Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Things I'm Loving #4

I haven't done a favourites post in a long, long time! There's a lot more lifestyle-y things in this one which I've been enjoying recently. I don't really buy beauty products any more as I can't afford to spend money trying things so I stick to my staples and rarely branch out. I've been a busy busy bee this past few weeks and with the end of term only seven days away, I'm so looking forward to going home for chill time and Mum's dinners.

Alright, how cute are these. As a book lover and literature student these are right up my street. To celebrate their 80th year since the first book was published, Penguin are selling 80 books for 80p each. Just 80p! I want them all! Each book is a short story, piece of literature or poetry which I think is the nicest idea ever. I've picked up a few (okay, six) including Modernist writer Katherine Mansfield, Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson and one of Ovid's Greek myths, The Fall Of Icarus. I love these and they make perfect gifts and collectables. They are all very short so it's nice to be able to sit and read them in one sitting. There's a whole load more I've got my eye on!

In the past month or so, I have discovered the wonderful world of personalised planning. I've had a Filofax for a few years but mainly scribbled down my schedule in pencil but this month I've gone all out with making myself as organised as possible. I bought some postcards from Paperchase and use washi tape to stick my to-do lists on the back of them for each week. It has really made me so much more organised and it's so satisfying to tick stuff off. I've was so busy with assignments and my dance show last week that I've had to know exactly what I'm doing when, and my Filofax has been my life saver! I'm also loving these sweet little Ted Baker pens from Flamingo Gifts - you can never have enough cute pens!!

Also from Flamingo Gifts are these gorgeous things. The Matilda mug is my new favourite morning tea mug and takes me back to my childhood a bit! I love (still do!) the Roald Dahl books and I think Matilda was one of my favourites. One of my new obsessions is Flamingo Candles. They are gorgeous, and although I can't really burn them in my student house, they look so pretty sitting there and they slightly scent the room when the lid is off. The Daisy one smells like spring in a jar and the Pomegranate and White Fig has a lovely sweet scent!

I have been testing some products this month that I was kindly sent and they've really impressed me! First up is the Weleda Skin Food which has mended my horrible lizard skin from the winter. It's a very thick cream and effortlessly gets rid of dry elbows, knees and feet. It's brilliant and is perfect for recovery for dry rough skin. I've worn false nails a few times which has weakened my nails considerably. My saviour has been this Jica Nail Magic. I've been wearing it as a base coat under my nail polish and my nails have grown stronger as I've been using it. After 3 weeks use it seems to be working a treat!

Spring seems to have finally sprung and although the mornings can still be bitterly cold, you can smell spring in the air and the sky seems to be more blue than grey at the moment! It's also lovely that it's still light after 6pm, making late lectures a little easier. I've popped some daffodils in my room to brighten things up a bit. I love having fresh flowers out, it really lifts my mood! You can't help but smile at daffodils. They are cropping up all over campus at the moment too, as well as a scattering of crocuses which is so lovely to see.

What things are you enjoying at the moment?


Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Chorizo Risotto

I love using chorizo to cook. It might not be the healthiest option, but it adds a smokey, spicy, spanish flavour to any dish you use it in. I can pick it up really cheap from Aldi (under £1.50!) and one will serve 3-4 dishes. I like to use it in a couscous salad and I thought as it worked so well with that, I'd try it in a risotto using similar flavourings and ingredients. The result is delicious. 

You will need:
- 1 chorizo sausage, sliced
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 garlic clove, diced
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 cup of risotto rice
- 1 tbsp cumin & paprika
- 1 litre of chicken stock

1. Fry the chorizo, pepper, onion and garlic in a large pan. Don't worry about adding oil, the chorizo will stop everything from sticking. When the onions and peppers are soft, pop the risotto rice into the pan and give it a good stir to coat it in the flavours.

2. Gradually add the chicken stock. Add it in small amounts so the rice becomes tender. When you've added half of the stock, add the cumin and paprika. Simmer until all the stick is absorbed and the rice is tender.

