Friday, 26 August 2011

Hooray! ( A Little Update)

So yesterday I got my GCSE exam results, (the big exams in the UK you sit at 16,) of course I'm 17 but as I was ill last year I didn't get the chance to do them. Anyways, the repeated year paid off, I got an A*, 7As and 2 Bs which I'm more than happy about :) I intend to study chemistry, biology, psychology and English literature next year so here's hoping they go well! I hope you are all having a fantastic week! xx

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Green Tea Facial

I had a whole packet of green tea in the house but I wasn't that fond of it so needed to think up a way to make some use out of it. I knew green tea was good for your skin on the inside but how about on the outside? I quickly discovered some recipes for green tea scrubs/face washes with recurring ingredients. I finally decided to try it out tonight and the results amazed me! It left my skin far softer and smoother than any cleanser or scrub I've used before and reduced the redness of my complexion. So, obviously, I knew I had to share this miracle concoction with you lovely ladies!

With the results I've gotten from just one application I have high hopes for my skin in the coming weeks of usage as my complexion has been less than desirable this past while. I think it's best to start with mentioning the properties of the ingredients that make them ideal to be included in skincare.

Firstly, and obviously is green tea. Green tea contains potent antioxidants which help to fight damage from free radicals. It neutralises the damage caused by UV light and reduces the risk of sunburn, hence preventing premature ageing and the risk of developing skin cancer. It also helps to rejuvenate skin cells and improve elasticity in the skin. Green tea is especially good for those with acne or skin conditions such as psoriasis, rosacea and dandruff as it has an anti-inflammatory effect on the skin. Green tea catechins are anti-bacterial and can decrease hormone activity. It can also lighten skin tone and improve the overall appearances of those with hyper-pigmentation or redness.

The next ingredient I used was granulated sugar. As a natural exfoliant, sugar removes dead surface skin cells, encouraging cell renewal and restore the natural brightness of the skin, giving you a glow from within. It helps to remove blemishes without clogging the pores and restores the balance of the oils in the skin.

Finally I used honey for it's ability to absorb and retain moisture, leaving the skin feeling hydrated. Honey also has anti-microbial and antioxidant properties so can be used to treat sunburn, minor skin irritations and also prevents further damage from the sun which could otherwise lead to premature ageing.

So, onto the...recipe? It sounds like a strange word to use for this but anywho...

Fill a bowl with warm or recently boiled water, (depending on how much you want to make,) and steep one or two green teabag(s) for a few minutes. Squeeze the moisture out of the tea bag into the bowl so you get as much of the green tea in as possible. (You can use the teabags on your eyes to improve dark circles when they are cool.)

Add the sugar when the water is lukewarm. (If the water is too hot the sugar will automatically dissolve so you'll have a face wash rather than a scrub.) Add the honey and leave for a few minutes for the ingredients to infuse together. Mix the ingredients together until they are incorporated. (Don't mix too much or the sugar will dissolve!) Use as much or as little ingredients as you want, until you get the consistency that you like.

Scoop the sugar portion at the bottom and gently massage into the skin. Leave for a minute and then remove with a damp cotton pad. Dip a clean cotton pad into the liquid portion and wipe over the face,(don't forget your neck!) leaving for a few minutes to sink in the remove with another clean damp cotton pad and splash face with cool water to close pores and remove excess. Pat skin dry and feel the softness! Then finish with your moisturiser.

Wrap any left over in cling film and keep in the fridge. Adding more sugar the next day if necessary. I'm not sure how long it would keep for but you can always use the rest on your body as it would have similar effects on the skin. Enjoy!

Monday, 22 August 2011

Banana Loaf

This is a delicious recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook, (their recipes never fail to impress me!) I'd say it's more of an autumn/winter bread as it does contain some spice but not so much that's it's off putting. I'm not a big cinnamon fan although I don't mind it in this recipe, so the spices aren't overpowering.


270g soft light brown sugar
2 eggs
200g peeled bananas, mashed
280g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
140g unsalted butter, melted

a 23 x 13cm loaf tin, greased and dusted with flour (I just used a loaf case instead)


Preheat oven to 170°C (325°F) Gas 3.

Put the sugar and eggs in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat until well incorporated. Beat in the mashed banana.

Add the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and ginger to the sugar mixture. Mix it thoroughly until all the dry ingredients have been incorporated into the egg mixture. Pour in the melted butter and beat until all the ingredients are well mixed.

Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and smooth over with a palette knife. Bake in the preheated oven for about 1 hour or until firm to the touch and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool slightly in the tin before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Personally, I can't resist eating bread when it's still warm :) Enjoy!

Friday, 19 August 2011

Broccoli & Cheese Soup

When I told my family I was making this for dinner this evening, it's safe to say they gave me a look. As gross as it sounds it's actually pretty tasty, and judging by everyone's second helpings I'm not the only one who thinks so.

I actually made this is school in a home economics class so it is pretty healthy, (school's in the UK have gone healthy eating mad!) which is good as I'm trying to slim down. So if you want the recipe... here it is!


