Sunday, 25 May 2014

Summer Co-ordinates

I've got my countdown clock on - only 5 days left till my summer begins! I can't believe how quickly this academic year has come and gone. It was just disturbingly too quick for my liking. So with summer literally around the corner it's about time I start thinking about my 2014 summer wardrobe. One of my favourite of the current trends are co-ordinates. I bought a blazer-shorts combo last summer and have worn them whenever possible. The best thing about this trend is that the items look great together or separately - making for more than one possible look! While revising for my last exam, I have been spending breaks looking online for possible 'treats' once this week is over. Today I am sharing with you, the lovely co-ords that are currently available from my favourite online shops! 

1 2 3 4
I've chosen a mix of smart and casual co-ords. Most of the items can be dressed up and down -maybe even the pineapples. My favourite of my pickings is the first one from Miss Guided. I can see myself wearing this outfit to the shops, a restaurant, a christening, a meeting - I mean it's so versatile! The blazer would go perfectly with jeans and a top or over a dress. The shorts could equally be worn with many different items. The next two co-ords can't be too much of a surprise if you are an avid reader of this blog. I love my aztec prints! My eyes are instantly drawn to them and the idea of wearing more than one aztec printed item gets me all giddy and excited. At first I didn't know what to think of my final choice. It's really out there and something I could hardily imagine myself wearing. However I can't help but love it. It's the epitome of summer! Put me by a bar drinking cocktails on a sunny island somewhere and I'm sure I'd make this outfit work. 

What trends are you following this summer? Do you have any nice plans and if so, please take me with you?! Good luck to whoever still has exams :) x


Thursday, 22 May 2014

50 years of Superdrug

Happy 50th Birthday Superdrug! To celebrate this impressive milestone, they are offering a few special products and offers. Superdrug is my favourite store when it comes to getting all my make-up and toiletries. It's because of them that I've fallen in love with brands like MUA, Sleek and Barry M. I thought it was only fitting for me to dedicate a little post to this awesome store! Alongside some special edition products that have been made for the occasion, I wanted to share a few of my long time favourites from Superdrug's own brand.
1. Limited Edition Birthday Lashes - I recently re-kindled my love for falsies. Personally, I am content with my own lashes the majority of the time but for those special occasions and epic nights out, I love a pair of dramatic lashes! I feel it really something more to a look and Superdrug have released some limited edition lashes that I really want to try out. I normally wear Eylure's naturalites and fully recommend them. If I get my hands on these I'll let you know my opinion via Twitter.

2. Barry M Nail Polish in Pink Glitter - In case you aren't aware, I am a huge fan of Barry M's nail polishes. To celebrate the big 50 at Superdrug, Barry M has released this pink glitter polish. It's every girlie-girls dream - pink and glitter! The only problem with glitter polishes is taking it off however I have a pretty effective way to remove it. Soak cotton pads in nail varnish remover and then place them over your nails to soak them. After a few minutes, it'll be a lot easier to take off!

3. Sleek Eye Palette i-Divine - I haven't tried any Sleek eye shadows yet but they are definitely on my list! I love their cream blushers (see here) so I'm sure their eye products are just as good. This limited edition palette has 12 eyeshadows that are named after some of their popular i-Divine palettes. It also has a mic of shimmer and matte shades in a variety of colours. It sounds like the perfect introductory palette to newbie sleek eyeshadow users!

4. Superdrug's Vitamin E Hot Cloth Cleanser - I love Liz Earl's Hot Cloth Cleanser so this cheaper version is great for students. The Vitamin E means it is great for those with normal to dry skin. It comes with it's own muslin cloth and for £4.99 its a great skin care product. It makes your skin feel so soft and radiant because it's a really gentle clean. I'd advise to splash a bit of cold water over your face after the process to close your pores and wake you up a bit!

5. Superdrug's Mixed Sponges - This is a bit of a weird product to mention but I used to love this product. I must have started using them almost a decade a go until I recently started to prefer a brushes. It's a bit of a blast from the past and one of my first make-up purchases from Superdrug. For any beginners to make-up or people who aren't the best at applying foundation, these sponges are for you. They blend in your foundation perfectly and are so easy to use. Don't forget to wash them or change to new ones quite often!

What products and brands do you love from Superdrug? Have you bought any of the limited edition products? Please leave your links with comments <3

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Review: Bee Strong Conditioner

It is very unlike me to review a product I literally bought the day before. I guess I don't know the product well enough to give an accurate review and with all make-up I like to use it for at least a few weeks before giving my honest opinion. However... *dramatic pause & dimming of lights* this product impressed me so much, I couldn't wait to share it with you. So here are my first impressions of Herbal Essences' Bee Strong Conditioner!

