Friday, 31 October 2014
Sorry about the weird lighting in the photo guys. October in Scotland means dark evenings and really poor light.
I don't know about you but I love reading posts about what my favourite bloggers have been loving each month so this month I thought I would join in and share some of the things that made me smile in October.
At the very top of the photograph is a product from a brand I tried for the first time this month called Linden Leaves which I featured earlier this month here. I really liked everything I tried from the brand but for me the hero product was the hand cream. Gorgeous fragrance, quickly absorbed and very nourishing - it has been a joy to use this month.
Working to the right can we all just take a sec to admire my new phone case from Iconemesis? Have you ever seen anything this cute? I simply love it and it makes me smile every time I use my phone. You can have a peek at the full range of kitsch little covers here.
Next is this pretty little candle from The Country Candle Company. I really like the polka dot packaging and the Lime Basil and Mandarin fragrance is exquisite. To me this candle is very reminiscent of a Jo Malone product but at a fraction of the price. Check out The Country Candle Company here.
Something I really like to do in Autumn Winter is to wear a bold lip - it really brightens my mood. This month I popped along to the Boots No7 counter at the Glasgow Fort and was colour matched for my perfect shade. See what the lovely No7 ladies picked out for me here.
The next product I picked out was without question the most luxurious serum I have ever used. The Jurlique NutriDefine Superior Retexturing Facial Serum looks amazing, smells amazing and feels lighter and silkier than any I have ever used before. Read my full review here.
The last product to make it into October's Sexy Six is the cleanser from the Body Shop's Pomegranate Anti Ageing range. I can honestly say I have used this product at least twice every day this month. Again it smells just gorgeous, is super efficient at lifting my makeup and leaves my skin feeling and looking great. I could not recommend this product more highly. It is a definite repurchase. If you are interested in reading my full review, you can find it here.
To my fellow bloggers - if you have posted an October's Favourites post then why not link them below. I would love to have a peek x
Thursday, 30 October 2014
I have to apologise that my usual weight loss Wednesday post was delayed until today. As my regular readers know, I went to see McBusted on Tuesday at the Vue, Glasgow Fort and I just had to post about their awesomeness yesterday instead. If you missed it, check the boys out here.
I did however weigh as normal yesterday morning and the amazing news is that I lost a whopping 3lbs making a grand total of 35lbs lost with just 14lbs to go to reach a healthy weight.
I am ecstatic!
So what have I done differently this week?
To be honest absolutely nothing. I had a few nights out and I did have a couple of glasses of wine at both but food wise I tried to stay consistent. I did a good bit of running at the start of the week but as the heavy rain set in I stopped and haven't done a lot since. I guess after last weeks stay the same, my body was just ready to let those three pounds go. Whatever - I am not arguing.
NSV wise - I am starting to feel thinner. I am fitting a size 14 jeans from Top Shop without any squeeze or overhang. A soldier collecting for Help the Heroes chased me along the street the other day, telling me I was gorgeous and asking me to go to London with him this weekend. Super cheesy and I am very happily married but I have to admit he made my day!
This weeks goals -
- To run 4 miles as a "long"run.
- To run three miles another two days.
- To be alcohol free
- To be sugar free
- To be wheat free
- To get into the next 'stone' bracket.
If anyone else is on a weight loss journey and is blogging about it, please link your blog below.
And if you haven't entered already, don't forget my giveaway - you could win a £100 gift card from ASOS here.
Fingers crossed for you x
Wednesday, 29 October 2014
A few weeks ago, I was THRILLED to be contacted by the charming Suzanne from Hummingbird Communications and asked if I would like to attend the McBusted Tourplay at Vue Glasgow Fort. Busted were a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine back in the day and I had tried to get tickets for the McBusted Arena Tour but all 35 dates were a complete sellout. This was going to be a good night.
I set off straight from work - just look at my hair ! Thank goodness for my new Fedora which I bought in Topshop recently for just £17. With it I wore black Leigh skinnies, a white Zara V-neck shirt, my Office Boots and my trusty Marks and Spencer's Mac. You guys know how much I adore the Glasgow Fort. It literally has everything I love in the world all under one roof - great little cafes, wine bars, restaurants, shops, acres of parking, and of course the Vue Cinema. Perfect!
We chose Prezzo for dinner - who doesn't love Prezzo - and poured over the menu with a large class of wine. The perfect end to a stressful day at work.
I had a delicious Chargrilled Chicken Salad with Goats Cheese and Spinach - sticking to plan guys! Then it was time to stroll over to the cinema, pick up our tickets and settle down for the show.
