UK Lifestyle Blog

11 January 2016

Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani Palette Review


Just before Christmas I decided to treat myself to Urban Decay's new palette that was collaborated with Gwen Stefani. I was immediately sold by the packaging, let alone the beautiful choice of shadows inside. Urban Decay are my go to brand for eye shadow. I have all 3 of the Naked Palettes and was very tempted by the Smokey palette, however, because I'm very fair I didn't think I would get the most wear out of it and sorrowfully decided not to buy it.

What grabbed my attention with this Gwen Stefani Palette is, that not only does it have a beautiful selection of neutral tones, it also has some striking pops of colour too for those brave days.


The palette contains 15 shades, ranging from beautiful champagnes to vivid blue. There are 10 neutral toned shades and 5 colourful shades. I really love the burgundy shadow, it's perfect for this time of year. My favourite shade in the whole palette is 1987, which is a really pretty gold. I regularly like to wear a light brown smoky eye with a pop of gold in the centre, and this palette is perfect for creating this look.


The colours are very pigmented and blend together beautifully, enabling you to create so many versatile make-up looks. I created this look using 'Bathwater' all over my lid, which is a pretty peachy gold. I then used 'Anaheim' in the crease and finished off the look with a pop of '1987' in the centre of my lid. I can't wait to experiment more with the different colour combinations and create some unique looks.  It's definitely a palette that will take you through the seasons, as the light champagne and peach tones will look pretty for summer, whilst the dark browns and burgundy's will look sultry for the winter.


Overall, I really can't fault this palette. The packaging is sturdy and easy to keep clean. The shades are versatile, yet very wearable, and all of them are hugely pigmented and easy to blend. What more could you ask for in an eye shadow palette! 10/10 Urban Decay!

What's your favourite eye shadow palette?
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6 January 2016

A 48 hour guide to Dublin


At the beginning of December me and my fiancé escaped for a few days to Dublin, minus the travelling days we had 2 full days to explore as much as we could cram in.

Where we stayed

We stayed at the St Stephen's Green Travel lodge, which as the name suggests is right near to St Stephens Green, a lush green park with a beautiful pond and lots of intricate sculptures dotted about. It's such a refreshing feeling to be able to escape the bustling city and hide away amongst the trees.
  We were able to check in at midday so popped into the nearby Starbuck's for a hot drink (I obviously went for the Caramel Hot Chocolate!) before setting up base in our room. We opted for a standard double room which was lovely. It had all the basic amenities that you could want, a nice comfy bed, en-suite bathroom, self-service tea station and a TV. What was also fantastic was the fact you had your own heater that you could turn on and off at your own discretion, but the lovely hotel staff had put it on ready for our check in! The hotel has a very central location being on the street opposite to Grafton street and above Temple bar, which meant we had the lay of the clubs and restaurants right at our fingertips. It was definitely the perfect base for our short stay.



What To Do

Dublin is jam-packed with things to do and see, it was hard to decide exactly what we wanted to do, however, we managed to narrow it down to a few of our favourite things that we think you will love too!

Dublin Castle - No city break is ever complete without a visit to a castle, and Dublin Castle was a delight to see! We lucked in on the fact that on the day we visited they had free admission to look around the rooms of the Castle. They were majestic! Adorned with gold accessories, huge shimmering chandeliers in every room and plush furniture. I would definitely recommended having a tour round to get a proper feel of the history of the place.

St Patrick's Cathedral - St Patrick's Cathedral is Ireland's largest church and it is an impressive sight to behold as you approach from the lush green surroundings. I would definitely recommend a guided tour as you get so much more information from them, we saw the giant Boyle Monument which was erected by Richard Boyle and features his son Robert, who went on to contribute to Boyle's Law which without the help of the guide we would not have known. There are so many more fascinating statues and artefact's to discover that you definitely have to pay a visit to St Patrick's Cathedral.

The Guinness Factory - Another aspect of Dublin you must partake in is the Guinness Drinking! You cannot miss the huge iconic Guinness logo that greets you as you approach from St James' Gate. Guinness - or more correctly the Guinness Family had such a major influence in Dublin that it would be wrong not to give it a try! The Guinness tour itself is very interactive and informative, with plenty of samples along the way and the final stop at the rooftop bar gives you incredible views over Dublin.


