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9/30/2014

#Blogtember Day Eighteen: #Guestober


Just Add Ginger: #Guestober


I have honestly had so much fun doing #Blogtember this month. Granted, I haven't managed to blog every single day, and, due to a busy weekend schedule, Saturday and Sunday blogging just hasn't happened, but I have loved every minute of having some time every day that is just dedicated to my little blog baby (who, can you believe it, is approaching her latter toddler years!)

So, because I enjoyed having a little blog project so much this month, I have decided to create one for October too. From the first Sunday in October, and for each Sunday throughout the month, you will see guest-posts popping up in Just Add Ginger. I've decided to name it all #Guestober. If you follow me on Twitter (you can find me @Gingerjaxx) you can keep up to date with who will be posting each Sunday. 

Kicking things off is the lovely Laura over at ElleDeesBeauty. She has such a lovely, down-to-earth and honest style of blogging. Definitely click the link above and go say "hi" to her! Her post will be *live* on 5th October, so make like a potato and keep your eyes peeled for that *bom bom chush.* 


9/29/2014

#Blogtember Day Seventeen: Cooking Tips & Tools

With it being September, leaves beginning to change, the weather on the turn, and some of you making the big step into the world and heading off to university, I thought now would be a great time to film my next One-Handed Ways video. 

Cooking and food are a big part of who I am, and I wanted to share some of the tools, and tips, that help me out best when it comes to food prep. 




If you find this video helpful, or know someone who would find it helpful, then please let me know in the comments. Get sharing and please pass this video along to anyone you think will find it useful! 
 I really want to share as many helpful tips and tricks as possible through these videos, so any feedback, ideas and suggestions for more videos you would like to see are more than welcome! 

Products Mentioned In Video

Adapted Chopping/Spreading Board With Spikes (similar to video):


Joseph Joseph Chop2Pot Chopping Board:

Mezzaluna Set (similar to video): 

+ A Really Good Website:


9/24/2014

#Blogtember Day Sixteen: Keeping A Bridal Mood Board

Bridal Board One


Boyfriend and I have been engaged now for just over two months now, and honestly the time has gone just so fast. (If you want to see what wedding planning we have been up to, check out my #GingerGetsEngaged video series here.)

If you have just got engaged, no doubt you are sitting reading this in a state of surreal euphoria. Thoughts, ideas and visions of wedded bliss might be running through your head at 100mph and you probably are still trying to take it all in.

What helped me to rationalise my ideas just after we'd got engaged was to collate my ideas in a make-shift wedding planner made out of bits of paper. Then I moved on to my actual wedding planner (I have this one.) And while I absolutely love my planner, there isn't really space for me to visually gather my thoughts.

One thing that has really helped me "see" what all my thoughts look like together has been keeping a Bridal Mood Board. I don't know about you. but I can really understand my thoughts and picture how everything is going to mesh together if bits and pieces are actually in front of me rather than using my imagination.

I created my Bridal Mood Board above using Polyvore. I'm giving you all a sneak peek in to the plans we have so far and ideas I have for me, my hair, make up, accessories and bridesmaids. The only thing that you won't be getting to see is my wedding dress (you didn't think I'd give that away, did you?) That is going to remain a big fat secret until after the big day because Boyfriend doesn't want any ideas of what it looks like.

Pinterest has also been a great place to collate ideas. It's not been as handy as Polyvore in terms of being able to see things all together, but it's much more portable, and when it comes to finding things like bridesmaid dresses, or a photographer, I can share my ideas much easier.

If you are a bride or groom-to-be, definitely get creative and put together a mood board for yourself. It might help you hone your ideas, and you'll get the chance to see everything together as one. Just looking at the one of our ideas so far makes me realise that my thoughts haven't been completely random and that they will look how I'd hoped they would.

If you have any wedding planning tips for us, or other bride or grooms-to-be out there, share them in the comments below!


9/23/2014

#Blogtember Day Fifteen: Ribena Mango & Lime


Just Add Ginger: The Foodie Ginger

When I think of fruit juice, I think of my childhood. Summer days spent out in the park, or at the zoo, with a lunchbox in tow. Playing the mornings away and then settling down with a jam sandwich, packet of crisps, and carton of your favourite drink....Those were the days! 

About a month or so ago, I signed up to Bzz Agent. When my first #BzzCampaign invitation came through, I got ridiculously excited. I had the chance to try out Ribena's new Mango & Lime flavour juice drink. 

Now, whereas in the past, I used to love a good glass of squash, nnowadays it is not something I'm naturally drawn to. I find a lot of the flavours a bit same-y. Don't get me wrong, I can find a good glass of orange squash quite refreshing, but a lot of the flavours out there don't appeal to my taste buds. I get bored really easily and find it hard to finish a full-size bottle. 

