Friday, 31 October 2014

Hellooooo everyone!

We've finally reached the end of October so Happy Halloween to you all! Whilst everyone else is dressing up and going off out to parties, I'll be staying in and pampering my self to death - that's my kind of Hallow's Eve.

In typical Friday Fashion, it's another Fashion Friday outfit for you to feast one. What a lot of fashion on a Friday. I'm loving the bright, crisp yet slightly warm days where I can still wear my knits and hat but also something lighter, which brings me to this 100% me look - lots of blue, pale tones and lace mixed with comfort and femininity.

There's no joy like picking up a designer bargain, so this winter blue Burberry coat was a real steal at £50 last autumn - joy in coat form I tell you. It brightens up every outfit and gloomy winter day, and is so warm that it just makes the winter an enjoyable occasion. It also goes perfectly with my Warehouse Lace Midi Skirt*, a lovely ice blue shade which is easy to translate between seasons with a jumper or crop top - I love multi-wear items.

Coat - Burberry via Ebay (see similar) | Hat - Republic (see similar) | Jumper - Primark (see similar) | Skirt - c/o Warehouse | Boots - Topshop (see similar)

This little adorable hat was necessary buy a few years ago, I mean, those pom-poms! It's a great way add edge and height to your head if your outfit is very fitting, plus no one can resist a pom-pom hat right? These boots are also a long loved pair, with also a matching black pair if you have a keen eye ;) Well worn, great for injecting some rich tones, and totally comfortable for throwing on. Plus they totally match any red lipstick which is a must.

Whilst everyone else is getting into their reds and orange this evening, I'll be dreaming of an ice blue paradise where I can twirl in my lace and keep my head cosy in a cute mouse hat. Or perhaps I can call this a Snow Queen outfit and go share out some Caramel Coffee face mask and I will have to get back to you on that one ;)

Are you excited for Halloween today? Are you a fan of lace all year long? What's your favourite colour scheme?

Lots of Love,
Lauren x

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Thursday, 30 October 2014

Hellooooo everyone!

It's that time again, we've come to another end of the month and are one step closer to Christmas. As my friend Sammy said, I've become the Anti-Grinch in the fact that I'm stealing the rest of the year as to only allow Christmas. One of my favourite compliments I think!

Anyhoo, October has been a month of prepping and getting into the mix of the Autumn season. Lots of berry tones, browns, warm scents and a bit of eager festive cheer - don't you just love Autumn?!

Brown Lips - Before Kylie Jenner started rocking her signature pout, I don't think many of us would have jumped on the old 90's brown nude trends circa Friends Series 3. However this time round, the shades don't leave your teeth as yellow and look so beautiful against a dusty pink - perfect AW staple shade to lead you into all those reds and purples.

Winter Perfume - Autumn is the main transitional season, and I love a deeper scent to spritz. YSL Elle was the first perfume I ever fell for, so I love to blend this with some sweeter scents in the day for an autumnal feel before letting it work it's magic in the evening. A gorgeous mix of jasmine, ginger, musk and cedar for any lady.

Seasonal Tea Drinking - Oh look, another Pukka Tea mention. I simply can't look at the website and not get over excited at the amazing range of flavours on offer, what's a herbal tea girl to do?! My favourite teas just got even better with some new autumn introductions - Three Cinnamon, this was made for me, and I'm keen to try the Star Anise and Cinnamon blend - heaven! I love infusing the Three Cinnamon and Ginger together for a warming after-lunch treat, whilst Vanilla Chai does the evening relaxing perfectly. Soon I'll be cracking out the Revitalise box and then you know it's Christmas.

Michael Buble - The best Christmas album to sing along to in the car? It sure is! Don't mind me getting eager with the crimbo tunes, but Mr Buble's album is a classic to get you in a winter warming mood at the snap of your fingers. Lovely background noise to make cookies to - it works like a charm.

Scented Candles - My one true love. I think I have a problem with buying cinnamon based candles - I now have 4 Cinnavanilla candles in my collecion, because they're hard to find and are my absolute favourite smell at this time of year! TK Maxx and Homesense have the best value range for scented candles that also last ages too, so the addition of Spiced Cider and Hollyberry and Clove have been welcomed with open arms and make my room smell like an enchanted grotto - careful you don't get lost in the Christmas explosion.

