#SheffieldBBloggers Part 2!

So, this one is a little later than expected, but as per my last post, I’m not going to apologise for that – real life wins all ties, y’know?

However, it does mean that I can post up a bit more than I’d planned to.

So, you’ll remember from my last post about the event I’d talked about the fact that we were raising money on the day for the charity Look Good Feel Better – helping cancer sufferers deal with the practicalities of their condition as well as providing a Confidence kit of make-up and skincare that’s suitable for sensitive and damaged skin. Well, after the wonderful spread put on for us by Maveli, raffle ticket sales were underway for some absolutely amazing prizes – seriously the companies involved were so generous! Everyone dug deep, and I was only too happy to stick in some cash, especially as being stuck in hospital for a month earlier this year and being mostly housebound since, meant I’d not bought tea or coffee out, so I stuck in what I’d have spent in the month if I’d been on my feet. Below is the list of what was up for grabs so you’ll see why it was causing such a fuss, and helped us raise around £250 for a wonderful cause!

I think every one was covered in one way or another with something to covet in this list!

In the Hair and Beauty department, Argan Dew sent over some of their Hair Oil and Mask Samples, Balm UK sent over a LOAD of goodies, which we split into two prizes because they were so popular!  The Furless Cosmetics Brush Set was another highly coveted prize, Fruition Hair in Sheffield donated a BTX Hair Treatment, and Kim at Boudoir Salon was going to give one lucky recipient a full HD Brows Treatment.

Plenty for those looking for skincare and the like as well, with donations of bundles from Passion for Natural, Bee Good, Cocoa Brown, Only Naturals, La Roche-Posay, and  Nourish, as well as  a personalised donation from Trusted Health Products.

The Handmade Burger Company sent some vouchers for meals for 2, and Fragrance Direct sent 6, yes SIX perfumes!

And finally, but not least, we had contributions from Colorstiq, with an OPI Nail Varnish Gift Set, Candy Rocks donated a necklace, Taupe & Pearl also donated jewellery,  Jewel Candle donated 2 of their candles (very cool premise)  Sunglasses Shop offered a pair of London Retro Sunglasses of the winner’s choosing, and last but not least (although I think the most coveted of all), were FOUR Vivienne Westwood rings donated by Silvertree Jewellery.

 

So now, you know why EVERYONE was so excited! A huge thank you goes out to all the brands who donated and helped us to raise this amount of money for such a wonderful cause! I was thrilled to win three prizes in the raffle, being the Candy Rocks Necklace, one of the bundles of The Balm makeup, and the La Roche-Posay gift set! Lucky lucky me – I’d been talking about wanting to revamp my skincare routine at the start of that week, so that was brilliant!

candyrocks larocheposay thebalm

Whilst this was going on, we had Kim (mentioned above) who’s Sheffield’s top HD Brow Trainer was giving consultations and treatments out, and there was plenty of chance for networking, and talking about how much fun we were having!

As the afternoon drew towards a close there was one last surprise planned for us, which was the arrival of Costello’s Cakeaway. All I can tell you about this is to go and check them out and try them. They deliver cake. I’ll say that again so it sinks in, they deliver CAKE. To your DOOR. They brought lots of samples, and the room was the quietest it had been all day after their arrival! I didn’t get a picture of the yummy goodness, due to being in the chair, but I did get to try a bit of the Mango and Passionfruit cheesecake which was divine. We did make a delivery order a few days later, and I’m surprised we lasted that long!!

After this, the event wound down, but there was one last surprise, in Flurt – the frozen yoghurt shop I’ve been wanting to try for sometime, had brought us all some haribo and vouchers, just as we were saying goodbye and going our separate ways, so they are definitely on my to-do list and expect the review soon!

All that remains now, is once again to say a huge thank you to Georgina, Ashleigh and Heather for organising this meetup – it was immense fun, and to everyone who came and helped on the day, and contributed, and of course, to write up the goodie bag! I’ll leave you with a sneak peak of the contents though for now…

 

a sneak preview...

a sneak preview…

 

Sara

 

 

Advertisements

A quick one…just a few thoughts

This is just a quick post, as I’ve got tons to be getting on with today…

I’m rapidly coming to the conclusion that I’m going to need to get organised very quickly for this blog. Being of a highly organised bent anyway, that’s not the problem at all, I just didn’t really think I’d need to for a while! It’s probably not a bad thing though, and means that I can schedule my posts as well… I don’t really want to name posts according to the day, but I think I will definitely set days to post on particular things… I’ve obviously got a lot of things to talk about from the #SheffieldBBloggers Goodie Bag, and I’ve also got two books I’ve been asked to review – one from Goodreads/Random House, and another from Fox Spirit.

