Something Special for Someone Special

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Can you believe that Valentine's day is almost here!? One minute it's Christmas, New blink and then before you know it, it's the middle of February! 

Even though I'm without a significant other *sob*, I still think Valentine's day is a time to share with your loved ones, whether that's romantically or not, and spoil them with chocolate, cards and flowers. Or how about with pearls?! They're a timeless classic that give any outfit that touch of elegance and will be a gift your person can keep forever.

I was delighted to receive these gorgeous gorgeous earrings* from absolute pearls. They arrived beautifully wrapped in white paper and a black fact it was so nicely wrapped that I was a bad blogger and didn't take a photo as excitement took over and I'd torn into it..sorry! But trust me that it was pretty :)

The red box is a lovely touch!

I've never owned real pearls before, I usually wear fake stud ones, but I can really tell the difference with these beauties! You can read about how to tell if your pearls are real right here!

Isn't it crazy that they come out of Oysters!! 

I can't decide if they look like little cherries or if it's a bow on the top, but they are very girly and sparkly! 

How will you be celebrating Valentine's Day? 

And.... if you absolutely hate the day.....fear not. February 17th is PANCAKE DAY!!!

Healthy Lunches on the go

Monday, 19 January 2015

It's that time of year where we're all promising ourselves we'll be healthier, in an effort to shed those extra Christmas pounds we no doubt gained.. My upcoming exams have also meant that I'm stuffing my face with more chocolate than usual.. not the healthiest start to 2015 shall we say..

I was sent this rather fancy Black&Blum Lunch Box* from Utility! Utility is one of my favourite shops, selling lots of cute stationary, jewellery, home ware and other great gift ideas!! I highly recommend checking out their website!

This Box encourages me to act on 3 of my New Year resolutions; eat healthier, cook more and save money!

1. I will hopefully be using this to make healthy lunches
2. Making my own lunches will involve some experimental cooking at times
3. By making my lunch, I won't buy it out - saving!

win, win and win

The different compartments means that your soggy salad days are over!! I like to keep my dressings in the little corner compartment. The larger one is perfect for keeping your sandwiches in, or for separating hot food from cold food - yes it is microwavable too!!

The lid has a circular indent, into which you can pour your sauces for dipping! And the fork has a curved edge which you can use to cut things! I have soooo many ideas for different lunches I can make with this. It makes lunch times more exciting and I find that if I pre-prepare a healthy meal, then I'm less likely to grab something less healthy when 'Hanger' (angry/ get it) kicks in!

The first thing I made with this was a pretty simple salad with pomegranate and goat's cheese! And an olive oil, lemon & lime and black pepper dressing. Doesn't it look smart too?!

The box comes in a range of different colours and also sizes! It looks like such good quality and it's so different to other lunch boxes out there so I definitely think it's worth the £16.95 that it costs, especially since you'll be using it pretty much every day.

You can buy your very own from here :)

What kind of things do you make as a healthy lunch?

Tea for two & two for tea

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Afternoon tea is one of my absolute favourite things to do in the world when catching up with friends, so when I found a voucher offering this at a nearby country house (Crathorne Hall), my 'eat healthier in 2015' new year's resolution went straight out the window and I was promptly on the phone making a reservation for me and my fellow food loving friend, Rachel. 

The outside of the house was stunning, so I can see why it's such a popular wedding venue in our area. It has gorgeous wooded grounds as well. The trees reminded me of Twilight and I half expected Robert Pattinson to pop out at any moment..he didn't. 

 On our arrival, we were greeted by a very lovely lady at reception, who walked us through to the 'grand drawing room.' It was very cosy despite it being a pretty big room! There was a fire roaring away at one end and then a large window at the other that looked onto the pretty woodland outside. 

 You can't help but feel a little posh having loose tea leaves! 

I couldn't help but imagine  living in a house like this, curling up by the window, engrossed in a book..

