The Ginger Sparkle Collection from the Body Shop

Ginger has to be one my all time favourite scents, so I was really looking forward to trying out the Ginger Sparkle Body Polish and the Ginger Sparkle Body Butter from the Body Shop's Christmas collection, both have a lovely festive zingy ginger fragrance that lingers on the skin. The body polish is the perfect in shower exfoliator, I massage this into wet skin and then rinse, it removes any dead skin cells and leaves my skin feeling really soft and clean. After my shower I apply the body butter to dry skin, it sinks into the skin really well and again leaves me feeling super soft and moisturised.   

The Christmas collection also includes Vanilla Bliss and Cranberry Joy and I cannot wait to try these. Have you purchased anything from the Body Shop's Christmas collection?  

Hunting For Treasures in Arundel

Living so close to Arundel I find myself going there a lot, it is the perfect place to go to if you want to do a spot of shopping and grab a tasty lunch. If like me you are into your vintage clotheing and pieces for around the home then I would definitely recommend shopping in this sweet historical village, it is full with antique shops and independent boutiques.On my most recent trip I also noticed how many of these wonderful shops are selling vintage and designer jewellery. We stopped for lunch at Sparks Yard, a home wear shop with a wonderful little cafe on the second floor, their cakes looked incredible.

Where's your favourite place to go shopping? Have you ever been to Arundel?

The Whats in my Bag Post

Today I thought I would share my handbag necessities with you, I love seeing what people carry round with them on a daily basis so here goes... the star of the show is definitely my absolute bargain of a bag from Zara, retailing at £19.99 it is perfect for work and I can fit all my gym essentials in too. It also has a good sized inside pocket so I am never hunting around for my keys or phone. So what is inside the bag you say? ...

First up is my current read: Damien Echols, Life After Death - Eighteen Years on Death Row. If you haven't seen the Paradise Lost films or West of Memphis then I really recommend you do, it is about the story of three teenagers falsely accused and sentenced for killing three eight year old children, one then teenager Damien Echols was sentenced to death by lethal injection and this book is his memoirs and his writings from his time on death row.

Onto slightly more light hearted matters my other essentials include Sun Fresh eau de toilette from the Body Shop, I love this perfume for the day time, it is a really fresh and feminine fragrance. I also always carry my iPhone with me along with the headphones, recently I have been loving the new EP by Parquet Courts. I like to carry around a notepad with me at all times, you never know when inspiration may strike, this notepad is from Waterstones and I love the pattern. My Pull and Bear bracelets are always in my handbag, I wear them to work and then take them off for the gym, I love the mixture of colours in this set from Asos. My pretty floral hair grip comes in handy if I need to take my hair out of my face, speaking of face I like to keep a few products with me in case I need to touch up my make up, ill be doing a seperate post on the contents of my cosmetics bag.

My last few essentials are my gym locker padlock and my purse which is this cute owl design from New Look, dont forget to look out for my whats in my make up bag post. What are your essential items?

Bourjois Java Rice Powder

We have been getting all nostalgic using the Bourjois Java Rice Loose Powder, a cult classic from 1879 it has been re-formulated and released back onto the beauty market, So.. thoughts? This delicately scented, easy to use loose powder is perfect for setting make up, it smooths my complexion and the touch of shimmer gives a really illuminating and radiant finish, and if that is not enough to convince you.. well this cult beauty product retails at only £9.99, the Java Rice is marketed as a transparent powder so one shade really does suit all.

I have been reaching for this powder for nights out just to give my skin that extra glow, have you tried this powder yet?

The Glossy Wishlist

 As per usual I was very excited to open this months Glossy Box, and once again I was impressed with the contents. The sample fragrance from Connock London called Kukui Eau De Parfum has a very woody, grown up yet romantic scent with notes of gardenia, jasmin and calla lily. I also received the Elegant Touch nail polish remover pads, I dont normally use the pre-soaked pads but these are perfect for manicures on the go and the little pot fits nicely into my make up bag, these are also acetone free and leave my nails feeling clean and nourished. Another on the go product I cannot wait to use is the Yves Rocher Raspberry hand cream which smells lovely and promises to be ultra moisturising.

