Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Paul Hollywood Ready To Bake Rolls*:

Paul Hollywood Ready To Bake Rolls*

You might have seen I posted about these rolls on my instagram a couple of weeks ago and i've been so excited to finally tell you all about them! I was contacted by the people behind Paul Hollywood's new, Ready to Bake Rolls range and obviously I jumped at the opportunity; i'm not only a huge Paul Hollywood (and GBBO) fan, but I also really love bread so this was perfect for me. I received my box within two days and was amazed to find I had the full range included! This consists of the crusty, multiseed and seeded rolls, as well as a really handy shopper bag. I'm not going to lie, I dug straight in and went my favourite first- the multi seed rolls which as you can see, I paired with some salad and cheese for a DIY ploughmans and it was heavenly

The rolls have been designed to be part baked; this means you simply pop them in the oven for 7 minutes and the end result is a super crusty, warm-in-the-middle roll. What I loved most about the rolls is their size; I simply popped one or two in the oven for me, then put the rest in an airtight container. This meant they lasted well over a week and you can control the portion size to suit your appetite... no more left over, stale bread to bin! The long suffering boyfriend and I both loved seeded bread so we were over the moon to see we had both the multi seed and seeded bread, as well as the classic crusty white. I did find the crusty white a little bit heavier on my stomach than the seeded ones, but it was still a really enjoyable mix of textures from the doughy inside to the crispy outer layer. I loved that there was also a cooking tip on the packaging.. I sprinkled some water on the bread before putting in the oven and they were much more crusty, what a great tip! We really noticed the only time we forget to put water on them so definitely a tip to remember. I absolutely loved these rolls and would, and will, get them again; I love having the taste of freshly baked bread with the convenience of prebaked and I love the portions. Like I said, we simply used what we needed (normally one each as a side for pasta or for lunch etc) then put the rest in a container, and using them as and when we needed to. Anything that gives me great taste in minimum time is a winner for me so this has really impressed me! 

As for the tastes, like I mentioned I did find the white rolls quite heavy but I don't really eat white bread so that's probably why and once it was baked, with some warm butter melting into it, it was just as heavenly as the seeded! The multi seed were probably my favourite as they were really packed with seeds and they seemed to crust up the best but I did really enjoy the taste of the seeded ones.. especially since the rolls that had black seeds on them that added another dimension to the taste. The seeded ones to me, tasted really expensive and like something I would expect from a good quality bread basket so I was perfectly happy enjoying them for my lunch! Although I know some people enjoy over complicating bread, I like it best warm, with melted butter or in sandwich form. I did also top a seeded roll with nutella, then bake for 7 minutes as suggested to create a really chocolatey, warm, indulgent breakfast.. maybe not fine dining but definitely tasty! I did originally think 7 minutes baking time was quite a lot but, it's definitely a lot quicker than making your own bread and to be honest, if you're doing other stuff around the house it soon passes - and it's so worth it! 

I absolutely loved these rolls.. I love having the taste of freshly baked bread, which is normally a treat, at my own complete ease. Well done Paul, you're on with a winner here - it gets my seal of approval!

Have you tried Paul Hollywood's rolls? 


Thursday, 10 December 2015

Jo Malone Minis:

Rosemary & Lavender Skin Tonic
Avocado Cleansing Milk
Lime Basil and Mandarin Body Lotion
Protein Skin Serum

A slightly random post for me, since I can't find ANY of these products online.. how annoying when that happens! To be honest, i'm not surprised since I spied this set in my mums bathroom barely used and asked if I could have it (if only for instagram purposes.. those mini bottles are so dreamy!) although you can also still find it available on eBay. As i've mentioned before, I like to use skincare for a while before I review it to be really thorough - especially since I have ridiculously sensitive skin. 

