The Perfect Pumpkin Soup

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

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I've been really getting into cooking lately and I've even perfected some recipes (if I do say so myself). I never used to cook, like, I used to live off pot noodles and cup of soups, especially in work as whenever I finish a shift, I'm far too tired to cook a proper meal. I've been training myself to meal prep and create 3 lots of the same meal to take into work, and then when I have days off, I've got loads more time to cook something for dinner.


Something I've created recently is a vegan pumpkin soup - I say vegan because the original recipe I took inspiration from included dairy and chicken stock, so I simply made it my own, and I thought I'd share the recipe here today.

Ingredients (keep in mind I am creating this soup to last me a few meals, if you only want to try it you will need to cut the quantity of the ingredients by a significant amount):

  • Pumpkin or pumpkin puree (I used 2 tins of pumpkin puree)
  • 1 large table spoon of dairy free butter
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 vegetable stock cubes
  • Lots of paprika 
  • A bit of coriander 
  • A bit of cumin
  • Lots of garlic 
  • Salt and pepper

All you need to do is blend all of the above ingredients in a blender and then boil on the hob until it is boiling! 

That's it! A really simple but delicious recipe that is perfect for the cold, rainy days.

Picture this: a bowl of pumpkin soup, a side of bread and a halloween movie on the TV, doesn't that sound bliss?


Let me know if you recreate this recipe yourself and what you thought! 
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October Look Fantastic Beauty Box!

Monday, October 21, 2019

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I can't believe how fast this year is going! It's my favourite time of the year and also favourite time of the month - beauty box unboxing time! These beauty boxes range from £12-£15 depending on the length of subscription you choose, including free delivery! Each box contains 6 items worth at least £50, and the latest issue of Elle magazine which is worth £4.50, so I definitely think these are worth the money, plus I love the idea of adding the magazine.

Let's see what's inside this month's box



LOOK GOOD FEEL BETTER ANGLED BLENDING BRUSH

First off we received an eyeshadow blending brush. This is really soft and has an angled, flat head which is perfect for blending the crease. I have a tonne of brushes, and I can't really say no to another!

Product value: £6.99

OH K! CHOK CHOK HOLOGRAPHIC FIBRE FACE MASK

I've seen these face masks around everywhere but I've never gone out and buy one, mainly because I think the price is quite high for one sheet that you will use once. This product claims to brighten and firm the skin, and also lock in moisture. It is infused with hyaluronic acid and citrus oils, which leaves your skin bright and dewy. I'm very excited to try this one, and put it to the test to see if just one of these is worth a tenner! 

Product value: £10




EOS LIP BALM 

I've never actually tried EOS lip balms before, yet I go through so many lip balms because my lips get so dry in work. I personally received the "Shimmer Coral" balm. This deeply hydrates the lips and also gives off a subtle hint of shimmer. It is infused with shea butter, vitamin E, and jojoba oil which restores moisture levels in the lips. I've used this a few times and it's my new favourite lip balm, they look so juicy afterwards and have definitely helped combat the chappedness!

Product value: £6.50

THE BALM FOILED AGAIN EYESHADOW

The Balm is a brand that I've always wanted to try, I love the vintage aesthetic of their products. I received the foiled eyeshadow single in shade "Red Handed" which is a beautiful pinky-copper shade. These are said to be intensely pigmented and have a buttery soft formula, so I'm very excited to create some looks with this!

Product value: £8



POLAAR THE GENUINE LAPLAND HAND CREAM

Who doesn't love a good hand cream? This one in particular is such a treat for your skin, and it smells amazing. It is infused with arctic berries, and is really moisturising which is perfect as we go into the colder months.

Product value: £9.90

WET BRUSH MINI DETANGLER BRUSH

I've seen these hyped up all over instagram but I never thought to try one for myself. I received the pink one (it's like they know me) and this claims to effortlessly detangle wet or dry hair without breaking or stretching the hair. My hair is really thick and worse when I'm blowdrying it, so I'm hoping this will save me from pulling all my hair out! 

Product value: £7.99




And that's everything! Admittedly I preferred last month's box, but it was their birthday so I imagine the items were specially selected. I'm excited to use everything in the box though, and happy to be able to try some more new brands.

