Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Avon: Pore Penetrating Black Mineral Mask Review

I bought this before Xmas from Avon and with all my Xmas swag I hadn’t had chance to try this until now, plus with the cold winter weather wreaking havoc on my skin its a perfect time to try. I bought it for £2.50 when it was on special offer but its RRP is £5, if you fancy trying it out its on offer at the moment on the website for £3.

This mask claims to “Leave skin deeply cleansed, refreshed and matte and unblocks pores”

The mask is black and is a really nice thick consistency; you can really slather this all over your face without it dripping down your neck. Once you have applied it to your face or trouble zones then you need to let it set, the packaging recommends 10-15mins for this, when its time to take it off it will have changed colour from black to grey. I washed mine off with warm water and a muslin cloth and I have to say my face felt lovely once I’d taken it off, really smooth and soft. Obviously I can’t say it made a dramatic difference to my skin after just one use but I will continue to keep using it. Also I have to say my boyfriend has used this a few times on his T-zone and as it’s black it’s slightly more manly!

 Has anyone else tried this or has any other face masks they can recommend?

Sunday, 19 January 2014

2014 Blogger Challenge: Winter Skincare

The next topic for the 2014 Blogger Challenge is winter skincare so today I'm sharing my skincare routine with you. I have a whole cupboard of lotions and potions but this year I'm not going to buy any more until I have used everything I already have, this is what I am currently using.

Left to right:
No7 Eye Makeup Remover, No7 Beautiful Skin Hot Cloth Cleanser, Cocobutter Vaseline, No7 Protect and Perfect Day Cream, No7 Protect and Perfect Night Cream, Burts Bees Hand and Nail cream, Sanctuary Body Moisture Spray, Soap and Glory Slender Body Contouring Gel.
1) I got a Boots No7 set for Xmas and I love it! I start off by removing my eye make up with the remover and a cotton pad, my daily make up usually consist of a black cat eye with lashings of black mascara so I find I need to take the excess off before I get to the cleanser.
2) I then use the No7 Hot Cloth Cleanser with a muslin cloth to take the rest of my makeup off and cleanse my face, I love this stuff and will defiantly buy this once I run out. I also use it when I wake up in the morning to wash my face with.
3) Vaseline is in everybody's cupboard because it's such a good staple, I have hundreds all over the house and in all my different bags, I use it before I go to bed mostly on my lips and on any sore areas on my face, lather it up and let it sink in while you sleep.
4) After I've cleansed my face I apply either the day cream before I apply my make up or the night cream before I go to bed. The day cream has SPF 15 in it, I ALWAYS make sure my face creams have SPF in because even in winter your skin can be damaged by UV rays.
5) I get really sore dry chapped hands in the winter especially so I have a constant supply of hand cream with me everywhere I go, this little tub is perfect for small bags and a little really does go far. Its a really yummy honey almond smell too.
6) I got this travel size Sanctuary Body Moisture Spray in another gift set for Xmas too, I've used it before and loved it to I was happy when I got this. I prefer to use oil sprays instead of cream moisturisers on my body after  a shower its just a personal preference on the texture.
7) Lastly (when I remember) I use the Soap and Glory Body Contouring Gel, It claims to minimise the appearance of cellulite and helps to tone the skin. Now there's only a very lucky few of us who don't have cellulite and I'm not one of them, I wouldn't say that this will get rid of cellulite or tone your skin but when it dries it does make your skin feel tighter and gives you that extra bit of confidence.
What's your winter skincare? If you've taken part in the challenge comment below so I can make sure I read your posts!

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Sunday Dinner: Week 2 Spaghetti Squash

So last week I cooked crispy potatoes as my new recipe for the week and they were delicious! This week I'm trying something I've wanted to try for ages; Spaghetti Squash.

I found the recipe on Pinterest, click here to go to my pinned recipes. The recipe can be found on which you can go directly to here.

What you need:
1 squash
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup finely minced parsley (or basil)
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
What you need to do:
  1. Preheat oven to 190oc / Gas mark 5/ 375F. Cut in half lengthways, de-seed and place on a baking tray. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a  knife pierces easily through the flesh. Let squash cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Using a fork to scrape the squash to get long strands like spaghetti. If the squash seems difficult to scrape, return the squash to bake for an additional 10 minutes.
  3. Heat a large saute pan with the butter and the garlic over medium-low heat. When garlic becomes fragrant, add parsley, salt and spaghetti squash strands. Toss well, sprinkle in the parmesan cheese and taste to see if you need additional salt. The spaghetti squash should have a slight crunch (i.e. not mushy) - but if you like it softer, cover the pan and cook 2 more minutes.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

