Friday, 21 November 2014

Hellooooo everyone!

It's only 4 Fridays until Christmas - eeeeeek! As we make the transition into more winter appropriate fashion, it's time to focus on glitz and glamour that's easy to rock day through night. I love breaking out of the usual 'jeans and jumper' routine by injecting a statement piece to grab everyone's attention, and nothing screams Christmas glamour than a glittery skirt.

Scarf - Old | Jumper - H&M (see similar) | Skirt - Urban Outfitters (see similar) | Boots - Topshop (see similar)

Thankfully, navy and black have made a comeback in the fashion world - what was once a big 'no-no' is now a big YES for injecting some (darker) colour into your usual black routine, which is right up my street as I have real trouble pulling off all-black in the day.
Creating a dynamic look involves lots of different textures, so glitter and velvet are some of the perfect ways to mix up black tones in any look, and an injection of varied navy tones keeps the outfit chic and classic for any day-to-night occasion - simple switch up your shoes and you're good to go!

This is one skirt I love to pull out for any festive occasion or on a dull day, as it gets everyone talking and makes me feel better about the day - when you need a bit of sparkle, let your skirt inspire you right? As a firm believer in 'evening wear for day wear', I thoroughly recommend you try a sparkly top, fancy dress or leather trousers with heels at least once a week to make you feel glamorous either in the office or out and about running errands - give your clothes a moment to shine and be loved!

Do you love sparkly skirts? Would you wear evening pieces in the day? Do you love navy and black together?

Lots of Love,
Lauren x

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Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Hellooooo everyone!

Falafels are one of those easy to make and eat things that you kind of always forget about. I always think they would be perfect for dinner when I spot them in the supermarket, but the traces of wheat, potato and milk put me off a bit, so I actually decided for once to make my own and

A combination of flavour, texture and healthy ingredients = perfect lunchtime filler that's quick to make and bake. What's not to love? Go get your apron on, you'll be dying to bake these.

Ingredients (makes 16)
1 Can of Chickpeas (Rinsed) | 2-3 Medium Onions | 3 Mushrooms | 2 Medium Carrots | ½ Piece Rye Bread | ¼ Cup Pumpkin Seeds | ¼ Tsp Cinnamon, Mixed Spice, Coriander and Cumin | 2 Cloves Garlic

1. Preheat your oven to 200°c, and slice up the onions and garlic to cook until soft in Coconut Oil. Rinse and empty the chickpeas, setting aside until later. Add the mushrooms and shaved carrots to the onions and allow to cook through on a medium heat. Break up the rye bread and add the pumpkin seeds to your blender, and pulse until a fine breadcrumb texture.

2. Once the onions, mushrooms and carrots are cooked and soft, add them along with the spices and chickpeas to the blender and pulse until combined and a smooth texture. If it's hard to blend, add in some water to loosen. Check the taste and texture, adjusting accordingly, and then get making!

3. On a lined baking tray, take a tablespoon of mixture and spread the falafel mixture into 16 blobs - technical term. Bake on the middle shelf for 10 minutes, and then turn the tray around and cook for another 10 minutes until firm on the outside.

4. When you come to eat your falafels, you want a nice baked texture that's crispy. You can either fry the falafel in oil, or using a griddle pan, wipe on some melted coconut oil and grill the outsides on a high/medium heat for 3 minutes either side. This adds a lovely crunch to contrast the soft centre, and is ready to serve up in your lunch or dinner with some avocado, yogurt dip and salad - perfection.

Little baked goodies full of healthy filling ingredients, great for dipping as a snack or as an accompaniment to your curry or stir-fry, and it's so easy and quick to make you'd be cray cray to not give it a go! Make it your own by jazzing up the filling by adding some sweet potato or fresh herbs, or play around with ways to incorporate falafel into your meals this week.
They also stay fresh in an air-tight container for 5-7 days, but honestly, you'll munch them in two days because they taste sooooo good - you can trust me! So, next time you're thinking of picking up some falafel in the shop, or any other easy to make food, give it a go yourself at home and see what versions you can create for a taste sensation.

Are you a fan of falafels? Do you like Moroccan food? What are your favourite quick healthy snacks?

