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Friday, 29 January 2016

Made Me Happy This Week

made-me-happy-this-week

The weather today has been wild! I was woken up at 6.30am when our little fluff ball jumped on my head, desperately trying to get under the covers and in beside us. The wind had changed direction and I swear it seemed as if the bedroom windows were going to come crashing in -she must have got such a fright. It has been nice being able to spend the day in doors though, they're always the best days to be at home feeling all cosy. Paul and I have a weekend of shopping and errands to run so hopefully it eases off a little. If not, I'm happy to spend time waiting it out with another slice of those cakes we had last weekend.

1. All the winter spiced candles in the house are finally gone and we're now burning much fresher scents. We found the one above in HomeSense and it's rather lovely.

2. I think we've finally picked out our tiles for the downstairs bathroom. We were going back and forward for a while, then kind of stopped thinking about it all together over Christmas but hopefully things can start now.

3. Late afternoon, spent with a huge coffee, while people watching with Paul after grabbing the best seat in the place.

4. Ordering outrageous luggage tags, because...why not?!

5. Amazing cottage pie (or what ever you call it when you make it with turkey mince) with piles of buttery mash, all crispy on top, straight from the oven. Perfect comfort food.

6. Picking up one of my favourite conditioning treatments for £1.25! I love a good bargain.

7. Late night's in bed watching Lip Sync Battle.

8. I've done something -not sure what exactly, to my legs and they're bloody sore. Paul's been so sweet making me tea and breakfast in the morning before he goes to work so I don't have to get out of bed too soon.
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Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Zara Feather Bag

zara-black-feather-bag
LEATHER-MESSENGER-BAG

With a big holiday coming up, and all the things we have to do in the house -and of course with the past few months being one of the most expensive times of year. I decided to put myself on a little spending ban. Mainly meaning not to buy things I didn't really need -which can be hard, especially when you see something and instantly fall in love with it! Leading to that horrible feeling of regret you end up with, when the item in question sells out, and you can no longer get your hands on it.

This beautiful little bag from Zara was one of those things! After seeing it online one day, I immediately loved it, but after telling myself it wasn't a necessary purchase I left it alone. So, you can imagine my excitement when I opened a box from my mum on Christmas day to find the bag inside! I thought it was lovely of her to get it for me knowing how much I wanted it. 

The bag is just beautiful, and one of those items in your wardrobe that you can pair with so many outfits. The body of the bag is black suede, with the feather detail and chain strap being a dark silver, almost pewter colour. The feather is one of my favourite things about the bag, and while looking absolutely beautiful it helps keep the shape of the bag too -which will keep it looking smarter for longer. It is on the smaller side, but a lovely size for an evening out where you only need a few essentials with you. 

Once again Zara got it spot on with their accessories and I'm over the moon with my little feather bag -thanks Mum!

If you're interested in having a look you can find it here, they also have it in a tan if blacks not for you. 

Zara-LEATHER-MESSENGER-BAG
zara-feather-bag
LEATHER-MESSENGER-BAG




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Friday, 22 January 2016

Made Me Happy This Week

made-me-happy
made-me-happy-this-week

I feel as if I've spent most of my spare time this week either baking, making some kind of icing decoration or being kicked out of bed by the teenie tiny dog in the photo's above. I've no idea how, but even though she's small she still manages to take up most of the bed. We do love her though. I also can't help counting down the weeks at the moment. I don't mean to, but each one that passes reminds me that we're one week closer to out New York trip. I may have mentioned it once or twice (or several times), but I'm a little excited!

1. I love to see the vegetable drawer in the fridge looking all bright and colourful when we come home with a huge food shop, it makes me feel good about what we're eating.

2. Blue Birds breakfast tea to start off the coldest of mornings.

3. Dinner with the parents. We made Boursin stuffed chicken with piles of buttery mash - it was rather delicious!

4. The mornings getting that little bit lighter, it reminds you each day that spring will be back sooner than we think.

5. Warming candle scents for cold January evenings. Combine that with a good film and you have a perfect night in. Goodbye January blues!

6. The little robin that's made our garden his home this week.

7. New pillows, you forget how good they feel until you get some.

8. Finding old jewellery I'd forgotten I had.
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Friday, 15 January 2016

Made Me Happy This Week

made-me-happy-this-week
made-me-happy


It's been snowing!!

Meaning that everywhere outside at the moment looks very pretty -albeit a little chilly, but I'm fine with that. I love wrapping up in as many layers as needed, then warming up with a cup of tea when I get home. But then equally -I enjoy not having to leave the house and watching the snow sparkle as the sun gets lower...so I'm happy right now (and secretly wishing for some more). The world feels as if it's once again back to normal, up until this week I think we all still had some adjusting to do to properly transition back into normal life... I'm thankful for that to be honest.

1. Hot baths! While missing the addition of some Lush bath products, they have still be very enjoyable on frosty, snowy nights.

2. Breakfast in bed. Paul has brought us breakfast in bed more than once this week and it's been rather lovely. Nothing fancy, cereal and porridge mainly but it's been a lovely treat to start the day on such a relaxed note. I would say I wish we could do it every day, but then, it wouldn't feel as special.

