Thursday, 30 April 2015

The Sisterhood of the World Blogger Awards Tag


Elizabeth Ann over at Nelly & Noopy nominated my blog for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award a little while ago - so thank you Elizabeth! I haven't heard of this tag before, so it's interesting to do a new one :) Hope you enjoy!

1. Are you a cat or dog person?
Oooh cats! I'll definitely be that crazy cat lady one day.

2. What beauty advice would you give your past self?
Choose what make-up suits you, I went with the general trends and turned out they were all the wrong colouring for me!

3. Where’s your favourite place to shop for clothes?
H&M, Zara, Primark, ASOS and Forever 21 have to be my favourites.

4. Bright or nude lip?
Nude all the way. I'm pretty useless at applying bright lips without looking like a scary clown.

5. What’s the best concert you’ve ever been to?
Paramore Bright Eyes tour when they came to Brighton and played at the Brighton Centre.

6. Shimmer or Matte eyeshadow?
Matte, it's more wearable in the day and for work.

7. What’s the one thing you can’t leave the house without?
Lip balm. My current favourite is the Burts Bee's Grapefruit Lip Balm.

8. What products would you use for a 5 product face?
Light foundation, eyebrow pencil or powder, eyeliner, mascara and blusher.

9. What hyped up product disappointed you the most?
Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer - it's good but not that good.

10. What is your most worn pair of shoes?
Converse! Without a doubt, my white pair currently look like a shade of grey....

Thank you again to Elizabeth for nominating me. I nominate Joise, Sarah, Karen, Emsypickle and everyone else! Let me know if you take part in the tag - I'd love for you all to get involved, just answer the above questions using the main image.

Thanks for reading
Rhiannon x


Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Japan Photo Diary: Kyoto

From all the guide books and online sites I've read about Japan, Kyoto was the place everyone recommended. Kyoto was the imperial capital of Japan for over 1,000 years. It has a beautiful culture of Geisha's and blossom trees everywhere (my favourite!) so it's a must-do on anyone's Japan bucket list.

Japan Photo Diary: Kyoto Where To Go What To Visit


Cherry blossom! This was the first proper blossom we saw on the trip, so I was getting snap happy with it...

Japan Photo Diary: Kyoto Where To Go What To Visit

Japan Photo Diary: Kyoto Where To Go What To Visit

We first headed to Nijo Castle which had stunning grounds and views and a beautiful archway. You couldn't take any photos inside because they had super old screens with paintings that couldn't be exposed to too much direct sunlight. There were a couple of tiger and cherry blossom paintings that I so wanted to get a picture of, but couldn't because of all the guards watching you!

Japan Photo Diary: Kyoto Where To Go What To Visit

Japan Photo Diary: Kyoto Where To Go What To Visit
 
Next up was the Golden Pavilion, also known as Kinkaku-ji. The top two stories are covered in pure gold leaf which looked breath-taking in the sunshine.

Japan Photo Diary: Kyoto Where To Go What To Visit

Japan Photo Diary: Kyoto Where To Go What To Visit

Japan Photo Diary: Kyoto Where To Go What To Visit

Japan Photo Diary: Kyoto Where To Go What To Visit

Japan Photo Diary: Kyoto Where To Go What To Visit

And lastly we headed to Fushimi Inari-taisha which is a shrine that sits at the base of a mountain with over 10,000 torii gates that lead up to the top. There were quite a few Geisha's in the area too, so it was interesting to see them in their outfits.

The torii gates along the trail are donations by individuals and companies, with the donator's name and the date of the donation inscribed on the back of each gate. The cost starts around 400,000 yen for a small sized gate and increases to over one million yen for a large gate - which is a lot of money!

So that's Kyoto ticked off the list! We found Kyoto city to be a lot more European that the others we'd visited, but enjoyed it nonetheless. They also have some brilliant japanese souvenir shops too!

Catch up with Osaka, Nara and Hiroshima and Miyajima Island here.

I hope you enjoyed this post and thank you for reading!

