Pepper Recipes 

As some of you may have seen on my Instagram I had quite the collection of red peppers last week and wanted to do something to use them up so they wouldn’t go to waste. Although you can freeze peppers they don’t hold together well after defrosting due to their water content so are really only good for stews and the likes. So I decided to make a soup and some pesto as these would both freeze way better and the  flavour wouldn’t be compromised.  

So the other reason I decided to make a pesto is because my little lady seems to gobble it up. On pasta or on pastry she has loved my attempts so far, so this was just a new flavour to add the repertoire.  I adopted a recipe from the happy pear and put a few of my own twists on it. The recipe is below. 

Ingredients 

6 red peppers cut into chunks 

6 cloves of garlic skin left on

100 grams of almonds or any nut of your choice 

Flavourless oil (I use rapeseed) 

Lemon juice

Salt.

Method:

1. First I placed all the peppers and the garlic in an oven dish and I roasted at 190 Celsius for 40 minutes. This left the skin of the peppers charred amd blistered. Take them out of the oven and allow to cool. You can peel off the skin of the peppers but it’s not necessary just personal preference. 

2. I then placed the peppers, the nuts and the garlic into a bowl. The garlic, once roasted, will go soft and sweet so you just squeeze the clove and a paste will burst out through the skin. (It’s delicious). I chopped the nuts slightly as my food processor died a few weeks ago so I made this recipe with a regular stick blender. I then added about 2 tablespoons of oil and started to blitz. 

3. Once everything is blended add the lemon juce and a pinch of salt and taste. It is really important that you taste as you go because personal preference is huge. I like a lot of citrus and the acid helps to cut through the richness of the pesto.  At this point you also continue to add oil until you achieve your desired consistency. I find it perfect when it’s think enough to load onto a spoon and dollop on a plate. ūüôā 

4. Once it is done you can place the mix in any freezer safe container and freeze or keep it in the fridge. The longest mine lasted was a week, not because it spoiled but because that’s the longest we have gone without eating it all. I freeze mine in silicone cup cake cases, so once they are frozen  you can peel the case off and place all the disk’s into one freezer bag. Perfect portions for adding to a dish. 

Again this recipe could be adapted to sundried tomatoes also and would be amazingly tasty. This pesto works on pasta,  meat, stirred into salads, sandwiches, anything at all really. I hope you get the chance to give it a go as it for the seal of approval from my 10month old so it must be good. ūüôā
Thanks for checking in. 

Steph xxx 

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The Spa At The Kingsley

I have posted here previously about the afternoon tea at the kingsley hotel as it is one of my more frequent haunts for the occasion. It is such a beautiful setting with views of the River Lee running the entire length of the window in the dining area. The food has never let me down to date and the staff have always been ready to add extra touches where requested. This year for the birthday of my bestie we decided to visit again and they took such good care of us. We had booked in for facials in the spa that she had won in a competition not long before that and I arranged for afternoon tea and added on 2 extra treatments as a surprise for her. The staff in the K Lounge were good enough to bring out a lovely birthday plate with some chocolates and a candle and like the big eejit I am I sang her happy birthday, all on my own, in the middle of a busy restaurant. 

So we ate our afternoon tea and lounged around a bit before heading to the spa. When we arrived we were shown to the locker room and given robes, slippers and towels. We changed into our swimsuits and off we went down the spiral stairs to the thermal suite. This could possibly be one of the most relaxing places on earth. It starts when you arrive to heated loungers where I could have happily spent the whole hour but there was so much else to do. We claimed our loungers and left our stuff and headed straight into the first room which was a laconium, this was like a steam room but with a very gentle heat. Next up we decided to be brave and went and spent a few minutes in the Turkish Baths also known as the Hamam and this is amazing. The steam is heated to 65degrees Celsius and infused with eucalyptus so it is refreshing and cleansing. We also spent time in the aromatherapy steam room which again has the herbal infused steam to make it all the more relaxing. One of my favourite rooms in the thermal suite is the finish sauna. This is a traditional wooden sauna heated to between 90 & 100 degrees for optimum detox. I adore the smell in these saunas, it reminds me of being on holidays. There is a jacuzzi, an array of tropical showers and even an ice shower to really cool off. There is also a cryotherapy room. This is equipped with the heated loungers but it also projects different colours of light which are said to have different relaxing and healing properties. 