For those of you that like the deets, the sandwiches were Smoked Salmon, Wensleydale Cheese & Tomato, Ham & Mustard and then of course Cucumber! We then had a fruit scone and a plain scone each with clotted cream (my favourite!!) and strawberry jam.

Sweet treats wise, we had a Chocolate & Orange marmalade tart, Victoria Sponge, Apple & Rhubarb Trifle and Fruit Cake with Wensleydale Cheese.

The scones were very light and fluffy in the middle, as a scone should be! Jam first or cream first? - we  of course had that ol' biscuit of a debate. 

I did get a little snap happy with the food, but everything looked so dainty and cute that I couldn't hold back. Don't be fooled though, as dainty and cute as it may look, it was very filling and we didn't move for about an hour after we finished everything. Yep everything! I felt anything but dainty and cute after all of that!

If you've never been for afternoon tea then I highly highly recommend it! It's something a bit different to just going out for lunch and feels quite special actually :) 

Anna, the 7th Dutchess of Bedford started Afternoon Tea in the early 19th century when she complained about having "that sinking feeling" in the late afternoon. I feel like we would have been the best of friends. Anna, you know the score!

at the moment

Sunday, 11 January 2015

With exams looming, I've been a bit of a hermit for the last couple weeks and life hasn't been its most eventful ....but don't dismay... I've still managed to have some lovely little occurrences :) It's so easy to get down when you're in revision mode so it's important to try and do some nicer things when you can. Here's a few snaps of things that have kept me going..

1. This is the third time I've made this mouthwatering, chocolatey, delicious, 'put on a stone when you look at it' cake! It just never disappoints. I made it for a dinner party I was invited to and it really did go down a treat. You can find the recipe here and an alternative way to decorate it here :) 

2. I did a post about Olivia Burton watches a while ago and I mentioned that mine had a lighter watch strap which got rather mucky! Well it's finally had a little revamp in the form of a brand new black strap :) I think I might even prefer it in black, it does look so smart! It rarely leaves my wrist anymore. 

3. The Little Shop of Hopes and Dreams - How cute is the name of this book please?! My best friend got me it for Christmas and I've become a bookworm ever since. I've been reading a few chapters in bed every night with my candles burning - it's a great way to unwind as it's such a light hearted story. 

4. I was so excited to get my Soap and Glory Box this Christmas. It was amazing value at £30 for ten full size products. I didn't write a review as I know there's already a tonne out there, plus by the time I got it, it was out of stock so I didn't think it would be fair. Definitely keep an eye out for their deals next Christmas though :) I hadn't really used many of their products apart from Hand Food before and I am so impressed. The Righteous Butter and Sugar Scrub are my favourite for a good pamper sesh! They smell amazing and the fragrance really does cling to your skin, making you smell fabulous all day!!

5. I've not been wearing make up so much whilst I've been revising, but when I do make it out of the house, I've loved using my new Urban Decay On the Run palette :) The lipgloss is probably my favourite thing in it! Read a full review on it here!

6. My Brother and his Girlfriend went to York the other week and came back with drinking fudge which I didn't even know existed! It was a great alternative to hot chocolate and came in all sorts of flavours including irish cream (so basically baileys yayyy) If you find yourself in York, be sure to visit the Fudge kitchen AND if you time it right and pop in when they're doing a fudge making demonstration, hang about till the end..they give out free samples!!

7. This is my little princess, Darcey :) She's a Syrian hamster with huge ears and a little pink nose! I only got her last month and she was so shy and skittish, but now she struts around her cage like a little diva and loves coming out for cuddles. My trusty little companion!

8. As a big food lover with a big big appetite, I was so excited when my parents said we were going out for Sunday dinner. I know some people have it on a weekly basis, but we hardly ever do! Plus we went to my favourite restaurant - Chadwicks!!! It was a good excuse to step away from my uni work for a couple hours!

9. This is my friend's little kitten, Midget :) She's super cuddly and kept snuggling into my coat and purring. There's something very soothing about a cat's purr!

What do you do to keep yourself sane  positive in between revision or even during stressful times in general?

