Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Midweek Meal Idea: Speedy Chicken & Vegetable Stir Fry

I thought I'd do something a bit different today and share a quick, healthy and tasty recipe of mine with you. A great meal idea for when you're in a rush, this delicious chicken and vegetable stir fry has zero preparation time, and is ready in under 10 minutes.
Here's what you will need:
1. A pack of chicken breast mini fillets or diced chicken breast
2. A pack of mixed stir fry veg - my favourite is Asda's Fresh Tastes Water Chestnut and Bamboo Stir Fry Mix
3. Soy sauce
4. Dried minced garlic
5. Dried crushed chili flakes
5. Chinese 5 spice
6. Olive oil
And here's the recipe:
1. Add a splash of olive oil to the pan and brown the chicken on a high heat for around 5 minutes.
2. Drain off any excess oil, then add a sprinkle of minced garlic, chili and Chinese 5 spice with a dash of soy sauce. Leave for a further minute for the flavours to infuse.
3. Add the vegetables and a generous amount of soy sauce
4. Add another sprinkle of garlic, chili and Chinese 5 spice to taste
5. Stir fry for 2 minutes
6. Serve and enjoy
This stir fry is definitely up there amongst my favourite meal ideas. The chili gives it a nice kick and the flavours from the Chinese 5 spice really absorb into the chicken, giving it a lovely contrasting cinnamon-y taste that works really well against the spicy chili and the salty soy sauce.
Will you be giving this recipe a go? What are your favourite meals?

Friday, 25 October 2013

Tangle Teezer Compact Syler Review

After hearing and reading much hype about the Tangle Teezer, I decided to treat myself to the compact version and give it a go for myself. My hair gets knotted really easily, and with it being both fine and bleached, it's quite prone to breakages.

Designed for both wet and dry use, my main reason for purchasing was to see if it did a better job than my wide-toothed comb at removing knots when my hair was wet and freshly washed. I used it last night to distribute my conditioner, and it glided through my hair so effortlessly that I couldn't feel any pulls or tugs like I do with my comb. There were also far fewer hairs left hanging in the bristles, whereas my comb would fetch out chunks at a time!

With a protective case, the Tangle Teezer uses memory flex technology and a revolutionary teeth configuration, meaning it removes knots painlessly and quickly. It's also ergonomically designed, so it sits comfortably in your hands.

Overall, I'm really impressed with the Compact Styler. Whilst my usual comb and brush did eventually remove knots, this does so far more smoothly, so it should hopefully help to keep my hair in better condition. It's also great for distributing conditioners and hair masks. LookFantastic offers a great range of Tangle Teezers, and this pink and black Compact Styler is £11.99.

Have you got a Tangle Teezer? Are you thinking of getting one?

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

BirchBox October 2013

After a slightly disappointing Glossybox this month, I was hoping I'd be more impressed with the contents of my BirchBox, and thankfully I was!
Here are my goodies:

1. KMS California Free Shape Deep Conditioner 50ml: Although this says it's for coarse hair (which mine most definitely isn't), I'll still use this. My hair can get very dry, especially when I've just had my highlights re-done, so I'll try this out after my next salon visit next weekend.
2. 3 x 3ml samples of Egyptian Magic All Purpose Skin Cream: I've used this before and love it, it's so versatile. The cream transforms into an oil on your fingertips, and can be used to treat a range of skin complaints from cuts and burns to eczema and severe dryness. Think of it as being similar to Sudocrem.
3. Stainiac Cheek and Lip Tint 1.2ml: Just like the MeMeMe lip/cheek tint in this month's Glossybox, this seems very similar to Benefit's Benetint, however this has more of a jelly-like texture and applies with sponge wand. I'm looking forward to trying this out.
4. Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm For Lips: I love a good lip balm, and this multi-purpose one can also be used on areas of dry skin, cuticles, and as the name suggests, the nipples! It's a tiny sample size, however it's great for popping in my bag to keep my lips nourished when I'm out and about.
5. Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser SPF 20 14.7ml: Another product which I can't wait to try! I love BB creams and tinted moisturisers, they're a great alternative when you can't be bothered with full foundation. This one promises lightweight, flawless coverage, whilst hydrating the skin and providing SPF protection. Bonus!
6. Akane Mask Cocoon Nocturn 12ml: I've never tried a mask that you leave on while you sleep, so this will be a first for me. Designed to refresh the skin and reduce signs of fatigue, I'll definitely be packing this when I go on a night out!
7. UltraDEX Recalcifying and Whitening Toothpaste 15ml: Classed as this month's lifestyle extra, this mini toothpaste will be great for overnight stays.
I'd go as far as saying that this is my favourite BirchBox yet, there's such as versatile range of products and they're all things I'll use.
Were you happy with your BirchBox this month? Which monthly beauty boxes do you subscribe to?

