Thoughts on Blogosphere Magazine

28 Feb 2014

Us bloggers have created our own little community on the internet. We blog, share photos, tweet, youtube...the list goes on. But we have nothing tangible to our name. This is where Blogosphere comes in. A printed magazine about bloggers for bloggers. It's taken me a little while to jump on the bandwagon as the first magazine was actually launched back in October, but I'm so glad I have the magazines now.

Each magazine has contributions from bloggers across all genres showcasing their favourite blogs. Its a brilliant way to find new reads and learn a little more about the authors. They also add general blogging tips from 'agony aunt' Ellie of Xomisse. There is also a feature interview with a well-known blogger who also graces the front page of the magazine.

First up was Estée of Essie Button, second Sasha of Liberty London Girl and the recently published third issue featured Fleur of Fleur De Force (which is on my to-buy list!). Essie Button is one of my favourite bloggers and I really loved getting to know her more in the interview.

The whole magazine is really well thought out, with  interesting content all the way through. The magazine feels like amazing quality too, so I was shocked that it was only £4. It's SO worth your money especially if you're a blogger yourself or just want to find some new blogs to read.

I'm definitely subscribing :).

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Tag | The Blogger Made Me Buy It!

25 Feb 2014

Firstly, I just wanted to say thank you SO much for following my blog. I reached 200 followers yesterday which is just crazy! I had a really rubbish morning yesterday and getting the 200 follower mark email from Bloglovin' really turned it around! So thank you for sticking with me, whether you're old or new!

Today I really felt in the mood for a tag post, and the Blogger Made Me Buy It seemed like one alll of us can relate too! I haven't seen it around many blogs either so I thought it might make a slightly more interesting read. So, on with the questions!

1. Who are your most influential bloggers? Who are the ones that you really rely on for reviews and swatches?
I actually follow a crazy amount of blogs and I do pop by them all for reviews and swatches. But, if I had to choose I do really love Vivianna Does Makeup's photography when she's reviewing a product and I really trust her opinion. So she is probably the most influential to me, although I do love reviews from EssieButton and Lily Melrose (ETC LLYMLRS) too. 

2. Do you buy a product solely as a result from one review from your favourite bloggers, or do you look for more reviews from others?
I definitely scout out a few opinions on products before purchasing just because I find it interesting reading other peoples perspectives. Although, if I want a product I'm probably gonna buy it no matter how many/little reviews I've seen! 

3. What is your most favourite item that you have ever bought as a consequence of blogs? 
I think this definitely has to be the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle. I first heard about this from Louise of Sprinkle of Glitter world in one of her videos, and fell in love with it. She seriously sold it and it looked so gorgeous on her, I just knew I had to have it! I've not been disappointed either, as its still a staple in my makeup bag over a year on!

4. What is your least favourite item that you have ever bought as a consequence of blogs?
I think this has to be the L'Oréal Glam Shine Stain Splash glosses that were really hyped up. I saw so many bloggers saying that they were a dupe of the YSL Glossy Stain's which I'd coveted for a while. I bought three shades, and to be honest? I hated them all. I found them so uncomfortable on the lips and they just didn't suit me at all. Luckily they were on offer at the time I bought them so I didn't waste too much money! 

5. Name 5 products you have bought recently as a result of blogs
I haven't really been buying much recently to be honest, so this is tricky! I did buy a few items recently from the new Tanya Burr range after seeing some really good blog reviews. A while ago I bought the Vaseline Spray and Go Moisturiser after reading a really good review on Couture Girl but that's about it I think!

6. Have you ever given into blogger hype? If so, which hype? 
Haven't we all? I resisted for so long on the Maybelline Babylips front as I felt it was just simply a glorified lip balm. Which essentially it still is! But jeeez is it moisturising!! I have the Intense balm as I'm just not a fan of a tinted lip balm and I love it. 

7. Have you ever avoided blogger hype? If so, which type?
The limited edition NARS Guy Bourdin One Night Stand palette was all over the blogosphere and I avoided successfully! I do think it looks a lovely palette, but I'm just not willing to flash that much cash on it to be honest. I do love blushers, but as I already have quite a few in my collection I couldn't really justify adding it. 

