Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Easy festive holiday spiced mulled cider

Happy Holidays & Merry Christmas!

This is my only festive post and the final post of 2015.
So what better way to end 2015, than to toast the year passing and a new one beginning?
Here is my super easy, quick and delicious homemade mulled cider recipe. 
You can find most of the ingredients knocking around the kitchen, which is great at this time of year. 
This is greqt to make in advance and store in air tight containers. The flavours intensify and it is one thing off your to do list.


3 litres of cider- you can have 1 litre of dry
2 large cinnamon stick
3 cloves
1/2 a bottle of medium sweet white wine
1 vanilla pod
3 star anise
1 teaspoon of grated nutmeg
50g of sugar- soft sugar (if you don't like sugar don't add or use less)
2 heaped teaspoons of Marsala tea
200 ml dark rum (if you have it, that is fine)
6 cardamom pods
1 level teaspoon of mixed spice
1  bay leaf
3 oranges and one 1 lemon
1 orange and lemon peel
1 chopped apple


Ok so you have all your ingridients. 
Squeeze the juice from 3 oranges and 1 lemon. Then thinly slice zest.
If you have a muslin cloth going spare then place all your dry ingredients in there and tie it off.
If not then chuck your ingredients into a big pot, along with the cider, wine, sugar and scrapped vanilla pod. 
You can sieve all ingridients once finished.
The mixture should be on a LOW heat and allowed to simmer for approximately 30-40 minutes.
If it is a little strong add a a cup of water and add until you are satisfied.

**Tip** You may find the citrus oils very strong if you put them in straight away. 
Either place fruits in hot water for a few seconds then add to the mix.
Or add peel into the mix in the last 10 minutes of simmering.

This is also great with champagne or wine so get creative and mull what ever tipple takes your fancy!

This is an alcoholic drink mixture but is just as delicious with non-alcoholic drinks.
Remember guys, drink safely and my underagers -Apple juice will sustain you!

So that's my incredibly easy, show stopping mulled cider. 
Your family will sing your praises and it shall be great.
 Sit back and lap up the adulation.
Drink it hot, warm or even cold and its amazing!

Thank you so much for your continued support this year.
Have an amazing Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Enjoy your holidays and see you on the other side (very Adele)!

Merry Christmas, Afenhyiapa, Feliz Navidad, Meri Kirihimete, Sung Tan Chuk Ha, Gledileg Jol, 
Bada Din Mubarak Ho... so on and so forth

Stephanie aka Wednesdays Girl

Don't forget to come find me and  

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Read of the month: Sent From Heaven (Blogger book edition)

Hi Loves,

So I am coming to you with a very special read of the month.
Oghosa of SincerlyOghosa
asked  me and along with other bloggers, if we would review her first E- book,
 Sent from Heaven and being the bookworm that I am obviously I said Yes!
I have been so inconsistent with my book reviews so in the giving spirit of the holiday season. 
Here is my second book review for December and from a blogger who seems to be going from strength to strength no less!

Set in modern day London. We follow Chioma Amara.
A woman cut down in her prime.
Taken from her son, just as their relationship was back on track and her determination to finally right wrongs and help give him the chance to live a fulfilled life.
Chioma seemingly can not catch a break! After becoming pregnant at university and having no other option once she is deserted by her boyfriend. 
Chioma puts her son Sam into care with the promise to come back for him. 
After several turbulent years Chioma and Sam are finally reunited. 
However that is only the beginning of their struggle.

In death, Chioma doesn't catch a break either.
 Despite being in the unearthly realm, Chioma is assigned to hell through no fault of her own. 
Now on the verge of an eternity in purgatory, God steps in to save the day.
 Having spotted Chiomas’ unblemished soul within, a crowd of those more deserving of hell. 
God intervenes and gives Chioma one last chance at life, in order to help her son heal some his wounds and begin his own journey. 
Chioma must return to earth and guide him to happiness, love and acceptance all before Christmas.