Lots of Love,
Lauren x

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Monday, 17 November 2014

Helloooo everyone!

Beauty and make-up is a fabulous way of playing around with looks, and it's something I think every young girl looks forward to using when they're little. As I've gotten older and wiser over the years through my beauty disasters and holy grail finds, I've found there's nothing more satisfying than a high-quality palette with every colour you need under one lid. 

Whether your budget reaches £10 or £100, there's a palette for you with all the essential colours you need, plus one that is just a bit of luxury tailoring and a perfect piece to add to over the years. The main criteria with a good palette is a range of shimmers and mattes - either cool or warm toned depending on your skin - which are an easy to blend consistency - buttery and non-creasing is the game here - plus have wearable shades you're actually going to use - pretty obvious I know but you don't want to spend your money on a palette which you'll only use half of!

For the Budget Beauty Babe If you're starting out, looking for a good present for a younger relative, or needing a new addition to your make-up without forking out loads, then Sleek is the way to go. With a total of twelve various palettes, their consistency isn't far off from Urban Decay and they blend so well, you'd be mad not to give them a go. For easy everyday make-up, with a bit of autumn depth for those nights out, the Au Naturel palette* has got you covered. The palette is balanced perfectly with mattes and shimmers, with various shades for day and night that you can touch up throughout the day thanks to the large mirror - you gotta love a large mirror. There's also a good mix of cool and warm tones so you will find something for everyone in this palette, plus I've found the peachy/orange shade a good product to pat over my concealer to knock back any dark circles - you only need a little though. Great pigmentation, a diverse enough range of shades and finishes, and a bargain price.

For the Luxury Loving Lady One of the most coveted palettes in the beauty world, Urban Decay hit the nail on the head with their NAKED range. Spanning three palette in various tones (NAKED 1 for more yellow skintones, 2 for cool-to-neutral and 3 for pink toned skin), each shade across the board is unique to their set, and have a spot on blend of creamy mattes and shimmers. My NAKED palette is the most used out of my collection as the range of shades makes it easy to adapt to each occassion, and there's lots of shades you can throw on quickly, blend out and be ready to go. For £37, it is classed as higher end beauty, but you get a great quality product that will last you through every event and new season style. It may not be good if you're a hoarder, but for a tailored palette to your skin tone with highly pigmented and long-lasting shades (plus a free primer), it's worth the dolla!

For the Colour Collecting Chicka When I bought my first (and only, so far) MAC Pro Palette, I felt like I'd made a big step into the beauty world. Crazy, I know, but it feels like one of those things you'd bring up in conversation and people would be like 'woowwww', simply because it's a bit expensive and luxurious to build up. Aside from make-up artists and beauty gurus, you don't need a huge Pro Palette, although if you're a MAC girl forever then spending your money on a 'make your own' collection might by your best investment to date. From shades you can use on your lids and as eyebrow powder, to the deep winter cranberries and holy grail neutrals, MAC has every rainbow of colour available which you can build in sets of 2, 4 and 15. The shades are a balanced amount of pigmentation, you can layer them easily and build up the intensity whilst others are an instant 'WOW' factor. A palette of 4 will set you back £45 (que wincing) but the quality and multi-purpose use is worth the price if you are a dedicated MAC girl, plus for on-the-go, you won't get as high quality and perfectly blended range of shades small enough to transport than this quad.
If you have a girlfriend or relative who wants to make a make-up commitment, treat them to a custom made quad this Christmas or birthday, and they'll be on Cloud 9.

The beauty market is so huge now that it can feel daunting making a palette choice, but whatever your budget there is a high-quality product for you. Personally, I think NAKED palettes are worth the investment and would be my #1 choice for each day, but for on-the-go, MAC's range of quads and selected colours make it easy to pick the key, easy to wear shades and maximise bag space when travelling. Ultimately, you have to find a price range and quality that suits you, which is why it's fab to see Sleek doing such a great job with their ranges whilst giving you the pigmentation you'd expect for £40+.
As long as you have a creamy, diverse selection of shades, your palette will serve you a long time until it's pan has been well and truly hit. Single shades may come and go, but your palette will stay with you forever, satisfaction guaranteed.

