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Friday, 18 August 2017

New Additions To Our Photo Wall...

A while ago I did a blog post all about a photo wall I had started in our bedroom, I say photo wall it's just prints really but I don't really know what else to call it! I had been stuck for so long with what to do with the bedroom but once I started adding a few prints and pictures to the main wall, I fell in love with the idea of creating a massive photo wall and it being something we could always keep adding to. Now almost a year on since I started it, it's just full of so many prints and postcards and I just love it. First of all I know the wall doesn't look like the best colour, but it's just the way the photo has come out with the lighting etc, and it's more of a cream colour than a white so definitely looks a bit strange and dark on photos! I just really wanted to do this post.
I thought I would show you what it looks like now compared to what I first started it, and where I've bought some of the things for it. The picture on the left was right when we first started it and the one on the right is the photo wall now. The main part of the wall is a picture of New York that I got from Primark for only £4 last year. The prints were from a variety of places including notonthehighstreet, paperchase and 1 is from an american store that's now closed down. As you can see from the pictures, it's grown massively and I've added so much to it over the last 12 months.
The majority of the small postcards are from Paperchase. They do loads of different ones for only about 60p each so whenever I go I tend to pick a few up. I love all of the london themed ones, at the top we have a new one now that's got a hamster on the london eye which you might be able to see, it's just so cute and I had to buy it. I also love the Crumpet of Courage postcard, and also I've got a few with bears on because I just love bears so much. There are a few more London postcards which are from an actual shop on the southbank, and were less than £1 each. A few other bits I've picked up this year are prints from Coconut Lane. I got the What Would Blair Waldorf Do? print because Gossip Girl is amazing, this was only about £6. I've got a few others too including the 'Prosecco, Pizza, Pyjamas and Puppies' which George bought for me a few months ago. Lastly there is a Wicked print in the top right corner, I'm obsessed with the show and the music now so it felt fitting to get some sort of Wicked print, and then there are just a few other random ones like the 'I love you more than chocolate'  one which came in my Date Night Box

I know to some it might just all look a bit random, and maybe even a bit of a mess but I adore it and love nothing more than adding new things to it. I'm not a very creative person at all but I have so much fun with this working out where to put things and looking for different types of prints and quotes. Our bedroom is definitely quite basic and because our flat is rented there is only so much we can do with it, but this photo wall has made such a huge difference. I look at it all the time and just love what we've done with it. I'll be so sad to take all of these down when we do one day move somewhere else but I think it's something I'll try and recreate in the future too, and I definitely want to do something similar in our 'office'. 

I'd love to know what you think to things like this, have you ever done a 'photo wall' or would you in future? or can you recommend any prints or photos I should pick up?

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Thursday, 17 August 2017

Beauty and the Beast Film Review...

Oh this film just makes me so happy. I'd never planned to do a blog post on it but after watching it a few weeks ago for the third time, I was like yep I need to write about this, it deserves a proper review!

I first saw this in the cinema during it's opening week earlier this year, I then went back about a month later as I enjoyed it so much and I've since got the DVD and watched it again so I think I've seen it enough to be able to give it a fair review. I'd absolutely love to know your thoughts and if you agree with anything I mention below, let me know!
Cast - Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Emma Thompson, Ian McKellen, Ewan McGregor (aswell as many more)

Plot - A live action remake of the 1991 classic, Belle played by Emma Watson is a bright, beautiful and independant young woman who lives with her father in a small village in France. She ends up being taken prisoner by a beast in his castle after finding out her father has been held captive by him. She then befriends the castles enchanted staff and soon starts to learn to look beyond the beasts exterior, realising what a good man he is actually is and why he is the way he is. The only problem is they just need to fall in love before the last petal of the rose falls that was cursed years ago.

My Review - I really wasn't sure what to expect of this film as it had been such a long time since seeing the original version. I was excited by the trailer and knew I wanted to go and see the film but I definitely wasn't buzzing, I just wasn't sure whether I'd love it or hate it. Almost as soon as it started that first time I saw it in the cinema though, I knew I was going to adore it and I had no idea why I ever doubted it. Just straight away I felt like it was such a magical film and I smiled, laughed and cried all the way through. I loved the whole story, I loved the cast, I adored the music and after seeing it once, I knew I would be going back to see it again. Like many people before seeing it I was sceptical about Emma Watson playing Belle. I'm not sure who I envisaged playing her but I was definitely a bit worried about if she would do it justice or not. I have to admit I'm not a huge fan of her as a person but she did do a pretty brilliant job of this. I think she fitted the role well and her and Dan Stevens seemed to work together really well. Overall I think the casting was brilliant and I really enjoyed Ewan McGregor in this aswell as Emma Thompson. I have to mention Josh Gad and Luke Evans though aswell. Josh Gad is just hilarious in everything he does, and I always laugh at his lines because all I hear is Olaf from Frozen, and Luke Evans is well, just Luke Evans, DREAMY! I think he's so handsome and the perfect fit for Gaston, who was much more evil than I expected him to be! As I said the music was amazing. The addition of Evermore, sang by Dan Stevens as the beast was brilliant, such a good song, and I also really loved Be Our Guest. I'm definitely going to be getting the soundtrack at some point as I really do think each song is so good. I'm not going to lie, this film does make me extremely emotional! Just something about it gets to me, especially when Belle and the Beast dance, and also at the end when everyone is reunited with their families and they are all dancing in the castle. The first time I saw it, I was sat crying at the end and I genuinely think George was looking at me, like what the hell is wrong with you? I just loved it though, everything about it and that last scene made me sob.

Overall I think it's such a good remake of a classic and they have exceeded any expectations I had. I know it's going to be a film I keep forever and always go back and watch.

I'd love to know what you thought to it and if you agree with anything I've said, do you think the casting was right? What's your favourite song from the film?

