About Me

I'm Dani. Foodie. Lover of Beauty and Fashion. Bride to Be. Gym and Green Tea Addict. Instagram Obsessed. Legal Eagle. (Sometimes I blog)

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

In keeping with the healthier me theme, I was struggling slightly today when trying to locate a snack that wouldn't take me off plan.  Unfortunately, despite prepping my lunches for the week, my portions are somehow ridiculously small and the avocado I had brought to fatten it up wasn't ripe and got binned.  I was hungry before I had even finished!

With that I nipped over to Tesco and located this bad boy, in a 4 pack which was only £2.50 (which I consider to be a bargain really when you consider what you pay these days for anything).  In the pack is Cocoa Delight, Rhubarb and Custard and Berry Delight.  Nom nom.

There wasn't much left before I decided you'd want to see what the bar looked like!! haha
Nakd website

I was surprised at how delicious this was.  It has a great texture and tastes like chocolate orange (obviously).  It's not dry or anything though so it makes it very enjoyable and the perfect pre-gym snack!

This particular bar contains only Dates (40%), Cashews (40%), Raisins (14%), Cocoa (5%) and natural flavour. 

I've copied the nutritional info from their website.  I was slightly shocked at all the sugar but apparently it's all natural so I am not as concerned.  That said, I am definitely over my sugar quota for the day.  I would definitely recommend these though as they are yummy and aren't going to add lbs unless you eat sh*t loads of them!

Typical valuesper 35gper 100g
Energy607 kj1736 kj
Energy145 kcal415 kcal
Protein4 g11 g
Carbohydrate16 g45 g
(of which sugars)14 g39 g
Fat7 g20 g
(of which saturates)1 g4 g
Fibre2 g6 g
*equivalent as salt0.1g0.1g

* Contains only the naturally occurring, unrefined sugars found within fruit. Nothing is added or refined. **Allergy information: may contain traces of nuts, peanuts and sesame seeds.

I love In Love With Fashion for clothes.  They have so many choices and show real people in the outfits so you get a real sense of what something will look like.  I love this dress very much.  When I first bought it, it was for a night out.  Now I wear it more casual as above.  Either way, it's super versatile and works a treat.  Can't wait to wear it with gold sandals in summer!

Dress - InLoveWithFashion here
Leather Jacket - F21
Bag - Primark
Scarf - Market Stall on holiday years ago
Ankle Boots - Dorothy Perkins

Monday, 10 February 2014

If you are anything like me you might just burn the candle at both ends and find yourself in need of some under eye concealer to cover the obvious signs!  Unfortunately for me though, even when I have early nights, drink lots of water and eat well I still suffer from really bad darker pigmentation around my eyes.  It's more a reddy brown than anything.  And then purple practically right in the corner near the nose.  Fit. 

This is nothing new for me and as a result I have spent a fortune on concealers over the years.  In an attempt to save money, I didn't repurchase the standard Bobbi Brown Corrector and Concealer I use when it ran out.  I then used illamasqua for a while, which was great for staying power but definitely too light a shade (despite being colour matched I might add).  

So, in an attempt to find something slightly more appropriate, I headed to Superdrug and purchased a corrector and concealer palette from Sleek and MUA.  

Unfortunately, neither worked too well on me and I am back to Bobbi Brown!

Sleek Corrector and Concealer Palette (£7.99)

Purchased from Superdrug

I found that the coverage was firstly too light with this product.  Light in texture and coverage.  The Lighter shade (left) corrector was actually a good colour.  The problem is that as soon as you put the darker shade on, it undoes all the work the corrector has done and draws attention to your dark circles!  This is probably down to shading, but you are obviously limited in terms of what you can choose within the palette.  This combined with the fact that the texture is too light makes this a no for me and sadly a waste of money as I will never use it.

MUA Conceal and Brighten Kit (£3.50)

Purchased from Superdrug
Similarly, the texture is too light with this concealer also.  However, by this I mean way to light, as in pointless.  Now I feel bad hating on an MUA product as generally I like their makeup, but this is a prime example of when drugstore just doesn't work.  The texture and colours are totally off.  Texture wise I can only describe this as greasy.  And the colour just highlights any flaws and lines etc.   It's a definitely no from me I am afraid.

The only time I could say these products may work are if you barely have dark circles - but if that is the case I would say stick to foundation and some touché éclat!

