Monday, 27 July 2015

The Righteous Butter | There's One Sold Every 20 Seconds!

Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter

The Righteous Butter | There's One Sold Every 20 Seconds!

The Righteous Butter was the first Soap & Glory product I ever used. It was either that or The Breakfast Scrub (now called Smoothie Star) but I feel like The Righteous Butter has always been in my life! I take it for granted and I’d be lost if they ever discontinued it! Thankfully, it is one of Soap & Glory’s best selling, award-winning products so I’ve got a feeling that it’s going to be around for quite some time!

There has been lots of little things that I've taken as a good sign as to why I feel like I’m working at the right brand at the moment! Receiving a personalised tub of The Righteous Butter the day after my interview at Soap & Glory was one of the signs! And another one was that a couple of my photos was used at an important presentation last week. I don’t think that it was done on purpose or if they knew it was my images, but it made me smile when I unexpectedly saw my content being used in the blogger segment of the presentation! It just made me feel like I was totally in the right place.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Photo Diary: Colourful London

coloured houses at earls court in London

Photo Diary: Colourful London


Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Funkin Cocktails | Cocktails Made Easy

funkin cocktails

I’m getting thirsty looking back at these photos, I am now craving an ice chilled mojito cocktail! When Funkin Cocktails asked if I’d like to try a selection of their drinks, I jumped at the chance! You see, I’m not good at making cocktails. I do tend to experiment and make it up as I go along, and more often than not, the end result is a questionable dark coloured liquid that tastes like an out-of-date cough medicine. Pretty gross. But I do LOVE a good cocktail especially when I’m on a night out despite how expensive they are! But what’s better is a ready made cocktail that you can drink at home, at BBQ’s, festivals, girls night in, or parties!

ready made cocktails

Funkin Cocktails are ready made non-alcoholic mixers and all you need to do is add your choice of alcohol. They taste absolutely delicious on it’s own though, so if you’re tee-total, Funkin Cocktail Mixers are suitable for you too! I’ve been drinking them without alcohol in a tall glass with a load of ice! The flavours I’ve been trying are strawberry daiquiri, mojito, strawberry woo woo, cosmopolitan, margarita, pina colada and…. a brazilian. 

funkin cocktails ready made mixers

The best thing about Funkin Cocktails Mixers is that they’re made with 100% natural so it’s free from preservatives, colourings and flavourings. My favourite is strawberry daiquiri, mojito and pina colada which I blogged about here. The pina colada one tastes like Yakult which I love! Funkin Cocktails are so ideal for fun summer occasions, and because they’re so delicious and easy to make, it’s bound to be a hit with everyone! Not only can you make tasty cocktails, you can also make yummy ice lollies out of the mixers too!

Funkin Cocktails also sell a range of purees and cocktail syrups so if you’re a bit of an pro at making drinks (or if you like to experiment), then do check out the flavours because there are some unusual ones such as Earl Grey, Agave Nectar, Pickle Juice, Rhubarb, Sugar Cane, and Ginger. 

funkin cocktails ready made mixers

You can purchase Funkin Cocktails products at Waitrose, Harvey Nichols and Selfridges - or directly from Funkin Cocktails website! Prices start from £2.99. Keep your eyes peeled for them! I highly recommend the Pina Colada!


Tuesday, 21 July 2015

What To Wear With Hunter Boots | Summer Edition

What To Wear With Hunter Boots

What To Wear With Hunter Boots | Summer Edition

I’ve been enjoying my new surroundings of the bright lights, big city but I will always be a country girl at heart forever and ever! I love the chilled-out pace of the countryside (it’s not slow, it’s chilled!), clean, fresh air and the beauty of open space consisting of high hills, green grass and big, leafy trees. There’s something quite overwhelming and eery about the peacefulness, but it’s also inspiring and quaint. You really can’t beat the English countryside, it’s special and I’ll never take it for granted.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Moving To London And Starting A New Job

soap and glory beauty, beauty haul

I have had very hectic fortnight to say the least and it has been stressful but it’s all good and exciting! It has been a good kind of stress! 