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Wednesday, 16 August 2017

My 5 Must Have Apps*

I spend an insane amount of time on my phone each day, probably far too much! Because of that I definitely have a few favourite apps that I always seem to go back to. Some are just so useful and can be used daily but I also spend time downloading new ones all the time to try out as there are always new and fun apps being brought out! I thought because I've tried so many out recently I'd write about them and tell you why I think they are ones everyone should have!
Bidvine - The first app I wanted to talk about is Bidvine. You might have seen this around a little bit lately but it's still pretty new and is an app that I think is brilliant for my fellow bloggers, aswell as so many other professionals! Bidvine is basically a website and an app that allows you to search for a whole range of services in your local area in a matter of minutes! You can hire all sorts of professionals - Photographers, Decorators, Tutors, Makeup Artists, just to name a few, and the app is extremely easy to use. You can just complete the short form where you input what service you want, how much you are willing to pay and your location, and then just wait for the results to come to you! No need to go looking on the internet for hours, it's all sorted on the app. The service I'm particuarly interested in is the portrait photography. This covers everything from family shots, modelling headshots, maternity shots and graduation pictures. It's definitely an app I'll be going back to and using in future!
Buffer - This has been one of my go to blogging apps for so long now. I find scheduling tweets really helps when it comes to blog views and I find I get a lot of my traffic from there, well I've definitely see a big change in views on the days I tweet posts compared to the days I don't. I try to schedule about 6 tweets a day and it's so easy to do on the app. I just pick a post, copy the link, and add a photo and then all I need to do is add a date and time. With scheduling tweets I don't have to worry throughout the day about getting on my phone and tweeting out a post, it's so helpful! 

LinkedIn - This is an app I only got recently but one I am really enjoying using. I'm sure most people have heard of LinkedIn but it's basically a business social networking site and you can connect with your employers and other people in the same sort of business as you. It's a brilliant way to build up connections in areas you might like to work in, and you can actually apply for jobs through the app. I've not got loads of connections on there yet but I've wrote about my blog in my profile and I'm just using it for that at the moment really. I tend to add any PR people I've worked with or any people from brands I've worked with and I do that because it means you're sort of keeping that line of communication open. It keeps you on their radar and might mean they come back to you in future, they can keep updated on your blog and generally it's nice to have all these people you've worked with in one place for future employers to see. It's also a bit like facebook in that you can post a status on there so I tend to go and post a link to my latest blog post each day. I've also added a few fellow bloggers on there too. I definitely recommend downloading the app and making yourself a profile if you really want to try and take your blog as far as possible.

Acast - If you're into podcasts or just want something a bit different to have on in the background while you're working/cleaning/blogging then I really recommend Acast. Another pretty new app for me but one I'm loving so much. It's basically a podcast app and you can find a whole range of people on there! One series I've been listening to recently is the At Home With one by Lily Pebbles and Anna Gardner where they meet up with different celebs or fellow bloggers/vloggers and chat about all sorts of things including work, interiors and family life. There are loads more to choose from though and some of the people on their include Emma Gannon and Marcus Butler, though you can find just about anything and anyone on there so something for everyone!

My Fitness Pal - This is a brilliant one for people who are trying to eat a bit healthier or lose some weight. It's an app I've gone back to quite a few times over the last few years and it's one I'm using at the moment. It's so easy to use and I can easily track my calories each day aswell as water intake and exercise. You can put it in your weight, height and the amount you're wanting to lose and it will give you a set amount of calories each day to stick to, it's as easy as that! I love going on each morning, putting in all my meals for the day and then I can see how much is left to go on snacks and I find this really helps me stay on track. It's also such a good feeling to see at the end of the day that you've stayed within calories and are one step closer to your goal!
Have you tried any of these apps? What are your go to apps?

*Collaborative post with Bidvine. As always I only work with brands I feel are relevant to me and my blog.

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Tuesday, 15 August 2017

My Yummy Marble Cake Recipe...

It's been such a long time since I last did a baking post! I've missed doing them so much, but to be honest now a lot of the time if I'm going to bake I just stick to my favourites like Blondies or School Sponge Cake. They always go down well and they are so easy to make. Thought I do tend to stick to the same things now, it is nice to try something new every so often so last month I decided to give Marble Cake a go. I think I might have attempted this years ago but never have done since so this was a really nice change.  As you can see from the pictures, it didn't end up being that marbled, I probably didn't spend enough time trying to get that effect but it went okay, and it tasted absolutely delicious which is the main thing!
Ingredients: (Plain Mix)
175g self raising flour
175g butter
175g caster sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

Ingredients: (Chocolate Mix)
150g self raising flour
175g butter
175g caster sugar
3 eggs
25g cocoa

Method:
1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees and grease a large square baking tin
2. For the Plain mix, in one bowl, add the butter and sugar and mix together until smooth
3. Add in eggs, 1 by 1 and 1 tsp of vanilla extract. Mix well, then sift in 175g of self raising flour
4. Mix well, then set aside
5. Now grab a seperate bowl and you can start on the chocolate mix. Add in the butter and sugar, mix together until smooth
6. Add in the 3 eggs, 1 by 1, then sift in the flour, and the cocoa powder. Mix well, ensuring everything is combined
7. Now pour both mixes into the prepared cake tin. You now need to try and mix it all up to get that marbled effect. I used a wooden skewer and just kept swirling it all over to get the marble pattern
8. When your happy with how the mix looks and feel it's all marbled together, bake in the oven for at least 40 minutes. As it's such a big mix it might take a little longer, just keep checking, if a skewer comes out clean then it's done!

You can then leave to cool on a wire rack for around 20 minutes then cut into squares.
This was so much fun to make and really did taste amazing. It's definitely worth the time and effort and really will go down a treat if you decide to give this a go. Just be aware that this makes absolutely loads so you might only want to make it if you've got quite a few people to share it with or can hand it out!

Have you ever attempted making Marble Cake? What's your favourite thing to bake?

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Monday, 14 August 2017

Birchbox Unboxing & Review - August 2017...

