Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tuesday Tasties No.52

A while back I featured a chicken recipe which relied on the use of Harissa Paste, a really delicious mix of Moroccan spices. The brand Bart make one of my favourite varieties as it's the right mix of chilli and garlic for my liking, Tesco's version is equally pretty tasty. I would recommend trying a few different brands to find one that's right for you, some are considerably warmer chilli wise than others. Tonight, I want to share a slight shake up of my Cajun Chicken recipe which I've been enjoying, it still relies heavily on the Harissa though, don't worry.

Harissa Chicken with Pickled Onions and Broad Beans

With this recipe, you're pretty much going to get what it says on the tin, the pickled onions really add something extra which I can't quite put my finger on. It shouldn't work, but you're going to have to trust me on this one. 

I'm also going to add, I'm not afraid to use cheats in my kitchen, I don't have time to sit over the stove mid-week so, here I'll be honest, I used pre-cooked broad beans and I cooked the bulgar wheat in the microwave. You obviously don't have to, but this is what I did!

You'll need:
  • Skinless Chicken Thighs (for two, four ought to do it)
  • 2 tbsp of Harissa Paste
  • Either some chilli flakes or one chopped chilli
  • 2 finely chopped garlic cloves
  • 150g cooked broad beans
  • 1 cup of bulgar wheat (sorry guys, I measure my rice and stuffs using cups, it's easier!)
  • 1 chopped red onions
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Chopped parsley
Right, first of all, whack your oven on and stick it at around 200 degrees, then grab a tray and line with some foil etc.

Then in a bowl big enough for marinading add the Harissa, garlic, chilli and a tiny splash of olive oil and give it a good mix. Then pop in your chicken thighs, make sure they're all coated in the marinade and leave for 30 minutes or so, this means they'll absorb all the yummy flavours.
Once they're done marinating, stick the chicken thighs in the oven for around 25 minutes to cook. Be sure not to waste any of the marinade, I slather my left-overs on top! 

While the chicken is cooking, it's time to cook your bulgar wheat, just add water and cook as per the packet instructions. For added flavour, you can always pop a chicken stock cube into the water.
Next step is to pickle the onions! Combine the vinegar and sugar and give things a mix before adding the onions and leaving for at least 10 minutes.
Once the bulgar wheat is cooked, add the broad beans, pickled onions (be sure not to waste the pickling liquor) and the chopped parsley before giving everything a good stir.

Then it's time to plate up. Pop the bulgar wheat on the bottom and plonk a couple of the cooked chicken thighs on top. Who said good food had to be complicated?

I hope you've enjoyed this twist on the Cajun Chicken recipe, the pickled onions add a real sweetness and the whole thing takes less than 30 minutes to fling together.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Yes to Grapefruit Brightening Facial Wipes - A Review

So, if you caught my beauty update post at the weekend, you'll know I've had all sorts of new products which I'm currently trialling. A brand which I'm falling pretty hard for is Yes to, not least of all because ALL of their products are under £15, but everything is formulated with 95% natural ingredients in addition to being Paraben and SLS free.

Previously, I'd only gotten my mitts on the Cucumber range, but I'm diversifying my interests and I've grabbed something from the Grapefruit range which is aimed at those with uneven skin tone.
Today, I'm talking about the Yes to Grapefruit Brightening Facial Wipes which usually retail for £3.99 in Boots, however, the whole range is still 1/3 off making these wipes super affordable.

Now I know wipes really divide the community, and I've gotta say, I definitely don't use these for removing my make-up!  Whilst the wipes are suitable for cleansing, the main reason I grabbed these is that they promise to exfoliate and brighten the skin.
Fragrance wise, these are pretty zingy and you do get a whiff of citrus when you're using them. On my face, I did get a slight tingle but then I anticipated that, after all, these are exfoliating wipes, I obviously expected to feel something. 
I think the textured wipe also adds to the feeling of exfoliation as well. 

As a caveat, for those with sensitive skin, I would say that after using my face was a little bit red for around 3 minutes but this soon died down once I'd toned and moisturised as normal. 

