Saturday, 2 June 2012

Quick Meals: Chicken and Cream Cheese Wrap

Chicken and Cheese wrap

I know this isn't the ultimate gourmet recipe, but its delicious, fast and filling. This is the sort of thing that I would make if there's absolutely nothing in the house except for leftovers. Here's the recipe:

Ingredients and How to:
1 Tortilla wrap
1 Leftover cooked Chicken Breast/Leg chopped into pieces
1 Tbs of Cream Cheese
2 Large lettuce leaves
A huge dollop of your favourite sauce (in this case, Branston Relish Hot chili & Jalapeno)
1 Tbs Mayonnaise
A pinch of salt and pepper

Heat the wrap in the microwaves for 20 seconds.
Spread the cream cheese on the wrap, layer pieces of chicken on top then lettuce.
Sprinkle with salt. Throw on the mayonnaise and relish.
Wrap, cut in half and serve!

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Seahorse Nail Art (Kind of)

I'm terrible at nail art, I wont even attempt to hide that fact but hopefully you might be inspired by the idea and be able to create a much better looking set of nails! I was inspired by the Versace Spring collection as seen here:

I used 3 coats of Revlon's White on white which was a nightmare because it kept coming out streaky. Then I used the edge of a hair pin as a makeshift dotting tool with Barry M's Instant Effects in 320 Foil and attempted to recreate the seahorse. 

Friday, 20 April 2012

LUSH Catastrophe Cosmetic & Apologies

Catastrophe Cosmetic Fresh Face Mask

First of all, I'd like to apologise for disappearing all of a sudden and not responding to everyone's comments. I'm working my way through them and I appreciate every single one of them. I've had the most HECTIC week ever! Work, studies, outings and interviews. Everything all seemed to come at once. Anyway, I am finally back on track and will be posting regularly again. SO. What better way to end a hectic week than a LUSH mask and a good book. I have been out in the sun quite a lot lately and trying all sorts of different products on my skin so I felt my face needed a little bit of pampering. I picked up two masks from LUSH last week, I'll talk about the other one once I've tried it out a bit more.

Catastrophe Cosmetic is this wonderful fresh face mask and I'm not going to lie, I chose it because it was purple and I wanted to eat it (tastes a bit perfumy but sweet!) . Yes, I did lick it, but nothing happened to me so I'm loving lush even more now. Though I am not recommending you eat this stuff.

It has a lovely mud like consistency which you can easily spread across your face. Its not gritty at all but there are little specks of blueberries which kind of squish into your skin when you rub it on. The guy at the shop (don't you love lush staff when they start testing stuff on you?) stuck a whole load of it on my hand, waited a few minutes and then washed it off and I kid you not, my hand has never felt that smooth since I was 3. And it has the exact same effect on your face. I left it for about 10 minutes but it hardens pretty fast and you can wash it off REALLY easily with warm water.

Ingredients & Smells: 
The ingredients include Calamine Powder, Irish Moss Gel, Blueberries, Almond Oil, Talc and Chamomile. I thought the blueberries would leave a bit of a rotten berry smell but it didn't at all. Even though I actually didn't put it in the fridge the second time I used it, it was still fine. The scent of Calamine really comes through after you wash it off and leaves a really calming vibe around you. To sum it up, it smells like blueberry baby powder.

I didn't really have any problem areas (for once!) but I had a few pesky blackheads on my nose and it helped to clear those up. My skin was so soft afterwards and soaked in the moisturiser. I have quite sensitive skin and masks break me out very easily but this mask did not break me out at all. My skin was also a bit dry and flaky around the cheeks and it solved that problem for me as well.

