BAKING TIPS & TRICKS

B A K I N G

Baking is one of my favourite hobbies and since I started I have accumulated a lot of tips and tricks. Some people have their own ways of doing things and some of my ways I want to share with you all. Some of these tips have upped my baking game and I wouldn’t be able to bake without doing these things.


 

DIY your own piping bag

Sometimes when I bake cupcakes or cakes, I will come to the part where i need to ice and decorate and i will realise that i don’t have any piping bags. This is where you can get creative in a time of need. I have previously used freezer bags and they work a treat. You won’t need to use a nozzle, you will just pip straight from the bag. The smaller you snip the hole on the end of the bag, the more precision that you will have over the piping. Piping bags are alot thicker and i would prefer to use this over bags, but in a time of need freezer bags are amazing.

 

A wire rack IS needed

When baking anything, a wire rack is such an essential and sometimes i think needing one can be really over looked. As soon as something comes out of the oven, most of the time (unless stated) it will need to go straight onto a wire rack so it can cool down. The longer you keep it in the tin, the longer it will be till you can decorate whatever it is. I like to keep the wire rack near the open back door as normally there is a breeze and this will help to cool down whatever you have baked. I am so impatient so i found a way to speed up this process and it is so helpful.

 

Poke holes in whatever you have baked

After you place whatever you have baked on a wire rack, you are going to want to poke holes in it where ever you can. This is going to let the steam out which means it will cool down quicker. Use a toothpick or something or a chopstick, or even a fork and just poke it a couple of times all over. Also, say if you have made cupcakes the icing will fall into the holes and this will be DELISH.

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Use a sieve for powered ingredients

Using a sieve for every ingredient that you are putting into your mixing bowl is such an essential. Most powered ingredients have clumps and if you don’t sieve it you will get little pockets of that ingredient inside. For example, caster sugar should be sieved because there will probably be clumps of sugar stuck together and you dont want this other wise there will be a sugar clump in your cake.

 

Use a spoon to help with sieving

I learnt this new trick and it is so small but helps so much. So, you have a lot of flour and pour it into the sieve and you have to keep shaking the sieve to get the flour into the bowl. Take a spoon and literally stir what ever is in the sieve and this will sieve it quicker. I find it so much easier to use a spoon to mix it in the sieve then to shake the sieve, I always use this trick.

 

Measuring spoons make your life easier

Buying measuring spoons made baking alot easier for me because they are more accurate than using normal kitchen teaspoons and tablespoons. Tablespoons aren’t all the same size and neither are teaspoons. Also, i love that the on measuring spoons it will say on each spoon what it is in ml, what cup size it is and what that equates to in spoon so (teaspoon). You don’t have to google what 3 cups equates to in teaspoons. EASY AND STRESS FREE.

 

Don’t just rely on the toothpick trick

I love the tooth pick trick, placing a toothpick in the middle of what is in the oven can sometimes tell you if it is done or not. However, you need to take into consideration the colour of what it is you are baking. If you are baking cookies, you are most likely going to be checking to see if they are a golden colour.  If it is still white and doesn’t look like it has risen at all then it probably isn’t done. You have to make sure that the cake or whatever it is, is springy when you touch it. If it is still very wet, it is not done. Also, if you are baking cupcakes and you add chocolate chips into the mixture, as soon as you put a toothpick inside it will definitely come out wet because the chocolate chips will have melted. Therefore, you can’t always rely on this.

 

Use room temp butter

This is going to make sure your life so much more easier. If it says to have the butter at room temp and you think “ah, its alright I will just take it out straight out of the fridge” then you are doing it wrong. It is going to be soooo hard to mix the butter in with all of the other ingredients. It will literally be a hard block of butter and having the butter at room temp means you can mix everything together perfectly.

 

Rotate when in the oven

If you have to put something in the oven for 40 minutes. When it hits the 20 minute mark, rotate whatever is in the oven around. This is going to ensure that everything has an equal amount of time being in that place in the oven. Sometimes, ovens can be hotter at certain points in the oven (like mine) the left side of my oven is more hotter than the right side. I have to make sure that I am rotating it when it is in the oven. This ensures that everything will be baked evenly.

