Friday, 23 October 2015

Maybelline Mascara Lash Sensational Review

Hey lovelies, hope you are all really well!!

I haven’t used a Maybelline mascara since the last craze of “the falsies” one which I adored!, but after hearing so much about this one I thought why not give it a wee go. You can get this in Superdrug, Boots and other high street stores and online. It retails around £7.99 which is a great price, and you can always find a 3 for 2 deal or buy one get one half price deal somewhere, which is me just justifying the need for more make up! Tell me I am not the only one who does this!!

Now onto the mascara, it is in a gorgeous lilac purple tube and the wand is a large curved rubber brush. I found it so easy to apply a nice amount of product to my lashes as the shape of the wand hugged the lashes well. The only negative about the size of the wand is that on the bottom lashes sometimes I find myself getting a little on my face but it’s nothing a cotton bud won’t fix.

My lashes didn’t clump but instead they fanned out quite well and held the curl well. I chose to get the waterproof one as I wanted the longevity and boy did it stay! I think that one coat is a nice amount for a day time look and I build it up for nights out, 2 coats gives a gorgeous effect, and if you really want to amp it up use 3 coats for a real false lash effect.
When it came to removing this is where you could tell it was long lasting, I ended up using micellar water, and an oil cleanser to remove it, and even then I didn’t feel it was fully off.

Personally my lashes didn’t feel dry or crispy using this and it’s became a firm favourite in my makeup bag.

Have any of you tried it, or is there something similar on the market you think I should try. Let me know 

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Anxiety Coping Techniques

Hey my lovelies

Anxiety... What a word with so many meaning to so many of us. A lot of you reading this if you are anything like me, then even the word anxiety makes me anxious, as it gives me the stark reminder of what I like many of you go through day in day out.

So what actually is anxiety??
To me and you, anxiety can be many things. It can be the feeling of being panicked or worried, on edge, uneasy, tearful and not being in control or able to relax to name only a few things. It can manifest itself physically as well as mentally.
Physically you can get short of breath, a pounding heartbeat, flutters in your stomach, dizzy, sweaty and chest tightness. All these can lead to a panic attack. Mentally it can make you nervous, on edge, angry, teary and everything in between.
Anxiety can also be a symptom of other conditions including panic disorders, depression, chronic illness and post traumatic stress. Obviously anxiety can play a major role in many illnesses and if you think your anxiety is coming from something I urge you to seek help.

As you can see already, anxiety is a very complex illness and without a doubt this is something I have found out myself.  There is no way to describe it and when you are in the grips of it, it can take over every cell of your body. This for me is why I decided to write this post on how I try and cope with my anxiety issues. My anxiety has been up and down for many years since childhood, but since I took ill at university over 10 years ago the anxiety has worsened. Over the years it has been hard at times to cope with it, but then others I have been able to cope. We had a serious car crash at xmas last year, you can see some of my updates from it in my you tube channel. This picture was actually taken the day of the crash at the Xmas Market in belfast, and my heart drops every time i think of what could have been. and since that my anxiety has got to a level that it effects my whole life.  It leaves me not wanting to leave the house a lot of the time or get into a car. I try and use the following techniques regularly to help myself.  Obviously not all of these ways of coping will help or interest you, but there might be something that you want to try.

Without a doubt I needed the medication when I fell to my worst point soon after the accident. I now take a combined anti depressant and anxiety tablet daily and when I need it I take extra diazepam. I totally understand medication will not be for everyone but personally I felt I was at my lowest and at that time it was the best decision for me. It was a decision that was not taken lightly and was thoroughly discussed with my GP.

Maybe counselling or therapy is something that you feel you could benefit from. There are lots of great charities eg Mind that can help find a private therapist, or you can talk with your GP about a referral for therapy. Lots of people get great help from therapy and it is something I have been referred for the anxiety, unfortunately like everywhere our NHS waiting lists are long and stretched for these services, but I am happy I took the first step in getting the referral.

When I start to feel anxious I feel that just taking a few minutes to sit and think of my happy place or times where I wasn’t anxious is a great way to detach myself from the anxiety and let myself be free even for a few minutes. Decide what your happy place is and just clear your mind and think about this place. Obviously if you are in the full grips of an attack this will be extremely hard to do, but I find if I can do this when anxiety is just starting it has helped to stop the attack.
Don’t bully yourself for feeling the way you do, instead acknowledge it
Personally when I am in the complete hold of anxiety, I get very hard on myself. I tell myself things like, don’t be silly, snap out of it, catch yourself on, but a while ago a really good friend of mine told me to stop and actually acknowledge how I was feeling. I try now and talk to myself and repeat things like, it’s ok to have these attacks, you will get passed it, you will be ok. Allowing myself that acknowledgment has really helped me.