Has anyone else tried these successfully?
I've been making the conscious effort to eat clean for a couple of weeks now.  I have started a 3 month plan which involves weight lifting, some cardio and clean eating.  Mainly because as always, Christmas took its toll and my waist line wasn't looking its best.  If I am totally honest too, I'd been celebrating pretty much since November too with the engagement, client christmas dos and family and friend catch ups.  I basically ate and drank non-stop badness for 2 and a half months.  Never good. 

I also hardly went to the gym at all during that period, which as a 6 times a week girl before that obviously left me feeling pretty sh*t.

So I am back on it now and enjoying every minute of it. Realistically though, I love food so I have to mix it up a bit to keep it interesting - hence today's recipe.

Pulled Pork and Home Made No Mayo Slaw

This is a good dish if you want to keep your man happy also, as it's healthy but doesn't compromise on flavour.  Takes me right back to all the barbecue restaurants in NYC!


Pulled Pork (makes 4 servings):

Pork Loin (approx 400g)
Garlic Powder (1 tbsp)
Apple Sauce (3/4 cup - unsweetened - if you struggle to find use baby apple food - that's what I do!)
Agave Nectar (3 tbsp)
Chopped Tomatoes (1 tin)
Corn Flour (3tbsp)
Black Pepper (1/2 tsp)
Chilli Powder (1/2 tsp)
Smoked Paprika (1 tbsp)
Chilli Flakes (1/4 tsp)
Salt (1/2 tsp)

No Mayo Slaw (makes 2 large servings):

Two Carrots
1/3 of a White Cabbage
Juice of one Lemon
Agave Nectar (1tbsp)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Onion (optional - I've made with and without - both are nice however this was without)


Pulled Pork:

1.  Save for the pork and flour mix ingredients in a bowl and then once mixed, put in slow cooker.

2.  Trim any fat off the pork and cut in half.  Add to slow cooker and using a large spoon cover with the sauce as best as you can.

3.  Cook on high for 4 hours.  Once done, take the pork out and shred with two forks on a large baking tray.

4.  Add the flour to thicken up the sauce and stir in.  Add the shredded pork into the pot and then cook on low for a further 30 minutes.

5. Serve.

No Mayo Slaw

Whilst the pork is cooking you can prepare the slaw.  It's super easy.

1.  Peel and chop the carrots.  I like them quite chunky but if I have loads of time and don't mind the additional work, sometimes I grate the carrot.  (If you are adding onions definitely grate these).

2.  Chop the cabbage in similar sized strips to the carrots.

3. Squeeze in lemon juice.

4. Add salt and pepper to taste.

5. Add the Agave Nectar.

6. Stir all ingredients together and let sit in the fridge for minimum half an hour.

7. Serve with the pulled pork.

P.S. Another good addition to this would be sweet potato mash!

Sunday, 9 February 2014

As some of you will know, I got engaged towards the end of last year and since then I have basically been pinning non-stop on Pinterest (follow me here).  I have a secret wedding board - I don't actually know why it's secret, well I think it's because I want to leave some surprises for my guests etc, but I also have other boards related to everything I love in life including wedding things!

Anyway, last Saturday was a bit like real life pinterest, in that I was able to view all things pretty and wedding related under one roof at the Tatton Park Wedding Show. 

It was my first wedding show and I went with my sister, who is also my chief bridesmaid.  We got there pretty early and the great thing first of all was that it was not ridiculously crowded like any other exhibition I have been to.  Yes, you were able to walk around and see what you wanted to see without it becoming stressful.  

The people on the stands were also really nice.  I met just one slightly pushy person and immediately walked off.  I don't do pushiness at the best of times, but I certainly won't stand for it when it comes to my wedding!  

So firstly, Tatton Park is beautiful.  It's in Knutsford.  My god, I have no idea why I have not been here before when it's only half an hour down the road or so.  Actually went back the next day to show the boyf.  It makes you sick with envy driving past all the AMAZING houses on the way but it's also super inspiring.  Maybe one day I will make enough money to buy a house like that.  Yeaaaaaah riiiiiiiiight!! haha.  

The show was outside of the venue in some pretty impressive Marquees.  I must say, you didn't even realise you were in a Marquee most of the time.  A wedding in the field back at my Parent's home is still an option after all!!