All in all, another great product from Yes to, it does exactly what it says on the tin, is great value for money whilst still being pretty much all natural in terms of ingredients. This is a brand which I am really enjoying exploring and can't wait to try more!

Have you tried the Yes to Brightening Facial Wipes? What did you think? 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Beauty Update - Reviews to look forward to!

Today, my post shall be short and sweet!

I know that lately most of my posts have centred around food and fashion and that on the beauty front, things are a wee bit quieter than normal. Now, this isn't because I've lost my love of beauty products, I mean, this is me we're talking about, do be serious! This is mainly because I'm trying out lots of different bits and pieces which I really want to test drive before reviewing. 

In addition as I'm a frugal soul, I obviously can't justifying purchasing like a gazillion cleansers and shampoos, I gotta use stuff up first. 

Anyways, here are some bits I'm currently trialling (or I've picked up and plan on trying soon) and my initial thoughts, I will be doing a more thorough review in due course so please do keep your peepers peeled.
So the first thing is the Caudalie Divine Legs which I purchased towards the start of the summer as I am a terrible fake tanner, I tried to it once and never tried again. I've only had the chance to use it a couple of times but I will say the following 1) No it doesn't go on the skin that dark a colour, 2) it washes off with soap and water and 3) it takes a little practice to apply properly but isn't overly fiddly.
A more recent purchase is the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray which I actually got in the smaller size as I didn't want to commit to the full size just yet. First impressions? It certainly seems to do what it says on the tin. I popped my make-up on at around 11am on Saturday morning before heading off for a VIP Experience to see the Saturdays. On inspection of my fizzog on the way home at 11pm on Saturday evening, my eyeshadow had barely started creasing.
I am loving this range right now and lets be honest, sometimes we can't be bothered with a full cleanse. Wipes are the lazy girls option and these Yes to Brightening Wipes are lovely and zingy and do seem to lightly exfoliate and brighten my skin. My first thoughts are that these are an absolute bargain and I'm keen to get my mitts on the cucumber ones next.
Finally, I actually treated myself to the travel sizes of the new Bumble & Bumble Invisible Oil range with a Boots gift voucher I received from my old work colleagues. I love Bumble & Bumble, but as the products can be a little on the pricey side, I don't always let myself splurge. As these are nice and small in size, I can try the whole range without committing and spending a fortune. As they're travel friendly sizes their ideal for any little adventures we may find ourselves on!

See, I have been busy! Keep your peepers peeled for some thorough reviews soon.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tuesday Tasties - Taking A Wee Break

Aloha folks, I'm afraid that this week I'm taking a little break from the usual recipe post, Ad and I are trying some new bits and pieces in the kitchen which we want to get just right before sharing!

New dishes we've tried in the last few weeks include a variety on our old Harissa Chicken recipe with Broad beans and Pickled Onions (yes, really), Pork, Peach and Noodle Salad and Salt & Pepper Roast Chicken with Kale, Orange and Avocado.

Thanks for your patience, please stick around, it'll be worth it!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Finally Finding a Red Lipstick with L'Oreal Collection Exclusive Pure Reds.

I'm not brave when it comes to make-up, but with a view to upping my game I've been pottering around trying to find the perfect shade of red lipstick to suit my pale skin tone. It's a difficult thing to do, especially when you're used to fairly neutral shades, it almost feels like the lipstick is wearing you and nothing seems quite right. Some reds are too bold, some make you look like a ghost, others are too orange in tone, and some too brown.


