Monday, 15 December 2014

Black Friday bits and bobs!

So it's a bit late to the game, but here's a few bits I picked up from all the wonderful Black Friday discounts (and some discount codes at the end too!)

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Sephora Xmas Wishlist

I don't know about you, but I really wish the UK would hurry up and get Sephora back! It's nice they now ship to us, but we can't buy everything :( Items such as nail polishes or the Sugar lip balm below won't be shipped internationally.. sad times! But I will get it somehow!
There's still a lot I want and these things have been sitting in my basket for a while now!
There's still a lot I want and these things have been sitting in my basket for a while now!
First there's the Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour blush in peaceful; I've been wanting one of these blushes for about a year now and I love this warm orange/coral shade.
Next up is the Anastasia Brow Wiz in Auburn, since about a 8 months ago when I actually started paying attention to my brows; I've wanted this. So many Beauty bloggers rave about this and I want to see what the hype is about.
Next is the Sugar Lip treatment in Tulip by FRESH which unfortunately can't be shipped to the UK, but I'm going to try and get next time I'm in a European Sephora :(

I really need to get a decent pair of eyelash curlers and the Shiseido curlers have such an iconic status it would be silly not! Finally, there is the Kat Von D tattoo eye liner- another item which has been given an almost Iconic status from many Beauty bloggers. And yes I've fallen the hype and want it!

Do you have any of these things? Or any recommendations for when I finally place a Sephora order?


Saturday, 15 November 2014

Pumpkin Pie

It took me two goes to perfect it (as the first was a burnt disaster) but I think I managed to make pumpkin pie! I realize it's a bit late for Halloween- but hey it's in time for US thanksgiving :)

Friday, 26 September 2014

Healthy Choco-nut bites

So I keep seeing everyone and their mum blog about these, calling them anything from protein balls to raw chocolate balls. Well this is my take on them- that I've been making for a few months and really like. I think I've got the recipe perfected now, so though I'd share...

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Autumn wishlist!

I know there's still quite a lot of summer left, but the nights are getting longer already and it's been colder= I look at Autumn fashion (which is my favourite of all the seasons). It doesn't help that all the shops have bought out their lovely A/W things!

I've been meaning to get some new brown/tan Chelsea boots for aages and these Topshop ones are so lovely, I really like the pleated panels. The kimono and dress I just love as I think they'll go with so many outfit and looks- for work or out. And the trench... ah I want this trench so much! I've been wanting one for a few years now and this Zara one is exactly what I've been looking for!
What have you all been looking at for Autumn- or are you still in Summer mode!?

Monday, 28 July 2014

Asparagus, pea and mint risotto

So it's been quite a while since I've done a food post (or any post in general-my bad), and I was making this last week and thought it would be a good one to share on here as I love risotto in general but this one is my fav summer one.
The ingredients are simple: risotto rice, a bunch of asparagus, an onion, garden peas, bunch of fresh mint, lemon juice, white wine, stock, seasoning and pamesan. Throw in however much you want or each ingredient just make sure you have enough stock/rice ratio.
First fry the onion, asparagus, peas, seasoning and half the mint in olive oil on quite a hight heat until the onions are soften and slightly browned. While doing this boil the kettle to make the stock and add the wine while it's still on a high heat so it can cook off. 
Then it's time to turn the heat down and add the rice while stirring so you can coat it in all the flavours. Finally you want to add about half the stock,some lemon juice and the rest of the mint and gradually stir in the rest over about 20-30 mins, while the rice and mixtures becomes a creamy consistency.
Then grate loads of parmesan over and voila-risotto :)

What's you favourite risotto to make? Any tips and tricks to share?

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Summer lately

I thought I'd post a few summer pics I've taken lately (from when it has actually been sunny).
Some pretty orchids we have in our kitchen, I was bored one afternoon and the sun was on them. I love having flowers in the house- as it makes it feel like summer more... if that makes sense?
Covent Garden in the sun! One of my most favourite places in London, and in the summer it just feels alive, there's street performers and the amazing smell of pizza and paellas cooking is wonderful!
And Soho in the sun
Going to a beer garden with friends and trying fancy new drinks! Like this Old Mout cider (above) in kiwi and lime flavour- Yummy!.
And lastly, picking berries last weekend!

