Sunday, 27 August 2017

MyVitamins Collaboration


Over the last few weeks I have been sampling some of the products from MyVitamins, which are part of The Hut Group along with Look Fantastic and Beauty Expert. I didn't want to feature these products on my blog until I'd given them a long enough trial period since vitamins aren't something which I usually buy, however, I've been really impressed with the results so far.

Coconut + Collagen:
This is one of MyVitamins best sellers. It contains Coconut Oil, Collagen and Vitamin C which protects against oxidative stress. MyVitamins recommend that you take two tablets a day, however, I've only been taking one and I've still noticed an improvement in my skin.

Catwalk Queen:
These tablets contain a blend of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C and Zinc, which improve the health of hair, skin and nails. MyVitamins recommend that you take two of these tablets a day, however, again I've only been taking one and I've still noticed a difference in my skin - I always used to get a few blemishes on my face but I've pretty much been spot-free for the last two weeks now! My nails have also seemed a lot stronger recently. The only downside to these tablets is that I really don't like the smell of them but it's something that I can put up with long enough to take them.

Bean Body Coffee Bean Scrub:
This is probably my favourite product which I tried. The Coffee Beans stimulate blood flow to minimise the appearance of cellulite and stretch marks, whilst the Cacao and Vitamin E help to repair and restore skin. The Himalayan Pink Rock Salt and Demerara Sugar remove dead skin cells, helping to eliminate blackheads and leaving skin feeling so smooth. I read that coffee bean scrubs are best to use after exercising so that's when I normally use this. It leaves your bathroom smelling of coffee for an hour or so after using it but it's worth it for the silky smooth skin!

3 More Inches Conditioner:
I'm trying to grow my hair longer so I was excited to try this product. The conditioner contains proteins and amino acids to make hair stronger and protect against the damaging effects of heat styling, which should in turn mean hair grows faster. This conditioner left my hair feeling soft and looking healthy but unfortunately I didn't notice much growth. I feel like you might need to use this over a longer period of time and also use the shampoo in this range to notice a significant difference.

There are plenty more products on MyVitamins that I think would be great to try. You can get 15% off your order with the code EMMABW15 (valid until the end of 2018). Have you tried anything from MyVitamins before?

*These products were kindly sent to me for free from MyVitamins, however, I have given my honest opinion in this review.
SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

Thursday, 24 August 2017

VLOG: Visiting Milan


SURPRISE! I decided to bite the bullet and upload my first YouTube video. It features clips from my recent trip to Milan. Let me know what you think of it and if you've got a YouTube channel then leave a comment below so I can check it out.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

5 Shows To Watch On Netflix


Thanks to the British Summer weather I have spent a lot of time recently binge watching lots of TV shows on Netflix. So I thought that I would share with you some of my favourites in case you get stuck with what to do on a rainy day.

Power
OMG this is getting so intense at the moment! It's set in New York and follows a drug dealer and his gang. Without giving too much away... in the first series the main drug dealer starts having an affair with his childhood sweetheart who then turns out to be an AUSA agent that's looking for him (but she doesn't realise that he's the guy she's looking for!). It's nearing the end of it's fourth season but it's just started to get really good as they've arrested one of the agents for being corrupt - definitely worth a watch if you like crime dramas.

Pretty Little Liars
I've been watching this since it started and, although it's finished now, you're missing out if you don't watch it! I'm sure most of you know what PLL is about but if you don't; PLL follows the lives of four girls who's best friend has gone missing, they then start receiving anonymous texts and try to work out who the texts are from believing that whoever it is knows what happened to their missing friend. Unfortunately I found the finale a bit disappointing because I was hoping that A would be someone else, however, the show keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout and will make you never want to go into a dark room alone!

Orange Is The New Black
I haven't caught up with the latest season yet, however, the ending to season four was so dramatic I'm excited to find out what happens. OITNB is Netflix's most-watched original series so I'm sure most of you have already seen some of the episodes. It follows a woman who's convicted of transporting drug money for her ex-girlfriend, which happened a few years prior to the start of the series, and she then ends up in the same prison as her ex-girlfriend. OITNB is a comedy but it also touches on some issues that prisons today are facing.

