Sunday, 29 November 2015

Pocket Money...

If you were fortunate enough to get a weekly pocket money allowance like myself, being able to spend it on all your favourite things was just the most rewarding thing in the world. However, I had to earn my pocket money through chores and helping out my mum when she had Alfie. I really became mummy no2 when he was a little baba!

Anyway, here's what I spent my hard earned cash on...


Never one to have too many sweets, as a child you'd find me raiding the sweetie aisle down the local shop. Some of which would include Brain Lickers, Flumps and Pick 'n' Mix. It was always a sort of religious routine of going to the shop on the way back from school and picking out a handful of sweets before running back excitedly to my mum's car where I'd often surprise her with a bar of chocolate (I mean, what can I say - best daughter everrrrr). I also vividly remember really enjoying the primary school discos we used to have. Not for the fact I'd be seeing friends or dancing awkwardly on one side of the room with the boys on the other side. Oh no. I was permanently fixated on the sweets in the other hall, where you could get 100 sweets for £1. ON IT!

2. Magazines

Before I realised I was being brainwashed into thinking one size shown on a magazine is representative of all sizes, I loved buying magazines with my allowance. It didn't always stretch that far to get all the magazines I wanted but there were a couple like Cosmo Girl and I think Bliss was another one that I was hooked on. It's funny how back when I was younger, I was conscious of the way I looked and how others perceived me. Now? I don't care!

3. Saved it into the bank

I've always been a saver when it comes to money, it's in my blood! I think I certainly get it from my mum as she's always been one to save within the family (when she can that is - most of the time one of the three of us siblings would be asking or needing something). I've become a little more looser with my money but I still never overspend and am very careful to make sure that all my bills are paid on time and that I never owe any money! Therefore, saving money in the bank was definitely something I did a lot when I was younger, especially birthday money. I don't know whether I ever really had much pocket money left to save after I'd brought my sweets and magazines but maybe some did!

That's all! What a trip down memory lane. Tell me, did you have pocket money when you were younger? If so, what did you spend it on?!

Natalie-Ann x

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Saturday, 28 November 2015

Christmas Prep!

I can't believe it's nearly December and it's going to be 2016 very soon. So much has happened this year and I'm incredibly excited for what 2016 has in store. But before we wish this year away, we face the dreaded Christmas shop. Now if you're like me, I put things off until last minute especially when it comes to buying Birthday and Christmas presents. Although this year my preparation for Christmas has proved to be much more hopeful this year. I started creating a list for my nearest and dearest to figure out what I needed to get and therefore set myself a budget. So far I have completed 3 people's gifts and probably have another 5/6 to go. Working at Lush obviously has it's perks so my mum's Christmas present is all sorted and so is part of my Nan & Grandad's!

It's totally different being an adult at Christmas, it's no longer about the excitement of Santa Claus or spending time with the family without a care in the world. No bills or life to worry about. Now however it's about buying presents and worrying about the next load of bills coming out. A struggling actor like me will never have savings!

I do really enjoy Christmas shopping but something about shopping in London is extra special. There are obviously a ton more people including tourists crammed onto the streets. I'm obviously not going to leave it till the week before because that would be just stupid.

I'd probably be this woman here,

Either way, London is looking pretty magical right now and it's great to be able to shop on the streets of Oxford Street with all the festivity decorated up and down the street and in the stores.

Have you started buying your christmas presents yet?!

Natalie-Ann x

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Friday, 27 November 2015

I Am Malala - Book Review

In times like this when we have so much terrorism going on in the world, it's humbling to know that we are still uniting as one to show these horrible and evil people that we will not be backed into a corner in fear. We shall not go about our daily lives, panicking that we'll be next. Instead we need to stand up against this minority and take action. To fight for our right to live in freedom, to fight for our right to live liberally in the Western world we live in. Jealousy and hatred is what drives these people, there religion has nothing to do with what they believe in, their understanding of their belief has been warped and changed into something regimented and confining. 

