Monday, 28 December 2015

Etsy Crane Hair Pins

Hey All

I've been meaning to share these for a while but never got around to photographing them, so when C went away on his latest work trip and I was left with his DSLR and the 35mm lens I took to sorting out my photos for the blog. I'm so pleased with the improvement over the last few posts of mine. We've booked ourselves onto a photography course in the Brecon Beacons in the new year so hopefully I'll get better. 

L and I actually did a photography module in university but that was ages ago. I really need to did my notes out so I can get back to shooting in manual! Anyway another rambling from me. When I was browsing etsy for my friends birthday presents I came across the seller Entirely Crafty who sold various origami jewellery items. I ordered my friend a pair of earrings and couldn't resist the hair pins for myself!

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They came in pretty boxes so make perfect gifts (I probably should have gotten the post up before Christmas but now maybe you can be inspired and be ready for birthday's/mother's day!)

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I was totally blown away by the detail of these. You can get them in different sizes, patterns and different carriers such as pins, earrings, necklaces and brooches. I love these when I've got my hair in a curly updo to just poke out of it. I always get questions when I wear them too!

I do love supporting handmade companies too and love that this person's adventure started after making bits for her wedding! They are also really reasonably priced at only £4 for the set!

Love M

xxx


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Friday, 25 December 2015

Merry Christmas!



Merry Christmas everyone!

We hope you are having a wonderful day with your friends and family!

L and M xxx


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Thursday, 24 December 2015

Life!


Well it has been a pretty long time since I've done a Life Update - so make a brew, take a seat and browse my recent happenings with me!

Of course, I've been stuffing my face with street food as that's generally what I like to do with my spare time. This time it was the Winter Social from Depot Cardiff and *finally* I was able to see all of the umbrellas in their glory!

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How pretty are they?! I love the snowflakes hanging from them.

I shared a few different dishes with a friend and we had a Merry Cheesemas burger (Wensleydale and cranberries on a burger, yum!), Crab Flatbreads (also yummy with so much garlic) and finally a pulled pork bun with winter slaw. I was very full at this point but clearly i still had room for one of my favourites - Science Cream!

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I'm not one of the biggest fans of ice cream but the offerings from Science Cream are just perfect, the ice cream is made in front of you with fresh cream and liquid nitrogen. The result is the smoothest ice cream in existence, so I chose Sticky Toffee Pudding on this occasion and it really did have hot sticky toffee pudding with it and a dollop of salted caramel sauce, so much drool.

I had to go home and lie down afterwards.

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I've also been changing a few things with my look. By that I mean, I bought a new palette and got my hair cut - I'm not one for drastic measures!

The Gwen palette is outstanding, both outside and in. As expected the Urban Decay eyeshadows are the most pigmented and silky as always and the colours are beautiful. Our post is here if you'd like more info!

As for my hair, I had a fringe cut in! It's taken some getting used to - mainly as if my hair is a mess I usually just scrape it back but now i have to do something with my fringe....I've bought lots of dry shampoo to cope though!

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It normally looks a bit fuller than this, I was going for the Zooey Deschanel look so I need to wait for it to get a bit messier and relaxed. I definitely like the change though!


I've also been keeping busy with papercutting, although I haven't shown much on the blog or twitter. My latest creation is for my bedroom and is a classic Paper Panda design, you should checkout her website. I've been planning on making this for an entire year so I'm pleased that I've finally got to the framing stage, now it's just time to decide where on the wall it needs to go!

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I'm thinking a gallery wall which probably means that I will need to make a whole lot more before I can put anything up!

Another paper related hobby I've been getting into is colouring. I have a fair few books now but you always need a few topics to keep you interested. The Harry Potter one is a current favourite, though it is taking me forever to complete each page.

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Lastly I've been on a real health kick the last few weeks. I'm really missing having more control over my diet and exercise, and the thought of Christmas eating filled me with dread. That and if I indulge too early I will unfortunately make myself ill, so I need to control myself and then I can enjoy Christmas Day itself.

So I've been roasting loads of veg and making cous cous with soy sauce in batch. I then pair this with tuna, chicken or feta cheese for my lunches so with a good breakfast and this for my lunch I knew I wasn't going too wrong.

I've also been trying to exercise as often as possible. M gave me her spare 30 Day Shred DVD so I've been doing it as often as I can. 20 minutes is not much to ask and I know I have at least that to dedicate to myself every day and keep my eating in check. It's haaaaaaaaaaaaaard work don't get me wrong, but I've decided to just get stuck in and not wait until January to make changes.

