Wednesday, 28 October 2015

9 Simple Ways To Save Money

Damn - I know all these sales emerging, and the appearance of Christmas goodies in the shops are making it waaaaaaaay too hard to resist spending all of your hard earned dollar in one go. I bet all of my friends are reading this and laughing at me as I am a hopeless saver. If there is a fancy new luxury makeup product I'm lusting after, I can just about save up for that. But long term saving? Nope. I do however have a keen eye for a bargain and I'm ace at budgeting. Just not with the 'saving for a rainy day' aspect. 

So if you're rubbish with saving, why are you writing a post telling other people how to save? Well my friends, the title was a lie. I know, I know - I'm sorry. But! I am going to tell you how I resist the urge to spend money on non-essentials! Read on....

If you are going to buy something - pay with cash. It adds incentive to the spending. Physically seeing the money disappearing out of your purse (and into the hand of a rather smug looking cashier) makes it seem more real. Plan a budget and stick to it, only take as much cash out as you intend to spend. If you nip into Boots to get one thing, only take enough money for that one item - that way you won't be tempted to impulse buy.

Ask yourself why you need something. Are you just buying it because you can or do you have a use for it? Are you going to buy all that workout gear and stop working out after a week? If you question yourself every time you go to purchase something, chances are you'll realise that you don't need it. For example, every time I go clothes shopping and I see something I like, I ask myself if I would actually wear it. If I can't picture myself in it - I don't buy it. Simple as that. 

Use student discount if you have it. It really does add up. I use my student discount at everywhere that excepts it. That 10,15,20% or whatever off may not seem much at the time. But If you're the type of person that likes to go shopping (even online) it can help you save your well earned money for something else. 

Sales. Depending on your frame of mind, they are either a handy way to save money or where all your money goes. Personally I hate sales. But occasionally you might find a hidden jem. At the weekend I popped into TKMaxx (whose 5p carrier bags are useless btw) and there were so many things that I was surprised at how cheap they were! For example, I have been dying to get my hands on the Deliciously Ella cookbook for yonks. It retails at £20 everywhere and at TKMaxx it was £9.99!! I didn't buy it though as I'm trying to avoid spending money on myself at the moment as I've been way spendy with my student loan this semester. 

Shop offers. Similarly to the point above. Offers can be either life or death. They are specifically designed to get you to spend more money. Do you actually have a use for the offer. Is the offer making you want to spend more money? If makeup is 3 for 2 in Boots are you going to buy 3 lipsticks instead of the 1 you only went in for?

Points / membership cards. Membership cards for places you go to regularly can be really useful. There are usually two different types of cards: 1) Cards where you earn points for your spending and 2) Cards where you get a slight discount. 

Save change in a jar. Save all your loose change in a jar. Then every now and again take it into the bank and swop it for notes. Or get it transferred into your account. That 2p coin you found on the way to work will go nicely with the 1p you found on the train. Before you know it you'll have a pound or two saved up! 

Avoid online shopping. Like I said before, you can't see the money disappearing. It hits you when it is too late. The money is gone. Of course you can return things, but some sneaky retailers can charge you ridiculous postage fees to send things back. 

Avoid using your overdraft. AT ALL COSTS. Don't spend money you haven't got. Simple as that. I know way too many mates who went into their overdraft last year at university and some of them were hit with massive fines for not being able to pay it off. 

Let me know if you have any tips of your own - I need all the help I can get!
Thanks for reading!
Love Charlotte x

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Sunday, 25 October 2015

My Favourite Picks: Netflix

If you don't know what Netflix is, get off this blog and never return again (joke, please come back I love you really). If you do know what it is and are looking for some some new bits to watch, then you have come to the right place! Although Netflix is pretty much an all round thing for me, I always find myself wanting to cosy up on the sofa with the worlds biggest hot chocolate and binge watch my favourite shows. So this post is entirely dedicated to the only monthly subscription I will probably ever buy, and my favourite TV programmes that the service currently has to offer!