I can report that this was definitely not the case for the Ribena Mango and Lime. Between both Boyfriend and I, with barely a week since receiving the 1 litre bottle, it has nearly all gone. It is just delicious. The mango element of the juice is the real shining star, and makes the juice really sweet and refreshing. The lime is a little bit hidden, but is the underdog and works to mellow-out what could be a really overwhelming mango-y flavoured drink. 

I'm a big fan of strongly-flavoured drinks, so I added more of the  juice before diluting it with water, but the option is always there to add as much (or as little) as you wish. However you like your drink, I can guarantee that the smell, and taste of the mango will sing through. I think it's a flavour that will appeal to everybody as, even though it is sweet, it is not sickening. It adds that instant hit of tropical-goodness in to your day even if it is overcast and grey outside. And I have really enjoyed trying this. It is testament to the yumminess of this Ribena offering that between just two of us grown-ups living in the house, the whole bottle has nearly disappeared. When in doubt, it is what I instantly reach for every time I open the fridge, 

Even Boyfriend - who I think was a bit unsure at first - said "Oh yeah, that's quite nice, isn't it?" This - I'd like to point out - was before we nearly polished off the whole bottle between us. I think he may be swayed more than ever now. 

Looking for a new fruit squash to try? Wanting to spark a little bit more Summer in your life before colder climbs comes? Then definitely pick up a bottle of Ribena Mango & Lime. Out of all the flavours Ribena have brought out so far, this is definitely my favourite!

#Blogtember Day Fourteen: ESPA Optimal Skin ProCleanser

Just Add Ginger: ESPA Optimal Skin ProCleanser

As a self-professed lazy girl when it comes to skincare, I am always on the lookout for products that are multi-faceted, easy to use, and leave my skin feeling fresh, spot free and fabulous without having to go through hundreds of steps. 

ESPA Skincare has been a recent discovery for me in the beauty world. Before, I was a distant admirer of their pretty packaging and luxurious product layouts in shops. But, after trying their Herbal Spafresh Spritzer, bathing in their bath foam and bath oils, I have really been looking forward to giving more of the range a go. 

So, when a beautiful packaged miniature of the ESPA Optimal Skin ProCleanser popped through my post box* last week, you can imagine how excited I was! From the minute I clapped eyes on the gorgeous purple packaging, I knew I was on to a winner (I know you're not meant to judge a book by it's cover, but I just can't help myself when it comes to beauty products.) 

As soon as the scent of the ProCleanser drifts into your nostrils you are transported far away and in to your own personal spa. The blend of ingredients really does create a truly opulent smell that I find really attractive and relaxing. There is nothing more enjoyable than coming home and using your own little tube of luxury to remove your make-up. It makes taking off my face a joy rather than a job. Finding products that offer you that little glimpse of glamour without breaking the bank is really important. 

The consistency of the ProCleanser is light and delicate on the skin. The jojoba spheres that work to gently exfoliate the skin are small and not overly abrasive. After massaging the cleanser into your skin for a few seconds they begin to melt away, leaving the cleanser with a smooth and silky soft layer on your face. With a quick sweep of a muslin cloth, flannel, or clean hands over the ProCleanser, all remnants are gone, leaving your skin soft, supple, and smell sensational. 

Even with the added exfoliating aspect of the cleanser, my skin is still left feeling really silky after every time I have used the ProCleanser. For someone with really sensitive skin, this is usually unheard of. Normally, I would have to throw the moisturiser on myself to keep my skin happy, but I don't need to overdo it after using the ProCleanser. I have been using it 1-2 times a day, and following using the cleanser with the ESPA Optimal Skin ProSerum and the two combined are a match made in heaven for me. It also compliments the Spafresh Spritzer really well, which I use every morning. Since using the ProCleanser and Proserum as part of my skincare routine, skin over the last few days seems so much clearer. I've not had any breakouts, and I feel so confident. And I'm just about to have my *whispers* monthly visitor, so you can imagine how munch of a breakdown my skin might be having right now! I actually feel proud of my face, and even pointed out to Boyfriend yesterday how clear it seemed...."Have you seen this? It's my face....And I'm not wearing make up!"

What I love so much about the ProCleanser is the multi-purpose aspect that it has. It doesn't only cleanse the skin, but gentle exfoliates it too. And if you want to, you can use the ProCleanser as a mask. And it has been kind and accommodating to my sensitive skin, leaving me with no irritation whatsoever. It really does tick all the boxes I look for in skincare products. Plus, it smells divine. What more could you ask for? 