I was pretty excited when I read about the new L'Oreal Collection Exclusive Pure Red line, a selection of 4 matte red lipsticks, each with a different celebrity behind it. You of course have Eva, Blake, Liya and Julianne with their own shade of red perfectly suited to compliment their hair and skin tone. The idea behind the range is that everyone should be able to find their perfect red! Challenge Accepted.
As you can see, I opted to try Julianne at home, given my pale complexion, I thought this might suit me best. First things first, lets take a moment to appreciate the packaging, it's sleek, feels pretty luxe and has a gorgeous contrast between the black matt textured casing and gold banding.
Then there's some subtle detailing  hidden away on the lid. All this, for a snip at only £6.99, I thought to myself, what have you got to lose? (I got this on offer for £5.99 in Superdrug but it's not available online just yet!)
In the bullet, the colour seems a little coral in tone, I realise in the picture it looks quite orange but trust me, on the lips it's far from orange and actually leans more towards the pink side of things.
Being a matte red, the colour is pretty long lasting, I gulped my way through several drinks, a pizza and some chicken and there was still a notable amount of colour on my lips. It was obviously more prominent towards the edges with some fading on the centre of my lips. Sure it needed a little reapplication post grub to even out the colour, but what was left on my lips at this stage was pretty akin to a stain. 
As I don't own a lip brush I applied the Pure Red Lipstick straight from the bullet. You can see from both the swatch and the pictures above that the level of pigment in the lipstick and the colour pay-off is pretty sweet! I've taken a photo in different lights so you can get more of a feel for the colour.

I'm a total newbie on the matte lipstick front and I can say that these actually felt pretty comfortable on the lip. My lips certainly didn't feel as juicy as when I'm wearing a gloss or balm based product, but by no means drying thanks to the Jojoba.
I think the Julianne shade works really well with my complexion, it's not overly intrusive and I reckon it looks great with a more pared down make-up look.

Have you tried any of the L'Oreal Collection Exclusive Pure Reds yet? What do you think of the Julianne Shade? Did I pick the right shade for my complexion?

Saturday, September 20, 2014

My Two Scents - Popping my Jo Malone Cherry

On Thursday last week, I ventured into virgin territory and took the plunge. I was both intimidated and excited, I mean, after all Jo Malone is a veritable powerhouse in the fragrance world. What did you think I was talking about?

I timidly entered their boutique set in the vicinity of the Royal Exchange with a view to discovering something new. Needless to say, the interior of their boutique is as crisp, clean and incredibly chic as I'd been led to believe by admiring their beautifully packaged bottles all these years.   

I should perhaps elaborate and say I am in the market for a new perfume, I've always gone for something rose based and have done since I can remember but don't quite feel that I've found the 'one'. I want a fragrance that people will inherently recognise as mine.

The ladies, noting my timidness, very kindly booked me in for a Complimentary Hand & Arm Massage in their Tasting Room the following afternoon which would give me the opportunity to try out some of their fragrances and enjoy a bit of pampering. 
First up, I needed to narrow down my fragrance choices, Jo Malone has a wide range of choice going from Citrus to Floral to Woody and of course we don't have enough time to sniff them all. Given my affinity for rose, I explained my previous fragrance choices (Flowerbomb and Loverdose Tattoo) and that on some level rose has almost become a bit of a trademark for me. In fact, the smell of rose just makes me feel safe. I should say I have a tendency to waffle but the lady taking care of me in the Tasting Room was wonderful and totally indulged me.
I was given three fragrances to try as a starting point, all with some element of rose. I settled on Red Roses (with a hint of spearmint making this super fresh) and Peony & Blush Suede which has a certain softness to it as my first tasters of what Jo Malone has to offer. 

As they're also known for fragrance combining, we popped the Peony & Blush Suede body cream on both arms, and then popped the Peony & Blush Suede cologne on one arm and Red Roses cologne on the other to see how the two worked together. Cue me sniffing both arms in a 'Tragedy' style arm raising marathon, both smelt gorgeous and the layering of fragrance meant I could sniff to my hearts content for the rest of the day. 

Before heading back to the office, the lady popped both scents onto cards for me and recommended having a think at home, letting the other half take a sniff to see what he thinks (my wording not hers, doesn't sound too creepy does it?) and then seeing if I fancy coming back to try anything else. After all, fragrance is an investment and shouldn't be rushed!
After everything was said and done, I also bagged a wee freebie, the Orange Blossom body creme to take home and have a play with. It was a cheeky wee bonus all things considered.

All in all my first experience was wonderful, I was made to feel very welcome, the staff were totally unimposing and more than patient given my tendency to talk for Britain when it comes to beauty goodies. What really stuck out was that there was no pressure to just rush in and buy something, they really want you to take your time and pick what's right for you. 

