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Sunday, 28 October 2012

My Week In Pictures...

crazy teddy hot water bottle / dog leg warmers /
 half empty salted caramel hot chocolate / dog Christmas clothes

funny notebook / dog going mad because she couldn't reach the mail / 
before the blender broke it made the digestive smile :)

still loving my Liz Earle cleanser / Costa skinny latte

Paul with bum enhancing pants (hehe) / Jean Paul Gaultier diet Coke

Burger King chilli cheese bites / Jack on the back of our car / amazing pumpkins 

This week started with us picking up dog food only to find dog Christmas clothes. As funny as they are I really see no need for dog Christmas leg warmers!

I know it was probably a waste of money but I finally found one of these diet Coke bottles, I have wanted one for a while, it is just such a little novelty. I don't even like fizzy drinks! The week ended quite rightly with us finding these pumpkins in Sainsburys. It is Halloween after all! It I love the one with the tiny pumpkin in its mouth :)

Have you been doing anything Halloween inspired this weekend? Did you carve a pumkin?

Shelley xx
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Saturday, 27 October 2012

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish


I have wanted to try Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish for quite some time now but somehow every time I needed to buy a new cleanser it seemed to be forgotten about...until last week! I was shopping in John Lewis and I had some vouchers that were just desperate to be spent so it seemed the best time to give this cleanser a go. I think it ended up costing me around £2.50! Quite the bargain I thought.

I have had it now for just over a week and I can honestly say I am in love with it! I wanted to write about it the first day I tried it but I thought I should give it a week at least to form a proper opinion. It is very different from any other cleanser I have used before but in all good ways.

One of the most impressive things about this product is how gentle it is. When I first used it I rubbed it all over my face and then my eye area to remove my make up. Where other eye make up removers have stung or irritated my eyes in the past if I used to much of them, this product was so kind! I could open my eyes to find that 1 - It was removing even my water proof mascara without any harsh rubbing and 2 - that I looked like a panda! I used it a second time on my eyes to make sure all the make up had gone. All traces of make up are just wiped from your face and I think this product would be wonderful for even the most sensitive skin.

With the started kit for the Cleanse & Polish which is what I got you get a muslin cloth which is what this cleanser is designed to be used with for best results. You soak it in warm water and use it to wipe your face clean after cleansing. It is lovely to use and I feel that it helps leave your face looking and feeling smooth and very clean. It removes dead skin cells from your face in a very gently non abrasive way so if you are not a fan of facial exfoliants then this would be a great alternative as it is much kinder.

In the week I have been using this product I can say I have noticed that without make up my skin looks a lot healthier. It looks brighter and I feel that my pores appear to be smaller but that could be down to them being cleaner thanks to the muslin cloth. It is a joy to use at night because it has the most gorgeous herbal sent that doesn't feel chemical in anyway, it is also lovely and refreshing in the morning when you feel like your not quite awake yet. I can see it saving me money too as I now don't feel the need to use make up removers which in the past I had to to take off my mascara. Overall I am totally and completely head over heels in love with this Cleanser! I can't see any other ever being able to replace it as I truly cannot find one thing I don't like about it.

Have you tried any Liz Earle products?

Shelley xx
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Thursday, 25 October 2012

First Ever Baked Cheesecake!


Now before I start this post let me point out for those of you who may be looking for a slightly healthier dessert...this will NOT be for you!

We had watched a Nigella Lawson show earlier this week, I think it was an old episode? However she made a Baked Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cheesecake. It looked so good even though I am not a huge fan of peanut butter. Paul is...he would sit and eat it from the jar so he really wanted to try this recipe out. Last night we thought we would give it a go...It is very good I am pleased to say :)

The original recipe (that I will link here) includes these ingredients :

Base
200g Digestive Biscuits
50g Salted Peanuts
100g Dark Chocolate Chips
50g Butter (soft)                      

Filling
500g Cream Cheese
200g Caster Sugar
3 Medium Eggs
3 Medium Egg Yolks
125ml Sour Cream
250g Smooth Peanut Butter

Topping
250ml Sour Cream
100g Milk Chocolate
30g Soft Brown Sugar


The recipe says to mix all the ingredients for the base in a food processor. We had planned to do this but sadly our food processor died on us :( We ended up bashing all the digestives up in a plastic bag with a rolling pin and chopping up the chocolate and mixing them together. Then we melted the butter and added it to the mix. It seemed to work fine, also we chose to not add the peanuts so made up the difference with digestives.





