Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Cookies for Santa

Cookies are one of the easiest things to bake, and there are so many recipes readily available. If you are looking for something to make with children/family at Christmas time cookies are a great way to go. You could even leave them out for Santa, I’m sure he will be very appreciative! In this post I wanted to share my own cookies with banana and chocolate chips as I was happy with how they turned out. I used a recipe from The Hungry Student Easy Baking book by Charlotte Pike. It’s actually my Mums book, she bought it with the idea of making bakes with affordable ingredients and I love it too! A link to the book here.

Baking is one of my favourite past-times and these biscuits seemed to go down a treat with friends and family. If you have been a blog visitor for a while you know I love to make my baking into a photo project. On this occasion I dug out some Christmas bits such as mini tinsel and pom-poms. I hope that little something extra adds to the photos. Let me know in the comments if I have encouraged you to get baking and what your favourite Christmas treat is. Hope you are having a nice day so far and speak soon! :-) Xx

Monday, 5 December 2016

Fruity Shower Gel Collection Gift Set

Hope you are all having a wonderful December so far – todays post is a review of a shower gel gift set by the Superdrug brand Fruity. It’s currently been reduced from £6 to £4 online and if you have a Superdrug points card postage is free. I’ve been enjoying sampling the different scents included, my favourite being cherry and almond but they are all lovely. Others include orange and satsuma, lemon and tea tree, strawberry and raspberry, lime and ginger and last but not least coconut. I was expecting the bottles to be a little bit smaller so was happy to find the portions are a generous size but still good to fit in a travel bag. Each bottle is 100ml and includes the cruelty-free bunny logo which is a big plus.

I gifted this gorgeous set for myself after running low on shower gel, it’s a good way to stock up and have been loving it ever since. I like that they have included lots of different fragrances so there is something for everyone. This would make a great secret Santa gift or a stocking filler for a friend or family member. You could also spilt the gift into six mini treats too. The packaging is really colourful and would brighten up a bathroom shelf. I think the brand is really underrated especially as they offer a cruelty-free option. I have some shampoo and conditioner from them too which I can’t wait to try. Click here to buy the featured gift set.

Have you tried anything by Superdrug’s Fruity brand? 
What scents do you favour in shower gels? :-) Xx

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Sanctuary Christmas Advent Calendar

So it’s that time of year again when as bloggers or the beauty obsessed we are thinking about beauty advent calendars. I’ve been enjoying other people’s related content such a Fleur De Forces top ten beauty advent calendars video (link here) which actually included this Sanctuary one I bought for myself. It retails for £25.00 on Boots, (link here) if you are interested. It includes 24 windows waiting to be opened with all sorts of beauty treats. I’m looking forward to experimenting with the brand, I’ve tried some of their products before and had been really impressed.

I’m not going to go into detail about the individual items inside as I want it to be a surprise for me and you. If you do want to know I recommend looking either on Boots or another related blog post. I did have a fair idea before I bought it though and I got the impression this calendar was good value for what you get, and from looking at the packaging it seems excellent quality. The items are along the lines of bath, shower and pampering products. Also my brother very kindly bought me a chocolate calendar from Heron Foods, they are going two for £1 at the moment. I will show that one very soon!

I’m looking forward to December the 1st now! 
Have you got an advent calendar this year? Which ones have caught your eye? :-) X

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Books to Read In Autumn/Winter

An Autumn Crush by Milly Johnson

I read this in the beginning of autumn, it is a lovely light and humorous read with lots of romance. It’s about four friends who are about to get swept off their feet. There’s a great dynamic between the main character Juliet and her new flatmate Floz, they hit it off as friends and are the heart of the story. Guy, Juliet’s brother develops a thing for Floz but he keeps going about it in the wrong way. Meanwhile Steve, Guys best friend is pining for Ju. There are some interesting twists and turns throughout but out of the books I’ve read this year, it sits at about average, 3/5 stars. Milly Johnson the author also wrote Winter Flame which is a great one for this time of year too.

