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Autumn Berry lipsticks and nail polishes

Autumn is upon us and we’re well into October now, so like many other makeup loving girls out there (and boys) I’m packing away my spring brights and cracking out the dark vampy tones that resonate with the brisk evenings, thick knits and ankle boots.

I love berry lips, but like many of you out there I’m a little scared of wearing them. However I’ve decided to brave it this year and start going for vampy lips and pared back eyes. I’m going to start off applying the lipstick lightly as more of a stain, before amping up the volume and going all out for a night out on the town with friends.

My favourite picks for this season are the oh so classic Rimmel Kate Matte Lipstick in 107 (£5.49), which I’ve spoken about before. It’s the most red-toned of the lot and a lovely deep berry colour that suits almost everyone. A new addition to my collection is another Rimmel lipstick, this time it’s Rimmel Kate Lasting Finish lipstick in 30 (£5.49). It’s a bit more purpley than 107 but looks fabulous on the lips.

Another option is Mac Rebel lipstick (£15.50), one I’ve been lusting after for quite some time and finally got my hands on. It’s a lot brighter than the previous too coming out at a more fuchsia shade but is equally suitable if you’re looking for your lips to do all the talking (s’cuse the pun).

For nails I’ve got a couple of choices. One of my favourite colours is Chanel Le Vernis Rouge Noir (£18.00). It’s an absolutely classic shade which I love wearing again and again. It’s a deep oxblood colour which is perfect for dark vampy nails but it is expensive and not that hard wearing. If you’re looking for something a little bit more purse friendly, then up steps Essie Sole Mate (£7.99), a gorgeously dark crushed berry shade that’s almost the same as the Chanel offering but a little more pinky.

Pair them up for matchy-matchy gothic vamp or choose one and go all out this Autumn. Have you picked up any of these berry beauties yet?

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Cattier Green Clay Face Mask
Cattier Green Clay Face Mask swatch

The Cattier Green Clay Face Mask was another item I picked up while I was away. I’d done some scouting around before I went to France and saw that Amelia had recommended the Cattier Yellow Clay Mask, however I decided to pick up the Green Clay Mask as my skin is oily – that and it was the last one on the shelf – so I felt I needed to grab it with both hands.

The mask itself only contains natural organic ingredients and actually the ingredients list is very short so I was quite confident that it wouldn’t irritate my sensitive skin. It also has a faint smell of peppermint – a bit like chewing gum – which I’ve not decided if I like or not, but as it’s unobtrusive I can live with it.

It has a lovely smooth soft texture to it and very easy to apply and remove. It’s also slightly different from other masks I’ve used in the way that you aren’t supposed to let it fully dry. I think this is quite a good idea especially if you find clay masks can sometimes strip your skin.

I cannot believe how cheap this mask is as well. I picked it up in a bit of a flurry of excitement when I was going around the pharmacy but when I checked my receipt and it came to €3.10 I was impressed. You don’t get such a good face mask over here for that price!

The only little thing that lets this otherwise fantastic mask down is that it’s quite thin in texture, so I feel like you have to use quite a bit in order to cover your face properly with a good layer. However as it’s really affordable I can justify probably using it more recklessly than say, with my Origins face masks.

It’s a real shame you can’t get it over here as I definitely would pick this up again so I might have to ask my auntie to send me some over when I run out, or perhaps I’ll stock up the next time I gallivant off to France. If you are in France I definitely recommend you pick it up, it was very gentle and really lovely to use with the bonus being that it was a steal!

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Cooking a Chinese crepe at Manchester Food and Drink Festival
Churros at Manchester Food and Drink Festival
Churros menu at Manchester Food and Drink Festival
a sandwich waiting to be picked up
Man posing with sauce
Slathering Mustard on a hot dog
Piggy Smalls menu at the Manchester Food and Drink Festival
turning the hot dogs at Piggy Smalls

A good number of weeks ago an email popped in my inbox asking if I’d like to attend a photography workshop at Manchester Photographic School as part of #LightsCameraCurrys and my immediate response was hell yeah, I mean who would pass up the opportunity to learn more about their camera at Manchester’s only independent photography school.
I don’t think I’m entirely useless with my camera, although you can tell me if you think I am! but given the opportunity I would gladly enhance my skills.

We did start a little late which was a bit disappointing as it meant later some elements were only mentioned in brief or skipped over which I would have preferred to have gone into in a bit more depth but ah well!