House Of Cards
This took me a little while to get into, but I'm absolutely addicted to it now! It is an American political drama about a ruthless politician (played by Kevin Spacey) who seeks his revenge on other politicians (and some others) who have wronged him. It is very engaging and reminds me a lot of Woody Allen's films as there are a lot of monologues in which Kevin Spacey speaks directly to the camera. There are a few unexpected plot twists along the way (Season 2, Episode 1 - you know what I mean if you've watched it!) and things that will leave you on the edge of your seat. 

Pretty Little Liars
Of course this had to get a mention. It is probably my all time favourite programme on the service! I've been watching it for the best part of 2 years and I spent the majority of my first year of University binge watching seasons 1-5 every evening. The show follows the story of a group of girls who try to uncover the truth behind the disappearance of one of their friends - Alison DiLaurentis. Along the way they begin to receive threats and are basically tortured by a mystery character known only as 'A'. The plot is full of twists and turns as the girls try to work out the identity of their blackmailer and work out what has happened to Alison and whether or not she is still alive. If you haven't watched it and intend to please resist the urge to go onto Google and see who 'A' is. It is worth waiting till it is revealed on the show in Season 6. 

Wet Hot America Summer: First Day Of Camp
If you don't watch this for the storyline. Please watch it purely for the cast. Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Banks - just to name a few. The general storyline is pretty rubbish and is a prequel to the film, but the script is packed full of one liners and absolutely ridiculous jokes. Each episode is split up to cover a couple of hours of campers' first day at summer camp. I really love this as each episode has a beginning, a middle and an end making it really easy to pick up where you left off. You don't have to have watched the film to understand it either as I watched it without even realising there was a film till the last episode finished. 

Once Upon A Time
I have loved Disney pretty much my entire life, and the first film I ever went to see at the Cinema was Disney's Tarzan back in in 1999! Once Upon A Time is essentially Disney for teenagers and young adults. The show is based on the idea that all the fairytale characters that you know and love are trapped in a small town in Maine, living ordinary lives under the power of a curse. After a certain number of years have passed, a saviour is brought into the town in order to help lift the curse. It has the perfect amount of romance, drama and action and I am so glad season 5 has just started to make its way onto Netflix! 

Suits
This was a recommendation from the lovely Rhianna of Robowecop and at first I wasn't so sure I would like it. But as soon as the main character made an appearance I was hooked (how gorgeous is Patrick J. Adams tho *swooooooon*). It follows the life of Mike Ross, a college drop-out who impresses a corporate lawyer in a job interview. Mike isn't at all qualified to be a lawyer, but has an eidetic memory and is able to remember anything he reads - no matter how trivial it is. The lawyer, Harvey Specter, hires him on the spot and gives him the job of associate. As he has no legal qualifications, the show follows how he and Harvey keep it a secret from clients and the rest of the law firm whilst they go around closing cases. 

Whitecollar
On a similar sort of line as Suits, Whitecollar follows the life of white collar criminal Neil Caffrey (Matt Bomer) who agrees to help the FBI catch other white collar criminals using his expertise as an art and securities thief, counterfeiter, and conman. I found this show highly addictive as the actor Matt Bomer is drop dead gorgeous and is topless at least once per episode. There are currently five seasons on Netflix, although the sixth season is supposed to be added soon (GET ON WITH IT ALREADY NETFLIX)

House, M.D
I'm only on episode 4(?) of this as I have to be in a certain mood to watch it, but I really enjoy it when its on! It's about a doctor who cures people with really strange diseases/illnesses. The doctor, Dr House, constantly clashes with his colleagues and tends to break hospital rules on a regular basis. House leads a group of doctors and together they try and eliminate possible causes of a patients symptoms ,but sometimes they go into waaaay too much detail and I'm left cringing. There are a total of eight series which will keep me going forever as it's not a show I like to binge watch. 

