Wednesday 31 December 2014

My Christmas Day - Outfit, Nails Of The Day And Some Of The Things I Got For Christmas

For my last post of 2014 I thought I'd reflect, not on the year gone by but on the magical day that seems to flash by in the blink of an eye - I'm talking of course about Christmas Day!.

I don't know about you but Christmas for me really starts on Christmas Eve. Muppets Christmas Carol, mince pie making, mulled wine and new PJ's really get me in the mood for the day to come. This years festive pj's from Mummy Lou weren't that festive but they were something that I'd been after a long while.

Minions of course, I think I've gone Despicable Me daft this year, it just makes me smile no matter what, it's just so silly. As much as I would have loved to lounge around in my PJ's all day Christmas Day, we have a sort of dressing for dinner thing going on in my family so I got my legs out and donned a frock.

What I Wore

Burgundy / Wine Tunic Dress With Puffed Sleeves - Primark
Gold Tone Chunky Crystal Necklace  - Next 
Gold Tone Chunky Crystal Stud Earrings  - H&M
Black 100 Denier Tights - George At Asda

I'm sorry for the in the mirror selfies but Mummy Lou had more important things to attend to like the stuffing and the gravy. Since I was making lunch with her I had to be super quick getting ready so no pics I'm afraid but I used a bit of tinted moisturiser, and bit of blush, mascara, and a tiny touch of Beauty Marked and Cranberry eyeshadows by MAC which toned in with my dress. Thankfully I'd done my nails the night before so I wasn't in too much of a rush. I went for an oldie but a goodie, and again something that toned in with my dress.

From around 2003, OPI - Fee Fi Fo Plum, is still in perfect condition. It's a gorgeous slightly shimmery and metallic, wine / plum shade. This is two coats but you could even go to 3 to get a much deeper, richer finish.

Wear time wasn't amazing but that was more down to my lack of top coat and battling with sellotape rather than the age or the quality of the polish. 

I have to say I did spend a lot of time ripping off sellotape on Christmas Day x I was a very, very lucky girl. I know I complain a lot about my life and my illness, but I do have an amazing family, and a small but precious group of friends and for that I am eternally grateful. They are there for me even on my darkest days and they make me who I am, my happiness is their happiness and as a result I was well and truly spoilt on Christmas Day. I know some of you aren't fans of gift hauls and view them in a negative, show off way so if that's how you feel please take your negativity elsewhere, don't read and don't comment, 

Quite a few friends, and some family read my blog now and this is my way of expressing my gratitude. I'm not going to go into much detail the pictures should speak for themselves xx 

As well as the presents from my friends and family I also got a little present from The Body Shop in my goodie bag from the recent bloggers event. I was a good girl and saved mine for the big day. Inside my pressie I was lucky enough to get a 50ml Strawberry Body Butter, a bright green bath lily, and a Glazed Apple 60ml Shower Gel

There are a few bits here including some permanent Make Up Revolution items, some New CID items and a Bare Minerals palette that I will review for you, and of course I will also be reviewing my Mad Millie Cheese Making Kit which I can't wait to try x I received so many lovely things and I'm fully aware of how grateful I am so I'd just like to say a huge thank you to all of my friends and family x 

I also received two other very special, large presents from my amazing mummy which you may have already seen on my instagram, both of these things are related to tomorrows post, I'll show you them tomorrow x Till then thanks for reading and I hope that you all have an enjoyable and safe New Years Eve x 

Sunday 28 December 2014

Foodie Friday On A Sunday - Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies

I hope you all have a lovely Christmas, I certainly did and I'll tell you a little bit more about it tomorrow but in the meantime after a few days break I'm back with a new post. I meant to put this post up on Christmas Eve but I just didn't have time, never mind whist this recipe is associated with Christmas there is nothing to stop you making these lovely cookies, all year round - I present to you my Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookie Recipe. This recipe took a long, long time to perfect. If you've seen the Waitrose / Ocado advert then you'll probably feel my pain. Gluten Free flour is a bit of a pain to deal with as it seems to absorb liquid completely differently to wheat flour, so throughout my experiments the dough ended up both way too soft and way too dry until finally I got it right. This recipe is specifically for gluten free flour so it's not one that you can adapt back to to wheat flour.

Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies

500g Gluten Free Self Raising Flour
3 tsp Ground Ginger
1 tsp Xanthan Gum
3 tsp Bicarbonate Of Soda
A Pinch Of Cinnamon 
 A Pinch Of Salt

75g Butter Or Margarine
125g Soft Brown Sugar 
3 tbsp Golden Syrup

1 Egg Beaten

1. Sieve your flour, your cinnamon, your ginger, your xanthan gum and your bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl. Then add a pinch of salt.

2. Set your bowl to one side and add your golden syrup, your fat and your sugar to a large pan

and warm until the fat and sugar are melted.

3. Preheat your oven to around 180 C, grease some baking trays and in a small bowl beat your egg.

4. Once your fat, sugar and syrup are melted add them to your flour 

and then add your beaten egg.

5. Mix all of the ingredients together until you achieve a firm dough. Start off with a spoon and then get your hands in and give it good knead. If it's too dry add a little milk or a egg and if it's too soft add some more flour

6. Leave the dough to cool for a little while then divide your dough into 4 - Gluten Free dough is notoriously hard to roll out so it's easier to do it in smaller batches.

7. Then flour your work surface and rolling pin and start to roll out your dough

and then using a floured cutter start cutting out your shapes. I find it easier to use a smaller cutter with gluten free dough because it's so fragile.

8. Put your cut out shapes on a baking tray, leaving a gap between each one because they do have a tendency to spread and bake for about 10-15 minutes till golden brown. Keep an eye on them though, all ovens are different and one of my trays only took about 7 minutes.

9. The cookies will still be soft so leave them to cool on your baking tray for a few minutes before carefully removing them with a palette knife and putting them onto a wire rack to cool completely.

These cookies should be crisp on the outside and soft and chewy in the middle. Obviously I've cut mine into Christmas shapes but you can cut them into all sorts of shapes including the traditional ginger bread person.

I intended to decorate mine with white glace icing and festive sprinkles, but I never got round to it. Obviously for gingerbread people you can add currants and mark out a face before their baked but you can also decorate them with icing, sprinkles and even melted chocolate.

These cookies are lovely with a nice cup of coffee and especially with a nice gingerbread latte. The taste just makes your think of Christmas but the child in me loves a gingerbread person all year round, and just for your information I bite the legs off first not the heads :)  x Thanks for reading and I'll see you soon with a Christmas outfit and nails post, and just a sneaky peek of some of the pressies that I was lucky enough to receive from Santa x 

Thursday 25 December 2014

The Beauty At Tesco Advent Calendar - Days 12 - 24 And A Merry Christmas

Apologies for the lateness of the post but I did want to squeeze at least one more in before Christmas. I have a little recipe that I want to show you but it's going to have to wait till Friday now so in the meantime I thought I'd show you the rest of the goodies that I got in my Beauty At Tesco Advent Calendar. You can read about Days 1 -12 here x

Days 13 - 15

Tesco Reflect & Perfect Cosmetic Mirror
Dead Sea Spa Magik Delicate Boosting Mask - 25ml
Royal Moroccan Moisturizing Shampoo - 15ml, Royal Moroccan Moisturizing Conditioner - 15ml, and Royal Moroccan Serum Treatment - 5ml

Days 16 - 18

Baylis & Harding Sweet Mandarin & Grapefruit Moisturising Body Lotion - 30ml (See Below)
Ghost EDT - 5ml

Days 19 - 24

Baylis & Harding Sweet Mandarin & Grapefruit Balancing Body Wash - 50ml - Both This And The Body Wash Retail For £3 In A Gift Set
Manuka Doctor Rejuvenating Face Mask - 7ml
Denman Mini Classic Brush Keyring - £2.79
Vaseline Lip Therapy With Aloe Vera - 20g - £1.99
Dr Lewinns Renunail Triple Strength Nail Colour - Pomegranate - 14g - £14.00
Natio Spa Heavenly Hand Cream - 20ml

Although there were quite a few sample sizes in this calendar I have to say that I think it was well worth the money, particularly when you take into account the recommend retail price of items such as the Dr Lewinns, and the Nip + Fab. I'm looking to trying all of the products but I'm particularly excited to try the nail polishes, the foundation brush, the Manuka Doctor mask and of course the Nip + Fab.

