Hair SOS - a challenge!

Hello there!!

Just a quick stop here as I am busy busy busy with work today. BUT, I am getting my hair cut and coloured tonight. Looking forward to it as it's been AGES since either has been done so my hair is in a bit of a state!

At the moment I have really long hair (well, the longest it's been for me since I was about ten years old) but I never do anything with it. If it's clean I wear it loose with a slight natural wave. If it's dirty I'll whack it into a bun or a ponytail. And leave it like that for about three days or until I can be bothered to wash it. Sorry, you're probably all thinking "ewww" as you read this.

I rarely try new styles and this got me thinking - what's the point in having long hair if I never experiment with different ways of styling it? As someone who is often short on time when it comes to their daily beauty routine (it's difficult enough for me to remember to wear make up, let alone spend time on styling my hair) I need quick, easy styles that maximise my hair but minimise the amount of time I spend looking in the mirror with a mouthful of bobby pins and a scowl!

So, I will set myself a challenge to try at least THREE new ways of styling my hair per week. Having had a quick look on various blogs and tumblrs there are a lot of tutorials out there on how to create different hairstyles that are easy and quick. Here's a gallery of some styles I'd like to try:

Everyone loves heidi braids right?!

Simple french pleat with loosely quiffed front.

I've come to the conclusion that I have a massive hair crush on Blake Lively....

Easy peasy messy ponytail.

Screen siren waves - should be a doddle with hot tongs!

A modern 'Bardot' half-up half-down.

Cute little hippy plaits tucked into a low, messy bun.

All images above courtesy of Google Image Search.

Modern de-constructed chignon.

Nice twist on the usual ballet bun - accessorize!

Images credited to Elleuk.com

I fear fishtail plaits as they look super complicated. Surely the tutorial on lovely blogger Grace & Braver's blog will help me get over my nerves!!

Pretty side twist, I love this.

From Google Image Search.

Hair twisted on both sides then put into a bun.

Image credit to Valentina de Pertis, another lovely blogger!

I'll post photos of my progress, I'm so determined to succeed in this challenge that if I haven't worn my hair in at least 3 different ways per week I'll get it cut into a more manageable bob!!

What hairstyles do you all think I should try? I'd love some tips!!

Toodle pip.


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My big, (low) fat, greek.... DINNER!

Hello everyone.

So I've moved house successfully and having a jolly old time getting settled in. I always think the best part of moving house is finding new homes for all your posessions, it's so exciting!! Or maybe that's just me.

Not having any internet yet in the new place is annoying though, after 3 days of not having looked on here (I was exceptionally busy at work yesterday) I've come to the realisation that you guys post A LOT.

Anywhoo, I am enjoying my brand new kitchen most in my new home and am having super fun cooking up exciting meals for myself and Mr 'WhatLisaWrote'. I was given Jamie Oliver's 15 Minute Meals cookbook for Christmas and decided to put one of his recipes to the test on Friday night.

lamb meatballs with chop salad and harissa yoghurt
Serves 4 (or 2 hungry people!!)

400g lean lamb mince
1 heaped tsp garam masala
Olive oil
1 pinch saffron
Half to 1 fresh red chilli
2 spring onions 
A bunch of fresh coriander
2 cloves of garlic
1 x 400g can of chickpeas
350g passata

2 little gem lettuces
1 bunch of radishes
2 ripe tomatoes
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
(i cheated and bought bagged salad for this section then added cucumber. it was a friday and i was feeling lazy. don't judge me.)
now start cooking!
mix the mince in a bowl with salt, pepper and the garam masala. divide into four and, with wet hands, roll each piece into four balls, placing them in the frying pan as you roll them and adding one tablespoon of olive oil. toss regularly until dark golden all over.

put the saffron into a cup, just cover with boiling water and leave.
finely slice the chilli, trimmed spring onions and coriander stalks (reserving the leaves), put them into the large pan with one tablespoon of olive oil, then squash in the unpeeled garlic through a garlic crusher.

fry for 40 seconds, then add the saffron and its soaking water, the drained chickpeas and the passata, cover and bring to the boil.

in a small dish, swirl the harissa through the yoghurt.

loosen the sauce with a splash of water if needed, then pour into the meatball pan and season to taste. 
microwave (800w) the tortillas for 45 seconds. 
roughly chop and mix all the veg for the salad. add the extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice, then season to taste. if you're bothering to make the salad properly that is.
serve the meatballs up with a scattering of coriander leaves.

and dig in!!