In an effort to try more healthy recipes I have also finally made Cauliflower Pizza!

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It was a really long process to make, not only to grate the cauliflower but to dry fry it for 15 mins and then bake it for 40 mins before even adding the topping........I was starving!

It did really taste like a pizza though so I was impressed, I just wouldn't make this for myself on my own and would probably just save myself for a real pizza!

It's been such a busy few months and I'm looking forward to a few days off over Christmas with my family. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!


L xxx



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Wednesday, 23 December 2015

George Home Letter Votive Candles

Hey All

I can't believe it's almost Christmas. Today is my last day in work and I can't wait to just get home and catch up with the family and relax for a few days before jetting off to Copenhagen for New Years Eve.

When shopping in Asda the other day I couldn't resist these little letter votive candles. At only £2 each I had to grab mine and C's initials to pop by our tv! They aren't scented which made C agree I could get them and have burned pretty well. As well once the candle has burned I'll be washing them out and using them as tealight holders!

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I always keep pretty candle jars to use for other bits and pieces. Our toothbrush holder in the bathroom is an old candle holder!

Are these too tacky for you or something you'd go for? For £2 each I couldn't resist!

Love M

xxx


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Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Lush - Five Gold Rings Bubble Bars


Hey all!

Christmas is getting SO close now and I cannot wait for the festivities to start. One of my favourite things is pampering over the Christmas period, not only is it great timing for the party season but also when your skin needs a little extra help in the colder months.

A bath is a great way to start - 5 Gold Rings from Lush is the perfect product.

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It's quite simple really, there are five super sparkly golden rings on a string that mean you can have 5 super sparkly bath times! 5 baths for the price of one is great value for money in my opinion.

All you need to do is crumble one of the bars under running water for a bubbly bath filled with Fair Trade sweet vanilla and the obvious super sparkly gold glitter that takes over your bathroom!

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Each ring is infused with skin softening illipe butter and moringa oil to uplift, it also contains a product called benzoin resinoid which I have to say I've never heard of before.

Lush has a wonderfully helpful website though and clicking on it gives me this description:

'We use benzoin resinoid (Styrax benzoin) to deeply cleanse and soothe skin, add shine to hair, to ease muscles, and to give skin a sweet, lingering vanilla and balsamic aroma.' 


Well you learn something every day don't you??

This is what the bubble bar looks like when you crumble it under the water...

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It's lovely and yellow gold and a happy uplifting colour. My skin also felt amazing as soon as I'd finished the bath and felt so much smoother and hydrated.

Although you do need to watch out for getting the glitter EVERYWHERE!

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5 Gold Rings comes in at £4.95, so that's only £1 a bath - well worth the money!

What do you think of this bubble bar? Will you be snapping them up?


L xxx



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Monday, 21 December 2015

Lush Rosy Cheeks Fresh Face Mask

Hey All

As I mentioned last week in our post on Cranberry face mask (you can see that here) we recently purchased a few face masks then made a morning of it trying them out.

Rosy cheeks instantly appealed to me to try out as it has a different texture to the other Lush masks I've tried.
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Rosy cheeks is a great when for winter to help soothe the skin. I don't know about you but the cold wind can play havoc with my skin and make it sore and my normally rosy cheeks rosier! I love the smell and texture of this. It feels so soft and smooth to apply and doesn't dry on the skin.

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The combination of Kaolin, calamine and Turkish rose oil give the face mask an amazing delicate floral smell. They also help to calm the skin as well as providing a gentle cleanse to the skin. This is a great on for more delicate skin that doesn't need exfoliation.

Have your tried Rosy Cheeks? I don't think I've found a lush face mask I don't like yet.

Love M

xxx

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Hi all!

The one thing I couldn't get over with this mask was how smooth and creamy it was. Putting it on straight from the fridge was the best tip I could give you - it really holds the cold temperature and feels so cooling and soothing on the skin.

The only weird thing - if that's even the right word - is that it looks so odd on your face! It does make you look like you have extreme sunburn, the selfies we took whilst wearing this mask is not for sharing with the public! Ha they just look a little too odd, but well worth the effects.

This is a good winter treat for the skin and again the mask has been worth trying. Just need to decide which of the masks I need to try next, what would you recommend??