This mask is amazing, I really can't fault it. It smells good, does what it says it will do, its calming and relaxing and doesn't break me out! You can find it at Lush for £5.75/75g. I use it quite sparsely simply because I'm weird like that so it would probably last me 5-6 masks, but if you apply it generously, maybe 3-4. An alternative mask might be Montagne Jeunesse Pressed Blueberries Very Berry Mask but even thought I love the texture and price of this product, it breaks me out like crazy so I simply can't use it. Maybe for you guys out there with less sensitive skin.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Review : What I think of Revlon Lip Butters

Left to right: Sweet Tart, Tutti Fruiti, Pink Truffle, Price: £7.99 

So I realise I'm a bit behind on the bandwagon with these but I've only just managed to find them at my local Boots. I entered. They beckoned. I rejoiced. Finally.
Boots is having their 3 for 2 deal so of course, I picked up 3. I stood for ages deliberating on which colours to get, finally settling on a pink, a coral and a nude so I could test a little bit from each colour range. So first of all:

Consistency : I found them really creamy, I swatched ALL of them at the shop and decided I didn't like any of the sparkly ones, they were a bit.. gritty? for lack of a better word. But these three were lovely, they glide on your lips like thick cream cheese. or Nutella. Or a mixture of both like that chocolate Philadelphia which I keep seeing on the adverts and I need to try.Yum. 

Pigmentation : Well, for me, with just one layer, it looks just like a tinted balm. For example :

Tutti Fruit on my lips!

Which is actually how I like it, you can however keep on slapping it on and it builds up to something close to a lipstick. Just be careful with the Tutti Fruiti one because you could end up looking like you ate one too many cheese puffs and forgot to wipe your mouth (Why am I talking about cheese so much in this post?)

Price : Honestly speaking, I would not have purchased these at £7.99 each. With the three for two offer at Boots, each Lip Butter works out to just over £5 (ah the accountant in me speaks), and I think that is about the right price for them. But with all the hype surrounding them, I think Revlon knew they could pull it off. I know L'Oreal's Caresse range is very similar and also priced at £7.99. Some clever marketing by L'oreal might have dragged me over to their stand instead if they had just charged a pound less but who am I to dictate supply and demand.

Overall : This is a great product, I would definitely buy it again but not at that price. The hype will probably build your expectations up a bit higher than what they are worth though. A little problem I have with them is they can highlight dry lips, so I had to exfoliate like crazy before applying and taking a picture. Which is so WEIRD, because you expect a lip BUTTTER to make your lips softer, not flakier. Oh well. Good product, too expensive. What do you think?

Books, Sunglasses & Blogger Frustration

Sunglasses from Marks & Spencers

I have had the most frustrating time with Blogger today, I could not see my followers! I clicked and refreshed and pleaded but the square where the little display pictures usually live was empty. I finally had to download and Install Google Chrome, which I've been meaning to do anyway, and then everything started working properly again. Did you guys ever have that issue? I googled it and some people seem to have problems but no one had a concrete solution.

Anyway, I went and did a bit of shopping, primarily for a Yankee Candle so of course, I came back with Books and Sunglasses instead. The sunny days are upon us and I have this horrible habit of sitting on my shades, so I always tend to buy cheap ones that I don't mind breaking. Well, I do MIND, but I wont cry about. I have pair of expensive ones which I NEVER wear because I just know I'll sit on them. Its me. So I got these ones from M&S for £5.00.. You can't go wrong with that price. Maybe I should buy in bulk from Primark in the future. 

Also, I picked up a bunch of books because I can't possibly pass by a book store without getting something.   There's a Nicholas Sparks one in there which I've already started reading and loving so far. Then "The best people in the world" by Justin Tussing. Never heard of him but I like the cover (don't judge a book by its cover is lost on me) and Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (Pronunciation?!) which I believe is the first of a trilogy? I'm not sure, but I picked it up because I enjoyed the Hunger Games so much and have been looking, and failing, to find a similar sort of read ever since. I'll post reviews when I'm done reading. 

My book obsession

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Versatile Blogger Award & BlogLoveTherapy!

This is just a short post to talk about two things I'm REALLY excited about, my first blogger award and BlogLoveTherapy. Thanks so much to Miss B at Fabugloss for nominating me for this award, I couldn't quite believe it when I saw my blog up there on the list. Its a great way to discover new blogs and I'm happy to be involved with it. Here are the rules and my nominations for the versatile blogger award:

1. Nominate 15 fellow bloggers who are relatively new to blogging.
My nominees are :
2. Let them know that you have nominated them.
3. Share 7 random facts about yourself.
- I am mixed Asian and white
- I lived in Malaysia for 6 years
- I won't get out of bed until I've hit snooze at least twice
- My favourite time of day is just before sunset
- I enjoy chic lit but pretend I don't
- I hate films that make me cry and avoid them like the plague
- I'm a Gemini!
4. Thank the bloggers that have nominated you.
5. Add the Versatile Blogger Award picture to your blog post.
Now onto the next top of this post, BlogLoveTherapy!
This is a really cool site which features a new blog hop every week, it helps all the new bloggers (and some old), find each other. Some of the hops are really fun as well. So if you are like me and are just starting out in the blogging world, this is a great place to meet new bloggers and get ideas and inspiration!

