Personal blog by Ashleigh Dougherty. Read with a pinch of salt and a cuppa' rosy lee.

31/05/2015

May 2015 Review

So, here we are. Another crazy month finished and I cannot wait to update you all on how fabulous May has been.  If you read last month's review then you will know that I struggled with a few ups and downs which I didn't end up addressing. They were basically job related. I felt like a failure having a degree and a lot of experience and no job but I am embracing my blog and living in the moment and trying not to worry about little problems! It has worked a treat and the last couple of weeks have been good!

FAMILY

I took some time away at the beginning of the month and travelled down to my cousin's house to stay for a couple of days. She is literally my best friend and we always have the best times together :) I do tend to overwork myself all the time so it was nice to leave the emails for a few days and chill out!

May is also the month for family birthdays. First, it's my Mum's (below) then my brother, cousin, uncle, aunt, dad and nan. CRAZY!



FOOD

Probably my favourite thing to mention in these posts, hehe. Last month saw me eating reasonably healthy. This month I have been working a lot with different food brands and PR's which will all be in next month's posts. 

I went out for lunch with my mum in central London for her very first wagamamas (which she said was "okay" - (not good enough!). We did a huge food shop which saw us buying a lot of healthy food options. I have never really done meal planning before but I had an idea of the kinds of meals I wanted to try and had so much fun cooking and prepping them. Look out for those posts in the next few weeks. 

I also received a two week weight loss plan from Slimfast called the #SlimFastChallenge which I am excited to try next month. I knew I wouldn't be able to keep to a strict regime this month as I was involved a lot with food and it just wouldn't have worked! It's the 3-2-1 challenge; three snacks, 2 meal replacements and one balanced 600 calorie meal. Yep, more meal planning for me! I'll report back in a few week's with my results.


  MUSIC

Some of the songs that have been on repeat this month are:
  • Ain't Nobody (Who Loves Me Better) - Felix Jaehn & Jasmine Thompson
  • Movin' On - Twax, Solomina
  • Comeback - Ella Eyre
  • Let Go For Tonight - Foxes
  • Broken Generation - Of Mice & Men
  • Figure It Out - Royal Blood
  • Shine On - The Kooks

DATING BOYFRIEND*

I'm on a magical cloud at the moment having met Josh and spending pretty much every day with him.   I am just reeeeeeally happy :) We're planning on doing lots of things this summer so hopefully I'll have more lifestyle posts to share with you.


BLOG

My favourite posts of May include:

WORK

I've really pushed myself this month in terms of producing a lot of work. I've shot a few editorials and  shot 18 separate shoots over 2 days. Yep, I am definitely crazy. Some of the results are here:



I'm now dosing myself up in meds and throat sweets as it appears I may have glandular fever. MY THROAT HURTS SO MUCH. 

Anyway, a crazy busy month, right?  So excited to create memories for next month! 
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29/05/2015

Sipping On Some Pink Lemonade



When out shopping in the supermarket recently, I picked up some fresh pink lemonade which I knew would look really pretty in my new glass jar* from Home Treats UK. I added some chopped up fresh mint (which I probably could have cut a little thinner to be honest!) for the finishing touch. I literally cannot wait for the sun to arrive properly in London (it's currently raining), so I can make some fruit smoothies and even some pimms which would look perfect in this tumbler with some sliced fresh lemon.

Home Treats UK have a whole bunch of pretty things for your bedroom, kitchen and bathroom so it's definitely worth checking the website out. This jar is priced at under £5 which I think is amazing for the quality! 


TINY LIFE UPDATE. I have hardly blogged this week due to being super (DUPER) busy. I have had a grand total of 18 fashion photoshoots this week which as you can imagine has seriously knackered me and now I have the editing session (or 11) to look forward to. I actually took a jaw dropping TWENTY THOUSAND photos. Wish me luck!
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28/05/2015

StylistPick Sunglasses Challenge

Since wearing contact lenses, I have been a bit obsessed with buying many pairs of sunglasses. They are one of my favourite things to include in the majority of my outfits (as you probably already know) so when I was asked if I wanted to take part in StylistPick's Sunglasses Challenge, I couldn't refuse!