In the swimming pool area there is an outdoor heated plunge pool that again looks out at the river and the walkway and lucky for us it was a beautiful day so we chilled out here for a while just taking in the scenery. Then it was time for our treatments. We each had a 60 minute customised Kerstin Florian facial. I already use Kerstin Florian products and can’t recommend them enough but this facial was something else. My skin was left so smooth and hydrated and it actually had a glow for the first time in a long time. There is an entire ritual to the facial which involves making you fully relaxed with oils and pressure points before they even begin so I was totally zen. Next we had a Neom all over body scrub and this was followed by a relaxing back neck and shoulder massage. These took 30 minutes each and complimented each other so well. I was left tension free, so relaxed and my skin looked amazing. The mixture of essential oils that are used in these treatments are incredible. Anyone who has used a Neom product before will no exactly what I am talking about. The girls in the spa were so lovely and they went into the detail of all our treatments before we began and then they explained all of the products they had used when we were done. 

We then went outside to a relaxation room where we were left to chill out with a plate of nibbles and a glass or prosecco. As you can see there is a major lack of pictures from the spa part of our day. Partially because I couldn’t bring my camera into the thermal suite, and partly because I was so relaxed when we left the thermal suit that I forgot to photograph the rest of the experience. I have some pics of the locker room which I will include but full photo credit for all spa shots goes to the Kingsleys website. 

I have to give a special mention to my therapist on the day Niamh and the spa manager Amy as they went above and beyond to help me make the day special  and we genuinely had such a fantastic day. We are already planning a trip back soon. The package that we booked on the day unfortunately is no longer available but if you wanted to combine what we had into a smaller package then I recommend Scent to make you feel twice as good package. You can find all the details here.

Thanks for checking in. 

Steph xxx

July Glossybox Unboxing

It finally arrived after what seemed like a really long wait this month and I have to say it seems so far to have been worth the wait. This months Glossybox features 5 full sized products that will all be making their way into my “try this” pile. First up we have UTAN & Tone gradual facial tanning night cream. I am excited to try this out to see what shade it will develop into as some days I don’t have the tine or the energy to be putting on a full face of make-up but look so pasty and washed out without one. Hopefully this will provide a good glow without turning me orange, I will update everyone accordingly. **Update I tried this out on Friday night and it was great. It was a slight colour so no oompa loompa face and with cocoa brown tan on my body and neck it blended in really well. It has a lovely fragrance and dries in well so thumbs up from me. 

Next up is the Hawaiian Tropic factor 25 lip gloss. Now unfortunately for me I don’t know if there will be much need for this product for what is left of the Irish summer, however it is berry scented and I am a sucker for the berry scent. It is a nice texture too and I think I will be a nice sister and donate it to my big sis for her holidays next week. Again I will be sure to update with her trusted opinion when she gets home. 

Next up is the icons Milano mascara. First impression here is that there is nothing inside the tube to remove the excess from the brush so it comes out pretty fully loaded. I ended up having to scrape it off the edges of the tube for my second eye. It took a while to dry and there was a little bit of transfer to under my eyebrow trough the night. It was a nice texture and didn’t clump but I did have to reapply it as my lashes started to loose their oomph. It’s not my favourite mascara from Glossybox but it’s not bad either.


I like to finish on a positive when I can so the second last product will be not so great. It is the Hairon detangling brush. My first issue with this brush was that the box looked like it had been dropped or found down the back of a shelf after 12 moths of hiding. It was tatty and the name was starting to scrape off as you can kind of see in my pictures. Then when I took the brush itself out I had the same issue, there was dirt marks on the back that wouldn’t wipe off and scrape marks again like it had been dropped or scrope up against something else out of the box. Now it’s not the worst detangling brush in the world. It didn’t cause any damage to the hair but some of my more stuck in knots wouldn’t budge with this. The bristles just bent and didn’t go through it. It would be perfect for younger girls who have hair that is less damaged but unfortunately my dry balyage ends were just too much for this brush. 


