Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Tips I Would Give To My Younger Blogger Self

Tips I Would Give To My Younger Blogger Self

In my few years of blogging (too many that I can't actually remember!) I've picked up on the numerous blogging tips posts and thought I'd throw in my penny thoughts. If I could start all over again, I'd definitely be following these tips to know what to do and what not to do mainly!

1. Find a Niche.
This is probably a tricky subject for most bloggers. You start off in one (mine was fashion) then end up blending in a little beauty and migrating across to the lifestyle section too. My own blog has ended up like a jumble sale and I'm still finding my spot where I can offer a real difference to the blogging community.

There's no getting away from the fact that there's hundreds of blogs across the world, and for you too stand out you have to do something different. If you love fitness, try sharing tips, routines, recipes etc. if you're a student, blog about saving money, how to write an essay or whatever you want. Starting with your niche and making it clear from the off will make your blog noticeable for something different.

2. Do the design.
As part of my work I scout out for new bloggers and youtubers we can create a partnership with, so I've seen my fair share of designs and layouts. Clean, easy to navigate and read and representing your personality are my key points in a design.

The great thing about Blogger and Wordpress are that there are a multitude of ways to create a unique design without spending a penny. Just make sure your posts are visible, your follow buttons are near the top and you have a great About Me section so people can get to know you!

3. Blog for yourself
So so important! If I don't feel like blogging (which is hardly ever!) then I'll just take a break and come back to it later. There's no point forcing it because people will be able to literally read between the lines and see that you're just not feeling it.

Same idea for blogging for an audience, if it's just not natural then readers will be able to see that. Most blogs write like they're talking to a friend, and readers will want to see that from you.

4. Stay dedicated 
There's been days when I've just wanted to throw the towel in, then I remember why I started blogging, my love for writing and reading fashion and beauty blogs. It's natural to veer off the blogging wagon every once in a while, your readers will still be there when you get back.

Calendars and notebooks are a great way to stay dedicated, that way you have a routine to follow and a place where you can scribble down your ideas.

5. Enjoy the time
If blogging is a hobby for you, like it is for most of us, then just enjoy it. No one is forcing you to blog or write about your day. It's an entirely open and creative community that it's hard not to enjoy it!

What would be your tip for your younger blogger self? Have you started a new blog?

Thanks for reading!
Rhiannon x

Sunday, 27 September 2015

The Fur Debate

Two articles from Stylist and Evening Standard Magazines about the fur industry caught my eye this week. They argued both sides, debating about furs recent popularity and what the different fashion houses stances are.

I'll start off by saying I do not wear real fur myself because I chose not to. I don't find the need to wear fur (real or faux for that matter) and don't really agree with wearing animal skins as part of my outfit.

For Fur
It's an industry worth £25billion worldwide and employs over 1million people with numerous fashion brands including Fendi, Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton and Roksanda using fur in their catwalk collections.

Karl Lagerfeld uses fur and once said in a radio interview, "in a meat-eating world, using leather for shoes and clothes and even handbags... the discussion of fur is childish."

This is the quote that made me stop and think, in some ways he is right. Think about that expensive leather handbag that was a special present last Christmas, or your Sunday Roast you'll be eating tomorrow.

Fur farming was banned in the UK in 2003 but it can still be imported, and is increasing year-on-year. The International Fur Trade Federation's Origin Assured label launched in 2006, set out to label a certified fur product which has been farmed in one of the 29 countries that had signed up to strict farming regulations.

Another question which was raised is that because faux fur has become a fashionable trend, real fur has too. Real fur has been argued to be better for the environment (it requires far fewer chemicals to manufacture than faux fur does) and is a naturally sustainable product. Vintage fur requires a whole other debate, as one comment in the Stylist article stateed 'That coat was a piece of history'.

Against Fur
Both sides argue that the either uses more chemicals than the other and that there's not enough strict regulations in fur farming - and it's still a blurred line. Its dependant on each country to determine their rules for fur farms, which is far from assuring or satisfactory.

Faux fur is highly affordable and as garment technology expands and develops, it's hard to see why we would need to still use real fur. Labels such as Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood and Shrimps (probably the best example of using high quality faux fur) do not use any real fur in their collections.