8. Is everything you buy based on blogger reviews or are there some items you buy without checking out a review?
Now that I've found the world of blogs I do read a lot of reviews before splurging on a more pricey product, just so I don't waste my money! But for the more affordable products in my collection I don't necessarily find a review. Especially as most of my high street purchases are more impulse based, and less researched than higher end products. 

So there we have it! I hope you enjoyed this tag, let me know if you do or have done this tag as I'd love to read it! :) 

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Sunday Bake | Chocolate and Peanut Butter Pie

23 Feb 2014

Pie. What a wondrous thing. This was my first dabble into the world of American cream pies and oh myy was it a good one. Yes its slightly rough round the edges, but did it taste good? Damn right it did! I made the pie for Craig after he not so subtly mentioned how much he reallllly wanted a pie that evening. I'm not gonna lie though, I'll go with any excuse if it means baking! Especially a new recipe.

I used a recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery book Cake Days, with a few alterations. It was so easy to make, and although it took a while to set in the fridge the actual assembly time was minimal! You will need a hand-held whisk though, unless you want to kill your arm!


250g Double-Chocolate Digestives (or any other double-choc biscuit you can find)
50g Unsalted Butter
3 tbsp Cornflour
160g Caster Sugar
550ml Whole Milk
3 Large Egg Yolks
180g Smooth Peanut Butter
80g Dark Chocolate
500ml Double Cream
50g Icing Sugar


1. Firstly, line a 22cm/9in spring-form cake tin with baking paper so it'll be easier for you to turn out. Then blitz the biscuits in a food processor until they are rough crumbs. Melt the butter and add this to the biscuits, then blitz again until both ingredients have come together in a rough paste. Tip the mixture into the lined tin, and press evenly over the base and up the sides using the back of a spoon. You want to try and get this as even as possible, but it is quite tricky to know whether its even. Once you're happy with it, chill it in the fridge for around 40 minutes.

2. Next you need to make the filling. Mix the cornflour and sugar in a saucepan, then mix together the milk and egg yolks and pour this into the pan. Cook over a low heat, whisking continuously until thickened. It won't seem to be doing anything for a while and then it will suddenly thicken, so stick with it! Once thickened remove it from the heat and stir in the peanut butter. Place the chocolate in a bowl and pour over about a third of the hot peanut butter filling, mixing well until the chocolate has melted and the filling is smooth and even. Pour the chocolate filling into the chilled biscuit base and cover with cling film to stop a skin forming. Then place back in the fridge for 30-40 minutes to set. Also cover the remaining peanut butter filling with clingfilm and set aside to cool to room temperature.

3. In another bowl, whip 250ml of the double cream using a hand-held whisk until it is thick and forms soft peaks. Fold this into the completely cooled peanut butter filling, ensuring it is mixed in well. Remove the pie from the fridge and top with the filling, then place it again back in the fridge for 40-50 minutes.

4. The final stage is to whip the remaining 250ml cream with the icing sugar until it forms almost stiff peaks and spoon onto the set pie filling. I then grated chocolate over the top just for added decoration.

Adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery 'Cake Days'.

It's a really great dessert to whip up for a dinner party, and can be made well in advance! Just keep it in the fridge until you need it. I hope you liked this recipe and it's inspired you to make a pie. :)

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Weekly Highlights. #14

22 Feb 2014

L-R: Weekday Selfie, Trying out Tanya Burr Little Duck polish, First read of Blogosphere magazine, Lemon Cream Gingernut Pie, IKEA trip, IKEA decor inspiration, Chocolate and Peanut Butter Pie, Selfridges Display, Modern Family loving. 
This week has been a good'un for me. Quite a few new and exciting things happened, paired with a new affinity for making american style pie and a trip to Ikea! I also met up with some old uni friends and put the world to rights over a G&T. Bliss.

