Mrs Valente

We did it! On the 12th of May, we tied the knot! It honestly was the most amazing day of my life, and I now can introduce you to my Husband (eeeek!), Dino. We have been together for just over five years, and as you may have read before we got engaged last July in Disneyland Paris. I wrote a few posts about the intricate process of wedding planning, but since we only gave ourselves nine months, I’m afraid I didn’t get around to sharing too much.

We had an outdoor Humanist ceremony at Prestonfield House in Edinburgh, which had the most picturesque backdrop of the Arthurs Seat which was covered in the yellow veil of broom. Which happens to be one of my most favourite sites of Scotland in the Spring time. We then danced the night away at the same venue celebrating with our nearest and dearest, who travelled from all over (and we mean all over, like Canada, the US, Japan, Italy and Germany!)

Dino and I were beyond lucky to be able to have the most stunning day of our lives becoming Mr and Mrs Valente.

120518d-288

 

Advertisements

A Primark Jo Malone Dupe?

I’m going to fully admit it, I’ve never purchased a Jo Malone product. They are on the pricey side, but I know the quality of the product is well worth it. I lust after their colognes and candles, and even just last week when I was heading to Italy on holiday I had to sample nearly every product at Edinburgh Airport.

When I was browsing my local Primark I decided to head to the beauty section- as you get some decent beauty bargains there- and I kept smelling this gorgeous aroma. I eventually found a new stand which had a selection of reed diffusers, perfumes and home sprays. I was really impressed with the range of scents and how amazing they smelt.

img_2454

They have very similar scents to the Jo Malone products, such as Primark’s mandarin & basil, which smelt almost identical to Jo Malone’s lime, mandarin and basil cologne.

This was obviously a very popular product as the majority was sold out. But I managed to get my hands on the mandarin & basil room spray and the eau de parfum rollerball fragrance collection which was perfect as I was able to try out each scent.

The eau de parfum rollerball fragrance collection set came with 6 miniatures of each of their scents. This included; Vanilla Absolute, Amber Noir, Mandarin & Basil, Rose Out, Pomegranate & Black Tea, and Jasmine & Honey.

img_2451

img_2452

I’m fully aware that the quality of these perfumes don’t match Jo Malone products, however I was very impressed with the actually scent of them. The only thing that I have noticed is the staying power. They are strong when put on, but the scent doesn’t stick around for long. This ended up making me apply more perfume as a top up throughout the day, but I didn’t mind seeing as I only paid £8 for the roller ball set.

Overall I’d probably buy the room sprays again and I’ll definitely be back to try out the reed diffusers. I’d say the perfume is good if you just want a light scent, but I can see myself treating myself to a Jo Malone cologne in the future.

 

 

Winter Lip Favourites

As the seasons change and the weather becomes a bit colder and the days shorter, I feel I need to switch up my makeup routine. This also includes picking out the best products for my lips, not only to keep them looking and feeling their best despite the baltic weather making them chapped, but also to keep in with a theme of darker, wintry colours.

DSCN0506.jpg

My go to lip care product is anything Carmex. I always have a pot or tube of their original formula handy to keep topping up throughout the day. I have been using this beauty for years and it keeps my lips super hydrated. You can feel the product working as it tingles away at your lips. I recommend always using a lip balm and allowing it some time to sink in before applying any other lip product, as well as popping some on morning and night to keep your lips in good condition.

Another lip life saver I love is the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant. You can use this anywhere, but I love using in on my lips to give them a little extra TLC during the Winter months.

Here is a swatch of the lips colours I love using during the colder months:

DSCN0514.jpg

First up we have three gorgeous shades from NYX:

Soft Matte Lip Cream in ‘Cannes’

Lip Lingerie in ‘Satin Ribbon’

Full Throttle Lipstick in ‘Locked’

I love NYX, not only for how affordable it is, but for the huge selection of shades and the amazing quality of the products.

The next shade is from Benefits new product, ‘They’re Real! Big Sexy Lip Kit’ I was thoughtfully gifted this for Christmas and couldn’t wait to try it. It is basically a lip liner and lipstick all in one. I plan to do a full review on the kit soon, so stay tuned! My favourite colour from the kit is ‘Lusty Rose’, it is a nude colour but I find these types of shades very easy to wear, especially when my complexion is a little paler.

Last, but definitely not least, I’ve picked out three products from MAC:

Viva Glam 1 A25 Matte

I always like to pair Viva Glam 1 with:

‘He Said, She Said’ Pro Longwear Lip Pencil. 

Velvet Teddy A16 Matte

 

What are your favourite lip colours for Winter? I would love any suggestions!

Signature

 

Classic Brownies

This is my go to recipe for gloriously gooey chocolate brownies. It has been passed down in my family and is a classic recipe that never fails to deliver the perfect treat for chocoholics like me!

img_2480

Ingredients

1 Cup Margarine – Melted

1/2 Cup Caster Sugar

2 Eggs

1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

1/2 Cup All Purpose Plain Flour

1/2 Tsp Baking Powder

1/4 Tsp Salt

4 Tbsp Cocoa Powder

Optional- Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips (as many as you like!)

