Five New Things Verdict: January




So you may remember back at the beginning of the month, I picked out five products I hadn't properly tried before, with the idea that I'd give them a good go over January, and give you my verdict at the end of the month. Now, it's the end of January, so let's take a look.

THE LOVES

My first ever Chanel fragrance, and I doubt it will be my last! I like the fresh, citrus, floral fragrance of this. It's completely replaced my empty Dior fragrance, and my wedding Jo Malone fragrance. I really like the bottle, and how sophisticated and grown up it looks. I love how fresh the fragrance smells as well, and it holds for hours, I can still smell it come lunch time. I really do love the quality of this.

This is some pretty incredible stuff. You may have seen a review I did a couple weeks ago on the shampoo and conditioner in this range and basically raved consistently about the condition it had put my hair in. Well, the masque is basically like the conditioner on steroids. Oh my god, my hair. It's so soft, and smooth, I don't think it's ever felt so healthy. I would repurchase this in a second, and recommend it to everyone. This is an ultimate game changer. 

THE LIKES

Sanctuary Spa Velvety Hand Cream (Travel) £3.00
I'm so ridiculously fussy about hand creams, it'd probably take a miracle for one to make it to the loves list. This was nice, it smelt quite nice, and it sunk in quickly and didn't leave my hands feeling greasy. But I just couldn't quite make it to the love stage. It wasn't something I looked forward to using, or really saw the results from. It's a nice product, it's just not an awesome product.

Sanctuary Spa Gentle Polish Body Scrub £5.50
I got this in the same gift set as the hand cream, and again, it's a nice product but it's not a great product. It's a nice scrub, and it does the job, but I personally prefer the Soap & Glory body scrub. Plus, there's other things in the gift set that I actually prefer using like the shower gel. So again, although it's nice to use and I will probably use it all up, it's not something I'd rush to repurchase.


THE DISLIKES

Simple Kind to Skin Hydrating Light Moisturiser
I think I said in the last post on this that I'm really fussy when it comes to my day moisturisers. So many make my skin feel too greasy or oily, or it's just too heavy. I was hoping this would be okay as it was light, and Simple is a lovely brand, but for me it's just a little too heavy for everyday use, and it's not the best to use before applying my make up. It makes my base slide straight off. For me, this just isn't the right product. I'd imagine if you had dry skin this would be lovely, just not if you have oily skin like me.

I'm looking forward to picking my five products for February - do you have any suggestions?

Much love, Lisa May

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Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake







So yes, I'm supposed to be healthy at the moment, however when I ran a dinner party for both sets of parents I had to come up with a dessert that'd please everyone. Cheesecake is always a winner, and I took my recipe inspiration from Tanya Bakes. In her book she has a recipe for a Terry's Chocolate Orange Cheesecake, which is super easy to make and a real crowd pleaser. I've since adapted the recipe for a few different versions, such as a Maltesar Cheesecake. But for this dinner party, I ran with a Chocolate Caramel version, and it was divine. 

INGREDIENTS
300g Maryland Chocolate Chip Cookies
100g melted butter
250g full-fat cream cheese
150g icing sugar
250g Dairy Milk Caramel, melted
150g double cream
Salted caramel sauce
Splash of milk

METHOD
First of all, crush all of your cookies together until they're pretty much crumbs and chocolate chips - a good way to get out any frustrations. If you have a big enough bag, throw them in there and whack with a rolling pin, or put them all in a bowl and get to work with your rolling pin. Melt together in a bowl the butter and one tablespoon of salted caramel sauce, then pour in the crumbs and mix it all together. Once combined, put in the base of your tin and pack it all in. 

Then whisk together your icing sugar and cream cheese until it's all combined and smooth. Now you can work on your chocolate. Break up your Dairy Milk Caramel into segments, and melt down. Now the caramel may resist, and it won't melt as nicey as chocolate normally does, it'll look a touch drier, so I just added a splash of milk. Once you're happy it's all melted, put your cream in a bowl and whisk up until it creates soft peaks. Then put the melted chocolate, and cream cheese mixture in with the cream, and whisk together until all nicely combined. You'll find you get little chunks of caramel throughout, which is absolutely fine and adds to the flavour. Once you're happy with it, pour over the biscuit base and stick in the fridge to set.

It will need to stay in the fridge for at least four hours to set, but it's gorgeous. It's so good, the mother in law asked for seconds. As I said, the original recipe came from Tanya Bakes so definitely check it out. Let me know if you try this version out as well, trust me, you won't regret it.

Much love, Lisa May

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The moisturiser collection






As you might know, I am ridiculously picky when it comes to moisturisers. My skin is all over the place most of the time, it's dehydrated which means it can be really dry in some places and oily in others. Therefore I have to be super careful what moisturisers I use. However, I've managed to build a little collection of products that I can use whenever I need to, and whenever they suit.

So let's start with those I use for the day.

This is hands down, my favourite day moisturiser, and is something I reach for every single day. It's a very lightweight formula and has the consistency of a gel, but it applies beautiful and sinks in very quickly. It doesn't feel tacky or leave any residue, it just leaves a really smooth texture that makes a great base for make up. It also keeps my face looking matte throughout the day and not super shiny or oily. Considering it's on the cheaper side, this is such an incredible product. I'm a huge fan. I feel it's much more suited for Spring and Summer, but it's very easy to use all year around.