Now first off I have to say I am not particularly religious, I don’t often go in for Christmassy “feel good” cheer books or films because I just can’t with all the faux cheer and predictability.
This however keeps Christmas as a  back drop to a wider story but is not all consuming.
Nor do I often go in for the self published religious fiction as I find them to be a bit zealous at times and find the cringe factor to be extraordinarily high.
That isn't to say however that I don’t enjoy books that have underlying religious themes/imagery.
 A Christmas carol, Dan Brown books or even The chronicles of Narnia to name a few. I start with this as by not reading these genres often, it gives me a different view point.

 What I do go for is a book that has something different or striking about it that touches me in some way. Oghosa has managed to find a niche in the booming supernatural fiction arena that I haven’t seen before and works really well with it. This alone makes it interesting and I am very intrigued to see if she expands on this in future.

I am really happy that I agreed to review Sent From Heaven. 
As I said above I might not have gravitated towards it, if I had seen it. In many ways this is a very current book. Although a tried and tested formula (no spoilers) is used. Oghosa manages to make God personable and the idea of heaven and hell not so shrouded in mystery. 
She cleverly worked in very familiar elements to great affect. I do think that certain characters could be fleshed out more and certain points in the book to be expanded upon more but considering this is her first fully self published piece, I think she has done very well.

I actually enjoyed reading this and if you are a person who revels in happy endings, Christmas feels, that quintessential Christmas spirit and possibly that person who has their tree up on the 1st of December this is definitely a book for you.
 Equally if you are a bit more chilled like me, don't really go in for over the top excessive festivities and have an aversion to tinsel. You will enjoy it too. Alternatively this would make a great gift/ stocking filler for a loved one. 
It is incredibly apparent how personal this story is to Oghosa on many levels and that passion is so clearly woven into the storyline.

This is a great book to remind you what life is actually about. 
Finding and cherishing the people and things most important to you.

Check out Oghosa explaining why she wrote this book and why this more than just a story for her. 

Until next time.............

Stephanie aka Wednesdays Girl

Don't forget to come find me and  

*Disclaimer: I did not purchase this book. However my thoughts and my opinions are my own.
You can see my full disclaimer, should you wish.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Reads of the month: December 2015

Hi Lovers,
Long time no review but I promise I have been reading!
So these are my new reads of the month.
These are two very different books.
Check them out below.

 by Ruth Rendell (3.5 stars)

Flitting between the modern day and the cusp of WW2. 
A buried tin containing the remnants of two severed hands, is the catalyst that brings a group of friends long since grown up back into each other lives.
Having grown up in a small Essex suburb together, it doesn't take long before old alliances and group hierarchy of what once was are firmly back in place. 
Swept up in a murder investigation, old truths and buried memories are brought to the surface.

Rendell took an interesting route and didn't focus on the actual murderer but the children now well into adulthood.
The plot centers on how an incident that they didn't know had actually happened greatly impacted their lives. 
As the group find each other again regret, lost chances, ageing and opportunities rear their head and some to detrimental effect.

Told from a much older generation struggling to find their place in the modern world was an excellent touch.
I found the use of older people making mistakes, feeling adrift and learning to live a life other than the one set out for them refreshing.
The role of being all knowing and wise is often afforded or foisted on older characters and this certainly isn't the case here. 
I am a pretty fast reader but this is a slow burn so it took some sticking to.
Without giving the plot away I did find fault with the stereotypical scenes and internalised
 misogynistic attributes in a few of the characters.
 This often irritates me in books however one characters end story did go some way in redeeming this.

This is actually the last book Rendell before her death earlier this year.
 So I think it will be very special to a lot of her keen followers.

Kitty Peck and the Child of Ill-Fortune by Kate Griffin (4 stars)

This engrossing historical mystery thriller set in Victorian London, follows fiery and fearless 17 year old Kitty Peck. 
The newly untested heiress of Paradise, the underworld criminal empire formerly run by her grandmother Lady Ginger.
No longer one of the many girls working within her grandmothers music hall.
 Kitty is now the boss and has to fight for the right to win and command all that lies within Paradise. 
Desperate to find and be reunited with her banished brother Joey.
 She embarks on a journey, where her life is placed in danger when she can not refuse a strangers plea for help and the chance to save a child.

