Thursday, 27 August 2015

Beauty: Budget Buys

I'm a right bargain hunter, I love a good deal! I'm not one to spend a fortune on make up, as unfortunately my budget doesn't really allow for high end brand splurges. 
So I'm always on the hunt for good quality products, for a fraction of the price.
Today I am sharing with you some of my favourite high street picks, all under a tenner!

Let's get started...
I love this highlighter. It's a great quad full of beautiful gold toned shades. 
It looks very similar to the Bobbi Brown shimmer brick.
I like to apply a sweep of this to my cheekbones, to give a pretty glow.
 I love pairing it with a shimmery gold eye shadow, for the ultimate golden goddess look.

This little beauty has always been my go to product. It's cheap, it blends amazingly well and it gives great coverage. I like to dot it under my eyes, to conceal my dark circles and on to any blemishes or imperfections. 
The only downside is that there isn't the widest range of shades. I have the shade 'light' and I find it a good match for my pale skin tone. 

This has been my favourite palette for a while now. I love the gorgeous range of shades, a mix of mattes and shimmers. 
There are some beautiful golds, pinks and browns in this palette, so it's a great all rounder. 
I love creating a smokey rose gold eye look; I think it looks so pretty finished with a few coats of mascara, and a nude lip.

Looking for a pocket friendly primer? Look no further!
This baby skin primer is a great one. It's similar to the Benefit Porefessional; it minimises and blurs the appearance of pores and creates a smooth base for your make up.
After applying a pea sized amount to my nose and t-zone, I find that my foundation stays put for much longer. A lifesaver for the summer time!

I hope you enjoyed this 'Budget Beauty' post.
What are some of your favourite budget beauty products?

I'd love to know, leave me a lovely comment below.

Want to connect?

Love Laurenx

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Travel: UK Holidays and Staycations with Parkdean*

I was recently contacted by Parkdean Holidays*, who asked me to share some of my memories of holidaying in the UK, and my tips for a Devon staycation.
As you may know I actually live in North Devon, so I have the luxury of having all of Devon's delights, right on my doorstep.
I love to visit popular local attractions such as Paignton Zoo, which is a wonderful day out. The big cats are just breathtaking. Along with smaller, lesser known attractions like my local zoo in Exmoor, which is home to the 'Exmoor Beast!', and the cutest penguins.
Cream teas are a popular part of a Devon holiday (the proper Devonshire way is to top your scone with clotted cream, then the jam, but I'm a bit of a rebel, and just add a layer or two of both!) along with local homemade ice cream, such as Hocking's - I would highly recommend trying a Hocking's ice cream if you are ever in North Devon, it's the creamiest, tastiest, best vanilla ice cream! (My boyfriend literately buys it by the tub full!) 

I live in a small village called Lynton, which is a hub for walkers. 
We have so many beautiful country walks, from the beautiful Valley of the Rocks, to Watersmeet, Lynmouth and so many more.
Watersmeet is a river gorge, which is where the East Lyn river and Hoar Oak water meet, hence the name 'Watersmeet'. It's surrounded by ancient woodlands, full of wildlife and breathtaking views.
I would highly recommend doing the Watersmeet walk, it's a simply stunning area and there's a lovely little tearoom at the end, which has the most delicious cakes, pastries and cream teas.
(Well you've got to reward yourself, after a long day's walk!)
I often holiday in the UK, more so in the past few years as I can't always afford a trip abroad.
As I live in the Countryside I like to visit cities, as it's such a change of pace from quiet villages, and winding roads, to the hustle and bustle of a fast-paced city.

There are a couple of places in the UK that I would love to visit such as The Lake District, York and Bath. The Lake District looks so beautiful, I love walking so it would be the perfect place to explore. They are all such pretty, picturesque places full of history, culture, hearty food and quaint little shops. 

Manchester is a place that holds a lot of fond memories for me. My mum and dad, are both Mancunians through and through, so I have lots of lovely childhood memories of visiting family, going to the Science and Industry Museum, or visiting Blackpool Pleasure Beach for the day.
I also remember heading to Holmfirth in Yorkshire, to visit the place where Last of the Summer Wine was filmed. We even met Compo!

I also love visiting Exeter. It's a great city for food, shopping, culture and more food!
Last year, myself and my boyfriend headed to Exeter for their Christmas markets. They had dozens of stalls offering fresh, wholesome food and lots of treats too! From handmade chocolates and cupcakes, to freshly roasted nuts and meats. It really was a feast for the eyes, as well as the stomach!

Competition time
Fancy winning a holiday? Parkdean Holidays are running a fab competition at moment. 
All you need to do to enter is to click the link here, and try your hand at their Devon vs. Cornwall quiz, for the chance to win a 3 or 4 night holiday worth up to £499 at your choice of 11 Parkdean holiday parks in Cornwall or Devon. Easy peasy! 
Good luck!

I hope you enjoyed this 'UK Holidays and Staycations' post.
What are your top UK holiday memories? Or perhaps you're planning a Devon trip?

I'd love to know, leave me a lovely comment below.

Want to connect?

Love Laurenx

*I have been gifted by Parkdean for this post, but as always all opinions are my own. Please see my Contact/PR tab for further details. 

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Lifestyle: Summer Highs and Lows

I love summer. The sun is shining, there is a lovely cool breeze, and you can finally whip your legs out, without the prospect of frostbite. But there are some downsides to the summer time. 
So I thought I would share with you, some of my summer highs and lows. (aka a bit of a moan)

Let's get started...

Ice cream
The most refreshing treat when the weather is warm. I love trying new flavours, I'm partial to a classic vanilla, crunchy honeycomb or something all kinds of chocolatey. There's not much that can beat a creamy, proper Devonshire ice cream! Except perhaps Italian gelato... mmm.