Kilmainham Gaol - Kilmainham is a former Prison that closed in 1924. Prisons of it's time mainly house multiple people in one cell of all genders and ages, Kilmainham focused on segregation and solitude. It is such an eye opening place to visit and gives a fantastic insight into how it would have felt to be imprisoned here. The tour is captivating, offering you real stories and a sense of the history. I would highly suggest a trip here as it's such a fascinating tour and is a real part of Dublin's past.


Trinity College & The Book Of Kells - Trinity college and the book of Kells are another must see part of Dublin. The Book of Kells really is a masterpiece of intricate detail that you can only imagine if you see if for yourself. As well as being home to the Book of Kells, Trinity College Library itself is a magnificent feast for the eyes, a long room filled wall to wall with books, some very rare. It is also lined with busts of famous names through history. It's peaceful and lovely to wander through and let your eyes drink in all of it's beauty.


Eat & Drink

Caffe Amore- We luckily stumbled across this quaint Italian Restaurant in a hangry hunt for brunch. We were enticed by the promise of full Irish Breakfast, Nutella and Banana Pizza and Coffee. We were not disappointed. The staff were fantastic, and the service was quick. I tucked into my Nutella and Banana Pizza which was divine and soon dissipated my hanger! The Mr silently munched his way through his full Irish breakfast, which I assumed meant he was enjoying it! Definitely make a pit stop here for some delicious brunch.

Caffe Noto- Another little gem we came across on the hunt for Breakfast, again we popped in for a coffee and pastry. I loved the inside with the dark wood furniture and twinkling fairy lights, it made a lovely cosy atmosphere and gave us a welcome break from the rain outside! The service was brilliant and we sat here for a while and relaxed.

La Caverna- We came here on a whim to celebrate our 7 year anniversary. We knew it was a risk as we'd heard it was popular, and it was extremely busy when we got there. However, the wonderful staff managed to squeeze us in! The food is Italian and it was incredible, you could see why it is such a popular choice. The tables were beautifully laid with romantic tea lights and the brick walls and mood lighting made it the perfect place for an intimate dinner date.

Temple Bar- The temple bar area is perfect for bar hopping, they have some amazing quaint pubs playing live music. We popped in and out enjoying a tipple here and there and soaking up the lively atmosphere.

I hope that our mini guide to Dublin has given you some ideas for your own trip! There's so much more that Dublin has to offer but we narrowed it down to our favourites, let me know what gems you find on your trip!
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1 January 2016

Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016!


Happy New Year! 2015 has been a whirlwind of a year, it doesn't seem five minutes ago we were celebrating the start of the year never mind seeing off the end of it. I really love putting together these types of 'year reflection' posts as it just reminds me of how much I've done this year- and it's actually quite a lot! I decided to split it up into segments, so here we have my 2015.

Life

One of my most treasured memories from this year goes all the way back to January when I graduated university, it was pretty much the end of an era, I was no longer a student. I would be a fully fledged working adult! Speaking of adultness, I turned the grand age of 22 this year and yet I feel no different than when I turned 21. In fact sometimes I forget how old I am!  Another achievement I am proud of myself for this year is getting a new job. I'm not one for change, in fact you could say I'm a creature of habit, but I'm glad I put myself out there. I'm also in the process of looking to buy my first house, which you could say is a very adult task. It has been a rollercoaster of viewings, meetings, discussions and more, but we are finally making head way.
  I made myself a promise to spend my time wisely and get out more, which I definitely did. I made the most of having more weekends off and took plenty of trips and was even spoilt with two amazing holidays!

Love

Me and my other half celebrated 7 years together this year, they have all been so wonderful, however, the best is yet to come and 2015 saw us finally laying the plans of our wedding down and making a start. We have booked a fair few things now and I'm really looking forward to getting stuck in to planning in the New Year.
  We've made many memories this year, day trips to York, holidays in the sun, lots of meals out. I love spending our time together and hope that 2016 brings more of the same.

Blogging

I've tried really hard with my blog this year, I even treated myself to a new camera to carry on my little hobby. I've dabbled more in fashion/ourfit posts, and despite not being anywhere close to the next model for vogue I am pretty pleased with how they turned out.
  I also was lucky enough to work with Boohoo.com for their Black Friday Campaign and be a V.I.B (Very Important Blogger) at Intu Victoria Centre's fashion show. Both events were such wonderful opportunities and I really appreciated being invited a long.
 In terms of 2015 in the blogging community, we lusted over copper accessories, marble flatlays and an array of delicious food.

Overall 2015 has been a pretty good year filled with lots of opportunities and memories.
The goals I set myself for 2015 were;

-Worry less.
- Spend more time with family & friends
- spend less and save more for our future
- Find out what I want to do
-Live for the moment
- Try something new
- Buy our first house.

