Strictly Panache & Haagen Dazs

Hallo there! I've been meaning to visit the Little Blog of Horrors a bit sooner since arriving back my holiday last week, but several technical difficulties seemed determined to halt me in my tracks. I was ready to burst a blood vessel between animals chewing through macbook charger and leaving me with zero juice, to hoards of photos to be edited playing hide seek and DELETE. Alas, I am here finally. I have been sorting my life out all day from the comfort of bed, with a not so comfortable tension headache, but once I write this post I have some Walking Dead and Dexter to watch, with John returning with a chinese takeaway soon :)

The lovely folks at Panache got in touch with me to take part in their Bra Fit Challenge, which is an online quiz to help us ladies find out if we are wearing a proper fitting bra (if the name doesn't give that away!) I've heard that more than 80% of women wear the wrong bra size. I know for a fact that I will be one of them. But be honest, how many times have you been in a shop or at a sale and found a beautiful looking bra (but not in your size) and opted for the old cup size up, back size down trick? I took their quiz to find out more, and got to rate it using these fun Strictly Come Dancing style paddles. YAY! Cue over excited Ayden (You know me and my job, I bloody love a good prop)


The quiz consisted of 7 questions, and Panache have asked me to mark it taking into consideration the following 6 points:

Ease of Use
Appearance
Clarity
Does it work?
Would you recommend it to a friend?
Overall Score

It only takes a few minutes and was nice to do so if you don't want me to spoil it for ya go ahead and try it yourself before you read the rest! Here :)

Ease Of Use


9 out of 10

This test is extremely easy to use, hooray! Gave my brain a break after all the technical mishaps and confusion I've had lately. The only thing I'd say is that I based my answers on the bra I was wearing at that moment in time. I might have answered differently if I was wearing another one (we all know that we have some that probably fit better than others) And sitting in my jammies without a bra on I thought I could answer the questions from memory but I couldn't (well, not honestly anyways) So I got up and put back on the one I wore that day. Maybe that's me just being silly though and they deserve a perfect 10? I think I may have lost my marbles after all!

Appearance


6 out of 10

The pictures shown in the quiz are of high quality - but could be a little bit bigger.  And the font is plain and easy to read - but could be a little more colourful and welcoming to a younger audience. The only other thing that put me off was the bra they chose to photograph :( It feels slightly old fashioned compared to the usual modern image Panache put across, and almost a little see through with a bit of a nipple outline going on. But that is me being pretty harsh! The whole quiz is about functionality and comfort, not fashion. I know that they will want this quiz to appeal to women of all ages so they have played it safe but I think it could have been a little more upbeat and jazzy from a visual point of view without offending anyone :)

Clarity


7 out of 10

Each question and answer had a photograph to illustrate the situation, and straight after you were given a blurb of advice depending on your answer, before moving on to the next question. I really liked this! I feel like the quiz could have been complicated even a little bit more and it still wouldn't have been too overwhelming or confusing. For example, something like adding a section about styles of bras and what body/boob shapes they fit and compliment best (or don't!) and why. That's why I have given it a seven, the questions were great but I feel like they could have pushed it into even more detail.

Does It Work?


5 out of 10

I'm pulling the face above because I feel like such a meanie for giving 5! It isn't a bad 5, just more of an indifferent one. The test gave me these final results:

"We think you have conflicting fit issues and would definitely recommend a professional fitting! It sounds like you could have several issues with your bra which are making it uncomfortable. A professional fitting should help you find your ideal size and ensure you get the comfort and support you need"

They started off the quiz by asking for my bra size, which made me think that by the end I wouldn't only know if it was the right or wrong bra size for me, but actually what bra size I should be. I can't expect a computer to do this! So I think this quiz does work and brings you 50% of the way, but a professional fitting in person would take you the rest.
 
Would you recommend it to a friend?


5 out of 10

Yes, I certainly would. But I gave it a middle of the road 5 again, because I would be just as suggesting for them to go straight ahead and get a professional bra fitting done in store as I've mentioned above. For all the time it would take if you were out and about shopping anyway!

