Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Donning My Pinny.

I'm not the biggest cook. Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that. I like to keep everything pretty basic, that is unless I am following a recipe step by step. I do however, enjoy the occasional cooking programme. More recently I got hooked on "The Great British Bake Off". People baking cakes and various other treats. There is nothing more satisying and girly, than baking deserts or puddings. Being a creative person and not having much of an outlet for my creativity (besides putting makeup on my face), I will get really into anything that involves a tiny bit of artistry. I am also a perfectionist, so decorating the cake, as well as making it, results in an enormous amount of satisfaction, as well as eating it of course.
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Recently, my friend had new boobies installed (this sounds nicer than "boob job"..or does it?) and so myself and another friend took it upon ourselves to make her a "get better soon/congrats on your new boobies" cake. (For those of you who are nosey/may be interested, she didn't have a boob job for materialistically larger boobs, she has waited 4 years on the NHS and had them done as a correction from an injury earlier in life - So I am chuffed to bits for her) We didn't want to opt for a standard victoria sponge with jam and icing, so instead, we decided to create a pair of eadible cake boobs, as you do.
I'm not going to list in detail all the stages of creating this bad boy, but I will outline the basic's. We followed a simple victoria sponge recipe, and cooked the mixture in two identical glass bowl's (make sure they are oven safe). I'd also like to point out that they take about twice the normal amount of time to cook, as there is a larger volume to cook inside. We ended up cooking our boobs (!) for about 40 minutes overall. I'd also like to stress how important it is to grease the bowls, luckily, our boobies slipped right out (!) but if you didn't, you could end up with lumpy, out of shape ones..and nobody enjoys those. The best part was icing them. We used butter icing, as you can get a nice smooth finish with that, it's also less messy than standard icing, and a bit more precise than if we were to use roll out icing as that would have been incredibly fiddly. We added a smidgen of pink colouring to make the skin colour and smoothed it over the cake. We then made some more icing, and added more colouring this time to create the bra. This was piped on, using a piping bag from poundland. Yes, that's right. ONE POUND. To finish, we added chocolate buttons to create the nipples..just to make it clear that they were in fact boobs, incase it wasn't already obvious....
It's fair to say the cake went down very well, and our friend was chuffed, as were we, that it had turned out so brilliantly. What a nice pair!
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I also decided to make profiteroles. Being one of my favourite desert treats ever, and having made them before, and realising that in fact, they weren't at all difficult to make, they seemed the perfect pudding for our family/friend roast dinner gathering.
I followed this recipe by Nigella Lawson, and they turned out really well. The only differences I made were that I piped the pastry onto the baking tray rather than spooned and instead of making a chocolate "sauce" I just melted Cadburys chocolate over them before serving. They were delicious if I may say so. Don't be affraid to try making these, they really are SO easy. I'd also strongly urge you bakers out there to get a piping bag. I have two, and more expensive one, and a cheapy one from poundland (although don't expect to get too many uses out of this one). You can find plenty on eBay, along with the different shaped nozzles.

So there we go, a few of my baking creations of late. I think now that the weather has turned so grim, and darkness is creeping upon us earlier, there is more time for baking, so get your pinnys on, and let me know what you're making!

Black XS Frangrances & "Be A Rock Star"

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Pacco Rabanne frangrances have always been one of my favourites. I have even been prone to spritzing the mens "Million" before a night out (it smells nice okay). I'd seen the "Black XS" frangrance range in the shops, but hadn't ever given it a whiff. I don't tend to splash out on perfume's for myself. I think it's a mans job to provide a woman with a perfume... ;) (hint hint, men out there). I was recently sent the male and female version to go alongside their "Be A Rockstar" promotion.