I'm hoping to go to the beach this weekend if it's nice. What have you all been up to?

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Some new and some old reads

Recently I've had a bit of a book splurge and have bought a few new ones- and as I've finally finished them all, I thought they deserved a review:

The Girl who saved the King of Sweden- Jonas Jonasson
I started this book earlier this week and have already finished it! I couldn't put it down. From the author who wrote 'The hundred year old man who climbed out of the window and disappeared' (a bit of a mouthful), I loved that book and I loved this book too. This book is just as dry and witty as his first; it's about Nombeko Mayeki, born into a poor South African life, she seeks to change her life as she goes on the run from the world's most dangerous secret service.

The Cuckoo's Calling- Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling)
Another recent purchase; I didn't know what to expect from this book (I am an avid Harry Potter fan...), so I was really pleasantly surprised to read a great crime thriller about the detective Cormoran Strike. He was a bit of a cliche, somewhat of an antihero but he has a gruffness about him I enjoyed reading. He's trying to solve the death of famous model Lula Landry and the story is full of twists and turns. Loved reading it!

Half a yellow sun- Ngozie Adichie
This is one of my long time favourites. It's set in 1960's Nigeria, over the period of the Nigerian-Biafran civil war. And the story follows Odenigbo, a university professor and intellectual who hires Ugwu, as his houseboy. The book then unfolds around the war and how it affects and the character in a unique way. I'd wholly recommend this.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Trying to get fit

I've never really been into sports. I went on and off to a gym last year, and since moving this year I've joined a new one and have started going to the classes (a 'core' class nearly killed me!) and have been really enjoying getting fit. I am no where near where I want to be but I'm starting :)
I recently invested in some Nike Roscherun trainers a few weeks ago and I've been really loving them. The top is pure mesh and it feels like I'm wearing nothing, while the sole is really springy! I don't go running in them as I (this will sound bad) don't really like running, but I used them at the gym.. ant they're always there if I change my mind!

I've also recently purchased the Slender Blend from Protein World which I've been using as a kind of meal replacement/ after workout snack. I've been putting it in smoothies and sometimes jsut having it plain with a little milk and water. I really like the vanilla taste. I picket it as it helps with weight loss but also because it had quite good reviews.

And lastly my Davina 2kg weights I bought over a year ago. I go on and off using them, at the moment I'm loving them and doing some of the exercises from my core class at home with them.

Have you tried anything like this lately, any tips or tricks- or recipes? I'm always on the hunt for more!

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Spring shades: nails

I love the pretty shades that seem to come out and gain popularity over Spring time. Especially the nail colours, as lets face it; mint green doesn't look so good as an eyeshadow does it!? Over the years I've tried quite a few brands, but I think these below are def my favourites. And these pretty colours are my fav for this time of year!
L-R: Essie- Fiji, Essie- Mint Candy Apple, Nails Inc-Blenheim Terrace, Barry M-Gelly Blueberry and Sally Hansen- Aria Red-y?

I think they're the perfect spring shades, the pastel colours are my fav, and the blueberry is great for all year round. Aria Red-y is a recent purchase I'm loving, it's a lovely red/deep pink!

What are your favourite spring nail colours? Any recommecdations?

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Lush Easter treats

I love the seasonal bath bombs that Lush bring out. The Christmas ones were cute, but these Easter ones are just as adorable! 
About a week ago I popped into Lush and grabbed these; the Bunny bubble bar, the Fluffy Egg and Secret Garden. I think I liked the fluffy egg least- the smell didn't appeal to me at all and I thought there would be more bubbles! The secret garden bath bomb was lovely! Not what I expected at all when I saw lots of petals floating around my bath tub! My favourite has to be the Bunny bubble bar- bubble bars are my fav in general- and who doesn't love a cute bunny!

Have you picked up any of the Easter treats at Lush? I really want to go back and get the cute carrots!

Friday, 11 April 2014

Bread banana bread/cake..thing

Earlier this week I decided to get my 'bake on' + some bananas we getting pretty yellow/brown = a banana cake./bread thing. What do you call it?
Anyways, they're so simple and easy to made and are so nice and moist (I hate a dry spomge).

