Wednesday, 29 October 2014

How To Make Homemade Shaving Cream/Oil



Recently I have been loving making homemade beauty products from lip balms and lip scrub! I was thinking of what I could make next when shaving cream popped into my mind.

In the past whenever I used a store bought shaving cream I never had very good reactions to them. I started using hair conditioner instead which I found a lot more gentle on my skin. However I think homemade products are fun to make and you know more about what goes into them.

I would say this has more of an oil consistency but it made my skin so soft!


What you will need
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup shea butter
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp sweet almond oil
5 drops vitamin e oil
5 drops essential oil (I used lavender)
2 tbsps baking soda


  • Melt the coconut oil and shea butter together on the lowest heat on the stove
  • Add the olive oil and sweet almond oil. Mix together
  • Add the drops of vitamin e and essential oil
  • Pour into a container, stir it and then put it in the fridge until it hardens
  • Remove from fridge, let soften and add the baking soda
  • Whisk until you have a creamy consistency
  • Store in a cool, dark place
This would also be perfect all of the bearded gents out there!

Let me know if you try this :)
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Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Arbonne: Perfecting Liquid Foundation



I am not normally someone who wears foundation as I have always found them too heavy. Instead I tend to stick to my trusty Rimmel Wake Me Up concealer. Ashly from Ashly London gave me a sample and I decided to give it a go! Ashly is a consultant for Arbonne and always raves about their products so I had good feelings about it.

In case you don't know much about Arbonne, they are a cruelty free beauty company which was founded in Switzerland. Their products are free from parabens and are also vegan friendly!

There are 15 shades available in the Perfecting Liquid foundation range and I found that quite impressive! I chose the shade of "porcelain" which I believe is the second lightest shade. It matched my skin tone perfectly.

The foundation went onto my skin smoothly and didn't cling onto any dry patches - using a primer also helps. The foundation is described as a medium coverage but for someone who doesn't normally wear foundation, I didn't feel that it was too heavy at all. Instead my skin almost felt silky and soft. It looks very natural which I love.

Another great benefit of this foundation is that is has an SPF of 15. I am a firm believer in applying an SPF to face daily - it is so important to protect your skin even if it doesn't look "sunny" outside!

The Perfecting Liquid foundation lasted all day and unlike some foundations which I have previously used, my skin wasn't oily towards the end of the day. Instead it was lovely and matte.

I would definitely recommend this foundation if you are wanting to try something new.

It is available on Arbonne's website for £31.

Have you tried any of Arbonne's products before? What did you think?
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Monday, 27 October 2014

Places To Visit: Banff, Canada

While in Calgary I also went to Banff National Park. It is the most mesmerizing place I have ever been. I remember searching it on Instagram before I went and I thought it was beautiful and it is a million times more beautiful in person!

The original day we planned to go it was pouring rain and foggy so we rescheduled and I am so glad we did! I recommend heading to Banff in the morning so you can stop at Rocky Mountain Bagel Co for breakfast in Canmore. Their bagels are the best!

On the drive there we pulled over multiple times so that I could get snap happy. On your way you'll be surrounded by beautiful mountain views and blue lakes.






The first lake we went to was Lake Louise. We arrived around lunch time and struggled to find somewhere to park so I would recommend going early in the morning. The lake is absolutely breath taking. Lake Louise is a beautiful turquoise colour thanks to the water coming from the glaciers... no Instagram filter needed here ;)
We also tried to visit Moraine Lake but again it was impossible to get parked, worse than Lake Louise. 



Banff Gondola is something you must do while there! It gives you spectacular views of the mountains and lakes from above. You also get a pretty awesome view of Banff Springs Hotel. The gondola ride takes you to the top of Sulphar Mountain. I was quite scared at first as it started climbing up, haha. Once you get to the top make sure you climb the steps up Sanson's Peak. The steps look steep but the views are totally worth it and you can get some great photos! 


After the gondola ride we popped down to Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel for a wander. The hotel is a famous wedding venue as well as simply being known for it's beautiful building and surroundings. We went to one of the hotel's many restaurants and grabbed a quick bite for lunch and a cocktail. I had the cranberry and mojito cocktail. Delicious and refreshing! 



A novelty store in Banff is "Spirit of Christmas." It is an all year round Christmas store...my idea of fun! As I walked in I heard the jingle of Christmas songs and was in my element. I loved looking at all of the moving Christmas houses and ornaments. They also had a Halloween section while I was there!


