Thursday, 4 February 2016

Best Budget Beauty Buys

I'm a no-frills kind of gal when it comes to beauty products and as we are bombarded daily with images of high end toiletries and cosmetics I thought I'd share with you my best budget buys.

I've been using this Garnier Micellar water for about a year now in favour of my tried and trusted cold cream.  I first heard about it on one of Caroline's beauty posts and have to say I've been very impressed with it. It removes make-up and grime thoroughly and the price for this bottle was a reasonable £2.66 at Tesco.
And there's less mess than the cold cream.  A 400ml bottle will last me ages, anyone else tried it?

My hair has always been fine and fairly thin and now I'm a certain age it's even harder to manage and that's without mentioning the damage I've inflicted on it from over a decade of highlights.  I'm loving this Avon shampoo, another recent discovery that really does 'big up' my hair...(well, as much as it's ever gonna be bigged up!)  I use it with another Avon product,

  their Argan Oil hair mask which is brilliant at leaving my otherwise lack lustre locks soft and shiny.  I buy both of these products on offer, which is pretty often.  This is usually priced around the three quid mark.

 Until I started using this Aldi serum I'd never been faithful to any particular moisturiser, but since discovering this, I buy it in bulk.  Recommended in a magazine, I thought I'd give it a try and at £3.49 it was a no-brainer.  I have been very impressed with this product and saw an improvement in my skin within weeks. One of my dad's cohorts even told me I looked younger. (mind you, we were in the pub at the time, perhaps he was wearing beer goggles!)  It absorbs into the skin easily without leaving an oily residue and has a pleasant, expensive fragrance.  I have also heard that Lacura beauty products are cruelty free, although they are not CCF accredited.

Another product I use for moisturising is this almond oil which I slap on before the serum.....(I'm never sure which I should apply first?)  I've previously used olive oil and I don't think there's much, if any difference but the size of this bottle was handier for the bathroom.  As you see,  it's multi purpose too, not only for cooking but also as a hair conditioner.  I rub some into the ratty ends of my hair before going to bed and wash it out in the morning.

This next product is only budget because I bought it in a charity shop for 50p and is normally quite pricy.  That said, I bought a large gift set one Christmas when it was half price and it lasted most of the year.
The spicy fragrance of this Sanctuary product is a winner with me and I love the luxurious feel of oil.

Lastly is this Lacura Caviar Illumination Day Cream from Aldi.  At £6.99 it's as much as I'm ever going to pay for a face cream but I'd read good things about this in a review.  On the shelf in the store a notice said customers were limited to four per purchase, similar to the launch of Boot's Protect & Perfect which flew off the shelves.
I haven't tried this yet so if anyone's interested I'll have to let you know my thoughts at a later date.

Do let me know in the comments what your best budget beauty buys are?

This is not a sponsored post.... as if!


Sunday, 31 January 2016

Scavenger Hunt - January

For the first Scavenger Hunt of 2016 we may post twelve photos of our choice.
  Mine are of a recent day out in London with my aunt to celebrate her 65th birthday and retirement from nursing, a career than spanned over 40 years..... I'm afraid there are a few more than twelve photos!.

 We arrived into London at Charing Cross station so it was just a short walk to Trafalgar Square

 where we watched all manner of street artists and buskers.

 Next was St. Martin in the Fields where we enjoyed a free lunchtime concert by two renowned harpists.

The beautiful vaulted ceilings provided the most wonderful acoustics.
Afterwards we visited their Café in the Crypt for a quick cuppa.

A wander around Covent Garden followed.


 Then down to the Embankment


..... some daftness in a phone box 

and across the river.


I'd lined up a special treat at 5pm so it was back across the Thames to

 where we enjoyed the most delicious afternoon tea in resplendent surroundings.

I wondered if perhaps it would be the height of vulgarity to take photos at this rather grand hotel but the waiting staff offered to take several snaps for us and others dining were doing selfies, so I went for it.

A visit to the ladies loo before we left was a must...

where the decor was just as amazing.

We had a fantastic day in London,  I will never forget the luxurious surroundings of the Savoy and the  
exceptional service we enjoyed, or of course the delicate flavours of all the scrumptious sandwiches, scones and pastries we stuffed...or the Roederer champagne in exquisite flutes!   

Oh well, it's back down to earth and beans on toast for me. 

Huge thanks to Greenthumb at Scavenger Hunt for continuing this challenge in 2016.
Do pop by to see her blog and all the other link ups and the list for February.

 I'll leave you with a clip of the moving piece we so enjoyed at the concert.
Wishing you all a good week.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

White Stuff

It's been a bit nippy here, so much so that I got called out on Saturday night to drive the snow-plough at work.  (In case you didn't know, I work at an airport)  There wasn't much white stuff to speak of but I quite enjoyed zipping about between 757's and A320's clearing the stands.  On the way home in the morning I took this snap as I was sure by the time I woke up later it would be gone...and I was right.

Since my last post I have been busy crocheting,  making myself a tablet cover.  It's amateurish to say the least as it's my first attempt at decreasing and I made it in a hurry.
 I should have made the flap longer but hey ho, next time.  It'll do for now.

Having the tablet allows me to catch up with the telly on my breaks at work.  Is anyone else hooked on Spin, the new French political drama ?  I'm also loving The Young Montalbano and I'm pleased to see the return of Mr. Selfridge.....love those period costumes!
I've been having more clear outs and several bags have gone for recycling or to the charity shop.  A couple of things have come into the house though!  Firstly this ghastly necklace, reduced from fifteen quid to 50p...