Two weeks ago, I posted a photo on Instagram saying that I was about to catch the train down to London to meet Soap & Glory. That meeting was a job interview and before I returned home from the interview, I got an email to say that I got the job and I accepted, of course! They wanted me to start straight away so I packed my suitcase, bought my train tickets and a week later, I started work!

In between that time, I have spent A LOT of stressful hours on Spare Rooms to find a place to stay. I was hopeful that I actually had a place sorted and I felt like all the hours I spent on Spare Room was paying off but the landlord let me down last minute, so I booked a couple of night at an AirBnB while I got myself sorted. Luckily, my ‘plan B’ worked out and I managed to find another room on the first night I got to London, so I moved in after my comfortable stay at a lovely AirBnB. 

Moving in to my new flat was a bit of a shock, I think it was the realisation that this isn't a holiday and that I'm actually living here for the time being. I mean, it's only a short-term set up, but everything happened in such a rush, I finally had time to stop whizzing around and think about what was happening. When I arrived at the flat, there was loads to clean up but they landlord recently refurbished the place and the room has been painted white (yay! A blogger's dream!) so all I had to do was a buy a few things to make it feel more homely!

visiting London

When I was at my interview a couple weeks ago, everything just felt right. I wasn’t as nervous as I had been in my previous interviews and I felt at ease which was a good sign! If you’ve read my blog for a long time or have followed me on social media, you will know that Soap & Glory is one of my favourite brands so I feel really lucky that I have the opportunity to work for them and in the digital marketing team too. Hopefully, I will learn loads about how digital marketing works in a big brand - social media, content management, campaigns, blogger outreach, stats and all that jazz!

The low-down is that I’m assisting the digital marketing team until September. I think I have settled in quite quickly, and everyone is really nice! I like to get on with work and power through the day to do as much as possible, and it’s a busy time at the moment so I’m just getting stuck in, really. 

soap and glory logo

There isn’t much that I’m allowed to say about the job, and I’ve never been one to go in to details about my work (or anything personal) on my blog, so there won’t be any blogposts on what goes on in the office or any ‘behind-the-scenes’ or anything like that. But I will still be buying Soap & Glory products from Boots with my own money, and you will definitely still see reviews pop up on my blog and social media, just as much as you did before (I hope you don’t mind!). I was given an awesome goody bag on my first day so I’m sure you’ll see a review in the next couple of weeks!

soap and glory righteous butter

I miss daily blogging but I’ll blog as much as I can because it's still something I love to do no matter how busy I am! Whenever I have spare time, I’ll be using that time to blog and I've got 3 or 4 backlogged posts to write up so I'll get them done at some point! But now that I’ve settled in to my new room, I need to find out where I can take the best blog photos (nice photos are very important to me!) and how I can work around my new schedule. I think I’m probably going to spend every Sunday writing up blogposts.

And just a heads up - if my photos don’t look as good as they were, it’s because I don’t have my DSLR with me in London and without it, it actually feels like I’m missing my right arm or something. I’ll either be using my little digital camera or my iPhone which I’m a bit skeptical about, but lets see if I can make good use of both! But I am really sorry if they don’t look as good as normal! I hope you can all bear with me for now! x


Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Benefit's They're Real: Now In Colour!

Benefit they're real in colour

I’m a real big fan of They’re Real mascara and eyeliner from Benefit Cosmetics. The Push-Up Eyeliner Gel Pen is one of my beauty staples because of how of it’s deep pigment and budge-proof formula. Now they've launched them in colour!

Benefit they're real

Benefit's They're Real: Now In Colour!


Sunday, 12 July 2015

How To Style: Denim Dungarees Playsuit

how to style denim dungarees

How To Style: Denim Dungarees Playsuit

Woooop! Another Sunday outfit post! Since I decided to filter personal style posts back into my blog, I’ve been scheduling them to go live for the past 4 Sundays. I’ve really enjoyed getting back in to outfits and style blogging, it has got me out of my style rut, if anything!

Saturday, 11 July 2015

10 Beauty Products Under £10

Does anyone else go into Boots or Superdrug for the smallest of products and come out of the shop with a huge bag of stuff? The urge to resist the 3 for 2 offers is too hard. I mean, you go in for a pack of cotton pads... and then you pick up a body scrub, y'know, just to make your trip worthwhile. 

