Thursday, 12 December 2013

Christmas is almost upon us!

How is everyone getting on with their Christmas shopping? Don't forget to visit a previous post of mine to see how you can save money on your online shopping!

I've been so busy recently trying to get everything sorted, finishing off uni work as well as lots of lovely photoshoots! - Please take a look at my photography page and share it if you know anyone who may be interested!

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Monday, 11 November 2013

TGI Friday's: Cocktails, Tapas & Art ♥ @TGIFridaysUK

On Wednesday night, I had a text from one of my now best friends Rachael (who I actually met through blogging) asking if I wanted to be her plus one to a bloggers 'Live Art & Cocktails' event the next day at @TGIFridaysUK in Manchester. It was a night to celebrate their new range of cocktails - '100 cocktails as 100 unique works of art' as well as their tapas menu and of course I'm not one to turn down free tasters and, most importantly, free cocktails so I jumped at the chance!

I've only ever been to TGI Friday's once before and although the food was great, I have experienced the place it in a whole different way! We were firstly led upstairs to a bar where we were introduced to the event and were told how "they wanted their attendees to represent the cocktails as pieces of art."

Right from the start, Rachael and I could tell that these bartenders weren't just there to serve people their drinks and that be it.. they all had their own cheeky, fun sides yet were hugely knowledgeable about the drinks they were serving and it was a night that they could share their passion. We learnt very quickly that the bartenders know how to mix around 700 different cocktails.. amazing!

TGI's motto // Complimentary Cocktails Card // Popping Candy Strawberry Margarita

The evening was especially to showcase their newer cocktails inspired by American sweets and desserts: Popping Candy Strawberry Margarita, Passionate Rose and Lemon Meringue Pie. We were each allowed three complimentary cocktails and were also told to challenge the bartenders in our choices.. no mojitos! The first drink we both had was the Popping Candy Strawberry Margarita.. who in their right mind would refuse a drink like a strawberry margarita that included popping candy?! It was delicious and I suggest you all try it! - A winner right from the start! We were then told by people walking round to challenge the bartenders as much as we could and this made me realise how much they really know their stuff. The second and third time we were served drinks, I just mentioned some spirits I liked, and got given the most amazing cocktails! Rachael even saw some chocolate flakes behind the bar and her words were "I want something frozen, fruity, with tequila and a chocolate flake!" Amazingly, our barman @fastraksteve managed to come up with something! 

Popping Candy Strawberry Margarita // Fruity Frozen Cocktails (Can't remember the names!!) // Peach Crush

Throughout the evening, we were being served samples from TGI's new tapas menu alongside the cocktails. I would never have thought to go there for tapas but how wrong I was... the food was amazing and I can't wait to go back! - (It's a shame we had to share the food with other bloggers at the event as I'm sure we could easily have filled ourselves up all evening!!)

In between trying to keep myself from eating all the food, we wandered round the event to visit the artists that were there, each producing their own style of art to represent the three newer drinks on the menu. There was Caroline Dowsett, who painted a portrait inspired by the Passionate Rose drink, Millie Connors who made a lemon meringue pie from felt (of which we could take away packs to make a slice!) Lastly, there was Erin Echo who created illustrated Polaroid portraits for the guests based on their Twitter photos! 

Erin Echo // Caroline Dowsett // Millie Connors

As if that wasn't enough, the hugely talented bartenders from TGI's were also demonstrating their talents to the bloggers. A couple of them spent most of their evening showing off their flair bartending skills, of which Rachael had a go and was actually pretty good! Another of the barmen / waiters, Ron, was a magician.. you can find him on twitter @Ronismagic and he completely and utterly stunned us with his magic! I have never been more amazed by a close up magician before and will be telling everyone I'm photographing weddings for to get in touch with him... I just can't even explain how good he is! - You need to see it for yourselves!! (We even got his autograph for when he becomes famous!)
@RonisMagic magician // Rachael & I being wowed by Ron

I just want to say a huge thanks to all the TGI staff & guests for such an enjoyable evening, but also to everyone who organised it. Most of all thanks to Rachael for asking me to be her plus one! I had such a good evening and what I loved most was the genuine care the bartenders had for their guests, that they just wanted us all to have a good time and I loved that their passion for the cocktail menu utterly shone through!

