Thursday, 28 November 2013

Some tips for dressing/packing for cold climates...

So I just got back from a surprise birthday trip to Lapland... Crazy, I know right!! I only had approximately 3 days notice to get everything ready and packed - it was a challenge but I somehow managed it. When I usually go on holiday, I like to get really excited and research (a bit about the area we're headed to, the climate, local attractions etc) before we go but this time I didn't get a chance to look so it was a kind of figure-it-out-as-you-go type thing. It was a steep learning curve, let me tell you!
Here are some things I found out and would like to pass on so you can learn from my mistakes/be prepared:
 photo 5ef42317-d438-423b-b678-a865227d6877_zps3089b0e5.jpg- Don't wear mascara. I know, I know - I wanted my lashes to look all fluttery and alluring too (especially as that is like the only part of your body that won't be covered up by 3 million layers). But when your eyelashes freeze and you feel like you have conjunctivitis you'll be sorry. You'll also regret it when you walk back into the warm and the icicles melt and your mascara drips onto your face. Such a beautiful look, honestly...

- Your nostrils freeze. Yep. Not sure how, but without grossing everyone out too much, your nasal hairs seem to freeze together with any water residue up there. I'll leave it at that, however if you do want to avoid this - put a little bit of Vaseline on a cotton bud and just run it around the inside of your nostrils. Gross, I know but a frozen nose is annoying and uncomfortable.
- There is no such thing as over packing. Okay, that may be a slight exaggeration but it is very easy to underestimate the cold - I know I did. Minus 25 degrees Celsius... Pfft! I ended wearing most of my clothes every day. My feet HATED me on the first day. I honestly thought they'd dropped off and I'd left them behind in the snow somewhere. I couldn't feel them, it was awful. Another helpful tip that I learnt was the saying 'cotton is rotten'. What this basically means is don't wear cotton socks, as we were at an altitude of 1000ft our feet would sweat despite the cold. Sweat freezes in cotton socks. Wool socks were an absolute life saver, I wore about 3 pairs at all times each day and my feet were still cold.
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See what I mean about melty mascara? Haha!
- Mittens are better than gloves. Especially wool mittens and then waterproof mittens over the top. Gloves separate your fingers therefore making them colder, by wearing mittens, you are keeping the warmth of each finger together.
- Layers, layers, layers! I cannot stress this enough. If you are going as part of package, you will most likely be supplied with a sexy all-in-one thermal suit and thermal boots to keep you warm and dry. Don't assume you can just wear normal clothes underneath these. You will be cold. Very cold.  
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Each day I wore *cracks fingers*: underwear, full thermal under layers, at least one long sleeve top, a jumper, a thick cardigan, sometimes a hoodie, jeans, jogging bottoms, three pairs of wool socks, thermal boots, thermal suit, neck gaiter, giant woolly snood, woolly gloves, ski gloves, ear muffs and a giant Superdry woolly hat. This kept my core at a comfortable temperature most of the time but my hands or feet were never really more than chilly.
- Moisturise. Despite all the snow, the arctic circle is as dry as a desert. To keep your skin hydrated, make sure you use good moisturisers that aren't water based as they can freeze. Also, don't forget your lips - apply a good lip balm before you go outside (I used my Nuxe Reve de Miel Ultra Nourishing Lip Balm, it worked wonders).
-Don't stop moving. S Club 7 probably weren't referring to keeping warm when they sang this but it works well for Lapland. On our first day, we retreated to a little wood hut with a fire to warm up after getting so cold. But once you stop moving around, the cold feeling really sets in and becomes painful.
- Don't shower in the morning. Any water residue in your hair will cause it to freeze and it can potentially snap off (even after a good session with the hair dryer). Need I say anymore?
I hope that helps anyone who is shortly heading off to somewhere cold! If not, I hope you had a little chuckle at my expense :).