This is the one I've been reaching for in the colder months, as I feel it adds just a touch more moisture than The Body Shop version. It's a touch thicker in consistency, and feels like a lotion as opposed to a cream or a gel. Again, it's very nice to apply and sinks in nicely. It smooths my skin over incredibly nicely, again leaving a nice base for make up. It's not as mattifying as The Body Shop version, but it doesn't make me look oily or anything so it's not a problem.

I use this stuff every single day at the moment, it's a little insane. So I tend to put this on just before my moisturiser, but it's a much more concentrated burst of moisture, and it also affects the brightness of my skin. It really helps to brighten it up when it's looking dull, which is all the time at the moment, and keeps it that way all day. It just creates a lovely tone for my make up to adapt to. I used to use this every now and then, but I've noticed a massive difference to my skin since using it everyday. It looks brighter, it's smoother and it looks a little more flawless. It's definitely a pricier product, but it's so worth it. 

Now let's move onto my nighttime products, which are generally thicker and much more nourishing.

This stuff is frigging awesome. I can't use it every night because it's so good at locking in moisture that it gets a little over powering, but I do use it every other night. It's a thick gel like cream, that you put on, and let it sink in over night. The smell is really subtle so it's not overpowering as you're leaving it on to sink it, but it's so good. I really notice if I don't use this for a few days, it's definitely one of my can't live without products now.

This isn't something I use on a really regular basis, but if my skin is being really bad and acne prone this really helps to calm it down overnight. It doesn't completely cure my skin, but it really just dries out my spots. The redness goes down, soreness disappears and I do think they get rid of it a lot quicker than normal.

This was in my 2016 skincare picks, and it's one of my all time favourites. This is something I use every night, and when I don't I really notice a difference. It helps to plump the skin and creates a really lovely texture to the skin. It is on the pricier side, but it's well worth it. I feel like I couldn't live without this stuff now, and my skin is so much nicer thanks to it.

This is used few and far between, mainly because it is so good but can be overwhelming. This is saved for the days where my skin is being a real bitch. Excuse my French. It's a gel like formula, very light and easy to apply, quick to sink in. It's not one I've spoken about a lot, because I don't use it a lot. But when I do, it's a miracle work. Whatever issues I'm having, it fixes - doesn't matter what it is. 

Much love, Lisa May

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Staying motivated to work out



As a new gym goer, I’m going to be the first to admit it’s hard to bring in motivations for something my body really isn’t used to. By the end of a gym session it feels wrecked and exhausted, and doesn’t particularly want to do anything again. Plus, surely there are better ways to spend an hour? So many people join the gym in January, and leave by the middle of February, but I’m determined to be in the minority and stay. The only way I’m going to do this is to stay motivated, and keep going.
But how do I do this? Here’s my top tips to staying motivated.

DO SHORT CHUNKS
Don’t spend hours and hours at the gym in one session, ease yourself and do it in bite sized pieces. It’ll be much more manageable, and much more enjoyable. I do hour long classes 2-3 times a week, or an hour’s gym session. No more. If I do more, it takes longer for my body to recover, which ultimately gives me an excuse not to go next time. It then also doesn’t take up your entire morning, afternoon or evening (depending on when you go). Which can be demotivating in itself. A quick hour’s session, then back home for a meal. If I go in the evening I try to go as soon after work as I can so I have the rest of my evening, or if I go on the weekend I’ll go as soon as I get up so the rest of my day is free. Short bursts is much better.

SET UP A ROUTINE
Something that works for me every time is having a routine and a plan. I then know that next week I’ll be doing it at that time on that day, and it’s already set in my mind. I work so much better to a routine than any way else. Generally I try to do an exercise class every Tuesday and Thursday, and then I also go on a Sunday. As I go to classes you have to book these in as soon as they become available, so I’ll go on when I know they become available, book myself in and then I’m done. I’m going, and there’s nada I can do about it.

GO WITH A BUDDY
It’s so much easier to go, if you do with someone. I go with my bestie, and usually her mum, to classes each week. If you go with someone, it makes it so much harder to back out or find an excuse as you feel like you’re letting them down, but also they motivate you when you’re there. You’re in the same boat, both working your arse off in the same class or on the same machine. You can work together to keep each other going. It’s always much more fun going with someone as well. In circuits we work together, and try to make it fun as we go onto each exercise. In LBT I usually get my bestie going “come on, do the harder version, keep going!” She is my self-appointed personal trainer… Still haven’t decided if this is a good thing or not. But she does help.

MEASURE RESULTS
The most motivating thing for me? Seeing the results. The first week I measured myself I lost 5lbs, and immediately wanted to run back to the gym and do some more work. If you can see the results, and you like them, this is the best motivation. I would highly recommend having a goal, whether its weight, measurements, or fitting in a particular dress size, and keeping track of how far you need to do. Measure this weekly, the same time and day every week, and watch how you go.

BE REALISTIC
This is so incredibly important. Don’t set unrealistic goals that will never be achieved, as you won’t see the results you want and you’ll quickly become unmotivated. If you think you’re going to go every evening after work, scale it back – don’t make it your entire life. You still need to have fun outside of the gym. The minute you start to feel it’s not working, or it’s not worth it, is the minute you quit.