 

Let it cool completely

Most people have heard of this one because it is very important. If you are baking cupcakes and you take them out of the oven, and start icing automatically then it won’t work as the icing will met. You need to make sure that the cakes are 100% cooled down, otherwise it will make the icing watery and it will just drip off your cakes. This is something you don’t want, as they won’t look pretty and will look like a wet mess. That is why if you leave them on the cooling rack, with holes in them it should cool them down and then you can decorate.

LAST ONE..

Keep your oven door closed

When you have put whatever you are baking into the oven, keep it closed until half way through when you need to rotate it or when you need to check on it/take it out. The more you take it out, it is going to mess up the baking time and it will stop the baking process. For example, putting cupcakes in the oven and opening the door will stop them from rising.


 

If you bake, I would love to know if you have any tips and tricks of your own. Or even just rules that you live by.

Sophia xo

Previous post – The knitwear is out, it’s October 

 

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The knitwear is out, It’s October!

F A S H I O N

It is getting to that time of year now where you want to wear big cosy jumpers, you are getting ready to get those scarves out and you want to feel all festive wearing anything knitted. That is why when Femme Luxe  wanted to work with me again, I was delighted. My first post in collaboration with them, “My obsession with Femme Luxe” I think, went down so well and I had so much fun taking pictures in the outfits.

They sent me a handful of knitwear items including dresses and jumpers and once again I was happy with the items. At the moment they have a £5 sale on a pretty good selection of items, some of their pieces I literally need in my life.

Oh and, HAPPY 1ST OCTOBER!


Brown Ribbed Knit Button Detail Maxi Dress –

 £18.99

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This maxi dress is probably one of my favourite pieces from their knitwear collection that I received. It was such a lovely fit and the perfect maxi dress length. I always find that sometimes maxi dresses are either too long, or too short. This one was perfect and I like the little slit in the front, it just means that my legs can move a bit more freely when walking etc..The colour of the dress is perfect for this time of year, it gives me all of the autumnal vibes and i am here for it. The dress is ribbed which i think is really flattering but also adds more depth to the dress as a whole. I always try to find clothes that are ribbed but it is always a struggle. The buttons running down the front of the dress also add a bit more depth to it, they add more of a casual look to the dress. Buttons on clothes like this is so in style at the moment and has been for a while. You can wear this dress for any time of the year for any occasion really. You can add a denim jacket with it during the summer, or wear a coat with it throughout the more colder months.


Rose Bardot Knitted Mini Dress 

£4.99

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The style of this dress is very simple but unique and different to any dress I have ever owned.  I was interested to see how it would look on me and how i would style it. I would also probably wear this with a denim dress, but i probably wouldn’t really wear this in winter as there is quite alot of skin showing. I love the simplicity of the dress because you can get creative with what type of jewellery you wear. You could wear a really lovely neckless. The dress is really figure hugging, i would definately have to be having a good day to wear this. I love the little thrills on the dress around the cuffs on the sleeves and at the bottom of the dress. This just adds such a cutesy vibe to the dress and it is so cute and would be perfect for an evening meal with your family.


Black Ribbed Knit Button Detail Mini Dress

£13.99

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I am definitely missing out when it comes to black dresses as I literally do not own ANY type of black dress! So this is literally just what I needed. It is quite thick but also quite thin aswell, you may be able to see through it. Which is why I would pair this with an oversized jacket and would wear a black underwear just to be safe. The dress is a mini dress that explains the length. Although, it is very short therefore i don’t think i would ever wear this as a dress unless i took it on holiday and wore it as like a throw over or something. I would probably wear this with a skirt or some shorts that would look cute, maybe you could wear some knee high boots! The dress has a high back which i like because you expect your back to be showing, I like high backed dresses.


Burgundy Multicolour ZigZag Cropped Knit Jumper

£13.99

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The pattern and colours on this crop jumper is different to anything I own. I love the combination of colours as they work really well together. The style is like chevrons running around the whole of the jumper and it is so cool. It is so autumnal and perfect for this time of year. The jumper is good quality and it feels so comfy to wear. The sleeves become wide as you go down the arm and i love this style on a cropped jumper, i already have many cropped jumpers with this style and i love them. As it is a cropped jumper i would wear this with something high waisted because it is very cropped. I love cropped jumpers because sometimes you want to be cosy and snug, but the crop just adds something different to it.


