I’ve tried to keep this blog going through exams but honestly, I can’t do it. I love writing things for you guys to peruse but I have to put my exams first and getting myself to revise is hard enough without the excuse of a blog to write. So, I’m just warning you there won’t be any posts for a while, probably until July. I may pop one up now and again but for the most part you’ll just have to make do with the load of nonsense already on here.

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Eyes Lips Face // March

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EYES // Since I’ve been saving for my holiday to America I’ve really learnt how to find cheap but good quality things (see previous post) so this month I’ve been trying to find cheaper versions of eyeshadows I really like. There were two I found that actually worked, and they were both from MUA, and both cost just £1.

The first one is very very similar to the Maybelline 24hr Colour Tattoo in On and On Bronze, and since this is my favourite shade I was really chuffed to find a cheaper version. The Colour Tattoo’s aren’t that expensive, they’re around £5 but the MUA one is still a good £4 cheaper and looks identical on the skin. The lighting in the photo doesn’t do the similarity justice, but on the lids you can’t tell that it’s anything different. I don’t know if MUA give their eyeshadows names but it says shade 11 pearl.

The second one is a slightly paler but not bad duplicate of Naked from the Urban Decay Naked Palette. It’s again, £1 and is in the colour 17 matte. I must admit this isn’t a perfect match but is very similar to my favourite shade from the Urban Decay palette and is a teeny fraction of the price.
LIPS // I was planning on doing an entire post on just these five lip colours and may still do, but thought I’d mention them here too as they’re what I’ve loved to wear this past month. The ones I’ve liked the most are in the pictures above and L-R are Revlon ColorBurst™ Matte Balm in Elusive, Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie, Miss Sporty lipstick in 053 Watch Out (discontinued I think), Maybelline Colour Sensation Lipstick in 530 Fatal Red and 547 Pleasure Me Red.
FACE // There hasn’t really been anything new I’ve loved this month. I quite liked the Rimmel Stay Matte Primer but haven’t used it enough to make a proper judgement yet.

What have you been loving this month?

Finally, a heel we can walk in

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Okay. I know. I promise pages and pages of hilarious and carefully written blog posts and how many have appeared since I said that? Yeah, none. I’d like to say I have an excuse and that life has been just too busy to be sat typing away for hours on end and then taking pictures, uploading them, realising half are out of focus and half are when my hand slipped and look like a failed attempt at action photography, then retaking the pictures and settling on the best ones from the fourth batch.

But really, I don’t. I mean, I have had exams (don’t ask how they went, that will only open a huge can of emotional worms that I don’t think the internet is ready for just yet), but they’re not the Summer Of Doom exams that are coming up after Easter. They’re the Let’s-Test-You-On Something-That’s-Not-On -The-Syllabus-And-That-You-Or-Anyone-From-The-History-Of-The-Entire-World-Has-Heard-Of-And-Then-Make-It-Seventy-Six-Percent-For-An-E exams.

Sigh. Very big sigh.

So here’s my April Resolution. I’ll write one blog post a week, and if I have an exam, I’ll leave a sticky post telling you.

Anyway, on with the incredibly witty and somewhat hilarious post I promised probably several weeks ago.

I’ve always adored shoes, that’s a fact. I always hated it when I was younger and I grew out of my favourite shoes (until a new pair became my favourite, naturally). I used to carry on wearing them until my feet hurt like anything, bad move. As soon as my feet stopped growing (and it took a while, size 6 feet on a teeny person body, not cool) I took it as a perfect excuse to buy every pair of shoes I like because “I’ll be able to wear them forever”. I just thought it was awesome that even if your weight fluctuates, your shoes will always fit, unlike that amazing dress you spent 80% of your savings on. And they look pretty darn awesome too.

The only thing about heels that annoys me is that the higher they are, the better they look. And my feet don’t agree with height, they blister and ache like anything. Every time I go out my bag is stuffed to the brim, not with lipsticks and mirrors and other fancy things, but with blister plasters and blister spray. This year I’m leaving sixth form and heading off to uni and so we’re having our leavers dinner and I wanted some shoes to wear with my dress that would look super sassy but still feel comfortable. I came across on Lily Pebble’s blog some shoes from TopShop that were the kind of thing I wanted, but when I looked on the website they were £55 and I don’t know about you, but I don’t have that kind of money just floating around incase a lovely pair of shoes pops up.

lilypebblesshoe(Source: Lily Pebbles)

So, with those out of reach I went on the hunt for a bargain pair (I’m actually getting pretty good at this as I hate spending money on things I don’t need, it genuinely makes me break out in a sweat and I’ll tell you now, that’s not pretty). The ones I found are from H&M which at the time had a 25% coupon code (1319 if it still works) and a free delivery one which has now ended (you may also be able to get £5 off using 1304 if this hasn’t ended either, but they do currently have 10% off online with code 1440).

