Sunday, 19 October 2014

Events | The #BloggersTeaParty: All the fun

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So last Sunday, myself along with a good 28 or so other bloggers were invited by the awesome Olivia  and Nadja to an amazing tea party event which was held at cute kitsch cafe Drink, Shop and Do up in Kings Cross. From the outside, the cafe looks pretty small, but once you venture inside it's pretty huge length wise and it was a wonder that they were able to accommodate all of us! We were situated in a lovely, dusky private room at the back of the cafe where all if not most of us ordered a cup of tea/coffee/hot chocolate and a huge slice of their assorted cakes which was, by the way, tres magnifique!

I had such an incredible time meeting new bloggers, as well as reuniting with the gorgeous Lucie  and my teammates from Hint Hunt , Jessica and Tom! During our time there, there were chances to win fun products and I actually won a Jelly Belly machine! It's currently chilling on my bedroom table as I type this; I ask you, how fat is my life?!

The event was sponsored by a multitude of different brands, including Balance Me, So...?, Makeup Revolution, Sleek and Palmers, as well as a cool beauty bar with brands including Dr. Bronners, Ciate, Jason and ForYou skincare, which was all included in our jam packed goody bag! All in all, the event was very well organised, fun and effortless and I really take my hat off to Liv and Nadja for this whole thing - bring on the Christmas meetup! 

Now for photos :D

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Getting snap happy with Tom!

Also, here's a little titbit of what I wore on the day! Check out my face on the right; totally wasn't ready LMAO

Skirt // ASOS  Top // Primark  Jacket // New Look  Boots // Primark

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Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Style | OFF THE GRID x MCQUEEN

Steph

Winter may be just round the corner, however I for one am not quite ready to cover up the gams JUST yet. I've always been able to go out bare legged in the Winter; they just just never seem to get cold. My HANDS however, are a different story altogether.

I had been uhmm'ing and ahh'ing about getting this Simply Be dropped hem dress for the longest time, however when I saw my bae Hollie from Pretty Big Butterflies rock the dress flawlessly on Instagram, I decided to pop into the store and give it a purchase - it also helped that it was, and still is on sale!

Now, you may be wondering why the dress seems rather tight around the ole' tummy - well don't fret as there's a method to my madness. It occurred to me that with this sort of material I would need to size up, however I decided to keep to my normal size as I'm currently getting back on the 'Winter Health Kick' as it were, and plan to lose a bit of weight, which at the moment is going well (pray for me though O_o) . I paired the dress with very simple, yet elegant/edgy necklace from Alexander McQueen and some good old trusty boots from Ye Olde' Primark. 

Apologies for looking like Alfred Hitchcock in the face by the way - I was bitten by something last week that caused my face to swell and I didn't have the energy to apply makeup this day - LOL, sexy. 

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Grid dropped waist dress // Simply Be 
Charm necklace by Alexander McQueen
Biker Jacket // New Look Inspire (similar here)
Block heeled boots // Primark (similar here)






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Monday, 13 October 2014

Autumn Comforts

Autumn is such a lovely season isn't it? It's the time where you can get out your chunky wool knits, stew up some stodgy soup and for me, it's the season where I usually tend to overindulge with the pampering, because why not?

Today I thought I'd share with you some products that I've been loving over the past month or so; some of them are things that I've used before, and some are great new finds. :)

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It's candle season y'all! So first up I've got The Body Shop's Aloe & Soft Linen scented candle- this is my first Body Shop candle and guys...I LOVE it. I'm one of those weird people who loves the smell of fresh clothes/laundry and the scent really comes through on this one. The burn isn't as clean as I would like it to be, and there has been quite a bit of wax left over since it's burnt down, however the scent is simply gorgeous; fresh, light and it smells of Autumn morning. This will definitely be getting repurchased at some point. 

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Next we have Autumn in a bottle. If Autumn had a fragrance, this would be it. The Givenchy Dahlia Divin  fragrance is extremely woody, with floral hints. Notes include patchouli, plum, jasmine, sandalwood and vetiver; I'm a HUGE sandalwood fan and love woody, earthy scents in general so this baby right here is right up my street. I'd say the scent lasts for about 3/4 hours before I need to top it up and is available in sizes of 30ml, 50ml and 75 ml. The one above is 50ml. 

