BLOGGER BAKE OFF WITH KENWOOD AND CURRYS

Firstly, hello! I am back as I finally got broadband in my new flat (TalkTalk are incapable of doing anything on time). This post is about the Currys In The Kitchen blogger bake off event, which seems like ages ago now so I'm sorry for the delay!

Blogger-Bake-Off-Currys-In-The-Kitchen

I was invited by Joe Blogs to a blogger bake off at the Cookery School in Glasgow and it was a really fun day. I didn't even realise there was a cookery school in the Merchant City but it's in the Jacobean Corsetry building and they do a wide range of classes so if you like cooking or want to learn, it's worth a look.

Cookery-School-Glasgow

We were given our own aprons when we arrived and sat down for a quick cup of tea and a chat with our fellow bloggers before we got started with our first bake - scones. Danny the chef showed us how it's done then we split off into groups to give it a go ourselves. Our scones were massive and despite not being a huge scone-lover, I really enjoyed ours with tons of jam on top!

Scones

After sampling our scones with more tea we moved on to chocolate chip muffins, which were lovely! They're pretty easy to make and I took mine home for Adam and he really liked it!

Victoria-Sponge

We were then talked through a basic sponge recipe which we used to make a Victoria sponge and cupcakes. I absolutely love Victoria sponge and ours turned out perfectly light and fluffy - I was delighted to take a huge chunk home with me! I had great fun decorating the cupcakes too - that's always my favourite part. I went a bit crazy with the sprinkes and butter icing but I think they looked quite cute!

Cupcakes

We were all lucky enough to be given a fantastic Kenwood Kmix hand mixer, which will really come in handy for me because I have no arm strength so stirring the mix really takes it out of me! It was also great since we needed some appliances for our new kitchen anyway so the Kmix was a very good start!

I have to say a huge thank you to Currys, Kenwood and of course Joe Blogs for putting together such a wonderful event. I had a really fun day and will be using my new-found baking skills lots in the future!

What's your favourite thing to bake?

We Will Soon Return To Regular Scheduled Programming


Hello everyone! This is just a quick post to let you know that I haven't disappeared off the face of the earth - I've just moved house! Adam and I now have our own flat in Glasgow which is brilliant, but we can't get broadband until the 27th of this month unfortunately. I'll still try to post a few things between now and then when I can go to the library in uni for wifi, but after the 27th everything will definitely be back to normal.

Thanks for sticking around. and I'll speak to you again very soon!


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My Week In Photos #15



1. Adam and I had a chilled night watching Orange Is The New Black on Monday.
2. It was my niece Poppy's 4th birthday on Tuesday.
3. I saw The 1975 at the Barrowlands on Wednesday and I had such a good time!
4. Hot chocolate from Tinderbox.



5. Chicken ramen from Ichiban.
6. I treated myself to some clothes as H&M had a student night on Friday with 20% off.
7. Today I went shopping with my mum and I got a really pretty notebook from Paperchase.
8. We had dinner at The Raven and it was so good! I had a pulled pork sandwich and the restaurant itself is lovely.

How was your week?


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LUSH FAIR TRADE FOOT LOTION* | REVIEW

Lush-Fair-Trade-Foot-Lotion

When I got home from a month of travelling, my poor feet were not at their best. I had been walking for hours every day, sometimes in shoes that weren't suitable, so they were in need of some TLC.

I hadn't used foot lotion often before as I never really felt the need, but when I did I used Soap & Glory's "Heel Genius". However, I had recently received this Lush lotion from an event I attended so thought I'd give that a go for a change.

Lush-Fair-Trade-Foot-Lotion

It has a lovely peppermint smell which isn't overpowering and is quite a thick consistency. It has a cooling effect which is really great for tired feet. I used a fair amount of it and covered my whole feet, then put on a nice soft pair of cotton socks and went to sleep. In the morning I couldn't believe the difference in my feet! They were so soft and moisturised - you would never have guessed they had just taken a bit of a beating whilst travelling! I never noticed this kind of effect with the Soap & Glory cream.