Rhiannon x

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

A Japan Beauty Haul

Japanese Beauty Haul Cleanser Mask Moisturiser Eyelash Curler Cotton Pads

During my trip to Japan I couldn't but help check out a few of their beauty stores, crammed full of things I didn't even know existed! Beauty products in Japan are ridiculously cheap compared to the UK, so they mainly have massive beauty discount stores on every street. I did do a bit of research beforehand to see what people recommended, but because it was all in Japanese, it's pretty hard to tell anyway! 

First up is my favourite purchase. This cost 800 yen (which equates to about £6) and I actually got it in duty free on the journey home, but most Shiseido stores offer tax free discounts anyway. I always curl my lashes before applying mascara, as I find it makes a massive difference to my eyes. Before buying it, I did read a few reviews from people saying it's even better than the famous Shu Uemura, and even though I haven't got much to compare to, I do really like this one. Holding it for about 5 seconds does the job and it lasts all day. 

 Japanese Beauty Haul Cleanser Mask Moisturiser Eyelash Curler Cotton Pads 
You're probably wondering why I picked up a cotton puff, but I was running out of my own and these are massive squares so I only need to use one to take my make-up off. They're also tripled layered so they soak up my make up remover easily and don't flake or break. Plus they're super soft! 
 

I pretty much used the diagrams on this one! Obviously I could tell they were masks, and I know there's a lot of amazing Japanese masks out there, so I had to pick some up. These are super super hydrating and you can tell from just 10 minutes that they're doing some good stuff for your skin. The only thing I find with masks are that they're literally soaked in a nourishing gel, which can be a bit messy and it also depends on the shape of your face how well they fit! Overall, I do love these but I'll be sticking to my cream masks for now. 

This product literally saved my skin. From not drinking enough water and the constant plane travelling, my skin was so dry and flaky that my usual moisturiser wasn't cutting it. Again, I went mostly on the diagrams and by the looks of it, it was super moisturising. And at around £1.80, I couldn't really complain. It's pretty similar in texture to the Origins Gin-Zing Moisturiserand quite gel-like, which felt like such a relief on my dry skin. After a day or so using this my dry skin cleared up and I'm still using it now!

Japanese Beauty Haul Cleanser Mask Moisturiser Eyelash Curler Cotton Pads

 Probably slightly gimmicky, but I've never tried a foaming cleanser before and this was suppose to be the best on the market.You only need a teenie tiny bit to make a lot of foam, so this tube will go a long way! To me, it's just a bog standard cleanser with the cool foaming point. It does the job and leaves your skin feeling clean and refreshed.

Japan also has a crazy amount of hair products, which I would've love to bring back but had no spare room in my suitcase :( Next time I'll definitely be picking a few of those up!

What's been your best holiday beauty buy?

Thanks for reading!
Rhiannon x


Sunday, 26 April 2015

Japan Photo Diary: Hiroshima and Miyajima Island

Using our JR pass, we caught a super early train to Hiroshima. It was definitely one of the best days weather-wise, with bright blue skies and sun!

Hiroshima is best known as the first city in history to be targeted by a nuclear bomb by the USA on 6th August 1945, directly killing an estimated 80,000 people with approx 70% of its buildings completely destroyed over 4.7 square miles.

Hiroshima's A Bomb Dome is probably its most famous landmark as it is the only building left standing near the bombs hypocentre. It was currently under renovation when we were there, but it's still a sight to see. Local information people were also there in case you had any questions. 


Japan Photo Diary: Hiroshima and Miyajima Island Photos Where To Go What To See


Japan Photo Diary: Hiroshima and Miyajima Island Photos Where To Go What To See

There are various monuments and sculptures in the Peace Park, but one of the famous ones is the Children's Peace Monument dedicated to the children who died during the attack. The statue of a girl with her arms outstretched was based on a true story of a girl called Sadako Sasaki who died from radiation from the bomb. She believed that if she folded 1,000 paper cranes that she would be cured, she actually folded over 1,000 but sadly died. 

People from across the world and school children fold paper cranes and send them to Hiroshima to be placed in plastic boxes nearby. It's continuously replenished too!