There were quite a few stands but including a catwalk show we were done by 1pm and had arrived at 10am.  I think that's a nice amount of time though.  I may feel differently when I actually have a venue booked etc but for now it was perfect. 

Here are some of my favourite things I saw…

Invites and Table Plans by The Paper Doll

The Paper Doll Designed by Sarah - Jayne

Also on Pinterest

I just loved these invites - they were exactly the kind of thing I would like to have.  Pretty, yet understated.  Perfect.  I like the idea of a nude wedding so I think that invites like the top left or bottom right (style wise) would be perfect with those colours.

Personally, as much as I love Disney, I would not be having it at my wedding - but I still liked the idea of the place cards - I reckon that would be perfect for some girls weddings!

Then the bottom left picture is what looked to be a Bride Survival hamper for the wedding day - I love the idea of this.  Perfect!

Wedding Tiered Cakes and Cupcakes

The top two pictures are Buttercup Cakes and you can find out about them here.  We got to sample some of their cakes and they were DELISH.  Tried a cupcake and it was literally the best cupcake of my life.  All down to the fact that the frosting wasn't too sickly.  I don't know what they had done but they had done it right!  Definitely want to look into them more.  Their tiered cakes were also beautiful.  If you are looking for wedding cakes have a look on their website here.  I will certainly be keeping their details for future reference!

The bottom two pictures were cakes by The Hazelnut Bakery.  We didn't get to sample these but they looked divine in any event!! Loved the pretty layouts of their cakes, especially the macaroon drawers!  You can find out more about them here

The Catwalk

Pretty dresses everywhere.  None of them however made me think oooo that's the one I'd like to try on.  I think the dress trying on stage is going to be lengthy!!  Thank goodness I have like a year or so before I actually have to make a decision on that front!  Think of the day, my favourite was the gatsby looking one on the bottom right.  Couldn't get the front photographed but it moved so well!

Table Decor

In keeping with my potentially nude themed wedding (just an idea at the moment), I really loved this table decor but unfortunately I didn't seem to pick up a leaflet for the designer!  Gutted.   Soooo pretty and the flowers were just to die for!  I really love the idea of centre pieces like this. They are just so beautiful.  And all the intricate detailing of the place settings is so gorgeous.  If I don't use this as inspiration for my wedding then it will have to be inspiration for my table at home generally!  It's just too nice. 

My tips so far for wedding planning

  1. Firstly, do everything in your own time.  Don't get caught up in the - oh you have to book everything now or there will nothing left.  There will be nothing left!?  Really? Ok, well then I will have to wait.  But I won't be rushed just to bag a venue.  At the end of the day, you want it to be perfect and so you have to do what is right of you whether that is booking it all years in advance or booking it all 6 months before.  
  2. Enjoy it.  Most girls have thought about getting married, even if just fleetingly.  For me, I didn't really think about it until I was proposed to.  Which is why I have no idea what kind of wedding I want, what colour scheme, where, when etc.  Obviously I (we) have to make a decision on these things at some point, but I am going to have fun doing it.  Which means I am going to wedding fayres, picking up as much info as possible and loving every minute of it.  
  3. Bring someone who knows you well along with you.  At the wedding fayre my sister was asking me what colours I wanted and I had no idea.  She said, I can see you have a nude wedding. Secretly, that's what I had been thinking and that's what I have been re-pinning (geek haha) which suggests she's pretty much on point there! Also, it helps if that person knows you well enough to tell you when you are having a BAD idea (such as my "oh happy day" gospel choir moment.  Gospel choir yes.  Hymn - not if you aren't getting married in a church.  Oh yes, good point sissy!
  4. If you do have things in mind that you know you definitely want and the exhibitors are going to be there make sure you ensure you have enough time to spend with them.  Wait if necessary and get the information you need.  This will also give you the opportunity to consider whether you really want to work with this person.  Most services you need require you to build an ongoing relationship with the person providing it to ensure you get what you want and they know what it is.  That's why you have to make sure you are able to communicate effectively with these people and you don't feel pressured or like they don't understand what you want.  If you feel like you are getting the info you need from them and they understand you - you are probably onto a winner.
  5. Make lots of notes and take lots of photos.  That way you have a wedding scrap book to refer to when you've slept since you've seen something and can't remember the name of the company, or style of something you liked!

