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3/29/2013

Ginger Vlogs: First YouTube Vlog Adventure

Finally, after months of indecision, one day of filming, and several hours coming to grips with Windows Movie Maker, here is my first ever vlog....

.....Drumroll........





I am very proud of myself for having the guts to put this out into the Universe, and I hope it's the start of many more vlogs to come. Some of my friends have been giving me feedback today, and it's quite encouraging, so I'll definitely he vlogging tomorrow when Mama Ginger is up.

I decided to keep my "Just Add Ginger" name, so that if anybody who has read my blog wants to find me on YouTube, then I'm easily identifiable. I've grown to really like having "Ginger" as my technological alias. It means when I blog/vlog I can completely detach myself from the "real world" and escape into a world of creativity and random imagination.

Please feel free to check out my channel. Now that I have overcome first day jitters, I'm hoping I will be able to upload most days during my time off work. If you like what I'm doing, give me a "Thumbs Up", leave a comment, or subscribe.

To start, I'll be doing mostly vlog/OOTD videos, but in time, I will venture onto more adventurous things!

Any feedback/comments/tips you have for me are also very welcome!

Ginger x

p.s: So that they all are banked together, here are all the places you can find me:

YouTube: JustAddGinger
Instagram: @gingerjax
Twitter: @GingerJaxx
Email: justaddginger@hotmail.co.uk

JustAdd-Ginger on YouTube

Yep..That's right! 

I've decided to start a YouTube channel!!



This is a BIG step out of my comfort zone. I have been thinking about branching out into the realm of YouTube for a while, but not had the guts to make the final steps.But I've decided to just go for it and see how things go. I have two weeks off for the Easter Holidays. so now more than ever is the opportunity to take the plunge. It will be a work in progress, as I only have my iPhone that I can really film on, but it's a start. 

For the most part, I will be uploading vlogs. While I have the time, I'll upload as much as I can to get the ball rolling, and then upload every weekend to coincide with my blog posts. I'm going to have to invest in a proper camcorder and tripod I think to make things easier for myself, as, at the moment, I am filming holding my phone, so can't pick up anything/ This is okay for vlogs, but not if I want to do haul/beauty videos! 

If you want to subscribe to me, you can find me at: JustAddGinger 

As a teaser, this is the opening section I filmed for my first vlog. You'll be able to find the whole thing on my channel later today. 




Any feedback/comments you have are really appreciated. As I'm a complete newbie to this, I'll need all the help I can get!

Ginger x

3/26/2013

Cook with Ginger: Lindt Easter Cakes




A few weeks ago, this recipe on mybakingaddiction caught my eye. I'd never seen anything like it before, and I really wanted to give it a go. 

But then, I got thinking.....I wanted to make these cakes as gifts for Easter, but not everybody likes Creme Eggs. So, in place of these, I chose Lindt Chocolate Eggs instead. 

Today, I had the afternoon off work, so I decided to get baking!!

I followed the recipe, using a sponge mix in place of making my own up, and substituted the Lindt eggs in the recipe in place of the Creme Eggs. For frosting, I used a chocolate icing sugar mix, and used this to glue another chocolate egg on top. 

They didn't turn out perfectly.... 



....In my usual style they were misshapen  a bit lopsided, and a little bit messy, but they tasted BEAUTIFUL! I can't wait to share them with my friends as Easter gifts. They are the perfect alternative to buying pre-made cakes, or even Easter eggs. And the beauty of home-baking is that things don't have to look perfect. Putting love into your cakes is better than spending hours on something and hating it in the end!

For my next batch I'm going to experiment using a variety of different mini eggs to see what they come out like. I'll appoint myself "Official Taster" of course, just in case there's something wrong with the cakes. 

Don't want my friends to get a bad lot after all! 

Ginger x



3/24/2013

A New Skill


Yes. Your eyes are not deceiving you. This is a picture of my shoe. 

My battered, weather-beaten shoe. 

It may not look anything special to you, but to me, this picture symbolises a milestone in my life. 

This week I tied my very own laces for the first time in 26 years!

WAHOOOO!!!! 

