Monthly Archives: February 2014

Baking Valentines Day Cupcakes!

foody things

Before we go ahead please bear in my that this was my first ever solo baking venture! All things considered, I’m rather pleased with how it all turned out and I received very positive feedback from everyone who was lucky enough to try my yummy cakes! Inspired by my very good friend Sarah who makes the best cakes of anyone I know!

AHOY VALENTINES DAY CUPCAKES…

baking equipmentheart cake cases
melting butterpinkcake mixture

I used a BBC Food recipe which is linked below, but the basic ingredients for the cupcakes are:  110g of softened butter, 110g of caster sugar, 2 free range eggs, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 110g of self raising flour and 2 tablespoon of milk.

And to make the buttercream icing you will need: 140g of softened butter, 280g of icing sugar, 2 tablespoons of milk and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.

To make it a little bit different I used cute little heart shaped cake cases from Wilkinson and instead of colouring my icing I used vanilla extract to make it even yummier. I also bought little chocolate hearts to place on the top!

As a side note, I just love love love the baby pink little weighing scales I bought (also from Wilkinson). They were £8, reduced from £12 and while they might not be as accurate as their electronic equivalent they are so much more adorable!

I also learnt through this venture that investing in an electronic whisk/mixer would be very beneficial. My weedy arm muscles did not appreciate my endeavours and nor did my hands when they were covered in blisters from my wooden spoon. Oops!

Nevertheless I was happy happy with the results…

heart cakesheart cupcake

Had some extra mixture so made a couple of normal ones too, also forgot to take a picture of them iced and then there was only one left, oh dear! Got carried away wanting to eat them all up!

That’s all! Had a wonderful Valentines Day and hope everyone else did too! xxx

SOURCES AND RELEVANT LINKS

BBC Food Recipe || Wilkinson Baking Section || Sarahlouuu makes the best cakes

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Shopping and Product Reviews

fashion fix

Christmas was very good to me but the January sales are always so very tempting and I have to admit that I did do a wee bit of shopping between then and now. Mostly clothes and make-up but some other bits and bobs thrown in there.

MY JANUARY HAUL…

ootdootd

Most of the things I bought were on one shopping spree where I wore this outfit. So this is just a cheeky ootd before I start the actual post. Jumper and skirt from H&M, Boots from Office, Socks and Bracelet from Topshop, Necklacefrom Miss Selfridge and Ring from French Connection. Okay then, on to the purchases….

Zara Blouse £29.99
zara checked blousezara bow blouse
ASOS Trousers £35
anxiouslyboldasos trousers

Nine West Heels £30(?) || Topshop Loafers £30
nine west heelsblack topshop loafers

Zara Heels £29.99
zara heelszara heels

The Nine West heels are what I’m planning to wear to my assessment centre later this month, though I’m yet to find an outfit I’m entirely happy with. Unfortunately I’ve worn both the Topshop loafers and the Zara heels since purchasing them and they both hurt like crazy. I might be able to wear the loafers in but the problem with the heels is my big fat wide feet. I wore them on a night out and my boyfriend ended up giving me his shoes so I didn’t have to walk home barefoot. Needless to say walking home in a pair of vans that were three sizes too big was not my ideal way to end an evening… I still adore the heels though and I daresay I’ll give them at least one more try before they’re relegated to shoes I can only wear to sit down events.

scarlet forrestbenefit brow bar

I also got my eyebrows done at the Benefit Brow Bar for the first time ever. In fact, it was the first time I’d let anyone anywhere near my eyebrows (I usually pluck them myself). Above are before and after pictures (ignore the wonky eyelashes in the second one) and while I know most people probably wouldn’t notice the difference, I’m so so happy with the change this has made. I had a tint  and a wax for £18 and I’m so much happier with how they look and way more confident filling them in with my Benefit Brow Zings, which I adore. I’ll definitely be going back.

tigers teemonsters inc tee
cat teedaisy teepug tee

These are all the little tops I picked up over the last month. The first four are all from Primark and were about £6 each.  The Monsters Inc one is a nightshirt that glows in the dark! I tried so hard to get a picture of this but failed miserably, it’s absolutely adorable though and when I saw it I couldn’t leave without it. Primark has some really cute tee shirts in at a moment and I really like wearing things like this with leggings when I’m lounging around the house or going to a rehearsal. The last shirt is from Zara and was a complete bargain in the sale at just £2. Look at his cute little face!

