Month: April 2014

This Week I’m Loving… Lily Flame’s ‘Fairy Dust’ Candle

Admittedly I’ve never really been that crazy for candles, probably because we’ve never really had them around the house. The only times we ever really used them was if we had people round in the summer and we were out in the garden, just to give a lovely little glow around the place. Now however, [and almost definitely because candles are banned in my Uni accommodation] I have become a little bit obsessed…. Not only do they smell uh-mazing, but they’re so sweet and romantic. Being at home this last month I’ve been trying out  a few and I’ve really enjoyed just lighting up a candle on my bedside table, and really relaxing and reading a book or listening to some music. The little glow gives a lovely soft lighting in my room and the sweet scent is always lovely just before I fall asleep.

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I’ve wanted to try out Lily Flame’s ‘Fairy Dust’ Candle for a rather long time, they sell it at the upmarket supermarket that I worked in and I always thought that it stood out on the selves. Also another blogger that I’m friends with is absolutely obsessed with it, so I wanted to see what all the fuss what about. Needless to say, I bought this candle when I got a bit of Easter money from my mum and instantly fell in love.

First of all I love the little tin, the powdery pink colour is so pretty with the silver writing and the gold top. The tin makes it easy to move around, and means it looks cute on my desk, even when the lid is on and the candle’s not lit. The only down side, I would say of having a candle in a tin over a candle in a glass, is that it doesn’t give off very much light once the candle has melted down a bit, so that’s  a little bit annoying if you want the light as well as the smell, but Lily Flame do, do larger glass versions of there candles too. Most importantly, this candle smells absolutely AMAZING. Personally I think it smells like melted marshmellows, it’s sort of a very sweet but clean smell,  so it’s not sickly. I would say it’s pleasant to smell without being too overpowering.

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On the back of the tin in this cute font, there’s some product information. Letting you know that these candles are actually handmade in Somerset, which I really liked because I love to support British brands where I can. It also tells you that this little candle will burn for up to 35 hours, and that for best results you should let it burn for 3 hours at a time, making sure you don’t leave it unattended of course.

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I’ve used about a quarter of this candle now and I’m really enjoying the lovely scent. I’ve just brought it with me back from Uni  (naughty) and I’m very much looking forward to lighting it once I’ve hoovered my room, as a friend of my suggested that burning a candle for an hour or so is a great way to get rid of the horrible vomit smell all Uni-provided hoovers seem to leave behind.

What are you favourite candle brands and scents? Have you tried any Lily Flame products? What were your thoughts?

Harriette

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Cycling to Dedham…

Yesterday, because the weather was so nice, Lewis and I decided to cycle to a sweet little nearby village called Dedham and spend the afternoon there. I really love cycling and I’m very lucky to have a really nice bike, so I was great to get out and away for a bit.

A couple of years ago I had a bit of a thing for vintage bikes, I really wanted an old-fashioned bike with a basket, and a ladylike frame just like the ones that people cycle around in Cambridge.  My Dad and I scoured eBay for weeks looking for the perfect old-fashioned, second-hand bike that we could buy and do up. After losing out in a fair few bidding wars we came across my bike, which we managed to purchase for a pretty cheap price, although it did need alot of work. When we picked it up it was pretty rusty, with a burgundy frame and in desperate need of some new tires. We took it to my Granddad, who’s pretty handy at this type of thing, and he spent a few weeks sanding it down, spray painting it this Royal Blue colour and replaced the tires and the saddle. He even bought me a navy blue ribbon to weave around the basket. I was so happy and overwhelmed to see what a great job he’d done and I still love to ride my vintage bike [I’m pretty sure it’s older than me]. As I’ve been away at Uni and the weather hasn’t been great, it was the perfect time to dust the old girl off. [I’m forever debating whether to take my bike to Uni, but there is a lot of hills in Exeter, and being such an old bike it only has three gears.]

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We left my house at about 1 o clock and had a really lovely bike ride in the sunshine, cycling down all the little country lanes, checking out all the beautiful scenery, and passing all the massive houses and barn conversions on our way.

