Pancake Day: Fluffy Pancake Recipe

So, after umming for ages about whether I should do a pancake recipe or not, I just thought why the hell not (ha). I am so so excited for Pancake Day because I LOVE pancakes so so much. Unfortunately for me.. I can’t wake up to make yummy pancakes for breakfast as I leave for work at 7:30am every morning.. and despite me loving pancakes A LOT, I don’t fancy waking up earlier than I need to for them (I think I love my sleep more, hehe). I’ll definitely be making them once I get home though πŸ™‚

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So… when it comes to pancakes I definitely have more of a sweet tooth (I just don’t understand savoury pancakes).. so I am always drawn to sweet pancake recipes. Now .. let me tell you I have tried my fair share of pancake recipes BUT I have finally found my perfect one! It’s all about trial and error (plus LOTS of practise) when making the perfect pancake… so don’t worry if you can’t get it right the first time!

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So guys .. I’m going to share the best recipe I have found for the fluffiest, softest sweet pancakes EVER. All credit goes to The Sweetest Journey – thank you SO MUCH for the recipe!

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Makes around 20-25 pancakes (depending on how big you make them) – you can half the recipe if you’re not making that many! I made them for all the family so needed plenty.

3 cups of flour

6 tablespoons of sugar

3 teaspoons of baking powder

1 teaspoon of salt

4 eggs

2 cups of milk

4 tablespoons of melted butter

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

Method

So guys .. the usual .. add all the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix together! TIP: I like to sift in my flour.. it means there are no unnecessary lumps!

Next, beat the eggs together, and add the milk, melted butter & vanilla extract and whisk together

Make a well in the dry ingredients and slowly add the wet ingredients. Use a spatula to mix together (don’t mix too much as you want to keep as much air in!). Also – sifting the flour earlier means there shouldn’t be too many lumps. TIP: if your mixture is too thick, add a splash of milk.

Now – this is the part where most people struggle. You need a non-stick pan (I use a Tefal one – it’s the BEST).. and also use a ladle to measure out your mixture (so you don’t get too much) and I find this also helps them stay round.

SO – I thought I’d be helpful to give you step by step instructions on how I make each of them perfectly golden and fluffy.

  • Have your pan on low/medium heat and leave for a minute or so to get to the correct temperature
  • Put some melted better/cooking spray on you pan (this is what gives them that golden colour)
  • Use half a ladle of mixture and pour it onto the pan.
  • LEAVE it be for a minute, or until you notice bubbles on the top and the edges starting to rise. This shouldn’t take longer than 2 minutes (any longer and they’ll burn!)
  • Flip the pancake and leave for another minute (maximum minute and a half)
  • I like to keep them in the oven once done (one slow heat) so they stay warm whilst I prepare all my others)

And that’s it guys! Then.. go crazy with the toppings. My fave: Nutella and strawberries πŸ™‚



Make sure to try this recipe – it’s so easy and gives you the fluffiest, yummiest pancakes ever! Let me know if you try it – and also what your favourite toppings are!

Have the best Pancake day ever guys. Or of course – you can make these whenever your craving pancakes (Like I usually do!).

Lots of love,

Saira

Xxx

How To Up Your Blog Photo Game

Well hey.

How you all doing? Survived Storm Doris? Seriously though .. DORIS. Β The amount of times I’ve seen this name on SM is insane ha. Anyhoo… blog post time, woop. And it’s a good one. Ya know why? Cos a crap load of you have requested it… CHECK ME OUT GETTING REQUESTS FOR POSTS.Β 

So… I’m finally writing a blog post all about my photography & upping my game. I did a blog post on photos when I first started blogging .. but recently I’ve really been trying hard with my photos, both on the blog & my Instagram (totes should follow me on there if you don’t already .. shameless plug.. I’m at @throughtheglitterglass). And you know what I love? So many people have noticed too. I thought I’d talk you through some of the things I’ve done to up my game, and also just some general tips too.. and I hope it helps some of you out!

Camera

Now.. I recently invested in the EVER so popular Olympus Pen because I knew I really wanted to focus on creating high quality images and this one is so highly raved about in the blogging world. And oh my goodness I can see why.. not only is it the most instagrammable camera EVER.. the photos it can produce are AMAZING. So many of you have complimented my pictures since getting this camera, and it definitely was the first step for me in upping my game. If you also want to do the same .. I highly recommend investing in a good camera.. as the difference is crazy. In fact .. I’m also going to be picking up the 30mm lens too because I want those beautiful, blurred background photos! Another thing I LOVE about this camera is the Wifi feature… it means I can easily send myself photos and post these directly onto my Instagram! If you’re not really feeling the whole spending Β£400 on a camera, fear not, because my babe Holly over at TheKittyLuxe uses her iPhone for her photos and my GOD her imagery is stunning. She did a whole post on it too.. so make sure you check it out.

