Hauls, home

Make up Declutter, clean and organise

Good afternoon friends, and Happy New Year!

This morning I decided to declutter and clean out my make up drawers.
Last year I wore hardly any make up, and when I did was drawn towards the same couple of palettes.
I love watching these videos on YouTube, and thought no time like the present.

I bought my make up drawers about 4 or so years ago from Amazon for around £40

6 tier/5 drawer clear make up drawers (Kardashian inspired, let’s not front), are easy to clean, store, and came with 3 sets of clear sturdy drawer dividers.

Link to similar drawers below

Cosmetic Organiser Drawers

From the bottom to the top, each drawer I’ve emptied out, wiped down, and repacked getting rid of any out of date, dried out, or products that have hardly or will never use, with a before and after photo.

1st drawer – Eyeshadow palettes

2nd Drawer – Foundation/concealer/cheek tint/highlighter palettes/bronzers/blushers

3rd drawer – Liquid matte lips and lip pencils

4th drawer Lipsticks

5th drawer Lipglosses/eyeliners/mascaras

Top Tray – Setting powders/beauty sponges/lip balms/lip scrubs/liquid highlighters

For the final drawer, I rearranged, wiped down but only got rid of 2 setting powders and added a few beauty sponges that I didn’t have room for.

All together I got rid of –
3 eye shadow palettes (one out of the picture as smashed)
3 highlighter palette
2 setting powders
7 lipsticks
5 matte Liquid lip
10 lip glosses
1 primer
1 liquid highlighter
3 eye liners
1 lip liner
7 single eyeshadows
1 single blush

I feel better knowing I’m using make up that won’t harm my skin or take up unnecassary space on my desk. (Even if I said goodbye to some of my favourite discontinued NYX lipsticks)

Have you had a declutter this New Year? If so, what did you clean out?

Kaya •

Blogmas 2020, Cooking at home with Kaya

Blogmas – Christmas Spiced Chocolate Cake

Good afternoon friends,

Today I’m sharing a recipe, one that I’ve made before, but will no doubt become a new Christmas tradition.

This Christmas Spiced Chocolate Cake, can be prepared, baked and decorated in just over an hour. A simple recipe, with the most delicious smooth, light and flavoursome cake.

Although Nigella labels this a cake, I wouldn’t personally, as it’s flourless and doesn’t have this consistency, I would say it’s more of a gooey spiced pudding.

Photo from Nigella’s site

Click on the link below for the recipe, or read on for the information and a few step by step pictures.

Christmas Spiced Chocolate Cake


For the cake

  • 150 grams chopped dark chocolate (I used 1 while Terry’s Dark chocolate Orange)
  • 150 grams soft butter
  • 6 large eggs
  • 250 grams granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 100 grams ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of ground cloves
  • zest of 1 clementine (or satsuma)
  • 4 teaspoons instant espresso powder
For the topping

  • juice of 1 clementine (or satsuma)
  • 15 grams butter
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 50 grams flaked almonds


  • Take anything you need out of the fridge to bring it to room temperature. The only truly important thing, however, is that the eggs aren’t cold, so if they are, just put them into a bowl (I use the KitchenAid bowl I’m going to whisk them in later) and cover with warm water for 10 minutes
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/gas mark 4/350ºF. Butter the sides and line the bottom of a 23cm / 9 inch springform tin.
  • Melt the chocolate and butter together in a heatproof bowl, in a microwave according to the manufacturer’s instructions, or suspended over a pan of simmering water, and set aside to cool slightly.
  • Beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla together until thick, pale and moussy. They should have at least doubled in volume, even tripled. If you’re using a freestanding mixer, as I do, this is effortless.

  • Gently fold in the ground almonds, cinnamon, cloves, clementine/satsuma zest and espresso powder, taking care not to lose the air you have whisked in, then, finally, pour and scrape in the melted, slightly cooled, chocolate and butter, folding gently again.

  • Pour into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 35–40 minutes, by which time the top of the cake should be firm, and the underneath still a bit gooey.

  • Remove from the oven, and sit it on a wire rack, draped with a clean tea towel, to cool completely.