No...I am not a complete lazy bum.....I suffer from left-side hemi paresis, meaning that my right side is a lot stronger than my left. I was a right DIVA when I was arriving into this world, and I had a stroke. Not really the smoothest of starts, but I never make a big deal of this. There are people out there who have it much worse than me. I was lucky, and just have to find different fabulous ways of doing things. I've got NO time for feeling sorry for myself. I have been way too blessed

I never like to really ask for help with anything. I am a redhead AND a Capricorn. I came out of the womb a stubborn goat! However, shoelaces have always been a conundrum for me. Growing up, I had one of those dolls with buttons, toggles, Velcro  and a pair of laces to practice using. I was a master of everything besides the laces. The laces just boggled my little mind. I mean, I doubt the general two-handed populace has a little switch in their brain that they can flip and they are instantly skilled in tying shoelaces with one hand and lot of flexible digit action! 

After nearly two decades of always begrudgingly asking people to tie my laces for me, I decided enough was enough. I was going to tackle this obstacle, and find a way to do this. 

I was amazed at the number of tutorials I found online from a vast array of people with different conditions that meant they only had the use of one hand.....If they could do it, so could I! 


I have nowhere near mastered the art yet, but it felt SO good to finally have a way to do something I had struggled with for so long. By talking inspiration from the tutorials I found, I was able to create my own technique that was easy for me to use, and now, untying my shoes at the end of the day never felt so good!

Shoelaces 0 - Ginger 1 

Ginger x

3/23/2013

Beauty by Ginger: Lush's Ro's Argan Body Conditioner


Instagram: Gingerjaxx


At the start of the year, I received the "Rosie" gift set from LUSH as a gift (funny that!) One of the products in it was a miniature version of the Ro's Argan Body Conditioner. 

Literally. Obsessed! 

Firstly, it was the smell that got my attention. I'm not a huge fan of overly-floral smells, but this is a perfect balance. Now, I'm terrible at describing scents, but to me, it smells like a sweet shop on a summer's day. Deliciously sweet, with a floral hint that tickles your nose and fills up your senses. Smelling it makes me smile. I just can't help myself! The smell lingers on your skin for a good long while afterwards. Whenever I use this product, throughout the day I catch whiffs of it. Knowing that you smell fresh and delicious is a very good feeling! 

The consistency of Ro's Argan Body Conditioner is GORGEOUS. It's thick, creamy, and luxurious. It smoothes on the skin beautifully, and leaves it instantly feeling nourished. All the ingredients work together to pamper your skin and leave it feeling really moisturised and soft. This makes it the perfect product to use as a body conditioner/moisturiser combo, which, if like me you're always in a rush to get out the shower and do other things, is VERY GOOD! I sometimes don't even bother moisturising at all after the shower because Ro's Argan Body Conditioner is enough. 

As a body conditioner, the idea is to use this in the bath or shower, and treat it like you would a hair conditioner - apply, rinse, then towel dry. To be honest, I prefer using this when I have a shower, because in the bath, I'm always left with lumps of the conditioner floating around in the water, and they always escape my clutches. After a bath I tend to use it as just a straight moisturiser, not bothering to rinse it off. If you take time working it into the skin it works really well. It still leaves my skin feeling gorgeous, soft and supple, and just divine! Putting this on makes me feel gorgeous! 

I HAVE to be really restrained when using this product, because it is soooooo tempting to smother lashings and lashings of it over your skin. But then the problem is that your supply goes down very quickly. Not. Good. I think it's best to use a touch of this product on the areas of your body that get the most dry (for me it's elbows, knees and heels) on a regular basis, then, as a once-a-week treat, use more, and really treat your skin to a feast of delicious sweet and floral scented goodness! 

I'd definitely recommend heading in to LUSH to smell and sample this product first, especially if, like me, you are a bit unsure of really florally (new word) scented things. However, if you know you like sweet and flower themed smells, give this product a go. I haven't looked back since I first tried this, and it is a firm staple in my shower. 

This baby's here to stay! 

( Ro's Argan Body Conditioner is £15.50 for a 255g pot on the Lush website (UK) )


Ginger x






3/15/2013

Fashion Haul Feb/March 2013

I LOVE shopping, 
Shopping LOVES me, 
It doth fill me much with glee..... 

Buuuutttt....My purse hates it! Times are hard, so lately, I've been really focusing on choosing key items that I can wear loads, and that are on the lower end of the expense scale. 

