Friday, 25 July 2014

I Graduated!

 Nine days ago I graduated and I don't know where the time has gone already! I graduated from UWE, Bristol with a First Class degree in Law and I have to say it was one of the best days of my life so far (cheesy I know!). The feeling of such an achievement after three years of hard work (and some play of course) was amazing.

Mine and Russell's parents paid for us to stay in a hotel the night before as a little graduation treat. We had a lovely time relaxing and it was nice to be back in Bristol for a bit without the pressure of exams.

We had a gorgeous meal at Aqua where we sat outside watching groups of rowers (of varying expertise) row up and down the river. I had a Goats Cheese Bruschetta starter followed by a Butternut Squash and Walnut Risotto. I also had chocolate ice-cream for dessert but forgot to photograph it before it ended up in my tummy!

We then spent a lazy evening in the hotel drinking Prosecco and sampling the hotel's shortbread! Wednesday morning started with a hearty Wetherspoons breakfast before we headed off to meet our families and get all dressed up ready to graduate.

It was very a very snap happy day and rightly so, I don't plan on putting myself through a degree again anytime too soon.

And of course there was a graduation #selfie.

 Russell was one of the first on the stage, I'm quite glad it wasn't me!

Afterwards we felt obliged to get the cliché 'mortarboard in the air' photo and I learned that throwing elegantly isn't my forté.

I was so glad we tracked down one of our favourite lecturers for a photo before we headed off for dinner. He's been so supportive over the last two years and spoke very highly of us to our gushing parents!

 We popped to Boston Tea Party for a refreshing smoothie (it was very hot under that gown!) before heading to Jamie's Italian for dinner. The food was gorgeous as usual, so good that I was so busy eating that I completely forgot to take any photos.

I did manage to get photos of this amazing cake that was presented to us during the meal thanks to Russell's mum and dad.

The day seemed to whizz by in such a blur for me so it's great to have so many photo memories.

If you graduated and blogged about it, share your links in the comments, I'd love to see your photos too.

Jade Rebecca

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Spring Empties

I would call this June Empties but that would be a massive lie. I don’t go through products very quickly at all so this is just a collection of everything that I’ve remembered to save over the last few months. I’m hoping that I will have a few more empties to share with you over the next few months though as my super money saving drive is encouraging me to use up more of what I have!

I was never really a fan of Herbal Essences back in the day of the old style bottles (that coincidentally made a comeback last year) and it took me a while to give their new range the opportunity to impress (seven years actually, a very long while!). Over the last year or so I’ve dabbled in the world of revamped Herbal Essences and been relatively impressed considering I think of them as a ‘nothing special’ sort of brand. The Intensive Mask was great, I have very frizzy long hair so I actually used it every time I washed my hair and it was great for keeping the ends moisturised  and less ‘frizz-tastic’.
Would I repurchase? I would definitely consider this mask in future but I want to try out some other brands first as this is the first hair mask I’ve used in quite a long time.

I purchased this primer last year just after it launched. I did really like the primer and the finish it left was great for applying makeup or wearing alone. I was quite disappointed with the packaging though, the primer seemed to splatter out of the tube and end up everywhere and there was still a lot left in the tube when it seemed like I couldn’t get any more out (as you can see I chopped the top off to get the rest out!). I have seen this compare to Benefit’s Porefessional a lot and I can see why, but for some reason my skin really doesn’t get on with Porefessional so this is a much better choice for me.
Would I repurchase? Maybe. I think this is good value for money so potentially, but I have plenty of others to get through and if I have the money I think it’s worth investing in a more expensive primer.

I bought this when I was at a stage where I just couldn’t find a moisturiser that was really ‘right’ for my skin. It absorbed well and did the job and is great value for money but there was nothing amazing about it. If anything this was just too rich for my combination skin, I’m also not a massive fan of having this style of packaging, I much prefer a tube.
Would I repurchase? No, I’ve since found moisturisers much better suited to my skin.

Having not tried Bioderma I purchased this hoping that it would do a similar job at a much lower price. I found this perfect for removing makeup (although I can’t speak for waterproof mascara) and it was really gentle and perfect to use on eye makeup too.
Would I repurchase? No, I also cleanse with Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish so I just like a micellar water to get with of the majority of makeup. I’ve found that the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water is just as good and even cheaper.

