Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Sleek i-Divine Ultra Mattes V1 Brights Palette | Swatches & Review

On a recent hunt for some new budget eye shadow palettes, I came across the Sleek i-Divine ranges and decided to give them a try. I chose two completey different colour palettes, one being the Sleek i-Divine Ultra mattes V1 Brights Palette. I also have a review of the second palette which is the Sleek i-Divine Oh So Special Palette here in this previous post

Included in this post are swatches, my review of the V1 Brights Palette as well as links of where you can get it cheaper than I got mine should you wish to try it yourself.
Sleek i-Divine Ultra Mattes V1 Brights Palette swatch review
Get It Cheaper Here | Sleek i-Divine Ultra mattes V1 Brights Palette
Sleek i-Divine Ultra Mattes V1 Brights Palette swatch review
Get It Cheaper Here | Sleek i-Divine Ultra mattes V1 Brights Palette

The Palette
The colours are a complete bright range at sight, with the eye shadows having a powdery matte consistency. This palette comes with twelve colours : chill, pout, sugarlite, dragon fly, pucker, bammi, cricket, bolt, strike, floss, crete and powi. It also comes with a black double ended sponge tip applicator.
Sleek i-Divine Ultra Mattes V1 Brights Palette swatch review
Get It Cheaper Here | Sleek i-Divine Ultra mattes V1 Brights Palette
Sleek i-Divine Ultra Mattes V1 Brights Palette swatch review
Get It Cheaper Here | Sleek i-Divine Ultra mattes V1 Brights Palette
The most pigmented shadow I found out of the 12, was bolt. However it does change colour as the day goes by, I guess due to oxidisation. Though the colours do look very bright, most of them I found were actually not too pigmented when applied. From my experience using this palette, a few layers were required in order to create bright enough look. Therefore if all you need is a light touch of colour, this might work well. Having said that, I do have a couple of favourite shadows from the palette.
Sleek i-Divine Ultra Mattes V1 Brights Palette swatch review

My favourites are, sugarlitedragon fly and bolt whiles my least favourite colours are: chillpoutpuckerbammi and strike. A lot, I know, but the choice was based on how long they lasted after application as well as the amount I needed to pack on for a good look. The colour cricket, I am ok with, and the last three colours, flosscrete and powi, I feel work well for highlighting. The reason for the three mentioned being my most favourite is that they do last a bit longer and apply easier, especially bolt.
Sleek i-Divine Ultra Mattes V1 Brights Palette swatch review
First row of shadows
Sleek i-Divine Ultra Mattes V1 Brights Palette swatch review
Second row of shadows

To conclude, this palette works as a beginner alternative or for anyone who doesn't really care to wear much makeup. Personally I feel the low pigmentations make some of the shadows particularly tricky to wear on their own, on a daily basis. However, when used to compliment more pigmented shadows, they work quite well. As with the Sleek i-Divine Oh So Special Palette in this previous post, this palette does have parabens, just as a note to anyone who is a paraben conscious buyer.

I would love to know in the comments below, if you have tried this palette and if it worked for you.

Yvonne Dzifa

Monday, 26 October 2015

H&M Sales Picks To Style | Autumn Casual Dinner Out

Browsing through the H&M sales section, I came across a few pieces with very good sale prices for their quality. In this post, I have picked three of H&M's 100% leather pieces on sale, styling them together with other pieces to create a relaxing casual early autumn dinner outfit! All of these picks are on sale online currently, links to each item are included should you wish to check them out! Just click on the descriptions below each picture.

Around this time of the year, the weather is not as chilled as it gets from December onwards. So my first piece is this beautiful leather biker jacket below. Premium quality, 100% leather and currently on sale with more than 50% price reduction! This jacket has zip, stud and quilted detailing and is definitely not a bad piece to add to the wardrobe. Aren't zips one of the most stylish details to have on clothes and accessories? However, the Forever 21 Faux Fur-Trim Hooded coat from this previous post about coats, would be a great alternative too. A scarf as well for a little bit more comfort. I chose the pleated scarf as it is not too heavy and is just the right material for extra warmth on your way. In addition is a delicate white lace sleeved blouse which you can get away with when a black vest is worn underneath for warmth. More details below.

