4.01.2014

The Scrapbook: Peppermint Pudding


Another instalment from my #TryTotal recipes, this pudding is sweet and refreshing! A healthier take on ice cream, this pudding uses a few simple ingredients whizzed through my Yonanas machine.

I won my Yonanas machine way back last summer in one of Carly's giveaways - it certainly makes making banana based ice cream much easier! If you want to get yourself one (they're amazing for sorbets, ice-creams etc) then just head here. < cheaper here than most places online!

You will need:

  • 2 x frozen bananas
  • 2 x tablespoons of peppermint chocolate (this Tesco stuff is good)
  • 250g of Total Yoghurt
  • Something to blend it in!


1. Firstly, you will need frozen bananas. Whether you have a machine like this or a blender, you'll need to whizz up your frozen bananas into a smooth, thick paste.



2. Next, mix the yoghurt with the banana mixture, adding in the peppermint chocolate bits. Total is much thicker and most greek yoghurts, meaning that you get a thicker pudding. The bananas themselves obviously hold water so you need a thick component to stop the pudding from becoming really running.


3. Next, spoon the mixture back into the Yonanas (or pop back in a blender) and whiz up until the ingredients are all mixed well. Top with chocolate sprinkles and enjoy!



Enjoy! What is your favourite healthy dessert of the moment?

3.31.2014

The Style Files: Fondant Fancies


You know that scene in The Devil Wears Prada when Miranda Priestly pipes up with "Florals for spring. Groundbreaking." - I always feel a little like this with pastels. However, there's definitely a reason why fondant shades pop out of the wardrobe and into the streets when the sun starts the shine. The light, sugary shades always look light and airy when the warmer weather arrives, plus their ability to make almost any outfit look feminine is an instant win with me. 

Here's my rundown of how I'd love to wear these fondant fancy shades this season:


Whistles have got an amazing selection of key wardrobe items this season, including this beautiful dress. I think it is so versatile, it could easily be teamed with bold and bright accessories but I've decided to go simple with some simple heels and a colour contrast clutch.

Outfit breakdown:

New Look 'Taste' Sandals, £19.99 - here
Whistles Jersey Dress, £70 - here
Asos Leather Reversible Clutch, £65 - here


I absolutely love how chic printed trousers look with simple barely-there sandals! This look draws on some great basics, and although features printed trousers, isn't too in-your-face. I've teamed it with a subtle pop of pastel pink with the beautiful Wildfox sweat.

Outfit breakdown:

Wildfox Ballerina Jumper,  £99 - here
Whistles White Croc Effect Clutch, £60 - here
Asos Hoxton Heeled Sandals, £42 - here
Whistles Spot and Chevron Trousers, £145 - here


I love the lightness of the skirt to say it has a leather look. It has a great pastel tone, which goes so nicely with the minty jumper. I decided to team this with a textured clutch and black courts with transparent panels to give the outfit more edge.

Outfit breakdown:

New Look Ronald Court Shoes, £19.99 - here
New Look Light Jumper, £12.99 - here
Whistles White Croc Effect Clutch, £60 - here
Asos Leather Look Midi, £45 - here

How will you be wearing pastels this season? Which outfit is your favourite?

3.30.2014

The Journal: Mum.


+ Best friend
+ Good listener
+ Cackle laugh
+ Sneeze machine
+ Expert hugger
+ Tip top worrier
+ Creativity machine
+ Talented artist
+ Beautiful eyes
+ Ultimate role model
+ Killer smile
+ Unconditional love

Happy Mother's Day!


3.29.2014

The Beauty Box: Naked 3 Vamped Up


The Naked 3 is an interesting palette. The rosegold tones can be quite hard to wear, and if you get the wrong mix of shades you can end up with bruise eyes. I've been playing around however, and have found a great vamped-up smoked eye that is just a little different to the usual.


To start, I applied Eden Primer Potion, which is a beautiful matte nude base. I love this primer because not only does it make the eyeshadows blend better, but it removes any kind of redness from your eyelids which is perfect for working with the rosy tones in this palette.


Firstly, I packed mugshot across all of my lid, up to the crease. This shadow is so beautiful it could easily be worn alone, but I decided to add a few more shadows into the mix!


Next I blended darkside into the crease and outer corner. Darkside is a deep taupe mauve shade, with a satin finish giving it a really beautiful sheen. As you can see below, it looks really lovely when blended.



Next I added a little more definition with blackheart in the crease and on the lashline. The red microglitter is a beautiful addition to this shadow and it blends seamlessly with the other shadows! It also has amazing pigmentation so you can easily use it instead of an eyeliner, which I did here.




If you're wanting to get your hands on the Naked 3 palette, you can get it for £37 here, here, here and here (I know a lot of stores have been selling out so I thought I'd give you choices!)



Have you got the Naked 3 palette? What do you think of this look?