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(Taken on iPhone)

Play around with manual mode

Not gonna lie.. manual mode on my camera scared me at first. All it seemed to do was make my photos blurry and dark.. not a good look. BUT.. Β a little bit of research really helped and now I refuse to use the auto settings on my camera! A few tips I’ve picked up:

  • Lowering the ‘F’ feature when you want a close up for that gorgeous blurry background. This reduces your focal point, meaning your camera will focus on a small part of your image, and slightly blur out the rest. This is amazing if you want to do a close up of something (i.e. lipstick/bathbomb). I also find it helps when I’m filming YT videos.. as the camera will focus on me and blur out the background. Yay!
  • Increasing/decreasing aperture based on how much natural light you have – this helps so much if you are taking photos on a cloudy day. This allows more light into the lens (if it’s dark) or less if you have a lot of sun.
  • Increasing ISO – Again.. this helps if you do not have a lot of light coming through (this is more about the sensitivity of light). Be careful with this one though.. as a higher ISO means grainier photos.

These are basically the only settings I’ve got to grips with .. there is so much more but I’m learning! If you need more in depth info, Lydia Millen did a fab snap story on the Olympus settings (I think you can find this on YT), as well as an amazing post byΒ Robyn.. who has fab tips on getting to grips with manual mode, and her photos are absolutely STUNNING.

Natural Light

I’ve definitely had my fair share of having to photograph with artificial light and natural light .. and to be honest, natural light wins by FAR. Of course, with it being Winter, we get like 5 hours of light and even then for most of the time it horrible & cloudy… so we don’t really have a choice but to pull out the soft boxes. Where possible though.. I always photograph by a window… and even on cloudy days I can faff around with my camera settings and make it work. The best times for me are between the hours of 9am-11am, and 3pm-4pm. And the best tips for soft boxes? Use 2 and extend them quite high to get as much light as possible (rather then up close & using just one).. I find this helps so much with getting rid of shadows and too much brightness. Instead, you get a nice glow. Perfect.

Have a good backdrop

Since I’ve developed a ‘white theme’ for my Instagram… I needed a good sized backdrop. My solution? A double sized duvet/white sheet. I use this as my base, and add blankets/scarves as needed. This means I have a huge drop to work with and can get really creative with my photography without worrying about anything getting in the way/having to crop anything out.

Get yourself some props

Props. Are. Everything. Literally the most important thing ever if you want to up your photography game. One thing I love to do is match up my props with the type of photo I’m taking/what season it is etc. A few of my favourite props are:

  • Blankets
  • Fake flowers (essential)
  • Small trays
  • Cute bowls/mugs/plates
  • Bows
  • Candles
  • Perfume bottles
  • Fairy lights
  • Plants/cacti
  • Cute notebooks

Literally ANYTHING can be used as a prop… and you don’t even need to buy anything extra if you don’t want to – you probably have plenty of stuff that you can use! The key is to experiment! I’m still learning on how to get my perfect flatlay.. but once I’ve worked it out.. I will definitely do a post on it!

(Taken on iPhone)

Get your editing right

Editing really doesn’t have to take you hours..I honestly think it takes me about 10-15 minutes to edit all my photos for a post/weeks worth of Instagram shots. And you know why? Because I do more or less the same thing for all my pictures:

  • Increase Brightness – but not too much where you can’t see certain things (i.e. images/writing). Just enough to highlight your picture and not make it so dull
  • Increase Contrast – just enough to make the darker things in your photo be slightly more prominent
  • Increase Highlight – this gives your pictures a little but of a “glow” – again increase slightly, not too much otherwise your image becomes too bright
  • Increase Sharpness – to make small details stand out nicely
  • Decrease Temperature – this is a personal thing for me because I like my pictures to have a slightly cool tone to them
  • Whiten Whites – this is where my fave app FaceTune comes in. It is especially helpful in making my backgrounds whiter and giving them that lovely crisp look. It has been my saviour since developing my white themed Instagram too!

That is literally the quickest way to tell you how I edit my pictures – let me know if you want anything in more detail though gals!

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OK -I think I have covered everything? These are basically the things I have been doing to really up my photo game – and it has helped too because I receive so many compliments on my pictures recently (you guys are DA BEST). If you have ANY more questions about my pictures, make sure to let me know in the comments and I will help you out πŸ™‚ For now – hope this post helped you!

I’m off sofa hunting with my parents & hubby – so hope you all enjoy your weekend!

LOTS OF LOVE,

Saira

xo

Twitter // Instagram // Blog LovinΒ //YouTubeΒ β™₯β™₯

Fall Back In Love With Instagram…

Eugh, I hear you groan. Instagram. Probably the bane of everyone’s life at the minute am I right? Follow/unfollow, themes.. the whole shabang (is that even how you spell it). This whole algorithm thing really f***ed up Instagram for most of us “micro bloggers” (I love this name for us FYI)… we see most of the same pictures over and over again, miss out on all our faves, and our own pictures get lost in a deep dark hole. I felt SO shitty about Instagram for a while.. I just felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere with it and my picture’s weren’t good enough etc… BUT I made it one of my goals to try extra hard with my Instagram this year, and fall back in love with it…

.. And that is exactly what I did. So if you have a love/hate relationship with Instagram.. check out these few points to get yourself back to the love/LOVE relationship.

