A Week in Instagrams #14

Sunday, 24 June 2012
1) Nom nom
2) Outfit of the Day
3) I am not a robot
4) June Glossybox
5) Mmm pie
6) Puppy in the office!
7) Wedding outfit
8) Me and B
9) Bride and groom
10) Amazing tree in the garden
11) Wedding cake
12) The first dance

Can I start by saying where the hell has the summer gone...it's like monsoon season here in the 'burgh!  I can't believe it's almost July and I'm still having to wear a coat to work, bloody ridiculous!  Anyway, what have I been up to this week - well Monday to Friday was pretty standard (work during the day, lazing in my pj's watching TV in the evening), finishing off with a fun quiz night at work (my team - aka the only 2 girls, came last - sad face).  Then on Saturday B and I went to the wedding of the year at the beautiful Carberry Tower just outside of Edinburgh - it was a brilliant day and luckily the rain held off so they could get photos in the amazing gardens.  

Friday Fashion Fix 22/06 : Dresses

Friday, 22 June 2012
It's mostly dresses that I've been loving this week, so I decided to make my Friday fashion post a dresses theme (in fact, I might do themes each week rather than just a random selection of things I like!).





Pansy Print Collar Dress - Topshop - £38.00



Chiffon Tapework Prom Dress - Warehouse - £90.00

Recipe: Duck Pappardelle Crisp

Thursday, 21 June 2012
Haven't done a dinner recipe in a while - made this Duck Pappardelle Crisp a few months ago, it was the first time I'd ever cooked duck and it went down really well (even with the ever fussy B!).

Duck pappardelle crisp recipe ingredients


Ingredients

250g pappardelle
2 tbsp olive oil
2 duck breasts
2 tsps chopped ginger (or 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder)
1 bunch spring onions
1 fresh red chilli
3 tbsps hoisin sauce
splash dark soy sauce
1 lime
300ml coconut milk

Instructions

1) Brown the duck breasts in a frying pan before putting in the oven for 20 mins to cook through (I used roasting bags from Lakeland)

  

2) Once the duck is almost finished, put the pasta on to boil with the oil and some salt.  Cook for 8-12 minutes.

3) Once the duck is cooked slice the breasts and then fry for 1 minute before adding the ginger and spring onions and frying for another 2 minutes.



4) Add the liquids and the chilli and cook for 1 minute



5) Drain the pasta, put in a bowl and fold in half of the meat/sauce mixture.  Spoon into a dish and top with the remaining meat mixture.  Cook at 180 for 10 minutes until the pasta starts to crisp.

Duck pappardelle crisp recipe

6) Sprinkle with parsley and serve!


Related posts:

June Glossybox - Initial Thoughts

Wednesday, 20 June 2012
I normally do my Glossybox reviews a few weeks late as I like to properly try out the products first before doing a write up, however I'd decided to start doing a quick "first impressions" post too as soon as my box arrives, so I'm not miles behind all the other bloggers :)

So my June box arrived yesterday....and here it is!


I have to say I'm a bit disappointed with this one - for a start there are only really 4 products (the makeup brush doesn't count - it looks more like a cheap freebie, like the mirror we got last month).

Dermablend Starter Kit - I'm pleased to see some makeup samples in my box, and I love trying new foundations but the sample size looks absolutely tiny so not sure how many applications I'm actually going to get out of this one.

Caudalie Fragrance - I love getting perfume samples but I'm really not a fan of this, it's got a really strong lemon smell which reminds me of Nurofen Meltlets (or Cif Lemon...) so can't see me really using it.

HD Brows Tweezers - Looking forward to trying these as I've never really bought decent tweezers before (the ones I use just now came in some cheap beauty set I think).

BM Beauty Bronzer - Bronzer is something I don't actually ever use as I can't seem to get it right (I always end up looking too orange), but I'll give this a go and see how I get on!

Glossybox Make Up Brush - this looks pretty crap to be honest, not sure how they can count this as the 5th product in the box!  I ran it over the back of my hand to see how the bristles felt and a few fell out, so that's not really a great quality signal.  Plus I adore my Real Techniques brushes so I'm unlikely to use this.

So far, so meh - it's the first box I've opened and went "hmm well this looks crap", not impressed!  I don't currently subscribe to any other beauty boxes but I think I might look into some of the others and see if there's a better alternative out there.  I've stuck up for Glossybox in the past on their Facebook page as there does seem to be a lot of criticism around them but for the first time I'm agreeing with all the negative posts on there!

Oh and also, check out the lovely Lucy's blog to see how their customer service team react to (totally justified) critique....

Get The Look: Sarah Harding

Tuesday, 19 June 2012
I've never really been a big fan of Sarah Harding's style (and to be honest she's my least favourite Girls Aloud-er) but I love this little outfit she was pictured in recently, a perfect casual cool look.  Now get cracking on with that reunion ladies!!


