Lemon Drizzle Slices

Hi guys!

I am successfully moved out and ready to start my new role tomorrow, eek! I woke up in a happy and excited mood today, despite the clocks going forward, and decided to get my bake on.

These Lemon Drizzle Slices are my take on a regular lemon drizzle cake but smaller and with thicker icing (hello, sweet tooth). Super easy and delicious, and slightly spring-like in their colour too.

You will need:
120g butter
120g caster sugar
2 eggs
150g self raising flour
1tsp baking powder
1tsp vanilla essence
Zest of one lemon
Splash of milk

For the icing:
250g icing sugar
Juice of one lemon
Yellow food colouring (optional)

Grease and line a 20cm square tin and pre heat the oven to 180C.

Start off with making a regular sponge. Beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy, then whisk in the two eggs and vanilla essence. Sieve the baking powder and flour into the bowl and then fold in. Add a splash of milk, mix in and then fold in the lemon zest. Voila, your cake batter is ready to go! Spread into the tin (tip: I try and gently hollow out the centre of the cake to maximise the chance of getting a flat surface on top for icing..) then pop in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown and a knife comes out clean from the centre of the cake. Then, remove from the oven and fully cool on a wire rack.

For the icing, mix the juice of a lemon with the icing sugar and stir well. If too stiff, add a couple of drops of water to get your desired thickness. If you want to add some spring-like yellow decoration then separate a couple of spoonfuls of your icing, add a drop of yellow food colouring and mix together.

Once the cake is cool, get icing! I covered the whole surface with white icing and then added some decoration with a criss-cross pattern, you can do whatever takes your fancy! Second tip: if you don't have a fancy schmancy icing bag, just pop the icing in a freezer bag and snip the corner off, works a treat!

Allow to set then cut up into squares/slices and devour. They are fab with natural yogurt or a mug of Earl Grey tea.

Would love to know if you give these a go, let me know in the comments or on Twitter!


Our Final Seaside Adventure - Lulworth Cove & Durdle Door

Hi guys!

It is with mixed emotions that I write this post! Last weekend J & I went on our last trip exploring the south coast before I pack up all my things and move next weekend. I can't believe how quickly these six months have gone but am so excited to start the next chapter. Anyway, we decided to check out Lulworth Cove & Durdle Door, both on the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site in Dorset. The weather was beautiful (it warranted ice cream), we hiked around a bit and also relaxed watching the sea do it's ever-awesome thing. In a final nod to the seaside, we also quite rightly finished the day off with fish and chips, yum!

Lulworth Cove - yep, the sea really was that blue

Durdle Door in the afternoon sun

Caramelised Honeycomb & Toffee Fudge - SO good

How have you guys been enjoying this lovely weather recently?


Birchbox UK March 2014 - Lulu Guinness Collaboration

Hi guys!

Time for another Birchbox, this time it's the March collaboration with Lulu Guinness. Birchbox revealed that this collab would be happening in the February box, and that Lulu Guinness would be picking an item that would go into everyone's boxes. To see what I thought, read on!

All in all, this was a pretty good box, most bits I was really pleased although one thing left me a tad disappointed. Bonus item was that every subscriber received a voucher for a free 'Makeupper' at a Benefit counter and to try their new Gimme Brow product - I'll take that thank you!

First item was the Korres Citrus Body Milk. This was the largest sample in this month's box and one I was excited to get! I've been eyeing up Korres' range in my local Waitrose and like their branding so was keen to try this out! The body milk smells fresh, zesty (and slightly masculine?! Anyone else find this?!) and is light and easy to rub in. Not a massive fan of the pack format in that the milk is very runny and comes out WAY too quickly! Overall though, I'm happy with this one. 50ml sample works out to be worth around £2.35.

The next item I received was the Dr Brandt Pores No More Pore Refiner. This product claims to minimise pores and absorb excess oil. I hadn't ever heard of Dr Brandt (maybe I'm being a beauty noob), but judging by the fact that this small 7.5ml sample is worth a WHOPPING £9.75, I have high hopes for this premium product. It feels velvety on my skin and leaves a smooth, soft surface perfect to use either with or without makeup. It smells quite strongly of tea tree (I'm a fan but I know some don't like that scent!). This was another success this month.

Next up is Benefit's Stay Don't Stray primer for concealer and eye shadow. Again, a new product to me, this one is apparently on of 'Lulu's Picks'. I suffer from dark under-eye circles so am going to give this a whirl to see if it keeps my Erase Paste in place a little longer so that I don't look like a zombie after work each day... It's a tiny sample but the full size product is worth £20.50.

I also received the Molton Brown Rhubarb and Rose Replenishing Hand Cream this month and firstly, ADORE the scent. It is a newly launched range from MB and smells just like rhubarb fool, yum! Was happy with a product from Molton Brown as I know and like the brand. Another hand cream to add to the collection, it does feel as though there's a new one in each box lately?! This 7ml sample is worth £1.75.

This No 7 For Her fragrance sample from English Laundry by Christopher Wicks surprised me. I'll be honest, I wasn't wowed by the packaging and didn't expect it to be my kind of fragrance but I actually really like it. It's a daytime scent and is fruity and floral, with a bit of musk too. A handy travel sample although I'm too obsessed with my Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb to consider any other full size fragrances any time soon!

Finally, the second of 'Lulu's Picks' was a black and white stick of rock. This totally disappointed me. The claim was that this represented Lulu Guinness' inspiration for her S/S 14 handbag designs but it felt like a massive cop out. They built up this collaboration a lot, and the interview and tips in the 'Life Lessons' booklet are interesting etc but a stick of rock doesn't cut it for me. Must try harder Birchbox!

