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    Now this is no creation of mine unfortunately, but after my birthday vlog last week I've had a lot of requests to share this recipe. It's one we found in the Times Magazine a long time ago and have re-used many, many times. 

    It's easy for non-chefs like me to make, it looks really impressive and the gentle touch of spice makes it the perfect cold Christmas salad. So here's the recipe and let me know if you end up making it - I'd love to know what you think!

    Ingredients
    225g Red Quinoa
    Half tsp Salt
    350ml Cold Water
    25g freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley, stalks removed
    25g freshly chopped mint, stalks removed
    Seeds of one pomegranate (or 2 packets of ready to eat pomegranate seeds)
    110g spring onions, white and green parts chopped
    75g pine nuts, toasted in a dry frying pan with no oil over a medium heat until lightly browned - (keep them moving or they will burn)
    50g dried cranberries
    2 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
    1 and a half tsp ground cinnamon
    1 scant tsp of ground allspice

    For the dressing
    50ml fruity extra virgin olive oil
    Juice of one lemon
    1 tsp honey
    Sea salt and black pepper

    Serves 8
    Preparation Time: 30 mins
    Cooking Time: 20 mins

    1. Rinse the quinoa in a sieve under cold running water for 2-3 minutes to remove the natural butter outer coating. Put the quinoa and salt in a saucepan with a tight-fitting lid and cover with the carefully measured cold water. 

    2. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to very low, and cook for 12 minutes covered, or until the grain is tender. 

    3. Remove the pan from the heat, keeping the lid on the pan and set aside to steam for a further 10 minutes to fluff up the quinoa. 

    4. To make the dressing, mix the olive oil, lemon juice and honey in a jar and season to taste. 

    5. To serve, add the remaining ingredients to the warm quinoa and pour over the dressing. Mix well and season with freshly ground black pepper and a little more salt if necessary. 

    Serve with grilled fish, chicken, lamb or chickpeas - or I like to eat it just by itself! 



    Recipe taken from the Time Magazine, originally from Darina Allen's book '30 years of Ballymaloe'

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    If you've left your Christmas shopping to the last minute then don't fear, I have a few quirky last minute ideas for you! If you're bored of buying socks, onesies and chocolates then hopefully you'll like these alternative choices... 

    The Subscription //
    A subscription a speciality magazine is a really nice idea for a present and something that isn't just a one off. Last year for my birthday I received a year's subscription to Allure magazine and I absolutely loved it! Whether it's beauty, bikes, fashion, home interiors or cooking there is a magazine for everything! Start here for some inspiration. 

    Get it framed // 
    For my friend Gemma's birthday I framed the quote "F**k it, let's go to New York" which you can see in this vlog. These Muji frames are really heavy, good quality and perfect for framing a quote or photo. Find something that has meaning to you and the person you're gifting or maybe frame a special photo? 

    The Secret Box //
    Astrid & Miyu has become one of my favourite jewellery brands recently and alongside their standard e-shop they also have a unique product called the Secret Box. You subscribe to the service to receive a surprise jewellery treat every 3 months. You can cancel at any time and the box will be customised based on a survey filled out on sign up. You can find out more here

    For the Instagram lover //
    I've always been a fan of Instagram phone covers and I think they make great gifts too! Casetify is really easy to use and you can arrange the photos is so many different ways. This one is also a perfect gift for those with young kids and love to show off their pics! 

    So I hope this gave you some last minute gift ideas... get shopping! 

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  • 12/18/14--23:00: SOMETHING FOR THE GUYS...

  • There is no reason why beauty boxes need to be just for us girls and this limited edition 'Man Up' box from Birchbox is the perfect way to introduce your man to the concept. The 'Man Up' box features everything a guy needs for his morning routine, something men seem to be adopting more and more these days. Rich has a full on skincare routine, so it's definitely not just a girl thing anymore!

    The box is small, discreet and comes with a handy guide so they know which product to use, when and where. So let's run through the products in order of use (although Rich has stolen them all from my office so I don't actually have them with me to try!). The first product is the Noble Isle Hair & Body Gel, a 2-in-1 to speed up the routine. Then moving onto skincare the box includes a Mazorin Face Scrub, Anthony Logistics Glycolic Peptide Serum and a Gentlemen's Tonic Daily Moisturiser. Rich loves his skincare so has been using all three of these since receiving the box!

    For hair there is the Closed on Monday Deluxe Pomade and for scent there is the English Laundry Notting Hill (my personal favourite from the box!). Finally, just for an extra touch there is a really nice pair of socks from Richer Poorer. Rich's favourite bits from the box were the moisturiser and aftershave!

