Friday, 28 October 2016

Garlic crusher

I know, not the most exciting post in the world, but honestly, I've tried so many garlic pressers recently and so to finally find one that works is a real plus for me.  As you know, both Maria and I love to cook, and garlic is something, that to be honest, I probably use in most of my dishes every day.

I've also had to buy a few recently, as they all seem to break so easily. I've tried the cheap and the silly expensive ones; this one although on the upper price scale, is certainly worth it.

Its got an easy grip handle, that doesn't need muscles to use.  I like that you can turn it so that all parts of the garlic comes out easily.  Its dishwasher safe and really easy to clean if you'd rather not go down that route. Plus, even the large garlic cloves seem to fit in it easily.

It's available from John Lewis, and I'm sure Amazon too .... and I've just giggled to myself, as the brand is OXO, so follows on from Maria's Tuesday post on OXO cubes, I'm so impressed with it that I will certainly try other gadgets from this brand.

Have a lovely weekend friends

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

A Little Life Hack - The Oxo Cube

Sorry for the lateness of this post, but life has been a little hectic round here especially the weekend just gone. I did, however, pick up a little life hack from a close friend of mine whilst at her daughters 16th Birthday party. It is for good old oxo cube.

I have had to pinch this one from Sandra as I didn't actually have any. So thanks Sandra for helping with todays post :D

Instead of taking the cube out of its wrapper and getting messy fingers, just open up the corners of the wrapper.

Then gently squeeze the cubes' contents to a powdery mush.

Then you are ready to tear off the corner and sprinkle the powder straight into the dish you are preparing or hot water.

No messy fingers, and to be honest, there is something quite therapeutic about crushing the cube in it's wrapper ready to sprinkle.

Have a great week Friends!!

Maria x

Friday, 21 October 2016

Autumn Decor

I'm one of those people that is forever "tinkering" with her home.  I'm constantly changing things, and one of the things I love doing, is changing over my furnishing for the seasons.

I created this frame last year using my silhoutte machine.
Bringing the new seasons into your home is something easily done, and doesn't have to be expensive.  I first usually start with my cushions.  Like my summer and winter wardrobe, I put my soft furnishing away with the seasons too. So I do have a section of winter cushions.  Same goes for throws, etc.

So let me share with you a few of the things I've put out for the season.  I will of course be adding to them, during the coming months, and I will share them with you. Firstly, pop into our local homeware shops.  These ceramic pumpkins cost £3.99 from TK Maxx and the candle was £4.99 from B&M

Another thing that was quick and easy to do was put some washi tape around some tea lights

Mini pumpkins are my passion at the moment, so so cute.  I'm trying to find a white one, but no luck yet.

Maria and I walked the bears the other day, and she kindly filled her pockets with conkers for me.

I've since took a trip into London and saw these amazing jars in Fortnum ... ok, maybe I can't do it in quite such style, but I'm happy with my little display 
I'm sure I'll be changing over more decorations this weekend. 

Wishing you all a lovely weekend, have fun friends. 
Sandra x

Monday, 17 October 2016

DIY Essential Oil Anti Ageing Eye Serum

Happy Monday Friends!!

A couple of years ago, my friends and I used to hold a monthly craft night where we made a whole number of things, mainly from Pinterest. One thing we did make that was a hit with most of us was some homemade eye serum. This was partly due to it being simple to make, and the bonus of it being all natural ingredients, olive oil and vitamin E capsules. For some though, the smell of the olive oil was off putting. So I have been in search of a more pleasant smelling homemade serum,  and came across this one by

All you need is

  • Essential Oil (they recommend lavender or lemon, but I was tempted to use black pepper as it has soothing element to it). In the end I opted for lemon for its fresh smell.
  • 2 tablespoons of almond oil (you can pick up from your local chemist) or alternatively you can use coconut oil.
  • 1 teaspoon of vitamin E oil (I used my stash of Vitamin E capsules - 10 pierced capsules makes up roughly 1tsp)

How to:

Add 2 drops of your chosen essential oil to 2 tablespoons of almond oil (or coconut oil if using) and 1 teaspoon of vitamin E oil (10 capsules pierced as an alternative). Make sure you use a sterilised bottle or jar to put your ingredients into. I used a spray bottle that I had to add my ingredients too. I find the serum easier to apply from this.

And Voila!!  You have your very own anti-ageing eye serum that is completely free of any chemicals, or nasties. To apply, just pat a thin layer under the eyes at night, and it should help with wrinkles, fine lines and help to reduce dark circles.  

This is great alternative to shop bought serums, especially if you have sensitive skin and, hopefully, you will find the natural ingredients helps with those fine lines :D 

Have a great week Friends!!

Maria x

Friday, 14 October 2016

A Charity Shop Find

Last weekend, I called into the charity shop with a box of things I've been decluttering, and on my way into the shop, I spied this little beauty.  I've been searching for a pigeon hole unit to house my mugs for some time. 
 of course it needed a little paint.  I first used primer on it, and goodness it sure did soak it in.

My dining room again became my painting room. 

and voila ... its done and on the wall
I hope you have a good weekend. 
Sandra xx

Monday, 10 October 2016

Embrace Your Smile, Embrace Life!

Happy Monday Friends!!