If you are still searching for that skincare product that you can use with ease, that cleanses, nourishes, and keeps your skin feeling (and smelling) sexy then definitely give the ProCleanser a go. It has seriously been impressing me, and has made what once was a dreaded daily task, a fun aspect of my beauty regime. 

For more information about ESPA Optimal Skin ProCleanser, or any other of the ESPA products, head to: 





* I registered online for ESPA's blog competition, and ESPA kindly sent me out a sample size of the Optimal Skin ProCleanser to try for my entry to their "Optimal ProCleanse Blog Competition." I also received a sample size of the Optimal Skin ProSerum. This has not, nor will ever not affect my opinions on ESPA products. They are 100% my own, 100% honest, and informed my experiences alone.

9/17/2014

#Blogtember Day Thirteen: Beauty by Ginger - ESPA Herbal Spafresh Spritzer



I haven't hidden the fact that my skin is less than perfect. Even now, as I gradually approach the big 30, I still suffer from breakouts, redness, and sometimes very unhappy skin. I am always on the hunt for skincare products that will give my face a bit of TLC, whilst still being gentle and nourishing. 

Until the ESPA Herbal Spafresh Spritzer came in to my life, I had never tried any of their products before. It's not really a brand that I had heard mentioned a lot, so I think I'd always been a bit scared of taking the plunge and testing anything out. But in the spirit of trying something new, I decided it was high time to give something new a go. 

Toning products are a bit alien to me. As a self-professed lazy girl, I like products that will just get the job done quickly and with minimal effort. I don't like the fuss. I value my bed time too much to spend hours on a skincare routine

Which is why I love this little gem of a product so much. Firstly, let's talk about the ingredients shall we? Including a mix of essential oil "distillates," witch hazel, elderflower and peppermint the spritzer really works to battle blemishes, clear out congestion and make your skin look and feel fantastic. Which it does. I cannot tell you how much my skin has improved since I brought this in to my routine. And whereas I can't be 100000% that it was because if the spritzer that my skin sorted itself out, I would lay money on this being the main contributing factor. 


All the ingredients combined give the spritzer a gorgeous scent too. To me, it smells very luxurious and very much like a spa product would and should smell. It is warm and a bit spicy, and the witch hazel comes through subtly, which adds a bit of zing to let you know it's there and ready to wage war on those pesky pimples for you. If you're not a fan of scented face products though, this might not be the right choice for you. But for me, who, half-asleep performs her skincare routine in the early morning light, the scent really perks me up.  

So. How do you use this little bottle of herb-infused joy? Simply spray directly on to your freshly cleansed face (and neck and upper décolletée too,) then wipe off with a clean, slightly damp cotton wool pad. Easy as pie. And great to do even if you are standing in front of your mirror bleary-eyed and still longing for the cosiness of your bed. Instead of spraying it on to my face (at that time in the morning I might miss and end up getting it in my eye or something) I spray the solution on to a cotton pad first before I apply it to my face. And this works just as well as using it directly on your face.  would.

The ESPA Herbal Spafresh Spritzer retails for £19.00 for 100ml (I found this price on their website.) It may seem a bit steep if you're not used to spending loads on skincare, but for those of you out there who suffer with skin issues (especially oily/combination skin qualms like me,) I'd definitely consider adding this to your collection. It has done my skin the world of good. It looks and feels better than it has in a good long while. After having it for nearly four months, and using it every morning, I am only just a quarter of the way through, so you definitely get your money's worth. 

Have you tried any ESPA products before? Let me know what you thought in the comments below!




For more information about ESPA's Herbal Spafresh Spritzer, or to browse other products from their range, go to: 

9/16/2014

#Blogtember Day Twelve: The Five Feel Good Films Tag

Five Feel Good Films



Today I'm just having one of those days. I'm sure you all can relate to me when I say that currently my mood status is set to "meh." I've already had a cuddle, vent and cry on Boyfriend which has made me feel heaps better. And there's a Dominoes on the way for extra comfort. But still, I just can't help but be down in the dumps.

But I'm very much a glass half full kinda gal, and, in the spirit of positivity, I have taken to my keyboard and wanted to create a tag post to share my top five feel good films. One of these babies will more than likely be entertaining us tonight. These are the films that never cease to get me out of a funk. By creating this tag, I hope that we can all spread some positive energy, discover new films, and help lift each other up by remembering the good things in life for when the road gets tough.

The rules for the tag are simple:

Share your top five feel-good films. 
Tag five people to do this post. 
Tweet & Leave a comment on this post when you have done the tag and tell me one good thing you are grateful for today.

1. Jaws: I really can't tell you why I love this film, but I do. I really love this film. I have this thing about sharks where I don't know much about them, I'm a bit scared thinking about them, yet I find them fascinating. And to think of a giant great white lurking in unsuspecting waters....Well, it just gets me giddy.

