Thursday 10 March 2016

Who is One & The Same?

I am writing this post for you fellow nosy parkers. As I have mentioned before, the first thing I do when checking out someone's blog is head straight to the 'About Me' section. I want to inhale as much information as I can about where you're from, what you do, your likes/dislikes and of course, see your face. Knowing who is talking to you and being able to assign a character to them makes blog reading all the better.

In the spirit of practicing what I preach I am going to lay it bare for you. (Not too bare because I know my Mum is lurking about here somewhere. Hi Mum!)

We'll start at the beginning shall we?

I'm from a small village in County Down Northern Ireland and have been so lucky to live in the middle of the countryside. Nothing is more refreshing to me than rolling hills and the sheer greenness of the place I call home. We've always had tons of animals (sadly not so many any more) and I've always been utterly obsessed with them. Throughout my lifetime we have had 5 cats, 3 dogs, 3 horses, 3 rabbits, 3 guinea pigs, stick insects, an ant farm, hundreds of doves, thousands of fish and millions of hamsters. Now we are sadly down to one dog, one horse and one Yorkshire cat.

Betty, our half pug half shih tzu mix, is an absolute dream boat. I babied her so much when she was a pup she sometimes forgets how to dog. Honestly the soppiest (and most jealous) little BFF you could ever ask for.

Ozzie, my thoroughbred ex race horse, is my pride and joy. I have had her for almost 10 years which is really crazy and I miss her SO much when I'm in Leeds. Over the years we have evented, done county shows and galloped along miles of beaches. She is about 20 right now but you would never know. Despite being a bit of a clumsy oaf she is as adorably excitable as you could imagine and bizarrely enough, absolutely petrified of pigs.

Clemmie is my little Leeds princess. We got her in November 2015 from our local Cats Protection and she is such a friendly face. I wrote about her in enormous detail here if you want to find out more about this gorgeous gal.

I went to big school in Belfast which although is only a 30 minute drive from my house took 2 hours to get to in the morning. Queue plenty of bus ride snoozes until I turned 18. I absolutely loved school and wouldn't hesitate to relive it, even just for a day.

I took a year out from school before I went to uni to fulfil all of my grand plans. Which largely amounted to nothing. I wanted to go to Argentina to ride polo ponies, travel the world and take my riding instructor qualifications but didn't get round to doing any of them - something which I hugely regret, particularly the latter! I didn't really think about it properly before I took the year out. I didn't think about the fact that the majority of my friends where either still in school or had already gone to uni so I spent a year at times pretty lonely but generally having a blast.  Amongst other things I went to a cookery school in Bristol for a month which was amazing and worked in a stable yard for a month before I got swine flu and realised mucking out stables for 10 hours a day isn't as much fun when it's not for your own horse.

In September 2010 I moved to Leeds to go to uni and I was absolutely terrified. I knew I had to go to expand my life and take the course I did but I was miserable about living my life behind for the utter unknown. Everybody said to be "you'll last 2 weeks and you'll be home" and I wholeheartedly agreed with them.

Three years later I had graduated from Leeds Met with a 2:1 in PR and Marketing and was SO done with uni. I actually hated my course and the complete favouritism my tutors had for the brown nosing students. A personal highlight was when my tutor for the year told me I was 'distinctly average' and 'would never amount to anything'. Cheeeerrss for that!

My time at uni, and Leeds in total, has been amazing. I have met some unbelievable people and made such amazing friendships I wouldn't change it for the world. I laughed solidly for the three years at uni and had more fun than I thought was possible. I met Ciaran in my second year of uni when he moved into the house all of my BFFs were living in. We've lived together for almost 5 years and been together for four.

Family holiday in Menorca last year

It took me until October to find a proper job out of uni after what felt like thousands of interviews and the same shit sandwich from each employer. 'We really liked you but you just didn't have quite enough experience to get the job but we're sure it won't be long for you'. Honestly it got to the point where I could hardly bare it anymore and was on the brink of giving up trying to get a graduate job entirely.

I worked for a nationwide boiler and central heating installer as their Marketing Assistant and one third of the Marketing department. To say it was an eye opener would be an understatement! I learn so much in the two years that I worked there and met some lovely people, but I was so ready to leave when I handed in my notice.

