4 June 2013

Race For Life

Every year since 1994 Cancer Research UK has been hosting the Race For Life charity event in over 230 destinations across the UK and Northern Ireland. It is essentially a sponsored 5k run in order to raise money and awareness to fund the work of 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses who research into many aspects of cancer so they can prevent the disease and diagnose it as early as possible. 

This year my friends and I signed up for the race held in Lydiard Park, Swindon. 
Lots of people turn up early so they can join in the big warm up, chat to local radio stations and sort out their pins without the pressure of rushing. 
We might have missed out on this part due to one of us sleeping through our alarm... (sorry guys)

Nevertheless we managed to arrive just in time and after fixing our numbers to our shirts and tying our wrists together with ribbon we headed for the mass of pink cheeriness and music.

There were so many people which was amazing to see and you can't help but feel good with all the positive energy around.
Luckily it was a gorgeous day which only added to the excitable buzz in the air. 

After a quick photo we joined the rest of the runners/joggers/walkers who were queued up behind the start line. 

Aaaand we were off! ... (to a rather slow start)

As we had arrived a bit late we were stuck near the back with all the walkers but after some skillful weaving and dodging we managed to sneak our way nearer to the middle of the line where we could pick up the pace! We bobbed and giggled our way along the route, only encountering a few incidents where B nearly got pulled apart. Note to anyone else tying themselves to friends: communication is key!

Little action shot of us there. Look at us go ;)

The nice thing about RFL is that everyone is so supportive and there is such a sense of community. Anybody can join in (apart from guys) so if you haven't ever taken part because you're not too confident of your running abilities there is absolutely no need to worry as there were so many people of different fitness levels and you can walk and take breaks if you want. This is such a 'teacher' thing to say but with this it really is the taking part that counts!

If you want to find out more or see what races are being held near you then check out the website here as it isn't over yet! And if you are unable to take part in the actual race then you can always sponsor someone or make a donation

Well done to anyone else who has taken part in some way! 
A x

3 June 2013

Sunny Snapshots

So I've been a bit rubbish at updating my blog recently and I really have no excuse but I'm going to try and post more regularly from now on! It will also avoid me getting into trouble with my friends who are, to quote, 'fuming' when there's nothing new up!

Anyway here are a few photos taken two bank holiday weekends ago.
The sun was shining bright, blue skies galore, and the air was warm so what better to do than stock up on a silly amount of snacks and head to the park for a picnic.
Our healthy range of foods included a huge bottle of h2o which got contaminated by a certain member of the group... Good job we had plenty of cartons as well is all I can say!

Love this last pic!

A x

14 May 2013


Last weekend I went for dinner at Panasia. Pronounced 'pan-asia'. I say this because it wasn't until I said it out loud that I understood B's confusion when I asked her what kind of food they serve - 'Asian...?' 


To be more specific it's a Thai restaurant which hosts a variety of both Japanese and Chinese foods too, including curries, Peking cuisines, tempura and fried dishes and vegetarian options. 

Everything on the menu sounded delicious, which, despite being good for obvious reasons, also meant that M and I took far too long choosing what we wanted. Damn you indecisive mind! 
Eventually, after having to ask the waitress for a bit longer several times, we were ready to order. 

B and I went for Peking Crispy Pork char siu with pak choy in Peking sauce which was seriously tasty.

M had Roasted Duck breast with pak choy in Peking sauce. 

And L went for Moo Krawp ** Thai crispy belly pork in Chef’s specialty sauce. (2 stars meaning this dish had medium level of spiciness).

We also ordered 2 portions of Thai Sticky Rice which were served up in these little wicker pots. How cute!

B swore that she caught a glimpse of some desert dishes that looked too appetizing to pass up and insisted that we all have some. 

Well alright, if you insist... 

Despite shamefully not being able to finish off my plate of main, I couldn't say no to this little blob of chocolate and hazelnut ice cream coated in chocolate sauce complete with a squirt of cream and blueberry on top. 

L and M had caramelized coated ice cream. My only concern is our plates weren't big enough.

B went for the fried banana split with a good dollop of ice cream. She don't mess around when it comes to deserts. Nor does she like to share. 

We were seated downstairs. The only other people there was a big party of girls on what we figured was a hen night. However once they had left we had the whole of the down floor to ourselves so I managed to get a few photos of the place. 
Doesn't it look nice?

The ambiance was great, with this ethereal mystical kind of music playing in the background. I'd give the staff 10/10 too. As soon as our glasses were looking half empty the waitress would be there in a flash to top them up. And despite the place being pretty packed, we didn't have to wait very long at all for our meals to arrive. We got to the restaurant at about 8.30 and luckily as there were only 4 of us they managed to seat us quickly downstairs but to be on the safe side I would advise booking ahead for a table!

