31 July 2017

August Blogging Challenge

I've decided to set myself a challenge. That's always a bit of a scary term I have to say. I really miss blogging on a regular basis. I've managed to get a bit more into the swing of things, and I'm trying to do about 3 a week, but I still feel a bit lost. There's so many things I like to blog about, and write about, so I feel a little bit all over the place with my content.

So - my challenge - that I've chosen to accept - is to blog every day of August. And by day I mean Monday - Friday. There's a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, I feel like if I blog enough and just do lots of different content then hopefully by the end of the month I'll have a better idea of what I really love to write about, and how I want my blog to move forward. I feel like if I'm also blogging for the entire week as well I'll get a really good idea of what days are best to post on - what days you guys like to see new content, and what days work best for me as well.

So I'm hoping you guys will come along for the ride! Let me know what type of posts you really want to see from T&M over August - I have some planned but I'd also love your feedback.

What posts would you like to see during August?

Much love, Lisa May

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28 July 2017

5 New Things Verdict: July

Somehow, it's the end of the month - again. Where is this year going? It's insane. Anyway, that means it's time to give my verdict from July's five new things feature - and for July that mean all six products from Rimmel's new Insta collection. Now, I've done this in video form, as well as a full post - so I'd love it if you'd watch the video. You can see it on my YouTube channel here.
However, if you're a reader - no worries, I've got my verdict below for you as well.
All in all, I did really like the majority of the collection. I don't feel like my views have changed too much from my first impressions, but there's definitely some stand out products for me that have become firm favourites.
#Instaflawless Skin Tint £6.99
So part of me thinks I like this, and part of me still isn't sure. Basically this is a tinted primer, or skin tint. So you can use it on it's own, or underneath your normal base product. Personally I haven't been using it on it's own as it's very, very light coverage and is only SPF 15, so it's not enough to protect your face really. However, I've been reaching for it as a primer when I've wanted more of a glowy, natural base and it does this really nicely. It just makes a nice alternative to a matte base - and makes even your mattes foundations look a little more natural. I think I do like it - I'm pretty sure I do. The only thing I would say is that it says it gives 24 hour hydration, and for me it really tends to do the opposite. Otherwise, it's a nice radiant primer.

#Insta Conceal and Correct Palette £6.49
This is probably my least favourite product of the bunch - I just felt like it didn't really do what I feel it should have done. For me, I only really used the peach colour for dark circles and the green colour for redness. I just found the peach colour didn't do anything that any other concealer I use for under my eyes doesn't do - there's nothing extra. And actually, I prefer illuminating concealers under my eyes and this didn't have any of that, so that's just not something for me. Also, with the green colour I just found it didn't blend too well - so I was still left with a bit of redness and a bit of green. Not ideal. if I was to go for correcting colours I'd probably go for a different formula, maybe something more liquid based, as I feel this would blend a bit more nicely and offer a bit more coverage.

#Insta Conceal and Contour Palette £6.49
I found this palette to be a little hit and miss. First of all, I did wonder if they labelled the concealer and highlighter the wrong way around - but basically I feel they're the same product, just different shades. I didn't feel like the highlighter did what a highlighter is supposed to do. The concealer is a good blemish concealer - it's great at covering redness, or scars and blemishes. It blends nicely and gives good coverage. I've been carrying this around in my handbag as a touch up product and it's worked nicely for that. The contour shade is very subtle - so if you like your Kardashian sculp you won't necessarily like this. For those that are a bit scared, this would be idea. It gives a nice natural shade to the skin, and blends beautifully. I just wish the pan was a bit bigger as it gets really messy when used with a brush.

#Insta Duo Contour Stick £6.99
This is probably the biggest surprise for me. I really didn't think I'd like this, but I've been using it every single day - when I put make up on. The highlighter is a bit wishy washy for me, I haven't really used it that much as I just don't find it does too much. But the contour stick is beautiful, it's a warm shade, super easy to use and really blendable. It's very buildable so you can build the depth of contour you want, but you can also stay quite subtle with it. I'm a big fan of this one, and I know want to try all the contour sticks in the world - just because.

#Insta Fix & Matte Powder £4.99
Another absolute winner for me. Rimmel's powders generally are great, but this one is on another level for me. It's transparent, so it doesn't add extra colour or coverage - it just sets all your make up which is ideal for me. And it sets it really, really well. Like nothing budges well. Considering most of this range is cream products, or liquid, the powder helps to keep it all in place and stop and slippage. It is a matte powder, so on hot days it has been keeping my sweaty face look relatively normal, so it's ideal for those with oily complexions. I'm a massive fan of this, it's become an absolute staple for me.

#Insta Fix and Go Setting Spray £6.99
For me, this is probably the stand out product. I've not been a massive fan of setting sprays, and haven't really gotten the hype. But - this has been a game changer. It's much more like a fine mist, so it doesn't like water drops on your face, and is really refreshing. It also smells of cucumber which is incredible. I've found that it really helps my make up stay vibrant all day - even if mine does stay, it can dull, but this keeps it in tip top condition. This has become an ultimate, holy grail product for me. It's such good quality, and for such a small price tag. I'm completely sold.

