Sharing The Blogger Love - Blogs I Love.

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 After all this drama in the blogging community recently, it's about time we all told each other just how great we really are! To kick this off on my blog, I wanted to share with you just a fraction of my favourite blogs, who they are, where you can find them and why I love them. The aim of this post is not only to share with you whose blogs I read often, but to boost each others confidence and make us feel good about our blogs! I would also like to add that if you can't see your name here - it doesn't mean you don't have a brilliant blog!


Rebecca's blog is one of my all time favourites. Updated daily, I can find lots of beauty posts mixed with lifestyle and helpful tip posts. I can see just how much effort goes into Autumn Leaves and I would love for Rebecca to earn more recognition for the good work that she does!

 
 
I love reading Kirstie's blog and always keep myself updated. Kirstie posts very often and keeps her content interesting and up to date. You can expect wishlists, fashion posts and beauty reviews and my personal favourite - Disney! Check out her new blog design and header too - it's stunning.

 
Hannah's blog is yet another of my favourites - I never miss a post! I love that Hannah keeps her blog varied - there's beauty reviews, youtube videos and fashion posts. I love seeing Hannah's OOTD as she always has such gorgeous style - I look forward to each post.


 
Beth, Beth, Beth - where do I start? Beth is such a gorgeous talented lady, she's one to watch out for. With each post, you can tell how much passion she has poured into it and how much knowledge she has on the product she is reviewing. Add beautiful photography to that and voila - Birds Words!

 
I have been a reader of Kayleigh's blog for over a year now and I'm an avid fan. Each time Kayleigh posts a new blog post, I'm straight over there to have a peek to see what's going on! I love that Kayleigh keeps her blog varied - you can expect fashion, beauty and lifestyle posts. Couture Girl is such an honest and open blog, after reading Kayleigh's bullying post - I respect her even more and believe she is a strong girl!

Believe it or not, I only recently stumbled across Becky's blog and I cant believe just how beautiful it is. I was settled down one night and after discovering Milk Bubble Tea, I literally sat for hours, reading through all her old posts. Words cant describe this blog - check it out for yourself and that'll do the talking for you.

Okay, so I may be slightly biased with this one - Rachel's my sister! I love her to pieces and I'm now so glad that we get to share our hobby of blogging together. Rachel blogs mainly about her lifestyle - you can expect posts including her cute cat Milo, Home décor, OOTD and wedding updates! You can expect a beauty post thrown in here and there too, but as she says to me 'I'll never be as obsessed with makeup as you are!'

 
 
I have only recently discovered Adrienne's beauty blog and I absolutely love it. Gorgeous photography and lots of new posts each day! The posts I look forward to the post are her 'Daily Beauty Reports' in which Adrienne tells us about the new beauty releases we can expect to come our way very soon - it gets me excited!

 
Victoria's blog is actually the reason I found blogs and started writing mine - so I have a lot to thank her for! I found her blog through MSE and have been hooked since then. On Victoria's blog, you can expect to see everything vintage, Cath Kidston, baking, DIY and bargains! I love that everything is kept in a reasonable budget and you aren't being bombarded with high end items! Of course, I couldn't forget to mention Merlin!
 
Who are your favourite bloggers?
 
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Orlando Photo Diary: Part One

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Spring/Summer Trends With Fragrance Direct

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Recently I was lucky enough to take part in a beauty challenge with Fragrance Direct. This post is all about creating a pretty spring/summer beauty look ready for when the warmer weather will hit us! The products in this post were very kindly sent to me for the purpose of this blog post. After a week of wondering where my parcel had got to, my neighbour popped round with it and I had no idea he had it all that time! Good job he's not into makeup! I will kick off the post by starting with the most important part of my beauty regime - makeup! I love trying new products and occasionally I will step out of my comfort zone. When I received these makeup goodies, I was thrilled with them - I was really excited to try out a new look and get first impressions on the products too! Get yourself comfy, I've got a couple of things to tell you about!  

