Kawaii Friday: Vanilla Ice Cream KitKat

 photo 026_zps0f1994b9.jpg

Kawaii Friday is a weekly feature on my blog, celebrating all the super cute things I own and buy! The first set of this series will centre around the super sweet order I made from Tofu Cute for lots of yummy japanese goodies.

I've been super excited to try out some of the weird and wonderful KitKat flavours you can get in Japan! In the end I decided on three varieties - Ichigo Strawberry, Wasabi (for the boyfriend to try, I'm too much of a wuss) and Vanilla Ice Cream. I was most excited to try the latter as it's so different to usual UK KitKats. I love the packaging for starters, one penguin and one polar bear. The bar itself looked like solidified vanilla ice cream with the little pods in. I should mention, these bars are really tiny and if I hadn't gotten two of them for the £2.50 I paid it would have really been a rip-off; and as it is that isn't cheap. It tasted really quite plain and lacking in flavour at first but the aftertaste is actually uncanny to vanilla ice cream - it's really strange! Out of all the products I got I actually liked these the best and would rebuy if they are a bit cheaper/easier to get hold of.

 photo 109_zps404f5c2d.jpg


Tidying by Colour

Back in the day when I had more disposable income and far less bills to pay, I was a little bit of a nail polish addict. I had literally over one hundred different colours. Over the last couple years (with only a few tiny purchases) the collection has dwindled down somewhat. Every now and then I will go hunting for a certain colour and find either there's a tiny dribble left in the bottom of the bottle or it's a dried, gloopy mess so it seemed like a good idea to have a sort-through. Every polish was swatched on paper for quality and texture (and to check the brush wasn't disgusting too) and then either binned or stuck back in the drawer by colour. The best part of it is you rediscover some really nice colours you forgot you have, but I did lose some old favourites. Disappointingly, Essie polishes seem to have a really short shelf life and every single one was dried up and horrible whereas most of my cheapo Boots own '17' polishes were fine. Do you have a large nail polish collection? How do you keep it ordered, any tips?


Life Lately #7

one. I've continued to bake up a storm these last few weeks, and gingerbread is my favourite festive thing to make! I posted my recipe here if you want to give it a try. I've gotten into the habit of baking big batches and either freezing them ready for christmas presents or taking them into work.
two. my early birthday present to myself was my beautiful new camera. I'm super into micro four thirds systems, you get pretty much all the quality of a DSLR without the weight; even the lenses are super light and I can't wait to get some more to play around with.
three. my baby christmas tree went up! I opted for a little pink tinsel one this year (despite the boyfriend protesting) because I just don't have the room for a proper size tree. I strung some adorable star lights from next around it and used some baubles from paperchase.
four. I played games with some of the guys from work. I really don't have the head for strategy games but I actually came second playing Game of Thrones. I can't wait for next time when I'll actually understand what's going on a little better because the rules are so complicated.
five. It was my birthday. Pretty low key this year, but I got red velvet cake and some lovely chocolates so I'm happy; not so happy I had to work but never mind. I'm 24 now but still not a grown up in my opinion, considering I ate cake for three meals a day until it was gone.
six. all my christmas shopping is done finally and my gifts are wrapped and under the tree ready for the day itself. I love this cute patterned wrapping paper from next, it's festive but not super gaudy which is perfect for me.


NOTD; Seventeen Gel Colour Maraschino Cherry

Seventeen Gel Colour in Maraschino Cherry purchased at Boots for £3.99


Kawaii Friday: Puccho Japan Chewy Candy

Kawaii Friday is a weekly feature on my blog, celebrating all the super cute things I own and buy! The first set of this series will centre around the super sweet order I made from Tofu Cute for lots of yummy japanese goodies.

How cute is the giant smiley grapefruit on this packaging? It's kind of bad that about 90% of my decision to try these sweets was based on the wrapper it's in, but then again I would never have decided otherwise. The packaging describes these chews as being 'grapefruit flavour gummy with grapefruit flavour soft yogurt candy' - actually I couldn't taste the yoghurt pieces at all, and though I was expecting a Chewit-type texture the sweet was much firmer and felt like it took an age to get rid of.  The flavour was really nice to start with but similar to chewing gum was starting to fade before you'd even eaten it! The chewy candy cost £1.50 and this one is almost definitely not a rebuy, it's just not that nice unforunately.


Better Winter Photography: Flash Diffuser

One of the things I find hardest about blogging this time of year is the entire lack of light - by the time I'm home at half five it feels like midnight already, and it feels like any chance to take good photos is out the window; the choice is either blown-out flash or grainy low quality images. So I thought I'd share a little trick with you I've picked up along the way that's super cheap and simple but makes a really big difference: using a flash diffuser. I picked mine up for just 99p from eBay (you can find similar here) and I find it invaluable particularly for close-up images when it's dark and miserable outside.

You can see in the above two images the huge amount of difference just diffusing the light a little makes; the image using it has equal lighting throughout and is fairly true to colour whereas the pure flash image has a blown out background and a strong reflection off the white label. If you are photographing something with glossy or shiny packaging this problem is magnified greatly, similarly if your skin is super pale like mine it can make portrait photography really difficult. These photos were taken at equal distance so that isn't a factor (albeit slightly different angles, oops). My diffuser has a universal elastic cuff to fit onto the flash (it's designed for external ones) and a silver reflective material that's used in order to 'bounce' the light through the opaque material, thereby distributing it more evenly and reducing glare and shadows. In my opinion it's well worth adding to your camera kit for just an extra 100 pennies, and I hope this will be useful for some!