Are you a palette lover? What eyeshadow ranges do you buy? Do you have any palette suggestions?

Lots of Love,
Lauren x

P.S I'm hosting the Healthy Selves chat tonight on Twitter @ChatHealthy / @LaurenShipleeey using #healthyselves - come pop along to talk about Alternative Lifestyle - juicing, gluten free eating and your thoughts on clean food!

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Friday, 14 November 2014

Helloooo everyone!

I think we all know by now that I'm super excited for Christmas; like stupidly excited. With about 80% of my presents bought, and all the wrapping ready to go, there's only a few things left to do - decorate the house (more), get baking some festive treats, and to don the ol'christmas jumper.

As someone who loves their comfort clothes, I need to invest in something warm, long-lasting, high-quality, and also totally fit for the season, which thankfully comes in the form of Funky Christmas Jumpers.

Yes, yes, I have talked about this awesome brand enough already, but seriously, if you're into your Christmas spirit you want a jumper so unique and smile-inducing that it can only reflect your obsessive Christmas behaviour. I got my hands on the Extreme Santa* design, and there's just so much I love about it - it's navy (yay for blue tones), it's got Santa on it (my fave), and it's just the perfect mix of one-off style and spot-on humour to bring in the festive spirit.

Everyone I've come across whilst wearing this has made the jumper into a huge talking point, as they absolutely love the loud, bold print and I think that goes to show that FCJ's brand vision is working! Built on the past lack of variety and good quality novelty designs, FCJ has come leaps and bounds in bringing smiles to people's faces and taking on the high street in terms of quality and range of products. Tell me one high street brand that has a 'Happy Birthday Jesus' or Elf Jumper? Pure. Quality. Lols.

Extreme Santa Jumper* - Funky Christmas Jumpers
If you're struggling to find a unique present for someone this year, or want to invest in a totally cool not-on-the-high-street Christmas piece to keep you warm, then Funky Christmas Jumpers is the way to go - if it's okay for Scott Disick, Niall Horan, Harry Styles and Rita Ora then yanno, I want a slice of that mince pie. A high quality product with high-quality happiness festive factor - winner winner Roast Turkey dinner. Bring on Christmas!

Have you bought a Funky Christmas Jumper? Are you a fan of novelty festivewear? What are you looking forward to wearing this Christmas?

Lots of Love,
Lauren x

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Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Helloooo everyone!

Now before you get put off by the slightly blue/black tinge to this tart, let me tell you that Caramelised Bananas are bloomin' delicious. Once heated up, it produces a glossy, caramel texture which goes perfectly with ice-cream and yogurt, so what better way to make this into a full showstopping treat than to turn it into a tart.

Light flaky layers, cinnamon infused bananas, and a topping of healthy caramel, the combination is divine. Present this hot from the oven at any shindig and you'll be onto a winner - plus who doesn't lovely a healthier dessert?

Ingredients (serves 8)
35g Soya Butter | 50g Sugar | 2 Medium Bananas | ½ Tbsp Cinnamon (or to taste) | 180g Pastry (or half a pack)

1. Preheat the oven to 200°c. Using a skillet pan, melt the butter on a high heat before reducing to a near medium heat and adding the sugar. Stir until combined and bubbling, making it produce a thick caramel consistency. Turn off the heat and place to one side.

2. Chop the bananas in half and space until packed in the skillet. Dust with cinnamon and let them soak up the goodness!

3. Roll out the pastry into a large, thin square on a floured surface, and then lie it on top of the skillet, making sure to tuck and fold down any overhang (remove large amount of excess if neccesary). Bake for 20-30 minutes until it's a lovely golden brown colour on top, and then turn it out onto a plate - it'll be one truly gorgeous sight!

Serve with ice-cream, cream, yogurt and granola for your breakfast - ooh a cheeky treat ;) This tart has gone down a storm with everyone, and will definitely be making a reappearance sometime soon for the party season. It's a lovely filling alternative to apple or apricot tart, but is a wonderfully sweet pudding or breakfast to indulge in every now and again. Bet you can forgive the odd colour now ;)

Do you like fruit tarts? Are you a fan of pastry desserts and breakfasts? What is your favourite way to cook bananas?