PLUS I’m editing a book as well, and still going with my business consultancy, heaven knows what it’ll be like when I get back to work!

So, getting organised now, is definitely the best idea, but I think it’s important to set a few rules out. First of all, just because I’m scheduling does NOT mean you can expect four posts a week. I’m also not going to apologise if I don’t make a post on a topic that week -for example a gaming post might end up being once a month, because ultimately, I need to have time to play the game, and if I don’t have that, I can’t give it an honest review. Equally, I might just have too much on. This blog is my hobby, and of course, sometimes there will be deadlines I need to meet, when I’ve been lucky enough to get a product to review pre-launch for example, but ultimately, I’m writing for fun.

Of course, the plus side to scheduling is that if I get a bit of time, then I can write as much as I like, and know that I’ve got something ‘in the bag’ so to speak for the weeks where I’m mega busy, which will also mean I’m not sat feeling like I need to find something to write about this week. So, we’ll give this a try….

#SheffieldBBloggers (Part 1)

So, if you’ve read my last post which explains why I’ve been away and introduced the Sheffield BBloggers event, (and if you haven’t the easy recap is here) you’ll know that I left off having just realised that all of my stuff was at my house, and I didn’t really have anything where I am while I’m recuperating…

The next morning, I woke up feeling pretty fresh for not too much sleep, but not looking great, and certainly not looking good enough to turn up to a beauty event… as you can see (because, let’s face it, this is how I’ve looked since my accident pretty much, so I don’t  really care who sees it… plenty have!) This wasn’t going to cut it, and as much as I have some confidence in myself, and I know I’m a lot more interesting than I am pretty (which I’d rather be) like everyone, I’m still somewhat self-conscious, and despite my excitement for being able to go out ON MY OWN, as well as getting to meet a bunch of people I’ve known on Twitter for a while, as well as make some new friends, something needed to be done…

 

Not exactly the prettiest of sights, I think you'll agree!

Not exactly the prettiest of sights, I think you’ll agree!

 

I quickly formulated a plan to stop in at Boots (as there was one across from the venue for the day). So, after getting my hair washed, and dressed and booking a taxi to take me into town, I quickly dove into the shop and made an impulse purchase as what I’d been looking for wasn’t there so instead settled for some Rimmel BB Cream, and Extra Lash Mascara, which was hopefully going to be light enough to not leave my face feeling like it had had cement applied with a trowel, but enough to even out the imperfections (if not the giant zit!) For it being an emergency purchase, I think it came off OK. The BB cream is a 9-in-1; it’s lightweight  ultra-comfortable formula claims to prime, moisturise, minimizes pores, conceal, cover, smooth, mattify, brighten, and help protect, with an SPF of 25.

It didn’t feel too heavy duty at all on application, and did a good job of evening out my skin tone straight away, meaning I only needed a small amount and it was evenly covered. Definitely something I could get away with wearing more frequently, although I’m not sure that it’s ever going to replace my normal everyday No7, it’s certainly a good alternative if I’m needing something a little heavier. One slight downside was that it wasn’t the easiest when it came to removal, it seemed to take a fair while.

The mascara is one that builds lashes with repeated use, so I can’t really say too much on that, but it wasn’t clumpy, and went on absolutely fine. The brush shape is standard, so not the most ergonomic I’ve used, but does the job, and in front of a proper mirror would be a lot easier.

Much better I think you'll agree?

Much better I think you’ll agree?

After an unashamed application in the window of the shop, I was finally ready for the event.

So, headed across the road, to locate the venue for the day, which was Maveli Restaurant, located towards the top end of West St, Sheffield. It’s somewhere I’d passed quite a few times before, but not while it was open, so had no real clue about it, other than knowing it was there, which is a shame, as it’s a lovely done out building. The restaurant specialises in South Indian cuisine, so there are things on their regular menu you wouldn’t find in a standard shop, and the staff there on the day were absolutely lovely – when it came to sampling the nibbles at lunchtime they were only too happy to talk us through it! This is somewhere I’ll definitely be coming to have a meal at in the future based on their wonderful hosting of the day.

 

Maveli from the outside

Maveli from the outside

 

The event itself was organised by Georgina, Ashleigh, and Heather, who had put the whole thing together FANTASTICALLY. Upon entry we were greeted warmly, given a brief outline of the day, and then given our goodie-bags (which are going to need at least a post to itself owing to the sheer amount of things in there!) Lush Sheffield were setting up and had brought lots of goodies with them, and over the other side, Jan from Look Good Feel Better – the Charity that the event was supporting was also setting up her information, as well as the table which the prizes for the raffle, and there was plenty of space in the middle to sit and mingle with other bloggers, known and unknown. People had come from Sheffield and the surrounding areas, and I think there were very few people, if any, who knew everyone there so there was plenty of time for networking, and plenty to break the ice in those bags!!