    This box is just a limited edition for December and although I wasn't sure at first, seeing Rich's reaction made me realise how ready men are for a 'grooming' box. He loved it and has actually used every single product. If you think your man would also like this box,you can find it online here for £25. So what do you think of the idea?
       

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  • 12/19/14--23:00: WEAR LIFE EATS

  • WEAR //
    This month so far I've been completely obsessed with my White Company pyjamas and cashmere bed socks. They make cold winter nights warm and cosy and I'd wear them 24/7 if I could! Good news is the pyjamas have now gone into the sale. I got a Large in the top and Medium in the bottoms - just in case you make a sneaky purchase! 

    LIFE //
    This week Rich and I stayed at the beautiful Grove hotel. The hotel has such gorgeous surroundings, acres of land and a golf course! Our room was lovely, spacious and the bath... wow, it was HUGE. The hotel also has a spa so it's the perfect place for a weekend getaway. I'd really recommend it and I hope to go back soon! 

    EATS //
    You might have seen in my Monday vlog, that last weekend a few of us visited the Hampstead Creperie. It's my number one place to go in London for a proper French crepe and trust me it's worth the queue. I went for Nutella and banana but I've had a savoury crepe there too and it was delicious! One to add to the London list... 



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  • 12/20/14--23:00: TANYA BURR NAIL GIFT SETS

  • This is very last minute but I didn't want Christmas to pass without me telling you about Tanya's new trio gift sets. I'm a big fan of Tanya's beauty range and I think the idea of a gifted trio of nail polishes is perfect for this time of year! 

    Each set is £14.99 and there are six trios to choose from. Set one is a pretty'n'pink, set two is very New Year's Eve, set three is sophisticated, set four is Christmassy, set five is bright and fun and set six is girly! 

    Which one is your favourite? 

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  • 12/21/14--05:00: CHRISTMAS Q&A WITH ANNA


  • Last week (as you would have seen in my vlog, Anna and I got together to film a Christmassy Q&A video. We had so much fun dressing up, singing our hearts out and generally chit chatting about all things Christmas. As my last 'main video' before Christmas, I hope this get's you in the festive mood. 

    Enjoy! 

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  • 12/21/14--23:00: VLOGMAS WEEK THREE ROUNDUP



  • We're so near the end now! There are only four more vlogs to go before Christmas day so here's a roundup of Vlogmas week three. I hope you've enjoyed all the vlogs so far! 


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  • 12/22/14--23:00: MERRY CHRISTMAS

  • This is just to wish you all a very merry Christmas! Thank you for all of your kind support throughout Vlogmas. There are three more vlogs to go so keep checking my YouTube channel for those videos. Posts will resume on Boxing Day but until then, relax, be merry and enjoy spending time with family and friends eating good food, listening to music and laughing at terrible cracker jokes. 

    Lots of love, Lily xx

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  • 12/25/14--23:00: BOXING DAY SALE PICKS

  • Now, personally I'm not a huge boxing day shopper but in case you guys are I've put together an edit of some of my favourite sites to shop the sale and a few good bargains that I've found. I hope you had a fantastic Christmas day and after buying all those presents you can now enjoy some shopping for yourself! 

    Selfridges - link
    The Marc by Marc Jacobs Floral Phone Case that I have and love!
    The Ciate Dolls House Nail Polish Collection full of beautiful pastel shades. 

    Cult Beauty - link 

    Liberty - link

    ASOS - link

    I love this Slouchy Coat in Texture and I'm massively into midi coats so this wool one would be my pick! 

    Space NK - link

    Here are a few picks from the Space NK site... 

    The White Company - link 

    I'm obsessed with The White Company, especially their sales (for obvious reasons)
    Winter Red Votives Candles // Wire Trug // Lounge Zip Through Hoodie // Grey Knitted Jumper 
    ...and basically all the candles 

    Urban Outfitters - link

    I LOVE this checked scarf // or this snood for a pop of cobalt blue! // here's your cosy coloured knit sorted 



    Let me know if you pick up anything good in the sale!

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  • 12/26/14--23:00: WEAR LIFE EATS


  • WEAR //
    As I mentioned on Twitter, this week I've mainly worn PJs and onesies, so for this week's WLE I thought I'd pick a few nice onesies that I've spotted in the sale! 

