Showing posts with label Life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Life. Show all posts

My Year on Instagram 2014

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Happy New Year!

It's now officially 2015 - which is crazy! Last year seemed to fly by. It feels like it was only yesterday we were welcoming in 2014, and now it's a distant memory.

In the last 12 months I've got a new job, made a new mua website, Layla turned 3, I turned 28, I stayed in a castle, I got burnt in St Ives, we got a new kitchen, and a hell of a lot more!
 Seriously, so much happened.

So, in true blogger style, I thought the best way to share with you my highlights of 2014 would be in images. I've picked three images for each month of the year.

So here you go, my year on Instagram 2014, enojoy...

 (you can follow my on Instagram @EmilysElixir)

January: New Calendars / Goodbye Christmas Decorations  / New Choos
February: A Winter Morning /Revolution Bath Re-launch / Photobooth Fun
March: Bristol Blogger Meet / Mad March Hare Race / Foggy Castle Park
April: Easter / The Bath Bun Tea Shop / Thornbury Castle
May: The Candy Kittens / Bath in Fashion / Anthropologie Launch
June: IMATS London / New MUA Website / Me
July: St Ives Postcards / Wine with a view / Layla's Summer Hair
August: New Decor / Favoutite Breakfast / Feastival Fun
September: New Business Cards / Vicky's Wedding / My Birthday
October: Halloween Makeup / Layla Love / Betty's Tea Room York
November: Harvey Nichols A Beauty Fairy Tale / Coffee with Currys / Miller and Holland Shoot
December: Christmas Decorations / Work Christmas Party / Layla

Coffee with Currys

Monday, 8 December 2014

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending the Nespresso 'Coffee with Currys' event in Cardiff - you'll have probably seen the #coffeewithcurrys hashtag around the social media-sphere.

It was such a fantastic event, I met a lot of lovely faces behind some wonderful blogs like She and Hem, A Lovely AppetiteA Cardiff Beauty Blog and A Slice of My Life to name but a few.

The day was truly a coffee lovers delight!

The event was held in a lovely little cafe called Wyandham Tea suited in a quaint little arcade, a stone throw from the train station.

We started the day with a yummy iced ginger mocha, and a lovely introduction from the team at Joe Blogs, Nespresso and Currys.

Now let me start by saying that although I am a huge tea and coffee fan, I've never been hugely impressed by 'pod coffee machines' and have always been somewhat set in my mocha pot and cafetiere ways. But - when the invite popped in my inbox I was eager to find out more...

The event was based around 4 different stations, all encompassing different ways to use Nespresso. From Coffee Cocktails, 'Cupping' (this really isn't anything rude I promise!), Latte Art and an Introduction to the different Nespresso machines available.

Now the first thing I learnt was that my coffee pod machine ideas were someone outdated. It wasn't all instant coffee and dried milk. No, no, no. Nespresso works by using the freshest pod of finely ground coffee, combined with one of their many 19 bar pressure machines and producing a rather perfect espresso. To my relief, there wasn't any UHT or powdered milk in site, phew!

So, in theory, a Nespresso machine is just a very clever and tidy way of making the freshest, tastiest espresso coffee in your own home - which can be added to hot steamed milk to make an amazing latte!

Making the coffee cocktails was a blast. James, the mixologist was fab. He showed us how to make a selection of tasty coffee infused tipples which really went down rather too easily!

My faourite creation was the Toblerone Cocktail:

  • 1 Measure of Coffee (either a vanilla or caramel Nespresso pod)
  • 1.1/4 Measure of Kahlua
  • 1.1/4 Measure of Baileys
  • 2 Measures of Milk
  • Melted Chocolate and Honey to decorate

You literally mix all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, pour melted chocolate and honey around the inside of a glass, then top with the creamy coffee concoction. Perfection.

Following the mixology session, we headed over to the demo area to see the machines in action. I have to say that I was totally taken with the Lattissima machine. It had a built in milk steamer, with a detachable milk container you could pop in the fridge between brews. It was so simple and easy to use. No mess, just the flick of a switch. And most importantly, the coffee tasted divine! (The Lattissima machine is now firmly on top of my Christmas list!)

There are over 22 different blends of Nespresso pods, and with already a large number AAA rated, they're working towards making the range 100% AAA rated - so it's clear to see the company takes the whole coffee process extremely seriously.

