Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Wakey wakey to some cakey cakey!

Hey Chums,

The title of this post is not suggesting you should have cake for breakfast but if that's how you roll...marry me?!

Today I am going to post a tried and tested coconut sponge cake recipe, it's not very fancy but every time I have made it, it has been a success (not to mention yummy!)

You will need:

175g softened butter
175g caster sugar
175g self raising flour
1.5 tsp of baking powder
3 beaten eggs
50g dessicated coconut
2 tbsp coconut milk or single cream

What to do:

*Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
*Butter two 20cm cake tins and line the bottoms with baking paper
*Mix together the butter, sugar, flour, baking powders and eggs until smooth
*Add the coconut and cream and fold gently into the mix
*Divide the mixture between the two tins and smooth down the tops
*Bake for approx. 25 mins until the cakes are golden ( a toothpick poked in the centre should come out with no cake mixture stuck to it, if there is, pop it back in the oven for a wee minute)
*Loosen the edges by taking a knife round the sides and leave in the tin for 5 minutes
*Turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely before icing

For the Icing:

280g icing Sugar
100g softened butter
3 tbsp cream

*Mix all three ingredients together until lovely and smooth! I usually halve the amount of this as it makes loads!

Once you have your cooled sponges, pick your bottom sponge and spread some jam across it (raspberry is best). I usually take the top sponge and put extra icing on the underside and then sandwich that with the jammy side.  Once happy, ice the cake until your heart is content.

Finish with dessicated coconut sprinkled over the top and a glace cherry!

Et voila!

A yummy, scrummy, crumbly cake!

I hope this inspires you, or makes you hungry?!



Monday, 27 May 2013

Me vs Technology! Grrr!!

Hey Chums,

So I feel I should point out that when it comes to technology and the likes - I am clueless!! Starting this blog is somewhat of an achievement for me and although it's not perfect by any means, it serves its purpose, it allows me to rant and rave about the things I love!

Working a 9-5 job pays the bills but my passion has always been beauty and I would sincerely love to chat to like-minded souls as not many of my friends share my obsession interest!

One day, hopefully, I will have a beautifully laid out blog but until then I hope that the words and content can suffice!



Sunday, 26 May 2013

Don't Fear The Glitter!

Hey Chums!

So, it's sunday night which means only one thing... I need to take off my nail polish for work tomorrow! Boooooo!

On my nails today is Nails Inc. Nottinghill Gate, which is a fab neon pink and I have OPI Servin' Up Sparkle as a reverse gradient on my thumbs - I really wanted something bright, fun and sparkly as it has been so wonderfully sunny!

My hands are a complete mess after moving furniture and tidying up for most of the weekend!

Now I face the dilemma of getting the polish off my nails with the least amount of hassle possible - enter the 'foil method'

The 'foil method' is the most foolproof method of removing stubborn glitter from your nails and I will show you how to do it! Hurrah!

Firstly, Get your tools - you will need nail polish remover, cotton wool, scissors and tin foil.  Sorted? Let's do this!

Next, Cut your cotton wool into nail size pieces - I usually get four out of one pad, and cut or tear your tin foil into strips (number of strips depends on how many glittery fingers you have!)
 After this, Apply a small amount of nail polish remover to each piece of cotton wool and place on the nail

Then, give it a space hat! By this, I mean wrap a strip of tin foil around the piece of cotton wool

Nearly there! Watch your cat try to play with the tin foil for a wee minute or five...
Binx loves tin foil! I roll it up into balls and he kicks them about like little footballs! 

And Voila! After five or so minutes, you should be able to remove your polish in one fell swoop.  

 The polish used in this picture heavy post is 'Dutch ya just love opi' by OPI and although it is not full on sparkle sparkle, it does have a gold shimmer running through it which can be a pest to remove!!

My favourite way of doing this is to get all my bits and bobs together, run a bath, get in said bath, slap on a face mask, apply the foils and relax in the bath! 

I hope you have had a lovely weekend!



Thursday, 23 May 2013

A helping hand...

Hey Chums!

I work in a hospital and to stop the spread of infection from patient to patient, we have to wash our hands a gazillion times a day.  Along with this we also have to use the alcohol gel and put on those disposable gloves  which is all pretty harsh on our poor hands!

I had heard about a hand cream which had been developed specifically for hardworking hands, by a nurse, called Yes! Nurse.  I very cheekily asked them for a trial size sample for one of my colleagues who had been really suffering with dermatitis and broken skin and the lovely people sent me a full size product.

It arrived super quick and in possibly the best ever packaging I have seen for a handcream! 

All the clinical staff who tried it in my department really, really liked it.  It had a lovely, subtle scent, It is quite a thick, luxurious feeling cream but dries in really quickly and leaves little to no residue behind which is absolutely great if you need to quickly get some gloves on! The cream is full of natural ingredients to help skin recover such as Manuka honey, almond seed oil and aloe vera.