    This one from ASOS | This one from Debenhams | This one from Boohoo

    LIFE //
    Christmas day was lovely this year! Rich and I made pancakes for breakfast and opened our stockings... he did really well and bought me some lovely bits. Canapés, Christmas music and cheer was in full swing all morning until we sat down for lunch around 2.30pm. We pulled our crackers, wore our paper hats and ate until we were full to the brim. My favourite part of the meal? The stuffing and the sweet potato and carrot mash. After lunch we cleared the tables and sat around the tree to open presents. All the kids (my niece and nephews)  are now at the perfect age and they really appreciate and play with each and every present. After presents my nephew hosted a sing-a-long show that mainly consisted of One Direction, it was the cutest thing ever! Late afternoon we noticed my dog had been missing for a while and we soon found ourselves searching the streets of London for a little black dog, asking everyone we passed and shining torches into bushes and gardens. We eventually found her - phew! The rest of the night is a bit of a blur of chocolate, left over sandwiches, films and err... cheese. Christmas was as eventful as always, but perfect in every way. I hope you all had a great day too!

    EATS //
    There are some things we seem to only eat at Christmas and I don't understand why? If you want to start eating cranberry sauce with your roast dinners then this is the recipe we use. Instead of using 200g of sugar though, we substituted it for 180g of Stevia and it worked a treat! 

    That's all for now but see you tomorrow for my December Favourites video! 

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  • 12/28/14--01:30: DECEMBER FAVOURITES


  • It's that time of the month again and before I do my 2014 round up, here are my favourites from December!

    It was really easy to pick my favourites this month so hopefully you'll find some good recommendations in there. 


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  • 12/28/14--23:00: 2013 Favourites Revisited

  • Every year I do a roundup of favourites from the entire year, but before I go through my 2014 favourites I thought I'd revisit my videos from last year and see which products I'm no longer obsessing over. If you want to remind yourselves of all my 2013 favourites you can watch part one here and part two here

    I haven't used Soap & Glory Breakfast Scrub since the beginning of the year as I found it became a little bit too sweet and sickly so I moved on to other scents. Skincare wise, there are a few bits I've moved on from as my skin has changed. The Origins Super Spot Remover I found was a little too harsh and although I do use it sometimes, not as often as I used to. Pixi Glow Tonic is still one I would recommend but I've personally been using the Clarins toner and First Aid Beauty exfoliating pads more often. I also stopped using Hydraluron quite a while ago, I found it was too tacky and once I tried the Sarah Chapman serum I was fully converted!

    Last year I mentioned Maybelline's 'Mint for Life' and Butter London's 'Cotton Buds' nail polish as favourites but as my collection has grown and had a clear out, these two haven't been used much this year! 

    'Notting Hill Nude' from the Rimmel Moisture Renew range was my nude discovery from last year, but this year when sporting a nude lip I've been reaching for gloss over any nude lipstick. The Rimmel Apocalips got moved to the 'spare makeup' drawer and products like the Bourjois Rouge Velvet were promoted instead. I found them to be a little bit too wet and glossy for my liking, although I still think they're worth trying if you haven't yet! 

    There were quite a few hair products in last year's favourites that I haven't used in a while. The Phyto Detox Clarifying Shampoo got swapped for the Ojon Cleansing Conditioner and although I loved Bumble & Bumble's Straight shampoo and conditioner I only repurchased once before moving on to try other things. 

    So although this post was a bit of a downer, I thought it might be interesting to look back at old favourites and see how things have moved on. My 2014 favourites video will be up on Sunday 4th at 9.30am! 


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  • 12/29/14--23:00: NEW YEAR'S EVE REDS

  • New Year's Eve is finally upon us and whilst I'll be staying in with friends eating lots of food and sipping on many a few glasses of champagne, I am aware that some of you may be heading out to party the night away! If a red lip is on your New Year's Eve makeup menu then I've got you covered with four of my favourite reds each in a different formula. 

    For an easy to apply balm that adds a touch of rouge go for Revlon's Cherry Tart Lip Butter which looks great with fresh skin and black liquid eyeliner. For something more long lasting, opt for a matte lipstick and of course I'm going to recommend Charlotte Tilbury's Red Carpet Red (currently in sale). It's a deep, sophisticated red that will go perfectly with a sparkly LBD. If you struggle to apply red lipstick and your lips are slightly thinner, use a lip liner like the Kiko Ace of Diamonds one instead. You can get more definition on application, it's super long lasting and you can really draw in your lips to make them look fuller. If you're spending the night eating and drinking the Sephora Lip Cream in Always Red is your best bet! It won't budge at all throughout the evening and it looks gorgeous on. 