So there you have it! If you watch the video don't forget to subscribe and like it. I'm looking forward to getting some new products for August - I already have my eyes on some pieces, but let me know if there's anything you think I should try!
Much love, Lisa May
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26 July 2017

Being a girl

It's not easy being a girl. First off, you wonder whether you can call yourself a girl - or should you be calling yourself a woman, or lady? Well, I'm not exactly a lady so I'll bypass that one. But whatever you want to call yourself, I think we can all agree it's not always a walk in the park.

I've seen so many bits and pieces online and on the TV at the moment about unrealistic expectations, body image, behaviour and stereotypes, and it really got me thinking. As a woman, you're expected to behave in a certain way, most of the time, and look a certain way - again most of the time. If you're not wearing make up one day, you must feel rough or tired - it's not because you actually just couldn't be bothered that morning because it takes a bit of time to apply it all. If you're wearing trousers to work, or jeans, again - it's that theory that you must be feeling lazy that day, or you're a tomboy and you don't like dresses. Actually, sometimes work trousers can be chicer than a dress, or jeans are just the easiest thing to put on sometimes.

We carry an expectation that we should look made up all of the time - our eyebrows should be "on-point", our hair must be perfectly blow dried, straightened or with the perfect low key wave that actually takes longer to do than straightening, our make up must be flawless - all blemishes covered and all dark circles masked. And our outfits - our outfits must be well thought out, suitable for a lady and reflective of our personality. I'm sorry - but does my husband have to deal with any of this? Um, no, he gets up in the morning, showers - maybe shaves if he fancies it - grabs a pair of jeans and whatever tshirt is on top of his pile and he's ready to do. And that's fine. However, when I get up in the morning and do the same (minus the shaving obviously) then I've obviously had a bad nights sleep, or I'm feeling ill, or I'm just not making an effort.

Not all of us girls want to look, behave or dress the same way. Sometimes, I don't want to put make up on, and I just want to chill in my jeans with my hair in a messy top note (FYI - this is how I'm writing this post as we speak). But then other times, I want to dress like a girl. I want to go out with my friends, put on a pink skirt, fancy lace top, make an effort with my hair and make up and away I go. But I want to have the choice.

I'm not going to lie, I do love making the effort - carefully selecting my outfits and debating the closest shade of lipstick suitable for my outfit. So when I went out with the girls this weekend I decided I would dress like a girl. I would put on my new, pretty pale pink skater skirt, and team it with my lacy embroidered top. Because I wanted to - I chose to. I didn't do it because I felt like I should have to, or I felt like it was the "done thing".

Like I said - it's hard being a girl. Finding the balance between what we want to do, and what we feel we have to do. My advice? Just do what you want. If you want to spend your entire day in jeans, or leggings, with no make up - do it. If you want to dress up and make an effort, for no reason, then do it. If you want to wear trousers, instead of a skirt, why not? And if you want to dress up like a proper girly girl, then carry on. It's your choice.

Outfit details: Top - New Look | Skirt - New Look | Bag - New Look | Shoes - Topshop

What do you feel pressured to look like or wear?

Much love, Lisa May

Don’t forget to follow me on twitter, Instagram, facebook and bloglovin

24 July 2017

What I'd Tell My Teenage Self

I've been feeling very grown up recently. I've been married for almost a year to a man I've been for almost ten years, I've bought my second house, I'm responsible for a furry feline and I'm have a well paying job. When did I become an adult? I swear I still feel like a child at times, I still play Mario Kart, got majorly excited about Beauty and the Beast and have Minions around my house.
I was driving to my parents house this morning, and drove past a lot of teenagers heading to school, and it got me thinking - what would I tell my teenage self if I could go back in time now? Other than teenagers have much better fashion sense now of course...
  • Spots - don't worry, they do get better with time and some good skincare products!
  • That boy you're crying over? Yeah, he won't matter in a year's time and he's not worth your tears
  • Don't let anyone video your drama performance, seriously - it'll come back to haunt you
  • Those girls that make your life a misery? Give it a year or so, and they will have disappeared
  • Your metabolism won't be this good forever - either make the most of it now, or start some sort of exercise/sports club now so I can be that slim forever?
  • No, that Playboy t-shirt is not appropriate for a 14 year old to wear on a school trip to Rome.
  • Boyfriends aren't the most important thing in the world - your friends are. Beth is frigging awesome, and she sticks around - the boys don't.
  • Also - spend more time with Beth's step sister Amber. She's a superstar and will become your Maid of Honour.
  • Learn how to apply make up and stop caking your face in Maybelline's Dream Matte Mousse - this will also help with the first point.
  • Stop arguing with your Mum - she's incredible and will be the best friend that sticks around forever
  • Don't paint your room pink and green - you don't even like those colours!
  • Stop people pleasing - do what makes you happy and stop caring what other people think of you
  • It's not the end of the world - yes you cut the mole under your arm shaving, no - it's not going to give you cancer. And no, it's not the last time you'll do it.
  • Chicken doesn't make your boobs bigger, so stop scoffing it and hoping for bigger boobs. They come, don't worry
  • Pay more attention if French, you'll regret not speaking another language when you're older
  • Some friends will come and go, but your true friends will remain. And you have some pretty awesome ones later in life
  • Pernod is a bad idea - stay away from it.
  • Stop trying to grow up so damn quickly - you have plenty of time for that later. Just have fun and enjoy being a teenager
I feel like I am in a really good place in my life now - and as a teenager there were times I was really unhappy. School wasn't great for me. But I wish I could go back now and tell myself it all works out - what is happening will make you stronger, and the person you turn into. You will be happy, you'll be married to your best friends - a man who adores you. You will have incredible best friends (both of which you already know), a job you enjoy and a house you love. Chill out, enjoy the good times and make the most of that figure!
And yes, I really did think eating chicken would help my boobs to grow. Turns out I read the article wrong and it actually meant to use chicken fillets...