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Engage more. And I mean REALLY engage

Seriously .. more meaningful comments on your fave posts compared to the loveheart emoji will help you in the long run. How? People NOTICE these comments more, like them and reply back to them (well.. most people).. plus they know you’re not a bot (win). And in turn.. they’re more likely to check out your feed, absolutely fall in LOVE ’cause girllll I bet your feed is lush.. and you got yourself a new follower! Plus.. I LOVE asking questions on the comments section in Instagram.. it’s a great way to strike up conversation too. In turn.. it’s really made me love Instagram more as I love the interaction.. on top of scrolling through beautiful photos!

Join Comment Pods

These little saviours have also really helped me love Instagram so so much. Created by none other than my fellow blogging babes, comment pods are basically a group of 10-15 bloggers on Instagram in a group, where we all post our latest pics, and comment/like each other’s posts. The result? CRAZY ASS engagement on all your posts, staying up to date with your favourite blogger feeds AND chit chatting with your fave blogger girls. Seriously.. if you are not part of one, start one up… you’ll laaaav being part of one.

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Have A Theme

Ohhh… I realise that this is a veryyyyyyy personal preference .. but this is how I fell back in love with my Instagram. Feeds with a theme are just so so pretty to look at, and since creating a theme myself I am loving my feed so much too. There is just something so satisfying eh? I have even worked out how to fit in my outfit pictures with it (seeing as I don’t have the perfect white background), thanks to the app Factune. It has been a LIFE SAVER for me… seriously if you want a white theme… you need that app in your life girl. There are also SO many themes you can have… my babe Jade over at JadeAnnLoves has the PRETTIEST pink theme going on! You can also choose minimal, flatlays, monochrome, colourful.. the list is ENDLESS. But hey, I am not saying I don’t love feeds without a theme.. some of my faves are just a mix of different things which I feel like shows so much personality, but for me a theme has really helped me develop my Instagram and love it so much.

Take Separate Photos To Your Blog

For a while, I only would use pictures that had already been used on my blog on my feed, which is fab if you don’t have the time.. but I enjoy taking photo’s for my Instagram. Seriously, it is so much fun setting up my backdrop and taking a whole load of photos JUST for my Instagram.. I feel like I can really play around with my blogging props and create stunning photos. It also helps me keep up with my theme too, and since doing it I have found myself being so much more creative to really make my photos special.

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Have A Backlog Of Pictures

I guess this kind of fits in with the previous point right? It can be the most annoying thing when you run out of photos to post on Instagram, and can make you feel a demotivated to update your Insta feed. Make sure you always have a few days worth of photos to fall back on in case you don’t get time to take any. Also.. anything you see whilst you are out that would fit with your theme.. snap away. I find it also helps save so much time if you edit them all together too! OH… and my latest trick I have LOVED doing… save a note of all your hashtags for certain things (beauty, fashion, random crap).. I haven’t worked out the snazzy keyboard shortcut way yet (anybody know it make sure to pass it my way, ta), but it saves SO much time when you are updating your feed!

TRY not to give a s*** about the numbers

I had to save the hardest till last right? I KNOW how disheartening it can be when you gain 20 followers, Β but actually end up losing 25… I still do not even know HOW that is possible! BUT.. think of it in the sense that you don’t really want people following you who are just wanting a follow back. You want genuine followers who love your content and make the effort to like your photos and comment… THIS is the mindset I have developed and TRUST me it was hard to get my head around at first.. but just remind yourself of that. Once you don’t make this your priority… you lose most of that frustration associated with Insta. Focus on all the genuine followers you gain.. they’re the ones that matter.

So guys.. there we have it. My tips on beating that shitty feeling Instagram can give you and focusing on loving it again. I knew I wanted to focus on my Instagram this year.. which I have definitely been doing.. and focusing on these points has helped me so much. I REALLY hope they help some of you too!

Are there any things you have done that helped you beat this algorthim? Also.. make sure to leave me your Instagram links below and I will definitely give you a follow. Oh.. make sure to leave me your faves below too so I can check them out.

Sending you all the love guys.. thanks for all your support … YOU DA BEST

Love,

Saira xxxxx

BEAUTY FIX: Get RID of Large Pores

Well guess who’s baaaaaaack! Back againnnn. Ok sure you’ve realised by now it’s me ha. Hey guys. It’s been way too long I know.. but I am so excited to be back at yaaaa with none other than a beauty post. ‘Cos everyone loves a good ramble about beauty ey? Well I know I do.

So .. today ladies & gents (if any gents even read my blog), I am going to be talking about pores. Wow.. how much of an obnoxious teacher did I sound like then (seriously, say it out loud in a demanding voice and you’ll get me). Seriously though… pores are a pain. Yep I know they have a use… but my goodness if you have oily skin (like moi), they are pretty annoying.