They were £24.99 which I was happy to pay anyway as they are less than half the TopShop ones, but with all the codes I ended up paying £19 for the shoes, a necklace, and delivered. It was a very productive day I think.

After wearing them round the house non-stop since they arrived, for now I’ll say they’re very comfy and are easy to walk in. I was a little wary as there is no platform and I’m used to there being one, but after five minutes I was sold. I love it when fashion and comfort collide.

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woah there stranger

Remember me? Little old me who normally sits behind a computer and plugs out (incredibly witty and somewhat hilarious) posts for you guys. I’m kidding about the witty and hilarious part but normally we go less than a week without something new for you guys to peruse over your morning cup of tea (although I wrote the four latest  posts weeks ago, so for me it really has been donkeys).

Now I’d love to say I’ve got a whole ‘lotta things planned ready to go, but I don’t. Well, I have ideas, they are just yet to materialise into actual words. It could be a while before that happens, with exams and things unfortunately taking up more and more of my time. One day (“I swear officer, one day I will learn how to procrastinate effectively and straight-A my exams“) I will sit down and type up everything that has been stashed away in my mind and hopefully make this blog a little more alive, with plenty of new content that takes hours to put together and you probably won’t read anyway.

Sigh.

Here’s a little snippet of the things I have in mind… please let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see.

The ULTIMATE Beetroot and Honeycomb Brownies Recipe

How to… do various things

The F Word: A few ramblings on feminism

Being British: A cup of tea with…

My Shoe Collection …aka 73% of my wardrobe

 

 

Midweek Motivation 10 // Live like a fruit loop

As I mentioned a little while ago (or may not have, I can’t remember, if I didn’t I’m sorry, I must have forgotten to plug my brain in on that day), there will only be 10 ‘Midweek Motivations’ for now and alas, we have reached that mark.

I’m kind of sad to see it go. I’ve discovered so many amazing quotes that I live by day-to-day now, and not to sound too dramatic but I have found a new (very philosophical) side to myself that I didn’t know was there, and I quite like it. I look at things in a lot more of a positive way and have found new ways to deal with things that have always caused me stress and anxiety.

I didn’t want the finale to be just another post about me and how the quote fitted in with my life that week, and then some philosophical chitter-chatter that you probably skimmed anyway. So this week I would like it if you could tell me how you relate to the picture for this week, or any of the previous posts.

It can be one line telling me you hate fruit loops, or a personal in depth message. Anything will do! (I’m now singing “any dream will dooooo” in my head… I’m really going to annoy myself soon, nobody wants Joseph on a Wednesday night).

So folks, it’s over to you.
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Previous Posts

Midweek Motivation 1 // Where the magic happens
Midweek Motivation 2 // A little jealousy
Midweek Motivation 3 // When life throws fireballs…
Midweek Motivation 4 // A Change of Heart
Midweek Motivation 5 // Don’t look back
Midweek Motivation 6 // Fail again, but fail better
Midweek Motivation 7 // Follow those dreams, girl
Midweek Motivation 8 // Cookies & a Catnap
Midweek Motivation 9 // Give it a go, you just never know

See all my favourite inspirational quotes on my Pinterest board here.

Half-Assed Hair | The Walnut Whip

Last Sunday I just couldn’t be bothered to even attempt to do anything fancy with my hair. Does anyone else get that? I mean, I’m not a Hair Person  (no seriously, even a pony tail is a serious thirty minute struggle for me) but I do like to make some kind of effort to make my hair look presentable, but I just really could not be bothered one teeny bit. These are the days I turn to the “messy bun” which ends up more like the “small birds nest sitting on top of my head with fuzzies and lumps galore”.

I first arrived at this hairstyle after getting annoyed at my “hair donut” because it just wasn’t working properly (I swear it was the donut, not my lack of hair skills). I said to it, “stuff you and stuff your ballerina buns, they look rubbish* anyway” and the rest is history, well, if you count about two years ago as history. Admittedly this does work better with slightly greasy, not-washed-in-three-days hair but if you don’t have any of that to hand, you can make do with whatever you do have.

So! On with the walnut whip/small birds nest sitting on top of my head with fuzzies and lumps galore!

