Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Say it with cake...

I have many people in my life who when it comes to birthdays or any other cause for giving a gift, are absolute hell to buy for. Although the usual go to 'no idea' gift cards or cash will suffice, I sometimes like to add something a little bit more personal, either as an added extra, or a much cheaper alternative (yes I'm tight like that)! So I ask myself, what is the one failsafe option loved by 99% of the population? CAKE! Now, if you have never set foot in a kitchen then this might not be the best option for you just yet, we don't want to be giving the gift of food poisoning; but if you know your whisk from your wooden spoon, then what could possibly go wrong? So, decide on a great recipe, whack out the mixing bowl, put on an apron and... Say it with cake! After all it shows much more time and effort than just putting money in an envelope, and there's lots of things you can do to make it look really pretty such as edible glitter, sprinkles and even ready made icing shapes; you can get them everywhere and lots of them are really affordable!

My cupcakes for last years diamond jubilee (I made the cake toppers myself! Super cheap!)

I always bake a cake for my friends and family's birthdays, mothers day, fathers day, easter, parties, christmas... any excuse really, and (I hope) it's enjoyed by everyone!

Please follow us on twitter @vanillavelvets and don't hesitate to leave a comment, we love to know what you think!
Bye for now x

White Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe

I Love white chocolate, and I adore cheesecake, they are two of my favourite foods; so combine the two, and you have an absolute winner for me! I always make this as a delicious pudding, it's loved by everyone in my family, and it never fails to satisfy my taste buds and provide a source of indulgence for that heavenly ten minutes spent eating it. Give it a go, you won't regret it... I promise!

Serves 8-10. Takes about 1 hour to prepare, plus at least three hours chilling time, or ideally overnight.

200g digestive biscuits
50g butter, melted
400g white chocolate
280ml double cream
250g soft cheese (Philadelphia)

1. Line the base of a 20cm/ 8 inch spring form tin with non stick baking paper.
2. Crush the biscuits until that resemble bread crumbs, then pour in the melted butter and stir well. Now tip the biscuit mixture into your tin and press them down firmly to form an even base layer for your cheesecake.
3. Break the chocolate into small pieces, place in a heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering chocolate and gently melt the chocolate stirring once or twice but not continuously. Once melted, remove the bowl from the heat and allow to cool slightly whilst you do the next step...
4. Gently beat the cream and soft cheese  in a bowl until well mixed - try not to over best as that will make it go stiff. Fold in the melted chocolate until a smooth mixture is formed.
5. Now pour over your biscuit base in the tin and chill for at least 3 hours, or ideally overnight.

And that's it, now all that is left to do is eat it and enjoy! Comment and let us know if you've tried it and how it turned out for you, and follow us on twitter @vanillavelvets !

Thanks for reading! Bye for now x

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Raspberry and Banana Smoothie

Hi, I made a really nice smoothie the other day so thought I'd tell you how!
I didn't plan it in advance so it was just what I had in and if you planned you could probably make a much nicer one, but hey ho!
I used
A Handful frozen raspberries
A splash of orange juice
1 banana
I don't know the exact measurements because as I said I just chucked it all in and luck of the draw it turned out well!
You don't have to use frozen raspberries obviously, however I always try to use at least one frozen ingredient as it makes my smoothie come out super cool and refreshing.
Smoothies are a lovely healthy snack as well as a way of getting some of your 5-a-day but if you want a nice treat add in a few scoops of vanilla ice cream - it's yummy!
I'd live to know some of your smoothie recipes, please leave some in the comments below or let me know your favourite secret ingredients!
Bye for now! x x x

Sunday, 5 May 2013

What's in my bag...

I think a handbag can tell you a lot about its owner, and the things they can't go a day without! So, here's a peep inside mine! Enjoy ...

My bag is the Anna bag from stylistpick.com in black, and I bought it reduced from £35 to £15 in their recent sale... Bargain!!

I'm not one of these people who somehow finds the time to top up on make up through the day (as much as I wish I was) so beware, the make up in my bag is very very minimal!


Body shop almond hand cream - this is super moisturising but drys quickly without any stickiness (my hand cream pet hate) leaving my hands super soft!
Body shop strawberry hand cleanse gel - this smells AMAZING!! Perfect for freshening up hands on the go!
Hugo Boss orange perfume - I love this fragrance, it's lovely and citrusy fresh but quite sweet at the same time, perfect for day or night
Rimmel stay matte powder - As I said, I don't tend to top up my make up through the day, but I do always carry a powder just in case I have any unsightly shine! Rimmel stay matte is my favourite, it's so cheap and does the job just as well as any more expensive powders I have tried
No 7 liplicious lip gloss - I always chuck whatever I'm wearing on my lips for the day in my bag, and this just happened to be today's choice. It's super shiny with a subtle pinky colour; a really nice everyday product!
Tissues - always a must have
Umbrella - we all know how unpredictable the English weather is, even now we're heading into summer, and there's nothing worse than spending ages on your hair only for it to get ruined in a surprise spurt of rain!
Chewing Gum - I always have some on me as it stops me from snacking unnecessarily and freshens breath
Bottle of water - saves me having to make a detour and by one when I'm thirsty, and water is good for you and your skin so drink up!
Sunglasses - as soon as the first hint of sunshine appeared these went straight in my bag!
Glasses - much to my dislike I have to wear them, but I do so as little as possible, which usually results in them sitting in the bottom of my bag whilst I squint to see things over the opposite side if the room
My phone - the most important thing in my bag!
My purse - from river island. Its nice and big to fit all my loyalty cards, coupons and the money I wish I had more of!
House keys

So, that's everything in my bag! I hope you found this interesting (especially if you're nosy like me), and don't forget to comment if you have any questions and follow us on twitter @vanillavelvets .