Orange Is The New Black
I was hesitant in including this as the last season was quite a let down for most people - including myself. The Netflix original series is based upon Piper Kerman's 2010 book 'Orange Is The New Black: My Year in A Women's Prison', and follows the life of Piper Chapman - a woman who is sentenced to 15 months in a minimum-security prison for transporting drug money over 10 years ago. The first series follows Piper as she gets to grips with being apart from her fiancé, friends and all the luxuries she is used to having at home. In prison, Piper is reunited with Alex - the international drug smuggler who named Piper at her trial and got her sent down. Just to point out, this probably isn't a show that you'd want to watch with your parents present as it a tad graphic at times if you get what I mean..... 

Grace and Frankie
I stuck this on when I'd just finished watching PLL and was looking for a new series to watch to fill the void. Somebody on Twitter told me to watch it and I loved it so much that I got through it in less than 24 hours. It tells the story of two married women who hate each other, but are forced to reinvent their lives after their husbands are having an affair with each other(!!). After coming to terms with the idea that their husbands are gay, the two women (played by Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin) learn to rely on each other and end up becoming good friends. 

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is pure comic genious! It tells the story of one woman who is trapped underground by a crazy pastor claiming to be saving a select group of women from the end of the world. Years later they are found and have to learn to adapt to the modern world - getting jobs, boyfriends and finding a place to live. The storyline isn't the best but the humour is spot on. If you are ever feeling down - stick this on and you will be laughing in seconds! 

The Returned
This isn't my usual type of programme, and especially with the creepy cover photo for the show on the Netflix homepage, I have no idea why I started watching it. But it is so gripping and eery! The show is based on the idea that all those who have died in the town have come back to life (or 'returned') not realising that they are infact dead. There is currently only one series available on Netflix, but I'm pretty sure the Netflix original series has been renewed for a second season. 

Mrs Fisher's Murder Mysteries
I feel about 90 including this programme in my post, but I absolutely loved watching it! It is like an Australian version of Agatha Christie's Miss Marple, set in the jazz age of 1920s Australia. Miss Phryne Fisher is the meddling busy body who tries to solve murder cases that really don't have anything to do with her. The outfits and costumes are absolutely stunning, all made in the style of 1920s attire. Although there are a couple of seasons on Netflix, there aren't many episodes in each season so they are very easy to get through in a short space of time! 

Taxi Brooklyn
This was one of those spur of the moment watches, the kind of thing you put on when you finish your favourite show and put on the first thing that seems relatively interesting. I was immediately hooked! It is a comedy about a police detective who looses her driving license and end ups teaming up with a taxi driver who takes her too and from her cases. He even ends up helping her solve a few along the way. 

Badults
I watched this when it was first aired on E4 and I thought it was pure comic genius! I did end up missing a few episodes whilst I was at university and was pleased when it made it's appearance on Netflix earlier this year. It is about three best friends from school who move into a flat together and basically are bad adults 'Badults'. They are terrible at work (yet somehow don't manage to get fired haha), terrible at relationships and even terrible at making food. 

Person Of Interest
I absolutely adore this programme! And I am eagerly awaiting the start of the next season. I almost forgot to add it onto this list as I finished the available seasons so long ago. It is about an ex-CIA agent (Reese) and a computer whizz (Finch) who help prevent crimes before they happen with information received from a super-computer called 'the machine'. Together, with the help of a few corrupt police officers they save the lives of so many people.  Reese is so badass and looks cool doing absolutely anything and quite often has some hilarious comments. Finch: "I really wish you wouldn't do that here", Reese: "When I do it in the park, people look at me funny". 


And that's it! What have you been watching recently and what should I watch next? 
Thanks for reading!
Love Charlotte x
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Wednesday, 21 October 2015

My Makeup Collection: Foundations and BB Creams


Bases play a pretty key part in my makeup collection as I have terribly quite bad skin 98% of the time. I have a small range of products and generally pick and choose which one to use based on how my skin is looking at the time. As you can probably see from the products in the image, most of them offer medium-full coverage which I find incredibly important. There are occasions where I go out with no makeup on. For these times where I'm just nipping out to the shops, or somewhere I don't see the point in wearing a full face of makeup, but I still want a bit of coverage - I like to opt for a BB cream.

