Sunday, 27 April 2014

Baking for people who can't bake:Granola bars

Hello so as you can tell from the title of this post I will be attempting to do some baking, stress the word attempting. I have always loved the idea of being a good cook, but lets just say after various fails I just gave up on the idea. Having said that these Granola Bars are so easy to make I bet my dog could make them!

The ingredients you will need are:
225g of porridge oats
75g of black treacle
75g of soft brown sugar
2 table spoons of peanut butter

150g of butter
and a handful of what ever fruits or nuts you want to add, as I have an intense hatred of dead fruit I added brazil nuts and macadamia nuts.

  1. First pre heat the oven to 180C Gas mark 5.
  2. Then grease a baking tray with butter, just so they don't stick too much.
  3. Melt the butter, sugar, treacle in a pan making sure you don't let the mixture boil or the sugar burn, I recommend a low heat for this!
  4. Then stir in the oats and the fruit or nuts of  your choice.
  5. The add the peanut butter.
  6. Stir until it is all combined.
  7. Press into a baking tray until it is at the desired thickness, I didn't cover my whole tray as I wanted them to be quite thick.
  8. Then bake for 25 min.
  9. Wait for them to cool and then cut them up into bars or squares or whatever shape your heart desires.
  10. Enjoy!
Another great thing about this recipe is there is minimal washing up! See I really have thought about it.

See that wasn't so difficult, I hope you enjoy them!
Lots of love
Harriet xxxx

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Sleek au naturel palette

I am just going to hold my hands up and say that I Harriet am addicted to neutral eye shadows. I can't help it! It's like a comfort blanket, you know that you will look good in them and not end up walking out the house looking like a weird rainbow. I have tried experimenting with different colours, but I get as far as my front door the rush up stairs to take them off. So surprise surprise here is another neutral eye shadow review.... 

This is the Sleek i-Divine au naturel palette. It's just so beautiful! Now this palette retails at £7.99 which isn't bad considering that you get 12 eye shadows! What I will say is that pigmentation isn't that consistent across all of the eye shadows, but having said that I am yet to find a high street eye shadow palette that doesn't have at least one dud. All of the colours are wearable and last really well through the day. Trust me I was scrubbing my arm trying the get the swatches off. I also found that they didn't crease to badly, I saw the first signs of creasing at around 4 hours wear which isn't to bad as I have notoriously oily peepers! 

They are very buttery and smooth which makes them easy to blend. I think it would be really good for taking on holiday as it is thin and you have all the colours you need. You also don't have to think about which colours go well together as they all compliment each other. Something else which I like and think is quite rare from the high street is that this palette actually contains some decent mattes, which is always a bonus in my books. The packaging is not the best, I won't lie. It is like most sleek packaging it is matte black and shows up finger prints, dust and dirt. This is something that really irritates me, but for £7.99 I won't really complain. 

Over all its a good little palette. The colours are all stunning, but none of them really blew me away! 
What do you think?
Lots of love

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Beach Toes Nail Varnish

I just want to do a disclaimer before I start this post, I am not being sponsored by the company to talk about this product it was purchased with my own money. Also I am not a chemist, so if I have missed bits out I am really sorry.

Phew now that that's over you must be wondering what the heck this post is going to be about. You know how it with nail polish you are always slightly cautious until you try them out. You have those questions running through your head "will it go opaque?", "will it last" or "will I put the colour on my nails and look like a corpse" this are all very important questions I ask myself when buying a nail polish.

The brand is an Australian brand called "Beach Toes"  by "Sambora" (even though I assure you it is not just reserved for your toes). The range of colours were actually out of this world they have metallic ones, pastels, neons, shimmery ones and basically every colour under the sun. Also they all have cute names which sometimes is the selling point of a nail varnish for me (Oh the shame).

I picked up a gorgeous red with gold/red flecks of glitter running through it called "Devilish Intent". Think Dorothy's ruby red slippers in a bottle. It cost £9.50.  I was intrigued by what the lady said about them so I did some research.

The ethos for the brand is that it is a Australian cosmetic brand that makes UV stabilised nail polishes that are formulated for intense beach activity e.g. surfing. On Kosmetic Kaleidoscope I take claims like that very seriously so I decided to road test it. I spend a day running my hands through the sand, scuffing my toes and I can say that no chips what so ever! The formulation is also pretty good as it went fully opaques in two coats. The bottle is nothing spectacular, but I can look past that!

Here is the bit that really intrigued me on the website it said they are toluene, DBP, camphor, formaldehyde and formaldehyde resin free. Now having not done chemistry since year 10 I had no clue what any of these words meant.
so hear is what I found out...

Toluene-is a water insoluble liquid with a smell of paint thinners that can if inhaled has the potential to cause severe neurological harm.1
DBP-The use of this in cosmetics e.g. nail polishes has been banned in the European Union. 2
Formaldehyde- Has been described as being a human carcinogen and exposure is a significant consideration for human health.3               
This really got me thinking, now I am not saying throw away all your nail varnishes, but what I think I am going to do is paint my nails less and do it in a well ventilated area. I have been seriously impressed with these nail varnishes and I can actually go as far as saying it is the best nail varnish I have every tried and I can't wait to get more!

If you have any other non-toxic nail varnish recommendations I would love to hear them!
Lots of Love
Harriet xxx

Link to the Sambora website