Monday 31 December 2012

Red Velvet Fudge

Its New Year's Eve and as usual I'm staying in. Time for one final pig out on junk food and booze before those pesky New Year's resolutions to lose weight start all over again. I came across this recipe on Pinterest (feel free to add me!) and it sounded so easy & delicious that I just had to make it immediately. Theres only four ingredients and it only takes two minutes to cook. The longest part is waiting for it to set. Or you could just eat it straight from the bowl as fresh cake batter without the risk of getting Salmonella. Either way it makes for a fast scrummy snack. The recipe I found was for plain vanilla cake batter fudge but the only cake mix I had in my cupboards was this Duncan Hines Red Velvet one. Even better! Instant red velvet fudge. It tastes just like the cake & smells incredible. Its definitely not fudge in the traditional sense of the word. The recipe is quite similar to how you would make buttercream icing but rather than adding a bit of vanilla extract or cocoa powder you add in powdered cake mix. Its like one epic combo of cake, fudge & icing!

Original recipe found here.

1 cup cake mix of your choice
1 cup icing sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup milk

1) Put the cake mix & icing sugar into a microwavable bowl. Mix together.

2) Add the butter and milk but don't mix it up.

3) Put in the microwave on high for 2 minutes.

4) Take it out and mix it all together. Inhale the cakey goodness.

5) Line a cake tin and pour in the mixture. Top with sprinkles if you like. Put it in the fridge to set for at least an hour before cutting into chunks. Don't forget to lick the bowl!

Let me know if you decide to try this out. I love making easy confectionery like this. This is great quick sweet treat for when theres no other food left in the house! I'll be chowing down on these whilst watching the Hootenanny and downing Snowballs. Anyways I hope you all have a lovely time tonight no matter what you're up to and I'll see you all next year!

Sunday 30 December 2012

What I Wore In 2012

Here's a quick roundup of my favourite outfit posts from this year. To be honest I didn't actually post many more than these which is something I'm hoping to rectify in 2013. I guess its because I only really post if its an outfit that I consider to be 'blogworthy' rather than what I wear on a day to day basis. I doubt anyone would want to see me in a Primark onesie though! Basically I'm fed up of being a lazy slob haha. So expect some more outfit posts in the new year. I feel like blogging has helped me to be more adventurous in what I wear, even if I stick to wearing black 90% of the time. I've always had a ton of clothes but its only been recently that my wardrobe has started to feel more complete. I guess its just as my style has evolved but I definitely feel more confident wearing the clothes I like even though my body is nowhere near how I want it to be.

My favourite outfits are the coral Missguided dress I wore to an Illamasqua event in March & the black dress from H&M I wore for my 24th birthday in August. Both feature floral headbands from Crown & Glory which are quite possibly my favourite accessories. 2012 was also the year where I finally re-dyed my hair pink. I used to dye my hair every colour under the sun so it was nice to do something different with it again. If I don't end up just buying loads of wigs I'm definitely going with minty green for 2013!

Saturday 29 December 2012

Christmas Presents

Michael Kors 5055 Watch
My main present this year came in the form of this rather blingtastic gold Michael Kors watch. I've wanted one of these for ages & I'm so happy I finally got one. I originally wanted the rose gold one but I decided the gold was more me & I think it goes with more things. I love it so much & couldn't have asked for a better present!

Gear4 Halo2 Alarm Clock
To go with my new iPhone 5 my mum got me this awesome alarm clock. It works as a speaker for your music as well as a radio. The sound quality is really excellent for such a small speaker. Its meant for the iPhone 4 so I had to buy one of those stupid Lightning to 30 pin adaptors. Total rip off at £25 & it makes the phone obscure the clock part but at least I finally have some cool speakers to blast my music on.

