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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Yummy Pizza Express pizza / Hugo and Rich sleeping rather oddly / MAC lipstick from Selfridges / Coffee table reading - Elle, Harper's Bazaar, Elle Decoration and Vogue Living Australia / Hugo and I enjoying pug cuddles / My very romantic valentines card (which reads, "I will love you until the day I die. Unless you die first.") / Hugo / Recent Soap and Glory skin care purchases / Lovely new books / Extremely classy Ikea wine / Cosy night in with hot chocolate and books / Takeaway and the latest edition of Allure magazine on my iPad.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

1. Relaxing with my favourite little man. 2. Homemade (with a little help from Asda) burger - so delicious! 3. Stack of my favourite magazines. 4. My fabulous new pug bedding. 5. Sailor Jerry's Spiced Rum. 

I've been a bit under the weather these past few days so have spent a lot of time resting and being generally lazy. A couple of nights ago Rich and I made some gorgeous BBQ burgers and had a jar (or several) of cheeky rum, which is now officially my new favourite drink! Today has been spent in bed with Hugo, a pile of magazines, and several good books. I'm feeling a bit better now, and thinking about cheering myself up with a little trip to Boots tomorrow - there's not much that can perk me up more than a spot of retail therapy!

Burt's Bees Hand Salve and Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream.

Burt's Bees are a brand that I have always loved using. Describing themselves as "earth-friendly", they pride themselves on using the best ingredients nature has to offer, such as beeswax, botanical and essential oils, herbs, flowers and minerals. Their products average at 99% natural, with half being 100% natural - pretty impressive! Two products from the range that I've been enjoying using recently are the Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream and Hand Salve, both of which boast 100% natural ingredients. I think it's important to give your hands a little extra love in the colder winter months and these two products do just that. I absolutely love the tins that they come in - as with all Burt's Bees packaging they have cute, vintage style labels which give the products a real rustic feel. Both products are solid balms too, which means a little goes a long way and they last an impressive amount of time.

The Hand Salve is described as being Burt's Bees "most intensive hand treatment", and is recommended for use on "hard-working, rough, dry hands" making it perfect for harsh and dry winters. It contains eucalyptus oil which gives it a strong, almost medicinal smell (reminds me of Vicks VapoRub!) with a hint of lavender, which I personally like but I imagine it won't be for everybody. The salve is quite oily, which does absorb after a few minutes but means it's probably best not to use this product on the go. I tend to use it just before bed and I find it really effective - I wake up with hands that are incredibly moisturised and soft. This salve is also great when used on other dry patches such as elbows and knees, which as a big fan of multi-use products, I love!

The Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream is another intensive treatment which promises to nourish and moisturise your nails and cuticles. It smells DIVINE - like fresh lemon peel but not at all synthetic, which I really like. Unsurprisingly, lemon oil is one of the main ingredients along with sweet almond oil and cocoa butter, which helps to strengthen and improve the condition of your nails. After biting my nails throughout my childhood I've been left with pretty weak nails which are prone to breaking, so this product is perfect for me. Again, I like to use this on a night before bed and it leaves my nails and fingertips feeling much more moisturised and healthy. Definitely going to be repurchasing this!

Have you used any Burt's Bees products? Any favourites?


Saturday, February 23, 2013

1. Fuji Instax 210 Camera. 2.Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet in La Fascinate. 3. Ikea Ung Drill Mirror. 4. Ojon Rare Blend Oil. 5. Q & A a Day Five Year Journal. 6. Chloé Eau de Parfum. 7. Real Techniques Blush Brush. 8. "Life Is Better With a Pug" Print.

I have a slight obsession with buying cameras and have wanted an instant camera for as long as I can remember. This Fuji Instax camera offers wide, colourful prints in a Polaroid style and is pretty much perfect. While browsing Amazon I also stumbled upon the Q & A a Day Journal, which as the title suggests, asks a question for you to answer each day of the year. I think it's an awesome idea and it'd be really interesting to look back over the years and see what's changed. 

Beauty wise, I've been eyeing up Chanel's Rouge Allure Velvet lipstick in La Fascinate, which is a beautiful deep, matte red. I have a real weakness for nice packaging and this is classic Chanel - simple, elegant and sleek. Gorgeous! I love wearing a red lip and although I'm usually pretty loyal to Russian Red by MAC, I'm sure I can make some room in my collection for this. I've also been tempted by Ojon's Rare Blend Oil, mainly for aesthetic reasons as this product is ridiculously pretty - it's a collection of three different coloured oils that you blend together by shaking the bottle before applying. According to Ojon, you only need one drop of this oil for "soft, silky and more luxurious" hair so I'm dying to put this to the test and try it out! I've also been lusting over this Chloé perfume. I bought a rollerball version of it in New York last month and have been pining for a full bottle since. It's girly without being overpowering, and has a really fresh, light scent to it. It also comes in a lovely vintage style bottle and would look great on my dressing table. Finally, I'm in need of a new blusher brush and this one from Real Techniques is perfect. I already have a plethora of Real Techniques brushes and love them to pieces, so this one is a no brainer for me.

