Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Best of Summer Lips

 I seem to be sticking to a Summer Lipstick theme this week. I have had a root through my make up bag and pulled out my favourite summer shades, ready for the coming months. I hope I did okay with the pictures for this post, I tried my best!

Lovesick - Apocaliptic - 110

Revlon ColorBurst Balm in Lovesick - Such a gorgeous bright pink shade. It's easy to apply, definitely the easiest of the three in terms of application. It also lasts the longest. It does have a very distinct peppermint smell though, so just be wary of that.

Rimmel Apocalips in Apocaliptic - This might just be my favourite lip colour that I own. I usually wear this when I have a very nude eye look. It can be quite hard to apply but the doe foot applicator makes it a bit easier. I do find this quite long lasting and it definitely leaves a stain on the lips.

Rimmel Kate Matte Lipstick in 110 - I wore this pretty much exclusively all last summer. It is a lot brighter than the photo above shows but I am absolutely in love with it. It's not the most moisturising lipstick out there but I don't think that would be expected with a matte lipstick. It does tend to pick up any dry parts of your lips so make sure to prep them before you wear this!

Be sure to check out my Summer Lipstick Wishlist and let me know what your favourite summer lip shades are! 

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Mint Chocolate Cookies

I was having a particularly off day last Sunday and I decided the only thing that would make it better was a batch of homemade cookies. I love After Eights, I think that's the best way to explain the chocolates I put in these cookies, I picked up a  packet of "Mint Cremes" in Aldi to use in this recipe, you can use any variation you like. I think some plain chocolate chips would also be great in these cookies. I managed to get 12 large cookies from this recipe and I ate the majority of them myself. When I make them again I think I'll hide the chocolates inside the dough as some of the chocolate on the top slightly burnt. Also, don't forget to chill the dough in the fridge for at least an hour, the colder the dough, the bigger the cookie. Happy baking!


125g butter, softened
200g caster sugar
1 egg
1tsp vanilla extract
125g plain flour
50g cocoa powder
1tsp bicarbonate of/baking soda
3tsp milk
200g After Eight/Mint Cremes

1. Mix together the butter, sugar, egg and vanilla with an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes.

2. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda and begin mixing with the wet ingredients. 

3. Add the milk in a tablespoon at a time until the dough begins to form. 

4. Leave to chill in the fridge for at least an hour. 

5. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease well with butter. 

6. Take about 2 tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball. Press in your chocolates (I packed as many chocolates as I could into these cookies) and place on your baking sheet.

7.  Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from baking sheet and place on a wire rack to cool! 

Monday, 26 May 2014

Summer Lipstick Wishlist

I've decided to do something a little different for this week's Monday post and share with you my lipstick wishlist for summer. I don't think I included enough coral colours in this post..

What lip products will be finding their way into your make up bags this summer?

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Seven Happy Things #2

So, we've made to the end of another week. Nothing huge has happened, still the same ol' same ol'. It hasn't been the best of weeks for me, I've spent a lot of it worrying about things that I don't have the power to change, (which I can tell you now has done me no good) and being messed around by the people that can change them. However, I have had some good moments this week and it's only 19 days until Paris, so I've got to keep keeping on!

  • Monday was a pretty chill day. I got lots of blog posts written up and had cuddles with the pup.
  • Brian finished his exams on Monday so Tuesday was a fun filled day! We had lunch at his favourite place, Jam then we went to Rumleys Farm (I took lots of pictures, a post shall be up next week) and we finished our day by going to the Drive-In Cinema to see Bad Neighbours.
  • Wednesday came to an end on a high note as we got 99s with flakes, my favourite.
  • Last week, I commented on a Totally Sacha video in which he made a rainbow cake, I asked him a question about eggs. On Thursday, I got an email from him telling me that he was unable to reply to my Youtube comment so he tracked down my email address. I just thought this was the nicest thing ever and I got the answer to my question about eggs.
  • Friday evening I had the boy's apartment to myself, so I made myself something yum for dinner, (salmon and couscous) had a major pamper sesh and snuggled up on the couch to watch the Graham Norton Show (which if you follow me on Twitter, you will know I enjoyed immensely)
  • Yesterday morning, I had tea and toast in bed with the boy while watching Gilmore Girls.
  • Aaaand, it's Sunday again. More food and Gilmore Girls. (Sunday will never be exciting, I'm sorry.)
What have been your highlights of this week?