Let me know in the comments what you thought of this month's box?


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Sick Day Routine

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

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So I'm currently curled up in bed cuddling my hot water bottle, my giant Thumper plushie (yes, I know I'm 23) and feeling very sorry for myself. For the past 2 days I've been having flu-like symptoms and as today is my day off work, I've been doing everything possible to fight it off. I must admit I'm feeling better than yesterday, but I'm still not 100%, but that's mainly because of my asthma as it has made all my symptoms 10 times worse.

I thought I may as well try to be productive and write a blog post, and came up with a "sick day" routine. I return back to day shifts tomorrow, so I'm really hoping these things will make me feel better, as I'll be surrounded by sick people, and being sick myself just isn't a good mix.

I just want to quickly add that I highly recommend you all getting your flu vaccination, I am due mine as always due to my asthma, but now I work in a hospital we can get them during work too. I've been on night shifts and haven't managed to get mine, so it's pretty typical how I've fallen ill before getting the chance to protect myself. I'm not just saying this because I work for the NHS, the influenza vaccine is literally a lifesaver. The flu can cause death to high-risk groups (such as children and the elderly, etc) so I encourage you to get yours, and also try to inspire your loved ones on doing the same.


First things first, it wouldn't be a proper duvet-day without a bit of Disney. One of my most prized possessions is my Disney Classics blu-ray collection and I've been watching some of my favourites all day (Tangled is currently on whilst I type this). I've also lit a bunch of autumnal candles in my room and switched on my fairy lights to add to the cosy effect.


Next up is making sure you keep yourself dosed up with flu medicine. Now my immune system is rather crappy so I've tried a lot of different brands of medicines for colds/flu and these happen to be the ones that help me the most. The Benylin cough syrup has been the biggest help for me as I've experienced a lot of wheezing/tight chest and struggling to breathe, this has helped clear up my airways allowing be to breathe a bit better (I do need to take this a few times a day to keep it working though)

Also, a little hack: before going to sleep, rub the vapo rub on the soles of your feet and wear fluffy socks. I found this helped me get a better night's sleep as well as soothed my symptoms (this is just what I personally found, it's not scientifically proven but what do you have to lose when you're feeling like death and due for a 12 and a half hour shift the next day? Exactly).


This is probably my most favourite part of any kind of "self care" day, a hot bubble bath. This time in particular I used a lavender bath bomb to help me relax, and a Bomb Cosmetics "Rain" shower mixer (I just used it as a bath bomb). I chose my peppermint candy cane shower gel and body butter by The Body Shop as this is a really strong scent and helped me breathe.

I washed my hair, used a hair mask, shaved and caught up on Elle Darby's vlogs, all whilst drinking a nice hot brew. Perfection.


Now I don't know about you but when I'm sick, I don't tend to eat much as I just have no energy to cook anything. However, it is really important to eat as much as you can stomach and keep up with your fluids, being dehydrated will only make your symptoms worse. I opted for a simple and quick vegetable soup and sprinkled some mixed herbs ontop. As I mentioned earlier, I've had copious amounts of cups of tea, and I've made sure to drink as much water as I can (mainly to take all my tablets - but it still counts!)


Last but not least when I'm sick, my skin suffers and feels so congested and gross. The best thing for it is to give it a bit of a pamper, I went for a sheet mask and also a lip mask as my lips have been incredibly dry due to this cold.

So there we have it, a few home remedies to make the sick days a little more bearable. What do you do on sick days? Let me know in the comments!


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September Look Fantastic Beauty Box: The Birthday Edition!

Thursday, September 12, 2019

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Long time, no blog! My mental health hasn't been the best the past few months, however I'm slowly but surely picking myself up once again and trying my best to put the little energy I have into the things I truly love. So, this post I thought I'd do something different: a beauty box unboxing! I recently tried Glossybox, as you can see over on my Instagram, and today I'm trying Look Fantastic. These beauty boxes range from £12-£15 depending on the length of subscription you choose, including free delivery! Each box contains 6 items worth at least £50, and the latest issue of Elle magazine which is worth £4.50, so I definitely think these are worth the money, plus I love the idea of adding the magazine. I used to love reading them but I personally wouldn't go out and spend money on one anymore, so it's nice to cosy up and flick through and gain inspiration.