I absolutely love subscription boxes but I haven't subscribed to one for so long! That is until this month when I decided to finally treat myself. I used to get the You Beauty Discovery Box but that was quite a while ago now and even though I've always been tempted by Birchbox I've never been 100% sold and not wanted to waste money. After a pretty tough month though I felt like I needed a little treat and also after seeing a few pictures of the August Birchbox and knowing that a full sized Spectrum Brush was included, I decided to just go for it. I thought as it's my first ever Birchbox I'd do a post on it, a little unboxing I suppose and give a review on what's included.
Before I get on with the products let's just talk about the beautiful mermaid style packaging! I mean, isn't it so pretty? I love the mermaid effect and the bright blue, and I also love that it's just a little box with a pull out drawer, so useful and this is going to be fab to keep in the spare room when it's finally an office for any little bits that have nowhere to go or little blog props. 
Now onto the products. The first thing included that I knew I would be getting is a full sized Spectrum Brush. Everyone seems to be obsessed with these brushes at the moment and I can totally see why as they are stunning! This alone sold the box to me! There was a choice between the Bomb Shell brush which is the one I went for, or the Glam Clam one, both looked amazing but the pink one was my favourite. In real life this only looks even better than pictures, it's really beautiful and to be honest I'm not sure I can bring myself to use it! I just want it to be a cute blog prop for now. 
The next thing I knew I was getting was a LOC One & Done Shadow Stick and the shade I got given was Rock Steady. I've never tried anything like this before and I don't tend to use any sort of eyeshadow so I'm intrigued to see what it's like! It'll either go really well and look good or be an absolute disaster! I had no idea what else I was getting in the box and that's what I love about these sorts of subscription boxes, the element of surprise. I was really happy to see the Palmer Coconut Oil Body Lotion. This stuff always reminds me of holidays! I love the smell of it and can't wait to start using it, Palmers are a brand I definitely don't buy from enough. There was also a Merci Handy Hand Gel in the scent Hello Sunshine. This is literally summer in a little bottle! Another thing that makes me think of holidays, I seriously need to go abroad now. I love having little things like this in my handbag so this is a fab little addition. Lastly there was a mini Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray. This is a brand I've seen a lot in some youtubers vlogs but I know it's quite pricey so I never expected to ever try anything from them. I was really happy to see this and can't wait to give it a go.
When I ordered this there was also a code you could enter to get yourself a free makeup bag and Nails Inc Polish so obviously I wasn't going to miss out on that. I love the little makeup bag that came, and I've been needing a new one for a while so this is fab! The nail polish is in the shade Queen Street which is a beautiful nude/stone colour. I love Nails Inc Polishes so I'm really excited to try this and see what it's like on. This was such a nice little bonus.
So that's everything that was in my August Birchbox and I'm so happy with it all! I know beauty boxes like this can be a bit hit and miss sometimes, which is the reason I never really sign up to any, but I've really loved this box and it's definitely made me want to continue on with my subscription! I just think it's a nice little present to gift yourself each month.

If you would like to try a Birchbox for yourself and want £5 off your first box, feel free to follow the link here! The boxes usually cost £10 with £2.95 postage which I think is pretty good for what you get, but an extra £5 off is even better! Definitely worth doing if you want a little treat and want to try some new products, especially at the moment while you can still get a full sized Spectrum Brush!

Have you ever subscribed to Birchbox before or do you subscribe to any other beauty boxes?

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Friday, 11 August 2017

Food I Have Been Loving This Week #18

I love doing these posts now so I'm sorry if you're seeing a lot of them but they really are becoming one of my favourites! Like always there is more naughty food than good but that's just always the food I want to show you.
The Best Ever Muffins - I had to start with these. We live quite close a shopping centre and in there is a place that does the best ever muffins! Literally I've never had any better than this. They do quite a few different ones and it had been so long since I last had one, so when George was working from home one day a few weeks ago, he went out on his lunch break to get a few things and came back with 4 muffins!! I'm not complaining they were incredible. There was a Victoria Sponge, Sticky Toffee, Brownies and Cream, and lastly Chocolate Chip. I want to eat them all again now. 

Daim Ice Cream - I'm totally a Ben and Jerrys Chocolate Fudge Brownie kind of girl but when it's not on offer there is no way I'm paying £5 a tub. Instead when I've been in need of ice cream I've been reaching for this Daim one. It tend to be about £2 and it's just delicious. I love daim chocolate anyway but this is so good because it's a caramel flavour ice cream and literally every spoonful has chunks of daim. It's not like other ice cream where you get a few bits of chocolate in there, every single time I take a scoop out of there, there are bits of crispy daim. Amazing.

Cheesy Bacon & Onion Jacket Potatoes - One of the healthier things in this post! As the weather has been on and off over the last month or so, when it's been warm I've been so stuck with what to cook! I love salads in summer so that's what I've been turning to a lot more recently. I made quite a big salad a few weeks ago, with all the usual stuff and I also had a jacket potato with it, and I made a new filling which was delicious. I used 2 slices of bacon, around 30g of philadelphia and half a small red onion. When the bacon was cooked I cut it into smallish pieces, added diced red onion, and the philadelphia, mixed it all together than put that on the potato. It was delicious! I know the potato looks a little burnt in the picture but it didn't taste it, just like them crispy! This was a nice alternative to just tuna or cheese which I tend to go for on a jacket potato.

Homemade Chocolate Cake - I'm so addicted to cake at the minute. I love baking and chocolate cake is just one of the best things to make isn't it? I follow my easter cake recipe, it's so easy and always turns out delicious. I made one recently and just put melted milk chocolate in the middle and on top instead of ganache and it really was so yummy. This recipe always makes the cake super spongy and moist. I just want to make it again. This is one of those recipes I just want to pass onto everyone because it is that good, everyone needs to try it.

Chicken and Bacon Risotto - Risotto isn't something I make loads, I'm not sure why because it is actually relatively easy and it always tastes incredible, but I did make it again a few weeks ago and just loved it. I followed this recipe and just let it do it's thing, occassionally going back and adding more stock while it simmers. I added chicken and peas to it, and then after I took the photo I added some crispy bacon to the top. I love it so much, especially with warm crusty bread to dip.

