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Monday, 27 July 2015

Homemade Flatbread Recipe

Okay so let me start by saying, excuse the photos in this post - I had to take them with my phone as we were so desperate to eat these!!

I love flatbread and literally had no idea how easy they are to make. It's an extremely messy process but nonetheless, very easy and even more yummy!

Ingredients for the flatbread:
350 g self-raising flour, and extra for dusting 
A pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking powder 
350 g natural yoghurt 

I also added spicy chicken and prosciutto ham to make a proper meal of it!

Ingredients for the garlic and herb butter (optional):
2 cloves of garlic (I didn't put garlic in mine as I hate it!)
A bunch of fresh soft herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley, tarragon, basil, dill
40 g unsalted butter 


Method

1. Add all the flatbread ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix together with a spoon, then use clean hands to pat and bring everything together. 

2. Dust a clean work surface with flour, then tip out the dough. Knead for a minute or so to bring it all together (this isn't a traditional bread recipe, so you don't need to knead it for long)


3. Put the dough into a floured-dusted bowl and cover with a plate/foil/clingfilm, then leave aside.


4. If making the garlic butter: peel the garlic cloves and crush them with a garlic crusher.

5. Pick the herb leaves onto a chopping board and finely chop them, discarding the stalks.

6. Melt the butter in a small pan over a medium heat, then stir through the garlic and chopped herbs, then set aside.

7. Dust a clean work surface and rolling pin with flour, then divide the dough in half, then divide each half into 6 equal-sized pieces (roughly the size of a golf ball).

8. With your hands, pat and flatten the dough, then use a rolling pin to roll each piece into 12cm rounds, roughly 2mm to 3mm thick. They puff up a lot so make sure they're quite flat before putting in the pan.

9. Use a knife to cut 6 lines into the centre of each round, leaving about 3cm at each end to get the nice griddle pan look.

10. Place the griddle pan on a high heat, then once hot, cook each one for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until bar-marked and puffed up, turning with tongs.

11. Brush the flatbreads all over with herby garlic butter as they come off the griddle. I then added spicy chicken and prosciutto ham and served with a side salad.


I feel like I need to make these again just to take photos that can do it justice! Hope you all try it out at home - and take better photos than me!

Let me know!

Love Lauren xx
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Sunday, 19 July 2015

Review Of My New Skincare Routine

I'll be the first to admit I'm not a big skincare routine person. I love the products, and have shelves and drawers full of them, but with a combination of always having good skin (not an excuse to not look after it, I know!) and being lazy by the time I drag myself away from my laptop and into bed, I've never been good at keeping to a routine. 

I love reading all of your posts about your skincare routines and the products you use for beautiful skin and I've always tried to urge myself to make more of an effort but it just hasn't really happened, until now. 

A few weeks ago my skin started getting really bad all of a sudden and I had no idea why as I hadn't changed anything, except maybe feeling more stressed.  I was freaking out a bit as I'm lucky enough not to really have any issues with my skin (a miracle considering I rarely take my make up off until the next morning SORRY[!!!!!!] to all the beauty bloggers dying from cringing at that statement!)

About this time, I was also contacted by a few brands asking me to review their skincare products so I look the opportunity to start fresh on a new routine and use my bad skin as a test for these new products. 




Taking it off with Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water




First of all, my trusty face wipes ran out so I purposely didn't buy any more and forced myself to use the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water that has been in my cupboard since I bought it [need to stop doing this with all the products I buy!]. 

They say:

"A super efficient and gentle way to cleanse, remove makeup, soothe the feel of skin and hydrate in just one step – it’s not magic, it’s Garnier Micellar! Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water contains micelles which act like magnets, gently lifting away makeup and impurities from the skin, without the need to rub or rinse. 

The result? Beautifully cleansed and refreshed feeling skin in an instant. The formula is suitable for the face, eye area and lips, has no perfume and comes in a generous 400ml size."
I say:
Giving this product a proper try over the last two weeks has made me so glad I gave up the face wipe addiction. My skin feels like much clearer and cleaner, I really do feel like more make up has come off. Face wipes can be seriously expensive so this is also a great cost effective option as well. I definitely won't be going back to my face wipes now I have this!

Cleansing with Sk:n Vitamin-Rich Cleanser for dry or sensitive skin*




Cleansing always makes my skin feel much fresher, and so finding a perfect product is really important. This one was a PR gift and one I will definitely, without a doubt be repurchasing. 