Kitty and her friends lives are soon in danger as she unwittingly stumbles through her Grandmothers plans for her and those who have followed her back from Paris in pursuit of this child and bury a secret that could potential bring down the English empire.

This is actually the second book in this series and I didn't feel as though I had missed out on information at all. The first Kitty Peck and the Music Hall Murders is definitely on my list.

I found myself automatically reading kitty's parts in a proper hardcore cockney accent. Although there were cases of othering. 
 I felt a good percentage of the characters were well rounded and described well.
I really enjoyed this book and really felt as though I was immersed and living this adventure with Kitty. 
I found that the author struck the right balance of Kitty being a young woman and suddenly having to don this mantle of responsibility brilliantly.
This follows the traditional penny dreadful style and although a little sketchy in places is  very enjoyable.

Until next time.......
Stephanie aka Wednesdays Girl

Don't forget to come find me and    

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Winter skin savers/ saviours 2015

Shea butter whip
This is a life saver in the colder months. It just keeps skin looking glowy and smooth. 
Moisture is kept on lock.Which I am thankful for. 
Ashy skin will not prosper here lol!
 This is great all year round really but it really comes into its own when you need extra defence against the very cold and changeable weather, hot baths, heaters being on and general chill your skin experiences.
 Here is my Shea butter whip recipe, that I swear by, your welcome!

Face oil (custom blend)
 People can be a little scared of putting oils on the face but controlling the amount you use 
with a dropper is handy and testing it to see how your skin reacts is always best.
 If your face doesn't like it you can use it on your body. 
For the last 2 years I have been making my own DIY custom oil blends.
I will do a post in future.

This is a great light gel formula that provides much needed moisture.
The hyaluronic element is a great way to promote moisture in the skin.
 A great way to use this is layering it under Shea butter especially 
on areas that maybe be exposed to water and cold more often such as hands.

Coconut oil
 This is just LIFE! Coconut oil has been one of the super stars of 2015 and it really works well for me.
 I am lucky enough to have skin that works well with coconut oil and doesn't suffer any comedogenic issues. This multi-purpose oil is a great one to have on your shelf. 

The Body Shop Hemp hand protector
 This is a long time holy grail product in my family. My mum has used this for donkey years. 
A great handbag essential. It is thick and intensely creamy and nourishing. 
This definitely is a winter defence product.
 It doesn't smell that great but as you can see nearly every last drop has squeezed out as it is that great.
Sale times are great times to stock up for the year!

Alba Botanica mask
 This has been one of my most prized finds of the year!
It is organic, paraben free and all that good stuff.
It is an affordable, long lasting non-abrasive exfoliating mask and has done wonders for my skin.

Madara Claryifying toner*
My skin really took to this toner so well and it has become a really good Autumn/winter toner. 
Another non-abrasive exfoliant, which is keeping my small amount of pores minimised and my PH levels pretty much on point. I am really pleased to have found it.

 I have a weird thing I do where I bite my lips when I am thinking. I am doing it now!
This leads to me occasionally having a dry patch or two which I will nibble on subconsciously.
 Hence a vicious unstoppable and annoying cycle ensues.
 Bites lips, gets dry patch, nibbles on dry skin, rips off skin, apply balm and restart.
 As a result of this, a tube of Lucas' Pawpaw ointment is always in my bag. 
I use lots of lip products interchangeably but this never leaves my bag EVER. 
It really sorts my lips out and is another multi-purpose balm to keep in your SOS box.

Crystal collagen eye masks 
This is an oldie but a goodie for me. 
I don't use them often so always have a supply. 
I buy a pack of 5 from eBay or friends going to china annually and they just give me a bit of a boost. 
My eye shape means that I have epicanthal folds but not wrinkles.
Luckily I don't get eye bags or have extreme discolouration around my eyes.
When  I am tired it's more my actual eyes going red/ blood shot. 
So these are just to make my skin feel good and pamper myself with.

