Thursday, 29 November 2012

Lost in Paradise

This is a bit of a quickie post today. I've gotten back into snapping my outfits just before I leave for the day. I wonder how long that will last me! I actually wore this skirt to the Simply Be store opening and I really enjoyed wearing it. For this outfit, as it is so so so freezing this week I threw on this black sweater. I really love the pencil skirt and jumper combination at the moment. It's a really comfy outfit, but it still looks quite chic and polished. The print on this skirt and the colour is amazing. It's like an aztec print and is very bright. But the rest of the black outfit tones it down and makes the skirt a lot more wearable. Especially for me, who never strays too far from a black outfit.  I managed to wear a bright necklace which had the same pinky colour in it, but that is as far as a strayed from the black. I wore my chunky chelsea boots which look great with tights and pencil skirts. My skin looks quite sheeny in the top photo, this is because I went to Space NK and did a little haul and bought some great skin and make up bits and bobs, which I will post about soon! These amazing beauty vloggers on Youtube will bankrupt me! In other bankruptcy news, I have a new car! It's my mum's old car which I've bought off of them, and I'm really excited to have a bit more freedom and to not rely on my parents too much anymore. Anyway, sorry for the bitty post, I'm a bit busy at the moment. I hope everyone has a lovely weekend and is making the most of the colder weather to wear lots of layers and clothes! 

Tights - Tesco
Skirt - ASOS Curve
Boots - ASOS
Necklace - Primark
Jumper - H&M

Gem xo

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Mud Chocolate Pie

This pie is one of my favourite things to make. It's a very rare treat as it's very indulgent and rich. But it's so so easy to make! This is a Gordon Ramsay recipe (he is a sexy man, sexy men and chocolate go together so well!) with a few variations thrown into make it a bit easy for simple minds like myself.

What you will need:

One Large Sweet Pastry Case (or you can make and bake your own if you're not lazy)
100g milk chocolate
50g any chocolate of your choice to decorate
200g dark
100ml milk
200ml double cream
2 eggs
2 tbsp Caster sugar

What you need to do:

1. Turn the oven on to a temperature of 150C and leave to warm up.

2. Melt together the 100g milk and 200g dark chocolate over a bain marie. Ensure it is all mixed together and smooth. Maybe taste it to make sure this has been done to a good standard, and taste a few more times. Just you know, to check...

3. In another pan on the hob, slowly bring the milk and cream to the boil, make sure you don't burn it. When this is boiled, slowly add to the chocolate, mixing with a large wooden spoon or spatular until it's all creamy and mixed.

4. Then whisk in the eggs and caster sugar to make the mixture a little less dense.

5. Pour through a sieve to make sure there are no lumps and bumps. And then add the mixture to the empty, ready made pastry case. 

6. Pop the pie in the oven!

7. Whilst the pie is cooking, this is time to create the decorations for your lovely pie. For mine I made flakes of chocolate (failed curls). I'm sure there are some great instructions for curling the chocolate somewhere on the internet but I could not get the hang of it. I ended up making my flakes with grated chocolate!

8. Take the pie out of the oven after 35 - 40 or until the mixture is firm but wobbly. Allow to cool, which, I know, is very very hard. But the flakes will melt otherwise. When it is cool,decorate with your own little decorations and serve!

As I said before, this is super super easy to make and quite relaxing really to make. Good luck and enjoy eating it too! 

Gem xo

Monday, 26 November 2012

We Can't Get Back Yesterday

Hello, and Happy Monday! I've had such a lovely four day weekend. I booked it off a couple weeks ago as something to look forward too. I didn't really arrange anything too stressful as I needed to relax and sleep really. I've had like two days off since I started in May. And whilst I am so so grateful for this job, especially at the moment, it was nice to just chill and not worry for a weekend. I went to Trafford Centre on Friday and Chester on Saturday and I have a few christmas presents sorted, woohoo! Anyway, this outfit has crept back into my wardrobe. Black skinny jeans, black shirt and any colourful jumper I can find thats clean! I'm a big fan of the preppy, masculine look, and wore it a lot at the beginning of this year. And I'm glad to see the style still featuring on quite a few street style blogs. All I need now to complete the look is the pork pie hat from yesterdays post and long wavy bohemian hair! I'm loving this lipstick at the moment too, I'm quite pink in the face with the awful rosy cheeks I get but I think this pinky, red colour flatters the tones in my cheeks quite nicely. This is the Revlon Just Bitten Stain I picked up a couple weeks ago, and I would highly recommend it, might need to devote a whole post to my favourite winter lip products. Hope everyone has a lovely week anyway, and remember only 29 sleeps until Christmas!

