Monday, 1 August 2016

New Makeup I Have Been Trying | 3 Point Review



1. Keeps shine at bay, but not for the entire day (have to use powder).

2. Makes makeup go on very smoothly.

3. Decent packaging which fits easily in my makeup bag.



Soap And Glory Kick Ass Concealer, in shade light (£10)





1. Very compact packaging with a lot of product, and a mirror!

2. Both concealers give good coverage and last a long time.

3. I don't use the sponge as it is a bit useless!



Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara, in intense black (£7.99)



1. Gives absolutely amazing lashes, which are black and bold.

2. Holds a curl all day - my lashes look exactly the same 10 hours later as they did when I applied the product.

3. Doesn't smudge!



L'Oreal Infallible Mattifying Base (£7.99)

 


1. Doesn't keep shine at bay for a decent amount of time before my t-zone goes shiny.

2. Makeup goes on smoothly over this product.

3. A decent amount of product in the tube so it will last a long time.


KIKO Out Of Bounds Eyeliner, limited edition (£6.90)

 


1. This eyeliner is very black which is great.

2. It doesn't budge all day.

3. Very easy to use, and has a precise point.



Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte Shine Lipstick, in shade 43 (£26)



1. Beautiful colour and packaging.

2. Smells nice and good, smooth application.

3. You have to reapply during the day as it is not matte and it's pricey.


Revolution Redemption Palette Iconic 2 (£4)

 

1. Amazing quality for the price (I would pay much more for this palette).

2. Stunning selection of colours.

3. Slimline and good quality packaging - good for travel.

 

 That's it for this post, I hope you enjoyed reading it.  See you in the next one..

Molly x 

Monday, 11 July 2016

Homemade Elderflower Cordial


This is a slightly adapted recipe from the one on BBC Food

Makes: 1.5 litres
Cooking Time: No cooking is required
Preparation Time: No more than 30 mins 
 

You will need:
30 elderflower heads
5 lemons
1kg caster sugar
50g citric acid
3 pints of boiling water
1 large mixing bowl
Sterilised bottles/containers
Muslin cloth

Firstly, wash the elderflower heads.  Then, putting them to one side for now, place the sugar into a large mixing bowl and then add the boiling water.  Give it a stir and leave for the sugar to dissolve and cool.  


Next, slice the lemons, and add the slices to the cooled sugar solution.


Now, add the citric acid and the elderflower heads, giving the solution a stir.



Next, strain the solution through some muslin cloth into a sterilised container. 


Enjoy as a light refreshment with sparkling water or lemonade, or as part of a cocktail. 




Friday, 1 July 2016

Enjoying Gluten Free Food | London

Whilst visiting London a couple of times in the last month, my parents and I made the most of having meals out and enjoying our little trips away.  As you will already know from the title of this blog post, we went to places which sold gluten-free food to cater for my intolerance.  To give an introduction to this post, I will briefly outline my story of being gluten-free.  So, I have been Gluten-Free since I was 9 when I discovered I had a wheat intolerance.  My family (on both sides) has a history of coeliac disease, so this discovery was not a surprising one.  I went for a dietary test as I had a few symptoms which suggested something wasn't quite right.  I suffered from anxiety, OCD and bad spots on my face.  However once I started a wheat-free diet within two weeks all of my symptoms had disappeared and I haven't looked back since! 

Over the last 10 or so years I have noticed such a huge increase in the amount of gluten-free food available in shops and restaurants.  As more and more people are becoming aware of it, and with the surge of people choosing to be wheat-free as a lifestyle choice, companies have really latched on to the gluten-free lifestyle, and many places now offer a wide variety of foods. 

Here are some of the places that we visited in London which served gluten-free food.  I am going to provide two examples for breakfast, lunch and dinner.


B R E A K F A S T 

Pret A Manger

 3 . 5 / 5

 


What I Ate

Five Berry Bowl a layered breakfast bowl consisting of Five Berry Compote, Yoghurt and Gluten-Free Granola

Pret Mango And Lime chunks of mango with a squeeze of lime

T H E  V E R D I C T

I have always been a fan of Pret A Manger - I like their brand ethos of being organic and kind to the environment etc.  They do good quality food (although I'm not a fan of their coffees as I find them too bitter, pictured is tea).  I have had gluten-free wraps from there before which were delicious however I have not seen any recently which is a shame, as I last had lunch there over a year ago.  My parents and I decided to see what they had to offer for breakfast and I discovered they had now made their granola gluten-free which I was very happy about!  It did not disappoint, it was nice and crunchy, tasted yummy and it went really well with the yoghurt and fruit compote.  As for the mango, that was pretty self explanatory - as mango-es (see what I did there), it was good.  I would like it if their coffees were nicer and if they had a wider range of gluten-free food.

