Tuesday, 23 June 2015

NOTD | Eternal Optimist

It's been a while since I treated myself to a manicure so today I decided to do just that. My middle nail broke a few days ago (bummer!) but I refused to let that stop me from getting them done! Described as a spiced tea rose colour, Eternal Optimist by Essie has become my favourite nude pink. It's a shade that can be worn any season, day or night and is perfect for those who love to wear nail polish but not a fan of colours.
I absolutely love nude shades of nail polish such as this, as they are easy to wear and look great on most if not all skin tones; a classic in my opinion. This application was done professionally however I have used it in the comfort of my own home and have achieved the same great results. Two coats were applied which dried fairly quickly, leaving a streak-free creme finish. 
I will most definitely be purchasing more shades from Essie and if you're interested in getting some yourself Essie polishes retail at £7.99/15ml available from selected Boots and Superdrug stores xo

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Sunday Brunch - American Style Blueberry Pancakes

If there's one thing you should know about me, it's that I love pancakes. I like making them, but I love eating them. I have a sweet tooth. I'm a person who cannot start their day until they have had their breakfast. So the best breakfast for me is something that is quick and easy to make and doesn't involve cooking; like a smoothie (see previous post) or a bowl of cereal. Boring, I know. So I always use brunch-time as an excuse to cook up a storm in the kitchen and experiment.
Whenever I have the time and ingredients, pancakes are my go-to choice. I've also started making French toast which I'll probably share with you in the future. Today I decided to try something I haven't made before, blueberry pancakes. They are really easy to make and of course taste amazing. This recipe makes about five pancakes, enough for one greedy person (like me) or can be increased to cater for more people.
Serves 1

Ingredients
100g plain flour
100ml milk
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp melted butter, plus extra for frying
Sprinkle of cinnamon (optional)
Couple drops of vanilla extract (optional)
1 heaped tsp baking powder
Golden or maple syrup

Method
  1. Combine all the dry ingredients in one bowl. Sift the flour and baking powder. Then add the sugar and cinnamon.
  2. In a separate bowl melt the butter and allow to cool before mixing with the egg, milk and vanilla extract.
  3. Make a well in the dry ingredients, add the wet ingredients and mix until smooth.
  4. Heat a frying pan to medium/high heat. Melt a knob of butter add a ladleful of batter, spreading gently to create a circular shape.
  5. Cook for approx. 1-2 minutes until bubbles start to form on the pancake. Then turn and cook for a further 1-2 minutes. (Side note: I added the blueberries on top of the batter already on the pan but you can mix them into the batter beforehand.)
  6. Store in a preheated oven or on a plate on top of a pan of hot water to keep warm while preparing the rest of the batter.
  7. Serve with golden syrup, or whatever floats your boat. Enjoy!
Click here to see my post on my previous creation buttermilk pancakes xo

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Afro Hair & Beauty Live 2015

Three years after I went to my first one, my sister and I ventured yet again to Afro Hair & Beauty Live at the Business Design Centre in Islington (24/05/15). I took some pictures, received a shedload of freebies and make a few purchases. The great thing about this convention is that products are sold at a discounted price, which meant that I bought some old favourites and new buys at a lower price. Another great thing is that we are able to sample and buy products that are not yet available in the UK!
Singing competition - The main stage with hosts Amanda Star (far right) and Reuben Christian (left)
Diligence Barbers models *swoon*
After a long day we decided to go for a quick bite at Five Guys which was close to the venue. It was both our first times eating here and we were not disappointed... with the burger. I found the fries to be a little burnt but the taste wasn't terrible.
The great thing about this place is that you can build your own burger. I had a bacon cheeseburger with pickles, lettuce and BBQ sauce. YUM!
Because who doesn't love freebies?!
My purchases consist of 6 products; shea butter (not pictured) and extra virgin olive oil, KeraCare hydrating sulfate-free shampoo - I received it as a sample from my first visit and loved it so was really happy to buy it at a great price, ORS Curls Unleashed (exclusive! not currently available in the UK), Mixed Chicks deep conditioner and Cantu Shea Butter leave-in conditioner.
I made sure I made it to this years show as in the last year I have been transitioning my hair. Yup after 11 years of relaxing (or perming whatever you call it) my hair, last September I decided to go natural. By that time my last relaxer was in June so next month I'll be one year natural, yay! It definitely hasn't been easy so far but with this new age of YouTube and blogs, which I didn't have when I was natural before, it is helping so much! I'll probably have some more posts on my journey in the future as well as some pictures, if you guys would like that! Also, let me know of any tips to help with the transition or blogs I should check out for natural hair xo

