Saturday, 30 August 2014

Popin' Cookin' Waffle DIY Candy Kit

Tonight, I finally set about doing this kit after buying it about 2 weeks ago at Cyber Candy in Birmingham. I love that shop and I spent an embarrassing amount of money on what is essentially just sugar! I have such a sweet tooth though and I love trying all the sweets I've read about on blogs and whatnot, especially the American and Japanese ones. I first heard of the Japanese DIY candy kits when I watched one of Shell's YouTube vids on them (I also love her blog Shell Senseless- take a look!) and I really wanted to have a go myself! They didn't have a lot of choice in Cyber Candy, I think there was only about two, but I had to have the waffles as they looked so damn cute! It was quite pricey at about £4 odd but it was a case of just having to have it! If you've tried these kits before I'd be interested in knowing where you get them from! Ebay or Amazon I'm guessing?
Anywho, tonight was the night I finally tackled it and overall I think they turned out ok! I watched a YouTube vid along the way but I still managed to fudge up a part of it-obviously wasn't listening well enough! I was a bit daunted initially as there is no English instructions on the packet but it's actually pretty simple once you watch a 'tutorial' as such. With this one I just had to cut the different pieces out then add 1 measure of water ( '5cc')  to half of the waffle powder (this was where I went wrong, I just dumped the whole sachet in then wondered why it was so dry and overflowing!) then repeat with the other half. You then put the two waffle blobs into the heart shaped waffle mould/ press thingy, coo at how cute they look when they come out, and then get started on making the berries, sauce and cream. For this part I just had to add one measure of water to each of the powders. There is a mould to use for the 'berries' but I found it really hard to get them out, so in the end I just put little blobs on using the stirrer-it was quite jelly like so worked fine! I then drizzled the strawberry sauce over them, placed a few berries on top and dolloped on some of the 'cream'. There was quite a lot of fiddling involved with the waffles thanks to my slight error. In the end I had to decant it into a normal bowl as it was spilling out all over the place and wasn't mixing up properly, and I did have to resort to using my hands to sort of squidge it up! My hands were very clean, but it's still probably best not to share! It got a tad messy but hey, it was fun, and they did look rather adorable when they were all finished. As for the taste? Well it was certainly different and unlike anything I've ever had! Don't expect them to taste like regular waffles. You will be disappointed! They were pleasant enough though, in a rather weird way! I shall definitely be on the look out for other kits to try- any recommendations are welcome!

Got a craving for some proper waffles now!

Friday, 29 August 2014

Perfect Perfumes!

Yeah, not the best title but I'm feeling a little tired!
So I had a bit of a tidy up yesterday and came across two perfumes that, sadly, have come to an end. The one that has been a real favourite this summer has definitely been The Body Shop's Early-Harvest Raspberry eau de toilette. I think initially I was intending to get the peach one but I wasn't very taken with it. I then took a whiff of this and was hooked! I didn't get it straight away though, instead choosing to lust after it for weeks and weeks, being lured into the shop every time I was in town and having a sneaky spritz. I finally caved as it seemed the perfect fragrance for the warmer months and it just smelt so damn delicious! It's gorgeously juicy, fresh and addictive. I found the peach one to smell a bit synthetic but this one smells quite authentic; jammy and sweet, without being cloying. I've found it really refreshing and easy to wear and it just really cheers me up when I spray it on! Hence why I'm so disappointed I've finished it! I don't think I've ever finished a perfume as quickly as this one. I can't find it online though so I'm getting a bit anxious! I need it back in my life, especially now the weather has turned miserable again!

