Lauren's Looks

Baking | Beauty | Fashion | Chronic illness

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Three recipes that are sure to cheer you up

Everybody deserves a treat now and then, right?! Although maybe I am a little on the quick side to convince myself I deserve that calorific hot chocolate laden down with gooey marshmallows to cheer myself up after a bit of a gloomy day- after all it is like a hug in a mug! Wether you've had a bad day at work/school or like me you've made the snap decision that you're in serious need of something sweet then here's three recipes that are sure to brighten your day... Oh and I'd just like to apologise in advance for being such a bad influence! 

Seriously sweet hot chocolate 

•1 1/3 Semi-Skimmed milk 
•3 tbsp Nutella 
•Marshmallows (optional) 
•Cream (again, optional) 

If you aren't a fan of Nutella- I find it mind blowing how people don't like it- then you could use Cadbury's instant hot chocolate instead which is another of my favourites! 

•Put Nutella and 1/3 cup of milk into a small saucepan over a medium heat and whisk until blended. 

•Add remaining milk and increase the heat to medium-high, and whisk until hot and frothy. To finish add a squirt of cream and a handful of marshmallows, enjoy! 

Flipping lovely pancakes

•100g plain flour
•2 eggs
•300ml semi-skimmed milk
•1 tbsp sunflower oil, plus extra for frying 
•Pinch of salt 
•Nutella (optional)
•Strawberries (again, optional) 

I know it was Pancake Day last week but who says you can't eat them everyday if you wanted to?! My favourites are Nutella and strawberry- there's a very subtle Nutella theme, isn't there?- but you could top yours with anything you like! 

•Put the flour and a pinch of salt into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Crack the eggs into the middle, then pour in about 50ml milk and 1tbsp of oil. Start whisking from the centre, gradually drawing the flour into the eggs, milk and oil. Once all of the flour is incorporated, beat until you have a smooth, thick paste. Add a little more milk if it is too stiff to beat. 

•Add a good splash of milk and whisk to loosen the thick batter. While still whisking pour in a steady stream of the remaining milk. Continue pouring until you have a batter that is the consistency of slightly thick single cream. 

•Heat the pan over a moderate heat, then wipe it with oiled kitchen paper. Ladle some batter into the pan, tilting the pan to move the mixture around for a think even layer. Leave to cook undisturbed for about 30 seconds. Once the mixture starts bubbling you're ready to start flipping. 

•Once you've finished flipping your pancakes fill with whatever you like such as Nutella and strawberries, bon appetite! 

Heavenly dripping chocolate platter 

•Big chocolate bar of your choice (Cadburys, Galaxy etc) 
•Strawberries/any fruit of your choice 

A chocolate fondue is my absolute fave treat so I just had to include it in this blogpost. I've decided not to talk you through the method for this one as it's pretty obvious that all you have to do is melt the chocolate and then prepare your chosen treats, happy dunking! 

If you try any of these treats then I really hope you enjoy them, be sure to let me know what you thought! What's your favourite treat? 


Monday, 9 February 2015

The beauty bits I've been loving lately

Hey everyone, you may or may not have noticed that I haven't been posting as regular as I normally would here on Lauren's Looks but hopefully now I'm back into the blogging swing of things I'll be back to posting three times a week- don't you just love bloggers block. If anybody happens to have any blogpost ideas then please let me know as I'm seriously lacking in ideas! 

Anyway, little explanation over I thought that today I'd share some of the products that I've been totally head over heels in love with lately and being as I haven't wrote one of these style blogposts for quite some time I thought it was just as well I wrote one. So yeah, here's the products I've been going all heart eye emoji over... 

MAC | Mineralize Skinfinish | Shade- Soft & Gentle 
First up is quite possibly my all time fave makeup product in existence- bold claim right there! It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of the dewy, glowing looking skin look so it's probably quite obvious why I love Soft & Gentle SO much. You don't need to apply a lot to achieve that gorgeous 'lit from within' effect and I love just how natural it looks- let's face it who wants to look like they've been attacked with the glitter? Full review on Soft & Gentle, here.

Essie | Nail varnishes | Shade(s)- Fiji & A cut above 
I've been loving making my nails look all girly and pretty as of late and what better nail varnish to do it with than Essie?! I don't think I've heard anybody say that they don't like Essie nail varnishes, they're just that good. I own quite a few but my two faves at the minute are Fiji (the light pink shade) and A cut above (the glittery shade, obviously). If you're after a nail varnish that won't leave a load of messy air bubbles then Essie is definitely for you and I can guarantee you'll be impressed with the wide range of colours they have to offer, oh and your nails are left looking salon super shiny! 

Benefit | Primer | The Porefessional 
A couple of weeks ago I received a teeny tiny sample size of Porefessional not expecting much of it or for it even to last longer than one application but much to my surprise it's still going strong and I was pleasantly surprised at just how good it is. Loads of different products claim to minimise pores so I didn't think it would but as well as making my skin baby soft it also reduces shine and does just what it says by minimising pores- hooray! Obviously it doesn't get rid of them completely but I have found it does make them appear smaller which can only be a good thing. 