StylistPick have a whole range of sunglasses available that are not only stylish but are of a high quality. Some of the brands on the site include French Connection and Miss KG. There are many of styles available from cat eye shapes, to rounder shapes and even ones with funky coloured frames.

I chose my top three favourite pairs and put together an outfit using other items from the StylistPick website to show how I would personally style the chosen pair of sunglasses. Here they are!


FESTIVAL



DAY DATE



SHOPPING


I love all of my choices and now want to go buy more sunglasses to add to my ongoing growing collection!

Disclaimer: This is an entry for a challenge competition to win a pair of sunglasses from StylistPick.
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25/05/2015

10 Things I've Done This Bank Holiday Weekend




Happy Bank Holiday weekend! I swear it feels like we have had so many recently?! Not that I am complaining!

I've had a really chilled out weekend but at the same time have done quite a lot of things. I thought I would do a little satisfactory list post to update you all on what not so adventurous adventures I have got up to!


          Calvin Klein Socks*

1. BLITZED THE HOUSE
Once I start cleaning, I can never stop. Nothing is better than the smell of a fresh bathroom and tidy kitchen, is there?

2. WENT TO THE CINEMA
I went to the cinema to see Unfriended on Friday night which was one of the weirdest "horror films" I have ever seen. Still not sure whether it was scary or pathetic!

3. BOUGHT A FASHION MAGAZINE
I am very excited to say I landed my first print publication this month. One of my early editorials has been officially published in Dreamingless Magazine which is a print and web fashion magazine. I ordered my copy this weekend and will definitely blog about it when it's here!

 
4. APPLIED FOR JOBS
I am now looking around for a full time role in digital marketing and social media so have been applying for so many. I have really enjoyed being a full time blogger and being my own boss but I now want a new challenge in life! I have a post planned more about my career aspirations so look out for that one.

5. DEMOLISHED HERSHEY'S KISSES
Cookies n' cream infact. Super yummy. Super more-ish. Super worth it.

6. WORE A SPARKLY KIMONO
I am working with New Look at the moment on something special so cannot wait to feature this on my blog.


7. CHILLED ON SUNDAY MORNING IN AN OVERSIZED SHIRT AND LONG SOCKS
I find nothing more comfier and chilled out than wearing the above combo. I have been loving these cable knit Calvin Klein socks from SockShop. They're so pretty on and come in a few different colours too. Perfect for a Sunday.

8. SORTED OUT MY PHONE STORAGE
My poor little iPhone is on its last legs so I completely blitzed that too. It always feel pleasing to delete photos, videos, contacts and text messages. So looking forward to getting a new phone soon though!

9. WENT FOR A WALK IN THE FOREST
I do love a spontaneous plan when I am least expecting it. Therefore, when that 'fancy hanging out?' text popped up on my phone, I was super excited about getting out of the house and into the fresh air of Essex. I saw an owl, picked daffodils, got muddy trainers, saw newts swimming in the forest pond and then proceeded to get locked in the forest for over an hour until the park keeper let us out. It was weirdly quite fun haha!


10. STARTED A MONTHLY BLOG PLANNER
I have decided I need to start being a little more organised with my blog. I have a diary and two notebooks on the go which I update every single day but in terms of scheduling, I can be quite rubbish. I have just started using a monthly blog planner by Busy B which I will show you all soon but it's super easy to see what you have planned for the month ahead and just generally makes things so much easier and less stressful.

Weirdly, being a full time blogger means I take weekends for granted whereas most people really appreciate the two (or in this case, three!) days off. I love my own company and doing my own thing but also love getting out and exploring places so all in all; it's been a lovely weekend. How have you spent your Bank Holiday weekend?
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21/05/2015

Kallo Dark Chocolate & Orange Rice Thins



It's to no surprise that these beauties were going to make it onto my blog sooner or later. I am eating one now and MM HMMMM!

