Engagement Party Buffet with Dot Com Gift Shop

Last Sunday I finally threw our engagement party after months and months of planning, I had picked a theme and ran with it, and luckily for me a certain favourite shop of mine made it much easier!
I've been buying things from DotComGiftShop.com for years so they were of course the first place I went to for party supplies, and we managed to get pretty much everything we needed in just one order.

We had decided to go with a lovely afternoon tea themed event, with a 30's vibe which I completely went overboard with in my excitement.
We chose the paper cups and napkins to look like vintage china in disposable form.
There are also paper plates with the same pattern but as I was making finger food I thought napkins would serve the purpose for such nibbles.

I bought some bunting too to decorate our venue, and add to the 30's picnic afternoon tea theme!
To match I found these LED heart lights from Primark, which I think matched the bunting and cake trays perfectly.
At £6 they actually worked pretty well, and we have kept them and the bunting to hang up inside our new home (but that shall be a story for later...!).

Rather stupidly (or impressively?!) I decided to make all of the food ourselves, completely from scratch. Of course as well as being from scratch they were also completely vegan too, tho I did warn everyone for nut allergies, just in case.
In the end I made three different batches of cupcakes, one of which was a double batch, and this was after I had managed to, in my tiredness, completely ruin my first double batch which ended up binned while I stressed having to start again!

I was a little worried that the cupcakes wouldn't be eaten, and I would be lugging home and living off them for the next week. In the end I didn't even eat any at all as they were grabbed up so fast, and were one of the many highlights of the day. I received many a compliment on my baking skills with the usual line of "....and I couldn't even tell they were vegan!"
Maybe one day I shall share my recipes...

It's not afternoon tea without cucumber sandwiches!
I roped in Edd and his Best Man, James to make the sandwiches, of course to my specifications while I got myself dressed and ready, and after making and icing all of those cupcakes during a heatwave I think I deserved a break from the kitchen.
Luckily these went down just as well, with my little sister helping by polishing off the last two or three while clearing up!

We of course supplied some drinks to go with the food, I didn't take any photo's of the cooler or ice bucket however, being not quite so photogenic as the rest of the spread!
I was excited to see a six pack of Sanpellegrino Blood Orange when we were doing our supermarket shop for the party, which got very out of hand ending up at nearly £200...!
I displayed these on the top as I love the look of the can just as much as I love the drink, but again they were grabbed up like gold dust, except for one glass which managed to tip over a whole pile of napkins.

Although no one actually bought their kids I wasn't sure if straws would be required, but after spotting these pastel polka dot straws, and their adorable matching set that came with floral windmills I just had to get them.
They were enjoyed just as much by the adults so they weren't a waste, and even if they only served as extra decoration they were worth their (rather cheap!) price tag.

So though there were no kids, the straws were used, mainly for alcoholic purposes!
We managed to nab a case of Prosecco for £30 so there was plenty of bubbly wine flowing, matched perfectly with our strawberries that were put out just for popping in the glass.
Tho I'm sure some were eaten during the set up, as the strawberry pile grew suspiciously smaller.

We had somewhat of a hiccup with our party supplies order, as I thought it would be easier to have it sent over to my mums house as the party was happening in Liverpool, but her postman delivered neither the parcel, or a red slip so they were returned to the store.
We eventually got them sent out to us, which meant I had a rather full suitcase of party supplies!
It looked so lovely, I'm so glad we found the items to help make our tea party look that bit more fancy and special, the napkins, cups, straws, and bunting set us back about £40 simply because we over ordered and actually had loads left in the end which we took home.
Maybe it's an excuse for another party?

I shall post more about our day too soon, as so much happened and it was a day full of fun, laughter, and mostly an awful lot of love!
Keep your eyes peeled for The Engagement Party...Part Two!

Mystery Food Parcels - Graze box and The Vegan Kind

We've all been trying beauty boxes for years, but what about food?
Since the advent of Graze has lead to millions of vouchers for a free trial box flooding the country (I must have got at least ten before I decided to try it out) and also finding a speciality Vegan food and products box I decided to give them both a go for two months and share with you a review of not one, not two, but five different boxes! Two by The Vegan Kind, and three from Graze.

Since I'm always snacking while I work, I figured the Graze boxes may come in handy for days that I'm typing away. You can edit and pick and choose what you would like to receive in your graze boxes, and have a handy vegan section so you can select dairy free options.
There's still plenty of choice on there, some more appealing than others, but of course they are meant to be heather snacks!
The Vegan Kind sends a variety of snacks, cooking products, drinks, and beauty products that are all specifically vegan, or vegan friendly.
They include more well known brands for the health conscious as well as new brands you wouldn't have heard of or tried before.

