Thursday, 28 May 2015

Midweek Manicure // Nailbox May 2015

I'm really excited about this week's Midweek Manicure post as it's completely different to any I've done before. I was lucky enough to be sent the May 2015 edition of nailbox* - a monthly beauty subscription service which purely offers nail polish - a polishaholic's dream! I thought I'd tell you a bit more about nailbox and give you a peek at what was inside...

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Whilst beauty subscription boxes have been around for quite some time, I've never seen one dedicated purely to nail polishes before. Finally my prayers to the nail gods have been answered! Nailbox is quite a new initiative and only launched in April this year. Each month's nailbox will contain three or four full size polishes and one or two special nail art tools / treatments. Everyone gets the same box contents, which are despatched on the 21st of each month, so it's now too late to get your hands on the May box which I'm featuring here, but if you sign up for the June box it should arrive by 23rd - 24th June. Nailbox costs £15 per month if you sign up on a month by month contract, but is cheaper at £13.50 per month if you sign up to receive nailbox for a whole year. Considering the total RRP value of my May box is just under £38 they're both pretty great value!

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May's nailbox contains 4 beautiful polishes, - Rimmel 60 Seconds Lucky Lilac, Nicole by OPI Alex by the Brooks, Essie Status Symbol and Orly Fiery Orange, as well as the Elegant Touch Professional Cuticle Pusher & Nail Cleaner.


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Rimmel 60 Seconds Lucky Lilac

How stunning is this shade?! I love purple nails and this bright pink toned one is just beautiful! I never think of Rimmel when buying new nail polishes so am really excited that nailbox has opened my eyes up to the 60 Seconds range. It applies beautifully too with quite a wide brush. 


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Nicole by OPI Alex by the Brooks

Oh my giddy gosh this is my perfect nail polish! I LOVE mint green nails and as expected this Nicole by OPI offering is beautiful quality. With a wide, flat brush it paints onto the nail quickly and evenly leaving a stunning glossy creme finish. Swoon!


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Essie Status Symbol

Last week's Midweek Manicure post was my first ever foray into Essie nail polishes and I said I was dying to try more. So you can imagine my excitement to find this pretty hot pink in my nailbox. This also appies really nicely and the bold pink is a perfect summer colour and one which practically everyone will love.


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Orly Fiery Orange

Looking at the bottle I wasn't sure I was going to like Fiery Orange as I'm not usually a fan of glitters (mostly because they're so hard to remove!) However it actually looks really cool on the nails. It's quite a sheer but buildable base with a mix of shimmer particles, glitter strands and hexes and is very pretty in the sunshine. I'm looking forward to trying this out layered over different polishes. One fab thing about this polish is the glitter particles seem to magically distribute evenly which is always a good thing!


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Elegant Touch Professional Cuticle Pusher & Nail Cleaner

This is a great little tool for any polishaholic. It is dual ended and features a cuticle pusher on one side and blade on the other, which makes tidying cuticle and cleaning nails really easy. 

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I love that the colours included are seasonal - all bright and summery and perfect for this time of the year. I bet you'd get a fab festive box in December! It's really great to receive five products from well known brands too as often beauty subscription boxes can include quite obscure brands that aren't necessarily of the best quality.


It's such a fantastic idea having a beauty subscription box service purely dedicated to nail art supplies and would make a fab gift for someone too. Five treats for £15 is an absolute steal and its a great way to expand your collection and try out different brands, colours and finishes.


Would you sign up to nailbox? 

Which of the products I received is your favourite?

*Thanks so much nailbox for sending me the May 2015 box to try out. All thoughts are honest and my own. For more information please see my Disclaimer Page.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Lifestyle // Finishing the #SlimFastChallenge & Results

Two weeks ago I blogged about taking part in the #SlimFastChallenge* in a quest to lose weight and kick start my way to feeling as healthy and happy as I can, just in time for my friend's wedding. I thought I'd give you a little update to tell you how I got on, how I felt about the SlimFast 321 Plan, and - most importantly - whether I saw results!

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The concept of the 321 Plan is super simple - have up to 3 healthy snacks a day, 2 meal replacement bars/shakes and eat one healthy 600 calorie dinner a day. SlimFast kindly supplied me with enough of their meal replacement bars / shakes and snacks for me follow the plan for 14 days. Have a read of my original post to learn a bit more about it and what food I was given to help me complete the challenge. Let's see how I got on....

