Feel-good Friday – ‘Freaky Friday’

I know this is much later than I usually post this, but things have been a bit hectic which is why I’ll likely do my ‘What’s occurring’ post later tonight or tomorrow.

Anyway, this week’s choice is from one of my favourite albums. I have always loved AQUA since I was a little girl dancing along to ‘Barbie Girl’ at the school disco. Whilst they dropped off everyone elses radar, my dad and I would still listen to their stuff and I was over the moon when their second album came out. I was even more delighted when I got their third album a couple of years ago, but I think their second album is the best of the bunch. I’ll admit that ‘Halloween’ is my favourite track on the album, purely because it references ‘Candy Man’, a track on their first album, but this song comes in a firm second. Whenever I feel a bit down, this is one of the albums I’ll pop on because the majority of the lyrics are ridiculous, making it full of feel-good, jaunty numbers. Cheesy pop at its very best – what’s not to love?!

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Happy 1st Birthday GeordieGiraffe!!

Technically this was yesterday, but given that I didn’t get back from the Senior Section trip until late yesterday evening, I’m sure you can all forgive my tardiness!

How quickly has the year passed?! It’s certainly been a good one overall for me. I’ve made it to my final year of studies and I’m on my way to achieving what I went to university to do. There’s been ups and downs a plenty, but this blog has helped me to remain positive. I still have the notes that I made for my very first post and I think I’ve covered everything mentioned on those sheets at least once!

I’d like to thank everyone who has read this blog – for your comments, likes, follows – it has all helped me focus my blog and turn it into something which I am proud to call my own! To say I didn’t want anyone to read it would be a lie – I would’ve kept it completely private if that were the case – but I certainly never expected it to be as popular as it has become. I know that to some 222 followers (112 which are purely through WordPress) does not seem like a great number, but to me it is amazing. Clearly you like what I have to say! There’s been 1,747 views of this blog (according to WordPress stats) and again, that number boggles my mind.

So here’s to many more years of my rambles to follow. I can’t promise what they’ll contain, for one I can’t see into the future, and I know that the content will vary once I move back home. I’ll even have to change the tagline! I look forward to seeing how the next year compares and I hope you all enjoy reading about!

Thank you!

Feel-good Friday – ‘Dark Horse’

This week I’ve chosen one of my favourite songs to listen to at the moment. I’m really pleased that this is the latest release from Katy’s album ‘Prism’. I love the ‘trap’ genre bit that appears in it (yes I did just Google what to call it, rather than ‘that bit were you want to bounce’). After she performed this on the Brits, I decided I had to choose it for this week’s track. Katy should’ve won the International Female Solo Artist rather than Lorde in my opinion. I do like ‘Royals’ but I think her latest track sounds too similar whereas Katy is unique and there is not one song on her album that I don’t enjoy. Anyway, here it is and I hope it brightens your Friday!

P.S. I’ve just watched the video for the first time now and it is just as amusingly weird as expected from Katy Perry, but it’s along a similar theme to the Brit performance which I liked. It suits the music in a strange way.

What’s occurring

  • My running is improving – I went out with my running buddy on Sunday and I’ve definitely been bitten by the running bug again. I just want my cold to jog on far away because it’s making running uncomfortable. Despite this, I’m still going out as often as I can and once this weekend is over, I’m hoping to go out every day like I did in first year, with longer runs on my planned training days.
  • I’ve had two donations towards my local branch of the RSPCA – if you wish to be generous or just have a nose at adorable pictures of Mabel and Marvin and see updates about my training, then visit my JustGiving page.
  • My SALA portfolio is starting to take shape – I’ve been doing the award since I joined uni as it’s basically an extra acknowledgement of all my volunteering, but now I have to write it all up to match the evidence I’ve been gathering over the years. Originally I was told that Oxfam wouldn’t count, but I’m pleased I stuck with it as now they will accept it. As they should – I’ve picked up so many valuable skills through my role there.
  • I treated myself on Saturday while I was in Oxfam, after doing so well and not buying any new clothes for a while. I bought a Laura Ashley cardigan at an absolute bargain as it’ll be fantastic for when I’m on placement. I got a day-per-page diary reduced significantly down in the sale to make daily notes in (I’ve been eyeing it for while) and a Fiorelli handbag which was also a bargain and is ideal for days when I don’t want to use my lovely Radley bag.
  • Today however was the only dip in my enjoyable week. I won’t go into details, but I will be raising a few issues with some people to try to prevent it happening again. I will not be walked over in this instance!
  • Then to add to today’s chaos, I’ve been triple checking everything for tomorrow’s Senior Section trip to Newcastle. I printed out the train tickets today and I had a pile of 70 tickets, which I’ve sorted into numerical order per train so I know where we are kinda thing. Fingers crossed for an excellent weekend.
  • This week I’ve been a bit adventurous with my coffee. I have the mini set of Costa syrups and I only have the cinnamon one left to try. So far I’m not too fussed on the vanilla or caramel ones, which I was rather surprised with as I have quite a sweet tooth. Instead my favourite is the hazelnut syrup, it makes my coffee taste a bit like Ferrero Rocher, and the gingerbread one is pleasant, it fits the cold weather. I like adding them to hot chocolate as well, but I have to limit myself as to how many syrupy coffees I have – they aren’t the healthiest treats! The other coffee related attempt I’ve made was trying Starbucks Chi Spice Latte. I really wanted to like it, but again it was a touch too sweet for me and then kept hitting my with a bit of spice heat. I finished it, but I can still taste it in my mouth – I had it at lunch and have since eaten two meals – but it’s almost like it’s singed itself into my taste buds.