Jeans - Dorothy Perkins
Shirt - New Look
Jumper - H&M
Necklace - Primark
Boots - ASOS

Gem xo

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Wants of the Week #31

I've not been the best blogger recently. Been a bit lacking on the post front. But I've got a few things planned including a giveaway and a cookery post which I did today! So fingers crossed I can get back into it.

1. Dress - ASOS Curve £25
I love these simple swing dresses that ASOS do. I've been waiting for one with sleeves for a while. They look super comfy and are a great price too. I like this grey colour but I'd love them to bring it out in a maroon or dark purple. They look like a lovely winter wardrobe staples.

2. Pork Pie Hat - Topshop £25
I've mentioned the khaki version of this before on my blog but the black is so much more versatile. I tried this on in Topshop on Friday in Trafford Centre with my friend Lauren, and we were both very surprised when it fit!! I have a rather large head and Topshop are smaller fittings, but it did fit me! I'm hinting very strongly at my mum now for a christmas present!

3.Blusher in Taupe - Nyx £5.50
I'm not really much of a bronzer person. I prefer pale and interesting. But my face still needs contouring. I saw this on Meg's blog at Lipsofacto, and it looks really natural and like a lovely dark blush.

4. Shoes - Zara £59.99
These studded pumps are beautiful. Maybe not the best or most suitable shoes for all the horrible, wet weather we've been having recently. But they're amazing. 

5. Stella Perfume - Stella McCartney £50 for 50ml
I know this is an older perfume but it's such a lovely scent for winter. It is quiet heavy and very floral, with a lot of rose notes. I'd definitely say try before you buy. But I received a sample not long ago and wore it and I really liked it, plus everyone kept asking what perfume I was wearing and saying it suited me. It also lasts which is good for me. Plus there are some really pretty bottles for winter!

Gem xo

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Winter Nail Colour

All through summer I've been a fan of pastel colours for my nails. But as soon as the temperature dropped I reached for the dark, moody colours again. I'm a massive fan of dark, deep reds in particular. This red looks almost black. And I can't get enough of it. I'm really not using any other colours on my nails at the moment, apart from the occasional navy or turquoise. It goes with everything in my wardrobe which to be honest is dark this season anyway, and it looks quite classy too. I found this nail varnish in Boots. It's by L'oreal and the nail varnishes go on really well. It only took one coat for this colour, dried quickly and I find it doesn't really chip at all for me. I'd really recommend the L'oreal Colour Riche Nail colour for anyone. Finally, I like to accessorise my nails with gold jewellery for a pretty finish! What's your favourite nail colour for the winter months?

Scarlett Vamp Colour - L'oreal Colour Riche.

Gem xo

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Cross Over and Come Inside

Okay, I promise I am not a sponsored Simply Be blogger and I have bought all the clothes myself. But at the moment I cannot get enough of their clothes! This is the third post in a row featuring one of their items and they just keep winning in the war of my wardrobe. I grabbed this simple grey cross tee when I picked up the peplum top a couple weeks ago in Bury. I bought it because you can never have too many simple t-shirts to just throw on. And I love the slightly slouchy grey t-shirt look at the moment. I like to wear my t-shirts with pencil skirts to smarten them up a little bit, and threw on this grey cheap primark one. It looks black in these photos but its a really dark grey marl.I love this necklace too at the moment it's really easy to wear and is a real centre piece for a simple outfit like this one. I wore this to a family do on Saturday night for a casual look. And there were children there, and now I really want a kid. Not to steal one or anything, just so we're clear. I'm feeling very broody this week. Maybe it just shows I'm getting older which is very very scary indeed. Anyway, I'm going to try and put an outfit together that does not feature Simple Be. BUT. I won't lie to you girls. It's going to be hard. Hope everyone as had a nice start to their week!
T-Shirt - Simply Be 
Necklace - Primark
Skirt - Primark
Boots - ASOS
Tights - Tesco

