Love Actually

We’re halfway through April which means I’m halfway through this month’s goal which is to blog every day. So far, so good! Today’s post, however, is going to be a quick one because it’s me and my boyfriend’s fourth anniversary. I actually can’t believe it’s been four whole years since we first got together. I consider myself very lucky to have found such a wonderful guy :-). As if to prove my point, he’s just after telling me he’s finished in the kitchen so dinner’s ready — I could seriously get used to this! Have a great evening x

rainbow


Rimmel Sweetie Crush

The Rimmel Sweetie Crush collection has finally hit the shelves. I’ve been casually keeping an eye out for these since February and I only just came across them last weekend. From the looks of it, a lot of pharmacies are only stocking selected shades although the bigger branches are selling the full range.

All five polishes in this collection have a sugar texture, a little sparkle and suitably sweet names — Candyfloss Cutie; Fizzy Applelicious; Sherbet Sweetheart; Violet Swizzle; Blueberry Whizz…Although I was initially drawn to the exotic blue colour, I decided to go with the one I’d use the most.

rimmel-sweetie-crush

Violet Swizzle is a lovely lilac shade and as you might expect, it’s very pretty and girly and cute. It’s actually quite similar to the Sally Hansen Sugar Coat polish that I tried just last month (review here).

The pink and white striped detail on the lid gives it a fun retro feel. The brush with this bottle is decent enough, it’s pretty much the same as the brushes on the regular Rimmel polishes like 60 Seconds and I love Lasting Finish. With this particular polish, you definitely need at least two coats — I personally applied three. I also used a top coat simply because I didn’t have one with my Sally Hansen and it chipped a lot within a couple of days. This top coat didn’t even affect the textured feel of this polish which is evident but not uncomfortably coarse.

I’d recommend these to anyone who’s looking for textured nails that are pretty and fun but not too extreme. Each 8ml bottle generally retails at €5.49. I do like this polish but not enough to want to try the other shades in the range. I think two sugar effect nail polishes in my personal collection is more than enough…at least for now ;-).


Salted Nutella Cupcakes

In the run-up to Easter, chocolate treats and desserts pretty much tend to take over the blogosphere. I, for one, am certainly not complaining — I can’t get enough of all these luscious snaps! This weekend, I made my own contribution to the craze in the form of salted Nutella cupcakes.

salted-nutella-cupcakes

These cupcakes are fun to make and even more fun to eat! They have Nutella in the filling and topping so to ensure they didn’t turn out overly sweet, I added in a good pinch of salt. Fine sea salt, to be more specific, and it was the perfect touch. If you’re going to make these, please don’t omit the salt; it really makes these cupcakes extra special.

Use your usual vanilla cupcake recipe and when it comes to spooning the batter in to the cases, add a little dollop of Nutella in to the middle of each one (I may have been too generous here with mine as I found all the Nutella sank to the bottom!). Allow them to bake for the usual time at the usual settings and leave them to cool completely before you frost them. Oh and try to resist eating them warm from the oven…it’s almost impossible ;-).

nutella-cupcake

The frosting is definitely the best bit and it’s so easy to make too — just whip together 3 ounces of butter, 6 ounces of sieved icing sugar, a few tablespoons of Nutella and a teaspoon of salt. I always use a hand-held mixer which will do the job in a minute. Also, I whip the butter on its own first as I find that makes the frosting extra smooth and creamy!

nutella-cupcakes

These are rich and delicious and so perfect for Easter. You can make them even more indulgent by playing around with the measurements. I used three to four tablespoons of Nutella in my frosting and it resulted in a lovely light chocolate-hazelnut flavour. If you’re looking for something more intense, however, just add extra Nutella — you and the buttercream will be well able for it! :-)


This is my stop…!

I don’t drive so every once in a while, I have to rely on public transport. Most of the time it’s totally fine but today made me kind of think it’s time to get my full licence…

dublin-quays

First of all, going in to town this morning, the bus is packed so it’s hot and claustrophobic on board. I manage to grab one of the last seats beside this guy and as the bus is pulling off, I realise this guy has just had his lunch. How do I know? Well there just so happens to be a ton of discarded sandwich crusts and wrappers everywhere. This guy had really freaking pigged out — I had to double check I hadn’t accidentally sat on some ham and cheese. He didn’t look the slightest bit bothered and I know it was his stuff because there was Juicy Fruit wrappers in the middle of it all and he was snapping the distinctly scented gum in my ear. Let me tell you, when I reached my stop, I was first out the door!

