Sunday, July 12, 2015

Fox Hunting Ban - My Thoughts & How You Can Help!

Apologies in advance that this post isn't necessarily in keeping with the usual style of posting that I do, but it’s very much in keeping with my own morals and beliefs, and so with that being said, I hope that you don’t mind me posting this up.

With what seems like the entire country talking about the imminent, potential lifting of the fox hunting ban, I thought I’d put my 2p in; and also post some links that may be of use to those of you who agree with me and want to try to do something about it.

Personally, I was very happy when fox hunting was originally banned in 2004. The needless (in my opinion) suffering of innocent animals from this blood ‘sport’ has never sat well with me, as an animal lover (and vegetarian) and so it was nice to see that for once, animal welfare was being put above the desires of humans who participated in, or supported it.

I understand that to some, foxes may be a bit of a nuisance or inconvenience but the fact is humans encroach on their natural habitat by building houses, roads and suchlike... and then complain that these animals are sometimes forced to come into what we deem as 'our territory' possibly hungry, and looking for food (that is possibly also lacking due to the lack of natural prey due to humans) or just passing through it perhaps doing some damage to property/land. I don't think that is a valid reason to end the life of an innocent animal.

I’ve also heard the argument that young children in city or suburban gardens may be in danger if a hungry fox enters the territory. My counterargument was that if a child was too young, or mentally incapable of dealing with a fox (be that coming inside, or scaring it off), or indeed any other dangers then it should not be left unsupervised in a garden in the first place. And, if my friend’s cat, Tig can scare away a fox by just pouncing and running at it (see the video below, and photos all courtesy of my Tom from Noonix and his girlfriend, and Tigs' ‘mum’ Karenza), that a supervising adult should be able to either scare the fox off, or remove the child from the garden/area in time so that no harm was done.

I’m not entirely sure why some people think that humans have the right to end the life of an animal, purely because it's potentially an inconvenience to them! Do all these people who are pro fox/animal killing for these kinds of reasons want these animals to be fully extinct? Because unless they were extinct, there is always the possibility that one may find its way into your garden/onto your land. Extinction of a species is never an option in my opinion.

IF, and this is a big ‘if’ fox numbers need controlling, then this should be done in a quick, humane way. I also saw somebody stating ‘Fox lovers will still protest irrespective of how control is achieved!’ on my own Facebook. That's like saying all meat eaters don't give a shit about how their meat is treated and killed, and I'm pretty sure most people who eat meat, would not like to think of animals suffering in the process. If there's a massive problem with foxes in an area, then kill them quickly and humanely; it doesn’t need to be a ‘fun’ sport, as this to me makes it less of a necessary evil being done for the greater good (of humans)... and this is coming from an animal/fox lover.

If you want to try to help maintain the ban, you need to act quickly (as this could be happening this week with the free vote going ahead THIS WEDNESDAY!!) by emailing your MP and asking them to vote against the lifticng of the ban (see how to contact your local MP here) and/or signing the petition that have set up here.

Also, please share this post to get it seen by as many people as possible.

If you’re pro fox hunting, please don’t take this as an attack at you; our opinions may differ, but you are fully entitled to have, and hold onto your own opinion. This post isn’t about getting you to change your mind; it’s just a call to those who may agree with me on the matter, who may want to do something proactive about the potential lift on the current fox hunting ban. x

This post originated at

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Urban Decay to Launch New 'Naked Smoky' Palette on 30th July!

Urban Decay’s original ‘Naked’ palette set off what appears to be a huge wave of similar, neutral-hued palettes being released by many other brands that then saw the niche in the market for dedicated palettes for such easily wearable shades. The Naked arm of the Urban Decay empire has since evolved into its own series, with multiple palettes containing a plethora of neutral, easy to wear shades.

The newest kid on the block is the ‘Naked Smoky’ palette, which is described as being “Packed with a dozen sultry, smoky neutrals — nine never-before-seen shades and three exclusives” and “loaded with ALL the essentials for the perfect neutral smoky eye”.

