BLOGMAS 2018 / Day 11 – home made mint white hot chocolate

It’s’ the season that Jenny goes nuts an experiments with a variety of hot chocolate recipes. I flirted with lots of different recipes – Cointreau hot chocolate, Rocky Road hot chocolate, Aztec hot chocolate…but in the dress, I decided to share an oldy but goody: creamy mint white hot chocolate. Hope you enjoy this as much as me!

This recipe makes 1 large-ish mug:

1/2 mug of milk (I used skimmed as that’s what I always use, but any is ok)

75g white chocolate chips

1.5 tbsp dark cocoa powder

1 tbsp mint extract

Whipped cream and sprinkle bits to serve

1. Chuck all the main ingredients in to a pan over a medium heat.

2. Leave to simmer for about 15 minutes, keep stirring throughout to ensure the chocolate chips melt.

3. Pour into your fave mug, then add the whipped cream and sparkly bits to serve.

Easy, right? Ingredients and snowman mallow biscuits, Morrisons / Mug, NASA/Natural History Museum / Candy canes, Debenhams (they’re prosecco flavoured!)

I’ll leave you to enjoy this festive treat and see you all tomorrow,

J xx


BLOGMAS 2018 / Day 9 – weekly fashion faves, 6

So, I’ve noticed two things about fashion this week:

1- Not a lot of people are embracing what I’d call ‘festive fashion’ this year – flutter, sequins, velvet. Not a criticism, merely an observation.

2- I’m gravitating towards black and print more than ever before.

There’s a definitely vibe to the outfits I’m appreciating this week, and they mostly fall into point number 2!

Meghan Markle

I don’t know if I’m allowed to say her name now or if she should always be known as the Duchess of Sussex? Either way, I am living for her look in this Pic! It’s elegant yet powerful and also pretty darn sexy all at once, the silhouette is on point and her hair is tied back just enough. I want this whole entire look for myself right now please.

Holly Willoughby Top, Marks and Spencer / Jeans, Marks and Spencer / Boots, Marks and Spencer / Bag, Marks and Spencer

Side note: I’ve heard HW’s earnings have rocketed now that she’s covering up her boobs more…erm, why is this even a news story?? Anyway…

As soon as I saw this pic on Instagram, I thought it myself “this is exactly my kind of outfit” I live in my ankle length black skinny jeans, I adore print and am a fan of a decent ankle boot. I’m picking this top (and maybe the bag, is that allowed right before Christmas?) before it goes out of stock, it could be the perfect dressy-cas vibe for the big day in my eyes.

Kate Wright Trousers, Zara / Top, similar here.

I liked this look so much that I channeled something very similar when I went out earlier – my trousers are leopard print, my top knot looked far more messy and my nose is treating from the end of a hideous cold that I can’t quite shake off, but still!

Lily Melrose (image: @llymlrs) Skirt, Topshop (similar here)

I think this outfit has a kinda festive vibe to it, it’s green and satiny, but it’s still very true to Lily’s aesthetic (which as you know I’m a massive fan of) so I think it melds the two together rather nicely. This skirt can easily be dressed up with different footwear and top half for an evening look too, so it would be a great buy *doesn’t think about this justification as adding it to card on the Topshop website*

Thanks for reading and see you tomorrow,

J xx


BLOGMAS 2018 / Day 6 – testing Marks and Spencer festive drinks, groundbreaking.

I’ve said that the subject this post is ‘groundbreaking’ for 2 reasons:

– M & S always do a cracking festive drinks selection

– I have posted about the M & S festive drinks range virtually every year since I’ve been blogging.

Pre- night out cocktails: Spiced apple pie martini

An easy breezy drink that requires zero effort to prepare – chuck some ice in a glass, pour and enjoy. It’s the perfect tipple that looks like you’ve made loads of effort when you haven’t, it’s a super sweet and full of festive spices. Nom.

After dinner tipple: Millionaire shortbread cream

If you’re a fan of Baileys/Irish cream drinks and have a bit of a sweet tooth, this is for you. It has the creamy alcohol vibe we all know and love, but the notes of caramel make it feel extra luxurious and festive as God and the Marks’ product development team intended.