(I'll structure this post in the same way as I did my lipstick post as that way seemed to work the best so far.)

Foundations

Foundations (or maybe just concealer if I was trapped on a dessert island), as I mentioned at the start of this post, are one of the most important things in my makeup collection. They give me the confidence to go out and face the world. They cover my flaws so I don't have to worry about them being on show, and I can get on with worrying about other things. Since around 2010 (after ditching the notorious Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse) I have been using the Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation on a pretty much daily basis (or base-is ha! Sorry, terrible pun). I'd say it was a medium coverage foundation with a dewy finish so I find it perfect to wear day-day. Towards the end of last year I did have a breif fling with the Rimmel Lasting Finish 25 Hour Foundation when it launched. Its more of a full coverage foundation, but I'm not as keen on the finish (demi-matte/satin?) and I found it took quite a bit longer to blend in. So I'm back on the Match Perfection! When I'm going out for a special occasion, I like wear the NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation as it is a little more luxurious than my trusty Rimmel. It is a gorgeous lightweight foundation that offers quite a bit of coverage whilst still leaving you looking natural. One thing I must say is that this doesn't last "all day" by itself and you will need a primer underneath if you are going out for longer than a few hours. And I'd recommend those with oiler skin to avoid it as it will disappear very quickly and you'll have wasted your money...

BB Creams

BB creams are a fairly new addition into my makeup collection, only making an appearance within the last year or so. Even though I'm constantly lusting after many high-end BB creams and tinted moisturisers (mainly the Laura Mercier one), I only have two in my collection as the chances of them being completely used up are fairly slim. Saying that though, I have been loving wearing the Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream a lot recently. Even if I have had a few blemishes, I've applied it all over my face and used a high coverage concealer to fix any particularly problematic areas. After deciding that I had a new found love for BB creams, I purchased the Garnier one after reading some good reviews on it online. But the lightest colour is way too dark for me and I was left very disappointed (especially when you can't swatch it before you buy it), so I'd recommend all fellow pale-faced people to avoid this unless you want to look like an Oompa Lumpa! 

My Collection

Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream in Light // Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream in Light // Maybelline Fit Me Foundation in 115 // NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in Ceylan // Rimmel Lasting Finish 25 Hour Foundation in Ivory // Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation in Ivory

What is your holy grail foundation/base?
Thanks for reading!
Love Charlotte x
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Sunday, 18 October 2015

Best Of The Berry Blushes

Berry toned products are always a staple amongst my collection and when it gets to autumn/winter every brand seems to latch onto the trend, releasing products and various other things at the same time every year. I don't mind, of course, as I find berry tones flattering on my skin and I do really love wearing them whatever they are. I was having a sort through my collection and realised I have quite a few berry/dusty toned blushes, so here's my top picks! 

First up, is a blush that I have been using for an extremely long time. I even dare say that it was the first blush I ever used and I dread to think how many I have got through in my lifetime. The Boots No7 Natural Blush Tint Powder in 'Soft Damson' is one of my absolute favourites! The pigmentation is fabulous and it is a cult product for me. I love how soft and blendable the formulation is. They look so smooth and natural rather than looking cakey and I will probably be using this until I am too old to lift a makeup brush to my face. 

Next is a bit of a cult classic in the form of the NARS Blush in 'Sin', which is one of their most popular shades alongside 'Orgasm' and 'Deepthroat'. I love NARS, from the packaging to the formula I can't really fault them. It's the perfect pink-berry shade and doesn't make skin look muddy, like some berry toned products can. 

