Friday, 28 March 2014

Review : March Birchbox

Back at the start of the month I posted my first thoughts on my Birchbox for March but this is the full review of every product I received.

In the box for this month I received Benefit's Stay Don't Stray eyeshadow and concealer primer, English Laundry No7 perfume sample, Molton Brown Rhubarb and Rose Replenishing Hand Cream, Dr Brandt Pores No More Pore Refiner, Aroma Works Body Oil, and a stick of Lulu Guinness rock.

Luckily I already have a sample size of Benefit's Stay Don't Stray so I have this one as an extra.  I really like this primer as my eyeshadow definitely lasts even when working in a hot hospital ward for 12 hours, but even if I don't wear eyeshadow it helps to even out the skin tone of my eyelids and hide any veins that show.  I don't really use it for my undereye concealer but the one time I did try it, it felt a bit more cakey on me so I decided to only use it for eyeshadow primer.
£20.50 for 10ml

This is the second sample of frangrance from English Laundry that I've received from Birchbox -the first being the Signature for Her a few months ago.  No7, in my opinion is more of a fruity than floral scent which suits me better I think.  I still really like the Signature scent but I think I might actually buy the No7 scent when my sample runs out - which will probably be soon because I carry it in my uniform on placement to quickly freshen up on the go.
£47 for 50ml bottle

Hand cream is something that I always carry around with me - sometimes even a selection - as my job makes my hands really dry and cracked if I don't moisturise.  Lately though my hands have been particularly irritated so I haven't had as much of a proper test of the Molton Brown Rhubarb and Rose Replenishing Hand Cream as I would have liked.  In the two occasions that I have used it my hands did feel very soft but my favourite aspect has to be the smell. I am a major fan of rhubarb and the fact that this was the dominant scent was a delight to me. The rose is a very subtle note underneath the rhubarb which lifts it and stops it being too sweet and sickly.  I'll need to do more testing on this hut overall it was very pleasing.
£10 for 40ml

Dr Brandt is a brand that I received in one of my first Birchboxes and this time around I was provided with the Pores No More Pore Refiner. It can be applied under or over makeup and claims to be mattifying for oily skin.  Nowadays I am tending to embrace me natural glow without the oiliness so I later a mattifying primer to prevent oil breakthrough under my illuminating primer.  At first glance this product seems very similar to Benefits Porefessional as it has the same colour and almost the same texture - I find that the Pores No More is a lighter and thinner texture but still with that silicone feel.  Pores No More does have a slight tea tree type scent which makes me think it's actually doing something for my skin but I'm not all that keen on the scent to be honest.  It does have an instant mattifying effect on my skin but I don't feel it's as effective at holding back the oil breakthrough as the Porefessional and as such I wouldn't buy Dr Brandt over Benefit. However if you don't have oily skin and want to go for that matte finish then this may be for you.
£39 for 30ml

The final offering in my March box was the Aroma Works Body Oil in Serenity.  I do really like body oils as I find them to be less sticky and quicker absorbed into my skin than creams and butters.  This oil is extremely fast absorbing and didn't leave a greasy film on my skin or hands which I loved. There's isn't much or a glowing shine left though which is a bit disappointing as I like this in an oil.  The scent is very nice and reminds me of a type of sweet but I can't bring to mind which one.  It does have a hint of lavender in it aswell which I find is very pleasant and tones down the sweetness. Overall it's a very nice oil and it's a brand I'll be keeping an eye out for in the future.
£32.50 for 100ml

Overall a very pleasing box for this month if a bit disappointing that it was all sample size products.

Birchbox costs £10 per month (+£2.95 p&p) and every month you are sent a curated selection of high end and luxury products to test.  For every product and box there are surveys to complete which earn you points to spend in the Birchbox online shop.
If you are interested head to to find out more.
I also have a referral code so send me an email if you wish to become a subscriber.

My Dream Home : Hallway

I'd love my future hallway to be nice and bright and uncluttered.

But I also feel it's sets the tone for your whole house and is a place where you can give visitors an instant insight into your style with just a few small pieces.

It's also one of those spaces where you can be really bold with your flooring without it being too overpowering. I love the green hallway above for their mix of three different patterns in such a small space as the green carpet and accessories tie it all together.

These black doors with white trim make this simple hallway look chic and luxurious with easy changes.

Hallways can also be functional though, and this is a great way to display your books if you have lots of them but not a lot of space in your living room or and office space to store them.

