Thursday, 12 June 2014

A Day Out To Himley Hall. (w/photos)

As mentioned earlier on in the week, I've been off work with an injured lumbar in my back for nearly 3 weeks now.
I was sick of being stuck in the house with the weather being so nice so this morning Mark suggested to me that we should go for a walk through Himley to stretch my legs and get my strength built up.

So I got my camera ready (as usual!) and we packed a light lunch and headed to Himley in the car.

Himley Hall isn't far from Dudley in the West Midlands, it used to be a moated  manor house that was built in the 18th century and it was home to the Lords Of Dudley.
There are 180 acres of land at Himley Hall, including a huge lake and became a country park in the 1970s.

First of all, I will tell you what we had for our light lunch because it was perfect! 
I made a box of pasta, bacon and garlic and herbs soft cheese.
This is such a simple summery lunch, which can be eaten hot or cold, all you have to do is boil a pot of pasta until its softened whilst grilling some bacon.
Drain the pasta and add back to the pot with the chopped bacon, add 2-3 spoonfuls of the soft cheese and stir it up!
It's that easy and really delicious.

Then Mark had the absolute genius idea of making tortilla crisps.
He roughly chopped two tortilla wraps and placed on a baking tray and seasoned well with salt and black pepper.
Into the the oven they went for 20 minutes at 210 degrees (we have an electric oven)
oh my god they were absolutely gorgeous!
They were a little on the dry side, but for the first try they were great!

We walked all around the Hall's grounds and lake, I was snapping away on my camera, I got some pretty good shots too!

We spent around 3 hours at the beautiful country park, just strolling and enjoying the sun. 
It felt so good to be out properly, get dressed up and finally put some makeup on after three weeks!

(I took my shoes off to walk in the grass!)
Dress £14 from Asda.

I loved that I managed to capture the two dragonflies, and the day was just so perfect and sunny!

Have you been anywhere lately?

*30 Day Blogging Challenge* Days 5 & 6

Okay, so here are my Days 5 and 6 of the 30 day blogging challenge.

Your proudest moment: Would have to be capturing the best photo I have ever taken. I was out in Wednesbury with my best mate and we were taking photos at a church called St Bartholomew's, which has beautiful gardens.
I took a photo using my macro of a little white photo and thought nothing more of it.
I got home and uploaded the photos to my laptop and went flicking through them. I got to the little white flower photo and gawped at the screen, because not only did I get a damn good photo of a white flower but this little guy was sat in the middle of it:

I was amazed! And so proud that I captured this fly :)

What are you afraid of? SPIDERS. I hate spiders so much. They're too quick, too sneaky, hairy, they have too many legs and they perv on you in the bath/shower.
The other thing I am afraid of is Paranormal Activity. I know it sounds stupid, but after I saw it for the first time last year, it terrified me to the point that I had to sleep with the hallway light on in my flat.
Horrible movie!

Anyway loves, will be back soon!

Thou Shalt Not Covet - Big Birthday Blog Giveaway!

Hello girls!

We all love a good giveaway don't we?
Well here is one that will knock your socks off!

Michelle from Thou Shalt Not Covet (TSNC) turned 30 this week and to celebrate she is giving away over £1000 worth of goodies for us girls!

Michelle from Thou Shalt Not Covet!
Happy Birthday beautiful!

Here are the things you could get your mitts on:

BassBuds earphones £39.95 and a speaker £49.95
Giorgio Armani sunglasses from Blaze Sunglasses £105
THREE handbags (squeeeeee) from Cloudberry Bags worth £80
Cocktail Cosmetics are providing the Lime Crime Clueless Witch Velvetines set worth £40.50
Cohorted are providing a MAC False Lashes Mascara £18 and MAC Crew Highlighter £25
Gemporia Jewellery are providing a product of your choice worth £50
Lookfantastic are chucking in 2 Trilogy products, a day cream £27.49 and a cleanser £21.30
My favourite cosmetics company at the moment - Makeup Revolution are throwing in a £50 bundle of cosmetics 
Nanshy are giving a luxury make up brush set £34.95
Noer Organics Atelier, a new skincare brand are providing a skincare set worth a whopping £160
Shearer Candles will be providing a fruit natural spa diffuser, floral natural spa jar candle, and two large candle tins in Watermelon and Egyptian Cotton £38
The London Perfume Company are providing an Adam Levine For Her 100ml EDP worth £43.50
Violet Darkling will be providing a gorgeous silver and amethyst ring worth £85
Wearall Clothing will be giving a £50 voucher to spend in their store
and Michelle herself will be throwing in some lovely products of her choice including:
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light, 
MAC Heroine lipstick,
fun products from Shopjeen including the most adorable pair of makeup themed socks I have ever seen!
A money purse,
Cup of Tea notepad,
A Medusa's Makeup Undead Purple Lipstick (swoon)
And some amazing silver tone jewellery from Nasty Gal.
All of the products from Michelle herself tot up to £155!

