Sunday, 16 April 2017

Breakfast Ideas

Breakfast (brunch) is fast becoming one of my favourite meals of the day. I love experimenting with what I'm making and having a chilled out morning - whether that be reading a magazine or catching up on a TV series. So today I thought that I would share with you a few of the breakfasts that I've been loving recently.

Slightly overdid my eggs but lets ignore that...
How do you like your eggs in the morning? I like mine poached and with smoked salmon. Since visiting Bills for brunch a few weeks ago I have become obsessed with this! It's slightly more expensive and time consuming than the other breakfast ideas that I'm going to mention but it's good to treat yourself every once in awhile, right? I usually poach my eggs for about four minutes and, whilst I'm waiting for the eggs, toast the breakfast muffins and then I put the smoked salmon on top.

A very simply breakfast if you're in a rush is granola mixed with yogurt. At the moment I'm loving the Jordans Honey and Nut Granola with Greek Style Honey Yogurt. You could also have this with milk if you prefer and you can add some fruit on top of it to add more flavour.

Finally, smoothie bowls are something that I've been wanting to try for ages - they enable you to have so many of your 5-a-day in one sitting! I made a pineapple, banana and mango smoothie bowl by blending all of the fruit together along with some almond milk and 3 teaspoons of honey. To decorate I used chopped up banana and mango and I sprinkled a handful of flaked almonds on top. You can create lots of different flavour combinations for smoothie bowls by using different fruits, yogurts and seeds, so I'll definitely be trying some more of these.

What do you like having for breakfast?

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Easter Egg Rocky Road Recipe

It feels like I haven't done any baking in ages (or posted about it) so with Easter not too far away it was the perfect excuse to get out the apron. I usually bake creme egg brownies at Easter so this year I decided to try something different and I went for a rocky road recipe with Easter eggs.

  • 300g milk chocolate
  • 2-3 tbsp golden syrup
  • 135g butter
  • 100g mini marshmallows
  • 180g Mini Eggs
  • 200g digestive biscuits
  1. Line a square tin with greaseproof paper.
  2. Place the digestive biscuits into a bag and hit with a rolling pin until they're broken into different sized pieces.
  3. In a saucepan melt the chocolate, golden syrup and butter until all of the chocolate is melted.
  4. Add the biscuits, most of the marshmallows, and most of the Mini Eggs to the pan with the chocolate mixture. Stir all of the ingredients together.
  5. Pour the mixture into the tin and spread it out evenly.
  6. Use the remaining marshmallows and Mini Eggs to decorate.
  7. Refrigerate for at least two hours and then cut into pieces.
This recipe is super simple to follow and produces a delicious rocky road so hopefully you'll be able to try making this. Have you got any Easter baking planned?

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Blog Inc. by Joy Deangdeelert Cho

Since it's Mother's Day, I thought that I would share with you a review of a book which my lovely mum bought for me. My mum has always been so supportive of my blog and, back in October, she researched some blog help books and decided to get me Blog Inc. by Joy Deangdeelert Cho for my birthday.

This book has been really informative and contains advice on so many different aspects of blogging from setting up your blog to earning a profit from it. Blog Inc. has the following sections: Introduction to blogging, finding your voice and niche, powering your blog, blogging community etiquette, making your blog a business, monetising your blog, and the next stage of blogging growth. The book also contains interviews with other bloggers on their tips and how they achieved success with their blogs.

Overall, the tips given in Blog Inc. are easy to follow and are helpful for any blogger no matter what size your blog is. It made me think about my original choices for my blog and whether I was still happy with them. This book is going to be my number-one resource if I need any help with my blog from now on. Have you read any useful blogging books?

Sunday, 19 March 2017

My Pamper Routine

We all deserve to pamper ourselves every once in a while - taking a couple of hours out from doing anything once a week is the perfect way to relax. I have certain products that I use only when I'm doing my pamper routine and I thought that I'd share them with you.

Firstly, I apply a face mask and a hair mask then I leave these to sink in for about ten minutes. For a while I've been loving the Origins Clear Improvement face mask because it leaves my skin feeling so much smoother and a lot less oily. The hair mask I use is the L'Oreal Extraordinary Clay Masque because this compliments the Extraordinary Clay Shampoo and Conditioner. Once I've washed these masks off I then exfoliate the rest of my body using Soap & Glory's Smoothie Star Breakfast Scrub. This scrub makes my skin feel so soft and it smells amazing - I definitely need to use this more than I do! To keep my skin feeling smooth I rub in Garnier's Intensive 7 Days Hydrating Lotion. The lotion says that hydration is felt for up to 7 days and I would say that my skin still feels soft 3 or 4 days later, which is still impressive. For my feet, I use the Soap & Glory Heel Genius and then I put a pair of socks over the top to lock in the moisture. To finish my pamper routine I give my nails a fresh coat of paint.

Hopefully you've enjoyed reading about my favourite pamper products - what do you like to use when you pamper yourself?

