Glossybox May {My First Beauty Box}

31 May 2013

Yes I know I'm two years late with the whole Glossybox thing but better late than never right? If you read any beauty blogs or magazines you'll probably know all about the concept of beauty boxes. If you've never heard of them here's the lowdown... it's a monthly subscription service, where each month you receive a beautiful gift box containing either full size beauty products, samples or a mixture of both. It's like receiving a birthday present every month! There are various different beauty box services but I thought I'd try out Glossybox as it was the first one out there and has been around for two years now.

So I signed up, filled out the questionnaire about my beauty preferences and waited for my box to arrive. It came yesterday and I was so excited, it really did feel like my birthday!

Ta Da! Here are my six fabulous products.

Let's have a closer look at what's inside...

1  //  Jelly Pong Pong Fairy Lashes Mascara {full size}  I tried it this morning and liked it much more than I thought I would. The wand is much thinner than I normally like but it went on great and really lengthened my lashes. It's waterproof too but came off easily with my trusty Nivea eye make up remover. 

2  //  Premae Harmony Balm {sample size} This face creme really sinks into my skin and left it feeling smooth and silky. Its described as having antisceptic and anti inflammatory properties to sooth breakouts and reduce excess oil on the skin, so I didn't think it would suit my dry skin but it doesn't dry it out at all.

3  //  Headline Colours Nail Polish in Spotlight {full size} I love it! Ive been on the lookout for a grey nail colour and this is perfect. I'd describe it as gunmetal grey with a slight shimmer. I can't comment on the wearability yet as I haven't tried it but I'll report back once I've given it a spin.

4  //  Beautiful Movements Cosmetics, Prime & Create Mixing Medium {sample size} Use it alone as a primer or mix it with powder blusher or bronzer to make a cream tint for cheeks, lips or eyes. Or you can mix it with eyeshadow to intensify the pigment. When I first saw it I wasn't very impressed. But I used it as a primer today and really liked it. It really smoothed my skin and my make up lasted fabulously. 

5  //  Roger & Gallet, R & G Fleur De Figeur Fragrance, Shower Gel and Body Lotion {sample sizes} Another one I thought I wouldn't like but have been proved wrong! I think the packaging design put me off as it looks a bit old fashioned. However the scent is gorgeous, it's very floral and a really good summer scent.

6  //  Glossybox nail files {extra gift} I'm not a fan of emery boards as I prefer to use a glass file but I'll pop these in my bag to use when I'm out and about.

Overall I was very impressed with my first ever beauty box. There was a good mix of products {although I'd prefer a box full of make up products if I could!} all really fab quality. I wouldn't particularly run out to buy the full size products but that's not what it's about for me. I just love trying out new products that I might not normally use and discovering new brands. I can't wait to get my hands on my next box though!

Oreo Chocolate Trifle

28 May 2013

Oreo Chocolate Trifle

Oreo Chocolate Trifle

Whenever the Hubby is on late shifts, the darlings and I go to my parents house for tea. It's something we've done since Oliver was a baby and it's become something of a routine for us.

Now it's recently turned into a big family gathering with my sister and her girls coming too. It gets a bit crazy with my parents bungalow filled with four children aged, four, three, two and one running round, fighting with each other and toys strewn everywhere. They love it though.

My contribution is to make something yummy and laden with calories for dessert. My latest creation was this Oreo chocolate trifle. I thought the last time I made a trifle, it had a certain something missing. So I had a search on good old Google for a few ideas and came up with this. The Oreo cookies were certainly the missing ingredient!

The recipe below is for a full size trifle. Unfortunately I don't have a fancy looking trifle bowl, so I layered it up in a wine glass for the photos. Oliver and I demolished it a few minutes after I took these photos!

Oreo Chocolate Trifle

Oreo Chocolate Trifle

Serves 6 - 8
Preparation time 10 minutes

1 large or 2 small chocolate swiss rolls
600ml chocolate custard
1 packet of Oreo cookies
500ml double cream

Put all the Oreos except 2 into a strong plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin. Don't bash too hard as you need to keep the pieces quite big. Take the remaining 2 cookies and bash them into fine crumbs and keep them aside for later.

Whip the cream with an electric hand mixer until it forms soft peaks. Cut the swiss rolls into slices of 1.5cm thickness. 

To assemble the trifle, place a layer of swiss roll slices on the bottom of the trifle bowl and pour over half of the chocolate custard. Put half of the broken up Oreos on top. Spoon half of the whipped cream and spread it evenly with a palette knife or the back of a spoon.

Repeat again, layering exactly as above. Sprinkle the top layer of cream with the Oreo crumbs.

A Spot of Gardening

26 May 2013


My garden is rubbish. It's tiny, covered with naff paving stones and a little weary-looking. You get the picture? It's pants. And when we returned from our holiday, I couldn't believe how much everything in the garden had grown. By this I mean it looked like a jungle covered with weeds and an overgrown hedge!

Something had to be done. So we made the most of the glorious weather this weekend and spent a bit of time tidying the garden. Cutting the hedge is the Hubby's job and he's the best person to do it. He likes it to looks straight and angular! He'd use a spirit level if I let him.

