Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies

I’ve decided to run a back-to-school theme all this week on my blog and what better way to kick this off than with a little lesson? ;-)

When I was studying French, we were taught about many little French customs including le goûter. Essentially le goûter is the time when kids have an afternoon snack after coming in from school. The idea is that they sit down together and enjoy a little treat that will keep them happy until dinnertime (which, in France, often isn’t served ’til at least 7pm!).

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I love the idea of this ritual and I think chocolate chip shortbread cookies would be a pretty good option for le goûter. Freshly baked and served warm (or even at room temperature), these would be irresistible to school-kids and grown-ups alike.

I used this recipe and made these today. I’ll admit that I did accidentally leave them in the oven a few minutes too long so they’re a bit more crisp and golden than they should be. Trust me though, they still taste delicious! They’re rich and buttery, a perfect accompaniment to hot drinks and if they’re not all eaten for le goûter, they can be slipped in to lunch-boxes the next day for an extra special treat!

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So Long, Summer

I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks this summer passed by so quickly. As I mentioned before, being sick and on the hunt for a new job meant that — for me — this season wasn’t quite as exciting as it could have been! While we didn’t get to do everything we wanted to, we’ve certainly been making up for that recently — in fact, I think we probably packed more in to this last week than the last few months! Some time at the beach, a few days at my boyfriend’s family home, a picnic in the park and lots of ice-cream in between meant we got a burst of summer practically in one go (better late than never!).

As tomorrow is the start of a new month and a new season; I’m looking forward to a fresh start. Bring on the crisp days, changing leaves, fall fashion and comfort food. ‘Til next year, summer…

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Newtown Cove

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When we were in Tramore over the weekend, we spent some time in Newtown Cove. If you’re down in that direction, this is a place that you have to visit. If you ever wanted to see just how gorgeous Ireland’s coastline and natural scenery is; this is a pretty good example.

The Cove is incredibly scenic with its high cliffs, rugged features and sparkling water. It’s a perfect spot for swimming, fishing and picnics — or just for a wander around! Even though we were there on a Saturday afternoon, it was still so calm and peaceful. Our visit to this place was a definite highlight of the weekend and I really want to return and spend an entire day there — can we go back to the start of summer?!

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Burger Bite

It may or may not be International Burger Day. Some say it’s today; some claim it was back in May. Either way; who needs an excuse to put together some mouth-watering meaty burgers?!

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My perfect combination goes something like this: bun; ketchup; steak burger; cheese; tomato; lettuce; bun. Buns must be fresh; ketchup should preferably be Heinz; an evenly cooked burger; thin slice of cheese; thin slice of tomato and iceberg lettuce. A girl has to have standards ;-).  Sides can range between spicy wedges, chunky chips, crispy fries or buttery corn on the cob — as long at the burger is up to scratch, I’m generally happy! Eaten in summer or winter, outside or indoors, at home or in a restaurant; you pretty much can’t go wrong. I’d love to know now: what does your ideal burger look like?

Time out in Tramore

We were in Waterford over the weekend or more specifically, in the seaside town of Tramore. This was a go-to destination every summer when I was growing up so it always brings back the best memories. In high season, it’s such a touristy place but that doesn’t make it any less charming or entertaining.

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There’s lots to do and we had so much fun hitting the beach, amusement park and casinos. There’s nothing like a traditional funfair to bring out your inner child, a run in to the Atlantic Ocean to wake you up or a little gambling to make you feel lucky (I didn’t win a single cent but there was a lurker hovering around me the whole time so I must have been close!).

We also spent some time in Newtown Cove but I’ll talk about that later in the week as the pictures are stunning and deserve a whole post of their own!

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Since this was like a mini-holiday for us, we seriously indulged (because calories obviously don’t count on holidays). Seaside towns have the best junk food — stodgy chips, decadent donuts, fluffy candy-floss, peppermint rock, the creamiest 99s…me and my sweet tooth were kind of in heaven!

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Before heading home, we just hung out on the promenade. We were really lucky because there just so happened to be a big fireworks display when we were there. It was a once-off event so it was a brilliant coincidence! So many people turned out for it and it was a great show — a perfect way to end the day :-).

