Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Flat Redecorating, and Christmas Plans!

Hello Everybody!

As you guys may or may not know, one of my Christmas presents is having my flat done up in time for Christmas. So far, I've had my bedroom redecorated, my son has new bedroom furniture, and I'm currently redecorating my living room. I've painted three walls, I still need to wallpaper my last wall (as a feature wall), and I have just had my new sofa, cushions, and little decorative bits delivered, too. The thing that I really wanted the most for Christmas was a nice home for my son, and now his bedroom is done, my bedroom is done, and the living room is nearly done - and we've got a month to go!

For now, I'll show you pictures of my bedroom now that it's finished, and my son's room, too. I'll show you my living room when that's finished too, hopefully soon!

So here's Rhys's room. He's got a new toddler bed, and matching bedside table and chair, and a new Peppa Pig border all around his room. (P.S. George Pig has to sleep on us bed too, or he won't sleep at all). 

And here's my room! It's an awkward shape so I've had to take it from a few different angles. I have always wanted fairy lights above my bed! 

Here's my dressing table. 1960's, and I absolutely love it.

My wardrobe...

And a few close ups of my favourite personal touches! I've got this bright yellow 'Aloha' sign hanging above my dressing table, and I thought it was so cute. I bought it in Dunelm for the ridiculous price of 25p!

On my dressing table, I have this adorable owl lamp, and a Cath Kidston mug holding all my makeup brushes.

On my bed, I have this gorgeous rose cushion I bought in Primark for £2. I know it doesn't really go with the colours in my bedroom, but I thought it was so pretty I couldn't resist buying it!

Once I've finished with the living room, I can then focus on actually getting people things for Christmas - so far, the only person I've bought presents for is my son! I do have an Amazon Christmas List made for my family already - I didn't want to do it out in town as my town centre is really small and doesn't really have a lot, and I don't want to get sidetracked from the things I actually set out to buy. I know it's not very festive, it's a totally lazy option which I do not condone, but it's also surprisingly the cheapest option, and I don't even need to leave the flat. Result! Once I've done my Christmas Gift Shopping, I can then do my Christmas decorations and tree shopping! I also need to buy something for breakfast, as we're doing breakfast and presents at mine (since most of the present will be for Rhys anyway), and then Christmas lunch and afternoon movies and snacks will be at my mums.

So what are you guys doing for Christmas?

I hope it's amazing!

Sam x

Monday, 23 November 2015

My Easy Festive Christmas Bread Recipe

Hello Everybody!

So, in my household we have Christmas traditions. I'm pretty sure that every household has Christmas traditions, but in mine, we particularly like baked goods around Christmas. My mum and I will agree on a day to bake, and she will make the Mince Pies, and I will make my Christmas Bread. Then I will take it round to her house later in the evening, and we'll have wine/other alcohol, watch a Christmas film, chat, and eat our bakes. 

I don't actually know my mums mince pie recipe (shameful, I know), but I can provide you with my Christmas Bread recipe. Christmas Bread, from what I know, is something I've made up. I don't know if someone else made it before me, I've never in my life googled a recipe for it, and I'm not going to. I literally made it up in my kitchen with leftover ingredients that I had in the cupboard and fridge, and it worked, and I've never looked back. Now each year we have Christmas Bread. 

This is so, so, so, good. It takes all of half an hour to prepare and bake, so there's no time needed to wait around for the bread to rise or anything like that. It's a really easy recipe that you can literally bung all the ingredients into a mixing bowl, mix it up, grease a pan, and bake. Best of all, the flavour combinations are chocolate, orange, and spice, and it fragrances my whole flat with the smell of Christmas baking. I like to make it just before I have people coming over, and then when they ask,'What's that smell?' (Because they do), I can whip out my Christmas Bread, and share it with them over a coffee. It's best served warm, and is such a cosy, delicious treat. 