The first Grazebox I received I was kinda surprised there were more sweet snacks than savoury, figuring from their advertising that they would be more savoury heavy. 
I've not got much of a sweet tooth really, so I was a little disappointed.
The Habas Tapas was filled with flavoured roasted corn, and chilli beans which were very tasty, tho also very very crunchy, my chewing even managed to wake Edd from his lie in!

The Rocky Road is made up of dried fruits and dark chocolate buttons, while the Summer Berry Flapjack was quite buttery tho of course dairy free. 
These were a little too sweet for me tho.
I've never seen popping corn for one, it was a miniature microwave bag and didn't take very long in the microwave.
It was a nice midday treat, it wouldn't however replace your usual Lunch.

When my second box arrived it was once again rather sweet heavy, and very similar to the previous box.
You can see there is variety in their products, but they all run with a similar theme.
The mango chutney with dippers however was delicious, I would have preferred two of these in the box instead of one of the sweet options!
I'm not really too excited by flapjacks, they can be tasty tho but they're quite a chore to eat....so much chewing!!!

The Jaffa Cake was filled with dark chocolate buttons, hazelnuts, and orange infused raisins. 
I'd never had infused raisins before, and it was a nice snack even tho it did make me miss real jaffa cakes somewhat...mmmm jaffa.
I had never tried dried rhubarb either, and it definitely doesn't lose it's tang whilst drying.
Again it was enough to keep me going maybe another half hour or so, don't replace your whole lunch with these, tho it may be a handy thing to slip into your bag to snack on while working.

I was so relived when the third Graze box arrived and at last had an equal savoury to sweet ratio!
Again I loved the dippers which had more of an eastern flair this time around, just send me a box of these please...
The salt and vinegar nuts were so tasty too, I was kinda gutted when I ran out as I delved into my savouries first!

The sweet sections were again full of dried fruit you wouldn't usually try to dry such as pineapple, and another nuts, dried fruits and dark chocolate buttons wonder.
I would like an option to only be sent savoury things please...I can't face anymore dried fruits!
At £3.99 including shipping these are a handy little treat that fit through the letter box, and you can choose the regularity that they are delivered.
If you have a free voucher, give them a go and tell me how you found yours!

Every box has a personalised booklet with all the nutritional information of the snacks inside, and also loads of vouchers and codes to pass along for even more free graze boxes.

The Vegan Kind boxes are much bigger, as these are a monthly subscription box they are £10 a box but are filled with many more products and much more of a variety too.
I hadn't heard of or tried any of the products in this particular box, but it was such a good mix I was excited to give them all a go.

I can't even explain to you how exciting Cheese and Onion crisps that are vegan friendly are. I was sooooo happy this was in there as a company that I knew who also made vegan friendly cheese and onion had recently disappeared and so I had resigned myself to never experiencing the joys of this flavour again.
Seriously, if someone could make vegan friendly wotsits I would explode of joy.
The best thing about them? They tasted proper, exactly how they should taste which makes me wonder why other companies bother to use milk when it's obviously not required!
I wasn't so sure about these Inspira Chocolatey Superfood Bites, and I was right not to.
It was one of those taste discoveries that made me turn to Edd and say "Try these, they're horrible!" which didn't really sell it too well.
It was like eating dusty mothballs that were extremely chewy, but there's a chocolate chip in there maybe.
We didn't finish the bag.

Pesto is usually filled with parmesan, but many brands have come out with vegan friendly pesto, and it can now be easily picked up in most supermarkets. 
But I was intrigued by sundried tomato pesto, and whipped up a batch of tagliatelle to test this out.
It was delicious, Edd very much enjoyed it too having a second helping after scooping his down super fast! I shall try to pick this one up again.
When I was working out more I did look for a protein shake, so this pea protein mix was very exciting, then I tried to make it...
It didn't want to mix, so every time I tried to take a sip I'd end up with a powder bubble exploding in my mouth, I gave up and had to pour the rest away in the end.

Every box also comes with a beauty product, and this cute little bottle is a spray on toner.
It's made from rose water which is such a lovely scent, and you're supposed to spray generously onto your face before wiping with a cotton pad.
It didn't seem to remove any make up or dirt tho, but it did smell delicious and felt lovely on my skin.
I've decided to use this after cleansing and toning with other products before I put on my moisturiser.

