Tuesday, 28 October 2014

October Favourites

I've had a busy old week with work but just want to take the time to say a HUGE thank you to every single friend and reader who's taken a little look at this blog of mine. It's great to learn new skills (hello photoshop!), and to talk about the things that I love, however light and frilly these things may sometimes be. I hope this blog will continue to grow into something really eclectic.

Anywho, it's almost the end of October - and where one earth did this month go? I've been prepping for winter and it's been a practically tropical 20 degrees in London today. Becuase of that I've purchased a mixed bag of bits and bobs over the last month. I'm not a big shop kind of girl, I get little bits here and there instead of buying a load of things in one go. Although I love a spot of shopping, I really like to get in and out of a shops quickly which is why internet shopping is my best friend.

On the occasion I'm in central London, Primark Tottenham Court Road is a must visit, or if I feel up to braving the crowds of Oxford Street I do love to pop into my favourite shops as you can't beat seeing the items in the shop to feel the material and try on.

My October beauties have been some real favourites and I especially love the draped trench coat (below). The weather has been so changeable recently it's hard to what to wear when so it's the perfect lightweight cover up. The Laura Geller highlighter was something I didn't need - but after flicking over channels and seeing it on QVC, I had to try it. It's a gorgeous dewy powder, I'm a complete convert as I'm usually a big Benefit High Beam fan but this will last forever and with the handy applicator (basically a big eyeshadow applicator), you can apply with precision or just with your fingers.

Primark Trench & H&M t-shirt

Laura Geller Highlighter

Primark rings & H&M stud earrings
These simple stud earrings will go with everything and I'm very guilty of going months without earrings when they're so simple and easy! I'm also obsessed with a good gold ring. Chunky, simple, midi....I don't mind. This little selection from Primark gives you a cheap dress up option day to day. 

Primark flats & Origins face masks
The scarf was a purchase a few weeks ago when out and about with Adam in Angel. We'd gone out for dinner and a gig and it was freezing. I hadn't dressed for the cold so to stop my whining Adam generously bought me this lovely soft long Autumnal colour scarf and I can't wait for it to get colder again so I can wear it! The shoes are in a print that I love and are a great pop of colour, finally the face masks. Origins products are fab and this is a great little tester size of 4 pods of their face mask. This time of year going from hot to cold I can break out so this should hopefully calm down my skin.

Drape mac/trench: Primark £20   Leopard flats: Primark Limited £15
Midi Rings: Primark £2     Stud earrings: H&M £1.99    
Laura Geller supersize split highlighter: £30
Nude check scarf H&M: £12.99   Origins face masks (and freebies!): £8

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Mirror Love

I'm a little in love with my new mirror from eBay. I'd searched for ages for a tall mirror that would fit in our hallway, be full length and not be really flimsy. I'd found a few on the usual homebase/argos sites but non wide enough, until magical eBay. I find so much stuff on there I'm such an addict I don't know why I didn't look there first but I have to say when it comes to homeware I'm a little lost on where to start looking. 
So the mirror in question: simply type the below into the search box and it'll pop up. There's only a few left so be quick but I have spied a few similar ones on there too so maybe refine your search and take out measurements if these are all gone. 

Delivery was included in the price and really quick. It was packaged well and they even delivered on a Sunday which was great as I was worried about being at work when they attempted.

If you know of any other bargain websites or shops I might have missed on my hunt for this mirror let me know as I LOVE a bargain! 

 Feet and inch measurement: 5ft 4 x 2ft 4

Parisian White Shabby Chic Leaner Antique Dress Mirror 65" x 29" X LargeItem ID: 251665177318

Thursday, 16 October 2014

My Beauty Routine

Ever since I can remember I've had a pretty staple beauty routine, mostly thanks to my sensitive and sometimes spot prone skin which has followed me through my teens and well into my twenties! I've learnt how to manage it and have found a pretty great routine. I love to mix up my routine every now and again as feel that my skin gets used to certain products so it's good to pep it up by introducing a new item to your routine.

Starting with the basics; my go to cleanse/tone/moisturise routine is usually Liz Earle

I'm not using Liz Earle right now (a purchase will be happening in the next month!), but it's still in my travel bag. I was introduced to Liz Earle in my teens through my mum and QVC, now without sounding like I work from them they've introduced me to many a fantastic brand through the years and now stock so many brands we all know and love (L'occitane, Decleor, Nails Inc, Benefit, Bare Minerals). With their 30 day money back guarantee even when you use it/test it...you can't go wrong.

Back to Liz Earle - it's so gentle on my skin, smells amazing and lasts ages. I love to invest a little more on skincare and this is natural and gorgeous. The Cleanse and Polish cleanser is creamy and feels like a treat, smoothing the cream onto dry skin takes some getting used to but take it off with a warm muslin cloth and it leaves your skin feeling clean and soft. To tone, the instant boost skin tonic is refreshing and moisturiser (available in different concoctions for different skin types) is pure bliss. My skin always feels clean and plump after using the kit and it smalls divine. To finish the skin repair moisturiser is light and oil free but they have other richer forumlas.

I use Garnier Micellar Water to remove my eye make up as it's huge, normally on offer in Boots or Superdrug etc and is gentle on your eyes. I also like to use this on lazy days when I've not worn make up just to freshen up in the evening before I do my usual routine (the same goes for the morning after a heavy night out...it's lovely and refreshing). I read so many reviews and this one sounds like a great match for the much more expensive Bioderma (bargain eBay link!).