General festive merriment: Clementine & Cranberry Buck’s Fizz

If you’re a long time reader of my blog, you’ll know that I’m fiercely loyal that the M&S standard Buck’s Fizz, it’s the best on the market and is often on offer at 2 bottles for £5. However I spotted this, thought the bottle looked pretty and bought it simply so I’d have something a bit different to talk about this year!

Gotta be honest, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by this and I liked it more than I thought I would – the tartness of the cranberry gives it a really nice finish and makes it feel more of a cocktail. It doesn’t replace the original but it’s been a nice change in between.

see you again tomorrow,

J xx


FESTIVE, FOOD & FUN/ Christmas 2017

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas Day and are waking up for #BoxingDay feeling happy and content. As I did last year, I thought I’d share a few candid words and pictures of what I’ve been doing (FYI- the pic above is of my festive PJs, which are from Next).

This year was a bit different as we’re currently living in temporary accommodation, so the presents kind of spilled out more than usual! We treated ourselves to a new ‘snow covered’ tree  too.

We wake up at the same kind of time every day no matter what (we are rubbish at having a lay in!) so we get up, put on festive songs and open presents next to the tree with a mug of tea (served in festive mugs, obvs.).

Presents are lovely, but next comes my fave bit – Christmas Day brekkie! Every year we have sausage sandwiches in soft white baps (the sausages are ASDA Finest pork and apple, if you’re interested).

This year it was our turn to spend Christmas Day with my in-laws (we alternate every year) which is a bit different these days as we now have two little members of the family who are both adorable and excitable!

I didn’t load up my plate in a very insta-worthy manner, but when home-cooked food is delicious you kinda don’t care.

Highlights included my mother in-law’s stuffing and brother in-law’s mash potato, I had seconds of both with lashings of gravy. I finished off my epic feast with trifle, yassss.
Boxing Day lunch is always spent with my famil and my stepdad always cooks up something amazing!


This year was chicken tagine with cous cous followed by bread and butter pudding (which has become something of a festive family tradition) made with croissants and served with double cream.


I’m now having some much needed chill time at home with the Mr before the New Year begins – watching a mountain of DVDs, eating, generally being cosy and figuring out what my goals for 2018 will be. I hope you’re all enjoying some down time too; if not then I hope work isn’t too frantic for you!

Thanks for reading,

J xx


BLOGMAS day 24: Happy Christmas Eve 

Happy Christmas Eve on and all!

I hope you’ve had a lovely start to the Christmas weekend and that you’re going into ‘The Big 3’ days filled with excitement and happiness.

Here ends my official run of #blogmas posts for 2017… drop the mic, I did it!

This month has really put a rocket up my butt and given me back some of the drive and inspiration I lost this year for my little corner of the World Wide Web, so I’m going to keep running with it into the New Year!

Thank for reading, I hope you’ve enjoyed the month as much as me – I will still be posting next week too so it’s not over yet!

J xx


BLOGMAS day 23: Social media made me buy it

Earlier this year I did a YouTube made me buy it post so I thought I’d do an updated version of other things I’ve been influenced into buying, but this time broaden the scope to include all social media. Here’s what I thought of the last six purchases I made this way:

Instagram ads made me buy… Morphe x Jaclyn Hill palette

I’d never tried anything by Morphe before but I have tried a Jaclyn Hill collab which is why this palette made my heart soar with joy when it was released. Sadly, it dipped pretty quickly after that. I was drawn in by the range of colours and awesome reviews of other Morphe palettes, but when I started using this one it felt a bit ‘meh’ – the colours weren’t quite as show stopping on as they look in the pan for me.
YouTube made me buy… Ouai dry shampoo foam

I’ve tried other Ouai products before and wasn’t that impressed, so I’m not sure why I decided to give this one a go, judging by other online reviews a lot of people aren’t too impressed with this one. However I’m not able to judge either way as didn’t even get to try it – on the first use the nozzle broke and every single bit of product splattered all over my bathroom, I mean EVERYWHERE. What a waste of 20-something quid!

Fleur de Force made me buy… Lauren Mercier translucent setting powder

My makeup often slides during the day so I thought this seemed worth a go (a slightly expensive go, but a go nonetheless) and I’m pleased to say this product was a winner! It sets my base in place really well, I’ve even napped before and my face has remained in-tact, though that’s probably the combo of this and Urban Decay setting spray. I heard about a hack on YouTube where you apply the powder before and after your base to get a more flawless and long lasting finish, so I do tend to apply it this way when I know I need my make up to have extra staying power.