...But then you spot some other things in your line of sight. Things your brain has persuaded you that they're beauty essentials and something you'll get so much use out of. And as they're under £10, you throw it into your basket and before you know it, you're at the checkout handing over so much money! HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?! I only went in for a pack of cotton pads. 

beauty on a budget

10 Beauty Products Under £10


Friday, 10 July 2015

Let's Celebrate! It's Pina Colada Day!

National Pina Colada Day

As I did a food post earlier this week (it was a chocolate brownie recipe, if you were wondering!), it was only right to balance it out with a drinks one! Today is National Pina Colada Day (can everyday be National Pina Colada Day please!) and I have received a pineapple themed parcel from Funkin Cocktails*.

National Pina Colada Day
National Pina Colada Day

I love making cocktails but I am not good at all! Sometimes the colour of the liquid comes out brown and foamy… (mmmm…. appetising!) but I was introduced to Funkin Cocktails a couple of weeks ago and it’s cocktails made easy! Very easy!

pina colada cocktail
pina colada cocktail

Funkin Cocktails make delicious cocktail mixers and I’ve been trying out the Pina Colada one! You can drink it on it's own, or you can add white rum to it. All you do is pour Funkin Cocktail over ice in a tall glass, plus a shot of Malibu Rum, garnish and enjoy! Happy National Pina Colada Day!

Funkin Cocktails are available from Waitrose, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols.


Thursday, 9 July 2015

The Product You Never Knew You Needed

pump it up dry shower body wash

When I first heard about Pump It Up Dry Shower Body Wash, I was really intrigued. Who wouldn’t be intrigued by a dry shower body wash that was ideal to take to festivals and camping, or any on-the-go situations.

I thought I had an idea in my head as to what Pump It Up was going to be like - was it going to be like a hand sanitiser or like a dry shampoo? Was it going to be a gel formula or a powder? When the range arrived, they were even better than I thought.

The bottles are a lot bigger than what I had in mind and the packaging is really funky. The formula is neither a gel nor a powder, it’s actually a foam that rubs in like water and dries on it's own.

pump it up dry shower body wash

There’s actually a lot of use for a dry shower body wash. Pump it Up Dry Shower Body Wash are made for the times when you really need to freshen up but can’t get to a shower so they’re absolutely fantastic for festivals and campings, but it’s also great to freshen up ‘on-the-go’, so maybe straight after a run, a work-out, a day of golf, a hot day at work, on days out or a day at the seaside. You get the idea!

It’s just something you can use until you get home for a proper shower or bath. It’s also product that you can use in lieu of wet wipes and body spray, it’s more effective because it doesn't add a scent, it actually cleanses, kills bacteria and body odour.

You can pop to the toilets and use Pump It Up before your journey home and be the freshest one on the bus, train, or tube! Sounds pretty ideal for the hot weather we’re experiencing right now, am I right? Imagine if everyone used Pump It Up before getting on the tube… 

pump it up dry shower body wash

The pump dispenses the foam and all you do it rub it in to skin. Don’t worry, the foam won’t lather up. The foam will feel wet on skin like water or a gel hand sanitiser and it will dry on it’s own without a towel. Pump It Up is dermatologically tested and formulated especially for the purpose of keeping you stay fresh. It kills bacteria, cleans and moisturises. 

When I was walking the dog the other week, it was extremely hot and I started to get really uncomfortably sticky. It was before I got hold of Pump It Up but it would have come in handy on that very day, even if it was just to apply it over my arms, neck and legs. I wouldn’t have felt as grubby on my way home.

pump it up dry shower body wash

It currently comes in 6 different scents but the scents are actually very light and subtle, it doesn’t last very long. There’s just a hint of a fragrance but I suppose the most important thing is that has anti-bacterial properties. It is definitely worth noting that the formula is pH Balanced and it doesn’t contain parabens, or alcohol.

