Friday, 29 May 2015

Weekend Pamper Night

weekend pamper night essentials: neutrogena, next, flutter, avon cosmetics, nip + fab, Original source shower gel

weekend pamper night essentials: neutrogena, next, flutter, avon cosmetics, nip + fab, Original source shower gel

weekend pamper night essentials: neutrogena, next, flutter, avon cosmetics, nip + fab, Original source shower gel

weekend pamper night essentials: neutrogena, next, flutter, avon cosmetics, nip + fab, Original source shower gel


Everybody needs a little pamper night, don't they?

After a long day at work, I couldn't wait to have a relaxing bath, snuggle up in my most comfortable pyjamas and get ready for the weekend.  Here's are the products that I used this week, and I have to say I got into bed smelling delightful.  

Next Cashmere Moisturising Body Cream: With a light fragrance, this body cream has a lovely soft application and feels really luxurious. It's like a 2 in 1 product, where the moisture given is like a your standard moisturiser, but the floral scent gives the element of a body lotion making it a really good product to mix up in your body care routine. 

Flutter Bath Fizz: Given to me at Christmas, I finally had the chance to use it, and I simply fell in love with the range. Not only is very affordable but it smells amazing. Its a great product to spruce up bath time whilst providing nourishing benefits to your skin. 

Original Source Shower Gel in Zingy Lime: A favourite amongst many, Original Source shower gels are simply great for everyday use, especially when considering how inexpensive it is. This is one of my personal favourite scents as it lovely and refreshing with a zingy edge to it. For a budget product, it lathers really well and just gets the job done. Simple as.

Avon Pure Pore-fection Skin Refining Mask: Everybody needs a face-mask in a pamper session and I chose this one from Avon which I found to work pretty well in minimising the very little pores that I have anyway. It leaves my face feeling refreshed, clean and a little brighter.

Nip + Fab Sugared Almond Body Butter: This body butter is so thick and moisturising, I would definitely recommend to anybody with dry/ normal skin. The smell is just yummy and the packaging is pretty and cute. I've been really happy with their range so far and can't wait to try out more of their products. 

Neutrogena Deep Moisture Comfort Balm: One of my favourite budget moisturisers, Neutrogena have done well in creating something that targets my very dry face without making it greasy. With my skin being very dry, after application I can really feel this product really soaking well into the skin leaving it well nourished soon afterwards.

What products do you guys like to use to treat yourself on your own pamper night?


Monday, 25 May 2015

#BakingWithButton Banana Bread | Recipe + Photos


#BakingWithButton Banana Bread by youtube beauty guru Essie Button

#BakingWithButton Banana Bread by youtube beauty guru Essie Button
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#BakingWithButton Banana Bread by youtube beauty guru Essie Button

#BakingWithButton Banana Bread by youtube beauty guru Essie Button

#BakingWithButton Banana Bread by youtube beauty guru Essie Button

#BakingWithButton Banana Bread by youtube beauty guru Essie Button

With boredom hitting me hard, I decided to watch a bit of youtube videos and stumbled across Essie Button's video of her making her infamous Banana Bread. Feeling inspired, I headed to the kitchen,  laptop in hand, and started baking! 
I changed Essie's recipe a little (simply because i didn't have the right ingredients at hand) but it still ended up tasting delicious!!  I also used a regular round tin as I unfortunately didn't have a bread tin at home, but after this I will be sure to buy one and make this again sometime soon!
I think with the right ingredients (and tin) this would taste even better. 
*I did have vanilla extract but I forgot to include it in the picture above!

I jotted down the recipe for you to have a go yourself as I don't think Essie has a written recipe in the description box of her video, which you can check out here

Essie Button's Recipe

 2 cups Flour (I used wholemeal)
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Milk
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
3-4 ripe Bananas
3/4 a stick of Butter
1 cup Brown Sugar (I used Golden Caster Sugar)

My Version (Halved & with some ingredients substituted)

1 cup Wholemeal Flour (with a little Self-Raising Flour added to the mix)
1/2 egg
(just over) 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
(just over) 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
pinch of Salt (1/8 tsp salt)
1/4 cup Milk
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 - 2 Bananas
1/3 stick of Butter
1/2 cup Golden Caster Sugar

Instructions

  1. Firstly, preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. In a bowl, add milk and baking soda to the bananas, and mash together until you get your desired consistency (Essie leaves in large chunks, whilst I like it a little more on the smooth side)
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and butter.
  4. Add the egg, vanilla and the banana mixture from previously and continue whisking.
  5. Slowly add the flour, salt and baking powder until it is all mixed well (try not to over-mix if you like the banana bits chunky)
  6. Grease the baking tin using butter or margarine, and pour your mixture in.
  7. Add a topping of your choice if you wish (chocolate chips or walnuts).
  8. Pop the tin in the oven for 60-70 minutes, but do keep an eye on it throughout. 
  9. Once finished leave to cool for about 10-20 minutes, then tuck in!