Lily Melrose made me buy… Urban Decay Naked ultimate basics

I nabbed this in Sephora over the summer and based on my other Naked experiences it seemed like a no-brainier. A lot of people seem to really love this, but the pigmentation just doesn’t seem to be as good as the others when I’ve used it. Maybe I got one from a dud batch? Bit annoying for $54! That said I do get on pretty well with the bitter/milk-chocolatey brown colour at the front, it’s kind of unusual but works as an easy daytime shade.

Lydia and Lucy made me buy… Urban Decay Eye primer potion

Another Sephora purchase made over the summer, and this has been great for keeping my shadow in place and crease-free. I mentioned this in my blogmas day 11 post so I won’t say anymore than that.

Fleur de Force (also) made me buy… Too Faced Hangover primer

You guessed it – another summer purchase from Sephora, I spent about $300 in 2 days whilst in NYC, which bought me quite a bit! I pick this up in a smaller size to try out first and it’s definitely a product I plan to re-purchase in the New Year. It’s has a lovely smell and feels very hydrating, more like a moisturiser really.

If you’ve tried any of these or any from the previous post I linked to let me know what you thought of them!

Thanks for reading,

J xx


BLOGMAS day 22: Thanks for the memories 2017

As the year is coming to close in a couple of weeks time, I thought it would be a nice addition to my #blogmas posts to reflect on some great times had this year. I’ve not been the happiest of people, but I have had some fun adventures which I’m choosing to focus on instead.

January

The only reason I have ever left the house as an adult on New Year’s Day is in search of food, however this year I made an exception and headed out to the opening night of the Hull City of Culture celebrations with the Mr and my grandparents. I wasn’t disappointed; it was bloody brilliant! This year has brought Hull so many interesting opportunities and, most importantly, a much needed reputation boost on a global stage. I couldn’t be prouder of us.

February

The Mr and I headed to Leeds for a couple of nights to hit the shops and drink some cocktails. We enjoyed it so much we’re heading back again before Christmas.

March

March saw me and my mum bond in a slightly more unusual way – scaling brightly coloured climbing walls. We usually go for coffee or shopping! We’re both kinda scaredy cats so my invit to a preview session at Rock Up Hull allowed us to conquer some of our fears as well as work up a sweat.

April

Easter saw us spend the weekend in one of my fave cities, Liverpool (I did a post about it here). I always feel so happy and inspired there. I’m heading back in March 2018 for a girls weekend I can’t wait!

May

The second Bank Holiday weekend in May was definitely one of the best weekends of the year, when I headed off to Radio 1 Big Weekend!

Day 1 I was spent with my girl Tori – we giggled, sang and got rained on just a little bit.

Day 2 I was joined by Chelsea (aka my hair saviour, you all know her) where we got our glitter on and danced our socks off. Fun times.

June

As well as it being my birthday month, June also saw us head to Scarborough (hence the epic fish and chip setup) to redeem one of last year’s Christmas gifts- tickets to see Al Murray live. He’s always been one of my faves and last time I had tickets I had to give them up as I had flu, but this time I was well and had an absolute scream. He’s one of four others we’ve seen this year (not including local acts) and there are more in the pipeline for 2018.

August

August was a busy month indeed! Starting with a trip to the Great British Food Festival where I literally ate all the things and brought home a fairly sizeable haul of goodies to enjoy. This is definitely somewhere I’d be keen to visit again next year.

Then came a real high point of the year – summer vacay!

Yup, I went to The Big Apple (side note: I was pleased with myself for getting such a cheesy pic). It was my second visit so I felt a lot more comfortable and confident about everything – I even wrote a couple of posts about things to do and places to eat.

October/ November

September was a little frantic as we moved house (which we will have to do again in the new year when we find somewhere permanent) so come October we felt we deserved a little break. We only had a few days spare, so we hopped on a plane and headed for Benidorm, which was very warm and relaxing.

I’m going to spend some time over the holidays setting some goals and making some plans for the year ahead, my aim is to make 2018 even better!