Check out their website: http://www.pret.co.uk/en-gb

CAFE ROUGE 

5/5


What I Ate 

 T H E  V E R D I C T 

I have one word for this breakfast. DELICIOUS! I know I went a little off the menu, but I wanted to make it exactly how I like it.  The menus at Cafe Rouge are excellent as they highlight dishes that are already gluten-free, and ones that can be made gluten-free which is super handy.  The quality of the food in this restaurant is amazing and is cooked perfectly.  I was able to choose what type of egg I wanted (and it was cooked just to my liking).  It is not the cheapest place to eat, but I would say it is definitely worth trying if you want a little treat.  I cannot recommend this breakfast enough!!!

L U N C H

STRADA

4 / 5






What I Ate

Carbonara creamy egg, crispy pancetta, peas, black pepper, Parmesan and a squeeze of lemon (gf pasta)

  T H E  V E R D I C T

Strada is one of my favourite places to eat, in particular when I have their wheat free pasta as it has such a lovely texture and taste.  The variety of pasta sauces is pretty good and they have always been consistently good throughout the different restaurants I have visited.   The carbonara there in particular, is so delicious!  The sauce is just perfect with the pasta (which is cooked perfectly) and the pancetta goes so well with it.  The sauce tastes so fresh which makes the whole dish even more enjoyable.  The peas add a slight crunch to the dish which is the perfect foil to the creamy-ness and softness of the pasta and sauce.  (I did however pick off all of the green leaves from the top!)  Overall it was a delicious dish, as are many of their other dishes, and I would highly recommend. 

Check out their website: http://www.strada.co.uk/ 


 D I N N E R

Joe's Southern Table & Bar 

4 /5





What I Ate

Starter

Between two people we shared:

"Coq 'n' Balls" chipotle fried chicken balls with spring onion sour cream (gf)

"Slow Braised Beef Brisket Chilli Cup" with corn tortillas and sour cream (gf)   


Main Course

Between two people we shared:

"Southern Fried Half Bird" 24 hour sweet tea brined free range bird with a coating of a secret lemon dust (all of the birds are gf)

With sides of Joe's Slaw (gf), Corn on the cob with paprika butter (gf), whipped potatoes and chicken gravy (gf) and crispy bacon mayo (which my Mum had, not gf)

T H E  V E R D I C T

This was the first time I had visited this restaurant, and I have to say, I thought that the food was absolutely delicious.  There was a good and comprehensive list of all the foods which did/didn't contain gluten which was helpful when deciding what to order.  I was so excited to see a fried chicken that was gluten free! It was SO YUMMY.  It is definitely one to try if you are gluten-free and in London.   

Check out their website: http://joessouthern.co.uk/


 

Monday, 30 May 2016

The Duke Of Edinburgh Gold Award | London, May 2016


 I have been so excited to write this blog post for a little while now, but I just wanted to wait until I had finished my exams at University to be able to fully dedicate myself to writing it.  On Monday the 16th of May 2016 my parents and I were lucky enough to go to Buckingham Palace so I could be awarded my Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award.  It was a fantastic day.


To introduce this post, I am just going to provide a little bit of background on the Duke of Edinburgh's Award (DofE).  Back in 1956 HRH, The Duke Of Edinburgh founded a programme aimed at young people to help enhance their personal development, through the undertaking of several skills and exercises.  Whilst the award has developed dramatically over the years (as it used to only be available to boys), there have always been three levels to the award, Bronze, Silver and Gold.  There is a minimum age for each of the levels, 14 for Bronze, 15 for Silver and 16 for Gold.    There are a variety of sections to complete in order to gain these awards; a Physical section, a Skills section, a Volunteering section and an Expedition, all of varying lengths.  (For Gold you have to complete a five day residential trip too).  Offered through schools and other associations for young people, DofE is available to many people around the UK, and abroad too.  To obtain one or all of these levels, the activities have to be completed by the participant's 25th birthday.

