Sunday, 1 July 2012

The Quest for The Perfect Macaron

So, whilst I have been hiding from the law on my blogging sabbatical, I have developed some new interests. One of them includes trying to lose weight whilst avoiding the gym as much as possible (I'm waiting on a knee op and going to the gym when you can't go on any of the machines is frustrating as hell). 

The rest seem to centre around making 'homely' things - baking, knitting etc. I'm loathe to say 'crafting' but that's probably what it is. I should really have a loyalty card for Hobby Craft. My mum prefers the term 'nesting' but she is definitely barking up the wrong tree!

Every couple of years, my colleagues and I run a 'bake off' competition, during which I usually submit a half-hearted sponge cake. This year however, there are a good few of us who are keen bakers and I can feel the competition heating up. Each competitor must enter 2 categories and one of the ones I'm in is 'Biscuits & Cookies'. In a bid to do something a little different and as a challenge to myself, I have finally undertaken to master the perfect macaron (not to be confused to with coconut macaroons).

my first successful batch (after about 9 failed attempts)

As I had absolutely no idea where to start with this recipe, I started reading blogs a couple of weeks ago and gradually realised what I was letting myself in for. The words 'impossible', 'tempermental' and 'will drive you insane' featured heavily but I was not prepared to let it put me off. How hard can they be?!

To be honest, after the first 2 or 3 failed batches, I was ready to throw in the towel. But after discovering Not So Humble Pie, I began with renewed energy. I picked up an oven thermometer, sieved my almonds properly and took the time to bake them properly; slowly but surely the last 3 days have seen my macarons improve a lot.

At the moment, I am less concerned with flavours & fillings and only concerned with trying to practise my shell making skills. I'm probably developing an unhealthy obsession with them and have had the worst indigestion over the last few day from all the sampling, but I think once I have these mastered, it will be a life-long skill!

'Resting' Macarons


Macaron cross-section





I would LOVE to hear your experiences making these and if you have any tips or favourite flavours! 


Saturday, 30 June 2012

Return of the (Mrs) Mac

Hello... How are you?

Well, after 3 months, I have finally pulled my shizz together and worked out what I'm doing with the blog. Well done if you're even still a follower!

After lots of in-my-head-blog thoughts and a very short debate on Twitter, I have decided to take the blog in a more 'general' direction and lose the makeup specialism. That's not to say there won't be makeup posts, but they will be interspersed with others. Mostly cupcake posts I imagine. Baking is about the only other thing I'm good at!

Anyway, here's some pics of what I've been up to recently and a taster of what's to come... Nice to see you again! x

Kenwood kMix. This purchase has changed my life. For rizzle.


I grew some garlic in my vegetable patch


I have baked a lot of cupcakes



I have purchased a pink Pashley Poppy. It arrives 25th July and I am beyond excited

Finally got a bit of a stamp on our house. It was all cream before. even the floors


am in full wedding season swing


At various points, have consumed red, delicious cider


Have begun my quest for the perfect french macaron. 


Sunday, 15 April 2012


so, you may have been wondering where I've been for the last 6 weeks... well, unfortunately I haven't won the lottery or been away in Miami (*sigh*). My lovely old Granda passed away at the start of March and I've been keeping my head down since. 

Although I haven't been online much, I will be back soon. I'm going to take some time to re-evaluate what the blog is about and the direction it's going before I launch back. If you have any favourite type posts then let me know. 


Saturday, 3 March 2012

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Boy


I am so, so late to this particular party, that I've practically turned into a pumpkin! The Chanel Rouge Coco Shine 'Lipshines' hit the shelves about a year ago; I remember seeing this vid from Ruth at A Model Recommends and thinking 'nah, not for me' but for some reason, they always lingered in the back of my mind.

I finally had the opportunity to try some out last week, when I nipped into Boots about 10 mins before they were closing (tip, always go to makeup counters last thing as the SAs are balancing the books, cashing tills & wont bother you!). I thought I would go for something pinkier, but when I tried out 'Boy' I loved the taupe/flesh tones & snapped one up.



What Chanel say...

ROUGE COCO SHINE makes an irresistible desire for lightness flit over your makeup. With its mischievous touch, it glides over lips with all the charm and freshness of a snapshot.

As melt-away as a balm, its lip-embracing texture becomes fluid on contact with the lips and provides a stunning gloss effect with natural shine. Deliciously fresh and soft, it delivers an unforgettable sensation of well-being.

