December 2016 - Rachel Ellen

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Too many new things
On Tuesday the 6th, I went to The Clothes Show. Unlike everyone else (it seems) I have never been to it before and I ended up going to the final day ever in Birmingham before they move to Liverpool.

I didn't actually buy any clothes, although there was some really nice stuff. I got quite a bit of make up and skin products due to the deals that were on. Maybe I need to go to a make up show.

Here's a nice big list of the things I got and my initial impressions on some of them.

First thing was the £3 show bag, which had a few bits and bobs in. I haven't actually used many of these things. The nail varnish is lovely, and below, I have paired it with a couple of the other Barry M nail varnishes from the day. The other thing I have used is the popband, pictured top left. It is supposed to be comfortable on your wrist and work as a bobble. I have quite smooth heavy hair so maybe it's just me, but it didn't hold very well.

So the Barry M stuff. At their stall, they were selling this little set, with the make up bag for £10. For me, it was worth it for the nail varnishes, never mind the other bits.

The nail varnishes are great, apart from the blue one that needs a particular top coat to use. The first and the fourth shown in the picture are the two I used on the picture further up, they are currently sold as a pair in Superdrug. They dry reasonably quickly compared to the last Barry M varnishes I have had. 

The lip products and the palette are a little disappointing and some a little unusable (the loud mouth lip thing, it's sticky and a really unpleasant colour.) But the lip balm, is quite nice, it's a little moisturising and is purple tinted. I think I'll stick to just the nail varnishes with Barry M in future.

Glamour magazine had a stall and they were offering a gift bag with all of the below, January's magazine, and a years subscription for £9. As someone on a magazine journalism who buys the mag every month, this is a great deal!

The coconut shampoo and conditioner is really nice, I was in need of quite a good conditioner so I'm really pleased for this! I'm excited to use the St. Tropez fake tan, I've never used their products before, let's see f they can convert me from St. Moriz. I love the bottle for the finishing spray, I don't think it's any different to many hairsprays but a really great size!

And of course, the part we've all been waiting for, Spectrum brushes!

Spectrum had a stall there which was absolutely swamped. I did initially want the pink handled ones which are everywhere but they were sold out. Then I spotted this set, which is almost the same as the set in the glam clam (£59.99), without the brush carrier, these brushes were £25, that works out at £2.50 a brush can you believe it? B06, which is an eyeshadow blender, is my favourite so far. The brushes are super soft and completely vegan and cruelty free, which is great. They only pick up a little bit of product, which is good in most of the brushes, however the large one, I would prefer it to pick up more product.

If you need a good angled contour brush, this w7 one has done me proud for quite a while now, I picked it up for about £3 when I first wanted to try contouring and it's amazing. The only real difference between that and the spectrum one is that it picks up more product. So with a light hand, it's a really great brush. It's £6.95 on the website, but have a look around cos their stuff is cheap in a lot of places.

What do you think of anything I got from the show? Will you attend the new Liverpool show in the summer?

Thanks for reading,

Rachel xx

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

How to be a grown up - Cook a vegetable

Are you a student? Or a rubbish cook? Or very unsure what on earth to do with a vegetable (other than asking for non on your pizza) Then look no further.

Use this recipe to impress your family and friends. You can make soup AND use vegetables!

Ok sorry for the cheesey opening, but all of that applies. This is a really easy recipe to follow for even a novice cook (me). The ingredients are pretty flexible so don't worry too much but obviously, if you only add one carrot, there's going to be a difference

This is an adaptation from this recipe > Carrot and Parsnip Soup

Serves 3/4

First things first, ingredients:

  • 4 decent sized carrots (I've used 5 cos they were small)
  • 4 decent sized parsnips
  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • A stock cube (chicken or vegetable will work)
  • 1 tablespoon of Chilli powder
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • Oil
  • 1 tablespoon of butter (or margarine)

Don't worry if this seems a long recipe, I've just really broken it down. Now let's get stuck in.

1. Peel your carrots and parsnips, and chop the end of each one so you don't have the stalky bit, I chop a bit of the bottom end off too because I don't know if you need to.

2. Chop your carrots, parsnips and onion, do the carrots and parsnips reasonably small (like the picture) so they cook properly.

3. Grab a good sized pan and heat the butter and a small amount of oil (to stop the butter burning). I used margarine because I don't want to buy butter just for this and it worked just fine.

4. Put the pan on a low heat and add the chopped onions. Crush your garlic into the pan (I fully advise getting a garlic crusher, I suffered without for so long but just got one for my birthday - I'm 23 let me live). You want to keep this on a low heat so you don't burn the onions, you want them to soften and look a little clear. Heat this for about 10 minutes.

5.Add 1 litre of boiling water and your stock cube together to make your stock. Add this mix and your carrots and parsnips to the pan with the onions and garlic. Add salt and pepper however you like it, I like a lot of pepper and minimal salt. And add your chilli powder, again, depending on how you like it, if you have hot chilli powder like I do, add a little less.

6. Bring mixture to the boil and then simmer for 30 minutes with a lid.

7.Make sure the vegetables are soft. Use a hand blender to liquidise.

And you're done! BBC food website says to sieve the soup before eating it, but I actually don't mind if there's small bits of veg still in it.

Now you have quite an impressive, wintry, slightly spicy soup. Tell your parents you'll make soup on Christmas day!

Let me know if you have a go at making this soup and how it goes, good luck!

Thanks for reading,

Rachel xx

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Snapchat Challenge!

Tomorrow I will be doing a Snapchat challenge for an article in my uni portfolio.

For that challenge I will be getting as many Snapchat trophies as possible in that day. I have created a new Snapchat account: RachelScape

So, anyone that would like to follow my snapchat journey, or would like to send some pictures to me, or even receive some from me, add the account!

I will update you all on how it goes in a few days!

Thanks for reading,

Rachel xx