Halloween Baking

Sunday, 30 October 2016

It really doesn't seem like five seconds since it was last Halloween, yet, here we are again, a year later, with Halloween only a day away! Last year, I don't actually remember doing Halloween baking of any sort, but this year, after a quick look around Hobbycraft at all their seasonal baking goodies, I thought I would try my hand at some themed sweet treats...

After much deliberation, I opted to bake some biscuits, and after scouring through the cookie cutters in fact found a really cute little ghost one. I have seen several ghostly biscuits on my feeds and in magazines before, so decided that such biscuits would be perfect to have a try of whilst I'm off school on half term...so, after finding out an old recipe (I have no idea at all where it came from, and like most of my recipe folder was just wrote on a piece of scrap paper), and gathering together all of my ingredients, I made a start...


For the Biscuits

225g Self-Raising Flour
150g Butter
100g Caster Sugar
A Beaten Egg to Mix

For the Decoration

Ready to Roll White Icing
Strawberry Jam
Black Writing Icing Pen

Lush Purchases

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

I will be straight up and honest here, by saying that this post will only be a short one, but after my visit to Lush the other day, I just knew I had to do a mini haul (and I mean mini) here today and share what I bought with you all. The main reason for my want to share my new purchases so badly, is the fact that this was in fact my first Lush visit of the Autumn season, and was therefore my first look at all the new goodies that they stock... as well as all of the old favourites too, of course!

As per usual, the gorgeous scent of Lush and all the products that reside behind it's doors hit me from a good few shops away, and as soon as I entered the Birmingham store, my excitement pretty much peaked after having not visited any of the Lush stores for such a long time. It sounds so odd, but in the spring and summer months I prefer to shower instead of having a bath, so find no use for any of my favourite bath bombs and bubble bars - however, when it begins to get colder again, I simply hate having to stand in a freezing cold torrent of water, so prefer to soak in a lovely, warm bath (and that's where all my favourite Lush products really come into their own once again).

Must-Have Accessories (for Autumn and Winter)

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Autumn and Winter really are the seasons when accessories come into their own, aren't they?! As soon as the colder seasons commence, we immediately see tonnes of cute and quirky accessories begin to arrive in shops, and as a lover of the A/W fashions (don't get me wrong, Spring and Summer are great and all, but I just can't resist all the jumpers and sweatshirts of the latter stages of the year), I simply cannot just walk past said items, and tend to rebuild my collection of Autumn and Winter accessories each year....

Scarves, hats, shoes, jewellery - you name it, it all just seems to be a little bit more my cup of tea at this point in the year, and for that reason, I thought today I would share some of my essential accessories for the colder months here....(obviously some of them are a little bit obvious in terms of being must -haves, but I'm just loving the Autumn/Winter vibes so much at the moment, that I thought I would write about them anyway).

3 Items That I Would Repurchase

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Every now and again, a product comes along that is really just something out of the ordinary.... and by 'out of the ordinary', I mean something that you sit and admire the outstanding quality of, and immediately wonder how you ever did without said product in the past. Well, lately for me, this feeling has come over me on a number of occasions and as the time to repurchase a few of my most beloved items approaches, I thought it would be a nice idea to tell you a little about each of them today....

One of the first items that springs to mind when I think of something that I will almost definitely repurchase, just has to be the Pixi Glow Tonic. This stuff has received such hype from all corners of the blogging world, as well from many others outside of it, and I have to admit that I would be the first to sing it's praises after using this rather amazing solution for almost a year now. When I first received my little bottle of this product (the 100ml bottle, as part of the M&S Advent Calendar last year), to be honest I did think that it was merely just another cleansing product, and was perhaps sort of like some of the micellar water items that I had previously owned...

