I've been looking for a good beach bag for the last couple of weeks. The main objective was to find something that was easy to transport in my suitcaseRead More
Unfortunately, if you apply makeup with brushes keeping them clean is key. It's not only hygienic (you wouldn't want to know the amount of bacteria on a dirty makeup brush!!!) but makes them last longer too. If you have a lot of brushes the whole thing can be a bit of a pain but it just has to be done!
In an ideal world you would deep clean your brushes every few uses but let's be honest here, ain't nobody got time for that! I do this probably a couple of times a month & spot clean them with MAC Brush Cleanser on a little bit of kitchen towel if they get dirty in-between my big cleans.
For the deep clean, however, my weapon of choice is the Dr Bronner's Magic Soap (the one I have at the moment is rose scented). It's inexpensive, gentle, comes in a variety of gorgeous natural scents, and above all, cleans my brushes quickly and thoroughly. The process is easy... I put on some tunes and get to work. First, I wet the brushes with a little bit of lukewarm water, pour a few drops of the soap into the palm of my hand and swirl the wet brushes in it, making sure that they lather up (foundation brushes may take a couple of goes). I then rinse the brushes clean, wring them out gently with my fingers to remove excess water and place them on the edge of my counter on a clean towel. That's it!
After all this the palm of your had will be exfoliated really well but it's worth it! Your brushes will be like new!
P.S. Dr Bronner's can often be found in TK Maxx. Alternatively you can use any gentle 2-in-1 shampoo.
How do you like to clean your brushes?
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I am not usually one for decorating with sea shells but removed from an overall maritime theme the gilded shells look absolutely gorgeous! I use them as little salt and pepper dishes but they would also be fabulous as a bedside ring holder.
You will need:
- clean & dry oyster shells (any other large sea shells will be perfect as well) - gold paint / liquid gold leaf (go for food-safe paint if you are using these to store salt or pepper)
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There is nothing more enjoyable than a long hot bath when you're stressed or had a long day in the office! There is just something super relaxing about the entire ritual and it can only be made better by some beautifully scented bath salts. You can buy them but the home made ones are so much nicer and extremely easy to make! This DIY makes a fabulous inexpensive gift (amazing for when you need something cool in a hurry).
All you will need is:
1kg Epsom Salts 30-40 drops of lavender oil a handful of dried lavender flowers a jar
I usually keep these ingredients on hand so that I can whip up a batch of this if I need one. All you have to do is fill the jar about half way up with Epsom salts, put in your lavender oil and dried flowers and shake vigorously. Add the rest of the salts and shake again to combine. If your jar is very full you may need to give everything a mix with a spoon.
If lavender is not your thing you can substitute the essential oils for whatever you like - rose would be amazing! And if you are feeling creative try some scent combos such as lemon and rosemary or orange and thyme.
Voila! You've made some amazingly scented lavender bath salts! If you would like to learn about what else you can make with salts not only in the beauty department but also in the kitchen make sure to check out
JETTE VIRDI'S SALT WORKSHOP The Mart, Rathmines 10.30am | Saturday 15th August
It's a fantastic event where Jette will be guiding you through the methods of producing salt as well as helping you make different salt creations from scrubs to rubs. The tickets are €35 and you can buy them here. We can't wait & hope to see you there!
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I can't imagine a better hair accessories for summer than a gorgeous fresh flower crowns. They are prefect for festivals, summer weddings or birthday parties... and they're really easy and fun to make!
All you need is a bit of wire (you could substitute that with a bendy branch like an olive branch or some ruscus), floral tape, scissors and flowers of choice.
Wrap the wire into a circular shape and measure to your head to see if the crown will fit properly. Then wrap some pretty greenery around it to cover the wire, secure it with some floral tape. Cut the stems of your blooms to 2-3'' in length and then attach them to the crown with floral tape. That's how easy it is!
You can make the crown as big or small as you want, it all depends on what flowers you choose. It would look fantastic if you used big flowers like peonies!
I love playing with flowers and usually make floral crowns whenever I have some blooms left over from arrangements. Making floral crowns would make for an amazing bridal or baby shower activity if you are looking for something different to do!