I’m a bit of a fan of a smoky eye, so this totally appeals to me… and I’m already making notes about which colour combinations I might like to try. I’ll be getting the palette shortly, so I’ll be sure to swatch them for you as soon as it gets here.

Naked Smoky (RRP £38) is available online at from 30th July.

This post originated at

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Pancake Day: Healthy, Flour Free, Low Carb Pancakes!

It’s Pancake Day! But I’m on a bit of a mission to lose some weight, tone up and generally be healthy, so I took to the internet to look for ways that I could participate in the eating of pancakes, but in a slightly healthier way.

In my quest, I found recipes that used almond flour instead of regular flour for a less carb heavy solution; but I thought that the calories in this may be too high for my personal consumption (as I’m watching my calories as well as trying to eat cleanly), due to the fact that nuts in general are quite calorific. 
Then I had a eureka moment when I came across a recipe that called for eggs, oats and bananas and wondered if I could omit the oats to make it even less calorific and carb heavy! So I tried it, and it turns out that yes I could. Now I’m not saying that these have the regular pancake texture – and when cooking them they are quite fragile, so it’s better to make them smaller (but more of them)… but they’re close enough, and with some honey and lemon on (I stayed quite traditional) I think they’re rather yummy.

I used:

1 Ripe banana
2 Free range eggs
A Dash of vanilla extract
Coconut oil (for frying).
Optional Extras:

Feel free to add in vanilla extract, cinnamon, cocoa powder or any other spices/flavourings into the mix, depending on the flavours you prefer. And also if the mixture isn’t ‘quite’ there for you texture wise you could add in maybe a tablespoon or 2 of coconut or almond flour. I’ve also read that ground flaxseeds work well to hold the mixture together.


I stayed quite traditional with my honey and lemon toppings, but you could add pretty much anything that you’d normally have on your pancakes… especially if you’re not being totally rigid about the health factor. I think next time I might try some with strawberries and raspberries pureed in the food processor with a little honey in.
Apologies for the pathetic one pancake in my final photograph, in my excitement to get the others to the plate, I ended up dropping them on the floor, and I only had enough mixture left to make this feeble, lonely one more. I guess that’s another way to lower my calorie intake, though?! ;-)

Speaking of calories, this mix (without toppings) works out to be around 300 calories (depending on the weight of banana you use) and I think would be enough for 2 people (based on 2 small to medium pancakes each), so around 150 calories per serving, excluding toppings. 
Happy pancake day.

This post originated at

Friday, February 13, 2015

Valentine's Day Gift Suggestions: Luxury Beauty, Fragrance & Jewellery Options For Your Loved One!

This guide was meant to be my part 3 in my Luxury Christmas Gift Guide, but alas my scheduling failed and Christmas came and went, so I have adapted it for Valentine’s Day as I thought it a shame to go to waste! Obviously with it being luxury products, I’m not suggesting that you go out and purchase the most expensive gifts for somebody you’ve only just met… unless you’re rolling in the readies and can afford it, in which case go for it! ;-)

Searching for the perfect Valentine’s gift for your loved one can invariably lead to stress, headache, and panic (especially for the unprepared, last minute Larrys)… not to mention extremely painful feet and potential for mild assault from other keen, or spatially unaware shoppers if you’re braving the shops, rather than shopping online. Personally, I try to stick to buying online as much as I can in life, so as to avoid the physically painful part, at least.

Now I know there’s probably loads of Valentine’s guides floating around, but I firmly believe that you can never have too much inspiration if you’re truly stumped for things to buy – especially if you have to buy for somebody who may seemingly have everything, or somebody who appears to want nothing; and so I’ve compiled a couple of guides for you covering a whole host of fabulous looking ‘stuff and things’ in the hope that I can maybe inspire you on the perfect gift to buy for your Valentine.