Could I just take a sec to say how brilliant the Vue Glasgow Fort is. A state of the art eight screen multiplex including three of the screens equipped with real D 3D technology and more importantly every kind of cinema snack going including Ben and Jerry's milkshakes - well snacks are important at the cinema guys.
Anyway back to the show. The place was packed with not a male in sight, the atmosphere was ROCKING and the audience all sang along and did that weird kind of seated dancing you do when you just can't help yourself. The film takes the audience with the band on the biggest tour of last summer, a massive 35 date arena tour with perfect pop, fireworks and cheesy entertainment.
Flying DeLoreans? Check. Flames, fireworks and confetti canons? Check. And did we mention the guys descending from the sky on their very own flying saucer? Check that too.
And then there were the songs: storming renditions of their best-loved hits, from the opener ‘Air Hostess’ to ‘Year 3000’, ‘What I Go To School For’ and ‘Crashed the Wedding’, through to ‘All About You’, ‘Star Girl’ and ‘Shine a Light’.
What I loved about the film though was the back stage footage. I really felt we got to know the band and by the end I was in love with every one of them. Endearingly honest, hugely enthusiastic, always positive and just plain nuts, they came across as really special guys who were utterly thankful for the opportunities that had come their way.
And I am not going to lie. Every one of them was very easy on the eye and there was a lot of them to see - some pretty tasty bods on show ladies!
And just because I love you all, I took some sneaky shots for you....
Monday, 27 October 2014
Every since I first saw these boots on Beauty Crush here, I have been obsessed. I wear a lot of black with boots and a love a bit of leopard to brighten up my look. But although I loved almost everything about this pair, I definitely did NOT adore the £180 that ASOS were asking for them (you can buy them here if your bank account is healthier than mine.)
So I set myself a challenge - if I could find a pair I liked just as much for less than £50, I could have them.
The first pair I found were these ones from Top Shop here. Admittedly they are more of a Western feel than Made in Chelsea but I really like them and think they could work with most of my wardrobe. Sadly though at £72 they are over my self imposed budget. Grrr...
The next ones I found were an unbelievably bargain at just £14.99 from Missguided here. This pair really, really, really tempted me but the challenge was to find a pair I like as much, and to be honest I like a bit more of a heel. Great price though.
The next pair I found were from the Dune Outlet on Ebay here. Reduced from £110 to £48 this pair were a real contender.
But I do believe I have saved the best till last. Again, they have not really got the Chelsea Boot styling but I just love them and know I would get a LOT of wear out of them. I like them more than the pair I saw on Beauty Crush and at just £28 from Yours Clothing, they definitely fit the criteria.
What do you think guys? Should I buy them? Are they cuter than the originals? Or do you prefer another pair?
Sunday, 26 October 2014
So if you read my post about what I got for my birthday here, then you will know that my lovely Mum bought me an Autumn Glow voucher for the Pure Spa in Silverburn Shopping Centre in Glasgow. Silverburn is one of my favourite shopping centres with all my favourite shops, bars and restaurants and at this time of year it is an exciting, vibrant bustling place to be. Just one level above the madness though, there lies the little oasis of tranquility known as the Pure Spa.
As you step into the beautiful reception area, you get a sense of the luxury that awaits you inside. The rich purple colour scheme and subdued lighting, the amazing mixture of fragrances and absolute calm - everything about this place whispers that you are in for a real treat.
After a consultation with the front of house staff who were utterly obliging and impressively knowledgeable, I was taken to a changing area where I left behind the stresses of the real world along with my clothes as I changed into a fluffy white robe and flip flops. I then waited with a fresh juice in the spa area for my therapist to come to collect me.
This area was a treatment in itself. Dimmed lights and amazingly comfy chairs, I could have stayed there all day. What struck me most though was the silence. Nothing disturbed the unobstrusive Thai music that played gently throughout the spa. The staff seemed to glide silently, they spoke in hushed tones and even the doors opened and closed without a sound. I don't think I have ever felt more relaxed. And that was before my treatments even started.
After a short while in the spa area, my therapist Tara collected me and led me into the treatment room. My session began with a complementary foot ritual where my feet were gently soaked and scrubbed. All of the product used by Pure Spa are Elemis, a high end skincare brand known for its gorgeous smells and products that deliver. Once the foot ritual was complete Tara helped me onto the massage bed and my treatment began. I had been given a variety of Elemis massages to choose from and had decided to try a Thai Bundle. To be honest I chose this one because I had no idea what it was but I certainly wasn't disappointed. Two parcels of Thai herbs and essential oils were parcelled up in muslin and heated. The fragrance transported me to another world as Tara used them to pummel away all the stresses and strains of my every day life. The treatment finished with a manual massage when Tara's 14 years of experience showed as her magic fingers went to work on any areas of tension that were left. It felt amazing!
