8 October 2015

Cooking with Neff, Great British Bake Off style

Having watched Great British Bake off all summer and with the final just last night it's safe to say that I'm currently obsessed with all things baking, bunting and of course cake, plenty of cake! So when Neff, the makers of the famous GBBO slide & hide ovens got in touch and asked if I'd like to try it out for myself, I jumped at the chance:

Neff, Pork and boar burgers
Neff, Pork and boar burger recipe
Neff slide & hide oven, Pork and boar burger

Located in Milton Keynes, their showroom is literally a baker's heaven and after a quick intro we were put in charge of making lunch. Me and the lovely Maria cooked pork and boar burgers (definitely the best dish of the day if I say so myself) and they were absolutely delicious. Juicy little bites served on flatbreads with stewed apples and onions all drizzled with a sharp balsamic vinegar glaze. They were surprisingly easy to cook too and the slide & hide doors added to the excitement as we were able to get much closer to the burgers when checking on them during cooking. I've included the recipe above and I'll definitely be recreating them again myself for dinner soon. 

Neff, Salad, Quiches, Lunch

Lunch also included a whole host of other baked goods, including no less than 3 quiches and a healthy but yummy cous cous salad. It turns out the ovens have a cool conduction system which means that flavours don't mingle during cooking so the professional bakers also knocked up a tray of delicious looking scones for our afternoon tea.

Neff slide & hide oven
Neff, Baking masterclass

At this point we were all absolutely stuffed, but the food kept on coming! According to the bakers the pre-made bread mixes are just as good but much more hassle free as you only need to add milk/water. A quick blend in the mixer followed by half an hour in the steam oven and we had a savoury and sweet tear & share bread to eat. To make these you simply sprinkle with the filling of your choice then either roll into a circle or cut into buns and bake together on a metal tray. 

Neff, Tear and share bread, Scones, Afternoon tea
Neff, Strawberries dipped in chocolate, Dessert

A lot of the time I'm discouraged from baking as I think it'll take too long but aside from all the delicious food Neff have taught me that with a little pre-planning (and some cheat packs) that doesn't need to be the case at all. Safe to say that along with the Great British Bake Off it's definitely reignited my love of home cooking and I'm now dreaming of owning one of their slide & hide ovens for my kitchen.

Have you watched Great British Bake Off this year? What did you think of last night's final?

6 October 2015

DKNY Be Desired

Allow me to introduce the latest addition to the DKNY family - DKNY Be Desired. Growing up Be Delicious was one of my favourite perfumes and the fresh apple scent will always remind me of my later teenage years. So you can imagine my excitement when I heard that they were bringing out a new permanent edition in the form of DKNY Be Desired:

DKNY, DKNY Be Delicious, DKNY Be Desired, Perfume, Fragrance, New Launch, Review, New York

DKNY Be Desired is housed in the same iconic apple shaped bottle, but the scent is a more floral intense version of the original. There's still that crisp apple fragrance that we know and love, but inspired by the hidden urban gardens of New York, there's now also the addition of orange oil, blackcurrant, grapefruit, violet leaves, jasmine, rose and cedarwood. 

If I had to compare I'd say that DKNY Be Delicious is more youthful and fresh, whereas Be Desired is like the more floral green older sister. It's almost as if the perfume has grown up with the original generation of fans and has been updated to be more sophisicated and edgy. Safe to say if you were a fan of the original then DKNY Be Desired is well worth a try and if you're anything like me then this may just become a new favourite. 
Were you a fan of the original DKNY Be Delicious? What do you think about the new Be Desired perfume?

