Thursday, 19 March 2015

This Week on Instagram : 19.03.15

I have done pretty much nothing this week but work on my dissertation, plain and simple.

It's due to be in tomorrow! Ahhhh!!

I'm just so nervous, I wish I had planned my time better but that's all too little too late, at least it's almost completely done!

Anyway, posts have been sparse this week because of this so apologies, they should get better next week!

Wish me luck!

If you want to follow me on Instagram go HERE!

Thanks for reading!
Birds in Blossom x

Sunday, 15 March 2015

My Picks : George Home

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14

Since Spring is on the way I'm been wanting to have a good spring clean and update my room decor. 

One store that I always finds has a lot of home stuff that I love is ASDA, well, the George Home section. So I went online and had a look at what they had to offer since sometimes in store they only have a limited selection.

The above are my favourite picks, I love rustic and woodland themed things and I like kind of woody, neutral and monochrome tones, so all of these are right up my street and just so, so pretty!

I already own a couple of these items and will be buying more once I've submitted my dissertation and have the time!

Are you planning on sprucing up your space with some new decor this spring?
What do you think of the choices I've made?

Thank you for reading!
Birds in Blossom x

Friday, 13 March 2015

This week on Instagram : 13.03.15

Not much to say about this week, it shows by only having 4 photos instead of my usual 9. I have had no time to do anything other than going to work and working on my dissertation. Which is in next friday!! Eep!

I did make some soaps, candles and bath bombs in my breaks from my computer though for my Mum. I'll be giving her the gift basket on Sunday, I hope she likes it!

That's all though folks!
There may not even be one of these next week because I'm really cracking down on work.

If you want to follow me on Instagram go HERE
Though it may be pretty dead this nexk week! Just warning you.

Thanks for reading!
Birds in Blossom x

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Homemade : Soap

If you saw the homemade bath bomb post I did on Tuesday, you'll know I'm making my mum some bits and bobs for mother's day on sunday and today I made the next thing for her little basket of goodies I'm constructing!

Homemade Soap!

Here's what you'll need this time:

1. Soap base - Hobbycraft £5.39 for 1kg
(I wanted a white base but got a clear one because that's all they had)
2. Surgical Spirit - £1.80 From the local pharmacy
3. Spray Bottle 
4. Fragrance/essential oils of your choice 
(I'm using the same ones that I used for my Bath bombs)
5. Decoration - Blue Malva Flowers £3.29 
(and the rose buds I used for the Bath Bombs) 
6. A Soap Mould - I'm just using some ramekins I had in the kitchen.
7. Coloured dye (optional, I'm not using any)

Here's what you do:
  • Depending on the size of your moulds you're using, cut out some of your soap base with a kitchen knife. Don't worry if you don't cut enough to begin with, you can always add more.
  • Melt the soap base in the microwave, I do quick 15 seconds bursts and then check on it. Keep doing 15 seconds until the soap has become fully liquid. If you over heat it, it may discolour, so be careful!
  • Once melted add your fragrance and essential oils. I didn't measure mine, I just added each until I thought it smelled how I wanted it to. Mix thoroughly to spread evenly. This is when you'd add your colour if you wanted to.
  • Next, I poured a thin layer of soap in the bottom of my mould, I then stuck the rose buds in facing down.

Once you've fully covered the bottom of the mould with the rose buds, fill the rest of the mould with your soap solution.
  • Now using the spray bottle filled with the surgical spirit, spray the top of the soap. It's to remove any bubbles.
  • Leave until fully set.
  • Once done carefully remove from the mould.
If you're not planning on using the soap pretty much immediately I would suggest wrapping it up in cling film or in tupperware so it doesn't get wet.

 And you're done! 

I also did the same thing again but instead of the rose buds used the Malva flowers, these flowers actually dyed the soap blue so I'm not sure whether they will dye your hands slightly if you use it. I'll just have to warn my mum before using this one!

That's it, simple!

These make really nice, quick, easy and quite cheap gifts! Perfect for the likes of Mother's day!

What do you think? Will you be giving this a go?
Do you ever make your own soap?