I keep all my freebies in a teacup. Just because.

I've been using the Philosophy Hope In A Jar Moisturiser after I cleanse and tone after receiving a sample outside Debenhams on Oxford Street. It doesn't have a great smell but it's pleasant and does as it says on the lovely jar, It's a lightweight whipped texture and feels satin soft once applied. A little does go a long way. I also use Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Moisturiser if my skins a little drier. It's lovely and rich but does have the distinctive 8hr cream scent (not for everyone!).

I've actually had a bit of a break from Liz Earle due to some breakouts months ago I've been using the brillaint Origins Zero Oil range. The cleanser and toner both smell lovely and my face feels really fresh after using them. Once I've cleansed and toned, I finish off with the Origins Spot Remover on any major breakouts if I have them. This stuff is potent and is the best non  prescription spot treatment I've tried. The bottle is tiny but again it'll last you ages. It really dries out the spots and works a charm, just make sure you moisturise the area well so you don't get dry patches.

I then add an eye cream, Now I have one for the morning and a rich one for night. At the moment I'm Origins No Puffery in the morning as it has a rollerball and is a lightweight gel texture which sinks in really quickly. At night, L'Oreal Revitalift Laser Renew Eye Cream ,which has a cool applicator nib to sooth tired eyes and is a rich creamy hydratng treat.

Once a week I've just started to use a liquid exfoliator by Aveda. I've only used it for a week or so so I can't give much of a review yet but I LOVE Aveda haircare so I'm hoping this will be just as great.

I've also been using Revitalash and can't sing it's praises enough. Yes it's expensive but if like me, you have short stumpy lashes, you'll really see a dramatic difference if you stick at it. As a treat I'd had lash extensions for a friends wedding in July and I LOVED having huge fluttery lashes but after two infills I realised a) I hate not being able to quickly sweep all of my eye make up off (you can't use anything oil based with falsies) and b) it was expensive. I was left with brittle lashes and my own seemed even shorter after the luxury of added length so after a friends recommendation and plenty of review reading, I decided to try it. After 6-8 weeks my lashes are the longest they've been and I can even skip the liquid liner sometimes (something I'd never do before).

Phew. Apologies for this being such a long post!

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Recipe time - comfort food

Comfort food for me comes in two guises - something savoury ideally involving creamy mashed potato or dauphinois potato (see a theme!), or some delicious desert preferably involving gooey caramel. Banoffee pie or the M&S toffee honeycomb tray bake are personal faves. 

As Autumn slowly draws in, this is perfect comfort food weather and although I don't want to let it all go in the hope my chunky knits will cover any sins, I also don't crave a crisp salad on a cold rainy night.

So with that in mind I decided to make homemade chicken kievs this weekend and they were such a great surprise! Yes I know this meal isn't a work of art and I definitely need to work on my photo skills, but they were blooming good. I don't ever buy kievs in the shops as they're always such a let down but these were anything but. Crispy on the outside, moist on the inside with a lovely herby garlic butter. Team it with some buttery mashed potato and greens and you're onto a winner. 


  1. 200g unsalted butter, softened
  2. 3 fat garlic cloves, crushed
  3. Small handful of fresh parsley & tarragon, finely chopped
  4. 4 skinless free-range chicken breasts
  5. 100g plain flour
  6. 2 large free-range eggs, beaten
  7. 100g fresh breadcrumbs (I used panko for extra crisp!)
  8. 2-3 tbsp olive or sunflower oil, for frying
  9. Pinch of paprika 
  10. Sea salt
  11. Ground pepper

Approx 6 maris piper potatoes, peeled & cut into quarters
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
200g tenderstem broccoli (or your preferred greens)
4 slices parma ham, finely sliced (optional)
1 lemon, zested

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 190°C
  1. 2. To make the filling, mix the butter, garlic, tarragon and parsley. Season well, chill in the fridge (or if like me you forget about this step you can freeze for 20 minutes.
  1. 3 For the chicken breasts, make a small slit in each fillet creating a pocket at a slight slant.

4. Take the butter out of the fridge (or freezer), and slice and add to the pocket. If still soft you can spoon in, or if you're a real pro whip out a piping bag and pipe the mixture in.

  1. 5. Mix the flour, pinch of paprika and seasoning together in a shallow bowl (I added some extra tarragon and parsley to the flour for some extra flavour). Tip the beaten eggs into another bowl and the breadcrumbs into a third. Toss the stuffed chicken in seasoned flour, shake off any excess then dip in the egg, followed by the breadcrumbs.Lay the breasts on a plate and chill to help the crumb firm.
  1. 6.. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the chicken breasts to the pan and colour for 2-3 minutes on each side, until lightly golden brown. Transfer the pan to the oven (or place on a baking tray) and cook for approximately 12-14 minutes until golden brown.
  1. 7. Boil the peeled potatoes until tender, drain, add some milk (or cream if you're feeling naughty), with a knob of butter, season and mix until smooth. 
  1. 8. Steam your greens for 3-4 minutes until tender and if you're feeling extra fancy heat a touch of oil in a pan and fry the parma ham. Stir in the lemon zest, steamed broccoli and seasoning and toss together.
  1. 9. Serve and enjoy!