Joining the Anthony Nolan Register

Anthony Nolan is a charity that saves the lives of people with blood cancer by matching the bone marrow (or stem cells) of their donors to patients who are in need of a transplant. As well as this, they also partake in essential research to make stem cell transplants as successful as possible.

For me, it didn’t even seem like a question whether or not I should become part of the register, and they make it so easy to become a donor as well.

If you are aged 16-30 you can become a donor. Simply answer a few questions and fill in your details online, and in a few days you will receive a saliva sampling kit, that once you complete you send back to them free of charge.

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If you can’t become a donor, you can always donate!

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Thanks for reading. X

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Blueberry Banana Bread Recipe

I love banana bread, especially when it’s freshly out the oven. I thought I’d give a little fruity twist on the classic recipe and add fresh blueberries. Let me know what you think!

 

INGREDIENTS: 

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour 

1/2 cup granulated sugar 

1/2 packed brown sugar 

3 1/2 tsp baking powder 

1 tsp salt 

3 tsp vegetable oil 

1/3 cup milk (I used semi-skimmed) 

1 egg 

2-3 bananas 

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METHOD:

Pre heat oven to 180°c. Line and grease a loaf tin and set aside. 

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugars, baking powder, and salt. 

In a separate bowl mash the bananas. Add in the egg, vegetable oil, and milk and mix until well combined. 

Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until a sticky dough forms. 

Add the blueberries and fold until well combined. 

Pour the dough into the lined tin and pop into the oven for 60 minutes, checking regularly, until golden brown and a metal pick comes out clean. 

Removed from oven and place on a wire wrack until cool. 

 

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NYX Professional Makeup Highlight and Contour Pro Palette Review 

I love contouring and highlighting! I have so many different products that all work their magic. But I also love having everything together, and this palette by NYX is brilliant, as it has variety of matte and shimmer contouring shades and gorgeous highlighters.

I was browsing the NYX stand and this kit jumped out at me. I had never invested in a contouring palette before, despite lusting after the Zoeva and ABH ones! So I decided to spend £18 (Boots) for the NYX palette, which does seem similar to dearer ones, to see if it would work for me.

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The palette comes with eight customisable highlight and contour shades. The shades in this palette are all removable, so you can swap them out for another favourite, or replace them once you’ve hit pan.

As you can tell I’ve already picked out my favourites, but all of the shades work well.

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The shimmering highlighter on the top left is fast becoming my go to colour. It is very pigmented and blends out flawlessly. In fact, all of the shades in the kit do!

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I love the banana powder for setting my under eyes, I feel it brightens and gives that awake look. Pretty much all of the darker shades are good for contouring, but I also use the lighter ones for bronzing my paler complexion.

All in all this palette has quickly made its way into my daily makeup routine, as well as my going out one!

What do you think of the NYX Professional Makeup Highlight and Contour Pro Palette?

Thanks for reading. X

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Praia da Rocha

 

Praia da Rocha, AKA ‘The beach of rocks’, is a popular, yet peaceful, holiday resort just south of the town of Portimão, on the Algarve. I travelled here for a mini break in October with my family, for some last minute sun before the Winter set in.

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We stayed at the Hotel da Rocha. A 4 star hotel overlooking the beach front. I couldn’t recommend this hotel more; all of the staff were very friendly & helpful, the food was spot on with a brilliant selection of local cuisine (which includes a lot of fresh fish!) and the rooms were modern, spacious and very comfortable! Facilities included a good sized pool, good for a refreshing dip in the mornings and a fully equipped gym which I tested out a couple of times.

Praia da Rocha has one of the largest beaches on the Portimão coastline. The golden sand is marked with large rocks and boulders wth hidden caves and that is why it is known as ‘the beach of rocks’. Even in October I managed to take a brisk  dip in the Atlantic Ocean! But, if you don’t want too sandy, then you can take a stroll along the wooden boardwalk which stretches along the majority of the beach.

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My family loves keeping active on holidays so we didn’t just spend our days sun seeking on the beach! Praia da Rocha and the surrounding areas are perfect for shorts strolls, hikes among the dusty paths and slightly longer walks to stretch your legs. The larger town of Portimão is just over 3km away and is full of local shops, cafes, and lovely architecture.

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We decided to check out the neighbouring fishing village of Alvor one morning, so we followed the costal path along the beach, which eventually took us up along the cliffs which provided breathtaking views! When we got to Alvor we wondered along the river front lined with bars and seafood restaurants. We then wondered up the narrow cobbled lanes which led us into the old town and onto the 16th century Igreja Matriz church (fun fact: I love seeing churches while on holiday, I just enjoy the atmosphere and design of them!) which sits proudly above the village. In the evenings we would usually take short strolls along the boardwalk, or down the street to the Fort of Santa Catarina, a medieval fort which is lit up at night and gives stunning views to the coastline.

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Praia da Rocha is a gorgeous resort for little breaks and longer holidays. I enjoyed every minute of my time here and would visit again to explore in a heart beat!

Thanks for reading!

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Winter Lip Favourites

As the seasons change and the weather becomes a bit colder and the days shorter, I feel I need to switch up my makeup routine. This also includes picking out the best products for my lips, not only to keep them looking and feeling their best despite the baltic weather making them chapped, but also to keep in with a theme of darker, wintry colours.

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My go to lip care product is anything Carmex. I always have a pot or tube of their original formula handy to keep topping up throughout the day. I have been using this beauty for years and it keeps my lips super hydrated. You can feel the product working as it tingles away at your lips. I recommend always using a lip balm and allowing it some time to sink in before applying any other lip product, as well as popping some on morning and night to keep your lips in good condition.

Another lip life saver I love is the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant. You can use this anywhere, but I love using in on my lips to give them a little extra TLC during the Winter months.

Here is a swatch of the lips colours I love using during the colder months:

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First up we have three gorgeous shades from NYX:

Soft Matte Lip Cream in ‘Cannes’

Lip Lingerie in ‘Satin Ribbon’

Full Throttle Lipstick in ‘Locked’

I love NYX, not only for how affordable it is, but for the huge selection of shades and the amazing quality of the products.

The next shade is from Benefits new product, ‘They’re Real! Big Sexy Lip Kit’ I was thoughtfully gifted this for Christmas and couldn’t wait to try it. It is basically a lip liner and lipstick all in one. I plan to do a full review on the kit soon, so stay tuned! My favourite colour from the kit is ‘Lusty Rose’, it is a nude colour but I find these types of shades very easy to wear, especially when my complexion is a little paler.

Last, but definitely not least, I’ve picked out three products from MAC:

Viva Glam 1 A25 Matte

I always like to pair Viva Glam 1 with:

‘He Said, She Said’ Pro Longwear Lip Pencil. 

Velvet Teddy A16 Matte

 

What are your favourite lip colours for Winter? I would love any suggestions!

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