The second instalment had me very happy, it was filled with again products I had never tried, but also some products I already knew I loved and to have them turn up at my door made me very very happy!

I love the Vita Coco drinks, coconut water is so good for you, and I always feel more bouncy and energy filled after drinking one.
I do prefer the ones with pineapple in too but I can't complain about getting one sent to my door!
The sachet is actually also a drink, it was a shot in a sachet of wheatgrass juice, that really hippy healthy thing people always go on about, so in the name of research I gave it a go.
Instant regret....why do people drink this? It was disgusting! 
I also felt really ill after drinking it for about half an hour while I questioned why in my head over and over again.
Will not be drinking again, and I've not felt any healthier...!

Cocobacon was very confusing, it's bacon flavour slapped onto dried bits of coconut and suggests eating it as a snack or on top of foods.
I tried a bit and it was the weirdest sensation, powdery bacon flavouring takes over your tastebuds in the most fake plastic way, before melting into coconut, not flavours that should mix!
Frank Honest Snacking was not good, sorry but it was just too strange!
It was like a compressed fruit bar that wasn't made of the freshest fruit with chocolate slapped on it, frankly it was a waste of chocolate....
Well they asked me to be honest by naming it what they did really!
This Vego Bar had me so happy with excitement, I really love these Vego bars, it's the only vegan chocolate that really tastes like chocolate. It's filled with loads of hazelnuts and it's huuuge!
I buy these usually from a specialist Vegan store in London, but they cost £4.50 a bar!
Due to this of course I will not sure.

I tried this once I could eventually get it open. Jars and wet shower hands do not mix.
It claims you only need a small amount and mix a tiny amount of water in your hands to make a paste.
The first time I thought I did it wrong, the second time I realised it was just useless.
The smell was also one to make the eyes water, and I said to myself in the shower "Well, for the sake of the blog." which was then followed by "ugh, no useless!" and I reverted back to my also vegan and so much lovelier Lush Shampoo Bars!

I will possibly try graze box again, but I may also give The Vegan Kind another go, if only for those giant Vego bars....
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Chiffon Scarf Tutorial!


Perfect cover up if you've followed this tutorial for my pin curls using heated curling tongs!
If there's any tutorials you would like to see just leave them in a comment below.
Also be sure to enter our huge giveaway, ending midnight this Tuesday!

Zoeva Rose Gold Make Up Brushes

I am not a gold typa gal, my earlier memories of seeing gold worn around Liverpool was sovereign rings and huge hoop earrings back in the early to mid 90's.
I was probably 15 or 16 when I asked my mum for a gold name necklace, after spotting Carrie's one on Sex and the City, and really there's only one letters difference there!
I still have that necklace although it is now a tangled mess I've tried and failed to untangle many many times.
As I've gotten older I'm still not a massive fan of Gold unless it's the daintiest of jewellery, or if it is made from the only gold that makes my eyes widen and gloss over with want.
It is of course the pink and girly of the gold world, rose gold, it just looks more elegant than yellow gold and much prettier.
So when I spotted a make up brush set with rose gold details, I just had to have it.

Zoeva are a german brand started up in 2008, created by women for women their first range consisted of only ten make up brushes, but now they have grown to such a wide range of brushes, you'll get every possible brush you could ever possibly need.
There is even four specifically made Vegan range of brushes, one of which is made with bamboo handles and cost a bargain €30!

The brushes came inside a matching make up bag too, which is very generously sized, it even has an extra zipped compartment inside. 
All of their sets, and there is a choice of fifteen different sets, come with make up bags, travel rolls, beauty belts, or even for the make up artist set with 25 brushes, and an amazing travel bag with three different compartments, I drooled slightly.

The brushes were very well protected and I was so excited getting them all out, I was so impatient to use them all tho, despite not even going anywhere as they were a little ray of sunshine for me on a day where I was actually pretty ill! 
This set was €58, plus €7.50 for shipping, and I had them bookmarked for a while before I caved and "accidentally" purchased them.
At the total price before shipping it averages that each brush was just over €7, so under £6 per brush and that isn't even including the make up bag in which they were stored.

They are so pretty, I can't wait to show these off on my future dressing table (there I go again, just you wait and see....it'll happen!) and sitting while doing my make up with these luxurious brushes is going to be such a lovely start to the day.
I can pretend I'm a movie star with brushes this pretty, can't I?