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It takes between about half and hour and 45 minutes to get to Dedham by bike. By the time we got there Lewis was starving. We rode down the final hill into the middle of the village,locked up our bikes and walked down this little road in search of  lunch. There are a number of good places to eat in Dedham: the Essex Rose is a lovely little tea room, selling cream teas, homemade cakes and handmade sweets; although I’ve never been The Sun Inn apparently has been visited by Prince Charles; but mine and Lewis’ favourite place, and one of the poshest in Dedham, is The Boathouse.

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This lovely restaurant and boathouse, sits right on the edge of the river bank. Lewis generously treated us both to a very reasonably priced 3 course meal and we sat outside in the sunshine by the river, and ate and chatted happily, watching people going up and down in the hired rowing boats. For lunch we both had Chicken + Chorizo Toastadas for our starter with Sweet Chilli Dip and a Rocket Salad, for main we both had Award-Winning Pork Sausages with Herb Mash and Sweet Red Cabbage, then for dessert I had the Apple Strudel and Lewis had the Chocolate and Coffee Mousse. It was all absolutely delicious and a really lovely Easter treat!

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After lunch, we were planning to get a little rowing boat for ourselves, but by the time we’d finished it was getting pretty shady over the river and we didn’t want to get cold, so we decided to go and sit on the grass on the other side of the bank, with my picnic blanket, in the sunshine for a little while.  It was really nice to just sit and relax, chatting and soaking up the sun whilst watching all of the people in their rowing boats. There is little that is funnier than people watching, and we had a great time watching all of these dads and boyfriends trying their best to row and steer these little rowing boats without hitting anything. Much to our amusement, just infront of us in the river there was a duck and her ducklings taking a swim. This proved a major obstacle for the majority of male rowers who didn’t seem sure whether to slow down or try and go around them, trying to avoid hitting them with either the boat or the oars. In the gentlemen’s defence, [unfortunately it was mainly gentlemen rowing and the one lady we did see looked rather peculiar] however, it is a pretty tough task to take a rowing boat out at Dedham. You can either row around for an hour or two, up and down the river or [if you’re a bit of a pro] you can take a boat down the river about a mile to Flatford, stop there for a piece of cake and then row back. Whatever you do, getting the boat back on time is the biggest struggle and there’s a pretty hefty fine if you don’t make it. So me and Lewis decided to avoid all the hassle and lie around on the river band instead.

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Overall, it was a really nice relaxed day, just sitting in the sunshine. I’ve been going to Dedham since I was a child – walking to Flatford, going out in the rowing boats, buying sugar mice from The Essex Rose -and so it’s lovely to visit every once in a while for a lovely calm day. It’s also nice to get a bit of time with Lewis, where we don’t have anywhere to be and we can just enjoy each others company.

I hope you enjoyed this post, do you have any favourite spots near you that you love to visit? 

 

Harriette

 

This Week I’m Loving… TOPSHOP Lipstick in Mink

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I would certainly say I was very happy, when I first found out that Topshop would be selling their own makeup range. With cute but simple packaging, a variety of products and colours and at a price that doesn’t make you feel too guilty, Topshop makeup is the one. I am a particular fan of their lipsticks, having now collected a few, as they are really pigmented and come in a wide range of different colours.

 

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I picked up the lipstick in “mink” because I was looking for more of a relaxed, day to night lipstick. The colour shows up pretty well on the Topshop website and the reviews written suggest it’s a great “neutral lipstick” that “looks matte on the lips” but “feels soft and moist for a very long time”. The review did suggest that it would probably need touching up a few times, so on my first outing I took a little Real Techniques brush and the lipstick an added a bit more colour after I’d had a few drinks. As with most highstreet lipsticks I would expect to do a bit of touching up throughout the day, they don’t quite have the lasting power of, let’s say Tom Ford.

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The pictures here do make it look as though it’s got a bit more of an orangey, brown tone – the Topshop website themselves describe the colour as Mocha. But as you can hopefully see in the bottom picture, it does actually have more of a dusty pinky-brown shade, which looks really pretty without looking like you’re trying too hard – Some of my friends, and bloggers I know can pull of wearing lipstick everyday, but if like me you’d rather just wear it now and then, this shade is ideal.

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Hope you found this review helpful, are there any other Topshop lipsticks, or other Topshop makeup products that you’d recommend? 

Harriette

Outfit: Daisy Print Culottes

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Being at home for Easter has been pretty nice so far, although not without it’s issues – any student will know that living at home when you’re used to living “independently” is always a bit of a struggle. However, I have rather been enjoying having a bit of a relax, doing a bit of shopping, going out for lunches and taking my gorgeous cocker spaniel Beau out for some nice long walks.

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As I had to get the train from Exeter home, my packing space was very limited and as a result I’ve had to acquire some new clothes/ wear my younger sisters every now and then (read: everyday). I brought these shorts from Topshop the other day with a £30 voucher, and my sister’s leather jacket has since found a new home in my own wardrobe.

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 White Shirt – F&F

 Scatter Daisy Shorts – Topshop (£32.00)

Leather Jacket – Mango

Cross Necklace – Republic

 Cutout Boots – Topshop (£46.00)

Bag – Primark

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Today me and my sister met up with my grandparents for a really yummy lunch at Pizza Express [ they are big fans of my 40% discount with the ol’ NUS card] and then came back and took Beau out with Lewis and his dog Hunter. We’d walked them in the sunshine around the local farmers field and they were both knackered when we got them home.

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Beau (right) is nearly 4 years old now, but I still think she looks like a puppy – mainly because she’s quite short and a little on the chubby side. She often puts Hunter (left) in his place when we take them on walks together.

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I hope you enjoyed this post, this is a new one for me so please let my know if you enjoyed it and if you’d like to see more….

Harriette

STUDENT COOKING: WHOLEMEAL PITTA BREAD PIZZAS

I haven’t really written any Student Cooking posts since my Jamie Oliver Meatball Pasta Recipe, however; I thought it was about time I put another one up as I have learnt so much over the past six months, and have even been trying out a lot of new recipes. Recently I’ve really gotten into healthy cooking at Uni, mainly because my friend Giulia cooks amazing meals with lots of veg and I was really inspired to see what healthier dishes I could make. Here food blogs, and free supermarket magazine have been extremely influential and I certainly recommend having a look at both if you’re looking for something new to try.

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Here is a very quick and easy recipe for Wholemeal Pitta Bread Pizzas – which I have recently become obsessed with. They make a great alternative to pizza, allow you to pick your own toppings and can be rustled up in a flash so they make the perfect lunch or quick dinner.

This recipe takes maybe 15mins, you with need:

o  A packet of wholemeal pitta bread [much MUCH better than the white ones]

o A tube/ jar of tomato puree

o A variety of toppings: I like courgette, peppers, onions etc. but you could also have, chicken/ sausage/ bacon.

o Mozzarella Cheese [Cheddar is fine but doesn’t taste as good]

o A chopping board

o A sharp knife

o A teaspoon

o A baking tray

1. First of all you need to decide what toppings you are going to have. If you want to include any meats you will need to cook these before hand e.g. a sausage, a bit of chicken, a piece of bacon. The pitta bread is obviously small so you won’t need much, which makes this dish ideal for left over bits of meat and veg.

2. Next you need to choose if you are going to have anything with your pitta pizza. Normally I have sweet potato wedges, which take about 20 mins in the oven so I prepare them first and stick them in the oven before I chopping veg for my pizza. If you’re just having a salad or another pitta pizza, then you don’t need to worry.

3. To begin, you need to preheat your grill oven to about 180. Next you need to pick your pitta – the bigger one in the packet the better from my experience as they’re not always majorly filling.

4. Spread tomato puree on one side with the back of a spoon – usually I only use a little bit as I find tomato puree can be very bitter, then I add some italian herbs over the top to add a bit of flavour.

5. Chop up and add your toppings. One of the best things about making these is that you don’t need much of each item, maybe a 1/4 of a pepper and the same for a courgette so not too much. Usually I also use a shallot instead of wasting a whole onion.

6. When your toppings have been added, slice three pieces of mozzarella (or as much as you want) and place these on top of everything.

7. Finally take your pitta and place it on a baking tray and on top of the grill – or directly on the grill if you wish. Keep checking it every couple of minutes – you’re only really waiting for the veg to soften and for the cheese to melt so this won’t take long.

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8. When it’s done, take it out of the oven and viola, you’ve made yourself a delicious 15 minute pizza. Put it on a plate with your chosen side and enjoy!

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Apologies for the slightly blurry photos in my very tidy looking student kitchen, but you get the idea.

If anyone gives this a try or has made them before I’d love to hear about your favourite topping ideas.

Thanks for reading.

Harriette