A photo of a little friend I made in Banff! That is what I loved most about Banff, you never know what you might see!
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Friday, 24 October 2014

Avocado Banana Breakfast Smoothie



The other morning I was really wanting a smoothie so I looked around the kitchen to see what I could throw together and I decided to try avocado, blueberry and banana. It was delicious and very filling.

Benefits of avocado
Avocados are such a super-food.They are full of protein, fibre, potassium, vitamin c and vitamin b.

Benefits of banana
Bananas are full of pectin which helps with digestion and removing toxins from the body. They also help absorb much needed nutrients.

Benefits of blueberries
They are full of antioxidants which helps boost the immune system and fight infections.

What you will need
1 ripe avocado peeled
1 banana
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup of natural yoghurt
1 cup almond milk (or soy/rice/hazelnut etc)
1 tbsp pure honey
(You could also add some oats)

  • Blend all of the ingredients together 
  • You can add cinnamon or chia seeds on top if you wish
I have a few other smoothie recipes to share too! What is your favourite type of smoothie? 
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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Calgary: Places To Eat

Following on from my post about Calgary, I decided to share some great places to eat there. Unfortunately I don't have any photos from the meals because I devoured them so quick before I could snap away!

Diners
Getting to enjoy the diner experience was one of the highlights of Calgary. In the UK we don't really have the novelty of going to diners at weekends so this was great fun for me.

Diner Deluxe  was the first diner that we went to. When Dan lived here, this was one of his favourite diners. We went during the week and it was still quite busy. I had the Eggs Benedict which is served with rosemary hash browns. The hash browns were out of this world...they are nothing like the "hash browns" that sometimes get served in the UK. I also had a strawberry iced tea which was served in a really cute jar (inner Pinterest girl excitement). You can find Diner Deluxe on Twitter!

OEB
OEB (Over Easy Breakfast) is located on the same street as Diner Deluxe. We went on a week day and even though it was torrential rain, there was a queue outside. I can't even imagine what the queue would be like on weekends. While we were waiting the lovely staff took our name and gave us some banana bread to munch on. They sure know how to keep the customers sweet! I have to say I was overwhelmed by the menu...it is huge. I finally made the choice of "Breakfast in Tuscany." I was served a huge plate of poached eggs, sun-dried tomatoes, prosciutto, rye bread, herb potatos and fresh fruit. It was delicious! You could see people in the diner glancing over to the tables next to them to see what fellow breakfast lovers had ordered. You can find OEB on Twitter!

Restaurants

Little Lebanon
Don't be put off by the exterior or interior of Little Lebanon. In the UK "donair" is something that you will get when you're stumbling home at 2am in the morning after a night out however that is not the case with Little Lebanon. Little Lebanon is a haven of delicious and authentic Lebanese food. It is ran by the friendliest people who are very welcoming. On our arrival we were greeted by the owner who knew Dan, once we got inside we were both given some Baklava...mine was gone within a second. We then ordered chicken pockets. It is a pocket filled with chicken, mixed vegetables and delicious garlic sauce. I honestly think it was one of the best things I've ever had. Little Lebanon don't have social media accounts but you can find them on Trip Advisor!

Broken Plate
Broken Plate is a Greek restaurant. I had never been to a Greek restaurant before but I love it. To start I had the hummus with pita breads. It was the most delicious hummus I have had. I then had the salmon exohiko. It is salmon wrapped in filo with spinach, feta, rice pilaf and vegetables. So delicious. So filling. You can find Broken Plate on Trip Advisor!

The Palomino
The Palomino is somewhere else you have to go into with an open mind. The interior is "rustic" to fit the theme of BBQ. I can't describe how much I loved this place and can't wait to go back. We sat in the courtyard outside as it was a lovely day. I had the pulled pork with the garlic fries. The pulled pork was juicy and smoky...divine. And I am pretty sure you could smell the garlic on me for a few days but it was so worth it ;) The staff were very friendly and attentive as well. The Palomino had a mix of everyone eating there from business men and trades men. You can find The Palomino on Twitter!

Other

Teavana
Although owned by Starbucks, Teavana is not a franchise that we have yet in the UK. I have to say I would choose it over Starbucks any day. It is a unique, relatively healthy and a fun concept. When you walk in you are faced with a wall of teas in boxes. It might seem a little over-whelming but the staff are super friendly and will talk you through them. When you decide there's one you want to try they let you smell it to make sure you are certain. Some of my favourites were the Oprah chai, chocolate chai and zingiber ginger coconut tea. I recommend going to Teavana in Chinook Mall. You can find Teavana on Twitter!

Tim Hortons
All I have to say is try the Double Double. I am so gutted there's not Tim Hortons in the UK as is it the best coffee I have had from a franchise. You can find Tim Hortons on Twitter!