How wrong I was! Firstly, the Pixi Glow Tonic is not a cleanser, it is in fact an exfoliating product, and is recommended for use after cleansing to completely rid your face of any of the nasty left over beauty items from throughout the day. A quick swoosh of this tonic all over the face and neck, really leaves the skin feeling incredibly fresh and ultimately aids in the smoothing of your skin tone and texture. I have found this product particularly useful in helping to exfoliate my t-zone and nose, as after going at those areas with a cotton wool pad of this stuff, they really do feel a lot healthier, and not so oily and gross. Unfortunately, my bottle of Pixi Glow Tonic is now at the end of my life span (I do have to say that it did last very well indeed though), and my mind is now hellbent on repurchasing this item as quickly as possible - I know for a fact that M&S stock all the Pixi products, so a search of their web page is definitely on the cards over the next couple of weeks.

** since writing this post, I have in fact repurchased this tonic, and now have a nice full bottle of the stuff to get through once again!

Another great (and I mean great) item, that I really do not think I could live without, has to be the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer. This particular product has been in my possession since the beginning of July, after a trip to Sephora whilst in California led to curiosity getting the better of me in terms of this item. After testing out several shades on my hand, I eventually opted for Vanilla - which I have to say, suits my skin tone pretty perfectly, and doesn't leave me looking too ghostly pale or too dark and blotchy, as other concealers have done in the past.

From the first application of this product, I just knew that it was to become a staple in my everyday makeup routine...and I definitely wasn't far wrong with that verdict either, as over the past few months I have been using this concealer over and over again, on most days, to cover pesky blemishes and correct any ugly discoloured patches. There is certainly a heck of a lot of hype over this product, and after finally trying it out for myself, I can now safely say that I totally get why everyone is so in love with this concealer and regard it as such a cult favourite. At the moment, I think I am still pretty much in the clear with my bottle, as no drying out is to be seen (yet anyway) - although, I do know for a fact that once the inevitable happens and I have ran out of this amazing product (that just seems to blend so well over foundation, and stays firmly in place for pretty much the best part of the day), I will just have to go out and buy it for myself again...even though the price tag of £22.50 is a little bit of an issue when you're a student, like myself.

The final product that I am going to mention today, in terms of something that I am sure to repurchase in the future, is the Morphe Eyeshadow Palette. Since the day I first heard about the Morphe Palettes (and even more so when I first saw a photo of them), I just knew that I had to get my hands on one - as a great lover of eyeshadow, seeing so many people with such a beautiful product really did make me feel like I was missing out, but the selection of palettes on offer really doesn't make it easy for you to decide on which one to buy.

After my Birthday earlier this year, I finally opted to treat myself to the 35W Palette, and in all honesty, fell in love as soon as I opened it up and gave it a go... All the shadows inside are so incredibly pigmented (as you can hopefully see from the swatches of my favourites below), and what's more, the range of colours that you actually get is pretty fantastic considering the price tag of £19.50 (from Beauty Bay). Obviously, due to the mass of product that you actually receive with such a Morphe Palette, I am yet to hit pan on any of the shadows and am probably quite far off doing so too. However, I am one for planning ahead, and already know that I would just love to get myself another of the Morphe Eyeshadow Palettes in the future (I do love the one that I currently own, but there are just so many others out there, that I don't think I could resist trying out a different one next time), as I would have to regard mine as one of the best eyeshadow palettes that I have tried - maybe even better than Urban Decay (ooooh controversial)!

Everyone has a completely differing set of products that they love and value the most, but hopefully today I managed to shed a little light on the items that I adore the most, and why I feel so strongly about them (and want to repurchase them in the future)...

Which beauty and skincare products are you sure to repurchase in the future? Let me know in the comments below!

Olivia xo

Affiliate Links were used in this post.

Several of the best...Pizza's!

Sunday, 16 October 2016

'Okay, Olivia so perhaps the pizza obsession is getting a little out of hand', I hear you cry. Yet as someone who highly regards pizza as their favourite food, I do think its only right to type up a little post on the matter of said foodstuff today. 