As always, Thank you for Reading!
Birds in Blossom x

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Homemade : Bath Bombs

One of the things I'll be giving my Mum this mothers day is some homemade bath items, well some bath bombs and soaps at least.
Today I'm making the bath bombs!

So, here's what you'll need to make a Bath Bomb!

(Oh! before I begin, you can probably get these items cheaper elsewhere but I was pressed for time and wentfor I went for convenience, though I didn't think most of these things were poorly priced at all!)

1. Bicarbonate of Soda - Wilkinson's, £1 for 500g
2. Citric Acid - Wilkinson's, £1 for 50g
3. Fragrance - Hobby Craft, Rose Fragrance £3.86 for 25ml
4. Essential oil - Wilkinson's, Lavender Oil  £1.25 10ml
5. Decoration (optional) - Hobby Craft, Rose Buds £2.96 per pack
6. 1 or 2 mixing bowls
7. Measuring scales
8. Spoon for mixing (optional)
9. Water, preferably in a spray bottle
10. Colouring (optional) - eBay, Rosebud Pink mineral pigment powder 
£2.50 for 5g
11. Bath bomb mould - eBay  £3.99 for a 6cm round mould

The mineral colouring powder hasn't arrived yet so today I'm just making white rose scented bath bombs with lavender oil.

  • So first, measure out about 75g of the bicarbonate of soda and sift into a bowl, then add about 35g of citric acid and mix using your fingers or a spoon until fully combined.

  • Next,you can either split the mixture in half and add about 2g of colourant to one half, OR you could colour the whole mixture, OR like me leave it white.

  • Then, add about 2ml of your rose fragrance, I just squirted a little bit into the mixture until I thought the fragrance was a nice 'strength'. Also add a similar amount of your essential oil, in my case I used lavender to make a really floral scented bath bomb, which relaxing tones.

  • Here's the tricky bit, you use your spray bottle to add water, little at a time until the mix becomes damp. If you make it too wet the mixture will start to fizz and effervesce, I did this on my first attempt, it was super messy and didn't work. So you want the mix to start to stick together, it will sort of look and feel like fake snow.

  • Now fill one half of your mould with your mixture. You can alternate your coloured mixes to make a stripey pattern if you want, but as mine is all white I just filled the half fully pressing in down so there are no air spaces. Leave a little mound of mix at the top of the half so when you press the two halves together they'll merge. 
  • I then did pretty much the same to the other half of the mould but before putting the mix in, at the bottom I put about 5 rose buds, so they'll poke out of the bath bomb once complete. Then I joined the two halves together with a little force so they'd set together.

  • I left the filled mould for about 10 minutes so the mix would set (but I leave them overnight before properly handling them). To remove carefully take one half of the mould away, your bath bomb should have formed so only the mould is removed. Then cup the non-mould half of the bath bomb in your hand and carefully lift of the other side of the mould. Your bath bomb is complete!

I really enjoyed making these, they were super quick and easy to make. I know my Mum will love them!

On Thursday I'll make a homemade soap post!

What do you think? Will you give these a try?
Have you ever made your own bath bombs before?

Thanks for Reading!
Birds in Blossom x

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Hair Growth Products I'm Using

If you saw my Hair ideas post, you'll know  I want to grow my hair out, and though it is the healthiest it's been in a long time, there's no harm in giving it some extra help!

The things photographed are the products I'm using right now. Most of these I found by just browsing shops but the Sea Kelp food supplement I bought due to 'boxes of foxes' youtube video, she also bought many of the products I have here as well which boosted my confidence in them!

I didn't buy all these at once, otherwise I would have cried for my money, or more the lack of money.
They aren't all that expensive individually, but together... yowza.

So my routine goes like this:

When I have breakfast I take Cod liver oil (£1.45), Sea Kelp (£5.99) and Biotin (£5.99) supplements.

Then I brush my hair with a wide paddle brush (I've had mine for years you can find them for cheap everywhere!), but with tough knots I use my Tangle Teezer(£10.99) as I find this causes less breakages.