There are three scents for women which are Raspberry, Mandarin, and Cucumber. And there’s three scents for men which are Spearmint and Lime, Coconut, and Eucalyptus. The ingredients on all 6 bottles are the same so the formula doesn’t differ from the women’s and men’s, only the scent. I actually really like the coconut one and the Eucalyptus one!

I think that Pump It Up is definitely something I would use in the Summer but not so much during Winter. But just like a hand sanitizer, a dry shower body wash is extremely handy to have it on hand for on-the-go situations.

Pump it Up is available from instore or online at Boots (shop link), each 150ml bottle costs £3.00.

What do you think of a dry body shower wash? Is it something you're interested in checking out?


Wednesday, 8 July 2015

The Easiest Recipe For Chewy Fudgy Chocolate Brownies!

a recipe for chewy chocolate brownies

I have been craving homemade chocolate brownies for ages. And since I’ve reignited my interest for baking, I decided to give it a go! I went on Pinterest to find the one that I liked the look of but as the recipe for the brownies was American, I had to convert the ingredient measurements in to grams.

If you follow me on social media, you might have seen me post about my first attempt on making chocolate brownies. It didn’t go right but I knew it was either because the ingredients were measured out or converted them wrong, or I simply took it out of the oven too early. 

a recipe for chewy chocolate brownies

Either way, I decided to scrap the recipe that I found and to re-adjust the recipe myself. I learned from mistakes and I knew roughly where I had gone wrong so I used less butter and baked it in the oven 10 minutes longer. To my surprise, it resulted in the loveliest, gooey, fudgy chocolate brownies ever! The top and edges are cripsy and chewy whilst the inside is deliciously soft and gooey. As you can see, they're tasty little square bars of heaven - and they're so incredibly quick and easy to make!
a recipe for chewy chocolate brownies

This recipe is the easiest recipe for chocolate brownies, it came out perfect on my first go and I’m really not the most advanced of bakers! If you’d like to give it a go (and I highly recommend that you do! You won't regret it!), here’s my recipe for fudgy chocolate brownies:

ingredients for chocolate brownies

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes

The ingredients list:

145g unsalted butter
60g good quality dark chocolate
200g caster sugar
2 beaten eggs
75g dark or milk chocolate chips
30g plain flour
1/4 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
quick recipe for chocolate brownies

1. Preheat the oven to 170C. Line the baking tin with greaseproof paper. Greasing the tin with butter will not be enough when you're baking anything with a chewy centre, so it is important to line the baking tin with greaseproof paper.

2. Put the dark chocolate chunks and the butter in to the same bowl. Melt this over low heat and stir with a wooden spoon until melted.

3. Once the chocolate and butter have completely melted, put this bowl aside to let it cool down completely. Then add the sugar and stir well.

quick recipe for chocolate brownies

4. Add the beaten eggs and vanilla extract into the bowl and stir until smooth.

5. Next, add the chocolate chips, flour and salt into the bowl and lightly fold in the mixture. Don’t beat the mixture too heavily, keep it light and airy as you can. You don't want to over-beat this part. 

how to bake chocolate brownies
6. Pour the mixture in the lined cake tin and tap the sides a couple of times to get rid of air bubbles.

7. Place the tin in the middle of the oven at 170C and bake for 45 minutes.

An easy recipe for chocolate brownies

8. After 45 minutes, check to see if it’s cooked by sticking a toothpick in the middle of the brownies. If it’s baked, the toothpick should come out clean.

9. Let it cool in the tin for 15 minutes and then remove it on to a cooling rack. Leave it to cool down completely before cutting in to it. Cut to size as desired. I've gone for 16 little squares.

recipe for chocolate brownies

Finally, enjoy your chewy chocolate brownies! They will go very quickly, every last crumb will be gone before you know it! But they're so easy to make, you can whip up another batch in no time! They taste the BEST on the day you've baked them if you like the chewy-ness. They will soften up the day after in to a divine melt-in-your-mouth chocolate ganache kind of texture.

If you get round to trying this recipe, let me know how it goes! Tweet me your pics or tag me in your Instagram posts! My username on both platforms is @tempsec


Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Nails: The Brightest Pop Of Pink

models own malibu pink

Models Own Malibu Pink doesn't look all that bright in the bottle but no mistake that this is indeed a very vibrant shade of pink once it's on your nails! I don't think that the trueness of the colour is showing up in these photographs, but Malibu Pink verges on the fluorescent side but it's not so neon that it blinds you! 



Monday, 6 July 2015

Birchbox July 2015 | The Birchbag Travel Edition

Birchbox has arrived for the month of July and as promised, it is a mighty good one! It is technically a BirchBAG* because the July 2015 edition doesn’t come in a box, it comes in the form of a super cute fluorescent clutch bag which makes a nice change!

BIRCHBAG Birchbox July 2015

The Birchbag comes in 4 neon colours: pink, coral, yellow and blue - each colour inspired by 4 beauty editors favourite holiday destination. I am delighted to receive the pink but I would have loved any of the colours! The clutch bag is probably too small to store your favourite beauty products but you can use the bag to keep travel documents, passport, money, lip balm, mobile phone and earphones. Or, as you can see below, it will store at least 6 or 7 miniature beauty products!
BIRCHBAG Birchbox July 2015

There are 6 samples in this month’s Birchbag and they are all inspired by this month’s theme of travel. I received the following beauty products:

balance me congest skin serum
Balance Me Congested Skin Serum, £16
My skin is playing up this week and I reckon it’s due to the sudden change of climate. Or maybe it’s because I have switched to a new cleanser along with a new addition of a toner. I’m not sure what it is but the skin around my chin is breaking out and no matter how much cleansing and blemish treatment I use, it’s not currently working. I could see results after one use, and I will look forward to continue using this Congested Skin Serum from Balance Me! It contains chamomile, lavender and aloe vera - a great combination of ingredients to calm and soothe breakouts.

aloe vera gel
Unani Aloe Vera Gel, £15
This is a lovely gel lotion that’s great to use as an aftersun. Aloe vera is a fantastic ingredient to cool the skin, I once used pure aloe vera plant on a burn and it worked a treat to soothe. I’ve never heard of Unani before and I love how Birchbox introduces us to brands like this. I can’t wait to learn more about this brand ad find out what else they have got to offer.

pop beauty eyeshadow
POP BEAUTY Eyeshadow Trio Palette, £15.50
Another brand that I’ve not heard of but having a browse on their website, I can see that they do a great range of cosmetics. The eyeshadow palette I’ve got is called Peach Parfait which contains three shades that would give a subtle smokey bronze colour when blended together.

benefit dream screen
Benefit Cosmetics Dream Screen, £25
Benefit does the cutest pocket-sized miniatures! This is a teeny tiny sample, probably enough for 3 or 4 face applications. I’m going to London in a few days and I’m only taking an overnight bag so I’ll be taking this along with me! It’s a matte finish, non-greasy sunscreen with SPF 45. 

jelly pong pong glow getter
Jelly Pong Pong Glow Getter Luminizer Gel, £8.95
This may be a small pot but it’s actually full size. The pearlescent gel is a highlighter that can be used on cheekbones and brow bones. Or anywhere on your face that you want to highlight. Feel great on skin and it’s not sticky like some highlighters are.

barely prep blot and blend
Barely Prep, Blot and Blend Sponge, £5.99
I haven’t caught on to the hype of a blending sponge, but now I’ll get to see what all the fuss is about! This is quite small compared to the ones I have seen in Boots - but I’m sure it will do the same tricks! I have a question about these sponges… Does anyone know how to wash these properly? And what do you use to clean them?

I think there's still time to sign up to Birchbox this month to receive a Birchbag. If you’re interested in signing up, how does £5 off your first box sound to you? Click here to sign up to Birchbox and use this code SUMMERTS at check out and you will receive £5 off your subscription! The discount code ends on 31st July 2015.

What do you think of this month’s Birchbag? Pretty neat, right?!

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Outfit: Stripey Top From Primark

how to wear stripes

It has been reeeaally hot this past week (don't forget to slather that suncream all over yo'selves) and it might look ludicrous that I'm wearing tights in these pics, but the photos were taken the week before and I've not had a chance to post them on the blog until now. But let me tell you, it was mega grim up north. Dark, wet, all round grim. I have, of course, ditched the tights since then! How lovely has the weather been this week? ROASTING!

