Month: February 2014

The Body Shop Haul/ Review

Over the past month or so I’ve been trying out some new skincare products from the The Body Shop. Prior to this I had never really  tried much of their skincare and I was impressed by the different ranges and variety of products they had. When I purchased these products I used a 30% off discount code I saw on their website, they’re always having amazing deals so definitely look out for any offers! Before giving my opinions on the products I should tell you that I have oily/blemish prone skin so if you don’t have this type of skin then the products may not work as well or perhaps work even better. Anyway here we go…….

006

Vitamin E Gentle Face Wash, Vitamin E Moisture Cream, Seaweed Mattifying Moisture Cream, Camomile Gentle Eye Make Up Remover.

Vitamin E Gentle Face Wash- £8.00

I use this in the morning as a gentle cleanser to clean my skin but not strip it and also as my first cleanse of the night with a hot flannel to remove my foundation etc. I really like this cleanser and find it removes my make up really effectively and leaves my skin feeling nice and clean without being over drying or anything. I think it’s a good product for the price and one that I’m going to keep repurchasing.

Camomile Gentle Eye Make up Remover- £8.00

I love this! I just pop come on a cotton wool pad and hold it over my eyes for a few seconds then gently wipe off my make up. It’s really effective and gets off all my eye makeup but it’s also really gentle on the eye area. It doesn’t really have much of a scent which is something I like about my eye make up removers. I don’t actually use waterproof mascara so I can’t vouch for it’s ability to remove that. For me this does everything I want from my eye make up remover and not a bad price really!

Seaweed Mattifying Day Cream- £10.00

First of all, I wasn’t keen on it being in a pot rather than a tube as it seems less hygienic, however as long as you only dip into it with clean hands it should be okay. I also thought that in a way it’s good because it means you can get all the product out of the tub rather than the inevitable waste that comes with tubes. I really like this cream and find that it helps to keep my skin matte throughout the day, which is good news for my makeup. I would recommend you apply a more moisturizing lotion over any dry patches as it really doesn’t do much for them. Other than that I’m pleased with this product.

Vitamin E Moisture Cream-£10.00

I actually received this as a free mystery gift with purchase a while back. I use this at night after washing my face as it is quite thick for me to use in the day. I like this product and think that it provides my skin with a nice moisture boost and definitely seems to improve the texture of my skin.

So there we have it. What skincare products have you tried from The Body Shop?

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Recipe: Chocolate Fudge Cake

This was by far the best tasting chocolate cake I have ever made so I thought I would share it with you guys! Give this a go and I assure you, you will not be disappointed!

002

Ingredients:

  • 100g Margarine/Butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 260g Caster Sugar
  • 170g Self Raising Flour
  • a pinch of Salt
  • 50g Cocoa Powder
  • 160ml Milk

For the Icing:

  • 200g Icing Sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of melted Margarine/Butter
  • 3-4 tablespoons of Boiling Water
  • 3 tablespoons of cocoa
  • Sprinkles of your choice

Method:

1) Preheat your oven to 180 degrees/ Gas Mark 4. Grease and line your tins.

2) Weigh out all of your sponge ingredients.

3) Beat together the margarine and sugar for about 5 minutes till light and fluffy ( you can do it by hand or electric whisk).

4) In a separate small bowl, beat together the two eggs. Add the eggs gradually to the margarine/sugar mix until fully combined.

5) Sieve in the cocoa to the mix well.

6) Sieve in half the flour and the pinch of salt.

7) Add the milk and mix until well combined.

8) Mix in the rest of the flour.

9) Pour the mixture evenly into your tins and make sure you have a flat top.

10) Bake for about 20-25 mins. To check when your cakes are done, poke the small end of a spoon into the middle and if it comes out clean they are ready!

11) On to the icing; make this while your cakes are cooling. Sieve together the icing sugar and cocoa. Add in the melted butter. Add the boiling water gradually and mix until well combined.

12) When the cakes are cool enough spread the icing in the middle and on the top of the cake. Finish by adding your sprinkles of choice on the top!

Hope you enjoy 🙂

004

Recipe: Apple Crisp Crumble

Hey! Apple Crumble is one of my all time favourite desserts, there’s something about it that is so homely and comforting on abcold winter’s night. The main bonus of it of course is that it’s super easy to make and really doesn’t take very long. There are a lot of recipes out there for apple crumble and I find everybody does it slightly different, i.e. additions to the topping etc but here’s how I like to make mine!