When I wash my hair I use the Lush 'New' Shampoo bar (£5.75, it lasts a lot longer than my normal liquid shampoo), then I use the Lee Stafford Hair Growth Treatment (£8.49) as instructed on the packaging.

To condition I use the Salon Science ProAccelerant 2: Conditioner (£17.00) this is the priciest thing I bought and I will not be buying it again because of the price (I don't actually remember paying that much I swear it was closer to £11 but that's what it says on the website!), instead I think I'll buy the Lee Stafford Hair Growth Conditioner (£6.99), the only reason I didn't buy this is because I couldn't find it in Boots in store anywhere. 

I may even buy the Lee Stafford Hair Growth Bundle (£25.00) as you get a lot for your money and I really like the products so far! Lastly once I'm out of the bath I towel dry my hair and use the Lee Stafford Hair Growth leave in treatment (£11.99) and let my hair naturally dry.

For quick morning washes I use the 

OGX Anti-Breakage Keratin Oil Shampoo and Conditioner (£6.99 each or 2 for £10) not shown in the photo as I left them in the shower whoops!, and try to let it naturally dry as much as possible before using a hair dryer on a low heat. 

Other than the products, I'm eating much healthier and drinking more water, which I can tell is really improving my hair health. Also, I only very rarely use heat on my hair so that is a big help too in reducing damage and breakages!

I'll be posting a before and after results in a few months hopefully! Keep watch!

Have you used any of these products? What do you think?
Had any positive results?

Thanks for reading!
Birds in Blossom x

Grow hair, GROW!

Friday, 6 March 2015

This Week on Instagram : 05.03.15

Don't be too surprised to hear I haven't been up to much again this week...
You'll be hearing that a lot for the next few weeks, the deadlines are stacked and the pressure is on so most of my life is at a desk working away right now!

I did make one last batch of cupcakes for a while since I knew I won't have time for baking in the coming weeks.

I also have been working on my Mum's mothers day gift!

Other than that there's not much to report!
Oh! I may be doing drawn OOTD if I can get the time and right 'look' to them! Keep a look out!

If you want to follow me on Instagram go HERE!

Thanks for reading!
Birds in Blossom x

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Mother's Day Gift Ideas 2015

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

It's Mothers Day on March 15th 
(in the UK at least!)

Consequently I've made a little gift idea selection, it's pretty generic but some people may be completely at a loss and this may just provide the spark they need so. I guess, every little helps!

Number 4 is Homemade bath bombs and soaps! This is what I'll be making for my Mum, I'll be posting a tutorial early next week!

8 is the most average, but always a winner, mother's day gift, a bouquet of her favourite flowers (my Mum's fave are Lilies).

These are all pretty reasonably priced for what they are, obviously things like the perfume and watch are more expensive but a good price for the product!

I'm making my mum a gift basket, which I'll probably include in the homemade soap/bath bomb post!

This was just quick and simple, not that unique but a good staple!

What are you getting for your Mum? Any other ideas?

Thanks for reading, lovely!
Birds in Blossom x

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

THE END IS NEAR! ... (the end of uni that is)

I actually went onto twitter and I was only going to write a jokey tweet about how absolutely everyone is asking me what I'm going to after uni... but then I thought... I don't actually know and then some deep thoughts ensued.

It's both super scary and so exciting at the same time.

I mean I have an idea of what I want to do but nothing is certain and I like that. I like the idea of the freedom and choice I have. I like that I can do whatever I want to do.

It's such a weird feeling being this close to the end, it definitely has yet to sink in, I'm just waiting for the day it does and I have one huge existential crisis. 

Once I'm through that though... my life, like real life, begins. 
So Freaky!

I mean, I could go straight to employment, set up my own business, go travelling, become a gold-digger and do nothing at all (joking obviously)! Seriously though, the possibilities are pretty much endless.

Honestly, it is so strange this place I'm at right now, I have crushing deadlines all coming my way in the next few weeks but I see the end, I feel the excitement, I can smell the freedom. 

I can not wait!

This wasn't a substantial post but this blog is only an extension of me and just about my life, so my bad if it was boring!

