Lauren's Looks

Fashion | Beauty | Lifestyle

Friday, 27 March 2015

Death by chocolate: Easter edition


What with Easter just around the corner I thought that it was only right that I whipped up a batch of Easter themed cupcakes. This time of the year really is my fave for one reason alone, and that's...chocolate. Of course you can buy it all year round but nothing quite compares to the taste of mini eggs, oh and creme eggs- how could I forget  about those heavenly things? So with that being said here's the recipe for my latest chocolatey creations, I hope you like them... 


The ingredients you'll need: 

Cupcakes: 
•2 large eggs
•115g caster sugar 
•115g self-raising flour 
•115g margarine or butter 
•1 teaspoon cocoa powder
•1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Buttercream:
•175g icing sugar, sifted 
•115g butter or margarine
•50g melted dark chocolate 

Decoration: 
•Easter chicks 
•1 pack of mini eggs 
•Fondant icing (to make flowers) 

OR 

•3 Cadburys creme eggs, halved 


Method: 

Cupcakes: 
1.) To make cakes, place all of the cupcake ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk them all together until combined. You could use a wooden spoon if you don't have a whisk but this will take longer and requires much more effort! 

2.) Place even amounts of mixture into 8 cupcake cases. There might be a bit of mixture left depending on how big your cupcake cases are! 

3.) Bake on the second shelf from the top of a preheated oven 190 c/170 c fan/gas 5 for around 20 minutes. They may take longer than that though so just bake until they're ready. You can tell when they're fully baked by using a cocktail stick/something similar to poke into the middle of the cupcake, if there's mixture on the cocktail stick then they need longer in the oven and if it comes out clean then they're ready! Cool on a wire tray. 


Buttercream: 
1.) Whisk 115g worth of butter with a whisk for 5-10 minutes so it's extra fluffy and then sift 175g worth of icing sugar into the same bowl. 

2.) Combine the icing sugar, melted chocolate and butter together and whisk for a further 5 minutes. 

3.) To pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes you'll need to use a piping bag. You can pipe the buttercream on however you want so just choose the nozzle you like best- I used a Wilton 2D for both set of cupcakes! If you'd like to create the rose effect then there's loads of tutorials on YouTube to give you a helping hand. 


  Decoration- Mini egg:
1.) Place the mini eggs and chicks onto each cupcake and then go ahead and roll out your fondant and use a flower cutter to create the flowers. You can copy mine exactly or get creative and decorate them to your own taste. 

Creme egg: 
1.) Simply half three creme eggs and place each half on top of each cupcake- as easy as that. 

Ta daaa, you should now have 8 absolutely delicious chocolatey, Easter delights. I hope you enjoy them, what's your favourite Easter treat? 




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Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Ask Lauren #3


Hey everyone, I hope you're all having a brilliant week- I think it seems to be dragging but hey it'll be Friday before we know it. I'm completely lacking in blogpost ideas at the minute so I've had to resort to a good old Q&A, I apologise if you find them boring. If you just so happen to like getting to know me a little better then this ones for you... 

1. Which drugstore products would you recommend? 
As I'm sure you all know by now I'm a massive MAC Cosmetics devotee so I haven't really tried that many different drugstore products. I absolutely love Brow Satin by Maybelline though- it really is the best brow product I've ever used, and one I'd 100% recommend. 

2. What do you do to your eyebrows? Like threading, waxing or just plucking them yourself? 
Believe it or not I've never actually had my eyebrows done professionally which is probably quite obvious as I don't have the best brows in the world. I feel like I'm the only girl that doesn't get the whole 'brows on point' obsession?! So yeah, to answer the question- I simply just pluck them myself. 

3. What's your favourite high-street store?
I tend to go through phases of loving a certain shop but the main ones I shop in are River Island, New Look, Miss Selfridge and Topshop. I've picked up quite a few things in New Look recently so I suppose you could say I'm lovin' NL right now. 

4. What's your fave go-to makeup/beauty product? 
Oooh, that's such a hard decision to make because my whole life is in my makeup bag. It'd have to be mascara though, I look ill without it- the no lash look deffo isn't for me! 


