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Let's just say after Saturday night the majority of us are feeling it still lol. My voice has been going since Sunday, too much shouting and laughing and probably the cold air from sitting outside wasn't great.

What exactly am I talking about? It's my birthday tomorrow, so Saturday night 6 of us went out in Clapham to celebrate it early. I rarely go out to clubs, feeling 'passed it, been there, over done it' but it was actually such a good night in the end. I was contacted by Blacklane* a couple months the company is a chauffeur service but having no reason to use the service I did respond back to let them know I was interested but I had to find a reason for myself to go out. Thursday night it came to me, how can I wear 4inch+ heels and not have to drop on my ass running about on the underground (I'm not about that life, yo!) Contacting them to see if they were still interested it was game on from there.
Our driver Sandu with his BMW 5 Series
Fairly easy. See if the service is in your city, considering I'm not from London I was thinking maybe I'd have to get the train into London and go from there but it could be arranged from my home to my destination. they picked me and my 2 friends from my home and the driver came about 15 minutes early plus on top of that there's a 5 minute waiting time from the time allocated from a home etc. 15 minutes if you're coming from the airport / train station for any delays. The company keep in contact with you via email and your mobile letting you know who your driver is, when they've arrived. It was so smooth and straight forward. Something so simple, was easy and relaxing.
It cost one way £105 roughly to get from Luton to Clapham. A service we was very willing to pay for or use again, you split that between 3 people and you're laughing. You can listen to music via bluetooth, you've got magazines in the back and a water bottle in the doors. You're allowed to drink alcohol and when my friend forgot his paper cups (hood style!) he even drove us to pick them up - even if it was just a minute or so away he was so nice to do the detour. Thanks Blacklane for the offer, the smooth ride & service. I highly recommend.

Once we arrived at the Shisha Lounge, oh well this could be a long one so it's probably look out for the trip advisor review but here's the low down...We arrived at Layali Lounge and we'd reserved a table although my friend who went there a couple weeks back said 'They say you have to but they accommodate'. Which I noticed throughout the night. They sat us at one table, keep in mind nobody asked me my nan as of yet so I could of just lied and been about anyone. 5 minutes or so later someone came and asked if I was LaaLaa. My friend signalled one of the staff over who was just standing doing nothing he just proceeded to nod and acknowledge the request but not bother to come over, a few minutes later We had ordered but as soon as I felt faint rain drops we asked to move. I'm presuming the woman I spoke to might of been the owners wife / relative as she had two young children with her in the establishment, she was nice and helpful the others seemed to struggle with any questions and requests such as ordering drinks and getting the order incorrect twice and they weren't busy. When it come to ordering food and that service, the food was good, plentiful. I was actually sick earlier that day for most of last week I was unwell and the one day I threw up had to be that day so they got my bottled water order correct. When the rest of my party arrived later that night, we was then informed that the kitchen couldn't serve us until 9:30pm due an order of 18 but it was just after 8:30pm so an hour of waiting, on top of that drinks were asked to be ordered and nobody come back to take the order but quick to take our money. The service charge was taken off. When we asked others we was then told IF the cook wants to cook after 9:30 but we had noticed others turning up afterwards and being able to order food. My friend asked to speak to the manager and was told to wait, 5 minutes later no manager so another waiting staff was asked and we was informed the manager was busy so could we come in. While my friends spoke to the manager, no apologies was given, we was told his name and the owners name but to be honest they didn't seem bothered. It looked like things were going to go down hill.

Headed over to Aquum and it was still early but by now I was feeling so much better and after some sparklers in the bottles bought by the girls and some more alcohol and the music got more live, it turned out to be such a good night, lots of laughter, scandal and oh me nearly being knocked back on my ass by some gay guy thinking he was on Broadway LOL!
OOTN
ASOS Strap Back Bodycon Midi Dress | Missguided Shoes
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So bring on tomorrow, 27 years old. God damn! Thanks to those who came out, Simone, Neecie from Natural Hair Daily, Kay, Darrel & Mickel to celebrate with me and you should follow my light ass on Snapchat u/n - CookieCaine

I'm Gonna Party (It's A Celebration).

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Coconom original sugar was first featured this time last year here. In this box they've included the Coconom Ginger Coconut Sugar instead. The flavouring is from real ginger, giving a ginger-bread vibe to the sugar. You can use this as a sugar alternative for a healthier choice.