When I was 14 my school notified my year group about DofE and I had a keen interest from the start. A few years down the line from then having completed my Bronze and Silver awards, I was determined to complete Gold too.  For this, I completed a four day expedition across Dartmoor with some girls from my school, a five day residential trip to a cookery course in Taunton, I volunteered in a National Trust restaurant for one year, I attended Ballet lessons for one year and I learnt to drive for six months.  I really enjoyed every single part of completing these sections, and I really feel I gained a lot of self confidence and independence throughout the process.

Monday 16th May, 2016

Getting Ready




 


The Completed Look  

 



Cropped Blazer - New Look
Floral Co-ord - New Look
Wedged Shoes - Schuh
Clutch Bag - Topshop


We entered Buckingham Palace Gardens from the Hyde Park corner entrance, along with hundreds of other people all dressed up for the event.  Altogether there were around seven thousand people in the gardens, which created a wonderful atmosphere and sense of achievement throughout the event.  We were all put into small groups depending on where we were from - I was in the Devon and Cornwall group.  There were around forty groups altogether (see picture below).  In each group there were about twenty five Gold Achievers who were accompanied by their guests who stood behind them, and opposite were representatives from the organisations which allowed the Gold Achievers to complete DofE in the first place.  My Headteacher from my old school and the P.E. teacher in charge of DofE were there in support of myself and another girl two years below me.  

(Photograph belongs to DofE, not myself)


 Each group had a celebrity guest speaker to present the certificates.  (You also receive a Gold Award brooch or pin, you can choose which, however I had already been sent my DofE Gold Award brooch which I wore on the day, alongside my pins from my Bronze and Silver awards).  To present the certificates we were lucky enough to have adventurer and TV presenter Ray Mears.  I thought that this was very apt as he could really empathise with the DofE Gold Achievers, having done a lot of hiking, exploring and route planning himself.  He gave a wonderful speech to our group lasting about fifteen minutes, which was very inspiring and made me feel incredibly proud of myself and everyone else there.  We were able to have individual photographs with Ray (which my parents and I are going to buy!).  He was genuinely a lovely and friendly man who really added to the experience.  Afterwards, we were also joined by Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex who came round to chat to all of us.  He was also very friendly and easy to talk to, who expressed a keen interest in many of our DofE stories.

Overall, I have to say it was one of the best moments of my life!  It was an incredibly well organised event, and a lot of effort was made to make each one of the Gold Achievers feel very appreciated and special, which was very rewarding.  There was also a lot of emphasis on how DofE will enhance my CV which is very appropriate for where I am in my life.  All of the people I met were so friendly and helpful, the weather was gorgeous and being able to set foot inside the grounds of Buckingham Palace was an amazing experience in itself!



I would highly, highly recommend enrolling yourself to do the Duke of Edinburgh's Award.  I got so much out of it and it is something that I will never forget. 


 

Saturday, 21 May 2016

The Beauty Tag



Thank you so much to the lovely Hannah who nominated me to do the beauty tag!  The link to her blogpost is here.  Her blog is definitely worth a read, so do go and check it out.  I am obsessed with all things beauty related so when I got tagged I was so excited to answer Hannah's questions!

What is your favourite high street makeup brand? 

I would say that my favourite high street makeup brand would have to be Bourjois.  As much as I love brands such as Rimmel and Loreal etc, I always seem to be really impressed by Bourjois products.  I always seem to enjoy using them.  It is not a particularly expensive brand, although some of their foundations can be around the £10 mark which, compared to some of the other foundations you can get on the high street, is a little steep.  However with the help of my Boots card and the fact the quality of the products is so good (in my opinion), I think it is a brand worth investing your money in.
  

What is your favourite high end makeup brand?

I don't have the most extensive budget for makeup (sad timez) but I have tried the odd product from high end makeup brands.  I am going to have to pick two brands for this as I can't pick one!  Firstly I have to say Chanel - not only do their perfumes smell amazing but the Rouge Coco lipsticks are amazing too.  I have the colour Gabrielle (linked here) which is a beautiful matte red with a slight sheen, and it is quite moisturising and long wearing too.  My second favourite brand is Benefit.  Firstly the Porefessional is amazing at providing a great base for makeup and prolongs its wear time.  I also like the They're Real mascara and I particularly like the Stay Don't Stray eyeshadow and concealer primer.  

One item of makeup you couldn't live without? 

