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September is coming to an end, and I don’t know about you but I am very close to putting my central heating back on. Brrrrrrrrr. However, one think that makes me super excited is the return of the dress season! I feel like once October waves it’s chilly hands in the air, it’s the right time to start looking forward to all those gorgeous party dresses which start flocking in.

And not to put the fear into you too soon, but if you assume that a lot of work Christmas parties take place during the last weekend on November/first weekend of December, then it’s technically only 8 weeks away until you need to get that perfect occasion dress!

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My What Emma Did Boutique over at ASOS Marketplace will be full of shiny new stock in the next coming weeks, so I  thought I would use this little blog post today to highlight the existing collection now it has been slightly reduced to make way for newness!

I’m a true fan of the classic black dress, therefore the design above and the one below are two of my personal favourites. The Black Sparkle Lace Dress is the most flattering for all figures, as it’s striking black panels give a slimming illusion, as well as injecting a bit of glitter into your outfit. As for the Black Tassel and Gold Chain Dress – well – it’s just an all-rounder really isn’t it! It has enough embellishment to stand out, yet keeping all the classic traits of The Little Black Dress in place.

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I’ll be updating you shortly with new designs, but for now… start getting excited for dress season!

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Lately I’ve been spending more of my evenings hunched over the oven – I’m really trying to nail this baking malarkey. I’m definitely no Deliciously Ella, and I won’t be putting myself forward for the Great British Bake Off, but I have to say I’m getting much better. And I’m pretty proud of myself!

My latest ‘healthy-ish’ creation isn’t one I’m going to take credit for. It’s a recipe I discovered over at my blogger buddy’s website SpamellaB – who bakes naturally yummy creations.

So last week’s ‘bake off’ for me featured these Peanut Butter, Banana and Dark Choc Muffins. The only ‘sugar’ included in this which I get a bit funny about is maple syrup, but I amended the recipe to have 3 tablespoons, instead of the usual 5.

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Ingredients:

  • 4 bananas
  • 5 tablespoons smooth ot crunchy Peanut Butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons milk (I used soya but I’d recommned almond!)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons coconut sugar (If you have this – I’ve skipped this step before)
  • 50g dark chocolate, chopped into chunks

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The Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and lightly grease a 6-hole muffin tin (or adapt the recipe for 12 muffins)
  2. Place 3 bananas, Peanut Butter, eggs, almond milk, vanilla and maple syrup in a blender and whizz up until smooth.
  3. Stir together the dry ingredients: the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and coconut sugar in a large bowl.
  4. Pour the blended peanut mixture into the dry ingredients and stir well to combine. Gently fold in the chocolate pieces.
  5. Divide the batter between the muffin tins to reach just the top. Slice any remaining banana into thin coins and place one in the centre of each one. I made a mistake here by making my bananas too thick, which can weigh down the mixture and prevent a full rise
  6. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until risen and golden. Leave to cool in the tin.
  7. Voila! These taste amazing when slightly warm and the dark chocolate has melted a little

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Delicious with a cup of Green Tea, in which you can feel slightly naughty, but not too bad!

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For the past few months, I’ve been setting myself a little goal to round-up my best five products for my fine, lack-lustre hair. From shampoos to conditioners, styling sprays to treatment masques, I’ve been giving enough products a whirl to rival a busy hair salon.

However, I think I may have found the 5 products I’m pretty happy with. They aren’t miracle cures for my thin hair that needs thickening and volumising, but I’m pretty impressed so far. So without further waffle, here they are…

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1. L’Oreal Colour Corrector CC Cream (for hair!)
I know the photo above shows a Brunettes one and I have blonde hair, but my blonde one is currently packed away in my overnight bag, so I’m photographing the brunette version instead, I know this product isn’t one that jumps out at you for being a hair thickener, but basically what it’s been doing is correcting any orangey/brassy shades of blonde in my hair, and refreshing it.

I apply this to my hair for 10 minutes when damp, and rinse away. It adds incredible shine to my colour-treated blonde hair. It’s also super lightweight, and I love seeing the purple cream corrects and perfects all those horrid yellow tones. Once you have your colour corrected, you have the best base for any other treatments!

2. L’Oreal French Girl Hair
Moving onto some styling products again from L’Oreal, I’ve discovered the French Girl Chic collection. These lovely products are great for adding texture to my hair when I’m trying to style the flat, matted mess! The L’Oreal Tecni Art French Froissé is a cream that texturizes and defines thick hair for seductive, messy hairstyle. It texturizes and adds volume to hair lengths, adding extra shine.  Perfect for my locks!

And then there is the L’Oreal Professionnel Tecni.ART Messy Cliché- a leave-in styling treatment that works to add messy, slept-in texture without the frizz and tangles. It has been specially formulated for thin and fine hair, just like mine, so that the spray adds definition and tousles for that classic French look. It doesn’t leave any sticky residue and so far it’s doing a great job for giving my hair a wavy, thicker texture.

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3, MR Jamie Stevens Salt Spray
I used this product on my holiday on my second day hair to give my fine locks a bit of oomph and style. It’s a lovely refreshing salt spray that will enhances the volume of my hair while giving it texture. The salt infusion adds a bit of body to my hair, letting me scrunch it up and get luscious waves. Such an easy product to use for instant glam!

