Wednesday, 30 December 2015

On Tuesdays, we Bathe in Seaweed

On Tuesdays, we bathe in seaweed, and on Wednesdays, we wear pink...  Today I got into a hot bath full of stinky, slimy, slippery seaweed and had a great time.  My Mum has been going to the Voya Seaweed Baths in Strandhill, Co. Sligo, for years - ever since I can remember coming to Ireland!  Personally, it was something that I had always vehemently sweared that I would hate.  How wrong I was!  This year I decided was finally the time to give it a go, plus by this point I was far too curious to resist, and had heard too much about the benefits of having a seaweed bath to say no.  It's full of minerals which have incredible healing properties, and is particularly rich in iodine which is essential for the thyroid gland and regulating the metabolism.

We were booked in for 4.45pm this evening, which was a great time to go, as it was just getting dark and stormy outside.  Once we had stepped through the doors into the reception, we were greeted with the smell of warm nutmeg, cranberries and cinammon scented candles, which filled the reception with a soft yellowy light.  You can book either a single or a double bath if you prefer, and each room has a shower which doubles as a steam room and a big traditional style tub which is filled with steaming water and a big bucketful of seaweed, towels and plenty of water to drink.  I was recommended to shower first, then steam for 5-10 minutes before getting into the bath, which gave the bath water enough time to cool to what was the perfect temperature for me.  I'm not actually a frequent bath taker - the last time I had one must've been at least a year ago...probably more!  So it was a really luxurious treat for me.

The seaweed does take a little bit of getting used to, as it is a tad smelly (you do get used to the smell really quickly though, promise) and slimy too, just like what you would expect really!  But I do honestly think you can feel the goodness sinking into your skin straight away, as well as all the bad shit - excuse my French - being drawn out.  You get 50 minutes in the room, which I found to be more than enough... the room is pretty hot and steamy by the time you've done all your steaming and bathing and everything.  Getting dressed is a bit of a nightmare, as it's quite hard to dry off, but the way your skin feels after the bath is unbelievable!  It makes your skin and hair so soft and I felt incredibly clean despite not showering off all the seaweed slime (this is apparently how you reap the most benefits - I was just following instructions!).  Once you're finished you can go and sit in the quiet area and have a cup of peppermint or chamomile tea if you fancy it.  All in all, it's an incredibly relaxing and beneficial treatment to have, and one I would really recommend giving a go if you are ever in that part of Ireland.  They've also got an amazing range of skincare products which are on sale at the baths themselves but are also stocked internationally, so look out for them!

Fingers crossed it will be back to England for us tomorrow in time for New Years, but with the weather as wild as it's been, we're slightly anxious that our flights might be delayed or even cancelled.  Which would be a nightmare as not only are we supposed to be hosting a New Years Eve party, but I also have a 3000 word essay to write as well as a January exam to revise for... and, more importantly, I don't have any clean pants left.  

Ruby x


Thursday, 24 December 2015

A Human Christmas Tree

Good evening glorious people.  I was originally supposed to post this on Christmas Eve's Eve, but I got confused while drinking wine and now it's 1 minute past midnight... so it's Happy Christmas Eve wishes from me!  I'm currently in Ireland with a considerable amount of my Irish side of the family, we'll be spending the next week or so here to celebrate Christmas shortly followed by a family wedding.  All in all, there'll be vast and probably slightly overwhelming amounts of merriment to be had and I can't wait. 

Last night things kicked off with a bite-sized bang; we arrived into Knock airport just before 3 and by 6 were in the Glasshouse Hotel in Sligo for a session of Prosecco with some of the ladies of the bridal party and a bite to eat before exploring the town a little more.  We had a few more drinks at the Glasshouse before moving onto a bar called the Garravogue, right on the river in the town, which was a bit livelier, and had a great cocktail called a Mango Masher, which was utterly delicious and far too easy to drink.  Me and my sister Laura headed back pretty early as we were wiped out from travelling during the day and not sleeping much the night before.  Luckily we got a decent amount of shuteye which meant we got to potter around the town for a bit this afternoon. 

Today's outfit was slightly more festive for me - not to the extent that I felt compelled to join the Christmas jumper craze that seems to be sweeping the nation at the moment (has anyone else noticed it?!), but the effort was definitely there with this slightly more subtle form of Christmas jumper.  I like to call this one the Christmas Tree jumper as the fabric kind of reminds me of the pines on a Christmas Tree, just a lot less spiky.  I love pieces like this in winter, as a) they're incredibly warm, I find this is especially the case if they're synthetic! and b) are incredibly forgiving.  This one is basically a throw-it-on-over-anything, glossy, green, asymmetric sack.  Which is naturally the best combo for covering up the inevitable Christmas bloat.  