Let’s have a little lesson in pores shall we? Pores are basically little openings in your skin which allows the release of sebum… and of course, oiler skin can mean larger pores. Also.. picking at your skin/spots can damage your pores too making them more noticable. DON’T do it… I picked at a blackhead and it literally scarred my skin for over a week. I WISH I left the bloody thing alone.

So… that’s my little bit of background .. now it’s time to get to the best bit. MY tips on de-clogging your pores (ew that sounds gross), reducing your pore size, and in turn helping to keep your skin clear!

Thoroughly cleanse your skin

 

You gotta get your skin feeling clean AF girl. Things like makeup, heavy moisturizers and the general environment you’re in all clog up your pores. So firstly, make sure you cleanse your skin really well. I’ve been OBSESSED with removing my makeup with a cleansing balm & going over it with a miceller water. The Body Shop Chamomile balm has been a long term fave of time, and then recently I’ve been enjoying the Soap & Glory Drama Clean 5 in 1 Micellar water to remove any last bits of makeup. Then… I use another Soap & Glory product (FYI.. LOVE the S&G skincare range)… the Fab Pore Purifying Foaming Cleaner, it is AMAZING. There’s just something about foam on my face that I love (lol).. it makes it feel so clean & refreshed! In fact .. to make the most of my cleansing, I use my Magnitone Facial Brush too! And that my friends, is how you cleanse your skin. Boom.

Steam the s*** out of your face

Whether you do this by having a really hot shower, or having your fave over a bowl with hot water… you gotta steam your face guys. This opens up your pores and helps us move onto the next step. EXTRACTION. Ew .. I love/hate this part.

Removing all the dirt from your pores

 

I can’t even remember where I read/saw this.. but one of the best ways to remove dirt from your pores is using Wisdom Clean Between flossing brushes. Yup you read that right. Don’t bother with cotton pads between your hands.. use the brushes. I use them by ‘dragging’ them across my nose/cheeks .. or anywhere you have larger pores. You’ll notice after a while that you are clearing them. I was so surprised by how well they worked .. seriously try it guys!

Rinse & Exfoliate

Right.. after you have cleared your pores as much as possible .. it’s time to give your skin a quick rinse and exfoliate! This will help remove any dirt left over & also remove dead skin cells. I’ve been loving the Nip & Fab Glycolic Fix scrub.. it works so so well .. although does make my skin tingle a little bit (but not too much.. don’t worry!). I love the scent of this too… it’s really citrusy and makes your skin feel so soft after using!

Get That Mask On

 

What would this routine have been without a mask ey? I feel like a mask is ESSENTIAL after you’ve cleansed/exfoliated. I finally got my mitts on the L’OrΓ©al Pure Clay Purity mask and guys let me tell you. They are worth the hype. Oh yes. This mask is frickin’ amazing! I got the purifying/mattifying one and it does a fantastic job at just that. I like to leave this on for around 20 minutes.. and find it really helps to close all my pores and ‘tighten’ my skin up.. if that makes sense?! It also makes my skin glow afterwards which is what you all want from a mask! Definitely try these guys .. they are pretty affordable too ! I want to pick up the other two in the range and see how they work together!

 

Moisturize WELL

After all of that… you gotta remember to moisturize your skin well! I love using an oil free moisturizer… just something simple as you don’t want to be clogging up all those pores again! My favourite has been the Neuotragena Visibly Clear Oil Free Moisturizer…. it sinks into my skin quickly and leaves it feeling soft and moisturized, but not greasy at all. It’s a fab one if you have combination/oily skin! And another good point about it guys, it’s dead cheap :).

 

Woo! Check you out with those clear pores & that beautiful skin! This whole process took me around 45 minutes so it’s definitely one to keep for those pamper evenings. I also only do this once a week because it’s a pretty intense, deep cleanse you give your skin. It definitely works amazingly though … so you have got to try it!

Ah.. it felt good to just babble on about beauty after so long .. remind me to do these more often guys. Do you have anything you do to reduce your pores? Any fave products? Make sure to let me know.. I’m always on the hunt for new skincare things to try (products strictly for oily/combination skin though, Ta).

Let me know your feedback once you’ve tried this… I’d love to know if it worked for you!

Lots of love,

Saira

Xxx

Twitter // Instagram // Blog Lovin //YouTube β™₯β™₯

Why Bloggers Are The BEST

Bloggers ey? I bloody love ’em. We’re fab little creatures … those looking in from the outside just will not understand why we charge our phones 3 times a day, why the positioning of your plate/mug/cutlery on the table DOES matter and the importance of a white background. Bloggers just GET each other. I love being a blogger, and being a part of our little community..in fact I’ve got a few (OK maybe more than a few) reasons why you’re all fab. Don’t let your heads get to big though babes (kidding.. you deserve to know how fab you are).