As the old saying goes - the eyes are the window to your soul - so I got straight to making my eyes look the best they could! To do this I started by using ColorSport's Eyebrow Definer in 'Brown'. This a pen application, almost like a felt tip pen, which makes it really easy to smooth the colour onto my eyebrows and created a perfect arch. I have a pale skintone and brunette hair and I thought the shade 'Brown' may have been ever so slightly light for my tone, but it suited perfectly and looked really natural. Next, I tried out L'Oreal's Super Liner Gel Intenza in 'Violet Black'. The gel liner comes in a petite pot and a small liner brush for an easy application. It did take me a few goes to get used to the product itself as I am so used to using a pen applicator when it comes to my eyeliner, but after a few tries I soon got the swing of it and really enjoyed using it. It gave me a bold look and the thin brush also gave me the perfect chance to create a little cat flick. Now, here comes stepping outside of my comfort zone - a pop of colour! When I saw the Rimmel Colour Mousse shadow in 'Mermaid' - a glitter blue shade, I wondered how I could work this as I am such an amateur when it comes to using colour! I decided the best way would be to keep it subtle. I washed the brush that came with the L'Oreal gel liner and then dipped it into the 'Mermaid Mousse'. Rather than going for a full on shadowed look, I thought it would be a good idea to add a flick of blue liner on top of my black. To finish off the look, I tried out Maybelline's The Colossal Mascara in 'Glam Black'. My first impressions of this mascara were brilliant! Sometimes it takes a mascara a good few uses to put a mascara to the test, but this volumising mascara gave me really good volume and length. It's also really easy to use on the bottom lashes too. To finish off, I quickly used the NYC Kohl Eyeliner Pencil in 'White' on my waterline to make my eyes look fresher and wide awake.
 
 
L to R: L'Oreal Liner in 'Violet Black', Rimmel Color Mousse in 'Mermaid' & NYC 'White' kohl liner.  
 
When the sun starts to rear it's beautiful head, us girls tend to keep our foundations lighter and crack open the bronzer. Bearing this in mind, for my base I applied UNE's BB Cream Foundation in shade ' 103'.  As the name may suggest, it's a cream based BB which can be applied with fingers or with a brush. It provides a light but very natural coverage and gives a slight illumination to my skin - perfect for days when I want lighter skin and don't want to feel bogged down with heavy foundation. I'm slowly becoming a bit of a bronzer hoarder and I'd like you to meet my new addition; Glo-Minerals 'Sunkiss Duo' bronzer . This a duo bronzer in shade 'Sunkiss' which is packaged with a compact mirror and sponge for easy application. I prefer to use a brush to apply bronzer, so I applied a mixture of the two shades to my cheekbones - and it really impressed me! It gave me a lot of definition to my normally chubby cheeks and this is going to perfect for summer.
 
 
L to R: Une BB Cream '103' & Sunkiss Bronzer.
 
Last but not least, it's onto the nails. Spring/ summer trends can tend to be pastels but in today's post its all about neon brights! I was lucky enough to receive the Ciate Neon Manicure Set in 'Foam Party'. The set includes three products and simple instructions. You start off by applying the paint pot and whilst it is still wet, you open the neon glitter pot and sprinkle glitter all over the nail to get your desired look. As you can see on my nail wheel - it's sparkles galore! Finish with a top coat and you're good to go. Warning: if you're clumsy like me, you will make a mess when using the neon glitter! The pot opens as a normal bottle so be very careful as it can spill everywhere.
So, there we have it! The perfect Spring/Summer trends with Fragrance Direct - I hope you enjoyed! x




 
*Products were sent for the purpose of this post.
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Seventeen Instant Glow Cream Bronzer Review

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There I was, casually browsing through Boots with my mum (who is a bad influence I may add) and we ended up in the Seventeen aisle, with the offer of 3 for 2 under our noses. My mum decided to pick up two foundations and to make it to a third product, I quickly spotted this bronzer. I was attracted to the sophisticated packaging and was also intrigued by the fact it was a cream bronzer - I have only ever used a matte bronzer before so I was interested in giving this a go. It didn't break the bank at just £4.99, so without the 3 for 2 offer, I still think I would have picked this up to try anyway. I have really been loving Seventeen as a brand these past couple of months, especially after discovering their amazing Stay Time foundation. Also, that pesky little 'new' sticker caught my eye too - the power of marketing!