And now for the positive note and my goodness is it positive. I have been wanting to get my hand on a blank canvas brush for a while as I have always heard great things about them, but when it came to buying new brushes I always seemed to forget they were out there. Not anymore. Enter stage left the blank canvas F20 HD Buffer Brush. It says on their website for a HD finish use this brush to stipple or buff in your foundation, and because the fibres are synthetic you can use any type of foundation be it liquid, cream or powder and it actually buffs in for a flawless finish. Even on my giant pore covered face it was a close to an airbrush finish as I will ever get I think. And look at the colour of it. I mean really can it do no wrong?


So that is it for this months Unboxing, all in all a more positive experience than others. I will do an update on the products from May and June’s boxes as I never did an Unboxing then and I will let you all know what are my faves and what didn’t make the cut from the products in those boxes. Thanks for checking in. 

Steph Xxx 

NYX Cosmetics 

The day is finally here, NYX Cosmetics have finally made their amazing and vast range of products available in boots stores across the country. You could always order online but now you can go in store and swatch to your hearts content.  Nothing beats being able to see a product in real life before you buy it. So as could only be expected I went in store and picked up a few bits.  

Let’s start with the eyes. I picked up a brow mascara similar to benefit gimme brow and I love it. I have very dark brows and find it hard to fill them without them looking painted on. This is so easy and convenient. It only took about 5 minutes to do both brows and the colour was perfect.  I got espresso, it’s the darkest shade of brown you can get. I also got a felt tip eyeliner marker. There is 3 different types I think. I opted for the skinny marker purely because I already have a chunky one and wanted something I could use everyday.  I love it. It dries water proof and stayed all day and night until I took it off, 12 noon until about 2 am without reapplication.  I was delighted with it. The skinny marker isn’t up on their website yet but I will post a link for the chunky marker below.

Tinted Brow Mascara

Chunky Marker Liner 

Up next was the face department and I picked up a primer and a foundation. The primer I went with was the pore filler as I have pores that need their own postcode. It is fab. It doesn’t completely erase mine again due to their gigantic size but it definitely makes a huge difference to their appearance and blurs out the worst of them. I was really happy with the texture. The foundation I went with was the stay matte not flat. I need to throw this out there before I start talking about it and everyone thinks I am slating it. I have combination skin, I get bad break outs, I am prone to oily skin but in the last few months it has been getting drier and drier. I have always bought mattifying products but I think I have finally realised I probably need to stop. This foundation is a lovely texture on my hand but it did not suit my skin at all. It is very matte. It dried to almost a powder like finish and for me it just accentuated all my dry patches so it didn’t do it for me. I will definitely try their other foundation formulas though as the colour was perfect even after it oxidised it didn’t go too dark. 

Pore Filler Primer 

Stay Matte But Not Flat Foundation 

Next up in the face department is an old reliable and a new addition with which I can see a a long loving relationship forming. The first is the concealer wand which I have always used. I love the texture, it doesn’t crease under my eyes and it covers blemishes. I also use it under highlighting powders for that extra pop.I will be picking up a few more shades and keeping them for contouring too. The next purchase was the born to go liquid illuminator. OMG. This is liquid rose gold amazingness. The shade I got is gleam. Texture is amazing, the pigment is amazing, the shimmer is amazing. Everything about it is amazing.

Concealer Wand 

Born To Glow Liquid Illuminator

And finally to add to my lip colour collection I picked up a soft matte liquid cream lip colour in Prague.  These are a really nice texture, they dry out to a really comfortable feel, not overly drying and the pigment is really strong.  The 2 best things here are the price point is fab, at under ‚ā¨8 and the selection of colours is huge. Win win as you can get a few at a time without breaking the bank. I will definitely be stocking up on a few shades of these too especially for the autumn/winter season. I have my eye on a few dark colours already.

