Sunday, September 30, 2012

Superdrug Face Masks

Firstly I must apologise for the lack of blog posts this week. I've had a pretty stressful and busy week and didn't want to do any half hearted posts so today I've had the time to get back to my blog and write some new posts.
When I'm feeling stressed I love to pamper myself, as it not only makes you look good but it makes you feel good too. Whether I'm simply spending 10 minutes on my nails or an hour pampering from head to toe, I think it's important to take some time for yourself each day, even if it's only 5 minutes!

When I had some time free and needed to have half and hour of relaxation I decided to do a face mask. This week I got around to using two face masks which I had bought from Superdrug a while ago. The first was the Tropical Cocktail Peel-Off Mask, this had quite a strong fruity and tropical smell, for some people I could see how they wouldn't like it but personally I loved it, I love tropical scented products, the tones of mango, coconut and pineapple remind me of being on holiday in the Caribbean. The second one I used was the Purifying Cucumber Peel-Off Mask, this had quite a neutral but calming scent. This mask left my face feeling cool, cleansed and soothed.

As with most peel-offs they are a bit messy to put on because of their gloopy gel texture but once you've put it on it washes off your hands really easily. I like to leave mine on for about 15-20 minutes, or until it's dried enough so that it will peel off properly. Both of these masks left my skin feeling refreshed and pampered with a nice soft glow. They cost 99p each but at the moment you can get 4 for the price of 3.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Fragrance Oil Burner

I am a girl who loves nothing better than a long soak in the bath, taking the time to pamper myself and simply relax. Whilst the bath is running and once I've put my candles on I like to use my oil burner. You can find oil burners in a variety of shops, from Sainsbury's to The Body Shop, anywhere that sells candles usually sells oil burners along with the oils. To use them you simply fill the little well at the top of the burner with water, fill it just over half way. To the water add a few drops of whatever fragrance oil you fancy.

With the variety of scents that are available in refresher oils you can chop and change your fragrance as often as you like without having to buy lots of different scented candles.
Oil burners are much more versatile than candles as you can not only control the scent but you can control how strong or weak you would like the scent to be, simply by controlling how many drops you put in. I like to add quite a few drops as I like the whole room to be infused with the lovely scent, but if you only want a slight hint of scent then a couple of drops will be plenty.

Once you have decided on an oil and put the drops into the water, simply light a tea light and place on the bottom under the well. You don't need to buy expensive tea lights which are scented as you will get the scent from the oil, I use the cheap ones which do the job just as well and they only cost around £2 for a large bag of them.

Within a few minutes once the water has started to warm up the room will start to smell lovely, it lets of a fragrant aroma that is relaxing and calming. I also have one in the bedroom and living room so that the whole house can smell gorgeous. I'd recommend them as a great alternative or addition a long side candles.

P.S, if you can get some fragrance oils which are sold around Christmas time then buy and try them, you can get many different ones, the winter spiced and cranberry ones are simply heavenly!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Nivea Caramel Lip Butter

A couple of weeks back I posted about a raspberry rose lip butter from the new Nivea range. I liked it so much that I thought I would try the caramel one too. This one is the caramel cream lip butter. It is incredibly sweet like the raspberry one but in different ways. The raspberry one is sweet yet fruity but the caramel one is creamy, buttery and sweet. They are both equally nice and leave your lips feeling softened, soothed and nourished with a subtle gloss. These lip butters cost about £2, I noticed this week that as well as the caramel and raspberry this lip butter also comes in 'original'. I'm sure this lip butter is also lovely and suited to someone who wants soft and moisturised lips without the scents or flavourings.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Lolita Glasses

A couple of years back I first found these unique glasses from Lolita whilst shopping in John Lewis. There are so many different designs available and make fantastic gifts for someone who has everything, with the variety that there is to choose from you can pick a design that suits the personality of the person you are buying for. From birthday ones to Mummy's time out and even individual star sign ones. Aside from the wine glasses you can also get martini glasses, beer glasses and mugs. We are starting to gather quite a collection of these glasses in our house now. The large beer glass below is one which I bought for my dad one father's day.
They range from £7.50 for the mugs to £20 for the beer glasses. I've done some looking around for people who stock them in the UK but can't seem to find anywhere apart from John Lewis. Even though there is quite a good selection of designs to choose from in the UK the amount of different designs available from the USA are incredible. They stock everything from bottle stoppers to beach towels. I'd love to order some gifts for people from the website but with a shipping cost of around $51 to be delivered to the UK it's a little too much, especially when the wine glasses on the site are $24, that would be $75 for a glass! I'm hoping that the brand will expand more internationally and bring even more designs to the UK.

