Tuesday, 29 January 2013

January Favourites

So I'm coming up to the end of my first month of blogging - thank you guys so much for reading and following! I thought at the end of each month I'd do a little round up of my favourite products, as this is my first one here are are my absolute must have beauty products:

Pantene Aqua Light Shampoo & Condition - £4.69 each
Aussie Luscious Long Leave-in Conditioner - £4.99
Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Lip Balm Stain in 'Romantic' - £7.99
Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream in 'Light' - £9.99
Loreal Paris Superliner Ultra Precision - £6.49
Santuary Illuminating Moisture Lotion SPF 15 - £13.50
Topshop Blush in 'Prime Time - £6
Clinique Even Better Concealer in 'Bisque'- £18

Let me know what were your must have products this month x

Friday, 25 January 2013

Review: Revlon 'Just Bitten' Vs Rimmel '1000 Kisses'

Okay so I have a confession... I originally went to Boots to buy a Clinique chubby stick to try it out and do a review for you guys but the Boots I was in didn't stock any of the Clinique range so on the recommendation from friends I bought the following two items: 

I paid less for both of these than I would have paid for a chubby stick (retailing at £16). The Revlon Balm Stain was £7.99 and the Rimmel Lip Tint + Balm was £5.99. Not bad.

Now, I am not a lipstick girl at all. I can never get a constant colour across my lips, it always cracks and dries out my lips within seconds so these are a perfect alternative. The Revlon is just a one step balm whereas the Rimmel has two steps; the colour which is almost like a felt tip and then the balm which you apply over the top. Both keep the lips moisturised really well so top marks.

In terms of colour I can't really make a fair comparison. I bought 'Nothing but Nude' in the Rimmel and 'Crush' in the Revlon so naturally the Revlon has a much stronger colour. But I found that the Revlon lasted a lot longer and could withstand me using Vaseline every half an hour. I applied it at around 8am and it lasted until lunch. Its so easy to re-apply as well you can do it almost without looking. 

If I had to choose the winner I think it would be the Revlon (pictured below), even though it is slightly more expensive I think the quality is better. I would also be worried that the Rimmel wouldn't last very long once opened: because the colour end is like a felt tip I think it could very easily dry out.

Let me know what lip products you love x

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Liebster Award!

Well hello lovely people. I caught up on reading and replying to my comments today and found out that I have been nominated not once but twice for the Leibster Award so big thank you to Jessica (here) and Danique (here) - make sure you check out their amazing blogs! 

The rules are as follows:
1. Post 11 random facts about yourself
2. Answer 11 questions from the person that nominated you (seeing as two people nominated me I thought it was only fair to answer both their questions).
3. Nominate 11 new blogs (with under 200 followers) and ask them 11 questions.

So here goes!

11 Random Facts:
  • I am 21, graduated from uni in 2012 and am just about to start looking for a job in corporate PR.
  • I am hoping to do a bit of travelling around New Zealand and Asia in the next few months.
  • I have a staffy called Kira who I think is the cutest thing in the world - I'm sure she will feature soon!
  • I have a weakness for anything kitchen related, I have so many cookbooks that I have never even opened (shhhh).
  • The perfume I wear everyday is from The Sanctuary and is called 'Wild Rose & Violet'.
  • At the moment my favourite band is Bastille but I also LOVE house music.
  • I would love to have blonde hair but I am way too scared to take the plunge. 
  • I could watch home makeover programmes all day - my two favourites are Kirstie's Vintage Home & Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. 
  • I love anything vintage/pale pink/Cath Kidston etc - my boyfriend bought me a Cath Kidston jam labelling kit as part of my Christmas present and I love it.
  • I have pictures of my friends everywhere.
  • Topshop. Topshop. Topshop. Topshop.

Questions from Jessica:
  • If you had to sum up your blog in 3 words what would they be? - Fashion. Food. Decor.
  • In 2013 what do you intend to do more of on your blog? - I want to do more beauty posts too! I'm currently testing out cheaper versions of the Clinique Chubby Stick so will post the results of that soon!
  • Dresses or Jeans? - Oooo very tough! Dresses, I think... I am very picky about my jeans, Topshop Leigh's are my favourite
  • Whats your favourite nail polish colour to wear? - Nude or Rose, something simple and sophisticated.
  • Shoes or Bags? - Ummm do I have to choose?!?! I can'ttttt. Well I have more shoes so maybe its shoes? But I'm willing to spend more money on bags.
  • What is your favourite high street shop to buy clothes from? - Topshop. Easy peasy.
  • What is your must-have beauty product? - Oooo there are too many I can't live without! The Sanctuary Illuminating Moisture Face Cream I think. On the wish list atm is the Dior BB Creme as well. 
  • Red lips or Nude lips? - Nude. On me anyway.
  • What is your ultimate blogging wish/goal? - Tough question! I would love to get followers in triple figures. When that happens I'll do a giveaway *nudge nudge*.
  • Who is your style icon? - I don't really have just one, and it tends to be just people I see on the street or my friends rather than celebrities. My friend Tara always looks incredible in anything and my ex-housemate Holly has the most incredible wardrobe which I regularly used to raid at uni.
  • And just for fun...name your favourite chocolate bar :) - Twirl! 

