25 Jan 2012

The nicest treat ever.

My sister and I make this recipe any chance we get. It's the nicest chocolate mousse ever. It's really easy to make and it's really filling because it's so rich so I like to eat one (or two) as a snack instead of after dinner. This may be wrong on many levels but you won't understand until you taste it for yourself. It's addictive.

It's one of Nigella Lawson's recipes and her comments on it are as follows, 

"When you haven't got time for overnight setting in the fridge or you don't want to use raw eggs, this mousse is perfect. In fact, at all times, constraints or not, it is chocaliciously gorgeous." 

Right. Well, what I do suggest with this recipe is swapping the dark chocolate to one of the large bars of Dairy Milk or Galaxy. It improves the taste by miles. I also recommend not placing them in the fridge to set as this makes the mousse more like fudge.

Ingredients - 
  • 150g mini marshmallows
  • 50g soft butter
  • 250g good dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids) Dairy Milk or Galaxy, chopped into small pieces
  • 60ml hot water from a recently boiled kettle
  • 1 x 284ml tub double cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Serves: 4-6

  1. Put the marshmallows, butter, chocolate and water in a heavy-based saucepan.
  2. Put the saucepan on the hob, over heat, though keep it fairly gentle, to melt the contents, stirring every now and again. Remove from the heat.
  3. Meanwhile, whip the cream with the vanilla extract until thick, and then fold into the cooling chocolate mixture until you have a smooth, cohesive mixture.
  4. Pour or scrape into 4 glasses or ramekins, about 175ml each in capacity, or 6 smaller (125ml) ones, and chill until you want to eat.

 ♥ ♥ ♥

I'm leaving you.

It seems apparent with the start of every year that the term 'break-up' inevitable. Within the last 3 weeks I've heard of four couples going their seperate ways, with most cases shocking me just as much as the poor soul carrying the painful burden of the loss. 

The start of 2011 was no different, although the realisation hit home far more personally last year as many of my close friends (myself included) were kicked to the kerb. Some splits were temporary, some were concrete. But the reasons why this happens in January seem a little hazy. We know the first month of a new year can be blue as a result of a continuation of unplesant dreary weather, a lack of cash, a post Christmas hangover and a trip back to normality with a thud, but surely this would be the best time to ride the storm toward greener pastures alongside someone you love?

In a discussion with a friend the other day, we got to chatting about two (probably useless!) theories that may constitute the reasons for many a new years split...

Not wanting to hurt someone over Christmas, postponing a break-up until the New Year so one can enjoy the holidays.
No one wants to be seen as a destroyer of Christmas cheer, or feel comfortable knowing that they are being discussed with pure hatred over the turkey and stuffing at the family dinner table. Couple's problems may be ignored during the festive season as Christmas is a time for good moods and it's nice to share it with someone, whether it's a boyfriend, girlfriend, family and friends. 

A New Year means new beginnings and what better time to start afresh on a new path of discovery than the first day of a new year? Everyone loves the (worn out) comedy gold on New Year's day that is a myriad of 'Sure that was last year!' jokes. The ones where you proclaim that you haven't had a cigarette/cocktail/sausage roll since last year, knowing well it was probably less than 24 hours since you enjoyed a multitude of such things but since ringing in a New Year, cracking these jokes is almost a right of passage and makes you chuffed with yourself all the same. This could be the case with couples. Maybe the idea of leaving someone or a relationship behind in a year that's done and dusted might be as a result of new years resolutions. A time for change, a time for reflection, a time to realise what is or isn't working.

Break-ups are undoubtedly painful, but at least there is light at the end of the tunnel that if a person can see the positives of a split occuring at the beginning of the year. They can also start afresh knowing that they have a whole brand new year ahead of them to pursue new hobbies and go anywhere or do anything they want, without having to always consider the needs of another.

 ♥ ♥ ♥

20 Jan 2012

Miley Cyrus

I wouldn't call myself a Miley fan at all, I'm indifferent toward her really. Her body looks amazing here though so I'll commend her on that, she looks like she's been working hard.

The Grange and Di Palomo

Today I went for lunch in the The Grange, a cute café and gift shop in Ballyboughal. I tend to go when I have time off work or college, so I went today with my time off for recovery. The café is part of the Gourmet Food Parlour family, a chain of  little gourmet food by day, tapas by night establishments. The menu offers things like gourmet sandwiches, soups and salads using a selection of rustic breads, goats cheese, stuffed olives, sundried tomatoes...things like that. I had the warm goats cheese salad, pink lemonade and espresso.

