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Fashion: Kate Spade Tiny Metro Watch

January 27, 2015

Meet my new favourite thing - the Kate Spade Tiny Metro watch. It is just perfection. Since buying my Kate Spade bag in May this year, I have been constantly looking at the website and basically wanting to buy everything! Everything on there is just so to my taste. 

Chris bought me this watch for Christmas, after a few not so subtle hints from me. I have really small wrists so the Tiny Metro (rather than the standard size) was far more suitable and I love it. 

You can buy your own watch from the Kate Spade UK website here.


Beauty: My Little Energy Box

January 25, 2015


January's offering from My Little Box is all about getting ready for the new year, and so aptly called 'My Little Energy Box'*. 

The contents of the box aren't as exciting as usual in my opinion but still pretty impressive. You receive their usual My Little World magazine (a great read) and a print with some motivational New Year words. You also receive a handy desk sized calendar which has some really cute pictures in it for each month- I'm going to be taking it to work.

The lifestyle gift is a good sized gym bag with a pretty print and a quote reading 'Good Energy is Contagious'. It's a decent bag although I'm not sure how much I will use it (am so not a gym lover!). There are three beauty treats - an energising mist from My Little Beauty, a lovely red shade of nail polish from Nails Inc and Talika Photo-Hydra Day cream. Talika isn't a brand I've heard of before so am looking forward to giving it a whirl.

My Little Box costs £11 per month plus £3.95 P&P. Subscribe here!

Beauty: Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette

January 15, 2015


I got my hands on this little beauty a few weeks ago, when my brother's girlfriend went to New York and asked for any requests while she was out there. My Mum bought this early last year and although tempted, I decided to give it a miss as have the Urban Decay Naked palette. I quickly learned that this was just as much of an essential as the UD Naked palette as everytime I visited my Mum I would end up using this!

This is a dinky palette, filled with six matte neutral shadows and a handy mirror. If you are a newbie to make-up, or just want a small core collection of products then this is a great item to own as you can use it for all kinds of make-up looks. The shades can even be used as eyeliner, and to fill in brows!

I tend to use the first four lighter shades the most often, and the other two more for evening make-up. Just like all UD shadows, they are a creamy consistency and really easy to apply.

The Urban Decay Naked Basics is £22 from Feel Unique  - get it here.


Beauty: Christmas Beauty Additions

January 13, 2015

I wanted to share a few of the beauty products that I've received for Christmas as I love seeing what new additions people get after the festive season. 

I am well and truly equipped with bath and body goodies. My sister bought me a pink egg box filled with bath melts from Wild Olive. She'd picked them herself and they smell divine! As you can see, I made a schoolboy blogger error and have used one of them already (before photographing, uh oh!). I also received some bath salts from Chris' Grandma which are always used up so quickly in our house! 

My brother and his girlfriend spoiled me with goodies from Jo Malone and Molton Brown. The Jo Malone Christmas decoration set contained a mini English Pear & Freesia Body Cream and a mini Pomegranate Noir Cologne - I had been going on about how much I love this scent so am pretty happy to have a bottle for my handbag. They also bought me two Molton Brown festive baubles filled with shower gel, which smell lovely, along with a samphire scented bodywash.

Another present was one which I've wanted for so long - the original 'Stella' perfume by Stella McCartney. This is such an iconic scent and is so perfect for winter. It's classic and beautiful. I was so pleased to finally get my hands on this!


Recipe: The Not-So-Green, Green Smoothie

January 11, 2015

When you put a smoothie recipe up on your blog, you want it to look beautiful and delicious. This sadly doesn't fit the bill, but it's full of good ingredients and tastes pretty good. I love the texture from the chia seeds and ground flaxseed, and the banana and blueberry provides the sweetness.

My parents bought my the Breville Blend Active (currently only £15.50 from Tesco) for Christmas and I have been using it non-stop ever since. It's the most convenient blender ever as you simply add the ingredients to the bottle, blend them up and then swap the blade attachment for the lid so you're ready to go! It also takes up hardly any space and has minimal washing up.

I'll admit that I am pretty rubbish at eating fruit and veg so smoothies have become the best way for me to get a good dose. I am going to start posting my favourite recipes and this is the first. I based it on the Ultimate Green Smoothie Formula which you can find here

Ingredients

Large handful of spinach
1 banana
A handful of frozen blueberries (I love using frozen berries as they make the smoothie cold, and are so much cheaper than buying fresh fruit)
1.5 cups almond milk
1 tbsp milled flaxseed
1 tbsp chia seeds

Method

Simply add them all to the blender and get whizzing!