The workshop was really good, I knew quite a bit of it from what I’d read online, but the tutor did teach us some very valuable things such as holding your camera, stance and manual focus. I have to say before the workshop I was afraid to touch the inner ring of my lens as I thought I might be forcing the mechanism but now I know I don’t feel so worried that I might have damaged my camera and can use manual focus more confidently- although with my dodgy eyesight it’s opened up a new world of problems.

After we ran through the basics of Aperture, ISO and Shutter speed it was time for a bite to eat and boy did we get a spread. I was surprised how restrained I was considering I tend to go all out at a buffet, but I did manage to grab a second helping of dessert – I told you I had a sweet tooth.

Another really well timed aspect was that the Manchester Food & Drink Festival was on and part of the workshop was to go and do an outdoor assignment. Our tutor took the opportunity to use the festival as our assignment, which meant that not only did we get to partake in this workshop, we got to wander around the markets. We were split into groups and my group had the arduous(!) task of capturing the food – hehe! We didn’t really get to eat or drink much but we did get some jelly beans and a sample of spicy meat from one of the street vendors which was pretty good!

We also received a little goodie bag consisting of a Curry’s canvas tote, a USB (which I’m not sure the capacity of), a water bottle, which is now my new gym bottle, a special offers leaflet for if I fancy booking onto another course and the star prize- a camera cleaning kit. I haven’t cleaned my camera once since getting it over two years ago- Oops! so I’m definitely going to be embarking on a good cleaning session. What was great as well is that the tutor showed us what each piece in the kit did so we knew exactly how to use it. He also gave us tips on what not to do, so if you’re considering using washing up liquid on your lens don’t!

Reflecting on my photos before the workshop I realise I was using different controls and it was a case of my pictures were usually coming out the way I wanted them to but I didn’t know why, and when they weren’t I still didn’t know why. This workshop gave me the knowledge to understand why they weren’t coming out the way I wanted them to and how I could correct that.

Overall I had a really awesome time, I’ve not been to many events but it was absolutely fantastic. I met some lovely people and I learnt some valuable skills about photography that I can take with me. Thank you Curry’s and Joe’s Bloggers for inviting me and if you want to read more and check out some other pictures Curry’s blog is here.

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homemade scones with sour milk

After coming back from my holidays I found I was left with some sour milk. As I’m not one for wasting food if I can help it I decided to turn them into some delicious scones. In case you didn’t know, sour milk is really good for making scones. Now I’m not advocating you deliberately let milk go off as these will be just as good with ordinary semi skimmed milk but if you do find yourself with milk that’s smelling a bit funky then you can whip up a batch of these and you’ve not only got a tasty treat but you haven’t wasted any ingredients. I made two types of scones for this recipe: plain and raisin and goji berry ones.

homemade scones with sour milk ingredients
homemade scones with sour milk
homemade scones with sour milk
homemade scones with sour milk
homemade scones with sour milk
homemade scones with sour milk

Homemade Scones

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Serves: 14-16

Homemade Scones

These are delicious straight out of the oven with lashings of butter, strawberry jam and cream. Perfect with a cup of tea.

Ingredients:

  • 450g self raising flour
  • 280ml semi skimmed milk (sour if possible)
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 90g butter or margarine (I used Pure Soya spead)
  • couple of handful of raisins (optional)
  • couple of handfuls of goji berries (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7.
  2. Add the flour, salt and butter to a bowl and rub together or use a food processor.
  3. Once mixed add the sugar and mix again.
  4. If you are making fruit scones add your fruit now.
  5. Make a well in the centre and add the vanilla extract and milk. If it's a little too dry add another splash of milk.
  6. Mix together using a knife. Be careful not to overmix, then tip out onto a floured board.
  7. Pull together to make a rough dough then press with your hands to about 4cm thickness.
  8. Cut out with a pastry cutter about 6cm, or use a cup or glass.
  9. Put them on a lightly floured baking tray then glaze the top of the scones with a bit of fresh milk or egg and then bake for 10-12 minutes until golden.

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Autumn Beauty Wishlist

A new season means it’s time to mix it up both wardrobe wise and beauty wise. Whilst I have a few staples to cover me for the upcoming winter months, there’s a few new items I want to add to my list. I have to say this is not so much a wishlist as a shopping list, as I actually picked up 3 of these whilst I was out shopping this weekend, can you guess which?

