Sunday, 30 September 2012

Chicken Casserole Recipe |Slow Cooker

We all enjoy a good casserole in the cold weather. So here is one of my favourites.

This was my first time using a slow cooker. Usually I would just do this recipe in the oven but I have borrowed my Nannas slow cooker whilst she is off on holiday sunning herself, (jealous!) So I have two weeks of solid slow cooking to see if it is worth me investing in one or not.

This recipe has simple ingredients and is literally BISH BASH BOSH!
Preparation is just chopping and peeling, which is great for people who are really busy with work, children or out of the house all day.

  • 2 chicken Breast cut into large cubes
  • 2 onions diced
  • 3 carrots peeled and diced
  • 3 potatoes peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks of celery cubed
  • 2 bulbs of garlic peeled and chopped
  • stock 1-2 litres (covering veg)
  • seasoning
  • parsley
  • thyme
  • 2tblsp tomato puree

The next step is to put all the igredients into the slow cooker and leave on low for 4-6 hours.

(As it was the first time using my slow cooker I didnt realise how small the veg should be diced, so I did my usual chunky veg, however this took alot longer than 6 hours! So remember to dice your veg unlike mine above, Ooops. You live and learn!)

Thats it.

It's easy, affordable and most importantly tasty.

So you can get on with whatever you have to do, knowing your casserole is gently cooking away nicely.

This recipe is free on slimming world. If you want you can always use flour as a thickener, if you like your casserole to be thicker. Remember it has some syns but once its shared out between its portions, it wont be too big of a syn!

Once cooked this can be potted up in separate portions to be put into the fridge or frozen.
I made a huge batch of this, it fed three of us and still have a large portion for tomorrows dinner left.

Bye for now.

Pore Penetration Clay Mask |Avon Clearskin

Everybody has skin that needs to be pampered once in a while and nowadays there is face masks for every skin type, oily, dry, normal or combination. Depending on the type you have the ingredients in the mask should benefit your skin reducing the unwanted flaw.

I have normal skin but prone to spots around my mouth mostly once a month (maybe hormones?)
My unwanted spots are quite manageable and are easily concealed usually. But to try prevent these I do use a face mask a couple times a week (along with cleanse and tone each night.)
The mask I found that suits my skin is Avon's clearskin pore penetrating clay mask. On the packaging it says this has pore firming technology, making pores look small and visibly refined.

I apply a thin layer onto my dry and clean face. Leave it for a good 10 minutes, after the time you will notice the product getting harder and your face less easily to move. Its a green/grey murky mud looking colour and doesn't look too appealing. I use my index finger to apply the mask, by pushing it onto the skin as its quite thick. Its has a mild clean smell, barely noticeable.
After the time allocated, rinse off with luke warm water.
I find afterwards my skin feels smooth to touch, my imperfections look small and the pores which are usually noticeable on my nose are reduced.
I have used many face masks but this one is really affordable and does reduce spots and pores.
If your not an Avon customer then a great alternative available at boots, super drug and supermarkets is the Garnier 3in1. Its a similar product, but says you can use it as a cleanser, exfoliate and a mask. It too has reducing spots, pores and its clay based. Its more expensive but a little goes a long way and it has 3 uses.
There is always the sachets of facial mask (Montagne Jeunesse being the ones I most use) which you can get anywhere you could try. They have so many uses and so many flavours! These are fun to use for a girly night in, enjoyed with a glass of wine!
So get pampering your face!
Bye for now.