Create The Look

      

  


A Wear Purple Skinny Jeans* - ASOS - £35.00
Denika Galaxy Peace Print Vest - Shelikes - £7.99
Spike Wrap Bangle - Topshop - £12.50

*If you've got a spare £200 and fancy splashing out on her actual jeans then you'll find them on ASOS

Clarins Daily Energizer Cream-Gel

Monday, 18 June 2012
As well as the Philip Kingsley Elasticizer, another product I picked up from Escentual.com was the Clarins Daily Energizer Cream Gel as I'd seen it talked about on a few blogs recently.



Clarins Daily Energizer is a refreshing and light cream-gel that delivers ideal hydration and a matte finish.  An energising cream-gel that refreshes skin, ensures a matte result and ideal moisture balance all day long.

This is a really good moisturiser - I've been using it twice a day for about 2 weeks now and I love it!  I'm normally quite lazy when it comes to moisturising, mainly because I don't have the time (especially in the morning) to wait around for it to dry, and I hate being left with that horrible tacky feeling  This stuff has a really light formulation though so it sinks into the skin pretty quickly, so you don't have to wait long before applying makeup (in fact, it's a really good make up base too).

It's quite expensive, at £20 RRP, but for me it's definitely been worth it as my skin has looked and felt really refreshed and moisturised since I started using it.  Also, I found it for a bargain on Escentual.com for £16!

A Week in Instagrams #13

Sunday, 17 June 2012

1) Twit twooo
2) Toastie Thursday
3) All dressed up
4) Mature...
5) Drinks at The Chanter
6) The boys
7) Me and Gav
8) Jacs and Andy
9) Hungover Saturday
10) Love this!
11) Bit of car trouble
12) Sunday treat

Had a short week at work as I had Monday and Friday off, so the weekend came around really fast.  Had an amazing night out with old friends on Friday, lots of reminiscing, good laughs, drinks and dancing.  Saturday was a bit of a hangover day so I spent pretty much the whole day in bed watching Family Guy and reading Game of Thrones.  On Sunday B and I went shopping to get him an outfit for a wedding we're going to next weekend (I'm being good and recycling a wedding outfit from last year) and then we stopped off for a cheeky McDonalds drive-through on the way home.  

Oh, and in honour of Fathers Day here's a nice pic of me and my Dad back when I was a cute wee chubby baby! 

Recipe: Mint Choc Chip Muffins

Saturday, 16 June 2012
I haven't done a recipe post in a while, so here's how to make these yummy mint choc chip cakes that I made for my cup final party a few weeks ago (these were Hibs cakes....I also made jam tart cakes for Hearts!).  The muffin recipe I used for the cakes themselves came from the BBC Good Food website.

Mint Chocolate Chip Muffin Recipe

Ingredients

(makes 12)
125g plain flour
25g cocoa powder
1tsp baking powder
1 egg
60g sugar
2tbsp oil (I used sunflower oil)
100ml milk
1 bag chocolate chips

Instructions

1) Sieve the flour, baking powder and cocoa into a bowl.

2) Mix the egg, milk, oil and sugar together in a jug.

3) Stir the two mixtures together and add half the bag of chocolate chips.  Mix until combined but still lumpy.

4) Spoon into cake cases (fill about half-way) and then place in the oven at 160 degrees for about 20 mins, until the cakes are cracked at the top.

5) In a bowl make butter icing including a 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract and a 1/4 teaspoon of green food colouring.  I can't remember what measurements of butter and icing sugar I used, but at one point I ran out of butter but it looked like I still didn't have enough icing for all the cakes so I added more icing sugar and used milk to bind - it worked well!

7) Once the cakes have cooled pipe on the icing and then sprinkle with the remaining chocolate chips.

8) Enjoy!

May Glossy Box

Thursday, 14 June 2012
It was Glossy Box's first birthday this month, so the May box had a birthday theme and along with the usual samples we also got a cute little compact mirror (which has taken up residence on my desk at work) and a pink balloon.




Here's what I got in my box:

Noble Isle - Summer Rising Cornish Hedgerows Bath & Shower Gel

I know shower gel is a bit boring but I really like getting these in my box as I know I'll definitely use it till the end.  Noble Isle is a British brand who specialise in luxury bathing products, taking inspiration from all corners of the British Isles (hence the name).  Summer Rising is a gorgeous fragrance, it's quite manly but in a nice way, slightly spicy and musky but also beautifully floral.  It also left my skin feeling really smooth and fresh.  I really liked this, I used most of the bottle as a shower gel but then finished it off with a bath.



Lolita Lempicka Eau de Parfum & Si Lolita

I had two perfume samples from Lolita Lempicka - the first was Si Lolita which was a light fresh citrusy fragrance with a slight spice to it, perfect for during the day.  The second was an Eau de Parfum which was more of a night out type fragrance, with notes of aniseed and violet.  I love getting little perfume samples in my boxes as they are perfect for sticking in my handbag to freshen up at work or to take on a night out, and these both came in great little bottles with spray applicators which is perfect (I hate when little sample bottles don't have sprays!).