'I can well see why' I hear you say....but after some judicious snipping...hey presto, not quite so ghastly.

I also found this lovely Meakin jug in a chazza for just £2 and couldn't resist.

I'm linking up with Patti's Visible Monday once more....get me!
(with the risk of being told again that my garage door needs painting!)

Vintage pinafore dress bought on a bloggers day out in Birmingham
Brown polo neck jumper - Zara
Brown boots - Ugg

My bag was full of books as I was just off to my French lesson, my homework was to find a French news
item to discuss.  After trawling through various articles about Jihadist attacks in Ouagadougou and Marine Le Pen's latest outburst I decided I'd heard enough doom and gloom and settled on a story about a man who dropped his trousers on the No.8 bus in Rouen.
 It certainly made my prof smile and no doubt some passengers on that bus.

I hope you are smiling wherever you are this week.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Graded Grains Make Finer Flour

 I'm glad it's all over, aren't you ? 
 Although I didn't really participate much in the festivities as it goes and was back at work at crack of sparrows on Boxing Day. 
 This was the extent of my decoration.

OK...., there were a few more cards dotted around the place, but no tree, no lights, no xmas spirit.... apart from a few snifters whilst watching Christmas University Challenge of course.

Talking of snifters,  I was at a pub gig a couple of weeks ago and whilst ordering my usual pint of cider at the bar, no less than two men enquired 'Is that drink for you ?' in an incredulous tone.  WTF?  One even had the temerity to say 
' I thought a lady would choose a small, fruit based drink
Well mate, I don't know where you've been for the last few decades but ladies have changed.  He was treated to a withering look before I flounced off, swigging my pint like a navvy. 

  It's been so mild it didn't feel very Christmassy.... an Osteospurmum in flower on Christmas Eve!  Insane.

Last year I abstained from too much chazzing but a few vintage purchases found their way home recently.  Firstly this eiderdown.

  I've been after one of these for years, goodness knows what happened to the one we had at home when I was a child.  Usually when I've come across these they have fag burns or tears in the fabric accompanied by a hefty price tag, but although this one had a few minor holes it was priced reasonably and I thought I could rescue it.  Vix's advice was to wash it with soda crystals followed by a tumble dry, it was pretty grimy but has come up a treat.

 I found Fred the Flour Shaker in an Antiques Emporium, he looked a bit lonely sandwiched between a Charles & Di mug and a box of mismatched cutlery so I rescued him too.  

He looks rather incongruous on my kitchen worktop but if I ever get my arse into gear and paint that old shelf, he could live there. 

  I also bought this basket, as God knows I need another basket like a hole in the head!

  I couldn't resist as I liked it's shape and plus...it was only a fiver.  It's now providing a home for some of my yarn stash.  Which brings me neatly around to the subject of recent gift makes.

........ a few crocheted coat hanger covers

  and thanks to Lazy Daisy Jones some covers for Handy Andies.
 (tissues, for non-UK readers)  No handbag should be without them!  
These are mega easy to knock up with any old scraps from your sewing basket.

Talking of xmas gifts, I went out with Dad the other day and he bought me this.

How lucky am I ? 
Perhaps I'll be a better blogger if I can do it on the move?

 ...On the day I received these lovely gloves bought on his travels in NZ (...look possum!)

  and a French property magazine which is giving me no end of big ideas.
(shame I don't have the wherewithal to back them up)

Before I toddle off I thought I'd link up to Patti's Visible Monday
and Judith's Hat Attack.  I'm hoping to do more of this in 2016

A Sixties pose captured from behind is a winner when you've had no time to get your slap on.
(I dashed out to the shops when there was a brief respite from the relentless rain!)

Boden 60's-inspired PVC jacket - charity shopped
Wool beret- gift from Curtise
 Shopping basket - French market

I wish you all great health, prosperity and happiness in 2016.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015


My cousin reached this age today and of course I made her a birthday card, which happened to coincide with Less Is More's current challenge - Numbers ....so I'm linking up again.

The figures were hand cut from card with the help of an alphabet stencil O
 and I fashioned a 4 with an L.....are you with me?
A leafy background panel was stamped and heat embossed with clear EP then the figures were mounted with sticky fixers.  Liquid Pearls and a few faux pearls were added for texture and interest.
Stamps used are by Cardio, Inkylicious, Hero Arts.
Inks - VersaColor

The insert was decorated and job's a good 'un.
 This was a quick card as I realized on Monday, after a hectic weekend that I needed to get one made and in the post pronto.
  Also linking to
Creative Corner Challenge - Happy Birthday

Hope your week will be better than mine...I've three night shifts to look forward to!

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Peace On Earth

It's been a long while since I linked to Less Is More's weekly challenge as paper crafting, due to lack of mojo and a renewed interest in crochet, has taken a back seat this year.  But, as I am currently in the process of churning out xmas cards I thought I'd have a bash at the current One-Layer Santa theme.
Here's what I did.
I cannot take the credit for this idea as I was inspired by a similar design I saw somewhere or other, on the web or in my local craft shop.  I cut a rectangular aperture and moon mask from paper and used my Ink Dusters to colour an ombre effect inside the rectangle then over stamped with magazine freebies, a gift from friend Sue.  

I have spent much of the day watching the horrifying atrocities perpetrated in Paris last night and as I was photographing my card it occurred to me that Peace on Earth,
 would have been a more appropriate sentiment.

As our thoughts go to the victims in Paris I'm sure I am not the only one thinking
'how long before this happens in my country?'