Monday, 3 February 2014

Nike ID
Nike and Liberty of London Print
I am obsessed with Nike.  I constantly lust after nike trainers and it's a running joke now at work that I will probably wear trainers to my wedding.  I won't.  However you can see that people think I love them a lot!

I used to be out throwing money away on Nike trainers whenever I felt like it but now that I am saving for  house deposit me and the boyf have had to put our love of trainers to one side.  For now.

So I have to admit it has been a while since I purchased these.  Last summer in fact.  But I have been meaning to write about my experience for a while and also, I just love these trainers.  They are so pretty and they are ridiculously comfy.

I always want to wear them to the gym but they cost waaaay too much for that so I don't haha.

Anyway, they were easy enough to design.  You just click through the options and chose the colours of the trainer, sole, tongue, ticks, laces and loop at the back and hey presto your trainer is designed!

Then it takes weeks for them to turn up.  And when they do - there is a creature inside the box! Ok, so not a live one or anything, but like some foreign moth type creature.  Not ideal but after waiting so long what can you do!  I'm pretty sure that is not part of the service however and that most people don't experience the added extras!

Anyone else used Nike ID.  Show me your Nikes!

Sunday, 2 February 2014

It's been a heck of a while since I have done one of these posts!  Yesterday I went to the Tatton Park Wedding Show (review coming up soon).  I don't know why but I just wanted to try and look like I was semi groomed, rather than my slightly unkempt usual self haha!  I suppose I wanted to look a bit more grown up as getting married feels like it's a grown up thing to do!

Although my makeup looks pretty natural (I hope), don't be fooled!  I've got loads on!


Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation in Shell Beige mixed with Fresco (£28.50 each)  My perfect shade.
MAC Mineralise Skin Finish (£22.00) Powder in Medium Dark
W7 Honolulu Bronzing Powder (£2.25)
Topshop Bronzer and Blush mixed (discontinued)
MAC Lipstick (£15.00) in Hue
Benefit Brow Kit (£23.50) on eyebrows
Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette (£37.00) in Bootycall and Tease
No7 Stay Perfect Amazing Eyes Pencil (£6.50) in blackest purple

Also used Bobbi Brown moisturiser on face and eye cream and Bare Minerals Primer.
Nivea Skincare

Nivea really seem to have stepped up their game.  My first introduction to Nivea (along with lots of other girls) was that little blue circular tub of their super thick moisturiser.  I still use this when necessary now!

Recently though, I found that I appear to have a new found appreciation for Nivea.  It's one of those things that has crept up on me.  It started firstly with the Double Effect Eye Makeup Remover (£3.49).  I like this because it is a cheaper version of Lancome Bi-Facil Oil Free Cleanser and Makeup Remover (£21.00).  I have to say - it pretty much does as good a job.  So I've stopped buying Lancome now.  I'd recommend this because I have super sensitive eyes but wear really strong waterproof mascara so need something heavy duty to get the stuff off.  This is perfect for that and one of the few out there that work.  A definite must have.

Then, during a supermarket visit I picked up some Pure and Natural Cleansing Lotion (£3.65), again weirdly to replace another Lancome cleansing product.  I like this because it smells nice and leaves my skin feeling clean and moisturised.  What I will say is that I still feel like I need to use a toner or face wash after it on the basis that if I don't there will be some foundation left behind.  I imagine that this is because I wear Estee Lauder double wear and find that this is the case will every cleansing lotion I have ever used.

I received the Light Moisturising Day Cream (£4.25) for Christmas, which I loved because it went with  my other products and found that this is the perfect moisturiser to use if you are having a light makeup day, no makeup day or (and this is how I mostly use it) if you have been to the gym and you are removing and refreshing your makeup during the day as a result.  It's light and fresh and does not leave skin feeling greasy.  It does however leave your skin feeling moisturised and supple.  I find however that I still realistically need an eye cream with this and therefore for me, if I was using this under my normal makeup, I'd ensure I used it with an eye cream - otherwise I look a bit liney under the eyes I'm afraid!  Again though a definitely recommendation.

I also use the Refreshing Cleansing Wipes (£3.09) post gym and to wipe off any cleanser residue but I have run out!!

Looking on their website I can see they really do have loads of products and plan on trying a primer or serum next - let me know if you have any recommendations yourselves!