Saturday, 31 January 2015

Something for the weekend (#1)

                        

Happy weekend everyone! This post marks the first in a new series of weekly posts rounding up my favourite bits and bobs from the past week, whether it's blog posts, quotes, recipes or otherwise. Think of it as a little collection of tidbits to amuse yourself with on a lazy weekend morning.

A favourite post of mine was this one from the lovely guys at Free People, called 'How To Extend Your Yoga Practice Throughout The Day'. I enjoy a spot of yoga, but being so busy it can be easy to slip back into being stressed and tense the second a session is over. This handy post helps you hold onto that post-yoga feeling for longer.

I recently began compiling a Pinterest board full of inspirational quotes to remind me to live simply and wonderfully.

This weekend I'll be trying Elsie's mouthwatering recipe for rosemary roasted almonds. Yum.

Staying in this weekend? Here are my top TV picks for some serious binge viewing.Grab a blanket or five, get the kettle on and snuggle down.
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Thursday, 29 January 2015

5 shows you should binge watch right now


I've always been into my TV, but the introduction of Netflix has taken things to a whole other level in our household! I generally prefer US shows to British ones so having even more at my fingertips is leading to many a weekend camped in front of the telly. Here are my current faves:

1. Parks & Recreation - Didn't you know it's Amy Poehler week here on Tea-Books-Eyeliner?! Only kidding, but if you've yet to get into this amazingly funny, heart-warming show it's about time you gave it a shot! The show is a documentary-style comedy that follows the ups and downs of a group of people working in the Parks & Recreation department of Pawnee, Indiana City Council - think The Office with even more silliness and shinanigans. The show is now in its seventh and final season, is full of amazing comedy talent with countless celeb cameos, and I can honestly say I'll cry when it's over.

2. Luther - Apart from Silent Witness, I've never really been into British crime dramas, but I'd heard a lot of good things about Luther. I wasn't disappointed and am now deep into the show and totally hooked. I've found myself shouting at the TV on multiple occasions and am also now petitioning for the amazingly foxy Idris Elba to be the next James Bond.

3. Supernatural - I used to watch this show on Sky Living until it was unexpectedly taken off air, but it's now back on E4 on Tuesdays and I couldn't be happier. If you're behind there are DVDs available or you can cheekily find all 9 previous seasons online if you're so inclined. A definite favourite for Sci-Fi fans, the show follows two (seriously attractive) brothers as they come to terms with their parents' deaths at the hands of a demon and battle against all kinds of evil creatures on their mission to shut Hell out once and for all.

4. Mythbusters - Mat and I always watch this when we're not in the mood for the stress of Luther and can't decide what else to watch. These guys are hilarious and it's perfect binge viewing. You'll also get a few science lessons and useless knowledge injections in the process.

5. Chicago PD - One for all the One Tree Hill/Sophia Bush fans out there, this crime drama runs alongside Chicago Fire and you'll even see characters crossing over from time to time. It's really well written, which is rare for this kind of show in the US, and each character is so complex that there's never a dull moment.

What shows are you addicted to?


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Monday, 26 January 2015

On blogging with a full-time job




My actual paid job at a marketing agency is one I for the most part enjoy, but blogging is something of a sanctuary to me - something that's totally mine and doesn't need to make me any money. Having said that, when something is a hobby rather than your day job, it can be really easy to let it fall by the wayside when your work life gets busy or stressful. There are a few steps I try to take so that this doesn't happen.

Plan as far ahead as you can - When it comes to Tea-Books-Eyeliner I like to know what my posts are going to be around two-three weeks in advance and to have at least one, if not two, weeks worth of posts drafted and ready to go. It means that if you get tied up or are just too stressed to spend your well-earned weekend writing blog posts, you won't have to. Full-time, self-employed bloggers may not need to do this, but even some of those guys do so that they can get more done. It pays to be prepared and you'll thank yourself for doing it!