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Monday, 9 April 2012

Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Orange Frosting

Hi everyone! Its been a busy weekend, hope you all had a nice Easter. I managed to make some Orange Chocolate cupcakes inspired by some Jaffa cakes I was eating earlier. They turned out really well, even though I used salted butter because I couldn't get any unsalted and all the shops were closed. Easter, Doh! Tomorrow I'll be starting a healthier diet I think, otherwise I'm going to turn into a ball! AND I went shopping, so I'll be writing up on those things in the coming week. Happy Monday! 

I tried to do the swirly things, but I didn't have a spatula!

Chocolate Cheese Orange Frosting

Yumm.. Couldn't wait.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Room Decor ideas: Jewellery stand

Bangles bangles bangles

I've been all about getting my room to look semi presentable lately. All my stuff is just everywhere!! Its driving me absolutely insane. And the worst part is, its not even half of my things, the rest is on some plane over the equator right now (Shifting my stuff over from Malaysia) . I have no idea what I'm going to do when THAT load arrives. Oh well, have to start somewhere so I went ahead and transformed this mess:

All my tangled up jewellery in its drawer (before)

To this:

Jewellery hanging thingamabob (after)

I found it at this random discount shop called Buyology, my mum took me in there to get a tank for our tadpoles (don't ask). Its dark brown leatherette and it cost £1.49.. Pinch me. They must have got the tags wrong or something because this thing is really well made and sturdy. But I would probably need 6 of them for the rest of my bangles. Uh oh.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Room Decor ideas: Keep those brushes organised!

Candle holder from John Jenkins & Sons.

I've recently moved into a new place and I'm in the process of decorating my room. I had all sorts of ideas at the beginning from big huge potted bamboos and a jungle teak bed to a dark blue lacy sort of thing but ended up wanting to keep everything black and white and now pretty much pick up anything in those two colours. My dresser is EXTREMELY messy and I've been trying to find ways of organising it, I found this candle holder at John Jenkins over the weekend and thought it would make a nice make up brush holder.. for the four brushes I have. Oh well, have to start somewhere right?

My four sad brushes

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Experimenting with snowflake cookies

I've always wondered how difficult it is to make iced cookies so I tried with snowflakes. You can't really go wrong with chocolate snowflakes, even if they look horrible!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Keeping up with the trends : Barry M Coral nail paint

Barry M Nail Paint in Coral

Spring is finally here and the sunny days have been numerous, its time to pop out these bright colours. Oranges and corals are in this spring, or so I'm told. These will definitely bright up your outfit, even if you're totally in black (not recommended). I'm in love with Barry M nail paints because they're really good quality but not pricey at all. I do love a good OPI once in a while, but I chip my nails constantly no matter how many top coats or how careful I am, so I usually stick to these. Retailing at t £2.99, and normally on offer at Boots and Superdrug (2 for 3), these nail polishes are great! I applied two coats, I love that the brushes aren't too big for my tiny nails. The texture is light and glides nicely on the nails. Here are a few close up:

Monday, 2 April 2012

Quick meals: Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese in my favourite bowl

This is one of my favourite quick meals that takes little effort and tastes amazing. I think everyone has a different way of making it, I don't use any tomato sauce or passata in mine because I don't like an overly soupy texture.

Ingredients and How to:
400gm Quorn mine or mine meat
As much spaghetti as you can eat 
1 chunk of butter
1 Onion, finally chopped
2 Cloves of garlic, crushed
1 Tomato, chopped
Parmesan (Optional)
A dash of cumin
Salt to season
Heat a large pot (large! I always use a pot which is too small and create a mess) of water and add the pasta with a sprinkle of salt. While that's cooking, heat a frying pan with a little oil and fry the garlic until brown. Add the onion and fry until transparent then add the mince and cumin. Flip around the pan for a few minutes then add the tomato and leave to cook for about 10 minutes.. Taste and season. If you feel its too dry for your taste, add some tomato puree. Enjoy!

Oops almost forgot about the spaghetti, drain and throw into a huge bowl with a chunk of butter.. Add the mince and sprinkle with Parmesan. Enjoy, seriously this time.

The lost graduate series: Hollister Interview

One of the main reasons I created this blog was because I wanted to document all my job applications, interviews, assessment centres, victories and failures.. many, many failures. But I've been blogging about food for some reason. I just get hungry a lot.
OK, so I've graduated, travelled, worked a bit and now I'm finishing up my ACCA papers. Which means its high time that I got a proper job. Problem is, I live in the middle of nowhere and the country has the highest unemployment rates in what seems like forever. But oh well, I'm sure something will come along *says she hopefully*.
Since the graduate schemes start somewhere in September and I'm still studying part time, not to mention that the application process for most of these schemes can run anywhere from 4 weeks to 3 months, the best course of action for me is to get a part time job while I wait, aside from the work I do at Cancer Research. 

In comes Hollister.

Abercrombie & Fitch, the holding company of Hollister and its sister brands, is notoriously known for hiring people based on looks. I wish I could say that this is not true, but come on, the sales assistant position is actually called the "model" position. 
My experience was OK, the interview was definitely not challenging. In order to get a retail position with Hollister, you have to apply online. The application form has a password. The manager (I assume its the manager, anyway) would normally approach you in store and poke you, at which point you will turn and search through the darkness (if you have been in Hollister, you will know that you need a flash light to see in that place. Ambiance. Yeah right) for her hovering face and she'll say something along the lines of "we're recruiting for part time "models", would you be interested in applying?" and then give you the details of how to access the form. You can also get the password in store somehow. Plead your case.
So after completing the form, I was asked to choose an interview date which was sometime last week. They have group interviews every Tuesday and Friday at 4pm which some may find inconvenient but hey, not me. Where else would I have to be? 

So I researched a bit online and the common consensus is to wear something with a Hollister feel, namely navy, grey and white, sandals (yep, even in winter apparently) and beachy. I wore a grey tank, navy hollister cardigan and dark wash skinny jeans. And I'm sorry, but I refuse to wear flip flops at this time of year in the UK so it was navy flats for me. I was going to sort of straighten my hair but couldn't be bothered. They said natural didn't they? Honestly, I don't really think it matters what you wear, there were so many of us there that I doubt anyone really noticed.

Now onto the exciting part. I arrive about 10 minutes early, mingle a bit with the other applicants, realise I have NOTHING in common with a bunch of 17 year old school kids and part time models and contemplate leaving when a 6 foot something, blue eyed, blonde, model type guy comes out and announces he's the assistant manager and he'll be interviewing us. Umm.. I'm sorry, but you look about my age. Maybe younger. Not that I'm ageist. And I can't take you seriously in those shoes.

Up until then we were sort of perched awkwardly along the railings in the mall. Oh I forgot to mention, this is the Cardiff store, in St. David's shopping mall. Back to the story. So he says follow me and so we do. Into the back of the shop, up some stairs and into the "interview room". Which is an alley way with a bunch of boxes and clothing rails. Classy. We squeeze together on to the boxes and I get a good look at the other people, there were about 10 of us. Again, I think to myself "WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU DOING HERE?". They were all fiddling with their perfectly straightened hair, checking their nail polish (not allowed by the way) and applying lip gloss. And I sat there with my blackberry, reading up on the latest business news feeds for a commercial awareness question in one of my applications. Yeah...

So in he comes, introduces himself, I immediately forget his name as I do, and hands out a bunch of forms which we fill out to state our availability and things like that. Then onto the group interview. He tells us that we will be on a zero hour contract which means they have no obligation to give us any hours a week, which I think is total rubbish. I don't remember much else but it wasn't important. We then went in a circle and said a little about ourselves, most were still in school, others doing the whole model stint. When it was my turn and I said "Hi, I'm Fatimah and I'm an accounting graduate studying for my further qualifications and have just returned from Asia", there was pin drop silence. Like "Honey, seriously, why are you here?".. Anyway, then he asked us 3 questions which we took turns to answer. I think it was at this point that I almost fell asleep. The questions were "Describe the store in 3 words" "Describe how your friends see you in 3 words" and "Describe yourself in one word".. Intense stuff. Needless to say, I used words like independent, flexible and analytical. The rest used a combination of bubbly, cool, cute and fun. Then he said we were to have our pictures taken so we each stood awkwardly against a wall and posed. Of course, as soon as you point a camera in my face, I turn into a banshee so when he said smile, I bared my teeth in what must have looked like a snarling animal preparing to pounce on its prey. Sigh. And that was it, everyone seemed to leave. So I left. They said we would hear in 2-3 weeks if we are successful, I doubt I will be getting a call.

Now, I think this is a really good job for someone who is still in uni with a bit of free time and if you don't really need the money. If I do get a call, which I doubt, the prospect of  not getting any hours to work in a week is not very appealing to me. I will say that everyone was very friendly, I didn't feel intimidated by the pretty people at the shop who work there, they were all really pleasant to me. I just think that my answers and the person I am is not something that they're looking for. I am thinking of applying for the manager in training position though, which I spotted on the form and kicked myself for not learning about sooner so I'll keep you updated on that. Hope this was enjoyable reading :)

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Sun dried tomato, cheese & egg baguette

Fresh baguettes

On my way to London the other day, I had the most amazing baguette at Cardiff central from a place called "Upper Crust" I think. AMAZING. I've been craving it ever since so I went and got the ingredients to make one in my very own kitchen. They turned out pretty well. The key is probably to get some really good quality sun dried tomatoes, they make all the difference. Maybe attempt to make your own? That's a project for another day though. 

Sun dried tomatoes

My board of ingredients

Final Product

Ingredients and How to:
Grated cheddar and and Mozzarella or any cheese that you like
Hard boiled egg
Sun dried tomatoes
Salt to taste
Fresh baguette

Chop the egg up and mix it with some mayonnaise (I prefer Heinz salad cream actually) then spread it out on the baguette. Layer with grated cheese followed by the tomatoes. Depending on how seasoned your sun dried tomatoes are, add salt to taste. Microwave for 45 seconds or grill for 3 minutes. Serve!

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Cupcakes for Fun Week

This week is Fun week at Cancer Research which basically means we'll be trying to raise as much funds as possible through various activities outside the usual day to day routine. Tomorrow is cupcake day! So I decided to make some simple vanilla cupcakes with butterscotch frosting. They turned out wonderfully, and purple.

Jumpers and a pond

Light knits from Gap

I went to drop off a few CVs for some retail jobs in Cardiff a few days ago and passed by the Gap in St. David's and it had a huge "75% OFF" sign plastered all over the front. I tried to restrain myself, I really did. But I'm always SO cold and I caught a glimpse of knit sweaters in every colour and shape spread out in front of me and I had to have a look. I ended up with just two things, forcing myself to put back the bright red jeggings (cringe) and other weird things that I pick up just for the fun on it.

Hanging precariously on the edge of my blinds

The brown plum coloured one is so soft, you just want to live in it. Which I am currently doing, actually. Perfect to layer over a racer back tank and some leggings. I got a size medium which is about 2 sizes too big for me in Gap, so it gives a nice slouchy effect and can be worn of one shoulder. The striped one is probably a bit too warm for the weather right now but knowing the UK, we'll have a few chilly days soon enough. Both were £14.99 each, down from about 30 and 40 I believe.. I do love a bargain.

I went to explore the pond near my house on the way back. When my mum said pond, I had an image of a tiny somewhat green watered pool filled with mud and toads. I was quite impressed at what it did turn out to be. Looking forward to jogging here!

Pen Y Fan, Oakdale

Saturday, 24 March 2012

All things red

Hottest chilis I've ever tasted

I made some burgers for lunch today and threw these gems into the mix. Amazing. Almost blew my head off which is exactly how I like it. Can't be very good for my stomach though.

And a smoothie to cool things down, sunny days have been abundant lately. Not that I'm complaining!

Mixed berry smoothie

Splash of orange juice
Splash of apple juice
A handful of frozen mixed berries

Blend. Serve :)

Friday, 16 March 2012

Cheesy fries in a hurry

Today was one of those days where I had so much to do and just not enough time to do it. Doctor's checkup in the morning, then the post office, then studying and all of a sudden its lunch time and I'm starving. I rush downstairs, fling open the fridge with such hope and anticipation, to find it empty. Sigh. No leftovers, nothing. So I had to make something quick, and its pretty amazing what you can do with stuff you have lying about in your fridge. Such as:

Freshly grated extra mature Cheddar cheese

Mixed with:

Oven baked thick potato chips

Produces this:

Homemade cheesy fries

I made a really small quantity for myself and it took about 20 minutes or less.. Its simple and easy. A bit high on the calories but I make myself feel better by saying I baked the chips instead of frying them. Enjoy!

Ingredients: (Enough for 1 person)
Two handfuls of frozen chips (I used Aldi's Three Way Cook Oven Chips which I found in the freezer)
1 Cup of grated Cheddar cheese
2 Tbps Grated Mozzerella 
50g Butter
1 Tbsp Flour
3/4 Cup of milk
A little ketchup (for sweetening and colour)
Salt and Paprika or Chili powder

Spread your chips out on an oven proof tray and stick them into the oven for around 20 mins. (Follow the instructions on your pack). While those are baking, take a little sauce pan over medium heat and melt the butter. Add the flour and and stir for a little while. It should look like squigy balls of dough. Start adding the milk and whisk it as you are pouring to get rid of the lumps. Don't worry, they will eventually dissolve, just keep whisking until the milk sort of thickens. Then add the cheese and stir until melted and then remove from the heat. Squirt in a LITTLE ketchup to give it that artifiual unhealthy orange sauce look and take away a bit of the tanginess of the strong cheddar. Sauce is ready!
Take the chips out, season with salt and paprika then pour the sauce over. Serve.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

A Rosy Cupcake Adventure

Pretty pink cupcake cases

Cupcake cases, I think that's where most of my money goes. I just buy them for no reason. I bought a pack of a 1000 cases a few months ago. I mean, seriously, when am I EVER going to need a 1000 cupcakes? On top of the other hundreds of colourful and patterned ones I already have crammed in the kitchen cupboards. But they're so pretty.. *googly eyes* I just can't resist.

Today was one of my baking failure days. There is a little event going on at the place where I volunteer and I decided to make some cupcakes so of course, they all turned into a complete mess. The first batch had a terrible consistency because I used warm milk and I think the eggs curdled a little and, well, it was just.. ew. The second batch were beautiful fluffy rose cupcakes.. for about 2 seconds.. Then they sunk in the middle and looked like misshapen Yorkshire puddings. Sigh. Thank God I have a dad who pretty much eats anything. 

I sat down and had an iced latte with some leftover espresso shots I made for my floppy, lumpy espresso cupcakes.


But, not one to give up, I finally managed to make a lovely batch of Rose cupcakes with Rose frosting. Not my best work but I was just too tired to try again. Plus I had to study. And blog. And make a networking card for the Career Fair next week. Oh my brain is going to explode.

Almost there! No lumps at least.

Lumpless :D

Final Attempt, not so bad :) 

I'll have to perfect the recipe first and figure out where things are going wrong, then I'll post it up here!

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Lazy day and an old film

Homemade ice lemon tea on a warm afternoon

Sundays are always quiet days for me, normally spent in-doors reading books, watching films, spending time with loved ones and planning for the week ahead. Today we settled in with a pitcher of ice tea and a good old movie from 1961, The Parent Trap. Now, the newer version with Lindsay Lohan (when she was still cute and likable), has always been a favourite of mine but I found myself laughing just a little bit more at the scenes in the original. I suppose you can't really beat old cinema. Which one do you prefer?

Walt Disney's "The Parent Trap" (1961) - Still shot found on

Walt Disney's "The Parent Trap" (1998) - Still shot found on