Faith in Nature Coconut Hand Wash, just in time as my last hand wash is just about to run out. When I had a good sniff at this I instantly thought of Malibu (the drink, not the City) and my nan just said to me "No, it just smells how Coconut should smell!" I still say it reminded me of the drink but it made no difference a it still smells gorgeous.

Ombar Coco Mylk Buttons dairy free mylk chocolate. These are made using raw, organic cacao and sweetened with organic coconut sugar. I didn't like these much to be honest.

Surprisingly the eat chic 73% Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups with Maldon Sea Salt isn't as bad as it first sounds. Dark chocolate for me is normally very rich and then add peanut butter, sounded odd to me. I normally have with Marmite (don't knock it until you've tried it!). Pecking at this bite for bite I was amazed at how nice this tasted, honestly not so much when the salt got into the mix in my opinion. This is described as a guilt-free version of the infamous American chocolate peanut butter cup.


Handmade in London & 100% natural ingredients these Soffle's Chilli & Garlic MILD Pitta Chips are different to anything I've tried in the way of crisps. They are very hard & crunchy but moreish. I couldn't eat the entire bag as one snack, think my teeth are a little too sensitive for something a bit too hard.

Got my box a little late as I wasn't in at the time. I don't know why the box contents seemed 'smaller' this month but the hand wash was ideal for me this month. It's a shame the other stuff was nice but didn't capture me 100%. That's just how it goes!

TheVeganKind #18

Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Ruby Red has been around for a short few years but since the launch they've been finalist in 4 beauty industry awards. Well then the company has to be good, right?

The products they sell are cruelty free and free from SLS, parabens, sulphates, petrochemicals, synthetic aromas and dyes. Both of these are quite ideal for this time of year the smell of lime, red mandarin, cedarwood and coriander. The citrus makes it nice for the weather we're getting at the moment, gives the morning a refreshing feel making you feel awake and not so sluggish.

My skin has got slightly sensitive as of late so I don't use many different body washes but the Revive & Gentle Cleanser one didn't give me any issues and with the zero SLS there is a little lather. It has a gel consistency, skin feels cool and with the aloe vera included it can give skin that might be a little sore from any sun previously some relief. The moisturiser is cooling to use after drying, it's light making it perfect for these days when you want to have lotion on but nothing heavy, unless you need heavy. The scent is full on when you use it, I would say more than the cleanser which with the water it's a bit more watered down while the moisturiser you really smell that lime and it's gorgeous. For about an hour you can still smell the scent on your body if you sniff for it. It's not left dried out but you get a nice smooth feel on the skin.

The products are priced quite high, I couldn't find these individually for the 100ml but I did see the in a set and £28 could be considered steep for 100ml for 2 products but it's the price to pay for products that are without the 'nasties' that other companies provide. These come in a 500ml bottle for £30 each, whoa! Their nice but due to the price it's probably not necessary for me as I get same benefits with another brand for cheaper but it's always nice to be introduced to something new.

Revive & Repair Body & Bath Set

Ruby Red Revive & Repair Duo.

Thursday, April 16, 2015
Being that skin is the base of everything it's important to take care of it, right? I'm really not trying to dabble into too much different skincare because I personally believe once something works for you, why fix it? That being said it's pretty hard when your skin wants to act a fool and change up, this could be due to weather and / or diet.

I noticed my skin start to become a little dry during the Autumn and Winter and I had a sample of the Weleda Skin Food and decided to give that a go and I couldn't believe how rich my skin felt. I was sent a tube of the Skin Food Savior and decided to use it as a face mask recommended, it had come with a face cloth. I soaked the cloth in warm water and lay it over your face to open pores and apply a thin layer of the skin food and left it on for about 10 minutes before using the same cloth again and wiping it off. It works well as a mask to relieve any signs of dryness and it even still works well as my face has started to get over the dry hump and back to it's normal / oily state. It's definitely one I'm keeping around.

