Urban Decay Birthday Treat!

Aren't I a lucky so and so?! My birthday was a few weeks ago now but I fancied showing you the Urban Decay Ultimate Basics Palette which I received from my lovely best friends, because isn't it beautiful? 12 completely matte eyeshadows to play around with, great alongside my other eyeshadows which are mostly shimmery. I'm in love with the shade Extra Bitter! Very nineties and reminiscent of the new Urban Decay Heat Palette (which I love too but probably wouldn't be able to pull off!).

The box is stunning and quite heavy/good quality. I haven't swatched they eyeshadow for you because there are already swatches all over the internet. Plus I'm about to go to work so don't want to explain inevitable scrubbed red forearms from an effort to remove the eyeshadows! 

It was my 22nd birthday incase anyone was wondering! My friends and I went to Brighton for the day and ate out at The Olive Grove, in the lanes. A delicious Greek place with great outdoor seating, lots of space considering how cramped the lanes can be. I also celebrated with my family by visiting Hever Castle, one of my favorite places ever! You can read about Hever here in an old blog post of mine! And thats about it! Hope you have a lovely day x

Obsessed With Autumnal Wedding Cakes

Soooo, how do I explain a wedding cake obsession with no engagement or wedding planned... I can't really other than look how pretty they are and how could you not?! I love the beautiful autumnal colour palettes, flora and foliage icing, fresh berries/flowers and the amazing creativity and craftsmanship that I imagine is required to make one of these beasts! I think my favourite is top right because of the dark orange copper icing dripping over the edge of the cake. Isn't that a beautiful colour paired with the minty green foliage and dark burgundy black flowers. Which of these is your favourite?

If you're interested I have a Pinterest Board for wedding cakes which I selected these six pictures from. On there you can also see lots of succulent icing cakes, another obsession of mine! Hope you're having a lovely week x

Day Trip To Sunny Hastings

Finally the sun is out again, just in time for my birthday! And like the old woman I am, no girls night out to celebrate. Instead a day trip to Hastings Old Town with my mum and friends because, obviously pretty architecture, sun and lunch appeals. We went here (recommend!) and I had a falafel meze which was amaaazing and lemon drizzle cake for dessert which was equally amazing.  Other than food we wandered through George Street which is pictured below, and the old high street, popping in to all the shabby chic and antique shops. It was a lovely day and only 1.5 hours south of London from Charing Cross.

I actually grew up in Hastings so may be slightly bias but it is worth visiting if you're a tourist in England. A very pretty, historical, charming seaside town. I love it! But come September I'll be making a new home for myself, swapping the South East for the north west... of Italy! More on that to come... I hope you're having a lovely week and enjoyed the pictures x

New In Neal's Yard Remedies | Gigantic Haul!!

Today I have a haul for you guys, and as you can see... I went a bit mental in Neal's Yard. They're not a brand I have used before but I was drawn in by the delicious smells, the promise of organic, natural, skin beneficial ingredients/essential oils and the packaging (typical). I bought these over a month ago now so can review the bits I've tried and anything I haven't tried which is worth mentioning, I will in another post! As I said, I'm a bit of a NYR novice so apologies! But let me know if you think there are any must try products because I'm loving the brand so far.

So out of the lot I have tried the Geranium and Orange Shower Gel, the Deliciously Ella Rose, Lime and Cucumber Moisturiser and the Frankincense Hydrating Cream. Still to try is the Calendula Cleanser, the Deliciously Ella Rose, Lime and Cucumber Facial Wash and the Wild Rose Beauty Balm. The Rehydrating Rose Toner is a present so I wont be trying that out, although I am tempted...! 

Firstly, I'll talk about the Geranium and Orange Shower Gel. The citrus cuts through the geranium scent making it floral but not too floral if that makes sense? It smells amazing anyway. Considering the price I probably wouldn't purchase again but if you have the cash, give it a sniff and if you're a fan definitley try it out. It's very soothing on the skin too. 5/10

I haven't followed Deliciously Ella very closely before but when I saw her NYR line I thought I'd give it a go. The Rose, Lime and Cucumber Moisturiser is very lightweight and absorbs quickly enough for me to use this as a morning moisturiser when I am rushing around and can't wait for a thick cream to soak in! The rose smell is very predominant and I wish the freshness of the lime and cucumber came through more but overall it is a nice product, however as before I wouldn't purchase again. 6/10

Lastly I have to tell you about the Frankincense Hydrating Cream because girls, this is a game changer. In all my years of Bio Oil, Palmers Cocoa Butter, rosehip oil and other skin regeneration products I have not successfully managed to get rid of my acne scarring. A month of this cream and they have practically gone. I wish I'd known to take before pictures so you could see the difference but I wasn't expecting this at all. The cream is amazing. It is thick so I apply at night after cleansing, I found the scent a little weird at first but am used to it now. £30 is a lot of money but I will definitely be repurchasing this when I run out! Love it. 10/10

Fresh Ginger Loaf Cake

I am so pleased with this ginger cake recipe! It is moist, only uses fresh stem ginger and is very simple. I formed the recipe as a result of an idiotic online food shopping mistake I made. Somehow, I managed to order myself almost 1kg of fresh ginger, completely by accident. So I froze a load, thinking I'd make ginger cake/beer/biscuits... there are absolutely no fresh ginger cake recipes on the internet, they all use ground ginger. So after a few trial and error test runs (and lots of slightly dodgy cake as a result all eaten by my flat mates, bless them) I think I have perfected the recipe! Hope you enjoy.

200g fresh ginger
150g dark brown sugar
150g normal sugar
230ml vegetable oil
2tbsp golden syrup
300g plain flour
1tsp ground cinnamon
1/2tsp ground black pepper
2 eggs
2tsp baking powder
150ml boiling water

Start by peeling then grating the ginger on the chunkier side of your grater (just a heads up, it is far easier to grate frozen ginger so I recomend leaving it in the freezer overnight!). Mix sugars, oil and golden syrup in a bowl. Boil water in a saucepan, stir in the baking powder and then add to the mixture. Whisk the eggs and add to the mixture, also add the grated ginger. In another bowl mix together the rest of the dry ingredients. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients to the sugar mixture. Line a normal sized loaf tin (2 pounds) with butter or greaseproof paper then pour the in mixture. Bake for 1h20m at 180°c. Cover with foil if the top browns before cooked. Leave to cool before taking out of the loaf tin and you're done! 

Let me know what you think of the recipe if you try it x

St Michael's Mount and The Minack Theatre | Cornwall

I can not believe how fast three years at Falmouth University have gone by... it's scary! And I've started to panic as my leaving date approaches... meaning packing as much as possible in to my last two weeks here, including trips to St Michael's Mount and The Minack Theatre! If you're not from Cornwall/have never been you probably wont have heard of these places but they are must see when in the South West and quite beautiful so I thought I'd share some pictures from the trips with you. 

Firstly St. Michael's Mount, a tide dependant island of the coast off Marazion. On the island, which you can access by foot at low tide and for £2 on the ferry at high tide, is a beautiful castle and gardens run by the National Trust. I started by looking around the castle which was pretty interesting but mostly enjoyable for the views of the mainland and gardens! I then had a pulled pork and mint yogurt wrap in the cafe which tasted amazing followed by a long walk around the gardens. 

I'd definitley recomend going to St. Michael's Mount... to be honest I'd go back just for the wrap! I'll let the pictures speak for themselves though! 

in the castle gardens

a view of the gardens/sea from the castle

a view of Marazion from the island

My second trip was to The Minack Theatre, an outdoor theatre built into a cliff face near Penzance which has spectacular views of the sea and a pretty impressive atmosphere in my opinion! I took the coastal pathway to the theatre which is a hefty walk uphill but does pass the beach you can see two pictures below. The play itself was good but I became quite distracted by seals swimming around out in the sea!! A friend I went with also saw a pod of dolphins which unfortunately I missed. 

the theatre just before the show began 

Again, I'd definitely recomend checking out The Minack Theatre even if it's just for a walk around the cliff and nearby beaches. Apparently it is also quite impressive to visit at night which I can imagine is very true. 

And that's it for today folks. Hope you enjoyed this little insight into some Cornish culture/heritage!