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate

It's been a while since I've done a product review so today I'm going to share my thoughts with you on the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate. I first received this as a tester when I bought another Kiehl's product and I loved it so much that I bought the full-sized bottle straight away!

The Midnight Recovery Concentrate contains Evening Primrose Oil (which boosts radiance), Lavender Essential Oil (which soothes skin), and Squalene (which restores the skin's natural moisture balance). I have quite oily skin so I very rarely use oils on my face because I worry that they'll make my skin look greasy, however, this sinks into my skin really quickly and leaves my face feeling so smooth. The oil applies nicely on top of my moisturiser - although you can also apply it before your moisturiser - and 3 or 4 drops is enough to cover my whole face. I use the Midnight Recovery Concentrate every evening before I get into bed and the Lavender scent is quite relaxing, which I think helps me get a better night's sleep. In the morning my skin still feels soft and looks radiant (even after a night out!). Another great thing about this oil is that it seems to be helping with clearing up any blemishes I get and the marks left by blemishes aren't as noticeable. You can also use this oil for dry hands or add it to bathwater. Overall, I'm really impressed with the Midnight Recovery Concentrate and I'll definitely be repurchasing it when I finish the current bottle.

Have you tried this product before?

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Makeup Storage

With an ever-expanding makeup collection, it was important to me to find a way to store my makeup so that I could easily access all of my products and I could separate them into categories. A firm favourite among bloggers are the Muji drawers - so I bought myself two of the two-drawer Muji drawers and I stacked one on top of the other.

On top of my drawers I display my perfumes and my current favourite foundations so I can easily grab them when I need them. In the first drawer I keep my bases and other face products. This usually changes with the seasons because in the Summer I go for darker and more matte foundations and concealers (maybe even a BB cream), whereas in the Winter, my skin is paler and I wear a more dewy foundation. Currently I have my Benefit POREfessional primer, Hoola bronzer, Rockateur blusher, and The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer highlighter in this draw, along with some foundations and BB creams that I'm saving for Summer.

In the next drawer down I keep some of my eye products, such as mascara, eye liner, and brow pencils. At the moment I'm loving using the Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara on top of the Benefit Roller Lash mascara because this combination really lengthens and curls my lashes. Whenever I want to make my eye makeup I bit more dramatic I apply the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner along my lash line. Also, I've been using the Benefit Gimme Brow gel so much recently because it makes my eyebrows so much more defined and fuller.

The third drawer down contains all of my eyeshadow palettes. I mainly use the Urban Decay Naked palettes and this doesn't change throughout the year as they contain all of the shades I need year-round. However, I'm considering buying the Too Faced Sweet Peach palette for this Summer because it contains brighter colours than the Naked palettes.

Lastly, I keep all of my lip products in the bottom drawer. I have my MAC lipsticks and lip liners, which are my most used lip products, as well as my NYX lipsticks and some Topshop ones. My brighter colours are usually only worn during the Summer months and I save the darker colours for Autumn/Winter. How do you store your makeup?

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Valentine's Day Makeup

Whether you've got plans to go to dinner with your significant other this Valentine's Day or you're having a girls night with your friends, it's the perfect opportunity to opt for a bold red lip and some sparkly eyeshadow. I gained inspiration from Pinterest to create this Valentine's Day makeup look...

Firstly - as I always do - I applied Benefit POREfessional primer to my face and then I used my Spectrum B01 brush to apply Nars Sheer Glow foundation and Collection Lasting Perfection concealer onto my face. Next, I buffed Benefit Hoola bronzer onto my cheekbones and around the edge of my hairline using the Spectrum C04 brush. Underneath my cheekbones I used the Sleek Face Contour Kit and on top of my cheekbones I applied The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer (as this is the most glowy highlighter that I own!) - I also applied this on my brow bones, down my nose and above my lip. Then I filled my eyebrows in with the Maybelline Master Shape Brow Pencil; this gives a fuller but still natural look. For my eyes, I used the Urban Decay Naked palette - applying Virgin right in the inner corner of my eyes, followed by Half Baked in the centre (I applied a few layers of this to get a more intense colour), and for the outer corner I used a small amount of Darkhorse. The mascara I used was Benefit Roller Lash because this curls my lashes nicely, however, you could apply false lashes instead. To complete the look I used a bright red lipstick from Topshop in the shade Joyride.

I hope this makeup look has given you an idea of what you could do on Tuesday. Have you got any plans for Valentine's Day?

Sunday, 5 February 2017

MAC Lipstick Collection

MAC lipsticks are my weakness. Every time I go into the shop I find another one that I want to buy and I keep a list of all the shades that I like so, if I don't purchase it straightaway, I can go back and buy it another time. Today I thought that I would share with you my collection of MAC lipsticks.

The first MAC lipstick I ever bought was Peach Blossom. This is a very pale pink, which I use if I want to wear a lipstick but I don't want too much colour. Peach Blossom is part of the cremesheen range so it has a glossy finish, however, I find that it doesn't last as long as their matte lipsticks.