These are the items I've picked up over the last month or so fashion-wise. Another haul post for my beauty buys will be coming next week. 

As always, please don't think I'm showing off. I just wanted to share things that I have picked up. You may see something that you like, and then you can go and pick it up too! Yippee!!! 

Dresses

The dress on the right is actually more red, but the photo makes it look slightly different.

 Firstly, a big, fat APOLOGY. I know that the dress on the right is a tad creased. I had worn it out to town, and it was queued up to be washed.

I picked up both of these dresses from Primark. They are the classic skater dress, with an empire line and capped sleeve. Basic style, and an absolute staple. These dresses are so flattering, and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion (it's so important to be I have crossover items in my wardrobe.) The dresses finish mid-thigh on me, so are the perfect length for a day or night look, and the tiny sleeves are so flattering!. I'd nip in the waist of these dresses using a black waist belt to add more definition, and for a more casual look, throw on a boyfriend/oversized cardigan

Both of these dresses were £5 each - bargainous!

I picked up this dress for £10 during an H&M event, but the  normal price is £14.99

 I was out shopping with Mama Ginger in H&M when I saw this dress. I walked passed it, and the print caught my eye. The style I was a bit unsure of though. I'm not the most confident in wearing bodycon dresses, but I thought "Hey-ho, I'll give it a go." I didn't regret it when tried it on. The black paneling at the side is incredibly flattering, and creates the illusion of creating more of an hourglass shape. The fabric has a good stretch too, which, for me, is golden (I have been known to get stuck in dresses trying to get them off!)  The print is bright and bold, and just looking at it makes me feel more free, wild and daring! 

All the dresses in this haul I have featured in my Spring Nights Lookbook if you want to see how I'd style them up for a night out

Tops


Another beautiful Primark find. I don't know if you find this, but I always find that different Primark stores stock different things. Or maybe I'm just not looking in the right sections?! I saw this top in the Primark where my 'rentals live, and knew I needed it in my life. I am a sucker for a hi-low hem, especially because I wear leggings lots. You need to have a certain length of hem for legging-wear-idge...well, I do anyway. It was the print that caught my eye first. But then, when I tried it on, the style sold it to me. The cut is quite flattering o my bodyshape (I think this is partly due to the light gathers in the fabric), and is super comfy and lightweight, so perfect for the upcoming warmer Spring/Summer weather! 

 There is a section of gathering in the back, and a small lengthwise cutout, which creates an interesting and unexpected feature for a basic shaped top....Ooooo, interesting! 

I picked this top up in a UK 8 because of the stretch, and it is plenty big enough. If you are a bit smaller on top, I'd say try a size smaller, because this top does a bit of a stretch. 

I can't quite remember how much this top cost, but it was definitely under £10!

Up close on the gathering a the back

Accessories


 All of these accessories I picked up at Primark. You may notice a common theme. I don't know what it is,m but at the moment, I've been drawn to more Gothic style jewellery. I saw the necklace first. I thought the length was really flattering, and the mixture of different colour/style of chain and "charms" was really interesting. Plus, I'd not seen anything like it anywhere else So straight in to my shopping basket it went. 

Skulls, Peace Signs, "Fangs" (?!), and Crosses

The bracelet I bought as a complimentary piece. I thought the flower design of the cuff was really pretty, but not overly feminine. I'm quite a big fan of gold jewellery for everyday wear. Silver I tend to save for special pieces

And I'd been eyeing up the skull-print scary for ages. Primark have had skull scarfs in their stores for a while, and in various colours, but it was the monochrome that made me finally decide to get one. I have quite a lot of bright coloured scarfs with colouful patterns, so having one in grey and black means I have a scarf that I can wear with most other colours. 

I always pick up a pair of suspender tights or patterned tights from Primark when I go. They are relatively cheap, and are a great way to dress up/accesorise an otherwise simple outfit. 

I couldn't find the prices for the accessories I bought, but Primark accessories are always quite good value for money, so it's definitely worth having a look around. 

The Hat


I am a big hat fan! But I do have quite a big head, so sometimes finding hats that a) fit me, or b) make my head look EVEN BIGGER is sometimes an issue. 