Lips are enveloped in the incomparable comfort of continuous 8-hour-long hydration thanks to the Hydratender complex, the secret behind the softness of the ROUGE COCO range.

These lovely little lipshines are indeed 'melty', blending into the lip like a lovely light lipbalm with a high shine. Like Ruth, I've been wearing mine instead of a lipbalm & my lips have been feeling super soft. Incredibly, I've noticed that they don't slip off after 1/2 hr and do manage a good 2-3hrs wear; given how light they are, I think this is excellent.



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My lips are often the last thing I think about when I'm doing my makeup & I never wear lipstick unless it's the feature of my look for that night. I usually find them drying & can never be bothered with the lunchtime trip to the ladies to 'freshen' my makeup. I normally rely on lipbalms to polish my lips up, but this is a firm favourite replacement. I love that the colour just evens out the tone of my lips without colouring them too much & shine finishes the look off nicely. The biggest bonus about these is that the glossy finish is not in the least bit sticky, meaning I can wear my hair down AND wear a lip colour without fear of my hair getting gloopy.


If you fancy getting your mitts on one of these lovelies, but don't like the £23 price tag, head on over to Buyapowa where they have a co-buy coming up for Rouge Coco Shine in 'Chance'. Knowing how good the deals are, I'm hoping this will be down to about £15-£16! You can enter your email address so you're notified as soon as it goes live, which I hope is soon!

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Clarins Ever Matte Foundation & Powder


The 'Ever Matte' foundation is a new offering from Clarins and I quite simply love it. I got sent a tube (? bottle? I'm not sure what to call this packaging?) a few weeks ago, around the same time I discovered Chanel Perfection Lumier. I discarded this to the 'test later' drawer in favour of my new discovery from Chanel & didn't really give it a second thought. I eventually pulled it out & gave it a go. I was blown away by how lovely it is and I've used it every day since. I've actually been & purchased 2 other bottles/tubes so I have a nice range of shades.


Here's what Clarins say...

The perfect shine-control, balancing foundation for women looking for matte skin in any circumstance. Its plant-based "Skin Detox" complex regulates production of sebum and tightens pores. The fluid, lightweight texture perfectly melts into the skin, allowing it to breathe without any drying effect. The complexion is enhanced with an imperceptible matte veil which remains flawless from morning to night.

As usual, there's guff about tightening pores & other science-bothering info, but for once I agree with most of what's said. It is oil-free, but is not powdery or drying & therefore would be suitable for almost any skin. If your skin is nearing the extreme dry end of the scale, I'd suggest giving it a miss, but anything else - this will give you a lovely, medium-full coverage, that still manages to look like skin.

The other amazing 'plus' is the fact it does last from morning to night. In fact, I tweeted the other day...

"had such a good hair & makeup day today. love when that happens. plus Clarins' Ever Matte foundation is the SH*T"

The other product pictured is the Mineral Powder Compact, which is delightful. It has a sublime fresh scent; like sweet cucumbers. I suck at describing things. But trust me, these products are seriously worth checking out, even if your skin is normal. Do. It.



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The foundation is available at counters for £24 and the powder is available for £25

Friday, 24 February 2012

Kate Spade Kindle Cover

*rant warning*

*If you're not a Kindle owner, this will be boring as fuc..*

If you follow me on Twitter, you will have undoubtedly seen me complaining long & hard about the serious lack of good Kindle covers. I'm not talking about quality - I know I could've had a pink one from Tesco or a sturdy one from Amazon blah blah blah... I'm talking about CHOICE!! From Amazon to Tesco to Curry's Digital - there's about 4 different options, in the same insipid colours and they are BORING!!!!

Now, if I had an iPad, I could have had 5111 choices from Zazzle, or this Valentino case, this Jimmy Choo case or an animal friendly case from Stella McCartney (I could go on and on...) but I DON'T have an iPad! I bought my Kindle just before I went to the states & decided to lay-off buying a case until I got there, expecting to find a plethora of choices. But I didn't. It was mighty disappointing!! I started searching on Amazon and I quickly stumbled across a fab selection from Kate Spade and DVF, but actual FFS. They only ship to the sodding US. grrrrrrr