400g self raising flour
100g butter
1 teaspoon of salt
100g caster sugar and spice mix
1 cup milk

For the glaze:
50g Chocolate sauce
50g Marmalade

Cocoa powder
Fresh Orange slices

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Add ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix with an electric mixer until a dough forms. Knead the dough to ensure its all got a good doughy consistency and separate into 4/5/6 pieces, depending on how many people you are feeding. I'd do 1 roll per person. Roll each piece into a little ball shape and place on a greased baking tray. If you want it to have a more uniform shape, like mine, place into a greased bread tin and push the balls together slightly. Cook for around 20 minutes or until golden brown. 
In a small bowl, whisk together the chocolate sauce, and marmalade together, using a fork. Brush on to the bread and put back in the oven for a further five minutes for it to develop a sticky delicious glaze. Then take out of the oven and leave to cool. Right before serving, I like to sprinkle cocoa powder over the top, and then add a few fresh orange slices for that pop of colour.

So that is my Christmas Bread recipe! I hope you guys try to make it at home, and more importantly, I hope that you love it as much as I do!

Happy baking!

Sam x

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

November Glossybox 2015

Hello Everybody!

I'm just going to jump straight in here, I'm so, so pleased with what I got in my November 2015 Glossybox. 

I'm going out on Saturday night to dinner with a friend, and everything I got in my Glossybox, I can use for Saturday.

The first thing I saw, which I've not yet tried but looks really impressive, is the MUA Eyeshadow Palette. There are twelve shades, just as there are in the Urban Naked Palette, but what I like about this one (as well as the price!) is that as well as your standard muted brown shades, there are also dusky soft pinks, golds, and gorgeous vivid darker colours. It also comes with an eyeshadow applicator, but let's be honest, who uses those? I much prefer a brush as I usually wear two eyeshadows, blended out. But the palette looks really good and I can't wait to try it Saturday!

The second thing I saw was the Eylure Naturalites Lashes. As you might have guessed from my blog name, I love, love, love, me some lashes! Specifically, I really love natural looking lashes, as you can wear them day time or night time, and they wouldn't look out of place. They're so versatile and to me, they just enhance your natural beauty. You don't even have to wear any other eye makeup with these, they just look so good on their own. I love wearing lashes in the day time as it makes me feel so much more put together. I was going to buy a pair of these for Saturday so I'm so pleased I got them in my Glossybox - It's definitely saved me a trip to Boots!

Hiding underneath the lashes, was a Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in the shade Nude Attitude. I feel like this box was a little bit Kylie Jenner Inspired, with the muted brown eyeshadow palette, the natural lashes, and nude lipstick! It's obviously only a fraction of what she probably paid, but I feel like you could definitely do some Kylie inspired makeup looks with the November Glossybox. This Revlon lipstick does look like it's a lovely nude shade, but I'll probably wear a dusky pink Lipliner like Kylie does, to accentuate it.

The next product I picked up, was the Emite Makeup Diamond Heart Illuminating Base Primer. I don't tend to wear primer during the day, as my makeup only tend to run when I get too warm, but I live in a cold area so that never really happens. But since we're going for dinner in a probably hot little restaurant, for me, it's better to wear primer, just to help keep my makeup in place. I also really like that it's illuminating, so I'm really hoping it will give me a pretty, dewy glow.

The final item, was the very sweetly packaged Royal Apothic Moisturising Body Creme. I have to admit, I hasn't realised it was a body creme, I thought it was a hand cream! I like to take hand creams with me when I go out as I really hate to get dry hands, so even though this isn't a hand cream, I'm going to pack it in my bag and take it with me on Saturday.

So that was everything I got in my November 2015 Glossybox! I hope you guys have enjoyed this post, and seeing what I recieved (I love Glossybox related posts!) and I will see you all very soon!

Lots of Love,

Sam x

Saturday, 14 November 2015

London Trip November 2015

Hello Everybody!

