Wednesday, 30 November 2016

November Favourites





As November has come to an end, there's only one thing to do - November Favourites! I've gathered up a few things I've been loving this month that I wanted to share with you...

First things first, beauty products! I've been using the rose gold Zoeva eye brush set and I haven't looked back. For a start they're the most beautiful looking brushes I have seen and they are so so good! Obviously, you don't necessarily need the whole set but it has every eye brush you could possibly want so I would highly recommend it. Good quality brushes are key if you want flawless makeup! Sticking with the eye makeup theme, I've been loving the Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme mascara. Curl your eye lashes then apply this...you'll thank me later! 

My favourite nail polish is Nails Inc and there was two colours that were perfect for November. A stunning khaki shade (Battersea Park) and a rich, dark purple (Grosvenor Crescent) that almost looks black from a distance. These nail polishes apply so nicely and the results are shiny and smooth! When the Rosie for Autograph collection came out, I was really curious to try it out. The rose gold packaging of the collection is so pretty! I got the Starstruck Highlighter and I've really been enjoying it. The product is really buildable so whether you want an everyday glow or a more dramatic shimmer this is perfect!

I've been using Ghost Eclipse perfume for quite a while but I particularly love it in the Autumn season. The scent is beautiful, however, I'm not going to pretend that I can describe it...so, you can check it out here. Finally, my last beauty product for this post! We all know how amazing Lush is and one of the products I've been obsessed with is The Comforter shower gel. It smells incredible with it's sweet berry scent. The name of the shower gel is perfect, it's so comforting and feels like a hug in a bottle!

Moving on from beauty, I to want share my favourite books from November. One of these books has been all over the bookshelves and Instagram which came as no surprise once I started reading it as it is truly inspiring! The book is Bloom by Estee Lalonde who is a blogger and vlogger. She shares her story and her wise insights on style, beauty and everything in between to create a beautiful book. Another book, which I got as a present from my best friend, that I've been completely obsessed with is Love Style Life by Garance Dore. This book is essentially what it says on the cover, the famous fashion blogger gives us her tips and advice on love, style and love in a humorous and elegant way.

Now for the last category in my November favourites, TV! The new series of Planet Earth has taken the nation by storm and I'm obsessed with it. My jaw can't help but drop when I see the insane photography and the moments they capture are truly incredible! Last on my list is my favourite of them all...Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. If you haven't watched it yet, firstly, why??? And secondly make sure you have your Kleenex at the ready! I don't think I've ever felt so emotional when watching something - the full cast was back and it was amazing! I felt like I had been reunited with my family...and the pop culture references were so great. 

Hats off to you if you made it to the end of that huge list of favourites! What can I say? Some things are just too good not to share!
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Monday, 28 November 2016

Favourite Baking Books






Sometimes I just love flicking through baking recipe books without actually making anything because everything just looks so good! So I'm going to share with you my favourite baking books whether you want to look at all the pretty pictures like me or you want to bake the amazing recipes, I've covered all the bases.

The Hummingbird Bakery, Life is Sweet - The Hummingbird Bakery always get it right with their books, from beautiful recipes to stunning pictures. This book has something for every occasion including some really unique recipes. I particularly want to try the Toasted Marshmallow Cupcakes, Peanut Butter and Marshmallow Cookies (I'm sensing a marshmallow theme here...) and Red Velvet Brownies.

The Hummingbird Bakery, Cake Days - Yes, this is the second Hummingbird Bakery book in this post and I don't care because I love them. This was the first book I got out of all the books in this post and it's definitely one of the best. This book is split into special holidays and occasion so whether you want to bake for Valentine's Day or Halloween, there'll be something in this. At the back of the book there are tips and techniques to help you perfect your baking. I would highly recommend the Snickerdoodle Cookies which are ideal for Christmas and easy to make!

