Sunday, 25 August 2013

Primark Heels

The famous Primark bargain buys. I see them on youtube hauls, in blog posts and even in magazines but whenever I go into a Primark I can never find these fabled wonder buys. Sure i'll pick up the odd scarf or bra but on the whole, I end up surrounded by cheap tat wondering where all the good stuff is being hidden. 

However, not this time!

Ankle Strap Stilettos- Primark £12:

These shoes are perfect. I've been looking for shoes that I could wear for more formal occasions- such as weddings and christenings that weren't completely unsuitable skyscrapers. They're basically dupes for the style Zara are known for, but for a fraction of the price. For £12 i'm so impressed as I was originally looking at least £18 for eBay dupes. The fit is almost perfect, although they are a little wide on the back but this is just because I had to get a 4 as that was all my Primark had left so I did not have the luxury of trying a 3 which I think may have been more suitable. 

 The shoes look a lot more expensive than they were with the simple suede detail and they even manage to make my feet look nice! I wore them for the first time when I went to an exclusive preview of the London Collection: Menswear at Harvey Nichols, in Leeds and I found my Achilles heel (excuse the pun) with these shoes. They are so damn uncomfortable! I'm not sure if it's because i'm used to platform shoes and having the support on the pads of my feet (not sure of the correct term for this) but they were uncomfortable there and also around my toes, but I think that's to do with me getting the bigger size, as i've mentioned.
Overall, i've been seriously impressed by these shoes and even more impressed that these fabled Primark bargains do exist!
Do you have any Primark bargains you love?

G xxx

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Chilli Time

Something new from me today: a recipe! 

I'm absolutely not a fan of cooking, lets just clear that up. I find it boring and pointless- what's the point putting so much effort into something that will just end up in your stomach? However, this week I cooked two meals as well as making some amazing Betty Crocker brownies.I'm nineteen now and if I don't learn to start cooking more i'll never survive fending myself or feeding a family in the future. 

So, I made a meal i've made since food technology in high school- chilli. 
It's not exactly an award winning, master chef meal with paired with wholemeal rice it is incredibly healthy and tasty. What's not to love? 

First, chop up all your vegetables. I used two peppers, 10 cherry tomatoes, half a packet of green beans and half an onion. I'd definitely add more tomatoes and peppers because I love them and you could add any other veg that you love, such as mushrooms, mangetout or sweetcorn.

Next, open two tins of chopped tomatoes and two tins of Mexican beans. You can get these tins of Mexican beans from ASDA (or most supermarkets) and they're an easier alternative to buying the different beans individually. 

Make your stock. I'm too impatient to wait for stock, and since mine was going in the slow cooker anyway I rushed making it (hence its weird appearance). This is simply one vegetable stock cube. Easy peasy! 

Fry your mince off. For healthy mince, fry it dry and drain all the fat after its done. If you're making chilli to serve immediatly, add all the other ingredients to the browned mince but since mine was being slow cooked, I just fried it alone.

Open your pasatta. This isn't a necessary step at all and just one I add simply as we already have the pasatta in the cupboard. Pasatta is basically pureed tomatoes (we also use it as a base for homemade pizzas) so if you're already using chopped tomatoes, you probably don't need this.

Then, throw all of these ingredients in a slow cooker. Beans, pasatta, mince, vegetables, it all goes in. I usually tip in a bit of chilli powder at this point and stir it. Then, add the magic ingredient....

These 'Very Lazy chillies' are an amazing find for us. This tub is basically chilli pieces in white wine vinegar. That's literally it. I add one teaspoon because a). it's really strong and b). I stick by the motto 'you can add spices but you can't take them away'! This little jar is just an easier alternative to cutting fresh chillis and as it lasts in the fridge for something crazy like 3 months, it's probably more economical to buy this and reuse it. 

And that's it! I cook the chilli for at least 4 hours, letting the flavours develop so it's great to throw all the ingredients in in the morning, then leaving it on low all day and having your dinner ready when you get home. I check on the chilli every hour if i'm home, adding more Very Lazy Red Chillis as needed, or natural yogurt to neutralize the spices if I add too much chilli! I do add chilli powder but the chilli pieces do most of the work so it's mostly out of habit. Served with wholemeal rice or a small jacket potato, or even just on its own (the beans make it surprisingly filling) this is such a healthy and filling meal and so tasty too! It's includes your 5 a day and having the option to add different vegetables makes it so versatile.
What do you think? Do you love chilli? Any other easy recipes I could try?