3. Icicles. I love them, and used to find them fascinating when I was very young. because it's been so cold we have a few, from teenie tiny ones to slightly bigger ones hanging from garden furniture.

4. We have quite a few birthdays in February, so in an attempt to be organised we've been ordering presents. I like that feeling of being prepared and organised but I'm also looking forward to having gifts to wrap again.

5. Reading recipe books and planning dinners -does anyone else enjoy doing that?

6. Organising my dressing table drawer. Things had started to get a little crazy in there with make-up and skin care in no order what so ever.

7. Sweet little texts from Paul during the day that leave the biggest smile on my face.
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Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Porridge: Three Ways

porridge-toppings

I've always loved porridge for breakfast, especially in winter. There's little more satisfying on a cold winters morning than holding a warm bowl of it, watching the frost glisten on the grass as the sun comes up.

With it set to get icy cold this week here in the UK, it will most definitely be my breakfast of choice, but if I'm being honest, it's my breakfast of choice all year round. I can happily eat mine plain, made with only milk (which some people think is a little odd), but I love to play with toppings too. These are my three very favourite toppings for porridge, I have tried many things over the years but these three are winners for me -with some honourable mentions at the end.

porridge-toppings
porridge-toppings

Nutella

This needs little explaining as to why it's my favourite. I'm sure my love for the hazelnut spread has been well documented here and everywhere else in my life. I add one generously heaped teaspoon (sometimes two) into the middle of a hot bowl of porridge and let it get warm before swirling it around just a little. If you've never tried this I urge you to give it a go -it's life changing stuff!

porridge-toppings
porridge-toppings

Cinnamon & Brown Sugar Apples

For this, I use what ever apples I have in the fridge -usually Granny Smith, and cut one (per person) into small chunks, the size is really up to you. Add them to a small pan, with two tables spoons of water, a teaspoon of cinnamon and a teaspoon of soft brown sugar. Let them cook away for a few minutes on a medium heat so the sugar doesn't burn. When the apples have softened and the water and sugar have made a sticky sauce coating all the apple chunks, it's ready. Add this too your porridge and if you want extra sweetness you could add a little honey or maple syrup too.

porridge-toppings
porridge-toppings

Pecans & Maple Syrup

Pecans are my favourite nuts, and pecans and maple syrup is an outstanding combination. You can toast your pecans if you'd prefer, but I just like to add a small handful to my bowl and then drizzle over some maple syrup. Fun fact: this topping, combined with the previous one is Paul's absolute favourite. 

porridge-toppings

Some other favourite toppings now that are also just as tasty. Raspberries, when they're fresh and in season the juicy little berries are perfect with porridge (and also Nutella). Peaches, grilled with a little brown sugar are a lovely addition, they go nice and soft and the sugar hardens slightly as it cools. Chocolate chips are always a favourite of course, as is jam -home made is even better. Bring on the cold mornings!

How do you like your porridge? I'd love some ideas for new toppings to try :) 
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Monday, 11 January 2016

New Year Make-Up Update

make up update 2016

I don't change up the contents of my day to day make up bag that often, hardly ever if I'm being honest. I find it can be far too easy to stick to what we know and love -sadly leaving all the other pretty products collecting dust. This month however I've had a little change up, this is admittedly due to some lovely thoughtful Christmas gifts I was given which I've ended up loving, some that I'd actually wanted to try for some time, so that turned out to be a nice surprise.

make up update 2016
make up update 2016

Most of these products come from a Soap and Glory set I was given, that when I opened, I was so excited to see so many things I'd wanted to try. Two of which were the "Love at First Blush" blusher and "Solar Powder" bronzer. Both of these products are excellent! The blush has great pigmentation and the shimmer through it is lovely for this time of year when skin can look a little dull and flat. The bronzer I'm happy to say -as the pale skinned person I am, isn't too orange or muddy. It's also a little cooler in colour than most bronzers I've tried which pleases me.

make up update 2016
make up update 2016
make up update 2016

Some eye updates now in the form of two new make-up bag sized palettes, and a new brow product. I've never played around with my eyebrows too much, I've always been quite lucky that I've liked the shape and size, and apart from occasionally giving the ends of them a tidy (when I can be bothered which isn't very often) I don't touch them. The only thing I do, is fill them in a little, mostly to make them darker or heavier if I'm doing a more full on make-up look. 

I'd wanted to try the Soap and Glory "Archery" brow tint and pencil for a while but, each time I'd look for it in Boots the darker shade would always be sold out! One end has a pencil to fill and shape your brows, the other has a teenie tiny felt tip to fill in any gaps with small strokes to give the impression of hair. I don't use the felt tip that often, I find the pencil to be enough most days and the shade is very flattering too, it's cooler in tone which I like as it blends in better with my hair.

The first of the palettes from Soap and Glory (again), I'm pretty sure was exclusive to the set it came. When first looking at it I didn't think I'd use much of the colours, but after having time to play around with it over Christmas, I've come to really enjoy them. The first two, the lightest two are shades that look beautiful for everyday make up. They both have a pinky tone that I was so sure I'd hate but actually, I really enjoy -it's making me re-think the Naked 3 palette...maybe I would like it? 