Rachael & I with our first cocktails

I will certainly be visiting TGI's very soon for some more yummy food and cocktails, what a great place!!

(All photos are my own apart from photo of magician - some photos can be found on my instagram - search georgina_balmer_photography)

Sunday, 10 November 2013

How to save money on your Christmas shopping! (The easy way!)

I honestly don't know where this year has gone to, but what I do know is it's almost the time of the year where millions of presents across the country are being given and received! As the John Lewis & Coca-Cola adverts have been aired, I feel as though I am allowed to mention it... Christmas is under 50 days away!! And I'm so excited! However, I do know that a big worry at this time of year is always money... my reason for writing this post.

At this time of year, the shops start to get manic with people suddenly thinking 'I need to start my christmas shopping,' especially at the weekends.. So many people I know resort to internet shopping for this reason. Did you know that internet shopping can actually mean you receive money for free?!

It's all down to this website: Top CashBack

Quite a people I know are wary of these sites but there is nothing to worry about.. you simply follow the link to sign up, and before you go to the website you are intending on shopping on, you just write the name of it into the search box. There's only a few websites I know that haven't been registered on there, but you'd rather spend an extra 10 seconds typing in a website name to save you money, wouldn't you?!

Here's how to save money in a couple steps:
  • Once you've typed the website name into Top CashBack, press search. You will then be shown the website if it is registered on there.

  • If the website is there, then yay! Click 'Cashback' and you will be told what % of your own money you will receive back. 
  • Click 'Get Cashback Now' and you will be transferred to the site you want, the only difference is that Top CashBack will record how much you have spent and automatically work out the amount you'll get back.
  • Each site takes a different amount of time to register the money, but for the time being the amount will be in the 'pending' section of your account.
  • Once it is confirmed, the retailer will get in contact with this website telling them to pay you! It is all automatically done for you so there's nothing you have to worry about or sort out.
  • When the money has been made payable, you can 'pay out' using a number of different methods: Straight into your bank account (which I use), Paypal, or you can get a bit of a bonus if you transfer it into a Love2Shop voucher, Amazon gift certificate and a few others!
And that's it!
Whether you save 40p or £40, every little bit certainly does help! Especially if it means you can save more money than actually going into the shop on the high-street.  Before I signed up to this site I was a bit wary, but after a couple years and hundreds of pounds worth of savings, I haven't looked back! - I've even saved over £40 changing energy providers just going through this website first. So, from buying train tickets, to a domain name for a website, to clothing, see what you can save on!

I hope lots of you manage to save money on things you were going to buy online anyway! Don't forget to let me know how you're getting on.

Happy shopping & saving!

Photography Work

For those of you who don't know, I have a photography business alongside my university course. I have recently updated the newborn photographs on my page and would love if you could take a look.

Please feel free to get in contact if you would like any more information on the photography services I offer!


Sunday, 22 September 2013

Tangle Teezer Review

Back in June for my birthday I asked for a Tangle Teezer as had wanted to try one out for ages. Let me tell you.. having naturally curly / wavy hair could be great but I have battled with many a severe tangle my whole life. I have quite thick hair very very prone to tangles.. I literally can wash my hair and by the time it has dried it has knotted all underneath. My hair has always been like this, no matter what silky soft conditioning treatments I use and after hearing about the Tangle Teezer, I had to try it.

(All photos by Georgina Balmer Photography - Please ask for permission to use)

Product Description:

Ask yourself - are you a hair criminal who is repeatedly guilty of torturing your hair with inappropriate brushes or combs that only tug, tighten and tear tangles from your hair? If the answer is yes, help is at hand. Hair rehabilitation is painless and easy with Tangle Teezer.

Change your hair brush not your lifestyle.
A Tangle Teezer hair brush will break the cycle of broken hair and give tangled hair the brush off. A revolution in detangling hair, it has the ability to flex and not pull upon contact with tangles, gently and effortlessly delivering smooth and shiny hair in an instant. The result? Hair perfection.

Your perfect hair care partner, Tangle Teezer Original is a gentle pain free hair detangler that has been referred to as the miracle brush that detangles like nothing else. Its secret is it allows you to manage and style your hair as never before, transforming tangled hair into stress free, style-able hair and encouraging your hair’s natural shine and thickness to return.

