Saturday, 25 April 2015

Wrap-me Personalised Wrapping Paper

It's Adam's birthday this weekend and I love getting a few little surprises to pop in with the gifts I know he wants. I love love LOVE picking presents for people and choosing the right card, my dad owned his own card/gift/framing shop so I have a thing for good cards & wrap - I really hope Adam will see the funny side to this oh-so-him card!! 

Along with trainers, music stuff, clothes and a meal out at Gordon Ramsay's Union Street Cafe, my favourite part of the gift was the wrapping paper! I've seen this company pop up after a very successful blogger outreach campaign - I saw it being sent to some huge bloggers and reality TV stars to advertise and they got me hook line and sinker.  allows to to create your own wrapping paper with photos from you computer, Instagram or Facebook with prices from £4.99 plus free delivery You can upload up to 30 photos, I went for 28 photos and chose the small roll at 50cm x 2.2m for £9.99. It arrived within a week and is great quality plus should wrap everything so it's a definite winner for me! 

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Urban Decay Prize draw / Giveaway!

I  LOVE make up! I'm not a pro and I still don't have contouring down but I love testing new products and even better, reading other blogger reviews about new bits and bobs or trusted favourites.
I have a core collection of make up which I keep in my old faithful Benefit Lana bag and although I mix up my mascaras/lipstick/blush and bronzer pretty often I always always go back to my Urban Collection Palettes. These magical collections of eyeshadow are by no means new but everyone should have one of them in their make up bag...I am an absolute addict! They're not cheap at £38 but they last ages and in my opinion are well worth a treat (hello birthdays and Christmas!).
Urban decay have a small family of eye-shadow palettes but my favourite is the original. The shadows are wonderfully pigmented, blend really easily and offer neutral colours from day to night, they seriously work for any occasion.

I use my pallet

So that being said I've decided to run a little competition to win your very own Urban Decay Naked Palette worth £38. 

Whether you're a season pro and almost down to the pan on your palette or you've never tried it before enter below for your chance to win! 

The competition closes at 11.59am (GMT) on April 26th. Good luck! 

If you want to take a closer look or browse the rest of the Urban Decay Naked family click here

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Hello Fresh Recipe & Review

I love food. So much. I don't however always love cooking. I love the end result but sometimes after a busy day at work the last thing I want to do is cook a complicated meal but the lure of a home cooked meal usually means I'll cook whilst Adam preps the food. 

When a work friend told me she'd subscribed to Hello Fresh and loved it so far I had to find out more. The company deliver a box of everything you need to cook 3-5 meals for between 2-4 people (depending on your subscription). They also deliver on a Sunday and allow you to pause or cancel subscriptions easily. Bonus. 

I tested a Classic Box for two people and came with everything I needed for 3 meals. Online they state all ingredients are fresh, delicious and also take under 30mins to prep. Recipes change week on week and with 5 recipes and the ability swap the set 'chefs suggestions' there's definite choice.

In my box I received everything I needed for:

1. Gnocchi with creme fraiche pesto
2. Tandoori Chicken Pockets
3. The Maharaja's King Prawn Pilau

Everything came so well boxed, the meat was in a locked bag with ice packs and I even got an Lindt Easter Egg and Tea Pigs Berry Teabag to try too!

The first meal I tried was the Pilau. Now I'm not a prawn fan so I got some chicken to add in and Adam had the prawns. The recipe cards were really easy to follow and for me I loved it. For Adam who's used to hot curry's and biryani's at his parents, it didn't have enough flavour but he thought the amount of prawns was fantastic. 

The meals we made were all delicious, easy to make and pretty quick but for now I won't  be carrying on the subscription. Why? I like to take leftovers to work for quick easy lunches and with this box I don't think I'd get enough. At £13 per meal for 2 I'm not sure on the value as we have a lot of the items as store items anyway so price-wise I din't think I can justify £39 a week on 3 meals. I might try it again in the future as I love how easy and how fresh it was but for now I'm sorry Hello Fresh - I love the idea but I think it'd add to my food shop bill instead of lessen it.

If you want to give it a go use my code 5EU2G6 or use the link to get £20 off your first box!

If you fancy making the Maharaja's King Prawn Pilau meal here's the recipe:

1 Cup Onion, 1 Cup Sugar Snap Peas, 1 Garlic Clove, ½ Red Chilli, 2 Tsp Ginger, 1 Tbsp Cashew Nuts, 1 Tsp Ground Coriander, ½ Tsp Turmeric, 1 Cup White Basmati Rice, 2 Cardamom Pods, 1 Cup King Prawns, ½ Bunch Coriander, ½ Lime

How to:


Happy cooking! If you give Hello Fresh a go let me know what you think!

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Microwave Mug cakes that actually taste GREAT!

As I've mentioned before I'm not the best baker however I love food and if there's a shortcut to yummy homemade food I'm going to try it! After seeing mug cakes on Pinterest for goodness knows how long I decided to try it them out with the help of some friends from work. 

I tested 5 recipes and the winner by far was Nutella cake. Moist sponge and gooey chocolate sauce....what more do you want! 

If you fancy making this super easy mug cake then all you need is:

4 tablespoons plain flour
  4 tablespoons white granulated sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 egg
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 1/2 tablespoons Nutella
3 tablespoons milk
 Drop of vanilla extract
 3 tablespoons melted butter
Optional - leftover Easter egg pieces (yeah right...they're all eaten already!)

Now in theory you can mix everything in the mug however I'm pretty messy so I used a bowl to keep things tidy! I added all of my dry ingredients into the bowl and then mixed together, add the egg, Nutella and melted butter. Mix well with a fork (or whisk) and bobs your uncle! Pour into your mug and microwave for 1-2mins

Mine took just over 1min but make sure you keep an eye on it, mine didn't rise a huge amount so be aware.

