30 Jun 2014

MONTHLY ROUND UP: June

exploring London // Big Ben in the rain // the view from my usual run // morning routine
penguins at the safari park // starting Game of Thrones (with an Oreo milkshake) // Brighton Pier // dinner in Edinburgh
Topshop photo booth // a day in Edinburgh // celebratory cocktails // my sunbathing buddy
June has been a really exciting month, the weather's been great and I've spent lots of time with my favourite people. At the beginning of the month I spent a few days in Brighton & London, right now I'm in Jersey and I've been doing lots in between. Last Monday was also my four year(!!!!!) anniversary with my lovely boyfriend so we headed through to Edinburgh for a while. On Wednesday I hit 700 Bloglovin followers which I'm so totally overwhelmed by - thank you so much! At the beginning of the week I also found out that I somehow managed to get an A for my marketing exam and have officially passed first year, woooooohoooooooo!

July will probably also be another exciting month (totally not because of my birthday) which I can't wait for. I'm spending a weekend at a castle in Dunoon, turning 19 and just generally planning on having fun. That's what summer is for I suppose!

Playlist: I can't stop listening to Ghost by Ella Henderson and I'm also loving Iggy Azalea's album because I'm so fancy.

Share the love: I can't get enough of Michelle's blog Daisybutter at the moment. I can't even remember how long I've followed her for but she consistently posts things that I love and admire. She's caused some serious wardrobe envy and is responsible for a lot of the additions to my wish list - go check her out and you will not regret it.
SHARE:

29 Jun 2014

FOOD: The Ultimate Japanese Kit Kat Taste Test


A while ago, for some reason or another, my mum decided to buy a box of intriguing Japanese Kit Kats from eBay (seller here). In the interest of science (and obviously only science) my mum, brother and I took it upon ourselves to taste test these sixteen rather interesting flavours and share our findings with the world. I thought it would make a pretty interesting blog post, so here we are.


1. CITRUS GOLDEN BLEND
This Kit Kat was pretty sweet and very orange-y. My brother said it tasted liked orange Starburst but my mum and I weren't too convinced. I found it a bit of a weird combination for a Kit Kat and gave it 5 out of a possible 10, whereas my mum and brother both gave it a 7 meaning an overall score of 19.

2. RED BEAN SANDWICH
We were a bit perplexed by what this one was actually supposed to be, but after some research we think that the "red bean" in question is in fact a kidney bean. Yuck. Not exactly my idea of a chocolate flavour! My mum thought it was similar to the Rum & Raisin flavour however I found it downright disgusting (I'm kind of fussy, that might become quite apparent). I gave it a meagre 1 out of 10, my mum gave it 6 and my brother 5. Overall score 12.

3. STRAWBERRY
I would just like to make it very clear that I really dislike strawberries. A lot. Most people find this very weird but I just can't stand them. As to be expected this tasted exactly like strawberries which both my mum & brother like enough to score this bar 7 each, whereas I went for 4 - pretty generous for my standards. Overall score 18.

4. APPLE
The apple was a bit of a weird one, I thought it tasted exactly like a Special K bar which I quite like. These also have less calories so it's a bit of a no brainer of which to choose there... My mum, brother & I scored it 8, 6 & 4 respectively giving it an overall score of 18.

5. RUM & RAISIN
I had high hopes for the Rum & Raisin as I'm particularly fond of this flavour of ice cream however it was far too artificial and had a slight hint of hairspray - mmmmm delicious! I scored it 6 which is my highest so far, my mum gave it 6 too and my brother gave it 7. Total score 19.

6. GREEN TEA
I'm not a big fan of plain green tea so was a bit apprehensive when it came to this one however I was pleasantly surprised. It did have a hint of green tea but was much, much sweeter so on the whole quite nice and I felt it deserved a 7 whereas my mum and brother weren't so keen and only gave it a 5 and a 3. Total score 15.

7. ROASTED TEA
Roasted tea certainly knocked the first few contenders out of the park, tasting exactly like a good cup of tea. Both my brother and I gave this 8 which is odd considering my brother doesn't like tea and my mum gave it a 6 adding up to a total score of 22!

8. HOT CHILLI
At first this Kit Kat just tasted like an ordinary dark chocolate Kit Kat, however this soon progressed in to a slightly tingling sensation in the through which wasn't too unpleasant. Aside from that it wasn't really very exciting or flavourful so a bit disappointing. I gave it 6, my mum 7 & my brother 3 giving it a total score of 16.



9. STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE
Another strawberry flavour now, so I knew straight away I wouldn't be a fan and it ended up with a 1 from me. My mum and brother both enjoyed it, finding it very sweet with a strong strawberry flavour. They both scored the Strawberry Cheesecake flavour 7 creating a total score of 15.

10. SOYA BEAN
This was the only Kit Kat that we were in complete agreement over. It was absolutely disgusting. It scored a unanimous zero leaving it (deservingly) in last place. Ugh.