If you want to check them out online and have a peak at the other delicious dishes on the menu then click here

A x 

11 May 2013

REVIEW: Benefit 'They're Real!' Mascara

Along with a large proportion of the makeup loving population I am a massive fan of the UK's no.1 best-selling mascara, aka Benefit 'They're Real!'. I've been making use of it's cunning formula for about a year now so I thought it was only right to do a review on it.

'They're Real!' has everything you'd want from a mascara: it separates, lengthens and adds brilliant volume to your lashes. And for me the cherry on the cake is that it manages to stay put all day - something I have trouble with as so many others I have tried have left me with panda eyes by late afternoon. Not a good look. 

However, like everything it does have it's downsides...Not many though, do not fear. Firstly, despite this stuff having excellent lasting power it consequently makes it a pain to take off. At the end of a long day the last thing you want is to have a war with stubborn makeup, therefore an oil based remover is essential to rid every last trace from your lashes. I was also disappointed in the 'curling' department as I felt it didn't really do much to fight my naturally straight lashes. And finally the only other negative point that springs to mind is that it's easy to make your lashes look a little clumpy for my liking - obviously this is purely down to personal preference and I know some people like that look but I don't think it's the best look on myself. 

I really like the slim brush design which is made out of plastic, maybe not to everyone's taste, but I think it works well and the bristles at the very tip of the brush enable you to coat those difficult-to-reach little lashes right at the inner corners of your eyes. Being able to do this means you can really fan out your lashes effectively which looks so pretty.  

Above are the 3 different stages: bare lashes, one coat, two coats.

As you can see just one coat really gives the length a boost, and then the second coat adds the drama giving that extra volume and definition. For a more causal day-time look I'll just stick to one coat.

So there are my thoughts on the UK's most popular mascara! I'd say if you're on the look out for a great mascara which will not only help you achieve bold, dramatic lashes but will also stay put then I would say give the 'They're Real!' a go. Priced at £18.50 do I think it's worth the money and will I purchase it again? Yes, despite being a tad on the pricey side it does out shine my other mascaras so I'm pretty sure I would!

You can order it online here from feelunique.com (they sometimes have some discounts on brands including Benefit so if you keep an eye out you could end up saving a few extra pennies!) or you can pick it up at your nearest Benefit counter.

A x

1 May 2013

Happy May

Just a few snaps I took when the sun was out!
Everything just looks that much prettier in the sunshine. 

Hope you have a lovely day :)

A x

26 April 2013

NOTD: Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paint

I know I'm a little late to the party here but I've only recently picked up one of Barry M's Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paints. Today I'm sporting the shade 'Prickly Pear' which is a really nice lilac. 

So what's different about these compared to their normal polishes you ask? Actually you probably already know as I'm that late on the bandwagon but I'll tell you anyway. These Gelly Hi-Shine paints have been formulated to 'provide an extra glossy finish' and yes, as the name would suggest to make your nails look gel-like. 

I guess the real question is do they do as they claim? Well I've only tried one shade but from what I've seen they do an alright job of achieving that glossy effect. Maybe I was expecting too much but for one I thought it would be a lot shinier - I can't say it stood too far out on the front line against any of my other polishes.

That being said I genuinely do like the formulation of this polish; it applies evenly on your nails leaving a smooth coat of colour and the pigmentation is stronger than their normal nail paints. I applied two coats and found that the drying time was pretty average so luckily I had distraction in the form of Escape to the Country (ha ha, I'm such an old woman) so that I didn't go and mess up the polish before they dried. 

Overall I think these are great polishes and for a bargainous £3.99 you can't really go wrong! I've got my eyes set on the bright pink and orange colours next. You can check them out online at Boots here. Have you tried any of the gelly hi-shine paints? 

A x

24 April 2013

Carrot Cake

I meant to post this a while back but better late than never hey! Anyway the 18th March marked my mum's 30th (ha ha) birthday. Being the wonderful daughter that I am I decided to make her favourite carrot cake.
Instead of cheating like last year and using the Betty Crocker mix and insisting it was all me, I decided to bake it properly from scratch. This called for a little expert guidance so I enlisted the help of good ole Jamie Oliver. This was a good move. It's true that the healthiest thing about carrot cake is the name but that's totally excusable when tastes as delectable as this one did. 

Needless to say it didn't last long. 

If you want to have a go at making this then click here for the recipe. It does require you to get your hands on a quite a few ingredients and more spices than your basic sponge but the result is a truly yummy cake that you can imagine enjoying over a good catch up with an old friend in a cute cafe, whilst sipping on mugs of tea. If you drink tea that is. Still being fully intact with my youthful taste buds I'd have a huge hot chocolate with a mountain of cream and marshmallows, but you get the idea.

A x 
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