Sorry it's been a while since I last posted - I took Rhys on a trip to London recently to stay with my friend Danielle and her two children, Jayden and Molly. It was a nine hour drive there, and a nine hour drive back, and since being home I've been incredibly tired, also had all the washing from the trip to tackle, as well as putting my sons new bed together, and painting the flat - safe to say I've been a little busy!

I've spent the morning wallpapering my final bedroom wall, and am now finally sitting down with a cheeky cuppa, and I thought I should quickly write out a new London blog to show you guys what I've been up to and give you something new to read!

So, when I say I stayed in London, what I actually mean was I stayed on the outskirts, at my friend's flat, in Walton. We mostly stayed in Walton, with occasional trips to Woking, Molesey, and Hersham, and my Danielle set up the spare bedroom in her flat for me and Rhys to stay in, which was really sweet of her!

It was such a good trip, as single parents it's really nice to be able to socialise with someone your own age and to be honest, when you're on your own with a toddler, you don't often get the chance to. It was so nice for Rhys to play with children his own age as well, he got on really well with Jayden and Molly!

Danielle and I are both into healthy eating and fitness as well, so we made some very healthy dinners each night! 

We also made this recipe from one of her cook books as it seemed easy and healthy!

We also took trips to Primark, Nandos, Wagamamas, we took all the children out to soft play, and one evening, all the children fell asleep by 7 so Dani got her cousin to babysit so that she and I could go out! Might I just say there were copious amounts of wine involved but it was so good to have some fun and have a break from the kids! Drunken selfie! We went clubbing in Kingston's Pryzm and it was so much fun!

I'm really sorry if you were expecting a sightseeing type post of London, I purely went to visit my friend and give our kids the chance to meet and play with each other!

Lots of Love,

Sam x

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Cheap and Easy Meals for Weight Loss

Hello Everybody!

Today I'm going to share with you my favourite recipes for weight loss. These are super easy, really cheap, and very nutritious! These recipes are what my diet is based on, and so far I've lost fourteen pounds on it so I'm going to continue doing it!    

1. Tomato, Basil, and Paprika Soup Recipe:

A dozen fresh tomatoes (I buy the Family Pack in Iceland)
A handful of diced sweet potatoes
200g fresh basil
2 diced garlic cloves
1 heaped tsp smoked paprika powder
1.5L vegetable stock (Kallo Cubes are vegan)
Salt and pepper to taste
A squeeze of lemon juice (fresh is best!)
1 tsp sugar

I start by boiling the kettle and preparing the vegetable stock first. While I'm waiting for the kettle to boil, I start chopping up the tomatoes into eighths. I tend to leave the skin on, as it's going to be blended at the end so it isn't even noticeable. I then start dicing the garlic, and I put that into my slow cooker, along with the tomatoes, and stock. I really like to use sweet potatoes in this recipe as they're healthy, but still also a carb so they make you feel fuller, and the texture thickens the soup which works really, really well. I then add in all the other ingredients to the pot, place the lid on, and leave it for 4-5 hours on high. Just before serving, I put the mixture into the blender, and blend it for a couple of minutes until it's all smooth. I also like to finely shred a few basil leaves to garnish for a splash of extra colour.

2. Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup

A 1.5kg pumpkin
1 white onion
1 can of coconut milk
1 tsp ginger garlic paste (you can get this in the world foods aisle in Tesco)
2 spring onions
1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced finely
A dash of soy sauce
A dash of lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

In a saucepan, start by frying your diced white onion in a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add in the filling of the pumpkin, I just scoop it out and straight into the pan! Let these sweat for a few minutes while you chop up the spring onions, and the chilli. Remember with the chilli, it's important to wash your hands thoroughly straight after! And in the spring onions and the chilli to the pan, and once they're also sweated down til they're soft, add in your teaspoon of ginger garlic, the dash of lemon, the dash of soy sauce, and your coconut milk. Cook on a medium heat for a further five to ten minutes until piping hot, and pour the mixture into your blender. Blend until smooth, and you can also use the finely sliced chilli, and spring onions, to garnish (optional).

