30 April 2014

April 2014

Another month over means another monthly round up, so what did April bring? Of course my trip to the log cabin was the highlight of the month which consisted of trips to Seahouses and Beamish. It was lovely being in such a nice care free environment with Lee and our two best friends, not having to think about uni or work and just enjoying each others company in the mostly glorious weather. Three weeks off uni were obviously very happily welcomed this month and I've loved not having to make the hour and a half journey each way and of course having more time to spend with my friends and family. Although I have been swamped with assignments and revision with exams lurking, lounging on my bed in my pyjamas with the kitchen close by doing my work makes it a little more bearable.  

However, three weeks away from uni means three weeks away from the gym and three weeks with our favourite takeaway and a kitchen filled with yummy treats and Easter chocolates nearby therefore the whole fitness/healthy eating thing has taken a knock. I feel awfully sluggish and in need of a bit of a detox so I'm on a mission to try new foods and find new tasty but healthy recipes, any suggestions are welcome. I've also bought the 30 day shred to battle through since I won't be near my gym during study leave/summer. The aim was never to loose weight, although it was obviously going to happen, but seeing myself loose about 10lb in total was quite a good feeling and now sadly the majority of it has definitely crept back on, damn you Easter. It's only 64 days until I go on holiday so I best get cracking!

On the beauty front, I had a hair revolution and I went for the chop. Super long hair and dip dye now gone and I love it, it looks so much healthier and is proving way easier to manage. I also tried ILAH brows at my local salon as my brows were in a very sorry state. I definitely don't think it was worth £25 but I was pleased with the result. I don't think the tint did much for me at all as only the hairs are tinted and mine are pretty much black any way but I had forgotten how much of a difference good, tidy brows make to the overall look of the face and I'm determined to keep on top of them, however, I do feel as if I could've got the same result with a £5 wax.

Also in April I... had food and drinks at the local with Lee and friends and ended the month with a lovely meal consisting of that garlic bread (March round up) with the same lovely people. I watched Forest Gump for the first time, had a good ol' night out, had a catch up with one of my girls nearer the start of the month involving pizza, kebab, chocolate cheesecake and lots of chatting then another catch up with the rest of the girls later on in the month involving Chinese food and lots more chatting. One of my best friends has just started working with me which is nice, so on bank holiday an after work hot chocolate and scone was necessary followed by pizza, MIC and a sleepover. Like I said, I've been able to see my grandma a bit more this month, our routine used to consist of going for dinner every other Sunday but since I now work Sundays I don't get to see her much any more but we had two nice dinner dates in April. I also spent a good, successful day shopping in town with my mam and a haul will be coming your way very soon.

The month of May will see the start and finish of exams, oh the joys.
How did April treat you, did you do anything nice?
Rachael x

27 April 2014

The Log Cabin Part III - Beamish

Our last outing consisted of a trip to Beamish, a large open air museum  replicating life in the North East during the time of the 1820s, 1900s and 1940s. It takes you right back in time with everything feeling so real with the farm, colliery, old town and more. It's one of those places which throws me right back to my childhood, school trips to Beamish were the best. I wouldn't say we had a full day out because well, we're teenagers, we wake up late and take our time getting ready. Although we didn't get to see everything we had a great little day; we went on a train, admired some old fashioned vehicles, wandered through the town, donned our stylish white helmets and went down a mine and ate the best chips from the old fashioned chippy. One of my favourite parts of Beamish, if you can't tell, is the vast collection of vintage looking signs and posters that appear everywhere you go. That night, we decided to order Indians since it was our last night. Be warned, if you're in a pretty isolated area the delivery driver may get lost and take two and a half hours to deliver your food, and by that time you're likely to already be in the fridge. 

Three posts later and that is my wonderful mid-week break done and documented. Although Felmoor Park is only a short drive from home it felt like worlds away and I desperately want to return to the care-free way of life rather than being faced with endless assignments and revision, boooo! Who else is in the same boat?
Rachael x

23 April 2014

The Log Cabin Part II - Seahouses

Following on from my previous post, our first adventure began the next day (Tuesday), a trip to Sea houses, a cute little coastal town which I have always loved visiting. We set off after a beasty breakfast sandwhich concoction was consumed and once there, we took a freezing but nice walk along the beach (note to self; next time you're going away in the UK, pack a coat you idiot), ate some chips and of course no trip to the seaside is complete without wasting your money in the amusements. Leaving empty handed but with smiles on our faces, we strolled back along the harbour and the beach to the car, admiring the fishing boats and noticing how far the tide had come in within a few hours. We took a pit stop at Sainsbury's for some very necessary items; cake, jelly, pancake mix, alcohol and headed back to a meal consisting of my friends amazing home made chilli, pasta, garlic bread, nachos and sour cream, delicious! Once again, after a board game, the card games began and the drinks were flowing.
 If you are in the area, Sea houses is worth a visit, and although we didn't do one this time, the boat trips are a great addition to the day! As for Wednesday, it was a bit of a nightmare, a fun nightmare I suppose. We had intended to visit Hareshaw Linn, a walk with some waterfalls which none of us had visited before but it does look beautiful. However, the good old GPS man failed on us and we ended up 40 minutes from our destination after driving for a good while, time was cracking on and we had lost all trust in Mr GPS so we spent the day on a super long, dangerous (super tight corners, extremely narrow roads and a driver who isn't afraid of nothing), but beautiful country drive across the north Pennines and into County Durham. Some may see this as a waste of a day, but I love long journeys, even more so when you have great company. After a certain point, all the food had been eaten and we were starving therefore a stop at McDonalds was compulsory in order to refuel. However, we were still in need of a nap on our return, yes eighteen year old's need naps. We settled in front of the TV for the night, and  played cards, as per.