November Nine by Colleen Hoover

This was seriously one of the best books I’ve read this year and my first from author Colleen Hoover. It’s a young adult contemporary novel about Fallon and Ben who first meet on Fallon’s last day in LA before she moves to New York to pursue an acting career. They have an instant spark and decide to meet the same day they met, November ninth each year. It’s mainly focused around romance, and together they make a perfect couple but there are a lot of plot twists and intense moments which also made the book something special. The genre is maybe slightly too young for me, but I still fully enjoyed it. From first impressions Colleen Hoover seems like a remarkable author and I rate November Nine 5/5 stars.

The Selection (The Selection #1) by Kiera Cass

I haven’t actually started reading this one but it’s on my to be read pile, I’m super excited to begin and I’ve heard good things on Goodreads and YouTube about this series. The Selection is the first novel in The Selection series by Kiera Cass. It’s a dystopian novel, which will be my first to try and has a fairytale inspired twist with a reality TV feel about it. It’s also a fairly small book, something that I could imagine finishing quite quickly. I’m hoping to get stuck in before the New Year if possible. I’m currently reading a Christmas novel.

What books have you been reading lately? Are you a book worm in A/W? :-) Xx

Friday, 18 November 2016

Borlind Natural Lipstick In Celebrity Red

I’m so excited to be sharing this product with you, it’s probably my favourite product I discovered in 2016 and that is the Anne Marie Borlind lipstick in celebrity red. I actually received it for my birthday back in July, but because of the autumnal colour, I’ve only just started using it. When selecting this product, I wanted the perfect matte red lipstick. In the swatch photo it comes across more pink toned but like the name suggests it’s a classic red. It says it’s a matte formula which it is, but it’s much more moisturising and wearable than others I’ve tried. I actually prefer it to some of my Mac lipsticks which feel more apparent on the lips.

I love the name celebrity red, and it’s the kind of colour you could see celebrities wearing on the red carpet. When I apply it to my lips its feels like a very special product, I think the colour would suit a variety of skin tones, even paler skin such as mine. Originally I was going to get the iconic Mac Ruby Woo lipstick instead but this wasn’t natural. I’m so glad I choose a Borlind product instead as its natural, carmine, paraben, and sulphate free, not tested on animals and cruelty free. At £13.95 it’s around the same price point as a Mac lipstick, but if you want to treat yourself, I highly recommend it! This would make an awesome Christmas gift for a special female in your life too. You can buy it on where there are a lot of positive reviews of it which may be worth a read too. They also offer free delivery, check out the product here.

Do you like red lipsticks too? What lipstick brands do you favour? :-) Xxx

Friday, 11 November 2016

My Thoughts on Two Chocolate Tea Brands

Yogi Tea Organic Choco

This was my favourite variety of the two I tried and very appropriate for this time of year because of the spices blended into the flavour. It’s lovely with a splash of milk, and the cinnamon is very prominent. The only thing I would say was that it took a while to brew, only a small amount of milk is appropriate otherwise it’s not very appetising. It’s rather a strange concept to have cocoa in tea and I found it hard to get my head around at first but it’s a healthier alternative to hot chocolate. If you are after experimenting with chocolate tea, this one would be good to start with. I was recommended the mint choco one, which sounds tempting too! Priced at £2.35 on Holland & Barrett, buy here.

Charbrew Tea Chocolate Orange

I love Charbrew as a brand and over the summer I enjoyed their pineapple and vanilla tea which was gorgeous. This chocolate orange flavour was rather odd unfortunately. The taste was too unusual and like nothing I have ever tried. It says on the box it is meant to be paired with hot water not milk so this made it more of a herbal/fruit type tea. It’s possible it would taste better with milk, but there was no mention of this. There weren’t as many spices as the Yogi tea and although the orange came through, it wasn’t great. Priced £3.49 on Holland & Barrett, buy here.

