A delicious Christmas from BakerDays*

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Today, this dropped on my doorstep. A letterbox sized cardboard box with a Christmas cracker and a beautiful tin. Inside the tin, an even more beautiful cake. I may be biased – because it’s cake. And it has penguins on it and I’m sure you guys know that I adore penguins!

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Look at this. I mean.. just look at this cake! This joy dropped on to my doorstep today thanks to the lovely people at BakerDays. The cake is actually wrapped inside of the tin, and it’s good for 2 weeks. The base has the ingredients and tells you which type of cake it is. I got a delightfully moist, chocolate cake. It’s genuinely way tastier than I expected. I definitely didn’t expect it to be so moist and fresh tasting for something coming via post. A pleasant surprise how tasty this cake really is.

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Are you jealous yet? Well, you can head over to BakerDays and get your very own! Just click for your very own letterbox cake. And by that, I mean, totally get one for someone as a gift. So much nicer than your average christmas card! Now is a great time because for every cake you buy on 12th December 2014, BakerDays will donate £2.50 to Save the Children for #xmasjumperday! If you order by 2pm, you can get next day delivery. Another great reason to treat someone you love (even if that’s yourself!) to a cake this Christmas! If the christmas designs don’t take your fancy, they have loads of other cakes (and sizes!) and you can personalise them too and they can have a variety of sponges! The letter box cake is 5 inches in size and perfect for 3-4 servings and they go all the way up to a large cake which is 12 inches and serves 40. Though of course, that one won’t really fit through the letter box ;) It also comes with a free helium balloon!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have cake to eat things to do!

Disclaimer – Sample

DIY Penguin Box

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Hey you beauties!

So I’m back! First things first, I thought I’d share this crazy easy DIY box with you! It’s really really easy to do and you can make them for gifts or for storage. Whatever you like! And it doesn’t have to be penguins if that’s not your thing. The instructions will be in text, but I’ve also compiled a step by step graphic if you want to pin it or save it for later or something.

you will need

To do this, all you need is some scissors, a roll of duck brand duct tape – I chose penguins, but there’s everything from pink to galaxy prints if you want, and they cost £3 from Hobby Craft. I’m not sure how many boxes you can do with one roll, but I had loads left after doing one… And lastly, a box! Here I am using an older Latest in Beauty box. You can use any other beauty box you have lying around if you like though.

  • First, gather the things you need for this project and have a clear area to work.
  • Next, you want to take the lid from your box and put the base to one side. You can cover the base later if you want to, personally, I choose not to.
  • Find the end of your roll of duck tape. If you’ve never used it before, beware, it is very tacky and you will want to make the most of your thumb to pull the tape off to avoid it stretching and warping. (See image if you’re note sure what I mean)
  • Lay tape across the top part of the box, slightly wrapping over the top edge and sides (so the edge of the tape is around the edge of the box, not in line with).
  • Snip the corners so it can all be stuck down and fold the tape down. (see image 6 on the graphic if this is unclear)
  • Lay another strip of tape below the one you have placed. If you have patterned tape like I do, you can overlap it slightly so you can make the patten continue. I found this worked really well for the coverage and made it look less obvious that it is tape.
  • Fold the edges of the tape over the sides and repeat this step until you get to the last part of the box.
  • Lay your last strip of tape and snip the corners, fold them down like previously – Now the top of your box should be covered.
  • Wrap a strip of tape around the edge of the box. I had a couple of millimeters excess at the bottom of the lid.
  • Snip the corners of the excess tape and fold them round in to the lid for a neat looking finish.
  • Do the base in the same way if you plan to. Keep in mind that you’re adding bulk to the box, so if the box is already tight fitting, it might be hard to get the lid on.

Et voila! Done! Sorry if I have explained it poorly. Below is the compilation image-tutorial of my process, hopefully it clarifies anything I may not have explained too well but the entire process is really simple and effective in my opinion.

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If you make one, I’d love to see! Especially if you use a different variety of tape! If you have the patience, you could do something with Washi tape, personally, I prefer this duck tape as it’s significantly more durable and hard wearing!

I hope you enjoyed this and if you’d like to see more craft-life stuff from me, please do let me know!

xxx

Missed Me? *tumbleweeds*

Hey you absolute darlings!

 

If you follow me on twitter, you may know the situation. I’ve not really been blogging since Christmas last year sans a few posts. I decided a few months ago that BeneBelle had come to an end. Then I decided to start a new blog on a wider range of topics. Still some beauty but including some books and photos and games and stuff too. Well, I’ve changed my mind.. I think. I’m going to do that here and keep this blog going. I’d love your input as you are the people who read my blog! I will possibly/probably rebrand in the future but it seems like a waste to abandon the content that I worked so hard to write! I do love blogging, I really do <3 Life has been plummeting for me in some areas (luck, health) and on the up in others (agoraphobia!) and I’ve been trying to focus on myself. I’ve found myself both instagramming and tweeting about certain beauty bits and it just makes me think how much I miss all this.

