Saturday, 20 December 2014

A Mince Pie Twist

This is a super quick and easy recipe, I had never tried mince pies before and I'm nearly 23! It's terrible, I know. I do love them now though. I never liked the idea of all the mince meat in the middle, I have tried them that way and they are okay, but I jazzed it up a bit and it separates it quite nicely. I also added almonds, I could eat almonds all day, they are so nice.

So you can either buy shortcrust pastry in a pack or make your own like I did, to make your own you will need: 

  • 125g/4oz plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 55g/2oz butter, cubed
  • 30-45ml/2-3 tbsp cold water

Add all the items (except the water) into a mixing bowl and rub the butter into the flour with your finger tips. You will get a breadcrumb consistency, add in the water and again use your hands to mix it in and you will get the pastry dough. Wrap the dough in cling film and leave in the fridge for 10-15 minutes to chill. 

You will now need:

  • Cupcake tin
  • Butter to greaseproof the tin
  • Shortcrust Pastry
  • Mincemeat
  • Flaked Almonds
  • Sprinkle of brown sugar

Now you have your dough, or you brought it and had it anyway, tear away about a third of the dough and roll it out to about 1cm thickness. Use a circle cutter and cut out enough circles to fill your tray, normally about 12 is enough. Place the pastry circles into the tray after you have used butter to greaseproof the tin. With the rest of the dough roll it out to about 1-2 cm thick which ever your fancy. Once it is all rolled out, spread the mincemeat over the pastry leaving about a 3cm gap around the sides. Sprinkle over a bit of brown sugar and some flaked almonds. Now is the tricky bit, you want to grab one end and start to roll the pastry as if you are making a swiss-roll cake. once it is all rolled up, cut off the ends which you won't need. 

Then evenly cut slices of the roll with a sharp knife (remember you need about 12), once you have your roll slices, place each of them on one of the cut out pastry's in the baking tin. Some of them need a little squish to get on but they will still look pretty. Sprinkle some flaked almonds on top, or a different nut if you would like, then pop in the oven for about 15 minutes.

Then enjoy! You can have it with cream, ice cream or frozen grapes like me, they were so yummy. Never knew what I was missing, I will try not to make it up for lost time, don't want to many mince pies, naughty naughty!

I hope you enjoy and let me know if you make these mince pies with a twist! 

What is your favourite Christmas treat?

Emily xo

Friday, 19 December 2014

Yu! Healthy Treats*

These little treats have had a re-design on the packaging and it is so cute! I'm a big fan of these fruit sweets anyway and always try to keep a few in my bag to prevent me from going and buying a chocolate bar. Not gonna lie, I'm even more influenced to get the star and heart shapes because they are so cute (and bigger!) I love a good healthy snack, keeps the hunger at bay between meals. Will certainly come in handy when I start going back to the gym!

The flavours vary between, strawberry, raspberry, mango and apple and some are coated in yoghurt too. I haven't seen any blueberry ones yet, but if they are out there I will stock up! Blueberry is my favourite by far, with these my favourite at the moment is strawberry coated in yoghurt. I highly recommend you go and pick some of these up! They are available at Sainsburys and Tesco and on the website. Yu! also do fruit bars and little granola bags which are to die for! I love them.

Have you tried Yu! before?

Emily xo

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Blogging In A Whole Different Way

As you guys now, I hosted a blog event a few weeks ago, My local paper The Coventry Telegraph featured it on there website and put it in the paper, which was super kind of them. They also sent one of there online writers to the event to mingle with the bloggers, have a chat and answer any questions about writing online the bloggers may have, he was so lovely and it was great to meet him.

From this, I was offered to write for them once a week, such an amazing opportunity and I am so thrilled! I will be talking about beauty, fashion, lifestyle and a bit of everything, much like my blog. Blogging really does open new doors you never would of dreamed of.

You can see my first article (here) and my author page (here). I'm hoping this will help me grow as a writer and improve on my writing styles. I would love if you guys could share the page on your twitter or where ever and leave a comment on the post on The Coventry Telegraph website!

What do you think about local papers?

Emily xo

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Born Pretty Store*

As most of us will be penny pinching after Christmas because we spent too much or we have a saving new year resolution, I am looking at cheaper alternatives to feed my make up buying habits. I came across this online store, born pretty store. They have so much to choose from, not just make up. Phone cases, make up brushes and more. They have such competitive prices and some amazing dupes, like the real technique brushes and the top shop lipsticks. As you can see in my pictures the packaging itself is almost identical but only costs £3.19. I'm always after new eye-liners to try and this pencil eye-liner is very precise and easy to use. It also has a smudging sponge at the end of the pencil so you can turn it into a quick smokey eye if you are going from day to night make up.

They have also given me a discount code for you lovely people to use! Use EMIH10 to recieve 10% off your order! Enjoy my beautiful readers :) Find the website (here)

Have you shopped with Born Pretty before?

Emily xo

Sunday, 14 December 2014

#dbbloggermeetup: Hosting an event with Lush

A few weeks ago, I held a blogger event for bloggers near by to meet up, get to know each other and interact with some brands, like Lush. The lovely staff at Lush in Coventry offered to hold the event for me as the venue. It was such a success and I will hopefully be hosting one again soon in the new year.

As I mentioned in my last post about the meet up, I feel they are very important in the blogging community and such a good way to interact with brands. As the event was at Lush, it was very Lush focused, other brands did contribute items, but I will mention all that in another post. All the bloggers were able to try to products, have a little pamper ( I had an arm & hand massage, it was soooo nice ). We had a look at all the gift boxes and the stories behind them, the products included, it was so fun. All the christmas products at Lush are amazing, my favourite is still Northern Lights, but I also purchsed the Christmas pud, the colours are amazing and you can see it in action on my instagram (@drainedbeauty).