L xxx



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Sunday, 20 December 2015

Lisa Angel Copper Star Light Strand

Hey All

A few weeks ago C and I moved in together, as a moving in gift my brother gave us these beautiful lights. I'm a big fan of fairy lights and candles around the house so it feels more homely and gives softer light for relaxing in the evening. As soon as I opened these I loved them.

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As they were a gift I've not gone searching for them to find links as I don't want to know how much they cost  but a quick Google of Lisa Angel tells me they are probably available on not on the high street. 


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You get a meter of lights and they are battery powered meaning they can be placed anywhere in the home without having to worry about them being near a power socket. They feel good quality and look great up. They give a soft glow and look amazing lit and not lit.

Are you a fan of fairy lights? They'd make a great gift to a friend or one for yourself.

Love M

xxx


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Saturday, 19 December 2015

Pettigrew Tea Rooms - Festive Afternoon Tea


Morning everyone!

I'm sure by now everyone knows that afternoon tea is just one of those wonderful occasions - copious amounts of tea, tiny sandwiches and a seriously calorific load of cake.

It's a typically British thing and I like to indulge in it as often as possible. Festive versions are a particular favourite as I also love christmas, combining the two is the best thing I've ever heard of so without further ado, let's tuck in to the menu from Pettigrew this year!

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Me and my mum decided to have a Christmas shopping day in Cardiff this year, with only the Christmas markets and the labyrinth of arcades to wander around. It's always one of my favourite days of the year and having not yet visited Pettigrew Tea Rooms myself it was the perfect excuse.

Their Christmas High Tea cost £16.50 and included a mince pie and mulled wine, festive filled sandwiches, Christmas scones and also a slice of homemade cakes - I was drooling just thinking about it!

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On arrival we were shown to our table in the corner and our mulled wine and mince pie delivered. I have to say that the mince pie was one of the nicest I have had. It was quite hot so I had to wait a little while for it to cool down but as someone who isn't too big a fan of mince pies I enjoyed it.

The mulled wine was also delicious, but sadly I felt like this was a token gesture as this was essentially the size of a shot glass. It tasted wonderful and the slice of orange was a great addition but I was really disappointed this wasn't a normal size glass, it's not what you expect.
(it also wasn't that hot but it was the size that was more disappointing!)

Moving on, we then chose 2 fillings each for the sandwiches which were freshly made to order.

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I chose the cheese and chutney, and the salmon and cream cheese. I LOVE salmon and it's a staple in an afternoon tea, it was wonderful as expected and the bread was super tasty.

The cheese and chutney sandwiches were also lovely, I'm intolerant of dairy and bread so generally I avoid it in my day to day life and then on the odd occasion I can treat myself without getting ill. I honestly save myself up for days like this and these sandwiches were worth the wait - I'm craving my usual Boxing Day cheese feast ever since all because of these sandwiches!

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After this we had the scones, which were on the very top of the stand. These weren't normal scones however, these were Cranberry and Brandy scones - absolutely delicious!!!!

These were the best part of the entire afternoon for me and with the jam and cream too were outstanding. Even my mum, who enjoys homemade cake but doesn't really eat that much of it, ate her so fast I wondered where it was gone! That really was testament to how lovely they were, and I'd go back for one of these alone.

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Yes I do put jam on first before the cream, how on earth else are you supposed to do it....?!

After this we were extremely full, and still had a cake to go! We had the opportunity to go and choose a cake from the counter and the choice was another factor that was outstanding. The variety was amazing from your classic Victoria sponge to Chocolate and Beetroot, Clementine and Polenta,


We chose to come home with a slice of Chocolate and Beetroot, and a Date, Fig and Salted Caramel to share for our tea. It was around 8pm before I tucked into my halves of them and they were so gorgeous, the chocolate cake was really moist courtesy of the beetroot but still tasted so luxurious. The date, fig and salted caramel was a great surprise, I'm not a date or fig fan but this cake was so lovely and I'd order it again. It wasn't overwhelmed by the salted caramel either so it was well balanced.

Overall I enjoyed my first experience of the afternoon tea at Pettigrew Tea Rooms. It was a lovely quaint venue and the scones and sandwiches were very tasty. 

I was disappointed with the tepid mulled wine and also that only one pot of tea was included, in most places the tea is unlimited. It's a fairly cheap addition to the meal and we only asked for one more between us, so it felt like a bit of a con to have to pay for more.