Soft Matte Lip Cream

 Everything in this post is available in the bigger boots stores in Ireland and most things are available online with the links under the pictures. Let me know if you pick up any bits from NYX Cosmetics and what your favourites are. Thanks for checking in. 

Steph xxx 

Mini Kildare Village Haul

So I have had these bits for ages and didn’t blog about them at the time because I am terrible. So here is a quick low down on my Kildare Village purchases from a few (too many) weeks ago. Firstly I went up there with no intentions of buying any baby clothes but could you really blame me, there was a sale. I picked up the most adorable DKNY cardigan in the store K.I.D.S, they stock a range of different designers including Burberry, Chloe and Little Marc Jacobs. The Cardi was light and cotton and black and white stripes and only ‚ā¨35 approx. I cant remember exactly but my prices are in range. ūüėõ

I got another top for T in Polo Ralph Lauren, this time a zip up hoodie. They had the same hoodie in bigger sizes (as in big enough to fit me) but I thought to myself ‘no don’t be an embarrassing mom, don’t dress the same as your daughter’. All I can say is why didn’t I leave her one behind and just buy it for myself. I love it. She wears it all the time, it is soft and comfortable and goes with so much due to the mix of colours in it. I also picked her up a polo shirt style dress in here, its navy with the usual collar and has a navy and white striped frill at the end. It came with a navy nappy cover to match and it is so sweet on her. I pair it with white and navy striped leggings that I picked up in next instead of with tights.

Finally on the baby clothes front we finished up with some footwear, and she wouldn’t be mine or her fathers child if she didn’t have a collection of runners. So I started the collection with the CUTEST pair of white and pink ¬†soft Nike runners. There would have been Timberland boots to add to that but I was cut of by the other half at this stage. ūüė¶ It was probably for the best. I get very overexcited about baby fashion.¬†img_20160705_200220_581000.png

Now I did come to Kildare Village with the greatest intentions of getting some really nice pieces to spruce up my summer wardrobe, but I mainly ended up with lounge wear, which isn’t all bad I suppose. I picked up some really cute blue Superdry shorts, they are tracksuit material and have big pockets which I love. I also got these stripey blue flip flops to go with the shorts in Jack Wills, they are really comfy, dont pinch between the toes, the only down side is the first time I wore them on a warm day a lot of the blue smudged off onto my feet. It didn’t stop me from wearing them though. I also got these full length lounge pants, they come in a pack of two and will be great for the autumn for around the house.

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Also in Jack Wills I picked up a few pairs of the cutest knickers. Not for everyone but I love the thick waist band and the pattern of the fabrics are really sweet. They are a really nice fit too. On the topic of undies, I couldn’t go all the way to Kildare and not go to Calvin Klein. I picked up the Black structured bra and 2 sets of knickers from the carousel range. They are so comfortable, I love them. Definitely need to get back to stock up on more.

My next purchase was from Pandora, I am starting to build a little collection from their range of rings, they are delicate and pretty and can be worn all together or one at a time. My newest addition was a band with little leaves coming off the sides in silver but with 2 gold accent leaves. They make fabulous gifts and don’t break the bank, mine was approx ‚ā¨32.

My final purchase was to add to my already too big runner collection. These asics are superlight, supportive and comfortable and completely breathable. They are not an everyday runner, and they are not waterproof, they are for running. But so far I have not had to ‘break them in’ like I would normal runners. They dont pinch or leave me with and rubbing or blisters on my heels or ankles, and my feet dont get overly hot in them.¬†img_20160705_202240_175000.png

So that is my mini haul, my great intentions for a new wardrobe went out the window because of all the bags I had, I actually thought I had bought way more than I did. Next time I will definitely have a better plan. ūüôā

 

Thanks For Checking In,

Steph XxxX

Browse the shops at Kildare Village here.

 

 

 

The Cork Kerry Food Forum 2016

The Cork and Kerry food forum took place on Sunday and Monday the 26th and 27th of June in Cork City Hall. I had seen a sign for it on the Friday and ever the foodie (and by foodie I mean glutton) I decided we would go along. There was over 70 local suppliers and manufacturers of all different types of food and drinks. Super Valu Food Academy also had a stand with information as many of the companies there on the day were products of the academies success.  There was samples galore and these are some of the highlights based on what I saw and what I actually tasted and purchased on the day.