What I loved about the #SlimFastChallenge...


♥ Simple to follow ♥ 

The 321 Plan is so simple to follow, with calories mostly all calculated for you and everything already prepared for you. Even if you find regular calorie counting tricky you could follow the plan by just knowing how many of each things you're supposed to have. The only thing you really need to worry about is what to have for dinner but there are loads of 600 calorie recipes on the SlimFast website for you to use. I found that I ate the same evening meals as I normally would as, having used MyFitnessPal to calculate the calories, discovered they all come in between 500 and 600 calories. Hurrah!

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 Good on the go ♥ 

I work full time as well as often running around catching up with friends and attending blogging events. I loved that the #SlimFastChallenge could be tailored to my needs and didn't need any special treatment / looking after. The pre-made shakes don't need to be kept in the fridge and the bars were great for slinging in my bag and eating between meetings.

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 Flexible ♥  

I tended to have a Rich Chocolate flavoured shake powder for breakfast (whizzed up with ice and milk in my blender - YUM), a Meal Replacement Bar for lunch and a healthy dinner in the evening so I could eat with my boyfriend. However on days when I was busy in the evening I liked that I could switch this around, having my main meal at lunch and eating my Meal Replacement Bar in the evening before I met up with friends. I also liked that I was able to go on a date night with my boyfriend and still stay within my daily calories. We went to Pizza Express so I could have a 500 calorie Leggera pizza and I saved one of my snacks so I could have a chocolatey treat at the cinema afterwards . SlimFast fits really easily into "normal" life and schedule, which I always finds keeps me on track better when dieting as I don't feel like I'm missing out.

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 Tasty treats with lots of choice ♥ 

Overall I found the SlimFast products delicious! I certainly didn't dread eating any of it like I have on previous plans (hello juice cleanse!) the SlimFast products offer a huge amount of choice both in flavours and product so you can pick and tailor your days food to suit you. I loved the  Rich Chocolate flavoured shake powder in the mornings before work as when whizzed up with ice and milk they turned into a beautiful fluffy, cold milkshake - the perfect replacement for my totally non-nutritious Starbucks iced mocha I get addicted to! The thing I missed most when completing my juice cleanse was the fact I couldn't chew and crunch food (I'm all about the textures!) so a Meal Bar was great for me - and the Chocolate Peanut one was INCREDIBLE! Literally like a giant Snickers! The snacks are all so tasty (especially the Sour Cream & Chive Pretzels) and the SlimFast website gives heaps of suggestions for non pre-prepared snacks too (mostly including fresh fruit, veg and nuts) so there really are options for every taste and need.

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♥ Structured eating and easy to stay on track ♥ 

The structure of the Plan made it really easy to keep up with the diet. You actually eat quite a lot, fairly frequently and get to eat crisps and chocolate so it doesn't feel like a diet at all! I like following a calorie based diet as I find it easy to work out what I can / can't have and knowing I was doing the Plan meant I stopped needless snacking (mostly as I'd had plenty of food during the day!) When my boyfriend reached for the biscuit tin in the evening I confidently turned it down knowing it wasn't in my Plan, where as had I simply been "eating healthily" to lose weight I'm pretty sure I'd have had one and told myself that was ok. My greedy mind needs strict rules to follow! The structure of the Plan means you eat frequently which I found quite good for me. Often when dieting I find I inadvertently eat too little by cutting out all snacks and unhealthy food. From taking part in the #SlimFastChallenge I realised that I was definitely eating less calories in the lead up to the Challenge than I was on it, which is not good as it is advisable to eat no fewer than 1200 calories a day (which is the minimum you'll consume following the Plan). By eating less I was actually probably making it harder for my body to lose weight and I certainly wasn't kick starting my metabolism every morning by preparing a Shake as soon as I got up, but rather saving breakfast until about 10:30am (which on the Plan is when is have my mid morning snack) I think the calorie split of the 321 Plan was a healthy way to structure my calorie intake throughout the day and helped ensure I was eating enough. It also meant I was definitely getting my daily nutrients too as each Meal Bar / Shake contains a third of what you need.