My favourite part was the scones and the homemade cake, I'd happily return in future for either of these and I loved the chance to try out some different types of cake to your average!

What do you think of Pettigrew Tea Rooms? Have you tried their afternoon teas?
Do you rate festive versions?

The Christmas High Tea at Pettigrew's costs £16.50 per person and is available until the 10th of January, so get in quick!

L xxx


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Friday, 18 December 2015

Urban Decay: Gwen Stefani Palette


Hello all!

We're sure you've heard the hype around this fabulous pallete, and really what isn't to get excited about?!
Urban Decay never fail to produce top quality products, the pigmentation cannot be equalled and their limited edition palettes are always even better. Knowing that this release was with Gwen Stefani was even better! I've loved her style for so long, even with her sometimes quirky outfits she always has flawless make up.
After buying a house and keeping every spare penny for furniture and paint, this was the best news and finally a big enough reason to break into the piggy bank - this release made me EXCITED.

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As soon as I saw the packaging I knew I had to have it, the contents at this point hadn't even crossed my mind. I love monochrome and gold metallics so the colours were perfect for me. Even though Gwen Stefani is known for being part of the Punk music scene she's always stayed pretty classic at the same time. I love it.

The colour range of the eyeshadows is also spot on. There are so many beautiful neutral shades to create so many looks with finishes from matte, frost and shimmer. 

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As for the colours, here's the rundown:

Blonde is described as a “pale beige with pink iridescent shift.
Bathwater is described as a “pale beige with gold pearl.
Skimp is described as a “pale nude satin
Steady is described as a “medium rose with metallic gold shift
Punk is described as a “reddish brown matte
Baby is described as a “cool metallic rose
Anaheim is described as a “light taupe-brown matte
Stark is described as a “nude-pink matte
Zone is described as a “medium brown matte
Serious is described as a “smoky gray with iridescent floating pearl
Pop is described as a “pale coral with iridescent sparkle
Harajuku is described as a “metallic blue-pink with iridescent micro-shimmer
Danger is described as a “deep metallic royal blue with blue micro-sparkle
1987 is described as a “bright metallic yellow-gold
Blackout is described as a “blackest black matte

I'm finding it hard to say which colour is my favourite as I genuinely think all of the top 2 rows are perfection in a palette. Blonde, Anaheim, Punk and Serious have special mentions though! Love these eeeeeeeeeeeeeevery day!

The surprise in the palette is the gold (called 1987), I was super impressed as it is beautiful and so pigmented. I have so far only used this dry as a liner but I would really love to use a wet brush and try it then as I imagine the pigmentation would be so much more vibrant. 

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I'm not sure what I think about Harajuku but I'm willing to give it a try, and Blackout is a staple in anyone's life - it's just a must and the blackest of black eye shadows. I was very excited by Pop and Danger, but sadly these both had quite a lot of fallout. Pop barely made it onto my eyelid so I think some serious primer is going to be necessary. Danger is a wonderful colour but half of it ended up on my cheeks, and I only noticed when it smudged across my face in work and I looked ridiculous!

All of that being said, it's a beautiful and perfect palette that everyone needs. It comes in at £40 but is limited edition and worth every penny. My only downsides are the fallout from Pop and Danger, and I'm a little disappointed there isn't a brush or an eyeliner included like many other palettes.

In fact, although I'm excited for the lip products maybe they should consider an eyeliner collection too, how much does everyone want the perfect liner that Gwen always seems to get right??

Think about UD, it would fly off the shelves even faster than the palette!

What do you think of the palette? Are the colours perfect for you?


L xxx

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Hey All

As L and I went to John Lewis Urban Decay counter to see this palette I was sure I wouldn't buy it. I didn't need another palette and after recently moving in with C I couldn't really afford it. As we arrived Kate did my eye make up for me using it and I was instantly sold. In my slightly hungover state I had absolutely no willpower I think knowing it was Limited edition made me want it more.

As L has said the packaging is amazing!! It has a huge mirror with a cute quote in the corner of the mirror which you can see below. The packaging is apparently inspired by some art Gwen has in her house!

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The colours in the palette are what made it hardest for me to resist. It's full of mostly wearable colours and the prettiest nudes! Anaheim is one I was instantly drawn to, it's a perfect crease colour and would probably make a great brow colour too. It has a really great mixture of shimmer and matte shades and all of them have the quality you'd expect from UD, there is some fallout with some shades especially Danger but if I'm going all out with make up I tend to do my eye's pre foundation anyway as it makes clean up easier!