Questions from Danique:
  • What is your favourite city? - Paris. My boyfriend and I went for a weekend a few years ago and I fell in love with it.
  • Jeans or leggings? - Leggings, just for the comfort! And like I said before I am so picky about my jeans.
  • Go to a party or sit on the couch? - I must admit I have become a bit of a bore since I left uni.. I like a good balance of both!
  • Making photos or standing behind the camera? - Standing behind it for sure.
  • The most expensive shoes you have? - Ooo I'm not sure, probably my Uggs, or my Kurt Geiger boots (although both were bought at a discounted price shhh).
  • How many bags do you own? - Between 10 and 15 I think. I had a huge clearout before Christmas so I can buy some new ones :)
  • Favourite thing to eat? - Pie. Any kind.
  • What is your favourite brand? - Topshop again, for daily stuff. Love Mulberry and Dior, lucky enough to own a few things.
  • Dramaqueen or not? - Not! Although maybe some people would disagree haha.
  • Favorite perfume? - Hugo Boss Orange, Miss Dior Cherie or Emporio Armarni Diamonds.
  • Who do you love the most? - My boyfriend. Or my dog.. Tough call ;)

So here are my nominees - my favourite blogs with under 200 followers:

And their questions:
  • Dogs or Cats?
  • Who inspires you?
  • What's your favourite high street shop?
  • What's your favourite thing in your wardrobe?
  • If you could have any bag/pair of shoes what would it be?
  • What's your most worn item of clothing?
  • Country cottage or stylish apartment?
  • What's your favourite film?
  • What's your favourite book?
  • What's your favourite album?
  • What's your favourite magazine?

Thanks again to Jessica-Chelsey (here) and Danique (here) - good luck to all of you! x

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Splash of Colour

I love neutral tones, and I mean really love them. 90% of the things in my wardrobe are black, cream or other muted colours like dark greens, blues and reds (aubergine like this jumper from Topshop is my absolute favourite at the moment).

I'm trying to get out of the habit of only buying neutrals and a great way to break them up without forking out too much for a complete new wardrobe is with a pop of colour – here are some of my favourites: 

Missguided Frenchy Shiny Disco Pants in Teal - £9.99 (here)
The Cambridge Satchel Company 'Classic' in Yellow - £90 (here)
Stylist Pick Olsen Brogue Detail Chelsea Boot in Red - was £40, now £25 (here)

Zara Shopper Bag with Metallic Plate in Red - was £29.99, now £16.99 (here)
H&M Long Sleeve Top in Light Green - £7.99 (here 
Stylist Pick Christina Suade Point Flat in Orange - was £50, now £25 (here)

Siren London Alena Blazer in Pink - was £30, now £20 (here)
Zara Slim Fit Jeans in Red - was £39.99, now £17.99 (here)
Topshop Neon Splash Ring - was £8.50, now £4.25 (here)

JW Anderson for Topshop Tortoise Print Jeans - was £30, now £15 (here)
Topshop Knitted Textured Stitch Jumper in Electric Blue - £36 (here)
ASOS Bow Smart Bag in Duck Egg Blue - £32 (here)

This is a great way of brightening up an otherwise dull winter wardrobe and one piece can make all the difference. I've already bought the red boots from Stylist Pick and the Missguided disco pants (although in black yawn) and I love them. Disco pants are a great alternative for those of you who, like me, just can't pull off wet look/leather leggings. 

Let me know if anything takes your fancy! x

Banana Bread

I love banana bread - its really moist and as its got fruit in it (and no butter) I like to think its healthy cake... It also goes perfectly with a cup of tea in the afternoon. This is a recipe I've had for a while and I can't quite remember where it came from but its super quick to make, you can knock up the mix in just 10 minutes.

