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September Favourites…

I know, I know it’s not the end of September yet …but I didn’t do an August favourites. There was quite a lot going off and I never got around to it.

This you may say is an August / mid September favourites! (hey I like to be different)

First up is a lipstick I’ve been wearing morning, noon and night.

NYX matte lipstick in ‘MLS19 – Euro Trash’ – a perfect highly pigmented pink / deep beige.

I’m loving matte lipsticks at the moment, which doesn’t mean I’ve abandoned my gloss. The matte is just having it’s moment.

I put it on and it stays there – no running up my face in the little lines I have above my lip.   Many a time I’ve gone to the ladies and despaired as I looked in the mirror. Lip-gloss every where seemingly apart from my lips!

It’s creates a bold lip without being too much in your face. My only negative would be that it doesn’t have great staying power but nothing a quick re-apply wouldn’t  fix.

I’ve tried a few products from NYX , I’m also a big fan of the lip butters.

Purse friendly this Matte lipstick set me back just £6.50 and I purchased it from Boots. There’s a great range of shades with something to suit everybody.

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Crucifix Love …#desertdiamonds

When I was younger I was fascinated by Vampires. I would sit and watch ‘tame’ black and white Dracula movies , get the ‘willies’ but also secretly wish I could be a (lady) creature of the night.

They were always portrayed so beautifully. They were alluring, flawless , had killer cleavage and they didn’t bloody age!

Cool.

While most youngsters had their sights on becoming a nurse or something along those lines. Not me I had my sights on  becoming a vampire bride.

Hey don’t panic … I’m not a nutter, I  knew they didn’t really exist, I’ve always had my head in the clouds . I was, I still am,  a day dreamer.

Things all  changed after a particularly scary encounter with the film  ‘Salem’s Lot’. It scared  mum and I to bloody death (and then some) We daren’t even go upstairs afterwards.

Dad came in from the pub to find us both hiding behind cushions. Slightly bemused he told us both to grow up and to not watch things along these lines again if we couldn’t handle it.

I was convinced for weeks I was being watched while I slept. I daren’t open curtains incase a pair of eyes came staring back at me. These weren’t pretty vampires, they were evil, ugly rip you to pieces vampires.

That’s the power of a good film and an over active imagination.

I bought myself a cross as a safety prevention not long afterwards ( well I bugged mum to buy me one and basically did her head in until she did )… you know to keep the evil spirits away.

Daft as all the above may sound ( and I know it really does) I’ve worn one ever since.

Just a plain cross.

Simple but pretty.

It makes me feel safe and old habits die-hard.

I go big on arm candy and earrings but it’s always just a cross around my neck. I sometimes add a plain black choker when the occasion takes me.

You can therefore imagine my delight when Victoria from Desert Diamonds got in touch to ask whether I would like to review one of their crucifix pendants or crosses as I refer to them. She had noted that I wore one after seeing some of my pics over on Instagram. (@the_naughtyfortydiaries)

I said a big fat yes without hesitation.

It arrived over the weekend and here I am wearing it Saturday night.

The first thing I noticed was how sparkly it was (never mind keeping those evil spirits at bay, by golly  this one would dazzle them to death) Continue reading

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Gin, Gin and oh yes more Gin …#ginfestival

Before I continue I have a confession to make.

I don’t drink Gin.

It may surprise you to learn then that I attended the Gin Festival Saturday evening in Sheffield. What can I say I’m a fake, I’m a fraud , I’m the JD & coke lover  mingling with all these gin lovers .

Joking apart . I’m always up to try / experience new things and with over 100 gins showcasing , I thought I’d find at least one that would ‘tickle my fancy.’

Hey, several years ago I said the same about olives. Hated them with a passion – they were the work of the devil and all that. I now eat them like they’ve gone out of fashion.

I pray at the ‘Alter of the Olive’.

Plus it was chance to catch up with some friends , some who I had met through Instagram, a fellow blogger I’d never met before and Jo one of my regular ‘going out pals’

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Me, Jo, Sue, Caroline (who blogs over at Carterfamily4) and Sarah … with lots of Gin.

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Brows by Browmasters #givingback

As you may or may not be aware I had my eyebrows tattooed a few years ago.

This was the last resort after being told by several brow specialists that there wasn’t much hair to work with. Basically there was nothing to dye or shape. Poor me.

