Monday, 23 May 2016

REVIEW: CLOUD NINE WAVING WAND


Recently I have been getting loads of comments asking about how I curl my hair and what products I use. I'm a huge fan of big hair, and due to my own hair falling out daily due to excessive over-bleaching to transform me into the blonde bombshell I am today, I have to work a bit harder to give it a bit of volume!

You will have seen in my latest birthday post that I got this bad boy for my birthday - the Cloud Nine Waving Wand. And I am NOT joking when I say it has COMPLETELY changed my life!!!!!! No more leaving my rollers in for hours on end, only for the curls to drop out a couple of hours later, no more attempting (and failing) to curl it with my GHD's, and no more splashing my (non-existent) cash on getting a curly blow at my hairdressers! 

The barrel is so thick, it creates a gorgeous soft curl, that stays in all night, and the next day too! It takes about 15 minutes to curl my whole head- meaning I have more time to put MORE make-up on (lol).

Here are some recent pics from when I used my waving wand. If you're equally as impressed as I was, buy it > HERE <






And before you ask- no this isn't a sponsored post- I just REALLY love my wand ok!

Saturday, 21 May 2016

RECIPE: RICOTTA & RASPBERY NO-BAKE CHEESECAKE (WITH AN AMARETTI BASE!)

I'm not gonna lie, baking has never been my forte. But after 'Cheesecake Mondays' came in to existence at work, (where basically each member of our team takes it in turn to bring in a homemade cheesecake- flavour optional) I knew my time was coming to don my apron and have a go.

It just happened to be that I was contacted by the lovely people at Doria to create a recipe using some of their authentic Italian ingredients- so I chose the amaretti biscuits with Cheesecake Mondays in mind. The flavours that have already been presented to the official Bake-Off board (aka our digi marketing team) have been raspberry, classic New York (both of which I didn't actually get to try because I was off that day- boo!) and peanut butter. After spending a few hours getting lost on Pinterest in all the heart-attack worthy, decadent desserts, I decided on a mixed berry and vanilla cheesecake with an amaretti biscuit base. Sounds a bit random now that I have just typed that out, but I just wanted to fresh flavours to compliment the chewy, almond-y base.

Ignore the eggs and the milk!

I cannot stress enough just how EASY this recipe is! Yep, I even put it in bold. This photo actually has way more ingredients than I needed because I didn't realise I was looking at a recipe that involved baking the cheesecake in the oven! Being the lazy kitchen-phobe that I am, I quickly found another recipe sans baking that involved less ingredients. Winner!

I used a recipe from Good Food which can be found here. As you can see, it really doesn't involve that many ingredients! And wait till you see the method- it's a piece of cake! ('Scuse the pun.)


Ingredients:

  • 75 g butter
  • 250 g Doria amaretti biscuits
  • 500 g soft ricotta cheese
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 250 g cream cheese
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 punnet of strawberries
  • 1 punnet of raspberries

I started by putting the amaretti biscuits in a bag and crushing them up. I then added them to my blender along with the butter, which I had melted in the microwave. After whizzing them up until they had blinded, I added them to my cake tin. Remember to line your cake tin with cling film before you add the mixture so you can lift it out when it's done!

Put this in the fridge to chill.



Now to make the filling! Simply mix together the ricotta cheese with the sugar. When this has combined nicely, fold in the cream cheese and the vanilla. I decided to chop my raspberries and add these to the mixture to give it a nice pink colour.


Take your base out of the fridge and carefully spoon your filling over. Try and make the top look a bit neater than mine, if poss.


And you're done! See, I told you it was easy! Put in the fridge to chill for at LEAST 12 hours. I only left mine for 7 and it was still a little bit sloppy when I as cutting into it unfortunately. 


