Saturday, 9 December 2017

Christmas Music To Listen To

Heart Extra Christmas officially started on the 18th of November and I for one was extremely excited when I suddenly realised it was back! In fact I'm playing it right now, I do love Christmas a lot, some may say too much.

As someone who loves Christmas and the fact it's the time of year everyone is possibly listening to the same music and you can all enjoy it together I thought I would share some of my favourites, who knows you might find a new favourite.

What's your favourite Christmas song?!

Love El
xxx
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Monday, 31 July 2017

Homeware Touches


Does anyone else feel like such an 'adult' when they get excited about homeware?
(I say adult loosely, as I'm not quite sure I'm there yet or quite frankly ever will be!)
Homeware is such a brilliant way to make any room feel more cozy or to put your own touch on things, it's so important to make yourself feel comfortable in your own environment and these are some of my favourites to do just that.

The first way I love to make my room feel cozy is by adding cushions, I have far too many and even more when it comes to Christmas but I have no problem with that!
Cushions come in so many shapes, sizes and colours so guaranteed there'll be one out there you'll love, although do be careful about the prices as they can cost a fortune.
Some of the best places I have found have been Asda, House of Fraser and Cath Kidston. My two grey textured cushions in the image below turned out to be just £5 for the two from Primark! The cushion in front was £15 from the Cath Kidston store in Bicester Village, in the image below that I purchased the fluffy white cushion from the House of Fraser sale for £15 while my grandparents bought the matching throw for me.

Adding your own little trinkets from here and there is another fabulous way to add your own mark on a place, my mum bought me this stag head for Christmas the year before last from an antiques store in Bourton-on-the-Water and I really do adore it!
Although I eliminated scents from my room via fake flowers, I do love being able to choose my own scents to full the room, specifically from candles. This is another thing that can really vary in price and I love any but it isn't essential to splash out, Asda do some fantastic ones and I love Village Candle and of course Yankee Candle. (My candle holder is from the National Trust.) And if you don't fancy setting anything alight in your room then why not go for a room spray or potpourri (I have linked some of favourite places to go for those.)

What are some of your favourite homeware touches?

Love El
xxx
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Monday, 19 June 2017

Good Hair Day

Good hair days...anyone else wish they happened more often?!
You treat your hair well and then it decides most of the time that it's going to be a giant frizz bomb or part on the side it shouldn't or it goes straight once you've curled it.

Well this was a hair day that did actually work out for me and I really liked the results so wanted to share this easy look with you!

First off I created the big bouncy curls by using the biggest attachment on my NuMe Lustrum set, to make this really simple just tie your hair up into a ponytail and then curl! Once all of the curls have cooled I like to them brush them out with a wide tooth come to make them more voluminous and sleeker.

I then grabbed a section from the crown of my head, that will become the section that you tie up. I knew that I wanted to be able to see the earrings I decided to wear so I kept adding more and more into the section, then tie it up with an elastic. After tying your hair up grab a stand from the underneath of the updo and tie it around the base to hide the hair band, then secure with a bobby pin.

To finish off the look I like to pull out some strands around the face to frame it better, and that's it! It's a great hairstyle to show off some beautiful earrings or to get the bulk of your hair away from your face.


Love El
xxx
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Thursday, 15 June 2017

My Skincare Trio

I have realised that when it comes to my skincare, apart from when fighting those occasional pesky spots, I need a routine that is pretty gentle yet moisturising. I searched the internet high and low for information and research about what good quality skincare is out there, especially products that I can get hold of in the UK, and Neal's Yard popped up a lot. Of course I had heard of Neal's Yard before but never really looked into the brand, but after finding out about how natural their products are and that they are cruelty free I was even more intrigued.

When it comes to skincare I am pretty dubious as I have some pretty awful allergic reactions to skincare products that have left me with eczema and blisters around my mouth (it was even more grim then it sounds, resulting in courses of antibiotics and days off work). I don't really know what causes this and therefore am pretty wary. I've learnt that for me rehydrating products are what my skin craves the most and so the sound of Neal's Yard's Rehydrating Rose range sounded perfect for me. They have so many brilliant ranges and you can shop by your skin type, range or product on their website!
The toner is a new addition to my collection but I cannot wait to use it as the facial wash and moisturiser have been amazing for my skin. 
After using these products daily it is fair to say I have noticed a difference in my skin, it has a beautiful natural glow to it and (trying not to be too gross) my pores are no longer clogged! The first time I used these products, about 7 months ago, I was so shocked at how soft they made my skin, like an actual baby's bottom and that feeling has never gone.

