APRIL ROUNDUP

This month I...
  • Bought this adorable mini pencilcase from H&M
  • Ate at the Friday Food Fight (post coming soon)
  • Read my Law textbooks
  • Watched Gogglebox
  • Became an aunty, to my beautiful little nephew Dilan 
What have you been doing this month?

Bloglovin / Twitter

SKORT AND SWEET | OUTFIT POST

The weather might be warming up but Manchester is still grey and cloudy most of the time. This chiffon skort from Primark goes with everything, and is super comfy too. I paired it with a Warehouse studded jumper, printed New Look jacket and tights for warmth. Flat boots kept the whole look casual enough for a day's shopping, and accessories such as my cat eared hat and green Zara bag gave it a little something extra.

What do you think of my hat? Would you wear it?

Bloglovin / Twitter

HAPPY 1ST BIRTHDAY HIW

A year ago today I penned my first ever post, and I never imagined that I would love blogging so much. I've met some fantastic people, gotten involved with the Manchester Bloggers group, and become the president of my University's BlogSoc.. None of this would have been possible if all you followers hadn't supported and inspired me throughout the year. I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who reads my blog.. this week I reached 200 followers and that is such a fantastic milestone, I couldn't be happier.

To celebrate my blogiversary/ blog birthday HIW has undergone a little transformation, with the help of the lovely Kathryn at Floracrest Designs. What do you think of the new layout? It's not 100% finished, but it just needs a few more technical tweaks. If you're looking for someone to redesign your blog, go to Kathryn! She has had to change my layout and design so many times because of how indecisive I am, but she's still working on it and supporting me through every technical issue, despite the majority of the design work being complete.

I also decided to host my first ever giveaway, as a thankyou to all my lovely followers. Seeing as this has been the year of neutral palettes, I've decided to give away one of your choice, up to the value of £40 including shipping costs. My personal favourite is still the original NAKED palette, but I also have a soft spot for Smashbox Full Exposure. Others you might pick are this beautiful Clinique PaletteNAKED 2 or 3, or the fantastic value Zoeva Palette. So get entering and let me know which palette you're lusting after.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

THE GROWN-UP TUTU

The moment I saw this Topshop dress I turned into 2 year old lusting after her first princess costume. The monochrome print and short, bodycon style balances out the girlyness of the full tulle skirt. Worn with boots and tights in the daytime, and chunky heels and a leather jacket for the evening, this dress is the epitome of grown up tutu-chic.

What do you think of this dress? Would you wear it?

DRUGSTORE OILS


Since oils hit the beauty world a few years back, I've tried everything from Moroccan oil to plain old olive. Leaving aside those from the kitchen cupboard, here are my top three drugstore picks.
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SAMPLE STASHIN'

Through events such as the Trafford Centre Lock in, blogger events and my Birchbox subscription, I've built up a heft collection of sample sized products. Some of my recent favourites (and potential future purchases) are:

Korres Citrus Body Milk (£9) is a lightweight moisturiser, with a subtle citrus scent. Skin is left hydrated and not at all sticky. The product is also eco-friendly, with no parabens or silicones and 100% recyclable packaging.

Benefit Porefessional Primer (£24.50) This is my third mini-tube of this product, and one I would definitely buy if I didn't keep getting samples. Smoothing over any imperfections with a hint of colour, porefessional keeps makeup in place all day.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair (£48) This is something I will probably never get round to buying, simply because of the price tag. I saved this sample for so long, but when I finally used it my skin felt hydrated and smooth.

Urban Veda Purifying Daily Facial Wash (£7.99) This is my sample of choice when I travel, and the tiny tube has lasted really well. Packed full of natural ingredients such as neem oil, witch hazel and mint, this leaves my skin feeling clear and fresh.

Molton Brown Rhubarb Rose Replenishing Hand Cream (£10) smells wonderfully sweet and luxurious; white truffle and rose extract also make this product very moisturising.

