Sunday, 27 November 2016

Faking a trip to the hairdresser's

I go to London on today and unfortunately I didn't have enough time beforehand to get my hair cut and coloured. My hair's starting to look a bit straggly on the ends, my toner's gone a funky colour and my roots aren't looking great.

Basically I looked a bit like Wurzel Gummidge so I put on my thinking cap to come up with some quick fixes for my hair problems:

I was a bit apprehensive about using an at home toner as my Mum usually colours my hair for me (she's a hairdresser) but turns out I had nothing to worry about. The Scott Cornwall toner is cruelty free (big tick) and promises to create metallic tones to light blonde or platinum hair and it definitely delivers. My hair can sometimes go greeny blue with silver toners as it's really porous but luckily I had no problem with this at all. There's no nasty artificial smell and it leaves your hair feeling super soft - You wouldn't even know you'd had a colour treatment. My hair's definitely looking a lot perkier after using this stuff and there's enough left over for a second application in the future.

Noughty Haircare first caught my eye when I was browsing the Superdrug website as the packaging is a beautiful pink shade that really grabs your attention. So when the guys at Noughty offered to send me a sample I pretty much snapped their hand off. The leave in conditioner is 97% natural, free of any nasties and is packed with wonderful ingredients like argan oil, shea butter and sweet almond. I've never used a leave in conditioner before and I worried that this was going to make my hair greasy but it didn't. Instead it left it feeling smooth, shiny and the ends no longer feel like rats tails or like they're about to snap off. Plus it smells delicious.

With the colour refreshed and the ends all soft and shiny the only problem left to solve was the inch of regrowth that I had going on. Bleaching them takes time (time that I did not have) so the only way to solve it was too whack on some dry shampoo to soften the harshness of the root to end colour contrast then pull on a beanie hat. This one is from Missguided, only cost a tenner (although I got it in the 50% off sale) AND it's ridiculously cute. What more could you want to hide your hair woes?

How do you disguise a bad hair day?

* I was gifted the colour restore and the leave in conditioner in return for a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Promise.

This post also contains affiliate links.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

A Skinnydip Haul

skinny dip london
Good morning guys! Today I have a very pink, Skinnydip haul for you to feast your eyes on.

I missed out on the last Skinnydip x The Simpsons collection cos I was in London so when I got an e-mail telling me about their next collaboration, I was all over it. I didn't go too crazy, only ordering my two favourite items from the collection, but I couldn't resist a super sparkly non Simpsons purse (that was on sale by the way) to match it all.

Wanna learn more about what I bought? Read on!
Skinnydip London: Moe Pillow Make Up Bag

Skinnydip London: Moe Pillow Make Up Bag
Moe Make Up Bag £16.00
I definitely did not need another make up bag but I couldn't resist this little beauty. I daren't put it in my everyday bag out of fear it will be coated in pen stains and crumbs so it's going to be saved for best (ie holidays). Embroidered Moe is lovely and it is actually a little pillow - great for on the go naps.

skinnydip london: Patti & Selma Fur Clutch Bag

skinnydip london: Patti & Selma Fur Clutch Bag
Erm yeah so I didn't mean to buy this bag but when the restock notification dropped in my inbox I'd put it in my basket and paid for it before I even knew what was happening. To be honest I'm not sure if I'm edgy or cool enough to pull this off but I love the shocking pink fur and Patti & Selma are made out of great quality material.

skinnydip london: 2016 Purse
2016 Purse £7.50
My love for glittery things continues with the purchase of this purse. It was on sale for £7.50 so I thought it would be rude not to but it. It's loose glitter so it's probably another item that I won't be using full time but it will be perfect for date nights with Jody when I don't really fancy taking a bag but want to jazz up an outfit.

Are you a fan of Skinnydip London? Or do you think they're overrated?

Monday, 21 November 2016

The Monday Catch Up #37

Hello and happy Monday! I was hungover yesterday so you get a catch up post today instead. Here's what I've been up too this week.