Japan Photo Diary: Hiroshima and Miyajima Island Photos Where To Go What To See

Peace Flame to the left hand side.

Japan Photo Diary: Hiroshima and Miyajima Island Photos Where To Go What To See
The Memorial Centograph in the middle of the park holds all the names of people who died from the nuclear bomb and is aligned to hold the Peace Flame and A-Bomb Dome down the centre. The Peace Flame has burnt since it was lit in 1964 and will continue until all nuclear weapons have been destroyed and the planet is free from nuclear attacks.

We spent most of our time in the museum, which was interesting and draw dropping to see the devastation and results from just one bomb. Because the city was so new, it almost felt like a different and unrealistic world and too fake-like. Bit hard to describe really!

Nearby to Hiroshima is the Miyajima Island, which holds the famous floating red tori gates. It's super easy to get to from Hiroshima, just take a train then a ferry which is all included in the JR pass.

Japan Photo Diary: Hiroshima and Miyajima Island Photos Where To Go What To See

Japan Photo Diary: Hiroshima and Miyajima Island Photos Where To Go What To See

Japan Photo Diary: Hiroshima and Miyajima Island Photos Where To Go What To See

Japan Photo Diary: Hiroshima and Miyajima Island Photos Where To Go What To See

The floating tori gate is also known as the Itsukushima Shrine, which is dedicated to the three daughters of Susano-o no Mikoto, Shinto god of seas and storms, and brother of the sun goddess. It was actually a very sacred island and commoners were not allowed to visit in order to protect the purity of it.

Fun Fact: To this day, pregnant women are supposed to retreat to the mainland as the day of delivery approaches, as are the terminally ill or the very elderly whose passing has become imminent.  Burials on the island are also forbidden.

One some days when the tide is out, you can actually walk up to the tori gates, but I think they look more impressive floating!

Japan Photo Diary: Hiroshima and Miyajima Island Photos Where To Go What To See

 There's also quite a few sake barrels at various shrines, which hold sake rice wine. All of them are branded with restaurants, shops and sushi bars who use sake.

Japan Photo Diary: Hiroshima and Miyajima Island Photos Where To Go What To See

Japan Photo Diary: Hiroshima and Miyajima Island Photos Where To Go What To See

We also saw a few pagodas and shrines, but once you've seen a few, they start to get repetitive!

Japan Photo Diary: Hiroshima and Miyajima Island Photos Where To Go What To See

I hope you liked my Japan Photo Diary of Hirshima and Miyajima Island!

Catch up with Osaka and Nara photo diaries here.

Thanks for reading!
Rhiannon x



Saturday, 25 April 2015

How To: Make A Banana Cake

How To: Make A Banana Cake

 Banana cake is possibly one of my favourite recipes to make. Mainly because it's super easy and doesn't require a lot of precision (one of my favourite kinds of cake!) and it's a great mid-morning energy boost!

You'll need:
2 over ripe bananas, probably not as black like mine!
170g of caster sugar
170g of self-raising flour
170g of soft margerine
3 eggs
A few drops of vanilla essence
Optional: 60g of walnut pieces

Equipment:
Large mixing bowl
Whisk (I personally find electric whisks easiest)
Scales
Large loaf tin
Greaseproof paper

Pre-heat your oven to 160C/ gas mark 3 before starting.

First up, weigh and mix the margerine and sugar together until they look like the below picture:

How To: Make A Banana Cake

Then throw in everything else! Weigh them first of course... I normally cut up the banana because it's easier to whisk them, but you can mash them if you like. Walnuts are optional, because I personally love them in banana cakes but pecan nuts work just as well!

How To: Make A Banana Cake

 Make sure everything is whisked up as no one likes a lumpy cake!

Line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper or if you have those loaf shaped greaseproof papers they're also good. I tend to use a small amount of oil on a sheet of kitchen roll to spread around the tin before placing the paper in, so it's a lot easier to get out later.

Gently pour the mixture into the loaf tin. You might need a bit of help with this as the paper can collasp easily! I'll also use a spactular to get all the last bits out too. Bake for an hour or so, but check every 20 minutes or so to make sure it's not burning.