You'll Need:
  • Butter, for greasing
  • 225g self raising flour
  • 150g demerara sugar
  • Half a tsp ground cinnamon
  • Half a tsp ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 large ripe bananas
  • 175ml orange juice
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 4 tbsp rapeseed oil or vegetable oil

1. Preheat your oven to 180c / 350f / Gas Mark 4
2. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a big bowl. Be sure to sift the flour as this will make sure there are no lumps of it later.
3. In a separate bowl mash the bananas and orange juice together - this doesn't have to be smooth, I prefer lumps of banana at the end. 
4. Add the eggs and the oil to the banana mix and then pour into the flour/sugar etc and mix well.
5. Tip the mix into a greased loaf tin making sure you leave enough space at the top of the tin for the cake to rise and pop it in the oven for 1 hour.
6. After an hour your cake should be golden brown. Check that its cooked all the way through by sticking a skewer through the tallest part of the cake and if it comes out clean its done.
7. Run a knife round the edge of the loaf tin to make sure it's not stuck and turn out on a cooling rack. If, like me you don't have one, a clean grill pan or a cold oven shelf balanced on cups works just as well.
8. Put the kettle on, slice and enjoy!

Hope you enjoy it! I also treated myself to this beauty today so I'm sure you'll see some of my attempts from it soon. x

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

My New Favourite Online Shop

I love finding new online shops and notonthehighstreet.com is one of my favourites - I would happily bankrupt myself on this site. Here are some of my favourite items from their sale.  

Hand painted ceramic door knob - £4.04, Blossom duvet cover - £37.50,
Patterned elephant wall stickers - £18.20, Heart draft excluder - £12.47, 
Mini heart chalkboard - £4.24, Vintage milk jug - £6.40, 
Message cookie cutter - £4.21, Personalised love bird print - £12.75, 
Rustic duck cushion - £23.60

Now is also a perfect time to shop for some bargains for next Christmas.

Christmas printed ribbon - £2.96, Set of twelve silver bell decorations - £10.39
Christmas gift boxes and tags - £2.55

They also have a gorgeous selection of unique cards for all occasions.

'Bee Loved' card - £2.51, Giraffe greetings card - £1.70, Appliqué owl patch card - £1.27

Let me know what your favourite items are.. x

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Beating the January Blues

So I finally braved it, I threw myself into the January sales. At manic times like this I always prefer going to smaller shopping centres like The Maltings in St Albans rather than huge ones like Westfields, or Oxford Street. Things are far more organised and there aren't mile long queues for the changing rooms and tills. Anyway here is a selection of what I bought - everything was at least 50% off, bargain! 

Purple heels - £10 - New Look
Cream pearl studded jumper - £10 - H&M
Black strap top - £7 - Topshop
White & black spotty strap top - £4 - H&M
Metallic bodycon dress by Rare - £15 - Topshop
Sequinned skirt - £10 - H&M
Oxblood pom pom scarf - £5 - New Look
Lace scoop back dress - £5 - H&M
Blue envelope clutch - £8 - New Look

As you can see there was a slight pattern to my shopping.. I am a creature of habit. Hope you all got some bargains and are getting over your January Blues! 

Friday, 4 January 2013

Epic Hot Chocolate

Once the excitement of Christmas and New Year is over it can be hard to beat the January blues but this is the perfect recipe to make you feel cheery again. 

I saw this recipe on Jamie's Christmas with Bells on (which I really want a book for) and it's perfect for warming you up on a dreary day.

What you'll need:

  • 2 tablespoons Horlicks (or other malt drink)
  • 2 tablespoons of cornflour
  • 3 tablespoons of icing sugar
  • 4 tablespoons quality cocoa
  • 100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), grated
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon, ginger or any other spice that takes your fancy
  • 1 pinch sea salt
Plus enough milk for however many people you're making this for. 

Add these ingredients to a jar and give it a good shake to make sure its combined. At this point you can tie a ribbon round the jar and packaged with a nice mug and some marshmallows it makes a really great gift (If you are giving this as a gift make sure you include the instructions on the label)

Measure out your milk in a mug - this is a foolproof way of making sure you have the right amount but remember s the milk boils it will reduce slightly. 

Pour the milk into a pan and bring almost to the boil over a medium heat. Don't be tempted to whack up the heat as this will just burn the milk. 

Add 3-4 teaspoons of your hot chocolate mix into the hot milk, give it a good whisk and leave to bubble away for a few minutes. 

Pour into mugs and enjoy! At this stage you can add squirty cream, grated chocolate, ground cinnamon - anything you fancy! 

I'm about to settle down with a cup and do a spot of online shopping. Perfect.


Top Tip: The cornflour is what makes this hot chocolate deliciously thick. It's a great ingredient and definitely a cupboard staple. I use it all the time in curries and sauces when they haven't thickened properly or I've got bored.. Be careful though, be over zealous and you'll end up with a very unappetising jelly

New year, new blog, new start.

I recently finished university and, without the comforting routine of education, have found myself at a bit of a loose end. This year I am determined to make a bit more of a go at being a 'graduate' and actually move forward in life.  

We'll see how long that lasts...