I don't really share many food posts over on this little blog of mine, which is quite surprising considering my huge amount of love for it! When I lived in London I posted a review of The Breakfast Club in Spitalfields & whilst I was scrolling through old posts for inspiration & ideas I remembered how much I'd enjoyed putting together that piece & made a note, both mental & on my iPhone, to document more foodie things which brings me to today's post, an American food haul!
One evening after Dom had picked me up from work we stopped off at Tesco to pick up something for tea & I was also keen for him to show me the American food aisle that I mentioned in this post. I let the excitement get to me a little too much & even Dom didn't manage to restrain me from spending a slightly silly amount on a certain box of cereal... I did only intend to buy some poptarts as I wasn't expecting to be faced with so much choice, but never mind! It seems I have developed a slight obsession with Peanut Butter recently so naturally I had to buy the Peanut Butter flavoured M&Ms as well as Reese's Puffs. Reese's Peanut Butter cups are my downfall at the moment, whenever I'm buying lunch I can never resist picking up a pack! Reese's Puff cereal is a 100 times better than I anticipated which makes me feel less bad about paying £5 for it, eating it by the handfuls whilst sat in bed is my favourite way to enjoy it haha. The Wrigley's Extra Dessert Delights Mint Chocolate Chip Chewing Gum is something I've seen quite a lot over on Instagram so I was excited to discover it sitting on the shelves amongst all the other American foods. The Strawberry Marshmellow Fluff was actually Dom's pick as he had never tried it before, I prefer the original version though. Finally, last but not least I actually remembered to get the one item I went in for, poptarts, Hot Fudge Sundae flavour! I've been super jealous of America having all these different flavours of gum/m&ms/poptarts that I'm glad I can experience a few of them now without having to fly across the Atlantic Ocean first!
When we get our own place again I definitely want to share some of my favourite recipes, not just cakes & sweet treats but also savoury options like the risotto I seem to forever be cooking & a chicken dish I love to cook on special occasions/when I can be bothered making the effort! Look out for them in the near future (:
I'm so excited (& probably a little too eager!) to type up this post today, not only because it's the first monthly favourites of 2015 but because it contains products I've lusted after for so long that I finally got my hands on over Christmas which well & truly live up to the hype around them!
Lets start from the top of the photo, the first item being the Rose Gold Zoeva 102 Silk Finish brush (which is slightly out of focus, apologies but I'm still getting to grips with my shiny new camera!) I am completely obsessed with using this brush to apply my foundation. It's quite dense with a rounded head which makes blending & buffing a complete dream. It makes my foundation appear seamless & I just love it so much! In fact the whole set is amazing, so keep an eye out for a full review soon!
Next is a skincare item from Soap & Glory, my favourite drugstore brand when it comes to both skincare & bath products. I picked the Fab Pore 2-in-1 Facial Pore Purifying Mask & Peel on a complete whim when I was feeling really fed up of my skin & in desperate need of a 'quick fix'. I haven't read any reviews on this but I think it deserves so much more recognition! Soap & Glory state that this is going to be your new favourite mask & it's true, it's definitely mine! I've been using it once a week to shrink my pores & improve the general appearance of my skin. It gives my skin a new lease of life, it feels a million times better, my pores are virtually invisible & my blemishes seem a lot calmer. Its £10 a pot but theres always offers on S&G stuff so I got it for about £8, it's well worth it!
NARS Sheer Glow Foundation is a base product that I have wanted to try out for SO long, but I was always put off by the price tag so when my Mum offered to get it me for Christmas I jumped at the chance. Honestly, I wish I hadn't waited so long to try it! I've had so many compliments when I've been wearing it & it's completely rekindled my love with applying makeup. You know when you have those 'meh' days because your skin is looking blah & you can just tell your makeup isn't going to sit right? Well this completely transforms my skin, it's a miracle in a bottle & is definitely up there with my other fave foundation, YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat. I'm always so nervous to splurge on high end makeup incase I don't like it, but sometimes it's worth the risk!
Another product from Soap & Glory has made it's way into my January Favourites, this time something from their makeup range. I feel like I've been waiting forever to buy the Archery 2-in-1 Brow Filling Pencil & Brush, literally every time I went into my local Boots it was always out of stock... I even sneakily opened the drawer underneath the stand to see if any were hidden but to my disappointment there wasn't! Last week I ended up going over to Liverpool where I got drawn in to the huge Boots & to my delight the S&G stand was fully stocked so I grabbed the archery pencil in the shade 'Hot Chocolate' & trotted of to pay for it without even thinking twice! Even though this has only been in my life for a short while it's changed my eyebrow routine for the better, quick short strokes, a brush through with the spoolie & my brows are filled within a minute or so. The colour is a perfect match too & my brows don't seem to disintegrate throughout the day either!
My most-loved fragrance of the month is Daisy Dream by Marc Jacobs. I have a couple of MJ perfumes plus some mini handbag versions so when Daisy Dream was released I knew it would eventually end up in my collection. Everything from the bottle adorned with daisies & the light, fruity, floral scent is lovely & right up my street. I've been spritzing it ever since Doms parents kindly surprised it with me (love that my "in laws" know me so well!) & I can't get enough of it! It's such a Spring/Summer kinda scent, as are most of the MJ fragrances, so it's nice to spray this when the days are dull & be reminded of the warm Summer days that are ahead of us, hopefully!
I always have what seems like a 101 lip balms on the go at once & usually just grab whatever is closest to me but this month I've been choosing the Burts Bees Peppermint Beeswax Lip Balm more often than not. I find Burts Bees to be one of the most nourishing lip balms, they're filled with natural ingredients such as Coconut & Sunflower oils plus lots of vitamins & essential fatty acids to condition, soften & hydrate. The Peppermint flavour is really refreshing & tingles a little bit, which to me is a sign it's working!
Tigi Catwalk Oatmeal & Honey Nourishing Shampoo* & Conditioner* have been my hair washing products of choice this month. If you've read my blog for a while you'll probably be fed up of me mentioning how dry my hair can be but seriously it's getting to the stage that it now forms dreadlocks if I don't brush it straight away after washing!! I'm forever soaking it in Moroccan Oil & using various other products that lock in moisture, whilst I still love all of the previous products I've used it's good to switch up your haircare routine every now & again! It's a nice change to have a shampoo/conditioner that doesn't have a fruity scent, the Honey & Oatmeal provide a comforting kinda smell, think breakfast & porridge & you're on the right tracks and the best thing is that the scent lingers around, I love it when you get wafts of a scent all day long! It definitely helps to tame my hair as it always feels silky soft during & after I've washed it, I hate shampoos that make your hair have that weird squeaky clean feeling whilst you're rinsing out the product. The gift pack is currently only £14.50 which is pretty good considering individually they would normally retail between £24-£30.
You might remember way back in August I featured a few bits from Pond's Skincare, the Cold Cream Cleanser & the Eye Contour Cream. Well now I'm giving one of my reader's the opportunity to win themselves a selection of skincare products from the Pond's Institute range, plus a really cute & exclusive Lily Lilybet washbag that I stupidly forgot to include in the photos!
Cold Cream Cleanser - This cleanser is one I reach for most evenings, it's gentle yet really effective at removing the days makeup & giving my skin a good clean. It's also really affordable & a small pot lasts absolutely ages!
Hydro Nourishing Cream - A moisturiser containing Hydro-elastine and Vitamin-E to ensure moisturised, nourished & left looking radiant.
Nourishing Anti-Wrinkle Cream - I've not actually used this product yet, although skincare gurus say it's never too early to start using anti-wrinkle products so perhaps I'll have to give it a go! The White Tea Extract, Vitamin B3 & the UV Protection all work together to increase skin's natural protection against leading causes of ageing, they also help to reduce the appearance of fine lines & wrinkles and improve the skins overall texture.
Triple Action Moisturiser - Again, this is another product I've not tried however this is aimed at mature skin so I'll probably pass this on to my Mum. The Triple Action is intended to keep the skin looking youthful by reducing wrinkles, age spots & make the skin appear firmer.
Eye Contour Cream - My favourite product from the range, I don't go a day without applying it both morning & night! It soothes & softens the skin around my eyes as it feels like velvet & contains lots of essential nutrients to help protect the skin.
Makeup Artist Arabella Preston has created a video showing you how to achieve a party look, using Pond's skincare to ensure your skin is prepped before applying makeup. Have a watch & let me know what you think!
Sundays are a day of rest right? Unfortunately not for me *insert stressed looking emoji face*, today has been all about coursework, coursework & MORE coursework. I needed a break, so logged onto blogger to de-stress for a short while before it's back to my uni to-do list. Anyone else have lists of lists? Anyway, even typing about uni makes me want to curl up in a ball under my duvet cover & pretend it doesn't exist so lets change the subject!
The day started off pretty well with a breakfast of Cookie Dough flavoured Poptarts, they are definitely my favourite so far & I've tried a lot! Dom actually found them in Tesco, I love Tesco, even more so since they started stocking American food. We used to splurge on overpriced Poptarts in Selfridges until we realised Tesco stocked them, but they only used to sell the Strawberry & Chocolate ones. I also love the Confetti Cupcake & Smores ones, seriously I could live of Poptarts & never get fed up of them, I think I need to go to Poptarts Anonymous haha..
I also got my blog redesigned this week, I'm still gonna tweak it by adding some colour & a few other features but bare with me as I probably won't get round to doing that until next year, because y'know... I just never seem to get round to editing my blog very often. I really want to get a header designed, I want it to include Tilly pug but not sure what else. I love minimal themes but then I also really love the more creative ones with little graphics that relate to your hobbies/interests, in my case pugs, poptarts & did I mention pugs? (lol) But yeah if anyone can recommend a graphic designer to me that would be cool (:
The first Wishlist of 2015, we've celebrated Christmas & I've also just celebrated my Birthday however I've got some Birthday money left over & a couple of Topshop vouchers to spend so here is what I might treat myself to! I'm really tempted to order myself an Olivia Burton watch, as much as I love my Michael Kors one I'd prefer to have a more simple & classic looking one for every day.
Beauty bits & pieces I'm after are Nars Creamy Concealer and the Soap & Glory Archery Brow Pencil which I can confirm is FINALLY back in stock on the Boots website in the shade 'Hot Chocolate'. I can't actually tell you how many times I've tried to add that to the basket to be told it's out of stock & god knows how many actual Boots I've been in to check the S&G stand! The latest skincare item I'm after is a good quality moisturiser, I'm trying to 'invest' more into my skin atm as it's playing havoc & not looking it's best so I'm keen to add some new things in to my routine to ensure I'm looking after my skin! The Antipodes Vanilla Pod Hydrating Day Cream seems to be one a lot of people love, that or the Origins Ginzing Moisturiser? I can't decide which one to opt for, let me know if you've tried either please!
As well as all those nice luxury items I actually really need a whole load of basic tops. I seem to be rotating the same three tops at the moment, I'm definitely not one of those girls who only wears things once thats for sure! I'm just so fussy when it comes to clothes, I worry that they won't suit me or I'll umm & ahh over spending a certain amount on something & then when I finally decide I'll buy it, suddenly it's out of stock everywhere. It's got to the stage now were I don't really have much choice but to part with my pennies & re-vamp my wardrobe! Surprisingly I didn't actually find many tops I like but I did find the dress & knitted cardi which I think could work well together with some black chelsea boots & a floppy hat. I was actually on the hunt for a practical black bag that I can use to carry my MacBook in but that search was forgotten about quickly when I saw the Winking Eyes Clear Box Clutch, it's so impractical but I really want it! It also seems like the Swiftheart Slippers are going to be the new blogger shoes that everyone has, but really I'm not surprised because they can be worn with so many different styles... cute or classic & they're a reasonable price too!
I've been typing this post since November, adding to it along the way, it's a bit of a word vomit really with a few of my thoughts being shared but I kinda want to get it all off my mind & get my blog to a point I'm happy with is. I guess it could fall into the blogging resolutions category as I've set myself some goals to keep in mind throughout the year.
For a long time I've felt unhappy with my blog, resulting in a lack of posts & a loss of motivation to actually get involved with blogging & the community. One of the main reasons I'm not my blogs biggest fan at the moment (& I believe I totally should be, gotta believe in yourself & all that!) is my photography. The quality just isn't there, the lighting is annoying me & I could spend hours setting up all the products & props, playing around with different compositions & still hating everything I produced at the end of the photo taking session. As you might have seen in my 'What I got for Christmas' post Dom bought me a Canon 700d so I've now got the opportunity to improve my photography & hopefully create content I'm happy with. I've got a lot to learn but it's something I've wanted to get to grips with for a long time. I've always had an interest in Photography from studying Art & Textiles for years before going down the more 'academic' route at University where I seemed to lose track of what I loved doing the most whilst focusing on my studies. I always wanted to keep my creativity as a hobby rather than pursue it as a career, basically I didn't want studying to ruin what I considered as a pastime. What I'm trying to say is, now I've got the Camera I've always wanted I feel excited to start learning & developing my skills more than ever. If anyone has any photography tips & tricks they'd like to share with me, drop your links in the comments or send me an email I'd love to learn from my readers!
The actual content I share here on loulabeth will hopefully become more varied, especially as we move into our own place again (still not found anything though(!!) if anybody cares!) I want to blog more about home interiors, baking, travelling and fashion yet still keep the beauty posts regular too! I've also got a little series planned featuring Tilly Pug, I can't wait to share it soon but one thing is for sure, Tilly will be having her own section of the blog & I'm so excited about this... if I'm not already considered a crazy Pug lady by now, I certainly will be when these posts go live haha. I'm also still trying to decide whether to pursue YouTube & really have a go at it this year. It's a terrifying idea but I've made a few videos & I had so much fun & I did tell myself that 2015 would be the year of doing more of what makes me happy!
Alongside improving my content I want to improve the design & general look of my blog. It's going to be a work in progress for a while probably as I've loads of ideas & I want to ensure it's exactly how I imagine it & be completely happy with the finished product! I want to bring back some pages, such as an about me, contact & possibly a product directory to make navigation through this little website of mine much easier. At the moment I look at my blog space & see so much potential, I feel as though it needs 'pulling together' a bit more with a fresh new design, still gonna incorporate Tilly Pug somehow! In fact I am actually considering dropping 'loulabeth' & renaming this blog to Laura & Tilly, thoughts?
Blogging is most certainly not all about stats & figures but I will admit that I'd love to see my audience grow throughout 2015. It's pretty satisfying seeing the number increase on bloglovin'/other social media accounts, knowing I've attracted another reader is a nice reward after working on a post etc. I definitely want to try & be more consistent with my content too. I'm going to stick to dedicated days for certain posts such as my Wednesday Wishlists and I'd like to do a Sunday Summary kinda post each week too. However I'm not going to set a proper blogging schedule of when to expect posts as I have had experience of doing this last year, then not being able to stick to those days & putting myself under pressure. I don't want my blog to make me feel pressured & thats an important one for me to remember.
Ever since I found the blogging community, firstly by stumbling across Tanya Burr's makeup tutorials which then led me to explore further & find Lily's fashion blog I've loved the whole concept that surrounds blogging. As a teenager I developed my passion for makeup, learning tips from my friends & experimenting with drugstore products, Rimmel being my favourite brand so when I discovered the beauty blogosphere I was pretty much hooked. Before I started my own blog I would sit for hours reading pages of Zoella's, Lily, Becky & Emma's blogs & even now I check regularly for new posts. I've always found their content inspiring. Blogging basically went viral last year, it spiralled out of control (in a good way) & there is so much opportunity for bloggers now, it's a great thing to be involved with. Whilst I don't think my blog will ever become my job it's amazing to see how some people have made that move & I've found it interesting to follow their journey.
Another thing I want to make a priority is becoming more involved with the blogging community. In late 2014 I began receiving invites to blogger events & had the chance to attend a couple. I met some lovely bloggers & I'd love to continue making new blogger friends, it's the best being able to talk to people who share the same passion & actually understand blogging!
So this has been a rather big ramble, in a nutshell I want to be more creative, consistent & become part of the community. Lets hope 2015 feeds this craving I have to learn & unlocks the little goals I've set for myself! Have you set yourself any blogging goals or resolutions in general? Let me know! (:
I shouldn't really be writing this post as I have an exam to prepare for & coursework to complete, but in the midst of the stress & worry I decided to give myself a 30 minute break to relax & refresh. On Saturday I celebrated my 23rd Birthday so I thought I'd share some details from the weekend! It was a pretty quiet one, spent with my family but thats just how I like it, I'm basically a granny & I'm okay with that haha. On Friday I went for tea & cake, (well actually nutella hot chocolate in my case) with my Mum, Nana & little Sister Leah at a vintage tearoom in town. Instead of taking lots of photos I ended up just enjoying the moment & chatting with my family instead of arranging my vanilla cupcake neatly on the plate to ensure it was Instagram worthy. On the actual day of my Birthday Dom brought me Breakfast in bed, a feast of Waffles coated in Nutella & Strawberries with a big mug of Coffee. We then ventured out to the Trafford Centre for a bit of shopping & to finally try out Five Guys, which has now become my new favourite place to eat! Obsessed with the drinks machines... they literally had every flavour of fizzy drink you can imagine, Peach flavoured Fanta being the best in my opinion! To end my Birthday day Dom surprised me with a Coffee cake he had stayed up late to bake the previous night. It was genuinely the best Coffee & Walnut cake I've ever tasted, much better than any shop bought ones, which is quite surprising considering Dom hardly ever bakes... hidden talent I think! On Sunday Dom & I took the dogs out for a walk through the countryside, we completely underestimated how cold & muddy it was so as soon as we got home the fire was put on & hot chocolates were served! I'm heading to London at the end of the month for a belated Birthday catchup/celebration with my other Sister, can't wait to be back in the old smoke & have a little explore!
Coat - New Look | Bobble Hat - Next | Tilly's Coat - Puppy Angel | Tilly's Scarf - Pets at Home | Tilly's Harness - eBay
I kinda like doing these diary style posts every now & again, it's nice to have memories documented so I can read over them whenever I feel like reminiscing. What do you think?
A little later than planned but hey ho! Firstly, Happy New Year, heres to 2015 being the best year yet!
Theres not much I find more exciting than a whole bunch of 'What I Got For Christmas' posts once Christmas day itself is over. I don't really know why I love reading them so much, I guess it's because I am ridiculously nosey! This year I was spoilt beyond belief by Dom who surprised me with something I've wanted for a few years now. We decided to have quite a 'big' Christmas in terms of presents, simply because we've never really had the money to go wild until now & we've worked our butts off over the past six months saving up for a house that we decided we deserved a treat! On Christmas Day Dom text me asking if I would drive round to his as he wanted to give me a present early so I could have it for the whole day, I was kinda confused but went along to his house anyway!(definitely didn't drive round in my new Moomin onesie...) Dom surprised me with a Canon 700D, I was genuinely speechless when I unwrapped it because I've wanted a "fancy" camera for as long as I can remember really. Originally we had planned to go halves on a Camera in the New Year as he told me he couldn't get one from anywhere & I actually believed him, I just never expected him to go out & buy one for me. Also, he wanted me to be able to have it early morning so I could capture the whole of Christmas Day with it, most thoughtful thing ever! As well as the camera he went completely overboard & got me the Rose Gold Zoeva Makeup brushes that I'd been lusting over for months, along with the Naked 2 Palette, lots of My Neighbour Totoro merchandise (fave film ever) & we both managed to get each other matching 'I love my Pug Tilly' mugs! My Mum got me Nars Sheer Glow Foundation & all I'm gonna say is why did I wait so long to own it!? I got so many lovely little bits & bobs, I didn't photograph everything but all I can say is my family & friends certainly know me really well... think Pugs, Totoro, doughnuts & makeup!
I really don't mean for this post to come across as bragging, I just feel so happy & so so lucky to have been given the most amazing Christmas gifts & I hope you can share that happiness with me! (slightly soppy but y'know what I mean!)
Let me know what you got for Christmas in the comments/leave me links to your posts!