Another one of MAC's lipsticks that I wear quite a lot is Patisserie. This is one of their lustre lipsticks - so it has a similar glossy finish to Peach Blossom. Patisserie is described by MAC as a 'sheer creamy neutral pink', so I also use this if I want to add a hint of colour but not too much colour.

One of my favourite lipsticks to wear in Autumn is Twig. This is a gorgeous pinky-brown shade and has a satin finish, so it's similar to a matte lipstick but slightly more moisturising. Twig lasts on my lips between 4-6 hours before it needs reapply. I usually pair Twig with MAC's Soar lip liner and you can read my full reviews of these products here and here.

Velvet Teddy is a lipstick that the majority of people own so when everyone was going crazy for this lipstick I had to jump on the bandwagon too! It's a light brown shade with a matte finish. Velvet Teddy lasts for around 6 hours without needing to be reapplied and it's great if you want to over-line your lips and make them look fuller.

Milan Mode is probably the brightest lipstick that I own! It's a bright pink shade with some sparkle in it, and I usually save this lipstick for Summer. This is part of the lustre range so it gives a glossy finish, however, I find that Milan Mode lasts longer than other lustre lipsticks I've tried and that's probably due to how bright the colour of it is.

For my birthday, my friends bought me Mocha. This is very similar in colour to Velvet Teddy, however, it's a slightly darker shade of brown. Mocha is a satin finish lipstick so it's more comfortable to wear than matte lipsticks and still lasts a long time. I pair Mocha with MAC's Nice 'n' Spicy lip liner and this combination works well together.

Finally, I bought MAC's Sin lipstick for Halloween. This is a deep blue red shade (so it was perfect for my Vampire look), and it matches perfectly with MAC's lip liner in the shade Dark Out. I loved wearing this for Halloween, however, it's a lot bolder than the lipsticks I usually wear so I haven't had another occasion where I can wear Sin yet. The matte finish is very long lasting, however, I did find it difficult to add another layer of this lipstick over the top of the previous layer once it had dried.

My MAC lipstick collection is still growing and I'm sure that in a few months I will be the proud owner of many more MAC lipsticks! What's your favourite MAC lipstick?

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Spectrum Collection Brushes & Makeup Look

For Christmas I received a set of four Spectrum Collection brushes. In the set was B01 for foundation, B02 for cream products, C03 for highlighting, and C04 for contouring. Not only are these brushes beautifully designed, they are also super soft and easy to apply makeup with. I thought that I would share with you a makeup look that I created using these brushes.

Firstly, I applied Benefit The POREfessional to my face and then blended in my Nars Sheer Glow foundation using B01 - this gave a flawless natural finish. Next, I used C04 to buff Benefit Hoola into my cheekbones and around the edge of my hairline. Then I applied The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer on the tops of my cheekbones, brow bones, and down my nose - I did this using C03. To define my eyebrows I went over them with Benefit Gimme Brow. Finally, on my eyes I used the Urban Decay Smoky palette (using the shades High, Dirtysweet, and Radar) and then I applied a line of Kat Von D Tattoo Liner along my upper lash line, followed by Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara.

I hope you like the look that I have created using these brushes. I found them very easy to use and I wasn't having to try very hard to blend in the products I was using nor did the brushes make my makeup look cakey. Overall, I'm really impressed with the Spectrum Collection brushes and I'm considering buying some more from their range. Have you ever tried these makeup brushes?

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Goals For 2017

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and a happy New Year (is it still acceptable to say that!?). This is a very belated 'Goals For 2017' post - I have been so busy revising for my exams and I really need to get better at organising my time between blogging and studying! Sharing my goals for the year ahead with you will hopefully motivate me more to achieve them and it may give you some ideas of what goals to set for yourself if you haven't already.

Improve my blog: A very common goal among bloggers but I really want to dedicate more time to my blog this year and improving my photography skills so I can create higher quality posts.

Exercise regularly: This is one of the goals I set myself every year and it always starts off well but then it goes downhill! So far I've managed to go to the gym three times a week, however, if I can't make it to the gym then I've been following Youtube workouts in my room.

Eat more healthily: Whilst at university I find it so easy to snack on biscuits and chocolate when I'm studying and make quick meals that don't have much nutritional value. Since coming back to university I've been trying to incorporate more fruit and veg into my meals and make more of my meals from scratch.

Travel more: This year I want to travel to as many places as possible (and that my bank balance will let me!), so I'm trying to manage my money so that I'll be able to afford more trips away.

Improve my organisational skills: For Christmas I received The Happiness Planner which is really useful for planning what I'm going to do each day. Throughout 2017 I want to get better at dividing my time between blogging and university work.

Bake more often: Baking is one of my favourite things to do in my spare time and I never do it enough. This year I want to do more baking and share the recipes I use on my blog.

Hopefully we will all be able to make 2017 our best year yet! What goals have you set yourself for the year ahead?