Here's my three highlights:

1. IKEA trips have always been something I got far too excited by, and this weeks trip with Craig was even more exciting than usual as this time it was for OUR FLAT. I have briefly mentioned before that in the coming months I will eventually be moving in with Craig and two of our friends which is superrr exciting! We had the exciting task of buying a duvet together which was actually rather stressful what with the Tog system! But strolling round IKEA planning our room decor most definitely made up for it. :) 

2. American pie, (food not the film!) is not really something I've dabbled in before but this week I've ended up making two! Both super easy and super tasty!! I love it when a new bake turns out well, its such a good feeling. The first pie was a Chocolate and Peanut Butter combo (recipe up tomorrow!) and the second a Lemon Cream Gingernut. Yum yum yum.

3. Finally, me and Craig met up with our old Uni friends Grace and Phil this week while they were down in London. I don't think I'd seen them in about a year so it was really lovely to see them and have a good old catch up. Reminiscing about Uni life is one of my favourite pastimes too, so it was lovely to chat about it with them.

I hope you've all had a wonderful week! :)

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Spotlight On: Bourjois

21 Feb 2014

As a new feature on Dress It Up, I thought I'd place the spotlight on a different brand every few weeks, be it high street or high end and talk about my three favourite products from the range. To kick the feature off I decided to focus on Bourjois, a firm favourite in my make-up bag.

I've dabbled in products across the board at the Bourjois stand and have found favourites in every section. I eventually picked the cream of the crop, starting off with my holy grail status foundation the Healthy Mix.

This foundation has been a constant fixture in my routine for many months now with numerous repurchases throughout. I love the dewy healthy glow it gives, and the medium coverage is perfect for me. It works so well with the Real Techniques Buffing Brush to really give you a flawless finish. Its quite light in texture allowing your skin to breathe, and doesn't sit heavy on your skin at all. If you're looking for a new foundation to give you a really healthy glow, I'd definitely give this a try!

Piles of cotton pads and pungent nail varnish remover bottles are a distant memory thanks to this wonder! Bourjois have created a 'magic' pot where nail varnish vanishes in seconds. I can't say its gone in one second, like it says on the pot, (especially if its glitter polish!) but a few twists of your finger and 5 seconds down you are polish free! It really has changed my life, no joke!

Finally, the Délice de Soleil Bronzing Powder takes the stage. Firstly, I love the design of this compact with the swivel mirror and tiny brush inside. It's perfect for travelling with and is super slim to fit in your handbag too. Likewise with Bourjois' other bronzing powder this also smells deliciously of chocolate. The powder gives you a really nice bronzed look and works as a really nice sheer contour without giving you a 'muddy' look.

So there we have it! I hope you like this new feature and it gave you a little insight into a few Bourjois products. :)

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Just In! Tanya Burr Haul

18 Feb 2014

As I'm sure all of you reading this know, Tanya Burr recently released a line of lip-glosses and nail polishes. It's so exciting that someone who began as a blogger has been able to take this step and its a big accomplishment for her and the blogging community. The whole range has such a lovely palette of colours and definitely has something to suit all tastes. I decided to try a few nail polishes and one lip gloss after much deliberation!

Nail polish wise I chose New York Night which is a deep plum shade, Little Duck which is a bright duck egg bluey/green shade and finally Penguin Chic which is a light grey. So far I've only tried Little Duck on my nails, but I'm so excited to try the others out! The formula is really thick and opaque - you could get away with only painting one coat! Mine lasted chip free for 3-4 days, which is fairly average for me as I tend to get chips quite quickly! I loved the colour though, and even my boyfriend kept commenting how nice the colour was! True praise!!

I am usually more of a lipstick kinda girl than a gloss, but I really wanted to try one of Tanya's glosses out. I chose Picnic in the Park which is a really pretty, but quite subtle pink. I haven't worn this yet but it swatched really nicely and seems quite buildable. It also smells amazingly of fizzy sweets! Yum.

I can't wait to give all these products a proper try out and I'm sure I'll have full reviews in the near future. Have you tried any of Tanya Burr's range?