♥ Encourages exercise ♥ 

I liked that the #SlimFastChallenge encourages you to do at least half an hours exercise each day as I think getting fit and healthy can't really be done without exercise and lots of other diet plans I've seen never really explicitly mention exercise. I went power walking every lunch time for half an hour and made sure I reached my 10,000 steps each day as well. This combined with following the Plan made me feel a lot better and lighter over the 14 days :D

♥ ♥ ♥ 


What I didn't like about the #SlimFastChallenge...


So as you can probably tell - I really enjoyed following the 321 Plan! There were a couple of concerns I had throughout the process however...

X Too many sweet treats X

It was great being able to get a chocolate fix whilst taking part in the #SlimFastChallenge but I did find that I ate a lot more sweet treats than I usually would. The Shakes I had were all sweet flavours (and the vanilla was particularly saccharine - a bit like drinking melted milky bar eggs!) and I also alternated between having the Chocolate Crunch and Chocolate Peanut Meal Bars. To be fair there is a third flavour of Meal Bar - Summer Berry - but I asked not to be sent this as I'm not really a fan of fruity things. The Chocolate Crunch bar was so sweet that I didn't really enjoy eating it and definitely craved a salad at lunch time! The flip side to this however was deliberately choosing lots of lovely vegetables and nuts for my snacks and main meal to get a good savoury fix!

X So much sugar! X

Leading on from the above, one thing I worried about a lot during the #SlimFastChallenge was how much sugar I was consuming. Potentially having two sweet Shakes / giant chocolate Meal Bars and fruit and chocolate snacks in the day could mean I was eating a LOT of sugar. MyFitnessPal certainly freaked out a good few times about the sugar I was consuming. The first time I ate a Meal Replacement Bar I actually had a bit of a dizzy head and the shakes which I'm sure is due to the amount of sugar I had all in one go when usually I'm a salad for lunch kinda gal!

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♥ ♥ ♥ 


What did I eat?


As I've said above, my favourites to have were the Rich Chocolate Flavoured Shake Powder for breakfast. I found making my own shake tasted so much nicer and more decadent than drinking the pre made bottles (though obviously they're much more convenient). The Chocolate Peanut Bar was delicious too, as were all the chocolate snack bars (the Chocolate Caramel one taste just like a Mars Bar but a much nicer size!). I liked all the savoury snacks too but found the BBQ Flavour Tortillas pretty tasteless and a waste of 95 calories! I tended to have only 2 snacks a day and tried to use my own as much as possible to keep them healthy. I don't eat much fruit usually but have a banana every afternoon so I made sure I kept this as one of my snacks. and I also really liked having a boiled egg and Ryvita  in the mornings or 30g of shelled pistachios to get my protein / savoury fix, both of which were suggested by the SlimFast website. For my main meals I ate lots of salad and chicken, stir fries, salmon and vegetables, sausage pasta and even a couple of low cal ready meals. Delicious! I think I will do some recipes on my blog of some of my favourite low calorie meals so let me know if that's something you'd like to see.

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♥ ♥ ♥ 


What were the results?!


Overall I felt pretty good from doing the #SlimFastChallenge and certainly felt lighter. I said in my original post that I would be happy with at least a 2 lb weight loss as the 321 Plan says that if followed correctly you should see at least a 1-2 lb loss a week. It definitely was true as I lost 4 lb overall hurrah! It may seem quite small and I have seen some people say they lost 8 lb in the first week but I'm happy with it! I think a 1-2 lb weight loss a week is quite a healthy rate to lose weight and hopefully keep it off too.

♥ ♥ ♥ 


Will I be continuing with the 321 Plan?


Yes and no! I am going to keep having a Shake for breakfast to encourage me to eat as soon as I wake up, kick starting my metabolism, and also giving me a good dose of nutrients which my Starbucks definitely doesn't do! I'm also going to continue with the calorie allowance and splits of the Plan but will replace my lunch time Bar with a salad or other healthy foods as I do not want to have as much sugar as is in the Meal Bars. Fingers crossed this, combined with continuing exercise, will mean I continue to lose weight to reach my goals! I'll keep you posted!