Nude Off Shoulder Knitted Jumper

£13.99

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This is also one of my favourite things that I received. Although it says nude i would definitely say that it is like a pastel baby pink and i don’t own alot of this colour. It is so super comfy and just such an easy to throw on jumper. It is so baggy and you feel so comfortable in it, you will want to wear it everyday! It is the sort of jumper that you can wear with anything and for anything because of the style. I love the whole off the shoulder vibe because you just look so confident and look as if you have your life together. I dont really normally like off of the shoulder items because i dont like my shoulders, but this jumper makes me very happy and makes me feel confident. This jumper isnt too thick, but is somewhere inbetween. You could easily wear a jacket on top of this in the winter and you wouldn’t be sweating.

What is your favourite item of clothing? ARE YOU HAPPY IT IS OCTOBER?!

Sophia xo

Previous post – The MUST have £3.75 highlighter

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The MUST have £3.75 highlighter

B E A U T Y

I love discovering new makeup. I love discovering new makeup that is super affordable and is an absolute steal. I NEEDED to create this post for everyone because I want everyone to know about this highlighter. It is the Wet N’ Wild Precious Petals Highlighting Powder and I paid £3.75 for it! £3.75! The highlighter does come in two shades, this one and more of a silvery shade. I have already created a whole video of me reviewing Wet and Wild makeup so click here to watch that. But in the video, I was so amazed by this highlighter that I needed to create a post on it.

P A C K A G I N G

The packaging of this is pretty standard to be honest. It would have been better if it came with a mirror, but considering it is drug store and you are paying a silly amount for it you can’t really expect a mirror. The pan size of the highlighter is so big, honestly it will last your whole life. It has 5.4g of product. On the actual highlighter there is a flower stamp which I thought was quite cute and it just added something extra to it.

D U P E ?

If you love Jeffree Star highlighters, especially the one in the shade Peach Goddess then I think I have found a dupe for you. It looks exactly the same on the face as the Jeffree star one does, it is the exact same colour and longevity. The only thing that is different is the creamy consistency of them.

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W H Y  I  L O V E  I T !

I want to share what is amazing about this product, why it has brought me so much joy and why I am LITERALLY OBSESSED with it…

It is so creamy – it is smooth and is the perfect creamyness ( is that even a word? I don’t think soo..)

It is buildable. –  You can apply a little bit for a more subtle glow, or you can apply lots for an amazing blinding glow.

SO AFFORDABLE. £3.75 guys! for an amazing highlighter, that is incredible.

The packaging means that everything is compact and tidy. It is lightweight and easy to carry around with you. I actually think the packaging is ok, it doesn’t get dirty at all.

It is cruelty free!

It blends amazingly well

The shade is stunning. I am definitely more of a rose gold highlighter kinda girl because I don’t really tend to wear blush that much so wearing a rose gold highlighter sort of adds a pinky tone to my face.

It doesnt exaggerate pours, or if you have a spot on your cheek bone it doesnt bring more attention to it.

It is easy to work with and it isnt messy. Sometimes you get highlighters that are sooo creamy that they are hard to work with. NOPE NOT THIS ONE!


This highlighter is a staple in my makeup routine. This will go down well for one of someones birthday or christmas presents. SO SO SO GOOD!

That being said, now you have to buy this highlighter and I want to know your thoughts on it. Or if you already have one of their highlighters, what are your thoughts? Do you love it as much as me?

Sophia xo

Previous post – Chocolate & Fudge butterfly cupcakes

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Chocolate & fudge butterfly cupcakes

B A K I N G

The other day I was looking through my Instagram and noticed that I haven’t actually baked in such a long time, when I say such a long time I MEAN APRIL! APRIL! Therefore, I needed to whack the scales out and get some baking done. After I baked these delicious cupcakes, it reminded me of how much I actually love baking and I need to make more time for it.