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Β Β Bloggers will ALWAYS have your back

I guess it’s what we call ‘Team Internet’… but if ANYBODY badmouths a blogger or their job.. they are literally HOUNDED. There is nothing worse than somebody saying blogging is not a ‘job’.. although I personally blog as a hobby, so many of my blogging girls blog either part or full time, and it can be pretty full on. Blogging/YouTube IS a job.. deal with it. I can always guarantee my blogging girls to have my back … we just get each other.

No matter what time it is.. there is always SOMEONE to talk to

Lying awake in bed at 3AM because you can’t sleep? Guess what… one of your blogging babes probably is too. If you need a rant at any time.. just tweet and I can guarantee someone will be there to listen to you. There have been so many times where I’ve been up really early in the morning because I can’t sleep and always find there is someone awake to chitchat with! If you need some quick advice/reassurance, bloggers are there.

Nobody will understand the difficulty of a flat lay better than fellow bloggers

I don’t get how some people just get them looking so effortless. The amount of work/re-jigging that goes behind ME getting the perfect flatlay is just crazy … and I know so many of you all get it. I can be there for half an hour setting up, getting the right props/angle.. But guess what .. I GOT DAT PERFECT FLATLAY GUYS. And I KNOW you all get it.. because nothing is better than getting that Instagram comment “flat lay goals”, right?

You are NEVER watching any TV series alone

Whether that’s anything on Netflix, Soaps, GBBO, The Apprentice, The X Factor (despite it being rubbish lately), Big Brother… and any others you can think of, even though you might be alone on your sofa, you’re never actually ‘alone’. Go on Twitter and you’ll have someone to share all those OMG moments with and bitch about the most annoying person. Also … I love that I can stay up to date with TV just be reading my timeline (LOL).. just BEWARE of spoilers.

They make you feel better about EVERYTHING

Having a few days feeling crap about your blog because you didn’t get the views you were expecting? Feel unmotivated with your blog? Major life changes? Hop onto Twitter and you’ll literally get message after message supporting you/making you smile.. cos bloggers just get you. They’ll make you see the the better side of things and will write you little motivational tweets that make you feel all warm and fuzzy!

I could go on and on about why you’re all the best but I’d be here for ages. I wanted to let you know that this post was for all YOU guys out there… you have honestly been so supportive since my little slump with my blog and have helped motivate me to get my ass into gear and start blogging again! I have so much love and support for everyone in the blogging community, and love this little place on the internet that we’ve all created! We should be proud!

Lots and lots of love to you all … and a massive thanks for all your support babes !!

Love, Saira xxxxxx

Twitter // Instagram // Blog LovinΒ //YouTubeΒ β™₯β™₯

Lost my mojo? My most honest post.

Probably one of the most honest, raw posts I’ll ever be writing.. and I literally don’t even have a plan. I’m just writing whats on my mind.. because right now I’m feeling pretty demotivated and a little bit poopy if I’m honest.

I just feel as though my blog isn’t going where I want it to .. I’m pretty unsure whether I want to write about beauty, clothes or just lifestyle rambles… or all of them? I’ve always wanted my blog to focus on fashion … but I just can’t find the time/pretty backgrounds to take my pictures against. Maybe I could give flat lay fashion photos a go?

Another thing that I’ve really struggled with these past few weeks even though I’ve not wanted to admit to it is comparing myself to other bloggers. Gah. I said it. I think.. in fact I’m pretty sure that every blogger goes through this at least once? I always said to myself that I would never let that happen and would tweet about it all the time .. but you know when it just sometimes gets to you? Don’t get me wrong.. I am so so happy and proud about all the amazing opportunities all my blogging girlies get, and the beautiful images they take… but sometimes I can’t help but compare my own blog to that. I’m sure I’m just going through a shitty phase and it will pass .. but I feel like writing about it makes me feel better?

I’m sure you can tell by the amount of question marks in this post that I feel pretty unsure about where my blog is heading. Don’t get me wrong.. I frickin’ love my blog (and YT channel for that matter), but I think I’m just going through a tough phase where I’m just not motivated or inspired.

I ALWAYS try my hardest to remain as positive as possible, both on my blog & social media .. but I’m only human (after all..wow Rag & Bone just came in my head, LOL)… so sometimes I feel shit. I’m sure it’ll pass… I’m sure I’ll have a massive binge of Pinterest & my mind will go crazy with post ideas … but right now, I’m a little bit stuck. I guess you could say I have Bloggers Block (is that what it’s called?!).

I love you all so much. Thanks for putting up with me and my blog… and send some motivation my way girls… I could do with it :). Basically… this post was what’s been in my mind for a few weeks or so… no matter how hard I tried to pretend the new year had me excited to blog, it just didn’t…. not how I’d hoped. It’ll come to me soon guys… I think I just need a bit of time/some amazing inspiration to hit me.

Love you all.

Saira

Xx

Feeling Under The Weather?