My favourite part of the package was the facial though. Once the massage was over Tara asked me to turn on to my back, tucked my hair into a towelling head band and began to massage my face and neck with a cleasing balm. I love facial massage and treat myself to a DIY treatment on a Sunday (check it out here) but this was a whole different kind of heaven. The fragrances and textures of the different Elemis products used made this facial massage quite simply the best I have ever had. Completely and utterly blissful.
Once the treatment was over, I was shown back to the spa area where I lay with a herbal tea and slowly came back to reality.
By the time I stumbled, blinking, back out into the bright lights of Silverburn, nearly two and a half hours had passed and they were two and a half hours of the most indulgent me time I can remember having for a while.
Thanks to Tara and everyone at the Pure Spa, it was wonderful. I can't wait for my next visit.
I love working with PRs and Brands to create content that my followers want to read. Some of the brands I have worked with in the past are listed below.
The Body Shop
Somerset Toiletry Company
If you want to talk to me about a collaboration with julie-ellen, email me at [email protected].
Lets Do This!!!!!
Some of the loveliest people I have met since I started blogging are PRs. If you have samples or releases you want to send out, or just want to chat, email me.
If you want julie-ellen to host a competition featuring your client or brand then get in touch. In just 14 days my last competition attracted over 600 hits so it could be the perfect way to get your brand or client a LOT of social media exposure.
Sponsored Posts & Adverts
I am happy to accept sponsored posts if I think my followers would be interested. If you aren’t sure, then get in touch.
Whether it’s a product, spa, restaurant or bar if you want to see it featured on julie-ellen let me know. I love going new places and trying new things so if you want me to promote your product to thousands of readers then I would love to hear from you.
Friday, 24 October 2014
So I bought these culottes from ASOS and I really wasn't sure at first but now I am starting to kind of like them, in a fugly kind of way.
As you can see, I am wearing them as workwear on an office day - less formal than court but still with a jacket and heel.
Actually this outfit was the bargain of the century. I wore the
Cullotes which I bought from ASOS White here with a black cap sleeve tee from Primark that cost £5, a Hobbs blazer which is currently reduced from almost £200 to less than £60 here and a pair of shoe boots that I threw into my shopping trolley at Asda recently and cost just £18 - result! You can find similar ones here.
What do you think? Be honest, I won't sulk...
Wednesday, 22 October 2014
Sorry guys I have had a hectic week and been a really bad blogger as a result. Actually it is more than my blog that has suffered as a result of my crazy schedule this week, my eating has gone a little bit to pot as well. As a result instead of looking forward to my weigh in this morning as I usually do, I have to admit I was dreading it.
But I got my courage together, stepped on the dreaded scales and was mightily relieved to find I had stayed the same - 32 lbs lost and 17lbs to lose to reach a healthy weight.
But I have to say I am nervous. That's the second week my motivation has slipped, the second week I have failed to meet my weekly goals. I know that if I am to avoid these slips turning into a landslide that will destroy my weight loss efforts, then I have to get back on track TODAY.
So how am I doing? Well so far so good. I ran this morning and my eating has been entirely on plan. All I have to do now is stick with it. Wish me luck.
If you are on a weight loss journey then let me know how you are doing in the comment section below and if you are blogging about it, please leave your link x
Saturday, 18 October 2014
Who doesn't love a good blazer - I have more than my fair share on the work side of my wardrobe but this little navy number from JD Williams is something rather special.
First up - check out the mandarin collar. Perfect for framing the pleated detail on my top or would work equally well with a pretty scarf or one of those striking statement necklaces that Zara do so well. Next - just look at the double breasted styling perfectly accentuated by the detail I love most of all - those twin rows of golden buttons. The material is really great too - lightweight enough to keep on in meetings and easily fits under a trench. I would happily pay top dollar for a wardrobe classic like this but at JD Williams value for money is order of the day and it costs a mere £40 - frankly you would be rude as well as crazy not to snap one up.
I wear mine with a pencil skirt in camel from J Crew, reduced to £65 here, a cream shell top from Marks and Spencers, similar here and an old but much loved pair of nude heels from Kurt Geiger.
Have you ever shopped from JD Williams? Check out their huge range of good quality stylish clothes at great prices here.