The second perfume that has come to an end is the bottle of Madly Kenzo I got in the January sales. As you all know perfumes are hard to describe sometimes, so I'm going off the official description on the Kenzo site! 'Heliotrope flower fuses with Virginia Cedar, in a rare blend of two addictive essences. Orange blossom leads the way, followed by a Rose and Incense heart, enhanced by a light touch of vanilla.' It's described as a 'sensual oriental floral' and it's quite different from my usual fruity choices. It's warm and quite grown up, without being fuddy! I wear it all day but I think it's especially suited as an evening fragrance.
 I think I actually finished this a good while ago, I just hadn't noticed as it was at home for the most part. I really do love it though as it reminds me of the first time I met Stuart. If anyone is interested we had a coffee, saw Life of Pi then had tea at Pizza Express!  I think it also means a lot to me, well as much as a perfume can, because it was the first perfume I bought after my difficult break up. In a way it was sort of symbolising a new start in my life. That probably sounds a bit sappy but then scent is something evocative and very personal to an individual. In any case, this will always remind me of the early days with Stuart. All the butterflies, the excitement... and the Gremlin movies!
Hopefully I'll get this again at some point, maybe as a Christmas present! (Shh! We're not mentioning that yet!).

Monday, 18 August 2014

Budapest Best Bits!

Yes, I'm still prattling on about Budapest! It was great though, and I'm not enjoying the thought of going back to work soon- so anything that keeps my mind elsewhere is very welcome!
Tonight I thought I would do a post on the bits I enjoyed most in Budapest, just to help keep that holiday feeling going that little bit longer!
*Warning- there may be a lot of food involved. What can I say? I'm a lardy grub :P

  • The single duvets on the queen sized bed. Now this is a genius idea that I really need to implement at home! For once I wasn't being accused of being a duvet hog, and I slept really well. Better than I do usually! I like my own space in bed and apparently I swear at Stu quite frequently of a nighttime. I'm quite placid when I'm awake so I don't know why I'm such an aggressive sleeper! 
  • Frozen yogurt at 'Jono Yogo' at the WestEnd shopping centre. I'd heard of this type of self-service 'parlour', as it were, previously but never experienced it myself, so it was quite the novelty! I chose chocolate and banana yoghurt and topped it with chocolate sauce, blueberries and sour cherries. Quite the combination but it was still really good! It wasn't quite as good as the frozen yoghurt we had last year in Mallorca though, I have to say. Also a special mention has to go to 'Bite' bakery/cafe close to the shopping centre. The pretzels and cinnamon rolls (which you can see them making fresh instore) gave us lots of energy for all the pavement pounding!
  • So from frozen yoghurt to normal ice cream! We had so much on holiday and it was all yum! You can't really go too far wrong with ice cream though can you? My favourites has to be the hazelnut kinder flavour (total mouthgasm) and the ice cream at Gelarto Rosa, which they make into the shape of a rose- so clever! They're little works of art and I don't know how the staff do them so quickly! If you ever go to Budapest you have to visit this place. It's right near St Stephen's Basilica in the centre and there are so many flavours to choose from you'll definitely have a hard time choosing. I wish we could have gone back again! I chose a small one (should have gone large!) and had strawberry and elderflower with sour cherry. You can tell I like cherry! 
  • The zoo! I  mentioned the zoo in my first Budapest post but it was a real holiday highlight. It was so cheap compared to the zoos here! It cost 2500 forints per adult which is about £6.37. Bargain! Especially compared to £20 at Chester Zoo during peak season! There was so much to see and the hours just flew by. It was far too hot though and I think I would have enjoyed it more if it was much cooler. I was literally dripping. Nice. As I've said before, seeing the sloths was amazing. Ever since I watched 'Meet the Sloths' that's exactly what I've wanted to do! 
  • Parliament at night. We went for ice cream once after tea and decided to check out Parliament when it was all lit up. It looks fantastic in the day but at night it looks spectacular. There were birds or bats flying above, catching the light, and it really added to the scene (the building is in the Gothic Revival style, says Wikipedia)! I think if we ever go again we might go on a tour of the building. 
  • La Perle Noire. The restaurant at our hotel was where we had our best meal (it was also the priciest but it was worth every penny!). We ate from the 'Chef Menu' which cost us about £19 each, not including drinks. The service was friendly and efficient and the outside area where we ate was gorgeous with all the white lanterns hanging up. For starters I had the 'Hen consommé 'Újházi' style with glass noodles' followed by Mangalitza cutlet ribs with lecsó millet. Now pudding was amazing! it was 'Cheesecake with almond sponge, strawberry ice-cream and fresh fruits'. Sounds quite simple but it was so much better than it sounded! It tasted like the best trifle ever, and I bloody love trifle. Go here for a treat, even if you're not staying at the Andrassy hotel. 
  • I think I mentioned that I enjoyed visiting the Fisherman's Bastian but another shout out has to go to City Park (Városliget). I'm glad our hotel was super close to here as it was nice place to have a wander about and a chill out. Yes, there were quite a few tramps dossing about amongst the families and couples, but it was still a pleasant place! We enjoyed just sitting and watching the ducks as well as eating at 'BRGR', which is opposite the zoo. I don't normally go for burgers but the bacon burger was one of the best I've had, and Stu enjoyed his provolone philly cheese steak. Prices were reasonable too considering they were quite large! Vajdahunyad Castle was well worth a visit too for the interesting architectural styles. It looked really pretty next to the (murky) lakeside. This was also where we saw the random GPS dog. A little yorkie with a balloon fixed on him (or her) with 'GPS' written on it! Bizarre. But cute! 
  • Lastly, a weird one, but I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the air con in our room! Compared to last year in Spain, where all we had was a shitey fan that did nothing, it was heaven! 