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Lunch at Joe's Southern Kitchen

16 Feb 2014

As previously documented on this blog I am a real foodie and I enjoy nothing more than finding a new eatery to be wined and dined in. Myself and Craig often go out for food and really enjoy exploring new hot spots. With this in mind, I wanted to add a few foodie reviews here and there into the blog, with the first being Joe's Southern Kitchen.

Me and Craig went to Joe's Southern Kitchen a few weeks ago on a rather rainy day for lunch. The restaurant is on King Street in Covent Garden and we've often found ourselves walking past and peering inside! As the name would suggest it is a real Southern restaurant, with fried chicken first on the menu! I loved the decor inside, it had a real rustic vibe to it! There was also seats upstairs on a balcony which would give you a great view of the restaurant. I didn't originally plan to review the restaurant and I didn't have my big camera with me, so apologies for the slightly rubbish pictures!

After much deliberation on the massive menu we both opted for the 'Blue Plate Special' which was crazy cheap for how much food we got! I couldn't finish my plate at all! With the special we got fried chicken, fries with chicken salt and BBQ pulled pork beans. Craig also had a glass of wine, while I tried the Lemongrass Lemonade. All that for 10 quid each! Madness!! As sides I got Cornbread Muffins and Craig had classic Mac'n'Cheese.

First of all, the fries were amazing!! They were probably the highlight for me actually, they were just so damn tasty!! The BBQ pulled pork beans were super tasty, but there was way too much of it! The actual chicken however, I liked but didn't love. I can't quite put my finger on what I didn't like, but Craig loved it so I definitely wouldn't let my opinion sway you! The mac'n'cheese was sooo yummy though! One of the best I've had! My cornbread muffins were yummy too, buttt we totally didn't need the sides! The meal was filling enough!

All in all, it is a really lovely restaurant with some seriously good food on the menu! I'd love to go back and try one of their buns, or their famed 'beer can chicken'. They also had an amazing array of cocktails, but as it was lunch time I wasn't sure whether it was acceptable to test a few out... Definitely next time though!!

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Weekly Highlights. #13

15 Feb 2014

This week has been full of god-awful weather so most of the pictures I've taken have consisted of food indoors! I'm so ready for spring/summer now!! This week I got my hands on a few Tanya Burr products, and I'm already in love with the 'Little Duck' nail polish! I also got sent the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+ to try after my review of the original Effaclar Duo which was exciting! :)

My three highlights are:

1. Last Sunday I spent the day with my mum and sister. We went for a walk near Leatherhead and saw some of the awful flooding firsthand! We then bought a few bits from Waitrose for lunch and had a good old chat. It's nice to just have relaxed family days like this :)

2. A peculiar highlight, but this week I think I made the best Caramelised Red Onion gravy I've ever made. I do love a good meal of bangers and mash, but for me its all about the gravy so I was particularly pleased with this effort!

3. Finally, I've really been loving the Winter Olympics that have started this week! I can't stop watching it and suddenly I'm having thoughts of becoming a snowboarder!? Not sure that'll ever happen, but I do enjoy watching the crazy flips and tricks that the Olympian's take on! 

I hope you've all had a lovely week! :)

Aimée Field
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Review | Soap and Glory Supercat Liquid Eyeliner Pen

14 Feb 2014

When it comes to eyeliner my preferred application is with a felt-pen like nib. I find it super easy to use and I don't have to worry about smudges when I'm first applying. The Soap and Glory Supercat Liquid Eyeliner Pen is my absolute favourite at the moment for this!

I've always loved Soap and Glory's bath and skincare range but I'd never really delved into their make-up before. I have always heard good reviews though so I thought I'd take the plunge and try something for myself! The eyeliner has quite a large nib which can make precise or small lines trickier to create, but with a bit of practice it gets easier. You can create really smooth lines with the pen, that give your eyes a really professional look.