11. WASABI
Another disgusting one here, at least my brother and I thought so. My mum however absolutely loved it and gave it her highest score of 9. My brother and I both gave it zero so it didn't really matter! Total 9.

12. CINNAMON & WHITE CHOCOLATE
Now this was my favourite and I gave it a straight up ten out of ten. I love cinnamon and I love white chocolate so I knew from the off that it would be a good contender for Kit Kat champion. It had a strong hint of cinnamon which went perfectly with the white chocolate coating. My mum gave it a score of 7 whereas my fussy brother gave it a tiny 5. Overall score of 22.

13. PURPLE SWEET POTATO
I can't say sweet potato is the first thing I'd think of when imagining flavours for chocolate bars however this was actually quite a surprising combination. It was slightly fruity and a bit less sweet than the UK offerings however I did find it quite starchy and dry. It scored 5 from me and 6 from both my mum and brother. Total 17.

14. STRAWBERRY COOKIE
Again, another strawberry flavour. For me this was a bit more bearable than the Strawberry Cheesecake and so I gave it a 2. As per usual my mum and brother both enjoyed it giving it a 6 and 7 respectively. Total score 15.

15. PUMPKIN PUDDING
I'd never had anything pumpkin flavoured before this so wasn't too sure what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised by it and we all found it quite similar to a Gold bar. It was slightly fruity and not too sweet. I scored it 6, as did my mum, and my brother gave it 7 resulting in a total score of 19.

16. SEMI BLACK CHOCOLATE
The final Kit Kat was nice - but not very exciting. This tasted exactly like a dark chocolate Kit Kat so wasn't really anything new for us. I do love a good Dark Chocolate Kit Kat though so I gave it another 10, my mum gave it 5 and my brother (who hates dark chocolate) gave it 1. Total score of 16!

After the results were tallied we discovered that we had a draw between Roasted Tea and Cinnamon & White Chocolate which both scored 22 points. My favourite was Cinnamon & White Chocolate, my mum's was Wasabi and my brother's was Roasted Tea. Soya Bean came in last place, which wasn't a surprise.

It was pretty cool getting to try all of these new flavours as I'm always jealous of all of the sweets that only other countries seem to get. I can't say I'll be having a soya bean Kit Kat again any time soon but a cinnamon & white chocolate one wouldn't go amiss!

Have you ever tried any interesting confectionery like these? What did you think? I wish we got some more exciting flavours in the UK!
SHARE:

28 Jun 2014

BOOKS: Recently Reading

This summer my missions has been to get back in to reading, and so far I think I've been pretty successful. I'm still a bit behind on my Goodreads challenge for this year (you can add me here!) but I'm sure that I can make up the 6 or so books that I'm behind on pretty quickly! Here's a little run down of what I've read in the past week or two:
THIRTEEN REASONS WHY BY JAY ASHER 
I bought this book a while back as part of Waterstones' "Buy One Get One Half Price" deal that they usually have running on their Young Adult section. For some reason, it was relegated to the bottom of the pile and only picked up again when I was unpacking a couple of weeks ago - a few hours later it was finished.

Thirteen Reasons Why explains the seemingly insignificant events that ultimately lead to a girl's suicide. It's haunting, thrilling and thought provoking. I was so desperate to follow the trail of the thirteen reasons that I just could not put the book down. It's one of those books that I just found incredibly beautiful and I think everyone should read.

5/5

ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS BY STEPHANIE PERKINS
I'd heard Hayley rave about this book quite a few times and when I noticed that it was a mere £1.54 for the Kindle version I downloaded it straight away. At first I felt it was typical gooey young adult romance but I ended up hooked and I don't know how.

Anna and the French Kiss is unsurprisingly about a girl named Anna, who has been shipped off to a boarding school in France by her parents and is not very happy about it. Over time she grows to love the city and those who occupy it, in particular a boy by the name of Etienne St. Clair. It's is kind of cliché at points but it was heart-warming and overall enjoyable. It made me want to visit Paris even more so than I did before!

4/5

FANGIRL BY RAINBOW ROWELL
I would say that Rainbow Rowell is probably my favourite author right now. My obsession started with Eleanor & Park (another £1.50 Kindle bargain right now!) and since then I've read all of her published works. She has a new book coming out later this year and I can't wait!

Fangirl is about Cather (who has a twin sister called Wren, her mum couldn't be bothered thinking of two names - get it?). The pair have just moved away for university together and are having quite different experiences. Cather writes fan-fiction for a fictional series not too dissimilar to a certain Mr. Potter and is kind of caught up in that world. I think that Rainbow Rowell perfectly illustrates what it's like to be a bit quieter and a bit more reserved in a world of people who just want to party which I felt I could relate to. Again, another heart-warming tale and one that I thoroughly enjoyed.

4/5


You know how sometimes a book has so much potential, but it just ends up being far too clichéd to really make the most of said potential? This book is a fine example of such a case. After reading the blurb I thought this would be a fantastic read but I was pretty disappointed by it.