When the Clinique Cheek Pops were released last year, I wasn't so convinced by all the hype surrounding them. From the photos and videos I saw of them, they appeared to be so small and not worth the money. But then on one of my trips into Leeds late last year, I decided to have a look at the Clinique counter in Boots and I was surprised how big they actually were! I jumped on the bandwagon (a little late I know) and purchased the shade 'Berry Pop'. They have a sort of cream-powder finish leaving a very natural looking cheek colour that looks almost powerless. They have a very silky finish, and although there aren't too many shades, Clinique claim that there is one for every skin tone. 

Finally! The cherry on the top (or should I say berry ha!) of the cake is the Daniel Sandler Watercolour Blush in 'Cherub'. This product is so different from anything I've ever used before. They are super fast to apply and give the most gorgeously natural finish! I love using it with the Real Techniques Stippling Brush to achieve perfect results! 

Thanks for reading!
Love Charlotte x
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Wednesday, 14 October 2015

My Makeup Collection: Lipsticks

Apologies for reusing one of my old photos - I could not get another decent shot of my collection. And I tried on at least 3 separate occasions (*cries*)
Forget mascara and eyeshadow, I know that this part of the series is the one you've all been waiting for. And if it was someone else's series I would be all over the lipstick post, as lipsticks are like my blood. I need them to survive. I have so many and I have to actively stop myself from buying more. I currently own A LOT and I have been eying up at least hundreds more but I have no room left until I use up some of my existing ones (or buy more Muji - thats also an option). As I have so many, I thought it would be best to talk about my favourites and list the rest by brand? I didn't think about how I would talk about so many products in one post!

My favourites tend to switch up on an almost weekly basis. Some days I may be feeling really sassy and want a bright colour and the next I could be wanting to look more put together and choose to opt for a barely there shade. Currently my most worn shade is the Burberry Kisses Lipstick in Sepia as it just goes with everything! Whether it's a dramatic smokey eye in the evening, a bronzy contour or an everyday fresh and dewy look that's suitable for any occasion. It's a little pricy being from Burberry, but in this exception I'd say you definitely get what you pay for. They are so creamy and hydrating and you can really tell it is high end. Another favourite at the moment is the No7 Moisture Drench Lipstick in Soft Earth which, as I have just discovered whilst writing this post - is pretty similar to the Burberry one. DUPE ALERT DUPE ALERT.  This is the lipstick that I wear on an almost daily basis. Whether it is a trip into town with some friends or simply just going to university. I love wearing this and I find it super-wearable whatever the occasion.  For when I want to wear a bolder lip, my current go-to lipstick is the NARS Audacious Lipstick in Vera. It is an absolutely gorgeous raspberry shade that suits my pale complexion down to a T (whatever the hell that saying actually means).  

My ENTIRE Collection

The Body Shop Colour Riche Lipstick in 115 Enraptured Red // Burberry Kisses Lipstick in No. 85 Sepia (x2 because I love it!) // Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Amazing Grace // Clinique Long Last Soft Matte Lipstick in 50 Matte Beauty // Daniel Sandler Luxury Matte Lipstick in Casablanca // L'Oréal Colour Riche in 325 Feeric Fuchsia // Mac Amplified Lipstick in Red Balloon // Mac Retro Matte Lipstick in Ruby Woo // MeMeMe Lip Glide Velvet Finish Lip Colour in Rich Truffle* // Miss Sporty Perfect Colour Lipstick in 058 Malaga // Maybelline Colour Sensational Popsticks in 060 Citrus Slice // NARS Audacious Lipstick in Anna // NARS Audacious Lipstick in Charlotte // NARS Audacious Lipstick in Natalie // NARS Audacious Lipstick in Vera // NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Mandore // No7 Luscious Lipstick in Sweet Damson (discontinued?) // No7 Moisture Drench Lipstick in Soft Earth // No7 Stay Perfect Lipstick in Grace // No7 Moisture Drench Lipstick in Shiny Conker (x2 again!) // No7 Moisture Drench Lipstick in Chic // Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick in 035 Heather Shimmer // Rimmel Moisture Renew in 180 Vintage Pink (x2 because I love it!) // Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick By Kate Moss in 107 // Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick in 016 Heart Breaker // Revlon Colour Burst Lip Butter in 035 Candy Apple // Revlon Colour Burst Lip Butter in 015 Tutti Frutti // Revlon Colour Burst Lip Butter in 090 Sweet Tart // Topshop Lips in Really Ruby // Topshop Lips in Ditsy // Topshop Lips in Screen Siren // Topshop Lips in Macaroon

