I will no doubt be indulging! That skirt WILL be mine! 


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Chloe Likes To Eat

After my fabulous brunch at Salvation Jane (remember THIS?), I had a bit of a lust for the yummy corn fritters that I had there, and also to try something different in the kitchen, so T & I embarked on making our own. I didn't originally set out to copy my brunch from Salvation Jane, but that's kind of how it ended.... it if ain't broke..... as they say....

Corn Fritters, Poached Eggs, Wilted Spinach, Salsa

Cooking Corn Fritters


These were super simple to make, which was a pleasant surprise, and I followed THIS recipe from The Londoner blog. Oh, and they aren't wrong when they say these are surprisingly filling either. This was a main evening meal, and we stupidly thought we might need a bit more, we were wrong, T ended up eating several for lunch the following day as we quickly realised we'd made too much! 

As you see, ours were served with crispy bacon, poached eggs and a small amount (ahem, left overs much?!) of spinach lightly wilted in lemon juice. I also added some Salsa, not homemade, but leftovers (again) from some nachos we had the previous week. 

All in all, an easy yummy meal, this really isn't desperately unhealthy either. Making it again, I'd definitely go lighter on the number of fritters, but when they're made from scratch as we did, there are no artificial nasties, and the only added fats are the small amount of olive oil they were cooked in. This makes an awesome brunch, and would be really nice for the likes of summer barbecues (provided the weather holds of course) as they could be premade and stored somewhere warm or premade and reheated. 

One word of warning for you.... prepare for the corn to get super hot and explode if the pan is too hot! Not quite popcorn, even more dangerous. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

AX Circus

If you're a follower on Twitter, you might know that I was fortunate enough to win a pair of tickets to the #AXCircus event on Wednesday night. This was exciting for several reasons: first blog event, check. Chance to see some friendly faces, check. Chance to drink cocktails, check.


As I had to go straight from work, this is what I wore. Not so glamorous as many of my favourites, but I'm still rather pleased with the dress.

And what a treat did the lovely people from Etail PR & AX Paris have for us. Circus Bar in the West End had a whole bunch of hot acts for us to drool over AHEM I mean admire, and some rather lovely cocktails.

Trapeze Artists Circus London

Trapeze Circus London

FITNESS in leather trousers. Oh yes.

The event was put on to celebrate AX Paris' first TV commercial ad, which goes live today on a whole host of channels, and that's a fair achievement for a brand which is 21 years of age. Needless to say, I did of course get a sneaky peek, so with that in mind, keep your eyes peeled!

I'll be honest and say I was a totally rubbish blogger and didn't take all that many pictures, I was too busy enjoying the rather lovely canap├ęs (tempura langoustine? YES PLEASE!) and catching up with some lovely faces. But it was a fabulous fabulous party, and muchos thanks from me to Etail and to AX PAris for allowing me to win tickets.

Also, thanks to Sarah for giving me my first Meat Market experience. Having scoffed a burger the night before at Harrison's Balham (which you can read about HERE) I opted for one of their dogs, a Ripper to be precise. I can't begin to tell you how good this was after several (ahem 7) cocktails and realising I hadn't eaten since mid-morning.

Meat Market Ripper Dog

Pork hotdog, wrapped in bacon with chilli relish and sweet pickled cabbage (I think).

There were also some super generous goody bags, and I confess I lived on some of the contents on my especially busy Thursday...

Popchips and Coldpress AX Circus Goodie Bag
 Popchips are already a favourite of mine, and the Coldpress juice was suer yummy, a find and a half.


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Best of Breed

I bought this little treat to myself (aahem) couple of weeks ago, I went into the National Trust Gift Shop looking for a gift for someone, and I couldn't leave it behind. Couldn't.

National Trust Cat Mug 1

National Trust Cat Mug 2

National Trust Cat Mug 3

Because I live in a flat share, buying mountains of housewares is not really an option. Anything that gets left out and about in our kitchen is likely to be used and left dirty or possible dropped/knocked over/broken. One thing the communal cupboards are a bit short on though, are mugs and now I have one of my own.

Cats, making cups of tea better since forever.

Best of Breed

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Chloe Likes To Eat...

Sometimes, it's true when they say if it isn't alright, it's not the end yet. Upon trekking out to Balham to use a Groupon voucher, and subsequently being turned away, T & I recently ate at Harrison's. And honestly, it's in many ways a good thing we were turned away from our planned destination, because we discovered somewhere we're already looking forward to returning to. These guys have excellent food, excellent cocktails and well exemplary services. The full works.



cheeseburger- every single bit as good as it looks!


Any bar that will serve me a dessert cocktail that is booze AND coffee in one glass, it's a hit with me


And check out the quite literally flaming chilli on T's cocktail?! 

So a few more reasons to check this place out, if you didn't have enough already: 

They do a happy hour 1700-1900 with half price food and drink

Our receipt for aforementioned and rather fabulous food and drink gave us a buy one get one free round of cocktails in their very swish bar downstairs

Did I mention the service was great? Friendly, helpful, couldn't do more for us, willingly volunteered all the very good value offers they were running....