OVERALL SCORE


8 out of 10!

You know I like being honest and so I have been rather nit picky with my opinions above. This is such a friendly feeling, non offensive and pleasant quiz to do, and most importantly it kick started my brain about getting a long overdue fitting, and got me thinking about how important it actually is for us to wear a proper fitting bra. For comfort and support more than anything! Plus, the right bra is always going to be the ultimate master of enhancement - making your boobs look great no matter how big, small, uneven or unflattering we feel they look under clothing.

Let me know if you take the quiz, and what your general chat and gossip is regarding bras. I remember telling my mum when I was younger that I didn't like them and that I would NEVER be wearing one when I was older. Yes, okay Ayden ;) I still think there isn't a feeling more liberating than coming home and whipping your bra off after a long day. Haha deary me. I'm so sorry to any males reading this. As if all the bra chat wasn't enough, here's something else girly and brilliant...


I entered a competition with Haagen Dazs to win one of their summer hampers AND I WON. I almost died and went to heaven when I got the email. I never win stuff like this, ever. And lets face it - ice cream and other yummy goodies come right next to winning the lottery, if you're a grubber like me. I am also now the proud owner of loveheart shaped spoons with my blog name engraved on them... My life is almost complete :') So I shall complete it by making one of you lovelies happy too.

 Haagen Dazs are giving away ONE CASE of their new Secret Sensations Meringue and Raspberry Fondant mini cups, to one of my lucky readers. Pictured in the last photograph above - That's 24 x 100ml tubs of awesomeness! Would you like to enter? Here's how, and some rules**

- Competition closes a week today, monday 5th november at 8pm GMT
NOW CLOSED, CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNER @MYNAMEISEMSIE

- You MUST be a reader of the Little Blog Of Horrors to enter. This isn't a popularity contest, it is a treat for the people who follow me across the different social platforms and enjoy reading my nonsense on a regular basis :)

- Leave your name and email address in the comments to enter (UK entries only)
+1 entry for following me on twitter @hellorogue
+1 entry for following Haagen Dazs on twitter @HaagenDazsLoves
+1 entry for tweeting about the competition
+ 1 entry for mentioning the competition in a blog post (please leave the link)
+ 1 entry for following on tumblr - http://hellorogue.tumblr.com/
+ 1 entry for mentioning the competition in a tumblr post (please leave the link)

So that's a possible 7 entries you could have, and I will be checking every one! I'll have some posts in between but will announce the winner next monday as soon as it has been drawn and contact them straight after. Good luck and I'll talk to you all soon :)

Ayden x

** Terms and Conditions
·         1 winner will receive one case of Häagen-Dazs Secret Sensations Meringue & Raspberry Fondant. Only successful applicants will be contacted.  Little Blog of Horrors and Häagen-Dazs reserve the right to only contact successful applicants.
·         One case of Häagen-Dazs Secret Sensations Meringue & Raspberry Fondant ice-cream, containing 8 x 500ml containers will be delivered to each winner.  This prize will be de delivered via courier, organised by Häagen-Dazs within 4 weeks of winning.  Any goods that are damaged, or lost in transit, are not at the responsibility of Little Blog of Horrors or Häagen-Dazs.
·         The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative will be offered. Should you not be available to claim prize you will not be compensated by Little Blog of Horrors or Häagen-Dazs.
·         This competition is restricted to residents of the United Kingdom, aged 18 years of over, excluding employees of Little Blog of Horrors and Häagen-Dazs, their immediate families, their agents or anyone professionally connected to the competition. Proof of eligibility must be provided on request.
·         Little Blog of Horrors reserve the right to cancel this competition or to alter these rules at any stage, if deemed necessary in its opinion, and/or if circumstances arise outside of its control.  
·         To the extent permitted by law, each entrant releases Little Blog of Horrors, Häagen-Dazs and their associated agencies from any and all liability, damages or loss incurred in connection with this competition including the redemption and use of any prize.  Nothing in these Terms shall exclude liability for (i) death or personal injury as a result of negligence; (ii) fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation; or (iii) any liability that cannot be limited or excluded by law.
·         Data will be captured by Little Blog of Horrors and will not be shared with any third parties

Aaaand relax.