Lots of Love,
Lauren x

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Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Helloooo everyone!

Christmas is a time for family, fun and sharing the love through presents, food and a very large Dark Toblerone. It can also however prove a difficult time to come up with ideas for gifts for your loved ones - lord knows how many times I've struggled buying for the parents! After 20 years of trial and error, I've come to love giving gifts by stripping it back to the things you might not buy yourself, or encourage you to try something new.

I try my hardest to buy and ask for things I haven't bought myself but really want, and this applied to the gifts for my family to, so to give you a nudge in the right buying direction, here's 24 gifts you can give with success and guarantee a smile (or an extra triangle of Toblerone).

1. Luxury Make-Up - I don't think there's much more your beauty loving family members would love more than a statement make-up piece in their stocking this Christmas. Slick packaging, high quality products, and a price tag not too out of reach depending on the item. They'll know you've bought them quality that will last for months to come.

2. Beauty Sets - Christmas is great for grabbing some bargains, and there are sets galore for any occassion. For skincare newbies to brand fanatics, you can pick up a variety of things for each member of the family with great ease. Want to make your hair look sleek and stylish? Boots have some fabulous haircare sets on offer, with the majority under £20. Fancy treating your other half to some grooming goodies? There's lots available again at Boots including Clarins and Ted Baker to get him looking tip-top.

3. Vouchers - The easiest gift, but where do you buy them for?! If you have a make-up addict, try something luxurious such as Space NK, or maybe try Amazon for someone who loves Gadgets and Tech. Fashion lovers can be treated to Topshop, Urban Outfitters and more, whilst you could think of something different and maybe a food voucher for someone who loves a treat now and again.

4. Perfume - Scent is important in emulating your personality, and Christmas is the best time to pick up an old favourite or get your hands on something new. Jo Malone have just released their 2014 collection which would be a luxury treat for any member of the family, or you can hit up the Debenhams perfume section for some awesome sets - perfume + a body lotion? Winning!

5. Spa Days - The ultimate treat. For some quality time by yourself or another loved one, indulge in a full body massage or get a really great all-day deal at various spas across the country, and sometimes even better deals on pages such as Groupon or Amazon Local - save money and indulge more!

6. Skincare and Bodycare - If the gift sets above aren't your thing and you know a certain person has been lusting over a cult product, now may be the time to give them a taster. Forsake the spa day and buy some Elemis body lotions and oils for a relaxing soak after the Christmas - perfect for mum; or maybe a younger sibling is starting to wear make-up and needs something to help keep their skin clear - check out some gentle budget-friendly options from Simple to get them started. If you know a skincare junkie, try something to expand their routine such as a nourishing face oil - Clarins oils are known to work wonders ;)

7. Classes and Courses - If someone in your family is a keen baker, chocolate maker, sewer, or one for wanting to know every single type of wine (for research purposes obviously..), then booking them into a class to expand their skills might be right up their street. Waitrose Cookery School covers a range of disciplines from making pastry to cooking the perfect steak - perfect for any foodie. You can google your local wine tasting courses or sewing classes, but check out the for inspiration.

8. Day Out Experiences - Alongside Classes and Courses, Experiences or Red Letter Days are a fabulous way to try something new. Have the LOLs of booking your Dad into a Paintballing day, or your Sister some Zorbing activities - never a better time to say YOLO (oh god).

9. Novelty Jumpers - What was once the worst present on the planet has now become the must have festive item to own in the run up and during Christmas. Novelty, fun jumpers have made a massive comeback, and the uglier/funnier the better. Pick up a new season one from the high street, or go for something a little more quirky like the Funky Christmas Jumpers - from Santa on the Toilet, Happy Birthday Jesus and Super Elf, there's something for everyone!

10. Toys and Games - An obvious present choice. Great for the younger family or friends, but try thinking outside the box by buying from quirky stores or specialised gift stores - a unique treat for anyone! Plus, a fun interactive game like Cranium will get your mind going again after stuffing yourself with Turkey Roast.