Hey guys *waves*

Already 2 weeks into the new year! Can you believe it!? And you’ll never guess what I did for the first week? Well.. if you follow my twitter you’ll know .. but I spent the whole week bunged up, coughing non-stop and with a constant headache. Yep.. the joys.

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So… first day back at work I was drugged up with Day Nurse hoping I could soldier through. Funnily enough, 2 other girls at work were just as poorly too so ended up going home before me! By about 11am.. I could barely concentrate so KNEW I had to go home! I spent 2 whole days off work … in which I did all the things to make me feel better… and thought hey, it would be fun to make a list of all the things you can do to make yourself feel better too! I know (from Twitter) that SO many people are still poorly too (hope you Β feel better soon babes!).. so I hope this post can help you!

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Get into your comfiest clothes

This was literally the first thing I did as soon as I got home (despite me wanting to just crawl into bed!). I got into my comfiest pj’s, hubby’s oversized t-shirt & shoved my hair up. PERFECT. If you spend sick days in any other attire … you are doing it WRONG.

Stay Hydrated

Probably one of the most IMPORTANT (but probably boring) things you have to do .. it is so important to keep a bottle of water next to you and drink crap loads (more than you normally would). It definitely helped me as I was sweating all day (TMI I know) and it just meant I didn’t get dehydrated !

Use A Sheet Mask

I LOVED using these so much whilst I was poorly… because they are lovely and cool, they really help soothe your skin and head! They obviously help brighten up your skin too which probably is looking dead thanks to your illness! If you don’t have a sheet mask.. you can use a cold flannel (works just as well TBH).

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Β Have simple, ‘comforting’ meals

This might sound a bit odd .. but when you are ill you probably don’t have much of an appetite. For me.. I could barely taste/smell anything which can be SO annoying and really put you off having any food. Having things like soup/bread are quick & easy… and they really do just warm you up and make you feel better! Chicken soup has magical healing powers, seriously. Also .. chocolate when you’re ill is never a bad idea (hehe).

Have a Bath

At first .. I thought what even is the point in having a bath.. I’d feel like I was wasting my bath bombs as I wouldn’t be able to smell them.. BUT when your muscles are aching so MUCH, there is nothing better than going for a soak. I used a bubble bar and the Snow Angel bath melt which made my bath so ‘soft’ (if that makes sense ha). A few drops of essential oils would be amazing too .. but I just love my Lush stuff too much, lol. Honestly .. I felt so much better after my bath, so make sure you jump in your tub if you’re poorly with achy muscles.

Get Plenty of Rest

You’re ill, the first thing you need is plenty of rest. I know you’re probably feeling crap because you have to miss work, but your body needs you to rest up, so sleep in, stay comfy with your blankets all day and don’t feel guilty. Trust me.. I tried to stay at work and battle it but I NEEDED rest. Chill out, catch up on some Netflix (when you’re not resting) and only focus on getting yourself better.

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There you go guys … a few tips to help you when you’re feeling under the weather ! My cold has JUST about cleared up, and if you have been ill too I hope you are on the mend!

Have a fab Sunday guys … and I will see you all in my next post!

Lots of love,

Saira

xo

My Plans for 2017

Hiya guys…

Here I am.. being basic AF and writing up my 2017 goals.. but you know what? I actually love posts like this.. both reading and writing them. There is just something so satisfying about writing out a list and planning things you want to achieve in the new year.

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Now, I know that so many people have the mindsetΒ that if you really wanted to make changes to your life then you would do them whenever and not wait for the new year… but I personally think there is nothing wrong with setting some goals/making changes if you want to… it is always nice to have things you want to achieve. Some of my goals might be small, others bigger.. I might achieve them, I might not.. but I am going to try my best. That’s what is important… I think it is all about the effort that is put in, and I am a firm believer that if someone tries their hardest and puts in the effort you really can achieve.

Lets see what I have on my 2017 goals/to do list ey?

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Make more of an effort with my YouTube channel

I love making videos… and in 2016 I started my YT channel, and before the end of the year I literally was *touching* 700 subscribers.. which to me is a phenomenal amount, considering the fact that I went almost a whole 3 months without uploading! In 2017, I definitely want to make more of an effort to upload regularly and creating exciting content! I think there is such an amazing YT community with so many supportive/inspiring people, so I definitely want to carry on uploading as many videos as possible!

Stop giving a s*** about followers on Instagram

I think I speak for the majority of people when I say Instagram has been an absolute b**** in 2016.. with the introduction of the algorithm, followers/interaction on Instagram has dropped dramatically. This can be so disheartening especially when you put so much effort into your Instagram feed. Recently though, I have been trying my hardest to stop focusing on followers, and just on creating my feed and making it something that I love. I also have become part of some blogger commenting groups on Instagram, which means I get to see all my fave blogger’s feeds and we have the opportunity to increase each other’s interactions. Also.. the amount of follows/unfollows that happen can get pretty ridiculous, but again I am focusing on my feed and not numbers!