Thursday, 16 October 2014
In my teens and twenties I was obsessed with lipsticks but although I still love my lippies, the older I get the more interested in skincare I become as I try to minimise the signs of ageing.
Today's skincare review is a scrub but it is not just any scrub, it is the Gatineau Gommage Anti-Ageing Facial Scrub.
Gatineau is about as high end as a skin care company gets. It started life as an exclusive spa brand before offering it's luxury products to men and women worldwide. Gatineau believe that you create the most effective products by combining science and nature. They employ the world's finest scientists, beauty therapists, physiotherapists and dermatologists and use the highest quality ingredients such as plant and marine extracts to develop a range of products that are truly effective. You can check out the product range here.
I am sure you know how important it is to exfoliate regularly to remove the dead cells which sit on the top of your skin, blocking the pores, making it look lifeless and dull and acting as a barrier preventing all those expensive serums and creams from being absorbed and working their magic. Equally important though is to exfoliate gently avoiding any harsh abrasive scrubs which could damage sensitive skin.
For that reason I have tended in the past to prefer chemical exfoliants over mechanical ones but with the Gommage Anti Ageing Scrub, Gatineau have combined both.
The Gatineau Gommage Anti Ageing Facial Scrub contains a multitude of super high quality ingredients. It contains yellow mandarin to calm and soften, rosemary to tone, stimulate and energise and lavender to soothe relax and heal. Even better than that the botanical oils it contains include sweet almond, jojoba, shea butter and cranberry seed to boost suppleness whilst reducing free radical damage from the sun and pollution.
This is a really quick and easy product to use. Once or twice a week just apply a thin layer to your face and leave it for a minute or two to work its magic. This product does not have any rough granules. Instead it contains citrus oils which dissolve the gluey substance that holds your dead cells on your skin. After a couple of minutes the botanical oils in the product will stick to the dead skin cells and as you rub, they simply roll off and as it comes away it brings all those funky dead cells with it.
I really enjoyed using the product. The packaging was simple and elegant, it smelled absolutely glorious and there was something really satisfying about watching all the dirty grey skin cells just rub off into the sink. Best of all though was how beautifully soft and supple my skin felt afterwards and how luminous it looked.
This is quite an expensive product, even from Look Fantastic, where prices are always VERY competitive, a 75 ml tube would cost a solid £37.50 which was the best price I could find anywhere on the high street or online. But expensive as this product is, if you are worried about dullness, blockages or ageing skin then I strongly recommend you give it a try. This 75 ml tube will last for MONTHS and regular use of this product will leave you with skin that almost feels brand new.
If you are interested in having brand new skin, then check out this product on Look Fantastic here - and remember, Look Fantastic offer FREE WORLDWIDE POSTAGE or next day delivery for just one pound.
Wednesday, 15 October 2014
So if you read my last Weight Loss Wednesday post you will know that this week was always going to be a hard one.
I had a works night out on Friday, and a blogger's event on Sunday which involved cream scones, a Victoria sponge, chocolate muffins and cupcakes, (read more about that here). It was never going to be an easy week!
On Friday I went out but whilst the others all ate traditional bar meals I chose the healthy but very tasty option of a smoked salmon salad. I had three gins which I drowned with tonic to make them last then two small white wine spritzers. I nursed my drinks, missed a few rounds and tried to concentrate more on the chat and less on the drinks. I won't lie and say it was my best night out ever but I had a good time and for me at the moment the priority is my health and fitness journey. I did feel smug on Saturday morning when I woke up without a hangover I have to say.
Sunday was undoubtedly a much harder challenge. To be baking cake all day after eating a sugar free diet for more than a month was brutal. In the morning we made scones and then all sat down and they brought teas, coffees, jam and cream, and everyone tasted their scone. I was never ever going to resist so what I tried to do was minimise the damage by eating half a scone with a little jam and cream. It tasted sooooo good. Lunchtime rolled around and it was a set menu of leek and potato soup with crusty bread and a little dish of raspberry pana cotta. I started off well eating the soup and passing on the bread but I adore pana cotta. Lets just say it was utterly divine.
So far, quite bad but it would not have been awful if I had stopped there but on my way home with a box full of cakes I experienced a major sugar craving. I used to get them all the time - irresistible urges to eat everything sweet I could get my hands on but I haven't had one since I cut sugar out of my diet a month ago. I actually opened the box and despite not being hungry in the least I ate a chocolate muffin. If I am honest it was a bit of a miracle I stopped at a muffin and didn't gorge down the cupcakes and Victoria sponge too.