I added these in purely because or their size and how light and open they are. I see so many homes for sale in Edinburgh with large hallways that don't have a huge amount of natural light but the owners always have dark wood and fabrics and it makes them feel really gloomy and cold in my opinion.

All images from Pinterest

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

A Peek Into - My Filofax

If you know me personally then you'll know how much I am obsessed with my Filofax so I thought I'd do an insight into my Filofax and how I organise it.

I am currently using the Domino personal size in grey.

In the front pocket I keep some post it notes - in pink of course - and some paper clips.  The right page is my dashboard. It's a card I got in Oliver Bonas that I trimmed down to size and I have a clear plastic fly leaf over it.

Behind my dashboard I have a list of my goals for 2014 (since I took these photographs I've decided to fundraise for SANDS, a charity to support parents going through stillbirth, neonatal death or miscarriage but I'll add more about that in a few days). In the back of the pocket is my colour coding system for my calendar in case I forget what each colour represents.

Behind my goals for the year is my fold out yearly calendar.  On here I mark when I have theory and placement blocks for university as well as birthdays and holidays.

The first top tab marks my month at a glance calendars.  I like to use these for quickly checking or marking out shifts or events so I can see them quickly without having to flick through my weekly pages.  I also use a page marker from WHSmith to take me straight to the current month.

The second top tab is my weekly pages.  I was using the day to a page calendar before I got these pages from The Plannertarium Etsy store but I felt there was too much wasted space when I was on placement due to the long shifts.  I separate each day into 2 side with the side under the name of the day for my schedule whether it's placement, work, tv programmes I want to watch or other appointments.  The other side (closest to the rings) I use for things to do that day and what blog post goes live that day.  The notes section on the bottom of the right hand page is for things that need to be done that week but not on any specific day.  The pink heart is a sticker that I use to mark birthdays so I then flip back to my yearly calendar to check whose birthday it is that day.  I also have a page marker to take me straight to the current week.

The third and final top tab takes me to my lists section which are divided using side tabs - these were originally the address tabs that came with my Filofax that I covered with a page marker sticky and wrote what each section was for.
The university section is for things to read up on and reflection essay topics for my portfolio.
The blog section has my schedule for regular posting topics eg lifestyle, review etc, and a page behind it for a checklist of blog ideas incase I don't have my blogging notebook with me.
The fitness section is still under construction but it has the local swimming pools schedule and a training timetable for when I eventually get round to doing a sprint triathlon.  I'm also going to put in workouts and healthy recipes that I find online.
Finance has a chart for my 52 week savings challenge that lists how much I should be putting away each week with a running total of how much should be in my account.  I also have pages tracking how much money goes in and out of my debit and savings accounts.
Behind that - although you can't see it - is my eBay section where I list what I'm selling, how much it sold for and when, and when I posted it out to keep track of what needs done.
Gift lists is pretty self explanatory as is the wish lists section.
The last three labelled tabs are favourites - products, eateries etc; books that I want to read; and places that I want to visit whether it's cities/countries/restaurants or whatever.

So that's everything inside my Filofax.  I am hopefully going to be getting the new fluoro pink Original for my diary as I've lately felt that my to do's for each day are getting too cramped and I need bigger pages without going for the whole page per it's pretty!  I'll do a post on that soon once I get it and have it all organised how I want it - or I might even do a YouTube video for it - watch this space!

Thursday, 20 March 2014


I feel like a bad parent!

I've been so busy with revision, placement and work that I've hardly done any blogging the past couple of weeks :(  However that shall all soon change as I'm taking part in the Bloggers Do It Better challenge.

This is a challenge that has been set up by Gemma of Touch of Belle and I decided to take part in it after reading about it on Natasha's Love and Labcoats.

The challenge is to write a blog post every two weeks and everyone taking part writes about the same topic which all go live on the same day.  The topics will be randomly chosen and it sounds like a good way to get me thinking about topics that I might not normally write about and hopefully improve my writing skills aswell - I was never a fan of English class!  It's also a great way to discover new blogs and meet new bloggers too!

Really excited to take part and if you are interested you can comment on Gemma's post here or email her with your blog name, URL and email address at and she'll add you to the list of participants.

Happy Blogging!

Monday, 17 March 2014

Drake @ The Hydro, Glasgow

So I was going to try and post a review of the gig but I was having too much fun to really think about it -  that should say enough right? If not my friend who wasn't even a Drake fan (until Saturday night) really enjoyed herself.

So really this is just a spam post of the best pictures I took :)

 Inside the Hydro

 The Weekend was the support act

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Liebster Blog Award!

