One Line A Day Memory Book

22 March 2013

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Diaries have come and gone over the years. I love to write, and enjoyed looking back on diaries but a busy childhood and working life have made it almost impossible to keep them going, something of which I've always hated. Diaries document so much - how we change, how we've grown, the people we love or used to love, friends we have or used to know, holidays, birthdays, and also those special moments we hope to remember forever. But it's amazing how much we forget isn't it? I know there's so much that I don't want to forget. What with going through a career change (of which I've no idea what I will be doing), living in a military relationship where we struggle through months of separation, and the little moments that mean nothing to someone else but everything to me - I want to document these things! 

My new One Line A Day diary is the solution to this although you could call it more of a 'memory book'. It's a gorgeous duck egg coloured bound book with gold edged pages, and its size is smaller than a normal sized book so that you can pop it in any bag and take it anywhere. It gives you about five lines to write on a day so you can note down the important or noteworthy things you want to include, so it's not as intimidating as a blank page can be to some. Not only this, but this is a five year diary. Each day has room for five entries and you note down the year you're writing in. Practical and good value for money. My only con about the book is that it has a huge sticker on the back which kind of detracts from this books charm, and I'm too scared to take it off in case it damages the book. However, this really is no biggie. Since buying this, I've managed to successfully keep my little diary entries every day. Already looking back on the diary tells me a lot about myself - I'm a positive person, laughter is one of my favourite things in the world, and I worry to much. I'm excited for it to be the following year already in a weird way, just so I can come round to a day and see what I was up to at that time last year.

One Line A Day five year memory book is only £8.27 and I'd highly recommend it to you. Memories are worth more than gold and I'm sure you don't want to lose yours, much like I don't want to lose mine. I wonder what I will write at the end of today?

-Tamsin xxx

Essie 'Thigh High'

20 March 2013

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I have always taken great pride in my nails. They grow well, are pretty strong and as I try to paint them three times a week, they very rarely break and are always in good nick. They have a nice length and it can make nail art fun. However, in the middle of my career change, I've been so busy worrying, searching for jobs, running around doing lots of other things that my nails just haven't taken a usual priority like they usually would. They've become a lot more brittle, some have broken shorter and they're just not how I like them to be. It might seem trivial but it saddens me as it shows just how busy and manic it's been recently, and that I need to make time in my new career for the 'little trivial things' that change my mood and outlook.

That being said, I managed to get a little 'Thigh High' from Essie onto my nails today. If you like blood sultry burgundy red, then this is a good colour for you. It's slightly speckled with glitter which suits my 'glitterometer' nicely, but still manages to say 'I'm feeling grown up today.' (Who am I kidding..I will never grow up..it's all a nail polish front!) As with all Essie polishes, the wide brush means that I can paint my nails in minimal time, which suits me just fine at the moment in all of my busy work woes. 3 coats does it perfectly for me, a quick coat of OPI RapiDry, a spray of Orly SpritzDry and I'm on my way to mark some homework in serious quick time. I highly commend Essie for creating such ease - for the working woman, you're a dream!

Thank you to everyone for their lovely comments on my last post about giving in my notice on my current job. It's amazing to hear how many people have done a similar thing, or feel like they should be trying something new too. Kinda comforting when you feel very confused about the whole process. I'm just hoping I get some interviews soon. Keep your (nicely painted) fingers crossed for me!

PS - for all my fellow Disney obsessives, here's the original version of 'Poor Unfortunate Souls' from The Little Mermaid. Lots of it is similar, but bits that were cut explained a little further why Ursula was banished. Because it includes the original storyboards, the music is basically like rehearsal music, with a fabulous synthed piano as backing. Give it a listen!

-Tamsin xxx


How to recycle your Yankee Candle jars

14 March 2013

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Burn baby burn! I usually find myself shouting that at a candle when it's near the dregs of its wax. But what do you do after it's finished and you're left with the jar? In the bin? Recyle? Bin...no. Recycle...yes. But not at the bottle bank. I mean really recycle it. Put something to a new use. Give it a new lease of life.

I have a number of Yankee Candles dotted around my home. With fragrances to suit everyone, you can't go wrong. Another reason I love them is for the jars. They look good, yes, but recycling them can be even more fun than watching them burn and breathing in their aromas. Seeing as I've got a number of recycled jars dotted around my house, I thought I'd share my uses and ideas with you.
Well this is a sorry looking jar isn't it? It lasted a long time and smelt great, but it doesn't look a patch on its former self. But lets change that shall we?