5. What's your 'lazy day' natural makeup look if you can't be bothered to do your whole face? 
Myself and natural have never been in the same sentence, I don't mind admitting I'm no natural beauty. I can guarantee my 'lazy day' makeup is some peoples going out look! If I'm going out only if it be to the supermarket a full face of slap will be applied. 

6. If you're petite what would you suggest to make yourself look taller if you're not really a stiletto heel kinda gal? 
This is a really good question as I'm only 4'11, you could say I need a bit of a helping hand in the height department- although I don't actually mind being so small. If you don't like to wear heels maybe go for a ever so slightly heeled boot? Also bare legs and nude shoes always work wonders for the pins! 

7. What's your favourite treat food? 
Now, this is a hard question. Can I choose a sweet and savoury option? I will anyway... My fave sweet treat would probably be strawberry and Nutella pancakes and then for savoury I'd pick chicken katsu curry. 

8. What's it been like since you started blogging and what would you say to someone who would like to start? 
I absolutely love blogging and I'm so glad I decided to start as I feel I've gained loads from it such as making new friends and improving my writing skills. To anybody toying with the idea of starting then I'd say, GO FOR IT- you've got nothing to lose. 

9. What's your favourite thing to do when you're unwell/chilling to stop boredom?
Blogging is a brill boredom curer, as is watching a series on Netflix/catching up on your fave tv shows. I also love painting my nails as that kills loads of time and then you're left with perfect nails at the end of it- win, win situation right there. 


10. What's your favourite smoothie? 
I always make a smoothie called 'Banana Berry' which includes strawberries, banana, kiwi, blueberries, raspberries and ice- my all time fave! 

11. What do you look for from shops that could go with any outfit? 
A nice pair of black or blue jeans will go with literally anything so I guess a good pair of jeans is my answer. 

12. What's your favourite foundation and powder brush? 
I use the Real Techniques stippling brush to apply my foundation and then another Real Techniques brush to apply powder (can't remember which one it is). 

13. What's your favourite cupcake to make? 
Erm... anything chocolate of course. Chocolate cake wins hands down every time, I'm such a chocoholic. 


14. How do you stay positive? 
I think the key to keeping positive is to allow yourself time to be upset if something really rubbish is thrown your way and then try to overcome it after you've spent a couple of days feeling sorry for yourself. That way you'll remain positive at least 90% of the time! 

15. What are your aims for the future? 
I tend not to plan too much as you know what it's like when you do, things never happen at the age you planned and then you end up panicking. I'd ideally like to be doing a job I love and just being extremely content and happy with life in general. 

16. How do you stay slim whilst being inactive? 
Majority of the time I'll eat healthy and I've never really been a snacker so I guess that helps. I don't do anything in-particular though, I suppose I'm just lucky!


17. Do you miss school and would you go back if you could?
I can't even believe I'm saying this but yes, I do miss school...at times. As much as I miss it I would never ever sign up to do it all again though, you've got to be joking. 

18. What did you want to do (job wise) when you was younger? 
The first thing I wanted to be was a beautician but then I changed my mind as every girl wanted to be one and then it changed to a doctor- why I ever thought I'd be intelligent enough I don't know?!-  and then a nurse when I realised I wasn't quite cut out to be a doctor. 

19. Is your hair naturally curly or straight? 
My hair is naturally curly. I used to absolutely hate it and I'd straighten it everyday but now I've embraced the curls! 

20. Do you prefer the summer or winter? 
The summer, I'm such a sun worshipper. I love nothing more than sunbathing whilst listening to music, oh and I love having BBQ's so that's another reason why summer is my fave. 

I hope you've all enjoyed getting to know me a bit better and thank you if you asked me a question. Do you like these kind of blogposts? 




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Friday, 13 March 2015

28 reasons why your primary school days were the best days of your life


Let's face it your Primary school days really were so damn fun, 100x better than 'adult life' put it that way. From strawberry scented gel pens to playing kiss chase in the hope your heartthrob would notice you- you definitely knew how to live life to the max... 

1. That one group of girls that would sing every single lunch time without fail convinced that they were the next to win pop idol... Yeah alright, calm down Spice Girls. 

2. When your 'best friend' chose someone else to take the register to the office with them which left you absolutely shell shocked. Huh, I'm totally getting a new BFF. 