I purchased this once I realised that the Eucerin Dermo Purifier Concentrate wasn’t as good as I’d hoped and I was really, really impressed. I prefer the slightly thicker texture of this and it made a massive difference to my previously spotty forehead and chin. I used this twice a day at first, and then once a day once things had cleared up, but this tube still seemed to go on and on.
Would I repurchase? Definitely, now replaced by Effaclar Duo [+] I would turn to that if I ever have spotty skin problems again.

I purchased this last year when in this haul when I went into Boots to buy Effaclar Duo but was persuaded otherwise by the Eurcerin offer and the Eucerin representative in store.  This is a lot thinner than Effaclar Duo and it was really nice to use but I just didn’t find the effects as impressive as with Effaclar Duo. This would be a good cheaper alternative to the new £15.50Effaclar Duo [+].
Would I repurchase? No, I’d rather spend a bit more for Effaclar Duo [+].

I absolutely adore this shampoo. It works wonders for my oily hair, giving it a really deep clean and leaving it feeling light, soft and silky. I used to just use this once every few washes because of the price tag, but it really does go a long way and the results are just too amazing to not treat myself to every wash, so now it’s a regular thing!
Would I repurchase? Yes! My last few pots have been gifts but I will definitely be treating myself when my latest pot runs out.

This was a gift from Russell and it was a perfect choice. Although not specifically for oily/combination skin, it is so calming and exfoliates and removes excess oil anyway. I really enjoyed using this and found that my skin felt wonderful afterwards.
Would I repurchase? Yes, once I’ve finished my Cupcake face mask and tried Love Lettuce.

Jade Rebecca x

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Tag: The Secrets of Blogging


Megan of Megan Roisinn tagged me in this Secrets of Blogging tag and I thought the questions were actually quite interesting so here are my answers!

1. When did you start blogging and why?
 I started blogging in July 2013. I can't remember 'the' reason why I started my blog but I had been reading other blogs for a while and I have always enjoyed writing. Having just finished my second year of uni I was working evening shifts so blogging was something I used to fill my days. In hindsight it wasn't the best time to start a blog; I had loads of time over the summer which suddenly disappeared as soon as my final year of uni started. I'm so glad I started 'Jade Rebecca' though and I'm so happy to be back with the time to get started again!

2. How many people in "real life" know about your blog?
 I don't really promote my blog in 'real life' but I also don't pretend I don't have one if the topic comes up. It's not because my blog's secret or I'm embarrassed, I just feel that I want to get it to the point where I'm really really proud of it before I start promoting it to those closet to me. (Apart from my dad, he reads all my posts - hi dad!)

3. What are your favourite posts to read?
 I love loads of different posts and it really depends whose blog it is I'm reading. I love discovering new products so hauls and favourites posts are great for that but I also love recipes and tutorials. I'd say that anything that inspires me to do or try something is a great post to read!

4. List a blog you have discovered recently.
Since finishing uni and returning to the blogging world I've discovered many new blogs and I love how full and exciting my Bloglovin feed is now. I really love A Little Boat Sailing.

5. Which posts are you most proud of?
This is difficult...
I was really proud of 'My Top Lush Products' because it was one of the first times I had a real go at taking some okay photos (although I cringe every time I have to see that Mint Julips image I took from the Lush website, why I couldn't just have waited to take a photo I do not know!).

6. What advice would you give to future bloggers?

I would say enjoy it and have a plan!

I tag everyone who's reading this! :)

Jade Rebecca x

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Thrifty Thursday: Keeping Track

Having managed to save more than I thought would be possible during my final year of university, I feel spurred on to share some of my successful experiences with you.

I can’t imagine that I will ever lead a frivolous lifestyle (unless I win the lottery, I can think of plenty of ways to be frivolous if that was the case..!) but I understand that constantly being thrifty isn’t for everyone. It’s inevitable though (unless you have won the lottery) that at some point you will want to be a little more careful with money to save up for a new car, house or whatever else you’ve been dreaming of, so I hope these tips can help.

Keeping track of the money that you’re spending is one of the most important tasks when saving, however it can also be the most boring and tedious. For me I’ve found the perfect way of keeping track without having to spend hours at a time staring at spreadsheets and internet banking statements. 

