Monday Mix and Match

Happy Monday Tuesday everyone! Slightly late with this week’s favourites but what with the Easter weekend and the gloriously sunny bank holiday Monday, this is technically the first day of the week, isn’t it? Excuses aside, I hope everyone had a lovely, relaxing and chocolate filled weekend – I know I certainly stuffed myself to bursting with eggs (a fact I was majorly paying for at boot camp this evening…#shweatin)

This week, my favourites include an affordable skincare update, a healthy midweek dinner recipe and even a snazzy outfit change for my phone! I hope you enjoy!

Beauty

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water for Combination and Sensitive Skin

Micellar waters are, without doubt, thee trendiest way to clean your face at the moment. Brought into the spotlight by the infamously unattainable Bioderma version and used by every make-up artist and beauty buff worth their salt, practically all of the high-street brands hav now released their own version. This is definitely good news for those of us who don’t manage regular visits to Paris for a Bioderma fix, and even better, there are varieties to suit every budget.

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Recipe: Spicy Chilli, Fajita Bowl and Easy Homemade Guacamole

I’m a traitor to my Irish heritage – I’m not a fan of hearty stews or coddle, and don’t even talk to me about potatoes and cabbage! My foodie heart lies further afield – in Italy, Asia and of course, Mexico! Thus, this tasty chilli, my mam’s specialty I might add, is now a staple dinner in my own home and recently I decided to mix it up by serving in this fajita bowl with a little of my favourite accompaniment, homemade guacamole. this so simple to make and always something to look forward to. The bonus is it’s a one pot recipe and easily adjustable to your taste. You can add more or less spice to suit yourself, load it up with your choice of veggies and it goes just as well with some rice or quinoa! This is also perfect to make in bulk to freeze or reheat the next evening for round two (is there any better feeling than coming home to a pre-made dinner?). So here is my recipe for this tasty midweek dinner..

Easy Chilli recipe with Fajita Bowl and Homemade GuacamoleSpicy Chilli Con Carne in a Fajita Bowl served with Homemade Guacamole

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Monday Mix and Match

Ok lads, I have been officially succumbed to Christmas fever and there ain’t no going back! The tree is up, Wham! are my favourite band again and the presents are wrapped in a Pinterest worthy fashion…well, the present is wrapped! Last minute panic shopping is my festive modus operandi – I am every bit that cliché husband type on Christmas Eve! That being said, I have been fully enveloped by the spirit and am so excited to go gift shopping. To get everyone in the mood I might replace my Mix and Match post for the next two weeks with some gift guides and festive DIY posts. For now anyway, here’s my weekly favourites post, featuring a fabulous Christmas candle, my go-to eyeshadow palette and a most delicious and easy cake recipe to keep you jolly this week!

Interiors

Paddy Wax Pomegranate and Spruce Scented Candle - AvocaPaddy Wax Pomegranate and Spruce CandleThis being me and my boyfriend’s first Christmas living together, we are definitely both missing our mammies’ lovely cosy, Christmas-ified homes – thankfully they have both been very generous and supplied us with a bauble or two to make our place just as homely. Of course though, if there’s an opportunity to go shopping, I’m am there! And first priority was to get my house smelling like a Christmas wonderland – and sure the boyf was only too delighted to accompany me on a scented candle hunt*… (*not entirely true). Luckily there was a yummy breakfast in it for him, when I found the perfect scent in the form of this Paddy Wax Pomegranate and Spruce scented candle during a trip to Avoca in Malahide Castle. I am so particular about smell and find Christmas scents in particular can be overly sweet, artificial, and generally very overpowering and headache-inducing. Paddy Wax candles caught my eye because of the beautiful packaging – I am nothing if not shallow! But thankfully, the scents, both regular and Christmas, are equally as divine as the coloured, cut glass that encase them. The Pomegranate and Spruce is fresh, light with the perfect amount of that familiar spicy and warm Christmas smell. It’s already made such a difference to making a house a home with the added bonus that once the candle has burnt out, you can pop a tealight on the jar to make a beautiful Christmas votive – Bob’s your uncle, Mary’s your aunt! This candle retails at €12.95 and can be purchased in in Avoca stores and online.