Wow, this post has ended up much bigger than I was planning on! Nothing else to say really (well I'm sure that's a lie!) other than go! 

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Budapest Buys!

Now I have to admit my 'Budapest Buys' are quite pitiful! They have a huge shopping centre there (WestEnd) but there was so many stores that it was a bit overwhelming! Plus I wanted to save most of my money for food and attractions. If I ever go again though I'd definitely have a better look. They have a chain of 'drugstore' there or 'drogeriemarkt' as their website says, called Rossmann, and this is where I bought my items from. There was another Superdrug type of store called 'dm', and I really wish I'd gotten a few things from there. Ah well, always next time. A lot of things were German, I don't think I saw many Hungarian brands. They had a massive choice though and I bored my boyfriend to tears looking at it all!

Firstly I bought a micellar water, just because I like trying different ones out and they're always handy to have. Especially when you're lazy like me. This is a Polish brand I believe and claims to remove makeup, cleanse and tone. Well so it should. I've looked at a few reviews of this, and it seems to be an ok product. I can't remember how many forints it was, but it wasn't expensive. 
Next I bought some face wipes as, shamefully, I had a real hankering for them! I'd been using a micellar water to remove my makeup on hol, but I'd ran out of cotton pads, so instead of just buying more cotton pads, I just bought wipes. Say what you will but they are convenient! With the help of Google translate I think these are for dehydrated skin and are just your general 3 in 1 cleansing wipes. They smell really fruity, surprisingly, and are a good size. They also have a good 'wetness' to them and don't feel stripping or leave my skin with a greasy film. These were really cheap- I think they're a budget brand. 

Finally I bought a polish from Essence. Now I know you can buy it here now, but I don't think I've seen this shade available, from the Brazil collection. I could be wrong. But I'm a sucker for purple so it had to be done! I can't wait to try this out. I sort of wish I'd gotten more makeup, but in reality, I do have plenty! I was tempted by the Manhattan stand though as well as Catrice and Astor.

Not a very exciting haul but at least it's stuff I'll use!

Friday, 15 August 2014

Summer Bargains!

Another chilled out day for me today, with not a lot to do, so I thought I would share with you what I have bought lately. As is always the case, I probably didn't need a lot of this, but hey, least it was cheap!