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Danger is another shadow that made me buy this palette! What an amazing shade of blue. I did a smokey eye using it for last weekend and it just looked amazing (even if I do say so myself ha!). I keep reaching for this at the moment and it's making me feel inspired to play with make up again. If I'm honest Harajuku probably won't get used but I need to play around more and see if I can find a way to use it. Lastly worthy of an honourable mention is Baby. When I swatched it in store it was love, such a pretty everyday shimmer with a hint of worth. It looks great as a lid shade especially with Anaheim through the crease.

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As a bonus with the palette you get a preview and sample of the lipsticks that will be released next year. How beautiful is that packaging going to be!!! I love all the four sample colours and will definitely be testing these out. I like that you get a to test out the different formulations of the lipsticks too. I'm intrigued by 714 as it's a mega matte! And let's face it, I have high expectations for the Red lipstick if it's been done in collaboration with Gwen Stefani.

It retails for £40 but the eyeshadow pans are a decent size and almost the same size as a Mac eyeshadow pan! This is one you won't regret.

Have you picked it up yet?

Love M

xxx


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Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Lush Cranberry Fresh Face Mask

Hey All

L and I love a good face mask especially the Lush one's. When we went to Lush a few weeks back to see the new Christmas collection (you can see that post here) we couldn't resist getting some new face masks. As we were meeting up a week later to go to a friend's christening we decided to go for a double face masks session so we could try out each other's purchases.

Cranberry is a Christmas edition so you should definitely snap this one up quickly. Cranberry is a great one full of antioxidants and fenel to cleanse the skin and argan oil and rose clay leaves helps to leave the skin soft, smooth and matte.

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It has a thick texture meaning it's easy to smooth onto the skin, it also has a slight grainy texture so gives a slight exfoliation when it's removed. It dries comfortably on the skin and does flake off too badly as you're relaxing waiting for it to work it's magic. After using L's I'll definitely be grabbing another one before it goes.

Love M

xxx

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Good morning!

This face mask is well worth picking up for the limited time it is available, if it's only for the smell!! It just smells so perfectly fruity and addictive.

My favourite feature of this face mask was the slight exfoliation properties, which clearly help with the 'smooth skin' that the mask promises. I can't find anything not to like about this, its's super refreshing and everyone should pick up a pot!

I always look forward to trying out the new masks from Lush, I hope that they bring out another in the new year very soon!


L xxx



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Monday, 14 December 2015

Quench Mojito Master*

Hey All

I can't believe it's only 11 days until Christmas! When the email came through to see if we wanted to try the Mojito Master I was interested straight away. Mojitos are something that are made regularly in my house as it's what me and my other half drank on our first date and one of our favourite drinks. I don't have the proper tools though and tend to just use a rolling pin and stuff to make them.

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The mojito master is the Swiss knife of cocktail making, it has everything you need and the bits pop out. It contains a muddle, drinks measure, knife, spoon and mint cutter.

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The knife was impressively sharp. I had assumed with something like this it wouldn't be that good but it is. All the bits pop out easily and there our measures inside the cup for the perfect mojito.

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It's comfortable in the hand when all assembled again to be able to perfectly muddle the ingredients! Apologies for my lack of pretty glasses. We opt for big mojitos!!

I make mine by squeezing the juice of half a lime into the glass, add 2 large teaspoons of sugar and muddle all of that together. I then add around 8 mint leaves to the glass (apparently if they give them a clap between your hands it released flavour. I then fill the glass with crushed ice. The smaller the better. Here the rolling pin is still used to smash it. I then add to large shots of rum and use the spoon to get right the bottom of the glass and kind of pull the liquid up so all the ice, rum and lime, mint, sugar mix is all combined. I then add a quarter of a lime wedge and mint sprig to garnish. I don't opt of soda in mine as the crushed ice melts and waters it down a little. We also prefer a spiced rum to a white rum or an aged rum!

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The result some very tasty mojitos! If you're looking for a last minute gift this is a great idea! I would have definitely grabbed on for my other half. The only thing I would say could be improved it the spoon folds out but then doesn't look in so bends halfway down. If I wanted making pints of Mojito though it probably wouldn't be an issue!

Are you a mojito fan? The mojito master is currently on offer for £9 at Handpicked Collection.

Love M

xxx



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