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Perfume Challenge: Marc Jacobs, Dot



Perfume: Marc Jacobs, Dot
Top notes: honeysuckle, red berries and pitahaya
Middle notes: jasmine, orange blossom and coconut
Base notes: driftwood, vanilla and musk

I love Dot by Marc Jacobs for every day use. It is a fruity, floral and young smell. It smells quite sweet so I could understand why it may not be to everyone's taste.

I think that it is a "fun" scent and it reminds me of good memories - it was the perfume I wore when Dan and I started dating.

For me the perfume lasts all day and I receive compliments when I wear it. As much as I adore Marc Jacob's bottle designs this one is really difficult to carry about in a handbag or when travelling.
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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Place To Visit: Calgary, Canada.

In August I visited Calgary, Alberta, which is located on the west side of Canada. I just missed the Calgary Stampede event which is held in July of every year.
There's a lot of things to do in Calgary whether indoors or outdoors. I am going to give you a list of my favourite places that I visited.


Calgary Tower is a must see for any tourist visiting the city. 1228 metres above sea level, it hosts the tallest observation deck in the world. Calgary Tower also has a restaurant, Sky 360, which rotates giving you a full view of the city from above. If you're brave enough you can sit down on the glass floor and look down at the toy sized cars and people! Calgary Tower gives you beautiful views of The Rocky Mountains in the distance and of the city below. I loved going to Calgary Tower as I had never done anything like it before.


Prince's Island Park is the perfect place to go for a walk on a sunny day - Calgary is the sunniest city in Canada. The park is home to many festivals, shows and events so if you are there at the right time you might stumble across one. There's also plenty of areas within the park to enjoy a picnic...just watch out for the sneaky wildlife. Warning: over lunch time the park is FULL of runners. This made me feel extremely guilty after having a massive lunch, ha ha.


Calgary Zoo is split into different sections: Destination Africa, Canadian Wilds, Dorothy Harvie Botanical Gardens, Eurasia, Prehistoric Park and Penguin Plunge. There's so much to do here and it's a great way to spend the afternoon! It definitely isn't just for children. My favourite part of the zoo was the botanical gardens and the butterfly house. You could watch the butterflies hatch which I found so fascinating.


Located at least at hour outside of Calgary, you will need a car to get to The Royal Tyrell Museum but it is definitely worth it. Being the secret geek that I am, I was in my element when we finally arrived at the museum. The museum walks you through the 3 billion year history of earth, from when dinosaurs were around to present day life. I felt in awe of everything that was there - the dinosaur hall, the Devonian Reef and the Cretaceous garden.  Another really interesting aspect of the museum was the preparation lab which gave us the opportunity to watch the technicians prepare the fossils to go on exhibition. I would love to go back to this museum in the future. 

Have you been to Calgary? What was your favourite thing to do?
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Perfume Challenge: Jo Malone Wisteria and Violet



Perfume: Jo Malone, Wisteria and Violet
Perfume notes: water lily, wisteria, violet and patchouli

Jo Malone launched the London Rain collection in March 2014. There were four perfumes released: Rain and Angelica, Jasmine and Mint, Wisteria and Violet and Black Cedar-wood and Juniper.

The idea behind the perfume collection was that each one represents a different type of rain fall. Wisteria and Violet is meant to represent a gentle morning shower.

I love the purple colour of the bottle and really think it fits the theme. Wisteria and Violet is definitely the most girly and floral scent of the four in the collection. The scent itself is quite heavy so you only need a little of it. I find the does scent get lighter after a couple of hours and it lasts all day.

I read that Wisteria and Violet pairs well with Peony and Blush so if you have them both I would love to hear your opinion!
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Monday, 20 October 2014

Perfume Challenge: Clinique Happy



Top notes: ruby red grapfruit, bergamot, west Indian mandarin tree blossom and high altitude laurel
Middle notes: boysenberry bush flower, morning dew orchid and melati blossom
Base notes: Hawaiian wedding flower, white crinium lily, Chinese golden magnolia and spring mimosa blossoms

They say that money can't buy you happiness but it can buy you Clinique Happy... I have gone through three bottles of this perfume. 

Originally released in 1997, it is a classic fragrance. Happy is an uplifting, refreshing and citrus scent. Clinique says that "these notes have never been used before in a fragrance." 

I wish I had an endless supply of Happy.  As soon as I put it on I honestly feel a little more upbeat. Happy is a light fragrance but also lasts all day.