All you need is:
2 mashed (ripe) bananas,
185g plain flour,
110g butter/margarine,
2 eggs,
120g sugar,
1/2 tsp cinnamon,
1 tsp baking powder,
a splash of milk,
1tsp honey

Then basically combine all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl until quite thick and gooey, pour into a lined or greased tin. Easy peasy.
I like a loaf shape personally :) as it is called banana 'bread' after all. Then cook at 180C for about an hour checking back regularly- I had to as my ovens a bit rubbish!.
Then it shoudl look a little something like this, it will come out pretty moist and will need to kind of 'set'- I usually put mine the fridge once cold. And then eat it all in one go......

Do you have a banana bread recipe? I'd love to see it- I'm always on the hunt for diff recipes :)

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Comparing mascaras

After posting about the Benefit 'They're real' mascara that I got for Christmas, as few people wanted an in depth review, so I thought I'd compare with with some other mascaras I frequently use.
Benefit 'They're real'
I thought I'd start with the two more 'high' end, expensive ones first. So 'They're real' and me have a love/hate relationship. Sometime I love it, sometime it makes my eyes sting and my lashes clumpy. I find that it doesn't do well with layering it, to get thicker and thicker looking lashes as you can you other mascaras. And it actually works best over another mascara (the Rimmel further down this list). Not what you want in a pricey mascara like this, ideally, but when it does work, it looks amazing. So as I said, love/hate!
Chanel 'Inimitable'
I do love this mascara, and have done for the past 4 years or so, I have periods of loving it, and then going off it. It does make your lashes look separated and truly black, but I find I always have to use eyelash curlers with this one as it doesn't curl my lashes that well. 
Soap and Glory 'Thick and fast'
Now for the high street/drug store ones. This Soap and glory mascara is a favourite of mine. It works every time and give me fully, thick, curled(ish- as much as my straight lashes can be curled!) lashes. My only gripe is that it doesn't last, after about 3 months, the mascara starts to become flakey and very dry.
Maybelline 'Big eyes' 
This is a fairly new purchase so I'm still making up my mind on this one. At the moment I really like it, I don't really use the little brush for lower lashes, more for combing out the top lashes- which it does and looks great! 
Rimmel 'Scandaleyes Lycra flex'
This one was purchased only because of a deal Rimmel had going on, and not because I was after this particular one. However after using it a few times- and with the 'They're real' as mentioned earlier, it works really well. It's not the best at separating lashes, however it does coat them very well and curl them.

What's your favourite mascaras? Do you have a high end or high street fav?

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Night time

I've seen a lot of Youtubers post a 'nighttime' routine videos lately, so I thought I'd throw in my two cents, blogwise. Now I don't know about you, but a lot of the Youtube 'Gurus' seem to have oooodles of time, putting on face masks and running luxurious baths- at the weekend maybe, but in the week I just don't have time for that! (Ain't nobody got time for that!)
Mine is pretty simple, and sometimes I'm a bit lazy and don't even remove my make-up ! :(
So it starts out with the Bioderma Sensibo micellar water to remover my makeup, then washing my face with the Superdrug (dupe for Liz earle) hot cloth Vitamin E cleanser.
Once I'm done with that I use 1-2 drops of my Antipodes divine oil, about 3 times a week, and rub this into my face. Once that has settled I'll use either my Origins Night-a-Mins moisturiser, or my Origins Drink up Intensive overnight mask. Add some Origin's eye cream and I'm good to go, off to the land of ZZzzzz's. 

What's your nightime routine? Do you have time for a long luxurious routine like the 'gurus' or is sleep too important like me?

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Hand heroes

So in the same theme as my 'hair heroes' last week I thought I'd do a 'hand heroes' of the moment.
The Burt's bee lemon butter cuticle cream has been a solid fav for many years, it smells lovely and softens the cuticles.
One of my favourite brands of hand cream: Crabtree and Evelyn. After getting this scent for Christmas it's become a frequent product in my handbag. It smells fresh and floral-y, and sightly perfume-y all the the same time, and makes my hands sooo soft!
Next for nails, I love the OPI nail envy polish and use mine as a base coat as well as repairing nails. I have to say this particular one isn't the best (although it's still better than other brands I've tried), as I think the best is the matte nail envy. But hey ho, I couldn't find that one on eBay so this will have to do.
A new colour I'm loving right is Essie's Bordeaux, the perfect deep red, wine shade!
And ol' faithful, my Seche Vite, I won't ramble on about why I love it and it's the best top coat out there, as so many other people already have- But seriously it really is!

