Friday, 27 February 2015

Spring/Summer 2015 Trends

 Hello my gorgeous preeners!!
Hope you are all having a wonderful week whatever you have been up to!!

So I am sitting here and the rain is pouring down with no sign of the little daffodils just outside my house coming up to say hello and I am attempting to write a Spring Trends Post, I will power on through for my preeners!!

The catwalks have been filled with gingham, Bardot necks, yellow, shirt dresses and khaki to name but a few trends recently. Personally I think this spring and summer we can all wear something that will be deemed as being “in fashion”. There are so many ways to incorporate a new trend into your wardrobe. I will not be going out and buying a new wardrobe of clothes, for one I am trying to lose weight and secondly I know my bank account wouldn’t be too pleased if I tried.

For many years I wouldn’t have cared about what was coming up for next season trend wise and I just would have bought bits and pieces here and there, but since starting my blog I am becoming so much more aware of fashion and the impact trends have on us all.

My aim for S/S 2015 is to buy a couple of key pieces, hopefully a coat, bag and shoes that will take me through the summer. Obviously I buy in the plus size ranges but it’s great to see some of the big main players bringing curvy ranges that mimic their mainstream lines, us curvy girls love fashion too!!

I really do think looking at the pieces I have seen that we could all add in something new to have a nod to the trends.

There are some wonderful budget friendly pieces in New Look at the moment a nice coat could be all it takes to take your wardrobe through spring. The blue striped collarless coat is £24.99 and it incorporates some of the key trends for this season, stripes and blue are gorgeous together. This would be lovely with jeans, or even thrown over a dress in the evenings. Also the pink Bardot neck top is from New look and only £6.99, this little top comes in a variety of colours, and whilst it may not be the most exciting piece to look at, it will surely become a staple in your wardrobe over spring and summer.

Topshop without a doubt lead the way when it comes to fashion trends and this year is no different. The gorgeous little khaki skort will look gorgeous paired with a vest top and flats for a casual look, or could be dressed up for an evening out. Their denim shirts are known for the quality and great fit and this one with its rips and sexy look to it is no different, and at £34 it’s a great value item.

Miss Guided and Boohoo in my opinion this year are hitting it out of the park with their pieces. The yellow duster coat is just fabulous and could be the one key piece you buy to update your wardrobe and at £35 from Boohoo it’s a steal. The gingham playsuit from Miss Guided is so pretty and again it is a piece that can be day or night time.

For plus size clothes, I always find myself heading to Asos, Boohoo, New Look and Very and its not going to change this season. Evans is very hit and miss, you can be really lucky and find something and other times it is extremely old fashioned, but I thought I would have a nosy and I found a lovely pale yellow crepe jacket that I think would be lovely for spring with jeans, again it’s a piece that can be dressed up or down. It costs £36 which for Evans is reasonable. Another piece from Evans is the navy striped tshirt at £22, its lovely and I think it will be popular but I think at £22 it is overpriced considering I could buy similar for cheaper in other stores.

Asos have some lovely items including the navy and white striped Bardot top, which incorporates many of the seasons key trends and at £20 I think its definitely one I will be buying.

Some may feel that they just want to update their wardrobe for the season with a bag, shoes or accessories and these can be purchased relatively cheaply depending on where you go. I have included a few that I think could take you through the season. The statement necklace from House of Fraser is stunning and at only £13.50 a bargain, it would look great with jeans and a nice white shirt or just as nice with a dress on a night out. I think my favourite accessory would have to be the khaki heels, they are a lovely height that they aren’t going to be too uncomfortable. They are £20 from New Look so they are affordable enough to add to your collection.

So there you have it a little round up of a few things I think will take you through next season. I am by no means a fashion expert far from it, but I have just decided on these pieces from looking at the catwalk trends etc. I have tried to find things that are affordable enough to add into your collection as I feel fashion trends should be accessible to everyone.
List of Items and where they can be found:
White Dress,Yellow Coat, Blue Skirt, Black backpack all Boohoo
Denim Shirt, Kahaki Skort,  both Topshop
Blue jacket, coral top, black bardot top, tan flats, khaki heels all New Look
Blue and White striped bardot top Asos
Blue Handbag Bank Fashion
Gingham playsuit and padded backpack Missguided
White flats River Island
Yellow jacket and striped tshirt Evans
Blue statement necklace House of Fraser

So if you buy anything let me know, this is my first trends post so I hope it has been ok
I am now off to lust over a few of the items
Love to you all

Ali xxx

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Zuzka Rose Petal Cleansing Milk Review

Hey my preeners!
Hope you are all wonderful today
Todays post is all about the  Zuzka Botanicals Rose Petal Cleansing Milk. I was lucky enough to be asked to review this through a twitter event. I was unsure whether to put myself forward for this review opportunity as I am not the biggest rose scent fan, but I loved the idea of trying a new cleanser mainly because I have used the same cleanser for quite a while now.
I was sent the 30ml bottle of this cleanser; it is infused with organic rose essential oils and is aimed at mature skin or sensitive skin. I am 31 so I knew this was something that would maybe appeal to me and I have quite a lot of redness and sensitivity on skin, so I was excited to try this.
You only need one small pump to cover your face so more than enough in it to give a good review of.  The bottle that you would buy is 150ml and is £20, so you would definitely get a lot of product for your money if you opted for the full size bottle. In comparison to other higher end cleansers this does provide good value for money in terms of usage I feel.
The picture below shows one pump on my hand, you can see its more than enough to use on your face.
I was directed to massage over my face in circular motions and remove; I always use a muslin cloth with my normal cleanser so I thought I would do the same with this to give it a fair try. I pumped out one small pump onto my palm and the thing that hit me was the strong rose scent, initially I really didn’t like this, but I thought well if it does my skin good then I will get over the smell!
After removal my skin felt nice and soft. If I am honest I wouldn’t say it cleaned my skin just as well as my normal Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish, but my skin did feel soft. Due to the scent I didn’t want to put it over my eyes as I knew my eyes wouldn’t be happy, so this is something that unfortunately would put me off purchasing the product. It’s just a personal preference but I like to be able to slather my cleanser on and rub over eyes. It is aimed at sensitive skin and I didn’t have any reaction with the few times I have used it, but the smell is still overpowering for my tastes. Rose smelling products are so popular at the moment and I know a lot of people who would love this cleanser. Unfortunately it just wasn’t for me, but I would recommend it for someone who likes the rose scent and maybe wouldn’t have as sensitive eyes as me
You can purchase the cleanser  here
The company offer many other products including:
Mineral makeup
Mens skincare
Overall I would consider purchasing other items from the company as I feel they have a fab range of items at reasonable prices to suit different tastes.
Thank you to Zuzka for giving me the opportunity to review this item
Ali xxx

Friday, 13 February 2015

Fears and their control

Morning my lovelies, hope you are all amazing!!
Today I thought I would write something different, I have been thinking about the future, the past and everything in between recently. I think since the crash I am trying to take stock of my life and where it is going, and also if I am honest where it has been both bad and good. To me this post is all about fears in terms of physically and mentally what I am afraid of.

If someone were to ask you what are you afraid of, what would you say? To me my initial reaction is the dark and large crowded spaces, but when I think further about this, I have fears for myself, my husband, my father, my future etc, but this isn’t the fears that we always think about.
Fears whether they are something like spiders or something very rare can consume our very being, they can make us feel like that vulnerable child again, and that’s a feeling that I hate. My fear of the dark came from a childhood experience that left me depressed and I think the dark just has those evil connotations, before the accident if I was out in the dark in the car I was grand, but if I was out walking even across the road from my dad’s house, I would get very tight chested, clammy hands etc your typical panic attack symptoms. Now since the accident I have only been out in the car a handful of times in the dark and if I am honest it has been the most terrifying experience of my life. My wonderful husband was the driver that night and I haven’t been out with him any distance yet, and I know when the time comes for that it will be hard. As far as my fear of large crowds goes I could not tell you where that came from, it’s a thing that started a few years ago.
Moving on to my deeper fears, I think if we all look within ourselves we have fears of things that are maybe not within our control. Without a doubt my two main fears that would cause me to really worry and cry with anxiety are losing my father and never having the child we crave. My irrational fears of losing my daddy come from the death of my mummy, now if I see an ambulance I immediately panic its for him, or if he isn’t awake by 10 or so I panic till I see his blinds going up. Even saying these out loud I feel crazy but to me the thought of losing my 2nd parent just doesn’t bear thinking about. When it comes to never being able to have the child that Scott and I long for, this is something that medically I can look at and see why I have these worries. Hopefully in the future this will be part of our plan but for now unfortunately it isn’t.
I think where I wanted to go with this post was to try and bring our fears into the light, to maybe diffuse them, to allow ourselves to talk about them and see that we can conquer them. For me facing my fears of the large crowds is going to be something I aim to really and truly this time overcome this year when Scott and I go to the Rugby World Cup, being with tens of thousands of people will either kill me or cure me, I am praying for the latter! As far as my fear of the dark goes if I am being truly honest I don’t think this is something I will ever get over, it just grips me and till I get into the light again, it consumes me.
In terms of my dad I think this is something that is going to stay with me also forever, I am scared to death of losing him, I basically have no family apart from him and Scott that we are close to and the thought of not having him there is unbearable. I will let you into a little secret, ever since I moved to Belgium on my gap year in 2001, I have rang mum and dad at 10.30pm every night and I have never missed a night where I haven’t rang or text. I still do this to this day, and its now more of an obsessive thing, it has to be 10.30pm or I panic, not a minute before or after. Again the irrational fears come into my head, if I ring at 10.29 and he took ill at 10.30 I wouldn’t know etc. this really boils down to the fact that the night mum passed I had called as normal at 10.30 and she was perfect feeling.

