Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Christmas biscuits with added sparkle

It was a weekend of baking of the tree decoration and biscuit variety! As I thought my biscuits turned out to be quite yummy I thought I'd share them with you. They are super simple to make and once they are done you can get really creative with how you decorate them but I went for something simple. Supermarkets always have cheap icing sets. A cute idea would be to have a biscuit each for table settings and you could personalise each one.

The recipe is as follows! 500g of plain flour, 250g of butter, 140g of icing sugar and 10 extra grams for luck, 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon (optional) and milk.

Leave your butter out of the fridge for a while to soften as this will make it much easier and then cut it up into squares and pop in a bowl with the 500g plain flour which is best to sieve in and the 150g of icing sugar. You need to rub all of the ingredients together so you are left with something that resembles bread crumbs, this can take a while so keep at it, it will eventually work and this is why it helps to have the butter soft. Then add the vanilla essence and cinnamon if you wish. Next you add milk a table spoon at a time until you have a dough like consistency which isn't sticky. I found it easier to do this in stages so ended up with three sections of dough using a tablespoon of milk each to bind it together. Then all you need to do it flour a surface and a rolling pin/anything you can use a rolling pin to then roll the dough out making it about 5mm thick and then using cookie cutters or a knife to cut out your desired shapes. This recipe makes about 30 large or 60 small biscuits which was way more than I needed but I didn't want to half the recipe for fear I'd mess it up but that is an option. Make sure you put a thin layer or butter or grease proof paper on a baking tray and place your biscuits on top so that they do not stick to the tray. All you need to do now is just bake your biscuits in a pre-heated oven at 160 degrees for 12 - 15 minutes. I put mine on for 10 and then kept an eye on them to gage when they were done. Once done leave them to cool/harden.

Once cooled it is time to decorate! I used a snowflake cutter for my biscuits so to decorate I brought some sugar sparkle dust from Asda which is basically icing sugar with finely milled edible glitter. It is simple but looks super pretty! I also used a shot glass and made some small 'coffee' biscuits which is a good thing to do if you have some dough scraps left over.

I can't believe it is going to be christmas next week! It seems like it has just snuck up so quickly after wishing it was December for so long haha. What have you done to get into the Christmas spirit? More importantly have you finished your Christmas shopping?! - Amy x

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Sunday, 14 December 2014

D.I.Y: Salt dough christmas decorations

I was searching the interwebs for cheap christmas ideas and I came across the amazing invention that is salt dough. All you need is 250g of plain flour, 275g of table salt and 250ml of water. You just need to mix the two dry ingredients in a bowl, I didn't sieve the flour and it was fine and then just add the water SLOWLY and work with your hands until you have something that resembles biscuit dough, All you need to do next is roll the dough out (I used a bottle of port because I didn't have a rolling pin) on a flour coated surface and use cutters or just a knife to make your own shapes. These shapes can then be placed on a baking tray. I coated my baking tray in a thin layer of butter or you can use parchment paper just to make sure they don't stick to the tray. These need to be baked in the oven at 100 degrees for three hours which seems like a long time but they need to be cooked at a low temp for longer so they do not crack whilst being baked. This probably doesn't need to be said but these are not edible!

After they had completely cooled I began the decorating process. This can be done with acrylic paint, glue, sequins, glitter ect but I only had gold glitter glue and lots of nail varnish so I used nail varnish and I'm pretty happy with how they turned out. The nail varnish also dried quite quickly so that was good. Word of warning though it friggin' stinks so you need a well ventilated room or if you can, it would be best to do it outside. I had to have my patio door open for a good hour. It's worth it though because they look so pretty on the tree!

Above are my finished snowflakes! I think my fave is the red one I did with some barry m red glitter. It only took two coats and looks so good! I didn't do the back as you can't see that when it is hanging but I did just seal it with the gold glitter clue. I also did a couple with a chunkier maybelline and barry m glitter as well as a holographic barry m glitter. The two in the corner I gave to my auntie and cousin and those were done with some seventeen texture nail varnish. I just think they look super pretty! I have the red one on my tree and I asked my sister to try and pick out which one I made and she picked one I had brought from a shop haha so that shows you have good they can really look!