2. Jurassic Park: Like with sharks, I think dinosaurs are pretty awesome. Thinking about dinosaurs put the universe in to perspective for me. How mind boggling is it to think that dinosaurs walked the earth...Our earth....millions of years ago..... I mean. Wow. Just wow. Having said that I wouldn't like to meet a dinosaur, but any film with them in and I'm there. And the Jurassic Park trilogy takes the biscuit!

3. The Hunger Games: I loved the trilogy of books, and I love the films just as much. I think Jennifer Lawrence plays an amazing Catniss and I never tire of watching the first two films. They aren't just for older children, they are for everybody, and I think the way that the books have been brought to life is great. I'm counting down the days until the next instalment comes out.

4. Father of the Bride: Classic film for my generation in my opinion. I must have watched the two films a hundred times at least, They completely define what a comfy, cosy evening should be like, and watching them makes me feel all fuzzy inside. The cast is fantastic, and sticking on these films instantly lifts my mood and clears my mind.

5. Wreck-It Ralph: As soon as this film came out I knew I was going to love it. No questions asked. I bought it on DVD, and for the next week I watched it solidly. I think it is a gorgeous film. I love the characters, the story, and how good it makes you feel. I am always cheering for Wreck-It Ralph. You just want him to come through and defy all the odds he faces.

I now tag:

Saloca in Wonderland 
Sparkly Shell Cosmetics 
GlitZeeGlam
Bethany Worrall
WordsbyHannahRosalie

and anybody else who wants to do this tag post too!

Today, I am very grateful to be in a relationship where blubbering is not an issue, because I have just snotted and teared up all over Boyfriend, and I feel soooooo much better for venting my emotions.

Good luck!

#Blogtember Day Eleven: The Wedding Planners



It really only does seem like yesterday that Boyfriend and I were gazing out at the Eiffel Tower's beam spinning round and round and listening to Pink Floyd....But, now six weeks down the line, the wedding planning is now in complete full swing! 

I may have started the planning by myself, but now that Boyfriend has become equally as involved I wanted to film the next part in my #Ginger Gets Engaged series to update you all on how far we have gotten. We may seem to have done quite a lot, but I really don't want to be sweating the big stuff over Christmas. I just love that time of year too much! 

I still have to do a double take sometimes to really believe that all this has happened. I mean. In two years time I will be married....how weird and marvellously cool is that? 

If you have any wedding planning tips, want to share your wedding planning story, or have any pearls of wedding wisdom, please drop me a line in the comments below! I'd love to network with other brides out there to share some ideas around.



Ps: To catch up on the first instalment of the series, click the picture below!


9/13/2014

#Blogtember Day Nine: Ginger's Jollies - #Tweet4aTable







Throughout September, The Co-Operative Food are travelling to different locations country-wide, setting up pop-up restaurants to showcase some of their delicious range of food using a dedicated Twitter-led campaign - Tweet4aTable. The idea is simple. All you have to do is log on to Twitter, and send a tweet to @Tweet4aTable  stating why you deserve a a table reservation at the pop-up restaurant. If you are chosen as a winner, you (and up to three friends) get to enjoy a delicious meal and drink absolutely free of charge! A free meal?! I mean. Wow! 

As we were seated at our table, our waitress explained that everything on the menu was from The Co-Operative range....from the drinks to the food to the condiments. We were handed our menus, and given time to peruse the options. Of course, Boyfriend and I didn't hesitate to take some selfies with the props on the table, and talk about how yummy everything on the menu sounded. As we were musing over the menu, we were given a basket brimming full of nachos, sour cream, salsa and guacamole to boot. Both Boyfriend and I were starving so didn't hesitate to dig right in. I'm not kidding when I saw that that guacamole was one of the best I have ever had. 

It didn't take me long to decide what to have from the menu. As soon as I saw the "Holey Moley" my heart skipped a beat. With a soft chiabatta roll jam-packed with read-to-eat, smoky and sweet BBQ pulled pork, BBQ sauce, Gruyère, and American Coleslaw it sounded like heaven on a plate (we all know my love for all things BBQ-flavoured is undying!) Boyfriend opted for "Wingin' It." Buffalo wings served alongside blue cheese sauce and celery. He ordered a side order of the spring onion fries whereas I opted for coleslaw ones instead. 

Oh good heavens above! There it was. Giving me coy "come hither" stares and looked delicious.... Pulled pork heaven on a plate. Tender, juicy, saucy, succulent. I don't think it really saw the sides of the plate. The American-style coleslaw was a perfect accompaniment to the slight smokiness of the sauce and added a touch of sweetness. The bun was super-soft, and the fries cooked to perfection, nestled next to the pork pile up. Boyfriend had a taste too and was in agreement. In the BBQ pulled pork ratings, this was high up on the list indeed. 