PETA created the 'I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur' campaign in 1990 and the term is still coined in relation to this debate. People chose to not wear fur for personal reasons, because they're against animal cruelty, because there's no need to or because they don't link the thought of wearing another animal's skin.

Stella McCartney's quote rings true about the fur debate: "As a designer, I like to work with fabrics that don't bleed, that's why I avoid all animal skins. When you consider what animals go through, there's nothing fashionable about fur."

It's a subject which requires more in depth knowledge and research to create an equally balance argument, but the Stylist and Evening Standard Magazines provided an equally horizontal debate.

After reading both articles thoroughly and several times, my personal opinion is that I don't think I will ever wear fur because I don't find the need to but I do respect the decision of those who do.

To read Stylist Magazine's article, please download the free copy on Newsstand.

What's your opinion on The Fur Debate? Are you for or against?

Thanks for reading!
Rhiannon x

*All stats, figures and quotes are taken from Stylist Magazine (Issue 286) and Evening Standard Magazine (Deluxe Fashion Special 18/09/2015)

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Primark 70s and Basics Haul

Who doesn't love an autumn winter haul from Primark? It's too tempting working just five minutes away from the Tottenham Court Road Primark store and having a free lunch break. Of course I was 'just popping in' which means even though I don't actually need anything, I'll find a ton of stuff that I do ACTUALLY need...

Primark Autumn Winter Haul Polo Neck Burgundy Jumper 2015
Burgundy Sleevless Polo Neck £12

First item I spotted was this sleeveless polo neck jumper. Burgundy is a favourite colour for autumn and winter especially, so I knew this would fit into my wardrobe straight away. I'll be pairing it with leggings, black long sleeved tops and knee high boots for an off duty look, then with a leather skirt and smart shoes for work.

Stripy Polo Neck T-Shirt £6

So I might have gone a little polo neck and 70's style crazy, but the displays were just too irresistible! Stripes are a given for me (if my outfit doesn't have one stripy piece, then we're in trouble) and I love the short sleeves. Again, I'll be tucking this into skirts, wearing with jeans and a black blazer and anything and everything else, because stripes go with everything.

Primark Autumn Winter Haul Polo Neck Mustard Jumper 2015

Primark Autumn Winter Haul Polo Neck Mustard Jumper 2015
 Tan Polo Neck £8

When I picked this up, I originally thought the back was the front (first picture is the front with buttons and last picture is the back without buttons). I actually prefer the back, as I can wear long necklaces without getting caught up with the buttons! Perhaps it's suppose to be reversible?! I think I spot a new trend.... reversible clothes.

Primark Autumn Winter Haul Navy V Neck Jumper 2015
Plain V-Neck Sweaters £6 each

Classic V-Neck Sweaters that go with just about everything and anything when you're stuck in a styling rut. I bought the grey and navy versions, so I can tuck them into skirts or wear over the top of dresses to stay extra cosy during the winter. Even though the quality might not be as good as other brands, if you treat them well and keep them in good condition then they'll last a few good seasons.

Have you found anything in Primark lately? What do you think of the polo neck and 70s trend?

Thanks for reading!
Rhiannon x

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Lush Aqua Marina Review

Possibly one of the most frustrating things about my skin is that it can never make up its mind about what type it is. Sometimes it's a little oily on my t-zone, other days I can crazy dry patches across my cheeks that look just delightful. One thing I am sure about is that my skin loves the Lush Aqua Marina Cleanser.

It's always worth asking the lovely people at Lush what products they recommend, otherwise I probably wouldn't have picked up this one. The super helpful assistant at Lush Oxford Street took me through the cleansers that would suit my skin best, then tested a few on my hand. Lush Aqua Marina came out on top, because it's not as fussy as the Angels On Bare Skin Cleanser (full review here) and helps soothe redness and cool my skin after a long day at work.

The smell is unique to say the least. It's fairly fresh and green but also quite plastic-ie or playdo smell if that makes any kind of sense! But doesn't put me off at all and you do get use to it. It's soothing properties are in the form of Aloe Vera and Seaweed (the green bits!) and are so soft on the skin. I hate anything too scratchy on my face especially, but this leaves it feeling super smooth and clean.

I normally take my makeup off with a wipe or micellar water before hand, then cleanse with this. It's not as hard as it looks to use either - just scoop a small amount into you hand, add water and massage into your hands, then across your face and neck. It can get messy, so it's best to use it in the shower!