Next up is the Emite Make Up Micronized Eyeshadow in the shade Nect which is a gorgeous whitish cream with a lot of shimmer, this looks super pretty in the inner corners of the eyes or underneath the waterline. Lastly it is the Vichy Idealia Life Serum which promises to help transform the appearance of the skins quality and protect against stress, pollution and smoke, I received three 3ml samples in a sweet little organza bag. I have been using this serum in the mornings under foundation and in the evenings after cleansing, it helps to give my skin a radiant finish when worn under my make up. 

Overall I think I will definitely get a lot of use out of all the products, the stand out one for me is the eyeshadow as it is such a pretty shade and I can see myself wearing it a lot. What was your favourite item in the November Glossy Box?

The Home Post: Ikea Love

Up until just before I got married I had never been to IKEA, I know right... how it took me twenty years I have no idea. In the car on my first ever IKEA expedition you could say I was pretty excited, you could even say I was ecstatic. Since then I have been back several times to feed my Swedish meatball addiction and to look at all the lovely home bits. On the last trip we picked up a few things for the bedroom which included a real Mad Men 60's style side table, it was the Lovbacken side table and it was £40, we got to the section where you go and find your beloved item all flat packed and they had run out! So after going back to the beginning and begging the lady in the lounge department we ended up walking away with the display table for £28 and it had already been built, result!

We also picked up these lovely perfume bottles for the bathroom but decided they looked nicer on the new table, the pack of three was around £8, money spent I thought. Another purchase was the lovely pink mug for a weeny £1.70, it makes the perfect house for fresh flowers.

I can't wait for the next trip to IKEA, just need an excuse to go now, and if you were wondering the candle pictured is Clean Cotton and it smells incredible. 

Death By Chocolate

When it is drizzling outside and your all snuggled up in doors with the heating on, this is the perfect time to do a little bit of baking. After watching the latest series of the Great British Bake Off I felt so inspired I purchased the GBBO recipe book which is full of naughty treats, one of which is the 'Death by Chocolate' cake, I mean how could I resist with a name like that? So after roping in Luca and making a quick ingredient stop at tescos we got started...

'Death by Chocolate'
You will need an electric whisk. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees. Grease and line a 22cm cake tin.
Ingredients for the sponge:
300g dark chocolate
150g unslated butter, diced
5 medium free range eggs, at room tempurature
half a teaspoon of vanilla extract
100g caster sugar
Ingredients for the topping
200g dark chocolate
100ml double cream
Decorations (we used white and milk chocolate buttons)

Over a pan of simmering water place a heat proof bowl and melt your butter and chocolate together, once melted start to whisk the five eggs and the sugar in a large mixing bowl, this will take about five minutes, it will double in volume and go a very pale yellow, when you lift the whisk out it should form ribbons that are visible for five seconds. Next slowly pour your melted chocolate into the bowl with the beaten sugar and eggs, fold the chocolate in gently, take your time mixing the two, the chocolate can settle at the bottom of the bowl. Once combined place in your greased and lined cake tin and pop into the oven for around 35-45 minutes. Unlike a normal cake you don't stick a skewer into the centre to see if it is ready, the cake needs to come out before it is cooked all the way through as it continues cooking out of the oven, I left mine in for 45 minutes and found  it to be perfect but you may need to take it out a little earlier depending on your oven. The recipe also mentions the cake will rise a lot in the oven and then sink whilst cooling so no need to worry. When ready take out of the oven and place on a cooling rack to cool and sink. Once cool turn upside down as the flat side will be easier to ice. To make the icing, over a pan of simmering water place the chocolate and cream into a heatproof bowl and half melt. Then take off the heat and mix until thick and glossy. Now you can take the mixture and cover your cake then decorate. The topping will need to set so leave for a few hours before devouring if you can.

Would love to know if you try this!