Boyfriend said that his wings were beautiful too, with just the right amount of kick to them without knocking your socks off. The blue cheese sauce was a welcome addition, and Boyfriend loved being able to smother his wings in it. He just wished there had been some on top of the wings themselves rather than being hidden underneath. But that's tells you how good the sauce was. 

We left with full bellies, and big smiles on our faces! 

Tweet4aTable and the pop-up restaurant has now left Liverpool, but they are heading to Manchester and Newcastle very soon (they will be in Manchester 17th-19th September & Newcastle 24th-26th September.) So if you are in the area and want to score yourself a table, make sure you are following @Tweet4aTable and give them a tweet telling them why you deserve to be dining at their pop-up restaurant. 

If you visited the Liverpool Tweet4aTable restaurant, or plan to #Tweet4aTable let me know!

To find out more about the Tweet4aTable campaign, visit: 



*Disclaimer: I was very kindly invited to the Tweet4aTable restaurant as a VIP guest. All opinions are still most definitely my own and guided by my taste-buds.*



9/10/2014

#Blogtember Day Eight: The Writing Process Tour Tag




I was tagged by Sarah (Saloca in Wonderland) to do this tag post. Writing has always been (and always will be) a massive part of me. I studied Creative & Professional Writing at university, then went on to do a Masters in Creative Writing....Writing and me. We go together like broccoli and cauliflower. 

So, if we are all sitting comfortable, then I shall begin....

1. What am I working on? 

For the past few years my main focus has been on blogging. I spent quite a long time suffering from writer's (not blogger's) block, so having complete creative freedom to write about exact;y what I want, when I want and how I want has been amazing. I have also started contributing articles to Women Make Waves. I have been so inspired since starting this new branch of my creativity, and hearing all the positive feedback about my contributed articles that my writerly confidence is just growing and growing. 

Eventually I hope to go back to my love and finish some pieces that I have started but taken a break from. Mama Ginger is desperate for me to send things off to try and get published, and MG, you'll be pleased to hear that my confidence is nearly in that place! *starts the Hallelujah chorus*

2. How does my work differ from others of it's genre?

I don't know to what extend it differs, but I always write in my true voice. The narrative that goes through my head when I blog comes out completely unfiltered on the screen. That's why I can't plan what I'm going to say, I just have to say it in the moment. I think it used to drive my lecturers a bit potty because, when they would ask me where I saw a story going, I'd give them a weak smile, a shake of the bead and say I have absolutely no idea.

It's so important that I keep that sense of self in my writing. My blog is my baby and an extension of my personality, and the same for my writing. So if I wasn't true to myself I would only be betraying who I really am. 

3. Why do I write?

For practically my whole life I have written, or made up stories, or acted. Creativity is me and I am creativity. I don't want to write. I need to write. My imagination is just so vast and unfiltered and beautiful that I have to let everything out and express myself. In whatever medium. Be it a story, a poem, a blog post or a list. Writing is in my veins and I don't ever see myself stopping. 

4. How does my writing process work?

To be honest it depends on what I'm working on. For my blog I have a list of things I want to write about and, depending on how I feel at that moment in time, I will chose a subject from the list and start writing. I stick on some TV, or Netflix, music, or an audio book and just absorb myself in writing.

If I'm working on a story I have to lock myself away and just write. Because when creativity and inspiration arrives I don't know how long that will last. Sometimes it will be ten minutes. Or an hour. Or a whole day. I have to listen to what my inner-author is telling me and go with the flow. Because if I push it too much, my writing gets clunky and stops being me.


Thank you Sarah for tagging me to do this post. (Check out her post here) I now tag: 

Words By Hannah Rosalie 
GlitZeeGlam 
SparklyShellCosmetics
Beauty in Beta 

and all of you who are reading this post right now! 


9/09/2014

#Blogtember Day Seven: Snapshots Of A Ginger Life


(Top L-R: A Sunny Summer Evening, Pretty Flowers, Homemade Cheesecake
Middle L-R: Sofa Time With Dave, Engagement Sparkle, Seeing Les Mis
Bottom L-R: A Magical Night, View From A Train, Champagne Flutes.)

Summer is starting to move over and leaving room for Autumn to arrive. Because this Summer has been so busy and amazing for me, I wanted to share some of my favourite photos from the past few months to look back, and reflect on all the blessings that came to me. 

Most of the photos are from my Instagram (my username is @Gingerjax if you want to follow me.)

What were your Summertime highlights? 





