Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette

31 January 2014

At the end of last year, the excitement surrounding the launch of Urban Decay's Naked 3 palette was immense. I was already in love with my Naked 2 palette so I was itching to get my hands on the new one. And how handy that it was launched just in time for Christmas so I instructed very nicely asked  the hubby for one!

The internet has been inundated with reviews of the Naked 3 palette and tutorials on how to wear the shades. I wanted to get to know mine a bit better before I gave my thoughts on it

To be honest I was a little unsure about it at first. I was so used to the warm browns, taupes and bronzes of the Naked 2 palette that I wasn't convinced that the rose hues of the Naked 3 palette would suit me. However after using it every day for the last 5 weeks, I'm now head over heels in love!

The shades are simply beautiful. They all compliment each other and the number of looks you can create is endless. Each colour is incredibly pigmented and true to the shade in the pan. I love that they blend beautifully too. The only negative I can find is that the lighter shimmery shades have quite bad drop down.

Let's take a closer look at all the shades...

Strange - a pale neutral pink matte-satin
Dust - a pale metallic pink shimmer with iridescent micro-glitter
Burnout - a light pinky-peach satin
Limit - a light dusty rose matte

Buzz -a metallic rose shimmer with silver micro-glitter,
Trick - a light metallic pinky-copper shimmer with tonal micro-sparkle.
Nooner - a medium pinky-brown matte
Liar - a medium metallic mauve shimmer

Factory - a pinky-brown satin
Mugshot - a metallic taupe shimmer with slight pink shift
Darkside -a deep taupe-mauve satin
Blackheart - a smoky black matte with rosy red micro-sparkle

I've got to know the shades and which go well together and have created a little everyday look. I sweep 'liar' all over the lid, then blend 'factory'  through the socket and the outer corner and smudge 'mugshot' under the bottom lashes. I then use 'dust' in the inner corners and tear duct. All finished off with a thick line of black eyeliner and a good coat of black mascara.

I still love my Naked 2 palette but Naked 3 just has the edge and gets first place in the battle of the eyeshadow palettes!
So what do you think? Have you bought the Naked 3 palette? What's your favourite shade?

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This week #11

29 January 2014

A frosty but pretty Monday morning school run ● I received another disappointing Glossybox ● My dad's birthday cake... Galaxy chocolate overload! ● It snowed... for 10 minutes! ●So happy that my hair has grown enough to put up in a bun ● Lydia has just started letting me put plaits and pigtails in her hair, she looks so cute! ● My recipe for basic cake pops ● I decided to conquer my fear of baking bread, using the master breadmaker Paul Hollywood's recipe ● So proud of my first ever loaf of bread!

I post on Instagram LOTS! You can follow me @mydarlingsandme

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Linking up with...

Basic Cake Pops

27 January 2014

I'm coming up to my 2 year blogversary soon but recently I've found blogging such hard work. I seem to have had no motivation to write {or bake for that matter} and even read the blogs I usually love. I think I may have burnt myself out before Christmas, with an incredible amount of baking and quite a bit of blogging.

I never thought about giving up completely as I still want this space to record my recipes at the very least. However I am considering changing the name to something more fitting. The blog has evolved over the last 2 years into something completely different to how it started out. My Darlings and Me doesn't seem right anymore for a blog about baking and beauty. But that's something for me to think about as it's a biggie.

Thankfully I think my blogging mojo has returned and the creative juices are now flowing again! I'm going to be posting 3 times per week... one recipe post, one beauty post and one life post like 'five things', 'this week' or 'Monday motivation'. I think that'll do nicely.

Anyway back to baking! When I made the wrestling cake for Oliver's birthday, I had to cut quite a bit off to level the cakes and make them square. We could have just eaten the off-cuts but that's boring! So to make it a bit more exciting, I made cake pops. I've made them a few times before and they always disappear in a flash!

Basic Cake Pops

Cake, any type, whatever you have to spare
Frosting e.g. buttercream or ganache
Chocolate for melting, white or milk
Sprinkles or coloured icing

{I haven't given any quantities in the recipe as it depends on how much cake you have to spare}

Crumble the cake so that you have fine cake crumbs. Cake that's a day old is easier to crumble than freshly baked cake that is still quite moist.