In all honesty, I was a little wary about how something so little could work like a dream, but how wrong I was! The Tangle Teezer is so small it fits snug in the palm of your hand, with bristles that come in varying lengths. The bristles are short, very flexible and don't tear at your hair like many other brushes.

For me, this doesn't smoothly cut through the tangles, but it does work like a miracle compared to any other brush I have EVER used. Literally. I can't believe I hadn't tried it sooner!! No longer do I have to grab hold of my hair tightly for it to not sting my scalp.. I can run this through my hair with no pain whatsoever which is a dream for me! Admittedly, I have to run it a few times on the underneath of my hair, but it is nothing compared to what I used to have to do before it was in my life.

The ONLY downside I have to it, is that as I use it in the shower, it gets a little slippy, but there is also one now with a handle and I chose not to have that one as I wanted one I could closely grip.
All in all, the tangle teezer is worth every penny. It has drastically reduced the time I take to get through my tangles, and to have something that doesn't tug, pull or hurt in any way but still has the same outcome, is a life changer for me. I couldn't be without it now!

(`Please note: These photos are of the Tangle Teezer after 4 months daily use, hence the curved bristles - obviously they do not come like this!)

This miracle item can be found in Boots stores but also on Amazon and many other stores for around £9-£11. Enjoy!

Has anyone else tried them out? What are your thoughts? 

Saturday, 14 September 2013

University Advice..

Hello! I posted pretty much this same essay a year ago but am sure it will still come in handy (I hope!) So here goes...grab a cuppa and some biccies and get ready for quite a bit of reading!

It comes to this time of year again when people disappear off to uni and start new beginnings, especially this weekend being the one before freshers! As I am someone that has had my three years at uni and going into my final year of another course (- forever a student!!), I thought what could be better than to tell people about my experience along with advice and what to expect!

The Beginning:
When I said I wanted to go to university I think everyone (especially my family) were quite shocked. I have alwaysss been someone that loves home, and although I enjoyed going to people's houses and on holidays with others etc, home is where I'm used to. I knew I wanted to do something different though and decided on uni. However, leading up to going to uni, I cried and cried and cried. I thought I had made a HUGE mistake in deciding to go and the weeks leading up to September everyone assumed I'd last just 5minutes and be on my way home again. Nevertheless, I did what I'd heard other people doing and what UCAS advised, and joined a site called yougofurther 
Through this site, I could search for people at my uni, in my halls etc and quite quickly found people. Do not get disheartened if you can't find many / any though as I now know lots didn't..I suppose I was just lucky. This is where I met my flatmate and now one of my best friends Zara. She was on my course and living in my flat, so felt like I had already made a friend before I started.

Once arriving in Leeds, I was sooo nervous! I am always so shy in front of new people but one thing I would advise is even if you're quiet, make sure you talk. People are feeling exactly the same as you, they just express it in different ways. I was quite surprised.. although I felt homesick, I didn't cry and sit in my room all of the time, and I am glad about that. I just thought what's the point...mum had told me to at least try it out until christmas else you'll never have a proper experience of it. This is true. I know people that quit way before christmas, within a month infact. People are still just getting to know one another then so there is no way you'll have a proper idea on if you'd like it or not. (Just my opinion.)

Decorating my room with photos of people at home and things that just brought a smile to my face definitely made me happier. Just make sure in the first few weeks, you keep yourself busy. That is key. No one wants to be friends with someone that just sits in their room with the door closed acting as though they don't want any friends. People can only do so much to help. A huge piece of advice I would give is stay strong. Just try to be confident even if you don't feel it inside. Prop your door open so that people can just pop their head in to say hi..this is how lots of friends were made in my halls! Chances are, people you have met will have met other people and this is how everyone generally gets introduced.
And if you listen to the Scott Mills show... a bottle of ketchup on the windowsill may get some of you talking as you've got something in common! ;)
My little room :)
This was my board getting more & more full of photos during uni..but I had quite a few there to begin with to smile at :)
Here it is broken down...

Freshers Week:
Is just like a holiday and will be the best week of your life if you just relax and enjoy it. Yes, you spend a lot of money, but you have fun! (Or at least make sure you do!) You will end up spending hours getting ready for nights out, pre-drinking and having fun and games, then going out, getting some food on the way back home, getting to bed about 3 at the earliest and sleeping for most of the next day...possibly fit some shopping in to the day time and some kind of fast food / takeaway (both of which I did far too much of!!)