    So get your red lips ready and have a great night! 

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    I've never been a fan of going out on New Year's Eve. Cabs are impossible to book, it's always cold and it seems everyone gets especially drunk, loud and rowdy on the 31st December. So instead of my usual New Year's Eve makeup tutorial, this year I've made a video for those of you who are also staying in. 

    There are two recipes in this video that are both extremely easy. All of you on here have probably seen my brookies by now but here they are in video form and I've also added a hazelnut and mint chocolate chip hot chocolate float. Both indulgent and both delicious. The diet can start tomorrow, right? 

    I hope you all have a very fun, safe and happy new year. As I say at the end of this video, thank you all so much for your support this year! xxx


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  • 12/31/14--23:00: A LOOK BACK AT 2014...

  • Happy new year!!! It's 2015, which is so strange because I swear that just sounds too futuristic for my liking. To start off the new year I thought it would be nice to take a look back at some of my favourite posts and videos from 2014. I've taken a look through my analytics and it seems that your favourites are pretty much the same as mine, so let's go back in time together... 

    I spent this year really focusing on my videos and the quality of the content I'm uploading. I also wasn't afraid to upload a few non-beauty videos here are there and funnily enough they've become some of my favourites. The Then & Now video I did with my best friends is something I frequently watch and I had such great feedback from younger teens who got some great advice from this video as well as mums who passed this onto their daughters. On another life subject I spontaneously filmed Protect Your Skin, a video talking about my moles, the insecurity I have with them and the process I have to go through to get them checked. Not the most glamorous subject, but again, the feedback on this video was incredible! 

    When I reached 200,000 subscribers I made a fun little stop motion video to say thanks and when Anna and I went to Ghana with Comic Relief I worked really hard to document the trip as well as I could and I'm so happy I have this video to look back at. 

    I uploaded a style lookbook for almost every season this year and a few of my favourite style videos included my Winter Coat Collection, my Summer Lookbook and My Shoe Collection. My favourite beauty videos were Quick Beauty Tips for Busy Women and 4 Makeup Looks for University/College

    So lets talk blog posts and typically you guys prefer the ones that have been thoroughly thought through and planned. Tips for Taking Passport Photos is one that often gets checked and I often find myself sending the link on to people who have asked for tips. The idea of The Skincare Guide was a way to keep up with a multi-step skincare routine and I still use mine every day! If you have a lot of beauty products then using The Repurchase Test will help you decide whether you really need another one. The Beauty Bloggers' Drugstore Favourites was a fun one to compile and write so I'm glad that went down well and finally, my Brookies recipe - well we know how much you guys like that one don't we! 

    So those are some of my favourite posts and videos from 2014 and hopefully, if you missed any first time round, you can catch up now! I hope you all have a lovely New Year's Day and keep an eye out for a new video from me tonight at 6.30pm! 


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    When I briefly mentioned my 2014 scrapbook in my December Favourites video I didn't expect such an amazing response! It was a project I started in January 2014 to fill a hobby gap I had and I've loved doing it. Not only is it a great way to remember to actually print and keep photos, but I found the whole process of scrapbooking incredibly relaxing to do in the evening. 

    Watch the video for all the details and let me know if you decide to start one yourself! 

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  • 01/02/15--23:00: WEAR LIFE EATS

  • WEAR //
    I don't think I've taken my UGGS off my feet for the past two weeks. They are the warmest, most snuggly boots and I struggle to wear anything else during the winter. The classic mini UGGS are my favourite at the moment and I know a lot of people hate them, but I think they look kinda stylish with skinny jeans! 

    LIFE //
    This week BBC1 showed a modern adaptation of Roald Dahl's famous Esio Trot story and it was completely beautiful. Dustin Hoffman and Judi Dench were perfectly cast as the roles of Mr Hoppy and Mrs Silver and I was grinning ear to ear the whole way through. If you can find it online I would highly recommend watching it. A wonderful story presented in the most beautiful way with two of my favourite actors... Perfection. 

    EATS //
    This year my friends and I saw in the new year in Mexican style. Our Mexican themed night was a huge success and my job for the evening was the guacamole... a big and important task! I referred to Anna's recipe and it came out really well, so if you need a quick and easy recipe, look no further! 





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  • 01/03/15--23:00: FESTIVE NAIL RECOVERY

  • Glitter season has come to an end and although I'm sad to say goodbye to the sparkles, my nails can't wait to be free! Thick gold glitter looks great but it doesn't do my nails any favours and they're in serious need of some recovery time. 

