Festive Nails

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To get into the Christmas spirit (not that I really need to…), I decided to do a festive manicure. As I’m not the best at doing nail art, I got these little Christmas pudding and gingerbread man transfers, a little kitsch, but it’s Christmas and I think they look cute!

I went for the Christmas puds to tie in with my pudding jumper! These were really easy to apply, I just had to cut around each pud, peel it off and with the help of tweezers, apply it to my nails. Then just apply a topcoat and voila!

What do you think, are you a fan of festive nails?

.:M:.

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John Frieda Everlasting Blonde

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I have been battling damaged hair for a while, hence one of the reasons for cutting off my hair earlier this year, so when this set of John Frieda products landed on my doorstep, I thought it was the perfect chance to give them a go.

Firstly, the reason for my damaged hair was mainly heat and bleaching. Every time I went to the hairdressers, it seemed to get lighter and lighter and I didn’t help matters by using the hairdryer and straighteners practically every day and in the end, it started to snap off.

So I decided to cut my hair short and get it dyed a more natural blonde. I was also looking for products and treatments to strengthen my hair and give it some well needed TLC.

So this brings me to the John Frieda Sheer Blonde range. The Sheer Blonde Everlasting Blonde Shampoo and Conditioner are colour preserving products to ensure your newly coloured locks stay looking fresh. This is definitely a bonus considering how much us girls spend on getting our hair cut and coloured! Plus it means I can leave it a little longer between salon visits. Perfect for when I’m trying to care for my hair to make it stronger and healthier. Even the boyfriend tried it, not before asking if it was going to make his hair ginger! (It doesn’t by the way) ;-)

The Sheer Blonde Conditioning Treatment does exactly what it says on the tin…  I’m using it daily, leaving it on for 3-5 minutes before rinsing out. I’m spending a little more time in the shower (much to my boyfriend’s annoyance) but it makes my hair feel smoother, stronger and more conditioned already, which is what I need especially with winter kicking in!

With the Christmas party season upon us, you may be looking for new ways to style your hair… if so, you can find some new styling tips here. My faves are the 25 minute retro beehive and the hair bow, but I’m going to have to wait till my hair grows a bit longer for that one!!

Have you tried the Sheer Blonde range? What treatments do you use on your hair?

.:M:.

Christmas Jumper Day

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You may have seen the campaign for Save The Children’s Christmas Jumper Day (#xmasjumperday) on Friday. Quite a few of us took part at work, showcasing an array of Christmas jumpers, which was pretty fun, with even a customised Miley jumper swinging on a bauble! If you follow my twitter or instagram, you may have noticed that I was a big Christmas pudding (jumper from Primark). If you would like to know how you can do your bit, click here.

Hope you’re all rocking your Christmas jumpers! Only a week and a half to go! ;-)

.:M:.

Apple Streusel Cake

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In my last post I gave you a snippet of this Apple Streusel Cake… it is honestly the best thing I have baked to date… It’s kinda a mixture between a cake and a crumble… perfect!

What you need:

a spring form cake tin

For The Cake:

140g plain flour plus a little extra for dusting
60g softened unsalted butter
100g caster sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp baking powder
a tiny bit of salt
80ml whole milk
3 apples (I used bramley apples)

For The Crumble Topping:

70g plain flour
40g chilled and diced unsalted butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
70g soft light brown sugar

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Preheat your oven to 170 degrees, butter your spring form tin and dust with a little flour.

To make the crumble topping, sift the flour and cinnamon into a bowl and add the butter. With your fingers, rub the mixture together until it starts to look like crumbs. Add the sugar and mix together.

Next, to make the cake, put the butter and sugar into a bowl and cream together until quite fluffy and then add the egg and vanilla and stir until everything is well mixed together.

In another bowl, add the flour, baking powder and salt, mix and then slowly start adding it to the butter mixture, along with half of the milk. Mix it all together and then add the rest of the flour mixture and the rest of the milk. Pour this into your tin.

Peel, core and slice your apples and place them on top of your cake batter in circles. Add the crumble topping on top of the apples and put the tin in the oven for 40 mins or until when you insert a knife or skewer into the middle of the cake, it comes out clean.

Let it cool for a little while and then serve with either cream, ice cream or custard! We went for vanilla cream… Delicious!

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Enjoy!

.:M:.

