March 2014 - Rachel Ellen

Monday, 31 March 2014

MUA Nail Varnish and OOTD
So today I'm trying something completely different, both a product review and a cheeky little OOTD, I like to mix up my posts so who knows whether I'll do another one of these in the future, I'll base that decision on the feedback I get.

Firstly the Nail Varnish, I've seen a lot of bloggers posting about MUA being affordable but a good quality. So since I wanted a pink nail varnish I thought I'd try it out. 
I love the colour (Lush Lilac), I think it's so cute and pretty but the quality not so much. You can't see properly on this picture but the application was very streaky and patchy, with two coats as well. Although it was only £1 I probably wouldn't buy another MUA nail varnish.

(This picture full on looks like I'm walking but I'm not, I just have swingy arms)
Next is my outfit for today, which I have just realised (other than the trainers) is all from Miss Selfridge embarrassing, and I ordered more Miss Selfridge things online last night. Yes I realise I have a problem, I'm working on it ... ish

Thanks for reading

Rachel xx

Friday, 28 March 2014

Puppies, Puppies, Puppies
Over the last few months I've been really broody, puppy broody that is! (keep your hat on mum!) I've ALWAYS wanted a pet dog but both my mum and brother are allergic to them so I've had to get to 20 with still no dog! I'm counting down the days until I have a little puppy (or twelve) to call my own!

So here are some adorable photos of puppies to bring out your awwwwws and hopefully put a smile on your face.

 (the above picture is still my phone background from November)
Above are all my own photo's from November, my boyfriend's uncle was selling these Border Collie pups so I just had to see them before they got sold. Still haven't got over how adorable and soft they were.

And I have to include my cousin Sharon's new puppy Jarvis who looks like a teddy! I haven't got to meet this little fluffball yet but the pictures are making me so jealous!

How gorgeous?!

This picture is just to die for and from, this is one of quite a few different pages like this I follow, such a mood booster having your timeline full of little puppy faces, and other cute animals! And not to mention the Instagram pages.

And just to make it harder on my puppy broodiness there are pictures like this:
(Source unknown, I just had it saved on my phone from somewhere)
HOW ADORABLE! AND so many people I know are getting new puppies, one day it will be me, I know it will!
I just can't get enough of all these puppy pictures, sad I know. But I hope it made your day a little bit better seeing these pictures.

Thanks for reading

Rachel xx

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Naughty Rachel - Skint Rachel
Last week I picked up the latest Glamour magazine (the one with Lea Michele on the front) and found a 25% off HnM ladies wear voucher. This magazine is still available and the voucher is valid until the third of April so I advise you all run out and get it! So today I went and took full advantage of this voucher. So here's the things I bought.

I love polka dot everything so this shirt was an easy yes for me, can be worn casually or a bit more dressy which is great, I love having clothing that can be worn in different ways!

 I can't find a link to this one, but it's just a plain t-shirt but with little speckles of colour, I've been after a few plainer comfy t-shirts for a while and this is a really soft material.
This is another shirt very similar to the polka dot one in shape, but a little cheaper! I thought this would be a really nice summer shirt paired with some denim shorts.
Most of HnM's logo T's have French writing on at the moment, I can see why people would like them but for someone who has never studied French I have no idea if it says "sausage rolls" or something equally strange. So I was dead happy to find one that wasn't in French and doesn't say anything too daft on!
My favourite skirts ever, so easy to match with and only £3.99, so I had to get another colour. My only problem was the massive size difference between an extra small and a small. I went for the smaller size in the end, a little tight but looks much better. I would advise anyone to try it on if they want to buy one!
I surprisingly couldn't find the link for this skirt on the HnM website, but it was £12.99 and I just think it's so pretty. I'd been looking at skirts this shape for a while and just didn't find one right for me. It's a little on the short side so for me would have to be paired with tights but still so pretty!

A lot of items but with my 25% of voucher I got £12.49 off the total price! Such a good price. I'm tempted to go buy another Glamour magazine and get another voucher!

Thanks for reading

Rachel xx

Saturday, 22 March 2014

No Make Up Selfie
So the Facebook Twitter trend of No Make Up Selfies has brought up a few different opinions. I have to say when I first saw it I was very cynical with the "how is a picture of you going to help" But I quickly realised how much of a good idea it was.

