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Slutty Brownies

June 30, 2013

I had the whole house to myself yesterday- it was blissful. It's rare to have a whole day on your own with no plans whatsoever so I had a long bath, did a face mask and then went for a walk in the sunshine to pick up a magazine and the ingredients for Slutty Brownies. Yep, Slutty Brownies. If you haven't heard of them then where have you been? These are a real filthy treat and are ridiculously easy to make. This was my first attempt and next time I will do a couple of things differently (buy a larger pack of cookie mix and bake it on the middle shelf, rather than the top shelf). I found the recipe on The Londoner so all credit to Rosie.



 You will need:

  • 1 x pack chocolate fudge brownie mix (or any brownie mix really)
  • 1 x pack chocolate chip cookie mix
  • 2 x packs of Oreo cookies
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp oil
Method:

1) Pre-heat oven to 1350°F180°C/ gas mark 4.

2) Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

3) Follow the pack instructions for making the cookie dough. I literally added some water and mixed - oh so simple. I also added an extra teaspoon of water as recommended by Rosie. Once you've done that just pop the mixture into the lined baking tray and squidge it so that it covers the bottom. 

I made a bit of a fail with the cookie mixture as I bought a pack which made 8 cookies when I should have bought one which made 16 (or two packs). The brownie mixture was for 16 brownies and so my brownies don't have as much cookie as they should. Next time they will be perfect!


4) Cover this layer with the Oreos.



5) Now, mix up the brownie batter (I had to add an egg, oil and water) and pour over the Oreos.


 6) Bake in the oven for 30 minutes and then leave to cool. Cut it into chunks when still slightly warm and serve. I made an error of putting them on the top shelf so they were not as gooey as I wanted so next time they will be on the middle shelf for truly perfect Slutty Brownies.

Have you given this recipe a try yet?

Meet Charlie Dog

June 26, 2013
 

Meet Charlie dog. If you are a regular reader of my blog you will be familiar with this furry face but I thought he deserved a proper post as he is the BEST DOG IN THE WORLD.

Charlie is our golden retriever. He is almost two and a half years old and so now a fully grown pooch. I used to be absolutely terrified of dogs- one chased me on the beach one time (obviously thinking that I was playing) and I screamed my head off and promptly fell over into a mouthful of sand. As I’ve grown older, and because of spending time with Chris’ two dogs, my fear has gone and since having Charlie I now have a love for every single lovely dog out there.

Charlie is a real character. He is full of beans and always wants to be around us- when we come home we get the best greeting and he always brings us one of his toys. Golden Retrievers are very intelligent dogs and quick to learn so he knows lots of good tricks like high five, spin and bringing us the post! His favourite words are dinner, walk and treat and he will eat anything except for lettuce and celery. He has a really lovely nature and it is no surprise that they are often described as the best dogs to have around children. He can be boisterous around adults but extremely gentle around kids.

His favourite things to do apart from the obvious eating and walks are looking out of the window at everyone walking by, sleeping with his head under the table and swimming in the sea. He does have the occasional grump, usually when Mum and Dad (aka. Big Dog) go out for the night and he pines after them. The last time they went out he put himself to bed! He also hates plugs, the hoover, skateboards and cows.  Cows are his one true enemy.

Having a dog in the family brings us so much happiness. A big dog is great for when you want a big hug and he will always come and lay across our laps for a snooze. Big dogs are not so great when they get over-excited and knock you over but I think that’s his only downfall. Dogs are lovely but they are a lot of work and responsibility especially when they are a puppy- Charlie would get up at 5.30 every day and he needed a lot of attention especially when we were toilet training him! Luckily my Dad works from home so could give him more time. They are also a lot of money and you really need to bear this mind if thinking of getting one- alongside the monthly costs of food and pet insurance there are vet and kennel costs. There is definitely a lot to consider when buying a dog but they are completely worth it!

Do you have a dog?

Follow me with Bloglovin'

June 25, 2013

As I am sure you aware Google Reader will be retiring on the 1st July. This is because of two reasons: usage of Google Reader has declined and as a company they are pouring their energy into fewer products.

With the removal of Google Reader comes the removal of Google Friends Connect and so users are having to find other ways of following blogs. I stopped using Google Reader a long time ago, after discovering Bloglovin'. It is my favourite way to read blogs and I use both the iPhone and iPad apps.