Hopefully these tips are going to help. I’m still new at all of this healthy eating, keeping fit malarkey. However, as someone who has the lowest willpower in the world, these tips have really helped me stay focused and motivated, and hopefully they’ll do the same for you. Let me know if you have any tips for me as well, I’d love to get some more in the bank!

Much love, Lisa May

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Evita UK Tour




I'm sure I'm not the only person in the world who loves going to the theatre. I really don't get to do it enough, but I also love the experience of being there, in the moment, and really losing myself. As much as I love the cinema, it's not quite the same. Evident by the fact that when I went to see Evita earlier this week I actually went "oh!" out loud when real people started moving on stage. Yup. That was me. At the cinema you can loose yourself, but distractions are always there. Whereas at the theatre, you're involved, you're pulled into the moment and you're hooked. And I love it. 

When my bestie asked if I wanted to go and see Evita with her I was a little torn. On the one hand I really wanted to go see a show, and to do something fun and different with her. On the other hand, I'd never been that bothered about Evita - it was just a film Madonna starred in right? Oh wrong, so very very wrong.

I'm so incredibly glad I said yes.

Evita is the story of Eva Perone, who was First Lady of Argentina from 1946 to 1952. The musical, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice (dream), follows her from when she was 15, all through her rise to power. She soon became the spiritual leader of Argentina. Now, for me I'd never really paid much attention to the story before, or the fact is was based on history. But when I sat in that theatre I was engrossed, and inspired as well. Yes, at times I felt she was a bit manipulative and self centred, but what she did and what she achieved was outstanding in her time. The live musical is so much more captivating than the film, I was completely won over.

Not only that but the songs - oh my god the songs. First of all, I was least looking forward to see Don't Cry for Me Argentina, as I've heard it so many times I was a bit bored. However, hearing Emma Hatton bring it to life was spell binding, I actually got shivers. It was incredibly moving, and beautiful. I'm such a novice when it comes to musical theatre, I had no idea who Emma Hatton was, but when I saw she used  to be Elphaba from Wicked it totally made sense, and I fell in love with her even more. I may have a girl crush. And a man crush on Gian Marco Schiaretti, who played Che. Major crush. But he also had the most incredible voice, and was amazing.

I went to the Mayflower in Southampton to see the show, however it's on tour at the moment around the UK, so I'd highly recommend trying to get tickets to see the show near you if you can. You can find out more here, but it's amazing. Go and see it! It's such a good night out with the bestie as well, definitely check it out. I'm on the look out for more shows, so if you can recommend one please do!

Much love, Lisa May

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The best winter eyeshadow palettes





Rewind a few years and I really wasn't that bothered about eyeshadow, I was all about the black liner. And while I still love liner, I've evolved from pencil lined eyes, to liquid black wings over a beautiful shadow. This time of year I feel like the right colours can really bring some life back into your look.

Because this cold weather is dreary enough right? So with that in mind, here's my favourite eyeshadow palettes and shades for this time of year. 





First up we have the low cost version of the three palettes I'm talking about today, the Maybelline The Rock Nudes Pallette. Personally, I tend to use the shimmer shades more than the mattes as I love a bit of glitter at this time of the year, it just helps to brighten. These palettes have such good quality shadows, they're so soft, really blendable and long lasting.

I have three shades that I absolutely love. The first and foremost is a really soft, grey lilac shimmer shade. It's so gorgeous, and the perfect everyday shade over winter. Although I'm a brown eyed lass, but it just looks so incredibly pretty teamed with a black winged line. To go a little darker, there is this beautiful deep purple, which goes perfectly with the lilac for more of a smokey rock look. I do absolutely love the navy shade, it's so different for me, and as a lover or navy, this is my ultimate. Again, all super blendable and I love the colours, they're just perfect for the colder months.





I have recently rediscovered this next palette, and it's unfortunately not available anymore. Which sucks, but you might be able to find it somewhere. It's the Estee Lauder Pure Colour Duo in Raisins. It's utterly beautiful. The pale pink is the absolute perfect just for everyday wear, it's so subtle and totally warming. It's really soft and easy to apply, it's also incredibly long wearing. I love teaming it with the deeper purple shade in the outer corner and crease, it's glams it up a bit more and again, blends super smoothly. It's also got a touch of shimmer to it, which I love because it brightens everything. Super pretty.





Last, but by no means least, is one you've probably seen a couple of times on here now. It's the Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette. It's just a bit of an all around beaut. You get 12 super gorgeous, really high quality, incredibly soft shades. Some shimmer, some matte, but again I love the shimmers right now. In particular, the first three shades which are beautiful champagne, gold and bronze shades, that all go beautifully together. They're so warm, and perfect for brown eyed gals. Like me! They last all day long, and blend beautifully. I feel like I've said that a lot, But, they're only gonna be good if they blend! I think this is my favourite of the three as I do love a bit of warm golds right now.

All three palettes are perfect for this time of year, and if you can get hold of the Estee Lauder one, definitely nab it while you can. I'd love to hear what you're favourite winter shades on, so definitely put you recommendations below.