Method 

Pre heat the oven to 180·c. Melt the margarine and add in the caster sugar, cocoa powder and eggs. Mix in all of the remaining ingredients. Place in a greased pan, and bake for around 20-30 minutes. Once done, allow the brownies to cool in the pan before dividing them.

Signature

 

 

Top 3 Tips for Keeping Organised

I feel like I’ve always been a pretty organised person. Yeah sure there have been times that I’ve been a little bit all over the place, but give me a little while, and I’ll be back on track. Having gotten through tough Uni exams and nearly a year into graduate working life, I think I’ve gotten into the swing of day to day life. So I thought I’d share with you my 3 top tips for keeping organised day to day!

DSCN0268

 

Keep a diary/ calendar to keep track of events and give yourself reminders…

I’ve always kept a diary, and I recently bought this gorgeous new one while I was in Florida. It’s by the brand Sugar Paper, and was about $10 from Target. I’ll also use it to keep a note of my work hours, deadlines and little reminders.

DSCN0271

DSCN0270

I love this wall calendar from Primark which helps to keep myself right on what I’m doing each day. I’ve got it hanging in my bedroom just now as I still live at home.

DSCN0275

 

Pack your bag the night before and plan your outfit…

I admit I don’t do this every day as I wear pyjamas (aka scrubs) to work everyday, but on my days off and if I have a day out planned the next day I love laying out my outfit for the next day the night before. That way I’m not running around like crazy the next morning deciding what to wear, and have more time to spend on the importance things like breakfast and catching up on Instagram! I usually have everything I need in my handbag, but sometimes I’ll go through it and pop in anything that I’ll specifically need for the next day.

And Finally, Lists…

Yes, I’m one of those sad people who just love lists. Wether it’s for shopping, or things to do, I have to make one to ensure I’m not going to forget anything! I love using the ‘notes’ app on my iPhone for this as I always have it on hand. I feel like if I have 101 things to do, it sets it out clearer for me and keeps me right.

DSCN0277

Signature

 

 

Tea & Cake at Eteaket

What’s better than a cuppa and a piece of cake on a Saturday afternoon? I can’t think of many things to be honest!

Last weekend my Sister, Fiona, and I were browsing the shops in Edinburgh, and decided to stop for a little break, but we didn’t want to go to your usual chain coffee shop (as much as I like them) so we decided to head just off of George Street to Frederick Street to Eteaket, the ‘leaf tea experts’! I had never been there before, but Fiona had heard really good things about them.

They offer more than just hand crafted leaf teas, you could have a spot of lunch, tea infused cocktails, which I am definitely going to try next time I’m not driving! As well as a selection of home made cakes (they also have gluten free and vegan cake options).

We decided to go for a classic option of English Breakfast tea, and since we were so indecisive we ordered a scone with fresh clotted cream & raspberry jam, and a slice of lemon sponge to share. For the tea they gave you an egg timer that timed how long to brew your tea for. They recommended that after the 2 minutes were up, you’d have the perfect brew! (and it really was!)

 

img_1430

The staff were so friendly and welcoming, despite them being ran off their feet because it was so busy. I will definitely be going back to try the rest of their menu, and I can see it becoming a favourite!

For more info visit  Eteaket‘s website. 

 

Signature

 

Weekend Away Up North

For an early Valentines day present my boyfriend treated me to a night away at a hotel up north! He booked the Mansion House in Elgin, Scotland. This year has been pretty stressful with his final year of Uni (aka dissertation time!!) and with me working almost full time, so we don’t get the opportunity to see each other as much as we both used to back when I was at Uni. So it was really nice to be able to spend some time together ❤

We drove from Edinburgh up to Elgin on Saturday morning, which took roughly 3 and a half hours.. A long trip but it was definitely worth it!

When we got to the hotel, we checked in and settled in to our room. We then decided to look round the hotel and check out the spa facilities (they had a lovely pool, with a sauna and steam room). We booked dinner for around half 7, and went down to the lounge where we ordered drinks, I got my absolute fave- Gin & Cranberry- and they brought us Canapés (we felt v. posh!) which were Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese Roulade with Fruit and Nuts. It was different, as I’m not a fan of smoked salmon, but we still enjoyed it.

We then ordered our food and after about 15 minutes we were shown to our table.

I ordered the Carrot Veloute with toasted hazelnut oil and croutons to start, the Fillet of Aberdeenshire Scottish Beef for a main, and then the Selection of Chocolate & Strawberries (With a difference!) for desert! We both really enjoyed the meal.

img_0108

 

 

I would definitely recommend the hotel to anyone who is planning a weekend away in Scotland. It is rustic yet modern, and the decor is gorgeous! The rooms are spacious and clean, and my favourite part was the bathroom (the bath was huge!). The staff were brilliant and could not have been more helpful.

The next morning we went down for breakfast around half past 8, we both decided to have a full cooked breakfast as it’s something we rarely eat at home. We then checked out and headed down the road! 🙂

 

Signature