What lipsticks can you not live without, and have you got any recommendations for me? 
Thanks for reading!
Love Charlotte x
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Sunday, 11 October 2015

My Makeup Collection: Mascaras

Hello Friends! Here is another instalment of my 'My Makeup Collection' series. This time I'm talking about my mascaras. One of the magical things that makes me look like a half awake human being. I only own 4 at the minute as a couple have dried out and I don't want these to dry out before I've had a reasonable amount of use out of them. So I try to only have a couple in at a time. 

The first mascara in my collection is the Maybelline Lash Sensational Waterproof Mascara. It is supposed to be a dupe for the Benefit Roller Lash but honestly I'm not a fan. When I bought it everyone was raving about how good it was but I find it way too goopy. I have to wipe off a lot of excess on the brush before it can anywhere near my eye lashes. I certainly won't be repurchasing it, but I'm not ready to throw it away just yet. #hoarderproblems

Next up is my all time favourite high-street (drugstore for the American lot) mascara. The Soap and Glory Thick and Fast Mascara is my most repurchased mascara ever! It is just so good! Being Soap and Glory it is kind of in that limbo zone between premium and high street, but at £10 I'd argue high street! Nevertheless - I absolutely adore it! It really makes your lashes look long and voluminous and for a tenner you can't really complain! 

For when I'm after a little more volume or for when I'm wanting to feel all glamourous and sassy, I have the Benefit Bad Gal Lash mascara. OH MY GOD I don't think words can describe how much I love this mascara. It always makes my lashes look incredible - without fail! Granted it can smudge a little if the weather is hot or you're frantically running around Leeds train station all day.. 

And finally! One of the latest additions to my collection is the No7 Exceptional Definition Mascara. It is the one I use when I am running late! It always makes my lashes look curled and fluttery so I don't have to spend time curling my lashes before running out the door! I usually only like the wands with the bristle brushes, but this one has a rubber wand and surprisingly I really like it!

If you have any recommendations for me, please leave them below as I'm desperate to try something new! 