What would you tell your teenage self?

Much love, Lisa May

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21 July 2017

All About - Paige Toon

I've finally made it through all of Paige Toon's books. And I'm totally in love and completely obsessed with her. I found my new girl crush and total idol. Yes, this is going to be one of those gush-worthy posts and you're going to need a cup of coffee for it. It's a long one..

Paige Toon is an author I first got into when I went on holiday a couple of years ago, I took a look and thought it'd made for easy holiday reading. I believe the first one I downloaded was Thirteen Weddings, as I'd just gotten engaged and thought it was quite fitting. What I didn't realise at the time was this was slap bang in the middle of a kind of series. I say kind of, because these books aren't a conventional series. Each book tends to link to another in a way, but they don't follow on as you would expect. You'll read about one character in one book, someone who seems like a secondary character or a side not, and then they'll pop up in other books or have their own written about them. And I love that. One of the other things I love about Paige's books in that although they are chick lit, the happy endings don't always come as easily as these types of books I've read about before. And the main character isn't as perfect as others. They make mistakes, they have flaws and their lives have hiccups. For me, this is what makes them much more relatable and real. I have this thing with books, all of Paige Toon's are on my kindle, but when I love a book, or a series, I want it on my real life book shelf. All of these have just made the "need to add to my bookshelf" list.

As I've made my way through each of them now, I really wanted to give you guys the run down of each book, in order, and also give you a heads up of what other books from Paige Toon they link to.

I will say at this point - I have NOT been paid to write this, or asked to. I just frigging love her books, and she has fast become one of the favourite authors.

Lucy in the Sky
This was Paige's debut novel and released in 2007. I really loved this book. I love the opening where Lucy get's a text saying her boyfriend has cheated on her - as she starts a 24 hour flight to Australia - and the way she handles it. I love the relationships she has with her friends, and family and I just loved her character. The story follows Lucy as she visits her home town in Australia for her best friends wedding and makes friends with the grooms little brother. It then follows her as she goes back to London, to her lawyer boyfriend, and adjusting back to life in the UK. It's funny, it's sad and it's heartwarming.

Where it overlaps:
  • Meg who is dating Lucy's younger step-brother Tom, is Meg Stiles from Johnny Be Good
  • Lucy, Nathan, Sam and Molly all feature in Pictures of Lily, as Lily is with Nathan's best friend Richard
  • Nathan is Lachie's boss at the end of Thirteen Weddings

Johnny Be Good
I frigging love this series - this is a trilogy, that then leads into another triology. This book follows Meg Stiles as she becomes PA from rock star, Johnny Jefferson. Johnny has all the typical rock star issues - drink, drugs and girls - and Meg is your typical good girl. Then you thrown in Johnny's best friend Christian and you have a lot of fun. I love the chemistry between all three main characters, even from a book you can feel it, and I love the soft moments with Johnny when he's not being a rock star. The story is great, and you absolutely love Meg as well, and can really identify with her.

Where it overlaps:

  • Meg used to date Lucy's step-brother in Lucy in the Sky
  • Paola, Johnny's former PA, is Daisy from Chasing Daisy

Chasing Daisy
Now, Daisy was one of those characters that did annoy me slightly. I did like her, and her personality, but what bugged me was her attitude towards the guy she liked who was already taken. But - this is what I mean by Paige's characters not being perfect and making mistakes. Having said that, I do really like the story with this and found the F1 side of it really interesting. Daisy is a front of house girl for an F1 team, and works closely with both the teams drivers, falling for one of them. It has a lot of twists and turns, and it keeps you on the edge most of the way through with a big shock in the middle. But it's definitely worth a read.

Where it overlaps:
  • Daisy was Johnny Jefferson's former PA, Paola.
  • Will Trust's childhood girlfriend, Laura, is the main character in The Longest Holiday.
  • You see both Daisy (as Paola) and Luis Castro in Baby Be Mine

Pictures of Lily
Now, I'm just going to say I think this may have been my least favourite out of all of them. It's not that it's bad, I think I just didn't identify or really empathise with Lily, the main character. You meet Lily when she's 16 and just moved to Australia from the UK. She's not too happy about it, but she starts helping out at a conservation park and falls with a man whose 12 years older than her, engaged and about to move to the UK. Fast forward and Lily get's engaged to Richard, but then Ben - the older gentleman - comes back into her life. For me, it just didn't grip me as much as the others, and I wasn't as invested in her as the other main characters. But, it's still a good easy read.