After pressing the base mix into the tin it then says to blend together all the ingredients for the filling in the food processor, obviously we couldn't do that either so we did it by hand. Again that worked fine so if you don't have a food processor I don't feel that it would effect the outcome of your cheesecake. The recipe calls for sour cream which I don't like so we substituted that with double cream. Once mixed you pour on top of the base and bake for around 50 minutes.




The only thing we really changed was the topping. It says to melt sour cream with the sugar and milk chocolate and to pour on top of the cake when still hot. Because we were using double cream we mixed it with melted dark chocolate and then spread it on when the cake was cool. 

                                        
It turned out really well and we will definitely be making this again, maybe even next week for Halloween :) 
We have never made a baked cheesecake before, only ever ones that need to chill in the fridge so this was interesting. 

Do you like baked cheesecake?

Thank you for reading :)

Elle xx
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Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Christmas Goodies

I don't know if I have ever mentioned this in previous posts but I adore Christmas! I look forward to it all year and I always get a little sad when it's then over again. I love everything about it from buying early presents and keeping them hidden around the house to watching Christmas lights being turned on and going to Christmas markets.

One of the most exciting things for me each year is decorating my tree! I know a lot of people prefer real Christmas trees but I have an artificial one. I prefer it to be honest as I get to keep it year after year and it is too big and beautiful to replace with a real one. That brings me to the reason for this post...

I got my big beautiful tree around 8 years ago I think? It was a Christmas present from my Grandmother. That might sound like an odd present to give someone, also because I think I was around 16 at the time but I really wanted a big fat tree so she took me out one day as a surprise to choose the one I wanted. It was one of the most thoughtful gifts I have ever been given and I love that I can use it year after year. Since then each year I have bought decorations to add to it and others for around the house, so as I have this blog now I wanted to share our new Christmas purchases with you :)


We got these big glass jars to fill with yummy home made treats like brownies and biscotti 
It's always nice to have sweet things around the house at Christmas time and I think they will look gorgeous


We already have stockings that we use but these were so beautiful we had to buy them
The are just going to be used for decoration and hang on these...


These little wooden reindeer sit on a fireplace or shelf and the stocking hang on the hooks 
I love that they are made of wood!


The only new things we have for the tree so far this year are these baubles
They are new but I think they have an antique/vintage feel to them 

Well that is what we have so far this year. I was just so excited about our new purchases that I wanted to share them with you so thank you for reading :)

I will also apologise as I know a lot of you are not yet in the Christmas mood. Which is understandable as we have still not had Halloween.

What do you look forward to most about Christmas?
Or if you don't celebrate Christmas are you looking forward to anything else?

Shelley xx

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Monday, 22 October 2012

My Week In Pictures...

Hello everyone :)

Last Sunday I did a Five Things post and I wasn't sure if I was going to make it a weekly thing but I have decided that I am. I have been thinking about it over this past week and I would like to change it to a "My Week In Pictures" post. I just feel like it gives me more freedom to add what I like to it instead of having to choose 5 pictures, especially if it has been a week when I have been a little crazy with the camera!

Paul and I have both been off this week so we have made the most of it with lunches, dinners and days out. I'm a little sad its over but it has been so much fun. I wanted to share some of our random snaps with you tonight :)

I was starting to think we were the only two people left in this country that had not been to this restaurant but this week we finally did it...WAGAMAMA!

Katsu Curry / Chicken Ramen / Gyoza Dumpling
All of which is very yummy...we shall be back!

Shoes...?
Do you ever see something really rather odd and wonder how they got there and why?