I've done a bit of research for our 2017 USA trip but nothing was booked apart from our flights there and back. On Thurday I spent a few online looking for the perfect NYC hotel and settled on Yotel. I didn't think it was that cheap but when you compare it to other hotels, we acually got a bargan. It's near Times Square and all the tourist attractions, has some fantastic reviews and I'm really looking forward to staying there. Next up is our Las Vegas hotel.

Jody wanted to get his Christmas shopping started so we decided to go to the Metrocentre in Newcastle as there is a lot more variety. It was heaving (as we expected) but as it will only get worse in the weeks to come, I'm glad we went and got it out of the way. I got to pick a couple of really nice presents out (He didn't even flinch at the £38.50 price tag for the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette - What a keeper.) and I have officially finished my shopping YAY!

Primark's nightwear range is quite possibly the best of all the shops and I was in heaven wandering around the massive PJ section at metrocentre. Jody bought me a super snuggly dressing gown as he's sick of seeing my scabby Hogwarts hoody and I also treated myself to the pictured Sulley slipper socks. They've got really thick, blue fur inside so they're extremely cosy and aswell as being very cute. £4 well spent me thinks.

I should have talked about this last week really but that was so jam packed I didn't really have room for it but OMG how good is David Attenborough's latest offering? I love nature documentaries and I'd go as far as too say that this is one of the best TV shows of 2016. I just hope that marvelling over the natural world on the tv inspires people to help protect the planet in real life and preserve the wonders of the world for the future.

Have a lovely week!

Friday, 18 November 2016

Faux Fur Collar's make me feel sassy AF

brave soul faux fur collar cardigan

So today's post is only a quick one just to introduce you to my latest favourite purchase. I am head over heels in love with the River Island fur collar cardigans that I featured on this wishlist, but as I couldn't afford the extortionate price tag* I scoured the internet looking for an affordable dupe, eventually settling on this Brave Soul number.

Although it isn't quite as luxurious as the more expensive River Island version this cardigan will do quite nicely. The chunky knit keeps me nice and toasty whilst the fur collar (that reminds me of my Border Terriers) makes me feel absolutely fabulous. I've rarely taken this cardigan off since I bought it and it looks really good with a leather jacket and boots.

I'll defs be buying more faux fur collar type things in the future as I feel super sassy wearing this item...Seriously go buy one and find out for yourself.

* That's not too say I won't be buying them in London as previous discussed!

This post contains affiliate links

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

What's on my London wishlist?: Splurge Edition

Hey Sugarplums! Hope we are all well on this glorious morning? If you didn't know I'm going to London with my Mum on the 28th so today I thought I'd share a little wishlist of what I want to buy with you all. Today's is a 'splurge edition' so it consists of things that are quite pricy (in my eyes anyways) and chances are I won't buy all of them but a girl can dream can't she?
Next week I will have a saver edition for you but for now, enjoy!
I favor backpacks over any other type of bag just because they're so much easier to lug around, especially as I have a bad back. My current backpack is a Ripcurl one and as it's travelled through Australia, Bali and Thailand with me, it's looking a little tired. I've always wanted a leather backpack and I know there are probably cheaper alternatives, but I fell in love with the shape and design of this one. Plus when you buy a Dr Martens product you know you are getting something that is great quality and will last a life time.
I already own the Naked Smokey palette and I use it pretty much everyday so next on my hitlist is the Naked 3 palette. It's packed with gorgeous pink toned shadows and after looking at some swatches, I think the colours will go perfectly with my milk bottle skin and blue eyes. It's a bit pricey but Urban Decay are such a good brand and the colours are so bold.
Every year River Island release a range of faux fur collared cardigans and every year I fall a little bit in love with them but struggle to justify the price tag. I bought a similar (and cheaper) one not so long back but it just isn't the same as the RI ones. The RI ones are such good quality and the fur just looks so luxurious! I think this year is the year that I finally bite the bullet and treat myself to one as I know I will get a lot of use out of it.
Eep, I know, it's the exact same cardigan just in a different colour but they are just both so delicious that I couldn't pick a colour! I'm really hoping that my wonderful, sexy, charming boyf (He reads this blog so hi Jody, HINT HINT) will give me some money to put towards these cardigans for Christmas so I can buy them without feeling too guilty.
If you read this post on Bloody Mary Metal you will know that I'm a suck for chunky, quirky silver jewellery so when I found The Great Frog on Instagram I knew I needed to go purhcase something from them when I went to London. Unfortuantely this is the only item on the site I can afford but it's perfect for me - Subtle yet a little bit spooky.

