Thursday, 28 February 2013

February Purchases And Some Gifts From Some Lovely Ladies

Hi Guys :)

February is the shortest month of the year so surely that gives us less time to shop? Well not in my case lol I haven't been bad by any means this month but I've done a little bit of spending and I've finished spending my Christmas money and most of my vouchers :). I've only got some Boots vouchers left and I'm still deciding what to but with those - I'm going to the Metro Centre on Friday so I'll probably spend them then, there seems to be lots of things that I'd like at the moment x

As I mentioned in last months haul post, I was waiting for an MUA haul. Yes I was lucky enough to be able to place my order on the 50% off promotion, or so I thought! The order was placed once but payment was taken 3 times!! Credit where it's due though despite a somewhat rocky start MUA were really efficient and sorted my refunds out for me in a friendly and helpful way. Thing is though they put my order on hold whilst they were investigating my problems but only after it had been dispatched, so I ended up getting two lots of products. I emailed MUA as soon as I got the second parcel and they said I could keep it all as it was their mistake and  to apologise for the problems that I'd had - Thanks MUA - people make mistakes but it's how they put them right that counts! I know everyone hasn't been as lucky as me with regard to their customer care but I can only speak from my own experience. I wasn't sure what to do with the extra products so that's where you guys come in, when I come to review the products in my haul, I will be giving you guys the chance to win some of them, so stay subscribed and keep an eye out for a chance to win.

In the meantime here's what I got :) I spent just £15.90 and got all of these goodies  - the Going For Gold Eyeshadow Palette

The Pro Base Complexion Kit in Ivory,

The Shimmer Kisses Blusher in Pink Kisses

The Matte Perfect Foundation in Fair and The Matter Perfect Loose Powder in Translucent

The Pro Base Fixing Mist,

a Lipstick in Shade 14 - Bare

and 3 nail polishes, Magnetic Nails in Piccadilly Circus, Fairy Dust Nails in Wings, and Mystical Glitter Nails in Jellyfish.

I really pleased with this little lot and I'll start putting some reviews, and lips and nails of the days up when I've had a chance to try the products out properly x I'm already planning my next MUA purchases including the Undress Your Skin Highlighting Powder - come to mama :)

Another item that I ordered last month that was delayed due to the snow was my first a england nail polish. I'd seen these a lot of blogs and since I'm such a holographic polish fan I knew I needed them in my life! One of the Pantone colours of the year is a gorgeous emerald green, so I thought I'd go for the shade Dragon, a beautiful dark holographic green

I can't wait to pop this on my nails and for £6 I'm really pleased.

The only other make up thing that I bought myself this month, was something that I paid for with my Boots points - the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Darling.

I'm not keen on the taste of these but I love the colour, which is a gorgeous pink / lilac.

At the start of the month me and Mummy Lou had a little Metro Centre trip. I had a lovely little mooch in Primark, but I was good and only spent £5 on a few hair things - I could have spent a fortune so many lovely things in there at the moment :) First up this hair band and these hair clips which were £1.50 each - I love the little bows :)

I also got one of these hair doughnuts which everyone and their momma seems to have, these are only a £1 so I thought it was worth it to have a little experiment.

Oh and I also picked up some of their Tea Tree cleansing wipes which are only £1.00 for 2 packs - I really like these and I also use them for wiping down my make up compacts x

My main Metro Centre haul this time was from New Look, I haven't shopped in New Look too much lately, but I was lucky enough to receive a £15 gift voucher from one of my besties Helen for Christmas - I wandered around the shop for ages before I made my mind up but I decided to go for this chunky cardigan from the sale rack - it was reduced from £17.99 to just £8.00. It's a really warm over sized cardi which I love, you can see me wearing it in my Product I'm Loving Right Now video, which you can see here x

I also picked up this shoulder bag, are you sensing a theme? Yes it has a bow on it, it's so cute and I love the nude and black colour way and the chain strap detailing. It's not huge but I love it and at just £9.99, it wasn't that expensive.

Those items came to £17.99 so I had to pay £2.99 on top of my voucher x Thanks Helen, your a star xxx

Keeping with the bow theme I also got this scarf from ebay :) It features black bows on a creamy background :)

It is made from the softest fabric and it's absolutely massive - You can see it here hanging against my IKEA Billy bookcase which hopefully gives you an idea of the length.

It was a total bargain at just £1.59 including postage from this seller x Last time I checked though they didn't have any but there are plenty more elsewhere on ebay x

I also picked up another massive scarf from ebay - this time one covered in a cosmetics print, which included nail polish bottles and lipsticks

The blub mentioned Zara but there is no Zara tag or branding on it. That doesn't really bother me though as I love the print. It was £1.78 including postage from this seller x

My final purchase this month was a little Yankee Candle tart which was just £1 from Semichem. It's from the Simply Home range and it's in the fragrance Lilac Petals

This month really hasn't been too bad spending wise and believe it or not I've actually came in under my monthly budget

  • Yankee Candle Simply Home Wax Tart - Lilac Petals - £1.00
  • Cosmetic Print Scarf - ebay - £1.78
  • New Look - Amount On Top Of Gift Card - £2.99
  • Primark Haul - £5.00
  • a-england Nail Polish - Dragon - £6.00
  • Bow Scarf - ebay - £1.59
  • MUA Order - £15.90
  • Total - £34.26
  • £5.74 Under

Yes I'm £5.74 under for the month of February I'm pretty pleased with that to be honest. I've visited quite a few shops but I've stayed strong. I'm going to get an early test in March with a shopping trip on Friday but hopefully I can keep up the good work.

              My mum as per usual also bought me a few things this month including another MUA Fairy Dust Nails - this time in Purple Mist.

