Monday, 30 March 2015

Mani Monday: B. Quick Cosmical

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A bit of sparkle.


I received this in my Glossybox months and months ago, but haven't really used it until now. This is shade 157 - Cosmical, which isn't normally a colour that I'd generally opt for. However, I actually really like it! In the bottle it looks really gold, but once applied, it's slightly paler and looks a little silver in certain lights. 

It is very quick drying. I'd estimate that it dried within about a minute. And the fantastic thing is; you only need one coat! If you're terrible at painting your nails, like me, this is a good nail varnish to try. It actually looks relatively neat once applied and it's quite hard to mess it up! 

This polish retails for £4.99; which isn't bad for saying it only needs one coat and is so quick-drying. Unfortunately, I can't find this particular shade online, but there are a few others in the range available from Superdrug by clicking here.

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This Week: Food. Lots of Food.

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Oversharing and overeating.


If you read last week's post, you'll know that I'm struggling to get my Masters application to a point where I'm happy with it. Turns out, ex-lecturers are pretty difficult to track down for references too!

At the rate that I'm going, I may never actually get my application finished, but on Monday, I thought I'd better start swotting up anyway. Hence all the books. 

I also found the notepad I used whilst I was on work experience with the BBC last year. Most of the notes above (if you can even see them) were taken when I was answering phone calls from the public and passing them onto the relevant producers. The rest were from writing cues for presenters; which is basically writing down what they have to say. (I still can't quite believe they trusted me to do that!)

Again, whilst taking photos for my blog; on Tuesday, this guy stuck his nose under the lens to get some attention. Such a poser.
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On Thursday, we treated ourselves to some lovely fish and chips from King Street Fish Bar in Belper. I can see why it's voted Chip Shop of the Year by Belper News readers. But, there are only two chip shops in Belper, so... it was always going to be 50/50, wasn't it?
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Just look at them!! That is a small portion (Yes, really!) Needless to say, I couldn't eat all of it.
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And on Friday, I ended up venturing out for a meal with my parents at ASK Italian in Derby (which I'll be writing about soon). I used to go there quite regularly, but haven't been for ages! We tried to take a selfie, but it kind of went wrong...
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It's totally worth going just for the wonderful honeycomb cheesecake.
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Are you feeling hungry now?
Another thing... I feel the need to vent about this. Very sadly, last night, a 16 year old boy was accidentally hit by a train in my hometown. Unfortunately, some felt the need to write on Twitter about how this inconvenienced them, rather than expressing their sadness or sending condolences. This really annoyed me, because there's honestly no need to be that selfish. People like that make me feel misanthropic and disappointed in humankind.

So, seeing as some people can't be decent, I'll say this: My thoughts are with that boy's family, the train driver and the emergency services too. It's awful and terribly sad.

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Friday, 27 March 2015

February Favourites!

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©Katiewrites.co.uk

VERY Belated Favourites time!



Sleek Blush in Rose Gold
I did feature this quite recently in my latest YouTube video (which you can watch here.) I bought it a while back as it's a dupe for a certain NARS blush. The NARS one is £23, whilst the Sleek version is £4.49 and they're really pretty similar!

It's lovely, with a little bit of gold shimmer in it to make you look a little more radiant. It looks quite dark in my photos, but it doesn't look remarkably red once applied. It's actually quite a pink colour when on your cheeks. It's highly pigmented, so you don't even have to apply loads to get a good coverage.

You can buy this online for £4.49 from Superdrug by clicking here.

MAC Cremesheen Lipstick in Crosswires
I've been using this lipstick quite a lot lately! It's been described by MAC as "clean pinky orange". Because it's Cremesheen, it's quite moisturising, which is great for this time of year when it's still pretty cold outside!

You can buy this from any MAC store or online for £15.50 by clicking here.

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara
This is an exciting new mascara from Benefit, which I'm sure everybody's already heard of! It came free in a recent edition of Elle Magazine and I'm really happy with it! I prefer it to They're Real and Bad Gal to be honest!

As usual with Benefit mascaras, it's going to cost £19.50 and if you fancy trying it, you can get it directly from Benefit's website by clicking here.

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo
Yes, I know I keep banging on about this, but it's been a bit of a skincare saviour of late. I've been suffering from horrible spots and has been my go-to moisturiser to deal with the zits. I wrote a full review of this last summer, which you can read here, so I won't go into too much detail here.

You can buy this from Boots for £15.50 by clicking here.

Vo5 Smoothly Does It Serum
I'm not normally a big fan of using serums on my hair, but I love this! I picked it up a few months ago when it was on offer in Boots, but only started using it recently. I'm really pleased with how smooth and sleek my hair looks with this.

Seriously, taming my hair is usually a big job... It's normally an arduous battle with the frizz, but it's nowhere near as bad with this. And it's relatively cheap too! 

You can pick this up from Boots for £4.19 by clicking here.