H&M 100% Leather Biker Jacket
100% Leather Biker Jacket | H&M

H&M Pleated Scarf
Pleated Scarf | H&M

H&M Lace Sleeved Blouse
Lace Sleeved Blouse | H&M

H&M Black Jersey Top
Black Jersey Top | H&M
H&M Two-Strand Necklace
Two-Strand Necklace | H&M

H&M Stretch Trousers
Stretch Trousers | H&M
H&M 100% Leather Boots
100% Leather Boots | H&M

H&M 100% Leather Clutch
  100% Leather Clutch | H&M
More delicate is a gold necklace just for an accent. Never mind it being a gold colour, this two strand necklace is just the right one from the sales section. Black stretch trousers for days when legging just won't do, another definite staple for the wardrobe to go with all sorts of boots. Talking about boots, I found this beauty above! Also 100% leather, so very genuine and chic in style, yet a comfortable piece. Alternatively, take a pick from one of the buckled boots from this previous post about boots for an edgier style. A final accessory would be a simple clutch to hold just the essentials for a relaxing evening. This 100% leather croc effect clutch with an internal zip compartment is the final sale item for the occasion. Simplicity!

I hope you like my picks for a casual dinner out. Do let me know in the comments below, what your favourite piece is. If you do style any of them, don't forget to tweet me @yvonnedzifa on twitter or share an instagram photo also @yvonnedzifa.

Yvonne Dzifa
Images form respective  linked sites

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

How To Make Healthy Protein Balls | For Healthy Snacking And A Post Workout Treat

Healthy protein balls, filled with natural sugars and made at home! Very quick and easy too. This snack will definitely help when in the peckish mood. Especially after a workout or in the evening! Playing around with some ingredients, I came up with a recipe which you could also try. This protein filled sweet snack definitely makes a great substitute for eating too much of some of the ingredients used on their own. For instance, a healthy portion of almonds is a great source of protein, healthy fats and minerals. However, almonds can be very calorific when too much of it is eaten. Do give this recipe a try and let me know how you like it. 
healthy protein balls post workout snack
Healthy protein snack balls

healthy protein balls post workout snack
Healthy protein snack balls

This recipe makes about 14 medium balls.
  • 1 cup of slightly salted whole almonds or a cup of almond powder (you can also use plain almonds)
  • 1/2 a cup of flaxseed and goji berry mix (you can also use your own choice of a nutritious seed and berry mix)
  • 1/2 a cup of sultanas or raisins
  • 2 cups of seedless dates (you can chop these up to make them easier to blend)
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp of nutmeg powder

You will also need 
A blender
Some measuring cups and spoons 
A bowl to store your snacks in
healthy protein balls post workout snack utensils
healthy protein balls post workout snack almonds ingredient
healthy protein balls post workout snack flaxseed goji berry mix ingredients
Flaxseed and goji berry mix
healthy protein balls post workout snack sultanas ingredient
healthy protein balls post workout snack dates ingredient
healthy protein balls post workout snack nutmeg and salt
Nutmeg and salt

Anndd…let's go!
1. If you are using whole almonds, begin by blending your almond into a powder, together with the nutmeg and salt.
2. Once this is nicely blended, add in your dates and blend the mixture at intervals. The mixture might begin to stick together, therefore use a spoon to separate it in between blending in order to make blending easier.
3. Add in your raisins or sultanas. This makes the mixture extra sticky therefore you can again use the spoon to separate it and make blending easier. Thats your blending done!
healthy protein balls post workout snack blending

4. Finally add in your seed and berry mix powder and give everything a final mix with your spoon.
5. Transfer the mixture into a bowl.
healthy protein balls post workout snack mixture
Healthy protein snack balls mixture

6. Now using your clean hands, begin to take small amounts of the mixture and shape into balls. The texture of the dates and raisins/sultanas will make this easy to do as the mixture will happily stick together.
healthy protein balls post workout snack mixture
Healthy protein snack balls

healthy protein balls post workout snack mixture
Healthy protein snack balls

Et Voila! These tasted pretty good and as you can see, requires no cooking at all. My husband was a happy man having these for snacks and I, was a happy lady. I hope you can try it too and if you do, please let me know how it went @yvonnedzifa on twitter or instagram.
healthy protein balls post workout snack
Healthy protein snack balls

Yvonne Dzifa

Monday, 19 October 2015

6 Comfortable Affordable And Casual Coats for Autumn And Winter | Wish List

If you have been looking for some comfortable, friendly and cosy coats to buy for autumn and winter, I hope this list helps you. Today, I share some picks for comfort, affordability and a casual feel when it comes to coats for autumn and winter. Something to go with the boots from my autumn boots blog post here. These wish list picks are from popular and easily accessible shops, not withstanding good quality, they are affordable and easy to find.  I have also included direct links beneath each picture for where you can get your hands on them, as well as the prices. Just click on the links below the pictures for more details.