Friday, 28 September 2012

What I'm Burning |Warm Spice by Yankee Candle

I thought I would let people in on my addiction, well addiction may be a little strong, but I am crazy about Yankee Candles.
 And I know I'm not the only one.
I have many relatives who love this company and have many of their candles in their homes.
The one I am writing about today is the Warm Spice candle. I have been burning this candle for a good few weeks now. I'm usually dedicated to my fruit candles and all time favourite vanilla scents, but this caught my eye as it had star of anise and cinnamon on its label. I love the smell of both of these especially in cooking, so I ordered them from QVC and thought that if I didn't fancy the smell I would pass it on to my mum or nan.
When receiving the candle I couldn't get enough of sniffing the jar lid, the smell is so yummy, like a cake or biscuit smell. Its a potent smell but it has a sweetness. It's hardly the over bearing smell of a spice rack that I firstly thought.
I first lit the candle when it started getting dark early, I had the flu and could barely smell anything but I do like the ambiance of a candle no matter if it smells or not.
Once my flu started to pass the and I could finally beginning to smell again, this was a lovely scent to start the autumn off. Like it says on the label 'warm' it really is. It does remind me of cooking cinnamon buns, which actually makes me hungry and crave something sweet. But it is worth it.
If you like a baking smell throughout your home, something warm and sweet then this candle could be a delightful piece in your home. It looks good, it smell good. Double bonus eh?
Every time I use a new candle I will write about it, telling you of its fragrance and maybe you could get ideas of candles you might want in your home.
Yankee Candle are an expensive brand (to me) but I do get a lot of burning time out of the candle and the scents are really lovely and last a long time.
If you like candles but want to keep them within a budget then try Wax Lyrical. They are on line and they have stores nationwide. They offer a huge range of scents and you can always find a scent similar to Yankee Candle.
Thanks for reading, bye for now.

 **always burn responsibly, do not leave any candles unattended**

Recipe |Slimming World Chips

Now I know this is easy and slightly fool proof, but I thought there might be some people new to slimming world who haven't heard or made these yet.
So Slimming World Chips. Ingredients potatoes, Fry light, seasoning and spices of your choice (if you want.)
Frylight is a spray that replaces any type of oil I use with cooking. Every spray is 1 calorie.

Pre heat your oven to Gas Mark 9

Peel your potatoes (the number is up to you but I usually use one large potato for each person.)

Cut them into chips/wedges/fries

If you have the chance try to leave them in water for a couple of hours. (I dont know why but they seem to come out better?)If you dont have time, no worries and just skip this step.

On a baking tray spray the frylight on it liberally. On top of that layer ad your seasoning and yours spices.
I coated mine with chilli flakes and pepper.

 Then top with the uncooked chips and put another layer of frylight and frylight.
I usually put the tray in the middle of the oven for 30 mins and for the last 10 minutes put them on the top for browning.

Hope you give these a try. They are syn free and tasty!
bye for now.

Dove |Go Fresh Cucumber And Green Tea Anti-Perspirant And Roll On

So anti-perspirants,  maybe not very glamorous, however everyone needs ands buys it.
I'm reviewing this one as its a all time favourite.
Dove has a go fresh brand, there is cucumber and green tea, pomegranate and lemon, grapefruit and lemongrass and waterlily and mint.
Personally I have only ever tried the cucumber and green tea and pomegranate and lemon.
But in the future I will definitely be trying the rest of the range.
So with the packaging of these products, they simple but effective. They are eye catching which for me I am a sucker for eye catching packaging. (yes even with deodorant)
The smell of this product is exactly how you would imagine it to be, fresh without being to floral or too sweet. Its a subtle smell, which with a lot of deodorants on the shelves I find are too pungent for me. I'm particularly not keen on over bearing, strong smells.
So the main purpose of this product is to keep you dry and smelling lush for your armpits, well it does the trick. I can put this on early in the morning and know it will last me for the rest of the day.
 I keep the roll on in my gym bag for after swimming, its just more that it fits nicely in my gym bag rather than a large spray.
Both work great, I do prefer the spray as once you've spray you feel immediately dry and carry on with your day, with the roll on, I tend to be stood flapping my arms (like a chicken) waiting for the roll on to dry before I carry on getting ready. I bought it to try but I think I will stick to the sprays just as it suits me better.
You can get hold of the Dove go fresh range from anywhere. Supermarkets, drugstores and on line.
Prices vary with every retailer but for the price I paid and the time it takes to use up a can spray, it's worth it.
Thanks for reading.
Bye for now

Syn Free KFC Style Chicken |Slimming World

This yummy recipe is for anybody who enjoys the very deliciously but very naughty KFC chicken.
My nan (who as well is a member of slimming world) told me about this recipe.
I spend Wednesdays evenings with my Nan, where we try out healthy recipes and eat what we make :)
I love the original KFC chicken so when I was told couscous was going to be the breadcrumb alternative I was a little dubious.
However not one to turn down a new experience we gave it a go...