The first was Mella’s fudge which is handmade in West Cork and it tastes so good, sweet and crumbley I could have eaten a whole box of it. There was loads of flavours and loads of samples on the day but the vanilla was definitely my favourite but they were all delicious. img_20160630_070238_157000.png

Next up was Scratch My Pork, made from 100% Irish Pork. Being honest I have never been a fan of pork scratchings and I wouldn’t be eating bags of these regularly but they were incredible. The flavours were so strong and so different, we bought one of each flavour on the day and they were gone by Monday. ūüėÄ

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Up next is a combo which I would quite happily have complete a Saturday night in. First is Elbow lane smoke house sauce. Perfect as a marinade on any meat and then log under the grill or my personal favourite onto the barbeque. You can also use this sauce as a dip for chips, cheese or veggies. Its sweet and smoky and perfectly balanced. The next was The gluten free pantry. The most amazing cookies and granola. I love granola but it is usually dense, dry and loaded in sugar and I end up with a pin in my jaw from chewing it. The gluten free pantry sweeten with the smallest amount of honey and the granola is soft almost like a flapjack. I would happily pull out a fist full of it to eat with a cup of coffee instead of a biscuit, but then I could also have their white chocolate and cranberry cookie instead. ***Drool***

To compliment both of the above there is 12 Towers red ale, brewed in Youghal Co Cork. I dont know anything really about craft beer but I do know that if it isn’t popular in ALL the bars in town then it probably tastes amazing. The micro breweries and craft beers that are popping up around the country offer something that has real flavour and not just booze and bubbles. This red ale was almost sweet and had a kind of fruity flavour and was really pleasant to drink.

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WHO WANTS DESERT? Dairy in high quantities is not my friend. However ice cream is something that everyone is entitled to. If you have had a bad day, or you want a treat, or its a sunny day BOOM you need ice cream in your life. Well enter stage left ‘Oh Naturelle’ dairy free ice cream and sorbet. Oh.My.God. The dairy free ice cream is made with coconut milk, so if you like bounty bars you need to get on this chocolate ice cream. Its like a bounty only frozen, BLISS. I had the raspberry and rose sorbet and it was decadent. The flavours were so delicate but perfect together. There was also grape, chai tea and mint, it was like a frozen mojito it was stunning.

There was also the really cool incrEdible Flowers. These amazing bouquets are made of fresh fruit dipped in chocolate and arranged like flowers for whatever special occasion you have. I couldn’t help think they would make really cool centre pieces at a party or wedding reception. Not to mention a lovely gift for someone. They were fab. img_20160630_152029_486000.png

And finally to top of a fabulous day the Happy Pear David and Stephen Flynn did a cooking demo and a Q&A for everyone. they made their pesto pasta and toasties 3 ways and we all got to taste everything along the way. They are as pleasant and talented in real life as they seem on all their social media. They were so friendly and just oozed positive vibes, they signed my cook book and myself and my sis even got a sneaky 5 seconds of fame on their snapchat. An epic day out all the same. img_20160630_070026_410000.png

The list of suppliers mentioned in the post are available here:

MellaS Fudge

Scratch My Pork

Elbow Lane Smoke House Sauce

The Gluten Free Pantry @The Castle Pantry

12 Towers Red Ale The Munster Brewery

Oh Naturelle

IncrEdible Flowers 

The Happy Pear

Happy Pear Facebook

Happy Pear Instagram
 

Worst Blogger Ever.