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On my journey of showing The Body Shop love comes one of their most popular products; The Body Butters, or as I like to call them, 'The Butters'. Shea butter is my favourite moisturising agent BAR NONE and works exceptionally well during the frosty months. The Shea Body Butter  is everything I love in a moisturiser; thick, creamy and intensive. It's no wonder it's a best seller!

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Now for something completely different; an actual bar of soap. Because my skin type is dry and slightly sensitive, I never typically use bars of soap as I find them to be very irritable; however my body just seems to agree with the Beau Jardin Lavender & Jasmine Exfoliating soap*. Now, I just need to wax lyrical about how gorgeously wrapped this soap was. I'd actually taken most of the packaging off before the above photo was taken! It came in lovely thick, black engraved wrapping paper, wax and this cute ivory lace bag; very French! The actual soap is very lovely to use. Although exfoliating, it isn't harsh on the skin and I've found it pretty handy to use after shaving the legs as it makes 'em uber smooth. I've taken a look at some of the other products from this brand and the packaging is just TOO adorable! This would make an ideal gift. 

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Lastly we have what is possibly my favourite face wash of all time, Neal's Yard Orange Flower facial wash. Ahh mate...when I tell you that my life was forever changed when I bought this; If you suffer from dry skin, or if you get dry patches, use this twice a day and on the 3rd day, the patches disappear - I swear down. I don't know whether it's down to the Ylang Ylang, Jojoba oil or Neruli, but this wash just seems to magically clear up dry patches in an instant and I love it. I'm currently on my 5th bottle and have no plans of stopping any time soon. 

So there we have it! My top products this season, what are you guys feeling? 


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Tuesday, 7 October 2014

We Be Stylin': A/W Style Challenge with Debenhams

What's popping folks?  

Today I'm coming at you with something a bit different! When I found out that Debenhams were running a styling competition, I thought to myself "hmm...interesting". Then I found out that the lookbook was A/W themed and that you had to collaborate with a fellow blogger, this further piqued my interest because it's bladdy cold and I literally have ideas for ALL THE CLOTHES. I'm doing this blog post in collaboration with my gorgeous friend Hollie from Pretty Big Butterflies. :D 

I've created an outfit for myself using one of six key A/W trends currently showcased at Debenhams; the look I've interpreted is the Winter Greens trend; seeing as green is my favourite colour, it only seemed right!


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Principles Pearl & Green Teardrop Earrings // Red Herring Peter Pan Collar Lace Dress // OPI Nail Lacquer in 'You So Outta Lime!' // Lancelot Knight Satchel // Faith Patent Leather Shoes

My main inspiration behind this look is the 'Mod' era; one of my favourite eras in terms of style, I've kept the look very simple, incorporating different tones of green for a bit more depth. The shift dress keeps it simple with the peter pan collar, however you have the lace which instantly adds a touch of glamour, making the dress wearable in the day and the evening. I then added some flat patent shoes to give it a bit more of a 60's 'Twiggy' vibe, as well as the green satchel to add a touch of prep.
I then finish the look with the bright green OPI nail polish, complete with some pearl teardrop earrings - you really can't go wrong with a teardrop shaped earring - the style just screams Hollywood glamour.

Speaking of Hollywood glamour...

We come next to the outfit that I've chosen for Hollie. I've gone with a 1950's 'Breakfast At Tiffany's' jobby using the Notes of Blue Autumn trend from Debenhams

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Debut Lace Stripe Prom Dress // John Rocha Button Cuffed Gloves // The Collection Gold Double Chain Necklace // Butterfly by Matthew Williamson Chandelier Earrings // YSL Nail Polish in 52 // Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream Perfume // Faith Block Heel Shoes 

I absolutely love this style; polished, clean, glamorous and classy, the skater dress along with the necklace and gloves give this look a very 'TOTES YAH' countryside appeal, while the earrings and the block suedette shoes bring a touch of sophistication to the piece. Daisy Dream is one of my favourite scents; both floral and fruity, I think it would bring the whole outfit together. I would love to see Hollie rock a skater dress so I vote YES on all this!

What are your A/W signature pieces? 

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Saturday, 4 October 2014

Style | Jog On

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Because sometimes, you just want to put on some jogging bottoms and go about your business. 

