Tuesday, 27 January 2015

A Goodnight Playlist

It has been a wee while since I shared a playlist... here are the last ones in case you missed them (they are pretty solid, though I say so myself!)

Today's playlist is designed to get you chilled out for sleep. I am not one for listening to music in bed - it usually sees me leaving my bed to dance if Sean Paul comes on, or scrolling through my iPod for hours rediscovering tracks from my youth (!). This is the kind of music I like to relax to in the hour or so before bedtime, just to get my mind on the wind-down. If I listen to it enough, my brain will associate the songs with sleep and just hearing them will get me sleepy.

Let me know what you guys think, and if you have a go with this before bed! I'd also love to hear about any chillout tracks you recommend to my ears ;)


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Tuesday, 20 January 2015

DIY: Simple Terrarium

Hello hello! First off, crew, my apologies - I've not blogged in a week and I can't promise I'll be back super regularly at the moment, for reasons I won't bore you poor things with. Over the weekend however, I decided to cheer myself up and finally film a DIY I've been hinting at for weeks... It is a super, duper simple terrarium and I think it would be the cutest, cutest gift to someone you know.

See below the video for links to the bits and bobs I used!

You will need

Fish Bowl
Protective Gloves
Cactus Soil


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Tuesday, 13 January 2015


Hi there my crew... How are all you? If the answer is "good, and ready for a new By Her Mirror feature" then have I got a treat for you. I'm planning on a monthly/bi-weekly/just whenever the mood strikes round up, featuring the greatest pun on my own name since my entry into this world. (Annalog was a less attractive runner-up. Poo connotations were what ruled that one out.)

My Annagrams are going to be a little round up of what I've been loving from my Instagram, general life and also a little selection of blog posts and internet things I've enjoyed and want to recommend to you. It goes almost without saying that I am pumped.

This week in pictures...

  1. Back in my favourite city: If you know me offline you will probably have already been treated to one of my rants about how amazing my uni city is (we have a pub themed around Lord of the Rings. Need a girl say more?) I love being home but I adore coming back to my student hub, full of some of my favourite people and favourite digs. I could bang on about it all day.
  2. A Nutella addiction reaches new levels: I've moved from eating the stuff to cooking with it. This charming, turd like pastry is actually meant to be a Nutella croissant. I used the recipe in this book but as it's really not that good, I am considering perfecting it to actual useable instructions and sharing them with you... Does this idea appeal? Let me know below!
  3. My new baby: A satchel with my name on it?! Does life get ANY BETTER? They say when one door closes another is opened, and this was how I justified the purchase of this amazing personalised satchel last week... my last satchel died and this was a spectacular replacement. It honks of leather and I well and truly love it.
  4. Project365: I am literally amazed that I am on day 53 of my Project365... As the former queen of falling off bandwagons and giving up on things I promised I would do, this is major progress. Taking photos every day has been challenging but fun and I am starting to get better at it too! (Impressive given I am living in an essay based bubble at the moment!
  5. Succulent amour: I just love this little guy. So much. I wish I had more places in my room to put plants, because my desk and bedside table look so much cheerier with my cactus children and flower vase... Stay tuned as I will be sharing a project involving this baby very soon!
  6. A birthday celebration with some babes: It was my gorgeous housemate Tieran's birthday a couple of weeks ago and we celebrated last Saturday with an Italian feast (DELISH), Jamaican cocktails (DIVINE) and a Marvel-lous movie night complete with Guardians of the Galaxy. It rocked.

Some online favourites...

I adore great photography and the amazing shots on Lifestaljer are beauty blogging at its finest... I drool over each post, I really do! I suggest you go and drool too... and I love her honest reviews too.

My obsession with Carla's lovely blog, Blush Parade continues to grow and I cannot get enough of her hilarious and honest writing. She's a bae who hails from Spain but is now, in her own words, living the Emerald Dream in Ireland. I have loved chatting to her and her post on being a Spaniard in Ireland was actually one I requested and adored reading... She talks about celebrating the Epiphany, something I am pretty interested in!