Do you collect samples? Are there any that you would purchase full size?

THE WEEKLY WANT #8 ..BROGUES


1. Call It Spring Taupe 'Sorvagur' Brogues £28
2. New Look Red Brogue Lace-up Block Heel Boots £12
3. New Look Tan Leather Lace-up Brogues £27.99
4. Topshop Frieda Perforated Lace-up Shoes £26

With the weather getting a little warmer recently I realised I don't own any shoes that aren't as wintery as boots but are sturdier than pumps.. I really love the pastel brogues (1) but I'm just concerned about how dirty they might get in the Manchester rain. A tan pair would go with any outfit, and the New Look ones (3) are real leather and under £30!

Which ones would you pick?

THE LIEBSTER AWARD

Thanks to the lovely Beth from Doodles and Daydreams, who nominated me for the Liebster award (aaages ago, sorry Beth!) For those of you who don't know The Liebster Award is basically where you link up and ask and answer questions from other new blogs with less than 200 followers. It's a great way to discover new blogs and help each other get some more readership.

Here's how it works:

1. Link the blogger who nominated you in your post
2. Answer the 11 questions provided by the blogger who nominated you
3. Nominate 11 other bloggers (with less than 200 followers)
4. Create your own set of 11 questions to ask your nominees
5. Let them know you nominated them!

Questions from Beth: 

1. What made you start blogging?
I'd been reading blogs for a while, and being a beauty and fashion enthusiast it just sounded like a really fun thing to do. Posting can be really rewarding and talking to other like-minded people is great.

2. What's the best advice you've ever been given?
From years of work experience and feeling out of my depth I've learnt that no question is stupid. Someone once said that the simplest questions were the best ones, and that asking open questions makes people work harder at their answer.

3. What's your favourite quote?

“It is our choices, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” Five points if you know who said that?

4. What's your favourite thing in your wardrobe at the moment?
I just picked up a black bodycon dress with a mesh skirt overlay that makes me feel like a modern day princess.. I want to wear it everywhere!

5. What do you hope to achieve in 2014?
Good results in my second year exams and a summer vacation scheme. Blog-wise I want to get more involved in the community and hopefully arrange my own Manchester event. 

6. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?
After University I plan to travel, but if I could live somewhere else it would be New York.

7. What's your favourite book?
I read a lot but I wouldn't say I have a favourite book. Recently I've really enjoyed the Millenium series, the Call the Midwife books and of course Harry Potter will always hold a special place in my heart.

8. If there was a zombie apocalypse, what would be your choice of weapon?
Not going to lie, I would probably just surrender as I'm not brave enough to fight

9. Any advice for new bloggers?
I still think of myself as a new blogger, so I'm not sure I'm qualified to give advice, but I guess blog for yourself.. don't worry about a rigid schedule or churning out regular posts just for the sake of it.

10. What song is your guilty pleasure?
Anything Miley Cyrus *hangs head in shame*

11. What made you smile today?
Planning posts in my new Harry Potter weekly planner!

My Nominees: 
(Not sure if all of these blogs have less than 200 followers but check them out anyway.. they are all lovely!)

My Questions:
  1. What is your favourite thing about blogging?
  2. If you could only use one make-up brand for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  3. Biggest fashion faux pas?
  4. Favourite clothes shop?
  5. Would you rather live in the country or the city?
  6. If you could try any job for a day, what would you try?
  7. Sweet or savoury -What's your flavour?
  8. What's your guilty pleasure?
  9. What do you do in your spare time?
  10. Who is your inspiration?
  11. If you had a magic lamp, what would you wish for?

FAVOURITE DRUGSTORE FACE MASKS

My skin is never just dry, or just dull or just one thing, so I like to have a few different masks around to suit my skin's varied needs. Today I thought I'd share some of my favorite budget masks with you:

The Body Shop Warming Mineral Mask is a product I've just repurchased. Heating up on contact with wet skin, this mask gives a spa treatment feel, with a drugstore price tag (£10) Skin is left oil free, cleansed and soft, however this is maybe one to avoid if you already have dry skin. The ginger scent is subtle and soothing and you only have to leave this on for five minutes; perfect for busy girls.