G xxx

Monday, 12 August 2013

July Favourites

How can it already be August when i've only just piled together my July favourites?! Time flies! 

I think we all know how I feel about this tub of magic (they should really start paying me commission!) and if not, you can see more in my body shop haul. This month my butter's been working extra hard: I've been suffering really badly with dry, irritable skin on my face and i've found this is the ONLY thing I can moisturize with. I've even been reacting to creams and lotions i've worn for months so i'm not sure what's going on but i'll stick with Cocoa Butter until I remedy it. This stuff is so simple, nice smelling and hard working I don't think anything will ever beat it for me. Obviously there are other cocoa butter's around but The Body Shop's light, moisturising formula will always be my favouite.  

Frizz Ease 'Smooth Start' Shampoo:
I think we all know about Frizz Ease by now, don't we? I used to use the serum years ago but found it never really helped my frizz. However this shampoo has completely transformed my hair making it much smoother! I bought this shampoo as part of a 2-for-£8 along with some Frizz Ease heat protection spray and although the heat protection spray is terrible (can anyone recommend any good ones?) I love the shampoo! Paired with my favourite Aussie Miracle Shine/ Miracle Frizz conditioners my hair feels amazing!

Yankee Candle- Lemon Cream:
This candle smells beyond delicious. I bought two of these and burnt one in about 8 hours and i'm keeping the other one safely tucked in my underwear draw for a special occasion. The candle just smells like a lemony-cake that's just been freshly baked, yum! I love Yankee Candles because they have such a strong, accurate smell. I've linked up the 'Vanilla Frosting' candle (which smells equally delicious) because I couldn't find the Lemon Cream on but with these little beauties costing only £1 and a large candle for £12, I can't wait to buy more and make my room smell even more like cake! Delicious..

Vintage Ring Holder:
My mama actually gave me this vintage ring holder that she was given my great-great nana before she passed away. I never got to meet my GGNana, who was so important to my mummy, and my rings are so important to me so it's nice to have a piece of her and a lovely mix! The ring holder sits on my bed side table and the reflective glass makes it sparkle in the sunlight. The holder looks a little bit like a sombrero (honestly! They do!) and although there are some really quirky designs online (I particularly loved this one!) mine has a lot of sentimental value. They're so practical and make my excessive ring collection look lovely!

Remington B80P Shine Therapy Paddle Brush:
Hair brushes wouldn't normally feature on my favourites list but I paid £9.99 for this baby (instead of my usual pound shop bargains!) so it deserves a mention. I bought this brush because I was at a level of desperation only people with hair like Emma Watson circa a decent hairdresser (remember this?) will understand. Frizzy, difficult to manage and dry, I bought this 'shine inducing' hairbrush because it had good reviews and I seem to be on a mission to discover my hairs inner shine.... no luck so far. Saying that, this hairbrush is really soft, gentle and does make my hair feel softer.. it's also the best hairbrush to dry hair with as the paddle style makes it easy to brush thicker hair. Not as good as I was expecting considering the rave Amazon reviews but good enough until I can afford the much coveted complete GHD Brush collection

Dan Brown Books: 
As a huge book worm and also an incredibly fast reader, i'm constantly on the hunt for new books. I can't actually believe it's taken me so long to start building up my Dan Brown book collection seeing as i'm a huge fan of the film adaptations, but I can definitely recommend them. They're intelligently written, well researched and make me feel as though i'm learning as I read while still providing a brilliant plot. I paid around £1-£2 for The Da Vinci Code, The Lost Symbol and Angels and Demons from charity shops and 'pre-owned' on Amazon. Dan Brown's newest novel Inferno is out now and although i'm eager to read it, i'll wait until I can get it for much cheaper!

So there we have it, July favourites... done! Shame it's only 12 days late!
Hope everyone has a fab week, what have you been loving this month? 

G xxx