9/08/2014

#Blogtember Day Six: Autumn Days...

Guys....as a side note, I've decided that I will having #Blogtember breaks at weekends. Just because at the moment Boyfriend and I are crazy busy and I don't want to be rushing to keep up. #Blogtember posts will be Monday-Friday. Hope you enjoy all the posts!

Autumn Days - Blogtember

I have a;ways been the biggest fan of the colder months of the year. Spring and Summer are lovely. Warm days. Pretty flowers. Ice lollies. But there's something about Winter, and especially Autumn, that draw me in. I had a moment of giddiness standing outside today. I felt a cold breeze kiss my nose, and I thought, Yes....Autumn is nearly here!

To celebrate my favourite time of the year, I thought I'd share some things I really love about the season and what I am looking forward to most. 

Warm Fires 

Everybody who knows me knows just how much I feel the cold. It could be one glorious Summer evening, where everybody is in shorts and t shirts, and I'd be there huddled in a fleece. It is just ridiculous. So I am looking forward to getting our gas fire going so much. I'm like a cat. I sit as close as I can to the fire and curl up in a little ball all cosy and warm. I just love it! 

Hot Drinks 

Hand-in-hand with the warm fires is definitely hot drinks. There's just something about making a hot orange or hot chocolate and snuggling up, feeling the steam tickle your face and the mug warm your hands that just fills me with so much happiness. And, as it gets even colder, there's nothing like a hot mulled wine and cider to warm your cockles on a Winter evening at the weekend. 

Comfort Food 

I may be embarking on a bride-to-be diet, but I'm still a big foodie at heart. And Autumn is the perfect excuse to indulge in that extra few chocolates, a piece of cake, or sneaky second helping of Sunday lunch. I won't go overboard (or I'll try not to) but, well, you need the extra energy when it's cold don't you?

Layering 

Autumn is the perfect excuse to go all out when it comes to clothing. In my opinion, the more layers the better. There's no better a feeling than being bundled up all cosy and snug and warm but being able to see your breath on the wind. Ooooo... I'm going all fuzzy inside just thinking about it.

Events 

This is the time of year where everything starts to happen in my life. First there's Spotto's birthday, Papa Ginger's birthday, then Halloween, then Bonfire Night, and then, CHRISTMAS! And this year in particular, Boyfriend and I have so much planned. It's going to be manic, but it's going to be really, really fun too. 

What things do you like most about this time of year? 

9/05/2014

#Blogtember Day Five: University Decor

#Blogtember: University Decor - Just Add Ginger


Because university is around the corner for some of you, and because it has been on my mind, I wanted to carry on the theme and talk about university decor.

If you are going into halls this year, it can be quite restricting in what you can do to make your room feel a bit more homey. I know in my uni halls we weren't allowed to put anything up on the walls, and personal kettles, and electricity-run fairy lights were a definite no-no (battery operated didn't seem so available back then.) I had two designated pinboard type things where I could pin up photos, pictures, and little bits and bobs, but the rest of the room had to remain clean. Room inspections happened once or twice a term, and if your room was a bit messy, you'd get a note telling you to sort it out.

There are way to make a uni room your own though. And it's all about the simple things. Choose a bedding set that you would have in your room at home, and accompany it with a warm, snuggly throw blanket that can double up as warmth-giver, and an awesome accessory. A row of scatter pillows will turn your bed from a place to sleep in to sofa for when you have friends over, and, although you may not be allowed naked flames, LED candles are a great option to bring some serenity and calm in to your room if you are pulling an all-nighter trying to finish off that essay before the deadline in the morning. A rug can also be a great addition, and make your room even cosier, and add a bit of colour of pattern (especially if you have walls that are a completely uninspiring colour.

Scattering pre-made vases filled with silk flowers, ornaments and photo frames around amidst all your books and files can be a gorgeous touch, especially if you're planning on bringing pictures so that you can remember friends and family back home. Moving out can be so hard (I know, I moved 3.5 hours away from where I grew up to go to university,) and if you start to feel a bit homesick, or miss your friends, seeing them dotted around your room will definitely pick you up.

And let's not neglect your choice of crockery. Now while you don't want to spend an arm and a leg on plates, bowls and mugs (things will more than likely do a disappearing act on you,) if you can find a cute set of plates, or a cool novelty mug, then this will really let you show your personality and provide a bit of a pick-me-up too.

And remember. Don't go overboard. Moving in to halls can be a really exciting time, but you are not moving in to a mansion. I remember my uni room was tiny. Between the bed and the desk there was barely room to swing a cat so bear this in mind and keep decor to a minimum. Stick to items that you love, and leave space to add to your collection. As you explore your uni and new local town, you may spot things that you want to get to brighten up your living space.