Last Friday I flew back into London from an amazing surprise trip to Lapland courtesy of James's lovely parents (what an awesome birthday present eh!). It was such an unforgettable experience, we got to mush with our own husky dog team, I got a kiss from a super cute husky called Bruno, we rode in a reindeer sleigh, went for late night treks into the arctic wilderness, searched for the elusive Aurora Borealis and I even got to drive a snowmobile (which I promptly crashed into two trees. Well done, Jess)! My favourite bit by far was playing with the husky dogs, the day we visited them was actually my birthday and it was just so magical. I got really homesick though after all the fluffy cuddles and missed my own dogs, I am so soppy when it comes to our furry best friends haha! Where we stayed was 250km into the arctic circle and was literally in the middle of nowhere, it was a 2.5 hour drive to the nearest hospital let alone any restaurants or shops. It was really nice being so secluded although it did feel a tad ominous at times, like a empty frozen landscape! One thing which surprised me was how much I liked the cold, it ranged from a mild(ish) -7C to a rather chilly (BLOODY FREEZING) -25C. Once you get used to constantly being icy, it's not so bad at all. Saying that, the locals said that in the depths of arctic winter, they regularly hit -45C... WOW, I can't even imagine how they cope with that. A particularly strange thing that I couldn't get my head around was the lack of daylight, the sun rose at 10:30am then set again at around 2:30am while we were there, it was so easy to lose track of the time and think that it was bedtime at 4 o'clock in the afternoon!
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High five if you noticed the funny photobomb in the top right photo... Safe to say we had a giggle when we noticed it!


Sunday, 8 September 2013

It's a Sunday #07

A quick run down on my go-to makeup for a night out!
I really love Sundays, It's not often that I have to work on Sundays so I usually make the most of them and just completely chill out. The Food Network channel has had a 'Christmas in September' weekend so that was my day pretty much sorted! Last night I went out on the town with a big group of my closest chums to celebrate one of my friends birthdays and to say farewell to those heading off to university. I love going out purely for the getting ready process, I love donning the false eyelashes and heels! I realised yesterday that I have a certain look which I always seem to gravitate towards, smoky purple jewel toned eyes with a nudey pink lip. It's for this reason that I'm setting myself a new challenge - I need to get out of my makeup rut and dig out some of the things I don't use so often!
Do you have a set look you just seem to end up wearing all the time?

PS- Really annoyed with myself that I've failed at the whole blogging every day in September thing already. It's been a super busy week and it looks like my hectic lifestyle is set to continue for the rest of September so from now on, I aim to pop a post up whenever I have some spare time.

Friday, 6 September 2013

The Wish List #02

Charlotte Tilbury The Vintage Vamp palette     |     Anya Hindmarch Studded Joss Wallet in medium grey      |     Emma Bridgewater Pink Hearts 1/2 pint mug    |     Ghost Sweetheart EDT      |     Joules Navy Floral iPhone 4S Case     |     MAC Rebel lipstick
Okay, It's official. I'm now in Autumn mode. As soon as there is even a trace of winter chill in the air, my tastes all change - clothes, makeup, scents, food.. everything. I suddenly switch from bright and summery colours to warm, rich tones and fluffy slippers. This really cute Emma Bridgewater mug, for instance, makes me want to snuggle up with a hot chocolate. I'm also super excited about Charlotte Tilbury's new makeup collection; her The Vintage Vamp palette is absolutely gorgeous, filled with plum hues and a beautiful gold shade!

Who else is in Autumn mode, if so, what do you look forward to most?

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Food diary #01.

There is no other way to start this blog post without stating the obvious - I love food. Or more specifically, to cook food. I just love to plan meals, do the shopping and make food for my family. Some people see it as a chore but I really enjoy just taking time to pick out interesting and nutritious food. My Mum owns her own business and before that, she was often too tired when she got back from work to cook, so I just tried to help out where I could and now I just cook everyday without even thinking about it (my Dad shouldn't be allowed near the kitchen!)... I guess it's kind of odd for an 18 year old to do majority of the family cooking haha.

It can be tricky cooking for everyone; in my family, there are three gluten intolerant people (myself being one of them) so all of our meals need to be free from gluten and they also need to be healthy. As well as being gluten intolerant, I also suffer from an illness called M.E and a couple of years ago, after taking some steroid based tablets to help manage my symptoms, I gained a whopping 3-4st in a couple of months. So after writing my 19 Things Before I'm 19 post, I took it upon myself to refine my eating and try to improve my health. 