This guide focuses on luxurious beauty products, fragrancing and sparkly shit (jewellery)… my favourite! It was always going to be seriously difficult to keep the amount of ‘stuff and things’ that I want… errrr I mean that would be lovely for you to purchase for your loved one to so few items – especially because I’m such a magpie who likes lots of things, and so I must add a serious disclaimer that this is by no means a frank, full and complete list of things that I desire. ;-)

So without further ado, here’s a whole heap of fabulousness that I’d personally love to own/receive. I could probably just call all my guides ‘Claire’s Wish Lists’ if I’m honest.

1. Charlotte Tilbury The Glamour Muse and 2. The Rebel Look Gift Boxes £165 each – These complete ‘get the look’ sets are right up my street. I love that you can select a ‘look’ that appeals to your general style, specific outfit, occasion, mood or even knickers (if you so wish) and then be beautifully presented with all the products needed to recreate it. I would probably weep a little with utter joy if any of these were presented to me, at any point, let alone on Valentine’s Day. 

3. Tom Ford Bronzer Brush, £80 icon– I probably wouldn’t even be able to bring myself to tarnish those perfect white bristles enough to make full use of this with actual, coloured bronzer, and would probably be more likely to be found swiping it across my skin, cooing about how soft it feels instead. Still, it’s a fabulous looking brush and I’m guessing applies bronzer like a dream, for those who are bold enough to use it for the purpose it was made for.

4. Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet in L’ExhubĂ©rante, £26 and/or 5. Chanel Le Vernis Nail Lacquer in Pink Tonic 619, £18 – I always think it’s worth spending money where it makes a difference with makeup, and I think lipstick is one of the areas where you get better wear from higher end brands (mostly), and this gorgeous pink- hued Chanel lipstick is no exception. Plus, if you were to team it with with this perfect pink polish, not only would it look great, but it would totally have the wow factor for the recipient, in my opinion.

6. Dior 5 Couleurs Limited Edition Eyeshadow Palette in Golden Shock, £42 – I love pretty much all of the Dior eyeshadow palettes, they always have gorgeous sparkly colours that appeal to my inner (and outer) magpie, but aren’t too in your face shade wise, so are totally wearable at any time of year. This one suits Valentine's Day due to its plummy hues, and is pretty universally wearable due to the muted tones.

7. Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir Cologne 100ml, £82 – This is a heady, but fruity scent which I think suits Valentine’s Day perfectly. If I received this tomorrow, I would be over the moon! Then again, I’d be over the moon just receiving a card this year, probably. ;-)

8. Chanel Coco Mademoiselle, £95.50 – I have had so many compliments when wearing this perfume, literally people stopping me in my tracks and asking what I’m wearing!! I adore it, and I find it to be a fragrance suitable for pretty much any age… plus it’ll look great on the dressing table to boot. ;-)

9. Links of London Effervescence Pearl Necklace £695, currently reduced to £347 – I couldn’t not include this necklace in the guide due to my incredible inability to ignore any innuendo (or inyourendo as my friends and I call it) that presents itself to me. I mean who wouldn’t want the gift of a pearl necklace this Valentine's? Especially a fizzy one; better get that looked at, mate. ;-)

10. Tresor Paris Metric Bangle £197 – This is such an unusual piece due to its shape, which is what caught my eye… after the sparkle of course!! I’m obviously partial to the bling, and this appears to satisfy that criteria. Love it.

Due to yet another scheduling fail (come on, Blogger) I've had to adjust this guide, meaning it's somewhat shorter as I've removed products that are seemingly only available online... and edited links to purchase where you can also visit the shop, as it's now too late to have items posted in time for tomorrow.

Whatever you're doing for Valentine's day, I hope you have a great day. If, like me you're a singleton then do what I'm doing, get yourself out with friends and give Valentine's Day two fingers... until such a day where you're not single, in which case I love you Valentine's Day. :-P x

This post originated at

Monday, February 9, 2015

My Botox With Dr Max Malik at Elate Health.