Before summer 2015 we were in a bit of a conniption about what to do when our tennacy ran out in June. We didn't want to carry on paying rent for someone else's mortgage when we could just (terrifyingly) get our own. So in May we finally got the keys for our own house and moved in 6 weeks later. It was an uphill struggle for weeks trying to remove 60 years worth of wallpaper on every surface imaginable but it's finally finished and is our own little home.

In July last year I started working for a PR agency five minutes away from my house as a Social Media and Digital Exec which was the perfect job for me. I work for numerous different household names and run their social accounts, writing the content plans for the month ahead, talking to customers online, running ads and campaigns and reporting to measure their success. It is a busy job and I need to stay on top of my work/accounts otherwise my brain would quite literally fall out of my mouth.

I've always loved to write and wrote for numerous online and print publications while I was at uni and my blog was an extention of that. Started as a portfolio piece in my first year, I carried on updating it with my new work over the years until I graduated and decided to get my shit together.

What you will find here is a real mix of posts - ranging from beauty reviews, recipes, travel and lifestyle. I hope you find something you like and stick around - come and say hi, I love to chat! 

Friday 4 March 2016

Beauty Confessions Tag

I was tagged in the Beauty Confessions Tag by the lovely Eleanor over at Teapots and Elephants earlier in the week. I can't restist a little quiz so I'm excited to get started! I love reading people's answers to quizes and a Q&A video is the first one I'll watch on YouTube. Of course I love to read posts on people thoughts and opinions, but an 'About Me' page is always the first I'll click on when I'm on a blog. I just LOVE knowing as much as I can about you - I'm far too nosy for my own good. So, if you are like me, this post might be fun to read and to try!

I am going to tag Beth at Life with B, Emily Jayne at Love, Emily Jayne and Tazhi at I'd love it if you took part so I could read your answers (coz I'm nosy!), just link it back to me :). Simply copy the questions and answer for yourself. 

1.) What is your biggest beauty product addiction? (Lippies, blushes, highlighter, bronzer, mascara, etc.)
Definitely lipsticks! I have SO many and am such a sucker for seeing/hearing about one person raving about one and straight up buying it. Most of mine are from MAC but my new personal favourites are the Jeffree Star Liquid Lipsticks - they are so pigmented and last forever. 

2.) How many products do you have from your addiction?

I couldn't even hazard a guess as they are all over the place! I keep a few faves in my handbag, as well as in my make up bag, on my dressing table and in the car. A bit impractical because it makes it hard to find them in a hurry! I would say I probably have close to 50 which doesn't seem like a huge amount but when you add up the value of them all it is a bit sickening.

3.) What is one type of beauty product you hate? (highlighters, hairspray, etc.)

Hmmm this is hard. I was about to say there was wasn't anything I hate but then I remembered lip gloss. Ugh. I HATE the stickiness and how your hair is constantly getting stuck in it. I don't even like the look of it to be honest. Lip gloss is something I can safely say I will never fall in love with.

 4.) What has been your biggest challenge in beauty? (ex: a technique you learned or leaving a beauty comfort zone)
Biggest challenge I would say has been perfecting my winged eyeliner, and even then it is definitely not perfect every time. Funnily enough my 'bad eye' (right eye) which was always the trickest to do and the one that always looked shit has overtaken my left. They've swapped sides which is frustrating - WHY CAN'T YOU BOTH BE PERFECT!

5.) What is one beauty comfort zone you don’t ever think you’ll leave?
I rarely wash my hair and that is something that won't change. It never gets greasy and the longer I leave it the more I like it. It seems to grow texture and volume and I much prefer it like that. I tend to wash it once every 7-10 days and spritz it with dry shampoo on the regs to keep it smelling fresh. I actually plan my life around when I will be washing my hair. I totally resent going out the day after I wash my hair so if I know a night out or something I want to look okay for is coming up I will wash my hair 3+ days in advance.