As I mentioned, it is a cream bronzer and I was curious as to how I would get on with this product, what with being so used to a matte powder. The bronzer can be used to contour cheekbones and is also aimed at using on your collarbones and neck area (décolletage to others). I was a bit confused at first as to how was best to apply the bronzer - do I need to use a brush or shall I just use my fingers? I started off by using my fingers and then decided to use my Real Techniques Buffing Brush to blend in - this may not be the best option but I had no idea what else to use - bad beauty blogger alert! What I love about the cream bronzer is how easy it is to blend. It blends in perfectly and whilst it may look a slightly daunting shade when you first open the compact, it certainly matches my skin tone perfectly and doesn't leave me with any 'muddy' lines or patches.
 
A good tester of this bronzer was the day I applied my makeup around 7am and didn't touch up my makeup until 6pm - and I'm afraid it isn't good news here. I had applied the bronzer on my cheekbones and a small amount on the corners of my forehead - and these areas were then completely white. Somehow, it had completely disappeared, leaving me with noticeable marks showing my bare natural skin compared to my foundation. Other than this problem, I am enjoying using the bronzer. It's a buildable shade, meaning I think it would be perfect if you are new to the world of bronzing and want to give a lighter bronzer a try. Overall, it's a perfect subtle bronzer which doesn't have the lasting power that Benefit's Hoola does. I will continue to use this bronzer as I do like it, but I'm not sure whether I would repurchase. It's great for the price at just £4.99 for a cream bronzer - you cant really complain can you?!
Have you tried Seventeen's Cream Bronzer? x

 If you enjoy reading Sweet Dreams, you can vote for me as 'Best New Beauty Blog' here.


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Moroccan Oil V Macadamia Healing Treatment Oil

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For over a year now, hair oil has become a solid part of my haircare routine. It's an essential for my poor dry and damaged ends that they get their treat of a smoothing oil treatment to apologise for the hurt I cause them on a daily basis. I have been an avid fan of Moroccan Oil Treatment for a long time now, delving into the Moroccan Oil world after trying high street hair oils such as Loreal and Schwarzkopf (which is a really good oil if you're on a budget). Then came along the Macadamia Healing Treatment Oil*, meaning I really got to weigh in the results in this mini beauty battle - so who will win, Morroccan Oil or Macadamia? There's only one way to find out - FIGHT! (Sorry)
 
 

Price:
Let's talk about that big old elephant in the room. Both of these hair oils sadly don't come cheap. The Moroccan Oil I own is the larger size of 125ml which retails at £31.85 - ouch! Where as for exactly the same size of 125ml, Macadamia Healing Oil will set you back £25.45 - that's still a hefty price tag by all means, but it's still cheaper. What I love about both of these products is that you don't have to commit to them fully. There are small travel sizes available, meaning you have plenty of time to fully test out the hair oil to see what you think before splashing out on a full sized product.
Winner - Macadamia.

Design and Packaging:
Both products are salon worthy and look pretty high end on your bathroom shelf (If I had one) but which one just about makes the cut? For me I think it has to be Moroccan Oil - I love the cute little blue boxed packaging it arrives in and I generally think it looks a little sleeker than Macadamia's. Macadamia has its unique design and it is certainly pretty, but I think Moroccan Oil just about pips it to the post. Now, a main aspect of any expensive product, is whether the retailer is generous (!) enough to provide you with a pump or if you have to buy it yourself - I'm looking at you Estee Lauder! However both Moroccan Oil and Macadamia are the same when it comes to a pump - if you buy a smaller size, you wont receive a pump, but if you splash out on a larger size - then as if by magic, you are granted a pump!
Winner - Moroccan Oil

Results:
Welcome to the most important part of this post - which oil gives the better results? If I am to be entirely honest, the oils are not all that different. They are both thick formulas which aim to give you smoother and silkier hair. However, if I was to choose an ultimate winner, I'm afraid Moroccan Oil has just pipped it to the post again. The reason I give for this, is because after testing out the Macadamia Oil for a few weeks; straight after just one use of Moroccan Oil -I could tell the difference straight away. My hair felt a lot smoother and softer than it had been feeling in the recent weeks. I do recommend Macadamia oil, please don't get me wrong, I think it's a lovely hair oil and is perfect for the slightly cheaper alternative. To get more of an insight on my love for Moroccan Oil, you can read my full review here.
Winner -  Moroccan Oil
 
Have you tried either of these oils? x

 If you enjoy reading Sweet Dreams, you can vote for me as 'Best New Beauty Blog' here.
 
