Bloggers Beauty Brawl 2016 #beautybrawl16 – An introduction

I was kindly invited by Beth Mahoney of La Blog Beaute fame @bethmahoney92 to take part in this Beauty Blog collaboration.

What is the Blogger’s Beauty Brawl 16:

Basically, it’s a review series where a group of UK beauty bloggers will be collaborating. Over the next 10 days, we will be reviewing one product a day. Each day it will be a different type of product, such as a mascara. There may be some overlaps with products from popular brands as we won’t know what the other bloggers are reviewing until their posts go live. We will score for Packaging, Price and Product.

Who else will be joining in?

There is a mix of experienced and novice bloggers. I’ve popped a list of the participants and their blogs including, myself and Beth, below so that you can have a little peak at what we do.

Beth – La Blog Beauté 

Victoria – Victoria Life On Camera

Elaine – Early Retirement Rocks

Kimberley Jessica – Kimberley Jessica

Tori – Powdered and Polished

Laura Faye – Forever Faye

Karen – The Mad House of Cats and Babies

Gemma – An Ocean Glimmer

Ellysia – Miss Dainty K

Andreia – Andreia Prieto x

Natalie –  Beauty Box Obsessed

Rabia –  Rabia Qureshi

Bethany – The Beth Blog

Becky – Hideaway Blogging

Lynn – Lemons Cake

Sarah – The Passion Ease Queen.

Taylor – Reese’s Hardwear

Cheryl – Cheryl Gemma

Daisy – Daisy Says

Phillippa – Phillippa Beauty

Kimberley – Happiness Is Madness

Charli – High Street Beauty Junkie

Natasha – Beauty By Natasha 16

Emma – Running In Couture 

What will we be reviewing?


We’re reviewing some great products; that include makeup and skincare products,  there is a list of products per day to review but each participant can choose thir own product from each category to review

Day one: A moisturiser

Day two: An eyeshadow palette

Day three: A highlighter

Day four: A mascara

Day five: A blush

Day six: A brow product

Day seven: A lipstick

Day eight: A foundation

Day nine: A hand cream

Day ten: A concealer

Are the products high-end or drugstore?

They can be either high-end or drugstore, it doesn’t matter. This doesn’t affect the fairness of the collaboration, as while some drugstore products are of a lower quality than high-end ones, so would be marked lower under ‘the product itself’, they’d get a higher mark for ‘price’ as they are much more budget-friendly. Whereas high-end products might get a high score for quality but a low one for price. I hope that makes sense.The products I’m using are a combination of drugstore and high-end items, and I would imagine it would be the same for the other bloggers too. The idea is that the items we’re using are all products that we haven’t used before, to make it more fair.

I’m pleased with most of my products. They may not make it into my everyday collection but some of them will do. This is what I love about the Blogger’s Beauty Brawl collaborations, they give me a chance to try out products that otherwise I would never buy. I have always been slightly addicted to cosmetics as my mother was. She was from an time where the Max Factor panstick and full coverage make-up from a golden Hollywood Era was the ultimate in glamour.

Where can I keep up with all the posts from the Beauty Brawl?
This time around our Twitter and Instagram hashtag is #beautybrawl16. So if you want to keep up to date with all the posts and photos on social media, you’ll be able to find them under the hashtag.

I hope you enjoy reading the reviews and benefit from our comments.

Please feel free to comment below or contact me be email – I love to know you’re out there.




Blogger Q&A Tag

I’ve been very kindly included in a Blogger Q&A Tag by Susie Hawes of This Is Me Now  fame @susie_hawes

This is my first Blogger Q&A thank you Susie. I love reading about other bloggers and how they came to be, what they are like, what drives them on. To be included and and able to contribute to that body of information about myself is fabulous. Just hope I can be as interesting as others before me!

Susie has given me a list of questions to answer – So here goes!

My blogger questions:
1. Why did you become a blogger?

As my blog name suggests I took early retirement from the NHS last year. With a lot more free time on my hands and my love for Social media I began browsing and reading Blogs and watching Vlogs on Youtube. I thought this was a great forum – better than most magazines. Because I’m a dabbler and love trying new things plus I’ve been told I can talk a glass eye to sleep it seemed something I would enjoy doing. I love chatting about lots of various things – but nothing too serious though. If I’m honest I spend more time reading other bloggers great work than writing my own.
2. What’s your favourite thing to write about?