I wasn't really sure what to expect from these products; i've never tried Jo Malone products before but from what i've previously experienced, I thought it was mostly scents: perfumes, candles etc. With this in mind I didn't have high hopes for the skincare working for me, I expected it to be too perfumed to settle my skin. I was right about the scents, all of these products are scented (bar the protein serum) but not to an extreme. I've been using the skin tonic, cleansing milk and protein serum daily and i've been really impressed with the results! The protein serum is probably my favourite product; it's similar to my beloved Vitamin E serum-in-oil but is even richer and a thicker formula although it sinks straight in and doesn't leave the skin greasy - heaven. I've also really enjoyed the cleansing milk (not just because of the avocado reference!) which is similar to LUSH cosmetics '9 to 5' but again, is a little bit creamier and more luxurious. To be honest i've never quite got on board with 9 to 5 and i've tried and loved Ultraband but find it really unsupple and hard which is not a problem I had this with milk. It has the cream consistency of 9 to 5 with the removing and cooling power of Ultraband - a fab mix. As I said, i've also been using the Rosemary and Lavender Skin Tonic but this product is probably the most hit and miss for me. It stings my skin when I apply it which it probably should, but when you have skin as sensitive as mine stinging just makes me thinking of dry cracked skin and that's something I try to avoid at all costs!  That being said, I have used it a few times and i've really enjoyed the fresh feeling it gives me and it hasn't made my skin crack and peel yet... maybe we're making progress!

The only product I haven't really tried is the body lotion but that's mostly because a) it's a tiny bottle for body lotion and b) i'm perfectly happy with my mix of Dove's gradual tan (review coming soon!) and my beloved The Body Shop Cocoa Butter. With that in mind, i've used it a couple of times on my arms as it smells amazing but i'm definitely more armoured with the skin care in this instance!

Have you ever tried Jo Malone face & body products? Any others I need to try? 


Sunday, 6 December 2015

Black Friday Haul:

Primark False Nails

We all know the story, you go Christmas shopping with other people and their gifts in mind and end up coming home with a bag(s) full of goodies from yourself... sigh. My excuse though, is that all of these things (bar the £1 false nails) were bought either on 3 for 2 or with a discount so you know, bargains.

I headed to Miss Selfridge first to pick up the jeans which i'd ordered online when they were reduced to £15 as part of Miss Selfridges week of Black Friday offers. This fell perfectly for me as I was desperate for some new black jeans and they're petite (30") length! Yay for finally having a pair of jeans that finally fit my legs - i've been wearing them tucked into boots and enjoying the novelty of not having to roll my jeans up. While I was in store I had a look at the dresses because it's the LSB (long suffering boyfriend)'s Christmas do soon and the dress code is black tie - ah! But when I noticed dresses had up to 40% off I had a rummage and managed to pick up the wrap around pencil dress linked for £27.60 (it was originally £39!) and used a forgotten about gift card to pay for it which meant I paid about £5 that was left - perfect! I haven't photographed either item properly because the jeans didn't look cute folded up (blogger problems) and the dress needs safety pinning; if you are thinking of buying it up it is low cut so if you're petite and/or bigger chested, it might be a bit revealing. Plus I'm hoping to get some pictures of me wearing it on the night so i'll probably do an OOTD soon! The dress is stunning though and amazing quality and it even comes with a belt. I then headed to Primark where I bought the nails, also for Sam's work do - I also picked up an amazing embellished clutch bag a couple of days later that you can see I was eyeing up on Friday but it was so busy on Friday I literally picked up some wrapping paper and these false nails and left - no messing around! Primark falsies are what they are, for £1 they'll probably drop off but I didn't have the time or money to have my nails one professionally so they'll have to do and i'll be sure to take the spare nails and glue with me in case of any accidents! 

Finally, after a mammoth three hour shop I headed to my last stop, Boots. You can read about the Yankee Candle Advent Calender I picked up, in detail here and after opening my first window i'm really happy with it! Especially for the bargain price of £10. I also picked up two gifts which meant I got a free one - Boots 3 for 2 deals are my favourite for treating yourself, it's so guilt free. I picked up a Soap and Glory Hand Food because it's my favourite hand cream in the world and with the weather turning, I'm always really worried about my hands becoming really chapped so I find myself applying this cream all the time. It was has a really recognisable, sweet Soap and Glory smell which I love. If you're looking for a hand cream, I can't recommend Hand Food enough - especially since it's only £.50 for a big bottle (or free on the 3-for-2!).

Not a massive haul from me but just some pieces I picked up thanks to the deals. Have you got any bargains recently? 

Saturday, 5 December 2015

'Ambre Mystere' Scented Candle (M&S):

I feel like i'm slightly becoming like the Candle vlogger in Scream Queens with the amount of candle related posts i'm putting out recently but what can I say, I really like my candles! With the dark nights here too (plus the fact I have a whole flat to light now, not just a bedroom!) I find myself drawn to candles to create a really cute, romantic glow and to keep the flat smelling good. 