Gem xo

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Fly By

Happy Weekend! This weeks been a bit of a long sad one really. So I'm happy it's over. My weekend started last night with a bang at an Anne Summers party. I've been to one before, when I was a lot younger, and I didn't really appreciate it. I went to one last night with some friends, and our mothers/ future mothers in law were there as well. Now you may think this is a recipe for cringing, and I'm not gonna lie, it really was, but that made it all the more funny. I really would recommend it to anyone if they want an alternative to a night out. The lady was telling us they have a sale in January where they sell all the older items, so there's a tip. There is some beautiful lingerie, in large sizes too. In most of the bras and pants set, they go to a size 42 G and 24. I may have treated myself to some! Today I have a wine hangover, but its an excuse to relax! Anyway, onto this outfit. I managed to get a quick snap before I changed and headed out last night. This is another Simply Be buy, I bought it at the Arndale Store opening and I think it's one of my favourite shirts, I own. I haven't really known when to wear it, so I wore it to dress down Friday at work, but I reckon I could dress it up with a pencil skirt for more formal work days, now I've tested it out. It's a satiny material, but there is a lot of stretch in it too, which means its really really comfy. I love the navy colour and think it's a great winter buy. I paired it was dark blue skinnies and black boots to keep it looking casual and comfy. I have also found my favourite nail varnish. This is a pale lilac in the Barry M Gelly nail varnishes. They are really nice and easy to apply. This colour is particularly pretty. It brought out the lilac colour in the shirt.
Shirt - Simply Be
Jeans - Dorothy Perkins
Boots - ASOS
Rings - Market Stall and Past Times

Gem xo

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Fish Eye Lense for iPhone

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll notice my photos have been looking a bit more interesting recently ;) I was contacted by the amazing Lauren who asked if I'd liked to have a look at a phone accessory for Three. I then received the lense in the post and I haven't really stopped using it since.  Due to the fact that I'm a big photography fan and I've been obsessed with fish eye lenses for a while now, so I wanted to try this. It's a great little accessory, that just clips onto the back of your iPhone, easy peasy. I've really taken to using as it really adds that extra something to your photos, and you would never know they've been taken on the old iPhone! I took most of these photos on bonfire night, and because of the large lense they capture the fireworks really well. I thought it would be a bit of a niche thing but a lot of people have been asking where they can get one themselves! And as Christmas is approaching, I think it will make a lovely present for any photography nut really!

Fish Eye Lense - Amazon

Gem xo

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

I'll Put My Faith in Something Unknown.

Another week and another brand new outfit. I've been eying up this top on the Simply Be website for a while now. Never clicking purchase now, but always hovering. Then I spotted it on a lady at the Simply Be store opening and I accosted her! She worked for Simply Be and had designed the store and she was really nice, she gave a rave review about the top but I still didn't buy it. When I went to Bury over the weekend I went into the shop there and finally purchased the top. And I'm very glad I did. I've received so many compliments about it when I wore it yesterday, it's a lovely top. I wore it with a maroon pencil skirt, which brings out the winter floral colours in the top. I think it'll look lovely with skinny black jeans and boots on a more casual day. I had a bit of a Simply Be spree, and bought the black coat that Franceta wore, after seeing how great she looked in it. I really need to start looking at my funds for christmas!
Skirt - Primark
Top - Simply Be 
Tights - Tesco
Shoes - George at ASDA

Gem xo

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Wants of the Week #30

Hello I hope everyone has had a lovely weekend! I have had a nice one. I went to Bury yesterday and went into the Simply Be shop and ended up spending more money. And had a lovely lunch at Frankie and Benny's, with their great £10 off offer they were doing yesterday. And today has been full of laziness and baking cakes, perfect Sunday. Somewhere along my hectic schedule today I managed to put together a little wants list. I've gone for a bit of a glitzy feel this week with the black and gold. What have you been lusting after this week?

1. Nail Varnish - Barry M £3.99
Barry M do great, affordable nail varnishes that always hit the trends on the head. They released all of the patterned varnishes recently, which I wasn't a fan of massively. But this gold foil one looks amazing. I've tried cheap gold nail stickers from Primark, but this looks like it would be easy to apply, and quick for those last minute Christmas nights out.

2. Bag - Zara £49.99
Zara has done it again and created another hit bag with bloggers. And I've been sucked into it. This one is just perfect, it looks like a great size, and has zips which means I won't be paranoid about people being near my bag and suspecting everyone as a thief. I'd probably use the long strap but it looks like a simple bag great for days at the office. Hence it's name, I presume.

