Saturday, 30 April 2016

Clinique Blogging Event...


Last Thursday I went along to the Clinique Blogging event in Boots in Cardiff. I met up with my lovely friend Holly (TheKittyLuxe) beforehand and we went in together to meet the other bloggers and the lovely Laura who was hosting the event. 
We went upstairs, signed in and were taken into a room filled with all Clinique make-up and skin care! We each had an individual area including mirrors, cotton wool and sweets as well as fresh applicators and tissues to keep everything clean and hygienic! 
After we had all taken enough "Instagram worthy" photos we sat back down and had a chance to listen to Laura talk through the new products including the new chubby foundation sticks which I couldn't wait to get my hands on! Another product which stood out for me was the Clinique Sonic Brush which was only £75. Most sonic and face brushes at the moment are well over £150 so this could be a great place to start.
We then moved onto answering a few questions about our skin and I ended being Skin Type 2 'Dry/Combination'. By doing this we then used the soap, lotions and moisturiser perfect for our skin type. This '3 step' skin care routine will definitely be something I will be investing in. I could feel how clean my skin was just using it that once, if you use Clinique's 3 step skin care please let me know what you think!
I chose to take off all of my face make up using this 3 step routine, leaving on my eye make up and brows. You know how long brows take to do! Then we got to play! I tried on the Universal Face Primer first to prep my skin and then applied the Chubby Stick Foundation. This had great coverage, I think I applied too much to begin with because I didn't believe that a chubby stick would give as much colour as it did. Definitely a great foundation to travel with-no mess! I then also used the Chubby Contour Stick and Chubby Highlighting Stick. To be honest, I didn't think much to the contour stick. I wasn't however, using a great brush for contouring or blending so maybe that had something to do with it. The highlighter on the other hand, was gorgeous! It was so easy to apply and blended in nicely. At £19 it is a little pricey but I think this would be a great edition to anyones make up bag over Spring and Summer. 
What I really enjoyed about this event was not only being able to try on the products but actually being able to apply them ourselves. It's great having a make over by a make up artist but at the end of the day we are the ones who will be using the products so it was a fantastic opportunity and we definitely all made the most of it! 

I really enjoyed this event, it had a very relaxed atmosphere and Laura was a great host! Thank-you Clinique for inviting me along. I hope that you enjoyed this post, what is your favourite Clinique product and why?

Much love as always, 

Jade x




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Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Easy Step-By-Step Spring Nail Art Featuring Hex Nail Charms...


If you are looking to up your nail game for Spring but don't want to spend money on nail art tools then you have come to the right place. If you don't happen to have any dotting tools but do happen to have a spare bobby pin/hair pin then you are all set for these 5 tutorials!

What you will need-


  • A mix of nail polish colours including glitter
  • Bobby pin/hair pin or dotting tool
  • Top and base coat
  • Nail studs
  • Nail glue
  • Cocktail stick with a small piece of blue tac
  • Hex nail charms


Pink Polkadots with a bow

1. Apply 1 x coat of base coat and leave to dry. Paint 4 x of your nails white and 1 x pink. When dry, apply 1 x more coat of each.
2. Using a dotting tool or hair pin paint pink polkadots on the white nails. I'd suggest painting 3 x dots down the centre and then work out from there to make sure they are equal. 
3.Using a small amount of nail glue stick on your Hex bow charm. Once both glue and polkadots are dry you can then paint a top coat and you're done! How simple was that?!

Green leopard print and palm trees

1. Apply 1 x coat of base coat and leave to dry. Paint 4 x nails green and 1 x white, once dry paint 1 x more coat on each.
2. Using the brush in your nail varnish paint small blobs anywhere on your green nails. It doesn't matter that they are messy just make sure they are not too big or close together.
3. Now with a darker green use a hair pin or dotting tool and create small dots around the messy blobs! Don't join all of the little dots up and you can add a few extra in any empty space you have.
4. Now using the first green colour and a dotting tool or hair pin, do what you did to the white blobs with the second green colour. Basically, just create the outside part of the leopard spot!
5. Then using some nail glue add your Hex palm tree nail charm onto the accent nail. Wait until glue and leopard spots are dry and apply 1 x coat of top coat.


Glitter gradient with a fancy flamingo
1. Apply 1 x coat of base coat and leave to dry. Next, using a darker pink paint 4 x nails with this and 1 x with a light pink. Leave to dry and apply 1 x more coat of each.
2. This glitter gradient part can be a little bit tricky. You may have seen other tutorials using a sponge and I think this is a must when using a full colour but not always necessary when using glitter. When I take my brush out of the bottle I try to take off as much excess clear varnish as possible. Then I dab the glitter right at the bottom of my nail. I then wipe off the brush on the bottle and carefully spread the glitter up the nail. To really create that gradual look, try to keep the bigger parts of glitter at the base and only spread it half way up the nail.

