Cooking, Cooking and More Cooking

I have been doing so much cooking this past week, I made the Death by Chocolate cake to take to the in-laws, I also made Nigella's Christmas Rocky Road which didn't last very long, Luca made a lovely dinner Christmas Eve, he followed Delia Smith's recipe for Roast Gammon and cooked it with roast potatoes, carrots, parsnips and cauliflower cheese. I am returning to the gym this week after eating my entire body weight in Celebrations, easing myself in not so gently with a 5km run ... wish me luck!

Delia's Scones

I had to work on Christmas Eve and when I came home I was surprised by homemade scones and afternoon tea. My little sister and the boy had set the table beautifully, they followed the Delia Smith recipe for the scones and they were the nicest I have ever had, we had them with strawberry jam and cream. Since we got Delia's Complete Cookery Course Book we have used it for so many different things, it is so well written you really cannot go wrong with a recipe, she explains things so well and breaks every step down making it really simple.

Here is a link for the scone recipe online if you fancy having a go at making these.

What is your favourite thing to bake?

A Bath Time Favourite

We all know spending can get a little out of control when it comes to bath and beauty products, but every now an then we come across and absolute gem that doesn't cost the earth, enter Radox Muscle Soak, rich in minerals and blended with thyme this smells lovely and it really does help you to relax after a stressful day, it also promises to ease tired and aching muscles so it is perfect after a class at the gym. The best thing about this product though is the price, £1 will buy you a box of the stuff, and you only need a few spoonfuls per bath so I can see this actually lasting quite well. I'm not mad on the packaging so I poured it into a pretty jar which looks much nicer alongside my other bath time essentials in the bathroom.

Oh and one more thing, this beauty bargain turns the bath water a lovely shade of blue... need I say more??

A Little Update

I have been so busy with work during the festive period it hasn't left much time for me to dedicate to my little blog lately so I thought I would give you an update. Recently Luca and I went to Jamie's Italian in Brighton for dinner, we chose from the Christmas menu and the food was absolutely gorgeous. I wore my Asos velvet smock dress which I am in love with, I think it is the perfect winter dress. Make up wise I went for a neutral eye with a bold lip using 107 from the Kate Moss collection from Rimmel London. As for accessorizes I took my trusty Whistles clutch that goes with just about anything and a butterfly wing pendant that I made, I am thinking of selling these if anyone is interested, they come in so many beautiful colours and they were inspired bu Damien Hurst's butterfly room at the Tate Modern last summer.

What have you been up to lately?

Apple and Oat Cookies

Everybody loves cookies, and this recipe is perfect for this time of year with its hints of Cinnamon. These are really easy to bake, take hardly any time to prepare and they taste delicious. 
You will need:
135g of soft unsalted butter
80g soft brown sugar
80g of caster sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla paste
190g of plain flour
½ teaspoon of salt
¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
2 Granny smith apples
60g rolled oats
Flaked almonds
This recipe makes 10 cookies approximately.

First pre-heat your oven to 170 C and line two baking trays with baking paper.
After measuring all your ingredients, cream the butter and both types of sugar together, then add the egg and vanilla paste; make sure everything is combined well. In a separate bowl sift your flour, cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda and salt together then add the dry ingredients into the bowl of sugar and butter, mix well until it forms a dough texture. In another bowl put your rolled oats, peel the apples and then grate them, drain of the juice and add the grated apples to the oats, once mixed together add this into your cookie dough. Roll the mixture into small bowls, (approximately 2 tablespoons worth of mixture) place the cookie balls onto the baking tray, leave enough space for the cookies to spread out as they cook. Sprinkle a few flaked almonds onto each ball and then bake in the oven for around 18 minutes, a little less if you like your cookies soft.

Botanics Eye Cream Review

Botanics Skincare range always impress me, I cannot get enough of the Rose Water Toner and my latest Botanics purchase is no exception. I picked up the Hydrating Eye Cream a few weeks ago now and I have been using it religiously morning and evening as directed, it contains rosehip which nourishes the skin around the eye area. I wouldn't say I have particularly dry under eyes but sometimes I find my concealer can cling to the slightest hint of dryness so I was definitely in need of a little hydration. 

I love the fact that this product is 80% organic, the eye can be such a sensitive area for me so natural skincare products are a must. This eye cream also promises to reduce the appearance of fine lines which is a plus! You get 15ml of product for £8.99 in Boots which is a very good price for a skincare product, I think the tube will last well too as you really only need a little.

Have you tried this yet?

Glow and Prime with Seventeen

I have been on the look out for a high street radiance primer style product for some time now but I have had trouble finding a product that primes and gives the skin a gorgeous glow until now .. enter Seventeen's Wow! Skin 3 Way Highlighter. So what are the three ways you can use this? Well firstly Seventeen suggest using this underneath your foundation as a primer, or you can mix it in with your foundation and the last suggestion is using this after foundation on your cheekbones to give the skin a radiant finish. Having tried all three techniques I would say my favourite way to use this is to apply this before foundation, I don't find it too shimmery, I think it adds just the right amount of glow to the skin.

If you want something subtle for the daytime I recommend just dabbing this onto your cheekbones, coners of the eye, brow bone and cupids bow for a natural finish. The product itself is a pearly shimmery liquid, you only need a little so use sparingly. The best thing about this product has to be that it retails at £5.99 in Boots.

Have you tried Seventeen's 3 Way Highlighter?

Writing for Nouvelle Daily

I recently did a post for one of my favourite online magazines - Nouvelle Daily, exciting I know! I would love it if you could check the post out, it is a DIY for a Homemade Cinnamon Body Scrub, it's super cheap and easy to make and it really does make a lovely gift.

Nouvelle Daily DIY Cinnamon Body Scrub Link Here

The Winter Make Up Bag

Like most girls I like to carry my make up essentials with me so I can freshen up my complexion during the day or take my make up from day to night, so I thought I would let you in on my current on the go must haves, lets start with the base, I have been loving Bourjois Happy Light foundation (review here) recently, it gives such a flawless finish to the skin and shade 53 suits me perfectly. I rarely need to use this during the day but I know the day I don't take it will be the day I need it, as you can tell I have become rather attached to the latest addition to my foundation family.

Something I do use without fail is the Rimmel Wake Me Up concealer, this really brightens my under eye area and definitely makes me look more awake. The Body Shops Energizing Facial Spritz is another must, this re-freshes my base and stops it looking cakey - this can happen if I layer new product over old product or if I use too much. To finish my base and keep oil at bay I powder my t-zone with Bourjois Java Rice Powder (review here) this works wonders on the skin.

For a little colour I like to use a lip product, a lot easier than trying to create a dramatic smokey eye in the office, for a natural look I like Revlon's Balm Stain in Rendezvous, for a little more drama I use Rimmel's Kate Moss Lipstick in 107, the perfect sexy deep red that looks so chic with cat eye style liner. 

What are your on the go must haves? 

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