Photograph in batches - I like to use my own photography wherever I can, but winter nights and a flat that's best lit at around 11am means that to get good quality images with my less-than-fancy bridge camera I need to take them at the weekend. This isn't the worst thing though, as it means I am usually able to take two weeks worth of photos and edit them all there and then, and am good to go!

Don't sweat it if it gets too much - Make realistic commitments (I tend to prefer posting 3-4 good posts a week rather than 7 rushed and ill-considered ones) and do not beat yourself up if you fall behind or miss something. That's the point when the hobby becomes un-enjoyable and you begin to lose your passion. Just sit down, regroup and make a plan for going forward.

Don't compare yourself to others - On a final note. I find it can be really easy to look at the blogs of full-timers and wonder how you'll ever achieve what they have. Hell, even part-time bloggers with other jobs can seem to do the impossible sometimes. Just do your thing, it's what your readers love you for.

Happy blogging everyone!




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Saturday, 24 January 2015

'Yes Please' by Amy Poehler will make her your new BFF


I am a massive fan of Parks & Recreation (and if you're not, you should be!), but I had no idea what to expect from improv comedian, writer and actress Amy Poehler's book, Yes Please. True to form I was bowled over by her honesty and humour and frankly I was she was my BFF. The book is part autobiography, part series of hilarious, occasionally drug-fuelled anecdotes, and somewhere between this and her frankly very good advice, I was hooked.

The one thing that left me feeling very relieved once I got my teeth stuck into Amy's story is that she is by no means delusional about how exceptional her life has been, but also doesn't deny that it's been difficult to get there. It was inspiring to see that for years and years she was knocked back before hitting a series of big breaks that lead her to SNL and Parks but literally just kept going through all the crap. 

It was also nice to hear from a woman in her forties that hasn't turned boring and sour from marriage, kids and divorce. Being an adult doesn't sound that bad when you hear it from her. There are also guest chapters from a few familiar faces, including Tina Fey and Seth Myers, who I love.

Even if you've never seen Parks or SNL or actually heard of Amy Poehler I would highly recommend giving this a go. In fact I insist that you do.

***
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Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Lush Cynthia Sylvia Stout Beer Shampoo


"A shampoo consisting of beer and lemon juice? Really?!" were my thoughts when I first found this shampoo on the shelves of Lush. However, after a little research into whether this stuff just might actually work I decided to purchase a small sized bottle to try.

Not all of Lush's hair products have impressed me in the past - a shampoo that didn't really foam and a conditioner that left a greasy residue didn't endear me to natural haircare.This stuff however is something very different.

While I'm not sure I'd reach for this if I had a vom-worthy hangover, the smell is actually quite agreeable, even nice, thanks to the lemon. The consistency is a little runny so you do have to pour carefully, but a little goes a long way. The shampoo is foamy and light and doesn't leave much of the smell either.

After the first wash I saw serious results. My hair is thick and can look dull and bushy, but after my usual blow dry it was shiny, bouncy and manageable. It doesn't dry out or irritate my scalp and dare I say I've been managing an extra day between washes thanks to this as things seem far less greasy up top.

In short, while a tad more expensive than your usual everyday shampoo, Lush's Cynthia Sylvia Stout shampoo is well worth giving a go.


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Saturday, 17 January 2015

Interior trends: Grey days

Living in a rented flat which we can't redecorate I often find myself on Pinterest, lusting after blogger-worthy interiors. While white has been a huge trend lately, grey walls seem to be creeping in here and there, and boy do I love them. One day I'll be rid of the Magnolia, one day.







Images on Pinterest
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Tuesday, 13 January 2015

My Olivia Burton Midi Dial Watch




One Christmas present I was really, really looking forward to opening was this beautiful watch from Olivia Burton. I had been lusting after it for ages and when my parents asked me if there was anything I wanted I knew just what to say.

I had tried on one of the big dial watches in a shop previously and knew that the huge, although gorgeous, faces are just too big for my child's width wrists, so this midi size was perfect. As you can see it's still got quite a presence.

