Bury Me With It


Happy Halloween you lovely bunch! My Happy Halloween is being spent at work - my first day back after a glorious week off, so unfortunately, on the run up to this day I didn't have the opportunity to do a themed fashion-related post. However if you're following me on Snapchat or Instagram and look at My Story, you will have had already seen me completely lose it over this shirt las week when the parcel arrived on my doorstep. But for those of you who didn't have the joy of witnessing me lose my shit over this, I now present you with this blog post. And you know what, it's a second chance for you lot who did see me lose it to see me gushing about it again because it's the gift that just keeps on giving - you lucky buggers. I absolutely love this shirt and if I am not buried wearing this, faced down so everyone can bask in the glory of the back of it, I will haunt the life and soul out of those responsible for giving me a more dignified send off. The shirt itself isn't *the best* quality as it's quite thin, kind of cheap material which will undoubtedly click a lot, bobble/bubble, and just generally show wear and tear easily, but the back of it makes it worth every penny.

The whole thing is embroidered and the fact that it's a scorpion with pretty girly flowers just melts my heart. It's the perfect design and colour palette. Teamed with a simple outfit to let it be the focus and to let it speak for itself is definitely my favourite way to wear it and I'm 100% considering buying it again just so I have a spare for when this one dies a death because let's face it... I already know I'm going to have a meltdown the day that happens!

Topshop Embroidered Shirt | Primark Leggings | Asos Fedora (similar) |
Poor Boy Vintage Saddle Bag via Asos Marketplace | Asos Loafers

- A.
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A-Z of Amyleigh



Hello you wonderful people - today I thought I'd do another more personal but lighthearted post because I know my 25 Things I've Learned in 25 Years post back in April was a big hit with a lot of you and well I just wanted to write something that was a bit more chatty and fun. One thing I've noticed my blog is sometimes lacking in a more personal insight into me. I mean, I write posts 3/4 times a week, talking about the things I like or things that I have done, but I don't necessarily talk about myself on a deeper level. So with that said, I thought the A-Z tag would be a perfect post to do. Months ago, I considered doing this as a series on the blog but that would mean it would take 26 weeks to complete and I ain't got enough blog schedule space for those kind of shenanigans so one post will suffice! I hope you enjoy reading this as I had a good ol' think about what to include and what you guys might want to know about me or just completely random facts that you might not have ever have guessed. So grab a cuppa and strap yourselves in because it's going to be a long one:

A - Art. I absolutely love drawing and painting and although I don't get to do it much at the moment because of my hectic full on job, I love it as a topic of discussion, a way to spend spare time, and a way to learn more about people/history/culture/religion etc. I plan to do a full post on art - which may include some of my own creations - in the near future in my "My Other Interests" series so keep a look out for that if you're a fellow art aficionado. I find Tumblr is a great site for me to collate artwork I like and feel inspired during those times I can afford to spend several hours beavering away myself so again, check out tumblr if what sort of art I like intrigues you.

B - Bananas and Bourbon biscuits. I bet you were expecting me to mention something about books here but har har I've deceived you. Books are pretty important but no where near as important as banana flavoured stuff and bourbon biscuits. I'm actually not that keen on bananas (they have an odd texture and I'm not a fan) but give me banana flavoured milk or those little foam sweets and I am aaall over that. If I had to choose just one snack option for the rest of my life though, albeit a tough decision to make, I know I'd have to pick the best biscuits in the world. Custard creams you come a close second though so don't worry.

C - Custard Cre- just kidding. Comics comics comics. This one is another not surprising statement for most of you, but I bloody love comics and graphic novels. Although I like to get stuck in and lost in a good novel, I always prefer picking up a comic or thirty. There's so many different and adventurous stories that comics can bring to life I'm always spoilt for choice - it also means I can appreciate some pretty darn good artwork too so win win.

D - Dance. From the age of about six, I went to weekly dancing classes and was particularly good at line dancing (yep, cowboy hat and boots and all). I'm blowing my own trumpet here but I was actually incredibly good at it but foolishly gave it up when I became a teenager because it was "embarrassing", too much effort, and ugh it meant I couldn't wear my MCR or Green Day hoodies 24/7. I'd love to go back to it someday.

E - Engagement. Back in August, Matthew proposed to me and I was so happy I (almost) did a cry and I'm the "ice queen" so I never cry. Since then my favourite bit of jewellery will forever be my engagement ring.

