Friday, 26 December 2014

Winter Wonderland

I honestly can't believe I didn't take more photos when I went to Winter Wonderland. Maybe it was because I was taking it all in.

Or maybe it was because I continuously had a beer in my hands. Who knows?

Either way, earlier on this month I spent the afternoon and evening at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, London. 

I'm not gonna hide the fact that it is horrendously aimed at tourists who are oblivious to the fact that a fiver for a pint is not cool...however it does have it's moments....

Like Christmas trees everywhere....surrounded in crowds of people, with games and stalls selling anything from leather goods, to baubles, to clothes and toys.

(Note I put leather goods - there may be a post about a gorgeous new Christmas gift which was purchased for me at Winter Wonderland coming soon...)

But what had to be the most spectacular part of the day was the food. More photos would have been taken if the food wasn't immediately demolished. Except for these sliders. Just take those beauties in....


Perfectly cooked; crispy on the outside, slightly rare inside and oh so juicy, with plenty of bacon, cheese and salad in a brioche bun. A thing of beauty.

Other outstanding foods? The crispy potatoes on sticks - trust me. Pork belly in a bun - I'm pretty sure this was from a large stand in the Barvarian village? - their chips were amazing too. Poffertjes from a stand pretty close to the entrance - the apple sauce ones are a dream.

Obviously there are vast quantities of bratwurst stalls (I'm not a fan) and plenty of lager stands too (Holstein is a good choice) 

Honestly, it's expensive and big for tourists. If you're taking children....good luck.

Regardless I had an amazing time and I might go back next year, even if it is just for those sliders! 

Has anyone else been to Winter Wonderland this year?

Ashleigh x
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Saturday, 22 November 2014

NOTD: Nails Inc - Hanover Square

Another poorly painted NOTD! 

This is another Glamour magazine polish - Hanover Square by Nails Inc. 

I love this colour - an oxblood-y red shade which will just look fab for Christmas parties and day to day wear. So pretty!

Did you pick this shade up too?

Ashleigh x
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Thursday, 20 November 2014

NOTD: Nails Inc - Wigmore Street

How gorgeous is this colour?

This polish was one of four that came free with this month's Glamour Magazine and I am ridiculously glad that I went back to the shops to pick it up.

This is a stunning deep purple shade which is absolutely perfect for the Autumn/Winter season. Slightly deeper than Cadbury purple? I honestly can't believe that I haven't owned a colour like this before. Perfection.

This is exactly the colour I like to wear in the winter. Nice and dark yet light enough to show it's true colour. Love it.

Have you picked up this colour yet?

Love Ashleigh x
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Tuesday, 18 November 2014

You Beauty Discovery Box #1

So I signed up for the YouBeauty Discovery box. For only £6.95 per month and you choose the two main items, I couldn't resist!

I picked the Green People Eyeliner in Forest Brown and a Bourjois Cream Blush. The eyeliner normally costs a whopping £10.95! (The only eyeliner I have spent more on is a Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner!) The Bourjois cream blush retails for £7.99 in Boots, so this box is already a bargain!

In addition to these items, the box included two Merumaya samples and a sachet of Aduna Baoab Superfruit Powder, all of which I am interested in trying!

I am such a massive fan of this box already! It is great to be able to use everything in a subscription box!

Let me know what you think of my box in the comments below!

Ashleigh x
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Saturday, 8 November 2014

OOTD: Like a pig in...

Favourite scarf from college days...
My uncle's old jumper...
Jodphurs covered in mud from riding and feeding the pigs...
Scabby hair and no make up...

and a smile on my face.

I love being back in Kent, Once a country girl, always a country girl.
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Thursday, 6 November 2014

Glamour Magazine December 2014

Can I get a woop woop for new phone photography excitement?! WOOOO!!
Hi everyone!
Just a quick post to show you the BARGAIN that is this month's Glamour magazine!
 Included is:
- One of four Nails Inc polishes (worth £11 each)
- 20% off at H&M voucher
- Body Shop gift voucher (minimum £3)
- Pantene conditioner sachet
- Stella McCartney and Calvin Klein perfume samples

Considering this is only £2 for the magazine, I cannot stress how badly you need to go out and get this bargain...clearly I already bought two...!