Much love, Lisa May

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Eating Good Food and Staying Healthy



It's not always easy trying to be healthier, especially after the indulgence of Christmas and New Year. And for me, I love food, so that makes it even harder. However, I've found a couple of ways to that mean I can still have some of my favourite meals, and still keep on track with trying to keep healthy. 

Is that a thing? Yes, absolutely. Otherwise I'd never be able to lose weight.

So how have I been doing it? For me it's so important to still enjoy my food, otherwise I'd never be able to stick to it. I'm a foodie. But these are just some things I've done that's really helping me stay on track.

REPLACE CARBY STUFF WITH SPINACH
So I love me a bit of pasta, and it's good every now and then, but having it all the time can obviously put the weight on. What I've started doing is swapping it out for spinach. So when we have spaghetti bolognese (a fave), leave out the spag for me, throw in the spinach and a bit sweetcorn. You're not going to be able to cut out all carbs, but it's a good way to still enjoy your favourite food. If you can't cut it out completely, then just do a smaller portion of pasta, and pile it on top of the spinach.

NEED SOMETHING SWEET? GRAB SOME FRUIT
I can't help it, I love me some chocolate, and after Christmas our house is full of it. But, I'm trying to be good and not eat it all in one go. Waah. So when I have that sugar craving, I've been reaching for a juicy Pink Lady apple instead. It's really nice and sweet, and so tasty. I cut it up into small bite sized pieces so it looks like more than it is, It also settles that sugar craving. It apples don't float your boat, grab some grapes, or even some plums.

PUT IT IN A WINE GLASS
So, I've started doing dry January - always good when you give up yummy food as well. So, to help stop my wine craving, I've been drinking things out of a wine glass. Yup, it actually, weirdly, helps. We recently did a little dinner party for our parents, and instead of wine I was having Shloer, very tasty, non-alcoholic, and in a wine glass. Yup, not sure why it works. But it totally does.

GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK
You can't be good every minute of everyday, it's just not possible. So make sure you give yourself a break. For me, weekends are a bit of a free pass. I don't have to worry about it, I can have a takeaway, break for lunch, cheese and chocolate. It helps during the week when I really fancy something, I just have to remember I can have what I want at the weekend. And if you go out for a meal, don't worry, do what you want. As long as you don't go totally mad, you're fine.

The main thing to remember is to be smart. Don't go silly, and don't do a fad - they never work in the long run. Just be sensible, and remember to listen to your body. If it's craving something, it's because it needs it. If you find you trip, don't hold it against yourself - you're only human. If you have any tips, I'd love to hear them as well!

Much love, Lisa May

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My current shower gel collection







Shower gels are such an un-sexy product to talk about. There's never much about them on beauty blogs, or in videos and favourites. If they're in a haul they're quickly mentioned and pushed aside for the more exciting products - even moisturisers top them in the list. 

However, I've always found that looking after my skin, always starts with the perfect shower gel, and how I feel, starts there. And with that in mind, I have a few that I use for different days and occasions.

Yup, sounds strange. But shower gels are essentially, so how can you get more excited about then?

I have four products that I've used regularly for a few weeks now. Two of which are my everyday, normal shower gels. First up, you probably recognise, but it's the Lush Snow Fairy shower gel. It's only available at Christmas so you can't still currently get it (grab The Comforter instead) but it's the perfect everyday one. It's not too drying for a gel, and it smells super sweet. My skin always feels super clean and smooth after. However, when my skin is feeling that bit drier I've been reaching for the Soap & Glory Clean On Me Creamy Clarifying Shower Gel, as it's a lot more like a shower cream and it's much more nourishing. It's a lot better for this time of year and feels amazing on the skin. Personally, I do usually prefer the Sugar Crush version for the scent, but the formula is completely the same, it's super creamy and your skin feels so soft afterwards. 

One product I have absolutely loved using is the Sanctuary Cleansing Burst Body Wash, which has little capsules of sesame and jojoba oil that burst when they're rubbed into this skin and really cleanse and nourish the skin. This shower gel is perfect to use after a work out, I always use it after a gym class or session. It's so refreshing and I just find the little beads help replace moisture and this product really helps me feel much cleaner after a workout than my usual two above. It feels very luxury considering it's only a fiver. On the other end of things, we have a very, very luxury feeling product that does cost a little more is the Chanel Chance Eau Fraiche Foaming Shower Gel. This was a very nice Christmas present, and it only comes out for special occasions like New Years, or dinner parties and such. It smells frigging incredible and the scent really lasts, it feels so luxury and smooth and my skin feels super super cleansed and soft afterwards. It's definitely more of a luxury product, which is why it only comes out on special occasions.

So yes, shower gels are never that exciting to talk about. But they make such a difference, I feel they need more love over the net. Let's all show our shower gels a little more love and appreciation. Shall I start a club? No, okay. But yeah, gotta love a good shower gel.

Much love, Lisa May

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My January Topshop Wishlist


I have vouchers I need to spend. And all three of them can be used in Topshop (the store, annoyingly not online). But what do I spend it on? It's been so long since I've done a big Topshop spree, and I was feeling a little overwhelmed. So, I decided to prep myself and take a look online for some awesome pieces. And what better way to do that, than share them with you?

It's been so long since I've done a wishlist - can I remember how to even do one?! Let's hope so...