Why so interested? Because I baked this Galette des rois for my girl Tieran on her birthday and though I say so myself, I thought it tasted and looked jolly authentic. If you are after an easy, deliciously French pastry, this is for you - they're a big tradition at this time of year in France!

I cannot stop listening to London Grammar's album If You Wait at the moment... It's been out for a long enough but somehow passed me by! My favourite track is Strong but I also love the end of Metal and Dust. Y'all will lurve.

Last of all I super enjoyed my friend Emily's post on her minimal wardrobe additions - I have always loved her sense of style and it's so cool to see her trying a new direction whilst still owning it. Hers is a blog to watch this year as that girl has some amazingly creative ideas!

So that concludes the first ever Annagram... Let me know how often you'd like to see this kind of post down below and feel free to share any links for things you think I would love!


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Saturday, 10 January 2015

A "Pretty Honest" Review

Prior to reading Pretty Honest I hadn't been much of a follower of Sali Hughes... 300+ pages of sterling beauty writing later and I am a convert. Pretty Honest is a stylish and, you guessed it, refreshingly honest read that, spoiler alert, I adored reading. Some of you I know will be right there with me on the love for this book, but for those of you that have yet to buy your own copy, I thought I'd give you a run-down of why I love it so!

To fill you in on the layout of Pretty Honest, you'll find that it's broken into helpful chapters that can be read as stand-alone help sections, or can be enjoyed one after another (I'm guessing the repetition that occurs in each is down to the assumption many will deep into specific chapters and not necessarily read it cover to cover). The range of these is so thoughtful and indicative of Sali's broad range of cosmetic knowledge; there's a little bit of everything, from teenage makeup suggestions to the less glamorous side of motherhood to bridal beauty advice... Sali even covers significance of looking a little better even when very ill. Each subject is given its proper respect, but each remain an enjoyable, satisfyingly well researched read.

Sali's voice is very present throughout, with the odd snippet of her past thrown in where relevant, and reading this feels like a chinwag with a friend/cool aunt/mother/professional all at once. Her background as a journalist, beauty writer and makeup artist's assistant (at the age of 15!) gives the book a qualified, thorough feel, but I was also left with the impression she really wouldn't mind if you vehemently disagreed with any of her suggestions.

If you love makeup, you will adore this book. I've read a few "beauty bibles" in my time (recommendations for any more below, please?) and this has been the most informative - I imagine this will be just as useful for a novice as a fanatic... and who knows, maybe even the pros would enjoy this read too!

All in all, in case you hadn't yet guessed, it's a delightful read and one I highly recommend. Pick up your copy here, and if you've already read yours, let me know if you agree with me on this one! (Plus those beauty book recommendations would make my day...)


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Wednesday, 7 January 2015

The By Her Mirror 2015 Survey Results!

So last week I asked you all if you wouldn't mind filling out my survey on who you guys are and what you'd like to see from By Her Mirror (if you missed it and are interested in having your say, it is in this post!)

First of all, thank you. Thank you for reading By Her Mirror and an extra huge thank you to those of you that took the time to reply - I had far more responses than I was expecting (even my dad got in on the action - thanks Dad!!) Many of you I am lucky enough to consider my friends, but there are also a fair few whom I hope will become my friends in future. It's safe to say that a By Her Mirror dinner party would be an excellent and UTTERLY hilarious dinner party.

So, me gushing and getting emotional aside, today's post is all about sharing the results.

I asked you guys where you are from and the results were fabulously varied. The majority of you hail from the UK like myself, but some  are reading in Spain, France, Germany, Ireland, Canada, the US and even Bahrain... You're also a young bunch, with 78% aged 19-29.

41% of you like to read in the evenings, so I'll make sure that there are some evening tweets and the odd late night Facebook posts up for you to remind you when there's been a new post! Surprisingly (to me at least!) Lifestyle was the most popular category, followed by Makeup and Personal, all things I'll bear in mind when working out my schedule!

Slightly more of you said that you'd like 3 posts of current quality each week rather than 2 of higher quality... I think my answer to this one is to try and make sure there's at least one trickier, more out there post each week, but currently I'm going to try and stick to 3 as I reckon I'd miss posting too much!