Get fit & eat healthy

Ohhhh this always seems to be on the majority of people’s goals for new year and I feel like it is a given when it comes to them, hehe. But you know what? I am going to give it my best shot and really try. I am not going to try anything drastic at all, because let’s face it, I love chocolate and sugary cups of tea way too much. A few things I am going to do though? Start drinking green tea again, have healthy dinners (I am planning on making full use of the slow cooker I got) and cut down on the amount of takeaways I consume on a weekend. As for exercise, I am aiming for once a week, and gradually increasing to either 2 or 3 (I definitely need to be realistic!).. exercising puts you in such a good mood too so I am going to try my hardest to fit it in!

Go to NYC

This has been an absolute dream of mine for a while now.. and I really want to make it happen this year.. I know it can be a pricey trip, especially when I am trying to save for a house too… but I would LOVE to see if I can find a good deal! I have never been to NYC, and all I seem to do is watch vlogs of people’s trips there.. I don’t think my obsession with Friends has helped this either!

Come out of “bad” fashion habits

I wasn’t really sure what to call this besides a “bad” fashion habit… but I am in such a rut when it comes to clothes. All I ever seem to wear is black leggings or jeans (my Joni jeans are my most worn item), and I really want to start wearing other things. In fact.. I have already got myself on the bandwagon by purchasing a pair of “Mom” jeans (and yes I feel weird calling them mom, not mum). I think it has been years since I purchased a pair of bottoms that weren’t skinny… in fact these are BLUE and EMBROIDERED. I am so excited to style them more, and purchase more pairs!

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Make the most of my evenings (and plenty of pamper time)

You know why? Because pamper days/nights make you feel so good. In 2016,Β I spent so many of my evenings falling asleep on the sofa, only to go straight upstairs to bad (I blame the unhealthy dinners, very early mornings, and not enough “proper” sleep). Β My aim is to spend my evenings after finishing work either pampering myself (involving lush baths, face masks and plenty of blogging), spending proper time with my family, and being productive rather than just lazy!

Show more love to all you babes

I want to spend more time showing you guys more love, through commenting on your blogs/youtube videos – I absolutely love when someone leaves a really meaningful comment on my blog (I mean those REALLY sweet, heartfelt, makes me want to shed a tear comment) … so want to spend more time showing you guys love!

And I am going to stop there because let’s face it, I think that is a decent (and realistic) amount to have.

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I love you all lots. Thanks so much for all your support in 2016 – here’s to an amazing 2017 πŸ™‚

Love,

Saira xo

 

Boxing Day Beauty Buys

Hey everyone !

I cannot even tell you how nice it is to be back to blogging (I’m not even going to try and count how many days I’ve been inactive for… let’s just say it’s been a while!).

I always think a break is good for just refreshing your head .. I find I always have so many more ideas after one .. especially with it being over a Christmas & New Years!

Now … I definitely did my fair share of shopping over Boxing Day (including a huge Lush purchase – check out my latest YT video for a haul!)… and I found some little gems (beauty wise!) that I could not wait to share with you.. especially as I usually only stick to buying clothes in the sales!

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Let’s start it off with some perfume gift sets? Now .. both these perfumes are two of my FAVES … and they just remind me of when I was at University!

Diesel Loverdose

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I remember when this came out years ago .. me and my sister both saw the bottle and fell in love. We then sprayed it on our wrists (along with about 10 other perfumes) and carried on shopping. Throughout the day – this particular perfume just stood out so much…that we both actually went back and purchased it! I am SO rubbish at describing scents, but looking online the perfume has notes of: mandarin, liquorice, jasmine, amber & vanilla (yum!). It is definitely a sweet perfume that reminds me of sweets when you first spray it, then it changes to a really warm, sweet scent as it settles into your skin. The bottle is so stunning too, and with it being an Eau De Parfum, it lasts SO long too!

Bvlgari Omnia Crystalline

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Firstly… HOW STUNNING IS THIS BOTTLE. It is so unique, but really classic at the same time. This is probably the complete opposite scent to Loverdose… it is fresh and almost citrus-y. This used to be my go to scent for Spring, but I had to pick it up after seeing it on offer. Again, using trusty google, the notes in this one are: bamboo, lotus blossom, sandalwood and musk. I find this to have a really “clean” scent and think it is perfect for everyday, especially during the Spring.

Zoella Gingerbread Gift Set

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This is one scent that I had already picked up and when I saw it on sale for Β£4 in Superdrug I could not resist picking up some more! Gingerbread has been my absolute favourite scent this winter.. in fact I have been obsessed with everything gingerbread this winter (and am a little bit gutted that when winter is over I will have to pack up my gingerbread props, *cries*). This scent literally smells like gingerbread when you spray it, then settles into a lovely, warm vanilla scent. I do find I have to reapply this in the afternoon, but I always have the bottle handy in my bag for touch ups as the bottle is so light.