Friday, 23 May 2014

My Hair Care Routine

I love trying out new hair products, I'm still searching for the perfect combination of things. I'm very fickle when it comes to shampoo, hence why there's not one mentioned in this post. I find my hair gets used to shampoo so I have to change what I use quite frequently. I would recommend the L'Oreal Elvive Re-Nutrition Shampoo, I used it in conjunction with the matching conditioner (which I have mentioned below) and it worked a treat for about a month, always leaving my hair soft and shiny. 

L'Oreal Elvive Re-Nutrition Nourishing Conditioner - I've been faithful to this conditioner for about six months now, it leaves my hair super soft and smelling like I've just come out of the hairdressers. 

Dove Hair Nourishing Oil Care Leave-In Spray - I mentioned this in my April Favourites so I won't blabber on about it for too long. I spray this in the ends of my hair when its wet, it has worked wonders on my dry ends. 

Boots Ingredients Coconut & Almond Leave-In Conditioner - This is my holy grail hair product. After I shower, this is the first thing that I spray on my hair as it makes it much easier to brush through  It's cheap and cheerful, coming in at just under €2 but I find it better than any other products that have claimed to leave your hair "tangle free".

Argan Oil Hair Treatment - I use a drop of this oil on the ends of my hair when I come out of the shower. Again, it really helps with my damaged ends and eliminates a lot of unwanted frizz! I avoid using too much of this stuff because it can leave my hair feeling greasy when I overuse it. I picked this little bottle up in EuroGiant for €1, this made me ridiculously happy as argan oil treatments can be quite pricey. So if you're from Ireland, I suggest you go pick some up! 

What are your holy grail hair products?

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Furry Friend Tag

This will be my very first tag post, I am super excited about it because it's always fun to try something new and I get to tell you more about my favourite (and the cutest) puppy in the world.

1. What is your pet's name? 
His name is Max. Or Maximus as I wanted to write on his dog tag.

2. What kind of pet is it and what breed? 
He is a dog, a Jack Russell Terrier to be exact. 

3. How long have you had your pet friend?
I've had Max for nearly three years now. 

4. How did you get your pet?
A family friend's dog had puppies but she was too young to understand how to look after them so at four weeks old, Mum brought him home for me to look after. I fed him milk through a syringe for a couple of days and stayed up all night with him. He slept in any boxes or containers I could find and put beside by bed. His last bed was my washing basket.

5. How old is your pet?
He's nearly three now. The picture above was taken when he was about 12 weeks old and the one below was taken on one of his first days at home,

6. What are some quirky things about your pets personality?
He is extremely independent, although I think that's pretty common with most terriers. He likes to follow me round the kitchen while I am baking or cooking, standing directly behind me. He's not the most obedient of dogs, he will go to sleep in his own bed but manage to find his way up onto my bed in the middle of the night and snuggle himself up to any warm part of my body or in between the boy and I. He isn't very fond of small dogs, anything his size or smaller. He absolutely adores bigger dogs though. We also have a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Ollie and Max thinks he is his best friend. 

7. What does your relationship with your pet mean to you?
Absolutely everything. He's wonderful, I really do not know what I would do without him and Ollie. He can be a real pain but I'm sure I annoy him just as much. There is nothing more comforting than a cuddle with a doggie. Max and Ollie have been two of the biggest comforts to me in the hardest of times.

8. What are some of your favourite past times with your pet?
During the summer, or when the weather is nice, Brian and I will take Max out somewhere nice for the day. This generally involves a car ride and Max gets car sick, although we have remedied this problem with travel sickness tablets (we give him 1 human travel sickness tablet about 3 hours before we leave and it works a treat). The last time we took him on a big long walk, I let him off the lead for the first time. I've always been really anxious about this because as I said, he is not an obedient dog so I thought he might run off. He didn't though, as soon as I called him he came running back.

9. What are nicknames that you call your pet?
We call him Moo more than we call him Max. I can't remember how this started. I also call Ollie, Ollie Bear or just Bear.

I will leave you with a picture of my two favourites. Brian didn't like Max, or any dogs for the matter, until about 2 years ago. Now he loves him (thankfully). I hope you guys enjoyed this post, I might make another telling you all about Ollie, if you would like. 
Do you guys have any furry friends?