Mine was still gooey around the edges and spongy on the inside...perfect! I added whipped cream with some extra chopped nuts and some melted Nutella on top and voila! You could also serve with thick double cream or ice cream instead. 

The other recipes we tried were black forest, apple crumble, coffee and vanilla. My second fave was the apple crumble cake with a layer of caramelised apples, if you'd like to see the recipe for that then just let me know! 

Monday, 6 April 2015

My First Glossybox

What is Glossybox? Well, for a monthly subscription of around £10 (dependent on the length you subscribe), you get a box of surprise beauty products delivered to your door. Sad as it sounds it's quite exciting to open it not knowing what goodies the box may bring! I was lucky enough to get a years subscription for my birthday (thank you C!) so I have a whole 12 months of surprises heading my way! 


First off...I love the packaging. Sweet soft pink with pink tissue paper and black ribbon. Cute. Inside March's box I found:

1. Naobay Moisturising Peeling 100ml
I was a little confused about what this was given the name. It's actually an exfoliator not a peel in the chemical sense. 99% natural (brilliant!), and full sized it'll certainly last a long time, and with an orange scent and little exfoliating beads in a silky cream it certainly does the job. I'm not sure this will take over from my liquid exfoliator but I'm definitely going to give it a good go.  

2. Dove Youthful Vitality Shampoo & Conditioner
Two decent trial sizes perfect for weekends away or holiday bags! I'm not a fan of the name as I don't understand how a shampoo can make hair more youthful but they smell nice. Admittedly they don't do a great job with my fine hair but Adam will certainly get use out of them.

3. NCLA Nail Polish 
A full sized pretty pink nail polish. It comes out lighter than expected but with two coats and a top coat it's certainly got my toes summer ready after months of wintry reds. I've had it on a week and it's lasting well so definitely a brand I'll look out for in the future. 

4. Essence Lash Princess Volume Mascara
I hadn't heard of Essence before, on first impression I'm not really keen on the packaging as it looks a little teenagery to me. I tried this on a day at home when I didn't have too much to do as day to day I just can't part ways with my Better Than Sex Mascara (mentioned in another post here). With a arch shaped brush this went on easily and didn't clump, it didn't give my eyes the dramatic look I like however for a day you don't want to make much effort but have something on it'll do the job. 

5. Carmex Moisture Plus Tinted Lip Balm 
I'm a lipbalm fiend. I get really dry lips all year round so I'm constantly putting on my Elizabeth Arden 8hr cream and always carry a lipbalm in my bag on the go (usually Berts Bees or EOS lipbalm). This looks dramatic but as it's a balm it's a nice sheer natural pinky red and would be great for on the go or I'll be keeping my in my desk at work. 


In the box you also receive a card with extra product info on and if needed how to use. From what I can gather online everyone gets the same products with maybe one item mixed for something else. Glossybox also do teasers of what the next month box will contain which is fun especially as I spy a Lord & Berry Lipstick pencil which I'm eager to try! 


I'd love to know if anyone else has tried subscription boxes before and which might be worth a try!

Sunday, 5 April 2015

New Look & ASOS Wishlist

New Look & ASOS Wishlist

I love a good wish list, I go through phases of window shopping online and it's mainly when I should be working or I'm putting off doing something important!  I'll often go online for one item I actually need and then end up piling items into my shopping basket only to then move it all to a wish list as I can't afford the £100+ worth of clothes/make up/accessories/home-ware that I don't actually need. 

However, there's no harm in looking and I like keeping on top of what's trending. Sometimes If I have a spare bit of cash or whatnot I might go back to the wish list and buy myself a treat (but let's be honest, I'll have to sell something on eBay to ease the guilt!). 

Here are my current faves with a mix of New Look & ASOS, there's some really great affordable items out at the moment and I'm loving the spring summer vibe (and ignoring the grey miserable day outside today!).

Friday, 3 April 2015

New bits and pieces

items not mentioned below: White top - Primark £4 Pink Fluffy Keyring - H&M £3.99 or £1.99 (I forgot to note!)

Happy April!! Seriously, HOW?! Easter is upon us, I've already cracked open and demolished my first Lindt bunny and a long weekend lies ahead...bliss. I've got a few boring but much needed house bits planned, blog catching up, hopefully a lovely spring walk, starting Better Call Saul and brunch should equal a relaxing fun weekend!

So this post has been a while coming but I popped into my favourite bargain shops Primark & H&M and got a few spring summer pieces - not that I can wear them much at the moment with this weather! I had a voucher from my birthday which was burning a hole in my purse so here are my purchases...


Rings rings rings...I just love Primark rings, they are cheap and have so many designs to chose from. I've bought almost identical sets from Accessorize before for 3 x the price or more and the Primark set match longevity (and you won't feel as bad if you lose it/it discolours etc!).

I have  staple pair of sunnies - nothing too exciting just a Topshop pair in a brown, however I saw these thick rimmed back pair in H&M and was surprised at how great they look on! They're sturdy and have been packed away in my everyday bag for the moment the sun decides to shine.
The skirt is a navy and white block pattern in a thick fabric with slight stretch. It's a mini but not too mini you can't wear everyday with thick black tights and a jumper whilst it's still chilly.

Black point shoes are my favourite. They class up an outfit a little yet they're still comfy. These were £8 from Primark and come in a mock suede with criss cross ankle fastening. Comfy and cute and a great copy for Zara. 
Earrings were a till purchase (damn you H&M and your crafty marketing) but for £1.99 I love them and I've been wearing them so the long bit goes up horizontally instead of hanging down.