3. Downing your sour, warm milk at break time no sweat like the hardcore you truly were. 

4. You knew you'd pulled at the school disco when the lad rocking the flame top skidded past you on his knees. It was kinda inevitable though really as you was wearing your finest blue glitter babe eyeshadow and that works a treat every time. 

5. The devastation was indescribable when you realised you hadn't fed your tamagotchi before school and you now had to face the fact it'd be dead when you got home- cries. 

6. Wearing shorts under your skirt in preparation for ready steady handstand at break time. Quick, get the Olympics on the phone this girl can kart wheel like a pro. 

7. Being absolutely fuming with the person who'd lost the pen lid because the whole class now wasn't allowed out for play time until it was found. 

8. When you accidentally called your teacher mum and you'd practically die of embarrassment... How did I live that one down? 

9. Playing on your injury so you could upgrade from a wet paper towel to an ice pack. You knew it was serious when that bad boy made an appearance. 

10. Handing out the whiteboards and pens making sure to save the dirtiest board for the person you hated the most- bitchiness at it's finest. 

11. Stomping your way into class wearing your brand new light up shoes to make everyone well jel. 

12. When you found out the teachers first name you'd instantly become the class celeb. Okay okay, no cameras please. 

13. Feeling like a proper grown up when your pencil got upgraded to a pen- adult life come at me. 

14. Practically wetting yourself with excitement when you walked into the hall for PE and either the parachute or apparatus was out. Watch out everyone I'm going to own that climbing frame. 

15. Coming back into school after you'd been on holiday and showing off your finest hair braid and everyone just had to face the fact you were going to be Britain's next top model. 

16. When you did a forward roll on the blue mat in PE and about broke your neck but played it cool by holding back the tears when really you secretly thought you needed an ambulance because that was you over. 

17. Spending the whole day excited because your friend was coming round for tea after school and you couldn't wait to show off your new moves on your dance mat. 

18. Handing out sweets at the end of the day for your birthday was the highlight of your year. You'd make sure the girl you hated got the yellow sweet though because she totally doesn't deserve a pink starburst. 

19. Playing head down thumbs up at the end of the day but being the absolute rebel you were you'd cheat by having a sneaky at the persons shoes. 

20. Strutting into school with your jumper round your waist wondering when Prada were going to give you a call. 

21. Leaving the class early for a dentist appointment was always guaranteed to make you talk of the class. Cya later losers, I'm off to get a sticker for being brave. 

22. Accidentally spitting down your recorder whilst learning London's burning. 

23. Wanting to have a diva strop when you wasn't picked for the best part in the school play because you were 100% Hollywood standard and didn't deserve to be a Shepherd with your mums red and white tea towel on your head. 

24. Planning what to wear for non school uniform days was the biggest life struggle you ever had to face. 

25. You knew you deserved to be bowed down to when you upgraded from sitting on the hall floor to the benches in assembly. 

26. When you decided that you were way too bootylicious for everyone else and you no longer wanted to join in singing along to 'He's got the whole world in his hands'. 

27. Playing bull dog every break time until it got banned and you had to rework the game a little because you really was not having that. 

28. Getting the dinner lady to open your munch bunch because you knew it'd squirt everywhere. Rebel alert. 

So what I'd like to know is what's your favourite primary school memory? 





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Friday, 6 March 2015

The 3 Instagram accounts you need to follow


I'm often found sat wasting my time scrolling through this app, if I've got a spare hour what will I do? Erm, I'll have a nosy at everyone's pics of course! Yep, you've got it, I'm obviously referring to Instagram here- I bet you lot are guilty of this too?! I'm not lying when I say I could literally stalk people for hours and not get bored... That's until I'm 82 weeks deep and double tap by accident and have a mini meltdown because they'll know I'm being nosy! 

Anyway, stalker girl confessions aside- that sounds creepy as hell but you'll have to trust me when I say I'm not- I thought it was about time I shared the Instagram love. So yeah, here are my ultimate fave accounts that you simply need to follow... 