Saturday, 25 April 2015

New In

These are just a few pieces I've bought over the last couple weeks. I haven't done a lot of shopping this year (shock!), whenever I go out I just play with old pieces to come up with new outfits, like my last outfit post. But these are some things I've seen during the current sales and couldn't not buy.

I'll start with the fashion pieces.
The first thing is this cute light jacket (heavy cardigan?) from H&M. One thing that irks me about season sales, is that the things on sale are usually from the previous season so everything on sale now coming into summer, is from winter.
However, I think this jacket will be perfect for the current spring weather and those chilly summer nights. It was £29.99 but I bought it on sale for £15. I already have a few outfits in mind with this jacket so watch this space!
The next thing I couldn't help but buy were these lovely suede Penelope banana heels from Office. I don't have a pair of banana heeled shoes but I've always found them really interesting.
For those who don't know, banana heels are just slightly curved to give a unique shape to the usual heels. Although I've only worn them around the house, I love them and they seem quite easy to walk in. I can't wait to take them for a spin! I bought them on sale for £25 down from £65.
Next is this absolutely gorgeous smelling perfume Princess by Vera Wang. I recently saw a deal on WOWcher that was selling it for £24 with the RRP being £60 (100ml) so I just couldn't pass it up! I'm someone who loves fragrances and I am always looking for new scents to try. I remember a couple years ago an old friend recommended it to me but I just didn't get round to buying it. I'm really glad I did as it smells amazing! A very feminine scent that will be perfect for the Spring/Summer - personally I think it can be worn any time of year. It is a floral scent with notes of vanilla, golden apricot, mandarin meringue, water lily and dark chocolate.
Lastly, I picked up a few new lip products from KIKO. I love lipstick so I'm actively trying to include more in my collection. One of the tips I've picked up that I found works well for me is the easiest way to wear bold or colourful lipstick is to start with a brown lip pencil.
Precision lip pencil in Chocolate Brown (315) // Smart lipstick in Cherry Red (909) &  Classic Rose (918)
I bought this one on sale for £2.90 (RRP £4.20). I loved how it looked so much that I went back and bought two more! It also looks great with these lipsticks that I bought on sale for £2.50 (RRP £3.90). I love a good nude and once in a while like to shake things up with a red lip. These lipsticks are super silky and smooth-gliding! xo

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Happy Easter!

I made this treat for my family and I to enjoy on Easter Sunday. It was really easy to make and tastes amazing. This is a chocolate cake I've made before, but just added the mini eggs to coincide with this special day. Don't watch the shoddy frosting, I'm an amateur lol!
Serves 8
6oz butter, softened
6oz golden caster sugar
3 eggs, beaten
3 tbsp golden syrup
2 tsp ground almonds
6oz self-raising flour
1oz cocoa powder
Cadbury mini eggs

Chocolate buttercream frosting
8oz icing sugar
4oz butter, softened
1oz cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp milk (optional)

Method
Grease two sandwich tins and line the bases with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/ Gas Mark 4. Place the butter and sugar in a  bowl and beat together until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs. Stir in the golden syrup and ground almonds. Sift the flour and cocoa powder, then fold into the mixture. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tins and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave the cakes to cool in the tine for 10 mins, then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.
To make the icing, cream the butter in a bowl until soft, then sift in the icing sugar and cocoa powder until well combined. Add the vanilla extract and combine well. If the frosting appears too dry, add one tablespoon of milk at a time until it reaches the right consistency. When the cakes are cold, sandwich them together with half the icing. Spread the remaining icing over the top and sides of the cake, and decorate the cake with the mini eggs however you like.