Louise Young Brush, Naked Basics Palette & Touch Screen Gloves
I actually only got this brush this morning but on Christmas Eve I won this gorgeous Louise Young LY20 from their Christmas giveaway on Twitter. It's their Super Fan brush and is my first item from Louise Young. Its so soft & will be perfect for applying a loose dusting of setting powder as well as contouring my cheeks. So excited to try it out! Can't tell you how tempted I am to buy some of their eye brushes next. The Urban Decay Naked Basics palette is my Christmas gift to myself. I absolutely love it! The dinky size means it has fast become a fixture in my makeup bag. I've decided to be more experimental with my eye makeup next year & I've really enjoyed playing about with this palette. Its so great for day or night. I also got some touch screen gloves which are a lot cooler than they sound. I love my stripey gloves from Accessorize but its so annoying having to take them off to use my iPhone. With these my hands stay warm & I can play Tiny Tower to my hearts content.

Frankie 2013 Diary
Another present I got for myself is this Frankie diary. I really wanted to buy one last year after seeing it on loads of blogs but it sold out so quickly. This year I decided that I simply must have it and ordered it at the end of November. It only took about 10 days to come from Australia. Its so gorgeous inside & outside and definitely beats using my Filofax. I actually can't wait to start filling it all in! Squee!

I got four perfumes for Christmas - Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb La Vie En Rose, a new bottle of Truth Or Dare by Madonna, Viva La Juicy & Viva La Juicy La Fleur. All my other perfumes have pretty much run out so I was really happy to get loads of new ones. My favourite out of these has to be Flowerbomb La Vie En Rose. It's pretty similar to the original Flowerbomb but a bit fresher & fruitier.

I picked up this Soap & Glory hand wash & hand cream set in the Boxing Day sales. Literally couldn't find anything else I wanted but I'm so glad I picked this up. I love Hand Food, its my second favourite hand cream after my Burt's Bees one so its nice having it in the pump bottle. The hand wash smells really good & doesn't strip the moisture from my hands either. Quite a boring purchase but whatevz, I like it. I stupidly bought these two things from Lush before the sale started but oh well. I adore Snow Fairy. Not a year goes by where I don't pick up at least one big bottle of this gorgeous concoction. I'm obsessed with anything salted caramel flavour so I had to try out their new Popcorn lip scrub. Its a bit salty tasting but I do really like it & of course, it leaves your lips feeling amazing.

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas & got some nice goodies too :)

Monday 17 December 2012

New Phone & Accessories

Melt iPhone 5 Case

As an early Christmas present, I treated myself to a new phone and some cute accessories to go with it. I had an iPhone 4 for two years and was pretty desperate to get a new one as the charger & headphone sockets had gotten water damaged so it no longer made any noise beyond answering phone calls. I finally upgraded to an iPhone 5 a few weeks ago & I can't recommend it enough. Theres not loads of new features which I know some people were disappointed about but I really like the larger screen, thinner frame & HD front-facing camera.

A lot of people used to ask me about the baby pink melting case I had on my iPhone 4. I bought it off eBay because that's my favourite place to look for cheap cute cases. When I got my new phone I didn't know which case to go for. As the phone is a recent addition to Apple's lineup, there aren't many interesting cases out there yet. So I decided to go for the Melt case again but this time in hot pink & blue. I think these cases are great as they look so cool, really protect your phone & give you a good grip on the handset. They also come with screen protectors & rubber bits to protect your headphone & charger sockets. You can even mix & match the colours if you buy more than one case.

Hear-muffs Adjustable Headphones*

I had a 32GB iPhone 4 and this time I went for the 64GB iPhone 5 so that I could fit my entire iTunes library on it. I have a LOT of music & I've definitely missed being able to listen to it on my phone. Thats where these awesome Hear-muffs come in. Every Winter when my head feels colder than a block of ice even with a hat on, I end up cursing myself for not owning a pair of ear muffs. Now I finally have this gorgeous bright pink pair that keep my ears feeling toasty & also play music! They work with any portable music player that has a 3.5mm headphone socket. These are slightly different to the traditional ear muff design as they fit around the back of your head rather than on top. They look quite small but the backband is adjustable so it will fit most headsizes. I found them to be really comfortable and they didn't slip down either. I also like that you can fold them up so they'll fit nicely in your handbag. I'm getting into the Christmas spirit with a bit of BublĂ©. They also fit Chloe's head perfectly so she can listen to her Now That's What I Call Disney CD. I think that these earmuff headphones make a fab Christmas present for anyone! Hear-muffs are available in a variety of colours from John Lewis for just £9.95.