I would have liked to have seen maybe a couple of more make up products but that's just a personal thing - the variety was really good and something that all beauty lovers would get something out of, and I really hope that they do a version next year.

So the last door on the calendar has been opened, the trees decorated, my new Christmas PJ's (Despicable Me!) are on, and the Mulled Wine is going down a treat, all that remains is for me to wish you a very Merry Christmas, and even if you don't celebrate I hope that you have a nice day anyways x

Christmas isn't always a joyful day and if you're feeling along, isolated or you need help or assistance then please, please read the lovely Kellie from Big Fashionista's annual You Are Not Alone Post and get the help and support that you need  x

Thanks for reading and Merry Christmas x

Wednesday 24 December 2014

December Haul - Make Up Revolutions, Primark, The Body Shop And More

Hi Guys x  I thought I'd take a little break from all of the festive preparations to show the you the second part of my December haul. Fellow bloggers, you know the drill  you don't think you've bought much and then you start to photograph it !! I have to admit I was quite shocked at just how much I have to show you but hey ho, it the holiday's.

We'll start off with a couple of bits from Primark. First of all this embellished detail jumper which was just £14

At a recent blogger event the lovely Suzy had a lovely jumper on, which was very similar to this only in a lime. yellow colour. She told me it was from Primark so I looked and looked and unfortunately I couldn't find it. This duck egg blue / aqua / mint version is very similar though,and features fabulous silver, gunmetal faceted beads around the neckline.

Obviously you wouldn't need to wear a necklace or a lot of jewellery with that jumper but I couldn't resist picking up a little jewellery piece.

I've wanted this necklace for ages but for some reason I just never got round to buying it. It's just a thin, gold tone tune, with a sort of faceted gold tube on it. It's quite delicate but at the same time the solidity of the tube gives it a bit of interest. It was just £1.50.

Way back in September I placed an H&M order most of it came but one item was delayed. It's so annoying when that happens but to be honest these jersey trousers are much more of a spring / summer item anyways.

I paid £7.99 for these but they are now on sale for just £5.00, thankfully though they've sold out in my size so I don't feel too bad about it.

The next thing that I got from H&M is something that's actually quite new. This jersey top is just £7.99. The fabric is quite thin but I love the red, lipstick design.

Next up ebay x I'm waiting for quite a few things for ebay at the moment including rather annoyingly a couple of Christmas pressies! but a couple of  my bits have came including this cute rubber macron trinket box.

I first saw this on Make Up Savvy and I couldn't resist I already have a porcelain macaron trinket box, but this was a bargain. The colour is chosen at random but I love the lemon yellow with the white centre.

It's a lot smaller than I thought it would be but for the price I'm still pretty happy. I paid just 99p including postage from this seller.

Ebay is one my greatest sources for quirky gift and whilst I was looking for post it notes, believe it or not I found these fabulous stickers.

These high quality little cardboard scrapbooking stickers, featuring all sorts of make up items, and beauty and fashion accessories. The stickers are really true to life, and whilst some of the names and logos are altered due to copyright you can really recognise most of the items.

I have absolutely no idea what I'm going to do with them but I couldn't resist. They were £1.69 with 49p postage from this seller x

Something else that I got from ebay was this multi strand, inspirational charm bracelet.

It took quite a while to arrive but I'm so pleased with it. It's a multi layer, suede, leather piece featuring a four leaf clover charm, a plan  blue "leather" plaited band a long silver tone charm that reads "Where there's a will there's a way" and circular charm which reads "never never give up"

I love the sentiments on this bracelet and I think that they're phrases that we should all live by. It was just 99p including postage from this seller.