I'm a big big fan of Topshop dresses, and some of my favourite wardrobe pieces have come from Topshop. However, I do find that the regular ones tend to come a bit too short, so I like to go for the tall versions. The joys of having a big arse. Anyway, I have fallen a little head over heels for the Eastern Blossom Frill Dress, which has subtle frills coming across the front. I love the pattern, it's long sleeved so perfect for this time of year and actually the perfect dress for work. The colours are so me as well, this is basically my perfect dress. As soon as I see this out and about, no doubt it'll get snapped up by me and thrown in my wardrobe.

Second on my list is this beautiful, comfy, slouchy pale blue Cutabout Ribbed Funnel Jumper. Doesn't it look like the perfect loungabout, Sunday jumper. But this picture totally shows you can also dress it up a bit for work if you want to. I'm so in love with this colour. Blue is literally my favourite colour, but I don't actually have a pale blue jumper in my wardrobe - how has this happened? This is definitely needed. I feel like my wardrobe has a funnel jumper shaped hole in it, and it needs filling ASAP. 

Something I keep telling myself I need in my wardrobe is a leather look skirt, but I just don't know if I can pull it off at the moment. Topshop have so many different colours available, but I am lusting after this black PU Short Pencil Skirt. It looks like it'd be the perfect skirt to wear to the office with a nice shirt, or if you're going out for lunch with the girls you could team it with a nice slouchy jumpy like above, or a more fitted version, which is next on the wishlist. 

Next on the list is an item that I probably wouldn't have looked twice at. But Estee Lalonde posted this picture on her Instagram and I fell so deeply in love. The colour is not something I'd usually choose, but I could see this paired with my black and white checked pencil skirt for work, or tucked into my baggy black and white H&M joggers. It's so versatile, and the sleeves are beauts. I'd definitely pick up the Flute Frill Sleve Knitted Top if I saw it, in any and every colour possible. 

Last on the list is another dress, is something incredibly simple, but would probably turn into a staple in anyones wardrobe. The Trumpet Sleeve Wrap Dress in duck egg is a classic, with a little twist in the sleeves. It could be the perfect date dress, teamed with a leather jacket and heeled ankle boots, or if could be great for work this time of year with some tights and boots, probably a little vest underneath to cover the cleavage. The colour is to die for as well, it's uber cute and would go with every skin tone. 

I can't wait to get down to a Topshop store now and seek out these utter beauties. But let me know if there's anything else you think I should be keeping my eye out for.

Much love, Lisa May

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Beating Blue Monday




So today is supposed to be the most depressing day of the year. It’s half way through January, when most people are counting pennies and officially back into work, Christmas long forgotten. Not only that, but have you looked outside? Yup, I can definitely understand how this time of the year can be depressing. 

But how can you beat those blues and stay positive today? 

FOCUS ON THE PEOPLE

For me, the people I spend my life with always tend to put a smile on my face. Not work people necessarily (although there are a few who make me smile), the people I choose to see. First of foremost, usually my husband. He always manages to make me laugh, or smile, and just by chilling with him I feel better. Today I’ll actually be spending the majority of my evening with my bestie, Amber, at the gym. Worst places to be, but with one of my best people. Someone who always gives me the giggle, even in the gym. More than who you spend it with though, mainly remember the people who mean something, and remember how lucky you are to have them. The world can be a lonely place, but it only takes one or two to make you feel loved. 

FIND THE BEAUTY

There is beauty in the world, sometimes you have to look a little harder to find it, but once you do it really helps with the warm and fuzzies. Get some flowers, put them somewhere you can easily see them and revel in their beauty. Flowers always make me feel happy. Maybe go for a walk on your lunch (if it’s dry where you are) and keep an eye out, it’s amazing that you’ll see when you start looking. If flowers don’t rock your boat, then look for the beauty in other people, their relationships, how they work together. I love watching interactions, people watching is always fun, but seeing relationships build and flow is always interesting. 

REMEMBER GOOD MOMENTS

Memories last a life time, so if you do end up having a bad or a down day today, remember something good. Remember a day, or a time, where you felt truly happy. For me, it tends to be my wedding day, or any day of our honeymoon at the moment. Otherwise, it's small days or moments that make you feel good. Hold onto these today, and remember, there will be more like this to come.

LOOK FORWARD TO WHAT'S COMING

It's a new year, and that means it's full of new possibilities and adventures to have. There's going to be plans you've already made this year that you're going to be excited about. Whether it's a day trip, a lunch, a weekend away, hen party, wedding or holiday, hold onto that. There's always going to be something special to think about, and something to pull you through each part of every day. Whenever I had a bad day, I just hold onto the next exciting thing that's going to happen in my life. At the moment, it's going to London or the day, or my best friends Hen Party.  It pulls me through, and reminds me of better things to come. 

So today, when you get that blue feeling. Remember, you've had better days - and there's better days to come.

Much love, Lisa May

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Empty Products #1


You know you really love a product when you get to the end of it and you're super sad. Especially for a beauty blogger, you try so many products and if you're like me you have a mass stash of them, so it's rare that you get to the end of a product. This is why I love empties posts and videos, because you know the person whose finished it, really truly loved that particular product. 

So, I thought I'd jump on that bandwagon. I've been collecting my empty bottles to show everyone, and give a quick review on each one. Get ready - there's a frigging few.