I'm so excited to be nominated for the Liebster Award by the lovely Becky from Coffee, Beauty and Life. My blog still feels teeny to me and the fact that people actually read it and enjoy it completely shocks me haha! The Liebster Award is a great way for bloggers with less than 200 followers to help others reach a wider audience. The rules are that after you've been nominated you post eleven facts about yourself, and then answer eleven questions asked by the blogger who nominated you. You then continue the cycle all over again by nominating more bloggers yourself and asking eleven new questions.

Here are my random facts :

1 I was vegetarian for 2 years before I started getting major cravings for chicken. I may ahve started eating meat again but being vegetarian taught me to be more adventurous with my food so now I'll eat anything apart from celery and papaya :)

2 I have 9 tattoos and 8 piercings

3 As a student midwife, I have personally delivered 18 babies and counting!

4 I am obsessed with my filofax

5 Now that it's spring I have an overwhelming urge to only ever wear black

6 My favourite flowers are daffodils, tulips and peonies

7 I am a bit of a fitness nut. I took part in Tough Mudder and am doing it again this year but for charity!  Expect some promo on that over the next couple of months :)

8 I studied psychology at uni after I finished school and I have also trained as a makeup artist.

9 Before I started high school I was able to sit on my hair.

10 My pre-requisites for when I buy my own house is that it must have a bath and space for a corner sofa in the living room.

11 Right now I am really missing being in Abu Dhabi and Dubai :(

And Becky's 11 questions for me:
1. If you could do anything in the world what would it be?
Be a qualified midwife instead of a student haha! Although I'd really love to go and tour America for a year.

2. If given the chance would you prefer to travel into the past or explore the future? 
I think I'd rather go back into the past and experience those legendary moments and decades, and see if the fifties really was amazing or if we romanticise it.

3. What's your most treasured possession and why?
This is a hard one. It would have been my dog but she sadly died last year after 16 years with us. Can't think of one unfortunately...thats a bit sad :(

4. What's your favourite drinking game and why?
21! Everyone taking part has to put some of what they are drinking into a dirty pint in the middle. It's played kind of like rock paper scissors in that after the count of three everyone puts either one or two fingers into the circle and one person starts to count clockwise around the circle. Whoevers finger(s) count 21 has to drink as many fingers as they put in of the dirty pint.  It can get pretty messy especially once you decide it's a good idea to do shots of jagermeister instead!  I love it because it simple and easy to play. Beer pong is pretty good too.

5. Which season is your favourite and why?
Probably summer because I also love winter but I get sick of the cold eventually and am desperate for heat which I never tire of :)

6. Do you prefer Christmas or Easter? 
CHRISTMAAAAS! Oh my god I am such a Christmas nut!!! The minute it's December I have my decorations up, I've even been known to play Christmas songs before it's even November which drives my family mental haha!  I just love the whole spirit of it all and love buying and making and wrpping presents for others and thinking what would make them smile :)

7. What was your favourite childhood toy and why?
I have a stuffed toy elephant/hippo type thing called Puffalump that my parents got me when I was about one and a half years old.  I had split my head open when I fell off a chair (I was big on climbing back then) and after I'd been in hospital getting my stitches taken out we went into the Jolly Giant toy shop - retro! - and my mum couldn't resist seeing me toddling along with this box that was almost the same size as me housing the aforementioned Puffalump.  I still have her but she's in the loft and I feel a pang of guilt everytime I hear the song 'When she loved me' from Toy Story 2 :(

8. What's your most guilty pleasure? 
I used to hate them but I now quite like One Direction. Actually it's not that I hate them I just find Harry's face really annoying haha!

9. Out of all your beauty products which is your favourite and why? 
This is a really hard's between my Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm because it's made such a difference to my skin, or my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush because it's the best foundation brush I've ever used.

10. At karaoke night which song do you pick and why? 
I never sing karaoke because I'm too shy haha! If I had a drink in me though it'd probably be a Little Mix song because you can have fun with it and dance about too.