Gossip Girl
Every girl has to watch Gossip Girl at least once in their life! It revolves around a group of hyper-privileged students who seem to get whatever they want (trust me, it'll make you wish you could live like them!). However, there's an anonymous blogger who releases secret information about them. I'm really hoping they do a reunion show in a few years because I love this show so much.

The Vampire Diaries
I've been watching this show since the beginning and I'm so sad that it's over now. The Vampire Diaries follows the life of a girl who falls in love with a vampire and things become very complicated when a past lover from centuries ago who's also a doppleganger reappears. There's also werewolves, witches and loads more supernatural creatures. At times the storyline can get quite complicated but if you like supernatural dramas then you'll love this.

Hopefully I've given you some ideas about what you could watch on Netflix. What are your favourite TV shows?

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Visiting Paris


When Audrey Hepburn said that "Paris is always a good idea" she wasn't joking! Last month I visited Paris for the first time and I would love to go back there already!

Where to visit:
On my first evening in Paris I went for a wander around the Champs-Elysées area (where you can visit the Arc de Triomphe) and conveniently ended up near the Eiffel Tower at sunset - talk about perfect timing! To go to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower cost around €8 and it's so worth it for the views over Paris. Also, if you go to the Eiffel Tower when it's dark then you'll see it lit up and every hour on the hour the lights flash for 5 minutes, which is really pretty. The Louvre is the world's largest museum and has some impressive architecture. Unfortunately I didn't have time to go inside The Louvre but it's well worth the visit even if you only see the glass pyramid - and maybe you can try get a classic tourist photo with your hand on top of it! The Notre Dame cathedral is free to enter and includes a treasury, towers and crypt. Unfortunately it was very busy when I was there so I never went inside. On my last day I went to the Sacre-Coeur and, although there was a lot of steps to climb up to it, the view at the top was incredible. I didn't get the chance to go inside the Sacre-Coeur but entrance is free so if you have the chance then you should definitely do it.


Where to eat:
Paris is renowned for it crepes so obviously you can't leave Paris without trying one! You're spoilt for choice with creperies in Paris and most of them are very similar to one another - I bought one from a place near the Eiffel Tower and ate it whilst watching the flashing lights go off. Another food you have to try from Paris is macarons. I went to Maison Georges Larnicol, which is close to the Sacre-Coeur, and it offers a massive selection of flavours for a reasonable price. I would highly recommend going here.


Day trip:
Can we all take a moment to admire that sunset!? The sky actually matches the castle - I don't think I've ever seen anything more beautiful! If you're in Paris you HAVE to go to Disneyland. This brought out my inner child and was without a doubt the best day of the whole trip. I would recommend looking into the fast pass tickets before you go because some of the rides I ended up queuing for over an hour, which meant I couldn't see as much of the park as I wanted to. Also, as expected, the food's very expensive at Disneyland so it's worth bringing your own snacks with you if you don't want to spend too much.

Hopefully you have found this post helpful. I would love to go back to Paris to explore more of it. Have you visited Paris before?

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Raspberry and White Chocolate Cupcakes


These are my favourite cupcakes ever and they're perfect for Summer!

Ingredients:
(for cupcakes)
- 110g unsalted butter
- 180g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 125g self-raising flour
- 120g plain flour
- 125ml semi-skimmed milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp raspberry jam
(for icing)
- Raspberry jam
- 100g white chocolate
- 80g unsalted butter
- 45ml semi-skimmed milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 375g icing sugar
- 3 tbsp double cream
- Fresh raspberries