Beauty

Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette Review 2Urban Decay Palette - Naked Basics

Generally I’m not one for a matte shadow – way to hard to blend, particularly when in a hurry and can make the eye look dead and sunken when applied without care. However, I would always make an exception for Urban Decay, more specifically the Naked Basics Palette. Ironically, this was actually a Christmas present last year that has only found its way into my make-up routine now. Just me, or does anyone else get onto the habit of using one palette for ages and forgetting they own seventeen others? Like a lot of people, I’m a huge fan of the Naked Palettes by Urban Decay and own both palette number 1 and 2. The basics palette is a collection of pared down, neutral and matte shades in one handy little compact, handy mirror included. Like most Urban Decay shadows, they are blendable with unrivaled colour payoff and you can actually use all off them (dear make-up companies – PLEASE stop putting green shadow in your palettes). Having been on a number of trips away recently, I can honestly say this is the one palette that will cover all your bases – it’s so compact and you have so many options for day to night eye make-up. The black is a particular highlight, as I have found it very difficult to get any intensity from such a shadow before now. I would definitely recommend popping this is the stocking of someone you love… and sure, if that person happens to be yourself, I wouldn’t blame you at all!

Food

Rocky Road Cake Birthday Cake

Right, so duh, you may have gathered by now that I love Christmas! I love every single thing about it… except it’s accompanying cake. Now, I’m not one to blaspheme the cake gods but my goodness, those fruity, booze soaked puds are (surprisingly) not my thang. If they don’t tickle your tinsel either, dispense with tradition and try your hand at this easy peasy, rocky road cake. Baked for a very special someone’s 25th birthday as you can see, I could envision this going down a treat over the holidays too. It was incredibly tasty, with all the birthday boy’s favourite things in – marshmallow, honeycomb, and biscuit. This cake is foolproof and completely adaptable to whatever your sweet tooth desires too. The base recipe is:

  • 250g of unsalted butter (plus extra to grease the tin)
  • 100g of Golden Syrup
  • 400g Chocolate (70% cocoa gives a beautiful rich chocolatey taste, but maybe go a tad lower for non-dark chocolate lovers as it retains it’s intensity even with the addition of the butter and golden syrup)

Melt all of the above together then add, about 150g of digestive biscuits, a pack of marshmallows, and well anything else you fancy really. Honeycomb, Mars bar, nuts, fruit, coconut, meringue, anything goes! When mixed, I poured everything into a greased, 9” spring form tin and allowed to set overnight, although it would be fully hardened within about two hours. After that, decorate with some melted chocolate and some crushed flake, and if you’re feeling crafty you can create similar toppers to mine with some pipe cleaners and cocktail sticks…just don’t set them on fire when lighting the candles!! Not that that’s what happened to me…*cough*…

Are we officially allowed to say Merry Christmas now? Sure sod it, Merry Christmas guys, and thanks for reading! 🙂

Until next time! xx

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Monday Mix and Match

Yaaaay, it’s officially the silly season  – happy December everyone!! Here’s another bumper Mix and Match for you all with some lipstick favourites, an interior find from Amsterdam and, for a change, good, featuring one of my favourite restaurants in Dublin at the moment, San Lorenzo’s. Grab a cuppa, and that tub of roses you were no doubt banned from opening until December, and enjoy!

Beauty& Other Stories Lipstick and Lip Pencil ReviewDusky Pink Lipstick and Kylie Jenner inspired Nude Lip Liner

I mentioned in my last Amsterdam post that I had made a little beauty purchase in H&M’s sister store, “& Other Stories”, a store I had bookmarked to visit the very second I heard I’d be visiting the city! Having fallen in love with the Scandi vibes and dreamy design of the store while in London last year, I’ve been stalking the website ever since and always seem to find myself back in their virtual beauty hall. The packaging is nothing short of delightful; and having purchased two lip products, the formulations certainly add punch to the aesthetically pleasing design. I could have bought so much more but my more rational side won, deciding that yes, two hand lotions, a bath set and bar of soap would send my bulging suitcase into excess baggage territory!