Best cakes ever! That is my half eaten Raspberry Tart...it was so hard to choose just one cake :(

National Museum Of Scotland
I love it here, if you live near Edinburgh or are visiting you should go for a visit.
I have been many times before but it was Paul's first time so it was a lot of fun :)
We didn't make it all the way round so we will be going back. 
My new onesie / late night cheese toastie with ketchup and mustard / odd face on my hand ?

I have resisted them for a while now but earlier this week I gave in and I am now the owner of a onesie. It is so comfortable I want to live in it. However I feel I would get some rather odd looks if I left the house wearing it. 

I hope you have all had as lovely a week as I have, have you been up to anything interesting?
I would love to hear about it :)

Shelley xx

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Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Velvet Nails Update

Hello everyone, I really just wanted to update you on the Velvet Nails. I feel like I have had them on long enough now to give an honest opinion on how I feel about them.


I have now had the nails on for 6 days and today was the first time they chipped. It is a small chip on the tip of my thumb and it's not really that obvious. Now for my this is VERY good! Normally I will have a chip after 3 days maybe 4 at the longest and that is the same with every brand of polish I have used. I know some people can have polish on for 7,8 even 9 days and it still looks amazing at the end but that never happens for me...I think it may have something to do with the condition of my nails. As much as I try to better the condition of them I just cant seem to. I have been told by a few people that their condition may be effected by the antibiotics I am taking and if that is the case then there might be no hope for me :( The ends of my nails tend to peel quite a lot and I feel that is the main problem when it comes to nail polish staying power. 

If anyone has any tips or tricks to help my poor little nails I would love to hear them :)

This is the first time I have tried a Ciate nail polish. When I first tried it I was totally and completely convinced that they would go the way so many polishes have gone in the past and look awful in just a few days. I was so wrong! But I can't help but give all the credit to the crushed velvet that you sprinkle on top. I was very impressed with the polish its self, it was a lovely consistency and the brush made it very easy to go on. I feel however that the velvet helped in some way, like it kind of made it stronger...Its hard to explain! The nail polish couldn't peel or chip in the normal way because the top was covered in lots of tiny fibres that held it together on your nail. I cant say this for definite until I try the polish alone and I am going to do that at some point, but for now the texture on my nails is still too much of a novelty to give it up hehe.

I also had my concerns at the start that the crushed velvet would start to come off over time. I was wrong about that too! After I applied them last Wednesday I suddenly wondered if you could get them wet? So I spent some time on google and found out that it was fine for then to get wet and that they would just react as normal velvet would. When wet they look a slightly darker colour...as do most things! Then they dry and look as normal. Over this week the staying power of the polish and the velvet has really been tested. I have washed dishes, washed my hair (I have very long very thick hair so this was a challenge for them), I have had make up on them and had to scrub it off, I have done housework and all the other things that normally test your nails. Even through all of this the fuzzy crushed velvet is still firmly in place and looks honest as good as the day I put it on.

I have to say I am more than impressed with this product. I was worried it would be something you would have to be really rather careful with and would be too delicate for day to day life but I am happy to say that it isn't. I haven't tried the Ciate Caviar set but I get the feeling that you would need to be careful and not catch your nails in case you knocked off the tiny beads. Where as this is very low maintenance and looks so beautiful on. I would recommend to anyone looking for something different and as soon as I can get my hands on the other two shades I will be buying them too :)

I hope this post was helpful if it is something you might be interested in.
Thank you for reading :)

image from Ciate website
Shelley xx

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Monday, 15 October 2012

Five Things

This week has been lovely. Nothing huge or life changing has happened...it has just been one of those very easy going weeks. As it's been getting darker earlier we have spent pretty much each night this week in PJs on the couch eating dinner...is that lazy? I don't mind if it is, I've enjoyed it :)

I was looking though my phone just now at some of the pictures I have taken over the week and I wanted to share some. I was thinking about maybe doing a post like this each Sunday, what do you think? I wasn't sure how many pictures to include originally but I decided on 5, It seemed like a good number.