Since using this as my daily morning skincare routine I have definitely had less spots, more moisturisation and so much glow to my skin. They may not be the cheapest skincare products on the market but you can see in the images how little the product has gone down in 7 months, so they are WELL worth the price tag.

These beautiful blue, glass bottles filled with luxurious products don't just look good on your shelf they really are pretty life changing for the skin, and I definitely can't see myself without them, EVER.

Have you ever tried Neal's Yard products before?

Love El
xxx
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Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Summer Fashion Wishlist

We have already had some beautiful weather but Summer isn't even officially here until the 21st June so that means I have done plenty of purusing online and in stores of all the beautiful clothes following the Summer trends! I wanted to share some pieces with you that I have already bought and some that I am lusting over.
Click on the images to follow the links.


Have you got your eyes on any pieces at the moment?

Love El
xxx
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Monday, 12 June 2017

Drops of Light // The Body Shop


I think it is definitely fair to say that the older I have become the more I am interested in skincare and looking after my skin.
Last month I posted about My Skincare Saviours and I wanted to let you know about a new skincare favourite, it's from The Body Shop which always gives me some piece of mind knowing that their products are cruelty free. 

As someone who tends to struggle with dry skin this product has been absolutely mind blowing and has given me an extra level of hydration I never knew I could achieve (that all sounds extremely dramatic but just bear with me on this one.) The whole point of this Drops of Light Essence is that you use is after cleansing and toning but before your serum and moisturiser to add an extra level of light hydration.

It's probably fair to say that at 21 I don't really need to be using anti-age products but this is to combat the first signs of ageing and although I may not quite have those yet there's no harm in being prepared, maybe I can fight off even the first signs of ageing?!
This gel to water lotion helps to brighten and even out your skin tone, prepares your skin for the products to come and can be used daily to help even out the skin tone, texture and plump the skin!

In a product, all of those claims sound like quite a big thing, I mean can it do all of that whilst smelling amazing and having the cutest packaging ever? Well I can reveal that after using it for a week yes, yes it actually can.
You can apply this product by either using a cotton pad or your fingers, I would definitely recommend using your fingers as there is a lot less waste.
I definitely think that it is fair to say this product exceeded my expectations and more.
The texture of my skin has definitely become smoother, and the skin tone is 100% looking more even (I had quite a bit of redness around and under my nose after having an allergic reaction but this has helped significantly and after having said redness for a year I'm very happy to see it reduced.) It is also fair to say that my skin is looking brighter and a lot less dull, which in my books is NEVER a bad thing.

Within the Drops of Light range there is also a Brightening Serum, Brightening Eye Cream, Brightening Cleansing Foam, Brightening Day Cream and a Resurfacing Liquid Peel, and I tell you what I am desperate to try some more, if not all of the products.


Have you found any new favourite products recently?

Love El

xxx
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Saturday, 10 June 2017

Father's Day Gift Guide

Now between you and me Father's Day always approaches A LOT quicker than I expect it to! (It's on June 18th in the UK this year just incase you've forgotten!)
With Father's Day approaching as quickly as it does that can then mean the on set of a panic as you suddenly think "What do I buy for the man who wants nothing but also has everything?!"

Well I am here to help, or if not completely help, at least give you some little pointers, hopefully!
If your dad is like mine and basically spends all of his time in the garden, then maybe raid his tool box/shed and see if there are any gardening equipment pieces that could do with an upgrade. I'm definitely not a total garden novice but I'm also not an expert so I did rope my mum in to give a little guidance with this one but apparently this is a great brand of gardening secateurs and I know my dad needs some new ones.
Most of the time my dad is in the garden but he spends even more time working extremely hard and therefore spends an awful lot of time in suits. One of his favourite brands is Alfred Dunhill and as he loves his cufflinks these are another great gift idea.
Every dad needs a pair of good sunglasses and a daughter to tell him what sunglasses actually look good and suit his face shape (I'm not one to ever judge put sometimes dads need to be nudged in the right direction!) There are so many good, classic brands out there like Ray-Ban, Oakley etc. but my dad found this Montblanc pair at Bicester Village.
There are definitely lots of dads out there that love fitness, whether that be running or cycling or something like that, this Garmin Forerunner 35 is a brilliant choice as there is no chest strap. You can connect it up with your phone, check your heart rate and see how many steps you've done that day! This watch is already in my dad's possession and being the big kid that he is I think his favourite part about it has to be trying to do as many steps as possible and also when it vibrates to tell you to MOVE!
I adore FoodNetwork, it is pretty much the only thing I watch on TV, and that means occasionally The Hairy Bikers is on the telly. Now they are an absolutely fabulous duo and I kept noticing just how much my dad was loving them, so one Christmas I thought on a whim I would buy him their autobiography (he's not a lover of cooking) and it went down an absolute treat. I don't think he realised just how much he loved them until he'd read it, me and mum didn't even have to read it he literally couldn't stop telling us all the details. Sometimes it pays off to just watch how families react to things and you'll find something they never even realised they'd love!
Of course a personal present is always extremely thoughtful and very much appreciated.
Grabbing your dad's favourite personal picture that maybe they've taken or it's a place they adore or of family, it's a brilliant idea to them get it printed onto a canvas so your dad can hang it up and admire their fave image everyday! I got this one printed at Jessops.