6.) What is one beauty thing you suck at? (ex: eyeliner like cat eye or taking your makeup off at the end of the day, etc.)
I feel like I talk about this all the time but winged eyeliner. I am slowly improving but it is still something I have to really try hard to do. Nothing is more infuriating than when it is just not working for you and you have to clean all your eye make up off and start again. The stuff of nightmares.

7.) What is one thing in beauty that you don’t understand its hype? (Technique, trend, etc.)

This is a pretty out-there and probably incorrect answer to this question but I honestly cannot get my head around duck feet nails. Like what the actual hell?! BELIEVE ME this is not my hand!

Another I'm not keen on is people who have naturally dark hair dying it blonde. I always think its looks so wrong - I generally think people look best with the hair colour they were born with.

Thank you again to Eleanor from Teapots and Elephants for tagging me!

Monday 29 February 2016

25 Things to do Before Turning 25

In a few short weeks I will hit the big 2-5. It's a bit of a scary thought to know I'm that old but I'm okay with it. There will be no tears. But is my birthday and I'll cry if I want to.

I thought I would set out my list of 25 things I want to do before I'm 25 as a bit of self motivation. I believe in myself I know I can do it!

  1. I will stop letting my cat rule my life. 'Oh sorry you're sitting there. Okay well I'll just wait over here until you're done'. If I want get into bed so I will stop feeling guilty for chucking her off. Bye Felicia. 
  2. I'm going to take control of drunk Alice. She is a crazy bitch with her credit card on a night out.  SLIPPERY NIPPLES FOR THE WHOLE GANG! Generally the only regret involved is for my quickly diminished bank balance.
  3. I can never get my head around anyone who goes to the hairdresser and is gassed when they come out. I want to put a bin bag over my head for a few days until it stops looking so flat and 'done'. I'll try to be more honest with my hairdresser and not just say 'oh yeh lovely thanks yeh I really like it...'
  4. I've mentioned it before and I'll mention it again. I need to learn how to make hot choc that isn't like a lumpy swamp - your own drinks shouldn't make you gag - I mean really!
  5. I'm going to try to brush my hair on a more regular basis. More often than not I look like a sasquatch. I must admit I do like this look but detangling (and particularly detangling on a hangover) absolutely slays me. And not in a good way.
  6. On the same thread, I will try and find some more hairstyles I can do and be arsed to do. I have been referred to as Princess Anne on more than one occasion (secretly love it though)
  7. I'm going to stop sweeping things under the carpet. Literally.
  8. I will find a way to make Coca-Cola good for your teeth. Might start petitioning to Unilever to make it a dental approved mouth wash...yum
  9. Actually start wearing the remaining 98% of the bras I own. I totally play the favourites game.
  10. I will perfect my winged eyeliner. Lord knows I try but this will be the year I get it down
  11. I will get on top of my piles. It's no secret I suffer from piles. Inherited from my Mum; I leave piles all over the house of things I will get round to some time. That went in a different direction than you were expecting...!
  12. I'm going to try to stop putting the boring things off. Emails from solicitors, insurance people etc get scanned over and forever marked as 'Unread'. At times to never be read again. Oops. It's not personal if that makes it any better?
  13. I will try not to be such a sentimental hoarder. But who am I kidding?! I love to collect all of the things!
  14. I'll consider starting to shave above the knee on a more regular basis
  15. I will start treating my shoes with the love and respect they deserve. My collection falls into two camps: the pairs I wear all the time and therefore don't look after like I should, or the ones that are too beautiful/expensive/irreplaceable to ever actually wear and sometimes never come out of the box. This time around I'm coming for these babies!
  16. I love to be organised and keep a diary to plan my days. However I use it more like a tween than a real grown up. I write down the things I have done as well as the things I plan to do so I can look back and be like 'ah yes. Feb 28th 2014. That was the day I had tea and biscuits with the Jehovahs witnesses and put the bins out'. I'm just so nosy it even encroaches on my own life. 
  17. I will find a way to remove my mascara without smothering my eyes in moisturiser until I look like I have a severe case of conjunctivitis. It works like a charm but I doubt an optician would recommend it.
  18. I will try to learn from past experiences that it's always the fifth glass of wine that pushes me over the edge. This isn't strictly a bad thing, the best stories always come from the messiest nights.
  19. I will stop pouring over Pets4Homes and daydreaming of my own pup and actually get one. YAY for being an adult.
  20. I will stop being scared to check my bank balance..eek
  21. I will try to remember that no good hangover begins with slippery nipple nightcaps. They are so yummy though...
  22. I will change my toothbrush more often. An old toothbrush is like a perfect pair of shoes. It just fits and a new one just feels weird and wrong. Again probably not recommended
  23. I will try not to be such a social media marketers dream. 'Oooh what a nice lipstick/dress/cushion/phone case, no I really shouldn't - I don't need it.' Thanks for following me over to Facebook Mr Cookies now I can't resist.
  24. I will stop being an emotional wreck. It surely isn't normal to cry every time you see the Lloyds TSB ad with the horses through the ages.
  25. I will try to remember that lists are hard. I refuse to start one I cannot finish. Hence why were are here 6 weeks after I began.