This meal was delicious and pretty healthy. It took us slightly longer than fifteen minutes to cook, probably closer to twenty five, but was fun to make and better for us than a take-away. Plus on a Friday night I like to unwind from a busy week by cooking so I didn't mind!

Let me know if you give it a try!


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Beauty Essentials

Hi everyone,

Blogging is going to be a bit difficult for the next couple of weeks, I moved house over the weekend (in the snow!) and won't have broadband until 6th February. Nightmare. When I have the opportunity to I'll blog from work but otherwise I might become one of those people who treks to Starbucks and drinks coffee whilst using their wi-fi to blog. Which doesn't sound so bad. So bear with me.

I'm planning to give my blog an overhaul soon as well, a fresh new look for a new year. And because I now have a Mac at home I should be able to learn how to do a great make over on my blog! Here's hoping.

But for now I'm going to talk about makeovers of a different kind. The weekend before last I went shopping with my good friend Clare, I snaffled a few bits and bobs in the sales but will post about those another day!

One of our stops was M&S and en route to the undies section I was distracted by their brand spanking new beauty department. They now stock lots of interesting brands I'd never seen before. One of which is Apivita.

Here's a little bit about the brand: APIVITA has been creating natural effective and holistic products since 1979 to promote health and beauty.

- All products have a natural ingredients content ranging between 80% - 100%
- All new product developed are free of commonly used synthetic ingredients, a fact that minimizes side effects
- All products consist of environmentally friendly ingredients
- Ingredients are mainly sourced from the 5,500 herbs available in the Greek nature, combined with pure bee products and organic essential oils

Their packaging is just lovely and I was intrigued so I bought a couple of their Express Face Masks with pomegranate extract for £3.00.

That evening I was staying at my parent's house and whenever I stay there I love to have a bath in their huge cast iron tub!!

So I thought this would be the ideal opportunity to road-test the new face mask!

It's very light and almost gel-like when you put it on, and feels cool and calming.

Afterwards my skin felt soft, replenished and definitely had more of a glow to it than normal. Which I guess means the mask does exactly what it says as it is for replenished, radiant skin.

I also really liked the fact that my skin didn't feel tight or dry afterwards which I generally experience with other face masks.

I was impressed!!

I really like their range of lip balms too...

Particularly the blackcurrant one. It smells lovely and leaves a sheer, purple-red stain on your lips.

But at £5 a pop I've put it on my birthday list as personally I think that's a bit much to spend on a lip balm.

You can buy Apivita products from M&S online here should you want to try any of their products for yourselves.

I have recently been raving about another skincare brand, Skin Wisdom from.... Tesco! The supermarket chain partnered with skincare guru Bharti Vyas to create a range of products and the result is brilliant. Reasonably priced skincare that has had an amazing effect on my problematic skin. I use their cleansing, toning and moisturising products and my skin is soft, radiant, spot and wrinkle free! Even the scarring that I had from some of my worst spots has diminished quite significantly.

Being someone who doesn't like to wear a lot of make up I recently purchased their 'Instant Benefits' Tinted Moisturiser for £4.00 and have been really pleased with it. Even smooth coverage, it blends really easily and brightens up my face without looking like I've been piling the slap on!

Skin Wisdom products available here.

When I go out of an evening though I do like to feel a little more 'made up' but still natural so when I was in House of Fraser the other week I went to the Chanel counter and asked to try their Vitalumiere Aqua foundation as I'd heard so many other people raving about it.

I wasn't disappointed at all!! Retailing at approximately £32.00 it's another one for my birthday list but as I'd need to use it so sparingly I think it'll last me for months so would be a good investment!

What beauty products do you love/swear by?