Nail of the day posts to come soon...!

Love Ashleigh x
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Friday, 24 October 2014

Recent NOTD

Hi everyone,

Just a few (terrible quality, poorly painted) nail varnish pictures I have taken recently. I have a great set up at uni which means I have this wonderful tendency to paint my nails at my desk whilst I work....!

I have tried to link sellers below each image, or at least to an equivalent page.

 My first successful nail art...kinda!

Kiko - Pearly Amethyst 

(This photo was a bit of a joke photo by the way!)

Hope you enjoyed my random photography....feeling a tad awkward now!

Love Ashleigh x
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Thursday, 16 October 2014

My decision not to drink (as much) as a student

I'm not saying, "I will never drink again." That's just ridiculous and a lie, lets face it.

Maybe I am just saying that I don't want to drink like other students do. It's just not me.

I like alcohol. I like to have a beer with my dinner. Nip to the bar with a friend for a glass of wine or two.

Yet there is this expectation that being a twenty-something woman means that I must be out drinking every night. That if I am looking rough, it is because I am hungover. Heaven forbid should I actually be a very stressed student who is juggling multiple jobs and trying to have a social life, whilst returning to halls to a horrifically hard bed?!

* and breathe... *

I can't do shots. I hate energy drinks. I can't down pints. This doesn't make me a failure as a student. It just makes me human.

This is me officially saying it. I am out of practise of drinking and I am now a lightweight. That's not a bad thing.

I have always preferred going somewhere to enjoy a drink and that I hate clubbing but I don't think I do. I do like to have a little boogie and a little drink! It's just that I hate reaching the point where drinks are thrust upon me, expected to be drunk and results in my behaviour becoming horrific. Horrific as in, saying many "interesting" things to people and throwing up. We all know it is difficult to say no after a few too many!

It's tiresome trying to convince myself that I am the same as my friends. I can't drink like them and I don't need to! If I don't want to drink much, I won't!

So this is it.

I, Ashleigh Stevens, will be drinking less on major nights out. I cannot handle it, therefore I will learn to say no, to other people and myself.


(P.S. Yes I did go out on Monday. It was a sick night (literally) but these thoughts have been floating round my head for a while!)

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Friday, 12 September 2014

Five Friday Favourites: Blogs I love

Hi guys!

Once again, another week and I have only just had a chance to sit and blog. Typical.

Never mind, here are my five favourite blogs that I can't get enough of!

MakeupSavvy - Makeup And Beauty Blog

I love Fee is so funny and her blog posts are great. Her pictures always entice me in and I can't help but buy a lot of the products she mentions! Plus she loves a bargain which is right up my street!

Argh. The Londoner. Rose is just so beautiful, travels amazing places and eats a lot of burgers. Girl crush? Possibly. So much love for this lady.
Now let me warn you. This girl is mega talented and mega obsessed with Disney! Kayleigh's makeup is gorgeous and her reviews are so honest. I always get excited when I see Blog of Shadows posts on my Bloglovin feed as I love seeing her creativity!

Now most beauty bloggers will know of Miss Budget Beauty! I love how her posts are honest; if she doesn't like something, she will say that she doesn't like it, which is exactly what is needed. No fannying around. I can't be arsed with that.
Midnight Violets || UK MakeUp & Beauty Blog
Oh my, so many purchases, all down to this blog. But dang it, Hannah from Midnight Violets is such a lovely lady and her posts are great. Once again, very honest and isn't one to shy away if a product isn't great. I love how she weighs up the positives and negatives at the end of the post.

Who are your favourite bloggers? Let me know in the comments!