001. Burn down the candle as much as you can. With Yankee Candles, it's possible to burn them down so there's literally nothing left but the metal wick.


002. Fill up the jar with warm to hot water with a little bit of washing up liquid. Leave for a minute. Then drain. With a knife, you should be able to pop the metal wick out quite easily, and scrape or flick out the remaining wax. If you struggle with this, you can always put the jar in the freezer for a few hours, and then try getting the wax out with your knife.


003. Take the label off - this can be easy or difficult depending on if you let yours shrivel like mine. Peel it off as much as you can...if it's stuck on quite firmly, use a little washing up liquid on a scourer and put your back into it ;)


004. There will probably be glue/wax/soot inside and outside of the jar. Time to do some cleaning. Again, washing up liquid works fine. Be patient with this bit, especially if there's glue left from the label on the outside of the jar. It will eventually all come off!


005. Then dry with a piece of kitchen towel or similar - if it still needs a deep clean, pop it in the dishwasher.


So there's your jar all ready for recycling. Now what shall we use it for?



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Of course there's the popular make up brush storage - these big jars look lovely when you use coloured gravel you'd put at the bottom of fish tanks at the bottom and then your brushes on top.


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One of my fav uses is pen storage, and it looks fab on any desk. Pencil cases are so 1999. 



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Another use is for food - no need to buy that extra mason/kilner jar when you have a recycled Yankee Candle jar! But, seeing as it's nearly Easter, I've been storing Mini Eggs. This would make a lovely gift (with a better piece of ribbon than the one tied around mine!)

So what do you think you'd store in your Yankee Candle jar? Small jars are great for things like paperclips or kirbygrips, and medium and large jars suit a variety of uses. Remember to be a keen, green recycling machine ;)


-Tamsin xxx

9 Little Things: Childhood

13 March 2013

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I know what you're thinking...where did that cute little girl go? I'm kidding, but honestly doesn't time fly. Sometimes I feel like I should still be rolling around in the back garden with my Sylvannian Families and not having a care in the world other than if I'd be allowed to stay up a little longer that evening. Posts that let you learn a little more about the brains behind the blog are some of my fav to read. I love finding out little facts and having a chuckle when I realise I wasn't alone in my fear of Furby's for example. Inspired by Tabitha, I'm doing the '9 Little Things' tag which focuses on childhood.

001. My eyes are naturally quite small and slanted, and as a child I was often asked if I was from China. Because I was asked it so often, eventually I made up a story that I was and I'd been put up for adoption in England.

002. One of my favourite toys as a child was a stuffed toy of Nala from The Lion King. Despite knowing she was called Nala, I insisted on calling her Mala. She died a tragic death when my Jack Russell, Eddie chewed her tail off. RIP Mala.

003. I used to believe that a teeny hole in the wall in one of our old houses was the doorway to the land of fairies. It was obvious I watched too much of the film 'Fairy Tale: A True Story'. (gold stars for anyone who remembers that film!)

004. One of my fondest memories is my Dad taking my brother and I to see Pocahontas at the cinema when I was about 7, and during the song 'Savages' hearing my brother ask Dad 'why are they singing about sandwiches?' He's never lived it down.

005. I was doing gymnastics in my kitchen (having been told not to) and swung too far and smashed my chin on our marble floor. I still have the scar on the bottom of my chin to prove the accident and my mum has always said I'm part of the 'chinners club' because of it.

006. As mentioned before, I was scared of Furby's. A relative bought me one for Christmas and it was called Coco. It scared me so much that I shut it in the bread bin.

007. However, I LOVED Tamagotchi's. My favourite was an 101 Dalmatians limited edition Tamagotchi and it made me so happy.

008. My favourite birthday party was my 5th birthday and my parents hired out a huge kids play centre thing with the tall slides, ball ponds etc and we played hide and seek with adults trying to get the children. I remember it like it was yesterday.

009. My parents knew I was going to grow up a musician when they caught me singing out of my bedroom window one night after lights out. I used to pretend I was 'Annie' and sing various songs from musicals.

If you do this tag, let me know and link me up to it!

