Monday, April 29, 2013

First attempt at a nail ‘jelly sandwich’

I’ve seen this a lot on nail blogs, the jelly sandwich. It’s where you ‘sandwich’ glitter in between layers of nail polish, using a semi translucent layer over the glitter so you can still see it. If the top layer is white or pale, you get a more ‘milky’ effect, which is what I went for. You can buy polishes that give this effect all in one but it’s fun to play around and try different combos.



Products Used

Bottom Coat- Catrice in The Nude Scene (Hollywood 40s Special Edition)

Glitter- Catrice Golf Leaf Top Coat (spectaculART Special Edition)

Top Coat- Revlon in Barely Peach

And just to compare, here’s a picture with the 1st and 3rd nails without the top coat


I like how it makes the glitter a bit more subdued and subtle. It also brings out the smaller pieces of glitter too. My boyfriend wasn’t impressed by it but what does he know about nails?! I’m looking forward to trying some more.

What do you think? Have you ever tried a jelly sandwich before? Let me know in the comments below!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

YouTube Pick of the Week

Hello! Yes, I'm still alive! I haven't posted in what feels forever because my computer decided to go nutso on me and it's off being repaired. I should hoepfully have it back by the weekend. Since I write my blogs with Windows Live Writer, I was a bit hesistant about using Blogger's writer but I've decided to woman up and give it a go! And start with something simple, another YouTube Pick.

This College Humor video sums up exactly what it's like for me when it comes to starting a new TV series. My boyfriend is always harassing me to start one with him (at the moment it's Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad).

I went to see Labyrinth in the Prince Charles Cinema in London when I was there last moment and it was amazing! I love this Behind the Scenes video for Jareth juggling the crystal balls. Don't watch if you don't like watching these things though!

I love love LOVE the Stuff You Should Know podcast by, it's amazing. They now have their own website, their own TV show and have started a YouTube channel too. It includes this amazing animation series, using clips from their podcast to explain interesting things. This one is about starting your own country.

I love Natalie from communitychannel on YouTube. One of her recent videos covers the subject of people saying things like 'I've had enough popcorn, don't let me have anymore, stop me if I try' and what it's like to be in that situation. It's so true!

Simple tutorial here from Secret Life of a Bionerd for making a make-up brush cleaner and hence saving you loads of money by not buying that ridiculously priced jumped up oven mitt that Sigma sells as a brush cleaning mitt.

I was talking to Lorraine at John, It's Only Makeup! the other day on Twitter and 'Email My Heart' from Britney Spears' first album came up. It reminded me of this video!

That's it for now,  hopefully my laptop will be back soon!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Croque Madame Muffins

When I first saw the video for this Rachel Khoo recipe on the BBC Food YouTube channel, I was dying to make it. I even bought a deep muffin tin for it. But every time I got a hankering to make it, I was always out of a crucial ingredient (eggs one week, milk another week). I eventually made them a month ago, after returning from a very long day at the hospital where it was discovered my mother had had a heart attack (all is well now!). I definitely had to make them, to help distract me but also because I knew it would be the ultimate quick comfort food. So at midnight I set off and made these and I was NOT disappointed. Crunchy, hot, gooey deliciousness is what these muffins are! The perfect brunch or lunch time snack!


Croque Madame Muffins

Adapted from The Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo

Makes 3


3 slices of white bread

1 1/2 tbsp butter, melted

3 slices of ham or 40g ham cubed

3 small eggs

For cheese sauce

1/2 tbsp butter

1/2 tbsp plain flour

100ml milk

15g Mature cheddar cheese (or Parmesan or Gruyere), grated

Salt and Pepper


1. First make the sauce. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat, then add the flour and beat until you make a roux (a smooth paste). Take off the heat and gradually add milk, while still whisking. Add cheese, salt and pepper and whisk until melted and sauce has thickened. If it is too thick, add a small amount of milk and whisk to thin it out a bit.

2. Preheat oven to 180°C. Remove the crusts from the bread, then flatten with a rolling pin. Brush the melted butter onto both sides of the bread. Then use the bread to line the muffin tin, like it’s a cupcake wrapper (make sure it’s a muffin tin, so that it’s deep enough to hold everything).

3. Place a slice of ham into the bread in a similar way you placed the bread into the muffin tin. Or if using cubed ham, just line the bottom of the bread.

4. Next crack egg on top of the ham (if the egg is too large, remove some of the white first). Then put two tablespoons of cheese sauce on top of the egg and if you wish sprinkle with a bit more cheese on top. Bake for 15-20 mins, depending on how runny you like your eggs. Personally I find 17-18 is perfect as it’s beginning to harden but there’s still some softness there. Serve immediately.




I’m looking forward to experimenting with these, I’m sure if you’d like to do a vegetarian version of this, some cooked spinach in place of ham might be nice. Or some lovely caramelised onions. Yum yum, the possibilities are endless!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

March Reads

I finished 9 books in March, which both surprises but doesn’t surprise me. I didn’t think I’d get a lot read in March as I was in London twice (first time for a long weekend, the second time for a week) and I thought I would be too busy. But looking back over what I read, I see I managed to finish a good amount of books in London, probably thanks to travelling on the Tube and also on planes.