Method:
- Preheat the oven to 160*C (fan)/180*C/350*F/gas mark 4 and line a 12-hole muffin tray.
- In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar until pale and smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for a few minutes after each addition.
- Combine the two flours in a separate bowl. Put the milk in a jug and add the vanilla extract to it. Add one-third of the flours to the creamed mixture and beat well. Pour in one-third of the milk and beat again. Repeat these steps until all the flour and milk have been added.
- Fold in the raspberry jam until most of it's combined but still have a few streaks running through it.
- Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases and bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and leave them to cool. Once they have cooled, cut a small hole in the centre of each cake and place a teaspoon of jam inside.
- For the icing, melt the chocolate by putting the pieces in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir occasionally until it has completely melted and is quite smooth. Leave to cool slightly.
- In a large mixing bowl beat the butter, milk, vanilla extract and half the icing sugar until smooth. Gradually add the remaining icing sugar and beat again until the buttercream is smooth and creamy.
- Combine all the ingredients and beat well. Pipe onto cupcakes and add fresh raspberries on top.

Hopefully you like the look of these, will you be baking them?

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Visiting Venice


The last place we went on our trip around Italy was Venice. This was probably my favourite place because of how pretty and different it was from the other places we visited (although they were all amazing so it was difficult to choose!).

We stayed in Cannaregio which is more residential than the other areas in Venice and it's further away from the centre. However, this meant that it was more peaceful and we found some lovely restaurants that were a lot cheaper than the places in the touristy areas.

Where to visit:
The Rialto Bridge is a must-see and if you stand in the centre of it then it gives you a great view down the Grand Canal. The Rialto Bridge is extremely busy so I would recommend visiting it either early in the morning or late in the evening. The Basilica di San Marco has incredible architecture and you can buy tickets to go inside. The Basilica is based in St Mark's Square, which has loads of lovely shops and restaurants around the edge. If you visit the square at night, it's a lot quieter and is lit up. The Campanile is the tall tower in the square and it gives amazing 360 degree views of Venice. I would really recommend going up this if you have the time. Of course, you can't leave Venice without going on a Gondola! We went around the quieter canals of Venice because if you go down the Grand Canal on a Gondola you'll get stuck in loads of traffic. The Gondolier we had told us facts about Venice during our ride which made it really interesting and, although it was very expensive, I'm glad that I got to experience it.


Where to eat:
On TripAdvisor we found an amazing street food place called La Bottiglia, which was reasonably priced and away from the busy streets. They offer a selection of fresh meats and cheeses, as well as a few other foods, which you can have in focaccia bread or on a platter. Restaurants in Venice were quite expensive so we bought fresh pasta from Giacomo Rizzo to cook in our apartment instead. The pasta from here was some of the best I've ever had and I bought some to take home with me too!


Day trip:
Most people don't go to Venice for the beach, however, if you want a break from the hordes of people then the beach is the perfect place to relax. We got line 2 of the water bus to Lido di Venezia, which took around 40 minutes but it also gave us the opportunity to see more of the Grand Canal. At the beach you can hire loungers and umbrellas for the day and then relax!

This is my last post from my trip around Italy so hopefully you've found these posts enjoyable and helpful. Are you going away anywhere over Summer?

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Visiting Bologna


The next place we stopped at on our trip around Italy was Bologna. It's definitely one of Italy's most underrated cities with a lot less tourists choosing to go here, however, it was nice to have a break from the busyness of Milan. We stayed on the main street in Bologna - Via dell'Indipendenza - and everything we went to see was no more than a 10 minute walk from there.

Where to visit:
Piazza Maggiore is the main square in Bologna and when we arrived there was some sort of music festival going on here which was free to enter. If you look up the square before you go then you might find that there's something happening there when you're in Bologna. The Basilica di San Petronio is at the Piazza Maggiore and is one of the largest churches in the world. It's free to enter, however, if you want to visit the museum inside the church then you have to pay for that. Bologna has it's own version of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, called the Aniselli Tower, which you can climb up. Unfortunately, when we were in Bologna the tower was closed until July. Although that could be a good thing because legend has it that anyone who climbs the tower before graduating won't finish their degree! Another great place to visit in Bologna is some of the university buildings, since it's the oldest in Europe, and allows the public to visit certain areas of it. We went to see the Teotro Anatomico, which is decorated with lots of statues and is known as the birthplace of cosmetic surgery.