Maybelline | Brow pencil | Brow Satin (Dark blonde) 
Let's just say I don't have the best brows ever, they certainly aren't 'on point' but I'm a little scared to have them professionally done as I don't want them to look unnatural and painted on so i just stick to the trusty DIY route. This eyebrow pencil is absolutely brilliant because as well as being a pencil on one end it also has a powder end so you can fill any gappy areas in and it doesn't look totally unnatural! This is a no fuss, brows in two minutes kinda product which is great if you've woke up late and are in a rush. 

Marc Jacobs | Perfume | Daisy Dream 
Can I just mention first that I'm in absolute love with this perfume bottle, it's SO pretty and girly but I'm sure you can already see that for yourself. Bottle aside not only does it look pretty on your dressing table it also smells gorgeous and I think the smell reflects the dainty, girly bottle as it's such a fresh, feminine scent that I'm sure will be my staple S/S15 fragrance of choice. 

So there we go, all of the products I've been a little bit in love with lately. I'm actually laughing at how many times I've included the word 'love', feel free to give me a vocab lesson anybody. 


Friday, 6 February 2015

The work attire look book

Deciding what to wear each morning is a task that I'm sure the majority of you girls dread, well I hope so anyway as I know I certainly do. That's without even bringing makeup and hair into the equation, my stress levels are off the scale if I'm having a 'I don't know what to wear day' and then my hair decides to be awkward on top of that dilemma. I'll quit the rambling- basically I thought I'd give you a few outfit,hair and makeup ideas you could wear for work. Hopefully after this post those days will be a thing of the past for you! 

It's kinda' funny that I'm writing this blogpost as I don't actually have a job... One can only dream. Let's just pretend I have though, or I suppose I could say 'this is what I would wear if I had a job'- yeah I'll go with that. So, this is what I would wear if I had a job... 

When I think work pencil skirts, blazers and court heels spring to mind- of course it depends on your work setting though. Even though I don't have a job my all time favourite section in any clothes shop is the work section- aka my heaven- I love nothing more than a pencil skirt and heel combo and I certainly wouldn't complain if that was the only section of the shop I could shop from! As that's very much 'my' style I own loads of smart looking work clothes, here's just a few of my faves to give you some inspiration for your very own work attire collection... 

Hair do 
I'm such a creature of habit when it comes to hair, big bouncy curls and I'm good to go. I know how to do quite a few hairstyles so why I never change it up every now and then I'll never know. When you're busy there's nothing worse than your hair getting in the way so here's just a few of my fave practical do's that'll take you no time at all...

Obviously you aren't going to want to wear loads of makeup so just stick to the basics such as concealer, mascara, foundation and a bit of lippy. My all time favourite nude lipstick is MAC 'brave' it's the perfect shade to wear to work and I'd also recommend MAC strobe cream as it gives the most gorgeous dewy, glowing look. I did plan on including my finished work makeup look but let's just say my face wasn't cooperating with my front camera today and was adamant it didn't want to look half decent for a selfie- as awkward as ever. 

I hope this post wasn't too boring for you all... What's your 'go to' look for work? Oh and you might have noticed I've changed my blog header, what do you think?! 


Wednesday, 4 February 2015

The reality of life with a chronic illness

You're young so of course that means you're invincible, right? Rewind back to the good old days when I actually had energy and felt well- before ME ruled my life- I'd have agreed with you on that one... That's the thing about having any chronic illness when you're young though, people find it hard to understand because they just can't relate. How do you explain to friends that an hour catch up over a coffee will completely wipe you out when they've got a workout at the gym, shopping trip and a night out all penciled into their diary for the same day?! It's hard to get across the fact that you feel more like an 80 year old granny as appose to a sociable teenager! 

Now this isn't supposed to be a 'woe is me, give me sympathy' post at all, I just want to make more people aware that being young doesn't equal good health and you certainly shouldn't take it for granted because it can be snatched from you at any given time. Who'd have thought one of my biggest goals would be to walk to my local supermarket and back when I previously used to be full of energy doing gymnastics everyday, not me. That those duvet days you once loved would become an everyday occurrence and you'd now long to be able to have a normal 9-5 job. 

Your 'life plan' really does fly out of the window when you aren't able to achieve the most basic things in life, forget wanting to bag yourself a good job you'll be aiming to make it out of bed everyday instead. At first this is extremely frustrating but as the time goes on it makes you appreciate the small things and I can only speak for myself but it makes you have a different outlook on life. 

The best way I can describe it is you're stood there completely still and everyone else around you is rushing around achieving things in life such as passing their driving test, going to university etc but you aren't able to do that so you're just stood watching people achieve the things you've always longed to achieve whilst your life has came to a halt. You kinda feel a bit left out! 

It doesn't have to be all negative though, instead of aiming to achieve your previous goals you can adapt. It's not ideal but you learn to live life differently, you know that if you go out then you'll have to schedule rest days beforehand and then again after to be able to make it possible but that's okay because although you'll feel awful you've actually made it out of the house!!! On a more personal note I perhaps wouldn't have been able to start a blog if I was well because I'd be too busy, I wouldn't have met the friends I have either if I'd never have got ill and I feel it's made me a lot more grateful. So yes, being chronically ill isn't the easiest but there's always some positives to come out of a bad situation! 

"Enjoy the little things in life... for one day you'll look back and realise they were the big things." 

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