How did you/would you decorate your university room?


Ps: Here is me during my first year of uni in my room....Ahhh the good old days of grainy webcam selfies!

Just Add Ginger Blog


9/04/2014

#Blogtember Day Four: My University Wardrobe Revisited

#Blogtember Day Four: Just Add Ginger


My days at university are long over. It was nearly 10 years ago that I headed out on the first leg of the road that led to adulthood, and yet, I can still remember it like it was yesterday.

Now that I am that bit older and have slightly more perspective, I have a completely different view on my wardrobe and what I would've taken with me to uni. And with some of you out there about to embark on this massive journey, I wanted to share my thoughts about what I would take with me to university to wear, and some of the things I'd say to consider taking with you too.

The main thing to remember is that you should take things with you that are wardrobe staples and can be worn again and again. Things like a range of different coloured tank tops, jeggings, leggings and skirts that can be mixed, matched and interchanged to make lots of different day-to-day outfits and can be worn day and night. There will be some days in uni where you spend hours at your lectures and then head on out afterwards to meet your friends. For these times you need things that can carry you through....pretty day dresses, classic black flats, a blazer, and a good pair of tights.

Comfort is also key. You won't always get a choice in what lectures you attend, and if you are landed with the 9am call, I;m sure you'd rather have extra time in bed than get up earlier and spend ages getting ready. Hoodies, oversized shirts, a snuggly coat and jumpers will be your best friends, as will a good pair of Ugg-style boots, trainers or flats. The last thing you want is to be sitting in a really long lecture feeling utterly uncomfortable is it?

Having accessories that make a statement are a great way to bring some of your personality out. Bags, scarves and jewellery are the perfect means to express your personal taste. A good-sized "school bag" is imperative of you're going to be on a course with a heavy workload. And a smaller, more portable bag should come with you for when you venture out and explore the night-life, go on road trips, or are running errands.

Having a classic LBD in tow will mean you always have something to pull out if you ever have a "I have nothing to wear" moment. It will always look gorgeous, and teamed with a killer pair of black or nude heels you will undoubtedly exude elegance. Another night-life essential is also some fancy dress options. There were so many fancy dress parties whe n I was at uni. From pyjama parties to letter-themed, Halloween and "Back to School" nights. So if you do like to have a bit of a boogie, check out any itineraries you may have and think about taking appropriate costumes to wear or things that can be turned in to costumes.

Remember that university is the perfect time to completely express yourself, and clothes can help you do that. You can use my ideas as a guideline, but take clothes that you are happy to wear, and that you will find comfortable and feel phenomenal in.


9/03/2014

#Blogtember Day Three: Product Empties: August 2014



I have been hoarding bottles and tubs of products that I have wanted to share with you all for months now. A canvas bag of beauty product empties has been gracing our bedroom carpet, and I thought it was high time that I shared them all with you. 

I wanted to attach all the info that is included in the downbar alongside the video on my YouTube channel

Products Mentioned:

Lush Ro's Argan Body Conditioner
Lush Turkish Delight Shower Smoothie
Ultrabland Facial Cleanser
Lush Fairly Traded Honey Shampoo
Sleek Blush (Rose Gold)
Argan Oil Shampoo
Organix Hydrating Macadamia Oil Conditioner
The Body Shop Chocomania Eau de Toilette
The Body Shop Moringa Shower Gel 

People Mentioned: 

Blossom Hair & Beauty (Beth): http://www.makemeblossom.co.uk/

Full Product Reviews: 

The Comforter massage:

Ro's Argan Skin Conditioner: 

Ultrabland: 

Thank you so much for watching. Please post any video requests in the comments below! 

9/02/2014

#Blogtember Day Two: The Best Eye Make Up Remover I've Found!



I suffer from incredible sensitive skin, particularly on my face. I have to be so careful when it comes to finding new cleansers, masks, toners and moisturisers to use because my skin can react so quickly to ingredients that may be too harsh. This seems to be even more tricky when it comes to finding products that are eye friendly. Because of my skin tone and hair colour, the skin underneath my eyes is particularly thin and irritable. This makes using make up remover there almost impossible. 

It was at The Body Shop Wild Argan Oil launch event in Liverpool One that Sarah (Saloca in Wonderand) introduced me to The Body Shop Camomile Waterproof Eye & Lip Make Up Remover. She absolutely sung its praises, and when I mentioned how sensitive my eyes were, she assured me that the product wouldn't irritate me at all.

What could I do but give it a go? 