The passion of the lady giving me my massage really shone through, she knew her stuff, clearly loved her job and could explain all the different nuances of my fragrances of choice. Heck, if she can listen to me chatting about everything from my anxiety, through to my first perfume purchase and even my other half, clearly she's a keeper!

I think there's one more fragrance I'd like to try before making my final choice, that being the White Jasmine & Mint and given my experience, I'm confident that the lovely staff at Jo Malone will be more than content to indulge me.

Ladies(or Gents), if you're looking to invest in a new fragrance, I'd recommend popping in and giving things a whirl.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tuesday Tasties No.51 - My Favourite Foodie Experiences in the Last Year

So today, to celebrate my blogs 1st Birthday (well, it's actually Thursday) I thought I'd share my Top 5 places I've munched in the last year, it's been pretty crazy all things considered, and to be fair, I've mostly snacked on burgers but eat to their own right?

 I pretty much said all that needed to be said about this place in my post (click on the name and it should take you there), this place holds a lot of sentimental value for me and Ad and I come here every single time we hit Brighton, it's tradition. If I had to sum it up in one sentence?

Gorgeous gelato in a variety of unusual flavours which will delight the senses.

In my mind, this place is one of the best in London for a good burger. They have a few branches now so it's even easier to get your mitts on one. The burger is well seasoned, the rosemary fries are cooked to crispy yet fluffy perfection and even if you're on a budget, you can grab something tasty for under a tenner. Well worth a visit if you find time!

I should point out that they also do chicken and veggie options if that's more to your taste so there really is no excuse not to go.

This small but quaint little place specialises in Lebanese in a street food style. The food was incredibly tasty and I love that this particular branch was small and intimate, it made me feel like I'd stepped outside of London. No wonder it's in the Time Out Top 50 places to munch, the food is delicious.

When I go back, I'm definitely getting some more Shawarma, that stuff was seriously seriously good.

I have seriously not stopped harping on about this place to anyone who will listen. I actually cannot get over how good the food was. I mean that pulled pork man, the pulled pork (forgive me, I'm lost in my thoughts at the moment.) I NEED to go back here as soon as possible and induce a cocktail/meat based coma pronto.

Guys, if you're reading this, I am missing your eats!

I'm sure it's not really much of a surprise this place was at the top of my list, after all, Ad did take me here for my Birthday so it has a lot of meaning attached. After almost a year of saying how much I'd wanted to go here, I finally got to indulge with Ad and it was everything I'd hoped it'd be. Delicious, very laid back with a twist on the norm.  I'd highly recommend it.

Better still, it was a girly indulgence which Ad could actually enjoy as it wasn't too stuffy - Hooray! 

What do you think of my Top 5? This was the last of my anthology posts to celebrate my blogs 1st birthday, I hope you've enjoyed them.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Good Things Manuka Honey Radiance Mask - A Review

Keeping with the theme of affordable beauty products, another range which I recently discovered on a trawl of my local Boots is Good Things. Given that I currently have no less than 8 cleansers on the go (I know, I know) the only product which I could really justify buying was a face mask.

Now, Good Things appear to have a few different ranges aimed at different skin care needs but given my Kiwi obsession, I opted to plonk the Manuka Honey Radiance Mask  into my basket, not least of all because it smelled AMAZING.
Now for those of you who aren't familiar with the range, Good Things is the brain child of Alice Hart-Davis and the Manuka Honey line is designed to help keep skin clear and hydrated. We're all familiar with the health benefits of Manuka Honey, and my skin at present, is being particularly pesky and needs a kick up the bum. 

What really caught my attention is that despite the very low price point (£5.99 for the Mask), the entire line still manages to be free from Parabens, mineral oil, SLS (as with the Yes to...range I discussed last week) and any other chemical nasties which can aggravate the skin!

Whilst the Radiance Mask is aimed at brightening your skin, it also contains white clay to draw out impurities and clear congested skin whilst the Manuka helps to nourish your skin making this product sound like just the ticket for my skin.
As you can see, the product is a wet clay, you simply slather this onto clean skin and let it work its magic for 10 minutes before rinsing. The clay didn't dry out at all, and I felt a slight tingle whilst this was on my face which I suspect maybe the papaya. What I did notice was the incredible smell, I mean seriously this stuff smells so good I would eat it if I didn't know deep down that it'd taste awful.

