Saturday, 31 July 2010

Spicy Root Vegetable Soup

2x Onions
2x Leeks
2x Carrots
2x Parsnips
2x Potatoes
2 tsp curry paste
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 pints vegetable stock
2 tsp vegetable oil

1) Cut all the vegetables into cubes, all roughly the same size. The smaller the cubes the quicker they will cook. Leeks and onions don’t have to be cut as small as everything else as they cook faster.
2) Heat the oil in a large stock pot and add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and onion and fry for a few minutes on a medium heat.
3) Chuck all the vegetables in and the curry powder, give it a good stir.
4) Add the vegetable stock, bring to the boil then turn down the heat till the soup is gently simmering. Place a lip on the pan ajar so it is not fully covered.
5) After the soup has simmered for 30 minutes it should be ready to blend, check by sticking a knife in a cube of potato, if it slides through gently then it’s ready. 
6) Blend into a thick and creamy soup and serve with crusty bread.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Fish Hairdressing Co.

Revitalising Dry Shampoo - I just got sent some goodies from fish and as I have never tried any of their products before I wanted to get stuck right in. Dry shampoo is a great way to refresh your hair in-between washes which is especially great if you have dyed hair and want your colour to last longer. It has a really strong fruity fragrance that will scent even the most smoke ridden locks and will give body to fine and limp hair.

Soap & Glory

Sexy Mother Pucker - The people over at Soap & Glory have done it again with this amazing lip gloss that not only gives you brilliant shine but also has a plumping effect. As it goes onto your lips it has a tingling effect and you can see your lips swell straight away. The gloss lasts through quite a few kisses and should be in the handbag of every girl about town. Get ready to pucker as this is the closest you will get to Angelina Jolie's lips without surgery! 

Jeffery Deaver

The Burning Wire: I am so excited about getting my hands on a copy of the new Lincoln Rhyme novel by Jeffery Deaver. He has been one of my favourite authors for years and a few years ago I went to one of his book signings. I got completely start struck and turned into a gibbering wreck but he was a really sweet guy and dutiful signed a few books for me. I always find Deaver's books to be easy to read and page turners, once I have started I tend to read them in a few days and the perfect companion to a hot relaxing bath.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Soap & Glory

The Daily Butter - I make no secret of the fact that I love most of the Soap & Glory range and this is one of those products that is a go to on a pampering session. The formula is immensely thick and creamy so it takes a bit of effort applying it but it really gives you a feeling of being well moisturised. The scent isn't too heavy so it is great for using straight out of the shower and won't interfere with perfume. It contains Rosehip seed oil and cocoa butter, not sure what they are meant to do but on me they make my skin soft and smooth without being overly greasy. For the price it is a really great product, it won't change your life but will leave you feeling pampered and preened.

Saturday, 17 July 2010


Skin Smoothing Cream - Helps to prevent the appearance of dehydration lines with aloe moisturisers while silk amino acids helps to smooth and improve the skin texture. Left my skin feeling beautifully soft and moisturised. It soaked in quickly and was not greasy so makes a perfect base for applying make up and refreshing tired looking skin.


French Vanilla SPF 20 - This lip balm has a gorgeous vanilla smell that made my lips super soft. The smell is lovely and natural and you almost want to lick it off your lips. It reminds me of sitting in a park on a hot summer’s day eating a cooling ice cream with a flake in as bits drip down your arms. Great for taking on holidays as it not only keeps your lips lovely and smooth but will also protect them from the sun.


Climate Control Lip Treatment - This lip treatment has been specially formulated to heal dry, chapped and damaged lips that have suffered from exposure to extreme weather conditions. If you have been off skiing or basking in the sun this is the perfect remedy to over exposed lips. You can apply it to lips or any part of the face that has become damaged for immediate relief. It contains shea butter and vitamin E for soft, kissable lips.

Fake Bake

The tanning experts at Fake Bake have cleverly added vitamin D to their range of products. Research has shown that more people have started to suffer from vitamin D deficiency and by incorporating this added benefit into their tanning range Fake Bake hope to create a feel good tan. The benefits of vitamin D include, a stronger immune system, stronger bones and reduces the risk of developing heart diseases.

I checked out the original formula to see what all the fuss was about. I am no scientist so I was concentrating on the beauty sides of things and I wasn’t disappointed. The formula looks like liquid chocolate and the smell is nice and refreshing, not like some fake tan lotions that can smell very chemically. It was easy to apply and as the formula was dark I could see where I had already applied it, meaning I didn’t end up with any white patches. It left my skin lovely and moisturised and you could see the difference straight away. I was expecting a darker tan to begin with so I applied a few coats to get the depth of colour desired. It was the first product I have used that claimed to be streak free and actually delivered. The only down side I could find was that it gave me sheets a pink tinge but as of yet I have not found any fake tan that doesn’t leave its mark. Fake it don’t bake it all the way! 