socks haulprimark pajamas
dorothy perkins necklacebooks haul

I am an absolute socks fiend! I picked up these from Primark between £1.50 and £3 and Topshop 3 pairs for £8. I’m such a fan of the frilly little socks with my Office Ultimate 2 Ankle Boots (pictured above in my ootd) ’cause it’s nice to have a bit of hard and soft and I wear them literally all the time. My sock and tights drawer is just overflowing at this point.
I also picked up some really cute pjs from Primark, they were something like £3 in the sale and I mostly bought them because they’re plaid and I absolutely adore plaid but for the most part they’re kind of baggy which is really annoying.
Necklaces are both from Dorothy Perkins, whose clothes aside from their jeans are awful (I’m sorry DP), but their jewellery can be really cute and is always so well priced. The necklace on the left was £5 and I am yet to wear it but it might come in handy for an evening out at some point. The second was a complete bargain at only £2 (pictured above in my benefit image), however I’ve worn it once and I’ve already broken it! Sigh.
Books are The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce and The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer. Now I can’t really comment on either of these books because I’ve only read the first two chapters of The Shock of the Fall, but I may post reviews at a later date. In any case I’m excited to find the time to read them as I’ve heard good things and free time is so scarce for me right now.

boots haulsoap and glory giftset

I ended up buying a soap and glory gift set £9 in the January sale. Clean on me and Scrub of Your Life are two of my absolute favourite bath time products so I thought that having minis of them would be really helpful for future outings. The set also came with Hand Food, Heel Genius, Glad Hair Day, The Righteous Butter and a really cute little headband. I’m keeping the glad hair day and righteous butter minis for my stays away from home but I have to say that I’m really enjoying the hand food. It’s such a great handbag size and leaves my hands feeling great all day. The only disappointment with this set is the packaging. The washbag that it came in was oversized and clumsy with an oddly placed handle. Though the products are great, it would definitely have deterred me from purchasing this as a gift.
Royal Jelly Honey and Vanilla Candle £4, This was another half price sale purchase, however this was incredibly disappointing. This candle has absolutely no fragrance, particularly when compared with some of my favourite yankee candles and to be frank was just a really pointless purchase.
Maybelline Falsies Mascara £4, I bought this on a recommendation from my absolute favourite fashion vlogger, Tanya Burr who absolutely loves this product. So I thought I’d give it a go and I was in no way disappointed. It has the finish of a waterproof mascara, without the immense hassle of trying to scrub it off your eyes at the end of the day. I was previously using the Elizabeth Arden Maximum Volume which I like a lot, but this is just so much bigger and fuller without being clumpy at all.
Maybelline Dream Smooth Primer £8.99, I mostly bought this because Boots was being sneaky with their buy one get one half price deals and I’d completely run out of primer at the time. Now I am still yet to find a primer that I really like. All the ones I’ve tried either leave my skin feeling really tacky or just kind of dry. For a relatively cheap product however, this one isn’t all that bad. It has a jelly consistency that goes on really nicely and the smoothness of the finish it leaves on my skin is surprisingly full. Aside from that it definitely does its job in making my make up last longer, but I do feel the need to use it sparingly as I’m so riddled with problem pores that it’s just not the kind of product I’d want to use every day.
Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer £4.19, I picked this up in boots but I also bought another yesterday in Wilkinson ’cause they’re currently on offer at £2.09, which is an absolutely bargain if you ask me. Again this was another Tanya Burr recommendation and I absolutely love it. For such a cheap product it really is one of the best concealers I’ve tried. I really suffer with hideously dark under eye circles and while I absolutely love the MAC Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer which does an amazing job at covering blemishes and imperfections, it just goes too cakey when I try and apply it on my under eye area. So I wanted to try a liquid concealer but I couldn’t find one that I liked, I even tried the highly recommended YSL touche éclat, but it really didn’t give me enough coverage to feel confident in hiding my dark circles. I’m really enjoying the collection concealer at the moment, I hesitate to say it but I’m fairly certain it’s the best concealer that I’ve tried and I’m really happy with the way it tackles my under eye area.

