Thursday, 31 December 2015

What I got for Christmas

I love reading these posts and so thought I would write my own post about some of the things that I got for Christmas. Actually, my favourite thing about Christmas isn't what I got, but spending time with loved ones and seeing their reaction to what I bought them...I should have done a "What I bought others for Christmas" post. Unfortunately, I didn't photograph any of that. A small disclaimer here, I really am not showing off. I feel incredibly lucky this year to have received some incredible gifts.

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Whitening toothpaste and contouring lipgloss review

A good friend of mine, Becky, recently starting working with NuSkin and gave me a whitening toothpaste and contouring lip gloss to try out. I've seen these splashed all over social media recently and was curious about them to say the least. I've been using them as directed for 4 weeks now and this is what I think.


Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Sprout Pizza Recipe

I previously blogged about Brussels Sprouts during Blogmas where I wrote about my plans to convert Mr T into a sprout lover. I can't honestly say that I was massively successful but one recipe did work well. Ladies and Gentlemen, I bring you Sprout Pizza! If you've still got sprouts lying around after Christmas, give this a go. I dare you.

Sunday, 27 December 2015

What Blogmas taught me...

I did Blogmas this year and despite nativity plays, Christmas meals, family emergencies and everything else that the season brings, I did it! I blogged everyday until Christmas. I'm SO proud of myself for doing it and this is what it taught me.



Thursday, 24 December 2015

Blogmas Day 24: Twas the Night Before Christmas - Blogger's Edition

Every year, at Christmas, my gran or mum reads from the oldest book I've ever seen. Inside that book is the famous poem by Clement Clarke Moore which I can definitely recite word for word. I've adapted it to a blogger's version. I hope you like it (and forgive some of the dodgy rhymes...!)



Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Blogmas Day 22: Ultimate Hot Chocolate

I love hot chocolate - thick, creamy and sweet - but hot chocolate powders bought in the shops also seem so woeful. I've perfected (I believe) a handmade blend of hot chocolate that makes the ultimate hot chocolate. 

Monday, 21 December 2015

Blogmas Day 21: Homemade Wrapping Paper

I fell in love with brown paper packages tied up with string a long, long time ago in my very distant am-dram past and decided I would recreate my past in a haze of nostalgia and festive spirit.

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Blogmas Day 20: Brussels Sprouts Recipes

Love them or loathe them, Brussels Sprouts are as much a part of Christmas as Santa and trees. Perhaps I exaggerate but there's certainly no escaping them. 

Mr T is a sprout hater, I am a sprout lover. We're very sprout incompatible. So this year will be the year I convert him. And this is how I plan to do it...
I think the main problem with sprouts is over-cooking them. I mean no-one will enjoy a grey, soggy sprout. Not to mention that overcooking sprouts releases the sulphur inside, leaving them reminiscent of rotten egg. But cooked right, the sprout is crisp, sweet and nutty.

I created a board of recipes I fancy trying over the sprout season which you can see below. Included are ways to roast sprouts, sprout quesadillas and sprout soup! Mr T will learn to love them...!


Follow Tori's board Brussels Sprouts Recipes on Pinterest.

How do you cook your sprouts? 

Have a beautiful day, inside and out
Tori X

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Blogmas Day 19: The Morning After

We all know it's not big and it's not clever but at Christmas, lots of us overindulge on the festive drinks and wake up less than fresh.

Last night was my annual girls Christmas night out and today has been sponsored by this emoji: 


Here's my 4 step hangover plan: 

1) Crisps. I always crave crisps after a night out, the crunch, the salt! I couldn't swear that they make me feel better but it gets something into my body without any effort. 

2) Coffee. Actually anything to rehydrate, I start with a sugary drink, follow with water then a coffee. Starbucks came to the rescue this morning. 


3) Cosmetics. Having a shower and using some creamy cosmetics always makes me look better which makes me feel fresher than I am. I use really light creamy products - CC cream, cream blush and cream highlighter with a little mascara and some lip balm. 

4) Catnap. I don't tend to plan much more than lying on the sofa with a ready supply of films and regular nap intervals.

That all said, I'm off to get some Netflix on and take my 3rd nap of the day...