Thank you for reading though!
Birds in Blossom

Goddamn I'm going to miss student discount *cries forever*

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

This Week on Instagram : 25.02.15

This week I've not been up to much, just working on my dissertation mostly.

I did nip to IKEA and M&S to buy some indoor plants (the cacti are from Ikea and the Succulent from M&S).

Been thinking about this summer and the holiday destinations I may visit, I've also reminisced about my trip to NYC over Christmas with the boyfriend. I just love traveling so much!

One thing I have been pondering is the blog and if it's worth advertising it more on my social sites and that, I'd love more interaction and comments but first you need people to actually find and read your blog... I think that's were I struggle, I don't really like advertising my blog but I want to advertise it, so it's a bit of a rock and a hard place scenario. I do tweet a link occasionally and have posted the picture you see in the middle on instagram, but that's all I do... I will figure something more out eventually. 

I'm not blogging to have a popular blog, I'm just blogging for me so ultimately it's not important but I was just curious.
Anyone got any advice?

The next few weeks are going to be nuts work wise as my dissertation is in next month! Scary stuff!

If you want to follow me on Instagram? Go HERE!

Thank you for reading sweetheart!
Birds in Blossom x

Monday, 23 February 2015

H&M Wishlist : February '15

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 1516

I am doing a HUGE early spring clear out of my wardrobe and I am getting rid of a lot of stuff as I want my style to consist more staples and simple colours, so my overall look would be much more timeless and classic than it is right now.

Though I am clearing out I am lacking in some basic bits and I always find H&M one of the best stores to get your fashion staples and basics, so I looked through the entire website, which I'm sad to admit is something I do regularly and I thought I'd share my picks.

I literally picked everything I would want and it just so happened that it was all monochrome... that was not even planned. It's obviously just my style at the minute and what I'm drawn to. 

If I was to make this into a capsule wardrobe I would add a pair of black skinny jeans, a pair of white jeans, a white skater skirt and some white and some black pumps. Done!

Do you like any of the picks?
How about monochrome, is it too overdone or timeless?
Are you planning a wardrobe clear out soon?
Comment below!

Thank you for reading!
Birds in Blossom x

Friday, 20 February 2015

This Week's Grumble : Door Numbers

This week's grumble is Door Numbers.

Now this may not be a thing that has ever bothered you, and it may never do so, but it bothers me on a near daily basis.

This is due to me working as a night shift delivery driver for a major pizza delivery (yes, probably the one you're thinking of), its an easy job, flexible hours (perfect for a full time student) and I get great tips. So, I deliver a lot of pizzas to a lot of houses. One thing I have noticed, since starting this job last October, is that many people think it's acceptable to not have a visible door number.

Okay, so this isn't so bad if it's just the one house on the street as you can just look at next door's number and figure it out easy enough. HOWEVER, when the whole street is in on the act, then the struggle becomes real.

Do you not want your pizza? What is wrong with you!?

The guessing game begins. You can try to count the houses from the beginning of the street, but from experience... it rarely works. It's also doubly hard as I work night shifts, its dark so visibility is low and some of the areas I deliver to are not exactly posh so sometimes I can feel a little uneasy. You just want to deliver the food and get off. But no. That's too easy. 

People obviously want you to guess, I suppose.

Every delivery driver of every type, including post people, will appreciate it!

Though if you have one of these:

I thank you. Some streets don't have a clear name post and your sign makes my life easier.

And if you have one of these:

You are a shining beacon of humanity. I applaud you. 
This is like a silver lining in a cloud of darkness, even if its not your home I'm delivering to you help me orientate myself. I love you. Seriously, I LOVE YOU.

If you have one of these however:

So close... Yet so, so far. *sighs forever*

Sorry if that was boring or weird for you, but alas, it's one of the first world problems I find affects me most, that and when the laptop charger is more than an arm's length away.

Thanks for reading!
Birds in Blossom x

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Film Review : 50 Shades Of Grey

First things first. I've wanted to start reviewing films on here for a while and since revamping my blog, I feel now is the best time... though the choice of the first film isn't ideal as it is not to my taste, it is one that is a huge talking point right now and I wanted to share my opinions on it.

