Thursday, 29 September 2011


I am in love with this gorgeous little River Island blouse. Isn't the seagull print sweet?

Love B x

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Low fat Banana & Blueberry Muffins

I baked these on our lazy Sunday afternoon in {remember that 'diet' I talked about, well it'll start this week...honest...}.  I had a bunch of bananas that are definitely on their way out and because I hate wasting food, I figured I'd know up a batch of banana bread. Then I rationalised that I'd probably eat a sizeable amount of the loaf single handedly and found myself googling 'low fat banana muffins'.  This recipe substitutes butter for oil, uses only egg whites, has less sugar than your standard muffin/cake mix and has oats {and they're always healthy right?} so I figured they aren't too anti diet.

I had to alter the original recipe somewhat - I didn't have nearly enough oats or blueberries, so mine look less delicious than the original counterparts but I can honestly tell you that they are scrumptious.  Perfect with a cup of tea on a quiet Sunday afternoon. If When I make these again, and I can assure you I will, I'll definitely try and use the right amount of ingredients. I imagine that the extra oats would give the muffins a lovely texture. As it is, using soft brown sugar makes them sweet, without being overly so and you would never tell that the mixture goes easy on fat.

I've still got a few more bananas left to use up so I'm excited to try out this recipe from The Kitchen.


Love B x

Sorry for the poor quality photos - it was already getting dark when I took photos at 6.30pm!

Monday, 26 September 2011

Untitled #7

Seeing as we are truly into Autumn now {how on earth is it nearly October?!}, my thoughts have most definitely started to turn towards knitwear. Specifically, the kind of chunky knitwear that goes best with skinny jeans and boots of any sort. These are some of my current favourites - roll on payday. I love, love, love dressing for Autumn/Winter. I'm so much better at knitwear and layers than I am at the supposed 'effortless' dressing of Summer.

What do you you think?

Love B

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector

I picked this up on a whim in Superdrug last weekend when I was in town. Touch wood, I am reasonably lucky with my skin so on a day to day basis I tend to avoid using foundation, opting instead for a tinted moisturiser if I use anything at all. For a while now I've been using No 7's tinted moisturiser but knowing I was down to the last few drops, I couldn't resist.

Garnier's Miracle Skin Perfector claims to "give an even skin tone with a healthy glow, blurs imperfections and redness, smoothes the appearance of fine lines, hydrates for 24hours and helps protect with SPF 15".  It is enriched with Vitamin C derivative and mixed with mineral pigments to give you an even finish.

I have to say, I was really impressed. My skin looked even and, without sounding like a plum, glowing. The formula is light enough that I didn't feel I am wearing make up but gives me the coverage I want from a base. My skin feels smooth to the touch too. I checked out my face over the course of the first evening I used it and my skin still looked great, so I was thrilled. I feel like it gives me the polished look I'm after from my make up base {be that foundation or tinted moisturiser} whilst remaining natural looking and without giving me that heavy foundation-lying-on-your-skin feeling. Whilst I don't wear a full face of make up, I don't often pop out with a bare face either but I've found that this gives me enough coverage to need little more than a dash of blusher and mascara if I'm in a rush.

Apparently it's based on a "skincare sensation" called Blemish Balm or B.B creams? Scouring the Internet has told me this is a massive craze over in Asia that is a combination of skincare and make up.  Seemingly a bit of a wonder product if they do what they say on the tin, they mix key skincare ideas {SPF, moisturizer, blemish treatment} whilst acting as a foundation.

The limited colour range - light or medium/dark - seems a bit of a drawback but the light was just right for my sun-deprived skin tone. It was on offer for £7.99 too in Superdrug which was perfect for my price range.

Has anyone else tried this? Or have any recommendations of products like it - I know a lot of the more expensive ranges have brought out similar products at higher price points.

Love B x

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Carrot Cake

Now, I'm going to be totally honest. The other day I twigged that my jeans were a little more snug than I'd care for, my face and physique a little more rounded. And it dawned on me, I probably ought to be going easier on the biscuits and taking smaller portions from the abundant buffet on offer at work. However, I like to start things like this on a Monday {or the first day of the month, or a New Year..} - it seems a bit tidier, a bit more appropriate for some reason. So until Monday, I'm doing what we, in my family, call "eating everything but grass". Which is where carrot cake comes into it. I had never eaten carrot cake until last Summer, having convinced myself that I hated the stuff. Low and behold the absolute opposite is true and I could eat the stuff all the time. Combined with the fact it's my boyfriend's favourite cake and it was a clear winner.

I used a loaf tin I had lying around instead of a square baking tin so I had to adjust the cooking times accordingly {gas mark 4, middle of the oven for 55 minutes give or take} and I used the cake recipe from this site but the icing recipe from here because I had some Quark left over that I wanted to use up. The result was delicious. Light and carrot-y whilst the icing had a just the right amount of tang to it, I think from the addition of the Quark. 

I have to say, the icing didn't turn out as thick as I would've liked though I still liked the effect and the taste. I know this was in part down to overbeating but I always seem to have a bit of bother with cream cheese icing. This is confounded by the fact that an eternal debate rages in our house as to how cheesey it ought to be {to me, it ought to have some of the tang of cream cheese coming through, to my boyfriend, why on earth would you put cheese on a cake?! Isn't it buttercream icing instead?!}. Regardless, I made it on Saturday afternoon and it barely saw out the rest of the weekend, which is always a good sign in my books. A cake that lasts long in our home, is clearly not that good a cake!

Does anyone have any good carrot cake recipes? Or advice on the icing front/ I could really use some!