F - Fangs. If you google the phrase "yaeba" or "yaeba teeth", you'll be met with a definition that states: "In Japan, yaeba is human teeth, especially upper canines, with an uncommonly fang-like appearance. In Japan it is perceived as a sign of youthfulness". After having braces for a while when I was little, I managed to fall down the stairs and knocked my upper canines into the mess they are now and I still haven't had them fixed. People in Japan will pay up to £350 per tooth to get the look I got by cartwheeling down the stairs like a buffoon so maybe I should move there to be the ultimate trend-setter.

G - Games. Something I occasionally mention on NB is games. I am an avid video game player when I have the spare time to get completely lost in one and have been feverishly playing them since I was really young. Both of my parents were into gaming and into completely different styles of it at that so I adopted a love for all sorts of stuff and the love has never really faded. I did a whole post on some of my all-time favourites already and I do a monthly mention of anything I've been playing in my monthly review posts too! Also feel like I should mention here that Gabumon was my favourite Digimon growing up because I know you need these golden nuggets of information.



H - Hook. I could have put so many things here but there was just a niggling feeling that I should mention Hook. Peter Pan is one of my all-time favourite stories and has been since I was small. I love the original Peter Pan story, I love Disney's Peter Pan adaptation, but the Peter Pan-related story I love the most has to be the Spielberg movie, Hook. Robin Williams is absolute gold in it (when is he not though, come on now) and no matter how many times I watch it, I never get bored and almost always cry at least once. It's just so good.

I - Introverted Homebody. I've definitely mentioned it somewhere before, but I am an introvert through and through. It has taken me a long time to realise this and come to terms with it/accept it, but I'm happiest at home, basking in my own company, reading or watching TV. If people don't like that, I don't mind because I'm happy.

J - Juice. I am an utter juice fiend. Particularly for cranberry or apple juice. I just can't get enough.

K - Kerrang! all the goddamn time. This probably isn't that surprising if you know my music taste, but Kerrang! was pretty much my whole teen years. It was on TV from the moment I got in from school until I went to bed everyday and my local newsagents had to order in two copies of the magazine - one for me and one for the only other goth in the village - because I lived in a delightful chavvy place so it wasn't a mag that would usually grace the shelves.

L - Labyrinth. Another film I had to mention was obviously, Labyrinth. David Bowie is one of my most favourite musical artists and the Labyrinth film is my firm childhood favourite and easily in my Top Five as an adult. I just have extremely fond memories of it and if I ever have children, they will be made to watch it until they appreciate it for all it's cheese and amazingness too.

M - Cormack McCarthy and Mass Effect. Mr McCarthy will be one of my most favourite authors from now until the end of time. His writing style and storytelling is like no other and his wonderful book, The Road, will always make me want to cry, throw it across the room, but also cradle it because it gives me every single feeling all at once. If you haven't read it, you have to ASAP. Also just thought I'd pop Mass Effect in here because other than Final Fantasy, it is my favourite game series and I'm literally chomping at the bit for the release of the new game next year. Oh. my. GOOD. god.

N - Northern Blood. I don't think I've ever mentioned why NB is NB, but its because I'm a Geordie (someone who hails from the north east of England) and I'm proud. Simple as that. Whey aye man!

O - Ocean. One thing I really miss about living in the north east is how easy it was to get to the beach. Hop on the underground or a bus and 30 minutes later, you could be sitting next to the crashing waves with a hot drink. I never ever get the feeling I do at the beach anywhere else and even just walking along the coastline for half an hour or so can give me a positive boost that will last for days.

P - Pangolins and Proteas. As all the other letters are taken for some of my favourite animals (sloths, tapirs, bees, owls) I thought I'd mention the wee little cuties pangolins. That meme saying they look like they are about to ask you to prom? I die. I also thought I'd mention proteas (or sugarbushes) here too. I love yellow and orange roses and I'm a big fan of sunflowers, thistles, eucalyptus leaves, and ferns when it comes to flowers and plants, but my ultimate favourite flower are those big ol' beautiful proteas because they look out of this world. Oh I should also mention that I put pepper on/in pretty much everything I eat. And far too much of it too - I love it.



Q - Quality Street green triangles. Now if were unfortunate enough to have ate the green triangles out of the Quality Street tin/tub at Christmas time without consulting me first, your life would not have been worth living. Whether it was my mam, brother, or grandparents, they all had to (and sometimes still do) save the green nougat triangles for me because they're my faves.