The Accident is all about the struggles faced by Susan after her daughter Charlotte walks in front of a bus. Weirdly enough, my mum and I share names with the characters! Anyway, Susan's past is haunted by an abusive ex boyfriend and she seems to suffer from some mental issues as a result of this. This book follows her quest to prove what really happened to her daughter and could have been amazing but just seemed to fall short of the mark for me. The writing felt a bit childish and I think the plot could have been developed more.

2/5

Another amazing book by Rainbow Rowell. Attachments follows the lives of three of the workers in a newspaper office, two are best friends and one is a complete stranger who is in charge of reading their emails.

I was so desperate to find out what would happen to these characters, Rainbow Rowell portrayed them in an incredibly likeable way that just forced me to keep reading and reading. The flow was effortless and I think it's possibly my favourite book by her (if I had to chose one that is!). It was smart, engaging and just plain old enjoyable. If you're only going to read one book from this selection I would recommend this.

5/5

Now I haven't actually finished this yet, but I'm a decent way through. My mum recommended I read this, and so I started. I kind of wish I'd started it before Galbraith was "outed" as being J.K. Rowling as I feel like I am just judging J.K's writing style after Harry Potter, which is exactly what she didn't want. The Cuckoo's Calling follows a private detective & his secretary as they "fight crime" to put it simply.

So far I'm finding it a little bit waffle-y, with lots of description and not too much plot. I like quite fast paced books that I just can't put down but I sometimes find this one a tad boring. It's alright, but nothing amazing so far.

Be my friend on Goodreads!
SHARE:

27 Jun 2014

OUTFIT: They'll call me freedom, just like a waving flag


Top - Miss Selfridge
Skirt* - Ted Baker
Necklace - Clothes Show
Sandals - Primark
I'm going on holiday tomorrooooooooow! I'm so excited. My family & I are off to spend a week in Bouley Bay in Jersey (hopefully also in the sunshine) which will hopefully be great. I've never been to the Channel Islands before!

Last week when the sun was shining I thought it was the perfect time to bring out my gorgeous Ted Baker skirt again. I can't get enough of the print, it's so beautiful. It's surprisingly versatile too, which is ideal for me as I love having pieces that I can dress up and down.

This week has mostly been spent preparing for my holiday, I've been writing lots of blog posts and doing a little bit of packing... I still have lots to do! I'm getting kind of bored of having nothing to do at the moment so I've been trying to keep myself occupied by seeing friends and reading lots of books. I've managed to keep up my new found running habit too and I'm starting to notice quite a difference in my stamina! Luckily I have some beautiful areas around me that make lovely running or walking routes, especially when the weather's nice.

So as I've mentioned I'll be away next week, but I have plenty of exciting posts lined up! I'll be sure to post lots of little holiday snaps over on my Instagram as per usual, so make sure to give my account a wee follow if you fancy having a nosey at them.

Have a lovely week!

x
SHARE:

26 Jun 2014

BEAUTY: New Additions


A while ago I had a slight "epiphany" in regards to my ever growing collection of make up that I never used and so decided to stop buying as much. It worked for a while, but then I got a bit bored. A few things have caught my eye recently and I couldn't resist adding them to my daily make-up bag where they will be staying for a good while yet.


I haven't actually purchased anything from Eyeko since their big rebrand a couple of years ago but I used to adore their nail polishes and the Magic Mascara. This month Glamour were giving away this coveted eyeliner free with the magazine (which was a mere £2!) so I couldn't resist. A lot of people seemed to get pretty naff liners and complained that they had dried up already however luckily for me mine was in perfect condition. This eyeliner is so easy to apply, super pigmented and has fantastic staying power. I've got my eye on Benefit's new They're Real liner however for now this is perfect for me and if They're Real doesn't live up to my expectations I'll definitely be repurchasing this little beauty.


RIMMEL MATCH PERFECTION FOUNDATION IN SHADE 010 - £6.99
I've used Maybelline's Fit Me foundation since it was released and not really strayed much apart from trying the Bourjois Healthy Mix for a while, but I fancied a bit of a change so when I spotted Rimmel's Match Perfection on offer for £4.99 I snapped it up. Not only is this one of the few foundations that is pale enough for my ghostly complexion but it has fantastic staying power and just does not cake at all. The coverage is light/medium so I do like to cover any blemishes or dark circles with a touch of concealer but on the whole this is exactly what I look for in a foundation.


BOURJOIS VOLUME 1 SECONDE MASCARA* - £9.99
I'm pretty loyal to Benefit's Bad Gal Lash for my daily mascara and for my "going out" make up I like to go for the Yves Saint Laurent Baby Doll to really add some drama to my lashes, but my make up bag was lacking an in-between. Whilst Bad Gal Lash is perfect for adding natural looking volume and giving me lovely fluttery eyelashes and Baby Doll is enough to put any falsies to shame the Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde Mascara* gives me the best of both worlds with instant volume (as promised!) that rivals any false lashes I've tried. It's perfect for when I want to add a little bit of "oomph" to my daily make up and just feel that little bit more done up - I'm impressed.