Benefit Gift Set

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I could not believe my eyes when I saw this little set .. I had already paid for my perfumes and literally turned back when I saw this. With each Benefit box powder being around Β£23 each, I knew it would only be smart (and better for my bank) that I picked up this set for less than Β£20, right? Also the powers are actually decent sized (5g compared to 8g full size), and the fact that I get a mini “They’re Real” mascara just made my day, as I have never tried it *gasps*.. I know! Coralista and Hoola are two absolute staples, and having never tried the other powders, I am excited to give them a go! Also.. the Watt’s Up highlighter has always been on my wishlist, so getting to try it beforehand means I can see if it is worth the hype! Giftsets like this are my fave because it means I can test a range of things before purchasing them.. and the Boxing Day sales are always a fab time to pick them up!

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So guys.. they were the beauty bits I picked up in the sales… I was so chuffed with everything I got and definitely was more impressed with them rather than the clothes! Did you pick anything up in the sales? I’d love to know if you did !

I’ll see you all in my next post!

Lots of Love,

Saira

xo

 

Make Your Own: Costa Festive Drinks

Hey!

WELL I WISH IT COULD BE CHRISTMAS EVERYDAY. Seriously though… after watching a Christmas themed episode of Black Mirror (which if you haven’t watched yet WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING WITH YOUR LIFE), I literally get chills every time I hear this song (and not the good type either). I think it was Zoella’s video I watched where she talked about Black Mirror and how it’s one of those programmes that sticks in your head and makes you just THINK about things.. which I can definitely agree with! I’ve been hooked on watching it!

Anyways… let’s put that to a side and focus on what this post is actually about! I feel like my blog has not been as festive this year .. and in all honesty it’s just because I haven’t had the TIME to put out as many posts as I’ve wanted to! But … I Β thought I would do what I could in the last few days before Christmas to get as festive as possible !

Little quiz for you all.. what is one of the things that I get SO EXCITED for… it only comes during the winter months and includes festive cups? Yep you got it … festive hot drinks! Specifically .. Costa. Yum. I’ve been all over Costa festive drinks this year and tried every single one. Well.. the hot chocolates, lol.. never been much of a coffee lover tbh.

I had a little sad moment earlier when I realized that I wouldn’t be able to get the festive drinks for another year… so what did I do? Make my own of course πŸ™‚

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Now.. before I put up a blog post about these I knew I had to test them out … so I made 3 different drinks & had the most honest people I know (hubby, dad & sister) try them (they would 100% tell me if they tasted like crap, ha).

But guess what guys? They tasted frickin’ amazing.. in fact BETTER than I expected! Now.. I have to share the ‘how to’ with you.. because I know so many of you are going to be gutted when we can no longer get the festive drinks *cries*… but it’s possible (in fact pretty easy) to recreate at home.

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*ONE MAJOR TIP*

Use GOOD quality cocoa powder … this helps so much in achieving that Costa hot chocolate flavour!Β 

Orange Hot Chocolate

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I think this is by far my favourite drink … it was always my go to and it just made me feel SO festive every time I got it!

1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder (the pricey stuff guys)

1 mug milk

Few pieces of Terry’s Chocolate Orange

1 tsp orange extract (the liquid in a little bottle – from the baking section in any supermarket)

Whipped cream in a can

Chocolate/festive sprinkles

Pour the milk in a saucepan over medium heat and add in the cocoa powder, and whisk until frothy. Add the Terry’s chocolate and let it melt, followed by more whisking. Once the milk starts to bubble on the sides, turn it to low heat and add in the orange extract. And yep.. whisk again. Leave for a minute or so, take off the heat and pour in your fave mug. Top with whipped cream & sprinkles. Voila!

Peppermint White Hot Chocolate

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This one is a little bit more special because it is WHITE Hot chocolate. It looks SO Christmassy!

1 1/2 tbsp white hot chocolate powder

1 mug milk

1 candy cane – crushed (some to add to the drink, some for decorating)

1 tsp peppermint extract

Whipped cream in a can

Exactly the same process – but instead of adding the Terry’s chocolate, add 3/4 of the candy cane, and of course peppermint extract instead of orange. Once you’ve put it in the mug, add whipped cream and the remaining candy cane on top.

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

Now.. this wasn’t exactly a hot chocolate at Costa.. but it did come in coffee form and I wanted to create my own version!

1 1/2 tbsp hot chocolate powder

1 mug milk

1 handful of milk chocolate chips & 1 handful of white chocolate chips

1 tsp salted caramel extract

Whipped cream in a can

Cute toppings

Same process again .. but add different chocolate/extracts as required!

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And that’s how you can make your very own, festive drinks! Get yourself some cute toppings and go all out decorating them too!

Thank me later when you’re craving that Costa hot chocolate.

ALSO – I am so sure you can try something similar with any syrups/extracts you find! You can get as creative as you want too – I could not for the life of me find gingerbread anywhere .. which I was SO gutted about because I am sure you all know my obsession with it this year!

Hope you enjoyed this festive little post … let me know if you try any of the hot chocolates!

Lots of love,

Saira

Xx