Top - Zara / Jumper - TK Maxx / Leather Leggings - Brave Soul
Boots - Office / Bag - Vintage  

So I paired my tree jumper with these leather look leggings from Brave Soul which I got in TK Maxx a couple of months back, and these great black boots from Office which I borrowed off my sister, Laura.  I find with outfits like these sometimes it's best to keep it really simple with colours and try experimenting a bit more with textures instead.  It also means you can get away with enough accessories to put Missy Elliott to shame.  

So far in Ireland the weather really hasn't been great, but I'm hoping for some brighter days to come so that I can get on my blog photo game - these photos are a little dark and gloomy, but I also feel like that may have better masked my post hen-night eye bags a little better.  Silver lining to every cloud and all that.  

Ruby x

PS. There's one very easy way to give a gift this Christmas - follow me on Bloglovin'.  It's free.  Incredibly easy.  And you get to read my inane and painfully honest ramblings once or twice a week - what more could you want in life..!


Sunday, 20 December 2015

A Most Surprising Haircut

Photo sourced from Google.

If someone had told me a few days ago that it was possible to have my hair cut in under an hour for under a tenner I would probably have laughed disbelievingly and told them not to be ridiculous.  But on Friday, my life was changed by the revolution that is Celly's.

Has anyone ever heard of a salon called Celly's? Chances are you probably haven't; I certainly hadn't before, and when my friend Fleur told me about the concept of it, I have to say I was shocked.  I couldn't imagine a hairdressing salon that was basically the female equivalent of the traditional male barbers.  I couldn't imagine walking in off the street, sitting down, and waiting to get my haircut, without any forward planning, without even making an appointment.  The whole idea just seemed insane to me.  

But desperate times called for desperate measures, and with my student loan a distant memory and hair that would give Dumbledore's beard a run for its money, I felt I would be silly not to give Celly's a go.  So on Friday morning I dragged Josh into town with me to keep me company, promising him that this time would be different to the other times I've had my hair done and it would (should) definitely (hopefully) not take more than an hour.  As I walked in I told the receptionist I just wanted a cut, and my name was added to a list and then I was invited to sit down and wait.  I reckon there was probably around 6 other women waiting before me, and about the same amount of hairdressers, so I presumed I would be waiting around an hour.  How wrong I was!  After 25 minutes I was ushered into a chair, sat down and a gown was whisked around me.  I'm not going to lie, the service there really is no frills - no introductions, no how are you, no coffee or juice or milkshakes.  After nervously telling the lady I just wanted a few inches off my hair to make it look half healthy again, she got to work.  She brushed through first (no easy feat at all, but I was impressed by her speed), and by this point, I started to relax a little.  Until, moments later, I realised she was already cutting my hair.  DRY.  I have never, ever, even heard of anyone getting their hair cut dry.  By this point, I was suddenly very nervous again, and I started to sweat a little as the scissors flashed at me in the mirror and lock after lock of hair drifted down onto the cold floor.  Around 20 minutes later, I paid my £9.90 and left.  Not one drop of water had touched my hair.  Not one product.  Not one millilitre of shampoo nor conditioner.  It was unheard of - but, it was brilliant.  I was in and out within three quarters of an hour, with no severe dent in my bank account, no hour and a half of my life wasted sitting in a chair with dead legs making polite conversation, no cloud of strawberry-scented hair products following me round for hours after.  

Celly's definitely won't be everyone's cup of tea, but I have to say for a quick, cheap and cheerful haircut, I really can't fault it.  I'm not entirely sure how I would feel about having my hair coloured or a more complicated cut there, as I don't know if my nerves could take it...but for just a trim, it's certainly worth a try.  Has anyone else visited?

Ruby x


Monday, 14 December 2015

The Perfect £4.50 Naked Palette Dupe

Good evening lovelies.  This evening I want to talk about a palette I have been trying out for the past month or so since I picked it up while in Manchester for the weekend.  It's the W7 'Lightly Toasted' eyeshadow palette, which I have found to be the perfect dupe for the original Naked palette.  

I think it's safe to say that the Naked palettes are indeed, beautiful, but sometimes it can be quite difficult to justify their less than student-friendly price tag.  Which is partly why I was so excited to discover this palette!  I've tried a couple of other dupes for Naked palettes in the past which have been around the same price tag, but have had nowhere near the same amount of pigmentation, shimmer and durability.  

The thing I also love about this palette is that it really is bank account friendly: at only £4.50 it's just a teeny bit more expensive than a Starbucks frappuccino and will last a million times longer.  Although the colours could be ever so slightly more pigmented in order to create more dramatic looks, for day to day wear plenty of the colours are great for creating a look with gorgeous creamy browns or a daytime smoky eye look.  

I've done a pretty horrendous job at swatching them (a rushed 8AM this morning kind of attempt) but hopefully this might give you a kind of idea of what to expect:

Some of the colours don't show up so well on my now completely sun-deprived skin but there are some really lovely and incredibly sheer lighter colours in the palette which are also great for highlighting brow bones and the inner corners of eyes.  Below I've included some snaps of a daytime look I really like to wear at the moment, using just shadows from this palette.