Just a quick post this morning, I fly out on holiday this afternoon so leaving to go to the airport about 1.30pm :) Me and my roomie Katrina are going to Marmaris for a week, managed to get a wee last minute deal. I literally cannot wait to lie around and do NOTHING. Sunbathe, read, listen to music, with some good drinking and eating thrown in there too. 

I'm glad you all liked my last post about my favourite places to shop online! I'm sorry if it has brought unwanted temptation to some of you too (mua ha ha...) But I've started thinking about Christmas already and thought it was about time to round up some gems. I have been eyeing up places like the Traidcraft website to get some ideas for more ethical and alternative christmas presents this year (but I always end up getting distracted by the yummy organic food and drink - fail!) Typical Ayden.

I got my nails done as you can see in the picture above, and added the little anchor myself courtesy of Skin Art. I was desperate for a bath this week too, as we only have a shower in my flat - and I really needed to de-stress. So I went down to stay with John and he did the full works for me - big bubbles, candles, and relaxing music! Well when I say music,  I mean thunder and wave sounds played on the ipad via a relaxation app but it was SO comforting. The Elemis Bath Elixir made my skin feel amazing, and it smelled good enough to eat so I have packed it away to take to Marmaris with me but I think I might return with an empty bottle.

I've got some fun stuff lined up to post when I come back, including an amazing giveaway from my friends at Haagen Dazs :) It may or may not include a rather large amount of ice cream so watch this space ♥ I'll leave you with that little tease, and see you all in a week!

Ayden x

Best of the web

Recently on the Little Blog Of Horrors I have been sharing my shopping hauls with you. I had a massive clear out of my wardrobe at the start of summer and after my 23rd birthday, which left a space in my wardrobe (and purse) for some new things. With pretty much 90% of my treats being bought from the internet (it is a dangerous place to wander...) I thought I would share, in no particular order, my top ten sites to order from the web. Especially since you might be starting your christmas shopping early (sorry, I said it!) or fancy a wee something in the post before payday. So, a few shopping baskets later...


Owned by Oli Sykes of hardcore band Bring Me The Horizon, his clothing range (for boys AND girls) brings out the 'grown up' emo in me. Oh dear. Think killer kitties and awesome illustrations with a tattoo vibe.



A UK based Kawaii shop. Need I say more?




Don't let the name put you off. This is definitely more of a 'splurge' site, but they offer some exclusive brands and celebrity favourites such as Jeffery Campbell, Wildfox and Disney Couture.



A beautiful Edinburgh based independent boutique, who specialise in items designed or handmade by indie designers. Jewellery, art, stationary, homewares - SO many pretty things.  Plus, they're scottish :)


 
'Music Inspired Clothing' is their tagline, but amongst the mass of band tee's Pulp also stock the likes of David & Goliath, and Iron Fist. Another rocky store like Drop Dead, but stocking lots of different brands.



The prettiest dresses you will EVER find. I wish I could afford them all ♥



A lovely mixture of clothing and gifts, almost like a more vintage version of Urban Outfitters (with a similar price tag) and all really lovely quality stuff.



This website really brings out the inner kid in me! I don't order from it as much as I did when I was younger, but love getting other people pressies from here. They do lots of cute stuff for wee people, and a lot of personalised goodies too.



Another old favourite, who have changed quite a bit since I started shopping with them years ago (mainly just the prices) but their simple and quirky designs remain. Love the fact that they stock cute stationary and rather funny cards too.



An absolutely eclectic website for my inner geek. Like an online gadget shop, with THE most random gifts you will ever find. Literally something to suit everyone. Very odd but very super indeed.