The face has a golden, pearly sheen and the leather strap is soft and comfortable. There are enough holes on the strap for a wide range of wrist widths too so luckily I didn't have to take a leather punch to it. I would have cried.

Olivia Burton offer a range of quirky face designs and strap colours, but I knew as soon as I saw this one that it would be perfect for adding a bit of simple chic to any outfit day or night and would go with everything. I didn't want a watch that was too unique to wear with anything I own!

A limited selection are available to buy now online from The Dressing Room which is where mine came from, as well as other reputable jewellers.
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Sunday, 11 January 2015

Birchbox January 2015: Women's Health



Claudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum - This post-cleanse, pre-moisturising serum aims to even out skin tone and inject a bit of glow into the skin. I can't say yet if it does either of those things but after a couple of uses I can say it makes my skin feel a-maz-ing. I love Claudalie products and this is no exception. 

Green People Intensive Repair Shampoo - Organic beauty is all the rage these days and this shampoo features green tea, yucca and aloe vera in place of chemical nasties to restore dry or damaged hair.

Stila Lip Glaze - I believe this is the shade 'Watermelon' but it doesn't say on the tube! I'm usually not a fan of lipgloss but this is so non-sticky that it just might change my ways!

Korres Citrus Showergel - Oh Korres, your non-fussy, androgenously scented bath products are just perfect. There is little else to be said!

Embrace Matcha Green Tea - A powder-based, antioxidant packed green tea. It's a shame this isn't caffeine free but it'll still help you form good habits. Swap normal tea and fizzy drinks for this and you're half way there.

Pilates Band - This month's lifestyle item is a pilates band. A welcome addition for those looking to introduce a little more exercise into their day. It even comes with activities you can perform while sitting at a desk!

Hit Refresh challenge cards - Instead of the usual postcards, this month we have a booklet of tear out challenges aimed at helping us try new things and gain better habits. Among my favourite suggestions are cold showers and going outside for 10 minutes every day.

Thinking of trying Birchbox? It's just £10 a month + P&P and you can cancel any time. Here's my referral link: http://birchbox.co.uk/?raf=45548

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Saturday, 10 January 2015

Photoshoot at The Factory Covent Garden






I don't know about you but as a teenager I was not in the least bit jealous of those girls who got group photoshoots as birthday presents. Cakey makeup, those weird circular chairs that everyone posed on, and getting taken for a serious ride when the shoot was over and the photographer wanted £1000 for the disc just wasn't my cup of tea.

My friend Lana and I were approached a little while ago however to have a shoot at The Factory in Covent Garden, London, and while we had some initial reservations about the salesman's claims of a non-cheesy, professional environment we weren't disappointed. 

For £20 each we spent a good couple of hours having our nails, hair and makeup done to a really high standard, with champagne and fruit juices on tap and music in the background. The studio is a little on the small side, so only one pair or group could be shot at a time. This meant there was a little waiting to be done but it wasn't too bad and we spent most of it jabbering and taking selfies.

We went into the studio together and shot a range of individual and group shots against multiple backdrops and had 3 different outfit changes. It went by really quickly and the chatty photographer (whose name has escaped me!) was non-creepy and most importantly made us laugh and feel natural. I'm definitely not a poser and felt really awkward about the whole thing but we got there in the end!

We were originally only meant to have one photo each on a disc and prices for more weren't all that cheap, but when going through the photos in the office we couldn't decide! All our umming and ahhing paid off and we walked away with five for an additional £40. It's something we probably won't get the chance to do again and the photos turned out great so we really didn't mind!

I'd highly recommend booking if you can - happy snapping!



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Thursday, 8 January 2015

The best budget eyeliner buys


When you're on a tight budget and mostly restricted to budget brands, choosing the right product can come with a lot of pressure. Unfortunately there are some disappointing offerings out there, even at the high end, but I've found a few low-priced formulas that really perform and get you some serious bang for your buck.

Natural Collection Eye Lines pencil in Soft Brown - This is a great every day liner. At just £1.99 the pencil is soft and pigmented, and doesn't transfer or bleed into creases. I where this a lot for work as it's not as bold as black but still adds definition.