Rachael x

20 April 2014

The Log Cabin

One of the things I had wanted to do for so long was pack my bags and head away for a few nights to a log cabin as it always seemed like the perfect relaxing break. This week, that's exactly what I did, four nights in a log cabin accompanied by three of my favourite people; Lee and our two best friends. It came at just the right time, after a crazy few month and in the middle of exam and assignment hell all I wanted was to break away from the normal routine for a while, and I definitely could've stayed a lot, lot longer! The choice of park was Felmoor Park in Felton,  just off the A1, not exactly in the middle of the countryside but a very lovely park all the same. We got a really great price and we weren't disappointed with the cabin itself, clean and modern decor with all of the necessities and comfy beds (the biggest necessity!). I would say the walls could have done with a lick of paint and some cobwebs should have been dusted away but apart from that all was good. 

Upon arrival, we set off on a short wander around the park before learning some new card games on the balcony in the sun. A feast of pizza, garlic bread, Doritos and sour cream was laid out and we tucked into that before a full half game of monopoly (we weren't playing right, then got bored) and then the card games resumed and the drinks were flowing. 
So, that sums up only a few hours of our first day. The rest of our stay will be coming to you soon! 
Have you been up to anything nice over Easter?

Rachael x

13 April 2014

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water

Micellar water: oil in water which instantly breaks down and traps make up and dirt rather than spreading it around the face. Here we have the latest newbie to the micellar world, and its a good'un. I was never bothered enough to faff on in order to get myself some Bioderma but I have tried the L'oreal offering, it was a while ago so I don't feel as if I can do a complete comparison but in terms of packaging Garnier wins hands down. Although the L'oreal bottle is nice and thin, the rectangular shape does nothing for control while dispensing the product and a lot did go to waste but the Garnier one, although a tad more bulky, allows much better control. Secondly, lets talk money. I remember being disappointed at how little time the L'oreal one lasted and for £4.99 for 200ml (currently £3.33 on offfer in Boots) you can snap up the Garnier one for the same price, also currently on offer, but gain yourself double the volume at 400ml. I can't comment on the 200 uses claim but can confirm I'm onto my second bottle and my first lasted me around three months.

 That's as far as I'll take the comparison. As for the product itself, I love it. You get the best of both worlds as it's extremely gentle yet very effective. It's fragrance free and I don't find that it irritates my face or eyes at all yet it manages to quickly remove all make up, even the more stubborn mascaras, I'm looking at you Benefit's they're real. I tend to use this before cleanser in the evening to remove my make up and also in the morning to refresh and clean my skin ready for the day. This really does just feel like water, completely different from some of the more harsh make up removers I have tried, my skin feels smooth, soothed and clean afterwards. As I have to use more in the evening to remove my make up compared to the small amount I use in the morning I do find that it will leave a little bit of residue post make up removal but I follow up with a cleanser any way. Overall, I will never go back to make up wipes and for now, this will definitely stay on top in terms of make up removers. 

Have you tried this or any of its competitors? 
Rachael x

9 April 2014

March 2014

March has been one slow, quite dull month. I feel as if I have just been plodding along trying to reach all of the horrible deadlines uni have decided to throw at us whilst trying to get used to working all weekend, every weekend, and of course trying to get the hang of everything that goes on in a cafe. I have also been trying to build my confidence driving after passing my test last month and that is going okay still makes me so nervous. After getting involved in volunteering in FebruaryI went along to a big house for a weekend of residential training accompanied by other new volunteers which as well as training on things such as safeguarding and confidentiality, involved an assault course, a zip wire and a high ropes course, something that isn't exactly 'me' but I ended up totally enjoying channelling my inner thrill seeker and once again, stepping out of my comfort zone. We also ate a lot of good food. 