Monday, 14 November 2016

My farm work experience

I didn't really talk much about my reasons for not completing the 88 days of farm work required to be eligible for a second year Australian visa and I figured now that it's been nearly a year since I first left the UK, it was maybe time to talk about it.

This is long one by the way and I found it quite hard to write so bare with me.

We left Perth to do out 88 days at the end of August and we knew that it was going to be tight trying to squeeze in 88 days before our visa expired at the end of December. We flew over to Brisbane and hopped on the Greyhound for the 9 hour trip to Bundaberg.

Now Bundaberg was okay. A small (ish) rural town, full of Europeans trying to live the Aussie lifestyle for a little while longer. So why did I hate my farm work experience so much?

Reason Number One: Hostel life was not the life for me.

There was nil chance of us having a private room so instead we were in a 4 bed with 2 other chicks. They were both delightful but in the room next to us was the loudest group of girls, who drank every night and screeched in the corridors. They were very popular among the lads, often indulging in late night antics that everyone could hear thanks to the paper thin walls.

(No judgement though, you go girls).

I'm a quiet and private person so living in such close quarters with strangers sucked. Forming bonds with them was even harder as I'm not a massive drinker and, as you may know, a lot of hostel friendships do revolve around alcohol, so I felt rather lonely.

Aswell as this the hostel needed a face lift, the bathrooms and kitchen were fucking disgusting and the staff were a set of money grabbing tossers.

So yeah.

Reason Number Two: The work itself.

When we arrived I was pre-warned that whatever happened, I did not want to be placed on this certain guys sweet potato farm cos he was a creep. SO guess what? I was assigned to his farm, obviously. When I saw the worksheet I cried. BUT being the trooper that I am I got up at 4 am to go pick sweet potatoes and bring home the bacon.

The work turned out to be ok but when the sun came out, I took my jacket off and alas the farmer had this too say: 'Ooh are you gunna take it all off?'. We then went to the sorting room and he kept trying to get right next to me, standing way to close for comfort. Bear in mind I'm a 20 something year old, this guy was old as fuck AND his wife was there the whole time. What the actual fuck?!

Safe to say I quit that day.

My next farm was a citrus farm and it was up to me to box the oranges, satsumas and tangerines. It wasn't hard but my heart just wasn't in it. I didn't care if an orange had bad skin or holes, I don't even eat oranges so how did I know what a bad one was? I've always been good at what I do and 100% committed to jobs, even if I hated them but farm work really wasn't for me so I just didn't give a shit.

I just couldn't see myself sticking at it for a whole 88 days.

Reason Number Three: My mental health

If I'm going to be brutally honest with myself, I had a really tough time in Bundaberg and the worst thing was, Jody was loving it. He was making loads of friends, he enjoyed the work and he was making quite good money. We've always been polar opposites, him being an extrovert and me being an introvert but it was only when we were in Bundaberg that I saw just how different we really were.

And it worried me.

I felt like I was getting left behind, I never had any money, I was the loneliest I had been in years and at this point in time I was missing home so bad. I spent pretty much every night in Bundaberg curled up in bed, crying and feeling sorry for myself. I was in a really bad mental state, snapping at Jody and I hated every second I was there.

It's only when I look back now that I realised if we had stayed any longer I would have probably gone home early, with or without Jody.

I wanted out of that hostel, I wanted out of the farm work and I wanted to earn some proper money.

So we left.

I felt bad for Jody but he tried to reassure me that he was happy to leave (although I'm still not sure if I believed him or not). It was a shame that we wouldn't be staying in Australia for another year but by this point I couldn't have cared less.

We went on a mini road trip down the East coast, hating on Surfers Paradise and falling in love wih Byron Bay. Jody and I reconnected again and I started to feel like a weight had been lifted and I started to smile again.