This month is actually Look Fantastic's 5th birthday, so naturally, they brought out a birthday edition box to celebrate. This box included an impressive 6 items, ranging from makeup, skincare and a bath time treat! So, without further ado, let's dive in.


OSKIA RENAISSANCE CLEANSING GEL 

First up we received a cleansing gel from a brand I've heard of and always wanted to try. This product has a rose and chamomile scent, and it forms from a gel into an oil when rubbed into the face. This quickly dissolves makeup whilst being gentle to the skin and helps leave your complexion illuminated and hydrated. It is filled with utilising pumpkin enzyme (perfect for Autumn, right?!) and vitamins A, C, and E. This product claims to detoxify, soothe and reduce inflammation and so far I have noticed such a positive change in my skin. It is a lot softer and there seems to be less redness and puffiness in the morning. 

Product value: £14

CAUDALIE PREMIER CRU THE EYE CREAM

Next up is an eye cream from another brand that I've seen everyone and their mother's rave about over on Instagram, but I've never had the chance to try. This product claims to hide visible signs of ageing and also says it works instantly! I have used this along with the cleansing gel as part of my new skincare routine and it helps to brighten and refresh the under-eye, which is perfect for me as I do 12 and a half hour shifts! It helps firm the skin and reduces the appearance of dark circles. This is the best eye cream I have ever tried and I'm really enjoying using it.

Product value: £16.35


MOLTON BROWN ORANGE & BERGAMOT BODY WASH

We then received a shower gel by the oh-so-popular Molton Brown (guess what? I've never tried this brand either - I promise I don't live under a rock!) This is such a beautiful and refreshing scent, that is perfect for the transition from Summer to Autumn. It is infused with sevillian orange, bergamot and neroli. Using this body wash really uplifts my mood, so I like to use it in the morning to start the day off right!

Product value: £10

SLEEK BROW STYLIST

Next up is an eyebrow pencil from Sleek, a brand I have actually tried before! There's not much to say as it is an ordinary eyebrow pencil with a brush on the end. I received the shade medium brown which is slightly too dark for me, but I apply it with a light hand and I'm good to go. The pencil itself is very thin and defined, which helps to create realistic hair strokes.

Product value: £6.49



PIXI LIPLIFT MAX 

This is probably the product I'm most excited to try, as I've recently discovered my love for Pixi skincare, and I've wondered if their makeup can live up to it. This is a plumping lipgloss infused with peptide, which helps to cool and nourish the lips as it enhances them. We received a gorgeous apricot-gold shade called "Honey Sheen". I definitely feel as though this helps condition my lips. The lipgloss isn't sticky in the slightest, but it doesn't make a huge difference to my lips size wise, it definitely makes them look more defined though. It doesn't tingle as much as other lip plumpers I've tried do, and the shade is perfect for everyday wear. 

Product value: £12

BUBBLE T LIMITED EDITION LOOKFANTASTIC BIRTHDAY BATH BOMB

If you know me, you'll know I love baths and bath products, so receiving this made me so happy. I'm going to save this for a rainy day, but this bath bomb is inspired by cake and is infused with essential oils so I'm sure it'll be a right treat for my skin! 

Product value: £4.99


So that's everything (including the ELLE magazine which I can't wait to flick through) in this month's box. I was really impressed with this box so I have decided to keep my subscription going, so expect another unboxing next month! 

Let me know in the comments if you've ever tried Look Fantastic beauty boxes, or any other beauty box you love?


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Cotton Candy Eye Makeup | Tutorial

Thursday, July 18, 2019

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Something I love to do in my spare time is play with makeup. I really enjoy creating looks, especially using colours that will make me feel out of my comfort zone. I recently went on a night out with some friends and created a cotton candy inspired look which I shared on my Instagram stories, and was asked to create a tutorial, so let's get started!


