Harlequin Tea & Coffee House

Thursday, February 27, 2014
Whilst in York, the family and I decided to potter around the city of York (read the post here) for a quick pit-stop and a good hot drink. I'm a big fan of independent coffee houses - although slightly expensive, I love the different  atmospheres you can find yourself in where you'd normally pass without acknowledging.

This coffee shop is so small it's really easy to miss. Essentially, it's just a small door leading up stairs into a small coffee house. The views, however, mean that you can get a full view of King Square and if you're lucky, you might be able to watch the street performers whilst enjoying a cup of hot chocolate. I had a frappe but wasn't too keen and then ended up stealing some of my dad's latte... He caught me. Overall, a lovely little stop for a hot drink if you're discovering the streets of York!

A Day In York

Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Remember way back when I told you all about my new camera? Yes? Well, what better to get to grips with it than to take it on a road trip to the city of York. I'd never been to York before, but already it is one of my favourite cities that I've ever been to. Budding photographer or just general tourist, this place is absolutely gorgeous and it was good to just have a day exploring.

Isn't family time just the best? The streets are so beautiful and the oldy-worldy feeling means you can easily get lost learning about the history of the streets. It's great being a tourist in your own country - that's one thing I love about living in England. Although the weather might be a little (or a lot) on the poopy side, you're pretty much guaranteed to find everything you'd ever want to see - but perhaps not white sands and blue seas -  you'll have to go further South for that.

We visited York Minster, the Shambles and of course, my brother's favourite place to eat, Subway. What's that they say about not being able to take the city out of the boy? We lit candles in the Minster for loved ones and perhaps took way too many photos with my camera... It might have been over 300...  It was over 300.

YSL Touche Eclat

Saturday, February 22, 2014
This little gem has been the beauty blogger's "holy grail" item for what seems like forever now, so I figured that it's only right for me to give it a whirl and a good review. I picked this up way back in my Birthday Haul and although it's so expensive, I'm left debating whether it's worth the hefty price tag.

For me, it's not worth the money and I don't really understand the hype surrounding this product. I don't particularly enjoy using it and for me, it's nothing special. If somethings in my makeup collection then I'll use it, but it's sure that I'm not 100% over-awed by it. I'm hoping I'll grow to love it, because £25 is not something I'd like to give away for something that I don't enjoy using!

Yes, the packaging is to die for and feels so luxurious but I feel like it doesn't do more than just add a bit of colour. Maybe I've been wrongly colour matched as I cannot see a difference unless I'm having a really bad skin day. I have no faults with the formula of this highlighter pen and I'm a sucker for the little clicky thing (so technical) that pushes the product into the bristles. Overall, not impressed and if you're left feeling a little disheartened by this review, check out the L'Oreal Lumi Magique Concealer. Same thing, different brand and cheaper price tag!


Family Time

Thursday, February 20, 2014
One of my favourite things in the whole entire world is to combine "family time" with good food. Whilst visiting friends, my mum, brother and I decided to go see them as well as have some good food so we settled on the Old Rectory in Stockport. Although it took over an hour to get there, it was definitely worth the wait!

We'd never been here before but we all really enjoyed it. The food was delicious and although the restaurant was jam packed, it only took fifteen minutes from ordering to the food arriving on the table! This is a Fayre & Square pub so basically, you get certain foods including certain meals. I'm a bit of a "food snob" as my mum tells me so I usually get put off by that... How wrong was I? The mixed grill was gorgeous and we all ended up topping our meals off with a Dip & Share Chocolate Fondu. They'd ran out of strawberries but was replaced with flakes and chocolate wafers. The idea was good but the chocolate sauce just tasted very watery. Overall, this was a very cheap & cheerful pub restaurant and although the food was delicious, I'd sadly not recommend the dessert!

The Best Things

Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Following on from the topic of positivity in my previous post, I was inspired by these gorgeous flowers to write down a little list on my notebook about what the best things are for a little "pick me up". Of course, the list naturally began with flowers (who can resist them?) but do not fear, I have more!

If flowers aren't your thing, a) why not?! and b) don't worry - I've jotted down a list. Usually, these kinds of lists are kept among a tonne of others in the notebook that sometimes is as essential as my right arm. I've noticed that I have way too many lists and sometimes, they might just be useful to someone other than myself, hence this post. Since we're now a lifestyle and beauty blog, it's only natural to give you a sneaky peak inside my little notepad and I let you know about some of the best things that make me happy. 

- Finding a big tub of Nutella in the food cupboard and treating yourself to eating it with a spoon.
- Having a sleepy kitten purring away on your lap.
- Drinking a cup of the best coffee ever.
- Saturday night TV.
- Having someone take a photo of you where you don't look like some sort of wild animal.
- Finding a good book.
- Neat handwriting.
- Getting so into a blog that you find it compulsory to read from start to finish.
- Receiving compliments about your blog.