Firstly, I bought this floral snood style scarf from Peacocks for £2.50. I love scarfs, and wear them all the time at work when it gets a little colder. This floral design should go with a lot of outfits too. In Primark I found this brown waist belt for a quid. I was sort of annoyed I'd found it, as I was looking for something like this to wear with my dress last Saturday, for the wedding. I got it anyway as the occasion may arise again when I need a belt like this. Though sods law I'll need a black one next time! It's probably a good job I didn't get it in time for the wedding though, as it's a bit of the snug side! A sign I need to lay off the sweets soon perhaps?! Yesterday I had a look at the sale items in New Look, and came away with this aqua tshirt for £3. Basic but it'll do with jeans. I'm not very trendy!

In TK Maxx the other day, I tried to be good and not buy the Nails Inc set I saw, containing my beloved Baker Street. But I was weak and went back the next day to get it. I love Baker Street and get loads of compliments when I where it. The other shades are St James (red), Cambridge Terrace (silver) and Donmar (gold flake topcoat). All these for £7.99 is a steal in my opinion! 

In Poundland I spotted this lone Rimmel Apocalips. I don't need another lip product. I already have an Apocalips in another shade that I haven't worn in ages. But such is life. Especially when it's still being sold for £6 odd in Boots. I think this shade is 'Apocoliptic'. It's a bright hot pink, which I like, but will have to be brave to wear out!
Not very exciting, but I also bought a little tin containing a tape dispenser, a tip ex pen and a glue stick. I just thought it would be handy to have at work!

Also from Primark (sorry these aren't in better order!) I got these cute flower rings. I wore the daisy, which was a quid, to the wedding, and I thought it really complimented my floral dress. The silver one was a mere 50p and is simple but pretty. 

At Debenhams, a load of the Jon Richards jewellery was on sale, so as well as picking up a gift for the bride to be, I bought some earrings to wear with my dress. I didn't actually wear them in the end, but I'm sure I will at some point. I sort of wish I'd gotten a silver pair, as I'd get more wear out of them, but I was too focused on finding accessories for the wedding! I think these were £3 down from £10.  I've never really looked at this range of jewellery before but I definitely will from now on, they had some really pretty pieces. 

From Home Bargains I bought this cute tin carry case for £1.99. I thought it would be good for storing some of my nail polish in, as I'm quickly running out of space to store them! They had 2 other designs, but I thought this was the sweetest. 

I think my favourite purchase of late though, has to be the super adorable plushy I got from Paperchase. Introducing François! How stinkin' cute is he?! I can't believe he was only £2 too! I found him on a visit to the outlet shop in Cheshire Oaks, and could not leave without him! 

Found any good bargains lately?

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Holiday Makeup!

I thought I'd share with you today what makeup I packed for my week in Budapest. I didn't pack much as I don't really wear a lot on holiday, especially if it's hot- which it definitely was when we went! I did pack a foundation too, but it became apparent that this was not a good idea! My face was melting off in the humidity and it just wasn't pretty! After that I just wore a smidgen of my Maybelline Dream Pure BB cream or just a dusting of the Seventeen Miracle Matte powder (which I've now hit considerable pan on, to use a blogger cliche term!). On a couple of occasions in the evenings, I also wore some of The Body Shop honey bronzer too.

For eyes I just took my Makeup Revolution palette in Iconic 2, and my two Benefit cream eyeshadows in r.s.v.p. and no pressure! The cream eyeshadows are so easy to work with and wear, and made a really good base for the powder shadows. I love the cooler colours in Iconic 2 and they are so pigmented. For the price you really can't go wrong! 

The three shades I wore the most.

r.s.v.p. on top, no pressure! underneath

I also took my Elf eyebrow kit which I wore occasionally of an evening. I never usually bother with my brows, and they're probably in need of a good shaping, but this was easy enough to use and helped fill out some sparser areas. On my lashes I used Cliniques High Impact mascara which is amazing! It's definitely one of my favourites-possibly HG status! I got this mini with Glamour but I'd consider getting a full size one. 