That's all for this month, like I said, generally I'm pretty happy with this box, mostly brands I know but also a couple of newbies to explore too. What did you get and did you rate the Lulu Guinness collab? Get in touch here or on Twitter!

Thanks for reading,

Primark Haul + PS Love Beauty Finds

Hi guys!

Who else has ADORED the sunshine this weekend?! J and I went for a 24 hour trip to Oxford, explored the colleges and parks and also hit the shops! I haven't been in Primark for a while but fancied a look around and stumbled across a couple of basic bits but also the PS Love Beauty range! I know it's a fairly new range so thought I would grab a couple of bits and let you know my thoughts so far.

I grabbed three items from the beauty range - a mascara and two lipsticks for the grand total of £3. I should add that there were a fair few bits there that I intentionally didn't buy.. I'm not a massive eyeliner wearer so skipped most of those (although the two kohl pencils + sharpener for £1 does seem like a deal not worth missing). There is also a really big range of nail polishes/nail art sets etc but I can't wear polish whilst at work so sadly skipped that section too!

On to what I did buy!

The PS Love Volumising Mascara (£1) comes in cute outer packaging and a chic matte black finish. I like the wand, it's definitely not clump-inducing and separates your lashes whilst still adding volume. I wouldn't give it top marks for volume, you need a couple of coats to build up but it's nice for a makeup-no-makeup look!

The first lipstick I found was this awesome coral shade for spring (there are no names for the colours sadly!). I like the packaging, that you can see the colour at the bottom. This shade goes on really well, feels smooth on your lips and is really pigmented. I think it would benefit from being used with a lip liner, but that's my own rookie error! I haven't tested it for durability or moisturising effect yet - if I'm honest I think that's where this one might slip up a bit.

The second shade I picked up was a shimmer nude. I thought this would be great for day to day wear and evenings with a bolder eye. However, this one was a total let down! Because of the major glitter (definitely more than a shimmer!), it almost scrapes along your lips when applying and then doesn't blend in at all. It didn't feel nice on my lips either and the colour was much more bubblegum pink than I expected from the packaging. Not sure this one will be a regular in my make up bag, but glad I only had to spend £1 to find out!

There weren't any eyeshadows at the Oxford Primark, but I do know they have a palette for £2.50 which I would be quite keen to try - have you used any of the Primark Beauty range and what are your favourite items? For the incredibly low prices, I think this range is definitely worth a shot - I might give their brushes a go too.

Next up, a quick run down of the other bits I grabbed. I wanted another statement necklace and fell in love with this one straight away. I think it will look great with pastels in spring and also suit a tan through the summer and on holidays so was very happy for £4!

I also bought socks (just take a moment to admire the colours - for some reason that combo is so pleasing) and a pair of plain black flip flops (for £1??!).

That concludes my haul, had a gorgeous time on the beach taking these photos today so I'll leave you with one of the sunshine!


Life Update - Moving House!

Hi guys!

I mentioned briefly in my February Favourites post that we have been very busy lately searching for a new home - I always knew I would be down here on the lovely south coast for only 6 months and the time has flown by! As of the end of March I'll be moving back up to Cambridgeshire with work, but this time we know it's going to be for 18 months at least! J is still working in Leicester for now, but being an hour or so away from each other is a LUXURY compared with three and a half hours each way currently. As of August, he will also be moving work so will be able to move in and we can be happy little homesharers!

We've sort of done a full circle when it comes to relationship/homes. We met whilst living in the same flat in halls at university and then lived together (but with other friends too) for our second year. I then lived in Germany for a year, then in our fourth year we lived a street or two apart. After I graduated, we did Cambridge to Leeds most weekends and then recently we've been doing south coast to Leicester so it will be the end of a pretty lengthy journey to be living back together finally!

I can't wait to move in, be near J and also to start making our flat look and feel like a home. We'll be spending some time gathering furniture and possessions from various locations across the UK - I have stuff at my parents', my grandparents' and two different friends' places - and then we can officially hit the shops for any missing bits!

Apologies in advance if posts become a little sparse - we've got a busy few weeks ahead packing, moving, unpacking and then driving around in hire vans collecting sofas etc but I'll try where I can and will be back at 100% as soon as possible with a lovely flat and lots of natural light and space to get creative with new posts for you!


February Favourites!

Hi guys!

Apologies, have been a little MIA from the blogosphere lately - we've had a few very busy weekends finding a new home but have now sorted somewhere and I move in less than 4 weeks, eek! More on that in a different post, but for now I wanted to share my February Favourites with you.

Hair: This month I have been loving Tommyguns. If you don't know the brand, Tommyguns are focused on natural ingredients, gorgeous fragrances and high quality salon performance. I've been using the Blueberry & Ginseng Shampoo and Blueberry, Honey & Ginseng conditioner which are both ideal for my fine, slightly limp hair! They smell uh-mazing and leave my hair silky soft and feeling thicker too.

Eyes: I bought this L'Oreal Colour Riche Quad on a bit of a whim. The colours aren't ones I would naturally pick up (they look like all the colours of the rainbow that a bruised black eye turns!) and yet this month I haven't been able to put it down. I put the gold on my whole lid, green in the outer corner, purple in the crease and line my lid with the slate and love the effect it has.

Lips: Love this Collection Lasting Colour Lipstick in 13 'Vintage Rose' - it's a really natural pink that is so easy for everyday, lasts a few hours and doesn't dry out my lips. Total bargain for £2.99!

Other: The wonderful J bought me the Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb fragrance for my birthday and I cannot get enough of it! I had been eyeing it up for weeks but the price tag was a little too painful so it was a lovely treat. It's a sweet, spicy vanilla, slightly floral smell and I adore it. No more necessary!

That's all my favourites for this month, would love to read about yours too so leave me some links or tweet me!