3. Mango and Banana Smoothie

This is so easy it doesn't really even need a recipe. You just pop ingredients into a blender and you're done! I like to cut up a whole mango in to chunks, two bananas, and put those in a blender. I like to use tropical juice to fill it up just enough so that it covers the fruit. I then add in a few ice cubes, and blend until smooth. Generally, I like to pour mine into jars, so that there is enough for me and Rhys, and I can drink it on the go. I'm busy a lot so I like to make sure I have something I can take with me.

4. Blueberry, Strawberry, and Cranberry Smoothie

Fresh blueberries
Fresh strawberries
Cranberry juice 

Add a cup of blueberries, and a cup of strawberries into your blender. Top up with cranberry juice so that the fruit is just covered. Blend it on the highest setting to make sure it's all visibly smooth, and serve.

5. Two Boiled Eggs and Asparagus

2 fresh eggs

Boil water in a saucepan until it's bubbling hot. While this is boiling, start grilling your asparagus. I personally like using my George Foreman Grill for this but you could use it under a standard oven grill, as long as you keep an eye on it! When the water is boiled, using a large spoon, submerge the eggs in the water and cook for five minutes. Scoop out and put into egg cups. I use a teaspoon to open up the top!

P.S. I don't always serve mine with crusty bread as it's not particularly healthy, but on treat nights I love it!

6. Tuna Protein Plate (No Cooking Required!)

A can of mixed beans
A can of tuna in spring water
Fresh spinach

Open the can of mixed beans and drain using a sieve. Wash the beans under the tap in cold water to get rid of the salty liquid in the tin. Chop up your fresh spinach leaves however you like, and open and drain the can of tuna as well. Place your ingredients on a plate and it's ready to eat! I like to drizzle soy sauce over mine so that it's like an oriental bento box.

7. Chicken, Avocado and Mango Wrap

Brown Tortilla Wrap
An Avocado
A Mango
Chicken pieces (I use Quorn chicken pieces as I'm pescetarian) 
Salt and pepper to season 

In a frying pan, fry your chicken pieces in a teaspoon of vegetable oil on a medium heat for around ten minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn't burn. Cut open the avocado and mango and scoop out the fruit. Mash together into a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Spread over your tortilla wrap, and place your cooked chicken on top in equal portions, and wrap your tortilla around the filling. I cut mine in half so it's easier to eat!

8. Baked Salmon and Broccoli

Fresh salmon portion
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh or frozen broccoli

Preheat your oven to gas mark 6/220 degrees.  Wrap your seasoned salmon portion in tin foil and bake for around 25 minutes. While this is in the oven, boil some water in a saucepan, wait for it to bubble so you know it's boiling, and add in your broccoli portion. Boil for five to ten minutes. Once your salmon portion is cooked you can serve up, so use a spatula to transfer it to your plate, and drain the water from your broccoli with a sieve bedore serving that up with it. 

9. Strawberry, Banana and Blueberry Dessert Pot

A handful of fresh strawberries
A handful of fresh blueberries
A whole banana
Natural yoghurt
Chopped walnuts

Wash your strawberries and blueberries in cold water under the tap, using a seive. On a chopping board, cut the stalks off the strawberries and cut the strawberries in half. Place your halved strawberries and whole blueberries into your bowl, and chop up your banana into equal sizes before adding that to the bowl, too. Top fruit with a couple of spoonfuls of low fat natural yoghurt, and some crushed walnuts, before drizzling a little honey on top to sweeten it.

I hope you guys have enjoyed reading this post! Let me know if you try anything, I'd love to know! 

Lots of Love,

Sam x

Fitness Related Christmas Wishlist 2015

Hello Everybody!