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Viennese Whirls

Before I get into telling you all about these delightful biscuits, I must address the fact that I called these "Viennese Swirls" in Sunday's post. Swirls, Whirls, all the same in my head apparently!
I can't actually say that I got to try these, I gave half to a friend for her birthday and the other half were gobbled up by my Mother within minutes (you think I'm exaggerating, I'm really not). However I was informed that they were "the nicest gift ever" and "better than Mr. Kipling's ". I decided to use this recipe, although I found that a lot of them were the same so it didn't matter too much.

These do require some attention in the piping department, other than that they're very simple to make! I almost broke my piping gun twice making these. I should really invest in some ordinary nozzles and piping bags. You by no means have to be an expert but I find them quite time consuming, if you're not hugely bother by what they look like, you could just make them into ordinary circles, I'm sure they would taste just as good! The biscuits  can be as big or as small as you would like, just make sure each biscuit has a buddy the same size. I managed to get 16 Viennese Whirls from this recipe, I think I made about 35 biscuits but a few didn't make the cut. I will definitely be making these again and sneaking some away for myself this time. Happy baking!


250g butter, softened
50g icing sugar
50g cornflour
250g plain flour
1sp vanilla extract

50g butter
100g icing sugar
1tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment or grease with butter. 

2. In a large bowl, mix together the butter, icing sugar, cornflour and vanilla extract. 

3. Slowly sieve in your flour. I found that the mixture wasn't as thick as most dough but that's the way it's meant to be, so don't worry about it (like I did).

4. Place the dough into your piping bag fitted with a medium size star nozzle and pipe into swirls.

5. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until slightly golden at the edges. 

6. To make your icing, place the butter, icing sugar and vanilla in a small bowl and whisk together until smooth.

7. Leave your biscuits to cool completely before filling. Spread some jam onto the flat side of one biscuit and about 1 teaspoon of buttercream on the flat side of another then sandwich together.

8. Sift a little icing sugar or drizzle some chocolate over the top, if desired! 

Monday, 19 May 2014

My Top Picks // Floral Patterns

I absolutely love writing these posts, it cures my need to go shopping and creates a wishlist for me. I adore most things with a floral pattern, mugs, bedding, notebooks and most importantly, clothes. Here are some of my favourite items for Summer 2014! 

1. Floral Collared Skater Dress // Boohoo, €28

2. Floral City Dress // Topshop, £40

3. Blue Floral Print Zip Trim Skater Dress // River Island, €51

4. Floral Print Green Pleated Dress // ROMWE, €29.95

5. Black V-Neck Floral Print Playsuit // Topshop, £37

6. Black Floral Print Playsuit // New Look, €24.99

7. Tea Flower Godet Skirt // Topshop, £22

8. Floral Print Belted Pleated Skirt // ROMWE, €20.22

 9. Navy Floral Print Casual Shorts // River Island, €25

10.  Lace Floral Print Runner Shorts // Topshop, £35

11. Black Floral Print Shorts // New Look, €17.99

12. Black Floral Print Running Shorts // New Look €14.99

13. Gold Tone Clustered Flower Necklace // River Island, €20

14. Black Tapestry Floral Chelsea Boots // New Look, €10

15. Mint Green Rose Garland Hairband // New Look, €4.99

16. Black Floral Print Purse // New Look, €7.99

As always, I hope you guys saw a few bits in this post that you liked. Maybe not too many, I don't want to be responsible for any damage done to your bank accounts! My favourite pieces are 2, 7 and 12. I have been eyeing up number 14, the Chelsea Boots for quite sometime now and they are currently in the sale (dreams do come true).
Which items have you added to your wishlist? 

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Seven Happy Things #1

Good morning and happy Sunday to you all, I hope you have all had a fantastic week and that today will be just as good!

I absolutely love reading people's Weekend Round Up posts, however I feel that I don't post enough during the week to my blog, or to my Instagram to be able to post my own. I really like the idea of a post to end the week though, so with that being said I came up with this, "Seven Happy Things". The idea is to take one thing from each day of the week that has made me happy, whether it be something big or small and at the end of the week and write them down as I reminder that there is something good in every day. Life can be testing at times, for everyone. I think at the end of the day (or week) we tend to only focus on the bad things and forget about anything good that has happened. I would like to change that way of thinking.  The seven things will be accompanied by a quote (found on Pinterest) that sums up the week for me.