Thursday 13 December 2012

What's In My Bag

Today I have another video for you guys. I've been blogging for nearly three years but I've never actually done a 'what's in my bag' type post before. So I decided to do film it as a video instead. Press play to see my bag collection as well as a sneak peak into the contents of my handbag.

Sunday 9 December 2012

Everything Is Embarrassing

Top - Lovestruck* / Skirt - American Apparel / Dress - Topshop / Headband - Crown & Glory
Necklace - Urban Outfitters / Bracelet - Black Tied / Rings - The Bohemian Collective

On Friday my mum & sister came up to York for the day so Chloe & I decided to tag along for their visit. I'd only ever been to York once before & that was for my epic failure of a 21st birthday where my friends took me to the National Railway Museum because there was nothing else to do on a Sunday! So it was nice to come again when there was more exciting things going on. We went on a long walk around all the shops & festive fayre before chowing down on a huge meal at Wagamama. I taught Chloe how to use chopsticks & she actually managed to pick up her gyoza & individual grains of rice with them! After the meal she even had a little babyccino, so cute!

I wore this outfit but underneath a million different layers of course. I swear this seems like the coldest Winter ever, I used to walk to school everyday without tights at this time of year but now I freeze the instant I step outside. I was sent this gorgeous top by Lovestruck. Isn't the pearl collar detailing just the cutest? I paired it with this baby pink corduroy skirt from American Apparel. Its ridiculously short so I wore a Topshop skater dress underneath. I actually really like the kinda two layer skirt effect, it definitely kept me a lot warmer too. One of my favourite hair accessories is my cream Whole Lotta Rosie floral headband from Crown & Glory. I decided I also needed the black version after seeing how awesome it looked on Robyn. So jel of her long hair too! Thats the one of the bad things about bleaching your hair to death, as soon as it grows you have to get it cut again. I'm really tempted to order a wig from Lockshop. It'd be pretty cool to have long brown hair again after all this time. I wanted to dye my hair mint green but I'm having trouble figuring out which dyes to dilute to get the colour I want, a minty wig could be the easy way out. I'm a bit worried they'd look completely fake though!

Saturday 8 December 2012

MAC Lipstick Collection

I finally had some free time last weekend so I decided to film another video. I thought I'd show you guys my MAC lipstick collection. I treated myself to two new ones the other day so my little lipstick holder has finally been filled with shades I love. I am literally rubbish at using iMovie so again I'm sorry about the length!

Thursday 6 December 2012

NEOM Goodies

NEOM are fast becoming one of my favourite brands for home fragrance & toiletries. Their luxury products are all organic and packed full of essential oils so they're a great choice for a bit of everyday pampering. The range of scents available is a bit different to those found in your average toiletry brand. Thats because the products can be used as holistic treatments as each essential oil has been carefully chosen to impact upon your mood. I think they make brilliant presents for any female so heres some of my favourite NEOM products.

Organic Reed Diffuser in Real Luxury
For a continual dispersion of fragrance nothing beats a reed diffuser. The reed sticks absorb the oil and spread the scent through the air. Real Luxury mixes lavender, jasmine & Brazilian rosewood. It smells so good! Its a very light & calming scent so I keep this in my living room. One reed diffuser lasted three months for me & I'm now about halfway through my second bottle of this oil. At £35 its pretty expensive but the oil refills are a lot cheaper. I guess the initial expense is for the nice glass holder. I really like all the NEOM packaging & product design. Their products just exude class & look really posh.

Organic Room Mist in Tranquility & Refresh
I love room sprays because you can use them to refresh any area or fabric easily. I have a growing collection that I keep in my bedroom to add a fresh fragrance to my bedsheets, inside my drawers & wardrobe as well as all around the room. I find that these instantly enhance my mood. The two scents I have are quite different and therefore have almost opposite effects on how I feel. Tranquility is a blend of English lavender, sweet basil & jasmine. This is a great one to use before bed as its so relaxing. I've often used lavender oil to unwind before bed, either in an oil burner or on my pulse points so its nice to fill the room with its scent in this convenient spray. If you spray some on your pillow, you'll soon find yourself in the land of nod. Refresh is a mix of Sicilian lemon & fresh basil. I adore citrus scents as they definitely do help me feel more awake. The basil is quite strong in this spray which can be a bit overwhelming. If you've ever been to Vapiano and sat near all their fresh basil plants you'll know what I mean. But it does help me feel more awake so its perfect for morning time or as a quick pick me up throughout the day. It also works as a good mask for strong kitchen smells.

