January recap 2014

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Where did January go? I can’t believe that tomorrow will be February, January really did just fly in!

So I thought I would do a quick recap for January . . .

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A round up of just a few of my pictures, yes I know I take ‘too’ many and I’m Miss Snaphappy but I love photographs and how they can bring back so many memories good or bad!

FOR EXAMPLE

– My blog’s first birthday

– Nights out with Ryan

– My friend’s 30th birthday

– Trips with Alan

PicMonkey Collage clothes

A recap of my outfits over the month, these blogs would most definitely have to be one of my most popular of January, the feedback and likes I have had have been fantastic, and the retweets and comments for big companies like Tesco and Sainsbury’s have just blown me away!

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Also this month I have tried to stick to a healthier, low calorie diet and well, it has been a tad hit and miss, but hey everyone deserves a treat once in a while!

A big thank you to you all for your constant support and encouragement!

x

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Gluten free Brownie Recipe

So this is my recipe for triple chocolate and macadamia nut brownies, which due to the small amount of flour can be tweaked and made gluten free.  A friend of mine recently posted to Facebook about gluten free treats that were actually nice so for her and all of those out there who need to eat gluten free foods, I hope you enjoy!

TRIPLE CHOCOLATE AND MACADAMIA NUT BROWNIES

(remove the nuts or change to a different kind i.e. hazelnuts if you want)

Ingredients

– 10oz (ounces) of plain chocolate

– 10oz unsalted butter

– 30z chopped macadamia nuts

– 3oz chopped white chocolate

– 3oz chopped milk chocolate

– 6oz gluten free flour

– 1tsp (teaspoon) gluten free baking powder

– 4 large eggs (slightly beaten)

– 1tsp vanilla extract

– 12oz caster sugar

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 170oc

2. Line a 30 x 20 x 3.5cm tin with lightly buttered greaseproof paper

3. Put the plain chocolate and butter in a large bowl and place over a pan of simmering water and allow to melt

4. Sieve the flour and baking powder into a bowl and set aside

5. Remove the melted chocolate and butter from the heat and stir in the sugar

6. Once completely combined mix in the eggs and vanilla

7. Fold in the flour, chocolate and nuts

8. Pour the mix into the tin and cook for 25 – 30 minutes (may take longer depending on your oven)

When ready it should feel firm on the top, but soft inside

9. Cool completely and then cut into squares

10. Sprinkle with a little sieved icing sugar and serve

I hope you enjoy these

x

Dinner for under 350 cals – YES PLEASE!!

At Christmas I got a few new cook books and finally I got round to using them! During the week I tried out my first ever Hairy Bikers recipe and I have to say I was really pleasantly surprised! Especially as this was a low cal recipe from their cookbook The Hairy Bikers Dieters Eat For Life.

The recipe I chose was Egg Fried Rice (304 calories per portion) with a few tweeks of my own, leaving out the ginger, as we had none and adding a chicken breast, bringing it up to 339 calories per portion.

Serves – 2

Prep time – 10 mins

Cooking time – 16-18 mins

INGREDIENTS

– 75g easy – cook long grain rice

– frylight spray

– 2 medium eggs (beaten)

– 1 pepper (deseeded and thinly sliced)

– 100g of small chestnut mushrooms (wiped and sliced)

– 50g frozen peas

– 6 spring onions (trimmed and sliced)

– 2 garlic cloves (crushed)

– 20g chunk of fresh root ginger (peeled and finely grated)

– 2 tablespoons (tbsp) dark soy sauce

– salt and pepper

METHOD

1. Cook your rice as directed on the box

2. While the rice is cooking spray a wok or large frying pan with the frylight and add your chicken, when the chicken is nearly cooked add your sliced pepper, mushrooms, garlic, ginger and spring onions

3. Once you have stir fried your chicken and veg and cooked them off add the peas cooking for a further 3 minutes

4. In the mean time in a cup crack in your eggs, season with a little salt and pepper and beat with a fork

5. Drain your rice and remove your chicken and veg from the pan (place it into a bowl), then into that pan add the drained rice.

6. Stir your rice around the pan and make a clear space in the centre, this is where you want to pour in the beaten egg and start stirring, making sure you don’t get big lumps of egg but that it is mixed through the rice

7. Place your chicken and veg back in the pan with your rice and mix

8. Add the soy sauce, mix together and cook for a further few minutes

9. Serve hot, straight away

10. Enjoy!

x

Alexa Chung inspiration

My latest nail designs are inspired by Alexa Chung but with my own slant on colours and using Model’s Own nail polish and of course doing them myself.