I was ready to give up my search and settle for this coral offering from Belkin (my mum has this one & it's fine, but the flip catch thing would have driven me CRAZY!), when an angel from Houston stepped in (she's actually my Husband's friend from Uni) and was happy to order one for me & it arrived today!! HURRAH!! So, I went for the Pebbled Leather in Pink (note - my pics are about gazillion times more colour accurate than Amazon's). It's buttery soft and I adore the colour. Even though it's a completely different colour to the one I was expecting, I'm really pleased it's a more vibrant fuschia than the pastel pink shown. I was slightly worried that in the pics on Amazon, the elastic sections looked a bit 'loose' but I am really impressed with how strong & tight the corners are gripping my Kindle in place. I shook it about a bit & my Kindle didn't quiver one bit. Overall, the quality is awesome & I'm glad I stuck to my guns and ordered one. Now, all you Kindle geeks, feast your eyes below...








Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Clarins Instant Light Blush 'Vitamin Pink'

A few weeks ago, I blogged about the latest Clarins SS12 collection - Spring Breeze. Immediately, I knew the cream blushes were the stand-out & I've worn 'Vitamin Pink' every day since. A few pics below showing it on my face!


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Birthday Giveaway Announcement

Well, it's been a while eh? Apologies for my absence over the last couple of weeks but my Grandad was very poorly & a few other bits have been occupying my time. Back on track now & where to better to begin than by announcing the winner of my Birthday Giveaway!

and the winner is...

Congrats Chieri, please email me & I'll get your prize posted out asap!

Obligatory screen grab of Random.Org

Screen shot 2012-02-21 at 11.59.32

Thanks to everyone who took part!

A x

Saturday, 4 February 2012

FOTD with Chanel Perfection Lumiere & New Hair!

Last year when I heard Chanel's Pro Lumiere was going to be discontinued, I was pretty gutted as I loved it. But then, I also loved about 5 other foundations & I quickly moved on, shoved my Chanel to the back of the drawer & got over it. Hence I was completely unaware when Chanel launched the replacement Perfection Lumiere a couple of weeks ago! After reading Milly's post over at Pearls & Poodles, I hit up my local counter to see what the fuss was all about. I have a lovely relationship with the girls over there, so obtaining a sample was not a problem (I may be spontaneous, but even I wont drop £36 on a foundation that might be rubbish!)

So anyway, I picked up Rose Beige 12, based on the SA's assessment & she was spot on. She did advise me it oxidises & this is totally correct. I am as pale as pale can be & this still manages to look like tipex on first application, but within a few minutes, it has disappeared into the most perfect match for my skin.

(sorry the pics are so blurry!)

The texture is beautiful; it's super light, with a medium coverage. The application is silky smooth - almost like a gel/silicone texture that glides & blends into the skin easily. It sets within a few seconds to a light semi-matte finish. If you have normal skin you will have the choice of not having to use powder. I think if you have slightly oily skin this will still work well with a primer underneath, but if you have dry skin you'll need to moisturise super well or give it a miss.

My skin is normal and fairly even in texture. If you have any skin issues, you might want to obtain a good few days worth of samples before investing your hard earned cash. But if it works for you, this will look beautiful.

Chanel Perfection Lumiere

Moving on; I've had my hair cut! If you're a normal person who gets their hair done every 6-8 weeks, then you'll wonder what all the fuss is about, but I get mine cut every 6-8 months, so this is a fairly big deal! My last chop was in September last year at Rainbow Rooms International in Glasgow, which I loved but in the space of 4 months, my hair was almost back to full length again. I decided this time to give a local salon a run for it's money & ended up at James Dunn House, an experience I thoroughly enjoyed. I really wanted a good lot cut off this time & asked for a long shoulder length style, very blunt and no layers. I took a few pics in as inspiration (something you should always do!) but this one of Claire Danes was my favourite.


I absolutely adore the shorter length & I love using my Enrapture rollers to achieve lovely soft waves. I feel much more pretty than I ever did with the straggles of my stripper hair hanging wispily around my neck! I think when I go back I might ask for it a smidge shorter - I'm feeling brave!

And lastly! Since October, I have been lusting after this Chinti & Parker Cashmere sweater after spotting it on Wearing It Today, but there was no way I could splash out £350 on a jumper. I squealed when I found this navy & stars cardigan in H&M when I was on a 'basics' shop, stocking up on vests etc. Unfortunately, it was sold out completely in both Aberdeen stores & online. I found it in New York! Hurrah! It's obviously not a complete replacement of the sweater, but at £12, it'll do me just fine!

(looking v uncomfortable!)

Hope you're having a good weekend!