Some photographs from 3 weeks upwards after.
I make no secret of my thought on ageing, in that I will do everything in my power to avoid that whole ‘looking old’ thing as time creeps on. I also make no secret of the fact that I’m a bit partial to botox, having had my first injections a few years ago; I admit it, I love the stuff and have had nothing but good experiences with it. I see it as a preventative measure as well as a curative one for the few lines/wrinkles I already have developing and visible when I frown/smile etc, so that they don’t further develop and become deep set, staying visible whilst I’m not frowning or smiling… which would give me a big reason to frown even more.

I should add that whilst I’ve had Botox a number of times before, I haven’t been a rigidly regular user of it. However now I’m heading towards my mid-thirties, I’m thinking that I should up my treatments as if this can prevent more invasive treatments later in life, then for me, it’s worth doing.

Dr Max Malik, owner of Elate Health is a highly trained doctor (who just happens to train other doctors too), specialising in facial aesthetics, with clinics on the prestigious Harley Street in London, and also in the Birmingham area, with more locations coming soon. This is a guy who can give you a brow lift under local (not general) anaesthetic, who can sculpt your face using non-invasive procedures and generally make you look like the best version of you with minimal interruption to your normal life – so less invasive treatments are always preferred, unless absolutely necessary. He’s a wizard at his art with over 20 years of experience in medicine; and, having seen some of his before and after images from previous clients I’m thoroughly confident in his skills to make dramatic and positive changes that look totally natural.
Before treatment - ignore my unkempt brows, I was trying to grow them out. Forced faces to show extent of movement.

So, when I was presented with the opportunity to visit Dr Max back in September, I quickly accepted and off I trotted to visit him at his Birmingham clinic to see what magic he could work. The clinic is a modern, clean environment and Dr Max has his consultations up quite a large amount of stairs – although I’m sure this could be worked on for those who have more limited mobility. Whilst in his care, I was injected across my forehead to give my brows some lift, something I felt worked extremely well and would be quick to have again, rather than jumping in with a full brow lift – at least until I felt I needed a bit of extra oomph. ;-) I was also injected in-between my brows to combat my Glabella frown lines, and around the area to rid me of crow’s feet that I was beginning to notice when I smiled. Something that, whilst not extreme was really starting to affect my confidence quite a lot, especially when I noticed them in photographs.

The treatment wasn’t overly painful, with fine needles being used to inject in precise locations, obviously this also depends on your sensitivity to needles and pain, but I felt it was totally bearable. It was also over very quickly, so if you do have an aversion to needles, at least it’s over with pretty quickly.
Around 10 days after treatment.
As usual with Botox, I started to see results after about 3-4 days, with my muscles slowly starting to freeze, I love this part – it’s great to see the movement decrease, and I found myself checking the mirror each day and pulling faces, to see how much I could move the areas that I’d had injected. Full results are to be seen up to 14 days after treatment, where you’d normally go back to your practitioner for them to check their work, correct any asymmetries, and top up Botox where needed. Unfortunately I was unable to get back to Max due to illness, so I didn’t have my top up… but I was still quite pleased with the results I had, feeling whilst I think a top up would have been beneficial to my end results, that I had definitely benefitted from the injections regardless of having not had the usual top up.
More from after treatment 4 weeks+ - the top right shows some of the lift of my brows, along with the forehead line reduction.

My apologies for the lack of after photographs of any close up or non grainy quality, these were due to my technical issues, however I hope you can see that I do look more rested in them, despite the quality and at times, some funny face pulling.

If you’re in, or available to get to any of his clinic locations, then I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him to you. More information on treatments, and Dr Max are available on his website, here.

There has been a delay in posting this (and a number of upcoming articles) due to both technical issues, and also having been through a sexual assault, which if you follow me on Twitter you'll have probably seen me tweeting about. Hoping that I have my mojo back now, and that technology starts to hate me slightly less. x

This post originated at
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