White Christmas Cocktail Recipe Ft Martin Miller's Gin (*)

Since starting my gin collection I've been wanting to experiment a little more with gin based cocktails. A good old G&T is at the top of my list along with a classic Bramble but there's something fun about taking the the taste of the botanicals from the gin and experimenting with other spirits and liqueurs.

The latest gin added to my collection is the rather popular Martin Miller's Gin. Now, I'll admit I'm always hesitant of 'popular' gins. From my experience a couple of them are a little too smooth and less flavoursome. I prefer more well balanced, full flavour gins that have that after kick of bouquet, citrus or spice. Don't get me wrong I'll never turn down a mystery G&T but I do have my favourites!

Martin Miller's Gin contains 9 botanicals, however breaking from tradition the gin is created through 2 separate distillations. As well as the base of juniper the first distillation includes the more earthy notes such as; coriander seed, angelica root, liquorice root, cassia bark, Florentine iris and a small portion of lime peel. The second distillation has bitter orange peel, lemon peel and lime peel which are all finally married together to create a fresh, clarity of flavour.

As well as their more modern take on creating the gin they also go to extreme lengths to give the botanicals the purest and and softest canvas for the flavours to really dominate. That length is all the way to Iceland for the freshest earth water that almost gives a sweetness to the gin, making is the freshness and clarity of flavour perfect for my cocktail!

I wanted to create something festive, a dessert like cocktail that reminded me of an indulgent Christmas day with a twist. So if you love tipples such as a Tiramisu cocktail, Baileys Martini, Irish cream coffee, a Grasshopper cocktail or something along the lines of an alcoholic milkshake... you'll love this.

White Christmas Cocktail Recipe: 

50ml - Mozart White Liqueur
25ml - Martin Miller
3 - cubes of Ice
1 - pinch of cinnamon or grated chocolate

  • Add the ice, liqueur and gin to a cocktail shaker. 
  • Shake until the the outside of the shaker is misty and the ice has less movement (due to the froth created)
  • Using a cocktail strainer pour into a tall prosecco glass and garnish with cinnamon 
The great thing about this cocktail is that it works with so many garnishes. You could add mint or orange or coffee, anything that goes with white chocolate works. The gin has such a clear and unique flavour that it manages to pull through the liqueur giving it a fresher, more balanced taste.

It feels like you're drinking an indulgent dessert but the great thing about Mozart is that it's 60% less fat than other liqueurs so we're on to a winner!

Beki Xo

(*) Disclaimer: I was gifted Martin Miller Gin as part of this blog post however the recipe and opinions are my own

The £150 Caviar Face Mask For £6.99

Yeah I know, I can't believe it either...

You'd be wrong to pass the makeup and skincare in Aldi and remark them as being just another cheaply made Aldi beauty brand who are trying to flog their old stock in the supermarket chain. But since the German skincare brand is quality tested alongside brands such as Olay and L'oreal from my experience of the Lacura brand, they're very much something to shout about.

As usual I ventured into my local for the usual small food shop and came out with something I didn't really need but I'm now very happy I picked up on a whim!

It was the words 'Caviar Illumination' which first drew my eye to the new 'luxury skincare' range, followed by an interesting ingredient labelled on the side of the box... snow algae.
Also referred to as 'watermelon snow', it's a species of fresh water green algae that grows on coastal polar regions around the world. Apparently the substance contains properties that when applied to living cells (your skin) helps to repair DNA and improve moisturiser to restore skin's elasticity.

The packaging itself looks pretty expensive with the cream being contained in a weighty glass jar accompanied by a small face brush. It's one of many similarities to the La Prairie Cellular 3 Minute Peel Mask which comes with a hefty price of £149.99.

The product itself is a gel like cream that when applied to skin (using the brush) glides on freely leaving a sheer film. As the product contains saliclyic acid it's strongly advised to avoid the eye and lip area whilst you wait 3 minutes for the cream to do it's thing. The mask is non drying and there for extremely comfortable to wear and remove. After removing the product on my first try to skin felt incredibly smooth, soft and plump, more so than the results i get from many of my nourishing face masks. I also noticed that 5 minutes after I removed the product that it had calmed my breakouts, reduced the redness in my skin and minimised my pores.

So what are the similarities between the £149.99 La Prairie Mask and the Lacura Caviar Mask?

The packaging
The 50ml amount
The application brush

The light texture of the face mask
The length of time in which you leave it on
They both contain acids to exfoliate 
The both contain caviar extract
They're both aimed to firm, tone, smooth, exfoliate and hydrate. 