Sugar Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke

sugar cookie

I feel like I’m cheating a bit by adding this as it’s more a novella but anyway! It’s another Hannah Swensen murder mystery, this time set at a Christmas party. It’s a very quick read and I think it was more put as to help a small part of the story along.






The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks tells the story of a poor Southern tobacco farmer in the 50s, how her cells became the first ‘immortal’ human cells and the life of her family since. While being treated for cervical cancer, Henrietta had some of her cells removed to be tested without her consent. From here they were discovered to be ‘immortal’, they never died off and HeLe cells were born. They have been one of the most important discoveries for science and the book tells how they have been used in science. But more importantly Rebecca Skloot works together with the Lacks family to try and tell the unknown story of Henrietta’s life and how it has affected her family. I found it very interesting and I couldn’t help but feel for the Lacks family, who can’t even afford to go to see a doctor when sick while companies make millions off their mother’s cells. I will say that the book is more to do with Henrietta’s family and what has happened to them over the years than about Henrietta, but that’s purely because there isn’t a whole lot of information out there about her. Just a heads up.

Peach Cobbler Murder by Joanne Fluke

peach cobbler murder

I decided to read something light after finishing The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and I didn’t want to get into something before leaving for London, so I settled on the next book in the Hannah Swensen Mystery Series. Hannah is shaken when her old love rival Shawna Lee arrives back in town with her sister and opens up the Magnolia Bakery. While Hannah is troubled by this, she is preoccupied with the preparations for her business partner Lisa’s wedding. The night of the wedding, Hannah finds Shawna Lee has been shot in the Magnolia Bakery. Hannah is determined to clear her name from the list of suspects and try and solve this case. I did enjoy it, as I have with the others, but it’s nothing too taxing. It’s like Nancy Drew as an adult set in a bakery. A sort of guilty pleasure.

Specials by Scott Westerfeld


I decided I needed a book while travelling and didn’t want to read another Hannah Swensen book for a while so I decided to read the 3rd book in the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld. I won’t give away too much about it in case you haven’t started the series yet. It continues on the story of Tally, who lives in a dystopian future. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the book, mainly because there’s such a big difference between the Tally in this book and the one in the two previous books. Though it’s still a must read if you have enjoyed the first 2 books.



Pretty in Plaid by Jen Lancaster

pretty in plaid

I surprised myself by how quickly I got through Specials and so I started Pretty in Plaid in London as well. Jen Lancaster tells stories from her childhood upwards but she tells them around a certain piece of clothing from that time. I found that idea interesting. If you’ve liked Jen’s other books then you’ll like this one as well.




The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes

mystery of mercy close

Upon arriving home from London, The Mystery of Mercy Close was waiting for me at the library and I couldn’t wait to get stuck in! I was a bit anxious about how a book revolving Helen, the youngest and most outspoken Walsh sister, would pan out but I was pleasantly surprised by how Keyes approached it. Helen is humanised by how her issues and struggles with depression are approached (which is definitely part autobiographical from Keyes’ own experiences with depression) while helping her ex-boyfriend find missing boyfriend band Laddz member Wayne Diffney before Laddz have their comeback tour. I loved the book, it’s definitely more than chick lit, which is what I expected from Marian Keyes before I had even read any of her books.

Cherry Cheesecake Murder by Joanne Fluke

cherry cheesecake murder

Another Hannah Swensen book, this time it revolves around the murder of movie director Dean Lawrence on set while shooting a movie in Lake Eden. Hannah also deals with the issue of responding to not just one but two marriage proposals. Will she pick handsome detective Mike or safe dentist with a fantastic sense of humour Norman?




Dreaming of Amelia by Jaclyn Moriarty

dreaming of Amelia

Dreaming of Amelia is book number 4 in the Ashbury/Brookfield series. While the books don’t exactly follow a strict timeline with each other, this book has the same characters as book 2 so there are some spoilers involved. So it might be best to read them in order though it’s not really necessary. This book is about Riley and Amelia, who have transferred to Ashbury. They have glamorous, talented and mysterious. What secrets do they hide? And is the school really haunted? Written in her usual epistolary fashion, Moriarty really had me gripped after a slow beginning, I love her style of writing!


Extras by Scott Westerfeld


This book was started and finished in London during my second visit, the only book I read there as I was too busy that time round. It’s the 4th installment of the Uglies series and follows the story of Aya Fuse and her desire to become someone and not be an ‘extra’. Tally does make an appearance in this book but it’s a lot different because she’s not the centre focus. If you enjoyed the series you’ll probably want to read this as well to round out the story more.



March Reading Stats

Number of books read- 9

Ratio fiction to non-fiction- 7:2

Number of eBooks- 6

Number of books borrowed from library- 2

Number of books from Reading Resolutions- 0

And that’s it! I have started two other books (non-fiction), so they’ll probably make an appearance in next month’s reads. I read a lot of eBooks mainly because I was in London and it was the handiest way to read.

February’s Reads

January’s Reads

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