So 50 Shades of Grey.

The reason and only reason I watched this film is because of the hype about it. I haven't read the books and knew virtually nothing about the plot other than I thought the two main characters hooked up in a sexual way.
I didn't really have any intentions to watch this but everyone I knew was talking about it and there are controversies surrounding this film, both of which I wanted to form an opinion on.

So I watched it yesterday and... I really did not enjoy it.
It was so bland and really poorly written. Also, the characters, particularily the girl made little sense.

!! Oh, I better say this now THERE MAY BE SPOILERS! Probably no major ones, but some minor plot details may be shared. !!

Anyway, the whole film was so poorly written it felt like something a 14-year old fantasizing girl would write (minus the whole BDSM thing), like some serious fan fiction about a teacher or something. It is so awful.
It was one of those films were you knew what dialogue was going to go down before it happened, word for word. It was that bad. 
It just felt so unoriginal and boring. 

Also, I didn't watch the film for the sexy scenes but prior to watching it I imagined it would just be the occasional boob shot and shadowy sexual positions, which I was mostly right about, you see a lot of butt too. So nothing too bad if you find yourself like me wanting to see what the fuss is about but not really wanting to watch a bloomin' soft porn!

As for the characters, I felt Anastasia Steele, the leading lady, her personality made NO SENSE. At all!

Okay, so you get the impression she's this virginal hopeless romantic who is waiting for the right guy to sweep her off her feet but is still an intelligent independent woman who doesn't feel the need for a man, which is unoriginal, but fine for purposes of this story. The problem begins when she meets this Mr. Grey and then her personality goes out the window and on a long holiday. She becomes some super horny seductive tease who is fine with rampant casual sex with a guy she met like 10 minutes ago?! It's not like it's an impossible scenario, it just felt so random when watching it and so badly written (I'm sorry that I keep saying it but it's the truth!).
It just doesn't feel natural at all.

As for this Christian Grey....

First... for casting A+. Jamie Dornan has a nice face. Good job.
But Mr. Grey is just your typically (female) written dominant male who a leading often more timid female pursues. Also throw in the stereotypical main characters dynamic of the dominant male admitting that something he does with the leading female character he has 'never done with anyone before, EVER.', YAWN!

He is clearly a character that's only purpose is to be desirable to women. He's super rich, he's hot, of course he plays the piano... blah blah blah.

Nothing to keep you truly interested if you ask me.
Except Jamie Dornan of course... with his nice face and all that.

As for the controversy surrounding the glorification of abuse... I didn't get that vibe.
Yeah he's 'punishing' her and whatever, but everything in they did was entirely consensual for what I saw and she even told him what she thought wasn't okay.
Sure there was a little manipulation and bribing with gifts but I don't see that as something that she felt she owed him for.

Though I'll admit he was super possessive over her with other men, that was a bit much.

Overall it is NOT a film I would ever usually watch and is certainly not one I would recommend you waste your time on. The hype is over absolutely nothing.

LAST THING!! As I was finishing this post up I checked the 50 shades Wikipedia to see if I missed any points I wanted to make and I saw that this whole series actually started out as a TWILIGHT FAN FICTION!?!?! 
I totally get it now! It's all come together! The awful unoriginal writing all makes sense! We can pack our bags and go home satisfied that the mystery is solved.

Well except the mystery of...

How on earth did this series get so darn popular?!
One of the true mysteries of this modern age.

Have you seen the film or even read the books, any thoughts?
Are the books badly written too or is that just how it's portrayed in the film?
Do you think it glorifies abuse?

As always, thanks for reading!
Birds in Blossom x

P.S. this was a really weird post to write, never thought I'd actually end up watching that film, never mind writing about it... ever.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

This Week On Instagram : 17.02.15

This week it was Valentine's Day and Shrove Tuesday, so not a bad week all in all. 

Also this thursday (I think) is Chinese New Years so Manchester is decorated in celebration of that.