R - Ryan Gosling a.k.a. my second boyfriend. People who know me will be rolling their eyes right now (including Matt- hi Matt, you know about this fling it's fine) because this love affair is no secret. I fancy the pants of Ryan Gosling because duh, it's Ryan Gosling, but I would also say alongside Heath Ledger (third boyfriend), Robin Williams and Paul Rudd, he's one of my favourite actors because he's in a lot of my favourites films. Coincidence? Probably not. But he *is* a great actor... He just also happens to have been handcrafted by the gods too.

S - Serial Killers and Silent Hill. That took a deep uncomfortable turn there didn't it? I have a morbid fascination with true crime/serial killers and criminal psychology. At college I wanted to study criminal psychology because, believe it or not, Silence of the Lambs made that job look hella appealing to me. I still think it would amazing to work with people in that sector because I love finding out what made them do what they did, but I guess it's safer to just observe it all at a distance via documentaries/books. I also thought I'd give a quick shout out to Silent Hill because those games fucked me up as a child and I still love the movies - even if they're not that great I regularly watch them anyway. I just love the monster character design of the franchise and I personally thought the storyline for the initial games was a pretty great one.

T - Twin Peaks. Sticking with the macabre and the strange because why the fuck not it's almost Halloween, I had to quickly mention my all-time favourite show: Twin Peaks. Special Agent Dale Cooper is a heartthrob, David Lynch is a mastermind, and the theme tune is the most relaxing thing in the world. This show makes me feel incredibly nostalgic when I watch it and I love every character and what to have all of their wardrobes (Log Lady is my ultimate favourite though for obvious reasons. I mean, she has a talking log and great glasses). If you don't know what Twin Peaks is, it's a show about Special Agent Dale Cooper, an out of town investigator, comes to Twin Peaks to investigate a death of a young school girl. It's briliiantly bizarre and unpredictable and if you watch it, you can thank me later.

U - University. Let's go for the triple threat and talk about how I want to study death at university. I have kinda done this already as I studied Archaeology for my undergrad degree, but I am desperate to get back to studying and next on my education hit list is a masters in looking at how death and bereavement is celebrated and conducted in different cultures and religions. It literally sounds like the ideal course to me.

V - Vincent Valentine and Vileplume. If you read my post about my favourite video games or know about my love and obsession with Final Fantasy, you might just know who Vincent Valentine is. He's a character from FFVII and he is the most emo, vampirish character in anything ever so naturally, I've loved him since the first time I played the game. Cid Highwind is a close runner up though just because he's such a grumpy old dad of a man and I love it. Vileplume was also my favourite original Pokémon if you were wondering!



W - Wagner. No, I'm not talking about Wilhelm Richard Wagner, the German composer no no no, I'm talking about Wagner from X Factor. Remember him? He was the best contestant there has ever been on that show ever and he was the one reason I managed to watch a who season of it. What a guy.

X - The X-Files. Another cult favourite show of mine has got to be X-Files. It has the slightly cheesy but super nostalgic 90s feel for me and it is truly a great show - if you haven't watched it and sci-fi is your thing, you need to watch all of the old series. This year they also relaunched it with the same main characters and I'm pleased to say, it's still a delight for the senses.

Y - Yellow and Yoga. I've almost definitely mentioned it before here on NB, but my favourite colour is yellow. It's such a lovely bright vibrant colour and sunflowers and bees are yellow and they are some of my favourite things. I also love spending time doing yoga. I had a bit of a hiatus this year but I'm back on track with it now and it makes me so relaxed, calms down my anxiety, and boy oh boy does it improve my flexibility and muscle tone. Big thumbs up to yoga.

Z - Zombies. When it comes to horror, I love giving myself the willies but I'm also terrified of everything. One thing I do enjoy though is anything to do with zombies. The Walking Dead is a *great* TV show, Tokyo Ghoul is one of my favourite animes which has human flesh-eating ghouls in it, and as I mentioned earlier, Silent Hill and the likes of Resident Evil were some of my favourite games growing up. I also love watching makeup YouTubers do zombie SFX stuff too - my current favourite is this trypophobia zombie offering from Jordan Hanz. I quite like the blood and gore of horror, I just don't deal well with the paranormal and jump scares! Also if you haven't watched Mark Plier play through the zombie/horror survival game "Outlast" specifically, the "Whistleblower" playlist, you need to watch it.