3.28.2014

The Style Files: Sports Luxe

Source
Sports luxe is an interesting trend. Whilst it can be hard to wear, it has filtered through to so much of this season's pieces that wearing it can be really easy to wear. Here's a rundown of how I'd wear sports luxe:


I absolutely love these slouch trousers, I'm definitely going to get them in both black and white as they're such a versatile piece. Whistles are on it this season with their clutch bags, and what better way to counteract the casual, sporty vibe of the layer tee and trousers with some killer heels and a statement clutch.

Outfit breakdown:

Asos Luxe Slouch Trousers in White, £35 - here
Dune Hydro Blue Sandals, £65 - here 
Asos Colourblock Layer Tee, £25 - here
Whistles Pony Hair Clutch, £85 - here


The bomber is such a great way to wear sports luxe. The sporty shape instantly transforms an outfit, I especially like this texture mix one from Pull & Bear. The jersey material of the body-con dress has a similarly relaxed feel whilst the sandals add a more feminine dimension.

Outfit breakdown:

Asos Grey Dress with Wrap Skirt, £30 - here
Won Hundred Kanilla Heels, £125 - here
Pull & Bear Bomber Jacket, £49.99 - here

If you're wanting to go all-out with sports luxe, this matching bomber and skirt from Vero Moda is definitely the one. The stretch fabric and raglan fabric is a more affordable version of those that flooded the catwalks, whilst adding a luxe backpack and shoes in a clean white shade pulls the whole look together and makes it ultimately more wearable!

Outfit breakdown: 

Vero Moda Block Print Bomber, £38 - here
Vero Moda Block Print Skirt, £28 - here
Asos Menance Shoes, £32 - here
Whistles White Backpack, £275 - here

Are you liking sports luxe? How are you wearing this season's trends?

3.27.2014

The Journal: Flat Hunting Tips

Source
As you'll now know from my latest Journal entry, Matt and I are moving back in with his family to save up for a deposit to buy a house. However, we've been renting for the last few years and I used to work in a letting agents whilst I studied at university, so I thought I'd share some tips that we found helpful!

One thing I would say obviously everyone's experience is different, some agencies have really unhappy tenants, and some people get on really well with their landlords - each experience is different. 

Deposits & Fees

Firstly, it is a criminal offence to be charged to register with an agency or to see the properties.

However, agencies can charge you for:
  • A holding deposit
  • Carrying our credit checks
  • Drawing up documents such as a tenancy agreement and inventory
  • Getting references
  • Administration charges
  • Renewal fees
  • 'Check out' fees
You're perfectly within your rights to question every details of these fees, and some agencies charge extortionate fees so if you feel they are too expensive you can always choose not to progess. You're not tied into an agreement until it is all signed. 

Also, make sure you're clear about how long your holding deposit is held for, where it is held, how long it will take to get it back and other details like this. 

Agency Vs. Landlord

We've lived in a flat managed by an agency and a house managed privately by a landlord. Both have their positives and negatives. 

We had a really positive experience with our agency, they always fixed issues and communicated really well when they had arranged work on the flat or viewings as we came to the end of our tenancy. I do know that not all agencies are all as organised as ours, so it is always best to have a look at what people are saying about them on the net - that perfect home isn't always worth it if everyone that is managed by them is unhappy. We also got charged more fees on move-in than we did with a private landlord. 

We've not left our house with a private landlord yet, so I can't say what the overall experience has been like. However, it is definitely much harder to call up a private landlord when there is an issue as there isn't agency rules in place, anyone to mediate and they have the final say on everything. It was cheaper on move-in but we've not seen what costs are like on move-out yet (I'll keep you updated!)

Timescale

Different areas will have different time scales, but often inner city you're looking at a fast time scale with properties appearing and disappearing within a few weeks. It's always best to have an idea of what you want, when you want to move as it will stop you from feeling rushed or pressured into getting something that isn't quite right. 

Realistic Expectations

One thing I used to find when working in a letting agents was how people would have a clear idea of what they wanted, but unrealistic price expectations. Quite often looking for somewhere to rent can involve compromise - it is unlikely you'll find exactly what you want for the lower end of your budget, however looking at different areas can always be a great way to save money.

We found that getting parking and any kind of outdoor space in the city centre would have sky rocketed our monthly outgoings, so we looked at local towns near to the city where we got much more for our money. 

Organisation

From the viewings to the paperwork when you sign, being organised with lists and diaries is a great way to make sure you don't fall into the trap of hidden fees, end up packing last minute or losing out on the property you loved. 

Move-In

When it comes to getting your tenancy agreement and inventory, it can be easy to feel like you want to get everything signed and out of the way. However, make sure you read every single inch of your tenancy agreement and add a whole load of detail onto your inventory - even adding in your own pictures if you want. Whilst it might seem pernickety when you're doing it - it'll mean you've got less chance of losing a chunk of your deposit to that scratch on the mirror or being surprised by cleaning fees when you leave.