There are two ways of spending – debit/credit cards and cash. There’s much debate about which is better than the other, some say with cash you can see what you’re spending but you’re less likely to spend, and others think that having to take a debit card out of your purse and pop in your pin is more of a deterrent to spending. 

I decided to compromise. I make any ‘big’ purchases (fuel, food, clothing etc.) on a card and ‘small’ purchases (magazines, coffee etc.) with cash. This means that when I open my bank statement I can clearly see what I have spent without having to trawl through pages and pages of transactions for things like 60p on some chewing gum and £2 on that magazine that had a free gift too good to resist. It also means that I can set myself a budget to spend on non-necessities and make sure it lasts me the week whilst I am free to buy things like food on my card and keep a track of them on my bank statement.

I find this method really useful and it encourages me to think before I start spending on the small things because I can see how much cash I have left for the rest of the week. I still check my online banking every few days just to keep an eye on what’s going on and to remind myself where the majority of my money goes. I also have a spreadsheet but I’m sure that’s for everyone and that could be a whole other post…!

How do you keep track of your money?

Jade Rebecca

Monday, 7 July 2014

Summer Haul

I didn’t really expect to be writing a haul post anytime soon; since we decided to go travelling Russell and I have been leading a very budget conscious lifestyle, but I decided that everyone needs a bit of a splurge every once in a while and here is mine!

The haul mentally started when I got home from work to find that Russell had ordered me this gorgeous dress from River Island.

As soon as I saw it, I started putting an outfit together and it seemed to conveniently consist of items I didn’t already own. I had also almost run out of moisturiser and I had had my eye on a few new skincare products for a while so what better excuse!

This is such a flattering bodycon dress and it has a gorgeous low back (that's not low enough to show your bra, yay!).

I usually really struggle to find jeans that fit perfectly but these are an amazing fit. They are from the '4 Way Stretch Fabric' range which I think makes such a difference to the fit and makes them so easy to move in despite being superskinny!

I wanted a biker jacket to go with the yellow floral dress and I love how this one has a slightly feminine twist with not having a collar. I also think it was an amazing price.

I do like the idea of jelly shoes but I don't feel quite ready to dive into the fully jelly shoe trend so I think these are a great compromise of the jelly shoe comfort and a more subtle style.

Invisibobble Traceless Hair Ring Brown £3.75
I have quite long and thick hair and having it up usually means that it needs to stay up until it's washed thanks to the massive kink that won't budge. I was a bit dubious about whether the Invisibobble would hold my hair but I’ve read some great reviews. I’m hoping I lose the kink as well as pony-tail induced headaches.

Soap & Glory PuffyEye Attack £12.50
I was attracted to the Soap and Glory Puffy Eye Attack thanks to its amazing claims (anti-dark circle and anti-puff), as I’m more concerned about puffy eyes than wrinkles. I also really like that this is a gel formula, I’m just hoping it lives up to the claims!

La Roche-Posay EffaclarMat £14
I loved Effaclar Duo so I’m looking forward to trying this moisturiser. I don’t have particularly sensitive skin but I do like the idea of using gentle products so I find myself drawn to La Roche-Posay, Vichy and the likes. I don’t have as oily skin as I used to but I still find that my nose gets shiny throughout the day so I hope that this will moisturise and mattify without being too harsh.
Nip + Fab GlycolicFix Serum £14.95
I’ve been eyeing this up for a while so when I saw Megan (at Megan Roisinn) mention this in a post when I was scrolling through her blog, it gave me the final push to give it a go. Effaclar Duo was a Godsend when I was going through a particularly spotty stage but the spots have now calmed and I am looking forward to trying something different. The range aims to fight fine wrinkles as well as enlarged pores which is perfect for me since I’ve suddenly started worrying about getting wrinkles!

I had five black pots to return to Lush so I picked this face mask to have free. I was also given a sample of the Love Lettuce fask mask as I couldn't decide which would be best for my oily skin.

This was another freebie thanks to the John Lewis 150th Anniversary voucher. I was surprised to get such a good size product to trial and I was really impressed at how helpful the lady at the Liz Earle counter was without trying to sell me anything. I am so excited to try this, as both my sister and step-mum are devout users.

What do you think of these products?

Jade Rebecca