Colouring in
Yes you did just read that right! Recently adult colouring in books have become very popular and hubby bought me one in our local Waterstones not that long ago. So now at night I try and do a little piece of a page and I don’t work in colour patterns, I just go with the colours I fancy at that time. It lets your head get out of that negative space and it helps me focus my mind on the book and not the anxiety.

Take a bath
One thing I hear so many people talk about is how nice a bath with a few candles and a lush bath bomb is. Unfortunately we don’t have a bath here but what I do like to do is have a shower in the evening and use a body wash with lavender in it to relax me.

Pamper yourself
Get a nice face mask on, paint your nails or maybe just cuddle up on the sofa with a cosy blanket, cuppa and film. I think taking some time out for you is really beneficial when it comes to managing anxiety, as sometimes our lives get so busy we just go through the motions. Taking time to pamper myself has really helped me relax.

Take a walk or do some exercise
Physical activity releases endorphins which are the body’s natural feel good factor and these help to reduce stress levels and in turn may help your anxiety problems. For me heavy exercise isn’t an option but even if I get 5 minutes in the fresh air it really helps.  The other night I was extremely anxious and I knew I needed out into the air, all I done was walk not even 5 mins round our avenue, but taking some big deep breaths in and slowly walking really helped and I was able to refocus on feeling ok.

Writing your feelings down and binning them
I never really understood how beneficial this could be till this year. Any counselling I had in the past had talked about using this method for my depression but I never knew it could really to help with my anxiety. I tried it a couple of times after the accident and it really helped. It wasn’t a nice well written piece of work, but it was raw and emotional, questioning why and how. Then when I finished it I ripped it to shreds and binned it, and whilst binning it I focused on letting go of the questions and all of the fears and negativity surrounding the accident.  I wouldn’t say it helped everything at all, but what it did do was give me a safe outlet to be able to share all my feelings.

This might sound like a flippant statement to end on, but if you are anything like me, when my breathing starts to go from the anxiety I have found myself holding my breath not realising I am doing it. So now I really try and focus on taking long deep breaths in then out my mouth.  When in the grips of an attack you won’t be getting as much o2 in as you need so this helps this aspect, but what it also does is gives you something to focus on. I really try and work on my breathing as I feel it has helped loads.

So there you have it, just a few ways I use to try and control this rotten illness.  Be kind to yourself, look after yourself and always remember you can get through it

Love Ali


Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Lidl Nail Polish Remover Review

Hey my lovelies

Whilst nosying around snapchat one night, Ciara from Food Fashion and the Fight was talking about a nail polish remover she got from Lidl for under £2. Now I must admit I would have never thought on picking this up if I hadn’t heard Ciara rave about it. So off I popped to my local Lidl and grabbed it! The bottle itself is a great size and has this fab pump top which means no more possibility of knocking it over and it going everywhere!!

 Basically you just place the cotton pad on the top of the bottle and give it a couple of pumps and you will have enough to remove polish from one hand.
Huge kudos to Lidl for this design feature as I think a lot of us would agree something like this makes life a lot easier, and it cuts down on waste for me.
There are two types of remover on offer, the acetone and non acetone, and I chose the classic one with the acetone. It’s just personal preference which one you use, but this was the only one available to me.

So then I thought right how good could this actually be for the price, will it leave my nails dry and sensitive, will it even remove my glitter polish!!
So, on my nails I had 2 layers of OPI nail envy as my base, 2 coats of a red polish, from the pound shop by the way and it’s amazing! And the two coats of an Essence top coat.
Well in all honesty I was shocked, I held the soaked pad to my nail for a few seconds and wiped it off and it basically all came off. The second wee rub and my nail was as clean as a whistle, and not the slightest hint of dryness or sensitivity in sight.

Without a doubt I have been pleasantly surprised at how well this nail polish remover has performed and for a couple of quid I suggest you give it a whirl.
Also on a side note go give Ciaras blog a wee read, she is one of the most inspirational ladies I know!


Ali x

Friday, 9 October 2015

Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Hey my lovelies

Today I decided, I would give you a little look into my breakfast ideas. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it is one that is often forgotten about today, with so many of us being so busy in the morning, we might grab something and go or not have anything at all. Personally I have only recently started being mindful that I am consciously making time to eat something however small every day.

These few recipes I have included I love making as they are quick and very simple, no fluffing about for hours!!  The only one that requires a little more time is the healthy fry up but that one I save for the weekend with hubby.

Overnight Oats
Place 30g of rolled oats into a kilner type jar and cover just enough with milk. I use semi skimmed milk as I just can’t get use to the almond milk yet, but I know a lot that use milk alternatives. Give your mixture a little stir. Sometimes I will add in berries at this stage like strawberries and blueberries, then add a little sprinkle of seeds. Normally its chia seeds or one of the multi seeds, a teaspoon is enough for me, but again the amount you use is personal choice.  Normally I will add more fruit in the morning, and at the minute I am loving pineapple with the berries.
This is a recipe you can really play around it and depending on what you have in the fridge or what you fancy they possibilities are endless.