Be A Rockstar is offering internet users exclusive musical content and the oppertunity to enjoy a unique experience and step into the shoes of a Rock Star. They will also be opening the doors to a catalogue of artists across the globe. Universal Music France will even be giving access to special backstage moments with its artists, including Cold War Kids, Two Door Cinema Club and Kaiser Chiefs. These bands will be taking part in special Black XS OFF Shows, where we can see behind the scenes in nine special mini episodes. The series will be shown by the end of the year on
the site and on the Black XS YouTube channel. Click HERE to take you the website so you can see for yourself & get lot's more information if this is something you are interested in. I for one, am a massive fan of Two Door Cinema Club, so I will be tuning in to watch them.
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I can't say I'm much of a Rockstar but the perfume is DELICIOUS. Pacco Rabanne describes the female version as "an elixir of seduction wreathed in mystery. A scent of contrasts, with an exciting ambiguity" - Written and described so much better than I ever could. I also really like the bottle. It's a bit more on the Gothic/Rock side and may not be as delicate or quaint as others on my dressing table but I really like the scent. I would wear this more at night, as I feel it's not light enough for the daytime.

In true "boyfriend of a blogger" style, the mens version was swpied up (very quickly) by my boyfriend. He has used it ALOT, and that's really all I have to go by. I really like the mens version, and he does smell EXTREMELY nice when he's wearing this. In fact, I'd even go as far as to say I prefer the mens frangrance to the womens one...and that's the same with the "Million" range. If you're stuck for what to get your fella for Christmas, I'd strongly advise this scent if you like your man to smell delicious. Although, I do appreciate something like aftershave is down to personal taste, but I don't think you can go wrong here.

Monday, 28 November 2011

London Eye with GlossyBox

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Most of you will be aware of Glossybox by now, one of the (now many) brands who offer a monthly beauty box subscription. I was very kindly asked if I wanted to become a GlossyBox Ambassador alongside many other amazing bloggers and vloggers, and of course I took up the offer having met and spoken to the gorgeous girls behind the brand at the previous GlossyBox event. I'm really looking forward to getting a bit more of an insiders view on the thoughts and process' of the items that go into the boxes each month and of course that means keeping you lovely lot updated.

So on Wednesday of last week, Louise & I took the tube over to Waterloo to join the GlossyBox team and the rest of the Ambassadors for a spin on the London Eye. I've never been on the London Eye, so I was excited, but also a little apprehensive (panic attack sufferer locked in a pod is not the best combination) I was fine though, and really enjoyed mingling with the rest of the girls up in the sky overlooking the City at night. It all looked so pretty. We also took a stroll along to the Christmas Market (literally a 2 minute walk from the eye). It made me feel so christmassy with the smells of mulled wine and various sweet treats floating about.

One of the highlights of the evening was finally getting to meet Sammi & Gracie, they were a hoot. It was also lovely to catch up with everyone and a few gorgeous girlies I hadn't seen in a while. And it goes without saying that spending time with Louise was amazing, as always.