11. And last but not least, why did you start writing your blog?
I just really wanted to have a creative outlet. I've never been big into art or writing but I love photography and makeup so I thought I'd give it a go.  I tried YouTube but I always felt really awkward on camera, never say never though :)

The bloggers I want to nominate are:
1 Natasha from Love And Labcoats
2 Lauren from All In Beauty
3 Ashley from Glitter Girl
4 Emily from Frankly Ms Shankly
5 Louise from Postcards From America
7 Lianne from Ruby Ruby Slippers
8 Iona from Iona Blogs

And your questions are:
1 Where in the world is your favourite place to visit?
2 How would you describe your style?
3 What is your favourite beauty product?
4 What has been your favourite concert and why?
5 If you could have any career what would you like to do?
6 What is your pet peeve?
7 What is your favourite quote and why?
8 If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?
9 Pop or rock?
10Teen magazine favourite - what is your favourite cheese?
11 Last but not least - Why did you start your blog?

Good luck ladies and have fun!

Monday, 10 March 2014

First Thoughts - March Birchbox

So my Birchbox for this month has literally just came through my door so I thought I'd do a first impressions post.

This months box has been curated in partnership with Lulu Guinness.

 These are the items I received in this months box.

I have previously received one of the English laundry fragrances in a past box but this one is No 7 with a more fruity scent as opposed to floral.  Also in my box was (yet another) body oil by Aroma Works. This contains coconut oil and I have to say its the best smelling body oil I think I've ever had - bar my Chanel No5 of course, nothing beats that.  Being a bit of a scaly handed girl due to my work *sad face* I go through hand cream like you wouldn't believe so I love it when I get free samples.  This one from Molton Brown is scented with Rhubarb and Rose with the predominant scent being the rhubarb.  There will be rigorous testing of this baby mainly because it smells SO good!  Dr Brant is a brand that I also received a few boxes ago but it was the microdermabrasion exfoliation cream.  This time around it's the Pores No More Pore Refiner. Now I'm well aware that I can't make my pores smaller but anything that helps to make them look smaller is good in my books. The next couple of week will see how this one stands up to my current favourite.  The final product I received (bar the stick of rock which will be getting donated because I don't like rock - boo) is Benefit's Stay Don't Stray Eyeshadow and Concealer Primer.  I already have a mini of this and had used it at my brothers wedding before I got my current supply.  Have to say I do love this but I will save the gushing for my full review at the end of the month.

Also in the box were a voucher for £20 off at Lulu Guinness when you spend over £100 - unfortunately this won't get used because I'm trying to save my pennies for my summer holiday.  The one that will get used though is for a free makeupper at a Benefit Beauty Bar (I'm assuming it's the same as a make over) and also to try their new Gimme Brow.  I was already considering buying Gimme Brow so I'll be dashing to my local Beauty Bar later this week to give it a go.

Overall it's a pretty good box and I'm excited to try out the new products.  Like I said I before will have my full review of the box at the end of the month so check back for that and I hope you have a great day!

Gig Review - CHVRCHES @ Glasgow Barrowland

The first time I saw Chvrches live was about 2 years ago in the Electric Circus in Edinburgh.  This was only the bands third ever gig together as Chvrches and it was an audience of fellow musicians and music critics who were there to find out if all the hype was true.

Fast forward to Saturday 8th March 2014 in the Glasgow Barrowlands, the homecoming gig, and it's clear to see that the doubts and the questions of 'are they good enough?' were unfounded.

Lead singer Lauren Mayberry appears to have grown massively in confidence and stage presence from the shy young girl I saw back in Electric Circus, although most of her conversation with the crowd surrounded around how gobsmacked they all were to be headlining the legendary Barrowlands and reminiscing about watching their own favourite bands play on that same stage.  To be honest though if I was her it would probably be exactly the same.

Stand out tracks from the performance were We Sink, Recover and the debut single Lies which all got the crowd singing along in their droves.  The highlights of the evening for me were Recover mainly because it's my favourite track from the album 'Broken Bones' and Under the Tide where synth player and track vocalist Martin Doherty's energetic dancing got every single person in the room moving along with him.

Overall one of the best gigs I have been to and if you ever get a chance to see them live you must go - even if it's just for the light show.

Support came from Turtles an electronic two piece fronted by Jon Cooper, and 17 year old Bridie Monds-Watson aka SOAK.  I wasn't too sure about Turtles at first but as they moved further through their set I started to really enjoy their music and feel it wouldn't be out of place in a trendy bar full of boys with quiffed hair and button-up skinny fit shirts where the girls have messy hair and messier eyeliner - not that thats a bad thing mind.  SOAK was the wildcard act of the night but boy is she fantastic! With only her acoustic guitar, SOAK's melodies and emotional lyrics were a stark contrast to the electronic synth beats of the other two acts.  Both are definitely acts I will be following from now on.

Friday, 7 March 2014

March Wishlist





(City Swept launches in March)



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