mixed haul

These are a few of the final bits and pieces I picked up throughout the month.
Topshop eyeshadow smokey palette in Tawny £3, although one is broken and it’s kind of messy I think this was a really good bargain. The palette usually costs £12 and both the darkest and the lightest shade are such pretty colours with a really nice shimmer finish.
No 7 Calm Skin Redness-relief Balm £18, I can’t remember how much I paid for this but I ended up buying it because I had a No 7 voucher and I thought it might make a nice addition to my skincare routine seeing as I get real problems with redness on my cheeks and sometimes around my nose. I’ve been using it for about three weeks now and I think I like it. I use it under my moisturizer and though I don’t always notice the difference I’m glad I gave something new a try.
No 7 High Shine Lip Crayon in Berry £9, Again I didn’t pay full price for this because I had a voucher. No 7 are so tricky like that! In any case I picked this because it was new! and it looked really pretty. They had this in five colours and when I swatched them on my hand it was this and “Tickle” that stood out to me, which is really lovely coral colour. I went for the darker, more obvious option for me because my lips are naturally very red and I wasn’t sure how well a coral lip crayon would actually work on my lips seeing as they aren’t designed to be super pigmented. In any case I’m really glad that I bought this. This colour is so pretty on, it’s shimmery, nicely pigmented and isn’t dehydrating to my lips whatsoever, which is something I have such a problem with. Leading me on to my next purchases…
Lush Mint Julips Lip Scrub, I’m so so so glad that I bought this. Firstly when you open it, it smells like after eight mints (which are just gorgeous if you haven’t tried them then you should). Secondly it really does the job. I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks now and I really like the way it makes my lips feel. My only qualm about this product is that it suggests that you “lick off the excess” once you’ve exfoliated your lips. Now I’m not entirely on board with this so I just remove it with warm water… But other than that I’d recommend this for dry/peeling lips 100%
Lush It Started With a Kiss Lip TintNow I made a rookie error buying this… I didn’t smell it first. The tint itself gives my lips a really nice rosy, hydrated finish, but I just can’t get over the smell. When you’re putting something on your lips, which are need I remind you, right under your nose, it’s never going to end well if you can’t stand the way it smells, and I can’t. I’m not entirely sure what creates the smell in this product and I’m sure its not a problem for most consumers, but I would suggest giving it a whiff before you spend your pennies.
‘S’ Topshop purse £4 on ebay, I spotted this purse on ebay and I thought it might make a really nice coin purse to pop into a small handbag when I go on a night out. Now I haven’t actually used it yet because it’s a little bigger than I thought it was going to be (my fault for not checking the measurements in the item description) but I’m sure I’ll get some use out of it at least.
Lush Charity Pot & Clinton Cards Breast Cancer Pen £1 each, I’ve just popped these at the bottom of my list ’cause I wanted to quickly highlight some of the good causes and little things that you can do to help (like purchasing one of these items). Clintons are always selling pens for charity and buying one is just a little thing you can do to give back. Besides, who doesn’t need a good pen? The Lush Charity pot is a really gorgeous hand/body lotion that smells absolutely divine. It’s got almond oil and cocoa butter in it and I used it as a hand cream to pop in my handbag. It’s super handy and it’s for a good cause.

Well I think that’s pretty much everything! I’ve had a pretty good month or so for shopping on the whole and I’d say that I haven’t really been as naughty as I might have been. This is probably because other than jumpers (which I own far too many of) I really don’t enjoy buying/wearing winter clothes. I always feel like I’d rather save my money for the pretty dresses that summer has to offer.

SOURCES AND RELEVANT LINKS

Tanya Burr || Benefit Brow Bar || OOTD Inspiration

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365 Picture Challenge : February

february 2014

This is where I’ll be posting my daily pictures for my 365 Picture Challenge in February.