Every morning I’d sit and draw on my brows. It was time-consuming but without my ‘brows on’ I looked, or rather I felt like I had a potato for a head.

I was always conscious of not getting them wet, or getting too sweaty as they might run off. Vain maybe but it’s also about confidence and without said brows I didn’t feel confident at all.

To cut a long story short I was introduced to Wendy Mordue (my brow saviour) who at the time worked for HD Brows and the rest as they say is history.

I have written several posts before which you can read // HERE // HERE but basically here’s what I looked like after the very first session many moons ago…

All you really need to know is you are in very safe hands .  Continue reading

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Massages and relaxation at Moddershall Oak Spa …

I don’t think it could honestly have come at a better time.

Liz’s fibromyalgia had been particularly bad. Although  her symptoms mean that her body hurts constantly apparently it had been a lot worse than usual. Last week was a killer by all accounts.

And me ….

I recon I was only a couple of days off being whisked away to the funny farm… courtesy of the ‘turps’ mishap on my face only last week and the never-ending house sagar, which is a case of 2 steps forward, 3 steps back

The only 2 things that saved my sanity were:

1.) The installation of my new cooker. Its been a while . 8 months if we are counting. Grilled asparagus you were worth waiting for .

2.) A spa day at Moddershall Oaks !

We were invited to spend a day at the spa, which included drinks on arrival, full use of the spa, including a limited edition massage of our choice and a 2-course lunch.

Having visited once before we were both extremely excited about the prospect of spending some time there. It really is beautiful.

We arrived just after 9.00am which had meant a rather early Sunday morning start for us both. It’s approximately a 2 hour drive from Sheffield to Staffordshire. Poor Liz had to drive even further from Wakefield!

It was well worth it.

Dairy Lea dippers and ‘chit chat’ saw us through.

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On arrival along with a fresh glass of orange juice we were handed our schedule which detailed massage and lunch times  and a menu so we could pre-order lunch. Continue reading

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Sandersons at Fox Valley Grand Opening…#Sheffield

As is always the case whenever I’m scheduled to go somewhere special something ridiculous happens.

On Monday it appears I washed my face with a flannel that had blinking turps on it! Yes chuffing paint remover – turps!

Long story short we have decorators in who had cleaned their brushes in the bathroom unbeknown to me.

How I didn’t smell it is beyond me!

Luckily because I couldn’t get my brows wet I didn’t go anywhere near my eyes but within 1/2 hour of using said flannel the rest of my poor face was red, blotchy, itchy and looked slightly swollen.

I woke up this morning and although my skin felt a lot better I still had very dry , tight skin that was shredding like a snake. Everytime I smiled , or just moved my face I could feel my skin cracking.

Lovely.

Luckily my newly micro-bladed eyebrows had also shredded in the night to reveal a fine pair of fresh rather lovely eyebrows underneath. Thankfully I no longer resembled Parker so at-least the Thunderbird jokes could stop!

I sighed (in an oh shit look at the state of me type of way) spayed my face with Evian water (again) and set off to pick mum up.

As a ‘guest; we had been asked to get to Sandersons Boutique Department store a little earlier than the official opening time of 11.00am

Its situated at Fox Valley, Stocksbridge only a 5 minute drive from mine . We arrived a lot earlier, I’m always punctual if a little scaley!

We collected our badges and made our way inside for  a ‘sneaky peak’  before the official opening at 11.00am

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Deborah Holmes (Managing Director) cuts the ribbon.

Sandersons are officially up and running! Continue reading

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Happiness …

I saw this quote …

Which got me thinking…( oh oh)

When I was younger I wanted to take over the world… I think most of us do.

I was happy (mostly) but always thought I was meant for better things. You know the grass is greener etc.

Sometimes I didn’t appreciate the moment because I was already looking / moving onto the next.

I had ambitions -to have a fabulous job, earn loads of money, travel, write a book and find the perfect man. Preferably a very handsome one with a good job and a big house.

In reality I worked at the same company for 14 years. Which was probably 10 years too long!

I did o.k . I worked my way up from Receptionist to Office Manager earning an average wage.

The role may have sounded quite glam. It wasn’t.  All I seemingly did was make coffee 24/7 for everybody and their mothers and wash up dirty pots .There wasn’t  much office managing going on to be honest. Glorified cleaner would have been more fitting!