I think I may have overcooked mine by a few minutes, but I absolutely loved how soft and moist it turned out to be. By substituting the plain flour for wholemeal flour also meant that the bread would turn out more dense rather than soft, but I think it worked well with this recipe and would probably do the same next time. 
Overall, the actual recipe is so simple and easy to do that I would recommend anybody with an interest in baking (or eating for that matter) to try this out!
I hope Essie creates more #BakingWithButton videos in the future, I think she is just great and enjoy watching her share her recipes for us folk to try at home.

Hope you enjoyed seeing this recipe in action, I certainly enjoyed making and eating this despite changing the recipe quite a but to fit my own needs! Be sure to check out Essie's video to accompany the recipe. 

What do you think of this recipe, will you be having a go at baking this yourself?






Saturday, 23 May 2015

Exploring Birmingham | Little Trip to the Custard Factory

MY DAY IN PHOTOS

Me and a few friends decided to venture out a little further in the city of Birmingham, and we came across the Custard Factory. I've heard lots about it, but I never realised the amazing artwork that can be found there, nor the fact that there are some cute little independent shops that sell really unique items. If anyone is ever in Birmingham and have some time to kill, I suggest just popping around and see what you can discover - after all, it really is a big city with so much to do!













Thursday, 21 May 2015

I went shopping.... | Haul












Blouse £10 from Primark
Patterned Leggings £6 (sale price) from Boohoo
Jeans £7 from Primark
Boots £12.99 (sale price, down from £27.99) from New Look
Rings £2.99 each (had a buy-one-get-one-free offer on jewellery) from New Look



This is a bit out there but I love these patterned leggings from Boohoo. Although they turned out much loose on the legs than I expected, I love the feel of the soft and silky material when I have them on. You can dress it up with a nice blouse and a pair of glitzy heels or just wear it casually with a plain t-shirt and a air of Converse. 

I love this feminine blouse and it comes in such pretty colours including this lovely mint as well as yellow and white making them perfect for the summer time. The material flows really nicely and flatters the body nicely, something that not a lot of blouses do for 'curvier' when (agh I hate that word!). I particularly love the zip detail which allows you to alter the neckline according to how you feel comfortable. It is such good value for such a beautiful article of clothing to add to your Spring/ Summer collection.

You can't really go to Primark and not purchase one of their bargain jeans! I love the colour of this pair, they are just so comfortable and you can pair them up with anything. The quality isn't the best and they do wear out more quickly than my Topshop pair, but sometimes you can do with a pair of casual jeans that you don't have to worry about the price of replacing. 

I am in love with these boots! I know I'm a bit late with the ankle boot trend, mostly because I refused to succumb to the pressure of having to purchase a pair of Chelsea boots that everybody seems to be wearing. Recently however, I changed my mind just like that and started to love the Chelsea / ankle boot style! Whilst browsing the New Look website, I stumbled upon these pair of bargain boots and just had to get them, quick! I love the leather-like texture and the punk-ish zip detailing, allowing you to create a grunge look or dress it up with a floral dress and leather jacket. Again, I just love them.

I also noticed everybody seems to be wearing dainty gold rings nowadays, so I just thought I had to get some myself. These ones are so pretty and such a bargain price. They are all difference in texture and design, and you can stack them up in which ever way you like. They will look great in the glistening sunshine in summer (I'm sure you can tell, I am so excited for summer right now!)

I hope your just as pumped up for the summer sun as I am, I hope I'm prepared with my wardrobe choices! Is there anything you'd like to get your hands on for this seasons wear? 

Feeling Down? You're not alone | My tips and advice


Today has just been one of those days where all I want to do is binge eat all the chocolate and ice-cream I have in the house whilst watching Pretty Little Liars. When I do this, I end up feeling worse and therefore eat more, trapping me in a vicious cycle that I can't get out of until the day is over. I'm not sure what brings this feeling on, maybe its stress or I might be a victim of mother natures monthly visit. Whatever it is, all I know is that I hate this feeling.

The only thing that makes me feel remotely better is going out for a walk but when I'm feeling like this I don't even want to get dressed, let alone leave the house. This has been happening for about 2 years and I am just sick of it. I have recently been monitoring what gets me like this and what makes me feel better when I'm feeling this way so I thought I would do a blog post all about it. Not for sympathy or attention, but to help those you feel the same way and to let them know they are not alone in this. It is not a diagnosed condition or mental illness, its just part of life. Sometimes you have to deal with these things without the help of medication. This can be by talking to someone you trust or simply reading someone else's experiences, whatever works for you. Do remember, it is ok to feel sad, lost, angry, frustrated, whatever else is running through that brain of yours! We are all humans with feelings and sometimes those feelings get exhausted and take it out on our physical bodies.