To be honest, I think I have always loved pizza, and I'm pretty sure most other people love it too (of course, I totally accept the fact that it's not for everyone, and that some people aren't so much of a fan), and with the amount of pizzas that I consume, it's a surprise that I haven't wrote a post dedicated to this glorious food before. Seeing as I'm one of those annoying people who always takes photos of their food when they go out, I have quite a large stock of images of the pizza's that I have eaten in the past - therefore, after scouring through them not so long ago (when I was made to delete half of my photos off my phone due to its storage filling up again), I decided to pick out some of my favourites, and get the tastebuds going with a pizza themed post.

Review - Sleek Solstice Palette

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

I can't quite describe how excited I get over highlighters of any kind, and whenever I see a rather beautiful looking highlight on Instagram or on someone else's blog, I frequently make a note of said product's name so I can try and get my hands on it as soon as insanely possible! For some strange reason, I had never got round to buying myself the Sleek Solstice Palette though, despite seeing it appear on one of my feeds quite some time back, and immediately deciding that I definitely needed said palette in my life....

The shades of highlight always looked rather beautiful in this product, and I just couldn't wait to one day try it out for myself and see how glorious each shimmery colour would actually look on the skin. Despite this desperate want, I managed to put off getting this Sleek palette up until very recently - I had seen it on a couple of my past visits to Superdrug, but at those times had unfortunately needed to put other product purchases first, then when I finally had the money and means to buy it, it wasn't in stock in my local Boots store anyway!

However, now though it would seem that Boots have seriously (and I mean seriously) upped their game in terms of Sleek products, and now actually stock a little Christmas gift range of products by the aforementioned brand. To my surprise, within the group of Sleek products that I found in the Festive section of the store, there was in fact a little box set containing none other than the Solstice Palette....plus a Matte Lipstick too, in case you were wondering.

Autumn Skin (and Hair) Care Saviours

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Autumn and Winter are rather beautiful months by all accounts, and are undoubtably full of the most exciting events of the year...e.g. Christmas, Halloween, Cute Cosy Clothes, Pumpkin Spice Lattes etc etc. However, there is an ugly side to these two otherwise magnificent seasons, and this imperfection lies in the hands of the weather - yes, the cold, windy, rainy weather that envelopes us throughout the latter stages of the year, and in the simplest of terms, drives my skin and hair up the wall!

There's rarely a day in the colder months when I can go out and keep my hair in the desired style (whether it be wavy or straight), as it always just seems to end up as a bit of a frizzy mess after about ten seconds of bearing the elements. My skin also seems to struggle a little against the torrents of wind and rain, and the spells of chill - of course though, I am not the only one who feels this way and because of that, I thought what better time than today than to share my Autumn Skin and Hair Care Saviours?!

Beauty Wishlist (High End)

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

It has occurred to me, after almost a year and a half of blogging that all I ever seem to talk about is the makeup that I have, and the makeup that I want to get. Call me a bit obsessed (okay, I know that I definitely am), but there's nothing that I love more than scouring through the shelves of makeup when I go shopping, and of course, talking about my recent purchases and future wants, to anyone who will listen...

You all most probably know that now though (a read of a couple of my previous beauty themed posts,  is enough to give anyone an insight into how passionate I feel), and because you are all pretty much used to my beauty rantings and ravings, I thought what better route to go down this week, than a Beauty Wishlist Post (or a High End Beauty Wishlist, to give it it's full title), where I can share all the current items that I am lusting after, and why I want to add them to my collection so badly!

I will start with a couple of biggies, those items being by none other than Kat Von D, and since said makeup brand emerged on the online depths of Debenhams recently, I have definitely been eyeing up a fair few items. Firstly, there's the Kat Von D Shade and Light Palette that I have developed a distinct yearning to own over the past few weeks after seeing and reading several reviews and posts about. If I do want to make this item my own though, I had better start saving my pennies as for £36 it definitely isn't on the cheap side (but this is a high end wishlist, so how much are you seriously expecting the items to cost Olivia?) - yet with a distinctly good selection of shades inside it, and also a massive following of hype and rave reviews, I really don't think I would mind spending so much money on it. 