Would love to know your favourite smoothie recipes so let me know in the comments!

Recipe: Brookies

January 07, 2015

What is a brookie? It's basically a mix between a cookie and brownie and oh my goodness, it is just divine. It's melt in your mouth, light, crunchy, chocolatey goodness. I made these twice over Christmas as they went down so well the first time - they are also really difficult to mess up which is a big thumbs up in my book!

All credit goes to Lily Pebbles - who first shared the recipe on her blog and YouTube channel - and who coined the wonderful word 'Brookie'!

The recipe makes quite a few Brookies so feel free to halve the amounts.

Ingredients


85g good quality cocoa powder
400g caster sugar
125ml vegetable oil (we used sunflower oil)
eggs
teaspoons vanilla extract
250g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
60g icing sugar

Method
1. Mix together the cocoa, caster sugar and vegetable oil. Beat in the eggs one at a time and then stir in the vanilla extract. Stir the flour, baking powder and salt into the cocoa mixture.

2. Cover dough and chill in the fridge for 4 hours (the first time I chilled it for 4 fours, the second time for 2 hours and both times they turned out delicious)

3. Preheat oven to 180c/gas mark 4. Line baking trays with greaseproof paper.

4. Pour icing sugar onto a plate and then spoon and roll the mixture into small balls, coating each one with the icing sugar before placing onto the baking trays. I found this bit the most tricky as the mixture kept sticking to my fingers! The best thing is to cover the mixture quickly with the icing sugar and it then becomes far more workable and easy to shape into balls.

5. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes and let them stand for a few minutes to cool.

6. Enjoy your Brookies!

Life: Instagram catch up

January 06, 2015

It's been a while since I've posted some of my Instagram snaps so thought I'd share some of my favourites from the past couple of months...

Mini pancakes in Greenwich Market// Covent Garden looking festive// Covent Garden Christmas Tree// First visit to Meat Market - the milkshakes are amazing!

Chocolates galore// finding a Paddington// a personalised birthday card for Chris- thanks to Polly for making it!// Lincoln Christmas Market

Mozzarella, tomato and avocado salad - yum// Cocktails with the girls// Brookies// love my brother and sister

A sprinkling of snow// Mmmm, cheese// Sheffield looking pretty// Back in London 

You can follow me on Instagram here.

Life: How to survive the first day back at work

January 05, 2015

Today has been the first day back after Christmas for most people and wow, it's been painful. I have had the Christmas blues big time and have been wishing I could rewind to two weeks ago when the festivities were about to begin. Here are five quick tips for the first day back after a break from the office - do let me know yours too!

1) Ease yourself back in gently. Keep your head down, drink lots of tea and occupy yourself with mindless tasks (I find email filing a good one).

2) Plan a holiday, a city break, a trip to see friends - anything that you can devote all of your energy to looking forward to!

3) Don't choose today to get healthy. Pig out on all of the chocolate and all of the sweets. Anything to get through the day.

4) Have a chilled, relaxing evening planned - a nutella hot chocolate, a new magazine and a Netflix marathon is the way to go.

5) Be happy in the knowledge that once today is over, it's only four days till the weekend!


Life: Christmas 2014

January 04, 2015

I wanted to get this post up before all things new and 2015 began, however life got in the way (well, a New Year trip to the Isle of Wight and yesterday somehow became a Broadchurch marathon) and so there we are!

Christmas feels like an age ago now. I've been lucky enough to have the whole two weeks off work and so started the festivities in Leeds seeing my friends from University - it's amazing how we don't see each other in months but when we do it's like nothing has changed. I then went straight from Leeds to Lincoln to my parents house and the Christmas fun began. 

It was our second Christmas in their new house and it was just as wonderful as the first. We indulged with hot chocolates and croissants for breakfast followed by lots of present opening and of course, the main event of Christmas dinner. The rest of the day was spent by the fire, napping in front of the TV and playing a game of Rapidough - this was the game of Christmas!

The following days after Christmas were spent at my house seeing family, winter walks, games and also nipping over to Chris' parents to see them (it's so handy having our parents living closer now). We even enjoyed quite a bit of snow, although the drive home from Sheffield in a blizzard was not so fun - listening to the Frozen soundtrack helped with the drama though! 

It's been a great Christmas, and as always I'm feeling pretty glum that the fun is over for another year. But hey, it's 2015. What will the New Year bring?