I remember my brother going off to uni the year before last and him saying to me, "isn't it awkward introducing yourself though?!" Yes and no...obviously it's a bit forced as everyone is saying it, but you get very used to asking and hearing, "What's your name?", "Where do you come from?" "Where are you living?" "What are you studying?"... (If you follow me on twitter, you'll see me retweeting loads from the "Dear Freshers" and "What Students say" pages.. and that includes those familiar questions everyoneeee is being asked!)

The main advice I would give anyone about Freshers Week is just TALK. I tried my hardest not to be shy and to make friends although I felt so so nervous! These are the first couple of weeks that people are making their friends and will be the easiest weeks to do so as everyone is in the same position. 
Also in freshers week, make sure you go to the fresher's fair (especially as it's something new to do with your friends!) There are soooo many freebies to be had and lots of fun. This is the place that you can join any societies that take your fancy - another way to make new friends! For these first few weeks especially, just try do everything you can fit in to your schedule, keep a big smile on your face and you'll do great! :)

First year freshers tops we had made!
(L-R Zara my flatmate, Zainab, me, Kayla and Bev)
First year freshers (L-R) Oceana, School Girls fancy dress, Gatecrasher, Halo, Chilli Whites UV night, first night out ever in Leeds! (How young do I look?!) x


When I went to university, I began a long distance relationship. This lasted for the first year, but due to reasons not to do with me being at uni, it ended. I then began a new relationship which was also long distance with my current boyfriend, Liam. He was at home for a bit of the first few months together and then moved to Manchester to start uni for himself. Although Manchester is a lot closer to Leeds, it is still an hour away and still what I would class as a long distance relationship. Yes, we were lucky and saw each other a lot more than other couples I know, but it was still every weekend, or every other weekend we saw one another. 
Every relationship takes work, but these kinds of relationships take a lot more work. A lot of people say that long distance relationships don't last, they certainly do if you want them to and if you try hard enough. I am not at all saying that they're easy..infact, they're the opposite. It's very tough when the times you're free to call, they're busy, when they're making new friends and are out in evenings and you just want someone to chat to. You just need to communicate as frequently as possible, even if this means planning times when you're both free. Skype and MSN (as old school as it is) were my best friends! Trust plays a huge part in this too, if you don't 100% trust your partner, things are not going to go smoothly. But whatever you do, please do not worry. It is just the two of you important in your relationship and if you both want it to work, it will. Ignore what others say :)

As soon as you move out, money plays a huge part in your life. It sounds silly but I never realised quite how expensive things I took for granted cost in the long run. I certainly didn't realise how much Mum and Dad spend on what I think are pretty standard things for me and my brother! Going to uni I had a tiny bit of savings from my part time job that I was going to use towards treats for me..(shopping trips, alcohol, that kinda thing).
The main thing students need to do is budget. I know so many people, who as soon as their student loan came in, just went on a shopping spree and it disappeared. Yes, I shopped a lot, a little too much as I have recently realised, but I have never been in the position where I have spent it all and not had enough for essentials! (Even though I have completely been in my overdraft the whole time.. that's another story!) I know people who maxed that out and had to get a loan / credit card etc.. BAAAD idea!
Although in my overdraft now, (as the majority are when finishing uni), there are ways to stop this. Many people I know had a part time job at uni, but I didn't want this to get in the way of my social life and university work so I chose not to do this. Make sure you look out for any student offers, an NUS card was an essential for me as it gave soo many discounts and is only £11 a year! 16-25 Railcards were also a must have as it saves 1/3 off your travel, and only costs £28 (free with my Natwest student account!) Also, when doing fancy dress nights, Primark and charity shops become your best friend!!

University and work:

I was quite shocked how unlike college university was. You do not have someone telling you to do a piece of homework and bring it in the next day. You don't have people sat pretty much guiding you along. They let you get on with it. If you don't pass, you haven't worked hard enough. You will only get good marks if you work hard. My university course was an art one and so was a little different but for more academic subjects, I would suggest taking something to record the lecture, or if you type faster than you write, take in your laptop / notebook to make notes. Lecturers talk fast. Make sure you ask for help if you need it. Just remember although you are at uni to have fun, you are paying a lot of money for an education so you want to get something worth remembering out of it....a good grade as well as a good social life!! 