These are the nails Alexa posted to her Instagram account the other day and I just had to take a screen shot as I loved them!!  In my latest Model’s Own haul before Christmas I had bought a gorgeous navy blue but had yet to try it.  Stuck home from work, sick, with a kidney infection I needed something to try and distract from the pain and cheer me up, so I decided to recreate Alexa’s nails.

I started off with two coats of in the navy (one would have been fine, but I have a rose gold/glitter in my acrylics so needed two coats to cover this).  The polish just glided on with a fantastic coverage using only the smallest amount of polish on the brush and actually dried really quickly!

Next I used jade stone to make the flower shapes.  I chose this colour rather than the white as I had also bought this colour in the haul and had yet to use it.  To make these flowers I just used the nail polish brush to blob on five circles in a flower shape, the tip of the brush was the perfect shape, and again you don’t need much polish on the brush.

To fill in the centre of the flowers I chose lemon meringue – ice cream as it is a gorgeous pastel yellow.  Using an old piece of card (well my antibiotics box) I put a blob of the yellow polish onto it and then dipped a cocktail stick into it and then onto the nail to create the centre of the flower.

To seal in the colour and more importantly make my nails POP I applied the 3 – in – 1 base/ top/ and gloss coat, this is the first time I had used this as it came free with my haul due to the offer at the time.  I was really impressed, dries quickly and has a really high glossy, which actually lasts!!

So that’s it, step by step how to recreate Alexa’s nails.  Pretty easy huh?

It may still be January but I’m fully in the Spring mood with these cute and colourful daisy nails!

Why not try them out and show me by tagging me in your pic on instagram @zeejay86 I’d love to see them!!

TO SEE MORE FROM MODEL’S OWN

Websitehttp://www.modelsownit.com/products/nails.html

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/modelsown?fref=ts

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/modelsown

Instagram – @modelsownofficial

Look inside my wardrobe

outfits

This week’s wardrobe planning was a lot quicker this week, as I was off sick for three days I never wore my outfits.  So you will probably recognise Wednesday, Thursday and Friday’s outfits.  I have also added in for Monday and Tuesday some of the clothes I bought at the weekend.

mon

Monday’s Outfit – I’ve picked my blue denim jeggings (M&S), long sleeved black top (Primark), my new chunky knit grey jumper (Zara), my white converse style pumps (Sainsbury’s) and my new tartan hair scarf (by Sam Mercer)

tues

Tuesday’s Outfit – I’ve picked my navy jodhpurs (Gok Wan for Sainsbury’s), cream vest top (Primark), floral denim top (Primark), chunky knit cream cardigan (River Island), blue converse (Office) and my ice-cream necklace (Primark).

wednesday

Wednesday’s Outfit –I’ve picked a black and white 3/4 sleeved tunic style top (M&S), black leggings (Primark), red statement necklace (Monsoon), tartan scarf (House of Fraser) and my black ankle boots (F&F for Tesco).

thursday

Thursday’s Outfit –I picked my Floral print dress (G12 for Asda), silver belt (Primark), scarf (Found under our stairs), grey slouched kitten heel boots (Faith) and a long black cardigan (Primark).

friday

Friday’s Outfit – my navy, spotted, red bow dress (NV), jeggings (Primark) long navy cardigan (Quiz), white and rose gold necklace (Dorothy Perkins) and my brown ankle boots (TU for Sainsbury’s).

ward

So that is my wardrobe of outfits for the week.

I hope I have inspired you to go and plan your own wardrobe for the week, even if you can’t lie them out on your brother’s bed (while he is in Australia) put them on hangers and leave them in your wardrobe.

Links to the shops I have featured . . .

River Island       Sainsbury’s       Tesco       M&S

Faith       Office       Dorothy Perkins       by Sam Mercer

Primark       Zara       Asda      Monsoon       House of Fraser

Previous look inside my wardrobe posts this month. . .

1. – https://mylifemyblogzane.wordpress.com/2014/01/05/look-inside-my-wardrobe/

2. – https://mylifemyblogzane.wordpress.com/2014/01/13/look-inside-my-wardrobe-2/

3. – https://mylifemyblogzane.wordpress.com/2014/01/20/look-inside-my-wardrobe-3/

x

Saturday shopping haul

sales

This past week I have just felt pants and ended up spending 3 days in bed due to this stupid infection I had.  However on Saturday I was feeling a lot better and decided to go up to down with my bestie for some food and light shopping, nothing too much just a wee dander as I still wasn’t 100%.  Boy did this unplanned trip turn out well, so many bargains!!!