What are your 'hand heroes'? Do you have a favourite base or top coat?

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Life: Butternut squash soup

I love making this soup, the only part I HATE is chopping up the bloody butterrnut squash! It's such a pain. But once you get over this, the rest is easy peasy!

So this is what I like to use, most recipes say to use celery, but I'm not a fan so use fennel and a leek instead. I like to add a tiny bit of spice with a deseeded chilli-but this is optional! You'll need:
a butternut squash, a red pepper, an onion, a leek, a fennel bulb, 2 carrots, a sweet potato and thyme and basil.
To start off with I like to saute the onion, leek, fennel, pepper chilli in a pan with some oil (as I think it brings out more flavour), then simply chuck in the rest of the veg and boil with the stock and herbs until soft and blend! Simples

Do you like Butternut squash? Hoe do you like to cook it? 

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Hair heroes

I really haven't felt like blogging lately, but this week I finally felt 'inspired' again and I'm back rambling about my 'hair heroes' or things I like to put in/use on my hair!
My 'hair heroes' of the moment are the L'Oreal mythic oil, the Tangle Teezer and the Phil Smith Argan oil cream. I find all three work amazingly well together, especially when using heat on my hair.

Since I've been dying (and bleaching) my hair for the past 5 years or so, it always gets frizzy on the ends, so I find this argan oil cream works a treat to combat it! And the same with brushing; since dying it, it's been a lot more knotty and harder to brush, and the Tangle Teezer is perfect for it. I don't know why I went so long with out one!
And lastly, this is one of my favourite hair oil, it smells amazing and makes my hair feel amazing. 'Nuff said

What are your hair heroes?

Saturday, 11 January 2014

New things

I've been spending some of my last Christmas pennies on the Feel Unique sale and found a few gems.
I love using the L'Oreal Mythic Oil and was so sad when mine ran out just before christmas. It's by far the best oil (bar Moroccanoil) that I've used and it's a but lighter than Moroccanoil.

And after wanting to try a face oil for a while I chose this Antipodoes Divine face oil, with avocado and rosehip. I've been using it at before bed, a few times a week. So far I'm really liking it :)

And lastly, this little pot of Emu oil  eye cream wasn't in the sale but for only £8 and with some amazing reviews I thought I'd chuck it in the basket, last minute. The emu-oil part sounded a bit curious, and further research found it is actually from emus!

Also at the moment Feel unique have a code for an extra 15% off sale items :) MORE15
(wish it had been there when I'd been shopping! haha)

What have you all buying lately?

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Simple Strawberry Cheesecake

This is a low fat (slightly healthier) version than your average cheesecake.
Ignore the pickled onions in the background! (a vinegar-y remnant of christmas!) Things you will need are:
100g or so of your biscuit of choice- I went for ginger
2 tbsps melted stork or margarine
As many strawberries, berries or other fruit as you want for the topping
200g extra light soft cheese
150g  Greek yogurt
50g caster sugar (or fruit sugar if you want to be really healthy)
1 Tsp vanilla extract
A squeeze of Lemon juice (or a grafted zest of fresh lemon is better)
Some jam or coulis of you choice to act as sauce
Then start off by bashing your biscuits to hell and back in a freezer bag, with a rolling pin, then you want to add your melted margarine and stir together. Pack this at the bottom of whatever you're serving your dish in and leave in these fridge.
Then combine the soft cheese, yoghurt, vanilla, lemon and sugar and add more sugar if it's not sweet enough for you. Pile up on top of the biscuit and put back  in the fridge to chill for an hour or two.
Then when your ready to serve, put your jam or coulis onto the cheesecake mixture and load your fruit on top and enjoy :)

p.s apparently GFC is not going to be working soon. So if you'd like to follow me on bloglovin etc., the links are below: