home made pizza

I love pizza, it’s one of my favourite foods to eat, but it’s not always the healthiest or the cheapest. However I’ve started making my own at home and whilst it does take longer than sticking one from the supermarket in the oven I think it’s worth the effort and tastes so much better.

When making a pizza at home, I find a bread mix is usually the easiest way rather than fussing about with flour and yeast. I also use wholemeal rather than white, it’s lovely and tasty but also good for getting in your wholegrains.

Serves: 2-3 Prep Time: 45 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes

home made pizza

Ingredients

250g wholemeal bread mix
1 ball of light mozzarella
1 tsp of dried basil
1 tsp of dried oregano
salt and pepper

Sauce
1 clove of garlic
1 tin chopped tomatoes
a handful of cherry tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree

Your favourite toppings- I used:

3 mushrooms
1 tomato
1 red pepper
half a pack of Mattessons Reduced Fat Smoked Pork Sausage
3 or 4 slices of Proscuitto

Method

making the pizza dough
Tip the bread mix into a bowl and mix with warm water according to instructions, not forgetting to reduce the liquid by half if you are only using half the packet.
Knead for 5 minutes then cling and leave to prove in a warm place for half an hour.

making the tomato sauce
In the meantime add the cherry tomatoes, garlic, tomato puree, tinned tomatoes into a food processor. Add salt, pepper and a teaspoon of dried basil and oregano. Pulse until smooth.

rolling out the pizza dough
Prepare the ingredients you are going to put on your pizza. Once your dough has proved for half an hour, flour your board then take it out and knead a little bit more. At this point you can either cut the dough in half to make two pizzas or leave as one giant pizza. Then roll out into a rough circle shape (it doesn’t matter if its more square than circular).

adding the pizza toppings
Add a couple of tablespoons of the tomato sauce and spread out with the back of the spoon over the base.
Add your toppings as desired then once all on tear up the mozzarella ball and scatter over.
If you are using tomatoes on your pizza take out the seeds as they can make the pizza soggy, plus burning hot tomato squirting into your face when you take a bite is never fun!

home made pizza
Add more herbs on the top and then place in the oven on Gas Mark 5/ 190°C for 30 minutes or until golden and crispy.
Serve with some delicious salad.

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Revlon Matte Balm in Striking – £7.99

Another day another chubby-stick-lip-balm-stick-hybrid thing. I must own about 4 or 5 of these now but this one is slightly different in that it is the first matte balm I’ve picked up. On one of my many outings to Boots a couple of months ago, I was really drawn to the colour striking of the Revlon Matte Balm range but I was really unsure as I’m not that confident wearing reds. Unsurprisingly it didn’t make it into my basket that trip and I rather regretted it afterwards so a few weeks later on one of Boots’ many 3 for 2 offers, I made sure I picked it up.

Striking is a lovely warm orangey red. It’s completely different to any of the other reds I own which are more pinky but I really love this colour. Like all the other matte and lacquer balms it comes in a chubby pencil type tube with a lid and you can twist it up and down as you use it. It’s a lovely colour, very pigmented and goes on super smoothly, so you’re not dragging it over your lips time and time again to build up the colour. It’s also very comfortable to wear as many matte lipsticks can be quite drying.

Its lasting power is questionable. If you’re not eating or drinking or generally doing anything with your lips then it lasts a good couple of hours without fading, but otherwise it’s a bit rubbish.
The thing I dislike about this is because it’s such a bright colour you can really see it go all patchy and weird. If I eat and drink whilst wearing this lipstick then I end up with patchy two tone lips which looks really odd and one thing I honestly find a chore is re-applying lipstick.

I love everything about this jumbo lip pencil, except the staying power which is just a bit rubbish. I love this colour; it’s very different to anything else I own and I think it suits my complexion as well, injecting a bit of colour without being too bright. That being said I think because of the lasting power of this, I’ll be cracking it out for special occasions only where I’m not eating and drinking a lot.

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alpha-h liquid gold
Alpha-H Liquid Gold – £31.50 for 30ml

I’ve been sitting on this review of Alpha-H Liquid Gold for quite some time now, mainly because I wanted to give it chance to work, but also because I couldn’t really see any remarkable difference and felt quite underwhelmed and disappointed. However the longer I’ve been using it the more I’ve come to like it.

