Christmas Beauty Brawl… {day one}

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Today, we were challenged to review… Moisturiser!! So, I picked the simple kind to skin hydrating light moisturiser.

I have rated this product on packaging, price and the product itself. (Unfortunately, the top trumps card app is currently down so i will update with the card as soon as i can)

Packaging… 65

Price… 100 (£3)

Product… 95

Simple Says…

for natural healthy looking skin’

‘Our Hydrating Light Moisturiser is a perfect blend of multi-vitamins and skin-loving ingredients to keep our skin moisturised and pampered, and carries on working for 12 hours. Perfect even for sensitive skin’

What I love…

Straight away, you cannot go wrong with the price of this product. At just £3 for 125ml it is one of the cheapest moisturizers around that actually works! Because it is a light weight moisturiser, my skin doesn’t feel at all greasy and it soaks in within no time at all. I’m one of those people that hates my face to feel like there is too much product on, and this fits the bill perfectly! I love that they use all natural ingredients and no perfumes and this leaves my face feeling soft and nourished every time.

What I Don’t Love…

Although this is a cheap product, I’m not a big fan of the packaging. I prefer my beauty products to come in pretty bottles and a pump or squeezy tube makes life much easier when getting towards the bottom of the tube. Also, I have found that a few days after starting to use this product my skin breaks out a little. It clears up within a day or two though, and then my face feels better than ever!

Have you tried this moisturiser? let me know how you got on in the comments down below! Don’t forget to check out what Natasha wrote over on
Beauty by Natasha 16

Emma-Jayne xxx

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Christmas Beauty Brawl… {intro}

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I am so excited to announce that I’m bringing my blog back with a bang!! 10 days of blogs all about beauty products. What more could you want?! For the second year, the lovely Beth from la blog beaute has organised the bloggers Christmas beauty brawl and I’m so pleased that I found out about it in time to join in this year! You can follow along on twitter or Instagram with #beautybrawl16

Basically, each day all the bloggers involved will review a beauty product. Each day is a different product, but we will all review a product of the same type (e.g. moisturiser) there may be some overlap between products as we don’t know what each other has posted until after but i know i am looking forward to seeing how everyone else rates their products! The best part? We will all be using a ‘top trumps’ card as a rating system so packaging, the product itself and the price will all be rated out of 100. We will also include more in depth analysis of the product alongside the card.

Taking part will be…

Beth – La Blog Beauté

Victoria – Victoria Life On Camera

Elaine – Early Retirement Rocks

Kimberley Jessica – Kimberley Jessica

Tori – Powdered and Polished

Laura Faye – Forever Faye

Karen – The Mad House of Cats and Babies

Gemma – An Ocean Glimmer

Ellysia – Miss Dainty K

Andreia – Andreia Prieto x

Natalie –  Beauty Box Obsessed

Rabia –  Rabia Qureshi

Bethany – The Beth Blog

Becky – Hideaway Blogging

Lynn – Lemons Cake

Sarah – The Passion Ease Queen.

Taylor – Reese’s Hardwear

Cheryl – Cheryl Gemma

Daisy – Daisy Says

Phillippa – Phillippa Beauty

Kimberley – Happiness Is Madness

Charli – High Street Beauty Junkie

Natasha – Beauty By Natasha 16

Emma – Running In Couture

Hope you enjoy reading everyone’s posts, I know I will!

Emma-Jayne xxx

New Beginnings…

  I feel like this last year has gone so fast. In some ways, everything has changed yet in others everything is the same. My gorgeous girl is in reception now, which has been an adjustment! I’m missing her more and more each day, but I treasure the time we spend together. I adore the holidays and weekends when we get whole days together not broken up by school. On the other hand, she absolutely adores it and is positively thriving. She has a whole little group of friends and keeps inviting them to her birthday party in February. I need to get cracking on that one as nothing is booked yet! She is growing up so fast, and part of me misses the baby days and toddler days, but at the same time I’m excited to see the person she is becoming. Beautiful, determined, a little stubborn and so full of love for everything she does.