I had the opportunity to read and review I am Malala. If you haven't heard of her, google her. She is an incredible example of humanity and the inner drive we have to fight for what we believe in, to fight for education and the right to feel safe in her home. Malala Yousafzai grew up in Mingora, Pakistan. Throughout her pre-teens and teenage years, she fought for her right to be educated. Her parents, were unlike other parents in that they actively campaigned against the Taliban, fighting the army with words and peaceful protest rather than using violence and guns to show their point. She was one of the fortunate girls to be able to go to school and to be educated. It baffles me how this should even been a fortunate thing to have, it should be a god given right to have education!

However, the Taliban tried everything to quash her hopes of getting an education. They would threaten Mingora, her neighbours and friends over the radio, claiming that what Malala is and does is 'haram' meaning prohibited in Islam. That what she wore (her school uniform and her face showing) was prohibited. That her going to school was prohibited. These things that we in the Western world sometimes don't take for appreciation, were something illegal in her country. We have come a long way when we look back into our history but boy is there still a long way to go.

Malala got shot October 9th 2012 and if her brother hadn't have gone off in a tantrum, he would have been on the bus too. She was aimed and shot in the head with another dozen or so school girls occupying the bus. In our eyes, an innocent group of girls on their way home from school. To them? Perpetrators, criminals.

Malala now lives in Birmingham and although now safe, the fact that she won't be able to go back to her home in Mingora, Pakistan is heart breaking. As much as Birmingham is safe, the city will never be the same as her beautiful Mingora. I think this part of the story is the most heart-breaking because if she did go back, there is a likely hood she may be shot again.

Her story is uplifting, at times very scary and a story that you think is being told by an adult. In reality she was just 15 years old when she wrote it. She was 11 years old when she wrote for the BBC as a blogger to tell of her life under the thumb of the Taliban. What an incredible woman and a much deserved winner of the Noble Peace Prize, being the youngest person to ever get one.

I'm going to start what will hopefully be a chain reaction. The next person this book is going to is my mum. I'm going to sign my name on the inside of the cover book and my mum will do the same once she's finished. I then want her to pass it on to the next person and so on and so forth. This book should be read by everyone and most importantly by the terrorists who think they can succeed. You will not succeed, our love and determination for peace in this world is stronger than you. What will remain of you will be nothing, you will have no history on this earth and we will not waste our time remembering you.

Grab a copy here and give it a read! You won't regret it!

Natalie-Ann x

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Thursday, 26 November 2015

The Bluffer's Guide To...

Ever wanted to impress your family, fellow friends or co-workers about a subject like Vino and James Bond? Well now you can, thanks to The Bluffer's Guide To...

These are mini books with incredible detailed information about the topic in hand. My favourite out of the two was certainly Bond. It had so much information about each of the Bond novels, the film versions and facts that may be unknown for the most dedicated of 007's fans. The Bluffer's Guide To Wine can certainly turn you into a wine connoisseur amongst your friendship group. The Bluffer's Guide does what it says on the front cover - Bluff! The information given in the several series and editions they have reveal genuinely interesting facts and history that will help you when you next have a social encounter with that one person who likes to be a know it all!

These two are just a couple in a series of which there are many. They are:

 Insider Hollywood
Stand-up Comedy
The Quantum Universe

...and those are just two of the four categories!

They have an array to suit anyone's tastes or interests so do check out their website and buy yourself one tomorrow as it's Black Friday and they are counting down to their very own Black Friday offer which is 50% off across the entire weekend including Cyber Monday!

Natalie-Ann x

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Tuesday, 24 November 2015


The three or so days I spent working on this is the reason why I continue through the hard slog of the actor's life. I've never worked with such a professional group of students. We had so much fun as a cast and I had so much fun shooting guns at invisible portals and running like a mad woman. The other night, I went along to the after party of Timeviewer, it was held at a retro games room with literally all the old games that you'd find at the local arcade. It was like going back in time. I know realise that the two player shooting games were made incredibly impossible and hard on purpose for you to spend more money and I STILL cannot play on the dance mat machine. That thing totally confuses both my brain and legs.

