Okay, so I haven't been lifting weights for long and only been going to my Caveman classes for a few weeks, but oh how my hands have suffered! When you work up a sweat and doing as many deadlifts and pull ups as you can within a minute, you end up getting not only calluses on your palms, but also these can tear and become so sore after some time. Not only that, but sometimes you can use chalk to make it easier to grip, which of course, really really dries out your skin as well.

Usually, I'd have given up on Caveman by now, using my gross hands as an excuse, but good things don't come easily! After wahhhh-ing around about putting on some inches in the last few months I'm definitely not admitting defeat against the weights yet - despite the awful effects on my hands.Instead, I've upped my skincare game with these two bad boys from Rituals. 

As soon as I get back I use the Rituals Hand Scrub to help exfoliate away the dead skin and any flakey bits which may have appeared. This also helps to soften the small calluses.  Once dried off, my hands feel instantly more smooth, soft and soothed. Following with the Rituals Gingko's Secret Hand Balm also helps to lock in moisture and avoid dryness. I always find hand balms so much better than lotions or creams as they really seem to protect my skin in the long run. 

So if you're embarking on a new weights based fitness routine, be aware that your hands will suffer! But don't let that put your off, because if you look after them as much as you can post and pre-workout they won't get too bad....

Leeds Festival 2016: The Highlights!

It seems like only a month ago I was writing this blog post about Leeds Festival 2015! But another year has now passed and we're all a bit older and not any wiser when it comes to partying. In fact, so much partying was had that I only managed to capture the absolute sober highlights on camera. I'm still really trying to get in to vlogging, but when a bit of rain and mud shows it's face I get a little scared and hide my camera away from harm. If you did follow me on Snapchat (username: Tea-Lowe) or Instagram, then you would have no doubt seen my incessant snapping from my phone anyway though! If not, take a little look at my YouTube Vlog below. It's short, but captures the weekend perfectly for me:

What were the other highlights of Leeds 2016 though?

THE MUSIC: Of course. The best bands of the entire weekend, for me, were Die Antwoord and Slaves. Both of which I heard mixed reviews of around the campsite. For those not in the know, Die Antwoord are a South African 'Rap-Rave' group, fronted by Ninja and Yolandi. With a freakish approach not only to the music, but also their kinda controversial videos, it was pretty much the most bizarre show I've ever seen. Massive cartoon cocks spaffing on the animated video in the background, complete with a DJ wearing a frightening mask and Yolandi yapping around the stage in a Gloomy Bear onesie - you'd have to see it to believe it.  Slaves put on a slightly more 'relaxed' show with their two piece set up, but the angst filled songs, which seemed to be delivered by a cross between John Lydon and Kate Nash packed an absolute punch. 

Recommended Listening: 

THE PARTYING: As usual, Piccadilly Party down on the campsite was absolute frigging insane. Every night it goes off until 6am and is hosted by such an excellent bunch of chaps, who also do short stints in the guest area during the day. Not only that, but I managed to party every day until at least 4am and didn't get one hangover - score.

A video posted by Hello Terri Lowe (@helloterrilowe) on

THE WEATHER: Okay, so Saturday night was torrential so we did miss The Foals (booo!), but for the majority of the weekend it was fairly pleasant! I managed to wear at least all the summery clothes I took at one point or another anyway. And what is a festival without mud in the UK? You can see the mud in full detail over on my YouTube video just before Biffy Clyro.

THE FOOD: Festivals always seem to get such a bad rap for food, but I tell you - they're cottoning on to this catering lark and really upping their game lately. Every festival I've been to this year has made an effort to get some locally sourced and independent eats present. Leeds had a few lovely places serving mac and cheese, 'sloppy beefs' and delicious curry all down the side of the main stage in the Jack Rocks bit. Not only that, but they also complimented the independent food with some great indie music throughout the day in their little tent.

I could go on all day about the fun that I had this weekend and it seemed to go so much quicker than any other year! Which is a shame, but also just proves how much fun was had. Roll on Leeds Festival 2017! 
Burgers and Steak at Black Dog Bowl, Manchester

Last time I featured Black Dog Bowl in Manchester, was when I had that Beer Butt Chicken (see the blog post here). Located down the 'bottom end' of Manchester, on the walk from Oxford Road round to Deansgate, Black Dog Bowl is one of those quirky places worth the walk from town. Not only are they responsible for the delectable food I am about to tell you all about, but they also have a bowling alley in the back of the restaurant/bar area.

I usually loathe bowling, as the alleys are full of snot nosed kids and stinking shoes, but Black Dog Bowl makes bowling actually... fun. With an intimate set of lanes and a bar which provides a whole host of tasty cocktails (with and without the Big Lebowski Theme) it's the perfect location to start a bangin' night out in Manchester.

Burgers and Steak at Black Dog Bowl, Manchester

So lets start with the Cocktails. To accompany our meal we probably shouldn't have gone for the milk based ones, as they can be a little filling can't they? When you're unaware of the gigantic meals you're about to receive though, this really can be put down as one of those occasions where ignorance truly is bliss. Now, forgive me for not remembering the names of these bad boys, as they're not on the main Dog Bowl website yet to jog my memory, What I can tell you though is that they were freaking delicious. The smaller glass containing a milky mix of Kahlua and Coffee with cream, whilst the larger glass was a coconut based rum beverage which made dreams come true.

Luckily, we did skip starters, as the portion sizes were generous to say the least. I don't know why this was so surprising to us? I mean, we all know deep down that ordering an 8oz steak is a good, yet filling choice on any occasion. But ordering it with a side of 'Whole Hog Fries'? Oh I really was living the dream.