Without the pictures this trend of donating money wouldn't spread as far as it has. So far it has raised over £2 million

But there is another important factor to this campaign in my eyes. How empowering it is to women who feel like they need to wear make up. I haven't seen one bad comment in relation to any "no make up selfies", some people have even said how much they like girls without their make-up. 

I hope this opens anyones eyes to see how incredible this whole thing is, especially if like me you were at first cynical about the whole thing

So text BEAT to 70099 to donate £3 to Cancer research UK and if you're feeling brave post a no make up selfie too

Thanks for reading

Rachel xx

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Liebster Award
S   So so flattered to be nominated for this by Anna S I've seen lots of people do the Liebster award and I always find it interesting, so now it's my turn and I bet it's not interesting at all! 

Here are the rules:
1. Provide a link back to the blogger who nominated you
2. Post 11 random facts about you
3. Answer 11 random questions set by the blogger who nominated you
4. Nominate 11 bloggers with under 200 followers for the award (excluding who nominated you)
5. Let the nominees know that you have nominated them

1. I have worn glasses since I was 4 and only in August last year did I start wearing contact lenses - people have so much trouble recognising me

2. I naturally have quite long dark eyelashes - I count myself so lucky and only wear mascara on a night out.

3. I have never left Europe and I definitely want to at some point in my life. I feel like I've not seen any of the world!

4. I very nearly didn't go to university (I had a list of quite a few good reasons) but when it came to results day and I got an A in English Language AND got into my first choice uni I eventually came around to the idea. Ignoring how much work I have at the moment I am quite glad I came, even with the amount of debt I'll have. So I am currently studying at Sheffield Hallam

5. I am half Scottish

6. I have a four year old niece called Isabella and she is the cutest little girl ever, also so so funny!

7. I have always had quite a good metabolism and been able to eat what I want, as a teenager I was VERY skinny but couldn't put weight on no matter how hard I tried (I don't count myself lucky for that, I didn't look very good at all) only recently have I started putting on weight and now I can't stop, it's hard for me to watch what I eat and I swear one day I'm going to have to roll everywhere I go!

8. I have two middle names, Ellen and Inez. Everybody always questions me on Inez and it is a Spanish name which is very similar to the name Agnes - my Nana's name. 

9. I hate rollercoasters! They make me cry, I get so scared! I have tried quite a few and it doesn't get any less scary

10. When I tried marmite I thought it was alright, didn't love it, didn't hate it so hipster

11. I am so bad at names, I might meet somebody once remember everything they wore, everything they said, everything they found funny, but their name? Just escapes me so much!

Questions from Anna S

1.  Do you have any interests or hobbies that you don’t write about in the blog? 
     I suppose you could say my uni course is an interest of mine (I study English language), it's boring to a lot of people but I find so many interesting things. But I think if I did uni work AND did blog posts on them I would get completely fed up of it all!
2. If you had to choose one store to buy all your clothes for the rest of your life, which store would it be and why?
   I think I'd have to choose Miss Selfridge, even though I wouldn't be able to buy a lot of things as they're not cheap but I just want everything from there!
3. Do you have any sisters or brothers? How is your relationship with them?
    I have two older brothers and one younger, I know completely outnumbered! I'd say we have an alright relationship when I get to see them. Now that three of us are older we're not at home a lot so it's a lot different.
4. How would you describe yourself to someone that doesn't know you?
  I can be quite sarcastic so my first thing would be to tell someone not to be offended by me! I'd say never judge me on first impression as when I get nervous I am a lot different.
5. How do you think others would describe you?
I'd love to say they think I'm the best person they've met but realistically - probably more annoying and daft.
6. Do you have any bad habits? 
Just asked my boyfriend this one (definitely shouldn't have) "snoring, crisp eating, Obsessive cleaning, straight bed sheets" he could go on but I'll stop him!
7. What are your ambitions with your blog? 
I would love for my blog to be one that loads of people read and can't wait for the next blog post, but in the real world I guess it's a creative outlet and to see what other people say
8. Which is your favourite place on earth? 
I haven't actually been to that many places but some of the most beautiful places I have been are in Scotland. I would love to see everything I can in my lifetime though so this answer will probably change!
9. How did you meet your best friend? 
I met most of my closest friends at high school, I was lucky to have such a good group of friends which made the whole experience quite a good one, even on bad days.
10. What is your best buy ever, any category? 
I like to think I'm not a massively materialistic person so things like this don't pop into my mind easily, I guess my laptop if I had to choose. I paid half and half with my mum and it's definitely got it's money's worth! It's nothing fancy but it does everything I want it to do.
11. If you could meet a younger version of you (at any age you want), what advice would you give yourself?
I would tell a high school me not to care what people that don't matter think, don't spend time trying to impress anyone. Oh and don't be excited for sixth form it's the worst thing ever.