Have you added anything new to your collection lately?

x
SHARE:

25 Jun 2014

BEAUTY: My Morning Skincare Routine

Age Reform Refreshing Cleanser* - £29.00 from Murad
My morning skincare regime is pretty laid back in comparison to the evening routine as I like to savour every second of sleep I can get, so time faffing about in the bathroom with lotions and potions is cut to a minimum in favour of a couple of extra minutes in bed. I first received the Murad cleanser in the goody bag from an event at Zen Lifestyle quite a while ago but it sat in my drawer unused for the longest time. Now, it's used every day and I'm on to my second tube. It does exactly what it says on the tin providing a refreshing morning cleanse that leaves my skin soft and bright. Plus it smells pretty darn nice. It's a touch on the pricey side but it takes me so long to get through a tube that I wouldn't begrudge paying full price, I really think it's worth it.

Eau Roma Water toner - £3.95 from Lush
Origins GinZing Moisturiser* - £23.00 from Boots
I mentioned the Eau Roma toner from Lush in my evening skincare post and it also makes an appearance in the mornings. Like I said before, I find this toner incredibly soothing for my skin as well as helping to calm any break outs and keep it nicely hydrated. I bought the small bottle just to try it out but I already know that I'll be investing in the larger one as soon as this is finished.

The Origins GinZing moisturiser was all the rage quite a while ago and I absolutely adored it too. Somehow, I ended up losing my pot when I moved to Aberdeen however I recently rediscovered it in the bottom of a toiletries bag when I was going to visit Brighton. Since then my love has been fully rekindled. It's a really refreshing product that keeps my skin incredibly hydrated without feeling too heavy or oily. The scent is just beautiful too, so I'm planning on trying out a few more products from the range soon.

What products do you like to use in the morning?

x
SHARE:

24 Jun 2014

TUESDAY TEN: Co-ordinates

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5
6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10
Co-ords are everywhere right now and I just can't get enough of them. Not only are they like three outfits in one but they're just plain adorable. There's so many gorgeous prints about which means I'm absolutely spoiled for choice! At the moment I'm considering getting number 7 for my birthday outfit, but I change my mind about that basically every single week.

How do you feel about the co-ord trend?
SHARE:

23 Jun 2014

RECIPE: Chicken & chorizo pie





I'd say a pie is more of a comfort food for me, but when I spotted a recipe for a chicken & chorizo pie on the cover a magazine (that I didn't buy) I decided to give it a go. I love the combination of chicken & chorizo, and this pie seemed to go down well with my family!

Ingredients:
1 sheet puff pastry (you could always make your own, but effort...)
4 chicken breasts
200g chorizo sausage
1/2 an onion
200g cream cheese
200ml chicken stock
1 egg
Salt & pepper to season

It's quite easy to make as a lot of the work is just baking it. To start, preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius and find a suitable pie dish - not too deep and not too wide. Dice the onion and set aside before cutting the chicken in to small chunks then slicing the chorizo sausage.

Heat a small amount of oil in a frying pan and cook the chicken until browned, add in the slices of chorizo for the last few minutes of cooking. Set the meat aside in a separate dish and then melt the butter in the original frying pan before adding the onions and cooking for a few minutes until soft. Add the cream cheese and chicken stock then mix thoroughly. Stir the meat in to the sauce and add salt & pepper to season. Once mixed, transfer the mixture in to your pie dish and cover with the sheet of puff pastry.

Before putting in the oven trim the edges of the pastry and tuck them in to the sides of the pie dish then brush with the whisked egg. Make a small hole somewhere in the pastry to allow any steam to escape and then cook for 25 - 30 minutes, until the pastry is puffy & browned.

x
SHARE:

22 Jun 2014

LIFE: Scottish Independence Part 3

(image source)
I haven't written anything about the referendum for a while now, but it's coming up pretty fast. It's a mere 88 days away - which really doesn't sound like that much at all. It also means that it's only 89 days until I go to see Still Game at the Hydro but that is a completely different story.

ETHNICITY & INDEPENDENCE
In my last post I said that I was still on the unsure side but leaning more towards a No vote and that hasn't really changed. Recently I've had to deal with a couple of people tell me that I am only leaning towards a no vote "because I'm English", and as I've already mentioned to Morag this infuriates me to no end. Yes, I was born in England and am very proud to say so, but that does not mean that I cannot take an interest in a major issue that will have a massive affect on the country that I now call home. Morag then sent me a link to this blog post written by an English Scot who is voting yes, and believes that ethnic background has no part to play in this debate. The referendum is about the future, not the past.

Anyway, minor rant over. I read this Buzzfeed article, and while it's not the most trustworthy source for political information the sources quoted in the article are quite interesting reads. Take this report for example, which I tried my best to read in it's entirety, which discusses some of the key issues such as remaining in the EU, NATO and other valued organisations. It's a tough read but an interesting one at that.