Are you a chocoholic? Have you ever tried chocolate tea and what did you think? 
Are there any other chocolate brands I haven’t tried? :-) Xx

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

October Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle Favourites

Hey all and welcome to my October favourites. October for me has been a very busy month, I went away with my parents on a campervan holiday mid Oct for four nights, visiting family for one of those days. I have loads of things I’ve been loving and want to include in this post. While away in the campervan, the leaves were falling and turning brown and the temperature became a little chillier. Luckily I packed this rainbow hat and pink checked scarf, these were my fashion staples and kept me that little bit warmer. The colours are really fun, and I enjoyed wearing them. As it was the month of Halloween, I did some themed baking, I also wore this green and black print dress from TKMaxx I’ve had a while now, I feel it has a Halloween vibe about it and nips me in at the waist.

I also got out some darker toned lipsticks, as I have been trying to be more brave with which colours I choose, two of these include Mac ‘Plumful’, a gorgeous wearable purple colour in a lustre finish and my favourite out of the two ‘Celebrity Red’ by Anne Marie Borlind, a natural beauty brand and one of the best lipsticks I’ve ever owned, review coming soon! A little while ago I had been introduced to a very luxurious tea brand called Higher Living, I’ve been slowly trialling different flavours and this English earl grey has really grown on me, another review post overdue! The floral quality is unusual but addictive. In terms of books, I’ve been into reading ones by author Susan Lewis, and over this month I finished ‘Behind Closed Doors’, a thrilling and captivating detective/mystery which I have spoken about before here on my blog and rated it 4/5 stars.

And following on with Halloween themes, I thought Charlie and The Chocolate Factory starring actor Johnny Depp was a great watch, a very well done film, great for chocolate lovers and Roald Dahl Fans. Last but not least I finally finished this one thousand piece Tatty Teddy baking jigsaw, I’ve been going back to it a bit at time since Easter, but it was very satisfying to fit in the last puzzle piece. 

Do you like jigsaws too? 
Which thing from my favourites did you like the most 
and how was your October? :-) Xxx

Monday, 31 October 2016

Faith In Nature Chocolate Shower Gel & Foam Bath

Wishing you all a happy Halloween and hope your day so far is a good one. Today I’m back with a product from Faith In Nature, their chocolate shower gel and foam bath. If you are after satisfying a chocolate craving this is a great alternative, the scent is gorgeous and very authentic. I don’t use it as a foam bath so much, but in the past it has created lots of bubbles. I’ve been using this in the shower over the last month, and have been enjoying it. It has a great lather and the 400ml bottle is long lasting. I just keep coming back to this brand, they are cruelty-free, organic and include all natural ingredients. I don’t think I’ve bought one product by them that I don’t like, I know the shampoos are lovely too! They have other note-worthy scents, the pineapple and lime or grapefruit and orange is nice for summer time. If you want to buy FIN products I recommend Amazon, Holland&Barrett, Superdrug or their official website. The pricing varies with where you buy it and if postage is free, I paid £5.75 (free P&P) on Amazon, link here.

Would you like to try this? 
Do you like a chocolate fragrance in beauty/bath products too? :-) Xx

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Haunted House Halloween Cupcakes

An early happy Halloween! In the lead up to the day I’ve been doing some themed baking along the lines of chocolate cupcakes decorated with white chocolate cobwebs. For the actual cake bit, I got a readymade chocolate cake mix, adding eggs and water and then dividing into cupcake cases. This made things a little easier and great if you want to bake something last minute. When they came out of the oven, I left them to cool and later I heated up 100g of white chocolate and piped messy cobwebs onto the top. I tried to incorporate a classic spider web by drawing two or three circles onto the top of each and then drawing a few lines from the centre outwards. Some came out better than others, but it was a fun process and the messy designs worked well for the Halloween theme. The cake was very rich and chocolatey, quite firm, not crumbly and the white chocolate was a delicious alternative to regular icing. Any chocolate cake mix will be fine, I used one from Asda. If you are baking this time of year too, I recommend making these or anything really that fits the theme.

Do you like baking too? What are your plans for Halloween? :-) Xx