Tuesday 23 February 2016

The Liebster Award

I was nominated for the Liebster Award by Live and Peaches late last week and me being the general busy body I am I hadn't got around to my part of the challenge until now. 

If you hadn't heard of the award it goes as follows:

In summary someone nominates you and in their post they will have answered 11 questions. They will then nominate 11 bloggers with less than 1000 followers or readers. They'll write 11 different questions for their nominees to answer. If you are nominated you'll answer these questions and again nominate 11 new bloggers and set the new questions. 

Remember to let them know they have been nominated and add their links to your post. 

To clarify I am basing followers off a Twitter count. Ain't nobody got time for searching everything else.

1. What does your blog name mean to you?
My blog has had a multitude of different names from when it meant different things. I changed it in November(ish) when I decided to give it a proper go. I hadn't even really been planning on changing the name (it was called Food & Furore before) but I felt it didn't fit properly anymore. I was watching a documentary on Netflix when one of the interviewees used the phrase 'We're all one and the same' and I just loved how it sounded. It's connotation I suppose is a bit opinion dividing. It resonated with me because as different as we all may be, we are all still fundamentally the same. Die hard unique-ers might want to burn me at the stake for being so flippant, which is cool, but it's here to stay. 

2. What is the best part of blogging for you?
I think the best part for me is the sense of community. Although I am in no way 100% confident with my blog or even myself, I feel it gives me a boost that I can't get from anything else. It's fun and I love just spending a cosy afternoon just tapping away in silence, it's so soothing.

3. If you had the chance to work with any brand which one would it be and why?
This is a tough question because there are so many brands that I love and respect the hell out of. Equally there are as many more which I narrow mindedly love solely for their products and not their ethics. To work with a company like Voyage Maison would be amazing because their products are so gorgeous but being a true lippy devotee Jeffree Star would be pretty perfect too.  

4. In a movie about your life who would play you?
Aagghh what a hard question! For no other reason than that she is amazing in every character she plays I would choose Kate Winslet.

5. What was the first concert you went to?
The first concert I ever went to was the Oasis Heathen Chemistry tour when I was 10. My parents had a spare ticket and I wanted to go and it was probably the best concert of my life. I would sell my soul to see Oasis again.

6. Do you share your blog openly with people you know?
As much as I love doing it I do feel a slight cringeyness about sharing it with other people. The majority of my friends know I do it and a lot of my family, but I don't tell them to read it. It's silly really, people have said to me in the past 'what is the point in writing it if you don't want people to read it?' The truth is I do want people to read it but my confidence isn't 100% when it comes to sharing it.

7. Who is your favourite blogger?
My favourite blogger has to be Hannah Gale. I have been following her for years and love her posts and utter relatability.  Her Instagram is gorgeous and I so rarely skip past a post on her blog.

8. Is there anything you would give your blog up for?
 I could think of a million impractical answers for this. Zero calorie McDonalds, thick non-tangley hair, a permanently clean car, free Manolos for life... but in all seriousness I don't know. In my own life when I'm crazy busy, stressed or not in a good head space my blog does take a back seat and I wish it didn't. Definitely one to improve upon this year!