007

Ingredients:

Topping

  • 225g Plain Flour
  • 150g Margarine/Butter
  • 115g Sugar
  • 1tsp Cinnamon
  • Handful of flaked almonds

Filling

  • 600g ( about 3) Bramley Apples
  • 50g Sugar
  • 1tbsp Flour
  • Half a teaspoon Cinnamon

Method:

1) Firstly, prepare all of your ingredients i.e get everything weighed out to make life easier for yourself as you go through the recipe. Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees ( Gas 4/5)

2) Rub the flour and Margarine together until it resembles breadcrumbs ( or looks sort of like the picture below). I think you can do this in a blender to make your life easier.

003

3) Stir the 115g sugar and 1 tsp of Cinnamon into the mix till evenly distributed. Set this mix to one side and move onto the filling.

4) Prepare your apples by peeling and de-coring them. Chop the apples into slices and place them in the dish you intend to cook the crumble in.

5) In a separate bowl mix together the 1tbsp flour, 50g Sugar and half a teaspoon of Cinnamon. Evenly distribute this mix over the apples and try and coat the pieces in the mix.

6) Now you can put your topping over the apples. Smooth over to create a flat top.

7) Sprinkle over the almonds. I also like to put extra sugar on the top to make it nice and brown and cripsy. I think brown sugar works great but use whatever you have!

004

Hope you enjoy 🙂

Review: Yankee Candle Wax Tart Spring/Summer Fragrances

A few weeks ago I went into my local House of Fraser to sniff the latest Yankee Candle seasonal offerings. I prefer to burn the tarts because they are so much cheaper than candles and I think they fill the room better with the scent than small candles do. If you don’t know what wax tarts are, they’re essentially just chunks of wax that you put into a tart burner and the melting of the wax produces the scent. I think that it’s a great way to try out scents because they are so inexpensive ( around £1.25) and you could always buy a big candle at a later date if you particularly like the scent. Anyway, House of Fraser were pushing a few scents in particular (giving you 25% off RRP) so I assumed these would be the newly released Spring scents, however I don’t think they are this years official releases. That being said all three are definitely spring time/summery scents, so here’s what I thought of them…….

Pineapple Cilantro, Waikiki Melon and Beach Flowers Tarts

Pineapple Cilantro, Waikiki Melon and Beach Flowers Tarts

Waikiki Melon

This scent is described as juicy melon with a touch of sweet orange oil. When melted this tart has a really noticeably strong and sweet melon scent. I don’t think you can really smell the orange much but I have no complaints about this. The scent filled my living room (which is on the larger side) with a beautiful fruity scent that was, in my opinion, the perfect summer scent. It made me think of sitting at a bar on the beach somewhere lovely and warm, i.e. a million miles away from Britain.

Pineapple Cilantro

This was by far my least favourite scent of the three. It actually didn’t remind me of a pineapple scent at all and smelt more to me like a “pina colada” sort of scent. It was still nice but not really what I was expecting and it  reminded me of those classic car freshener scents that we have in the UK ( you know the little tree shaped ones) which wasn’t really what I wanted my living room to smell like. I thought that compared to the previous scent it wasn’t nearly as strong and didn’t fill the room with the scent very well as after a few hours it was still only just noticeable.

Beach Flowers

My favourite scent of the three tarts. This is meant to be “tuberose, lily and hyacinth blossoms balanced with soft watery notes” and I think it matches this description really well when burnt. The melting tart filled my living room with the most delicate lily and rose type scent which I think is the perfect spring scent. I personally love the smell of lilies so this was always going to be the one that I fell in love with. What I like most about this scent is that it fills the room nicely but it’s such a delicate scent and not a really overpowering synthetic flower smell like a lot of air fresheners can be.

So there we have it, some spring/summer scents to please your nose 🙂

 

Something Sweet Magazine and Homemade Truffles!

I recently started to subscribe to the new Something Sweet magazine which is all about making confectionery. The magazine comes out every week and costs £2.99 a time, for this you get the magazine and a piece (or several) of equipment that helps you make the recipes inside. As a subscriber you can also receive several other helpful free gifts. I thought I would share my thoughts on the magazine and review the chocolate truffle recipe from issue 2.

The second issue of the magazine

The second issue of the magazine

Free gifts with the magazine!

Free gifts with the magazine 

First of all, I think the products that come with the magazine are great value considering the price in only £2.99! Items such as chocolate molds are great as they will last forever and enable you to build up a stock of equipment to make a variety of sweets/chocolates. The magazines are great; including about 4 recipes, advice on equipment and a feature on a different technique every week. This means that you can easily learn more skills and make more complex things eventually. Even if you only get the odd few issue of this magazine I would say it’s worth it, it’s fun to make these tasty treats and you get equipment that you can sue time and time again.

On to the truffles……..

016

This recipe was really easy to follow and I think worked out pretty well.

The magazine calls for: 200g Dark (i.e. 70% cocoa solids) Chocolate, 175ml Cream and cocoa for rolling the truffles in.