J.K. ROWLING & HER SUPPORT OF BETTER TOGETHER
There was a bit of controversy last week when JK Rowling openly spoke out against the campaign for an independent Scotland (read her full letter here). I personally think she made some incredibly valid points and it would appear that she shares some similar feelings to myself. Whilst the promises made by the Yes campaign sound all well and good, I struggle to believe that they are able to deliver on these. Scotland is an incredible country with exceptional talents but that does not protect us from the same pressures that other countries in the world also face. Like Rowling says, the Yes campaign seems to be in denial of such risks and instead opts to accuse those who bring them up of scaremongering.

Of course such a high class writer can get my own thoughts across better than I could even imagine..

THE COST OF INDEPENDENCE
On Friday night I was sitting doing my hair before going out when an article appeared on the news about Alex Salmond's decision to hire people to calculate the cost of creating an independent nation. I'm not going to lie here, I find it pretty ridiculous that this hasn't already been figured out. Even more ridiculous is the fact that the official result of the calculation won't actually be released until after the referendum itself (article here). I think something like this is a key factor in a lot of people's decision making and I for one don't trust the sheer lack of preparation that's become apparent from Salmond.

DEVOLUTION
I think I've mentioned before that I'm a big supporter of "Devolution Max" or full fiscal autonomy for Scotland (explained here). Basically, should a No vote occur we can still have a sort of "low fat" form of independence. Our powers will be increased and we will essentially have the power of an independent nation but still be able to benefit from the combined powers of the United Kingdom - such as military operations. There's a long BBC article that probably explains it better here, I recommend giving it a read. The option won't feature on the ballot paper - which I think may be misleading for some people - however I personally think it's our best bet.

What are your thoughts on the referendum so far?
SHARE:

20 Jun 2014

WATCHING: Charlotte at the Cinema #4


22 Jump Street
"After making their way through high school (twice), big changes are in store for officers Schmidt and Jenko when they go deep undercover at a local college."

I wasn't sure if 22 Jump Street would live up to the original and boy was I wrong. Funny as ever, Channing Tatum & Jonah Hill had me in stitches once again. The plot was pretty similar to the first movie - there was a serious lack of Johnny Depp - but it didn't feel boring. Would definitely recommend watching it if you enjoyed the first! If not, then it's maybe not your kind of thing either.

4/5


Maleficent
"A vengeful fairy is driven to curse an infant princess, only to discover that the child may be the one person who can restore peace to their troubled land."

Maleficent is tipped to be one of this years biggest releases, but for me it was underwhelming. The plot wasn't amazing, some of the acting was downright awful (the accents made me cringe like crazy) and it just didn't feel like the usual Disney blockbuster. Angelina was the best thing about this movie for me, she really made me sympathetic towards the character and damn... those cheekbones!

2/5


The Fault In Our Stars
"Hazel and Gus are two teenagers who share an acerbic wit, a disdain for the conventional, and a love that sweeps them on a journey. Their relationship is all the more miraculous given that Hazel's other constant companion is an oxygen tank, Gus jokes about his prosthetic leg, and they met and fell in love at a cancer support group."

I feel like I've been waiting for this movie forever, and now I've finally seen it. I actually ended up going to one of the early screenings for Cineworld Unlimited card holders and I'm sooooooo glad I managed to persuade Paddy in to coming with me. Like every other teenage girl these days (or so it seems at least) I love John Green's books but whilst TFIOS isn't my favourite of his I can't help but adore it.

Okay on to the film. I'm always sceptical when it comes to movie adaptations of books I love but this was just perfect, probably down to John Green's heavy involvement with the production. It stays very true to the story and is just as emotional (if not more) than the book. I didn't expect to like Ansel Elgort at all but he was so charming. I fell in love with Shailene after seeing her in Divergent but it was refreshing to see her play such a different character and she certainly did it well. I'm not sure if knowing what was going to happen made me cry even more than I would have done if I had been oblivious to the ending, but I did spend the last 45 minutes or so in constant tears. I'm surprised the rest of the audience could hear over my sobbing.

5/5 (yay!)

Have you seen anything recently that you would recommend? I'm on the hunt for new TV shows & movies!

x
SHARE:

19 Jun 2014

BEAUTY: My Evening Skincare Routine


I think that I'm finally settling in to some sort of "routine" when it comes to skincare. It's taken a while and lots of trial & error, but now I seem to have a couple of products that just work. From time to time I'll swap things about, a new toner or moisturiser or I'll add in a face mask (usually Lush or Avon) in every now and then but for the most part these are my go to's when bed time crawls around.

