Sunday, 29 July 2012

Jeffrey Campbell Lita Platforms

I'm still very much in awe while writing this post.  My fiance is always generous with me, and likes to buy me little treats on occasion (lipsticks, moisturisers, that kind of thing), but today he completely amazed me by buying me a pair of Jeffrey Campbell Lita platform boots!

We were sheltering from the rain today in Office when I saw a row of animal print Litas on sale (at an unbelievable 50% off!).  I got chatting to a member of staff and she said she thought they had some black ones that were discounted too; I promptly tried on a pair, as you would, but then the sales girl came back and said she'd made a mistake and they were full price at £120. 

She must have seen the crestfallen look in my eyes at that point because she said she'd check with her manager and see what they could do, lo and behold I was offered a 25% discount and my lovely fiance decided to get them for me.  And here they are...

Jeffrey Campbell Lita Platform Boots
Jeffrey Campbell Lita Platform Boots

Even though I've had my eye on these shoes for ages, I still can't believe I actually have them!  They're easily the most expensive (and the highest) shoes I own.  I've been wearing them at home for the past couple of hours, and while they're really comfortable on my feet, I think it'll take a while getting used to walking in them without wobbling and feeling like I'm tipping over.  I can't say I mind in the slightest though!

Jeffrey Campbell Lita Platform Boots
By the way, how cute is the box my Litas came in?

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Caudalie Eau de Beauté (Beauty Elixir)

Really I think I'm a bit late to the party when it comes to talking about Caudalie Beauty Elixir but since I've recently repurchased a bottle I thought it was worth writing a little review about it.

Caudalie Beauty Elixir

Now according to Caudalie's website, the Beauty Elixir was "Inspired by the "elixir of youth" used by Queen Isabelle of Hungary" and helps to tighten pores, and make your complexion smoother and more radiant.

I'm not sure I can say I've seen this exactly but on the whole the Beauty Elixir is a product I really like to use.  I've got into a habit of using it on a morning as part of my skincare routine, spritzing a little onto my face just before I moisturise leaves my skin feeling perky and fresh.  This is not the best use I've found for this product though; since the weather has gotten a bit warm and muggy, a bottle of the Beauty Elixir has found its way into the makeup bag I take to work every day.  By the afternoon when it's almost too hot to handle and the air is dry as a bone, I like to give my face and neck a generous all over spritz and then sit and fan myself for a moment.  It's a pretty lovely way to cool down and give my face a bit of moisture back.

Obviously you can't talk about Caudalie Beauty Elixir without addressing the smell.  I'll admit I was shocked when I gave it a squirt the first time; when I got a hit of the fragrance (lots of grapes and citrus) I even thought I wouldn't carry on using it.  I did get used to it though, and I actually really like it now; it's pretty refreshing.

Will I repurchase this product again when I run out?  This time I think I will, it's lovely to use and the packaging feels luxurious.  It is kind of expensive though, from around £9 for the 30ml bottle, and like every beauty and skincare lovely I'm always on the lookout for the next product!

Have you tried Caudalie Beauty Elixir?

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

The Newcastle Haul

Since my fiance and I have some time off together, and have borrowed my mam's car, we decided to do some mini road trips this week.  Yesterday's trip took us to Newcastle. 

Although I was born in York, I actually grew up in and around Newcastle so was knew the shopping was good.  Apart from a quick trip to Space NK, we spent most of our time in Eldon Square and I picked up a few little treats for myself and for the house.

Nars Bronzer in Laguna, MAC Lipstick in Creme Cup, MAC Lipstick in Honeylove
Nars Bronzer in Laguna - I feel like I'm practically the last blogger on the planet to buy this bronzer, and I don't know why I held out so long!  I tried it for the first time today and it gave me a really natural sunkissed look, wasn't too shimmery and didn't come up orange at all.  I can see this becoming a staple for me.
MAC Lipstick in Creme Cup - I really needed some nude lipsticks to wear with different eyeshadow looks.  Creme Cup is a light blue-pink nude, and being a cremesheen, applies really smoothly.
MAC Lipstick in Honeylove - This one is more of a true nude which I'd probably wear with darker eye looks.  I ummed and ahhed about buying this one as it's a matte shade, and if you don't have perfectly prepped lips can look a bit iffy.  I'm pleased I bought it though, it's always good to have options.

Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil
Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil - I've wanted to try Trilogy products for a while now so I was really pleased that a rep from Trilogy was giving skincare consultations at Fenwick's yesterday.  After chatting about my skin concerns for a while I decided to buy this oil.  It's full of essential fatty acids and has been proven to reduce wrinkles (thankfully I don't have many of those right now) and improve the appearance of scars.  Needless to say I'll be testing this thoroughly, and I've already got a list of more Trilogy products I want to pick up soon.

Trilogy Sample Set - An unexpected bonus of chatting to the Trilogy consultant was getting this cute little sample pack.  It contains a generous sized sample of Trilogy's Cream Cleanser and Gentle Face Exfoliator and has a sachet of vital Vital Moisturising Cream. 

John Lewis Framed Print
Framed Print - I'm really into buying accessories for the home at the moment and couldn't resist this print when I saw it in John Lewis.  I mean who wouldn't want to be dazzled and delighted by a myriad of sideshow attractions being advertised in their home?

John Lewis Tin Sign
Tin Sign - Another purchase from John Lewis.  It made me chuckle, so I'll hang it in my hallway where it will give me a giggle every single day.

So that's it for my haul from Newcastle.  I didn't buy anywhere near as much as I thought I would, that's probably a good thing though since I'm heading to Leeds tomorrow and planning a visit to Ikea!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Tuesday Night Chow Down - 2nd Edition

I had such a nice day with my fiance today.  We drove up to Newcastle and I got to buy a few treats both for myself and for our little house (which I will definitely be posting about in the next few days).

Of course spending all day on our feet and then driving home in practically torrential rain, we both felt in need of a little comfort food when we made it back to York; so we decided to make our favourite Kedgeree.  Like my first Tuesday Night Chow Down (here) this is really supposed to be a breakfast or brunch dish, but I'd be pretty happy eating this any time of day.  Here's how we make it...

Kedgeree Serves 3 or 4

Oil or butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 dried bay leaf
half a cinnamon stick
3 cardamom pods, bashed
250g basmati rice
500ml vegetable or fish stock
250g smoked mackerel
2 eggs per person (if you're really hungry, if not just 1)
A good handful of frozen peas
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh chopped parsley to garnish

How to make it
Turn on your oven to warm your mackerel.

Heat a bit of a oil or butter (or a mixture of the two) in a heavy-based pan with a lid.  Cook your onions over a low to medium heat for 5 or 10 minutes or until softened.  Add the turmeric, bay leaf, cinnamon and cardamom pods, give it a good stir then tip in your rice and get it well coated in the oil/butter and spices.  Pour in your stock, turn up the heat to high and once it's reached boiling point, stir once, clamp on a tight-fitting lid and turn the heat down to low.

This will take around 12-15 minutes to cook depending on the rice you've got, so use that time to heat up your mackerel (according to the pack instructions), poach your eggs and cook your frozen peas.  At the end of the 12 or 15 minutes, take the lid off your rice pan to check.  The stock should absorbed and the rice cooked through.  Flake in your smoked mackerel and stir in along with the peas, taste and check for seasoning.

Serve a generous portion in a big bowl topped with 1 or 2 poached eggs and sprinkled with chopped parsley.

This is another one of my absolute favourite recipes but since being on Weight Watchers I don't make it as often as I used to.  It's not particularly bad for you, just a bit heavy on the carbs for regular eating.

Anyway if you decide to try this recipe, I'd love to hear how you get on with it...

Monday, 9 July 2012

New Vans

Today was a sad day for me; it was the day when I finally admitted my last pair of beloved Adidas Superstar IIs were a complete disgrace and must be retired in favour of some new footwear.

Now I don't know if any other Superstar lovers out there have noticed this, but it seems to be practically impossible to get hold of any interesting new designs these days, they're all just plain, plain, plain.  Nothing like the amazing anniversary editions that used to happen; anyone remember the 35th Anniversary series from 2005?  If not check them out by clicking here.  I still wish I could collect them all!

Anyhow, I digress; I made a quick stop at Office today to pick out some new everyday casual trainers, and since there were no Superstars to choose from I went for Vans.