Ooh! Difficult question because I’m quite new and haven’t made as many posts as I’d like. However I seem to be favouring my football team Manchester City,  and places to visit in Manchester and food. I need to do more beauty and fashion for over 50’s

3. What do you find the hardest thing about blogging?

Easy question this – finding time amongst the hundreds of other things I dabble in! I probably come up with ideas for posts several times a day but then I seem to be slow to type them up! I do juggle this with my passion for comping, football, meeting friends and my new found love for housework.

4. Do you have a special Christmas dish that you make every year?

I’d like to answer this with a sophisticated, elaborate dish that would impress but I’m going to say I have 2 dishes both served on Boxing day- For breakfast I make bubble and squeak with the leftover veg from Christmas Lunch, I serve it with bacon or small sausages, also leftovers! I know I can make this throughout the year after a roast dinner but for some reason I don’t, I save it solely for Christmas.

I also curry the remains of our Turkey crown for boxing day dinner – everyone jokes about turkey curry but actually it makes the most beautiful one, the meat absorbs the flavours beautifully. There’s nothing better than eating this after coming home from watching a football game.
5. Are you a coffee or tea kind of person?

Tea, tea and more tea! I love good old English breakfast tea – 3 cups in a morning to make me human. I then drink copious amounts throughout the day with no sugar and skimmed milk.

6. What is your favourite food?

Another difficult question! I love all food but since I’ve been in my menopausal years I have to watch what I eat as I am now overweight and despite trying everything I cannot shift any of the extra pounds. I love the humble chipped potato -could eat them at every meal, but don’t. My other favourite is a well done steak topped with blue cheese – heaven.

7. Where is the best place you’ve ever travelled to?
Why are all these questions so tough????? You’ll begin to see that I can never give one definitive answer! Everywhere I’ve been lucky enough to visit in the USA, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Southern California, Palm Springs, The Grand Canyon and New York.

8. What are your plans for your blog next year?

Simply to still be around and increasing my exposure and traffic. Plus more posts related to beauty, fashion and lifestyle for the over 50’s.
9. What is your favourite blogger app?

Not sure I know of many probably my WordPress app that enables me to edit and add photo’s on the go!
10. What’s your favourite tipple?!

Good old Gin and Tonic – Bombay Sapphire with Fever Tree tonic and a thick wedge of lime.

Thank you Susie for these great questions and Cheers!

Blue Moo’s Musings – a female fans view of Manchester City FC

Short and sweet this week.

  • Well onwards and upwards in the Champions League with a game to spare – my OH’s prediction that we would leave it to the Celtic game to qualify was thankfully incorrect! My highlight of the night was seeing the Players emerge from the tunnel and immediately look for our travelling fans. Also do I detect a hint of a smile from a couple of our lads when the fans react to the Champions League anthem. I know Pep says we should stop any booing but City fans are loyal and true to themselves and can’t be hypocrites. The farcical Fernandinho sending off just adds more UEFA hurt once again!
  • Talking of the Champions League up to this season I have always done the same thing – booked a hotel room for me and OH in the City hosting the final for the night of and night before the final. I like to think I’m a good girl guide and plan ahead! So this year my plan seems to have gone completely wrong – because the final is in Cardiff I took my eye off the ball and didn’t book a hotel room – got too complacent because it’s in the UK! Big Mistake! Because of that I hadn’t really registered the date of the final and have gone and booked our summer holiday for next year for the same date June 3rd!!!!! For heaven’s sake – have you ever heard of the Champions league Final being any other time than the last weekend in May!!!!!! I suggested moving our holiday forward 1 week but that was met with a resounding NO! from OH. The glimmer of hope is that instead of our usual trip to Croatia we are planning to stay in the UK. So OH is going to travel to our destination in Northumberland regardless and I have worked out Plan B of how to travel by 3 trains, taking 5 1/2 hours, to join him on the day after the final with a hangover!
  • Another Premier League win under our belt – away on a cold, sunny Saturday in Burnley. Yes he rested key players and last year under MP that may well have spelled a disaster. Crowd were in good voice. But got to say being honest that we’re still a little dull to watch – when are the performances from the start of the season going to re-emerge?