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– LET’S GET STARTED –

Ingredients that you will need for chocolate sponge (12)

4 tbsp (boiling ) water

40g cocoa powder

3 eggs

180g (unsalted)

165g Unrefined golden sugar

115g self raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

A packet of fudge pieces

Ingredients that you will need for decoration

Royal icing

Butterfly wafers

Icing sugar

Pink icing gel

Biscuit Cutter

Equipment that you will need

Scales

Mixing Bowl

spatula

cupcake cakes & cupcake tins

Spoon

Piping bag

Cooling wrack

Method:

Step one: line a cake tin with the cases. Preheat the oven to 200oc / 400oF / Gas mark 6

Step two: sift the cocoa powder into a bowl and then pour in the boiling water and mix together with a spoon to create a thick spreadable paste. After you get to this stage, add in the remaining ingredients and mix together with the spatula. Add in the fudge pieces, this part is entirely up to you.

Step three: put a tiny bit of the mixture inside the cupcake case, then add a couple of fudge pieces, then place some more mixture on top of the fudge pieces. This is so you will have the fudge pieces inside the middle of the cupcakes. Keep doing this for every cupcake. Then put them in the oven for 15-17 minutes.  They need to be well risen and springy when you touch them.

Step three: while the cupcakes are in the oven you can start on the icing. Roll out the royal icing and using a biscuit cutter ( of any shape that you want the icing to be on top ) Then cut out the icing depending on how many cupcakes there are.

Step four: sift some icing sugar in a small bowl and add in water as you go, you need it to be the perfect consistency that you can drip it onto the cake. You don’t want it to be too thick or too watery. Then add in the pink gel and mix together.

Step five: bring out the cupcakes and place them on a wire rack and wait for them to cool down. On one side of the royal icing that has been cut out, put a tiny bit of icing sugar on it and sit it down on the top of the cupcake. This is going to stop the royal icing from falling off of the cupcakes and will give it something to stick to. Keep doing this to all of them. Then using the pink icing create strokes across the top of the cupcake and the icing and then place a butterfly wafer on top. You are finished 🙂

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What is your favourite thing to bake? I would love to know 🙂

Sophia xo

 

Previous post – Rimmel Stay Satin Collection 

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RIMMEL STAY SATIN COLLECTION

B E A U T Y

I am such a lipstick lover. I love every type of lipstick. I was very kindly sent a VoxBox from Influenster, (which if you don’t know what it is click here and watch my Youtube video on it, I review another Rimmel collection and talk about how the app works etc..) They very kindly sent me Rimmel’s new launch and of lipsticks! They have a new satin liquid lipstick!!! AHHH!! If you know me then you know that their Stay Matte Liquid Lipstick is one of my favourite liquid lipsticks, in the shade Be My Baby, it is my ultimate nude shade! So when Influenster said they were sending me a whole box of their new formula, TOO EXCITED!!

They sent me 8 of their newest lipsticks and honestly I am already blown away with them! So they are a satin liquid lipstick, they dry like a liquid lipstick but have the feel of a gloss. Therefore, if you drink or eat then it will transfer BUT! it lasts for such a long time.  I know that they have more shades than the 8 that they sent me, and all of them are stunning!!

I am going to be discussing everything… the packaging, the formula, the colours, the price, where to get them from and is it worth your dollar?!

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S H A D E  N A M E S

Left to right-

SHOULDER PADS

GLAM ROCK

SCRUNCHIE 

ATOMIC 

OBSESSION

FOR SURE

REDICAL

AS IF! 

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I think the names are kind of cool. I really like the one called Scrunchie just because it sort of goes with this time of year, it is summer and the sun is out. I love a good Scrunchie in my hair! love it!

 

C O L O U R S

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The colours are absolutely stunning! They all look very opaque and really colourful. I love the different tones of pink/purple. There are two nudes and a grey and the rest of the colours are pretty fun. I feel like all of these colours will look good for certain occasions, the grey one is certainly screaming Halloween to me. You can see from the swatches that they are very glossy, these make me super happy.

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P A C K A G I N G

The packaging is exactly the same as their stay matte lip quick lipsticks. I have always liked the packaging, it is pretty standard from Rimmel. They are lightweight and are easy to keep in your bag to re apply if needed.

W H E N & W H E R E ?

You can get these from Superdrug, and because this post is so over due they are most definitely in stores already.