They do take a while to make but whilst your sat decorating listening to Christmas music it really does feel so festive! They look pretty festive hanging in the garden too hey! I have never ever made salt dough before and rarely do any kind of baking so given that mine have actually come out how they should of that just goes to show how easy they are to make! They are also incredibly cheap to make! The salt I got cost 29p and the flour was 40p! I did pay £1.50 for the cutter but if you already have some or just use a paper stencil and a knife you can make some really cheap pretty decorations! They would also make nice host gifts or a cheap present for your kids teacher at school/school friends and it would be especially heart felt considering you could get them to join in and decorate it. Salt dough is also amazing for modelling little babies feet/hand prints so it would be perfect for a D.I.Y first babies Christmas dec! Have you tried salt dough before? - Amy x

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Wednesday, 10 December 2014

My christmas decorations, calendars and easy D.I.Y bunting

I thought I'd share with you my homes festive decorations aka the max my mum will allow me to decorate in the living room and the Christmas grotto that is my room haha. I also thought I'd let y'all know about the four advent calendars I have. Yes I am greedy haha. Pictures left to right top to bottom: My festive bedding and cushions, classic foil ceiling decs, all the presents under the family tree, my Christmas tree in my room, my window complete with bunting, lights and snowflakes, tinsel and stars around my bed, berry decs in a little vase, my advent candle, the fire place decs in the living room, my first ginger bread house, precious angels, the family tree, my mirror has had a Christmas make over and so has my other one, close up fairy lights on my window and I also have a star that I forgot to photograph and a little Christmas candle set up.

As you can see I love the classic reds and greens mixed with a kind of kitsch feel. I have mainly gotten my decorations from asda or tesco however there are some from the ideal home show at Christmas and various garden centers. I usually make an effort to buy at least one new tree decoration every year however for my room decorations it is pretty much all new this year but everything small was around £1, the tree was pre lit from asda for £5, the wicker heart was £5 from wilko I think and the material bunting was £5 from sainsburys I believe. The window fairy lights were a right bargain for £3.50 down from £7 at wilko and I really like the unusual burgundy and orange colours. The star I have that isn't pictured is battery operated from primark for only £2.50 and is really bright so really stands out on my window.

The bunting above the round mirror and also pictured in the image with the 'the most wonderful time of the year' plaque is the D.I.Y I wanted to share with you! It is super simple and looks really nice, I think anyways. I just used thick wrapping ribbon or string, decorative pegs, printed and cut out my chosen images from the internet and put it all together and there you have it really, super easy. It cost £2 max as I got the decorative pegs for £1 from cargo in the sale and a pack of ribbon for a £1. If you haven't got a printer at home you can always go to your local library as it is really cheap to print there. It doesn't need to be on photo paper, in fact it is easier to cut out on normal paper.

I have four calendars because I'm greedy, well I did buy three of them myself but anyways they are the yankee candle Christmas present advent calendar, the snowman advent calendar, the kinder calendar sent over by my brothers friend from Germany and the you beauty discovery advent calendar. I've really enjoyed getting a little present everyday haha. The yankee calendar has a lovely selection of tea lights that smell amazing and I have really enjoyed burning them each night. The you beauty discovery calendar is full of AMAZING products, most of which have been on my wishlist as some point or another so it is well worth the money.

That's a wholeeeeeeeee lot of Christmas for one post! Please leave a link if you have done a post on your Christmas dec's because I'm nosey and I love Christmas! In fact link any Christmas posts I am in a seriously festive mood! - Amy x

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REVIEW: theBalm mary-lou manizer

Okay as far as I am concerned this stuff, theBalm mary-lou manizer aka best highlighter ever, is just amazing. You can apply it to give you a subtle glow or apply it to really make an impact but it still doesn't look too over the top. It has a super pretty light golden tone I feel would suit the majority. It is super soft to touch and I personally find it works well being applied with a brush or dare I say it my fingers! dun dun dunnnnnn. It is a great shade to use to highlight your brow bone too or just a base shade on your eyelids. My main use for it is to highlight the tops of my cheek bones, I just think it looks absolutely beautiful and really lifts my face. I brought mine quite a while ago now from feel unique. I think I got some money off when I brought mine but I think £16 is a pretty good price for something of such good quality and something that has multiple uses. I definitely wanna try more theBalm stuff. I have my eye on the mia moore lipstick, it needs to be mine! - Amy x

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Sunday, 7 December 2014

Yankee Candy cane lane lovin'

This lovely candle featured in my October faves because I'm am eager beaver but as it's now December I thought it was an appropriate time to type about this beauty! As you can see it is the Yankee candle candy cane lane from their festive range. As soon as I saw the name I knew this candle had to be mine, I mean candy canes in candle form, yes please! It is the perfect mix of sweet and minty fresh. The scent it produces isn't as strong as other yankee candles I've had but sometimes that is a good thing and it still smells bloody nice.

Yankee says
A favourite Christmas place where delicious dreams are made with tingly peppermint, sweet cookies and creamy vanilla icing.