All you need is
  • 200grams plain couscous or  2 X 100grams packets of flavoured couscous of your choice (Ainsley Harriot does a great range of flavours)
  • 6 skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • spices of your choice for example, chili, garlic, cumin, coriander, pepper,paprika etc.
Its quite simple to make so here goes:
Preheat your oven to gas mark 7.
Firstly soak your chicken breasts in the beaten eggs, make sure they are fully coated.
Next on a large plate lay your couscous out and if your using the plain couscous add your choice of spices. (I think KFC uses up to 11 spices, so be generous.)
Then get an egg soaked chicken breast and roll it into the flavoured couscous.
Once covered in couscous place on a wire rack in a roasting tray. (or you could just put it onto a baking tray if you prefer.)
Do this with the rest of the chicken breasts.
Then place in the oven for a good 30-40 minutes.
You want your couscous breadcrumbs to be browned but not burnt.
So this is my result..

The best thing about this recipe for me is that you don't get the greasiness that you get fromm deep fried chicken and there is no skin.
The couscous gives the chicken a great crumbly texture, making you think that you are enjoying breadcrumbs.
Its such an amazingly effective recipe, I mean I bet you could even trick children into thinking its breadcrumbs!
Another advantage is you can put whatever flavour you like in the mix, so if you love your chicken spicy then add plenty of chilli flakes!
Hope this has inspired you!


Thanks for reading,
Bye for now.

Nail of the day |Dusky Mauve by BarryM

I first purchased this colour over 18 months ago, and since then had a further two bottles. If I had to pick my most repurchased item from Barry M it would honestly be this. I feel like the brown/purple colour is such a good staple for all nail varnish users. Its a soft brown and in the light it gives off a pretty purple tint. This colour would match anybodies skin tone, after the third layer I get a really even dark colour, but you can have less of a dark colour by applying only one or two coats. I find I wear this colour more in the colder months as I find it very warm. Its has a glitzy feel with purple tint though so not so earthy, making it great for a day to evening look.
I wore this colour last year to my friend's wedding, it was an all day event started at 11am and didn't finish till early hours of the morning after! I chose this colour as I thought it would be better than black,pink,purple or just brown. I decided against the neutral brown I was originally going for as I felt like it wouldn't be special/glam enough.
I think for everyday this is a great colour, its very noticeable and I have had a few people asking me the shade when I've been out and about.
If your looking for a warm colour with a pretty twist, then this might the nail varnish for you.
You can buy BarryMfrom Boots and Superdrug, BarryM nail paints are 2.99pounds. (this is for the standard shades)
Thanks for reading
Bye for now.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Nail varnish of the day |Street Beige by Avon

Today's nail of the day is Avon's Street beige, so it's not the brightest or funkiest shade and to some probably a bit plain. It's an very pale beige, off white colour. But to me this is such a pretty nude colour, it's the most neutral colour I have ever had on my nails and I was unsure to use this as my skin is quite pale too. But be assured it looks really effective. If you like earthy and neutral colours on your nails then this may be for you.
I bought this polish out of the Avon catalogue (along with a few other neutral shades) as I was starting a new job and being unsure of the regulations of nails being painted etc. I was wanting some shades that weren't too loud and wouldn't be too noticeable. To be honest this was the one I was least enthusiastic to try as I am use to more bold shades, as in my previous job loud nail polish wasn't an issue.
I used up to three coats to get the solid colour I was after, which is usually what I apply with most shades.
It's in the speed dry range, which is fab and needless to say quick!
So if I have inspired you to get some street beige in your life and onto your nails, visit
Thank you for reading.
Bye for now.

Full Repair Styling Spray |JOHN FRIEDA

So if you haven't already heard John Frieda early this year brought out the 'full repair' range. These products are meant to improve over worked and damaged hair.
The product I am reviewing is the 'style creator heat activated styling spray.'