Starting off are a couple of casuals which can also be dressed up as smart with a change of accessories. 

First of is this beautiful piece from forever 21. With a faux fur trim, this coat also has a faux lamb skin effect to the look as well a silver zip detail. It does have a small percentage of wool in its composition as well as side pockets which always make me happy! Something I would pick for the wardrobe, dressing it down with a pair of converse and black jeans or dressing it up with some black boots, tights and skirts.
Forever 21 Faux Fur-Trim Hooded OvercoatForever 21 Faux Fur-Trim Hooded Overcoat

Next up is this clean mac from Marks & Spencer. Labelled "Buttonsafe and Crease resistance" as well as it being a mac trench coats style is just a win for me. Buttonsafe implies the use of a special heat fuse button which won't fall away whiles the self explanatory crease resistance bonus will hopefully keep the coat crisp for longer. Macs and trench coats are quite popular and a go-to comfortable coat for colder weather. They are flexible in that you can make them warmer or cooler with the use of layering. Definitely an umbrella required though, but this doesn't take away from its popularity. I always find that the belt adds a flattering touch to the waist. This one comes in quite a few colours too.
M&S Collection Buttonsafe Crease Resistant Tipped Belted Mac with Stormwear M&S Collection Buttonsafe Crease Resistant Tipped Belted Mac with Stormwear

On to the more casual coats, a definite go-to for me are Parkas! I cannot get away from them. Throw them on when in a hurry or dress them up and you are good to go!

This one from Ali Express is a lovely affordable option, hooded with a faux fur trim and a faux wool lining. I always love parkas for their pockets and buttons. This one has pretty sizeable pockets and zip detailing as well.
Ali Express Faux Fur Hooded Overcoat

Similar to the one above is this 100% cotton parka. A bit more expensive compared the one from Ali Express as this one is 100% cotton and closer to home, easily accessible. The added bonus for this parka from H&M is the detachable hood and detachable faux fur trim. Absolute wardrobe essential.
H&M Cotton ParkaH&M Cotton Parka

Finally on the parka front, is this hoodless piece from H&M, similar to the one above minus the hood. Available in 3 colours this is another beautiful parka for the wardrobe. I love the navy colour as opposed to the standard parka colour.
 H&M ParkaH&M Parka

Though not a full coat to protect you format the chills, I just had to throw into my picks, this gilet/waist coat from H&M. It makes a great transition piece as well as a great coat for the days when the weather has a temperature confusion. So soft and perfect!
H&M Faux Fur Waist CoatH&M Faux Fur Waist Coat

Which is your favourite and what style of coat is your go-to autumn/winter style? Please comment below and don't forget to share this post to others who love style!

Yvonne Dzifa
Pictures from respective sites linked

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

How To Make A Healthy Version Of Fast Food Egg Fried Rice | With Video Recipe

Today, I share with you how to make your own nutritious and tasty version of fast food egg fried rice. In the same time it can take to wait for an online fried rice order to arrive, you could give this a try. You can also find the recipe for the chicken I had with it Here.

This recipe is healthy because of the carefully selected alternative ingredients to those used in making the normal fried rice. A little goes a long way with these ingredients and you get satisfied for longer without loosing out on tastes and nostalgia. A win win! More recipes here.

Making the choice to eat less fast foods doesn't always come without its challenges. It is not always easy to know the ingredients which go into a fast food meal, whether it was made fresh on the day or simply microwaved from frozen or from the day before. I hope this helps along the way.

Home made healthy egg fried rice
Home made healthy egg fried rice

What you will need for this recipe are:
2 Cups of brown basmati rice (preferably not easy-cook brown rice)
2 Free range eggs
1 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp of sesame oil
A pinch of seasalt
1/2 to 1 tsp of black peppercorns/pepper
About 1 cup of chopped mixed peppers/bell peppers (I used frozen mixed peppers)
2 large carrots chopped into sticks (or any vegetables of your choice)
1/2 a tsp of garlic paste
1/2 a tsp of ginger paste
1 scotch bonnet pepper or fresh chilli chopped (scotch bonnet is optional as it is very hot)
1 tsp of cayenne pepper of red pepper flakes (optional)
1 onion
1/2 a stock cube (I used a maggie cube)
1 tbsp of water
A non stick pan or wok
A non stick frying pan

Home made healthy egg fried rice ingredients
Home made healthy egg fried rice ingredients
Home made healthy egg fried rice ingredients
Home made healthy egg fried rice ingredients

Lets cook!

