Monday, 30 September 2013

Banana & Chocolate Cake Cookies: A Diabetic's Dream

Recently I found out I have gestational diabetes, but that will come with another post, I know I've been slack with the pregnancy posts lately! So I decided to have a little look online for something that would cater for my sweet tooth without being loaded with sugar, and these are ideal for that being packed full of sweetness from the banana. 

What you will need:
125g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 pinch of salt
1/8th tsp of bicarb
6 tbsp sugar
175g dark chocolate (chopped)
60g walnuts (optional) (I didn't add these as I'm allergic to them!)
1 egg
1 small banana (mashed) (best when they are really ripe)
150g unsalted butter or margarine 
1 tsp vanilla extract

What I did:
I popped all the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl;
Mix the eggs, butter, banana and vanilla extract together; 
Combine the wet ingredients with the dry.

Now it did say on the recipe you can make 36 of these cookies, but lets be honest, that wouldn't happen. I portioned them out to 18 portions, some may have been a little larger than others, but who would complain about that?

Pop in the oven at 180/160 fan/gas mark 4 for 10 mins. 

These are not hard cookies, but more a cake cookie so you feel like you can have the best of both worlds. And being low in sugar, they are great for diabetics. 

Hope you like them!

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Legally Glam: Blogger Challenge

I stumbled across a blogger challenge yesterday from Legally Glam and fell in love with the bag, so I just had to enter! You can win the gorgeous Ollie & Nic bag displayed below. I adore their handbags and accessories, their vintage vibe is right up my street

Why did I choose this outfit?
Well I have a penchant for all things burgundy, and I thought the addition of the velvet Mary Jan shoes just added a little luxe feel to the outfit. The TopShop dress is gorgeous with it's studded shoulders and would look great casually (as so in this outfit post) or dressed up for a night out. With the addition of a thick pair of tights you can go through the transitional period of weather we're having at the moment. The bag obviously tops off the outfit by adding a different hue to the dark autumnal colours. Paired off with a statement necklace to set the A/W tartan trend off! 

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Day Trip to Ilkley

During the husband's short trip home, we visited Ilkley. It's definitely one of my favourite spots in Yorkshire and for me, it's only around a 20 minute drive away to such a vintage and quaint town. 

A few weeks back I received an e-mail from Groupon with a £10 off discount code, I had no idea what to use it on so I just generally ignored it and left it in my e-mail account. It's not often I find anything local with Groupon that I would actually use. However, I decided to have a little browse around and see what was on offer, only to find an offer of Afternoon Tea at Lounge 10 in Ilkley for four, for a whole £14! What a bargain. I would have had to snap this up anyway as I'm a massive fan of afternoon tea, and it was an excuse to take the family out for lunch. Then I remembered by £10 voucher, contributed that to my £14 and only ended up paying a whole £4. Yes ladies, a whole British £4. For four people. For afternoon tea. You might be able to imagine how happy I was! 

I think the Afternoon Tea itself could have been a little better presented, but I know Lounge 10 were under new management and probably had a lot on their plate at the moment! Lounge 10 was really easy to find, just across from the train station in Ilkley and had really welcoming staff. The only disappointment was the fact we only got two pots of tea, and we would have really liked another or unlimited. But, for £4, I really should not be complaining!

Overall we had a fab time, as always in Ilkley, and I just had to pop in Betty's on the way out of Ilkley for macarons. Which were divine as always may I add. 

We decided to pop off route to Otley and visit the Stephen Smith's garden centre. I have a penchant for their craft section and all things water related. They have an awesome aquatics section with pretty fish and amphibians for sale! 

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Dressing The Husband For Autumn

#OOTD Thursday: TK Maxx Opening

As you can see from my previous post here, I was invited to the TK Maxx opening day in Keighley last Thursday. I thought I would do a little outfit of the day post to show off my new H! by Henry Holland panda dress, and my bump of course! 

Yes, I did take the photo in a TK Maxx mirror haha. 

1: Burgundy beanie from New Look. I bought this last year and lived in it, it's amazing.
6: Emu boots, borrowed from my mum until my new H&M ones arrive. 
7: 25 weeks bump, courtesy of my husband, hehe.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

TK Maxx Opening: Keighley

I have to apologise for this post before you start reading it, it's quite picture heavy. I didn't even use all the photos I took during the event either!

I was over the moon to be invited to the opening of the new TK Maxx store in my hometown of Keighley. Myself and Kel headed down with the press for a pre-opening walk around at 8:30 am! We had the whole store to ourselves, and I honestly could not have been happier walking around a treasure trove of delights without having anyone banging into me or eyeing up the same purchases as me haha.

Here we have Kel modelling two of her purchases, although she only bought the skirt as when we came back to the dresses after the store had opened the dress had gone! 
Those Keighley folk were snapping up the bargains!

I spied an amazing Russian Doll print shirt which I simply had to have. And being knocked down from £56.00 to £19.99, I simply couldn't resist. I also bought the most amazingly gorgeous pair of bright pink Mary Jane shoes with skulls on, from a famous rock chick who 'wouldn't like your boyfriend' hehe.

My favourite things in the store were definitely the shoes, bags and beauty products. 

(Yes, this bag does have teapots and teacups on it...)

One of my favourite things about TK Maxx is going into the homewares section upstairs. I'm a massive fan of storage boxes and kitchenalia! There were some gorgeous treats to be had upstairs. I regret missing out on purchasing a Belgian Waffle scented candle for £2.99, which was huge and simply gorgeous! 

(It took me a while to work out the giant cupcakes on the left were in fact cupcake storage and transport containers - genius idea!)

When inside, I hadn't noticed the massive queue forming outside. The first 500 into the store were to receive a £10 gift voucher. I honestly hadn't have imagined that before 9.00 am there would be so many people queued up outside ready to come in. Unfortunately I didn't manage to take a snap! 

I would like to say a big thank you for being invited, and a congratulations to everyone in the store for making the opening really amazing! Everyone was really friendly and chatty with us!

Good luck TK Maxx Keighley!

Saturday, 21 September 2013

John Freida: Full Repair*

John Frieda's Full Repair collection is not one to which I am new to. I've been using a few of the products on and off when my hair is especially damaged from over processing and colouring, which lets be honest, is all the time with me.

I was really grateful to be contacted asking if I wanted to try out their Hydrate + Rescue shampoo and conditioner, along with the Repairing Oil Elixir. All three are products which I haven't tried before so I was looking forward to this opportunity. 

I've been using all three products together when I've washed my hair over the past two weeks, which probably has worked out every two days. I noticed an instant change in my hair from the first time I used these products. 

My hair felt silky and smooth, along with feeling less frizzy and damaged, especially in the over processed areas where my split ends are (I still refuse to get my hair cut unless it's something drastic). The shampoo lathered up straightaway and removed any excess styling product from my hair, something which I haven't experienced in quite a while, normally I have to wash my hair twice for this effect. I only needed to use a small amount of conditioner as it's very thick and goes a long way. I left this on for a few minutes in order to let it sit like a conditioning mask. There is a slight floral fragrance in all the products which isn't overpowering but definitely lingers just enough! 

I would have been able to style my hair alone after using these two products, but the addition of the elixir makes it feel a lot more luxurious. I like the product more because you can use it on both wet and dry hair without it leaving my hair feeling like a greasy oil slick, especially in my fringe. 

You can find all of the John Frieda Full Repair products for damaged hair here
The products I own and use on a regular basis are the Perfect Ends serum and the Style Creator Heat-Activated Styling Spray, both of which work great with my hair type and leave my hair soft but voluminous. 