Let's start with the products I'm really sad about finishing. Something I absolutely loved was the Super Beauty Raspberry and Cranberry Bath and Shower Gel, which I've not really spoken about before. As opposed to a shower gel, I squeeze this under running water to create bubbles for my bath, and it smells delicious. My skin always feels super soft afterwards and I'm so sad I've come to the end of it. I definitely need to try more from this brand. For the bath as well I also absolutely loved the Jo Malone Red Roses Bath Oil, which was very kindly gifted to me from a friend. I'm not a huge rose fan, but I loved the smell of this and my bath felt so luxury. My skin always felt super super smooth and satiny after this as well. I'd love to grab another bottle but I just can't justify it at the moment - plus I'd end up buying bulk and end up with no money. I think I've also finished my first ever perfume - which is unheard of for me. I was given Miss Dior Cherie, which is now called Miss Dior, a couple of years ago and I loved the scent. It's very classic, clean, floral and grown up. It's the perfect everyday fragrance for me. I'm super sad it's now completely gone, and I don't think the new version smells like the old one. Which sucks, but it was beautiful while it lasted. I've also fun out of some of my make up faves, which I've already repurchased, such as the Kiehl's Microblur Skin Perfector, the L'Oreal Infallible Matte Foundation, Maybelline Lashsensational Mascara and the Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Concealer. All of which are star products for me and will be repurchased again and again until I find something I like more. 

Moving onto the products I'm not too bothered about, the first is the Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions Cleansing Foam. I initially purchased this to try and get rid of the acne on my back before the wedding, but it didn't really do as well as I'd hoped. I didn't see too much difference, no matter how much I tried, so I'm not too sad to see this go. I've also recently finished off the Soap & Glory Scrub of your Life, which I liked but didn't totally love it. It was a nice scrub, but I don't really feel like I could even ever love a body scrub. And the last product is the Nuxe Micellar Cleansing Water with Rose Petals, which I bought I good couple of years ago, and have only just used it up. I just found that even though it's more expensive than micellar waters from Garnier and Nivea, it's not as good. It doesn't quite get all the waterproof mascara or eyeliner off, so it's not something I'd buy again. But I felt I had to use it up. 

I have a few more products on the cusp of emptying, so I'm sure you'll be seeing much more of these posts in the future. I love seeing these types of posts, so I hope you guys enjoyed it too.

Much love, Lisa May

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Quick & Easy Beef Stroganoff with Noodles

quick and easy beef stroganoff with noodles by blogger topaz & may
This is easily one of my favourite meals. I love a bit of beef (no puns please) and stroganoff is something I always go towards in a restaurant. So when I moved out I wanted to learn how to make this pronto!

Healthy & Fitness Update: January 2017

This is it, as promised, my first fitness/healthy/weight loss blog post. For me this whole ‘journey’ is going to help me become a healthy, more energised, more confident person. I know a lot of other people out there generally go through the same feelings I do. So for me, I want to share this part of my life in the hope it may help or inspire others who feel the same as me, and want to do something about it.

As I said in this post, I know I’m not fat, and I’m not a big person. But I’m fed up of feeling unhealthy, unfit and generally unhappy with how I look. So I decided to do something about it. As part of that, I’m going to share a post with you guys at the beginning of every month to let you know how I go on for the past month, and if I have any plans for the month coming. As this is the first post, this is generally just kicking it out, letting you know where I am have been. I've already started changing my diet so it's healthier, and I'm sorting out my fitness routine.

Also, any trolls who decide to come and mock me for my weight, size or anything else – just do everyone a favour and go somewhere else.

WEIGHT LOSE
How far off end goal? 2 stone

FITNESS
Previous exercise routines: Pretty much nothing
January’s exercise routines: 2 gym classes a week (Tues and Thurs) and gym on Sunday afternoons

HEALTHY EATING
Typical weekday breakfast: None
Typical weekend breakfast: Cereal
Typical weekday lunch: Mugshot sachet
Typical weekend lunch: Baguette with cheese, and crisps
Typical weekday dinner: Some form of pasta with meat and sauce
Typical weekend dinner: Takeaway eek!
Weekday snacks: Coffee and chocolate snacks!
Weekend snacks: Crisps and chocolate snacks

It’s quick personal to put my current weight online, and a bit scary. But for me this is a way to kick myself into gear and sort myself out. I’m petrified people will judge, so hopefully you’re all supportive!

Let me know if you have any hints of tips to help with my healthy/fitness goals, I’d love to hear anything from you guys! Or if you have any healthy meals I should try, put them in the comments below!

Thanks in advance for the support, and I hope you guys enjoy coming on this journey with me! 

Much love, Lisa May

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Charles Worthington Moisture Seal


You know if your hairdresser says you need to take a break from dying your hair that it’s probably not in the best of health. And this was a little dilemma I was faced with back in October, when I had a bit of a revamp. I mean I shouldn’t be too surprised. I have been adding bleach to it every 6-8 weeks since April, but I was using shampoo and conditioner specifically for coloured hair and using heat protection, so I figured I’d be okay.

But no. Apparently not. Stupid hair.

Anyway, long story short (well, not that short),  I went on a hunt for a really nice, affordable, shampoo and conditioner that was going to turn my hair from dry and straw like, to super soft and touchable. And I do touch it. A lot. My name is Lisa, and I’m a hair twirler.