Vans Canvass Trainers
This is the first pair of Vans I've ever owned actually, although I've had a few pairs of Converse in the past which I suppose are quite similar.  I was attracted to them because of the thick white soles and neutral grey canvas, but I also love the bright blue laces and blue tag.  I'll probably switch to some white laces on occasion, but either way I know these will fit right into my wardrobe.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Tuesday Night Chow Down

A bit of a different post for my blog so far, but I thought since I'm really into cooking, and particularly healthy cooking, it kind of made sense for me to post about it.

I haven't been feeling so well today so my lovely fiance cooked dinner for us, but this recipe for Mexican style eggs (it's actually meant to be a breakfast dish) is something we both make all the time.  Here's what it looks like and how we do it...

Huevos Rancheros

Huevos Rancheros Serves 2
(works out at around 13 or 14 Weight Watchers pro points)

Rapeseed oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 red pepper, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tin of chopped tomatoes (400g)
4 medium eggs
4 small tortilla wraps
Salt to taste
Sprinkle of reduced fat cheddar

How to make it
Heat a little bit of oil in a heavy-based pan, add the onion, garlic, red pepper and red chilli on a gentle heat for 10 minutes or until soft.  Add the dried oregano, chopped tomatoes, season and simmer for a further 10 minutes.

While the sauce is cooking toast the tortillas in a dry frying pan, and when the sauce is nearly done, poach your eggs however you like them.  Check the sauce for seasoning, and serve up.  I like to put my eggs on 1 tortilla, smother them in sauce and sprinkle with cheese.  I tear up the second wrap into 4 triangles make mini wraps with a bit of egg, sauce and cheese.  Then tuck into the remainder with a knife and fork.

This is one of my absolute favourite meals, I must eat it at least twice a week, and I always make sure I have the ingredients in the house.

I'd be interested to know what you think if any of you try it.

Monday, 2 July 2012

June Favourites

Yay, my first ever monthly favourites post.  I've got a few products to talk about so I'll get right into it...

Lush Mint Julips Lip Scrub, Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, Caudalie Beauty Elixir
Lush Mint Julips Lip Scrub - I've been using this a couple times a week since I bought it at the beginning of June.  Now my lips are always lovely and soft and prepared for my favourite lippies.
Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser - Not so much a monthly favourite as a forever favourite for me.  I've used this cleanser for years now, can't imagine using anything else (for long anyway).
Caudalie Beauty Elixir - I felt pretty indifferent about this when I first bought it but I've started using it every day now.  I use it before my moisturiser on a morning (I find it just seems to sink in better) and give myself a small squirt on an afternoon when I feel the need.  It has a pretty overwhelming smell but I've got used to it an almost like it now.

Palmers Cocoa Butter Firming Butter, Liz Earle Botenical Essence No 1, Soap and Glory Pulp Friction
Palmers Cocoa Butter Firming Butter - I've been using this everyday after I have a shower.  It sinks in like a dream and I love the rich cocoa scent it leaves on my skin.
Liz Earle Botanical Essence No.1 - I've been spritzing myself liberally with this all through June.  It's really fresh and citrusy and lasts on me for ages.
Soap & Glory Pulp Friction - It was a toss up between this and S&Gs Breakfast Scrub for my favourite body exfoliator.  This was won out though because of it's fruity smell and lovely foaminess.

No7 Beautiful Skin BB Cream, MAC Blusher in Springsheen, MAC Lipstick in Rebel
No7 Beautiful Skin BB Cream - Another product I was indifferent about at first, but I quite like it now, so much so that I've been using it pretty much every day for the last 2 weeks since my skin's been pretty good and I don't need so much coverage.
MAC Blusher in Springsheen - I think there have only been 3 or 4 days this month when I haven't worn this blusher.  It's a lovely peachy shade and has a little bit of shimmer, perfect for my skin in the summer.
MAC Lipstick in Rebel - I am 100% addicted to this lipstick.  When I'm feeling particularly vampy I layer it up so it's a really vivid purple, for daily use I just put a light wash of it on my lips and it leaves them a really pretty bright pink.

So that's it for my favourites for June, here's to July and finding many more fabulous products...
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