Naturally my hair is ash blond, so to lighten it up I have half a head of foil highlights every 8 weeks.
Everyone knows peroxide isn't good for anybodies hair, so being the obsessive product trier that I am, I am constantly looking on blogs, websites and Youtube for a great  inexpensive hair protector. I have used cream and sprays from numerous brands, but it's got to be said this one I really feel makes a difference.
I apply up to 6-8 sprays onto damp hair. I feel the spray is quite light and doesn't give your hair that sticky coated feeling that's other brands do.
I dry my hair as quick as possible most days and just using a big barrelled brush to curl under my fringe and ends. Once dry I don't really tend to do much styling, some times I curl or wave my hair with a curling tong. Every time when we use a heat appliance on our hair such as straighteners, curling tongues and wavers, we are damaging our hair, the ends will show the damage by splitting or getting fine and rat tail like. However I have definitely noticed my hair feeling stronger and not as many fly aways. My hair is fine and limp at the best of times, so when it gets longer, it can look scraggy (not a good look) 
To sum up this  product does what it says on the tin!
It protects your hair from heat, when your applying heat tools onto your hair. Its safe for coloured and chemically treated hair so any hair type can use this. No matter what your hair type is you should be using a heat protector spray as no one needs or wants damaged hair due to styling with a heat tool.
If your hair is really weak and chemically damaged then I would suggest using all of the range, so shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioner and perfect ends deep infusion products.
You will see your hair becoming healthier and much easier to manage.
For less than £6 a product you can easily achieve the hair style that you want without permanently damaging it. I think I will struggle to find a heat protecting spray that I like as much as I do this one.


Thanks for reading,
Bye for now.
Regan Chelsea

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Mushroom Soup |Slimming World

As the dark nights are approaching, I am finding myself wanting to eat everything in sight!
I love nothing more on a cold dark evening to be wrapped up in a fleece blanket and fluffy socks eating all the things I shouldn't be!
Like this evening, impatient for my Tea, I went scrambling into the fridge seeing what naughtiness I could find.
After realising I have probably already eaten the last chocolate bar yesterday..
I decided I would stop being lazy looking for a quick fix of stodge and make myself a soup.
Not just any soup.. a balanced, healthy and tasty soup.

So I quickly decided on a mushroom soup. As I have been a member of Slimming World since January, I have accumulated many books and recipes, the recipe I used here is out of the 'Slimming Worlds Little Book Of Soups.'
I have got admit this recipe is simple, quick and most importantly delicious! It has a small range of ingredients, so not too much time to prepare.
Its great for a snack, meal or to take to work in a flask.
I just eaten mine and it gave me such a warm, full of goodness feeling. You cant beat that feeling on a day when your not feeling 100%.
If your not a lover of mushrooms then this probably isn't the soup for you.

For people on Slimming World Extra Easy, this soup is free!

So if this has tickled your taste buds, go on treat yourself by cooking a lovely winter warmer soup!
Here is the recipe:

2 garlic cloves chopped
1 potato peeled and diced
500g button or chestnut mushrooms chopped
1.5 litre water with stock cube/jelly
Salt n pepper
Fresh parsley to serve.

Add all veg to a non stick saucepan add fry light and stir fry on a medium heat for 5-6 mins unitl brown, then add the stock.
Bring to Boil, then cover and let simmer for 20-30 minutes.
Season well.

Remove from heat and blend.

Sprinkle with parsley to serve.

And ta-dahhh a lovely soup ready for you and your family to enjoy!
What you waiting for?

Bye for now.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Nails |Summer to Fall

Its that time of year again, the leaves are falling from the trees, and I am looking for this years scarf, hat and gloves ensemble.
This being the case also means me putting away my pretty summer nail varnishes.
Not away away, just till next spring.
However even though the British summertime hasn't really been yet, I have used a lot of bright colours on my nails regardless of sunshine or no sunshine.
My favourites being;
  • barry M - peach melba, strawberry l/c, berry l/c, mint green, blue moon, coral
  • avon- mambo melon, viva pink, strawberry
  • elf- coral
Here's a few pics I have of my summer nails..

Not to worry as on the plus side think of all them fall/autumn colours we can use!
I have already started my fall/autumn/winter collection. (you can never be too prepared)
I'm loving avons range of nudes and muted colours.
I have a few but yet to try some of them. I love using avon nail varnish as they are affordable, the picture in the catalogue is always true to form and the quality is always great. Also a lot offer quick dry in a variety of shades (bonus to them impatient girls like me who dont like to wait!)
These are a few I have tried already;
  • city navy
  • licorice
  • romance
  • street beige
  • modern mauve
  • grey cement (matte)
In the picture below these are my autumn/fall/winter colours I will be using over the next few months!