9. What is your favourite food/meal?
Okay this question is perfectly impossible. I love SO much food and couldn't pick a favourite meal. I cannot get enough calamari that's for sure. Same with potatoes. Being a true (northern) Irish gal I'm going to have to go with potatoes. Favourites being chips, roast pots, dauphinoise and mash of course.

10. Cats or dogs?
I have always been the ultimate dog person but I love cats too. I have a Pug X Lhasa Apsu called Betty and a tabby cat called Clementine Stephanie Gallagher (or Clemmie for short). Betty is a Belfast gal and Clem lives with us here in Leeds.


I also have a Thoroughbred mare called Ozzie who completes the fam and they are all the lights of my life.

horse on beach

11. Blogger or Wordpress?
I use Blogger and always have done for personal use. I use Wordpress occasionally at work to manage blogs/microsites and it is pretty straightforward however I am used to how Blogger works for me. Maybe at some point I will consider the switch but right now I am happy as I am!

And now my nominations are:

For those who would like to take part my questions are:

1. What made you start blogging?
2. What would be your dream job?
3. What is your absolute fail-safe outfit you feel the most confident in?
4. What is your weirdest passion?
5. What have you gained the most from blogging?
6. Have you experienced any negativity to do with you blog or blogging in general?
7. What is your favourite lipstick?
8. Who is your blogger inspiration?
9. What is your favourite thing about your body?
10. How do you normally spend your weekends?
11. What is your favourite piece of advice?

Thank you to Live and Peaches for nominating me! I'm looking forward to reading my nominee's posts!

Monday 8 February 2016

The Happiest of Happy Pancakes to You!

Happy Pancake day!

I absolutely love pancakes. I'm typically more of a lemon and sugar crêpe kind of gal but I will never say no to an American pancake.

I made these beauties a few years ago and couldn't resist sharing the picture with you. Presenting the blueberry ricotta stack absolutely swathed in golden syrup. 

I'll just leave this here for a moment...

blueberry pancakes with ricotta

Adapted from a Gordon Ramsay recipe they are simple to make and so satisfyingly delicious.


  • 125g plain flour
  • 120g fresh blueberries
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of bicarb
  • 100ml milk
  • 1 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 125g ricotta 


Mix together the dry ingredients, sifting if necessary. Make a well in the middle and tip in the egg yolks. In a slow and steady stream add the milk and whisk gently until combined.

Fold in the ricotta and blueberries. Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks and fold into the mixture. Cook on a medium heat in a greased frying pan until cooked through.

Greek yoghurt, honey and more fresh berries would be a great alternative topping, however if you are planning on having a pancakey blow out, golden syrup makes a perfect ly sinful treat.

What will you be having on your pancakes today?

Sunday 7 February 2016

January Favourites

Poor old January gets such a bad rep. The weather is grim and people shuffle off back to work dreaming of their next Christmas break and trying to forget the mountains of cheese and chocolate they ate. I am 100% this person, but January was a good month for me and oh my god how fast did it go!?

After a Christmas break I got back into the gym again and my best friend came to visit me from Belfast, we had our first 2016 snow in Leeds and it was glorious. I don't understand why people hate the snow. Yeh it's dangerous, but its sooo gorgeous. Nothing beats the utter silence of a snowfall, its pure magic. I defy anyone to be in a bad mood when the first snow falls.

I got a bit carried away with lipsticks and managed to buy myself 5 new ones. I think it's starting to become a problem. 

Although January is a bitter kick in the teeth after Christmas it is a great month to get your life in order. I don't mean this in a 2016 new year new me way but it's generally a good time to reevaluate where you're at and where you want to be. For me this took shape in the form of putting time and effort into growing my blog; gaining new followers, more readers and more conversation.

To cheer myself up from the bleak weather and back-to-work blues I did what ever other human would do. I shopped. So, hold tight for my favourite things from January - I promise to keep the lipstick mentions to a minimum.

So, to cut a long story short I have been lusting after this eye shadow palette for honestly months. It was always sold out when I felt flush enough to justify the cost (which is totally okay for the quality and quantity of the shadows included), so one day it popped up on my Instagram feed with a discount code from the lovely Jaclyn Hill and I took the plunge. I ordered it directly through the Morphe site and waited for weeks for it to arrive. There was a proper drama with retrieving it from the Sorting Office so when it was finally delivered I was super excited.