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L'Oreal Color Riche Nails Review

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My favourite kind of post - pretty polishes, sleek packaging and gorgeous shades! Today I'm talking all things nail polish after recently trying out L'Oreal's Color Riche Nail polishes. I've recently started getting back into my love of L'Oreal - I used to be a huge fan, but sometimes other products and brands pop along and seem to overtake. However, after discovering how much I loved Miss Manga mascara, I thought it would be the perfect time to try L'Oreals Color Rich Nail polishes. The polishes all retail at £4.99 each and what with Boots 3 or 2 offer, I had three polishes for just under a tenner! I do admit that the frugalness inside me does think £4.99 for a nail polish is slightly overpriced, when I consider that I could pop next door to Poundworld and get a Rimmel or Revlon polish for just a £1.

The three polishes that I have here are 'Rose Bagatelle', 'Shocking Pink' and 'Femme Fatale'. I think my favourite of the three shades has to be 'Rose Bagatelle' - a gorgeously subtle nude nail polish which is perfect for an every day look. 'Shocking pink' pretty much describes itself; a simply bright shade of pink! As for 'Femme Fatale', this shade is more of a deeper red and seems perfect for a night out. I love the outer packaging of the polishes, I think they look really sleek and sophisticated and they're pretty dinky too. However, the downside to them being dinky is that you're not getting an awful amount of polish for £4.99. The bottles are just 5ml each. Packaging aside, the most important part of any review is how the product actually works. Luckily, L'Oreal have certainly impressed me with their Color Riche Nails range. The brush is quite thick, reminding me of my favourite brushes used by Rimmel polishes, meaning I can get the nail covered quickly with only a few strokes. The polish itself gives a lovely glossy finish and I only needed to apply one coat. The Color Riche range has 42 beautiful shades to choose from - quite frankly I'd love them all!
Have you tried a polish from the L'Oreal Color Riche range? x

 If you enjoy reading Sweet Dreams, you can vote for me as 'Best New Beauty Blog' here.




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Getting Fit For Free!

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Something a little different for today's post - I thought I would pop down the fitness route and tell you all about getting fit for free. Getting fit was always something that never interested me - ever. I was the girl in PE that would dread each lesson and pray for it to be over - don't even get me started on Gymnastics - I used to beg my poor mum for a sick note each time! Recently though, I have felt that I had put on a couple of extra pounds what with the Christmas period and me generally being a lover of food - I decided that enough was enough and I wanted to get exercising. Since February, I have lost half a stone, which I am very happy with as I feel more like 'me' again. I try not to focus on my actual weight and rarely weigh myself as I know I will read into it too much. So, the point of today's post is that I joined a gym two months ago and have four months remaining on my contract. I have been enjoying the classes and do feel that having other people in the same position as you does motivate me more - but I want to point out that you don't have to join a gym and spend money to get fit.
 
 
Youtube has always been a website that never bothered me, I could take it or leave it. However, the past couple of months, I have found myself watching beauty videos and more importantly (for the sake of this post) - fitness videos! It's unbelievable how many great videos you can access with having to pay a penny. My favourite channel is XHIT Daily - a fitness channel run by ladies which is updated daily. I love that the videos are kept short and sweet but they'll still get you into a sweat! I also love that there is such a variety - you can work on pilates, yoga, abs and thighs and you don't even have to leave your house - perfect! Another channel I use occasionally is Fitness Blender. Fitness Blender upload regularly and have hundreds of workouts to choose from. There are also Jillian Michael workouts available - they're certain to get you fit!
 