*Sorry to lovers of the donut, I’m sure they look great on you.

Here’s what you’ll need:
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Brush – this is actually my backcombing brush but you can use any brush you have lying around (except a sweeping brush, or pet brush, or… you get the idea).

Bobble/hair tie/elastic - 
Just one, or two if that’s what you like.

Hair slides - You know, the slidey kind.

Hairspray - I’m not really a hairspray expert but for this I just use this one and it seems to do the trick.

Texturising spray - This part is totally optional but if you have short or thinner hair it works wonders for the size of the bun.

OK! Let’s make some walnut whips, shall we?

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First of all I washed my hair using the John Frieda Luxurious Volume shampoo and conditioner, I’m sure my bun would look more “undone” if I hadn’t conditioned but hey ho, this is the life of a non-Hair Person.

STEP ONE : Tie up your hair into a high-ish pony. Easy right? Ha. Ha. The higher you do it, the more “forwards” the bun will be, so if you do it at the back of your head, your bun will be (yep, you guessed it) at the back of your head. I tend to go for the right-on-the-crown approach.

IMG_6392Going from the “OMGICANTDOHAIR” look…
IMG_6410…to the “Hai, ponytail!” look. See what I did there?

STEP TWO : Backcomb the roots of your ponytail, and the middles, and a bit on the ends. Lots of you Hair People will probably tell me this will really ruin my hair but ahh well, it grows back. The more you backcomb, the bigger your nest will be. So if you’re going for the gigantic head consuming bun thing, you’d better get your backcombing groove on. This is also where I spray in some texturising spray stuff to add some, er, texture.

IMG_6426Nope, spiderpig is not on the ceiling today, just checking

STEP THREE : Split your ponytail into two sections. Wrap the front section around the other until you run out of hair, then pin it to your head. You can add a couple more pins if it’s feeling a little unstable. The idea is not to wrap too tightly as you’re creating the foundations for the top layer to sit on. Look at me sounding all Hair-y… I’m not ill, I promise…

output_2A3rCBWOAHHHH it moves!?

STEP FOUR : Take the other piece and hold it in the air, whilst pretending to be a unicorn.

IMG_6459THEY’RE REAL!

STEP FOUR-AND-A-HALF : Try not to get sectioned.

STEP FIVE : Wrap the second section around the half-bun you already have, but in the other direction. Pin this too, making sure the ends are tucked under the main bun so you don’t get a tail later on in the day. The more messy you place it, the more messy your bun will look. But you already knew that, you darn Hair People. I also then tug at it a bit to make it even more messy, squash it, squeeze it, ruffle it. Do what you gotta do.

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Now usually my bun is a big mess at this point so I take a few more pins and pin down wispy or sticky-uppy bits. Er, I hadn’t actually done any of that here, as you can tell from the fact that my hair is still a Huge Mess, with sticking out fuzzies reducing the size of my bun by about half.

STEP SIX : Hairspray. Spray like your life depends on it. I usually go for “sturdy but not crispy”.

IMG_6468 IMG_6470“Hey there blonde streak”

I must say this is not one of my better walnut whips. I was trying to do this without a mirror, and running backwards and forwards to the camera every 5 snaps (I really need to invest in a camera remote) so that is my excuse. To be honest though, it never goes perfectly, it really is luck, and it’s never the same twice. I guess that’s the beauty of it though, it doesn’t matter if it goes terribly wrong because you can pass it off as “deliberate mess”. I’m sure you get the idea, though, and it’s not creating the perfect bird nest that matters, it’s, er, the taking part. Or something. Where is my wine? I mean fruit tea.

IMG_6478Look quite awkward while you do this hairstyle. It will help.
No it won’t.

So there you have it! Now over to you, folks. The next time you look at your hair and think “What on earth can I do to this?” think of the imaginary homeless birds and build them a nest (okay it wasn’t tea, it was wine, I’m sorry).

(Things I learnt from blogging #27 : Taking pictures of yourself is really hard.
I mean, SO MANY BLOOPERS GOD)

bloopersSo. Very. Drunk.             Nope, spiderpig isn’t over there either.            I don’t even know.

IMG_6388“ONE DAY I WILL BE BEYONCÉ, ONE DAY”

Thank God it’s Pi Day

So it’s Pi Day again, the one day of the year we can celebrate maths and not care that we get called weird, because we can sit and eat pies. All day. Oh yes.