Ashleigh x

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Friday, 5 September 2014

Five Friday Favourites: Songs I am loving

Hi guys,

Today's Five Friday Favourites are gonna be the five songs I have been loving recently! A fair bit chart-related which is unlike me; I have clearly been away from the DAB radio and tuned into local stations...proof that I have been working too much!

Changing - Sigma feat. Paloma Faith - This woman just goes from strength to strength! Most people know I am not really a dance person but this is a brilliant feel-good song. Love it!

I'm Not The Only One - Sam Smith - How gorgeous is this man's voice?! Stunning. His voice just makes me melt! Definitely an album to be downloaded soon. Plus, the beautiful Dianna Agron is in the video. Can it get any better?

Love Runs Out - OneRepublic - Such a sassy and sexy song. Utterly brilliant. Just can't help to have a lil dance to this in the van! Plus dressage horses in the video - everybody knows that dressage horses are sassy. Obvs.

You Make My Dreams - Daryll Hall & John Oates - Just a happy, clappy song that everyone knows! I have recently rediscovered this and can't think what film it has been on. Any ideas?!(Not 500 Days of Summer though, I haven't seen that!)

Shake It Off - Taylor Swift - Yes, I am a die-hard Swiftie who is a great lover of her country music...but this is too catchy not to LOVE. I sing this throughout my 5am-9am shift and it really gets me through...and makes the team leaders think I am bonkers. Excellent.

Let me know in the comments what music you have been loving recently!

Love Ashleigh x

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Friday, 29 August 2014

Five Friday Favourites: Nail Varnishes

Hi everyone, welcome to my new blog series: Five Friday Favourites!

This week it is nail varnishes. I usually wear purples, bright pinks, bronzes and reds, so here are my top five from my collection!

1. Leighton Denny - Gorgeous Grape
2. Natural Collection - Hibiscus - NOTD HERE
3. Models Own - Bronze Rage - NOTD HERE
4. Rimmel London - Rapid Ruby
5. Maxfactor Glossfinity - Midnight Bronze

The Leighton Denny formula is just amazing, it provides flawless nails so easily. Slightly pricey so I normally find the polishes in the sale. Hibiscus by Natural Collection is my perfect pink shade and is a great formula for a low price. I absolutely adore this shade by Models Own, my only issue is how the lids can separate from the brush?! I would highly recommend Rimmel London polishes - the brush size is huge! It makes painting so much quicker and efficient, plus I love a red nail - I am rocking this shade right now! Finally, Maxfactor Midnight Bronze has constantly been on my toes this summer, it is a great formula, pretty colour and a pretty decent price.

What are your favourite nail varnish shades? Let me know in the comments!

Ashleigh x

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Monday, 25 August 2014

FOTD: Warpaint.

Some people call it make-up. 
I call it warpaint.
Especially after all the rubbish stuff going on, I am tired of people saying I look "tired" or "ill."

So I wore a smokey eye to work. Of course.

Base: No.7 Stay Perfect Primer, No.7 Stay Perfect Foundation (Calico), Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish Pressed Powder (Sand), No.7 Blush (honey)
Concealer: No.7 Matchmade Concealer (Calico), Maybelline The Eraser Eye (Light)
Eyes: MUA Smokin Palette, Kiko Eye Pencil (Shade 8), Barry M Lash Modelling Mascara
Lips: Rimmel London Kate Lipstick (08)
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Friday, 9 May 2014

Anxiety part 2

So...after yesterdays post...things went even more wrong.

I walked to the exam hall and started panicking. After calling my therapist, I relaxed a bit more. Then I turned around...

Nearly 300 people then walked at the same time into the building.


Tears, throat closing up, dizzy, weak...if it wasn't for two of my close friends, I would have hit the deck. After bundling me into the building, an invigilator took me to the side and let me do the exam by myself.

Unfortunately, damage has already been done. I messed up that exam BIG TIME.

I am so upset and frustrated with myself. My lecturers have been amazing, they waited for me at the end to reassure me and start making plans for the next exams. 