Overall, I love this product. It's my current go-to cleanser to leave my skin feeling nourished and clean, although it hasn't made a massive difference to my spots or blackheads (but it doesn't say it will anyway!). For an every day cleanser, I'd definitely recommend trying this out!

Have you tried the Lush Aqua Marina? What's your current favourite cleanser?

Thanks for reading!
Rhiannon x

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

OOTD Elephant Shirt and Leather Skirt

OOTD Elephant Shirt and Leather Skirt Zara Fashion Blogger

Shirt and Skirt: Zara
Coat: H&M
Boots: Topshop 

There comes a point in my life when I hold my hands up and say I have too many shirts. But I don't think we're quite that desperate yet... When someone finds myself snowed in by shirts, I'll let you know. Of course it would be a Zara shirt because they're just the best? It has super cute elephants in a line all holding each others tail in a floaty crepe material, with cool see-through side panels and mesh detail. It's currently out of stock online, but fingers crossed they'll be bringing it back soon!

Alongside my new skirt, I also picked up this Faux Leather Skirt in Black even though I never thought I'd even try wearing leather. But in the past year, I've become obsessed with a-line skirts especially with shirts! Some days the inbetween of a skirt from a dress and trousers is the perfect smart/casual outfit for work. I'll be pairing this skirt with my new polo neck jumpers from Primark (haul this weekend) and lots of cosy sweaters too!

What do you think of this OOTD? Do you love leather skirts too?

Thanks for reading!
Rhiannon x

Sunday, 20 September 2015

How To Make Caramel/Millionaire Shortbread

How To Make Caramel Shortbread Millionaire Shortbread Recipe Easy Baking

If I'm ever in the mood to bake a traybake recipe, it'll be the Caramel Shortbread or Millionaire Shortbread as others may know it as. There's only three main steps to creating them and the ingredients are things you might find in your cupboard!

How To Make Caramel Shortbread

Base Ingredients:
  • 50g Soft Brown Sugar
  • 125g Softened Butter
  • 150g Self Raising Flour

Caramel Topping Ingredients:

Chocolate Topping Ingredients:
  • 150g of Chocolate, mix 'n' match which flavours or just stick to one! I chose Milk and Dark Chocolate for this recipe.

Step 1
Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4 and grease and line a 18x28cm tin with baking paper.

Step 2
Cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add in the flour and mix until combined.

Step 3
Press the mixture over the tin and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden, then leave to cool.

Step 4
Gently spread the caramel topping across the shortbread, making sure it's evenly distributed.

Step 5
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water or gently heat using the microwave. I do this in 10 second bursts so I don't burn the chocolate! If you're doing two kinds, then maybe keep them in separate bowls to create a marble affect when you spread them on the base. 

Step 6
Spread the chocolate over your shortbread, covering every bit of caramel then leave to set.

Step 7
Cut into squares then ENJOY!

Hope you have fun with this recipe and make sure you send me the links if you create your own too!

Rhiannon x

Saturday, 19 September 2015

My Favourite Things About Autumn

Bath Favourite Things About Autumn

Now that it's September, it's okay to talk about Autumn and Winter isn't it? I don't have a particular favourite season because I usually get bored of one by the end and can't wait for the next weather style to roll around! 

With that in mind, I thought I'd share my favourite things about Autumn so even if you don't like the season, there are a few things to look forward to. 

1. Cosy Clothes.
Fluffy socks, thick jumpers, boots, gloves, scarves. The list goes on and on really. By the time September comes around, you're probably bored of wearing crop tops and shorts all summer that it's time to throw on the winter woolies and get cosy.

2. Comforting Food.
I don't think there's anything better than a warm Sunday roast when the weather is throwing all sorts of rain, hailstones and snow outside. Also can I mention marshmallows? Even better is S'Mores from across the pond. Hershey's have a great recipe of basically melted marshmallow, chocolate and biscuit = YUM.

3. Christmas.
Yes I said the C word because there's less than 4 months to go! Cue "I remember last Christmas like it was yesterday..." It's socially acceptable to start visually planning your Christmas and New Years Eve whilst humming along to a carol and eating mince pies.

4. Crunchy Autumn Leaves.
There's nothing more satisfying than listening to the crunch of autumn leaves. I love seeing all the different shades of burgundy red, smouldering brown, deep oranges and light yellows. Just be careful of any hedgehogs about!

