Friday, January 31, 2014

Valentine's Day Date Ideas on a Budget

I'm a firm believer that we should adore and appreciate our loved ones every day of the year, but it is also quite nice to have a Valentine's Day Date. Sometimes we don't have the funds to organise a really lavish date, so here are some date ideas for those of us on a budget this Valentine's Day (or any other date during the year).

Valentine's Day Date Ideas on a Budget.

1. Go for a Romantic Picnic
Picnics are simple, thoughtful and romantic. Raid your cupboards for some yummy snacks and head on down to your local park or other picturesque natural areas.

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2. Have an Indoor Picnic

If it's raining cats and dogs outside, which often it is in the UK in February, why not create an intimate, indoor-picnic? Without the bugs and possibility of bad weather, an indoor-picnic is a cosy and convenient date idea for all to enjoy.

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3. Romantic Movie Night

Grab a movie you'll both enjoy, a bag of popcorn, some drinks and a blanket, and you have yourself a romantic movie night for two. This is an easy date idea for those with no funds or those who are too tired for a more energetic date activity.

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4. Prepare a Romantic Meal

Lay the table, light some candles, dim the lights and scatter some rose petals. Sometimes the smallest of gestures can make the biggest impact. Cook a yummy home-made meal (or order take-out and serve it on your own dishes) and let the romantic mood do the talking.

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5. Go for a Drive

Jump in the car with some supplies (snacks, drinks, napkins, a map, etc) and just drive. Explore local areas you've never been too before, and have a mini adventure with your loved one. This can also be done via public transport (i.e. bus, train etc) - get off at a random stop and explore. Exciting, simple and fun!

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6. Bake a Cake Together
(or another dessert)

Baking (or cooking) together can be fun and a bonding activity for a couple. Look through some cookbooks, or surf the internet, to find a delicious-looking dessert and attempt to recreate it together. Laugh, mess around and have fun whilst baking. Once your masterpiece is finished, take some photos and enjoy feeding each other your home-made treat.

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7. Go to an Arcade

Pick up your change-jar and go to an Arcade. Play games and eat junk food. Try to win a prize for your loved one. Set a spending limit, as arcades can be addictive and you need to play responsibly - you don't want to ruin the date by losing all your money and getting into a bad mood.

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8. Make your own Spa 

Lay down some towels, get some oils / lotions and light some candles. Creating your own Spa at home is easy and can be very romantic and intimate. Give one another massages and relax.

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Do you have any cheap date ideas? Comment below - I love good date inspiration! :)

Happy Date-Planning!!

Love & Kisses,

Vicki xoxo

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Mini Highs Street Make-Up Haul

I needed to go into town this morning to get a new blusher after my current one smashed, and I bought a few beauty products from the high street at the same time. Here are some of the items I got - I'll review the ones I've never used before in a later blogpost. 
Mini High Street Beauty Haul
Rimmel Sun Shimmer Instant Tan in Light Matte.

I've used this Rimmel Instant Tan for quite a while now. If I doing a full-face of make-up I usually put a thin layer of this underneath. When you're on a night out, taking photographs with flash can make you look white-as-a-ghost, but if you have a layer of this underneath your foundation you look somewhat normal in nighttime pictures!
2true Nail Care Strengthener & Hardener

I've never used this clear Nail polish before but I just bought it as a cheap undercoat. The last time I went to a Nail Salon they told me off for not putting undercoats under my coloured nail varnishes so I decided to be a good girl and get some! Haha!
Brit Rocks Eyeluscious False Eyelashes

These eyelashes are great - they look just like some of the Eyelure Girls Aloud Lashes but are less than half the price. At £1.99, I definitely recommend these falsies for nights out, or just uber glam day looks.
Beauty UK Blush & Brush Set

I literally searched everywhere today for a peach / coral coloured blusher. All the popular brands just had pinks, reds and browns which was soo annoying. I'm a big fan of peachy, apricot coloured cheeks for a more youthful, and springtime / summery look. This blusher set was only £3.99 so I hope it comes out ok!
Barry M Lipstick in Shade 53

Keeping with the peach / apricot theme, I bought some pretty Barry M lipstick which looks really nice on. I love it!
Barry M Nail Paint in 279 Bright Pink

I definitely have an obsession with pink nail varnish! I have SO many but always manage to buy more. This shade is a bright, pastel shade which is perfect for making you feel less wintery!
Barry M Dazzle Dust in Shade 39

Superdrug had 3 for 2 on Barry M products, so I got this Dazzle Dust free with my shop today. I like how it can be used subtly or can be packed on with a brush for a more dramatic look. It's a warm colour which, again, goes with my warmer toned blusher and lipstick purchases.

What are your favourite high street beauty products? Do you have any recommendations?