The say:

"Sk:n Vitamin-Rich Cleanser for dry or sensitive skin is fortified with age fighting vitamins and antioxidants to gently remove make-up and impurities. The skin is left feeling cleansed and purified and in perfect condition for further skincare products
Key features and benefits of sk:n Vitamin-Rich Cleanser for dry or sensitive skin
  • Gently removes make up and impurities
  • Fortified with age fighting vitamins and antioxidants
  • Skin is left clean and comfortable and in perfect condition to maximise the effects of other skincare products
Key active ingredients
  • Evening Primrose Oil — soothing and healing properties
  • Allantoin — moisturising for dry/sensitive skin
  • Vitamin A, C & E — anti-oxidants protect the skin from free radicals"
Source

I say:

You know when a product just smells fresh? Like no chemicals or perfumes etc (weird I know but if you know what I mean, you'll get it!), that's how I feel about this. A quick wipe over my skin and it feels like it's had a new lease of life, refreshed, revitalised and much cleaner. I definitely feel like this product has contributed to my skin feeling better. I'd repurchase it again in a second and the best part about it is it's a massive bottle and you only need a tiny bit at a time so I'm sure it'll last me ages which is always a plus. This product is specifically for dry and sensitive skin (mine's super dry) and the dryness has definitely improved since using it.  If you haven't tried this product already, you need to! 

Colour Correction with Sk:n Anti-Redness Face Cream*

If you've seen me without make up (which I know a lot of people haven't and won't ever - lucky you), but my skin is very red. It means I always have to wear foundation which can get annoying, especially on holiday or generally in the summer. I'm definitely up for trying any product that will help out with taking the redness down. 

They say:

"Sk:n Anti-Redness Face Cream relieves irritation and inflammation on the face and improves the skin’s barrier. As a result the skin looks and feels calmer, is more resilient, and has a more, even skin tone"


I say:

I've been using this product now every other day for about two weeks and have noticed a slight, but not massive improvement in my skin tone. I'm planning to start using it every day, and will keep checking back over the next few weeks as I'm sure it'll make a bigger difference over time. I'll keep you posted on this one! 

Eye Treatments with AA Skincare's Seaweed and Aloe Gel*






Any of my fellow hayfever suffers will identify with the horrible feeling of sore, puffy and dry eyes after scratching the life out of them on a daily basis. I was dying to try a product that would relieve them even in the slightest because looking like I've been punched and /or haven't slept at all, is not a good look - for anyone. 

They say:

"A gently effective multi-purpose gel which offers excellent rehydration for the delicate skin around the eyes. It’s also wonderfully cooling for the whole body after a spell in the sun.

Seaweed & Aloe combine to gently and safely remove make up and restore the sensitive skin around the eye area leaving you feeling soothed and refreshed. Natural extracts of Eyebright and Cornflower soothe while Cucumber adds to the hydrating and calming effect of this super absorbent gel."

Source

I say:

Anything that is going to make my eyes feel less like sandpaper is good for me, and this product definitely does the trick. I use it every other day or so, simply due to time and not having enough or it but my eyes feel noticeably more soothed. Anything with cucumber in reminds me of a good pamper too which is a bonus. One for all the hay fever suffers out there for sure!!

Blemish Treatment with Australian Bodycare's Blemish Stick*




As I mentioned at the start of this post, a few weeks ago my skin suddenly got really bad for probably the first time in my life. I've always been slightly dubious of Blemish stick's but thought I'd give this one a go. 

They say:

"There is nothing worse than the last minute breakout that appears moments before that big occasion. This easy to use Tea Tree Oil and Witch-hazel formula will quickly reduce the breakout causing bacteria and diminish redness."

Source

I say:

Whilst I've always been dubious, I've used this product every day and night since it dropped through my letter box and my skin is back to being it's normal self which I'm ecstatic about. I would definitely say I'd directly attribute my better skin to this product teamed with the cleanser. If I'm being honest I wouldn't say it's a last minute quick fix treatment but used over a week or so it definitely made a difference. I also had a horrible mozzie bite from keeping our balcony door open in the evening (our flat is like a sauna) and rolling this over it definitely lessened the irritation and inflammation. This is one I'll be taking with me everywhere, particularly on my next holiday!