Phew, that was a lot of info - now for today's food diary!

I hate faffing around with complicated breakfasts so I usually keep it simple, for today I just had a couple of poached eggs on some brown Genius bread. After I make breakfast I usually prepare some fruit or crudites to nibble on throughout the day. For lunch I just reheated some homemade spicy butternut squash soup and then fancied some bacon (tut tut, Jess!) so I added one rasher. By dinnertime I was shattered from work so needed something quick - I chucked some turkey, more bacon (ha) and mixed peppers into a pan and cooked them with some Nando's BBQ Peri-Peri seasoning. I prepared more veg and some oven chips (a bit naughty but I really couldn't be bothered to make anything else) - hey presto, a slightly mismatched dinner haha!

I hope you guys liked this post, it's slightly different from the usual beauty/makeup related stuff so I wasn't sure whether to put it up or not :)!

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

MAC Creme Cup

In my opinion there are only 5 lipstick shades a woman will ever really need, a true red, a coral, a bright pink, a berry shade and the perfect nudey pink colour. For me, there is no better nude (that I have found so far anyway) than MAC's Creme Cup. It's a light, blue-toned pink - a real 'your lips but better' kind of colour! It is super versatile too and just looks beautiful with so many different types of makeup, from a sultry smoky eye to a minimal flick of eyeliner. 
It applies so easily and, thanks to the Cremesheen formula it is really creamy and comfortable to wear! It doesn't dry out my lips at all either, which is one of the biggest plus points for me as I suffer with seriously dry lips (damn my weird M.E. symptoms!). The colour is well pigmented and has a slight gloss to it which is really nice as I'm not a huge lip gloss fan as they're usually so sticky - this lipstick is the perfect happy medium. In regards to staying power, lets just say it ticks the box for me - the photo above shows me 2 hours after I first applied it, and it's still looking fresh and even (please note, I did use lip liner all over my lips as a base)!

I'm now on the hunt to find the perfect berry toned lipstick in time for Autumn/Winter, any recommendations?

Monday, 2 September 2013

It's ladies night.

What better way to spend your Friday night than having a good chinwag with some of your girly chums? Now that A Levels have been and gone (for everyone else anyway) some of our little group are heading off to Uni all over the UK so it was only fitting that we have a girls night in to make our last moments count.. ( so dramatic haha). We ended up snapping some rather embarrassing and slightly tipsy photos - these were the best of the bunch!
It was such a typical girls night in, we had wine, ate chocolate and I got to work 
giving Kirsty and Alice makeovers. Muhahaha. They did get their own back however when they had a good root through my makeup collection, guessing at which product did what. Then it was my turn for the makeover. I am known among my friends for being really finicky with my makeup and to be honest, they did a really good job although I did look a bit sun burnt thanks to a liberal application of Illamasqua's Panic blush... The picture really doesn't do it justice haha!
I can't believe we're in September already, it's a new academic year for many of my friends and not much has changed for them. Since last year, loads of things have changed in my life... I've had a slight relapse with my M.E and I've got a new job which is keeping me super busy! I have so much planned between now and the beginning of January, I'm feeling so positive about the next few months and I'm so excited for Autumn to start kicking in and the leaves to start falling.

PS- Check out my cute little door stop from Primark, I'm such a sucker for anything tweed-like at the moment. 

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Life Lately

Life lately has been a tad busy. I've been on two holidays (lucky me!), had lots of new and exciting opportunities at work and I've also got some theatrical makeup jobs lined up. All of this meant that my poor blog got a bit neglected but to make it feel all happy and loved again, I have a bit of an ambitious project - I'm going to blog everyday in September... At least that's the plan! I'd love some suggestions of posts you'd like to see so please leave any requests!

Hope you're all having a good summer! 