In terms of blogging, I know I am so far behind it’s unreal. I’ve so many posts half written, and never published time seems to have gotten away from me. I want 2016 to be my year, the year I finally get myself sorted into a proper blogging routine, and hopefully properly launch myself into youtube. I have a new camera on order which I can’t wait for! Although, I may have to wait until my birthday in march before I can actually use it. But when it does come to me, I am so excited to take lots and lots of pictures, so I’m fully expecting my Instagram to be flooded with all sorts of shots whilst I’m getting to grips with my new toy. 2016 may also be the year I manage to get the business venture I’ve been planning for the last few years off the ground. I’m pretty excited about it, but although the plans are in place there is still a lot of work to be done until I can properly launch it. So keep your fingers crossed for me!!

I have a few new years resolutions, maybe for once they will last longer than a month or two? I’m going to come back to them in December and see what I have actually achieved!

  • Get back to blogging
  • Drink more water
  • Eat more healthy food..80/20
  • Try to workout 3 times a week
  • work on getting motivated
  • launch my business
  • Sort my skincare routine

Do you have any new years resolutions?

Emma-Jayne xxx

One-pot chilli and garlic rice with chicken…

  

We love mexican food, and in the past I have brought the Kits from the supermarket. The problem I have with the kits, as nice and easy as they are is the fact you don’t know exactly what goes into your food. Plus, they contain preservatives and quite frankly they are expensive for what you get. So, I decided to attempt my own version of the chilli and garlic rice meal by old el paso.

  

  • 2 Diced chicken breasts
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp chipotle paste (or chilli powder to taste)
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tin, drained, sweetcorn
  • 2 peppers, sliced
  • 5 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 mug rice
  • 2 mugs water
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp oil
  • handfull of parsley, chopped
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tsp honey

Heat the oil in a large pan, and add the chicken. When browned, Stir in paprika, chilli, garlic and vegetables. When starting to soften(about 5 minutes), add the rice and cook for a further 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Add tomato puree, and season. cook for a further 2 minutes stirring all the time. add remaining ingedients, stir well and cook for approximatly half an hour until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is has some bite. Serve with a little sour cream.

serves 4-6

Hope you like it!

Emma-Jayne xx

Bluesky soak off gel nail polish review…

I love getting my nails done professionally, but at £25 every 3-4 weeks it was costing me more money than I could really afford. So I went off looking for a more affordable solution. For a while, I went back to painting my nails as normal but I found that even with high quality polishes I chipped my nails really quickly. I started to look into at home gel nails. I started off looking at the high end brands like gelish and CND but at over £100 for the starter kit, it was more than I wanted to spend, especially as I have no experience with gel nails. In the end I found the brand bluesky on amazon. At half the price I was allotrope worried about the quality as when it comes to nails I’m a big believer in “you get what you pay for” but after reading mostly positive reveiws, and looking into UV lamps vs LED lamps (UV is cheaper and cures all gel polish but takes longer, whereas LED is more expensive an can only cute polish suitable for LED but will cure in 30s) and making sure I could use the higher end brands with the lamp I took the plunge. I chose this starter kit containing:

  • A UV lamp
  • 3 random gel polishes
  • Base coat
  • Too coat
  • 5 Prep and wipe wipes

You will need to get a remover, as this particular kit doesn’t come with one but there are several starter kits on amazon containing variations. However I decided to go for the extra polishes and brought acetone based false nail remover from boots.

To use, you simply set your lamp up following the instructions, then, lightly buff clean nails and paint a thin layer of base coat on each nail, then cure for two minutes. Most lamps come with a timer setting which makes this easy, mine turns of after the two minutes is up and I simply have to flick a switch to turn it on for another few minutes.

After the base coat, apply your colour. Cute for two minutes and repeat. Finally apply top coat to seal and cure for a final two minutes.

Just a little word of warning, if you get any polish on your skin while painting make sure to clean up the edges BEFORE you cure the polish. I didn’t realise, but I left some top coat on the tip of my finger and although it does eventually peel off it was much harder to remove than normal polish.

Obviously, the next test was to see how long it lasts!

This is when they were first done. J found it easy to apply, and I love how shiny it is and it feels the same as normal polish on my nails! The black triangle gems are from poundland, and I stuck them on with nail glue before applying the top coat.

 

This is five days in, although generally they have lasted well a few of my nails are starting to chip along the free edge. One has actualy peeled off when I washed my hair.

Although the gel polish does last longer than a normal polish I have not managed to get 2 weeks wear out of it. The bonuses to it are definetly the faster drying time and easy application but I was dissappointed with the longevity. However I would buy it again and I think, for £5 a bottle it is worth it for nearly a weeks wear as it’s no dearer than many high street polishes!