 

If any of you are still here with me, thank you <3

Chevron NOTD

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Wardour Street and Nottinghill Carnival by nails inc. I liked this more than I thought, but annoyingly, the seche vite top coat caused some shrinkage :(

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Annoyingly, all my nails broke after this and I had to round them all :( So now I have short, rounded nubbins :( So I might not be doing any other NOTD’s for a while, though I do still have one other I can post.

What do you think of this combo?

SCI-MX X-PLODE RIPPEDCORE (Orange)

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SCI_MX’s X-PLODE RIPPEDCORE is a pre-workout drink. It contains 50% of your RDA of vitamin B6 and B12 to help combat fatigue and increase energy. It also contains their “THERMO-CORE COMPLEX” which is basically a load of caffiene stuff – green coffee bean extract, green tea, guarana and ginseng. Their workout pump has optimum levels of caffeine to reduce perceived exertion and increase alertness.

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They suggest you take one serving 30 minutes before training or an event, no more than 2x a day and to allow 4 hours between servings. You add one scoop to 250ml of water, shake (or mix if you don’t have a shaker) and let it settle before drinking. On first glance, it looks a little sandy, but as you shake it, it comes up a lovely orange colour.

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This stuff.. works. Seriously. I gave it a taste test and proceeded to bounce off the walls. As most of you probably already know, I suffer with Chronic Fatigue. This gave me so much energy, I was honestly surprised. I was expecting a little boost but I felt so driven and full of energy, it really hit me after about 20 minutes. It allowed me to go further than I usually would with a workout when exertion would usually hit. I tried it again before a workout, I felt so good, I could do more reps and I lifted heavier weights. My general performance was a lot better than it is usually, so I really got a hardcore workout in. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who wants some extra “umph” for their workout. There are lots of products in the range for afters if you’re in to that sort of thing.

Have you given any sci-mx products a go?

This product was kindly sent for review consideration.

Models Own Turquoise Hypergel

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Hey my lovelies! Boy, it’s good to be back! Easing in to things again nice and gently with a post on one of my favourite things… a nail polish! Everyone and their mum has heard about Models Own Hypergels! Of course, I had to pick some up when MO were running a sale. I got 5? 6? I can’t remember, I’ve been to sleep since then. I fell in love with the colour range and the idea of a high power glossy finish without the effort of curing. Though we know a lot of brands are doing those these days now; the whole “no UV required” gel finish.

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So, I apply my first. Oh. Is it just me or is this kinda of thick and a bit gloopy? I took to twitter and others said they’d found the same. It was a little hard to work with but once done, it looked pretty great. Look at this smooth, shiny finish! I’m still on the fence about these… I mean, they look lovely but they’re really thick and not the easiest to work with.

What did you think of them if you picked any up? If you blogged on any, feel free to leave a link!

xx

Vertical Zig-Zags

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This is a combination of Nails Inc – Marylebone Road and Nails Inc – Briton Place. The Zig Zag stencils were from She Sells Sea Shells UK who I am placing too many orders with as of late…

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I’m in love with these polishes and I am in love with this combo. I think I might be doing a lot more nails like this. It’s also a lot easier than trying to do multiple horizontally!
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What do you think? I showed these to my family and my dad actually thought they were wraps or stick ons. Hah. I was really pleased with how my nails had grown (longer than this) but I had to cut them down to avoid the cracks of damage ruining the entire thing so I could still keep some length. They always seem to grow quicker in summer. Just me?

xx

Steamcream

You’ve probably already heard of the wonder that is STEAMCREAM, if not, let me introduce you! Steamcream is a versatile cream that is handmade in the UK with ingredients that are “fused” together with steam. You can use it on your face, body and hands! Steamcream is sold in lovely eco-friendly, limited edition tins that you can recycle when you’re finished or re-use. Personally, I choose to re-use, they’re too cute to bung in the recycling!

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I got my first tin of Steamcream in a Latest in Beauty box after months of curiosity but not wanting to spend £13 on a cream when I already have a fair few. Because of the nature of Steamcream, it has a 6m PAO (period after opening) which isn’t that long but I’m sure you can use it up. I’ve had my tin for a little longer and it’s been fine (but it’s also still within the best before date).

tin

I really like Steamcream (even if I neglected after getting a sample of Vichy Idealia) and I ended up getting two more tins from Amazon in a lightning deal in Nocturnes and Noir (two monochrome, one is a piano key type design and the other is a flowery one) though I’ve yet to open them, they contain the same great product. I really like that they have so many tin designs to choose from which makes it more interesting to re-purchase. The design pictured is Con Amore and is discontinued. I’m lusting after a lot of other designs at the moment… I really want Eu de Vie..