However, with this bowler-style hat from Topshop, it was love at first sight, and wear. I think it is just amazing, and is the perfect way to accessorise a day look, or night look, which is why I decided to buy it. I have worn it loads already, and in both capacities, and it has got a lot of attention. 


If you are in to hats, and looking for a bowler style to add to your collection, give this one a try. It was £25, but it is a great hat, and so versatile! I think it is the perfect way to finish off any outfit. 

You can find the hat here on the Topshop website if you want to go and check it out.

Ginger x

3/10/2013

Spring Nights Lookbook

It has been March for ten days now. I ca hardly believe we are here already. Spring is definitely on the way! 

Woohoo! 

Although it WAS snowing today, but still. I'm sure it was a blip on the weather radar.... finger crossed. 

Spring brings with it a great opportunity for re-birth. And at the moment, I feel like my fashion boundaries are in labour (without the terrible pain.) So with that in mind, I've brought together a Lookbook of outfits I intend to try out/have tried already for the new season. You will notice that some of the pieces and accessories are the same. I am a STRONG believer in owning items that can be worn over and over, and always try to get my cost per wear! 

Look One 

 Hat: Topshop
Blazer: H&M
Waist Belt: ASOS
Skater Dress: Primark
Tights: ASOS 
Jewellery: Primark 

(I wore this look on Friday night and LOVED it. The hat was particularly popular. It got a lot of action!)

Look Two 

Bodycon dress: ASOS
Black Tights: M&S 
Peeptoe Heels: New Look 

This bodycon dress does ALL the talking, so if I wear this out, I'd keep accessories to a bare minimum. At most, I'd make a statement with a bold lip or smokey eye, but no more. Too much and I don't think I could pull it off. 

Look Three 

Hat: Topshop
Bodycon dress: H&M 
Flower cuff: Primark 
Ring: New Look (I think) 
Black tights: M&S
Shoe boots: New Look 

This dress makes such a statement on its own that you don't need to be ostentatious with anything else or you'll draw attention away from it. I'd go for understated jewellery, and my new Topshop hat to coimpliment the punk/rock feel of the dress, and keep my hair a little bit unkempt and wild!! 

Look Four 

Hat: Topshop
Green tunic/dress: H&M (in the Netherlands) 
Ring: New Look (I think)
Flower cuff: Primark
Black tights: M&S
Peeptoe Heels: New Look

 This dress is very, very short. It is not for the faint hearted. Again, I'm keeping accessories simple in this look so it doesn't look overwhelming. If it was chilly out, I'd team this with the black blazer from Look One,  to mix in a bit of masculine with the feminine. 

Look Five 

Hat: Topshop 
Blazer: H&M
Printed skater dress: Primark 
Waist belt: ASOS
Black tights: M&S
Knee high socks: Primark 
Shoe boots: New Look 
Flower cuff: Primark
Ring: New Look (I think) 

This look is very similar to Look One, which is probably why I like it so much. Although this time, I've teamed it with a pair of knee high socks instead of statement tights. I really like the idea of taking a super girly dress and teaming it with a dark, longline blazer. It adds a casual touch, and the masculine style of the blazer constrasts with the feminine quality of the dress. This is probably my favourite look, because it is so versatile. Definitely a Day to Night ensemble! 

Ginger x

3/09/2013

Cook with Ginger: A Simple Penne Amatriciana

This has been one of my favourite pasta dishes for years. I don't know the full and proper recipe, but decided to cook it this week when my friend Sarah came to tea. 

Here is the recipe I used. I completely winged it, but it turned out really tasty. 

I cooked about half a bag for our meal, and there were plenty of leftovers that lasted me another two meals!

This dish is really easy and quick to cook. You could add chilli to spice up the sauce, or serve with a salad or garlic bread. It's just a lovely little comfort food-y dish, and I LOVES it.


What you need: 

Frying pan
Saucepan

Penne pasta
Olive oil
2 cans chopped tomatoes 
Bacon cubes 
Chopped onion
Ginger (optional)
Basil 
Grated cheese (optional)
Salt & Pepper

1) Boil some water and bring to the boil. Add as much pasta as you think you will need (use hunger as a gauge). Add the pasta, and allow to boil gently while you prepare the rest of the dish.

At the same time, add a splash of olive oil, salt and pepper to a frying pan and put on medium heat. Fry off a chopped onion, and a small piece of ginger, finely chopped. I used frozen ginger, but fresh is much better!