Lastly, there's a couple of decorative bits I want for my flat. I desperately need a wall mirror and this one from Ikea is ideal. It's an oval, baroque style and would be absolutely perfect hung up in my hallway. I've also been coveting this pug print from Etsy. It's simple, cute, and so very very true!

Katie xo

Fish Tacos.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

These fish tacos are one of my all time favourite things to cook - so, so simple and ridiculously delicious. I use either cod or haddock (but any flaky white fish would do) coated with Old El Paso's taco seasoning and oven cooked, then thrown together in a small, flour tortilla with lettuce, guacamole and a generous sprinkling of chopped coriander. To top them off, I make a quick sauce using equal amounts of crème fraîche and mayonaise, with some Franks RedHot Sauce added to taste, and serve them with a wedge of lime and an optional cold Corona. They're so quick and easy to make but the end result is simply amazing. I could quite happily eat these every single day!

Recent Purchases.

Monday, February 18, 2013

1.Metamorphosis and Other Stories by Franz Kafka. 2. The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson. 3. Rimmel Apocolips in Celestial and Apocoliptic. 4. L'Occitane Shea Honey Hand Cream. 5. MAC Plumful lipstick. 6. B. Pure Micellar Water. 7. Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S Thirst Quenching Serum. 8. Lee Stafford Argan Oil. 9. Lomography La Sardina Camera.

Metamorphosis and Other Stories by Franz Kafka & The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson. £8.99 each, WHSmith. 
I popped to WHSmith today and bought these two books. My sister has been recommending the Psychopath Test to me for a while so I picked that up, along with a Kafka book. Really looking forward to reading these!

Rimmel Apocolips in Celestial and Apocoliptic. £5.99 each, Boots.
Rimmels Apoclips are one of those products that absolutely everyone has been raving about, so I had to grab a couple last time I was in Boots. They apply like a lip gloss but are ridiculously pigmented and not at all sticky. Celestial is a perfect, gorgeous pink shade and Apocoliptic is a deep red. I think I'm going to be getting a lot of use out of these.

L'Occitane Shea Honey Hand Cream. £8.00, L'OCCITANE en Provence.
I adore L'Occitane Hand Creams and I added this honey scented one to my collection recently. It smells amazing and is the perfect size for popping in my handbag.

MAC Plumful lipstick. £14.00, Selfridges.
A girl can never have too many MAC lipsticks! I grabbed this one on a whim while out shopping the other day. It's a really wearable medium pinky-plum shade that applies quite sheer, so it's perfect for everyday.

B. Pure Micellar Water. £4.99, Superdrug.
I love using micellar water to remove makeup, and this one by B. Pure is less than half the price of the likes of more popular brands like Bioderma and Vichy. I'm not completely blown away by this product but it works okay and I think is worth picking up for the price tag alone.

Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S Thirst Quenching Serum. £29.00, Space.NK.
I've had this on my wish list since receiving a sample of it a while ago, and I finally gave in and bought it on a visit to Space.NK a couple of weeks ago. I use this before applying moisturiser and it makes such a difference to my skin! It absorbs really quickly and leaves my skin feeling a lot softer. It also smells fantastic and a little goes a really long way, so I imagine the bottle lasting a while.

Lee Stafford Argan Oil. £11.99, Boots.
I've tried a million different hair oils and always come back to this. I love the smell, and it works wonders on both wet and dry hair. I can imagine repurchasing this for a long time.

Lomography La Sardina Camera. £18.00 (with student discount), Urban Outfitters.
I've had my eye on this camera for a while, and when I spotted it in the UO sale for £20 (as opposed to the £60+ price tag they usually carry) I couldn't resist buying it. I'm still waiting for the perfect day to take this out and shoot my first roll of film, but I'll be sure to post the results here when I do!

Relaxing Evenings.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Life has been rather hectic these past few days. Rich, Hugo and I travelled to York to visit his family, then Newcastle to visit my sister who we kidnapped and brought back to Manchester with us for a couple of days. We've had some lovely drunken times, several gorgeous meals and seen enough motorway to last the year. Tonight I decided to wind down by climbing into bed early with a book, blueberry tea and the most beautiful dog in the world. Perfect.


Thursday, February 07, 2013

Hello! I thought I'd begin this blog with a photo of my lovely home in Manchester, taken with my 35mm Diana Mini camera. I love photography and have a mild obsession with lomography cameras - I'm slowly building quite a little collection. I also enjoy reading, film, cafes, wine and beauty products. This blog will be an outlet for my love of these things, and will also most likely feature far too many photos of my pug, Hugo, who I love to pieces. Thanks for visiting!
And Katie © // QUINN CREATIVEs