We got to Sydney and within 3 days I had a new job at a charity, earning a ridiculous amount of money a week. The hostel we were in sucked but I didn't feel half as bad as I did when we were in Bundaberg.

To this day I still wonder 'What if?' but soon after we arrived in Sydney homesickness set in again for both of us and we knew it was time to think about going home. We landed back in the UK this January after taking a tour via Port Lincoln, Bali and Thailand and we had such a good time that any regrets over not sticking my farm work out were soon eradicated from my thoughts.

And I spose that's the end of this post. The moral of the story? You have to do what is best for you. Even if the thing that is best for you is not exactly what you want.

Much Love.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

The Sunday Catch Up #36

Happy Sunday campers!

Before I get into this week's post, look at my cute little McDonalds Christmas cup! Whilst they may not be as snazzy as Costa's or Starbuck's, they're still ridiculously cute and festive so they deserve a mention, aww!

Anyway, I hope we are all feeling fabulous despite the slightly shitty week we've been treated too. Last week I didn't have anything exciting to report on (hence the lack of Sunday catch up post) but this week I have heaps so grab a biscuit and put your feet up.

This week Jet2 were giving away 20,000 return flights (that's 1 every 15 seconds). All you had to do was name the 10 destination pictured correctly and you were in with a chance. I must have played it about 200 times and by the time I got the flights I had the images memorised but I'm so so glad I persevered! After some discussions with the boyf we decided to use the flight to go to....BERLIN!  We haven't booked it yet but we've got some dates in mind so will be doing so as soon as possible.

Blink 182 announced a 2017 tour last Sunday and I was all set to take some money out of my savings to buy tickets but I didn't have to 'cos my Mum bought them for as a Christmas gift - YAY! I was a bit apprehensive when Blink 182 announced they were replacing Tom and making a new album but I had nothing to worry about as it's one of their best albums. I cannot wait, bring on 2017!

I wrote this post when I heard the election results and although I'm not in (as much) shock anymore, I do worry how the vote will affect the minorities of the USA aswell as the rest of the world. Trump's first speech as president was quite humble (for him), congratulating Hillary on a fight well fought, aswell as saying it's time for the USA to unite - Despite his campaign being mainly based on division. Personally I believe that actions speak louder than words so we will see.

If you're a fan of Obama's you might like this post: The White House’s Pete Souza Has Shot Nearly 2M Photos of Obama, Here are 55 of His Favorites

I woke up to a blanket of snow on Wednesday - As it coincided with Trump becoming president I have a slight suspicion that hell might have frozen over. However as I didn't see a single snowflake last year due to travelling, the snow got me pretty excited for the upcoming months and I just hope and pray that it sticks around for Christmas!

Well the John Lewis Christmas ad has been released, it's practically Christmas YES! Normally the ads are tear inducing but I feel that this year they had a preminition that we would all need cheering up. The creatures in the advert are adorable and I love how goofy Bounce the Boxer is.

And there we have it! Another week down and another step closer to Christmas. Have a lovely week!

Friday, 11 November 2016

REVIEW: TGI Fridays Junction 27

tgi fridays junction 27
Good morning! Today I'm have a mini review of TGI Fridays Junction 27 in Leeds for you(more specifically, at Birstall shopping park). Enjoy!
After a trip to the cinema to see The Girl on the Train at THE BEST cinema I've ever been too, (LEATHER RECLINERS GUYS!) our tummies were grumbling so we risked the busy roads of death at the retail park* and walked over to TGI Fridays for some grub.
TGI Fridays is one of our go-to places as we know that although the food isn't exactly Michelin star quality, it fills you up and usually the service (in the Leeds one anyways) is pretty good.
We managed to get a seat straight away despite it being ridiculously busy and as usual the staff were lovely. The service was a little bit slow due the amount of people in there, but as we could see it was rammed, it didn't really bother us that much,

tgi fridays cola chicken wings
As I had the foresight to download the app before we went, we ended up getting a free starter. We went for the cola chicken wings and I think they're usually a fiver for a single serve of 6 wings or a tenner for double that.
I was a bit apprehensive when it came to trying the wings as I've never had anything coca cola glazed but after one bite I was converted. They were one of the most delicious things I've ever put in my mouth - Sweet, but with enough zing to keep you interested.
We both agreed we should have ordered the double portion, that's for sure.

tgi fridays cheeseburger deluxe with cheese & bacon fries

For my main I went for the Cheeseburger Deluxe with cheese and bacon fries - If you look closely you can see where I took a bite out of my burger before I remembered that I needed to take a photo...Bad blogger!