Where to eat:
On our first night in Bologna we found a lovely gastropub down one of the streets off of Piazza Maggiore. The food and drink was great value for money and gave us the opportunity to try lots of different meats and cheeses from around the area. Simoni also have a shop further down the street where you can buy some of the products which they serve. This was by far the best meal we had whilst we were in Bologna and also the cheapest! If you're only in Bologna for one night then I would definitely recommend going to this place.


Day trip:
Only 30 minutes away on the train is the Ferrari Museum in Modena and Ferrari offer a coach service from the Modena train station to the other Ferrari Museum in Maranello. We first went to the museum in Maranello which contains a lot of history about the making of the cars and about the Formula 1 team. We then got the coach back to the museum in Modena which currently has an exhibition called 'Driving with the Stars' that shows some of the Ferraris which celebrity's have driven over the years - I picked out a couple which I liked! If you're interested in cars, the Ferrari Museums make a great day trip as they're not too far from Bologna.

Hopefully this post has given you a good insight into Bologna. Will you be visiting Bologna any time soon?
SaveSave

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Visiting Milan


WARNING: This is going to be a very photo-heavy post! I recently got back from an incredible trip around Italy with my boyfriend so I thought that I would put together a guide on where to visit and what to eat whilst you're in Italy - first stop: Milan.

We stayed in the Navigli district of Milan, which is where all of the canals are, and it was a really nice area because it was a lot less touristy than the city centre but it didn't take too long to reach the centre. There are lots of restaurants and bars in the Navigli district so we had plenty of choice!

Where to visit:
The Duomo is the number one attraction in Milan and it's definitely worth a visit if you get the opportunity. We bought tickets in advance which gave us access to the cathedral, the terraces, the museum, and the archeological area. I found all of these interesting, however, the terraces were probably my favourite because of the amazing view you get over Milan. Also, if you want to go into the cathedral, you need to wear shorts/skirt down to your knees and have your shoulders covered. The shopping centre, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, is right by the Duomo so we had a wander through there  as the architecture is pretty impressive - unfortunately the majority of the shops were outside my budget! Another great place to visit is Sforza Castle and Parco Sempione. You can buy tickets to see the museums and galleries inside the castle, however, we didn't do this. The park behind the castle is massive and contains an aquarium and design museum (La Triennale di Milano) - we didn't have time to visit this but it does look really interesting.


Where to eat:
Italian food is my favourite type of food so ten days in Italy was absolute heaven! Before eating anywhere we always checked TripAdvisor and through this we came across an amazing pizza place called Piz. Not only was the food at Piz delicious but the customer service was also excellent and it wasn't very expensive. However, I would recommend getting to Piz before it opens, which is at 7pm, as we arrived just before it opened and there were quite a lot of people waiting outside already. Close to Piz there's a gelato shop called Ciacco, which had a wide range of flavours and makes a great after-dinner treat. The apartment we stayed in had a kitchen so one of the nights we bought some fresh pasta from Peck and it worked out a lot cheaper than going out to a restaurant but it still tasted just as good. For afternoon cocktails with a view we went to Il Bar. This overlooked the Duomo, however, because of this, the cocktails were quite pricey. I still think they were worth the money though and it gives you a nice break from the busy city centre.


Day trip:
To get from Milan to Varenna, which is a town on Lake Como, only takes around one hour. There's a villa with a botanical garden which you can visit and lots of restaurants to eat at. From Varenna you can get a ferry to various other places around Lake Como so we took the ferry across to Bellagio, which is one of the main towns on the lake. We wandered around the tiny streets and got cocktails at the artificial beach; Lido di Bellagio, which gives amazing views across the lake. There's also a botanical garden near to the artificial beach called Villa Melzi, which is well worth a visit if you have time. For dinner we went to La Fontana and the food here was amazing - I had the lasagne and I highly recommend it! Lake Como is definitely the prettiest place I've ever seen and it makes a great day trip from Milan because it's a lot more relaxed.