I've continued to use the lotion about once a week since I came home. I've developed a little pedicure routine which I never had before, and I really think it's due to this Lush product as it's showed me the difference good foot products can make. I only need to use a small amount of it each time so I think this tub will last ages.

Pedicure-Routine

I checked the Lush website for the price and it says £9.25 but that's for 225g and mine is a 100g pot, which I can't find on the site, so I'm not sure how much this size would cost! I'd definitely recommend the product though, especially if you do a lot of walking or wear high heels a lot. This will keep your feet silky smooth no matter what!

Have you tried Lush's Fair Trade Foot Lotion?


European Travel Diary #4 | Brussels

Brussels-Grand-Place


The second stop on our inter-rail journey was Brussels. We were only here for a short time so couldn't fit too much in, but we liked just wandering around and exploring the city. Catch up with my previous travelling posts here.

Gene-Kelly-Lauren-Bacall


We stayed in a lovely hotel called Hotel Marivaux, which is a former cinema so there's a bit of a movie theme inside. Our room had photos of Gene Kelly and Lauren Bacall (who sadly passed away soon after our stay) and the room itself was very big with a lovely bathroom.

Grand-Place-Brussels









Grand-Place-Brussels
Grand-Place-Brussels
The Grand Place is the main centre of Brussels and it is beautiful. It's a large square surrounded by wonderfully ornate buildings, and there's a great atmosphere there at night as people just sit on the ground drinking with their friends.

Food-In-Brussels


We really enjoyed the food there; of course we had to have Belgian waffles and Belgian chocolate! We researched the most popular Belgian chocolate brands and one that often came up was Neuhaus. They have a store at the Grand Place so we got a bar each and it was wonderful! The waffles were my favourite though, and I maybe ate a few more than I should have! We found out that mussels are apparently very popular in Belgium (Mussels in Brussels, ha) so Adam had some for dinner, which came with a top hat for the empty shells! I tried one for the first time and it was nice but I couldn't have eaten a lot of them.

Atomium-Brussels


We visited the Atomium, first built in 1958 which is hard to believe given how futuristic it looks! It's the only place where you get can get a 360-degree view of Brussels - the views are incredible. Each sphere holds different things - some viewing platforms, some museums, some art exhibitions and more. There was a light and sound exhibition on when we were there and I really enjoyed it. Unfortunately I got no good photos though!

Manneken-Pis-Brussels

We obviously had to visit the famous Manneken-Pis. To be honest, I don't know why a statue of a peeing boy has become such an iconic feature of Brussels but it has, and so we had to get some photos!

Couple-In-Brussels


Although we didn't have time to do too much in Brussels, we really enjoyed our stay and to be honest there weren't tons of other things to do anyway. It's a really pretty city and the Grand Place is the highlight. We were glad that we took it easy when we were here, because Paris was next and that kept us very busy, so keep an eye out for that post!

Have you been to Brussels?


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Blogging | Comparisons and Inferiority



You may or may not have noticed that I've been a bit absent from my blog recently. I was really excited to write up all my travelling posts and get back into blogging on a regular basis, but I found my enthusiasm slowly draining over the past few weeks, and I've just now figured out why.

I follow a lot of other blogs and read them on a regular basis. I also follow my favourite bloggers on various social media sites. As a result, every time I go online, I'm surrounded by bloggers who are doing really well, producing great content that brings a lot of reader interaction, and getting fantastic opportunities. Don't get me wrong, I'm so happy for them all and love seeing them do well, but it causes me to look at my own blog and I can't help but feel inferior. 

I in no way expect my blog to ever be as big as theirs and to be honest, I don't know if I'd actually want it to be. It is not my intention to become a full-time blogger because I'm at uni and will hopefully land a journalism job that I love when I graduate. I just worry that my blog isn't as good as it could be and that I'm not working hard enough. Like I said, though, I'm at uni so that has to be my priority. I've also been suffering with terrible headaches and migraines recently, which has made sitting down at my laptop to spend ages doing a blog post almost impossible.