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Glossybox October 2013

The theme of this month's Glossybox was 'Dark Romance', however I'm not sure that the products I received really fitted the bill. I was expecting vampy lip colours, gorgeous autumnal nail polishes and tools to create smouldering eyes, however this month's Glossybox has been a bit of a let down.
Here's the contents of my box this month:
1. Eva Cosmetics Mystic Diamond Oil, 6ml sample worth £1.36 - I'm not a lover of hair oils, they just turn my fine hair really greasy, but I'll give it a go. It's formulated with argan oil and diamond powder to hydrate your hair and add shine. Not sure how it really fits the theme though.
2. Monu First Defence Illuminating Primer SPF 15, 20ml sample worth £9.98 - Although I'm not sure how this fits the theme, I'm looking forward to trying it out. My skin can sometimes look a bit lacklustre, and this promises to enhance radiance and give a smooth finish.
3. MeMeMe Cherub's Blush Cheek & Lip Tint, full size worth £5.50 - This is a dupe of Benefit's Benetint, which I have used previously and really liked, so this is a good product for me. It even smells like Benetint! It also fits the Dark Romance theme which is a bonus!
4. Premae Harmony Moisturising Smoothie Serum, 20ml sample worth £9 - Again not quite sure how this is in keeping with the theme, but at least it's something I'll use. Made with lemongrass oil, it's designed to provide lightweight hydration, so it'll be good for my oily skin.
5. Killer Queen by Katy Perry Perfume Sample, 1.5ml worth about 44p - This is quite a sultry scent so I can see why it was included in the box, however it's far to sweet for my liking. It smells quite chocolate-y, and combines fruity top notes with a floral heart, and has a base of cashmeran, natural patchouli heart and liquid praline. I'll use it up but it's not a scent I'll be re-purchasing.
Total box worth: £26.28
I would say this is quite an average box, due to the lack of full sized products and the fact most of them had no relevance to the theme. That said, I had a great box last month so I guess you win some and lose some.
Where you happy with your Glossybox this month? What did you think of the products/theme?

Saturday, 19 October 2013

B. Complete Long-Lasting Nail Polish in 145 Bubble Gum

I'm finally back on track with my blog! This week I had another set-back after getting a nasty infection and narrowly avoiding a stay in hospital. On Thursday it was my birthday, but sadly it was memorable for the wrong reasons this year, and I spent most of it dosed up on medication in bed!
Amongst my presents was this lovely B. Complete nail polish, so today I decided to try it out today. Bubble Gum is an apt name, it's such a vibrant pink and has a gorgeous shimmery blue undertone to it.
The brush is a little wide for my liking, however the polish applied so smoothly and evenly, with no need for a second coat.
It took quite a while for that 'tacky' feeling to go, so it's not one if you're applying in a rush as it seems to take its time to fully dry. There's nothing worse than smudged nails! However I'm really pleased with the colour. What do you think?
This is my first B. Complete nail varnish and I'm sure it won't be my last. It has a high-shine finish too for that extra bit of glamour! You can get this shade for £3.32 at Superdrug.
Have you tried any other products from B. Complete? What's your favourite bargain nail polish?

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Guerlain Paris La Petite Robe Noir Eau de Toilette

During a shopping trip to Liverpool last weekend, I was handed a sample of the latest fragrance from Guerlain Paris called 'La Petite Robe Noir' (or 'The Little Black Dress in English) in Debenhams. I love trying new fragrances, and was excited to give this one a spritz.

The fragrance is described on the card as 'A fresh and romantic floral lace embroidered with sparkling fruity notes'.