Milkybar with Smarties - Milkybar is life. It's one of the best chocolate bars out there, buttons are even better I think, but when they brought this out I knew I had to try it! It's full of little smarties and just adds an extra little crunch to go with the smooth creaminess of the white chocolate. It was only £1 in Morrisons so there was no way I was missing out on it. Definitely need to get more!

Do you like the look of any of the food I've mentioned this week? Have you tried the new milkybar or the ice cream?

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Thursday, 10 August 2017

The Perfect Summer Nails*

I am always changing up my nails, and I'm definitely one of those people that goes for particular colours each season, every single year! I'm such a big fan of darker colours during Autumn and Winter, but as soon as Spring and Summer hits I'm all for the pinks, mints, and nude shades. Anyone else like that?

As I'm always changing up my nails, and talking all about my favourite polishes a lot on my blog and social media, I was so happy to be asked if I would like to take part in a campaign Destination2 are currently running, the perfect summer nails. Destination2 specalise in creating tailor-made holidays to a big range of worldwide destinations. You can choose from round the world trips, find the perfect beach holiday or pick a short city break. They can help you with booking hotels and cheap flights to various places including Dubai, Barbados, Maldives, Cancun and many more. Perfect if you're planning a holiday any time soon!

When I heard about this campaign I knew I wanted to be involved. It sounded so perfect for my blog and I knew exactly what nail polish I wanted to mention straight away. 
It's the shade Eternal Optimist by Essie. I know I've mentioned this before on my blog but I've never done a full post on it and this polish, really deserves that. It's one of my go to polishes every summer and never fails. It's a subtle pink/nude shade and looks beautiful in the bottle, and on the nails. I love wearing this in summer because it isn't too out there and definitely isn't bright, it's just a classic and elegant colour and is a perfect one to have on during the week when you're working. It goes with just about every outfit, if you like to go to that much detail, but is also just a perfect colour to wear for any holidays or weddings you have coming up. 

When it comes to holidays I love wearing a shade like this. I think it goes so well with a tan and this particular one from Essie lasts so long, so I wouldn't have to worry about it chipping during the holiday and having messy nails for the rest of the week! Before applying this I like to file my nails and I always go for a rounded shape, I sometimes apply a bottom coat if I have one but it's not a necessity. I then like to apply two coats of this and I find I get at least a weeks wear out of it then, sometimes even longer if I use a top coat, but again I don't do this everytime. When I can I like to use gel effect nail polishes just because I love the glossy finish they give and also gel nail polishes are supposed to give you much more time without chipping. This isn't a gel effect polish but I honestly think it's just as good. It's perfect, and one I always go back to.

I think this a nail polish I'll always repurchase and one I'll wear every summer, especially when it comes to any future holidays. I can't recommend it enough!

I'd love to know what colours you like to go for in Summer, do you like anything like the one I've mentioned or do you prefer the brighter shades?

*This post was written in collaboration with Destination2. As always I only feature brands I feel are relevant to me and my blog

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Wednesday, 9 August 2017

My Ultimate Musical Playlist...

It's no secret now that after seeing Wicked last year, I am full on OBSESSED with musicals. Literally so many different ones. I love all sorts of music but musicals really do take up a lot of my spotify now and I'm not ashamed to say that. I feel like some songs from certain shows I can just relate to so much and others are so powerful to listen to. As I'm so into musicals now I've put together a full playlist full of a load of different songs all from different shows (a few are from films too) and I thought I'd share it with you in case you want some music inspiration or want to discover some new musicals! They are in no particular order or anything, just a load of songs I love.
1. Waving Through A Window - Dear Evan Hansen
2. The Music Of The Night - The Phantom Of The Opera
3. When We Dance - The Last Ship
4. Opening Up - Waitress 
5. If You Ever See Me Talking To A Sailor - The Last Ship
6. You Will Be Found - Dear Evan Hansen
7. I Dreamed A Dream - Les Miserables
8. Seasons Of Love - Rent
9. The Negative - Waitress
10. Defying Gravity - Wicked
11. When He Sees Me - Waitress
12. Everything Changes - Waitress
13. You Can't Stop The Beat - Hairspray
14. She Used To Be Mine - Waitress
15. One Day More - Les Miserables 
16. Do You Hear The People Sing - Les Miserables 
17. Take Me Or Leave Me - Rent
18. The Wizard and I - Wicked
19. Thanks Goodness - Wicked
20. Popular - Wicked 
21. No Good Deed - Wicked
22. Without Love - Hairspray
23. The New Girl In Town - Hairspray
24. The Phanton Of The Opera - The Phantom Of The Opera 
25. Be Our Guest - Beauty and The Beast
26. Gaston - Beauty and The Beast 
27. Let's Go Fly A Kite - Saving Mr Banks
28. Hello - The Book Of Mormon
29. Some Kind Of Wonderful - Beautiful The Carole King Musical
30. One Night Only - Dreamgirls 

There is quite a mix of songs there and I'm sure there is a musical for everyone! There are so many brilliant songs in the west end and broadway and I'm loving discovering new ones all the time. I'd love to know if you've got a favourite musical or if you love any of the songs I've mentioned?

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Tuesday, 8 August 2017

This Is Your Cookbook Review*

Now I know some people might read this post and think, hang on I didn't think you'd got married yet? and I haven't but I will be in the not too distant future so hopefully this won't be too much of a random post!

When I saw This Is Your Cookbook on twitter recently looking for engaged bloggers to review their romantic collection cookbook, I replied straight away, and then they got in touch and said they'd love to send me a personalised one which made me so happy. I always get so excited whenever a brand wants to work with me and never take it for granted and this was something I was really excited about. I absolutely love cooking and I'm always on the lookout for new recipe books to add to my collection and new meals to try, so this really did sound perfect for me and I just thought, what a lovely thing for us both to have and keep forever.
If you've never heard of This Is Your Cookbook before then let me tell you a little bit about them. They are a small start up company based in Brighton and they basically allow you to create your own recipe book full of your own delicious recipes. No more flicking through book after book, you can have them all in one! The recipe books can be personalised so you can have your own book with your name on full of your favourite recipes and your own that you've created. Personalising your cookbook can be done in less than 10 minutes (brilliant if you need to quickly order a gift for someone!) and you can either chose to add recipes from their own collections which all together has over 3000, or you can add just loads of your own, you can even mix and match, it's completely up to you!