3. Finally, using nail glue apply a small amount to your Hex flamingo charm and add to your light pink nail. Once dry, apply 1 x coat of top coat to all your nails and you are good to go!

Neon splash with a flying unicorn
1. Apply 1 x coat of base coat and leave to dry. Then apply white nail varnish to 4 x nails and black nail varnish to 1 x nail. After leaving them for a few minutes to dry, add 1 x more coat of each.
2. Using 3 x neon colours you are going to create a messy, graffiti look! Firstly, take the orange and wipe off any excess paint on the brush into the bottle. Then brush it over the nail a few times. You will end up with a dry brush effect. Once happy with the colour, use the same technique for the yellow and pink. It will look messy and it will get over the ends of your fingers but that is what nail varnish remover is for!

3. After leaving the neon colours to dry you will need your black varnish again. Using your dotting tool or hair pin, apply a small amount of black paint to the end and start creating those leopard spots. I went diagonally across mine but you can choose to do it all over or maybe just on a few nails.
4. Now you can add your magical Hex unicorn charm with a little nail glue. Once everything is fully dry, apply 1 x coat of top coat. I say 'fully dry' for this because black nail varnish can smudge really easy when the top coat is applied. It would be a shame to ruin your nails after all that work!


Navy nautical 
1. Apply 1 x coat of base coat and leave to dry. Next, paint 4 x of your nails with a light blue and paint half of one using the navy blue. I never used to get a straight line and I think this time was a bit of a fluke to be honest! If you are finding it difficult then just use some sellotape across your nail but make sure you don't let the navy blue dry whilst the sellotape is still attached, it will peel off with it!
2. Next, using some small gold studs and nail glue apply 2 x to the corner of your nail. I use a small cocktail stick with some blue tac on the end to help pick up studs and charms.
3. Next, using your dotting tool or hair pin grab some white nail varnish and dab a little on the end of your nail tool. To create the polkadots I recommend dotting three down the centre first and then work outwards.
4. Finally, dab your Hex Anchor and Fishermen's wheel charms in some nail glue and attach carefully to your middle finger (half navy blue) and your ring finger (polkadot) nails. Once fully dry apply 1 x coat of base coat and you are good to go!


As you can see these are probably a lot simpler than you first thought and don't take that long either. I'd say the longest you will have to wait is for the paint and glue to dry but if you have some time to spare you can really jazz up your nails and you will be happily surprised with the amount of compliments you get!
(I have used a mix of brands and colours here but if you would like to know a specific colour, please just comment and I will let you know!)

This post isn't sponsored by Hex Nails and I bought the charms using my own money too! I did get sent a few extra ones though, the girls are so lovely there! I have bought many nail charms from Hex before and have never been disappointed. They have a HUGE range of charms and stencils from animals, to words to love hearts!
The company is unfortunately not in the UK but don't fret. The postage is not expensive and it took around 2 weeks for delivery. I linked each of the charms I used in the final step of each tutorial and here are a few more of my favourites...

Recommended Products-



Thank-you for reading, I hope that this post has been helpful!
Much love as always, 
Jade x




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Sunday, 24 April 2016

Eating & Exercise & Staying On Track...

Before you ask, no I am not a personal trainer nor am I a nutritionist. These tips and words of advice are just what I am currently doing and what I find is working well for me. I have a degree in dance and I teach dance and cheerleading so I do know what foods give my body energy to teach as well as what makes me feel absolutely awful!

I have arranged this post into sections so it's easier to read or if there is something currently in your routine that you are struggling with you can scroll through until you find what you are after.

Routine
As well as teaching dance and cheerleading I work in a school. Being in a routine is just what I need. Before Easter I said to myself "Over those 2 weeks you will work out twice a day whilst you are off work and you will eat really healthy meals and not snack"...that didn't happen. It was Easter HELLO, Easter eggs! So the healthy eating went straight out of the window as did the exercising. I was waking up later, eating at random times and doing anything to not put on my gym clothes and walk 2 minutes down the road to my gym. The last day of Easter came and I was ready to get back into a routine and here's what I did....

Food

Get Organised!

Food Prep & Plan- and no, I don't mean putting 5 lots of meals into tupperware and leaving them in the fridge all week. That doesn't work for me I'm afraid! I did however get a small whiteboard and plan our meals as well as who was cooking them and what we needed to defrost for the next day. My boyfriend and I really stick to this. If I don't plan our meals we can never decide and that ends up with us eating something unhealthy or ordering a take away. 