Gosh, this post is a long one but I had a lot of fun writing it! I had to ask Matthew for help several times because it's incredibly tricky trying to think of something for every single letter. I hope you enjoyed reading it and if you managed to read it all without getting bored, I salute you. I hope you've gained a little insight into me, the nutter who runs NB, and complete the tag yourself!


- A.
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Nails Fit for Fall



Nail polish is something I'm rarely seen without because I hate my hands therefore nail polish often makes them look acceptable (in my eyes anyway). Although I'm a big believer in wearing whatever the hell you want when it comes to makeup all year round, there is certain sort of colour palette I gravitate towards depending on the time of year - especially when it comes to nails. In the summer I like the more bold greens, blues, oranges and even pinks (I'm so not a pink girl) and in the colder months, I like more muted and dark shades like most gals. Black is my ultimate go-to at this time of year so it's what I use most often, but I thought I'd give you a quick run down of the shades I've been reaching for the most (other than black) since the leaves started to change colour.

Barry M Gelly Hi-Shines in 'Mustard' and 'Paprika' | £3.99 each: I blogged about these particular colours/formulas this time last year on NB but they're still going strong and still some of my absolute fave colours to wear; especially during autumn. Mustard yellow is my all-time favourite colour and I love having the option to pop it into any outfit palette by wearing it as a beauty item rather than a clothing item. Every time I wear it, I do look at it and think "I kind of look like my nails are just gross and infected" but I also like it so make of that what you will. My other favourite colour is 110% rusty/burnt orange shades so Paprika is a firm favourite. I wear both of these colours all year round because they're my actual favourite colours, but they look particularly good during the autumnal months. The formula of the Barry M Gellys is very long lasting, high shine, and I find they only really start to chip after about a week of continuous wear/if you haven't used a top and bottom coat and for £3.99 each, you can't really go wrong.

Essence The Gel Nail Polish in 'Island Hopping' | £1.60 each: Judging by the name of this one I'm guessing it's actually supposed to be a summer nail colour but oh well. Essence are definitely one of my go-to budget brands when I was ultra affordable makeup but their nail varnishes took me by surprise because they're so good for such a great price. These gel formulas are supposed to mimic what gel salon nails offer so they're supposed to be long wearing and chip resistant and would you have guessed it - they are! You do need to build up the coats with this polish (up to 3 coats sometimes) but each layer dries quite quickly and once you've done your nails you can feel confident with knowing the colour won't chip for a good 5 or 6 days. I really love this colour as it's a deep emeraldy/ocean/turquoise kind of colour that matches mustard yellows, warm burnt oranges, deep burgundies, and navy blues really well making it a nice autumn shade to wear. Unfortunately, I can't find this exact shade on Wilko's website, but I've linked a similar shade called 'Wild and Free' which I desperately want to pick up ASAP. It's a beautiful metallic but gel deep green - perfect for A/W!



Bourjois So Laque! Ultra Shines in 'Bleu Asphalte' and 'Beige Glamour' | £5.99 each: You may have noticed I tend to like polishes that promise a high shine because I am *not* about that matte nail varnish life. My second favourite nail formula comes in the form of these Bourjois Ultra Shines as they are yep, you guessed it, very high shine, they dry down quite quickly so they're fuss free, and they albeit small colour range is a good one. For this time of year specifically, I love to pull out Bleu Asphalte as it's a gorgeous unusual colour that I haven't seen from any other brand. It's a really deep grey shade that has a kind of blue/purple tone to it which looks beautiful on the nails. These polishes are very pigmented too and you can honestly get away with just one coat if you're strained for time. My second fave is Beige Glamour which isn't beige at all but is that lovely blush/rusty pink colour we've seen popping up all over late summer/early autumn fashion trends. As it's such a deep pink shade, it looks especially nice during the colder months but again, this is a one I go back to time and time again throughout the year.

These Ultra Shines promise 7 days of wear and I would totally agree - just like the Barry M Gelly formula, they don't really chip which is excellent. Bourjois are actually my favourite brand for understated nail colours as all of their formulas are great and the colour range is a nice neutral palette with the odd red or bright shade thrown in there to compliment the other unique shades. They also have the most comfortable handle to use out of all of my polishes as it's quite chunky but fits into my tiny hands nicely making the application really smooth, fuss free, and even.