I decorated mine with sliced strawberries and some white sprinkles, but I guess you could do as much or as little as you like! I was met with a reassuring sound of 'mmmmm's' and a multitude of compliments as my team tucked in so I can safely say it was a success! The amaretti biscuit base was definitely an improvement to a standard biscuit base and the flavours worked so well against the creamy vanilla filling.

Will you be getting your cheesecake on in the kitchen this summer? Tweet me your photos if you decide to give it a go! > @CLAUDIAWRIGHTX

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

WHAT I GOT FOR MY BIRTHDAY

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling twenty……four?! Ok, so I’m officially TWO years too old to sing T-Swizzle which is actually so depressing. I’m ONE year away from being half of 50. So this time next year I’ll be closer to 30 than I am to 20. Can you tell I’m pretty distressed about this? 

Anyway, enough riddles, let’s get on with the presents! I’m not writing this to show off or be all ‘look at me’, but I personally love snooping at what other people get for their birthdays, so I’ve decided to share mine!

I am the real life *paints nails emoji*
I got this amazing Pandora ring from my besties at work! It is SO beaut and matches the other two silver rings that I wear religiously so it is perfect! Thank you Emma, Imo and Becky (with the good hair). Don't worry, I'm not actually wearing it on my ring finger, it was just for the pic OK.


I got a Cloud 9 Waving Wand, and it is definitely one of my favourite things! The barrel is really thick so it creates gorgeous, soft, loose curls, which is probably my favourite hairstyle. PLUS I can do my whole head in about 15 minutes and the curls stay in all night, as opposed to having to leave my heated rollers in for three hours and frazzling my skull.


AMAZING results from the Cloud 9 Wand! My new favourite toy. (Click here to buy)

I also got a bike! I love going on bike rides with my mum when the sun is out but I always had this crappy old bike which was literally like sitting on a knitting needle so I finally got my own! I was half expecting a neon pink thing with a basket and sparkly streamers coming out of the handlebars, but luckily it’s just black. 

New Birkenstocks. I was heartbroken when I had to leave mine in Thailand in January because they were just ruined, so I got another black pair just in time for summer! 

Giorgio Armani ‘Si’ perfume, which I have been lusting after for AGES! However, perfume is a such a stereotypical birthday/Christmas present so I was not willing to fork out £90 myself (lol). My Dad went to Marbella last week so I left a subtle (cough) note in his suitcase to remind him which fragrance to get me from duty free. I know it sounds like diva behaviour but last time he got me Britney Spears Midnight Fantasy, so I couldn’t take any risks. 




Livia’s Kitchen Raw Millionaire Bites! I am OBSESSED with healthy eating – especially raw recipes! (Wait till you see my birthday cake!) So my mum got me these from Selfridges food hall. The flavour is ‘salted date caramel’. I will try and do a review when I crack them open- if I don’t inhale them all in 0.2 seconds first.




Zara mustard leather jacket. Another thing from my birthday wishlist! The colour is absolutely perfect for spring/summer and I can’t wait to wear it. 

I got a spa day at Eden Hall AND an insaaaaaane apartment in Nottingham for a night out from my friend Sarah! She absolutely knocked it out the park with this present and I am eternally greatful! It was such a wild weekend but I will write about it in another post or this post will end up longer than the Old Testament. 


Euros and clothes for my holiday! This was probably my main present. I am absolutely SHOCKING at saving so it’s perfect timing that my birthday is 2 weeks before I go to Marbs! Spending money = sorted. Oh and keep an eye out for a haul of all my holiday clothes and accessories coming soon!