Have a beautiful day, inside and out

Tori x

Friday, 18 December 2015

Blogmas Day 18: Beauty Gift Guide

This is the last weekend before Christmas. A time for panic buying and last minute present shopping. After all, we've got to send them to the big man at the North Pole before Christmas Eve (still a believer and proud of it...)

Here's what I think you could buy for the beauty addict in your life - or send the link to the relevant purchaser...

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Blogmas Day 17: Hot Chocolate Spoons

Is there actually anything better than hot chocolate on a cold winter's day? If there is, I'm not sure I've found it!


Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Blogmas Day 16: Handmade Christmas Cards

I've always loved making my own cards and every year I intend to make my own Christmas cards. This year, I decided to make family cards using a simple motif and some sewing. 


Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Blogmas Day 15: My Christmas Tree

I think I'll be a lady of few words today. Only 10 days until the big man arrives!

I've had my tree up for two weeks now and one of my favourite things to do is watch the Xmas food channel (heaven in a TV channel....!) with the lights off and my tree sparkling. Bliss. 


So without further ado I'll get into the tree business and my favourite ornaments. Hope you like it :)


Monday, 14 December 2015

Blogmas Day 14: Sharpie Pen Plate

Pinterest is fast consuming all my free time. I keep seeing these amazing mugs that have been decorated with a Sharpie pen so I made my own version - a plate to use for our traditional Christmas morning breakfast - bacon and sausage sandwiches! 



Sunday, 13 December 2015

Blogmas Day 13: Candy Cane Vodka

I've been so busy this week that I've had to write my posts on the run using the blogger app on my phone...apologies if the photos and formatting are weird! I finish work on Thursday when normal service can resume!

Today's Blogmas is alcohol themed. And candy cane themed. Yippee!!! 



Saturday, 12 December 2015

Blogmas Day 12: The Christmas Tag

I love tag posts - get to know a bit more about the person behind the blog!


1. What's your favourite holiday movie? 
Without a doubt, Home Alone. I remember it coming out and loved it!! 

2. What's your favourite Christmas colour? 
I'll have to pick two - white and gold. I love the two together. Especially at Christmas! It's my tree theme this year too! 

3. Do you like to stay in your pjs or dress up for Christmas? 
I'm all over a new Christmas dress - love dressing up! 

4. If you could buy only one person a present this year, who would it be? 
I'd buy a present for my sister. She's training for her dream job at the moment and doesn't earn anything - a brave decision from an even braver lady! 

5. Do you open your presents Christmas Eve or Christmas morning? 
Always Christmas morning! I don't open a single present before then. Even when I was little and visited Santa's grotto, I had to put his present under the tree and wait. 



6. Have you ever built a gingerbread house? 
This year I bought a kit, planning to make it and use it for a Blogmas post. It was the BIGGEST FESTIVE FAIL EVER. Poor little gingerbread house! 


7. What do you like to do on your Christmas break? 
Spend as much time as possible with friends and family!! 

8. Any Christmas wishes? 
I'd just like everyone to have a better 2016 than 2015. Too many people I know have had a crummy year and is love that to be better next year. 

9. Favourite Christmas smell? 
I always love the winter spiced candles that spring up around Christmas time. I don't know what they smell of exactly but they're delicious!! 



10. Favourite Christmas meal or treat? 
It's got to be the big Christmas dinner - turkey and all the trimmings, even the sprouts. Although the Boxing Day buffet comes a close close second.... 

If you decide to do this tag, let me know in the comments below and I'll check out your answers. 

Have a beautiful day, inside and out 

Tori xx


Friday, 11 December 2015

Blogmas Day 11: A Blogger's Gift Guide

Welcome to Blogmas day 11! I started to think about gifts I would love as a blogger so decided to do a bloggers gift guide.

Also this is my 100th post! Whoooooopp!!!




Thursday, 10 December 2015

Blogmas day 10: Christmas Party Look

One tradition I know and love is the works Christmas do. The nature of my job means I get messy every day so do little more than flick some mascara on, brush some blush on and hope for the best. I love being able to really go for it on the works Christmas do as well as seeing all my colleagues dressed up too!



Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Blogmas Day 9: Alphabet Dating C - Comedy Club

As you might have seen from my previous posts on the arcades and Bonfire Night, Mr T and I are doing alphabet dating. This idea is that every couple of weeks, you go on a date linked to the next letter of the alphabet. That way, over the course of a year, you've done some lovely dates regularly! Mr T and I were definitely stuck in the meal and cinema rut and have loved planning our dates!



Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Blogmas Day 8: Tree Decorations

This year, I decided to change my whole Christmas tree theme to white and gold - I couldn't resist all the icicles and gorgeous white and gold decorations in the shops!

I also decided to make some of my own decorations after seeing photo baubles in B&M Bargains on a 3 for £5 offer.

Monday, 7 December 2015

Blogmas Day 7: Festive Fudge

It's always around this time of year that my mind turns to baking sweet sugary goodness and one of my favourites is fudge.

I've loved making fudge ever since I discovered the EASIEST method ever for making it involving just three ingredients and a microwave!

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Blogmas Day 6: Christmas gift guide - her

Is doing a gift guide the blogger's equivalent to going through the Argos catalogue and circling ALL the toys? I really think it is...! I've had great fun creating this gift guide so you can look forward to more versions :) Now...to redirect Mr T to this post...


Saturday, 5 December 2015

Blogmas Day 5: Christmas Cocktail

When I was in my early 20s, I developed a fascination with cocktails. I had a shelf that was my cocktail 'bar' crammed full of weird and wonderful liqueurs that I used to concoct a variety of cocktails. Then cocktails sort of disappeared and it was all about the fizz. However, now, cocktails are back in a big way and I found myself getting inspired so here is my christmas cocktail. I'm going to name it Rudolph's Sparkle.


Friday, 4 December 2015

Blogmas Day 4: Christmas Homeware

I wish it was acceptable to decorate my house all year round with reindeers. Alas, I must save that for December. Here's my selection of my favourite homeware this Christmas.


Thursday, 3 December 2015

Blogmas Day 3: Christmas Quotes

Welcome to Blogmas Day 3. I've been collecting Christmas quotes on Pinterest for a while now, hoping to use them for some sort of Christmas craft, perhaps cards. I do love a cheeky quote!

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Blogmas Day 2: Christmas traditions

It's the most wonderful time of the year, la la la. Welcome to Blogmas Day 2 where I intend to bore enlighten you with my family's Christmas traditions!

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Blogmas Day 1: Christmas Jumpers

I may live to regret this decision as I head into the busiest time of the year, but I'm going to attempt Blogmas - a post every day for 25 days. Eeeeeek!

I'll kick it all off with a seasonal favourite - the Christmas jumper. These have become so ubiquitous over the past few years that I don't think it would be Christmas without one now.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

November's Love Me Beauty Box

As you may have seen last month (Love Me Beauty Box Review) I signed up to the Love Me Beauty Box service where you can select the products you receive each month. So far, I've been impressed and this month was no different.

Read on to see what I chose this month...



Wednesday, 25 November 2015

5 ways to: Log off

I've decided to start a new series on my blog - the 5 ways to...  This week, it's 5 ways to log off.

Recently I've been trying to have a couple of logged off nights a week. Blogging and work can take over my whole evenings until it seems as though my fingers can tap out an imaginary blog post or tweet in my sleep! It becomes habit forming to spend each night attached to an electronic device so, while it seems counter productive to blog about it, here's my top five ways to log off and refresh.


Monday, 23 November 2015

#24daysofwren Christmas Gingerbread Cake Recipe

I've really been getting into the festive spirit recently and along with my festive spirit comes a festive appetite. One of my favourite Christmas recipes is gingerbread cake. Nothing beats my mum's gingerbread cake - it's dark, sticky and oozing with childhood memories. I grabbed the recipe from her and gave it a go...

This blog post is part of Wren's #24DaysofWren advent calendar posts so check out the link to see what everyone else has created :)

You can find the advent calendar of everyone's lovely ideas over at the Wren Kitchens website

Christmas Gingerbread Cake Recipe


November's Beauty Buys

A round up of my November beauty buys!

Friday, 20 November 2015

Caramelised Onion and Bacon Crustless Quiche

In an attempt to kickstart my Slimming World journey *AGAIN*, I've been scouring the web for delicious recipes I can adapt to a Slimming World approach. This Caramelised Onion crustless quiche is one of those recipes.


Crustless quiche is a Slimming World staple but often made with cottage cheese which I loathe. I've sacrificed healthy extras here for milk and cheese but you could use cottage cheese instead of the milk if you desired. The whole quiche uses 5 Healthy Extra A choices but easily cuts into 10-12 pieces which would be 1/2 a Healthy Extra A each or 3 syns. Your choice.