1. Essie Sole Mate
I think this will be on everyone’s wishlists this year not just my own, it’s such a gorgeous crushed berry vampy shade that’s perfect for these colder darker evenings.

2. Mac Rebel Lipstick
I started eyeing up Rebel a good few months ago but passed it over in favour of Ruby Woo, but here I am again adding it to my beauty basket as this fuchsia berry colour is perfect for these winter months.

3. Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick in 30
This lipstick is another deep fuchsia berry colour, almost a dupe of Mac Rebel, which I decided I had to have when I saw it adorned on Amelia’s lips in her latest video. Stunning and similar to the Rimmel Kate 107 it’s more purse friendly than Mac et al.

4. Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon in Black Diamonds
I’ve not really been sucked into the Charlotte Tilbury hype too much but I have to say I am quite drawn to these colour chameleon pencils, in fact I’ve gone a bit eye pencil crazy of late. I like the Black Diamonds one more than the champagne diamonds as it looks really smokey and amazing, but I’ve read lots of reviews that said this pencil isn’t as good as Charlotte makes it look in her videos and is glitter city. However until I manage to get hold of one and see it for myself in person I’ll carry on lusting.

5. Anastasia Brow Wiz in Medium Ash
Another cult product in the beauty world and I definitely want to get my hands on this despite it’s eye watering price tag to product ratio. I think Medium Ash would be the perfect colour for my brows as I don’t like them too warm or too dark, so it’s a perfect mid ashy brown.


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recipe books and magazines- BBC Good Food, Easy Cook, Good to Know Recipes, Jamie's 15 Minute Meals, I Quit Sugar, Nutella, Wagamama and Hairy Dieters

It may seem one of the stranger posts I’ve done but it came to me with a flash of inspiration so go with me on this. As I’ve said before I enjoy cooking and I’m always perusing BBC Good Food, Weight Watchers or delving into my cookbooks to get meal ideas, so I thought I’d share with you some of my most thumbed cookbooks.

1. Jamie’s 15 minute meals
This is a really recent addition to my collection, I dithered over it for some time but after flicking through my mum’s and my auntie’s countless times folding over pages of recipes I liked, I decided to take the plunge and pick up my own copy. I love this cookbook because I have a secret soft spot for Jamie Oliver, but also because these are super quick meals, which for someone who really can’t be bothered most evenings to cook is a godsend. Sure it doesn’t take me “15 minutes” probably closer to half an hour but that’s still pretty quick for me! Also I like that he puts the nutritional information on his recipes so I can choose ones that won’t be too taxing on my waistline.

2. The Hairy Dieters Eat for Life
I really like the Hairy Bikers so when they embarked on a diet, complete with cookbook, it definitely piqued my interest. I haven’t got the first or their third one but this one is really good. I’ve already tried out numerous recipes including the baked cod with chorizo crust and I can say it’s yummy! I think I might have to check out their new one soon.

3. Nutella- The 30 Best Recipes
This one’s pretty new too and I first took a shining to it last Christmas as someone got it for a gift for their friend. I absolutely love Nutella (who doesn’t?) so I’m excited to try out some of the more obscure recipes in there- I’ve already got Nutella rice pudding down!

4. I Quit Sugar
A complete contradiction to my previous book but I do try and eat cleanly the majority of the time, otherwise I would be the size of a house so I decided to pick this up to see what all the fuss was about. I’m definitely more intrigued by the snacks, the chia seed pudding is delicious and the chickpeas are next on my list to try, but I’m definitely not into the faff with the activated nuts and that, I’m a working woman for goodness sake!

5. The Wagamama Cookbook
This one I probably dip into the least of them all as it requires some quite specialised ingredients but I still think it looks quite swish on my bookshelf, ha! Harry and I both love Wagamamas – especially the chilli squid! so when we discovered they did a cookbook we decided it definitely had to be picked up. I don’t know why I don’t pick this up more because I love their food, the miso soup is really good and I love the ebi katsu.

6. Magazines
Ok so these are technically not cookbooks but I’m always flicking through them for recipes so I think they count! I really love reading these each month they’re always full of great recipes and the Weight Watchers one always spurs me on when I’m feeling a bit demotivated with my weight loss.

What recipe books do you regularly delve into?

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