2) Once the onions have browned a little, add the bacon cubes and fry for about 5 minutes, or until cooked thoroughly. Add the cans of chopped tomatoes and bring to the boil. Allow to simmer for a few minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid sticking. 

3) Once the pasta has cooked, drain, rinse, and leave to steam. Once steamed, add the pasta to the sauce, and mix thoroughly. 

4) Serve your dish. Add a few basil leaves as a garnish, and grated cheese (if you fancy it.) 

5) Enjoy! 

Ginger x

The Romance Tag



I think all of the people who know me well, know just how much of a romantic person I am...I am a sucker for that crazy little thing we call love, and go all mushy at the sight of anything romantical. I am not ashamed to admit that I cry at romantic films, books, and even songs. 

I am a big, fat ball of ginger mush! 

Mmmm.....such a sexy image! 

I really wanted to do a "Romance Tag". I couldn't find many out there, so thought I'd create my own one....so here we go! 

1) Favourite romantic film?

"Gone with the Wind", all the way. This is one of my ALL TIME favourite films. The passion between Rhett and Scarlett is just amazing, and the final scenes never fail to make me cry! 

2) Idea of a perfect date?

If this is a date where there are no limitations, I would be picked up in an amazing car by my date, whisked away to a beautiful spot in the countryside or at the coast, and we'd sit and have a picnic at dusk and watch the sun go down, then go for a moonlit wander and look at the stars. And of course, I'd be wearing a fabulous outfit and there'd be a small orchestra playing in the background. 

3) Favourite leading man in film/literature? 

Heathcliff from "Wuthering Heights"! Always and forever. To me, Heathcliff is the epitome of everything beautiful and romantic (except for the doomed love part.) I mean, c'mon, The poor guy is in love with one woman for his whole life, and goes away to prove that he is the kind of person worthy of being with her. Cathy and Heathcliff's love is doomed, but 100% unquestionably true. They were made for each other. What girl doesn't want a love like that? 

4) Favourite heroine in literature? 

Catherine from "Northanger Abbey". She is a fantasist and a dreamer, always losing herself in fiction. She goes through a bit of a rubbish time to bag the man of her dreams, and thinks all hope is gone, then finds a happy ending. If I could put myself in anybody's shoes, it would be hers. Love isn't love without a bit of an adventure.


5) Favourite love song? 

When I was younger, my ultimate love song was "Kissing You" by Des'ree from the "Romeo & Juliet" soundtrack. I LOVE that film, and the song is so fitting. just thinking about it makes me feel stupidly emotional. "Iris" by the Goo Goo Dolls has always been a favourite. Every time I hear it I get that fuzzy feeling in my tummy.

6) Romantic film guaranteed to make you cry? 

OMG there are too many...I cry a bit too easily. Probably number 1 is "Gone with the Wind", then "Romeo & Juliet"...."Up" is another one, and I've also been known to cry in episodes of "Buffy" (even though it's not a film!)

7) Have you ever been in love? 

Yes! Absolutely!! And there is no better feeling!

8) Kisses or cuddles? 

Both. Cuddles are amazing because they make me feel all safe and secure, and completely untouchable to anything else. Kisses are best when they are spontaneous....I'm not into big PDA's, so for me, kissing is best if you are alone with your significant other, but if you are with somebody, and they just HAVE to kiss you right then and there, then that's pretty spectacular. 

9) What's the best way to sweep you off your feet? 

Just make me feel needed and wanted. Having somebody there, listening to what you say and caring about it, surprising you with small things if you are having a shitty day, or being there for you when you need a shoulder to cry on, or somebody to vent at. Of course, a big "sweep" would be surprising me with a love letter, an unexpected date to dinner, or being whisked away for a romantic weekend. 

10) What's the best way to be romantic? 

To be spontaneous. If you want to be with somebody, tell them. If you are thinking about somebody, let them know. If you love somebody, don't tell them out of habit, tell them when they least expect to hear it and when you really feel it. Plan things to do with your partner from time to time that are a little bit away from the norm to bring some adventure into your relationship. Surprise them with small gestures to show that you care....run them a bath, give them a massage, or even just hold them if they've had a crap day! Make them feel like the most important person in the world. There's no better feeling for anybody than knowing how special they are! At least that's what I think.