A few days ago I realised that I was putting a bit too much pressure on myself. At the end of the day, this is just a little space on the internet for me to write about whatever I feel like. It doesn't have to be anything special, it doesn't have to keep up with any trends, and I don't have to feel bad about myself for not being some kind of blogging Queen. 

I started my blog because I love to write and I want to share some of that with anyone who fancies reading it. It's as simple as that so I'm going to go back to basics a little. I'm going to relax and stop comparing my blog to others' and constantly checking my stats. I'm going to write about whatever I want, without worrying about whether it will be a popular post or not. I'd like to do more lifestyle posts because I enjoy writing them, but I've always been worried about what people would think.

Sorry for the rambly post but I just wanted to explain my absence while also sharing my thoughts on blogging a little bit. I'd love to hear from anyone else who's been in a similar situation or who understands the feeling of your blog never being good enough. At the end of the day, it's all just a bit of fun so we should be enjoying it!

Have you ever felt disheartened by blogging? How did you get past it?


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European Travel Diary #3 | Amsterdam



Hello everyone! I got back from travelling this week and now that I've settled back in and got a bit organised I thought I'd start posting about the cities I visited. I planned to post while I was away but finding wifi (and time) was a challenge. I assumed most of the trains would have wifi and that's when I planned to do my posts but none of them did at all so sorry for the delay!

I thought it'd be best to just talk about my highlights from each city rather than go into too much detail about absolutely everything we got up to. This will be a photo-heavy post!


Our hotel was right next to the beautiful Vondelpark, where we usually ate our breakfast and had a morning walk in the sun. There's a cafe to eat at which was really nice, but some mornings we just took our own food with us.




There was a lot of really cool street art, especially on one particular street near Dam Square. I can't remember the name unfortunately but if you walk to the huge shopping centre next to Dam Sqaure then tun right you should see it.




We went to the Heineken Experience, and even though I don't like beer I really enjoyed it. It's very interactive, and you get a lot of free samples (which I couldn't fully appreciate!) It's worth going even if you're not that into beer - it costs around £12 (book online) and you get 2 free pints, 1 smaller drink and a limited edition Heineken glass.




We went on a pizza cruise along the river, where we also got unlimited drinks. It was a good way to see the city while relaxing and was a nice alternative to sitting in a bar.




The ice bar was a really interesting experience. We put on heavy, insulated ponchos and gloves, then headed into a room fully made of ice. Even our drinks came in ice cups, and the drink was delicious. It was orange juice with whipped cream flavoured vodka - so good! I stupidly wore sandals and had bare legs so even with the poncho I was absolutely freezing, but it was still a really fun place to go. 
Two shops I would recommend are Chocolatl and Van Stapele. Chocolatl sells every kind of chocolate you would ever need; they even have bacon flavoured! You can sample anything you want before buying, and there's an area to have tea or coffee with the amazing chocolate you just bought. The staff were so lovely, and we were chatting to who we think was the owner for ages, and he recommended other places for us to visit. Van Stapele is the #1 bakery in Amsterdam, but they only sell one product - their signature cookie. It's as fresh as it can be and it's amazing. We ate ours next to the canal on a beautiful day. 
We visited the Anne Frank house but unfortunately we couldn't take photos there. I'd recommend it though; I've always been interested in Anne's story and it was fascinating to see where it all took place. Being in her bedroom was very eerie but I'm so glad I went. 
There's a lot more I could say about Amsterdam, and I left out most of the smaller details but I didn't want the post to be too long. If you want to know anything else just ask! I'd 100% recommend the city as it's beautiful and there's something for everyone.
Have you been to Amsterdam?
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What I'm Packing For Travelling | Toiletries



It's now just two days until I head off travelling for a month so I thought I'd show you what beauty and skincare-type products I'm taking with me. Bear in mind that I had to pack very minimally as I'll have to carry everything around with me in my backpack. If I was going on a normal week-long holiday I'd probably take more than this! Another point is that if any products run out I can just buy more when I'm there.

I bought a toiletry bag from Primark which has three compartments and a hook to hang it up. It's kind of plastic on the outside which means it's easy to wipe clean. I used a different compartment for each purpose - shower products, skincare and miscellaneous bits and pieces.



