Suzie Goes Wedding Dress Shopping!

Have you got your dress yet?
Have you got your dress yet?
Have you got your dress yet?

If I were given a pound for every time I’ve been asked that by increasingly concerned family members and friends in the last six months the wedding would have been paid off by now and then some.

I’m getting married at the end of October and of all of the things on my wedding ‘To Do’ list the dress was far from what I deemed to be a priority. While a number of my friends who have become engaged or got married in the last eighteen months bought their (stunning) gowns fairly early in their planning, I have waited until the last minute. Admittedly, it was more about the lack of body confidence than the money – I had a horrible imaginary scenario in my mind of not being able to find a dress that fit (or only finding ones that would make me look bigger) and having to walk away feeling worse about the whole thing than I did before. I also didn’t want to spend an enormous amount of money on something that I would wear once. Continue reading

How to Clean Your Make-Up Brushes

How to naturally clean make-up brushes.

Hi. My name is Suzie and I have a Make-Up Addiction.

A few years ago, my make-up collection consisted of a few eyeshadows, a cheap mascara and a couple of nail varnishes that were so old they had separated and gone solid. Nice. However, one afternoon I was intrigued by a YouTube tutorial about creating an effective smokey eye look, and I was instantly hooked. I watched new videos several every evening, buying products and trying out new ideas. And with it came the brushes – blending, foundation, powder, fan, contour, flat liner… It’s been an exciting new education and I’m enjoying the journey, but they are beginning to take over my desk.

One thing I’ve become particularly aware of is the importance of keeping them clean – there’s all sorts of nasty bacteria that can develop on frequently used brushes that can cause all sorts of infections, and dirty brushes aren’t as effective. Generally, brushes should be washed once a week, but avid users should aim to do them twice a week. Continue reading

An Urban Decay Makeover in Selfridges, Birmingham

Urban Decay

Last week I received an email, inviting me to a bespoke Urban Decay makeover at their Selfridges store in Birmingham.

Urban Decay: beautiful products, cruelty free and the primary contributors to my ever-growing make-up collection.

Awesome.

I was advised to attend without any make-up on at all (eek!), so I made sure that I had thoroughly exfoliated and moisturised before my appointment, arriving with my red and windswept face on display in all of its blotchy glory. I was greeted by the manager, Ranjeeta, who then introduced me to my stunningly-gorgeous-with-flawless-skin make-up artist, Sana. Continue reading

Friday 13th, a Makeover and a Book Launch

I wouldn’t say that I’m particularly superstitious, but I wasn’t looking forward to yesterday – I had a day of supply, which is the first one since the beginning of October, and with it being Friday 13th I was anticipating that it was going to be a challenging day. My prediction seemed to be coming true when I woke up as we had some snowfall overnight, which was just enough to cause an inconvenience when getting to work…

A kitty feeling very sorry for himself

A kitty feeling very sorry for himself

Up until yesterday it had been a fairly calm week, aside from Poppy – my cat – who caused me to have two trips to the vets in a single day. He had a small lump under his jaw and after losing another of my cats to cancer, where the tumour was under her jaw, I wasn’t taking any chances. This was how it went:

Took cat to the vets
Vet wasn’t concerned about lump, but took the opportunity to give him his vaccination booster injection
Cat got upset and wouldn’t keep still
Took cat home
Cat started shivering and appeared to have a reaction to the injection
Rushed cat back to the vet
Cat suddenly perfectly fine at the vets
Took cat home Continue reading

Getting Glam for Christmas: Rush Hair Salon

imageParty season is just beginning, and I began mine by attending the launch of the new Rush Salon in Birmingham.

It was my first visit to the salon, but with a deep blue frontage and shiny black floor, it immediately stood out amidst the stores on Martineau Place. I was the first to arrive, so was given a tour by the store manager, Liam, of the beautiful interior, along with the tranquil and beautiful treatment area at the back. There were numerous stations set up ready to cater for individual styles and hair types, along with some lovely snacks and glasses of prosecco. The salon was clean and elegant, the staff were extremely welcoming and friendly and I could immediately feel that it had a great atmosphere as soon as I walked in. Continue reading

Motherly Love – Skincare for Pregnancy and Beyond

imageA little while ago I told you that my youngest sister is pregnant with the first grandchild in the family. She’s currently at 26 weeks, and thankfully both mum and baby are doing well.

I was delighted when I was contacted by Motherly Love, a company that specialises in oils for pregnancy and beyond. Founded and created by Jan, a mother, grandmother, midwife and nurse of over 40 years, all of the oils contain natural products and are made in the UK and the packaging is 100% recyclable. Continue reading

A Week of Colour!