Where it overlaps:
  • Richard is Nathan's best friend, from Lucy in the Sky
  • Lily's almost step brother - Josh - is with one of Amber's best friends in The Sun in her Eyes
  • Lily is mentioned in Thirteen Weddings when she takes a photo that Bronte wants in her mag
  • Bronte from Thirteen Wedding's is mentioned, and Lily covers for her as an editorial assistant

Baby Be Mine
The second instalment of Meg and Johnny finds Meg in France, with a child who turns out to be Johnny's. When Johnny finds out he wants to be a part of their life, and it follows the little family through their adjustment, their friendship and back to LA where Johnny has a drug fuelled wild rock star girlfriend - who Meg hates. Obviously. It's a will they won't they rollercoaster, and although I want to slap Johnny through most of it, I'm still routing for the two of them to finally end up together. I love this series, I still love Meg and Barney is an absolute cuties.

Where it overlaps:
  • Joseph Strike, the actor Meg dates, is Joe Strickwold from One Perfect Summer

One Perfect Summer
It's such a romantic book at it's heart, and really looks at how potent a first love can be, and how hard it can be to let go. Alice is 18, and about to go to University, but goes for one last summer holiday with her parents in Dorset first. Here she meets Joe, and they fall in love. But Joe's family create a bit of a problem, and they're torn apart and they continue with their lives. Alice goes to uni, and falls in love, but Joe comes back into her life in a major way and he's totally unobtainable. I may have ruined it with the bullet point above, so apologies there. It's heart warming, and lovely. BUT - I really don't get why Alice stays with her new boyfriend for so long, not a fan I have to say. Anyway - definitely give this one a whirl. Straight after this there is also a short story - One Perfect Christmas.

Where it overlaps:
  • Joe is also Joseph Strike who appears in Baby Be Mine, and Johnny's Girl.
  • Both Alice and Joe are mentioned in Thirteen Weddings when Lily takes a photo of them

The Longest Holiday
This is one of my favourites, I loved this book completely. Every emotion Laura went through I felt like I went through it with her, and I love the twist near the end where we see it from Leo's point of view. Laura goes off to Miami with her friends Marty and Bridget when she finds out her new husband has a baby on the way with a girl he slept with on his stag do. It's all around how she deals with it, mistakes she then makes along the way, and how it all comes together. I adore this book, I've read it so many times now I could probably recite it.

Where it overlaps:
  • Bridget also appears in Thirteen Weddings, and gets her own story in The Last Piece of my Heart
  • Marty also appears in The Last Piece of my Heart as Bridget's best friend
  • Laura is the childhood sweetheart of Will Trust, the F1 driver Daisy falls for in Chasing Daisy

Johnny's Girl
This is a short story, that finishes off Meg's story, and kick starts the new series of Jessie Jefferson - Johnny's illegitimate teenage daughter. I won't go into too much detail as I feel it'll spoilt the first two books from Johnny and Meg's story, but it's a nice little filler story between the two series.
As I said before, this was the first one I read. To begin with I wasn't sure as it wasn't your usual everything is rosy and works out, everyone is happy etc etc. The main character isn't perfect, you don't want to be her and you don't agree with every decision she makes - and I think it's one of the first time's I've felt like that with a story. But, I also loved it. The story line was great, the characters hilarious and there were some real laugh out loud moments. It's a great read and you really do get into it.

Where it overlaps:
  • Bridget, Bronte's flatmate, is also Laura's friend in The Longest Holiday, and has her own story The Last Piece of my Heart
  • Lachie's new boss in Australia turns out to be Nathan, from Lucy in the Sky
  • Lily is included as she takes photos of Joseph Strike that Bronte wants to publish

The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson
This follows on from Johnny's girl, and is from Jessie's perspective - a teenage girl who finds out she happens to be the daughter of a rock superstar. You go on a journey with Jessie to try and get to know her new family, whilst grieving her recently departed mother. It's the first Young Adult novel for Paige and I think she does a great job with it. The emotions Jessie goes through are poignant, and utterly relatable. It's also great to join Meg and Johnny again from a different point of view.

I think this is a my second least favourite of them all, I think for me I just couldn't relate to the main character again and she just completely frustrated me. Amber, who is married to Ned, has to fly back to Australia when her Dad has a stroke. While she's there she catches up with all of her old friends, including her teenage love Ethan - who is now single following a divorce. There's also a little side story where the old lady who found Amber and her mother in a car crash is trying to find her to tell her what her mother said before she died - I felt like that side was a little week and didn't really need to be in there.

Where it overlaps:
  • One of Amber's best friends is living with Lily's almost step-brother Josh
  • Josie, one of her friends from home, is also the best friend of one of the triples in The One We Fell in Love With

I Knew You Were Trouble
This is the second instalment about Jessie Jefferson, and it's as good - if not better - than the first. The press is beginning to realise just who she is, and she's trying to figure out if she wants to be with her UK based, good boy boyfriend, or if she wants to go for the bad boy, man whore band mate. She's still trying to build a relationship with her new family as well, and is struggling with her teenage emotions. Being an adult, I love these as much as Paige's adult books, so I definitely think this series caters to all ages - especially those who loved the Johnny Jefferson books.
I felt this one was a little bit different to the others as it's written from three different perspectives. This book follows the lives of triplets, Phoebe, Rose and Eliza. All of whom are completely different to the other, but all have feelings for the same boy. There's a massive shock twist in the middle of the book, and it's very emotional. The whole story pulls you in and makes you feel everything under the sun. I loved it more the second time I read it, but you can't help but fall in love with the characters and empathise with them. You route for each of them, and want them all to get what they want.