I have a couple of Charles Worthington styling products that I really love, so I’m not sure why I never really tried their shampoos and conditioners before. But when I saw their Moisture Seal range I had to give it a go. I mean look at it – it’s so pretty and orange. Anyway, looks aside the product has a blend of Argan, Abyssinian, Coconut, Tsubaki and Macadamia oils (phew), which is supposed to give long lasting nourishment. It even goes as far as to say hair will be instantly 5x softer, 3x smoother and silkier than ever. I have to admit, it was this promise that sold it for me. The colour pulled me in, the slogan hooked me. It was also three for two in Boots, so I picked up the shampoo, conditioner and rescue masque (which hasn’t really been used but is in this month’s five new things).

So I pushed aside my half full shampoo and conditioner duo that was sat on the side of my bath, and replaced it with my orange beauties. I lathered up, rinsed out, applied the conditioner, combed through with my wet brush, left it while I shaved, and then rinsed. I noticed an instant difference in my hair. Even while it was wet it just felt smoother and looked shinier. Once dry, it feels so soft, I don’t think my hair has ever been so soft, and as I’ve used it more and more it’s feeling stronger and looks healthier. I don’t think I’ve ever been as impressed with something as simple as a shampoo and conditioner. There’s a few additional bonuses to this little duo as well. It doesn’t take as long to blow dry, and if I forget to use my anti-frizz products it doesn’t actually make that much difference. Also, it goes longer without feeling greasy, it’s breaking less, and holding its style for longer. I mean if a plain old conditioner can do this, what is the mask going to do?! Shove me in a bath, turn Netflix on and coat my hair in it. I think I just haven’t really gotten around to using the mask yet because the conditioner is so good by itself, but I’m looking forward to seeing the results.

I absolutely love this range, and I really want to try other pieces from it – especially the hair oil. I can’t get enough of my hair now, and for someone who was an obsessive hair twirler already, this has just made it so much worse. They should change the slogan to “5x softer, 3x smoother, 10x more twirling and silkier than ever”. Just a thought. All hail the hair twirlers. I generally feel more confident, with healthier, happier hair, and hopefully next time I go to the hairdresser she’ll notice a difference as well. Fingers crossed.

If not I’m just going to cut it all off and start again. Jokes.

Much love, Lisa May

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Pandora Stacking Rings


I was incredibly spoilt for Christmas this year, and I must admit, I had a very Pandora Christmas. Once I opened all my presents the table looked like it was covered in Pandora bags and boxes. I've had a bracelet for a long long time, but I was very kindly gifted some of their stacking rings this year as well, which I've fallen in love with.

A Change of Mentality in 2017

Every time a New Year comes around I’m always sat there thinking, yes, this is the year I’ll do X, Y and Z. But I don’t put a plan in place to do it, I don’t actually take any action. Therefore how will I ever achieve what I want? Well, it’s a New Year again, and I’m determined that this year I’m going to make a few changes. But to make these changes, I need a little shift in mentality. Gone are the years where my resolution centred around not biting my nails (still working on this) and getting a new hair style. These are some biggies.

Change One: Be more responsible with money
Oh yeah, this I’ve been promising myself and my husband for years. However, the last two months in 2016 were a bit of a wake up call for m in terms of finances. I get a good wage, so I can’t complain about that, and I don’t have a ridiculous amount of outgoings – I have money to play with after all bills have come out. But this seems to disappear very quickly. I blame Starbucks personally, and Dominoes. The hubby and I are looking to move house this year, which means our mortgage and bills will likely go up, so I really need to sort this out now and really understand where my money is going, what I can afford to spend each month and where I need to cut back. I don’t know about you, but I fear my bank balance like I fear a spider. I get this horrible pit in my stomach every time I know I need to look at it. However, when I do look I end up feeling calmer because I know what situation I’m in and what I have left. So for me, I need to get into the habit of budgeting myself every time I get paid – know exactly what I’ll be spending out on for that month, and then sticking to it. Check my balance every day and know where I am.

How I’ve already started: I sat down this week and wrote down all my monthly outgoings, and added this up. I then wrote down roughly what I spend on the food shop and petrol each month, and added this on. Taking this off my monthly salary really revealed how bad I’ve been. So I then went through all my spending and it was quite enlightening, and a little scary. I’ve also got a Single Cash book, which I’ve put in my handbag. What I’m planning to do with this is write my balance every morning into my book. This way I can really keep an eye on this.

Change Two: Actually get fitter and go back down to my comfortable weight
I’m going to start this section by saying I know I’m not fat. Just before I get comments saying “but you’re not fat, you don’t need to loose weight”. I know I’m not. However, I’m not currently comfortable or confident with how I look at the moment. I’ve really neglected myself in terms of health and fitness, and it really shows for me. Some of my favourite items of clothing no longer fit properly, my knees are shot to hell because they’re not strong enough, and I’m so unfit I get tired going up stairs. Oh yes, not so good. And here’s the bigger – my bridesmaid dress for my best friends wedding in May no longer zips up. Disaster.com. For me, I have a very lazy state of mind, and I’ll find any excuse – and that has definitely been my knees the past year. I need to get off my backside and go and do something. In terms of food, this will also help with my first change. I eat a lot of snacks, drink wine most evenings and I’m always the first to jump to the Dominoes App. I always feel guilty after, whereas when I go to a gym class I always feel so much better about myself. Surely this should tell me something?