Unfortunately I didn't get to see the screening there but hopefully by tomorrow evening you'll see the trailer below, so keep refreshing and watching for updates.

I wish all the cast and crew who took part the best of luck with their future careers and may we meet again to work together in the future. Perhaps next time, we can shoot the entire thing!

Natalie-Ann x

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Monday, 23 November 2015

The Joy Of Plants

The other night I was invited along to attend the launch of a project which will hopefully enable more men to incorporate plants into their own living space. Yes you heard right, go along with me on this one...

Apparently due to research, having houseplants at home can give the average man a little more luck with the ladies. According to a survey done on The Joy of Plants website out of 3,000 British men and women, one in five women find men more attractive if he owns a plant. 84% say it shows he's more caring and 49% say it's a sign of good taste. 34% even believes it to be the marker of a healthy lifestyle. I have to admit that when I was in the dating world, I never saw any plants. Instead it was old laundry, left over take-away and the damp that had formed in the corner of the room.

The launch I attended was held at Sharps Barber and shop. A hipster's paradise, the cafe come barber's is the perfect location for the modern London man. Boasting an impressive coffee machine, they had me at the sight of the triple barrelled coffee dispenser. What can I say, I'm a sucker for a good ol' coffee.

The plants even have a glossy appearance in the iconic GQ magazine. They must be working wonders for all the lovely men out there! Researchers picked out the top plants for men and these were showcased at the event. Sharps was also offering free services including facial shaves and hair cuts. I managed to get Sam in the chair and he came out sporting a hip new hair do.

Here are the Top Plants for Men - if your a fella and want some help on picking your first plant!

1. Tropical specimens: such as the Coffee Arabica which is the parent of all espresso and offers a calming effect on its surroundings. (Great then if your big fan of coffee and prone to hangovers)

2. Rare plants, such as the carnivorous pitcher plant (Sarracenia Leucophylla) has the added benefit of ensnaring any unwanted flies. (or guests for that matter?)

3. Big plants. With the right care most can grow to an impressive size. Just look at the small Agave, which blooms into an enormous flower with some TLC. (Otherwise it becomes impressively titchy)

4. Tough guys such as the prickly Myrtillocactus. Some varieties of which are used to craft several psychedelic concoctions in its native Mexico. (Just don't mistake it for anything else you'll get a nasty surprise)

5. Hanging plants, such as the climbing Ficus Pumila - which also combats stale air odours and subsequently making you feel all the better for it. (Boys get rid of that foul take-out/dirty washing smell)

The food was super tasty and I greatly appreciated it after not being able to grab anything after work!

And let's not forget the delicious craft beer that was on offer. We tried both, one I think was a blonde on and the other was slightly darker. Both were super tasty and went down a treat.

Finally, I got round to chatting the event organisers, including Chris who I'd spoken to via e-mail and we were both handed our own goodie bags! When we left, I was so happy to see our very own plants! They now take pride of place in our living room window sill.

The is an initiative of The Flower Council of Holland and lets consumers experience feeling better with plants around you. The Flower Council of Holland is the marketing heart for flowers and plants. They want to make flowers and plants special again for people worldwide, because flowers give you joy in abundance and plants make you feel good!

So why not get yours today and Join the conversation #VITAMINPLANT

Natalie-Ann x

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Sunday, 22 November 2015

Top 10 Favourite Lush Products!

Working at Lush definitely has it's perks. We demo most of the products in store on our customers and in turn that gives us the opportunity to understand what is in that product and how it benefits our skin as well as the customers. So here are my top 10 favourite Lush products which I'll definitely be purchasing this time soon!

1. Pumice Power

Full of pumice (obviously) which is a great exfoliant for buffing away the dead skin and comes from volcanic lava. The sweet orange oil leaves the skin smelling zesty and fresh.

2.  Wiccy Magic Muscles 

A beautiful smell that's warm and spicy made up of cinnamon and peppermint. Containing Fair Trade Cocoa Butter, this super soft massage bar melts to body temperature. Realising the essential oils, it's great for using after a shower or bath as it melts quicker.