3. Belt - ASOS Curve £12.50
I presume I've had this on one of these lists before. It went down to 12.50 and is such a great little belt. I'd wear it with a black skater dress and tights to dress it up a bit and make it cute. 

4. Dress - Lovedrobe @ Evans £45
I love, love, love this dress. It has everything I need in a dress. It's black which is the best. It has gold details, a collar and a pleated skirt. It's a great office to drinks dress, worn with a blazer and pumps in the day and heeled boots and a leather jacket for drinks. I may need to pick this up on my next pay day!

5. Watch - Michael Kors £165 
Another blogger favourite. This is a lovely watch from the Michael Kors selection. I quite like the traditional coloured gold as it would go with more stuff in my wardrobe, but I do love the rose gold one too. If I had a fella, which I don't for any unsuspecting men who may have stumbled onto my blog, and they're interested ;), and he was buying me a present, I'd leave huge hints as to wanting this watch! But I don't, so I guess I'll just buy it myself.

6. Tinted Moisturiser - Nars £27
I really dislike wearing foundation, and I really only wear concealer and blusher and moisturiser on my skin. But I need a bit more weatherproofing in winter and I need a bit more coverage. Whilst this will still be light on my skin, it will give me the coverage I need. I've been reading rave reviews about it, so I definitely need to pick this up.

Gem xo

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Just For Fun

I've been looking for another tea dress for a little while yet. I spotted this on ASOS a little while ago, and I tried to wait until it went into the sale but I just couldn't wait any longer. So I bought it. I love the colours, it's such an easy dress to throw on for days I'm feeling super lazy on. Its perfect for different occasions too like drinks with friends, dinner dates and a shopping trip. It's really pretty and looks lovely with slip ons and a cardigan for a more feminine look. But I wanted to rock it up (oh dear, can't believe I just used that caption!) so I threw on the chunky boots and my biker jacket. I also wore a knitted jumper over the top to keep warm in this chilly weather at the moment. It's a bit low cut and my cleavage is out which I really don't like, but if I just wear a slip underneath it, I'm sure it will be fine. I wore this out with a jumper, for a drink with a friend in a pub called the Oast House in Manchester. It has a lovely tipi outside for winter which was really cute to sit in, with blankets and fires, I could have sat in there for hours! I'd really recommend it if anyone is looking for somewhere to go for food/ drinks in Manchester. It's in Spinningfields, like a two minute walk from the Manchester Town Hall. If anyone goes this winter, let me know.
Dress - ASOS Curve
Tights - Tesco
Jacket - Very (old)
Boots - ASOS

Gem xo

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Remember, Remember the Fifth of November

Okay, so technically it's not the fifth of November anymore, but close enough! I love bonfire night, it's a big thing round my way to go to a big display, get really cold and muddy and trudge home. It's a  bit of a tradition to get wrapped up, and it's a really nice way to spend time with friends and family, as fireworks are suitable for everyone! And it's all a bit of fun really, especially if you go to the big free ones. I definitely prefer Bonfire Night to Halloween, any day. There used to be a big display a stones throw away from my house, in the big local park, but it's long been cancelled due to health and safety (yawn, boring) So last night me and my friends hopped in the card to the next town, St. Helens to one called A Spark in the Park, in Sherdley park. It's free to get in and it really is amazing. It had two firework displays, a tamer one aimed at kids and a large one which went on for half an hour which was amazing! Me and my friends went and we ate crappy hot dogs, sweets and went on fun fair rides, then saw the big firework display. They don't know, they're appearing on my blog, but they dressed up very nicely for the fireworks too. I loved Lucy's Printed scarf, and Adele's amazing massive faux fur coat.

Anyway, following on from my Toffee Apple Bonfire Night post from yesterday, I thought this would be a great post to show my cheap winter coat that I love. I picked this coat up last year when I was in London, during the winter months with only a thin cardigan and a leather jacket to keep me warm. It was in a charity shop in Brighton for a mere fiver and it hit the camel coat (that was very popular last year) trend on the head. I thought a fiver was amazing, only because ASOS curve had a similar one for (I think!) £100? If I'm wrong, please correct me. It's well worn, oversized, and is so warm too. I usually pair it with this brown and gold scarf from the Manchester Christmas Market I bought a few years ago, or when I need to glam it up, a faux fur black stole, also from a Brighton Charity shop.