5. Coming To An End.
I always relate Autumn as the start of the end of the year. It might be back to school/uni/work for some people, but once the excitement of summer holidays has calmed, it's time to wind down next to the fire with a good book. 

What are your favourite things about Autumn?

Thanks for reading!
Rhiannon x

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Current Favourite Pins

The hours I have spent pinning and liking pins to add to my collection of boards has turned into a #PinterestAddiction. Did I ever think it would come to this? Yes I did. And I'm sure there's a Pinterest addiction quote for that too...


If there is a crime against Pinterest, it would be my constant scrolling through the Quotes section. There's just something about an uplifting quote that can change your whole day. My personal favourite is this one from Buddha, because I believe every experience has something to learn or gain from it - it's why they're called experiences! 

Roll neck jumper? Check. Leopard print accessory? Check. Black skinny jeans? Check. This outfit sums up my wardrobe for this autumn and winter! Beautifully captured, I'm obsessed with scrolling through Pinterest to find some outfit inspiration. Favourites have to be Emma Watson, Kendall Jenner and Alexa Chung - how can they all look so effortlessly cool?!

They're called #goals for a reason. I'm always on the hunt for a new hairstyle or nail art to try out and Pinterest is guaranteed to have the answer within five minutes tops. Look how cute this nail art is? Just something simple and easy to recreate!

Home Decor
Although this board mainly started out as a bedroom inspiration board, I do love an office or cosy reading room pin! Of course it's given me more ideas than I will ever need for my 'dream house' but we've all got to start somewhere...

Possibly my favourite board of them all, I love a good travel pin. Whether it's the urban streets of London, my love of Brighton or in the depths of Japan and history of Peru, there's a pin for it! I actually had this pin as a background on my phone for ages, just shows how much I love New York.

What's your current favourite pin? Leave your Pinterest links below too!

Thanks for reading, and if you want to follow any of my board just click here - go on, you know you want to!
Rhiannon x

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

OOTD: Navy Zara Shift Dress

OOTD: Navy Zara Shift Dress Primark ASOS Work Outfit Fashion Blogger

OOTD: Navy Zara Shift Dress Primark ASOS Work Outfit Fashion Blogger

Jacket and Cardigan: Primark
Dress: Zara
Shoes: New Look

You know those dresses that always crease the minute you sit down after ironing them? This is one of them, but also my current favourite work dress. I love the shape of shift dresses but find they have to be just the right length above my knee to look flattering, rather than dressed in a flour sack. Navy is also a fab colour for work, as it's not too dull like black but if you get a mark or stain, it won't show to obviously like white will.

As we're heading out of summer, I'm having to swap round my denim jacket for a thicker leather jacket as the weather just can't make up it's mind! Although I am looking forward to wearing cosy jumpers and puffa jacket-style coats, we did miss the best of the British summer. And I did have to wear boots and tights more than once...

Have you got a favourite dress shape? What do you think of this outfit?

Thanks for reading!
Rhiannon x

Sunday, 13 September 2015

What I Do When I'm In A Bad Mood

That day when everything goes wrong. You've missed your bus or train, you've spilt coffee down your shirt, you've made a mistake at work (don't worry, everyone does it!) and you're finally home but in a bad mood.

There's been so many days when it's just been 'A Bad Day' and most of the time, it's not even worth trying to talk to me! I thought I'd share a few of my tips and tricks for getting out of a bad mood.

- Try and talk it out
Cliche and the oldest trick in the book, but it's there for a reason so it must work. I find just having a natter with my family or friends really helps get everything out in one go. Then they'll tell me I'm just being silly that something so small could get me wound up like that
- Exercise
The dreaded E word, but funnily enough it does help. Go for a quick jog or walk and just concentrating on breathing and releasing all those happy endorphins. If you don't fancy venturing outside, try a yoga video. I love Yoga With Adrienne's De-Stressing video.
- Pamper yourself
Give yourself a manicure, try a new face mask or finally master your eyeliner flick. Just take a bit of time out from school or work and general life pressures to take care of yourself.
- Watch a programme
Whether it's on Youtube, TV or on iPlayer, find something funny and lighthearted to help the stress go away. I've rediscovered The Inbetweeners from my childhood and The Big Bang Theory never fails to put a smile on my face

- Write it down
This is a great technique I've learnt. Write down all the things that have made you stressed or caused your bad mood, then take a proper look at them and you'll realise that they're so small and insignificant to be getting worked up over. A bad day is just that.