Brown basmati rice takes a little longer to cook, therefore you can either precook it and allow to sit and cool down, or you can cook it first so as to give yourself time to get everything else going whiles its cooking. Brown basmati rice takes about 30 minutes to cook.

1. Wash your rice.

2. To cook a good fluffy brown basmati rice, add 3 cups of water to your 2 cups of rice. As this is a healthy fried rice, do not add any salt to your rice as the flavouring will come from the stir fried vegetables when added later. Cook the rice for about 30 minutes at the gas mark just before the highest gas mark. My highest gas mark was 6, therefore I cooked the rice at mark 5.

3. Whiles the rice cooks, chop up your vegetables if you haven't already. Also beat the 2 eggs.

4. Once your vegetables are chopped, transfers your 1 tablespoon of olive oil into your frying pan and allow it to heat up a little at medium temperature.

5. Tranfer your chopped onions into the oil, stir and allow to cook until it is soft and turning brown. This takes about 3-5 minutes.

6. Add in your chopped carrots and 1 tablespoon of water. Cover and allow to cook for about 3-5 minutes. The moisture allows the carrots to cook through.

7. Once cooked through, add in a pinch of salt, your black pepper and the mixed peppers. Cover and allow to cook for about 1-3 minutes.

8. Add in your spices, so the ginger, the garlic, bonnet pepper/fresh chilli and pepper powder and give that a good stir. Don't forget to skip the pepper powder or chilli if you don't want your fried rice to be too hot.

9. Add in your 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and your half stock cube. Give that a thorough stir and pour in the beaten eggs evenly like you would when making an omelette.

10. Cover up and allow to cook nicely. Once the egg starts to form an omelette, stir the mixture up and then leave to cook for a final 3-5 minutes under low heat.

11. With the stove back on medium heat, remove the vegetable stir fry from the hob and replace with the pan containing the cooked brown rice. Tranfer the stir fry mixture into your brown rice and begin to stir. Cover and allow to cook, and then repeat the stirring process two more times, making sure to cover at intervals in order to allow the fried rice to cook through.

12. Leave the fried rice to cook for a further 2-3 minutes under low heat and your meal is ready.

Et Voila! I had mine with a piece of healthy grilled chicken and I did not miss a fast food fried rice. Below, you will also find the video version of this recipe for a more thorough instruction. Don't forget to share the recipe if you liked it, and if you do try it, please do let me know how it went by sharing your pictures and feedback with me on Facebook or @yvonnedzifa on twitter or instagram. The links are underneath my profile picture above.

Bon Appetit!
Home made healthy egg fried rice
Home made healthy egg fried rice

Yvonne Dzifa

Monday, 12 October 2015

Wish List | Dreaming About Autumn Boots

Wish listing once again! Who doesn't like a bit of wishing! Especially when the things being wished for are cozy and comfy! As I mention before in my Autumn Post, give me some boots and I am one happy lady. In this wish list, I share my autumn boots wish list. Boots that I am loving at the moment and wouldn't mind having in my wardrobe. I love brown boots for autumn because I feel they just fit in so well with the season especially with the amount of "walking in leaves" that is done. Scouting the internet, I found a few brown and black different styles of boots which I would mind owning at all.

Autumn Brown Ankle Boots

Autumn Brown knee Boots 

Ankle boots are always a go to because they are so easy to slip into and go well with tights and leggings. Yes please! I don't know about you but I am normally crazy about Buckles too, as I mention here. They are just such an edgy aesthetic with the option to style around it, mellow it down or turn it up a notch. I just love buckles! Buttons, bows and laces also.

Autumn Brown Ankle BootsAutumn Brown Ankle BootsAutumn Brown Ankle BootsAutumn Brown Ankle Boots
Autumn black Ankle Boots
Autumn black Ankle BootsAutumn black Ankle Boots

 Riding boots are great because they are just so strong in quality, notwithstanding, a lovely comfort. However, your standard calf boots are always a sure way to go when in doubt.

Autumn Brown calf BootsAutumn Brown black knee calf Boots

Autumn Brown calf BootsAutumn Brown calf Boots

What is your favourite autumn go to item of clothing?

Yvonne Dzifa
Images from google.
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