All in all a lovely cream and I think I am going to be signing up to receive this as a subscription to keep in a drawer in my department.



P.s. if you decide you want to keep it all to yourself, the tube is quite pocket friendly! 

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Is it orange? Is it pink? Is it red?

Hey Chums,

We have started getting sunshine here in the North East! Yayayay! I hope you are too, wherever you may be!

I love that no matter how casual and comfy you dress, having your nails done can really lift your spirits.  It's during these summer months that I love wearing coral nail polish, it can look a variety of different colours in a day. It can look red but then the sun can hit it and the orange leaps through, it keeps your hands looking classy but with an edge AND I have yet to see a skintone that doesn't suit it!

I only have two coral nail polishes but I like them so much that I don't feel the need to go out hunting for more (although there are some gorgeous lighter coral ones on the go just now from Barry M and Maybelline and Rimmel, haha, maybe I will end up buying more!)

Essie's Peach Daiquiri in the shade (trying to be a bit artsy on instagram!)

Barry M Coral in sunlight at the beach! :-)

The two as neighbours

The Peach Daiquiri by Essie is leans more towards the pink end of the coral spectrum whereas the Coral Barry M is definitely more orange-y red.  Both are lovely and the formulas are great.  Although I'm a huge devotee to O.P.I, I have quite small nails and the Barry M and Essie brushes are easier to use for me.

I hope you enjoyed these comparisons and it has spurred you to go get some happy hands!!



Sunday, 19 May 2013

Food, Glorious Food!

Hey Chums!

Just a quickie today, oh er! I fell out of love with the beauty boxes that were doing the rounds, there were too many perfume samples which you could easily get at Debenhams and sachets that contained 1ml of product (how can you tell if something is effective from 1ml?!).  Instead, I got myself a foodie box which my partner and myself could both enjoy!

A girl on one of the facebook groups that I am a member of had a discount code for a flavourly box which meant I could get the box delivered for only £10 when usually, including delivery, it would be £20. So, I signed up and awaited my box with great anticipation!

And it arrived! It was well packaged and had the usual leaflets giving you information about each individual product.  The box contained a whole range of items and they actually seemed like a proper treat 'cause they were a bit posh!

In my box was:
The box was a lovely little 'gourmet' experience which both my partner and myself could enjoy...and my mum and my step-dad and my work chums! My favourites were the oat fingers, lovely and smooth and perfect for dipping in my houmous! The coffee was a hit with the coffee drinkers, I really don't like coffee, won't even go into coffee shops because of the smell but I LOVE the smell of this one and even tried a sip (turns out I still don't like coffee!!).  The Chutneys went down a storm with the girls at work although some said the ginger one was a touch too gingery. The brownie was nice and moist and settled my sweet tooth with the hit of cocoa. The fudge was really different and you could really taste the ginger but the consistency and texture were lovely. The tea was infused with lime and chilli and a whole host of other exotic ingredients and was really refreshing, a really nice palette cleanser. The only thing I haven't tried yet is the granola, I like granola but I don't like the stuff you have with it so that it's not dry as a bone such as yogurt (does milk even 'go' with granola?! 

One thing I will say, is that I have seen a few comments about Flavourly.com's customer service letting them down, so if you do decide you would like to try it, I would perhaps only take out a rolling month-by-month subscription so that you can cancel straightaway if there are any problems.  

If you do decide to subscribe, there are often codes for first time customers - try GIFT10 for £10 off.



Saturday, 18 May 2013

You gotta bat your eyes, like this...

Hey chums!

Now, if any of you know Disney, you will have noticed that the title of this is actually a Sebastian the crab quote from 'The Little Mermaid' - I love that movie!

Recently, a local salon was doing an offer on their LVL lashes procedure, as I have always wanted to try getting my lashes permed, I figured I would give this a go!

LVL Lashes work by the specially trained therapist using a silicone shield on your upper eyelid and essentially sticking your eyelashes to the shield so that they are pretty much lying flat up against your eyelid.  A setting lotion is then used to set the lashes in place and then a tint is applied to emphasise the lashes even more.  I'm sure there is more to the process but as the specially trained therapist didn't tell me what she was doing, I couldn't tell you what the other steps are!

The process took an hour and I was really surprised and pleased with the results!


Straight after      

Mascara on right

Mascara on right

My eyelashes are quite long usually but they point downwards which just makes them look a bit lifeless! A week in and I'm still looking at my lashes everytime I pass a mirror! The effects are supposed to last for upto six weeks and the website claims can be longer if the aftercare serum is used however, I was given no aftercare info and no serum! 