Ok so another five minute, self heating, detoxing mask that I love is Sanctuary's 5 Minute Thermal Detox Mask (£10). This one is a bit stickier in consistency than TBS's version, and smells a little earthy, but if you can get past that, it does wonders for your skin. I don't have very oily skin, but sometimes it can be prone to dullness, however, after a quick use of this, pores look smaller and skin looks brighter. Read a full review here.

Botanics Shine Away Ionic Clay Mask (£6.99) is very deep cleansing and best for those super oily skin days. I usually use this only on my t-zone, and it does a great job of removing excess oil and grime, and pores look reduced. This mask can leave skin feeling quite tight after use, but nothing a good moisturiser won't solve.

Good Things Five Minute Facial Mask is a product I've been using regularly recently, and something I mentioned here. For a bargain price of £5.99, this is a fantastic five minute face mask. Can anyone sense a theme here? I slap this on just before my shower and after rinsing off, my skin is left glowing all day. This isn't as cleansing as some of my other choices, but it does a good job for the price.

I initially thought that the Superfacialist Rose Intense Moisture Mask (£8.99) broke me out but then when I figured out it was another product I reintroduced it to my routine and now I can't be without it. I apply this once a week, usually when my skin is feeling particularly dry or in need of a pick me up. It's really different to any other masks I have in my collection; instead of deep cleansing it provides a moisture boost, leaving skin feeling super soft and hydrated. The scent is quite strong, but it actually smells of roses, not at all like that horrible fake rose smell, and it's a very soothing product.

What are your favourite masks from the drugstore? Will you be trying any of these masks?

NASI LEMAK AT THE FRIENDSHIP INN


Nasi Lemak is a Maylasian streetfood kitchen hidden away in the Friendship Inn in Fallowfield. Last week me and a friend went along to a menu tasting event to sample some of the dishes they offer. The pictures I took aren't the best, partly because the lighting was dim, but mainly just because the food was served buffet style and I was so eager to tuck in. 

The focus is on street food and traditional flavour, not fancy and experimental dishes. I couldn't judge on the authenticity of the cuisine, but my friend who is from Malaysia certainly could. She said that "The dishes were really authentic and full of flavour; the perfect balance of tangy and sweet, with hints of chilli." The owner, Jimmy is a passionate foodie, full of knowledge about the dishes and the culture, so if you get a chance to speak to him, make sure you take advantage.

Starters such as Spring Rolls and Chicken Wontons were made fresh on site, and you could really taste and see exactly what went into them, which made a change from the processed stuff you usually come across. The Chicken and Rice was an essentially simple meal, but one that focused on the flavour of the chicken. The rice is cooked in chicken broth, which is something I will be trying at home.

Malay curries are especially flavoursome without being too spicy, and the Curry Ayam was favoured by many who don't like it too hot. It was a little bit sweet for my tastes and I much prefered the  Devil's Chicken Curry with spicy and tender chicken. The Prawn Sambal was another standout dish for me; perfectly cooked prawns in a spicy, tomatoey sauce. Lots of people were also going for seconds of the Beef Rendang, which I didn't try. 

We were invited as guests of the restaurant and were not asked to pay for our food or drinks, but I thought the prices were really reasonable, with a particular focus on catering for the student budget. I really enjoyed all the food that I tried, and the only downside to Nasi Lemak is the venue. From the outside it really isn't clear that the pub serves such great Malaysian food, and they definitely need to do more to promote it. Nasi Lemak also deliver, and you can order online hereYou can find out more about Nasi Lemak on their facebook page.

Do you like Malaysian food? Have you ever been to Nasi Lemak?