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I had barely established my blog when I found myself apologising for the first time for being a rubbish blogger. It’s hard to keep to a strict posting timetable with a small baby and with life in general. Kudos to anyone with more than one (babies or blogs) because I have struggled majorly to find a routine, but a part of me loves the chaos. So the last few weeks and months have flown by and I have had more things to blog about than ever before and I did NOTHING.¬† I struggle alot of the time, I am really bad at making decisions and although I am independent I am also a bit needy. I only like my own company for a little bit of the time and the rest of the time I like to have people around. So I don’t know if anyone knows or cares but this is an update about my life over the last few weeks and then I will go back to my regular food and make up posts I promise. ūüôā
The first big thing is I FINALLY bit the bullet and joined the gym. I do 3 sessions a week with a personal trainer and I am really enjoying it. Now I should be going 3 other days a week to do my own work but I don’t.¬† I am so bad at doing anything unless I am accountable to someone. Even with the 3 sessions a week I have seen a huge difference in my strength and my energy levels.¬† My diet is still a bit rubbish but I’m taking baby steps.¬† From today it will be easier to sort out the diet as it will only be feeding one and a half people.¬†
This brings me to update 2. R has packed his bag and shipped off to another county to go to college. This will be a big change for me as it means there will be one less body in the house¬† in the evenings. One less mouth to feed at dinner time, and one less pair of hands to help with my little lady. It’s an exciting time and I know it will be fine it’s just another adjustment along the road.
The next exciting thing that has happened is T Has decided that although crawling is fun she would much prefer to walk and is going to learn to do that instead. Queue the pulling herself up on pieces of furniture, the dog, a stray human leg, anything she can get her grip on. It also means a few speed wobbles and falling back down which is easier said than done on wooden and tiled floors.  So my nerves are not what they used to be and my heart is half broken because my tiny baby is getting so big.
The final update is that pending paperwork I will be back to work/college in the beginning of July.¬† I have mixed emotions as I am very excited to go back and get stuck in to work again but I will miss my baby so much and they are long days to be gone from her. I know that she will be fine, and in September she will be going to creche so will make loads of new friends I’m sure. (Seriously though where did my small baby go to).
So this is my situation currently.¬† I think it is about time that I finally get some sort of a routine going because it will make the return to work that little bit easier. I don’t know how well it will go down with my free spirited 9 month old but I’m sure we will survive. And that is basically it. There has been loads of personal ups and downs in between but I won’t bore you with those details.  So take this as my reintroduction post. Thanks for sticking with me. ūüôā

Steph xxx

Fudgey, Rich, Amazing Chocolate Cake

I bake. For anyone who doesn’t know, I am the go to baker in our family and I really enjoy it for the most part. It really doesn’t help with keeping the waistline in check but I love seeing all the finished projects and testing my skills. I learned very quickly that not every cake recipe is okay for turning into giant fondant covered creations. You need something that has a dense crumb so it will stay together and you can be a bit rough with it when necessary. Enter my chocolate fudge cake recipe. This is a recipe that I hold dear because it has NEVER gone wrong. It is so rich and dense and fudgey and everything that you want in a cake that you need to cover. It is adapted from a recipe in Easy food magazine with a few adaptations that I made over the time I have been using it. The below recipe will fill 2 x 20cm round tins OR 1 x 23cm deep round tin OR 1 x 23cm deep square tin. I usually double the recipe.

Ingredients:

210 g plain flour

300g caster sugar

100g soft light brown sugar

2 tesp baking powder

2 tsp instant coffee powder or 2 tbsp of espresso

2 eggs

240ml buttermilk

120ml sunflower oil

2tbsp vanilla extract

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Method:

  1. preheat the oven to 180C/ 160C fan/ gas mark 6 and grease and line your tins. Even if you are using a non stick tin I always line the base and grease the sides at a minimum.
  2. Sieve the flour, coca powder and baking powder into your mixing bowl. Add the sugar, salt and coffee powder and give a quick mix together.
  3.  In a separate bowl or jug add the eggs, buttermilk, sunflower oil and vanilla and beat together. (If you are using liquid coffee instead of instant powder it goes in now.)
  4. gradually add the wet mix to the dry ingredients. This is quite a wet batter so don’t panic if you thing you have gone wrong you haven’t.
  5. Pour into your tin and place it in the centre of the oven for 30-40 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
  6. Leave it chill in the tin for a while before transferring onto a wire rack to cool completely.