So these are a few of my staple savers/saviours for Autumn/Winter.

What are your must haves?

Stephanie aka Wednesdays Girl

Don't forget to come find me and  

*An item in this post was sent to me. However all views expressed are my own.
 Please see the  Ms. Wednesdays Girl disclaimer in full here.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Shaking up AW15: Kiko haul


Kiko is one of those beauty brands that is soooo affordable and is amazing quality yet I find I don't shop there enough. 
I may not shop there as often as I would like but I do have a great collection of solid great performance products.

I absolutely love the Regents Street branch and could honestly
just stay in there for hours gazing at the products.
Although it doesn't have the biggest space it's very cleanly layed out
and just on the right side of overwhelming -if there is such a thing!

Whilst meeting up with friends for dinner,
I dropped in and picked up a few items and I am really loving them.
As I don't often wear bright colours on my eyes,
I actually bought these eyeshadow shades to use them mainly as blusher.
Although less bright in real life,
they are very pigmented. So a very light hand is needed and a very small amount of product does the job.
They might be colours usually associated with spring or summer
but if you have been reading the blog for a while I am sure you know I wear whatever takes my fancy whenever
it takes said fancy!

Here are a few things I picked up:

Infinity Eyeshadow 207 Mat Papaya
Infinity Eyeshadow 208 no longer on site but is in store
Ultra Glossy Stylo 809 Red Ruby
Ultra Glossy Stylo 814 Glam Magenta
Smart Lipstick 923 Peony Purple
Nail Laquer 536 metallic quartz green

No surprise that there are 3 lipsticks!
I absolutely love a bold lip,
it might be my signature eyebrows and bold lips. 
Sounds good.
I also grabbed a gorgeous metallic fresh green to contrast with my khaki collection and am very happy to have this stunner in my collection.

What were your last Kiko buys?

Stephanie aka Wednesdays Girl

Don't forget to come find me and    

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

An affordable Aw15 scent: Zara Vanilla Wood perfume

I have been slowly growing my Zara perfume collection for the last year or 2, see here and here. And I really enjoy them.
They are incredibly affordable and have great longevity for a high street brand.
I find the Zara scents have great pay off on me.

Believe it or not I have actually had Vanilla Wood in my room unopened for just over a year! 
I bought this last September on a shopping trip with my friend Niki and just set it aside. This now seems like a lucky break as, it's been in my mind for the last few weeks.  Vanilla is one of my favourite scents and I am finally breaking it out for Autumn/ Winter. I love the warmth, depth, spice and sweetness vanilla brings and this doesn't disappoint.

I think Vanilla Wood is a scent you either love or hate.
I have seen very mixed reviews about it however when I smelt it in store I was drawn to it and still am.
Like many Zara woman perfumes (Zara perfume selection) it is sweet, warm and fruity. It isn't overwhelming which I like and is very wearable. It was a very affordable 12.99 for 75ml.

It definitely has the deeper musky scents of cacao, smooth praline mixed in with a lighter sweeter madarin and spicy peachy notes swirled in with vanilla.

I am really loving this as an everyday perfume and it really wakes me up and leaves me in a good mood.
It lasts a good few hours and I have received so many compliments.

Its a thumbs up from me!

*P.s I occasionally get migraines and although they are not scent activated. Certain scents whilst I have a migraine are extremely aggravating. This scent however doesn't  cause me any issues.*

until next time........

Stephanie aka Wednesdays Girl

Don't forget to come find me and    

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Natural skincare: MADARA Clarifying Toner Review*

Ms-wednesdays-girl-MADARA -Clarifying- Toner -Review

As you know I have been dabbling with natural skincare brands,
see my finding natural and organic skincare brands haul and have really enjoyed discovering effective new products.
I have had my eye on the Madara Clarify Toner* for a while and couldn't wait test it out.

Madara is a Latvian natural cosmetics brand using the forests and certified organic farms in the Baltic area to create unique formulas. 
They are organic, vegan, nut free, gluten free and ECOCERT certified.