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water - £4.99 in Boots
I have never tried Bioderma, and I doubt I will unless I find it for a ridiculously low price somewhere. I've tried other locally available micellar waters such as L'Oreal & Superdrug's B. range however I found both of them pretty naff and swore off of these nifty little cleansers until I tried Garnier's release. When it first appeared in stores I wasn't overly bothered about it but I was in Boots one day (standard) and spotted it for a mere £2.50 - hard to resist. I have to say, it's impressed me. Like most micellars it's not sticky or irritating for my skin but somehow magically melts away all traces of my make up, including those pesky waterproof mascaras. This is now the first step in my little routine in order to thoroughly remove my "face". I don't often wear a full face of make up but even when I do this manages to clear it all off.

Naturally Radiant Brightening Micro Polish - £4.99 from Superdrug
Grease Lightning spot treatment - £6.25 from Lush
 Now I've done a full review of this face scrub which you can find here, and at first I wasn't too overwhelmed by it. To make sure I wasn't being too presumptuous I decided to keep using it on a daily basis until I'd finished it and I'm so glad I did. My skin on the whole feels a lot brighter and my dry patches are virtually non existent. I think if my skin was a bit more sensitive this would be way too harsh to use every day so I might phase it down to every couple of days and replace it with a creamier cleanser but for now I just love it.

When it comes to spot treatments I would recommend Grease Lightning in a heartbeat. I bought this at Christmas (full review here) and whenever my skin has a bit of a break out this is the first thing I reach for. It's one of the most effective treatments I've tried and it's so gentle on the skin which is a massive bonus. I've now realised that the price has been upped a tad, but I will absolutely be repurchasing this. Like I said, I've had this bottle since Christmas and despite continued use it's still got a decent amount left (I hope).

Eau Roma Water - £3.95 from Lush
Eucerin Even Brighter night cream* - £23.50 from Escentual
Eau Roma is the latest edition to my skincare line up after I ran out of both my Simple toner and my Breath of Fresh Air at the same time - typical, eh? I was in Lush and in the mood to try something new so picked up the smaller bottle of this. After a few days of using it I went back in and bought one of the bigger bottles for when this runs out. It's official - I love it. It's a lovely, gentle toner and really soothes any redness that occurs as well as hydrating my skin.

Finally, I received a little sample of Eucerin's Even Brighter day & night cream alongside my cleanser and while I find the day cream far too greasy for my skin I can't get enough of the night cream. It's super hydrating with just the tiniest amount of product, so while it is a bit more expensive than I would usually go for it would appear to last for ages so I think it would be worth the investment. Paired with the face scrub from Superdrug it's worked wonders for my dry patches and I find myself stroking my face a lot in the morning. Yup, I said that.

So there you have it, my current evening skincare routine. Would you like to see my morning skincare? I'm not sure as it's pretty basic... Anyway - what are the staple products in your routine?

x
SHARE:

18 Jun 2014

RECIPE: Raspberry Pavlova




It's been a long time since I've made any sort of meringue, but for some strange reason I thought I'd be a bit adventurous and try to make an entire pavlova. Much to my delight - it turned out pretty well! 

Ingredients:
5 egg whites
225g caster sugar
1 tbsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp cornflour
500ml double cream
1 packet of raspberries (about 250g)

To start, preheat your oven to 160 degrees and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. In a clean & dry bowl whisk the eggs whites with an electric whisk until they form firm peaks. Add in the caster sugar and whisk again until glossy. In a separate bowl mix the vanilla essence & cornflour then add to the meringue mixture and whisk thoroughly.

Start to build up a circular base with the meringue mixture on your lined baking tray, continuing until you've used it all. The edges should be slightly higher than the centre so that you have a "dip" to place your filling. Place this in the oven and then lower the temperature to 150 degrees. Cook this for 1 hour 15 minutes and do not open the oven. Once this time has passed turn the oven off but leave the meringue in the oven to cool.

Whilst the meringue is cooling, whip the cream until nice and thick and prepare your chosen fruit topping. Once it's cooled, spread your cream in to the "dip" and top with meringues. I had some raspberry sauce too so I drizzled that over the top!

I was worried about how this would turn out but it went down a storm with my mum's book group (and my mouth) so I'm really proud! Let me know how you get on if you give it a go.

x

SHARE:

17 Jun 2014

TUESDAY TEN: Romwe

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5

6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10
After putting this together I'm currently hating how skint I am. I want pretty much everything from the Romwe website. They have such amazing prints and the only way I can really describe their style of clothing is "very Tumblr". You know what I mean.

I can't help but think that number 3 would be perfect for wandering the streets of Italy (a girl can dream) whilst the combination of 1, 4, 7 and 8 would make a great outfit. One day I'll own it all. One day.

x
SHARE:

16 Jun 2014

OUTFIT: Barefoot on a summer night




Top - Primark
Jeans* - Levi's
Necklace - Primark
Shoes - Miss KG @ Kurt Geiger
I am becoming increasingly fed up of taking outfit photos indoors, but when you have weather as temperamental as Scotland does (that whole four seasons in one day thing is totally true) it can be difficult to find enough time to actually get out in my garden. Some summer this is! Hopefully it will clear up a bit soon.