Add the frosting and mix with your hands. Add it very sparingly as too much will make the mixture too mushy. Add about a tablespoon at a time and combine it with the cake crumbs until you can form a ball shape with your hands. The cake balls should be still very much cakey.

Place the balls on a baking tray lined with baking paper or parchment, pop in the fridge for about an hour until they have firmed up.

Melt a few squares of the chocolate in the microwave on half power in 30 second bursts. Take a lollipop stick and dip one end about 2cm deep into the melted chocolate. Immediately insert the stick into the top centre of each cake ball about halfway through. Don’t insert it too deep or too shallow. Place on a tray lined with baking paper and pop in the fridge to set.

Break up the rest of the chocolate, place in a bowl and melt over a pan of simmering water or melt in the microwave on half power in 30 second bursts.

Dip the cake pops in the melted chocolate and place in a polystyrene block or even an upturned colander. If using sprinkles, sprinkle them on now before the chocolate sets.

Pop back in the fridge for about half an hour until the chocolate has set. If using icing, drizzle lines or swirls over the cake pops.


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Glossybox January 2014

25 January 2014

The first Glossybox of 2014 has had a bit of a facelift. The box is now actually glossy and the ribbon now carries the Glossybox brand name. Personally I preferred it how it was before and I'm mightily disappointed that I won't be able to re-use the ribbon for other things.

Unfortunately my disappointment doesn't end there. This month's theme was Back to Basics, claiming to promote products that are designed to get you back on the road to healthy, post-party season skin...which is par for the course at this time of year. I think Glossybox have taken the Back to Basics theme a bit too literally and that's exactly how I would describe this box. Basic.  

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

Yu-Be Moisturising Skin Cream {2 x sample sizes}
This is Japan's number one selling vitamin-enriched 'cult' skincare cream, perfect for dry areas like lips, elbows, knees and cuticles, it's non-greasy blend of antioxidants and camphor to calm and protect skin, leaving it soothed, hydrated and beautifully soft. The samples are so tiny that I thought I'd get the best use by using on my raggy cuticles. It does the trick although I'm not keen on the camphor scent.
£13.50 for 33g

Balance Me Super Toning Body Wash {sample size}
This body wash has a blend of juniper, bergamot, geranium and lavender essential oils that can be used either as a shower gel or as a bath soak by adding a cap full under running water. It smells lovely and reminds me of the spa, it foams up nicely but I would never in a million years spend £10 on a body wash!
Full size price £10.25 for250ml

The Vintage Cosmetic Company Floral Slanted Tweezer {full size}
These were actually hidden under the packaging so were a bit of a nice surprise when I found them. They look very pretty, but are exactly the same shape and size as my existing tweezers so I'm not mega excited about them.
Price £8.00
Anatomicals Puffy The Eye Bag Slayer Wake-Up Under Eye Patches {sample size} 
What a fabulous name for a product! I love Anatomicals... the branding, the packaging and the products are always great. These under eye patches claim to help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and revitalise the delicate skin around your eyes. I had a go with them last night was was really impressed. My under eyes felt cool and refreshed and I felt like I was really pampering myself. They're not something I would normally buy but I'll definitely pick some  more up next time I'm in Boots.
Full size price £6.00 for 3 pack

Vaseline Essential Moisture Lotion {sample size}
I don't even know what to say about this product. It's just your bog standard budget body lotion so not something I would ever expect to see in a Glossybox. Personally I prefer using a richer body butter for moisturising my skin. That aside, it has a nice fragrance and sinks into the skin without too much rubbing in.
Full size price £4.99 for 400ml

The last two Glossyboxes have been such a huge disappointment. The general consensus on Instagram was the same with most people this month, with lots saying they're cancelling their subscription. Four of the five products were sample sizes and no make up products at all is just unforgivable in my eyes. I've got enough glossydots to have next months box free but after that I'm cancelling my subscription.

