This Sleepy Town Called Home

As a Londoner now living up north I sometime miss the hustle and bustle of the city.  Yesterday I took a daytrip to London and I loved every moment of it.  I miss the shops! The diversity! Even the tube!! Yet a part of me couldn't wait to get back home.  It's daytrips like this that make me appreciate what we have on our doorstep.

Although my life is completely different now to how it was in London I'm glad I've had the opportunity to experience both the city life and this sleepy town I call home.

We do things we wouldn't necessarily do if we lived in London.  The weekends often involve making up a picnic and going on random walks with the family.  You never know what you're going to find and it always feels like an adventure.  It's completely different to the way I grew up where Camden and Carnaby Street were a stop off after school. But you know what?  As long as I get a few daytrips in here and there, I've come to realise I wouldn't trade this in for the world (or the city).

One of our random walks with the boys in my life!!


Clearing Out The Closet

I know I'm not alone when I say I have clothes in my wardrobe I havent worn in years.  In fact there are some clothes in my wardrobe that I've never even worn!  Brand new clothes with tags. Unworn. Come on ladies I know I'm not alone here.  I've been contemplating why I do this and there are several reasons........

1.  I decided at some point there would be an opportunity to wear 'that' item.

2.  I wanted to return the item but lost the receipt or my 30 days was up.

3.  The item was so cheap (most likely from Primark) that it would have cost me more in petrol and parking to return the item, than what I actually paid for the it!

4.  I wore the item once and realised the stores changing room must have been using special effects to make me believe I looked amazing.  The reality however was not so good.

5.  I decided I no longer liked the item and would sell it on Ebay (when I got a spare moment).  Which is never.

6.  The moment I get rid of something I'll need it aka Sods Law so it makes sense to keep everything for 'just in case purposes'.

My wardrobe is now buldging at the seams and my boyfriends section mysteriously seems to be getting smaller.  Something which hasn't gone unnoticed by him.  The trouble I've found when you have so many clothes is you loose track of what you have and end up wearing the same favourite trusty outfits!  This just would not do!

When The Clothes Bank opened up in town I decided it was time to have a clear out.  You take in good quality shoes, clothes and accessories, they weigh them and in return they give you cash. Kerrrching!

I attacked my wardrobe with determination and took a photo just to prove it.

Not a bad effort eh?

To the Clothes Bank we go

My clothes weighed in at 22kilos........

How much did I get?????  Well ok, I only got £12.60 but hey thats a quarter of the way towards a brand new pair of shoes and a whole load of space to fill.............hehe.


My First Outfit Post!!

Hey Everyone

So, today I'd thought I'd jump on the ol bandwagon and do my first ever outfit post.

I dont know why I'm doing this because I absolutely detest having my photo taken. I always pull a silly face at the last moment or do a fake smile but I do love clothes and a challenge.  So, I've bitten the bullet and persuaded my sister to take some photos of me whilst no one else was around.

Without further ado here is a quick outfit of what I wear to work.  Oh and I am wearing shoes by the way but my sister cut them off!

Dress- H&M, Blazer-Topshop, Belt-River Island

Shoes: River Island

Happy Monday lovely followers. x


Guest Post - Veggie Pizza from Scratch

Hello "A Girl I Know' followers! I am Penni from Banjelope. I have a blog mostly about creating amazing meals in the kitchen, as well as fun design things like printables and other whimsical wanderings. If you like this recipe, I hope you'll check out my blog.

Now, if you think making homemade pizza from scratch is too hard, stop thinking that way. Homemade pizza takes about an hour, but most of that time is waiting for the dough to rise. The dough really consists of four ingredients (yeast, water, flour and oil) and the toppings are all up to you. I never thought about making my own dough until my friend and attorney partner at my law firm, Emily, taught me how to make pizza from scratch. I was amazed at how easy and delicious the result was! Today, I am sharing my pizza dough recipe with you. The toppings are really up to you, but I used veggies and italian cheeses.  I also used pesto as my pizza sauce, mostly because my husband is obsessed with pesto. You can go sauce-less or use a tomato-based sauce if you prefer.  All the other ingredients in the dough, like the herbs and spices, are up to you and completely optional. I like to put a lot of stuff in my dough, because why not? If you want to keep it simple,

Pizza Dough Ingredients:
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (90-110  degrees Fahrenheit or 32-37 degrees Celcius)
  • 2-2.5 cups flour (I used all-purpose unbleached flour).
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • dash of garlic salt/powder
  • dash of onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons white sugar
  • Italian herbs of choice. I used oregano & parsley

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. I used instant yeast in water roughly 100 degrees Fahrenheit. I do not have a thermometer, so what I do is heat up the water and test it on the inside of my forearm. If the water feels roughly the temperature of my skin, then I put the yeast in the water. If its too hot, then I let the water cool for a minute or two and test again (and repeat if necessary). If its too cold, then I heat it up for a couple of more second in the microwave. If you do have a thermometer, then try to get the water between 100-110 degrees Fahrenheit before you put the yeast in. The yeast should look something like this when done. Yummy looking, right?