One I recieved this year for my birthday is the "Girl's Best Friend" the stem is speckled with little gems whist the glass is painted with glitzy and sparkly jewellery. On the bottom of every glass you are given a cocktail recipe, I think this is a nice touch and gives it a little something extra. Each glass is presented in a gift box which displays many of the different designs available.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Warburtons Sandwich Thins

Today I thought I would share with you a discovery I made a couple of weeks ago. It's these soft white sandwich things from warburtons. They come in packs of six and contain 100 calories per thin, they are already sliced in half so it's quick and easy if you are making a sandwich. I would say they are somewhere in between a normal sliced bread loaf and pitta bread. The slices are smaller than normal bread but it makes a change to have something a bit different. I prefer to have mine toasted, they go nice and crispy and are perfect with a little butter on. If you are going to toast them then make sure you watch them as they can burn quite easily, they don't need very long in the toaster unless you like them very crisp! The sandwich thins are also available in brown or seeded varieties too. They cost around £1 for the pack and can be found in most supermarkets.


Friday, September 14, 2012

My Simple Skin Care Routine

For a long time I've been using Simple skin care products as part of my daily routine. As it says on the bottle "Kind to skin" and that is exactly what it is. Everyday once I've finished using my products my skin feels refreshed and truly pampered.
Simple have a really wide range of products available, including cleansers, wipes, men's, baby care, hair and even sun care. With the amount of products they have to offer there is something for everyone. Even for people with sensitive skin, Simple offer great skin care products suitable for all skin types. They give you the ability to give yourself a great salon worthy facial from the comfort of your own home, without any nasty chemicals. They also clearly display on their packaging if there are any vitamins/nutrients within.
Everyday I start the day by using the Clear Skin oil balancing exfoliating wash, I use this in the shower daily as I am prone to getting oily skin at times and this really helps to neutralise that. I follow the exfoliating wash with the Kind To Skin refreshing facial wash gel, after the deep clean of the exfoliating wash I find that the wash gel leaves my skin feeling revived and healthy.
Next I cleanse, tone and moisturise. I use the Kind To Skin purifying cleansing lotion, followed by the Kind To Skin soothing facial toner, with the toner I like to pour mine into a spray bottle so I can simply spritz it onto my face. I finish my morning routine off with the Clear Skin oil balancing moisturiser, this leaves my face feeling soft and nourished all day long whilst controlling the shine.

To remove my make up or just to freshen up during the day I use the Simple Baby moisturising wipes, if they are good enough for a baby's skin they are good enough for mine. These contain chamomile which perfectly sooth skin. I've tried many different wipes over time and so far I've found these are the best ones available.

At night after removing any make up I have on, I use the Kind To Skin refreshing facial wash gel again so that my face feels nice and cleansed before going to bed. So that's it, my daily skin care routine all taken care of by this lovely bunch of Simple products.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Afternoon Infusion by Graze

As I have mentioned before I love my tea, we absolutely love Yorkshire Tea in our house. A few weeks back I got the Graze afternoon infusion along with a yummy slice of banana cake in my weekly Graze box. Yesterday I received my second afternoon infusion along with an amazing lemon and poppy cake. The tea is incredible, it's refreshing and has a really unique taste. It contains a blend of Assam, Earl Grey and Kenyan tea leaves. I'm sure it's not just me that loves this tea, I think that Graze should start selling this separately alongside their boxes so that we would be able to enjoy this yummy tea all day long!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Homemade Coleslaw

