Monday, 12 March 2018

Review and Tour of Middlesbrough Mima Art Gallery

The Mima, short for Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art is a large art gallery in Middlesbrough centre square. I went with my friend before Christmas, to view the latest exhibitions and have lunch in their restaurant. I enjoy visiting it when I can, and I had a lovely afternoon with my friend. I’ve been a visitor to the Mima for a while now, I used to pop-in more regularly when I was at the local University. It’s probably one of my favourite galleries in the area, the exhibitions are always changing, so you can expect to see new things quite frequently.

The one we saw was full of colour, striking imagery and cheerful pottery. The exhibition spaces are very spacious, and there are many floors with different things being shown. They often have classes, workshops and the occasional craft fair too. I would recommend you visit if you are in the area, it is free entry throughout and there is a restaurant called The Smeltery as you walk in. I will be doing a review of that soon. More info on Mima here.

Do you like to visit art galleries? 
Have you heard of the Mima before? :-) Xx

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Daily Routine Beauty Products Haul

Hello! I hope my lovely readers are well, today I’m back with a beauty/toiletries haul. I did some shopping on the Superdrug website as well as popping into my local Co-op. I don’t normally visit the Co-op in our next village but I was after some foodie bits for my Brother’s birthday, and decided to browse the toiletries section while I was there. Through word of mouth, I knew that their own brand was cruelty-free so I was curious to see how they compared to places like Superdrug. Sadly with Superdrug online, they have changed their postage policy, and you now have to spend £10 or more as a beauty card holder to get free delivery which disappointed me.

I was in need of a new shampoo and conditioner, the Co-op’s own brand has some great options at reasonable prices. They had a few other bits like face wipes, shower gels, etc. which I might have another look at next time I pop in. Original Source is one of my favourite shower gel brands but I had never previously tried the coconut one, so we will see how I find this. My online order with Superdrug was mainly Mother’s Day gifts but with a few bits for myself. I repurchased my favourite E.l.f concealer and treated myself to a day cream by Superdrug Vitamin E. A few reviews will be coming up shortly.

Co-op Purchases
Co-op Coconut and Honey Shampoo £1.09
Co-op Coconut and Honey Conditioner £1.09
Original Source Coconut and Shea Butter Shower Gel £1.00

Superdrug Purchases
Superdrug Vitamin E Moisturising Day Cream with SPF 15 £2.99
E.l.f Beautifully Bare Lightweight Concealer Stick (Fair/Light) £5.00

What beauty/toiletry brands are your favourite for everyday?
Which shops do you gravitate towards for these? :-) Xx

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Winter Clothing Haul

So I’m a little late with this haul, as I picked up these bits in the January sales, although I only got around to photographing the items last week. Originally I thought I would miss the sales, but a couple weeks into January, Peacocks had been doing some tempting further reductions. I popped in one Sunday morning, this seems like a good day for me to go because it’s so quiet, and luckily they had a good selection out on the rails. I don’t do as much clothing shopping now but my top tip would be to buy things when you see them as much as possible because often they go out of stock and then you’ve missed your chance. I think winter is one of my favourite seasons to shop for as I love layering and woolly accessories.

I picked up four items, each in Peacocks on sale which came to £21.50 which isn’t too bad. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to wear many of these items because spring was on its way but with the torrential snow we’ve been having I’ve just been wearing these pieces up. I think the beige bell sleeve jumper is my favourite item, I love the fit, and bows on the sleeves. The t-shirt was more of a basic item, and with it being from the men’s section it’s fairly long with a relaxed fit. The burgundy jumper is so slouchy, I can see myself wearing this item a lot. Lastly I couldn’t resist this black and metallic pop pom beanie hat, and I love it!

What I Bought from Peacocks
Burgundy slouchy oversized jumper SALE £16 £8
Cream t-shirt from the men’s section SALE £7 £3.50
Beige bell sleeve jumper SALE £20 £6
Metallic bobble beanie SALE £8 £4

What’s your preferred season to shop for clothes? 
Which item is your favourite from this haul? :-) Xx

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

The Snack Diaries | Part Seven

Cadbury Milk Tray
(From unknown, price unknown as gift.)
This is a classic that I would think most people would recognise, in our family we gift each other this thing quite a bit. My brother got me this one on my birthday. Of course I’ve had it before, but haven’t reviewed it on my blog. I mostly tend to go for Galaxy over Cadburys for buying chocolate in a block but the milk tray is lovely, and nice for sharing.

Victoria Bakery Victoria Sponge Cake Mix
(From Heron Foods, price unknown as gift.)
My brother kindly gifted me this for my birthday, as he knows I love to bake. My expectations weren’t that high, but I was pleasantly surprised to find this brand of cake mix to be excellent. I have inserted a few photos of my Victoria sponge, I put jam in the middle and dusted icing sugar over the top. I’d be happy to have this again.

Tick Tock Rooibos Organic Tea
(From Too Good Farm Shop, price unknown.)
My parents bought this particular tea at the Too Good Farm Shop, at the time we were trialling out caffeine free tea, and I really enjoyed the taste of the Tick Tock brand. It does have a little bit of a herbal taste to it, which I don’t mind. I could see myself repurchasing, or trying something slightly different from the brand.