Exfoliation with Nip & Fab Glycolic Scrub Fix



Suffering from dry skin, particularly on my face, scrubs are really important to me. I've used the FCUK one for as long as I can remember but have now found a new favourite. 

They say:

"Scrub your skin to perfection with a new breed of facial exfoliator, Glycolic Facial Scrub Fix. This 3-in-1 micro exfoliant is packed with 3% glycolic acid and salicylic acids to refine, brighten + renew. Glycolic Fix Facial scrub works deep into pores to cleanse, polish + reduce blemishes from the first use. With a fruity grapefruit scent, it energises + awakens the skin."


I say:

I don't know how to describe the smell of this product except, heaven. It leaves my skin feeling amazing every single time and really gives the feel of a full on pamper in just minutes. I've been using this weekly and it always feels like such a treat. Even if it didn't wasn't a great product (which it is!) I'd be using it just so I could smell it!! The only downside is quite a lot of product is used at once so I tend to go through them quite quickly, it's definitely worth the repurchase each time though. 

---


So there's my current skincare routine of 6 great products I'd happily recommend. I love reading other people's routine posts so if you have one, link it below!

Love Lauren xx


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Friday, 10 July 2015

Dr. Paw Paw Beauty Balm*

It's not that often that I add a beauty product to my holy grail/I can't live without list, but now is time.

I agreed to try out the Dr. Paw Paw Balm a few weeks ago as I constantly suffer with really dry lips. Any kind of moisturising product I use on them works for a while, but without an hour or so, they end up feeling dry again. Based on previous kind of similar products, my expectations weren't particularly high. How wrong was I!

The Dr. Paw Paw balm comes in a lipgloss type tube in a summer Yellow colour, with black writing. My marketing brain says the branding and packaging is perfect, and the thing I love most about the packaging is that their social media icons are on the back so I could tweet and instagram photos straight away - which I did, obviously!

So the contents, Dr. Paw Paw say:


"Our Pawpaw balms are made from a variety of natural ingredients including Pawpaw, Olive Oil and Aloe Vera Oil which, blended together, create a multi-purpose formula for you to carry around at all times thanks to the handy 25ml tube.

Our main ingredient is fermented Pawpaw, the fruit of the plant Carica Papaya. The Pawpaw has been found to have many soothing properties for our skin and hair, making it a real ‘go to’ product.

Our luscious paw paw balms can be used on lips, skin and hair – whatever your use for it, we guarantee you will be delighted with the satisfyingly smooth finish!
Here are a few ways you could use yours:

  • – Lip Balm
  • – Hair Smoother
  • – To soothe skin irritation
  • – Moisturiser
  • – Make-up finisher/primer
  • – Nappy Cream"
Source
 


Finally a brand that can live up to it's claims! The product can be squeezed out of the tube and then applied pretty much anywhere. I use it on my lips first then if there's any excess, I use it as a moisturiser and smooth it over my hands. When first applied it works as a great lip gloss too!


As a lip balm, I couldn't recommend it more, and that's just based on one of it's many functions. The size of the product makes it perfect to take everywhere which is an added bonus. Luke is already stealing mine so I'll definitely be ordering more , one for every handbag so I never accidentally forget to swap it over!

With my Dr. Paw Paw Balm at Henley Regatta - it's always in my bag!

Overall verdict:

Likes - texture, finish, and the results of smooth silky lips

Dislikes - it's quite hard to get out the tube with my feeble hands!

Would I buy myself: YES - everyone needs this product!

You can buy your own here!

Love Lauren xx

*PR Gift
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Thursday, 9 July 2015

The BEST Cookie Recipe I've Ever Tried

I absolutely love to bake and am always on the look out for brilliant recipes. Cookies are something I nearly always get wrong, either too hard, too doughy, too overcooked, too undercooked, BUT I have finally found the most amazing recipe for cookies of perfection. The BEST cookie recipe ever. 






125g butter
100g light brown soft sugar
125g caster sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
225g self-raising flour
200g chocolate chips




Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4 

Cream butter and sugars, once creamed, combine in the egg and vanilla

Sift in the flour and the chocolate chips

Roll into walnut size balls, and squash slightly 

Place on ungreased baking paper on a baking tray

Baking for just 7 minutes, till the cookies are just setting - will make them really doughy and delicious. Otherwise cook for 10 minutes until just golden round the edges. 

Take out of the oven and leave to harden for a few minutes

TA-DAHHH
You're welcome

Love Lauren xx
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