The first thing I noticed apart from the lovely packaging was the scent.
It smells like an autumnal cocktail. Somewhere between sweet elderflower and spicy figs.
 I really like the fact this toner leaves my face matte as opposed to dry and there is a marked difference
in the two feelings!
My skin feels refreshed, smooth and supple and most importantly moisturised.
As I have combination skin it is great to find, a non abrasive exfoliant toner that balances
the skin and gives me an even surface to apply my serum to.

The Madara Clarifying Toner* is made up of a few natural ingredients such as Northern oak bark, Rose water and sweet flag which have been formulated to clarify, minimise pores and exfoliate the skin.
I was a little apprehensive about it having a naturally derived alcohol on my face but it hasn't been stripping at all and I have not had any stinging which is great.
In fact it is very gentle and soothing.

I have been using the toner for just over 4 weeks and think it a really nice toner for normal/ combination skin.
The main areas it has targeted for me is clarifying and pores.
 My blemishes were reduced and my overall skin looks clearer and a little more glowy.
Along with using my Alba Botanica products which I reviewed.  I have seen further improvement
to the small area of visible pores.
They are constantly tight and hydrated which helps to minimise their visibility.
They are definitely a great combination.

I experienced really good results on how my skin looked overall.
I still have the occasional blemish but I love the results.
Autumn onwards can be very harsh on the skin and some toners are very stripping,
 however the clarifying ingredients in this really help to balance the skin.
I have really enjoyed using this toner and can't wait to see further results.
I would definitely buy this in future, as it is so mild and nourishing.

*Lucyrose kindly sent me this product to review. However all views expressed are my own.
 Please see the  Ms. Wednesdays Girl disclaimer in full here.

Until next time..................

Stephanie aka Wednesdays Girl

Don't forget to come find me and    

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

AW15: Basic style staples

Autumn is one of my favourite times of the year.
The gorgeous hues and tones that are emerging from nature are beautiful to behold and so visually inspiring.

I love the variety of pieces that you can wear and how you can style them.
I am really into textured layering at the moment and this is the perfect season to do it and these pieces will definitely be my back drop/ mood board for the coming months.

As I mentioned in previous posts.
I am really into shopping my wardrobe, so these are some of my favourite bits to throw on and hit the road. Or possibly plough precariously through the fog!

Primark grey basic jersey long line cardigan (Boohoo alternative)
Primark black chunky cleated boots (Public Desire alternative)
ASOS maroon wide brim fedora (ASOS alternative & alternative)
Matalan grey faux fur gilet (Matalan alternative)
ASOS mixed metal boyfriend watch (alternative)
Oversized Tartan Scarf as seen in my Autumn style: Tartan and plaid scarves post (eBay)

Stephanie aka Wednesdays Girl

Don't forget to come find me and    

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

The discovery of blogs: Ms. Wednesdays Girl Liebster award nomination!

Hi Lovers,

  I've been been nominated for a Liebster award by the lovely Lauren Samone 
over at The Leaux Project
A massive shout out to her for nominating me.
 I always forget there are people everywhere reading my blog so go check her out.

“Here’s how the Liebster Award works: after you’re nominated, you create a post over on your blog about the award. 
1-  Thank your nominator (with a link back over to their blog).
2-  Answer the 10 questions they created for you.
3- Create 10 new questions and pose them to 10 new bloggers you want to nominate.
*I take this to mean a new blog to the reader instead of how long the blog has been running* 
4- The nominees should all be bloggers with less than 200 followers.” 
*I am assuming this can be any of their social media networks. 
I am being a little flexible with this part as I really enjoy the blogs I am nominating and think they deserve a little exposure.*

Laurens' questions:

The Cliche Question: Why did you start blogging?

I have always been a creative person and the idea of blogging seemed to be a outlet where my creativity was solely on my terms. 
There are so many but one that has kind of been incorporated into the blog is "Festina Lente". 