I mentioned these jeans a couple of weeks ago in my post about the Fashion Face Off at Livingston Designer Outlet and since then they have barely been off my legs. I used to rarely wear jeans as I found the pairs I had uncomfortable and not the most flattering, but all of that has changed since these babies came in to my life. Now, I actually wear jeans out of comfort. Whaaaat! Weird, I know.

Tonight I am going to see The Fault In Our Stars and I don't think I'm emotionally prepared enough yet. I also don't think that Paddy will be ready for the tears that are bound to occur... but I am definitely ready for a massive chocolate milkshake to accompany the film. Aside from that this week will hopefully be quiet-ish. I'm meeting my best friend for a catch up coffee tomorrow but so far that's all I have planned. I've also kind of taken up running (pause for shocked gasps) and I'm really enjoying it. I'm incredibly unfit and I want to change that, so I try to run a little bit every couple of days. At the moment I struggle to run more than 1.5 miles but I can definitely see improvement since I first started! I still eat too much cheese though, some things will never change.

What are you up to this week?

x
SHARE:

14 Jun 2014

FOOD: Via Italia




Bit of a quick post today, I just really wanted to share what is fast becoming one of my favourite places to grab a bite to eat in Glasgow!

Via Italia recently (I think) opened in Glasgow city centre, just next to central station. The premise is basically quick and easy Italian street food with lots of options to choose from. It's got a Subway style serving method, where you pick your base food (a piada, pasta bowl or salad bowl) then your toppings and sauces while moving along a cafeteria style queue. I can't really think of anything else like it in the area if I'm being honest - it's quite a new way to serve food like this. As well as having a massive variety of toppings and sauces Via Italia also have plenty of sides, drinks and dessert options too. They do a lovely iced tea!

My current favourite from Via Italia is a penne pasta pot with crispy fried chicken, pomodoro sauce, fresh mozzarella, garlic croutons, rocket and cucumber topped with some delicious green pesto. Paddy usually opts for a piada, which is similar to a burrito except with spaghetti instead of rice, with meatballs, arrabiata sauce, mozzarella, bacon and pepperoni. It seems like a weird thing to think about but it's actually so nice!

For me, a pasta box and an iced tea comes in at about £6 which is a total bargain considering how nice the food is. Lately we've been heading here before the cinema as it's quick and easy but still delicious. If you're ever stuck for a quick lunch idea or just somewhere new to eat I would definitely suggest checking out Via Italia! If you sit in they even have phone charging stations - what more could an Instagram addict need?

VIA ITALIA IS LOCATED AT 132 UNION STREET, GLASGOW
(JUST NEXT TO CENTRAL STATION) 
SHARE:

13 Jun 2014

BEAUTY: Eucerin DermoPurifyer Cleanser

DermoPurifyer Cleanser by Eucerin* - Escentual
So it's been just under a month since I posted my first impressions of this cleanser and now that I've nearly finished with this bottle I thought it was about time I did a full review. Like I mentioned before, this cleanser is formulated for blemish prone skin (which mine definitely has been recently) and my first thoughts of the product were pretty positive.

Now that my whole "OMG NEW PRODUCT" buzz has died down a bit I'm still loving this cleanser. It's nothing overly special, but it does what it claims and that makes me happy. Since using this my skin has been considerably clearer and in overall better condition. I find that my dry patches can be a little more obvious when using this however as long as moisturise thoroughly this isn't an issue.

Now, I'm not sure if I would buy this again, just because I find it quite similar to some of Simple's offerings which are a bit cheaper. My skin isn't really that bad on the whole normally - I've got the feeling that a stressful month took it's toll - so I'm not sure if it would really be necessary for me in the future. However saying that, if you do struggle with continually blemish prone skin I'd definitely suggest giving some of Eucerin's range a go. I'm really loving their "Even Brighter" moisturisers at the moment!

x
SHARE:

12 Jun 2014

RECIPE: Tiramisu




Tiramisu is one of my mum's favourite desserts and unsurprisingly her love for this trifle of sorts has been passed down to me. I was feeling a tad adventurous with my baking so thought I would try to make my own with the help of Mr. Jamie Oliver (who I am yet to forgive for the turkey twizzler fiasco).

Ingredients:
200g dark chocolate
100ml double cream
50g diced butter
175g sponge fingers
400ml sweetened coffee
4 large eggs
100g caster sugar
750g mascarpone
Sea salt (or just normal salt..)
Marsala or a similar dessert wine (I used a bit of Port)

Now, I don't know if Jamie Oliver just makes it seem overly complicated or if I'm actually a useless baker but this felt like one of my more complex bakes. Probably because I had to separate eggs, which I haven't done since Home Economics in school... Anyway.