Models Own Colour Chrome in 'Rose' | £4.99 each: Now for the only metallic polish I've been rocking a lot lately. I've blogged about these polishes before so I won't repeat myself too much, but of course I've been reaching for this light coppery/rose gold shade often lately. It's a colour that is still really on trend in general but it's also a nice change in my usual nail colour choices as it's not a gel-like high shine nail and it's a little bit different to the other metallic/foil shades from other drugstore brands at the moment. I also like wearing the silver and gold shades of this polish but the rose gold doesn't seem to be as readily available from other brands so it's a nice more unique nail option when I want a more sparkly nail.

Barry M Nail Paint in 'Berry Cosmo' | £2.99 each: Would it really be an autumnal beauty post if I didn't mention a burgundy/berry coloured product? Barry M will forever be my favourite nail range and their original nail paints have such a great extensive colour range for such an affordable price. They're not as high shine or long wearing as their Gelly range but they're still pretty darn good. There's a few different deep plummy/berry/burgundy shades in the range that look lovely during this time of the year but I've been reaching for Berry Cosmo the most this year. It's exactly what it says on the tin: a true purple berry shade that looks lovely against my pale skin. Another favourite is Raspberry which is extremely similar in colour but it has a more red undertone to it if you prefer that kind of burgundy shade.

- A.
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Tailored

Apologies for the grainy pictures, but it's getting to that time of year again when getting blog photos indoors because you're too shy and self conscious to do them outside becomes an issue because there's about 5 hours of "okay" daylight each day. Don't get me wrong though, I am super happy about the weather change still and the leaves have finally started changing so I'm definitely going to need to get out and about with my camera ASAP. This little lacey jumper isn't really the first option most people would have for colder weather, but I just love it. It goes with pretty much everything I own and looks great on its own with a nice bra underneath or as an extra layer over the top of another long sleeved top or a cropped tee. When it eventually get really too cold for this, even underneath a coat, I will be using it as an extra layer to give an outfit just a little bit more texture and a bit of something something. Bury me in this with some high-waisted denim please.

Motel Crop Lace Top | Sisley via Asos Slim Fit Trousers | Asos Belt |
Poor Boy Vintage Saddle Bag | Asos Simone Heels


- A.
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The World's Best Beef Pie



It has been a wee while since I last did a recipe post on NB so today's offering will hopefully make up for the lack of food posts here! It will probably come as no surprise that today's post is based on a Jamie Oliver recipe and it should also come as no surprise to see my trusty kitchen elf Matthew in some of these photos as he is the brains and muscle behind most of our culinary operations. Matt first made this pie for me when we first started dating and boy oh boy did it make me fall in love (with him, but also with the pastry covered slices of heaven I was shovelling into my mouth). If you're British, there's a good chance you enjoy a good stodgy, comforting pie now and again as I know I do. There's something about pie, mash and some gravy that just makes me feel a bit warm and content inside. But this pie? This pie in particular is the best I've ever had. As Jamie mentions in his book, Jamie's Great Britain, he served it to Prince William & Princess Kate on their wedding day so if it's good enough for royalty, it's certainly good enough for me.

Pie is such a good way to get rid of random leftovers and ingredients in one easy way and it's also a super good meal option for those of us who might want to be a little fancy in the kitchen and make our own pastry, or for us lazy bones who buy premade but like the idea of leisurely making a hearty meal on a lazy Sunday afternoon. So throw in some good beef, some beer, and some pearl barley and you've got a winning combination and if you want to make it yourself, keep on reading and I'll tell you how!


Total time: 3.5+ hours
Serves: 10 people (or can be kept refrigerated for a few days if there's just the two of you!)

Ingredients:
For the filling:
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 knob of butter
- 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
- 3 sprigs of fresh thyme leaves
- 3 fresh bay leaves
- 2-3 medium red onions
- 1kg shin of beef
- sea salt and ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons of tomato purée
- 400ml of Guiness
- 2 heaped tablespoons of plain flour
- 1.5 litres of beef stock
- 140g pearl barley
- 3 table spoons of English or Dijon mustard
- 100g of cheddar cheese

For the pastry:
- 1 box of Just Roll shortcrust (no one has time for making pastry come on now!)
- 1 large egg, beaten, or milk (for egg/milk wash)

To prep & cook:
1.) Throw the olive oil, butter, and the herbs into a large casserole/chilli pot type pan which you need to have on the hob on a high heat. Roughly chop and add the onions (and the carrots if you have them - they're not part of the original recipe but this is a good leftovers recipe!) with the diced meat, and some salt and pepper. Mix it all together and let it cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Next, add the tomato purée, the guiness or stout beer, flour, and stock, and stir until everything blends togethr and begins to simmer. Now we play the waiting game: turn the heat down really low and pop the lid on the pot, letting it cook for 1 hour - just make sure to check on it occasionally.