Your probably wondering why I stayed so long? It felt safe, I lacked confidence, I had some great friends nada nada …

Towards the end of my time there I hated it but myself more . I was bored, felt undermined and bloody useless.

I’d lost all my confidence in my ability . Redundancy ( voluntary I might add) gave me the kick I needed.

I left with ( my beloved Fiat Punto) a few great friends and my dignity just about in tact.

Don’t get me wrong I fully support ambition; striving to be better. To this day I still try and learn something new everyday…

It’s just good to take stock every now and again, sit back, have a look around and appreciate what you already have. 

I used to think about it like this – if they want to pay me ££££’s to make coffee all day , more fool them. Yes it maybe shitty (at times) BUT Outside of work I had great family and friends. It paid for my fabulous clothes, skin peels and weekends away.

Style-wise – in my mindset – I’d swan around Sheffield like ‘ Carrie Bradshaw ‘ I’d don the most fabulous outfits, sip expensive cocktails and have men falling at my feet.

Instead I was the woman scuttling around town with her head down . The one who hadn’t quite found her style, confidence or how to express herself.

The one who many moons ago wore tartan hot pants, red tights with pixie boots and got laughed at by a group of guys I was trying to impress.

Instead of embracing the look ( like Carrie would and how I would have done today) I tried to hide ( behind pillars, by sitting down)

I never wore the outfit again. It was bloody fabulous too.

The only men falling at my feet where those stumbling out of Isabella’s pissed as farts!

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Masquerade Ball …#Sheffield

On Saturday I got to have my hair ‘done’ ,dress up to the nines and party with some of my favourite ladies. (Miss O Malley over in Spain you were missed!)

The occasion a Charity 1950’s Masquerade Ball, raising money for Sheffield’s Children Hospital.

Myself and Sue decided to treat ourselves and had booked  into Purdys Hair salon on Abbeydale Road Saturday morning. As I didn’t have a mask I thought I’d better do something special with my hair. Just who goes to a masquerade ball without a mask??

It’s a fab little salon with a lot of character. I felt like I was sat on the set of Grease! (always longed to be a Pink Lady)

For £25.00 you get a set and up-do.

I took a selection of  images featuring  1950’s beauties hoping that something would be achievable on my scraggy mid-length hair. I half expected to walk out looking like Kevin Keegan, but I needn’t have worried!

Sue opted for victory rolls ; I just told Victoria to go for it, do what ever.

Here’s what I ended up with.

I LOVED IT.

I want my hair like this everyday ! Unfortunately I wouldn’t have the time and unless I pay somebody to do it , it will probably never look like this again.

The dress I opted for is from Virgos Lounge. Its absolutely gorgeous, with the top half covered in sequins and beads. Even better it’s currently in the clearance sale. Reduced from £95.00 to £58.00

The sizing on the dress was a bit odd though, or maybe it’s just my odd body?

Anyway it was slightly too large on my shoulders and far too tight around the bum area. I had to have it altered. The Lovely Anna Roberts on Abbeydale Road did a grand job!

Here’s the full look …

My shoes are my first purchase from Ted & Muffy. These were also bought in the sale and have since sold out. Boo. It’s hardly surprising as they were reduced from a whooping £145.00 to £40.00

I’ve featured them a few times before on the blog and I’m boring everybody to death with them over on my Instagram feed.

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I love the colour combination of grey with the gold rope detail that ties around the ankle. They matched the dress perfectly.

They fit like a glove but unfortunately I must have been sent a dodgy pair as the tie that holds the rope in place came away on my left foot! Not the most successful first outing.

What with my funny right foot and walking while trying to keep my shoe in place on my left foot ..I must have looked a right plonker!

My earrings are from Lily and Rose. Pretty aren’t they?

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As a surprise (that I had to organise …the thought was there I suppose) the BF hired a big white limo for us all to get to the ball. It was a lovely way to start the evening… cruising around Sheffield, drinking Prosecco and catching up.

What’s not so lovely is me trying to get out of the bloody thing and not show my knickers! This dress was definitely meant for just standing around in!

My friend Christopher Carter / Barton Chase Inc (who I met through a photography day hosted by Social Sheffield) was the official photographer for the evening . He captured my ‘unladylike-like’ attempts !