If you would like to follow my blog via Bloglovin' (and I would love that!) you can do here:


Timotei Organic Delight range

June 23, 2013

This Saturday I received a lovely surprise- a delivery of absolutely beautiful flowers and the latest range of hair products from Timotei. It made my morning and was such a lovely gesture from Timotei- it made everyone in my house smile (apart from Chris when I pretended that they were from an admirer- ha!).

I absolutely love the Timotei Golden Highlights range and still stand by the fact that they are my favourite shampoo and conditioner for blonde hair (you can read my post here).

Timotei have always held the belief as a brand that the best way to achieve healthy looking, beautiful hair is with natural ingredients. This new range, Timotei Organic Delight, raises the bar on this stance and offers two variants of organic, dermatologically approved shampoo and conditioner free from sulfates, parabens, colourants and silicones to help preserve hairs' natural vitality.

Organic Delight Health & Shine shampoo and conditioner is designed to leave normal hair feeling light and hydrated. The smooth formulas help to give a natural shine with amazing softness and the citrusy, aromatic combination of lemons, limes, oranges and cardamom delights the senses for a naturally sensorial experience.

Organic Delight Health & Nourishment shampoo and conditioner is made with Brazil Nut oil and helps to care for dry or damaged hair the natural way. The nourishing formulations help to make hair feel soft and healthy with the essence of Bergamot, orange and ylang ylang rose.

I am yet to try the products but will be over the next few weeks and will be sure to let you know how I get on!

The range is available in Boots and both are priced at £3.99 - visit www.timotei.com for more information.

Maybelline Color Tattoo eyeshadows

June 16, 2013
L-R: Tough as Taupe, Barely Branded, Bad to the Bronze

 Tough as Taupe

Barely Branded

Bad to the Bronze

 L-R: Tough as Taupe, Bad to the Bronze, Barely Branded

I have been so impressed with the Maybelline Color Tattoo Eyeshadows over the past few months. I bought Tough as Taupe and Barely Branded whilst in the US and Bad to the Bronze a couple of weeks ago. 

They are cream eyeshadows and can either be used as a base or just as a sweep of colour over your eyelid. I have mostly been using them on their own and just apply with my finger- they are so easy to blend and can be easily built up for a more dramatic colour. They also don't crease on my eyelids which is a big plus for me! I seem to have used Tough as Taupe the most and like teaming it with either patina or satin taupe for an evening look. 

The Color Tattoos are £4.99 and are currently on a buy one, get one half price offer at Boots.

Haircare Heroes

June 14, 2013

These three products are my current haircare heroes. They are all absolutely fantastic. I have used and tried so many hair products over the past few years and am constantly changing my shampoo and conditioner but these three are products that make a noticeable different to my locks.

The Touch of Silver Twice a Week Brightening Shampoo is formulated for blonde hair (and grey and white) to actively neutralise brassiness in blonde hair. It does exactly what it says. You massage the purple shampoo into your hair and then leave it for 5 minutes to work its magic, and then simply rinse. You have to be careful not to get purple everywhere and also not to leave it in your hair too long as I've heard of it turning blonde a bit grey/purple. Luckily I've never had that issue. My hair is always so much brighter after using it, and recently I've had comments from people asking if I have had my hair highlighted again- the sign of a great hair product!

I have also been loving the L'Oreal Paris EverRiche Nourishing Hair Mask*. I have tried the whole range (read my post here) but have been really impressed with the mask after using it a few times. It smells incredible and makes my hair so smooth and soft. You have to be careful not to use too much as it can make hair greasy but I've found that a walnut size amount is perfect. 

My final stand out product is something I've had for a while but have never really used properly. It's the Pureology SuperSmooth Smoothing Elixir and claims to replenish and smooth highly sensitized hair (I had to look up what highly sensitized means and I believe it is hair that is exposed to high heat and hair dyes). You simply apply evenly through damp hair and then dry it. This is very similar to the EverRiche Nourishing Mask in that it makes your hair really silky and smooth. I am really keen to try more Pureology products now as have been so impressed with this.

What are your haircare heroes at the moment?

Organic Surge Citrus Mint Shower Gel

June 12, 2013

Organic Surge are constantly bringing out great new products and the latest is no exception- a citrus mint shower gel which is perfect for spring.

