Kissy Lips

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Kissy Lips

Do you know that feeling when your lips turn to sandpaper? If not, you are a lucky and I am jealous! I struggle with dry lips all the time, partly it's probably genetic but the fact that I am terrible at drinking water and therefore constantly dehydrated (which is bad on so many levels). I'm working on it but in the meantime I have developed a few shortcuts that turn my make my lips super soft. 

Believe me, there is nothing worse than applying lipstick onto dry lips! Valentine's Day or not, your lips should always be kiss-ready, you never know what might happen...!

The Last Minute DIY Method

Kissy Lips

This is a way of exfoliating your lips without having to invest in lip scrubs and can be done practically on the go (I have done this in a taxi before!) with stuff you most likely already have at home. All you need is your favourite lip balm and a couple of cotton buds. My lip balm of choice is currently the Kiehl's Lip Balm #1 but really, anything will do! Apply a generous layer to your lips, a good bit more than you would normally use, and then go to town with a cotton bud! You need to basically rub away any dry skin. Do this for a couple of minutes, the lip balm will have sunken in and your lips should be super smooth. The added bonus of this method is that all the rubbing improves circulation and makes your lips really plump

The Sugar Scrub Method

Kissy Lips

A lip scrub is something you can either buy or make yourself at home (here's a really handy recipe with a few flavour options) or buy one. Fresh do some absolutely fabulous ones but they are a bit difficult to get your hands on here in Ireland. I usually go for one from Lush (most of the time I go for Mint Julips but this one has adorable pink hearts in it), it's great, does the job and is edible so technically could be used on the go, might just get a bit messy. I prefer using it at home over the sink to be honest. This method will definitely give you a deeper exfoliation than the cotton bud option. All you need to do is rub the scrub of your choice all over your lips and then take it off with a wash cloth (or indeed just lick it off if you want to!)

There you have it: two easy and ways to get your lips looking irresistible! Mwah!

What's your favourite remedy for dry and chapped lips?

Alex Signature

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Easy Spicy Nibbles

Easy Spicy Nibbles

You may have already seen our Spicy Valentines Wings & Whiskey Feast and here are two more recipes for you! They are both super easy but very impressive and tasty so whether you are cooking for your girlfriend / boyfriend or just some pals you will be scoring some massive brownie points!

Spicy Nuts

One of my favourite things to snack on ever since Jette Virdi made these for us! They are sweet and spicy and have all these amazing nutty flavours, very addictive. The best thing, they are super simple to make - the only thing you need to watch out for is the caramel, it is VERY hot so do not be tempted to stick your finger into the pan to taste!

250g sugar approx. 500g mixed nuts (pecans, almonds, walnuts, pine nuts... anything you like!) 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes 1 teaspoon chili flakes (adjust the spice to your taste)

Easy Spicy Nibbles

Easy Spicy Nibbles

Prepare a baking try and line it with baking parchment. Heat your sugar gently until it melts and then wait until it becomes all golden and starts smelling really delicious (about 5 min). Now you need to work fast. Add the nuts to the caramel, sprinkle over the salt & chili flakes and stir well so that the nuts are well coated.  Try to be quick here, the nuts will decrease the temperature of the sugar and it will start setting. Once you're happy with the mixture tip the contents of the pan out onto your baking tray and spread out the nuts. Now all you need to do is wait for the caramel to cool & set and then break it up into bite-sized pieces.

The nuts make a fantastic gift, just put some in a cute bag or box.

Spicy Chocolate Bark

Next up is a beautiful spicy chocolate bark. This is literally a foolproof recipe but the effect is very beautiful, so brilliant if you are not great in the kitchen but want to impress!

100g best quality dark chocolate approx. 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes approx. 1 teaspoon chili flakes

Easy Spicy Nibbles

Easy Spicy Nibbles

Start by laying some baking parchment on a baking tray and melting your chocolate over a water bath (which is essentially a saucepan with a little bit of boiling water and a heatproof bowl sitting on top). As soon as the chocolate pieces start to melt switch of the heat and wait until the chocolate melts completely. This way you don't risk burning the chocolate!

When your chocolate is all melted and silky pour it out onto your baking tray and smooth over with a spoon. Sprinkle over the salt and chili flakes. Now all there is to do is wait until the chocolate sets. Once your bark has hardened you can break it up into bite-sized shards with your fingers and dig in!