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Monday, 23 March 2015

Mani Monday: Topshop Daydream

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©Katiewrites.co.uk


'Come on Barbie, let's go party.'


I'm really happy with how long-lasting this is. Despite the fact that I'm terrible at painting my nails neatly, it doesn't chip or smudge easily. The colour is so bright even with one coat, never mind two! (Pictured is just one coat.) It's quite a 'Barbie pink', but with spring and summer approaching, this colour is perfect! Yes, it's quite bright and girly, so won't be for everyone, but you definitely can't miss it!

At £5, it's quite a bargain! I also really love the design of the packaging, with the polkadots and skinny font. I can't currently find this shade on Topshop's website, but if you fancy trying it too, I've found a similar shade called Pink Cadillac.

Are you a Topshop Nail Polish fan? What should I try next? Comment below and tell me!

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Wow, this is my 100th blog post!
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Sunday, 22 March 2015

This Week: Procrastination, Caffeine & Shopping!

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I feel a bit guilty having neglected my blog for most of this week! Apologies, but you'll understand why if you read on...


I'm becoming an expert procrastinator at the moment. I'm long overdue for submitting my Masters application, but never seem to be happy enough with my personal statement. I'm seriously going to have to bite the bullet and just send it as it is very soon, otherwise I'll miss out. The stress.

Most of this week has consisted of faffing about with said personal statement, stressing out, sleeping very badly, relying on caffeine as a crutch to get me through the day and then napping in the least comfortable places possible. It's all rock n' roll for me... Seeing as I'm still doing the #100HappyDays challenge, I thought I'd show you some of the photos that I've taken over the past few days!

On Wednesday, I ventured out to Derby to do some shopping. I spent ages in Boots ogling the makeup, as per usual, and nipped to Topshop too. And then, obviously, straight to Starbucks to satisfy the caffeine craving. Those of you who read my blog regularly, or follow me on Instagram, will know of my Starbucks addiction. I don't think I can walk past one without venturing in; in search of a caffeine fix.

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We got stuck in a horrid traffic jam on the way out of Derby, and I took this photo of a church that's just there. It's amazing that stuff you wouldn't ordinarily pay much attention to jump out at you when you're crawling along at walking pace. Looks quite pretty, doesn't it?

©Katiewrites.co.uk
©Katiewrites.co.uk

I have been working behind the scenes on my blog, rest assured. I took this photo on Friday when I gained a little furry helper whilst taking photos of the latest Glossybox. (A review'll be up soon!) My dog, Cookie, seems to be creeping into a lot of my blog photos lately. He's obviously really interested.

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Saturday included yet more procrastination, in the form of digging some old photos out. Some of my favourites are on the photo below; (Including a friend and I at our graduation ceremony, Carsington Water and Cookie posing yet again.)

And then I spent my Saturday night looking for pretty fonts. Yes, really... I know how to party!


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Even writing this blog post was a form of procrastination... Whoops.

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Monday, 16 March 2015

Mani Monday: Barry M Road Rage


Vroom, Vroom.


Road Rage is one of Barry M's fancy new Quick Dry polishes. My verdict? It did dry quite quickly, I'd estimate it took between one and two minutes for each coat to dry. Which isn't bad, is it? Pictured are two coats of Road Rage with Nail Girls 3-in-1 top and base coat.

It's a lovely minty/turquoise colour and it actually matches the colour of my car! (How co-ordinated am I?!) Although, I always feel like I have to apologise profusely for just how bad I am at painting my nails...

I love the design of the bottle too, with the chequered flag on the lid. (Reminds me of watching F1 races as a kid with my Dad...) A lot of the shades in this new range are also named after racing terms, like 'Pit Stop' and 'Full Throttle'.

I picked this up in my local Boots store for £3.99, but this shade isn't available on their website. (Very similar ones are available though by clicking here.)

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Sunday, 15 March 2015

Fresh Ground, Belper

Ladies who lunch

Friends. Food. Cappuccino. 


Earlier this week I met up with Laura-May and Carole, a couple of friends who I went to Uni with. They came to visit me in my hometown and we went for lunch at Fresh Ground, one of my favourite local cafes.

If you're not local to Derbyshire (and let's face it, you're probably not) Belper has been gaining quite a reputation for an array of posh cafes. (Instead of back in the day, when it was aptly named Brown Town - Not because I live there... But because of an abundance of heroin addicts...)

Pictured is a tuna panini with a side of salad and crinkly crisps; and a cappuccino to drink because caffeine is my only addiction. (Not heroin.)

Not only is it fantastic value, it cost me £8.55 for my food and two drinks, but the ladies who work there are lovely too. I also had to leave a fair bit of my meal because the portions are so generous! 

If you're ever in the area, I'd definitely recommend this place for a spot of lunch!