@Stefaniejwatson 
I've been following Stef for ages now and I can honestly say I'm obsessed with scrolling through her photos. She posts literally everything that I love; makeup, food and OOTD's! I also find her super motivating as she works so hard and I'm just a little bit envious of how absolutely gorgeous she is! You girls definitely need to give her a follow.  



@Kayleighjcouture 
I'm sure majority of you already follow Kayleigh but I just had to give her account a mention because I'm in love with it. Her bright white theme is so pretty and all of her photos are so perfect- like Stef she posts pictures of makeup, OOTD's and everyday lifestyle bits which I personally really like as I love catching up on what she's been up to. I will warn you though her stunning selfies might leave you feeling a little on the depressed side, talk about disney princess hair. 



@Luke_catleugh
I think it's probably quite obvious why I love Luke's account SO much, two words... food heaven. If you're on any kind of healthy eating diet then that'll soon fly out of the window once you've scrolled through his pics. You'll be craving Domino's, all of the Krispy Kreme donuts and wishing you was currently in Costa! Don't say I didn't warn you. 


So there we have it, my top three favourite accounts! Are you a fan of Instagram? If so I'd love to know your top three faves- after all we all need need new stalking material from time to time. 


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Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Let me introduce you to the top 5 photography apps


There's one question I get asked on a regular basis but before I tell you I'll give you a clue, it's photography related. Guessed yet? Well it's 'how do you edit your photos?'. Everyone and their mother has asked me that exact question in the past month or so and no, I'm not exaggerating when I say that either so I thought it would probably be a good idea to reveal my 'secrets' if that's what you'd like to call them. *Drum roll* let me introduce you to the top five photography apps (in my opinion)... 

•Editing the brightness, contrast etc:
I mentioned this in my 'photography tips for iPhone users' post but editing an image really does make such a huge difference. Even if you have natural light on your side it's amazing what messing around with the brightness and contrast can do! A brilliant free app I'd recommend for doing so is VSCOcam and even Instagram if you're feeling lazy! 


•A girly touch: 
Sometimes I'll look at one of my photos I'm about to upload to Instagram and think 'hmm, it's missing something, it could do with a finishing touch'. That's where Repix comes in, I always use this to add those little bubbles/glitter to my photos. It's particularly good as you can choose where you'd like them to go- I'd say subtle is always best. I also really like the brightness setting this app has, it makes your photos look so vibrant! 


•Creating a college: 
I'm forever using the PhotoCollage app to create 'mirror effect' outfit pics- it doesn't half come in handy when you don't want to your whole room in the picture and no, that's definitely not because I haven't tidied my room for weeks... The reason I love this app so much is because there's so many different collage layout options and you can change the width of the border too! 


•Adding text/doodles:
After 'how do you edit your photos' the next question I get regularly is 'how do you add text to your photos?'. I personally love adding text to blog photos as it adds a nice touch and I also find it draws more people in! The two apps I'd recommend are PicLab and PicCandy- they both let you add text but I often find myself using PicLab to add text and PicCandy to add cute little doodles. 


So there we have it, my top five favourite photography apps. Do you use any of these and if not which apps do you use, any you'd recommend? 





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Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Guest post: Inexpensive ways to revamp your decor

*Image source, edited by me*
I've been slacking a bit lately as far as blogging is concerned, its not that I haven't got enough spare time- I've got heaps of that- it's just I kinda feel like I've lost my blogging mojo, it's as though I'm very much droning on half of the time. 

Well, that's where my good friend Tasmin comes in. We've been speaking for some time now over Instagram- her account is '@prettyrainshowers' if you'd like to give her a follow- and after a little moan she kindly offered to write a guest post for me which I was over the moon about. I'm actually thinking of making this a regular thing so if you'd like to write a guest post for me then you're more than welcome to do so (let me know in the comments if you're interested). Anyway, without further ado over to Tasmin... 

Being as Spring is fast approaching and the weather is getting brighter, hopefully. I'm sure many of us will be thinking about an annual spring clean or a change in decor. I'm very passionate about interior design but by no means a professional, but I thought it would be a great idea to share some easy inexpensive tips on how you could revamp a room by making small changes which can make a big statement. First up is... 

Candles
A few scented candles may be all you need to draw detail in the room and as it's almost spring why not invest in some floral scents. By creating a candle arrangement using glassware, a wicker basket or a silver plate and placing them on a main table in the room which will make it a focal point.