After lunch we visited the shop, which sells Avoca-esque things. Aside from little knick knacks, kitchen and homeware, the shop stocks health and beauty brands I have never heard of before such as Di Palomo. Di Palomo is an Italian inspired British brand of perfumes, soaps, bath and spa products. They offer three different ranges at the moment, with each range consisting of bath and beauty products with the same scent. These ranges are Orange Blossom with Wild Honey and Olive, White Grape with Aloe and the most recent addition, Wild Fig and Grape. 

I sprayed a little bit of the Wild Fig and Grape eau de parfum on the inside of my wrist and I can't stop smelling it, I've had my hand to my face on and off all day! I can't describe the scent really, it's unique, sort of haunting? It's definitely hard to describe but I'm ordering some online as soon as I get paid. Here is the perfume description:

"A rich, modern fragrance with top notes of grape & gardenia. Middle notes of ripe fig, orange blossom & mimosa rest on a sensual base of sandalwood, amber & vanilla."

The scent doesn't fade either, so I would highly recommend it...it was over €30.00 in the gift shop at The Grange but on their own website, it's around €24.00.

♥ ♥ ♥

The Tale of the Tonsillectomy

While blogging about surgical procedures is totally random and most likely holds no relevance to this blog, I'm going to do it anyway! I recently had my tonsils removed, last Thursday in fact. A tonsillectomy is supposed to be more painful when you're older anyway, so that was to be expected. However, thinking I'd be back on my feet as normal after a week was a bit of an understatement. So if you're having yours removed for whatever reason, consider the following as what I have experienced seems to be general run-of-the-mill stuff compared to other tonsil-less creatures who wrote about the aftermath of their procedure.

Day 1 & 2
Thursday, Jan 12th was the day of my surgery. I felt groggy, nauseated and exhausted but ate that night. My throat was sore with discomfort but I managed to eat toast, lukewarm tea (no hot liquids! Also no fizzy drinks, spices, crisps), two bowls of ice cream and some jellies. I had a restless yet deep sleep all at the same time that night in the hospital, clearly wacked out on heavy pain medication because I vividly imagined a stranger coming into my room and kissed me on the cheek before fleeing. Hopefully it was the pain meds...

I came home Friday and ate even more feeling like some kind of tonsil-less marvel who broke the mould. My all day feast included cake, ice-cream, yoghurts, Chinese food and a family size bar of Dairy Milk, naturally. Chewing bored me as I was chewing like a cow mixed with turtle-like speed but at least I was tasting my food. I thought tonsillectomy?! Whatever, tonsillectomy.

Day 3, 4, 5
I woke up on day 3 with my eyes watering with the pain, throbbing ears and glands and what felt like tiny shards of glass in my throat. My tongue was swollen with the outline of my teeth. Do not underestimate the pain of day 3. Realising this was my first real day without the aid of Morphine or Difene, I had to rely on Solpadene every four hours to numb the pain. I spoke too soon on the joys of recovery, or rather avoided speaking at all really. When I did speak, I sounded like Elmer Fudd. My reallys became weallys. My rabbits became wabbits. 
Day 4 & 5  and the funny diction continues, as does the swelling. I don't need as many painkillers, I'm getting used to the pain when I eat but I don't bother eating much, it's too tiring on the throat. At this point, savoury foods taste normal but a little dull, the flavours are muted. Sweet foods on the other hand I have gone off totally. Anything with sugar in it taste like a dead ferret.

Day 6 & 7
While in most cases with illness and surgery, the more time that has passed, the more you begin to repair yourself and get on with things. A tonsillectomy for some reason is totally different. I've had surgeries for various things before and would like to think I'm pretty good with pain but this was definitely the most painful experience I've had, this may be because the tonsils themselves are such vascular organs, I'm not entirely sure. Day 6&7 were the worst for pain, I went back to painkillers every four hours and barely ate anything as the pain was too bad and it was impossible to swallow during these two days. If you are going for this kind of surgery, it is wise to take at least two weeks off. You'll be too tired and in too much pain to be able to do much and judging by my experience so far, it takes quite a while to recover!

Day 8 
Today is day eight. I woke up in pain in the middle of the night in my ears, head, glands and throat. I took painkillers and haven't since, and that was 6 hours ago. I did however go out for lunch, which was a great cure for my cabin fever. Eating does hurt the throat after 10 full minutes of trying to eat a meal so I brought half the salad home. 