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

MY HD BROWS EXPERIENCE

Reason number 8943348 that I hate ‘Time-Hop’ on Facebook, it reminds me of the painful years in which I didn’t draw on my eyebrows. I still remember the time in my second year at uni when I started pencilling them in with my trusty Rimmel brow liner in ‘hazel’ after watching a couple of episodes of TOWIE. A tragic effort, I’m ashamed to admit, but it got the ball rolling!
I’ve now upgraded from my £3.99 eyebrow pencil to the coveted Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade (I buy it in both soft brown and medium brown because I’m a serious beauty blogger OK) and I think I’ve got pretty good at producing a set of brows that can officially be described as #onfleek.
I usually get them threaded, but the last few times I have noticed the beautician has been shaving more and more off, even though I CLEARLY say before I sit back in the chair ‘I AM TRYING TO GROW THEM THICKER, SO JUST TIDY THEM UP PLEASE.’ K For the record, when they’ve finished hacking my forehead to smithereens, get the mirror out to show me and ask ‘is that ok?’ (obviously I nod and force myself to smile and tell them I love it and thankyou), what would happen if I said no actually, I clearly told you I want thicker brows, NOT to thread them to within an inch of their life??? What could they do? They aren’t exactly going to glue the tiny hairs back on? And an apology certainly isn’t going to make them grow back instantaneously? Hmm. The mind boggles.
ANYWAY, back to the blog. After doing a little bit of research- and by research I mean scrolling through Instagram for a couple of hours, I decided to book an appointment for HD brows. The treatment involves, tinting, waxing, threading, plucking and lightly pencilling in to create a shape that is tailored to suit the shape of your face.
I nearly fell off my chair when I was asked how dark I wanted them, and how thick I wanted to keep them, as I was so used to just getting them zapped off on a fortnightly basis.

Top: Before
Bottom: After

After about 25 minutes, (and minimal pain!) I was shown the results- very impressed! I was told I can pluck any stray hairs that grow underneath the brow, but in order to thicken out the arch I must stay well away from the top.
I will be back in four weeks for my second treatment. Massive thanks to Hannah for doing them!

Saturday, 7 May 2016

MY FAVOURITE RECIPE EVER: BAKED EGGS (in less than 5 minutes!)


I must've made this recipe at least 100 times since I discovered the 'Dip n Share Eggs' on Rosie Londoner's blog about a year ago. Since then I have adapted it to suit my personal tastes (e.g. cut out the bread- WAH), and to be honest it changes every time depending on how hungry I am, what time of day it is (I try not to eat carbs before dinner) and most importantly, what's in the fridge LOL. It's such a great recipe to rustle up because it only takes about 5 minutes and is SO FREAKIN GOOD. I actually went through a stage of eating it for breakfast AND dinner every day for 2 weeks and didn't get bored. Now that's love.

Like I mentioned above, it's such a versatile dish where once you have the basics (which is literally an egg and some chopped tomatoes) you can literally throw in anything you fancy! The original dish is called Mexican eggs (or Huevos Rancheros to all my Mexican brothers and sisters), which sounds so much better and more authentic! But after reading the original recipe, it came to my attention that my dish actually has no Mexican ingredients- chipotle, tacos, beans etc. So I'm just gonna have to stick with the incredibly inventive and exciting title of 'baked eggs' :| 

Ingredients
200g (half a can) chopped tomatoes
1 egg (or 2 if you are having it as a main meal)

Things I have included in the above photo
Mangetout
Baby sweetcorn
Half a bell pepper
Red onion
Chorizo
Olives
Chilli flakes
JalapeƱos

Method
Fry off the peppers, onions, mangetout and baby sweetcorn in a large frying pan until they begin to soften. Add chopped tomatoes and simmer for about 2/3 minutes, this will take the slight sharpness out of the flavour. Add any spices or seasonings at this point. (Can you tell I like mine spicy?!) Then make a little well in the centre of the mix with a spatula and crack an egg into it. Cover the pan with a lid for about 2/3 minutes so the egg cooks. I always try and time mine right so I get a soft, runny yolk but this is very hit and miss! I always get scared if it's runny then the white bit won't be cooked properly and I'll get salmonella or something and end up incinerating the whole dish. When the egg is cooked, carefully slide the dish out onto a plate and serve!

Make sure you tag me in your photos on Instagram or Twitter if you try my recipe- Enjoy!