The pen is so highly pigmented, so you get a really dramatic deep black line which I love. I hate it when black eyeliners look grey on the skin. It also stays put ALL DAY. Literally, even with this god-awful weather in the UK at the moment, it does. not. budge. I don't think I've ever used such a long-lasting eyeliner, and at £6.00 it's a real bargain!

I urge you to try it if you're on the lookout for a new eyeliner! :)

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Valentines Bake | Red Velvet Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

11 Feb 2014

When it comes to Valentines Day there are two camps. Those who love it and those who hate it. It's basically the Marmite of the holiday world. Me personally? I'm not a fan. I don't really see the point in it, aside from using it as an excuse to spend the night with your loved one. That being said, if I'm going to use Valentines Day as an excuse for anything, its to bake! So when I saw this recipe on Pinterest I thought it was only right that I tried it.

Red Velvet is such a decadent flavour, and the beautiful red colour makes it a super romantic dessert. A perfect treat to make for your loved one, or just to eat all to yourself! I'm not judging! The combination of brownie and cheesecake goes so well together and makes for a seriously moreish treat!!

I used this recipe from Sallys Baking Addiction. She runs a brilliant site, full of such innovative baking ideas! This recipe in particular was so easy to follow and hardly took any time at all. Her brownies definitely looked better than mine, but mine still tasted amazing so I don't mind. :)

Let me know if you do attempt them for Valentines Day! :) I hope you have a lovely day if you do intend on celebrating!

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Sunday Bake | Wedding Cake Engagement Biscuits

9 Feb 2014

I love giving and receiving homemade gifts, so when I was invited to my friend Emma's engagement party I thought it was the perfect opportunity to use a wedding cake shaped biscuit recipe I had from Edd Kimber's book 'Say it with Cake'. I love how simple the design is, yet they look so cute! I wanted to make two different shapes, so I decided to also make a simple chocolate biscuit heart with Emma and her fiancé Billy's initials intertwined.

The Chocolate biscuit recipe is from a blog called the Pink Whisk run by Ruth Clemens who actually came second to Edd in the first series of the Great British Bake Off! Her recipe is here, I halved all the ingredients as I didn't want to make too many biscuits.

The Wedding Cake biscuits and icing are actually lemon flavored which was a really nice change. Like the Chocolate hearts I also halved the recipe so I wasn't drowning in biscuits. The recipe below however is the original from the book and makes around 25.

For the biscuits and icing you will need:

425g Plain Flour,
1/2tsp Salt,
200g Caster Sugar,
Zest of 2 Lemons,
225g Unsalted Butter, cold
1 Large Egg,
1 Large Egg Yolk,
1tsp Vanilla Extract

450g Royal Icing Sugar,
75ml Lemon Juice


1. Firstly, put the the flour, salt, sugar and lemon zest in a bowl and mix to combine. Then rub the butter into the flour by hand until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the egg, yolk and vanilla extract and stir until the mixture just comes together. Then tip onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead together until uniform. Divide the dough in half and wrap in clingfilm, then chill for about 1 hour.

2. Remove the dough from the fridge and allow to warm up slightly (around 10 minutes) before rolling out. Working with one half of the dough at a time, roll to a thickness of 4-5mm. You'll then need to use a Wedding Cake cookie cutter or create a template out of baking paper, and cut as many biscuits as you can, re-rolling the dough if needs be. Place them onto the baking sheet and chill for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4.

3. Bake the biscuits for 15-18 minutes or until the edges turn golden. Then leave to cool completely.

4. To make the Royal Icing, pour the icing sugar into a large bowl and add the lemon juice. Using a wooden spoon gently mix the two together until combined. Then beat the mixture until you have a thick and smooth paste.

5. To decorate the biscuits, put the icing into a piping bag fitted with a thin plain piping nozzle, about 2mm wide. If you don't have a piping bag you could use a sandwich bag and snip a small corner off the edge. Once decorated allow the icing to set for a few hours. Or just dig in straight away if you don't mind getting a little messy! ;)

Adapted from Edd Kimber's 'Say it with Cake'

I hope you liked the biscuits and hopefully it gave you an idea for any future engagement/wedding presents!

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