To start, melt the dark chocolate and butter in a bowl above a pan of boiling water with a little pinch of salt. While this is going on line a reasonably sized dish with the sponge fingers and cover with the coffee. When the chocolate mix is thoroughly melted add the double cream and a splash of the dessert wine of your choosing then mix in before spreading over the soaked sponge fingers. Leave this to cool while you prepare the creamy topping.

Separate the egg whites & yolks in to two bowls then add your sugar to the bowl of yolks. Use a mixer (or do it by hand) on a high setting to mix until the yolks are pale and fluffy with no signs of any sugar granules and then mix in all of the mascarpone. Clean & dry the beaters of the mixer before moving on to whip up the egg whites until they form stiff, white peaks. When the whites are suitably stiff gradually fold them in to the mascarpone & yolk mixture. Once this is all folded and looking nice & creamy (and tasting amazing but I totally didn't eat like half the bowl) spread it on top of the sponge fingers & chocolate before finishing with a dust of cocoa powder or some grated chocolate and returning to the fridge to chill for an hour or two.

Personally, I've never found tiramisu to be the most aesthetically pleasing dessert but it is down right delicious. I'll definitely be making this again, which I'm sure my mum will be happy to hear.

x
SHARE:

11 Jun 2014

OUTFIT: If you want to find love then you know where the city is



Dress - H&M
Belt - Matalan
Shoes - Primark
I don't know about you, but (I'm feeling twenty two) I've been loving H&M's offerings lately. Sadly, the couple of pieces I've ended up buying started to fall apart and shrank after just one wash so they have both been returned for a refund. One of these pieces was this dress which I was so sad to part with. I love the print and the fit, it's just a shame about the quality. I'm definitely going to be keeping an eye out for similar prints elsewhere!

I wore this dress out for dinner one night in Brighton (it's safe to say the belt didn't last very long) with my latest sandal loves from Primark. So many people have these beauties but they were hard to resist! I've suddenly become a socks & sandals person and I don't think I like it.

At the moment I don't really have any major plans until my family holiday to Jersey at the end of the month, so I'll hopefully be enjoying my summer by spending lots of time baking & blogging - as well as making a dent in my pile of things to put on eBay... Need them dollas. What do you have planned?

x
SHARE:

10 Jun 2014

TUESDAY TEN: Summer reading

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5

6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10
It pains me to say that I've been slacking a bit when it comes to reading lately. I'm quite a bookworm and find that there's nothing better than curling up with a cuppa and a good book but for some reason I've just not been reading as much as I'd like to! I set myself a challenge on Goodreads to read 30 books which I thought would be simple enough for me but apparently not. Hopefully I'll catch up over the summer, when I'm on holiday I can easily read a book in a day.

These are some of the books that I have my eye on at the moment, quite a few due to Hayley's recommendations and others because they're by authors that I like (I'm looking at you Mr. King) or Amazon suggested them. I just downloaded Fangirl and Anna & the French Kiss as they were on offer for Kindle so here's hoping they'll kick start my summer of reading!

(You can keep up with what I'm reading on Goodreads)
SHARE:

9 Jun 2014

LIFE: Brighton Photo Diary Part 2














When we booked Brighton we decided to take advantage of it's proximity to London town and head in to the city for a day of touristy adventures. I adore London, it's so exciting and fast paced and I always find myself wanting to go back time and time again (Fashion week maybe...?). 

We spent the day doing lots and lots of walking and tube hopping to try and take in as many sights as possible, even though I was there last year there were quite a few sights we didn't get the chance to properly take in so it was great to do it all again. We actually ended up coming out of the tube at Westminster just as the Queen was leaving after her speech so I managed to get a sneaky glance at her lovely new carriage - heated seats and all. How British.

Our first stop was Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament before heading across the river to pick up our London Eye tickets for that afternoon. We had a little stroll along Southbank before heading over to Trafalgar Square for posey photos by the fountain and then a wander to Covent Garden for an amazing burger at Shake Shack. After stuffing ourselves silly with food we headed over to Buckingham Palace just before the heavens well and truly opened, I'd never seen the palace before so it was pretty cool to see it in person! As the rain poured we quite quickly headed for cover at the Namco arcade next to the London Eye to shelter for a while before our trip on the London Eye. I'd been on the eye before (I think?) a while ago but don't really remember it. As to be expected the view was pretty incredible, but the raindrops on the outside of the pods totally ruined any chance of decent photos!

Now, as a fashion student it's pretty impossible to be in London without doing the standard Pilgrimage to Oxford Street & Carnaby Street. We had a little bit of time to kill before dinner so we somehow ended up in Topshop and paid a quick visit to Liberty before heading to Planet Hollywood for a delicious dinner. Paddy & I went to Planet Hollywood last time we visited and the food was a bit disappointing but we decided to give it another go - and I'm sure as hell glad we did! It was a great meal, the dessert being the highlight. After dinner we headed back to Victoria to catch our train back to Brighton.

Overall it was an amazing few days and I'm already dreaming of my next journey down to the capital, funds permitting... x
SHARE:
Blogger Template Created by pipdig