Photo retrieved from SamMccauley.com

he Herbal Essences' Bee Strong range came out last year and as you can guess, it's for strengthening your hair. I am a big lover of Herbal Essences' products and have been for many a year - remember the old packaging? I mainly bought them for their fruity scents and ability to wash my hair well. Bee Strong contains honey and apricot extracts so my hair smells pretty lush at the moment.  I can be really fussy when it comes to products for my hair so trying new things isn't done lightly. Fortunately this item is normally only a few pounds and in Superdrug it was half price so I felt obliged to give it a go.The main reason I'm so fussy is because of my hair type. I have relatively long straight hair (to my waist) and it's always been prone to knottiness. I am so jealous of people who just get out the shower, brush through their hair in a second and then dry it. It can take me up to 30 minutes to brush through this mop with a Tangle Teezer. I have to brush my hair at least twice a day to stop knots building up and becoming unbearably hard to sort out. Bee Strong states that it strengthens your hair and protects from combing damage - something I definitely needed in my life!

The product also claims to show results after just one wash... and it's true!! I can't believe how soft and easy to handle my hair was this morning. Even now after 6 hours it's still feeling soft, silky and not at all knotty!! I keep putting my fingers through my hair like I've just been to the hairdressers (I love that feeling!). From all the exclamation marks I'm sure you can gather that I fell in love with this conditioner this morning. When my Shampoo runs out I will be getting the Bee Strong version. I currently use Beautiful Ends which is satisfying enough but I've never known a product to be so perfect for my hair. 

I fully recommend this to anyone with similar hair to me and well for anyone who wants soft, lovely smelling hair. It's currently half price in Superdrug so go test it out and see you yourself. I would love to hear your opinion on this product or other hair products you love to rave about. Don't forget to leave your lovely links with the comments <3 

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Eurovision 2014 Summary

One year I will do Eurovision properly! Traditional snacks from the host country, flags and a cheeky bit of dress up and an epic drinking game. This should have happened this year but no... Silly Kayspray had to go out on Friday. I was so hungover that yesterday was a write off. Instead of this awesome party I could have organised, I sat in my pjs with my iPad on my lap in bed and watched Eurovision alone. 
Photo retrieved from the Mirror UK
So yes. Eurovision happened. My Twitter feed was full of opinions, facts and silly comments following the course of the night - that was almost more entertaining than the program! In true Eurovision style there were amazing light shows, dazzling outfits, unnecessary dance moves, sexual butter churning and a bearded lady. I don't feel like my words can do the show much justice so let me show you some of the best bits through the medium of YouTube!

My Favourites

Eurovision contests are definitely not like your children - you're allowed to have favourites. Although the voting is often politicised, I have a very open mind for the competition and truly favour those with the best acts (in my opinion). The song I would most likely listen to and would have voted for was the Sweden entry, Sanna Nielsen. I'm pleased she came third with this epic ballad. Some of the other ballads were slow, boring and pretty dull so it was refreshing to have this entry in the race. She was a favourite to win the competition and I'm sure you can see why in the clip below.



It's hard to explain why you like certain acts in Eurovision. It's not always about the song. The stage set up, outfits and personalities of those performers can really make the most rubbish song, the most loved. I personally enjoyed Iceland (watch here). This group of middle aged men knew how to be memorable. Each of them wore a difference bloc coloured suit and did some really awkward dance moves at some point. It was the sort of thing where you couldn't stop watching - even if you weren't sure what you were watching. 

Also Poland performed. I can't tell you what they performed because it's still too much for me to deal with (watch here and see what I mean). I mean if that was my daughter... So yes the song was high-pitched, slightly catchy but had the phrase "shake what your mumma gave ya" and some 'seductive' domestic girl showing that you can wash clothes in a sexual way. If only I knew this sooner! Basically this Polish version of Fergie had lots of fun performing and I'm sure a lot of men being forced in to watching enjoyed this part...

And the winner is... Some would say the winner had fought great odds. I personally believe that Europe love an act with a twist. Austria's entry was a decent enough song. What made the performance special and worthy of winning was the act herself. Conchita Wurst (the bearded lady) is a drag act who is well known in her country. So at first I genuinely thought this was a woman with a beard drawn on because those eyes are pretty darn lady-like! So Conchita won the hearts of the European Public and all got a bit emosh. I think that level of acceptance can seem like a real step forward in society. However I feel the people that watch Eurovison aren't the type to discriminate. It was a celebration of talent and European Identity in some way or another. 



I do love watching Eurovision. It's an entertaining night in which you have no idea what to expect and it's all done in the name of fun. For me the contest shouldn't be taken too seriously, and I think a lot of the acts feel the same! I would love to perform at Eurovision, mainly for the outfit I could imagine myself wearing (so sparkly!)

Did you spend this Saturday in front of the TV acting like Simon Cowell? Who was your favourite and What did you do to celebrate the occasion?  Thanks for reading and please leave your blog links below <3 

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Today I Love #11

The best thing about this series is that I can start off with a little update for you. We are literally on the verge of 20,000 pageviews for this blog - I know it's beyond anything I could imagine for my precious space on the Internet. Thank you again for all the support and love I receive from you lovely readers. Due to this acheivement and the fact that the end of this month is my 1st Blogiversary, I will be hosting a little giveaway - so watch this space! 


Being prepared - There is that feeling you get when you've finished an exam and written everything you want to and didn't feel stressed at all. That feeling comes from being prepared and revising. I hate exams. My first ever post was actually on how much I hate them (see it here!). I'm thinking about doing a post about my revision tips because through the years I've tried so many different approaches for different types of exams. I'm not a total guru on revision - if I was I'd expect to be getting 100% and firsts for all my exams. Let me know if this sort of post is something you'd be interested in. I recently filmed a video about my revision essential.  It consists of a few Primark purchases that helped me revision in some strange way (click here to watch!).

Cooking TV -  I'm hooked on both MasterChef and Great British Menu. I really shouldn't watch these programs as they just make me hungry and ashamed at my poor excuse of a home-cooked meal. Some of the contestants on MasterChef are younger than me this year and I think there are one of two students that have been on there - so I really have no excuse! In September when Tom and I have our own lovely kitchen, I will make so much more effort to experiment more with food and flavours. I love cooking and I'm sure I'd love it even more if I was better at it. Practise makes perfect!

Covers - I love listening to musical artists sharing their own take on other peoples songs. I often check on Radio 1's live lounge and am pleasantly surprised with what I find. More than often I prefer the covers to the originals. I came across Ed Sheeran's Queen Bey cover of Drunk in Love and it's one of the best covers I've come across in ages. What do you think? 



Depop - I did a post about this app last month (check it out here) and I'm still obsessed with it. We just sold one of Alice's lovely dressing and after a few weeks of resisting, I made my first purchase the other day! I bought a pair of Topshop Leigh Jeans for £15. They look brand new and I've wanted to try out a pair for a while. If I really fall in love with them I'd be tempted to go Topshop and buy other pairs. Depop also have a great amount of decent make-up on sale. I'm trying to avoid looking but there is plenty of NARs, Mac and other higher-end products for half the store price. 

Holiday? - Please? I really want to go on holiday. Wanderlust is on red alert at the moment and the closer it is getting to summer the more I keep searching through the web for last minute deals. Once exams are over, I have 3 months to try and stay busy. I would love to get a job for part of this time as well as get a bit of travelling done. It'll definitely be a last minute holiday this year - lets hope we find something spectacular!

What have you been loving recently? Don't forget to stay tuned for a giveaway at the end of this month and leave your lovely links below <3 



Saturday, 3 May 2014

Chocolate Orange Brownies

I am still pursuing my New Years resolution to get better at baking! Tom has wanted me to make him brownies for a while now. Last night I decided to get my baking on and after watching Masterchef we got inspired to make something a little different! A girl made chocolate orange fondants which apparently turned out tasty amazing. Tom and I love Terry's chocolate oranges so with this taste combo in mind I had a go at making chocolate orange brownies! 


Since this was a total trial bake, I made a small batch which resulted in 9 decent sized brownie squares. I used a 20cm square baking tin and the mixture fitted perfectly into it. 

For a small batch of brownies:
100g butter
150g plain chocolate
2 eggs
Zest of an orange
175g caster sugar
50g plain flour
30g cocoa powder
50g dark chocolate chunks


I started off by preheating the oven to 180C and lining the baking tin with grease proof paper. I melted the butter, chocolate and the orange zest over a bain-marie. Stir continuously until it's smooth and then leave to cool. At this stage I was worried the mixture was too orangey and the zest was a horrible texture but once mixed with everything else and baked it all ended well!



While the chocolate mixture is cooling, whisk together the caster sugar and eggs until it is almost white. If you have an electric whisk (lucky you) whisk until the mixture has doubled in size. Carefully stir this into the cooled chocolate. Next add the flour and cocoa powder and lastly the chocolate chunks. You could use pieces of chocolate orange but we decided the recipe made the brownies orangey enough. When you are happy with everything put it into the baking tin and then into the oven.



I baked the brownies for 30-35 minutes and took it out when the mixture was still a bit wet. Once cooled the brownies had set well but kept moist. I'm really pleased with how they turned out. There is a perfect balance of chocolate and orange flavours. We are thinking about making another batch or two in the next few days. I would suggest eating a few whilst they are still warm with some ice cream- a perfect dessert! Tom and I both agree they taste even better once cooled down. 

Let me know if you try the recipe! What are your opinions on chocolate orange- perfect combo or too sweet? Thanks for reading <3