So, recently I blogged about starting a new smoothies and soups diet. I'm not going to lie to you, I never want to lie on here, that didn't really work very well for me. I didn't even last a day. However, I started my task of losing weight sort of around April last year. I saw a picture of myself at my sons birthday and I felt like I looked huge. After that, I made much more health conscious decisions regarding what I ate, and I've only been doing that subconsciously these past five months. However, on my recent weigh in (October 31st 2015), I've discovered that I've lost 12lb in that time frame! I'm actually really happy with that as I know I haven't been trying that hard to lose weight, I've just been eating healthier but I haven't really been exercising much. 

However, in the new year I really want to change that too, which is why I've composed a Fitness Related Christmas Wish List! I've seriously caught the health and fitness bug these past couple of weeks and I really want to keep it up, as I always feel so much better about myself when I exercise!

The first thing I really like is this Fabletics Toucan Outfit. I like that it's really unique, yet it's not boring. I really like exercise clothes that cover me up yet still look flattering so I think that this is the kind of thing I'd love to exercise in and still feel like I look nice. This outfit is £31 with free delivery.

The second thing is this pair of white leather Converse. I really love the idea of pairing the with the Toucan outfit as the leggings have white in the geometric print that would look really nice with these shoes. Obviously fitness isn't all about how you look but I personally am one of those people who always want to present myself well and I feel like this outfit and shoe combo are just the kind of thing I'd feel really comfortable about myself in. These are £55 in my local JD Sports. I don't feel like these are that cheap, I couldn't buy them for myself, but as a Christmas or birthday present I'd be over the moon with these! 

The third thing I'd love, is something to actually exercise on! I've spied this mini trampoline on Amazon, which seems to have a good rating. This is slightly under £30. Initially I wanted a gym membership, but that is £30 a month which I can't really justify paying or asking for, but I find mini trampoline exercises so fun, and it's something I can do at home which is perfect as I have my son Rhys with me all the time. I've also already got an Ab Trainer for my upper body, so a mini trampoline would be great for me to work on my lower body, too. It's virtually impossible to find time to go for a run as I'm always with my toddler, and I'm really body conscious so I feel most comfortable working out at home. Also, for workout music, I really like Pia Mia!

I'm probably also going to get myself some (very boring but very good for weight loss) lunch portion pots and smoothie shakers. A lot of people find it hard to lose weight because even thought they might be making healthier choices, they're simply eating too much without realising. They're also really good for when you're on the go, so you can carry your portions around with you and you won't be tempted by all the local sandwich shops or anything.

I'm really committed to losing my weight for good this time. As I've not exercised in a long time, I've started doing gentle exercises, like YouTubing beginner home exercises, and taking my son on two hour long walks in the countryside, a couple of times a week, which I feel is a good start, however I do really want to be doing more than that. As we're nearly half way through November, I'm going away on Monday back to London for a week, but I'll be staying with my friend Dani who is a Personal Trainer so I'm probably going to do a few workouts with her! Then it will be nearly December by the time I come back and there will only be a couple of weeks until Christmas so I can't really justify buying a mini trampoline to work out on when I'll barely be home (plus, I've barely started Christmas Shopping) so I think for now, I'll just be eating healthier (I'm going to also do an incredibly easy healthy meals post soon too), and be doing gentle workouts at home, and going on walks, before I start a new fitness regime in the New Year. I feel like this post has been so long!

Anyway, I hope you are all having a lovely week, wherever you are!

Much love,

Sam x

October Glossybox/Girly Day

Hello Everybody!

As I'm currently writing this, it's a very drizzly, bleak, typically British winter day. However, I have a cup of tea to my right, and my newly delivered Glossybox to my left, and I've had a lovely girly morning of getting my nails done, and buying a new dress to wear for when I go out in London next week, so really, I'm in a lovely happy mood! I want to apologise for my Glossybox post being so late, it's taken three deliveries to get here as there were a lot of problems I encountered with the Royal Mail (they literally refused to deliver my box the first time and sent it back to Glossybox), I then contacted Glossybox to get them to redeliver it, and the postman this time walked to my door, stuffed a 'Sorry we missed you' flyer through my letterbox, and left without even delivering my box, even though I was in! I the had to contact my local Royal Mail office to get them to redeliver it again! It's been such hassle but by no fault at all of Glossybox, they were really lovely and helpful. Anyway, it's now finally arrived!