What do you do to get out of a bad mood?

Thanks for reading!
Rhiannon x

Saturday, 12 September 2015

My Instagram Favourites

RhiannonBlog Instagram

Instagram is probably my favourite social network to while the time away. All you need is an account and a scrolling thumb to like and flick through hundreds of photos, and you've successfully spent your hours.

Of course there's a few favourites which I'm forever liking and commenting on. Whether it's the amazing photography (well duh) or the poignancy of the images, I'll always be checking up on these accounts to see their latest Instas.

1. Exploring Japan
 Surprise surprise, I follow an account all about Japan. Lets face it, if I can't move there right now, I can like the pretty photos right? A few of their recent images are places I've been to, so it brings back lots of memories too!

Go follow @exploringjapan

2. Cluttered Closet
Being a blogger addicted to Instagram, I also follow a ton of other bloggers! Mainly to stalk their amazing photography that actually puts mine to shame, Kal also shares mini beauty reviews of her empties and has the best layouts I've seen.

Go follow @theclutteredcloset

3. Random Turtle
For those snippets of funny screenshots and quick witty comments, I love Random Turtle. I can't quite remember how I found this account but it's provided many laughs on a crowded commuter train.

Go follow @randomturtle

4. Make Up Sessions
You know that account that always has the best makeup collection? I've found it. Beti's photos are on another level and her marble backgrounds never look like a cliche but classy and sophisticated. If you can't afford new makeup but like looking at them, here's your new addiction.

Go follow @makeupsessions

5. Humans Of New York
Originally I was just following the blog version of Humans Of New York, but recently found the Instagram account was the best way to keep up! The photographer, Brandon travels, not just in New York, but also across the world to capture people's fascinating life stories. He also organises fund raising pages for people in need, which is an amazing thing to do in my opinion.

Go follow @humansofny

What are your favourite Instagram accounts? Any I should be following?

Thanks for reading - and don't forget to follow my Instagram (shameless promotion, I know!)
Rhiannon x

Thursday, 10 September 2015

OOTD: Spotty Shirt and Mannish Tailoring

OOTD: Spotty Shirt and Mannish Tailoring New Look Primark Clarks ASOS Fashion Blogger Work Outfit

OOTD: Spotty Shirt and Mannish Tailoring New Look Primark Clarks ASOS Fashion Blogger Work Outfit

Shirt and Belt: New Look
Jacket and Trousers: Primark
Shoes: Clarks
Bag: ASOS 

Possibly my favourite 'I'm my own boss' outfit of the week - I just love a bit of mannish tailoring! There's nothing better than throwing on a shirt, smart trousers and shoes to get in the mood for work. I'm a big believer in dressing for the occasion and especially for work. If I come in wearing trainers and a sweatshirt, I'm not going to feel professional and actually in the mood for work.

I like the simpicity of wearing a patterned shirt (spots or stripes of course) with other plain pieces to compliment it. This shirt has stood the test of time and has hardly faded from all the washing and ironing it's had to endure over the past years (yes it's been that long!) And I'm not giving up on my beloved backpack just yet, who knew you could fit so much in without pulling your shoulder out of socket?!

Do you have to dress properly to be in the right mood? What do you think of this outfit?

Thanks for reading!
Rhiannon x

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Current Eye Makeup Favourites

Current Eye Makeup Favourites MUA Benefit Autograph Kiko Maybelline Gosh Model Co

Although I don't tend to wear a lot of eye makeup, I have a few favourites that I always reach for and know I can rely on! Generally, I'll use the Real Techniques eye makeup brushes to apply and blend them in and any old eye primer I can find because my eyes tend to crease quite easily.

Current Eye Makeup Favourites MUA Benefit

Current Eye Makeup Favourites MUA Benefit

I tend to go for nude and pinky purple shades across my brown eyes as these suit me best (although I'd love to try a green smoky eye look!) The MUA Undress Me Too Palette has a great selection of matte and shimmer shades and aren't too strongly pigmented so you can build them up easily. I've also been more adventurous in trying a bronze smoky eye, which I love! Read my full (and quite frankly obsessed) review of this palette.