The shades are gorgeous and are the kind of staples every girl needs in her collection. There is a good mix of matte and shimmer shadows and all are crazily pigmented and blend like a dream. For now all of my other shadows have been kicked to the kerb in favour of this beauty.

In short, if you want it buy it. You won't regret it!

Back in November I decided that it had been FAR too long since I bought any new high heels. When Black Friday rolled around I took a trip into town to see what there was on offer. I bought some gorgeous red suede heels from Schuh and called it a day. I did spy a similar gorgeous pair in dove grey but decided two was a bit excessive when none where needed. But who was I kidding? They kept popping into my head, so last week while I was in work my fingers started searching for them online.  They were £55 reduced to £14.99 with free delivery - it honestly would have been rude not to.

I haven't worn them out yet and to be honest I'm a bit scared to. I'm worried they will be ruined in an instant so I'm going to reserve them for an occasion where spillages will be limited, skies will be blue and the wine will be in short supply.

A bit of an unusual choice here for a favourites post but how cute is this nightie. I saw it on a Buzzed post about the best gifts to give dog lovers and aside from bookmarking 90% of the post for future splurges I couldn't resist this one. Now to get down to the nitty gritty: I am proud member of the legion of people who don't wear pyjamas in bed. You are probably thinking why do I even bother to buy them but let's be real - who doesn't come straight home from work and tear your clothes off for more comfy ones?

If you are planning on snapping up this bad boy bear in mind that the sizing is a little small. Either that or my boobs and bum are just stifled by pyjamas. See above.

Okay, you might be thinking right about now she's lost her mind if she's about to wax lyrical about a mug. And you might be right but laying all my cards on the table I am a mug/bowl/crockery/any-kitchen-implement-imaginable hoarder. I just can't resist and those who visit my home know to open cupboards carefully or an avalanche of cups will rain down on your face. 

I actually bought this cutie in Homebase of all places. I know the clue is in the name but I honestly didn't realise how much fab homeware they have. Probably because I lump Homebase and B&Q into the same category. Similar to Lidl and Aldi. They are the same places; I will never get the names the right way around nor admit that they are different - particularly the latter.

This has become my new favourite mug. I prefer a smaller mug because a big hot drink is just too much for me. It was only £3.99 and I'm pretty sure that a percentage of it's profits go directly to the National Trust which is just lovely.

You didn't think you'd get away without reading about another lipstick did you!? This is one of my new favourite lipsticks which honestly, I would have totally overlooked before. For me lipsticks are about staying power and I've generally found cheaper brands to not have the same longevity as my favourites, so I would have walked straight by this little beauty.

I came across this on Twitter when the fabulous Hannah Gale mentioned it in one of her lipstick posts. And despite already owning hundreds in that gorgeous deep berry shade I had to have it. And within 60 seconds I had bought it and it was winging it's way across the UK to my grabby hands.

For around £5.50 it is a great buy. It has a lovely sweet scent which smells a little like watermelon. Admittedly, it does require a good few coats but that is just my personal preference for a darker lip. The only gripe I have with it is that it isn't a true matte, but I know that style isn't for everyone!

It stays on nicely throughout the day but does require a little touch up here and there which I'm okay with. I haven't found it to bleed  too badly or transfer super easily so your smudged lipstick paranoia isn't sky rocketing through the roof.

August Woods Rose Gold CZ Ring

This is a bit of a cheat entry to a January favourites post because I bought it on Christmas Eve. I bought this gorgeous ring in Argento in Belfast and it was a complete bargain at £18. I love the rose gold effect and huge stone and I've had so many compliments on it. In my haste I bought one without trying it on so of course it was too big so I've jammed it on with my Russian wedding ring and actually prefer it stacked.

Prepare for some terrible pics - why do hands always look so gross in pictures?!

January has been a busy month for me and one of my favourite things I have gained from this month is the chat and support from the blogging community on Twitter. So thanks you guys - it's so lovely to get to know you all!

What have been your best buys from January?