The shower gel blends purifying and stimulating organic essential oils of peppermint, lemon and sweet orange with natural moisturisers of glycerine and aloe vera. It also includes vitamin E which helps to soothe skin irritations or blemishes. It's a really zingy scent and extremely minty so if you don't like those sort of 'awakening' shower gels then it may be a bit too much.

As with all Organic Surge products it is untouched by harsh chemicals and it foams completely naturally. The shower gel costs £4.07 and you can buy it from www.organicsurge.com.

BeautecoBox - June

June 10, 2013

I introduced you to BeautecoxBox in April - a new beauty box where you can choose from three different menus of products each month. Above is the contents of one of their June boxes*- menu one to be precise. I was impressed with the size of the products in this box- there are at least three products which look full-size and make it worth the £10 each month. You also receive two discount codes for 15% off Balance Me products and 20% off Organic Surge.

I haven't had a proper play with these products yet but here is what I received:

Organic Surge Kiss and Makeup Cleansing Wipes - 'Kiss and Makeup Wipes combine convenience and care, effectively sweeping away makeup, dirt and impurities. The soft fabric wipes are enriched with skin soothing chamomile and natural moisturisers.'

♥  Headline Colors - 'Poolside Party Nail Polish'

♥ Amie New Leaf Skin Exfoliating Polish - 'New Leaf Skin Exfoliating Polish' is a moisturising exfoliating cream wash containing natural bamboo beads and jojoba beads that gently yet effectively cleanse deep into pores whilst smoothing away the dead surfact cells that can dull the complexion.'

Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream - 'A triple action eye cream to help revitalise weary eyes, smooth away dark shadows and reduce the appearance of fine lines with super hydrating hyaluronic acid to help brighten and smooth and delicate skin around the eyes.'

Eve of St Agnes Hydrating Facial Silk - 'A face cream that can not only revive the sense with the exotic and uplifting blend of essential oils frangipani, champaca, blood orange and yland yland, but the anti-ageing ingredients also help provide the skin with a renewed glow and silky softness.'

My initial thoughts are that the Balance Me Eye Cream is great as I have already got it in my collection and I like it- it's a gel like formula so very refreshing. The nail polish is a gorgeous blue so will definitely be trying once my nails have grown a bit more! I tried the face wipes last night as we were staying at friend's for the weekend and they are so handy for weekends away- they did the job but my skin never looks so great after using any kind of facewipes. I will be trying the exfoliator and facial silk and am most excited about the facial silk as I adore frangipani (a common ingredient in Elemis products).

You can find out more about the BeautecoBox here.

My Skincare Routine

June 07, 2013

The above is what I am using on my face on a daily basis. There aren't many products, it's very simple and it has been working an absolute treat.

I use one of the large cotton pads from the Boots baby section (here) with some Bioderma Crealine H20 to remove my eye and face make-up - a first cleanse of my skin. Once I've taken off as much as I can I use the Elemis Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Facial Wash - I simply massage it into my skin with some water and then rinse off. It smells of apricots which is always lovely.

After cleansing I use my Organic Surge Blissful Daily Moisturiser which I have been using for some time now and can't say enough good things. It is one of those very basic moisturisers in that it doesn't have a scent and is a very typical formula but that is what I like. It absorbs into my skin quickly but I can tell I've had a moisture injection. 

Finally I apply my Liz Earle Daily Eye Repair with my ring finger under my eyes. This has nearly run out which makes me sad as I really like it. I always find it hard to differentiate between eye creams but this is more of a cream and you only need the tiniest amount.

I have always been good about cleansing but moisturising and using eye cream has been more of an irregular part of my routine. I used to moisturise about 5 days a week but for the past year I have been making sure I do it every night, followed by applying my eye cream. This routine has become ingrained and I feel weird if I don't do these two steps. I've found that moisturising every day without fail has really helped the red marks left my spots and has helped them fade.

I have also been drinking far more water over the past few months as we had a bit of a health kick at work and decided to log how much we were drinking. I have been making a real effort to drink lots of water every day and I think this is the biggest reason why my skin has been so good lately. A real sign was when I had a busy couple of days at work and only had one glass a day- three spots popped up almost straightaway. Water is so key to good skin.