It's starting to improve slightly so hopefully it will continue from here! I didn't expect the whole thing to be so exhausting, I'm still swollen with a strange voice and I'm a little apprehensive (like many are) on trying to eat without the aid of painkillers but that day will come eventually. I'm sure it will all be worth it at the end and hopefully food will start to taste nice again too!

All in all, it's definitely a surgical procedure where one should consider that pain manifests and eases in no particular order in relation to the number of days that pass.

Tonsillectomy pros: Hopefully no more pesky tonsilitis or reduced flare ups, and for psorasis sufferers, a reduced chance of  skin ailments  reoccuring as a result of tonsilitis. There is a possibility of weight loss. You catch up on all the sleep you've missed out on and then some. Novels and magazines are read. Bad daytime TV is watched. Movies are viewed in abundance. Writing is done. Cleaning and organising happens. Cooking and Baking ensues (even if you can't or don't want to consume it yourself) and you basically have up to two weeks to do whatever you want or need to do! This excludes the consumption of alcohol and hard partying, obviously.

♥ ♥ ♥

16 Jan 2012

Miranda Kerr for Rag & Bone

This image is from Miranda Kerr's DIY project for Rag & Bone. It features images of Miranda wearing the brand without the use of a professional photographer, makeup artist, hairstylist or photoshop. Just pure, clean imagery.
The reason I'm featuring this image is because I am in love with the jewellery here. Both necklaces are so simple yet so delicate and beautiful and I'm on the look out for them or something similar!

♥ ♥ ♥
Award season serial hairstyle - The Fake Bob

This look caught my eyes and I would imagine it would be incredibly flattering on any face shape. It looks bouncy and has an element of softness due to the loose coiled tendrils. It's also extremely easy to achieve. Click here for a two minute video on how to get yourself a (fake) new haircut.

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Golden Globe Greats

Simply beautiful.

Claire Danes in J Mendel

Rooney Mara in Nina Ricci

Emma Stone in Lanvin

Shailene Woodley in Marchesa

♥ ♥ ♥

15 Jan 2012

Ain't no finer liner

Whoever came up with the concept of eyeliner is a genius. By far my favourite of all makeup products by miles.

♥ ♥ ♥

Say no to H2o?

Has something as simple and accessible as tap water lost it's title as the number one essential in facial cleansing?

Browsing through the beautiful blog of Garance Doré (garancedore.fr/en), I found an entry on her skin routine which includes advice from her dermatologist who advises her to avoid cleansing her face with tap water at all costs. This poses the obvious question, how will facial cleansers foam? How will soap lather into soft smooth bubbles that visit every sullied pore?
I wasn't really surprised when I read it, as many cleansing and beauty routines (featured on intothegloss.com) belonging to those in the fashion industry have too abandoned the idea of tap water, favouring spring water or 2011's most popular choice, rose water.

Sure, it's a rosy idea. Having totally pure fresh and glowing skin, with no harsh contaminants tap water allegedly brings, providing you are hydrating yourself within, using facial products that don't include harsh chemicals and don't smoke, of course.

While I can't promise myself that I'll always make wise choices in terms of product ingredients and realistically don't have the income to abandon good old fashioned water as my primary tool in facial cleansing, I have been using rose water for a while and it's true that it's amazing for the skin.
It is said that rose water is a fantastic anti-inflammatory, it reduces wrinkles and fine lines, tightens pores,  reduces acne and is extremely gentle on all skin types and cleanses gently while restoring mositure to the skin. While I can't vouch for the wrinkle comments, all the rest is true. It smells great, it's incredibly soothing and is a very gentle and effective cleanser. When around my two pet cats, I rub my eyes like a maniac due to my allergies and I end up with bloodshot, puffy, red eyes. When I put some rose water on cotton balls and place them on my eyes for 5 minutes, my eyes are restored to their pre-cat-company selfs and always look bright and refreshed.

When I feel my skin tone is uneven, I use a combination of rose water to remove my makeup, cetaphil and rosewater to wet my face and my clarisonic  (highly recommended sonic facial cleanser, read about it here - www.clarisonic.com) to even tone and smooth dry areas and afterward my skin squeaks.

If you suffer from any skin problems in terms of acne, uneven skin one
or dry patches, I highly recommend rose water (about a fiver a bottle on ebay) for cleansing combined with the Clarisonic. Neither will disappoint and both are worth every penny!

♥ ♥ ♥