So all in all, the giveaway clocks up to a whopping £1073.64!
It's the most generous giveaway I've ever come across, I've entered so fingers crossed!

All you have to do to enter is go to Michelle's blog Thou Shalt Not Covet here, and follow the rules on the Rafflecopter widget to earn entries.
The giveaway is open internationally and runs for a month.

Good luck everyone, and a huge Happy 30th Birthday to Michelle!

Monday, 9 June 2014

*30 Day Blogging Challenge* Day 3 & 4

So I haven't really followed this well have I? 
I did day 1 & 2 and it's now 4 days later and I'm only just posting day 3 & 4, sorry! 
It's been a bit of a busy weekend, I've finally made it out of the house since I injured my back two weeks ago, so I've been catching up with friends, family and nature! 

Anyway, back to the blogging challenge:

Day 3: what's your favourite quote?
I have to say and seen in my last post, my all time favourite quote comes from Roald Dahl: 

"If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely."

It's the nicest quote I have ever heard! 

Day 4: Your dream job?
I definitely would love to have my dream job and be a photographer, I would just love my dream job to be something I adore doing. Capturing the spirit of places and emotions of people. A picture can tell a multitude of stories.

Another dream job would to do this for a living. Writing up about beauty products, like in a women's magazine like Glamour or Cosmopolitan.
Or maybe just working at a cosmetics shop! Imagine working with make up all day! 

So there's my days 3 & 4 and I will get back into the swing of posting tomorrow, I have some great posts coming up this week, including June's magazine freebies, a new feature called 'This Week I...' and many more! 

Stay Beautiful! 

Thursday, 5 June 2014

How I deal with anxiety and negative situations.

Its time for a more serious post, that I have thought about writing for a long and I think I should get it out in the open.
I suffer with anxiety issues.
To meet me in person, I seem happy, cheerful and positive.
But its what I'm thinking inside my head.

I constantly worry about what people think about me, if they like me, if I'm doing something right, am I doing something wrong? I always put myself down.

For example, take my new photography page that I have started on Facebook.
I have loved photography for a long time now and for over a year now, I have wanted to put my photos up somewhere where people could view them.
But a thought that kept on niggling at me was "Well, I'm not professional, there aren't enough photos to make me seem that I'm good at this, there are better photographers than me out there"
It wasn't until I spoke to my best friend Rachel about this and how I was feeling and she said something that hit the nail on the head for me: 

"Just go for it. What do you have to lose?"

My answer was nothing, so I just decided to go for it and open the page here.
It's not just the photography thing that I worry about.

Over the past ten years I have had quite a few negative experiences that have severely knocked my confidence one of the biggest was with an ex boyfriend of mine, who abused my trust, my feelings and utterly betrayed me.
I would get to a point where I would completely blame myself for his actions, which I realise now was the wrong thing to do, because it wasn't my fault for the way he acted.
That relationship affected me mentally, I couldn't trust anybody, I couldn't be near or intimate with other men, I found myself wishing to be with someone because I was so afraid of being alone.

The first weekend in February 2008 I was single, my other best friend Jodie was there for me in an instant and she took me out, we went shopping, I got a new tattoo, we went to a party together and then went clubbing till the early hours of the morning. 
In fact, she and my other friends and my family, kept me so busy for a good couple of weeks, that I had no time to 'grieve' over the relationship that had just ended. And by the time all the fun and outings were over, I didn't feel so upset and alone. Because I wasn't alone. I had these great friends who were looking out for me, helping me deal with the break-up, there were so many family get together's that I just had no time at all to think about it.
I am so grateful for all my family and friends being there for me at the that hard time.