And finally, if your dad really isn't the materialistic type at all and nothing on the list would please him, then treat him to his perfect day out maybe concluded by a meal out or you cooking his favourite meal! 

Just spoil your dad on Father's Day, give him all of your love and make sure he has a brilliant day, family time is better than any gift you can buy.

Love El
xxx
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Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Shortbread Meringue Slices


I decided today it was time to put me and my Kenwood Mixer* to the test!
So this recipe is the combination of making shortbread and meringue all in my kMix* and in 30 mins, and I am extremely happy with the very delicious results.


I thought this was all going to be a lot more complicated but it was all surprisingly easy, and made easier without all the elbow grease, letting my mixer do that for me!

Ingredients:

For the shortbread:

115g softened butter (I used a diary free alternative so my mum could share!)
55g caster sugar
175g plain flour

For the meringue:

2 large egg whites
115g caster sugar

4 tbsp strawberry jam

What to do:

Preheat your oven to 200°C (fan 180°C) and grease a 9" tin.

Use the dough hook attachment on your mixer and add all of the shortbread ingredients to your free-standing mixer, turn the speed up to 1 for about a minute and then whop it up to 3 for another minute or until the mixture begins to clump together. Tip this mixture into your tin and press into an even layer on the bottom. Bake this in the over for 17 minutes or until it looks pale golden.

Meanwhile, to make your meringue swap over your mixer attachment to the whisk and separate your eggs. Add your egg whites to your bowl, putting the speed on maximum. Once the mixture starts to look like stiff clouds, add the sugar a teaspoon at a time and continue mixing everything until it is stiff and glossy.

Remove your shortbread from the oven (once it looks pale gold) and spread your jam over the hot base. The spoon your meringue over the jam to cover everything completely. Then put the tin back in the oven for a further 5 mins or until the meringue is a pale gold (I baked mine for 6 and a half minutes in the end) and then enjoy the slices hot or cold!!


I think the recipe sounds a lot more complicated than it really is!
Let me know if you make these slice. 


Love El
xxx

*This post includes a product that was gifted to me. All opinions are my own and I would never recommend something that I do not truly love.
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Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Easy, Light Meringues

Meringues, to me, always remind me of my grandma, without fail she will always have some to serve alongside an array of other desserts after a delicious meal! She seems to get them spot on every time and they are just perfect for when you fancy something sweet!
I thought I would give them a go myself especially as my new, beautiful Kenwood* mixer, from the kMix range, has a whisk attachment.

Makes 8
Ingredients:

2 Egg Whites
125g Caster Sugar 
1.5 tsp Vanilla Extract

What To Do:

Preheat your oven to 110°and line two baking trays with baking parchment paper.

Separate your eggs and keep the egg whites for this recipe (there are many things you can do with the yolks so don't throw them away!)

Attach the whisk attachment to your free standing mixer and drop the egg whites into the bowl, my beautiful Kenwood* kMix free-standing mixer has a glass bowl which just happens to be perfect for making meringues. Once the egg whites are in the bowl turn the mixer speed up to maximum. As soon as the whites start to look like stiff clouds add in your sugar a teaspoon at a time, and then your vanilla extract.

Continue mixing on maximum until the mixture is stiff and glossy! When the mixture is looking like this turn off your mixer and start spooning or piping it onto your baking trays.

Bake the meringues in the oven for 1hour 20mins or until they sound hard when you tap them. Leave the trays to cool on a wire rack to cool, they will keep for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container and you can serve them in whichever way takes your fancy!!



Love El
xxx

*This post includes a product that was gifted to me. All opinions are my own and I would never recommend something that I do not truly love.
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