25g (1oz) butter & 1 tbsp oil
1 medium onion finely chopped
150g (5oz) peeled & diced potatoes
225g (8oz) broccoli divided into florettes
1 1/4 pints ham stock or water

250ml (1/2 pint) milk
1 tsp sugar
110g (4oz) mature cheddar cheese
1 clove garlic, minced


Heat butter and oil in a large saucepan & sauté the onion and garlic until soft.

Add the potatoes, broccoli and ham stock/water & simmer until the vegetables are cooked (around 10mins.) Season to taste.

Blend the vegetables and stock until smooth.

Return the soup to the saucepan & add the milk, adjusting seasoning. Heat gently to serving temperature, do not boil.

Add the cheese & sugar, stir through to melt. Serve with crusty or wheaten bread.

I would have made home-made wheaten bread but I didn't have any butter milk. I'll save that recipe for another time! Enjoy!

Monday, 15 August 2011

Monday Blues?

Today has been a rather strange day. I didn't get up until 3! No I'm not being lazy, my body clock has completely reversed so I'm up most of the night and asleep all day :/ (I need to sort that out before I go back to school!) My cold or other random infection had started going away and has decided today that it would worsen again which is just great...

Needless to say I've been feeling pretty sick and snappy lately. Tonight however, I got a random must-clean-everything-in-sight mood! I started on my bedroom which was meant to be decorated this summer but it isn't looking likely with the amount of tidying left to be done. I cleaned my bathroom and then from some time after 10 until just after 11 I started on the kitchen; filling the dishwasher, going through cupboards, washing down the island and getting dishes ready to wash tomorrow. Usually I need to be asked to do this stuff but I went on my whim and got as much done as possible. I've also been eating really healthily today, (bar 2 squares of 70% cocoa dark chocolate), but other than that I've been good and drinking loads of water. Although my sickness is all over the place I'm determined not to let it put me off track!

I guess the moral of this story is even if you are feeling a bit off, physically or emotionally, find something productive to spend your time on. It will not only keep your mind off what's bothering you but you'll feel better that you've set a goal and accomplished it! Hey, it might be something really mundane like cleaning but it definitely works!

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Happy Esbat!

Full Moon Blessings Everyone!

I did my first proper meditation since Samhain! (Can you believe that?!) I thought I'd share my "altar" so to speak. I don't have a free workspace to make a proper altar so the floor of my bedroom beside my balcony doors with a view of the sky is my make-shift space.

It's pretty simple and I just set it as I instinctively thought I should. No, there's no formal correspondences here, just whatever felt right to me! As you may also be able to see in the bottom right hand corner, I took this opportunity to give the Badger Yoga & Meditation Balm a go so I'll let you know how that was after I've done some yoga using it. Blessed Be! xx

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Being Truely Faithful

I was thinking about religion earlier and just recalled an incident in my religious studies class a few months ago, (it should be called Christianity studies, but more on that another time.)

I think the topic we were covering was about the Kingdom of God and God's plans for each individual. The person I sat beside however said something that I found very odd, which was that they aren't ready to accept death at any time, although it may be God's wish. I felt it only natural to speculate my confusion, as I found it strange that a Christian was not ready to meet their God when their life is spent earning a way to heaven. For many religions life's purpose is to reach some sort of afterlife with their deity(ies). I'm not saying this to criticize other religious people; I believe all faiths are created equal and so are equally valid and deserving of followers. My teacher admitted that he too was not ready to die at any given moment  but also agreed with my view that it is strange that they would say that.

Anyway that was a strange little thought I was having and wanted to share. I think it was quite an interesting situation which I couldn't quite get my head around, anyone else think so? Blessed Be! xx

NOTD: Nails Of The Day!

Tonight it's... O.P.I.'s Here Today... Aragon Tomorrow SUEDE!

at night with indoor lighting and camera flash
The orignal Here Today... Aragon Tomorrow is one of my most favourite shades so when I saw that it was available in a matte or "suede" version I had to get it! While the suede range are based on other classic colours they don't tend to be anywhere near the same shade. For a matte polish it is actually full of sparkle which is really pretty! As I've only put this on tonight I can't be 100% in describing the colour, it could be lighter in natural light but I'll redraft this tomorrow. (I was just too excited to share this colour before then!)

I am also going to photograph the polish with a top cot as I've seen pictures of this and it looks amazing! I just hope it will be as fabulous in real life.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Is It Really Still Summer? (And I Want To Know What YOU Think!)

These past few days have had me questioning that... Take tonight for example, I'm sitting here drinking a hot chocolate, (I'm being healthy with what I eat, I swear!) with wooly socks on and nursing the onset of a cold or some other related illness?! I also managed to pick up a sniffle while I was on holiday, (the weather was hot and humid everyday), how is that even possible?! It left me after two days but I gave it to my brother and he had it for almost a week!

Anyway, I have definitely moved on from summer, at home it's been rainy and cold, (although I don't mind), and I've even been craving soup! I thought as I probably won't sleep tonight, (it's a quarter to 1 and my nose isn't showing any sign of not running), I thought I'd do a few posts or at least get some drafts done to post at a later date, whilst letting the echinacea take effect.