Shower
I'm taking a mini shower gel that I got in a Sanctuary set at Christmas as it's a good size and I thought this was the perfect opportunity to use some of my mini products.
I bought a set of empty bottles from Primark (3 bottles and a tub for £1) and filled the two bigger bottles with my own shampoo and conditioner - L'Oreal Elvive Fibrology. I'm also taking a mini TreSemme colour shampoo to keep my colour vibrant throughout the month, and a mini Aussie 3 Minute Miracle as my hair can get quite dry and I love using this to give it some TLC.



Skincare
I had to be ruthless with which skincare products as I took as I don't have much room, and I again made use of my mini products. I'm taking my Lancome facial wash which I got in a set for my birthday.
For moisturiser I'm taking a mini tub of Lancome Hydra Zen as well as a mini bottle of Clinique Dramtically Different which came free with this month's Glamour magazine. I didn't think just one of these would be enough as my skin is dry so I use a lot of moisturiser. I probably could have just taken one full-sized moisturiser, but this way I can throw out the first one once I've used it up and will only have to carry one small one.
I put some of my Benefit It's Potent eye cream into the small tub that came in the set. A little goes a long way with that cream so I didn't have to put much in.
I have a mini pack of Nivea facial wipes in my toiletry bag but I'm also taking a full-sized packet in my main bag as they can come in handy for a lot of purposes.
I'm of course also taking my beloved Carmex which I slather on my lips at every opportunity!



Other
In the top compartment I'm taking my travel toothbrush which folds up to make it smaller and also keep it covered. Adam and I are sharing a tube of toothpaste and he's packing that, so that's why there's none in my bag.
I'm taking a packet of wet wipes as, again, they'll always be useful.
I have kirbies and bobbles which I'll be using every day to keep my hair off my face and neck.
I'm taking a small tub of nail polish remover pads so I can re-do my nails when needed. I'm taking two nail colours with me as I'll get bored of looking at the same one for a month! I've not decided which colours I'm taking yet but when I do they'll be added to this bag.

So that's the beauty items that I'm taking travelling with me. I'll probably add in a few more bits and pieces if I need them or if I've forgotten anything but this is pretty much it. I'm proud of myself for fitting everything into this bag as I was originally planning to take far too many products! You can read the rest of my posts from my travel series here. My next post will probably be from Amsterdam so keep an eye out for that!


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European Travel Diary #2 | Two Weeks To Go!



I should firstly apologise for my absence, but I'm back now! I first posted about my inter-railing plans a few months ago so you can read about it here if you missed it. It's now two weeks until Adam and I leave for our month-long adventure so I thought I'd update you all on what we're going to be up to.

Our final route is now:

  • Amsterdam
  • Brussels
  • Paris
  • Milan
  • Rome
  • Vienna
  • Prague
  • Berlin
  • Warsaw
  • London
We had never planned to go to Milan but the journey from Paris to Rome is really long so we're just staying in Milan for one night to break up the journey. We were supposed to be ending our trip in Copenhagen but there were no flights home from there plus it was very expensive, so we're going to Warsaw instead. The hotels are ridiculously cheap there - so much so that we're staying in a 5 star Hilton because it's a great price. We were due to fly home on the 15th of August which is a few days before our four year anniversary, so we decided to go to London and spend our anniversary there instead of just coming home. I'm so excited to go to the Harry Potter studio tour!

After a shopping trip yesterday I now have everything I need for travelling so I'm going to do a trial pack this week to check the weight of my bag. I'm pretty sure I'm taking too many clothes so will probably have to cut my list down a bit. I was thinking of doing a post about what I pack if you'd be interested?

The whole thing still doesn't feel quite real - I can't believe I'm about to spend a month travelling across Europe, going to places I've never been before and seeing loads of amazing things! I'll hopefully be able to blog on the trains about each city so be sure to follow on Bloglovin' to keep up with that.

If you live in or have visited any of the cities I mentioned, please leave your recommendations for places to visit - I'd really appreciate it!

Tell me your travelling stories!