During the event I was also introduced to the shampoo bars, they smell amazing and there is a lot of different ones to choose from, it looks like soap, you lather it up in the shower/bath and then just use it as a shampoo for your hair. There are a long lasting solid bar and from the one bar you can get so many washes from about 80 I think it was, super impressed. I will be keeping track of how long it lasts me, I also picked up a little tin to keep it in, if you do get the tin, keep it in the lid after a wash otherwise it stick inside and you can't get it out!

What is your favourite Lush product?

Emily xo

Friday, 12 December 2014

Sass & Belle: Launch Party

I was kindly invited to the Sass & Belle Launch Party for there store opening up in London, Clapham Common. As soon as I walked in I was greeted with a goodie bag and some wine. It was like a Home Decor Heaven, as the store wasn't opening until the next day we weren't able to make any purchases, which I'm sure my bank balance would of been happy about, I am pretty sure I would of brought out the whole shop. I will be going to London after my birthday in the new year and probably buy everything anyway. There is such a variety, amazing Christmas decorations, kitchen bits, storage, all vintage style and chic. All the owl items will be coming home with me soon. The store is open now, so if you live in London, or you are going any time soon, make sure you head on in and have a little shop! They are also online at ( if you can't get there. During the event, there were loads of lovely people to mingle with like Joyte, who invited me, thanks again! As we are nearing Christmas as well, there was a choir singing Christmas carols, can't get better than that, they were in my head all evening!

If you have just moved our or you are looking to find something to spruce up your home, make it yours, I highly highly recommend having a look at Sass & Belle. They are one of my favourite shops and as I am looking to move out over the next year, I will pretty much buy them out, so get there before I do!

What's your favourite Christmas decoration?

Emily xo

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Christmas: Festive Cookies

Second video on YouTube, slowly but surely getting on there. Still much prefer blogging at the moment. Hope you enjoy the video, everyone seems to love baking around the Christmas period, probably where all that extra weight comes from. But anyway, below is my festive cookies, all decorations were brought from the Co-op but you can probably find them anywhere. If you make them, tag me @drainedbeauty and use #drainedbeautycookies so I can see your lovely pictures :)

What is your favourite treat around Christmas?

Emily xo

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Olivia Burton - Christmas Gift Guide

For such a long time, I have been a massive fan of Olivia Burton watches, they are so elegant and sophisticated. The varied designs and amazing quality is so worth the price of the watch. If I had it my way I would have them all! An Olivia Burton watch would make a great present for any woman in your life, from your grandma to your girlfriend. I know I would like one for Christmas, hint hint. My favourite out of this selection has to be the Woodland Burgundy and Rose Gold, it's only £65 and would make any outfit come together. The detail on the face of the watch is so beautiful with a vintage teak to it.

Some of my friends have Olivia Burton watches and the quality doesn't seem to fade with time, like other watches I've come across. It still looks perfection after having it for a while. I feel that this brand is so good because with the different variety of watches, you could get them for any occasion, the black and gold/rose gold watches would look fabulous on a night out, the woodland and wonderland watches would spruce up an everyday look and you can always get a little collection going if you need too. I already have 3 watches in my sights, hopefully on my arm soon! Links are below for the watches displayed, but feel free to browse the website (here) and look at all of their beautiful designs.

Have you already got an Olivia Burton watch? Which is your favourite?

Emily xo

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Newlook: Six Christmas Picks

It's time for everyone to get there Christmas jumpers out and the selections as always are so amazing, I want them all. New Look as always, doesn't disappoint, they have a wide selection of Christmas Jumpers, my two favourites are above, the Jingle all the way (Always the first Christmas song to be stuck in my head) and the polar bear one, I love polar bears so much!

My other top picks at New Look is a Beret, my head is so tiny and only certain hats look good on me, otherwise I look like a right odd ball. I'm very into boots this Winter, I normally don't stray from my beloved UGG boots, but I'm starting to really love leather ankle boots and this cut out design is so stylish, I would have to pair it with socks though, don't want cold piggy's! As you all know, tartan is very much trending this winter, tartan is everywhere, so I couldn't not include this oversized tartan scarf, which I already have picked up. Finally, for those Christmas parties, a nice clutch bag, it has a felt grey section, with gives it a wintery vibe as well as the burgundy colour.

What are your top picks from New Look?

Emily xo


Saturday, 6 December 2014

Scarlett of Soho - Home Try-Ons

I came across this company through Twitter, they have an amazing take on buying new glasses, some for fashion, protecting your eyes from the sun and prescriptions glasses if like me you need them to be able to see sometimes. They have an amazing and beautiful collection and my top picks are in the pictures above. Sometimes when I see glasses online, I never know if I should buy them, what if they don't sit right on my face? What if they make me look like a grandma? I am always reserved about buying items like this online but Scarlett of Soho allow you to order up to 4 pairs online for free so you can try them before you buy.

You simply order the items you want, try them on, see which fits best, which makes you have the sexy secretary look, I know we all go for that, maybe it's just me? Then if you don't like any, send them back. If you do find a pair you want just keep them and you will receive an invoice for the glasses and you just make a payment. It's genius. It's especially handy if like me you have a busy lifestyle and your always on the go and don't have time to go glasses shopping at the moment.

My favourites were the burgandy red glasses in the bottom picture, you can see me style them on my Instagram (@drainedbeauty). I highly recommend you check this company out and browse there selection. I will be purchasing the red ones next year when I finally have some spare money, Christmas is making my bank balance run very low at the moment.

Let me know if you try them out! Or have you already?

Emily xo
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