Thanks for reading!
Love Charlotte x

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Wednesday, 7 October 2015

The Bloggers Blog Awards 2015

(Photo: C/O HelloApril)
Hello my lovely readers! After what seemed like a lifetime of waiting, last Saturday was (finally) the day of the Bloggers Blog Awards ceremony - organised by the lovely Hayley of Tea Party Beauty. I don't think I ever actually mentioned it here on my blog, but I was actually nominated in the Best Up and Coming Beauty Blogger category! Of course I couldn't pass up the opportunity to be in a room full of some of my favourite human beings, so I immediately RSPVd to the invite! 
(Photo: C/O HelloApril)
The event was held at Lamberts Yard in Leeds, and I've only recently found that this place existed! I really wanted to come and see the Humans Of Leeds exhibition when it was on earlier in the year - but I never got the chance! So I was delighted to hear that it was the venue! I met up with Lucy in the train station and together we managed to find it without much trouble, and when we arrived I was amazed by how beautiful the industrial decor was! We were offered Prosecco, but unfortunately for me I was driving (DAMN UK WITH THEIR NO DRINK DRIVING RULES LOL)  or as Joe called me 'A bad student', and were given a quick tour round their clothes shop (they have some gorgeous pieces in if you're ever in the area!). Although I've been to a few blogger related events, this was my biggest yet and the first one I've gone to alone (without dragging a mate along as a plus one haha) so I was incredibly anxious! Within in moments of arriving, bloggers starting pouring into the room in groups and conversation was soon flowing! 
One of the only photos I actually took myself AHAHAHAHA #badblogger
All being bloggers, everybody had something in common and so you could start a conversation with literally anyone in the room and it was absolutely brilliant! We mingled for about an hour and then we took or seats ready for the winners to be announced! I sat with three of the loveliest bloggers (Ana, Sam and Amy) that I have ever had the pleasure of meeting (see next photo) and we spent ages chatting (mainly about shoes but that's what bloggers do best!). When flicking through the event programme, we discovered that myself, Ana and Sam were all nominees in the same category! Which was lovely as we were rooting for each other! Ana was awarded Highly Commended and the winner of our category was Lily of Pint Sized Beauty
Sam, Ana and Amy! (Photo: Ana of Ravishing Roses)
Once all the awards had been dished out, it was time for the raffle in aid of Alzheimer's Research UK. And OHMYGOD it was the best raffle I have ever seen in my life! There were prizes from the likes of Pandora, Magnitone, TheBalm and Jurlique - amongst many others! As always, I didn't win anything! Although Sam was getting really excited whenever the colour of my tickets were called out hahaha! A few of us joked(!!!) that it was rigged as Jemma seemed to win almost everything ;)
Afterwards, most of us headed over to The Black Swan on Call Lane for some dinner! The staff were absolutely brilliant and seated over 40 of us and served us with no complaints or issues. We filled over half the restaurant, and the food was absolutely delicious! I got one of their sourdough pizzas and it was  soooo tasty! I had to dash off for the train towards the end, but I had a massive grin plastered across my face the whole way home. I met lots of lovely bloggers and I can't wait to see some of them again soon!
Group selfie! (Photo: @lovedbylaurac on Twitter)
I would just like to thank Hayley for organising such a brilliant event and I think she really did herself proud! I'd also like to thank all the bloggers for being so lovely and to you guys reading as I'd never have got there if it wasn't for you!

Thanks for reading!
Love Charlotte x
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Sunday, 4 October 2015

Recipe: Warming Tomato and Basil Soup

Hello everyone! Hope you're having a lovely Sunday! I haven't done a recipe post for absolutely ages, so I felt like doing one today! As it is starting to get a little chillier and the sun is nowhere in sight, I thought I'd do a soup recipe as soup is one of my favourite things to eat when I'm feeling chilly or when I have a dreaded winter cold! I've been making it a lot recently as the weather is freeeeezing and this week I've been feeling a bit ill. Making soup is incredibly easy, and you will be surprised at how much better it tastes than it does out of a tin! You can even make it in large batches, freeze some and save it for later! I like to mess around with different flavours but I love making the classics like tomato and basil, and that is the recipe I have for you today!

You will need!
Around 8 large salad tomatoes per person (don't use tins of chopped tomatoes or it will taste like pasta sauce! Which isn't very pleasant - trust me! Ew!)
Vegetable stock cube (I use the Knorr stock pots)
200ml of water (roughly)
Fresh basil (dried also tastes just as good)
A blender - essential!
Salt and pepper (as seasoning - optional)

First things first, you'll need to stick the kettle on (not for a cuppa) to start off your stock! Whilst you are waiting for it to boil, you can start chopping your salad tomatoes (and basil if you are using fresh) into chunks. Smaller chunks will cook faster if you are in a rush or staaaaarving! Once your kettle has boiled, add boiling water to a large pan and pop in your stock cube. Wait for it to dissolve before adding anything else. 

Once your stock is ready, you can add the tomatoes into the pan. You want to let them simmer down so they go all soft and squishy. Once they are soft enough, turn off the heat and add in your basil. Leave to cool for a couple of minutes before blending (or you'll burn yourself if it splashes!) and serve! I like to have mine with a granary bread roll as the two go together perfectly!

See I told you it was simple! And so so quick! 

As always, if you make it tag me in a photo as I love it when you do this! 
Thanks for reading!
Love Charlotte x

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