The first step with This Is Your Cookbook is personalising the front cover. The one I was sent was personalised with my soon to be married name, but obviously if it's for just you, you can have your own name on the front, of if it's a gift for someone, it could be personalised with their surname. It's your choice what you put on the front. You can then choose what design goes on the front cover, the one I was sent has petals all over which I think is so lovely, but you could choose from cookies, cupcakes, cake and so many other things.
The next step is the dedication page. If you were ordering one of these for someone else, you could put a special message here and you can also choose to add a picture to this bit. If you have a nice photo you want to be included, it's so easy to do, or you can just add one that is on the website, there are plenty to choose from and I absolutely love the one that was in my book, I love a cinnamon roll. The right page is the contents page so any recipes you choose to include will be listed here.
As I was sent this book I had no idea what recipes would be included and it was personalised for me so I didn't get chance to add any of my own recipes in which is absolutely fine. This book is from the romantic collection so it was full of fancy meals to make for a date night or an anniversary, aswell as delicious desserts! If adding your own recipes though, it's so easy to do, you can add a little paragraph, list all the ingredients, the method and then a picture, it's as simple as that. All recipes are printed on high quality paper and the book is hardback, so it definitely looks and feels just as good as any other recipe books you may already have, just with the added bonus of personalisation!

There are so many recipes I want to try that are in my book but I thought I'd pick 3 that really caught my eye. The first one being the chocolate mousse with dark chocolate waves. As soon as I saw this I planned to get all the ingredients in our next food shop and give this a go. I made it a few weekends ago and it was honestly amazing! I had never made mousse before and really wasn't sure how it would go, but it was just incredible. I did things a little differently with the chocolate and served it another way but I got the same results and I'm so glad I gave it a go. 
How my version turned out - so proud!
Next up is the Moroccan Baked Fish. I really don't cook with fish enough, it can be a little pricey and to be honest a lot of the time I just don't know what to make with it! I loved the look of this straight away though and so did George so I added it to last weeks meal plan. I made it on Thursday and served it with a flatbread and wholegrain and wild rice. It was so delicious! The recipe was so easy to follow and it was a really quick meal to make, perfect to have after a busy day at work or on a day you just can't be bothered to cook much! It was definitely a little spicy but I didn't mind at all and it went so well with the rice I chose. I'll definitely be making this again.
How my version of the fish turned out, again so happy with it!
The last recipe I'm yet to try but really desperate to is the Bitter Chocolate Tart. I mean, look at it! I love a dessert like this and I think it would be such a good one to make maybe for an anniversary or if we had people round. I'm saving this one for now but will definitely be giving it a go soon.
Obviously there are loads of other recipes in the book I want to try but these were 3 that really stood out to me when I first had a look through.

I'm so impressed with the whole concept of This Is Your Cookbook and think it's such a fab idea! It's such a nice thing to have, either just for yourself full of your own recipes or ones you love, or it's a lovely thing to either have as a couple, or to gift to somebody. Not many people can say they have a personalised cookbook! I definitely recommend checking this out if you know anyone getting married anytime soon as this would be such a unique gift to give and definitly one they'd treasure I'm sure. I know this is something me and George will keep forever.

If you would like to buy a personalised cookbook, all details can be found on the website here and they are priced at £15 with £2.95 postage for the UK. Not too bad at all I don't think for what's included and the ability to put your own stamp on it!

What do you think to This Is Your Cookbook? Would you ever consider a gift like this?

*Cookbook sent for review, as always all opinions are my own and I only feature brands I feel are relevant to me and my blog. 

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Monday, 7 August 2017

My Ultimate Girl Power Films!

I don't know about you but personally there are some films that just make me feel so empowered and literally on top of the world! I love all sorts of films, some that I put on knowing I can have a good cry, some I know will make me laugh out loud and others that I know will make me feel pretty amazing. I wanted to do a post with my ultimate girl power films, ones that I just love and are perfect for when I need a bit on encouragement and motivation! I'd love to know if any of these films empower you too, or what your favourite girl power films are!

Legally Blonde - This had to be at the top of the list. I watched it again recently and just wanted to shout YES at the end. I love it so much. Elle Woods is the ultimate inspiration who shows no matter what you want, you can go and get it. If someone says you can't do something, prove them wrong. I've read a few times that people have watched the film and it's given them the encouragement to go ahead and do law, and I just think that's amazing.
Angus, Thongs & Perfect Snogging - This has been a favourite film of mine for years and is one that always makes me smile. It is kind of centered around getting the boy, and will they/won't they end up together but it's so much more than that too. Georgia has such a good group of friends and it always makes me think back to school and the little group I finished school with, and what a laugh we all used to have. The friendship part of this always gets me, and also it shows that you don't have to be a perfect looking girl to get the man of your dreams, which I think is a pretty good message to send out when there is so much pressure now to look a certain way.
Tangled - Such a good disney film! I've only watched it a few times but especially after the last time, I thought yep that has to go in this post. There are so many disney movies that teach so many different lessons and I can't wait to show them to my kids one day. So many films are all about the girl trying to get the boy and living happily ever after but Disney aren't afraid to send out another message to young kids, at least not anymore. I love in Tangled that she does things differently to other girls and it's not necessarily a story you'd expect. 
How To Be Single - I loved this film when I saw it in the cinema and it was one I got on DVD straight away. It's all about Alice (Dakota Johnson) who has to try and figure out who she is as a single person after a breakup with her long-term boyfriend. It's a film all about going out there and discovering who you are, meeting new people, having fun, and realising you don't need a man to make you happy. It's just brilliant, and is absolutely hilarious.
The Other Woman - I did a review of this a while ago I loved it that much. One of the best girl power films I've ever watched. It's all about 3 women, all with the same guy, who clearly don't know about each other. When they do figure it out, they end up becoming really good friends and plot their revenge on him. It's just a really funny film, all about friendship and how it can turn up in the most unexpected places.
The Hunger Games - A bit different to the other films mentioned so far but such an empowering one! The main character throughout all the hunger games film is Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) who is such a strong and heroic woman. She volunteers herself for the games where the aim is to kill, or be killed, and it's all about how her and others try to stop this whole thing going on and how they rebel. She doesn't take any crap from anyone, is so clever and also so brave, she stands up for others when they can't and is just a general all round amazing woman!
Sex and The City - I had to end this post on a classic. Sex and the City, is one of those for me. I'm still yet to get through all the series that I have on DVD but the two films are brilliant and always make me feel so happy. I love the strong friendship between the four of them, and regardless of what happens, and who else comes into their lives, they are always there for each other and they are always the main focus. The first film especially just makes me smile, they all rally round Carrie and are just the best friends possible.
All of these films for me are just ultimate girl power ones and ones I just find super empowering.