Of course I'm unable to compare the products directly as there's no way I'm paying £150 for a 3 minute face mask but i'm super impressed with the Lacura Caviar Face Mask and would highly recommend it! 

Beki Xo
(*) I was not sponsored or gifted the product featured in this post. All opinions provided are my own

If you're as obsessed with Autumn as I am then you'll of been collecting those pretty munchkin pumpkins all month and now Halloween is over and Autumn is turning into Winter, they just don't quite look right nestled on the table.

I'm not one to waste anything and although the usual pumpkin soup and pumpkin stew are as delicious as they sound, I fancied baking something sweet and healthy... it's been a while after all.

Okay, okay. I may of bent the truth a little. Only 2 out of 3 of these recipes are 'healthy' versions but we're allowed a sweet treat once in a while right? The baked pumpkin cream cheese cupcakes are incredibly delicious but if you''re after a healthy version you can use the cupcake recipe in my 'Healthy Pumpkin Spiced Latte Cupcakes' >here< and just follow cream cheese recipe swapping the sugar for sweetener. 

It's super simple to make 'pumpkin puree' and there's no need to try and hunt down a can itself, as we all know it's like gold dust in the UK. Simply stab a number of holes in the top of the pumpkin and pop it in the oven for 40-60 minutes (depending on it's size). Once it's cooked, peel the skin and spoon out the insides removing any seeds. Taa-dar!

So which recipe is first?

Chewy Chocolate Pumpkin Brownies

You will need:

1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup soy or dark choc chips
3 large eggs
1/2 cup maple syrup or honey 
1/2 cup coconut flour

How to:
  1. Put the oven onto 180 degrees and grease proof a deep oven dish
  2. Add the dry ingredients into a bowl (cocoa powder, baking powder, coconut flour and coconut sugar) and mix until evenly combined.
  3. In a separate bowl add the rest of the ingredients and whisk 
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients bowl, whisking as you pour
  5. Pour the brownie mix into the grease proof  oven dish and pop it onto the middle shelf for approx 40 minutes
  6. Let the mixture cool before cutting into squares and serving. 
  7. To make them look a little prettier you can dust a touch of icing sugar over the tops

Next recipe?

Chunky Pumpkin Spiced Loaf

You will need: 

1 cup of pumpkin puree
1 3/4 cups of wholemeal flour
1/2 cup maple syrup or honey
2 medium eggs
1/3 cup coconut oil 
1/4 cup of milk 
1.5 tsp pumpkin spice
1 pinch of cinnamon (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda or 2 to make is 'fluffier'

How to: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and grease proof a loaf tin.
  2. Pop the coconut oil in the microwave for 30 seconds or near a warm heat source so it melts
  3. Take the coconut oil and add the eggs, vanilla extract, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, maple syrup and pumpkin puree. Whisk until evenly combined. 
  4. Then slowly add in the wholemeal flour, whisking as you pour until the mixture is even and 'gloopy'.
  5. Last of all add the bicarbonate of soda and fold into the mixture before pouring it into the loaf tin.
  6. Pop it into the oven for approx 40 minutes (test with a cocktail stick, if it comes out clean the loaf is ready).
  7. Leave to rest on a cooling tray before roughly adding some icing sugar to decorate and serve

And last but not least...

Baked Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cupcakes 

For the cupcakes you will need: 

1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 3/4 cups plain flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup rapeseed oil 
1 tsp baking soda 
2 large eggs 

How to:
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and greaseproof a muffin or cupcake tray. This mixture will do 12 cupcakes. 
  2. Whisk together the granulated sugar, brown sugar and pumpkin puree and mix until even. 
  3. Add in the rapeseed oil, vanilla extract, eggs and baking soda and whisk until the mixture is even.
  4. Next fold in the plain flour and continue to fold until ingredients are combined well 
  5. Pour approx 2 tbsp of cupcake mixture into each tray and leave to the side whilst you prepare the cream cheese 

For the cream cheese you will need: 

225g of plain cream cheese
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk
1-2 tsp vanilla extract (depending on how sweet you like it)

  1. Add all the ingredients together in one bowl
  2. Take 1 tbsp of cream cheese and add it onto of each cupcake 
  3. Once each cupcake has it's own tablespoon of cream cheese, take a tooth pick or chop stick and swirl the cream cheese into the cupcake mixture
  4. Pop the cupcakes onto the middle shelf of the oven for approx 20-25 minutes 

Beki Xo
The Bold Red Backpack

Those that know me well will know that I have a large collection of bags, they're like my weakness when it comes to retail therapy along with scarves and boots (in the winter).  