I've been bookmarking pages for gift ideas for friends and family, and myself from time to time as you already know. I hope you found a few new treasures in the form of online shopping with this post, and it wouldn't be complete without asking to you post your favourites in the comments too :)

Ayden x

Good morning Sun


I cannot express how happy I am to be sitting on my bed at midday with a sea of lists around me and the biggest, warmest housecoat on EVER. Fear not, I have been up since 8am drinking tea, eating toast, cuddling Dexter and sorting out stuff for the blog which I have somewhat neglected over the past couple of months. Summer has flashed before my eyes as I went from a feature film onto a two part drama for the BBC, with a designer and team who I am completely over the moon to be working for and hoping these gigs with them will be the first of many. So today see's me with my first proper day off in a very long time, with no other work on the horizon but enough money in the bank and enough personal lists and goals to keep me going until the next contract comes along. I've got lots planned over the next wee while, so looking forward to having some well earned rest and catching up with my nearest and dearest. 

I've been given a wee education lately from my friends at Twinnings. For someone who has a tea related tattoo - I actually don't know much outside of my breakfast tea with milk and 2 sugars setup, or the odd herbal tea! I guess I know what I like so I tend to stick to it :) But I have been branching out lately, given the amount of hot drinks I consume at work (we should be best friends with the guys at Ringtons Beverages - the Ringtons commercial coffee machines belong on a film set as well as a cafe with the rate we go at!) As the days get darker and colder I've had a look at different tea gifts on the Twinnings website (mulled wine tea for Christmas, HELLO!) and ended up getting the 'A New Year, A New You' Green Tea Set, complete with tote bag (who doesn't love a tote bag) and a little book of tea tips.


 I couldn't make the infographic any bigger but if you click this link you can have a wee zoom in and look for yourself. Good to geek it up once in a while eh? The green tea has been helping me on my path to feel healthier outside and in. It doesn't match my awful sweet tooth but I have been adding a little slice of lemon or a teaspoon of honey and it's just right.


And I don't want to quite declare that it's helped me with my weight loss but it is certainly a guilt free cuppa, since I am now 2lbs away from my personal goal, and then a stone away from my goal weight. Which is a really liberating feeling, since I have still been going out for nice dinners here and there and evenings out drinking (see above! Myself and Olivia on a double date with our boys) John ruining the picture right there too ;)


I fly to Marmaris a week today, so I need to start sorting out my case, but I do have my holiday reads lined up already! Life Of Pi is borrowed from my friend Luisa who has recommended it highly, and the Dexter book is borrowed from my boss! Has anyone started watching series 7 yet? Oh my, I have not been into a tv programme like this in a very, very long time!


Once I get back from my holiday, october is a busy birthday month for me. I've got all my pressies and cards etc sorted, but the lovely new boyfriend of my best friend Jenn was in touch to ask my advice for some presents he was picking for her. He had done a great job though before even asking for my opinion - she is going to be spoiled rotten! So it was rather strange timing when I got an email through a few days later from the people at Ask Her Friends. A site to help guys find the perfect present for all the lovely ladies in their lives. I wish I'd given Paul this to try out for Jenn, but I ended up testing it for myself. And after filling out some very easy and straightforward questions I was pretty gobsmacked with the results it brought up for me:


Tatty Devine, Lomo Camera and Dahlia dresses to name a few! I was very impressed, I would be over the moon with any of the above gifts. The questions I answered didn't even throw me at much of an advantage (have a try and see it for yourself) but it just so happens that this site links to a lot of really lovely brands that most women would actually adore. At this stage, you are then given the option to email, private facebook message or tweet the list to your girlfriends friends for their opinion. I really want to explore this site further and see if it works just as well with a boy on the reigns, and what they think of the different inspiration sections and overall catalogue they have on here. It pulls together a lot of unique designers and brands you wouldn't find on the high street. I hope that the creator Ben is proud of this fabby piece of work! And if you share with any of the men in your life, let me know how they get on :)


On a final note, I have not shared nearly enough pictures of Dexter lately. Look how big he is getting! What a fluff ball. Also, I have started my under the sea inspired sleeve with this wee lady...