Have you tried it? Let me know what you think in the coments!

Emma-Jayne xx

Scallop, asparagus and tomato pasta…

IMG_3640Until a few days ago, I had only had scallops in Coquilles St. Jacques, from Marks and Spencers… we had them last valentines day, and really enjoyed them but having heard horror stories about how difficult it is to get scallops right we didn’t attempt to recreate the dish at home. fast forward a few months, and I was in Tesco and noticed that they had fresh scallops that weren’t too expensive. They then sat in my freezer for a little longer as I wondered what to do with them until I watched an episode of the pioneer woman cooks and noticed she paired them with tomato pasta. This recipe, is a pretty simple tomato sauce jazzed up with the mushrooms, asparagus and scallops. If (like in my house) someone doesn’t eat mushrooms, cook them in a seperate pan to the sauce in a little butter. These scallops are Lillee approved so this dish is looking to become a new family favourite in our house!

  • 1 pack of fresh scallops (about 300g)
  • asparagus (3-4 spears per person)
  • carton of passata
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 10 mushrooms, sliced
  • pinch of sugar
  • olive oil
  • Worchestershire sauce
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 300g pasta
  • 1tsp mixed herbs

Cook pasta according to packet instructions. Meanwhile, soften the onions in a large pan with a little oil. When translucent, add the garlic, herbs and mushrooms. Cook for a few minutes and stir in the passata, Worchestershire sauce and sugar. Leave to simmer on a low heat. Heat a griddle pan or frying pan, and add the asparagus. Cook until lightly browned on one side before turning over and browning the other side. it should take 5-10 minutes. When the pasta is cooked, drain and stir into the tomato sauce. Heat a frying pan with a small amount of oil. When hot, add the scallops cook for 1-2 minutes until starting to brown. Turn over and cook for another minute. Serve on top of the pasta with the asparagus.

Serves 4.

Hope you enjoy it!

Emma-Jayne xx

What I got for Christmas…

**Disclaimer: I am not bragging or showing off what we got for christmas, I like to look at what other people got so I decided to share what I had with you**

This year, we had so much for christmas that I’m just going to show some of my favourite presents instead of everything!

My amazing husband got me a macbook!! I’ve been wanting one for ages, but the price always put me off. Luckily, we managed to get one second hand that is pratically new! It is the perfect thing for me to blog on so expect more frequent posting in the new year.

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Dan really spoilt me this year. Not only did i get my macbook, i also got a beautiful new pandora charm some more of my favourite perfume, Chambord black raspberry liqueur and the b.right! skin care set from benefit cosmetics amongst other things.

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A few months ago, my washing machiene gave up on me, and so we were living with no washer the day before me and lillee went to camp! My parents, having had enough of washing my clothes for me, brought us a new washing machine as part wedding present and part christmas present. Because of this, we really didn’t expect anything else from my parents as they had already been so generous. We were plesently surprised though with a gorgeous Yankee candle gift set

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A yoghurt maker and some yoghurt my mom let us steal out of the cupboard

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and a multi-fryer to which makes healthy chips and many more things according to the recipe booklet! At the moment, we have only tried chips but they were so tasty! Cooked perfectly; crisp on the outside and fluffy in the middle. Perfect presents for getting healthy in the new year!

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From my Aunties and Uncles, we had a really cute owl cushion, a new loaf tin and some different bread mixes to try in it and a movie box containing sweets, an amazon gift card and a really gorgeous sign like they use in the movies!

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We were also lucky enough to receive some new clothes, money and chocolates. My parents-in-law gave us a really thoughtful present this year, they took a selection of pictures from our wedding and framed them for us! At the moment, its being kept safe until we can hang it up hopefully as part of the frame wall I’m planning!

What did you get for christmas?

Emma-Jayne xx

 

Christmas 2014…

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This year, Christmas was so lovely. Lillee is a perfect age to enjoy all of the magic and wonder of this time of year. We have seen Santa a few times, opened some gorgeous presents and have new memories to treasure for years to come.

20141204_232038802_iOSMy favourite ornament this year is probably my wedding bouquet bauble that I made in early December. It was an idea I saw on pinterest, and was pretty simple to recreate. All I had to do, was carefully push some of the dried flowers from my bouquet into a large glass bauble being careful not to break the delicate petals.