Every Valentine's Day I cook myself and my Boyfriend a 3 course meal and this year I made his favourite starter, goats cheese quenelles with a walnut and beetroot salad. It went down pretty darn well with him! (bottom right photo). He bought me some gorgeous tulips (center) and I just can't stop looking at them, they're just so beautiful, he knows me so well. (he loved his gifts I got him by the way, if you were wondering from this gift guide I posted)

Look at that ice-cream though... mmmmmmmm, I'm such an ice-cream addict, ask anyone!

Other than that not much had happened other than working and university working/studying, which will be the status quo for the next few months. Oh the joy!

Anyway, have you been up to anything interesting this week?

If you want to follow me on Instagram click - HERE

Thank you for reading, my lovely!
Birds in Blossom x

Recipe : No Measurements Pancakes

It's Pancake Day! ... or Shrove Tuesday. Either way each year I always make a butt load of Pancakes today and I am always nominated as cheif pancake maker because well... I make the best pancakes. 

I, however, don't use any recipes as I was taught by my Nan how to make pancakes and it was an entirely 'by eye' method, but they always turn out great so I thought I'd share what I do.

First your ingredients.

Milk, Eggs and  Flour (usually plain). Simple.
Ignore the amounts this is just what I used for photos!

Most recipes say add flour first, then egg and then milk, I do it differently, how my Nan showed me.

1. Beat your eggs together. For this I use usually 3-4 medium eggs if I'm making it for 2-3 people, use less if it's just for you (1-2) and more for lots of people (4+).

2. Add milk. I add the milk until it turns a pale pastel yellow colour. (Shown below)

3. Now I add flour a little at a time until the mixture is a nice gloopy (or is it spelled gloppy?) consistency, so it starts to thicken to the point when you remove your whisk (or whatever you're mixing with) the mixture clings to it a little but is still liquid.

4. You want to mix this until there are no lumps at all and a thin layer of bubbles that do not pop form on the top of the mixture. 

5. Now you leave the mixture (my Nan leaves it overnight, but I'm not that patient) and get your frying pan ready. Turn your hob on to full heat, put your pan on the hob and add a tablespoon or so of vegetable oil. Once it's starting to heat move the pan around so it spreads the oil around.

6. The pan needs to be super hot so leave it for a little while.

7. Now you pour in a little bit of mixture, I make a big blob in the center of the pan and then swirl it around by moving the pan in the same way I did to spread the oil. I do this until the mixture is evenly and thinly spread over the whole base of the pan.

8. Leave it to cook until there is no wet mixture left, then using a wooden or plastic-type spatula lift a tiny bit of the edge of the pancake and go around the perimeter, lifting all the edge of the pancake off the pan.

9. Check to see if it's turning golden underneath, if it is, it's ready to be turned over; if not, leave for a little while longer.

10. To turn the pancake over just slide your spatula to the center of the pancake and insure it is not stuck to the pan anywhere, then flip it quickly.

11. Leave the pancake to cook until it turns golden underneath.

12. That's it the pancake is done and you're ready to add your toppings once you have transferred it to a plate! You may want to add a little more oil to the pan between pancake if your pan is non-stick or a little old.

Okay so I forgot to take photos of my finished pancakes but they usually come out pretty much the same as this... 

Now if you prefer your pancakes thinner than this, just add a little extra milk to your mixture until it doesn't stick to your whisk. Alternatively if you like them thicker, more scotch/american style, add more flour until it's just a bit thicker and is slow to form back together when stirred, OR use self raising flour instead of plain.

If you find your pancakes are coming out a little pale, add an extra egg.

With the amounts of ingredients I used, so 3 eggs as a base, I made 6 pancakes in a 24cm non-stick frying pan. To give you an idea of how much stuff you'll want to use. 

This may be useless to you, but it's what I do and I've never made a bad batch. It's also really flexible, if I fancy thinner pancakes that's fine, if I want thick ones, that's peachy!

Does anyone else use a similar recipe? Did this make sense to you?

If you're stuck or something doesn't make sense comment below and I'll get back to you ASAP!

Thanks for reading!
Birds in Blossom x