Ginger x






3/04/2013

Beauty by Ginger: February Favourites


I am a self-confessed creature of habit. I have the same routine in the mornings, I always drive the same route into and back from town, and I always shop for products that I know....

Until recently.... 

I don't know what happened in the new year, but I had this moment of thinking "You know what...It's time to branch out..." And so, I did! 

These are some of the products I have LOVED using in February (and January too.) They are a firm part of my current beauty/pamper routine, and I wanted to share these finds with you, because, well, I think they are just bloomin' lovely! 

LUSH Ro's Argan Body Conditioner: I first came across this product in a gift I was given for my birthday, and it was love at first smell. This product is absolutely GORGEOUS! It is packed full of nourishing ingredients that make your skin feel soft and beautiful, and smells divine....I'm not good with describing scents, but this smells scrummy! Not overbearing in anyway, but subtle, and a bit sweet. The smell lingers on your skin for ages, and I always catch whiffs of it during the day. Sometimes I use it as a moisturiser as well as an in-shower/bath body conditioner...I am literally obsessed! 

Benefit They're Real mascara: If you want super long, super thick,. super sexy lashes, look no further! I cannot sing the praises of this mascara enough. When I was on holiday over Christmas, I saw this, but could NOT justify buying it when I already had a mascara on the go. But last month, I got a voucher, and KNEW I HAD to get my hands on it! And I'm sooooooo glad I did. My lashes look so good wearing this. It makes my eyes look bigger and pop out of my face! My night out make up is not complete without applying this...and there is no need for me to break out the false eyelashes, which is good, because I'm rubbish at applying them anyway! 

MAC Lipstick "Dubonnet": I used to stick to nude lipsticks all the time...drawn to them like a moth to a flame. I could never find that perfect red shade (being ginger, you have to be careful...Too bright = CLOWN!) When I was in London during December, I popped into Selfridges, and was colour matched to this shade, and now, it's a staple for a night out look. Wearing this colour makes me feel like a Vamp, and ramps up my confidence to 150%! 

Ted Baker Body Spray: This was a body spray I got as part of a set for my birthday. It has not left my handbag since!! It is the perfect size to carry around with you, and smells really fresh and fruity. When I've used it with the other products in the set (all with the same scent), I find myself constantly wanting to smell myself (I refrain from it though.) The scent stays with you all day, and it makes me think of Spring and Summer, and beautiful sunny days! 

Tesco Sugar & Spice Candle: Once upon a time, I was doing my food shopping in Tesco, and I thought it would be a good idea to look in the home section. There I found this gem! I had bought a candle from the range before ("Princess") and LOVED it. But this one, I LOVE even more. To me, it smells like gingerbread men and cinnamon. A bit of a Wintery scent, but when you like in England, and it's still freezing outside, it's nice to bring in a bit of warmth and cosiness to your home. And this definitely delivers. Having this burning in the background in the evening whilst you chill out on the sofa with the scent of cinnamon and spices floating into your nostrils is sheer perfection....Ahhhhh!!!

Armani Code: Spotto had this perfume when we went away last year, and I instantly fell in love and felt a pang of jealousy that it belonged to her and not me. When my Alien ran out, I was a free agent, and went on the prowl for this perfume. I found it on the ferry, we had a brief encounter, and it came home with me, promising to be mine until the bottle was empty....I can't even describe how this perfume smells. All I can say is that I love it, and to me, it smells like perfection. The staying power on my skin is great, and wearing it just makes me pretend that I am a mysterious Bond girl....which is a good thing by the way...not insanely weird!

St Ives Apricot Scrub: I have a confession to make. I am 26 years old and still get spots! Goshdarnit!!! I also have really sensitive skin, which never helps in my quest to find blemish busting skin solutions. I saw this scrub, and decided to just give it a go. It claims to be "Blemish Fighting", and to be honest, since using it, my skin seems to be getting a lot better! It doesn't dry me out, or react with my skin, and I use it 3 times a week at least. I really wish I had discovered this before. It seems to be a bit of a knight in shining armour at the moment. 

Share your February Favourites in the comments below. It's good to share...who knows, there may be a new product that you discover and want to give a go! 

Ginger x