What do you think? What are your favourite girl power films?

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Friday, 4 August 2017

A New Obsession - The Body Shop Peach Range...

I only posted a little body shop haul recently featuring these but I really wanted to do a full post on them because I'm just obsessed. I love anything peach scented so as soon as I knew the body shop had these and that they were on offer, I had to get them. I looked a few times over a few days on the site and they didn't have them so I assumed they were out of stock and I'd missed them but when I had one last look at the end of June I saw them and added them to the basket straight away! 
They had such a good sale on so I picked a few things up from the peach range aswell as a few other bits. These were the main things I wanted though and all were such a good price! First of all I got the shower gel for £3.50 instead of £5. I usually have a huge stash of shower gels in the bathroom, normally all the body shop aswell as I tend to stock up every so often, but I recently got through them all so I definitely had to pick one of these up. As much as I love the mini bottles of shower gel from the body shop, obviously the bigger ones last so much longer and are always worth the money. All of the shower gels I've tried in the past from them have been amazing and all had such lovely scents and this is no exception. I tend to find they normally make the bathroom smell nice for ages too and the smell definitely lingers on my skin which I really like. The bathroom is going to smell like peaches for ages now!
The next thing I got was the Body Mist for £4 instead of £8 which I thought was such a good deal. I don't think I've ever bought a body mist from the body shop before but as it was half price I thought it would be a nice little extra to get. I'm keeping this on my bedside table at the moment and spraying some each day when I've got ready or spraying a bit around the bedroom before we go to bed. It's such a strong scent which I love because it really does last for ages, and it's a decent sized bottle so should last me a while.
Lastly I got one of the big body butters for £7 instead of £15. I always wait until there is a sale on to get some of their body butter, as it's my favourite and makes my skin feel amazing, but I do think at £15 it's a bit pricey. The body butters always make my skin feel so lovely and smooth, and they are always such a nice thing to put on after a shower. Luckily with this being a big tub it should last me a while!
This range is just one of my absolute favourites that they do. It is a really sweet scent so might not be for you if you don't like things too overly sweet, but for me I love anything that smells even a little like peaches so all of these are perfect! I think it's a super refreshing scent aswell and definitely a perfect one for summer! I'm so happy with the bargains I got and as they are all full size they should last me quite a while. I said in my haul I'm not sure if this range is in stores all the time or not, because I don't tend to see it, if I did I would pick it up a lot more, so I don't know if it's new or if it's been discounted. I always tend to fall in love with a certain range the body shop do then it goes away but I'm really hoping I can get more of this one in the future. It's amazing. 

Have you tried the peach range? Whats your favourite body shop product?


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The Most Famous Paintings In The World & Where To View Them*

Art is a subjective thing. Some people believe Michelangelo to be the greatest living artist ever whereas others consider Tracey Emin's conceptual art piece, 'My Bed' to be a masterpiece. There are some paintings, however, that find their way into the collective consciousness. The paintings below are famous. Reproductions of them appear in millions of homes all over the world. You might not like all of the works we are about to discuss, but one thing is certain - you will be familar with each and every one of them and if you want to see the original, we have you covered.

Mona Lisa:
Leonardo da Vinci's famous painting of the mysterious Mona Lisa is arguably, the most famous painting in the world. Da Vinci spent around 15 years working on the painting. The subject of the painting, the enigmatic Mona Lisa, is widely believed to be Lisa Gherardini, the wife of Francesco del Giocondo. If you want to see the painting in the flesh, visit the Louvre in Paris, France. You will find the Mona Lisa in room 6 on the first floor of the Denon Wing. Be aware though, this is invariably one of the most crowded rooms in the Louvre, so you might have to crane your neck for a decent glimpse of the most famous lady in the world. The Louvre is closed on Tuesdays.
Birth of Venus:
Sandro Botticelli's Birth of Venus is simply devine when you view it in the flesh. The colours have lost none of their lustre and the composition is so rich in meaning that you could quite easily spend hours staring at this amazing work of art. Birth of Venus was comissioned by the Medici in the 1400s. It marked the beginning of the 'reign of love' in Florence. To see Birth of Venus, and Botticelli's other famous masterpieces, visit rooms 10-14 in the Uffizi in Florence, Italy. The museum is open every day apart from Mondays, and you can buy tickets online.
Olympia:
Olympia by Edouard Manet was one of the most controversial paintings of the 19th-century. Unlike the classically idealised nudes of the time, Manet painted a 'real' woman and forced the viewer to look her in the eye. Not surprisingly, the painting was considered 'scandalous' and it caused an uproar when it was exhibited in 1863. Manet's intention was to highlight the irony of a society that claimed to be modern, yet shied away from female sexuality. Critics hated the work, but it has sinced become one of the most important paintings of its generation. You will find Olympia at the Musee d Orsay in Paris. The museum is closed on Mondays but it stays open late on Thursdays.