Something else I was quite excited to find out about, is their range of hair dyes, I'm not sure how I've evaded these but the colours look fabulous! My colour has already begun to fade from my previous dye, so I think I might have to give the deep cherry brown a go next! 

You can also find John Frieda on YouTube with lots of styling and protecting hints and tips!

Friday, 20 September 2013

Face Of The Day

So on Saturday I went to a blogger meet up in Leeds, and I actually had a really fresh faced look for a change! Even Yuna complimented on how well I was looking now, and I think I'm in the midst of a decent stage of pregnancy which doesn't make me look like a sick whale. Glowing as some might call it, I would just say I was wearing a really good foundation. And I think maybe the fact I work eyeshadow might have helped a little. 

So what did I have on my face that day?

For my base I wore the Maybelline Fit Me Anti-Shine Foundation Stick in Ivory 115. Now I think it's a bit much to apply it as a foundation all over my face, so I just dabbed it on the areas which needed concealing. Then applied my Garnier BB Miracle Skin Perfector Cream (oil-free) in the lightest shade over the top. This provided the perfect base for the day. 

I used my MUA Undress Me Too palette for the eyes, and blended shades fiery and wink. Then finished my eyes off with Rimmel's Lash Accelerator mascara in black. This mascara is by far my favourite, and a definite repurchase when it runs out. I've done really well with it and it's lasted me around seven months already. 

For my eyebrows I used the Elf eyebrow palette in medium, topped the powder off with the dark wax for a darker finish as I've recently had my eyebrows tinted darker. The powder isn't quite dark enough for me so I've had to buy an eyebrow pencil. 

For my cheeks I used the Sleek Rose Gold blusher, which has easily become my favourite blusher. I love the tones and the pigment is unbelievably good. Sleek's blusher palettes are definitely my favourite blushers by far. These are my go to blushers nowadays! No-one else gets a look in. 

And last but not least, for lips I used my MAC Pretty Please lipstick, which is a really smooth pinky pearl shade and looks great on with a nude, fresh faced look.

Roald Dahl Book Giveaway

If you've seen the #BloggerMystery hashtag over on Twitter recently you'll see that Waterstones are running murder mystery challenge with six bloggers, the sleuth who unravels the mystery will win a voucher for £100. All you have to do is master the 'whodunit' and let Detective Mike Scott know by this evening who is the killer! 

Unfortunately I applied for this too late and I would have loved to have taken part as one of the suspects but didn't make it through in time, so the lovely folks at Waterstones have given me a selection of Roald Dahl books to giveaway to my lucky readers!

In celebration of Roald Dahl's birthday, (last week, I know I'm late!), you can win all these books

The Twits
George’s Marvellous Medicine
James and the Giant Peach
Danny the Champion of the World
The Witches
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Fantastic Mr Fox

These three are my personal favourite by far. 

 And all you have to do is enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. 
This competition is only open to UK readers. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Bag Blog Sale

I've decided that in preparation of the big move, details of which some of you may know, others aren't so lucky haha, I'm gonna sell lots of my bags. I can't really afford to ship stuff to another country when I don't use it, so I'm being logical before baby Dexter comes along. 

At the moment I have four bags going, I'm not listing them on eBay as people always kick off about postage prices, and lets be honest, Royal Mail do pretty much suck and no one wants to pay £6 odd for something being sent second class tracked/recorded or whatever lingo they use. 

The prices of these bags include postage, which will be delivered tracked by Hermes :)
PayPal only please, and I'll only post within the UK. 

Both the Louis Vuitton and Chanel bags are replicas but are in very good condition. I've only ever used any of the bags once or twice as I have far too many
The Louis Vuitton and the tan owl bag (bottom photo) are large enough for folders, so great for Uni etc. 

UPDATE: The owl print tan bag has been sold.
The black and gold owl bag has been sold. 

The below satchels are being sold as a bundle as individually would cost £3.70 to post and it isn't really worth it! So the whole bundle below is for £20 including postage! 