Instant Refreshing Gel - With extracts of arnica, birch and witch hazel to sooth and camphor and menthol for relief this is a great product for tired legs and aching necks. The smell isn’t too overpowering so won’t stick out the office if you need a little pick me up after staring too long at the computer. Apply to temples to relieve headaches or onto the muscles if you are a bit tense. I applied it to my lower back and could feel the effects straight away. It gently warmed the area and helped to soothe the pain.


Papaya Enzyme Peel - With the natural exfoliating fruit enzyme of Papaya and Pineapple it is no surprise that this is a beauty insider’s favourite. Rather than containing grains to exfoliate the skins the natural enzymes smooth and brighten to give a radiant complexion. It also contains milk protein to nourish the skin and vitamin E to moisturise, repair and protect. My face was left feeling lovely and smooth.


Fruit Active Rejuvenating Mask - This intensive moisturising mask is full of extracts of Strawberry and Kiwi fruit. It has a lovely rich fruity smell which is so yummy you almost want to eat it. It goes on very smoothly and after 10 minutes my face felt cleansed and soft, gave my skin a healthy glow as well.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Red Wine

Although there have been many warnings about the consequences of over indulging in red wine, there is also research that suggests that a glass of red wine a day is good for you. It s widely believed that antioxidants within the wine help prevent against heart disease and is thought to have a connection with cancer prevention. Potentially a glass of red wine a day may help lower cholesterol levels and high blood pressure to.

Red wine is great for adding flavour to different dishes and sauces; you can even poach pears or steaks in red wine. As wine can go off quickly once opened, a good trick is to freeze any leftovers in an ice cube tray. When you are making a meal just pop in a cube to add flavour, knowing the wine hasn’t turned vinegary.

Wine isn’t just all about the drinking though. Antioxidant wine baths are offered at some spas and in Europe there is even a spa treatment called Vinotherapy. Vinotherapy involves rubbing the pulp left over from winemaking onto the skin in an effort to slow down aging.

Rather than booking into an expensive spa you can have the experience right in your own home for silky smooth skin. When running a bath, pour a glass of red wine under the running water, light some candles, find a good book to read and relax. You don’t need to use an expensive wine, save that for drinking. You don’t need to worry about the wine staining you or the bath as it will dilute in the water.


Bananas are a super fruit given their high potassium content, which helps lower blood pressure, and impressive vitamin and mineral count, make the banana a great snack. Vitamin A is needed for healthy vision and skin, Vitamin B which is important for the immune and nervous systems, folic acid, Vitamin C which is full of antioxidants, Calcium and Magnesium.

The fruit are claimed to help with a huge variety of health problems including anaemia, high blood pressure, constipation, depression, heartburn, nerves and stress. It’s also claimed to be great for PMS and make into a smoothie for a great hangover cure.

There are some people however, that even given all the nutritional goodness are afraid of bananas, which is called bananaphobia. It may sound strange but it is more common than people think to be afraid of the yellow fruit. One of my friends is so scared of bananas her flatmate has to eat them secretly, making sure she hides the skins in the bottom of the bin.

Bananas also make a quick and simple hair and face mask that will leave you hair soft and shiny and your face smooth and soft. Simply place a banana in a food processor with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Blitz to a smooth and creamy consistency and smoother onto face and hair in a thick layer. Leave on for 15 minutes and then rinse off with cold water, wash face and hair as normal.

This is a really good trick to use up bananas that have been become bruised or are less than fresh!


Drinking coffee, it has been claimed, can have positive effects on a person’s health. In 2009 studies proposed that coffee consumption could help to lower the risk of coronary heart disease in women, can help prevent diabetes, lower the risk of liver cancer, endometrial cancer, strokes, depression and cognitive failure.

There has also been suggested a link between the caffeine found in coffee and cellulite, caffeine contains chemicals known as Methylxanthine, which are thought to break down fat. You can even buy caffeine tights that aim to shrink thighs and improve the look of the dreaded orange peel. Drinking a few cups a day has been said to reduce cellulite and some of the most expensive cellulite creams contain caffeine.

A lesser known use for coffee is as an amazing exfoliator, never will your skin have felt so soft. The used grounds from a cafetiere make a perfect scrub when mixed with a little shower gel. Using firm, circular motions, rub the coffee mix all over body when in the bath or shower, paying particular attention to elbows, thighs, knees and ankles. Rinse well so there is no residue left behind and moisturise after drying.

If you aren’t a coffee drinker some large coffee chains give away free grounds, just ask at the counter. As used coffee grounds have a tendency to go off, I portion mine up into sandwich bags and pop them in the freezer.