3. Vanishing Cream

Vanishing Cream is very light and is a thin cream that creates a matte effect. Great for using under skin or with foundation. Contains essential oils of Lavender which calms the skin and mind. Neroli Oil is also in this which is a natural anti-depressant. 

4. Cinders Bath Bomb

Cinders bath bomb is just the favourite for festive fun. Cinnamon leaf oil makes for a very warming aroma and the popping candy on top is actually edible. I don't recommend you eating it though... 

5. Celebrate Body Lotion

Celebrate body lotion is a festive edition that's great for use all over the body. It comes in one size and it's a super light but hydrating. It's an orange zesty smell which is typical of Christmas and it's also got cognac in. WOOOO FOR THE BRANDY!

6. Yog Nog Soap

This is something that's definitely on the top of my Christmas list. I'm a sucker for anything sickly sweet and spicy and this is exactly that. The same smell comes in the form of a bath bomb too. The soaps at Lush contain Rapeseed Oil which is normally used as an essential oil for massaging. 

7. Rose Jam

Rose Jam was something I wasn't all too keen on when trying it for the first time but boy have I fallen in love with it now! It contains Argan oil, which is very nourishing for the skin. Cleansing Sicilian Lemon and goji berry gives the skin a healthy glow and who can miss the Rose Oil. YUM! 

8. UltraBland

A very waxy and thick consistency, this is the best make-up remover when it comes to the eye area. A lot of make-up is made up of wax and oils and therefore this is the perfect way of getting rid of it.  It's based on an Ancient Greek formula and contains almond oil, rosewater, beeswax and honey. Super soft and nourishing and causes no irritation.

9. Volcano

A powerful foot mask which smells delicious. Cool and invigorating, ingredients contained in this little beauty brighten, deodorize and even exfoliate the skin. A great little pampering session to have a couple of times a month.

10. Let the Good Times Roll

A super sweet and exfoliating facial cleanser. Lush has a range of soft and slightly exfoliating facial cleansers that come in the form of a paste. A bit like play doh, to activate, simply grab a small amount (the size of a 10p piece) and rub together in hands with a little water. It forms into a paste that you simply rub onto the face and body if required, and then wash off! I use it every other day to give my face a cleanse! Contains popcorn and cinnamon and smells like cake mix. What more could you possibly want?!

Hope you enjoyed this little Lush blog. Don't forget to follow my blog and let me know what your favourite Lush products are!

Natalie-Ann x

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Saturday, 21 November 2015

October Book Challenge

So in October, unbeknown to you my readers, I decided to take on a little challenge.  I've been avoiding reading books simply because there hasn't been time to do so. But I've found I can utilise my time most when I'm travelling. Life seems to stop when your on the underground even though it's always packed and commuters are zooming at 90mph to get to their office in the morning or back to their homes at night. Therefore I set myself a challenge. To read three books in the month of October and to review them.

It just so happens that I've been working with a website called Bloggers Required. The website offers the opportunity for Bloggers to work with brands, who want their brands, products or certain campaigns promoting as social media is a very strong and powerful marketing tool. I have been very lucky to so far receive a lot of work with various brands over the past month and a half. In that time, the total count of brands I've worked with is around 12. How impressive is that? And this is something I like doing as a hobby and already it's turning into an opportunity to connect with brands and do something I love which is writing!

Now over the past couple of weeks, I've very fortunately been given the chance to read and review the following books.

Michael Murpurgo's An Eagle in the Snow

Malala Yousafzai's I Am Malala

and...The Bluffer's Guide to Bond and Wine

So I've pretty much managed to read them all but struggled with the last one 'I am Malala'. You'll see some reviews coming up soon on my blog so look out for them on here!

Natalie-Ann x

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Friday, 20 November 2015

Five Ways To Motivate Yourself!

Whether it be in your career or in your personal life, we could all do with a little motivation every now and again to help us get where we need to be. Therefore I've created five ways of motivating yourself. Hope it helps!