The cream satchel at the bottom is double sided, so effectively you get two satchels for one. 

Any questions, please ask. 

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Beauty Haul

I was going to call this a 'drugstore' haul, but considering I only went into one store (Superdrug) and bought the few MUA bits online, it didn't really count. Beauty haul it is then!

I have bought loads of clothes recently too, obviously with the ever expanding waistline, but I haven't got around to doing a clothing haul post. I highly doubt anyone would want to read that either as it's not that grand. Just a few pairs of treggings and a few jumpers. Plus a bunch of dresses I'm having to store away for post-pregnancy!

So what did I treat myself to?

I bought two cosmic purple hair dyes as my hair fades way too often for my liking, L'Oreal sea salt spray as I'm fancying having textured messy bed-head hair this winter (whilst I'm growing out my fringe), Schwarzkopf Got2B Big Volume hairspray, to add to said messy hair. 
I also bought a Barry M nude shade eyeliner to make my eyes pop a little and look bigger, pregnancy has ruined my sleeping pattern and I constantly look like death. A dark brown eyebrow pencil as I've had them tinted darker and nothing suits. 
I also treat myself to one of the baked MUA eyeshadow trios, I love the colours! 

From MUA's website I treat myself to three of their matte lipsticks from the new collection. I did purchase a MAC lipstick last week but as it's satin it bleeds quite a lot, and I'm a novice with lipliner so I've decided to leave that one and stick with a matte instead. I was really lucky as these were £1 each! So I opted to buy a berry, red and nude. They have really good staying power and don't bleed. I'll be popping a review of these up later! Also, the primer/concealer from their Pro-Base collection, along with another concealer in brush form. Lets see how these go!

Monday, 16 September 2013

Leeds Meet Up at Coffea

I attended another Leeds meet up this weekend! This week's event was hosted by the lovely Yuna, and we popped over to Coffea just by the train station down Dark Arches (Granary Wharf). It was a really nice intimate blogger meet up where we all had drinks and food, and a good old chat! Coffea were fantastic and we received a free drink with fabulous service. I also had to try their meatballs as they looked amazing, trust me, they didn't disappoint. I didn't try any cake though(!) but it looked divine, and the ladies certainly enjoyed their panini's and cakes. 

Coffea actually makes me miss working in Leeds, cause I definitely know I'd be spending my lunches there. Picking up a tea or a flavoured coffee along with one of their gorgeous sandwiches or salad bowls, and obviously a piece of cake that I missed! 

I had a yummy hot chocolate! 

The coffee shop has a really warm and friendly atmosphere, I would call it quaint but it doesn't quite fall into the category, it's certainly metropolitan though and fits in with the charm of Leeds itself. They had such a nice array of foods, and I especially love the little gift bags you can buy, along with the chocolate flavours! Simply divine. 

The only let down I would say, probably along with the other bloggers who were there, was that there weren't any toilets. As a pregnant woman who locates the latest toilet and goes simply every half hour, I did quite well, although you really shouldn't have to go hunting round Leeds for a bathroom. I hope they can sort this out as I would definitely want to go back for a longer session next time!

The seats were really comfortable though, that was the highest priority for me after a quick walk up to return shoes to Primark, and a quick run back down as we were running a little late! 

It was great to have a catch up with Kerys, Emily, Kel, Kelly, Simone and Arash, who popped by for a few minutes before heading home from work! 

It can be said though, I definitely love Coffea! 
You can find Coffea over on Facebook, Twitter and their site (currently under construction). 

After the meet up, a few of us headed off for a little shopping, which only consisted of Superdrug as I had a little shopping list of things I wanted to buy, you'll be able to see that in a haul post later this week. 

I did intend on taking an outfit of the day photo showing my bump and how I'm dressing now, but we actually forgot to get a shot from the Dark Arches before we left, so instead I'll do a face of the day post, which too will be up this week.