Research!

Google, Pinterest, Instagram- Research and find healthy meal options. I am always looking up new recipes to keep us interested. This is great if you are a fussy eater too because there is so much more out there than you think. I personally love Pinterest because you can really narrow down your options "Cheap healthy meals" "Quick healthy meals" "Healthy Italian recipe". Someone who both me and my boyfriend have followed on Instagram for years is The Body Coach. Many of you may have seen Joe on Instagram with his cheeky #leanin15 video meals. He has also brought out a book which we are looking to buy. #leanin15 has a mix of curries, wraps, pastas and even burgers that are so tasty and filling.

Weaknesses!


Sweet tooth?- I didn't realise how much of a sweet tooth I had until a few weeks back when I started this. For me, this new way of eating and exercising wasn't to cut everything out. I knew from attempts in the past when I have tried to eat healthy and diet that if I completely cut out chocolate I could last about a week and then I would pig out. So, this time I decided to change it up. I made a chocolate slab! Using dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa (Usually above 70%) I melted it in the microwave, poured it onto a baking tray covered in greaseproof paper and scattered over dried fruit and nuts. After leaving it in the fridge over night I then break off a few small pieces and have them as a snack. Yes, it is still chocolate but it's better than milk chocolate and the added fruit and nuts are a bonus!

Things I have decided to cut out-
Bread-I cut it out last year for lent and surprisingly didn't miss it. As I am writing this post, the last 2 days I have however eaten bread of some sort and my eczema has flared up really bad. This is a good reminder as to one of the reasons why I am doing this.
Chips- I think before it was just so easy to chuck them in the oven however, by cutting them out it has given us the chance to explore different side options which I actually enjoy more!
Coke- I never drank that much coke before but I did used to have a bottle to give me energy before teaching. Which is awful really! 
Tea- Not that I ever had sugar in my tea and not that drinking tea is the worst thing in the world I just decided to switch it up for green tea or chamomile. 
Eating/Snacking Late- Chocolate, toast, crisps were all things before that I used to eat after I had eaten dinner. They had no benefits and after a few days I just got used to it!

Hydration!

Water- I have set myself the task of drinking more water. After just 2 weeks I have noticed that my skin looks better and my eczema isn't as noticeable. Whenever I read about 'Benefits of drinking water' I see that it says it can help reduce how much you eat because you may feel more full. For me this just doesn't work. My body knows I am trying to trick it! However, I feel so much more awake, full of energy and efficient. 
I have never had a problem with drinking water but I know a lot of people don't like it. Try adding a few slices of lemon or lime to give it a little taste. If you are aiming to drink more water too, you could make marks on your water bottle for example '11am' '1pm' etc and make sure you get to those lines by that time. It's amazing how competitive you can get with drinking water!

What I have been eating-
Breakfast- Shredded wheat or a fruit smoothie with coconut water.
Break/Snack- Fruit salad. I make one every day for me and my boyfriend. Strawberries, kiwi fruit, grapes, blueberries, raspberries, pineapple, banana and apples. It doesn't take long and I cut up a melon and pineapple at the beginning of the week put it in a tupperware box and straight into the fridge. That way I am not rushing every morning and I only have to prepare a few of the fruits.
Chocolate slab pieces, yoghurt.




Lunch- Protein shake. Not for everyone and having protein shakes may seem a bit daunting. I've linked mine so you can read about the benefits etc. I am never usually that hungry by lunchtime so this shake is perfect, it's not too heavy on your stomach and it keeps me full of energy ready for my workout after work.
Dinner- Chicken stir fry, Chicken and Avocado rolls, Beef mince stuffed peppers, Prawn curry, Chilli Con Carne in lettuce leaves, Meatballs and spinach, Parsnip and Sweet potato rostis with chorizo.
I try to eat as many vegetables as possible and substitute chips for salad. Try to be a bit more adventurous with your salad or sides. I like to mix different types of leaves and we've even had a beetroot salad which is one of my favourites! 

Exercise

Please don't be under the impression that you need to join a gym to stay fit and exercise. I know some gyms can seem really intimidating and I completely understand, maybe try out a few classes instead and see how that goes. You can also exercise at home, yoga mats are cheap to buy and if you are lucky to have space in your garden then use outdoors too!

Get organised!


Clothes- Lay out your gym clothes in a place where you are going to see them when you get back in from work or put them in your gym bag ready for the next day. 

