Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017

Well, 2016 is almost complete and what a year it has been! It only feels like yesterday that I was sitting down at the end of 2015, writing my goals and resolutions for this year. 2016 has gone unbelievably fast, and despite having so many lows, I am so proud to say that I have achieved almost all of the goals I set myself. Like I said last year, setting goals is so important. I find that this motivates me and gives me a chance to reflect on the year gone by.

Merry Christmas & Christmas Home Touches

Hi everyone! I want to start this post by wishing all my gorgeous readers a very merry Christmas!! I hope you all have a wonderful day and spend it with the ones you love the most!

I haven't been able to post half as much as I have wanted to this month, due to work commitments, which is so annoying! I have taken so many photos and typed up so many posts, but have not been 100% happy with them. I am such a perfectionist, so when I hit publish I want to be sure everything is perfect! But nevertheless I really hope you have all enjoyed the posts I have managed to get up!!

Today I thought I would share with you a few little snaps of some of the Christmas decorations in my home this year. Nothing gets you in the festive mood more than a few little christmas decorations, so as you can imagine, our house is filled with them!

Once again, I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year, although I will be back before then!

Darriyan xx

Beauty Advent Calendar | Benefit

Beauty advent calendars are something that I have always loved the idea of. Opening a beauty product everyday is so exciting, especially a brand like Benefit. I had seen this calendar featured on a lot of blogs in November, so I couldn't wait to get my hands on it as soon as payday came along!

This calendar came with 12 products, which all have a total value of £64, which is really good considering the RRP is currently £34.  However, what I wasn't aware of, was that the products could be classed as sample sized. They are absolutely tiny! And if I am being honest, if i knew this, I probably wouldn't have bought it. But, I guess in a way, this is good for people who have never tried Benefit products and want to see which products suit them best without splashing out on the full sized versions. 

BADgal Lash Mascara: I am so glad this calendar came with two mascaras, because these are the two I have always wanted to try. However, with that being said, the sizes were so small it made them really hard to use. It was practically impossible to use it without getting it all over my eyeshadow, which is the most annoying thing everrrr!! Despite this, I am still not a big fan of this mascara. The brush is very big and leaves my lashes looking extremely clumpy and short. 

They're real! Lengthening Mascara: This is definitely my favourite out of the two mascaras. Although still hard to use due to the small wand, it creates length and volume whilst still looking natural!

They're real! Eye Makeup Remover: I can't say I have ever used a makeup remover that has been easier to use than this one... It removes harsh eye makes so easily without pulling at your eyelashes! All you need are cotton pads! Squirt a little bit on, rub over the eyes and voila! Your makeup is gone!

Benetint Cheek and Lip Stain Trio: I honestly don't think I have everrrrr came across three products that are so pointless. When I opened these and saw what they were i was unbelievably disappointed. They, in my opinion, don't work all that well. Either that or I can't apply them properly. They just leave me with bright red blotches on my cheeks which i can tell you, is not an attractive look!! And the colours aren't that flattering either!

Hoola Bronzer, Dandelion Powder & High Beam Highlighter: My personal three favourites from the calendar. The hoola bronzer looks lovely once applied. It gives a very natural matte look, but again the size is so small it is very hard to use properly. The Dandelion powder is another product I love. It can be used as a blush, but also as a brightening powder which is what I use it for. It makes your face look so much healthier by just applying one coat! And finally, the High Beam highlighter is gorgeous! It leaves your skin glowing and is very buildable depending on how much you like to wear. I will 100% be purchasing all three of these products full sized!

Ultra Plush Lip Gloss: Not being a fan of lipgloss, as you can imagine, I wasn't ecstatic when opening this lipstick. However, when trying it on I was pleasantly surprised. I applies super easily and doesn't feel sticky of heavy on the lips! However, I wouldn't go as far as to say I would purchase this full sized,  but I will definitely enjoy it whilst it lasts!

POREfessional Its Potent! Eye Cream: Huge pores is something I have suffered with for years, especially around my nose. Having never tried this product before I was very excited to give it a try... and wow! To say I was impressed would be a huge understatement. This product minimses the appearance of not only my pores but also other imperfections which leaves my skin looking flawless! It applies super easily and is definitely something I will also be buying! This eye cream is also something I have fallen in love with. Have dark circles? Look no further. This eye cream instantly brightens eyes and leaves your skin firm! What more could you want?!