Main points of advice:
  • Keep records - When you move in to your accommodation, take photos of any marks / anything broken etc - places will try to charge you for all they can when you move out as most will just pay it, so you will need proof it was like that to begin with.
  • Make your room homely - This is where you are living for the next year so you want to make it pretty, full of things you love and not somewhere you don't enjoy being. - I had photos everywhere, as well as a heart rug and fairy lights as these are things that made me feel right at home!
  • Get blankets and cushions for your bed - You want to be cosy and will spend a lot of time in your bed..and it will probably become your sofa in your new room!
  • Buy storage bits - These can be found in places such as Wilkinsons, Primark, Home Bargains and B&M bargains. They are all pretty cheap and help to de-clutter your room. I was quite lucky as I had a few drawers built in, space under my bed and a wardrobe yet me being me needed more space, and ended up buying some portable drawers for more clothes and a 4 drawer slim set that fitted snugly into my bathroom. It is definitely easier to decide what storage bits you need and what size they can be once you're there though! No point buying and then realising they don't fit.
  •  Buy quick to cook meals - For the first few weeks, make sure you have lots of ready meals, things that are easy to make (pot noodles!) but that fill you up. You want to be eating a good size meal so you don't end up being ill after drinking! but I promise you, you won't have time in the first few weeks to start going through the student cook books you have no doubt been given or bought whilst preparing for uni! So for this time, takeaways especially are your best friend (as well as the free domino's pizza we all get the voucher for from Fresher's fair!!)
Second Year at uni - (L-R)
Peter Andre at Evolution, group of friends, Sailor night out, Carnage Doctors & Nurses, Evo.
  • Buy your alcohol before going out - This comes under budgeting! Although drinks at student events are dirt cheap, you will save a lot by pre-drinking with friends in someones flat. - It also helps you learn a lot about some people if you play drinking games such as 'I have never...!' (Just remember about the tidying the next day!)

  • Stay smiley and friendly - Keep your bedroom door open when you want company / want to meet others. People will take the hint :)
  • Meet anyone and everyone you can - You don't want to make friends with just 3 people then in two months down the line realise you don't actually get on with them as well as you thought you did...
  • Go to Freshers Fairs - You get loads of free bits and bobs including Domino pizza offers as well as loads of others. This is somewhere you can normally sign up to a doctors surgery in case of any problems as well as a number of societies, another way of meeting new people.
  • Actually go to lectures - You haven't paid thousands of pounds to get into debt and get nothing from it!
  • As you can see in my photos, quite a few times we did something called 'Carnage.' Quite a few cities do it and basically, it's like a pub crawl. You pay for a t-shirt which is your ticket for the can customise and cut it up however you like and then all you have to pay for are your drinks as all your entry fees to about 5 pubs and a club are paid for! It's a great way of meeting new people, and knowing that you only need money for drinks too!
  • Make sure you wear flats if doing a pub crawl!
  • Get used to taking naps!! Before uni, you think they are for old people. Whilst at uni, you realise you cannot live without them!
  • Take loads of photos! You want to remember uni for the good reasons :) - memories and friendships made through uni are priceless.
  • Lastly, have fun and just be yourself! - Honestly, everyone is feeling the exact same...some people just naturally hide it more than others!

Although my time at uni was tough with the actual uni course turning out to be a course I did not problems with my Dad back home.. massive fall outs in second year between friends and 3 of us having to move flats, I got through it! I especially enjoyed my first year, meeting such a huge variety of people and have some of the greatest friends now! Uni has definitely changed me for the better, and that I will always be glad of.
Year 3 (L-R) Pre-drinks in the flat, Kayla's LBD themed 21st, Pre-drinking before out for kay's 21st, out for birthday, Carnage PJ party, Carnage Beach babes xx
Just remember as much as you want to do well at university, don't spend every spare minute studying. I should have taken my own advice on this part in my last year rather than getting so so stressed and literally being in uni 8-8 then working all night, that everyone needs to cut loose once in a while. Always being surrounded by uni work can drain you, but don't forget that the studying is the main reason you are there!

If anyone wants any tips / advice at any time, just message me at or on twitter  and I will try to help out. I know exactly how you are feeling and just wish I had had something like this to tell me everything would be okay so am here if anyone needs me! And I hope a teeny bit of this may have helped you in some way. And congrats if you managed to get through all of that!!