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Friday, 12 July 2013

Simple travel skincare

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Eco Lips Sport SPF 30    |    Nuxe Reve De Miel Stick Levres Hydratant lipbalm    |    Hydraluron    |    Popcorn Lipscrub    |    'Anastasia' Steam Cream    |    Bioderma Sensibo 100ml    |    Origins Gin Zing    |    Philosophy Purity cleanser    |    Caudalie Beauty Elixir    |    Morrocan Oil 25ml
Early Tuesday morning I arrived back in the UK from a lovely, week long holiday on Lake Garda in Italy. I have a few snap-happy posts lined up so stay tuned for that; but for today, I'm talking skincare. I must admit, I have a bit of an obsession with picking up the super hyped products of the moment - as you can probably tell if you look back through my posts... This post won't be too different!

Good skincare is vital for me, being a makeup aficionado, I want a good base to work with so my skin needs to be in fairly good nick. I am, to be honest, quite lucky that 80-90% of the time, my skin is clear and mostly even but I do occasionally get the odd spot or patch of discolouration; my biggest problem is dry skin, eurgh! What's a girl to do? Buy more skincare if you're like me...

This is the skinny version of my normal routine, I always try to pack light when I go on holiday - lugging your max baggage allowance around at the airport is not fun. This small collection of products have really worked wonders for me this past week, my skin feels so soft and smooth! The only thing that I took with me that I don't use regularly at home was my travel size Purity cleanser by Philosophy - It was a gift at Christmas so I gave it a shot. It worked well and was a nice all round cleanser but not my favourite, the ingredients list shows that it is not as pure as it claims which turned me off of it a bit. Also, how cute is the tin for my Steam Cream?! I love it, it's so pretty; an honor to have on my dressing table. I'm also in love with this teenie tiny Morrocan Oil, not really skincare but I just couldn't leave it out... The rest of the products are just scaled down versions of my every day skincare routine, the only difference is I add in a few different masks and treatments a week when I'm at home.

What's in your travel skincare routine?

Friday, 5 July 2013

Pin Picks

I am the queen of procrastination. I feel bad about it but what can you do? Getting tasks done can be difficult when there are so many interesting things on the internet that I can find to get distracted with. Some call it a bad habit, I think it's a talent - well that's what I tell myself at least. Pinterest is my ultimate vice, I could get sucked up in the world of pinning for hours; I've even passed the pin-passion onto a fair few family members, oops. What better way to excuse my addiction than to make my wasted hours actually useful? Here are a few of my more recent pin picks...

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01. I love this simple, stylish outfit. It could be worn pretty much all year round with a few alterations. I tend to gravitate towards timeless, simple outfits - I find them much easier to wear. Maybe I'm just boring! It looks seriously comfortable too...

02. Beach worthy hair, I wish I could manage this with mine! I have spent god knows how much money on countless products trying to achieve this effortless, tousled style. My hair is as straight, flat and thin as it comes. Such a nightmare. 

03. Such a humbling and inspiring quote, love this. Not much more to say on this really, it's just so true.

04. This made me chuckle, Mean Girls jokes never get old.

05. Rather tasty looking stuffed peppers - yum! As I said in my '19 things before I'm 19' post, I'm trying to get super healthy and this seems like a reasonably clean recipe - perfect.

06. How cute is this snug reading nook/window seat?! When (hah!) I win the lottery and build my dream house, I will include so many of these little hideaways. 

07. Elegant office space, love the flowers and the brick! I'm such a sucker for beautifully designed and perfectly organised desk areas.

08. A makeup look - smoky liner by the talented Tiffany D. I really love eyeliner like this, it's like a sexy and slightly smouldering everyday eye. Makeup like this can very easily be adapted for nighttime - a red lip and some subtle contouring, gorgeous!

Who else is a pinaholic? Hands up! I'm thinking of holding a support group...

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PS- I'm currently on holiday in Italy at the moment but I'll be back soon with some Italian themed posts (pretty much just picture after picture of ice cream probably, just a warning!).

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Blanc to Bronze

Next week, I will be boarding a plane and heading off to Italy. This means I need to do some body prep... Now, as far as I know, there are two types of 'glow'; the bronzed, healthy looking glow and the pasty, slightly ghostly glow - I am very much the latter (think Voldemort in bright sunlight, eek!). This doesn't bother me in the slightest during the winter months, in fact I love it, milky white skin and berry lips, beautiful. However, Summer is a whole different ball game and especially in Italy where gorgeous, Mediterranean skin is the norm. I don't want to visually impair everyone in a 50 mile radius with my 'glow'... It's time to crack the fake tan out!