I've already subscribed to a new beauty box... Watch this space to see which one I've gone for!

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WWE Wrestling Birthday Cake

23 January 2014

Two weeks ago my gorgeous Oliver turned five. Where have the last five years gone?!  It feels like yesterday that he was a just a bump kicking me and sticking his bum up under my ribs! Anyway, fast forward five years and he's a headstrong, inquisitive, hilarious, very tall boy who asks the most extraordinary questions. A typical day includes questions like... What's inside our planet? How do we stick to the ground? How do escalators work? Why do cars drive fast on the motorway?!!! He really gets me thinking of how to answer his questions in a way he'll understand!

Anyway, this year his first request was an Eddie Stobbart birthday cake. I knew this was way beyond my capabilities so I kind of talked him out of that and he decided on a wrestling cake instead. Oh goodness! Where to start with that one? Of course the wonderful world of Pinterest came to my rescue with an abundance of ideas and this is what I came up with.

The sponge was Victoria sponge cake, filled with raspberry jam. It was the first square cake I've ever made and I'm not sure if I want to do another in a hurry! I'm gutted that the photos are such bad quality but I finished it at around 10pm and planned to take photos the next morning. However it was such a dark miserable day that the light was just awful and I could not get a decent photo. Oh well the important thing is that Oliver absolutely loved his cake and it was a pleasure to see the delight on his little face when all his friends and family sang happy birthday to him and he blew out his five candles.
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A Year In Cake

3 January 2014

I've done a tonne of baking over the past year, so I thought I'd do a round-up of my favourite cakes of 2013...

MAY... Batman Birthday Cake
{Sorry I didn't blog about this one!}

I don't think that's too bad for someone who only started baking a year and a half ago!

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2013... Our Fantastic Year

2 January 2014

Happy New Year everyone! Can you believe it's 2014? I can't! I was really proud of myself this year as it was the first time in about five years that I stayed awake until midnight! We had a nice relaxing NYE, starting with tea at Pizza Hut with my parents, followed by an evening of rubbish television, a chocolate orange and a few glasses of Bailey's!

Looking back on 2013, it was a fantastic year. One of the best things about having a blog is being able to look back at what we've done this year... the things I baked, the places we went, the milestones and the little things too.

So here are a few of my highlights of 2013...

We started off the year with a huge snowfall. The darlings loved it and had so much fun in the snow.

I had another lovely Mother's Day in March. I was spoiled with some fab presents but the best one by far was the beads Oliver chose for me. And of course, you can't beat cards made by your little ones too!

April was a fun filled month, with lots of Easter fun and a trip to Eureka The Children's Museum. But the highlight was going to Cbeebies Live. It was the second time we've been and was even better as all four of us went this time. 

The absolute highlight of the whole year was our holiday in May. It was simply the best family holiday ever. I wish we were going back this year, but we'll have to make do with a UK holiday this year!

In June the sun started shining here in Yorkshire and we had lots of gorgeous day's out making the most of it.

The heatwave in July was incredible. I don't think I've ever been so hot in my whole life {in the UK!} Oliver finished pre-school and only in a few weeks would be starting school. We had a great day out picking the biggest, juiciest, tastiest strawberries!

Finally in September, the time came for Oliver to start school. Oh my little boy looked just gorgeous in his new uniform... and so grown up!

October was a quiet month. I celebrated my birthday with a chocolate orange cake. The best thing though, which I can't believe I forgot to write about, was Disney On Ice. It was simply incredible!

And we ended October with a brilliant Halloween party at home.

On to November when the countdown to Christmas began with Santa's reindeer parade through our village.

We also squeezed in a visit to Blackpool to see the Illuminations.They were actually quite good and it was like being a kid again!

 We ended our year with Lydia's 3rd birthday. I made her a Hello Kitty cake and we had such a sweet little party at home for her.

Christmas Day was fabulous and topped off a such brilliant year for us.

So that was our 2013 in a nutshell!

I'm looking forward to 2014 so much. I don't do New Years resolutions but I want to continue being positive and try have more courage to face selling the house I've lived in for 11 years and find a new bigger, better family home!

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