11. CD/DVDs - Whilst physical copies of songs may be lost on some people, sometimes a collection of your favourite artist's hits a nice addition to your iTunes (plus your less likely to lose the CD, unlike when you wipe your hard-drive and all your downloads go!). DVD box-sets are fabulous if you're not one for paying for Netflix - some of you may have tailored TV taste and find them lacking on pay monthly services, where's the Sherlock?! - so stock up on some classic TV series or films and have a movie fest on Boxing Day.

12. Crafts and Art - Perfect for the young budding artists or newly keen adult sewers, a book of design inspirations or crafty tips is great for keeping them inspired and creative this season. Get a pack of basic acrylics to kick start a budding Van Gogh, or try some vintage pattern designs for the next Orla Kiely.

13. Photobook / Picture Frame - Immortalize your memories in physical form through a special book or framed photo. Photobox have great pre-designed books where you can upload images of your choice - plus there's sometimes discounts if you create a certain amount of pages! - or you can get crafty by making your own homemade version for an extra touch. Go one step further and let others create their own book of memories by buying them a photo printer such as the Canon Selphy - a fun activity to do on Boxing Day!

14. Homemade Food - A lot of time and effort goes into buying, baking and presenting food, so treat someone in your family to a homemade goody this Christmas. Does your Dad love coffee? Bake him some Biscotti to dip - always a winner; Does Mum love her morning toast? Try making some fruit jams - always a fun experience; Got a chocolate lover who also wants to be healthy? Skip the Heroes and buy a Raw Chocolate Making Kit, and present them with some Raw Chocolate Truffles - the delight and deliciousness.

15. Magazine Subscriptions - There's nothing more annoying than missing an issue of your favourite magazine, or having to fork out £4 each month for a luxury read. Keep on track and save money with a magazine subscription through yours or your mum's door each month - that year of Country Living might just see you start decorating...

16. Books - What Dad doesn't love a crime or history based novel? Or a Mum who loves a good life-affirming book such as Eat, Pray, Love? Books are a fabulous way to escape into a new world, or to get lost in a must-read series to talk about wit your friends, or maybe they're a fabulous way to get other family members into reading rather than being hyper when you're serving dinner - just a suggestion ;)

17. Tickets - Now is definitely the time to buy and surprise loved ones with concert or event tickets. Take them to see their favourite band, or a comedian on tour, and they'll love having the initial surprise at Christmas and the renewed excitement on the day.

18. Candles - For the home lovers, a candle to make their house a true haven is a lovely gift. Spiced scents emulate warmth and comfort, whilst refreshing citrus notes can help clean and refresh the rooms for the new year. Jo Malone are a fabulous high-end treat, whilst Homesense have a great range of high quality candles at discounted prices.

19. Adopt an Animal/Sponsor a Child - Christmas doesn't have to be about the materialistic things, and you can spread more love with £20 for an animal or humanitarian cause than with a bottle of moisturiser. For someone who's dedicated to a cause, maybe adopt a donkey, or donate to the Greyhound Trust. You can also Sponsor a Child to help them get the education and food they need to grow in the developing world. Yes, you may not give someone the lipstick they wanted, but you've give your support to someone less fortunate.

20. Educational - Budding scientist? Eager nature enthusiast? Future space searcher? Introduce them to the learning benefits of certain gifts with educational books, kits and magazine subscriptions to expand their knowledge outside of school in a fun way.

21. Equipment - The best way to excel your skills is to invest in them, so help your siblings out by putting something towards their interests. Got a photography loving family member? Adobe Elements is a budget friendly start point for Photoshop - contains nearly all the same components at a fraction of the price - or maybe a new lens for HQ photos. Whether someone's into movie making, baking, photography or space, something that will enhance their interests and skills is a perfect heartwarming gift.

22. Gadgets - Whether it's Apple or Nintendo, XBox or Playstation, there will be someone who'll love a new game console, phone, laptop and more. However, other gadgets outside the box from IWOOT can be as equally fun - a Smartphone Projector for your videos or a Polaroid Printer for your phone snaps. Upgrade your kitchen with a new mixer - a KitchenAid is the dream - or try the all new popular Selfie Stick for your memories over the holiday.

23. Loungewear - Oooh loungewear. You know the drill, someone will buy slippers or socks, just don't do it for a main present. If you have a festive fan in the family, pick them up some Christmas print pjs from any high street or supermarket store to sit around in on Christmas Day - trust me, they'll love it.