There are a few cons to this procedure though, the first one being that it is pretty pricey! I got this for £35 but in this particular salon it is usually £65 and the salon where I go to get my HD brows done, can charge upto £100 if you want the tint! Totes Cray Cray! Secondly, it feels weird, your eyelashes are essentially at a right angle compared to their usual and so it feels a bit like you are wearing false lashes.  Thirdly, putting on mascara proved to be slightly tricky, I tried a few and couldn't get it on my lashes without also getting it on my eyelid as the lashes were so close to the lid once the mascara was on, it came off again onto my upper eyelid where the ends of the lashes were touching! Lastly, you cannot wear mascara or get them wet for 24 hours after you get them done, so don't do it the day of your big night out! 

I would certainly recommend these if you can find a special offer and they do brighten up the whole face (great for distracting from a spotty chin too!)

Oh, and don't forget to get a patch test done at least 48 hours before!



I made an Owl! :-)

Hello Interwebbers!

So last weekend, we didn't do very much - similar to this weekend- due to the fact that my partner has  busted his knee and can't leave our second floor flat very easily! I have been getting back into my reading and decided I was going to do some crafting!

 Ages and forever ago, I read on the wonderful Sprinkle of Glitter blog, which is a lovely blog by a girl called Louise who seems super nice, about a craft kit on the ol' bay of E.  The kit was to make a shabby chic style owl cushion and I thought it looked so so cute that I had to snap one up! I got one from this Seller, although I'm sure there are others similar.

The kit arrived and in it were some offcuts of material and a thick paper 'cut out and keep' template.  The good thing about this is that once you have this, you can make as many owls as your heart desires! Sweet!

So, in the picture above, is the cut out bits of the template (there is an extra one for the eye as I didn't have any buttons suitable), the instruction sheet and what is left of the material.  the material was measured pretty precisely so there wasn't much room for error!  The instructions to start with weren't as easy to understand as I had hoped but I think that was more to do with the way they were worded as opposed to the technique required! I would highly recommend a sewing machine for this as there is a lot of stitching, that said it only took me a few hours to do the whole thing and I haven't sewn in yonks, certainly if you are going for neatness a sewing machine is the way forward (try Gumtree for a cheap one)!

I did a basic running stitch but in retrospect, I would have been better off with a back stitch, details of both can be found here and I am sure there are a gazillion youtube videos about sewing too! To stuff it, I just used the inside of an old cushion that I had saved when my grandma moved house, I wish now I had saved her flowery curtains that no-one could think of a use for! D'oh!

And here he is, I haven't thought of a name for him yet but I am rather proud of this cute little chap and I am super keen to make more and give them away as pressies! I know a few people who are just moving home etc so I may do some investigating as to what their decor is like and see if they have room for a brother or sister of Owlie!



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Monday, 13 May 2013

E45 Bzz Review

Hello, Hi and Happy Monday!

Recently I discovered BzzAgent, which is a social marketing company.  They send their members products based on the answers that they give to certain surveys.  There is no money involved, they send you items in return for your honest reviews.  For each review that you do, it helps build up your Bzzscore which in turn, makes you more desirable for testing up and coming products.

One such campaign that I was lucky enough to be selected for was the E45 body lotion campaign.  I was sent loads of sample packs of E45 sachets for me to give out and spread the Bzz, which also had 50p off coupons inside! I was also sent two bottles of E45 body lotion - full size bottles!!

The bottle on the left is a 200ml E45 Moisturising Lotion, this will probably be the most familiar packaging to shoppers.  This is the unperfumed, hypoallergenic formula which E45 claim can be used on face and body.  On the right is the 250ml Nourish & Restore Body Lotion, it is lightly fragranced however it is still sutiable for sensitive skin.

Myself and my partner have both been using these and testing them out and can happily say that they do exactly what we need them to do. We are now both rehydrated after the long Scottish winter! Seriously though, although I was a tad perplexed why I, at the ripe old age of 28 was sent the Nourish & Restore Lotion enriched for Mature Skin, I have still enjoyed using it.

The lotions both absorb in really quickly and easily and I like the light, slightly floral fragrance of the Nourish & Restore.  They are both great for slapping on in a rush and are super as a daily fix of moisture and I have used it on my face with no adverse effects - Woop! 

The top one is the unfragranced E45 moisturing lotion
The bottom on is the Nourish & Restore.  The Nourish & Restore is creamier than the lotion

These lotions are also pretty inexpensive and a little can go a long way and so should last you quite some time.

There are several different varieties, next on my list to try is 'Silky Radiance' as it has a subtle shimmer added, perfect for the summer! 

The one thing I would say is that, if you have had a bath and put a face mask on and generally had a bit of pamper, you may want to try a body butter which is a bit more luxurious than a lotion.