Anyway thanks for reading. If you wish to leave a comment I’d love to hear from you or contact me by email


Keeping The Faith since 1976

Blue Moo’s Musings – a female fans view

Well I say it every time, but like many others I am so relieved to see the return of the Premiership – I know I’m like a broken record.

  • Nice to see us get an away win and the return of Yaya. I truly thought his time at City was over. His first goal was a typical Yaya goal = a volley from the edge of the box, even if it did get a deflection. He actually didn’t look bad – fitness wise.
  • So back to the Champions League tonight – can’t ever get over confident these days – I’m still waiting for Pep’s magic to work! Also my husband, who claims to be a neutral but I’ve nearly got him as a full blown blue! said the words of doom this morning. ” The way City are going about things they’ll end up so that the home game against Celtic will end up as a must win!”  Err thanks for that – but privately he’s probably right!
  • I’ll end with a bit of trivia. I loved the John Stones spoof on Soccer am about the kagoul. Click to watch.  I’ve seen him interviewed again recently by Tubes – wearing the said item. He was challenged to re-enact it with some of his mates, who I assume to be teammates for the Soccer AM Christmas special. This is something I can’t wait to see. Click to watch. My husband thinks Aguero will join in – I’m not sure about that but my money would be on Aleks Kolarov! Who would yours be on?

Comment below or via twitter @ellieblue1223

Anyway thanks for reading and enjoy the games before my next post.

Elaine – Keeping the faith since 1976



Book Tour – How To Seduce Your Wife by Andy Gibney

Displaying HTSYW BT Banner.jpg

Thanks to 3PPublishing and Emma Mitchell I’m delighted to be involved in this book tour.


For twelve years Andy Gibney was a therapist.

His first clients wanted help with phobias, stopping smoking and losing weight, but gradually more and more people came to see him with depression and anxiety. Andy realised that the cause of many of their problems could be traced back to the quality of their relationships.

Coming out of a long term relationship himself, Andy found himself on the dating scene a scene in which the internet had changed everything.

Andy found many new experiences were now available to him and as such much of this book comes from the experiences of his old clients and his own interesting adventures in the new era of social media and dating.

Love in the 21st Century can be a tricky devil, but you’ll learn to thrive and not just survive with this book, which will challenge many of the beliefs you have about love.

  • Why do people have affairs and how do you stop your partner from having one?
  • How do you start dating again after a long relationship ends?
  • What do women really expect from romance?

Whether you’re single, in a long term relationship or in the first throes of lust, the answers to all of these questions, and many more, are inside.

It’s a book every man can learn from and every woman will want to read.

How to Seduce Your  Wife By Andy Gibney

Trade Paper: ISBN 978-0-9931748-0-3 Price: £9.99  EBook: ISBN 978-0-9931748-1-0 Price: £ 2.99 Release Date: 7th February 2015

Buy it here


Displaying AG hands folded.jpg

Andy Gibney spent twelve years as a therapist (NLP Practitioner and is also trained in Nonviolent Communication). Using stories gleaned from his business life, he wrote and published his first book. His second book followed and it was at this point that Andy decided to set up his own publishing house, and, in 2015, 3P Publishing was born. Andy is a huge martial arts fan and when he isn’t helping other authors realise their publishing dreams, or writing his own books, he can be found at his martial arts centre in Kettering where he teaches Jeet Kune Do. He is a keen runner and has completed several marathons, the Tough Mudder challenge and many other physical endurance events. Andy is also a professional motivational speaker and is never too far from a packet of biscuits.

Here is an excerpt of my favourite answers from the Question and Answer session

What is the first book you remember reading or having read to you?

I can’t remember exactly, but I absolutely loved Ladybird books and I’ve started collecting second-hand ones now.

Who is your favourite literary character?

Batman was the first that came to mind. I like the James Bond books too.When I was young I used to read lots of books by JT Edson, an author who wrote loads of Westerns, but lived in Melton Mowbray. He had a character called Belle Starr (based on the real woman) that I liked. Funnily enough I love Inspector Morse, but found him quite unlikeable in the books. I guess John Thaw did too good a job on the tv versions.

 Which book have you always meant to get around to reading, but still not read?

There are so many. Pride and  Prejudice probably. I’m also catching up on many of Agatha Christie’s books after neglecting her for so many years.

Who would be at your dream dinner party (alive, dead or fictional)?

Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Thomas Edison, Bruce Lee, my mum (because she’d like to meet Elvis and Marilyn too and I wouldn’t want to leave her out), Stan Lee, Roald Dahl and James May.

What is the most important item you require for a quiet night in?

Silence – It sounds facetious, but it’s not. With silence you have space to choose what you want to do: read, watch a movie or just think, but you need the silence first.

What is your favourite biscuit?

Half chocolate Viennese shortbread or in a pinch, a chocolate Hobnob.

Tea or Coffee?

Neither. Haven’t touched caffeine for a dozen years. I am partial to hot chocolate though.

Happy Reading everyone don’t forget to comment and  reviews on Goodreads

Thanks for popping by.




Solving a storage dilemma for shoes – a must have for any shoeaholic

My name is Elaine and I’m a shoeaholic – I can own between 50 and 60 pairs at any one time! Probably 70% of them are black too!

In recent years I have tried to control this lust for shoes – I now try to live by the mantra -one pair in, one pair out! I don’t know why I have the desire to keep buying shoes. After watching the film In Her Shoes I think I gained an insight into myself. If you’re not familiar with the film , it’s about 2 sisters one thin and one carrying a few extra pounds. The heavier one has a huge collection of shoes, when asked why she replied that even if clothes don’t fit – shoes always look good. After gaining more weight over recent years than I would have liked to – I think this could be why I buy so many.

In recent years and increasing age – comfort has become important and I am now increasing the number of flat and comfy footwear – trainers (see my previous post ), boots and casual flats. So with having so many pairs storage has become a problem. Even though this house has no shortage of wardrobe space – they still all end up in a jumble at the bottom of each wardrobe and finding 2 that match is a challenge, involving me grovelling away in the dark pulling out shoe after shoe until I find the pair I want.

I searched for storage solutions and found some interlocking cubes on Amazon.  I would highly recommend these, they were so easy to put together, no tools involved, can be adjusted and altered easily if necessary. They look neat and tidy and my shoes are much easier to find. I bought one box and I will be purchasing another set, they are so good.

Is anyone else like me – jumbled heaps of shoes, or do you have an alternative shoe storage solution. I would love to hear from you – either comment below or email me

Speak again soon


Brilliant blog posts on

Blue Moo’s Musings – A female fans view of Manchester City FC

Well it’s been a couple of weeks since I made a post about my beloved club. I was quite critical in my last one. I have to admit I felt a little guilty after I pressed the publish button, mostly surrounding my comments about Pep perhaps trying to discredit players e.g. Sergio Aguero.  The guilt has eased a bit since I have heard this same view being  discussed in a variety of settings by professionals and journalists alike – it made me feel that I wasn’t so crazy after all.

So here are my musings since then – I’m still bemused by how the season is panning out but hey! I’m old City and can cope with anything.

  • After my ‘theory’ that Aguero was maybe out of favour with Pep – I am pleased to note that his performance had improved in terms of distance run in a game and his tracking back. So despite my concerns my motto must be ‘In Pep We Trust’ if he can improve this great player further that would be fabulous
  • I am really impressed with Nolito – he seems to be linking up well with Sergio – in my opinion he maybe sits alongside him better than any other player. I like his fire and passion but maybe less  of the head ‘twitching’ please, but perhaps after reading some of the details of his upbringing that side of him could be a case of ‘nature versus nurture’. I also have to comment that I’m so impressed with how he keeps that shock of hair so perfect during games – he must use copious amounts of product during a season! 
  • Oh Dear Vincent – what can the matter be? – My concerns for Captain Fantastic are growing – the ongoing predicament is like the elephant in the room – whatever the real reason for not being picked or then being picked and then not completing a game is being hinted at and skirted around. I won’t even begin to speculate what’s wrong  as I don’t know him personally and have no contact with anyone who does, but I can make an observation on his behaviour. This is something I noticed last season – he seems to have totally receded into the background. In previous seasons when City was playing live and he was injured or rested, camera’s always caught a shot of him sitting watching the game – more often than not accompanied by his wife Carla. Now he’s very rarely captured on camera in his role as club Captain – the only time I’ve seen him probably in 2 seasons was at the CFA watching the Women’s team win the game they needed to secure this years championship. So in my opinion there’s something not right – I know I’m stating the obvious! – but whatever it is I hope Vinny can overcome the demons – whether they be physical or mental.
  • Finally, having had to endure another boring International break ( I have discussed my views on this in an earlier musing), I will enjoy watching England versus Spain in the friendly on Tuesday – if only to hopefully see many City players on show, not least my beloved Merlin – David Silva – anyone who knows me – appreciate that he is my favourite player of all time – I love hos style of play, skill and temperament. The complete professional.