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You can serve this cake on its own with no embellishment or with ice cream to contract the richness. You can cover it in ganache or fudge icing, you can even use the batter for cupcakes. Whatever you do with it, I promise it will taste amazing. Above are just some cakes that I finished recently with this recipe inside. Let me know if you try it and what you do with it. Thanks for checking in. Happy Saturday.

 

Steph Xxxx

 

Clarins Event and Keanes Jewellers S/S 16 Launch

Last month was filled with fun events and things to go to and I am being a very bad blogger and taking a million years to share them with you. Up first was a Clarins evening held by MUA Nicola Nunan. Nicola completed make up look and provided hints and tips with regards to make up application and skincare. She emphasised the importance of having a proper skincare routine, including cleansing toning and moisturising or using a serum where necessary. Her best tips of the night were that highlighting when done properly makes a huge difference to your makeup even if you are going for the ‘no make up’ look. And the other thing I learned is to never forget the importance of your eyebrows. It is so true and if you don’t believe me do your make up but only fill in one eyebrow. the difference it makes is incredible.¬†2016-04-20-20.02.47.jpg.jpeg

I don’t currently use any anti-ageing products but I probably should. I used to smoke and it has had a definite effect on my skin. I have also only recently started using serums as I always though they were counter productive for those with oily skin, however I have since learned there is a serum for everyone. Nicola showed us the Clarins Double Serum. The texture of this was lovely and it was really well absorbed into the skin as I hate things that sit on the skin.

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The next product that I fell in love with was the Clarins instant smooth perfecting touch. Any one else out there with pores that you could nearly pitch a tent in? I swear you can see the future in mine they are so big. This cream acts like a filler and makes pores and fine lines less visible. If you have ever used pore-fessional by benefit this is similar but its a finer texture. Would make an amazing base for under your makeup. Nicola was full of amazing information and the completed look was stunning. She is clearly a very skilled makeup artist and I am delighted I went along. You can see more looks by Nicola on her facebook page here or her instagram page here. 2016-04-20-20.14.15.jpg.jpeg

I also attending the launch of the S/S 16 range of jewellery in Keane’s jewellers and what an amazing night. The event was presented by Annmarie O’Connor¬†award-winning fashion writer, stylist and author¬†of¬†The Happy Closet. The night was to show the spring summer styles of the most popular fashion jewellery brands that are stocked in Keanes.

Up first was 2 looks from the extensive Michael Kors range. Michael Kors was established in 1981 and is renowned for making pieces that are both modern and timeless, and always chic. With styles ranging from ‚ā¨79 upwards there is something for everyone in this range. With pieces in all colours and watches with bright and eye catching faces you cant go too far wrong. Shop¬†here.

The next 2 looks were from Ti Sento an Italian company who launched their fashion jewellery line in 2003. They found a niche in the market as 18 carat gold is and will most likely always be very expensive so produce all of their pieces in sterling silver. The luxury in these pieces comes in knowing that all their stones are set the old fashioned way by skilled diamond setters and they do not use glue. If like me gold isn’t really your thing then this is the range for you. There is a huge range available with pearls or cubics in a range of colours. You can see the range¬†here.

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The next range up was Carat*. Established in 2003 by Englishman Scott Thompson the collection combines vintage ideas and settings with modern wearable styles. It features a collection of stunning gemstones such as emeralds, rubies and saphires. These pieces are created to be worn and admired and they are completely timeless. My favourite piece of this collection being a large emerald ring set in a row of cubic zirconia and a cz encrusted band, it was very similar to a ring worn by Rita Ora in her last season of the voice. You can see it here.

Next was a range by Bronzallure an Italian company that I must admit I had not heard of before this launch. It was interesting to learn that the bronze which the jewellery is made of is actually a patented alloy that was created exclusively for the company in the University of Padua, Italy. It is bathed in 18 carat gold which giver it its unique rosé hue. All of the stones in the jewellery are found in nature so include things such as quartz, topaz and haematite. If rose gold hues bare your thing then this is for you. The pieces were so wearable and are perfect for everyday as well as holding their own as glamorous statement pieces. You can see the full range here.