Ingredients

  • 300ml skimmed milk (1 x HExA, or just less)
  • 90g Gruyere cheese, grated (3 x HExA)
  • 30g Cheddar cheese, grated (1 x HExA)
  • 6 slices smokey bacon, cooked and chopped (fat cut off, you know the drill!)
  • 2 large white onions, sliced
  • 5 eggs, beaten 
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Nutmeg (about 1/4 tsp, or a sprinkle if you're rebellious like me)
  • Frylight
Method
  1. Caramelise your onions. I spray a pan with Frylight and add the sliced onion to it on a medium heat for 30 minutes. If it looks like it's getting dry, I add a splash of water which adds some moisture but also deglazes the pan a little to add the caramelly flavour. 
  2. Mix the eggs, milk, cheese, bacon and seasoning in a dish. (I mix my eggs, cheese etc in the dish I'll be cooking in, sprayed with Frylight first, but that's because I'm trying to minimise washing up!)
  3. Add the onions to the mixture once they're caramelised.
  4. Bake (Cook?) in the oven until it's set - I cooked mine on 200oC for about 35 minutes before I checked it for a set. 
  5. Let it cool and eat with plenty of salad! 
Cue some shoddy food photography, haha! 

Onions caramelising 

Bacony, eggy, cheesy, milky goodness

I take my quiche for lunches at work when I want something more than just a salad. I also sometimes eat it for my breakfast if I want to save my Healthy Extra B for my dinner (Dr Pepper pulled pork on a bread roll = heaven!)

Do you make Slimming World quiche? What are your favourite fillings?

Have a beautiful day, inside and out

Tori xx

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Alphabet Dating - B - Bonfire Night

Mr T and I are onto the second date of our Alphabet Dating adventures. You can read all about A - Amusement Arcades here. It seems a little out-of-date now, I really should have written this post up sooner, but our B date was Bonfire Night! I hadn't been to a bonfire since I was a student so I was ridiculously excited to do this!

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Lush Review: The Experimenter

All (or practically) beauty bloggers love Lush and I'm no exception. I plan my Lush baths with almost military precision and woe betide anyone who disturbs them! My latest Lush bath used The Experimenter bath bomb, a new one for me.


Friday, 13 November 2015

Does setting spray work? Urban Decay Setting Spray | A Tori Test

I'm coming to the end of my setting spray and wanted to write about my great great love for it! I wouldn't be without this stuff and it breaks my heart to have to start rationing it now while it's running out!


Basically, this product does what it says on the tin (well, bottle but who am I to mess with a saying!)

It sets your makeup and makes sure that it DOES NOT MOVE.




I'm the first to admit, I was doubtful. I was skeptical. I didn't believe.

I was wrong.


Just look! I tried to use setting spray on only one swatch but that's harder than it looks. So on the left we have a swatch which was half covered with setting spray and half not, on the right a swatch fully coated in setting spray. The results speak for themselves. I swatched the eyeshadow quite hard, sprayed the setting spray on one (and a half) swatches and left it to dry. Then I rubbed my wrist, vigorously. The quality of the eyeshadow used (Makeup Revolution!) means that it stayed on with or without the setting spray but there's no denying that the setting spray made a massive difference. In fact, I struggled to wash the eyeshadow off in the shower after this photo had been taken. (Cue some awkward questions from my colleagues..!)

Now I've just got to re-purchase the setting spray so I'll never be without!

Do you use setting spray?

Have a beautiful day, inside and out

Tori xx

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Cyprus - some October sunshine

I recently spent a week in Cyprus, a favourite place for my family and I to holiday. We always stay in Paphos which is in the southwest of the island. In legend, it's the place where Aphrodite rose from the sea.



Sunday, 8 November 2015

The 13 Personal Questions Tag

I recently read the 13 personal questions tag on SazBomb and loved it. Here's my answers to the questions...

Friday, 6 November 2015

Birthday Goodies

It was my birthday at the end of October - my favourite time of the year. I really enjoy spending time with my friends and family so birthdays are a great excuse to get everyone together. However, this year, I was also really really spoiled by everyone! I got some great presents from everyone so thought I'd share them with you now.



Wednesday, 4 November 2015

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