I ordered this La Maison De Senteurs scented candle on the M&S website last week as we recieved some M&S vouchers and after buying some presents with them, had £10 left so I added this candle to my basket for myself - I am the queen of treating myself at this time of year! The candle only has two reviews but they're both really good and to be honest, I just really loved the holder and the name. I love slightly muskier, citrusy smells (like the Jo Malone ones) so this candle promised that kind of smell for less than a tenner - who could say no? The description online was "mysterious dusky fragrance of mimosa, iris and tonka bean" which sounds amazing, doesn't it? So when my parcel arrived I headed straight for the candle to give it a sniff. I'm so impressed with the packaging; even the box, and the candle itself, look so expensive and classic. This would be such a good present and one i'd be more than happy to receive. When it comes to the smell though, well, it's not what I expected... it smells like washing powder! As soon as I smelt it, I immediately thought of cotton and just cleanliness. It has a really crisp, slightly fruity, smell that's not at all mysterious but is still really nice. Even my boyfriend said it smelt of washing when he smelt it so it definitely isn't just me. Don't get me wrong, I love the smell and it definitely has slightly deeper and more fruity notes, but it's not quite the musky scent I was expecting. 

I was really surprised with this candle but I am happy I picked it up - the smell is such a clean, relaxing one and would the perfect present because it's completely un-offending. Not what I was expecting, but definitely a good purchase! I haven't burnt the candle yet because I wanted to get pictures first (and have another candle to use up) but i'll definitely update this post once I do, who knows maybe it'll have a completely different smell when it's burning. I'd never heard of La Maison De Senteurs before but they seem to have a large range on the M&S website: they do home fragrance, body products and nightwear that all have a real luxurious feel to them at really reasonable prices. I'd definitely like to try more LMDS products and can't wait to burn my candle! 

Have you tried any of La Maison De Senteurs products? Any other bargain candles I need to try?

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Yankee Candle Advent Calender (Part A):

I've got to be honest, I was in two minds about posting this now. Surely, I reasoned with myself, it makes sense to write about this advent calender once i've actually opened it? But then what if they're not available any more? After a lot of to-ing and fro-ing I decided to write this post in two parts - so welcome to Part A and keep your eyes peeled for Part B!

I'm sure we've all heard of the Yankee Candle advent calender but for anyone not in the loop, basically it's an advent calender with tealights instead of chocolates (with a votive for Christmas Eve!). I see these sort of advent calenders pop up every year (there's also the Body Shop one which looks amazing) but to be honest, I don't have £25 to spend on an advent calender for myself in the run up to Christmas and *controversial opinion* I think they make a lousy present; do you get it before Christmas? Or open it in January? For that reason i've never really bothered with them and stuck to good old fashioned chocolate. However, I bravely headed into Reading town centre on Black Friday where I, very smugly, finished my Christmas shopping, under budget thanks to the offers and deals - say what you want about Black Friday but anything that saves me money a month before Christmas suits me down to the ground. Sure I think electrical's can be ridiculous (fighting over a TV that's got £50 off, really?) but when The Body Shop, where I buy a lot of presents, are doing 40% off, i'm not complaining. After snapping up most of my bargains I headed to my final stop, Boots, where I finished up and happened across these advent calenders where they were reduced to £10. I immediately stopped, looked how much they were selling for online (rule 101 for discount shopping for me) and when I realised this was a genuine bargain I quickly threw one in my basket as a treat to myself for surviving Black Friday. 

Once I got it home I was still really happy with my purchase; it smells so Christmassy which is making me so excited to start opening it (and now it's offically December you can see me opening my first window here)! Inside it has 23 tealights and one votive in the scents 'Christmas Memories', 'Angels Wings', 'Cinnamon Sticks', 'Icicles', 'Christmas Garland' and 'Snowflake Cookie' (which you can read my review of here). I think the range of smells really encapulates Christmas; there's everything from Christmas tree's to cookies to cinnamon. I've also never tried Yankee Candle's tealights so it's a nice way to try them out. I can't wait to see what I get and I can confirm after opening the first window (go check out my instagram to see which one I got!) i'm really impressed with the quality of the tealights and I can't wait to get it burnt and feel festive!

Have you tried the Yankee Candle Advent Calender? Which is your favourite non-chocolate advent calender?