My friends always ask me for beauty advice, where I bought something, 
if I know where to find it cheaper or if I can make a D.I.Y beauty treatment. 
Along with their encouragement, I decided to put it in one place. 
If my friends wanted to know surely others would too.
 I also love trying stuff out and writing so hey a great creative space was born.

What’s 1 thing you’d like to achieve as a blogger in 2016?
I would love to grow as a blogger and be more consistent. 
I have been much better this year and want to continue. I am also working on my photography.

What was the motivation behind your blog name?
*Sigh* blogger names are sooo hard! I tried lots different name combos.
I am actually born on a Wednesday and Wednesdays aka hump day just 
seems to be a beacon of light for a lot of people. Its not all woeful on a Wednesday!

Who are you rocking out to?! Give me your top 3 favorite artists?
Gallant- weight in gold
Magic system- Premier Gauo
It’s time to go SHOPPING! If you could splurge on anything OR at any store what/where would you go!?
I am guessing the Internet is out? 
I think it would be in Aldo for a  pair of stunning ankle boots,
 that they don't have in my size and I would hit up Carnaby street.

What’s 1 thing you LOVE about your city? List more if you’d like!
Ahhh London, it has an incredibly intense energy. 
As with most places it isn't perfect but it is very multicultural, 
there is always something happening and you learn something new everyday. 
It's mostly grey and erratic weather is the norm but being a Londoner you just roll.

Soundtrack: What’s 1 song that describes your life?
This is so hard as I don't think one song could encapsulate my whole existence.
However songs that describe these moments are 
Naughty boy ft Emeli Sandé Wonder and Rudimental ft Will Heard I will for love

Salty or Sweet: Which do you prefer?
Both, I am experimental!
Hula hoops originals and Galaxy chocolate, thank me later!

Describe your personal Style
An eclectic mix. I love mixing and matching.
 My clothes reflect part of my personality and how I feel.
I love the 90's dresses and boots combo, mixing causal with dressier pieces, a bold lip is life, 
sourcing statement jewellery and being comfortable in my choice. 
I never box myself  in. I wear what I like.

Beauty secrets! I know you have 1. Spill it!

Experimentation is good but you don't need to bombard your face and body 
with every product on the market!
1- Listen to your skin. 
2- Try making some of your own products. 
like Coconut oil or Shea butter whip
3- Floral waters make great toners if your skin is having a odd phase.
4- Eyebrows are important. Shape them well but don't demolish them. 
You will need them in future trust me!!!

**Extra** Do you have a favorite quote or words of wisdom that you live by

It means make haste slowly and can be seen in my header logo. 

The angel wing on the left is actually a tattoo I have and designed myself.
 For me this means not rushing and having to do certain things again. 
When I do it, I do it how I want it and the right way/ time for me.
 For blogging this is important as I am not looking to see where other bloggers are.
Or trying to compete, just getting where I am going and doing 
what I am doing in the time and fashion meant for me.

The nominations are:
Christine - Yve's Child
Michelle Last big tree
Brooke- Brooke-Elise
Sherida Sherida daily
Andreia - Diary of a lover
Remi - Hands of style
Saoirse AKA Sterling- Xleptodactylous
Paola- Finding Paola

My questions:

  1. What is your secret talent?
  2. Name 3 skills you have learnt through blogging.
  3. How has blogging impacted your life?
  4. What was the first thing that made you laugh today?
  5. Shopping for homeware or shopping for your favourite foods?
  6. Favourite season to style?
  7. The Zombie apocalypse is in full swing and you've decided to blog, as a way to connect with other survivors and update the world (wi-fi has survived lol).
     What is in your on the move blogger kit?
  8. Name a perfume/spray that is the scent of your life or linked to a special memory.
  9. Name one hidden gem in your city/ area everyone should visit.
  10. Name a place that inspires you to blog.
 A big thank you once again to Lauren for nominating me. Check out her Liebster answers hereIt is always nice to be recognised by fellow bloggers who know how much effort goes into what we do and appreciate it as a creator and reader.

Stephanie aka Wednesdays Girl

Don't forget to come find me and