Just a sneak peek because I love them, here are my nails, acrylics painted in a taupe OPI Polish. 

And here's the dress I bought, from New Look, for £14.99. It's black bodycon, with gold and silver glitter and sequins. I'm taking my son Rhys to London next week for my friends birthday, we're staying with her and she has a little boy that Rhys can play with too, and we're going to take the kids out places, and one night we're planning to go out baby-free for her birthday, I'm really looking forward to this trip as I used to live in London, and I have so many friends that I miss so much and three of my friends have also had babies recently too and I'm so excited to see them and meet their little ones!

Anyway, cracking on! Today's post is actually about October's Glossybox, sorry if you got sidetracked by me gushing about London (there will be a post on that too as I love doing posts about my adventures and what I get up to!) 

Receiving a Glossybox is literally like receiving presents in the post. The October box was filled with five full size beauty treats. It's well worth opening the door to the postman while you're wearing your pyjamas looking like crap! This is my first beauty box subscription - my friend recommended Birchbox to me but I felt like Glossybox was the better deal, and I really want the November Glossybox as it's going to be five limited edition Nars products. Nars is the only luxury makeup brand I've never bought anything from so I'm desperate to get my hands on that! I'd also like to say that Glossyboxes are presented so beautifully, it really is just such a treat to recieve them and for under £15 including P&P it's a total bargain!

So here are the products I recieved...

Lanolips Intense Golden Ointment
I believe this is a body moisturiser. It's derived from natural products which personally I really like, I always think that natural products are better from my skin. This's also contains Manuka Honey which is so good for your skin and it smells lovely.

Talika Photo-Hydra Day
This is a face moisturiser which I'm really excited to use! Talika are a luxury French brand and the Photo Hydra Day also contains Hyaluronic acid to leave your skin hydrated. This can also be used to prime skin, so I'm really intrigued by this and can't wait to give it a try!

Jelly Pong Pong Fairy Lashes Mascara
This has such a cute name to it - Fairy Lashes! This is also cruelty free which I really love! The packaging is also really gorgeous, and I love the burgundy colour, it's so different from the usual standard black packaged mascara's! I've been running low on my usual mascara so this was perfect timing to recieve a new one!

So Susan Haute Light Highlighting Pencil
This has already got such good reviews from so many other beauty bloggers - apparently it has a really lovely, workable, creamy consistency which makes it really easy to use, as well as leaving a lovely highlight and sheen, and because it's a cream instead of a powder, it lasts all day. I've heard such good feedback about it I was really looking forward to finding one in my Glossybox!

Nicka K Airbrush Blending Sponge
I've recently been converted to makeup sponges, Beauty Blenders, The Real Techniques Face Sponge, and all of the other dupes, so I have to say I'm very happy I got another makeup blending sponge to try! These are my new favourite things as I just think that the Beauty Blenders apply your makeup so flawlessly, it looks so much nicer on your skin rather than with a brush! I genuinely think that this will be the first thing I'm going to crack open! 

Oh, and to end on a positive for my very girly day, I got home and my mum had bought me two copies of Glamour Magazine. The December Issue has Tanya Burr as the cover star, so it was a lovely surprise to  one home to. She bought me two copies as they came with free Clinique sample lipsticks, a red Cherry Pop, and a pinky Nude Pop, and she didn't know which one I'd have liked more so she got me both, which was very sweet of her!

Girly Day done, and I'm going to settle down on the sofa with my copy of Glamour, my new makeup, and get back to my cup of tea! 

Happy Thursday Everyone!

Lots of Love,

Sam x