4. Color WOW’s Carb Cocktail Bionic Tonic
Color WOW’s Carb Cocktail Bionic Tonic is a leave-in treatment that works to add body and fullness to limp, lifeless, colour-treated hair. From constant colouring, my hair is pretty much damaged with a bit of frizz. It literally lacks any protein, but this lovely product delivers a high-carb complex of Corn Starch, Cellulose and Oat Bran that binds to my hair’s surface and boost the fine texture. Packed with Quinoa and Keratin Protein, I’ve been applying this to my damp hair before blow drying to create the appearance of thicker, full-bodied hair whilst imparting a healthy, mirror-like shine.

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5. Salon Science Haircare
So this is a brand which is topping my need for a fantastic shampoo and conditioner set for fine, limp hair, although they are also targeted for hair loss too. I’m not (thankfully) suffering from hair loss, but there has been times when I have been losing handfuls for no apparent reason, and from this my hair feels drastically thinner.

I was introduced to Salon Science as a solution to my thinning, fine hair, and also to prevent and slow down any hair loss. The two ranges I’m currently using include the range of products for targeting hair loss, and the other for targeting fine hair which needs volumising and thickening up. I’m currently between two houses at present, so I keep one set in one house, and one set at the other.

Up to now I’m seeing great results from both, but more so for the Anti-Ageing and Restored Volume collection, which is really working to hair needs. The shampoo, conditioner, scalp tonic treatment and masque are all packed with Swiss Apple – making this range a powerful, youth restoring haircare range, formulated with award-winning plant stem cell extracts of a rare Swiss Apple. The swiss apple is known for assisting with stronger, healthier and younger looking hair. These products all feature PhytoCellTec™ technology, which has enabled SALON SCIENCE® to harness the power of this rare and endangered Swiss Apple, letting people like me apply it to hair for advanced anti-ageing formulations.

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I’m only on week four of using these fantastic shampoos, conditioners and treatments but so far I’m feeling my hair is thickening up slightly at the root, and feeling much stronger. So watch this space!

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My usual make-up application is a pretty simple one. I apply foundation first (full coverage), I dot concealer over any areas which still look angry (eurgh), I powder, I contour, I bronze my neck, and then I do my eyes. I find my eye make-up only starts to look perfect once a flawless face is all ready!

One step I’m a bugger for skipping these days lately is blush. I used to religiously apply a swirl of popping pink blush on the apples of my cheeks everyday, to give my skin that wide awake, cute girly look. But during the Summer whilst my face has become more tanned, but sadly more pigmented, I’ve been finding it hasn’t been working as well. Or maybe I just got bored of the pretty pink. Who knows…

Anyway, I feel like from skipping the blush step, there’s something missing from my everyday make-up look, which has brought me to find a new colour from a new brand, so I can finally enjoy wearing blush again!

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This Lord and Berry blush comes is the sassiest little pot, and is pretty much the most ideal shade blush I’ve ever used. It’s a combination of terracota and bronze so I still get that tanned glow, but it’s also got touches of dusky pink to bring that natural flush.

As for the texture, it’s a very silky, sheer powder texture, which easily applies that sweep of healthy looking colour. However, it’s matte enough to avoid that shine or OTT glow that some sheer blushers can create!

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As you can see from the photos, it’s super subtle but can be layered up for a more obvious look, like for the evening. It actually goes a little peachy when applied on top of my foundation – like a bronzed peachy pink. Perfect for the new Autumn season!

The only other product I have used from Lord and Berry was a lovely lip pencil product which can be used as a lipstick, and I also has great results from that. Sleek packaging, fantastic colours and super easy to use formulas. A fantastic brand, straight from Milan…

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I apologise in advance to mention the word ‘Christmas’, but this particular post is highlighting one of my first, recommended gift ideas for the upcoming season. Welcome to the world of Lola and Grace: stunning, beautiful jewellery designs for any of the ladies in your life.

When it comes to accessories and jewellery, I’m very much a firm fan of fine, delicate jewellery. Dainty drop earrings and sparkly studs for the ears, and fine chain necklaces with pretty pendants. For me, the smaller the better, and when it comes to gifts, these types of items make much more classic, timeless buys. It’s this what first brought me to love Lola and Grace

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These two pendant necklaces – one in silver and one in gold- feature a glistening crystal type pendant encrusted with jewels. The pendants are little yet striking, with just enough sparkle to catch the eye. Whether you are shopping for a sister or friend, or mother or even yourself, the necklaces come packaged in the nicest of ombre designed boxes, in super girly bright pink and white. Lola and Grace have also introduced luxe jewellery bags, to keep your precious piece safe.

These necklaces have gave me some ideas for the girls in my life who are quite difficult to buy for at Christmas (or even birthdays), in terms of they don’t really have many hobbies or personal loves. A pretty little necklace, packaged all premium, is a sure fire winner – and everyone loves silver, gold and crystal!

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Lola and Grace also retail a range of classic bracelets, earrings and rings, along with the more statement, high-fashion pieces. It’s certainly a brand I’m bookmarking for my pre-Christmas shopping!