The quality of these brushes was immediately obvious, they were a splash out for me costing including the shipping £50, but I actually think they were totally worth it, and when compared to buying brushes individually from places such as MAC, or even high street beauty chains they were a bargain for high quality beautiful brushes.
This set came with mainly brushes for face, which was perfect for me as I've been naughty using my hands to apply foundations and concealers for years. 
As this set has the 'Silk Finish' brush for applying foundation, and a brush just for concealer I will change my habits, and hopefully it'll help my skin somewhat too as even the cleanest hands has some manner of bacteria on.

There is even a specific brush for contouring, alongside brushes for powder and blushers.
Three brushes were for eye make up, which I shall throw my hands up and admit, is something I've only recently started using. 
I bought myself the Urban Decay naked make up pallette in 3, which is a complimenting shade of rosy nudes and thanks to the amazing blendableness of it I can actually do a half decent eye!
Hopefully with these extra brushes I can do some amazing eye looks, and the eye liner brush looks so slick that I may even be able to do a half decent gel eyeliner look.

Luckily I even have the perfectly girliest stand to store them in, this heart shaped acrylic make up holder!
These brushes are just soft enough to be lovely to use, but not too soft that they don't leave an affect.
They feel amazing, and I'm sure my skin will be thanking me for them too.
Be sure to check out Zoeva, not only is their range of make up brushes and sets just amazing, but their make up range, and accessories including a huge amount of false eyelashes that are actually really cheap, I spotted a pair exactly like the ones I used to buy at £14.00 for the bargain price of €4.50!
I'll be ordering so much more, such at their ingenious travel mirror that I needed for the past 9 years and have only just seen! At €8.50 I think it's worth buying anyway.

I found with using them that I actually needed way less product than I usually do, I was a bit unsure when I saw the brushes didn't pick up a load of product, but once I swished it onto my face I was surprised that it was the perfect amount!
I ended up with a much more natural fresh faced look which I really loved, and Edd was complimenting me all day long. Totally worth the splash out!
Their website has options to read in German, English, or Italian, and as they have only been shipping worldwide since 2013, they are definitely going to become a staple for every girl in the next few years, it's worth investing in the best tools, especially if they make you feel and look fantastic, the fact they will look so pretty on my dressing table is just an added bonus!
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The Six Months of Blogging Goodie Box Giveaway!

So today marks the six month anniversary of this very blog!
I'm amazed how far it's come in such a short time, and it has been an exciting yet challenging road.
Thank you for taking the travel with me, and for those joining me along the way.
To celebrate I have been gathering together loads of bits and pieces from companies and products you may have seen featured on this blog in the past six months, and I've got quite a collection together!

There is a range of products for face, hair, body, and nails as well as some extra bits and pieces too!
You can see more about whats inside the box below!

There are these amazing necklaces from Chimeric Garnish, who has a wide range of amazing designs in his easy shop. These are some stunning necklaces and may convert you to picking up more...! 
It's a good thing they're such a bargain price too, read about them here.

A mish mash of amazing items, including this delicious smelling Mitchell and Peach Body cream, THAT eye make up brush (GOAT?!), a rare Illamasqua glistening body oil to really set off your tan, and an iPhone 4/ 4s case from my favourite phone covering company, Iconemesis!

Too impatient to tan? I may look awful with a tan, but that's just me..! This solait bronzing cream is especially designed for use on the face to give you a healthy glow.
There's also a few samples of various blogger favourites including a Whish body butter with lavender, The Pore Professional by Benefit, and an oil infused lotion from Garnier!

You know I love nail polish with a passion, and have some Ciate in there as they are my favourite polish company ever, and have a full sized Ferris Wheel which is one of my favourites, and three mini shades and glitters too!
There's also a models own holographic glitter polish for nails that will really stand out, and a limited edition Barry M polish too!

Yes, there's even snacks!! 
My personal favourite, Parma Violets, and some microwavable popcorn for one courtesy of Grazebox so you don't even have to share!

The total comes to about £150!
That isn't all, as while this giveaway is running from today until the 29th July I shall be adding even more prizes, so you will receive even more than shown here.
All you have to do is add your comment as to what you have enjoyed about this blog in the past six months to help us improve it and make the next six months even better!
You can even double or triple your chances to win by joining the Facebook page and following us on Twitter.
It is 100% randomly picked by the programme so good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Keep an eye on the Facebook and Twitter page for additions to the goodie box.
The winner will be contacted and announced on Wednesday the 30th July when this contest ends.
In the words of Ru Paul, Good Luck and Don't F*ck it up!
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*If any companies would like to take part it isn't too late, drop me an email to Harrie@styleyourselfvintage.com we would love to get you involved!*
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