Personally, I mainly use my Steamcream on my face or hands, but it’s a versatile, all-over cream. You can even mix with sugar or oats to make a facemask. It’s quite an intensive moisturiser and sits on the skin ever so slightly (I have combination skin) but doesn’t feel heavy and more like “protective moisture” than heavy and greasy.. if that makes sense. I like to put on a generous amount before I leave the house in this cold weather (I have no base products on most the time) as well as a nice dollop of lip balm and my skin feels nice, soft and nourished, rather than dry and possibly even flaky when I get back.

STEAMCREAM costs just short of £13 and is available at their website and other places on the interwebz!

 

SCI-MX Strawberry and Cream DUO Protein Bar

Hi guys!

So, recently, I’ve been trying really hard to battle my health and improve my life. After a session at the gym, I popped to asda and had a look at their protein bar offerings. The bars from SCI-MX appealed to me. They have three flavours. Strawberry and Cream, Caramel and Vanilla and Chocolate and Orange. I opted for Strawberry and Cream and a Caramel and Vanilla.

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The packaging looks clinical, like most protein bars but the style of the bar is fun and a bit “angel cakey” in so far as it’s two layers of colour/flavour and coated in chocolate. Whey makes protein bars gritty so I was surprised to find that these were quite light and fluffy and not strongly gritty. I enjoyed both bars and later tried choco-orange and enjoyed that too, but the strawberry and cream was definitely the winner of the three for flavour – it’s coated in white chocolate! It was also the smoothest of the three bars.

duo-bar

SCI-MX duo bars have been formulated to deliver an 9 hour supply of “GRS-5″ gradual release protein to muscles to ensure that they are optimally nourished to maximise recovery and growth. They contain 20g of protein per bar. I’ve only ever had one bar with such “low” protein (usually around 32g) and that was a recovery bar, but I didn’t want or need anything heavy duty, plus with 9 hour release, it aided the appeal. I found it actually helped my exertion significantly more than I had expected so it really did the trick!

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I ended up going online and buying a box, with a discount, they come to little more than buying individuals at ASDA (£1.60 each) but it was also free next day delivery and a free shaker and a water bottle.

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Have you tried these bars before? What do you think?

 

Ahoy hoy – The story so far

Hi guys!

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So you’ll notice it’s been pretty much bang on 6 months since I’ve posted. In fact, I wrote those posts in late November and had scheduled them so for me – it’s been even longer. My laptop crapped out, when I planned to return, my health took a nose dive, then I lost the motivation and I didn’t want to force it; that makes for lousy reading, then I felt motivated again and changed my design, sorted some make up out, washed all my brushes too!

 

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….then I ended up in hospital…(That was fun, I learned something new – Lumbar punctures when you’re tolerant to anesthesia are FUN. And by fun I mean one of the most painful things I’ve ever experienced… And two lots of anesthesia and 4 attempts later, all they did was draw blood… (and left me in it for a couple of hours) after coming to say HEY CAN WE DO THIS at 5 in the frigging morning despite me being up at 3am having panic attacks and crying all over the nurse.) This picture is a few hours after proceedure was attempted..

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Annnd then I was recovering.. now I’m quite rough but more motivated… During this time, I wrote a couple of drafted posts and I do hope to return properly soon. I didn’t want to post what I’ve written until I’m certain.

It’s like life has been telling me to slow down and look after *me* and to focus on myself. In this time, I’ve taken a lot of steps to help me overcome my anxiety and agoraphobia. There is still a VERY long way to go, but I no longer feel utterly petrified at the idea of popping to the shop. On monday, I had a major day and that was a leap for me. I took pictures on my Instagram (LizzumsBB).

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So, I focused on me and some things that I wanted to do. Especially this week and it’s been fantastic. I’ve been a lot happier and it really makes a difference! On Monday I managed to see this -  a sight I’ve not seen in a couple of months short of TWO YEARS thanks to my agoraphobia. Still a long way to go but it helps give me hope.

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I’ve even been to the gym.. on my OWN! This picture is in the smaller more private gym when I started going as they don’t approve of pictures in the big one but I went in there in my own despite my fear and ENJOYED it! I wish I was up to going more. I haven’t been in a while because of my health and last time I did was worrisome as I had an iffy turn – a fear of mine but I got through it and I was okay. Flattering pic huh?

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Basically a whole lot of bettering myself. Physically and mentally. A long way to go but getting there! I’m determined to break the cycle. LOL GEDDIT? I’M SO FUNNY!

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So…! That’s where I’ve been.. if anyone was wondering.. and hopefully I’ll have posts again soon. :D

 

Love! xx