    After using the foil trick to remove the glitter (soak cotton wool in nail polish remover, wrap around nail, wrap foil over the top and leave for 10 minutes) it's time for some nail TLC. I recently picked up the ORLY Nail Strong and Argan Cuticle Oil and so far they seem to be helping. The Nail Strong can be applied alone or used as a base coat and it helps to rebuild nail strength and prevent flaking. My nails are extremely flakey at the moment so I'll be layering this on every day and I'll report back! I also find that oil really helps prevent flaking as it's usually due to dryness and oil is incredibly nourishing for the nails. The Argan Cuticle Oil is easy to apply just like a polish and doesn't feel at all greasy on your hands. 

    The final step in my routine is to moisturise my hands, something I often forget to do in this cold weather. The Grown Alchemist Vanilla & Orange Peel Hand Cream come in tiny lip balm sized packaging (full size here) and it smells and feels divine! 

    So I'm giving my nails a week to recover before I'm back on the nail polish addict train, but I think I'll give glitter a miss for quite some time now. 


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  • 01/04/15--05:00: BEST IN BEAUTY 2014


  • It's finally here, my 2014 beauty favourites! 

    I've put together the best of the best from the last year, all of my favourites from each beauty category. It was actually a lot easier than last because I feel like 2014 was the year that I really pinned down the products I enjoy using on a daily basis. 

    If you'd like to compare with last year's favourites you can watch part 1 here and part 2 here. Let me know if we have any 2014 favourites in common! 

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    Good morning! I have a feeling that today's Monday is bluer than most, seeing as it's the first day back at work for most of us. To brighten up your day I'm bringing you the lowdown on Chanel's new Réverie Parisienne collection that'll be hitting counters at the end of the month. This gives you nearly a month to decide if you want to treat yourself, but if you're still on your post-Christmas spending ban then shut down your computer now, hide your purse and I'll see you tomorrow. 

    There's a whooping 18 products in this new collection and as with every collection there are some that I love and some that I'd pass on. I have a few here that I've been trailing and naturally I want to start with my favourite... have you seen that blush?! 

    There are two blushers in this collection, but Jardin de Chanel in Camélia Rosé is limited edition and embossed with the most beautiful floral design. It's a duo of pinks with a light peachy pink and a darker rose mixed together. The formula is semi-matte but when applied has a slight sheen to it. It's rosy and soft without being too subtle and it can easily be used as a daily blusher with any makeup look. 

    So let's talk lipsticks. There are six lipsticks and two lip definers, but only two of the lipsticks are limited edition (Badine Rouge Allure and La Pétillante Rouge Allure Velvet). La Romanesque is a gorgeous matte lipstick that I used in this makeup tutorial. It's a bright pink but unlike most pinks I try (and look terrible in) this one has berry tones to it that works really well on a warm complexion. The Chanel matte formulas are lightweight on the lips, not at all drying and incredibly luminous. Insaisissable is one of the satin lip colours and although this one looks scary in the bullet, it applies quite sheer and almost semi-opaque. It's a bright coral with very orange undertones so I'm not sure how I feel about the sheer formula as I usually prefer these shades with a stronger finish. Keeping with the coral theme, Fleur D'Eau is one of their Lèvres Scintillantes glossier for lips and it layers really nicely over Insaisissable. By itself it gives a sheer tint of pink with slight orange tones in it and the formula is non-sticky and very high shine.  

    There are three nail polishes in the collection, two of which I've tried. If you've read my blog for a while you'll know that I'm not the biggest fan of the Chanel nail polish formula but the shades are spot on. Tenderly is a sophisticated mauve and Paradisio is a marine tinted silver. You can definitely find a dupe for Tenderley whilst I feel like Paradisio is quite a unique shade. 

    So let's finish on my two least favourites, sorry to be a Debbie downer. The long-lasting eyeliner in Ardoise is a dark grey liner that although has a beautiful formula, it didn't really get my heart racing. The eyeshadow quad in Tissé Paris is a rosewood palette that for me is just too pink. There are two pink shades, one soft and one more intense and opposite is an ivory and a slate grey. Unfortunately none of the shades work for my complexion, but if you can wear ivory, pink and grey then maybe you'd have more luck than me! 

    So essay over and now it's your turn to tell me which bits have caught your eye? My two favourites picks would be the Jardin de Chanel blush and the Romanesque lipstick. For swatches and a more detailed review, see Temptalia


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