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Christmas Eve this year was truely magical. I spent most of the day cooking and cleaning, while Dan took her too a Christmas party at his parents golf club. When they got back, she told me all about dancing, having her face painted and winning the singing competition! When she got home, there was a bag on the coffee table full of presents! Santa had come early to deliver some things to a special little girl for Christmas Eve night. In her bag, there were:

  • New Pyjamas
  • Reindeer food
  • A Christmas story
  • Miracle on 34th street on DVD
  • Popcorn
  • Mini jaffa cakes
  • Bubble Bath

She loved it so much! She had a bath in her new bubbles, got dressed in her new pyjamas, snuggled up and ate some popcorn while watching her movie and sprinkled the reindeer food outside just before cleaning her teeth, reading her story and snuggling up in bed all ready for Santa to come on Christmas morning!

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On Christmas morning, Lillee was so exited to open her present!
We spent some time opening everything as a family before Christmas tree Crumpets and Buck’s Fizz for breakfast (or OJ in Dan and Lillee’s case!) The rest of christmas day passed with lots of present opening and yummy food! We were all very spoilt and I’m so thankful to our amazing family for all the lovely things we had.

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How did you spend your christmas?

Emma-Jayne xx

 

Lentil and sprout top shepard’s pie…

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So, a little while ago I found this amazing recipe for a lentil and kale Shepard’s pie, the first time I followed their recipe, and it was amazing. I’d defienetly go and check it out If I was you! Anyway, dan wanted cheesy mash for dinner and I remembered this recipe before I discovered we didn’t have some of the ingredients.

This is my take on it, but you can find the original here.

•1 onion, chopped finely
•1 cup of green lentils
•1/2 cup of red split lentils
•1 sprout top finely sliced
• handful of mushrooms sliced
•1 carton passata
•pinch dried thyme
• 2tsp honey
• few shakes Worcestershire sauce
• pinch dried rosemary
•1 clove of garlic finely diced
•1kg potatoes peeled and in chunks
•200g mature cheese
•100ml milk
•50g butter

Boil the potatoes until tender, when done mash with the butter and milk and a little seasoning. Stir in the cheese.

Meanwhile boil the lentils until soft and drain when done.

Soften the onions and garlic in a little oil, and add the mushrooms and sprout tops. Cook for a few minutes before adding the herbs, honey and Worcestershire sauce. Stir through then add the passata and cooked lentils.

Layer in a baking dish, the lentil mixture at the bottom and mash on the top. Indent with a fork (to make more crispy bits!) and drizzle with olive oil before baking for about 40 minutes at 180c

My whole family loves this recipe, and it I love how it is meat-free. Personally, I think we eat far too much meat in our house so this makes a really nice change!

What do you think?

Emma-Jayne xx

The start of Christmas…

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For me, Christmas really begins when we go to the Christmas lights switch on in town. It’s usually the first time we see Santa too! There are always fireworks, and and the atmosphere is really lovely with Christmas songs playing in the background, and people of all ages together and getting exited for Christmas!

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A relatively new tradition in our house is to buy a festive candle. This year I got “snow in love” it smells so gorgeous!! It’s quite a hard scent to describe, it has a sweet note too it, but is still pretty fresh and not too overpowering. I think I will definitely be stocking up on this scent, as unfortunately last years christmas candle is no longer available.

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I struggle to resist costa at the best of times, but Christmas cups and a festive drinks menu means I spend twice as much money compared to normal! This year I’m attempting to try each of the festive drinks.. Currently, I’ve tried three of my own, and some of my sisters does that count as four?

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Every year, since I was 10 I’ve been part of the same guide unit, and every Christmas we do a Christmas camp. Usually it’s craft based (although last year we went to London) and as the crafts and games are usually Christmas based it makes me feel especially festive an Christmassy by the time I get home! This year, we made truffles, sock snowmen, tree ornaments and Santa sacks amongst other activities!

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The coca cola advert Is probably One of the first signs for me that Christmas is nearly here! Every year I look forward to seeing it and then seeing what companies like John Lewis and marks and Spencer’s put together. This year I’m also really loving the Sainsbury’s advert, i think it’s a lovely way to remember those in WW1 and the cease fire on Christmas Day.

What signifies Christmas to you?
Emma-Jayne xx