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Xen Tan Dark Lotion     |     Clarins Liquid Bronze Self Tanning
These are my absolute favourite fake tanners, I'm on my second bottle of the Clarins Liquid Bronze Self Tanner (and I tan very rarely, that says it all!) - both are quite cult products but I think they've earned their place. This version of Xen Tan Dark Lotion is quite over shadowed by it's darker sister, Absolute Luxe, but I find this to be the perfect shade for me... Not orange and not too dark.

My routine is very simple and fool proof; In the shower, I exfoliate the whole of my body with a body scrub (the Soap and Glory ones are fab), then go over again with exfoliating gloves; I then use an oil free moisturiser on any dry areas, my ankles, elbows, wrists etc. I let that really soak in then head in with my Xen Tan Dark Lotion on a tanning mitt (an essential!) and just rub it in using circular motions working from my legs upwards - this saves any horrible creases later on! I apply the Clarins tanner on my face, ears and neck with a cotton pad or my fingers then just head to bed to let my tan develop while I sleep. Easy, huh? The Clarins tanner is essentially a gradual tanner so I often use it 4-5 nights in a row before I reach my desired colour.

To keep my tan fresh for a good week, I gently exfoliate with the gloves every day and use copious amounts of body moisturiser to prevent dry skin and the tan flaking off. I love the Palmers Cocoa Butter Natural Bronze as it tops up your tan gradually and really keeps your skin moisturised. Another handy product is the Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs - it gives you tanned, smooth legs in a few minutes; it's taken me some practice to get it flawless and streak free but once you've mastered it, it's super handy for when you need to bare your pasty pins unexpectedly!

Whats your go-to self tanner?

Monday, 24 June 2013

IMATS London 2013

If there is one day of the year that I look forward to more than most, it is the day I go to IMATS. I've been for the previous two years and have loved each and every time. It's so lovely to see so many creative and passionate people in one place. I am definitely the most makeup/skincare/beauty obsessed out of my friends, without a doubt, and when I go to IMATS I feel like I finally fit in somewhere. I can turn round to the person next to me and rattle off how I'm totally in love with *this* lipstick shade and they can respond, knowing what I'm talking about! 
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Philosophy The Present primer  |  Dr Jart Waterfuse BB Cream  |  By Terry Touche Veloutee  |  Rimmel Stay Matte powder  |  MAC Fleur Power  |  NARS Laguna  |  Urban Decay Primer Potion  |  MAC Vanilla (lid)  |  MAC Naked Lunch (inner corner)  |  MAC Trax (crease)  |  MAC Sketch (outer corner)  |  Topshop Coal liner  |  Clinique High Impact Extreme  |  MAC Omega (brows)  |  Revlon Balm Stain in Honey  |  Skindinavia Original Setting Spray
This year, not only did I meet some of the most influential makeup artists in the industry, I also met some of the biggest names in the blogging/YouTube community. I can honestly say that they were all just as lovely as they come across in their blogs/videos. I briefly spoke to Fleur and Ingrid, they had a long line of people waiting to talk to them so it was a fleeting conversation but they were so nice and bloody gorgeous! I also got to have a quick chat with Becky who was lovely, she was wearing such a pretty dress. I love it when you meet someone genuinely cheerful and talkative - they're so easy to be around.
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Sneaky snap of Captain Jack Sparrow... 
I was lucky enough to be a few rows back in the 'Power of Social Media' talk which was hosted by Ruth, Louise, Vivianna and Caroline. It was hilarious, they had great chemistry as a group and divulged on some of the tricks of the trade and some rather amusing stories and opinions. It was so nice to get the opportunity to talk to the people behind the blogs, very motivational too. I didn't get the chance to chat to Caroline afterwards but Ruth, Louise and Vivianna were all really friendly (and so beautiful) and stood for photos with countless people which was very kind of them!
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If you're a makeup lover or just love the blogging/YouTube community then I'd definitely recommend going to IMATS. I didn't get the chance to do much shopping this year (NARS was absolutely crazy, SO busy) but the brands usually have some kind of discount which is always nice!