January Wishlist

1. Zara cobalt blue long sleeved top with leather cuffs £29.99
2. Warehouse geometric parrot print dress £36.00
3. Warehouse high rise skinny jeans in black £42.00
4. Topshop knitted sheer tunic £38.00
5. Next Black knee-high low heel boots £95.00
6. Topshop satin strappy bralet £22.00
Just because Christmas has passed doesn't mean the cold weather has, gone are the festive Christmas jumpers and instead here comes slinky layers in winter colours. At the moment I'm loving good old black (black will always be the new black don't listen to anyone who tells you different) with winter whites, greys and strong blues and a nod to autumnal jewel tones. I also love mixing textures hence the light knit with leather, jersey and satin, I'd probably throw on my fur gillet or stole if I was wearing 3,4, & 5. What's on your January Wishlist?

Sunday Dinner: Week 1

If you've read my previous new years resolution post you'll know that one of my goals was to try cooking new things. Well today is week 1 and I thought I'd share these with you and you might even want to try some of the recipes yourself. So today we will be eating crispy potatoes for dinner.

Obviously I've had potatoes before so there's nothing new there, but I've never cooked them like this and they look seriously delicious!

I got this recipe after trawling through Pinterest, click here to see my other pinned recipes.  

What you need to do:
1) Slice the potatoes thinly almost all of the way through
2) Drizzle over butter, a little oil, sea salt and black pepper.
3) Bake in a pre-heated oven at 225oc/ Gas mark 7
If you want to make it healthier you don't have to add the butter, just rub or spray a little veg oil on the outside of the potatoes. The butter makes the potatoes creamier and the oil prevents the butter from burning but you don't have to add it, you could even try adding a little Cajun spice to the outside of the potatoes.  
I'm going to make a no pastry quiche (another way to save calories and make your meal a bit healthier) and salad to go with these. Let me know if you've had these before or are going to try them!

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

New Years Resolutions

It's that time of year again! Now I have to say like most people I'm full of good intentions at the start of the year then it all goes downhill from about April time so this year I have some smaller more manageable challenges.

1) Everyone should always take chances and try new things so my first resolution is to cook new foods. I have sooooooo many cook books but I hardly use them, I bake all the time and am constantly trying new cake and cupcake recipes but main meals are slightly in a weekly cycle. So me and my partner have decided to take this on together and once a week we are going to cook something new!

2) My second one is to take more photographs. I always regret not taking a photograph to record a memory at a particular moment in time and there is no excuse! I have a decent camera on my phone which I always carry with me so this one is mainly down to me remembering to take it! - I now have Instagram so this may help - follow me here

3) My partner and I have both agreed to do more exercise (probably on everyones list!). We are very good at this though! I love Gillian Michaels, she's a personal trainer you may have seen on the Biggest Loser and she is tough! I have almost all of her fitness DVDs and we love them, they are difficult to start with but man do they work! I got the killer buns and thighs for xmas which we've done almost everyday and I've just ordered her yoga DVD. We've decided to use the morning time to also get a workout in even if its 10minute abs, not everyday but an increase is better than nothing!

4) My fourth resolution is to blog more! I am new to the blogging world and I would like to continue and to build my readership in 2014 so if you decide to follow me make sure you leave a comment so I can take a look at your blog too!

5) And Finally! my fifth new years resolution is to wear more of my wardrobe, like many people I tend to wear the same pieces over and over again. Last year I said that I was not going to buy any clothes for a whole year, well you can imagine how that worked out! I lasted a whole 4 months and then I finally cracked April/May time. So instead in a bid to spend less and save more I am going to wear more of the clothes I already have instead of buying more.

What are your New Years Resolutions?

2014 Blogger Challenge: New Years inspiration

Ok so first post of the New Year and for the 2014 blogger challenge! I have to admit I found this a difficult challenge, I can imagine that most people will be posting similar themes to me but then I suppose for this challenge it makes sense!

I believe that you should be all you can be, if you know you can do better than you should do better but not if it makes you unhappy. I think too many people settle in life whether that's in relationships, friendships, lifestyle or their job the latter of which is a particular problem for me.

I had to make a difficult decision at work, a teaching position has opened up and I wasn't sure whether I should apply. I know that I am qualified and that I am capable of the post but after a lot of thinking about it (and getting rather upset) I've realised that I don't want to go back into teaching and that is something that should be left in 2013. After a year starting out as a data assistant in a school I've worked my way up to timetable manager and although the pay is nothing like I used to get for teaching I don't get any of the hassle from the students, long nights and weekends planning and marking or teaching politics, at the end of the day I can come home and spend time with my family and blog!. So yeah I could have got a 'better' job and more money but what is the point if you're not happy?

Life's too short, so take chances but only if they are going to make you happy!

Ellie xxx