So of course I decided on my most purchased, most loved and most worn type of product: lipstick! This is an unusual colour for me actually – whereas I normally veering towards bright reds, corals and fuschia, this shade is the most beautiful dusky pink shade called “Bowknot Rose“. It’s a lovely go between a bright pink and nude and perfect for creating a soft, girly look for daytime. A totally practical purchase in my book!

Second is product of the moment (thank you Kylie J!) – lip liner. Yes I have fallen for the hype, and now I all I want is a perfectly lined and defined lip of an evening out. This pencil is in the shade “Tiretaine Blush”, which unfortunately doesn’t seem to be featured on the website, but Mac Cosmetics do very similar formulations is wonderful array of nudes. This particular one has a gorgeous creamy texture, which I have been wearing all over the lip with just a touch of rose vaseline of top (a define beauty bag must have, by the way!). It’s a brown toned, 90s-esque nude so perfect for the Kylie look,…if that’s what you’re into of course! I mainly love creating a lip with a pencil because it’s so easy to apply and it lasts all night.Anyone else loving good lip pencil at the mo?

Interiors

Concrete Bud Vase, House Doctor, DenmarkPink Roses in Concrete Bud Vase

Another purchase from Amsterdam here: this modern yet rustic bud vase, a juxtaposition of industrial concrete and pretty green ceramic from a Danish brand called House Doctor.  I love the trend for concrete vases and planters at the moment, and actually have a project like this written in my long list of DIY projects, mainly gathered on my Pinterest account. However. when I saw this vase for only €15 in a little design shop whilst on holiday, I couldn’t resist dipping my toe in the trend with a ready-made piece. Vases, bottles, jars, jugs: I collect anything that will hold a flower or two really, and this one is perfect for mixin’ and matchin’ with my existing collection. Blame my time spent in retails, but the displays in my house are constantly changing and being tidied, no item stays in the same room or position for very long. Great for keeping the place looking fresh, not so great when I move my keys and can’t find them again. And so this is currently sitting pretty on my coffee table with it’s to pink roses, alongside a vintage jug full of gerberas and a mini cactus…tomorrow, who knows!!

I also love that this piece something I never would have gotten in Ireland – for me this is what shopping whilst on holidays is all about, not just perusing the same old stuff we have at home! Unfortunately though, that means Irish readers won’t be able to get their hands on this beaitu but I’ve seen plenty similar styles online, particularly on handmade haven, Etsy, as well as a homegrown Irish brand Ail+El, who create absolutely beautiful planters for succulents concrete bedecked with geometric patterns and pastel colours.

FoodFrench Toast, Bacon, Maple Syrup - San Lorenzo's, DublinBrunch of Champions, San Lorenzo, Dublin

I haven’t posted about food in quite some time so I thought I’d share a restaurant in Dublin that has my tummy rumblin’ just writing about the food, never mind the drool inducing photos! First is somewhere that, if you live in the fair city and have a social media account you will have heard of: San Lorenzo’s, more specifically their weekend “Brunch of Champions”. Let me just say first off, this deserves the hype. Since brunch became “a thing” over the last while, I’ve made it my mission to make it well, my thing,. Breakfast food, at a lazier lunchtime hour was never gonna be hard to adapt to though, let’s face it people. San Lorenzo’s have one of the most extensive and varied brunch menus I’ve seen. All too often this means the quality of the food can suffer but this is not so in San Lorenzo’s, from what I tasted anyway! I opted for, what can only be described as, a mound of French toast with maple syrup and bacon, and my beau went for the Breakfast of Champions Fry which included all you see above plus a potato rosti layer, Boston baked beans and some thick cut toast Neither of us were disappointed in the slightest, with the only downside being that we had no room left for one of the scrumptious desserts (Pecan Pie with salt caramel ice-cream – I will be back for you!). I thought it was fantastic value too at €27 with tea, coffee and a fully belly till dinner. Enough outta me already, book your table asap. You can thank me later! Now, I just wish I hadn’t wrote this when breakfast is so far away…..

Until next time! xx

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Monday Mix and Match

Back on track with this weeks posts…although best laid plans and all that! Nevertheless here is a round-up of my  beauty, interiors and food favourites this week..