  • To make the topping for the cake, put the clementine/satsuma juice into a small, preferably non-stick, frying pan with the butter, sugar and cinnamon and melt everything together, then let it sizzle for a minute or so and begin to caramelize before adding the almonds.
  • Stir everything together, and occasionally tip the pan to keep it all moving; what you want is for all the liquid to disappear and the nuts to look shiny and be coated thinly in a fragrant, orange-scented toffee.

  • Remove to a plate and cool.
  • Unspring the cake and transfer to a cake stand or plate; I am brave enough to take it off its base sometimes, but don’t if you’re scared. Remember this cake, however intense and elegant within, has a rather ramshackle rustic appearance on the outside.
  • (My cake was curved at the top and a bit crumby, I flipped mine over, which I think looks more enticing)

  • Scatter with the almonds, mainly letting them pile up in the centre of the cake, but drop a few here and there all over the top. And serve with the cointreau cream.
  • My cake did not look anything like the picture, it wasn’t as ‘stable’, but it tasted like a dream. I dropped off slices to family, and to our neighbour with a variety of double cream, whipped cream and custard.

    If you give this recipe a go please let me know!

    Kaya •

    Blogmas 2020, Cooking at home with Kaya

    Blogmas – Christmas Day Cooking

    Good morning friends,

    Christmas day for as long as I can remember is all about seeing family and friends, as many as you can cram into one day.

    Multiple minced pies, crackers pulled and countless cups of tea. Well, we partly did that!

    We had a relaxing morning, opening presents, listening to Christmas music

    We only had a light breakfast and cuppa’s during the day, ready for our festive feast.

    We social distanced with family, face timed and called loved ones.

    And for the first time ever, I cooked Christmas dinner. In years past I would have assisted here and there, but this year I cooked Christmas dinner and all the trimming, and absolutely loved it.

    I seasoned the chicken, I went rogue, shocker, taking it out every 25 minutes or so to baste it, as add the roast potatoes that seasoned in the juices, all was cooked to perfection.

    I minted the lamb chops and smoothered the carrots and parsnips so that they were honey roasted.

    Pigs in blankets were another ‘must’.

    I had to be clever with the arranging of the trays, the doubling up and timings, but all went to plan

    I over cooked, as we will have meat and stuffing sandwiches, chicken curry, chicken soup etc for meals through out the next couple of days

    After dinner, and a sit down all was packed away ready for the next couple of days, watched Home Alone and had a tipple

    Is it just my family tradition, or does everyone cook a little extra for the coming days?

    I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas X

    Kaya •

    Blogmas 2020, Uncategorized

    Blogmas – W7 Advent Calender

    Good morning friends,

    Today we’ll be looking at the W7 Advent Calender.

    I didn’t realise W7 sold advent calenders, but after purchasing, I discovered they have for the last 4/5 years.

    There have been mixed reviews, but here’s my thoughts on it.

    The 24 day advent calender was available by dozens of sites, prices ranging between £12-£25, depending on where you purchase it.

    I bought mine from Amazon for £12, with an additional £3 P&P, (which works out at around 62p a day) bargain!

    The make up is pretty basic in looks and quality, but overall decent.

    The Beauty Blast contains:

    1 x Mini Big Lash Mascara (Black)
    3 x Mega Matte Lip Liner (Red, Pink and Nude
    3 x King Kohl Eyeliner (Black, Brown and Blue)
    4 x Mini Glam Gloss (Glam Bam!, Super Star, So Hollywood and Too Hot!)
    5 x Mini Mega Matte (Smudge, Happy, Hasta La Vista, First Class and Star)
    1 x Mini Glowcomotion Highlighter
    1 x Mini Honolulu Bronzer
    1 x Mini Cheeky Flusher
    1 x Mini Banana Dreams
    1 x Mini Beam Me Up Illuminator (Volcano)
    3 x Loose Glitter Pigment Pots (Super Silver, Gilded Gold and Pretty Pink)

    Here’s a closer look at a few of the products.

    Firstly,how freaking adorable are these miniature lipglosses?

    Perfect size for a small clutch bag, purse, to keep in your drawer in the office,or in the car, when you need a quick bit of glam.

    The top 4 glossed are shimmery, whilst the bottom 5 leave a strong but soft shade that lasts for hours.

    Perfect trio of Lip liners, for any preference.

    Black and brown liners will always be present in my make up stash, but this beautiful navy may give me the confidence to branch out a little and create a blue smokey eye.