I have been wearing these for a while now and I can honestly say I love them. I love the new formulation and how long-lasting they are. They have the longevity of a matte lipstick but appear satin. I have noticed that once the satin of the lipgloss starts to wear off, it just starts to look like a matte lipstick. I have been really enjoying wearing these as they are perfect for this time of year. LOVE THEM! I have been wearing the shades shoulder pads and scrunchie the most, they are gorgeous. I would recommend these lippies if you are a gloss lover, but also you love a gloss that lasts a good amount of time!

What colour stands out to you? do you have any of these?

Sophia xo

Previous post – BlanX teeth whitening, THE TRUTH! 

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BlanX teeth whitening – THE TRUTH!

L I F E S T Y L E

The first time I saw anything to do with this brand was on instagram and alot of people were crazed with their prodcuts. I would see pictures popping up all over my Instagram, from other bloggers promoting this brand saying they had amazing products. When you see people promoting teeth whitening products, or supplements you are always abit skeptical because there is always a question running through your mind – does it really work?

So BlanX got in touch with me and asked me if they could send me* some products, I said yes in the hope of trying these products and them actually working. Here I am this morning, with a post for you guys and I am here to tell you that THESE ACTUALLY WORK. When I first received the products, my sister was also wanting to try them too and she fell in love with them, because the results were amazing. She went to Superdrug and brought them because she needed them in her life. THAT IS HOW I FEEL. I know that when I run out of these I am going to be repurchasing them. So, let’s discuss..

P A C K A G I N G

The packaging is great. It is very consistent and the colours on the boxes relate to the colours on the toothpaste tube. The blue Fresh White one has actual blue toothpaste and i thought that was really cool. The boxes are glossy on the front which catches the light every so often. BlanX is written across the front of the box and each toothpaste is labelled differently. The pink ons is called Glossy White, the silver one is called Pure White and the blue one is called Fresh White.

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T O O T H P A S T E S

All three toothpastes are non – abrasive and peroxide free meaning that it is ok for daily use. They have 75 ml of product inside so smaller than your normal toothpaste that you might use. On the inside of each box there is a little strip that you can tear away, in which you can measure the progression of the witness of your teeth.

G L O S S Y  W H I T E

This toothpaste is my favourite one,  because I noticed the biggest difference when using it. My sister also commented and said that this is her favourite one too. This one made my teeth atleast 3 shades whiter within the space of a week. Even after ONE USE! i was able to see a difference. The best way for me to describe what this one tastes like, is abit like perfume. It doesn’t taste like your normal minty toothpaste, I kind of liked the surprise as I didn’t expect it. The flavour of the toothpaste is very easy to get used to and I found myself prefering this one to a normal minty one. I will definitely be picking this one up again!

“The pro – shine micro particles fight stains to leave teeth shiny and white.” BlanX

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F R E S H  W H I T E

This toothpaste tasted like mint toothpaste, BUT the actual toothpaste itself was blue and this made me quite happy. I liked the change in colour in the toothpaste. I didn’t really notice a difference when I used this toothpaste and I had been using it for about 2 weeks +. Although it did make my mouth and teeth feel thoroughly clean and ready for the day (or bed lol)

” Zinc PCA strengthens the antibacterial action, counteracting halitosis for white teeth and fresh breath” BlanX

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P U R E  W H I T E

This toothpaste also tasted like mint and when it came out it was pure white! I also didn’t notice a massive difference when using this toothpaste, although it was better than the blue one. I noticed that straight after I used the toothpaste my teeth did look whiter but this wouldn’t last all day.

“The BlanX PRO formula removes stains from the enamel surface and fights oral bacteria to defend the natural witness of your teeth” Blanx

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W H E R E & H O W  M U C H ?

You can get these toothpastes from quite alot of places such as BlanX, Superdrug, Sainsbury’s, B&M, Tesco’s and a lot more.

The prices for each toothpaste range depending on where you are shopping for it.

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These are such good teeth whitening products, especially the Glossy White one because you are able to see results quickly, AND THEY ARE SO AFFORDABLE.

What toothpaste do you like the sound of?