I only took two lip products with me, which is very restrained for me, and I think I chose well! I took my Essence lipstick in Natural Beauty as well as my Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Pucker gloss stick in Plum Jam. I liked wearing Plum Jam in the evenings and Natural Beauty is a great one for just sticking on in a rush, and it goes with everything. The gloss sticks smell so good, and the formula is so smooth and glossy without being sticky. I've already got the Fuchsia one but I may need to check out the other shades they have out now. 

Plum Jam first then Natural Beauty

I've saved the best product 'til last! I think the star of my holiday makeup has to be my Fashionista blush in London. I get this out every summer and it just doesn't disappoint. It goes really well with the slight tan I get and works as a blusher and highlighter in one. It's a baked blush so has a subtle, pretty sheeny quality that looks great on your cheekbones. I think Fashionista is no more, which is a shame, but I think this will last for years to come- a little goes a long way. 

I'll finish with a balcony selfie of my me wearing the products mentioned. Most of the time though I have to say I looked a bit sweaty! It was so hot, and paired with lots of walking, makeup just didn't last! Thankfully it was a little cooler in the evenings! 

Monday, 11 August 2014

Budapest & Birthday!

Hello there! I've had a rather hectic couple of weeks I have to say. Firstly I was busy getting ready to go away to Budapest, then we were actually there, walking what must have been miles every day, and then the day after our return we went to my friends wedding, which was also my birthday! I really feel like I need another holiday now, preferably one where their is minimal movement and itineraries involved! Cocktails would be permitted.
Me and my boyfriend went to Budapest for a week and although there was an awful lot of pavement pounding, it was brilliant. There is so much stunning architecture to see and I've never seen so many statues! There really is so much to look at! We initially thought a week would be a bit too long, but in the end we only just managed to squeeze in everything we wanted to do. Surprisingly there is still some things I would like to go back and do/see! I think one of the highlights of the trip was our visit to the zoo. It wasn't expensive at all and again there was so much to see. We spent over 6 hours there and we didn't even see everything! My favourite animal has to be the sloth- I have a soft spot for them and  it was so close you could touch it! The wombat comes a close second, although it had it's back to us and seemed to be glued to it's food bowl! I also really like visiting the Fisherman's Bastion on the Buda side, across the river. It was so pretty and the views of the city were amazing. We also both enjoyed gawping at the parliament building, especially at night time when it was all lit up. Majestic is the word that springs to mind! The meal we had at our hotel restaurant, La Perle Noir,  was also a highlight. We decided to have the set 3 course menu, to sample some proper Hungarian cuisine, and we were definitely not disappointed! It was some of the best pork I've ever had and the 'cheesecake' for pudding was out of this world. It was nothing like any cheesecake I've had before as it was more like panna cotta in texture. It was served with proper strawberry ice cream, berries and cream and the combination was like the best trifle known to man!
Our hotel was in a great location as we were close to the metro as well as Heroes' Square and the park. I'd definitely recommend the Mamaison Hotel Andrassy. If we ever went back we wouldn't hesitate to stay here again. I could write pages and pages about the trip but I'll just share some photos now and let them do the talking, as it were! Apologies now for picture overload!!

Heroes' Square


Shoes on the Danube memorial

Andrassy Avenue (the street our hotel was on)

Sleepy sloth!

When we returned he was flat out on his back asleep. Must be a man. 

St Stephen's Basilica 

Gellert Hill

Oh my the views!

Fisherman's Bastion

Jak Church- the most complete Romanesque church in Hungary, apparently.

Dohany Street Synagogue

City Park 

Me and Stuey! Mwah x

Apart from the 5 hour delay getting home, I had a lovely holiday and I'm really glad I finally got to go back and have a proper visit.
The fun continued though, as on Saturday it was my 25th birthday as well as my friends wedding! We were invited to both the ceremony and reception, and I was so pleased I got to be apart of their special day. They are both so lovely and just perfect for each other. Starting to feel old now though has to be said! Everyone is turning into proper grown ups now, haha! 

Friends since we met each other in halls 7 years ago!

Hope you haven't found this post too long and boring! I think a bit of a chill out is in order for me now, especially before the madness of school starts again!