The only palette I used for this look is the Jawbreaker palette by Jeffree Star Cosmetics. This is my second palette of Jeffree's and his eyeshadows have the absolute best quality in my opinion. All of his products are vegan and cruelty free, so it's a no brainer why I keep going back to his high quality brand. The Jawbreaker palette is probably my favourite palette he has released so far, it is full of bright colours and I especially love the second row which is filled with bright pastels. This palette has 24 large panned shadows mixing from mattes, shimmers and metallics. The price point is on the higher end, at £54 but I wouldn't have spent that money if I didn't already trust and adore his products. I truly believe you're paying for the best eyeshadows out there, they blend like a dream and this palette in particular has so much to offer.


Now, moving onto the actual look itself. I started off as always by doing my eyebrows (if you'd like a full-face makeup tutorial, let me know in the comments!) and then I used the Revolution Fast Base Foundation stick in shade F1 to carve my eyebrows and also to create a base all over my lid for the eyeshadow.
I started off applying the shade Gum Drop with a large tapered blending brush (I used Spectrum's) and buffed this into the outer crease, taking my time and carefully dragging it out towards my eyebrow. I then took the Spectrum B04 brush and applied the shade Bubble Gum to the inner part of my crease, blending that in with the lavender shade.

Next I took a round edge flat packer brush to cut my crease, I always use the Revolution foundation stick I mentioned above to do this. Taking this same brush I pack on the Good Morning shade to set the cream base, and then applied the shimmery pink shade Snack all over the lid.
I then used the Spectrum A07 brush to blend both Bubble Gum and Gum Drop on the outer corner, to blend in the cut crease with the original colours so it looks seamless. Before I applied my mascara I then took a smaller fluffy brush to apply the colour Brain Freeze under my lash line, making sure to blend it out so it doesn't look too harsh.

Finally, for the liner I actually used one of Jeffree's Velour Liquid Lipsticks (which is completely eye-safe!) from the Alien collection in the shade Clout, which is metallic lavender. I used the Spectrum A09 brush to achieve the perfect wing as with the brush being so small, it allows for very fine details.


That's how I created this look! It's a lot more simple than it probably seemed, and I really fell in love with this one. If you'd like to see more makeup tutorials from me, please let me know! Comment what you thought about this sugary sweet look!

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Spring Date Night!

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Northwich, UK
6 comments
I don't know about you, but I'm a bit of a hopeless romantic, so when my boyfriend told me the other day he had a date planned for us, you bet I was swooning. It can be difficult to be spontaneous due to our shift patterns, and because of this our dates are usually planned, and whatever payments are made are split halfway.

However, this was a surprise he had put a lot of thought into, and he wouldn't let me pay a penny (how lucky am I?). In fact he kept the secrecy up until I recognised where we were heading whilst  driving through the countryside, after I had stopped pointing out all of the cows and horses (y'know, just in case he missed them), of course.

We headed to The Riverside Inn, Northwich, we arrived about 40 minutes before our planned table booking, so he bought us some drinks and we went and sat by the canal.


The view we had was like no other, the sun hit the water just right, and we really just spent time "in the moment" appreciating everything there and then, letting mundane day-to-day worries drift off into the breeze.


After spending some time connecting with nature and each other, we went inside to have our meal. Being vegan, it can be hard sometimes eating out and some places don't have a lot of options to choose from. The Riverside Inn has their own vegan menu, which was a nice surprise.
I chose the Buffalo Cauliflower Wings for my starter, I tried the sauce but it was far too spicy for me, they were delicious nonetheless. Then for my main I had the Button Mushroom Bourguignon Pie. This tasted amazing also, and almost filled me completely, but I couldn't not try a dessert! The Rhubarb and Ginger Pudding went down a treat with some dairy free vanilla ice-cream. If you're ever in the area, I highly recommend this place to eat, they have a large variety of foods to choose from, the staff are incredibly friendly and it is complete with dreamy views, what more could you want?


After our meal we took our drinks outside again and let our dinner go down whilst people-watching and scenery-gazing. Afterwards, we headed to a local arcade and played a couple of games of snooker and bowling. Rhys won by a long shot at snooker, but it came very close during bowling, I however, was a very content loser thanks to how amazing our date went.


The date reminded me of how important it is to make memories with our loved ones, especially as the weather is brightening up. During the winter months I go into a cocoon of isolation, which is comfortable, but feeds my depression greatly, and can be very hard to get out of the self-neglecting habits. I'm working on it, and here's your reminder if you need it to try and get out of that rut too.


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