Today I thought I would share the recipe for a crunchy coleslaw which I made a few days ago. It makes the perfect accompaniment to a meal and goes great with a juicy burger and chips, you could even eat it on its own. Its so quick and easy to make, you can adjust it to your personal tastes and it is much healthier for you than the ones you can buy from the supermarket.
1 white cabbage
3 carrots
3 spring onions
3 tbsp of extra light mayonnaise
1 heaped tsp of wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp of lemon juice
salt and pepper
Firstly shred the cabbage, then use a peeler to create ribbons of carrot. Finely slice the spring onions and add them all to a mixing bowl. To the mayonnaise mix in the mustard, lemon juice and seasoning to taste. Mix the dressing into the cabbage, carrot and onion and it's ready to eat!
Enjoy x

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Nivea Raspberry Lip Butter

Today whilst in Tesco's I found this lovely lip butter from Nivea. I intended to buy Vaseline Rosy Lips which i've bought many times before, but when I spotted this nivea lip butter I had to buy it. It costs £1.99 and comes in raspberry or caramel, i'm now wishing I had bought the caramel one too. A sweet raspberry smelling butter which nourishes and softens the lips and leaves a nice glossy shine.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Homemade Burgers

Yesterday I was writing my blog posts from the garden, making the most of the lovely weather as i'm sure it won't last too long. We were having a BBQ which will probably be the last of this year because i'm sure the bad weather is on it's way very soon. I decided to make homemade burgers instead of buying them. They were not spiced with anything and didn't contain any crazy flavourings, just simple burgers. It's nice knowing what is going into homemade burgers as with shop bought ones you have no idea what goes into them.

I was making quite a few burgers, and also making them quite big so I used 1kg of extra lean mince. To this I added 1 finely diced white onion, breadcrumbs made from 2 slices of bread, 2 beaten eggs, 1 crumbled oxo cube and salt and pepper to taste. Get your hands stuck in and mix it all together. If you find the mixture is a little to wet add some more breadcrumbs. From this mixture I managed to make 13 burgers but they were really big, they could have been halved to make 26 burgers and they would have still been a decent size.
I finished my burger with some cheese and crispy prosciutto for a salty kick.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

The Lost Valentine

About a month ago my nan told me about a good film she had watched on Sky Movies. Ever since then i've been waiting for it to be repeated so that I could watch it for myself. Luckily I noticed that it was on at 4 in the morning last sunday, personally I think it deserves to have a much better time slot than that! What a fantastic movie it is, If you are a fan of films like The Notebook then I'm sure you'll enjoy this film as much as I did. It has a great storyline but is a bit of a tear-jerker, my mum and I were sobbing several times throughout.

It stars Betty White, who has spent valentines day for the last 65 years at the station where she last said goodbye to her husband who was leaving to be a navy pilot in the war. Jennifer Love Hewitt also stars as a tv reporter who becomes intrigued by White's story and becomes fond of White's grandson who is played by Sean Faris.

If you get a chance to watch this film then do! You will not be disappointed.
It's on Sky Movies Drama & Romance, the times it's on this week is Sunday 9th Sept at 6.05am and Wednesday 12th Sept at 4.25am.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Homemade beef and ale pie

Last week I decided to make my first ever pie. Considering how easy it was to make i'm surprised I hadn't made one before. I decided on a beef pie, but to give it an extra something adding a whole bottle of ale to give it some extra flavour.
To start heat a little oil in a pan and lightly fry a whole onion until softened then remove from the pan. After lightly coating my braising beef in some seasoned flour I browned it in the pan. Once browned add the onions back into the pan, add a whole bottle of ale along with 3 beef stock cubes. I only added about half a pint of water to the mix as I like my pie filling quite thick but if you prefer it thinner then simply add some more water. Simmer on a low heat for about an hour until the meat is tender, remebering to stir occasionally. When ready, seperate into individual pie dishes making sure that everyone has a generous portion of beef. Then simply top with the pastry.
I cheated and bought Jus-Rol's puff pastry (I won't tell anyone if you won't). After topping my pie dish with the pastry I brushed it with some egg yolk and popped it into the oven. Bake in the oven until crisp and golden. Next time I'm going to try a chicken and mushroom pie in a white wine sauce.
It was truly scrumptious, a simple recipe which doesn't contain lots of fancy herbs but who says a tasty meal has to be complicated! A lovely warm and hearty meal.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Alcohol Free Wines