Alpha-H Liquid Gold is a treatment containing Glycolic Acid which is an AHA. It is a resurfacing and firming treatment to help diminish wrinkles, pigmentation and sun damage. It contains silk proteins, licorice extract and Glycolic Acid and exfoliates the skin to leave a brighter, clearer complexion.

Ok I’ll say this now, this product is seriously hyped up, so if like me you are expecting it to perform miracles on your skin, well you’ll be disappointed. It doesn’t miraculously remove acne scars (if sessions with a nurse and a dermaroller can’t then I seriously doubt that a little OTC glycolic acid will). Saying that though it’s far from a useless product, in fact it’s very good at what it is originally aimed to do, it’s just been hyped up too much.

I apply at night and it tingles a bit, especially around my nose but it’s not uncomfortable or irritating. It also doesn’t dry my skin out either. I don’t have dry skin at all but I’ve used this on Harry (begrudgingly) and the dry skin on his face had completely disappeared and he woke up with lovely skin.

When I wake up the day after applying it my skin is soft and smooth and I notice that it’s brighter, more even and with repeated use it helps to fade my post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (red) marks. Now I always notice the difference after I’ve used this, my skin just looks better and more even.

One thing you have to be careful with is that after using this product you should use an SPF as it makes your skin more photosensitive and those marks and sun damage you just got rid of will be back and so much worse.

I definitely will be repurchasing, I’m really happy with the difference it makes to my skin when I’ve used it. Yes it is expensive and I do use it very sparingly, ensuring I don’t waste a drop but I’ve not found anything on the market that works in a similar way for cheaper.

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Nuxe Reve de Miel Ultra Nourishing lip balm
Nuxe Reve de Miel Ultra Nourishing lip balm
Nuxe Reve de Miel Ultra Nourishing lip balm

Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm – £9.50

Nuxe Reve de Miel ultra nourishing lip balm is a bit of a cult product, so chances are you’ve probably heard of it, if not tried it yourself. I’ve had this in my shopping basket for a while now but with Escentuals French Pharmacy deal on at the moment I couldn’t resist.

The lip balm doesn’t have any parabens in it and 79% of the ingredients are from natural origin which is good. It comes in a lovely glass pot, which makes it feel quite luxurious. I’m not sure whether this will go out and about with me, it’ll probably sit on my desk at work.

It’s quite a thick lip balm with a texture of creamed butter and sugar (I know that’s strange but its the closest I could get to describing the texture) but not too thick that you can’t wear anything else. I love the smell of it too. Despite it being a honey lip balm, it doesn’t really smell of honey, more like an orangey-lemony scent (even though there’s no orange in it).

After applying the Nuxe lipbalm it leaves quite a matte finish, which is different to other lip balms I’ve tried. I also noticed that it actually does last and last, after eating and drinking it still stayed put and I didn’t have to top it up. When I use this my lips are so much softer and hydrated even after just a single use, which I find quite difficult to achieve with other lip balms.

I definitely will be repurchasing the lip balm as it’s one of the best I’ve tried. My lips are instantly softer after one use and it lasts so long on the lips, but I will wait until it’s on offer before picking it up.

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kale chips recipe
Recently I’ve heard about ‘Kale Chips’ popping up everywhere. Before embarking on my Kale experiment I was never a big fan, gagging at the thought of the fact it was seaweed. However I decided to give them a go seeing as they are super healthy and surprisingly enough, I loved them. If you’re wondering about the taste, it tastes a bit like crispy seaweed (which ironically I love) but healthier!

What you’ll need:

  • Curly Kale – washed and torn into bite size pieces
  • Olive oil or Sesame oil (about 1 tsp depending on amount of kale)
  • Salt
  • Baking Tray
  • Bowl

How to make it:

drying kale

  • 1. Make sure your curly kale is washed and dried thoroughly. Tear into bite size pieces and remove the hard stalk at the centre.
  • making kale crisps

  • 2. Put in a big bowl and drizzle either olive oil or sesame oil over them. You only need the tiniest amount or they won’t go crisp, probably about 1tsp will be sufficient and toss them in the oil. Add some salt if you like (this is delicious but if you’re being super healthy!) Toss again and then place on a baking tray.
  • 3. Bake in the oven at about 190°C / Gas Mark 5 for 10 minutes or until they’re just brown at the edges.
  • 4. Put onto some kitchen roll (optional, if you’ve been a bit heavy handed with the oil)
  • 5. Serve

I promise you they are so delicious. If you’re a big fan of crispy seaweed then these taste the same but with none of the fat. I can’t get enough of them at the moment, they’re quick and easy to make and so healthy too.