I hope you all had a nice Bonfire Night if you did anything! And hope everyones week goes well. I'll leave you with a few shots of the fireworks I managed to get.

Gem xo

Monday, 5 November 2012

Toffee Apples For Bonfire Night!

It's Bonfire night tonight, and I'm off out at a display, but I thought I'd leave you with these great traditional treats! I made these yesterday as I posted on Instagram and they went down a treat in my household. They're Toffee Apples! And here is a little easy recipe for you to do if you fancy making them yourself. I'd advise using an old pan as I've had to leave a pan to soak over night to get the syrup off of it. 

You will need:

400g Sugar
5 tbsp Golden Syrup
100ml Water
1/2 tbsp Vinegar 
4 tbsp Butter
6 Apples
Wooden Skewers
Parchment Paper

How I did it:

1. Place some parchment paper onto a clean baking tray and arrange your apples.

1. I mixed the sugar and water together over a low heat, in a pan, on the hob. When the sugar had dissolved into the water I added the Golden Syrup and Vinegar.

2. When this is all mixed together, add the butter, and keep on a constant heat.

3. This is a bit tricky, but now you need to keep heating the Toffee mixture up until it heats 140 degrees, known as the 'hard crack' stage. I don't have a thermometer, so I couldn't get this exact. But, I found a little tip on the BBC Good food website that said if you put a blob of the syrup into cold water and it goes into a little hard ball, so hard it snaps, instantly then you have the right temperature. If the mixture is still gloopy when you put a bit in the cold water, just keep on heating up the mixture. 

4. With, your apples, you need to wash them in boiling water to remove the waxy surface that stops the mixture from sticking. But just pop the apples in and out of the water then scrub them with a clean towel, as if you leave them in the water for long, they'll start to soften and cook.

5. Snap off the stalks of the apples and skewer them with either skewers or wooden lollipop sticks. 

6. Next dip them in the mixture, making sure they're covered. To stop them going thicker at the bottom like mine unfortunately did, spin them over the mixture whilst it dries to make sure the covering is even. When they're covered, pop them onto the parchment paper.

And there we go, tasty Toffee Apples! I hope I made this easy to follow...

Enjoy your bonfire night!!

Gem xo

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Mini Make Up Haul

Happy Weekend. Just wanted a quick post really, to share this little mini make up haul I've picked up recently. I mainly picked up some of these items up because I've seen them on blogs and they keep getting great reviews. Mainly, the Kate Moss Lipstick, Bourjois Concealer and the Revlon Lip Tint. Anyway, onto the products, I mainly buy red lipsticks, but this pinky one from Kate Moss is a lovely powdery pink. I've needed a new cheap end concealer for a while, for a natural look for day, and this one from Bourjois has been on one or two blogs. I got the two Nails-Inc nail varnishes with this months Glamour. The Barry M nail varnish looks perfect for Christmas parties, and this Revlon Lip Tint is my new favourite lip product. Finally, I had a couple of vouchers so I picked up my favourite mascara, from Benefit. I will do a review of the newer products I think as I'm quite impressed with them and want to share them with you! I have a lipstick post coming up with these two in anyway! Hope everyone enjoys the rest of their weekend!

Gem xo

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Military Operation

Over the weekend I posted a very military themed wants of the week. I mentioned it was all inspired by this shirt. And I think this is one of my favourite items in my wardrobe at the moment. I really like the studding the fit and the colour. It's from ASDA, and I have to say, I am so impressed by the cheaper stores at the moment. George at ASDA, F&F (or clothing at tesco) and Primark are all really on form creating great low budget pieces. They're really keeping up with the trends well this season. I'm a big fan of studs and shirts so when I saw this, it really hit the nail on the head. I wore it with a tube skirt and thick tights, it's so cold at the moment, these thick tights really are a life saver. They're my favourite tights, and they're from Tesco, they stretch LOADS and area really dark. The two most important things for me in tights!! I paired the outfit with my chelsea boots from Primark, to keep my feet wet. My camel coat looked really nice with the colours in this outfit, all very neutral colours. I hope everyone had a lovely Halloween, I just answered the door to all the great costumes that were going around our neighbourhood, it was such a shame about the rain! 
Shirt - George at ASDA
Skirt - ASOS
Tights - Tesco
Boots - Primark
Necklace - ASOS

Gem xo