Second was a little stocking filler and is the "Cosmic Bronze" palette from Fleur De Force. The shades in this palette are gorgeous and so lovely to apply -they blend beautifully and the pigmentation is wonderful. I'm also in love with the glittery shadow, I've been wearing it all over the lid and it feels special without being over the top. 

I'm really rather pleased with my little updates, maybe it's something I should do more often?

Do you switch up your make-up from time to time or do you get stuck using the same things like me?







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Friday, 8 January 2016

Made Me Happy This Week

made me happy

It's finally starting to feel like winter and I love it! It's so cold outside right now and has been all day -there was even frost on the ground for most of the day. It somehow feels as if it should be Christmas time again. Also, well done everyone for making it through the first normal week of 2016 -we did it! It was hard at the beginning considering that advent calendars and an abundance of Christmas chocolate had left me with a full on chocolate addiction, but, normality has resumed. How has your first week been?

1. This post from Carrie, her fantastic pictures have left me even more excited for our upcoming trip to NYC! 

2. New Nutella snacks that were a gift from my mum. I'm not sure where she got them from but they're very tasty and far too easy to eat! Plus they look like miniature bread sticks - very cute. 

3. Picking up new socks for £1 in the sale while food shopping, I love getting new socks. 

4. Pizza night - I don't think that needs much explanation. 

5. Wearing my new over sized robin hoodie thing and feeling nice and cosy. It was a gift from my at Christmas but I've been wearing it non-stop this week.

6. Spending time with the crazy little fluff ball pictured above -she's such a funny thing, I could watch her for hours.

7. A Friday off spent with Paul doing nothing much, but having the best time doing it. I love a good day at home.

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Sunday, 3 January 2016

Leftover Brownies

leftover brownies
leftover brownies

Today feels like the last day before everything goes back to normal, even though the year officially began a few days ago it still feels like we're in holiday mode until tomorrow. For example -we didn't get out of bed until 12.30 today. 12.30!! Lie ins have become the norm over the past week and while it has been lovely to not have to jump out of bed in the morning, instead laying there as long as we'd like -I am looking forward to tomorrow. We will be up early (not early afternoon), we will be productive instead of filling our days with enjoyable nothings, and...we will move! I'm starting to feel as if I've forgotten how to move and exercise so that will also start again.

As is the case each year, we'd been left with a box full of left over sweets and chocolate from Christmas. In an attempt to use some of them up before getting back to normality I thought I'd make a batch of brownies with them all thrown in. I'm naming them "leftover brownies", and they turned out very tasty indeed, even though it's not a combination of ingredients I'd normally put together.

I used my (well, Paul's) standard brownie recipe, that you can find here. And instead of the white chocolate chunks from that recipe I used some Kinder Choco Bons, Raffaello's, Reeses Pieces and pecan nuts. But you could throw in whatever you have left over.

Do you feel as if the New Year has begun or are you -like me, still in holiday mode until tomorrow?

leftover brownies
leftover brownies
leftover brownies
leftover brownies




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Friday, 1 January 2016

Made Me Happy This Week

made me happy this week

Happy 2016!

As it's the 1st of January today we've been taking the tree down and packing away Christmas for another year. This is normally something that leaves me feeling a little sad because it means it's all over for another year and things will quickly get back to normal, but this year I haven't felt that way. I feel so positive and excited for the year ahead, and all the things it could bring, that it's leaving little room to feel down about anything. It's also got a little something to do with our upcoming trip to New York. Before Christmas it felt like forever away -but now it feels so close that I have butterflies at the thought of it. 

1. Spending much of the time between Christmas and New Year at home -in pyjamas. Admittedly I'm now a little itchy and am looking for reasons to get out and see real life people and breath fresh air, but it has been wonderful.

2. Christmas dinner, followed by left over Christmas dinner the following night -I do love it!

3. Making sugar cookies with my niece and teaching her how to pipe icing. She's only 5 but she picks things up so quickly and I'm honestly not being bias when I say the finished cookies looked amazing!

4. Chocolate, cookies and cake. I've been enjoying far more than I should, and while I have enjoyed it all I'm looking forward to getting back to better food choices. 

5. All the wonderful gifts from friends and family, we were well and truly spoiled this year and we appreciate every single one.

6. Early morning walks in the fresh crisp air, it's a lovely way to start the day.

7. Having the house lit mainly with candles and lamps in the evening, it always makes everything feel so cosy. 

8. FINALLY getting to see Star Wars, we've been so busy we hadn't found time to go. It's amazing!

9. Switching on the Christmas tree lights each morning, while I am looking forward to the new year I am going to miss that.

10. Warm banana and pecan bread for breakfast -need I say more. 

11. Being given dollars for Christmas. I've never had any before and opening them on Christmas was such a wonderful surprise. 

12. Paul waking me just in time to catch a beautiful sunset -then fallen straight back to sleep for a while longer. 

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year, even if your weren't celebrating I hope you enjoyed yourself.

Best wishes for the year ahead!

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