While the yeast is dissolving into the water, in a separate large bowl, combine the flour, olive oil, salt, white sugar, spices and herbs together and mix. Once the yeast mixture is creamy, add the yeast mixture into the large bowl. Hand or use utensils to mix well until a stiff dough has formed. Cover with a towel or damp paper town and let rise until doubled in volume, or about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once the dough has doubled in size, kneed and turn the dough on a well floured surface. Carefully form and spread dough into a round or square shape, depending on how you want your pizza to look. 

Don't mind the messy counter-tops!
Once your pizza dough is formed, lay it on a pizza stone or a pan of your choice. I use a pizza pan that is circle and has circles cut out of it to make the pizza crisp. Cook your dough, with nothing on it, for about 4-5 minutes. This lets the dough get slightly cooked and to make sure the middle of the pizza will be cooked through. It should look something like this: 

Cover with your sauce of choice. Today, I used pesto on my veggie pizza. You can add whatever veggies you want as a topping. I used mushrooms, tomato slices and red onions. I also like to brush the crust with a little oil, but that is up to you. Add the cheese at the end. I used a mix of mozzarella and a local cheese, roughly 1-1.5 cups worth of shredded cheese. Cover with any more herbs you may want.

Put it in the oven and let cook for 15-20 minutes, depending on how you like your pizza cooked. I am partial to a well-cooked and crispy pizza. If you like it more gooey, then keep it around 15 minutes. Take it out and enjoy! Is there anything more satisfying then a home-made pizza? I think not.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. My husband always looks forward to pizza night. This recipe takes about an hour to make, but it is mostly waiting around. It's completely worth it, and it's completely personalizable, meaning you can add any toppings, sauces, cheeses or anything else you may want.


Guest Post - My Evening Skin Care Routine

Hello lovelies!

My name is Siobhan from The Hunrgy Bird, and although I am not new to the blogging community, The Hungry Bird is a whole new blog I have started so this particular blog is pretty fresh only being a few weeks old in the bloggersphere.

I'm a huge fan of lifestyle blogs, as I love the variety of the posts and being the nosey neighbour I am, I love having an insight into other peoples lives, and being inspired by other bloggers lifestyles.  This is why it is a privilidge for me to share my own insights on Maxine's blog here.
So lets get straight into it shall we!  Today I am going to share with you my evening skin care routine...

In recent months I've learnt just how important it is to look after my skin.  Whilst I was studying full time at uni and working three part time jobs, as you can imagine I didn't really have time for a full skin care routine.  It was a case of soap and water in the morning and a face wipe to take my makeup off in the evening...NOT GOOD!

Now I'm working full time and have a little more time and money on my hands, over the past few months I have been able to invest in a full skin care routine.  Now, because of my job and the hours I work, I pay particular attention to my evening skin care routine.  I have to be in the office at 8:00am Monday to Friday, so I'm up for 6:00am during the week, then there is that little thing called life in between, which doesn't usually see me going to bed before 11:00pm.  As you can imagine, my busy life and often lack of sleep can leave my skin looking dull and lifeless, which I imagine can be the case for other women out there, be they career women, mothers, or both!

The evening skin care routine I've formed for myself helps bring my skin to life in the morning, helping to make my skin look more radiant, even if I don't feel like it on the inside...

Makeup Removal
I personally don't think it matters at this stage what sort of makeup remover you use, so long as your chosen product does it's job in removing the excess makeup from your face.  My personal favourite is the Bioderma Crealine H2O makeup remover, as it dissolves the makeup when removing it instead of smearing it over your face.  However this is a French product, which cannot be purchased in stores in the UK.  I purchase mine from sellers on Ebay, but this usually comes at a cost of around £14.00 - £16.00.  Not cheap!

When I'm on the move I just use face wipes so as not to risk spilling my pricey Bioderma (this is out of experience!).  This week I'm house sitting for my aunty whilst she is at a wedding in Cyprus, so I have brought along with me the Soap & Glory facial cleansing wipes, which do the job just nicely, and cost me a mere £4.50 from my local Boots store.

My favourite cleanser at the moment is the Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser.  This is a cult product, which I first discovered at the end of last year.  I have quite sensitive skin, which if not looked after properly can really flare up.  This cleanser is perfect as it is so gentle and it is extremely easy to use.  All you have to do is massage the Liz Earle cleansing cream into your skin, leave it to work it's magic for  2 - 3 minutes, then remove it with the muslin cloth which is provided with your cleanser, soaked in luke warm water.  The thing I love about the muslin cloth is that it also exfoliates your skin.

When I purchased my Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser there was a special price in place so I only paid £9.50, however the RRP is £14.25 for 100ml, which you can purchase here.

I'll be honest here...toners aren't a product I am too fussed about.  I'm just yet to find one that really lives up to it's claims.  What I do find useful about them is they get rid of any remaining dirt and grime from the day, simply by wiping the product around my face and neck with a cotton pad.  I'm currently using a free travel size sample of the Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic, which I received when I bought the Hot Cloth Cleanser.  You can purchase the 200ml full size version of the product for £12.50 here.

