Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Free Prints App

A few weeks ago, one of my colleagues recommended an app called Free Prints, however it wasn't until it popped up on my Twitter feed that I thought I would try it out! I downloaded the app - which was free - and started scrolling through the tutorial.

The app entitles you to 45 free prints per month, with a maximum of 500 per year. All you pay for is the postage! Sadly you are limited to only 1 copy of each photo, so if you really like a particular photo, you'll have to pay for the extra prints. You can also order larger sizes, but again you have to pay an additional fee for this too.

As I was a first time user, I got free p&p so my photos were completely free!!! I couldn't turn down an offer like that so I ordered my photos on Sunday afternoon and they arrived this morning - just 3 days!!

The quality of the photos is really good, but depends on the resolution of the picture. The app gives you a warning if the resolution is too low, so you have the option to change or remove the picture. I would say these are a sure contender against any of the photo machines at, for example, Boots, Tesco or Asda, as long as you are patient enough to wait for them to be delivered.

You can visit there website here:

Monday, 28 July 2014

My Weight-Loss Journey

At the beginning of May my bf's sister got engaged. Don't get me wrong I do really like her and her fiancee is a sweetheart, but there was a small part of me that was really anxious. I'm not jealous at all, I'm super happy for them and can't wait for the big day to arrive, but I usually feel SO intimidated around her because she's very pretty and has a fantastic body. I then started to think about the engagement party which is due to take place in mid-August. All of her friends will be there as well as my bf's family. Of course I want to make a good impression, so I joined Weight Watchers.

I looked up my local class online and got in touch with the leader to ask her a few questions. She assured me that it would all be fine and that I could turn up, have a chat with her and join. I got my first month for just £10, so I thought that even if I only say for a month, it's not breaking the bank.

My leader gave me lots of helpful resources and showed me photos of her own weight-loss (You can't be a leader unless you've gone through it yourself!) She then gave me a list of foods that I am allowed to eat. Super scary, but actually surprisingly yummy!

I had a starting weight of 13st5lbs. 

I had told myself I wanted to lose a total of 3 stone.
I'm now halfway to my target weight-loss. In just 2 months I've safely lost a total 1st 10lbs.

I'm still continuing with the diet but I've noticed that I'm starting to plateau... which is when your body starts to stay the same and losing weight becomes harder. It's also extremely hard to resist temptation!

Saturday, 26 July 2014

16 Things

Looking back, there are a lot of things I wish I knew at 16. Who knows how it would've impacted my life! I wonder if anyone else can relate to them too?

1. Friends will come and go, it's natural. Sadly, there's nothing that can really be said about this. It's natural for people to grow up and grow apart. When I was in year 7 and 8, I had a group of friends that eventually broke up because of a boy - I had nothing to do with the argument as I was on holiday at the time and was so confused when I came back - but I have never had a group of friends since then. I became the 'social butterfly' and had just one or two friends from each social group. The same happened when I was at uni. It was great because it meant that I could turn up to the SU bar on my own and be able to talk to anyone! Eventually I lost touch with most school friends because they all went off to Unis across the country, and my Uni friends all graduated and got jobs across the country. But it's okay. I've got the memories of those friends and the photos of the good times we shared. Nowadays I have about 4 friends. None of them live locally anymore so it's not easy to meet up with them without precision planning first, but when we do meet up, it continues from where we left off, with no awkwardness whatsoever. That's how you know it's true friendship!

2. It's okay if you don't know what you want to do in life. I'm 25, started working as a graphic designer, retrained and qualified as a teacher, have a comfortable job in a boys school and I still don't know if this is actually what I want to be doing! When I was 16, everyone else at my school seemed to know what they were doing, what subjects to take at A level and exactly what Uni they wanted to go to. I hadn't a clue! I just studied the subjects I thought I would enjoy. It's okay! I've already retrained once, I can always do it again. If at first you don't succeed...

3. It doesn't matter if you don't want to go to Uni. This one kinda continues from number 2. I went to a top all-girls grammar school that was, looking back, very pretentious and very concerned about their statistics. When I said I didn't want to go to Uni, they were very annoyed and tried to make me fill out the UCAS forms. Of course I am incredibly stubborn so it got us nowhere. What was the point in wasting thousands of pounds in fees if I couldn't find a subject I wanted to study and didn't know what I wanted to do anyway? It took me until I was 20 years old to make the decision to go. There are plenty of ways to study later on in life - evening courses, be a mature student, study with the open University, even take GCSEs and A levels from home!

4. You will never marry the guy from McFly. Sad but true, not unless you are in the right place at the right time... You'll find someone much better anyway :-)

5. That girl is only saying that because she's jealous. I went to an all-girls school and it could get very b*tchy. Even now my feelings can get hurt. Sometimes my SIL would say things that make me feel very inferior and intimidated. Now that I've gotten to know her, I've realised she's just as self-conscious as I am. 

6. Enjoy your freedom. Enjoy having no responsibilities: no bills!!!

7. Don't try to fit in. Just be yourself! You'll only look back on it and regret it anyway, and chances are you probably won't be friends with them later on in life if you have to keep trying to be something you're not. 