Just a taste of my Christmas and winter obsession. As the Anti-Grinch, you'll be seeing more festive treats coming your way over the next month and probably some more Pukka Teas and scented candles. One can never have too many candles, and one cannot be more than happy that Autumn has snuggled down into my life. Here's to November!

Are you a fan of scented candles? Will you be celebrating Halloween tomorrow or are you more of a festive girl like me? Have you been loving the brown lip trend?

Lots of Love,
Lauren x

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Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Helloooo everyone!

Blogging about food isn't always as easy as the photos depict. Aside from coming up with recipes, you have to deal with the dreaded moments of 'is it cooked?' 'does it taste good?'. Those two absolutely failed me trying to come up with a bake last week - let's say I spent £3 on lemons and to much avail there's no lemon in this recipe.

But I digress, as in some instances some things just work like my Coffee Caramel Brownies (clicking the link may change your life). Using sweet potato as the base for brownies gives this delicious texture so I thought, why not make a tray-bake that has the filling carbs of sweet potato but the breakfast taste that keeps you going through mid-morning or afternoon meetings, shopping trips, and isn't the regular granola.

Enter, the Fudgy Fruit and Nut Spiced Snack Bars. A perfect mix of sweet, filling and tasty flavours in a fudgy form. It may confuse you, but it'll leave you wanting more and do the trick for keeping you satisfied.

1 Small Banana | 1 Medium Sweet Potato | 1 Tsp Cinnamon | ¼ Tsp Ginger and Mixed Spice | ¼ Cup of Nuts/Seeds/Dried Fruit of choice | ½¾ Cup Nut Milk | 3 Tbsp Soya Yogurt | 150g Rice Flour | 35g Sugar | 55g Soya Butter | ½ Tsp Baking Powder

1. Preheat the oven to 180°c, and boil the sweet potato until it's soft and mashable. Cream the butter and sugar together until a smooth consistency.

2. Weigh out all your dry ingredients including the spices, and pop to one side. Weigh your chosen nuts and seeds, and chop into small pieces.

3. Drain the sweet potato and mash in the pan. Take you banana and also mash into a smooth consistency. Combine both into the wet mixture, and slowly alternate between adding the yogurt, milk and dry ingredients.

4. When it's the right consistency - a little bit wet but fudgy looking - combine the nuts, seeds and dried fruit. Pour the batter into a parchment lined baking tray and bake for 20-25 minutes until firm and dense, but a little bit moist still.

5. Once it's all finished cooking, remove from the tray and allow to cool. Cut into squares and store them away for your snacking delight!

These snack bars are fabulous on their own for 'on-the-go' moments, or you can get fancy and drizzle some chocolate on top for a healthier pudding - trust me, it's good with chocolate ;) These are also really good for Halloween, as they're orange and sweet - you might want that chocolate on top though to keep the kids nibbling away at it!
The banana adds a lovely flavour with the cinnamon, definitely tasting like second breakfast and keeping you tied over until lunchtime. If that's not a successful bake, then I don't know what is. Isn't it nice when things blend together?

Are you a snack bar / tray bake fan? Will you be trying sweet potato in your pudding soon? Are you loving the festive spices and smells?

Lots of Love,
Lauren x

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Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Hellooo everyone!

Clarins is my skincare holy grail; it's never failed me, and I have to bow down to Jacques Courtin for the amazing work his range has done to my skin.

It was just my luck then that I got invited to a Clarins skincare event, to try out the range and learn more about the brand (plus sneakily hint for certain products as Christmas presents).

Decked out with drinks and nibbles, and spying some lovely raffle treats, the lovely Jo and Paula at Clarins shared the back story of the brand which was very insightful as to how Jacques developed the original oils, and noticed the difference in how womens complexions positively responded.

Now the #1 skincare brand in France and the UK, it's safe to say Clarins has every skin issue covered from dehydration, wrinkles, hormonal changes and even redness with plant based ingredients. Always giving back what is taken and more, the brand has expanded into skin and body care with a touch of make-up, all of which we were given to lowdown on.

After our learning session, Paula kindly gave me a makeover using the Clarins range and taught us all how to make our eyes look younger by using colour, shape and shade to emphasise what your mother gave you! As an Instant Eye Makeup Remover fan, it was lovely to hear tips on how to remove eyeshadow properly and see the remover literally lift everything off before having my eyes re-done.