There have been other things that have shook my confidence over the years including job losses, friendships ending, I have sometimes been taken for an idiot and used by other people and sometimes I can't bring myself to stand up for myself and tell them to fluff off.
I worry about the size of my body, because I'm a larger girl and you have the media shoving smaller sized girls in your face. Nobody should have to feel bad about how they look. Big or small, large or skinny we are all beautiful.

What I'm trying to say in this post is that anxiety can be overcome. Slowly and surely you can make yourself feel better about yourself and the situations you encounter in life.

Here's a few tips I found useful in overcoming negative situations and anxiety:

1. Talk to someone about how you feel. If you don't it can build up inside and cause more problems.

2. Take time out for yourself. Its awful when your head is swimming with anxieties and problems. Whatever you're panicking or worrying about, make sure you are able calm yourself. This may be a walk around the block, make yourself a cup of tea or taking a bubble bath and try to relax.

3. Think about what the worst end result. Whether you're panicking about something at work, at home, taking an exam, making a call that could go wrong, chances are that you will make it through. If you don't calm yourself this could lead to a panic attack, which believe me, is not a nice feeling. Try and take some deep slow breaths to calm yourself.

4. Face your fear. Whether its picking up a spider or going into a lift for the first time or simply standing up for yourself and telling someone what you really think. Feel your fear and it will eventually start to ease away.

5. Face reality. Your fears tend to be much worse than reality. In 2012 myself and my fiancé were involved in a car accident and for years and still now, I'm quite anxious about getting into cars. But the chances of us having a crash again are very low. I still sometimes have the fear come back when I see a car pull out from nowhere, but I think to myself that the chances of it happening again are low and the fear goes away.

6. Go to a happy place. I know this sounds silly, but creating your own happy place can help with your anxieties a lot. Try visualising a stroll along a peaceful beach, lying in bed cuddling up next to your partner or a childhood memory that makes you happy. Let the positive vibes from your happy place soothe and relax you.

7. Treat yourself. When you feel you have got over your fear, whether its making that phonecall, going to that interview, taking that exam, or you've simply stepped into that dreaded lift, treat yourself with a small gift. This can be anything, a bar of chocolate, a nice meal, new make-up, new shoes, a DVD, an album, buy yourself something that makes you happy and that treat is for your success!

I hope these tips are of some use to people who are reading this and are suffering like I do.
Its great to think positive thoughts, they make you happy, make you smile, make you feel so much better about yourself and your life.

I will now post up a few of my favourite positive quotes:

 My all time favourite quote which always cheers me up is from Roald Dahl:

How wonderful is this?

I am slowly dealing with my anxieties and hopefully soon I will be rid of them.
I could just take my mum's sound advice "You shouldn't give a shit about what others think of you!"
Thanks Ma!

Hope you enjoyed reading this post, its taken a while for me to finally write it and hey, there's another fear I have just got over. I might have a bubble bath now :)
Stay positive beauties and remember:

Love Always,

Please note: All images were sourced from Google.

*30 Day Blogging Challenge Day 1 and 2*

Day One - Your Blog's Name.
No, I'm not a religious person so this post was not inspired by the church hymn!
I chose All Things Bright & Beautiful because I love things that are and will make you look beautiful and of course as mentioned before I loooooove anything bright.

I think its a good name for my blog, hopefully it sounds catchy to others!

Day Two - 20 Facts About You.
1. My name - Brogan is Irish and means 'Little Shoe'
2. I love photography, its my second passion to makeup!
3. I adore cheese, the stinkier the better!
4. My favourite food is Mexican.
5. I'm obsessed with Game Of Thrones.
6. I'm also obsessed with Harry Potter and Lord Of The Rings.
7. I work in a rubber factory.
8. I believe in the zodiac.
9. I smoke.
10. My favourite alcoholic drink is vodka & coke.
11. I have always wanted to visit Tuscany.
12. I paint my fingernails every Monday, Wednesday & Friday.
13. I used to be in a band as a singer.
14. I love cheesey chips.
15. I watch Friends every day.
16. I have 6 fish and 2 shrimps.
17. I have always wanted a Pug and I will get one.
18. I love my fiancé's beard.
19. My beauty icon is Drew Barrymore, I just love everything about her and style my makeup on how she wears hers.
20. I love music that makes me feel something.

