Sunday, 14 April 2013

Easter Fun!

Having grown up going to Church every Sunday, Easter has always been one of my favourite times of year. At school, we had a two week holiday, and this year, even though I was working, I took my leave over that week and gave myself a ten day Easter holiday. And it was fantastic.

 I'm going to go as far as to say that Easter 2013 has been my favourite Easter of all time (Except for maybe the original Easter. That was pretty important too...) and there are several reasons why....

1. Becky's Hen Do

Becs is an old friend of mine from school and college, and after bonding quickly over ridiculous media studies lessons, McDonalds, and Wham(!) we became close friends, and have remained that way for years. She's fantastic, and so obviously I couldn't wait to celebrate her engagement!

Her hen do was perfect - Becs through and through! In the day time, we went to a cupcake decorating lesson, followed by a game of Mr and Mrs (with her lovely fiancee on Skype link!), a limo ride, a beautiful meal, a few glasses of bubbly, and rounded of nicely with a cup of tea at the Roberts house.

Easily one of my favourite days of the whole year, let alone just Easter.

2. Belated Birthday celebrations and catching up with my favourites.

I'm a complete home bird, so having the luxury of spending ten whole days catching up with the people I miss the most, was a treat and a half!
Nathan and Chloe both managed to take time off work, and our evenings were full of pub quizzes, tin time and one particularly aggressive game of Monopoly!
Mum and I had a hot cross bun bake off (which we both lost - none were edible. Not one), and after a day of attempting to find the perfect wedding outfit, and an unfortunate incident in which somehow my mothers make up bag got run over (don't ask) Piero decided to get his ear the window of Claire's Accesories!

3. The day Becs Robs became Becky Shoebridge!
The day Becky married her lovely fiancee Russ was just beautiful. The happy couple looked stunning, and the weather even managed to stay dry - nothing short of a marital miracle!

We laughed, we cried, we drank champagne, we danced and most of all, we celebrated with the Shoebridges!

Thursday, 4 April 2013

DIY Citrus Body Scrub

Mothers Day crept up on me a bit this year, largely because it was the same day as I turned the big 23! Mummy came up to Cardiff so we could spend the day together, but needless to say, the birthday celebrations left me a little out of pocket!

I saw this little recipe on Lauren Conrad's websire, and decided to tweak it and give it a go myself. As Mummy Jeanie can tell you, this body scrub works a treat and I will certainly think twice about forking out for a branded scrub again when this one cost a grand total of £3 (jar included!).

Ladies (and Gents) I give you, Lemon and Grapefruit Body Scrub.

What you'll need:
A jar
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (This can be swapped for an essential oil if you'd rather, but they cost more!)
1 grapefruit
1 lemon
Coarse Sea Salt

The original recipe calls for:
5 tbsp Salt
1 tbsp oil
1/2 lemon

But this makes a really tiny amount, so I filled the jar with salt, and counted it in tablespoons as I put it in the mixing bowl.

 My jar held 15tbsp of salt, so I adjusted the quantities as follows:

15tbsp salt
3 tbsp oil
1/2 lemon
1/2 grapefruit

First, mix the oil in with the salt. Make sure its all fully coated (add extra if you need). The oil protects the salt from the lemon, so if you skip out this stage, your salt will dissolve and all you'll have is mush, albeit a lovely smelly mush.

I then zested the grapefruit and the lemon to make a more rustic scrub, and to give it a bit of colour.
Then I added the juice of half a lemon, and half a grapefruit and mixed that in with the salt and oil.
I had too much juice, and ended up not using quite a bit of it, so best to do this bit in stages.

Pop it in a jar, tie a bit of ribbon around it, and voila! A lovely homemade gift.
It smells so lovely and citrus-y. The shelf life is a little less than your shop bought scrub - about six weeks, but no need to refrigerate.

I'd love to try some different flavours. I've been told recently that watermelon is supposed to do wonderful things for your skin, so this may well be next on my list!

If you give it a try, let me know how you get on - improvement suggestions all welcome!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

MW Nails

I turned 23 recently and was well and truly spoilt by everyone - I can't express how much I appreciate all the time and effort that my favourites put into helping me celebrate! I'm a very lucky lady.

I have to admit, I was a little nervous that Laurie hadn't asked anyone for any help with my present, but I needn't have feared. Amongst other little bits he treated me to a manicure at MW Nails!

If you haven't heard of them (I hadn't until I opened the voucher!) then allow me to explain the basics.
They have two branches, both in London. One in Spitalfields, and one in Holborn. Laurie booked me in at Spitalfields as its nearer to his flat, and we knew the area so could plan a day out around it.

Everything, down to the names and descriptions of the different manicures and pedicures on offer, is themed. What seems like a normal nail bar from the outside, is decked out like the interior of a plan on the inside.

The technicians all wear the cutest 70s air hostess outfits, and he treatments they offer all feature names of sunny holiday destinations, and so while you're having your Fiji full set, for half an hour you forget that in reality you're actually in an overcast and rainy East London.

I opted for the 'Two Weeks To Tahiti' manicure - after A LOT of deliberation. I normally wouldn't go for gels. I've had Shellac before, and it didn't last nearly as long as it said it would. However, my nails have been quite weak recently, and with a very exciting Easter holiday planned, I hoped that this time the gels would last me through and keep them looking nice through all the festivities!

Because of my not so great experience with Shellac, I chose the brand Artistic instead, in 'Soo In' - a musky purple colour.

40 minutes later, my nails were beautifully buffed, shaped and unbelievably shiny. The picture below does the shine no justice whatsoever.

Nail bars seem to be popping up on every local high street at the moment, but visiting MW Nails feels like a treat, without having to spend a whole spa-esque day there. Its done fast, but every second of it feels like luxury!