Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Wise Words for a Wednesday

So here's the deal: I really wanted to blog today but was finding it very difficult to decide on a topic. It felt too late to discuss last week's highs and lows, I didn't want to do a product review as I'd written a beauty based post last time and I scrapped my plans to revisit "What's in My Wardrobe Wednesday" partly due to the fact that I wanted to wait until after I'd been shopping again (just in case!) and partly because I really couldn't be bothered locating items and taking photographs. Shocking, I know! ;-) Then, whilst browsing Pinterest for inspiration, it hit me. Why not post some images from one of my boards? I toyed with a couple of them but eventually plumped for some of my favourite "Wise Words". And voilà! Hope you enjoy...

Source: via Julie on Pinterest

And there we have it! Hope there was something among these lovelies that had you mentally nodding your head in agreement or made you think just that little bit harder :-) And as usual, I'm also throwing the post over to you. Which are your favourite quotes? What's the piece of advice that you swear by? Please share, as I'd love to add a few more to my mental notebook!

'Til next time...

PS: And if you're a fellow pinner, feel free to follow me here. The more the merrier, I'd love to see what you're all pinning!

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Past posts revisited: Beauty Bits

As part of the revamp of my blog, I thought it'd be a fun idea to revisit some old posts and see how much I've changed over the years. Not only will it make it easier for me to think of things to write about (lol!), but they'll also hopefully be interesting for everyone else to read too. And first up is this post which originally featured here back in September 2009. Am I still using the same products as I was then? Have I stayed faithful to my old favourites or have I embarked on a fling with something new and exciting? Well, here are the answers:

What I'm using at the Moment:

Shampoo: Tresemme Luxurious Moisture and Dove Colour Radiance (I'm a great believer in alternating products)
Conditioner: Tresemme Salon Silk and Dove Colour Radiance
Styling Products: Umberto Giannini Flirty Curls Scrunching Jelly
Shower Gel: Just like in 2009, I have a number on the go but two I'm showing a lot of love to at the moment are Soap and Glory's Clean on Me and Dove Silk Glow Beauty Care Body Wash
Body Scrub: I love the scent and feel of Soap and Glory's The Breakfast Scrub and I'm also trying to use up my Naturals body scrub, but I still don't use these nearly as often as I should :-(
Bath Products: As we don't have a bath any more, I don't buy any of these for myself but I do try and use my stash up in the shower when I remember (which isn't very often!)
Deodorant: Soft and Gentle Wild Rose and Vanilla Roll On
Body Moisturiser: The Body Shop Cocoa Butter Body Butter
Fake Tan: Don't use
Cleanser: Lacura Creamy Face Wash (for sensitive skin)
Facial Moisturiser: Lacura Shimmering Day Cream
Facial Exfoliator: Soap and Glory Scrub Your Nose in It
Hand Cream: I alternate between Avon Care Renewing Moisture Restorative Hand Cream (what a mouthful!) and Boots Garden Collection Lavender Hand Lotion

Primer: 17 Photo Flawless Skin Primer
Foundation: Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse in Cameo
Concealer: Not using at the moment
Powder: Not using
Blusher: Natural Collection Cream Blusher in Naked Glow
Bronzer: 17 Instant Glow Bronzing Pearls in Medium
Highlighter: Don't use
Eyeshadow Base: Not currently using, although I'm tempted to try out the Frontcover Shadowbase I received in a gift set
Eyeshadows: In terms of brand, I adore Frontcover for the choice of shades and their colour payoff but when it comes to shades, my most frequently used are Frosted Almond by Frontcover and Statuesque by 17 at Boots
Eyeliner: I've recently started experimenting with Frontcover Shadowline(a solvent which you mix with any of their eyeshadows or pigments to create your own custom eyeliner)
Eyelash Curlers: Don't use
Mascara: Maybelline The Colossal Volume Express Cat Eyes or Soap and Glory Thick and Fast
Lipstick: Bourjois Lovely Brille in Rose Balneaire or 17 Shine On Lipstick in Bon Bon
Lip Gloss: Urban Decay Shot-O-Gloss in Mai Tai
Lip Balm: Visionary Soap Company Peppermint Lip Balm, Dermalogics Lip Care with Aloe Vera or Wilko Fruity Berry Lip Balm
Nail Colour: Haven't used in months but when I do, my most frequently used shade is probably Nails Inc in Instyle Mink

So have I changed? Well in some ways, no. There are still some products I'm using two and a half years on (scrunching jelly and foundation to name two), and I still love to alternate the brands that I use for others. And I'm also still on a mission to reduce my stash of bath foam and body lotion! But then, on the other hand, there are some new brands that I can't imagine not knowing about way back when. I don't know what I'd do without my Frontcover eyeshadows and Soap and Glory has rapidly become one of my brands of choice. And I'm also experimenting with new products. Primer or eyeliner anyone? Who knows where I'll be in another couple of years!

And that's pretty much it, hope you've enjoyed this little glimpse into my beauty bits and if there's any products you'd like more information/a review on or pictures of, please let me know, I'm always happy to help! But now how about you? What products are you using at the moment and which are your faves? I invite you all to tag along and join in this survey, I'd love to hear from you :-)

'Til next time...

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Baking with Julie: Marble Cake

Last Sunday was a cold, grey day so what else to do but bake?! Feeling a bit unsure about what recipe to choose, I decided to take a look through the new cookery book I received off some of my dearest friends for  my birthday and based on the fact that I had a little cocoa powder to use up, and also that I wanted to try something new but not too adventurous, I eventually plumped for the marble cake (or chocolate and vanilla ring, if you're following the book exactly!)

Marble Cake (or Chocolate and Vanilla Ring, if you prefer)

Source: Very slightly adapted from Traditional Family Cakes (I'm pretty sure this is the same book I have, the only difference seems to be the cover design)


  • Oil or melted butter for greasing (I used soft spread margarine instead)
  • 175g plain white flour (Replaced this with self -raising and also omitted the 1 tbsp baking powder that the original recipe called for)
  • 175g unsalted butter, softened (I again used soft spread margarine)
  • 175g caster sugar (Substituted this with granulated sugar; to my mind there's no real difference between the two)
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (Didn't use as I had none in)
  • Icing sugar for dusting (Omitted this step)
  1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C/325 degrees F/Gas Mark 3. Grease a baking tin (The recipe calls for a 1.5 litre/2.75 pint ring tin but I used a roasting tin instead and I'm not too sure of the actual dimensions!)
  2. Sift the flour (and baking powder, if using) into a large bowl and add the butter/margarine, sugar and eggs. Beat well until the mixture is smooth. Transfer half the mixture to a separate bowl.
  3. Mix the cocoa powder with the milk and stir into one bowl of mixture. (Add the vanilla extract to the other bowl, if using, and mix evenly). Spoon alternate tablespoons of the two mixtures into the prepared tin and swirl lightly for a marbled effect (The recipe suggests using a palette knife for this, I just used a spoon and it worked fine.)
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 40-50minutes, or until risen, firm and golden brown. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out and finish cooling on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar before serving, if desired.
Serves: 12 (Or 20-24 if you cut your cake into smaller pieces like I do!!)

Overall, I was delighted with the way the recipe turned out. The marble effect really worked well and the cake tasted delicious; I really don't think it suffered for the substitutions and omissions I made at all. And I have to say my family agreed, as the cake vanished within a couple of days and there's now not a crumb to be found anywhere! And I'm hopeful that the other recipes in the book will work out as well, there's several that I intend to make over the coming weeks and months and I can't wait to share them with you all!

'Til next time...