If there's something anyone would like me to post about let me know! I'm always open to new ideas and don't want to feel like you have to read whatever I post. I'd rather post the things you're interested in; more reviews? my crystal and oil collection and their properties? ritual or prayer ideas? my cooking ventures?

I feel this would help me to better connect to you, after all I have this blog in the hopes to inform as well as to share and learn from others. Blessed Be! xx

Monday, 8 August 2011

Me... Only Healthier!

I don't know how many times I've told myself I'm going to eat more healthily and exercise more and went on to wallow in my unhealthiness with a tub of Ben & Jerry's! So starting tomorrow I intend to eat as healthily as possible; including more fresh fruit and vegetables and healthier recipes into my diet, aswell as restarting yoga and walking atleast once every two days to build muscle strength and stamina. (I might even be able to jog soon!) I recently started back to horse riding aswell so hopefully that will help.

I'll share some good recipes I come across in my venture towards a healthier me, although I won't be depriving myself from treats altogether, so some not-so-good-for-your-hips foods will be stuck in too.

It's good to finally do something that you've been putting off for ages; even things like tidying a room in the house, doing those dishes you always walk past or cleaning out the fish bowl. Set a timer for even ten minutes, you'll be surprised what you can get done and you'll feel much better for doing it! :) Blessed Be! xx

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Beauty Giveaway!

Fancy winning some makeup and body treats? Head on over to Massachusetts Mask for Back To School Giveaway!

Here's the link:

Follow the instructions for your chance to win :)

NOTD: Nails Of The Day!

This time it's... O.P.I.'s You Don't Know Jacques!

taken in natural light, beside a window.
I'm a big fan of unusual polish colours, and this greyish taupe brown is perfect for me! A very cool toned colour which is good for autumn and winter, (I have now moved on from summer to welcome my favourite seasons!) I put this on the day before going on holidays and it lasted almost a whole week. I'm pretty sure this was only one coat as well as there are a few flaws in the application but I had to get packing!

Saturday, 6 August 2011

I'm Back!

Greetings! I am back from my week in Portrush, Northern Ireland and it was wonderful :) We couldn't have asked for better accommodation; our apartment was overlooking the beach and was right beside the town, (but it was never noisy), so we could walk to anywhere.

I couldn't get a good enough picture of the view, it was beautiful! Donegal was visible in the distance and the whole shore line was at our feet :)
While I was there I got back in tune with the element of water by body boarding on two different days. I love how the waves look like lots of white horses galloping towards the shore, (scene in The Lord of The Rings where Arwen turns the water to horses to get the Nazgul anyone?) I saw Niamh Kavanagh & The Illegals, a band who cover Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles songs, they were fantastic! Niamh has also been in Eurovision twice representing Ireland and made it to the final! I also visited Downhill Demense and Mussenden Temple (where I want to get hand fasted!), but forgot to take my camera with me :/ the grounds were beautiful so it was a shame! Finally, (of course), I got some new witchy buys in the two New Age-ish shops as well as some other things so I shall share my new items below!

These first things are from Blue Moon

I loved these earring so much I bought all the colours!
Another pair of earrings I am loving!
I finally got a pentacle necklace! (Though I really want a Thor's hammer pendant)
A gorgeous dark wooden pentacle wall piece with Celtic design
I of course picked up some incense sticks, this time it's cedarwood :)
And the Element Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells which my mummy bought me, I've been putting off getting it for forever!
The next purchases are from Sapphire, which stocks a wide variety of good quality crystals.

Clockwise from far left: Apache Tears (Black Obsidian), Charoite, Smokey Quartz, Petrified Wood, Snow Quartz, Bornite (Peacock Ore/Stone), Honey Calcite.
Incense sticks; Relaxing (Cardomom, Cedar wood, Patchouli) & Meditation (Vanilla, Sandalwood, Camomile)
The next pictures are just of some miscellaneous items that I got.

Another book I've had my eye on and just went ahead and got it, definitely worth the money! (I intend to do a review of this and the Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells when I've read them completely, so watch out for that!)
I have the original Hummingbird Bakery and everything I make from it has been divine and this looks to be the same! Some recipes are repeated but there are many new editions for Halloween, Spring, Winter, Summer days and afternoon tea treats :)
I picked this up in a second hand book store called The Bookcase and it was in very good condition! I'm a big LOTR fan and have many J.R.R. Tolkien books :)
I'm also a huge Game of Thrones fan, (not mainly because they have filmed and still are filming in various locations in Northern Ireland), so I treated myself to the first set of books, there's a new one out but I think it's better to read what I've got first, (I've a bit of a love affair with books :/)
Last but not least is the brush I have found to use with my Bare Escentuals bareMinerals foundation, it's the ecotoools Bamboo Bronzer Brush. It's a bit like a small kabuki brush but is perfect for mineral foundation!
So that's it! I hope you like the pieces I've gotten so far. I'm hoping to go through my crystal and oil collection in the coming weeks to share what I have and their properties as well as reviewing the books I've mentioned and perhaps there'll be some cooking ventures thrown in there too! So until then, Blessed Be! xx