Primrose Bakery, Everyday - I would definitely say this would be my top pick for a visually pleasing baking book. The Primrose Bakery book is split into seasons which is one of my favourite aspects of it and mine came with a 2016 wall planner which was pretty cool! When I stop looking at all the pictures I want to attempt the Maple Banana Loaf with Butterscotch Glaze, Peach Brown Sugar Slice and Pecan Slice. 

Bake Like The Best - This is the book that I use the most because the recipes are so easy and so good! The book has a recipe for Victoria Sponge and Vanilla Frosted Cupcakes which are two staples and I've never used another recipe for them because the results are amazing! I'll admit that this book is not as visually pleasing as the other three but the recipes are by far my favourite. 
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Thursday, 24 November 2016

Lily Lolo Makeup



I've been testing out Lily Lolo makeup over the past few days so I'm going to do a little review of some of the products I've been using. I mentioned the makeup briefly in my last post - it's a vegan friendly makeup brand including mineral makeup, brushes and lip products. 


I started by applying the BB cream with my fingers then smoothed it over with my Real Techniques sponge and it resulted in a completely natural look - almost as if I didn't have anything on my face. I personally didn't like the smell of the cream but if you like the product then it's something you can overlook! Personally, this would have been too light for me so I then applied my concealer followed by the Lily Lolo mineral foundation. I used the Lily Lolo bronzer brush to apply the mineral foundation which I loved! It's the softest thing I've felt. I really liked the result, it felt weightless and evened out my skin tone creating a 'no makeup makeup' look. 



I think my favourite Lily Lolo product that I tried was the mineral blush in the shade 'Juicy Peach'. This is such a pretty peachy/coral colour that I think is going to be my new favourite Autumnal blusher. Be sure to tap off the excess powder otherwise you'll end up with very orange cheeks! I also loved, the Lily Lolo lipgloss which I got in the shade 'Peachy Keen'. This a very neutral lip colour that just gives your lips a lovely shine. It feels very moisturising on the lips which is always good!



All of the Lily Lolo makeup is really affordable and feels beautiful on your skin. Huge thanks to The Pretty Peg for giving me these products to test out!


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Monday, 21 November 2016

The Pretty Peg





I love small, independent stores because often you can find gems that hardly anyone else will have or simply they're just lovely little shops. I think it's nice to support independent shops as we're constantly shopping online or shopping in the mainstream high street stores. On the Lisburn Road in Belfast, there are lots of these kinds of shops and my favourite is 'The Pretty Peg'. The Pretty Peg is a small clothes and accessories shop with a brow and nail bar in a cute room at the back. 



Ranging from woolly hats to sparkly dresses, cosy jumpers to blanket scarves, they have everything you need. When I was in the shop the other day I got a woolly hat and it's the best thing ever with fleecy lining and an amazing pom-pom.The Pretty Peg currently have a beautiful range of Christmas dresses, they are stunning! There was one that I especially liked which was a red/maroon velvet, floaty dress and it would be the perfect dress for the Christmas season. 





What I particularly like about The Pretty Peg is that they regularly update their stock, every time I go in there's something new to look at...or buy! The shop also stock a makeup brand called 'Lily Lolo' which is all vegan - I'll be doing a blog post on the makeup to follow this one! The owner of the shop, Lorna is so lovely and she'll be happy to help with anything. One of my favourite aspects of the shop is the interiors - there's a brick wall, wooden floors and class industrial lighting. 

A while back, The Pretty Peg was updated and a brow and nail bar was put in a lovely, little room at the back of the shop. After getting my brows done there in the past, I can say that they do a great job. If you're in need of a brow wax or tint or want a fresh manicure, be sure to book an appointment! 

So if you're visiting Belfast or already live here, pop in to The Pretty Peg and have a look...oh and bring your credit card! 

