Friday, 5 June 2015

A Royally Good Birchbox

I've never subscribed to a beauty box before, and I never really thought I would because I'm not heavy on the beauty side of things (read; I don't really know what I'm doing!). I have my handful of staples which I repurchase like the apocalypse is coming, and I don't often stray onto pastures new. All of that sort of changed recently when I was very kindly sent the April Birchbox to review (I know it's June now - some time off blogging and an impromptu holiday got in the way - forgive me?).
Royally Good Birchbox April 2015
Of course, it was royal baby themed, in light of the little prince or princess who was still a mystery at the time - including some fabulously royal brands like Percy & Reed and Laura Mercier. Keep scrolling to have a sneaky peek inside and see what I thought of it all...
Royally Good Birchbox April 2015
Included in the box:
  • Bliss - Fabulous Foaming Face Wash 30ml (197ml £19.50)
  • Korres - Bergamot & Pear Shower Gel 40ml (250ml £8)
  • Lola Barcelona - Nail Polish in Garcia (full size exclusive)
  • Laura Mercier - Longwear Creme Eye Pencil in Violet 0.8g (1.2g £18)
  • Percy & Reed London - Smooth, Sealed & Sensational Volumising No Oil Oil 30ml (60ml £14)
  • Inner Me - Energise Me Vitamins (full size £10)
Also; a discounted subscription to Tatler magazine, a handy card with all the products details and some tips on how to get the most out of the products.
Royally Good Birchbox April 2015
Royally Good Birchbox April 2015
Royally Good Birchbox April 2015
Royally Good Birchbox April 2015
Royally Good Birchbox April 2015
Royally Good Birchbox April 2015
Royally Good Birchbox April 2015
Overall, I was really impressed with this box! The packaging was adorable - and I love that some people got pink and some got blue because we didn't know if the royal babe would be a boy or a girl yet. The products inside are all stuff I'd definitely use, or at least give a try. I've used the nail varnish a lot already (of course) as it's a gorgeous vibrant summery colour. The foaming face wash is also great and was the perfect size for me to take away on holiday with me. I've even had a little play with the Laura Mercier eyeliner which is a really pretty colour and actually quite subtle which is nice. I'll likely pop up individual reviews/swatches of the products in the next couple of weeks - if there's anything you really want to see let me know!

This box has definitely made me think twice about beauty subscriptions and come pay day I think I'll be subbing up to Birchbox myself! Do you receive any beauty subscription boxes?

I'd love your comments and thoughts below, or: @justrachblog // justrachblog@gmail.com

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Sunday, 17 May 2015

Spring Blues at Oswaldtwistle Mills

TokyoLandry Knitwear
Hello cherubs! What with work being so busy and me feeling a little down in the dumps about my work/life balance I've been putting some serious effort into doing fun things in the evenings and at the weekends. My mum is on a bit of a similar mission to me too, which means lots more fun mum & daughter dates for us.

We headed out to one of our favourite places for lunch, a stroll and a spot of shopping - it was a pretty grey day but we still had lots of fun. Whenever mum plays photographer she really gets into the role of director, telling me to pose this way and that way - which usually ends in fits of giggles...
Tokyo Laundry Knitwear
Tokyo Laundry Knitwear
Tokyo Laundry Knitwear
Tokyo Laundry Knitwear
Tokyo Laundry Knitwear
Tokyo Laundry Knitwear
Tokyo Laundry Knitwear
Head-to-toe: Earrings: Chanel || Necklace: Aurora c/o House of Fraser || Jumper c/o TokyoLaundry || Skirt: Primark || Boots c/o SheLikes || Jacket: Wallis

After a lovely wander and a few little purchases we headed out into the gardens attached to the mills. They're a lot nicer in the summer when all the blooms and wildlife come out to play, but it was nice to get a little fresh air. I'm sporting my very first leather jacket purchase from Wallis which I picked up in the sale and I have basically not taken off since because it's just perfect. I've been hunting for the perfect jacket for literally years! I'm so fussy when it comes to the cut and style of jackets, I felt pretty lucky to pick this one up in my size! The jumper I'm wearing was kindly sent to me by TokyoLaundry who do a gorgeous range of knitwear. I'm an absolute addict, even in the summer I love a good knit. This jumper is the perfect mix of snug and breathable, which is great when the weather changes by the hour. I'd love to be able to wear this outfit without the tights (although the skirt might be a bit on the short side?!) - I'm praying for sunshine, who's with me?

I'd love your comments and thoughts below, or: @justrachblog // justrachblog@gmail.com

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Sunday, 10 May 2015

Fluffy Honey & Almond Pancakes

I honestly don't think I know anyone who doesn't love a good pancake - and that's not just on pancake day either! I love to crack out these simple ingredients for a scrumptious plate of breakfast, or even a bit of an indulgent supper. Read on to find out how to make the fluffiest, most delicious pancakes in town. You have your guests crying out for seconds, and thirds...!
how to make pancakes with ozeri frying pan
You will need a pretty simple set of ingredients:
  • Manuka Honey (I prefer to use this because it's so good for you, but if it's a little too pricey then regular runny honey will do just as well!)
  • Flaked almonds, for sprinkling!
  • 2 cracked eggs
  • 100g plain flour
  • 300ml milk (I use full fat because I'm naughty!)
  • A pinch of sugar
  • A tblsp of oil (I like to use olive)
  • a smidge of butter for greasing the pan
how to make pancakes with ozeri frying pan
how to make pancakes with ozeri frying pan
how to make pancakes with ozeri frying pan
how to make pancakes with ozeri frying pan
how to make pancakes with ozeri frying pan