Eldora - False Eyelashes

At first I was really excited to see false eyelashes in my box - I love getting make up items as that's kind of why I signed up for a beauty box in the first place, to discover new make up brands - however I was really disappointed with these.  For a start they look quite cheap (not surprising since they apparently cost £3.90?!  Not exactly luxury Glossy Box....), the packaging is flimsy and the lashes themselves don't look high quality at all.  Also, they are HUGE!!  I held them up to my eyes and seriously they looked ridiculous.  So I thought I'd just trim them, but when I did that they just looked really stupid and it was totally obvious that I'd cut them - so unfortunately they had to go in the bin.  They might have worked ok for people who like the huge lash look (a la Katie Price) but that's not me I'm afraid!



Osmo - Berber Oil Hair Treatment

Berber Oil is a hair treatment containing Argan Oil.  I've heard a lot about Argan Oil before (I remember they did a bit on America's Next Top Model about it last season) so I was quite excited to try this.  I've used this a few times on the ends of my hair before blow drying and it has definitely made my hair feel a lot softer and my split ends less noticeable.  I'm not brave enough to try it on my hair when it's dry though (the instructions say it can be used to give sleek, shiny results) as I'm worried it will end up looking really greasy and then I'll have to wash it again - but I will definitely keep using it on occasions when it's wet before blow drying.

Apivita - Express Beauty Masks

I had two revitalising masks with orange in my box, I've only used one of them so far as it made my skin sting like mad when I had it on so I'm not keen on using it again!  I'm not sure if it's just because my skin can sometimes be a bit sensitive, or if it's because I'd just had a shower so the heat will have opened all my pores up, but yeah it really nipped!  It smelled delicious though....



Summary

I've decided to start using a rating system on this and all future Glossy Boxes, using a selection of criteria:

Number of products I enjoyed: 3/5
Number of products I'd consider buying: 1/5
Was the box worth the £12.95 value? (scale 1-5): 3.5/5

Overall rating = 7.5/15 = 50%

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer

Wednesday, 13 June 2012
The Philip Kingsley Elasticizer is one of those products that I'd seen people raving about on beauty blogs, but it's £26 so I'd been umming and ahhing about splashing out.  However, when I saw that Escentual.com were selling 20ml packs for £3.10 I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to try it out without committing to a whole bottle.

Elasticizer sample - along with some other Escentual.com goodies
Elasticizer is a pre-shampoo intensive moisturizing treatment that delivers elasticity, bounce and shine to hair.  It also provides UV protection even after washing, helping prolong the life of colour treated hair.  The treatment was originally created by Philip Kingsley specifically for Audrey Hepburn, who wanted a super-moisturising treatment that would repair her hair and keep it in great condition throughout the frequent colouring and styling done to her hair on movie sets.

As my hair is bleached it does tend to get really dry, especially at the ends, so I'm always keen to try out treatments like this that claim to repair damaged and colour treated hair.  

Last Sunday I decided to have a bit of a pamper, so slapped on a clay mask and then applied this treatment to my hair.  It's a pre-shampoo treatment but you apply it to wet hair so I blasted my head with the shower over the bath and then applied it all over (paying particular attention to the ends).  As it was such a small sample though I wasn't really able to slather on as much as I would have if I'd had a full bottle, but I managed to get a light layer all over.  I then wrapped my head in cling film (sexy!) and sat and read a magazine for half an hour before getting in the shower and washing it off.  I could totally feel the difference even when it was wet, my hair felt so silky and also felt a bit thicker (if that makes sense).  

Once I'd blow dried I could also see a definite improvement in the condition of my hair, especially the ends which looked a lot less fried.  I was also left with a nice shine too which made my hair look a lot healthier.

I'm definitely going to buy the full sized version of this, although it might need to wait until next pay day as I've already spent far too much this month!

Get The Look: Mollie King

Tuesday, 12 June 2012
A new fashion feature I've decided to add to the blog is "Get The Look" where I take a trend or a celebrity outfit and find similar items to create a high street version.  First up is Mollie King.

I love Mollie from The Saturday's style - she always manages to look effortlessly cool and isn't a total designer label slave so is often seen in high street pieces which makes it quite easy to copy her look.  She wore this latest outfit on a night out with fellow Saturdays member Vanessa at Mahiki in London.  


Create The Look


            
                        


Blue Floral Print Blazer - River Island - £45.00
Pleated Scallop Crop Shell Top - Topshop - £28.00
Cameo Rose Cream Lace Shorts - New Look - £16.99
Accuse Harness Detail Boots - Topshop - £85.00
Tan Clutch Bag - Zara - £29.99 (in-store only)

Total Outfit = £204.98