24. Flowers - Simple, yet very effective. Say thank you to Mum and Dad for cooking the roast dinner with a lovely bunch to brighten the home, or show your other loved ones some appreciation with a tailored selection of colours and blooms that suit them best.

Trying to come up with gift ideas - let alone 24 - is hard, but hopefully reading through this list can jog your imagination for what you can buy each member of the family this season. Asking doesn't spoil the surprise, but it does help you get an idea as to what they love right now and will appreciate opening on the day.

I find that most people find Christmas hard because they cram and worry about presents, food, making sure all the family are pleased, and living up to an expectation. As long as you show thought, plan ahead, take time for yourself and work out how to approach the visiting schedule - sometimes it can be a real schedule! - Christmas can be a lovely calm time to drink spiced cider, eating lovely Toblerones and roast dinners, and showing love and joy to your family as the year ends. That's the best gift you could give and receive this season - yep, we're ending on a cheesy note. Happy shopping all!!

Are you prepared for Christmas? Do you have a budget for presents? Do you find Christmas stressful?

Lots of Love,
Lauren x

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Monday, 10 November 2014

Helloooo everyone!

Autumn is one of my favourite make-up months; lots of deep plums, reds, browns mixed with dark lips and eyes, it just screams drama and warmth in the colder months.

So it's surprising that I am yet to talk about my go-to autumn make-up, as I've been caught up with other beauty chats but now it's time to sit down and tell you all about the palettes, lipsticks and products I love and use to get my perfect autumn look.

Firstly, getting the base perfect requires a trusty mix of Pixi by Petra Flawless and Poreless Primer to keep my skin from absorbing all the make-up and creating a lovely flawless base, and then my MAC Studio Fix Fluid in NC15 to even out my skintone and cover any uneven parts. As it's a matte foundation, it may cling to any dry patches in winter, so try a radiance booster such as Clarins Beauty Flash Balm to add more life to your coverage, and nourish any drier patches. I do prefer matte in the winter as it looks more even, perfected and allows your eyes or lips to stand-out more. Next, I pop on some Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in Fair on my blemishes (mixed with the foundation for a better colour match), tops of my cheekbones for a highlight and under my eyes to brighten. To make the under-eyes look more awake, tap some yellow or peach eyeshadow on top to knock back the bruised tones.

I like a subtle dramatic eye that makes the shape look bigger but not overwhelmed in product; brows are my main priority to look as natural yet full as possible so I use the powder from my Barry M Brow Kit to lightly fill in the gaps at the front and arch of my brows, just so it shapes my face! Next, a wash of colour on the lids. Always prime the eyes so the colour lasts longer, which I do with the Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion, and depending on day or night I will use a selection of shades from the Urban Decay NAKED Palette, my faves being Buck, Naked, Darkhorse and Hustle to blend and play around with. To line the top lashes, I use my Oriflame The ONE Eyeliner Stylo in Grey* as it's much softer than black and just adds a hint of definition without weighing the eyes down. If I line underneath the eye, I'll use the remaining bit of Buck on my brush to add a soft line to frame, and then I finish with the BareMinerals Lash Domination Volumising Mascara - it seriously adds length and volume to your lashes by catching all the hairs, amazing!

With a lot of colour in the eyes and later the lips, I want something simple on the cheeks that will give shape but add depth. Contouring for me is the best option, using the contour powder from the Sleek Face Form Contouring and Blush Palette to add summin'summin to the cheekbones and give the face some life. Finally, the lips. I've been loving brown based shades so far this season so have used a brown lipliner under all my lipsticks (I use Aveda Lip Liner in Kantola Bean which is not available anymore, but Rimmel 1000 Kisses Lipliner in Tiramisu will work as well!), and topping it with either Chanel Rouge Coco Mademoiselle, Sleek True Colour Lipstick in Liqueur, Revlon ColourBurst Matte Balm in Sultry, or today's pick which is Oriflame The ONE Colour Unlimited Lipstick in Mocha Intensity* - a red/brown shade which turns into a lovely browny-plum when you add a brown lip liner to it, and it has the perfect mix of moisture and long-lasting colour. Totally gorgeous!

