Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Must Haves & Favourites

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Review: Urban Decay's NAKED Basics palette

Whilst visiting Manchester to meet up with a friend, I had some time to kill and found myself stumbling into the Debenhams make up section filled with counter after counter of beautiful products that  for the majority of the time I like to stand and cry at because I can't afford much. I was feeling ever so slightly giddy yesterday however and I convinced myself to buy Urban Decay's NAKED Basics palette which came to £20 which for six beautiful shadows I suppose isn't too bad. I've been wanting to try out the UD products for such a long time as beauty blogger after beauty blogger rave about them and the temptation got too much!

The palette itself is beautifully packaged and I adore that there are both matte colours for your base and crease, and shimmery shadows for the corners of your eyes to brighten and dust across your brow bone and over the top of you shadow to give it a little more glamour. One of the things I love most about these shadows is that they don't seem to drop like a lot of others do meaning that I don't feel the constant need to touch up or check that I don't look like the complete wreck I once did! haha, she jokes...or does she? And I'm now tempted to break out and buy one of the larger palettes at a later date.

To create the look above, I used 'Naked 2' as a base and using a blending brush I slowly applied 'Faint' to the outer corner of my lid and through my crease. Once satisfied with the same blending brush I used 'Crave' to slightly darken that outer corner, making sure I was blending thoroughly all the time. To the inner corners of my eye to brighten the look I used 'Venus' to add a subtle sparkle, and 'Foxy' to my brow bone. Using a clean blending brush I checked over to make sure I had no harsh edges.

To finish the look I applied my Collection liquid eyeliner in black to my waterline and top lid, Maybelline's 'Falsies Volum'Express' in brown and the Rimmel professional brow pencil in hazel, MAC's finishing powder in 'Soft and Gentle' and last but not least my Coloursensational lipstick in '150, Stellar Pink'.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

August Favourites!

1. Chester Zoo
Theres nothing quite like turning 18 and wanting to return back to your younger years with a good friend just because the new found responsibilities of being an adult are too much to handle. At the begining of August myself and my best pal decided to take a carefree (for the most part) trip to Chester Zoo in the hope of a fun-filled day containing animals, lots of sunshine and even more laughing. All of the animals that we saw were in beautiful condition and, aside from the wasps and my friend getting her ticket stuck in her bag leading to us having to cut through layers of pocket with the bluntest scissors you have ever seen, it was such a stress free, laugh out loud, infinitaly memorable day.

2. Matching Bikini Top/Bottoms from Mantaray for Debenhams
I find buying swimwear one of the most daunting things because, lets be honest ladies, none of us are really too fond of our body and it's difficult when you look down and say "oh come on, actually give me something to work with here" when it comes to the cleavage department. I had put off buying new swimwear for the entire summer, knowing that my holiday was getting closer by the day and if I didn't buy anything soon I was getting to be stuck buying something horrific that no one else wanted and I'd feel even worse about the situation than I would have done if I'd have gone for it when stocks were high. Saying this, the first week of August I took a hopeful tripn to Debenhams and luckily enough I managed to find this floral 2 piece from Mantaray. Though a little more than I would have usually payed for swimwear, this bikini is so well made and pretty plus, I didn't feel 100% horrific-want-to-cry-and-never-be-seen-outdoors-again which was an absolute bonus! I know summer is more or less over, but if any of you lucky few are still going on holiday sometime soon you should definitely check out the Mantaray collection on the Debenhams website, even though they may not stock this particular bikini anymore.

 3. My Holiday: The Isles of Scilly
The Isles of Scilly are a quaint collection of islands situated just 28 miles of the Cornish coast and I like tot hink of it as my second home. The first time I visited the islands I was a mere 6 weeks old so I have always had a great fondness of them and fortunately, my parents love it there so much that we visit most summers. I've never been to a place with prettier views and nicer people. If you ever have a chance to explore there, you're in for an absolute treat.

To see more pictures from around the islands, visit my instagram!

4. Handmade 'Scilly Gems' Earrings
I'm a sucker for jewellery and when it is as beautiful as these two piece, you just try and stop me buying some. Scilly Gems make all of their own jewellery whether it be from debry found of the beach, stones and shells, or even paper and old drinks cans. I think the thing I love about things like this is that no two pieces are the same so you're always going to have your own individual design and so far, both of these pairs have had a lot of compliments so far for only £3.50 each they were an absolute bargain!

5. Harry Potter - The Complete Series
Though I have read this series countless times, they will never stop being brilliantly captivating to me. I managed to read the majority of the series whilst on holiday again and I think the thing I love most about them is that though you know the end result, they always still manage to lure you in and break your heart, make you smile and become best friends with the characters time and time again.

6. Frankenstein by Jamie Henry
This is possibly one of the most biased favourites I will ever have, but I do not care. I'm doing it anyway because it is 100% worth it. A good friend of mine, Jamie Henry is a musician from Carlisle who now resides in London. In the near future, Jamie will be bringing out his first EP Elephant and a couple of weeks back he brought out one of the tracks from the EP which is called Frankenstein as a taster track to show us what is instore. I was once again moved when listening to this track as you feel as though there is always meaning in his music which is refreshing as a lot of music that seems to be produced now can seem to lack any real passion at all. I recommend that you all go and listen to this track on Jamie's soundcloud and join me in waiting with anticipation for the EP.   