I know its still early and yes Halloween hasn't passed yet but I just cant help being excited! I was out with my best friend on Friday to catch up properly after her holiday and we found this in John Lewis. We got so excited (we might have let out a couple of girly screams) and spent maybe longer than we needed to in that department :)


She bought matching Ugg boots for her and her daughter while she was away. I just thought it was so adorable so I had to snap a quick picture.


These had to be a highlight of this week! That might sound a little sad but we don't have these in Britain and I asked my friend to bring them back for me as a surprise for Paul. He is peanut butter obsessed...I'm not such a lover of it if I am being honest but these are VERY good!


I prefer Costa Lattes to Starbucks Lattes. Don't get me wrong I enjoy Starbucks but for that specific drink I like Costa. I popped in for a quick drink to warm me up on Thursday and I seen this wonderful new thing. I am very tempted...


As much as I enjoy Costa Lattes I would live on Starbucks Signature Hot Chocolate! When I looked back on this picture earlier it dawned on me just how many of these I have had since the weather has started to get cold...accompanied by the mini salted caramel pecan square. Maybe far more than I should have! 

Hope you have all had a lovely week, thank you for reading :)

Shelley xx
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Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Velvet Nails...???

My best friend in the whole world has just been to Disney Land for two weeks...lucky lady! She and her husband took their beautiful little girl for the first time, they had a great holiday and have all returned looking gorgeous and tanned. As she is such and amazing best friend she brought me and my fiance Paul back some really lovely presents! One of mine I couldn't wait to share with you :)

She got me the Ciate Velvet Nails Kit in Mink Cashmere! Now this is the first time I have heard of this product, so I was so excited when I took it out of the bag. I have seen the Caviar nails they do that look like a lot of fun but have never tried them. When I was getting ready this morning I painted my nails with my favourite polish of right now which is Rimmel 193 Black Cherries, its such a gorgeous Autumn colour. Because I only put it on this morning it was still looking perfect but as soon as I came home I took it straight off to try my new Velvet look. I am so impressed with it! It looks so different from anything else I have ever seen.

This is the box...

This is what it comes with...

It is similar to the Caviar set which comes with a full size polish, a small funnel and a jar of beads. This set instead of the funnel has a tiny brush and instead of the beads it had a jar of crushed velvet. The process is also the same as the Caviar set. If you have never seen anything about these polish kits they are really quite simple to use and this is how you do it...

1 - Apply one coat to all your nails with the polish that comes with the kit and leave to dry.
                                        it is a lovely colour on its own but would need two coats

2 - One nail at a time apply a second coat and sprinkle a generous coat of the crushed velvet on top while
the polish is still wet.
                                               I might have put more on than was needed lol

3 - Leave for a couple of minutes and then sweep off the excess with the little brush. It also says to leave it for 10-15 minutes to dry completely after that.

And then you have new velvet nails! :)

my hand looks very bad in this picture :(

I have to say they look a lot better in person! They seem to have a more blue tone on my nails in the picture but they really look more like the crushed velvet in the jar, a nice pale grey shade.

I wasn't sure if they were yet available here so I did a little looking online and I found out that they were released in Selfridges in August but I had a look on their website and they don't seem to be on there. I'm not sure if they have sold out and not yet been restocked or if its a store only product but if you live near a store you could always check for them if its something you are interested in.

Overall I am very impressed and I would definitely buy this again. You can get the set in three different colours, Mink is the colour I have and it is gorgeous grey. The other two are Berry Poncho which is a stunning berry shade and Blue Suede which is a deep blue. I think they are all great colours for this season, and with them having a velvet texture I think its perfect for Autumn Winter. Its a time when its great to layer different textures and why not add a little extra something with your nails :)

Thank you for reading :)

What do you think of nail kits like this??

Shelley xx
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Monday, 8 October 2012

Knitwear Love!

I am the first to admit it! I am a little obsessed with all things knitted. They are so cosy and warm and are great layering pieces that look good with so much. Denim, leather, lace...you name it, you will find something knitted to wear with it. I have been seeing so many great knitted things on the high street recently and I wanted to share my favourites with you.