PS. Let me know if you try it! :)

My Weekend: At Home

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This weekend pretty much revolved around food and feeling Christmassy! (I know, I’ve started early this year…) A quick Sainsbury’s shop on Saturday saw me spend the rest of the day in the kitchen, which made Sunday pretty lovely!

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IMG_3069(Wearing Topshop Dress .:. Topshop Cardigan .:. Topshop Necklace)

I’ve been wanting to make a stew for a while, but seeing as it takes around 3 hours to cook, I’ve never had the chance! Until now… I took inspiration from Jamie’s recipe, but skipped the parsnips as the boyfriend doesn’t like them and the artichokes. It was pretty much a beef stew with potatoes, butternut squash and carrots and I have to say, it was good!

The other thing I tried out was an Apple Streusel Cake (post coming soon) and I think it may actually be the best thing I have baked! So Sunday consisted of copious amounts of tea, a hazelnut latte, stew, Apple Streusel cake and crumpets, with films on the sofa (did anyone catch Home Alone?! It’s definitely Christmas now!). A pretty good weekend in my eyes! ;-)

I wanted to share our Christmas tree as well, which we put up last weekend! All the decorations are from last year (I went a bit bauble mad when we moved in last year as it was our first Christmas in the flat, with baubles from The White Company, John Lewis and a few from the Christmas Home Show at Earls Court).

Hope you all had a lovely weekend too!

.:M:.

Weekend Walks

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Last weekend, before our Christmas at Kew evening, the boyfriend and I grabbed a coffee and went for a little walk around Kew Bridge and the river.

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IMG_2857Topshop Boyfriend Coat .:. Topshop Jumper (similar here) .:. Topshop Leather Look Trousers .:. Topshop Cut Out Boots .:. New Look Necklace

Knowing we would be outside all evening, I made sure I wrapped up warm with this grey knitted jumper and my leather look trousers from Topshop, which I have worn a lot since I bought them a little while ago.

On a weekend I do like to keep it simple, so a knit with these trousers is quite a trendy, comfortable option. I feel that a statement necklace is also a must to complete the look. I am loving my pink coat too, which I can’t stop wearing! (I promise I do have other coats but this one is just taking centre stage right now!)

What’s your weekend outfit of choice?

.:M:.

Christmas Gift Guide

PrintI thought since I’ve nearly done all of my Christmas shopping, it’s only fair that I give you guys a hand too! I’ve put together a little gift guide for inspiration for a friend, partner, parent or even for yourself! (One for you, one for me… isn’t that the way it goes?! ;-))

1. You can never go wrong with a pair of cute PJs and these penguin ones from Cath Kidston (top here, bottoms here) are wintery but not too Christmassy! I like the fact that it’s a sweat top, so it will keep your recipient nice and toasty!

2. This Fifi Lapin iPhone case from Iconemesis is a lovely accessory. I love the little raindrops!

3. You know I’m a sucker for Mulberry, although their upped prices are rather upsetting, but I can’t get enough of this radish keyring!

4. I’m totally in love with these limited edition golden monogram mugs from Anthropologie. Definitely wouldn’t mind one for myself!

5. Accessories are always a nice present and the Mollie Hat from Oasis is a nice shape. It helps that it’s a collaboration with Mollie King as well!

6. This Lulu Guinness Glitter Lip Pouch is a beauty. It can be used for anything… make up, a way to organise your bag or even used as a clutch!

7. Festive nails are definitely in… this OPI ‘I Snow You Love Me’ is a lovely frosty looking glitter nail varnish to add a bit of sparkle to your (or a friend’s) outfit!

8. Now here is another item I wouldn’t mind getting my hands on… The Lily Vanilli Sweet Tooth Cookbook. Aside from the actual book looking like it’s good enough to eat, the recipes look amazing! If I don’t find it under the tree this Christmas, I think I’ll definitely be purchasing this one in January!

9. Chocolate is always a safe bet, so these Alternative Mince Pies from Hotel Chocolat are a nice gift. A little bit different to your standard Dairy Milk (not that I’d be complaining either way), but if you would like something a little more special, these are a good shout.

10. Candles are always lovely… they are an everyday luxury (I know I can’t go a night in without lighting candles) and these Yankee Candles are pretty special. The scents are quite strong and sweet but if you find one to your taste, it would be a lovely present. I love vanilla and cupcakes so don’t think you can go wrong with this Vanilla Cupcake one!

I hope this has helped a little with your Christmas lists! Happy Shopping!

.:M:.