              She also got me one of the new Rimmel Apocalips Lip Lacquers in 101 Celestial

              I love the colour but I don't think I'll be buying any more of these. The gloss texture means they dont last very long, and the formulations and colours mean that you need perfect application to avoid a clown mouth, or the I've been eating a jam doughnut effect. I really wanted these to be like the long discontinued Mac Lac Lustres but their just too glossy, and much shinier. I really don't get the hype about these unfortunately :(

              She also got me something else that I'm not sure about as yet - the Superdrug exclusive B. Skincare Micellar Water.

              To be fair I've only tried this a couple of times so far but the jury's out I'm finding it a little bit drying and it's making my eyes sting. I'll keep at it though and I'll let you know what I think in due course.

              She also bought me a couple of things after my hospital appointment last week, because I felt a bit crappy afterwards - I was after L'Oreal Confetti but unsurprisingly it had sold out everywhere I tried, instead the I went for 2 Barry M nail polishes which were on special. I got the Textured Nail Effects in Atlantic Road and a Gelly in Blueberry.

              She also paid for one of the new Tresemme Platinum Strength 60 Second Shots. I've been looking for these everywhere and I can't wait to try this

              My amazing momma also paid for this months Avon haul - I got two Sentiment bracelets from the sale leaflet - the red one is Love and features several charms including a puffed heart, and the blue one is Wish and features a number of charms including a wish bone.

              They were £2.75 each and I think they will work perfectly with these bracelets that I picked up in Cyprus a few years ago x

              She also kindly paid for some of the Kiss N Go Colortrend lipsticks for me, which were on a buy 1 get 2 free offer - so I got these 3 for just £3.75 - I got Pink Holiday, Flirt and Beige Star

               I'll be doing a post with swatches and reviews of all the lipsticks I own from this range, either at the end of this week or the beginning of next so you can see some proper colours and swatches then xx

              My lovely friend Dawn (Hi Dawn :) I know she reads my blog ;) kindly bought me a little pressie this month :)

              Cute isn't it? This is one of the Lulu Guinness designs currently being sold at Sainsbury's in aid of Red Nose Day. There are three designs this cat, and the doll design are based on two of her top selling designs, and there is another in a spot pattern which is a new design.

              I've been a lucky girl this month and I've managed to win a couple of things too including this gorgeous blusher from a Bourjois twitter giveaway.

              The shade is 37 Rose Pompon and it's a gorgeous pinky, coral colour - It's funny the only make up I ever seem to buy from Bourjois is foundation, but I'm so pleased with this, that I'll definitely be taking a closer look at their stand next time I'm out.

              and this sample of the new Jimmy Choo Flash perfume from What's In My Handbag?. I'm a bit disappointed with this to be honest, based on the description I thought I'd love it but I don't still money saved I guess xx

              So that was my February haul, a few purchases and a few gifts, if you have any questions on anything that I've bought or being gifted or won please leave me a comment x

              Sunday, 24 February 2013

              Foodie Friday On A Sunday - Lou's Pimped Up Mushroom Soup

              Well this weekend has a return to the snowy side of the street. We didn't really get much of a respite though did we, less than a week this time I wish the snow would make its mind and either stay for a bit or my preferred option disappear until Christmas again :) I wanted something warming to eat this weekend so I had another look on the Juicemaster website to try and find something that I could make using just what I had in the vegetable basket and in the fridge. The recipe I decided to try was for the Marvellous Magic Mushroom Soup. You can see the original recipe here x I have to be honest and say I'm really not a fan of tinned mushroom soup but I thought I'd give this ago as I love mushrooms and fresh soups always tasted better than canned. As per usual I've altered the recipe a bit based on what I had and my own personal taste but I'm sure the original would be amazing as it is.

              Lou's Pimped Up Mushroom Soup

              300g Mushrooms
              4 Cloves Garlic
              2 Medium Red Onions
              1 Vegetable Stock Cube or Vegetable Stock Pot
              1 Tablespoon Olive Oil 
              1 Teaspoon Butter
              100g Natural Yogurt
              Dried Chilli Flakes - Optional
              Salt and Black Pepper To Taste

              1. Add the oil and butter to a large saucepan - then add the roughly chopped onion and garlic, heat gently until they start to soften 

              2. In the meantime clean your mushrooms - DON'T wash them - The original recipe says to wash your mushrooms, unless they are really, really dirty (if you get them from a supermarket they won't be) - you'll remove all the nutrients. Wipe them gently with a piece of damp kitchen paper instead. The chop them into small ish chunks.

              3. After about 8 minutes you onions and garlic should be soft and starting to look translucent

              Add your mushroom and mix everything together - if your using chilli flakes pop them in now too xx and cook down for about 10 minutes or so till their soft.

              4. In the meantime make up your stock, you want roughly 570ml maybe a little bit more - I'm using a veggie stock pot here x

              Add you stock to your pan and maybe a little bit of extra boiling water to make sure your vegetables are covered and simmer for at least 10 minutes - I left mine for about 30 and it was fine.

              5. Remove the pan from the heat and add your yogurt and mix in thoroughly.

              6. Then blend till smooth in a blender or with a stick blender.

              7. Return the soup to the pan check the seasoning and heat for another few minutes - don't allow it to boil though.

              8. Voila - super tasty fresh mushroom soup, you can serve it on its own or with bread or as I did cheese scones (recipe coming soon x)

              I have to be honest and say that this isn't the most attractive soup by any means but it tastes great, and has a real savoury flavour. I used "normal" supermarket mushrooms but you could definitely pimp it up even more with some wild or more artisan mushrooms, and of course you could also use cream instead of the yogurt or creme fraiche for a real luxurious, rich flavour. That's one of the reasons I think I love cooking so much, I love experimenting and finding out new recipes and flavours. Have you ever made soup? what's your favourite recipe? let me know in the comments xxx