  • My Monday evening was spent playing Scrabble and watching quiz shows. I know this sounds awfully boring but I love it.
  • Tuesday got off to a wonderful start for me as the boy surprised me with tea and toast in bed. I like my toast barely toasted, with butter and strawberry jam on top, in case you were wondering.
  • My first every post as a guest blogger was posted on Wednesday. I shared my favourite brownie recipe with What Lizzie Thinks readers.
  • I am lucky enough to be going to Paris in June so I've been anxiously waiting to receive my new passport. Thankfully, Thursday was the day when my anxiety about this issue was put to rest as it finally arrived!
  • I do most of my baking towards the end of the week so on Friday I made Viennese Swirls. They were fabulous (if I do say so myself) and I cannot wait to share the recipe with you guys!
  • On Saturday I was back in the kitchen again making some Mint Creme Chocolate Cookies, I shall also have a post up about these as they were the best cookies I have ever made. Baking makes me happy, can you tell?
  • Today is Sunday and I am extremely happy today about this post. I have really enjoyed writing it, it has made me see that this week hasn't been as bad as it may have seemed..

 I really hope you guys enjoy reading this post and feel free to leave a comment below telling me something that has made you happy!

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Jam Tarts

It had never crossed my mind to make these before someone asked me to. Jam tarts are something I love and will often pick up in the supermarket but I, for some reason, thought they were too difficult to make. I was completely wrong. I would love to make my own jam to put into the pastry cases but I am yet to venture into the world of jam making. I have dreams of one day having a big enough garden to grow up own fruits and vegetables, so I can make all the jams and soups that I would like. You can use whatever kind of jam you prefer, I used raspberry for one half and strawberry for the other. I didn't put any sugar into the pastry, I find the jam to be sweet enough to be able to exclude it. However, if you want to I will leave the instructions down below. The pastry was so much easier to make than I expected, although if you don't fancy getting it a try or you're stuck for time, you can buy ready made jam tart pastry and all you need to do is roll it out. I made these in a 12-hole cupcake tray and they turned out to be the perfect size. Happy baking! 

What you will need: 

250g plain flour
100g butter
30g sugar (optional)
3-4 tablespoons cold water
Your choice of jam

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 and grease each hole of the cupcake tray really well.

2. Sieve the flour into a large bowl, chop the butter into small cubes, add them to the bowl and rub in with your fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

3. If you're adding sugar, put it in now and rub in.

4. Gradually add in the water a tablespoon at a time until the mixture forms together into a ball.

5. Flour your work surface, roll out the dough to be about half a centimeter thick then cut out a circle. Check to make sure your circle fits in your tin, push the pastry into the sides to make it fit perfectly. (I used a glass as a cutter because it was the perfect size, you can get creative.)

6. Fill the pastry cases with jam, I think it took about 2 teaspoons to fill mine but it will depend on the size of your tin.

7. Bake for 12-15 minutes. 

8. Leave to cool on a wire rack for a couple of hours. (Seriously, don't touch them, I burnt my finger doing so). The jam should become slightly more solidified in this time so that if you were to touch it you wouldn't get a finger full'a jam.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

My Top Picks // Daisy Prints

 I know nothing about fashion, zero, zilch, nada but I do love the daisy print craze that has come about this Spring/Summer. There are so many different pieces in this print but here are some of my favourites! A few of the items from New Look are in the sale at the moment, so I'd recommend snapping them up before they're gone! 

1. Daisy Printed Playsuit // Topshop, £39

3. Coral Cap Sleeve Swing Dress // New Look, €22.99

4. Black Daisy Print High Waisted Shorts // River Island, €40

5. Black High Waisted Mom Shorts // Topshop, £30

6. Daisy Print Chiffon Shorts // New Look, €9.20

7. Black Daisy Print Top with White Collar // New Look, €10.79

8. Navy Daisy Print Button Back Vest // New Look, €14.99

9. Daisy Print Leggings // Boohoo, €12

10. Daisy Chain Watch // ASOS, €25.30

11. Gold and White Daisy Necklace // New Look, €7.99

12. Daisy Garland // Topshop, £14

What are your favourite pieces? I love 2, 4, 5 and 10! 