Organic Bath & Shower Indulgence Set
NEOM sell big bottles of their luxury bath oils but if you don't know which scent to go for, this mini set is a nice introduction to the range. You get six little bottles: two Complete Bliss, two Real Luxury & two Tranquility. Each bottle is enough to fill one bath. You can also apply one bottle all over your body before showering but I think a long bath is more fitting for such an indulgent product. They don't foam up at all but they don't need to. These are filled with vitamin E & other special oils that leave your skin feeling & smelling amazing. Complete Bliss is really nice. Its rose scented but not as old fashioned as some rose products can be. It also contains black pepper & lime so its quite fresh. Again the Tranquility & Real Luxury scents are so relaxing. I love these for winding down after a long day.

I'd love to try one of their candles next. I like how theres three wicks in each candle so that they burn evenly. I have my eyes set on the Happiness one. I really enjoy white floral scents so it sounds like perfection. Have you tried any NEOM products before? Whats your favourite scent?

Wednesday 5 December 2012

Beauty Sleep

We all know that in order to look & feel our best we need on average 8 hours of sleep each night. But how many of us actually get that amount? Personally I tend to get about 6 hours because I often stay up past 1am reading my Kindle, browsing blogs or catching up on my favourite American TV shows. Its a bad habit I need to break because it leaves me feeling completely knackered the next day. Not only that but I look tired too & it takes an industrial amount of concealer to hide my dark circles. There are however several beauty products that work overnight to stop you from looking quite so awful. Heres a few of my favourite night time treats for teeth, skin & hair.

Pearl Drops Beauty Sleep
In the past I've used Crest White Strips to whiten my teeth with great success but I have heard some horror stories about the long term effects they've had on some people's gums. Beauty Sleep is a new serum for teeth that claims to gently whiten your teeth whilst also strengthening them & nourishing your gums. You just rub some onto your teeth using your finger after brushing. Its very very minty tasting & definitely leaves my smile looking brighter. I had a scale & polish the other day and my hygienist did comment on how healthy my teeth & gums were. This is something you'd have to use for a long time to see proper results but anything cheap that can whiten your teeth safely without the use of harsh chemicals is a must in my bathroom cabinet.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair
I've tried quite a few facial serums now but the one I've seen the best results by far from has to be the classic Advanced Night Repair by Estee Lauder. Just a few drops of this golden liquid turns any basic moisturiser into a luxurious night cream that instantly makes your skin feel beautifully soft. Over time it makes your skin look brighter and reduces the appearance of fine lines as well as blemishes. It may seem pricey but it does last a long time as you only need to use a little bit.

Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask
If my skin is in desperate need of a moisture hit I often reach for this super hydrating mask. Its so thick yet it sinks right into the skin and works overnight to plump up your face. It doesn't make a mess on your pillow even though it doesn't really set like you'd think a mask would. This is another product you need to use a few times before seeing great results but your skin will definitely thank you for it. A special trick is to layer this up with some Hydraluron, goodbye dry & dehydrated Winter skin!

Alpha-H Liquid Gold
If I'm having a bad skin day I know I can always rely on this little bottle of magic to sort me out. I've waxed lyrical about this product but nothing makes my skin look quite so amazing. Liquid Gold is a mixture of 5% glycolic acid, licorice extract & silk proteins which have the power to reduce fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, hyper-pigmentation, sun damage, acne, scarring and breakouts. Its worked wonders on the bumps under my skin and keeps my blemishes under control. Every time I use it (probably once a week now) I wake up with brighter, tighter, clearer looking skin. This is a chemical exfoliant which may sound scary but using chemicals is far less abrasive than traditional exfoliants, reducing the risk of broken capillaries on your face. If I'd discovered this sooner I probably wouldn't have purchased a Clarisonic.