I have to take a minute now to tell you about the food. the canapés at the evening were supplied by the wonderful bitesize in Midleton. Their tagline is edible art and that is exactly what it was. It both looked an tasted amazing and I completely overdid it. With a selection of salmon, duck, cheese and olives and then an entire sweet platter (that I just had to steer clear of or i would have been rolled out the door). Jason is incredibly talented and his staff on the night were a credit to him. So very friendly and approachable.

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Okay the final three brands are probably my favourites overall. First up is Mi Moneda. Meaning coin in Spanish this range of jewellery centres around being able to customize your piece to suit your style. The range was designed by a Dutch couple who took the idea from the ancient Egyptians who wore coins as amulets. The coins are interchangeable and the rang includes necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings. Available in silver, gold and rose gold these pieces are so versatile. Changing the pendant alone can turn the necklace from something low key into something that will grab everyones attention. The full range is available here but if you can call into Keanes to see it they have an amazing display of the current collection (pictured below).

Next up is House of Lor. This range of jewellery is both stunningly beautiful but also has a bit of Irish heritage in every piece. Every piece contains ethically mined pure Irish gold and comes with a certificate of authenticity provided by the Dublin Assay Office. The rang is based around ideas of Irish heritage and our unique folklore, but still keeps its glamour and sophistication at the forefront. the full collection is viewable here.

And finally COCO 88 is a range of charm style bangles and bracelets. Made for those “who have a love for life and nature” these bracelets come in ollections including birthstones and inspirational words. They are stackable or can be worn standalone and come in a silver plate, rose plate and gold plate so again there is something for everyone. The reason i love these pieces so much is they make me feel positive and inspired and as a gift will definitely make the receiver feel very loved. You can search the collection¬†here.

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And there it is, yet another GIGANTIC blog post from me that took me far too long to post. I hope you enjoyed it if you have managed to keep reading to here. Thanks for checking in.

Steph Xxxx

 

Mom Needs A Boost, And A Sweet Fix.

I will be the first person to put my hand up and say that after my little girl was born my diet mainly consisted of chocolate and coffee. Not really the most nutritious way to fuel the human that had to look after a small and much needier human, but I know other mammas will agree with me that when baby is crying and you haven’t eaten in 6 hours, or you were up all night feeding, you just want something to shove in your mouth asap. Chocolate makes you feel better instantly. In the long run however it will catch up with you. I have been battling cold after bug for the last few weeks and I know its because I am eating crap so my body is naturally getting run down. Anywho, this coupled with my recent purchase of a 1kg tub of peanut butter pushed me in the direction of making something that I could keep in the fridge as a handy snack to grab and go.

My energy balls are full of nuts and fruit and porridge oats and did I mention there is peanut butter. YUM. You can customise to suit your own taste and they don’t require any baking just a little chill time in the fridge to firm up. This however did not stop me eating 2 straight out of the bowl. They were scrumptious.

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ENERGY BALL RECIPE

1 1/2 cups Porridge Oats

1 cup Nut Butter of your choice

1 cup Dried Fruit of your choice (I used raisins just cause that’s what was in the cupboard)

1 cup of nuts of your choice (I used walnuts again cause its what I had handy)

I tsp Honey

1 small mashed banana.

Method:

  1. Throw everything into a bowl and mix until well combined.
  2. Roll into balls with your hands and put in the fridge to firm up for about an hour.
  3. If you are using fruit like dried apricots or anything bigger than a raisin chop them up into smaller pieces to make the balls easier to form.
  4. If the mix is a bot gooey and not coming togethre then add more porridge oats. If its a bit stiff then add a little more nut butter. It should come away from the sides of the bowl easily enough.

2016-04-21-15.24.50.jpg.jpegThese are so simple, and are really lovely with a coffee. They are so portable to just grab and go, or fling in a ziplock and into your bag for later.

Short and quite literally sweet post for today. Let me know if anyone makes them and what variations you use. Thanks for checking in.

 

Steph x