Love & Kisses,

Vicki xoxo

Monday, January 20, 2014

Panna Cotta Recipe

Yesterday we went to my Dad's house for a delicious Sunday Roast (with chicken because my Sister & I don't eat much red meat), & Andy made us AMAZING Panna Cotta for dessert. So amazing that I've decided to share how he made it! Andy got it perfect even though it was his first time making Panna Cotta, so I'm sure all of you will find it an easy recipe to follow.
Panna Cotta Recipe

4 - 5 Jelly Moulds
A Hand Whisk
A Pot for the Stove
A Bowl for the Berry Coulis
Measuring Scales
(Optional: A Serving/Pouring Jug to making pouring the mixture into the moulds easier)

1 Vanilla Pod (cut open and emptied)
250 ml Milk 
250 ml Double Cream
30g Sugar
3 Gelatine Leaves

For the berry coulis:
350g of Strawberries
150g Rasberries
Lots of Sugar

Mint Leaves optional for decoration.

Makes 4 - 5 servings.
Andy being a Chef!


Put 3 gelatine leaves in a cold bowl of water for them to soak.  

For the Berry Coulis, put:
350g of strawberries
150g rasberries
100g sugar
in a bowl & toss together so that all the fruit is covered in sugar & put to one side.

For the Panna Cotta, mix together:
1 vanilla pod (cut open & emptied)
250 ml milk
250 ml double cream
30g sugar
put the mixture and the empty vanilla pod in a saucepan. Heat and gently stir until either just at the boil or just below - Be careful not to burn the mixture!
Take out the empty vanilla pot and drain the gelatine leaves of all the water (but careful to squeeze them too hard) and them put them in the saucepan with the rest of the mixture.
Take off the heat immediately and stir gently for a few minutes until the gelatine leaves have dissolved in the mixture.
Pour the mixture into a serving or measuring jug to make it easier to pour into moulds.
Once in the moulds place in the fridge for 2 - 3 hours for them to firm up.
Once out the fridge carefully break the seal and then careful place them on a plate.

Spoon some of the Berry Coulis from the bowl, and drizzle on top of and around the Panna Cotta.
Decorate your Panna Cotta with mint leaves and add a few raspberries.

How your Panna Cotta's should look once out of the Jelly Moulds.
The finished product! A delicious Panna Cotta dessert! Yummy!

If you enjoyed this recipe and want some more, please comment below!

I hope you have fun making your Panna Cotta, & if you post pictures of your masterpiece, let me know!

Love & Kisses,

Vicki xoxo

Saturday, January 18, 2014

My Favourite Photo-Editing Apps

Making your photos look pretty for Blogposts, Instagram or Facebook is something we all like to do. Quite a few people have contacted me to ask what Photo-Editing Apps I use on the pictures that I upload, so I've decided to compile a list / review of my Top 5 apps that I regularly use!



I use Afterlight for all of the photos that I upload. It has LOADS of filters, photo-adjusting features and frames. I definitely recommend this as a staple App for all Bloggers and Instagramers!


This App is great for when you have the odd pimple. You can remove blemishes, smooth out wrinkles (not something I've had to do yet, thank god!), and my favourite feature, 'detail', let's you highlight certain aspects of a photo. I like to use the 'detail' feature to make my eyelashes and eye make-up "pop" in my pictures. This app also has really good light-adjusting tools, and also lots of cool filters. The filters intensity can also be adjusted which is something a lot of the apps out there don't do. This is another staple app I would 100% recommend!


I love Diptic to create collages, and this app allows you to add lots of pictures into one collage. You can change the aspect of your collage with this app which other collage apps won't allow. This means you can have a square, rectangle, portrait, or horizontal collage - perfect for alternating between instagram and printing your pretty pictures off in real life.


InstaCollage is great for cute frames and adding cool text to your photos. I regularly use the frames for when I'm adding cheesy pictures of my loves (the dogs) and I use the text feature for all my main Blogpost pictures. There is a large variety of fonts and colours which I really like.


Lastly, Pixlromatic isn't an app I really use for my instagram or blog pictures, but I sometimes use it when making wallpapers for my iPhone. It has loads of filters, effects and frames which makes it really fun to play with. Hitting the "random" button in the top-right corner mixes up all the different features and gives you unique combinations you may not have tried out yourself. 

So there you have my Top 5 Photo-Editing Apps! I may post about the others that I have on my iPhone at a later date, but I hope I've helped some of you out with this post!

Do you use any cool iPhone photo-editing or other kinds of apps? Comment below as I always love to hear about new ones!

Love & Kisses,

Vicki xoxo

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wagging Wednesday

Happy Wagging Wednesday, Beautiful People! There are only a few pictures this week - I'll try to take more for next week's WW post! 