Sunflowers:
Vincent Van Gogh painted many versions of his infamous 'Sunflowers' but despite his complete failure as an artist during his own lifetime, his Sunflower paintings have become one of the most reproduced artworks in the world. Van Gogh began his series of sunflower paintings to decorate the bedroom for his friend and fellow artist Gaugin. The finished paintings are highly textural with thick 'impasto' paint, which is so typical of Van Gogh's paintings. You can see one of Van Gogh's Sunflower paintings at the National Gallery in London, alongside many other of Van Gogh's works. The work is highly evocative of the sunshine on the South of France. Visit room 43 for a closer look - access is via the Getty entrance.

The Last Supper:
You won't find the Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci in any museum or art gallery. Instead, this iconic work of art can be found in the Santa Maria delle Grazie Monastery in Milan, Italy. Da Vinci used an experimental technique when he created the Last Supper and the painting has badly deteriorated over the years. The most recent restoration effort brought it back to life, but much of the original paint has been lost. The monastery is small, but Leonardo's painting is magnificent. Visits to see the Last Supper are strictly ticket-only. A maximum of 25 people are allowed inside the refectory at any one time to prevent further damage to this iconic work of art.
Special Mentions:
Guernica by Pablo Picasso was inspired by the bombing of the town of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. You can see Guernica at the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid, Spain. Rembrandt's The Night Watch is displayed in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. It was one of Rembrandt's most successful paintings. The girl with the pearl earring, painting by Johannes Vermeer around 1665, can be found in the Mauritshuis Gallery in the Hague, the Netherlands.

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Thursday, 3 August 2017

Sensse Hot and Cool Facial Bar Review*

Late last week I posted a review of the SensseGo! Mini Facial Brush and I mentioned then that I had another Sensse product that I'd been trying. Well that's the Hot and Cool Facial Bar and today I'm finally getting round to putting my review up. 
I was really intrigued by this and really couldn't wait to see what it was like. I'd never seen anything like it before so it's been really exciting to get the chance to give something like this a go and review it. If you've not read my last review then just so you know a bit about the brand - Sensse Beauty sell a range of beauty and skincare products, all of which are designed with the customer in mind and their aim is to bring out the best in everyones skin, and for everyone to embrace their true beauty.

I just want to say before I get on with more information about the product itself, as I mentioned in my last Sensse review, I love the packaging! It's just so simple but looks really high end and really sleek. I think just the packaging alone makes it look like a luxurious brand, but then the product itself is also just so stylish. I love the rose gold top and again I love how simple it is but it definitely stands out.
So the Hot and Cool Facial Bar has 4 settings all of which do a different thing:

Hot - This is to relax and soften your skin. The 42 degree temperature is optimal for increasing your blood circulation, relaxing your facial muscles, smoothing wrinkles and activating cell regrowth.

Hot With Vibrations - The same 42 degree temperature combined with vibrations setting is supposed to increase absorption levels in your skin.

Cool - The cool setting is for soothing sore facial muscles and reducing redness. It uses 6 degree temperature to close your pores, prevent dirt and grime build up and relieve skin fatigue.

Cool With Vibrations - This is supposed to be good for firming up your skin, to reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

I was definitely intrigued by this and couldn't wait to use it but in the end I had mixed feelings about it. I love that it has so many settings, it means just about anyone could use it and as they all do different things, whatever your problem may be with your skin, one of these settings should be able to help. I also did like how easy it was to use and how quick you can switch between settings. The massager can change from hot to cold in just 6 seconds meaning you can switch between the two if needed and all can be done just by holding down the button on the front of the bar. It also came with a very detailed instruction book meaning I knew exactly what to do and how to use it safely, and it also auto shuts off after 2 minutes to save on battery life which I think is a good idea. I definitely prefered the cool setting to the hot one. As my skin can be sensitive sometimes I just didn't want to risk it for too long with such a hot temperature, but the cool setting did feel nice and definitely refreshing!

In terms of whether it really made a difference to my skin or not, I have to say I haven't noticed one. I don't know if I need to give it more time or if I just don't really have that many issues that it could sort right now, but for now it doesn't seem to have done much for me. I have to admit after using it and the following day, my skin did feel extremely soft and that was a nice feeling so for that it was lovely, but I just couldn't see that it had done anything. So as I said, very mixed feelings about it. I'm glad I had a chance to try it out and I'm sure I'll use it again in the future but just out of this and the Sensse Mini Facial Brush, the brush has definitely won it for me.
This definitely wasn't bad and I do think if you suffer with wrinkles or redness it may be worth trying, it just wasn't the best thing for me right now. It's definitely a nice addition to a pamper night though if you really want to go all out. If you do want to give it a go, it's available on Amazon here for £59.99 instead of £100.

I'd love to know your thoughts on this if you've tried it, or have you tried any other products from Sensse Beauty?

*I was sent the facial bar to review, as always all opinions are my own and I wouldn't feature something unless I thought it was relevant.

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Wednesday, 2 August 2017

5 Reasons I Would Love To Visit Disney World...

I was watching a few disney vlogs recently and I just felt so emotional. I've never been to Disney World, and I don't know if it was ever really an option when I was younger, but now at 22, I'm feeling desperate to go! George has been before and he's told me some of the amazing things there and it really is a dream of mine for us to go together. Because I am so eager to go I wanted to do a little post explaing my 5 main reasons, and I'd love to know if you feel the same, or if you've ever been before!
1. Meet the Characters - I don't care how old I am when I finally get there, I NEED TO MEET WINNIE THE POOH. That bear 💛💛💛 I just love him and I genuinely get emotional at the thought of meeting him, hugging him and getting a picture with him. I know that might sound insane for a 22 year old, I am completely aware there is a real person in there so it might be a bit weird but I honestly don't care. It would make my life. There are so many other characters I want to meet too, the princesses, Gaston, Mickey and Minnie, Olaf, Woody, just so many! I want to experience it all and meet all the characters I have seen in films and on TV since I was little. 