 

IMG_20141018_115038

 

After a good chat and getting acquainted with people and surroundings, I went over to the Lush stall, who’d got a good selection of the goodies, including festive things and products from their Emotional Brilliance range. I decided I’d treat myself to a ‘Motivation’ which is a very rich deep blue eyeliner, although you can blend it as an eyeshadow, or even use as a lip cover if you’re feeling daring! I’ll be quite honest, and say that I didn’t really pay too much attention to the bath stuff, as at the moment, because of the plaster, bathing and showering conventionally are out of the question (and I have a bag of Lush things to use when I can finally have a proper bath and shower!) I did however spot a glittery powder I should have had a closer look at though…one for next time I’m there…

In addition to their wares, the staff were also offering hand and arm massages and the chance to make an Ickle Baby Bot bath bomb. I’ve posted about making things with Lush before, and this was just as fun! You’d think that mixing together purple and white would give you a pale purple, but there’s something rather magical about watching the mix go from purple, to a little paler, to suddenly a bright blue! And the lady did give me a cracking suggestion for it, which was to use it in a foot soak, which I fully intend to do just before my next appointment (which if the plaster gets a little wet won’t matter then!)

arty bot

arty bot

After this, I went over to see Jan, who was here representing the charity Look Good Feel Better, to find out a bit more about them and what they do. The short version is that they help people suffering the effects of Cancer to look good, and to feel better! They’ve been running for 20 years (of which Jan has worked for them for 19 of those years!) and do this by means of workshops for women and teenagers who are suffering the side effects of Cancer treatments and teach them about skincare and make-up and how to disguise and conceal the effects. Each person attending is also given their own Confidence Kit, which is a DVD and Guide to using the products in their gift bag, which is generously donated to by a lot of leading skincare and make-up companies as well as practical advice on things like wigs, and scarves.

As I’m sure you can agree this is a fantastic charity, and one that I am only too happy to support, having had friends go through this disease and seen what it can do to someone’s confidence, as well as knowing first hand to a small extent what being stuck in a hospital bed for a period of time can do to you, so when the raffle tickets came round I was more than happy to put a considerable amount of my cash I’d saved in there. (one advantage of being stuck in the house most of the time means you don’t spend random money, which is a good job on Statutory Sick Pay!)

 

After I’d done this, it was  lunchtime, and Maveli’s had very kindly made a taster platter for us of their food, which was stunning. I didn’t get many pictures of this, as being in the wheelchair I was at the wrong angle, and people were hungry! But I did manage a couple, which I hope will give you a taster of the wonderful things we got to sample! After lunch, there were other treats in store for us, and the raffle draw, but I think I’ll save that for part two…

IMG_20141018_125631_hdr

 

 

Sigils of Elohim

Having finally gotten the Steam Platform working happily on my Asus Transformer running Windows 8 (it had a few teething problems as Steam seems to occasionally decide it’s a tablet not a netbook (which to be fair it is both… ) I went onto the steam website to see what was new and if there was anything interesting coming up as well as checking out the Free To Play section for a friend I’d just downloaded and introduced to Steam, and came across Sigils of Elohim by Croteam.

 

sigils 2

The store page over there says that “Sigils of Elohim is a free mini-game prelude to Croteam’s upcoming first-person puzzler The Talos Principle that challenges players to solve dozens of formidable sigil puzzles under the watchful eye of Elohim. Subjects are tasked with deciphering a series of puzzle sets by rotating and placing the sigil shapes within the board in an effort to unlock helpful items and relics within The Talos Principle.”

Now Croteam, for those who don’t know, are the indie developers behind the Serious Sam games, which frankly, are not serious at all (go youtube it, and you’ll soon see what I mean. Or, mention it to a gamer and wait for the “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHHHHHHHHHHRRRRRRRRHHHHHH” to be screamed back at you- *then* youtube it…

Not exactly the guys you’d think would be behind a random puzzler, so immediately my interest was piqued.  The game itself, is impressively stylised, with a soundtrack fitting to be a great background accompaniment but not intrusive at all to the ear. Immediately you’re taken straight into the game, and it’s straightforwards enough – fit the blocks into the shape. However, it’s not easy. Just as you think you’re on a roll, and doing well, you find one that you simply can’t see a way to finish, or, as I kept coming up against, I had the right shape left, but flipped over, which meant having to backtrack a lot!. You’re on a timer, which you can’t always see, until you’re towards the end of a puzzle, but I didn’t find there were any penalties (except my own imagined ones) for taking a longer time to solve a puzzle than not.