Overall, I haven't been super impressed with most of the products in this calendar. However, it has allowed me to try products I hadn't before and I will be making a few cheeky purchases over the next few weeks!

What advent calendar have you got this year? And have you tried any Benefit products before? If so which is your favourite?

Darriyan xx

Homemade Mince Pies

Okay, I have to admit, I am not the biggest fan of mince pies. There's something about the mincemeat filling that puts me off them. However, with that being said, I love making them for other people! They're the perfect treat for Christmas day or even Christmas parties, and seeing and smelling them in my house makes it really feel like Christmas!
Mince Pies Christmas Easy

What you will need:

60g Cold Butter
340g Plain Flour
110g Cold Vegetable Fat
350g Mincemeat
Splash Of Full-Fat Milk


1) Preheat your oven to 200℃. Lightly grease the cupcake/muffin tray.
2) Mix the flour, fat and butter between your fingers until crumbly. Add 6 tablespoons of water and combine to make pastry.
3) Roll out on a floured surface to a thickness of about 3-4mm. Use a fluted round pastry cutter(if you have one) and cut 12 circles big enough to fit the holes in the tray.
4) Press the pastry firmly down into each hole and fill with a heaped teaspoon of mincemeat.
5) Cut out stars or Christmas trees to form the lid
6) Using a pastry brush, brush the milk over the exposed pastry. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Mince Pies Christmas Easy

Mince Pies Christmas Easy

Mince Pies Christmas Easy

I think these are some of the easiest festive treats to make, that your family and friends will love! Let me know if you'll be giving these pies a try! And if you do, don't forget to tweet me pictures!

Darriyan xx

Christmas Playlist

Christmas isn't Christmas without music. I don't know about any of you but I start blasting the Christmas tunes early October. Now that the Christmas ads are being shown, and Mariah Carey is slowly creeping onto the radio, I think its more than acceptable to start with the Christmas songs.  I thought I would put together a cute little Christmas playlist for you all to listen to over the holidays, filled with the best songs! You can't pretend it isn't almost Christmas anymore! So give in, press play, turn up the volume and dance around your house like a crazy person to this playlist!

Winter Coat Lovin'

Winter coat shopping for me has to be the most annoying time of the year. I always struggle to find something that I absolutely love and most of the time that never happens. I can promise you, that you won't find anyone as fussy as me when it comes to winter coats. However this year, I've managed to find not one, but two winter coats that I love! 
darriyancateland darriyan cateland

The Perfect Christmas Duo | Charlotte Tilbury

With Christmas right around the corner (eekkk how exciting!), I thought it would be the perfect time to treat myself before I start buying presents. And no, I haven't started buying presents yet. I know, I am super unorganised, I always am this time of year! I have been eyeing up Charlotte Tilbury's products for a while now, counting down the days until I got paid. And what was the first thing I did when my hard earned money entered my account? Yes, purchased two gorgeous items from Charlotte's online shop!

Sparkler Fun!

Okay, so I should probably start off this post with a hugeeee explanation! I know, I've been away for so long. Almost a whole month, and I can't tell you how much I have missed blogging. To tell you the truth I have been ridiculously busy, working 3 days a week and being at college the other 4, leaves me with hardly any time to dedicate to blogging. I had so many Autumn/Halloween themed posts lined up but everything seemed to be going wrong. I tried to bake Halloween treats... they didn't turn out right and I wasn't happy with the pictures. I tried to do an outfit post... when I got to the woods my camera battery died. Everything has been going so wrong for me and to be honest, I kinda hit a slump. I have had complete writer's block and found no motivation to write. But honestly, having some time away has really made me realise how much I love what I do! So I'm back... just in time for my favourite season... Christmas! And I know it's only November but come on! It's so close! I'm sitting writing this post with a hot chocolate listening to my Christmas playlist! What could be more perfect?

Weekly Summary #1

Hi everyone! I don't normally do these kind of posts because I feel that my weeks are always the same. I have the same routine, week in,week out so I feel that everyone would get bored or reading about college, then work, then college, then work. You get the drift.

Elizabeth Arden Bargain

If you know me, you will know how much I love a good bargain. So when I came across this Elizabeth Arden Mascara in an ex-catalogue shop I couldn't resist.

Autumn Lip

Autumn is my favourite time the year for makeup. I find myself experimenting with so many different products that I would never dream of wearing. Last week I shared with you all my Autumn makeup essentials and promised a post about Autumn lips, so... here it is!