After that initial hour, it's time for my favourite ingredient: begin to stir in the pearl barley. Put the lid back on and simmer the mixture for another hour, and once the time is up, simply remove the lid and let the pot simmer for a further 30 minutes or until the meat shreds easily and the gravy has thickened. If there is any oil sitting on the surface, spoon it away and stir in the mustard and finely grate the cheese to add. If you have Worcestershire sauce - add this in too!

Whilst the pie filling is still simmering away, now is the time to get the pastry ready. Don't waste time making some - you can if you want to go all out but Just Roll pastry is just as tasty, less hassle, and takes no where near as much time to make. Simply take the pastry out of the fridge in good time, flour your surface which you are going to roll the pastry out on and your rolling pin and you're good to go! Once you have rolled out the pastry to about 1cm thick, preheat the oven to 180c/350f/gas mark 4. Take the pot off the hob and ladle the stew into a large pie/lasagne dish. Make sure you have beaten your egg/have some milk ready and use it to eggwash/milkwash the edges of the pie dish, ready for adding the pastry soon! If you don't have a pastry brush you can always use a clean foundation brush if you don't mind needing to wash it afterwards. It's also worth noting if you want your pie to be really golden and shiny once baked, an eggwash will get a better finish but it's not a necessity.



Now is your chance to make sure your pastry is big enough to cover your whole dish. If it *just* fits it's not the end of the world - the pastry will just collapse and lie on top of the filling, making it less crisp (this happened this time around for us making it!) but it doesn't ruin it. But to avoid pastry shrinkage, make sure you have rolled your pastry out so it is a little bit bigger than the dish. Carefully place it on top of the pie and then trim off any pastry which is hanging over the edges to stop them from burning. Pinch and squash the edges of the pastry (or use a fork to imprint the edges) for traditional pie deco. If you have any leftover pastry from the edges you can always use them to put some letters/decoration on top of the pie! Eggwash/milkwash the pastry and cook the pie at the bottom of the hot oven found 45 to 50 minutes or until the pastry is looking golden and mouthwateringly good.

Once it's ready, take it out of the oven and give it a few minutes to rest and cool down. The best thing about this pie is that it is great on it's own or with a multitude veggies/side dishes. As you can see, Matt & I had it will far too much mustard mash and tasty wee sweet peas but we also had it with mash and beans, with wedges, or you could just simply have it with lots of good veggies if you don't want anything extra stodgy.



And that's it! This pie is such a nice idea for any big gathering or to impress family members! It's a nice meal for any time of the year but it's obviously especially good during the autumn/winter months because it's such a comforting dish which is warming on a chilly evening. It's also a nice alternative to your traditional Sunday roast if somehow that sort of meal is getting boring. Like I mentioned earlier, it's a good one for serving larger groups but also for small groups with leftovers. Matt made this pie on Sunday and we were still working our way through it on Thursday - it lasts quite well in the fridge so you can definitely save it and keep it for lunches/dinners later in the week, making it quite a cheap and cheery meal to make too!

As always, our recipes are either missing or adding ingredients when compared to the originals, but let me know how you get on if you decide to make it!


- A.
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Foundation Free & Happy



For a girl who loves makeup and has always worn it if she has needed to leave the house since around the age of 12, this blog title was something I never expected to sit down and type yet, here we are. A couple of months ago I posted all about why I wear makeup and how my reasons for doing so have changed dramatically over the years, but one thing I never thought I'd do is be foundation free everyday and most shockingly, feel confident about it. If you've read this blog from the start, or my previous blogs from the last several years, or you know me, you will be well acquainted with an Amyleigh who used to wear a mask of matte foundation and nothing else would do. I was an Estée Lauder Double Wear, topped with MAC's Studio Fix powder girl through and through and that was my daily routine for such a long time. As I got older, I dabbled more and more with other brands and I guess I just started to look for other things. Being extremely oily and fighting acne meant I always wanted to keep my skin looking as matte as possible but now? I guess I'm getting used to that being an option only for the first hour or two of my day.