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First off I had to head over to St George’s Market as I needed this hair scarf by Sam Mercer!!! I had posted it yesterday on my inspiration board so it was first on my list!  I also picked up a gorgeous dragon fly print one for my friend.  The lovely Sam cheered me right up too, so friendly and chatty (the bestie was surprised when I said that was the first time I had met her and properly spoken to her) and she had a little prezzie for me a gorgeous leopard print and a little spotted button clip.  I really can’t wait to wear them!!

by Sam Mercer

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Next up in St George’s Market I spotted this gorgeous bow hair clip and cute, funky ace of clubs earrings at the Stray Jewellery stand.  I had to invest! £4.50 for the bow clip and £1.50 for the cute little earrings.

Stray Jewellery

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The weather was truly awful on Saturday wind and lashing ran so we made a dash to the closest shops and ended up in nails inc.  Ryan bought me some vouchers for Christmas so I wanted to see what new polishes they had in and if I could use my vouchers online as they are doing loads of deals this month (promotion codes, check out their Facebook page).

I had £40 of vouchers to spend and had to spend it all as they don’t give you any change etc and I also found out I had to spend my vouchers in store unfortunately. I say unfortunately as I was served by the most stuck up rude member of staff who I could see and hear slobbering about me to the other member of staff she was working with!

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Anyway I was able to pick up the Monogram Manicure Set which was in the sale from £20 to £12, totally sold out on the website so I was lucky to pick it up.

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To make my amount up to £40 I then decided to try out the new gel effect polishes, these were the two I loved the most as there was a purple and vibrant pink I liked the look of too.  The pink you can’t really go wrong with and the burgundy colour I had been looking for, for a while.  At £14 a bottle I am expecting big things from these polishes.

nails inc

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Whilst looking into River Island I was really good and didn’t buy any new shoes, even though there were some gorgeous ones and sunglasses, but no I don’t need any new shoes at the min and well £2 earrings aren’t really going to break the bank are they? 🙂

River Island

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Next up was accessorize, there were so many gorgeous new pieces in, but no we were only in to see what bargains we could find in the sale.  I managed to get these earrings and flower hair clips for under £5 instead of the original price of over £20 altogether.

accessorize

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Next up was a nip into Primark, I told Sarah she was not allowed to let me buy anything unless I could come up with 3 good reasons as to why I needed it, I can be terrible when it comes to Primark, buy all round me.  Luckily this time round there wasn’t actually that much that caught my eye apart from some jewellery and this little top.

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I especially loved the back of it an it was a bargain at only £8, perfect for the summer months and even for now with a top below and a chunky knit carpet over the top.

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The jewellery I was talking about, I loved the colour on this statement necklace so it was the first thing I had to pick up! I also have been looking for some midi rings for a while now so I invested in these little ones and then for the set of earrings, some aren’t actually from this pack and one is missing because Sarah and I done a little swapsies!

Primark

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I have been looking for a new hat like this for ages but they were all so expensive, even in the sales I couldn’t find any reduced enough (I didn’t want to spend a fortune on one as I know I won’t wear it all the time so I wouldn’t get my moneys worth out of it). This however I loved, I spotted it in GAP, it fitted perfectly, it went with the outfit I was wearing and it was £7.99 from £22.99, total BARGAIN!

GAP

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Final stop was Zara, my aim was to get some long sleeved tops and as I hadn’t seen any I was after anywhere else I thought I would try Zara.  A gorgeous grey chunky jumper from £29.99 down to £9.99, gorgeous colour, cut and a nice fit on, perfect!

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I also picked up this thinner navy jumper in Zara, it was the gold zip down the back that really drew me to it.  The fact that it is navy too I think it will look perfect with a new tartan by Sam Mercer necklace I want to get.  This jumper was £7.99 from £19.99.

Zara

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Ok so Zara didn’t end up being the last shop we went to! We remembered on the way home we needed to get a couple of things in Tesco, so when we popped in we had a look at the clothes and by pure fluke I spotted this 100% cashmere jumper in the sale down to £14 from £30.  I’ve never had a cashmere jumper before, usually because I couldn’t bring myself to part with a huge amount of money for a jumper so when I spotted this one at that price I had to grab it!

Tesco

So as you can see my impromptu dander around the shops was triumphant lol. I only bought the things I needed, thinking back to my outfit planning I do every week, I only wanted to buy clothes I needed and ones that would go with the clothes I already have.

x

My MUSTHAVES

my must haves

My latest inspiration board!  From time to time I go through my different trends, ok OBSESSIONS! A few on my inspiration board above I have had for a while and a few are new, let me share . . .