Okay, so if we're talking about gym memberships and Zumba classes then exercise is technically not free. There are actually plenty of exercises you can do for free - meaning you are saving yourself money and getting fit at the same time. You can go for walks, jog in the park, walk your dog - or even offer to walk your neighbours dog for them! Simple choices such as taking the stairs instead of the lift (I'm bad at doing that one!) and parking your car a few minutes away than normal, meaning you're getting a couple of minutes of exercise. Also, I have Sky Tv channels and there are free workout programmes you can follow at home - instead of spending money on exercise dvds! You could even get exercising for a charity - such as Race for Life and raise money!
 
How do you get fit? x

 If you enjoy reading Sweet Dreams, you can vote for me as 'Best New Beauty Blog' here.

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A Quick Blog Update

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The day has finally arrived - it's holiday time at last! I'm feeling like an excitable child at Christmas waiting to open all my presents. If you haven't heard me mention it by now (ahem) you may or may not know I'm off on my jollies to Orlando - yay! I'm going to be visiting the Disney World parks, Wet & Wild and of course, I have to fit some time in for shopping too! I cant wait to get myself some Pop Tarts and Covergirl mascara. I'll actually be flying tomorrow, but today we are going up to stay in a hotel before leaving early tomorrow morning to check in at the airport. As you can see, I've got plenty of clothes packed - I didn't quite realise I had so many! I'm hoping to take lots of pictures whilst I am out there and I'm thinking of doing a 'photo diary' type post when I return, would this be something you'd be interested in? In regards to my blog, I've actually been organised enough to schedule posts until I return - so if you enjoy reading my posts, please keep an eye on my blog as I have lots of beauty reviews and lifestyle posts heading your way! Tomorrow's post includes 50 random facts about me, so if you fancy getting to know me a bit better, then keep an eye out for it. I'm also hoping to keep my Instagram updated whilst I am away - you can find me there at 'sweetdreamsblog'.
 
See you soon! x

 If you enjoy reading Sweet Dreams, you can vote for me as 'Best New Beauty Blog' here.


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Changing Up My Makeup Bag: What made the cut?

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There comes a time in a girls life when you just have to sort through your makeup and be ruthless. Boy, was I ruthless! My makeup bag was starting to bulge at the seams (there's a surprise!) and more often than not, it was full of products that I actually hadn't used for donkeys years. So, I found a pretty makeup bag I received for Christmas which is relatively on the small side to ensure I wouldn't let it get full of junk! I thought it would be a good idea to show you the products that made the cut - think along the lines of the 'bestsellers'.


First up its base products. I always use Maybelline's Baby Skin Primer so that made the move to its new home, along with my new favourite foundation - Estee Lauder's Double Wear in shade 'Desert Beige'.  I 've been loving this foundation lately as it gives me a flawless looking coverage and it literally does not budge all day long, I'm very impressed so far! I also popped in my Real Techniques Buffing Brush and The Vintage Cosmetics Company Blush Brush. I usually apply my foundation with my fingers and then finish up with a little extra blending around my neck using my Buffing Brush. I've also popped in my classic Seventeen 'Stay Time' foundation in shade 'Natural' as I do like to mix up my foundations sometimes! The next product that will never be leaving my clutches is my HD Brows 'Eye and Brow Kit' in shade 'Foxy'. I absolutely adore using this kit, I mix it up between shades depending on what look I am going for and every single time I use it, it always makes my eyebrows look so much more groomed and defined than they actually are. I popped in my trusty Hoola bronzer by Benefit and also added a new bronzer to my collection - Seventeen's 'Instant Glow' Cream bronzer which looks perfecting for contouring.  
When it comes to eye makeup, I was definitely ruthless here. I'm always surrounded by endless amounts of mascaras but now I'm being strict with myself and trying to stick to one at a time - Ok, two maximum I promise. I've been wearing liquid eyeliner on my top lids for years, so I popped in my favourite Rimmel Glam Eye's liner which gives a lovely and thick black bold line. I also love Rimmel's Scandal Eyes pencil eyeliner in shade 001 Black which I use on my waterline when I am looking for a more dramatic eye makeup look. It's so smooth and creamy, it's perfect! As for mascara, I chose my new favourite which is L'Oreal's Miss Manga - it's amazing at giving both length and volume.