So there we have day 1 & 2 of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge!
I will update Day 3 & 4 tomorrow :)

Hope you enjoyed reading!

Love always, 

30 Day Blogging Challenge.

I spotted this 30 Day Blogging Challenge in the wee hours of this morning, when I discovered a new #bblogger on Twitter named Terri. I visited her blog over at Terri Tidy.

I am going to start the challenge today with Day 1 & 2 and do 2 challenges a day. I would do a challenge a day, but there are some days coming up where I will just not have time to blog.

I love all these questions and I will have a lot of fun answering them!

So stay tuned beauties for Day 1 & 2 of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge.

Terri Tidy's Blog Birthday Giveaway!

So, last night while I was #bblogging away on Twitter, I discovered a new blog from a girl named Terri.
Her blog is the cutest thing I have ever seen, full of reviews and lifestyle posts, and a 30 day blog challenge, which I will be starting today!

So on Wednesday she posted that her blog turned 4 years old! Congratulations!
And that she was running a giveaway where can win a MAC lipstick of your choice and an item from Lush of your choice!
What a wonderful prize! 

So you have to complete the entries via Rafflecopter which includes following Terri on Twitter, leaving comments on the post, etc.

And one of the entries includes blogging about her giveaway, which is what I am doing!

So to view her birthday blog post and enter her giveaway, click here!

Good Luck!

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

My Beauty Icon: Drew Barrymore.

Drew Barrymore.
What a woman! I simply adore her, I've been a huge fan of hers for years, she's completely stunning and a massive beauty icon of mine.

 Over the years I have always been keen to see what make-up looks she pulls off and every time is a winner.

If you don't know who she is or anything about her, here's a little information:

Drew Blythe Barrymore, born on 22nd of February 1975.
Actress, her major movie breakthrough was in E.T. and she went on to star in popular movies such as: The Wedding Singer, Never Been Kissed, Charlie's Angels, Donnie Darko, 50 First Dates (One that ALWAYS make me blub like a baby) and Whip It.
She also produced quite a few films on that list and many more.

She was a Guess Jeans girl in the 90s and went through a rebellious stage (which I loved!)
She was married to comedian Tom Green for a year and is now married to Will Kopelman, an art consultant who she has 2 children with.

Drew is now one of the faces for CoverGirl and owns her own make-up range called Flower Beauty.

I have always admired this woman, and I will always remember her talking about how much she loves her body, after she underwent a breast reduction operation: 
"I really love my body and the way it is right now. There's something very awkward about women and their breasts because men look at them so much. When they're huge, you become very self-conscious. Your back hurts. You find that whatever you wear, you look heavy in. It's uncomfortable. I've learned something, though, about breasts through my years of pondering and pontificating, and that is: Men love them, and I love that."

I've loved her make-up style from the 90s until this very day. She just oozes sexy and looks amazing whatever she wears.

90s Drew:

 Short, cropped hair, smokey eyes and deep red lips.

In her Guess Jeans era, she was cute but seductive.
 Her make-up was perfect and is still a classic look today.

2000s Drew:

 Even now, Drew still looks gorgeous, toning down the gothic kinda look from the 90s, mainly rocking a neutral face or statement lips and bare eyes.
In my books, this woman can do no wrong!

I loved how she looked while she was pregnant too, she was radiant as well as beautiful:

You can really see why I adore this woman so much, she's beautiful. sexy, sophisticated and looks great whatever look or style she goes for.

I'm waiting impatiently patiently for her Flower Beauty make-up range to come to the UK and as soon as it does they can have all my money!
It's currently only available in the US and is sold at Walmart stores. (big fat bummer!)

For all US Beauty Bloggers reading this (and if you UK beauty bloggers want to have a look at Drew's cosmetics range) you can find Flower Beauty here.

I hope you enjoyed this post!

Do you have a beauty icon?
What do you think of Drew Barrymore's style and make-up?

Please note: All images were sourced from Google.
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