To be honest, I bought these  Forever 21 sweatpants for gym use without trying them on until I realised that they looked way too cute to be sweated in, and decided to include them as part of my main wardrobe. The skinny fit allows for the pants to be versatile; they can be dressed up with some bad ass stilettos like above, or you can dress 'em down with a pair of Chuck Taylors or Jordans and still be slaying the scene. 

The waist has a drawstring adjustable hem for those 'All Carb Everything' days and the material is very.....VERY warm, which makes for a great transitional piece for Winter!

I paired the sweat pants with this crop top that I found in New Look's main range (a size 14!), which just goes to show that sometimes, it's good to shop outside your normal fit as you'll never know what you'll find. :)

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Crop top -New Look (Sold out, alternative here)
Sweatpants - Forever 21 
Shoes - Primark
Shrug - Forever 21


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Recipe | Vanilla & Orange Glazed Cinnamon Rolls

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Yes kids; we are officially within stodge food season and between this and watching The Great British Bake Off, I've been cooking up a bit of a storm recently. Yeast is something that I'm pretty new to, as it's so easy to get wrong,  and so I thought to ease me into it, I thought I would start off with your typical cinnamon roll. Now, I love a good cinnamon roll; warm, sticky and sweet, it just nourishes the soul and is the perfect accompaniment to some ice cream, a warm bed and Netflix. :D

Granted the prep time is pretty long, seeing that a lot of it consists of allowing the yeast to prove/rise, however it'll all be worth it in the end! Want to make some? Recipe below:

Prep time: 2 hours
Baking time: 20 mins
Ingredients (makes 12):

Dough:
1 cup of milk (you can use whole, but I used semi-skimmed)
1/4 cup of butter
3 and a half cups of plain flour
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
1/2 tablespoon of salt
1 small packet of yeast
1 egg

Cinnamon-Sugar filling:
1/3 cup of granulated sugar
1/3 cup of brown sugar
2 tablespoons of cinnamon
4 tablespoons of very soft butter.

Vanilla and orange glaze:
1/4 cup of melted butter
1 tablespoon of vanilla essence
1 and a half tablespoons of fresh orange juice 
2 cups of icing sugar
1-2 tablespoons of milk


1. Combine milk and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on high for 1 minute, then remove and stir. Continue heating in 20 second intervals, pausing after each to stir, until the butter is melted and the milk is warm to the touch but not hot. If needed, let the milk mixture sit for a few minutes until it is warm but not hot. In a separate bowl, whisk together 3 cups flour (not all of the flour), sugar and salt until combined.
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2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add yeast and lukewarm milk mixture and stir by hand to combine. Add the flour mixture and egg, and beat on medium-low speed until combined. If the dough is sticking to the sides of the bowl, add the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough begins to form a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Continue beating for 5 minutes on medium-low speed. Remove the dough hook and cover the bowl with a damp towel and let rest for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make your filling by whisking together sugars and cinnamon in a bowl until combined.
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3. When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a floured work surface. Then use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about 14 x 9 inches in size. (If you want all edges to be even, you can use a pizza slicer to cut the dough into a perfect rectangle.) Use a knife or pastry spatula to spread the softened 1/2 cup of butter out evenly over the entire surface of the dough. Then sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon and sugar mixture.
4. Beginning at the 14-inch edge, tightly roll up the dough. And then give the final seam a little pinch so that it seals. Use a piece of dental floss* to "cut" off the two ends of the roll (an inch on each end - discard that dough) so that they are even. Then cut the remaining dough into 11 or 12 equal pieces. (11 rolls seem to fit in a pie plate, while 12 rolls fit in a rectangular pan.)
5. Place each of the cut cinnamon rolls into a greased pie plate or 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Then cover again with a damp towel, and leave the dish in a warm place to rise for 35 minutes.
While the dough is rising, make the icing by combining all the icing ingredients together mixing until your desired thickness (I like mine gooey :D)
When the rolls have risen, uncover the dish. Then place on the center rack of the oven and bake on gas mark for 15-20 minutes, or until the rolls are golden and cooked through. Remove and let cool on a wire rack for at least 5 minutes. Drizzle with your desired icing. Don't be scared of pouring the icing all over the rolls; the glaze will set within 10 mins - no sogginess! 
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