So now my 11 questions to ask
1. What are your top 3 places you want to visit that you've never been to?
2. If you could meet anyone (dead or alive) who would it be?
3. What is your favourite picture? (can be of you, of family, of a place, a painting; anything!) 
4. What fictional character did you want to be when you were younger?
5. Favourite childhood band/group/musician?
6. (I'm going to steal this one) Any bad habits?
7. What awards show would you most like to go to?
8. What is your biggest pet hate/peeve?
9. Favourite nail varnish colour?
10. Favourite thing to snack on while watching a film?
11. You biggest guilty pleasure? (any category)

Thanks for reading

Rachel xx

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Quarantine Me!
With the changing temperature between winter and spring a lot of people around me have been getting ill. Sniffles, coughs, infections, headaches, in bed for a week etc. and I for one just do not have time to be ill with all my university work!

So this post is all about the ways I try and stay healthy.

Sleep - I'm not normally one for early nights and early mornings but at the moment I've been going to bed around 11 and waking up at 8 (such a weird student!). I think the early sunrise is helping the morning part. This sleeping pattern is making me feel much more awake and productive - and I bet it's doing wonders for my immune system.

Liquids - A glass of orange juice a day, plenty of water and cordial should help to wash any bacteria out of my body. It will also do wonders for my skin (since I've been off my no chocolate month I've had quite a few big spots!) In Asda the 1.35l bottle of Innocent orange juice is £2.    --- EDIT May 2016 - I advise against a glass of orange juice a day as my teeth were not thankful for it!

Fruit - fruit is always good for you and I'm lucky enough to love so many different kinds. But I find it hard to eat fruit being a student as it goes off so quickly and can be quite expensive. I try and stick to the rule of a banana a day, and a couple of tangerine/satsuma/clementines (whatever they're called) as often as possible. I had some lovely pieces of watermelon yesterday as well.

Stress levels - If, like me you are a complete panick-er about everything - but also a massive procrastinator it might be causing you to get ill a lot more than normal. So as I have a lot of work on I am trying to keep myself calm, one way is in a past blog post here. This shows a weekly timetable I keep to deal with all the different things I need to do. It shows me how much time I really have in my week.

Fresh Air - don't ever underestimate what a bit of fresh air can do, especially when it's lovely and warm like it has been. Keep yourself warm but go outside and enjoy the sunshine.

These are my ways of keeping disease away, if you have any tips I'd love to hear them because I really don't want to get ill!

Thanks for reading

Rachel xx

Friday, 14 March 2014

Making Egg Fried Rice
Today's blog post will be about one of the easiest tastiest recipes I have found and how I adapt it to my own. Egg fried rice. Now I am HORRIBLE at cooking so for me to get this right is encouraging for anyone cooking!

BBC Food - the link to the original recipe.

You can see that recipe is to serve four, I usually try and make this to serve two, it's quite an easy to alter recipe.

It says on the BBC recipe to cook and cool your rice before frying it, I usually like to cook it during the day and leave it to cool down itself. But it also works to run the rice under cold water after cooking. 

I won't guide you through the whole recipe because there is a much clearer version on the BBC link. 

If you want this to be a more filling meal though it's very easy to put chicken in. Before frying the rice I like to use frozen chicken strips but fresh chicken would also work. Fry them off in the frying pan and make sure they are cooked/defrosted through. I like to add any veg in at this stage to soften it a little, the recipe suggests putting the veg in after the rice but that is up to you. 

I like to add soy sauce while the rice is frying until it is roughly the colour of the rice below.

And then I follow the recipe from here.

After the initial cooking of the rice the frying takes about 5 minutes, super quick, tasty AND quite cheap. I'm not sure if it's actually very good for you but it stops you ordering everything you usually would at a Chinese take away.

I hope some of you try it out and enjoy it!!

Thanks for reading

Rachel xx

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Hungry Horse
Last night me and my boyfriend (Andrew) went to the Gypsy Queen in Sheffield which is a Hungry Horse pub. I've been to the Hungry Horse chain restaurants in a few different places, (Northampton, North Wales and the Gypsy Queen once before) and I'm never disappointed. For the price I find them very good quality and very good portion sizes, if like me and Andrew you fancy a challenge the "Big Plate Specials" are definitely what you want. He ordered the Ultimate Big Sizzler (£13.99) and I ordered the Big Bombay Banquet (7.99) with Chicken Tikka Masala as the curry. The Big Sizzler was a little more expensive due to the amount of meat!