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♥ ♥ ♥ 


Thanks so much SlimFast for giving me the opportunity to take part in the #SlimFastChallenge I really enjoyed it and felt great at my friend's wedding (especially as the 4 lb weight loss meant I had to swap dresses at the last minute for the smaller size!) 


SlimFast products are currently on a 3 4 2 offer at Superdrug so it's definitely worth heading there if you'd like to try out the 321 Plan for yourself


Have you tried SlimFast before? How did you get on?


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*Thank you SlimFast for inviting me to take part in the #SlimFastChallenge. All thoughts are honest and my own. For more information please see my Disclaimer Page.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Beauty // Rodial Glamstick - Revenge

I am a huge fan of lip products (did you see my last haul?!) and am always playing with different types, colours, finishes and brands. One thing I can never get enough of however are lip balms, and particularly tinted lip balms - I mean they just make good sense! The lovelies at Rodial kindly sent me one of their tinted lip butters -"Glamsticks"- to try, and I have to say, it's a bit of a game changer!  

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Rodial Glamsticks are described as being a tinted lip butter with hyaluronic acid spheres... designed to provide immediate moisturisation and a long term plumping effect. I would absolutely agree with this statement! My lips feel so soft when I've been using my Glamstick, and it's such a comfortable product to have on the lips - it contains Cocoa Butter and Vitamin E which make it really creamy, light and smooth to wear. 

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There are several colours in the range and the one I have is Revenge. It's a really pretty bright but wearable fuchsia pink colour and I was pleasantly surprised at the colour pay off on my lips. Often I find tinted balms and butters look beautiful in the bullet but the colour doesn't actually transfer onto the lips, rather giving a very sheer glossy wash at most. Revenge however leaves a beautiful solid colour which is also very buildable. It stays on the lips really well; despite being so moisturising, it doesn't slide off easily. It also doesn't bleed like some tinted balms I've used. Perfect! I absolutely adore the scent of my Glamstick too - a delicious and subtle coconut fragrance, which reminds me of being on holiday (always a good thing!). It's SPF 15 too so I can actually wear it on holiday as well!  I often find SPF lip products have a horrible taste and sit thickly on the lips, but this is definitely not the case with the Glamstick. I think this will definitely be my most worn lip product over the summer as I freckle quite easily and always want to avoid lip freckles. This way I can have pretty candy coloured lips at the same time as protecting them! Win, win!

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I also LOVE the packaging of the Glamstick - look how pretty it is! The clear plastic casing looks so cool, and really chic with the silver lining of the tube and sleek Rodial font. 

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As you can tell I am a little bit in love with my Rodial Glamstick! Everything about Revenge gets a big tick from me and I will definitely be checking out the other shades in the range. The Glamsticks retail at £25 each which is slightly pricey but it really is an amazing product, and definitely the best of its type that I've ever tried. Perfect for a summer beauty treat! 

Rodial is also having a bank holiday sale, and you can get a set of three Glamsticks (including Revenge) for just £25 - BARGAIN!

Have you tried any of the Rodial Glamsticks before? 

Which other colours should I check out?

*Thank you so much Rodial for sending me their Revenge Glamstick to try out. All thoughts are honest and my own, for more information please see my Disclaimer Page.


Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Midweek Manicure // Essie - Lapiz of Luxury

I can't believe it's taken me this long to introduce Essie to my Midweek Manicure series, but this is my first ever Essie polish woop woop! My friend Lauren has long been telling me to give them a try as I always love the Essie colours she wears... and I finally have hurrah! This pretty cornflower blue colour is called Lapiz of Luxury,
let's see what I thought of it...

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I LOVE IT!!! The brush is so lovely and gives a really good coverage of the nail in one swoop allowing a for a nice neat manicure - always a bonus! 

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The first coat went on quite sheer but dried nice and quickly ready for me to add a second coat. I used two coats for the pictures here but think I could have done with a third to get a completely full colour coverage as a couple of nails have slight bald patches.

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Lapiz of Luxury is a really lovely dusky blue colour with a really nice glossy finish. It's a great all year round colour and I think it's a really nice colour for a summer wedding too, when you want something not too out there but still pretty, and more interesting than a typical pink.

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I'm so pleased I finally tried out an Essie polish - it's brush is amazing, the colour is gorgeous and it dries super quickly with a nice glossy finish! I can't wait to try more of their range!