Burgers and Steak at Black Dog Bowl, Manchester

The Whole Hog Fries came as a mixture of sweet potato and skin on fries, coated in cheese, bacon pulled pork and pork scratchings for an adding crunch. Jesus Christ I could have just eaten 5 bowls of these. The mixture of sweet potato and an occasional crunch within the gooey melted cheese and pulled pork was just amazing. One of those dishes that is a full on 10/10 would recommend. 

Not thinking this through, my steak did actually come with a side of fries anyway. I did try one or two so I was able to give a full review (winky face) and they were cooked to perfection. That lovely, slightly chewy skin on texture with a light seasoning. Yum. 

The main event was the steak itself though. Marinated with garlic and rosemary. this melt in your mouth meaty treat was, just... Oh words cannot describe. It was so succulent and packed full of flavour that the creamy peppercorn sauce didn't even get a look in. There's not much else I can actually say about the steak, apart from it was one of the best bits of meat I've possibly ever had. Thank you for being a part of my life, steak. It was a pleasure knowing you.

Coming back to the deliciously stacked burger up in the first image, this bad boy was listed on the menu simply as 'Steak & Bacon'. One could have not prepared for the ultimate patty party that arrived in front of us. A steak burger, wrapped in bacon with pit beans, cheese cheese and a dollop of delicious sauce made up this piece of culinary heaven. I always love when a burger is 'juicy' (if you've had the sliders at Almost Famous you'll know what I mean), and the Steak & Bacon from Black Dog Bowl was juicy AF. Amazing.

Despite specialising in Jewellery making as part of my degree, it's actually very rare that I will wear it. I'm not sure why though, as I do own quite a lot when I look in my jewellery box (which is currently just collecting dust). When Jon Richards got in touch to see if I'd like to feature the range, I knew the first thing I would look for would be some stacking rings. I'm obsessed with the idea of them! It was shortly after opening the website that I noticed these 3 tone rings and it was love at first click.

Combining the elements of a Russian Wedding Ring, which is usually three metals intertwined in to one ring; these stacking rings follow the same metal composition. With a silver, gold and copper tone making up the trio, they are delicately finished with some little faux-diamonds to add an extra touch of sparkle. 

To match the ring set, I also chose some rope/snake chain style bracelets in the same colours. I really like the fastening on these bracelets as it's a simple magnetic clip concealed inside a large bead shaped component! This makes them really easy to take off and put on, but it also a strong enough magnet to ensure they don't fall off. I often find bracelets fit way too big on my wrists too, but these are just right.

If I hadn't of seen the price of these beforehand, I would have assumed the rings alone would be at least around the £100 mark.. But the reality is that you can pick up the ring set and the bracelets together for much less than that. The bracelets and rings both cost a mere £20 for each set. 

You can find the Jon Richard Jewellery range in Debenhams stores throughout the UK,

SPRITZ: Your hair with a sea salt or texturising spray.
TWIST: The two side sections by your fringe backwards to the center of the back of your head.
SECURE: With three bobby grips.

TIP: Spray the bobby grips/pins with some texturising hairspray before you put them in your hair for added grip.

Every now and again I take a look in my bag and do a quick count of just how many lipsticks I'm hoarding in there. Apparently, as well as the 4 in the image above, I feel the need to have an additional 8 lipsticks in my every day bag. Totally normal behaviour, right? It seems a majority of these lipsticks are nude shades, with the odd bold one thrown in for good measure. As it would be very time consuming to feature all of them, here are my 4 most recent nude lipstick purchases.

Pop Beauty Permanent Pout in Pink Honey: I got this from work the other day (the pros of working for beauty websites prevails again), as it's a sister brand of the beloved-by-all Pixi Skincare. Not to be confused with the cult American lipstick brand ColorPop, these permanent lip pouts are a liquid formula which dry in a water resistant matte finish. I absolutely LOVE the shade and the finish once dry, however, I have found that when worn in consecutive days I do find my lips begin to dry out. An utter shame, but it's definitely a go-to lip product for nights out, as the minimal need to re-application is perfect for a night when drinking is more important than your lipstick maintenance. For 12 quid a go, the price is also pretty reasonable too.

Revlon Ultra HD Matte Colour in Seduction: I only bought this as every time I went in to any high street store this particular shade was ALWAYS sold out. I'm not sure if it has been featured by someone particularly influential, but the lack of availability somehow made me need it more. The range has been praised for it's long-wearing finish so I knew I'd have to invest at some point anyway. One lunch time I just so happened to grab the last one on the shelf in Superdrug and parted with my £8.99 and went on my merry way. The longevity is great and the finish is almost satin, rather than matte. I do find that this shade is so similar to my actual lips that it's hard to evaluate the exact duration of wear, but I can say that it's the ultimate 'your lips but better' product.

Born - Seduction - Pink Honey - Looking Buff
Illamasqua Rose Gold Lipstick in Born: Ugh, the day I got this I went to take blog pictures and somehow dropped it, snapped the actual lipstick from the packaging. Gutted ain't the word... Anyway, I managed to warm it with a hairdryer and stick it back in, but the aesthetic is simply not as wonderful as when it was brand new *sigh*. This is the perfect every day lipstick both in formula and shade, as the dusky pink warmth to an otherwise standard nude, adds a nice touch of colour to my lips. It slicks on easily in comparison to other Illamasqua formulas and manages to keep my lips slightly moisturised throughout the day. 

Seventeen Mega Matte in Looking Buff: These bad boys are only £3.49 in Boots at the moment and despite having more lipsticks than the store itself, I couldn't resist the offer. These are ultra matte lipsticks in a range of colours that apply easily to your lips. This shade is on the darker side of the nude scale, but as my lips are apparently the same colour as most nude shades anyway, that's a good thing. The lipstick-to-cup transfer is minimal, which is always a reassuring sign of a long wear formula. I might nip back some point for more....