Back to beauty and as predicted I picked up some more of The Body Shop festive items. I stuck to some old favourites and went for the Frosted  Cranberry Shower Gel And Body Butter.

As per usual the festive items have popped up in the sale and since I always love to stock up, yesterday afternoon I placed an order for some Vanilla Brulee, Glazed Apple and Frosted Cranberry goodies. To me surprise and delight, I actually received an email to tell me that my sale order will be delivered tomorrow aka Christmas Eve. I'll believe it when I see it but considering I got free standard delivery and they were no longer guaranteeing Christmas delivery I'm pretty impressed.

Obviously I'll show you what I got as soon as I can. The people have spoken and from January the monthly haul will be no more so from now on ish I will be posting hauls as they happen, so as soon as I get Christmas out of the way my sale hauls (cough, cough) will start to appear.

That's all in the future though, now back to December and as I mentioned in my previous haul post I did place a little Make Up Revolution order on Black Friday. It took a little longer than normal to arrive but it was worth the wait. Again this is just a quick peek, I will of course be reviewing everything for you.

First of all something I'd wanted for the longest time, the Goddess Of Love Triple Baked Highlighter.

I have wanted this for the longest time, but it always seems to be out of stock and having received it, I can see why it's so popular. More to come soon but even though it's early days, it's already love.

Next something relatively new that triggered the interest factor, the Ultra All Day Prime And Anti Shine Balm.

This reminds me a little bit of the Mally Poreless Face Defender which I've always wanted to try but I could never justify the price. Again I'll do a full review once I've had a chance to try it.

The last Make Up Revolution item that I bought specifically for me was another one of The One Blush Sticks - This time I went for Pink.

Probably the main reason why I placed such a large order was to get the free Black Friday gift worth over £25! Some of the things in the gift have ended up as Christmas pressies and some may have ended up in both my current and an upcoming giveaways but I did keep quite a bit of it all for me :)

The two that excited me most were the Go Palettes. The freebie came with 2, Go! which is a blush, bronzer and neutral toned eyeshadow palette

and the fabulously angry names Go To Hell which is an eyeshadow palette containing both neutrals and cooler, smokey tones.

I also kept one of the Mono Eyeshadows in Blow Your Whistle, a bright, bright, vibrant purple, much, much more so than its appearing here

The keeps from my free gift also included an Amazing Curl Mascara in Black Brown, which I'm really excited to try.

and two lipgloss tubes in Hush Hush and Not Naive.

The freebie was well worth it and it's given lots of items to review for you in the New Year x

Due to last minute, emergency pressie buying I also ended up placing a Superdrug order. I've bought so much make up lately, weirdly nothing much appealed so I got a few skincare items, including a new bottle of the Garnier Micellar Water which I love,

and I also got something else that I've wanted for a while - the Nip + Fab Glycolic Exfoliating Facial Pads. I love the feeling and effect of AHA's and Glycolics and since these were half price at £6.97 it would have been rude not to x

Please let me know if you'd like to see a review of these x

My final beauty purchase of the month came from Avon. My nails are pretty shocking at the moment but Avon Nailwear Pro + in Emerald Elegance is such a festive metallic green, I will definitely be wearing it sometime over the holiday period.

Finally a purchase from Poundland, and it's a plastic make up storage box.

You just fold it out, to assemble it and it's actually quite spacious and quite strong. I actually bought another one of these and I'm going to be using them to store my make up that I'm going to review, 2015 will be the year  that I get myself organised.

So that was my December haul is full, well to date anyways x As I say from now on all of my hauls are going to be as and when the shopping happens so even though I'm going to try and spend less in 2015 you can accept to see lots more haulage. If you have any questions on anything in this little or not so little haul then please let me know and I'd also love to know your opinion on Christmas pressie hauls? Yes or no? I'll let you decide x