You can find The Pretty Peg on Facebook 





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Saturday, 19 November 2016

Mars Bar Cornflake Buns

Mars Bar, Cornflakes, Chocolate

Mars Bar, Cornflakes, Chocolate
I was in the mood to do a baking post and these are so easy to make! I got this recipe from Sweet Monday blog and the end result tasted so good! These are mars bar cornflake buns which I altered slightly by covering them in chocolate...obviously!


Ingredients


  • 70g butter
  • 3tbsp golden syrup
  • 6 mars bars cut into small pieces
  • 200g cornflakes
  • 200g bar of milk chocolate (if you prefer plain chocolate then you can use it instead)
Method

1. In a saucepan, melt the butter and golden syrup together on a low heat then add the chopped mars bar. Stir continuously until smooth - at this point I just wanted to eat it as it smelt amazing!

Melted mars bar, golden syrup and butter

2. Take the saucepan off the heat and add the cornflakes. Fold together until the cornflakes are coated in the gooey goodness.

Melted mars bars, butter, golden syrup mixed with cornflakes

3. I used an 8" square tin and lined it with grease proof paper. Transfer the mixture into the baking tin  and leave the buns to cool.

4. Once the buns have cooled, melt the chocolate in the microwave or whatever way you prefer to melt chocolate! Pour the melted chocolate over the buns as evenly as possible and leave to cool.

5. No more waiting! Once the chocolate has cooled you can slice the buns and enjoy!

How quick was that?! I told you they were easy!
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Sunday, 13 November 2016

Let's Talk

Mental illness, mental health awareness, beach

As I touch on the topic of mental illness, it's more often than not pretty uncomfortable. I live with depression so I can't avoid it.  When I chat to someone who I barely know or simply someone who doesn't mention my illness, it's like a breath of fresh air. I can actually be me. Life is not all breaths of fresh air though. Some people avoid talking to me about it how I feel because they don't know how to deal with it. However, I have to ask, where's that going to get them? I'm not one to beat around the bush, so, to put it bluntly - we can't ignore depression (or low mood if you don't have depression). 

I was told several times after my last post on mental illness that "You are so brave for being so honest" which meant a lot, however, what may seem strange is that I found it easier to tell the internet about my depression than my friends. For quite a long time, I had only told a few friends because first, I was afraid to say it out loud and, secondly, I feared that they would look at me differently. In fact, my family told most of the people as I simply couldn't. It's not until you go through something as challenging and life-shaking as this, that you discover who your real friends are. For that, I am truly grateful. Many people who I thought would support and love me, abandoned me. Perhaps, they thought I was different, they didn't know how to approach the illness or for other reasons unknown to me. Whatever, the reason I'm not bothered as the people that matter stuck with me and I hope that if you are going through something similar you can feel the same someday. If you aren't the one with depression or low mood, please be the one that sticks by! 

If you have depression, actually admitting it to yourself and those close to you, is one of the greatest achievements. Sometimes we simply can't do it alone and we need help - which also applies to many other aspects of life. I'm a perfectionist so I always wanted to be the best I could possibly be. However, what I thought was 'the best' gradually became out of my reach and it took a long time for me to accept this. What we think is 'the best' isn't always the best.  For me, leaving school became the best decision to make, being put on medication became the best chance at getting better, talking about my depression became the best way to accept it. 

Let's talk.

Don't ever think that because your moods or struggles don't seem as bad as someone else's, you can't justify talking about them. Not talking is how things get worse. If you feel alone, I can assure you there will always be someone out there that wants to listen. A difficulty for me right now is that because I've reached recovery stage, people assume I'm completely okay. I'm not. However, I'm afraid to talk about it now as it's gone on for long enough and I don't want to remind myself of the lowest times. This can't be the case, even if it makes us feel uncomfortable we need to admit what's going on inside our heads. I try to ensure that the people who need to know know, and you can do the same.  Often we are too scared to say things out loud but it doesn't get us anywhere. A little fear is healthy. Nothing will ever bother you as much as your own mind, so set your thoughts free, lighten the load and share them with someone.