-Tamsin xxx

Ladies Day at Cheltenham Gold Cup

12 March 2013

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My parents with my godfather and their closest friends enjoying Cheltenham Gold Cup - no doubt very 'merry'

My family can always be found at the Cheltenham Gold Cup races. Every year it comes around and they head off to the clean Cotswold air to have a bit of a gamble, have a laugh with some of their oldest friends and generally become quite merry. They don't usually do Ladies Day as they're more of the 'classic' type of folk, donning tweed, thick trenches and wool jackets, and I'm very similar in my dress code. However, I've always wanted to go to Ladies Day, partly because I enjoy gambling (my naughty vice) and partly because when it is not fun to dress up? Unfortunately, as always, I won't be going because I will be working, but seeing as Ladbrokes challenged me to put together my perfect outfit for Ladies Day, I will pretend I'm going on this occasion. Humour me - a girl can dream of an impromptu day off!


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The Florencia Bow Dress (£135) is incredibly flattering and has the simplistic feel, with the added attention of the bow. I love multi use items, and even though you could wear this at a more dressed up event, I can see someone wearing it with pretty sandals and a denim jacket on holiday. The Club Stripe Blazer (£175) from Crew is something that I would wear daily. With a dress it looks fab. With jeans, it looks fab. You can't go wrong really, and it keeps the traditionalist feel to the outfit. The classic LK Bennett Harper Leather Platform shoes (£195) are a no brainer really. Do I need to say much about these beauties? I'd love to know how many of these Kate Middleton gets through in a year! Fascinators are something that you don't get to wear much unless you're constantly at weddings or fine events, so it's always nice to have a really gorgeous one. Keeping on the nude theme, the Mia Hatinator (£69.99) would be a great choice for any outfit or event. Finally, the Nude Triangle Lock Clutch (£12.99) from New Look - the large envelope clutch has been on the scene for well over a year now and it's not set to leave yet. This nude version means it's versatile and blends well, yet it's big enough to hold all of your belongings. It isn't the cheapest of outfits but remember...I'm doing make believe here! 

If you're heading to Ladies Day at Cheltenham tomorrow, have a wonderful time. Have a cheeky bet on a horse and see what happens. You never know ;) I will be working all day but the red dress from Coast has gone into my wishlist folder. If you see my parents, say hi. They'll be the ones cackling like hyenas after too many glasses of champagne, much like the photo above.

-Tamsin xxx

*In collaboration with Ladbrokes*

Rampant Sporting leggings via Zalando

9 March 2013

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I'm very much an observer. The term 'look before you leap' is very much a phrase you could describe my outlook by. Hence, I often wait to see reviews from people about products, websites, shops etc before I splash my cash. I didn't join Glossybox for example until about 4 boxes had been and gone. I'm hasty with online shopping too. I'm a traditionalist and do like trying things on in the shop, feeling the material, seeing the colour in the flesh etc, so when Zalando got in contact to offer me a £20 gift voucher, I thought it was a good way to test their service and see what products they had to offer. Again, I learnt about Zalando by reading peoples blogs and had never bought anything from them, but delving in further, they have a whole array of great items from clothes to homewhere.

I opted for some Rampant Sporting leggings for £19. Rampant Sporting are still pretty hidden underneath Jack Wills, Hollister and similar, but they deserve more publicity and I hope to grow to a huge success. The company was started by a 21 year old university student at Exeter University, and started selling rugby and sport socks from his garage - nothing like supporting a genuine, hard grinding and local company eh? The leggings are hard wearing, not at all sheer, and have a typical university outfitter style waistband. Super comfort and style added to classic leggings. Perfect. I've been wearing them with everything recently - when walking Max, lounging indoors, out and about with a dress etc. I was going to buy some new Topshop leggings for £12 because my newest pair suddenly had a huge hole in which I was really disappointed with, but for a fiver more, these really are fabulous. I will try and get them into an outfit post next time.

What have your experiences been like with Zalando? I ordered the leggings on a Thursday morning and they were with me by the Monday which is pretty good too for delivery, and I'd definitely shop with them again. Also, go explore Rampant Sporting more - you can find them in various places such as Zalando, Joules and Amazon, and it should be in our British spirit to support a totally British brand.

-Tamsin xxx

Life Update and Vlog 2

6 March 2013

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Some months are pretty standard. Some months are exciting loads of good things happen. February was the latter so I feel an update is due. Above is Max relaxing with his favourite bone. What a poser.

001. I pick up my new car on Sunday! 'But isn't your current car only 9 months old?' you ask. Yes, technically it is, but fortunately for me (and I am extremely fortunate) my Grandpa was a very important man within Ford and so because of him, Ford are very kind to me. The new Fiesta with the eco engine is out and they rung up and asked if I'd like to swap my current Fiesta for a new one, so during February, Jonny and I popped by Ford and signed all the paperwork for two new Fiestas. Jonny's Fiesta was only 12 months old too so we feel very spoilt but it's a lovely perk of having an important Grandpa! Jonny has changed his car colour from white to red, and mine is changing from navy blue to white..I'm very excited!