                                     (I found this in Topshop, I loved it so I had to take a picture)

There are so many different ways to go with knitwear this season, one I really personally love is all the embellishment! Studs and spikes are all over the jumpers and cardigans in Topshop. They give a more edgy look to an outfit and its a really easy way to move into that trend with being too full on.


These studded shoulder cardigans are amazing and would look stunning with a pair of leather look leggings. They are £48 and I can't decide if I am happy about that price for a cardigan but that is Topshop for you. They are a thicker knit and a little heavier, they are also nice and long so great for with leggings. From studs to chains, and a jumper that I have fallen for...









I found this in store a few weeks ago and I keep looking at it online. I really love it! Its big and baggy and a little bit fuzzy...everything I want in a jumper :)
Its a very simple style so very easy to wear but the chain gives such a great detail. The only thing that has stopped me buying it so far is the price...its £55! But I think it is a jumper I will get loads of wear from. Its such an easy casual piece...Topshop always wins, damn them!











They have lots of other choice but my last favourite from Topshop are the Knitted Necklaces Jumpers. They come in a few different colours and I think they are just lovely. They would also be great for work on the colder days because they have a more sophisticated smart look. I think the black and burgundy colours are my favourite...maybe??






A store I LOVE for cheap knitwear is Primark, they are wonderful! They have all the styles you can find in more expensive high street stores at much more affordable prices. And sometimes if its a real fashion item for that season it doesn't make sense to spend triple the amount in another store on something you might not wear for the next few years or every again. They also do cashmere now! I found this out about a year ago (maybe not that long?) and I got really excited! Some of the things are really gorgeous and they feel soooo soft. I looked like a crazy person the first day I found them...I stood there stroking and rubbing all the jumpers for much longer than I should have. I haven't actually bought anything from the cashmere line in Primark so far, they have had some really lovely pieces but nothing I have thought "I must have" until now!


I love stripes, and this is just so beautiful in person...the pictures doesn't really do much for it. It is £45. I know, normally if you seen a jumper marked at £45 in Primark you would walk away laughing but this would  cost a lot more money somewhere else. It is also something that you could wear year after year so if you haven't had a chance to see the cashmere range at Primark you should definitely go and have a look.



Another great one I found not from the cashmere range was this one. Shoulder/elbow patches are around everywhere right now and I personally love them. My fiance HATES them...I have have been trying to get him to try on a gorgeous hoodie in River Island for a while now but it has patches so he won't go near it :( This is lovely and its only £14. Its like a big baggy fisherman style jumper with the patches on the elbow but instead of suede or faux suede they are like a cord material. It would be great with jeans or jeggings on even with some faux leather. I want to wear it with a huge knitted scarf and boots when it gets a little colder.








Jumpers with fun designs are all over the high street, you will find one in almost all store but I really like the ones Primark have and they are less than half the price of what you would pay in River Island or Miss Selfridge. The ones on the left are all around the £14 mark which I think is pretty good and there is loads of choice. The star, the owl and the exclamation mark  are my favourite 3 of these. They are just so much fun and so easy to wear.



I could go on forever about the knitwear in Primark because they have so much but I will stop myself after this last one. With it getting into the festive season its always fun to add sparkle to your outfits and there are a couple that I really liked when I spotted them.



These lovely jumpers are only £12 and they are striped :)
The stripes and metallic with sequins threaded on and I love both colours. They aren't too over the top or too sparkly to wear on a casual day but they would look just as good dressed up to go out for dinner or drinks.















As would these...
They are super cute, I love the collar on them. They would also make a great choice for work too. As far as I could see they only came in these 2 colours. You can't see too well from this picture but threaded all through these jumper is a kind of tinsel. It gives them such a Christmasy feel and I have my eye on the red one.





There are a few more shops that I have found some really great knitwear pieces that I love such as Miss Selfridge and Zara but I have only seen most of them online so I didn't want to include them in this post. Some things look really good online and them they are a bit of a let down when you see them in store, but even with these two stores I have found some great things.
What are your favourite knitwear pieces on the high street just now? 

I hope you enjoyed this long rambling post, thank you reading :)

Shelley xx


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Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Some Favourites from September

It is October 2nd! How has that happened??