After the demo, we stopped for lunch. And my oh my what a lunch it was; perfectly cooked salmon, kale salads, freshly baked breads and delicious tartlets (it makes me hungry just remembering it!). 

Lunch was followed by a rather difficult latte art session. Needless to say, my cup looked atrocious - seriously bad. I tried to save it with a few swirls from a trusty wooden coffee stirrer, shameful I know. 

The last session of the day was the 'Cupping'. Our group sat around the table, and took it in turns to taste and describe different blends of freshly made Nespresso. This was fun, albeit also challenging! I was pleased to report I did manage to figure out a few! 

Before we finished for the day we were treated to some homemade cakes, all incorporating coffee. From sweet potato cake, to gluten free coffee and caramel cake they were all extremely moreish. They were the perfect accompaniment to end a lovely day, with another cup of coffee!

If you are interested in having a look at more of the range then head on over to Currys!


Life // Emily Griffin Make-up Artist

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Sorry for yet another long delay between posts, once again I have let life get in the way! You may have noticed my blog is undergoing a bit of a re-vamp - it's not quite finished but I think it looks much cleaner than my previous theme. I will finish it soon I promise!

If you've been reading my blog, or following me on my various social media accounts, you'll know that I have completed my make-up course and I am now qualified - eek! My website is not quite finished, but you can see the work in progress at (yes I know another job on my ever growing list!).

I am so excited, I got my Sally's trade card this week (for those of you not familiar with Sally's it's a hair and beauty trade suppliers - aka heaven!). I bought some fantastic supplies for my kit - and my favourite shampoo in salon size at a very good price.

I have been researching 'setting up a business' and extra makeup products to buy for my kit. I bought a fantastic holdall from Primark at the weekend, to carry all my lovely kit in. I am not a huge fan of the heavy makeup boxes, as they aren't the most practical. The bag is black with gold hardware and looks sleek and professional. I sort my makeup into clear plastic cosmetic bags, with black piping, so these fit perfectly in the holdall. I haven't taken a picture yet - but I will do this week. It was only £12, and a real bargain!

I will do a little post soon, to show you all my hard work setting up as a freelance makeup artist (and a sneaky look into my makeup kit). I am hoping to get some portfolio pictures shot this month - so that will also make for an interesting post!

I have also set up a Facebook page here - so please help support my new business venture and hit the like button! I will be sharing tips and advice soon, as well as advertising my work.

if you have any questions for me then please do post a comment!

Emily x

Review // Romantic Birthday Getaway at Thornbury Castle Part 3

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Welcome to the final part of my Thornbury Castle review. I have saved the best until last.. the restaurant. You can read part one and part two here.

Thornbury Castle's restaurant is truly fantastic. The food is incredible. It doesn't come cheap - but then you do get what you pay for. The dinner menu rocks in at £50pp excluding drinks. But - it is honestly worth it.

Review // Romantic Birthday Getaway at Thornbury Castle Part 2

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

If you read the first post in this series (if not read it here), you'll know that I took my boyfriend for a surprise night away to the amazing Thornbury Castle. I took so many pictures, and the hotel was so great, that I decided to split it up into three posts; The Room, The Grounds and The Restaurant.

I think the grounds speak for themselves, so here they are:

Makeup // Fashion and Photographic Makeup Course

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Sorry I have been neglecting my blog of late, but once again life has taken over most of my time. I have so many draft posts I need to finish and put live - which I will hopefully get done this weakened! (Fingers crossed as we've just finished decorating our bedroom!).

Apart from the usual, and all the DIY that comes with a new house, I have just started a new evening course. I'm so excited about the course and I can't wait to start sharing with you what I learn.

Moving Home!

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Hello everyone! I am soo sorry for my lack of blogging - but, in my defence, we moved into our new house on Wednesday! Eeeek!!! I can't believe it! It's really a dream come true - I just can't stop smiling (or rather grinning like a fool). We did it, finally we own our very own 3 bed semi **smiles**

The house is fantastic - in need of some serious TLC and modernising - but who cares, It's ours! Mine, Kevin's and Layla's. Our very own patch of England.

I can't wait to update you on some lovely new beauty treats I've discovered and on the house - but for now, here's a little snap shot of the lovely flowers my mum gave me, a card from Kevin and a few of my cookery books.

Enjoy the sunshine every one!