I'm all for fruit enzymes that help the skin to turn over skin cells. Within the MyChella Creamy Pumpkin Cleanser it has exfoliating fruit enzymes as well as vitamins. It's aimed for dry skin and I used this for roughly a month when my skin was dry but I had an issue with my skin so I stopped using it. The scent I've read bothers some but it didn't phase my nose. It's more like a lotion, you'll notice this when it's squeezed on the tube a little running but creamy. This doesn't lather which is good. Where my skin was oily it didn't affect that part I noticed which is my nose and centre of my forehead. It's o.k. I use it here and there now when the skin feels like it's a little unhinged.

Oils I'm all for Oils. So when this was presented to me L'Occtaine Cleansing Oil, It was a yes. Especially as my face was moving more towards going back to it's normal / oil state. I live for oils, I'm a slave for oils but besides the DHC Cleansing Oil I've not used another brands. I like to use oil based products to remove my make-up. On a dry face I use one pump that I put into my palm and massage onto my face and of course I look like an oil slicked painting once the mascara, eyeliner joins the lipstick in the swirl masterpiece canvas of my face. Adding water to the hand and rubbing it through my face just to keep it moving the oil on the face before wiping off with a wash cloth. The face looks glowy shiny, not dry thanks to the Shea but obviously needs a bit more cleansing. The next step would be when I would use a cleanser device....

FOREO Luna - Combination Skin I've seen this little device for a couple of years now and when I was offered the chance to try it, it was a pleasure as I do like to thoroughly clean my skin. The fact there's no need to 'replace heads' and it just fits into the hand intrigued me. After charging you can get 450 uses before needing to recharge.

For the first week and a half it was an adjustment, the non abrasive silicone brush instead of bristles and then my skin started to change I was using it with the MyChelle cleanser (above) but I started getting small under the skin bumps, only visible when pointed out or while wearing foundation, the colour in the bump hadn't changed but it was only on one side of my face around my eye and also on my neck. I decided to stop using this and the cleanser and didn't wash my face for a couple days and just used Sudacream x Ultrabland daily which healed whatever the issue was. I decided maybe the cleanser wasn't helpful and went back to using Cetaphil and I've had no issue since with my skin while using the FOREO Luna. You can still see the dirt appear in the silicone bristles of this device. Easy to rinse clean which I like to do before putting it back onto my face so I'm not just moving the dirt around.

The settings are on the front a - & + for decrease and increase of the vibration speed. It also has an anti-ageing setting which I've not used yet but I think I might,  why not if it's available. What I like about this is it's suitable for daily use. I've used it daily since my skin had it's minor mishap I thought maybe I had an issue with the silicone, obviously not. Although no matter what I always ALWAYS keep my LUSH Ultrabland and Ocean Salt in the bathroom, what can I say once a love, always a love.

Have you tried the FOREO Luna? Or has your skin changed a lot between seasons? 

Some of these products may have been sent to me for review. For more information, see my disclaimer.

FOREO Luna & Others review.

Monday, April 13, 2015
The past week I decided to make my nails oval. Which I've never done with my natural nails but some of them started to snag a little and I was forced into an oval nail shape. I wasn't feeling the new shape, maybe the nails need to grow a bit more to get an equal shaped hand so I decided to make them happier by doing simple nail art. Negative Space nail art have been in for a while now, I suppose I took more notice when the half moon manicure came into play again some years back.

I was sent a polish from the new Cinderella collection by Morgan Taylor. I was sent Ella of a Girl, a baby pink creme. I had worn it as a full on manicure but decided with the reshape to try this Negative Space, following the nail white I just freehanded the colour and used a dotting tool to do a dot near the cuticle of my nail. Made me like my nail shape more now.
This was my first time using Morgan Taylor polish which are 5-Free (Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP, Formaldehyde Resin, Camphor). The polish I found is very fluid but thick given the latter the first 2 coats can streaky so 3 coats are best.

What's on your nails this week?

Ella of a Girl - Negative Space Manicure

Saturday, April 11, 2015

I started this task in January and it continued into February and it's becoming a habit in March. A social media detox. Some people love social media and that's perfectly fine, since about 2013 I think I've started a love / hate relationship with it. Like any person I can over indulge and use it for a few days like a crazy cat lady but then I rarely bother with it. Social media is pretty essential when you're a blogger or generally in any business. It's the quickest way to spread the word, find new friends/clients/ideas but it can also be overwhelming and mentally abusing. I know for the next few weeks I'm going to be switching off, I'm in an emotional place and the balance isn't good, social media doesn't help the feeling of being spread too thin.