It's that one style item that can practically change a whole 'vibe' of an outfit but it's also (I can't believe I'm saying this but...) about practicality. If I know I'm heading out of town on a day trip I'll more than likely use a backpack where my hands are free and I can throw as much of the 'kitchen sink' in it as possible and be comfortable. Where as if I just nipping into town to run some errands then I might swap it out for a small chain shoulder bag. *insert monkey covering eyes emoji*

But as we all know, you can literally pick up every style, colour and size bag that you lust over in the higher end stores with a four digit price tag for under £25 on the high street... hurrah for dupes! 

I'll cut to the chase. This little Zara beaut was gifted to me for my birthday and although it isn't something I'd typically pick up (as I'm not one for 'colour') I absolutely love it! Because I don't wear anything other than black, white, grey and khaki it adds a pop of vibrancy and something a little bolder to my outfits. It has a sophisticated appearance with it's structured material and silver hardware. It's small-medium size makes it the perfect everyday back pack to add a touch bold style to a simple outfit.  

Beki Xo

Autumn - The season that forces you to dramatically swap your t-shirts for jumpers and your sandals for boots but that's fine because I love it. Along with swapping your ice latte's for hot chocolate and your bare legs for some cosy 100 denier tights, us seasonal makeup junkies have already pulled out our autumn lipsticks and are eyeing up some new shades.

But for me although I love a deep autumnal lip, it can be tricky to find the perfect tone and sometimes those berry shades just don't suit everyone and then there's the maintenance factor, so here's my 5 Alternative Lipsticks For Autumn...

Lord & Berry Crayon Lip Crayon - Dangerous Red
This shade is more of a vibrant red with pink undertones. Lord & Berry have their lip products spot on as the pencil makes it really easy to apply without a lip liner, they're incredibly silky and the wear is long lasting as the product evenly wears off throughout the day leaving a nice tinted lip. 

The Body Shop Colour Crush Shine - 06 Truly Madly Deeply
As an alternative everyday lip shade, everyone knows that a nude tone is key. But this lipstick from The Body Shop has a more festive twist with finely milled pigments that give a shimmering silver 'wet look' shine. The formula is cream based and so along side that fresh shade you get a comfortable wear. 

Rimmel Kate Moss Matte Lipstick - 107 Wine
Although this is one of the more autumnal shade, the colour is a little lighter and more reddy toned than the typical purple toned berry lip. It's also a matte shade so can be used as a build-able lip colour, whether you're wanting a tint or a full shade. I usually stray from matte lipsticks as there's always talk about them being too drying, they tend to 'crumble' and they're incredibly tight and uncomfortable to wear however I've found that Rimmel have been the most comfortable and more moisturising matte lipsticks to wear than most brands.

The Body Shop Colour Crush - 105 Coral Cutie
The shade suggests it's more of a 'coral' tone which for me is a peachy/pink shade however I'd definitely say this is more of a bright milky-orange coral. At first I was really unsure about a 'orange' toned lipstick however I actually love it! Again similar to The Body Shop's shine range the colour is incredibly comfortable to wear with it's cream based formula and rich pigment. 

Bourjois Rouge Edition Lipstick - 15 Rouge Podium
I've had this lipstick for a while and it;'s been my go to red lip for a night out. It's more of a bright toned red with a slight orange undertone. The formula is enriched with 1/4 pure lacquer giving that glide on, radiant glossy finish. I wouldn't say it's as long wearing as some lipsticks however because of it's nourishing formula it's easy to build without it becoming patchy or 'cakey'. 

Beki Xo

If you follow me on social media you'll know that less than 3 months ago I finally moved into a house! It's feels incredible to actually own MY home and get busy making it exactly how I've always wanted. In the run up to buying the house I'd fell deep, deep into Pinterest (which I still do every so often) and there for had all my home decor inspiration ready and waiting to be put to creative use. You'll find my board >here<

It's only been 2.5 months and (as always) we've done a hell of a lot of work, which probably had something to do with going heavy on the home front in the first few weeks with a massive help from my Dad. Before we moved in it was basically a shell with just the necessities. And although living with no flooring, on a make shift couch and with cardboard boxes littering the room was kind of fun for the first few weeks... it was stressful and not that comfy or 'homely'. 

But now we're getting there. There's still a handful of things to do on the ground floor but it's pretty much there with the spare room being next and then the bedroom! 

So all though I don't feel comfortable posting dozens of full photos of my home on the internet, I thought I'd share with you guys just a few sneak peeks of our Scandinavian-esque style. 

Beki Xo

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