Where it overlaps:
  • Phoebes best friend Josie is one of Amber's friends in The Sun in her Eyes
  • When Rose stays with her uncle in Australia, she's joined by Sam, Molly, Lucy and Nathan

All About the Hype
The third instalment in the Jessie Jefferson series - Jessie is now in a cool new rock band, and has her super hot rock band boyfriend. But, they have to keep it all secret from their other band mates. As with the other two, very funny, a good story and you fall deeper in love with the Jefferson clan than ever before.
This is probably my favourite, up there with The Longest Holiday. Bridget finally gets her own story after being the bestie in a couple of others. I always loved Bridget as a character, so I was super happy when I saw this come out. Bridget is a travel writer, who has been writing her own blog about meeting ex boyfriends and asking them for their piece of her heart back. But, in the middle she gets asked to ghost write a sequel to a book, where the author had unfortunately passed away. Bridget goes down to Cornwall to work with the widower on trying to make sure the book is everything his wife would have wanted, and helps him grieve in the process. I love the characters, I love the chemistry, and I love the storyline. I couldn't be more in love with this book if I tried. It was absolutely magical. If you read nothing else from this list - read this one.

Where it overlaps:
  • Bridget is also in The Longest Holiday and Thirteen Weddings
  • Marty, her best friend, is also in The Longest Holiday as Laura's best friend

Now - I THINK that's all the overlaps. Or at least the ones I can remember and have found. Paige Toon - if you ever read this let me know if I've missed any!! I kind of what to do a mind map that connects everyone...

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this post. Let me know if you read any of these and how you got on - I'd love to know! Now I just need to get all the paperbacks to fit on my bookcase...

What's your favourite Paige Toon book?

Much love, Lisa May

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20 July 2017

Maybelline Dream Cushion Foundation

Cushion products are one of those things that seem to have come from nowhere, and then gradually gotten more and more popular over the last year. I was so unsure about them, but I finally decided to try one, and ended up ordering the Maybelline Dream Cushion Foundation. I wanted to try one that was a bit more affordable before I went for a pricey one. Don't ask me why I chose this instead of the L'Oreal one - I love L'Oreal base products - I think I went for this as it was on offer and I thought why not!

It's been a little while since I've done a full post on one product, but I really wanted to do one on this product as I've fallen totally in love with it.

Essentially, cushion foundations are liquid foundations that are distributed over a cushion, and my understanding is that it basically allows lighter coverage and a more dewy finish. From what I've read, cushion foundations give a much more natural finish. So how does the Maybelline version live up to this?

First off, usually drugstore foundations break me out really badly, and I've not tried a base from Maybelline since my school days of caking the Dream Matte Mouse over my face. So I was a little anxious, but it's absolutely fine. No breakouts at all, and it lasts really well.

I don't use the pad it comes with, I tried and it was a bit useless so I tend to just use my Buffing Brush, dip that into the cushion a couple of times and then apply as normal to my face. I was quite pleasantly surprised with the amount of coverage it gives on first application - I was expecting it to be a lot sheerer. However, it covers really nicely without looking or feeling heavy, and it still looks natural. You can really easily build it up as well, so depending on what you're doing or how you're feeling this really is versatile. It also gives a very natural, subtle glow to the skin. I'm not a huge dewy fan - I don't mind a bit of a glow, but it has to be super subtle. This gives just that, and I love the finish.

It's very easy to blend in, it's very comfortable and the colour match is as good as I feel I would ever get from a drugstore foundation. It's a little bit light for me, but I never match perfectly in the drugstore so I'm not overly surprised. I just darken myself up a little with some bronze and done. Because it's in a compact as well it's also really handbag friendly and really good for travelling. I have to say, I am a bit in love with this - as you can probably tell - and it's definitely given me the cushion bug.

I really want to try to L'Oreal version now and see how they compare, and I'm dying to pick up the Dior's cushion version of their Forever foundation which is probably my favourite foundation ever. If you've given either a go, let me know your thoughts in the comments box below - I'd love to hear them! Usually I'm not a fan of the latest gimmicks - I find they always tend to be disappointing - but cushions have proven me wrong.

What cushion products do you love?

Much love, Lisa May

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17 July 2017

The dress that gave me my confidence back

I am not 18 anymore, I do not have the metabolism of a teenager. When I eat an entire bag of chocolate meant to share (seriously, who actually shares these) it’s now going to show somewhere on my body. I do not have the stomach for crop tops. And you know what? I’m completely okay with this.

For a long time I feel like I’ve been holding onto a style that suited my slimmer, size 10 figures. I always had curves, but I was never conscious about how I looked. However, I’m older now. My curves are more pronounced, my body shape has changed and my size has increased. I’m not ashamed to say I’m not a size 10 anymore. Yes, I have days where I wish I was – mainly when I’m trying on products from Topshop – but most days, I’m actually okay with how I am. Yes I do wish my belly was a little bit flatter, I definitely wish my thighs didn’t rub together in the summer, but you know what. Oh well.

