Sunday, 21 July 2013

A little (or not so little) shopping trip

Today I went shopping with my mum for some clothes for when I go on holiday and a few other bits and bobs. I probably bought more than I originally planned, but I couldn't resist...

The first thing I bought was a birthday present for my friend. I bought her a candle by Landon Tyler in the scent purple crocus. I just think it is so pretty and smells really florally and lovely. I also bought her some really cute owl earrings from river island which I love, and am very tempted to keep them for myself, but of course I won't. Then I went into Paperchase and bought her this really pretty flower notebook and a pen that has little birdcages and birds on which I think is so cute. I bought her a really cute card as well! 

I have really wanted to try a BB cream for ages as they are meant to be really good. I also thought they would be much better for my skin and a lot lighter for the summer. They have SPF as well which is always a bonus. The one thing I was worried about is how good they would be for my skin type which is oily to combination. When I went into boots, I found this one by Maybelline for £6.99- it is for oily skin and has slightly different properties to other BB creams as many are quite illuminating so are not ideal for oily skin. I am really excited to try it and I have read quite a few positive reviews on this product, I am going to review it myself in a couple of weeks once I have used it for long enough. 

From River Island I bought these gorgeous bright coral high-waisted skinny jeans in the sale for only £10 which is an amazing price and I was very pleased with this find. When I first saw them I wasn't sure if I would like them or not, but after trying them on I fell slightly head-over-heels in love!

(Sorry for such the bad quality the light is terrible)

Also from River Island I bought this beautiful aztec patterned skater skirt in pastel colours. I have had my eye on this for a while so you can't imagine my delight when saw it was on sale for only £12 reduced from £18. Brilliant! I love this skirt, I think it is so pretty and summery and girly and all the colours in it are so nice. There's mint green (my favourite colour) purples, pinks, blues and other greens and I just love it, love it, love it!!!! It is completely and utterly amazing!!!!

After going to river island I went to New Look and for a few things. The first thing I bought were these cute, simple little flip flops with "leather" and "gold metal" intertwined straps. I think these are really lovely shoes and will be so useful for the beach, in the garden and popping to the shops or round the corner in. They were £15.99 I think, so a little pricey (luckily we got 25% discount as my sister works there) for flip flops from New Look, but really pretty. 

I also got these lovely coral pink woven sandals with little gold beads. These are so pretty and good for both the day time and the evening. They are very versatile as they can be worn with pretty much anything: dresses, skirts, jeans and shorts. Furthermore, they will go with many colours, especially the colours I enjoy wearing this time if year. They are very summery and extremely comfortable. These sandals were £17.99 and I think I will get a huge amount of use out of them. 

The final thing I bought which is also from New Look is this extremely gorgeous skater dress. I absolutely love the floral and aztec pattern on it and I love the colours as they are all so pretty and compliment each other beautifully. It is bright and noticeable, however, not in an in-your-face way. This dress is such a lovely fit and a really great shape that will suit almost anyone. It can be used as a day dress or in the evening for a meal of little shindig as a smarter look too! It was £14.99 which I think is a very good price for the quality and the loveliness of this dress and I can't wait to try out different ways to wear it.

So that is everything I bought today. I love shopping in summer, along with spring it is my favourite season for trying out new looks and experimenting with gorgeous clothes and makeup. I hope you liked this post and are enjoying your summer.
<3 Ellen


Saturday, 20 July 2013

Summer baking ideas

Since the summer holidays have started, and the sun has finally come out I thought I would share my top ten favourite things to bake in summer. For me summer is as much about delicious cakes and other treats as it is about the lazy days lying in the sun with a book or magazine. Baking in the summer almost always has to involve fruity, fresh flavours or something that can be used for a relaxing afternoon tea in the garden.

1. This is my absolute favourite cheesecake, strawberries and cream cheesecake. It is such a delicious, fruity treat. Perfect for summer! The recipe I have gone back to again and again is the one from Cake Days by the humming bird bakery. I love this book, it has almost every recipe imaginable, but this one is my favourite by far!

2. Earl grey cupcakes are a little different, but really tasty. It is something that really caught my attention and I couldn't wait to try. I didn't know what the result would be, but I was very pleased with the generous outcome. I also found this recipe in Cake Days book, but you can easily find others on the internet as well.

3. My third favourite is Peach and Raspberry tart. This is such a great tart that is could have as easily come from heaven as it could from your kitchen. It is so great to have as a mid-morning snack, an addition to your afternoon tea or the product of cheeky midnight kitchen-raid.

4. Another great bake for summer are lemonade cupcakes. They are so delicious and exactly what you need on a warm summers day. They aren't just the bog-standard lemon sponge, but something quite different in many ways and that is what I absolutly love about them. 

5. I also love raspberry trifle cupcakes, which is a recipe that I first discovered in a book from the supermarket, but humming bird bakery also do an amazing recipe, which I have since used to adapt the original recipe I found. They are so tasty and an amazing suprise when you discover the sweet blob of sticky raspberry jam in the middle of the cupcake. Yum!