So this all came about when I went to visit my best friend during July. I had been away to Rome with Matt, melted in the heat everyday, wearing either no foundation or barely any and came back to the UK super pleased to hide my blemishes and oils again. But then I went up to Manchester, got far too drunk and wanted/proceeded to vomit my guts up after my first night there so putting on foundation was the *last* thing on my mind. I managed to slap on some concealer and steady my shaking hungover hands enough to draw on my brows and that was enough effort for the day. Funnily enough, I couldn't be bothered to put any foundation on again the next day. Or the next. Or yep, the next. I came back home to Winchester and didn't wear any for a few days then put a full face on one day to go and get tattooed and I have never felt so gross, tacky to the touch, and self-conscious in my life. As soon as I left the house I had an overwhelming feeling to wash my face and start again. It just felt so restricting. I felt like I didn't look like me and I felt like the makeup was actually making my oils worse when I used to think they were helping mask them.

So once I got home that day, I swore I wouldn't wear any unless I felt it was really necessary and I've not looked back since. I'm still wearing everything else - concealer, translucent powder, brows, and mascara - but foundation? Good riddance. My skin has been so grateful for the transition too. I no longer worry so much about my blemishes and just deal with the fact that they're there and sometimes they can't be covered up that well if at all and oh well, what a shame. It's not the end of the world. I've noticed that, although my skin is still pretty oily, it doesn't look *that* bad even if I've not been able to check my face in a mirror for over 7 hours whilst I've been at work because the oil hasn't had any foundation to break up and make look cakey. Not wearing it is giving my pores a chance to breathe too and yeah they might be big and noticeable, but I feel so much cleaner and fresher each day, all day.



I absolutely adore makeup if you couldn't tell by a weekly theme of posts on this blog, but I also love the fact that my interest in it and my reasons for being interested in it have changed. No longer am I trying lots of new and different products because I need to find something to cover up my skin; something to hide behind. No longer am I so self-conscious that I'm checking in the mirror every half hour to make sure my face hasn't slipped or started to crack and crease. Sure, I still don't have the level of confidence I think every girl *should* have. I'm not sitting here saying I love myself but I am getting there and that's what's important. I'm starting to accept the fact that I'm always going to have acne and you know what? That's fine. I'm always going to be an oily son of a gun and that's okay too. It's just something I need to learn to manage and come to terms with, not something I have to disguise in fear of what other people might think. I also totally need to come to terms with the fact that my brows are just non-existent and that you all now are probably looking at them thinking "wow, Amy, you really do need to paint them on everyday don't you" but that will be the next step for me to work on.

I don't really know what I wanted to get out of this post but I just wanted to make others aware that if you think positively and push yourself out of your comfort zone just that little bit more and more, you can begin to accept the parts of you that used to make you dislike yourself - the things that made you feel ugly as a person. It might seem like a vain thing to be so hung up on and you know what? It completely is but if you're someone who suffers from acne, someone who doesn't have the time or energy to apply makeup everyday, or if you're just someone who thinks they rely on it too much. Try having some makeup free days and see how it goes. If it doesn't empower you, I don't know what will.


- A.
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Chill(y) Days


Fashion/style blogging is a strange realm. You feel responsible to stay up to date with trends, you can feel obliged to buy all the new crazes and styles, but still need to try and have your own unique spin because I mean, no one needs to see another minimalist style that you've seen on the last 37 blog pages right? But it's a tricky one because no matter what, your style is going to be similar to someone elses but we need to accept that and be okay with it. We also need to accept that fashion blogging isn't a catwalk with a rotation of clothes and income that can afford to live that lifestyle. So now that I've said that, here's a lazy thrown-together "typical" Amyleigh outfit that didn't have an awful lot of thought put into it but it is comfortable, "fashionable" enough, and ties in the western/boho but minimal effort look I like to go for most days.

Primark V-Neck Tee (similar) | Topshop Plaid Shirt (similar) | Asos High Waisted Jeans | New Look Faux Leather Jacket | Asos Fedora (similar) | Topshop Fringe Suede Bag (similar) | Jeffrey Campbell Boots

- A.
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Twitter & Instagram xo