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ideal home show
ideal home show
ideal home show
ideal home show
ideal home show
ideal home show
ideal home show

A couple of weeks ago I went to the Ideal Home Show at Event City at the Trafford Centre with my parents. We had gone for my mum’s birthday and managed to get free tickets so was a lovely day out!

The Ideal Home Show is an event to give home owners ideas and inspiration. It has lots of different categories- Home Improvements, Garden, Shopping, Women, Technology, Food and Interiors. It is the first time it’s ever been held in Manchester so it was quite exciting.
There were hundreds of stalls to visit so it was quite overwhelming when we arrived, however the first thing we did was grab a goody bag after learning from past events we’ve attended. The goodie bag was quite impressive too, with sample sizes of mouthwash and toothpaste (ok that doesn’t sound exciting right now, but the fact I was going on holiday meant it was travel samples I didn’t need to grab!) There was also a box of Nescafe Azera Cappuccino and some Ariel Liquitabs.
We also grabbed a goody bag from the Bonne Maman stall which had some Lemon and Poppy Seed Galettes in and a couple of madeleines which were delicious as well as a reusable shopping bag!

I didn’t really buy anything from the show but I did enjoy walking round seeing what each stall had to offer. I did go to the Yankee Candle stall (what can I say I’m glutton for punishment) but they didn’t really have any candles that I didn’t have or liked the smell of. My dad bought me some matcha tea from the Teapigs stall, which I will be reviewing soon so look out for that!

Some of my favourite parts of the show were seeing different companies styling their home (definitely giving me ideas for when I get my own house). I also enjoyed watching the cooking demonstration with Aldo Zilli and also the demonstration of the Vitamix! That thing is bloody amazing and I really want one but they’re £599. Seriously impressive though I tell you! I was a little disappointed with the woman’s section as I thought there would be more stalls I would have been interested in but sadly not.

The only thing that put a slight dampener on the day was the parking. It was horrendous! I don’t live far from the Trafford Centre but it took us an hour to get home! It took 45 minutes to get out of the car park, it was a nightmare people were getting out of their cars and shouting at stewards, and beeping. It was honestly chaos, so I promise if I go to an event like that at Event City again, I’m leaving at 9am!

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animal print fashion

Cat print dress – AX Paris (old)
Black and white cat print dress – H&M (old)
Swan Print dress – £35 Dorothy Perkins
Zebra Vest – £6 Florence and Fred at Tesco

I am slightly misleading you all with the title animal prints, as I’m not talking about leopard, zebra or any other kind of animal print clothes. I’m talking about actual animals on my clothes.

I was in Tesco with my friend the other day when I realised my wardrobe largely consisted of spotty, stripy and kitsch animal print clothing. Needless to say while I was there I picked up this super cute zebra print vest.

I have a thing for animals on items of clothing. It started off with a cat dress I picked up for a laugh- not realising how much I would love it- and that descended into another cat dress (yes I have two, I’m a bit of a crazy cat lady) along with some cat pumps. Then my most recent purchases have been this gorgeous blue swan print dress from Dorothy Perkins. I don’t normally shop much in DP but this dress was most definitely a must have, and the aforementioned zebra print vest which I picked up from Tesco (they are on fire with their clothing at the moment- want!)

Do you have any animal print clothing?

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holiday beauty travel essentials

It’s officially summer on the 21st June and everyone will be off on their holidays, including me! I’m away next week on a well earned break and today I’ve put together a little post of what will be in my suitcase.

sun protection for your holidays
Sun cream
Sun cream is probably one of the most important items to pack in your suitcase. Although I’m not going to a hot country, suncream is still necessary to protect your skin from those harmful rays. In my case I got badly burned on a beach in Wales last year so to me it’s essential no matter where I’m going. I like this Nivea Pure and Sensitive SPF50 as it comes in a spray, it’s not too greasy and is a nice high protection.