First of all, go ahead and pop all of the flour into the bowl. Have a little fun making a well in the middle (I like to call it a nest) ready to perfectly fit the eggs into. Once they're in pour in a little bit of the milk - we don't want the flour to go lumpy. Finally, add the olive oil - I find this makes the pancakes that little bit more fluffy inside and stops them sticking the pan for better flipping!

how to make pancakes with ozeri frying pan
how to make pancakes with ozeri frying pan
how to make pancakes with ozeri frying pan
how to make pancakes with ozeri frying pan

Give it all a good old whisk up, really get those muscles working - adding the rest of the milk gradually until the mixture runs nicely off the whisk but isn't too runny. It should run off the whisk at a steady pace!

how to make pancakes with ozeri frying pan
how to make pancakes with ozeri frying pan

I like to add a cheeky little bit of butter to the pan. I think it makes the pancakes taste that little bit more indulgent - you can skip this step if you're a little more health conscious. 

The pan that I'm using to cook these delicious treats was kindly sent to me by Ozeri. It's a stainless steel earth pan with a pretty magical non-stick coating. B and I are the worst for cooking things and leaving them in the pan and all kinds of other kitchenware sins, but despite all that this pan is relentlessly easy to clean off - not that I'm complaining of course! It also has a huge advantage over the other steel pans I own, because it has a heat-resistant handle. One thing I'm always moaning about when it comes to kitchen utensils is that handles seems to either get hot or start to melt - totally useless!

how to make pancakes with ozeri frying pan
how to make pancakes with ozeri frying pan

Gently and evenly pour the batter from a height - this will make sure it forms pretty round pancakes that cook all the way through. I like my pancakes to be slightly thicker than the usual British offering - I reckon they're somewhere in between the classic American and the traditional Brit pancakes!

Ozeri Stainless Steel Earth Frying Pan
Let it cook through until it slides nicely around the pan and then - give it a flip! These pancakes are perfect for flipping without breaking. B and I tried in earnest to video flipping one of these babies and we just couldn't get the timing right! So you will just have to imagine it - or try for yourself and send me a link!!

how to make pancakes with ozeri frying pan
how to make pancakes with ozeri frying pan
how to make pancakes with ozeri frying pan
how to make pancakes with ozeri frying pan
how to make pancakes with ozeri frying pan

The best part - stack 'em up all nice, drizzle on the honey, sprinkle on the almonds and shamelessly tuck right in! More than enough for two greedy bloggers!

I'd love your comments and thoughts below, or: @justrachblog // justrachblog@gmail.com

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Monday, 27 April 2015

Countdown to Ibiza: H&M Holiday Wishlist

H&M Holiday Wishlsit
Pink Floral (top) (bottoms)
White Scalloped (top) (bottoms)
Blue Floral (top) (bottoms)
Straw Hat
Patterend Sarong
In just over a month I will be jumping on a plane and jetting off to sunny Ibiza (cue VengaBoys song) for a long overdue and well earned bit of r&r! It was a bit of an impulsive book so I've got right on with holiday shopping in earnest! There are so many totally gorgeous bikinis and some really beautiful beachwear  out there and to help me with that all important decision making process I've put a little wish-list together of my top picks from H&M.

I'd love your comments and thoughts below, or: @justrachblog // justrachblog@gmail.com

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Sunday, 26 April 2015

Jacamo Shoeduction Date Night

I often think I'm lucky, having a fashion blogger for a boyfriend. He gives me honest opinions about my outfits, and even picks them out for me sometimes - plus he has almost as big a shoe obsession as I do! It's funny because Jacamo recently revealed that shoes are pretty important when it comes to judging a man - a whopping 51% of women use shoes to make a judgement on a guys personality! I guess I must be one of the 51% because B has pretty impeccable taste in footwear, with a steady collection of the most beautiful brogues I've ever seen. Maybe that's what drew me to him in the first place!

Now that we're settled and living together it's a lot harder than it used to be to go on dates. Most nights we don't get home until late and we're both so pooped we just snuggle up with Netflix and watch some episodes of whatever TV show we're obsessed with (until the new season if OITNB comes out we're hooked on PLL). Jacamo gave use a fab opportunity to have a date night in as part of the Shoeduction campaign!

A mysterious box popped through my mailbox and I was under strict instruction to hand it right over to B and let him do his thing. It took literally everything I have not to peek inside the box, but I refrained and I'm glad I did! 

I was called upstairs to find a gorgeous candle lit bubble bath waiting for me (which smelled divine), and even a glass of wine on the side.




I don't know what was going on while I was having a lovely soak (I may, or may not have heard a knock at the door) but I was soon getting the smell of delicious food wafting up the stairs. I ventured down to find a delicious candle lit Chinese feast laid out at the table, plus more wine (duh!). We talked, we laughed and we stuffed our faces. It was actually really nice to just have a romantic dinner that wasn't rushed - we tend to throw our dinner down during the week because we're both so busy!

After polishing off our food we headed upstairs to get cosy. Out came a huge box of chocolates and The Notebook. We snuggled up and watch the movie together and I even got a relaxing shoulder massage with some delightful smelling oil.

Before settling down for a good nights sleep we giggled over the quips and anecdotes in the hilarious little Pillow Talk book that was included in the box. B really pulled off the most romantic of all date nights in!

I was even a bad blogger and decided that it was going to be all about the date and spending quality time with B - whenever we go out for meals the blogger in both of us is terrible for snapping away instead of actually enjoying each others company! Thank you so much to Jacamo for giving us this lovely opportunity to spend some time together and for sending all the lovely goodies in the mystery box!

I'd love your comments and thoughts below, or: @justrachblog // justrachblog@gmail.com

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