Sophia xo

Previous post – My Obsession with Femme Luxe

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My obsession with Femme Luxe

F A S H I O N

Discovering new fashion websites is one of my favourite things when it comes to fashion as a whole. I love that each fashion brand has their own styles and different price points. I get excited to see the fit of new clothes, the quality and how I style them.

Today’s post is in collaboration with Femme Luxe , as they very kindly sent me* some of their beautiful clothes. They are a UK brand that have multiple items of clothing on their website. All of the clothes on their website are very ‘instagramable’ and I have seen a lot of their clothes already online. At the moment they currently have an 85% off sale, AN 85% SALE!… crazy!


– White Vogue Printed Crop Top –
£7.99

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I love this little cropped tee, it is the sort of tee that you will see all of the bloggers wearing on Instagram. It is the perfect cropped length, not too high where it is just under your boobs, but not too low where it couldnt really be called a crop top. The fit was very good, actually perfect. It wasn’t too tight, but wasn’t too lose, so somewhere in-between which makes me happy. The top itself is quite thin, but I prefer this to a super tight top as I like a bit of stretch to it. I like that it is white, but I do believe that you can also get it in black. This top will go with a lot of clothing, so I think it will be very easy to wear on a day to day basis.


– Striped Floral Wide Leg Trousers –
£12.99

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I AM OBSESSED WITH THESE TROUSERS. I wore these to my friends BBQ the other week, I had so many compliments about these trousers. I am in love with the print, it is very out there but I love that they bring so much to an outfit. I have styled it with a plan black crop top, because I didn’t want to take away attention from the trousers. They are quite thin, but are strechy which I like. No one wants to wear these types of trousers and be feeling like they can’t move in them. These trousers also came with a belt, but i prefered to wear them without it They are quite long in length which meant that i had roll them up at the waist, but this obviously depends on how tall you are. I am in love with these,  I think they are such a unique style of trouser. I also love love love the wide legs, it just adds something different to the whole outfit.


– Colour Contrast Belted Jumpsuit – 
£15.99

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When I saw this outfit on their website, I knew that I needed it. The print is such a dream, it is very unique but so stunning to look at. I wanted to get this outfit because it is out of my comfort zone and I am so glad that I did, it is gorgeous. The fit across my whole body is perfect. It is stretchy across the stomach area, the length is perfect, a great fit around the shoulders. The only place it didn’t fit me that well was around the chest, it was a bit too big for my chest area. The quality of this piece was really thick and felt really luxurious. It also came with a belt which was a cute little touch. It is such a sophisticated outfit, I really love it. I felt so confident and gorgeous in it.


– Dusky Pink Crop Top and Trousers Co-Ord Set –
£18.99

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This is the type of outfit that I would normally wear if I was going out clubbing, or out for a couple of drinks. The co ord set came in a million different colours such as purple, black and even with a Leopard print which I thought was incredible as they literally have a couple / print for everyone. Pink is my favourite colour and I always feel comfortable wearing it so this was the colour that I choose it in. I love that you can wear it for an occasion, but you can also play it down to make it look more casual. The quality once again was stretchy and thin and it is the sort of colour where you will have to find the right type of underwear, so it doesn’t show through the bottoms. The length of the trousers were quite long and I had to roll it up at the waist, this didn’t really bother me at all. The top was a good fit, however, it was very much right under my arm pit. I think this would have looked gorgeous in the black also, so sophisticated.


– Black with White Stripe Off Shoulder Loungewear Set –
£17.99

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Cosy clothes are my thing. I feel so comfortable and at ease when I am wearing them. They remind me of winter and just being cosy with a nice cup of tea. This is such a cute loungewear set. They had three over colours of these sets online, I definitely was more drawn to this colour set. The quality of it is really lovely, it feels great quality. The length of the legs were perfect, they weren’t too long and weren’t too short. The jumper is the perfect cropped length, I liked to pull my trousers up a little higher so they were high waisted. This loungewear set is supposed to be off the shoulder, but the hole didn’t seem to be big enough to be off of the shoulder. This whole set is literally so comfortable and I know I will be living in this throughout the winter.

I would 100% recommend this brand to anyone. They have such stunning clothes on their website, I wanted everything. Their products were good quality and I know I will be buying some pieces from there.

Have you ever shopped on this site before? What is your favourite outfit from the post?

Sophia xo

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