First off I made some slight adjustments; I used ordinary milk chocolate as most of the people who were going to eat these aren’t big on dark chocolate and I also had some of my own ideas on the finishing of the chocolates. I had some mixture that I kept aside and added orange flavoring too and some that instead of rolling in cocoa I covered with either milk or white chocolate. But here’s how I got on with the recipe…….

1) Chop the chocolate finely ( a task I hated)

008

2) Heat up the cream till just before boiling. Then pour over the chocolate and swirl the bowl till covered. Leave to stand for 1 minute, then stir in the same direction till combined and glossy. Leave to stand for 10 minutes.

009

3) Mix with an electric whisk until the mixture thickens.

010

Leave this mix to cool for an hour.

I would give this mix a good stir before the next step which is……..

4) Take teaspoons of the mix and place them on a baking sheet which you cool in the fridge for 15-20 minutes

012

5) Then they are ready to be rolled in cocoa or decorated however you like

015

So there we go, a good recipe that was easily to follow and successful even for a first time chocolatier! I definitely recommend the magazine on the basis of the content and the equipment you get with it!

 

 

My Beauty Wish List

As I don’t have a huge budget to spend on beauty products, I spend a lot of time trawling through the internet desperately lusting after things that just don’t fit into that weeks budget. I have read a few of these kinds of posts before and I always enjoy nosing at what people are shopping or window shopping for. So I thought I would share with you all the things I’ve been staring at longingly on my laptop screen. These may be things I end up buying or things that just never materialise but here we go anyway…….

NARS Eyeshadow Duo in Isolde.

Nars eyeshadow

I was at the NARS counter in Debenhams the other week when I spied this wonderful duo. The colours are much nicer in real life; the lighter shade is a light gold shade and the darker one is a bronze. The consistency of these shadows was really creamy and the pigmentation when swatched seemed really great. I love bronzey eyeshadows as I have blue eyes and I think bronze always looks lovely on blue eyes. I’m definitely going to purchase this in the near future and I’m sure you’ll be hearing way more about it when I do. This retails at £23.50 on the ASOS website and if you’re a student you can use your discount to get 10% off!

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12- Hour Blush

 

Courtesy of the Tarte Website.

Courtesy of the Tarte Website.

Living in the UK I’m not able to get hold of Tarte products, which is tragic I know! Luckily some of the Tarte range will be available to buy in the UK from QVC in the next few month so I shall be spending all available pennies then. I particularly like the look of the much talked about Amazonian Clay blushes. The one above is in the shade Glisten which is described as a “shimmering peachy pink”, just my sort of shade.

REN Morocan Rose Otto Bath Oil

Courtesy of the REN website

Courtesy of the REN website

I have the Rose Otto shower gel and moisturizer from this range and I absolutely adore the scent! This promises to “nourish the skin and leave it lightly fragranced with roses”.  The scent is described as having soothing properties which is exactly what you want from a bath. If this wasn’t £30 then I would have bought it long ago but it’s a bit too much of an investment at the moment I’m afraid.

Origins GinZing Eye Cream

Courtesy of the Origins website

Courtesy of the Origins website

I had a sample sachet of this which I used up the other week. It was a good size sample and you only need a very small amount to make a noticeable difference to the under eye area. The cream has a pearlescent quality to it which really brightens your eyes up, it also really depuffs the area so I was putting a tiny bit both under and above the eye and it was wonderful! This retails for £23 on the Origins website but they do often have great offers and free gifts with purchase so worth taking a look.

So there are the items that I’m lusting after the most at the moment! Let me know if you have tried any of these products and what you think of them 🙂

Healthy Lunchtime Noodles

Heyyyyyy! Today’s post is a really quick recipe idea for some healthy tasty noodles, that can be eaten hot or cold. This keeps quite well in a air tight container in the fridge for a few days so you can make it advance and take it as your lunch on busy days.

Oodles of noodles

Oodles of noodles

Ingredients:

  • 350g Medium Egg Noodles
  • 4tbsp Sesame oil
  • 2tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 large sliced carrot
  • 200g Mange tout
  • 225g Drained Water Chesnuts ( I just used tinned from my local supermarket)
  • 50g Cashew nuts

Method:

1) Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet.

2) Whilst your noodles are cooking, mix the sesame oil and soy sauce in a bowl.

3) Drain the noodles thoroughly and place them in slightly greased hot wok ( or pan).

4) Pour the sesame oil/ soy sauce mix over the noodles and mix thoroughly to coat the noodles.

5) Toss in the water chesnuts, carrot, mange tout and cook until warm enough to eat.

6) Just before taking off the heat sprinkle over the cashew nuts.

Hope you enjoy! 🙂