Current Eye Makeup Favourites MUA Benefit

If I'm ever in the indecisive mood, this kit will sort me out. It features a cream matte shade in 'Call My Bluff', a light pink shimmer powder in 'Nude Swings' and a deep purple shimmer shade in 'Thanks A Latte'. Before I'll use a small amount of the Creaseless Cream Shadow pot in 'R.S.V.P' all across my eyelids, which is a pale pink shimmer but not too glittery or in your face!

I love the Benefit Luv It Up! kit as it's the perfect nude eyeshadow all-in-one kit, with fab long lasting powders that suit all.  

Current Eye Makeup Favourites Maybelline Kiko

 As with everyone else, cream eyeshadows are the lazy girl's guide to easy eye makeup. I'll just sweep a little of the Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Pink Gold across my eyelids and I'm good to go. Although it is a little too pink in my opinion, I'm not quite ready to try their bronze shades in fear that I'll look like I have a beautifully blended black eye! 

Super easy and simple to blend, the Maybelline Colour Tattoos are great as a standalone colour or as a base if you fancy layering with a powder shade. 

Current Eye Makeup Favourites Maybelline Kiko

I've been ooggling eyeshadow sticks for ages - this is the real lazy girls guide to eye makeup! This is my first purchase from Kiko and I am actually quite impressed. The only thing I have a problem with is with their shop, why so many bright club disco lights?! You can barely see the swatches on your hands let alone the writing on the packaging.

The shade I picked up with 05 Rosy Brown, so slightly stepping into the bronzy territory. One word I would use to describe this is creamy honestly like butter has melted and turned into a makeup product. It glides on smoothly and is easy to blend with your fingers, I'm not too sure about the 8 hour staying power, but it does a good job even so!

Current Eye Makeup Favourites Autograph GOSH Model Co
Current Eye Makeup Favourites Autograph GOSH Model Co

Next up is eyeliners. I much prefer a natural brown to a black as it's much more subtle for my skintone and I can cover up mistakes better!

I have Ultimate Wear Gel Eyeliner from Autograph which I personally think is so underrated. You only need a tiny bit to go a long way and it actually stays put all day even with me accidentally smudging it. I'll apply this with an angled eyeliner or eyebrow brush and apply as close as possible to my lash line to make my eyelashes look fuller.

If you're looking for a gel eyeliner that's not too expensive but doesn't compromise on quality, definitely check out the Autograph makeup collection!

Current Eye Makeup Favourites Autograph GOSH Model Co

Even though bronze and green eyeshadow might scare me, blue eyeliner does not! My favourites are from GOSH in Minty Mermaid (top) and Model Co in Blue Eye Pencil (bottom). Both are so long lasting that it's almost impossible to remove at the end of the day!

Minty Mermaid is a bright aqua metallic blue which is so pretty on the lower lash line. I'll only go up to half way on my lower lashes then add a bottom coat mascara. Blue Eye is a matte navy blue, so great for during the day and adding definition to a smoky eye in the evenings. Normally I'll just add this across my upper lash line to add a pop of colour to my eyes.

What's your current eye makeup favourites? Anything I should try out?

Thanks for reading!
Rhiannon x

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Things That Have Made Me Happy This Year

... so far! Although it feels slightly odd to be doing this over half way through the year, I find September is the 'back to school/uni/work' mode which gets me slightly reflective... 

I will probably get a few texts from my friends and family for sharing these pictures, but it's only because I LOVE YOU! On to the things that have made me happy this year so far...

1. Friends and Family.
People do say that the friends who stock by you are the true ones - and I've got to believe them. I love my little group of friends who I know I can lean on with even my smallest of worries, share my most embarassing moments and generally have the best time of my life! And without my family there wouldn't be the person I am today, so thank you for shaping this person into me.

2. Experiences.
At the beginning of the year I wrote a list of 'Things To Look Forward To' just because January can be a little dark and boring, so it's good to have something planned ahead. In that I had my trip to Japan, hands down my mind-blown experience of this year and hopefully one I'll revist in the future too (there's literally no good sushi in England!!). Seeing One Direction was in there too and also exploring my local areas more too!