The pic above is one of the last ones taken with mum and dad when she was able to get out and about

Even writing all these down makes me feel crazy and silly but that’s what fears are, they make us feel crazy, but if we can embrace them and acknowledge that they are in our minds then maybe we could learn to deal with them more and not be so afraid of what they can do to us.
There are people out there that can help, maybe talking to a councillor, therapist or support group may try and alleviate some of the fears you are experiencing.
This has been a bit of a rambling post but I am sure by now you all know I wear my heart on my sleeve and if my blog is to be real I have to be real with my feelings and thoughts.
So as I write this it is 10.25pm and I will watch the laptop clock like normal till 10.30pm and go through the same 3 or 4 sentences with my dad like every night, but I wouldn’t give that up for the world!
Our conversation normally takes the following form:
Me    Hey bunny
Dad  Hiya
Me    What you doing
Dad Watching tv/the net
Me Are you getting supper
Dad Yes at 11
Me Ok Do your sugars to
Dad  I will
Me Okay night love you
Dad Night
That is literally the height of our normal conversation unless we actually need to tell each other something, but you know what its those few sentences that keep me going at the end of the day!
Lots of love to you all, remember we are all human and fears and worries are all part of us but lets try and overcome them one step at a time.
Ali xxxx


Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Timeless Truth Sheet Mask Review

Hey my lovelies!
Today I have a fab review on a face mask that I trialed last week
First of all I would like to say thank you to Angela at  Beauty Masks Ltd for asking me to review one of their Fusion Series masks from their Timeless Truth-Facial Sheet Mask brand. This post came about through the BHTwitterparty that happened a few weeks ago, where a lot of bloggers chatted on Twitter and had the chance to see if any companys would like to collaborate with them to do reviews. These Timeless Truth Masks really stood out to me due to the fact there were a lot of masks to suit skin type, and what the user wanted to get out of the treatment.
I decided to review the Charcoal Detox Brightening Mask RRP £4.95. I think this is a good price if you wanted to do a fortnightly or monthly treatment, but I don’t know if I would pay this weekly or even 3/4  times a week as is suggested.