First of all, we need to understand why sometimes we get like this. After a bit of googling 'why do we feel sad', and a lot of self-searching, I discovered there are many causes as to why we feel glum and lethargic.

For me personally, it has a lot to do with both my expectations and my nerves. For example, when I plan that I am going to have a 'healthy eating' day and I end up eating that chocolate, it feels like my whole day is revolved around punishing myself by eating more and feeling worse. This is sometimes kickstarted by my anxiety and anxiousness, like when I have something 'big' happening on that day - even though it may not seem like a big deal to others, things seem to get to me pretty easily. I find the weather can also have a big impact on my mood. When its grey and dismal, I feel the gloominess inside me even more compared to when its a lovely warm, summers day. Thats not to say I don't get like this in the summer, because I definitely do. Its just that theres not one definitive cause, but instead an array of triggers.

Whats important is what to do when this happens to you. Through trial and error, I have found what works for me the majority of the time, although sometimes I just give in and basically lie in bed all day with my laptop and a tub of Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ben and Jerry's. But we don't want to do that every time, so here are a few tips that for me really do work:
  • If you feel it coming on early, do your best to start the day right. Eat a good (healthy) breakfast, get changed and write your plans for today down. When my whole day was free, it meant that there was nothing that I needed to do and it gave me an excuse to lounge around in my pyjamas all afternoon, which as you know is not the most productive way to spend the day. By writing down what you need to do, you will feel motivated into getting things done as well as feel pleased with yourself as you do so.
  • Do some exercise, which releases those feel-good hormones (endorphins) and relieves stress. It is a great way to relieve you from all those emotions that have been building up and allows you to focus on something else.
  • If exercise is not really for you, just go for a casual walk instead. Like I said before, when I'm in this state of mind, the last last thing I want to do is leave the house. So instead, I have to force myself to get some fresh air usually with the excuse that my mum needs something from the shops just so I can walk it to my local Tesco's. Let me tell you now, this really works like nothing else can. It may be the endorphins released from the walk, or the satisfaction that I'm burning off at least a fraction of what I binge ate before, but it makes me feel refreshed and free.
  • Stop with all of that junk food and try eating some fruit and drinking water. Instead of feeling sluggish, the fruit will give you that sugar-kick you need while leaving you to feel more refreshed (and less guilty too).
  • Getting lost in a book is my favourite thing to do, especially when its one of those that you just can't seem to part ways with. Try to go for something funny and thrilling, steering clear of soppy romances  as it can sometimes make you feel even worse! If thats not your thing, go for reading self-help books or magazines, where you'll find inspiration and advice to get you going.
  • Of course, watching your favourite movie with a bowl of popcorn is a good way to relax and unwind. Avoid dwelling on whatever's bothering you and cheer yourself up with the cheesiest rom-coms you can find. Or the scariest horror movies out there if thats your thing! Whatever genre you choose, just take a deep breath, get comfortable and forget the world for them 2 and a half hours.
  • If your in one of those moods where you keep thinking about things and getting lost in your own thoughts, instead of being sad about it all, think of something that made you laugh recently. Was it your dad's awful jokes, or your best mates hilarious school blunder. You could also simply focus on what makes you happy and being grateful for all those little moments in life you are pleased took place.
  • Tidy up! I'm not sure what it is but there's something very therapeutic about cleaning  my room and sorting my things out. One of my favourites is sorting out my wardrobe where I get to try things on and create outfits out of what I have. Theres a sense of nostalgia you can get by trying on old clothes whilst satisfaction is given when you finally get round to throw out that old top you've been holding on for years but can't seem to part ways withI get a thrill of organisation and it honestly leaves me feelings very organised and refreshed. Even better, you end up having a productive day that you can feel proud of and then use the evening for a nice bath and a good old Netflix session. 
  • Accept whats happened and think of every day to be a fresh start. Every day is a new chance to put things right and create a new experience for yourself. If you find that you still can't seem to get out of this rut you find yourself in then please talk to someone. Be it a family member, your friends or even a doctor, just let it out and tackle whatever problems you feel you may have day by day. 
I apologise if this is a long-winded post that doesn't even make sense for some of you but I really hope that anyone who feels the same way that I do sometimes realises that they're not the only ones who have down days. Remember, its OK to feel sad sometimes. Just try to handle it as best you can and you'll get there (I'm going to make sure I look back on this post and take my own advice when I'm feeling down!).