Did any of you guys go to IMATS? Send me your links to any posts you've done! 

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Spring Favourites 2013

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01. Moroccan Oil 100ml     02.Tangle Teezer     03. Bioderma Crealine H20 500ml      04. MAC 'Woodwinked' eyeshadow      05. Marc Jacobs 'Dot'      06. Yankee Candle in 'Fluffy Towels'      07. Essie polishes in 'Peach Daiquiri', 'Mint Candy Apple' & 'Sand Tropez'        08. Avon Super Shock gel liner in 'Blackberry'
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Summer is officially here and I'm sat typing this in a hoodie and fluffy socks, typical. Despite the miserable weather, I've been really into the standard spring trends over the past few months, light floral scents & lighter and brighter colours! Here are some of my go-to items and products this Spring...

01. Moroccan Oil is an absolute essential for me, I literally don't know what I'd do without it. As a ex-bleachaholic my hair has sustained some serious damage over the years. I've stopped dying my hair now but I'm still living with the consequences - really, REALLY dry and damaged split ends. Moroccan Oil actually makes it possible for me the brush my hair without crying.

02. Along with help from Moroccan Oil, my Tangle Teezer, somehow, manages to easily glide through and untangle my matted & dry hair - amazing. I have 3 in total, it's safe to say that I am obsessed!

03. This is a blogger favourite but to be honest Bioderma really does deserve the hype. I have really sensitive eyes, especially around this time of year (hay fever, ergh!) and Bioderma makes removing my makeup a dream. No stinging, bloodshot eyes... Yes!

04. I love Woodwinked, it's such a beautiful warm, antiqued gold colour when packed on but if you blend it, it transforms into a slightly-less-shimmery-orangey-brown shade! Two eyeshadows in one really, I have a feeling this will be a Summer staple too - It looks divine with a pop of blue eyeliner!

05. This scent is so fresh and floral, with notes of different flowers, fruits and vanilla. It's still quite a sweet fragrance, which I really look for when perfume shopping. A spritz or two of this would be lovely for during the day or a night out as well.

06. I don't really associate candles with Spring/Summer but as the weather is so terrible at the moment, I have wanted to just snuggle up with a good read and a candle flickering in the background. I tried to stay with fresh scents to stay in a Summery mood and Fluffy Towels is just perfect - it's a lovely bath time candle.

07. There's not very much to say about these except 'how gorgeous are these colours?!' The formula is lovely, not streaky or sheer. The only issue I have with them is that I find they chip fairly easily but then again, my nails aren't in the best condition...

08. I purchased this quite recently but I think I'm in love. I've had the Super Shock liner in black before and really loved that too. The gel consistency makes then so soft and the pigmentation is truly incredible, even in the waterline!

What have been your favourite products this Spring?

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Baking for Fathers Day.

Fathers Day is upon us once again and this year, I was truly stumped with what to get my Dad. I settled on making him some tasty (hopefully) goodies which is always a winner in my household - food is the way to our hearts, especially my Dad's. We are all foodies, we just love to sit around the dinner table at the end of the day and chat over some yummy food.

I decided to make two of my Dad's favourite treats, Brownies and Cheesey scones. It's always a bit of a challenge, baking for my family - 3 of us our gluten free so it's usually either a complete disaster or a 'okay, I'll change *this* next time' type of situation. Gluten free baking is all about trial and error. Though, after 8 years of adapting recipes and learning some sneaky tricks, I seem to have a pretty good handle on the whole shebang.
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The recipe which I ended up changing entirely... Oops.
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The weather in the UK is so miserable right now! I thought it was meant to be Summer!?
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The curse of gluten free baking - most things turn to crumbs! 
I am so lucky to have such a wonderful Dad, after we almost lost him a few years ago, I really cherish those little chats we have about music or those giggles about my Mum's quirky habits. Having him here and well means so much to me and I love spoiling him, on Fathers Day especially.  I hope you're all having a lovely Fathers Day or just a really relaxing Sunday! If anyone is interested in my gluten free brownie recipe then I will most certainly do a post on it.

What are your plans for today?

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