Rimmel Glam Eyes Liquid Liner in Black Glamour - My desert island liner. Black as night and no transfer or smudging whatsoever even on my obscenely oily lids. This stuff is easy to remove at night but doesn't budge all day. The thin brush initially took a little getting used to being accustomed to felt nibs but was nothing a cotton bud couldn't solve and after a few tries I never looked back and can now get it perfect every time. At just over a fiver there isn't much to use.

Collection Fast Stroke Eyeliner in Black - Another liquid favourite and this time under £3. Incredibly easy to use and pretty hard wearing. This cracks a little on me but if I'm only out for a few hours it really does the job. Try the waterproof version for even longer wear.

Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Liner in Nude and Black - These liners pack a colour punch and at £3.99 don't break the bank. I much prefer Rimmel's eye products to other drugstore brands and these pencils are no exception. I use the Nude shade on the water line to hide redness and look more awake, while the black is a perfect smudger for a sultry, smoky look.

So there you have it, 5 liners to cover all bases and preferences for just a few pounds each!

***



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Sunday, 4 January 2015

Currently reading: #1

Every couple of months from now on I'll be sharing with you what books I've currently got on the go or plan to be reading in the very near future. If I get on well with them I'll put full reviews together, but I think this is a great way to present my initial thoughts on a book and motivate myself to finish them a bit quicker!


Yes Please by Amy Poehler - Since I received this booked as a Christmas gift everything else has taken a back seat. I am worryingly obsessed with this woman since discovering and marathoning all six seasons of Parks and Recreation - my favourite TV show in a long, long time. This book is part memoir, part advice, part rambling and is perfect for dipping in and out of. So far it's been funnier than I expected, but also touching, honest and incredibly well written. Hat's off to you Ms Poehler!

We are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler - I started this a little while ago but have been too busy to sit down and finish it. I already know the ending thanks to a spoiler filled review I read on the Guardian website, but I'd still recommend it. The narrator, Rosemary, is left a seemingly only child at a young age after her 'twin' sister Fern disappears, and her teenage brother also ups and leaves. This novel tackles family politics, science and serious plot twists.

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse - A more unusual choice but I am currently revisiting the Buddhist way of thinking. I studied the practice at A level and it really rang true, but going back to Hermann Hesse's simple retelling of the core Buddha story is helping me focus and gain prospective once more.

What are you reading right now?


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Friday, 2 January 2015

2015 plans for Tea Books Eyeliner




I'm not a huge fan of making New Year's resolutions concerning myself, but I'll happily look back on time spent on a project or hobby and set out goals for the future. This blog hasn't even been up and running for a year yet, but the past 7 months have been a steep learning curve and now is definitely the time to create feasible objectives that will take my little blog to the next level.

Improve on my photography - I don't have the fanciest camera, just a bridge camera that I've been using for years and years. It did occur to me a little while ago though that I've forgotten most of the tricks I learned in A level photography and haven't been using it to its full potential. This will be the year I get to grips with my camera properly to produce higher quality, more eye catching photos.

Promote my posts a little more - I really need to start promoting my posts properly. Sure they auto-publish to Twitter but that's currently about it. When I share them again later in the day or on Instagram, double or sometimes triple the amount of people read the post. I've got to put myself out there a bit more and not be so scared of sharing my content on more personal platforms like Facebook either,

Actually live up to my blog title - If I fell down on one thing during 2014 it was reading. Moving house, new job and a million other tasks took precedent over some serious page time, and I would often find myself falling asleep in front of the TV when I would much rather be reading a good book! This year I'm going to share reading lists, currently readings and reviews a lot more so that I can keep myself on track and actually give people more of what I promised when I created this blog: Lifestyle posts, book reviews and a little girliness thrown in for good measure.

I'll be looking back on these goals again in a few months time and giving you an update on where I am with them!

Wishing you all the best for 2015 from TBE HQ!! 
xoxo


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