Which Essie polishes do I need to get next?!  




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Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Beauty // Drugstore Beauty and Fashion Haul

Oh dear oh dear. I've been a very spendy Emsy recently! I literally cannot seem to stop spending money yikes! 
I thought I'd do a little haul post to show you what I've been buying...

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I seem to live in pumps at the moment and look how pretty these pink ones are! You're never too old for sparkly pink trainers! I just wish I had them to wear when I went to Disneyland in February.

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Primark Liquid Lipstick - £2

Becca Rose was raving about the Primark Liquid Lipsticks in one of her recent videos so when I saw this lovely nude shade I decided to give it a go too. 

Primark Eye Brow Pencil - £1

I'm still trying to jump on the eyebrow bandwagon but nothing I've tried so far really works too well for me - I either can't find the correct colour match or I just end up with a huge Scousebrow which looks horrendous! I thought I'd give this Primark eye brow pencil a whirl to see how I get on with it.
Purple lips are my absolute fave (remember my Sephora haul?!) and I thought this pretty, bright gloss looked perfect.

I nipped into Boots to buy a drink the other day and saw an offer for £5 off a L'Oreal Liquid Lipstick if you bought a Diet Coke. Now I don't drink Diet Coke but got sucked into the marketing ploy and chose shade 601 Nude Ballet. Cos, you know, it's not like I'd just bought a nude liquid lipstick from Primark or anything...

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I am a massive Paris Hilton fan and have been for years! I absolutely LOVE her original fragrance and it will always remind me of nights out at uni. I saw a body mist version of it in Superdrug and just couldn't not buy it. It is perfect for keeping in my bag as a little freshener upper, particularly as the weather is getting warmer.

Primark phone case - £1

You may recognise this phone case as one from my Frozen haul at the end of last year (which is now looking pretty ratty!) I saw it again for £1 in the sale and thought I'd rebuy it as I love it. 

I've wanted some over ear headphones for ages and saw these white and gold ones for just £7 in the New Look sale. Bargain! 

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I was browsing the Fragrance Direct website the other day and saw they now have Tanya Burr's products for sale. Hurrah! The lip glosses were on a three for £5 offer and  as they usually cost £6.99 each I thought it would be rude not to! I went for I Found Nemo, Chic and Picnic in the Park. Look out for reviews of these coming soon.

Well I had to nab some nail polishes too didn't I?! These were a bargainous £1.50 each and I chose Little Duck as I am obsessed with green nails and Penguin Chic as although I have heaps of greys, I couldn't resist the adorable name! 

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I am so fussy when it comes to picking a purse and had nearly given up finding a new one when TK Maxx and Paul Costelloe came to my rescue. Long? - tick! Leather? - tick! Nude? - tick! Envelope style? - tick! It's basically perfect for me and I love the gold hardware details too. A bargain at just £19.99.

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Now I'd love to say that that is everything but I have also indulged in a LOT of new jewellery, from New Look and eBay, some new clothes and a big Makeup Revolution haul too whoops! Separate haul posts for these and some OOTD's will be coming up soon but here's a little sneak peak of my Makeup Rev order.


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Let me know what you think of my new purchases and if you'd like to see full reviews of anything I bought.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Lifestyle // InstaLIFE- Sunday 17th May 2015

I said in my last InstaLIFE update that I am going to try to keep up with my fortnightly posting, so do let me know below if you prefer it every two weeks or think once a month is enough! I've had a really nice couple of weeks with a trip to the theatre, a ghost tour around London, trying out a new diet and getting a sneak peek at a new beauty launch.

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As you may have seen from my #RoyalBaby themed Midweek Manicure last week, I am very excited that we have a new little princess. You can always rely on Marks and Spencer to be in on the celebratory action too, and I couldn't resist picking up this limited edition shortbread tin. I love collecting these and have ones from the Royal Wedding, Queen's Jubilee and the birth of Prince George too. Haha I keep telling my boyfriend when we buy our own place it will have a downstairs toilet I will make into the "Throne Room" and display all my Royal memorabilia! Funnily enough, he's not too keen!