It’s been another wonderful week in what is proving to be a truly fantastic summer!

I’ve been lazing around and watching the Olympics (I’m SO proud of all our athletes), meeting friends for lunch, getting items together for a car boot sale and doing some crafty things for the wedding. I also volunteered as a nail model for a local beauty school, and was treated to a manicure, paraffin treatment and hand massage by a student who is studying for her qualifications. Some of you will know how satisfying it is to dip your finger in hot candle wax and peel the hardened wax off afterwards – now just imagine having that on your whole hand, which is then wrapped in plastic and left to dry. Amazing. My nails were then beautifully painted in a colour that I would never normally go for, but I loved it! Continue reading

Affordable Luxury at Farringdon and Forbes

Farringdon and ForbesThose of you who follow the blog regularly will know of my penchant for independent businesses, particularly when the products are of a high quality, ethically sourced and made locally.

Farringdon and Forbes is an independent home fragrance and interior gifting store, situated in the Resorts World leisure complex next to the NEC in Birmingham. Founded by Jules Cardozo-Marsh, the brand seeks to provide affordable luxury for the home, as well as catering for corporate events and weddings across the UK, and only opened it’s doors eight months ago.

There are an enormous range of products available, including scented candles of all sizes, tealights and diffusers. The candles are made from 100% soy, with all of the raw materials sourced from around the UK and handmade in Warwickshire. The company prides itself on supporting UK trade and being environmentally conscious, so they have stripped away the packaging from the products and offer a recycling facility, with a 10% discount offered on a future purchase with the return of empty glass jars once the candles have been used. The materials used in the production of the products means also that they last longer – the tealights burn for approximately seven hours, which is double the length of time for a standard tealight, and the diffusers can last up to six months. Continue reading

An Evening with The Body Shop

image

I love the Body Shop – they were the first set of products that I ever used in my teens and over the years I have consistently purchased my favourites as part of of my daily skin-care routine.

Last Saturday I attended the grand re-opening of The Body Shop on New Street in Birmingham, along with a lovely bunch of bloggers from The Bloggers Parlour.

The store on New Street has undergone a revamp this year, and it looked stunning, with a nice layout, clean lines and beautiful displays. There has been some new introductions too, with an interactive section that allows customers to select products based on their skin type, and a new range of products that compliment their most popular fragrances. The Body Shop brand is known for their natural, cruelty-free products and I was particularly excited to get advice on their cruelty-free make-up range and brushes.

I immediately made a beeline for the make-up consultant, Jess, who spent some time going through the best type of products I could use for my skin, which is the ultimate combination of oily and dry. She then gave me some advice on making the best of my eyebrows (never my best feature), and showed me the range of make-up brushes that I could use for different parts of my face. If I could recommend anything in particular, it would be these brushes, particularly the fluffy blending brushes, and I was so impressed that I bought one immediately. I noticed that there are sets of brushes available too, at the extremely reasonable price of £20 and £30. Continue reading

Monday Musings for May

image

It’s the first Bank Holiday Monday of May, so The Bloke and I have a day off work. We had planned to go out, but it’s cold and miserable – cue a set of fluffy blankets, the heating on and our favourite TV shows for the rest of the afternoon.

May has already got off to a great start. I spent a large amount of time revamping several sections of the blog yesterday:

In the left sidebar you’ll find a whole bunch of lovely sponsors, covering every blogging topic you can think of. If you’re looking for new and interesting blogs to follow, hop on over, check out their sites, follow and share the blog love! Are you interested in sponsoring Suzie Speaks, or being featured as Blog of the Day? Check out the Sponsorship section of my menu!

I’ve also added some of my favourite posts in the sidebar below the sponsors – feel free to check them out!

Last week I published a post about why I wasn’t going to write any more blog advice posts. Instead, I have edited the ‘Blogging Tips’ section of my menu, including some of my favourite blogging advice posts, from building traffic, using Twitter and Pinterest Group Boards, avoiding being duped by companies and general blogging thoughts and ideas that may help in the blogosphere. It isn’t completely finished (the coding started to hurt my eyes after a while), but there should be enough to get started with for now. Let me know what you think!

I have a number of posts lined up – my recent adventures at the reopening of The Body Shop, meeting Willard Wigan, a chocolate event at The Chocolate Quarter and fun with The Bloggers Parlour… It’s turning out to be a busy few weeks, and I’m looking forward to sharing it with you!

What about you guys? What are your plans for this month?

Follow me on any of my social media pages: you can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks, my Pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/suzie81speaks and my Instagram page http://www.instagram.com/suzie81speaks