Beauty

Garnier Intensive Restoring Hand Cream

This may not be thee most glamorous beauty recommendation but as someone who is cursed with constant dermatitis, a good hand cream is a must have and a handbag/desk drawer staple. After all, nothing ruins painstakingly painted nails than dry digits!  Having just finished two different products (Soap and Glory Hand Food and Nivea Nourishing Hand cream), I decided to go in search of something new. Neither of these creams impressed me in terms of the level of moisturisation and soothing that my often sore, itchy, red paws require. Both are perfectly lovely if all you want is a nice smelling lotion (in particular the Soap and Glory – the most divine scent), but when you need your hand cream to go the extra mile, I found that these just didn’t cut the mustard. Enter Garnier Intensive Restoring Hand Cream for extra dry skin– now this product will have you doing jazz hands in no time! When my dermatitis flares up, I tend to scratch my hands to pieces in my sleep (my boyfriend is always suggesting I tape mittens to my hands! Lol!), and it gets a lot worse during times of stress. I do use a prescribed cortisone cream from time to time when they get particularly bad, which you need to pair with a really heavy duty emollient – this product is perfect for this! That’s not to say it’s not great for everyday use. It would be a fabulous product to have in your desk drawer, particularly as the cold begins to creep in and the office heating wreaks havoc on your skin. This hand cream is properly nourishing and works to actually heal your dry skin, rather just making it oily and soft for an hour until it rubs off. It smells lovely too, although it sort of reminds me of the new baby smell – make of that what you will! The main aspect I like is that it doesn’t leave me feeling like I desperately need to wash my hands – it absorbs into the skin really quickly, leaving your hands feeling just the right side of soft and moisturised. And here’s where it gets real – €4.99 for 100ml. I can get on board with that! I’d be interested to know if any of you ladies use hand cream on a regular basis? Is it something you keep in your handbag to religiously apply throughout the day or a totally unnecessary indulgence?

Interiors

Ikea Set of Three Cacti

Ikea Cactus in Octagon Shelf

Ikea Cacti, Candle and Gild and Cage Plate

I spy an obsession! Check my Pinterest board if you don’t believe me, but I can’t get enough of succulents and cacti. Since I moved into my apartment I realised how big a difference a little bit of greenery and nature can make to your space. Of course I am never without a couple of vases of fresh flowers dotted around the place, but I’ve discovered the joy of cultivating greenery that doesn’t need to be thrown away after a couple of days. This is of course if manage to keep my plants alive – these fingers ain’t so green, and my gardening books have been nothing more than pretty bookcase fillers up to this point! So I think cacti could be the way to go – much harder to neglect and just s’darn cute! These Ikea mini cacti come three to a packet and can be seen in just about every stylish blogger home on the internet. It seemed a tad excessive to make the hour long trek through room after room for only three little cacti (am I the only one who constantly has to remind themselves that it’s “cacti” not “cactuses”?), so naturally enough a few other trinkets fell into my trolley…and of course a slice of that almond cake could never be passed up. I don’t think I’ve ever regretted a trip to the Swedish mecca of furniture, even I do feel a little guilty for dragging my not so enthused man friend around every single little room. Nothing like a slice of the aforementioned cake and a cuppa to sweeten the deal, am I right?! More Ikea purchases to come soon too so watch out for that!

Food

Clean Chocolate Pancakes with Raspberries and Blueberries

Healthy Chocolate Pancakes

Now I will admit to not being the most consistent when it comes to eating healthily, and my normal pancake stack would never deserve a #eatclean. But every now and again I take a notion to make something very angelic and actually use all those ridiculously expensive healthy ingredients (seriously, one trip to the health food shop – food budget blown for the month!) that take up space in my cupboards. Plus, this had chocolate in the title so it was hardly torturous to make and eat! This is a really nifty little recipe using oat flour, raw cocoa, almond milk, maple syrup and real Greek yoghurt…that bit more expense and effort but so so worth it for a yummy, yet entirely virtuous, Saturday morning. So dense with a gorgeous chocolatey flavour, these were perfect topped with fresh berries and drizzled with maple syrup – full till lunchtime, that’s for sure! I got the recipe from fantastic Irish blogger, Tar Mar – definitely one to try for all you chocolate lovers out there! I’m always on the lookout for tasty, healthy recipes so if you’re a food blogger, leave your link below!

Until next time!! xx