Kallo have a whole bunch of rice cakes available which we would all judge to be quite boring and tasteless. However, fear not. These belgian dark chocolate with orange pieces rice cakes (what a mouthful!) are super yummy and only 56 calories per rice cake.  They really remind me of jaffa cakes; with a bitter but pleasant taste of dark chocolate, but mixed with crispy orange pieces. They are also wheat free - perfect if you prefer gluten free treats. 


There are six rice cakes in a pack but they are most definitely more-ish. I would like to say I haven't demolished a whole packet between last night and this morning but... erm, yep.

If you're looking for a non-guilty pleasurable sweet treat to munch on then Kallo is the brand! You can find their range in most supermarkets subject to availability.
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20/05/2015

#PataPet at Surrey Docks Farm & Mexican Food

If there's one thing I love about being a blogger, it's the weird and wonderful opportunities that land in my inbox. Oh, and this was wonderful!

Last weekend, I was invited along to Surrey Docks farm to see all of the cute animals and meet the guys at the RSPCA who do such an amazing job at rehoming animals. I took along my sister who was just as excited as me and we set off to make the journey from East to South East London.

I vlogged the day too but using my sister's phone because my big camera is just too awkward and heavy to hold for filming but you can watch the vlog here :)


The farm is a 15 minute walk away from Surrey Quays overground station or a 5 minute bus ride from Canada Water. It's situated right in front of the Thames which you can walk along. Perfect for a summery day out in the city.

We arrived to lots of excited kids running around but I was just as excited! We got to see some mangalitza pigs which are essentially pigs with a sheep's coat. Weird! I caught one below!


 We got to watch a live sheep shearing demonstration which was a little uncomfortable to watch as it looks a lot worse than what it actually is. This poor ewe was really stubborn and wouldn't sit still but imagine the relief she must have felt afterwards!


I have decided I really love goats. I know baby goats are called kids and for good reason! They were jumping all over each other, pushing each other off the platforms and trying their best to jump onto other platforms too high for them. So funny to watch!


We then found loads of ducks and geese just bathing in the sun, before moving onto the petting farm which I WAS SO EXCITED ABOUT.


We have a rabbit at home who we rescued a few years ago but he's not very... friendly. It's more my sister's rabbit so when she saw this giant (and friendly) fluffy rabbit, she couldn't help but say hello!


Sadly, we didn't get to feed the lambs with milk like we were hoping but we did get to pet the young lambs and goats by paying £1 to enter the petting enclosure. They were so fluffy and cute!


One of the workers had baby chickens out for the younger children to stroke but Louise got right in there and managed to hold one. Ah, so cute.


We then bought some home made focaccia bread (which if you watch the vlog; I cannot pronounce properly AT ALL) with onion and rosemary on. Really warm and fresh which was cooked in an oven right in front of you.


The farm was a really good couple of hours which brought back so many childhood memories of when my old nanna used to take me to one pretty much EVERY week when I was younger. I do recommend going during the week though to avoid children (and LOTS of the little minions). 

It was great to see so many people selling local produce too. There was people selling home made jam and chutneys, fabric quilts and throw overs, children's clothing and there was even a lady making chairs! The RSPCA were there too in full swing providing lots of information about wildlife and animal protection. It was a really great day.

Now, now, now. What does Ashleigh do best? Ashleigh does food best. Next up; it was time for lunch!

We headed over to Canary Wharf which is only a few tube stops away and had mexican at Wahaca. Louise had never been and I love introducing restaurants to people when they're completely new to them. The good thing about Wahaca is it's more of a tapas style menu. Instead of choosing one main dish (although you can), you choose 2-3 smaller dishes.  

We started with some tortilla chips with a bean and cheese side. I loved them but wish I had got some guacamole too!