Today's post is all about you and the impact you can have on your life, and others with one simple thing that you can do which is totally free in life. A smile!!

Last week saw National Smile Day and, to be honest, it got me thinking. Do I smile enough? Have I forgotten to smile at my loved ones lately? When do I smile? and so on...

The answer is I do smile, but probably not enough, especially with my family. No,  I am not a total grouch, but I do tend to let my daily activities of running a family and a home take over my thoughts. I know I can't be the only one, because for all our technologies and labour saving devices, our lives have become more complex, and we cram so much into our everyday living.

Even our downtime is filled with heads down looking at phones, IPads, and other technologies that we sometimes forget to look up and take in our surroundings and the people that we have in it. So much so that we often forget the simple things in life such as a welcoming smile.

Every morning on the school run, I greet a number of strangers and friends with a "Morning" and a smile. For me, it is an automatic thing to do and I have to say, it always makes for a great start to the day. It isn't purely out of politeness or selfish reasons it's an natural instinct. We have all got a smile inside of us waiting to be released, but at home or work, we can get stuck in the moment, running errands, sorting out work issues etc, etc. We also take it for granted that our family and friends will always be there whilst we muddle through our days.

'It isn't what you have or who you are or where you are or what you think that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.' 

(Dale Carnegie)

Smiling is a universal language that knows no boundaries other than giving and receiving. One of the reasons I fell in love with my husband was his big cheeky grin. Through good times and bad, the one constant is his smile, which has and continues to make all the difference in the world.

So today, maybe, like me, you'll take some time out and think about the impact of how much a smile can make not only to your day, but also to those that you live with, meet or greet. A smile can really make a difference and not just for future National Smile Days!

Have a happy smiling week Friends!!

Maria x

Friday, 7 October 2016

Product Review

Goodness, its been a long time since I've done a product review. So I need to make up for that, here are a few products that I've been using over the past few months.
First up - Judith Williams, Neck and Decollete cream
Its one of those things, that I never really gave thought too, but of course, you get to a certain age, and you notice changes.  I'd heard good things about ....., so I ordered a pot from QVC. (Well, actually I had to go on a wait list as it sells out quickly).  Its a lovely light feeling cream, which sinks in without leaving any residue.  I never noticed any scent, so it doesn't clash with any other body creams, and it did leave my neck feeling quite soft.  Now, sadly that's about it, as I honestly, couldn't notice any change.  I used it every day and evening, as it suggests, but really I can't say its one I'd get again. I will be looking for another neck cream to review for you, but won't be bothered with this one.

Next, Hair
I reviewed a hair styling cream (Here) before, which I loved, so thought that maybe I'd try another Argan oil product. This time it was a Lee Stafford Ultra Hydration Lotion.  Now I will say on the plus side, a little goes a long way, and its got a lovely smell.  Sadly, that's about the only things I can be positive about.  I have certainly given it a good test, as I've almost finished the bottle and I've been using it now for about 3 months, but that's it. I've giving up.  It leaves my hair feeling like I've product on it, its sticky and I felt left my hair feeling brittle.  Now I've tried it different ways; first using it on damp hair and then as a finishing cream.  The latter was better, but even then not one I'll use again.

Ok, onto something I did enjoy
and will be buying again. Liz Earle, Superskin Moisturiser.  As you know, I'm a huge Liz Earle fan, but I've not had much success with their moisturisers before. I'm converted now though.  This one had the most glorious smell, and I found using it at night quite a relaxing smell.  I know, its not a night cream as such, but I think I'll certainly be using this again as one.  Its a light cream, which absorbs easily and doesn't leave you feeling like you've got a thick cream on, nor are you left, with a dry and tight feeling.
There you have it, my product review for the month.  I've got a couple of different hair ones, I'm trying out this month for you. I will say, its fun trying new things to review.

Wishing you all a lovely weekend

Monday, 3 October 2016

Make Up Tip - How to Get A Dewy Foundation Effect

Happy Monday Friends!

Todays makeup tip is actually from my daughter. Somehow she has become more knowledgeable about makeup and beauty than myself!!

It's no surprise really as when I was growing up, I had to rely on the likes of magazines such as Jackie and Seventeen for beauty tips. Now, of course, todays young people have YouTube and the internet at the touch of their fingers and are much more knowledgeable about these things, which can be a good thing, as in my case, she likes to pass these tips on.

Recently she done my makeup for the banquet that Sandra and I went to, and passed this particular tip onto me. I have to say, I was impressed, as it did give a natural glow to my face.

All you need is:-

Your usual foundation and facial oil. My daughter has this one from Waitrose which is fragrance free and for sensitive skin, and it's only £2.99!!

By adding a drop of facial oil to your makeup sponge, and then mixing with a blob of liquid foundation on your wrist, and apply to your face. You will find that this will give you:-

  • Even coverage
  • Gives your skin a natural, healthy glow (dewy look)
  • Extends your foundation life (as your not using so much of it by adding the oil to it). 
  • If you find your foundation is a bit cake/lumpy by adding the oil you will loosen it up and give it a new lease of life.
  • No need to buy an alternative foundation so cost effective

You can build up layers with the oil/foundation combination depending on the coverage you require. For me, it only took two layers and that was with my red blotchy skin!

Have a great week Friends!!

Maria xxx