2. The Theme Parks - All of the 4 main parks look incredible and I definitely want to visit them all.
  • Magic Kingdom - This has 6 main lands which all meet at the front of the Cinderella castle and they are all themed. I'd love to visit them all and I'd love to try as many rides as possible, like Peter Pan's Flight, Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger, and Splash Mountain. The more vlogs I watch the more I get so excited to visit this one. 
  • Animal Kingdom because I just love animals and want to see everything it has to offer, I'd also love to do the safari, and I love any sort of water rides so I know I'd love the Kali River Rapids.
  • Epcot I think would be amazing. From what I've read online there are two themed areas, Future World and World Showcase. Future World features attractions that focus on communication, the environment, energy, ocean, space etc. Also this is where the iconic golf ball is located and I'd love a picture in front of that. I've been watching so many videos of things to do at Epcot and it really does look incredible. This is also where Club Cool is and you can try fizzy drinks from around the world.
  • Hollywood Studios - Being a big film fan I know I would love this. It has a whole land Toy Story themed now which we would have to visit, and there is also a Star Wars land which I'm sure George would enjoy. I'd also love to go on the Tower of Terror.
3. The Food - the amount of mickey shaped foods I see on my Instagram and just wish I could eat! I would be trying it all. I want to have the waffles, macaron ice cream sandwiches, pretzels, rice krispie treats etc. I'd also love to try some of the restaurants like Be Our Guest and Yachtsman Steakhouse. 

4. The Fireworks and Parades - I love when I watch peoples disney vlogs and they film the parades and you get to see all your favourite characters going past you. It just looks amazing and I would absolutely love to see it one day. I also think it would be amazing to see one day if we took our kids. I don't think you can go to Disney and not see the fireworks! I know for a fact I would stand there and sob but it would make me so happy to finally see them for real.

5. It's Just Magical - I just feel like it's somewhere I need to visit one day. It looks like the most amazing and beautiful and wonderful place. There is something for everyone and I know I'd love it whether just me and George went or if we went when we had kids. Either way it would be so magical and I know I would be so happy there. 

I really hope I get chance to go in the future. Me and George have never been abroad together and I would really love our first proper holiday to be Disney World. I'd love to get the chance to go just us two and then again one day when we have kids and they are old enough to understand it all. It was never somewhere I was desperate to go when I was younger, in fact I seem to want to go more the older I get, and I'd just love for that dream to come true in the next few years.

Have you ever been to Disney World? If so, what do you love about it?

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Tuesday, 1 August 2017

July Favourites - Paddington, PLL & Pretty Homeware...

Does anyone else feel that July dragged so much? I know we're still only really just in Summer but I can't even put into words how ready and excited I am for Autumn! For some reason a lot of people this year seem to feel the same, and I'm so glad I'm not the only one already longing for colder days! In July there wasn't too much new that I got that I wanted to include in my favourites, and at the moment I seem to be sticking to the same beauty bits so I'm sorry if this favourites is a little boring! I've just picked a few things I've been really loving and going back to (mainly films and tv programs!)
Paddington - This film just gets me every time. It's one of my all time favourites and I think I love it more and more each time I watch it. If you've never seen it before it's all about a young bear who leaves his home in Peru for the amazing city of London where he meets a family and causes all sorts of havoc and mayhem. The film makes me laugh every single time, it's just such a funny film but it's also so heartwarming and I do cry every time! They are bringing out a second film later this year which I am SO excited to see, and I'm sure they are doing a third too. I always watch this a week or so before we go away to London aswell, just because it's set there and it always makes me so excited. There is a particular quote in this film too which makes me sob because I feel like I relate to it so much. London is like home for me so I feel like it speaks to me 😂
'In London everyone is different, and that means anyone can fit in'.
New Summer Glasses - This might be a bit of a random one but how cute are these glasses? We did quite a big shop recently at Asda and these were one of the first things I saw, I had to get a few. They are so summery! They were only 65p aswell which is such a bargain! We really needed some new glasses so I'm so glad I spotted these. I wish I'd got more.
ITSY Nails Nail Polish - I spoke about ITSY Nails last year when I did a review of some of their nail polishes, which you can find here is you're interested. I still use all the polishes I was sent and recently I decided to use their 'Drop Red Gorgeous' shade as it had been a while since I last had red nails. This is such a gorgeous shade and as soon as I put it on, I thought why don't I use this more! It's almost a really dark orange colour, or that's what I think when I look at it. It's just the perfect shade for Summer and I know I'm going to be going back to this again soon.
Fifty Shades Darker - I couldn't get this on DVD and then not mention it in a favourites! I personally love the fifty shades films and I was so excited to see this in the cinema on valentines, and then afterwards I was just on a countdown til it came out on DVD. I got it at the beginning of the month and it's even better to watch now as the DVD has extra scenes and also you get the added bonus of interviews and deleted bits etc. I already can't wait for the third and final film. Christian Grey is just a beautiful human.
Pretty Little Liars - OMG why has it taken me so long to start this! I've never given into the hype with this and I really didn't think I ever would, but after seeing so many tweets about the final episode I thought a few weeks ago right I just have to start it now! I've honestly been loving it and really wish I'd started it years ago. I'm onto series 5 now and I'm literally getting through so many episodes each night, it's brilliant. I think my favourite out of them all is Hanna, I love her and Caleb together 💛
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Love Island - I'm pretty sure I mentioned this in a favourites post last year, but as I expected I also got hooked with it this year aswell. It's one of those shows that I feel once you start, you can't stop. I just get so invested in all the couples! It's finished now and Kem and Amber won, though I was really rooting for Jamie and Camilla! They were my favourites for the last few weeks, to be honest she's the only one I liked all the way through, the rest all kind of took it in turns to annoy me! I did think Chris was hilarious though and he definitely became one of my faves towards the end.
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So that's just about everything I've been loving throughout July. I'd love to know if you've seen Pretty Little Liars and what you think of it, I always seem to hear mixed things about it! So far I'm liking it though and can't wait to see how it all ends. Also were you watching Love Island? If so, who were you rooting for?

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