Thanks for reading,

J xx


BLOGMAS day 21: The cosiest hand-made scarf of dreams 

I’ve been so warm this winter that I often walk about with my coat undone! However my neck has been cold, and at the risk of catching the Christmas lurgy I decided that getting a cosy scarf could be the best thing.
This beauty has been hand made by Flying Fox, aka by clever friend Suzy (you’ve seen her before in my Rock Up Hull blog post). She made a similar one for a charity raffle recently and I loved it so much I instantly commandeered one of myself!

You can’t see too well in this pic (damn you indoor winter light!) but without the gradients of rich red berry coloured wool are some subtle sparkles. This is the perfect accessory for me to chuck on with my padded black coat and still feel cute!

Suzy also makes snoods and hats (she recently made a collection in a beautiful mustard yellow shade that was instantly snapped up) so definitely worth a look if you’d like to treat yourself in the New Year or you know anybody with a winter birthday coming up.

Thanks for reading,

J xx


BLOGMAS day 19: What to do when you’re sick during the festive season

So I missed the last two days of #blogmas gutted as I was on a roll with this thing! But I had a good reason, illness, which has become inspiration for today’s post.

It’s the time of year when you’re in and out of crazy temperatures all the time, you’re mixing with way more people and you’re possibly a bit stressed too boot. In short – the perfect breeding ground for germs to get in and stop you in your tracks! But, if you observe these 3 R’s then you’ll be back on feet in no time.

Rest

Accept your lurgy and retreat to bed – your body is telling you it’s run down, listen to it! It’s hard to turn down parties and nights out, but if you don’t your illness will linger and you won’t be able the main event. You can always plan some fun things to do post-Christmas to look forward to.

Refuel


And oldy but goody – keep your fluids up whilst eating little and often. People say tea solves everything right? Don’t eat anything too rich or fancy – keeping your food choices plain will hopefully stop your body feeling more angry so that you’ll be fighting fit and ready to indulge in your Christmas dinner.

Relax

This can be really hard, particularly when being out of action could make you stress even more about not getting things done. However, the power of modern technology means you can chill whilst remaining *mildly* productive. Whack on a festive film (see my suggestions from blogmas day 5 here) make yourself a warm drink (if you’re feeling up to it, treat yourself to home made hot chocolate using my blogmas day 9 recipe – perhaps leave out the booze and get someone to make it for you, you are sick after all!) grab your laptop/tablet and settle down to do some online shopping from the comfort of your PJs. Nail the last of your Christmas shopping, pick up a little something to wear out when you’re well (or your ‘I hope this is reduced in the January sales’ list) maybe even have a little browse for next year’s holiday… (places I’d like to travel to in 2018 featured in my blogmas day 14 post here).

If you are sick at the moment, I wish you a speedy recovery so you can enjoy the rest of the festive season and hope you’re practising the 3 R’s!

Thanks for reading,

J xx


BLOGMAS day 16: Top festive tipples (2017)

I did a festive tipples post last year (read it here) which was pretty well received and I very much enjoyed creating (hic) so I thought I’d do an updated version. Cheers!

Mulled wine

I seek this out every single year, although I don’t have it too often as I don’t know many other people who like it. Enjoying it in Thor’s Tipi round a fire pit made me feel extra festive this year!

Marks & Spencer Chocolate Yule log cream


If you like Baileys (or other cream liqueur equivalents) you’ll like this. It’s beaut on its own served over ice or added to hot chocolate for an extra naughty drink (see my spiked hot chocolate recipe, it can easily be subbed in)

Bluebird Snowball tea

If you don’t drink alcohol or don’t think you chug hot chocolate like it’s going out of fashion over the festive period, this tea blend is the perfect compromise. It smells great, looks pretty and is great to drink at any time of day without guilt. I’m doing daily mini reviews of the Bluebird range from my tea advent calendar on my Twitter if you’re like me and enjoy trying new trends.

Marks & Spencer Bucks Fizz

This was in last year’s post, I’m even using the same picture, but it’s my all-time fave and I’m not sorry! It’s the best Bucks Fizz I’ve ever tried and is amazing value, around £3.50 a bottle (currently also on offer at £16.50 for 6 bottles, an absolute BARGAIN).

Hopefully there’s some inspiration for festive drinks for you to have at home this year, and once again I feel the need to state that this post was not sponsored/gifted by M&S…I just really like their festive drinks range!

Thanks for reading,

J xx