How I’ve already started: Before Christmas I started going to a gym class a week with my best friend after work. By going with someone I feel a lot more motivated as if I don’t go, I’ll be letting someone down. However, I’ve also very recently joined the gym as I was spending more on classes a month than an actual membership. I’ve promised myself, and the hubby, I’ll go at least twice a week – and if I don’t do that, I’ll put £10 into our joint savings that week. I’m also doing dry January to try and show myself I really don’t need that glass of wine after a stressful day and kick start that weight lose. I’ve put new batteries in my scales at home, and have set up a sheet to fill in each week of my weight every Friday morning. I’m no longer buying lunches, or Starbucks, but instead bringing in sachets of Mugshots for lunch each day, and my dinner portions are now smaller. I’m cutting out carbs where appropriate in meals and adding in spinach or salad instead. I do have a load of Christmas chocolate left in the house, so that’s just going to be will power.

What I’m also going to do is do a monthly update on the blog on how I’m going in terms of weight loss, fitness and diet. This is so I can’t hide.

Change Three: Become more house proud
My husband will laugh his head off when he sees this one. Basically, I’m lazy, and I’m messy. I don’t tend to put things away and it gets on his nerves no end. And with our house going on the market soon, this definitely needs sorting out. Again, it’s one of those things where I think “oh I’ll do it later, or at the weekend”, and I need to stop doing this. I think for me I need to get into a routine, this is where I fall down. Once I get in a routine I’m okay, so I just need to do that.

How I’ve already started: The hubby and I have said that moving forward Saturday mornings will be housework mornings, so there will be hoovering, dusting, tidying and cleaning going on. Basically we just need to stick to this. I’ve sorted out my side of the room, kind of, so I just need to finish this and get rid of so many clothes and things I really don’t need. I’m also inviting people around more, as this will kick me into keeping it nice for visitors.

I’ve tried to keep my main changes this year down to three, and it covers a lot of things I need to adjust mentally, so it’ll take some time. I have other things I’d like to achieve this year, like making the blog more successful, moving house, throwing the best ever hen party for my best friend and have a few more days out or weekends away. But for me, these three will build a foundation for my life, that will hopefully, and ultimately, influence everything else.

I’d love to know what changes you’re making in the New Year, or if you have any tips that can help me with any of my changes! Throw them my way, I need all the help I can get!!

Much love, Lisa May

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Desktop beauty




If you’re not working from home and you’re out at the office you don’t always have immediate access to your favourite beauty products. That doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t need them though. I find working away at a desk and running around in meetings means I need products here and now, so I’ve put a few in my top desk drawer to make sure I’m always prepared.

For me one of the most important things to have at my desk is a bit of hand cream, especially in the colder months. My hands get very dry, I use them a lot for typing, writing and so forth, so they need looking after. At the moment I’m using the Sanctuary Velvety Hand Cream, and I do love it. It sinks in really quickly, which is a must at work, and the skin on my hands is so smooth since using this. They’re just very healthy and generally, happy. As happy as hands can be. Along the same vein I like to keep a little moisturiser here as well, ready to tackle any dry knees, elbows and so on. I’m using the Soap & Glory Righteous Butter, for a couple reasons. First – I need to keep my utter faves (Soap & Glory Sugar Crush and Jo Malone) at home for daily application, but I do also really like this. It’s good for a quick result and it’s easy to use from a tub, and easy to store. If I need a quick burst of moisture, or refreshment for my face, my Caudalie Beauty Elixir is my go to. It’s lived on my desk since the summer as I found it so refreshing when it was warmer, and it’s just stayed. It helps to keep my skin looking fresh, without removing my make-up.

Speaking of make-up, there are a couple bits I keep at work for touch ups. Whatever lipstick I’m wearing that day comes along with me in my handbag, but lip balm is also always a must. I love the Benefit Balms as they offer quick hydration, are really comfortable and add a little hint of colour. Benebalm is my go to right now as it’s much more of a winter colour that the coral beauty that is PosieBalm. I also have a little cream blush here with me, the Bourjois Cream Blush in Rose Tender is the perfect top up colour. It’s very natural if you need just an extra bit of colour, and this blush is so quick and easy to apply, you can’t really go wrong with it. My go to mascara also sits at my desk with me, ready for touch ups! The Maybelline Lashsensational Mascara is just everything in terms of lashes. I have one at home, one here, and one in my handbag. I’m slightly addicted. Sorry, not sorry.

Lastly I like to make sure I have a little body spritz with me as well, just in case! So I have the lovely Zoella Blissful Mistful tucked away in my drawer to come out at any given moment. It used to live in my handbag, but I realised I used it more at work than anywhere else so now it just lives in my drawer. Good times.

These are all really affordable pieces that you can easily pick up – expect maybe the Beauty Elixir. This is partly because I don’t want to take any high priced products and leave them at work (hello nightmares), and also because I do really just rate these products as being good, on the go, solutions.

I’d love to hear what you keep on your desk and what you think I may be missing! Just pop a comment below and let me know!

Much love, Lisa May

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