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Fuschia Make-Up Haul

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I recently received a generous selection of products to review from Fuschia Make-Up. An award-winning Irish company with stockists around the country, I jumped at the opportunity to try this make-up out for myself. When the pack came in the post, I was so excited to see such a beautifully packaged range. I really enjoyed trying out all the various pieces and I look forward to wearing them again and again in the future. Read on for a breakdown of each product (but maybe make yourself a cup of coffee beforehand, there’s a lot to come!).

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Make Your Own Five Pan Palette: €40

I love the idea of creating your own palette of eyeshadows and Fuschia offer sixty colours to choose from. I was given neutral shades of beige and brown all of which have female names — Amanda, Lara, Lucy, Holly and Jane. These are pressed eyeshadows and easy to apply. The colours come out nicely and can be built upon for a more dramatic look. The palette itself is also really lovely — sleek and well-designed with a mirror within. I received an eyeshadow palette last Christmas so I know that these make great gifts (whether it’s for a friend, family member or yourself is up to you!).

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Brow Wax Kit: €15.50

Truth be told, I wasn’t entirely sure what this was at first! It turns out it’s a multi-functioning product to define and shape eyebrows. There’s a brown type of powder to use on the brows and then a creamy wax to keep everything in place. There’s also a little applicator brush and mirror within this compact — incredibly useful for when you’re on the go! My own eyebrows are naturally dark and — thanks to my beautician — they’re well-shaped too so I wouldn’t normally consider using something like this. However, when I tried it out, I could see why it’s such a popular product. Anyone who likes to emphasise their eyebrows will love this.

Eye Dust: €12.95

I received the Full Moon shade of this product and it’s pretty gorgeous. Golden-beige with a serious shimmer to it; this would easily suit all eye colours. Multi-purpose, it can be used dry or wet as a shadow or liner or even mixed with moisturiser. Definitely check out the other colours in this particular collection — they’re beautiful and I want to try them all!

Lip Pencil: €12.95

I don’t normally use a lip pencil but I still found this easy to work with. It’s soft and creamy and I like that it can be used to keep your lipstick in place.

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Lipstick Vamp: €13.50

As the name suggests, this is a dark and sultry shade. I’ve never had a single product in this colour before as I always thought it would be too dramatic for me. However, when I tried this, I actually loved the result! It’s so perfect for autumn and looks rich and simply beautiful. I can’t wait to wear this on a night out!

Lip Lacquer Party Girl: €16.50 (full-size)

This is a fun and fabulous shade of pink. However, as much as I love this colour, it unfortunately doesn’t really suit my complexion. I’ve seen it on other girls though and it looks great on them so don’t rule it out!

Lip Lacquer Love Affair: €16.50 (full-size)

This is a purple-brown puce shade. I really like this one as it suits me much more — in fact, I think this particular colour would work for most skin tones. These lacquers consist of crushed lipstick and gloss combined so you can get intensely-coloured lustrous lips in an instant.

Highlighter Candle Glow Pearly Pink: €25 (full-size)

With its delicate colour and creamy consistency, this is a lovely product to use. I mixed mine with some foundation for a glowing complexion. It can also be used on its own for brows and cheekbones.

Primer: €22 (full-size)

Saving the best for last — I love this stuff! It comes as a clear gel and warms as you apply it to the skin. It just glides on and leaves your face soft and silky smooth.  It creates a perfect base for your foundation and helps to keep it in place for longer wear. If I had to choose a favourite product from the whole haul, this primer would be it!

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Please note: As stated above, this make-up was sent to me for consideration. All opinions are my own and one hundred per cent honest. A list of stockists of Fuschia Make-Up can be found here.

Last of the Summer Days

There are only a few days left in the month now and I just can’t believe how quickly this summer has passed. Admittedly this season hasn’t been overly exciting for me (hunting for a new job and then being sick for several weeks isn’t a whole lot of fun!). Nevertheless there have been some good moments and I’ll be making the effort over the next week to ensure there will be a few more!

To start; we’re heading to the beach tomorrow and I’m really looking forward to the sea, sand and (hopefully) some sun. Have a great weekend :-).

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