Have you ever tried making a floral crown?
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Father's Day is so close now and you still haven't got an idea of what present to get for Dad this year..? We have the perfect idea for you! It is easy to do, customisable and shows you have put some thought and heart into the present.
I am a huge fan of hampers. Whether it is a birthday, hostess or a just-because gift it's something you can put together and capture some personality, make it really special. The possibilities are endless and you can go all out or keep it budget-friendly.
I went with some nice things I know my Dad will love:
- A gorgeous Spanish red wine. If your Dad's tipple of choice is something different you could go for a nice bottle of whiskey, cognac or gin...
- The new L'Occitane Cedrat Eau de Toilette and Shower Gel. I love the scent of this line, it is a wonderfully fresh, delicate citrus fragrance that is absolutely perfect for summer. It has quite a sophisticated edge to it and a slightly smokey, woody base which makes it an absolutely delicious scent.
- A selection of dark chocolates. Again, go for whatever you think your dad will like, anything that will feel like a treat: chocolates, gourmet biscuits or a selection of his favourite cheeses. A great place to shop for little delicacies are small deli's like Avoca, Fallon and Byrne or Sheridan's Cheesemongers.
- A summer shirt from H&M. A gorgeous tie, belt or jumper would also be amazing! Check out shops like H&M for more basic items or Ted Baker for the more quirky and colourful accessories.
- Wooden crate from IKEA and some twine. I love the raw and rustic gift packaging, it's not expensive and is quite practical (could be used as storage for dad's whiskey collection...) To make it look like a present use a bit of twine and you're done! If you can't get to IKEA, don't worry! Lot's of places do amazing wooden crates or wire baskets that will do perfectly (check out the home section of TK Maxx)
This is just one of the ways you could assemble the hamper, but really, anything goes: books, DVDs, gardening tools, fishing accessories, cigars - whatever your dad will enjoy most!
It's so easy to make and will show Dad you have put lots of thought and heart into the gift. Give it a try!
What are you giving your dad this year?
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Decorating with flowers is our favourite way to style a table for a special event or when hosting a dinner party. It is the easiest and most fun way to make a your space look gorgeous. I usually use very plain dinnerware, maybe some golden cutlery and then jazz everything up with flowers. Now that we are coming into summer the possibilities are endless and we thought we would show you how to make some super impressive centrepieces and beautiful boho bouquet using just three types of flowers.
We have used some of our faves: ranunculus, heirloom roses and purple limonium. You don't need much in way of accessories: for the centrepieces we have used some upcycled jam jars and glass bottles and all you need for the bouquet is some sharp garden scissors and copper or gold wire. We have also used some ribbon to cover up the stems - the heirloom roses have the most massive thorns!
We went for a romantic boho look and all we did for the centrepieces was to trim the flowers to the correct length of each jam jar and added in the flowers. We have filled out the jars with some garden herbs: basil, fennel and mint - they not only look pretty but also smell amazing at the table!
With the bouquet we have started by putting together the pink ranunculus and heirloom roses and then filled out with the limonium making sure not to make the bouquet too tight and round - we wanted it a bit wild and bohemian looking! Then we have tied it up with the wire, added ribbon and then cut the stems.
We have once again partnered up with the lovely Jette Virdi to show you how you can make your very own watercolour calligraphy invitations / cards for Mother's Day. This requires a bit of skill but once you've learned the basics the possibilities are endless!
You will need a few things from the craft shop for this project: some watercolours (Tiger do some great ones), thick textured paper, a calligraphy pen & ink. All of these things are really inexpensive and once you have them they will last you for ages. Calligraphy is also really therapeutic so definitely worth checking out!
Mix your watercolour paints with water and start working them into the paper. The paper will want to bend after soaking up the water so make sure you pin it down a bit with your hand to flatten it. I love the ombre effect that watercolours give you - if you want to lighten a spot, simply go over it with a clean brush and some water. When you're happy with the effect just let the paper dry.