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Thursday 7th May was the UK General Election and I proudly went down to the Polling Station to cast my vote. I had to queue for 20 minutes to get in this year which was great as last time I walked straight in so was pleased it showed that lots more people in my area voted this time around.

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For my friend Faye's birthday I took her to see Matilda at the theatre. We've both wanted to see it for years so I'm so pleased we finally got to go. It was definitely worth the wait - it was such a fun production, the set was amazing and the kids were absolutely incredible. Definitely worth a watch if you can get tickets. I found a cheap deal for ours on Amazon Local :D

lifestyle-instagram-london-blogger-marks-and-spencer-princess-biscuits-vote-general-election-matilda-slimfast-slimfastchallenge-unicorn-homeware-walking-tour-ghost-tour-the-body-shop-virgin-mojito-beauty-pizza-express-cinema-date-diet-everyman-cinema-hampstead-heath-parliament-hill

As you may have seen in my blog post on Monday, I am taking part in the #SlimFastChallenge It's all going well so far and I'm really enjoying how tasty everything is and how simple and flexible the plan is to follow. I will have a second post up in a week to let you know my full thoughts on my experience, and of course let you know how much weight I've lost.

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Isn't this the most amazing cup EVER?! I spotted it in New Look and couldn't resist! I've been loving drinking sparkling water, mint and lime together and the double plastic cup keeps it nice and ice cold, whilst the straw stops me accidentally drinking the mint leaves. And it just makes me so happy to look at haha! Unfortunately I'm going to have to return it as the plastic seems to have tarnished inside waaahh!! RIP jazzy unicorn cup! Has anyone else had this problem with these New Look cups?!

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Last week I went on a lovely blogger adventure on the Southbank, getting to experience the amazing Scandalous Southwark Ghost Tour run by Best LDN Walks and Lantern Ghost Tours. I've been on a couple of Best LDN Walks before (they're always brilliant, I definitely recommend giving one a go!) and they're always filled with lots of fun (and often naughty!) facts, and Scandalous Southwark was no different. We learnt about the origins of The F Word (actually stands for Fornication Under Consent of the King don't you know!), how vibrators came about and that the Bishop of Winchester had his own gaggle of prostitutes known as geese! I love a good ghost tour so it was really fun to hear about the spookier side of Southwark from Jacqui who runs Lantern Ghost Tours, who came complete with divining rods, an EMF Meter and a black mirror used to identify spirits (I was too much of a wuss to even touch any of these!) I had such a good night and it was lovely to see Hannah, Katy and Leanne again too. I definitely recommend checking out all the walks Best LDN Walks and Lantern Ghost Tours run as they're absolutely brilliant!

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I had another fabulous evening on Thursday when The Body Shop invited me to check out their new summer releases including their new Virgin Mojito range. Oh em gee it smells AMAZING!!! There are 5 items in the collection including a body scrub, body wash, body butter, body sorbet and body splash fragrance and I can't wait to get my hands on everything once it launches on the 2nd June. I was kindly given a couple of the products to try out before they're released so look out for reviews of these soon.


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Last night my boyfriend and I had a little dinner and cinema date. We decided to go to Pizza Express so I could have one of their 500 calorie Leggera pizzas to fit in with my #SlimFastChallenge and then we headed to the Hampstead Everyman Cinema to see Mad Max. The film was pretty much a two hour long Lynx advert but I absolutely loved it! So action packed! The Everyman Cinema was really cool too and a really nice experience to sit on a sofa watching a film on a cinema screen. Much comfier than regular cinema seats!

lifestyle-instagram-london-blogger-marks-and-spencer-princess-biscuits-vote-general-election-matilda-slimfast-slimfastchallenge-unicorn-homeware-walking-tour-ghost-tour-the-body-shop-virgin-mojito-beauty-pizza-express-cinema-date-diet-everyman-cinema-hampstead-heath-parliament-hill

The weather has been so beautiful in London this weekend - really bright, sunny and warm. Tony and I had a great walk up to Parliament Hill on Hampstead Heath which is one of my favourite places to get a gorgeous view across the city. Let's keep this nice weather coming please London! 

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So there we go, that's my fortnight in a nutshell! I hope you've had a good couple of weeks, let me know what you've been up to below, and if you've done a post like this please leave your link so I can have a nose :D 

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