On rinsing my skin felt smooth, plump and did appear brighter. On the decongesting side, I suspect it's a little to early to tell, but my skin looked dreadful last weekend, we're talking full on blotchy. It's helped to clear things a little and my skin is slowly but surly starting to clear up, I still have a couple of patches but they're clearing.

All in all, this is a great product given it's super low price point, whilst I'm not sure about the claims to clear the skin, this particular product is clearly aimed at giving a radiant complexion and I certainly can't complain on this front. Once I've cut down on some of my cleansers, I reckon I'll be grabbing a couple more goodies from this line.

Have you tried Good Things? What did you think?

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Yes to Cucumbers Daily Cleanser - A Review

I do love me some natural beauty products, but blimey, sometimes they don't half break the bank! Step in Yes to...their products are formulated with 95% natural ingredients in addition to being Paraben and SLS free making them ideal for those with sensitive skin. In addition, none of their products are over £15 making the Yes to range an affordable way to treat your skin.

I've only tried to Yes to Cucumber range thus far which is specifically aimed at those with sensitive skin but there is also Yes to Carrots for normal to dry skin, Yes to Blueberries for fine lines and a couple of other lines which feature a variety of skin care goodies.

Moving swiftly on, today I want to talk to you about the Yes to Cucumbers Daily Cleanser which is usually £6.99 in Boots.
When I picked up this product, I wanted something gentle enough that I could use everyday, but something with enough punch that it would remove all of my make-up. That meant it had to be gentle enough that I could use this over the delicate eye area without masses of tears.

The Yes to Cucumbers Daily Gentle Cleanser contains cucumber (OBVIOUSLY) to sooth and cool the skin, Aloe Vera to refresh and gently hydrate and Green Tea to help fight breakouts.

So, what did I think? 

Given the price point, both Ad and I are seriously impressed. I started using this the weekend of a friends wedding. As Ad and I were playing pretty key roles, naturally we were feeling a little flustered and our skin was showing signs of stress! 

After using for a couple of days, Ad's skin had calmed right down, no more blotchy skin, and signs of redness had been significantly reduced. I'm not saying the blemishes had mysteriously vanished or anything, but the redness had gone right down.

For me, my skin reacted in much the same way, and I am pleased to confirm this stuff was successful in removing almost all of my make-up, there was some remnants of mascara but when it's waterproof it's gonna be tough to remove. On the eye front,  there were no tears which is quite a feat given most cleansers nowadays cause serious stingage. 

I did try to get a photo of the cleanser itself but my camera was having none of it. As such, I can confirm the gel has a light green colour, foams up slightly (don't expect anything excessive foam wise given there's no SLS) and you need around a 50p sized blob to do your entire face. The only down side is that I'm getting through this stuff incredibly quickly, namely as Ad and I appear to be using it most days. The plus side, it's currently 1/3 off in Boots so I'll be grabbing some extra!

Have you used any of the Yes to cleansers? What do you think? 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Tuesday Tasties No.50 - Comfort Food Ahoy

Don't worry guys, I only plan on doing a couple more of these anthology style posts, there will be one this week and the final one next week to celebrate my blogs first birthday (18th September in case you were wondering). Today, I want to focus on comfort food! 

We all have days when we're feeling pretty crummy be it tiredness, being full of a cold or generally just having one of those days. On those days I find curling up on the sofa and having a hearty dose of trashy TV  makes things a wee bit better, but some good grub always manages to help things seem not quite so bad.

