Saturday, 30 January 2016

Recent Music Loves | What's Been On Repeat?

Hello, lovelies! We all know by now that I absolutely love listening to music, and it's been a while since I've had a bit of a catch up on what I've been loving, so it's about time that happened eh? There's so much to get through, so let's just jump right in!

One Direction - History.
I've been loving the album as a whole, but this song has absolutely stuck out for me. I've pretty much had it on repeat for the past few weeks, so it's only right that it's at the top of the list! I'm sure most of us have heard this by now, and whether you like 1D or not I think you'll probably like this.

Little Mix - Get Weird.
This entire album is amazing as far as I'm concerned. Rarely do I come across an album where I love pretty much every song on the album, but this is definitely one of those albums. Stand-outs for me have been A.D.I.D.A.S, Hair and Secret Love Song, so they're definitely ones to give a listen to, although I'd recommend the entire album!

Mabel - My Boy, My Town.
I found this song just looking through different Spotify categories and I've been in love ever since. It's such a laid-back, chilled out song. I love listening to it while I curl up with a book, but maybe that's just me! 

Alessia Clara - Seventeen. 
Last, but certainly not least, is this little beauty. I'm sure most of us have heard her first offering - here - once or twice, and this is just as catchy. Now, admittedly, it's been a year or 6 since I was 17 (shh), but I think we can all relate to this song. However old we're getting!

Much love, Maxine xo
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Friday, 29 January 2016

Superdrug Tea Tree Pore Strips | Review

Hello, Lovelies! I recently featured these in my January Haul and was very excited to try them. I mentioned in the post that I have really bad blackheads on my nose, so I'm always very eager to try a product that claims to help with this. So, keep reading to find out what I thought!

"Quickly and effectively remove dirt, oil and blackheads for cleaner-looking pores", 

These are very affordable, at £3.99 for 5 strips, which I think is a great price.
I followed the instructions to the T: Cleanse face, splash some excess water on your nose to make sure they stick, apply the strip to the nose clear side down, remove when stiff. Simple! I've tried these 3 times now, and you can definitely see the gunk they remove left over on the strip (I saved you from that picture!) but if I'm being honest I was a little bit disappointed with how much they removed. Maybe I was expecting too much, but I was just hoping for more.
I was expecting the smell to be quite strong too, which is something I don't mind personally, but actually, the smell wasn't harsh as all, which I know is something people look for. 
Long story short: They aren't quite as effective as I'd hoped, but I'm hoping the effects might build up over time, and I'd definitely recommend them if blackheads are something you don't suffer badly with as you do definitely see some results. 

Aren't strong smelling
Don't dry out your skin
Do remove some dirt and blackheads
Aren't too harsh to pull off, like other strips.
Very affordable.

Aren't quite as effective as I'd hoped.

So, all in all, I'd probably recommend these with the note to expect results, but not amazing ones. 

Much love, Maxine xo
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Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Max Stone - Budapest | George Ezra Cover

Hello, Lovelies! What would Wednesdays been on this blog without a little cover? Now, I was apparently in the minority watching the X Factor this year. I must admit I only stuck with it because I had my favourites. And boy, was Max Stone a favourite. Whatever your feelings on his performances on the X Factor, and even if you didn't give it a watch, I promise you'll adore his version of George Ezra's Budapest. Pinky promise, even!

Right through, that rough, smokey tone to his voice is absolutely beautiful. I don't feel like we got to see this level from him on the X Factor, although of course I could be wrong, but this makes me very excited to see what's next from him. Judging by his twitter there's new, original music coming soon, so keep your eyes peeled for that. I'll definitely be giving it a nod when it finally arrives! 

Much love, Maxine xo
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Tuesday, 26 January 2016

The Perfect Winter Porridge!

Hello, Lovelies! I don't know about you but I definitely think it's getting colder this past week or so than it was over Christmas. So, I've been looking for ways to warm up on a morning and start my day right. And, what better way is there than a big, hot bowl of porridge? Now, I normally live in porridge anyway, I've been jazzing it up lately and branching out from my usual boring milk-and-oats combo, and this recipe is one I go to most morning for a quick, simple, and more importantly satisfying breakfast. 

What You Need: 
150ml oat milk (or any milk you would normally use.)
40g porridge oats
2tsp ground cinnamon
1/2tsp sugar
Handful blueberries

What You Do:
1. Add the milk, cinnamon and sugar to a pan and heat over a medium-high heat. 
2. Once that's hot, and add the oats
3. Cook until desired consistency (about 3-4 minutes for me). 
4. Add to the bowl, top with blueberries and enjoy! 