1. Get up early and go to bed at a reasonable time.

I am a prime example of how NOT to do this. I set my alarms (as my boyfriend knows) from 6.30am onwards, even though I sometimes never need to, I set them in the hope that one morning I will wake up at 6.30am and start my day. Unfortunately that's not the case and instead I end up sleeping in till later. The same goes for the evenings, I tend to go bed and around 11pm-midnight. This obviously doesn't provide me with enough sleep. So in this instance, going to bed earlier would mean I could get up earlier in the morning. Live by the saying 'you can't burn the candle at both ends'.

2. Create a To Do.

Whether it's scheduling your chores for the house, i.e cleaning and washing clothes or to do with your job, a to do list with a set of bullet points will help you complete more in the day. There's nothing worse though than having a list as long as your arm. Be realistic with what you can get done, sometimes having too much puts you off from doing any work. Also ruling out something once you've done it is immensely satisfying.

3. Set a goal for the month and one for the year.

For the month this can be anything like 'Read three books in a month' or 'Learn a new recipe'. Setting yourself goals each month can help you feel satisfied that you've done something you've wanted to do for a while instead of pushing it further down your To Do list. As for the year, this can be something a little bigger like 'Learn how to play an instrument' or 'Conquer a fear'. Having both a goal for each month and for the year as a whole can prove satisfying when you're counting down to the next year. You can be happy knowing you've achieved something substantial!

4. Learn when to say no.

Ok so I'm a sucker for this one. I'm constantly working hard and sometimes I take on too much. I have a blog in which currently I'm writing every day, I work with Bloggers Required meaning I work with different brands so I'm reading books, trialling skincare products and going to events. That means I have to write up reviews, articles etc. I then have my YouTube channel where I upload weekly and I plan to use my daily vlogs channel to do Vlogmas which is to record, edit and upload a daily video every day. I also have to apply for castings online for my acting, essentially writing a mini cover letter for each one...catch my drift? This is A LOT but most of the time I can manage it well. However, look at your plate and if you have too much on it, then just say no. Our eyes are always too big for our belly.

5. Avoid distractions.

I find it extremely difficult to do any work when I play music or have the television on. Find your distraction and make sure it's out of the way so you can get on with the task in hand. Another thing may be that you're trying to do several things at once and therefore have multiple tabs open on your laptop, your phone and on your desk. Focus on one thing at a time in order to get everything completed.

I hope you enjoyed my little motivational blog. Make sure you subscribe to my blog by entering your e-mail on the right hand side of my blog page!

Natalie-Ann x

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Thursday, 19 November 2015

Lush Skincare!

Working at Lush so far has been awesome. It doesn't really feel like work because your selling products you really love. It doesn't feel like a typical retail job because your just making sure the customers enjoy the whole experience of the store. Especially as the store is the largest one in the world! It's great because you get the opportunity to not only show Lush's products to the lovely customers we get through the door but to also see the benefits from the products themselves from the continuous use of it. Skincare is probably one of my favourite sections especially because of the Fresh Face Masks we have exclusively to the store. A lot of people forget that Lush do more than just the typical bath bombs and body lotions. There is so much more to experience and they are much better and kinder to your skin than those currently on the retail market. Here's just a few of the products I now use in my recently non-existent skincare routine.


This is part of the exclusive line of Fresh Face Masks. Each mask contains specific fresh ingredients like fruit and vegetables that benefit the skin in a certain way. Rosey cheeks is one of my favourites because it's a smooth cream (so perfect for those who don't like exfoliating ones) and it's a great calming face mask for those who experience redness in the skin and irritated skin because it's full of rose ingredients. Oatifix has been a stern favourite of mine since discovering the Fresh Face masks. It contains crushed Bananas (lots of Vitamin E in there for healthy glowing skin) and it also has crushed almonds, the shells acting as the exfoliator and the almond oil that's realised, nourishes, hydrates and softens the skin.

Let the Good Times Roll!

OMG THIS IS SO GOOD. So this facial cleanser is the one on the left, its a paste that when put with a bit of water can be rubbed together into a wet paste. You then apply this to the face, exfoliate it into the skin and then wash off. It has ground cinnamon and popcorn inside. It also has almond shells in it which acts as the exfoliator. It smells so good that you could eat your own face if you could.