First up, we have Chicken Hotpot which is so simple to make but wonderfully satisfying. I suspect it has something to do with the fragrant star anise, combined with a slight chilli hit balanced with the saltiness of the fish sauce and sweetness of muscovado. The flavours just work together perfectly,plus, there's no guilt as this dish mainly features chicken and pak choi which makes it pretty darn healthy.
Next, I've turned my hand to something more Italian in fare with this Ricotta Pasta Bake which takes a wee bit more time and effort but is seriously worth it. It's a layered pasta dish which alternates between a sausage ragu and cheesy lemon ricotta. Full of my favourite things, stodge, cheese and sausages. Yummy!
Another pasta dish for your consideration, and this one is a classic which can be tweaked to suit your fancy. This is Mac 'n' Cheese and given that it combines two of my favourites listed above, it should come as no surprise that this dish features in my comfort food anthology. I can't quite put into words how satisfying it is to cut into, especially when the top is crisp and golden and the filling is a combination of gooey/stringy goodness. This never fails to hit the spot.
The final dish I want to share with you today is another quick and easy one to fling together. This being my take on Patatas Bravas  namely crispy paprika coated tatties, a perfectly fried egg and posh baked beans. Heck, this is fit enough for a veggie style fry up or dinner if you're lazy like me and can't really be bothered to cook.

What are your go to comfort food dishes? 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Outfit of the Day - The Aztec Dress

Well Ad's 30th Birthday finally arrived and to celebrate we popped up North to his visit his Papa and ventured out for a steak dinner. Naturally given the occasion, I wanted to dress up and I needed something with a little stretch so I could eat as much as my poor little tummy could manage. After all, it's not very lady like to have to undo ones top button.
With this outfit as the print is pretty crazy I decided to keep the rest of my ensemble fairly simple. Today I'm wearing:

Dress: Oasis
Necklace: Primark
Boots: Clarks

I actually picked up this dress in the sales last Christmas from Oasis (I know, I know, the dreaded C-word!) for a tiny £15. Ad always encourages me to introduce things into my wardrobe that are a little different and this dress is certainly out there in terms of my usual outfit choices.
Whilst the print is pretty bold, as the colours are fairly neutral I feel pretty comfortable wearing this dress with natural tights and ankle boots in the summer and thick black tights and knee high boots come winter.
What really drew me to this dress was the cut out detailing at the back, I love any excuse to show off my tattoos! In addition, as you've no doubt noticed, the dress is pretty fitted which would normally fill us curvier girls with fear but the print has been designed in such a way that it nips you in. 
It's a combination of the subtle details which balance this dress out really well and make it one of the favourites in my wardrobe, it's just a shame I don't wear it often enough.  As you can see, I paired the outfit with some of my favourite boots and this cute Primark necklace which I felt fit with the Aztec theme.

What do you think? How would you style this dress? 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Estelle & Thild Rose Otto Night Cream - A Review

So, my Elemis Oxygenating Night Cream finally bit the dust. This saddened me greatly as I seriously loved this stuff but it's pretty frikken expensive all things considered and there were a few other alternatives that I fancied trying before I took the plunge and repurchased. 

Anyways, the point of this story is that I'm pretty taken with rummaging through the skincare section of my local TK Maxx and this has led to me discovering a few goodies from Swedish Brand Estelle & Thild at just a fraction of the usual RRP. Naturally I picked up the Rose Otto night cream and you may recall I reviewed their eye cream a while back? 
This little beauty only set me back £14.99 as opposed to the usual retail price of £49.99 so I'm convinced I got myself an absolute steal here. As I've mentioned before, the real appeal of Estelle & Thild was that their products are natural and organic which means no chemical nasties going on my skin. In addition, this particular product is free from Parabens, Mineral Oils and even alcohol which can really wreck havoc on sensitive and dehydrated skin. I would like to point out that as this product contains no preservatives, the rose smell is not as prominent as I would have expected.
As I like to be a helpful soul I've taken a picture of the ingredients label so you guys can see exactly what's in here! I love the fact that the label even tells you that this stuff is 99.4% natural and of this, well over 30% of the ingredients are organic which is just what I need when my skin is misbehaving.
As you can see this particular cream is incredibly thick and is very rich but given it's full of Shea Butter this shouldn't really come as much of a surprise. In addition to the nourishing stuff, it also contains Omega 3,6 and 9 in addition to Amino Acids. All of these ingredients work with your skin to keep it glowing, soft and most importantly for me, hydrated. 
Whilst this cream is certainly rich as you can tell from the above picture, my skin drank this stuff up ridiculously quickly and it looked wonderful the following morning, whilst this may be a little to heavy for the summer months, I anticipate that this stuff will be a total lifesaver as the temperature dips. All in all, for the princely sum of £14.99 I certainly am not complaining.