Alcohol doesn't really bother me that much but I would usually have a drink at a social occasion. At the moment i'm not allowed to drink because of some of the tablets i'm on. Whether we had people round, sitting in the garden on a sunny day or just in front of the tele I wanted a drink that was a little tastier and more interesting than a coke or juice, they've become pretty boring.
So I went on the search for a new drink and at the supermarket I came across alcohol free wines which I had never even really heard about before. There isn't a very wide selection of them available and some smaller shops do not stock them. Whilst picking up my alcohol free wines I noticed that there are quite a few lower alcohol wines, I think these are a fantastic idea for someone who still wants to enjoy a glass of wine but just with a lower percentage of alcohol.

So far i've tried 4 different ones, two from Fre, one from Eisberg and the other from Sainsbury's. The strange thing is that i've never like red wine but I've really grown to love the flavour of the alcohol free red wines.

The white zinfandel from Fre was my least favourite of the ones i've tried. I can see why some people would like it but for me it was just a little too sweet and a bit too fruity.

All three of the red wines are really yummy, on a few occasions i've been using them to make my style of sangria. In a large jug with ice I add about half a bottle of the wine, chop some fruit into bitesize pieces and add them (I like to use apples, oranges and lemons), top with lemonade and give it a quick stir. This drink is so refreshing and fruity.

Whether you are a alcohol drinker or not, or simply looking for a new drink to try I would recommend giving an alcohol free wine a go, they a great value for money at around £3 for a bottle. Once you find one you like you'll be having a tasty drink without the worry of a dreaded hangover!


Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Marks and Spencer - Lemon Puds

As I've mentioned before my favourite type of puddings are lemon flavoured. A few weeks ago I tried the lemon cheesecake from Gu. This week I tried two yummy looking treats from M&S, the first was a lemon mousse from the count on us range and the second was a lemon tart. 
Both of the puddings perfectly settle the cravings when you fancy something sweet. The lemon is sweet, tangy and refreshing. The mousse has a good texture and is great for a lower calorie treat. The lemon tart is amazing! It's not quite as low in calories as the mousse but everyone has to have a treat every now and then. A buttery pastry with a smooth, creamy and zesty lemon filling. M&S have triumphed once again with these two delicious puddings.


Saturday, September 01, 2012

My Top 10 Nail Polishes

I haven't done a post on nails for a while now, and recently have been buying so many new shades that I have gathered quite a collection. Ever since I stopped nibbling my nails I've become addicted to looking after them and constantly putting a new colour on them. So today I thought I would share my top 10 favourite nail polishes.
I haven't put them in an order from 1-10 as I think it's pretty hard to put them in order. It all depends on what mood i'm in or what shade will match my outfit for the day. The one i'm using the most at the moment is the Look Nail Pop from Superdrug, the colour is 'Beret' and it costs £5 which I think is great value for a good polish.
Lately for some reason I have really wanted green nail varish, I have a light shade from OPI but wanted a darker green so I found this one by Rimmel. The thing I love about Rimmel nail varnishes is that they are great value, they are around £3-£4.
The bright blue polish from Barry M is lovely, i've never known it to chip and can last for days without a scuff.
I got the Missguided polish free with a copy of Cosmopolitan magazine last year. I love the shade. This year they gave another one away but that hasn't quite made it into my top ten.
6 of my top 10 shades are from OPI, I absolutely love their nail varnishes. They are of a great quality and offer an amazing amount of shades in every colour imaginable.

Vodka & Caviar
Japanese Rose Garden
Thanks a Windmillion
Dating a Royal
A Roll In The Hague

Queen of West Web-erly

The next polish i'm on the look out for is a shade of green similar to the 'Hulk', if there is such a polish. So if anyone knows of a good one, please let me know!