Thanks for reading! Bye for now! x

Nails of the Day

Just thought I'd do a quicke (post- minds out of the gutter please!) on today's nails as I thought they looked quite nice if I say so myself! I'm wearing BarryM as always in Mint Green and with the BarryM glitter on my feature nail (several coats necassery for this look!)
In short I thought it would be nice to show you some nails that look nice but not perfect and done by a real girl on the go who isn't perfect at all beauty things- see the bits rounds my cuticles?
Hope you enjoy, and I'd love to see your fave spring nails just tweet us a picture and we'll follow back for today! @vanillavelvets
Bye for now! x x x

Saturday, 4 May 2013

My May Make-Up Bag

There are a few new finds, as well as old essentials, but i thought i would share with you some of my favourite things for May, as well as giving you a little bit of information about them! Hope you enjoy!

Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman Pointed Foundation Brush 
This ones a new purchase and i love, love, love, it's absolutely perfect for what i want it for- putting on my foundation, and i would really recommend it to anyone as i think it's a staple brush for every girl!

Revlon Baby Stick 
I picked this up about a month ago and have been using it non-stop since! It says 'for lips & cheeks' i prefer it for lips but do still use it on my cheeks as its a perfect on the go blush, as you don't need a brush and its so small and compact. 

Soap and Glory Solar Powder
This is an old favourite, lovely to use both colours as a bronzer or just one at a time for a contour and highlight.

Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paint by BarryM in Papaya and Lychee
I know spring is all about corals and bright colours and much as i have been loving Papaya i think Lychee may be my favourite! its such a lovely nudey beige and goes with almost any outfit, a new favourite i think!

Lush Bubblegum Lipscrub
I always have one of these on my bathroom shelf but until recently it had been pushed to the back and forgotten about, but having had a tidy up I have rediscovered my love of this and remembered just how good it is at leaving your lips dead-skin free and smooth as well as tasting yummy scrummy! 

Soap and Glory The Righteous Butter
One of my favourite smelling products of all time and an excellent moisturiser, i have the mini one for my handbag too!

Argan Oil (for my hair)
This little beauty has just become a must-have, it smoothens, adds shine and i also think has helped to strengthen my hair.
I picked up this mini from Primark for about £2.50 and now need to find somewhere that sells a bigger version!

St. Moriz Self Tanning Mist in Medium
I am a complete self-tanning newbie and as i have only used this once (on many recommendations) i think a few small streaks on my legs are down to my lack of experience rather than this product, but i will keep you updated and do some fake tan product reviews if you'd like?

Posie Tint by Benefit
I have loved this product a long time and for spring/summer it's especially good as a 'my lips but better' (much, much better tehe) it's also one of those rare lip and cheek tints that i actually use and like for both! dan dan dahhh! Well done Benefit! 

Vanillary Solid Perfume from Lush
I love the smell it's perfect for daytime and not too overpowering or sickly sweet. Lush also makes a spray version but i like this for my make-up bag as i know it won't leak or smash, it's also much cheaper, what a bonus!

Amie Morning Clear Purifying Facial Wash
In my opinion exactly what it says on the tin (or tube in this case). I have been using this every morning and it's so calming on my skin and adds just the right amount of moisture without causing grease or breakouts, i loves it! Probably the best morning face-wash i have ever used and i would highly recommend this for ALL skin types. 

I hope you've enjoyed a little snoop into some of my spring make-up bag staples, personally i love a nosey into someone else's!

Full reviews to follow on a few of these (any particular requests?), so keep an eye out!
Bye for now! x x x

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush...

As someone who had always remained a lover of my good old fingers to apply my foundation, I was excited to see what all the hype was about surrounding the real techniques brushes from Samantha Chapman. I now understand! After much deliberation I decided on the expert face brush; partly because of it being the lowest price of all of the foundation brushes that can be bought separately, but mainly because of how frequently Tanya Burr and Pixiwoo seem to use it in their tutorials these days above its sister the stippling brush.

At £9.99 I thought it wasn't cheap, but after having been using it for about a month now, I think this price is completely reasonable for the difference it has made to the appearance of my foundation! Whatever foundation you use (providing it's a liquid one) this brush will get the most from it, and help it glide on much better than with just fingers. The size of the brush head is large enough to cover your face in a fair amount if time, (which I have heard is the stippling brush's main downfall for us large headed peeps) but still small enough, and the perfect shape to fit around the tricky eye and nose areas. I an yet to try it with any product other than foundation, but i have heard that it does come in handy with contouring; something I am keen to try out with it. My final impressive features are that there has been no fall out at all, and it has made me less lazy when it comes to cleaning my brushes because I want to prolong my expert face brush's life as much as I can! I would definitely recommend this brush to all liquid foundation lovers!

Please feel free to leave a comment if you have any other questions, and don't forget to follow us @vanillavelvets !
Bye for now! x