3. Spoon into bowls and serve with chopped mozzerella and a sprinkling of black pepper.

It really is that easy! This served me for three meals. It tastes just as good cold for lunch the next day and is so filling. It's a really yummy dish that will probably become one of your favourite meals. I love how versatile it can be too. Next time I make it I'll add chicken into the mix at the start! You could also add more veg like sweetcorn, but as I'm often short for time, I like to keep it simple. 

Will you be giving this a go? Sorry I haven't been blogging much recently, I'm trying to get my assignments done and I'm also involved in my dance show. It's going to be a very tiring week! 


Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Everyday Make Up Look with Pür Minerals

Pür Minerals, mineral, make up, look

Pür Minerals is a new brand launching soon on Look Fantastic. As the name suggests, they are a mineral make up brand creating high quality mineral make up products that won't break the bank. Mineral make up has a reputation for being able to solve skincare problems as well as creating the flawless base we desire. I've never really used mineral make up as it's quite expensive and I don't tend to suffer from bad skin so it doesn't quite meet my needs! However, the team at Look Fantastic sent me a selection of products from the range to try out and I'm rather impressed! I created a look with the products so you can see them all in action... 

Foundation, powder, Pür Minerals, skin, base, concealer
Pür Minerals, look, make up, mineral
Pür Minerals palette eye shadow make up

I got sent the Liquid Veil foundation which is a spray foundation in an aerosol can. It sounds like the weirdest concept but I loved the effect it gave. It sprays like a mousse and then you simply buff it into the skin. It's got an incredibly light texture and gives a glowy finish. I also got a Disappearing Ink concealer pen which I love. It's got a very light texture but conceals imperfections so well, even when it's used without foundation. The 4 in 1 Pressed Mineral Make up can be used over the foundation or on it's own which is fab if you have oilier skin. It also has SPF15 which makes it a good option for the summer. My favourite of the products had to be the Soul Mattes Palette - I love the plum and nude shades! Pink eye shadows always look a little scary but as you can see from my look, they are surprisingly easy to wear. I feel that matte pinks are a lot prettier than a full on shimmer - Barbie girl alert! 

I used the foundation and concealer for my base with a quick dusting of the powder on my nose and forehead to hide shine. For my eyes, I used the light pink nudes for the whole eye lid then blended the darkest plum colour into the crease. The colours are so soft and buildable so you can vamp it up for the evening if needed. I then coated my lashes in Big Look mascara which is clump free and gives amazing definition and volume! 

I'm so impressed with this selection from Pür Minerals, especially the eye shadow palette. I feel a little less guilty for using mineral base make up as they don't have too many harsh ingredients in. You can find Pür Minerals launching on Look Fantastic very soon! 

What do you think of Mineral make up? 


Monday, 9 March 2015

Mother's Day Gifts For Wonderful Mums

Mothers Day Mum Gifts

March means spring and also appreciating the most important women in our lives - our Mums. Without them, we wouldn't be here and Mother's Day is the perfect time to show how much you appreciate all that she does. I've compiled some gorgeous gift ideas that are sure to put a smile on Mum's face and hopefully give you some inspiration if you're really stuck for ideas. Mothers Day is this Sunday if you've forgotten, so you've still got time to run out and buy a special gift!

Nails inc. Victoria Beckham Mothers Day Mum
mothers day mum nails inc gift set

If you're Mum loves nothing more than a luxury manicure, look no further than Victoria Beckham for Nails Inc. VVB Duo. This duo makes an ideal gift and perhaps you can share this between you for a mini manicure session! Judo Red is a gorgeous orange-red that nods to sunny beaches and Bamboo White is the perfect muted nude for spring. The bottles are incredibly luxurious and will definitely stand out from your usual nail polishes. 