I have definitely worked hard on worrying less and I'm getting there gradually.
I spent a lot more time with my family, going on days out, meals and just casual walks.
I've probably spent quite a bit this year, however, I have managed to save too which I guess means you could say I achieved this goal!
I still don't really know what I want to do but for now I'm happy in my current situation and will re-visit this goal further down the line.

I think I've managed to reach 4/7 of the goals I set myself for this year, which I'm pleased with and hope to continue tackling them. However, it wouldn't be a New Year if there wasn't any new goals right? So here are my new set for 2016.

- Continue to make the most of my free time
- Get back into fitness again
- Keep up with my blog and enjoy creating new content
- Try something new
- Continue to save and spend my money wisely
- Put less pressure on myself to get everything right
- Make an effort to plan ahead

These are my goals for 2016. What goals/resolutions have you set yourself this year?
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15 December 2015

Baileys Chocolate Christmas Cupcakes

 
Difficulty - Easy


Christmas is a time for giving... and eating! I wanted to bake a festive treat but give it a little twist, and out came these babies! Boozy Baileys Cupcakes- Adult's only. They are delicious and chocolatey. Perfect for snaffling whilst watching your favourite Christmas movie in front on the roaring fire. So how did I make them you say? Let's get stuck in!

You Will Need:

- 100g Self-Raising Flour
- 25g Cocoa Powder (I used Dr Oetker Dark Cocoa Powder)
- 140g Caster Sugar
- A Pinch Of Salt
- 40g Margarine
- 120ml Baileys
- 1 Large Egg
- Betty Crocker Chocolate Fudge Icing

Now that you have all your ingredients together, we can begin!

1.  Pre-Heat your oven to around 170 Degrees.

2. Put your Flour, Cocoa Powder, Caster Sugar, Salt and butter into a bowl. Whisk together until the mixture forms a sand-like texture.


3. Crack your large egg into a Jug and Whisk Well.

4. Add your egg and 120ml Baileys to your mixture.


5. Whisk all the mix together until the consistency is very smooth with no lumps.

6. Pour your smooth chocolatey mixture into your cupcake cases, filling them about half way.


7. Pop into the oven for around 15-20 minutes. To test if the cupcakes are ready either lightly press the top of the cake and if it springs back they should be ready. An alternate way, which I use, is to use a skewer or cocktail stick, poke it through the centre of the cake and remove. If there is mixture left on the stick then the cakes need a little longer. If it is clean then the cakes are done. Leave to cool for 20-30 minutes.


8. Now's the fun part - Decorating! I piped Betty Crocker's Chocolate Fudge Icing quite thickly in a swirl and then Sprinkled Edible Gold Stars (Asda) on top. Finishing the cake of with an edible white Snowflake (Asda).

9. Grab a blanket, flick on your favourite Christmas movie and Enjoy your Cheeky Chocolate Treat.

If you fancy a family friendly alcohol free Christmas Cupcake replace the baileys with milk!



 
What Christmas treats have you been Baking?
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8 December 2015

A Winter's Day


Coat - New Look
Stripe Polo Neck - Primark
Denim Button Down Skirt - Primark
Scarf - New Look
 
Hello there! I apologise for the fact that I have been a little MIA recently, it's for a reason though! I've been away in Dublin with my lovely other half to celebrate our 7 year anniversary. I will be doing a little post on our trip soon.
 
I'd got this little outfit post ready and waiting in my drafts, it was planned to go up before we went away, but alas, time got the better of me and it got left behind until today!
 
I'd been looking for a camel coat for a while and just couldn't find one that I loved enough to buy, that was until I popped into new look and this beautiful piece caught my eye. It's an oversized boyfriend style coat in a lovely caramel camel colour. The material is thick and warm without being restrictive which I love. It's exactly what I'd been looking for. I like to wear it with blue denim and brown ankle boots.
 
This denim skirt has already been featured on a previous blog post of mine but I just find it so versatile and easy to wear that it had to be featured again! With a thick pair of tights and a snuggly jumper its easily made winter appropriate.  
 
The scarf is the part if the outfit I love the most, it's just so big and snuggly! When I'm cold in the morning I unfold  it and drape it over me like a blanket to try and keep warm, it's a very wearable item that every one needs in their winter wardrobe.
 
I hope that you like this outfit post. I'm hoping to get some more festive posts up in the next couple of weeks as Christmas is almost upon us!

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