"I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that is how you grow." 
- Marissa Mayer

My previous post on mental illness: Getting Personal

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Friday, 11 November 2016

MAC Shopping

MAC makeup products - lipstick, eye shadow and lip liner

MAC makeup products - lipstick, eye shadow and lip liner
Much to my own shock, I didn't own anything from MAC...until now. I got two vouchers for the store for my birthday which I was seriously happy about! The other day I headed to the MAC store and had a lot of fun searching for the products I wanted to get. I went straight to the lipstick section as I knew that's what I wanted and as most of us probably know, the lipstick range in MAC is something else! I used my vouchers and also spent a little extra...obviously. I ended up with three products that I'm very pleased with - here's what I got:

1. Viva Glam II Lipstick - This is in the satin finish and it's such a stunning colour. This is perfect for an everyday lip with it's pink/beige tones. I was looking for a shade that wasn't too bright while not being too nude and this one is so perfect! It's creamy which I love, as sometimes I find matte lipsticks quite drying on my lips. 

2. Soar Lip Pencil - This is the best lip pencil for me as it'll go with pretty much all of my other lipsticks, which is perfect. It's a pink/brown shade. I lined my lips with this then filled them in before applying the MAC lipstick and they looked amazing. This lasts a long time, even after I had eaten! You don't have to use a lip liner before applying lipstick but I think it creates a nicer and fuller looking lip.

3. Smoky Mauve Extra Dimension Eye Shadow - As obsessed as I am with eye shadow, I didn't intend to get one in MAC. However, when I saw the range of shades in the store, I quickly changed my mind. I was originally drawn to the golden, brown shimmery shades (standard) but then I decided to go for something a little different. I loved this one as I really wanted a glittery eye shadow and this one has a subtle hint of purple so adds something different! I applied this so easily on top of a pale, matte beige with a dark purple shade in the crease and outer corner, and the effect was so pretty.

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Friday, 4 November 2016

The Best Shoes



TK Maxx (a shop that's situated throughout Europe) holds some serious hidden gems and you'll find some great bargains. In the shoe section of the shop, you will find some questionable (to say the least) looking shoes but amongst these are a few pairs that are too good to turn down.

As I was laughing at some of the pairs I spotted on the shelves, I did spot a pair of heels that instantly caught my eye. They looked stunning in a beautiful, blue velvet. I had to try them on...it would be rude not to! They were a perfect fit, however, knowing my luck I would pick the most expensive pair, that I wouldn't be able to afford. I checked the price...£20! BARGAIN! 

Sold! See, I said you would find some great bargains! As well as their amazing price, they are very easy to walk in - to my surprise. As a 5ft 1" girl, I need all the height I can get, so the heel is greatly appreciated.  
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Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Autumn





I love Autumn, it's my favourite season with the amazing colours and chill in the air. There's a few things I love to do that make it feel that little bit cosier. I thought I'd make a nice Autumnal post to share those things with you. 

Going for a walk is a lovely thing to do all year round but when the leaves are falling it's so much better. Getting to put a warm jumper on, wrapping yourself in a scarf and topping it off with a woolly hat is the best. It feels like you're walking through a rainbow of oranges and reds. 

I've never carved a pumpkin in my life (I know...I couldn't believe it either!) but this year I did. I know Halloween is over but I'm sure lots of you carved a pumpkin too, and if not you can save this one for next year. We went on a hunt for pumpkins and brought them home to carve. I found it strangely therapeutic, however, it took me forever to scrape the thing out! My brother, his girlfriend and myself went silent as we concentrated on carving out our pumpkins. We did a pretty good job if I say so myself! P.S. mine's the one with the moon and stars!


There's no autumnal drink quite like hot chocolate. Finished with cream and marshmallows - can't get better, especially when you put on fluffy pyjamas and read a book or watch your favourite show on TV. Autumn personified! Suggestion: light a fire for ultimate cosiness.



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