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How To Make Easy Homemade Peppermint Lip Balm



After making my cinnamon lip scrub I decided to try and make lip balm. It is really easy and quick to do.

What you will need
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp organic cocoa butter
1 tbsp organic beeswax 
1 tbsp vitamin e oil
1 tbsp sweet almond oil
10 drops peppermint oil
10 drops vanilla oil

The essential oils I used were bought from http://www.essentialoilsonline.co.uk

  • In a bowl add the coconut oil, cocoa butter, beeswax, vitamin e oil and almond oil
  • Pour into a pot on the stove and melt on the lowest heat
  • After it has melted, remove from the heat and add the peppermint and vanilla oil
  • Pour into lip balm container 
  • Allow to cool before adding the lids

I also made a cinnamon and frankincense lip balm - you follow all of the same steps for melting on the stove and then add cinnamon and frankincense oil.

I think these lip balms would be great as a Christmas stocking filler! 

Would love to hear if you make this. 


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Sunday, 19 October 2014

Perfume Challenge: Philosophy Unconditional Love



Perfume notes: black raspberry, white lily and cashmere vanilla

I have loved the Philosophy brand for years, long before it came to the UK. The first fragrance of theirs that I owned was Summer Grace. 

My mum bought Unconditional Love for me while she was in New York. Unfortunately this fragrance isn't available in the UK. I really hope that Philosophy start to introduce more of their products to the UK soon!

Every one of Philosophy's products has a tag line and Unconditional Love's is: "love without limits." The notes of Unconditional Love gives it a "warm" smell, almost comforting. It is definitely a sweet scent but not overbearing. 

Have you tried any of Philosophy's fragrances?
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How To Make Homemade Cinnamon Lip Scrub



I was in Lush a few weeks ago when I saw that they had their "Santa's" lip scrub back in stock for Christmas
In the past I bought their "Mint Julips" lip scrub which I loved and used it once or twice a week. However, I decided that instead of spending £5.50 on one of Lush's lip scrubs, I would make my own at home and share the recipe with you!

What you will need
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp pure coconut oil
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp vitamin e oil
1 tbsp ground cinnamon 

  • Throw all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix together 
  • Transfer to a small pot with a lid (any left-overs store in a sealed box in the fridge)
  • Rub the mixture on your lips to remove dry skin
  • Wipe your lips
  • Add some lip balm to your lips to lock in moisture

The ingredients in this mixture have some benefits themselves:
  • Coconut oil is very moisturising and contains antibacterial acid
  • Honey is a component in some lip balms due to the healing abilities of it
  • Vitamin E helps to relieve the damage of chapped lips - Jo Malone even have a Vitamin E lip conditioner! 

Let me know if you make this! 
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Saturday, 18 October 2014

Budget Gym Wear: Forever 21

I used to do Pilates daily and recently I have been getting back into it. I was browsing online for gym wear when I stumbled across Forever 21. I was pleasantly surprised with their collection - it is bright and colourful.

I love Lulu Lemon but at £80 per yoga pants it's not something I would buy all of the time. Forever 21's collection reminds me of some of Lulu Lemon's pieces - such as the multiple strap sports bras and their bright yoga pants.

I have selected a few of my favourite pieces from the collection - images click through to the website.

Sports bras



Tops




Bottoms





Do you know of anywhere else to get good budget gym wear? Let me know! 

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Friday, 17 October 2014

Perfume Challenge: Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess



Top notes: amber, coconut milk, sandalwood, vanilla, vetiver and myrrh
Middle notes: mandarin, bergamot, lemon and orange
Base notes: tiare flower, jasmine, magnolia petals, orange flower buds and lavender

Every year Estee Lauder release a special edition perfume for summer - normally around April/May. I remember I first smelt Bronze Goddess when it was released in 2013 and I was at duty free so I was delighted when I saw that this year they would be releasing it again. This is a bottle that I bought in May this year and have used sparingly because it was limited edition.

Whenever I smell this perfume it automatically takes me to a tropical paradise. It smells like a holiday in a bottle. The scent lasts all day and I have often had people ask me what it is. 

I really hope that Estee Lauder release Bronze Goddess again next year! I just can't get enough of it.
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It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year



Autumn is one of my favourite times of the year. The smell of cinnamon is everywhere and the nights are getting dark earlier. I normally go crazy buying Yankee cinnamon scented candles but I discovered a cheaper way to scent your home.

What you'll need
1 pot of boiling water
2 Cinnamon sticks
Nutmeg (whole)
Cloves (whole)

  • Fill a pot with water and get it boiling
  • Crush the nutmeg
  • Throw in the cinnamon sticks and nutmeg
  • Add as much of the cloves 'til you're satisfied with the heavenly smell
  • Turn the heat down to the lowest setting and leave to simmer

I have a conjoined living-room and kitchen so the smell filled the area. Just remember to turn off the stove once you are finished.