In all honesty, I don't know how to dress for Summer this year! That's all about to change this month as we are finally treated to some decent sunshine and I've ordered a bunch of Summer clothes to wear for approximately the next fortnight before it quickly turns COLD again. And a fortnight is wishful thinking! But I'll try and cram in a few Summer-y outfit posts on my blog before that ol' British breeze comes back!

striped top styled by fashion blogger

I bought this stripy top from Primark for £4 and I wish I grabbed a couple more. I don't think they stock them anymore because I bought it in the New Year. I love stripes and wear it all year round, I just don't have a top that holds it's quality. Although for £4, I can't ask for much! The fabric has stretched, in particular around the sleeves, but considering how cheap it cost and how many times I've worn (and washed) it, the overall shape is holding up quite well!

striped top styled by fashion blogger

If anyone is wondering for a tip on how to not look like an awkward turtle when getting your photo taken for your fashion blog, you literally replace the awkwardness with silliness. Like spinning around until you're sick or walk one step forward/one step back (ok, so we're rockin' back and forth here, which isn't the best of looks for anyone watching you and but at least your photos are going to turn out alright!) 

I can't pose and I'm not cool enough to look, well, cool. So acting like a fool is the best I can offer. I just hope I don't spin so much that I fall into the lake one of these days!!

striped top styled by fashion blogger
stripey top

What I Wore:

Top Primark // Skirt ASOS // Bag New Look / Sunglasses RayBan / Shoes Freed Of London

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Saturday, 4 July 2015

Luxury Beauty Products You Can Afford To Take On Holiday

birchbox travel beauty

In the lead up to Birchbox July edition which I’ll no doubt be blogging about very soon, I was asked to pick a couple of beauty products that would be suitable for travelling (there's the clue as to what the theme of Birchbox July is going to be!)

Immediately, Summer holiday popped into my mind. I browsed through the Birchbox shop and looked for something that would suitable.

birchbox travel beauty

With that in mind, I picked a travel set from Janjira and the miracle worker that is Philip Kingsly Elastisizer. The luxurious 5-piece Thai Lime and Ginger travel set (£30, shop link) contains a body lotion, shower gel, massage oil, sugar milky body scrub, body butter and a wash bag to store it all in. The Thai Lime and Ginger fragrance has a refreshing smell, it’s really lovely and exotic. The ginger notes really come through to give the scent it's warmth.

The thing that drew me to this set was small pot of body scrub. It has a milky, gooey texture and it makes your skin feel polished and smooth. The products would be perfect for a 1 or 2 weeks holiday - apart from the shower gel. Although the shower gel lathers up very nicely, a little goes a long way and it will last 7 days - but just about. you’re probably going to have to pack a full size bottle if your holiday lasts for longer than a week.

philip kingsley elastisizer

The second item I chose was the Philip Kingsley Elastisizer (£27, shop link). There are always Philip Kingsley samples included in these beauty boxes, and thanks to Birchbox, I’ve been able to try out a few but my favourite is the Elastisizer which comes in different sizes and different price points. They do a few 3-piece sample kits for £6 which is a bargain! 

philip kingsley elastisizer

The Elastisizer is a pre-shampoo conditioner that helps treat the hair and protect it from heat damage (including sun exposure). It will also help replenish your hair whilst your on holiday after spending hours in the sun frolicking in the salty sea or a pool full of chlorine. When you use the Elastisizer, it gives your the permission to use heat appliances and give you the peace of mind that your hair is going to be somewhat protected from further damage.

I always forget that you can buy beauty products from the Birchbox shop, and there are a lot of convenient travel sets available at the moment! As well as that, there are some fab products from niche brands that's worth a look! 

If you’re thinking of signing up to Birchbox, here is a discount code for £5 OFF your first box: SUMMERTS 

Enter the code upon checkout and £5 will be deducted. The discount offer is valid from 1st July until 31st July. If you’d like to see what Birchbox is like, please check out my unboxing blogposts. There has been some fabulous collaborations lately and I wonder what the next box is like!

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