As lovely as pastry is, it’s just not that great for you (boo) and is a bit too stodgy for the start of spring, so I tried to find a smoothie equivalent of one of my favourite pies. I came up with a Blackberry and Apple Kale Smoothie. It’s really easy to make, just stick all of the ingredients below into your blender and whizz until it’s as smooth as you like it.

  • one and a half cups blackberries
  • one cup apple juice
  • one tbsp honey
  • two cups kale

The sun has finally emerged after a three-month holiday, and the whole of the UK has warmed up by about 20°C. Hopefully it will actually feel like spring when it begins next week.

 

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#100happydays

I stumbled upon this website 100 Happy Days and thought it would be a great thing to do, especially since it’s very easy to get down during exams and things. It’s really easy to do, you sign up on the website then submit your picture each day for 100 days of something that made you happy that day! You can submit them via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, email, anything.

Follow my 100 happy days on Twitter @violetkey_blog

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When my fridge met the new kid on the block

After researching GM foods and how big, and frankly frightening, genetic engineering has become, I’ve become a lot more aware of what I’m putting into my body. I’ve struggled with my skin and acne for as long as I can remember and I’d like my body to be happy on the inside as well as the outside so I’m trying to eat a lot more fruit and vegetables and a lot less crap. I’ve also been trying out loads of vegetarian food as it’s something I’m really interested in however I wanted to make sure I would be getting everything I need and research it properly so I can do it as a serious lifestyle change rather than a fad.

My friend Sara always goes on about how much she loves smoothies and how easy it is just to whip up a quick drink for breakfast when you’re in a rush so I thought I’d give it a go. I must admit I was a bit wary as I’m not a fan of fruit juice or processed drinks but since I could decide exactly what I put in it, I thought it’s worth a shot. I was also thinking it would be good for when I move out to uni in a few months as it’s an easy way to get nutrients into me and will help me to not put on too much weight.

I shopped around and found the Breville Blend-Active. It’s green so had to be great, right? It wasn’t expensive, they sell for about £30 and have a sports bottle type attachment that you use to actually blend the stuff in. It does actually say it’s meant to be for personal blending to take your drinks to the gym, but I’m not going to lie, I liked it because you’d have to do less washing up. 

To kick-start my “Save-Our-Skin” mission I thought what’s better than a nice green smoothie on a sunny Sunday morning? So I raided the fridge for anything green and then found a recipe that would use it all. 

Vital Green Spinach and Cucumber juice

You will need to rustle up:

  • one handful of fresh spinach
  • half a cucumber
  • fifty millilitres fresh orange juice
  • one cup tap water
  • two dried apricots
  • handful dried pineapple
  • few splashes lemon juice
  • pinch of fresh parsley (optional)

What to do…

  1. Put the water, orange juice, lemon juice, spinach, cucumber (skinned and chopped roughly) and parsley if you’re using it in the blender and whizz until it looks yummy.
  2. Chop the apricots a bit smaller and add them and the pineapple to the blender. Whizz for around 30 seconds.
  3. Pour the mixture through a sieve and into a glass.

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And that’s when I found there was no mussel in my mussel

You know those times were you just need a girly night out, with no men to distract or annoy you, to be in the company of the fellow woman-kind who you can just break down and cry for no reason at all in front of and they’ll just get it. Well last night was one of those nights, so Sara, Grace and I went out to Lucia’s, a really lovely authentic restaurant that serves kind of Spanish/Italian food. You can’t book a table so we had a 45 minute wait in the bar area. As none of us were 18 yet (boo) we had, er, “mocktails” which were actually really nice and a lot less fattening. I had an “innocent mojito” and it was really nice, I’m going to try to make one at home with my new blender (smoothie recipes coming soon, so exciting!).

We shared a starter of deep-fried mozzarella risotto balls, and I must admit that they don’t sound great but did taste amazing. I then had the Farfalle Norma which was pasta, grilled aubergines, cherry tomatoes, goats cheese and spinach. It was literally all my favourite foods in one dish, and I have finally learnt that you have to tell the person grating your parmesan to actually stop (after several meals where I’ve ended up spooning the cheese off my plate, and I never waste cheese). Sara and Grace both had Linguini Roma (ew seafood) and that’s when Sara found there was a mussel with no mussel in it. We were all way too stuffed for puddings but it was a wonderful night and I really wish we could do it more often. Ahh, those pesky long distance friends.

I’m quite upset we didn’t get more pictures, I took my camera but forgot my memory card so these are horrific phone shots and we got caught out by flash-face.

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triangle2I’m wearing my Miss Selfridge leather jacket (similar here), Zara green dress (similar here), and Carvela Kurt Geiger shoes (similar here).