 

sigilspuzzle

 

At the end of each set of puzzles, is a QR code and a code to type in for a reward in the game this is promoting: The Talos Principle. At the time of writing, the release date is set as “Fall 2014” so soon, and there is no confirmation of price, something that the team were happy to confirm to me on their Facebook page, however I’d be more than happy to put a few pounds to play this, as the puzzles in Sigils of Elohim is listed as just one type in the “philosophical first person puzzler” and it’s a game I’ll certainly be keeping a close eye out for as it comes closer to release date.

As a stand alone game though it’s great to keep brain power in check, if a little short, (which I’d expect from a mini game) – it took me around 90-100 minutes to complete in two sittings, but I got super engrossed.

If you have Steam, then you can get it from the store, and it’s also been released on the App Store and Google Play, so you’ve no excuse!

 

Follow me on Bloglovin!

This week/Sheffield BBloggers intro!

So this week I started to think about and look in earnest at restarting the blog, and other things to get me out of the slump I’ve been in for a while. The reason for the slump being events which I’ve alluded to but not really talked about back in July.

After a really *really* manic ten weeks leading up to exams for my students, as well as new tax year shenanigans in the day job ( I tutor GSCE core subjects outside of the day job)  which meant I was doing overtime with work, and then tutoring six days a week, I’d booked a few days off work, and was going to catch up with a bunch of stuff, not least the blog! The Sunday, I was going to Nottingham, to a fair that was happening, and because it was the Tour De France day for Sheffield, we decided to bus from Chesterfield instead of go by trains that would be delayed.

In Chesterfield however I slipped on cobblestones, and in that instant knew I’d hurt myself badly.

I was taken by ambulance to the first hospital I visited in a 24 hour period, and after a very long wait, a 2 minute examination and an x-ray was told I’d most likely damaged a ligament and I’d chipped off some bone at the top of my tibia, and was sent away in a tubigrip and with crutches with a letter to hand to a fracture clinic the next day. After a big struggle to get back due to the pain I promptly didn’t move for as long as possible until I had no choice, and then found I couldn’t due to the pain. Also then realised my foot was going blue. So rang for another ambulance, who were dispatched as quickly as possible and I was rushed into the second hospital in that period.

No being sent home from this one though. They immediately picked up what the first hospital missed – my knee was dislocated (not the kneecap, which is relatively common) so a thorough examination and another set of xrays later established that not only was my knee joint dislocated, but my cruciates were torn as well as the tendons, so essentially, my lower leg was attached to the rest of me by skin and every time my leg had moved, it had redislocated and come back. I’d also got damage to the artery – most likely from the fact it hadn’t been stabilised initially. So 21 hours after my initial injury, my leg was finally being stabilised and then was into surgery as soon as possible.

Long story short, I woke up with a giant meccano set from the top of my thigh down to my ankle which was on for a month, and once they’d stabilised my leg with the frame, I had a femoral-popliteal bypass, using the saphenous vein from my good leg.

After a month in hospital, I was discharged to the care of my two best friends, as living upstairs on my own, I couldn’t go home, and I’ve been here since, in plaster, and pretty much stuck. In the last three weeks or so, I’ve started being able to go out again, thanks to a wheelchair and friends with cars to take me, and that’s helped more than anything, as there was a fair amount of time where I didn’t even really think about doing anything.

So we come to last week, and the decision to pick up things that I’d stopped doing – crafts, blogging, writing, etc partly prompted by going back onto Twitter after a fair absence and seeing what all my blogger friends were up to, and a few events getting closer, including the Sheffield BBlogger event, which sounded awesome as it was coming together, and as luck would have it, the day before, I managed to get in on a dropout place!

Cracking!! Until I realised I was limited in what I could wear thanks to the plaster and wheelchair, and that ALL of my stuff was at my actual house….

To be continued!

She Returns!

Yep, you read that right, I’m coming back, and returning to blogging that isn’t just me musing or typing stream of consciousness what’s in my head.

I’m going to resume bblogging (that’s beauty blogging for those unfamiliar) and also some blogging about stuff I’m doing – probably crafty stuff I reckon for the most part! Those who know me will be doing a double take probably as I’m known as a tomboy, but I started bblogging as a way to break out of that somewhat, so will start off simply, again and build it up. I’ll never be an amazing make-up person, but I’d like to get to the point where I can make myself look better.

To kickstart this, I’ll be going to the Sheffield BBlogger event tomorrow, so I can guarantee there’ll be stuff to write up then!

So it does mean I need to get better with my tags… or maybe sort out pages… but stay tuned.