 Mine included: pilau rice, chips, naan bread, poppadoms, tomato & onion salad, mango chutney, yoghurt & mint dip, onion bhaji, samosa, pakora and a spring roll.
Andrew's had a 5oz* rump steak, chipotle chicken skewer plus half a rack of BBQ ribs and southern fried chicken goujons and chips. It should also have peppers, onions, grilled tomato, corn on the cob and onion rings but Andrew's super fussy.

How after all that we squeezed in a dessert I'll never know, but we couldn't resist! Warm Chocolate Fudge Cake was amazing but we could barely move afterwards. There are loads of desserts to die for as well as the Fudge cake.

They also do a lunch and breakfast menu, I haven't tried either but I would love to as they look so tasty.

Hungry Horse is one of my favourite chain of restaurants, in my opinion miles better than Wetherspoons. And there is one opening in Rochdale tomorrow, which is quite close to me at home, I can tell where I'll be spending my summer!

Thanks for reading

(a very fat and full) Rachel xx

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Uni Work OD!
I had a realisation the other day of how much work I need to do for uni in such a short space of time which put me into major panic mode! Next Tuesday is coming up very fast and I have a deadline! It felt like I had no time at all but then I had an idea to help organise my time. 

I drew this (very messy) week time table:
Which totally relaxed me as I saw how much time outside of uni I had free, not including sleeping time! so to organise what I was doing and when I have written on small pieces of post it notes the things i need to do:
meaning I can cut this out and stick it onto my timetable and should take up the right amount of space for the time needed!

Here's what it looks like as I start to fill it in a little with my post-it-notes:

As you can see still loads of space and time! My favourite thing about doing it this way is as they are post-it-notes you can move them around, if I decide that on Thursday I don't want to go to the library straight away I can just take it off and move it.

So if, like me, you turn into a little stress ball this is a nice and easy way of breaking up your time and showing yourself what you can do

Thanks for reading

Rachel xx

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Sunday Night
About half an hour ago I just had a very strange experience, I don't know how I feel about it at the moment. 

About 9:30 in the evening there was a knock at the door so I went and answered it and there was a lady stood there. She said to me "do you know any bed and breakfasts or anything anywhere? I have no where to stay" I am at university in Sheffield so don't know the area well enough to know about places like that, I directed her to the town centre as I thought that would be her best option. We also have Samaritans on our road but you can't get to the door at certain times of night. 

I can't help but now wonder and worry about this woman, a part of me wanted to invite her in make sure she was ok and not out in the rain. But you see stories like that on the news of people getting robbed or worse after letting someone into their house. Why is our culture so bad that I can't help a woman who is struggling for a place to stay in case of something bad happening.

I really hope this woman finds somewhere to stay! Tell me what you would do in the comments if this situation happened to you


Rachel xx

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Finally March!
I can't believe how quickly this year is going! March already! I thought February would be the longest month ever, but here I am four weeks later and I've done a full month without chocolate. Definitely proud of myself with how much temptation has come up within that time.

What did surprise me was that I wasn't that desperate to eat some chocolate today, I bought myself one creme egg as I was in Asda shopping for other food:
This was the moment just before opening it up and eating my first piece of chocolate in 4 weeks, by no chocolate I meant any kind of chocolate, hot chocolates chocolate yogurt, chocolate chips in ice cream or muffins anything chocolate. 

I'm so glad I did this though. People who have known me a while will know I've struggled a lot with my skin, I have always got a lot of spots and have tried every face wash you could imagine. But this no chocolate - and no crisps for two weeks, which I will be carrying on for another two weeks - has had a better affect on my skin than any of those washes.

Another way I have helped my skin is by during my normal day rather than using a heavy foundation (I would usually use Revlon photoready) I have been using tinted moisturiser by Boots natural collection. At first it was horrible to go out in because I could see so many blemishes but the longer I have worn it the better my skin as become. Here's a bad quality make up free picture for you:

So my initial plan was to go two weeks without crisps but my plan now is to go another 2 and make it a month, and hopefully not make up for my month off chocolate within a few days.

Thanks for reading

Rachel xx