002. Last week, Jonny had a whole week off which is a rarity. We visited the Aqua Sana spa at Longleat last Tuesday and it was such a wonderful day. We had afternoon tea, and spent 4 hours lounging around and exploring the various spa rooms. It has a 'World of Spa' theme, and so all the various spa experience rooms are themed around different treatments around the world. Our favourites were the Turkish Hammam and the Balinese Multi-Steam Room. If you're ever near Warminster or Longleat, then do consider going - it was a lovely afternoon and we were so relaxed after we ditched dinner, and just ate a bowl of popcorn whilst watching Skyfall in our onesies. Bliss.

003. We've booked a mini break during the Easter holidays, although unlike us, it's a break in the UK. Usually I'm pining to go abroad either for culture, sport or just to tan it up, but this time we're doing it different. We've booked a cottage in Shropshire 5 miles from the Anglo-Welsh border - neither of us have ever visited Shropshire! So this is going to be a totally new experience for us. Our cottage has a log burner (for my pyromaniac boyfriend), a hot tub so we can hopefully sit out under the stars (please treat us nicely English weather!) and it also takes dogs, so Max is coming too. We're going to explore little villages, go for long walks and just try and relax. The break is slap bang in the week between both of our birthdays so it will be nice to get away. We booked through Hot Tub Holiday if you wanted to treat yourselves to a mini break - we're away for 4 nights and it was unbelievably cheap.

004. New cover is on my YouTube. I went for the new Bruno Mars song 'When I Was Your Man' but gave it a little female twist. Bruno Mars' simple piano songs are some of his best I think - you can really get into the song when you're singing.



005. After such lovely feedback from my first vlog from last month, I've filmed another and it's up on my YouTube now. There was a spring in my step the whole day because of the sun being out and Max had a great time on the common, not getting filthy in mud for once. Hurrah! I hope you enjoy it - I'm starting to like this vlogging business ;)

-Tamsin xxx


Clarins Skin Illusion Liquid Foundation

4 March 2013

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It's only Monday and already we have two close ups of my face. Alas I know my eyes are not aligned, and it has bugged me as long as I can remember, but you know me, and showing the product working is my priority on this blog. 

Remember last October when I sung praises for the Clarins Skin Illusion Powder Foundation? Well I decided I loved it so much that last month, I bought the liquid version. Excessive? Maybe. But powder and liquid foundations give such different finishes and blend differently into the skin, so it was worth me burning plastic to find out if it was as good as it's powdery sister. Powder foundations give a more matte finish and I love a bit of dewy glow.

So. Standard Clarins packaging and looks great. That's all we need to know about that. Pump works well and you get a decent amount with each pump. Consistency of the foundation is kind of between a gelly liquid and a creme, but don't be put off by this - it blends easily and buffs out perfectly using a Real Techniques buffing brush. This is a medium coverage which is as far as I like to go with foundation. Anything more than medium and I feel like I've got a full face of childs face paint, and this foundation buffs and covers so well that it hardly feels like you have anything on. It's buildable too, and seeing as February appeared to be a rather blotchy with the occasionally spottiness month for me, it worked it's magic and hid all my nasties perfectly. Formula is suited to dry to normal skin types so this may not be one for oilier skins, but as a dry skinned gal, my skin has felt hydrated and well looked after whilst wearing this. Lasting power is pretty damn good too. I can put this on at 7.30am and when I take my makeup off in the evening, there it is on my cotton pad saying 'hope I did a fine job today!' Yes, yes you did. It's got a liiittle bit of SPF in at SPF 10 so you don't get too much flashback in photos, and the fragrance is fresh and almost fruity.

As a pair, the Clarins Skin Illusion powder and liquid foundations are favs in my foundation drawer. Granted, you do need to use them for different types of day - I've been wearing the liquid foundation when I want guaranteed coverage for many hours, and using the powder on days where I may just be popping to the shops, walking the dog, and not so bothered about having the extra dewy finish. It's £26 a pop too, which is just about right for a good high end foundation and it gives the results I'd like. What more could I want? (apart from Daniel Craig to leave Rachel Weisz and realise he's truly in love with me.)

-Tamsin xxx