I also took the cinnamon sticks out of the pot and kept them to make cinnamon hot chocolate - it was yummy!

Let me know in the comments if you try this.
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Thursday, 16 October 2014

Perfume Challenge: Jo Malone Earl Grey & Cucumber



Perfume notes: Bergamot, cucumber, beeswax, vanilla and musk.

Jo Malone split their colognes into seven categories: citrus, floral, fruity, woody, spicy, light floral and cologne intense. Earl Grey and Cucumber goes under the citrus category.

This is the first Jo Malone fragrance that I was introduced to. Every time I went home it would be sitting on the bathroom counter and I would give it a spray. My mum cottoned onto this so she ended up giving it to me!

Earl Grey and Cucumber is a fresh scent and I find that it lasts all day. I adore the smell of Earl Grey tea so I was delighted when I discovered this fragrance. I have read the reviews of it on Jo Malone's website and can see that many men have said they would wear it. This doesn't surprise me too much because of the bergamot and musk notes.

What is your favourite Jo Malone scent?
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Chicken Stuffed with Feta and Spinach



I posted a photo of this meal on Instagram and people left comments asking for the recipe so here it is...

Preheat oven to 200oC
Cooking time: 30 minutes

For the chicken
100 grams of spinach (1/2 cup)
1 onion
1 clove of garlic
Salt & pepper
Pinch of nutmeg
4 chicken breasts
75g feta cheese crumbled
1/4 cup flour
1 beaten egg
1/4 cup bread crumbs
Olive oil

  • Drain the spinach then sauté the chopped onion and garlic in the olive oil 
  • Add the spinach and cook for 10 minutes until the water has evaporated
  • Add salt & pepper and pinch of nutmeg
  • Let the mixture cool
  • Add the feta cheese to the mixture 
  • Make a cut in the thickest part of the chicken to make a pocket
  • Add the filling and seal the chicken
  • Toss in flour, then the eggs and breadcrumbs
  • Fry in the oil for 5 minutes
  • Bake in the oven for 15 minutes

I love this recipe! Let me know in the comments below if you try it. 


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Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Perfume Challenge: Cartier Baiser Vole



I have an addiction to perfume, so then I thought I would start the "perfume challenge."

I find that all too often I wear the same perfumes instead of mixing them up. I have challenged myself to wear a different perfume every day and write on my blog about it.

Perfume notes: Lily and Bourbon vanilla

If I hadn't received this perfume as a present for my birthday, I don't think it would have been one that was on my radar. The perfume is based on the romantic scent of lily flowers and has such a unique smell. I have never smelt another perfume like it. Whenever I wear this perfume I always have people asking me what it is. Although pricey, I love this perfume a lot so I will definitely get another bottle when mine runs out. 

I challenge other bloggers to take part as well - I would love to see your perfume collections! The amount of days you do the challenge for will depend on how many perfumes you have. Let me know in the comments below if you take part.
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Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Delicious 15 Minute Pizza



I don't know anyone who dislikes pizza so you will be delighted with this healthy pizza recipe which only takes 15 minutes to make!

Preheat oven to 200oC
Cooking time: 10-15 minutes

For the pizza
Wholemeal pita breads
Toppings: we had onions, green peppers, mushrooms and pepperoni
1 jar of pizza sauce (we used Napolina)
Mozzarella cheese


  • Chop your onion, peppers and mushroom (keep some onion aside for the salad)
  • Spread the tomato sauce to the pita bread
  • Add toppings to the pita bread
  • Sprinkle mozzarella on top
  • Put in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until the mozzarella is golden


For the salad
Lettuce
Tomatoes
Red onion
Feta cheese
Cucumber
Thyme
Oregano
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Salt & pepper


  • Throw the lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and onion into a bowl
  • Crumble feta cheese on top
  • In a small glass mix oregano, thyme, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper (there's no specific amount, I just did what suited my taste)
  • Mix the dressing into the salad 


Remove the pitas from the oven and serve! 

 


I would love to read your comments if you try this recipe.
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Monday, 13 October 2014

I have decided to start blogging again and I am really excited about it.

2014 has been a great year for me. I have had loads of opportunities to travel, that I didn't have last year.

Rome, Italy




 Paris, France




Tenerife, Spain




Calgary, Canada



Banff National Park, Canada



I look forward to keeping you up to date with my next adventures!

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