I remember it being New Years not that long ago! This year is going past so fast and as much as I am looking forward to it...and I REALLY am hehe, I cannot believe it will soon be Christmas.

But for now it is still the start of a new month so I wanted to do my September favourites. I wanted to do this on Sunday but things have been a little crazy so I am doing it now. I will start with make up...


First up is Rimmel Wake Me Up foundation. I have had this for around two months now and I love it just as much now as I did when I first got it...maybe even more! There has been very few days this past month that  I haven't used it. It just gives such a lovely glow to the skin and I think that is a good thing at this time of year where the cold weather can start to make it look dull. 

Next is Maybelline The Falsies Mascara. I am a huge fan of Maybelline mascaras, I really do think they are excellent! The Falsies is one of the best in my opinion and I have loved it for quite a long time now. I sort of rediscovered it this past month and I have fallen in love all over again! I have heard so many bloggers compare it to YSL Shocking mascara and I have wanted to try that for time but I always end up buying this instead.

As we are getting well into Autumn now I am loving darker/deeper colours. I have had 3 of the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain for a while and this month with it getting colder I have enjoyed using the shade Honey. Its a gorgeous deep dusty rose colour and I think it is perfect for this time of year.

For my nails I have gravitated to Rimmel 193 Black Cherries. It is a stunning deep deep purple colour and looks great with so many outfits. It is the first Rimmel Lasting Finish nail polish and I have found them to be really good quality. It lasts around 3 days before I notice any chips and even longer on my toes! I think today it has been on for 2 weeks and it still looks great :)

I really love lip balm and I have quite a few. I am always buying new ones to try and I always like to have one with me to keep my lips moisturised...I hate having dry lips! One of the most recent ones I bought was Burts Bees Replenishing Lip Balm. I think there are 3 different colours or flavours and I have the red one which is pomegranate. It is a lovely lip balm and feels very moisturising without feeling greasy or sticky and gives the most subtly red tint to your lips. 

Last up for make up is a Rimmel blush in 001 Santa Rose. I had heard a lot of talk about this blush before I bought it and the only thing putting me off was the fact that I didn't think it looked that amazing in the pan so I wasn't sure how great it would be on. I was wrong! It is a beautiful colour, very natural and very flattering. I have worn it with so many looks and it looks great with them all. I will know for the future not to judge a blush at first impression! ...there is a lesson in there somewhere!

Now onto my fashion favourites...

This month there are 4 things that I have had with me most days, whether it be 1 of them or all 4.


First is my "oh so beautiful" Topshop bag! I love this bag, It is a stunning mix of  leather and suede! It is quite a smart bag so it has been great for work but I enjoy mixing smart and casual together and this bag works great for that. I love wearing it with jeggings, ballet flats and an oversized jumper. And with it being black it can be worn with so much.


With it getting colder but not being freezing I have been wearing scarf's more and more...and that is a good thing because I have quite a collection lol. I got this one from Topshop a few weeks ago and it is amazing. It is HUGE , my fiance is 6 foot 2 inches and it is taller than him if that makes sense lol. It looks really good with smart jackets, parkas even cute little dresses and skirts. I wear it how I have it sitting on the mannequin.


I have also been wearing it with this jacket. I really like these jackets, I love the look of the sleeves, its a new take on military for this year. I know you can get them in nearly all the the high street shops but I got this one from River Island. I spent a while looking at all the different versions the different stores offered but this one was my favourite in the end and it has been a great buy, I have definitely got my moneys worth out of it. It is a very versatile jacket, I have worn it with everything from jeans and jeggings to skirts and dresses.


My last fashion favourite of the month isn't the most exciting but I love them and couldn't get through the winter without one! It is a very bright picture (sorry about that!) but it is a simple knitted black beanie. I have had it for around 5 years and I start wearing every year about this time. It was a gift from my mum and I'm sure it is from DKNY but I have removed the labels so I can't check. I have worn it more and more as this month has gone by and it's got colder. 

Well that is what I have been loving this past month, what have been your favourite things this month?

Hope you are having a good week so far :)

Shelley xx


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