My mermaid pin up! Have only done the outline for now, and I'll go back for all the colouring after halloween. Money will depend how frequently I can go back after then, it's going to be a gradual process but I am so excited to get it started. I better head off and get ready, I've got a Next blogger event at the Blythswood tonight and our wrap party for work at the fancy Corinthian in Glasgow, so need to get some outfits at the ready! <3 p="p">

Ayden x

Hair, Holidays & Hauls

I never thought I'd say that 1am would see me at my most productive (you know you've stayed up too late when you start getting the Groupon emails through) I was working today but got home around 4ish, but proceeded to have what turned out to be a 4 hour nap. Cannot remember the last time I did that! I watched Fantastic Four and Gamer lying on the couch with Katrina and Dexter, and had actually planned on turning Gamer off and heading to bed until I saw it had Michael C Hall in it - the real Dexter. I have developed a strange crush on him and await patiently for season 7 to start. It's the first show I have watched in it's entirety since Lost, and I don't quite know what I'll move onto next once Dexter is done. I've cleaned my room, changed the cat litter tray, fed the piggies, and made my lunch for tomorrow so hoping this will be the last thing to tire me out Since I am nowhere near tired yet, I thought I'd get this post in before bed. I also wanted to say thank you for your supportive comments in the last post about some family stuff I've had going on lately. I feel better and braver for sharing it. You lot make me do this:


Smile! Also smiling because I have been treated to some pampering courtesy of Wahanda. They got in touch asking me to have a look on their site for deals at Hairdressers in Glasgow. If you're not familiar with the site, they post daily deals under the categories of health, beauty and wellness. I'll admit at first I found Wahanda very confusing to navigate. It was easy enough to narrow down your search options and preferences, but not all 'deals' from the salons I was looking at had details available online, and you had to phone to request prices. However this ended up not being a problem for me, and in general I don't think it would be if you aren't in any massive hurry to book and can spend a few days or weeks browsing until something suitable came up that you wanted to buy. I've really been needing my hair done lately so I was in a bit of a rush to use mines, and ended up buying Wahanda Gift Vouchers which you are able to use in certain salons against the price of your treatment, whatever it is. So rather than buying a deal, I did this, and was able to book into a local salon around the corner from me called Fabulous who I have had my eye on for a while now. I got an all over colour, trim and a file and polish for £55 - and my hairdresser was great so I will be certainly going back! I really thank Wahanda for pushing me outside my comfort zone and getting me to explore what Glasgow has to offer in terms of hair and beauty. I know it's one of these things that once you find someone/somewhere you like, you will continually go there for fear of being let down by taking the chance on someone new. Especially when your own mum is a hairdresser and has kept you in a bubble of comfort for most of your life! But I'll be keeping an eye on Wahanda from now on, I'd like to find somewhere in the South Side of Glasgow that I could try out for my tan, nails, and other things girly. Not easy being a female is it?

As well as feeling refreshed on the outside, I have been trying to feel better on the inside too. It is 2 weeks before I go to Marmaris, so I have stocked my fridge with healthy food and have a meal plan for every day. Once I finish up on this job I'll have time to rejoin the gym and really get cracking - I'm just over a stone away from my goal weight and I'd absolutely love to be well on track to it by the new year. I'm looking forward to having more time to prepare meals and experiment a bit, and have been eyeing up the Tree's Can't Dance website for inspiration. I love food bursting with flavour, and John likes his meals to have a good kick to them, so I think their Chilli Recipe will be the first I try (and hopefully be able to decently make until my Mum parts with her special secret recipes!) It took me a while to finally realise that dieting and eating healthily does not mean starving yourself or rabbit food. So I have been eating what I think is well, and resisting temptation, but on the other hand sometimes it is not easy when I get all sorts of random parcels delivered to my door...


To be fair, this is actually a daily treat I don't feel so bad about indulging in! I definitely rate the new Nature Valley sweet and nutty bars as moreish. I am not normally a huge nut fan but these sort of cereal bars are so nice and chewy with a cup of tea mid morning for a wee pick me up. 150 calories on something sweet but not naughty like a chocolate bar or biscuit. I'm sure I'm not the only one that has an energy dip before lunch and starts to crave all things sugary.