Home accessories
They really can be used to your advantage and make a whole new look by changing the design of curtains, cushions, bedding or rugs.

Up-cycling 
Many of us have old furniture pieces that don't serve a purpose anymore but by no means should we not pay attention to these abandoned items, as with a lick of paint they can really bring a room to life.

Change the colour scheme
Painting the walls or adding a pop of colour through purchasing a few new home accessories can really help make a room stand out ‐ don't be afraid to experiment with bold statement colours.


Wallpaper
Some people can feel that wallpaper is out‐dated or too big of a statement but as a wallpaper addict I definitely disagree and I think the patterns and the colours from wallpaper can be beneficial to pick up on when choosing new items or keep it neutral/ stick to glass accessories if you're worried about it looking too matchy.

Be creative
I customised a glass vase by adding fairy lights and artificial flowers, it's surprising how a simple idea can make such a huge impact! Use your imagination & get creating, simple projects such as making your own bunting, spray painting Mason jars & using them as storage for make‐up brushes or stationary can add such a cute touch.


Add fabric
If you're good at sewing this could be an easy project such as getting fabric to go over old cushions, armchairs/chairs or even make a lampshade which will create a visual pop of colour.

Utilise the space
You can simply add a mirror to a "cramped" feeling room and it can really give it the edge you needed without having to re‐arrange the furniture or even investing in storage furniture such as cabinets or units can really draw attention.


Use floral
I'm completely mad on floral print/Cath Kidston style decor and if you're an equal lover of florals or maybe want to add floral but not sure how then I would say to keep it subtle as that really is the key. Making sure you have white background bed sheets will keep the floral pattern harmonious pairing with white bed linen. Also something simple by adding a floral table kitchen cloth can really spruce up the room to give it a spring‐feel all year around!

Thank you for reading, if you try any of my tips then I sure hope they were helpful & thank you to Lauren for allowing me to take over her blog for a little while. Tasmin x
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Monday, 2 March 2015

Why the kitchen is the heart of the home // homeware haul


If you follow me on Instagram then you'll know that we've recently had our kitchen revamped- hooray and about time too. It was long overdue as I tell you now opening a cupboard door for it only to fall off and about knock you out isn't the one *three cheers for my quick reaction* I don't think two black eyes would have been a good look, do you? I asked you lot if you'd like me to do a haul of all of the things we've bought and if you'd like to have a lil snoop and the answer was a resounding yes so I hope you enjoy having a nosy... 


Blind- Since our kitchen is bright and white we decided to go with a beige and duck egg blue colour scheme to add a splash of colour and inject a bit of personality so this blind is perfect as it really does break up the white laboratory feel. 

Egg house- I'm not going to lie this is my favourite thing out of the whole kitchen, it's so cute and makes a nice alternative to storing them in a boring cardboard box. 

Kettle- Who agrees with me that this is the cutest kettle in existence?! Talk about girly, oh and just take a little moment to appreciate how everything is so matchy matchy. 

Oven gloves- Have you noticed the ever so subtle heart theme yet? If you hadn't you have now! I love the saying on these oven gloves too, such a homely touch. 


Tea, coffe & sugar jars- I love these because they're a bit different from your standard tea, coffee and sugar jars and yet again they fit in with the heart theme. 

Cupcake sign- Im absolutely obsessed with baking so I just had to have this, I'll also be making sure I follow the saying too as I think that's such a brilliant motto to live by- I'm a self confessed cupcake monster and I definitely didn't almost dislocate my jaw by trying to shove a whole cupcake in my mouth at once the other day... 

Cupcake stand- When you adore baking as much as I do it's just the rule that you have to have a nice stand to show all of your latest creations off. 

Clock- The standard kitchen accessory because of course you're going to want to know the time... Ours doesn't actually have a battery in yet so it's forever 10:10 in our house, if you look on the bright side though at least it's right twice a day! 


Although it isn't quite finished just yet and there's still other bits we'd like to buy we're extremely pleased with how it's turned out but then again anything would beat a collapsing cupboard door. What do you think to our new kitchen, which accessory is your fave? 









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