Saturday, 26 November 2011

Agent Provocateur L'Agent Bath & Body Collection

Now, when someone mentions Agent Provocatuer, I instantly think of the sexy window displays featuring mannequins wearing heart shaped nipple tassles & extremely gorgeous underwear that I know I could personally never afford to indulge in, draped over luxurious materials and glamourous furniture. They certainly get their window displays spot on.
If like me, you don't very often set foot inside an Agent Provocatuer, as you may not be able to afford it, or you have your boyfriend in tow, who may leave rather red faced, then the new bath & body range may give you reason to step inside.
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This year, Agent Provocateur released their L'Agent range just after the success of the new Frangrance. They have selected the finest ingredients for this self indulgent collection. If you like the scent, you will love these products. I didn't really know what to expect, as the scent itself is very powerful, and albeit a little too overpowering, so for me, the things in this collection were much less harsh in comparison, and left my skin smelling absolutely amazing without too much of a "perfume" kick.
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Soap on a Rope - £20
First thing in the range, is the "soap on a rope". Now, when someone mentions soap on a rope, you automatically think of old school soap, or unwanted cheapy christmas/birthday presents. Typically the sort of thing you shove to the back of your lotions and potions draw. This however, is on a whole other "soap on a rope" level. It comes in a swish box which has a little ribbon pully. Once pulled, the draw containing your soap pulls out. It really is gorgeous, and smells amazing. It's enriched with vitamin e and shea butter which leaves your skin feeling fabulously fragranced and seductively smooth. It also has a cute little black tassle. Very Suave.
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Titillation Decollete & Derriere Balm 2x80ml - £45
Next are two creams, "Titillation Derriere Balm" and "Decollete Balm". The teasingly sensual Derriere Balm is especially formulated to help tone, shape and define buttocks & the decollete balm is for the chest and neck. Both have the same gorgeous scent and the balms themselves are extremely velvety and hydrating. They contain moisturising avocado oils, skin conditioning Coleus Forskohlii (an ancient plant) and caffeine which all help to lift and revitalize. Being a mere 21 years old, I don't feel as though I need much help in the way of "lifting" as of yet, but this could be the perfect gift for an older relative or a friend who moans about a wobbly bottom (we all have one...a friend that moans about her wobbly bottom I mean..) ;) The packaging on these is so cute. Little sphere's which you twist to open, with the delicate agent provocateur font running around it.
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Above: Bathing Cream Wash 425ml - £28
Below: Silk Body Elixir 225ml - £28

The "Bathing Cream Wash", is probably one of my favourites from the collection. Containing Babassu, Macadamia and Avacado oils, it delicately softens, moisturises and cleanses the skin. This is one of those products you could wash with before a night out, and you'd smell amazing all through the night, without the need for any perfume, or moisturiser for that matter. It also claims to include Epimedium (an aphrodisiac, apparently better known as horny goat weed (!)) All I know is that after using this, I smell super nice, and my skin feels really soft. I also love the bottle, it oozes sophistication.
Last up, is the "Silk Body Elixir", better known as a body moisturiser. As far as moisturisers go, I want something that smells nice, sinks in quickly, but leaves my skin feeling like silk. This ticks every box. It's especially amazing on freshly shaven/waxed legs. This too contains the aphrodisiac Epimedium, along with nutmug and Babassu oil. It works like an absolute dream.

This range is certainly not for those of you who like to shower in the mornings with something fresh and revitalising to wake you up. It's more for the evenings, before a date, a night out or a cheeky night in with your fella. It leaves your skin feeling amazing and smelling even more amazing. It's a very deep, sensual frangrance, not light or floral, and it's main purpose is to make the user feel sexy, which is exactly what you'd expect from Agent Provocateur. They certainly know how to put the "sex" in "sexy" (did I just say that...yes I did). Overall, I would certainly reccommend these products to those of you who like a little self indulgence, something a bit more
luxurious. They may be slightly more pricey than your average Boots or Superdrug bath or body product, but perfect gifts or for when you feel like splashing out and treating yourself.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

GIVEAWAY CLOSED: La Sardina Lomography Camera

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Most of you that read my blog, will probably be aware, that I am quite the camera and photography enthusiast. I have plenty of cameras dotted about my bedroom, old and new. Recently, I was contacted by Lomography and they offered me a "La Sardina" camera to review & also one to giveaway. AMAZING.
Now, as much as I love modern cameras, and the ability to get that "vintagey/retro" effect by editing through different computer programs, there is nothing like capturing that very effect in raw form. Do you remember the days of winding film on and developing it down your local pharmacy? Well that's exactly what you do with this. Wind, shoot, capture, develop. OLD SCHOOL STYLE.

There is NOTHING I don't love about this camera. For a start, look at it. It's amazing, even if you never took one photo with it (which would quite frankly be stupid) then it would look fabulous just sat on a shelf in your room. It's also exceptionally easy to use, and you get that excitement waiting to see what your photo's have turned out like. Besides looking very cute, the effect that lomography cameras create is what many strive to make their digital prints look like. I know I do anyway.

