Revolution Re-Loaded Velvet Rose Palette Review

Hi everyone!

Today I popped into Superdrug and picked up the Revolution Re-loaded Velvet Rose Palette. I’ve been meaning to get this for a little while and I was not at all disappointed! As usual, Revolution have provided top quality make up for a super affordable price.

The palette consists of 15 shades all together; 5 shimmer and 10 matte shades. These shades consist of a range of mauve, brown and golden shades, which are perfect for Autumn.

Swatches: Bottom Row R-L, Middle Row R-L, Top Row R-L

As you can see, they are really pigmented and gorgeous! They aren’t chalky and you do not have to build them up to get the pigment which is excellent. I especially love the pinkish shimmer shade in the middle. I generally cannot believe that this palette is only £4, and I’m really keen to try the other Re-Loaded palettes! This palette is going to perfect for some really lovely Autumnal looks. I think you could also use this with your Halloween make up look too!

Have you tried this palette? What other palettes would you recommend for an Autumnal vibe? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!

Michelle x

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I made up my own recipe – Apple Cider Chicken.

Happy Saturday! This evening it was my turn to cook dinner, and for it I made up my own recipe of Apple Cider Chicken. It’s a super sweet and extremely Autumnal dish!

Now before we get started, a small disclaimer. I’m sure there are other recipes of Apple Cider Chicken but I didn’t look it up online or see it in a book, I just made my own version. I thought of what ingredients to include in my experiment in my head and quickly wrote everything down so that I wouldn’t forget it. I’m also certainly not anything close to a chef, so it’s just my bit of fun. Here’s how I did it!

Ingredients (makes 2 portions):

  • 2 apples. I used cooking apples (not 100% sure what variety as they were picked from my in-law’s tree, but any cooking apples should work).
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 250ml cloudy apple cider. I used Thatchers Haze.
  • 2 small cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1 chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoons tomato puree
  • A sprinkle of cinnamon
  • A sprinkle of ginger
  • A pinch of salt
  • A dash of cooking oil. I used olive oil.

Method:

  1. Chop the garlic into small pieces. Cut the chicken breasts into strips, and cook them in a large pan with the oil and garlic until the juices run clear. While the chicken is cooking, peel the apples and chop them up into reasonably small pieces. Steam 1 and 3/4 of the apples. Add the leftover quarter to the chicken.
  2. When the chicken is cooked and apples are steamed, add them to the chicken. I used cooking apples as when I steamed them they went into a sort of paste which is good to thicken up the sauce of this dish. Ordinary apples could work, however they usually keep their shape so it may not have the same effect.
  3. Add the tomato puree. It sounds weird having tomato with apple, but I think that because this is such a sweet dish, the tomato puree (and the garlic) adds a savoury touch which takes a little bit of the sweetness away. You don’t need to add either if you do not wish to.
  4. Add the chicken stock, the honey and the brown sugar, stirring each ingredient in well.
  5. Add the cider slowly, and stir. Bring to boil and allow to simmer. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir again. Leave on a low heat for ten minutes, stirring occasionally, then serve.

I served this with just a side of broccoli and garden peas, which makes this approximately a 500 calorie meal. You could add any carbohydrates you wish though, such as chips, potatoes or rice. My fiancé absolutely loved it so I think it turned out ok! As I say, it’s very sweet so you don’t want a huge portion. The plus side – you get to drink the rest of the bottle of cider!

Let me know what you think of this dish in the comments!

Thank you for reading,

Michelle xx

Starting University? Here are my thoughts and tips!

Hi everyone,

So it’s been four years since I started my history degree at Oxford Brookes University, and just over a year since I graduated with my 2:1 with honours. Looking back, there are so many things I enjoyed, so many things I wish I’d done, and so many tips I wish I had been given. If you’re about to start your course, I wish you the very best of luck, and I hope you have the most wonderful few years of your life!

Graduation Day, June 2017. A proud moment!

Five aspects I enjoyed:

1) Meeting some wonderful new friends. Megan, Rachel, Lucy and Lily really made my university experience, and I’m so thankful for these amazing girls💖

2) Learning about parts of history I’d never have learnt about if it were not for my professors. Fascinating facts and interesting viewpoints made the subject so enjoyable. The professors and lecturers have a fountain of knowledge and it’s just wonderful.