Vanishing Cream

I've always disliked creams that sit on the skin, I like a moisturiser that will soak into the skin almost immediately and not look greasy or shiny on the skin. Vanishing cream is perfect for me because it not only does this but it gives my skin a matte look which I love. I tend to use it in the morning before applying my make-up as it acts as a good base to apply make-up on. It's a light cream, contains lots of cocoa butter and contains essential oils such as Lavender and Neroli oil. Neroli oil is a natural anti-depressant so it makes me look good and feel good!

UltraBland Cream 

UltraBland cream is really thick and great for getting rid of literally any dirt and make-up on the skin. I use it alternatively to make-up wipes because it does the same job and its full of beeswax, rose water, almond oil and honey. This concoction makes for the perfect removal of mascara! Once all the cream is washed off with warm water and a cotton pad, finish off with some toner water to remove any excess UltraBland cream. 

Full of Grace

This facial serum is just beautiful. It's a solid serum that is full of murumuru butter which is highly moisturising so it's great for skin that needs a little hydration. It also contains the wonderful Portobello Mushroom which is full of minerals and gives the skin a nice healthy glow. Chamomile Blue is also in the mix which is great for calming down skin.

Roma Water

Never really been interested in toner water until I began working at Lush. This Roma water is perfect for naturally irritated and sensitive skin. Use a couple of cotton pads to gently remove any dirt from the face and it's great to use after applying face masks and exfoliators. 

Steam Dream Tabs

I've never tried these tabs so it will be interesting to test them out. They have two types, a tea tree toner and these, the steam dream tabs! All you do is add a tab to boiled water and inhale the fumes. The combination of calm the skin, reducing redness and irritated skin. Also because it contains lavender oil, it would be great to use before going to bed. It would be great for those who struggle to get to sleep. I'll let you know how I get on.

Seeing as it's Christmas, definitely treat yourself to some of these products. They're super effective and whats more they are good for both your skin and the environment around us!

Natalie-Ann x

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Wednesday, 18 November 2015

My Favourite 90s Songs

I grew up in the 90s and I sometimes wish I could have grown up in the 60s/70s or 80s because there was some cracking music made throughout that time. However, the cheesy classics will always remain in the 90s. So here's some of my favourites from that wonderful era I call childhood.

1. ...Baby One More Time - Britney Spears

Probably the easiest person to impersonate when singing. Britney Spears was the female role model growing up. So she's had a bit of a meltdown since then, along with her singing more or less lip synced every time but she still had some great hits!

2.  C'est La Vie - B*Witched

The Irish girls who made denim on denim look semi-cool. They would always play this at children's birthday parties and this is one of those songs that I can sing along to every word if given the opportunity.

3.  That Don't Impress Me Much - Shania Twain

The first time anyone ever wore a onesie for a music video and the fact that it is leopard print is BRAVE. I loved Shania Twain growing up and her music was so different to everyone else's in the 90s.

4. Tragedy - Steps

The music video where they all dressed in wedding attire and danced a god awful dance routine. But Steps were the first band whose album I brought. Loved them!

5. MMMBop - Hanson

Jeez Louise, this is a flashback to the past. The three brothers with the LONGEST hair. It seemed to be a big thing in the 90s for guys to have long hair. I also had a crush on one of the elder two, which one I can't remember but looking at them now....well that crush no longer exists.

6. Would I Lie To You - Charlie and Eddie

Some people may not have heard of this but this was a classic that I think we had on vinyl. Such a great song but I was sad to learn that Eddie died back in the 00s due to cancer. Sad times.

7. Barbie Girl - Aqua

These sound so crude now but back then it was just an innocent song about Barbie but listen closer to the lyrics and you'll hear it a little differently than when you were younger.

8. Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom! - Vengaboys 

I'm pretty sure that this featured on several of my 90s hits CDs. Everything about this song is so wrong..but it's a classic!

What were your favourites hits during your childhood?!

Natalie-Ann x

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