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Blueberry and Almond Muffins

Anyone fancy some scrumptious muffins that are quick and easy to prepare and make the perfect breakfast or snack? If you do, this recipe is for you! Before I go any further, I must confess that I don't actually like blueberries, or almonds. I did taste test them though before I passed them on to Brian's Mum and they were goooood (even though I picked out the blueberries). They probably certainly aren't the healthiest way to start your day but they do include some fruit and nuts so that makes it better, right? I'm sure you could adapt this recipe to make it a bit more healthy but I am definitely not the person you want to look to for healthy baking recipes. When I bake I go all out, completely unhealthy and full of sugar but it's just a treat, everything in moderation! However, if you would like to make healthy baked goodies, I highly recommend having a look at Chocolate Covered Katie. Her website has tonnes of amazing healthy alternative recipes that will have your mouth watering just reading them. 
Back to the muffins, this recipe makes 10 big muffins, or 18 cupcakes if you would prefer. This recipe does call for buttermilk but not to worry if you don't have any you can make some by mixing regular milk with a tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar and leaving to stand for 10 minutes. You could use any kind of berries you would like, if I were to make them or myself  I think I would use strawberries. Happy baking! 

What you will need:

200g plain flour
2tsp baking powder
1tsp cinnamon
50g ground almonds
175g caster sugar
1 egg
300ml buttermilk
50g butter, melted
200g blueberries 
15g almonds, chopped 

1. Preheat your oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 and line your muffin tin with cases. 

2. Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon into a large bowl and then mix in your sugar and ground almonds. 

3. In a separate, beat together the butter, eggs and buttermilk.

4. Slowly add the second mixture into the dry ingredients then fold in the blueberries. 

5. Spoon the mixture into the cases, until they're three quarters full and sprinkle with chopped almonds.

6. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean and they have turned a golden colour. 

7. Leave to cool on a wire rack. These muffins are best served warm! 

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

My Top Picks // Sandals

Sandals aren't something I would usually wear but I'm going to try this Summer so I have compiled a list of my favourites for Summer 2014, hopefully you guys see something you like! 

2. Black Strappy Sandals // H&M, €14.95

3. Coral Leather-Look T-Bar Sandals // New Look, €9.99 

5. Tan Gold Metallic Gladiator Sandals // New Look, €22.99

6. Coral and Tan Ankle Strap Sandals // New Look, €19.99 

I put the prices down in euro because I'm from Ireland (expect the Office shoes because they don't have an Irish website) but if you go to the stores website they should just change to whatever currency you use in your country. The only sandals that don't come in various colours are the first ones, I just picked my favourite colour to show you in this post!

My favourites are number one and number six, what are yours? 

Friday, 2 May 2014

Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

I've been baking loads of yummy goodies the past two weeks, so I have a backlog of recipes for you guys. However, I made these beauties for the second time today and I just couldn't wait any longer to share it with you all! Terry's chocolate orange is my absolute all time favourite kind of chocolate, if you're anything like me you will love these cupcakes. This recipe is just a really simple twist on a normal chocolate cupcake and I've used a mixture of different recipes to make these, and the icing. I made this batch as a gift for someone so I haven't been able to try one but I'll let you guys know what they thought! This recipe makes 12 big cupcakes and I would think about 18 smaller ones. Happy baking!

What you will need:

125g butter
120g sugar 
2 eggs
50g plain chocolate, melted 
140g self raising flour
2tbsp cocoa powder
1tsp baking powder
1 orange, zest and juice 

For the icing:

100g butter
200g icing sugar
50g chocolate, melted
1 orange, zest and juice
1tbsp milk

1. Preheat your oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 and line your cupcake tin with cases.

2. Beat together the butter, sugar and eggs. Add in the melted chocolate and beat again until smooth.
3. Sieve in the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. Mix together with an electric mixer (the mixture may become stiff at this point, don't worry it'll loosen with the orange juice) and then add in the zest and juice of one orange.

4. To make large cupcakes like mine, fill your cases with 3 teaspoons of the mixture and bake for 20 minutes, or until a skewer/knife comes out clean

5. Meanwhile, make your icing by combining the butter, icing sugar and chocolate then add the zest and juice of one orange and the milk to loosen the mixture.

6. Let the cupcakes cool completely before you ice and decorate them as desired!