Lastly, it's my lips. I have three brand new Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet lipsticks which I am absolutely adoring. They are such statement shades and are also matte which is always my favourite finish. I picked up 'Hot Pepper', 'Peach Club' and 'Ole Flamingo!'. I'm also going to pop in my Tanya Burr 'Afternoon Tea' lipgloss for days when I'm fancying more of a glossy finish.

What's in your makeup bag? x

 If you enjoy reading Sweet Dreams, you can vote for me as 'Best New Beauty Blog' here.


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How To: Schedule Your Blog Posts.

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It's another blogging tip post today, so apologies again if you aren't a blogger! Recently I have been on a roll when it comes to keeping up with writing posts on my blog. I know the feeling too well of when other life pressures get in the way and keeping your blog updated is the last thing on your mind, so I thought I would share a few tips that I have learnt this week from actually being super organised for once in my life! It has left me feeling a lot more positive about my blog and I feel I am actually on top of it for once! Sometimes those rare days come where you just want to write and write for hours on end and this is what I have been doing this week! It now means I have got posts ready to go ahead for whenever I am ready and I will also keep a few spare for those days where I just don't feel like writing any posts.
 


My first tip is that if you are working full time or in university/college or generally just have a lot on your plate, then it may be a good idea to set yourself a certain time and day where you can focus on your blog. So, if you get a Wednesday evening or a Sunday afternoon where you have nothing planned, that can be your designated blogging time. Schedule in an hour or two to yourself and get on with general blog things you need to do such as taking your photos, planning posts and socialising with other bloggers. If you are a Blogger user, you can physically schedule your posts. So if you're working flat out this week, but you've got three posts written up and ready to go - then schedule them for the week and you will have nothing to worry about! To do this, you simply go to the 'Edit' the written post, go to 'Post Settings' on the right hand side, click 'Schedule' and then 'Set date and time' to whichever you wish. Underneath the calendar that will pop it up, if you're in the UK it should say 'Time zone: British Summer Time' - so just keep an eye in case the times get mixed up. The most important part of this step is after you have selected the date and time, make sure you press 'Publish' and not 'save'. This will mean the post will publish at the date and time you selected - not immediately. 

 I've also found it really useful to use a free printable blog planner. All you have to do is a quick Google search and there's loads of pretty planners you can choose from - all for nothing! They are perfect for planning which days you are going to post and what it is that you are going to post. You can find the actual template I have used recently here. The weekly planner I have pictured is available here and is really handy as you just tear off each page once the week is over! If you don't have access to a printer or would rather not, why not just make a note in your diary or notebook instead. Or you could even design your own blog planner if you're the creative type! The most important thing to remember is that blogging is a hobby (unless you're incredibly lucky!) so don't take it too seriously. If you want to take a break, then do so, nobody will judge you for it. I've had three weeks last year when I couldn't have been less interested in my blog no matter how hard I tried and that's why I make the most of inspiration days.
 
Do you schedule your posts in advance? Or do you write as you go along day to day?

If you enjoy reading Sweet Dreams, you can vote for me as 'Best New Beauty Blog' here.

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The Post You Never Saw Coming.

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Did you sense my sarcasm in the title? I've had a busy couple of days, getting everything sorted for my holiday and generally running round like a blue arsed fly, so this evening I am tucked up in bed watching Harry Potter & The Philosophers Stone whilst catching up on blog posts! So, what brings me to write this post? Ahh, the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards are back - so I'm asking for a little favour! The most important thing for me to point out is that I am in no way begging or desperate for a vote, but if you genuinely do enjoy reading my blog then you can vote for me as 'Best New Beauty Blog'. At the end of the day, we all put so much time, effort and passion into our blogs that quite frankly we all deserve recognition. The next most important thing we need to remember is that these awards are not our lives. Whilst it may be easy for me to get caught up hoping I get one or two votes, it doesn't impact on the fact that I know how much passion and hours I spend working on my blog. Let me know if you do vote for me - I'd be over the moon! Rambling over, let's get back to my normal posts, shall we? x


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