I have on today city navy by avon.
This is dark navy (nearly black.)
I think it looks really classy.
Heres a pic...

I love using a dark nail varnish, I think it can really set off an outfit for any occasion (day or night.)
Adding a glitter topcoat can add a great effect for a night out, or maybe just paint your ring finger nail with glitter to be more subtle!
I like the idea of a beige and navy ensemble, maybe painting my nails navy and adding beige tips..

I will keep you posted on the colours I am yet to try :)
Thanks for reading.
Bye for now
regan x

Foundation | Rimmel Wake Me Up

As from the picture above you can see this post is about the rimmel wake me up foundation.
I have been using this popular drug store foundation since july this year.
I had seen my favourite beauty vlogger Tanya Burr (pixie2woo) on youtube using this in her tutorials. If you havent yet watched her on youtube, you must go and watch, she is a professional makeup artist and knows her stuff!
This foundation is less than 10 pounds and I think it lives up to its name and price.
The packaging is a funky clear bottle with a huge orange lid.
When using the foundation I apply with a brush, as I find it gives more even coverage.
To start with  I found this foundation had a lovely light, smooth texture. On the skin it feels really fresh and dewy. Not heavy and cakey one bit. It doesn't have much of smell. Not pungent like some facial products can be.
The coverage is good for my skin, I bought it in the shade ivory. I have a few blemishes and redness from time to time and this does the trick nicely. It gives your skin a really smooth and glowy finish and has a sparkle in the formula. I must admit (i think)this is what gives you the radiant/bright/wakemeup look.
I swatched this onto my hand for this picture
as you can see there is a shiny finish, so maybe if you have oily skin type, I would maybe refrain from using this product, or you might want to apply a powder to your oily areas after.
I haven't been using a pressed powder over this as its been summer, however coming to winter I prefer a matte/velvet finish so will be applying a powder over this.
I use this foundation daily, it gives me enough coverage for day to night.
It also have SPF 15, which is great for anytime of year.
Between wake me up and  Bourjois healthy mix, i would reach for this more as the finish looks more even to me.
I can barely feel the product on my face which is always an advantage.
Hope you have enjoyed the read,
Bye for now.
Regan x

Makeup |Daily Routine

This post is just how I achieve my everyday makeup look.

This consisting of;
  • moisturiser- nivea(blue pot)
  • foundation -rimmel wake me up (ivory)
  • concealer -collection 2000 (fair)
  • eyebrow pencil -avon brow perfection (blonde)
  • eyelash curler -avon
  • mascara -rimmel day to night (black)
  • brown eye liner pencil -avon
  • bronzer -nyc sun2 sun in bronze gold
  • highlighter- nyc 
  • lip balm- burts bees (honey)
It takes me up to 10 minutes each morning, probably quicker when rushing.
When I have the time I do put eyeshadow on and blusher.
but this is just the basics for a normal day and it works for me.

 Here is a picture of my everyday simple look.

I feel my makeup gives my face a fresh subtle look and doesn't look as if I have made too much of an effort (which 10 mins effort isn't much really.)
If I want to glam up this look I add a smokey eye with a black liquid eyeliner, blush and some lip gloss.
I don't apply too much mascara in the day so with day2night mascara by Rimmel I only use the day wand to give length and not volume. 

This is my makeup bag, it holds all the basics I use daily. I spend a lot of time between my parents house and my boyfriends, so I need to carry my essentials in my bag at all times.
As you may have noticed these are all affordable brands from popular drugstores, as I use these products everday and I feel they meet my beauty needs, I resist from buying more expensive luxury brands.

My tips on a simple/natural everyday look are:
  •  less is more
  • moisturise if your skin is really dry or use a primer if your skin leans towards oily type.
  • match your foundation to your colour (this can make a huge difference if your wanting a natural look.)
  • conceal any redness such as around your nose and blemishes.
  • use a light bronzer and build up when contouring (using a dark bronzer can sometimes look a little 'O.C HOUSWIVES'
  • fill in your brows with no darker than your hair colour, eyebrows define our whole faces, give them a strong shape and fill in the gaps.
Thank you for reading
Regan x

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Buddy |My Pet Patterdale Terrier