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Note: This post isn't sponsored, just in case that's what you were thinking.
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Tuesday, 10 March 2015

How to Customise Mugs

©Katiewrites.co.uk
©Katiewrites.co.uk

I wanted one of these little mugs; but saw the prices on Etsy and didn't fancy forking out loads of money. So, I took matters into my own hands and made my very own! And, you can too! Here's how:


You will need:
  • A blank white mug,
  • A Sharpie permanent marker,
  • An oven,
  • Acrylic sealing spray.

Got them? Here's how you do it!
  • Write or draw whatever design you so wish on your mug,
  • Pop your mug in your (cool) oven and put it on at 175C,
  • Leave for half an hour or so,
  • Turn the oven off and when it's cool enough, take the mug out,
  • Wait for it to cool completely and then use acrylic sealing spray to seal in your design!

And you're done! (How easy was that?)

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Monday, 9 March 2015

Mani Monday: Essie - Back in the Limo

©Katiewrites.co.uk
©Katiewrites.co.uk

This is such a pretty pink/nude shade from Essie, which I recently picked up for a bargain price.


With such pale skin, it doesn't really show up that well on my nails; but this is probably a brilliant shade for people who are a bit more tanned than me! This colour is part of the 2014 Winter Collection. Essie describe it as 'Sheer ripe melon'.

In the picture, I have: a base coat, two coats of Back in the Limo and a top coat as well. It did seem to take a fairly long time to dry on my nails, which is one reason why it looks so messy (the other being that I'm awful at painting my nails)... As mentioned, it doesn't show up too well for me either, even with two coats.

Essie Nail Polishes are a rare treat for me, as I'm not keen on spending £7.99 each time. However, I've discovered that Fragrance Direct are selling a selection of Essie shades for a mere £2.49... Which is a huge saving; for a cheapskate like me! (You can browse Essie products at Fragrance Direct by clicking here.)

What's your favourite Essie colour? Comment below and tell me!

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Thursday, 5 March 2015

World Book Day!

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What better day to celebrate reading than on World Book Day? That's today, 5th March, if you hadn't already guessed.


If you're a regular reader of this blog, you'll know that at the start of the year, I vowed to read more books and a wider variety of literature. If not, read it here.

I think it's really important to keep reading as an adult. You should never stop being inquisitive and wanting to learn more. So, I've become quite addicted to going to my local Oxfam book shop and picking up a few books for bargain prices. They normally have books reduced to less than £2, which is fantastic! Yes, I know they're second hand, but sometimes that adds a little more 'character' to them. And, to top it all off, you get a lovely warm feeling inside because you've given some money to charity. Pictured above are just some of the books that I've picked up from there.

Have you picked up any good books recently? If so, comment below and tell me!

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Sunday, 1 March 2015

February: In a Nutshell

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Any excuse to show you a picture of my dog.

As you know, my Mutti's been poorly, so I've not really had the most exciting of months, but I'll ramble on anyway...


Lumie Light
Who knew you could get so excited about an alarm clock?! I got this the other week and I have been so happy with it (so I should be for the price...) Basically, it's an alarm clock with a light on it. The light gradually gets darker before bedtime; to trick your mind into thinking it's sunset and therefore time to sleep. In the morning, it gradually gets lighter for half an hour before the alarm goes off, to simulate sunrise, and gently wakes you up. The alarm klaxon is pretty shocking though.

This is the only alarm clock that's woken me almost every day since I got it. I'm such a heavy sleeper that I have to have about 16 alarms set (no joke) but now I only need one with this! Very pleased!

Baking
I've been baking a bit more recently, and you'll be pleased to know that I've not burned the house down... Yet. I'm starting to find it quite a cathartic exercise and I'm whisking by hand, so expect me to have guns of steel soon.
Ha.

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo
Now, I was a little mean when I wrote a review on this last year, which you can read here. However, this has been my go-to moisturiser for the past few weeks.

My skin has been dire recently. Even though I've been drinking loads of green tea and two litres of water a day; and eating relatively healthily too, my face keeps on erupting in these gigantic, painful zits. This is the moisturiser than I've been using to try and stabilise my volatile skin. It's kind of keeping them at bay a bit; better than any other moisturiser I own.

Foodie Friday
Yeah, I know I promised that I'd write a new blog post every Friday this month containing a new recipe; but I've obviously not been blogging for much of February. Sorry. Maybe we'll have Foodie Friday in March instead? We'll see. I've 'mastered' baking, but it depends on whether I can cook anything without burning the house down...

Epiphany
When times get tougher, it makes you realise that all the little things that you spend loads of time worrying about are actually quite insignificant. This month has been the month that I've decided certain people aren't worth chasing, they're not worrying about and they're not worth the time of day.

Without sounding too hedonistic, I've realised that it's better to focus on the people that make you happy, rather than the ones who don't.
(I'm going to shut up before this post gets too deep.)

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This post was not sponsored, just in case that's what you were thinking.
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