I'm also reliably informed on Twitter that the ribs at the sister outlet, Sam's Brasserie are to die for, and kudos to a restaurant that is using Twitter to effectively interact with their customers, because they've been tweeting with me ever since I proclaimed love for the place. Check them out HERE and also their website HERE. Then go have a cocktail and try their food- and don't be fooled, the burger was fantastic (T & I both had one) but they also have a full menu of interesting and elegant combinations, if burgers and fries aren't your thing (FYI I'm not I can still be your friend if that is the case...). 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Kate Spade New York

One of the many things I like about having an iPhone is the availability of every conceivable design of case. I mostly buy inexpensive ones from eBay so I don't end up feeling guilty when it gets bashed about in my bottomless pit handbag, but when I was offered this beauty for review, I just couldn't say no.

Kate Spade Phone Case

Kate Spade Phone Case Details

Phone Case, Kate Spade NY*

Isn't it pretty? Loving a flash of neon- it's not the kind of shade I'd be likely to wear any other way, and it's a good hard, sturdy case. I especially like the double layer of the outer edge and the case itself which snaps together to stop the case slipping off- a pet hate, and that the volume buttons are covered over.

It's also not a chunky case, another thing I'm not keen on with iPhone cases is that they often add a fair hefty weight and volume to the phone itself, but this one is pretty streamlined and not at all heavy- win win. Oh, and the neon looks AWESOME in a club lighting set, if I could show you I would, but I only had my iPhone in the case itself last night whilst dancing my behind off at Ministry of Sound for Thomas Gold.

As much as it doesn't change the case itself, I also thought the packaging on this case was really lovely. It has an expensive feel, which if you're purchasing something a bit special- be it for yourself or for a gift, then cheap or nasty or ill designed packaging can be a big turn off. The gold embossed logo and the matching colour scheme are a nice touch to something that would make a great gift for my mother, who is a fellow Apple convert, and frankly, with the volume of time I've spent on Skype to New York at work this week, it was a welcome treat for myself.

Verdict? Would I buy it? Yes, I would. It's a lovely product, it would make a really nice gift and as mentioned is a non-bank breaking designer treat if you're after something for yourself.

This item was provided for review purposes and as such this post is sponsored and contains a sponsored link. All views are my own. 

Friday, April 5, 2013


Whilst I mostly don a dress for work (ummm dress + tights + cardigan = easy morning routine), at the weekend, I have to confess to being a jeans girl. After a bit of trial and error, mostly with low waisted jeans that fall down after I've walked all of 5 metres, I think I've finally found a style I like, for now. And it just so happens that this is how I'd choose to style my Charterwell shoes (in pink FYI), should I be fortunate enough to win a pair.

(Picture c/o Yull Blog)

A perfect dose of preppy to a simple denim and a cosy jumper (The wind rushing through the East End is at 15mph FYI), and a healthy dose of my favourite metallic.

Pink Studded Jumper & Jamie Jeans

Jamie Jeans and Jumper both Topshop and Shoes from ASOS

Pink Studded Jumper & Jamie

I reckon these would also be candy sweet with this particular lust of mine (Uniqlo)

Uniqlo Shirt Dress

Think bare legs, summer skin and a bold, perhaps fluorescent necklace... I sure am.

And maybe even with this work outfit?

Uniqlo Trousers, Pink top, Tesco Cardigan

Uniqlo trousers, Pink top, Tesco Cardigan, Clarks Shoes

Uniqlo cropped trousers, Primark top, Tesco F+F cardigan, Clarks Shoes

Pssst- if you want to enter this competition, check out the details HERE

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

5 Day Weekend

Growing up in the hospitality trade, I've never been madly enthused for Easter weekend, it tends to mark the beginning  of the season in the Lake District and usually means working your behind off. Now I'm not in trade, Easter for me, like many, is an opportunity to take some extra time off work without using up my precious holiday. I chose to take off the Thursday preceeding the double bank holiday and headed to Herefordshire to see my grandparents who spent (so they thought) the winter months out of the country.

(taken in August)

Orchard Cottage, Brobury

They do live in the most beautiful setting, and in between being pinned to the sofa with glasses of wine/being spoiled with beautiful food/doing a smidge of shopping I did take some pictures of the area. Sadly they're not as filled with beautiful colour as they might usually be due to the horrid horrid snow they have been happening, but a good representation of my weekend follows:

Kir Royale

T sketching

Purple Closed Crocus

Fluffy Leg Hen

LOOK- they're like fluffy trousers!

Grapes in a Glass
Jill had a senior moment with lunch.... 


And this was Easter Sunday Lunch by the way.

And a couple more of these finished everything off nicely. 

I hope you all had a nice Easter Weekend. I for one would like to turn back the clock as the working week has proved to be MENTAL.