I’ve also got my Bioderma Photoderm Spot SPF 50 to put on daily, which although I bought for my holiday I will be using daily in the upcoming months whilst we have this glorious summer sun.

summery holiday nail polish
Nail Polish
Summery nails are so lovely when you go away so I’ll be taking these Essie nail polishes in Sunday Funday and Watermelon as they will look great with a tan.

travel size beauty essentials
Travel Minis
With weight limits and restrictions in place when flying, I’ve picked up lots of travel minis to lighten the load a little. I definitely had to pick up a travel mini of my favourite Original Source Tea Tree and Mint Shower Gel and the Batiste Dry Shampoo in Tropical is a staple in my beauty regime so I definitely needed a mini version to take away with me.

taking electricals on holiday
Ipad
Yes I am one of those people that bring their Ipads away with them. Whilst I hope to have a bit of a technology break whilst I’m away, I hope to catch up with my reading and I have quite a few books on the Kindle app which I hope to read.

Sunglasses
Sunglasses are one essential I can’t live without on holiday. Not only do they protect your eyes from the sun, but they hide a multitude of sins and personally I like people watching and nobody knows! shhh!

makeup to take away on holiday
Makeup
I’ve pared my makeup back quite severely because I still like to wear a bit whilst I’m away, especially if I’m going out in the evening. In my makeup bag will be my Urban Decay Primer Potion, my Naked 3 Palette which I’ve worn pretty much daily since I got it at Christmas (that’s how much I love it!), my Shu Uemura eyelash curlers, L’oreal Miss Manga mascara, which I’ve actually come to like. I’ll be keeping my base light, simply using my favourite YSL Touche Eclat Foundation, probably with my Bobbi Brown CC Cream which I have absolutely grown to love – you can read my review here – and a touch of Nars Creamy Concealer on any blemishes and dark circles. My Nars Laguna bronzer, which I recently rediscovered will add a little bit of a bronzed glow and for a summer dewy look I’m taking my Bourjois little round pot cream blush in Rose Tender. Finally to finish off my look I’ll fill in my brows with my HD Brows Palette and pop a couple of the Revlon Matte and Lacquer balms in my bag.

Are you off on holiday this year and what are your holiday essentials?

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Bioderma Photoderm Spot SPF50

Bioderma Photoderm Spot SPF50

Bioderma Photoderm Spot SPF50 – £15.50

Another item I picked up in the Escentual French Pharmacy deal was the Bioderma Photoderm Spot SPF50 Cream. I previously received a sample of this and loved it so much I decided to purchase it full size, ready for me to take away on holiday.

Bioderma Photoderm Spot is designed especially for the face and has UVB and UVA protection to protect the skin from sunburn, sun intolerance and premature ageing. It’s also Non-comedogenic, water-resistant, photostable and fragrance-free.

I opted for this one over lower protection as I’m quite militant now about sun protection and ensuring my skin doesnt age prematurely or put me at risk of cancer. Also I have some post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, which as you may know only gets worse with sun exposure so I use this to stop them becoming any darker.

It’s quite a thin fluid consistency, which honestly I’m glad about as I think the fact that it’s quite thin means it goes on under my makeup quite easily. My makeup still lasts as long and doesn’t slide off and it doesn’t make my skin greasy or break out which is quite important to me as I often find suncreams can clog my pores and make my skin worse.

Definitely a winner suncream, my only gripe is it is a little on the expensive side at £15.50 for 30ml but apart from the price I really like this suncream for my face and I probably will keep repurchasing this.

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Original Source Mint & Tea Tree Shower Gel
Original Source Tea Tree & Mint Shower Gel – £1

This is less of a review, but more of an ode to my favourite shower gel. I’ve tried and liked many throughout the years but I keep on going back to the Original Source Mint & Tea Tree shower gel. I just cannot get enough of it’s scent so when I saw it on offer in Boots recently for only £1 I knew I had to pick a bottle up again.

Original source are a natural company so they use natural fragrances and essential oils, don’t test on animals and most of their products are vegan so if you’re looking for natural product then you definitely should consider Original Source.

I love how bright the gel is and as I said before the scent is my favourite bit of this shower gel, it’s so fresh and minty which I love. I also love how tingly and fresh it makes you feel afterwards and I always feel clean- not to mention invigorated- it’s definitely one to pick up for those bleary mornings where you need something to slap you in the face to help you wake up.

One other thing I like about it is that it’s unisex. It means that I don’t mind Harry using it, although he doesn’t get much chance with me!

What’s your all time favourite shower gel?

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