26.6.16

Get Ready With Me | Wedding Guest

One of my favourite things about attending a special event like a wedding is the getting ready part. I love to really take my time starting with a long shower and pampering session before spending a couple of hours on my hair and make-up. A couple of weeks ago I attended my cousins wedding so I thought I would talk you through my getting ready process for the day. 

Make-Up


Smashbox #ShapeMatters Palette Highlight Shade (I wish they sold this individually, it's amazing!!)
Too Faced Sweet Peach Eyeshadow Palette (Georgia all over, Bellini transition shade, Peach Pit crease, Delectable outer corner)

Hair

I had my hair done by Blow Ltd using their at home service. I picked an undone bun style which was exactly what I wanted, an up-do but not too formal. It only took about 30 minutes and it lasted all day and night. If you live or work in London zones 1-3 I would definitely recommend using this service. You can get £10 off your first at home service using the code HOME. They also offer make-up and nails which I'm really intrigued to try! 

Outift

I had no idea what to wear for the wedding until literally the day before when I found this beautiful soft pink wrap dress in Topshop. It was sooo comfortable and I received so many compliments on it, I also unintentionally managed to colour coordinate with all 3 of my sisters which was amusing! I paired it with an black pair of heels from Zara and a black and gold clutch bag from New Look, both really old items that I've had in my wardrobe forever!


Let me know if you like these kind of posts and would like to see more of them :)



22.6.16

The Hummingbird Bakery Carrot Cake Recipe


I'm going to put it out there and say carrot cake is the best kind of cake you can get. A bold statement I know, but you just can't fault it. The moist sponge cake is comforting and satisfying without being too sweet or rich, the perfect accompaniment to a cuppa! It's always been my favourite kind of cake, despite being a devout chocoholic. I remember constantly begging my mum to bake it when I was younger and then i'd guzzle it down, straight from the oven, before she'd even had a chance to ice it. Surprisingly, despite my love of baking, I'd never actually attempted baking my own homemade carrot cake before (not counting Betty Crockers cake mix!) so when deciding what to bake for my friend Kerry's belated 30th birthday, I thought it would give it a go.


Things rarely run smoothly whenever I first try a recipe so I was over the moon when this turned out amazingly (if I do say so myself!). The recipe was incredibly easy to follow and the cake was to die for, honestly one of the best carrot cakes I have ever eaten, a colleague even told me it was better than shop bought!

It's too good not to share so here is the recipe!

The Hummingbird Bakery Carrot Cake Recipe

Ingredients for the Cake

300g soft light brown sugar
3 eggs
300ml sunflower
300g plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus extra for decoration
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
300g grated carrots
100g chopped walnuts, plus extra for decoration

Ingredients for the Cream Cheese Icing

600g icing sugar
100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g cream cheese, cold

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170c(150c fan)/325f/Gas 3 and line three 20cm cake tins with greaseproof paper (this is essential, even if you grease it well it will still stick to the bottom otherwise)

  2. Put the sugar, eggs and oil in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat until all the ingredients are well incorporated (don't worry if the mixture looks slightly split). 

  3. Slowly add the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt and vanilla extract and continue to beat until well mixed.

  4. Stir in the grated carrots and walnuts by hand until they are all evenly dispersed. 

  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tins and smooth over with a palette knife. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and the sponge bounces back when touched. Leave the cakes to cool slightly in the tins before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely. 

  6. Whilst the cakes are cooling, prepare the cream cheese icing. Beat the icing sugar and butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on a medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed.

  7. Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to a medium-high speed and continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy (approx. 5 mins). Take care not to overbeat as it can quickly become runny. 

  8. Once the cakes have cooled, put one on a cake stand (or just a plate) and spread 1/4 of the cream cheese icing over it with a palette knife. Place a second cake on top and spread another quarter of the frosting over it. Top with the last cake and spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides. Finish with walnuts and a light sprinkling of cinnamon. 


5.6.16

Summer Holiday Essentials

As you are reading this, I will just have arrived in sunny Italy. At least I hope it's sunny anyway! I've never been to Italy before but I've heard so many amazing things about how beautiful it is and how delicious the food is, so I'm incredibly excited. However, at the time of writing this, I am stressing. I am stressing because despite the fact that we are going away for a week, we don't have a checked luggage allowance! How the hell am I supposed to fit all my toiletries, make-up and suncreams into one of those tiny, little plastic bags!? I struggle with a weekend away, let alone and entire week in the sun.


Anyway, it got me thinking about the essentials. Not the clothing, clean undies, toothpaste kind of essentials, but the things are a holiday must have for me personally. Obviously this isn't everything but here are some of the things that'll make my holiday more enjoyable.

Sunglasses

I forgot my sunglasses on a weekend away once and it was horrific. Having the sun glaring at you all day and making you squinty eyed is not enjoyable and it can also damage your eyes. I picked up these Jimmy Choo sunglasses at Bicester Village last year and I absolutely love them, they're the perfect size for me and I love the slight cat-eye shape.