The main reason for choosing this mask is that it is described as having:
“A deep cleansing effect. It instantly brightens, smoothes, firms and hydrates the skin”
My T-Zone gets oily and I enjoy using a charcoal mask normally so I felt this was the best one to suit my skin and needs. In the winter like many of us my skin gets so dull and just not good so the brightening aspect really apealled to me, all in all I felt this mask had loads of great benefits for my skin type.
There are many masks on offer including:
These are fabric face shaped masks, that are impregnated with the dehydrated product then packed in serum for freshness. This system uses freeze dried product within the cloth which shows on the cloth mask as coloured checks on one side of the mask.
1)      Herbal Rejuvination Immortelle Mask (yellow)- Helps reduce fine lines and signs of ageing. Skin is nourished and moisturised.
2)      Deep Sea Water extract Moisurising Mask (Marine Blue/Green) – Creates a moisturising effect and the algae extract helps protects skin from free radical damage.
3)      Charcoal Detox Brightening Mask ( Black) – the bamboo charcoal extract has a deep cleansing effect.
4)      Multipeptide Calming Revitalising Mask (Pink)- this mask contains negative ions which increase circulation to relax muscles which in turn help to reduce fine lines.
5)      Green Tea Phenol Soothing Mask (Green)- this treatment helps prevent premature signs of ageing. The mask helps to fortify the skin from oxidisation while regulating oily secretions.
These are made from state of the art fibres which include silk, elastic cotton and bio-cellulose.
Bio-Cellulose £3.70- £7.95
1)      Apple Stem Cell- provides nutrients to nourish and stimulate skin
2)      Rejuvenating Eye Mask- formulation of olive oil and hyaluronic acid to leave the eye area supple and moisturised.
3)      Bio Cellulose EGF Mask- Uses the active ingredient Epidermal Growth Factor to target loss of firmness, radiance and moisture in the skin
These are elasticated masks which hook on around the clients ears to allow for comprehensive contact, masks include:
1)      Q10 caviar Nourishing Mask – anti ageing mask which promotes skin cell turnover.
2)      Orchid extract replenishing Mask- replenishing and hydrating mask.
3)      Miracle Rejuvenation Mask- brightening mask to even skin tone and diminish of appearance of age spots and wrinkles.
This mask uses organic bear berry and algae to stimulate cell production to improve the quality of the skins collagens and elastins fibre.
The mask itself is in a foil sealed packet which needs to be tore to open to keep it fresh. I thought this was a wonderful idea as it means it will have a longer shelf life,but I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it the minute the post man dropped it in!
It instructs you to cleanse your skin first so I used my old faithful Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish to make sure my face was lovely and clean before the goodness began. I opened the package and removed the mask, you have to take off the plastic film and place the mask on your face darker side down.
When placing the mask on your face you need to smooth it over the contours and make sure it has good contact with the face. If I am honest I found this quite difficult as when I was trying to fit it around my nose the chin bit would come away, and the nose bit was very difficult. I got it on the best I could and settled down to watch the second half of Eastenders. The mask states to leave it on for 15 to 20 mins then remove and massage the excess serum into the skin, there is also serum left in the packet so make sure and utilise this also!
I removed it and initially I didn’t see any difference, it just felt as though I had a huge amount of a heavy serum on my face. I massaged the excess serum on my face and then I did see a little difference in the brightness of my skin. I decided to put the package into the fridge and use the serum from the packet on my face the next morning.
I cleansed etc and instead of my normal daily serum I used the excess mask serum then followed with my daily moisturiser.
I wasn’t going out that day so I didn’t put on any makeup and I kept an eye on my skin throughout the day. To be honest I didn’t see a huge difference the next day, but definitely that night there was the slightest difference.
I loved the whole process of this mask, from the packet to the serum the next day, but I don’t feel it would be something I would incorporate regularly into my regime due to price, issue with keeping mask on face and lack of results.
It was nice for a little bit of me time, and I would consider trying other masks from the range in the future. The Miracle Rejuvenation Mask might be one I would give a go due to its help with evening skin tone.
Overall I would say give this mask a go or one of the others more suited for your issues or skin type, it’s a little bit of luxury for a bit of me time.
Thanks again to Angela for choosing me to trial this
Ali x

Friday, 6 February 2015

Six month Blogiversary!!

Hey my lovelies, hope you are all really well!!

Cant believe my little blog is 6 months old, it feels like it was yesterday, I decided to take the leap into it. A big thank you goes to Dave Lackie the editor of Beauty the Guide the online magazine, go check it out and follow him on twitter Daves Twitter tell him I sent you!  I was lucky enough to win one of this amazing competitions and we got chatting about everything, we discussed my passion for beauty etc and I decided that I should go for it and start my own blog. So huge hugs to Dave for giving me the push, I will be eternally grateful!
Trying to pick my blog name was so hard I didn’t want anything to cheesy but I didn’t want anything to out there either. I was sitting watching Tv and the name Passionsandpreening came to me, I thought it was cute but had substance, and my wee blog was born.
I knew I would post about beauty, plus size fashion and lifestyle, but I wantd to also talk about serious issues like grief, anxiety, body issues etc. I am a very emotional person and I wanted my blog to reflect this in the posts I was going to produce.
I am not into html, coding, design etc so this is the area that I have found the most difficult without a doubt, but my hope for the next 6 months is to keep learning so that I can make the blog more enjoyable for you guys to read.
I don’t want to ramble on this post, as I am sure by now you guys have realised I can do that quite well. All I want to say is a huge thank you to every one of you who have supported me on this journey. To the lovely followers who tweet me, facebook me and leave comments, each and every one mean the world to me. My amazing husband and dad have been so supportive, they don’t understand it all but they support me doing it bless them, and my wonderful friends, you certainly learn who they are!! I have a few who always share my posts etc and this means the world. On the other hand to the haters that have slagged my blog I gues all I will say is each hate comment about it being stupid just drives me to make it better, so thank you for not supporting me!
So the plans for the next 6 months of this blog are:
  1. Self host it within the next couple months
  2. Redesign it to be more streamlined
  3. Possibly up the posts to 2 a week
  4. Improve on my photography
  5. Network more
My blog is tiny in comparison to so many I have 171 followers on bloglovin woohoo!! All of you 171 mean the earth and I hope that my blog is a good read! Blogging to me isn’t about the numbers etc it is about having a little space to say what I want to without judgement.
So for now I hope you all will stay with me for the next 6 months and into the future, lots of love to you all.
Ali xxxx

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