3. Career.
I wrote a 5 Tips For Surviving Your First Job post a few weeks ago as I hit one year at my first full time job! A lot has happened since 2014 and so much more is to come, I hope. I've learnt what to do and what not to do and that you never stop learning (or laughing), even when you're 60.

4. Blog
Of course blogging has made me happy this year, otherwise we wouldn't be here would we? It's strange how something so obvious and simple as writing blog posts can make me super happy. I love reading all your comments and seeing people actually enjoy what I write - and I hope to continue doing so.

5. Personal development.
It kind of feels big headed to be writing this point, but if I were to say I was the same person that I was this time last year it just wouldn't be true. Growing my confidence and opening up my introvert circle has made me happy this year because the experiences and my relationships just wouldn't have been the same if my shy personality was still hanging around. And that's all thanks to the points above really!

To whoever is reading this, THANK YOU.
Rhiannon x

Saturday, 5 September 2015

How To Make Salted Caramel Brownies

How To Make Salted Caramel Brownies Recipe Good Food Easy Baking

Any type of food with salted caramel and I will eat it! I found a recipe for Salted Caramel Brownies on the Good Food website (serious baking envy!) and thought I'd give it a go.

  • 200g unsalted butter, plus a little extra for greasing
  • 100g chocolate, 70% cocoa solids
  • 100g chocolate, 50% cocoa solids
  • 397g can Carnation caramel (or boil your own can of condensed milk for 3 hours, there's much less sugar!)
  • 1 tsp flaky sea salt, plus a little extra for the top
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs, at room temperature
  • 130g plain flour
  • 50g cocoa powder
Step 1
Heat oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Grease then line a 23cm square traybake tin with baking parchment. Melt the butter in a medium pan, break in all the chocolate, then remove the pan from the heat and wait for the cubes to melt. (If your chocolate is particularly hard, then I'd give it 30 seconds in the microwave just before!)

Step 2
In a small bowl, mix 175g of the caramel with 1 tsp sea salt, Put the rest of the caramel in a large bowl with the sugar and eggs, and beat with an electric hand mixer or balloon whisk until even.

Step 3
Whisk in the chocolate and butter. In another bowl, combine the flour, cocoa and a good pinch of table salt, then sift this on top of the chocolate mix. Beat briefly until smooth. (To save washing up, I just added the flour, cocoa and salt to the mixture without combining them together first!)

Step 4
Pour half the brownie batter into the tin and level it with a spatula. Using a teaspoon, spoon half of the salted caramel on top of the batter layer in 5 thick, evenly spaced stripes. (Harder than it sounds...) Spoon the rest of the brownie batter on top and smooth it out, trying not to disturb the caramel beneath. Top with the rest of the caramel in the same stripy fashion. Drag a skewer or tip of a knife through the caramel to make a feathered pattern on the top.

Step 5
Scatter with a little more sea salt, then bake for 25-30 mins or until risen all the way to the middle with a firm crust on top. When ready, the brownie will jiggle just a little when you shake the tin. Let it cool completely in the tin, then cut into squares.

If you want the full recipe with (much better) pictures and tips from other bakers, please click here.
It is a fairly long process and you can end up with mountains of washing up if you're anything like me. I hope you enjoy and if you do try this recipe, please do send me your pictures!

Rhiannon x

Thursday, 3 September 2015

OOTD: Stripy Japanese Skirt and a Coral Top

Stripy Japanese Skirt Coral Top Denim Jacket Converse ASOS Primark OOTD

Stripy Japanese Skirt Coral Top Denim Jacket Converse ASOS Primark OOTD

Stripy Japanese Skirt Coral Top Denim Jacket Converse ASOS Primark OOTD

Jacket and Top: Primark
Skirt: From Japan
Shoes: Converse

I don't think I've shared this skirt on my blog yet - but here it is! For those days when it's too warm for jeans but not exactly maxi or mini skirt weather, the midi is perfect. When I went to Japan back in March, all the girls there were wearing them and I just had to get my hands on one too. 

It has an elasticated waist, ideal for those food baby days, and pockets which make me so happy! The fabric is quite delicate polyester and the lining underneath makes it super swishy and reminds me of this scene from Grease. Paired with my trusty (and just washed) Converses and a bright coral top and I'm ready for summer!

Have you got a favourite midi skirt? What do you think of this outfit?

Thanks for reading!
Rhiannon x

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