A cute basket, preferably wicker or something ridiculously Pinterest, checked blankets, mini sandwiches, fancy crisps galore and bite-sized treats. What's not to love?

Beach days
There's nothing better than lying on a beach all day. Fact.
It's one of the rare times that you can tune out from real life, work stress, social media and all distractions. It's a time to just relax, unwind, lose yourself in a good book, and maybe catch a tan.

I love going for walks at any time of the year, but in the summer in particular, as it's warmer, sunnier and completely picturesque. 
I love to walk by the sea, in the woods and one of my favourite local walks, the Valley of the Rocks, is beautiful. 

Fresh food
I don't know why but food even tastes fresher in the summertime. Fruits, vegetables and brightly coloured salads. Heaven. Don't even get me started on fresh watermelon... *insert heart eyed emoji*


My biggest summer bug bear (see what I did there) is flies. They are bloody everywhere!
I wake up and go to make myself some breakfast, there they are buzzing around my yoghurt. 
I go to rustle up some lunch, and sure enough there they are again, hovering over my sandwich. 
God forbid I attempt to make dinner.... flies are definitely the enemy. 

Bed time
I really struggle to sleep in the summertime, as it's so hot and sticky in bed. 
There's also no refreshing cool side of the pillow, just a slightly sweaty side...

Too much skin
Goodness me, some ladies do reveal far too much of their anatomy in the summertime.
I'm all for denim shorts, cute skater skirts and floaty dresses, as it's too warm for jeans, but when your shorts are so super, duper tight and teeny weeny, that I can see what you had for lunch, there's a line that needs to be drawn. 

British summers
When us Brits talk about 'summer' we are using the term quite loosely. 
As I type this we are mid-way through August, and it's already rained twice today. 
Don't get me wrong, I love living in England, but I do wish we could at least have a few weeks of sunshine, without any clouds/rain/wind/fog/hail.
*Wishful thinking*

I hope you enjoyed this 'Summer Highs and Lows' post.
What are some of your summer highs and lows?

I'd love to know, leave me a lovely comment below.

Want to connect?

Love Laurenx

Monday, 3 August 2015

Recipe: Breakfast Of Champions

Ah, breakfast. It's my favourite meal of the day. There's no better way to start your day, than with a hearty meal!
So I thought I'd share with you, some of my favourite healthy breakfasts, which could also double as a sweet after dinner treat.

Let's get started...

If you would like to have a nosy at what other delicious breakfasts and meals I enjoy, I post daily snaps on my Instagram. 

French Toast
This has become one of my go-to breakfasts, as it's simple to make, looks pretty swish and tastes delicious. Oh and it's healthy!

You will need:
1 egg
A splash of skimmed milk
Coconut oil
2 slices of wholemeal bread
Fruit bread would also taste great, or even a cinnamon and raisin bagel if you're feeling fancy.
Toppings of your choice:
I love topping mine with warm blueberries, summer berries or fresh peaches.
Syrup of your choice:
I use Sweet Freedom as it's my favourite. Honey, agave or maple syrup would all taste delish too!

1. Crack the egg in to a bowl, and add a splash of milk. Whisk this together.
2. Soak each slice of your chosen bread, in to the egg mixture.
*I use a large pasta bowl to soak my bread, as I find it's easier and less messy than using a plate.
3. Add some coconut oil to a hot pan. *I have my pan on a medium heat.
4. Add one slice of bread at a time, to your pan. Cook on both sides until golden brown, and slightly crispy.
5. When both slices of the bread are cooked, top with whatever you fancy and enjoy!

Banana Pancakes
I will be honest - as much as I love pancakes, I find they can sometimes sit very heavy on my stomach. Which is why I love these banana ones. They keep me feeling satisfied, full of energy and are a lot lighter on my stomach. 
I love whipping these beauties up on a lazy Sunday morning!

You will need:
1 medium sized banana
2 eggs
Coconut oil
Toppings of your choice:
Once again I always opt for my trusty Sweet Freedom, and either berries or kiwi.
But you can add whatever you like: Fresh strawberries and Nutella, maple syrup and crushed walnuts or even mini marshmallows and chocolate sauce!

1. Peel and slice your banana in to coins.
2. Pop your banana slices in to a blender, along with the eggs.
3. Blend until everything is mixed together. Your batter should be quite thick, but smooth.
4. Add the coconut oil to a hot pan. *I used a medium heat.
5. Pour your batter in to the pan, and cook as you would a regular pancake.
*These pancakes can be quite hard to flip over, be careful, so your pancakes don't fall apart!
6. Once you have cooked all of your pancakes, it's time to jazz them up with your chosen toppings, then simply serve and enjoy!
This recipe makes between 3 - 5 pancakes, depending on the size and thickness you desire.

Yoghurt Crunch
This 'recipe' is the easiest, peasiest recipe of all time.
There's no cooking, and very minimal effort required. It's pretty much chucking ingredients in to a bowl, but I'll talk you through it anyway!

You will need:
Muesli or cereal, would both taste great too.

1. Add your yoghurt to a bowl, and then top with whatever fruit you would like.
2. Finish with a sprinkle of granola or muesli. 
3. You could also top with nuts, cacao nibs, goji berries, dried fruit, cinnamon, honey or maple syrup.

I like to layer mine, so I get a delicious yoghurty, fruity crunch with every bite!
I add a dollop of yoghurt to my bowl, then top with half the fruit, half the granola and then repeat. 
This layered yoghurt crunch breakfast, would look amazing and totally instagram worthy served in a sundae glass or Mason jar. 

I hope you enjoyed this 'Breakfast recipes' post. What do you think of my recipes? Which is your favourite? Will you be recreating any of them at home?

I'd love to know, leave me a lovely comment below.

Want to connect?

Love Laurenx