This is honestly (so far) the most amazing and gentle make up remover I've found. At £8.00 for a 150ml bottle it isn't overly expensive either! The packaging is gorgeous in its simplicity. A clear bottle with a slightly blue hue and decorated with two pictures of camomile flowers. I like that the packaging is understated. It doesn't need to be OTT, and the clear bottle means you are well aware of how much solution you have left and if it is mixed properly (you have to shake it to activate it.)

Although on The Body Shop website, it says the product has no fragrance, to me at least, the remover does has a faint scent of camomile to it. But this is in no way overbearing and has no effect on the skin. It is easy to apply too....simply shake the bottle to activate the product, pour some on to a cotton pad, and apply to the area where make up needs to be removed. And voila! In only a matter of seconds all your make up is removed with no trace that it had ever been in place. 

I've only had it a matter of weeks, but The Body Shop Camomile Waterproof Eye & Lip Make-Up Remover is the best thing for my eyes I have tried. It does not irritate my skin, and does a great job at removing all the eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara and brow gel I apply. For somebody who finds it incredibly hard to find products that successfully remove all my eye make up without having that unbearable stinging sensation that leaves you momentarily blinded and searching for something to wipe away the pain. 

So if this tale of picky skin, irritated eyes, and last night's mascara that you are still trying to take off rings true for you, definitely consider giving this make up remover a go. Cos' now that I've added it to my skincare routine, it's here to stay! 

9/01/2014

#Blogtember Day One: Dave Update


Dave the Cat

It has been just over two months since we took in Dave, and now that he is fully settled, he is well and truly part of the family. (Watch Dave's debut YouTube video here.) So, because Dave is our little baby, I wanted to give you a bit of an update on his progress so far. 

Personality 

As soon as Dave came to us, it was like he was already a part of the family. He was very good-natured, and - aside from a few mad half hours - he was hardly any trouble. Now that he has settled in, he has developed even more of a sweeter personality. He is more playful with me, but I think that is because I am in the house so much more. When he wants breakfast he will come and nibble my toes until I fill his cat bowl. He will wrestle with me when I am on the sofa, and will actively come and ask me to play by bringing me his favourite toy mouse. Dave has also taken to trying to get the post as it pops through the letterbox. It is the cutest thing ever, and, even though he is too small to reach, every time he hears the flap he will bound towards the door desperately trying to get the mail. 

video

Dave is my shadow. He will follow me anywhere and everywhere. He will insist on sitting with me when I watch TV, guard the window when I am in the house alone,  and bathroom privacy for me is completely out the window. Yes...even when I want to actually be left alone, Dave will do his utmost to join me in the bathroom. And this morning he was inches away from falling in the bath after deciding it would be a great adventure to try and walk around the edge. 

With Boyfriend he is more affectionate. Boyfriend is the one Dave will actively seek out if he wants a cuddle, curling up on his lap of an evening and going to sleep. I think he definitely has more respect for Boyfriend because he has the stronger presence. 

Behaviour 

Dave's behaviour hasn't really changed since we got him. I'd say that since his little *whispers* operation,  Dave has calmed down, and I guess, acts older. The mad moments have become less and less, and he is much more placid. He will still try and do quirky things - climbing the curtains is a great adventure - but we are quick to make sure that we praise all his good behaviour, and give a quick and stern-sounding "no" when he does something he shouldn't. 

We have trained Dave to know that he will only be fed by his food bowl, which means he doesn't really ever go for any food that we may have. He will occasionally try and snip cups, mugs, bowl and plates, but he doesn't go for food. Timing his tea time to coincide with ours means that he is usually distracted anyway.


Dave has also been extremely good at socialising with other animals. Boyfriend's family own a large dog, and, when we have taken Dave on holiday to stay at the family home, Dave has got along fine with the dog, playing with him, and trying to steal food from his bowl. Dog is very accepting of Dave, and Boyfriend's mum has no hesitation leaving the two together. The family cat however, is another story, and will not go near Dave in any which way. Which is understandable I think. The two are kept apart, but I think Dave would really like to become friends with the family cat. Said cat probably thinks "Jog on Dave. Not in this lifetime." 

(Main) Dave's favourite high place to sit, (Top to bottom left) In the sun, Nap buddy, Dreaming cat, Getting the post, After a bath near-miss
Development 

Dave is right on track with his weight, and has gained about 1.5kg since we got him. He has a hearty appetite, and is really regular and good at knowing where his toilet is, and when he should visit it. He has only had two mishaps where he went outside his box, but that was our fault entirely. Cats are very good at letting you know when their toilet is unclean and Dave was no exception. But we have made sure that we always have clumping cat litter which makes Dave deposits easier to find and means his box is always nice and clean.

I will probably do another update in a few months to let you know how our little baby bear is getting on. For all other new pet owners out there, how are your little guys doing?