Both of us got spicy chicken and tomato quesadillas which were so good. I love a bit of spice! I also went for a veggie option and got pea and mint empanadas; golden and crispy pastry parcels stuffed with a savoury filling of peas, mint, crushed potato and feta cheese.


Finally, Louise ordered grilled British steak toasted corn flour tortillas which she could just about squeeze in!

I think it's safe to say we both left feeling very stuffed and content with the whole day. Thank you so much to the guys at Talented Talkers and the RSPCA for the whole day. Oink!
The farm is open 7 days a week from 10am - 5pm (until winter 10am - 4pm) and is free entry.
Surrey Docks Farm, Rotherhithe Street, London, SE16 5ET
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19/05/2015

Lauren's Way Self-Tan Bronzing Mousse

I'm back from a little week's break and it's been lovely! The weather has been overall quite nice this month so I have been doing a few photoshoots here and there to make the most of amazing lighting. 

Today I have another fake tan review. I was a fake tan virgin up until a few months ago as I was always so scared of looking orange. I have reviewed a few on my blog this year but they are all very different. Today's one is the Self-Tan Bronzing Mousse* by Lauren's Way by TOWIE's Lauren Goodger. 

Lauren's Way has made a shade available for everyone which is a great if you are new to tanning and don't quite know where to start. The medium range is perfect for first time tanners or people like me with fair skin. There is also a dark range and a darker than dark range.



My sister was super excited about the product as she likes to look bronzed and ready for summer most of the time so we decided to try it out on her. The product itself is a mousse so is very much like thick chocolate looking whipped cream. No tanning mitt was provided but you can buy these extra. Luckily, I have a few at home so just used one of these and also a rubber glove underneath to prevent brown hand stains! 

The mousse didn't have a typical fake tan smell as it has an orange and grapefruit extract in the ingredients to keep you smelling fresh! It was easy to apply and blended in well with no patchiness. It also dried really quickly within a few minutes and had no staining when it comes to bed sheets and pyjamas. Always a plus!


Below is a little shoot I did with my sister to show off the tan. We took these the day after the application so you can clearly see the tan stayed in place overnight and during a shower in the morning and still looks flawless. The tan lasted about a week before it would have needed topping up which is about average I find with all tans. 

I would definitely consider buying tans from Lauren's Way in the future as the colour payoff was excellent and I liked the fact it's not like your typical fake tan in terms of the smell and usual stain problems. 


The medium range starts from £11.95 but the bronzing mousse is £17.95 which I think is a good price for a good quality tan which you can rely on to look good, smell good and perform well.
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12/05/2015

GNS Moisturising Shampoo & Conditioner



As you know, bleached blonde hair has it's cons and pros. Whilst it's easy for me to switch things up and dye my hair crazy pastel colours, it's also very hard to maintain. I have to bleach my roots every 8 weeks or so which can leave my hair feeling a little sorry for itself at times.

GNS (Good Natural Science) is a hair company founded by Sandy Gordon who created a range of products that claim to nourish and protect your hair. The products in question are the 'Ultra Moisturising Range' which I was a little intrigued about as my hair can get quite dry. 


As soon as I got these it happened to be hair wash day (the day we all hate, right ladies?), so I decided to give them a whirl! Firstly, I didn't realise there's a little lid which you can push open at the top of the bottle to disperse the product which is very handy and won't see you wasting any product. Secondly, the ingredients of both the shampoo and conditioner include the likes of shea butter, orange, apple and lemon extracts so just close your eyes and imagine how heavenly this smells. Too good!


The shampoo lathers up very well so I didn't need to use too much to cover all of my hair. Always great when you're in a rush to quicky wash your locks! I have been leaving the conditioner in for a minute or so for my hair to soak up its goodness and this has been working pretty well for me. The ingredients include argan oil and macadamia oil which truly left my hair feeling really soft to touch and especially (the most important for me) easy to comb through when it came to blowdrying my hair afterwards.

Both products retail for £14.99 each and can be found on the GNS website here. Also if you head on over to their Twitter, they sometimes leave cheeky discount codes!

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