The Ombre Matte Eyeshadows were a perfect cream-to-powder consistency to blend a pearly smokey eye that was easy to wear day or night, and using the Be Long Mascara on the top of the lashes helped give more definition and length to my eyes - hell to the yeaaaah.

One of the major things I noticed from the event was a lot of women not knowing how to wear make-up or use the right skincare. Being an avid beauty blog reader and someone who watches beauty videos regularly, it feels as if our generation is more informed, more researched and knowledgeable about how to care for our skin and find the right products to suit our makeup needs. Many of the tips seemed so obvious due to the content available to us online, so I think it's great for events like these to happen to keep women informed about the beauty world and the easy tricks you can do to feel good on the outside and inside.

A little retail therapy and a cheeky raffle helped round of the night, with Mum dabbling in the Double Serum Gift Set and me getting tips on using the Multi Active Range as a day and night cream for my age - what a way to spend an Autumn evening. Although we didn't win anything, we did get a lovely goody bag filled with some of our favourites - Hydraquench, Multi Active and Cleansing Gel - to indulge in and spruce up the ol'winter skincare routine

I have to thank the lovely Clarins Team for organising the event, it was so lovely to talk about my favourite skincare brand, learn more about the origins and how to use the products effectively. With Christmas just round the corner, this is the perfect time to invest in some Clarins for you or your family members as there's so many gift sets to try out at a fab price too.

Just when you thought my love for Clarins couldn't get any bigger. What a holy grail to have.

Are you a Clarins lover? What's your favourite product from the range? Will you be trying any Clarins this Christmas?

Lots of Love,
Lauren x

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Monday, 27 October 2014

Hellooo everyone!

I don't know about you but I'm not a huge Halloween fan. Unless there's a party on, I'm usually at home treating it like a normal day and ignoring anyone knocking on my door for sweets - can I interest you in some raw chocolate?

The one Halloween bandwagon I can jump on however is the beauty one, and if I want to look scary yet reap the benefits then a good ol'green face mask surely does the trick. Slimey, get satisfying.

The ladies at Blogging Gals (who really are quite awesome) gave me to hook-up this season with the new MIMI Green Goddess Fresh Face Mask*, perfect for detoxing your skin with 100% natural ingredients! 

In the kit, you get 4 Green Goddess Powders which contain Fine Green French Clay, Rhassoul, Dead Sea Mud and Spirulina - all perfect for absorbing oils, revitalizing and stimulating the complexion whilst softening your lovely features. Combined with the Oat Protein and Green Jasmine Pearls, you have a recipe for success, so let's get mixing...

Starting bare-faced, prepare one Green Jasmine Pearl per person in a cup of hot water. Leave it to infuse and cool for 30-40 minutes, and prep your skin for the mask. Once it's all flowered and cool, pour your Green Goddess Powder into the mixing pot and add the infusion teaspoons at a time until you get a thick paste. Stir in a few drops of the oat protein, and get ready to apply!

You can use the spatula to apply the mask into key areas, and smooth out with your fingers (which I personally find easiest and most consistent) and leave it to set for around 10 minutes. Cue gorgeous photos of me with a stiff face.

Overall with the mask I had only one or two issues; firstly, I opened the Oat Protein tube and it split down the middle straight away. I didn't even open it with force and it just started to leak everywhere. Luckily I kept the Green Goddess Powder pot to store it in, so I would suggest the design of the tube be rethought to prevent snapping! Secondly, I didn't keep the mask on for the full 10 minutes as it started to itch and feel uncomfortable. Never keep a mask on if it feels irritating. 

Saying that, I had no redness after washing it off, and my skin felt so super smooth and soft. My complexion looks brighter, and the surface dead skin cells have all gone, allowing my face to renew itself - yippeeee!!

For a new brand, obviously there are teething problems, however these can all be worked out easily and I would have to give two thumbs up so far to this mask - natural products, lovely smell, and a brighter complexion all tick my list, and make me one happy albeit a bit scary lady.

You can get involved in MIMI's Halloween campaign by submitting a photo of yourself in the Green Goddess Mask on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook using the caption ' Become a Green Goddess this Halloween with @MakeItMIMI #MIMImoment'.

Are you a face mask lover? Will you be partying or staying in this Halloween? What is your favourite Halloween past time?

Lots of Love,
Lauren x

*This post contains products sent for review from PR companies. The views expressed do no reflect those of the company, nor are they used as influence in this post. Please see my disclaimer for more.

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Friday, 24 October 2014

Hellooooo everyone!