I am now registered with a doctor here who prescribed me with some tablets for the anxiety and I will be given a room to myself to work in. 

To be honest, I am gutted that I have reached this point. If it wasn't for being suspended almost two years ago, I would be fine. Failing exams and turning my life into a mess has left me a mess.

However, these things are sent to try us. I just want to thank my family for putting up with my blubbering phone calls, my hypnotherapist for also dealing with similar calls, my lecturers for making the situation as best as it can be...and to my friends. You know who you are. The ones who get me out of my room and distract me, the ones who I giggle about with, the ones who I rant to. You are all amazing, I don't know how I get through the days without you.
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Thursday, 8 May 2014

Typing through a panic attack.

As I am typing this, I am crying.

Since around 10:30, I have been going in and out of panic attacks.

The reason? Exam anxiety.

I failed an exam a few years ago, which pretty much threw my life into jeopardy. It was the reason that I started this blog.

I have even reached the point where I have had alternative therapies for this anxiety.

In an hour, I will be walking to my first exam of this school year. Damn straight I am freaking out! The reason for these short paragraphs is because my fingers are all over the place, shaking. Blood pressure is sky high. Body keeps tensing up and relaxing. Feel like I cannot breathe. Head hurts.

But it's fine. It's okay to be scared. I wouldn't be human otherwise.

In the meantime, I know I have my therapist and my Mum on the end of the phone if need be. I am chowing down on the Rescue Remedy Gummy Stars (which work wonders may I just add!) and I can only try my hardest.

And breathe...
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Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Review

I'll be honest, I recieved a sample of this with a voucher from a newspaper and wasn't that fussed.

Yet another Beauty Blogger cult product; could this really be worth the hype?

Even the 30 ml sample came with a muslin cloth which I think is ideal; perfect to get the optimum experience from the cleanser.

I grabbed this when I knew I was going swimming one day and I didn't have a tub for a small blob of my cleanser. All I wanted was something to be able to cleanse my face after being in the chlorine.

Honestly, I can see why there is the hype around this product. After using up the sample, I was actually disappointed that it was gone. It smells great, is soothing and can remove stubborn make-up. My skin really does feel polished after using it.

Would I buy the full size? Probably not. I am happy with my current cleansing routine and I think the Cleanse and Polish just wouldn't cut it against my combination skin. Also for £25 for 200ml, I am not convinced. Although technically I pay more for my trusty Dermalogica, I use less product. Maybe a small tube would be handy for travel purposes or a treat though...

The Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish can be bought HERE or John Lewis
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Saturday, 19 April 2014

The Bargain Brushes - How I use them

I swear everybody has tried these brushes now...and if you haven't, you need to get them!

For less than £3, these brushes are seriously good.

Pretty sure I bought these at the end of last year, so I have most definitely given these a decent trial run!

I have found the angled one and the round topped one are ideal for concealer. My favourite is the Collection Lasting Perfection 16 hour concealer. Little blobs of this under the eyes, blended out with the angled brush, give a flawless coverage. I have very dark circles so I tend to do this twice.

The pointed one is ideal for getting in the crease of the eyelid or for subtle blending of eyeshadow or liner underneath the eye. My favourite palette at the moment is the Body Shop Smoky Plum; this brush is great for accentuating with the matte purple shade.

The flat topped one is great for blending shadows on the eyelid; smoky eyes made easier! I love a shimmery eye so this brush is great for adding extra colour.

I have experienced minimal shedding with these brushes, plus they dry super fast!

Unfortunately they are not sold in the 4 pack now, only in a 10 pack of an assortment of brushes for about a tenner. However for the price and quality, I really would go for it, especially for newbies to make up. If you are interested, these ones come from a British supplier so would be quicker compared to price but travels from China.

Not going to lie, I am a SLIGHT make up brush junkie...are you?
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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Procrastination at its finest

It's exam season and I am sure that I am not the only student around struggling with revision!

How's about some procrastination for you? 