I’ve held onto a lot of clothes from my past because I loved them years ago and felt they flattered me then and looked great. They were also the size I was then. But I need to let go of them now. I feel like I’ve finally settled on styles for summer that actually suit my body type, that I’m not uncomfortable wearing or always conscious that I don’t look at stylish as the skinnier girls. I feel like I’ve finally found some pieces that are very “me”, and are very “new me”.

This midi dress is just one of those pieces. I absolutely love the midi style for summer. I always feel really conscious in shorter dresses as I have a large arse, which means they tend to be shorter than they’re supposed to be. Which inevitably means I will likely show my arse off at some point, or I look silly. I don’t have that problem with midi’s. This particular one from Urban Outfitters is the perfect summer day dress. The material is really light and airy, and the fit is perfect. The top of the dress adds something extra chic with the bardot style, and the slit in the skirt makes it a little sexier. There’s so many little extra details that I love, it’s just a very special dress.

I feel like “me” in this dress, and it really is the first piece of clothing in a really long time where I’ve felt comfortable and trendy at the same time. It’s done something to my confidence that I love. I feel sexy, I feel girly and I feel happy. And I feel like I’m finally comfortable in my own skin.

Bravo dress, bravo! Now let's grab all the other colours...

What's your summer style?

Much love, Lisa May

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12 July 2017

Home Office: Inspiration

For those of you who don't follow me on any of my social channels, I moved house recently! It was stressful, and super exciting. It's the second home we've bought and we absolutely love it. It already feels like home and I can't wait to truly make it ours. I have so many ideas for each different room, and I've really gotten into home inspiration at the moment. So what I thought I'd do is a little home series, where I'll do one post which is all around inspiration for a specific room, and then I'll do a room tour once it's all done. I'd like to do the tour video style so let me know if that's up your street or you'd prefer it to be a blog post.
I thought I'd start this off with my home office. I'm a home worker - no, I'm not a full time blogger - my company is a US based company, with a couple of offices in the UK. The closest one to me is in London, however I'm about two hours out so I'm a remote worker. In my old house I set it all up in my lounge/diner, so essentially work and relaxing were all in the same space and I got really claustrophobic. In the new house however I have a whole seperate room for my office, and I couldn't be more excited about this. Well, I'd be more excited if Sky got off their arse and sorted out my internet so I could actually work from home, but there you go.
My office is in our loft conversion, and I've done it here as opposed to the smallest bedrooom for two reasons. One, it feels completely seperate form the rest of the house, so I'm away from distractions and I feel like I'm actually at work as opposed to sitting somewhere in my house. Secondly, I snack when I'm at home - so having two flights of stairs between me and my food is the perfect remedy. I'm lazy so there's no way I'm going to travel down two flights of stairs for a packet of crisps or a chocolate bar.
One thing is super important to me in terms of how my office is going to look, is that I want it to be a happy space. Somewhere I'm actually happy to go everyday, where I feel comfortable, where it's inspiring and relaxing. So I'm definitely feeling a yellow colour scheme. I love yellow and grey together, so for me this is my ideal colour scheme for the space. In this room I'm having my office space - so desk and chair, some shelving and storage, and our grey DFS sofa bed. So where have I been finding my inspiration?
Next (my favourite place to go for home pieces) has an entire "Happiness" collection at the moment, so I'm taking a lot of inspiration from here. I've also ordered some pieces from here already, including these gorgeous bird cushions, this gin cushion (because I like gin now FYI), and these storage boxes. There's so many other pieces from this collection that I love, and more will undoubtable end up in the final room.
In terms of furniture, I've already picked my desk and chair, simply because it was on the top of our list to get done so I could work from home. After a lengthy trip to Ikea, with a few spats thrown in, I ended up with a very practical corner desk and ergonomic chair. Personally I wanted the lovely white typical blogger desk and rounded grey chair - but the husband pointed out it wasn't practical or big enough - so after a few stubborn "but it's so pretty" conversations, I conceded to his logic. My chair is still grey, so I have to give him that. Neither are my ideal, but I'm looking to personalise them, and fancy them up a bit with some decorations like these adorable leaf photo holders, or some yellow photo frames. In terms of shelving, I really like the idea of this shelving unit from Ikea, but it's too big for the space so I'm looking for alternatives. I love the own blocks and it's perfect to store pretty boxes, photos and folders. I also really want to get a grey marble effect side table to go next to the sofa bed, I love the idea of this and it's an extra space for people to put their bits if they stay over, or if I want to chill on the sofa somewhere to put my coffee mug.
Decoration is going to be a big thing for me as I want this space to feel super creative, comfortable and a happy space. I've already ordered two prints from Maggs London, Eat Sleep Create and Let Go to help inspire me. I'm also in love with this gold wire wall grid from UO, which I want to fill with photos and quotes and such and have it sat on the wall behind my monitors. I would like some sort of gallery wall, but the wall I'd put it on is slightly sloped and will have the shelving unit in front of it - so still deciding how I would want to do this. Otherwise, I basically want to fill this room with plants as well. I'm obsessed with this grey planter at the moment, and know exactly where I'd put it. But I also want some fake flowers on my desk to keep it bright, and another plant on the side table, and maybe some smaller ones on the shelving unit.
I'm gradually getting bits and pieces, and will be decorating this soon hopefully. I would love a feature yellow/ochre wall and have the rest a pale grey, and then have some statement yellow patterned curtains and a rug as well to keep it homely. I'm so excited to put this all together and finally make it my own space. And I can't wait to share it with you all when it's done! Let me know if you have any suggestions of things you think will go well or I can take inspiration from as well. I'm all ears...
How would you style your home office?