If autumn make-up has taught me one thing, it's to not be afraid to have colour on both your lips and  eyes; go for a natural brown smoke with a pink-brown lip, or team your plum shimmer with a darker red lip to get the night going - don't stay in your comfort zone, experiment and embrace the autumn colours!

What looks are you loving this autumn? Are you a fan of strong lips and eyes? What colours represent autumn for you?

Lots of Love,
Lauren x

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Friday, 7 November 2014

Hellooooo everyone!

As you can tell in the picture below, it's getting rather cold and trying to take outfit posts before the weather makes it all dark and grey is become a challenge and a half. But never fear, as I've chilled my bones for your viewing pleasure, and present this week's serving of Fashion Friday.

Forever one for clashing patterns - and making anything look festive - the blue tones in this fairisle cardigan go surprisingly well with the more floral skater dress. I love that this particular piece can be worn all year round, as the orange tones can be enhanced for the S/S season, whilst the blues and reds can be deepened with darker browns around the A/W season. A bold and cute way to add life to the dull weather.

Hat - Republic (see similar) | Cardigan - Hollister (see similar) | Dress - Topshop (see similar) | Boots - Topshop (see similar) | Coat - Burberry via Ebay (see similar)

Of course it's once again time to whip out the Topshop boots and winter coat, although I'll soon be moving permanently into my Jones boots which have lasted me many many winters. The red brings together the dress and deep lips, whilst the blue reflects the flowers and adds a bright yet icy edge along with the hat. Super snuggly for the approaching cold winds!

As much as black and darks are popular this time of year, I do love to wear something bold and bright fashion-wise as I believe it helps lift the mood of those around you, and makes you stand out in a crowd in the most easiest of ways. Break the deep toned fashion mold this season and crack out your brights - you'll feel happier and warmer in an instant.

Do you love winter brights? How are you dressing for the colder weather? What style of coat are you looking for?

Lots of Love,
Lauren x

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Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Helloooo everyone!

Bake Off gave me some really big cravings this year - Tiramisu cake, come to meeee - and also some new savory inspiration. Rather than reach for the pizza in our house, we love a puff pastry treat now again. Tarts galore topped with vegetables are always a filling treat, and now we're switching it up into a turnover-pastry extravanganza - it's more exciting than that I assure you.

Filled with warm, spiced veg along with some crumbly feta, it's a perfect dinner to serve up or easy to make into mini appetizers for party season - hell yeah for multi-purpose recipes!

Ingredients (serves 2)
2 Small Sweet Potatoes | ½ Pack of Ready Made Puff Pastry | Spinach | Feta | Green Pitted Olives | 2 Red Onions | Pumpkin Seeds

1. Preheat your oven to 200°c. Wash and peel the Sweet Potatoes and cube into small chunks before popping them in a baking tray with coconut oil. Season with herbs and spices and bake for 40 minutes to an hour.

2. Slice the onions and cook until soft, before adding to the mix of chopped feta and sliced olives. Add a dash of pumpkin seeds and you're ready to roll...

3. Pastry time! Take your dough and roll into a square shape (don't forget to flour your surface and rolling pin!) before cutting into two triangles. Layer up your fillings starting with the spinach until you're unable to fold it - stuff that parcel! Fold into an envelope, crimp the edges and pop into bake for about 20-30 minutes until golden brown and flaky. 

4. Once cooked, remove from the oven and serve with some avocado, salad, roasted veg - jazz it up all you like! Create a taste sensation quickly and easily with just a few ingredients to wow.

I think pasty is one of those things I'd love to master from scratch, but until then,I'll keep on filling my own versions with fresh, home-cooked veggies. There's so much you can do with puff pastry, and the flavour combinations are fantatstic. The saltiness of the feta blends well with the spiced sweet potato and sweet onions, and is a crowd pleaser for any meal or party. 

If you're looking for a twist on an autumn/winter warming meal, then give a pastry dish a go and see what amazing flaky goodies you can try. Who knows, Bake Off may inspire me to make my own dough next time....

Are you a fan of tarts and puff pastry dishes? What flavour combinations do you love?

Lots of Love,
Lauren x

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