FOMO
Definition
"Anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website."

Social media can lead us to undervalue ourselves. The media has a way to reach us even more now, leading us to think we need things and have to look at certain way to uphold to an image. I feel it can make mental health harder to live with, you're watching things occur and it can conjure up all kinds of feelings. Never envy someone's path but don't envy your own just make it more comfortable and less anxious. Social media shows only the highlights of others’ lives, people put up their idea of the flawless image, perfect filter and ideal caption, don't feel misled. I feel it sometimes when I go on social media and anxiety can stem from any place.

Recently my phone was in the shop for a week and I was using my tablet as a phone replacement. Bad idea. Why do we feel the need to have to always share? I'm beginning to believe the research on social media, is it really validation? Probably! Every like and comment makes us feel like what we're doing is a positive thing. Sometimes it's good to just share with like minded people but I'd rather not become an over-sharer.

How do I perform my digital detox?

Turn off Notifications.
The thing about notifications are of course there a helpful feature but it also means we are controlled by the technology, not us being the ones who control the technology. As soon as a flash, sound or vibrate appears we attentively look at our phone. Decide when you'll have a time to look at these notifications, give a set time, if you're going to spend 30 minutes going through your apps notifications, stick to that.

I've set up a time on my phone when it goes on blocking mode, no notifications from a certain time to another, only notifications from priority contacts in case of an emergency. Otherwise no whatsapp, snapchat, twitter, facebook etc no notifications during this time. That means my mind has time to unwind and declutter from the day leading to a more restful night.


Unfollow Accounts.
I started with my Twitter and unfollowed a lot of accounts. Why? I don't interact with everyone, some people just spammed timelines, I followed people I had no interests with besides blogging. Maybe I'm getting to a time in life when I realise with people I interact with I want more than just a common interest, it's not enough to hold me. Thinking too deep? Maybe but if I'm not being inspired or taught anything, is it worthwhile? Yes I lost a lot of followers but that's how it goes in this social world, people follow you expecting a follow back, if not they unfollow, I'm not being valued as a number. The same went for my personal Facebook, I unliked a lot of pages, I keep my friends list quite minimal but I've always done that. Instagram was next, I did the same thing on there and yes lost followers but oh well. Do you regard yourself as someone or as another number to someone else?

Social media can either be a reflection of the person we truly are offline or the person we want to perceive to be online. However you play it, it's up to you.


Find Accounts That Matter.
Find and follow people that help your train of thought. Since I've began this transition I've started to look for more mindful / yoga / minimalism accounts and slowly unfollow those purely beauty. It's nice and all but it's just one part of me, it's not all of me. Find that balance that when you go through your social media feed there's a nice balance of interests.


Unsubscribe.
I still have emails from around 2005/2006 so in total I've got a very un- minimalistic email account amount. I've got newsletters that go between around 5 accounts. Going through these during a spare time and un-subscribing to emails slowly and steadily, you'll soon see a clearer inbox from companies you use on a regular basis that you want to keep up with. I've seen emails from companies I signed up to their newsletters in 2009 - 2010 and safe to say I didn't really care much then, so why care now?


Switch Off.
Could you spend a day without your phone? Like a Switch off Sunday? Could you switch off your technology and go back to basics and just spend time with virtual life? I notice when watching programmes even therapist suggest couples to have a no phone policy on dates. The distraction of social media can leave us looking unsocial when with people. I've done it several times, you're with someone and on your phone, looking at that, it's pretty rude and it's things that can likely wait until you're alone & free.


Be Prepared For Temptation.
It's bound to happen, when we begin something new, we tend to seek comfort back to what we are use too. Quite like a new diet, you feel tempted to eat something because you're use to it, it's a habit. Prepare yourself for this temptation with a distraction already set up. Are there tasks you've yet to do around the house, you've put off? Why not wash your hair, do your nails, read a couple of chapters of a book. How about even doing a jigsaw or play a board game! I've been wanting to do that for so long, even going on 27 I'm still encountering the only child syndrome of having no-one to play with lol! Go for a walk, take in nature, take a breather or even work out!

This post was fun to read through if you're considering if a social media detox is for you.

Social Media Detox

Sunday, March 22, 2015