Lomography are giving one away to one very lucky Zoella reader. It will obviously come box fresh & ready for you to get your creative little mitts around it. There is also a Lomography booklet included which I found to be very helpful but also really lovely to look at. Some of the images that have been captured on these cameras are amazing. You can view them online HERE.
Unfortunately, I haven't finished a film up yet, so I've not had any developed, therefore I can't show you any of my own snaps, but once I've filled a film, I'll be sure to scan some images in and show you.

Rules:
1. Must be a follower of Zoella
2. Leave ONE comment simply saying "Enter Me".
(One entry per person)
3. Include your email address in your comment*
4. The Giveaway is open for 2 weeks only, and will close on 24.11.11 at 12pm GMT
5. This Giveaway is International
6. Winner will be picked at random

*By including your email address you agree that Lomography can send you promotional emails. However, they are super cool and never boring, and you can unsunscribe at any time :)

They are also giving you lovely lot, a chance to sign up and earn 10 piggy points to spend online.
"Piggy points" is a points system (a bit like Boots points if you will) which can be earned through community activities, competitions and giveaways. Each piggy point is equivalent to 1 GBP/USD/EUR. So that's essentially £10 (for the brits like myself).



THE WINNER OF THE GIVEAWAY IS...

BeccasBeautySpot


CONGRATULATIONS Becca!
I will email you shortly asking for your details so Lomography can send out your camera. Thanks to everyone who entered.


Tuesday, 8 November 2011

General Update & Chit Chat

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Howdy Doody you lovely lot. It's been a while, and for that, I do apologise. You know when life get's manic, and you feel like you only have time to eat and sleep & your creative juices have run dry and you have a serious lack of motivation? Yeh, that's exactly what happened. You know it's time to sit down and write a blog post when your mum says "Zoe, you've not blogged in ages..."
I know that some people can still bosh out blogposts even when they are lacking in blogging enthusiasm, but I just can't do that. I like to sit down, and enjoy what I write about, and feel a sense of satisfaction once I hit that "publish" button, and although that sometimes means I don't post in a while, I hope that sort of makes up for it. *batters eye lashes*

So where have I been & what have I been up to?

Well, first and foremost, the summer has well and truly scarpered. We had a lovely late summery burst a few weeks ago (see photos), but now the cold and drizzle has arrived. *depressed sigh*. I do love autumn though, I love the crispy golden leaves and the build up to Christmas (yes, I love Christmas, A LOT), but I hate grey, drizzly days. Even if it's chilly, everything is so much better when the sun is out.

Now, I would like to say ANOTHER massive thank you to those of you who voted for Zoella in the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards, and I'm absolutely over the moon that I won "Best Established Beauty Blog". Unfortunately, I couldn't attend the awards ceremony but it looked like everyone had a fantastic evening & I'd also like to congratulate everyone else that was nominated and who won awards themselves. All very well deserved :) Makes me proud to be part of such a supportive community.

I have also been working on mine and Louise's (Sprinkle of Glitter) new venture. Which I'm hoping will be out in the open in the next few weeks and certainly in time for Christmas. All I'm saying is keep some money aside whilst buying everyone else's Christmas presents because I'm fairly sure you will want in on it. ;)

I have thoroughly been enjoying searching eBay for cake decorations and nail art decorations, not for any particular reason other than both are super cheap and pretty. I have also been scouring eBay & the local charity shops for winter knits. I did this last year, and I'm fairly positive I didn't spend anything over £6 for any of my winter cardigans or jumpers. You can honestly save so much money doing it this way, and nobody else will be wearing the same thing as you. I'm thinking of doing a post about charity shopping, a bit like my "Shopping in Primark" post, so let me know if this is something you'd be interested in reading. I know that charity shops aren't everyone's idea of fun, but once you find something you love for really cheap, it almost becomes addictive.

I have a lot of things I want to blog about in the up and coming weeks, so expect to see a lot more of me in your dashboard.