Another item that I feel rather tempted by is the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner, that although has attracted a sort of mix of reviews, is still pretty much a must-have for an eyeliner lover like myself. I adore pen style liners, and for that reason desperately want to give this product a go too - the pen nib itself looks incredibly sleek in photos and I can just imagine how lovely it would be to actually apply to the eyes... even if the reviews I have previously read do give off mixed feelings about it. 

Onto another brand for a while now though, and another item that I have recently added to my wishlist...that item being the Urban Decay Naked Concealer. I have previously expressed my love of Urban Decay items, and therefore really want to expand my collection in the near future. I'm forever wanting to try out different concealers (mostly just to compare them to the Nars Creamy Concealer, which is simply incredible), as they are just one of those items that I definitely cannot live without, and for that reason upon seeing the Naked Concealer recently, I just knew I had to add it to my collection in the near future. 

Sticking with Urban Decay though, and recently I wrote a post on my two new purchases from the aforementioned brand (you can find said post HERE). Within those purchases was a gorgeous lipstick from the Vice collection - this lipstick (which I have been wearing as often as possible since I received my delivery) was from the Metallised Collection (its actually called Amulet), and is the most gorgeous shimmery brown! Upon loving this very lipstick, I decided that I really should invest in another similar one in the near future, as the metallised finish of lipstick really does give the lips a healthy shine and in fact stays in place for the majority of the day...unfortunately though, I'm not really sure which shade of  Urban Decay Metallised Lipstick I should get, as there are just so many to choose from (although Cruel, which is a shiny red sort of shade, does look particularly lovely).

Finally on this wishlist of mine, are a couple of items from Too Faced, which is another brand that I really want to try and purchase more products from in the future (at the moment I sadly only own one of their products; a Melted Lipstick in the shade Melted Nude). A couple of items that particularly stand out from said brand being the Too Faced Sweet Heart Blusher, which I pretty much simply want due to how gorgeous it looks, and how I could undoubtably take tons of photos of it (although I'm sure it's an amazing quality blusher too), and also the Too Faced Hangover Primer. The primer is however, probably the item a fair bit higher up my wishlist, as I do desperately need to invest in a new primer at the moment, and after testing this particular one in Debenhams a few weeks ago became rather set on getting it at some point!

As you can probably tell, for me, the hobby of buying and building a fantastic collection of makeup never really does stop, and I am forever seeing new items and stumbling upon new brands that I want to try. It would be really great to try and expand the number of High End items that I own in the future though...although what with being a student it is quite difficult to get my hands on the money needed to buy said products (however, Christmas and my Birthday are on the horizon, so hopefully I may receive some of the above items then...hint, hint).

Thank you all for reading anyway, and don't forget to let me know which items are currently on your Beauty Wishlist in the comments below!

Olivia xo

Affiliate Links were used in this post.

Breakfast in Birmingham

Sunday, 2 October 2016

They say that Breakfast is the most important meal of the day...

...and in all honesty, I would definitely have to agree! I do love Breakfast, and therefore often find myself regarding it as my favourite meal of the day...especially when I get to go out and eat said meal in a pretty nice restaurant or cafe somewhere.

Every time that I have visited Birmingham recently, I have found myself going into one of the many places to eat (in both the Bullring and the amazing Grand Central) and indulging in a spot of breakfast. Whenever I see food related blogposts though, the vast majority of the time, eatery recommendations are never about breakfast or places where you can enjoy a nice mid-morning meal - therefore, today, I thought I would write up a few little reviews of sorts on some of my favourite places tuck into Breakfast in Birmingham.

Bill's (https://bills-website.co.uk)- This is actually the most recent place that I have dined in in Birmingham, as I decided on my most recent trip that me and my Mom should try breakfast there. After doing a bit of research on this restaurant chain (for some Business Homework would you believe it!) and finding out the sort of things that Bill's serve and the locally sourced ingredients that they use, I was really tempted to give their Birmingham Outlet a go...
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