When first spritzed it, I found the scent to be quite powerful - a little too overbearing for me. However after a couple of minutes it settled into a delicate floral aroma that's great for everyday wear. I couldn't really detect the fruity notes, and despite the name suggesting that it's more of an evening fragrance, I personally feel it's too understated for a night on the town. I guess a romantic night in would be more fitting.
I also would have liked the fragrance to last a little longer. It seemed to wear off quite quickly on me, but everyone will be different in that respect based on body temperature etc.
It's not a fragrance I would choose personally, but I'll use up the rest of the tester. I do love testers that come in spray bottles, they're so handy for popping in your bag!
Will you be giving this fragrance a try? Which perfumes are you loving at the moment?

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Carmex Everyday Soothing Lip Balm

Despite being hugely popular, I'd never actually tried Carmex Lip Balms until recently. After realising I'd packed my usual Elizabeth Arden one in my case which has already been checked in, I picked this up at the airport to see me through the 11 hour flight back to England.

My lips were feeling pretty dry, and I have to say that I was a bit disappointed with this. Not only did it have an odd taste (quite chemically), it didn't do the best job at rehydrating and softening my lips. I felt like it soon wore off too, so I had to reapply it frequently throughout the flight.

I don't think I'll be purchasing any more Carmex products on home turf, I really was expecting it to be better than it was.

What are your thoughts on Carmex? Are you a fan or are there other lip balms that you rate more highly?

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Nivea Visage Pure and Natural Soothing Day Cream

One of the only negatives points of going to Las Vegas was that the water over there really dried my skin out. I usually have oily skin, so it takes a lot for me to get visible dry patches on my face. By the second day my skin was cracking, so I went on the hunt for something that was a little stronger than my usual oil-free moisturiser.

As a fan of Nivea, I thought I'd give this Soothing Day Cream a go, in the hope that it would hydrate my skin and relieve the soreness from the flaky areas that were popping up all over my face. And I'm pleased to report that it did just that!

Made from 95% ingredients of natural origin, it contains organically-grown chamomile and argan oil to nourish and calm the skin, and promises to intensively moisturise for 24 hours. In just two days, all my dry patches had gone and my skin felt so soft and smooth. A great bonus was that it didn't feel heavy or make my skin go into oil overdrive like a lot of moisturisers do!

I would definitely recommend this for dry, winter skin, and I think it's a great choice for those who have oily skin but want that extra bit of protection during the colder months. You can buy Nivea Visage Pure and Natural Soothing Day Cream for £5.35 from Boots.

Which are your go-to moisturisers? Are you a fan of Nivea products?

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Viva Las Vegas!

Well, Las Vegas was officially amazing, and holiday blues have well and truly set in. It was a fantastic holiday, and I can't believe my dad and I managed to fit so much in. From meeting up with my uncle who came over from Canada to see us, to flying over the Grand Canyon and The Strip in a helicopter, it really was a trip of a lifetime. I thought I'd share some of my Vegas adventures with you!


As lovely as the pool area was at the MGM Grand, there wasn't much time for sunbathing. Our first trip after shaking off the jet lag was to the Hoover Dam.

Next was a visit to the Stratosphere to go on the world's three tallest thrill rides. Such an exhilarating experience! If that wasn't enough adrenaline, we also rode the roller coaster at the New York New York hotel.

That evening, we watched the dancing fountains at the Bellagio, before going to see Elton John at Caesar's Palace. We also saw the illusionists Penn and Teller while we were there too. Their tricks are mindblowing.

Next on the agenda was a trip to Freemont Street, which is older and more traditional side of Vegas, along with exploring all the magnificent hotels. We decided to take a trip up the 'Eiffel Tower' at the Paris hotel to get a stunning view of The Strip.

The final trip of the holiday was a helicopter flight over the Grand Canyon and The Strip. With breath-taking views, it was the perfect finish to the holiday.

And of course a trip to Vegas wouldn't be complete without a few flutters in the casinos in the evening. Sadly, big bucks did not come our way!

I had an amazing time and I'm so glad I got to spend some quality time with my dad and uncle. Have you been to Vegas before?

Friday, 4 October 2013

Quick Update!

Hello lovely readers!

Just a quick update to apologise for not posting as much recently - since getting back from The States on monday, I've been too busy getting back into the swing of things at work and with my fitness schedule to even think about blogging, not to mention battling jet lag!

My posts might also be a bit sparse throughout this month. Weekends are pretty much the only time I have to write and schedule my blogs, and this month my weekends are going to be taken up celebrating the many birthdays amongst my friends, plus my own in a couple of weeks - exciting!

I promise to post as much as I can, and I'll be back on track in November! X