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The Fault In Our Stars | Film Friday

The Fault In Our Stars Poster

The film everyone is talking about has arrived in UK cinemas and there were two important questions I had about it: Does it stay true to the book? And does it deserve the hype? Yesterday I found out that the answer to both questions is a huge yes.

I read The Fault In Our Stars when it first came out back in 2012 and finished it in three days. It left me a sobbing mess but I loved it. I was excited when I heard it was being made into a film, but also apprehensive as I was sure it would let me - and the book - down.

As a result, I went into the cinema with lowered expectations, but I was very pleasantly surprised. It stays very true to the book and I noticed almost no changes. Some things were missed out, but those that were kept in stayed as they originally were. It does lack that certain spark that the book had, but I guess that's a difficult thing to translate onto the screen.

I wasn't too happy about the casting before I saw the film because everyone has an image in their head of what book characters should look like and they didn't look anything like my Hazel and Augustus. I thought that Shailene Woodley done a really good job playing Hazel though, and I later found out that she had written to John Green several times asking to play Hazel as she loved the book so much. It's so lovely that a true fan of the book got to play the main character, and her love and understanding of the book really shone through in her performance. I still think the casting for Augustus was a little off though, as his personality didn't come through as well on screen as it did in the book.

This is one of the most faithful book adaptations I've ever seen and I'm so happy about that. If the film had been too different, it would have made a lot of people angry so I think the film makers had to stay as true to it as possible; it's such a beloved book for so many people. So if you loved the book, I'm sure you'll love the movie too!

What are your thoughts on The Fault In Our Stars?


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My Week In Photos #14 - Birthday Week!


1. I dyed my hair with my usual Schwarzkopf XXL dye.
2. I braved the hairdressers for the first time in almost two years after a terrible experience with my last haircut. I really liked how it turned out though!
3. Our inter-rail tickets arrived - so exciting! I was surprised to see that we were also sent document wallets and wristbands, which I think was a really nice touch.
4. The night before my birthday, Adam brought me croissants so I could have a nice birthday breakfast. Croissants are my favourite, he's so sweet.


5. My 20th birthday was on Thursday and I had such a lovely day with my favourite people.
6. Adam bought me several skull-themed presents and I loved them all; he knows me so well!
7. He also got me a few scratchcards and I won one of them!! Um, won £2 that is.
8. Myself before heading out for birthday dinner, drinks and dancing.

How was your week?


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My Evening Skincare Routine

I've been trying out a few new skincare products recently and have fallen a little bit in love with some of them so I thought I'd share the love and maybe some of these will be great for your skin too! I have dry skin so most of these products are designed to help with that.


I use Lush's Ultrabland* facial cleanser to remove my make-up. It took a little while to get used to this because it's a very strange consistency and it's not what I'm used to using on my face at all. It feels kind of like a thicker Vaseline, or a wax, and I just rub a small amount all over my face then rinse it off. It works well to get all my make-up off and is gentle enough to use on my sensitive skin.


After that I use my Simple Soothing Facial Toner to make sure every last trace of my make-up is gone. I then use Simple's Rapid Action Spot Zapper on any problem areas. This really works to reduce redness especially, and is very affordable.


I use Benefit's It's Potent eye cream to hydrate and brighten my eye area. This is a slightly more expensive product but a little really goes a long way. I've had this for over a year and it's nowhere near done at all. It has a lovely cooling effect which is perfect in the summer months!


I then move on to my two favourite skincare products, which are both from The Body Shop's Vitamin E range. First up is the Overnight Serum-in-oil which injects some much-needed moisture into my skin and feels really lovely. I leave that to soak in for a bit then use the Intense Moisture Cream, which is nice and rich without being too heavy.


I'm not sure if this counts as skincare but I'll go ahead and include it anyway. I use Santa's Lip Scrub* from Lush (sorry about the state of the pot!) followed by Carmex to keep my lips soft and smooth. This is a great combination for getting rid of any dry patches so I'd really encourage you to try it if you have chapped lips.

So that's my current skincare routine and I think it's working out pretty well. I've tried so many different products in the past but I quite like this routine I have at the moment.