 Welcome to my puppy BUDDY. Well he is no longer such a small puppy but now over two years old.
iI thought I would write about him as its been two years this week since we gained our new family member.
He is a patterdale terrier with a black smooth coat with a glossy brown shine.
The picture above shows him when he was only 4 months old, wearing his rather lovely blue fleece snuggi (which i might add, he seemed to rather enjoy.)
This is the only item if clothing he ever tolerated.
not that I didn't try more :)
He had a scottish flag on his tag as his parents conceived his litter when they were holidaying in scotland, and his name along with his brothers and sisters were given temporary scottish names.
Buddy started off as Whisky and i know a two of the other pups were named Haggis,Nessie and Tatty.
Choosing Buddys' name was simple, my sister (Jordan) suggested it and we all mutually agreed.

 This picture above shows (from left to right) me, my brother (Campbell), my dad (holding buddy) and my mum.
This being our first dog from being a puppy, we decided to get ahead with training him and getting him house trained. House training was easy, it was the leaving him a night alone downstairs Icouldn't bear.
So my sister and I took turns into staying on the couch. As if we stayed upstairs he would cry, well howl!
As being new owners of a patterdale iI researched thouroughly on the Internet to see what type of needs/characteristics a Patterdale had.
I found things like;
  • they love to nothing more than to be in your bed asleep
  • they are keen diggers/hunters/ratters
  • they are great with children and adults
  • they can act dominant towards other dogs.
These I found true in no time at all.
Buddy will do anything to try and snuggle up at the end of our bed. Sadly he moults terribly so he has to stay on his own bed. That's the only downside with a patterdale from my experience of owning one.
He loves to chase anything, birds, cats, squirrels and other dogs.
He did start to dig our garden up but with he soon grew out of that (thankfully as my parents werent happy about this activity.)
He is great with any humans (except for the barking at the postman)
He can be quite dominant towards other dogs, this we do not admire or encourage, as other owners can dislike this.

  This is Buddy a couple of months ago enjoying a summer evening walk.
He is a very clever/wise dog. He will let you know when he needs to go WALKIES by nudging you or his lead (this being very handy indeed.)
He knows all simple commands such as sit, paw, lie down and roll over.
Buddy loves his exercise, especially being with equally energetic dogs he can chase and tease.
He has so much character, its like having a mini human about the house.
His main thing is his huffing and sighing when told to sit on his bed. After two years this still makes everyone giggle.
Buddy is a well loved pet and a mans best friend!
He loves the attention of our big family, especially getting his belly and neck rubbbed.
Hope you enjoy reading about this cheeky patterdale. There will be lots more to come as he is a huge part of my life!
Bye for now.
Regan and Buddy! x

Friday, 21 September 2012

Nails Inc |Gatwick (Matte)

Well hello there, I know its been over a year since my last blog post, but hey ho and I'm here now.
To start with I thought I would show you one of my favourite autumn/winter nail varnishes. I only got this a couple of days ago, however its made a huge impact on my nail varnish collection. This meaning I am so in love with this colour I will rarely change it. Its the Nails inc London (matte) gatwick nail varnish. At first glance I thought it looked great in the bottle however I wasn't rushing to apply this colour as I thought it might be great for Christmas but not for late September.
As soon as i put this polish to my nails, I knew it was going to be an fall fave!
 The matte application gives it a dull finish, which I think is perfect for the autumn.
The cosistency of the polish is smooth and consistent. A lot better than a matte colour I have used from Avons range. I refrained from applying a top coat as I didnt want it to become shine and it did chip quite a bit. So I applied a a thin layer of top coat and it didnt affect the matte too much, and it lasted much longer. 
I know nails inc can be a pricey nail varnish to most of us but when you find something you like, you just cant resist. I will be definitely trying some more of the matte colour range and digging out a few of my own for the months ahead.
Thanks for reading,
Bye for now.
Regan x

Sunday, 18 September 2011

My Visit To Bath!

My boyfriend and I visited Bath last weekend for our good friends wedding! We both have never been to Bath before and we both really loved the small town. Its famous for Jane Austen and the Roman Baths, its quite close to Bristol. We had a great walk round Bath, seen some of the sites and had a lovely meal in one of the local pubs! So here our some pictures of our time their!

 Mike (above)
 The Famous Crescent!
 Mike and I (below)
Thanks for reading!