Saturday, 20 August 2016

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Hey lovelies!

Hope you are all feeling fab today. I am back with a little recipe, that is quick and easy but sure to impress.
Banana bread is one of my favourite treats but I ended up adding some chocolate chips one night hubby fancied something different.


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Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Dinkibelle Nail Wraps Review

Hey lovelies

I hope you are all well today! Today, I decided to do something a little different and do a nail inspired review. Now trust me when I say this, I am no nail artist or expert so when this popped through the door from Dinkibelle Nails I had to have a whirl at it.

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Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Boots NI celebrates 50 years!

Hey my lovelies, I hope you are well today and loving this fab Irish weather at the moment. 

Boots NI recently celebrated their 50th anniversary and I was honoured to be asked to celebrate the big birthday in the Europa along with some of my other fab NI blogger friends.
When they opened their first store here, David Jones became Bowie, miniskirts were all the rage and Boots was about to change the way we shop forever.
So onto the birthday bash... 
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Thursday, 23 June 2016

Catrice Smoothing Refiner Primer Review

Hey lovelies, I hope you are well today! Summer is finally (fingers crossed) here and for me that means makeup literally sliding off my face. I have tried many many primers, all claiming different things, but when I heard Catrice had this prime and fine smoothing refiner for pores and fines lines out, and it was getting good reviews, I decided to try it.

First off, if you are in the Uk then you are either gonna have to book a holiday for the South of Ireland or you are going to need to purchase online, more about this later.
So this is their smoothing refiner, an oil free silicone based primer, which claims to make your pores seem more refined and filling out any small fine lines and wrinkles to give a smooth flawless base ready for your foundation.

Packaging and Price
This has a gorgeous high quality jar and feels very sturdy, but, my main concern about this packaging is the hygiene aspect. You are going to be dipping your finger in and out every time you use it, so for me I use a little cotton bud to bring some out. I definitely think that is an area that they could reconsider. The packaging and product is definitely a lot more high end looking than its few pound price tag which is always great in my eyes!



Product
So the primer itself has a very creamy, mousse like texture and you need very little to cover the face. I only use this round my nose and chin normally as this is the area I have the most issues with pores. I will especially concentrate it around my nose and buff it in well either using a stippling brush or my fingers. It has a very blush pink colour which don’t worry, does go transparent when you work it into skin and there is the slightest of scents but nothing to put you off it.



Now, I have an oily tzone with large pores on nose area, so you are probably asking why i would use this type of primer as it doesn’t control oil to any great extent, but this is where I will double prime. If i need a real oil controlled matte and long lasting finish that day, I will normally go in after with something like the Nivea post shave balm over my whole face. Doubling up on my primers for me, actually acts as a barrier for the Catrice one to help it stick, especially on my nose.

So the big question is does it actually work? Well to smooth pores, yes without a doubt, but in terms of lines and wrinkles I think this is just a claim too far, as I had no difference in my lines etc. On the days where I have tried it on its own it has definitely worked well round nose, but I do think it works best for me in conjunction with something  else.
I do think its a great primer to help give a good smooth blank canvas, but if you are super oily, I would either use something alongside it, or stay clear and try something else. It does give a lovely hydrated feeling to the skin, so makeup lovers with drier skin this could definitely be one for you to try.



This picture was after a full day of being out and about, and I only had the catrice primer on to give me a good test on it, and it definitely held up well. I would say there was a little too much shine for my liking on the tzone but nothing a little powder couldn't work with. 

Overall I will no doubt repurchase this, especially for the amount of product and the price you pay, but as I said earlier its very hard to get here but with the likes of Meaghers pharmacy here, Inish Pharmacy here and beautyspin.co.uk here shipping it makes these brands far more accessible.
So all in all a great little find from Catrice, and I will definitely be looking more at their other primers.


Have you tried anything from that range, or would you have a good mattifying one to suggest I try?
Till next time preeners

Ali xxx


*This primer was bought by me, and all opinions are my own*
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Sunday, 5 June 2016

Mix and Mingle Event with Hastings Hotels

Hey lovelies, I hope you are all well today. A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of being invited by the team at Duffy Rafferty Communications, to a “Mix and Mingle” event in the Europa Hotel, Belfast.

It was a great opportunity, to get to meet new bloggers, catch up with friends and get to know more about The Hastings Hotel group over cocktails and canapés.



Julie Hastings and Michael greeted us all and after we had a good chat, we all got treated to some amazing cocktails. Patrick the Europas mixologist mixed up a storm. I actually don’t think there is anything that man doesn't know about cocktails.



We started off with the Europa Champagne Cocktail, which was so light and refreshing. Next up Patrick made some beautiful classic French Martinis and then he ended with his own creation, the Irish Smile. When he was discussing what was in this, mainly brandy, Tia maria and chocolate liqueur I honestly didn't think I was going to enjoy it but I couldn't have been more wrong. The cream on top was ever so slightly whipped and it really would be the perfect after dinner treat.




Patrick then threw down a challenge to us all, that he wanted some volunteers for a cocktail making competition, Stephanie from Eat Sleep Chic and Belfastfoodman came out joint winners. Stephanie making her version of the classic Cosmo and Belfastfoodman doing a Calypso King a mix of fruit juices and Malibu.

Another round of cocktails and stunning canapés came round, and we were truly spoilt all night.  At the end of the night there was a fantastic tombola and we all got to choose one of the Hastings ducks that corresponded to a prize. There was so much on offer from meals, to spa days, afternoon tea and overnight stays. I was absolutely thrilled when I chose a voucher for Afternoon Tea for 2 in the Culloden Estate and Spa, so Mr Preener and I can’t wait to get a day away to that!


Overall I had such a fantastic evening. The Piano Bar in the Europa is just stunning, and it is gorgeous just to sit and while away the day overlooking the streets below. If you ever fancy Afternoon Tea in the city centre, definitely check it out. I went last year with hubby and it was stunning and you all know how much I love a good afternoon tea.



Thank you so much to Julie, her team and Michael for such a wonderful evening. Hastings really is the crème de la crème of NI.
If you fancy learning how to make these delicious cocktails, the Europa can arrange cocktail making classes; I definitely think that it would be a fun day out with the girls. Check out everything the Piano bar has to offer here


So for now I am off to dream about those fab cocktails and get our afternoon tea booked, till next time preeners.

Ali xx
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