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Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Sad News

Over the past week or so I haven't been very involved in the blogging world so I am sorry if I haven't been commenting as much on all of your posts. I have had a bit of bad news which is really very upsetting and is making it hard to concentrate on much else, which is also why I haven't really been very active on my own blog.

My dog, who I have had for more than half of my life is very ill, we have been told she has cancer and possibly doesn't have that long left. She is such an amazing, loving dog and I am finding it hard to take in. She is nearly 13 years old which I have been told is very good for a Dalmatian, but that doesn't make the news any easier to take.

This was really just to explain why I might not be around as much right now, I hope you understand.

Thank you for reading.
Shelley xx

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Movie Night

image via weheartit

I turned the TV on on Friday night to see that Love Actually had just started. Of course I began to watch it and then I realised, I must have seen that film over 100 times...well maybe not quite 100 but it has been a lot! It got me thinking of films that I have seen over and over again but will still happily sit and watch when they come on the television...even if I do already own them!

Here is the list I came up with...

1 - Love Actually
2 - Stardust
3 - You've Got Mail
4 - Twilight (all of them)
5 - Home Alone 1 & 2
7 - 101 Dalmatians (cartoon and other)
8 - Die Hard
9 - Disney's Robin Hood
10 - Beauty and the Beast
11 - Iron Man
12 - The Avengers

They might not be in order exactly, but the first 3 I have watched a countless number of times! On days when you have no plans and you find your self relaxing around the house there are few things better than watching a good film with a big mug of tea.

What films can you just not resist watching?

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Rituals - Salt Scrub and Body Cream

Isn't it a great feeling when you find something you completely forgot you had? This happened to me a few days ago. I was clearing out some boxes I have that house a number of different things, from beauty products and note books to old glasses and chop sticks...random I know!

Rituals Rich and Nourishing Body Cream and Deep Cleansing Salt Scrub were given to me as part of this gift set quite some time ago. The set contained a shampoo and a foaming body wash, both of which were used up quite quickly but these I put away to use on a future night but forgot all about them so I was really quite pleased when they turned up again.

I love a good body scrub, they leave your skin feeling so soft and smooth but to be honest I was a little unsure of this scent before I opened it. It is Holy Basil & Organic Fresh Mint, not something I would normally go for but I have to say it is lovely. It is very fresh smelling and neither the mint or basil over powers the other, it is also just a little sweet which I like. Rituals suggest you scrub your self all over and then rinse off with warm water in a bath or shower...obviously. The first thing I noticed was that it appeared to be oily after I had rinsed it from my skin. I am not a lover of oily bath products so was a little worried about this but after getting out the bath and drying myself my skin just felt soft and moisturised, not oily or greasy at all which was a pleasant surprise. You also don't have to worry about salt crystals in the bath tub, everything melts away fairly quickly. Rituals explain on their website that this scrub contains ancient crystal salt from the Himalayas with cleansing and harmonising properties which promote inner balance and vitality. I like the idea behind that and while I'm not sure about my "inner balance", I found it very relaxing.

After the scrub I followed with the body cream. I absolutely love the smell of this cream, it smells similar to the foaming shower gel that came in the set and the best way I can think to describe it is "calming". It doesn't smell too much of rose or too much of honey, it is just a beautiful relaxing scent. The Himalayan honey in the cream is to help soften the skin, while the Indian Rose is used for it's relaxing effect on the body and mind. The cream sinks in to the skin so well and doesn't leave you feeling sticky or greasy. It has quite a strong scent at first but I find this calms down soon after applying and while it does last quite a long time it isn't over powering. Rituals explain that ancient Ayurveda science shows that massaging your body daily with cream strengthens the skin and harmonises the mind, and in addition increases blood circulation which promotes an all over skin glow.

Overall I am very pleased with these products and they are something I would consider buying in the future when my mini's run out.

Have you tried any Rituals products? What are your favourites?


Saturday, 9 March 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love cookies, they are such a yummy treat with a mug of tea. Or as with these particular ones, a glass of cold milk. I made a batch of these last night and not to go too over the top but, they are soooo good! So I had to share the recipe with you.

You will need :
200g room temperature butter
300g caster sugar
1 large egg
275g self raising flour (I used plain, will explain why in a minute)
75g cocoa powder
2 or 3 large bars of chocolate (I used a bar of white and a bar of milk)
a splash of milk

Pre-heat your oven to 220 degrees or 200 for non fan ovens. This batch makes 12 large cookies so line 2 baking trays with grease proof paper. In a bowl cream your butter and sugar together, then add your egg and mix in well. After that pour in your dry ingredients and mix until combined. The mixture is very thick and can seem dry, if it is too dry to come together add a splash of milk. Then break up your chocolate bars and and mix them in - I did this by hand, it was easier that way. Make 12 "handful" sized balls and space them out on your baking trays, I pressed mine down to flatten them, but just a little! Pop them in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, it doesn't seem very long and when you take them out they will seem too soft but they do harden up. Leave them to cool for around 30 minutes and then enjoy. Oh, and the reason I used plain flour is because that is what I always use when making cookies or biscuits, I prefer the end result. I like to keep self raising flour for cakes.