8. Take care over your appearance. I wish I had looked after my skin and teeth more. I have quite oily skin and therefore had a lot of spots growing up. I still get them every now and then but thankfully nowhere near as bad as they used to be! I wish I had looked after my skin more back then as I am now left with loads of marks and blemishes. 

9. Never cancel a 'date' with a friend to hang out with your boyfriend. I know it may seem like the end of the world if you have to be apart from him for a few hours, but honestly, it's not. If he's the one, you'll have the rest of your lives to spend together.

10. It's okay to try something once. In my opinion, it's better to regret something you did than something you didn't do... unless that something involves breaking the law, bullying or endangering yourself or someone else, in which case this rule does not apply!!

11. It's okay to make mistakes. You don't have to be perfect 100% of the time. Just make sure you're honest about it. You will always learn from your mistakes and putting too much pressure on yourself can cause incredible amounts of stress and upset. When I was in Sixth Form, I hated the subjects I studied. I chose them because I thought I would enjoy them, but I really didn't. I put so much pressure on myself to succeed but my heart just wasn't in the subjects and it all backfired. I opened my results envelope and I cried. I was embarrassed and I thought I would upset my family. The truth is, regardless of the grades I received, they were proud of me! It's okay to make mistakes because the people who truly care about you will love you no matter what. 

12. You're not as ugly as you think you are! I hated having photos taken of me, and I went through the phase of covering every part of me by wearing baggy jeans, hoodies, an unhealthy amount of eyeliner and covering my face with my hair. Truth is you're still growing! People grow differently and have different body shapes, as my dad would say, "you're grown, not manufactured!". Just smile and be confident. That's all the beauty you will eve need.

13. No-one will ever look like the girl in the magazine. Even the girl in the magazine doesn't really look like that!! It's true, I've done the Photoshopping to prove it back when i was a graphic designer. I absolutely hate it, but it's not going to change.

14. You're heart will get broken, but it will heal! All you need is time, ice cream and good friends.

15. Guys are just as sensitive, just as self-conscious and just as dramatic as girls. Sometimes they're worse!!

16. Treasure every day. Smile, laugh and take photos. Take chances and treat others how you would like to be treated. If you love someone, tell them - what have you got to lose? Your life can change in the blink of an eye, for good or for bad. When I was 22 my best friend died in a motorbike accident. My bf had invited me on holiday in Devon with some of his friends, but as we hadn't been dating long and I had only met his friends once, I asked if I could bring a guest. We waited for my friend to arrive but he never did. A part of me died too when I found out. Getting a phone-call from the Police is something I never want to experience again. Every day is a gift, so make the most of it. Get up, go out and do something. Carpe diem!

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Cosmopolitan Magzine and New Cid idrama Mascara Review

I've got to be honest, when it comes to advertising and the media, I'm an easy target. I get drawn in by pretty colours, offers and celebrities. I'm not proud of it, but hey, I'm only human! When I saw Cosmopolitan magazine staring at me from the supermarket shelves, I could hear it beckoning me to buy it. 

The magazine comes with a free gift too, either a New Cid mascara or New Cid cheek/lip tint. I chose the mascara.

Here are just some of the things I love about this month's issue...

1) The interview with cover girl Nicole Scherzinger was actually really interesting. If I'm honest, I'm not really a mega fan of her - that's not to say I don't like her, I just really have no opinion - so it was quite refreshing to read about her, but even more so about struggle with bulimia. 
2) Not only did the magazine come with a free full sized New Cid idrama mascara, but there's also a 20% off promo code inside! Win!
3) Denim, denim, denim! I love this super trendy spread on top summer buys.
4) I could not believe it when I read this article! "Could a selfie cost you your job?" erm, yes?!

The New Cid idrama mascara comes in a gorgeous white tube - which is actually quite a nice change from the standard black mascara tubes! It definitely stands out, not only on the supermarket shelf, but also when you're rummaging through your bag! (Yes, that's from experience!)

The brush is super soft and the mascara goes on nice and evenly without clumping. The tube is specially designed to remove excess mascara from the brush.

I may have got a little bit carried away when taking photos for this blog post... Haha!

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

My Netflix Recommendations: July

1. Modern Family If you haven't already watched this programme, I seriously recommend it! At the moment, only series 1 and 2 are available on Netflix (boo!) but hopefully the rest will be along soon! The series follows a father (who lives with his Colombian wife and step-son), his daughter (who lives with her husband and three children) and his son (who lives with his civil partner and their adopted baby). It's filmed in a documentary-style way, which is very strange at first, but once you realise that they are all actors, looking awkwardly at the camera it's actually incredibly funny.

2. House Of Anubis This one's a little bit of a guilty pleasure as it's aimed at teenagers and was originally aired on Nickelodeon. To be honest though, there are some quite scary parts to this series and a cliffhanger at the end of every episode. The series follows Nina, an American teenager transferring to an English boarding school, who, along with her housemates, must solve the mystery of the disappearance of housemate Joy and uncover the Egyptian secrets associated with the house, while avoiding the evil caretaker, Victor. 