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January Lust-Haves

Hi there,

I went shopping last weekend and bought a few nice bits along with some beauty goodies so a post and review on this to come soon, I haven't really been at home much so far this week and not had chance to blog about my weekend yet!!

In the interim here are some items that I am currently lusting after - so I might be going shopping again soon it seems!!

ASOS Faux Fur Coat - reduced to £31.50
I've wanted a leopard print faux fur coat for probably the last 13 years so when I saw this beauty on the ASOS site I knew it should be mine! Quirky and fun teamed with jeans, sneakers and a sweater, grungy when paired with leather look leggings and a slouchy tee and snuggly sophistication with a vintage vibe worn over an evening dress - it's a real multi-tasker!

ASOS Fox Jumper - £65
I love clothes with animals on them and this jumper
is a great colour, I'd wear it with the tartan trousers
below and heeled ankle boots or Converse.

ASOS Neon Beanie - £7
Cute, warm and colourful headgear! What's not to love?

Bank Fashion Leopard Crop Top - £5
I love the 90's look of this top and the skinny straps,
perfect for summer festivals with skinny jeans, leggings or shorts.

Bench c/o House of Fraser Aviator Jacket - £80
I've wanted an aviator jacket for ages so might take advantage of the January sales and finally get myself one - looks great teamed with jeans and a sweater or slung over a casual dress.

H&M Floral Trousers - £14.99
Florals are a timeless classic for Spring/Summer but who says I can't start wearing them now?! I'd pair these with a neutral coloured sweater and smoking slippers whilst the weather is still chilly then switch to a brightly coloured slouchy tee or vest and embellished sandals for warmer climes.

Moda in Pelle Duckland Boots - £69.95

Moda in Pelle Starlet Boots - £69.95 
Since my old tan knee high boots finally bit the dust I am in the market for some new ones for trotting around town in, what I can't decide on is flats or heels?! I like both!!

Tartan Trousers, Very - £22.50
My mother used to dress me up like a miniature punk when I was at primary school, a tartan kilt and DM's were her sartorial weapon of choice on a girl who would've preferred Magic Steps shoes. Looking back I'm grateful as I think it helped shape my identity from a young age, nowadays I love a bit of tartan and think these trousers would look awesome with the fox jumper and ballet flats or sneakers.

H&M Scarf - £7
This scarf is a combination of my favourite things,
long, warm and super soft. Plus it'll go with a lot of items in my wardrobe I already have, so it'd be silly not to buy it surely?!

What do you all have your eye on at the moment in the shops? Are you stocking up for when Summer finally arrives or dressing for snow? If I buy any of the above I'll be sure to post it in here!!


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Work it, make it, do it, makes us harder, better, faster, stronger

Hi there,

As you all know one of my pledges to myself this year was to be fitter and healthier. It's off to a great start, I haven't been workig long hours unlike last year so I have had more energy and time to exercise.

This means I feel happier and better about my body. So I decided to do a bit of online shopping for some new fitness gear, I am a firm believer that if I am wearing clothes that look good for exercising in it puts me in the right mindset and I achieve more, I run faster, work harder and feel stronger - hence the blog title from Daft Punk (a song on my workout playlist).

I received a big package of goodies from Sports Direct yesterday and was so excited I couldn't wait to try it all out!! And model it for you, because I'm not just about fashionable clothes outside of the gym.

Puma Kuris running shoes - £19.00

Karrimor running jersey - £8.99
Lonsdale zippered leggings - £3.99

Run365 running t-shirt - £2.99

Golddigga oversized crop top - £2.49

Bit in love with my new running shoes, they are by far the nicest trainers I own!

Lonsdale mock layered tee - £4.99
Run365 capri running tights - £3.99
I managed to convince Mister 'WhatLisaWrote' to photograph me doing all sorts of jumps and punches so I'm pleased with the action shots in this post.
Everything I ordered fits perfectly and is of good quality which is important to me when I wear it nearly everyday for different variants of physical activity. And I LOVE the prices, this haul cost me about £50 in total!!
So if you're looking for new sports gear get yourself to the Sports Direct website.
Are any of you on a health kick now we're in a New Year?
Happy Friday!!
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