This is a tough one!  If I had to pick just one.... I think it would have to be concealer.  I get a little bit of redness on my cheeks and my nose as well as the occasional spot and I think that concealer is just amazing for evening out my skin tone (if I couldn't use a foundation, that is).  It is also amazing for brightening the under eye area.  I am currently using the Bourjois Radiance Reveal concealer which I am loving.

What's your go to makeup look? 

I would say mainly a natural look.  Day to day I wear foundation; nothing too heavy, concealer, powder, blusher, a little bit of bronzer and a natural eye (a bit of eyeshadow and mascara).  I only ever wear colour on my lips in the evening if I am going somewhere and I will put more eyeshadow and eyeliner on.  Other than that I just wear a clear lip balm.

Do you have a skincare routine? 

I dip in and out of a skincare routine, which probably confuses my skin!  I normally take my makeup off with the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish and then take any residue off with Bioderma.  I will then use the Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturiser and the Simple Kind To Eyes Soothing Eye Balm (whatta mouthful!).  If I am going all out with my skincare then I like to use the Boots Botanics range, including the All Bright Radiance Concentrate Serum and the All Bright Hydrating Night Cream, as well as the Superdrug Hydrating Serum.

What's the biggest makeup mistake you've made? 

I would say choosing the wrong colour foundation.  A while back I wanted to buy a new foundation and they didn't have my colour, so I just went for the next shade darker thinking it would be alright (it looked a bit like I had fake tanned my face and forgot about my body).  I use that foundation now, but only in the summer when I am a bit more tanned!

What's the most underrated makeup item you own?

I would probably say the Soap and Glory 'Lid Stuff' eyeshadow palette.  I haven't really heard that many people talk about this product, but I think it is amazing! It is the perfect little palette to put in your makeup bag.  The one I have has a beautiful cream coloured matte shade, a shimmery brown, a matte dark brown and a pinky/peach matte colour (which is beautiful in the crease).  It's only £10 and I think it's a must have for everyone's makeup bag. 

Bright or nude lip? Matte or gloss?

It depends on what I'm doing, if I am going out in the evening then a bright red or pink lip is my go to, however in the day I would opt for a nude shade.  However whether I am going out in the evening or not, I rarely go for gloss as my hair always ends up sticking to my lips and it's the most annoying thing! I much prefer a matte or creamy finish. 

And that's all the questions! Thank you again Hannah for nominating me.  Here are the people I am nominating:

Beka - http://www.bekaellen.com/

Abbie - https://abbieinwonderlandxo.wordpress.com/

Rachael - http://www.girlirae.com/


Here are my questions (if you choose to answer them of course!) :) 

What is your favourite brand of makeup brushes?

What are your three must have makeup or skincare products?

What is your favourite high street or drugstore brand and why?

Do you wear nail varnish? If so, what is your favourite one?

Do you like scented makeup products? If so, what is your favourite type of scent?

Are there any makeup or skincare products that you would pay more money for because you think it is THAT good?

Can you remember what your first ever makeup purchase was?

What do you look for in a mascara?


I hope you enjoyed reading this post! See you in the next one,
Molly x

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

A Spring Weekend

So on the 7th and 8th of May I spent the weekend in Exeter.  The weather was gorgeous so couldn't resist getting the old camera out ;)

Here are some photos of my weekend, and a little insight into what I wore over the two days, (I had just bought a denim pinafore dress at New Look hence why I wore it on both days!)

Saturday - Exeter

Myself and my boyfriend Ciaran headed into Exeter town centre.  We did a bit of shopping and then sat on the Cathedral green.  I took some photos of the Cathedral as you can see, as it is beautiful. 








What I wore: 

Denim Pinafore Dress - New Look
Shoes - Converse
Top - H&M
Sunglasses - River Island

Sunday - Exmouth

We got the train to Exmouth as they have a great beach (perfect in nice weather.)  We saw some kite-surfers, had a walk along the beach and sat in the park.  It was very relaxing.  We went to Costa for a coffee and I had my usual, a medium vanilla latte (yum!). Ciaran had a medium latte.  The train journey is only half an hour from Exeter so it is the perfect place to travel on a nice sunny day.













What I Wore:

Denim Pinafore Dress - New Look
Top - H&M
Shoes - Nike
Glasses - River Island
Rucksack - Vans
Hoodie - Leavers hoodie from school
Watch - Casio

Some of the links aren't the exact product I own, but I found the closest thing to it!

I hope you enjoyed this post, see you in the next one.
Molly x