You guys were extremely kind and supportive in your written feedback and I was really touched by what you guys had to say! There will be more reviews of films and books as a couple of you asked for that, and for some other interests too. I've even got a DIY hidden up my sleeve for you... you'll have to wait and see! And I'm trying to think of a fun About Me type post, for those of you that like personal posts too.

All in all this was such a great chance to hear from you guys and I'm really thankful for those of you that answered... I'm wracking my brains for more ways to get involved with you guys in the future, comment down below if you've got your own ideas!

Thank you again and have yourselves a wonderful, wonderful week,

x x x


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Tuesday, 6 January 2015

A Deliciously Healthy Dessert

Anna gives you a recipe?! Momma said wah? Yep, we're going there folks, with a tried and tested tasty treat that came into my life via a very dear friend... Hey Emma, if you're reading this!

This ice cream, fro yo style pud is not only good for you (ish), it is insanely easy and insanely cheap too. You'll have seen a number of frozen banana ice cream recipes in your time but I am here today to offer mine, and urge you to try it. It is spectacular.

You will need...

2 bananas
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp hazelnut chocolate spread (Nutella really is the best but many substitutes are just as good)
A blender, be it handheld or otherwise

6+ hours freezing, 10 mins prep

This recipe makes enough for two very full ramekins. If you have no friends you can freeze this once made and enjoy at a later date. I know because I tried this.


1. The night before: PEEL THE BANANAS. You will thank me later as you will waste a lot of time fighting with frozen banana skin otherwise.
2. Place the bananas in a freezer bag, pop said bag in freezer then leave to freeze over. If I know I am making this in the evening, I do this the night before, but shoving them in in the morning before also works.
3. Once frozen, take them out the freezer and leave them to thaw for no more than five minutes before you blend. Again, this just makes your life easier.
4. Place your bananas in a bowl and add your peanut butter and chocolate spread... then BLEND like your entire EXISTENCE was meant to BLEND. Be patient, especially if using a hand held blender like ours - things can get very angry. Blend until it is as smooth as you like.
5. Pop into your ramekins or bowls, depending on how fancy you feel.
6. EAT.

If you do make this recipe, feel free to tweet me your pics! My day would officially be made... My username is @byhermirror :) Bon app├ętit!


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Friday, 2 January 2015

The 2015 By Her Mirror Reader Survey!

Oh yeah crew. We're getting all kinds of questiony today as I turn to you beautiful people to ask who you are and what you think of By Her Mirror... Needless today I am astonishingly excited. Thank you so, so much if you do decide to fill this out - you will have made one lonely and currently very sick girl very happy indeed. A gold star to you.

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Thursday, 1 January 2015

My New Year's Resolutions

A new year is here and with it, an opportunity to make and break an array of well-intentioned promises to oneself... I'm big into To Do lists of any kind so naturally I had to share my 2015 resolutions with you guys!

  1. I intend to work hard at uni, and get a grade I am proud of.
  2. I hope to take part in our pole school's yearly competition and showcase (majorly motivating, as I am very very unfit at the moment!)
  3. I will continue blogging, taking a little more time and care to perfect each post, and only share the posts I am 100% proud of and happy to put out into the world
  4. I will continue my Project365 (still a private endeavour as my last year at uni has limited my beautiful photo taking opportunities big time)
  5. I plan on taking steps outside my comfort zone rather than saying no to the things that scare me.
  6. I will enjoy my last semester at uni.* 
  7. I want to knit myself something more advanced than a scarf (though let's not bash that idea too much as scarves are legit)
  8. I will prioritise spending on experiences over spending on things
  9. I hope to finally declutter my mess, sorry, bedroom at home
  10. I will work to remember how lucky I really am... I am the queen of BUT I AM NOT PERFECT THEREFORE I HAVE FAILED rather than accepting I have it good
What do you guys think of my resolutions? Do you have any of your own for this year? Feel free to share any down below of course!


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*sobs, broken, into a pillow... DON'T MAKE ME LEAVE