This is about the only one were my sausage legs and knickers aren’t on show.

What is it they say – you can take the lady out of Sheffield , but not Sheffield out of the lady!

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Photo (above) courtesy of Chris Carter / Barton Chase Inc.

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Hidden Gems of Sheffield …

Lots of things make me happy – chocolate, cake and coffee. Friendship , travel and lush landscapes.

On Friday I met up with my friend Sue. I needed the dress (I’m intending to wear to the charity masked ball this weekend) altering. I adore it however it’s slightly too big on the shoulders and stretched to its limit around my bum!

Visible panty line …it’s so tight its more like visible intestines!

So to cut a long story short Sue’s friend has a ladies clothes shop on Abbeydale Road that also offers an alteration service. We popped in, dropped said dress off and then headed a few doors down for a coffee.

Abbeydale Road is a haven for coffee shops and restaurants. Its fast becoming one of my favourite places in Sheffield for its diversity.

Today’s coffee shop offering came in the shape of ‘Tea with Percie’ 557 Abbeydale Road, Sheffield a place I had never visited before but was keen to try.

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Small, with a laid-back atmosphere . Its tastefully decorated with a mix-match of furniture , grey hues and funky art-work/ decorations.

We decided to grab a bite to eat as well as a beverage. Continue reading

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The road to clear skin …

Skin… it’s a funny old thing isn’t it?

(Oh good afternoon by the way)

Having not been lucky enough to have been born with good (skin) genes; I feel like I’ve spent the majority of my life looking for products that really work. Skincare that takes my crappy skin and makes it look better but also deals with any signs of aging.

I’m 45 and still suffer with spots and open pores. I’ve got scarring and pigmentation caused by the blemish’s. I’m not asking much am I?

I realise that ” they can’t work miracles ” as I was kindly advised by a consultant up at SKIN , Sheffield. She had perfectly , flawless skin and about as much tact as Blackpool front.

Through gritted teeth I told her bluntly that I appreciated that … and resisted the urge to punch her in the face!

People with good skin need to understand that people with bad skin (in my experience) are usually sensitive about the subject.

I have friends who used to go into a major panic when they got one blemish on their chin. Imagine a face full?

It took a lot of courage for me to even go to the clinic, never mind take my make up off and sit there exposed and talk about it. For her to look down her nose at me and tell me they couldn’t work miracles … well its the worst thing she could do / say.

Awful lady.

I sat there, had the consultation and hated every minute of it, feeling more self-conscious as the minutes ticked by.

I wasn’t really listening as she had well and truly pissed me off . I had already convinced myself that even if they had exactly what I was looking for I wasn’t booking in with them. I’d take the information and go elsewhere.

I would never set foot in that place again.( and true to my word , 3 years on I haven’t)

I have since then found an excellent salon, where I had micro-dermabrasion followed by a course of derma roller which you can read about HERE.

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What I was lacking was a good home care regime, one that worked for me.  About 6 months ago my chin and jawline where forever breaking out again; I had the skin of a premenstrual teenager. It was getting me down.

To cut a long story short.

Hardly rocket science but … having been a long-term fan of La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL SPF50+ which never left my skin greasy or broke me out in spots I decided it maybe a good idea to try their everyday skincare range.

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Cleanser Antipodes Skin-Brightening Gel Cleanser – £24.99 or thereabouts

I had already purchased the above cleanser Juliet by Antipodes a couple of weeks before I started with the La Roche Posay so I have yet to try the cleanser in this range.

The Juliet cleanser is excellent and had been recommended by a few fellow bloggers . I started to notice a difference in my skin more or less straight away. I’ve reviewed it previously HERE

It would probably have made more sense to purchase products from the Antipodes range seeing as the cleanser was working a treat and seemed to like me and more importantly my skin!.

However in my irrational thinking I  decided to go for La Roche-Posay .

I plumped for the Effaclar Astringent Lotion (£11.00) and the Effaclar Duo (+) (£15.50 ) instead, which now comes in 2 shades.

What I maybe should have gone for was the La Roche-Posay Effaclar 3-step anti blemish system. It includes, cleanser , toner and mosituriser for £32.50 . Which isn’t half bad for 3 products.

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