Good luck to all of you that have exams coming up - remember it all pays off in the end and if it's getting a little too much, have a tea break, it usually helps!

Feeling 22.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

I turned 22 on the 19th I am very late in putting up this post!! Now that the Christmas hectic-ness is over (*sob*), I've finally had chance to pull all the pictures together.

My best friend came to visit me in Liverpool, followed by mother goose the next day. As you're about to see, a lot of it revolved around food, so if you weren't hungry, well....

 Look familiar? Yes! Liverpool has its very own Central Perk which is pretty much identical to the one in Friends. They even have 'that Sofa', where you can sip away at your speciality coffee and watch episodes of Friends back to back! This was the perfect place to start off my few days of birthday celebrations :)

I'd just rushed from my lectures to meet my friend Rachel at the train station, so arrived at Central Perk all hot and bothered, so we both went for an ice cold apple juice this time. We may have also indulged in a white chocolate cheesecake AND a chocolate orange cheesecake... 

The next day, which was my actual birthday, we went to Byron burger for lunch...I'm not a massive burger fan but they were just so unbelievably good and tasted so fresh - so much so that you could almost convince yourself that they were healthy..almost.

I'm a huge gherkin fan so was delighted that a huge gherkin arrived on the side :)

 We couldn't decide between normal chips and courgette naturally we went for both..why choose? 

A quick stop in John Lewis to visit our old friend Monty!!

 We ended the day in The Smugglers Cove which has a Ship theme as you can probably tell. They're known for doing the yummiest rum-based drinks and it sits by the Albert Dock which looks stunning at night. I'm not a lover of rum, so went for my favourite Pineapple and Passionfruit mojito!!

Parma ham, Chorizo, Houmous and Brie - can a platter get any better?

And to round off the few days of celebrations, I went to Topshop for the personal shopper experience! I've blogged about it here if you want to read about it in more detail, but if not, here's me posing very awkwardly (look at that bent leg please) in my gorgeous gorgeous blue coat that I just couldn't part with!!

Naked on the Run

Friday, 2 January 2015

Ever since I tried Urban Decay's Naked eyeshadow palette, I've always been keen to try more of their Naked range, so when I heard about their release of the Naked on the Run palette, my feet were pretty much already marching towards Debenhams in the hope of getting my little mits on one of my own.

 If you're already in love from the first photo, then just click here and grab your own for £37!

Is it just me that thinks the pattern on the box is kind of camouflaged inspired? It's so pretty and shiny, it was never going to be something I could walk away from...and this is just the outer packaging. 

Inside, you get six new eyeshadow shades; Dive, Fix, Resist, Dare, Stun and 5050! They're all neutral and perfect for creating a natural look. The lighest shade, 5050, is bigger than the others, and makes a great highlighter! There's also a bronzer and a blusher. The blusher is a bit too pink for me on its own so I usually mix it with the bronzer or just wear it in the evening. 

The lipgloss is full size, so I can see it lasting for ages! It's shade is called Sesso. I've never tried Ubran Decay's lipglosses before but I am very tempted to get more! I don't even like lipgloss (not a fan of the hair stuck to face scenario you get on windy days) but I do love this one. It's only a few shades darker than my own lips so it's not too 'in your face' when on your face...that was terrible I know...

The glide on eyeliner than comes with the set does literally glide on. The pigment is very dark too so you don't have to keep layering it on and messing up the smooth line you originally had! The only problem I have is that it gets blunt very quickly, and maybe it's just me with a rubbish sharpener, but I've not been able to get it into a point like how it was when I got it - bit frustrating! 

Finally, you get the Perversion mascara. It's good but I still prefer Benefit's They're Real by a mile! I'd still happily use this one if I was staying away for the weekend as it you can just pick up this palette and go. 

Naked on the Run really is great for girls that go away alot at the weekend or that just travel about in general! All the pieces fit neatly into the pretty little box they come in - and did I mention it has a rather big mirror? All you need extra is some foundation, powder and your makeup brushes.

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