3) The feeling of getting a piece of coursework back with a good mark. After disastrous A-Levels and barely scraping through to even get to university in the first place, I was overwhelmed when my first ever piece of coursework came back marked as a First.

4) The fact that I can proudly say that I have a degree! It’s a huge accomplishment and such a wonderful reward after all the hard work in my education.

5) Just being a student! The perks of being a student are awesome. Need a new dress? Student discount girllll. Want to burst out crying? You’re studying for a degree it’s fine, it’s understandable! Not ready to adult? Don’t worry, you’re a student, you have your whole life ahead of you, enjoy being young. I wish I was a student again!

I look awful and exhausted, but here is me just about to finally hand in my dissertation! All that hard work, done!

Five aspects I wish I had done better:

1) I wish I’d been more sociable and gone out more. I’m not a clubbing person or heavy drinker, and I’m quite a socially awkward person, but I do wish I’d pushed myself to really enjoy or just try the so-called “student lifestyle” before I became an adult with a full-time job and a mortgage. I let my anxiety stop me doing a lot, and I wonder if pushing myself to socialise more would have helped me.

2) Not procrastinated. Every student is guilty of this I’m sure, but I wish I’d tried to get work completed earlier, studied harder and not left everything to the last minute and caused myself unnessary stress. Those all-nighters could have been avoided if I’d have just got on with it!

3) Spoken to my professors, lecturers and staff leads more. I felt awkward asking for help when I needed it, which is the worst thing I could have done. I should have communicated when I was struggling.

4) Taken the opportunity to use Oxford University’s Bodleian Library. In my third year I could have filled in my form and had unlimited access to the Bodleian Library, an opportunity that I let slip. Always take every single chance that you are given!

5) Worked less. I worked hard throughout university, often working at least 30 hours a week alongside my full-time degree. Needs must to have been able to afford to live, and to have been able to save, as I didn’t have any other financial support. I managed to get a mortgage with my fiancé within months of coming out of university which was amazing and meant we got the perfect house at the best time, but I do think it meant that my studying slipped a bit, especially with my dissertation.

An ordinary day in the life of me, studying for and writing up a paper in the library

My Five Top Tips:

1) Study! Sound obvious, but make it your top priority. You probably won’t get the opportunity again. Be organised, don’t leave everything to the last minute, and always try your best. The rewards outweigh everything.

2) Read! Read all of your course materials and then some. I didn’t, and I feel that with some areas I struggled because I didn’t always have a profound understanding of the topics. Anything to help!

3) Make the most of your student discount. I barely used mine because I always forgot about it, and I miss it now. I could have saved a fortune!

4) Don’t be afraid to ask questions! At the risk of repeating what I have written above, talk to your professors and lecturers and staff leaders! They are there to help you and better you, and they will always assist you in any way possible.

5) Embrace it. Make the most of your time and university, studying a subject you love, spending time with your amazing friends, laughing and loving life. Your degree, and those 3+ years, will go by in a heartbeat. Make the most of it! Whenever you think that you can’t do it, that you’re going to fail or that you’re wasting your time, please remember that you are doing great and it will all be worth it in the end!

Are you starting university? If so, what uni are you going to and what are you studying? Or have you been/are you still attending uni and are there any tips you would give to freshers? Let me know in the comments below!😘

Thanks for reading!

Michelle x

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Superdrug Extracts Grapefruit & Papaya Shampoo & Conditioner

Happy Thursday!

Today I want to review Superdrug’s own brand Grapefruit & Papaya shampoo and conditioner. I’ve just used it on my hair for about the fourth or fifth time and I have to say that I am impressed.

In a world where everything is always changing, there has been one constant in my life for a few years now, and that is the Aussie Volume Shampoo and Conditioner. It’s absolutely amazing, but has one flaw, it isn’t cruelty-free (Its a Proctor & Gamble product sadly). I made a pact with myself over the summer that I would no longer buy from brands that are not cruelty-free, which sadly meant hanging up, or squeezing out, my Aussie hair care for good. I told myself that I wouldn’t waste any products that I already had, and would use whatever I had left, but would only replace such items with a cruelty-free alternative. Check out my post about this here.

All of Superdrug’s own brand products are cruelty-free, and have the internationally recognised bunny symbol on, so you can rest assured that you can trust the own brand items.

Let me start by saying that the shampoo and conditioner smell absolutely divine, during and after use. Many shampoos and conditioners smell great when washing, but the scent does not remain afterwards, or so I find. This scent subtly lingers in the hair for at least a day, so that’s pretty good in my humble opinion!