Some mornings I like something warm especially coming into the colder weather, and I think an omelette is perfect for this.  My favourite is just a plain omelette with some ham and a sprinkle of cheese. I whisk up 2 eggs, a dash of milk, some salt and pepper, and my ham. Then I get my pan ready and pour in the mix and let it cook. To cook the top I will put it under the grill for a couple of minutes. I then add my cheese but you can add the cheese into the egg mix before cooking. Again the possibilities are endless. If I am having a late breakfast I might add peppers and onions in to add some texture and get some extra veg. This is a great way to use up some left over veg to cut down on waste.

Cereal, yoghurt and fruit
This is my go to on lazy days. It’s simple but its filling and you will get some good nutrients into your body to start the day. I like to get my little heart bowl out that I got in b and m bargains for a couple of quid and put 2 to 3 tablespoons of low fat natural yoghurt mixed with 1 teaspoon of stevia natural sweetener. Then on top I will put whatever fruit I have, normally it will be pineapple, strawberries grapes or banana. Then I will top with my cereal, at the moment my cereal of choice is all Bran, but again this is totally personal to you. Sometimes I will put this layered into a nice glass. I think a lot of the time if I like the look of it, I will enjoy it more.

Healthy Fry up
I love having this with Mr Preener at the weekend, and it’s such a healthy alternative to the normal grease laden frys. Normally we use the Linda McCartney Rosemary and Red Onion sausages; these are so yummy and so much healthier for you than normal sausages. They taste meaty but have a gorgeous flavour also. I dry fry all my meat in a ceramic pan. We will have some rashers with the fat cut off. Then some beans, mushrooms done in a little frylight, hubby will have tomato and we will finish it with either a toasted pancake or 2 pieces of brown toast.
It really feels like you are having a naughty meal when in actual fact it’s pretty healthy.
Breakfast Wrap
This is yummy for on the go and filled with the right things can be really filling and again healthy.  I use one of the wholemeal wraps or the weight watchers ones, and fill it with 2 of the Linda McCartney sausages cut up, mushrooms, rashers and a wee taste of your favourite sauce.  If I am having my wrap at home then sometimes I will put some scrambled egg in mine, it’s gorgeous!

I hope I have given you a little inspiration for some very quick, easy breakfast ideas. Let me know if you try any.

Ali x

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Girls Night In with Vita Coco NI

Hey my lovelies

So what’s better than a girlie night in watching a great DVD and gossiping, add in some cocktails!! We are well into October now and I hate to say it but Winter is coming, but we can relive our summer memories with a  girlie cocktail night using some beautiful Vita Coco NI coconut water lemonade.
All you need is your fave girls, some cheesy music and a few ingredients and you have a great night in.

Vita Coco Coconut water lemonade is made with lemon purree and coconut water, and it is so refreshing and yummy! It really reminds me of the old fashioned lemonade you would have got that has that real genuine lemon taste to it. At the minute I am really trying to up my water intake, and sometimes have one of the little 330ml cartons as a treat at night, as it feels I am getting something naughty.

Talking about naughty lets get on to the girls night, so grab your girls and read on for some fun cocktail ideas. I have given these random girly names so i hope you like them.

Fashionably Fruity
This cocktail is a fusion of fruit, Malibu rum and cocnut lemonade. For this i would recommend per person
150ml cocnut lemonade
35ml Malibu
Strawberry liquer to taste
Sprig of mint

This might be too much cocnut for some but if you add the mint in, it will cut through it making it not as sweet. I would serve this in a tall glass over crushed ice.

Luxuriously Lucious
This would be my favourite and includes prosecco. I would suggest a glass of prsecco with maybe 50ml of the lemonade just to give it a kick. You can also add in some grenadine to this one or a fwe strawberries.

Obviously not everyone drinks, and in all honesty my hangovers get so bad that i get put off drinking these days, but i do love a mocktail or two.

Refresh Yourself
Here you can use the 330ml carton of lemonade, with a little sugar syrup, strawberries and a squeeze of lime. I think these combinations of flabours together would be so refreshing and tasty.
In my opinion the best way to drink this lemonade is in a tall glass over lots of ice, pink umbrella is optional!

Sometimes a drink doesn't need fancy flavours and added flavours and the coconut lemonade is one of them. It could easily pass off as something more luxurious!

So i hope if you get your girls together you try these cocktails, or even if you make your own variation let me know

Lots of love gorgeous preeners
© passionsandpreening

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