Thank you for reading this City mad female’s views – if you want to comment I would be happy to hear from you, please don’t hesitate to comment or email me


Manchester Restaurant Review – Busaba The Printworks

I have discussed before that I am retired and have new found freedom. I am lucky enough to have some fabulous friends who are also available some weekdays. We try and be the proverbial ‘ladies that lunch’

I like to share some of the activities we do and places we visit – reviewing the venue and food.

  • Name of venue visited

Busaba eathai

  • Reason for visit

Late lunch with friends – this meal was a competition prize. I don’t have any photographs of the dishes – too busy chatting and enjoying Sorry!

Time and day of visit

Wednesday 2pm – prebooked

First impression

  • Greeted and seated immediately. They were expecting us as it wasa  competition prize from Twitter.
  • Time to get servers attention/service

Met at the door by friendly staff – immediate attention. Our table was already prepared and set with prawn crackers and dips.

  • Food quality

This is the second visit for me. I have to admit Thai is not one of my favourite foods to eat, however the more I try it the more I like it. The food was delicious. We were booked in for a Thai Banquet lunch – a mixture of small plates and main dishes, served in a  sharing style.

  • Quality of Service

Service was prompt and friendly. The 2 servers named each plate as it was put on the table but there was so much I’m embarrassed to say that I can’t remember the names of most of the plates – there was plenty on offer. A great variety, 2 varieties of rice to accompany each choice.  Service was slick and efficient, plus accompanied by big smiles!

  • Evaluation

Really pleasing visit. Good food at reasonable prices. Nice and spicy – the way I like it!

As I said this meal was a competition prize but not in return for a review. The company and staff had no idea that my intention was to review for my blog. The opinions are not influenced by the complimentary food. We paid for our own drinks. I had a glass of house white wine – very palatable wine and reasonably priced.

The only slight negatives was the temperature of the area we were seated in – initially it was too warm – the air conditioning was blasting out heat, then I think it was perhaps turned off and a couple of my friends then felt cool – I was very comfortable when it cooled down – that’s an age thing – wink!

Also there was background music which, although pleasant and authentic to the Thai setting, it was a tad too loud

  • Would I visit again?

Yes, definitely. It’s a great place for a quick bite to eat.

Have you tried this restaurant? – there are many around the country – if so let me know your opinion I’d love to hear from you.

Here’s a link to the website to see if you could be tempted

Mummy in a Tutu

Book Tour -A Brush With Death by Malcolm Parnell – a review of a good old crime novel

This is my first involvement in a Book Tour and review, so please forgive me if I make a mistake.

Saying that the book I am reviewing is the first by the author Malcom Parnell, so we’re novices together. I love crime novels – my first progression into adult fiction after my childhood love for Enid Blyton was Agatha Christie. And Then There Were None was the first adult novel I ever read. I’ve been a fan of crime and whodunnits ever since.

About the Author

I’m a nurse and I instantly feel an affinity to Malcom, as he was once a paramedic – honour amongst healthcare professionals. He now works as a first aid trainer for Brown’s Health and Safety. He also has a passion for painting which transferred into the fabric of the novel. And also like me he is an avid football fan – still basking in the achievements of his beloved Leicester City – both of us having witnessed our beloved clubs lifting the Premiership trophy – something we never thought would happen. I’m liking this man so much!  Reading the answers to his questions even revealed a shared love for dear Enid.

As crime novels go this is good and enjoyable. There is a great storyline laced with humour and just the right amount of descriptive narrative. To me there is nothing worse than too much detail which detracts from following the plot. The balance was right for me in this novel. The authors experience of working with people can be found in the behaviours of the characters.I think I may have met a few of these myself! – Steve in the quiz team for one.  Lots going on at a good pace, keeps you guessing until the end. I really enjoyed it and wish him every success on his debut.


Take a look for yourself A Brush With Death Malcolm Parnell