Yep, it's that simple! In the time it takes to make your morning cuppa, you can also have a healthy breakfast that'll keep you full (and, warm) till lunch. What more could you want? Of course, there's no hard-and-fast rules, experiment and find what works for you. 

Leave any recipes you've been loving lately below, and let me know if you try this!

Much love, Maxine xo
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Saturday, 23 January 2016

Turning 23... | Life Lessons

Hello, Lovelies! I recently turned 23. And, I'm feeling very reflective about it. I wouldn't necessarily say that I'm feeling old, but I'm certainly more aware of the fact I'm not actually a teenager anymore. I think I kind of don't feel like I haven't got a whole lot to show for 23 years. 23 years is a long time! So, I thought I'd put together a little list of the things I have got to show for my 23 years. Some life lessons, some memories and just a general acknowledgement that the little things are sometimes the biggest things.

What things have I learnt in my 23 years? Not a whole lot is my instant thought. Maybe I'm too self-deprecating. Maybe that should go on the list. "I am very negative towards myself". But, looking back, I think we can all find little life lessons we've picked up along the way.

I'd say the biggest, most important life lesson for me is that mistakes are okay! You learn from mistakes, I promise you. I've mentioned before that I'm a perfectionist, and that's something that I'm working really hard on, so I suppose this is still in the process of being learned. But, it's important. I'm the kind of person who'll throw away 2 pages of writing because the last word on the back page had to be scribbled out and it looks "messy". I'm the kind of person who knew so many more answers in class than I put myself forward for because what if it's wrong. I'm slowly working my way to learning that mistakes are perfectly okay, and for me, this is the biggest lesson I've learnt (or rather, am learning).

This next one actually came from a film. "If a guy treats you like he doesn't give a shit, he genuinely doesn't give a shit". Although this is more dating advice, this is something I think we can all take into our everyday life. Of course, you have to give people a bit of leeway because everyone's got their own life going on, but typically speaking, if someone treats you like crap, they don't care. I'm the type of person to always see the good in people, and give them chance after chance, so this is a hard one to act on for me, but it's definitely something that I keep in the front of my mind.

And, finally: Just because you failed once, doesn't mean you can't try again. I've 'failed' at a lot of things. Like, a ton. But, you can always try again. And, again. And, then again and again if you have to. If you can't get through it, find a way around it. You can do anything you want to. The long way isn't the wrong way. If you don't get a job you really wanted, keep your eyes peeled, bulk up your CV and try for the next vacancy. If you didn't make it right through that workout, don't let that put you off trying the next time or the time after that until you smash it. 'Failure' isn't actually a failure. It's not a dead-end. Promise. 

Much love, Maxine xo
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Friday, 22 January 2016

January Superdrug Haul | Recent Purchases

Hello, Lovelies! We've all been making the most of the recent sales I'm sure, and the first place I hit was Superdrug. My love of Makeup Revolution was too strong! I actually ended up picking up a lot of bits and bobs I didn't need/want/know existed; but isn't that always the case? I've already had a lot of this stuff for a few weeks, so I'm hoping to have reviews/looks etc up ASAP. Hopefully... 

Firstly, I picked up the I Heart Makeup I Am Flawless Foundation, £1.99. I'm constantly on the lookout for the 'perfect' foundation, and this one caught my eye. I thought, with it only being £1.99, if it's no good there's no harm done. As far as I can tell from the website, there's only 1 shade for this, which is the palest shade they do (almost white) so it's probably not suitable for most people, but if you're pale like me there's an option for you! 

Next, I picked up the Superdrug Tea Tree Nose Strips, £3.99. I suffer really badly with blackheads on my nose, and I'll try anything to get rid of them! You get 5 in the pack, so I figured it's good value for money if they work! This will probably be the next review up, so keep your eyes peeled! 

Superdrug Simply Pure Hydrating Serum, £2.69. If I say one more time I've got really dry skin you guys will probably scream. But, I've got really dry skin! Especially in the winter. The combination of cold, harsh weather, constant central heating and a ridiculous amount of junk food consumed over the Christmas period always leads to my skin being even worse than it normally is, so I'm always on the lookout for something that'll give me a moisture hit and not irritate it anymore, and this seemed to tick all of the boxes. 