Love B x

Tuesday, 20 September 2011


Do you ever come across a nail varnish that you like so much that you find yourself looking down at your hand more is normal/reasonable? I find that I go so far as to 'pose' my hand, and hold it out as I stare appreciatively at my newly manicured nails. If you don't do this, I probably sound like a complete nutter. If you do {and I'm hoping you do} then you'll know this kind of strange behaviour only really happens when you have come across a nail varnish that you love. 

This is one of those nail varnishes. It's the perfect beige nude shade that makes your fingers look effortlessly elegant and elongated {hello alliteration!}.  It's the kind of go to everyday nail varnish that is totally appropriate for a work environment where you still want to look polished. The colour has no glitter or shimmer in it and the two coats I needed went on evenly and easily. I have to admit, I had assumed I might need 3 coats for a decent coverage so I was pleasantly surprised.

It dries quickly and is also surprisingly hard wearing. I'm quite bad at giving my nails a hard time of it - I don't think twice about washing up, opening things etc. so for it to still last a couple of days, I'm impressed {a couple of days by my standards is a decent window!}. It's by 17 and is part of their "lasting Fix" range of polishes, and for £2.99 I think it is an absolute steal. It's been a while since I've used 17 nail varnishes and I'm so pleasantly surprised I will definitely be trying out some of their other colours. I'm always on the look out for good nail varnishes that don't break the bank!

Love B x

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Jenna Lyons & UK Vogue

How is it the weekend again already?! Not that I am complaining but I truly had all these good intentions and to do lists this week and before I knew it, it had flown by. I'll be spending my weekend working through some of that list, including catching up on this blog!

I may as well start with something beautiful, and Jenna Lyon's Brooklyn home is just that. Shot for UK Vogue by Todd Selby, I'm desperately hoping I'll come across some more photos soon. I would love, love, love my home to look like this. Definitely going in the inspiration folders. That chandelier in particular is to die for!

{photos from UK Vogue via A Lovely Being}

I hope you have a lovely weekend planned!

Love B x

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Sunday Brunch

I love pancakes. Crepes, dropped scones, thick, thin...whatever variety, I could eat them for quite a large percentage of meals {this was lethal when Edinburgh festival was in town and there were various crepe stands dotted around just calling my name}.  They do, however, require more effort than is ideal in a laid back Sunday brunch for two.  This is why these are perfect, and genius. So obvious is the idea that I am kicking myself for needing Nigella to point it out to me in her 'Nigella Express' book rather than coming to the conclusion myself.

Make the dry mixture ahead of time and store it in a sealed container. Simples. Literally, hit-yourself-in-the-forehead kind of simple. No worries, once I knew of it, an IKEA kilner jar full of the stuff can always be found on a shelf in my kitchen. My waistline is less appreciative of the ease with which I can make pancakes but never mind.

All you need is 600g flour {I used up all the odds and ends of bags I had in various cupboards}, 3 tablespoons of baking powder, 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda, a teaspoon of salt and 40g sugar {I used vanilla sugar that I'd gotten super cheap from Lidl}. Mix it all together and store in a medium/large jar.

To make up the pancakes {around 10-15 depending on how big you like them!} add 1 egg, 250ml milk and 1 tablespoon of melted butter to 150g of the pre-made mixture. I keep these details written on a piece of pretty paper stuck to the jar so I don't have to root around in a cookery book for quantities; it just makes this even more simple. Add a tablespoon of batter to a pan over a medium heat {the medium is important - I'm often way too impatient, whack the heat up and end up with pancakes that are burnt on the outside and undercooked inside. And hungry} and flip when bubbles appear on top. They should be golden on the outside.

I personally like mine with 0% fat Greek yoghurt, blueberries and syrup. YUM.

Does anyone have any other favourite brunch recipes? I'd love to hear them, especially easy ones! I hope you've had a nice weekend! I can't believe it's already Monday tomorrow...

Love B x

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Working twice as hard...

Sorry for the radio silence - I had a week off last week and it didn't really instill me with productive vibes in between eating, seeing festival shows and enjoying days out.  Equally, this week I can honestly say I started my new full time job that will keep me busy for the next year - and if this week is anything to go by I am going to be super busy. This is the first time all week I've really sat down and had time to read, let alone write, any blog posts. I'll try not to be sporadic in my posts but I don't think they'll be as frequent as they have been to date, though hopefully I can write a bunch over the weekend {there is so much I want to write about!}. I can't really complain though - I'm so excited at the prospects of my new job.

One of my oldest, loveliest friends sent me a card that simply said "a new job means new accessories" and I couldn't agree more - I was so excited at the prospect of buying work wear! The environment I'm working in, whilst not corporate, isn't one in which I'd be comfortable pushing fashion boundaries. I'm a big fan of classic silhouettes and ensembles {in case that isn't apparent in my post on fashion to date} so I don't exactly feel hard done by. Plus, all the more reason to dress up at weekends. With that in mind, I pulled together a couple of inspiration boards - one for work, one for the weekend - both featuring a beautiful trench from Reiss that I am lusting after and some pieces that can do double duty for work or play depending on how you dress them up.  And I can't lie, I took a teensy tiny bit of inspiration from this image too.


Granted, not the most interesting outfits I have ever put together but to be totally honest, this week I've already worn a pencil skirt & an a cream top, and this weekend I will probably throw on a chiffon top, skinny jeans and heels. So whilst it isn't all that original, it is true to life - give me that at least!

What will you be wearing this weekend? And what are your work staples? I'm currently trying to establish mine {in case you can't tell!}.

Love B x

I've realised as well I haven't told you where any of these pieces are from - it's a mix of Topshop, Zara, Reiss & H&M. I'll add that in when I'm a tiny bit less shattered...

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