6. Strawberry layer cake is another summer favourite of mine and really simple to make. This recipe from the Primrose Bakery book which I have written about along with the actual bakery in an earlier blog post. It is such a great cake one for after lunch or along wth a cup of tea and such a great way to enjoy the summer.

7. I love the blueberry crumble loaf again from Cake Days, and although I have only made it once before, I fell in love with it instantly and can't wait to make it again. The sponge is not dry which can sometimes happen with a crumble sponge, and it is not too sweet either. Such a great flavour, and really easy to do.

8. This next one is a classic, but never fails to please, the Victoria sponge. It is always so delicious, so moist and soft and tastes great with anything. I always like to put thin slices of strawberries through the middle as well as fresh cream and jam. I think it justs adds a fresher, fruitier flavour and another dimension. A Victoria sponge, is so simple to make, yet something that is almost impossible not to love.

9. This one is another classic, the lemon drizzle. I think it is always so delicious and I absolutely love the flavour and smell of lemon. It tastes so good in a cake, and is never hard to pull off. Another great thing is that it looks better messy than it does neat as there is something so delicious about it being so homemade, knowing it has come form your own kitchen. Something that you have baked yourself always tastes so much better than something you have bought from a supermarket.

10. My final one is fruit scones and is something that, in my opinion, is not a proper summer without. It just makes your summer to have a scone with jam and clotted cream and a pot of tea. Somethings, no matter how fancy or delicate, just can't beat a perfect cream tea.

So that's everything, I hope that you liked this blog post and even if you didn't do much baking before, maybe this will inspire you to start. I love it, so hopefully you will/do too. A perfect summer has perfect food.
<3 Ellen

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Nail tutorial: cloudy sky

This is a really fun nail design that looks good and is easy to do.

You will need:
A base coat 
A sky blue nail varnish - for this I used Barry M nail paint in blueberry
A white nail varnish
A top coat
A large dotting tool ( if you don't have any dotting tools, you can get them really cheap from eBay or amazon or alternatively use the end if a kirby grip)

First apply the base coat, and once it has dried, apply the blue nail varnish to all of your nails.

Then once the nail varnish has dried take your dotting tool and dip it into the white nail varnish. To make up the clouds, create white dots that are touching each other.

Do this with about 5 or 6 dots until a cloud is formed.

Create two or three clouds on each nail until your nails look like a lovely bright sky with perfectly formed white clouds.

Go round each nail with a cotton bud to neaten up the edges and make it look very tidy.

And there you are! Your cloudy sky look is complete. Simple.

<3 Ellen 

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

My June favourites

This is my first favourite's post and I am really excited. With school nearly over -yaaaay- and summer upon us (though it doesn't reflect in the weather) I am feeling pretty optimistic and happy about many a thing and decide to write a favourites post about the best of those things for last month!

The first thing I have really been loving in June is a recording artist, Jake Bugg. I absolutely love the contrast between the indie rock and country and I can't get enough of it, he is so original! I cannot get a good night sleep without having him on shuffle on my iPod. My two favourite songs are country song and trouble town. They are just so amazing. If you haven't heard much of him, please check him out he is amazing!

My next favourite is a little random and it is a quote, and it is something that has really stuck with me. Not because it has resulted in my having an epiphany, but because it is something that I have always believed is true but have never been able to word it in the correct way. To me it is similar to karma, however it is home-made karma. The idea isn't that if you do good things, then good things will happen to you, but that if you do good things and make others happy, it will make you happy knowing that you have helped someone. Random, un-expected acts of kindness. They aren't necessary but something that you want to do for them. 

My next favourite is a book called ketchup clouds written by Annabel Pitcher. I featured it in a haul post, and when I read it I absolutely loved it. It is so fabulous and builds loads of suspense. The whole thing is like this giant question that you are ravenous to find the answer too, but no matter how hard you search, still feel clueless about whether you will ever find it. I know that sounds like a complete exaggeration, but it's really not.

My final favourite is a beauty product and its the Liz Earle cleanse and polish hot cloth cleanser. I love this product, it is great for healthier, more cleansed skin and although it is gentle it is really effective. It is made from completely natural ingredients which is great for someone like me who has sensitive skin. It smells really great, feels great when you put it on and I love the packaging too! It is quite expensive but would be great to pop on a birthday wish list or to buy as a treat fit yourself. It is definitely worth it as it is an amazing product and lasts for a very long time as well.

Sorry about the giraffe and elephant, I just really like them....
 Do you have any June favourites? What are they? 

<3 Ellen

Monday, 1 July 2013

Google connect shutting down!

This post will be boring, but necessary so I'll keep it short.

As you may be aware, google connect is closing down tomorrow. This means that those of you who follow me on google connect will no longer be able to keep updated and see my posts. Please follow in a different way by signing up to bloglovin or google +. These are really good sites and is better then google connect anyway. Feel free to follow of you haven't already and of you have a blog I would love to have a read of it too! Thanks everyone 
<3 Ellen