I am so looking forward to doing freshers all over again next week for my final ever time! This also makes me sad.. it is so true what people say that 2nd and 3rd years look forward to it more than the actual freshers ;)

Lastly, HAVE FUN!!!

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Quote of the Week!

I am back to posting a weekly quote and this is a pretty big one!

Enjoy! x

Monday, 29 July 2013

Wow... how bad have I been this year?!

Firstly, I apologise about my complete lack of posting pretty much this year! Since starting uni and absolutely loving my course, I have decided I want to start up a photography business. And this is where all my time & energy seems to have gone! - (Time has also gone to work to earn extra pennies, but you know!)

Over the summer especially, I have been trying to promote myself and trying to get any second shooting or assisting jobs that I can so it hasn't just that I've been uber lazy I promise.. although today, I kinda have been!

I have in fact booked 3 weddings for next year which I am so pleased about, along with doing maternity & newborn photoshoots and have a 1st birthday on Saturday which I can't wait for! If anyone is interested in my work, please visit Georgina Balmer Photography to have a look! If you like what you see, please like my page and of course, share with friends :) I am hoping to have a proper website up & running very soon so will link back to that when it's ready along with a blog to run alongside the website specifically for photography. I love to tell the story to go along with the photographs and also update people with what I have been doing photography-wise.

So, if anyone knows someone getting married, I currently have a special offer running until Wednesday - 20% off wedding packages! But also if you know anyone needing a photographer for any occasion, please just put them in touch. It is definitely word of mouth that is helping my business entirely!

I'll leave you with a selection of photographs that I have taken recently and I promise I will be resuming the beauty / fashion / lifestyle posts as and when I can! (I also have a big blog sale coming up so keep your eyes peeled!!)

Again, I am very sorry, but hope you understand and thank you to all my loyal readers for sticking with me!

Friday, 14 June 2013

Back for Good! and a nail polish review by Clinique!

With that title, I feel like I'm going to break out into singing Take That! Anyway, university is over for the first year and I am back and raring to go! I have so many posts lined up for you all :)

Firstly, if you don't know.. google reader is disappearing very soon, so would be great if you could follow my blog via bloglovin'...either by following this link or the button on the right hand side of my blog >>>> Thanks!

Secondly, I don't know if you remember me telling you, but a few weeks ago when I popped into my local Clinique in Boots to get some new foundation, they asked if I'd like to try their new nail varnish range next time I was in. I have always been a big fan of Clinique since I went the very first time to try on some makeup with my mum. So when I heard this, I had to take a step back in case I'd misheard... Clinique and Nail Varnish?! What could be better?

Their press material states that 'people touch their eyes on average 200 times a day, and that sensitive skin and eyes can react to the chemicals in polish. Cliniques response to this is the result of three years of research and three of product development resulting in the ‘Different Nail Enamel for Sensitive Skin’ range.'

When I first got to Clinique, I was asked to choose which colour I wanted painting onto my nails. Admittedly, they don't have as many colours as other brands but I was certainly not disappointed with the range! I thought being a premium brand, they would have more of the reds, deep purples, more office colours but was pleasantly surprised to see that there were a range of colours for all generations.

Volume 9ml
Cost £12.00
Availability Exclusively online at from April 25th, nationwide at Clinique counters as of May 31st

I went with 'Juiced Up' as I wanted something summery as this was when we were having the warm weather! The assistant popped on a base coat, and once the colour I had chosen was dry, also a top coat to prolong the wear of the polish.

Design wise, I love the bottles. They are cute and the right size to fit into your handbag in a nice little box, BUT, and a big but for me, being a student they are very small for the price of £12 in my opinion. I am pleased with the range of colours, although on the website, it states that the colours in the second photo are a limited edition 2013 collection, so perhaps they may bring out new seasonal products.

As for the actual polish, colour and durability, I was really pleased how nicely it looked even just with one coat. The lady did advise that some polishes need two coats which I have also heard. 

Day One (No idea why the photos have stretched...sorry about that - I dont actually have fat fingers!!!)