Natural world lush pamper gifts mum mothers day
Lush is always a go to for pampering gifts but I wasn't so impressed with their dedicated Mother's Day collection this year. My Mum loves the massage bars from there and one of my favourites is Pearl Massage Bar. It smells like roses and the pink beads make it a real pretty treat and will help massage whilst moisturising the skin. These Natural World Argan Oil Shampoo & Conditioner may seem a little every day but would be perfect for popping into a home made 'spa hamper'. These are available from Superdrug.

chroma stationery personalised notebook mothers day gift
violet plum jewellery auree jewellery mothers day gift

I've been harping on about Chroma Stationery for ages - I just think their notebooks are so brilliant! They make the perfect, thoughtful personalised gift. I use mine all the time! You can get spiral bound books too in a plethora of different colours. If you quote 'MTHRSDY1' at the checkout before March 10th, you'll get 10% off your order. 

Jewellery is a little more of a traditional gift. I love these earrings from Auree Jewellery - they are beautiful and the kind you'd treasure forever! They have some absolutely gorgeous pieces that are lovely gifts. These rings would also make the perfect gift! They re from Violet Plum Jewellery which launched at the beginning of March. The online shop sells gorgeous unique jewellery. You can get 10% off your order until Mothers Day if you quote 'SOPHIE10' at the checkout! 

#paperhaul mothers day gift craft

As I mentioned in my 'Keeping Creativity Alive' post, I think its lovely to send and receive written letters and cards. If you're not at home for Mothers Day, why not send her a letter by snail mail? Crafty Creatives have a subscription box called #Paperhaul which is exactly what it sounds like - a box of wonderful paper! In this particular box, there are sheets of patterned paper, greetings cards and postcards, stickers and washi tape so you can make a gorgeous personalised card or letter to send to someone special. Alternatively, if you've got a crafty Mum, why not sign her up to the subscription box? 

mothers day bouquet flowers florica tulips pink
Flamingo candle mothers day gift

There's nothing nicer than receiving flowers and they are simple way of saying Thank You. These pink tulips from Florica are absolutely gorgeous! They have an amazing range of Mothers Day bouquets that can be delivered for free on Mothering Sunday. I've saved one of my favourite gifts until last - Flamingo Candles! I recently discovered this lovely brand and am obsessed. This is the Pomegranate & White Fig scented candle and oh it smells heavenly! They are super cute and quirky and much more affordable than some candles out there. They have scents to suit every taste so I challenge you to buy just one...

What will you be treating your Mum to this Mothers Day?


Friday, 6 March 2015


Last Saturday, Joe Blogs hosted an event with Hillarys at The Custard Factory. It was a crafty afternoon to have a look at their SS15 fabrics and make some fun things with them that weren't curtains or blinds. The lovely ladies from The Crafty Hen had organised the crafts for the afternoon and were on stand by to give us a hand with things. I finally got to meet Terri from Hello Terri Lowe who is awesome and also got to see the lovely Charlotte again from Lil Miss Chickas! As you can see from the photo, we all had a fabulous time making snazzy things out of the pretty fabrics and were all pretty chuffed with our efforts.

We made these super handy notebook covers that can be popped onto any notebook. I chose this gorgeous mint floral fabric for my cover and embellished it with a ribbon and a cute button. They were very simple to make and jazzed up our plain Muji notebooks a treat. All we had to do was a little bit of folding and a few stitches in each corner to secure. There was a table full of ribbons and buttons to decorate our covers too! We also made these little birdies too which were a little trickier but I was able to put my GCSE textiles skills to use for the first time in a long time... I must admit I got a bit lazy sewing the tail which is he's a little bit frayed but I'm quite chuffed with my efforts! With a little bit of practice these would be quite speedy to make and would be sweet for decorations for different occasions.

We were all sent off with a Hillary's fabric tote bag and a Yankee candle along with our items we made. Thank you to Hillarys and Joe Blogs for having us for a wonderful Crafternoon!

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