Sunday, February 16, 2014
If there's one valuable thing that I've learnt in my short sixteen years of existence, it's about how therapeutic long, candle-lit bubble baths can be. Recently I've been trying a new app called 'Headspace' which is basically gives you a ten minute audio that you silently listen to for ten minutes everyday.

I ended up trying this new app whilst in the bath. My conclusion? The thing is amazing. As I said earlier, you only need ten minutes to spare and just simply close your eyes and listen to the audio. It is free from the app store and once my ten minutes was up, although slightly shrivelled, I felt so relaxed and I could easily fall asleep in the bath.

I think it's nice to feel that relaxed sometimes as we live in such a hectic world. I just happen to live in one of the biggest cities in the country and with a fairly large family, sometimes it's hard to have some "me" time. You can also do what I did and throw some Elemis Quiet Mind Relaxing Bath Elixir in there which is designed to give you a restful sleep and de-stress the mind. I also followed up with a cup of hot chocolate (of course, with squirty cream) and then popped my head under the duvet. The perfect ending to a long day, if you ask me.


Home Snippets & Update

Thursday, February 13, 2014
Today's post is a little different and also a little update. We've just about finished decorating the front room and as it's Valentine's Day tomorrow, it's a perfect excuse to use my new camera and take some snaps. This is the theme I'm starting to run my blog along now, and I'll explain a bit more below. (Trust me, it's not as dramatic as it sounds...)

These are the posts I love to write - the ones where I don't have to explain the ins and outs of a product and I can just sit down and chat. Don't get me wrong, I love beauty reviews but these are my favourites by far. Here I've just photographed a few bits that I've been loving at the moment. Red roses, cute lamps and of course, Meenie.

So, my blog is going to attempt a different turn. When I made it my New Years Resolution to try and blog everyday, I've almost completed it so far, minus two days. However, I'm withdrawing this resolution as I feel like I'm pressuring myself into blogging. I feel like if I pressure blogging too much, it'll become a chore and that's the last thing I want happening through all the time and effort I have put into it! From now on, the majority of posts will be unscheduled and as my dad says, I'm "going with the flow".

I'm also not 100% satisfied with the content and layout. If you know any good web/blog designers, let me know below. Considering the majority of my favourite blogs are written by lifestyle bloggers, I feel like that is the direction I want this blog to go in. Don't get me wrong - you'll still see beauty reviews here and there as well as monthly favourites, but maybe not everyday! I'll leave you with some of my favourite lifestyle blogs that I've maybe taken too much inspiration from - The Londoner, Cider with Rosie and World Tour Stories.


Sugar Crush

Wednesday, February 12, 2014
If I was to chose one scent to use for the rest of my life, whether that be perfume, skincare or anything else, it would have to be the Sugar Crush scent from Soap and Glory hands-down.  The perfect mix of citrusy sweetness is absolutely gorgeous and it makes the whole 'shower routine' much less boring! 

The first thing I use in the Sugar Crush line is their body scrub. This is a really good all-round exfoliatior that you use whilst in the bath/shower and doesn't leave your skin feeling too irritated or tight. So many people seem to rave about this and rightly so - the scent is just as good as what it's meant for! I also love the body wash in the range, but I've had some issues with the pump so it means that I have to pull the tube out and use that to put in on my arms - yeah, it gets kinda messy. However, it's a really nice, hydrating moisturiser nonetheless and the scent makes it lovely to use!

A Meenie Update

Tuesday, February 11, 2014
For today's post, I thought I'd give you something a little different that I'm calling a 'Meenie Update'. If you missed her introduction, she's my adorable little kitty that has been my life and joy for the past few months! She's almost four months old now and I literally treat her like my real-life baby. She's starting to come out of her shell more now and is beginning to show her personality, which I must add is hilarious.

Her latest antic is to sit by the back door, hissing (trying to 'meow') when she's hungry. She is such an explorer, too. She now climbs into the bath, onto the sink and perches on the bathroom windowsill. She loves sitting by the windowsill downstairs too, watching people walk past - however, she has broken and smashed two vases whilst she's been up there! She's so funny when she's playing, although she does seem to have fun waiting in a small area ready to pounce on your feet as you walk by.

Waking me up at 6am sharp is also proving to be a favourite of hers. Because she sleeps on a blanket in my bedroom, she climbs on my bed every morning, pressing her nose against mine to wake me up to stroke her. She's fond of the laptop and it's fastly becoming her favourite sleeping spot... Whilst I am blogging. She also did her first real 'meow' a few days ago and I felt like a proud mother when their child says their first word. 