Here's how I procrastinated today; beating a childhood nemesis! 

(My excuse is that it is all in the name of SCIENCE! Plus, my degree is science related soooo....yeah.)

If you can't see the video, the direct link to my channel is HERE
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Friday, 11 April 2014

My Cycling Wishlist

Although some of my friends might comment that I am rarely out on my bike, (RECENTLY!) I am a massive cycling fan and I love going for long bike rides, especially at university.

Being a horse rider means that my legs are quite strong but I want to ensure that I am not building muscle up in particular muscles...I want strong legs full stop!

As I would like to get back into a regular fitness regime, not just in cycling I should add, here are the bits and pieces that I want to buy for my beloved Gary Fisher... (Bike fans will understand this cycling reference!)

I really need a computer for my bike as I am useless at gauging distances. It would be useful to push myself further. Fox Clothing is always fantastic quality and this top would be fab; loose and breathable. Real cycling shorts would be ideal for the summer, as I tend to use whatever ones I have lying around but these aren't usually comfortable. How fab are these sunglasses?! Slightly out of my budget but a girl can dream! Finally, a bottle cage...would save me carrying money for a bottle of water break...gotta keep pushing on!

Anybody else want to kick start back into their favourite sport again?
Let me know in the comments box below!
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Thursday, 20 March 2014

Wella Alchemy Treatment at Reading College

Once a month, I like to treat myself.

I make sure I have a late shift at work so that I can relax at Reading College's Graduate Salon and have an alchemy treatment.

After a drink and a consultation, my hair is washed, then the treatments are applied...

After sitting under the steamer for 10 minutes, I was walked to the sinks for a gorgeous head massage. This is where I don't talk much...I become dozy and sleepy! This bit is vital for me as I suffer from psoriasis so this bit really helps to soften my scalp and ease the itchiness. (BLEURGHH)

From there, the products are rinsed from my hair. The alchemy treatment comes with a rough dry as standard but I like to pay extra for a blow dry to get extra sleek locks! 

I always look forward to having my treatment once a month. My hair feels nourished and soft for days after the treatment. I have noticed that due to having the treatment regularly, I do not have as many split ends which is fab! For £6, the treatment is a BARGAIN.

I would highly recommend checking out your local college to see if they have a beauty and hair salon. I've now found part of my regular routine now and I love it!

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Monday, 17 February 2014

NOTD: Seventeen Nail Colour - Peacock

Seventeen Nail Colour - Peacock
For Christmas, a very good friend of mine bought me the Seventeen Nail Stash gift set. I have already fallen in love with the colours, especially teamed with the Kiko Gel Look Top Coat.

Peacock is a gorgeous colour, annoyingly looking more blue than the deeper, greener shade that it actually is in the photo above...

Slightly more frustrating is the brush and application of this polish. A small, badly shaped brush which resulted in uneven application and bubbles appearing later on.

Oh Seventeen, you get the colours so right...please don't waste my time with c**p brushes.


Breathe into me and make me real
Bring me to life...
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Friday, 14 February 2014

What's in my handbag?

Hi everyone!

Due to the celebration of buying a new handbag (I was depressed when I bought it, go figure...) I decided to film a "What's in my handbag?" video!

Hope you enjoy it!

Lost and insecure
You found me, you found me
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Monday, 10 February 2014

A Winters day at the yard...

Hi everybody,

I know it has been a while since I posted, work and university have been taking over!

Just thought I would share a few pictures from my day at home before I get back into project work again...

Cheeky chicken escapee!
Happy micropigs
Raspberry having a lil scratch

Candy and I had a selfie (her choice!)
A few jodphur issues...
New jods are difficult to deal with....patient Candy though!

My Mum, Candy and I

Trotting poles time
Bit of box work.
Team Candy!

Who can tell I am dreaming of being at home?!

Apologies for not writing much recently, there has been a lot going on in my little world...keeping busy of course!

Ashleigh x

Into the sea,
you and me
All these years and no-one heard.
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