It isn't your usual spicy Christmas scent which I love but it is nice to have a change and the peppermint is an aspect I really love about this candle. It also isn't overly sweet as I find scents such as vanilla frosting far too over powering, they make me feel sick, but candy cane lane has the perfect balance and the peppermint really makes it a well balanced interesting scent you need this Christmas.

Can you believe it's only 18 days till the big day?!?! crazy! I am super excited and feeling festive though as today I decorated my families living room. It looks so pretty and has a red, white and kitsch theme much like this lovely candle! - Amy x

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Saturday, 6 December 2014

My top red lip picks

I really couldn't whittle it down so this is a pretty big list of my fave red lip picks. I'll start from left to right. First up is the infamous Mac ruby woo. This is such a stunning shade and one I think would suit anyone. Next up is Maybelline's super stay 10h tint gloss in endless ruby, I can't find this online but if you find it it really is such a pretty deep red and lasts so well on the lips. Mac's Viva glam I is another favourite. It is such a gorgeous deep red with a slight brown tone to it, can easily be worn in the day time but looks beautiful with a smokey eye. A newer addition to my stash in the L'Oréal red by Eva. The packaging is so lovely and the formula is smooth and pretty long lasting. Next I have two Bourjois rouge edition velvets in personne ne rouge and grand cru, Personne ne rouge is more of a true red were as grand cru is a beautiful deep red. I do have trouble with application with grand cru but the colour is so beautiful it is worth the extra effort. The other rouge edition velvets I have apply like a dream so maybe I have a duff grand cru. Next I have a lipstick from collection in the shade revenge from the gothic/vamp range. It is basically the solid form of grand cru but slightly darker and is the most amazing shade. Finally and the most recent edition to my collection is the L'Oréal red by Blake. It has a lovely formula like eva's version but is a lighter truer red.

I can't wait to wear all of my red's through out the festive season, I seem to be at work most of the time nowadays but alas I'll find time! What is your favourite red lip product? - Amy x

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Friday, 5 December 2014

My wishlist/beauty gift guide

This is a bit of an odd wishlist as it was for my birthday and Christmas so it means I've already got some of it, well most of it haha but I think it's a good example of presents you could get beauty obsessed folk that they would really love you for!

From left to right the tarte amazonian clay foundation which has been out of stock in my shade for agessss but I'm hoping it comes back soon. Qvc also have the highly talked about blush in exposed which also comes with a brush now. The brush looks amazing and my other tarte brush (That I got with the amazonian clay powder foundation) is so soft I have high hopes for this one, I hope santa brings me it otherwise I will just buy it myself haha. The melt cosmetics lipstick in belladonna 2 has been on my wishlist for a long time. It's a company started by two make-up artists I follow on instagram and it is the most beautiful ultra matte red. It's an american company but you can order from www.beautybcosmetics.com. Onto what I've already brought myself/was a birthday present/christmas present. I picked up the stila one step correct from M&S. It makes my skin super soft, is just a really lovely product to use and gives me a bit of a confidence boost as I feel like it helps cover my redness. It has amazing reviews and is a really great serum/primer. I purchased the pixi glow tonic from Liberty. This stuff is pricey but I've heard amazing reviews and if you have a special friend into skincare I think they will be rather chuffed if they received this. Something I always ask for for my birthday is money as I love to go shopping they day after with my twin. It is also a pretty good option if you really don't have a clue as to what to get. As long as you pop it in a nice card and write a nice message it's perfectly fine and who ever it is will be grateful that they can buy something they really want! I got the Yankee angel wings candle for my birthday. It is the perfect balance between sweet and floral, it really does smells gorgeous. I think angel wings is a pretty safe scent to go for as it has a good balance between the two main scents people go for. I wouldn't be unhappy to receive a candle on christmas day! My sister has got me the escentric molecules molecule 01 perfume in the travel size (30ml) as it is £27 which isn't bad at all and essie button and lily pebbles gushing over it had me sold. Finally and the thing I'm most excited about is the Nars digital world lip pencil coffret which comes with 3 little satin lip pencils and two matte. I have wanted to try the nars lip pencils for an age and anyone else who loves their lip products would absolutely love this!

So there you have it my perfect wishlist. I am so excited for christmas this year. I get to spend it with my ickle cousin whom is the cutest little boy you've ever ever seen! As well as the rest of my family but you can't beat babies at Christmas! I've already decorated my room and have made some D.I.Y bunting which I will post about soon. I have also been loving opening all my advent calendars! I have four because I'm greedy haha. Images were found on linked websites - Amy x

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