This particular addition is for fine hair, to give it a bit of a lift and volumise the strands. I definitely think it does this, and my hair currently feels lovely and ‘floaty’. My hair looks shiny, nourished and feels extremely soft! You don’t need a lot of product, and even though I have rather long hair, I’ve barely used any product because there is so much included in the 400ml bottles.

These retail at only £1.99 which is excellent, however they are currently on offer on the Superdrug website for only 95p! What a bargain! You can get your hands on the shampoo here and the conditioner here.

There are also other scents available, such as Aloe Vera & Mango, Coconut & Almond and Raspberry & Macadamia, so I’m looking forward to trying them all!

Overall I’m very pleased with these products and would certainly purchase them again. I would say that it doesn’t really lather very well which may or may not be a good thing, as I’m by no means a hair expert, but I do love the lathering feeling of shampoo as it personally makes me feel like my hair is being more throughly cleaned. I don’t think it’s quite as good as Aussie but to me it’s better to be cruelty-free! Apart from this, I am happy!

Have you ever used this shampoo or conditioner and if so, what did you think? What cruelty free hair products do you like? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!

Michelle x

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I’m Volunteering with Brownies!

Hi everyone!

So just a short post today, buy I wanted to share something new and exciting that I’ve got involved with – volunteering with the Brownies section of Girl Guiding! Girl Guides are split into sections by age- Rainbows are ages 5-7, Brownies 7-10, Guides 10-14 And in some districts, Rangers, which are ages 14-18.

I’m training to be a Brownies Unit Leader, and was influenced by my lovely colleague who is a Guides County Commissioner. I hope to make a difference and give the girls and exciting and memorable experience with Brownies.

I had my first meeting last night, but only two girls turned up, so we think we’re going to combine with another unit of Brownies in a neighbouring village to ensure we have a sustainable group. I’ve been so worried that the girls wouldn’t like me, and I’m still worried in case they didn’t as they didn’t talk to me very much, but I’m telling myself that kids will not trust easily and they have to get to know you first, so fingers crossed they will. They were both very polite and well-behaved so that was lovely. We did have a lovely evening, which involved baking Apple Spice Muffins which were delicious! (And so perfectly Autumnal). Having never been involved in Brownies or Guides or anything growing up, I’m not very clued up on what goes on but I’m very keen to learn, and I’m finding it really interesting.

Has anyone else volunteered in the Girl Guides, Brownies or Rainbows, or something similar? Or work with children in general? Let me know in the comments, any advice would be very much appreciated!

Thanks for reading!

Michelle xx

Hello September!

I don’t actually know where this year has gone, but it is officially September! I am incredibly excited for Autumn and everything it involves: beautiful colours, crisp mornings, cosy nights, Starbucks/Costa Autumn drinks, Halloween, my hometown’s annual fair, toffee, cinnamon, apple and pumpkin everything, warm jumpers, the build up to Christmas… I really could go on and on! I also have lots of Autumnal blog posts planned so I’m really excited to write them and share them with you all.

I’ve decided to try and do a post like this on the first day of every month, to go over my goals for the month and to recap the previous one. Within my goals, I think i’m going to set myself a followers target to reach at the end of that month. I’d just like to clarify that I did not start blogging for views and followers, I started it because I love writing and wanted an outlet, but I’ve seen so many other posts like this and I don’t think that there is anything wrong with trying to grow your followers and setting yourself goals to achieve!

August Recap

August has been a really busy month! From having family over from the USA, to day trips around the UK, to eating my own body weight in ice cream and spending some time with family and friends. I started to get a little more organised by planning my blog posts up until Christmas so that has really propelled my blogging excitement and ambitions!

Goals for September

At the time of writing this post, my current follower figures are:

Blog – 243 Instagram – 418 Twitter – 699

Here are my goals for this month:

Blog – 400 Instagram – 600 Twitter – 800

I’ve tried to set workable goals for myself and I’ll see how it goes; I will report back on how it goes on October 1st. Please do go ahead and follow my Instagram and my Twitter and subscribe to this blog if you enjoy my content! I’d be so grateful! 🙂

I’ve written down a few ideas of posts to write this month, and I hope to use as many as I can this month. As the nights draw in I cannot think of anything I would rather do in the evenings than relax with a hot chocolate and my laptop. With The Great British Bake Off back on our screens (screams with excitement) I am keen to get baking, I’ve also got quite a few books to read and beauty and skincare product reviews planned!