Have you used the Estelle & Thild Rose Otto Night Cream? Is there anything else in the range you'd recommend I try?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Tuesday Tasties No.49 - Feeling Sweet

Yay, my blog is almost 1 year old, I've decided to put together a compilation of some of my favourite recipes from the past. This week, it's time to appreciate some you time with something for those of you with a sweet tooth.

So first up we have the Clean & Lean Pancakes which formed my second ever food based post here on What Laura Loves Today. These little beauties are delicious and make more than enough for four which is ideal if you're hosting and don't fancy cooking up a full English. The not so secret ingredient is actually cottage cheese, everyone I've made these for is pretty surprised they can't taste the cheese at all! They're well worth a go and only take minutes to fling together.
Next, it's time to sing Ad's praises as he's a dab hand when it comes to baking and this loaf is one of his signature bakes. I mean, he has seriously got the technique on this bad boy down. Of course, I'm talking about his Lemon & Poppyseed Loaf which is quick and fairly easy to fling together and doesn't require to many ingredients so is pretty darn cheap to boot.
The final recipe which I'm going to share with you today is another one of Ad's creations. By this of course I mean that he baked this lovely looking cake with his bare hands including the crumble topping and the whisking of the eggs. Of course, this is the Apple Streusel Cake, I've always imagined that this is what it would look like if apple crumble and cinnamon cookies decided to have a baby. It is that good, the cinnamon is lovely and comforting and the crumble topping against the softness of the apples just warms the cockles of even the coldest of hearts. This is one of my favourites, Ad really is good isn't he?

Be sure to keep your peepers peeled for some more Tuesday Tasties Compilations coming your way, if there's something specific you're after be sure to let me know.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Outfit of the Day - Pretty in Pink

A couple of weekends ago we started the celebrations for Ad's 30th Birthday! As a birthday treat I took Ad to see Imogen Heap at the Roundhouse in Camden so I wanted to wear something comfy enough that I could stand on my feet for 4 hours (we opted for standing tickets so we could sneak as close to the stage as possible), something that would keep me warm on the walk home but I also needed something that wouldn't make me overheat in the concert hall either. Wow, that's a long list of needs eh?

Whilst the weather in the UK has taken a turn for the worst, I don't think you can beat a pair of super cute shorts!
This week I'm wearing a mix of goodies, I think everything is from a different store but that's what makes fashion fun eh?

Top: Adjustable Cami - Primark  
Jumper: Oliver Bonas
Shorts: Zara
Shoes: Accessorize
Bag: Marks & Spencer

I picked these cute culotte style numbers up months ago as I fell in love with the print! The mix of purple, red and a variety of pinks means your outfit can be kept summery in feel when the weather is peachy, yet when the temperature drops, the shorts can be paired with more autumnal plum based shades. The shorts sit slightly higher on the waist than most and have a concealed zip which keep things sweet and delicate. As you've probably spotted they also have pockets which came in handy mid-concert when I didn't have the space to keep diving into my bag for bits and pieces.
On this occasion I chose to keep my outfit fairly girly and added a light sweater to keep me warm on the walk home. The cut out detailing kept the whole thing feeling pretty and feminine but I'll be honest, this sweater has a tendency to catch if you're not careful so it isn't always the most practical of pieces. I love the whole slouchy feel to this sweater, comfort over practicality and all that jazz I suppose.
Now, onto my favourite part of this outfit my shoes, I actually picked these up from Accessorize in the sale and I can't get enough of them. At first I wasn't quite convinced by the whole slipper trend but the light grey colour and pink flamingos just make me smile. I mean, heels and concerts aren't really the best choice if you're standing so these just seemed to fit the bill in terms of my needs.
Aren't they cute? Whilst my feet were a little achy towards the end of the evening, there's no doubting that these were the best shoes for the job.

What do you think of this outfit? How would you style these shorts?
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