My job is the flowers. This means lots of terracotta {and plastic!} pots dotted around and a narrow strip of flower bed. So after lots of weeding, a trip to the garden centre and planting with my two little 'helpers' it's looking ok.

The darlings had fun at the garden centre!

Yes, our garden centre has a huge playground!

Gardening: do you love it or hate it? What's your garden like?

Sleek Makeup Rose Gold Blush

25 May 2013

Is it normal to be in love with a blusher? Well I don't care because I'm head over heels in love with this Sleek MakeUp blush in Rose Gold. Best of all is that it's a dupe of Nars Orgasm which is a favourite of beauty bloggers across the globe. Now there's no way I can afford high end products like that so I searched for a good dupe and this kept popping up.

And it totally exceeded my expectations. The photo really doesn't do it justice but it's a beautiful pink shot through with a gold shimmer... the shimmer is amazing for highlighting your cheekbones. I tried it before I went on holiday when I was very pale looking and I loved it, but it looks even better with my {slight} tan. 

I think this is going to be one of my all time favourite products. I'm so glad I've discovered the Sleek MakeUp range... my wishlist is growing by the minute!

 I'm linking up with Glasgow Mummy for Smitten Saturday. 
Pop over to see what everyone else is smitten with this week... or join in yourself!

Missed me?

24 May 2013

Well hello! My goodness how I've missed you. It seems like a lifetime ago that I wrote my last post. It looks like my well deserved digital detox is over but I'm so happy to be back in the blogging world. 

We returned from our holiday on Monday and we had a truly fantastic time. I'd go as far as to call it 'The Second Best Holiday Ever' {the best was Las Vegas!} The darlings loved it, hubby and I loved it, my parents, sister, brother in law and nieces loved it too. Menorca was so beautiful and peaceful, our hotel was perfect, the food was incredible and the weather could have been better was mostly sunny. I'm going to do a post with a few more details and photos... not too many though as I know how boring it can be looking at other peoples holiday pics!

While I've been away I've been thinking about My Darlings and Me and what I write about. I love baking and sharing my recipes with you but I want my blog to be about a little more than that. My favourite blogs have a bit of everything... lifestyle, beauty, baking, interiors, fashion. I know I'm never going to be a fashion or beauty blogger but you know how much I love make-up and I'd like to do the odd post about new products I've tried. I also want to share more about my everyday life, so I'm going to do a weekly round-up along the lines on 'My week on Instagram'. Don't worry there'll be no less baking, it is my first passion after all, but I'm just going to mix things up a little bit. 

I hope you'll stick around.

I'm Having a Break

5 May 2013

That's right. I've decided to have a break from my beloved blog {sob}. Why Debra? I hear you ask.

Well we're going on holiday on Friday and it's our first time abroad with the darlings. So being the control freak and organisational nutter that I am, I really need to focus on getting everything sorted, lists written, last minute essentials bought and the mammoth task of packing for a family of four going abroad for 10 days!

Somethings gotta give and unfortunately I've decided it's got to be my 3rd baby... my blog. Oh and there's no time for baking either. I'll miss blogging and baking but it's only for a few weeks.

Please don't all desert me as I'll definitely be back after our hols. I can't wait to share our photos and stories because we're going to have a fantastic time!

In the meantime think of me lying on my sunbed beside the pool with my kindle in one hand and a cocktail in the other. No wait I'm thinking of the type of holiday I had pre-kids! Oh well it might be a little different this time but as long as the darlings are happy, I'll be happy.


Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes

3 May 2013

Another week, another cake sale at work! Honestly, they could single handedly keep me baking. It's always for a good cause though. Children In Need, Comic Relief, all the big ones. But this time it was in aid of a local charity The Oliver Field Appeal.

Oliver's mum used to work at the company where I work so, in addition to the cake sale, there were loads of fundraising activities going on.. wear what you like day, a raffle, breakfast delivered to your desk, a market stall event with lots of companies selling their wares, managers getting soaked in the stocks and my personal favourite was a five minute nail file and polish!

My contribution to the cake sale was these strawberries and cream cupcakes. This was another recipe that was on my baking to-do list. I adore strawberries and they're coming into season now and are so sweet and perfect looking. The whipped cream topping was compulsory to accompany the strawberries in my opinion. But if you're not a fan you could swap it for vanilla buttercream. Whatever you choose I can guarantee they will be gorgeous!

Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes

Makes 12
Preparation time 30 minutes
Cooking time 20 minutes

80g unsalted butter, softened
280g caster sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
240g plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
240ml whole milk

500ml double cream
12 whole strawberries

Preheat oven to 190C {375F} gas mark 5. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper cases.

In a large bowl, mix the butter and sugar with a hand held electric whisk {or a stand mixer if you're lucky enough to have one!} until it's light and fluffy. Beat the eggs in a jug with the vanilla extract and gradually add to the sugar/butter mixture. Sift in the flour and mix until fully incorporated but do not over mix.

Divide the mixture between the cases until they are about two thirds full. Pop in the oven for 18-20 minutes. A skewer inserted into the middle of the cupcake will come out clean when they are ready and when gently touched they will bounce back. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely before icing.

Whip the cream until it forms firm peaks. Spoon or pipe the cream onto the cupcakes and top with a whole strawberry.