Another blustery week, another chance to crack out a jumper! This is me in my element now - jumpers, boots and pretty scarves with lots of red and berry tones, so I'm more than happy for the breezy weather.

This jumper was a surprise hit for me as I picked it up form Primark last season not thinking it would be something I'd keep, but it turns out it looks super cute (and feels super warm) with loads of pieces as it has subtle pastel colours woven through the knit and sits at a nice height on the waist.

A new addition here are the ultimate AW boots; this Jones pair have lasted me longer than I can remember now, and  they're perfect for the cold, walking and hikes, whilst adding a lovely edge to any autumn outfit. The lace-up detail is a lovely touch, and the general worn effect really shows that these are comfortable and long lasting in any extreme weather.

It also picks out the brown shades in the scarf, and until the weather gets colder I'll be wrapping myself up in this thin blanket of goodness for extra red style points. Goes with all your red based lipsticks and makes you feel ready for snuggly weather. Perfection.

Jumper - Primark | Scarf - TK Maxx | Jeans - c/o M&Co | Boots - Jones Bootmaker | Bag - Urban Outfitters

Perfect little look for popping into town, going for a lunch, or for accepting the ultimate transition into autumn/winter weather with a pop of colour. You can't fail with a good jumper and stylish, sturdy boots, so embrace the windy weather and get your style upped!

Are you embracing the autumn fashion yet? Do you have a pair of faithful winter boots? What are your favourite A/W pieces?

Lots of Love,
Lauren x

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Thursday, 23 October 2014

Helloooo everyone!

I love Autumn, I think you've all pretty much picked up on the fact I'm excited for Christmas, and I should think you'll know to expect a lot of autumn/winter themed posts heading your way over the next few months.

With that said, my lovely friend Summer tagged me to do the Autumn Tag which I'd be planning to do for a while but am now getting right into the swing of it. Sit down, grab a cup of tea, and get reading about what I love about the autumn - and maybe you could answer along yourself!

1. Favourite Starbucks Drink?
I'm not really one for drinking 'regular' tea or coffee - although that caramel coffee I bought was divine. Usually, I'll have a peppermint tea but sometimes I might treat myself to a Caramel or Cinnamon Hot Chocolate, a Latte if I forget about the awful caffeine hit afterwards.
Aside from Starbucks, my favourite drinks right now are all from Pukka Herbs - Vanilla Chai, Three Cinnamon, Revitalise, Peppermint and Three Ginger; some of these blended together are divine.

2. Favourite Music to listen to in Autumn?
Usually it's just my regular music on Spotify or iTunes, but now is the time for me to crack out the Michael Buble 'Christmas' album - got to get in the spirit early.

3. Autumn Scent?
I like to blend my YSL Elle perfume with either One Directon's Our Moment (it smells good okaaaaay) or Diesel's Loverdose.

4. Favourite Autumn Lip Product?
Anything brown, red or purple toned. My current favourite blends are Rimmel Black Tulip Lip Pencil with either Chanel Rouge Coco Mademoiselle or Revlon Matte Balm in Sultry, or a brown lip pencil with Oriflame THE ONE Colour Unlimited Lipstick in Mocha Intensity or Sleek True Colour Lipstick in Liqueur.

5. What do you love most about Autumn?
I love the crisp, bright days where you can wear jumpers, scarfs and boots without being too cold. The colour of the trees, the feeling that the festive season is coming near, and snuggling up with warm drinks in the evening.

6. Autumn Accessories?
Long boots, a cute beanie hat, chunky scarf and a bold statement colour in some form. I love feeling snuggly and warm wrapped up in some knitted pieces.

7. Favourite Halloween Movie?
I don't watch Halloween films, and I'm not usually bothered about it unless I'm going to a party. I'd rather watch The Holiday or something classic like Batman. Yeah.

8. Favourite Nail Polish?
Oh goodness, there's too many to choose! Anything red, purple, navy, green or gold is good for me, particularly the Rimmel and Maybelline ranges.

9. What am I looking forward to most this Autumn?
New scarves, buying candles, making changes, baking and getting ready for Christmas!

I tag Kris from Creepers and Cupcakes, Meg from MegSays, and anyone else who's yet to do the tag and loves autumn!

Are you an autumn lover? What's your favourite Starbucks drink and autumn film? Or are you more excited for Christmas?

Lots of Love,
Lauren x

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