Much love, Lisa May

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10 July 2017

A Week in Cortona: Part Three - Lake Trasimene

I always forget how much of a water baby I am until I get back out onto the water, I swear it's where I feel my most peaceful. For the third and final part of my "A Week in Cortona" series, I wanted to talk to you about Lake Trasimene. It's a beautiful lake, with beaches and shores, not far from Cortona. It has a little bit of history with it's own battle taking place in 217 BC, also known as the largest ambush in military history - it's where Hannibal beat the Roman army. I'm not too sure on the history behind the battle and such, but if you want to know more about it you can see here.
Now, as much as I appreciate the history, I was definitely more interested in the activities you could do there. There's a few different places you can do to take part in these activities, it depends where you are on the lake, but we headed to a company called Acqua Dolce who rent kayaks, motorboats, sailing boats and bikes around the lake. So what did we get up to?

The first time we went to the lake we rented out four kayaks, and went from Monte de Lago, over to the nearest island. Kayaking has become a bit of a tradition for us when we go on holidays now with my family, we always try to find somewhere we can go and it's usually a river. The lake was so much harder - with a river you have a current so you can just amble, there wasn't one with the lake. It was one of those things where it felt like no matter how much you paddled, you weren't getting any closer to the island. However, we made it over and had a chill before heading back. When we got the island we were a little disappointed as everything there was closed - I would highly recommend maybe taking a picnic with you and putting it in the waterproof box of the kayak so you have something to do when you get to the other side. No matter how hard it was, it was really good fun and so nice to be out doing something a bit different. It was also really reasonable, I think we only paid about 17 euros for each kayak for two hours. You can find out more about the kayak rental here.

The second time we went out to the lake was definitely my favourite. When I was younger my Dad had a speedboat - and my entire family hated it except for me. I think I was the only one who would go on it with him, and we'd go out and have a blast. So when he suggested renting a motorboat I jumped at the chance. It was just him, me and my little brother who went out but it was awesome. We went around the lake a couple of times, jumped in the water and just generally chilled. I think this was probably the most chilled out I felt the entire holiday - which is saying something considering all we did most of the time was sit by the pool and read. This is why I think I'm a water baby, I just feel at peace. I find it really hard to turn my brain off, ever, and my husband is adamant I don't like myself relax as it's always ticking away. This was the one place I could do just that - switch off and just enjoy the sun, the breeze and the beautiful scenery. I would definitely recommend doing this if you're comfortable driving a motorboat. Again, it was really reasonable and only cost us around 60 euros, plus fuel - we ended up paying 75 euros in total. Again, you can find more about the motorboat rental here.
If you're not a water sports kind of person, then there's lots of beaches around the lake as well where you can just go a chill. But I would highly recommend visiting the lake if you're in the area. The scenery is breath-taking, and it's the most peaceful place I've ever been.
I hope you enjoyed my little series from my recent holiday! Let me know if you'd like to see more travel type pieces. I'm off to Amsterdam in September so will look to doing another one after then if you're into it! I had a lot of fun reliving my holiday through these posts, so I hope you did too.
Where's your peaceful place?

Much love, Lisa May

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7 July 2017

5 New Things: July

I haven't managed to get around to doing a five new things post in aaaages, so I thought I'd do this one a little different. Instead of five new things, I'm actually going to talk about six - and they're all from the new Rimmel Insta collection. I was really intrigued by the idea of this collection as it's supposed to be exactly what you need to help you take a flawless selfie - on Instgram I'm guessing by the name of the collection. So I thought I'd snap these bits up and give you my first impressions, and then at the end of the month I'll give you my verdict. So let's run through the products.

So this is supposed to be a tinted primer, with SPF 15 thrown in. It's advertised as protecting your skin, as well as erasing signs of fatigue and giving your glowing skin. I got this is the shade light/medium, and the colour match is actually pretty good. It has very low coverage and sinks into the skin anyway so I don't think the tint matters too much. Because it's supposed to give you radiance I was expecting some sort of highlighting agent in the primer, but there doesn't seem to be any. Personally I don't see too much of a perfecting aspect personally, but as a primer it does hold my make up. I'm on the fence with this one at the moment
This was a product I was about 80% sure I wouldn't be too bothered about, and on first impressions I feel I was right. The idea behind this palette is you use the specific colours to target different elements of your skin, like dark circles, redness or dullness. For me, I only really deal with dark circles so I'd only use the one colour. I've been using it under my foundation to correct first, and to be honest, it doesn't seem to do anything a normal concealer doesn't do. It does neutralise the dark circles, but again - most of my conceals cover this anyway. But - I'm going to persevere and we'll see.
I love Rimmel concealers generally, so I was excited to use this and see what a cream formula was like from them. I was also really intrigued by the contour products in here as well. The concealer is nice, it's a cream formula, blends nicely and covers well. All in all, it's a nice product. I don't feel like it brightens as much as their Match Perfection so I do miss that under my eyes, but it's a nice product for coverage - probably better for blemishes. With the contour shade, it's very nice, it's warm toned and super, super subtle. I do like it, BUT I think at the moment I prefer the duo stick contour shade and tone. If you're not confident with contour I think this would be good for you though as it is subtle. Blends beautifully though! I also really like the highlighter in this palette, it's very subtle, and again very easy to blend. It just gives a nice natural glow which is what I like.