My Blog Turns One!

As of yesterday, my blog has been live for a year. A whole year! It completely blows my mind that I have been sitting here for 365 days, sharing my thoughts and feelings with you all. Where does the time go?!

Autumnal Makeup (& Giveaway!)

Finally Autumn is here! I have already noticed the weather becoming colder, nights becoming shorter and I love it! Over the last few weeks i've decided to change up my makeup to match the season and couldn't wait to show you all what i've been wearing! And of course, as promised, there is a giveaway at the end of the post! And I should probably mention that I have left out all lip products. I have a wholeeee other post coming soon on that!

Why I Can't Wait For Autumn

Its almost October! Which can only mean one thing... Autumn! Without a doubt, Autumn and Winter are my favourite time of the year. It is definitely when I'm my happiest. Even though Autumn doesn't officially start until the 22nd September, according to google, who cares?? I've been feeling autumnal since the beginning of September! I thought today I would share with you some of the reasons I can't wait for autumn to officially start!

French Toast & American Pancakes

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I'm sure you've all heard that saying before. Yet I still skip breakfast most days when I am in a rush. Lately I have been trying lots of different recipes, to make sure I motivate myself to get up just that little bit earlier to make time for breakfast. I thought, after you all loved my chocolate cookie recipes, I would share my two favourite recipes with you today so you can try them out and make yourself a delicious breakfast!

How To Stay Motivated

I know I know. It's that time of the year when we all go back to school, college or work and you find yourself loosing motivation. It happens to the best of us, and if it doesn't well, how do you do it?! I always find this happens to me. I have been back to college one day and I can already feel the motivation draining out of me. So today I thought I would help some of you out by sharing my top tips for staying motivated during this time of year!

Saying Goodbye To Summer

As summer comes to an end, I thought it would be a good idea to share with you some of my favorite memories this summer and the people them have spent it with. I can honestly say that Summer this year has been amazing and I have spent it surrounded by the best people! So be prepared for some pretty cheesy lines...

Blog Photography Tips

Each time I whip out my camera and take a photo, I strive to make it better than the last one. It is my way of expressing my creativity. I love anything visual and to me, photography is one of the most important parts of a blog. By no means am I, or claiming to be a professional photographer, or saying these are the only ways you should take photos. Everyone has different photography styles, and finding out what works for you, and the equipment you own is so important. I take photos because I enjoy doing it. Its my hobby. Its my passion (alongside writing of course). There is nothing more satisfying than capturing a memory in a photo, something you can look back on years down the line. I know that there are many of you reading this,who don't feel as confident in photography as others,which is why I hope this post will help you out and allow you to learn something new!

Triple Chocolate Cookies

Cookies are one of the simplest things, I think, there is to bake. The recipe is so simple, requires very little baking skills, and also make the house smell amazing! I've baked these cookies so many times since I picked up my copy of Tanya Bakes by Tanya Burr, which is where I got this recipe from, and each time they have turned out perfect. My friends and family love them so I really wanted to share this recipe with you all!

What you will need to make 10 large cookies: 

-200g Unsalted Butter, softened 
-300g Caster Sugar
-1 Large Egg
-275g Self-raising Flour
-75g Cocoa Powder
-A dash of milk (optional)
-100g of each White & Milk Chocolate Chips
- 1 Large Galaxy Chocolate Bar (Or a chocolate bar of your choice)


1- Preheat your oven to 200°C and prepare two baking trays, by lining them with greaseproof paper if needed. 
2- Cream together the butter and sugar and then crack in the egg and beat until smooth.
3- Add the dry ingredients & a splash of milk if its looking dry. 
4-Break up the Galaxy bar and add in the chunks. Then mix in the white and milk chocolate chips.
5-Divide the dough into 10 balls, and squash them gently onto the baking trays. Leave plenty of room between each one of the cookies as they will grow very big!
6-Bake for 11 Minutes and leave to cool down for about 10 minutes. 

7-(Optional) Melt any remaining white chocolate chips and spread them across the cookies for decoration and extra flavour!

If you have family or friends visiting, I urge you all to try this recipe! They are the most delicious cookies I have every tasted (not being biased at all haha)! If you make your own version of these please leave pictures in the comments below or tweet me them @DCateland! I'd love to see your creations!

To purchase Tanya Bakes, click here.


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