The Bargain Palette by Barry M

When I think of Barry M cosmetics I think nail polishes so I was delighted to see this eyeshadow and blush palette in my local superdrug, I picked up Natural Glow, which comprises of six lovely natural eyeshadows in a mixture of matte and shimmery shades and a lovely pink blush. This palette contains every shade you need for a natural smokey eye and the fact that it comes with a blush and a handy mirror makes it perfect for traveling. I wouldn't use the sponge applicators so I'm not too fussed about those but for £6.49 this really is a bargain. This palette also comes in two other colour combinations; Smoking Hot, which is full of greys and blacks for a really dramatic look, and Glamour Puss, a palette full of shimmering shades perfect for partying.

As for the actual shadows I find them to be really well pigmented and long lasting on the eyes and the pretty pink blush really compliments my skin tone giving me a natural fresh faced look.

Have you tried any of the Barry M palettes? 

Healthy Eating: Clean and Lean Style

I'm not really into dieting, quick fixes and fasts never seem to work for anyone long term. Since joining the gym in July it has really inspired me to eat healthier, so avoiding all fad diets I purchased the James Duigan Clean and Lean Cookbook, he is all about a lifestyle change, overhauling the way we think about what we are putting into our bodies. His ethos is 'if it didn't come out of the ground, fly or run' then it's not clean. I have to say I was a little shocked to see such yummy recipes in this book, traditionally I think of diets to be very restrictive and boring so this book is perfect if that is putting you off.

The Clean and Lean book helps to kick start your new way of eating with a detailed 14 day menu plan which has lots of variety so it isn't like your eating the same thing everyday. One of my favourite recipes is the Clean and Lean Porridge which has to be the nicest I have tasted, it is a combination of rolled oats, almond milk, orange zest, cinnamon and berries, it really is the perfect winter breakfast for those dark mornings.

James Duigan encourages healthy snacking which helps to keep your metabolism going, and one snack I have been loving recently are the Nakd bars, they are made from all natural products and they are cold pressed, the don't contain wheat or dairy and are perfect mid morning or afternoon, my favourites are Cocoa Loco which comes in at around 100 calories, the Banana Bread is also really tasty and again it is low calorie.

Have you tried any recipes from the Clean and Lean Cookbook? What are some of your favourite? 

The October Favourites

I have not really done a monthly favourites post before, probably because I find it hard to condense things down to a blog post size amount, this month however there are a few products that have really stood out for me mostly because they are products that I have rediscovered in my stash. First up lets start with Beauty:

Mac Face and Body foundation, this lightweight base had fallen to the back of my draw so to speak but with the weather change and it's effect on my skin I have dug this back out and I am in love! The finish of this foundation is so perfect, it isn't too heavy and I find it to be really radiant and glowy. Next is the Sleek Blush Trio palette in Lace, it contains three gorgeous shades, two matte and one shimmery, these are really well pigmented and give a long lasting finish. Rimmels Scandaleyes Kohl Liner in black has been reintroduced into my make-up bag for taking my make-up from day to night, it lasts really well and unlike other pencil liners I have used it doesn't run.

Haircare wise I have been loving these three miniatures, from a recent Glossy Box it is the Toni and Guy Shine Gloss Serum, if I want a sleeker do it apply this to the lengths of my hair pre-blow dry for a chic finish. For a messier look I have been using Bumble and Bumbles Thickening Hairspray and their Bb Texture hair un-dressing creme to give my hair some oomph and a little texture.

What products stood out for you in October? 

Currently Reading: Paris Street Style

When wondering around Paris you just can't help but notice how incredibly chic everybody looks, the Parisian style is so effortless and beautiful it really is quite inspiring. The Parisians have a lot to work with, during my recent trip I couldn't get over how cheap vintage pieces are and how many thrift stores you can find in such a small area. I purchased 'Paris Street Style - A guide to effortless chic by Isabelle Thomas and Frederique Veysset' on amazon recently and I haven't been able to put it down since!

It has really good tips on creating the typical Parisian Chic look on any budget, the photography is gorgeous and the book is full of interviews with people in the fashion industry sharing their thoughts on style. It lists all the key pieces you need to achieve the classic look including a cashmere sweater and the perfect bag. This book really has covered all the basis from footwear to accessorises and I really recommend it if you are thinking of creating a capsule wardrobe.

© W.M.C
Design:Maira Gall.