    You don’t often get a mascara in a advent calender, which in all honestly was one of the selling points.

    The wand is thick, and gave me long defined lashes with just one coat.

    Is the glitter multi purpose? For make up or nails? Honestly, who cares? It’s Christmas, and we all need a bit of glitter in our lives, now than ever!

    Honalulu bronzer – I’ve seen this as a dupe for the Benefit Hoola Lite Bronzer. I didn’t believe it until I tried it, but it’s pretty spot on, and a fraction of the price!

    Cheeky flusher – I think that might be a bit much for highlight or bronzer but what a stunning eye shadow.

    Glowcomotion is a gorgeous all around soft gold for your cheeks or eyes.

    This advent calender will kit you out for a full face of make up and multiple looks (keep an eye out for this at a later date)

    I was also pleasently surprised that there were no fillers – not nail file, hair band, or outdated eyeshadow applicator in sight.

    What did you think of the calender and would you buy it

    Kaya •

    Cooking at home with Kaya

    Semolina Cake Recipe

    Good evening friends,

    This year, almost everyone has gone a little baking crazy, not to mention we’re half way through The Great British bake off… It’s hard not to bake up a storm each week.

    Today I’m sharing one of my ultimate favourite desserts.

    I’ve eaten and loved basbousa since I was a child, and no cake compares.

    It’s sweet, simple and moreish.

    Basbousa Recipe

    Serves 15-20

    Pre time – 20 minutes
    Cooking time – 40 minutes


    2½ cups coarse semolina

    220 g(1 cup) caster sugar

    75 g(½ cup) self-raising flour

    200 thick yoghurt

    200 unsalted butter, melted

    1 tsp vanilla extract

    25–30 blanched almonds


    330 g(1½ cups) sugar

    250 ml(1 cup) water

    1 tsp lemon juice

    1 tsp rosewater


    Preheat the oven to 190°C. Mix the semolina, sugar, flour, yoghurt, melted butter and vanilla in a bowl.

    If the mixture seems too thick, add a little milk, but it should still be fairly stiff.
    Spread the mixture with your hands into a buttered 30 cm x 25 cm x 5 cm baking tray.
    Cut it into diamond shapes, pressing hard.
    Place an almond in the centre of each diamond.
    Bake for 35–40 minutes or until golden brown.

    Meanwhile, make the syrup. Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
    Simmer for 5 minutes without stirring. Stir in the lemon juice and rosewater and remove from the heat.
    Leave to cool.
    Pour the syrup over the cake while the cake is still hot. Cool to serve.

    Let me know if you try this recipe and what you think of it.

    Kaya •


    Autumn/Fall Haul 2020

    Good evening friends,

    What a wet and windy, yet wonderful autumn night.

    Autumn/Fall for me is all about Comfort, your home and clothes become a little cosier, embracing the dark nights and chill in the air, and having some much needed downtime.

    Here’s a few of my autumn essentials.


    Beanies Coffee 50ml £1.99 each (Lidl)

    Until last year I never understood the hype of ‘Pumpkin Spiced Lattes’ – and then I got hooked.

    I’m not really one for flavoured coffees, but they give that extra warmth this time of year.
    Whilst in my local Lidl, I spotted the Beanies Pumpkin Spice instant coffee.

    Oh my! It’s been just over a week and I’ve finished a jar. I went back to grab another jar, and picked up Cinder toffee, Caramel popcorn, Nutty hazelnut, Irish cream

    Candles £3 each – Gingerbread Cookie and winter Spice (B&M)

    I’m all about candles, each season brings a different scent. This year I hunted high and low for spiced candles. Finally I found them in B&M, and how cute are they? And yes, due to the many unsuccessful trips trying to find them, I picked up 3 of each.


    Charity shop
    George cream short tench coat (New with tags) £5
    BM Collection heavy blush pink coat £5

    I, like many, love blacks, browns and deep reds for this season, I decided to mix up it up and look out for a few softer shades, and hit the jackpot.

    The cream trench coat is a must, simple and chic, but the pink coat, she’s my favourite. Pairing it with a pink handbag, I’d be giving off Umbridge vibes, but I’m okay with that!