Milan is the perfect place to visit if you only want to go away for 3 or 4 days. Hopefully you've found this guide helpful if you're planning a trip to Milan. Have you ever been to Milan or Lake Como before?

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Chanel No5 Eau De Parfum


Chanel No5 is one of the world's most iconic perfumes. It consists of intense floral notes; top notes of
ylang ylang, neroli and aldehydes, heart notes of rose absolute and jasmine absolute, and base notes of vanilla, sandalwood and vetiver. These combine to create a fresh, feminine scent.

The packaging for this perfume is minimalistic but still looks chic. The perfume has a spray application and I've found that half a spray on either side of my neck is enough for a noticeable scent without it being overpowering. Also, I've found that the scent doesn't vanish throughout the day, so one spray in the morning is enough to last all day. However, if I'm wearing this perfume in the evening as well then I will usually spray a small amount on to revive the notes.

I was lucky enough to receive this as a present a few months ago and, to be honest, I wouldn't of considered buying this perfume otherwise since I have always assumed that anything from Chanel is unaffordable for me. However, although this perfume is slightly more expensive than the other perfumes I've got, Chanel No5 isn't completely out of my budget and so I'll definitely be repurchasing this when it runs out (although that won't be for a while!). Have you ever tried any Chanel perfumes before?

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Favourite Mascaras For Summer



Mascaras are the number one beauty product that I buy. I'm always looking for one that makes my lashes longer, or doesn't smudge under my eyes, or curls my lashes, so I end up trialling loads and then not using half of them again. However, there are three mascaras that I've been using over the last few months and I've yet to find a fault with them.

The first mascara that I've been loving is the Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara. This has a thick brush wand which coats every lash. It creates fuller and longer looking lashes, as well as curling them. This doesn't smudge under my eyes and I usually wear this on nights out because I know that it will last all night. Additionally, I can apply two or three layers of this mascara without it going clumpy.

For everyday use I use the L'Oreal False Lash Sculpt mascara - I wrote a full review on this here. This is the cheapest mascara out of the three pictured here and I always assume that cheaper mascaras won't be as good as more expensive ones, however, this mascara is just as good as the more expensive ones that I use. The plastic wand on this gets really close to the waterline which lifts the lashes from the bottom and covers all of the lashes.

Finally, the Benefit Roller Lash mascara is great at curling and separating my lashes. It lengthens my lashes and two or three coats can be applied without it clumping. Roller Lash contains provitamin B5 and serin which condition lashes. I have been using this mascara for over a year now and will definitely be repurchasing it again.

Which mascaras are your favourite? I'm always up for trying new ones!

Sunday, 21 May 2017

How To Do Corkscrew Curls



The end of exams are in sight and I'm excited to get back to blogging regularly. I have some exciting things planned over Summer which I can't wait to share with you! Anyway... Today I thought I would share with you a quick 'How To' post so you can recreate these corkscrew curls.

Corkscrew curls add so much more volume to my hair and last for a couple of days without needing to be restyled - perfect for days when I'm too busy to faff around with my hair. I use the Babyliss Pro Curling Wand but any curling wand with a thin barrel will be fine. Before I start applying heat to my hair, I spray the Tresemme Heat Defence Styling Spray all over my hair and then split my hair into two sections (a top section and a bottom section). Holding the curling wand downwards I wrap sections of my hair around the wand - no more than 2-3cms wide at a time - and I vary the direction of the way I wrap my hair around the wand to give a more messy look. Once I have done the bottom section of my hair I then take down the top part of my hair and repeat the process. When it comes to doing the front of my hair I tend to curl it in the direction going away from my face because this helps to keep it out of my face. It only takes about 20 minutes to create this hairstyle and it stays like this for a couple of days, however, you can always use some hairspray to lock in those curls.

Hopefully you enjoyed this post! Have you tried to create corkscrew curls?

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.

Ingredients:
  • 300g milk chocolate
  • 2-3 tbsp golden syrup
  • 135g butter
  • 100g mini marshmallows
  • 180g Mini Eggs
  • 200g digestive biscuits
Method:
  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?