THE TARTAN SCARF

For ages I hunted for my ideal tartan scarf and finally before Christmas I found one I loved, which I’m sure you have seen in my weekly outfit blogs.  Recently however I have spotted more and more on the high street that I have fallen in love with and of course added to my wish list.

tartan scarf 2

Jayne Tartan Scarf Wrap – £12.00

http://www.boohoo.com/restofworld/accessories/new-in-accessories/icat/new-in-accessories/jayne-tartan-scarf-wrap/invt/azz37759

tartan scarf 1

Lucy Tartan Tassle Trim Woven Scarf – £12.00

http://www.boohoo.com/restofworld/accessories/new-in-accessories/icat/new-in-accessories/lucy-tartan-tassle-trim-woven-scarf/invt/azz37956

tartan scarf 3

I LOVE this scarf from Zara and in real life it is breath takingly stunning!  I think it must be sold out though as it is selling online between £50 and £80, CRAZY!

FOOTWEAR

tartan converse

Continuing with the tartan theme I spotted a girl in a local café a few weeks ago wearing a tartan print converse style pump.  I have been searching online for them and so far these were the only ones I could find and of course these too are sold out! So if any of you guys spot them anywhere please do let me know!

EYEWEAR

sunglasses

Towards the end of last summer I was looking for retro sunglasses like this everywhere!  This summer you will definitely be able to spot me in a pair of stunning retro sunnies!

Brown tortoise shell round sunglasses – £13.00

http://www.riverisland.com/women/sunglasses/retro-sunglasses/Brown-tortoise-shell-round-sunglasses-647909

glasses

It’s coming up to the time I need to change my specs, I am still loving my geek sheek so these gorgeous Osiris glasses from Specsavers are most definitely making my wish list.

OSIRIS B71 – £125.00

http://www.specsavers.co.uk/glasses/osiris-b71?sku=25661590

JEWELLERY AND ACCESSORIES

shuttlecock necklace

I love how different this necklace is and it’s stunning against a navy top (as you can see in the pic)

Shuttlecock necklace – £10.00

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1413495442224349&set=pb.1395940780646482.-2207520000.1390604426.&type=3&theater

harmonica

I definitely need to get one of these, as soon as I seen it, it reminded me of my Papa.  When we were younger my Papa bought my brother and I a harmonica for Christmas, much to the dismay of my Nana.  This would be perfect to wear as a memory of him!

(P.S. Sorry for the misspelling/typing error in the picture!)

Miniature Harmonica Necklace – £15.00

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1412749692298924&set=pb.1395940780646482.-2207520000.1390604426.&type=3&theater

coca cola

Love this wee retro coke bottle top necklace!

Coca Cola Bottle Cap Necklace – £8.50

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1415735992000294&set=pb.1395940780646482.-2207520000.1390604426.&type=3&theater

camera

Any of my friends and family will tell you how photo obsessed I am, so this necklace is so me!

Vintage 3D Camera Necklace – £20.00

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1412750448965515&set=pb.1395940780646482.-2207520000.1390604429.&type=3&theater

zip necklace

I have wanted one of these zip heart necklaces for ages, they are all stunning but I of course love the tartan and leopard print ones!

Zip Heart Necklace – £13.00

http://www.bysammercer.co.uk/product/zip-necklaces

tartan hair scarf

This head scarf I fell in love with straight away! I can’t wait to invest!!!

Tartan hair scarf – £8.00

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=580157255382944&set=pb.128294173902590.-2207520000.1390609832.&type=3&theater

CLOTHING

polka dress

I actually bought this dress a couple of weeks ago in River Island and I’ve decided to use it as my thinspiration dress!  It does fit me, but it’s still a bit tight so I will wear it when I have lost a few pounds and feel 100% comfortable and confident in it.

Navy Polka Dot Tea Dress – £25.00

http://www.riverisland.com/women/dresses/day–t-shirt-dresses/Navy-polka-dot-tea-dress-650646

tartan legging

I also spotted these leggings in River Island, I think they would look gorgeous with a black jumper, my flat brown ankle boots and one of The Cardboard Mannequin necklaces from above.

Navy Tartan Leggings – £22.00

http://www.riverisland.com/women/trousers–leggings/leggings/Navy-tartan-leggings-649139

HAIR AND NAILS

ombre

Like I said in yesterday’s blog I love the whole ombre look, so why not do it yourself at home.  You can pick this up in any chemist or supermarket etc.  My link below is the first I found, perhaps not the cheapest, so shop around.

L’Oreal Preference Wild Ombre – £6.63

http://www.superdrug.com/loreal/loreal-wild-ombres-dark-blonde-to-medium-brown-2/invt/508350&bklist=

in the navy

In the navy is one of my favourite colours at the minute from Models own!

In the navy – £5.00

http://www.modelsownit.com/products/nails/nail-polishes.html

Do you have any musthaves or inspiration? Share them with me and comment below 🙂

x