Whitworths Yogurt Coated Peanuts
(From Poundland, £1.00)
I got a few of these little Whitworth treat bags for my birthday, with a range of things inside. This particular one was okay, and I could snack on it quite happily but it didn’t blow me away.

What have you been snacking on lately? 
Are you a Cadbury or Galaxy girl? :-) Xx

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Blind Date with a Book for Valentine’s Day

So yesterday while I was in town, I popped into my local community book shop. I had a browse of the shelves but nothing was really catching my eye. Luckily I was directed to their mystery books, packaged in brown paper with little clues to what kind of book may be enclosed. I thought this idea was such a good one, and also went well with the Valentine’s theme. Of course I didn’t know what book I chose to begin with, but after reading a few of the clues in the book selection, this one seemed most fitting to my taste.

As you can see it’s described as a chick lit with romantic plot twists and a countryside relocation. It also didn’t sound like I had read it before, but it grabbed my attention. Today I decided to unwrap the book package (after photographing it of course!) and I was thrilled to see a Jill Mansell novel, I’m aware of this author but I’m yet to read any of her work. The girly pink cover is so pretty, and I can see that it fits the Valentine’s theme perfectly.

I will include this book in one of my recent reads post, once I’ve finished and reviewed it. On the day I picked up a few other books from different charity shops. Let me know if you enjoyed this twist on a regular book haul post. I thought the community book shop did well with this idea!

Have you heard of blind date with a book? 
Would you like to try it too? :-) Xx

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Valentine’s Heart Design Iced Sponge Cake

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! So following my last themed baking post, here’s one more for you all. I had some cherries to use up from making scones, and after having a little think, I decided to decorate a cake with a heart shape. To make the sponge cake, I used a recipe from the Easy Peasy Sweetie Pie recipe book by Mary Contini. The recipe is called can’t go wrong cake where you weigh three large eggs and then have the same weight in butter, sugar and also flour.

For the icing I used the vanilla buttercream recipe from The Hungry Student Easy Baking book. I halved the measurements for a smaller cake and the icing seemed too runny really, but when it set, it was a delicious extra element to a good sponge cake. As you can see I decorated with cherries too!

Have you done any valentine’s blog posts? 
If you have let me know in the comments! :-) Xx

Friday, 9 February 2018

Valentine’s Heart Shaped Scones

So Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and I wanted to share one of my recent bakes perfect for this holiday. In January I had a good brainstorm for baking projects leading up into spring, for the past couple of years for Valentine’s I’ve done something themed, and last year I did mini heart shaped shortbread. So sticking with the heart shaped theme, I went down the scone route. I was familiar with the basic scone recipe and therefore able to spend time making them into a neat hearts with a cookie cutter.

I did consider dusting them with icing sugar, as I’ve seen that looks quite effective but instead I brushed a little bit of milk onto the hearts, so they turned the tops golden brown in the oven, which I think was enough. I used a recipe from Cakes & Cookies for Beginners by Usborne Cookery School recipe book, and it’s a very reliable resource. The recipe produced six scones, perfect for a mini tea party, or smaller gathering. I’ve actually got a few more themed blog posts coming up for Valentine’s, hopefully I’ll get them up in time. 

Let me know how you are celebrating! 
Have a great weekend! :-) Xx

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Recent Reads Reviewed #5

The Lauras by Sara Taylor - 5/5

I won this book on a Goodreads giveaway last year, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It wasn’t like anything I had previously read which was exciting, and the atmosphere of the book was done nicely. The book is based on a mother and teen road trip. It was a little dark in places, and outside my comfort zone, but I felt truly captivated throughout.

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur – 3/5

This book first came into my radar through the blogging community, it’s a very highly spoke about poetry collection, talking about love, loss, femininity and more. It’s broken into four chapters, the hurting, the loving and so on. My opinion might be a bit unusual, as so many people loved this book, I couldn’t seem to connect to it. The poems were quite personal to the author, which I liked, and I flew through the book in about two to three hours. It was good but didn’t blow me away.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo - 5/5

This was my second time reading this book, as I love it so much. I go back to it every time I want to get new ideas relating to the topic of tidying and being more minimal. There are so many insightful tips, and an understanding into how we accumulate clutter. I think I will have a copy of this for always!

Makeup: The Ultimate Guide by Rae Morris - 4/5

I was gifted this book a while back, and last year I finally finished it cover to cover. I thought the make-up tips were pretty good, and each tutorial had a step by step guide with photos. What made this book for me was the outstanding photography. It did lose one point down to some of the looks seemed a bit unattainable. Nevertheless, I enjoyed reading through it.

The Invitation by Lucy Foley - 5/5

Another lucky Goodreads win, I thoroughly enjoyed this seductive and cryptic love tale. Set in Italy, and a yacht headed for the Cannes, the surroundings were described very well, and made the story for me. The element of mystery and overall writing style was amazing. I’d never read anything quite like it!

Do any of these books interest you?
What have you been reading lately? :-) Xx