Day Two (or skinny fingers like that!)
Unfortunately, as I was tidying up the house to leave uni, the polish seemed to chip very quickly..which I was disappointed with and after three days and some washing up done, I had to take it off as it looked a state. Perhaps next time I can see what it'd be like on a non-housework week!

Overall, I am pleased with this range and feel they are largely work appropriate, but as I don't have sensitive skin, I think I'll be sticking with my cheaper budget polish. For a premium brand however, and it being a help for sensitive skin, I can understand why people would pay it.. perhaps I'll save up my Boots points!

Have you tried any of them? What did you think?

Friday, 24 May 2013

Sheffield Meet Up ♥

So after attempt 1 of this huge post, I managed to delete it all :( so here goes attempt number 2!
Warning: Text and photo heavy post!

For anyone who follows me on Instagram or Twitter, you will probably know that I went to Sheffield Meet Up last Saturday, which was hosted by Rachel, Caroline and Charlotte. Rachel asked me if I'd take some photos of it, which is the reason for so many photos on the blog today!

I met up with Caroline, Charlotte and Fran at Manchester Piccadilly, and we all caught the train together to see Rachel. Here, I was introduced to Claire and we all begun to help set up. Lots of companies had donated so many products and I just couldn't believe the amount that kept appearing out of nowhere to be added to the goody bags. Charlotte had also been very busy and spent hours hand making personalised name tags to attach to each of the bags.. as I am like a magpie, the glitter and hearts were amazing..!

The event was hosted at The Handmade Burger Co. in Meadowhall and they let us have a whole half of their restaurant! They were amazingly generous and provided us with a meal, of which I chose the cheese & bacon chicken burger. We also had a side each, but after the burger, Rachel and I could only manage to share our chips as the portions were so big! We even had bottomless soft drinks for the whole time we were there and I cannot wait until they come to Manchester (apparently in July - eek excited!) Thank you for an amazing meal!

Once we had finished our food and got rid of our food babies, it was time for yet more goodies in a giveaway. My name was drawn out of a hat bag and I was lucky enough to win a Pore Essential product from DHC worth £28! I was amazed as I never win anything! Charlotte won the Paul Mitchell hamper which I will admit, I'm sure along with everyone, I was a teeny bit jealous as it looked SO amazing!!

Some of the prizes and Charlotte's hamper

Giveaway time, bloggers, inside the bags
Other bloggers at the event

After delicious food, more goodies and chatting away to friends, old and new, it was time for us to split into smaller groups to visit the Lush store. As a newbie to Lush and only popping in when I've had to drag the boyfriend in (hence, spending hardly any time in there,) I'd always thought they just sold bath time wrong I was! Each group had the chance of spending time looking at new products, interacting with them and testing them out. Our group consisted of: me, Claire, Rachel, Charlotte, Stacey and Kerys. The first product we had a play with was called 'FUN.' This is a play-dough like product, that can be used for bath bubbles, as soap or even shampoo and was in fact so much fun! (See what I did there?!) We are all such big kids and the toy element had us hooked! - Stacey more than some, as she kept playing with it the whole session we had in the Lush store!! ;) 

Next, we moved onto looking at their 'Emotional Brilliance' makeup range which I did not know even existed! Here, everyone could test out which products they were most suited to. They did this by closing their eyes and pointing to the three colours they were most drawn to. This equated to a colour and keyword, such as pink = passion, and a certain type of makeup: lipgloss, mascara etc. It was a great way to get involved and to see what type of a person you are!

To end the session, we had a little play with some ingredients that go into lots of the products and were given a wealth of information. After that, we were given yet another goody bag, with a few products to try out..including some makeup! I just want to say a huge thank you to Lush for having us, being so enthusiastic and teaching us so much about the products in the shop. I will definitely be back!

We all then went off in little groups to complete shopping lists, but Caroline, Charlotte, Rachel, Fran, Claire, Stacey and I all happened to meet back in Primark... However, we were all so zonked from the busy day that we didn't buy much..makes a change for me!! Here we gave Claire a little present for her wedding this weekend (eeeeek!) which so very nearly made her cry!.. and we said our goodbyes to everyone.

I had such a fantastic day and made so many true friendships that I just want to say a huge and heartfelt thank you to all those involved! I can't wait for the next meet up and to see everyone again :) 
(By the way, congrats if you managed to sift through all of this!)

(All photos are my own. Please do not use without asking for permission)