MUA Extreme Volume Mascara £2. Now, I'm not sure I'll be doing a review of this, mainly because my lashes tend to take quite well to any mascara. Although by themselves they really aren't anything to write home about, I tend to get really good results from most mascaras, so I might not be giving the truest of opinions if that makes sense? But, I still wanted to feature it because I've been loving it. The smell is amazing (like the apple Alberto Balsam haircare) and I haven't noticed any clumping which are the two biggest variables for me, so take that as you will. I would recommend it, for what it's worth. 

Penultimately, we have the MUA Velvet Lip Lacquer in Symphonic, £3. I love these and thought I'd check out what new colours they had as I haven't checked the range in a few months. I picked this up because online it looked like a very grey-toned, slightly darker than lilac shade. In actuality, it's more a dark purple and is actually very similar to Kooky from the same range, which is a darker purple shade. I'll maybe do a comparison on them, but I'll definitely do a review of this!

Finally, we have Freedom Pro Melts in Just Do It, £3. I've got no idea where I'll wear this, or even if it suits me really, but the makeup addict in me saw this beautiful, navy blue shade and just had to have it! It's definitely more of a gloss than a liquid lipstick in consistency, but I'll, of course, go more in-depth on that in the review that'll be coming up soon!

And, that's that! I hope you enjoyed and please leave links to your sales hauls below!

Much love, Maxine xo
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Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Alexi Blue - Lose Yourself | Eminem Cover

Hello, lovelies! You may or may not remember that I've featured Alexi Blue here before. I absolutely adore this girl, and combined with one of my favourite musical artists of all time, Eminem, this was guaranteed to be a massive hit with me. 

I love this acoustic version of the song. It brings it to another level, and with Alexi's voice it's a version I'll have on repeat for a while yet! I love her attitude in this video as well, she's one of the few artists I'll actually watch instead of just clicking the link and switching to another tab to do whatever else I was doing (Tumblr. I was most likely on tumblr..). 
Check out her channel here.

Much love, Maxine xo
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Tuesday, 19 January 2016

2016 Goals | New Beginnings.

Hello, Lovelies! Long time no speak, eh? I've been without a working laptop for months, but I've recently got a new one! I've certainly missed this. I know I'm a shade late to the party (Okay, maybe more than a shade...!) but I really thought this was a fantastic way to get back into the swing of blogging again. I certainly have the tendency to live in the past a little bit, and although living in the future is no better (and something else I certainly have the tendency to do) I wanted to mark off some things I wanted to accomplish over the next 12 or so months. And hopefully, as I've made them public, I'll be more likely to complete them! Who knows? 

1. Be more organised with my time. 
I'm terrible with organising my time. I over-organise, think I can fit 10 days work into 1 day and then promptly become very overwhelmed and give up. I think more than being more organised, I need to be more realistic. This is something I've been working on a lot over recent months, but certainly is something I'll be hoping to fine-tune this year. 

2. Worry more about pleasing myself than others.
This is more in relation to worrying about what other people think about me. We're all guilty of this, aren't we? I can worry myself ill (literally) over what strangers think of me, which is ridiculous. This year, I just want to focus more on being a person I like, instead of worrying what that one person in next to the baked beans in Morrisons that one time 3 years ago thought. 

3. Accept that Perfect isn't obtainable.
One of the biggest things I've learnt over the past year or so is that I'm a perfectionist. And, I project that onto myself in every sense. I feel the need to be 'perfect', which is not only unobtainable but also very unhealthy. I beat myself up unmercifully if I even do the tiniest thing 'wrong'. It's something I'm sure we're all guilty of on one level or another, and it's something I'm very eager to work on this year. 

4. Blog More! 
I love blogging. I genuinely do. I don't always have the time, or make the time, but I do enjoy doing it. So, this year I pledge to blog more. Whether you like it or not!

5. Get fitter. 
Some of you may or may not be aware that over the past 18 months or so I've been working hard to be healthier in general. And, although I have certainly made improvements to my lifestyle, I want to really push to add fitness into my lifestyle, which is something I really don't do enough. 

6. Be more thankful for the people around me. 
Although I'm always thankful for the people in my life, I can sometimes get into the routine (if that's the right word) of not showing them how grateful I am. So, this year I definitely want to really put effort into making sure those around me know just how much I adore them and how grateful I am for everything they do to make my life that much brighter. 

So, there you go. The 6 things I want to work on and accomplish this year. Leave links to yours below (or just you blog in general!), I'd love to read them. 

Much love, Maxine xo
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