1 October 2015

September empties and favourites

I can't believe that it's the end of September already, especially as it's still so warm and sunny here in the UK. It seems only yesterday I was putting together my August empties and now here we are at the end of another month. Recently I had a clear out and discovered quite a few products that I'd forgotten about. Add in some miniatures from a weekend away along with the usual daily essentials and I've managed to accumulate 17 empties this months:

Empties, Favourites, September, Dove, Batiste, Radical skincare, Clinique, Paul Mitchell, Maxfactor, Rimmer, Herbal Essences
September empties and favourites

I always seem to get through at least one dry shampoo every month and September was no exception. I really liked the fresh scent and fine mist of Herbal Essences clearly naked dry shampoo but had some problems with the can as it seems to have stopped spraying half way through. Both the Batiste dry shampoos were nice enough but I much prefer the brunette version or one of their more fruitier scents. I also really liked the Paul Mitchell clarifying shampoo. It had an invigorating lemon scent and helped to gently get rid of product build up without being harsh or irritating on my scalp. 

Rather annoyingly all my daily essentials seemed to run out at the same time. Radical anti-aging restorative moisture has been a life saver recently and Clinique dramatically different moisturizing lotion+ great for using under make up. I also really liked Rimmel stay matte powder for touch ups during the day although sadly the plastic lid proved too fragile for my handbag. Other favourites include Dove beauty blossom nourishing body lotion and Maxfactor clump defy mascara, both of which I'd happily repurchase again. 

How did you get on this month? What were your beauty favourites?

28 September 2015

What's in my handbag - Bailey & Quinn

It's crazy to think that in my 6 years of blogging I've yet to do a what's in my handbag post, especially considering they're one of my favourites to read! Earlier this year I treated myself to a gorgeous Bailey & Quinn handbag and since I now use it practically everyday I figured it was better late than never for a look inside:

Bailey & Quinn handbag

What's in my handbag
What's in my handbag

I try to make a conscious effort not to carry too much but day to day my absolute essentials are my phone, purse, oyster card, keys, lip balm, hand cream and make up. I like to keep a bottle of water with me to stay hydrated and with it being so sunny recently a pair of sunglasses has become a daily essential too.

More often than not I'll have my camera with me and I'm currently switching between my Nikon compact and DSLR. Whilst I love the convenience of a compact, mine is quite old and doesn't always give the photo quality I want, which why for evening events you'll tend to see me with the more bulky DSLR. I've just upgraded to a iPhone 6s so I'm going to see how the camera is on that, otherwise I'm thinking of investing in the Olympus pen. 

Make up wise I like to carry a few touch up essentials along with one or two lip colours for choice. I find cream blushers so much easier to use and the Real Techniques retractable kabuki brush great for applying powder on the go. Travel mascara is another handbag staple and at the moment I'm really liking Benefit roller lash mascara along with Maybelline baby lips and Mac sweetie lipstick. 

I hope you've enjoyed this peek into my handbag! What are your daily essentials?

23 September 2015

Bourjois aqua blush review and swatches

I'm late to the party with these but seeing blusher is one of my daily essentials and I'm always on the lookout for a new formula to try, it was only a matter of time before I got my hands on the new Bourjois 12 hour aqua blush:
Bourjois aqua blush, Review, Swatches, 01 Inge nude, 04 Berry nice

Bourjois aqua blush, Review, Swatches, 01 Inge nude, 04 Berry nice

With a choice of 4 shades and a lovely lightweight water gel formula, Bourjois aqua blush has quickly become a new favourite and it's been my go to product of choice recently. To apply you simply pump a small amount onto your fingertips, then blend into the skin for a fresh natural pop of colour. The formula goes on sheer at first but can be built up for a stronger look if desired. 

I've always been a fan of cream and liquid formulas but these almost seem to stain the skin and have a longer wear time compared to some of the other blushers in my collection. All the aqua blushes have a light floral scent and as someone who often has to apply make up on the go, I love that the blushers are so portable and easy to apply without the need for any extra brushes.

Bourjois seem to have a knack for picking really pretty but super wearable colours and they've not disappointed these new blushers. There's 2 peachy shades for a more natural look and 2 pinks for that gorgeous fresh faced rosy glow. Overall a really lovely new formula and one that I would definitely recommend if you're looking to treat yourself to a new blush (or two).
Have you tried the new Bourjois aqua blushes? What's your favourite shade for Autumn/Winter?
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