I was really disappointed in myself so when I got home I did what I always do when I need to think and had a long hot bath. I thought about why I had given in to temptation today when I had resisted it so often before. I realised that today for the first time I had not had my morning snack so when the scones came round my blood sugar would be dipping. Then of course having eaten half a cream scone, my blood sugar would spike then quickly dip again just in time for the carb heavy lunch which would again cause my blood sugar to dip and crash causing the craving on the way home. It really is so simple - for me I need to eat sugar free snacks very regularly to maintain stable blood sugar levels and avoid cravings.
In the bad old days, when I slipped off my diet, I would give up and binge. It was crazy but I would rationalise it by telling myself I had already failed so I might as well enjoy it and start again the next day. But of course I never did. I would eat and eat and eat until I had put on all the weight I had lost and more - until sheer disgust with myself forced me back on the diet.
On Sunday night I was determined not to let that happen. I got out of the bath, made myself a dinner which was high in protein and very low in carbs and drank lots of lemon water and herbal tea. Monday morning I got up and ran for two miles. In other words I continued where I had left of with my five sugar free, low carb meals a day.
And today I got my reward. Despite my weekend slip I lost another 2 lbs making it a grand total of 32 lbs lost and 17lbs to lose to reach a healthy weight.
So let's remind ourselves - what were last week's goals and how did I do.
Tuesday, 14 October 2014
Happy birthday to me,
Happy birthday to me,
Happy birthday Julie-Ellen,
Happy birthday to me.
I started reading blogs in 2012 but quickly realised there were very few blogs written by women my age - ahem 40 something...
I um'd and ah'd about this for a while then one day, when I had nothing much else to do, I decided to start my own blog. That was the 15th Oct 2013.
I had no idea what to call this blog of mine so started playing with words and although daft, Lippylikes just clicked and so that was the name I went with.
My initial intention was to write a blog which addressed the particular style and skincare concerns of women my age but quickly found that I was gaining followers of all ages and realised that what women are looking for in a blog has got nothing to do with age.
Nowadays I just write about what interests me and trust that my readers will be interested too. A typical week will contain a beauty review, style post, diet and fitness post, a lifestyle post, a post about a blogger event and anything and everything else that I think might be of interest.
Because of the move away from writing solely about beauty and towards writing about everything that makes me who I am, a couple of weeks ago I decided to change the name of my blog from Lippylikes to my own name Julie-Ellen. I can admit now I was a little scared that I might lose some followers by making so many changes but so far, you guys seem to like them.
So one year on, Lippylikes is Julie-Ellen, it has a staggering 2289 followers and has already had over 110,000 views.
So to thank you all I have decided to run what is in my opinion the best giveaway I've ever had.
I thought and thought about what would suit not just those readers who follow me for beauty, but also those more interested in fashion, gymn gear or even homeware. It wasn't easy but finally I came up with a website that has it all - ASOS.
So it is decided. To celebrate a year's blogging and to thank you all for your friendship and support, I am going to giveaway to one of you a massive ONE HUNDRED POUND token to buy whatever you like from ASOS.
All you have to do is enter via the Rafflecopter widget below.
And yes, this giveaway is open to all of my followers wherever you live - so thanks again from the bottom of my heart and good luck!
Monday, 13 October 2014
Yesterday I was lucky enough to be invited to the #bloggersbakeoff arranged by Joe's Bloggers for Curry's.
As soon as we arrived we were all given our very own aprons and instantly I felt like a proper baker despite not having turned my oven on for months.
We were a very mixed bunch with food, style, lifestyle and beauty bloggers all arriving at the Cooking School in West Virginia Street in Glasgow where our instructor was the lovely Chef Danny who was highly amused when we all started taking his picture and posting it on instagram and twitter.
Then we were all shown to our neatly organised stations and it was time to begin.
First we made scones and despite a little mishap involving me adding the eggs too soon then having to fish them back out, oops, I think they looked pretty impressive.
And just look at these chocolate chip muffins!
How impressive is this Victoria Sponge with it's lashing of jam and cream?
But my favourite had to be my cupcakes, loaded with butter icing and toppings aplenty.
By the end of the day the kitchen looked like a bomb had gone off.
Finally to make sure that we all practised what we had learned, we were sent home with our aprons, a recipe sheet, assorted goodies including a limited edition model, memory stick, keyring and tote bag and one of these fabulous Kenwood Hand Mixers from Curry's
But I would say the ultimate in goody bags was that we were allowed to take home what we had baked.
Thanks to everyone at Joe's Bloggers and Curry's for organising this event, we all had so much fun.
If you are interested in checking out some of the fabulous mixers available from Kenwood at Curry's, you can find them here.