Enjoy! xo

Friday, 27 March 2015

Birthday 'Fit

Sunglasses; Bag; Boots - ASOS // Jacket; Shirt - H&M // Mom Jeans - Topshop
This post shows an outfit I wore for drinks with some of my friends to celebrate my birthday last week. I wanted to keep it quite casual, but add a lil something seeing as I was the birthday girl. As soon as I added the boots, jacket and minimal gold accessories, I had the perfect outfit!
I know I've been away for a while now, but I'm slowly trying to get back into the swing of blogging. There isn't much of an explanation behind it, I just kinda fell out of it. But I'm back! I will say though that I have taken that pressure off myself where I felt I had to post all the time, or a certain amount. So I might not post for a whole month, then I might post six times the next. The best way for me to do this is to be motivated to blog and to ensure that maximum effort has gone into my posts so I am proud of what I produce xo

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Baobab Breakfast Smoothie

On days when I'm not really in the mood for a huge breakfast, I go for a nice refreshing smoothie. This is a simple smoothie as I am only just getting into the whole smoothie thing, but hopefully after sometime I will have more creative concoctions. Not only does it make an amazing breakfast, this smoothie also makes a great afternoon pick-me-up as Baobab is full of vitamin C (6x more than oranges!), which helps with energy metabolism and reduces tiredness and fatigue. Vitamin C also contributes to the normal formation of collagen in the skin, so promotes good skin health. Baobab also has one of the highest antioxidant levels in the world, so combined with the blueberries, this smoothie is a nutrient loaded treat that will benefit you in the long run.
If you are interested in purchasing your own powders you can visit their website www.aduna.com.

Baobab is often referred to as The feel good fruit because of its amazing health benefits:
 - 6x more vitamin C than oranges
 - 2x more calcium than milk
 - more potassium than bananas
 - almost 50% fibre (great for digestive health!)
 - high in antioxidants
Serves 1
 - 1 tsp Aduna Baobab Superfruit Powder
 - 1 banana
 - 200ml almond milk
 - 1 or 2 handfuls of blueberries

Add all the ingredients to your blender, blend until smooth then enjoy!

One way I might improve this smoothie in the future is by adding a few tablespoons of oats to give it that real breakfast feel xo

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Beauty Basics | Nivea Daily Essentials Oil Free Moisturising Cream

Hey Guys,

So this month I'm loving Nivea's Daily Essentials Oil Free Moisturising Day Cream. I've been using this moisturising cream for a few months now and I am loving the results. I have really oily skin and I found that other moisturisers I'd use would either increase the oil on my face or do nothing at all. I saw this product in Superdrug and saw that it was targeted specifically for oily skin so I thought I'd give it a try. All in all I'm very pleased with the results. Since using this moisturiser I've noticed that my face is a lot less oily and I've had a lot less breakouts. It also cleared up the cluster of spots that I had on my forehead for what seems like forever. I use it alongside a new product I've recently added to my skincare regime, BiorĂ© Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser. I have only just started using this but I absolutely love it and what it is doing for my skin. I'll provide a more in-depth review after about a month of using it, but things are looking good so far.
Obviously I don't want to completely get rid of the natural oils on my face as they are quite beneficial therefore I only use these products once a day. The cream is lightweight and has a lovely subtle scent, it also controls the oiliness while still moisturising my skin. I would definitely recommend this product for anyone with oily skin looking for some control.

Also, I am always looking for new products to try so if there are any products you can recommend for oily skin please let me know xo

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