Reading Material

Eat. Sleep. Read. Repeat. That's my holiday routine so reading material is an essential for me. I generally like books that are lighthearted and easy reading for holidays so anything by Sophie Kinsella is usually a winner for me. Please let me know if you have any suggestions because I'm going to need more than just this one!

Bronzer

Being pale & freckly and paranoid about wrinkles and premature ageing, I don't really wear anything less than SPF 50 on my face. As you can imagine this means I end up with a face much paler than my body. To even things up I'll be using my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer in the shade Luminous Bronze Light. This is perfect my paler complexion and contains champagne, pearl and bronze pigments which give the most gorgeous sun kissed glow.

Moisturiser

I'm extremely prone to peeling so moisturiser is a must to help me prolong my tan. As I mentioned in my May favourites post, I really want to take my Body Shop Coconut Body Butter as it smells unreal and the tropical scent is perfect for a holiday. It's also incredibly moisturising and hydrating which is just what my skin needs after a day in the sun.

SPF

Obviously SPF is a must when holidaying in a hot country. The Piz Buin 1 Day Long Lotion is my absolute fave and has been for about 10 years now. I hate reapplying sun lotion with a passion so this is perfect for me, you pop it on once in the morning and then you're good to go for the next 6 hours. It is also one of my all time favourite smells, it's honestly diving and I'd definitely wear it as a perfume if I could.

Hair Mask

I try to avoid getting my hair wet at all costs on holiday, I hate the feel of it and I know that chlorine can be quite damaging, but I know that holidaying with my boyfriend means I'll inevitably get dunked and/or splashed at some point! To make sure my hair is protected I'm going to be taking my Percy & Reed Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Overnight Recovery to use as an express mask whilst I'm lounging by the pool. Hopefully it will also help tame the frizz that comes with humidity!

Lip Balm

I always get such dry lips on holiday so my EOS lip balm will be in my bag at all times. I currently have this in the Coconut Milk flavour but I really want to get my hands on the Lemon Drop flavour as it contains SPF 15 so is perfect for a summer holiday.


As I said, this isn't everything I'll be taking but just a few of the things I wanted to share with you. Let me know if you have any other suggestions - especially for reading material - in the comments below. 

Also, if you want to see what I'm getting up to on my holiday feel free to add me on Snapchat: Charlotte.b28 :)


1.6.16

My First Blogiversary - Giveaway!!


Yesterday marks one entire year since my first ever post on www.just-charlotte.com. I can remember that day like it was yesterday, I felt so anxious and a bit silly because I didn't think anyone would read my post, so I was basically talking to no one. 12 months later, I've published 80 blog posts, received over 24,000 views and increased my social media following by about 8 times! I am so incredibly proud of myself for getting this far, there have been so many times where I've just wanted to quit but I haven't, I've stuck with it and I'm so glad I did because I don't know what I would do without my blog now.

30.5.16

May Favourites

Some of my favourite products this month have been on my list since the first week of May so I have been counting down the days until I could share them with you all! I'm actually so glad the end of the month is finally here as I couldn't wait much longer!

Neom Real Luxury Body Scrub

With summer fast approaching and a holiday in less than a week, I have been a woman on a mission trying to get my skin looking acceptable enough to bare - especially my legs! The skin on my shins has always been a problem area, no matter what I do to them, they always look dry and scaly.  That was until I discovered the Neom Scrub. The combination of 24 pure essential oils and an organic sugar base has worked wonders for me, successfully removing all those dead skin cells whilst locking in as much moisture as possible, leaving my legs looking and feeling silky smooth. I couldn't be without the scrub now! The scents of the essential oils also make the process incredibly therapeutic and de-stressing. 

Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask

I recently ran out of night moisturiser and as my skin has been quite dehydrated, I thought I would give this a try. I apply a small amount, all over my face, just before going to bed and when I wake up I am left with the most gorgeous, soft and supple skin. I notice such a difference on the days when I don't use this and I regret it so much. I would 100% recommend this to anyone with even slightly dry or combination skin as it's truly incredible.

25.5.16

My Top 5 Instagram Accounts

Instagram is probably my absolute favourite form of social media, whoever said a picture is worth a thousand pictures was so right. It's such a creative and inspiring platform, I love using it for meal, fitness and outfit ideas. As I am in the mood to spread some positivity & love today, what better way to do that than by sharing with you guys my top 5 favourite Instagram accounts. 

It's Little Lauren

Lauren is a girl after my own heart, her feed is full of the most amazing looking sweet treats, fabulously chic outfit pictures and snaps of her perfectly organised make-up collection. Everything she does, she does to perfection - I mean c'mon, just LOOK at that hot chocolate!

22.5.16

Lust Have List | May 2016

After my impromptu purchase of the Too Faced Sweet Peach Palette, my spending ban is back and the struggle is real! Why is it always the way that when you have no money you find so many beautiful things, yet when you have some money to spend you can't find anything you like!? Having been on this spending ban since January, as I'm sure you can imagine, my lust lists (that's right, plural!) are getting a bit out of hand. Let me give you a little insight into what products I am currently dying to own! I've linked all of the products to the pictures so if you see anything you like just click it and it'll take you to the website :)

Clothing