Because it's a loaf, it might get slightly brown or burnt on the outside but still undercooked in the middle, so I'll normally pop a tin foil hat half way through. You can check how cooked it is in the middle by poking a wooden skewer through the middle and if it comes out with mixture, it's not cooked but if it comes out clean, then it's nearly done!

Leave it to cool for about 15 minutes, then take it out of its tin and place on a cooling rack.


Slice it up and enjoy!

This lasted me and my parents less than a week - it's that good! I love trying simple and no-fuss recipes with delicious and tasty results.

I hope you enjoyed this post and thanks for reading.

Rhiannon x


Thursday, 23 April 2015

OOTD: Pink Peter Pan Collar and Spotty Skirt

OOTD: Pink Peter Pan Collar and Spotty Skirt

Mac: H&M
Jumper: Topshop
Collar Top: Primark
Skirt: New Look
Shoes: Clarks
Bag: Miss Selfridge

Now it's officially Spring, the Mac coat is getting its wear again. Although it's bloomin' chilly in the mornings, I'm almost melting walking to the station on my way home! Pink and black and white spots just go together like bread and butter and I'm forever wearing this jumper and layering shirts and collars underneath to make it smarter but still comfortable. And to keep the outfit looking preppy, I just thrown on my classic brown borgues, although I feel a black patent pair would also look pretty. 

I tend to keep my jewellery minimal these days, I used to wear big earrings to school all the time! So I just paired my usual Pandora rings and a cute pair of daisy studs from Orelia, who have the most gorgeous and dainty earrings, necklaces, bracelts and rings. They're stocked on Asos, Very and at John Lewis and Fenwick among others, but they also have a couple of stands in Topshop Oxford Street which I always make a by-line for! I'd totally recommend them if you're looking for a gift for a friend or a treate for yourself, as they're inexpensive too. 

What do you think of this outfit?

Thanks for reading!
Rhiannon x

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Japan Photo Diary: Nara

Following on from my Osaka Photo Diary (read that post here) we used our JR pass to travel further south to a city called Nara. If you're looking to travel around Japan, I'd totally recommend the JR pass. It includes travel on local and shinkansen trains, a few ferry trips and other routes, which is all on their website here.

Nara is known for its green and traquility, with eight temples, shrines and historic remains and it was capital of Japan from 710 to 794 during the Nara period.

Japan Photo Diary: Nara Photos Temples Best Places To Go What To Visit

The pretty cool thing about Nara is that they have thousands of wild deer just roaming around. You could feed them deer crackers too!

Japan Photo Diary: Nara Photos Temples Best Places To Go What To Visit

We visited a few Japanese gardens which were just beautiful, totally different to back in the UK, but still stunning.

Japan Photo Diary: Nara Photos Temples Best Places To Go What To Visit

Right by the station is this massive pond and a pagoda and Kofuku-ji temple. Most pagodas are 5 story tall, so that people who couldn't reach the temple to pray could still see it from far away.


Japan Photo Diary: Nara Photos Temples Best Places To Go What To Visit

 Nara also had a lot of lanterns! As we headed up the hill from the pond and pagoda, you're lined by lanterns with japanese writing on them.


One of the lion statues guarding a temple.

Quite a few temples had these outside them, I'm still not sure what they're for! Perhaps writing down your wishes or family name.

Japan Photo Diary: Nara Photos Temples Best Places To Go What To Visit

Japan Photo Diary: Nara Photos Temples Best Places To Go What To Visit

Todai-ji Temple was the main attraction of our visit to Nara. It's a massively beautiful temple which holds the worlds largest bronze statue of Buddha which is over 49ft in height and weighs 500 tonnes! 

Japan Photo Diary: Nara Photos Temples Best Places To Go What To Visit  

Nara was one of my favourite places to visit, mainly because it was so green and quiet compared to the hustle and bustle of Osaka and Tokyo!

Catch up with my Osaka Photo Diary here.

Hope you enjoyed reading this post!

Thanks for reading!
Rhiannon x

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