Okay, maybe this picture is a wee bit more naughty! But we're having a Halloween party in the flat this year so I have started to scope out decorations and fun nibbles to have there, and since I have been a little girl M&S do always come up trumps. I am a Cadburys girl through and through but there is something about Marks and Spencers chocolate that I am keen to make an exception for. I've started thinking about Halloween already because I don't get back from holiday until a few days before the party, and have ordered my outfit from America so keep your fingers crossed for me it arrives on time! Otherwise I'll be raiding Asda the night before for a kiddies pumpkin outfit :) You thought about what you're going as this year or am I just overly keen?


I am actually the biggest bloody hypocrite after writing all of the above, because after John bought me these books as a pressie the first one to get opened was the Hummingbird Bakery! I love how their recipes are split into occasions, and I'm looking forward to whipping up a batch of something soon. I'll need some kind volunteers to eat the results for me, since I AM being on my best behavior and can't remember the last time I had a cupcake. But maybe I could have one, just for research/reviewing purposes of course. Any Hummingbird Bakery recipe you suggest I start with? I'm a pure novice remember! Good at eating them but not so good at baking them. The street art book will be a great reference book for work, and the Studio Ghibli film artwork never fails to amaze. Absolutely beautiful.


I've not even started looking out things for my suitcase yet (all I know is that I have flip flops and bikinis so I'm sure I will be FINE) so apart from clothes I've bought a few beauty bits and bobs recently because I know I'll run out of my currents just before it's time to go. Got the Ralph Lauren Blue perfume as a wee filler before I stock up at Duty Free - it is one of these perfumes that totally takes me back to my teen years. The Lee Stafford detangling spray can be used on dry hair as well as wet, so I'll be keeping it in my beach/pool bag. The scent isn't my favourite but I know it will be perfect for holidays because I can really spray it quite heavily and it doesn't leave any greasy residue. Kinda like the loreal kids detangle stuff you used to get years ago? Nostalgia ahoy! The rockaholic hairspray is my all time fave, glad to have it back in my life again. The Mac prep and prime is a product I haven't used in a while, and sometimes forget whether I actually like it or not but I'm still going to give it a go. And finally, I bought the Have A Nice Day moisturiser from Origins and I got a couple of samples free (cleanser and serum) Haven't used this one before so I'm hoping I won't be disappointed. Pretty annoying when all your beauty bits start to run out at the same time, but it does feel pretty epic coming home with a bag of swag like this.


Last but not least, as the colder months close in I know we are starting to pile layers on rather than strip them off. I have been reading over reviews of Spanx lately and wondering if it is something people keep hush hush about, or if I should just man up and buy a pair! Especially for my worst nightmare - nights out that include a big slap up meal beforehand, which is absolutely no good when you are shimmying about in a rather fitted/slinky dress for the evening. I am quite a fan of the pulling my tights up too high technique, especially in the winter, to keep warm but simultaneously hold my wee belly in. So attractive eh, I know you want to keep reading! I jest. But being the queen of tights and having a look over the Tights Please website, their caffeine shapewear did intrigue me. They boast smoother, slimmer and firmer skin due to caffeine micro capsules activated by the warmth of your skin, but I've not worn them for long enough to say I noticed these sort of results. What I did notice instantly though, was how comfy they were and that you can actually be given a nice smooth body shape without feeling constricted. But I am going to stop now as I am giving away all my secrets! I will always have my curves and never ever be a size 8 with a banging hot bod' - so unless the heavens decide to bless me with an absolute miracle in the near future, these secret goodies will be getting worn and that's that! Don't tell anyone though eh? Unless you plan on telling Santa that I've been a very good girl this year and Spanx will only set him back about £70 :)

Feeling completely tired now as you can see, and I have started to gibberish slightly through parts of this post. But have a giggle at my expense and try to smile because by the time you'll be reading this it will be monday! Have a good week ♥

Ayden x