Easy Spicy Nibbles

So whether it's Valentines Day, an evening with friends or you need bring some nibbles to the office here are two amazing options. If you haven't seen it check out Jette's recipe for spicy chicken wings and an amazing Teeling Whiskey cocktail here.

Make sure you enter our giveaway! You can win a bottle of Teelings Small Bathch Whiskey & some of the spicy goodies made by Jette.

Enjoy!

A & B. xx

Whiskey & Wings: A Love Story

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Whiskey & Wings: A Love Story

Every now and then we get the opportunity to work with some truly creative geniuses and this weekend was one of those occasions. Jette Virdi is the definition of a creative free spirit. Not only a talented Ballymaloe trained chef, international food stylist and freelance creative director, but also founder of ‘The Creatives’ - hosts of the increasingly popular Long Table Supper Evenings and creative workshops. Be sure to follow Jette on instagram @jettevirdi  for some serious food ogling!

I’d be lying if I said we love Valentine’s Day, it’s a bit of a forced Hallmark holiday in our book and there’s nothing quite as unromantic as scheduled romance (at this point I’d like to just add that we're open to receiving flowers at any time throughout the year, peonies are preference with white roses a close second!) What we do love most, though, is food, as do the men in our lives.

So without so much as a nod in the direction of pink fluffy hearts we decided that this one will be for the boys, and what love is greater than that of a man with Whiskey and Wings. Armed with a bottle of the finest Teeling Whiskey, some seriously hot spices and the culinary expertise of Jette, we pulled together what in our book constitutes the perfect Valentines. Obviously Jette has the gastronomic skillset to rival that of Nigella, but even if cooking isn’t really your strong point we pretty much guarantee you can master these goodies without breaking a sweat.

Teeling Whiskey Cocktail

Blood Orange & Teeling Cocktail

This cocktail is a celebration of the beautiful Teeling Small Batch Whiskey. We didn't want to overpower it and thought that the citrus will go well with its sweet and spicy flavour. The Teeling Small Batch is aged in rum caskets and is a particularly good one to drink if you are not used to whiskey. The rum caskets give the it a unique smooth, sweet finish that even us, not frequent whiskey drinkers, enjoy a lot!

The cocktail is simple to make and looks very impressive. All you need is the juice of a few blood oranges, an ice cube tray and your Teeling Whiskey. We made our ice cubes in giant sphere molds (you can buy those online) but you can also just use an ordinary ice cube tray. Pour your whiskey in a glass and gently drop an ice cube into each glass. Done!

If you are an inexperienced whiskey drinker (like we are) here's a great tip from Jette: Breathe out after you've swallowed the cocktail - you will be able to actually taste all those delicious flavours of the whiskey and blood oranges without that burning sensation we associate with drinking spirits.

Fiery Hot Wings

Fiery Chicken Wings

Fiery Chicken Wings

Fiery Chicken Wings

This recipe is as easy as the one above! You only need a few ingredients that are then thrown together and baked in the oven. We have included measurements but the great thing about this recipe is that it will also work perfectly well if you just eyeball it. Easy peasy!

1kg free range chicken wings 150 ml Frank's hot sauce 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes

Preheat your oven to 180C. Mix together the spices and hot sauce, make sure you adjust the level of spice to your taste. We like our wings super hot but if you don't, pull back on the cayenne and chili flakes. Put the chicken wings into your spice mix and rub it in. Hands are best for this but if you're squeamish when it comes to raw chicken a spoon will do, just make sure all of the chicken is coated. You can leave the chicken in the marinade for a couple of hours, overnight or bake them straight away. They will need about 25 - 30 min in the oven, depending on the size of your wings. Serve straight out of the oven!

Whether you are spending V-Day on your own, with girlfriends / guyfriends or your one true love, this feast is the perfect accompaniment to a cosy movie night in. The Teeling Small Batch would make an awesome Valentines gift, especially if served up to your one and only complete with a giant spherical blood orange ice cube!

Thank you so much to Teeling for providing their excellent whiskey for us to use & officially turning us into whiskey drinkers! Keep an eye out for our fantastic Teeling Whiskey giveaway along with some more spicy recipes on the blog later on this week. And just because it’s Valentines and we love you, here's a sneak peak of what you can win….

Whiskey & Wings: A Love Story

What are you planning for Valentines?

A & B. xx