 Other than that, pancakes made by Lee were consumed on pancake day, I had a cute little catch up at my grandmas and a catch up and a good burger at Wetherspoons with a friend. Me and Lee went to see Non Stop which was so, so good and we had a lovely night at a local pub/restaurant which I have mentioned previously eating sooo much good food, just look at that garlic bread! We had another nice meal at our favourite Indian restaurant and a few good nights with a couple of friends at the pub. I also spent some time at my friends flat. Me and Lee only managed one drive to the beach this month where we spotted a strange looking plane and chatted about aliens, typical us. Finally, I have been looking at changing universities for second year to one closer to home which I didn't originally get the grades for, I have received a conditional offer providing I pass this year with a certain percent so wish me luck!

 To be honest, the majority of March has been spent in front of the laptop with Breaking Bad playing on the screen...

Rachael x

7 April 2014

February 2014

February has by far been the craziest month I have experienced in a long time, leaving me absolutely exhausted but it was worth it as this month has been full of achievements. I have  stepped out of my comfort zone and tried not to let my low confidence get in the way, meaning that for the most part of the month I have been a bit of a nervous wreck, but I'm pleased I didn't say no. It all began with a cafe assistant job interview and a volunteering interview, which much to my surprise, both ended up being a success, after years of unsuccessful interviews I was finally getting somewhere! 

 My first day at work was a bit of a nightmare, it was hard enough getting up at 8 am on a Saturday after being used to not rising until midday. I was thrown in there without any training and was extremely panicky and shaky, even to the point I had to be moved areas and to top it all off I managed a cup smash count of two. However, after the initial first day nerves were over it hasn't been too bad at all. As for the volunteering, it's for the charity Children North East being a peer mentor. This is something I'm super excited about as it will be my first bit of experience in an area of work that i'm considering for the future. The chairty really values it's volunteers and i'm excited to be a part of it. I have also seen my uni assignment marks rise this month and I finally passed my driving test!! It's something I have totally struggled with and a few breakdowns have been had alongside my instructor, it still totally scares me but now I have a license it's  time to build my confidence in that drivers seat of my little car.

Valentines day was nice and minimal. We woke up together and Lee decided that he wanted to make me breakfast but then scoured the kitchen and stated
 that I had nothing appealing. Instead, he took a trip to McDonalds, returning with the amount of food suitable for way more than two. Two big tasty large meals and a 20 chicken nugget sharebox were almost completely demolished. I then, quite nervously, let him do my makeup and choose my outfit for uni and he actually surprised me by doing a decent job! Minimum touch ups were needed, I have a future MUA in my hands I think. That night, we took a trip to the cinema, ice blast in hand,  to see Endless love, which was super romantic - just my type of movie. We returned home and decided we were hungry so chucked some chicken and roasties in the oven at 12:30am.

 Aside from all the craziness of interviews, volunteer training, form filling, work, assignments and my driving test I have had a little bit of time to relax. Me, Lee and friends visited the cosiest little pub/restaurant where I devoured the best chicken pie, ever. We then moved on to the local for a few drinks which was nice as, although it used to be a regular occurrence, it had been a while. I had a catch up with my friends at uni and a cinema date with one of my best friends to see That Awkward Moment and it was alright, funny but predictable. Other movies I have watched with Lee this month are; Step up 3, Pitch perfect, Step brothers and we also finally got Netflix, it's safe to say the Breaking Bad addiction has begun. We also had a good night at a house party, had a nice family steak night and as always, went on a few nice drives to the beach, it doesn't get much better than lying in the car together next to the sea, under the stars chatting about life.

Rachael x

2 April 2014

January 2014

We did it, we made it through the first month of 2014. For me January was quite a nice, happy month. The highlights being mine and Lee's three year anniversary, celebrated with a McDonalds and a cosy night in and the fact that we have booked our summer holiday! We're jetting off to Los Christianos in Tenerife in exactly 145 days 21 hours and 47 minutes, it's the first time going abroad together so I'm sure it'll be aaamazing. We also enjoyed a lovely meal at the local Indians, a trip to the cinema to watch the secret life of Walter Mitty which we both really liked and a walk along the beach at night where I spotted 2 shooting stars (and another a few days later!). I have a thing for stars, they're my favourite. We also watched the following movies; Mr Popper's penguins, Not another teen movie, The hurt locker and we attempted to watch The girl with the dragon tattoo and wow, what a sick movie. 

 Who remembers BN's from their childhood!? They were a rediscovery this month when my mam spotted them in Home Bargains for only 49p and I can confirm they still taste as good as I remembered. January also seen me return to the gym, aiming to go three times a week and thoroughly enjoying it. I listed lots of things on eBay, was reunited with my friends at uni for a night out, enjoyed a girly shopping day with a tasty pulled pork burger in Wetherspoons and a  hilarious disaster in New Look when I couldn't get the zip down on some shorts I was trying on, nightmare! On the not so thrilling side, I spent part of the month trying to get motivated for university and writing an essay on hemispheric specialization and left or right brain dominance, the joys.

February is going to be pretty busy I think and I will spend it wishing for warmer weather and continuing to progress towards some of my goals. How was your January? 
Rachael x
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