The burger itself was a little bit dry for me but it was still edible, especially when dipped in the garlic mayo to add a bit more flavour. Start of the show was definitely the cheese and bacon fries - There's something about cheap American cheese that I just can't resist.

I was hoping to get a dessert but I was pogged after shoving all this in my gob (aswell as an oreo milkshake) so we made the hard decision to pay the bill and walk away.

As much as I enjoy the atmosphere and service in TGI Fridays, it is quite average food. I'll be going back again but I wouldn't make the trip to go there exclusively.

Do you enjoy places like TGI Fridays or do you think they're just cheap crap? Let me know!

*Seriously if you have ever been there you will know what I mean. They really need to install some traffic lights so pedestrains can cross over safely without fearing for their lives.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Go home 2016, you're drunk

I had a post scheduled for today but in the light of the presidential election results, I didn't really feel like posting it.
This morning I woke up to the news that it was very likely that Donald Trump was going to be the president of the USA. There was also snow in Yorkshire, leading me to believe that hell has actually frozen over.
First of all let me say a disclaimer - I'm by no means a political expert, as many people have felt the need to point out. BUT I am a human and at the end of the day I care about world affairs. Many people have also said to me 'You're British, why do you care so much?' and when I'm asked that all I can think is 'How can you not care?'. It may not directly affect us as a country but as the UK and the USA have strong ties, we will probably feel it in some way or another.

Eight years ago the world had hope. The first black president was elected and he had plans and ideas on how to move America forward. Some may not have agreed with his policies but as an outsider looking in, he did a lot more good than bad.

I know that Hilary Clinton wasn't the perfect democratic nominee but at least she had experience to fill the role. She's been a lawyer, a senator, the secretary of state...She was even the first lady for Pete's sake! How can a politically inexperienced businessman -  that has been bankrupt more than once, believes global warming is a hoax and thinks sexually assaulting women is okay - be in charge of the USA?

America appear to have made their choice and I suppose you never know, he could be an okay president but personally I feel that America may have taken a step backwards. To me, Donald Trump winning shows that it's okay to hate on others wether it's because of their sex, skin colour or religion and that's not cool.

I guess that's all I have to say on the matter for now but I'll finish with this:

When the UK voted in favour of Brexit hate crime's increased by 41% - I just hope the citizens of the USA take note of that by staying safe and looking out for others.

I think the world has some interesting months ahead...

Much love.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

20 twenty-something obsessions

20 twenty-something obsessions

Hey! Today I have a basic bitch '20 things that all 20 something's love' list for you. I know, I know there are a trillion of these on the internet but meh, this one's mine.

Have a read and if you think any of these apply to you let me know in the comments.

Kylie Jenners lips...and bum...and hair...Basically anything Kylie Jenner.

Getting the perfect photo of your takeaway coffee cup cos if you didn't instagram it, did it even happen?

New York, New York, the city so nice they named it twice.

Finding the perfect matte lipstick that doesn't dry out and end up resembling a cat's bum.

Instagram. Instagram. Instagram.

Crime dramas and documentaries. You could probably be a detective with the amount of shows you watch.

Making plans to become a domestic goddess who bakes and cooks from scratch then giving up cos you can't be arsed to go get all the ingredients from the shop. Takeaway anyone?

Michael Kors watches and bags. Not for me but everyone I know between the ages of 20 and 29 has one or both.

Perfecting our winged eyeliner. Why does one always look catwalk worthy while the other just looks drunk?

Our eyebrows. When did we get so obsessed with eyebrows?

Mean Girls. The movie that defined our high school years. Still a must watch 12 years on.

White bedrooms with copper and marble accents with a few strings of fairylights hung up to jazz things up a bit.