Is it believable? No way - Ofsted and Health & Safety would have a field day! Is it addictive? YES!

3. Revenge of the Bridesmaids We actually enjoyed this film quite a lot! It was one of those lazy, easy going evenings, where we couldn't really be bothered to watch an intense film that we had to think too hard about - you know what I mean - so we found a simple comedy to watch. We'd never heard of this film before but we were actually pleasantly surprised by it. A group of schoolfriends are reunited for a wedding and asked to be bridesmaids. The problem? They don't actually like the bride! In real life it would be incredibly mean to accept the role, but it makes for a funny film that stars That's So Raven's Raven Symone.

Are there any other films or programmes on Netflix that you recommend?

Monday, 21 July 2014

Matisse Exhibition at the Tate Modern

As you may have read on my About Me page, I teach Technology in a boys school. It's fun, mostly, and it means that occasionally we get to go on school trips. This week, we took some year 8s to the Tate Modern in London to see the exhibition of Henri Matisse's work.

I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE Fall Out Boy, so when I saw this in the shop at the station i just had to buy it. It definitely kept me occupied during the train journey!
This ship is called the Golden Hind and was once captained by Sir Francis Drake. It's now open for visitors to climb aboard and take a look around. On our way back to the station after our visit, there was a group of young boys all dressed up as pirates for a Birthday party! How exciting would that be if you were a kid?!
I love the old, cobbled streets of London...
Sadly, there was a very strict 'No Photography' rule in this particular exhibition, but my very naughty colleague managed to sneak this cheeky shot on her iPhone (tut tut!)

I must say, going to this exhibit really exceeded my expectations. Pupils learn about Matisse in year 8 for part of their studies but having never seen his work, I'd never been able to fully appreciate how much work went into his art and just how many pieces he produced!

In his old age, Matisse developed cancer and had nurses looking after him. With his limited movement, he would paint sheets of paper with very specific colours and, once dry, he would ask a carer to hold the paper for him, turning it while he held the scissors to cut out shapes. He would then use a pointer to tell the nurses exactly where to paste the shapes.
The view across the Thames from one of the Tate's many balconies was beautiful. This is the Millennium Bridge (as featured in the Harry Potter film - although looking very much intact here!)
After a lovely lunch in the sun next to the river, it was time to go home. We were all completely exhausted from the trek in the blistering heat but it was a beautiful day with great company and an interesting exhibit.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Fabulous Finds Under Five

I'm in a little bit of a dilemma this week!

It's my friend's Birthday in a couple of days and I need payday to hurry up! So I thought I would make a little compilation of fantastic gifts for under £5! 

1 This gorgeous little purse is available from Accessorize for £5
2 How about some stud earrings? These gold-coloured flowers are from Dorothy Perkins at just £3
3 Scarves are so versatile, so this subtle striped scarf is perfect at just £4.90 from Forever 21
4 How about treating them to a nice relaxing soak? This bath bomb costs just £2.95 from Lush
5 Everyone has that friend that has it all, but I bet they won't have this! This colour drip candle is such a cool gift at just £5 from Urban Outfitters

In the end I bought my friend a purse from Accessorize and a bath bomb from Lush and she loved them!

Monday, 14 July 2014

Danson House

Yesterday, my bf and I decided to visit Danson House in SE London. Neither of us had ever been there before and had no idea what to expect. Having visited castles and stately homes such as Hever Castle and Chartwell before, Danson House seemed a bit of a mystery to us. It was definitely smaller, but it was still beautiful and well worth a visit. 
Such a beautiful building...
The huge organ in the library still works!
Imagine waking up to that view everyday!
The 'gardens' are now open free to the public as Danson Park and has a beautiful lake running through the middle, with a boat house and several watersports clubs.
The (oval) spiral staircase
The kitchen is underground so it was lovely and cool. (The windows are at ground level)
Rather than go to the tea rooms after wondering around the house, we decided to take a stroll around the park. It really is a gorgeous place with so much history!

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Crabtree & Evelyn

This time last year, I hadn't heard of Crabtree & Evelyn. It was my bf's mum that introduced me to themIf you don't live near one of their shops, basically they sell body creams, shower gels, nail varnishes and hand creams. They can be quite expensive though! 
Anyway, after ordering a Christmas present from them once, I had been automatically added to their newsletter and received an email this week about their sale. Out of curiosity I decided to visit their store and splashed out on some hand creams for myself. (I work in the Design & Technology department in a school, so my hands are constantly exposed to nasties!)

The thing I love about these hand creams is the quality. I've used Vaseline ones in the past and always found that they left my hands feeling really greasy afterwards. These ones however, are so smooth and enriching. The larger sized tubes come packaged in a box which is simple yet effective. The scents are really strong, long-lasting and natural - not at all sickly or artificial.

I started putting the lavender cream on my hands before bed and found that the relaxing scent helped me sleep, so I went back and invested in a large tube which I now keep in my bedside drawer :-) I've also bought a few extra as they'd make great gifts too!

Small tubes currently on sale at £1.50 (down from £5)
Large tubes currently on sale at £4.50 (down from £15)
**please note this is not a sponsored post.