What are your must-have skincare products?


Top Five: David Fincher | Film Friday

David Fincher makes great films. Fact. He does the whole thiriller/crime/mysetry/dark thing very well, and those kind of films tend to be my favourites so it's no surprise that I'm a big fan of most of his work. Here are my top five favourites, counting down to the best.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo


5. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Although I do prefer the original Swedish version, Fincher's English re-make of the crime thriller was very well done. It kept the mystery and grittiness of the original version and didn't stray too far from the story. I'm not really a fan of Daniel Craig though, so would have preferred someone else to play Mikael.

The Game


4. The Game
This is such an under-rated film in my opinion. Michael Douglas stars as Nicholas, whose brother gets him involved in a live-action game is a birthday present. He soon struggles to distinguish between the game and reality, and this is a thriller that will keep you guessing until the end.

Zodiac


3. Zodiac
By looking at this list, it's clear I love a good mystery crime movie. Zodiac is based on the true story of the Zodiac killer (which is actually very fascinating, if you're interested in that sort of thing), who sent cryptic codes to his local newspaper about his killings. The film focuses more on the detectives and journalists who became obsessed with cracking the killer's codes, and the effect that obsession had on their own lives.

Se7en


2. Se7en
Another film about a serial killer - I swear I'm not weird. This follows two detectives on their search for a serial killer whose crimes represent each of the seven deadly sins. The film explores the relationship between the two very different detectives and how they have to learn to work together in order to stop the killer before he completes all seven murders. Fincher knows how to do good endings, and Se7en is a great example of that.

Fight Club


1. Fight Club
Of course Fight Club takes the number one spot. It's so clever and well-made, and that twist! (No spoilers!) It's one of those films where you pick up on something new every time you watch it. If you haven't read the trivia for this film on IMDB I highly recommend doing so - there's loads of interesting things! I think Fight Club is definitely a film that everyone just has to see, so if you haven't already, get watching!

What's your favourite David Fincher film? Are there any other directors you'd like me to feature?


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Beauty Wishlist ft. Sleek, Soap & Glory and MUA


Both Sleek palettes would be perfect for me to take inter-railing as they'll save a lot of space. The Face Form has a blusher, bronzer and highlighter, so I wouldn't have to take three separate products. I mainly wear brown eyeshadows so the eye palette has all the shades I would need while I'm away.

I already have the Soap & Glory bronzer in the Girl-o-Whirl set (read my review of it here) but when it runs out I'll definitely be purchasing the full size as it's the perfect colour for my skin tone. It'll be a while before it's done though so there's no need for me to rush out and buy it. I've been eager to try the Archery pencil for a while as I've heard great reviews and the felt tip is something I've never tried before.

How gorgeous is that shade of Gosh blusher? I've been searching for a new blusher for quite a while now as I think my current one is a bit too bright for me and this one looks perfect.

I hardly ever wear false nails but these Elegant Touch ones have such a lovely design and I'd wear them for a special occasion since I don't get on too well with false nails on a daily basis!

Finally, the MUA Luxe Velvet Lip Lacquers have been on my wishlist since they came out but they're always sold out. I haven't been able to swatch the shades but from what I've seen, Reckless looks lovely. It might be a little dark for me though so hopefully my local Superdrug gets it in stock soon so I can try it out.

What's on your wishlist?

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OOTD | Guns n' Roses Crop

OOTD Girl Guns n' Roses Crop Top Black Skinny Jeans Combat Boots
OOTD Girl Guns n' Roses Crop Top Black Skinny Jeans Combat Boots




OOTD Girl Guns n' Roses Crop Top Black Skinny Jeans Combat Boots

Sunglasses: Ray-Ban
Jacket: Topshop
Crop Top: H&M
Jeans: New Look
Boots: H&M
Bracelets: eBay

This is just a casual OOTD and is the kind of outfit I wear most days as it's comfortable but still looks good.

I apologise if the image quality is not 100% - my camera battery died so these were taken on Adam's ipad. On that note, thank you to Adam for being my lovely photographer! 
What's your go-to outfit?


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