The late 90's/early 00's...Turns out we love talking about that pre internet life.

Primark bedding, Primark pajamas, Primark Primark Primark <3 <3 <3

Quay sunglasses. Although most of us mere mortals look like flies when we wear them. *Insert sad face here*

Autumn. I dunno what it is but us 20 somethings go bat crap cray for Autumn. Maybe it's because all the glittery things start to be released in the shops and we can buy cute new bobble hats for the changing weather?

Hygge. Turns out I've been living that hygge life for as long as I can remember, who knew?

ASOS. Especially when they have a sale on.

Lush. Is it because the products are so Instagram friendly or because they're actually amazing?

Candles. All the candles. They appear on every single twenty something list you see and that's for good reason - WE LOVE EM.

Friday, 4 November 2016

REVIEW: The Catherine Tate Show Live

The Catherine Tate Show Live
Where? The Barbican, York
When? October 31st 2016
How much? £39.20
Starring? Catherine Tate (obviously),  Matt Horne, Niky Wardley, Brett Goldstein,
The only thing I want to do on a Monday night after a long day at work is go home, get in my pj's and veg out in front of TV but this week that wasn't an option as Jody and I had tickets to go see The Catherine Tate show live in York.
I don't want to give too much away as I don't want to spoil it for anybody who may be going to see it but I'll just say that it was absolutely fantastic.
Catherine brought back all our favourite characters - Bernie the Irish nurse, not gay Derek Faye, foul mouthed Nan - and she even bought a certain schoolgirl back from the dead. With it being opening night Catherine forgot her lines a couple of times but that only added to the hilarity.
I was curious as to how they were going to fill the time when the main cast were changing costumes and the way they handled it was brilliantly clever so if it's coming to a theatre near you and there are still tickets left I'd highly recommend that you try and get your mitts on some as Jody and I had so much fun watching it.
Are there any comedians your dying to see? Let me know if the comments below!

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

My End of Year Goals

flake cakes

Can you believe how fast this year has gone? I know everyone keeps saying it but it's true isn't it? The shops are slowly starting to get all the Christmas stock in, people are asking for lists for Santa and all of a sudden it's gotten really cold.

With two months of 2016 left I decided it was time to pull my finger out of my arse and decide on a couple of goals that I hope to achieve by the time the clock ticks midnight and we welcome in 2017.

I'm not huuuge on goals as I like to wing it most of the time, but there are a couple of things I want to get done before the year is over....

1. Have at least £5000 saved.
I'm hoping to hit this on November payday but with my trip to London and Christmas fast approaching it might be a squeeze getting this amount saved before 2017. Regardless I'm really close and I think the amount I've saved in the short time I've bene back (especially with my spending habit) is pretty impressive.

2. Redesign our bedroom.
As we are going to be living at Jody's parents for a while we decided it's time to give our revamp. We want to declutter the room (although most of the crap is mine), replace or paint all the furniture white and just make the room look a bit more grown up and streamline. We've put up a bookcase and binner to shelving units so far and it already looks a million times better.

3. Bin at least half my wardrobe.
I have bags and bags and bags of clothes that I don't wear and to be honest I don't even know what's in half of them. It's time to have a major declutter and bin everything that I haven't worn in the last 6 months - Which is a LOT. It'll be hard but it's for the best. Plus we have this huge, hideous oak wardrobe and maybe if I bin the majority of my clothes we can downsize.

4. Improve the content quality + photography on Alright Blondie.
I've had a redesign and I am feeling super motivated to improve my little corner of the internet. I have ideas that will take me through to January, I'm doing Blogmas AND I'm going to try and stop being so shy and get more involved with the blogger community. I'm also going to try and up my photography game with more exciting backdrops, props and better lighting.

5. Book a city break for my birthday.
I've been away for my last two birthdays (Perth and Phuket) and I'm hoping to get away for my upcoming one aswell (January 9th if you were wondering). With all the saving we have going on and our trip to the USA I don't want to go anywhere to expensive/far away so I'm thinking of booking two nights in Amsterdam. (I just need to persuade Jody!).

Have you got any end of year goals?