Workout-
 If ever I went to the gym before and didn't have something planned I would just do something easy. I mean I was still working out but I wasn't challenging myself or doing anything productive. Now I either plan a workout or my boyfriend plans one for us that we do together. Tom is a PE teacher and has always had a huge interest in sport. He's also the most competitive person I know! He wants us to achieve a good time in a workout and is really encouraging. If you have someone who you can workout with then try it!


You may have heard of the term "WOD" which stands for Workout of the day. My gym has lots of these up on the whiteboard which change weekly and you can choose to write down your time or score. Here are some examples of the WOD's I do-

At home-

5 x rounds
50 x skips
10 x walking lunges
10 x push ups
10 x seated twists
You can time yourself and see if you can beat your score each week.

15 minute AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible)
40 x star jumps
30 x crunches
10 x squats
5 x push ups
5 x burpees

5 x rounds
100 x skips
25 x squats
25 x sit ups
You can time yourself and see if you can beat your score each week.

At the gym-

3 x rounds
20 x pull ups (With a band)
20 x squats
20 x burpees
20 x sit-ups
20 x push ups
20 x tricep dips
You can time yourself and see if you can beat your score each week.

30 x clean and jerk (20kg) 
2 minute rest then-
4 x rounds
400m run
20 x weighted sit ups
You can time yourself and see if you can beat your score each week.

20 minute on the running machine
30 sec on 30 sec off sprints. 
I change between levels 12-14
If you happen to be near open space or a field you could try this one out here instead of on a running machine.

As you can see the majority of these workouts aren't very long. For me I haven't got a lot of time. I want to change, go to the gym, workout, get in, shower, eat, done! I don't work out in the morning but as the mornings are getting lighter I do want to try going for a run. I hate running, with a passion but I know it is so good for you so my aim is to learn to love it! Even if you haven't got time for a full workout or don't want to get changed try going for a walk. Yes, I know you may not burn as many calories but getting some fresh air into your lungs won't do you no harm. Plus, you will feel a lot better than just slouching on the sofa. 

Finally-

I am only 5 "2 and have a smallish so frame whenever I talk about weight or wanting to lose weight I can get a few funny looks. I am small and I know I am not overweight by any means but when I was a teenager I was a gymnast and dancer. I could eat whatever I wanted to and never gain weight and yes I did used to hate that. Now at the age of 24 my body has changed believe it or not! When you have lost muscle definition and don't look as toned as what you used to do that can really get you down. I don't want to be stick thin and it wouldn't suit my body shape anyway. I have bigger thighs but thats good because they give me the strength to lift more in the gym and support myself and others when teaching tumbling. 
I just wanted to mention that I didn't weigh myself before I started this either. How much I weigh or others weigh means nothing to me. I was asked a few days ago actually to put the weight of 3 people I know into order. I got it completely wrong! For me personally, it's about how my clothes look and fit and how I feel inside not how much do I look like I weigh?!

This post has been very long but I hope that you have found something in it that has helped. Let me know if you have any tips too!
Thanks for reading and much love as always,
Jade x

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Sunday, 17 April 2016

*Delving into the Jewellery Box...


"Jewellery is like the perfect spice- it always compliments what's already there" - DVF

I was contacted recently by the lovely Gemma from www.jewellerybox.co.uk  to see if I was interested in a collaboration. I was already following them on Instagram and I felt so lucky when Gemma got in touch because I loved everything they posted.
Here are a few pieces I was lucky enough to be sent...













As you can see I chose 2 sterling silver rings. The smaller one is adjustable and fits really nice. The larger one is a style of ring I have been after for so long! I was so happy to find it in the parcel, it will definitely be a piece I wear daily as it is so comfortable and fits nicely. I also chose a matching sterling silver necklace and bracelet set with arrows on it. I don't have any jewellery that matches and recently i've been drawn to this style of necklace. I like how it hangs higher above my t-shirt and it's also so small but it catches your eye. The last piece was the gorgeous anklet stamped with the initials of my blog. I love anything hand stamped and it's nice to be able to choose something so personal and individual.
The parcel was wrapped and packed so sweetly. They were all in individual boxes and had cute coloured miniature pegs on. Normally I get parcels and don't think much to the packaging because normally, there isn't anything to comment on. These final touches really make a difference though. I felt like it was my Birthday "To me, from me!" May I also say that the delivery was super speedy considering the anklet had to be personalised!
Please take a look through their extensive website. There are lots of items there to catch your eye as well as there being a mix of metals. Rose gold, Gold, White gold and Silver.

Let me know what you think, I hope that you enjoyed this post.

Much love as always, 

Jade x

*Although I was kindly sent these items, all opinions are honest and my own


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