To listen to 'Frankenstein' and check out Jamie's other material, click here!

Recipe: Strawberry and Chocolate Cream Pie!

(taken from @hannahwaddelow)

Ingredients (9-inch pie):
1 1/2 cups digestive biscuits
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 cup whipping cream
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
200 gram dark chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
10 fresh strawberries, halved
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 175 C. Grease a 9-inch pie dish.
To prepare crust, mix digestive biscuits, melted butter and cocoa powder in a small bowl, and mix until a moist yet crumbly mixture forms.
Firmly press the mixture into the bottom and sides of the pie dish.
Put into the fridge to keep cool.
To prepare filling, in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream until it holds firm peaks. Remove cream from bowl and keep cold in fridge.
In the same bowl, use a paddle attachment, beat cream cheese until it’s soft and creamy.
Add sugar, vanilla and melted chocolate, continue beating until combined.
Gently fold 1/3 of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture to lighten the mixture, then add the remaining cream and continue folding until incorporated.
Pour the cream mixture in the cooled crust. Smooth the top with a spatula. Arrange strawberries on top of the pie.
Refrigerate the pie until set, about 3 hours, or preferably overnight.
Sprinkle powdered sugar on top of the pie before serving.
Desserts like this are my absolute weakness. I'm a sucker for cheesecake, I adore chocolate and stawberrys are that cancels out all the sugar and carbs..right?! This is just a really homely thing to make, and it's been proven to make you feel better on the worst of days, so whether you make it for family and friends or even just as a treat for yourself, you won't be disappointed!

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Book Review: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Once again John Green has astounded me. I think one of the key reasons I love this book is that although a lot of us are not setting out to become some form of ‘child prodigy’ like Colin Singleton is, we are always trying to make ourselves stand for something and always feeling so let down when we’re not where we thought we’d be in 5 years time. Green has once again brought humour to tackle the topics that cause us a great difficulty such as relationships and break ups, family issues, the economy and as I said, this social perception of ‘happiness’ and how the only way we can reach this is if we are higher than everyone else.
I know a lot of people adore John Green, and this opinion in the literally world is growing rapidly, but one of the main reasons I find his books a little more unique is that you can tell, not only from the story itself, that he is a true educator. With this book for example I have found that through Colin, Green has been able to illustrate his extended knowledge and research that he has built around the story itself with his use of foreign languages, advice and insight on relationships, history, and although he says he sucks at maths, his mathematical knowledge when completing the theorem. 
After I read each book I’m going to pick out some key quotations that have affected me personally, so here are my three quotes from An Abundance of Katherines by John Green.
"If there’s one thing I know, it’s that there’s some people in this world that you can just love and love and love no matter what." - Roy Walker
"And Colin thought: Because like say I tell someone about my feral hog hunt. Even if it’s a dumb story, telling it changes other people just the slightest little bit, just as living the story changes me. An infinitesimal change. And that infinitesimal change ripples outward - ever smaller but everlasting. I will get forgotten, but the stories will last. And so we all matter - maybe less than a lot, but always more than some." - Colin Singleton
“As the staggered lines rushed past him, he thought about the space between what we remember and what happened, the space between what we predict and what will happen. And in that space, Colin thought, there was room enough to reinvent himself—room enough to make himself into something other than a prodigy, to remake his story better and different—room enough to be reborn again and again. If Colin learned one thing from Gutshot, it’s that you can’t stop the future from coming. And for the first time in his life, he smiled thinking about the always-coming infinite future stretching out before him.” - Narrative

The last thing I want to say about this book is that I like how in the end everyone gets what they deserve to an extent. Everyone finds their love, or their path in life or they realise the goodness of others and the end couple of chapters of this book really hit home.
I give John Green’s ‘An Abundance of Katherines’
Four stars out of five! A truly brilliant read.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Recipe: Microwave Mug Brownie

I think there sometimes often comes a point in your day where you suddenly become overwhelmed with stress and sadness...or become horrifically bored...or just have a great urge to procrastinate and that often leads us to want to have a nibble one something sweet, even if we have to worry about the calories later. These microwave mug brownies are perfect for those times and take all of about 5 minutes to make. Perfect. 

What you will need:
2 Tbsp salted butter
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
1 pinch baking powder
1 pinch salt
3 Tbsp chocolate chips (it's best to use either full milk chocolate or you can combine milk with either white or dark!)

1 mug

Add bitter and brown sugar to a 12oz (or larger) mug. Heat in a microwave on high for around 45 seconds, then remove from the microwave and stir mixture with a form. Mix in the egg and the vanilla extract. Stir in the coca powder. Add flour, baking powder and salt and stir until well combined. Take your selected chocolate chips and make sure they have been mixed in thoroughly to the mixture (as you don't want them all at the top of your brownie!). Set your microwave on 50% power and cook your brownie for around 1 minute 50 seconds - 2 minutes 30 seconds (time will vary depending on your microwave wattage, so just keep checking on it to make sure it doesn't go too tough). Serve warm topped with your favourite ice cream, sauce and/or icing sugar (with maybe even a few more chocolate chips if you still don't feel as though all your chocolately needs are fulfilled!)

These brownies are so fun, quick and easy to make - you can't ask for much more than that!