#Insta Duo Contour Stick £6.99
I really wasn't sure about this product - it was probably the one I was the most scared of. Especially when you put the contour on your face - it's like WOAH! Hello brown lines. But actually, I've been really pleasantly surprised. I love the shade of this, I have it in light and it's perfect for me. It creates a really nice contour, natural and subtle but you can definitely see a difference. It also blends in really well, and the lasting power is really good. I'm not as keen on the highlighter - I don't see too much of a difference with that, but I'll keep testing and keep you updated.
I'm super impressed with this powder. I always worry that a matte powder is going to make me look cakey, or too matte. But actually this still lets the glow come through in a really subtle way. It's also really good at keeping your make up in place and matte in this heat at the moment - I don't look or feel sweaty by the end of the day so I'm loving this so far. Really, really impressed.
I've never been a massive fan of setting sprays, the ones I've tried generally settle on my make up and leave little dot type marks - bleugh. But I've been pleasantly surprised with this one. It sets really nicely, it's a fine mist as opposed to a spray so I think that helps. It leaves a really lovely glowy finish - even with the matte powder, but it's super natural and again you don't look sweaty or oily. I also frigging LOVE the scent of this. It smells of cucumber and it's very fresh. I'm a little obsessed with it to be honest at the moment!

I've been pleasantly surprised by a few pieces here on first impressions, and at the moment I'm liking a lot of the products I didn't think I would. My only issue - Rimmel isn't a cruelty-free brand - which is massively disappointing, but as I'd already purchased the collection and have been testing it I still wanted to give my view and use them so not to waste them. I will catch up with you all at the end of July as well to give you my verdict on each of these products as well, and see if my first impressions are still applicable.
What would be your favourite piece from the range?

Much love, Lisa May

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5 July 2017

A Week in Cortona: Part Two - Exploring Cortona

As a follow up to Monday's post introducing my recent trip to Italy, I wanted to give you a little post around the town we stayed just outside of, Cortona. We popped in a couple of times to have a little explore, have a little shop and eat some food, and it was so pictureque. I think it's basically impossible to take a bad picture of Cortona.

It is really tailored to tourists, with lots of hotels, restaurants and attractions. However, it is a hillside town - meaning it climbs up a huge hill - so if you do go wear comfortable shoes. Not sandals you've recently bought and haven't really worn in properly... I speak from experience.

Anyway, we had a little look around the two main piazzas, we didn't walk all the way up to the top because I'm super lazy and my feet hurt, but my brother and his girlfriend did and they said although it is a trek, the view is definitely worth it. However, if you don't want to go up to the top then there's lots of view points you can go to on the lower levels, like we did, which are still breathtaking.

We had a wonder around the shops, bought some gelato (oh my god, go to Dolce Vita as it was incredible), a little souvenir and then we had some drinks and food over various days. And as I love good, I thought I'd give you a little run down of the places we ate.

We went here on our way from the airport to our villa on the first day, and it's perfect for a light lunch, or just a drink. Weirdly, it's the only place we could really find that did pizza. The pizza was, incredible, like gold standard I'd have it over dominoes incredible. And was also a good size, not too small but not ridiculously big. It was very reasonable in terms of price as well. It's along one of the side streets, so it's perfect for people watching and hiding from the hot sun. However, the next couple of times we were there during the day I don't think it opened until gone 1pm, so just something to keep in mind if you like an earlier lunch.

La Loggetta
This was recommended by Franco, the husband of the lady who taught us how to make pasta (yum, love). It sits on a balcony over looking one of the main piazzas so you can people watch whilst you eat. Or as my Dad was doing, house martin watch while you eat. He has an obsession. The location is basically ideal, and the atmosphere was very relaxed. I started by trying what I believe is a traditional Italian apperatif, Aperol Spritz, not going to lie - not a fan, but then I don't like soda water so. The food itself was gorgeous, I started with the cannelloni, but my husband the carbonara which was incredible - definitely try that if you go there. I then followed up with the guinea fowl, which was nice but I wouldn't say amazing. Other people in my party had the lamb and steak dishes, and I wish I'd gone for the steak to be honest. Then onto dessert.

Caffee Tuscher
For a light lunch on the last day we went to Caffee Tuscher, next door to Bar 500. So again, it's down a side street so great place to people watch and get away from the main hustle and bustle from the main piazzas. You can sit outside on the street, or inside should you wish. They had a HUGE range of drinks, including the strongest margherita I've ever tasted in my life. Basically tequila in a glass. Food was nice as well, not too fancy or anything special to write home about, but we had a couple of traditional pasta dishes and both were very tasty.
What's your favourite Italian town?

Much love, Lisa May

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