Here’s to September! It’s going to be a wonderful month I hope!

What are your plans for September? What do you love most about Autumn? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Michelle xx

Exploring Oxford

It is truly amazing that you can live near somewhere your whole life, but never really SEE it. My home city of Oxford is really one of those places. I wasn’t until family from the USA visited that I did anything touristy, because you seem to take everything for granted when it’s where you’ve grown up, or in my case I did anyway. I went to college in Oxford and I was walking through the Oxford Castle Quarters every day to get there from the bus stop and I didn’t bat an eyelid, and I was ironically studying to get into university to study history! So now, after doing some actual exploring, I’d like to share some top tips about visiting Oxford and where you should go, but I would also welcome any tips from anyone who has visited, because it is wonderful to feel like a tourist in your own city!

The Radcliffe Camera, Oxford. Photo taken 24th August 2018.

Top Ten Things To Do:

1. Oxford Castle. You can take a guided tour around the remains of the castle, which date back to the Norman era. A must do.

2. St Michael’s Church and Saxon Tower. Just off of the bustling Cornmarket Street is this beautiful church. With the tower dating back to 1040, it is considered the oldest remaining building in Oxford. The views from the top are incredible!

3. Explore Oxford University Colleges and buildings. Of course, Oxford is most famous for its world-class university. There are many colleges that comprise of the university, and each are as grand as each other. Take a guided walking tour around the colleges and the Bodleian Library, Radliffe Camera, Sheldonian Theatre and Christ Church, where

4. Go Punting. This is a must do and a fun activity! Hire a punting boat from Magdalen Bridge (you can fit up to 6 people in one boat) and have endless hours of fun while participating in an Oxford tradition.

5. Visit the Turf Tavern! Now unfortunately this tavern isn’t a good as it used to be in my opinion, as it’s now own by the commercial budget company that I’m sure you’ve heard of – Greene King (sighs), so isn’t as unique and wonderful as it once was. However it’s still worth a visit as the foundations and use of this site as a tavern date back to 1381! It’s hidden away down a winding narrow alleyway near the Bridge of Sighs (a pivotal photography spot when you’re visiting Oxford).

6. Go shopping! The new Westgate Shopping Centre is the main shopping district, offering many big name brands, high street retailers and copious places to eat and drink. Nearby Clarenden Centre offers more of these stores, while Queen Street and Cornmarket Street add to the variety.

7. Get in touch with nature. Even though you’re in the city, the University Parks offer the perfect place for a picnic or a stroll and the Oxford Botanic Gardens are absolutely beautiful to walk around, offering a sense of tranquillity while surrounded by a busy city.

8. Take an open top bus ride. Open top bus tours always provide and insight into the city you’re visiting, and Oxford is not the exception! Google ‘city sightseeing Oxford’ to book your tickets!

9. Tour the museums! Being such a historical city, it’s no wonder that there are an abundance of museums to choose from! The Natural History Museum, Pitt Rivers Museum and the Ashmolean all offer a fundamental and educational experience for all who visit.

10. Enjoy a pub crawl in Jericho. There are many wonderful taverns and bars to choose from in the north of the city, a few of the best being the Old Bookbinder’s Ale House, the Eagle and Child, the Lamb and Flag, Rickety Press, the Duke of Cambridge and Jude the Obscure.

Further afield

These places are great if if you want to explore the wider Oxford area but would like to get out of the city centre, each is as different to each other as can be:

1. Around 10 minutes walk from the city centre is Cowley Road, which is home to a colourful vibrant and exotic scene. Restaurants, shops and bars of many different cultures galore, you’ll certainly be taken in by the contrast of the city centre. You can always walk down it and take the bus back, but parking isn’t exactly easy of the road.

2. Binsey and Port Meadow, where Lewis Carroll, author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, often acquainted! Perfect for a walk on the outskirts of the city but away from the hustle and bustle.

3. Take the bus to Woodstock and Blenheim Palace! The birthplace of Winston Churchill and home to the Dukedom of Marlborough. You can read my latest post about Blenheim here.

I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it! Let me know if you’ve visited any of these places, if you’d like to visit Oxford or if you have any more tips for readers in the comments below!

Michelle xx

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