Kilkenny, Ireland - a Weekend in Pictures

Sunday, 23 June 2013

A few weeks back, I had the pleasure of spending a weekend in Kilkenny, Ireland. It was a great weekend, short but still great. There were six of us in total; including myself and Kevin, and we stayed at a friend's relatives home - a stone throw from Kilkenny Castle.

The weekend was full of Guinness, Irish breakfasts, cafes, pubs and Irish folk music. Here are a few snap shots of the weekend.

Nothing like a cheeky Buck's Fizz with breakfast to get you in the holiday spirit. We flew from Bristol to Dublin in under 45 mins, good old Ryan Air.

The beautiful Castle of Kilkenny, well worth a look inside if you visit and have time.

The gang, all a little tired after the 2 and a half hour coach trip from Dublin. In search of some refreshments. 

Our first pub in Ireland, in we went to order our first Guinness of the weekend.

A snap shot of inside Left Bank. 

His first Guinness of the weekend, my last Guiness of the weekend. I'm sorry to say, I'm still not a fan, even in Ireland.

A cool vintage coke add in the sandwich shop. 

A really pretty shop in the town. The town has so much character. Full of cute boutiques, independent cafes and traditional pubs. Alas, we went over an Irish bank holiday so most of the shops were shut.. bahh humbug.

The worlds cutest coffee shop - Cafe Mocha, Kilkenny, with the most amazing vintage decor. I went here twice and loved it both visits. I'm going to do a separate post dedicated to this cafe and all it's loveliness. Did I mention, it's also sells home made chocolates?? Heaven. 

Walking into Kilkenny on Saturday evening, on our way to Kyteler's Inn to see an Irish folk band. It was just like something out of P.S I love you. The band we saw were called Abbeyfolk - and they were amazing. None of the pictures I took came out - I was gutted.

More drinks on the next night! 

One of many bars at the Langton House Hotel. We had a few drinks before heading into watch one of the Cat Laughs Comedy Festival's shows. Great bar and a great show.

The last night we went out for a few drinks, again, and for a bit of dancing - the camera was left firmly at home! The next morning we heading back to Dublin to fly home - I would definitely visit again.

Have you been to Ireland? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Snowy Days

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

We've had some crazy snowy weather in the last week and I feel these two pictures sum up my weekend rather well. 

My Pom Layla LOVED the snow - she was eating it, and digging in it, and jumping in it too. She kept disappearing into the white though - this I did not find so much fun. A miniature white pom in snow is like a rather fluffy needle in a haystack. 

I took her picture on my new Nikon DSLR camera. My boyfriend bought me the camera for Christmas and I love it. It took a LONG LONG time to snap this one - she just wouldn't keep still. 

The rest of the weekend included vast quantities of hot chocolate with lavish helpings of cream in my favourite floral cup.. yummy.. and watching movies with Kevin and Layla.

Talking clothes - I lived in my Laura Ashley wellington boots, and my vintage fur coat -when I did venture out for a walk with my boyfriend and the dogs. Thought of the weekend? - I need to invest in a hat and ear muffs.. brrr..

I hope you all had fun in the snow- what did you do?

The Lovely Layla after eating some snow.

My scrummy hot chocolate..


Happy 2013

Thursday, 17 January 2013

A belated Happy 2013 to everyone! 

I have been hunting for the perfect diary. I wanted one that had enough room to write appointments and meetings in with out compromising my humongous handwriting.

  I happened upon this rather fancy A5 diary, by Paperblanks, in Waterstones for about £11.
 I think it's probably the poshest diary I've ever owned.

The paper quality is amazing. It's a week per double page view and has appointment times running down it's length. There is a birthday section and a conversion section - you have no idea how useful a conversion section is when you're baking or buying clothes abroad.

There is also a handy address book that slips in a back pocket and a good sized notes section.

Here's hoping for an organised 2013..



Sunday, 1 July 2012

Let me introduce you to Nara.

Nara is ethnically Korean. She grew up in Manila (in the Philippines), and was educated in Vancouver. She is the owner of a vintage bicycle (of which I am in lust over), and lots of pretty shoes. Nara is undoubtedly the most stylish of my friends here in Korea - always able to recommend something equally chic- be it an exhibition, a shop, or a restaurant. Every time we meet I have to take a moment to appreciate her attire. 

Her Facebook page is full of pretty photos and inspirational text; of people and places, and of food and drink. 