This brings me to my verdict.   I think this palette is the perfect alternative for those who love the look and shades of the Naked palettes but, like me, are not so keen on making the investment.  The colours are incredibly similar, if a little less pigmented, but I think this makes the palette almost more versatile, especially for more natural looks.  For me, it's a hands down winner.  Have you tried any Naked palette dupes?  Or do you think that Urban Decay is worth the investment?

Ruby x


Wednesday, 9 December 2015


So, it's been a little while since I've done an outfit post, and the weather has not made things particularly easy so far...  today being an exception!  Chiara (one of my housemates) and I have finally managed to redeem our last attempt at blog photos which was completely foiled by 25mph winds and complete darkness by 4.30pm.  This afternoon, however, was perfect.  Although it was freezing, the sun was at just the right level in the sky to cast this gorgeous warm wintry light over everything.  I love Brighton in this weather - it somehow seems even more wonderful. 

 Sunglasses - Primark / Scarf - ASOS / Shoes - Vagabond Dioon / Top - Vintage
Backpack - Primark / Trousers - Topshop / Jacket - Topshop

I feel like first of all I need to alert everyone immediately to this new style of trouser I've fallen in love with - Topshop have appropriately dubbed them the 'Jogger Trousers'.  These are so ground-breakingly comfy, I feel like I'm wearing my pyjamas out the house.  And, at a completely bargainous £15 (plus student discount) in the end of the sale, they're certainly a worthy investment.  I think this style of trouser is great for all year round wear, too, and can really be worn and styled through all the seasons.

I bought these boots quite a while ago and was reasonably hesitant about buying them as a) they're white and b) they're white.  I've told myself time and time again I'm far too clumsy and messy to buy white shoes... and time and time again, I've bought white shoes anyway.  These ones have actually been decent in terms of stain-resisting factor: I tend to avoid wearing them on nights out at all costs, but when they get a bit grubby from general wear I find it's nothing a few (maybe more like 10-15) baby wipes can't sort out.  I think I'm going to be wearing them more this winter as an alternative to the black heeled boots I am forever leaning towards. 

Moving onto this bag, which is probably (embarrassingly) my ultimate pride and joy at the moment.  My teenage self would shudder at what I'm about to state, but I'm head-over-heels for backpacks.  For the first time in my life, ever.  For years throughout secondary school, I had roaring arguments with my poor mother who was only trying to protect my spine by encouraging me to use a backpack instead of a handbag.  But thirteen year old me thought backpacks were for geeks - now I've suddenly realised backpacks are the most logical and sensible portable storage solution in probably the entire world.  So, to cut a long story short, this one is from Primark.  It has tassels.  And it's animal print.  And it was only £5.  No word of a lie, this was an absolute steal I managed to pick up while in Manchester's massive Primark.  Granted I did spend well over an hour in there, but I'm a firm believer that when it comes to shopping, you get out what you put in.  And that means that sometimes, a bit of time and a bit of money really can equal happiness - as long as you're in the right shop. 

Ruby x



Tuesday, 1 December 2015

My Favourite Hot and Steamy Winter Breakfast: Sassy Porridge

Good morning! You're probably looking at the photo above right now and thinking 'bloody hell what is that half-eaten looking mess of a meal'.  Yes, this doesn't represent a particularly glamorous or photogenic breakfast, but it is one that is super cheap, quick and healthy, and will keep you powering through those chilly mornings.  What you are looking at, my dear friends, I like to call 'Sassy Porridge'.  

And all the ingredients are available from Aldi:

Okay, my raspberries were from Sainsbury's this time... I obviously thought I'd treat myself.  


Milk of choice - Soya, Almond, Rice, Cow, Goat etc. or keep it simple and use water
Porridge oats 
Fresh or frozen fruit - I like banana and frozen raspberries
Dried fruit and nuts - I get mixed pots from Aldi which are only 59p each(!)
Yoghurt of choice

Basically, this is the easiest and quickest breakfast ever, as long as you do a little preparation.  Find a big tub  or jar, and measure out enough oats to fill it around three quarters.  Then take all your dried fruit and nutty goodness and chop it roughly.  This bit is really satisfying. 

Then, chuck it all in together into your big container, adding a few spices if you fancy it (I really like cinammon so I put in a big ol' spoonful of that).  Then it comes to the part where you really do have to shake it to make it.

Once it's all scrambled up together, you've got your porridge base for the foreseeable future!  Told you it was easy!  To actually cook it, pour or spoon some into a bowl, add enough milk to almost cover your oats, throw in some frozen berries and pop in the microwave for around 1 and a half minutes on high - you might need to stir it half way through. 

It should then look something like this:

For finishing touches, I like to cover with a dollop of yoghurt, a chopped up banana and a touch more cinammon or mixed spice.  Voila!!!  Let me know what you think if you give it a go.  

Ruby x