Then when it came to home time, I was patiently waiting at the bus stop when this guy comes up beside me. There’s quite a few people around so I don’t really mind him. He’s standing there a while and at one point I sense he’s watching me but when I turn, he’s looking elsewhere. I subtly inch away and go back to minding my own business and then…Suddenly I feel a hand on the back of my neck and next thing I knew, he’s slowly running his fingers through the length of my hair. Now I have quite long hair. It falls halfway down my back and he was reaching the ends before I realised what was happening. I turned to him, completely speechless and clearly disgusted. After a long pause he mumbles, ooh I thought you were someone else and then literally runs off! He had been standing beside me for a good ten minutes, there’s not a chance he thought I was someone else! It was such a bizarre moment. Fortunately my bus was just pulling in and the trip home was uneventful. I’m going to be on full alert next time I use public transport and in the meantime, I guess I’ll have to look in to getting some more driving lessons! Today wasn’t the first time I’ve reconsidered using public transport but I’ll leave the other stories ’til another time ;-). If you’ve had some weird experiences on your commute, I’d love to hear about them — I know I’m not the only one who’s encountered these people!


Garnier 7 Days Hand Cream

Do any other bloggers sometimes forget what they’ve written about?! Only after a quick search on here, I realised that I’ve never done a post on Garnier Intensive 7 Days hand cream. I’m really surprised at that because it happens to be one of my favourite products.

I’ve been using it for months now and I really love it. Like a lot of other hand creams, it claims to be fast-absorbing with a non-greasy and non-sticky formula. Unlike a lot of other hand creams, however, this one actually lives up to its promise.

Containing L-Bifidus and shea butter, this product is aimed at those with dry to extra-dry hands. Now if I haven’t been moisturising regularly, my own hands can get very dry. In colder months, the skin sometimes cracks and even bleeds a little :-(. So needless to say, it’s important for me to use a good nourishing product.

This is ideal for daily care and the results are immediate. A little dollop leaves me with smooth, supple hands every time. It has a nice clean and fresh scent as well which is a definite bonus. I always have at least one tube of this in our home at all times. If I’m looking for a more luxurious treatment, I use this but in the end, I always go back to my Garnier hand cream. Like toothpaste or soap, it’s just a simple essential item that I wouldn’t do without.

garnier-sos-hand-cream


Ireland’s Answer to the Cronut

It’s been almost a year since Chef Dominique Ansel launched the cronut in his New York bakery. The croissant-doughnut hybrid immediately attracted extraordinary amounts of attention, becoming the most virally talked about dessert item to date. We’ve all heard the stories of people queuing for hours and hours just to get their hands on these exclusive pastries…some say crazy, I say dedicated!

Although the cronut has become a trademarked item, imitations have been popping up all over the world. The Marker Hotel in Dublin were quick to launch their version, selling boxes of four for €10 since July of last year.

Today, Centra introduced the rest of Ireland to this craze, launching the “cronado” in their 460 shops around the country. Named with its taste and tornado-like shape in mind, these are available in vanilla and nougat flavours and cost €2 a pop.

cronado

I only got the chance to pop in to my local Centra late in the afternoon and happily enough, there were four left. I picked up one of each flavour and went on my way. By the time I reached home, I was looking forward to testing them out — truth be told, I was nearly taking them out of the bag before I got in the door!

centra-pastry

They look quite appealing with their puffy round shape. They’re slightly firm and very sugary on the outside so when you bite in to them, the buttery delicate croissant-like interior is a nice contrast.

centra-cronado

Considering it was late enough in the day, I have to say I was really impressed with how fresh these were. Taste-wise, they’re very soft, sweet and satisfying. One has a vanilla glaze and a creamy filling that tastes just like crème pâtissière while the other has a chocolate glaze and a rich filling that tastes exactly like Nutella. I expected to prefer the latter but I really took to the lighter version. Honestly though, they’re both really delicious. I wouldn’t buy pastries very often but it definitely won’t be long before I’m picking up another one of these little delicacies…Not great for the waist but so good for your sweet tooth (damn you Centra and your delicious concoctions!).

cronados


Step into Spring

Easter is fast approaching and I’m using that as an excuse to treat myself to a beautiful new dress! I want something with a lovely pop of colour that’s suitable for spring and appropriate for visiting family. And let’s face it; it also has to be comfy and forgiving so I don’t feel too bad when I’m settling down to a roast lamb dinner and chocolate eggs :-P. I love these pretty pieces — they’re so feminine and I can easily throw a chunky knit cardigan over them when it turns cool for a look that’s sweet and simple and ideal for a lazy long weekend.

easter-collage

Topshop Scallop Daisy Overlay Dress

Topshop Fit and Flare Crepe Dress

Topshop Panelled Shirt Dress

Mango Combi Dress

Warehouse Printed Pique Dress

Warehouse Geo Skirt Swing Dress

New Look Navy Floral Print Dress

New Look Pink Heart Print Dress

New Look Blue Stripe Belted Dress


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