Happy Wagging Wednesday!
Bambi & his scarf my Uncle sent from Texas.
Rio & his cute little scarf!
Bambi sometimes likes to sleep whilst sitting upright! Haha!
Rio cuddled up to Andy. Squish-face!
Found that Bambi had put himself to bed under the covers!
Close-up of Rio.
Bambi baby.
My little Rio mouse always wants to be held.

If you've got any pets and have a cute blogpost with pictures, comment below!

Have a beautiful week!

Love & Kisses (from Bambi, Rio & I),

Vicki xoxo

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Maybelline 'Baby Lips' Review

My Sister bought me a 'Baby Lips' Lip Balm in 'Pink Punch' by Maybelline, New York as one of my Christmas Stocking fillers. I only opened the lip product this week and I thought I'd share my feelings about it.

Product:  The lip balm is really moisturising on the lips and leaves them feeling baby soft. The 'Pink Punch' only has a tiny hint of colour so you can either wear it alone or on-top-of / underneath another lip colour. The packaging states that it moisturises the lips for 8 hours which I'm not so sure about if you're doing lots of talking, drinking or eating.

Value for Money:  
I didn't buy my 'Baby Lips' balm, but I've found them from between £2.49-£3.01. I think this is a very reasonable price. It is a cheap enough to be a staple item in any girl's handbag, young or mature.

Packaging:  I'm a sucker for colourful, cute and especially pink packaging. The lip balm itself is really pretty and I think it's a great addition to my make-up bag. Definitely something you wouldn't mind people seeing. 

Would I Recommend it to a Friend:  Yes. Good value for money, pretty colours available, moisturising, and on-trend. I would definitely recommend this product to a friend.

Have you tried this new product? What did you think? Do you agree with my review? Comment below :)

Love & Baby Lips Kisses,

Vicki xoxo

Slim Saturday - My Week's Diet & Fitness in Review

It's the weekend! Yay! And it's the first post of my new (hopefully weekly) blog feature! 'Slim Saturday' will review my past week's weight-loss, diet, and fitness. I hope to include any new exercises I try and share recipes that I find particularly yummy and healthy. Let me know in the comments box below if you like this new feature and any changes that you think I should make!

Weight-Loss this Week:  4lbs

Total Weight-Loss:  4lbs

Workouts / Exercise:  Gym (x4) & Walk in the Woods (x1)

Diet:  Relatively good. Eaten clean, homecooked meals all week. Had a mini cheat-day on Thursday.

Favourite Meal this Week:  My favourite meal this week was a Sweet & Sour Chilli Chicken Stir-Fry with Brocolli & Green Beans - it was super tasty!

How I feel in Myself:  I know I have a LONG way to go which is quite overwhelming at times, but reading other Health and Fitness blogs helps to motivate me and keep me on track.

Positives:  My partner is doing the healthy eating and exercise plan with me so I have a constant source of support.

Negatives:  I haven't been to Slimming World since before Christmas and I'm not sure if I'll go back just yet. I get a bit overwhelmed sometimes!

Goals for the Next Week:  Keep on track. Up the exercise routine and find some new recipes.

Once I feel I have lost a significant amount of weight, I may share my start weight and my "before" pictures ... but we'll see!

Are you doing a January detox, or are you committed to a healthy, clean lifestyle? I would love any tips or advice from others on a weight-loss journey!

Walking Bambi & Rio in some nearby woods this week.

It was nice to go for a stroll with Andy & the dogs.

As the weather starts to pick up, I hope to go on more walks and build up my fitness levels.

I hope you all have a happy and healthy week!

Love & Kisses,

Vicki xoxo

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Wagging Wednesday

Happy 'Wagging Wednesday'!! It's my first WW post of 2014 - Yay! Even though the dogs didn't do any hardcore partying over the holidays, they've been sleeping a lot this week due to the miserable weather we've been having over here on the South Coast of England. Let's hope this next week is much better!!

Happy Wagging Wednesday! 
Little Bambi mouse.
Baby Rio.
Puppy-dog eyes from Rio.
Bambi doesn't want to go outside to wee when the weather is so cold and windy!

Stretching out!

Close-up of little Rio.

Snoozy baby.

Bambi sleeping in a funny position.

Rio sometimes just stares at me for ages - I always wonder what he's thinking.

Rio trying to get my attention.
Bambi sleeping on Andy.

Big brown eyes!

This is how Rio was sleeping on the sofa the other day! What a funny little dog!
Can't believe my oldest little baby is almost 4!

Rio was found laying on one of the dining room chairs - cheeky boy!

Bambi & Rio wish you all a lovely week and hope you come back next Wednesday to see what they've been up to! :)

Love & Kisses,

Vicki xoxo