032-FEBRUARY 1ST: Breakfast at rehearsal

fruit salad

033-FEBRUARY 2ND: Georgina climbing the fridge to film her neck nominate challenge video

neck nominate

034-FEBRUARY 3RD: Richard III rehearsals going well

lutheatre richard III

035-FEBRUARY 4TH: From this seminar reading I learnt that “evidence is not evidence until it makes something evident”. Wise words.

seminar reading

036-FEBRUARY 5TH: My absolute favourite unhealthy meal!

scrambled eggs

037-FEBRUARY 6TH: Off shopping in my oversized hat!

leopard print hat

038-FEBRUARY 7TH: Trying out my new purchases

origins giftset

039-FEBRUARY 8TH: My gymspiration sign

gymspiration sign

040-FEBRUARY 9TH: Potential interview outfit? Too blue? Can’t decide!

blue zara suit

041-FEBRUARY 10TH: Rockin’ the rave glasses at work

rave glasses

042-FEBRUARY 11TH: Making valentines day cupcakes!

baking supplies

043-FEBRUARY 12TH: Dressed as Little Miss Chatterbox for the LUT bar crawl

little miss chatterbox costume

044-FEBRUARY 13TH: Posing with Luigi

little miss chatterbox costume

045-FEBRUARY 14TH: Happy Valentines Day!

valentinues day goodies

046-FEBRUARY 15TH: Last cupcake, nom!

heart shaped cupcakes

047-FEBRUARY 16TH: First day of sunshine in Leicester this year!

university of leicester

048-FEBRUARY 17TH: So this happened… Too many clothes!

clothing fail

049-FEBRUARY 18TH: Gorgeous sunset on my way home

leicester sunset

050-FEBRUARY 19TH: Ponytail day

scarlet forrest

051-FEBRUARY 20TH: Staying in London!

london hotel

052-FEBRUARY 21ST: Civil Service Assessment Centre

civil service assessment centre

053-FEBRUARY 22ND: Making the most of the facilities

tea and hot chocolate

054-FEBRUARY 23RD: First Library Panini Experience

library cafe panini leicester

055-FEBRUARY 24TH: Slug in the shower! Ick!

baby slug

056-FEBRUARY 25TH: Heading to the shops in my dinosaur onesie, no shame

dinosaur onesie

057-FEBRUARY 26TH: Burnt my finger on rice!

burnt finger

058-FEBRUARY 27TH: Broke my phone!

cracked iphone 5

059-FEBRUARY 28TH: Staff Night Out

anxiouslybold

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January 2014 in Review

january 2014

January has been an absolutely hectic month. Now I feel like I really ought to have known this because, when is my life not hectic? But somehow I had it in my head I’d be able to do everything at once. Needless to say I was wrong.

SEE HOW I FARED…

Looking through my January 365 it would appear that a lot of my month consisted of eating. I definitely had far too many takeaways and meals out this month and I absolutely did not gym enough. But all that has got to change. I hope. February is a new month, and yes I may have been talked into having  a Nandos yesterday, that does not mean things can’t begin looking up from here.

In short, I did a couple of essays, went on a handful of great nights out, rehearsed for two plays and spent a lot of moneys (shopping post to follow shortly!).

For the most part I just want to reflect on my goal progress…

1) I neither look nor feel healthier than I did at the start of the month: Failed Attempt
2) I am still on track to graduate with a 2:1, though more effort is required in this coming month: Average Progress
3) I am no closer to securing a grown up job: Poor Progress
4) A holiday remains on the cards though there has been no development on this: No Progress

As for everything else, I’m still on track with my 365 picture challenge, though it’s much more difficult that I imagined and I am currently taking part in two plays and a comedy festival performance, so I would say that I’m doing well on the as many plays as possible goal. I also bought some detox tea… which was horrific! HORRIFIC. But I remain determined to force myself to do a tea detox at some point this year. Other than that progress is slow and I have neither blogged nor tweeted as much as I would have liked. I nevertheless remain motivated for the coming month.

I’m hoping that bringing everything together like this is going to put things into perspective and give me a proverbial kick up the bottom to achieve all the things I hope to and stay away from Flappy Bird!!

SOURCES AND RELEVANT LINKS

My January Flipagram || My Goals Post || 365 Picture Challenge

 
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