I'm currently using the Vichy Chrono Active Anti-Imperfection Night Cream.  This product claims to work on your pores; unclogging them and reducing the appearence of them.  I haven't been using this product enough yet to notice any dramatic changes, but what I do like about this product so far is how fresh it smells and how quickly it sinks into my skin, not leaving me with the risk of transferring any product onto my pillow.

I bought this product from my local Boots store for around £12.00, for which you get a generous 50ml of product.

Face Mask
A couple of nights a week (usually Wednesdays and Saturdays), just before bed I will apply the Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask, which I love!  This is another cult product with the beauty bloggers, and for good reason!  This stuff smells good enough to eat, and you literally wake up with glowing skin the morning after applying it, and it is so simple to use.  Simply slather on a thick layer of the mask before bed on your face and neck, then that's your job done for the night!

For 100ml it costs £20.00 for this product, which seems quite steep, but considering you only need to use it twice a week, and a little goes a long way, you really get your money's worth.

To read my full thoughts on this product, read my review here...

Now this evening skin care routine has been catered around my own personal skin situation.  What works for me here may not neccessarily work for others.  However this is a good basis to work with and build upon, and find that evening routine that will help you wake up radiant and glowing in the morning, even if you don't feel it on the inside...


Guest Post - MUA trio!

Hi there! I'm Jennifer from Glamour, Above all Things and tonight is my night to tell you all about my latest purchases from MUA :) It has taken me quite a few months to come around to the idea that good quality makeup , widely used by makeup addicts such as yourselves is available for £1 a pop - I know, right?!
I eventually caved in after reading nothing but good reviews and, well, here is my verdict!

I bought these products online from and had to restrain myself from buying absolutely everything available, but with some careful consideration I picked out three items.

At first I wasn't too impressed with the blusher because of the powdery mess it seems to create every time a brush touches it, but for £1 I don't think I'm in any position to complain about extra product ... This blusher is actually lovely! The colour payoff is summery, subtle and pretty but can be built upon, leaving room for a day time look as well as night time - it is incredibly blendable and leaves a flushed hue of pink on the cheeks without looking overdone.  As you can see on the photo, it's quite pale but still gives a girly flush to the skin. I've been using it with dark eyeshadows and bright red lips. 
I'm not that impressed with the packaging- I don't like the cheap plastic case the blush is placed in and it feels quite fragile. Then again, the price of this blush does make up for that! I am an avid Benefit user and to be honest, I do think this blush resembles the flushed tone of pink you get from their Thrrrrrrrrrob blusher (which is around £22 ...) I'd definitely recommend, and for £1 I think it's worth a go!

The next product I bought was shade 3 of their lipstick range! Now, as a Dita and Marilyn lover I am a huge fan of the red lip and I sometimes venture into darker pinks, so I thought this shade would be a lovely in-between to try, and I am not sorry! Again, this product is only £1 and I am absolutely loving it!
The tube casing doesn't follow suit at all, it doesn't feel cheap or plastic-y and looks quite posh with the silver on black design.
The colour payoff with this lipstick is beautiful. It's a gorgeous deep pink colour, but together with the lipstick's consistency it gives a really creamy-textured lip colour that lasts all day! Now, I'm not one to exaggerate when it comes to makeup - I applied this lipstick yesterday at 3pm. I was still wearing bright and bold it at 10pm after 2 glasses of wine, 2 margaritas and a calzone, PLUS kissing and talking with no touch-ups. Now, I don't know about you - but that has to be worth the £1 right? The dark pink and red lips are really 'in' this season with pin-up looks being the new black, so I would definitely recommend investing in one of these!

The next lipstick is shade 8 of their range :) This lipstick isn't as excitable as shade 3 (not as creamy, not as much colour payoff - you have to apply it around 3 times to get a deep enough colour) but I am putting that down to the slightly different consistency of this lipstick to shade 3. This shade is slightly glittery, a bit harder maybe - but that is actually something that also makes this lipstick completely food, drink, kiss and chat-proof! I have tested the longevity of this lipstick's wear and it was around 5 or so hours before I needed a definite touch-up, so this lipstick is a go-go for nights out, meals out or occasions you won't have a lot of time to check your lipstick hasn't slid down your chin or dried up your lips! Again, this lipstick is £1 so the fact that it needs a bit more application than the other one doesn't mean a thing, once it's on - it's on!

I absolutely love these products! I probably won't get another blush, purely because I like blushes with different consistencies - I am definitely glad I tried theirs though! These lipsticks are definitely in my top 10, along with Clinique, Benefit, ELF etc. The colours I have bought and the colours available are beautiful shades and are definitely worth a try. I have white hair and very very pale skin so dark lipsticks aren't always a good idea for me - but these lipsticks are really worth the hype :)

I hope you've enjoyed this post! If you like what you read, please head on over to my blog for more reviews, tutorials and style tips! :)
Thankyou to Maxine for letting me ramble on and giving me the chance to write for her blog, it's been an honour!

Has anyone tried these products or have any other MUA products they like/loath?
Jennifer xo


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