This is the slightly more tricky bit. Calligraphy takes a little bit of practice but it's super fun and within an hour you will already see yourself getting better and better. Here is a fabulous series by Julie Blanner on How to Learn Calligraphy in 5 Days where you can learn all the details and tips but there really is only one major rule in calligraphy - on up-strokes you apply as little pressure as possible on down-strokes a bit more pressure to separate the nib of your pen and create a thicker line.
As with everything else - practice makes perfect. It is great fun though so definitely check it out. If you need any further incentive I will just say that there is golden metallic ink you can buy and it's beyond pitifuller!
If you are not the self-teaching type, make sure to check out Jette's Workshops on her website!
Have you ever tried calligraphy?
I do love a nicely set and decorated table, especially at Christmas! These festive place cards are really simple to make, take very little of your time during the busy Christmas season, are inexpensive and make the table look fabulous!
All you will need is some heavy paper, sprigs of rosemary and a pair of scissors. I printed the names onto the card but you could just as easily hand write them. Then pierce two holes in the top of each card and put through a short piece of rosemary - it will look like a miniature Christmas tree branch!
If you don't need place cards you can make a little individual wreath for each plate. For this simply shape the sprig of rosemary into a circle and tie on top with ribbon or string. It's super easy and makes plain plates look very festive with minimal effort!
How do you like to decorate your table at Christmas?
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There is nothing better in the world than being served a dessert that you can customize yourself. This ice cream bar / tray is just that and it is also really easy to make when you are entertaining as everything can be prepared well in advance. All you need is some good ice cream (our favourites are Häggen-Dazz and Ben & Jerry's) and you are ready to roll! The possibilities for the ice cream bar are endless but this time we went for an indulgent chocolate, nut & caramel option...
Chocolate Sauce This is super easy to make and tastes amazing! Just melt a bar of dark chocolate (or milk if you prefer), add a dash of cream and a squeeze of golden syrup to taste. Mix to combine and pour into a jar or serving bowl.
Chocolate Brownie It's always nice to have a cake option in an ice cream bar, cookies would be fantastic here as well, but we went for the good old indulgent brownie. This is especially good when you pour some of that chocolate sauce over it... but I digress. Here is a fail-safe recipe for delicious and moist chocolate brownies (these were baked in as cupcakes but just bake them in a tray for about 17 min).
Salted Caramel Sauce Salted caramel is my absolute favourite and I admit, I ate nearly the entire jar myself! Again, a very easy sauce to make! You can store it for a couple of weeks in your fridge one you have made a batch, but honestly, I dont think it will last this long!
Make sure you are careful here because this gets terribly hot when the sugar boils! You will need 1 cup double / heavy cream, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 6 tbsp water, 1 cup caster sugar, sea salt. Add the water and sugar to a pan and mix a little before putting the pan on the heat. Dissolve the sugar on medium - high heat and then boil until it turns a beautiful golden colour (about 10 min). In the time it takes the sugar to get to that stage mix your cream with the vanilla extract. Once your sugar is ready, take it of the heat and pour in the cream slowly while constantly whisking. The mixture will bubble up, but don't worry, it's supposed to be like this. Once all the cream is combined add about a teaspoon of good sea salt and mix until completely dissolved.
Mini Marshmallows This is the easiest option - just open a packet of your favourite mini marshmallows and empty into a pretty jar or container. Done!
Roasted Hazelnuts We went for hazelnuts but pecans, walnuts or even peanuts would be fantastic here as well. Chose whichever ones you like! You can either buy ready roasted and chopped nuts or just toast them quickly in a dry pan and give them a rough chop with a knife. Easy-peasy!
Chocolate Chips We used a mix of dark and milk choclate chips here. If you don't have chocolate chips knocking about your kitchen just chop up a bar of chocolate - it will taste just as delicious!
This is what we had for our Saturday dessert but the possibilities are endless - fruit, liquors like Baileys or Tia Maria or sprinkles would be amazing too! Now all you need is some good quality ice cream (go for whatever flavours you like) and a little bit of whipped cream. Enjoy!!!
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