Fair Squared Lip Balm in Spearmint

**Disclaimer – I’ve purchased these products for myself. All opinions are my own and 100% bluntly honest**

Fair Squared Lip Balm in Spearmint 4g/£2.99   The link is for their webpage about the lip balms. From there you can locate the various global stores that stock their products. I bought mine in Oxfam a couple of weeks ago.

Fair Squared says: ‘Fairtrade certified ingredients are combined to bring you a natural, moisturising balm with a subtle spearmint taste. Your lips deserve to be protected and moisturised from the effects of the sun, wind and cold.’

This product appeared in the Oxfam store I volunteer in when I returned after Christmas. Now I’m a sucker for a good lip balm, but the only ones I’ve brought with me to Liverpool are pots, which are not the most practical for cold weather (removing gloves etc). I was sold by the twist application and it’s about on par, retail wise, with the likes of Chapstick. I was intrigued by this lip balm because I prefer to buy fair trade as often as possible, but living on a budget can make it difficult. I waited a couple of weeks until I had some budget left over and I bought the spearmint option. The other options were vanilla, citrus and pomegranate. It was a toss-up between spearmint and pomegranate, but I thought spearmint would be the most refreshing.

It’s quite a thick balm when you apply it, making it ideal for this bitter cold wind that keeps hitting Liverpool. I particularly like to apply it just before I go for a run as it stops my lips from chapping. However it doesn’t feel particularly oily or sticky, which is surprising given how thick it feels. The spearmint gives a pleasant tingle to my lips – without the numbing feeling – which I take as a sign that it is nurturing my lips into better condition. I’d say that the balm lasts at least two hours on my lips, but that’s just when I stop feeling that extra barrier, I’m sure it continues working for even longer. It’s a good one to put on before bed as well.

The scent isn’t overwhelming – the spearmint is sharp and refreshing – but once it’s on my lips, I can’t smell it, which is a blessing really. It doesn’t really have a taste, which was a bit disappointing. Instead I feel like it’s just a bit of oil that comes off when you lip your lips – maybe this is for the best as I then don’t chew my lips… It’s not unpleasant, a bit like if you accidentally catch your lips when moisturising your face then lick them. Might just be me who gets caught out with that, but it’s that kind of feeling. At least I know it’s nurturing my lips and as I say I don’t lick or chew my lips which is helping them straight away!

I really like this lip balm and I think I’ll buy the pomegranate one once spring truly appears. Given how often I’m outdoors, especially when I’m at home with the dogs, I know this will become a firm lip saver. It’s worth the three pounds I paid for it and I’m going to have a look around the other stores it lists for some of their others products. Their BB cream sounds good and I know a few of the girls at work rave about the moisturising cream (I think Mum might be getting a special treat on Mother’s Day!). I’d never heard about this company before working in Oxfam, and even then didn’t know the extent of products they produce until I checked their website. It’s worth a snoop for sure! I’m going to try to become a more ethical shopper from now on – it’s the best this carnivore can manage at the moment.

  • Ease of application: 5/5
  • Coverage: 5/5
  • Scent: 5/5
  • Application life: 4/5
  • Value for money: 5/5
  • Overall: 5/5