Click on the postcard to read about her fashion, beauty, and thoughts on Korean living (and here for her Facebook page).



Monday, 25 June 2012

Let me introduce you to Lauren.

Lauren is a fellow Brit, and a fellow blonde. I met Lauren in London at the Korean Embassy. I remember somewhat drawling over a rather nice brown/camel jacket she was wearing. Lauren is rather well traveled. She has has lived in China, Spain, England (of course!), South Korea, Australia, and is now living in Thailand ( I have probably missed somewhere off that list). Lauren has a blog Lauren Wherever. Check it out to see where her adventures will take her next.

Click on the postcard to see what she had to say about the beauty and fashion side of Korean living.



Saturday, 23 June 2012

In a post earlier this month, I mentioned I would be talking so some of my fellow expats here in Korea.
So, here goes:

Let me introduce you to Nancy. 

Nancy is one of the most helpful (and beautiful) people I have had the pleasure of meeting here. She is an amazing photographer and has a real eye for elegance and beauty. Here are her thoughts of life, fashion and beauty here in Korea. Click on the post card to see what she had to say.

(Nancy has informed me she will be starting a Lookbook soon - I will post details when I know more!)


Trials, Tribulations, and Triumph

Monday, 18 June 2012

Moving from England to Korea has been a huge eye opener in many ways, and none more so in terms of my beauty regime. I am a self-confessed Boots addict- any excuse to buy new beauty products, and of course earn some advantage points. When it comes to make up, the beauty counters at Jolly’s in Bath have become a somewhat haven to me. I am a high-street shopper through and through, this I guess mainly to do with my purse string-restrictions. I am a regular at Topshop, and love Reiss, Zara, Dune, and a zillion other stores.

So what happens when suddenly there is no Boots, and there is no Jolly’s, and there is NO UK high-street…?

Well this is what happened when I moved to Seoul, and over the next few weeks I am going to tell you how I coped. I have also been talking to a few of my friends here, to get their input on the fashion/beauty side of becoming an expat.


Layla (래라)

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

For those of you who haven't noticed, I have adopted a white cloud of Pomeranian. She goes by the name of Layla - or 래라 in Korean.

Layla is a cross of (as Joe so eloquently put); a marshmallow, a wolf, and a cloud. But, to the average onlooker, Layla is a white miniature Pomeranian, and today is her 1st birthday. As it is her birthday I thought I would do what any 'proud guardian' would- and bore you all with some snaps of Layla and her first 6 months of intensive English etiquette training...

Layla showing off her Christmas jumper.

Snoozing after a long walk.

Posing for the camera!


Bon Voyage!

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

안전 여행
(Anjeon yeohaeng - Safe journey)

Picture this if you will: 

It was a warm Wednesday afternoon in August, (alas no, this cute collection of vintage suitcases is not mine) and after a rather emotional tear stained goodbye, I struggled with my ONE suitcase (yes that was another dig at you jammy Americans and your two suitcases!), one small carry-on bag and a rather pretty rosebud laptop case. A year in Korea with only one suitcase to tailor to all my needs!?! So after listening to people, and reading the guide books, I made my first real misconception; Koreans must dress conservatively; so I must be practical above fashionable- after all
I am going to be a teacher.

This, I suppose, was only half right (or wrong?) as Korean’s are very modest when it comes to their top halves. Not a shadow or tease of cleavage insight. However legs are a completely different story! But that is for another post another time..

So one year and one suitcase what to pack?

There are many a-helpful, and some not helpful, website and forum giving tips of what an expat (yes I am officially an expat now) should consider essential items. These included such necessary articles as deodorant and toothpaste. I am pleased to confirm, to anyone under the delusion, that you can buy deodorant in Korea and even toothpaste. However I for one have opted to stick to my Colgate and Dove - I’m not too sure I fancy kimchi flavoured toothpaste or paying three times over the price for deodorant.

In terms of clothing, I would strongly recommend, to anyone, to bring the clothes you love from home. Koreans love their fashion, and this ventures into every aspect of their lives.
 (Something else to be posted about on a later date).

So here is some of what I deemed essential..
My then favourite shades of Chanel.

 My most treasured Pandora charm bracelet,
a simple pearl necklace and studs.

 A timeless pair of L.K.Bennett nude courts, my trusty Topshop leather slouch boots
and a delightful pair of Zara pumps I picked up on sale in Milan.