It is such a simple recipe but the result is quite frankly...amazing! I have seen quite a few people make these cookies but the first place I found them was here, from Vivianna Does Make-Up and she found the recipe here from this video. If you are a cookie person I would give these ago...I will definitely be making them again :)

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Jo Malone - Sugar and Spice

Image from Jo Malone website

While Internet "window shopping" last night I clicked on the Jo Malone website to find out that they have released a new limited edition collection! I am a huge fan of Jo Malone so I was incredibly excited to see this, then even more so when I discovered the idea behind the collection. It is based on British High Tea so all five scents take inspiration for a different tea time treat. I was instantly excited by this and I love the idea behind the collection, especially as I love High Tea or Afternoon Tea.

The collection has five fragrances and they all come in the 30ml size bottles. I love the smaller bottles that Jo Malone sell, while the larger bottles look beautiful on your dresser the smaller sizes are perfect for travel or for carrying around in your handbag. The five scents from the collection are Bitter Orange & Chocolate, Redcurrant & Cream, Ginger Biscuit, Elderflower & Gooseberry and Lemon Tart.

The bottles come in the same beautiful style packaging that you expect from Jo Malone but this collection has a wonderful, playful twist. The bottles are each a different pastel shade which co-ordinates with the scent inside, all except Bitter Orange & Chocolate which is a vibrant orange.

I can't wait until I manage to get to a store to check out this collection, I love the thought of each one of these scents and I hope I like them as much in person.

Have you tried anything from the new Sugar and Spice collection?? If not your can visit the Jo Malone website here.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Some Favourites from February

Well February has gone and we are already five days in to March! This year seems to just be flying past, especially this past month with it being shorter than the rest. I was planning to write about something else tonight but then it suddenly occurred to me that the month of February is over, you would think the calendar would have tipped me off but no. I always get a little thrown off by the little month, I think I am always expecting those few more days but then suddenly it's gone! Anyway, on to the favourites...the reason for this post.

Hair Care

I have long thick hair so it can get tangled and damaged quite easily. I am always looking for products to keep it looking healthy and in good condition and these are two of my favourites. I can't say that I always use heat protection spray but I do try. This TREsemme one is the first one I have tried that I can say I actually notice enough of a difference in the condition of my hair to give it a mention. I straighten my hair more often than not and this leaves my hair looking so smooth and with such a lovely shine. You can use it on wet or dry hair and however you choose to use it it doesn't leave and unpleasant residue behind. I have to admit that when it comes to going to the hair dressers I am the worst! I honestly cant remember the last time I had my hair cut it has been that long, and I don't really have an excuse. Although the only thing that can actually remove split ends is having them chopped off you can find some really good products to hide them and this Pantene conditioner is excellent! I have been using it for over two months but this month I have used it without the help of any treatments and I am so so impressed. It really does appear to have repaired your split ends!

Skin Care and Make Up 

I like to remove my make up with cleanser but for nights when I really just can't be bothered, or if I have more make up on than normal I like to use a make up remover. I used to always use this Garnier Fresh Essentials make up remover before discovering my favourite Liz Earle then I forgot about it. I picked one up again at the start of this month and I remembered how much I like it. It removed all make very easily and doesn't leave my skin dry or uncomfortable. I have discovered a new eye cream this month while trying out some more of my samples. It is from the brand Murad, which to be honest I hadn't heard of but i am really enjoying it. I find it best to use in the mornings because it really wakes up my eyes, it also helps to cool them if they are feeling a little puffy. For make up I have one new and one old. The new is this beautiful Topshop nail polish in "Celestial" which you can read more about here. It is such a gorgeous colour for Spring and I love it on my nails. The other is a blush I bought such a long time ago but completely forgot about. It is from MUA and only cost £1! It is such a pale pretty pink shade and again another lovely sprig shade.


February actually brought with it some sunshine which was a nice change from grey cloud. So out some the sunglasses! These two are my most worn pairs and for the past two weeks one of the pairs have been in my bag. Around two weeks ago I found this little ring in Topshop, I fell in love with it so had to buy it. I just think it is such an interesting looking ring and it is quite quirky, which I like. It is also quite slim so is very comfortable to wear.

What have been your favourites in February??

Sunday, 3 March 2013

A Little Bit of Lately

Basically...Krispy Kreme arrived!

Valentines Day cupcakes / Valentines night treats

mouse ear shadow / scary cornflakes!
Toffee Crisp "yum" / healthy lunch

walking in the beautiful sunshine

It has been quite a while since I have done a "Week in Pictures" post and I have missed them. The reason I haven't put any up is due to the fact that right now not every week in my life is exciting enough to post pictures of, also since becoming obsessed with Instaram ( @missshelleyharper if you would like to follow me) I'm not sure if  I should post them all twice a week. I do really like these post however, I like reading them and writing them so...I thought I would do one every now and then, kind of like a round up of little things from the past few weeks. So they will now be called - A Little Bit of Lately. The past few weeks of February have been filled with sweet things and surprisingly - sunshine! Krispy Kreme opened in Edinburgh so of course we had to go and try it because we have wanted to for such a long time. We might have bought far too many donut's (28) but it was a one off and we didn't eat them all by ourselves. Then with Valentines day after that we had a few more treats, mostly cupcakes and chocolate covered strawberries. For the past week or so we have had some beautiful sunny days and they have been perfect for long walks outside with the dogs, and they let you see some very pretty views too :)

Hope you have all had a wonderful weekend x

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