Redken Real Control Overnight Treat
This thick white cream transforms your hair overnight so you wake up with gorgeous silky ends. It makes your hair feel so soft in the morning and stops it from looking frizzy & damaged. Other overnight hair products can feel too greasy or make a complete mess of your bed sheets. This stuff stays in your hair and just feels nice when you brush it out in the morning. You can even use it as a pre-shampoo treatment by using it at night then washing your hair in the morning.

What are your overnight essentials?

Sunday 2 December 2012

Hi There

Jumper - Topshop / Shirt - New Look / Shorts - Topshop / Collar Brooch - Pretty Little Things*
Hair Bow - H&M / Bracelet - Pretty Little Things* / Rings - Topshop

This is officially the coolest collar brooch in existence! I was sent this by Emma, the owner of Pretty Little Things and I am totally in love with it. Think it might have to become a permanent fixture on all my shirts. Its a great way of saying hello if you're feeling a bit shy haha. If you're looking for a quirky collar brooch then definitely check out the Pretty Little Things shop. They sell loads of amazing jewellery, like this cute gold bow bracelet, but the collar brooches are truly the star of the show. They're such a great finishing touch for any collared shirt. Check out their facebook page too for updates on new additions.

This is what I wore today to do some Christmas shopping. The shorts might've been an error as even my Primark Super Cosy tights, which I swear by, were no match for the cold. My lovely pink jumper from Topshop kept me fairly warm though. I know its not really a Wintery colour but I just can't resist a bit of pink all year round. I think I've bought pretty much all the Christmas presents now which is such a relief! Organisation FTW. Just need to sort out the decorations and buy a tree. Now its actually December I can't wait to start doing all the usual Christmasy stuff. I've already had a bit of Yule Log & mulled wine today!

Saturday 1 December 2012

November Favourites

Soap & Glory Whipped Clean
This stuff smells so so good! I adore the smell of pistachios & this product is packed with it. Its a shower butter that cleans & moisturises in one. It lathers up really well & feels rather indulgent to use. Whipped Clean leaves my skin feeling super soft. This is a nice alternative to traditional shower gels, especially now its turned a bit colder as it gives you a good hit of moisture. You can also use it as a shaving cream!

Truth Or Dare By Madonna
My mum bought me this perfume for my birthday a few months ago. I normally go for quite fruity, sweet scents but something draws me to this perfume & I've been using it a lot lately. I think this is a great Winter perfume. The fragrances I notice most in this perfume are gardenia, tuberose & jasmine with a nice bit of vanilla. If you're a fan of white floral scents you'll love this. Its quite a heavy scent so it might be better suited to older women but I still really like it. Its so long lasting for a mid-priced perfume so its well worth the money.

NUXE Reve De Miel Lip Balm
My lips have been ridiculously chapped lately. I guess its a combo of harsh Winter winds, central heating & being ill thats dried them out more than ever. In an act of total desperation I decided to order both the stick and pot version of this product after reading tons of rave reviews declaring it the best lip balm ever. After using these both for the past week my lips have improved so much. They've totally saved my lips from their cracked & bleeding state. I love the honey scent they both have. Personally I prefer the stick because its a lot more convenient than the pot but the formula of the stick is a bit thinner. It also smells a lot more of lemons than the pot does. They're both brilliant products though.

MAC Bare Study Paint Pot
I normally use the MAC Painterly Paint Pot as an eyeshadow base but I fancied something with a bit of shimmer instead to amp up the shine of my eyeshadows. Bare Study is the ideal product for that purpose. Its a very pretty champagne colour which really perks up the eyes. It also looks lovely used on its own!

Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette
I've had this palette for ages now but I've used it religiously for the past month. I never used to bother much with eyeshadows, preferring to just have a clean black flick of eyeliner instead. But recently I've felt a bit more experimental with my eye makeup. Both of the Naked palettes are amazing but this is definitely my favourite of the two. The cooler tones suit my skin better and I prefer the tin packaging. I was originally quite reluctant to buy it because I already had the first Naked palette but they really are very different. If you don't own this already you need to pop it on your Christmas list post haste. I'm pretty desperate to get my hands on the new Naked Basics palette now too!