Cake Makeup

Monday, February 10, 2014
I can already tell what you're thinking by the title of this post. "Cake makeup? What on Earth is Elise talking about now?" but trust me, I'm not going mad and it'll all make sense in a second. If you read my birthday post (I promise I'll stop talking about it soon), you'll kind of know what I'm track I'm running along here. 

Yes, this was my cake with makeup bits on top - I told you I'm not going mad (yet). My aunty made this really amazing makeup kit cake that was delicious as well as gorgeous. She stuck bits of makeup on from Clinique and No7 - two of her favourite brands. I thought I'd do a little mini-review on the "cake makeup" so here you are.

The thing I was most excited about was the three little Clinique lipglosses but to be honest, they're not the best. I mentioned in my YouTube video that I'm not keen on lip glosses that are really heavy and pretty much promise lip glossed hair if you wear your hair down. The shades themselves are actually really pretty and look gorgeous on the lips but I'm not overawed by the formulation. Also from Clinique, I got the High Impact mascara but I forgot to photograph it above - it's been left in my mum's car as a "backup" - almost everyday I seem to forget mascara and keeping it in there has been a lifesaver. I love that mascara and I've worn it before. Long, volumised lashes and a really nice formula. Can't go wrong.

I also got a few bits from No7 with my favourite being the Stay Precise Felt Tip liner. I love a good winged liner and this has been one of my go-to tools for creating that. I find felt tip liners really easy to get a nice, crisp line and this one also doesn't crease, something that my mum would love. Finally from No7 is one of their High Shine lipglosses. I actually use this over some of my matte lipsticks to make them shiny and because of the minimal colour in it, it looks fine.


this week #9

Sunday, February 09, 2014
Another week has passed, and here we are once again. This week saw the first upload onto my YouTube channel with the filming of my January Favourites. It's actually really nerve-wracking uploading a video to YouTube - it's a very different world to that of the blogging world!

Video of the Week: Now that I've successfully uploaded my first video, it's time for some shameless plugging. My favourite of all three to film was the Get Ready With Me: Shopping Day as even though it's a scary feeling to put my "naked face" out for everyone else to see, I like to see the transformation that makeup can make. It's also a really easy tutorial to follow and pretty much my everyday makeup routine, minus the lip colour!

Wish of the Week: I think this has to be the YSL nail polish in Bleu Majorelle. This is such a gorgeous shade and I have nothing in my collection similar to it. I think this will definitely have to remain as nothing more than a 'wish' because the whopping £18.50 price tag attached to is is stupidly ridiculous!


What's On My Phone?

Saturday, February 08, 2014
I've not really had my fair share of 'Whats In My..." posts - my first (and last) being the What's In My Bag way back in July last year. I found this tag really good to read, partly because I love seeing what new apps I can download and admittedly, I am very nosy. It's something that I've been wanting to do for so long but have only just been able to do it with my new camera!

I have an iPhone 4S and it's actually the camera I took my old blog photos on! The camera on this is really good for a phone camera and has served me well. My screensaver is a photo of my dad, my mum and I and it's a photo that I love. It's rare I actually take photos with my mum and dad together - one of them is usually behind the camera! 

As for apps, two of my favourites has to be the little 'notes' section and of course, Candy Crush. That game will be the death of me! I always get stuck on a certain level and after it's taken days to complete, I pass another three or four and I'm stuck for days again. It really is not fair and have even resorted to being THAT annoying person, constantly sending notifications on Facebook for lives. The notes section is really handy for blog posts and because I pretty much have my phone nearby 24/7, it's good when my little notebook isn't to hand. I also love my Twitter and Instagram app - two of my all-time favourite social media platforms!


Bedside Bits

Friday, February 07, 2014
There's products that I use on a day-to-day basis, and then there's the ones that I plonk on my bedside. Certain times of the day call for certain products and there's a few I have to hand when I'm curled up in bed, watching a bit of TV or doing a spot of blogging. Here's where I keep the current book that I'm reading, a little notepad and of course, my phone.

For some strange reason, my creativity seems to always strike at night. It's almost always in bed when I think of another blog post to do, or even a video idea for my YouTube channel, meaning I need to keep a notebook by my side so I don't lose the idea through sleep. I have a few bedside beauty bits, thus including the Simple Kind To Eyes Soothing Eye Balm. I've been having really dry eyes lately, and this little eye balm really hydrates them without leaving them too tight. Night time also calls for a lip scrub - mine's preferably Lush's Sweet Lips but I'm partial to a bit of Lush's Bubblegum.

I also love having my book on my bedside - I love reading at night. There's just something so satisfying about drinking a hot cup of tea, a book and dozing off to sleep. This is where I also keep my little Bath and Body Works hand sanitizer, because everyone need a good hand sanitizer nearby, don't they?