    Charity shop – Next Knitwear £2 New with tags

    I love a dusty Rose pink, especially with black jeans or LBD

    Lily Morgan £5 (everything five pounds.com)
    A simple black cotton jumper with glitter trim jumper, jazzes up the one of the must haves for this season. This jumper is so warm and fuzzy, it’s become a new favourite

    Old Navy £5 (everything 5 pounds.com)

    I bought this long cream jumper about 3 sizes to big. It is huge and just hangs off me, it’s so soft and just the right thickness. Not really one to wear out as it is so baggy, but at home with some fluffy socks is just perfect.

    Pep&Co £12
    This Hound tooth dress is perfect for winter. Possibly even a comfy Christmas day look?

    Pep&Co £6
    And once I saw the dress, I just had to buy the skirt!


    Vaseline Intensive care Cocoa Radiant
    Body lotion 400ml £3.99

    I have dry and sensitive skin, with eczema which flairs up more in the cooler months. This lotion helps to sooth and moisturize my skin without leaving it stinging or feeling greasy.

    Poundland Lipscrub ‘Mint to be’ £1

    Nothing worse that chapped lips, especially when rocking a dark lip. Pounlands Lipscrub smells, and tastes great, and works just as well as names brands.

    NYX Midnight Muse £3.99

    I picked up this lipstick thinking it was black, but it is actually a deep navy. Not a shade I’ve worn before but definalty one I’ll be trying this season.

    Maybelline Vivid matte Liquid £7.99 (TK Maxx)
    20 matte shades for £7.99, that equals 0.39p each. Bargain! Plus all the shades are beautiful, the bright purples and orange may be a little tricky to pull off but I’ll do my best!

    Keep an eye out for my vivid matte Lip challenge later this month

    What autumn goodies have you purchased recently? And what does Autumn/fall mean to you?

    Kaya •


    I found a lump *UPDATE

    Good aftenoon friends,

    The results were delayed by another week, I received a call Tuesday explaining I no longer have to attend my appointment, instead I’ll have a call from the Dr on Thursday afternoon.

    The Dr called yesterday and confirmed all is well, there is nothing to worry about or keep an eye on.

    I am beyond relieved, I could have cried.
    Thank you for all of your love and support, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it, especial when going through something so stressful and uncertain.

    I urge you all, men and women, to check your body thoroughly and regularly.

    Please don’t take anything to chance, think that you’re over reacting, or brush off something that feel alien to your body.

    Kaya •


    Shoebox Appeal 2020

    Good evening friends,

    I spent the morning wrapping and filling shoe boxes.
    The Shoebox appeal pick up is in 3 weeks, and will be sent to children in need over the world.

    The shoe box appeal was first introduced to me through my school, each child would pack a shoe box with our family.

    Each year the shoe boxes would be sent to communities in need around the world.

    Although the shoe box appeal still takes place in schools, as an adult I feel as though it is important that I still donate each year. I have my own money, and have friends with children, which I often buy toys for without even thinking about the cost.

    We don’t hesitate when buying everyday items, it just happens, toys, make up, a new nail varnish,a take away coffee, it all adds up.

    Yes I work hard for my money, but I recognise that I do occasionally waste money and could put it towards a better cause.

    Just one shoe box per house hold could change a child’s life.
    Text books, and stationary could assist a child to go to school and get an education.

    Over the past couple of months I’ve bought items for the boxes here and there to already out the cost, and have bought in bulk online.

    This year I’ve packed 12 boxes for 8 girls, and 4 boys.

    Each box contains

    2x lined exercise books

    2x colouring books

    Pens and pencils

    Erasers and sharpener



    Pencil case

    Drawstring sports bag



    Wash cloth

    Bar of soap

    Nail clippers

    Mini sewing kit

    Cutlery set

    Tennis ball

    Skipping rope

    (For the boys) – 3x pull back toy car

    (For the girls) – Pony doll, hair clips and headband

    It may not seem like anything too exciting, but I’m hoping it will make a difference.

    There is a suggested £5 donation, I donate money also, but not £5 per box.

    There are multiple drop off points through out October and November, or alternatively if you don’t have time to buy the items, wrap and pack a box, you can buy a pre-filled box online that will be sent on your behalf.

    Shoebox Appeal

    Give what you can, and pay your love forward to others 💞

    Kaya •